Fourth & Goal: NFL Week 17

It’s the final regular season episode of Fourth & Goal. This week we are bring you not one but two shows. One on the the College Football playoff and the other on the NFL. In the NFL, I talk about why Kirk Cousins has shown us once again exactly who he is. Then, is the Pittsburgh championship window officially closed? Which NFL quarterback draft class has sputtered and why 2018’s class is one for the ages. Then we go for it on fourth down on who I think the NFL MVP should be and it’s not who you think. Make sure you like and subscribe to not miss an episode and catch my reaction to the NFL coach firings later this week.

NFC North Preview

The second of an eight part season where we break down all eight NFL divisions heading into the 2018 season. On this episode of the Rich Sports Talk podcast let’s look at the NFC North.

Will the Packers rebound to take the North Division or will Minnesota and Kirk Cousins be the division champions for back to back seasons. How will the Lions respond to their new head coach and will Trubisky prove he’s the franchise quarterback in the Windy City? Listen to find out and remember to subscribe and follow for all the latest content.

Does Suspension Mark the End of Adrian Peterson Being the Best NFL Running Back

Will this suspension be the end of Peterson being an elite player?

Will this suspension be the end of Peterson being an elite player?

With the announcement that Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson will be suspended for the rest of the season, the Vikings franchise is at a critical crossroad. With three years remaining on the 96 $Million Deal that Peterson received in  2011, the Vikings will owe 13$ million to Peterson next year. However, if the team cuts him before the season it would only put a 2.4 $ Million cap penalty on the team in 2015.  While it may seem inconceivable that even after everything that has occurred this season that the Vikings would get rid of their franchise player, it’s time to move on.

Running backs are always tricky in the NFL. one season they can go from Pro Bowl players to the next an offensive hinderance. Minnesota could try to move Peterson for some draft picks, but with a 13$million dollar cap hit in 2015, the off the field issues, and the fact that he won’t play for almost a full season will make it almost impossible to move Peterson for a decent return. Instead, the Vikings should look to rebuild around their young quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and continue to build around the strong young nucleus of players on the roster.

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s better to get rid of a player one year early rather than a year too late. Peterson may have taken off almost the entire season, which some will view as a rest period for the running, but he’s still had plenty of wear on his tires. He’s already passed the 2,000 carry mark in his career, a barometer many coaches around the NFL view as the peak of a running back’s career and after that milestone many  running backs are on the downside of their career. Peterson will also turn 30 in March, another infamous landmark for NFL backs that indicates the beginning of decline.

Peterson's day in court might have been the final straw in Minnesota

Peterson’s day in court might have been the final straw in Minnesota

Can Peterson still be effective? Of course, but it’s unfair to assume that he will be the great runner he has been. Peterson can not handle the load or be the sole focal point of an offense. Where Peterson will play in 2015 is still a distant thought but it will be interesting to see if he is on a new team, what role will he play?

As for the Vikings, this is not a total loss. They still have a young developing quarterback and will have more than 10 $Million under the cap if they release Peterson. Let’s not forget that despite his greatness Peterson has only one playoff win as a Viking with three playoff losses. Unfortunately, running backs can get a team to the post season, but in today’s NFL a team needs a quarterback to win in the playoffs. So for the Minnesota Vikings, it’s time to move on from Peterson. Even if he still has a good year or two left in the tank, the team needs to prepare for the long-term because they are not a Super Bowl contender.

 

What’s Next? Adrian Peterson’s future in the NFL

Peterson is the NFL's best back, but should he remain in Minnesota?

Peterson is the NFL’s best back, but should he remain in Minnesota?

Adrian Peterson is the best back in the NFL. He maybe one of the greatest backs in the history of football when he finishes his career. At the age of 28 Peterson has over 9,500 yards rushing, 85 touchdowns, and a league MVP. However, should Peterson remain a Viking? Or will we witness another early exit reminiscent of Jim Brown or Barry Sanders? Despite being the best back in the league, the Vikings well aren’t exactly one of the best teams. In truth they are one of the worst. In a division loaded with young and talented teams, the Vikings have been left behind. Despite three first round picks in last year’s draft, the roster lacks talent especially at the most important position, quarterback. While most football fans might just assume that Peterson will spend his entire career with the Vikings, I’m not sold.

If NFL history has taught use anything there could be two other scenarios that could happen Peterson’s career. The first is the Herschel Walker trade. The Cowboys traded Herschel Walker to the Vikings for a boatload of draft picks that Dallas used to build its dynasty in the early nineties. Why don’t the Vikings do the opposite this time? With Peterson in the prime of his career and reaching the age of thirty, the Vikings may decide that if they can get a good amount of draft picks back for Peterson that it maybe the best course of action. Obviously it will hard to tell fans that you’re trading the best back in the NFL, but with the value of draft picks Peterson could fetch in return for his services may eventually win Vikings fans over. If the Vikings could find their franchise quarterback while adding some extra playmakers, the Vikings could be a team with a very bright future. Plus, it’s better to sell high with running backs. Just look at the Jacksonville Jaguars. Two years ago they could have restocked their team with draft picks for Maurice Jones-Drew. Now with his injuries and lack of production the Jags would be lucky to get any draft pick for their once prized running back.

If the Vikings sit on their prized running back there is another possible scenario that

If the Vikings continue their losing ways, could Peterson become the next Barry Sanders?

If the Vikings continue their losing ways, could Peterson become the next Barry Sanders?

could happen. I’m saying possible, not likely. With that being said, could Peterson be the next great running back who retires in their prime? It’s happened before, just look no further than the two greatest running backs in history. Jim Brown and Barry Sanders both retired in the prime of their careers out of nowhere. However, Peterson most closely resembles Sanders path. Early playoff success followed by years of losing. Not convinced? How about two franchises that failed to find a franchise quarterback for their star running back and were losing season after season. With the Vikings currently fading fast in 2013, the question should be can Peterson keep the same fire? It’s hard when your losing. Peterson is risking is body, neck, and mind for an organization that is putting out nowhere near the same amount of effort that he is. If the Vikings continue to flounder year after year, and with no change of scenery in sight, number 28 will decide he’s had enough. If the records are important to him, which be all indications they are, Peterson will probably keep playing. However, if he really wants to win a Super Bowl maybe Peterson will decide that it’s not worth it to keep playing in Minnesota. Last year Peterson single-handedly carried this team to the playoffs, but only as a low wild card seed which concluded with a one and done in the playoffs. Now Peterson is still having a phenomenal year, it’s just the rest of the Vikings who can’t get out of their own way. As we continue to watch one of the greatest backs in history continue his great work, don’t let these two scenarios fade from your mind. They may not be as far-fetched as you think. Do you think Peterson would have to leave Minnesota to win a championship? Will he eventually be traded? Could you see him leaving football early? Don’t forget to comment.

NFL’s newest looks

Since the NFL partnered with NIKE it wasn’t if but when many teams would update their uniforms. This offseason three teams have updated their logos and uniforms in order to look good for the cameras for the 2013 NFL season. Here’s how I rated the newest looks in the NFL from worst to first!

Mike Wallace shows off his new threads

Mike Wallace shows off his new threads

The Miami Dolphins: Well I never  thought I’d say this but I miss the old dolphin logo. With a new “modern Miami” logo, apparently they’re having dinner with the Marlins brass, the Dolphins have the worst of the new uniforms. While they earn points for no orange uniform I don’t like the new color scheme. the Blue and orange worked very well together, however the new uniforms have reduced the orange to just a minor accent color instead focusing primarily on the teal and a darker shade of blue. While cleaner looking, these uniforms lack the charm and individuality of the previous and tried a little to hard to be both modern and traditional. You have to either go traditional or modern, you can’t do both. Unfortunately these uniforms while sleeker don’t represent the history of the Dolphins like the old ones did.

Going back to the purple people eaters.

Going back to the purple people eaters.

Minnesota Vikings: And I thought Adrian Peterson looked tough before. While the Vikings also updated their logo, although it’s practically impossible to tell, they decided to ditch their old uniforms which had way too much piping and colors to go old school. These bad boys go back to the darker shade of purple and ditch all of the noise of the previous incarnation to just be simple but pure. With the minor details such as the numbers looking like the bow of a ship, and the sweeping horn design on the shoulder, which will make All Day look even faster, the Vikings new uniforms hit the mark combining modern-day sleekness and the Vikings storied history

Hey they might be bad, but at least they look good!

Hey they might be bad, but at least they look good!

Jacksonville Jaguars: Talk about making a statement. For years Jacksonville has been a bad football team. While this trend will probably continue at least they’ll look awesome doing it. The new logo is ferocious and intimidating and is the best revamped logo in the NFL. The helmets are ground breaking, fading from black in the front to gold in the back to look like a jaguar pattern. The Uniforms are sleek, stylish, and use the team colors of teal, black and gold very well. The new teal jersey looks great with the black numbers, shoulders, and pants since the black really pops with the gold outlining. The all white look is crisp and clean once again highlighting the teal with the black. However, my favorite are the all black bad boys. All black uniforms with teal and gold trim and the white numerals that really pop. It was great to see the Jags bring back the black 2 years ago but this uniform kicks it up a notch. Now at least playing for the Jaguars will mean players will get to wear one of the best uniforms in the NFL. Do you agree with the list? Comment below