JJ Watt has been one of the top defensive ends in the National Football League for some time now and anyone who knows anything about the sport knows his name. The man lives for football and it has treated him well. He is only 25 years old and is a staggering 6’5″ and weighs 289 pounds so it is no surprise that he is such an animal on the field. This year he already has 44 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception. Even with all this to give on defense he has more to offer on offense when the coaches call his number. Against Oakland Watt lined up as a Tight End and was thrown a one-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the game. This was the first touchdown from the line of scrimmage for a defensive player in franchise history. Although many are not used to seeing Watt on the offensive side of the ball it came as no shock to him as he played tight end at Pewaukee High School and Central Michigan. It is safe to say that this man is an incredible athlete and that what he has accomplished is nothing to what he will do in the future as he grows and matures as a player, which is somewhat scary for opposing teams because he is already so hard to contain at such a young age.
Kobe Bryant is one of the best to play the game of basketball and he will not soon be forgotten. Especially when he is still performing at such a high level. Last night Kobe led the Lakers to a win over the Houston Rockets 98 to 92. Kobe led the Lakers with 29 Points, 5 Rebounds, 7 Assists, 1 Steal. This comes after a rough start to the season where the Lakers originally were off to a 1 and 9 start, something that Lakers fans are not used to. Kobe has said all along that they are a much better team than what they have been playing as and now it is finally starting to show that this crew can play as a team and that Kobe is back to lead them to victory. Another player that aided in the Lakers comeback victory was Nick Young who has just recently come back from a right thumb injury. The previous game was his return and he put up 17 points in his first game back, and then put in another 16 points against the Rockets. Causing some to wonder if he was actually the missing piece to the Lakers return to success. I think that he is a big help to the Lakers success, but what it all comes down to in the end is the health of Kobe Bryant and how well he can preform, he has led this team since 1996 and has not slowed down since.
I wanted to share a little about myself so that you know who is blogging for you and you can understand my background and where I come from. My name is Ryan Clifford and I am a junior at Salisbury University. I am not originally from the Salisbury area, as I was born in Howard County, Md. My parents are Patti and Randy Clifford, and I also have an older brother Sean Clifford who also attends Salisbury University. Throughout my life I have always had a passion for athletics playing almost every sport I could imagine, I decided to stick with Lacrosse and Football, as I got older. I played both sports for Glenelg High School, and was able to win two state championships in lacrosse while in football I was able to achieve the starting quarterback position. I also was a very active member in my community being a member of something called the Horizon Foundation, which is a philanthropy that helps make decisions throughout the county.
At Salisbury I was very fortunate to have an older brother and his friends to show me around and make me feel at home right away. I also became a member of the club golf and lacrosse teams here at the university and have loved every second that I have had here. I also enjoy being able to go to the beach and go surfing almost every day. Thank you and I hope you learned some about myself.
This week I wanted to look back at some of the places that I have been fortunate enough to visit and experience, and hopefully spark some interest in others to travel the world. I have been lucky enough to be able to visit South Africa, Thailand, and New Zealand.
South Africa was one of the coolest places I have ever been in my life and if you have an opportunity I would strongly recommend it. My aunt did an ironman triathalon there and took me with her. We stayed right off the ocean by cape town for part of the week before we moved into a Safari Reservation where we were able to see many amazing animals. The Reserve was called Inkinkwizi and while we were there we had the opportunity to play and interact with three cheetahs, an experience that I will never forget.
Thailand was a paradise where we stayed. We were able to stay on a five star resort that was hosting another Iron man that my aunt was participating in. The sights in Thailand were amazing, we were able to take a boat out to Monkey island and many other scenic opportunities(before our boat broke down). The resort we stayed on was right off the ocean again, with a lagoon on the other side of it. I have never been treated so well by other people until I went to Thailand.
New Zealand is a majestic place, the landscape is far different to what we experience here, and the lifestyle that is lived there is much more active than what we experience in the United States. We were able to go into caves that received no light and were very spiritual for the locals of the area, in the caves were things called glow worms that were the only form of light. After that we went to Hobbiton where some of the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed and got to see a piece of Film History which was extremely cool for me being a LOTR fan.
These are just some of the things I was able to experience while I traveled the world with my Aunt and I hope that I have sparked some of your interests.
Week 10 has now come and gone and to no surprise we saw a number of blowout games. Let’s start with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos handing out a beating to the Oakland Raiders. Manning put up an impressive five touchdowns and 340 yards before being taken out of the game. No one expected much from the Raiders but a score of 41-17 is just brutal for them. It is hard to compete when the opposing offense has a future Hall of Fame player leading there team and is putting up record numbers, but you expected a little more out of the Oakland defense especially with their secondary.
Another impressive win came from the Arizona Cardinals over the St. Louis Rams 31 – 14. Larry Fitzgerald brought in an impressive 112 yards on 9 receptions to help with this win. Although this was a nice win the Cardinals took a big injury to their team with Carson Palmer having a season ending ACL tear in his knee. Its a shame to see such an awesome athlete have such a harsh injury when they were having such a great year(or at any time for that matter).
Now on to my number one team the Dallas Cowboys. They went on to defeat the Jacksonville Jags 31-17. We were able to see the return of Tony Romo who has been suffering from a back injury, and he came out a little slow but then was able to turn it on in the second half as he appeared to get back into the flow of the game. It makes it a little easier on Romo when he has a monster like Dez Bryant to throw to who had 158 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions. Another factor that takes pressure on Romo is having DeMarco Murray who had another hundered yard game. Murray has been the dominate rusher in the league this year and shows no signs of slowing down as long as he can stay healthy.
Being a cowboys fan has been rough the past few years. Even when we start out well something always seemed to go wrong at the worst possible time for the team. That is not the case so far for the Cowboys this year, they are off to an impressive 6-1 start only losing to the San Fransisco 49’rs. Much of this success can be attributed to star running back DeMarco Murray who is the top running back in the league at this point. This week Murray became the first player in the history of the league to start the first seven games with a hundred yards rushing in each game. Many people are surprised about the way Murray has been preforming but to some this has been what we were waiting for. He was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oklahoma, where he struggled with staying healthy and putting together complete seasons. For now though this seems to be Murray’s year and if he continues to stay healthy will be a huge asset in the Cowboys being a top contender. Another surprising factor is our defense. Many thought it was a lost cause once Linebacker Sean Lee injured his knee and was taken out for the season. Lee was the leader of the defense and had experience that many of the younger players were looking too for guidance. Somehow the Cowboys have been able to put up a solid lineup for defense week after week with somewhat an unknown cast. Then we come to the leader of our program, Tony Romo. One of the most highly scrutinized players, due to some of his previous seasons where he had costly mistakes. Romo is always a consistent quarterback but seems to always crumble later in the season. Hopefully this will come to an end this year as Romo has been performing extremely well(some thanks to Murray for opening up the passing game through his running). Growing up in a predominantly Redskin area it finally feels good that the Cowboys are performing at such a high level at this point in the season and I look forward to seeing them continue to dominate in the league.
Week nine of the NFL season has come and gone again, but many of the top performing teams were shut down and lost to lower ranked teams. The Dallas Cowboys have been a pleasant surprise for many fans at the beginning of the season but the past two weeks they have began to struggle. Much of this struggle comes from the back injury to starting quarterback Tony Romo, which received small fractures in his back( which was already injured from previous seasons) after taking a hit from the Washington Redskins defense. This week the Cowboys received another loss from the Arizona Cardinals who have been performing well, but many expected a Cowboys victory before the injury to Romo.
Another surprising loss was Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos being beat by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 43-21. Everyone knew that this would be a great game due to the talent on both teams especially at quarterback. Both teams have future HOF quarterbacks with a receiving core that would allow any offense to be successful. Peyton had struggles all game with his reads and a very talented Patriots secondary. Playing very little zone defense allowed the Patriots to show their depth of their secondary, and earned them a great victory.
The Miami Dolphins for the second week were able to completely shut down their opposing offense for the second week. They defeated the San Diego Chargers 37-0. The dolphins defense has been stepping up tremendously for their team and keeps giving their offense the opportunities that they need to be successful. When the San Diego had their offense unable to put up any points it allowed the Dolphins to take their time and perform to the level that they knew they were able to perform at.
This weeks surprising losses by top teams has allowed for new teams to step up and make a name for themselves. Next week we will be sure to see another week of intense hard fought games that we love to see.