A Super bowl wrap up? Sure why not

Hi all, 

 

So i got busy and distracted and this blog fell by the wayside. 

First of all, that was one of the better super bowl games I can ever remember. The Ravens were definitely the best team and it was just a great experience to watch. I really don’t think the 49ers should be too sad, they were excellent (in the second half at least) and I think that they will actually win it in the next 5 years (you heard it here first!). 

So, now on to the offseason! I enjoy this part of the NFL season ALMOST as much as the actual season! I love how GM’s think, how teams are constructed, and how you manage contracts and salary from a team perspective. I’d like to briefly talk about both of my favorite teams, but this post should be short and sweet as there isn’t much to go on yet, the offseason is still in its infant stages. 

Carolina Panthers: Interesting fact on ESPN.com. They ran computer simulations based on points scored and such, the panthers were the most underachieving team relative to normal performance. According to the stats, bad game management and bad luck led them to 3.5 fewer wins than they actually had. In non mathy terms, had a few bad breaks gone the way they should have, this was a playoff team. That’s surprising given where they did finish, but totally jives with what it felt like watching this team all season. Given this, there are a few moves I’d make in free agency.  The defense is SO close to contending. Kuechly is to the defense what Cam is to the offense. What they need is help in the secondary. I’ve said 100 times that they should be involved in the Revis discussions, but given that they are frugal and he will command more money than any CB has ever gotten (or is probably worth), the best bet is to see who the best free agent in the secondary would be. I like getting Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Fun fact: Captain Munnerlyn is a free agent and I’d try to keep him. He’s the most consistent player in the current secondary. I don’t think they have much change potential on their D-line. Offensively, you have to look for a solid number 2 WR (I like lafell but he’s not getting them into the super bowl—-clearly this is an offensive game, look at Baltimore with torrey smith, boldin, and jacoby jones). You maybe make a play for Wes Welker or Mike Wallace, but I’d be happy with a guy like Danny Amendola, Dwayne Bowe, or even Austin Collie. All really really solid receivers and EXACTLY what the offense needs. 

 

Jets: So this is what I’ve decided in my rage of the last few weeks. I am going to trust our new GM John Idsik. The jets have the worst salary cap situation in the league. Given that they will need to release a bunch of players (all of whom suck so it’s ok, see ya Bart Scott) and they will be a measly 10 million under the cap. What this means is that, basically, they can’t do anything in free agency. Trading Revis, which may actually be necessary although it makes me physically ill, will open up some cap room but that will be used on young inexpensive players. I think this might be the best strategy, building towards the future. The cap situation GREATLY improves in 2014 because the huge contracts of Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez will be off the books. Given that, this is a team that needs to draft really well and build for the future. I see 2013 kind of as a throwaway year. We won’t make the playoffs and Rex might get fired. We should be focusing on winning as many games as we can, give playing time to young players that will be around for the long haul (Bilal Powell, Stephen Hill). I’d like to draft defense—there are a lot of aging players that will leave in free agency and I think getting some solid D-lineman and linebackers will be important. I like that we have cromartie and kyle wilson pretty well locked up and I see why the Revis trade makes sense. If it has to happen, they need to maximize his value and get draft picks. They don’t need an aging player to make 2013 contendable, because it will fail. 

 

 

Sigh, that was depressing but cathartic to write about the jets. 

 

Onward to free agency 2013, the 2013 NFL draft, and the 2013-2014 NFL season. Along the way we get the joys of March Madness, the NBA playoffs, and the return of baseball! Also there’s hockey, but I’m still mad at them :)

 

Back to business school, 

Scott

Week 11 Preview

I’m really sorry that I didn’t write for Week 10, but this is starting to be hard to write. Not because I don’t enjoy writing about the National Football League, I do. I love the NFL more than any other hobby I have. The reason is that, when you are a sports fan, caring about teams can change your mood. I think a great example of this is in The Silver Linings Playbook where the father, who is a Philadelphia Eagles fan, will not talk to his mentally ill son and be mean to his wife the entire week if the Eagles lose (I have to imagine if this book were true, this wouldn’t be a good season to be married to this guy). Obviously, I am not this extreme, but football turns into a painful thing when your team is not good. 

But what’s really bad is when, like in gambling, you hedge and still lose. Hedging means that you protect your bet by betting money on various other things, increasing your chances of not losing but decreasing your winnings if/when you win. In the football sense, this means supporting more than one team in the hopes that at least one of them will be watchable. I hedged this season, I fell in love with a girl who loves the Carolina Panthers and I hedged my football enthusiasm, I am genuinely a dual citizen in my support of the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets. This hedge, at least for this season, has blown up in my face, because both of these teams are terrible. This week, there will be no game reviews, I’ll talk preview in a little bit, but I’m going to use this week’s blog as a catharsis for my two favorite teams. 

Carolina

Going into this week, I was starting to feel really good about the Panthers. After all, they lost close games (very close, they should have beaten the Falcons and the Bears, two clear playoff teams) and had shown flashes of brilliance. Sure, Ron Rivera is a terrible coach (he’s done by the way) and the front office has made some notoriously terrible decisions, but ultimately the talent on the field is quality. I had the great fortune (or misfortune, depending on how you look at it) of being in the stadium on Sunday as the Panthers welcomed Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos (which, a quick digression: the noodle arm is gone. He’s Peyton, he’s awesome, and this Broncos team is really good. Like, watch out Houston, Peyton will see you in the AFC title game good). 

Let’s start with what is good about the Panthers. Jonathan Stewart is a good runner and Cam Newton, given time, is a solid QB. Luke Kuechly is the best rookie linebacker I’ve ever seen, the defense is different with him on the field and he’s so much better in the middle linebacker than the outside linebacker position–

A quick lesson on defense: In a typical defensive package, there are 2 linebackers, a middle linebacker that will either play pass coverage on a slot receiver in the middle, defend a tight end, defend the run up the middle, or rush the QB from the middle. The outside linebacker is more often rushing the QB, but is also in some pass protection packages. On most teams, the middle linebacker serves as the “QB of the Defense”. The Middle linebacker calls the plays and is the one who reads the offense to audible. Starting the season, Kuechly was the outside linebacker and Jon Beason was the middle. Beason was hurt and Kuechly was moved to the middle. 

Now that you are caught up, if anyone in the Panthers organization suggests bringing Beason back and moving Kuechly to the outside, they should be fired and strung up outside Bank of America stadium to be made an example of. If I were the GM of this team, I’d listen to trade offers for EVERY player on the roster except Kuechly and Newton, they are the only pieces that are “must keep”.

 

The bad of this team is pretty encompassing, but let me start from the most obvious (to me). They are horrendously coached. Really really terrible. The fact that Ron Rivera can’t decide on his game plan (he’s aggressive on plays when he should be conservative and vice versa) is incredibly baffling. Here’s an example: late in the second quarter on sunday, the Panthers had 4th and 2 and were down 14-7, there was less than 2 minutes left and Rivera chose to have Medlock attempt a 47 yard field goal. On the surface, this seems a logical decision, an NFL coach will always take the points (statistically, this strategy is horrendous, but that’s another rant for another day). However, a coach is expected to evaluate their team, the defense was tired and unable to stop the Broncos and your QB is Cam Newton. You run a QB draw up the middle, 98 percent of the time it’ll be a first down. But, he’s Ron Rivera. Medlock misses wide right, Peyton leads the Broncos down for a late FG and they never recover. Additionally, Chudzinski, for being the “best offensive coordinator” in the league, really doesn’t seem to know his offense. Cam Newton is not going to throw deep passes to Steve Smith every game, its just not going to happen. What he is going to do is throw 10 or 15 yard strikes to Smith in the middle or Greg Olson. On the first drive, Olson scores an TD and doesn’t get another target until late in the third quarter. Are you kidding me? Who’s drawing up this gameplan? A drunk seven year old? Playing to your strengths is something this coaching staff can’t comprehend. 

The two big problem positions on this team are cornerback and offensive line. The O-Line is horrible. Jordan Gross is paid a lot of money and I counted him getting beat 8 times, that’s not counting the plays i refused to watch because i was facebooking on my phone or not paying attention to the horrendous action on the field. New GM Scott Pion would cut him so fast his head would spin. O-lineman are at a premium in this league and I think this is where the team needs to allocate it’s resources, especially to protect the investment in Cam Newton. 

 

Wow that was actually really cathartic, hopefully the next one will be too. 

 

The Jets

I’m not going to spend that much time with this because i’ve ranted about it enough before. Here’s the point: there’s not a player on this roster that is playing up to their potential. Shonn Greene tricked me for two weeks, but has since gone back to being Shonn Greene. Mark Sanchez can’t get protection or a receiver, but he’s still not looking like a competent QB. The receivers are horrendous (and that’s kind). Chaz Schillens and Clyde Gates? are you serious? this is our receiving core? christ. The defense looks old and tired. Bart Scott is done, Kyle wilson is outmatched, the D-line is small. It’s just not a fun time to be a Jets fan. What do I do as GM? Thanks for asking: 

1) Invest in the receiving core

2) draft the best player on the board. This seems logical but the Jets have drafted by position and sometimes that’s worked but often it hasn’t . For the record, I like the athletic d-line if they add one more piece and recover from injury.

3) look for a quality outside linebacker and move david harris to the middle. He’s now the defensive captain and he should be treated as such. Cut Bart Scott (CAN’T WAIT)

4) sign a running back. Any running back will do, i hear Steve Slaton is available. I’ll take Steve Slaton over Shonn Greene any day. Again, for the record, if Joe McKnight is healthy, I’ll take Joe McKnight. He reminds me of Reggie Bush without Kim Kardashian herpes. 

 

Anyway, the Jets are in the conversation for bottom 3, so lets look to the college ranks Jets fans, we’ll be drafting high!

 

Lets talk some game previews before we get to top/bottom and the coaches

Green Bay (-3.5) at Detroit

Plain and simple, I think this is the last chance the Lions get to be relevant this season. While they are 4-5, they’ve lost all three division games so far and they are clearly the bottom of that division. If they win this game versus GB, they stay somewhat interesting. The truth is, they just aren’t all that good. The running game is improved but not good and Stafford can’t seem to connect with Calvin Johnson (making America’s fantasy football teams very unhappy). GB, on the other hand, seems to be hitting their stride and, with the potential Jay Cutler injury for Chicago, trying to take the division back. 

Pick:

GB 35, Det 10

 

Miami at Buffalo (-1.5)

Who would have thought this was the most interesting AFC East matchup in a while? So, the Bills looked competent versus the Patriots and would have won had Fred Jackson not fumbled in the endzone. Miami, on the other hand, looked like everyone expected they would look in the preseason which was clueless and lost with a rookie QB who wasn’t all that good in college. But, previously to last week, Miami looked pretty good and like a potential playoff team. In fact, a quality blog I know mighta said this in the preview of Week 9: 

“The AFC wildcard, I think, is the most interesting thing about this conference. A case could be made for Indy, Baltimore (assuming they don’t win the North) , and the Dolphins. I am rooting for Miami and Indy, but I think it’ll probably go down to Week 17 and Baltimore and Miami will end up with it (the only thing that would stop the dolphins is that they still have to play the Pats twice, but one of those is week 17 and Bellichick could be resting starters).”

So, this mysterious and awesome blogger was right, but the Dolphins are showing signs of cracking. This should be an interesting game but my money is on the return of order to the universe and the Dolphins looking good and the Bills looking horrendous. 

Pick: Dolphins 28, Bills 9

 

Top 3

I think there’s been a big shakeup at the top of the NFL. the Giants no longer look that great, they are doing the typical mid season swoon before they come back to dominate into the playoffs. So—

1) Houston

2) Falcons

3) Denver

What happened to the NFC? I think the Cutler injury hurts the Bears and I think that the Falcons might still be overrated. I don’t know what to make of the 49ers and Rams, I thought the Rams were only ok and they went to a tie in a pretty terrible game. Basically, my whole clean view of the NFL is now cloudy. I know that Houston has delivered when they have had to and been dominant, I know that the Falcons are still 7-1 and that is worth something, and I know what I saw in Carolina on Sunday. The Broncos are legit, not just at QB, but defensively as well. 

 

Bottom 3

1) KC

2) Jacksonville

3) Tie: Jets, Eagles, Bills

There are some bad teams in football. I think KC is on a different level (although looked frighteningly competent against the Steelers). I think that KC has a big problem with coaching, cause clearly Charles is a good RB and the offense can run around him. Jacksonville is scary bad, but I don’t think they are quite as bad as the chiefs. I almost wish that they had Tebow, at least people would care to watch. Finally, I think the third slot should probably be the Jets, but they can duke it out in the coming weeks. The Panthers and Browns are on the next level of bad but I don’t think they warrant this list unless some teams pull off some miracles. 

 

Coaches

So remember, we’re looking at coaches “in the hot seat”. The ones I identified last week: 

Rex Ryan-Jets

Norv Turner- Chargers

Jason Garrett- Cowboys

Romeo Crennel- Chiefs

Pat Shurmur- Browns

Ron Rivera- Panthers

I’d like to add Andy Reid of the Eagles. The only one on this list that may have saved his job is Jason Garrett. The cowboys looked pretty good and, quietly, have the schedule and makeup to potentially make a playoff run. But, beware, Sean Payton is lurking. I think if Payton wants the job, the only thing Garrett could do is make a significant playoff run to hold that off. But, who knows if he wants it. The more I watch, the more i’m convinced the other coaches will be fired. In fact, I think Rex is the only one who could potentially save himself with some quality play in the rest of the season, I kind of feel like the book has been written on the others. Norv should have been out seasons ago, Shurmur is terrible and is what is keeping the browns from being a fringe contender, Rivera is not good (see above), and Romeo is holding back a team that actually has some talent and making them the worst team in football. 

 

 

It’s been a cathartic, fun blog to write and I hope you stayed with me through it. 

 

Scott

Week 9—let the games begin

Ah November. This is the part of the NFL season where things start to get good. The NBA has started, thus giving sports fans a full plate of viewing options and the NFL is finally real. When I say real, what I mean is that at this point in the year, we are starting to really get a handle on who’s good and who’s bad. Remember last season’s Buffalo Bills. Going into Week 9, the Bills were 5-2 but we were starting to realize that their record wasn’t that good. They’d beaten some bad teams to get to 5-2 (Oakland, KC, Rex Grossman’s Redskins) and I, and most fans, didn’t really believe in them. What followed was an epic 7 game losing streak, losing 8 of their last 9 (they did manage to beat Tim Tebow’s Broncos). This season, I feel pretty confident projecting most of the divisions. Rather than do game recap this week, I think i’d like to talk about each division.

NFC North Champions: Green Bay

I think this might be the closest division on the board right now. The Bears just didn’t look all that great against Carolina (although GB really didn’t against Jacksonville either). I just sense a Bears collapse coming.

NFC West49ers

The seahawks are dangerous, but this one is so close to locked. SF has been really good in spots, but definitely not untouchable as we saw against the Giants.

NFC East: Giants

The Giants are the best team in football. The Eagles, record wise, could still be in striking distance, but come on. The wheels are coming off in philly. The cowboys are ok at best and the Redskins are far too injured. This is the Giants’ division to lose.

NFC South: Atlanta

I hate the falcons, I still think they are overrated and will fall apart in round 1 of the playoffs as per usual. However, they’re 7-0 and they are so far ahead of tampa that I think they are untouchable. I really like what I saw out of Tampa the last two weeks. I think they might be my wild card pick (along with Seattle). I’d also love if the Bucs were the team that knocked ATL out of the playoffs :)

AFC EastPatriots

Sigh.

(i do like the Dolphins a lot, they punked the Jets, they are very good. They are an AFC wild card)

AFC SouthHouston

Not much to say here, this is not even a close division. Houston is the AFC favorite and all other teams are “rebuilding”. I do think Indy might make some noise as a wild card and I think the AFC wildcard race will actually be really exciting.

AFC NorthSteelers

I’m aware that the Ravens are technically a game ahead of the Steelers right now and that I’ve been ragging on the Steelers all year (with good reason, they aren’t that good and have a swiss cheese offensive line). However, Baltimore is decimated by defensive injury and the games they have won have just not been convincing. I’m off the Joe Flacco bandwagon (yes, at the beginning of the year I was wacko for Flacco, but my fantasy teams suffered enough—I’m out). Maybe the Ravens can ride Ray Rice to this division, it’s probably the closest in the AFC, but I still think the Steelers win it (and then are promptly beaten by whichever wild card they play).

AFC West: Broncos

By god, he might be back. Actually, I take that back, Peyton Manning still can’t make a deep pass and his throws are still wobbly. But man, he can read a defense. I think just being that intelligent, in this division with the Broncos’ easy schedule the rest of the way, is going to make them a strong winner of the division, maybe challenging Houston for the #1 seed. The rest of this division is garbage: Oakland is inconsistent (although pretty good when they are good), SD is a joke (bye bye Norv) and the Chiefs are the worst team in football.

 

The AFC wildcard, I think, is the most interesting thing about this conference. A case could be made for Indy, Baltimore (assuming they don’t win the North) , and the Dolphins. I am rooting for Miami and Indy, but I think it’ll probably go down to Week 17 and Baltimore and Miami will end up with it (the only thing that would stop the dolphins is that they still have to play the Pats twice, but one of those is week 17 and Bellichick could be resting starters).

 

Alright, on to this weeks games

New Orleans (-1.5) vs Philly

Can both of these teams lose? That would make me really happy. This game could go one of two ways. Brees could light up the horrendous Philly defense on the way to a lot of points, but the game is close because Vick is playing for his job and the NO defense is horrendous. Or, Vick goes out trying to save his job and throws pick after pick and loses the game huge, his job, and makes me the happiest i’ve been since July 2011. My money is, unfortunately, on a high scoring game that Philly ends up winning because their defense is marginally more competent than New Orleans. yuck.

Pick:Philly 42, NO 38

 

Giants (-3) vs Steelers

I’m a little shocked that the line is so low on this game. I really think the Giants are going to dominate the Steelers. The Steelers have no run game and their defense is so banged up (incidentally, what they should do is trade for DeAngelo Williams, in which case this game gets really interesting). This is, still, probably the best game this week because these are probably two playoff teams. I think the Giants make a statement with the game and win big.

Giants 31, Steelers 21

 

Top 3: 

1) Giants

2) SF

3) Falcons

Not a thing changed last week. These are still the best three teams and they all proved it with their performances last week. The texans are trying to get in this group and they may.

Bottom 3: 

1) Kansas City

2) Jacksonville

3) Buffalo

My biggest mistake since I started blogging about this NFL season was not recognizing how terrible this Chiefs team is. For some reason they just weren’t on my radar. But every other team, Jags and Bills included, have redeeming qualities. The Chiefs are a poorly coached team with horrendous QB play and no defense. They have a talented RB that is never given the ball and a really talented receiver that would be great if he didn’t drop every pass thrown at him. I apologize, I anticipate that they will be at the top of this list for the rest of the year (see I told you, week 9 is when we can really have a handle on the league). The Jags are just young, I actually do think they will end up being good and I’m coming around on Blaine Gabbert, although I’m far from a believer. Let’s put him in the “you have potential but I’m not sure this is the right team for you and I’m not sure you really have all the talent that appears in flashes” category. Other members: Sanchez, Mark, Rivers, Phillip, Fitzpatrick, Ryan. The Bills are the Bills, they do have the talent but the product on the field has been shit. They are horrendously coached. speaking of coaches.

 

Scott’s Coaching Crystal Ball

So I want to keep track of the Coaches who are on the hot seat from week to week and really keep track of who saves their job and who puts the nail in their own proverbial coffin. Right now:

Rex Ryan-Jets

Norv Turner- Chargers

Jason Garrett- Cowboys

Romeo Crennel- Chiefs

Pat Shurmur- Browns

Ron Rivera- Panthers

If the season were to end today, I think every one of these coaches would be fired. As it stands, I think Rivera and Ryan will probably save their jobs. However, I really could see a scenario where Rex Ryan is the head coach of the chargers next year. In any case, these are the coaches to watch for next week’s blog, I’ll post how I think each of these teams did in terms of coaching and if they helped or hurt their coach (rex, mercifully, is on a bye week).

 

Thanks for reading,

Scott

 

 

Sportscenter makes me angry, Olivesatire has to deal with it

So, Bob Kraft, the only person in the Patriots organization that I actually admire, had this to say about the Patriots playing in London this weekend :

“I think London has shown, with the way they’ve handled the Olympics and every other major sporting event, that it’s time for you to have your own NFL franchise, based in London.”

I’m sorry Bob, but that’s INSANE. I’ve already listened to countless reports about how this game is too strange to call because you don’t know how the players will react to the travel. Additionally, the NFL gave them both byes next week because of travel adjustments. So you’re telling me that a team should permanently be like that? Would you have all their home games and then have them come to the states for their away games? What if they won the right to host a playoff game? Wouldn’t that provide a disadvantage to whomever played in that game after they advanced to play someone who hadn’t left the states? Sorry, but unless trans atlantic travel becomes instantaneous and jet lag eliminated, then this is a horrendous strategy. The ONLY way this makes sense to me is that if there is an entire division in Europe. Take the old NFL Europe and make it a division. They play all their divisional games, then teams could come over and essentially tour the division, playing a month in Europe or something. To me, that’s the only way to do it. The NFL is not looking to add a division, so this will never come to fruition. I’d say that this whole London team thing would never happen, but last I checked Roger Goodell is still the commissioner of the National Football League, so really any kind of incompetent decision could take place.

 

ugh god I hate the Patriots.

 

WHAT UP WEEK 8

How’s it going folks?

First, an apology. I am sorry that there wasn’t a week 7 post. I had a few reasons for this. One, I had stuff to do. Two, I really wanted to spare my readers from the Jets/Patriots preview. This would have been absurdly biased, no one else in the league would have gotten covered, it would have been horrendous. So, lets get right into it….

Pats 29, Jets 26

So here’s your bias. The Jets looked so damn good (relatively). The Patriots got a few extremely favorable calls (and non-calls, like the BRADY RULE YOU&#(&(F(W)  and the Jets had a huge drop by Stephen Hill on the potential game winning drive (which I would tear his ass apart for, but he had a really solid game leading up to that). The patriots, on the other hand, looked horrendous. Look, the defense made Mark Sanchez look really competent and the offense couldn’t do anything even though we didn’t have Darrelle Revis. This Pats team is not that good, the AFC is wide open.

 

San Francisco 13, Seattle 9

This was a defensive battle. Both of these teams looked really good too. The Seattle front four are really quick, hard hitting. I don’t think that you are disappointed coming off this game as a Seahawks fan. I also really don’t know that I feel quite as excited as I was if I’m a 49ers fan. They are good, but I’m still a bit uncertain about Alex Smith, I don’t like how he can’t seem to utilize Randy Moss or Mario Manningham. I still think this is a great team, but in the stacked NFC, I’m just not feeling quite as great about my super bowl pick (especially after they got man handled by the Giants).

A quick note about the Carolina Panthers

I don’t have a lot of commentary about the Panthers game against Dallas in this post because I didn’t watch it and, reading recaps and stats, I don’t really feel like we learned anything new about the Panthers. This is a poorly put together roster that lacks depth on defense and doesn’t really have an offensive identity. Now, with Ryan Kalil, Jon Beason, and Chris Gamble out for the year, the Panthers are really not in a good position going forward. This week, Carolina fired their GM, Marty Hurney, in a move that probably should have happened when he overpaid DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart at the RB position. A good rule of thumb for GMs is to never overpay at RB because they break down so easily. Stewart is hurt every year and DeAngelo has really lacked production. If I’m GM of the Panthers (a job I would take in a heartbeat by the way), here’s what I do:

1) See if I can trade Williams or Stewart. One of them is a feature back with Tolbert as a nice 3rd down/goal line guy. This triple threat thing is unnecessary especially when you have a battering ram as a QB (i’ll get to him in a second).

2) Since you have to think this team is going to draft high, You draft a blue chip CB or safety. The secondary is atrocious on this team, it’s really the hallmark of a defense. They have needs at linebacker (although Luke Kuechly has been phenomenal, he needs help!) and on the defensive line. So I take back what I said, really take the best defensive player available with your pick.

3) Spend money on your defense and a solid 2 receiver (although I like LeFell and I think that if the situation is a receiver or defensive players, you can go defense and play with LeFell).

4) I’d sit with Cam Newton and just show him game after game of Ben Rothlesberger. In the news this week, people were comparing Cam to Vince Young and then people said that was a racist comparison. It is. They’re nothing alike, the comparison is because they are black and mobile. But Cam is a HUGE QB, the proper comparison is Rothlesberger. He’s so hard to sack and unbelievable on the run. I think he’s still going to be amazing, but he needs to work on his decision making and the panthers need to give him some weapons (see point 3)

So, Jerry Richardson, I come pretty cheap and I’d be a better GM than you’ve had since Bill Pollian.

One more quick point: The verdict on Ron Rivera is still to come. You want to see if he can right the ship this season and part of keeping him would depend on who else I could get. If I thought I could get Rob Ryan, Rex Ryan, or some dream coach like Bill Cowher, then i’d probably fire Rivera. But, as it is, people won’t be clamoring to come to Carolina and I really don’t think Rivera has been awful.

Game Previews

Philadelphia (-2.5) vs Falcons

holy crap. I had to check this line seventeen times before I believed it. Las Vegas is favoring Dog the Bounty Hunter and his lovable group of terrible football players against the 6-0 Falcons? Look, there is no amount of money that is inappropriate to bet on this game as long as it is against the Eagles. I’d bet every dollar I have in the bank if I didn’t think my girlfriend would break up with me (surprisingly, probably less for the gambling than betting on the hated Falcons—although gambling is not distinguished). In any case, I predict that this is FINALLY the game where, after his multiple fumbles and interceptions, Michael Vick is benched, destined for his role starting in 2013 for a strong upstart UFL franchise. Arena league? Is that still a thing? See ya Vick, I really will miss rooting against you for your entire career.

Pick: Falcons 35, Eagles 10

 

Giants (-1.5) vs Cowboys

So when the odds in Vegas opened for this game, the Cowboys were favored by 2. But, for those of you who don’t really care or understand betting, lines change depending on how people bet. So, there were so many people betting on an underdog Giants team that they eventually shifted to a favorite. Look, I don’t feel as strongly about this as I do about the Falcons/Eagles game, because the Cowboys always pull big games out of their asses against the Giants and we’re about due for the Giants midseason collapse that makes ESPN write them off so the Giants can sneak into the playoffs and knock the Falcons out in the first round. It’s so common now, I almost feel like you can print the t-shirts. However, all of that being said, I’m not gonna pick against the Giants because they have still been so good this year it’s scary. I will say this: If the Giants do what they should do against Dallas, then tell me who is more deserving of the MVP than Eli. The answer is no one, this is a team that most people didn’t think would win the division and now they are the best team in the NFL. Once you vanquish your rivals twice in one season and your team is winning the way this Giants team is, you are in the MVP conversation.

Pick Giants 28, Cowboys 17

(additional over/under bet: 4.5 Jason Garrett coaching decisions that make cowboys fans want to throw shoes at their TV. I’ll take the over)

 

Bottom 3 teams

1) Jacksonville

2) Buffalo

3) Tennessee

I finally feel like I’m starting to get a handle on this league. The Jaguars are a bad team. They are so bad that I think they might legitimately be in Tim Tebow trade discussions, because when my starting quarterback options are Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne, I’m willing to try anything. That was just said by a diehard fan of a team who’s starting quarterback is Mark Sanchez. The Bills are shockingly inept, I really thought they’d be a wild card team this year. The defense is overpaid and alright at best (and that’s a stretch, they really aren’t good) and I think, besides the exciting Spiller weeks, the offense is legitimately bad. They have pieces, Spiller/Jackson are nice players (by the by, I’d be trading Fred Jackson if I were the GM of the Bills), I like Stevie Johnson and I’ve always really really enjoyed Brad Smith. I think Buffalo needs to make amends with the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick is not an NFL caliber starting quarterback. He just makes terrible decisions on a semi regular basis. If I’m a Buffalo fan, I’m petrified, not because my GM doesn’t know this about Fitzpatrick, but because he does. There’s a shockingly high possibility that Michael Vick is in Buffalo next year. While i’d love that because I’d get to laugh and enjoy Darrelle Revis intercepting him 12 times a year, this is terrible for the Bills.

*Note*: A friend of mine suggested to me that this offseason the Jets blow up the QB position and go for an available vet, maybe one by the name of Michael Vick. The chances of this are approximately 0.5% but, given that we traded for Tim Tebow, I feel I need to put this in writing. If the Jets starting QB in 2013 is Michael Vick, I’m officially out as a Jets fan. Finished. I’m buying a Cam Newton jersey and full time supporting the Panthers, because the Jets are officially the worst run team in professional sports if that happens*

Back to regular programming: Tennessee had a great game last week, but I’m not buying the “Chris Johnson resurgence” quite yet. I made fun of my best friend for picking him up in fantasy and I still feel this to be true. Tennessee has Indy next, if CJ can do something against that defense then I’m willing to give them a shot.

 

Best 3 Teams

1) Giants

2) SF

3) Atlanta

I’m enamored with this Giants team. I feel as if I’ve fallen in love (not quite, Eli will never make me feel quite the same way as Sonya does). This Giants team is really good. Scarily, they are only going to get better. As Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw recover from injury, that will free Victor Cruz up as a slot receiver. This team is really really scary. The defense is so solid as well, although there are a few questions in the secondary. SF has been a solid team although they got spanked by the Giants. Atlanta is undefeated and probably should be the top of this list, but they won 2 games to Carolina and Dallas that they really should have lost. They didn’t look impressive and I don’t think they could stay on the field with the Giants.

 

Thanks for reading, enjoy the games this week!

Scott

Because I’m Fair

Regarding the past post: 

 

Dear Shonn Greene, 

I’m sorry. You’ve played a brilliant game today against the Colts. You’ve been spinning and juking, the most impressive performance I can remember seeing in your career. You are running with power and even a little bit of speed. It might have been the offensive line this year that has made you look so bad and I am sorry. 

 

Sincerely, 

Scott

Week 6! Aw, our NFL season is old enough for Kindergarten

I will open this post with an openly biased apology letter that I sent via email this morning.

Dear Rex,

How are you doing my friend? You must be excited following last night’s loss to the Houston Texans! Well, not excited so much, you guys did get beat down. But you were competitive with the best team in the league, with your performance last week, that’s saying something. Additionally you had the greatest hand signal i’ve ever seen as a fan when you rubbed your belly like a hungry bear.

Sorry again, I’m still your biggest fan,

Scott

In reality, the Jets didn’t have a horrendous showing out there, I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. Well…i guess they could have won. In any case, this team is still not good and will continue to not be good all year. Every win is going to be tough to come by. I do have a few thoughts on what I would do to rebuild the team. I often have a fantasy where I am on a flight somewhere sitting next to Woody Johnson and he’s so impressed with my knowledge of his organization and the fact that I don’t harangue him at length for his support of Mike Tannenbaum and Mitt Romney, that he decides to make me his General Manager. So, if I should happen upon Woody when I go to NY next weekend and my fantasy becomes a reality, here’s what is on my to-do list:

1) Fire Tannebaum (although if I’m hired i guess this move has predated me)

2) Fire Tony Sparano. He’s a terrible offensive coordinator who makes horrendous decisions. Him and Ron Rivera can join the “we don’t have a consistent offensive strategy” club. For Sparano, I hope it is located in the unemployment office (i’m much more fond of rivera and his aversion to smiling).

3) I would cut Shonn Greene’s slow ass. He can’t run out of his own way and showed up to camp 20 pounds overweight. I’m not a model of fitness, but I’m also not being paid 2.66 mil over 4 years to run. Make Joe McKnight the starter and give Greene a sandwich for his severance.

4) I’d spend my high draft pick on the running back position. Period.

5) I’d spend money on proven veterans at WR and the defensive line. This season, the fact that TO is sitting at home and I, a Jets fan, am devastated by an injury to CLYDE GATES (don’t worry if you don’t know who he is, neither does ANYONE) shows that the Jets need a little bit of firepower at the WR position. Look, they are worried about ticket sales, the jets are not making the playoffs, at least make them competitive/entertaining. TO has to be signed.

6) Once I’m confident that I’ve assembled a half competent team (re: Shonn Greene is NOT the halfback and there is more than 1 receiver worth throwing to) I’m telling Mark Sanchez that this is his last shot. The team on the field now is not competent, Sanchez will be judged by this laughable offense. He’s made mistakes, but he’s also getting killed in the pocket and he has 0 targets to throw to. Also, to keep a defense honest (i.e. they don’t blitz every play) you need a competent run game, this also allows the QB to run play action which sanchez is really great at. Shonn Greene is a horrendous running back.

That my friends, is how to save the New York Jets. I’m awaiting your call Woody, I’m totally ready to drop my dreams of an MBA to take on the challenge of rebuilding the New York Jets into a super bowl contender. Ball is in your court four eyes.

A quick side note: I was looking through Olive Satire the other day and I happened upon my NFL Draft preview post. Read this excerpt:

“Recently, there has been a good bit of chatter that the Jets would consider trading up with the intention of taking Trent Richardson out of Alabama. Richardson had a great year, is an awesome back, and has been said to be better than Mark Ingram who also came out of Alabama, won the Heisman, and immediately contributed to the New Orleans Bounty Cheaters( the fact that they tape opposing coaches—they should be effing contracted and done away with. At the very least, Mickey Loomis better be Pete Rose’d from the NFL, immediately). Anyway, Richardson is great, but as most things it depends on what they have to give up. I’ve heard Shonn Greene and a later pick in the draft. I’d say if its a 3rd or lower pick—-then hell yes they have to take that. Richardson has some scouts saying he looks like Adrian Peterson and the best thing that could happen to Mark Sanchez is a competent running game behind him.” Scott Pion, April 26, 2012

I’d like to retract my previous statement, the Jets should have given up their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, round picks this year and next to get Trent Richardson. How good does he look? Cleveland might be bad, but Richardson made the lauded Giants front 4 look pedestrian. Holy crap, if we could have him instead of Shonn Greene. My god. What a trade that coulda been.

Anyway, onto some other games form last week:

Atlanta 24, Washington 17

So, Atlanta may have won this game but they can’t be happy the way they did it. Coming off that close, close game with Carolina and against a low tier team, you had to think the Falcons were looking to establish themselves as a premier NFL team and look for blood. If RGIII doesn’t get hurt, I don’t think Atlanta wins this game. Washington was with them the entire time and, I think, mostly outplayed them. Atlanta plays Oakland this week and Oakland is not a good team, if the Falcons don’t decisively win this game, I really think they are destined to be the Falcons of old, a powerhouse that gets shown the door in the first round of the playoffs.

New England 31, Denver 21

A few takeaways from this game. 1) Peyton Manning post neck surgery is not Peyton Manning pre neck surgery. That’s not to say he’s not an above average QB. He’s so smart, the smartest QB in the game. The way he always audibles in the right situations and he’s just so aware of the game around him, it’s really amazing. But he has trouble with passes over 20 yards and his throws are wobbly. Really wobbly. 2) Peyton Manning does better with a competent running game. Willis McGahee is not his guy. He made a horrendous fumble, but that was only after a horrendous non catch on third down and a less than stellar running performance. I’ll trade you Shonn Greene, Denver ;).

Enough living in the past, let’s talk about this weeks games!

Tampa Bay (-3) vs. Kansas City

So ESPN is enamored with this TB team. They’ve proven zero to me. They beat up the Panthers in week 1, but as sad as it makes me, the Panthers aren’t the best team in the league. Then they had a shootout with the Giants, which the Giants should have never gotten back into that game and TB let them. They “hung” with Dallas. Dallas isn’t that good either, color me unimpressed TB (I held back on the tired McKayla meme this week, I can’t promise it won’t make a return later in the season). KC is among the worst teams in the league and, furthermore, they’re starting QB is hurt. However, while this would harm most teams, this couldn’t be better for the Chiefs (although cheering Cassell’s concussion was poor form KC, poor form). I’m kinda excited about Brady Quinn, I’ve liked him his whole career and I’ll be decidedly rooting for him in this game. This game will actually be interesting, but I think KC, not Tampa, will be the one that beats KC.

Tampa Bay 21, Chiefs 10

Pittsburgh (-5) vs Tennessee

Anyone else think the Steelers just aren’t that good? They don’t score a lot of points, they really haven’t impressed in any game, they don’t seem to go 4 quarters, and they keep letting teams back into the game. That being said, the Titans are the worst team in the league (thank lord it ain’t the Jets) and with Jake Locker being out, they have no real upside. The most depressing part about this Titans team is that I do think them worse than the Jets and they will draft ahead of the Jets. Titans need to take a RB in the draft. Chris Johnson is done. He’s finished. So, whatever marquee RB draft pick there is, we won’t get him.

Pitt 14, Titans 3

Alright, quick top 3/bottom 3

Top 3

1. Houston

2. San Francisco

3. Atlanta

Even though I really wasn’t impressed with the Falcons, they are still undefeated and still easily in the top of the league. Houston did only beat up on the Jets who last week were my worst ranked team in the league, however, the defense is so dominant. Right now, JJ Watt has got to be the defensive MVP. He’s unbelievable, fast, strong, and the quickest hands i’ve ever seen. He must have deflected 4 Sanchez passes last night from the line. It was absurd. He almost makes two players on the field. SF is dominant as well, they are scary good and with Kaepernick doing what Tebow should be doing on the Jets, they’ll go far. My preseason Texans/49ers super bowl pick is looking better and better as the weeks go by.

Bottom 3

1. Titans

2. Chiefs

3. Oakland

Honorable Mention: Buffalo, Jets, Jacksonville, Cleveland

I had to include the honorable mention because I’m trying to illustrate a point. What do all seven of these teams have in common? They are all in the AFC. I can’t think of an NFC team that could be in this conversation? Gun to my head, maybe Washington, especially if RG3 is out? New Orleans even though they beat SD (no big deal, but still maybe enough to keep them away from the bottom 3). Detroit?  The AFC is aggressively terrible this year. All the more reason I’m sad that the Jets are this bad, if there was ever a year where a crappy team snuck into the playoffs in the AFC it would be this year. And, as the New York Giants proved last year, once you are in the playoffs, all bets are off. Don’t worry, bad AFC teams will get into the playoffs though, I imagine the Denver Broncos and their fans are excited about this. In any case, the reasons I chose these three particularly terrible teams are as follows: Tennessee just doesn’t have personnel. They are without Locker who I think is a pretty decent QB, but they have very few receivers and no run game. The O-Line has gotten Locker killed and, unlike the Jets, the Titans defense is average at best. The Chiefs have not played well, especially defensively, but they are promising to me because they have pieces. I like Jamaal Charles a lot (especially in Fantasy) and Dwayne Bowe is a good, borderline great, receiver. I like Brady Quinn, he’s certainly more promising than Cassell, and if this team can overcome being coached by Romeo Crennell (which who could, really?) then don’t expect to see the Chiefs this low. Oakland is coming off a bye, but they were so awful against Denver that they have to still be here. Refer to last week’s blog to read about my feelings on this Raiders team, but I’m hoping that the Chiefs and Raiders have solid games this week and bounce back. The Chiefs play Tampa and the Raiders play Atlanta though, so I’m not sure we’ll see that this week.

Thanks for reading, I know I was a bit long this week but it was fun,

Scott

olivesatire:

Holy crap, this is the most insane thing. This guy should get prison for something this stupid. And he’s taught his kid to be a biggoted piece of garbage as well. Social Services should take the kid.

Originally posted on fox8.com:

[ooyala code=”RyOGgyNjo_4FUSebmTwm9j3GjA0mLeYu”]

CANTON, Ohio — Hope Holcomb, 10, is like any other young girl. She loves to play and to be outside. She also doesn’t let cerebral palsy slow her down.  

But she tells us she has been afraid to leave her home in East Sparta, which is South of Canton in Stark County, because she says she is being bullied by her 9-year-old next door neighbor and his father.

Hope’s grandmother shot video last week at the bus stop. In it you can see a boy and his father, William Bailey, walking slowly with a limp.

“It started last year we had trouble on the bus, she was miserable she didn’t want to ride the bus, cried every morning,” said Tricia Knight, Hope’s mother. “He treats her like crap, and most recently the dad got involved.”

After watching the video, Hope’s parents, Tricia and Mike, felt they needed to bring the bullying situation to the public’s…

View original 165 more words

NFL Week 5 Preview Post!

Hi there! I’m excited about this NFL week although my team is quite depressing (i’ll get there in a little bit). I feel like this is the part of the season where the NFL sometimes loses momentum, the excitement of the first few weeks is gone and we’re starting to figure some teams out. One quick interesting note before I get into game review and game preview: Los Angeles signed an agreement to build a stadium next to the Staples Center in downtown LA. I would hate to live in LA because the traffic is already legendary and add an NFL stadium it will be horrendous. But, I love the idea of big US cities having teams, LA not having a team is crazy. I can’t wait to start the speculation as to who will move (expansion will not be an option, the NFL has said they are not interested in more teams, it’s going to have to be a team moving). For the record, my money is on the Chargers or Rams. Rams would be much more interesting to me.

Denver 36, Oakland 6

Denver looked spectacular this week. Oakland is clearly not that good, Carson Palmer is not a good quarterback, the defense is not good, the receivers are lacking. However, let’s not jump on the Denver bandwagon all at once. The run game looked strong against Oakland and I still think that Peyton can’t be successful without a quality run game, Oakland has given up lots of run yards this year and I really don’t think Peyton can carry the team on his shoulders quite yet. It’ll be interesting to see how the Patriots/Denver game goes. I’m inclined to think it’ll be a shootout, I’m not that impressed by the Denver defense and clearly the Patriots defense is questionable. Will be too close to call (i’d not put money on it) but I think Denver might pull it off.

SF 34 Jets 0

Sigh, I guess I have to talk about this one. The jets are terrible. The defense is pretty ok, they can’t pressure the QB well but I was shockingly OK with Kyle Wilson over Revis. The 49ers are great. But—-the jets are terrible. As in, worst team in the league. Sanchez didn’t have any time and when he did he was scared and irratic, I’m finally throwing in the towel on Shonn Greene—-he can’t get out of his own way, the receivers can’t catch a ball….it was disgusting. They are the worst team in the league and they get to play Houston (who is easily top 3) in the bright lights of Monday Night. Oh yeah, they lost their best receiver, Santonio Holmes. This hurts less than Revis because Holmes was having a terrible season anyway, but he’s still the only receiver of any quality. Sigh. I really just hope that Rex doesn’t get fired for this—-he probably will but it’d be great if he didn’t. Also, if Houston goes as bad as it’s going to, look for Tebow time to start soon (when it goes terribly, I think that the season will end with Greg McElroy as our starting QB—that’s right, Greg McElroy…sigh).

Chicago 34, Dallas 18

Both Rex and Rob Ryan could be unemployed this offseason. The Cowboys really aren’t that good in any area. The defense had looked really impressive coming in to this game and to be fair, the Cowboys defense looked really good in the beginning of the game. If your offense can’t stay on the field, your defense will get tired and start making mistakes, it’s a proven formula (see the Jets/49ers game for another example of this). Really, the biggest problem with Dallas might be Tony Romo. Romo has a bit of Brett Favre in him that he will always trust his arm (this is the same characterization of Jay Cutler) and this can be really explosive and impressive when the passes go to his receivers (Cutler) and really bad when it goes to the other team (Romo). Dallas is not a super great team but they certainly could bounce back.

Game Previews

Carolina (-3) Seahawks

I gotta tell you, this might not be the most interesting game on the national level, but it might be my game of the week. Russell Wilson has been compared nationally to Cam Newton, he’s mobile, solid, and exciting. He’s also tiny compared to Cam. Cam has been in the news for sulking and being too emotionally invested in games. You know what ESPN….GOOD! I want my quarterback sulking if he did bad, I want Cam to be depressed if they lose. It’s absurd to want this guy to be a leader but then expect him not to take the loss hard. I’m excited about the prospect of Cam beating up on this Cam wannabe and the Panthers derailing the Seahawks bandwagon once and for all (to be clear, I was on it, I liked their defense, I still do, that’s the biggest obstacle in Cam’s path. The defense will be fine with Hustle Russell).

PICK: Panthers 23, Seahawks 13

 

Pittsburgh (-2.5) vs Eagles

You might think it’s strange that I’m previewing this game as I can’t stand either of these teams but I think there’s an important point to be made here. 1) the slate of games this week is not really tremendous, especially once you get the marquee Brady v. Manning out of the way. 2) I can be semi-objective in these NFL blogs. 3) Whenever I can make fun of Michael Vick, I will do so (thus eliminating point 2). Here’s the skinny: I really think that one or both of these teams is not as good as they appear. Right now they are both playoff teams. I don’t believe this is how the season shakes out and I think that at the end we’ll point to this game as the beginning of the downfall. I think it’s the Eagles who take their nose dive, especially with Pittsburgh likely to get back Harrison and/or Polamalu. Vick is not a good quarterback, he can’t complete passes consistently (except to the other team) and he’s constantly leading his WR into safety smash routes (please spare me the Mark Sanchez jokes, I’ve already recognized it). Now that I have Redzone (best 6 bucks I’ve ever made my Dad spend), I can gleefully watch parts of this while not committing the time to actually watch the game. The winner here is really me.

Steelers 35, Eagles 14

Top 3 teams

1. Houston

2. Atlanta

3. SF

Same 3 teams as last week, little bit of movement. Here’s why: As much as I love the Panthers, they are a wild card at best and are about a year (maybe 2) away from being serious, serious contenders. That being said, the Panthers should have won that game against Atlanta. Atlanta is a great team, but they should’ve crushed Carolina. Houston, on the other hand, has the same problem I’ve been complaining about all season: they need to play someone credible. This is not going to get corrected this week as they will be fed (Ryback style) the Jets on Monday Night. It’s going to be a massacre, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Crusades. Houston gets the Packers the next week and while the Packers are not really as good as they were last year, that might be the first real test for the Texans.

Bottom 3 teams

1. Jets

2. Titans

3. Raiders

The reason this blog is being posted on Thursday rather than Tuesday when I’m all full of emotion after the Monday night game is because of this part. I knew I had to do this and yet it was hard to do. So here it is, my admission: The Jets are the worst team in the NFL. This offense can not do anything, they have nothing going for them. The defense is OK, but it’s certainly not enough to allow Sanchez to be a game manager like Alex Smith is for the Niners. The Jets were destined to not be great this year, but the Revis and Holmes injuries, coupled with Dustin Keller having been hurt for weeks and the other receivers developing some kind of football allergy has made this offense and this team the worst in the NFL. The Titans have similar problems, their offense struggles anyway, but with Jake Locker hurt for at least a game, likely more, they lose all of the dynamic skill that has kept them in some games. The defense is worse than the Jets defense even if they offense is considerably better. Finally, the Raiders have finally proven me wrong on them. I picked them to be pretty good and was able to make excuses to their loss in Miami (Miami weather in Black jerseys) and San Diego (happens against a good team). One could argue they beat a decent Pittsburgh team and Denver is pretty good, but it’s not that they lost, it’s the way they lost. This team can’t help itself from being penalized constantly, replacement officials or not. They are sloppy on defense and have Carson Palmer under center, who is normally the most inconsistent QB out of USC in the league, but of course we have Marky Mark in New York so Palmer gets a pass on that one. This Raiders team has talent, but they gotta get it together. The good news for them is that Dennis Allen appears to be a competent coach, so while I think the other cellar dwellers in the bottom 3 will be here for the duration of the season, I could see the Raiders bouncing to mediocre.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out how to get NFLshop.com to help me customize my Matt Barkley Jets Jersey.

Scott

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