Thursday, September 26, 2013

Post NFL Week 3 Predictions

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Predictions on NFL Week 3 (based on the results of NFL Week 3

The race for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is officially on!  Your 0-fers after week three will be: Bucs, Giants, Jaguars, Redskins, Steelers and Vikings.

Two of these teams are not like the others…I’ll give you a hint which two – they play in the same state. Also, they have no idea who they want as their quarterback. Also, they are terrible. Even more terrible than the other four teams. Also, one of them is so bad a local television station felt the need to apologize for broadcasting one of their games.

The end of week three means it will be time to pick a phrase to honor the teams that will tank to get the No. 1 overall draft pick. I like “Downey for Clowney.”

After week three, the undefeated teams will be: Chicago (Chicago?!), New Orleans, Seattle, New England, Miami (Miami?!?!), Denver, Kansas City (Now you’re just pulling my leg).

Thanks to the Redskins and Giants and Eagles (1-2), after week 3, Andy Reid’s KC Chiefs will have as many wins AS THE ENTIRE NFC EAST COMBINED.

Let that sink in for a little bit.

Reid’s Chiefs will have played more NFC East games than any of the NFC East teams.

That will probably change at some point this season.

Two AFC North teams (Cincinnati and Cleveland) will surprise everyone (including themselves) by edging two NFC North teams (Green Bay and Minnesota, respectively), with the margin of defeat four points in each contest.

In fact, the AFC North will go 3-1 on the week, with its lone loss…Pittsburgh! Boy that Todd Haley signing is working out quite well, huh?!

Baltimore will defeat perennial preseason favorite and perennial postseason disappointment Houston.

Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers will lose back-to-back games for the first time in his NFL coaching career.

In fact, it will be the first consecutive losses for a Harbaugh-coached team since 2009, while he was at Stanford.

For the second-straight week, Harbaugh will lose to a team that features two players who played under him at Stanford, as Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener and the Colts will send the 49ers to 1-2 on the year.

After week three, Harbaugh will still have three games to go against teams with two players who played under him at Stanford: the Cardinals twice (Jim Dray and Stepfan Taylor); the Seahawks once (Doug Baldwin and Richard Sherman).

We could be looking at a five-loss season for Harbaugh and the Niners!

Or we could be looking at a completely meaningless statistic that interests only me.

I predict it will be one or the other.

MOMENT THAT GRINDED MY GEARS ENOUGH TO WRITE ABOUT IT (in letter form)
Dear Chip Kelly,

I’m not going to say I told you so, but I’m making the face. Did you learn nothing from last week?! YOUR OFFENSE WILL NOT WORK IN THE NFL IF YOU CONTINUE TO ALLOW THE OTHER TEAM ‘s OFFENSE TO REMAIN ON THE FIELD FOR 40 MINUTES!! Some might say that your offense is not the problem, that your defense is what you should be concerned with, but how can your defense perform if it’s exhausted FROM HAVING BEEN ON THE FIELD FOR 40 MINUTES?!?! Your longest drive was your first – and that was because your offense was on the field for 56 seconds, threw a pick six, and then was back on the field for another 2:43. In fact, the Chiefs longest drive came in the fourth quarter – it took 8:15 off the clock and resulted in a field goal. Do you think that if your defense was more rested, they would have been able to get off the field sooner?

Your offense needs to s l o w  d o w n. Not all the time – just every once in a while. Give your defense a breather. The longer your offense is on the field, the more rested your defense will be the next time it is on the field, the better your defense will perform. You aren’t coaching Oregon any more. You won’t be defeating these teams 49-0, like you did to Arizona last year. Each team has essentially the same level of talent.

Take a page from the New England, which almost broke the NFL record for total plays last year. Against the Buccaneers, their fastest scoring drive was 3:33, when they went 62 yards in 10 plays. That’s pretty fast. But the Patriots also slowed down, ESPECIALLY in the third and fourth quarters. An eight-play and a 10-play drive, each culminating in field goals, that took 4:15 and 4:44, respectively. A 10-play drive that took 4:41 to end the game.

As yourself this: what offense would you run if you had a lead and the ball late in the game? Then take that offense and run it every now and then during the second, third and early-fourth quarters. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Post NFL Week 2 Predictions

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Predictions on NFL Week 2 (based on the results of NFL Week 2)

Raise your hands if you believe Miami will be undefeated and tied with New England for first-place in the AFC East after two weeks.

Put your hand down, Colin Kaepernick.

One week after the AFC Kanye’s Kid goes 0-fer, the NFC East will go 0-fer.

For the second-straight week, the Bucs will lose on a last second field goal. Silver lining: this time, the offense will be to blame, not the defense!

Josh Freeman will have a bad week. First word will come out that he missed the team photo, then was not voted team captain and that he blames head coach Greg Schiano and will likely ask for a trade. Then he will show other teams what kind of quarterback he can be for them by going 9-of-22 for 125 yards. Somewhere, Tim Tebow is modeling the Tampa Bay uniform.

The Browns will muster a mere six points in a loss to the Ravens (who will muster a mere 14 points), and then will UPS starting running back Trent Richardson to the Colts.

The NFL will finally know what it means to be let down byCleveland, as it will no longer be able to use his clip in its commercial forFantasy Football.

Manning Bowl IV will be decisively won by Peyton and the Broncos. On the plus side for Eli and the Giants, they will find out that their problem is not David Wilson’s fumble-itis – it’s the whole offense!

For the second time in as many weeks, a night game on NBC will be delayed because of weather. For the second time in as many games between the two teams, the Seahawks will trounce the 49ers at home. For the second time, period, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be rendered ineffectual.

The Jaguars will rush for just 34 yards (on 19 carries) in a loss to the Raiders. They will be ranked 32nd (out of 32) in total offense. Somewhere, Tim Tebow is modeling the new Jacksonville uniform.

After week 2, a report will come out saying that the Jaguars were among four teams the NFL is looking at to move to Los Angeles. So THAT’S why Tebow was hanging out at USC!

After two weeks, the Steelers offense will be ranked 31st in the League, which will surprise everybody.

Reports will come out that Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley is not getting along with his offensive players, while will surprise nobody.

Andy Reid will avenge the sweep his Eagles suffered to the Cowboys last year by beating the Cowboys with his new team, the Chiefs. If Kansas City were in the NFC East, it would be in first place after week 2.

The Chargers will prove without a shadow of a doubt that the best defense is a good offense, as the Fighting Phillip Riverses will more than double Andy Reid’s former team (and week 3 matchup) in possession time (40:17 to 19:43), en route to victory.

To Philadelphia’s credit, the offense, in under 20 minutes of work, will score 30 points. Unfortunately, the defense, in over 40 minutes of work, will give up 33 points.

MOMENT THAT GRINDED MY GEARS ENOUGH TO WRITE ABOUT IT (in letter form)
Dear Chip Kelly,

You are a smart guy. You know football. Your teams at Oregon did very, very well, running and gunning teams right out of Phil Knight’s living room. It worked, because your athletes were better than most of the teams you faced, so even a tired Oregon defense was better than the rested offense of BeatenBy80Points University. You are trying to bring that fastpaced, no-huddle offense to the NFL. But there are two issues with this. One, all NFL teams have essentially the same level of talent (some just don’t know how to use said talent). Two, NFL players are not 18-22 year olds. Some of them are really, really old – like 35. So when your offense consistently gets on and off the field in under four minutes – your longest drive on Sunday was 3:41, a number San Diego surpassed on six separate drives – your defense is going to get tired. And this defense, with an average starting age of 25.1, is going to be mighty tired towards the end of games, especially when they’ve been on the field for 40 minutes. And in close games, if the other team’s defense is not as tired as yours, you can bet they’ll be better able to make at least one key stop – something your defense was unable to do against the Chargers. I’m not saying that you should change your offense, I’m saying you should mix it up. Go fast for two drives, then slow it down for a third. Go fast for a drive, then slow for the next two. You think your defense is tired now? Wait until the 14th, 15th and 16th games of the season – something you never had to deal with at college.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Post NFL Week 1 Predictions

Predictions on NFL Week 1 based on the results of NFL Week 1

Finally the NFL season will begin! No longer will fans have to read or hear about the perils of the sport and the dangers of concussions – now they will be able to see those perils and dangers, over and over and over again, for 17-straight weeks!

Huzzah!

A number of big games will open the season, and a number of statements will be made.

The Broncos will make the statement that Peyton Manning’s arm is just fine, thank you very much.

The Ravens will make the statement that perhaps in retrospect, Anquan Boldin was a fairly important piece of the offense and worth more than a sixth-round draft choice.

The Ravens receivers – all of them – will total 215 yards on 15 receptions, with one touchdown.

Anquan Boldin – by himself – will total 208 yards on 13 receptions, with one touchdown.

Neither of Baltimore’s sixth-round picks from the 2013 NFL Draft, OL Ryan Jensen (inactive-injury) and DL Kapron Lewis-Moore (Reserve/Non-Football Injury) will play a single down.

The defense that the Ravens were able to rebuild thanks to the $6 million they saved on Boldin’s contract will give up 49 points.

But other than that, the trade will work out perfectly for Baltimore. Eventually.

The Niners will hold off the Packers in a rematch from last year’s playoffs.

The Niners will make the statement that they remain a Super Bowl contender.

The Packers will make the statement that hey, we’re pretty good, but the Niners are excellent, and pretty good is not as good as excellent, even though it's pretty good.

After the game, Niners tight end Vernon Davis will say that he thanks God everyday for Boldin being on his team.

Now we will know – God isn’t Tim Tebow, He’s Trent Baalke, the 49ers General Manager! Good luck competing against that, rest of the NFL.

The Patriots will make a statement that they don’t need to bring back receivers who accounted for 192 receptions, 2,265 yards and 10 touchdowns last year; they will simply plug in new starters, watch them catch 17 balls for 183 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Bills, rinse, repeat.

The Bills will make a statement that they are still the Bills, doing Bills-like things with Bills-like frequency. A guess at what coach Doug Marrone will tell his team in the fourth quarter when they will be nursing a 21-17 lead:

“We’re going to stay with our no-huddle offense and snap the ball with 20 seconds remaining on the play clock on every play so that we can give the Patriots as much time as possible to come back and win this game!!”

This will be a lesson for us all, but mostly for the Pittsburgh Steelers: when the artist formerly known as Chris Johnson has more than double the rushing yards than you have as a team, it won’t be a good day for you.

Adrian Peterson's first carry of the game will be a statement that he absolutely should have been the No. 1 overall pick in every fantasy football draft.

Adrian Peterson's next 17 carries of the game will be statements that oh crap I shouldn't have drafted him first overall.

On a personal note, I HATE having the No. 1 overall pick. It's way too much pressure. I'd rather have No. 2, let some other schlub take Greg Oden first overall so that I can take Kevin Durant.

Eli Manning will kind of match his brother’s offensive output of seven touchdowns, in as much as Eli will have four touchdowns and three interceptions.

I did say “kind of.”

The Chargers, with their new head coach and coaching staff, will build a 28-7 third-quarter lead over the Texans.

The Texans will come all the way back to win, 31-28.

The more things change, the more they stay the same…


MOMENT THAT GRINDED MY GEARS ENOUGH TO WRITE ABOUT IT (in letter form)

Dear Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone,

The Patriots not only have a very good offense, they also have a very fast offense. Also, it’s very good. They’ve been using a no-huddle offense for a while now, long before you and Chip Kelly decided to come to the NFL to “innovate” the game. New England led the league in total offense in 2012; led the league in points per game in 2012; finished with a league-best 1,191 total plays from scrimmage, coming thisclose to breaking the all-time mark of 1,200; averaged 74.4 plays per game, best in the league; have Tom Brady as a quarterback.

SO WHY WOULD YOU THINK THAT GIVING THIS TEAM MORE TIME IS A GOOD IDEA?!?!

I understand you have a young team with a rookie starting at qb. Perhaps you felt that this team wasn’t prepared to do anything but the no-huddle, hurry-up offense you’ve been working on. Which is more a knock on you than on your team – you didn’t think that there would come a time where you would have a lead in the fourth quarter and would need to bleed the clock? Did you really think that your offense, plus this young team with its rookie quarterback, would be good enough that you could get first down after first down and touchdown after touchdown?

You will say the right things after the game, that you let the team down, etc. But make sure you use this game for the learning experience that it is – no-huddle, fast-break, hurry-up offenses are great, until they’re not. Then you need the old smashmouth, grind out yards and minutes type of football that wins close games.