Weekend Update: #SadFansAreSad

#1 with a Bullet…


Oh the humanity…Bert, you got waxed again – remember when you opened your mouth at a Texas football camp and said; if you didnt have a fullback you would get your ass kicked?  Well Pepperidge Farms remembers and apparently so did Kingsbury.  All the offseason hype, all the faux-swagger and next week is Texas A&M – you’ve got Hawg-Town losing their minds.  Bert, you know it’s bad when the people of Hawg-nation are calling for Greg Schiano, Lame Kitten, or just outright cheating.  It’s gotta sting the nostrils a bit.  Sure, fans will get over ranking 118th in 3rd-down conversion-defense, or ranking 84th in penalty yards and even 119th in RedZone efficiency – but having Kliff Kingsbury put you in your place?  These are Dark Days Bert, dark days…

Dark Days ahead for Auburn too.  This is who Auburn is.  They just don’t go quietly into the night, they fall off the cliff.  It’s in their DNA.  Their history proves it, and when a defensive back spouts off about how easy it will be to stop Leonard Fournette…well we all saw what happened.  Fournette had Auburn quitting before halftime, especially Mr. Ford – the mouthee.   But, to me, the issue is Jeremy Johnson.  He had a lot of hype coming in and the expectation was that he would do and be everything we’ve come to expect from the field-general of Auburn’s offense.  He has the talent, just not the heart or more importantly the head to get it done, because it is not translating to the field in real time.  Seriously though, it’s Auburn and it was a great weekend for those who dislike the entire state of Alabama.

More sad fans were found in SoCal.  Beyond Sark’s pre-game holla-ba-looza earlier in the year, the only thing people really had to say about him was – He’s a nice guy.  I’m sure he is a nice guy and that is honorable, but when it is attached to a football coach that is getting treatment for a drinking problem, he says he doesn’t have and then Stanford happens, you get flashbacks.  The kind of flashbacks that take you back to Seattle where Sark was 34-29 and the thought was, “it was hard to breakthrough in Washington, and wait and see what he can do with national-elite talent.”  Well we did. Talent is important, but it’s what you do with it, and so far and far too often, Sarkisian is outmatched by the other guy on the other side-line.  It’s going to get harder for “the Fans of Troy” to believe this is going to work as envisioned, because, as of right now –  it’s not the symbol of victory that fans are giving, it’s the number of losses every year.

But what about Ole Miss and Alabama? The Rebels caused five turnovers Saturday and also benefited from a once-in-a-lifetime—see Auburn in bamasad2013—miracle touchdown in a six-point win in Tuscaloosa.  Alabama is going too have to, again, win out.  But is it the same as last year? Last year, Alabama had a defined starting quarterback. Saturday, Nick Saban went with sophomore Cooper Bateman (who got blown up) before he was replaced by Jake Coker – who had started Alabama’s first two games. Coker almost led Alabama to it’s best come-from-behind victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium since the one Cam Newton led in 2010.  This is a fluke they say, the dynasty is still intact, the emperor’s new clothes are still made from the finest invisible silks…To quote our friend Lee Corso – NOT SO FAST…Alabama is 4-5 against top 15 teams since 2013.  That’s a trend, not a fluke, and what I’m saying is – gone are the days that Alabama beats teams with comparable talent more often than not.  Back in the day, Alabama fans would be upset if you beat someone by 10pts instead of 20 and after they’d come back down to earth, they’d be on to the next week.  Now the freakouts seem longer and that might cause Saban to see the writing on the wall and pack up.

For week 3 we were 72% SU and 64% ATS – that still crushes, but it is not what we are used to around here – our upsets did pretty well, but the ones we thought would be E-Z, hmmm not so much as we’d like.  If you haven’t seen it, take a look at how Memphis tied the game at 41 in the 4th qtr against Bowling Green – yeah a full-on double-reverse-flea flicker!!!

Other thoughts I cannot put anywhere else:

  • Notre Dame has lost a starting defensive tackle, a starting tailback, a starting tight end and a starting quarterback to season-ending injuries. Saturday, it may have lost a starting safety to a chest-bump-celebration
  • TCU lost their cornerback to a knee injury against SMU and also had 5 other defensive players sit out with injuries
  • Doing his best Johnny Manziel impression – OU quarterback Baker Mayfield, accounted for a school-record 572 yards of total offense and six touchdowns in the Sooners’ 52-38 win over Tulsa
  • Al Golden escaped with a much needed victory over Nebraska, but it still does not seem to haved cooled off his seat any.  During the game you could see a plane pulling a banner that read: C’MON #FIREGOLDEN. THESE BANNERS ARE EXPENSIVE – nevermind the Hurricanes were up 17 by halftime.  Maybe he felt vindicated after watching Miami choke away a 23pt lead, yet still won 36-33 in OT
  • For Nebraska, it could have been one of the great comebacks in their history – then Tommy Armstrong threw an interception on the 1st play of OT, and then a player gets flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct when he shoved the Miami guy who intercepted it – Miami, short field goal – ball game.  It’s a heart-breaking way to lose a game, and yet it has happened to Nebraska twice in three weeks.

It’s all about the Benjamin

Some headlines will highlight Johnny Manziel‘s role in the Browns’ 28-14 win over the Titans. But the star of the show was Travis Benjamin, who caught touchdown passes of 60 and 50 yards from Manziel and returned a punt 78 yards for a TD. The only other active players to have scored three TDs of 50 yards or longer in one game were Chris Johnson (2009) and Tavon Austin (2013). Benjamin was the first Browns player ever to do so – ever.

Benjamin also caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from Manziel in the Browns’ season opener. The only other player in NFL history with four touchdowns of 50 yards or longer in his team’s first two games of a season was Jim Brown for Cleveland in 1963 – 1963!

Manziel may have completed just 8-of-15 passes, but he was able to limit the turnovers and make plays when the Browns needed him the most.  In reality, there is absolutely no reason for Mike Pettine to go back to a lower-ceiling quarterback in Josh McCown.  As a result of Manziel replacing McCown, Cleveland extended its streak to 14 consecutive seasons in which at least two different players started a game at QB. That tied the longest such streak in the NFL since 1950, set by New England from 1980 to 1993. The Patriots drafted Drew Bledsoe with the first pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, and Bledsoe ended New England’s streak in 1994.

Are the Cardinals early Favorites?

Fresh off a solid win against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, Bruce Arians and the Cardinals laid the smack down against an inferior Bears team in Chicago. While the game was relatively close about halfway through, anyone watching it knew full well that Arizona was going to end up pulling away.

For Carson Palmer, it was a continuation of what has been a stellar run for a USC quarterback. The veteran has posted a 15-2 record with 34 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions. His four touchdowns on Sunday – including three to Larry Fitzgerald – represents the first time Palmer has matched that total since he was with the Oakland Raiders back in November of 2012.  That was the first regular-season game of Fitzgerald’s NFL career in which he scored more than two touchdowns; he came into the game with 89 TDs.

Only one player in league history with that many touchdowns never scored three in a game: Charley Taylor (90 TDs) – (Note that Fitzgerald caught three touchdowns in the NFC Championship Game following the 2008 season, but never before in a regular-season game.)

New Rams, same as the old Rams

All the good feelings the St. Louis Rams may have felt following their Week 1 win over the Seattle Seahawks came crashing down in D.C. on Sunday. Never really in control of the game against Washington, St. Louis dropped an ugly game by the score of 24-10. At this point, we have come to expect Fisher-led squads to lay eggs following good performances.

It happened in all three of the Rams big wins last year — against Seattle, San Francisco and Denver. In fact, the Rams lost the following week after beating those favored teams. This is one of the primary reasons I avoided to pick St. Louis on Sunday.

Kirk Cousins completed 23 of 27 passes (85%) and Matt Jones gained 123 yards on 19 carries in the Redskins’ 24-10 win over the Rams. Jones and Alfred Morris, who gained 121 yards on Week 1, are the first Redskins teammates to rush for at least 100 yards in the team’s first and second game of a season (one in each game, that is). The only other running backs to do that in this century were LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner for San Diego in 2006.

For his part, Cousins posted the fourth-highest completion percentage in team history (minimum: 20 passes). The three higher marks were by Mark Brunell, 89 percent against Houston in 2006; Patrick Ramsey (Tulane), 86 percent against the Giants in 2004; and Sammy Baugh, 86 percent against the Steelers in 1945.

New England is putting the league on notice

Tom Brady passed for 466 yards and three touchdowns in the Patriots’ 40-32 win at Buffalo. Brady’s totals after two games-754 yards and 7 TDs without an INT-are rare even for a quarterback of his elite status. This is the second time he has passed for at least 700 yards and seven touchdowns in his first two games of season, the first being 2011. Only four other players did that even once: Jim Kelly (1991), Drew Bledsoe for the Patriots (1994), Peyton Manning (2013), and Aaron Rodgers (2013). Of those players, only Manning and Brady did so without throwing an interception.

Incidentally, Brady set a record for passing yards in one game against the Bills, breaking a mark that was set the same month that Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single-season home-run record. On October 29, 1961, George Blanda of the Houston Oilers passed for 464 yards at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, and that mark remained the highest against the Bills until Sunday.

At some point, the Patriots will have to find a run/pass balance on offense – right?. They won’t be able to dominate like this through the air on a consistent basis – can they? The interesting dynamic here is that New England did average nearly four yards per rush. It’s not like the running game was completely ineffective.  Instead, Bill Belichick and Co. decided to make a statement, again, that the big boys of the East don’t reside in Western New York and play under Rex Ryan.  It could be a long year for anyone who gets in their way.

The Eagles are mess

About halfway through three quarters on Sunday against Dallas, the Eagles had racked up more penalty yards than total yards. Heck, the Cowboys domination could be summed up by the fact that they had run more plays (44) – at about the nine-minute mark in the third quarter – than the Eagles had total yards (34). It was that ugly.

The Cowboys defeated the Eagles, 20-10, in a game in which the story was Tony Romo‘s broken collarbone.  But storyline 1-A was the continued ineffectiveness of DeMarco Murray, who netted two yards on 13 carries one week after gaining nine yards on eight carries in Philadelphia’s season opener.  Over the last 30 seasons, there are only four games in which a defending rushing champion gained less than 10 yards on at least five carries. Christian Okoye did it in 1990, Chris Johnson in 2010, and Murray in each of his first two games with the Eagles.

Murray’s net of 2 yards was the third lowest in NFL history by a defending rushing champion in a game of at least 10 carries. Steve Van Buren of the Eagles was held to negative-2 yards on 10 carries by the Browns in 1950; and Clem Daniels, the 1963 AFL rushing leader, carried 14 times for negative-1 yard against the Boston Patriots in the Raiders’ opening game of the 1964 season.  But Murray’s performance on Sunday was extraordinary for any player, not just for a rushing champion. Over the last 37 seasons, only one other player finished a game with at least as many carries and as few rushing yards as Murray. Jonathan Wells of the Texans carried 13 times for 1 yard on Dec. 29, 2002 against the Titans.

It’s this type of offensive performance that will have many questioning Chip Kelly’s scheme moving forward. More than that, it will have skeptics on full alert when it comes to criticizing the team’s off-season moves. And now at 0-2 on the season, Philadelphia finds itself in a must-win situation against the New York Jets next week.

6 straight home losses?!

At 0-2 on the season (2nd straight year), Drew Brees and Co. are in a terrible position. Only 10 percent of teams that have started 0-2 since the 2007 season have earned a playoff spot. And while playing in the NFC South helps New Orleans early in the year, they just lost a home game against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad that won just two games last season.  Costing many people their survivor pool!!!

Jameis Winston led the Buccaneers to a 26-19 win at New Orleans. Winston became the first quarterback chosen first in the NFL Draft to get a September road win in his rookie season since John Elway did so in 1983.  Of course, Elway’s two road wins in September 1983 have a big fat asterisk, since Steve DeBerg was the QB who rallied the Broncos to both of those victories.

Since that time, #1 picks had lost 16 straight September starts in their rookie season, and it’s an impressive list of QBs: two losses each by Troy Aikman, Jeff George, Drew Bledsoe, Peyton Manning, Tim Couch, and David Carr, followed by single losses by Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, Cam Newton, and Andrew Luck.

There isn’t much left up for interpretation here. New Orleans appears to be terrible.

Looking well past his prime, Brees was outplayed by Jameis.  Drew completed 24-of-38 passes for 255 yards with one touchdown and one interception. This came on the heels of Tampa Bay’s defense yielding FOUR touchdown passes to Marcus Mariota last week.

If the Saints can’t win a home game against a bottom-feeder, it pretty much tells us what we need to know about this team. Unfortunately for Brees, the twilight of his career is likely going to be spent with fans watching him thru paper-bags.


What You Need to Know to #win this Weekend

Biting the Bullet

Before the end of the first half of last night’s game – you would have thought we were watching someone slowly die of a terminal disease – Twitter and Broncos fans were already calling for 18’s retirement, before hailing the conquering hero with adulation and gifts that solidified their faith in Saint Peyton.  ER’s in Denver have been busy thru-out the night and early morning from grade 2 sprained ankles, all from apparent wagon-jumping injuries.

You started to feel bad for 18 – two pick sixes in back-to-back weeks?!  When Knile Davis scores on an 8-yard run with 2:27 left, giving the Chiefs a 24-17 lead you wondered if there was any magic left – you’re the Chiefs, at home, and you still found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Emmanuel Sanders scores with :36 left and then Jamaal Charles fumbles for a scoop-and-score.  Only the Chiefs.

From 1989 – 1999 the Chiefs won 11 straight home-openers – since, they are 5-11 since 2000 – Only the Browns are worse at home since that time.  Andy Reid will never win anything, is the thought I had watching that game last night.  He is clueless.  From throwing the ball in the 2nd quarter that gets intercepted – to not challenging a catch when an injury gave your staff plenty of time to review the call that would have made a huge difference – you’re just left wondering if he can focus long enough to NOT cost his teams’ games – and it is no longer funny that a WR can not get into the endzone

So, Peyton still looks like a guy who doesn’t belong on your fantasy team yet (remember his first two games with Denver), but the Broncos are 2-0 and have now won 13 consecutive divisional road games – last night was the definition of pigskin insanity – this weekend’s forecast seems to call for Category 4 vortex of crazy.

Titans Tennessee_ntc120 @ Cleveland_6n_120 Browns  PK


DiRT Canon A.I.: gives the Browns a 60.9% chance of victory and says they are 3 pts better than Tennessee

My take: This seems nuts, but I will side with the Browns SU, and tease ’em  – even though the Browns have only covered 2 of the last 16 home openers.  But, the Titans are 4-18 ATS the last 22 games.

Rams St._louis_ntc120 @ Redskins Washington  +3.5

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Rams a 61.2% chance of victory and says they are 3 pts better than Washington

My take: part of me thinks Washington wins this game outright and for that I would only tease ’em

Texans Houston_6n_120 @ Carolina_6n_120 Panthers  -3

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Panthers a 67.5% chance of victory and says they are 5.5 pts better than Houston

My take: I know Carolina’s offense is funky, but so is Houston – I’m going with the A.I. and taking a chance at CAR SU, but defintely will tease ’em

49ers San_francisco_6n_120 @ Pittsburg_ntc120 Steelers  -5.5

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Steelers a 60% chance of victory and says they are 3 pts better than SF

My take: from what I last saw of Pittsburgh, I do not trust that defense and will be shocked if they are not one of the worst D’s in the league by the end of the year – if nothing else on that team changes – so I’m all over the ‘9ers, who are also 11-1 ATS in the Eastern Time Zone – so SF SU and tease ’em – Steelers in September: 1-9 ATS

Buccaneers Tampa_bay_ntc120 @ New_orleans_6n_120 Saints  -11

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Saints a 75% chance of victory and says they are 8pts better than Tampa

My take: The Saints are 22-5 ATS the next game, however they have not done well recently being double-digit favorites.  God’s Army will win this game, of course that was said several times last year before they collapsed, and I would stay away from this one – but if you have to tease the Saints.

Lions Detroit_6n_120 @ Minnesota_ntc120 Vikings  -2.5

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the game a 50-50 chance for either team

My take: The Lions seem to be the better team and Teddy-two gloves looked like a more accurate Alex Smith than a guy taking the next step.  But, the real question is when does A.P. break out – it could be this game…The Vikings are 18-3 SU hosting the Lions (13-7-1 ATS), as for the Lions they have only covered 2x’s the last 14x’s they were a road underdawg – so, I’m gonna lean on the Vikes and tease ’em only.

Cardinals Arizona_whitetail_ntc120 @ Chicago_ntc120 Bears  +2.5

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Cardinals a 63% chance to win the game and says they are 3.5pts better than the Bears

My take: The Bears have only covered 4 of their last 19 home games.  If Drew Brees could not beat Arizona, how does Jay Cutler?  I like the Cardinals SU and tease ’em – with a side-bet that Patrick Peterson picks off Smokin’ Jay.

Patriots New_england_6n_120 @ Buffalo_red_ntc120 Bills  PK

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Patriots a 57% chance to win the game and says they are 2pts better than Bills

My take: The Bills are public favorite now and this game points all towards the Patriots to me.  The Pats are 26-3 SU versus the Bills (18-10-1 ATS) and with revenge games – the Patriots are 43-21-2 ATS and 16-3 ATS if that team was from the same division – so I’ll take the Patriots SU and also tease ’em.

Chargers San_diego_6n_120 @ Cinncinnati_6n_120 Bengals  -3

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Bengals a 63% chance to win the game and says they are 3.5pts better than the Chargers

My take: The Chargers in September, their last 10 games are undefeated against the spread – I’m not sure they will win but I’m gonna tease the Chargers.

Falcons Atlanta_ntc120a @ New_york_g_6n__120 Giants  -2.5

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Giants a 59% chance to win the game and says the Giants are 2.5pts better than Atlanta

My take: The Giants did not look good on Sunday Night and you wonder how long that choke job stays with ’em.  Me, I’ll take Julio Jones and tease the Falcons.

Dolphins Miami_greenmask_ntc120 @ Jacksonville_6n_120 Jaguars  +7

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Dolphins a 63% chance to win the game and says Miami is 4pts better than the Jaguars

My take: The Jags are appearing to be in line to get a high-draft pick again and not sure when it will end.  If the Chargers are undefeated in September, the Jags are DEFEATED in September the last 10 games – winless against the spread.  I’ll tease the Dolphins only, because I don’t trust Philbin.

Ravens Baltimore_ntc120 @ Oakland_b_wstripe_n_120 Raiders  +7

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Ravens a 67.5% chance to win the game and says they are 5.5pts better than the Raiders

My take: Stay away from this game – putting any action on this means you might be a degenerate – and not that there is anything wrong with that – it’s just why would you do this to your family – think of your daughter’s dance lessons, or your son’s sports fees…But if you must, the Raiders at home are 33-61-1 ATS, including 7-15 ATS recently, so….

Cowboys Dallas_6n120 @ Philadelphia_6n_120 Eagles  -5

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Eggles a 51% chance to win the game and says no team is better than the other

My take: The Cowboys escaped sunday night, but outplayed New York so I question the number here a bit.  The Cowboys as underdogs by more than a FG are 16-3 ATS – against the Eggles, as an underdog they are 25-8 ATS.  Meanwhile the Eagles at home have only covered 11x’s of their last 36 and when they have been favored for a second week in a row are 5-21 ATS.  It seems that someone knows something we don’t know, and this time, I’m going against that somebody – give me Dallas SU and tease ’em.

Seahawks Seattle_6n_120a @ Greenbay_6n_120 Packers  -4

DiRT Canon A.I. gives the Packers a  54% chance to win the game and says they are 1pt better than the Seahawks

My take: The A.I. seems to be on to something here.  The Seahawks in their last 21 games as an underdawg have only 4 losses ATS – and since they have technically lost 2 straight they are 14-2-1 ATS.  But, they are average on the road and Green Bay needs/wants payback – so I’ll tease the Seahawks only.

Is Lousiville the best 0-3 team in the nation?  They could be, but they definitely are the best team in the nation at self-destruction.  Last night after playing their third QB of the season it was painful to watch Louisville go down like the Chiefs.  On one play the QB wasn’t ready for the snap and then threw it out-of-bounds, next play he got sacked, and then on the next, launched a Hail-Mary when 15yds or so would have put them into position to tie the game.  Is this Karma for Petrino?

Here are some games for Saturday – (number is as of Thursday night), Big Game at the DiRT Canon Bunker at 3:30p EST – FuQU Auburn!

The DiRT Canon A.I. thoughts are the screenshot – below it, are a few of mine:


E-Z cover?

  • California (-3) by 5 over TEXAS – The DiRT Canon A.I. is perfect SU and ATS on Texas games, thus far, and it may have underestimated Cal in its lone FBS game which was a 35-7 win over San Diego State last week.
  • Georgia Tech (-2) by 4 over NOTRE DAME – 2014 Notre Dame leading rusher Tarean Folston is lost for the season and so is starting QB Malik Zaire. Georgia Tech showed up at the beginning of the year to win this game by 2.04 and that number has more than doubled to 4.44 without taking those injuries into account.
  • TOLEDO (-7) by 23 over Iowa State – I have to take this game, if only for the huge difference between the 7-point line and the A.I.’s projected spread of nearly 23 points.
  • Virginia Tech (-5.5) by 12 over PURDUE – Virginia Tech had a chance to get QB Brenden Motley up to speed in last week’s 42-3 rout of Furman. Motley, who had that deer-in-the-headlights look when he replaced injured starter Michael Brewer in the 3rd quarter of the opener vs. Ohio State, threw for 233 yards and 2 TD’s, and ran for 38 yards and another score. Purdue QB Austin Appleby has thrown 5 TD passes, but also has 4 INT’s. The Boilermaker defense has allowed almost 500 yards per game vs. Marshall and Indiana State. This is the first-ever meeting between the 2 teams.
  • SAN DIEGO STATE (-15) by 20 over South Alabama – The Jaguars barely beat FCS Gardner-Webb in their opener and then got annihilated at Nebraska. The Aztecs should be good for a win by 20 or more.
  • TCU (-37) by 38 over Smu – SMU has played better than expected against Baylor and North Texas, but the computer line has still only shrunk by less than a point. The 95th meeting of these metroplex rivals should go similar to last season’s 56-0 Horned Frog win in Dallas.
  • TEXAS STATE (-1.5) by 4 over Southern Miss – The Bobcats are getting less than home field advantage vs. a Southern Miss program that has 2 road wins vs. FBS schools in the last 3 years (UAB and North Texas).
  • USC (-9.5) by 17 over Stanford – This feels like a USC rout is written all over it. The computer line has widened over 3 points since the preseason.

hmmm…hold on

  • MICHIGAN STATE (-26.5) by 21 over Air Force – The Spartans will have to stop a rushing offense that ranks 2nd, going into this game, and has ranked in the top 12 in each of the last 11 years (I stopped checking after that). MSU traditionally has a top defense, but has surrendered almost 200 yards on the ground to both Western Michigan and Oregon. This is the first-ever meeting between the Falcons and Spartans. In fact, MSU has also never played Navy and is 0-2 all-time vs. Army with that last meeting taking place in in 1984.
  • ALABAMA (-7) by 3 over Ole Miss – Granted, Ole Miss hasn’t really played anyone, but has scored 149 total points versus UT-Martin (76-3) and Fresno State (73-21). If the Rebels’ offense gets traction, ‘Bama may not be able to keep up.
  • UCLA (-16.5) by 12 over Byu – BYU has needed a little magic to start 2-0 with wins over Nebraska (away) and Boise State (home). UCLA has been strong, but not awesome, in wins over Virginia and UNLV. 
  • PENN STATE (-8.5) by 6 over Rutgers – Rutgers is 2-23 all-time vs. the Nittany Lions and has dropped the last 8 since a 1988 win. Despite the suspension of leading receiver Leonte Carroo, Penn State has to avoid embarrassment and win this one, right?
  • WASHINGTON (-5.5) by 3.94 over Utah State – Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton survived a tough loss at Utah last week, though he spent most of the game limping after his knee was hit on a 1st quarter roughing the passer penalty. That doesn’t sound like good news for the Huskies who opened with a loss to another Mountain West team, Boise State, to start the season. These teams haven’t met since 1998.

Possible Upset?

  • BOWLING GREEN by 1 over Memphis (-4) – A good game between a pair of strong Group of 5 schools. BGSU’s 21-point win at Maryland, (#nailedIt) registers as a bit more impressive to me than Memphis’ 32-point win at lowly Kansas. I like the Falcons chances at home versus the Tigers.
  • Central Michigan by 3 over SYRACUSE (-5) – By beating Wake Forest 30-17 last week, the Orange have already picked up a win that I didn’t see them getting. Syracuse did win last year’s meeting in Mount Pleasant 40-3.
  • Colorado State by 15 over Colorado (-3.5) (at Denver) – How are the Buffs -3.5 favorites.  This seems like easy $$$, but the cautionary tale is – someone knows something we don’t know and maybe we should go with that somebody…The Rams have taken 2 of the last 3, including 31-17 last year.
  • East Carolina by 1 over NAVY (-3) – Navy has been a proverbial thorn in ECU’s side with 3 wins in 4 meetings. The teams haven’t met since 2012. The Midshipmen routinely rank near the top in rushing offense while the Pirates ranked 11th and 13th, respectively, in rushing defense the last two seasons.
  • KENTUCKY by 1 over Florida (-3) – It’s a bit of a stretch, in my opinion, for the oddsmakers to give Florida the edge on the road. I do not see either one of these teams having great years. The Wildcats seem poised for the win, especially after last week’s victory at South Carolina.
  • Western Kentucky by 12 over INDIANA (-2) – Another mind-scrambler, as I can’t agree with Indiana being the favorite. Neither team has shown much on defense and Indiana has better offensive stats through 2 game. Both teams are 2-0, but WKU has played the tougher schedule.
  • Nebraska by 5 over MIAMI, FL (-4) – Al Golden seems to have a permanent spot on the hot seat as Miami’s head coach and needs this win to quiet the haters. I don’t see it happening.
  • NEW MEXICO STATE by 1 over Utep (-3.5) – When New Mexico State lost at home to Georgia State, it inherited the nation’s current longest losing streak at 12 games. UTEP has 4 straight road losses.
  • San Jose State by 1 over OREGON STATE (-9) – The Beavers rank 121st in total offense after games vs. Weber State (FCS) and Michigan. The Spartans rank 27th after games vs. New Hampshire (FCS) and Air Force.


Baseball will be up on “DiRTy Plays MLB” before 3p for all you seamheads



DiRTy Plays Week 2 #NFL


DiRTy Plays NFL – Week 2

Week 1 is in the books and I know you are still looking to become a millionaire, whether you play on Draftkings or FanDuel, let us help.  As we look at tournaments to target, build your player profile, we are also going to provide you with our experts’ picks as they bring you #TheBeSTDiRT for building your lineups each and every week.  So let’s breakdown week 2 for Draftkings & FanDuel!

Absolute Must Have

We know you have been waiting since the end of the NBA season for you Absolute player selections so here we go.  Reminder that this selection is for players with a salary above $7,000.  In this week we have several nice matchups but our absolute Must Have for Draftkings is Drew Brees.

Aug 9, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

With Tampa Bay continuing struggle, in fact giving up 4 TD’s in the first half to Mariota, this should be an easy pick for you.  We have Brees throwing 3 touchdowns and over 350 yards. On FanDuel we have Matt Stafford coming in on our top spot.  This is based on matchup and projection for the week but he too should have a pretty good day as he looks to get back on track with Megatron.  Look for Stafford to go over 300 yards and at least 1 touchdown to Johnson.  Check out your Draftkings Absolute’s here and your FanDuel Absolute’s here.

Absolute Notable

Onto our mid-level salaried guys, we have our Notables section.  This is for players with a salary between $5,300 and $6,900.  Our Draftkings Absolute Notable for week 2 is Matt StaffordMatthew Stafford_headshots_195x270 He is actually our second highest projected player this week and should put up big numbers against the Vikings.  The Absolute Notable for FanDuel is Nick Foles.  He had a great first outing against the Seahawks last week and now has Washington in town.  Look for Foles to put up a descent game with 279 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.  He should get you around 14 fantasy points this week.

Absolute Sleeper

Our Absolute Sleeper section looks for guys that have a salary of $5,100 and under.  Coming in as our Absolute Sleeper for week 2 on Draftkings is the Kendall Wright.  He has a monster game against the lowly Bucs in week 1 and now has the Browns to deal with.  That said, Mariota looked great and the Browns have no offense.  This means tons of extra possessions and he is their #1 guys for now. For FanDuel we have Washington’s defense as our Absolute Sleeper.

Aug 16, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) runs against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter of a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Something incredible happened in the St. Louis/Seattle game last week, Seattle’s defense still put up a 19 spot, even though they gave up all those points.  That’s because most of that production was on special teams with Washington coming in as an underdog, this could be a great value pick for your team this week with descent production.

The main #Sleeper that I am on this week is Darren Sproles.  His salary didn’t go up after the first week and if you watched on Monday night, you quickly realized that Chip Kelly is going to use Sproles often.

Heaviest Favorites

As of today, we are showing the top 4 games in terms of heaviest favorites to be New Orleans -11 over Tampa Bay, Indianapolis -7.5 over the Jets, Baltimore -7 over Oakland and Miami -7 over the Jags.  It would be tough for me to take the Saints and give up those points as that is a ton of spread for an NFL game with a divisional opponent.  As for the Jets, I was impressed with their second half last week and the Colts flat out struggled against that Bills D.  I see the Colts winning this game 23 – 17 so I’m on the Jets with the points.  Moving onto the Ravens and Raiders.  Cross country matchups are always ones to keep an eye on.  I’m on Oakland with the points this week as I do believe the Ravens will win the game but it should be a close game with Carr expected to play, look for a low scoring battle, Ravens 20 Oakland 17.  The last matchup is the one I like the most.  In every game that Bortles has been the dog by at least 7 the other team has covered.  Look for that trend to continue this week with Miami’s offense beginning to roll, Miami 31 Jacksonville 16.

Top Overall Game Over/Under

The top Over/Under game of the week is Dallas at Philadelphia.  The Eagles lead this category for the second consecutive week, with a total of 55 expected combined points.

Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view of the NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This just goes to show you how much the public is on the Eagles offense.  I watched the entire game on Monday night and while the Eagles ended up with 24 points, they only put up 3 in the first half.  The got a break with an interception return down inside the 10 yard line of the Falcons, otherwise, I highly doubt they would have hit the 20 point mark.  Let’s give them 21 this week and that would mean that the Dezless Cowboys would need to put up 35 points to hit that over.  I don’t think they have a chance at that this time around.  Keep in mind that Dallas held the Eagles to 3 points in Philadelphia two years ago and that was with the worst defense in the league that year. Sproles will have a solid performance and I look for Terrance Williams to have a solid performance for the Cowboys.  I have Cowboys 24 Eagles 21 in this one and Philadelphia fans are in an uproar for Kelly’s head after this week.

Toughest QB Matchup

In this segment, I am going to highlight for you the top three, toughest matchups for QB’s for the upcoming week.  Leading this category for week 2 is Cam Newton.  He comes in playing against the Russell Wilson_headshots_195x270Texans, who after giving up 3 first half touchdowns to the Alex Smith of all people, they settled in and shutout the Chiefs in the second half.  Keep this in mind as well, the Jags shut down the Panthers in that game and the only reason the Panthers won is because of their defense.  Cam has no weapons and after paying Olsen, he certainly didn’t show up for much of anything in week 1.  Our second candidate this week is Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Yes, I know they are playing the Colts on Monday night but face it, the Colts held Taylor to 195 passing yards last week and I believe that the Bills have far more talent in their receiving core and backfield than the Jets.  Look for the Colts to bounce back this week, Fitzpatrick will struggle and the only player that should be thought of on the Jets this week is Ivory.  The last tough matchup is Aaron Rodgers.  Yes, I said it, Aaron Rogers.  He has had his worst games as a professional against Seattle.  Most of those games have been played up in Seattle where this one is going to be at home but Seattle comes in with a loss to a divisional opponent and it’s Sunday Night Football.  Look for Rodgers to struggle this week and only put up 17 points.

Matchups to Exploit

In this segment, I am going to breakdown the pass defense, rush defense and overall defense to exploit for the week.  If a team shows up in this area, it is because our system shows them as giving up the most yardage totals for the upcoming week.

The pass defense to take advantage of this week is going to be the New York Giants.  They gave up 357 yards last week to Romo and in comes Julio Jones.  Look for Matt Ryan to go over 300 yards this week by the 3rd quarter.  Don’t be alarmed about Julio Jones, he played the entire game and on a short week, the Falcons are resting their superstar for Sunday.

The rush defense to exploit this week is going to be…..Tampa Bay.  They didn’t give up a huge game last week but that is because Mariota put on a show in the first half and it was over at that point.  The Saints have Drew Brees, so they are going to throw the ball but look for Ingram to get over 100 yards this week and at least 1 touchdown.

The overall team that is going to give up the most fantasy points this week is going to be….Green Bay Packers.  Yes, I know you think that the Pack is ready to make a charge for the Super Bowl but the simple fact is look what Forte did to them last week.  Now comes Lynch and Seattle is coming in off of a loss last week.  This is going to be higher scoring game than people think and look for Seattle to make a statement this week.

QB Selections

Our top 3 QB’s for this week in order of projected score is Drew Brees #1, Matt Stafford #2 & Russell Wilson #3. I know you are thinking, where is Luck or Rodgers?  They haven’t made it for week or week 2 as far as we are concerned.  That’s because we are fantasy football guys and we specialize in daily fantasy.  I wouldn’t take the QB against the Bills or Jets, almost any week this season and that is what Luck is having to deal with.

Aug 15, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

As for Rodgers, we didn’t have him last week because we had other guys that showed up a bit higher and this week he is up against a hungry Seattle defense that got beat down last week by the Rams.  He struggles against the Seahawks and we have him right at #8 for this week.  The QB that I’m very inclined to take this week is Matt Ryan. He had a pretty solid outing against the Eagles and the Giants D, without their stud defensive end, looks horrific. If Romo can put up a 27 without Dez Bryant, I’m sure that Matt Ryan will hit them for at least 25 points with an injury free Julio Jones!

For full QB projections for Draftkings go here.

For full QB projections for FanDuel go here.

Public Picks

This is a new segment for us to cover this year.  Currently FanDuel and Draftkings won’t tell you who the public is on for this week’s contests.  There is a reason for that from their perspective but from ours, we love it.  While we cannot tell you specifically which site has which figures as that would violate our partnership agreement with each company, we can tell you based on the NFL.com, Perfect Lineup challenge, who the public is on.  Yet another reason why you only need to come to our site for all of your Daily Fantasy information.


QB – Drew Brees 41.7%

RB – Matt Forte 32.8%

WR – Julio Jones 64.4%

TE – Rob Gronkowski 58.0%

K – Brandon McManus 22.5%

DEF – Miami 34.6%

Can you take all of these and still fill out a lineup, probably not but come check out our lineup analyzer and build your winning lineup with our high quality analysis here.

Hottest Players

Week 1 is in the books and below are the top 5 performers for both FanDuel and Draftkings!

fanduel  Fan Duel

  1. Carlos Hyde – 31.2
  2. Julio Jones – 30.6
  3. Rob Gronkowski – 29.9
  4. DeAndre Hopkins – 28.3
  5. Tom Brady – 27.6


  1. Carlos Hyde – 35.2
  2. Keenan Allen – 34.6
  3. Tyler Eifert – 34.4
  4. DeAndre Hopkins – 32.8
  5. Antonio Brown – 31.3

Players to Exploit

With week 1 complete, I completely nailed Julio Jones last week as he was almost every winning lineup over the weekend.  That said, let’s get back to week 2, who am I on this week you ask?  For our top 2 running backs this week, the DiRT Canon analyzer shows Matt Forte and Marshawn Lynch. I, however, am on Carlos Hyde.  He not only lead both sites last week, it was glaringly obvious that the 49ers are going to run and run often.  Reggie Bush is washed up, so this leaves Hyde to get somewhere between 25 and 30 carries. Carlos Hyde_headshots_195x270 The Steel Curtain hasn’t been lifted for production on Sunday’s in quite some time now, look for Hyde to put up another 115 yards and 1 touchdown this week.  Moving onto the wide receiver group.  Our system has Julio Jones coming in at #1 with Julian Edelman at #2.  That might seem surprising, given the fact that the Bills defense is so good but look for the Bills to attempt to shut down Gronkowski and not let him beat them.  This leaves Julian for a ton of catches not to mention he had 11 receptions last week.  All in all, I’m taking Julio Jones until he reaches $10,000.  I don’t see a defensive player that can stop him and the Falcons are going to get him the ball around 10 times per game if not more.  Had he not had 4 receptions called back on penalties, he would hit my bold prediction of 200 yards, 12 catches and 2 touchdowns.  Onto our last position for this segment and that is tight ends.  Our system has Jimmy Graham barely ahead of Gronkowski and had the Gronker not been playing in Buffalo this week, he is like Julio, take him every week as he will probably score at least one touchdown.  Now for the winning lineup tight end for this week, my bold prediction is Jordan Reed.  He had a solid performance last week and the Rams aren’t going to stop him.  With DeSean Jackson out for a few weeks, look for Reed to own the middle of the field and he should get at least one touchdown.  For the $3,600 on Draftkings, he is a solid pick with plenty of upside that will allow you to take Forte and Julio this week.


The only game that has any potential weather would be in Green Bay on Sunday night.  The forecast is for 58 degrees so nothing to really be concerned with at this point in the season.

Lineup Considerations

Now for the part that we know you have all been waiting for, give me the lineup that will win.  I know, I know, we have done this quite significantly in the past and here very soon we will have our lineup analyzer providing automatic lineup recommendations but what do I think.  Well here are the top projection, top confidence and my picks for week 2, main contests for Draftkings:

Highest Projection


Highest Confidence


Experts Pick


Now we look to provide your FanDuel lineups for the week below:

Highest Projection


Highest Confidence


Experts Pick


Come check out the rest NOW.

Madonna Steals the Souls of the Young and other Musings…

Dodging Bullets:

Houston we have a problem

We talked about it earlier this year, about Houston’s meteroic start and wondered if it could last.  It hasn’t, but it doesn’t mean that Houston is done.  It just means they are still on schedule and for that, it means more of how the young-uns respond to the pressure of a pennant race – it will be a fun 3 weeks.  Last Night, Mitch Moreland was the hero in Arlington, hitting a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Rangers defeated the Astros, 6-5. With the win, in its 144th game of the season, Texas moves into sole possession of first place in the AL West for the first time in 2015.

Over the last 30 years, there have been three other instances of a team standing alone in first place for the first time in a season in its 144th game or later. The 2006 Twins and 2012 Athletics both did this in their last game of the season, while the 2007 Phillies found themselves alone atop the NL East for the first time after their 160th game. These teams could not carry over that momentum into the playoffs, with each losing in the Divisional round (The Twins and Phillies were swept in three games, while the A’s lost in five games).

Strasburg lights up 14 and Harper jacks 2

It’s fun when you have Strasburg and Harper in your #DraftKings lineup to the tune of 85pts for the both of them – we did.  As for Bryce Harper, he went 3-for-3 with two homers and four RBIs in the Nationals’ 4-0 victory over the Phillies. Harper is now batting .413 with 26 home runs and 63 RBIs in games in which Washington won this season (70 games). In Nats’ losses in 2015, Harper is sporting a .261 average with 13 homers and 27 runs batted in (67 games). Over the Nats’ last six wins (since September 4), Harper is hitting .600 (12-for-20) with six homers and nine RBIs.

Harper, who turns 23 years old on October 16, has 10 games with two or more homers in his major-league career. Only three other players have had as many games of this type at 22 years old or younger: Eddie Mathews (13 games), Bob Horner (10), and Mel Ott (10).

Oakland A’s scored more than the Raiders

Did anyone see this stack happen last night? The Athletics collected 16 runs and 15 hits (including three hits each by Billy Butler and Mark Canha) over the first four innings of their 17-6 triumph over the White Sox. The last time a team had at least 16 runs and 15 hits over the first four innings of a game was on April 20, 2013, when the Indians had 18 runs and 18 hits at Minute Maid Park against the Astros. Jason Giambi(five RBIs) and Mark Reynolds (four RBIs) drove in half of those runs.

There was only one other game in A’s history in which they totaled at least 16 runs and 15 hits over the first four innings. That was on June 18, 2000 against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, when they had 17 runs and 15 hits in the first four frames of a 21-3 victory. Jason Giambi also played in that game, collecting two hits and two runs batted in over those four innings; his brother Jeremy went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in that same four-inning span.

Two position players, Leury Garcia and Alexei Ramirez, came into pitch for the White Sox on Tuesday. That marked just the second time in Sox history in which multiple position players pitched in one game. The first came in the second game of a doubleheader on September 28, 1902 against the St. Louis Browns (and the last game of the season for the White Sox). Frank Isbell, who played 133 games at first base in 1902, was the starting pitcher in the game and pitched one inning. Sam Mertes, who played 120 games in the outfield that season, replaced Isbell; he pitched the remainder of the game, allowing just two runs and earning the win.

nullDee Gordon en fuego

Dee Gordon, who went 4-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored in the Marlins’ 9-3 victory at Citi Field on Tuesday, is 33-for-77 (.429) in 18 games against the Mets this season. Gordon’s 33 hits are the most for one player against a particular team this season as well as the most against the Mets in a single season. The previous high versus New York was Curt Flood’s 32 hits in 1963.

The last time a player had at least 33 hits against one team in a season was in 2011, when Jacoby Ellsbury (34 hits against Blue Jays) and Adrian Gonzalez (34 hits versus Orioles) accomplished this.

King Felix who?

David Murphy and Mike Trout each connected for home runs off Felix Hernandez in the Angels’ victory against the Mariners on Tuesday. It’s the fourth time that both Murphy and Trout have hit a homer against Hernandez; only Mark Teixeira (six) and Nelson Cruz (five) have hit more homers in their careers against King Felix.

Here’s last nights #DraftKings #Fantasybaseball perfect lineup:


I was sitting down at the ol’digital typewriter and I was transported back to college for a time because a Madonna tune came on the playlist, and it got me thinking about that girl that was obsessed with her.  Calling Madonna the penultimate female embodiment and how much she respected her and felt that all women should look up to her and liberate themselves from their sexual slavery, yada-yada – I really wasn’t paying that close attention but if she was intent on practicing her sexual liberation, then I was more than willing to help her out – it’s the least I could do…

So my point is, I wonder if she still thinks of Madonna as the Goddess of Feminism?  It seems kinda of odd picturing that girl, now in her 40’s strutting around with a pointy bra, rockin’ out to express yourself – or with an old pair of lace gloves crawling on the floor not wanting you to push her love over the borderline – it could happen…But it got me thinking about some other bat-sh!t-crazy things people still might do – like eat Cheez Whiz and go to Dinner Theater.  Did someone really think that while they were watching RENT or WEST-SIDE STORY, that the only thing that was missing from the production was some pork chops?  Cheez Whiz is what you’d see a doctor for, not eat.  Speaking of crazy…

It is only Wednesday and there is no football for another day – so if you’re feeling a little squirelly and really have nothing better to do then let’s make a drinking game out of the 2nd GOP debate, with a little side-action on who mentions “Kim Davis” first – and if someone compares her to Rosa Parks, it’s a shot – if anyone mentions Indiana is the size of ISIS, it’s a shot –  Matt Taibbi,  has come up with some other fun rules – So let’s pretend we are the Lizard King and we’ll all tap into our inner-Kennedy, for #Murica!

  • Drink THE FIRST TIME and the FIRST TIME only:
  • 1. A candidate invokes the memory of Saint Reagan.
  • 2. A candidate mentions Hillary’s emails.
  • Drink EVERY TIME:
  • 3. Hugh Hewitt hurls a douchey gotcha question at Trump.
  • 4. Trump – or any of the other candidates – insults or threatens one of the moderators. Beer chaser if it’s Tapper or Bash, and the candidate rips liberal-ass CNN in the process.
  • 5. Trump brags about his wealth or his poll numbers, or mocks the low poll numbers of an opponent.
  • 6. A candidate pledges to stand with Israel.
  • 7. Carly Fiorina makes a joke about her own face.
  • 8. A candidate claims a positive relationship with a minority. We’re keeping this rule in every debate. (So far we’re one-for-one: Kasich said he had a gay friend in the first debate.)
  • 9. Anyone mentions the “War on Christians.”
  • 10. A candidate says he’ll stand up to Putin.
  • 11. Trump derides someone for being a “lightweight” or having “low energy” or “low enthusiasm.”
  • 12. Anyone mentions Tom Brady or Deflategate.
  • 13. Anyone calls Black Lives Matter a “hate group,” argues that BLM or Barack Obama have endangered the lives of police, or pulls a “What about black-on-black crime?” line.
  • 14. A candidate mentions the founders. Double shot if it’s Rand Paul.
  • 15. Carson invokes the Bible as an authority for something that has nothing to do with the Bible, like tax policy.
  • 16. A candidate says, “I’m the only person on this stage who…” Double shot if it’s Carson saying something like, “I’m the only candidate who’s had his hands inside a human thorax.”
  • 17.  Anyone mentions Hitler, Nazis or Neville Chamberlain. Includes related imagery, e.g. “ovens.”
  • 18. Anyone mentions the Governator or makes a Terminator-themed joke, e.g. “To illegal immigrants, I say, Hasta La Vista.
  • Drink EVERY TIME you hear:
  • 19. “Anchor babies.”
  • 20. “Thug.”
  • 21. “Leading from behind.”
  • 22. “All lives matter.”
  • 23. “Apologize for America.”
  • Take a shot of JAGERMEISTER if:
  • 24. Any candidate is seen wearing a Blue Lives Matter bracelet.
  • 25. A candidate offers an insincere paean to departed Rick Perry. Double shot if someone references his “smart glasses.”

Are These the Uniforms Worn to a Funeral?

Magic Bullets:

#1 – meh

The uniforms look like something you’d wear at a funeral, or as a waiter at a really bad sports bar trying to class-up the joint from all the mouth-breathers who order a basket of fries and a diet coke, to sit their all day – I’ve seen it a hundred times…But, the ‘9ers did win and kept the Vikings from getting into the endzone, winning the game 20-3.

The game was like watching someone play Madden against their little brother and seeing Carlos Hyde left – Carlos Hyde right – Carlos Hyde scores, with a dash of a pass here and there, just so the little brother knows you can.  It was the only takeaway from the game – that and Adrian Peterson.  I guess people forgot A.P. did not play last year, or assumed that he’d just pick up where he left off, but he’s 30 and he needs his sea-legs.  A.P. still drug a few defenders downfield as a glimpse, but the real surprise was the ‘9ers D – it was legit all night.

#2 – uh-oh

What I saw in the first game is this: Julio Jones is a bad Mutha..shut your mouth…but I’m talking about Jones – actually I knew that already, and if he’s healthy, he’s the best WR out there.

No, No, what I saw was a Falcons D I haven’t seen before, it was if they were angry AND had a plan.  The Offense will score points, and if the defense plays with that intensity the rest of the way, it’s their division to lose.  Sure, Atlanta has weaknesses on the O-line and running the football, and that could be their achilles heel – just like we saw last night against the Eagles.  The ability to sustain drives to eat the clock, makes running the ball, critical – meaning, Atlanta will be in shoot-outs all year if they cannot fix that. But, all the pieces Quinn needs to turn Atlanta into a top-tier defense aren’t on the roster yet. The metamorphosis he’s caused with the pieces he inherited and the few he piece-mealed together during the offseason, look fierce. This unit moves fast, hits hard and if Monday is an indicator, will improve dramatically and quickly.

As for the Eagles – how many times do we have to see the same story – down two scores at halftime – come out and light it up.  Is the Chipster losing his Sinatra ways?  With less than four minutes on the clock in the fourth quarter and an offense that was finally moving the ball well in the second half, the Eagles had the ball at the Atlanta 26-yard line, but were stuffed on third down. That’s when Coach Kelly decided to … kick a field goal?

Hey, where’s Chip and what have you done with him? Of course, Eagles kicker Cody Parkey missed the 44-yarder and, after a subsequent drive ended in a Sam Bradford interception, that was that.

No lead seems to be safe in the Georgia Dome, even with this new staff in place (remember the 2012 NFC Championship?), but Falcons’ Fans can appreciate a bizarre and suddenly, conservative Kelly late in the game.

#3 – Perfect

Week one is in the books, and a few peeps woke up today with several ZEROES in their bank acct they did not have yesterday – like you Jeremy Bronson – winner of $1,000,000 and first place finisher in Fanduel’s $5M NFL Sunday Million (1 Million to 1st) contest – Congratulations!!!  We ourselves played and cashed 78% of our lineups.  Go to the TheDiRTCanon.com and signup today and we will Teach you how to #win!!!

Here are week 1’s perfect lineups:






#4 – other news

From what I saw – I thought I’d give a way-to-early prediction of who IS NOT going to the Superbowl this year – feel free to disagree, but these are the facts as I see them…

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have some excellent weapons on the offense, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can throw all day long anywhere on the field.

However, anyone who witnessed the league’s season-opener against the Patriots had to have been blind not to see the gaping holes in the Steelers’ defense. In their first game without Dick LeBeau leading the way, Pittsburgh allowed Tom Brady to toss four touchdowns—three of which went to Rob Gronkowski, who wasn’t even covered on his first score.

Big Ben is good, but he’s not good enough to overcome this abysmal defense.

Indianapolis Colts

ColtsThe Colts offense under quarterback Andrew Luck does not have a problem putting up points.

Unfortunately, the sketchy Colts defense also doesn’t have a problem giving up points. Last year, Indy’s defense allowed the seventh-most passing touchdowns and sixth-most rushing touchdowns.

And, while the Colts made some enhancements over the offseason, the last time we checked, Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and rookie wide receiver Phillip Dorsett don’t play defense, and the O-line is still terrible!

They’ll need to pull a magic rabbit out of their hat if they’re going to advance in the playoffs and succeed in beating some of the AFC’s stiffer competition.

Baltimore Ravens

Ravens fatThe Ravens have severe age-gap issues.

They feature senior citizens at their top running back and wide receiver positions this year.  Steve Smith Sr. is 36 years old while Justin Forsett is pushing 30. Additionally, Forsett is not working under coordinator Gary Kubiak this time around, whereas last year he achieved a league-high 5.1 yards per carry. He also recorded personal highs of 1,266 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, both of which could be a struggle to achieve again this season.

Furthermore, the team has a rookie tight end, and its rookie receiver and first-round draft pick Breshad Perriman will struggle to get up to full speed once he finally is cleared to play this year, after missing the entire preseason with a knee injury.

Between the old guys and new guys, there are just too many things that could go wrong for the Ravens this season.

Chicago Bears

Bears-300x260The Bears possess one of the largest fan bases around. However, the fans can’t make Jay Cutler suddenly develop good judgment in 2015. He’s notoriously wild and last year threw 18 interceptions.

Additionally, the team shipped its top wide receiver Brandon Marshall out of town, and the team’s first-round draft pick Kevin White is in jeopardy of missing his entire rookie season.

Defense is also a big problem. In 2014, the Bears allowed the second-most touchdowns and the third-highest passing yards in the league.

Unfortunately, Matt Forte won’t be enough to carry the team to a championship game.  However, John Fox will have them competitive.

Denver Broncos

Broncos funnyIt could be many years before we see the Broncos in a SuperBowl again.

The last time the team made the trip to the championship game, quarterback Peyton Manning and the rest of the offense choked, horribly. Remember that 43-8 slaughter by the Seahawks?  Pepperidge Farms remembers…

That loss was preceded by the record-breaking season Manning achieved in 2013 when he passed for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. Manning has since been on the decline, and his arm strength is still a question mark entering the 2015 season.

If the Broncos couldn’t win the Super Bowl after Manning posted record-breaking stats, there’s no way the team even makes it to the big game this year – let alone the ‘offs.

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys funnyThe Cowboys are coming off one of their better years, and actually winning a playoff game, albeit dubiously—the first postseason appearance since 2009. Although this could give fans the impression this team is ready to take the next step, in fact the Cowboys could be poised to take several steps back, due to a questionable ground game – you let DeMarco go?

Tony Romo will be forced to throw more than the team wants him to, and that means more mistakes, as we’ve seen before.  The Cowboys will be a good team in 2015, just not spectacular enough to get to Super Bowl 50.

#5 – Baseball

We still got baseball tonight and in 3 weeks it’s the playoffs – so in the meantime we move ever closer to one of the greatest sports months – October!  Baseball Playoffs, Basketball, Hockey and Football all together – #Murica!  I’m still working on the numbers to give you guys the edge you need for tonight’s 15 games on DraftKings and I will have those posted, no later than 3pm MST – you will find all of the info you need, under the Baseball DiRTy Plays tab.

Weekend Update: Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

It was a glorious weekend outside the DirtCanon Bunker – the College Football was fresh, the NFL was tasty.  Even my attorney showed up for the festivities of our Launch Party Sunday – he even paid!  But let’s get down to what we saw this weekend and Arkansas you are on the clock:

How does that taste Bert…dont care if its Bret, you’re now Bert…you mouthed off about Ohio State’s schedule and you get blown up at home, by Toledo?! That’s a MAC school, they are maybe the 4th best team in Ohio – you s’posed to be SEC.  In fact you were s’posed to be a team that road-grades its way to victory. That Oline, that running game – you have no business throwing the ball 53 times on Toledo – Bert you lost your balls, you get paid too much money to act like a Nutt

Auburn still needs help from the Refs, and this time it is to defeat Jacksonville St in OT.  Not a misprint, Auburn is terrible and with Tennessee’s choke-job to Oklahoma in double OT – the SEC is in danger ofsingle logo_small becoming ACC bad.  Sure, there were some bright spots, Kentucky snapped their 22-game loser-streak on the road beating South Carolina and LSU escaped Starkville.  But SEC-fan, you might want to start getting used to chants of “OVER-RATED”  – clap, clap, clap-clap-clap…

Notre Dame is cursed.  Last year, defensive injuries derailed a promising start to the season. This year it is the offense. Starting quarterback Malik Zaire fractured his ankle in Notre Dame’s 34–27 victory over Virginia, joining running back Tarean Folston, (who was lost last week) on the won’t-play-again-this-season list.

On a brighter side, the week 2 odds that were posted on Friday did fairly well.  On the highlighted picks – we were perfect SU and 68% ATS – overall, we were 89% SU and 63% ATS – just good enough to not be addicted and still better than anywhere else.

Here are some other Saturday thoughts I cannot put anywhere else:

  • Two wins to start the 2015 season has pushed Ohio State’s nation’s best winning streak to 15 straight.  Up next are TCU (10), Memphis (nine), Western Kentucky (seven), Michigan State (six) and Navy (five).
  • The “honor” of the longest losing streak had belonged to Georgia State, which had lost 12 in a row until Saturday night’s 34-32 win over New Mexico State.  The win also marked GSU’s first-ever win over an FBS-level team as an FBS team themselves.
  • Additionally, Colorado ended its 10-game losing streak, the longest amongst Power Five teams, with a 48-14 win over UMass.  With those outcomes, UNLV now owns the nation’s longest losing streak at eight straight.
  • Notre Dame, UCLA and USC are the only teams that have never played a non-FBS/Div. 1-A school since the current setup was established in 1978.  Following the 2016 season, and because of a conference mandate, Big Ten teams will no longer be permitted to schedule games against FCS programs.
  • V’Angelo Bentley is the only player in Illinois history to record a kickoff return, punt return, interception return and fumble return for touchdown in his career. Harold “Red” Grange is the only other Illini player with kickoff, punt and interception returns for TDs, but he never returned a fumble for a score.
  • Dalvin Cook‘s 266 yards rushing were the second-most in Florida State history?  Cook’s performance is topped only by Greg Allen‘s 322 yards in 1981


Manning vs. Flacco

Remember this post from March?  When we told you that “It’s hard to watch your heroes fall and attempt to hang on to long.  Age always wins“.  Well it seems wearing a swim-shirt was the fore-shadowing we needed on the final season of the Great Peyton Manning.  No touchdowns during the pre-season and none yesterday against Baltimore.   It was the 20th NFL season opener in which both starting QBs were coming off a season of at least 25 touchdown passes. It was the first of those games in which neither threw a TD pass. (Note: Tony Romo vs. Eli Manning on Sunday night was the 21st such meeting.)  For Baltimore, the rest of the season seems to be a more difficult one as they lose Suggs with a torn achilles.  But the issue is still Denver winning with a punchless offense – maybe someone should set Peyton up with DirecTV, because this cable-version of Peyton is hard to watch.

A first-of-its-kind matchup produces a historic performance

The last time Marcus and Jameis met on the field was in January, at the Rose Bowl – and the results were the same then as they were yesterday.  It was the first-ever opening-day matchup of rookie quarterbacks chosen first and second in the NFL Draft. But by halftime, it was all about Marcus Mariota, with number-one pick Jameis Winston earning only an interesting footnote, albeit an unwanted one.  Marcus was 13-16 with 4 touchdown passes – the only other player to do that in their first game was Fran Tarkenton – except Marcus threw 4 in the first half!  The Titans scored 35 points by halftime of their 42-14 win. Last year they NEVER scored more than 28 points in a game while going 2-14.  As for Jameis, he is has played 28 games in college and the pro’s, going 26-2 – his two losses are both to Mariota.

Sure, it’s only one game but seeing Mariota finish his first professional game with a perfect passer-rating that puts him ahead of Tom Brady (2nd) and Aaron Rodgers (3rd) gives the Titans hope that they chose correctly.  As for Winston’s role in this historic matchup, his first pass was intercepted by Coty Sensabaugh, who returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. Over the last 30 years, only two other players threw a pick-6 on the first pass of their NFL career: Jay Schroeder in 1985 and, believe it or not, Brett Favre in 1991.  It was not all bad for Jameis, he did finish ahead of Luck, Manning and Flacco in passer-rating Sunday.

Rodgers owns Cutler & the Bears

James Jones (two TD grabs Sunday) being back in Green Bay might be a lot more important to the Packers’ Super Bowl chances than we all thought.  The Packers defeated the Bears, 31-23, at Soldier Field in the 11th regular-season meeting of Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler as starting quarterbacks. With that victory, Rodgers improved his record against Cutler to 10-1, with his only loss coming five seasons ago at Chicago – Cutler has now thrown at least 1 INT in every game against the Packers. The last QB to win at least 10 of his first 11 starts against another quarterback was Terry Bradshaw against Brian Sipe (1976-81).

In Rodgers’ last three games against the Bears he has completed 74 percent of his passes for 806 yards with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. He is the first player to throw 13 TDs over three games against one opponent since Dan Marino did it against the Jets (1985-86). No other player has ever thrown 13 TDs and fewer than three INTs over three games against one team.

Note that Rodgers also led the Packers to a win over Cutler and the Bears in the NFC Championship Game after the 2010 season.

Rams win

Irony is after an offseason of debate about throwing at the goal line in their Super Bowl XLIX loss, the first play of the Seattle Seahawks’ season fittingly was a handoff to Marshawn Lynch. So was the last play … which got blown up on fourth-and-1 as the nullRams defeated the Seahawks, 34-31 in overtime, on a 37-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein. But it was Nick Foles, in his Rams debut, who completed a pass unlike any other in the team’s long NFL history. Foles found Lance Kendricks for a 37-yard touchdown with 53 seconds to play and Zuerlein’s extra point evened the score at 31-31. It was the first game-tying or go-ahead TD pass of 20 yards or longer in the final 60 seconds of the fourth quarter in Rams history.  In other news – what were you thinking Pete Carroll with an onside kick in OT?

nullLockett ends longest return drought

Tyler Lockett opened the scoring in the Seahawks’ loss at St. Louis with a 57-yard punt return. Only three other rookies in NFL history scored on a first-quarter punt return in their team’s opening game of a season: George Atkinson of the Raiders (1968), Deion Sanders of the Falcons (1989), and Dale Carter of the Chiefs (1992).

Allen huge in San Diego’s comeback victory

Philip Rivers completed 35 passes for 404 yards, including 15 to Keenan Allen, in the Chargers’ 33-28 come-from-behind victory over the Lions. Allen set a record for pass nullreceptions in a season-opening game. The previous mark was 14, set by Andre Rison in 1994 and matched by Marshall Faulk in 2002.

San Diego trailed Detroit, 21-3, in the second quarter. Only one other team in this century overcame a deficit that large to win its season-opening game, and Chargers fans should remember the other well. Two years ago, San Diego squandered a 28-7 lead in losing its opener to Houston, 31-28, on Monday Night Football.

New York Blows it – Romo saves Cowboys

The optimists in Big D said the O-line was good enough to offset the loss of DeMarco Murray. But the Cowboys managed just 80 yards on the ground Sunday against a Giants defense that rarely stopped the run in 2014. Dallas only had less than 90 rushing yards nullonce last year, when the Giants only held two opponents below 80.  New York should’ve left Dallas with a W. But poor clock management — namely failing to milk it while opting to throw near the goal line on their final drive — provided Tony Romo with the opportunity to craft a successful comeback.  Tony Romo threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten with 7 seconds to play and Dan Bailey added the extra point to give the Cowboys an unlikely 27-26 victory over the Giants. That was the latest game-winning fourth-quarter TD pass in Cowboys history. The previous mark was set in a 17-14 win over the Redskins in 1967 when Don Meredith connected with Dan Reeves for a 36-yard TD with 10 seconds to play.

Dallas’ victory was unlikely in this sense: The Cowboys committed three turnovers and the Giants none. Over the past three seasons (2012-14), there were 100 regular-season games in which a team turned the ball over at least three times and had no takeaways; only three of those teams won.

nullBrees ties dubious NFL record in loss

Drew Brees passed for 355 yards in the Saints’ 31-19 loss at Arizona, his fifth straight season reaching the 300-yard mark in New Orleans’ first game. That tied the NFL record for consecutive season openers with at least 300 passing yards. Kurt Warner set that mark from 1999 through 2003.  Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes in his first game since last season’s ACL injury. Palmer has a 14-2 record in his last 16 starts

Marshall and the Jets

The Browns have now lost an NFL-record 11 straight openers, and Brandon Marshall might be the safety net the Jets need to stabilize their uneven passing game. He excelled in the red zone and bailed out Ryan Fitzpatrick by ripping the ball away from Browns safety Tashaun Gipson after an interception.  With that, the Todd Bowles era started with a strong defensive performance as the Jets forced the Browns into five turnovers and posted a 31-10 victory. During six seasons under Rex Ryan, the Jets ranked 19th among the 32 NFL teams with an average of 1.5 takeaways per game. They had only one game with as many as five takeaways under Ryan, forcing six turnovers in a 38-7 win over Buffalo in 2011.

Bills knock the Colts down a peg

The Colts were chic Super Bowl picks in many quarters, but didn’t look ready for the Bills, who shut Indianapolis out in the first half before winning 27-14.  The Bills were sending seven defenders at Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck on seemingly every passing down, especially early in the game. The all-out blitzes worked in Buffalo’s decisive upset.null

Making his first NFL start, the new Bills quarterback justified Rex Ryan’s faith in him by playing efficient, virtually mistake-free football. Taylor passed for 195 yards and a TD while adding 41 yards with his legs. Ground and pound, baby.  The Colts’ struggles to stop the run have carried over to this season. The Bills ran 36 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns – leading a terrific start to Karlos Williams’ NFL career, as he gave the Bills a 16-0 lead on a 26-yard touchdown run on his first carry. It had been 20 years since any NFL player scored an opening-game TD of 20 yards or longer on the first carry of his career. The last player to do so was Michael Westbrook of the Redskins, with a 58-yard TD run in a 27-7 opening-day victory over the Cardinals.

But guess what? A few hours later, Ameer Abdullah of the Lions did it as well, capping Detroit’s opening drive with a 24-yard TD run on his first carry.

nullIt’s getting absurd in KC

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith threw three touchdowns but none to a wide receiver – again. Smith’s last TD to a receiver was Dec. 8, 2013.  On the other hand, Travis Kelce became the first Chiefs tight end to catch two touchdown passes in a game since Tony Gonzalez left Kansas City following the 2008 season. Gonzalez caught two or more TDs in a game 14 times for the Chiefs.

What about Bob?null

Another strong performance by a tight end was turned in by Tyler Eifert, who caught nine
passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the Bengals’ 33-13 win at Oakland. Eifert was the first Cincinnati TE with two TD receptions in a 100-yard game since Bob Trumpy scored three times in a 5-for-159 performance against the Houston Oilers in 1969.

Same Ol’Philbin, Same Ol’Washington

The Miami Dolphins are continuing a disturbing trend during coach Joe Philbin’s tenure with the team: They play down to lesser opponents. The offense came out flat in the first half at Washington, rushing for only 2 yards. But the most concerning questions from Miami’s victory were mental lapses on defense.

For Washington, things were looking good for the home team early on Sunday. But then Ryan Tannehill found Rishard Matthews for a 3-yard TD late in the first half to narrow the Redskins’ lead to 10-7, and the Dolphins scored 10 points in the fourth quarter for a 17-10 victory. Washington was the first home team to lose its season opener after scoring the game’s first 10 points since 2002, when the Jets rallied from a 10-0 deficit for a 37-31 win at Buffalo.  From the media-generated-controversy department – Why was CBS giving viewers constant reaction shots from RGIII — following many of Kirk Cousins’ throws?

Somethings never change

The Kelvin Benjamin-less offense produced just 263 yards and one touchdown – ouch. The supporting cast around Newton will likely add pressure on Carolina’s defense, nullespecially if MLB Luke Kuechly’s concussion proves severe.  In other news, Josh Norman intercepted Blake Bortles and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown in the Panthers’ 20-9 win over the Jaguars. That was a problem for Bortles as a rookie last season, when he tied for the NFL lead by throwing four pick-6’s, which was also a single-season team record.

A Day of Remembrance – Goodell goes to Bellevue – and CFB week 2

Bullet Points

Seriously, Roger Goodell must be ready to snap and check himself into a Mental Ward after last night’s head set issue.  How does this happen?  More importantly to me is why?  As in, after the Refs were notified of the issue Pittsburgh had with their headsets playing the Patriots broadcast – WHY did they not instruct the Pats to stop using their headsets – as is the rule?  Either way thanks a lot Head-Frequency guy at GIllete Stadium for giving us an all day car-wash of HeadSet-gate on ESPN.

On the flip side, Gronk scored three times.  That is as many times in one game as all of Tampa Bay’s TE’s scored all year.  That puts him 5th, all-time for TE’s.  He is tied with Jason Witten who has played 3x’s as long.  It’s the kind of Ruth-ian domination we are fortunate to see, and good job with the trash-talk all week Steelers about how easy it is to stop him being physical.  Gronkowski is like Wilt Chamberlain – all he does is score.


Here is a games list for week 2, for your College Football fix:
  • AIR FORCE (-6) by 13 over San Jose State – I agree with the DiRTCanon A.I. that the oddsmakers gave us an interesting value-number. Air Force was 7th in the nation in rushing offense a year ago. San Jose State was 119th in stopping the run.

  • FLORIDA STATE (-27.5) by 38 over USF – USF got a nice 51-3 home win over Florida A&M in its season opener. Now, they get to visit that ‘other’ Tallahassee school.

  • MISSISSIPPI (-26.5) by 34 over Fresno State – It’s a big line, but I’m feeling 30+ here.

  • GEORGIA TECH (-29) by 31 over Tulane – Georgia Tech has been on a nice roll for the last 8 games, going 7-1 with a 2-point loss to Florida State in the ACC Championship game as the only setback. That roll isn’t going to be stopped by a Tulane team that lost by 30, at home to Duke last week.

  • Memphis (-11.5) by 16 over KANSAS – Kansas went down big, early last week against FCS South Dakota State and fought back, kinda before losing 41-38. Memphis won’t let that happen. The turnaround under Justin Fuente has been impressive.

  • NEBRASKA (-25.5) by 29 over South Alabama – If Nebraska can’t lay wood to South Alabama, behind the proverbial wood-shed, all is lost in Lincoln.

  • PENN STATE (-18.5) by 25 over Buffalo – Penn State has issues that may not be able to be solved in one week. The DiRTCanon A.I. nailed the Temple win so it’s worthy of riding along with its projection that Buffalo could keep it closer than some expect.  But, I’m not buying it.

  • FLORIDA (-19) by 14 over East Carolina – Lots of changes in personnel and, not to mention, a new head coach in Florida.  Remember, these teams just met on a neutral field in January and the Gators escaped with a 28-20 win.

  • SMU (-3) by 6 over North Texas – SMU is 1-14 in its last 15 games. Somebody knows something we don’t know and we should go with that somebody.

  • TEXAS (-15.5) by 17 over Rice – Texas managed 3 points against Notre Dame. Rice isn’t Notre Dame, but when is Texas, going to be Texas?

  • LSU (-4) by 4 over MISSsT – LSU’s tune-up vs. FCS McNeese State was canceled due to weather so now the Tigers have to take their first snap on the road in an SEC contest. However, Mississippi State wasn’t all that impressive in a 34-16 win at Southern Miss. This is a pick ’em game in my book that LSU wins SU.

  • CONNECTICUT (-6.5) by 9 over Army – Army had a 2-point loss to FCS Fordham last week – while UConn edged FCS Villanova by 5. Not very many people cared about those contests, and not many should care about this one – except my attorney and the rest of the Degenerates.

  • Bowling Green by 1 over MARYLAND (-7.5) – If only because BGSU has the ability to put up points, this projected upset has a smidgen of possible reality to it. But the Falcons also need to show up on defense which they failed to do in last week’s 59-30 loss at Tennessee.  I think Maryland wins SU but close.

  • Massachusetts by 1 over COLORADO (-13.5) – Why is Colorado a 13.5-point favorite? The Buffs were an 8-point favorite at Hawaii last week and the DiRTCanon A.I. said they would not cover that game, which they didn’t – they lost outright. Now they’re a big home favorite vs. a UMass team that returns 19 starters on offense and defense, including the 2014 MAC statistical leaders in tackles, passing yards per game and receptions per game. This is the season opener for the boys from Amherst.  CU wins but does not cover – again.

  • COLORADO STATE by 2 over Minnesota (-6) – The Golden Gophers put up a valiant effort against TCU last week but that was on their own turf. The Rams are 14-1 in their last 15 home games, including 9 in-a-row.

  • Temple by 1 over Cincinnati (-7.5) – Temple’s biggest challenge is coming down to Earth after last week’s monumental win over Penn State. Temple’s second biggest challenge is beating Cincinnati, but staying under 7-1/2 should be reasonably easy for what appears to be a solid Matt Rhule-coached football team.

  • Wake Forest by 0.35 over SYRACUSE (-4) – Both teams were 3-9 overall and 1-7 in the ACC a year ago.

  • Washington State by 3 over RUTGERS (-2.5) – What have learned last week about these two teams, other than Rutgers is awash in off-the-field problems. But on the field, Rutgers destroyed FCS Norfolk State while Washington State was lost to FCS Portland State.  It seems like the perfect trap game.

Ben Franklin said: those that demand security over Liberty deserve neither.  A tragedy that still ripples in our souls and disturbs the tranquility of our thoughts – however, vigilance to the ideals that OUR country was founded upon will echo thru eternity – and for that i find this a nice way to remember what was, before…