Getting Smart With The Tuesday Morning Quarterback

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JayCutler1. San Diego Unplugged:

I do not remember a team that has suffered more injuries, each week, than the Chargers.  It’s a miracle they haven’t had to forfeit, and yet they maintain being competitive – that means Philip Rivers should be somewhere in the MVP discussion and spare me San Diego’s record business.  You put Rivers on the Panthers and Cam on the Bolts – no difference, except for the way Rivers’ Panthers’ would be demolishing people.  But, the Bears won and we saw the spaghetti western that is Jay Cutler, (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) conduct a drive to actually close out a game.  Jay and Alshon also broke some team records that are really laughable as too how long they have stood – it’s more a testament of how inept Chicago’s passing game has been for over 50yrs, when Jay Cutler is your best QB of all time by touchdowns.

Cutler passes Luckman in TD passes with Bears and tosses the game-winnerenhanced-buzz-3327-1377198392-2

Jay Cutler tossed two touchdown passes in the Bears’ 22-19 win over the Chargers. With his first TD pass of the game on Monday, Cutler passed Sid Luckman for the Bears all-time lead in touchdown passes. Entering Monday, Luckman had held at least a share of the Bears’ career touchdown pass record since 1943 (when he passed Bernie Masterson). Prior to Cutler surpassing Luckman, only Washington’s all-time passing touchdown leader, Sammy Baugh, had currently held his franchise’s record for a longer time than Luckman. Baugh has held that mark for the Redskins since 1937.

Cutler’s second TD pass on Monday was of the game-winning variety. Since he joined the Bears in 2009, Cutler has thrown 12 game-winning touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, the most in the NFL over that span (Matthew Stafford is next on the list with 10). It’s the second such pass for Cutler this season, also tossing one to Matt Forte to beat the Chiefs.

Jeffery ties Bears record

Alshon Jeffery had 151 receiving yards on Monday night, his third straight game with 100 or more yards on receptions. That ties the Bears record for consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards, previously done by Harlon Hill (in 1956) and Jeff Graham (1995).

Chargers find another way to get to the end zone

Jason Verrett picked off a Jay Cutler pass and ran it back 68 yards for the touchdown, giving the Chargers a 13-0 second quarter lead on Monday. Verrett’s interception return ended San Diego’s streak of 18 consecutive touchdowns scored on passing plays, which tied the second-longest such streak in NFL history. Only the 1993 Falcons, who scored 20 straight touchdowns, all on pass plays, had a longer streak of that kind.

The Bears have allowed a league-high six return touchdowns this season (two on interceptions, two on kickoffs, one on a punt, and one on a fumble).


2. Side Baraltx-logo-white_SMALL

Sunday night’s win was a first for the Eagles

First, let’s take care of some old business. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys, 33-27, on Sunday night. It was the first victory in team history in which Philadelphia surrendered four leads before ultimately winning the game.

Sam Bradford threw a 41-yard pass to Jordan Matthews in OT to secure the win. Bradford, who turned 28 years old on Sunday, was the first quarterback to start and win a regular-season NFL overtime game on his birthday (after six QBs had started on their birthday in an overtime loss). Note also that Jake Delhomme started and won a playoff game in two overtimes on his birthday in 2004.

SOURCE: Elias Sports Bureau


3. Today in History

Sesame Street debuts

On this day in 1969, “Sesame Street,” a pioneering TV show that would teach generations of young children the alphabet and how to count, makes its broadcast debut. “Sesame Street,” with its memorable theme song (“Can you tell me how to get/How to get to Sesame Street”), went on to become the most widely viewed children’s program in the world. It has aired in more than 120 countries.The show was the brainchild of Joan Ganz Cooney, a former documentary producer for public television. Cooney’s goal was……(continue reading)

Six years later this happened

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior, taking all 29 crew members with her.At the time of its launch in 1958, the 729-foot-long freighter was the largest and fastest ship on the Great Lakes. The Edmund Fitzgerald began its last journey on November 9, 1975, carrying 26,116 tons of iron-ore pellets. The next day, the ship and her crew met a storm with 60 mph winds and waves in excess of 15 feet. Captain Ernest McSorley steered the ship north, heading for the safety of Whitefish Bay, but the ship’s radar failed, and the storm took out the power to Whitefish Point’s radio beacon, leaving the Fitzgerald traveling blind. In the heavy seas, the vessel was also taking on a dangerous amount of water. Another ship, the Anderson, kept up radio contact with the Fitzgerald and tried to lead it to safety but to no avail.

SOURCE: This Day In History – History Channel


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Here are the perfect lineups for week 9 in the #NFL

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Your Monday Night Football, #FanDuel #NFL week4 Retrospectacle…

NFL Week 4 Retrospectacle: Todd Gurley Proves He’s The Man in St. Louis

Oct 05 
NFL Week 4 Retrospectacle: Todd Gurley Proves He’s The Man in St. Louis

NFL’s Week 4 was one that lacked true elite options, as we wrote on FanDuel Insider in the build up to Sunday’s action. In retrospect, we found a new elite player.

St. Louis running back Todd Gurley, welcome to fantasy superstardom. Goodbye questions about his health and usage. And we hardly know ye, Tre Mason.

“What can you say about Todd? In the second half, he took the game over and we needed it,” head coach Jeff Fisher told Myles Simmons of the Rams’ official website.

Gurley rushed for 144 of his career-high 146 yards in the second half against a very good Arizona Cardinals defense, and has rushed to the top of one-week fantasy minds with his 17.1-point performance. He was leaving yards on the field late in the game to merely fall unchallenged in patches of green grass to stay in-bounds to run out the clock.

“It’s totally unselfish,” Fisher told Summons, “and beyond that, for a rookie to have the presence of mind to do that—that says a lot for his understanding of this game and putting games away.”

The football acumen is savvy and the performance was savage.

“That just shows you how unselfish he is, how much he really wants to win,” Rams defensive lineman Will Hayes told Simmons. “The average guy is taking the ball inside the end zone, and he [didn’t]. And that was big in itself because people don’t understand how big of a play that is. You run the clock out and the game is over with. He’s a stud.”

The best part of the performance for FanDuelers should be that Mason was a complete non-factor, rushing twice for minus-1 yard Sunday.

It was only a matter of time. You don’t reach up to draft a damaged-goods running back (knee ligament reconstruction) in the top 10 of this modern NFL that has devalued the feature back to just let him stand on the sideline.

Gurley clearly looks worth it now. Heading into Week 5 at the Green Bay Packers, he is a bargain you cannot refuse.

This Week 4 Retrospectacle takes an in-depth look at the rest of the studs, duds and significant injury impacts on one-week fantasy action, starting with the other back you probably have to slot in a majority of lineups going forward.

Studs

RB Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (35.4 points)

Tevin Coleman’s (rib) injury has been a blessing for Freeman, who has rushed for six touchdowns in the past two games of Coleman’s absence. Freeman went 14-68-3 on the ground and 6-81 receiving.

“Devonta is playing lights out,” Falcons wide receiver Roddy White told Michael Cunningham ofThe Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We’ve got to continue to let him play that way. Feed him the ball, feed him the ball.”

You can bet the Falcons are going to give Coleman one more week to rest next Sunday against the Washington Redskins, particularly with a Thursday tilt at New Orleans immediately following. The Redskins have the second-best run defense in football through four weeks, but no one will be sitting Freeman now.

“Opportunity is everything,” Freeman told Cunningham. “They don’t come around often. You’ve just got to take advantage of them when you get them. I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to play in the NFL.”

K Cairo Santos, Kansas City Chiefs (27.0)—You have to love when a kicker outscores all but one position player, right? See, kickers belong in fantasy football!

WR Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams (26.6)—Sometimes it takes three years for an NFL receiver to find his niche. Austin appears to have found his, finally. He ripped off 6-96-2 receiving and added 20 more on the ground Sunday, proving he’s more than a mere return specialist now. This is not just a flash in the pan, either. This is the start of something great. He leads the Rams in targets (20) through four games.

QB Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (26.22)—Here’s the thing about Rivers (358-3): He gets future Hall of Fame tight end Antonio Gates back from his four-game suspension next week. Rivers is going to be a solid value, especially until rookie Melvin Gordon (12-38 rushing) gets rolling.

WR Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25.7)—You can be worried about Jackson’s advanced age and playing with a shaky rookie quarterback, but Jameis Winston has been so bad early, the Bucs get blown out and collect garbage-time numbers. It makes Jackson (10-147-1) an unpredictable play.

QB Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (24.2)—He has been one of the worst dollars-per-point quarterbacks. However, the running game is so bad right now that the Eagles have to pass the ball. Bradford’s 270-3 might be the baseline in Week 5 against the New Orleans Saints.

RB Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (24.0)—We love him as the finisher in Hue Jackson’s power-running scheme, we just wish he hadn’t had his fumbling issues that opened the door for Giovani Bernard (13-62-1) to make this a true timeshare. Hill was outcarried and outrushed (9-40-3) despite the touchdowns, and the Seattle Seahawks defense is up next. Ouch.

WR Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (23.1)—Blake Bortles (298-1) is showing improvement and Hurns (11-116-1) is right there with Allen Robinson (4-80). We cannot wait to see what this group can do once Julius Thomas (hand) returns from injury. Thomas should open things up for everyone because he requires attention. The Jags receivers do have some sleeper value to them, especially because they are weekly candidates for garbage-time numbers.

RB Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22.8)—The Bucs finally got their running game going, which is a great sign for those interested in Martin (20-106-1) as a bargain against the Jags next Sunday.

RB Christopher Ivory, New York Jets (22.6)—The Jets offense looks a lot better under the new regime. It’s too bad Ivory is on bye in Week 5, though.

QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (22.36)—He returns from a sore shoulder with 359-2, which is a great sign, even if the throws were more to the backs and tight ends. The Saints are going to manage Brees’ shoulder strength in their game plan, which can keep him productive. This is also a fairly intriguing development for those hoping Andrew Luck (shoulder) can do the same.

QB Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns (22.24)—It was a strange week for the quarterbacks, as many of the top-priced guys were trumped by bargains. McCown was solid in this shootout, but we don’t expect it to continue against the Baltimore Ravens on the road next Sunday.

Duke Johnson, Jr., Cleveland Browns (22.1)—If Johnson pushes out starter Isaiah Crowell (12-63 rushing and 3-62 receiving), look out. Until then, Johnson is just a bargain for his passing-downs production.

QB Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (21.7)—He put together an impressive game-winning drive that can give him and head coach Jay Gruden confidence. Cousins can get forced into a Week 5 shootout against the high-flying Falcons, too. We should like Pierre Garcon (7-55-1) and Jordan Reed (5-37) in that one—maybe even Jamison Crowder (7-65) if DeSean Jackson (hamstring) remains out.

Atlanta Falcons Defense (21.0)—Dan Quinn has turned this unit around in a hurry. A matchup at home against the Washington Redskins should be another bountiful one, especially at a mere $4,500 for Week 5.

WR Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (20.3)—We should be convinced that Alex Smith’s 2014 struggles to get the ball to wideouts was more a function of the receiver quality than the lack of arm strength. Maclin (11-148) looks just fine with Smith, even if the touchdowns might not come consistently.

WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (20.2)—Like Maclin, Hopkins is the lone receiving threat on a team with a subpar quarterback. You have to love his high-volume production (9-157). The Texans should open it up Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts at home, especially if Arian Foster (8-for-10 rushing) is ready for a larger role.

Bums the Word

QB Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (10.32)—He might be 4-0 thus far, but it has been as ugly as 4-0 can get. Manning threw for just 213-2 and had two costly interceptions that allowed the Minnesota Vikings back into the game. Fire up the catcalls for the end of Manning again…until he lights up the Oakland Raiders for four touchdowns next Sunday.

RB Arian Foster, Houston Texans (3.0)—Even Alfred Blue (6-for-17) outproduced Foster in his return from a groin injury. Ouch. It sure doesn’t help he has just a few days rest before the matchup against the Colts. Expect a heavy, heavy dose of Foster in that one, though, making him an intriguing Thursday night play. The Texans can quietly tie for first place in the AFC South division with a victory.

RB Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles (1.7)—Three targets and no receptions. All of the Eagles’ backs are junk right now, DeMarco Murray (5.8) and Ryan Mathews (0.0) included.

RB Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (2.7)—Week 1 seems really far away now. You cannot like him against the New York Giants’ No. 1-ranked rush defense next Sunday night.

WR Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (1.8)—Worthless. Leonard Hankerson (6-103-1) is the top Julio Jones sidekick for Matt Ryan now.

WR Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers (2.7)—Colin Kaepernick’s struggles have really made mincemeat of Boldin, Torrey Smith (2-54) and TE Vernon Davis (inactive).

WR Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (4.5)—We would blame Brees’ shoulder, but Willie Snead (6-89) looked just fine. Cooks (4-25) is one of fantasy’s biggest disappointments this season. He was supposed to be the answer to the loss of Jimmy Graham for Brees and the Saints.

WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (5.8)—He’s fine. This was a one-week hiccup with the Falcons so thoroughly in command Sunday against the Texans.

TE Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins (2.9)—He just missed a jump-ball TD. These struggles and a Week 5 bye for the Dolphins are good news. There is value to come midseason here.

TE Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (3.8)—So much for that Week 3 breakthrough. Olsen was right back in the tank, and he’s headed for a Week 5 bye, too.

Buffalo Bills Defense (3.0)—Overrated. It’s a popular chant wherever Rex Ryan is, apparently.

Arizona Cardinals Defense (1.0)—Despite this hard fall, the Cards are still the top-priced unit on the board for Week 5 at $5,200.

Injury Impacts

Raise RB Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys—The loss of Lance Dunbar (knee) to season-ending surgery would put more of the onus on Randle in the passing game. That should light up the fantasy scoreboard more for us. Randle is now the same price as the Eagles’ Murray ($7,400) and the better option in Week 5 against at the New England Patriots.

Love WR Hopkins, Houston Texans—Cecil Shorts dislocated his shoulder, per NFL insider Adam Caplan, which elevates rookie Keith Mumphery (4-56) and makes Hopkins even more high-volume than he was already.

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?


 

C’mon Man and other ridiculousness for Monday

So Sam Bradford thinks that Terrell Suggs was intentionally tying to hurt him.  Come again Sam?  Your beef should be with your coach.  The Chipster, should be more aware that his QB has had two ACL surgeries prior and that running a read option opens you up for these kinds of hits.

Suggs received a 15-yard penalty because QB’s are delicate ballerinas nowadays.  However, the Dean, Mr. Blandino, NFL VP of officiating, ruled that the hit was clean – stating that when Bradford executed a read-option play, that he was clearly a runner – making the case that roughing-the-passer does not apply.

So will some say that Suggs was intentionally trying to hurt Sam Bradford?  Surely, some will.  But, this is what you get when grown-men who are built like trucks and run as fast as Ferrari’s play a man’s game.  Run the read-option at your own risk, and maybe not run it with a QB that has already had two blow-outs, Chip!


Continuing with that thread – what are they doing in Washington?  Thursday night RGIII was repeatedly taking shots.  Is this the visual definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results?

Clearly, Robert has trouble seeing the field and getting rid of the ball on time.  But being sacked three times and getting hit twice on 8 dropbacks says more about Washington’s pass protection than RG’s lack of progression, right?  So, if he is your franchise QB, and you know these things about your O-line, why are you sending him out there to get pummeled by a pass-rush happy D-line?  What are you trying to do in the pre-season?  Is it because he believes he is the best QB in the league?  Or, it might be just what to expect from RGIII, because the play he got hurt on is testimony to why he will never be the best QB in this league.

Robert, stepped away from a clean pocket and missed two wide open receivers on short routes – he then stepped into pressure – leading to the injury.  Those two wide open receivers were the check down options on third and long – instead of taking the short gain and likely punting – Robert wanted to be a hero and make a something happen – because that is what he did in college.  So maybe the point is they are just trying to make it easier to name Kirk Cousins the starter and move on from a QB that is just as much fragile physically as he is mentally – that they gave up a lot to draft.  It also proves that Dan Snyder is clueless, for an organization hoping that RGIII will bounce back from two disastrous seasons by continuing to play him in the meaningless pre-season – it is another chapter in this ridiculous narrative.


Yeah it is still the pre-season – but it is also a contrast to how Cleveland is choosing to do things with their young running QB.  It is also a small statement for those that are holding out hope that Johnny Football will be a NFL QB.  Against the Bills, Manziel showed competence, going 10-18 for 118yds and a TD (95yd drive) – easily making it the best performance of his professional career.

Are their issues he still needs to work on – clearly.  Too often he looks to run and run with his head down, not looking down field – instead of side-stepping the pressure first.  Also, he still needs to improve his progressions after the initial read.

Now we have word that Manziel is dealing with arm soreness and that could impact the reps he needs to improve – it also signals he may not be strong enough to handle the load of being a QB full-time for a full season.  At least he has some good tape to point to, which is more than we could say before hand.


click to watch

Chris Berman used to say, all Cris Carter did was catch touchdowns – now he’s catching some heat – as should the NFL.  I am still stunned that this was what Cris Carter wanted to say to Rookies last year – while wearing his HOF JACKET!  I am more stunned that the NFL was promoting this on their site and more so, that it took a story about Chris Borland retiring, for anyone to notice!  Since the story, the NFL has removed it – The NFL and ESPN have done their spin-control, slut-shaming Cris and Carter has also apologized – C’mon Man!

…Let there be DiRT

Ball 1

To some, the story goes…In the beginning the Lord created the Heavens and the Earth…and said let there be light, and there was, and it was good…then he decided to create Tebow and made him a QB and it was, meh.  Tim is maybe, one of the greatest college football quarterbacks, based on results, that constantly willed his team to victory, more than his talent.  In the record books, Tim has one-less playoff victory with the Denver Broncos than does Peyton Williams Manning.  That’s were the legend was born for most non-football fans that follow his exploits like methed-out Grateful Dead fans – except instead of a dead-head-sticker on their Cadillac, they were their love around their necks.  We all have a friend or two, that adore this man like no other – someone who would sacrifice an entire Fantasy Football draft/season to give him a roster spot, just to say, they drafted Tim Tebow.  No denying, Tim moves the needle.

But beyond all that, the man himself is what you would want your son(s) to grow up like – if all that you could accomplish as a parent, was raise a son like Tim, you would be proud.  As you should be, but that’s were it ends, because Tim believes himself to be a quarterback – an NFL quarterback – in a league that exposes your flaws faster than a runway model does after eating a cheeseburger 4 months ago.  Any other profession outside of sports would likely succeed with Tim at the helm – but not as an NFL QB.  He requires to much beyond his actual ability; he needs a similar offense to the one he ran in college, or a coach that would risk everything to defy NFL convention and actually build a team to run that offense. The NFL is never easy on mavericks, or coaches who are all hat and no cattle – Bill Walsh and Jimmy Johnson types do not come around often.

But if you found that guy who could challenge the good ol-boy, same-as-it-ever-was standards, then wouldn’t Tim be the perfect fit, with Chip Kelly as the coach?  This off-season, Chip Kelly has already created an industry of fans parroting “what’s up with that?“, with a side of, huh?  Chip Kelly’s offense is designed to challenge you sideline-to-sideline, and ironically that is Tebow’s strength too.  You must wonder the risk Chip is taking, with back-to-back 10-6 seasons, bringing the circus to town for a guy that is a great person, but just hasn’t shown great NFL QB skills.  If ever there was a perfect match however, this might be it – it certainly is Tim’s last shot – the quintessential spread QB in the quintessential spread offense, that does not require a PHD in reading defenses.  Or maybe it’s nothing more than a ploy to quiet the Philly fans from having Sam Bradford.  Sort of like the George Bush Sr strategy of having Dan Quayle as your vice president – no one will ever think about assassinating George if Dan is the next guy up.

It moves the needle, it is an interesting dynamic that leaves you to wonder, what might happen.  It either anoints Chip as a genius or another snake-oil salesman from the college ranks.  The future of NFL offensive coordinators depends on Chip’s success – he has already showed the value of tempo to the league.  Spread concepts have been around for awhile, just not to Chip’s degree.  But with Sanchez, Bradford, Barkley and now Tebow, you wonder how it all takes shape and this is what the NFL does – keeps you talking about it, (I expect Bradford to be traded on game-day).  That is why I think this is nothing more than collusion between the Eagles and Hizzoner.  Because what better way to redirect the darkness of serial killers, and abusers than to bathe the entire league in the guiding light of Tim Tebow – the penultimate distraction.  His goodness, his wholesomeness is all encompassing and it will become the league manifesto – retiring the “No More” campaign because it’s the Tebow show.  Get your NFL prescriptions ready and go comatose, baby – Tebow will be with us, and also with you – in Tebow’s name, we’ll watch.


Ball 2

Remember this day?  If you read this site, you know what we thought about the Jon Lester signing and how it was money well-over spent.  It’s early still, but there’s enough data to have cause for concern on the Cubs‘ $150m investment.  In the 3 games Lester has started, (he is 0-2) the Cubs have only won one game, and Lester has given up 12 runs, with 6.89 ERA.  It’s early but it has prompted the announcement of support from the manager that he, and the organization are behind Lester – even if the team that plays behind him are giving him the honest truth as Catcher David Ross has said – sugar-free-honesty.

The Cubs were looking for the Lester that led Boston to the World Series in 2013 – but two years removed, is a lifetime for a pitcher who also suffered a “dead-arm” in spring training.  The point being is that the Cubs (over)paid for an Ace, on the other-side of 30 and a trade with Lester is handcuffed by that contract.  So the Cubs hope that Lester does find more consistency and goes longer in the game without high pitch counts, as he said, he feels like he is doing.  Either way, Lester will be nothing more than a expensive #3 starter and as the years go by, no better than a #5.  None of that will matter if the Cubs ever win a World Series.


Ball 3

If you have not met him, say hello to Mookie Betts!  He was a second baseman in a logjam for the Red Sox, with Pedroia and young-future-cuban-star Yoan Moncada, waiting in the wings – so he moved to centerfield.  All he has done with his chance is go off.  Take last week as an example, Mookie robbed Bryce Harper of a homerun, stole two-bases in one play and hit a 3-run homerun, all in the first two innings!  Mookie is 22 and ironically only 9 days older than Bryce Harper – however, it seems the game is having a renaissance of young talent in the game – it’s now up to Major League Baseball to promote all of these guys – not just Trout and Harper, etc…If you get a chance, watch.


Ball 4…take your base

Jay Hart, a failed professional soccer player who plays in the English semi-pro league, has been fired for putting the club in disrepute.  Only in soccer could a player be fired for celebrating a bit too much on Ladies night.  Now that doesn’t seem like much, until you consider that after a few drinks, and after Clitheroe (not making that name up) lost the match 4-1 – did he believe he was hidden away in the other team’s dugout, still wearing his jersey, while having coitus-interuptus with a fan.  Yup, as you see in the picture – this dude was caught having sex with a fan in the dugout of the other team after a loss, on ladies night.  You could say that the reason he could not crack the professional level is because of his decision making skills – not just the act itself but the selection of hand positions and choice of booty being #HighlyQuestionable.  Only in Europe.