Isaac Bruce should be in Canton

Isaac Bruce spent 16-years in the NFL as one of the most underrated players of his generation.  When Bruce retired not only was he arguably the best player in the history of the St. Louis Rams but was also second all-time in receiving yards (15,208 yards) behind only the great Jerry Rice. Bruce has been treated the same way as the city of St. Louis has been treated, like an afterthought.

Bruce seems to be penalized for a couple factors:

Bruce played on alongside another Hall of Fame hopeful Torry Holt

It is widely believed that Holt’s presence somehow made Bruce’s accomplishments less impressive. Holt however was drafted in 1999 a whole five years into Bruce’s career.  He was a complement to the greatness of Bruce.  Still, there is a group of people that believe Holt and Bruce are splitting votes.  This notion is absurd, while Holt is worthy of a finalist spot it was always clear who was the alpha dog in the pack of Rams receivers his whole career.

Bruce didn’t make the all-decade team. 

This one seems stupid to me, but I have seen comments about it.  Bruce was never really the best wideout of his time, being overshadowed by greats like Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss.  If Bruce’s number had been from 1990 to 2000 he would have had a better chance of making one of these teams, but he was right in the middle of both of those time periods. 

The Greatest Show on Turf inflated his numbers.  

There is an idea that Bruce was a product of a great offense and not an elite receiver.  The greatness of the 1999 Ram’s offense is obvious, but he had already established himself as an elite receiver.  Isaac’s most productive season came in 1995 with the likes of Mark Rypien and Chris Miller throwing him the ball.  He followed that up with a great 1996 season where the Rams featured the likes of Tony Banks and Steve Walsh.  It was his precise route running and durability that inflated his numbers not an offensive game plan.

Why He should be in.

Selected in the second round of the of the 1994 draft by the Rams, Bruce began his accent to stardom in his second season catching 119 passes, scoring 13 TDs. Continuing his domination in 1996 leading the league in yards with 1338. During his 10-season peak phase, from 1995 through 2004, Bruce led the NFL in receiving yards, was No. 1 in catches of 25+ yards, was third in average yards per game, was third in receiving first downs, ranked fourth in total receptions, fifth in touchdowns and had the most yards at the point of the catch. Bruce was the definition of consistency for the Rams proving his abilities week in and week out.

By the numbers:

6th all time in receiving yards: 15,208

13th in receptions: 1,024

42 career 100+ yard games

4-time Pro-Bowler

Bruce’s story is simple, he has been plagued by the fact that no matter what he will always be connected with the city that the NFL doesn’t want. The support from fans will have to come from the city that has felt abandoned by the league.  It’s important for the fans of the St. Louis area to remember that even though the team and the league have left, Isaac Bruce has not. Bruce still runs his foundation out of the city of St. Louis and he still supports the city in any way that he can. It’s time for the city to do its part to bring him the accolades that he deserves.  We can never forget his iconic moment in Super Bowl XXXIV, Bruce grabbed six receptions for 162 yards (third most in Super Bowl history) and one touchdown. The touchdown was a 73-yard reception that proved to be the game winner with 1:54 remaining in contest.  He is a St. Louis sports icon and deserves to be in Canton.

What I learned from week 4.

Greatest Show on Surf.

The LA Rams were good last season.  This season they may be unstoppable.  Adding downfield threat Brandin Cooks has opened up the middle of the field for slot receiver Cooper Kupp as well as forcing teams to play Robert Woods one on one.  This team can throw, run and control the tempo.

This team has offensive talent throughout the roster.  The Vikings defense has not been the dominant force that it was in 2017 but they still were completely dominated an overmatched.  The only defense that can maybe slow them down would be the Jaguars but they won’t have to deal with them during the season.  Every player on this team is a must start in your fantasy lineup and its not even debatable.

Steelers will finish third in the AFC North.

The Steelers fell to 1-2-1 on Sunday night getting handled easily by division rival Baltimore.  The Steelers gave up 14 points right off the bat and never truly were able to overcome the deficit.  The Steelers defense is bad and it won’t get much relief for the next two weeks.  The Falcons come to town next week followed by a trip to Cincinnati.  Both of those games are tough matchups for a Steelers defense that has given up 26. 27, and 42 over the last three games.

It is realistic that the Steelers are going to be 1-4-1 before they get the relief of the Browns coming to Pittsburgh. The Steelers also need to make a decision on what to do with their disgruntled RB LeVeon Bell, it is causing a rift in the team.  They are in trouble and are very likely to not make the playoffs this season.

Patriots still own the Dolphins and the AFC East

Last week I wrote that I learned the Patriots may be in trouble.  They were beaten on the national stage by a team that had been dominated by Sam Darnold during the first week of the season.  Then the Patriots got exactly what they needed to turn themselves around a trip to Miami against their whipping boys the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins were a mirage of 3-0 that had people buying into the potential of them winning the division.  Bill Belichick and Tom Brady quickly reminded us that they are the class of the AFC East and they are an AP class while the Dolphins are trying to work their way out of entry level.  The Patriots will not have the returning Julian Edelman next week which will only make this team even more dangerous and it will open up the playbook for Gronk and Josh Gordon.  The Pats were also able to establish rookie Sonny Michel and the run game.  This team is dangerous and I quickly have learned that you never count out the Pats.  My bad.

Titans may be for real.

I have been a hater of the Tennessee Titans since the season started.  They don’t play the brand of football that grabs your attention.  But you cannot ignore what they have done over the last three weeks.  Wins over Houston, Philadelphia and Jacksonville put the Titans at 3-1, first place in the AFC South.  They have found themselves there despite inconsistent play on the offensive end.

Corey Davis and Marcus Mariota seemed to build a rapport with each other, Davis going for 9 catches 151 yards and a touchdown yesterday against a suspect Eagles secondary.  The Titans have found the mojo with their arial attack which can open up the run game for Derrick Henry.  With the victory over the Jags the Titans sit in the drivers seat for the division and could be a tough matchup for any AFC teams.