Tagged with "nfl"
Musings From The Hoodwood 11-18
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL NBA MLB College Football

You'd smile too if you was getting the jack he was...

Greetings from the Hoodwood where the snow falls and my fantasy team is falling apart…

MLB: Stanton gets paid

I like Giancarlo Stanton. He is a talented outfielder for the Miami Marlins who is fast growing a rep for being one of the best young sluggers in the game, finished 2nd in the NL MVP behind Clayton Kershaw and might have won it had he not missed the last three weeks of the season with a frightening injury after getting hit in the face with a pitch. Stanton has routinely smashed long homers and is gaining the title of one of the best young sluggers in the game but with still two years to go before he would hit the free agent runway, many pundits felt that while Stanton would continue to see his paychecks increase he was still a couple years from the Yankees, Red Sox or hometown Dodgers swooping in with a monster contract and spiriting him out of perennially cash strapped Miami. The Marlins however did a total script flip and stunned the sports world by inking Stanton to a stunning 13 year $325 million dollar deal. That $25 million a year kids. The deal makes Stanton the richest player in team sports, period. The deal makes the Pujols, Fielder, Cabrera, Trout and Votto deals look like bargain basement raids. Stanton is a quality player and the Marlins were prescient in locking him up but 13 years? Stanton will be a Marlin unless they decide to fire sale and the only teams that will be able to afford him would be the big markets, so one wonders how wise this deal really is. If Stanton is getting $325 million how much will players like Clayton Kershaw and Andrew McCutchen get?

College Football: Is Bama back?

You had the feeling that Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide were playin possum, that they watched as first Ole Miss then Mississippi State took the early reigns as College footballs top dog, knowing sooner or later that they would have a hand in their downfall. Though the Tide had a couple games where they would be pushed to the brink, most notably the OT thriller in Death Valley against LSU, they continue to move stealthily if not steadily up the ranks and after dominating then #1 Mississippi State in a 25-20 win that was not as close as you would think, the Tide now seem poised to get back on the inside of the college football playoff picture. There are other contenders to be sure, Oregon, unbeaten Florida State and a growing list of 1-loss teams like Ohio State and TCU but Tide are there to many of the Tide haters’ chagrin.

NBA: Is Kobe getting his comeuppance?

I grew up loving the Lakers, I was a big Kareem and Magic fan. I wanted to play that roughneck defense like Michael Cooper and the team just seemed like the essence of cool. When the Lakers fell on hard times after Magic retired, I still was a fan at a distance since they had drafted a fellow Bearcat Nick Van Exel (I even had his poster) But when the Lakers pulled a draft day coup to acquire the precocious Kobe Bryant (most forget he was not drafted by the Lakers but by the Charlotte Hornets, the team that is now the New Orleans Pelicans not the current Hornets) I fell out of favor with the Lakers. Despite the fact that they had acquired Shaquille O’Neal. There was just something that always rubbed me the wrong way about Kobe. I always thought him too preppy and not a real urban baller. Did he have game, there was no denying that fact. I just thought he was just a suburban rich-nik who was the beneficiary of having a ball player father and was more snobby than baller. The more I tried to like Kobe the more he kept coming off a self-centered spoiled asshole. After he got caught up with rape accusations in 2004, he just seemed like he was trying to weasel his way out of the charges. The fact that he more or less first paid hush money to the alleged victim then tried to implicate Shaq on the sly made him seem more weasely to me. Throw in some selfish play like no shooting in a whole quarter during a critical stretch in an elimination game in the playoffs and the Kobe mystique to me was always tarnished. But the Lake Show was always in contention and when they fell on some harder times and missed the playoffs, I really didn’t feel sorry for him, I knew that the Lakers would bounce back and Kobe would be playing for a contender. He led the Lakers to titles in 2009 and 2010 and kept them in contention for years but the signs of wear were showing, the Lakers were crumbling and were not able to lure talent to LA, nor keep the talent they had. Players like Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol left at the first chance that they could get leaving Kobe all by himself. His Kobe against the world mantra is not playing very well and with the cross-locker room Clippers now the “it” franchise in LA the Lakers are not even the marquee team in their own building, heck some would say that they are third behind the LA Kings who have won two Stanley Cups in the past three seasons. The Lakers are just plain horrid, and they have limped out to a 1-9 start dead last in the West even behind the neophyte Timberwolves. Lake Show fans put on a brave face but the reality is Kobe is the centerpiece of a shell. A team that once was great and now scares no one, though Kobe thinks that he can will his team to wins like Jordan did. Kobe aint MJ and won’t get any more titles, unless he jumps to the Clippers and tries to gravy train to a title which aint guaranteed in the uber deep West. He opined late last week that he was “jealous” of the Spurs, a team that has aged quite gracefully and to Kobe’s chagrin has as many titles as he does. The reality is that Kobe is reaping what he has sown and like a punch drunk boxer who is hanging on too long, doesn’t quite get that his time has passed.

PHAT DAP/HEAD SLAP

Phat Dap

Goes to Wisconsin Running back Melvin Gordon III who rushed for a mindboggling 408 yards last Saturday. Now keep in mind a few things. Gordon did this on 25 carries, in 3 quarters and against…Nebraska. No not a directional FCS team. The famed blackshirt defense of Nebraska. How dope was the performance. Gordon outrushed a teams rushing output for the year in ¾ of a game. Gordon had 408 yards, Wake Forest has 341 yards for the entire season! Gordon broke the record set in 1999 set by LaDainian Tomlinson who gave Gordon mad props via Twitter for breaking his record. Hoodwood salutes Gordon on an unreal performance.

Head Slap

To Tony Williams the selfish Saints fan that got in the middle of what should have been a cool exchange. Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham scored his 2nd receiving touchdown in the midst of the Bengals 27-10 rout of the Saints in the Superdome on Sunday. Gresham tried to toss the ball to Christa Barrett a Bengals fan formerly from Versailles, Kentucky now living in the Big Easy. Williams elbowed Barrett out of the way and snatched the ball Gresham was trying to toss Barrett’s way then sat tone deaf as Barrett pleaded for the ball. Williams claimed he didn’t intend to elbow Barrett and was getting the ball for his grandson but instead came off looking like a chauvinistic self-centered asshole. The story does have a happy ending as not only the Saints gave Barrett a ball which she would donate to the Cincinnati Children’s hospital but Gresham autographed another ball and gave it to Barrett.

Quick Hits

I love the 24 hours of hoops going on today. You can guarantee that Hawai’i will be in the mix for that super late/super early game

Why is my fantasy team crumbling?

Bad week for the Mannings Eli looks like a boob in Gotham and Peyton has a horrid day in St. Louis

After much ado about the Bengals looking bad in primetime, they bounce back whip the Saints and are back in first

Will seven wins take the NFC South while there could be as many as four teams winning ten and sitting home?

I think the MVP voters got it right with Kershaw and Trout

The less you mention to me how horrible my picks were this week the better off you are...

Why do the pundits want Cincy to jettison Johnny Cueto so bad?

My beloved Bearcats tried to give it away but they bounced East Carolina and not only are bowl eligible for the 8th time in 9 years but still has an outside shot at taking conference.

My alma mater Mt. Healthy is shooting for its first ever regional title as they take on Cincinnati LaSalle at 12-0 the Fighting Owls are having their best season ever and I’ll be there to watch them hopefully take the next step to the State Semis!

Until Next post fellow Sports Fans!

NFL Week 11 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Thursday November 13

Bills (5-4) @ Dolphins (5-4)

SunLife Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL 8:25 (NFLN)

Favorite Dolphins by 4

Last Week Bills lost to Chiefs 17-13, Dolphins lost to Lions 20-16

Fast Fact The Bills allowed 405 rushing yards in their first six games but 460 in their last three.

Both teams are coming in the short week off of tough close losses, Ryan Tannehill should be a go for the  Fins who need their running game to play light years better than the puny 50 yard output against the Lions if they hope to keep the withering Bills pass rush totally honest.  Kyle Orton is playing respectably for the Bills and having a hale Sammy Watkins will help his numbers immensely. As tight as the AFC playoff picture is this may very well be a virtual elimination game. I’m going with the home team here but I’m not the most confident about it

Pick-Miami

 

Sunday November 16

Falcons (3-6) @ Panthers (3-6-1)

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Falcons by 1

Last Week Falcons defeated Buccaneers 27-17; Panthers lost to Eagles 45-21

Fast Fact Panthers QB Cam Newton has taken 561 hits (tackles, sacks, pressures) since coming in the league in 2011. The next closest QB has barely half that total in the time frame

What most would say would be a throwaway game is actually a game to stay in the divisional race. Both teams are a mess, though the Falcons are coming off a decently played win over the hapless Bucs while the Panthers are bedeviled by a nonexistent pass rush and a porous offensive line.  This game is a tossup but for some reason I trust the Panthers less than I do the equally weak Falcons

Pick-Atlanta

 

Vikings (4-5) @ Bears (3-6)

Soldier Field, Chicago 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bears by 3

Last Week Vikings were on their bye; Bears lost to Packers 55-14

Fast Fact The Bears are the first team since the 1923 Rochester Jeffersons (yes that was an NFL team) to give up 50 or more points in back to back games

The Bears are imploding badly, their nationally television destructions at the hands of the Pats and Packers are telling a grim story. The well-rested Vikes are no juggernaut but have been slowly improving and while not likely to have the service of Adrian Peterson will have a decent running attack at their disposal and a withering rush to bother an increasingly erratic Jay Cutler. The Vikes are dicey on the road and the Bears are winless at home. But I think the Bears are quitting on themselves and the Vikes are more than happy to help turn the out the lights further.

Pick-Minnesota

 

Texans (4-5) @ Browns (6-3)

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Browns by 3

Last Week Texans were on their bye; Browns defeated Bengals 24-3

Fast Fact Browns run defense has allowed an average of 91.7 yards rushing a game in their 3 game win streak

Fresh off a bye the Texans head to the frosty climes of Northern Ohio to face the Browns who are flying high after a Thursday beatdown of their despised downstate rivals. The Browns stout run defense will face a stern test against the redoubtable running of the Texans Arian Foster. While Brian Hoyer isn’t flashy, he pilots the Browns offense like a grizzled vet and his poised play has kept the Browns steady and win playing well. In a super tough AFC North, that could keep them in the hunt as stakes on these games get higher. This will be a grimy gritty game, I keep waiting for the Browns to take their expected pratfall but with Texans still unsettled at QB, it bodes well for the home team here

Pick-Cleveland

 

Seahawks (6-3) @ Chiefs (6-3)

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Chiefs by 2½

Last Week Seahawks defeated Giants 38-17; Chiefs defeated Bills 17-13

Fast Fact This is matchup of teams that play in the loudest NFL stadiums as Arrowhead and CenturyLink in Seattle have traded the title at least six times over the last three years with Arrowhead holding the current record with an eardrum splitting 142.9 dB…yikes!

This ultra-noisy matchup features two team trying to stay in contention in their respective conferences. The Seahawks are trying to hold on to their champs mantle as long as they can but Russell Wilson is looking quite mortal and while Marshawn Lynch continues to run rugged, the defense is a shadow of its once formidable self. The Chiefs are staying strong with a super tight running game, and Alex Smith playing mostly mistake free ball, The Seahawks are a tough team still but going in to KC is a nightmare even for a noise tested squad like the Hawks. I just think that the Chiefs are a team to reckon with and catching them at their crib is not good

Pick-Kansas City 

 

Bengals (5-3-1) @ Saints (4-5)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Saints by 7½

Last Week Bengals lost to Browns 24-3, Saints lost to 49ers 27-24 in OT

Fast Fact

Looking at the records you would think that the Bengals are the first place team and the Saints are the 3rd place team scuffling along, when it’s the exact reverse. The Bengals are scrambling after a humiliating home loss to their upstate rivals and the Saints while leading the woefully weak NFC South are scrambling themselves after a heartbreaking OT loss to the Niners. Both team are wildly inconsistent, but I’m just not real sold on the Bengals as of late especially on the road. Had the Saints won last week I would say the Bengals could use this as a real bounce back. But I’m not betting on the Saints to lose back to back at home. And given the Bengals Andy Dalton skittish play as of late, I just can’t call an upset here and despite the records a Bengals win here would be an upset, but it’s not happening here.

Pick-New Orleans

 

Broncos (7-2) @ Rams (3-6)

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 9

Last Week Broncos defeated Raiders 41-17, Rams lost Cardinals 31-14

Fast Fact The Broncos have never won in St. Louis (tied the then St. Louis Cardinals in 1973 and are 0-2 against the Rams)

The Broncos bounced back strong to whip the Raiders while the Rams struggled in the desert. Peyton Manning regained his touch and that really bad news for the Rams who have been up and down as of late, their pattern has been win-loss and are due for a win, but the Broncos look to be in no mood to play niceties here. I think Manning will abuse the Rams suspect secondary while the Rams are turning back to Shaun Hill for the ineffective Austin Davis. It won’t matter much as the Broncos should roll to the win

Pick-Denver (Lock of the week)

 

49ers (5-4) @ New York Giants (3-6)

MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite 49ers by 3½

Last Week 49ers defeated Saints 27-24 in OT; Giants lost to the Seahawks 38-17

Fast Fact the Niners haven’t won in NYC against the Giants since 2002 (lost last two visits)

The Niners stole a controversial win in the Big Easy and stay on the fringes of the NFC playoff picture while the G-Men are crumbling badly as evidence by the whomping that they got in Seattle last week. I’ve long maintained that west coast teams going east for a 1p kickoff are often in trouble and I would think that the Niners would be in some kind of trouble but I’m thinking that the G-Men’s butter booty soft defense is in no shape to slow down the Niners rugged running game and Colin Kaepernick’s dynamic passing. I think the Niners grind out a tight win

Pick-San Francisco

 

Buccaneers (1-8) @ Washington (3-6)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 1:00 (FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN)

Favorite Washington by 7½

Last Week Buccaneers lost to Falcons 27-17; Washington was on a bye

Fast Fact The Buccaneers are giving up 30.2 points a game only Lovie Smith’s former team in Chicago (30.8) gives up more.

The Bucs are wandering through this long season, while Washington is trying to wake up from this nightmare season after their bye. This is a real who cares game, the Bucs defense is pretty porous and while Washington welcomes back RG3 they lack a real direction and identity. I’m thinking that the Bucs won’t be able to garner anymore road wins this season.

Pick-Washington

 

 

Raiders (0-9) @ Chargers (5-4)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Chargers by 10½

Last Week Raiders lost to Broncos 41-17, Chargers were on their bye

Fast Fact The Chargers were shutout in week 9 for the first time since 1999

The Chargers were flying high when they went to the East Bay to face the scuffling Raiders but haven’t won since they pulled out a 31-28 win four weeks ago. The Raiders are trying their best but find a way to come apart at critical junctures. The Broncos toyed with them a while before tearing them up last week while the Chargers have had a week to brood over their 37-0 implosion against the Dolphins before their bye. I want the Raiders to pick up a win since they are seriously looking like a reverse table run. But I can’t find a win here. The Chargers need a bounce back in the worst way and they will get one here.

Pick-San Diego

 

Lions (7-2) @ Cardinals (8-1)

University of Phoenix; Glendale, AZ 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Cardinals by 1

Last Week Lions defeated Dolphins 20-13; Cardinals defeated Rams 31-14

Fast Fact The Lions haven’t won in Arizona since 1993

The late NFC games are top notch, the Lions are playing like a tough team but have a steep challenge facing the Cards in their desert stronghold. The Lions are looking to follow up their gritty comeback win while the Cards are hoping that Drew Stanton will be able to fill in capably for the injured Carson Palmer. I think that the Lions rugged defense will be too tall a task for the young Stanton

Pick-Detroit (Upset of the Week)

 

Eagles (7-2) @ Packers (6-3)

Lambeau Field, Green Bay 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Packers by 5½

Last Week Eagles defeated Panthers 45-21, Packers defeated Bears 55--14

Fast Fact Packers have won its games at Lambeau by an average of 25.3 points this season

Both teams are coming off primetime beatdown wins, Mark Sanchez looked especially crisp in his return to starting duties, but the curve gets really steep facing the Packers in Lambeau who are coming off a thrashing of the Bears last Sunday night. Now while I like the Eagles high powered offense and think that Sanchez looks good running, better than he ever did with the Jets the Packers defense isn’t soft like the Panthers and you can believe the likes of Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and AJ Hawk will put more pressure on him. While Aaron Rodgers won’t come close to the 6 TD first half performance he had last week he should be able to get a solid performance enough to get the win.

Pick-Green Bay

 

Patriots (0-0) @ Colts (0-0)

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Colts by 3

Last Week Both teams were on their respective byes

Fast Fact The Pats have averaged 40.2 points during their 5 game win streak.

The Primetime matchup is a doozy both teams rested up for a high scoring shootout, The Pats have been scoring in obscene bunches during their 5 game win streak but aside from a quick run to Buffalo, they haven’t went far on the road during their win streak Tom Brady has been putting rumors of his slide to rest while Andrew Luck is representing the young guns very well with his sharp play. Both teams are strikingly similar but I’m real curious which defense will come out looking better. It’s a tossup to be sure. I’m going to bet on the home team and likely be wrong.

Pick-Indianapolis

 

 

 

 

Monday November 16

 

Steelers (6-3) @ Titans (2-7)

LP Field, Nashville 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Steelers by 6½

Last Week Steelers lost to Jets 20-13, Titans lost to Ravens 21-7

Fast Fact Steelers have allowed 36 points on opponents’ first possession this season, league worst

The Steelers are coming in off an embarrassing loss to the lowly Jets and now have to face a Titans team that stood bravely against the Ravens before losing a tight game. The Steelers should be able to get their offense in gear against the Titans soft defensive front and Zach Mettenberger might have a more difficult time against the Steelers defensive rush. The Titans are not the best of teams but the Steelers for some puzzling reason struggle against weaker teams that they should drill. As tempted as I am to call another stunning upset of the Steelers here. I can’t do it.

Pick-Pittsburgh

 

Last Week: 9-4 (Lock Correct/Upset Incorrect)

Overall: 89-57-1

Locks: 8-2

Upsets: 2-8

 

 

Sports Friday with Hal: AFC East Theories
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft AFC East

The NFL was kind enough to schedule a Thursday Night Football game between two of the poor sisters of the AFC East, Buffalo and Miami. Both teams have struggled with consistency and both have 5-4 records and are tied for second in the division behind New England who is 7-2. Once again the fan bases in the AFC East are looking at quarterback Tom Brady having an MVP caliber season and head coach Bill Belichick putting together a strong defense as they once again look like a favorite to go deep in the playoffs.

 

Since 2001, the division has been in a stranglehold of the Belichick and Brady led New England Patriots. The Patriots have won the division every season save for 2002 and 2008. In both seasons the Patriots still tied for the division lead in victories but missed the playoffs on tie-breakers. Also, 2002 was Brady’s second season as a starter and 2008 was when he played just one quarter of football being sidelined the entire season with a knee injury.

 

In Buffalo, the Bills are still lamenting the end of the Marv Levy era in the late 1980s and early 1990s where the Bills went to (and lost) four consecutive Super Bowls and were an almost automatic double-digit winning team. Since Wade Phillips was run out of Western New York following the 2000 season that saw him run the Levy machine into the ground, the Bills have topped .500 just once when they won nine games in 2004.

 

The Bills have finished 7-9 or worse every season since that nine win season. They have run through head coaches looking for a winner starting with Philips (1998-2000), Gregg Williams (2001-2003), Mike Mularkey (2004-2005), Dick Jauron (2006-2009). Chan Gailey (2010-2012), and now Doug Marrone (2013-present). With five wins through nine weeks, this is the most successful team in Buffalo in a decade.

 

The Dolphins have been struggling as well since having Don Shula and Jimmy Johnson running the team from 1970 to 1999. Dave Wannstedt had four winning seasons and two trips to the playoffs carrying on the Jimmy Johnson plan after Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Marino retired. Replacing Marino has been Quixotic quest as Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, and Matt Moore (among others) failed to pick-up the Marino mantle. Miami is pinning their hopes on 2012 first round draft pick Ryan Tannehill to become their quarterback of the future.

 

Miami tried everything to turn around the franchise, even bringing in Bill Parcells to lead the football operations. They tried college coach Nick Saban in one of the biggest disasters in turning over a franchise to a coach who belongs in college (see Washington and the Steve Spurrier disaster in 2002). Parcells led them to the playoffs in 2008 where they lost in the Wild Card round (again, no Tom Brady that year) and since then they have won 7, 7, 6, 7, and 8 games. In head coach Joe Philbin and Tannehill’s third season together the Dolphins are hoping they begin making strides.

 

In New York, the Jets came the closest to knocking the Patriots off the top of the division. After Bill Parcells tried to leave the Jets to Belichick in 2000 and Belichick instead resigned as “HC of the NYJ” and bolted to the Patriots. After a year of Al Groh in 2000, Herm Edwards had some productive season making the playoffs three times before the team bottomed out with four wins in 2005. The Jets raided the Patriots and stole the “Man-Genius” Eric Mangini where they immediately won ten games before losing in the Wild Card round in 2006.

 

Two more less than stellar seasons led to importing the brash and arrogant Rex Ryan from the Baltimore Ravens. He brought an aggressive and blitzing style of play to a franchise in desperate need of someone who “wasn’t brought in here to kiss Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl rings”. The Jets reached the AFC Championship in the first two years of Ryan’s tenure (making the playoffs as a Wild Card both times), but since the 2011 season the Jets are 24-34 without making the playoffs. The 2011 season was the last time the Jets scored more points than they allowed and are 2-8 through ten weeks of 2014.

 

The three AFC East teams are all in various phases of building and re-building. All three have spent high draft picks on quarterbacks in the past three years as the Dolphins spent their top ten pick in 2012 on Tannehill, the Bills invested their 2013 first round pick on E.J. Manuel, and the Jets spent a 2013 second round draft pick on Geno Smith. Smith and Manuel are sitting on the bench a year and a half in after flaming out as starters and have been replaced by veteran re-treads Michael Vick and Kyle Orton.

 

What is most striking is the way all three teams have suffered by focusing on their own short-sighted views being stuck in the AFC East. All three franchises have invested heavily in the running game and the defensive line. Curious.

 

The Dolphins brought in running backs Mike Gillislee and Knowshon Moreno and spent draft picks on Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller. The Jets brought in Mike Goodson, Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson from other franchises while drafting Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell. The Bills invested a first round draft pick on C.J. Spiller and found diamond in the rough Fred Jackson. They also traded for Bryce Brown from Philadelphia and Anthony “Boobie” DIxon from San Francisco.

 

The Dolphins have edge rushers Olivier Vernon, Dion Jordan (#3 overall pick in 2013), and Cameron Wake with big bodies Earl Mitchell, Jared Odrick, and Randy Starks inside. The Bills have edge rushers Jerry Hughes and Manny Lawson to go with big pocket pushers Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, and Mario Williams. The Jets invested first round picks in defensive tackles Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson to join big run stuffer Damon Harrison. They have edge rushers Jason Babin, Calvin Pace and first round draft pick Quinton Coples.

 

All three teams have invested heavily in the running game and in a defensive line capable of generating pressure without having to blitz. Hmmmm. Sounds the game plan the New York Giants used in two Super Bowls to upset the heavily favored Patriots. A sound plan to invest that way to beat New England, but not so great at winning enough games to make the playoffs. Or win a Super Bowl.

 

Are the Jets, Bills, and Dolphins trying to beat the Patriots twice a season or win the Super Bowl? To me, it looks like they are looking to beat New England and struggling without a balanced defense and strong passing attack.

 

Getting beat repeatedly by the same team for a decade and a half can be frustrating, but it does not need to be an obsession. This obsession is stagnating three teams that could be playoff contenders with a better plan instead of all falling into the same trap.

 

Belichick wins again.

 
Talking Sports
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: MLB NFL NHL and Other stuff

The bye week is awful not as bad as Thursday Night Football. But awful, I realize it’s good for your team to heal up and get some well deserved rest. But I’m a fan damn it. It’s all about me not a bunch of millionaires. Sure there was Football on. There was a good game with the Bills and the Chiefs. The Chiefs knocking them off... Then it was the Giants and the Seahawks yawn The Seahawks winning 38-17 with leaves needing raking and early darkness dinner and a 5:40 Hockey game No Giants or Seahawks yawn. It’s time to settle in and watch the Bears and the Packers. I was there in my living room all nestled on my couch Ruby the wonder dog by my side Damn dog ten pounds of terror she must of scared those damn Bears away because they didn’t show up. To bad it was dark and cold the leaves needed to be raked again. Yeah , the bye weeks sucks, No Tom Brady, No Vince Wilfork, No Gronk damn. But Leaves got raked even though by days end it didn’t look like it. My damn neighbor has been away there are no leaves in his yard only mine. Damn leaves.

MLB

Kung Fu Panda coming to Fenway so the rumors have it. That lil Pork Chop of a First Baseman who is asking for way too much cash and will fill a need on Yawkey Way could be on his way. I’m not really liking the idea. I can see Buck Showalter bunting a lot down the Third Base line, Ditto for Joe Giradi. Sure the guy can hit and sure for a guy that size he is athletic and a champion for us fat guys everywhere. However, since this is the about me blog . I want a guy that can hit the Green Monster and get a double not a single. Let’s face it was outfielders today are pretty quick and most can play the wall. Sure occasionally a guy can mis read abounce or moves in to tight to the Wall and miss plays it. Most don’t.. Maybe the panda can rake my damn leaves and get in shape that way.

There also a lot of rumors that the Red Sox will oen the purse strings and break there so called  player value and are willing to pay John Lester to return. I would love it absolutely love it but, I’m of the opinion that it is rumor and only a rumor what else do writers have to do at those GM meetings or owners meetings  sit around and float rumors.

Give me a source other one unnamed source in the know.

NHL

The NHL are thinking Expansion(dumb asses). In los Vegas . This will be headed up by William Foley and the Maloof  of Family of Sacremento Kings owners and another city in the Western US.. according to the NY Post 

. This league is finally doing some good things and have a decent TV money  and a deplitated talent pool. Although the article said there is no time table on expansion., now or the near future isn’t the time to expand. If you want to move a couple of teams that makes more sense move the Coyotes or the Panthers or both. There are some very weak fan bases throughout the league and there are too many team as it is. We know they won’t contract the number of teams but they shouldn’t expand. The league is enjoying a bunch of success now is not the team to expand. I will predict a franchise in Vegas will flop as much as an NFL team in London. I don’t like and it is totally not necessary.

LIL Warriors Report

Boys had a few tough games over the weekend battling both Saturday and Sunday in close games than the wheels fell off both games. The boys were down 4-1 Saturday battled back to 4-3 with about 6 minutes left and the wheels came off losing 8-3. Just freaky goals bad bounces crappy rebounds and what not and an empty netter.

Sunday Lil lanz poked home his 3rd goal of the season. Boys were in a 4-4 tie and ended up losing 7-4 in a nasty chippy game. That almost brought the coaches to blows. I’m happy to say calmer heads prevailed. Our head coach argues and off sides call that resulted in a goal and he was ejected. He was right the kid was 4 feet over the Blue line when he scored. That took the wind out of the sails.

On Tuesday the boys got a nice win in a good hockey game back in fourth yes it was Veterans  Day game. Asked Lil Lanz check is bag , he said he did . he forgot his Hockey pants. The Mrs. Wasn’t too happy driving to the rink about 20 minutes away with a bunch of other stuff on her plate. She got them there in time. I was suppose to work too many things to do and too many leaves to rake. I took the day off.

Zebra Tails

As the season is coming to end. I had a rare Saturday Night Game this week as I worked Friday as well. Saturday I left for the game right after Lil Lanz’s Hockey game. It was a lousy game two 1-7 teams.

This Bear always showed up. he doen't have to rake the leaves.

One team couldn’t move the ball so they brought in their version of the Fridge. Kid had to be 6-3  and 3 Bills. His first run from scrimmage it took 8 kids to bring him down. I’m thinking there wasn’t a kid over 200 pounds on that defense. A few more runs a few first downs. They stopped him fourth and goal from the 2 all 11 kids stood him up at the goalline. It was like a barn raising. It was a bragging rights game as I was to find out both head coaches were roommates. They don’t normally play each other.

Monday , I had a JV game scheduled at 4pm  it gets dark at 5.(no lights at this field). It a nice turf practice field that they play their sub varsity games on. .Before the turf was installed a few years ago the tree line use to jet out at one end of th field made for some weird plays. According to the home team the coach is a pretty good guy. The AD changed the game to 3:30 of course he forgot to tell us and the visiting team as the bus pulled in at 3:45. Only two Officials in that game . (Damn you run a lot in those). We got both coaches to agree that it would be 9 minutes running time per quarter and two minutes regular time at th end of each half.

The last three plays I could  not see who had the ball we let those playskill themselves.Nobody got hurt and we got it in everybody worked together to get done Coaches , officials, and players. Chalk that one up to experience.. It’s time to rake the leaves again!

OH Thursday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Ditka Satchel Page

    

OH Thursday

I want to start off by thanking all the Veterans here at the Gab, Veterans Day should not be treated as just a day off for businesses but should be on the level of Independence Day. Our freedoms now and throughout the history of the USA are only possible through the sacrifice and efforts of our Military.

As for my retirement…I survived the first week without any hitches.

I kept busy getting my employer up to speed on the jobs I have been working on and reminding him that reduced hours mean I won’t be here as often. I will not be available for phone calls every 10 minutes.

My darling bride gave me her wish list to add to the honey do list to be added to my usual chores.

And my Mother said, “now that you have nothing to do…I have some things that need attention”

So anyone worried about me being bored and lonely…no worries

Plus I have my fellowship of gabbers right here to keep me out of trouble.

     Beeze had a great QOD on Monday, Name the best guitarist. Great choices from all gabbers, it shows that we are real people with varied interests not just in sports. The range from blues to rock to metal to folk to C&w, loved it.

Speaking of trouble there are some things that trouble me.

I’ll stick to the sports troubles and steer clear of the political troubles.

The Bengulls of Cincinnati trouble me.

Andy Dalton makes a load of money and cant seem to be able to win the big one.

The 24-3 loss to sure first ballot HOFer Bryan Hoyer of Cleveland is just the latest in the career of Dalton. The Bengals need a QB

And

Marvin Lewis makes a load of money and can’t seem to win the big one. The 24-3 loss to

Mike Pettine’s Cleveland Browns on Thursday night was a microcosm of Lewis failed HC career with the Bengals. He’s been the HC since 2003.

 A regular season record of 95-88-2 and a 0-5 playoff record.

The Browns HC has a lifetime NFL record of 6-3

The Browns were prepared for the game and my knock on Lewis is, his teams are NEVER prepared to play.

Why? Because he is not a good head coach, he is overmatched whenever the big stage presents itself.

 

The Bears…51, 55 points allowed in consecutive blowouts…New England and Green Bay are good but not that good.

Time for Trestman to go…time for the Bears to get a real QB.

 

Playoff picture as November weather sets in:

AFC

1. New England   7-2

2. Denver             7-2

3. Indianapolis     6-3

4.  Cleveland       6-3

5.  Kansas City    6-3

6.  Cincinnati       5-3-1

 

NFC

1. Arizona            8-1

2. Detroit              7-2

3. Philadelphia     7-2

4. New Orleans    4-5

5. Dallas               7-3

6. Seattle               6-3

There are some really good matchups this week, watch for these games...

Tonight

Buffalo 5-4 at Miami 5-4

Sunday Night

New England 7-2 at Indy 6-3

Sunday at 1:00PM

Seattle 6-3 at Kansas City 6-3

Sunday at 4:00PM

Detroit 7-2 at Arizona 8-1

Philadelphia 7-2 at Green Bay 6-3

 

Another game of interest is the Brady Backup Bowl

Hoyer, Cassel, Mallet and Garapolo all seem to have that Tom Brady arm slot and release.

Brian Hoyer’s Cleveland Browns 6-3 and leading the AFC North

Travel to Houston to play the Ryan Mallet led Texans 4-5.

 Mallet will be getting his first NFL start

Hoyer spent 3 years as Brady’s backup after Matt Cassel, 3 years as Brady’s back up, departed to the Chiefs. Ryan Mallet spent the past 3 years backing up Brady and was replaced by Jimmy Garappolo this year.

Hoyer has been steady and reliable with Cleveland and should be rewarded with a new contract at the end of the season…he will be a free agent.

Mallet is reunited with HC Billy O’Brian who was his offensive Coordinator in his rookie year with the Patriots. The offenses are not a lot different and with Hopkins and Johnson at WR, Mallet will get to use that big arm.

 

Mallet’s strength coaches have had great success in their past projects

They are here to Pump you up!

 

The Ditkah’s stayed atop the standings with an 8-0 win last Thursday.

We didn’t bowl our best but the team we faced had their worst night of the season.

I’ll end with a couple of quotes from guys I admire

    Courage is not simply one of the virtues

But the form of every virtue at the testing point.

~CS Lewis

 

   Age is a case of mind over matter…

If you don’t mind, it don’t matter

~Satchel Page          

 

Have a great day and a great weekend.

Check out my Boston brahtha Lanz talking sports to the right

 

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