Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Missouri Tigers' All-Time Best Players in the NFL - Yahoo! Sports

The Missouri Tigers have had some great seasons in their history, but they have also had some terrible years. Producing solid NFL players is always one thing that Missouri has been able to do through the years.

While the Tigers have had very few superstars at the NFL level, they have always found a way to make sure their players get a chance to play at the next level.

With that in mind, here is a list of the 10 best NFL players that played their college football for the Missouri Tigers:

1, Kellen Winslow

Kellen WInslow is considered to be one of the best tight ends in the history of the NFL, and he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995. Winslow was one of the first major receiving threats to play tight end and helped revolutionize the position to what it has become today. When you combine all of this with the fact that he had over 6,700 receiving yards and 45 touchdowns in his career, it is not hard to see why he tops this list.

2. Roger Wehrli

Roger Wehrli is the only other Missouri Tiger to make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Wehrli played 14 seasons in the NFL at cornerback from 1969-1982, and he played every game for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was able to record 40 interceptions and nine touchdowns in his career. It was tough not putting him at the top spot, but Winslow earned the top spot for being a pioneer at his position.

3. Andy Russell

Russell played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers at the linebacker position, and he was able to make the Pro Bowl in half of those seasons. He earned two Super Bowl rings during his time with the Steelers, and he was one of those rare players that seemed to get better with age. His long career on some of the best teams in NFL history earn him the third spot.

4. Russ Washington

Russ Washington was taken fourth overall in the 1968 draft by the San Diego Chargers. During his 15-year career with the Chargers, Washington played on both the offensive and defensive lines. Washington made five Pro Bowls during his career, and he is a member of the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame.

5. Tony Galbreath

Tony Galbreath is another player that helped change his position forever like Kellen Winslow. Galbreath caught 490 passes for over 4,000 yards during his 12-year career as a running back. He was also able to run for over 4,000 yards in his career. This dual threat out of the backfield was not common during the 1970s and 1980s. When Galbreath retired in 1987, he was the best pass-catching running back in the history of the NFL.

6. Mel Gray

Mel Gray is another Missouri Tiger that ended up playing his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals, and he will go down as one of the most underrated wide receivers to ever play the game. Gray made four straight Pro Bowls during his career, and he also made a catch in 121 straight games from 1973-1982. He never put up huge numbers, but he always found a way to make the big catch when it was needed.

7. Eric Wright

Eric Wright was one of the top cornerbacks in the league for several years. Wright played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1981-1990. During his time with the team, he was able to win four Super Bowl rings and go to two Pro Bowls. He owns 18 interceptions in his career and was also able to record interceptions in two different Super Bowls.

8. James Wilder

James Wilder was able to rush for 6,008 yards during his NFL career, which ranks him 73rd in the history of the league. Wilder did most of his work on terrible Tampa Bay Buccaneer teams, which makes the feat even more impressive. He is the all-time leading rusher in the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and also owns NFL records for the most rushes and touches in a single season.

9. Mike Jones

Mike Jones will always be known for his game-saving tackle to win Super Bowl XXXIV for the St. Louis Rams, but he had also had a very long and solid NFL career. Jones played 12 seasons in the NFL and owns 183 tackles from the linebacker position. Anytime you can play so long in the NFL after not being drafted, you know you are a solid player.

10. Jeremy Maclin

Maclin earns this spot because of his extreme amount of talent and what he potentially will do in his NFL career. There has not been a more promising young player to come out of Missouri in quite a long time, and he has already proved he can play at the NFL level. Jeremy Maclin has already become one of the best wide receivers in the NFL after only playing three full seasons. If he is able to stay healthy, Maclin has the talent to make the top five on this list at the end of his career.

Jake has lived in Missouri his entire life, and he grew up watching Missouri Tigers football games every Saturday.

Sources:, Yahoo Sports,

Milwaukee Brewers: Will They Repeat What the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals Did? - Bleacher Report

As of September 19, 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals were 12-5 and were in second place in the NL Central, 5.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the division race.

The Brewers would go on to win the division, but the Cardinals made a strong enough push to win the National League wild-card berth.

They slugged it out with the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL divisional round, taking the series in five games. Then, they moved on to take the National League Championship Series from the Brewers in six games.

In what was arguably one of the most entertaining and memorable World Series matchups in years, the Cards would win it all in seven games.

At this time last year, nobody gave them a chance.

The Brewers are in the exact same position right now.

As it stands today, the Brew Crew is 12-4 on the month of September. Yes, they are 13.5 games out of the division, but with the addition of a second Wild Card this season, they find themselves just 2.5 games out of postseason play.

Of course, they would need to jump the Los Angeles Dodgers and, you guessed it, the St. Louis Cardinals to get there.

The Cardinals of 2011 had a much easier schedule on their way to October last season. They only had to play the New York Mets, who were 73-80, the Chicago Cubs, who were 67-86, and the Houston Astros, who were 52-100.

Hi-res-152333841_crop_exactJoe Sargent/Getty Images

The Brewers of 2012 have a much tougher road ahead.

They still have games left against the 74-73 Pittsburgh Pirates (who trail them in the wild-card race by just 1.0 game), the 89-57 Washington Nationals and the 89-59 Cincinnati Reds before hosting the 48-100 Houston Astros and 71-70 San Diego Padres.

Yes, the final two series of the year should be there for the taking. However, having to face the two best teams in the National League back to back can hurt them long term.

That said, the Brewers have been playing extremely hot baseball.

In their last 10 games, they have gone 8-2 and have won three straightâ€"five of those victories coming against the Cardinals and including a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves, a team that leads the NL wild-card race.

As a team, the Brewers' 707 runs scored this season leads the National League, as does their 184 home runs. The offense hasn't been the issue, but it seems as though the Brewers are trying to slug their way into the postseason.

Ryan Braun has been playing out of his mind. Over the last 30 days, he owns a .349 batting average and leads the NL with a 1.048 OPS.

He's been leading by example, crushing seven home runs, making him the first player in the NL with 40 or more bombs this season, adding 21 RBI and stealing seven bases.

In other words, he is willing his team to victory, as any leader should.

While it is far too early to tell how everything is going to play out, what we can be sure of is a fantastic finish to the 2012 Major League Baseball season, one that promises to have a few surprises still to come.

A St. Louis Rams Fan Behind Enemy Lines: Week 3 - Ramblin' Fan (blog)

September 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tight end Matthew Mulligan (82) celebrates with fans after defeating the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Redskins 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

The St. Louis Rams got their first home win of the Jeff Fisher era in dramatic fashion.  Showing the grit and determination that have long been staples of Jeff Fisher teams (and have long been lacking from Rams teams) they overcame adversity including several mistakes injuries and a 15 point deficit midway through the second quarter.  This team may not be talented enough to be a contender this season but they have already shown that they will be a much more entertaining team to watch in 2012 than they have been in a long, long time.  Jeff Fisher has long been known for getting the most out of his players and instilling a never give up attitude in his team.  Matthew Mulligan exemplified that this weekend with his blocked punt shortly after Bradford’s INT in the end zone.  Mulligan then scored his first career touchdown a few plays later as Bradford found him wide open in the back of the end zone from a yard out.  The St. Louis Rams defense then held the Redskins to a long field goal attempt following Daryl Richardson’s fumble as they tried to run out the clock.  There are several plays from sundays game that these Rams recovered from that last years team wouldn’t have been able to.

The Seattle Seahawks managed to avoid adversity all together in their game against the Cowboys on sunday.  The Cowboys fumbled the opening kickoff spotting the Seahawks an easy 3 points and a lead that they would never relinquish.  Then the Seahawks special teams unit came up big again in the first quarter with a blocked punt return for a touchdown.  The Seahawks didn’t need to overcome adversity on sunday, but they also didn’t give the Cowboys a chance to make the comeback.  Russell Wilson was efficient going 15/20 for 151 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions.  The running game was effective churning out 182 yards at 4.4 yards per carry.  With a 10 point lead and a stifling defense, efficiency is all the Seahawks would need from their rookie signal caller.  The Seahawks will be a very consistent team this season, they will consistently score between 10 and 20 points behind solid defense and a bruising running game.  They probably wont mount a double digit comeback any time this season, unless the defense and special teams provides the field position or scores points on their own.  They also probably wont give up a double digit lead this season unless they get away from their gameplan and ask too much of Russell Wilson.  After 2 weeks the Seahawks offense ranks last in passing yards per game and 7th in rushing yards per game, a pretty fair indicator of their offensive strategy as they develop their young QB.  The Seahawks wont get big plays from their special teams every week and almost certainly not two of such plays in the same game again.  However all the other teams in the division should take notice that if you spot them points early they will be very difficult to beat.

This wouldn’t be an article about football without at least mentioning the replacement officials.  It is getting very difficult to sympathize with the NFL as it relates to the replacement officials and the lockout.  The Monday Night Football game was a primetime showcase of why the NFL needs to pay their regular officials and get them back to work.  The regular officials must have been sitting at home watching MNF and listening to Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden complain about the replacement officials with dollar signs in their eyes.  While there was only a handful of blown calls the overall game management was ridiculous.  This is probably where the replacement officials are the most deficient and it really showed up on Monday Night Football as the game spiraled out of the control.  My personal favorite moment was when the referee referred to the Atlanta Falcons as “Red”.  These officials are doing the best they can given the circumstances since the NFL has put them in a position where they have zero percent chance of succeeding, the NFL needs to bring back the regular officials so the next time I write an article complaining about officials I don’t have to type the word replacement over and over.

Go Rams!!

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Tags: St. Louis Rams

St. Louis Rams Vs. Chicago Bears Position Breakdown: Quarterback And ... - Ramblin' Fan (blog)

Sept 13, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Jerel Worthy (99) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Football is not a game that is won or lost on a single play. The outcome of a game is a culmination of individual battles, which play out for 60 minutes, and ultimately decide a winner. Theoretically, the winning team will be the one that is able to win the most individual bouts on the field, offensively, defensively, and in the special teams game. Unlike basketball, no individual can carry the team on their shoulder to get a win. Eli Manning can’t throw for 501 yards and lead the Giants to a 4th quarter comeback without the linemen setting the pocket and the receivers making plays against the opposing secondary. The Cardinals cannot beat the Patriots without the defensive linemen beating their man and getting to the quarterback, and those linemen don’t have the time to make it to Brady without the defensive backfield covering the receivers. This week, the Rams play the Chicago Bear in, what should be, their toughest game so far in the young season. The Bears can be explosive offensively, but will be most impactful on the defensive side of the ball. If St. Louis wants to bring the streak to 2 wins, they will need to win the individual battles, on both side of the ball. So, how to the Rams stack up against the Bears? We are going to start by comparing the quarterbacks and offensive linemen…


Yesterday, Ramblin’ Fan broke down the some of the St. Louis Rams statistical leaders in the NFL, one of which is Sam Bradford. He is in the Top 5 quarterbacks  in completion percentage, touchdowns, and quarterback rating, all while leading the Rams to a win over the high-flying Washington Redskins. On the other side of the coin, Jay Cutler is at the bottom of the league with a 51.6 completion percentage through 2 game,  while already throwing 5 interceptions.

To be fair, Bradford and Cutler are two completely different styles of quarterback. Bradford is a pocket passer, specializing in accurate throws that control the tempo of the game and keep the chains moving. Cutler, on the other hand, is a gun-slinger, a quarterback that is not afraid to toss the deep ball, take the top off of a defense, and trusts his arm to streamline passes through tight windows. So, far the latter has not been effective.

Cutler was completely taken out of the game by, historically, one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL last season. The gun-slinger mentality forced 4 interceptions, which makes it difficult for even the most organized of offenses to stay in the game (ask Peyton Manning after his Monday Night appearance). He has been unimpressive in both contests against mediocre pass defenses, which is surprising given the Bears talent at the skill position. Worse, Cutler’s attitude and antics have become a distraction for the team and has likely lost the respect of some of the players in the locker room (although I wouldn’t ask Brian Urlacher about it). Bradford has not “wowed” anyone with his performances, but he has controlled the game and put points on the board without turning the ball over. More importantly, he has been the calm leader in the game, demanding the huddle and earning the respect of the players around him through his toughness and play on the field.

Advantage: St. Louis Rams, 1-0

Offensive Line

This has been a problem for both teams in the opening 2 games of the season. With Rokevious Watkins ankle injury, St. Louis has now sent two starting interior line to the IR, while LT Rodger Saffold will likely not see the field again for another 4 weeks. However, the “replacements” have fared pretty well so far against the dominating front four of Detroit and against the injury stricken Washington Redskins. The line was able to open holes all day for Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson, both running for 55+ against the Redskins. Bradford has taken 6 sacks, which puts him in the upper tier of that category, but has not let the pressure effect him. Against the Redskins, Bradford was 9 for 9 on 3rd down passing attempts, and has only given the ball away on a turnover once in two games.

The Bears’ offensive line is going through some similar struggles, especially at the outside tackle spot. J’Marcus Webb took some well-deserved heat from Cutler against the Packers, resulting in the infamous “bump” on the sidelines. However, Webb isn’t their only problem, as Clay Matthews tore up the interior of the offensive line, which may have led to the benching of left guard Chris Spencer in favor of the recently signed Chilo Rachal. Cutler has already taken 9 sacks this season, which has single-handedly given Clay Matthews the lead in the sacks title race. The pressure has caused Cutler to make some poor decisions, leading to 30 incompletions and 5 interceptions. The offensive line has done relatively well in the run game, but with Matt Forte hurt, the Bears will need Cutler and Marshall to get back into their Week 1 grove.

Advantage: St. Louis Rams (surprisingly), 2-0

Next we will break down some of the skill position, specifically the running backs and wide receivers. Stay tuned to Ramblin’ Fan for all the latest news on the St. Louis Rams throughout the week, including more previews for the Rams versus the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

If you like what you just read, please follow us on Twitter at @RamblinFan and like us on Facebook Ramblin' Fan to join in on the conversation we are having daily about the St. Louis Rams and the NFC West division. 

Tags: Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lohse, Cards hand Astros 100th loss of season -

Missouri Tigers at South Carolina Gamecocks: Connor Shaw to Start against ... - Garnet And Black Attack

AUBURN AL - SEPTEMBER 25: Backup quarterback Connor Shaw #14 of the South Carolina Gamecocks walks off the field after throwing an interception to the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25 2010 in Auburn Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

After a few days of intense speculations among Carolina fans, Steve Spurrier has announced that Connor Shaw is going to start in this weekend's key contest against Missouri instead of Dylan Thompson. While some fans seem most comfortable with Shaw, most of us are probably questioning this decision. Let's take a close look at things and see if we can decide what the best plan of action really is.

Pros of Starting Shaw

--The main benefit of starting Shaw is that he's a proven winner in the SEC. Going back to last season, the only SEC contest Shaw has lost came against a top 10 Arkansas team. (It feels like so long ago when we could call Arkansas that. I guess it was only two weeks ago, though.) Shaw also played extremely well in key games against Clemson and Nebraska. I don't think that there's any question that the coaching staff has thought that Shaw--or, at least, a healthy Shaw--is a significantly better option at QB than Thompson. The staff has a lot of confidence that Shaw--again, healthy Shaw--should be our guy and that he gives us the best chance to win football games. And there's always the possibility that Shaw isn't as limited as some of us think he is. For one thing, he seemed to be settling into a rhythm late in first half against UAB. Moreover, Spurrier has said that they didn't really have to take him out of the game, but that they felt like they should because we were setting up to have a nice second-half lead by the time he got hit. Keep your fingers crossed, folks.

--Even granting that Shaw may be limited right now, it's almost certainly worth stepping back from the Thompson-ade until Thompson has proven that he can play at a high level against a talented SEC opponent. Thompson has looked good throwing the long ball against subpar competition, but that's about all we really know about him right now. Well, there is one other thing we know about him: He's a very rhythmic, sink-or-swim QB. Against Vandy, he couldn't buy a completion. Early on against UAB, he had the same problem. In fact, he was lucky he didn't get yanked from the contest, because he threw a couple of passes that should have been interceptions, and Spurrier had Seth Strickland warming up at that point. Fortunately for Thompson, he completed a nice pass to Bruce Ellington after those early mistakes, and the rest is history. But I'm concerned about what could happen if, particularly when he has his first experience of pressure from an SEC defensive lineman, Thompson begins making mistakes and gets shellshocked. That seems like a real possibility with him, and, due to turnovers, we could find ourselves in a deep hole really quickly if it happens. With Shaw, on the other hand, we can probably expect a largely mistake-free performance, even if it's not the juggernaut performance we're hoping for. That would allow our defense to win games for us, or at least we could hope.

--If Shaw is healthy enough to run, he's what we need to jump start our running game. The personnel we have on this team, including our star tailback, is designed to be most effective while running the zone-read. Shaw presents a running threat from that look that will open up the rest of that aspect of the offense. If we can get this part of our offense going, we'll be very dangerous, as a good running game is always a hot commodity in the SEC. That said, this is all assuming that Shaw feels up to running the ball frequently. Spurrier says that Shaw is, and although Shaw didn't look like it against UAB, that may have just been because the staff didn't want to risk Shaw's health in a game of little consequence. We'll see, though.

Cons to Starting Shaw

The principal con here is that just about everything positive that you can say about Shaw relies on the assumption that he's healthy, and that seems unlikely. An unhealthy Shaw has less zip on his throws, is hesitant and doesn't trust his arm, and is afraid to put himself in harms way as a runner. He's a shell of his former self. We can hope the staff is playing coy and that Shaw is in better shape than they're leading on, but so far, that doesn't appear to be the case. Even going back to before he hurt his shoulder blade, he hasn't looked comfortable yet this year. Moreover, while I'm not sure that Thompson is a better option than a hurt Shaw, there's a good bit of recent evidence that suggests that he is.


If Shaw is healthy, then I think this is the right decision. If he's not, which seems likely at this point, then I sure hope Shaw has a short leash in this game. Thompson may be an unproven quantity at this point, but if Shaw can't get the job done, don't you at least have to give Thompson a chance to show us whether or not he has what it takes in this game? Indeed, I'd probably most prefer to see us give Thompson the start so he gets that chance out of the gate, with Shaw available to come in and stabilize things if Thompson throws an early pick or two. Sounds like that's wishful thinking, though.

St. Louis Cardinals Vs. Houston Astros 9/19/12 Tyrone's Free MLB Baseball Pick - Sports Chat Place

The 78-70 St. Louis Cardinals ousted the 48-100 Houston Astros 4-1 to stay in the lead for the final National League Wild-Card spot. St. L tallied runs during the second, fifth and seventh inning on Daniel Descalso's single, and 15-3 Kyle Lohse's and Jon Jay's doubles, and Jay's single. Houston got on the scoreboard during the top of the eighth with Brett Wallace's RBI-single. The Astros were outhit by the Cards 9-7.

St. Louis eyes another win over Houston when 15-7 Lance Lynn with a 3.95 ERA takes the baseball. Lynn won 14-2 at Minute Maid Park on June 7 letting in two runs during six innings. The Astros are 5-for-22 with two RBIs, one each from Jed Lowrie and Brett Wallace, versus Lynn who has been a warrior at Busch Stadium beating the 58-90 Chicago Cubs twice, 81-66 Chicago White Sox, 58-88 Colorado Rockies, 75-72 Milwaukee Brewers, 74-73 Pittsburgh Pirates and 71-76 San Diego Padres shielding six runs during 38.1 innings. Lynn's Busch losses are a much more shorter list to the 85-64 Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and 84-63 San Francisco Giants giving up 14 runs during 19 innings.

10-9 Luke Harrell with a 3.86 ERA hurls next for Houston who is 5-12 when he chucks on the road. Harrell's away wins have come at the expense of Atlanta, both Chicago clubs and 76-71 Los Angeles Dodgers conceding nine runs during 28.2 innings. In Harrell's road losses the Brewers, Cardinals, 89-59 Cincinnati Reds, Colorado, 74-73 Philadelphia Phillies, SD and 87-59 Texas Rangers crossed in 35 runs, 33 earned, during 39 innings.

St. L however lost by a run twice at Minute Maid when Harrell was pitching. The Cards scrapped in eight runs, six earned, during 11.1 innings. St. Louis is 22-for-68 with 11 RBIs, three Matt Adams', against Harrell. Lynn may be the better ace but Harrell is 2-1 this year versus the Cardinals and something tells me the Astros aren't going to go down without a fight Wednesday.