Weekend Update: Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

It was a glorious weekend outside the DirtCanon Bunker – the College Football was fresh, the NFL was tasty.  Even my attorney showed up for the festivities of our Launch Party Sunday – he even paid!  But let’s get down to what we saw this weekend and Arkansas you are on the clock:

How does that taste Bert…dont care if its Bret, you’re now Bert…you mouthed off about Ohio State’s schedule and you get blown up at home, by Toledo?! That’s a MAC school, they are maybe the 4th best team in Ohio – you s’posed to be SEC.  In fact you were s’posed to be a team that road-grades its way to victory. That Oline, that running game – you have no business throwing the ball 53 times on Toledo – Bert you lost your balls, you get paid too much money to act like a Nutt

Auburn still needs help from the Refs, and this time it is to defeat Jacksonville St in OT.  Not a misprint, Auburn is terrible and with Tennessee’s choke-job to Oklahoma in double OT – the SEC is in danger ofsingle logo_small becoming ACC bad.  Sure, there were some bright spots, Kentucky snapped their 22-game loser-streak on the road beating South Carolina and LSU escaped Starkville.  But SEC-fan, you might want to start getting used to chants of “OVER-RATED”  – clap, clap, clap-clap-clap…

Notre Dame is cursed.  Last year, defensive injuries derailed a promising start to the season. This year it is the offense. Starting quarterback Malik Zaire fractured his ankle in Notre Dame’s 34–27 victory over Virginia, joining running back Tarean Folston, (who was lost last week) on the won’t-play-again-this-season list.

On a brighter side, the week 2 odds that were posted on Friday did fairly well.  On the highlighted picks – we were perfect SU and 68% ATS – overall, we were 89% SU and 63% ATS – just good enough to not be addicted and still better than anywhere else.

Here are some other Saturday thoughts I cannot put anywhere else:

  • Two wins to start the 2015 season has pushed Ohio State’s nation’s best winning streak to 15 straight.  Up next are TCU (10), Memphis (nine), Western Kentucky (seven), Michigan State (six) and Navy (five).
  • The “honor” of the longest losing streak had belonged to Georgia State, which had lost 12 in a row until Saturday night’s 34-32 win over New Mexico State.  The win also marked GSU’s first-ever win over an FBS-level team as an FBS team themselves.
  • Additionally, Colorado ended its 10-game losing streak, the longest amongst Power Five teams, with a 48-14 win over UMass.  With those outcomes, UNLV now owns the nation’s longest losing streak at eight straight.
  • Notre Dame, UCLA and USC are the only teams that have never played a non-FBS/Div. 1-A school since the current setup was established in 1978.  Following the 2016 season, and because of a conference mandate, Big Ten teams will no longer be permitted to schedule games against FCS programs.
  • V’Angelo Bentley is the only player in Illinois history to record a kickoff return, punt return, interception return and fumble return for touchdown in his career. Harold “Red” Grange is the only other Illini player with kickoff, punt and interception returns for TDs, but he never returned a fumble for a score.
  • Dalvin Cook‘s 266 yards rushing were the second-most in Florida State history?  Cook’s performance is topped only by Greg Allen‘s 322 yards in 1981

 

Manning vs. Flacco

Remember this post from March?  When we told you that “It’s hard to watch your heroes fall and attempt to hang on to long.  Age always wins“.  Well it seems wearing a swim-shirt was the fore-shadowing we needed on the final season of the Great Peyton Manning.  No touchdowns during the pre-season and none yesterday against Baltimore.   It was the 20th NFL season opener in which both starting QBs were coming off a season of at least 25 touchdown passes. It was the first of those games in which neither threw a TD pass. (Note: Tony Romo vs. Eli Manning on Sunday night was the 21st such meeting.)  For Baltimore, the rest of the season seems to be a more difficult one as they lose Suggs with a torn achilles.  But the issue is still Denver winning with a punchless offense – maybe someone should set Peyton up with DirecTV, because this cable-version of Peyton is hard to watch.

A first-of-its-kind matchup produces a historic performance

The last time Marcus and Jameis met on the field was in January, at the Rose Bowl – and the results were the same then as they were yesterday.  It was the first-ever opening-day matchup of rookie quarterbacks chosen first and second in the NFL Draft. But by halftime, it was all about Marcus Mariota, with number-one pick Jameis Winston earning only an interesting footnote, albeit an unwanted one.  Marcus was 13-16 with 4 touchdown passes – the only other player to do that in their first game was Fran Tarkenton – except Marcus threw 4 in the first half!  The Titans scored 35 points by halftime of their 42-14 win. Last year they NEVER scored more than 28 points in a game while going 2-14.  As for Jameis, he is has played 28 games in college and the pro’s, going 26-2 – his two losses are both to Mariota.

Sure, it’s only one game but seeing Mariota finish his first professional game with a perfect passer-rating that puts him ahead of Tom Brady (2nd) and Aaron Rodgers (3rd) gives the Titans hope that they chose correctly.  As for Winston’s role in this historic matchup, his first pass was intercepted by Coty Sensabaugh, who returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. Over the last 30 years, only two other players threw a pick-6 on the first pass of their NFL career: Jay Schroeder in 1985 and, believe it or not, Brett Favre in 1991.  It was not all bad for Jameis, he did finish ahead of Luck, Manning and Flacco in passer-rating Sunday.

Rodgers owns Cutler & the Bears

James Jones (two TD grabs Sunday) being back in Green Bay might be a lot more important to the Packers’ Super Bowl chances than we all thought.  The Packers defeated the Bears, 31-23, at Soldier Field in the 11th regular-season meeting of Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler as starting quarterbacks. With that victory, Rodgers improved his record against Cutler to 10-1, with his only loss coming five seasons ago at Chicago – Cutler has now thrown at least 1 INT in every game against the Packers. The last QB to win at least 10 of his first 11 starts against another quarterback was Terry Bradshaw against Brian Sipe (1976-81).

In Rodgers’ last three games against the Bears he has completed 74 percent of his passes for 806 yards with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. He is the first player to throw 13 TDs over three games against one opponent since Dan Marino did it against the Jets (1985-86). No other player has ever thrown 13 TDs and fewer than three INTs over three games against one team.

Note that Rodgers also led the Packers to a win over Cutler and the Bears in the NFC Championship Game after the 2010 season.

Rams win

Irony is after an offseason of debate about throwing at the goal line in their Super Bowl XLIX loss, the first play of the Seattle Seahawks’ season fittingly was a handoff to Marshawn Lynch. So was the last play … which got blown up on fourth-and-1 as the nullRams defeated the Seahawks, 34-31 in overtime, on a 37-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein. But it was Nick Foles, in his Rams debut, who completed a pass unlike any other in the team’s long NFL history. Foles found Lance Kendricks for a 37-yard touchdown with 53 seconds to play and Zuerlein’s extra point evened the score at 31-31. It was the first game-tying or go-ahead TD pass of 20 yards or longer in the final 60 seconds of the fourth quarter in Rams history.  In other news – what were you thinking Pete Carroll with an onside kick in OT?

nullLockett ends longest return drought

Tyler Lockett opened the scoring in the Seahawks’ loss at St. Louis with a 57-yard punt return. Only three other rookies in NFL history scored on a first-quarter punt return in their team’s opening game of a season: George Atkinson of the Raiders (1968), Deion Sanders of the Falcons (1989), and Dale Carter of the Chiefs (1992).

Allen huge in San Diego’s comeback victory

Philip Rivers completed 35 passes for 404 yards, including 15 to Keenan Allen, in the Chargers’ 33-28 come-from-behind victory over the Lions. Allen set a record for pass nullreceptions in a season-opening game. The previous mark was 14, set by Andre Rison in 1994 and matched by Marshall Faulk in 2002.

San Diego trailed Detroit, 21-3, in the second quarter. Only one other team in this century overcame a deficit that large to win its season-opening game, and Chargers fans should remember the other well. Two years ago, San Diego squandered a 28-7 lead in losing its opener to Houston, 31-28, on Monday Night Football.

New York Blows it – Romo saves Cowboys

The optimists in Big D said the O-line was good enough to offset the loss of DeMarco Murray. But the Cowboys managed just 80 yards on the ground Sunday against a Giants defense that rarely stopped the run in 2014. Dallas only had less than 90 rushing yards nullonce last year, when the Giants only held two opponents below 80.  New York should’ve left Dallas with a W. But poor clock management — namely failing to milk it while opting to throw near the goal line on their final drive — provided Tony Romo with the opportunity to craft a successful comeback.  Tony Romo threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten with 7 seconds to play and Dan Bailey added the extra point to give the Cowboys an unlikely 27-26 victory over the Giants. That was the latest game-winning fourth-quarter TD pass in Cowboys history. The previous mark was set in a 17-14 win over the Redskins in 1967 when Don Meredith connected with Dan Reeves for a 36-yard TD with 10 seconds to play.

Dallas’ victory was unlikely in this sense: The Cowboys committed three turnovers and the Giants none. Over the past three seasons (2012-14), there were 100 regular-season games in which a team turned the ball over at least three times and had no takeaways; only three of those teams won.

nullBrees ties dubious NFL record in loss

Drew Brees passed for 355 yards in the Saints’ 31-19 loss at Arizona, his fifth straight season reaching the 300-yard mark in New Orleans’ first game. That tied the NFL record for consecutive season openers with at least 300 passing yards. Kurt Warner set that mark from 1999 through 2003.  Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes in his first game since last season’s ACL injury. Palmer has a 14-2 record in his last 16 starts

Marshall and the Jets

The Browns have now lost an NFL-record 11 straight openers, and Brandon Marshall might be the safety net the Jets need to stabilize their uneven passing game. He excelled in the red zone and bailed out Ryan Fitzpatrick by ripping the ball away from Browns safety Tashaun Gipson after an interception.  With that, the Todd Bowles era started with a strong defensive performance as the Jets forced the Browns into five turnovers and posted a 31-10 victory. During six seasons under Rex Ryan, the Jets ranked 19th among the 32 NFL teams with an average of 1.5 takeaways per game. They had only one game with as many as five takeaways under Ryan, forcing six turnovers in a 38-7 win over Buffalo in 2011.

Bills knock the Colts down a peg

The Colts were chic Super Bowl picks in many quarters, but didn’t look ready for the Bills, who shut Indianapolis out in the first half before winning 27-14.  The Bills were sending seven defenders at Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck on seemingly every passing down, especially early in the game. The all-out blitzes worked in Buffalo’s decisive upset.null

Making his first NFL start, the new Bills quarterback justified Rex Ryan’s faith in him by playing efficient, virtually mistake-free football. Taylor passed for 195 yards and a TD while adding 41 yards with his legs. Ground and pound, baby.  The Colts’ struggles to stop the run have carried over to this season. The Bills ran 36 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns – leading a terrific start to Karlos Williams’ NFL career, as he gave the Bills a 16-0 lead on a 26-yard touchdown run on his first carry. It had been 20 years since any NFL player scored an opening-game TD of 20 yards or longer on the first carry of his career. The last player to do so was Michael Westbrook of the Redskins, with a 58-yard TD run in a 27-7 opening-day victory over the Cardinals.

But guess what? A few hours later, Ameer Abdullah of the Lions did it as well, capping Detroit’s opening drive with a 24-yard TD run on his first carry.

nullIt’s getting absurd in KC

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith threw three touchdowns but none to a wide receiver – again. Smith’s last TD to a receiver was Dec. 8, 2013.  On the other hand, Travis Kelce became the first Chiefs tight end to catch two touchdown passes in a game since Tony Gonzalez left Kansas City following the 2008 season. Gonzalez caught two or more TDs in a game 14 times for the Chiefs.

What about Bob?null

Another strong performance by a tight end was turned in by Tyler Eifert, who caught nine
passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the Bengals’ 33-13 win at Oakland. Eifert was the first Cincinnati TE with two TD receptions in a 100-yard game since Bob Trumpy scored three times in a 5-for-159 performance against the Houston Oilers in 1969.

Same Ol’Philbin, Same Ol’Washington

The Miami Dolphins are continuing a disturbing trend during coach Joe Philbin’s tenure with the team: They play down to lesser opponents. The offense came out flat in the first half at Washington, rushing for only 2 yards. But the most concerning questions from Miami’s victory were mental lapses on defense.

For Washington, things were looking good for the home team early on Sunday. But then Ryan Tannehill found Rishard Matthews for a 3-yard TD late in the first half to narrow the Redskins’ lead to 10-7, and the Dolphins scored 10 points in the fourth quarter for a 17-10 victory. Washington was the first home team to lose its season opener after scoring the game’s first 10 points since 2002, when the Jets rallied from a 10-0 deficit for a 37-31 win at Buffalo.  From the media-generated-controversy department – Why was CBS giving viewers constant reaction shots from RGIII — following many of Kirk Cousins’ throws?

Somethings never change

The Kelvin Benjamin-less offense produced just 263 yards and one touchdown – ouch. The supporting cast around Newton will likely add pressure on Carolina’s defense, nullespecially if MLB Luke Kuechly’s concussion proves severe.  In other news, Josh Norman intercepted Blake Bortles and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown in the Panthers’ 20-9 win over the Jaguars. That was a problem for Bortles as a rookie last season, when he tied for the NFL lead by throwing four pick-6’s, which was also a single-season team record.

Road to the College Football Playoff – The First 6 Weeks

Today we make it College Football Day! With 2 weeks left before the pageantry and tradition resume, we’re gonna give you the first 6 weeks of a week-to-week glance, at the games that could decide who makes the 2nd College Football Playoff!  The season kicks off on Thursday, September 3rd, with 19 games (all times are EASTERN).

Week 1

Ohio St(-11.5) @ Virginia Tech, 8p (Monday<9-7>) – Anyone know who starts for Ohio State? How will the 4 suspensions of Ohio St players impact the game?  Does VaTech repeat last year’s upset at home? – we’ll see

Wisconsin v Alabama(-10.5), 8p in Arlington – In neutral site openers under Nick Saban, Alabama iscropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.png 5-0 – with an average margin of victory of 19pts.  Does Alabama have a QB?  What does new coach Paul Chryst have prepared for another re-loaded Crimson Tide?

Michigan @ Utah(-6), 8:30p (Thursday) – Jim Harbaugh returns to his Alma-Mater and will be a heavily watched game.  The problem could be that despite all the pre-season pub Harbaugh got, this is still a good Utah team that beat the Wolverines in Ann Arbor last year 26-10.

  • TCU(-14) @ Minnesota, 9p (Thursday)
  • UNC v SCAR(-2.5) in Charlotte (Thursday) 6p
  • Washington @ Boise St(-10.5), 10:15p (Friday)
  • BYU @ Nebraska(-6.5), 3:30p
  • Louisville  v Auburn(-11) in Atlanta, 3:30p
  • ASU v Texas a+m(-3) in Houston, 7p
  • Texas @ Notre Dame(-9.5), 7:30p

Week 2

Oregon @ Michigan St, 8p – Just like last year this will be the first top 10 matchup of the year and it could be cray in East Lansing.  Also like last year the winner could have an inside track to the ‘offs.

LSU @ Mississippi St, 9:15p – Last year the bulldawgs took it to the Tigers in Death Valley.  Look for payback in Stark-Vegas.

Oklahoma @ Tennessee, 6p – Oklahoma is always over-rated and Tennessee has been on the comeback for 10years – someone has to break.  Could it be any different than OU duplicating last year’s 34-10 win?

  • Utah St @ Utah, 9p (Friday)
  • Houston @ Louisville, noon
  • Oregon St @ Michigan, noon
  • Notre Dame @ Virginia, 3:30p
  • Iowa @ Iowa St, 4:30p
  • Kentucky @ SCAR, 7:30p
  • Boise St @ BYU, 10:15p

Week 3

Auburn @ LSU, 3:30p – Another September SEC West battle that could decide the who goes to Atlanta.  LSU got whooped last year 41-7, but Auburn has not won in RED STICK since 1999 – too bad this game is not at night, where it belongs – either way FUQ Auburn!

Stanford @ USC, 8p – If the Trojans are the preseason pick to win the PAC 12 then they have to get by the Cardinal.  The last two meeting have been decided by a Trojan field goal.

Ole Miss @ Alabama, 9:15p – Revenge is a dish served….um….anyway Saban is 9-1 in these types of games since arriving in Tuscaloosa – we’ll know enough about both teams after this game and their prospects of being in Atlanta.

  • Clemson @ Louisville, 7:30p (Thursday)
  • Georgia Tech @ Notre Dame, 3:30p
  • Nebraska @ Miami, 3:30p
  • SCAR @ Georgia, 6p
  • TexasTech @ Arkansas, 7p
  • Cal @ Texas, 7:30p
  • BYU @ UCLA, 10:30p

Week 4

UCLA @ Arizona – If Arizona is the defending PAC 12 South champion then this game could see two undefeated teams meet in week 4 for the inside track.  Under Rich-Rod the ‘cats are 0-3 against the Bruins.

MissSt @ Auburn – Both teams could be licking their wounds after losses to LSU – or it could be an early SEC West triangle of nonsense.  MissSt has won the last two out of three – but at home, Auburn has won the last three.  Either way, so is life in the SEC West meat-grinder.

Tennessee @ Florida – remember when this game meant anything.  There are children who have been born, that have no idea what this meant.  If Tennessee is truly the dark-horse everyone is making them, they have to beat Florida.  For Florida’s Jim McElwain, it is a must win!

  •  Cincy @ Memphis, 7:30p (Thursday)
  • OklahomaSt @ Texas
  • BYU @ Michigan
  • Texas a+m @ Arkansas
  • USC @ ASU
  • Utah @ Oregon
  • GaTech @ Duke

Week 5

Alabama @ Georgia – this game will be a Running Back battle featuring ‘Bama’s Derrick Henry and UGA’s Nick Chubb.  The last time these two played in Athens – it was a funeral for Georgia in their “blackout” game, as Alabama took a 31-0 lead at halftime.  The final score was 41-30 and was never that close.

Notre Dame @ Clemson – Notre Dame has not been to Clemson since 1979, so expect a raucous crowd in Memorial Stadium.  It should provide plenty of fireworks if Deshaun Watson and Malik Zaire put on a show.

Texas @ TCU – the Horned Frogs took the Longhorns behind the woodshed last year, 48-10.  Charlie Strong needs this game or he could be finding himself on the hot seat.

  • Miami @ Cincy, 7:30p (Thursday)
  • Iowa @ Wisconsin
  • Ole Miss @ Florida
  • SCAR @ Mizzou
  • Arkansas @ Tennessee
  • ASU @ UCLA
  • West Virginia @ Oklahoma

Week 6

Oklahoma v Texas – the Red River Rivalry is still a spectacle – for Charlie Strong, many misgivings can be forgiven if the Longhorns take down the Sooners.  These teams have split the last 10 meetings and for Strong, it is a crucial two weeks.

Miami @ FSU – FSU has one of the easiest schedules – get by the ‘Canes and their next toughest opponent in September is @ Boston College.  Al Golden is 0-4 against FSU, but they do have Brad Kaaya.  Jimbo is a nice 5-0 against the Hurricanes.  The biggest question mark is who will be FSU’s QB for this game?

Wisconsin @ Nebraska – this has leader in the clubhouse for the winner, for the BIG (not)10 West Division.  Dominance is spelled B-U-C-K-Y – as the Badgers have won 3-of-the-last-4 meetings by an average of 35pts – but Wisconsin did lose their last trip to Lincoln…

  • Washington @ USC, 9p (Thursday)
  • GaTech @ Clemson
  • Arkansas @ Alabama
  • TCU @ KSTATE
  • Florida @ Mizzou
  • LSU @ SCAR
  • Georgia @ Tennessee

 

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What do you mean the #NFLPreseason doesn’t matter?

It’s never smart to bet money on “preseason” NFL football games, because they are utterly meaningless to anybody except the hundreds of players who may or may not be cut after each one – something I have to remind my attorney constantly. There are roughly 100 players out there for each team, competing desperately with each other for 53 roster spots for each team. Few of them even know each other’s names – crazy.

Pre-season games are like a dance with Death, for most of them. They will never be a starting player on any NFL team; they will never even get to wear a legitimate team jersey or see themselves on TV, like they always dreamed of.

Trying out is like a huge casting call for the next Star Wars movie, something in the Marvel Universe, or a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, about sex, death and violence in a typical all-American family that gets caught up in a kidnapping plot to cropped-cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e1418093475393.pngmove terrorists from Korea to New Orleans during the hurricane season. The movie will be a hot one, requiring thousands of mob-scene extras.

There will inevitably be many socio-paths among the teams, many unregistered perverts and super-groupies depending entirely on Steroids and Downers to make it through the first few dozen practices. Most of them are habitually unemployed anyway, and trying out as an inside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers might look like an good idea, to some people.

And besides, there is always that one in a million chance that you might be suddenly discovered, like Marlon Brando.

Most of these stories have horrible endings, but there are, of course, exceptions to that rule, and we saw one of the best of them in real life over a decade ago. Michael Lewis, known as “Beer Man” to his teammates, was a 29 year-old one-time beer-truck driver when he got his final tryout for the New Orleans Saints.

The Beer Man averaged 25.8 yards per kickoff return in 2002 and 14.2 on punts, second in the NFL. He also ran the 40 in 4.2, which means certain death for any defender who suddenly gets assigned to cover him. Many failed, and many were instantly cut and sent back to the Arena League, NFL Europe, or the local grocery market.

Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis didn’t have to stray far from home to find his dream. That is the way it goes in the NFL, no mercy and no second chances. Speed kills, in the famous words of the ultimate Raider, Al Davis. You can’t teach speed, he said. Everything else in the game can be taught, but speed is a gift from God.

The NFL preseason fully opens for Week 1 tonight and the schedule has all 32 teams in action with TV and live streaming coverage from the NFL Network for some games, with teams like the Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, NY Jets, Detroit Lions, Bears, Dolphins, Cowboys and San Diego Chargers in action.

The schedule for Thursday starts with games at 7:30 pm ET starting with the Green Bay Packers visiting the New England Patriots on the NFL Network. The game should have some intrigue with Jimmy Garoppolo getting time with Tom Brady, maybe facing suspension and it will be the first game since the recent hearing between Tom Brady and Hizzoner about the QB’s ban.

The New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens are also playing at 7:30 pm ET in Maryland, with the NY Jets and the Detroit Lions playing at Ford Field. The Miami Dolphins are at the Chicago Bears, and the Washington Americans are at Cleveland, 8 pm ET. The Dallas Cowboys play the San Diego Chargers in California, and that game will be on the NFL Network starting at 10 pm ET.

The Friday schedule is a full slate as well with the Atlanta Falcons playing the Tennessee Titans on the NFL Network at 7 pm ET. The Panthers and Bills will play in Buffalo at the same time. Pittsburgh and the Jacksonville Jaguars play at 7:30 pm ET in Florida, and the New York Giants play Cincinnati in Paul Brown Stadium.

The late games for Friday include the St. Louis Rams at Oakland, 10 pm ET, and the Denver Broncos play at Seattle, for another Super Bowl rematch on the NFL Network Peyton Manning will be wearing a ballcap instead of a helmet. The Saturday NFL schedule has prime-time games with the Niners taking on Houston in NRG Stadium at 8 pm ET, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings are also playing at 8 pm ET, on the NFL Network. The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals are playing at 9 pm ET.

The Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles are playing Sunday at 1 pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field.

Check here for the entire NFL preseason schedule.

Thursday Training

Arizona Cardinals:

2014 DVOA rank: 22nd

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

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

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

Atlanta Falcons:

2014 DVOA rank: 20th

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

Key subtractions: Osi Umenyiora (DE)

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

Buffalo Bills:

2014 DVOA rank: 9th

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

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

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

Carolina Panthers:

2014 DVOA rank: 25th

Key additions: Shaq Thompson (rookie, LB)

Key subtractions: Greg Hardy (DE)

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

Cincinnati Bengals:

2014 DVOA rank: 13th

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

Key subtractions: Jermaine Gresham (TE)

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

Cleveland Browns:

2014 DVOA rank: 23rd

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

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

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

Dallas Cowboys:

2014 DVOA rank: 6th

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

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

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

Denver Broncos:

2014 DVOA rank: 2nd

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

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

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

Green Bay Packers:

2014 DVOA rank: 3rd

Key additions: Damarious Randall (rookie, DB)

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

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

Houston Texans:

2014 DVOA rank: 19th

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

Key subtractions: Andre Johnson (WR)

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

Indianapolis Colts:

2014 DVOA rank: 12th

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

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

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

Jacksonville Jaguars:

2014 DVOA rank: 32nd

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

Key subtractions: Cecil Shorts (WR)

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

Kansas City Chiefs:

2014 DVOA rank: 10th

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

Key subtractions: Dwayne Bowe (WR)

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

Minnesota Vikings:

2014 DVOA rank: 24th

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

Key subtractions: Greg Jennings (WR)

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

New England Patriots:

2014 DVOA rank: 4th

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

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

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

New Orleans Saints:2014 DVOA rank: 17th

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

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

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

New York Giants:

2014 DVOA rank: 21st

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

Key subtractions: Antrel Rolle (DB)

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

Oakland Raiders:

2014 DVOA rank: 29th

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

Key subtractions: Denarius Moore (WR)

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

Philadelphia Eagles:

2014 DVOA rank: 7th

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

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

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

Pittsburgh Steelers:

2014 DVOA rank: 8th

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

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

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

St. Louis Rams:

2014 DVOA rank: 18th

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

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

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

San Francisco 49ers:

2014 DVOA rank: 11th

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

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

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

Seattle Seahawks:

2014 DVOA rank: 1st

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

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

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

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:2014 DVOA rank: 30th

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

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

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

Tennessee Titans:

2014 DVOA rank: 31st

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

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

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

Washington Redskins:

2014 DVOA rank: 28th

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

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

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

NFC Training Camp News

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

NFC EAST

NEW YORK GIANTS

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

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

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

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

DALLAS COWBOYS

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

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

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

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

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

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

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

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

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

WASHINGTON

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

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

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

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

NFC NORTH

GREEN BAY PACKERS

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

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

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

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

DETROIT LIONS

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

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

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

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

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

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

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

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

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

CHICAGO BEARS

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

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

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

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

NFC SOUTH

CAROLINA PANTHERS

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

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

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

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

ATLANTA FALCONS

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

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

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

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

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

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

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

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

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

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

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

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

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

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

NFC WEST

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

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

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

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

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

ST LOUIS RAMS

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

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

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

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

ARIZONA CARDINALS

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

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

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

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

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

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

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

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

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

Greased Lightning Round 2

#21 in your program, #1 in your hearts

 

1. Primetime tonight…It’s sweeps week for the NFL as their year-long reality show finally answers the question – Who’s got the best Mock-draft.0?  Only in ‘Murica is a labor force not permitted to speak freely to a prospective employer whenever there’s an opening.  One level below, that same workforce was free to accept any scholarship offer, but that’s just the kind of stand-in-the-way-business the NFL has been known for since ’35.  Besides, they know you’re gonna watch.  The only two reasons to watch; is to pretend you have any idea who your team should take and hope your team has a clue drafting that guy – or more importantly, like me, laugh at the pick the teams you despise just selected.  Yelling such low-brow things like: idiots!, hillbillies!, oh’yeah!?, and c’mere’a’minute.  Perfect for when the Broncos select a Kicker in the 1st round.  If you’re there next to that fan, look closely between your hysterical-hyena laughing, to notice they will begin to look like some sort of pig being eaten alive by meat-bats!

YOUR TEAM’S PICKS:

Dallas Cowboys — 27th (first round), 28th (second), 27th (third), 28th (fourth), 27th (fifth), 19th from San Diego (seventh), 26th from Baltimore (seventh).

New York Giants — 9th (first round), 8th (second), 10th (third), 9th (fourth), 8th (fifth), 10th (sixth), 9th (seventh), 28th from Denver (seventh).

Philadelphia Eagles — 20th (first round), 20th (second), 20th (third), 14th from San Francisco through Buffalo (fourth), 9th from St. Louis (fifth).

Chicago Bears — 7th (first round), 7th (second), 7th (third), 7th (fourth), 6th from Jets (fifth), 7th (sixth).

Detroit Lions — 23rd (first round), 22nd (second), 24th (third), 24th (sixth), 14th from Miami through Baltimore (seventh), 23rd (seventh).

Minnesota Vikings — 11th (first round), 13th (second round), 12th (third round), 11th (fourth), 1st from Tampa Bay through Buffalo (fifth), 11th (seventh), 15th from San Francisco through Miami (seventh).

Buffalo Bills — 18th (second round), 17th (third), 19th (fifth) 12th from Minnesota (sixth), 18th (sixth), 17th (seventh).

Miami Dolphins — 14th (first round), 15th (second), 15th (third), 13th from Minnesota (fifth), 14th (fifth), 15th (sixth).

New York Jets — 6th (first round), 5th (second), 6th (third), 5th (fourth), 6th (seventh), 7th (seventh).

Baltimore Ravens — 26th (first round), 26th (second), 26th (third), 23rd from Detroit (fourth), 26th (fourth), 37th compensatory (fourth), 22nd from Detroit (fifth), 35th compensatory (fifth), 40th compensatory (fifth), 28th from Dallas (sixth).

Cincinnati Bengals — 21st (first round), 21st (second), 21st (third), 35th compensatory (third), 21st (fourth), 36th compensatory (fourth), 21st (fifth), 21st (sixth), 22nd (seventh).

Cleveland Browns — 12th (first round), 19th from Buffalo (first), 11th (second), 13th (third), 12th (fourth), 16th from Buffalo (fourth), 11th (fifth), 13th (sixth), 26th from Baltimore (sixth), 12th (seventh).

Pittsburgh Steelers — 22nd (first round), 24th (second) 23rd (third), 22nd (fourth), 24th (fifth), 23rd (sixth), 36th compensatory (sixth), 22nd (seventh).

Atlanta Falcons — 8th (first round), 10th (second), 9th (third), 8th (fourth), 10th (fifth), 9th (sixth), 8th (seventh), 32nd from New England through St Louis (seventh).

Carolina Panthers — 25th (first round), 25th (second), 25th (third), 25th (fourth), 25th (fifth), 33rd compensatory (fifth), 38th compensatory (fifth), 25th (sixth), 25th (seventh).

Houston Texans — 16th (first round), 19th second), 18th (third), 17th (fourth), 16th (fifth), 39th compensatory (fifth), 19th (sixth), 35th compensatory (sixth), 40th compensatory (sixth), 18th (seventh).

Indianapolis Colts — 29th (first round), 29th (second), 29th (third), 29th (fourth), 29th (fifth), 29th (sixth), 31st from Seattle (sixth), 27th from Dallas (seventh), 38th compensatory (seventh).

Tennessee Titans — 2nd (first round), 1st (second), 2nd (third), 1st (fourth), 2nd (fifth), 1st (sixth), 32nd (sixth).

Arizona Cardinals — 24th (first round), 23rd (second), 22nd (third), 24th (fourth), 23rd (fifth), 22nd (sixth), 24th (seventh), 39th compensatory (seventh).

St Louis Rams — 10th (first round), 9th (second), 8th (third), 20th from Philadelphia (fourth), 39th compensatory (sixth), 10th (seventh).

Seattle Seahawks — 31st (second round), 31st (third), 13th from New Orleans (fourth), 31st (fourth), 35th compensatory (fourth), 31st (fifth), 34th compensatory (fifth), 5th from Jets (sixth), 33rd compensatory (sixth), 38th compensatory (sixth), 31st (seventh).

Denver Broncos — 28th (first round), 27th (second), 28th (third), 34th compensatory (fourth), 7th from Chicago (fifth), 28th (fifth), 27th (sixth), 33rd compensatory (seventh), 34th compensatory (seventh), 35th compensatory (seventh).

Oakland Raiders — 4th (first round), 3rd (second), 4th (third), 3rd (fourth), 4th (fifth), 3rd (sixth), 4th (seventh).

Washington Redskins — 5th (first round), 6th (second), 5th (third), 6th (fourth), 5th (fifth), 6th (sixth), 5th (seventh).

Jacksonville Jaguars — 3rd (first round), 4th (second), 3rd (third), 4th (fourth), 3rd (fifth), 4th (sixth), 3rd (seventh).

San Diego Chargers — 17th (first round), 16th (second), 19th (third), 18th (fourth), 17th (fifth), 16th (sixth).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers — 1st (first round), 2nd (second), 1st (third), 10h (fourth), 26th (fifth), 32nd (fifth), 8th (sixth), 2nd (seventh).

New England Patriots — 32nd (first round), 32nd (second), 32nd (third), 2nd (fourth), 32nd (fourth), 2nd (sixth), 1st (seventh).

San Francisco 49ers — 15th (first round), 14th (second), 15th (third), 27th (fourth), 15th (fifth), 14th (sixth), 29th (seventh).

New Orleans Saints — 13th (first round), 31st (first), 12th (second), 11th (third), 12th (fifth), 11th (sixth), 11th (seventh).

Kansas City Chiefs — 18th (first round), 17th (second), 16th (third), 19th (fourth), 18th (fifth), 17th (sixth), 16th (seventh).

Green Bay Packers — 30th (first round), 30th (second), 30th (third), 30th (fourth), 30th (fifth), 30th (sixth), 30th (seventh)


 

 

2. Daddy says dice are wicked!…For the truly degenerate, here are some prop bets for the NFL Draft tonight/weekend…I’ll talk with my attorney and see who he likes, maybe post his picks later…

  • Who will be the No. 1 selection (Bovada)

    Jameis Winston (-1000)
    Marcus Mariota (+350)
    Any other player (+1200)

    Who will be the No. 2 selection (Bovada)

    Jameis Winston (+500)
    Marcus Mariota (-300)
    Dante Fowler Jr (+1000)
    Leonard Williams (+700)
    Any Other Player (+500)

    Marcus Mariota will be drafted by the Titans (Sportsbook)

    Yes (-140)
    No (EVEN)

    How many teams will trade up for 1st round pick on Day 1? (Sportsbook)

    Over 2.5 (-400)
    Under 2.5 (+270)

    Draft Position: Amari Cooper (Bovada)

    OVER 5.5 (+200)
    UNDER 5.5 (-300)

    Draft Position: Kevin White (Bovada)

    OVER 7 (-120)
    UNDER 7 (-120)

    Draft Position: Todd Gurley (Bovada)

    OVER 12.5 (-120)
    UNDER 12.5 (-120)

    Draft Position: Melvin Gordon (Bovada)

    OVER 22.5 (-120)
    UNDER 22.5 (-120)

    Draft Position: Dante Fowler (Bovada)

    OVER 3.5 (-200)
    UNDER 3.5 (+150)

    How many Running Backs will be drafted in the 1st Round? (Bovada)

    OVER 1.5 (-500)
    UNDER 1.5 (+300)

    How many Wide Receivers will be drafted in the 1st Round? (Bovada)

    OVER 5.5 (-140)
    UNDER 5.5 (+150)

    How many Quarterbacks will be drafted in the 1st Round? (Sportsbook)

    OVER 2.5 (+300)
    UNDER 2.5 (-450)

    Mr. Irrelevant: Last player drafted will be (Kickers = Offense / Punter = Defense):

    Offensive player (-105)
    Defensive player (-105)


3. It’s dignity! Gah! Don’t you even know dignity when you see it?  The Grizzlies take care of the ‘Blazers – the Hawks held off the Nets – will the Bulls escape the Bucks and can we please have 7 games with the Spurs and Clippers?  I will watch the NBA tonight more than the draft, because there is this thing called Twitter that I can get the info I need about the NFL, or just read about it tomorrow – because what I want tonight is a Clippers win.  I want 7 games.  I’ll take a Bucks win too, just to see Chicago choke.  Just like the Detroit s#*^Wings!