Weekend Update: #NFL Edition

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1. Apologize to Andy Dalton!!!

Sure Andy Dalton needs to improve on his 0-4 playoff record, but he deserves your apology.  He’s been accurate, has made good decisions and is on pace to throw for more than 4,500 yards.  It also doesn’t hurt that those around him are playing well, including Tyler Eifert.  Look no further than the engineered comeback against the Seahawks…Next week, we can bet against the Bengals and be back to business as usual around the league, regarding the Ginger-Rifle – but for now, we apologize.

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2. Father Time is Undefeated

The Broncos won again with Defense and while Manning has more INT’s than TD’s – we should hold off on the coffin just yet on Peyton’s career.  The Broncos will contend, but will not be a contender.  This team has a major flaw with their inability to run the football.  Yes Manning has lost consistent velocity on his throws, but when the weather turns, and if Denver cannot run the ball – the greatest D in the world will not get them to San Francisco.  Manning deserves a better ending than being on a team that runs as well as an old lady with a walker.

3. Glory Days, They’ll Pass You By

There are lots of columns to right about the fall of Rome, but those are for another day.  Maybe Sean Payton leaves, maybe Drew wears another uniform and maybe romanticizing only temporarily numbs the pain of today.  Because as of today, the Saints are like Elvis:  Once great, but now sad and hunched over a toilet.  The loss in Philly is the final nail in the coffin, and on our way to being one of the worst teams in the league – a decade of excellence and just like that, we could be wearing paper-bags again.  So let’s say thanks for the memories:  Steve Gleason’s block, Deuce McAllister’s run, Hartley’s kick, Porter’s pick 6 and Lombardi Gras.  No matter how bad it gets…they can’t take that away from me…But for now, we stink!


4. Like Blind Men at an Orgy, We’re Gonna Have to Feel Things Out

USA Today Sports’ Tom Pelissero takes a look at 50 things we learned in week 5, in honor of Superbowl 50:

1. Bengals-Seahawks. Redskins-Falcons. Bears-Chiefs. Browns-Ravens. Hard to top those endings, happening simultaneously as the early games came to a close. Wow.

2. Dear Boss: Don’t ever cancel the Red Zone Channel. Thank you.

3. Obviously lots to like about the New England Patriots offense, but we want them to give the ball to Dion Lewis on every play. You never know what’s going to happen when the ball is in hands.

4. We never jumped off the Cincinnati Bengals bandwagon when they fell behind Sunday. But we knew where the emergency exit was.

5. Wonder if we will see a tweet from Marshawn Lynch’s mom after the game Thomas Rawls had for the Seahawks on Sunday.

6. Browns tight end Gary Barnidge’s between-the-legs touchdown catch wins the day. And maybe the season.

7. Charles Woodson picked off a Peyton Manning pass for the first time in his career. Then he did it again. Wish he had hit the Heisman pose, but he is classier than we are.

8. Who is Howard Jones? The world knows now. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker had quite the debut, recording two sacks in his first NFL game action.

9. Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins deserved better. Whoa, we fell down as we were typing that.

10. If nothing else, the Buffalo Bills are consistent. They recover a fumble on the opening kickoff inside the Tennessee 10-yard line. But wait. Bills offsides. Play nullified.

11. Jamaal Charles. Damn.

12. Buccaneers fans must have thought it was a dream. Their new field goal kicker was actually making kicks and the team won at home after losing its last 11 there.

13. Break up the Bears! Oh wait, they are already doing that.

14. Make sure you catch the replay of St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley picking up the Clay Matthews blitz. Wow.


15. And, of course, that just angered Matthews. The Packers LB later just buried Rams QB Nick Foles with a hit that made us hurt just watching it.

16. Remember all of the talk about the Giants’ 0-2 start? Big Blue now is in first place in the NFC East.

17. Hoyer to Mallett. Back to Hoyer. Trick play? No, just Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien mishandling the QB situation through the first five weeks.

18. Fantasy Tip I: The fantasy running back picture in Kansas City without Jamaal Charles is going to be ugly. You’re better off chasing someone from another team – like the Seahawks’ Thomas Rawls or the Tennessee Titans’ Antonio Andrews – than to rely on Charcandrick West or Knile Davis to be your savior.

19. We know he turned it around, but Sam Bradford threw two interceptions in the end zone in the first half. Heck, Tim Tebow could have done that for Chip Kelly.

20. On their first drive, Cincinnati scored a touchdown against Seattle, the first time in 21 drives the Seahawks have allowed a TD.

21. On the first nine touchdowns scored Sunday, the PATs were all good. Same for the first four FG attempts. We figured that had to be some kind of record this season, so we stopped counting.

22. But there was this kicking gem: Matt Bryant of the Atlanta Falcons had an unusual day. He missed two FGs and both clanged off the uprights. He couldn’t do that again if he tried.

23. Browns QB Josh McCown threw for 457 yards in a huge win over the Ravens. Maybe Mike Pettine was right. Sorry, Johnny Manziel.

25. Look at Joe Flacco run! Elite.

26. The New Orleans Saints and Seahawks both intercepted their first passes of the season on Sunday. So that happened.

27. If nothing else, the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens provided good cover for the University of Maryland, which announced the the firing of Randy Edsall while both teams were playing.

28. Aaron Rodgers’ first-quarter TD pass was his 49th at Lambeau Field since he threw an interception there. Rodgers, of course, then threw an interception. And then another. And lost a fumble. Saved it all for one day, Aaron?

29. We’re told that this is Rodgers’ first three-turnover game since 2009. During that same span, Jay Cutler has done that 12 times. Sorry, Bears fans.

30. To be fair, Cutler played his second straight good game. We don’t get to write that much.

31. New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts is next week. Deflategate II. And another reminder if Roger Goodell was judged on his record in court and arbitration decisions, he would be watching games with Joe Philbin on Sundays.

32. With 197 total yards on Sunday, Falcons running back Devonta Freeman has gained at least 149 yards in his first three starts.

33. One thing we learned before the game’s even started: Terry Bradshaw still has a fastball.

35. The Titans have blown two straight double-digit leads at home. Not good for ticket sales.

36. The 49ers need to give Carlos Hyde, who had 93 yards on 21 carries against the Giants’ previously top-ranked run defense, at least 25 touches per game.

37. The Bears put eight defenders on the goal line when the Chiefs had the ball at the 22 late in the half with no timeouts. They dubbed it the “Red Rover” defense. We love it.

38. Lions QB Matthew Stafford was benched for Dan Orlovsky after throwing throwing three interceptions against the Cardinals. Another fun week for Jim Caldwell is ahead.

39. The Baltimore Ravens are 1-4. Yes, we have the names of everyone who picked them to win the AFC.

40. Other teams want to pursue Sean Payton, according to an ESPN report. The way he is coaching, he certainly wants out of New Orleans.

41. At one point, the Eagles scored on five straight possessions. That’s not a typo.

42. When is a fair catch not a fair catch? Don’t ask Pacman Jones.

43. The Lions can’t blame the officials for four turnovers less than 20 minutes into the game.

45. It’s one thing for the Chiefs to lose three in a row to teams that were all unbeaten, but to the Bears at home? Andy Reid has some explaining to do now.

46. From a pure football stance, you can see why there was a bidding war for Greg Hardy’s services this offseason.

47. Fantasy tip II: Blake Bortles’ big day signals that he might be the next young quarterback to emerge, at least for fantasy players. But not enough people are talking about how dangerous this Jaguars passing attack has become.

48. Jadeveon Clowney has zero sacks through nine career games. But let’s give him a bit more time before we throw around the “bust” label.

49. If San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates catches a touchdown pass Monday night, he will become the second tight end in NFL history with 100 TD grabs, joining Tony Gonzalez (111).

50. Oh, Derek Carr. You can’t throw that pick-six when you have a division opponent on the ropes. Lesson learned, we hope.

Weekend Update: #MondayMotivation

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1. Sark-cano

It’s no longer funny. Steve has a problem and so does USC.  Word is, Steve was drunk on the sideline against Arizona State and furthermore the pep rally incident was not the first time – so where was the leadership Pat Haden?  This should have been handled by you, at the beginning – not by Cody Kessler and other seniors making him do “up-downs” and other penalties if he was late to meetings, etc…The writing apparently was on the wall and no one took it seriously until a 5-star recruit decommitted.

Steve has a long road ahead and sobriety is his only way back if he ever wants to be a Big-Time coach again.  Parents will avoid sending their kids to a man who has a substance abuse problem, but more so, to a program that fails in its responsibilities to do the right thing, again.

But this is more about substance abuse, this is about money and afterall USC has had a license to print.  No one is saying a few drinks is an issue, but Sark seems to have gone from functioning alcoholic to dysfunctional in a swirling vortex of dumb.  A drunk ruins recruiting and at the University of Spoiled Children, that, can’t, happen.  If they truly were concerned about Sark’s drinking problem today, then why did they hire him?  They knew before, his prowess for being loaded; it was witnessed on the sidelines and bars with Pete and as a head coach up in Seattle.

Maybe USC should have kept coach O, but maybe the administration should send Pat Haden on an indefinite leave of absence too.  Pat, hired and fired Lame Kitten, and he personally selected a mediocre coach with a drinking problem.  It’s not funny anymore.

2. Duck-nado

What took a decade to build, has taken 5 weeks to crumble.  Say goodbye to the Pac-12 North bully – the Oregon Ducks.  We should have noticed earlier when Oregon had to go shopping for a QB at the Graduate-Transfer bargain bin.  Who knew Oregon was so thin on talent.  That’s an indictment on the coaching staff.  Once again, Vernon Adams was out with a broken finger, and again Oregon had to use 2 other guys to move an offense that looked more like #TheWalkingDead and lost to Washington State, 45-38 in double O.T.

That tells me, the staff has not recruited well, nor have they developed anyone neither.  Gone is the hallmark of Oregon’s success – player development.  Helfrich can say all he wants about the success of the “team”…win-or-lose…it’s not one guy…blah blah blah.  I’m sure they are all working their tails off,  but someone has to do something about that secondary – woof.


Chris Morris/ESPN

3. More Goose-Eggs sir

Michigan got another convincing win by recording their third shutout over Northwestern.  TCU escapes Manhattan, Michigan State survives a ridiculous 4th down spike against Rutgers, Charlie Strong ambushes Oklahoma and Utah survives California – in what was a very entertaining Saturday.  If I were to be on the committee this is who I would have in my tournament as of today:

  1. Utah: The Utes should have done more with the five interceptions of Jared Goff, but they still held on for a win against a previously undefeated opponent. And in the wacky Pac-12 – home teams are 5–11 in conference games – surviving at home is enough. Remember that 24–17 win over Michigan on Sept. 3?  It looks better and better each week.
  2. Baylor:  I still need to see Baylor play a few more decent opponents – Kansas was no challenge in a 66–7 beatdown on Saturday – but a visit from West Virginia this weekend should provide a challenge and a better glimpse. The difference between Baylor and just about everyone else at the top – Baylor has absolutely destroyed inferior competition instead of farting around.
  3. Clemson:  The Tigers kept the hammer down after an emotional win over Notre Dame. Georgia Tech isn’t the same team it was last year, but any team that can hold the Yellow Jackets to 71 rushing yards and a 1.7 yards-per-carry average is playing excellent defense.
  4. ???: Ohio State is sleep-walking and does not have the same fire as last year.  It’s always dangerous in sports to think you can just flip-a-switch and dominate any opponent.  That thinking takes away from your preparation and makes you vulnerable, and that means this:  Ohio State will run into a team that is hungrier and will not run out of gas – Ohio State is no Baylor – but until they lose…

Game Recaps:

Florida State 29, Miami 24
TCU 52, Kansas State 45
Michigan State 31, Rutgers 24
Washington State 45, Oregon 38
Texas 24, Oklahoma 17
Tennessee 38, Georgia 31
Michigan 38, Northwestern 0
Wake Forest 3, Boston College 0
Ohio State 49, Maryland 28