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In Arizona, the Cardinals lose Tyrann Mathieu for the year with a ACL and LCL knee injury. In Carolina, the Panthers lose Jonathan Stewart with an MCL knee injury. But the most devastating season-ender was Rob Gronkowski and his ACL and MCL knee injury with the New England Patriots. The Patriots will rebound somehow to remain competitive but being competitive and winning in the playoffs are two different tests. Players get injured but for Gronkowski, this is difficult to comprehend and accept. On the positive side, he is a young, fourth-year player and youth and the ability to heal effectively do go together. On the negative, for a young player, Gronkowski has an old body of football battles. Two back surgeries at the University of Arizona, missing his senior year, three arm surgeries over three years with New England and now a major knee surgery that, as we have learned by watching RG3, takes more than six months to recover from. His biggest battle to get back will be that he has to do this on his own and often all alone. Football rehabilitation is not a team sport, it is an individual challenge that you have to look at as a job at which to excel and a time commitment that ends an off-season of enjoyment. Every now and then, I get a streak of jealousy over the amount of money pro football players make and how fast, but then I lose that when I consider how short of a career it is and how fast the injuries can compound. In Cleveland, the most talked about player this week will be Browns defensive back TJ Ward because he is the weapon that took out Gronkowski. Yes, he could have make the tackle higher around the hips but would have probably bounced off the hips and Gronkowski would have made another five yards. Or he could tackled him around the shoulders and been taken for 10 yards trying to wrestle the 66" 260 lbs tight end to the ground. Ward is listed at 510" and 200lbs so it was his only choice to take the legs. If he didnt, he would have been criticized and graded down the next morning in the review of the game. The more negative grades you have, the less significance you have in value. No choice for Ward at that moment in time. Pivotal Discussion I dont know who the best quarterback is in NFL football but of the top four that have won Super Bowls, here is what I think. Tom Brady is the best pressure quarterback in football and has exceptional leadership qualities. What he has been able to do with extreme limitations of time is second to none. With two minutes to go on your own 20-yard line and needing a touchdown, Tom Brady is the best. Peyton Manning is #1 in terms of preparation and in-game adjustment. So many times the best offensive possession for Denver is the first one as that becomes the first points scored in the game. Then as the game moves on, Manning figures it out. What he figures out I am not sure but so many times, the second half is dominated by Denver no matter what has happened in the first half. Nobody can run their offence like Manning. Drew Brees has the best footwork and awareness. Cris Collinsworth showed on Sunday Night Football how Brees goes from one opportunity to another downfield, not only in the game but in the pre-game. Later, it was visually demonstrated how polished and precise his footwork and throwing motion work together. Pocket awareness is having the ability to feel a pass rush but not see it. Some quarterbacks never get it; Brees has mastered it. No one has a better arm or a more relaxed demeanor on the field than Aaron Rodgers. If there is anxiety inside Rodgers in the middle of a game, I dont see it. It amazes me how composed and relaxed he remains from play to play. Confidence yes, ability yes but also a gift of knowing or having the skill to focus on what is important and dismiss what is not in any given moment. And with that gift, he has the most accurate and velocity intense arm. If ARodgers comes back for the Dallas game, everything will change for the Packers. Overall, I pick Aaron Rodgers as my number 1 quarterback. Capital Demise In Washington, you can see the end coming. I dont think players give up on a team, coach or year. The competition for an NFL job is too heavy and everything is on video to be re-evaluated all off-season over and over and over. But I do think players play with different intensity levels depending on weather, opposition, one-on-one competition and free agency. When you give up a run for a touchdown, a pass for a touchdown, a punt for a touchdown and a kick return for a touchdown, there is something deeply wrong. The value of a coach is how the players respond and the Washington Redskins did not. You cant fire 53 players, only the boss. Time To Sit In Denver, I hope the Broncos sit Wes Welker until the playoffs. Within one month, he has been diagnosed with two concussions and both on the same type of pattern, a crossing route in between the hash marks about 10 yards downfield. Thats linebacker territory. Also, I guess the conversation about Peyton Mannings ability to play effectively is cold weather is over. Four touchdowns and 397 yards answered that question against Tennessee . Tough To Watch Finally, the Monday Night Football game was painful to watch for two reasons. First, it was brutally cold and by the fourth quarter, everybody was ready to go home; in the stands, on the field, everybody. Secondly, it was tough to watch the slow but consistent disintegration of the Dallas defence. Salary cap limitations have been a good thing for football as it forces competitive balance but when mismanaged, you see weakness in personnel that is normally depth players who will never be starters. That has caught up to the Cowboys. They can still win the NFC East when they face the Eagles in Philadelphia on December 29, but by no means is it a sure thing based on Monday night. http://www.officialpackersteamgears.com/richard-rodgers-jersey/ . Didnt need any help this time. Wood beat Cincinnati for the first time in his career, repeatedly pitching out of threats for seven innings, and Chicago stalled the Reds week-long surge with a 2-0 victory Monday night. http://www.officialpackersteamgears.com/bart-starr-jersey/ . After rookie right-hander Alex Colome excelled in a 5-2 victory in the opener, the Rays fell to Chris Tillman and the Orioles 4-1 on Friday night. http://www.officialpackersteamgears.com/ray-nitschke-jersey/ . His chance at winning a Stanley Cup in Philadelphia is over. Same with Jeff Carter. And Brian Boucher. Throw in Ville Leino and Dan Carcillo. http://www.officialpackersteamgears.com/nick-perry-jersey/ . Torres scored the first goal by an English team in the knockout phase of the Champions League this season when he met Cezar Azpilicuetas cutback in the ninth minute of their first leg match in the last 16. But Chelsea failed to make the most of its counterattacks and the Turkish champions equalized in the second half after gaining in confidence and cutting out their defensive mistakes. http://www.officialpackersteamgears.com/don-barclay-jersey/ . You can watch all the action on TSN2 beginning at 7pm et/4pm pt. Pineda won his second straight start last Wednesday against Chicago, as he held the Cubs to just four hits over six scoreless innings to run his record to 2-0, while lowering his ERA to 1.The Carolina Panthers have dipped into the CFL to find a pass rusher. The team announced they have signed former Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end Alex Hall. Hall finished second in the CFL with 16 sacks last season, a year he started with the Bombers before being traded to Saskatcchewan and helping the Roughriders win the 101st Grey Cup.dddddddddddd The 28-year-old spent two years in the CFL, recording 25 total sacks. Prior to his time in Canada, Hall bounced around the NFL, spending time with the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, and New York Giants. Wholesale NFL Jerseys cheap nfl jerseys ' ' '