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Aaron Rodgers, Packers, Poised to take NFC North

Packers Cardinals FootballA lot of people will say that the NFL preseason is meaningless. Yes, win-loss records in the preseason are meaningless, but as a whole, the preseason has a lot of significance in my mind, much like spring training for baseball. Here’s why: if you’re having trouble executing in practice games, chances are you’re not going to magically turn things around in real games. The converse would be the case for dominating performances, much like that of the Green Bay Packers this preseason.

In case you’ve missed it, the Packers have been the most dominating team in the preseason this year. They’re 3-0 and coming off a win over the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night, 44-37. Yes, put the record aside and just look at the straight facts that bear the significance. In 12 possessions this preseason, Green Bay’s first-team offense has scored nine touchdowns and kicked one field goal, and they didn’t even have to punt the other two drives. Aaron Rodgers is 28/37 for 458 yards, 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. And it’s not just the first-team offense that’s getting it done; the first-team defense held the Cards to 10 points in the first half and they shutout both the Browns and Bills.

Yes I realize that these statistics and records are meaningless towards the regular season but there’s no doubt in my mind that the Packers are ready to roll and dominate this year. Want to know another offense that looked this good in the preseason? The Saints last year, and their quarterback threw for over 5,000 yards. You heard it hear first — the Packers are poised to take the NFC North.

Chad Ocho-Tweet-O Now Serving as NFL Reporter

chad-johnsonChad Ochocinco aka Chad Johnson has officially become the Gilbert Arenas of the NFL. By that, I mean the guy has become bigger for what he does off the athletic field than what he does on it, but he’s good enough for us to respect his work on the field. The difference is that Gilbert became the first athlete to maximize the reach of a blog while Chad’s using twitter. Oh yeah, and Chad’s taking his twitter game to a new level — that of NFL reporter.

After holding out for the first three weeks of the pre-season, Bengals first-round pick Andre Smith finally signed with the team. Where was the first place the news broke? Ocho’s twitter account. As if that wasn’t enough, Ocho also did some investigative journalism to check on the status of Tom Brady who got hurt in his pre-season game against the Redskins. Couple those two news items with Chad’s tweets reaching out to Barack and Oprah and it’s pretty clear that this guy is doing everything he can to build the Ocho brand.

Lastly, in case you missed it last week, Chad’s been trying to find a loophole in NFL policy so that he can tweet to his followers during games. His latest idea is to fly one of his fans to each game and develop a system of hand signals so that the fan can tweet on behalf of Ocho during games. Sure sounds like his head is in the right place, right? I guess this is only the next level up from touchdown celebrations.

‘Schism’ Brewing in Philly … Or Just in McNabb’s Head?

Donovan McNabb was commended for personally recommending the Eagles pursue Michael Vick and give him a chance in the NFL. There was talk that the two were friends from the days McNabb hosted Vick as a recruit at Syracuse and that the two have stayed in touch ever since. While McNabb did a pretty selfless act, it appears as if the move has either backfired or that he may be regretting things. Well, that is unless the Eagles change things around. During the first half of the Eagles’ preseason game on Thursday night, McNabb complained on the sidelines that he couldn’t get in a rhythm because the team kept shuffling its offensive personnel around:

I know what we were trying to do [with Vick] and we were able to get that done. And I thought it was time for us to kind of get our offense going. After the first play when I tried to go deep to DeSean [Jackson] and threw it out of bounds a little, we started to get positive plays. We got the drive going and I think that’s very important in a game, whether it’s in the regular season or the preseason, to get that rhythm going. If you’re going to show different looks make sure it’s the right time. That’s the what the preseason’s for to make sure you know when that time is, and we’ll get that time together. I thought it was important at that time to get out and run our offense.”

There’s a couple of ways to go when you think about this. You could say that this is the beginning of McNabb getting defensive. After all, Donovan got supremely pissed when he was benched last year and had his feelings hurt; he’s very protective about his starting job. You could also say that this was a learning experience for Philly and that they’re trying to figure out when and where to work Vick in. That’s what Donovan was suggesting with that comment and also what Andy Reid wants to convey. But let me tell you, there will be at least one point this season where people are calling for Vick to be the starter for the Eagles. And judging by Donovan’s past, that will be perfect to light a fire under his ass — he always plays his best when the world is against him.

Jared Allen Thought ‘Schism’ Was an STD

jared-allenMr. DUI aka Mr. Dirty Hits on Your Quarterback aka Jared Allen keeps getting a lot of attention from the media for two reasons: he’s a good player, and he’s a good personality. While his athletic ability was limited to those in attendance at practice, Allen’s colorful personality was on complete display when he was interviewed by ESPN Thursday regarding the report that there was a “schism” in the Vikings locker room regarding support for the team’s quarterbacks. Check out his comments:

“I don’t know where this came from. Like I said, I don’t think anyone on this team knows what ‘schism’ is, let alone could use it in a sentence. I thought it was an STD when I first heard it and I was like ‘whoa,’ we preach abstinence around these parts!”

There’s no doubt this dude is a total nut. You hear quotes like that and it just completely fits in with his personality — the weird mullets, the hunting outfits, the repeated DUIs. What a crazy mother. By the way, I’m having mixed feelings about the “schism” report. Last year I felt ESPN was out of line for intentionally going after the Cowboys and coming out with a report that T.O. was jealous of Jason Witten’s relationship with Tony Romo. I thought that was more of a bullcrap story whereas this one seems more concrete. Honestly, how can Brett Favre only decide to join the team after training camp ends and just expect the guys to welcome him with open arms? I’m glad he’s getting the sense that he’s unwanted because for many people who are tired of his charade, that’s how it is. By the way, aren’t there schisms on every team with a QB controversy? It’s only that this one really matters because it involves Favre.

Video: Brandon Marshall Acts Like Immature Baby at Practice

The best way to describe Broncos WR Brandon Marshall right now would be “disgruntled.” While recovering from hip surgery, he saw his quarterback work his way out of town to Chicago. Marshall was dealing with a court case and when he won it, he found out the team didn’t want the players congratulating him for winning it. He’s giving the new coaching staff a hard time and says he doesn’t know the playbook. He’s been asking for either a trade or a new contract and he hasn’t received either. So he resorted to poor behavior at practice on Wednesday.

Marshall wouldn’t run with the team during drills, punted balls away from the ballboys, and he refused to catch passes during drills. Coach Josh McDaniels would not address the issue publicly.

Marshall later admitted his behavior was an error in judgement which is at least a positive sign that he still has somewhat of a conscience. It’s hard to really know what to do here — Marshall saw his pal Jay Cutler work his way out of Denver so he was trying to do the same thing. You figure he should just suck it up and play out the final year of his contract and sign somewhere else in the offseason, but after seeing Cutler’s success he’s trying to get a jumpstart on his future. Plus, with his type of numbers I’d be asking for a new deal too. The guy’s already played with a crappy contract the past three years and has put up Pro Bowl numbers each of the last two. Packers gave Greg Jennings a new deal this offseason, Broncos should have done the same with Marshall. Seems to me that both parties are to blame here.

Jerry Jones, Ripping Off Fans in Every Way Possible

So Jerry Jones is responsible for the construction of a $1.2 billion state-of-the-art home for the Dallas Cowboys. He puts in the world’s largest HDTV but it backfires when it’s found out that the TV is in the way of punts and damn near every fan’s view. And to help finance that ridiculous stadium, they’re charging over $50 for pizzas and more than that for parking. As if that’s not enough, for some fans, it doesn’t really matter how obtrusive the video screen is — you can buy seats with no view of the game! Check it out via Shutdown Corner:

Well, at least it’s a nice view of the end zone. I wonder if the seat is 30% off the face value considering you can only see 30% of the damn field. Can I just ask something? How the heck is a seat with that poor sight lines even constructed? Who are we kidding — it’s not as if the Cowboys put in a lot of detail into constructing their facilities.

Insane DeAngelo Williams Touchdown Run from Pre-Season Against Dolphins

DeAngelo Williams is a guy who was quiet his first two years in the league despite being a first-round pick by the Panthers in 2006. Last year, the kid from Memphis blew up, scoring 20 touchdowns and ranking as the top overall fantasy player in the entire NFL. In case you’re still a little slow recognizing the arrival of DeAngelo, allow me to show you this crazy, Barry Sanders-like run of his from week two of the preseason. I saw this in the highlights over the weekend but forgot about it until Jimmy at SI Hot Clicks posted it. Freaking spectacular.

You can say the Panthers have some excellent run-blocking — and that’s true — but that play was all about the individual efforts of DeAngelo. Man, they should turn that into one of those NFL Fantasy File commercials as a reason to draft him. He might not score 20 TDs again, but with moves like that he’ll continue to impress.