#NFL Week 17 – United Stats of America – Elias Sports Bureau

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Age is no obstacle for NFL’s rushing champion

Adrian Peterson, who turned 30 years old in March, won the NFL rushing race when Doug Martin fell 16 yards short of Peterson’s total heading into the Vikings’ Sunday night game at Green Bay. Peterson is the third player in league history to lead the NFL or AFL in rushing yards in his 30s. The only other players to have done so were Marion Motley in 1950 (at age 30) and Curtis Martin in 2004 (31).

Ryan gains sweet revenge against the Jets

The Bills defeated the Jets, 22-17, and that result, combined with Pittsburgh’s victory at Cleveland, denied the Jets a spot in the postseason. Thus, Rex Ryan became the first head coach in NFL history to help keep a team that he had head-coached in the previous season out of the playoffs by beating that club, head to head, in the season’s final week.

Additionally, Ryan is the first NFL head coach in 85 years to sweep a two-game season series against a team of which he was the head coach in the previous season. The last to do so was Jack Depler, a player-coach with the Orange Tornadoes in 1929 who bolted to coach the Brooklyn Dodgers a year later. The Tornadoes moved from East Orange, New Jersey to Newark in 1930, enduring a 1-10-1 season that included a pair of shutout losses to Depler’s Dodgers: 32-0 at Ebbets Field and 14-0 on the infield of the Newark Velodrome.

nullMarshall makes a great first impression

Brandon Marshall finished the season with 1502 receiving yards, breaking Don Maynard’s team record that had stood since 1967. Notably, Marshall fell six receiving yards short of the NFL record for a player in his first season with a team-any team, that is-a mark that Marshall himself set with the Bears three seasons ago.

Marshall and Eric Decker scored touchdowns in the same game for the ninth time this season, tying an NFL record. The only other teammates to score TDs in the same game nine times in one season were Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith with the Cowboys in 1995.

Brown caps season with another spectacular game

Antonio Brown caught 13 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers’ 28-12 win at Cleveland. For most players, even some great ones, that would be a “career game.” Consider that Tony Gonzalez never gained even 150 receiving yards in one game; Cris Carter never had a 170-yard game; and neither Larry Fitzgerald nor Hines Ward ever had as many receiving yards in one regular-season game as Brown did on Sunday.

But that was Brown’s fourth-highest total this season, following games of 195 against the 49ers, 284 against the Raiders, and 189 against the Broncos. Brown is the first receiver in NFL history to reach the 180-yard mark in four games in the same season.

nullSung to the tune of you-know-what: “Peyton never subbed before”

Peyton Manning made the first relief appearance of his career and he made it count, engineering the Broncos’ rally in a 27-20 come-from-behind win over the Chargers to clinch the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Manning has started 265 regular-season games; this was the first in which he came off the bench. That’s a record of sorts. The last player to start even 200 games before his first game as a substitute was the Raiders’ Hall of Fame guard, Gene Upshaw. Upshaw started 207 games before his first appearance as a sub in 1981.

Carolina ends a great season with a noteworthy victory

The Panthers walloped the Buccaneers, 38-10, to finish their season with a 15-1 mark. It was the largest season-ending victory posted by any of the seven teams that won at least 15 games. The only other club among that group that won its season finale by at least 20 points was Chicago in 1985. The Bears finished their regular season with a 37-17 win at Detroit. Carolina’s head coach, Ron Rivera, was a linebacker on the 1985 Bears.

nullWatt captures sacks title with three in season finale

J.J. Watt sacked Blake Bortles three times in Houston’s 30-6 victory over Jacksonville, to pass Khalil Mack of the Raiders as the NFL leader for the 2015 season. Watt became only the second player to lead the NFL in sacks twice within his first five years in the league. He previously led the league as a second-year pro in 2012. The other player to do so was Reggie White in 1987 and 1988, his third and fourth seasons in the NFL.

It should be noted that Watt’s three sacks on Sunday were enough to catch and pass Mack, but not enough to lead his team in sacks in its win over the Jags. That distinction goes to Whitney Mercilus, with three-and-a-half sacks of Bortles. Over the last four seasons, only one other pair of teammates had at least three sacks each in the same game: Chris Long and Robert Quinn of the Rams in a loss to Seattle in 2013.

Seahawks end season with rout of powerful Cardinals

The Seahawks made a bold season-ending statement with a 36-6 victory at Arizona, crushing a Cardinals team that had a 13-2 record coming into the game. It was the fourth-largest margin of victory in NFL history against a team with a record at least 10 games above the .500 mark. The largest was a 41-0 victory by the Boston Patriots at San Diego on the final week of the 1961 AFL season. The Chargers had a 12-1 mark prior to that game. One week later, San Diego lost the AFL Championship Game to the Houston Oilers, 10-3.­­

nullCousins’ fast start dooms Cowboys

Kirk Cousins threw three touchdown passes to give the Redskins a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and Washington rolled to a 34-23 win at Dallas. Only one other player has thrown three first-quarter touchdown passes in a game against the Cowboys: Randall Cunningham in a memorable 46-36 Vikings win at Texas Stadium on Thanksgiving Day 1998. Cunningham’s early TD passes all covered more than 50 yards. He connected with Randy Moss for first-quarter TDs of 51 and 56 yards and with Cris Carter for a 54-yard touchdown. For good measure, Cunningham found Moss on a 56-yard scoring pass in the third quarter.

nullEagles’ Thurmond asks the Giants, “Hey, remember me?”

Walter Thurmond recovered a fumble by Eli Manning in the third quarter and returned it 83 yards for a go-ahead touchdown in the Eagles’ 35-30 win over the Giants. Thurmond, who played two games for New York in 2014, became the first ex-Giants player to score a second-half game-winning TD against the team since Bobby Hammond did it for the Redskins in 1980, scoring on a 7-yard pass from Joe Theismann in the final minute of a 23-21 victory.

It was yet another blown opportunity for the Giants, who lost nine of the last 18 games in which they led in the second half. New York has lost six of the last nine games against the Eagles in which it led at some point after halftime, dating back to 2009.

Chiefs turn season around, finish with 11-5 mark

Kansas City extended its winning streak to 10 games, capping its season with a 23-17 win over the Raiders. The Chiefs, who lost five straight games after winning their season opener, finished with an 11-5 mark, the best in NFL history by a team that suffered five consecutive losses during the season. The previous record was the Jets’ 10-6 mark in 1986, when they lost their last five games after a 10-1 start.­

nullBengals’ Hill snaps drought with long TD run

Jeremy Hill flashed rarely-seen breakaway ability, running 38 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter of the Bengals’ 24-16 win over the Ravens. That was Hill’s longest run from scrimmage by far this season, snapping a streak of 232 carries for less than 20 yards.

Pats lose second straight intradivision game

The Dolphins finished the season with a 6-10 mark, defeating the Patriots, 20-10, to snap New England’s streak of 20 consecutive wins against teams with a record at least five games below .500. Combined with a 26-20 loss to the Jets last week, it marked the first time that New England lost consecutive games, both to divisional rivals with Tom Brady at quarterback. It’s also the first time that a team head-coached by Bill Belichick lost its last two games of a season since 1991 and 1992, Belichick’s first two seasons as an NFL head coach (both with Cleveland).

Bears end historic season with home loss to Lions

With a 24-20 loss to Detroit, the Bears finished the 2015 season with a 1-7 record at Soldier Field. That is the team’s worst home record, whether based on winning percentage or games below .500, in any of its 96 seasons in the NFL. By either of those standards, the Bears suffered their previous worst home records at Wrigley Field in 1969 and at Soldier Field in 1973 (1-6 in both seasons).

New Colts QBs lead team to win over Titans

With Andrew Luck, Matt Hasselbeck, and Charlie Whitehurst all injured, Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley each threw a touchdown pass in the Colts’ 30-24 win over the Titans. Over the last 25 seasons, only one other pair of teammates both threw a TD pass in the same game in which each was making his team debut. Andy Dalton and Bruce Gradkowski did it in the Bengals’ 2011 season opener.

Source: Elias Says: Sports Statistics – Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

10 takeaways from #NFL Week 15

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How is that for some drama-filled NFL action?

The New York Giants mounted an amazing comeback attempt against the Carolina Panthers with a backdrop of tempers flaring on both sides.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals clinched the NFC West title after obliterating the Philadelphia Eagles on the road Sunday night.

In the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers may have changed the playoff race on a dime with a 17-point comeback win against the Denver Broncos.

Staying in that conference for a second, a Buffalo Bills loss to the Washington Redskins guaranteed that Rex Ryan’s squad will miss the playoffs for a 17th consecutive season. It also gave Washington a clear path to the NFC East title.

These are among the top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 15 NFL action.

A frustrated Odell Beckham Jr. should face a suspension

It’s understandable that this talented young New York Giants receiver would be frustrated going up against one of the top corners in the NFL in Josh Norman of the Carolina Panthers.

It’s not understandable to react in a manner that shows him in a classless way.

What we do know now is that the NFL believes Beckham Jr. should have been ejected from the game. It remains to be seen what the league office will do during the week, but all options should be considered to be on the table here.

On a micro level, this could end up being really bad news for a Giants squad that needs a ton of help in order to win the NFC East. If it is forced to take on the Minnesota Vikings without its top receiver, that could be the end of the line for New York’s playoff aspirations.

More than this, the spats between Beckham Jr. and Norman, which resulted in five personal foul penalties, was a black eye for a league that has had too many of them in recent months/years.

For that, Beckham Jr. — as the unofficial face of young players around the NFL — should be ashamed.

Time to take the Kansas City Chiefs seriously

Following a blowout 34-14 win over the hapless Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City has now won eight consecutive games. And at 9-5 on the year, the Chiefs find themselves in control of their own destiny as it relates to the fifth seed in the AFC.

This is big for numerous reasons. First off, if the Chiefs are able to maintain this seeding, they would take on the winner of the AFC South in the wild card round of the playoffs.

Considering how bad that division has been, Kansas City might very well have an easy road to the divisional round of the playoffs.

The other thing to look at here is what could be a potential wild card game in the AFC that could see an Andy Dalton-less Cincinnati Bengals host the sixth seed. What’s so big about that is that Kansas City could find itself taking on the Denver Broncos in the divisional round.

Not to put the carriage before the horse, Kansas City still has two games remaining — each against a team that is currently under .500 on the season.

This scenario also includes the possibility that Kansas City could win the AFC West outright should the Denver Broncos do them some favors in the final two weeks of the season.

If the Chiefs are able to take care of business in those two outings, they will head into the playoffs with a 10-game winning streak.

Based solely on what we saw Sunday against Baltimore, there’s a good chance this will happen.

Alex Smith had a workmanlike 21-of-25 day with 171 yards as the Chiefs avoided turning the ball over for the sixth time during this eight-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Kansas City forced two turnovers itself to bring its eight-game differential to plus 18.

Washington Redskins look to be NFC East favorites

Kirk Cousins compiled a perfect quarterback rating en route to a four-touchdown outing against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. It was the team’s sixth win in its past seven home games, a span of games that has seen Cousins throw 19 touchdowns compared to zero interceptions.

Now one game up on both Philadelphia and New York, the Redskins control their own destiny in the division. Though, the team is going to have to find success on the road in order to wrap this mediocre division up. With just one road win on the season, Washington closes out the season in Philadelphia and Dallas.

As it relates to Sunday’s performance, the rest of the team helped Cousins put up a statement against a Bills squad that needed a win in order to remain alive in the AFC playoff race. Alfred Morris and Matt Jones led a rushing attack that went for 123 yards on 27 attempts.

Meanwhile, the defense did just enough to fend off a second half Bills rally that saw the team put up 25 points en route to bringing a 21-point halftime deficit down to 11 at the end of three.

It wasn’t a tremendous performance from Washington’s defense in a 35-25 win, but that unit held on two huge possessions midway through the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars blow golden opportunities

Indianapolis lost at home to a Brandon Weeden-led Houston Texans team. It’s highly unlikely you need us to repeat that sentence, but here goes. Indianapolis lost at home to a Brandon Weeden-led Houston Texans team.

That pretty much sums up just how bad the Colts have played this season. It also came in a game that could have sent the team into sole possession of first place in what has been a horrible AFC South this season.

Instead, Indianapolis now finds itself one game back with two remaining. The Colts were also eliminated from wild card contention, meaning the division title is the team’s only path to the playoffs.

With the second season now looking like a long shot, the larger question here is whether Chuck Pagano will be back next year. Based on Sunday’s performance in particular, that also seems like a long shot.

You simply can’t lose at home against a team that was led by a third-string quarterback that found himself picked up off the street just earlier this month. Excuses surrounding Andrew Luck’s injury are one thing. Not coming to play in an important game is a completely different thing.

Taking on an Atlanta Falcons team that had lost six of its past seven heading into Sunday’s action, the Jacksonville Jaguars also blew a golden opportunity.

With a win at home, Gus Bradley’s squad would have found itself one game back in the AFC South with two games remaining.  Instead, it is on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention following a game it had every opportunity to win.

The biggest play in this one came in the second quarter with the clock winding down to halftime. With Jacksonville driving down to Atlanta’s one-yard line, Blake Bortles threw an ill-time interceptions into the hands of Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael, who proceeded to return the ball 84 yards down to the Jaguars 16.

This came with Atlanta up 14-3 and the Jaguars threatening to make it a one-score game. Instead, the Falcons opened up a 17-3 lead heading into the half and didn’t look back.

As good as Bortles has been this season, these types of mistakes have been too common. It’s also the difference between earning a playoff spot and finishing below .500.

Jacksonville surely does have a bright future, but it doesn’t appear to be there quite yet. That much was evident on Sunday.

Another season without playoff football in Western New York

By virtue of their loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills will miss the playoffs for the 17th consecutive year.

It’s a harsh reality for a team that headed into the season with high expectations and a confident mentality under first-year head coach Rex Ryan.

And in reality, there isn’t a whole lot pointing to the Bills finding a way to rebound from this near two-decade long span of mediocrity.

To be sure, there is a ton of talent on this team. Tyrod Taylor has proven himself to be a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL — something Ryan himself hasn’t had since Mark Sanchez’s first couple seasons in New York.

There is also a ton of talent at wide receiver, especially second-year player Sammy Watkins. Heck, LeSean McCoy has proven himself worthy of a potential Pro Bowl spot at running back this year.

On defense, the Bills boast a really good young secondary and a front four that should continue to perform at a relatively high level.

Still, there seems to be something missing here. The past several weeks were defined by close losses and an uncharacteristically bad defense. Prior to that, the Bills’ struggles were mainly summed up by injuries and a lethal amount of penalties.

The talent is surely here for Buffalo to contend for a playoff spot. But something larger needs to change moving forward. This is something Ryan and Co. will have to figure out prior to taking the field next September.

Ship righted in Minnesota

It took Adrian Peterson leaving the game for a bit due to an ankle injury for Teddy Bridgewater to finally break out of his year-long slump Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

He completed 17-of-20 passes for 231 yards with a career-high four touchdowns in a dominating 38-17 home win.

It was the first time all season that Minnesota’s offense ran through its quarterback rather than the future Hall of Fame running back.

It also tells us a story of an offense that could be looking at more balance heading into the final two weeks of the season — something that will be a necessity when all is said and done. It’s rather simple for the Vikings to get into the playoffs. If they are able to win one of the final two games, they are in.

More than this, Minnesota isn’t completely out of the NFC North race. It takes on the Giants next week before squaring off with the Green Bay Packers to close out the regular season. If the pieces all into place here, Minnesota could very well earn the division title.

Antonio Brown is a freak of nature

Following a 16-catch performance against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Brown has now caught 245 passes in his past 30 games. Yes folks, that’s an average of over eight catches per game. He’s also caught 70 percent of the whopping 165 passes thrown in his direction this season.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Brown is playing at a level we have rarely seen as it relates to NFL receivers. On Sunday against a top-ranked Broncos defense, that was magnified to a T.

And in reality, Pittsburgh needed every one of those catches — including a game-clinching first-down reception late in the fourth quarter — to complete what was an amazing 17-point comeback to put his team in a position to control its destiny in the AFC playoff race.

Brown isn’t going to break the single-season reception record unless he finds a way to nab 24 receptions over the final two games. This doesn’t discount the fact that he’s been a historical figure for Pittsburgh over the past two seasons.

It just remains to be seen whether that will be enough to get his team in the playoffs in what has proven to be a remarkably good AFC this season.

Cam Newton: NFL’s MVP

The Carolina Panthers survived an incredible comeback attempt by the New York Giants to remain undefeated on the season. They are now just the fourth team in NFL history to start a year 14-0.

With two more wins, the Panthers will earn a bit of history by being only the second team to go through a 16-game regular season with a perfect record.

To be clear: Newton is the primary reason for what has been one of the most-surprising seasons for a team in the recent history of the league.

With five more touchdown passes on Sunday, Newton has reached that plateau in three of his past five starts and has now compiled 40 total touchdowns compared to just 10 interceptions on the season, including a 19-to-1 split over the past five games.

It’s not a coincidence that Carolina is averaging a league-best 32 points per game, including nearly 40 points over the past four games.

We can talk about Russell Wilson’s recent run of excellence. We can also include New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the conversation. Heck, both J.J. Watt and Josh Norman might deserve some consideration on the defensive side.

None of them have done more with less than Newton. After all, Ted Ginn is his No. 1 receiver on the outside and Michael Oher has been tasked with protecting his blindside.

Despite all this, Newton has his Panthers two games from perfection in a season that seemed to have mediocrity written all over it. That’s the true representation of most valuable.

Carolina needs to watch out for those western teams

Arizona and Seattle have both clinched playoff spots. They are coming off a week of action which saw them outscore their opponents by a combined 40 points.

Arizona has now won eight consecutive games by an average of 11 points per outing. Meanwhile, Seattle has won five consecutive by an average of 20 points since losing to the Cardinals back in Week 10.

Outside of Carolina and Kansas City, these are the two hottest teams in the NFL. They also boast some of the best all-around talent in the league.

While the Panthers will likely avoid having to play Arizona until the NFC Championship game if both teams were to advance that far, they might have to host Seattle in the divisional round of the playoffs. That would be a less-than-ideal scenario for the unbeaten Panthers.

Not that any of this really matters. Cam Newton and Co. know full well that the road to Santa Clara and Super Bowl 50 will run through Carolina.

It’s now all about continuing to take care of business on the field and not worrying about those squads breathing down their backs. If that happens, the Panthers will be just fine when all is said and done.

Playoff picture taking shape

Six spots, two in the AFC and four in the NFC, have been wrapped up heading into Week 15. Outside of one final wild card spot and the NFC East, playoff positioning is the only drama remaining in the NFC.

Meanwhile, it’s possible we could be looking at tiebreakers making the decision as it relates to the two wild card spots in the AFC.

Here’s what we do know right now.

The Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots have all clinched division titles. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals have locked up playoff spots.

In the ultra-competitive AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers hold the tiebreaker over the New York Jets for the sixth and final playoff spot.

Winners of eight in a row, Kansas City has a clear hold on the fifth spot. It can also earn the AFC West title with wins in the team’s final two games and help from the Denver Broncos, who have not clinched a playoff spot themselves quite yet.

There is actually a scenario in play here that could exclude the Broncos from the postseason. This would require the Jets winning out with Pittsburgh finishing in a virtual tie with a Denver team that loses one of its final two games. If that were to happen New York would make it in over the Broncos.

Head spinning yet?

Just wait until Week 16 action. Washington travels to Philadelphia for a chance to wrap up the division against an Eagles team that actually still controls its destiny in the NFC East following its blowout loss to Arizona on Sunday.

The Jets host New England in a game it must win in order to remain viable in the AFC playoff race.

Meanwhile, Green Bay travels to the desert to take on a Cardinals team that’s looking to wrap up a first-round bye. A win here by the Packers and they could in fact remain alive for said first-round bye.

Then on Monday night, Cincinnati heads to Denver to take on the Broncos in a game that could decide the No. 2 seed in the AFC — a game that could also help Kansas City earn what would be one of the most shocking division titles in recent NFL history.

Stay tuned. It’s going to be an absolute blast.

Source: Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 15 action

Weekend Update: #SadFansAreSad

#1 with a Bullet…

 

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


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


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


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

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

Other thoughts I cannot put anywhere else:

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

It’s all about the Benjamin

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

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

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


Are the Cardinals early Favorites?

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

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

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


New Rams, same as the old Rams

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

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

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

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


New England is putting the league on notice

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

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

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


The Eagles are mess

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

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

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

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


6 straight home losses?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Coached Up

We’re very excited for the upcoming football season, and we’re even more excited to announce 2 major, never-before-seen fantasy football contests for Week 1 of the NFL season, brought to us by Draftkings! 

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Trying to figure out or rank the NFL’s coaches is a difficult task because so many X-factors exist in the determination of success and failure. Sometimes an average coach is in the right environment and he thrives and sometimes a good coach is in a toxic environment that even the best couldn’t dig their way out of. One thing is for sure, though, the better your head coach the higher the chance you’ll have at winning. Below is a smattering in no particular order:

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

Belichick is on a legen…(wait for it)…dary path and while discussing 32 coaches is difficult, agreeing on who is #1 is not. Belichick has been AP Coach of the Year three times, won four Super Bowls, and been to the playoffs 12 out of 15 seasons.

Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

Reid’s run in Philadelphia was a very good one but more impressive perhaps is how quickly he turned the Chiefs into a playoff team. Anytime you can do that in multiple environments, you’ve shown your abilities. Injuries bit the Chiefs last year, as well as the allergic reaction his WR’s had to the endzone, lead an expectation that Reid will lead his team to a rebound year.

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints

Last year’s meltdown was hard and it would be quick to condemn both Payton and the Saints based on one bad season. The Saints rebounded from their post Bountygate season to make the playoffs and in 2009 they rebounded from 7-9 to win a Super Bowl. Payton is likely the best offensive mind in the game. His offense has been in the top five every year except for one since he coached the Saints and they were #1 in the NFL last season. He’s been AP coach of the year and led his team to the playoffs five times in eight seasons.

John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

Any coach that survives the retirement of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed to maintains this level of success, deserves credit. He’s been to the playoffs 6 times since 2008 and he has won a Super Bowl.

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers looked like they might be falling apart, before we saw a big resurgence from Ben Roethlisberger last year in part thanks to the explosion of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Make no mistake, Tomlin plays a huge part in keeping this team competitive despite the big drop off defensive talent and the hole now left by Lebeau . He’s been to the playoffs 5 times with a Super Bowl title since 2007.

Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks

His player friendly style has worked wonders both at USC and in Seattle. While anyone could win with the talent he’s assembled he deserves a lot of credit for cultivating and maximizing those players. His run the last two years with two Super Bowl trips and one title has been dominant.  Maybe next time he’ll run the ball.

Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts

He brings a certain level of toughness, and the Colts seem to be on the verge of really big things.  But it seems we have seen this movie before with the previous QB era.  Jury is still out until we see more besides just Andrew Luck.

Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams

Fisher is a fantastic coach that knows how to assemble a roster and get the most out of his players. His Achilles heel in St. Louis remains his inability to get consistent healthy quarterback play. Maybe Nick Foles can bring consistency and change that; and if he can the Rams are a team to take very seriously.

John Fox, Chicago Bears

Fox has had successful stops in Carolina and Denver. The Bears are elated to have someone of his quality and he should be able to turn things around quickly, but the ceiling is always low.

Tom Coughlin, New York Giants

His improbable two Super Bowl title runs have kept him in New York much longer than anyone expected. He knows how to get his squad up for the most important games, that’s for sure.  Remember, his Jaguars still have more playoff victories than the Cowboys in the last 20yrs.

Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals were a Super Bowl contender before the injury of Carson Palmer. Arians has done a fantastic job there after being a very successful assistant coach for a long time. He deserves that job based on how he filled in for Pagano in Indianapolis.

Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers

One could argue McCarthy has underachieved a little bit considering his quarterback is Aaron Rodgers. He’s still an excellent offensive mind, though, and there’s no question his 94-49-1 record speaks for itself.

Jim Caldwell, Detroit Lions

He’s a disciplinarian that runs a tight ship and has Super Bowl experience with the Colts. His first season in Detroit was promising.

Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals

He catches some heat and he’s been fortunate to hang on to his job as long as he has but he is a premiere defensive coach. Unfortunately he’s never had enough talent, under center, to really take this team to the next level, but he’s still an above average coach.

Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers

The Panthers defense has been dominant the last couple of years and Rivera has greatly benefited from a weak division. He’s been a gutsy coach that seems to have a great feel for the game.

Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans

His turnarounds of both the Texans and Penn State are nothing short of remarkable. But can he compete at the top?

Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers

The Charges have been ok under McCoy, but he’s been a bit of a disappointment and hasn’t really shown that he’s an upgrade over Norv Turner.

Rex Ryan, Buffalo Bills

Ryan is a good coach who had success in New York for a while despite poor quaterback play, but can he turn around a team in Buffalo with the same exact problems?

Jack Del Rio, Oakland Raiders

Will he be able to succeed where it seems like everyone else fails? He’s got a good history as a defensive guy, but for this team to win Derek Carr will need to develop and Del Rio will need to stay out of the way.

Gary Kubiak, Denver Broncos

This is a good fit for a prolific offense. His stint in Houston was mediocre at best but he’ll be working with more talent.  It is now or never to show what he is capable of.

Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles

The jury is still out on Kelly but he certainly seems to have blown up his roster. And as explosive and exciting as his style has been at times, the team still hasn’t won a playoff game in two seasons with him. A lot of talk without results. It’s hard to see the Eagles being better this year unless Sam Bradford can stay healthy and productive.

Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons

Quinn seems as solid as it comes in terms of coaching defense. The Falcons will need it as they were 32nd overall last season. We’ll see how he does as a head coach, though, there are a lot of unknowns.  Lucky for him he has Matt Ryan and Julio Jones to help him figure it out.

Mike Pettine, Cleveland Browns

A solid effort to get the Browns to 7-9 last year but with Hoyer gone it could be worse this year.

Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

Garrett has underachieved and like Romo he cannot get it done in the postseason.

Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings

He did an admirable job last season considering the Adrian Peterson situation. It remains to be seen if he’s the right man for that job, though.  Having Norv Turner is going to help.

Todd Bowles, New York Jets

He’s had a couple good years with elite talent as a defensive coordinator in Arizona. A lot of unknowns exist on how he’ll do as a head coach in a new environment.  Alot hinges on the growth of Geno Smith.

Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

His credibility took a big shot as the Bucs regressed last year. The future of his head coaching career now rests on the arm and head of Jameis Winston. I’d be nervous.

Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins

He’s 23-25 since 2012 with no trips to the playoffs. He’s a mediocre coach for an average football team.

Ken Whisenhunt, Tennessee Titans

Last season was a disaster in Tennessee. He’ll be looking for a new job soon if results don’t improve.

Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins

Not only was Gruden’s team a disaster on the field last season, there were issues off the field surrounding the management of RGIII. I’m not sure any coach could succeed in this environment, many have tried.

Jim Tomsula, San Francisco 49ers

Really have to question his qualifications here and based on the offseason he’s really set up to fail.

Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars

7-25 since 2013 speaks for itself, unfortunately, but there is talent and they play harder than most teams.

Bucket O’DiRT

You gotta feel for Shady McCoy being done DiRTy like that, being sent to football’s wasteland to play for Rex Ryan.  Overnight the Eagles traded Lesean McCoy and although we talked about that happening, we believed Chip was going to take a different player from Oregon – instead of moving up to take Mariota, he got Kiko Alonso.

So Buffalo gets a Pro Bowl RB in his 7th season – to a team that has no real QB – expected to be a work-horse in a system that he may not be designed to handle.  Shady is not a rex-ryan-run-heavy type of running back, and this now signals the end for CJ Spiller, and although he has to look for a job – Im sure he revels in getting out.

Philly improves their defense with a known commodity that is coming off of knee surgery – and now turns their RB duties to Chris Polk.  It seems Chip is tipping his hand by his preference for Pac-12 guys – especially guys he coached at Oregon.

Shady is a fan favorite in a town that is brutal on its home teams.  So Chip better have a plan, because his street-cred is gonna run out real fast in the city of (not-so) brotherly love.


#CastBeadleInSharknado

Back in 2013, the recent-twitter-cult-classic Sharknado debuted and was watched by more than 1.4m people – only to be watched again by 1.9m people during the replay – creating a cultural virus.  The Twitter-verse exploded again with Sharknado 2 and now brace yourself for the 3rd installment – a pontoon of D-lister celebrities.

The story this time is just as insipid as the last ones – starring Mark Cuban as the POTUS and right-wing-ball-bag Ann Coulter as his Veep – (I have $100 on her being eaten by #LeftShark) – the Sharknado blows thru DC, making its way down the Eastern Seaboard to the genitals of the country – Florida – #MuricasDick.

Ian Ziering is back as “Fin” Shepherd, as is Tara Reid as April Wexler.  This much anticipated installment will also feature Jerry Springer and former babe, Bo Derek.  The 2nd movie took only 18 days to make, so regardless of the production strike that recently occurred – they still have plenty of time to get it done for the summer.  So grab some friends, some beers and get your twitter account ready for the greatest B-movie franchise of all time – this is spectacular cheez.


change the name – change the name

Speaking of Sharknadoes…FINALLY, the Brian Shaw era is over after a Mike Shanahan-esque coaching job – taking a team from 57 wins, to chanting in the huddle “#6weeks“!  Do we get enough information on the guy and his ability to coach?  Was it a rocky relationship with Ty Lawson and his confrontations in the locker room?  Was it the lack of basketball concepts and offensive imagination that saw blow out after blow out at home and no improvement offensively from Faried after a big contract?  Maybe, but lets not lay this pig all on Shaw.

This solely lies on ownership for first firing the “coach of the year”, George Karl – to then hire a first-timer who had all the buzz.  Second, for remaking the team in your own mis-managed-image-of-disfunction.  Kinda like burning my house down and then getting mad at my reaction – you can’t take the effect and make it the cause.  #WhiteStripes.

It all is symbol-istic nonsense – the season is still lost – the players do not care, and no Captain-seat-filler is gonna take tropical destinations off the minds of the players.  The No-Guts are still an abomination to watch and we should all congratulate ownership for retreating back into the NBA Dark-Ages again in Colorado basketball.


Further adventures in atmospheric danger….

An Australian man posting under the name Nomadic Adrenaline has uploaded this incredible video of the moment he suffered a seizure during a sky dive.

“Possibly the scariest moment of my life,” wrote the poster.

The man, called Christopher, said his near-death experience happened during a jump last year, when he was doing stage five of his Accelerated Free Fall programme.

“At around 9000ft I have a seizure while attempting a left hand turn.

“I then spend the next 30 seconds in free fall unconscious.”

Noticing something was wrong, Christopher’s jumpmaster soon came to the rescue. The video, which appears to be filmed from the jumpmaster’s headcam, shows him approaching the unconscious man and reaching for his ripcord.

“Thankfully my jumpmaster manages to pull my ripcord at around 4000ft,” wrote Christopher. “I become conscious at 3000 ft and land safely back to the ground.”

Skydive

courtesy of The Telegraph


Fitty is laying down a lot of scratch on Mayweather when he fights Pacquiao May 2nd – saying further that Floyd is gonna smoke Manny, which is odd considering the tumultuous past shared between Curtis and Floyd.  Here’s hopin’ the $1.6m he’s throwin down isn’t needed for any retirement of part of some investment strategy because if throwing a baseball is any indication Curtis – you may not know sports – and should just stick to poppin’ bottles – #ThugLife.


When you are paying all those guys to go 0-10 against a pitching machine – it’s hard to pay one of your prospects – minor league catcher+1st baseman Jake Hernandez – more than a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  Hernandez, who signed with the Yankees as undrafted free-agent out of USC last summer – might wanna get a better agent than mom and next time go to a real baseball school.


Jordan Leopold's Daughter Asks Wild To Trade For Her Dad In Letter

I love how heart-felt this was and how smart the little girl is to call out the Wild and say they need Defensemen, a position her Dad just happens to play.  Considering the Wild and the Bluejackets made the trade – I’d say she is on her way up the ladder as Minnesota’s next GM.  It’s an awesome story – of course it could turn daddy’s little girl into a raging harpy who feels people should always do what she says – maybe it’s a sign of the apocalypse…

…in closing

The Rockies' Jordan Lyles will make a Cactus League start on Monday. (Jeff Gross, Getty Images)

Jordan Lyles

Jordan Lyles starts off today at 1:10p MST for the Cactus League Opener against the Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields.  Jhoulys Chacin is scheduled to pitch Thursday against the snakes, Kyle Kendrick on friday against the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium and Jorge Diva-Rosa on Saturday against the Cubs at Salt River.

 Hope springs enternal…


maninironmask‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ – the ‘Must-Haves‘, the ‘Sleepers‘ and those that might find themselves on the trainers table for your FanDuel NBA-delights each night.  We will post these DiRTy plays, everyday by 1p MST – so check back in the afternoon.  ‘Click’ the picture for the days’ DiRTy plays.

Quick and DiRTy (half) Dozen

Dropping Dimes

1.  In the Spirit of Mardi Gras: I offer this post for free, for missing yesterday

watch it live!

Mardi Gras is this Tuesday, so get all your sinnin’ in before you repent and bask in the triumph of the Holy Zombie 40 days later.  I am giving up listening to Pearl Jam for Lent, said no one ever.

Jesus’ Wife: “And where have YOU been for the past three days, Mr. Winemaker?”
Jesus Christ: “It’s okay, I’ll tell you…Not that’s important or anything, but I was DEAD!!! I’M IN A FUCKIN’ GRAVE OUTSIDE OF TOWN! I’M FIGHTIN’ DEATH, HELL, DECOMPOSURE! I’M CHANGIN’ SPIRITUAL FORM, ABOUT TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND I GO “WAIT A SECOND! I GOTTA GO BACK BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T KNOW WHERE I’VE BEEN!”

Sam Kinison

You know what would be funny and show the world what kind whimsical bad-asses we are?  Instead of bombs, on Tuesday, we drop a load of Hot Dogs. #FU-Q-ISIS.

YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!


2.

That’s the Chicago Way!

Start a nationwide investigation! Root out the corruption, butcher the peccary!  Adults are selling our children’s future.  It’s a sweatshop!  Why won’t anyone think of the children?! Is any team innocent in this shell game?

So let’s give a round of applause again for adults removing Big Gulps, removing the lucky charms from breakfast, and ruining childhood.  You know who you are.  You’re the parent that wails and shrieks at children playing a game.  Maybe berates the umpire when your little Johnny gets called out on strikes, never taking the bat off his shoulders.  You’re the parent who looks at your child as a meal ticket, raising them on television to believe that one day they’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but they won’t.

Ban every adult involved from any activity that children participate athletically – put them on the list.  The same list as the rest of the pedophiles and pimps.  Ironic that a team from Nevada accuses Chicago of gerrymandering, considering their long history together.  But does it really change what those kids accomplished?  Is four blocks outside of the radius cause for alarm? We have visual evidence of who won the US title.  They all have the memories that came with winning.  What if they won the LL World Series?  Would we really give the trophy to another country? My issue is how do we decide that Vegas now gets the trophy if JRW vacated wins?  Maybe Mone Davis’ team wins.  No one should have a claim, like no one won the National Championship in 2005.  Just give the Vegas-LL team an Associated Press Paperweight Trophy – that seemed to work just fine for USC.  The BCS Trophy for that year still rests in Baton Rouge – it’s a Win-Win!


3.

Told Ya…

Back in December we called out the Kings for Nepotism and since, they acted like they were just waiting for the Viagra to kick-in, to man-up and actually hire George Karl.

Ty Corbin is fired with a 20-27 record since holding George’s seat warm and has lost 12 of 14.  Still waiting on that plan they were talking about – did you get the email?

I’ll keep going on this – I’ll wager that the Kings move to Seattle (#GKHomecoming) – Sacramento is no Palm Springs – and further wager that Seattle wins their 2nd title before OKC wins their first.  Y’all just remember where you read it first, while watching the highlights on SportsCenter.


4. 

Played 9 holes of Golf yesterday, or as Tiger would call it – 3 women…

The last two weeks have been very disappointing to me, especially Torrey, because I never want to withdraw. Unfortunately, lately injuries have made that happen too often.

This latest injury is not related to my previous surgery. I am having daily physical therapy and I am feeling better every day.

Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me. My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. Like I’ve said, I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I’m ready, I’ll be back. Next week I will practice at Medalist and at home getting ready for the rest of the year. I am committed to getting back to the pinnacle of my game. I’d like to play The Honda Classic—it’s a tournament in my hometown and it’s important to me—but I won’t be there unless my game is tournament-ready. That’s not fair to anyone. I do, however, expect to be playing again very soon.

I want to thank the fans in Phoenix and San Diego. They were amazing. I greatly appreciate everyone’s support.

Tiger Woods

Tiger has no confidence anymore and seems to be using injuries as a crutch.  He’s that guy we saw on the court – you know that guy that would miss a layup and limp back like his ankle was sprained – that is what Tiger is now – THAT GUY.  Maybe he’ll come back, but it is foolish for him to think that as he ages he’ll be anything we saw before.  He needs to come to grips with his mid-life crisis – or maybe he has to go back to starring in several instructional videos like: Triple Bogey in the Back 9, Backdoor-Putts or Booty-Shack – I do not know.  I am far from being the Golf Whisperer, but I have stayed in a Holiday Inn and believe that Sergio would give everything, to be any version of Tiger.


5.

Lebron James’ Fashion (S#*!) Show

I mean WTF?!  This cross-pollination of athletes/musicians/actors is getting to the point where we should all rise up and drown the bastards in the toilet.  The NBA has moved to not playing actual basketball for a while, and now we have proof of their 5-year-plan…Cripes! Enjoy All-Star Weekend Everyone!

Me At Basketball


6.

I’m not a racist jerk…

Oh Ritchie Incognito, no one cares in the NFL.  You can beat a woman, rape others, abuse children, kill a man and it all doesn’t matter in the NFL – as long as you can play – that’s all that matters.  Let those actions rise up and testify!

testify

Besides it was Rex Ryan who said at his press conference, “He wanted to build a bully!”  That made you the priority.

DiRT Nap

Jerry was a race car driver…

So Jeff sez he’s all done after this year and thats just one less dude we will know in the Great Game of Turning Left.  Can’t believe I did this…

Speaking of non-sports…

What the heck is going on in Golf?  Dustin has a Coke problem. Tiger’s missing a tooth. Lee Westwood saves a guy and Allenby’s clandestine kidnapping.

Tiger says it’s from a camera man – where’s the footage?  The bruise? But it is not as fishy as Robert Allenby being found by a homeless person, after being kidnapped, beaten, robbed and dumped in a park.  More like, I got drunk, bought a hooker, ran out of cialis, hit my head on a rock after fishing with Rob Konrad, and the FBI is on the case.  Now of course he says the details are not important – of course they arent when you envoke the “Taken” movies, and then say it was just some locals jealous of your celebrity – in Hawaii – jealous, of a golfer – not even your friends, that were with you at the winebar, noticed you were gone – so let’s not overstate your fame here Felicia.

New Boss, same as the old boss…

Wilin Rosario

So Wilin Rosario is still on this team and NOW management claims that he has really improved his 1st base and outfield skills…Huh? Say that again?  We now have a 3rd-team catcher AND at 1st base?  So the guy who has trouble with balls in the dirt behind the plate is capable of playing a position that requires shagging balls out of the dirt, plus he’s 5’11” and has shown no inclination of jumping over a credit card.  But HEY, they also said outfielder!

Are we really gonna place a cement mixer out in the spacious outfield of Coors Field just because he hits lefties pretty well?  Any pitcher with a breaking pitch strikes him out and I once saw him lose to an old-lady with a walker, truckin to first on a slow-roller to third.

So what management is really telling us, is what they have always told us and that is; they over-value/over-price their talent and from there, they can not find anyone to trade with.  So they make up some BS story about how hard he works and then further lie about making offers to Free-Agent Pitchers, that never happened – #JamesShields – just to make it seem like they actually DO something.  It shows that the front-office cannot admit mistakes for their evaluation of talent – then they try to hide it by being creative, trying them out at other positions – instead of DOING something.  You have Morneau at 1st and Ben Paulsen as a more than competent back-up – in the outfield, who are you gonna take out that Rosario is better than, we are in the NL and do not have a DH, so he becomes useless.

Oh wait, maybe he could take Charlie Blackmon’s spot because they have listened to trade offers on him and we clearly have no prospects better than Rosario to replace him.  But Charlie’s price-tag is probably a #1 or #2 starting pitcher – maybe thats why the Cubs stopped calling because they got Dexter Fowler cheap – Just another example of over-pricing/over-valuing talent, nor what to do with it – They’ll over-inflate 2nd and 3rd tier talent but when it comes to CarGo and Tulo they’ll take 3rd and 4th tier talent and sell us the merits of Angelina Jolie when all we get is a coked out Lindsay Lohan.  The Who were right, except we keep getting fooled…

Speaking of mistakes…

Miss Universe is on NBC this Sunday…so you have plenty of time to review the card and place a bet – to help smooth you over until then – here is Miss Germany; she has a dog that looks like an alien (im going with Alf) and her last name is pronounced “DONUT” – which is nice…

Germany 2014

Josefin Donat

 

NFL new head coaches: quick hits

John Fox: Goes to the Bears and brings Adam Gase (Broncos OC) and Vic Fangio (SF DC) with him.  What we know is that he will get that team, with/without “Jake” Cutler, to a competitive place – winning something of value will be a different story.  He is Dan Reeves, a good coach with unimpressive end results.  Fox is 30 games over .500 and has 2 Superbowl and 7 playoff appearances.  This is also the first time since the ’50’s that the Bears have hired a coach with prior experience.

Todd Bowles: Is the anti-Rex and seems to be the NFL’s flavor of the month as a coordinator.  He has only been a D-coordinator since 2012 and is now a Head Coach.  How patient will the Jets be while he learns on the job – but, he has established a solid start by bringing in former Head Coach and now Offensive Coordinator in Chan Gailey.  With what he accomplished in Arizona and their injuries, you can expect the Jets to still be relevant on the D-side of the ball.

Dan Quinn: Not a head coach yet but clearly the hiring of Kyle Shanahan as OC for the Falcons means that after the Superbowl an agreement has already been reached – wink, wink – Otherwise the Falcons are in a world of hurt if Dan is not the man.  The big question that we will have answered is how much influence did/does Dan Quinn have on the Seahawk D – for Atlanta’s sake it better be substantial.  That’ll be 3 out of 4 coaches in the NFC South that are D coordinators.

Jack Del Rio: Was decent for Jacksonville and will be a solid influence on the Raiders.  He is a defensive coach that could not stop Andrew Luck, as mentioned before here, or anyone when it really mattered, #Ravens.  Oakland has talent and needs someone to take them to the next level – Del Rio could help with one side of the ball – but his biggest problem will be offensively and he hired Bill Musgrave as his OC.  Musgrave’s philosophy is based on unimaginitive play-calling with a heavy focus on the run – for a team that does not have the personnel to run heavy – maybe he should have hired Mike Martz.

Rex Ryan: This guy is winning at the Bar.  He has done nothing as a head coach and it is surprising that the Bills hired him, considering that they have a complete dossier on him being in the same division all these years.  For a team that is questionable at QB just like his former team, Rex still brings his QB coach with him – how did that work out for Geno?  Your move EJ!  The D will be good and for Rex, he has no pressure in Buffalo – just make the playoffs once every 4 years and I’m sure they might name a street after you – the bar is low in Buffalo – Remember the K-Gun and Thermal.

Gary Kubiak: It’s just Kubes, being Kubes.  This seems like nothing more than nepotism and that’s fine – Kubiak is a good coach and this says more about after Peyton than right now.  If they can get to a Superbowl again then he will be annointed a patron saint of the l’orange.  What is weird is that if the rumors of a fallout with Fox and Elway were true, centered around run v pass; then this hire makes no sense, as Kubiak is a run first guy.  This could be the marriage that Elway wants to recreate when the Broncos last won(manipulated) the Superbowl with Shanahan. Fox=Reeves, Manning=Elway, Shanahan=Kubiak.

Jim Tomsula: Who? No one saw this coming and everyone just has to take some guys’ word for it, being a great hire.  The real problem seems to be, who is on his staff?  A lot of good people already have jobs, including talented people from the 49ers.  He may be a good coach, but without a proper staff, how is it gonna work?  Guess we’ll see – best a 49er fan can hope for is a wildcard next year, and after that, not much else.