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That's one huge Cassel of cash

Rozin Abbas | Interrobang | Sports | January 19th, 2009

Hey Ma! I Won The Lottery!

The man who hit the big mother load is Matt Cassel, quarterback for the New England Patriots. There is a possibility of the Patriots franchise tagging him — a 2008 franchise tagged QB earned $10.7 million -- or he signs a contract worth $7 to $10 million a year. Considering that Cassel never started a single game during college as quarterback, I would assume he won the lottery. Whether he deserves it or not is arguable, but Cassel is one of five quarterbacks to ever have back-to-back games of 400 yards of passing or more.

Who are the other four? They are Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, Phil Simms and Billy Volek. San Diego Chargers running back Darren Sproles is the other unknown looking at a juicy contract. Sproles dominated the Broncos in week 17 and scored the winning touchdown over the Colts. If the Chargers sign Sproles, it will most likely be a contract overlapping LaDainian Tomlinson's future retirement.

Bench the Rookie? Hell no!

Several teams this season cashed in early with their rookies. Two rookie QBs, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, helped their teams reach the playoffs. Also, running backs Steve Slaton, Matt Forte and Chris Johnson were sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in total rushing yards. Rookie coaches John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens), Tony Sparano (Miami Dolphins) and Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons) all had outstanding seasons as they reached the playoffs.

Bad boys of the NFL are idiots

This season the NFL gave a glimpse of how idiotic some can be. In terms of current foolishness, wide receiver Plaxico Burress and CB Adam “Pacman” Jones should receive a few awards. Burress intelligently shot himself in the leg at a nightclub, of all places, in November 2008. He was suspended for the rest of the regular and postseason. To put how idiotic Plax is in retrospect, without him, the New York Giants are 3-4. With Plax, the Giants are 9-1. In short, Plax cost the Giants a chance to be repeat champions. Pacman, on the other hand, is a repeat offender. For recently being labeled as a suspect in a shooting committed outside of a strip club in 2007, Dallas has announced Pacman will be released on February 9th. NFL teams need to be more aware as NFL bad boys can greatly disrupt an organization causing unfortunate problems.

AFC and NFC Championship Picks

Philadelphia 35 and Arizona 21: The Eagles have the number two ranked pass defense in the postseason (number three regular season), something the Panthers did not have. Expect Kurt Warner to play in a similar style to the November 27th game against the Eagles where he threw for three interceptions and Arizona lost 48-20. Though Arizona is ranked number two overall defensively in terms of yards per game allowed during the postseason, they allow 18.5 points per game compared to the Eagles 12.5 — the lowest next to the Ravens 9.5. Be prepared to see some defensive punishment on the unsuspecting Cardinals as they meet a formidable defense that recognizes Kurt Warner's lack of mobility and susceptibility to making mistakes.

Baltimore 10 and Pittsburg 6 — Ravens slowly have built up a mistake-free offense, the key to winning a championship alongside a tantalizing defense. Pittsburg, on the other hand, showed that their chastising defense was something that only existed in the regular season as they allowed Philip Rivers to torch them for three touchdowns and 308 yards in only 23 minutes and 30 seconds of possession. Expect the Ravens to focus heavily on pressuring Big Ben as, history shows, he has a pathetic offensive line (sacked second most in the NFL in the regular season) causing him to turn the ball over as his 15 interceptions is tied for fourth in the NFL. As long as Flacco remains mistake-free, Ravens will win this game through defense.

Interesting Facts

- RB Darren Sproles is the second player ever to have 50 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards, and 100 return yards in a single game. The other is legendary hall of famer Gale “The Kansas Comet” Sayers. Also, Sproles is currently the smallest NFL player at 5'6.

- Turnovers seem to be the key to winning postseason games as Arizona forced 6-1 turnovers over Carolina, Baltimore 3-0 over Tennessee, Pittsburgh 2-0 over San Diego and Philadelphia 3-2 over the Giants.

- QB Matt Cassel's only collegiate start was at tight end.

- In Week 12 of the 2008 NFL season, 837 points were scored, the most in NFL history. The old record was 788 points in 2007.

- The Detroit Lions broke three records this season: most consecutive games lost starting the season, most consecutive games lost at the end of a season, and most games lost in a season.
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