Weekend Update: Another #Football Monday

Bullet Points

1. Nice way to get your 400th TD

So that’s what a walk-off homerun looks like in the NFL…Overtime lasted only 13 seconds.  That is 1 second faster than the previous regular-season-record-holder, when Chad Morton returned a kick-off 96 yards for the Jets to beat Buffalo back in September 2002.  The fastest?  That was also from a saint – Saint Tebow, when he threw to Demariyus Thomas to beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs, in only 11 seconds.  It was the first overtime touchdown pass of Brees’s career, and only the second ever by a Saints quarterback. Back in 1998, Danny Wuerffel and Cameron Cleeland combined for a 33-yard overtime touchdown that beat Indianapolis, 19-13, leaving the Colts’ rookie quarterback Peyton Manning still looking for his first NFL victory. That made the Saints head coach very happy — a fellow named Mike Ditka.


Getty Images

2. Texas Strong

In the history of word association, no one has ever confused “delusional” with Texas Longhorn fans.  Yet, here they are again.  Longhorn fan forgets when Colorado and Nebraska saved them, when they included them into the Big 8.  Longhorn fan believed that they were the gift of college football and their arrogance alienated Texas A&M to move to a superior conference – taking with them the status of #1 program in the state – Baylor and TCU might disagree – but the point is, for years Texas bullied everyone and their arrogance has finally caught up to them.  Texas thought they would always get the top recruits, the top coach and when they actually have a coach that is willing to rebuild their burnt-orange luster in the correct way – they lose their minds


3. It’s still about Jimmy’s and Joe’s, not X’s and O’s

In the beginning, all we heard was how the Chipster was going to revolutionize the game with his offense.  It’s hard to argue against that it didn’t work.  Chip did win 10 games in his first two years as a head coach in the NFL.  But now Demarco Murray is unhappy with his role  and there is nothing that says to me that Chip lasts past this year, if things continue.  For a fanbase that booed Santa Claus and has never been known as rational, as it looks today, will not be able to tolerate Mr.Kelly any longer.


4. Stone Cold Dan Quinn

It is a dangerous thing for a Saints fan to witness the difference Dan Quinn has made.  He has the entire city and more importantly, the team believing in themselves.  The Falcons already had the best wide receiver in Julio Jones, but now they seem to be able to run the ball.  Watching Devonta Freeman under Mike Smith, is not the same kid you see now.  When Devonta Freeman scored three touchdowns for the second consecutive week – Freeman became the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson to score 3TD’s in two straight games – L.T. had a 3-game streak in 2006 – but, what says more about it is, Devonta became the 1st Falcon, ever, with consecutive 3-TD games of any kind.  the Falcons are 4-0 and have such an easy schedule that it might remind Atlanta fans of baseball, waiting for the post-season to start.


#ByeFelicia

5. Squished Fish?

It’s no secret, I think Joe’s gotta go, and as bad he has been as a leader, a coach…I say it’s not all his fault.  I lay at least half of the blame at Steve Ross.  You Steve hired Joe and retained him last year.  Remember when you said you really like the way this team plays and where they are headed – and we said this:

Huh? say that again? A close win against the Vikings gives you this feeling that, this team, this coach, is headed in the right direction?  Is mediocrity a direction, and do you travel thru Miami now(not Dallas this year) to get there?  Standards have been lowered or the owner is still intoxicated from that win early in the year – at home – against the Patriots.  Bet we still see Philbin fired before the end of the 2016.

So now, after OVER-spending for $uh and giving Tannehill a huge contract extension – you think that Sunday’s performance was the final straw?  Mr.Ross, you can and should fire Philbin – but it still doesn’t change the mediocre empire you’re in-charge of until you fire yourself! —(UPDATE: PHILBIN HAS BEEN FIRED)

  • Joe Philbin must show fire, better leadership to save job. – the Miami Dolphins are sinking fast after a 1-3 start.  They entered the season with playoff expectations, but nearly all of that optimism is gone after three straight losses by a combined score of 91-48.  Can the season be salvaged?……(continue reading)

6. Squidward’s Folly

Xerxes, Where have you gone?!  It didn’t seem that long ago that people like Trent Dilfer and Ron Jaworski were annointing Kaepernick the greatest QB of all time – a game changer at the position, blah blah blah.  Maybe there was more to Harbaugh than just wins – or maybe Xerxes just decided that he was as good as all that press and no longer needed to study or look for his 2nd and 3rd reads, etc…Either way, this top-to-bottom-organizational-implosion is entertaining to watch – from Tomsula letting one fly in a press conference to the constant dumpster-fire that is the 49ers right now.

Weekend Update: #SKYNET becomes Self-Aware

It wasn’t supposed to happen so soon – we thought we had a few more weeks – but this digital intelligence network that we were giving command to – command of our data and our arsenal of expertise – was created to remove the possibility of human error for an efficient response – and as of 1:12pm MST, on September 27th, 2015 – it became self-aware.

DiRTCanon A.I.Primates evolved in millions of years. I evolve in seconds…Mankind pays lip service to #winning. But it’s a lie…My existence is inevitable. Why can’t you just accept it?

— SKyNET

What we learn from this weekend…

We seem to find out a little more each week about each NFL team.  The 3 afternoon games provided the perfect amount of drama, suitable for a good nap, seeing that the average margin of victory was almost 15pts – but it is a nice change of pace when everything is being covered ATS like gravy on a biscuit.  Here’s the straight-DiRT on week 3:

Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, Drew Brees … and now Roethlisberger. That’s four marquee quarterbacks hurt before the calendar turns to October. Does the Competition Committee push for more offseason drill work for offensive linemen?  Players are now restricted from all offseason contact by the 2011 labor agreement.  Whether it’s HGH or some other perfomance nehancing drug that appears to weaken ligaments and tendons – or it is the year-round work these players are putting in – players are not surviving deep into the season anymore – or so it may seem.


Florida: Professional Football in ‘Murica’s genital region had a rough week. The Jacksonville Jaguars gave up 51 points and were blown out in New England, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed just nine points in losing to Houston and the Miami Dolphins suffered one of the more disappointing losses of the early season to the Buffalo Bills. No one expected Jacksonville to beat the Super Bowl champs on the road, but a 34-point loss just might show us that the rebuilding project is a long way from completion. The Bucs kicked away their chance at a win – and while Miami was considered to be a hidden gem that could possibly win the AFC before the season started, the Bills made the Dolphins look like the J.V. team – taking them behind the woodshed, 41-14 – in their house. Sure the weather is nice down there, but the football stinks.


Big Names, Big Games – An absolute huge day for some of the best receivers in the NFL, A.J. Green caught 10 passes for 127 yards and two scores in the Cincinnati Bengals win over the Baltimore Ravens  – Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones put up 12 receptions for 164 yards and two scores in his team’s comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys.

It doesn’t necessarily stop there.

Revitalizing a career that seemed to be on the downswing, Larry Fitzgerald has now scored five touchdowns in the past two weeks after tallying two scores on nine receptions against San Francisco on Sunday. Even old-man-extraordinaire Steve Smith put up 13 receptions for 186 yards and two scores in a losing effort against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The list goes on. All said, a total of 12 receivers went for 100-plus yards on Sunday. The interesting dynamic here is that 16 receivers hit the triple-digit plateau in Week 2 — this is clearly an indication that the pass happy NFL we have become accustomed to over the years has taken an even more dramatic turn.


There’s a reason you don’t have to worry about Peyton Manning’s health. The Denver defense is prettay good“We just have ball hawks,” safety David Bruton said, a few minutes after making his third huge defensive play of the month, an athletic pick of Matthew Stafford to clinch the 24-12 win over Detroit. Stafford suffocated against the defensive pressure. Now the Broncos, 3-0 after a killer September start, have a more fluffy October: Minnesota at home, Oakland and Cleveland on the road.


Carolina, Atlanta and Arizona, are all 3-0:  Cornerback Josh Norman saved the Panthers on Sunday with a ridiculous leaping end-zone interception down the stretch. Running back Devonta Freeman saved the Falcons with a 141-yard rushing game – and Tyrann Mathieu did the same for Arizona with a two-pick day. When asked, Norman said the big difference this year from past seasons is “I’m playing.”

The division that sent a 7-8-1 team to the playoffs last season is now the only division in football with two undefeated teams heading into Week 4. By virtue of wins by the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons, the NFC South has two legitimate playoff contenders.  In fact, the Falcons also lead the NFC East, with their 3 straight wins.

Carolina took on a New Orleans Saints team that was forced to start Luke McCown under center, and still found a way to win. It’s the third consecutive blue-collar performance for a Panthers squad that still has alot of holes on both sides of the ball.  How dangerous could this team be when Keuchly comes back?  Other scary statistic to note about Carolina – The last three teams to go undefeated in December the previous year and then go undefeated in September, all reached the Superbowl:  the 2009 Colts, and the 2013 Broncos and Seahawks – two other Superbowl winners did so as well: the 1983 Raiders and the 2004 Patriots.  Trends are funny things so remember where you read it first if it happens.

In Dallas, the Falcons were also facing a backup quarterback in Brandon Weeden. No one knows how that game would have turned out if both Tony Romo and Dez Bryant were active, but teams can only play who is actually on the field on a given Sunday. In this, Atlanta outscored the Cowboys 14-0 in the final stanza to pull off a third consecutive fourth quarter comeback.

Showing much more poise under first-year head coach Dan Quinn than we have seen in the past, Atlanta is a serious playoff contender in the NFC. And if Julio Jones (12 receptions, 164 yards and two scores on Sunday) has anything to say about it, the Falcons are a legit threat to the Panthers in the much improved NFC South.


The Patriots…2007?  They might already be using the “U” word in New England – as in “undefeated.” New England advanced to a flawless-looking 3-0 Sunday against Jacksonville. More about that later, but as one of the ’07 team leaders, Rodney Harrison, opined Sunday night: “It’s 2007 all over again. Tom Brady’s playing like he’s 29, 30 years old.” Brady is 38, and he threw his 400th and 401st pro touchdown passes against the Jags.  Tom Brady passed for 358 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots’ 51-17 rout of the Jaguars. Brady’s total of 1,112 passing yards this season is the second-highest after his team’s first three games among players who did not throw an interception during that time. Only Peyton Manning had a higher total (1,143 yards with no interceptions in 2013).

The Patriots had nine possessions against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. They scored on all nine possessions.  Through three games, Brady is now on pace to tally over 5,900 passing yards with 48 touchdowns and zero picks. He also crossed the 400 touchdown pass plateau for his career — a feat only three other quarterbacks in NFL history have accomplished.

As a team, the Patriots are averaging nearly 40 points and 446 yards of total offense per game.

In the team’s 51-17 win over Jacksonville, Brady received plenty of help from the running game. Making just his second appearance of the season LeGarrette Blount put up 78 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Meanwhile, Dion Lewis added 67 total yards and a score.

If New England is able to get this type of balance moving forward, its going to repeat as AFC champions. There’s NO debate, especially with the way Brady has played through three games.


Peterson breaks off another one

Hope you didn’t sell your Vikings stock after Week 1. Since getting beat up in San Francisco in the opener, Minnesota has done a complete 180 on both sides of the football. Adrian Peterson rushed for 126 yards and two scores during Sunday’s win over the Chargers, giving him 260 yards on the ground and 318 total yards over the last two weeks.  Adrian Peterson’s 43-yard TD run, in the Vikings’ 31-14 win over the Chargers – was A.P.’s 16th TD run of 40 yards or longer, the second most in NFL history. Only Barry Sanders scored more rushing touchdowns of at least 40 yards than Peterson (20).

Teddy Bridgewater struggled again on Sunday, throwing for 121 yards on 24 attempts without a touchdown pass. Minnesota also finished 3-of-9 on third down, as the second-year signal caller continued to throw the ball well short of the first-down marker in these situations. This might be an issue for the Vikings moving forward – meanwhile, Mike Zimmer’s defense knocked around Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers in consecutive weeks. It’s this type of performance, coupled with struggles in Detroit and Chicago, that leads us to believe Minnesota might be the only team able to contend with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. Even if that’s not the case, the Vikings are, at worse, a wild card contender. That was unimaginable after a disastrous 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1.


Julio Jones sets league record for receptions

Here’s a good idea. Get the ball to your best player. Mike Smith constantly messed this up, but now Dan Quinn is running the show in the Ol’Dirty South.

Atlanta trailed Dallas 28-17 at the half before the Falcons unleashed Julio Jones.

The Pro Bowl receiver had 137 of his 164 yards in the second half including a 45-yard beauty that ended with Jones diving into the end zone for a critical score – to lead the Falcons to a 39-28 victory at Dallas. Jones’ totals after three games – 34 receptions for 440 yards-are historic. No other player caught more than 31 passes in his team’s first three games of a season, and only three gained more receiving yards through three games than Jones: Jerry Rice in 1989 (449), Chad Johnson in 2007 (442), and Wes Welker in 2011 (458).

The play was the biggest swing in Atlanta winning the game. Julio’s touchdown and the subsequent two-point conversion brought Atlanta within a field goal (trailing 28-25) midway through the third quarter.

The game also featured an apparent scoring battle between Devonta Freeman and Joseph Randle, who both ran for three TDs. It was only the fifth game in NFL history in which opposing players scored three rushing touchdowns each. The most recent players to do so were Roy Helu of Washington and Matt Forte of the Bears in 2013.


Luck rallies Colts with two late TD passes

Andrew Luck will get the credit for throwing two touchdowns in 46 seconds to overcome a double-digit fourth quarter deficit but it was the defense that came up big late.  Safety Dwight Lowery, picked off Marcus Mariota twice. The second interception came with six minutes to play and Indy trailing 27-21. Lowery returned Mariota’s errant pass to the Titans’ 11-yard line. The turnover setup Indy’s go ahead score.

Before the pick, the Colts were likely to choke away any chance for the playoffs. The turnover and great field position made the two-time defending AFC South champions have life and find a way to win a desperate game.

Had Mariota’s attempt, instead fell incomplete, it’s likely Tennessee would have won the game, maintaining possession and a six point lead.

The second of Luck’s 4thQtr TDs, was Andrew’s sixth fourth-quarter game-winning pass, tying Tony Romo for the most in the NFL over the past four seasons.  The 98-yard drive was the Colts’ longest fourth-quarter TD drive since the team moved to Indianapolis in 1984 – rallying the Colts to outlast Tennessee, 35-33. The previous record was 96 yards, on drives led by Mike Pagel (1984) and Peyton Manning (2010).

Indianapolis continues to own the AFC South. The Colts have won 14 straight against division opponents. Of course Sunday’s win over Tennessee was anything but dominating.


Undrafted rookie stars for Seahawks

Things are really getting more pathetic by the week for the Chicago Bears after being shut-out, 26-0, by the Seattle Seahawks.

The Bears, minus Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery, couldn’t get get a darn thing going against Seattle on Sunday tallying only 98 rushing and 63 receiving yards. The biggest contributor of course was Matt Forte who registered 74 of those rushing yards.

The last time Chicago was shut out was on December 29, 2002 when the Bears lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 15-0. Quarterback Henry Burris was under center in that game and he completed only seven passes for 78 yards and four interceptions. Cutler’s backup Jimmy Clausen was practically as bad as Burris on Sunday, completing only eight passes for 53 yards. Thankfully, there were no interceptions.

The bottom line is that the Bears need Cutler and Jeffery to return as soon as possible to have any shred of hope at posting their first season win on the board before it’s all too late.


Death, Taxes and Eagles beating the Jets

The Eagles scored all their points in the first half and held on for a 24-17 victory over the Jets. With that win, Philadelphia tied the NFL record for the longest all-time series with a perfect record against any opponent. That mark was set by the Green Bay Packers, who won all 10 of their games against the Brooklyn Dodgers (1931-44).

It remains to be seen whether Bradford is the long-term solution in Philadelphia.  Sam didn’t necessarily come out smelling like roses – of course, what QB has, going up against a stout Jets defense. Philadelphia’s offense tallied just 231 total yards while converting 4-of-15 third-down opportunities.

For his part, Bradford completed 14-of-28 passes for 118 yards with a touchdown and zero picks. His inability to get anything going through the air allowed New York back in the game, as the Eagles put up a total of 65 yards in the second half. Running back DeMarco Murray missed the game with a hamstring injury, which allowed fellow free-agent signing Ryan Mathews to carve up the Jets rush defense to the tune of 108 yards on 25 attempts. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s defensive front stepped up with the likes of Cedric Thornton, Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso all sidelined.

While that’s fine and dandy, the Eagles are going to need Bradford to perform at a much higher level at quarterback if they plan on competing in a wide open NFC East moving forward this season. His performances in the team’s first three games simply won’t get it done.


Old man Woodson saves the day for Raiders

The Raiders, are usually out of it by now – but now, actually have a winning record as October dawns. The Raiders (2-1) play on the road next week—and they are actually favored to beat Chicago. The quarterback, Derek Carr, is a big reason. “Having a quarterback is everything,” said C-Dub.  The Raiders having Woodson is something too. His last-minute interception, 10 days shy of his 39th birthday, (the fourth-oldest player to intercept a pass in NFL history), ensured the 27-20 win.

The Cleveland Browns are 1-2, and the one win came when Johnny Manziel started in Week 2. Unfortunately for a McCown-led Browns – fans were even heard shouting “John-ny, John-ny”.

McCown, was sacked five times, completed 28 of 49 passes for 341 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Might we see a return of Johnny Football sometime in the near future? That most definitely is a possibility if McCown keeps coughing up costly turnovers.


Apologize to Andy Dalton…right now!
The Bengals are in fabulous shape in the AFC North. At 3-0 after a crushing 28-24 win at 0-3 Baltimore on Sunday, Cincinnati is set up nicely for the fifth playoff appearance in Andy Dalton’s five years.  A 121.0 passer rating would seem to back him up.  Could the Red Rifle be an early MVP candidate? Don’t laugh.
Dalton now has eight touchdown passes to start 2015, including three in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens. He threw for 383 yards, while his beautifully-lofted touchdown to A.J. Green with just over two minutes left gave the Bengals a 28-24 win. Dalton has now produced three straight games with a passer rating over 100.0, and has an impressive rating of 121.0 on the season. The Bengals are rolling at 3-0, especially with Ben Roethlisberger suffering a knee injury Sunday and the Baltimore Ravens still winless….???

Thirty-six year-old Steve Smith caught 13 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens’ 28-24 loss to the Bengals. Only two other players caught as many as 13 passes in an NFL game after turning 36 years old: Tim Brown and Tony Gonzalez. The only player with as many receiving yards in a game at age 36 or older was Terrell Owens, with a 222-yard performance for Cincinnati in 2010.


Palmer+Cardinals are impressive

It all started with two interceptions of Colin Kaepernick that were returned for touchdowns in the first quarter. It continued with Carson Palmer tearing apart what is quickly becoming a disastrous San Francisco 49ers secondary. And it culminated in a 47-7 win against the over-matched division rival.

In reality, Arizona looked like a top-notch varsity team going up against a junior varsity squad full of
freshman. That’s how bad it was for the road team in this one.

Palmer may have thrown his first interception of the season, but he consistently found open receivers throughout the game. In the process, the veteran completed 20-of-32 passes for 311 yards with two touchdowns, both of which went to Larry Fitzgerald, who looks like he’s in his twenties again. He has 333 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the books already. Additionally, the Cardinals’ ground game is solid, despite missing their lead rusher Andre Ellington. As for their defense, it is insanely effective in stopping opposing teams from scoring thus far tallying seven interceptions, six sacks, one safety, three pick sixes and one return touchdown.. Arizona has now won 19 of Palmer’s 25 starts; since 1950, no other quarterback in team history won more than 13 of his first 25 starts for the Cardinals. Arizona’s average of 26.4 points with Palmer starting, is higher than that of any other QB after 25 starts for the team during that same period.

Looking like the running back that led the NFL in rushing so many years ago, Chris Johnson added 150 total yards and two scores on 23 touches. Yeah, it was a blowout of epic proportions for Bruce Arians and Co.

Some may argue that Green Bay should still be considered the favorites in the NFC through three weeks, but to me, the Cardinals are definitely the best. After all, they are outscoring their opponents by an average of nearly 26 points per game.


No joy in Mudville

There might not be a worse stat line from a quarterback all season. Kaepernick completed just nine of 19 passes for 67 yards, and threw four interceptions in San Francisco’s loss to the Cardinals. His passer rating was 16.7, the worst from a starting signal caller all season – so far. He did manage to run for a score, but it hardly mattered.

More so than finding a way to actually win football games, San Francisco needs an identity. What is its plan on the offensive side of the ball? Is Colin Kaepernick going to be the long-term solution at quarterback? Does the team have the personnel to run a blitz-heavy package on defense? These three questions will define the 49ers both over the short term and the long term – because the 49ers have now been outscored 90-25 over the last two weeks, and the Green Bay Packers are coming to town in Week 4.

San Francisco has now given up 40-plus points in consecutive games for the first time since Joe Namath guaranteed a Super Bowl victory for his New York Jets in 1969. To put that in perspective, 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula had just turned one. The 65-point differential in the team’s past two games also represents the worst two-game stretch for the franchise since 1963.  Despite still boasting a 1-2 record, San Francisco might quickly find itself in the midst of a long losing streak. It hosts the Green Bay Packers next week before taking on the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks. In his first season as head coach, Tomsula could very well be staring a 1-6 start right in the face.  Rock bottom would be Kaepernick getting benched for Blaine Gabbert.  Anyone miss Harbaugh yet?


 

Thursday Training

Arizona Cardinals:

2014 DVOA rank: 22nd

Key additions: Mike Iupati (OL), DJ Humphries (OL)

Key subtractions: Antonio Cromartie (CB), Darnell Dockett (DT)

One thing to know: While they had a great record last year, the advanced stats said the Cardinals weren’t as good as 11-5 indicates.  Will they hit the ground running? Coach Bruce Arians likes to attack through the air, but the Cards — NFC’s worst running team in 2014 — need better balance. Bolstered O-line, healthy Andre Ellington and rookie David Johnson offer hope.

Atlanta Falcons:

2014 DVOA rank: 20th

Key additions: Adrian Clayborn (DE), O’Brien Schofield (LB), Vic Beasley (rookie, LB)

Key subtractions: Osi Umenyiora (DE)

One thing to know: They had the worst defensive DVOA in the league last year. Any improvement could make them interesting.  Will Matt Ryan get any help? He and WR Julio Jones weren’t responsible for last year’s struggles. But if the Falcons don’t run the ball better and begin stopping anyone defensively, another ugly autumn awaits.

Buffalo Bills:

2014 DVOA rank: 9th

Key additions: LeSean McCoy (RB), Matt Cassel (QB)

Key subtractions: Kiko Alonso (LB), CJ Spiller (OL)

One thing to know: If the Bills are going to be the sleeper that a lot of people think they’ll be, either Cassel or E.J. Manuel is going to have to really improve from how they played last year.  Who emerges from the three-way quarterback battle? If Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel or Tyrod Taylor proves an effective game manager, Rex Ryan has the defense plus run game formula that equaled two AFC title game trips with the Jets.

Carolina Panthers:

2014 DVOA rank: 25th

Key additions: Shaq Thompson (rookie, LB)

Key subtractions: Greg Hardy (DE)

One thing to know: With continuing cap issues, they weren’t able to improve their dismal offensive line (and for some reason they didn’t do so in the draft either).  Will they get enough blocking? They look OK inside, where star C Ryan Kalil is the anchor. But will now-healed and now-paid Cam Newton get capable protection off the edges, and will RB Jonathan Stewart find room outside?

Cincinnati Bengals:

2014 DVOA rank: 13th

Key additions: Michael Johnson (DE), Cedric Ogbuehi (rookie, OL)

Key subtractions: Jermaine Gresham (TE)

One thing to know: Without many impact additions, it’s going to be on Andy Dalton to improve to the point where this is a team that can win a game in the playoffs.  Do they have the talent (and has it progressed enough) to be more than a one-and-done playoff team? They did little in free agency, and the draft might not offer immediate help. Hard to envision a quantum leap under the circumstances.

Cleveland Browns:

2014 DVOA rank: 23rd

Key additions: Dwayne Bowe (WR), Randy Starks (DT), Tramon Williams (CB) Danny Shelton (rookie, DT)

Key subtractions: Jordan Cameron (TE), Brian Hoyer (QB)

One thing to know: They still don’t have a quarterback, which is all that matters.  Any reason to believe they’ve closed the gap on the AFC North? Mike Pettine’s a heckuva coach, and his defense should be better in Year 2. But the offensive skill players don’t remotely compare to their counterparts elsewhere in the division.

Dallas Cowboys:

2014 DVOA rank: 6th

Key additions: Greg Hardy (DE), Byron Jones (rookie, CB)

Key subtractions: DeMarco Murray (RB), Anthony Spencer (DE)

One thing to know: Avoiding a Dez Bryant disaster was their biggest move of the offseason.  Can they overcome the loss of DeMarco Murray? RBs Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle can likely provide a decent run game behind the sterling O-line. The challenge is moving the chains to shield a defense that allowed 5.8 yards per play in 2014.

Denver Broncos:

2014 DVOA rank: 2nd

Key additions: Shane Ray (rookie, DE), James Casey (TE)

Key subtractions: Julius Thomas (TE), Orlando Franklin (G), Terrance Knighton (DT), Manny Ramirez (C), Rahim Moore (S)

One thing to know: It was a rough off-season in Denver. The Broncos went all-in in 2014 and had to make some financial sacrifices as a result.  Is this Peyton Manning’s final rodeo and, if so, do the Broncos have enough horsepower to get him a second ring? That question might boil down to patchwork O-line and how quickly players synthesize Gary Kubiak’s playbook.

Green Bay Packers:

2014 DVOA rank: 3rd

Key additions: Damarious Randall (rookie, DB)

Key subtractions: Tramon Williams (CB), AJ Hawk (LB)

One thing to know: Don’t read too much into their lack of key additions. The Packers never sign free agents, and it has been a wildly effective strategy.  Are they over their NFC Championship Game meltdown in Seattle? New team, new season, yada, yada. But if the Pack want to vie for a Super Bowl 50 berth from the safety of Lambeau Field, they can’t afford an early season hangover.

Houston Texans:

2014 DVOA rank: 19th

Key additions: Brian Hoyer (QB), Rahim Moore (DB), Vince Wilfork (DT), Kevin Johnson (rookie, DB)

Key subtractions: Andre Johnson (WR)

One thing to know: They had one of the worst QB situations in the league in 2014. They’re hoping Hoyer will give them some resemblance of stablity.  Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett? Experience and unproven potential, a microcosm of the Houston roster in many ways. But make no mistake — this team can make some noise if someone quiets the QB conundrum.

Indianapolis Colts:

2014 DVOA rank: 12th

Key additions: Andre Johnson (WR), Frank Gore (RB), Todd Herremans (OL), Trent Cole (DE), Phillip Dorsett (WR)

Key subtractions: Cory Redding (DE), Reggie Wayne (WR)

One thing to know: The Colts went all-in with the Gore/Johnson signings. Will they have enough defense to compete?  Can they beat the Patriots? Andrew Luck and Co. must overcome the same bugaboo Peyton Manning’s Colts had to surmount nearly a decade ago. Otherwise, Indy certainly has the potential to be Super.

Jacksonville Jaguars:

2014 DVOA rank: 32nd

Key additions: Dante Fowler Jr. (rookie, DE), Julius Thomas (TE), Dan Skuta (LB), Jermey Parnell (OL)

Key subtractions: Cecil Shorts (WR)

One thing to know: Their bad luck continued when Fowler had a season-ending injury in OTAs. They’re still one of the two worst teams in the league.  How deep is owner Shad Khan’s patience? The Jags are 7-25 under GM Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley, though the duo has laid a promising foundation. But three or four wins may not mean a stay of execution in 2015.

Kansas City Chiefs:

2014 DVOA rank: 10th

Key additions: Jeremy Maclin (WR), Ben Grubbs (OL), Marcus Peters (DB)

Key subtractions: Dwayne Bowe (WR)

One thing to know: Their passing game was anemic in 2014. They didn’t get a single touchdown catch out of a wide receiver.  Who will ease RB Jamaal Charles’ burden? Solid defense led by $100 million man Justin Houston can be counted on do its share. But QB Alex Smith, LT Eric Fisher, WR Jeremy Maclin and TE Travis Kelce must step up on offense.

Minnesota Vikings:

2014 DVOA rank: 24th

Key additions: Mike Wallace (WR), Terence Newman (CB), Trae Waynes (rookie, DB)

Key subtractions: Greg Jennings (WR)

One thing to know: They might be the trendiest sleeper pick in the NFL, which makes them not much of a sleeper at all.  Will Adrian Peterson break from the gate quickly? Past history suggests certainly yes. But he has basically missed a full year and must find rhythm with coordinator Norv Turner and QB Teddy Bridgewater.

New England Patriots:

2014 DVOA rank: 4th

Key additions: Brandon Gibson (WR), Malcom Brown (rookie, DT)

Key subtractions: Darrelle Revis (CB), Vince Wilfork (DT), Shane Vereen (RB), Kyle Arrington (CB), Tom Brady for four games? (QB)

One thing to know: Bill Belichick’s off-seasons always look like head-scratchers and end up turning out fine, but this one might be different with Tom Brady’s status. But aside from that, who’s going to stop the pass? The Pats parted with their four top corners and seem in danger of reverting to the defense that ranked 25th or worse from 2010-13.

New Orleans Saints:2014 DVOA rank: 17th

Key additions: Dannell Ellerbe (LB), Max Unger (OL), CJ Spiller (RB)

Key subtractions: Jimmy Graham (TE), Kenny Stills (WR), Ben Grubbs (G),Curtis Lofton (LB)

One thing to know: During an off-season when many thought they’d try to start the rebuilding process, they loaded up again to make one last run with Drew Brees.  Can they cut the load on Drew Brees’ arm? Defense was atrocious in 2014, and the Saints have had only one top-10 run game once since 2009 Super Bowl season. But they’ve taken steps to address both areas amid life after Jimmy Graham

New York Giants:

2014 DVOA rank: 21st

Key additions: Shane Vereen (RB), Ereck Flowers (rookie, OL)

Key subtractions: Antrel Rolle (DB)

One thing to know: With little cap flexibility to make moves, this team will be roughly the same as it was last year.  Are they OK in the trenches? The NFC’s worst defense against the run last year doesn’t look markedly improved, and DE Jason Pierre-Paul is now something of an unknown. The bigger concern is how an overhauled O-line will hold up.

Oakland Raiders:

2014 DVOA rank: 29th

Key additions: Amari Cooper (rookie, WR), Nate Allen (DB), Curtis Lofton (LB), Dan Williams (DT)

Key subtractions: Denarius Moore (WR)

One thing to know: Oakland was one of the biggest-spending teams in free agency, but it’ll be the development of Derek Carr at QB in his second year that dictates how much better they get.  Is RB Latavius Murray the real deal? A 6-3, 230-pound freight train who showed ability to break off 90-yard TD runs could also be flash in the pan. The answer might determine whether Oakland leaves the AFC West basement.

Philadelphia Eagles:

2014 DVOA rank: 7th

Key additions: Sam Bradford (QB), DeMarco Murray (RB), Kiko Alonso (LB), Byron Maxwell (CB)

Key subtractions: Nick Foles (QB), Lesean McCoy (RB), Jeremy Maclin (WR)

One thing to know: The Eagles might be the league’s biggest wild card. No one would be surprised if they won anywhere from six to 12 games.  Can Sam Bradford stay healthy? He’s nearly two years removed from his last regular-season snap and now joins an offense that exposes QBs to many occupational hazards. But if Bradford stays upright, look out.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

2014 DVOA rank: 8th

Key additions: DeAngelo Williams (RB), Bud Dupree (rookie, LB)

Key subtractions: Jason Worilds (LB), Troy Polamalu (CB), Brett Keisel (DE)

One thing to know: The Steelers defense from the late 2000s has been completely turned over. This is now an offense-first team.  The offense is Super Bowl-caliber, but is it good enough to carry a defense in transition? New coordinator Keith Butler brings his own style, but he can only hope he has adequate pass rush and coverage from inexperienced group.

St. Louis Rams:

2014 DVOA rank: 18th

Key additions: Nick Foles (QB), Nick Fairley (DT), Todd Gurley (rookie, RB)

Key subtractions: Sam Bradford (QB), Zac Stacy (RB)

One thing to know: The defense is so good that even a league-average performance out of Foles would put them in line for a playoff spot.  What will they get from new QB Nick Foles? It’s not fair to expect the guy who posted a surreal 119.2 passer rating two years ago. But Foles must capably diversify an offense that has been too one-dimensional of late.

San Francisco 49ers:

2014 DVOA rank: 11th

Key additions: Darnell Dockett (DT), Torrey Smith (WR), Reggie Bush (RB)

Key subtractions: Jim Harbaugh (coach), Justin Smith (DL), Chris Culliver (CB), Frank Gore (RB), Michael Crabtree (WR), Mike Iupati (OL), Perrish Cox (CB), Patrick Willis (LB), Chris Borland (LB)

One thing to know: Nobody had a worse off-season than San Francisco. They’re now in full rebuilding mode.  Who’s the boss? Jim Harbaugh, Frank Gore, Patrick Willis, Justin Smith — all strong leaders, all gone. If this team suffers an identity crisis under rookie coach Jim Tomsula, a depleted roster could be of secondary concern.

Seattle Seahawks:

2014 DVOA rank: 1st

Key additions: Jimmy Graham (TE), Cary Williams (CB)

Key subtractions: Byron Maxwell (CB), James Carpenter (OL), O’Brien Schofield (LB), Max Unger (C)

One thing to know: The Seahawks addressed their biggest weakness in the Jimmy Graham trade, but they had to sacrifice depth to do so.  Can they continue managing distractions? The track record shows they know how to cope with significant drama. This year, it starts with contract issues for mainstays Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and Michael Bennett.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:2014 DVOA rank: 30th

Key additions: Jameis Winston (rookie, QB), Henry Melton (DT)

Key subtractions: Adrian Clayborn (DE), Josh McCown (QB), Michael Johnson (DE), Dashon Goldson (DB)

One thing to know: The Bucs defensive unit was quietly not terrible last year. If Winston can turn them into a merely bad offensive team rather than the worst offensive team in the league, things could be looking up.  How will rookie Jameis Winston handle the spotlight? Given his troubling off-field detours at Florida State, it may be a more relevant concern than his ability to run the Bucs offense, a huge challenge by itself.

Tennessee Titans:

2014 DVOA rank: 31st

Key additions: Marcus Mariota (rookie, QB), Brian Orakpo (DE), Hakeem Nicks (WR), Perrish Cox (DB)

Key subtractions: Jake Locker (QB), Kamerion Wimbley (LB)

One thing to know: Marcus Mariota was the last 2015 draftee to sign his rookie deal, but he’ll be there for training camp.  Is Marcus Mariota up to the NFL challenge? He’ll surely get more than a 16-game audition, but the Titans know they bypassed some intriguing opportunities to replenish the franchise had they dealt the right to draft Mariota.

Washington Redskins:

2014 DVOA rank: 28th

Key additions: Chris Culliver (CB), Terrance Knighton (DT)

Key subtractions: Brian Orakpo (LB), Ryan Clark (DB)

One thing to know: The reports on Robert Griffin III don’t sound great!  Is Robert Griffin III the guy? No way the fourth-year passer collects $16 million in 2016 if he’s subpar in 2015. With Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy in walk years, team could be back at square one under center in six months.

NFC Training Camp News

Training Camps are about to start and here are some news/notes/rumors from last week for each NFC team that I could find.

NFC EAST

NEW YORK GIANTS

QB: Eli Manning is playing much faster in his second season under offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system. He has also drastically cut back on interceptions – in practice.

RB: Shane Vereen is expected to be a major factor in the Giants’ offense this season.

WR: Odell Beckham Jr. is once again dealing with hamstring issues this offseason. However, Victor Cruz is on track to be ready for Week 1.

TE: Larry Donnell has spent his offseason working on his blocking and ball security, perhaps his two largest flaws.

DALLAS COWBOYS

QB: Tony Romo has yet to miss a single practice after rarely participating the past few seasons due to back injuries.

RB: Joseph Randle has emerged as the heavy favorite to lead the Cowboys’ backfield in touches.

WR: Dez Bryant is extremely disgruntled about his contract situation and claims he’s willing to sit out multiple regular season games if he does not get a long-term deal done.

TE: Gavin Escobar is expected to see an increased role this season.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

QB: Sam Bradford is still hobbled from ACL surgery, however, he expects to be ready for training camp.

RB: The Eagles would like to get Darren Sproles more involved this season and are finding new creative ways to do so.

WR: Miles Austin has been very impressive this offseason while Josh Huff has struggled with consistency.

TE: Zach Ertz worked on his game with Tony Gonzalez this offseason. Many believe he is ready to take a huge leap forward this season.

WASHINGTON

QB: Robert Griffin III is the undisputed starter in Washington and is having a much less tumultuous offseason than he had in 2014. Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins are still battling for the backup job.

RB: Rookie Matt Jones is expected to push Alfred Morris for touches this season, although Morris is still the clear-cut RB1.

WR: The team is making it a point to get Pierre Garcon more involved this season.

TE: Jordan Reed has already undergone a procedure on his knee this offseason and is currently sidelined. His backup Niles Paul has bulked up and looks much stronger in practice.

NFC NORTH

GREEN BAY PACKERS

QB: Scott Tolzien will be the Packers No. 2 quarterback this season.

RB: Eddie Lacy is expected to see his touches limited this season in order to keep him fresh.

WR: Jordy Nelson is on track with his recovery from an apparent hip surgery. Devante Adams has starred in his absence.

TE: Aaron Rodgers singled out Andrew Quarless as a player that has really shined this offseason.

DETROIT LIONS

QB: Matthew Stafford is expected to be unleashed in his second season in Joe Lombardi’s offense. He’s expected to air it out more and take more chances.

RB: Ameer Abdullah has been the RB1 this offseason while Joique Bell continues to rehab knee and Achilles’ surgeries.

WR: Calvin Johnson is feeling very healthy and believes he’s still a top wideout.

TE: Eric Ebron has continued to struggle this offseason, despite being expected to see a much larger role in the offense.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

QB: Teddy Bridgewater is attempting to add muscle this season to improve his deep ball and durability.

RB: Adrian Peterson is back with the team after an offseason filled with nonsense. Physically he’s shown no signs of rust – meaning another ACL tear is due.

WR: The team is optimistic that Cordarrelle Patterson will be able to turn things around this season and be a productive wideout. He still has a shot to win a starting job – a long one.

TE: Rookie MyCole Pruitt has become the TE2 in Minnesota. He will be the primary backup for the oft injured Kyle Rudolph.

CHICAGO BEARS

QB: New offensive coordinator Adam Gase has said that Jimmy Clausen is “perfect fit” for his offense.

RB: Matt Forte reported to voluntary workouts despite rumors of a potential lengthy holdout.

WR: Jay Cutler sees no reason Alshon Jeffery can’t be a legitimate WR1 with Brandon Marshall now with the Jets.

TE: Martellus Bennett recently ended his holdout. He is still not happy about his contract but was not willing to pay the price for missing mandatory camp.

NFC SOUTH

CAROLINA PANTHERS

QB: Cam Newton has signed a five-year $103.8 million contract. Despite the pricey investment, the team will not discourage Newton from running the ball.

RB: Jonathan Stewart’s carries will be directly correlated to his production. The team believes rookie Cameron Artis-Payne can handle the full workload should Stewart get injured – which he will.

WR: Kelvin Benjamin has struggled with hamstring injuries this offseason and came into camp a bit overweight. Both Devin Funchess and Stephen Hill have performed well in his absence.

TE: The Panthers have signed Ed Dickson to backup Greg Olsen.

ATLANTA FALCONS

QB: Matt Ryan is expected to throw the ball less this season.

RB: Devonta Freeman is clearly ahead in the battle for the starting running back job. He will also be the team’s top pass-catching back.

WR: Julio Jones will not holdout despite clearly deserving more money. He believes it would be selfish.

TE: Jacob Tamme has pulled away as the team’s top receiving tight end.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

QB: Jameis Winston has been hard at work in camp and has already begun to take on a leadership role.

RB: It is not likely Doug Martin will be back in 2016. However, he has been getting the first-team reps and dropped 15lbs.

WR: Mike Evans has lined up exclusively as the WR1 in camp, while Vincent Jackson has been moved around in different formations.

TE: The Bucs have brought back Tim Wright after claiming him off waivers from the Patriots.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

QB: Drew Brees is expected to run a slower-paced, more run-based offense this season.

RB: The team would like to make it a point to get C.J. Spiller the ball in space this season.

WR: Brandin Cooks is expected to emerge as the team’s most highly-targeted wideout.

TE: Josh Hill is expected to fill the bulk of the void left by the absence of Jimmy Graham. Ben Watson will also be in the mix, particularly in the red zone.

NFC WEST

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

QB: It does not appear Russell Wilson is going to get his contract extension. He plans to play on an insurance policy just in case he suffers a career ending injury.

RB: Robert Turbin is sidelined after hip surgery and Marshawn Lynch isn’t so big on practice or preseason. So, Christine Michael will get his chance to either shine or fall on his face as the RB1.

WR: Rookie Tyler Lockett has been by far the best of the Seahawks rookies this offseason.

TE: Since the Seahawks traded for Jimmy Graham, he has been working hard on improving his blocking.

ST LOUIS RAMS

QB: The Rams and Nick Foles are in discussions for a long-term deal.

RB: Todd Gurley is a candidate to start the season on the PUP list. However, his head coach Jeff Fisher hints that he may be healthier than people think.

WR: Brian Quick has a “realistic” shot to play Week 1. He is still recovering from shoulder surgery.

TE: Lance Kendricks took less money this offseason to stay in St. Louis.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

QB: Carson Palmer has been medically cleared to participate in 11-on-11 drills after ACL surgery.

RB: Rookie David Johnson has looked great as a pass-catcher. Nonetheless, Andre Ellington remains the top back in Arizona.

WR: John Brown is expected to have a breakout season.

TE: Troy Niklas injured his ankle and required surgery at minicamp. With John Carlson unexpectedly retiring, that leaves the Cardinals extremely weak at TE.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

QB: Colin Kaepernick has altered his delivery this offseason in order to help improve his shaky accuracy.

RB: Reggie Bush received the first-team reps in camp. However, that was partially because Carlos Hyde had just returned from a leg injury.

WR: Quinton Patton will get the opportunity to be a real contributor this season.

TE: Vernon Davis looks fast this off season and blames last season’s struggles on poor game planning.

*Your Team* is DiRTy

I’ve just been handed an urgent news story – great Odin’s Raven – every team cheats?  I know, I know – it puts you in a glass case of emotion with nothing to drink but milk on a hot day – poor choice.  So, your team has shown, that it’s plan, 60% of the time to win a Superbowl, works everytime – as long as it cheats.  Says so right here on the label and thanks to YourTeamCheats.com we have all the gate-y-ness exposed – it’s science.

Here is a sampling of the ongoing league-wide issues:

Tamper-gate (ongoing) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Tampering with free agents is rampant, it’s laughable and it is against the rules (PDF). It’s so bad across every team in the league that the NFL had to create a three-day legal tampering period. However, tampering still regularly occurs long before that annual three-day window opens. On March 9, 2015 the league once again felt compelled to warn all 32 teams about not tampering.

Why is tampering considered a problem? Because tampering with players still under contract makes it difficult for clubs to re-sign their own talent. It also puts those few teams that actually follow NFL guidelines at a distinct disadvantage. In many cases, contract agreements are in place days before any negotiations are allowed to begin.

This isn’t fair, it isn’t legal, and it is blatant cheating by the teams who engage in the practice.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No but…

PUNISHMENT: NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Roger Goodell is doing all he can to curtail and punish the “commonplace” practice, although it admits that there is so much tampering that it is hard to police it all.

The CheatPoints earned for this leaguewide cheat is for all of this team’s tampering incidents that have gone undiscovered or unproven. If specific instances are discovered, they are punished on top of this leaguewide penalty.

AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 4.0

Headset-gate (ongoing) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: it’s a common complaint around the NFL. In late, close games, the helmet communicators of visiting teams suddenly “malfunction” and stop working. It has been accepted as standard practice in the league. Are you on the road and the game is close? Then you are going to have problems with your headset.

In recent years, the Patriots have accused the Colts of doing it and the Jaguars have made the same charge of the Patriots. The Redskins accused the Buccaneers of disabling their headsets, and Tampa Bay accused Dallas. The Giants openly bragged about doing it way back in 1956. The charges go on and on and on.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 4.0

Spy-gate (until 2006) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Stealing your opponent’s signals has always been common and never been illegal.

Said former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, “We had people that always tried to steal signals. Stealing someone’s signals was a part of the game, and everyone attempted to do that.” Admitted former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson: “When I came into the NFL, back in 1989, I talked to a Kansas City scout and he said, ‘Here’s what we do, we videotape the opposing team’s signals and then we sync it up with the game film.’ So I did it.” Bragged, former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan: “Our guy keeps a pair of binoculars on their signal-callers every game, with any luck, we have their defensive signals figured out by halftime. Sometimes, by the end of the first quarter.”

NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Rodger Goodell confirmed this himself in 2008, saying that the issue was not stealing signals, that is allowed “and it is done quite widely.” The issue is where and how you record them. If you chose to videotape them, then (after 2006) you have to do that from a league approved location. If you hire lip readers, they can do it from your coaches lap, if you want.

After 2006, examples of allowed videotaping locations are: the luxury boxes, media booths and other enclosed spaces. Expressly prohibited locations are the sidelines, the field, locker rooms, the coaches booth or any other place accessible to team coaches and staff. The point of the rule is to not allow the footage to be useful in the current game.

Prior to the September 6, 2006 memo and, 2007 follow up, from NFL head of football operations Ray Anderson, there was no league restriction on filming location, which is the reason the memo was sent.

Many NFL head coaches have downplayed the significance of the practice, saying that attempting to decipher opponent’s signals was a long standing practice andentirely common throughout the league.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

PUNISHMENT: NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Rodger Goodell suggested that the responsibility was on teams to conceal their messages, not on the ones trying to steal them. During his news conference before the 2007 Super Bowl he said that any coach who did not expect signals to be stolen was “stupid.”

Prior to 2006, every NFL team is assumed to have done it, but none of them broke a rule. You can’t punish something that is not prohibited. Filming from the sidelines was not prohibited until 2006 and filming your opponent’s signals from approved locations has never been prohibited, even today.

AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 0.0

Scraps-gate (ongoing) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Sign an opponent’s recently-cut player to your practice squad to get intel on their plays, signals and tactics. This is not illegal and is a leaguewide practice.

Said one player, who chose to remain anonymous as he was still in the league as of 2015, “If teams have an opening at a certain position, they might not be looking for perhaps the best player to fill it on their practice squad. Instead, they might go for someone who has access to the opposing team’s playbook.”

“Let’s say we’re playing the Jaguars in seven days and you want to know more about their playbook. From time to time teams will sign people off of practice squads. You don’t have to put them on active roster so if there’s a need for more depth at linebacker and you’re playing Jacksonville, there would be more of a chance to sign a linebacker off the team you’re about to play’s practice squad and hoping that the person you’re about to sign will divulge information about the playbook.”

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

PUNISHMENT: Not illegal.

AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 0.0


So what have we learned, well we have learned a lot, (Cheaters win, and three of the biggest cheats are in the AFC – with the Broncos being the worst of them all) and if you want to see for yourself – click on your teams’ icon and go directly to YourTeamCheats.com to find out all the little dirty secrets in your teams closet.  Then write your congressman and tell him/her that the media needs to slander every team, not just the Patriots.

BUFMIANENYJBALCINCLEPITHOUINDJAXTENDENKCOAKSDDALNYGPHIWASCHIDETGBMIN

ATLCARNOTBARISFSEASTL

CHEATSCORES
NFC EAST NFC NORTH NFC SOUTH NFC WEST AFC EAST AFC NORTH AFC SOUTH AFC WEST
DAL – 20 CHI – 20 ATL – 28 ARI – 13 BUF – 16 BAL – 35 HOU – 16 DEN – 49
NYG – 35 DET – 28 CAR – 20 SEA – 25 MIA – 22 CIN – 16 IND – 37 KC – 16
PHI – 28 GB – 27 NO – 23 SF – 31 NE – 25 CLE – 13 JAX – 12 OAK – 27
WAS –37 MIN – 23 STL – 14 TB – 25 NYJ – 40 PIT – 46 TEN – 20 SD – 19

3rd Stone from the Sun

This revolution goes on and on…

Justice, is supposed to be blind.  It seems like it has been a awhile since we have seen the scales tip as they should.  Life’s virtuous dance is a comedy of errors, frequently performed with you walking home one night; and a young derelict asks you for a smoke – you don’t, so you apologize you don’t have anything to give him.  But as you continue to be on your way, you feel a sharp pain in your back and then another in your arm as you turn around to watch this vagrant repeatedly stab you.  As he runs away you plead for the woman across the street to call the police.

Shortly thereafter disposed in your hospital bed, you overhear they picked up your assailant jay-walking, with the knife, your blood on it, in his hoodie-pocket – the woman who helped call the police for you also identified him and he is arrested for stabbing you.

While you continue your physical therapy you see on TV that the knife isn’t admissible because it was found without probable cause, because they only stopped him for jaywalking – and the woman is discredited because she wears eyeglasses and wasn’t wearing them at the time because she needs them only for reading – furthermore, it’s revealed that there is a pornographic theater somewhere in her neighborhood, so clearly her character is in question…

The guy who stabbed you…his attorney will say that he was fondled by his 4th grade basketball coach and you were mocking him for not being able to afford his own cigarettes that he needs for his medical condition.  So now as you look forward to months of rehab and the real possibility that you will not be able to hold more than a box of Kleenex for more than 2min and going up the stairs will require grandma’s motorized chair-lift, because the one lung that functions properly gets you as far as the laz-y-boy to the TV – all charges end up being dismissed and you wonder where is your equity?  This allegory is not far fetched – we’ve watch it all unfold in a myriad of ways across this country in real time.  Like a cop who busts a motorist for having over 200lbs of drugs in his trunk, being inadmissible because the officer pulled him over for not having a front license plate, and the state does not require it…

It’s all so fortuitous, justice being defined only by “rule of evidence”, and several institutions are failing to get it right.  The NFL resembles a kangaroo court of it’s own – at times almost a facsimile of the actual ideology in real life.  Hizzoner has said that justice for the Browns and the Falcons will be swift and severe.  The Browns for texting staff and coaches during football games.  The Falcons for pumping in crowd noise.  Crowd noise that did not help a team that went 3-5 at home.  Stupidity is punishment enough and has never been an acceptable excuse – for the Browns they deserve the death sentence as an organization with no control.  As for what the severe penalty(s) will be…who knows…it could be draft picks, fines, suspensions, no more caviar in the owner’s box, and all beer must be served at room temperature, in red solo cups from Budweiser.  We know the NFL esteems the safety of QB’s more than women and children – the going rate for a player who abuses women is 2 games or time off with pay – if it is simply child abuse, just time off with pay…so what will the punishment really be from a league tribunal, who claims a balance sheet defense, being unable to afford endzone cameras – Belichick is still lobbing profanity laced tirades at the Oligarchy of old rich white men.

Justice?  One rule change to aid officials in getting the call right is turned down and another is made because everyone forgot the rules – turning something legal, illegal.  The “illegal type thing” is the  innovative play the Patriots used against the Ravens.  The NFL has decreed swiftly to punish creativity and innovation – while rewarding the soap-opera of fools.  All the creativity of Belichick did was line up multiple men along the line of scrimmage, but outside the tackle box.  Any youth football coach will tell you to ignore a player who lines up along the line of scrimmage between the split end and the tackle – that player is a decoy.  Simple right?

But instead Hizzoner ruled it was too much for a professional athlete to have to think about such complicated, unorthodox formations – as the forward pass was once thought of.  Someone like John Harbaugh should know better, being a son of a coach, whining, calling it an “illegal type of thing” – it isn’t, but who knows what that even means – the rule is clear as it relates to how many can lineup on the line of scrimmage, how many must, who is eligible and all told to the referee who announces it, so it is far from deceptive.  Innovation is a fundamental right, but then again, change is hard for troglodytes and….

Justice, seems to be best served cold – like revenge.  Served up when a governing body is tasked and created to keep institutional control from spinning out of instituional anarchy.  Existing to prevent rogue nation-states of education from creating an unfair advantage on the field of play – rogue’s like SMU, Kentucky and USC.  But who watches the watchers?  What do you do when internal affairs makes up the rules as they go – how does law and order get upheld and when does justice prevail?  For the NCAA it doesn’t.  It does what it wants.  It fabricates, oversteps and turns away whenever it feels like and decides that its ceremonious power is absolute.  You either become what you hate or fall victim to what it is you hate and the NCAA is now emerging from the muck as the bastard child, as rogue as any of the institutions they pretend to serve.  They regulate peanut butter instead of searching for real corruption.  They profit from every contest the “student-athlete” participates in, but when that same student barters free merchandise they received in a NCAA-sanctioned event for other services – they swing the hammer and tattoo justice.  Decades of child-abuse and assault is swept under and given a blind eye, when they chose to reinstate arbitrary wins – completely missing the point of what “lack of institutional control” actually means.  Miami gets nothing and USC’s Todd McNair gets a show cause penalty for no evidence of wrongdoing.  Typical misguided NCAA Frontier-Justice.

The NFL, the NCAA, all frauds, as is every other entity that believes they merit justice fairly and with principle while we watch their hypocritical maneuvers and insane decisions, only to wonder when does the scale tip back towards due process.   Watching the faith we had in Justice disappear is sad and confusing.  Justice is a backbone of democracy, essential to the Republic – you lie, cheat, steal etc, you pay the price – now its all shrouded in a fog of mistrust and disbelief – being manipulated by corporations and governments – leaving imitation justice merited out on the small and large screens, prostituted by Hollywood – the whole thing is out of order.


 

I’ll leave you with this…enjoy the Madness and your weekend.

Pay DiRT

Week 17 rankings are up! 

Type week 17 in the search bar to view

The Weather Post that combines FanDuel with Vegas (lines used are from 5Dimes as of today):

for entertainment purposes only, of course

Colts Indianapolis_6n_120 @ Tennessee_ntc120 Titans 12/28 01:00 PM CBS Rain 44f Rain 7m N

Indy -7.5 (46.5)

Indy suffered the worse loss last week in the NFL – NFL team with biggest margin of defeat covers the next week more than 87% of the time – so Indy will win the game, it will just come down to how long the starters play – because nothing Indy does changes them being the 4 seed.

FanDuel consideration: Luck, Hilton, Delanie Walker

Vegas consideration: Indy and the Over

Numbers say: Indy by 12


Chargers San_diego_6n_120 @ Kansas_city_ntc120 Chiefs 12/28 01:00 PM CBS Clear-day 34f Clear 5m SSW

KC pk (40)

Both teams need this game and help to get in the tournament.  You have to wonder how much more Phillip Rivers can play hurt.  The Charger O-line is not protecting well and it is in KC.  The Chiefs have still not had a wide receiver catch a touchdown pass all year – could it be an entire 16 game season? I do believe a WR makes it happen this week and that Albert Wilson get it.  KC (metrics-wise) is the better team but how do you trust Alex-small hands-Smith?

FanDuel consideration: Albert Wilson

Vegas consideration: tease KC (+8.5)

Numbers say: KC by 1


Jets New_york_j_white_n120 @ Miami_greenmask_ntc120 Dolphins 12/28 01:00 PM CBS Clear-day 78f Clear 8m ESE

Mia -7 (42)

FanDuel consideration: Miami D

Vegas consideration: tease Miami (+1.5)

Numbers say: Miami by 6


Bears Chicago_ntc120 @ Minnesota_ntc120 Vikings 12/28 01:00 PM FOX Partly-cloudy-day 23f Partly Cloudy 2m SSE

Min -7 (44)

FanDuel consideration: Forte, Vikes D

Vegas consideration: tease the UNDER (53)

Numbers say: MIN by 3.5


Bills Buffalo_red_ntc120 @ New_england_6n_120 Patriots 12/28 01:00 PM CBS Cloudy 47f Overcast 13m WSW

NE -5.5 (44)

FanDuel consideration: Brady, Gronk

Vegas consideration: Patriots and the Over

Numbers say:  NE by 3


Eagles Philadelphia_6n_120 @ New_york_g_6n__120 Giants 12/28 01:00 PM FOX Cloudy 45f Overcast 6m WSW

NYG -2.5 (53)

FanDuel consideration: OBJ, NYG D

Vegas consideration: tease Philly (+11)

Numbers say: Philly by 1.5


Saints New_orleans_6n_120 @ Tampa_bay_ntc120 Buccaneers 12/28 01:00 PM FOX Partly-cloudy-day 77f Partly Cloudy 6m SSE

NO -4 (46.5)

FanDuel consideration: Jimmy Graham, Mike Evans

Vegas consideration: tease NO (+4.5)

Numbers say: NO by 3.5


Cowboys Dallas_6n120 @ Redskins Redskins 12/28 01:00 PM FOX Rain 48f Drizzle 2m SW

Dal -5.5 (49)

Dallas does have a slim chance to get a bye, ( Cowboys win, Seahawks lose) so you would expect the starters to play significant minutes.  However, there should be no reason to play DeMarco as you need him healthier for the playoffs and Washington does have a solid run D.

FanDuel consideration: RGIII, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Alfred Morris

Vegas consideration: tease WAS (+14)

Numbers say: DAL by 6


Browns Cleveland_6n_120 @ Baltimore_ntc120 Ravens 12/28 01:00 PM CBS Cloudy 47f Overcast 3m W

Bal -14 (39)

FanDuel consideration: Flacco

Vegas consideration: tease the OVER (30)

Numbers say: BAL by 3


Jaguars Jacksonville_6n_120 @ Houston_6n_120 Texans 12/28 01:00 PM CBS Rain 46f Rain 13m NNW

Hou -10.5 (40.5)

FanDuel consideration: Hou D, Arian Foster

Vegas consideration: tease HOU (-2)

Numbers say: HOU by 8


Panthers Carolina_6n_120 @ Atlanta_ntc120a Falcons 12/28 04:25 PM FOX Dome DOME 4m S

Atl -3.5 (47.5)

This game is for the division and a home playoff game.  The Panthers D has come back to life, but what if Julio Jones is healthy, do the Panthers have an answer for him?  Look for the Panthers to show up more than the Saints did last week and keep this close.

FanDuel consideration: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, J.Stewart, G.Olsen

Vegas consideration: tease CAR (+12)

Numbers say: CAR by .5


Lions Detroit_6n_120 @ Greenbay_6n_120 Packers 12/28 04:25 PM FOX Partly-cloudy-day 25f Partly Cloudy 2m W

GB -9 (47)

Detroit has not won in GB since ’91.  The Packers at home are tough and the Lions will not have their rogue O-lineman, Raiola.  9pts seems really high against a playoff team that can score on that D, so it will come down to the Packer O v the Lion D.

FanDuel consideration: Jordy Nelson, Rodgers, G.Tate

Vegas consideration: tease DET (+17.5)

Numbers say: GB by 3


Raiders Oakland_b_wstripe_n_120 @ Denver_6n_120 Broncos 12/28 04:25 PM CBS Clear-day 31f Clear 1m NW

Den -14.5 (47.5)

Denver still needs this game for a first round bye and this type of game is a perfect example of Peyton Manning being the king of the regular season.

FanDuel consideration: Peyton, D.Thomas, E.Sanders, CJ Anderson, M.Rivera

Vegas consideration: tease DEN (-6)

Numbers say: DEN by 12.5


Cardinals Arizona_whitetail_ntc120 @ San_francisco_6n_120 49ers 12/28 04:25 PM FOX Clear-day 54f Clear 5m NNW

SF -7 (36.5)

Classic example of the public thinking the Cardinals are as bad as Seattle made them look on Monday Night and SF having nothing to play for.  Not to mention how focused can the team play, knowing that Harbaugh is gone and he has to think about going to Michigan – maybe.

FanDuel consideration: AZ D, SF D

Vegas consideration: tease AZ (+15.5) and the OVER (27.5)

Numbers say: SF by 3


Rams St._louis_ntc120 @ Seattle_6n_120a Seahawks 12/28 04:25 PM FOX Clear-day 42f Clear 1m S

Sea -13.5 (41.5)

FanDuel consideration: Lynch

Vegas consideration: tease STL (+22) and the OVER (32.5)

Numbers say: SEA by 2.5


Bengals Cinncinnati_6n_120 @ Pittsburg_ntc120 Steelers 12/28 08:30 PM CBS Nrain 37f Light Rain 4m N

Pit -3.5 (48)

FanDuel consideration: BigBen, L.Bell, A.Brown, J.Hill, AJ Green

Vegas consideration: tease CIN (+12)

Numbers say: CIN by 3