Friday, October 17, 2008
Dallas (4-2) (-7) at St. Louis (1-4)- What a wild week for the Jerry Jones Experience (let's be honest, if The Cowboys was a band, that's what it would be called). (1) Pacman proves yet again that he is the lowest of lifeforms, (2) it added another overrated player named Roy Williams doubling its previous total of 1, (3) and it found out that Romo is going to be more like Brett the Jet and less like Carson by playing through pain this Sunday. All of this franchise instability still won't hurt its chances of defeating the hapless although no longer win-less Rams. Dallas's duo of receiving threats will obliterate the Ram's shaky d to the tune of a blowout win. THE PICK: DALLAS (31-14)
2) Adrian Peterson's (3-3) at Devin Hesters (-3) (3-3)- Firstly, are there two NFL teams more defined by their only great players than the Vikings and Bears (Urlacher is good but his defenses always choke leads away late in games)? Secondly, I will never feel too bad for Chicago sports fans. The photo above was the only great moment I ever experienced as a young child rooting against the juggernaut Jordan Bulls. The Chicago fans were spoiled by rooting for the greatest team and greatest athlete in the history of American team sports as this group won 6 titles in 8 seasons. While the Jordan Bulls accomplished this, my beloved Knicks, or "Pants" as Mahatma calls them, routinely got ousted by those Jordan Bulls late in the playoffs. That being said, wow have Chicago natives been pissed on this October. Not only have both baseball fanbases seen dreams of titles end as quickly as John Mccain's attempt to win Wisconsin and Michigan, its beloved Bears became only the third team in NFL history to lose a game in which it lead with under 15 seconds to go. Ouch! Still ,it is home against an underachieving Vikings team. As long as Chicago puts 8 in the box and makes the immortal Gus "ooops I intentionally slammed my head against the wall in anger" Ferotte beat then, it should win this one without too much trouble. THE PICK: BEARS (21-12)
Lets just start off by saying last week was a collapse on many levels, financial, political(at least for Mac) and for the good teams of the NFL. Pretty much every team I thought was a lock shat the bed like Dan Wheeler in last nights Sox-Rays game. But what do you really expect in a week where none of the games looked interesting. SOMETHING had to happen.
The jersey they confiscated from Ed Hoculi.
San Diego at Buffalo(-1, 44)
My only regret about this game is that its on at the same time as the Steelers, so I will be too distracted/drunk to watch. This is the sort of game that makes the case for starting the Flexible Scheduling for Sunday Night Football after week 4. But don't get me started on NFL television issues, Ill only end up threatening Roger Godell's life and having the secret NFL police that arrest Elks Club and VFW members for having Super Bowl(I said it!) parties come after me.
Anyway, about this game. Don't hold last week against the Bills, you would lose whatever it is you were doing if J.P. Losman was integrally involved in the effort, whether it was trading stocks(uh...), simultaneously fighting two regional wars in Islamic countries(uhhh......), or trying to rescue the world economy from decades of lax regulation and corporate malfeasance(What Im saying JP, you are such a fuckup, dont follow in Heath Shulers footsteps, you are the W of the NFL.) This is still a good team, as long as Trent Edwards is taking snaps. The D lapsed in Week 5, fo sho, but giving up points to the Cards isnt as ignominious as it has been in years past(see: Romo, Tony and the Cowboys). This pass D is as good as any, and they can stop the run reasonably well. I see them being able to bottle up a hobbling LT, but as much as I hate to say it, Darren Sproles is the most exciting guy on the field for San Diego now and the true threat to break the big play for the Chargers.
A leader and teacher on and off the field.
Phillip Rivers has been an amazing presence for the Chargers this year, and since his gutsy if flawed performance in last years AFC championship game hes established himself as one of the marquee QBs in the league. I still stand by my prediction made on Draft Day 2004 that Rivers would have a better career than Eli. This guy is gonna be around for a long time, its just a question of whether ownership wants to give him a better coach to work for than Norv Turner. Only time will tell.
Zeus is a Charger fan from the Fouts era.
But as of now, you cant help but think the Chargers missed the peak of their defenses prowess. They are currently ranked 22 against the run and 31 against the pass. I like Rivers, but hes not Peyton Manning yet, so he cant drag this team deep into the playoffs by himself. A defense this bad will get you nowhere outside of this division(the Broncos are arguably the Chargers equal in defensive ineptitude, but they did win the first shootout this year, barely).
Thats whats going to make this game so interesting. The Chargers have the weapons to make fools of the Bills D, but will they? The same question could be asked going the other way, will a still-woozy Trent Edwards be enough to give Marshawn Lynch some room to run, chew up the clock and keep the Chargers offense off the field? In these situations, I tend to go with the team that plays better D, and in this matchup, its Buffalo. But this is a tough one, as all good games should be. Bills rally late to win 27-24.
With losses to New England and Miami last week the Jets are right back in the division race with their sloppy but acceptable win over the Bengals. Just like 2 seasons ago, the Jets schedule is definitely in their favor (next 4 games are against Raiders, Chiefs, Bills, and Rams). They could very possibly be 7-2 before their showdown in Masshole country (but I’ll be happy with 6-3).
Two weeks in a row the Jets defense will be facing an inexperienced young quarterback. Jamarcus Russell is raw and has lots of potential. He definitely has Dante Culpepper-esque qualities. But the one thing that he’s missing that Culpepper had is Randy Moss. Russell has no help on offense. Javon Walker is clearly not the player he was in Green Bay and Darren McFadden, who started out great, is now battling injuries since week 2 and has been ineffective the last few weeks. The Jets defense has been stellar against the run averaging 69yds/game, 3rd in the NFL. If the Raiders can’t run the ball this will put more pressure on Russell to try and make plays. I’m sure Mangini and company will bring the pressure on the rookie with some blitz packages and have him try and beat them through the air.
Last weeks win for New York was sloppy considering they were coming off a bye. Let’s just say they were a little rusty and give them the benefit of the doubt. Jets need to reestablish the running game with Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. Favre doesn’t need a dominating performance, just less turnovers in the redzone (on a side note, Chad Pennington is like 60:1 in TD: INT ratio in the redzone). If they move the ball and control the clock this should be another snooze fest and a “W” for Jet nation.
Jets 34, Raiders 13
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (-7.5) vs. CLEVELAND BROWNS –
The Brownies are definitely on a momentum boost after beating the defending Superbowl champs on Monday night. But I will say this, from the little I saw of the game that was not the same Giants I’ve seen so far this season. Do I think the Giants are overrated? No. I still believe they are one of the top 5 teams in the league and are my pick to win the NFC division. They just simply got outplayed and outcoached. The defense looked tired and they couldn’t apply any pressure on Anderson. And it was also interesting to see the old Eli emerge from the depths of his pre-playoff/Superbowl stardom.
After their road win against Philly I bet the Redskins were licking their cleats at the next 3 games on their schedule (STL, CLE, DET). They could possibly be 8-1 before they head into their bye. But after the huge upset they suffered against the Rams, this week’s game doesn’t look as easy as expected. Browns certainly have the momentum going in their direction. Redskins are beat up on both sides of the ball with lots of injuries to many of their starters. Cleveland looks to be getting healthier and could get Kellen Winslow back. But I’m not sold on Cleveland just yet. Last week was one game and their only other win came against the Bengals. Washington is home and they always play better at FedEx field. Redskins will win this game but they won’t cover the spread.
Redskins 26, Browns 20
On paper this is a no-brainer. The Bungles have looked like dogshit all season. Eventually, even they have to get it right. That team is too talented overall to be playing like this right? Then when you actually really watch the games and see that they really are that bad. Once considered their Achilles heel, the Bungles defense has actually been improved with play of rookie Keith Rivers and general improvement from youngsters Jonathan Joseph, Leon Hall and Domata Peko. Don’t get me wrong in that this isn’t the 85 Bears but the defense hasn’t been the reason for the Bengals plummeting significantly.
That burden has fallen on the offense. The once mighty Bengals offensive line has taken a dramatic step back and the entire offense has suffered. Carson Palmer is out, TJ Doucheman is banged up and Chode Ocho Cinco is busy making a testicle of himself as opposed to playing football. Their running game is MIA and when there is a crack of daylight either Chris Perry fumbles or Cedric Benson is too slow to mow through.
Everything about Sunday's Steeler game screams trap. The Steelers have a poor record coming off the bye. Division game effort from lesser team is always scary no matter how crappy they look. Cincy has to win eventually. HUGE giants next week, being on the road (even though 20K+ Stiller fans should be in attendance) and the growing theme that the Steelers seem to lay an egg when expected to win. Yet despite ALL of this, It’s still a Ryan Fitzpatrick led Bungle team that could barely get anything going against the Jets despite having numerous opportunities to get back in the game. For being a Harvard guy, Fitzpatrick looks a bit confused behind center. He’s mobile and can throw accurately on short passes but lacks the arm strength to beat teams deep. He won't beat the Steelers. The only thing in this rivalry is that the only the Steelers lose is if they beat themselves or if they read their own press clippings. Lucky for them, they hate the Bungles too much to let that happen.
Pittsburgh – 24
Cincinnati – 9
New Orleans (+3) @ Carolina Panthers
The problem with this division is that there is no clear cut favorite coming out of it. This week it’s Tampa, last week it was Carolina and two weeks ago it was the Saints. It truly goes into the whole randomness theme we’ve got going on with the NFL in general. So fresh off getting pasted, The Panthers look to turn it around. The Saints, meanwhile, had their most complete game of the season against the magnificent Raiders so Carolina is getting overlooked here. A week ago, I was thinking the Panthers would be the dark house candidate to come out of the NFC but naturally they looked like cow feces last week. What do I expect this week? For Carolina to get right back on their path to the playoffs. They are one of the faster defenses in the league and that will help curtailing the potent Saints attack.
It's okay Reggie. You still have Kim.
Carolina – 29
New Orleans – 24
Welcome once again to SUS's newest weekly literary feature, The Fredo Picks. Named after the ultimate forgotten brother in film history, we will strive to bring the laser-like analysis that has made SUS famous worldwide to some of the less illustrious NFL matchups every week. And in these troubled financial times, you can rely on our picks to keep you out of mom’s basement.
Tennessee (-9) at Kansas City
: In the world of Southern accents, the Tennessee accent stands alone as especially hideous Pick: KC.
BH: Ive had some great times in Tennessee. Wish I could still remember most of them. Pick: Tennessee
Mahatma: A city usually doesn't beat an entire state. Pick: Tennessee
Baltimore (+3) at Miami
Devo: The Wire or Miami Vice? I gotta go with Omar, McNulty & Co. Pick: Baltimore
BH: Baltimore has the highest rates of STDs in the country. And they also have the kind of crabs you can eat. Pick: Balmor
Mahatma: Baltimore also has the crabs you don't want to eat. Pick: Miami
Detroit (+9.5) at Houston
Devo: I'm sick of having to find new ways in this column to say the same thing, so I'll just say it. Detroit the city and Detroit the team suck. Pick: Houston
BH: This is like Sophies Choice, how do you decide between equally shitty alternatives? Pick the city thats going blue in 2.5 weeks. Pick: Detroit
Mahatma: When in doubt, pick against the city that brought us Kid Rock. Pick: Houston
Seattle (+10.5) at Tampa
Devo: South Florida is awesome. Central Florida, on the other hand, is highly overrated. Pick: Seattle
BH: Devo, who ever rated Central Florida high? Pick: Seattle
Mahatma: Seattle has some good coffee and music. That's about it. Pick: Tampa Bay
San Francisco (+10.5) Over GIANTS
Lucky for the Giants, I've been wrong more than I've been right this season. The problems with the Giants coming off the Browns game are twofold: 1. Eli Manning, 2. the Defense, most notably the pass rush. Let's address each of these in kind below:
Eli. It's going to take a few more weeks of lousy play for me to be concerned with this Super Bowl MVP. Yes, he tried to force the ball to Plax and his INT's were way too close to the end zone. But he was REALLY good to begin the season, and that can't be forgotten after some lousy MNF play. After last week, Eli still only has 4 interceptions and is on pace for roughly 12-13, a career low. The Cleveland game slightly derailed a season in which Eli still has a good chance of heading to the Pro Bowl, so it's all good on this front.
Level of concern (1-10, 10 being the worst) 3.
Continued weeks of lousy play before panic sets in: 3.
The Defense. The front 7 is not getting to the quarterback, and the secondary is not getting interceptions. Both of these issues have been with the Giants D for a few games, but have not been front and center because the offense has been strong enough to mask the average defense performances. But you know what? Hopefully the defense is angry enough, even without Pierce and Wilkinson, to come out motivated and flying.
Level of concern: 6.
Continued weeks of lousy play before panic sets in: 1.
But will happen? I'm saying the defense gives up a few big plays but its relentless pass rush returns against a lousy SF O-Line, rattling J.T. O'Sullivan and his Irish Pub. The offense is efficient, with the standard 150-200 yards rushing and about that many passing yards from a decent but unspectacular Eli.
The Pick: 24-16 Giants.
Indianapolis (-1) over GREEN BAY
Who's the best team in the AFC? Stop saying Tennessee. Just stop right now. A good defense, sure, but amazingly little offense. Here's my deal: I don't care who the best team in the AFC is, I think the NFC team is better. My only worry is that pretty much every team in the AFC has regressed to the point where the Cassel-led Patriots are in the running for a return trip to the Super Bowl. And that is not cool. But that's where the Colts come in. If they can get most of their team even remotely close to healthy, they're clearly the class of the AFC, embarassingly ahead of the Patriots, and probably a 12 point favorite over the Chargers in the AFC Championship game. (Note: Without Norv Turner, that spread is about 3 points, depending on home field.) The main bullet point here: I'm rooting for the Colts to regain their form, restore some normalcy to the AFC, kick the Patriots while they're down, and keep Norv Turner and Philip Rivers as walking punchlines. And NFW are the Packers getting in the Colts way this week.
The pick: Indy big, 34-10
Thursday, October 16, 2008
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I am loyal to Gang Green people. I’d never outright insult any member of the team. Wait, who am I kidding, yes I would, hell I have! I’m critical of all the players’ abilities and skills especially Penningtons (but aren’t all NFL fans this way?). I do have some respect for
(Domi's douchebaggily completed work)
Talk about ultimate Douchbags! Domi is your prototypical enforcer, meaning he has no scoring skills and is just good at cheap shots and dropping the gloves. I remember the 2001 Eastern Conference Semis where Domi threw an elbow at Scott Niedermeyer (then NJ Devil, now Emilio’s B*tch) who was far from the developing play. The hit left him unconscious. He’s the perfect example of a guy you want on your team but absolutely despise when he’s playing against your team; a douchebag.
I hate the NBA, in fact I'm not even a big fan of basketball in general. The Pacers-Pistons Brawl had to be the worst display of professionalism I have ever seen. To straight up jump into the stands and start throwing punches is preposterous and senseless, if not kind of cool. If this man were on fire I wouldn’t throw my beer, I’d waste some money and throw 151 on his ass, let him burn.
This man is like 10lbs of shit in a 5lb bag. This Onion article says enough for me.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
There’s nothing I can’t stand more than a showboat/wannabe playa/rapper/thug/pimp. Floyd is just a straight up punk. Yea he’s arguably one of the best boxers of our generation but that doesn’t mean I have to like the guy. He’s all about the money, not the sport. I too was one of many Americans that chanted “God save the Queen” because I was hoping Ricky Hatton would shit his A$$ up. Now he’s a professional wrestler, God what a joke! I could understand Pete Rose selling out to the WWE, I’m sure he lost quite a few bets weeks before and needed a quick million. But Mayweather shows no respect for his opponents. I’m glad boxing is starting to fall and UFC is on a rise. I’d love to see Mayweather in the octagon with anyone of the lightweight contenders, “Down goes Mayweather! Down goes Mayweather!” I probably would piss on his pockets or his wallet to score some cash and bling though.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It’s hockey season, and you know what that means… more hockey ramblings from The Yinzer! Now I know it may not hold your attention as much as the best of 63 games baseball playoff round currently in progress, but I’m going to tell you about hockey anyway. But as always I trim things down to a shorter amount so as not to lose your attention. So here are some thoughts going into the NHL season.
Beast of the East- Montreal Canadiens
The scary thing about the Canadiens is that they're young. Much of this team is either still in their developing phase or in their prime, and they were good enough to take the east title last year. They added more firepower in Robert Lang and Alex Tanguay, though lost powerplay specialist Mark Streit in free agency. The player to watch will be goalie Carey Price. Young and loaded with talent, which early signs suggest he will fulfill, he was horrid in the playoffs letting an inferior Boston team go to seven games and handing Philadelphia a series win. If he falters that bad again, don’t expect the Habs to go far.
Best of the West- Detroit Red Wings
Easily the best team in the playoffs last year. Their goalie saw little action and was the hockey equivalent of QB game manager so good was the team in front of him. They beat the eastern champion Penguins in six games (and it wasn’t as close as that suggests) who had steamrolled every team they came across before the finals. They kept their roster almost entirely intact, plus added the best free agent in Marian Hossa. It's hard not to say they won’t repeat, and they are the heavy favorites, but you also have to think it’s the perfect set up for a disappointment.
Eastern Dark Horse- Boston Bruins
Though not totally a dark horse because they made the playoff last year, the Bruins did it with their starting goalie and best forward both gone for the year, and despite that feat are still receiving little love this year. With Bergeron back and Fernandez to stabilize an inconsistent goalie tandem the Bruins could be a silent power this year. Head coach Claude Julien made a lot of a little, and they added forward Michael Ryder, who though they may have significantly overpaid had his best years under Julien in Montreal. Don’t count this team out.
Western Dark Horse- Phoenix Coyotes
The Coyotes got big help last year when goalie Illya Bryzgalov fell into their laps via the waiver wire, and it gave them a shot at making the playoffs. This year they got Olli Jokinen from the Panthers, but cost them stud blueliner Keith Ballard and defenseman Nick Boynton. The replacements on defense aren’t enough to make up for their losses, but at least now they have more than one legitimate scoring threat, not to mention quite a few young forwards ready for the prime time. It’s very possible this team could sneak in. Oh, and Gretzky still sucks as a coach.
Eastern Cellar Dweller- Atlanta Thrashers
Many will put the Isles here, and they have a very legitimate argument. However, the Isles at least have a goalie to help stabilize things (note: written before DiPietro’s knee started to act up). Kari Lehtonen is young and has a lot of talent, but isn’t able to stay healthy at all and thus consistent. Up front all Atlanta has is Illya Kovulchuk and an uninspired Vyachaslav Kozlov followed by a bunch of career bottom line players. An aging Mathieu Schneider will help the defense, but it's still weak. Essentially, this is a one man team, and in a few years when Kovulchuk's contract is up may be not even be that. I just don’t see this team being able to compete to a serious degree.
Western Cellar Dweller- LA Kings
The Kings did nothing to really improve this off season at all. They dealt their best defenseman in Lubomir Visnovsky and lost veteran Rob Blake to free agency, replacing them with average (at best) defenders Denis Gauthier and Sean O'Donnell. Oft injured scorer Mike Camalleri is gone, with the under achieving Jarrett Stoll as his replacement. They have an abundance of young talent, but most of it is still raw and developing. Many of the veterans like Kyle Calder and Michal Handzus are overpaid and producing close to nothing. And did I mention they still don't have a goalie capable of carrying the load?
Eastern Most Likely to Disappoint- Washington Capitals
The Caps are on the rise now that they're young players are coming into their own. They have a pretty strong forwards corps and a defense, that while may lack flash is rather effective. What they don't have though is a goalie. Unable to resign Crisobal Huet they instead went with backup plan Jose Theodore. Theodore has only had one good year where he won the Vezina and got a large contract. Since then he has played like crap and been unreliable. At times in the playoffs the past few years he has been horrendous, letting in weak goal after weak goalie. And while a team like Detroit can get away with not having a goalie, the Caps aren’t to that level and Theodore will cost them. Backup goalie Brent Johnson isn’t exactly Mr. Capable either. They're good enough to make the playoffs, but eventually Theodore will sink this team.
Western Most Likely to Disappoint- Chicago Blackhawks
The Hawks have a good young team assembled, but they're still young. The additions of defenseman Brian Campbell (with the help of a massive overpayment) and goalie Cristobal Huet no doubt help, but the team is still a little ways away from being a serious contender. Many are predicting them to be a semi-power in the West, but they're still too rough around the edges, and lacking overall depth to be considered that in my opinion. Give them a year or two, but not this year.
Best Offseason Eastern-Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa started off with the smartest move and kicked GM Jay Feaster out the door, who has consistently been one of the worst GM's in the league in recent years. The new owners proceeded to revamp the fading roster by adding half the Pittsburgh Penguins roster in Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Mark Recchi and Adam Hall, plus Radim Vrbata, Olaf Kolzig and dealing for Andrej Meszaros. They also dealt their blue line anchor in Dan Boyle, which I don't really agree with. Their forward lines are stacked but it may not be enough to return to the post season as they have an unproven starter in goal and a defensive corps they weakened through trades.
Best Offseason Western- San Jose Sharks
The Sharks kind of win by default as most teams only made a single big move or minor moves. The Sharks dealt for defensemen Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich though it cost them a first rounder and young defenseman Ryan Clowe. Boyle will help to anchor a blue line that has lost former anchors in Mike Rathje and Scott Hannan in recent years. They also added Rob Blake, a former all star who still has some left in the tank. That's pretty much it though. Honorable mention to Detroit for keeping their guys and adding Marian Hossa on a one year deal.
Worst Offseason Eastern- Toronto Maple Leafs
This was a tough one since so many Eastern teams did almost nothing in the off season, but it goes to the Leafs because given every team's situation they were the most incompetent. They signed a defenseman to a large deal who was never anything more than a 7th guy, not to mention couldn’t break into the NHL until he was 27. They bought out Darcy Tucker who was making $3.5mm only to add Niklas Hagman for $3mm a year who has had one good year and lacks the intangibles of Tucker. They then dealt Bryan McCabe, who they had made the scapegoat of their recent woes because of the massive contract they gave him, for an above average defenseman just to get McCabe off the books. They then dealt picks for future prospects (their current prospect pool is practically non-existent mind you) to obtain support players who could have been had in free agency for nothing. One of which, Ryan Hollweg who I’m sure Ranger fans remember well, has been suspended more games for hits from behind then any team has actually played this season. All in all poor decisions that weren’t even made for the right reasons.
Worst Offseason Western- Anaheim Ducks
I used to think highly of Brian Burke. He did a lot with a little when he was with Vancouver, and quickly added pieces in Anaheim that gave the team a Stanley Cup. Since then he has done terrible. He lost a good young forward in Dustin Penner to an offer sheet the year before, and signed Todd Bertuzzi and Mathieu Schneider to replace the possible losses of Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne. Both came back and he has been forced to buy out Bertuzzi and trade Schneider for nothing to get under the cap, along with dealing Sean O'Donnell. His only addition has been Brendan Morrison who he wanted as a top line center, but Morrison has yet to demonstrate he can score when not teamed with all stars. So all in all, he gave up a lot of defensive depth for minimal forward depth, and he's probably going to continue this trend as time goes on.
Worst Eastern Contract
Jeff Finger, Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 years $13.5mm. This wasn’t even close. The first thing out of everyone's mouth, and I do mean everyone's, was "who the hell is Jeff Finger?" The answer is a 28 year old 7th defenseman who has less than two years NHL experience. This is just a mind numbing contract, and no one believes Toronto when they say there was a bidding war for him and multiple teams offered this amount. You don’t give an unproven defenseman who couldn’t even make the league until his late twenties a large deal like this.
Worst Eastern Contract not belonging to Jeff Finger
Ron Hainsey, Atlanta Thrashers, 5 years $21.25mm. Atlanta is desperate for defenseman, so much so they gave an average defenseman who played well for a bad team (Columbus Blue Jackets) a deal for twice his actual worth. Hainsey isn’t bad, but he's not a difference maker, and definitely not worth this. It shows how tough it is to get someone to sign in Atlanta.
Worst Western Contract
Mike Commodore, Columbus Blue Jackets, 5 years $18.75mm. Let me tell you about Mike Commodore. He's known for one reason alone: the massive red fro and beard he grows during the playoffs. He has no offensive skills to speak of, is slow as hell, makes questionable choices in his own end, and half his hits are cheap shots. He's a good bottom pairing guy, and an ok mid pairing guy. That said, you don’t pay a player of that caliber the rate of a good second pairing defenseman. Just like the Hainsey signing, this reeks of a bad team overpaying someone to get them to play there. This is the same amount Brooks Orpik went for, and he's superior to Commodore in every way.
Worst Western Contract having to do with Sean Avery
Sean Avery, Dallas Stars, 4 years $13.5mm
Avery is the premier agitator in the league not just because he's good at getting under people's skin, but also because he can actually play. That is, when he wants to. That said, you don’t pay an agitator the same amount of money you give a second line scoring winger who nets you 25+ goals a year. I have no doubt Avery will be a good addition to Dallas, but the price, not to mention dealing with his ego and fashion shows, just isn’t worth what he brings.
Immediately following that game, the TV’s changed over to the Falcons/Bears game and personally, I can’t stand Da Bears. When they hell are they going to get a F*cking quarterback?!?! I thought Matt Millen was bad; whoever is running the Bears organization isn’t much better. Your #1 WR is Marty Booker and you made no attempt to upgrade the quarterback position during the offseason or the draft. I’m glad they lost. Matt Ryan has a bright future in the NFL and is arguably the rookie of the year.
Hopefully, someone will figure out how to stop the Wildcat offense the Dolphins are so effectively exhibiting. I have a gut feeling the whole Chad Pennington blunder is going to bite the Jets in the ass too. It would be sweet redemption for CP if he can knock the Jets out of playoff contention the last game of the season at the Meadowlands (Jet fans nightmare).
A Tribute to History
The Jets are really beating to death wearing the throwback Jerseys. Ok, once a season is appropriate, but not 2 weeks in a row. Seriously, if they’re going too consistently wear throwbacks at least go back and use the 70’s and early 80’s uniforms, when the Jets were kind of good. There is already a “Big Blue” in New York and last I checked they’re a much better team than these Blue & Gold tools.
Was There Ever a Doubt?
“There’s no such thing as an ugly win. A win’s a win,” Brett Favre stated to the media during his postgame conference. After this wild Week 6, I would have to agree. Typically you’d think that a team coming off a bye, playing against a winless team would have all the upside going into that game. This is never true, there is no such thing as an easy game in the NFL (unless you’re the 2007 18-1 Masshole Patriots ).
The early fumble by Favre looked like a desolating upset was in the works (But I’m sure the same was said for the Jets/Chargers game when David Barrett picked off Rivers for a touchdown on their opening drive and the result of that game was atrocious).
The Jets then responded with a nice long-drive to tie the game. Most impressive has been the Jets run defense. Chris Perry and Cedric Benson combined had 20 carries for 15 yards. They didn’t give up any big plays either. Calvin Pace has certainly earned his money. The man is everywhere on the field, sideline to sideline and in the backfield applying pressure.
Leon Washington for MVP
If the season ended today, Calvin Pace and Leon Washington should be the MVP’s. Calvin Pace is second on the team in tackles and leads the team with 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles and recoveries. Vernon Ghoulston so far has been a disappointment for the Jets. I sure hope he’s watching Pace on how to play the OLB/DE position as he’s doing a superb job.
When Leon Washington touches the ball I start to get excited. Whether he’s on special teams or comes in on 3rd and longs and passing downs, he has great instincts and is a dangerous weapon on offense. Not bad for a guy criticized for being too small to have such an impact at the NFL level. His stats aren’t eye-popping as most other running backs are in the league. It’s his all-around game that has earned him respect of his players and the starting return-man for the special teams unit. Sunday against the Bengals he provided the Jets with excellent field position and made a few key 3rd and longs for 1st downs. As a fan it was aggravating to see that they only put up 26 pts!
The Future Conan?
Favre has always been a gun-slinger. His overall football ethics are sometimes questionable and can be annoying for many quarterback coaches. He tries to force balls and make plays when he knows he shouldn’t. I won’t argue his integrity or his desire to win but you can’t be turning the ball over in the redzone. Mistakes like his 2 INT’s he threw in the redzone can really hurt your team in the end. If it weren’t for the overall great play of the defense and Carson Palmer not playing, I really think the Jets could have lost this game. The Jets also ran the same plays quite a few times. Maybe that was the gameplan they worked on all week during the bye or maybe they are trying to eliminate some of the plays because Brett “is not a smart man” (in your best Forrest Gump impression).
With all the pressure the front 7 is putting on the quarterback it’s amazing the Jets don’t have as many interceptions. With the exception of the Arizona game, the defense hasn’t forced that many turnovers (0 turnover ratio).
The revamped offensive line is giving Brett a lot of time to throw the ball but the running game hasn’t been vastly improved as one would have hoped. Thomas Jones is averaging 3.8 yards/carry and the Jets rank 27th overall averaging 86 yds/game.
Jets next two opponents are against Oakland and ST.Louis, both clubs who have fired their head coaches and are struggling on both sides of the ball. Favre and company shouldn’t take these games lightly. They need to be aggressive and improve in certain areas if they want to challenge the rest of the AFC elite. As of now I think they’re a few drives too short to make the playoffs. Let’s just hope the Favre magic shows up soon. 6 TD passes in one game, sweet, “a win is a win” comments, admirable, but no playoffs? Then you’re a bum just like the rest of them.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
But first a quick recap: everyone but Steve Smith and Brandon Jacobs sucked. And Corey Webster wasn't bad if only because Derek Anderson decided to take away Aaron Ross' pride for the evening. He didn't look Webster's way because if you're robbing Bill Gates, why bother stealing from Donald Trump when the Gates Estate more than meets your needs? But rest assured, everyone sucked, players and coaches alike, and there's no excuse for this game.
Now, the good news for the Giants is that this loss doesn't matter. Here's 5 reasons why:
1. It was the perfect storm.
The NFL, more than any other sport or league, is one where momentum (Joementum?) matters. Football, (cliche alert!) more than any other sport is a game of inches, where a little extra motivation can push a team over the edge. Let's remember that when examining the following factors:
- The first Monday Night game in Cleveland since the creation of the Baltimore Ravens. (Cleveland gets a MNF game and the SB Champ Giants don't? Odd.)
- A desperate team with moderate to high expectations on the verge of a lost season facing the Giants for the third week in a row finally played with the desperation they should have.
- The Giants had finally gone from underrated to overrated. And it only took the media a Super Bowl win and 4 straight convincing regular season wins to make it happen.
- Eli AND the defense both crapped the bed. If either Eli OR the defense played like they were capable, the final score would have been within 7 points one way or the other.
- A team finally learned how to beat the Giants defense. Took you bitches long enough.
- The Browns have talent. And for the first time in 5 games, they used it.
- The Browns came off a bye. For whatever reason, no one comes back average after a bye. Everyone is either really great or really bad. For further evidence see Week 6 Rams, Week 5 Giants, and Week 5 Seahawks.
Remember the Montana/Young 49ers? They lost a few games every year. Remember the Aikman/Emmitt/Irvin/White House Cowboys? Yeah, they lost a few games too. The only team to go undefeated was led by the genes that helped create Brian Griese, so excuse me if I'm not ready to call them the greatest team of all time. Over the course of the season, every team has a game where they lose to an inferior team. In the NFL, the difference between the greatest and worst teams is like the difference between yours truly and Justin Timberlake-fairly miniscule in the big scheme of things. So if your team doesn't show up, and it's gonna happen 2-3 times for even the best teams, they're going to lose. And if it's going to happen, do it in week 6 so that you can get your act together without affecting your playoff hopes.
Hell, the Patriots had 18 games where it all went right, more or less. And then they had their everything-went-wrong game. And it cost them a Super Bowl.
3. After that game, who's better in the NFC?
Probably no one. Go ahead, find me a better team than the Giants. The Cowboys? Ha. The Redskins? Maybe, but technically we have a tiebreaker AND A DIVISION LEAD over them. And the Eagles? Give me a call when Westbrook gets healthy. And the NFC South? They're the Big Ten to the NFC East's SEC.
Is there even a better team in the AFC? The Pats would lose the QB comparison even if Eli got injured. The Colts have no O-Line and should be 1-4. The Titans have Kerry Collins, a God to my people, but is due for a game that makes Eli's Browns game look like Phil Simms in Super Bowl XXI. The Steelers? Close, but there's no way that Roethlisberger stays healthy all season with that O-Line. And the San Diegans still have Norv Turner. Next!
4. If you're going to lose a game, try and make sure it's an AFC opponent.
You know what sucks? Losing to a division opponent. You know what sucks almost as much? Losing to an NFC opponent you're battling for a wild card. You know what doesn't suck? Losing to an AFC team. On the list of tiebreakers, losing to an AFC team is one or two slots above Head Coach's blood type.
5. Um, didn't we win the Super Bowl last year?
In years past, Giants fans would have expected this. But now that we have the new and unbeatable Giants, it's suddenly shocking that they'd mail in a game or two here and there? And let's not forget the Bill Simmons rules for winning a championship: When you win a championship, the team has earned a five year grace period in which you can't complain about your team. Now, this rule has been broken by Sox fans, Steeler fans, and will probably be broken by Giant fans alike, including myself. But here's a couple of questions to ponder: Shouldn't Giant fans wait until we become worse than 4-1 to start complaining? Shouldn't we at least wait until we're in a TIE for first or in second place before we start complaining? Look, when Eli threw the Pick Six, I was waving down my waitress for my bill like I was stranded on an island trying to track down a plane. That game was awful and that team owes me three hours of my life back. But I'm not going to talk shit about the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants until there's something to worry about. Giant fans need to sit down, shut up, and go watch your Super Bowl DVD until next week...when we can talk shit about the 4-2 New York Giants.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Always upsetting to see someone with such a bright future go so early.
Not to be mean, just found a few things you might enjoy. I didnt want to wait til next year to use them.
Yankees Building New Vacation Stadium In The Hamptons
Ahhh, what a phenomenal NFL Sunday. The Cowboys lost and the Skins lost, and pretty boy is out for 4 weeks with a broken pinkie. I admit I was looking forward to a chance to beat Dallas with Romo in the lineup but I am not crying any tears for Jerry Jones and company either. All the Giants have to do is beat the seemingly lousy Browns to go to 5-0 and take a 2 game lead in the division. But will they?.............
New York Giants (-8) at Cleveland Browns- I will say that I always get a little nervous as game time draws near for the Giants. I start to doubt myself and my team. However, logic dictates that New York should have little trouble with a mediocre Browns team that is without its most dynamic offensive weapon Kellen "Soljaboy" Winslow. Derek Anderson has regressed and this has directly affected the play of Braylon Edwards. While this will hurt "Brandon's Bradshaws" tonight and for the balance of the 2008 season, it will likely help the Giants win this game. As for Big Blue, the losses suffered by Washington and Dallas give the G-men a prime opportunity to take a firm hold of the NFC East. The Gints boast a complete and deep team that is very much a cohesive unit on and off the field. Expect Plax to have a monster game to shut up critics who think the Giants don't need him. The Giants should have a fairly easy win and cover the number. THE PICK: GIANTS (24-13)
Ok, that's not entirely true. But it would be an example of a classic Pioli/Belichek (Piolichek?) move to bring him in. And no, not a cheating/dickish/cheat-on-your-wife-with-a-blonde-bimbo Piolichek move, but simply a great ploy to bring in newly motivated stars to push a winning franchise over the top.
What's one of the biggest reasons why teams have trouble winning back-to-back Super Bowls? To be sure, there's plenty of good reasons, but I'd assert the following: most teams lack the killer instinct to do the little things necessary to win the Super Bowl again. Sure, they'll be competitive, making and possibly advancing into the playoffs; but because football is such a game of inches, (cliche alert!) the willingness to sacrifice your body even a little more than the other team could be the difference between victory and defeat. The Pats front office acknowledged this in '03 and '04 when they brought in Rodney Harrison and Corey Dillon.
What could Harrison and Dillon have in common? Both of them were veterans heading towards the downside of their careers stuck in losing situations. (Whale's Vagina, Cincinnati) Both of these guys were fairly unhappy with their franchises and were looking for a new start, especially Dillon. And once they got to the Patriots, they saw a team that was creating a culture of winning, easily contagious to newly signed free agents. And there was a trade off between the team leaders and the free agents: while the Patriots' culture of winning rubbed off onto Harrison and Dillon, Harrison and Dillon's desperation to win a Super Bowl rubbed off on the guys who already won a Super Bowl.
And that brings us to (as White Boy's voicemail so proudly proclaims) your Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. With the somewhat underlooked (0 Pro Bowls) Antonio Pierce leading the way, the Giants have created a culture of winning, along with a "No Respect" attitude that was a surprisingly legitimate gripe until a week or two ago. Now, they need an established veteran from a losing team who wants to win himself a Super Bowl, a la Harrison and Dillon...Hellooooo Tony Gonzalez, aka the most prolific receiving tight end in NFL history, and also a career KC Chief. Not exactly a winning resume for a guy who has proven himself to be one of the classier people in the NFL. There's no reason to think that Gonzalez' need to win a Super Bowl won't rub off on the Giants, just like there's no reason to think that the Pierce-led culture of winning won't rub off on Gonzo.
I started this season with the motto: The 2008 Giants: Because Kenny Phillips needs a ring. I'm perfectly willing to change the slogan so that the most prolific receiving tight end in NFL history can become a champion.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
As promised earlier this season, we at SUS promise to reward every team that beats the Cowboys this season with a tribute to said team. (And if not a tribute, then at least a quick youtube) So without further ado, SUS' team of the moment, ladies and gentlemen, YOUR Arizona Cardinals:
And while we're talking about NFC East teams that sucked this past Sunday, let us give a quick Hail to the Redskins!
Welcome once again to SUS's newest weekly literary feature, The Fredo Picks. Named after the ultimate forgotten brother in film history, we will strive to bring the laser-like analysis that has made SUS famous worldwide to some of the less illustrious NFL matchups every week. And in these troubled financial times, you can rely on our picks to keep you out of mom’s basement.
Green Bay (+1.5) at Seattle
Devo: Starbucks kills small businesses. Sausage kills the intestines. But what better way to go out than after some tasty sausage. Cue the gay jokes, douchebags. Pick: Green Bay
BH: People from Wisconsin are average "Joe Six-Packs". People from the Northwest are hippies. Need I say more? Pick: Green Bay
Mahatma:Seattle is really bad unless Chris Cornell (minus Timberland is walking through that door but he isn't and my god does that new album blow) decides to reunite SoundGarden. Pick: Green Bay
(+3) at Houston
Devo: Hurricanes hitting Miami was sooooooo . Houston is all the rage this century. Pick: Houston
BH: Where would you rather vacation? Pick: Miami
Mahatma: Miami sucks but Houston is worse. I want some latina ass on sunset. Pick: Miami
Oakland (+7) at
Devo: New Orleans has women showing their tits. Oakland? Well, if there's one thing skinimax has taught me it's that yes, biker chicks have tits, but they should probably keep their clothes on. Pick: New Orleans
BH: Sin City of the South trumps "Get Shot City of the West" any day. Pick: New Orleans
Mahatma: I met a girl from Oakland. She was also once a guy. Pick: New Orleans
Detroit (+13) at Minnesota
Devo: Minnesotans love to talk. These kinds of people really piss off angry northeasterners like myself. Pick
BH: GM is down, Ford is down, Chrysler is down. Seems like the Lions aren't the only organization in Detroit in need of a bailout and competent executives. Pick: Minnesota
Mahatma: Detroit is like your sure thing. No matter how fat or ugly you've gotten, you could still hit that. Pick: Minnesota