The DiRT Canon Weekend Update – #Megatron Edition

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1.

Detroit Breakdown:

Word comes down that Calvin Johnson is done.  No more nagging injuries.  No more missed opportunities.  No more chance for the Lions to cut him.  Megatron gets to go out on his terms, with plenty of energon left in the tank.  What is it about Detroit that seems to see franchise icons walk away?

This feels different than Barry Sanders walking away.  It feels different because the game has changed.  Perceptions have changed.  No longer are today’s players willing to risk further destruction for a few extra moments.  It also feels different because we thought Barry was just sick of losing in Detroit and that he was gonna resurrect his career in a new uniform.  Calvin seems at peace and contentment with his decision.  The calendar just struck 30 for Calvin, and what better way to heal a tired warrrior’s body then spending the salad days on a beach, earning 20%.

EXTRA – EXTRA….

+ Megatron drops a mega-bomb

ESPN reported on Sunday that Calvin Johnson has planned since last summer to make 2015 his final season in the NFL. If Johnson sticks to that plan, his total of 1,214 receiving yards will be the highest in NFL history by a player in his final season in the league. Three other players gained at least 1000 receiving yards in their last season: Sterling Sharpe (1,119), Reggie Langhorne (1,038), and Jimmy Smith (1,023).

+ Johnson’s absence would be felt by Stafford

Calvin Johnson accounted for 31 percent of Matthew Stafford’s passing yards since the Lions drafted Stafford in 2009. During those seven seasons, only one other receiver was responsible for a greater percentage of a quarterback’s passing yards than Johnson was for Stafford (minimum: 5000 passing yards). A.J. Green has accounted for 32 percent of Andy Dalton’s total.

2.

MMQB with Peter King…

Before building the Broncos into a winner, John Elway cut his teeth in player personnel by watching his father. Plus, the Joy of Cam, Marvin Harrison vs. T.O. in Hall of Fame voting, Doug Williams recalls the greatest quarter in Super Bowl history and more from San Francisco as Super Bowl week kicks off

+ Read: John Elway, Broncos GM, learned from father Jack Elway | The MMQB with Peter King

+ Watch: Your Pro Bowl Highlight Is Richard Sherman Dropping An RKO On Clay Matthews

3.

SuperSnooze?

While we prepare for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, you may have wondered if the game is gonna be any good – we all remember some stinkers.  So when thinking about makes a good Superbowl, The Washington Post has given us the 10 Least watchable Superbowls of all time. They arrived at these conclusions by asking a few questions: Was there exciting drama? A legendary performance? A moment that we still can’t forget? Or were they just all hype and no substance?

So, here are the 10 least watchable Super Bowls.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments.

+ Read: Ranking the watchability of every Super Bowl ever played – The Washington Post

4.

Put That In Your Pipe…

The smile that flashed across John Scott’s face again and again throughout the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game was the perfect symbol of his adventure at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday.

It also looks like the NHL may have gotten this right. If you actually watched the NHL All Star game, you might have enjoyed it!  As well as, John Scott giving it to Jeremy Roenick. Roenick apologized to It was a good job by both Roenick for the apology and Scott for acknowledging it….with a dig, that made this a true Cinderella story.

+ Read: Scott named MVP of Pacific’s All-Star Game victory

5.

Suns of Anarchy?

You may have never felt like Jeff was that good anyway.  The year they broke out and won 48 games, everybody seemed to be having career years, running around without any perceived strategy. Every game was Dragic+Bledsoe driving to the basket – Frye shooting 3’s off the pick n roll – Green chuckin’ it as soon as he gets it – or the Morris brothers taking and making contested mid range shots. There never appeared to be any real ball movement.

The Phoenix Suns fired Jeff Hornacek on Sunday night, ending his tenure as head coach with a 14-35 start to the 2015-16 NBA season.  How many of those guys above are still with the team and how much of that sliding win% is Hornacek’s fault.  Screams more of #FirstWorldProblems from ownership having unrealistic expectations.  I cold be wrong.

+ Read: Jeff Hornacek Fired by Suns: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction 

6.

Rising Arizona?

The Arizona Diamondbacks have two of the best hitters in baseball, but not much else around them.

Apparently, general manager Dave Stewart feels the acquisition of shortstop Jean Segura from the Milwaukee Brewers in Saturday’s five-player trade will help remedy that shortcoming.

However, except for a stellar first half of 2013, Segura has been an average to below-average major league player. Over the past two years, he’s posted a .252/.285/.331 slash line in hitter-friendly Milwaukee.

+ Read: Jean Segura joins better offense in Arizona, but won’t really help it

9 Things To Know – #NFL Weekend Update

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1. Calvin and the Lions

Detroit survived a pair of missed extra points in an 18-16 victory at Green Bay, and a huge mistake from Calvin Johnson. The Lions’ streak of 20 consecutive regular-season losses at Lambeau Field, which began 20 years and one month earlier, was the longest in NFL history by any team at any stadium.

Of course, Green Bay’s dominance at home had extended well beyond its games against Detroit, particularly with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback against struggling teams. Rodgers had won 21 consecutive home games against opponents with a losing record at the time of kickoff, dating back to 2009.

Ironically, Matt Prater, who missed two extra-point conversions for the Lions on Sunday, finished the day as something of a hero, having kicked field goals of 49 and 51 yards in Detroit’s two-point victory. Prater was the first player in NFL history to miss two extra points but kick two field goals of 40 yards or longer in the same game. Only one other player kicked two FGs of 49 yards or longer in the same game at Lambeau Field: longtime Lions kicker Jason Hanson in 2010.

2. What’s Wrong With Aaron?

The Packers have lost three in a row. The good news is that the team built up some margin for error with a 6-0 start. But, that is mostly eroded now, and they need to start playing better immediately for this season to be a meaningful one. Though Green Bay had a chance to steal Sunday’s game against Detroit, a win may have masked some structural deficiencies. Right now, this is an average football team, or worse. Here’s hoping that the team is more aware that major adjustments are necessary than they are letting on publicly……(continue reading)

3. Sunday Was a Bad Day To Be a QB

The NFL’s Week 10 schedule featured some quarterback performances we’d all like to forget about.

Some of the worst showings from the league’s leading men were put forth by the usual suspects, while others were definite surprises.

This upcoming list would be even longer if not for some outstanding late-game efforts by a couple of superstars who pulled themselves and their teams up by the bootstraps after sub-par outings, saving the best for last.

The following quarterbacks would love to have a do-over after poor showings in Week 10……(continue reading)

4. OBJ and the Giants Can’t Close Out The Champs

You can debate all you want whether Odell Beckham Jr. technically “caught” a potential game-winning touchdown Sunday, but he knows there should never have even been any doubt.

The New York Giants wide receiver came close to snagging a go-ahead score with 2:02 remaining and the Giants trailing the New England Patriots 24-23. The superstar wideout had the ball in his grasp and came down in the endzone before Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler knocked the ball loose. The play was reviewed and it was ruled Beckham didn’t complete the catch……(continue reading)

5. All-Day and the Best of Sunday

Week 10 of the NFL season saw Peyton Manning break another passing record, the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers improve to 9-0 and the Detroit Lions win a game in the state of Wisconsin for the first time in almost a quarter century.

Sunday also saw Manning benched during the worst game of his career, the Lions nearly choke away said win and a couple of disastrous defensive performances.

Here is the rest of the best and worst from the NFL’s tenth week……(continue reading)

6. Edelman Broken Foot

Tom Brady looked a little downtrodden when he took the podium after the New England Patriots’ dramatic last-second win over the New York Giants on Sunday.

It seemed a little peculiar to see Brady at anything less than elated given the nature of the incredible comeback victory. But there was good reason for Brady’s lack of exuberance. One, of course, was just straight fatigue, both physical and emotional.

The other reason was Julian Edelman.

The Patriots lost Edelman in the first half……(continue reading)

7. It’s Never Been This Good For The Cardinals

During the “Sunday Night Football” broadcast of the Arizona Cardinals’ wild, breakthrough 39-32 road win over the Seattle Seahawks, television analyst Cris Collinsworth paused for a moment to reflect on what he was seeing. “When you’ve thought about the Arizona Cardinals over the years, you can describe it in one word: Futility.”

You’re telling me, pal.

In my 30-or-so years of being a fan of the Arizona Cardinals, there have been three periods of success. I don’t mean periods of sustained success; there has been no sustained success. I mean one-or-two-year stretches where it has been not been actively……(continue reading)

GettyImages-4972971228. Worst Penalty Ever

The 2015 Baltimore Ravens have shown an incredible knack for losing close games. To be sure, all nine of their games have been decided by one score, yet the team is now essentially finished with a 2-7 record.

How does this happen? The end of Baltimore’s 22-20 loss to the Jaguars Sunday is a good example. Baltimore had the game won when Jags quarterback Blake Bortles was sacked on the Jacksonville half of the field when time expired. The only problem: Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil was flagged for a facemask penalty to extend the game by one untimed down……(continue reading)

9. The Rest Of It All

+ Six Super Bowl-winning QBs go down, an NFL firstnull

For the first time in NFL history, six quarterbacks who had previously started and won a Super Bowl lost on the same day: Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning,Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson. The previous high on one day was four.

The most shocking performance among those six losing QBs was by Peyton Manning, who completed only five of 20 passes and was intercepted four times in the Broncos’ loss to the Chiefs. Manning was the first player in 29 years to throw as many as four interceptions and complete five or fewer passes in the same game. The last quarterback to do so was Warren Moon with the Houston Oilers in 1986 (5-for-23 with 4 INTs against the Browns).

+ Hurns extends his scoring streaknull

Allen Hurns opened the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown reception in the Jaguars’ 22-20 victory at Baltimore. Hurns has now caught a TD pass in each of his last seven games. It is not certain that Jacksonville (3-6) will finish the season with a losing record. But it’s worth noting that only four players in NFL history caught TD passes in seven straight games for a team that finished the season with more losses than wins: Buddy Dial for the 1960 Steelers (an 8-game streak), Carl Pickens for the 1995 Bengals (7), Santana Moss for the 2003 Jets (7), and T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the 2007 Bengals (8).

+ Cutler and Langford star in Bears’ big winnull

Jeremy Langford scored two touchdowns, including one on an 83-yard screen pass, in the Bears’ 37-13 win at St. Louis. It was the longest TD reception by a Bears rookie since 1991, when Anthony Morgan scored on an 84-yard pass from Jim Harbaugh.

Of course, we may have buried the lead, since Langford’s TD reception wasn’t evenJay Cutler’s longest touchdown pass in the game. Cutler threw a short pass thatZach Miller turned into an 87-yard score. In 89 previous games with the Bears, Cutler had thrown only one TD pass of 70 yards or longer (89 yards to Matt Forte in 2010).

What No One Tells You About Becoming a Fan

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Detroit Lions fan Ward Elliot of Livonia yells out

Photo: Diane Weiss, DFP

1. But, you’re a Lions Fan…

Do you suffer from too many emotions?  Is constant disappointment a side effect of you having too much HOPE?  Does your face hurt from smiling once in a while?  If you have been emotionally vacant since 2008 – then Become A Lions Fan.  Think of all you get to endure, all you will have to tolerate…

Last Night, you were one-yard away from not having to hear anymore about the 12th man.  One Yard away from not having to hear anymore about Russell Wilson – who’s no Colin Kaepernick.  Then, as per usual for you – defeat, snatched from the jaws of victory.  It’s enough to make you scream – “WHAT ARE THE LIONS DOING ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL?!”  So goes life as a Lions Fan.   1957 is not just the last title the team has – it is a garage code for you.  Typically all that’s left is the Thanksgiving Game, today hurts – maybe just watch some more highlights of Barry Sanders – Yeah, that’ll help, cuz he played for you!  Just try not to smile too much, after-all, you’re at the quarter-pole of 0-16.


2. Straight Ca$h Homie…

Another successful week for us and our members.  Case in point: Using our delicious info, a friend of the site won $20,000 and a free trip last week – that is prettay, prettaay, prettaaay good.  As the week goes on, DC*3PO gets smarter and smarter, he was 67% ATS – check it out – www.theDiRTCanon.com – sign up and let us Teach You How To #Win – here are the Perfect Lineups for week 4, at least for Detroit Fan, you had the best D:

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draftkings

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3. Mattingly, Shave those Side-Burns…

Sure it might be gimmicky, but it is meaningful baseball and tonight the gimmick begins.  The result is bigger than a Loyalty Quiz for Red Sox Fans for Playoff Tickets.  It is bigger than the Smugness of Being a Cardinals Fan.  It’s the chance to #win the World Series.  The newest gimmick, corrects the original gimmick of the Wild Card – all because the Giants also won 100 games, but the Braves won the division and it was viewed as a wrong that needed to be corrected.  Just as this one-game, play-in, corrects the original sin of the Wild Card team – meaning it should be more important and rewarding to win your division.  If you didn’t?  We’ll give you a title-shot, but you are now at a disadvantage, and just as importantly, it creates drama that seems to be missing far too often from the viewpoint of those, who do not love this game.

  • Pennants Pursued – Whether Beane’s view of his job is completely accurate or not, most analysts agree on his main point……(continue reading)

    “My sh*t doesn’t work in the playoffs,” Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane once said. “My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is f***ing luck.”


4. Addiction is a Cruel Bitch

AL Wild Card: ASTROS @ YANKEES – ESPN 8p EST

It seems weird to see the Yankees celebrate a Wild Card berth.  Sure, it is the postseason, but we view the Yankees as better than that.  Of course, it is a marvel that the Yankees were able to get to this point.  We thought back in Spring Training, that this season would be a whirlwind of circus proportions, dealing with A-Rod and an aging player-base, that also had suspect pitching.  Yet, here they are, and without CC Sabathia.

It’s a monumental under-taking for Sabathia to admit and admit himself to get help.  Today will not be the most difficult thing that CC will have to go thru – everyday will be the most difficult – and how crushing must it be to go thru this, with the feeling that you have let your team down, as much as you have let yourself and your family down.  Best of luck to you CC.

But, there is still a game to play and it looks as if we are watching two teams headed in different directions.  To me the best player on the field will be Carlos Correa, but the story will be Dallas Keuchel.  Dallas, a 20-game winner…pitching on short rest…for the first time…in the Bronx Zoo…For all the young Astros this will be an event like no other, and regardless of the outcome, will be a huge step in how they grow the next few years into possible champions.  The Astros may have ran out of gas at the end, but there is no doubt they belong and they might be playing October baseball more frequently in the future.

 

Bust a Move

Ever look at someone’s face when they found that sleeper that pays off?  It’s like the proud father watching his son hit the game-winning grand-slam – I’ve seen it a hundred times.  Everyone loves talking about sleepers and who they think are the bees’ knees.  But busts?  Busts are like a fungus – no one wants to talk about it – especially if you got that guy high in your draft or spent a lot of money to put him in your lineup.  It hurts.  Everybody hurts and everybody poops, so here is some guys you might want to target for breaking your heart in the 2015 campaign.

DeMarco Murray  RB, Philadelphia Eagles

2014 was the first year of his career that Murray was able to play in all 16 regular season games, and he did not disappoint. He put up 1,845 yards on the ground, went for another 416 yards receiving and touched pay dirt 13 times. The guy was an absolute beast, and even proved he’s tough enough to battle through injury when he played through a broken hand at the end of the season. That’s the best we’re ever going to see from Murray, though.  It’s all downhill from there, or is it?  DeMarco was running behind the best offensive line in the NFL last season, and despite the grit he displayed, he is still injury prone. Those 392 rushing attempts and 57 receptions from last season, have to catch up to him, that’s what history tells us. The Cowboys knew this, and made the right call to let him walk. Murray’s still going to be featured in Philly, but he’s not as talented or durable as LeSean McCoy. He’s not going to fall off the face of the fantasy earth, but there’s zero chance he gives us anything close to 2014.  I’d wager he plays in twelve games, and gets 1,100yds .

Arian Foster  RB, Houston Texans

Got hurt again and at best might miss the first few games, at worst the season.  Foster did have a nice season in just 13 games last year (1,573 combine yards/13 total TDs), much more productive than any other top RB was able to accomplish in 16 games, but he is always hurt. His 95.8 rushing YPG were the most since his absurd breakout season in 2010, but he’s still played in just 21 games over the last two seasons. With that said, Foster will turn 29-years old in August, and it appears the miles on his legs are starting to catchup quickly.  30 is the fine line for RBs, but something tells me the downward trend has already started for Foster.  Foster hasn’t given us a double digit rushing TD season since back in 2012, failing to do so in back-to-back seasons for the first time in his career (only 9 rushing TDs in the last two seasons combined).  Foster is more of a RB2 this season, even if plays. That’s much worse than his current price tag indicates. The defense is on the up in Houston, but Foster is the only thing they currently have going on offense right now. That may sound nice for fantasy purposes, but if Hoyer/Mallet can’t keep the offense on the field, there’s not a lot of value.

Calvin Johnson  WR, Detroit Lions

Megatron truly peaked in 2011 and 2012, (like the movie) when he put forward seasons of 1,681 yards/16 TDs, and then 1,964 yards/5 TDs (flukey). Nonetheless, he was dominant during that stretch. Since then, he’s been on the decline — at least for him. That all came to a head last season when Johnson was only able to accumulate 1,077 yards in 13 games.  Calvin’s 71 receptions in 2014 were the fewest since his down year in 2009 — not a good sign. Some of the problem is Matthew Stafford and his inconsistencies. Some is the Lion attempting to commit to running the ball more, and some of the blame goes to Johnson. The main difference between last season and the rest of his career, though, was the emergence of another legit WR — Golden Tate. Tate was a much better fantasy option than Johnson last season, and could be again this year.

Jimmy Graham  TE, Seattle Seahawks

Jimmy Graham got traded to the Seahawks! This obviously helps give the Seahawks more options in the red zone, but … it’s not good for Graham’s fantasy value. Russell Wilson really likes to spread the ball around, but he’s also never had a legitimate No. 1 option to throw to. It will be interesting to see how that works out, but I believe Wilson sticks to his old ways.  Don’t get me wrong, Graham could lead Seattle in all major receiving categories, but he won’t be dominant like he was with Drew Brees in New Orleans. Keep in mind that Graham averages just over 60 YPG for his career, and only 55.6 YPG last season. He’s very TD dependent on a team that never produces big time receiving numbers. The goal is still to pound the ball with Marshawn and get Wilson out of the pocket, and how does Jimmy produce if Jimmy is always blocking? Speaking of Beast Mode, he caught the most TD passes on the team last year with four. 900 yards and nine TDs for Graham sounds about right in 2015 … good, but not great.

Peyton Manning  QB, Denver Broncos

Ah, Peyton. I believe your time has finally come. The problem is, I don’t really have any great numbers to prove it, just that his cost will not justify his lowered stats. Manning’s three seasons in Denver have been his best in terms of TD production (aside from his then record breaking 49 TDs back in 2004). Manning’s going to have a good season, but he’ll be a bust in the sense that he won’t be even CLOSE to his season averages as a Bronco of 4,954 yards and 43.6 TDs.

Manning threw 15 INTs last season, not too alarming, but still his most since 2010. The eye test just tells you that he lost a step last season, at some point that has to count. If he loses another step, he’s still going to be a good QB, but he’s not going to be Peyton Manning. He lost his top red zone target to the Jags in Julius Thomas, and it will be his first season under head coach Gary Kubiak — something we still need to see how Manning adjusts to. Combine all those aspects with father time (he always wins) and Peyton might not be the lock most feel he is to remain an elite fantasy QB.  Besides, no QB has ever won a Superbowl older than 38, nor played in one.