Thursday, October 31, 2013

Post NFL Week 8 Predictions

Predictions based on the results of Week 8

Remember how the best team in the NFC East is finally over .500?

It won’t last long.

The best team in the NFC East will have the worst record of any of the division leaders. Feel free to break out the “world’s tallest little person” jokes at any point.

The Cowboys will lose in the most heartbreaking (read: awesome) of fashions.

Trailing by 3 with 2:24 remaining, Detroit will go 0 yards on four plays and give the ball back to the Cowboys, who will kick a field goal.

Trailing by 6 with 1:02 remaining, Detroit will go 80 yards on six plays and score a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining.

Dez Bryant will spend the week telling everyone who will listen, so basically everyone, that he is not Calvin Johnson, he is Dez Bryant, who is better than Calvin Johnson.

ESPN will spend the week showing side-by-side stats that say Dez Bryant is better than Calvin Johnson.

Calvin Johnson will take 60 minutes out of his Sunday to definitively prove them both wrong.

Your brain will spin when you realize that the only undefeated team in the NFL will be the Kansas City Chiefs.

Your brain will stop spinning when you realize that the two teams with nary a victory between them will be the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Bucs.

The Giants will improve to 2-0 when their defense shuts out the opposing offense but their special teams gives up a touchdown.

New York’s defensive line, with six sacks ON THE SEASON coming into the game, will sack Philadelphia quarterbacks FOUR TIMES IN THE GAME.

The Eagles, with offensive guru Chip Kelly at the helm, will score zero points after scoring just three last week.

The last time a Chip Kelly coached offense scored in the single digits in back-to-back games was…never. It’s never happened before. Not once. Not at New Hampshire (1999-2006) or Oregon (2007-12). Not until now. Welcome to the NFL, Chip!

The NFL’s plan to get an NFL team in London will go great, as the 49ers will demolish the Jaguars. (Just don’t tell the Brits that they will be getting the Jaguars, not the 49ers.)

The AFC West will improve to 7-0 over the NFC East.

The Broncos will have as many wins against NFC East opponents than the NFC East leader will have altogether.

After the Packers take care of the Vikings, I think a legitimate question will be: hey Greg Jennings, how does Aaron Rodgers’ leadership taste?

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

I know Calvin Johnson. Well, I don’t know him, but I know his work. But the point is, you sir, are no Calvin Johnson.

In your head-to-head matchup on Sunday, you had a very respectable game with three catches for 72 yours and two touchdowns. You might not have seen it while you were yelling at exhorting your teammates, but Johnson had a slightly-better-than-very-respectable-game, with 14 catches for 329 yards and a touchdown. In fact, it was his catch in traffic that led directly to Matthew Stafford’s one-yard plunge for the gamewinning touchdown with seconds left on the clock.

In fact, Johnson had almost half of Matthew Stafford’s 33 completions on the day (42.4 percent), despite facing constant double, triple and quadruple teams.

Much was made leading up to the game about how your numbers are better than Johnson’s when he was 50 games into his career (you had 242 catches for 3,440 yards and 33 TDs; he had 217 for 3,362 and 25 TDs).

But that doesn’t tell the whole story. You have had Tony Romo throwing to you for basically your entire career (with the occasional Jon Kitna here and there), as well as Jason Witten and Miles Austin, etc. to make sure defenses don’t key on you too much.

Here are the quarterbacks Calvin Johnson caught passes from over his first 3.1 years: Jon Kitna (hey, that guy again!), Dan Orlovsky, an out-of-shape Daunte Culpepper and Drew Stanton. Then he had Stafford as a rookie QB.

Here are the receivers Calvin Johnson played with over his first 3.1 years: Shaun McDonald, Roy Williams, Mike Furrey, Bryant Johnson and Dennis Northcutt. It’s a regular “who’s that” of NFL wide receivers.

The point being that if you had to play with those quarterbacks and those receivers, a) there would have been a LOT of yelling on the sidelines, and 2) you wouldn’t have near the numbers Johnson had. Because Johnson got those numbers despite a constant barrage of double, triple sometimes quadruple teams. Do opposing defenses key solely on you, sending two, three sometimes four defenders? Are you able to beat those double, triple sometimes quadruple teams on a regular basis? No, yes, no and no, and sometimes, no and no.

Talent-wise, perhaps one day you will be as good as Calvin Johnson is now. But that’s not enough to be the best. You also have to be professional. You have to practice as hard as you play. You were lucky enough to be on a team that, over your first three years, went 22-26. How do you think you would have reacted if your team went 9-39 over your first three years? Because that’s what Johnson’s Lions did. And you never heard a negative word from the guy. Whatever he was feeling, he kept it to himself.

Here’s another thing: do you know that this is the first time in your career that you’re leading the team in receptions? It’s true. Jason Witten has been the team leader in receptions the past three years. That’s how long it’s taken Romo to fully trust you as a receiver. It took Johnson all of one year before he became his team’s leading receiver, and he has yet to relinquish that mark. Not coincidentally, it also took Johnson all of one year before we started referring to him as possibly (later, definitely) the best receiver in the NFL today.

Dez, I think you’re a very talented wide receiver. Maybe even very good. But you’ll never be the best. That spot is reserved for the one we call Megatron.

Speaking of Calvin Johnson’s nickname, I thinking case you weren’t aware, in Transformers, Starscream was never Megatron’s equal but always wanted to be his better. That seems fairly self explanatory. Plus, you scream a lot. Also, you seem to think of yourself as a star. It really fits too perfectly. Maybe you really ARE Starscream…

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Post NFL Week 7 Predictions


Predictions based on the results of Week 7

Congratulations will be in order to the NFC East, which will see its division leader move over .500 for the first time since week 3.

The NFC East and AFC North will remain the only divisions with just one team over .500. No big deal though – not like teams in those divisions have any kind of rabid fan bases or a history of success.

The Giants will pick up their first win of the season against a Vikings team whose only victory was against the Steelers who are in the AFC North!

The Giants’ win will mean that only two teams will remain oh-fer. Both will be from the wonderful state of Florida.

In fact, the best that wonderful state of Florida will have to offer will be Miami, which will see its losing streak extended to three games. 

That same wonderful state of Florida will extend its losing streak to three weeks. Teams in Florida will fall to 3-16.

The three teams from the wonderful state of Florida will see their record in games played in the wonderful state of Florida fall to 1-8.

After the Bucs lose at Atlanta, the Falcons will send a crew in haz-mat suits into Tampa Bay’s locker room.


For the fourth time in seven games, the Jaguars will score in the single digits. On the plus side, their next game is against the 49ers, with the seventh-best scoring defense in the NFL, so nobody will be expecting Jacksonville to score.

The Rams will fall to the Panthers and lose quarterback Sam Bradford for the season in the process. St. Louis will then reach out to the 44-year-old Brett Fav-ruh to see if wants to suit up (he won’t).

Tim Tebow will be all, “who’s a guy gotta pray to to get signed around here?!”

The Patriots will lose to the Jets. It won’t be because of New England’s inability to get into the end zone in the second half while allowing New York to score 17 points in the third quarter and come back from a 21-10 deficit, but because of a penalty that was called incorrectly on the Patriots in overtime as the Jets missed a FG.

It will be a very confusing 24 hours. It also won’t be the first time the Patriots will be involved with a call that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but was correct. Isn’t that right, Raiders fans?

Monte Kiffin, whose USC defenses gave up 53, 35 and 62 points to Chip Kelly’s Oregon, will hold Chip Kelly’s Eagles to three points.

Monte Kiffin, whose USC defenses practiced against current Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley, will see his Cowboys defense pick the rookie off three times in the fourth quarter.

Bears fans will have a nightmare where their backup quarterback will replace an injured Jay Cutler…which will turn into a pleasant dream where that backup qb will go 14-of-20 for a 204 yards and a touchdown and the team will score 24 points in the second half…which will turn into a nightmare as the defense will give up 45 points including a touchdown with 45 seconds remaining in a loss to the Redskins.

That will actually happen?

Oh.

After week 7, the Redskins and Bears will rank 25th and 26th in the NFL in yards allowed. Apparently, the difference between 25th and 26th place is four points.

The Steelers will beat the Ravens in a classic AFC North slugfest, which would be more impressive if the teams wouldn’t be a combined 5-8 after the game.

After week 7, only one team will be undefeated. If you picked the Chiefs to be that team, then you and I are going to Vegas posthaste.

Teams that play the Seahawks will fall to 0-6 in their next game. Actual prediction: the Falcons will beat the Cardinals next week to make it 0-7.

Hollywood is working on an football movie. It’s about a team that was always a preseason favorite for the Super Bowl, a team that was always “on the cusp.” The season the movie will focus on will show the team win its first two games and then lose its next five, with all the drama that such a losing streak entails.

It will be called, “Remember the Texans.”

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

Here are the career statistics of four quarterbacks:

Player A: 57.6 completion %, 80 TD, 67 INT, 77.8 QBR
Player B: 59.1 completion %, 88 TD, 67 INT, 79.2 QBR
Player C: 59.2 completion %, 33 TD, 30 INT, 75.8 QBR
Player D: 59.2 completion %, 85 TD, 59 INT, 80.8 QBR

Who are they, you ask? I’ll give you a hint: three of them are on your roster. The other was available during the offseason.

Player C (Christian Ponder) led you to a 10-6 record last season and the playoffs. Sure he was helped by Adrian Peterson’s incredible season, but with very little in the way of wide receivers he was able to throw for just under 3,000 yards with 18 TDs and 12 INTs.

But you thought highly enough of Ponder that instead of getting a QB during the offseason – for example Alex Smith (Player B) – you went out and got him a good receiver in Greg Jennings. Then Ponder fractures his rib on Sept. 22, Matt Cassel (Player D) steps up and leads the team to a 1-1 mark…and you of course then sign Josh Freeman (Player A) to be your starter. Freeman, of course, who was cut by the Buccaneers. After you signed Freeman, head coach Leslie Frazier said that Ponder is the starter if he’s healthy.

Here’s my three-part question: 1) if you didn’t think Ponder was your quarterback of the future, why didn’t you either draft someone or trade for/sign someone like Alex Smith during the offseason? 2) Why do you feel Freeman is a better quarterback than Ponder? 3) If Ponder is your starter when healthy, why even sign Freeman? Cassel led the team to a win over the Steelers and has proven to be a solid NFL quarterback, which is really what you need from your backup. If Ponder is your starter when healthy, why would you sign someone that would make Ponder ponder if he really IS your starter when healthy?

Look at the statistics above. Ponder and Freeman are basically the same, except Ponder has never had a Vincent Jackson or Mike Williams to throw to. Ponder knows your system. Ponder stepped his game up when his team needed him most, throwing for 234 yards and three touchdowns in the final game of the 2012 regular season to lead the Vikings to a 37-34 win over the Packers, punching a ticket to the playoffs in the process.

Minnesota, I worry that you are the girl who dates a jerk thinking she can change him, that he’ll be better with her, that she’ll make him a nicer person. Newsflash – it never works out that way. We are who we are. Quarterbacks who complete under 60 percent of their passes are quarterbacks who complete under 60 percent of their passes, and that's the way it is.

After his disastrous performance against the Giants (20-of-53, 190 yards, one INT, no offensive points), you told everyone that he wouldn’t play in your next game because of a “concussion,” which I’m going to translate as “he doesn’t know the playbook and we don’t want to embarrass him or us by admitting he wasn’t ready to be our starting quarterback.”

You’re right, concussion sounds better.

Ponder has a chance to replicate his performance from that regular season finale a year ago, as he will get the start against this week’s opponent, the Packers. I for one am hoping that he will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he IS the starter when healthy.

At the very least, it will give him a leg up for the new coaching staff next year.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Post NFL Week 6 Predictions

Predictions based on the results of Week 6

The good news for the NFC East: two teams – TWO – will be at .500 after week 6!

The bad news for the NFC East: those two teams will be tied for first place.

The NFC East will be the only division in the NFL whereby the first place teams are not better than .500. On the bright side, the NFC East will finally have more combined wins (seven) than the teams with the best record in the NFL (six)!

The bad news: two teams – TWO – will fall to 0-6.

The good news for the Giants: they will only be three games back of the division leaders.

The good news for the Jaguars: they will totally beat the ridiculous and NFL record-tying 28-point spread that Las Vegas favored the Broncos to win by.

The bad news for the Jaguars: they will still lose by more than two touchdowns.

The good news for the Jaguars: Tim Tebow is avaiiilablllle!

The bad news for the Jaguars: Tim Tebow is available.

In what may be a sign that things they are a-changing in Cincinnati, the Bengals will blow a 14-point fourth-quarter lead to the Bills but still win in overtime.

In what may be a sign that things are not a-changing, the Buccaneers will fall to 0-5 with a loss to the Eagles.

For the third-straight game, the Eagles will have three drives of over three minutes, including their second-longest drive of the season, taking 5:29 in the fourth quarter en route to a field goal. Their longest drive this season: 6:32 against Denver (that also led to a field goal).

Could Chip Kelly finally be learning how to win in the NFL?

Thinking….

Thinking….

After week 6, the combined record of the three teams the Eagles’ will have defeated will be 1-15. But that one win came against Oakland (by Washington), and the Raiders will be 2-4…yeah I wouldn’t hold my breath, Eagles fans.

The Jets will come into week 6 tied for second in the AFC East. The Steelers will come into week 6 dead last in the AFC North. So of course Pittsburgh will defeat New York handily.

Remember when Matt Flynn had that great game with the Packers in 2011, throwing for 480 yards and six touchdowns against Detroit? Since that time, he went to Seattle (where he threw for 68 yards OVER THE ENTIRE 2012 SEASON) and then Oakland (where he threw for 246 yards over two games this season). In fact, he’s been so impressive for the Raiders that they will make the decision to play a concussed* Terrelle Pryor against the Chiefs.

*I’m sure he passed every single concussion test the Raiders gave him with flying colors and was completely and 100-percent healthy for the game.

Pryor will throw three second-half interceptions** as the Chiefs will improve to 6-0.

**I’m sure he passed every single concussion test the Raiders gave him with flying colors and was completely and 100-percent healthy for the game.

The Raiders will cut Flynn, but all is not lost, as he will sign with the Bills, who have a long history of giving fading quarterbacks one more chance (see Leinart, Matt).

The Chiefs’ six wins means they will have already TRIPLED their wins total from a year ago.

In a battle of kinda sorta Super Bowl contenders, the Packers will hold off the Ravens by….and this is crazy…running the ball! Eddie Lacy will become the third GB running back to break the 100-yard plateau this season. It will give the Packers three more 100-yard rushers this season than they had all of 2012. And 2011. And 2010. COMBINED.

In fact, the last time the Packers had three 100-yard rushing games in a season was 2009.

Running the ball! Who knew?!

The Texans will lose their kinda sorts Super Bowl contender status with a home loss to the Rams. Surprisingly, there will be very few “Houston, we have a problem” jokes, even though Houston really does have a problem. In fact, many.

The Patriots, without Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski or Danny Amendola, will defeat the Saints in what will so far be the game of the season, scoring a touchdown with seconds remaining in the game.

The reason? Tom Brady’s short hair, of course. “He looks so much better with short hair,” my wife will say.

The 49ers and Seahawks will improve to 4-2 and 5-1, respectively. The Colts, who defeated both San Fran and Seattle, will go into San Diego…and of course lose.

These aren’t your Norv Turner San Diego Chargers anymore.

MOMENT THAT GRINDED MY GEARS ENOUGH TO WRITE ABOUT IT (in letter form)
Dear College Football Playoff…um, people,

Archie Manning. Condoleezza Rice. Ty Willingham.

What do these three people have in common? A week ago, not a whole lot. I mean, Archie Manning played college football, and Ty Willingham coached college football, including the school that Condoleezza Rice attended, and Manning…well maybe Manning voted for Dubya.

Now, however, the three will be a part of the selection committee for the upcoming football playoff, which will begin next season.

Most college football fans have been waiting for a playoff for YEARS, and I think we’re all very excited to see it come to fruition. March Madness is filled with drama and excitement and Adam Morrison’s tears and is probably the greatest three-plus weeks of the sporting year (outside of a year that includes the World Cup). So for college football, arguably the most popular sport this side of the NFL, to have a playoff…well suffice to say it’s going to be a fun couple of weeks.

But before we get to the actual games, we have to pick the four teams to compete. Manning, Rice and Willingham will be a part of that group.

The rest of the group includes Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long, Wisconsin AD and former head coach Barry Alvarez, former superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, Southern Cal AD Pat Haden, former NCAA executive vice president Tom Jernstedt, Clemson AD Dan Radakovich, West Virginia AD Oliver Luck, former Nebraska coach and AD Tom Osborne, former BIG EAST commissioner Mike Tranghese and former USA Today college football reporter Steve Wieberg.

Most of these names I don’t mind. You have the big five conferences represented with Long (SEC), Alvarez and Osborne (Big Ten), Haden (Pac 12), Luck (Big 12) and Radakovich (ACC); you have smaller conferences represented in Gould (Mountain West) and Tranghese (American née BIG EAST (and yes I know the BIG EAST is still around but how many times do you really get to use née?)); you have current and former ADs (Alvarez, Long, Osborne and Radakovich); former coaches (Alvarez, Osborne and Willingham) and former players (Haden, Luck and Manning); you have media (Wieberg); you have NCAA (Jernstedt).

My issues are with Manning and Rice. Manning you could make the argument because he played at Ole Miss and was named to the College Football Hall of Fame. But that doesn’t hold a lot of water to me because what has been his involvement with college football since he graduated? He’s been as an analyst on TV and he’s served on the board of the National Football Foundation since 1993, but neither of those qualifications necessarily mean that he’s following all the college football teams closely.

And Rice has minimal qualifications when it comes to college football. Certainly she held an impressive job as Secretary of State, which I’m sure gave her good negotiating skills, so maybe that’s why they picked her? Is it because she’s a fan? I know a lot of fans (I happen to be one), and I don’t think loving college football makes one qualified to pick the four teams that will play for a national championship. Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the BCS, said of Rice that “[she] knows this game, she is a student of this game.” I don’t even know what that means.

Plus, doesn’t it seem strange that Stanford has three representatives on the committee? Rice went to school there and worked there, Willingham coached there and Luck had a son who played there. On the plus side it’s not Notre Dame that college football is over involving.

I guess my issue with picking Manning and Rice to serve on the committee is that it reeks of PR to me. Remember, the BCS is the same organization that in 2005 decided to replace the AP Poll (filled with media members who cover college football for a living) with the Harris Interactive Poll (which has included such college football stalwarts as Terry Bradshaw and Boomer Esiason, guys who talk about the NFL for a living). Sure, Bradshaw and Esiason had name value, sure, but nothing much else when it comes to college football.

But those were the names that the BCS presented to us as proof that the Harris Poll was a viable replacement for the AP Poll. How did the Harris Poll fare, you ask? Well next year college football will have a playoff to replace the BCS. So I guess you could say the Harris Poll fared perfectly well, at least with regards to the destination (just not so much with the journey).

I don’t think, as some have suggested, that one needs to have played college football to serve on the committee. But I do think that one needs to have worked in a college football setting where you’re involved with the day-to-day operations, either as a player or coach, school athletic administrator or conference representative, or media.  Manning has the player part but not much else. Rice has school administrator but not much else.

But what they do have is name recognition, and that sets off the warning bells in my head. Because it reminds me of the Harris Poll, which reminds me of all the issues with the BCS, which reminds me how we finally got to this Playoff in the first place.

Although, if my worries are proved correct, and history is any indication, the College Football Committee will screw up the final four badly enough such that in a few years, we’ll have an eight- or 16-team playoff. Which is what most of the fans want anyway. Viva la BCS!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Post NFL Week 5 Predictions

Predictions based on the results of Week 5

In our ongoing “what team is better than all of the NFC East combined” series, New Orleans, Denver and Kansas City will all have as many wins by themselves (five) as the ENTIRE NFC EAST COMBINED.

The NFC East will be the only division where all four teams have losing records.

Just how bad will the NFC East be? The Giants, at 0-5, will be a mere two games back of the first-place Cowboys (2-3) and Eagles (2-3). The Chiefs will have one more win against NFC East opponents (three) than the best teams in the NFC East will have overall, by themselves (two each).

Meanwhile, in the NFC South, the Saints will end week 5 with a 5-0 record.

The rest of the NFC South will end week 5 with a 2-11 record.

After week 5, the Bengals will remain undefeated at home (3-0) and defeated on the road (0-2).

The standings after week 5 will show what a topsy-turvy season 2013 has been so far.

2012 Final Four team Atlanta: 1-4
2012 Playoff team Washington: 1-3
2012 terrible team Kansas City: 5-0

If Houston is indeed a Super Bowl contender, as many love to say that they eventually will be, what does that say about San Francisco, which will demolish the Texans in week 5, and Seattle, which upended the Texans in week 4?

And if the 49ers and Seahawks are Super Bowl contenders, what will that make the Indianapolis Colts, which will have wins over both of those teams?

After week 5, the Jets will be one game out of first-place in the AFC East. Let that sit in for a minute.

Hey Eagles fans, remember last year’s Coach of the Year, Bruce Arians? He took over as head coach of the Colts while Chuck Pagano was dealing with cancer and led them to a 9-3 record and the playoffs. He is now 3-2…with the ARIZONA CARDINALS.

But no no, I’m sure Chip Kelly will be great for you. Really.

After week 5, the Manning brothers will have combined for 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, which is respectable, until you realize that Peyton has 20 of those TDs and only one of those INTs.

The Broncos will outlast the Cowboys in a game where the final score will look like that of a college basketball game.

Tony Romo will prove yet again that he just can’t win. Despite his 506 passing yards and five touchdowns, the only thing people will take away is the takeaway that he gave away with under two minutes remaining.

The 51 points the Broncos will score against the Cowboys will equal the Jacksonville Jaguars’ scoring output of 2013.

Sorry, Giants, Steelers and Bucs – I think the Jags have Downey for Clowney just about sowed up.

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

My how the mighty have fallen. This might seem like piling on at this point, but it bears repeating what has happened since you left the Giants: the team won two Super Bowls, you were let go from NBC’s Sunday Night in America, you allegedly cheated on your pregnant wife with an NBC intern, you got fired from NBC, you tried to get back into the NFL and failed, you started hawking a company where fans can pay to meet celebrities/athletes, you covered the Howard Stern Show Staff Fantasy Football Draft on SIRIUS/XM, you joined CBS Sports Radio.

But wait there’s more. Your former teammate Michael Strahan is a talk show host on not one, but TWO major networks, including taking over for Regis on ABC – the type of show that I’m sure you expected to be hosting on NBC after you retired. Your brother, who has a Super Bowl ring himself, is even starting his own NFL Analyst career on FOX Sports1.

Why do I bring this up? Well one, you seem like kind of a douche, so it’s fun to knock you. And two, I was thinking about some of the things you would have said about this 0-5 Giants squad if you were still on NBC, and I bet it would go something like this:

“Coach Coughlin is very hard-nosed, and [players don’t] get a lot of time off, [can’t] sit down and rest…and so it was a constant grind -- a physical grind…that [takes its toll].”

I’m sorry, you did say something like that. In fact, you said exactly that, except you were talking about yourself.

“Coach Coughlin is very hard-nosed, and I didn't get a lot of time off, couldn't
sit down and rest myself, and so it was a constant grind -- a physical grind on me that started to take its toll. The grind took its toll on me and really forced me to start thinking about what I wanted to do next. And that's not a bad thing. That's a good thing, for me at least. Maybe not for the Giants, because they lose one of their great players, but for me, it is.”

That was your first mistake. To this day, it grinds my gears that you felt the need to bash your former coach right after you retired. Heck, you even went so far as to criticize Eli Manning’s leadership and then in 2010 you said that Coughlin was losing the team. And if I listened to CBS Radio, I’m sure I would hear you saying the same things.

“The best thing that they did was release Josh. Somehow, someway that situation had to end. It had gotten toxic from both sides. Josh was manipulating, everybody felt like Coach was manipulating, but I don't feel like Greg was that kind of guy. Greg wants what's best for this team. I think he can get the locker room back. I want to see him get the locker room back.”

That was what your brother Ronde said in response to a question about how Greg Schiano is handling the current situation with the Bucs. Do you hear that? It’s certainly not the sound of someone being thrown under the bus, because that’s what Ronde did NOT do. When you watch Strahan on FOX, and they ask him about the Giants, do you know what he does NOT do? Throw his former coach/teammates under the bus. He might criticize and point out where they need to work on things, but you can do that without being critical. There’s a big, big difference, one that you apparently were too blinded by your own greatness to see.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Post NFL Week 4 Predictions

Predictions based on the results of Week 4

After week four, the NFC East will have four victories between the four teams.

After week four, five teams will have four victories by themselves.

After week four, Kansas City will be one of those 4-0 teams, including three wins against NFC East opponents, which is one win shy of the win total of the entire NFC East.

Cut to the 0-4 Giants chanting, “so you’re saying there’s a chance!”

No.

No there’s not.

Only one NFC East team will win during week four, as the Redskins will get off the schneid with a victory over the Raiders.

Even Mike Shanahan won’t have it in his heart to feel his usual extra happiness at beating the team that once fired him after just a year and four games.

Not to be outdone, the AFC North will also see just one of its teams win a game, and that was only because two of its teams played each other.

If you predicted that the lone AFC North team to win during week 4 would be the Cleveland Browns, then get thee to a lottery.

The Broncos will hang 52 on the Eagles.

No letter for Chip Kelly this week – the Broncos are really, really good. Like, best in the NFL good. Like, so good that their season will most certainly end…with a Manning pick or a Welker drop in a crucial moment late in the fourth quarter of a playoff game.

After week 4, the Eagles will be second in the League in total offense and first in rushing, which is great.

After week 4, the Eagles will be last in the League in opponent’s yards per game and second to last in opponent’s points per game. They will also be second to last in opponent’s passing yards per game and 26th in opponent’s rushing yards per game.

Good thing Philadelphia fans are so forgiving!

In the battle of defeateds, the Vikings will pick up their first win of the season while dropping the Steelers to 0-4.

After the game, Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger will make the statement, “Right now, you could say we’re the worst team in the League.”

Nice try Ben, but the pollsters aren’t going to rank you below Jacksonville in the Downy for Clowney sweepstakes. The nerve of the guy, trying to sway the voters.

After failing to convince anyone that he supports Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano will finally realize that he has no other option but make the move to rookie quarterback Mike Glennon.

Here are Freeman’s 2013 game-by-game stats that got him benched:
at New York Jets (L): 15-31, 48.4 CMP%, 210 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 67.9 QBR
vs. New Orleans (L): 9-22, 40.9 CMP%, 125 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 56.1 QBR
at New England (L): 19-41, 46.3 CMP%, 236 yards, 1 INT, 54.5 QBR

Here is Glennon’s line against the Cardinals:
vs. Arizona (L): 24-43, 55.8 CMP%, 193 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 55.7 QBR

See? Totally different.

For the second straight week, the almost but not quite Super Bowl contender Texans will face a real Super Bowl contender.

For the second straight week, the Texans will lose.

Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman’s pick six will tie the game, as the Seahawks will win in overtime. Great. Now there will be NO shutting this guy up.

Thank goodness the Texans will next play….the San Francisco 49ers. Oh. Well.

Pre-prediction of a prediction for the week 5 predictions: for the third straight week, the Texans will lose.

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

This is not a letter about something that grinded my gears, it’s a letter of apology. Because I’m sorry, sir. Five years ago, almost to the day, you fired a young up-and-coming coach. You held what we all called a bizarre press conference conducted by an old man whose sanity had obviously gotten off at the last stop. During the conference, you called this coach you just fired “a flat-out liar” and a “professional liar” and that he “conned me like he conned [the media].” You also said that this coach objected to drafting JaMarcus Russell, and we all know how that pick panned out.

Ok, so maybe your sanity had indeed left you at that point, but you were right about one thing: Lane Kiffin had to go, and that's why you fired him. We all thought you were nuts. You were nuts, but we all thought that you firing Kiffin was just more evidence of your nuttiness. We all thought this was another Mike Shanahan situation: young coach who does decently well, but not well enough to suit you and then you axe him and he goes on to have a successful career. Both Shanahan and Kiffin had improved the Raiders by two wins their first year and each were 1-3 their second season when you decided to fire them. Shanahan went on to a great career with Denver and now Washington. We all assumed the same would happen with Kiffin. Turns out, you were the only one who could see what was going on. After you fired him, he was hired at Tennessee, where he tried to prove that then-Florida head coach Urban Meyer was a cheater (in retrospect, he might have been was right). Then Pete Carroll left USC for Seattle and Kiffin took the Trojans’ gig faster than you could say “NCAA Violations,” even trying to take some of his Tennessee recruits in the process. Kiffin did ok at USC, despite dealing with limits in scholarships due to NCAA sanctions, but not well enough, and he was fired literally hours after a loss to Arizona State.

So Mr. Davis, I’m sorry for doubting you. You obviously saw something in Kiffin that the rest of us did not, something behind that baby face of his that told you he was perhaps not a great coach, and perhaps not a great person. So that was one thing that you were right about in your later years.

Actually, that might have been the only thing you were right about in your later years.