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HomeSportsHart AttackHARTLEY’S HART ATTACK – (NFL surprises) November 11th, 2022 EDITION 914

HARTLEY’S HART ATTACK – (NFL surprises) November 11th, 2022 EDITION 914

Remembrance Day is much more than just a holiday, it is a day to honor and salute those valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives so we can exercise the freedoms and rights that we enjoy on a daily basis.

Let’s all make sure we take a moment to recognize that November 11th commemorates the many Canadians who have died in the line of duty.

In addition, Remembrance Day is about ideals and what we stand for.

It’s about respecting our past and looking hopefully forward, and thanking those who have served.

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Here’s one of the many tributes that help put today in proper context:

We must remember. If we do not, the sacrifice of those one hundred thousand Canadian lives will be meaningless. They died for us, for their homes and families and friends, for a collection of traditions they cherished and a future they believed in; they died for Canada. The meaning of their sacrifice rests with our collective national consciousness; our future is their monument.

~Heather Robertson, A Terrible Beauty, The Art of Canada at War*, Toronto, Lorimer, 1977

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We know every NFL season there are big surprises and 2022 is no different.

With nine of 18 weeks completed, we sit at the midway point.

Each team has played eight or nine of their 17 regularly scheduled games, with the exception of Atlanta and Carolina.

The Falcons and Panthers played their 10th game on Thursday with Carolina winning 25-15.

If I would have suggested two months ago, just as the season was kicking off, that the following would be true on November 11th, I am not sure anyone would have believed it.

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Here are just a few shocking examples:

–The Philadelphia Eagles, at 8-0, have the best record, and their QB Jalen Hurts is one of the front-runners for MVP. Hurts has nearly been mistake free as he’s thrown for 12 touchdowns, run for another six, and only tossed two interceptions.

–Even more surprising is that Seattle QB Gino Smith is also an MVP candidate as he has guided the Seahawks to a 6-3 record and first place in the NFC West. Many so-called experts did not believe Seattle would win six games all season. Smith leads all starting QBs in completion percentage at 73.1 %.

–There are just two teams with perfect road records. Obviously, the Eagles (4-0) are one but who’s the other? Raise your hand if you said the New York Jets. That’s right the Jets are also 4-0 away from home (and 6-3 overall, just 1/2 a game behind the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills).

–The team riding the currently longest losing streak in the league is? Give yourself a pat on the back if you said the Green Bay Packers, who have dropped five in a row.

–If the 3-6 Packers are not the most underachieving team at the halfway mark, then the defending Super Bowl champions would be. The L.A. Rams sit 3-5 but in the weak NFC, remain alive just a game behind the 4-4 San Francisco 49’ers for the last wildcard spot. By comparison, the AFC has nine teams with a winning record while the NFC has just six.

–Only one team in the AFC does not have a road win. Do you want to guess who that is? It’s the Raiders, who are 0-5 away from Vegas. Just so I have this correct, Davante Adams, one of the NFL’s best receivers, is traded from Green Bay to Las Vegas and now both the Packers and Raiders are awful. I thought trades were supposed to help both teams. For the record, the 2-6 Raiders were a playoff team last season. (There are two NFC teams still looking for a road win as Detroit is 0-3 and Carolina is 0-4 away from home).

–Perhaps the (7-1) Minnesota Vikings are overachieving but could anyone have predicted that they would enjoy a whopping 4 1/2 game lead in the NFC North? The Vikes (4-0), Eagles (4-0), and Bills (3-0) are the only teams with a perfect home record.

–Can someone explain how the New York Giants are 6-2, yet have only scored six more points than they have given up (163-157) over the course of eight games?

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–Wasn’t Russell Wilson the guy to make Denver a contender? His completion percentage of 58 ties him for 28th in the league among starting QBs, tied with the inconsistent Justin Fields.

There is at least one constant in the NFL, year after year. We can always rely on the Detroit Lions to be the Detroit Lions. At 2-6, the Lions are who we thought they are. True to form, they have allowed the most points per game (29.25).

In my September 9th column, I stated the following as to who would make the playoffs.

Here are the 14 teams I am picking to make the playoffs.

In the AFC, Buffalo from the East, Kansas City, LA Chargers, and Denver from the West, Baltimore, and Cincinnati from the North, and Tennessee from the South.

(I hate leaving out Miami and Indianapolis but I do not want to take one of those seven out)

In the NFC, Dallas from the East, LA Rams, and San Francisco from the West, Green Bay and Minnesota from the North, and Tampa Bay and New Orleans from the South.

(Again I would like to include Philadelphia but there is just no room to fit them in)

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I still feel confident six of the seven AFC teams will make it: Buffalo, Kansas City, LA Chargers, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Tennessee. Obviously, Denver is a long shot so with hindsight I would take the Broncos out and put in Miami. (Sorry, I am still not ready to buy the New York Jets).

In the NFC, I may only hit on four of seven (Dallas, San Francisco, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay and the Bucs are no more than a possibility). I blew it on not putting the Eagles in and am stunned that the Packers and Rams have faded away. It looks like the Giants will make it, especially with a favorable schedule, and the Seahawks are now a good bet.

Keep in mind, the second half brings more shockers, which could very well include a team, now with a losing record, getting hot at the right time, and climbing into the playoffs.

Yes, there is still time for the Packers, Rams, or (3-6) Saints to go on a run as no team yet has been eliminated.

 

Cat Scan podcast:

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

The Detroit Lions announced they will erect an 8-foot statue of Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders at Ford Field next season. A quarter-century too late, but opposing tacklers will finally get a chance to touch him.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

Sports betting is getting so sophisticated that even during the game you can bet on how big a lead the Vancouver Canucks will blow.

*Comedian Steve Burgess of Vancouver

Dusty Baker, 73, has signed a contract to manage the Houston Astros for another year.
Well, that makes sense. In 2023, Baker will be too young to use his leadership skills to do something else like run for President.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

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Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy, who recently passed away at 72, was once accused of putting helium in his footballs by Denver after a series of booming kicks against them while he was with the Raiders. So, in this sense, Ray was the anti-Tom Brady.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

In Case You Missed It:

Australian jockey Blake Shinn stood up in a last-second bid to overtake the leader, and his pants fell down. Might be the first time a horse placed while its rider showed.

*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He is in his 10th season as the radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars’ home games. Hartley has been on the Prince George airwaves since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).

 

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