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.

The Super Bowl: A St. Louis Natives Perspective

Despite the controversy of calls and rules and insanity of the NFC and AFC Championship games, the fact is that we are two weeks away from one of the biggest events in sports.  The Super Bowl is upon us! That would usually excite me, but this year I have a tough decision to make.  As native St. Louisan I have to deal with two teams that have plagued my football life.  Which way should I go? 

First of all, I love football. I grew up watching the greatest show on turf, Faulk, Warner, Holt, Proehl, Hakim and of course the great Isaac Bruce were a show that could capture the attention of the young fans as well as the older fans.  They were a look into the future of the industry, icons to any kid from St. Louis that owned a football. They were stolen from me by a corrupt system that saw my city dragged through the mud so that an owner could move a team to a place that already features about 100 professional teams.  A lot of today’s Rams roster doesn’t understand my heartache over a lost franchise.  They are LA Rams, they have taken on the persona of their young coach and ran with it.  Cocky, arrogant, flashy and talented.  They really do remind of the team that caught my attention so many years ago. But I am bitter, and I am sad that as much as I want to hold on to that memory and tell myself this is my team, they are not.  They are the Los Angeles Rams.  While I can support the success of the players I feel that by supporting this team I would be supporting the corruption that is the NFL.

Now the Patriots.  Most of St. Louis’s hatred before the Rams moved was squarely on the shoulders of the New England Patriots.  The infamous taping of the run through in Super Bowl 36 has tainted a resume that should be historically great.  Even worse it was against my beloved (at the time) St. Louis Rams.  They were blatantly cheating, and no one seemed to really care.  The NFL seemed more worried about deflated footballs then they did the image of a team clearly doing something illegal.  The Patriots have established themselves as the Yankees of football, a cult following that is loved by primarily just their fanbase. Mutually hated by everyone. 

My hate for both of these teams is equally mutual. When Super Bowl Sunday does come, I will be forced to pick a team because what is the point of watching a game if there is no really rooting interest.  After much debate internally, I have decided that the greatness of Tom Brady will overshadow my view of the organization.  I will cheer for him and him alone to succeed over a team that on paper should have the advantage at almost every position other than Quarterback.  The Rams have become an organization that makes me sick to my stomach.  Rooting for them is rooting for Stan Kroenke, no matter what your allegiance is. 

NFL 2018: Five Things I was wrong about

Being wrong sucks, but admitting you were wrong is the sign of growth.  Here are the five things that I was completely wrong about before the start of the season.

Chicago Bears are the third best team in their own division.

When the Bears pulled off what could have been the steal of the century acquiring Khalil Mack from the Raiders I knew it was going to be an impactful move.  But with an offense that featured a second year QB that had not yet proven much on the NFL level and a new head coach that was transitioning his style I wasn’t sold on them as NFC North winners.

I was very wrong.  Matt Nagy has taken Trubisky and the Bears offense to a new level in 2018 while utilizing his Swiss army knife RB Tarik Cohen and many ancillary pieces.  This team is still built around their defense but the surprise for most teams will be Nagy’s offense in the playoffs.  Multiple targets that can step up at any time will be a headache for opposing defensive coordinators. 


Can’t believe I fell for Kirk Cousins.

Le’Veon Bell is going to play in 2018.

I was one of those guys that drafted Bell in his fantasy draft.  I am also one of those guys that refused to trade him despite great offers…actually turning down a trade of Michael Thomas and Andrew Luck. 

Bell stuck to his guns, as did the Steelers, sitting out the entire season.  James Conner and Jaylen Samuels filled in admirably for Bell, but the Steelers are most likely not making the playoffs and whether this was because of Bell or not I was still very wrong about his playing status. I’m not mad at Bell but it really sucked for my fantasy squad.

The Jaguars are a Superbowl favorite in the AFC.

I bought into Jacksonville and Blake Bortles. Shame on me.  Injuries have been a problem for the Jags, Leonard Fournette has a problem with staying healthy and without him this team just has not been able to put together a kind of consistent run. 

After defeating Patriots I thought that maybe I was right about the potential of this team and maybe Blake Bortles is actually good, when you are wrong, you are wrong.

I was wrong.


The Broncos may make the playoffs.

This was an in season change of opinion Phillip Lindsey came out of nowhere to become an elite level RB in the league. Two upset victories over the Chargers and the Steelers made me believe this team was going to make a real run in their division.  Then the real Case Keenum stood up. The one-dimensional offense of the Broncos became very obvious, Lindsey had to face stacked boxes with zero passing ability.  Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are both great players but a team with no real offense and terrible coaching never truly had a chance to succeed.

Baker Mayfield was the best Quarterback in the Draft.

Drafting Baker Mayfield #1 overall last season, seemed like another blunder from the Cleveland front office.  With standouts like Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen presumably ranked ahead of Mayfield it made no sense to go after the controversial Oklahoma QB. Mayfield was held back by the clueless Hue Jackson and when given the opportunity Mayfield immediately made his impact and began to turn around the sorry franchise. Mayfield is the leading candidate to win rookie of the year (in my opnion) and has proven me and all other doubters…cough Colin Cowherd… completely wrong.  Mayfield is a star and will be for a long time.

Take notice of Russell Wilson

Last night Russell Wilson was not great.  10/20 with no touchdowns and an interception are not MVP numbers, but to not consider him as a candidate is just wrong. Pat Mahomes and Drew Brees are throwing out numbers that you can only getting while playing Madden on easy.  They are flashy and dominate offenses, but are they the singular reason their teams are winning?  Not to the level of Russell Wilson.  

He’s set to post career-highs in touchdowns (39), yards per attempt, and passer rating, while only throwing it about 27 times per game. In a season when quarterbacks are shattering records for completion percentage and Patrick Mahomes is virtually a lock to go over 50 touchdowns, Wilson is doing it his own way while still keeping pace with some of those prolific scorers in the league. When the game was on the line last night Wilson made the play that changed the momentum, his 40-yard scramble that led to the 2-yard TD from Chris Carson was a thing of beauty in a game that was dominated by defense. 

The Seahawks have made wholesale changes to their offense.  Jimmy Graham, gone, Darrel Bevell gone, Doug Baldwin injured most of the season.  Wilson has found a way to make a star of Tyler Lockett and relevance to WR David Moore a former 7th round pick  and TE Nick Vannett. These are not premier players, they may not even see the field on most teams that are playoff relevant.  Wilson works with what is around him and makes them play to his level.  

Wilson has the third best passer rating on the road behind the  aforementioned Mahomes and the veteran slinger Phillip Rivers.  He has 21 touchdowns and 2 interceptions against the NFC this season.  He is the reason that the Seahawks are able to score, his ability to move and create allows the running game to develop as it has, becoming the #1 rushing attack in the NFL, averaging an astounding 153 yards per game.  Wilson will most likely not win the MVP but he is by far the single most important player on any playoff team.  

Fantasy Football- Players we hate

The NFL season is half way over, which means that fantasy playoffs are right around the corner.  If you are a playoff team you probably avoided these players. Let’s list off the top five players we hate (that we drafted).

This list is based on guys that have been playing but not producing.  If they are injured I give them a pass.  If they are LeVeon Bell I refuse to speak his name out loud in public.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry was suppose to have his coming out party in the playoffs last year.  Damn was I wrong.  The Titans left DeMarco Murray walk in the off season, which meant that Henry would be the guy right?? Nope Dion Lewis has taken over the bulk of the carries in the backfield.  Henry is averaging a staggering 3.3 yards per carry so far in 2018.

Henry also gives you nothing on the receiving end with eight catches the entire season! Henry is trending in the direction of fellow Alabama alumni Trent Richardson, I would look for him to be moved in the off season unless things change drastically. I hate you Derrick Henry!

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

McCoy has had a great fantasy career, but currently I have the same amount of Touchdowns as he does this season.  It’s zero in case that wasn’t clear.  I know the Buffalo offense is a joke.  Nathan Peterman is the equivalent of a dumpster fire while on the field, but McCoy is still only averaging 3.1 yards per carry this season.  Chris Ivory has become more relevant out of the backfield.   I really don’t need to say much more than that.  I may not have drafted you in any leagues LeSean but I hate you for those who did.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins, Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins

Drake has had his moments this season, especially when I have had to face him.  But overall he has been a bust this season.  The ageless Frank Gore has taken away carries from the 2017-18 fantasy surprise.  Miami has had their issues at Quarterback, starting Brock Osweiler (not sure that’s how you spell it but who cares).  The QB situation has caused problems for the Dolphins but they should still be able to utilize Drake out of the backfield in passing situations but for some reason they refuse to do it consistently.

I added Kenny Stills to this list because I am tired of hearing about his potential.  Stills disappears in games to the point where he literally gets no targets.

Kenyan and Kenny I hate you both equally.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Nelson had a great start to the season then the return of Alshon Jeffery made him basically disappear. Agholor had 8 Touchdowns last year, half way through the season he is sitting at one.  He has been so bad that literally the Eagles went out and found a replacement for him at the deadline, adding Golden Tate.

Has Agholor forgotten how to run a route?  Has Carson Wentz forgotten that he is on the team.  Why do you suck now Nelson?  I hate you!