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Musings From The Hoodwood 9-30
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL College Football MLB

Was I there? You betcha!

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood where the locals are preparing for Princess Katie’s 18th Birthday

 

I am one of the first to lambaste the lemming like followers of Ohio State, but I had the chance to head to the belly of the beast this past Saturday. I got tickets to see my beloved alma mater take on the fearsome Ohio State University in a rare night game in Ohio Stadium. Yes the Bearcats were better than 2 touchdown underdogs, they were well represented fan wise in the massive crowd filing to the imposing 100k-plus arena in the heart of the Columbus campus. I have been to Ohio Stadium a number of times, but usually with a press pass, so though I would be on the field I had to be a neutral observer. When the Bearcats played in Columbus in 2004 and 2006 they were hammered both times, the games never close. This time, I had my tickets I had my gear on and was ready for my Bearcats to shock the world.

The game started auspiciously for the Bearcats, they received the opening kickoff and three plays into the game, Gunner Kiel dropped back and went deep, Chris Moore had a step on his man and hauled in the pass. Moore steamed into the end zone and 84 seconds into the game…the scoreboard looked like this and the boisterious Buckeye crowd sat blinking as the scoreboard looked like this

The Bearcats came out looking less like Kent State who looked and played like a patsy and more like Virginia Tech who came ready to play and win. The problem was the Bearcats defense was virtually non existent, the Bucks drove right back down the field and 2 minutes later had the game tied. Where it looked like it would be a tight game even with the Bucks pulling ahead with 4:30 left in the first when Ezekiel Elliot crashed over from a yard out, the game looked like it would be a dogfight but the Bucks forced the issue with a massive hit on Kiel on the Bearcats subsequent possession which caused a fumble the ball bounded toward the end zone where it was batted out of the end zone which was a safety. The Bucks took the free kick and roared back down the field where JT Barrett found Devin Smith on a crossing pattern and Smith scampered in from 19 yards out, it suddenly was 23-7 at the end of the first and the Bucks looked dangerously close to making the game a joke before the sun had went down in the western sky and when Evan Spencer hauled in another TD strike from Barrett the game was disintergrating into a rout. I sat in my upper deck seat in shell shock, the Buck fans around me taunting me with glee. The Bearcats weren’t any better than Kent State in their eyes and they were already making dinner plans

But a funny thing happened, the Bearcats hung in. Kiel found Johnny Holton on a go route cutting the lead to 16(yawn snore go the Buck fans many of whom were already calling for the Bucks to score another 30 points in response.) and late in the half , Moore found a seam, Kiel zipped the ball to him and it was off to the races and a nine point deficit. The score at the half was 30-21 (yawn but no snore, the crowd seemed to take more delight in the halftime show taking potshots at hated rival Michigan than anything. The Bucks took the 2nd half kickoff and again sauntered down the field but for the first time a drive stalled. The Bucks had to take a field goal and were up 12, the Bearcats took the kickoff and after a first down pass again went long. Kiel went deep to Moore whos 3 catches were all for touchdowns and were for a mind boggling 223 yards. My UC math has that as a 74.3 yard per catch, that’s an NCAA record and earned Moore conference player of the week. The score was now 33-28 and while the scattered Bearcat fans celebrated, I stood tall and screamed “We’re still here! Oh yes we are STILL HERE!” The yawns and snores were gone. It was a five point game This is where the Bearcats had a chance to make their bones and really make a game of it. I opined to my friends that if the Bearcats were leading or within 5 to start the fourth, the Bucks would crumble from panic thinking “Oh no, its Va. Tech all over again.” The Bearcats again went deep but the pass fell short and a flag was down, offensive pass interference was called and Bearcats head man Tommy Tuberville came close to popping a gourd in protest. The Cats were pushed back to 1st And 25, the Bearcats went meekly and only gained 5 yards and punted. Bucks fans grinned conspiratorially as the knew that they got a favorable call. The Bucks steamed back down the field and Dontrae Smith was wide open in the end zone for a score and the roof more or less fell in. The Bucks added a late score in the 4th to finish a 50-28 rout. The Bearcats gave up over 700 yards of offense and 45 first downs. The Bearcats were defeated but played the Bucks tough and I was proud that they competed. The game was played in front of the largest Ohio Stadium crowd ever. Not for a Michigan game, not for Penn State or Sparty against Cincy. 108,362 were in attendance. One of whom…was your humble scribe.  

Though I find out later that my moms neighbor who is a diehard Ohio State alum and fan tells me on Monday that she had been looking for me, as she had a pair of extra lower deck tickets that she was looking to bestow on me for free…arrggh.

Phat Dap

To Jordan Zimmerman of the Nationals, who finished the MLB regular season with a no-hitter preserved by AAA player of the year Steven Souza who entered as a defensive replacement and made a spectacular catch for the final out. The Nats have home field advantage in the NL playoffs and will be a tough out in the postseason.

Head Slap

To the Michigan Football team, who got housed by Minnesota 30-14 to lose the Little Brown Jug for the first time since 2005, the Wolverines have 3 losses before the 1st of October for the first time in school history. Brady Hoke is likely seeing for sale signs outside his house. I overheard Buck fans at the game Saturday in real fear that Hoke will be fired and Michigan will go after and hired embattled 49er coach Jim Harbaugh a former Michigan player. That might not happen but that would even the playing field in the OSU-Michigan rivalry in a hurry.

Quick Hits

Dennis Allen the now former head coach of the Raiders. Allen got the gate after the Raiders were routed by Dolphins in London. Allen was 8-28 in 2+ seasons in the East Bay. The Raiders are on a 10 game losing streak. Allen was a scapegoat of a larger problem, this is the Raiders 10th coach in the last 20 years a sad mark of a once proud franchise.

Charlie Weis got the gate from Kansas 6-22 in 2+ seasons, hes more a coordinator than coach

Steve Smith had a real grudge against the Panthers the Ravens took his lead and took the Panthers back of the woodshed

Goodbye Gardy, the Twins give the longtime skipper the gate after 13 seasons. The Twins have had all of 2 managers in the last 29 years.

Bucs get hammered by the Falcons, then turnaround and stun the Steelers at Heinz Field no less…

Im still proud of my Bearcats…

Until next post fellow sports fans…

NFL Week 4 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Last week was a decent bounceback and it would be nice to avoid anymore horrid weeks, but the number of games are reduced and the marging of error much smaller. The bye weeks start, earlier than ever. And it takes two of the three unbeaten teams out of the mix for the week so that 1972 Dolphins will have to keep that champagne waiting for at least another week. The Cardinals (defeated 49ers 23-14), Bengals (defeated Titans 33-7), Browns (lost to Ravens 23-21), Broncos, Seahawks (Seattle defeated Denver 26-20 in OT) & Rams (lost to Cowboys 34-31)  on their respective byes. The odds are provided by ESPN and are for entertainment and comparison purposes only. Money is a rumor in my house so I haven’t a dime to spare you if take these lines and lose. 

 

Thursday September 25

Giants (1-2) @ Washington (1-2)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 8:25 (CBS/NFLN)

Favorite Washington by 3

Last Week Giants defeated Texans 30-17, Washington lost to Eagles 37-34

Fast Fact Washington has scored 75 points in the last two games, most in the NFL

The G-Men finally awoke to slam the Texans  while Kirk Cousins has been the tonic that DC has needed, waking up a sleepy offense and despite a loss to Philly has suddenly been lighting up the scoreboard. Im not really sold on either one of teams but I don’t trust Eli Manning that much to begin with (Though selfishly Im hoping that he has a decent game for my fantasy team, hes my fill in for his brother) I think that Cousins continues to play well and make the cries for his permanent insertion into the starting lineup grow louder

Pick-Washington

Sunday September 28

 

Packers (1-2) @ Bears (2-1)

Soldier Field, Chicago 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Packers by 1˝

Last Week Packers lost to Lions 19-7, Bears defeated Jets 27-19

Fast Fact Since 2010 The Bears have returned 19 interceptions for touchdowns most by any team in that span

The Bears looked uneven but still had more than enough to ease past the Jets in Gotham, while the Packers just looked plumb comfused (sic) in Motown. Aaron n Rodgers tells Pack Nation to relax, but falling to 1-3 with a loss to their hated rival to the south would get the radical fringe in Green Bay to hunting up for sale signs to plant on Mike McCarthy’s lawn. I still don’t trust Jay Cutler though he is beginning to click nicely with his deep receiving corps. The Bears defense also plays scattershot though I was pleasantly surprised to see the secondary play at a high level in spite of losing Peanut Tillman. Tough game to call and I expect it to be close. Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cutler make a liar of me and play like a schlep again, I’m picking the Bears to push the Packers (and their fans to desperation)

Pick-Chicago

 

Bills (2-1) @ Texans (2-1)

Reliant Stadium 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Texans by 2˝

Last Week Bills lost to Chargers 22-10, Texans lost to Giants 30-17

Fast Fact The Bills are 0-10 since the start of last season if they trail by 10 or more points

The Bills got smacked around by the Chargers who shut their fragile and fledgling offense down while the Texans got hammered by the G-Men in Gotham. Ryan Fitzpatrick needs the dynamic running of Arian Foster to keep opposing defenses honest and will especially need it against a withering Bills pass rush, a team that he was once the supposed franchise quarterback. Their current franchise QB is still suffering through growing pains and I just don’t feel that I can trust the Bills on the road yet.

Pick-Houston

 

Titans (1-2) @ Colts (1-2)

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Colts by 7˝

Last Week Titans lost to Bengals 33-7, Colts defeated Jaguars 44-17

Fast Fact The Colts have won 10 of the last 11 meetings both in the series and in Indy

The Titans got hammered in Cincy and now face a Colts squad that pounded the Jags to get their first win. The Titans have more and more questions on both sides of the ball and I’m getting to think that the win in Kansas City was more a fluke. The Colts offense hasn’t really been a concern, and as long as the running game continues to be solid the Colts will win more than their fair share of games. The Titans have way too many issues to give the home team anything more than token resistance

Pick-Indianapolis

 

Panthers (2-1) @ Ravens (2-1)

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Ravens by 3˝

Last Week Panthers lost to Steelers 37-19, Ravens defeated Browns 23-21

Fast Fact Ravens receiver Steve Smith is the Panthers all-time leader in receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns (836-12197-67)

Beat up and worn down in front of a sullen home crowd, the Panthers ineptitude was as startling as it was complete. They face a Ravens team that is rounding back into form after an opening weekend loss. The once proud Panthers defense got trampled by the Steelers and the Ravens have a solid running game as well; combine that with the so-so play from Cam Newton. I just think the Panthers are in a whole heap of trouble on the road.

Pick-Baltimore

 

Lions (2-1) @ Jets (1-2)

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

Favorite Lions by 1˝  

Last Week Lions defeated Packers 19-7, Jets lost to Bears 27-19

Fast Fact Jets are one of six teams that have yet to record an interception

The Jets believe in Geno…so they keep saying. The grinning jeering Rex Ryan tries to make it sound like he’s not worried about the 2nd year players skittish play. But the truth is Smith isn’t playing well and the Jets may crash and burn because of it. Facing a Lions squad who played and ugly but effective in knocking off the Pack, they will have their hands full trying to contain Megatron Johnson who has a dependable receiving mate in Golden Tate, I’m thinking that the Lions will force Geno and the Jets into enough mistakes to get a close win

Pick-Detroit

 

Buccaneers (0-3) @ Steelers (2-1)

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Steelers by 7˝

Last Week Buccaneers lost to Falcons 56-14, Steelers defeated Panthers 37-19

Fast Fact The Bucs have never won in Pittsburgh (0-3) this is only their 2nd visit to Heinz Field

It doesn’t seem fair; the Bucs got took an awful nationally televised beatdown against the Falcons and now have to travel to Pittsburgh to face a revitalized Steeler team that smashed a solid Panthers squad. (On national TV no less) The Bucs are a mess and asking them to get their first win in a city that they have never won in, is asking a little too much.

Pick-Pittsburgh (Lock of the Week)

 

Dolphins (1-2) vs Raiders (0-3)

Wembley Stadium; London, England 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Dolphins by 3˝

Last Week Dolphins defeated Chiefs 34-15, Raiders lost to Patriots 16-7

Fast Fact This is one of three games played in London this year. The first time that the Dolphins have made the trip across the big pond

What looked to be a promising start of a season for the Dolphins is getting buried under a pair of routs and a QB controversy that doesn’t really need to happen.  The only team that might be a bigger mess (outside of Florida) is the team that they’re playing. The Raiders are impotent offensively and clueless defensively. The NFL continues to stupidly push the idea of a team in London but if they are insistent on sending this product to Britain, the locals will think that the Barclays Premier League is more top flight than the American curiosity. Once upon a time this was a marquee matchup, now I think that the Dolphins are more coherent on office, if barely. But that’s more than the Raiders who lack focus and direction

Pick-Miami

 

Jaguars (0-3) @ Chargers (2-1)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Chargers by 13˝

Last Week Jaguars lost to Colts 44-17, Chargers defeated Bills 22-10

Fast Fact After starting up 17-0 in week 1 in Philly the Jags have been outscored 119-27

Very few people outside of southern California and northeastern Florida will see this dog of a game. The Chargers are quickly shaking off that opening Monday loss to flex their muscles as a sleeper AFC team, the Jags however are not impressing anyone with their play and facing a Chargers team that is starting to find itself offensively is a bad omen. Poor Blake Bortles will be running for his life from a solid Chargers pass rush. This won’t be pretty

Pick-San Diego

 

Eagles (3-0) @ 49ers (1-2)

Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, CA 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite 49ers by 5

Last Week Eagles defeated Washington 37-34, 49ers lost to Cardinals 23-14

Fast Facts The Eagles are the first NFL team to win their first 3 games after trailing by 10 or more points in all of them. The Niners have scored a grand total of 3 points in the 2nd half of their 3 games this year

The Niners again fell apart again in the 2nd half this time to a Cards team many weren’t taking seriously (I know I didn’t) the Eagles again spotted a team a double digit lead then stormed back to get the win. As much as I’m tempted to pick the Niners at home, I don’t trust their offense especially in the 2nd half of games. That’s not a good formula against an Eagles team that seems to start slow and then come roaring back in the 2nd half.

Pick-Philadelphia

 

Falcons (2-1) @ Vikings (1-2)

TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis 4:25 (FOX)                                                                                                                                

Favorite Falcons by 6

Last Week Falcons defeated Buccaneers 56-14, Vikings lost to Saints 20-9

Fast Fact This is the first time that these teams have played an outdoor game against each other since 1991

The Falcons awoke from a short offensive slumber and laid a frightening woodshed like beating on the woeful Bucs, the Vikes feel good season opener feels a million miles away now as they stumbled through another lackluster offensive effort in a loss to the Saints. Teddy Bridgewater gets the start and lacking many of the key components to his offensive unit will struggle. Matty “Ice” will be able to pick the Vikings apart if he is not pressured and the Vikings have shown little inclination to put up a real pass rush

Pick-Atlanta

 

Saints (1-2) @ Cowboys (1-2)

AT&T Stadium; Arlington, TX 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Saints by 3

Last Week Saints defeated Vikings 20-9; Cowboys defeated Rams 34-31

Fast Fact Cowboys and Saints rank 30th and 31st in yards allowed in NFL since 2011

The Pokes are walking tall after rallying to beat the Rams, but they have a lot of questions still lingering. The Saints scored their fewest points of the young season but it was more than enough to beat the crumbling Vikings. The Pokes are a glamour team and you know that the NFL can’t resist giving them a marquee showcase, and the Saints high powered offense will give them a real test. I think given time Drew Brees should be able to pick the Pokes still suspect defense apart and while Tony Romo apologists like to point out his number of comebacks, I can’t see him doing it again even at home.

Pick-New Orleans

 

 

Monday September 29

 

Patriots (2-1) @ Chiefs (1-2)

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Patriots by 3

Last Week Patriots defeated Raiders 16-7; Chiefs defeated Dolphins 34-15

Fast Fact Pats have eight takeaways tied with Chicago for most in NFL

These aren’t the Pats that you and I remember over the last decade and a half. Tom Brady is taking an awful beating and the Pats are barely beating teams on rep now. The Chiefs got their first win and are a hard hard team to figure. I’m having a hard time trusting their offense or defense who seem to totter between maddingly inconsistent and just incoherent.  I’m gonna take a wild gamble here, and take the home team but fear that if I’m right it’ll set the feeling dissed Pats up to trash the Bengals next week on Sunday in a statement game for them. If I’m right, this might be the beginning of the slow painful descent of the Belichick/Brady Pats dynasty

Pick-Kansas City (Upset of the Week)

 

Last Week:  10-6 (Lock Correct/Upset not selected and will be counted as a loss)

Overall: 27-21 (does not count Thursday loss)

Locks: 3-0

Upsets:  0-3

Musings From The Hoodwood 9-23
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL College Football MLB

Jameis Winston...is the boy really that clueless???

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where its hard for the locals not to be disillusioned with the state of the NFL today

 

Goodell’s continued fumbling

I dunno, Roger Goodell just seems to make one mistake after another. He hasn’t made a faux pas in the classic sense but his continued bullheaded and almost tone deaf attitude to the growing crisis that is developing in the NFL is just amazing. Goodell to me comes off as someone that just doesn’t get it. His smug, I am the football god mentality wore thin with me a long time ago. It just annoyed me to no end that when all this mess with Rice and Peterson was going on that Goodell seemed distant, even standoffish. It just amazed me that the head man of such a pub conscious league like the NFL would be so quiet and then just now be giving a full press conference like he did late last week.  I honestly think that the NFL has overplayed themselves so much that the media and fan backlash will be palpable.

Clueless Jameis?

There was a point in time where I really liked Jameis Winston. He shows poise beyond his years, played a cool yet focused game and seemed to just “get it” having a shockingly calm media presence. But as time has worn on the shine has worn off and Winston is behaving like another version of Johnny Football, an entitled brat who just doesn’t get how lucky he is. Winston, as you know was supposed to be suspended for the first half of their big game against Clemson for shouting obscenities in a student union cafeteria. I wasn’t perturbed by that. I know I did some pretty nutty things in college, my soundtrack was often very expletive laced. But Winston being as high profile a player and campus personality should have known better and known that the microscope was on him at all times. He cant get away with the antics that I would have. Winston compounded his error by lying to his coaches about what happened and getting the suspension lengthened to a full game. Winston further compounded his error by then dressing in full uniform and pads and warming up before the game. He had to be told by Seminole coach Jimbo Fischer that he needed to go back into the locker room and get out of the pads. He did and was a visble cheerleader on the sidelines but did not play in the Noles thrilling 23-17 OT win over the Tigers. Fischer said in a later press conference that Winston’s suspension “hit home” and that he was the starter in the Noles next game against NC State. Winston has had a few minor run ins and was of course under investigation for sexual assault but has never been arrested. Winston’s antics may have likely cost him millions of dollars as teams may be reconsidering making him the face of their franchise going forward, especially with the mess that is going on in the NFL. Many teams may eschew the talented though troublesome QB just to save themselves that much money in bad pub.

Is Michigan really that bad?

It’s a really sad time in Ann Arbor, it seems that the once deeply respected Maize and Blue is turning into another Big Ten (plus 4) also ran. After being humiliated by Notre Dame in their final meeting of the foreseeable future the Wolverines retreated home to beat up on some non-con victims ahead of their conference schedule. All seemed to be going to form as the eased past a winless Miami-Ohio and sert their sights on Utah. The problem was that the Utes weren’t rolling over and taking the L like a patsy. Taking the fight to the Wolverines in the Big House the Utes dominated the Wolverines in the run game, They hounded QB Devin Gardner into a host of mistakes and when it was all over had a stunning 26-10 win in front of a stunned sullen Michigan crowd expecting another walkover  win. The Michigan offense is nearly nonexistent and wins have suddenly become tougher to get the Maize and Blue and 3-7 in their last ten and have one touchdown in their last three games against teams in the Power 5 and that was a meaningless late bowl game score in a loss to Kansas State. The grumbling for head coach Brady Hoke’s head are getting louder especially with hated rivals in Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame looking so much better. The calls for a really big name like a Les Miles or Michigan man Jim Harbaugh to come back to his alma mater are starting to grow more fervent. The coaches and players are all saying the same thing that Hoke is their guy and that they are dedicated but the natives are getting restless and if they lose the little brown jug to Minnesota next week, the catcalls will most certainly get louder.

Phat Dap or Head Slap? You decide

This week I cant decide if I want to give KTVA reporter Charlo Greene dap or a slap for her antics here, watch the full report and you decide

 

reporting a story then quitting on air at its conclusion and finding out that she was the owner of the company in question. Im not a weed smoker but wouldn’t down someone who does. But could be called a ballsy play or just crazy.I felt kinda bad for Alexis Fernandez who was caught totally off guard by the move and stammered through the rest of the report

 

Quick Hits

Indiana gets beat by Bowling Green, then goes to Mizzou and upends the Tigers meanwhile BG goes to Wisky and get run over literally by the Badgers…can you explain this to me?

My beloved Bearcats struggled to beat neighborhood rival Miami, I thought that they could catch Ohio State napping, but they had two weeks to prepare and after Gunner Kiels wow debut wont be caught unaware. Im going but I have a bad feeling.

Could Cousins push RGIII to the trading block?

How did the Braves fall off that fast?

Why is one of my fantasy teams 0-3 and one of the higher scoring teams while my 3-0 team hasn’t cracked 90 points in any win?

Posts on Thursday and Friday until next post fellow sports fans!

NFL Week 3 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

 

Thursday September 18th

Buccaneers (0-2) @ Falcons (1-1)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 8:25 (CBS/NFLN)

Favorite Falcons by 6

Last Week Buccaneers lost to Rams 19-17, Falcons lost to Bengals 24-10

Fast Fact Falcons QB Matt Ryan is 5-1 at home against the Falcons has thrown 7 TDs and Zero interceptions

So its barely 3 weeks into the season, this game has the urgency of a playoff eliminator game. The Bucs got zapped by poor clock management late against the Rams and lost after a ten second run off was assessed after having no time outs for an injury occurring with 8 seconds to play. The Falcons went to the Nati and were dominated by the Bengals. So on a short week turnaround the Bucs are in mortal danger of being relegated to irrelavence before the 1st day of autumn and the Falcons having their shootout win over the Saints written off as a fluke. Josh McCown still seems to be struggling to effectively move the Bucs offense which is a shame since their defense is really shining under the tutelage of Lovie Smith. Meanwhile the Falcons defense is looking more and more suspect and while Matty (Ice) Ryan seemed to throw a bushel of passes, his offense can keep up with a porous defense giving up mass yards and points.  As much as I should know better, and think that this will be the game that the Bucs make the breakthrough. The Falcons are always tough at home and the Bucs have struggled in the ATL

Pick-Atlanta

 

Sunday September 21

Chargers (1-1) @ Bills (2-0)

Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite ills by 2˝

Last Week Chargers defeated Seahawks 30-21, Bills defeated Dolphins 29-10

Fast Fact The Bills have only gained 28 first downs in two games, 2nd fewest in the NFL

The Chargers bounced back nicely to thump the defending Super Bowl Champs but have the arduous task of coming cross country to face a Bills team that is looking like a real handful on the defensive side of the ball. Their offense? Well, they keep scoring points because the defense keeps handing them the ball. I really can’t trust either team because they have way too many flaws. I think the win over the Seahawks was huge fluke. I think the theory coming across country to play an early game will hurt them. I think the surprising Bills keep raising eyebrows

Pick-Buffalo

 

Cowboys (1-1) @ Rams (0-2)

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

Favorite Cowboys by 1

Last Week Cowboys defeated Titans 26-10, Rams defeated Bucs 19-17

Fast Fact The Rams are picking the worst time to be facing DeMarco Murray who leads the league in rushing. Murray has had his two best career games against the Rams setting the franchise single rushing mark in one of them.

The Pokes got a stellar rushing day from DeMarco Murray and steamrolled the Titans, the Rams got away with a win after some poor clock management by the Bucs let them escape with a close win. The Rams rushing defense is plumb awful and the Pokes are looking for reasons to not have to lean on Tony Romo or that precarious defense too much. Look for a steady diet of Murray to trample on the Rams.

Pick-Dallas

 

Washington (1-1) @ Eagles (2-0)

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Eagles by 6˝

Last Week Washington defeated Jags 41-10, Eagles defeated Colts 30-27

Fast Fact Washington has a 7 game road losing streak the longest current in the NFL

RGIII went to the sidelines with a busted ankle and is out for a while (Big shock). Kirk Cousins stepped in and played a nearly flawless game leading Washington to a happy home opener win. The learning curve goes back to steep as they face a bitter divisional rival. The Eagles again spotted an opponent a double digit lead then roared back to win. Cousins gives Washington a stable element to their offense and they will need it to keep the Eagles high speed offense off the field. I don’t think that they have the chops to do it and the Eagles will continue to strengthen their divisional lead.

Pick-Philadelphia

 

Vikings (1-1) @ Saints (0-2)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Saints by 10

Last Week Vikings lost to Patriots 30-7, Saints lost to Browns 26-24

Fast Fact The Saints have averaged 35.1 points in their last ten home game a figure that Vikings haven’t reached in their last 38 road games

The Vikings had zero offense after an initial touchdown drive and seemed to shoot themselves in the foot at every opportunity. They are catching the Saints at the absolute wrong time, angered after a second narrow road loss they return home where they have won their last ten. With no Peterson to keep the Saints high octane offense off the field, the Vikings are in deep deep trouble. This game could get very ugly, even as a big Vikings fan. I’m not myopic enough to think that the Vikings have anywhere close to enough to keep this competitive. I won’t insult my beloved Vikes by making them a lock to lose.

Pick-New Orleans

 

Texans (2-0) @ Giants (0-2)

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

Favorite Texans by 2

Last Week Texans defeated Raiders 30-14, Giants lost to Cardinals 25-14

Fast Fact The Texans have allowed a total of 20 points in their first two games, fewest in the NFL

The Texans started 2-0 last year then lost their last 14, but the look nothing like the 14 loss mess from last year playing crisper and more aggressive on both sides of the ball. Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t have to play lights out, he manages the offense nicely and the rugged JJ Watt led defense are tough, the G-Men are just a mess on both sides of the ball. Is it possible for Eli Manning to play any worse than he has? Running for his life from Watt and company, we might see worse.

Pick-Houston

 

Titans (1-1) @ Bengals (2-0)

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bengals by 7

Last Week Titans lost to Cowboys 26-10, Bengals defeated Falcons 24-10

Fast Fact Call him Mr. Clean, Bengals QB Andy Dalton has yet to throw an interception or be sacked in two games.

The Titans got run over by the Pokes solid running game and looked clueless against their so-so defense. They will have more trouble with a rugged Bengals defense that is looking tougher and tougher to solve. I think that road win the Titans sprung on the Chiefs two weeks ago isn’t the real definition of the team, and while Paul Brown Stadium isn’t the rowdy venue that Arrowhead is, the Bengals are super tough at home as of late. The Bengals continue to open eyes and quiet doubters with a solid win

Pick-Cincinnati

 

Ravens (1-1) @ Browns (1-1)

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Ravens by 1˝

Last Week Ravens defeated Steelers 26-6, Browns defeated Saints 26-24

Fast Fact The Browns are one of four NFL teams that have yet to commit a turnover

Blurb The Ravens throttled the Steelers and face their third straight divisional opponent, the Browns rallied nicely to upend the Browns and have renewed confidence in their offense. The Ravens are a tough team to figure. When they balance their offense like they did last week they roll deep when they are pass happy like the 62 passes Joe Flacco threw in week 1 they usually lose. I still can’t trust the Browns even at home and even though the broke a long losing streak to the Ravens late last year. Something tells me that the Ravens will win a slugfest

Pick-Baltimore

 

Packers (0-0) @ Lions (0-0)

Ford Field, Detroit 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Lions by 2 ˝

Last Week Packers defeated Jets 31-24, Lions lost to Panthers 24-7

Fast Fact Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has won all 9 meetings with the Lions that he has finished the game, the Packers only loss to Lions in the Rodgers era was when the Packers QB was knocked out with a concussion

The Packers came home and rallied to win a thrilling shootout with the Jets while the Lions looked nothing like their impressive opener as they fell flat in Carolina. The Packers weak running defense shouldn’t be really worried as the Lions have really had no running game to speak of. The Lions need to get Matt Stafford rolling early but they can’t afford to get into a shootout. I can’t trust the Lions in this game, home game or not.

Pick-Green Bay

 

Colts (0-2) @ Jaguars (0-2)

EverBank Field, Jacksonville 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Colts by 10

Last Week Colts lost to Eagles 30-27, Jaguars lost to Washington 41-10

Fast Fact Colts QB Andrew Luck and Coach Chuck Pagano lost back to back games for the first time

Blurb This game is a huge mismatch. The Colts are not an 0-2 team they lost two tough games. The Jags are an 0-2 team, they had a second half meltdown in Philly and a total beatdown in DC last week. Luck will find the going much much easier against a still suspect Jags defense. The Colts are the better and will show it in spades

Pick-Indianapolis

 

Raiders (0-2) @ Patriots (1-1)

Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Patriots by 14

Last Week Raiders lost to Texans 30-14, Patriots defeated Vikings 30-7

Fast Fact Pats coach Bill Belicheck netted his 200th coaching win last week and can move into a tie with Marty Schottenheimer with a win this week

The Raiders just look plain bad and heading across country again won’t help a bit. The Pats won going away but their offense was spotty at best. The Raiders got ran on and thrown on by a decent Texans offense last week at home. The Pats in their home opener might make them very bad hosts. Brady hasn’t been Brady so far but he will look more like it against a bad Raiders squad and the Pats defense will tax the young Raiders QB and offense

Pick-New England (Lock of the Week)

 

49ers (1-1) @ Cardinals (2-0)

University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, AZ 4:05 (FOX)

Favorite 49ers by 3

Last Week 49ers lost to Bears 28-20, Cardinals defeated 25-14

Fast Fact The Niners have not scored a single point in the fourth quarter in either of their first two games

The Cards looked crisp in spite of not having Carson Palmer in easily downing the G-Men. The Niners had their home opener on lock before blowing a tire and losing. Drew Stanton looked good in a no turnover performance but playing against the Niners is a wholly different case. Even though the Cards are tough at home in their desert fortress, the Niners are still a tough team and I just don’t think that Stanton will get it done.

Pick-San Francisco

 

Broncos (2-0) @ Seahawks (1-1)

CenturyLink Field, Seattle 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Seahawks by 5

Last Week Broncos defeated Chiefs 24-17, Seahawks lost to Chargers 30-21

Fast Fact This is the first time since 1997 that a regular season matchup of teams featured the previous years Super Bowl combatants

The Broncos are taking their show on the road for the first time this season and as cruel fate would have it they are heading into the lair the team that humiliated them in the Super Bowl last February, and this is the same team coming off an embarrassing waxing by the middling Chargers. Peyton Manning is putting up the kind of numbers that you would expect but one has to wonder if he will have a Meadowlands flashback in the mind numbing din of Century Link Field. The Broncos defense is improved but is it enough, I call this game a near draw last year (boy was I wrong there) I think the Seahawks home field advantage is the difference.

Pick-Seattle

 

Chiefs (0-2) @ Dolphins (1-1)

SunLife Stadium; Miami Gardens 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Dolphins by 3 ˝

Last Week Chiefs lost to Broncos 24-17, Dolphins lost to Bills 29-10

Fast Fact Chiefs QB Alex Smith is the NFL’s lowest rated passer

The Chiefs played tougher than expected for the environment but fell to the Broncos, while the Dolphins sputtered offensively in Buffalo. I just don’t trust either team to be sure, the teams might be missing marquee running backs with Knowshon Moreno out for the Fins and Jamaal Charles gimpy for the Chiefs. Both QB’s are suspect at the very least. But when in doubt go with the home team

Pick-Miami

 

Steelers (1-1) @ Panthers (2-0)

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Panthers by 3

Last Week Steelers lost to Ravens 26-6, Panthers defeated Lions 24-7

Fast Fact The Steelers have been outscored 50-9 over the last 6 quarters

The Steelers offense has been nonexistent over the last six quarter and the Panthers have played more efficient that I gave them credit for. This is a tougher game to call than it would seem, I’m highly suspicious of the Steeler offense in general and yet I’m not sold on the viability of the Panthers defense or their offensive capabilities especially their running game. In another coin toss game that is destined to be wrong, Ill again go with the home team shining a bit brighter under primetime lights.

Pick-Carolina

 

Monday September 22

 

Bears (1-1) @ Jets (0-0)

MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Jets by 3

Last Week Bears defeated 49ers 28-20, Jets lost to Packers 31-24

Fast Fact First ever meeting of a team that rallied from 17 point deficit to win and a team that had blown a 17 point lead and lost, in the previous week

Wait a minute who was that cat throwing darts all over the big blue jean last Sunday night and sending the good folks of Santa Clara home unhappy. That couldn’t have been Jay Cutler who found Brandon Marshall again and again to rally the Bears to an improbable win. The Jets however took a perfectly good winning formula and flushed it in blowing a 17 point lead at Lambeau. I just don’t trust the grinning jeering Rex Ryan and I don’t trust Geno Smith. The Bears have a number of problems that a decent team could expose but the Jets are too inconsistent to do that. Cutler should be able to pick his way through the Jets sometimey defensive pressure and get the ball to his dynamic receiving corps, meanwhile Smith will have his hands full with a withering Bears pass rush that frustrated Colin Kaepernick into a bevy of errors.

Pick-Chicago.

 

 

Last Week: 6-10 (Lock Correct, Upset Incorrect)

Overall: 17-15

Locks: 2-0

Upsets: 1-1

Musings From The Hoodwood 9-16
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL NBA MLB

Kershaw is the odds on favorite to win the Cy Young....and the NL MVP???

 

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where your humble scribe is dodging the mailman trying to deliver AARP cards…but seriously folks.

 

Leading off: Roger Must Go

I’ve been a vociferous and vocal critic of Roger Goodell almost since he became commissioner. I thought him a poor follow up to the legacies left by Pete Rozelle and Paul Taglibue. I think so highly of Rozelle his name shares my fantasy league trophy. I liked Paul Taglibue. He was understated, yet quietly forceful. He took the lead after 9/11 in postponing the NFL’s game for the coming week and the other leagues that were playing followed his lead. I think Goodell is a camera hog, I think he likes to hear himself talk. I think he has an over aggrandized sense of self. Goodell thinks he is the Lawnmower man of pro football. Why can you just hear Der Kommisar bellowing “In pro football…I am God!” he’s a bully, he’s snarky and I don’t like him. My suspicions of Goodell were heightened after the near lockout in 2012, and further exacerbated by the bountygate scandal where he acted with scorn and contempt to the parties involved and a few of his rulings were eventually reduced. He wanted to be the sheriff and the NFL’s  “Big Daddy”, the face of the NFL. The owners who are his collective boss have determined that as long as he’s bringing in the loot, he worth keeping. The NFL makes money hand over fist and can shot call to the point of object arrogance. Think I’m joking, you have to check out the tome of demands that the NFL drops on a prospective city that wants to host a Super Bowl. I read some of this and started thinking “Who the fuck does the NFL think they are?” But then again they are the NFL, and they get what they want when they want and no one says a thing.  After the increasing messes that are the Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald violence scandals, many are questioning his leadership and if he needs to step down. I for one think his attitude and arrogance are highly detrimental to the game. I know it more and more about safety but the game has really gotten to be no fun and Goodell is the cause of it. He’s ruining the game that I love and he really needs to go.

               

B-Squad is A Team and wins FIBA World Cup

The critics knocked the US men’s national basketball that was headed to the World Cup, No Durant, No LeBron, no Kobe no KLove, Paul George falling victim to a horrific injury, et al. The Americans looked ripe for the upset as they head to Spain for the FIBA basketball world cup. But the Americans charged through the round robin and the knockout stage and despite getting tested here and there and falling behind 15-7 in the finale, roared back to whomp the Serbian team 132-96 to clinch their 4th straight international title. The USMNT hasn’t lost a game since they were humiliated by Greece in the 2006 Worlds which were the forerunner of this tournament. That was 86 international games ago. The Americans have won two Olympics tourneys and two worlds, The talk that the US had to send their super-duper stars to win and if they didn’t they ran the risk of getting beaten by the better international teams like Spain and Serbia, but the Spanish squad didn’t even make it to the semis getting ousted in the quarters. I think that hiring of Coach K to run the squad was probably the smartest move that Team USA made. They ran the national team like a pro team and made the players commit to playing on the team for a set period and the star power drove the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Teams, and the 2010  and 2014 World squads had some star power but played more a team oriented format. There were pros and good names to be sure but Kyrie Irving’s 32 points to lead the finale wasn’t LeBron or Kobe. But it was a winning formula.

 

RGIII: Hess down again

Does that really surprise you now? RGIII is fast turning into an NFL version of Derrick Rose, he can’t stay healthy and seems to have an entire city waiting on his performance to be more than just a game or two.  Washington got hammered by the Texans and RGIII played an ineffective game, be came out nicely in the 2nd game against the Jags, but the bad luck of RGIII came up when he badly dislocated his ankle on a rollout and could be out as many a 6-8 weeks. Washington is thanking its lucky stars that he didn’t suffer a season ending injury

 

Can Kershaw pull the daily double?

After the horrific injury to the Marlins Giancarlo Stanton that ended his season, the focus of the NL MVP now returns to the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw, despite being pushed by the Reds Johnny Cueto for the Cy Young, Kershaw should be a lock to win 3rd Cy Young in 4 years, He is fast closing in on 20 wins.  But there are some that think a pitcher should never win the MVP. Unless in rare rare exceptions (it’s happened 10 times since the Cy Young Award was created in 1956) like Bob Gibson and Denny McClain in 1968 when Gibson had a microscopic 1.12 ERA and McClain won 30 games for their respective pennant winning teams. Or be dominant like Roger Clemens was in 1986. I think Kershaw fits into this mold. The Dodgers have rarely lost when he takes the mound. Consider that since June 1 the Dodgers are playing at a .947 pace when Kershaw takes the mound. That’s Koufax numbers if not better.  Kershaw should take both awards home and deserves to.

 

Phat Dap

To the auspicious college debut of Gunner Kiel of my beloved Alma Mater Cincinnati. Kiel, who was the 2011 High School Mr. Football in Indiana was first committed to Indiana then LSU then signed with Notre Dame after a year of being buried on the depth chart of the National runner up, Kiel transferred to Cincinnati at the recommendation of his then coach Brian Kelly who had previously coached at Cincy after having to sit out a year under the archaic NCAA transfer rules, Kiel made his first collegiate start last Friday against Toledo having not have played competitively since January 2012 one would think he would be rusty. He only threw for 418 yards and a school record tying 6 scores. Kiel could rewrite the record books and he’s only a sophomore…

 

Head Slap

To yours truly, it’s not often that I give myself one but Sunday, I decided to listen to the spec on ESPN that said that Brandon Marshall was NOT going to play against the 49ers Sunday Night. I benched him and not only did Marshall start, he scored…3 FUCKING TIMES. Of course his points would have given me a fighting chance to win. The irony here is that the league this team is in 0-2, being victim of Matt Ryan having a monster week 1 meanwhile my other team is 2-0 despite being near the bottom of the league in scoring…

 

Until next post fellow sports fans!

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