Saturday, October 25, 2008
New Orleans vs San Diego(-3, 45) At London, England
I'm tired of writing about how San Diego should be doing better. They suck, I'm done with these jokers. They aren't gonna go anywhere with this excuse for a defense. Phillip Rivers has every excuse in the world to be pissed off at the D and the lack of run production. Its sort of a shame, hes finally come into his own and now the rest of the team lets him down. Whatever, life's a bitch.
I don't think Ive gotten the chance to look the Saints over yet this year. Prob has something to do with their 3-4 record. Now, looking over some stats, the Saints have developed an interesting pattern. When their turnover differential is positive or neutral, they are 3-1. When negative, they lose. Simple concept, but important. Luckily, the D they are facing is as bad as their own, so they may have to try hard to turnover the ball. Not so luckily, Reggie Bush is out, putting the ball in Deuce McAllister and Pierre Thomas's hands(though neither has fumbled this year...yet). I'm not sure if these two are enough to give Drew Brees time to throw downfield.
This game will depend on how well Brees can connect with Marques Colston and Devery Henderson. If they are in sync, they may well rack up a lot of yards on San Diego and put this game out of reach for LT and company. We know Rivers can throw to ahem...Vince Jackson and...Malcolm Floyd? I don't even really know. San Diego's best chance to win this game is with an old school approach, bang the shit out of LT, and get positive yardage on every play. Find Gates and a hopefully less-injured Chambers(for fantasys sake, throw to him) for a few stretch the field plays and the Chargers can pull this off. Wow, I may have just talked myself into getting excited for this game, it COULD be good. But probably not, Chargers show the limeys how to play ball and win 31-24.
Whos a bad mofo? You a bad mofo!
Washington at Detroit(+8, 42)
Some may accuse me of picking to preview this game to pad my record. And while I wont explicitly refute these claims, I will say if it was that much of a lock, the line would be higher than +8 for Detroit. The reason it isn't can be seen in the last two weeks of subpar football played by the 'Skins. After 5 weeks of nearly turnover-free football, Washington gave up 3 fumbles and the game to the Rams in Week 6. They bounced back last week against the Giant-slaying Browns, but barely. This team is still a little iffy, even though they are verging on taking 1st place in the NFC East from the G-men. Statistically, they are sound in every phase of the game, with Clinton Portis having a phenomenal year, Jason Campbell maturing into a solid, mistake-free game manager and the defense doing a good job stopping the run.
So whats missing? To be honest, I cant really put my finger on it. These Skins have played all 7 games this season tough and close. And maybe that's what bothers me. Its understandable to lose a close one to New York, or to have the Cowboys and Eagles nipping at your heels until time runs out, but if you really are a good team, you need to bury the Cardinals, Rams and Browns of this league. Two weeks ago I picked the Redskins to demolish the Rams and they lost by 2. I think maybe this team just doesn't have "the blowout" in their playbook, which is fine as long as everyone is healthy and happy. But with weapons like Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El and Portis, you should be able to stick it to inferior teams. Winning close games is good practice for a playoff run, but if they have to limp into divisional matchups later in the season, once the injury bug has bitten(and it always does at some point), you would like to see your schedule padded with a few easy wins vs scrub teams. I still think this is one of the best teams in the league, but they still have some ground to cover if they want to make this a real fight in the NFC East.
I'm not even gonna bother talking about the Lions other than to say, there is light at the end of your tunnel, even if its a few years away.
Skins come out of their shell to win 28-10.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Buffalo (5-1) (-1.5) at Miami (2-4) - I have uncovered a new method for deciding which games I want to make picks for. During a boring class, I look at each game on the schedule and decide what I think the spread should be for that game. Then I go to a website on my doucheberry to find out what the spreads actually are. For any games for which my proposed spreads and the actual spread have a greater than 3 point disparity, I jump on that game. For this week, Buffalo at Miami is that game. I predicted that Buffalo, a 5-1 team, would be favored by at least four points give that its opponent is 2-4. However, I was stunned when I saw that the lowly Fish were only getting 1.5 points against the AFC’s second best team through week 6. I think this is an easy pick to make so I will make it. THE PICK: BILLS (24-13)
Giants (5-1) at Steelers (5-1) (-2.5) - If this game was a CD it would be called the battle for SUS (in the mold of the Rage against the Machine CD “Battle for Los Angeles.”) Devo and I are diehard Giants fans and Mahatma, BH and Yinzer are diehard Steelers fans. This represents 5/7, or for those of you fellow math nerds, 71.2% of our staff. However, if you expected this pick to invite trash talk and competitive banter between myself and the members of the Steeler nation, you will be sorely disappointed. I think the Giants are a very good team. I think it will win its division because of Dallas’s rash of injuries and volatile chemistry. It might even be the best team in the NFC. However, it has fared very poorly so far against AFC North competition. It got waxed by a mediocre and poorly coached Browns club and barely held on against the horrid Bungles. The Steelers are clearly the class of this division and are a member of the new Big 3 in the AFC which also features the 5-1 Bills and the 6-0 Titans. This probably is the only game the rest of the year I will go into definitely thinking the G-men will lose. The Steelers are probably only a slightly better team but I have to go on how much better Pittsburgh performed against the teams the Giants have already played from the AFC North. I also don’t like the Steelers dual receiving threat of Hines and Santonoio against a recently struggling Giants Secondary. Oh and Pittsburgh has been a good home team the last few seasons and this is as tough a place to play as any in the league. Even if Santonio and Willie don't play, I just see Eli making big mistakes against Pittsburgh's ball-hawking defense. These mistakes will likely cost his team the game the way it did against a much worse Brown's team. THE PICK: STEELERS (24-14)
The Jets don’t just need to win; they need to win BIG on Sunday. Chiefs are decimated with injuries at the quarterback position. Both Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard were placed on IR this week ending their seasons. That leaves Tyler “I’m not Yancy” Thigpen, whose NFL tenure as a starting QB this season has been brief and poor. Herm Edwards also decided to bench Larry Johnson for a second straight game (as a fantasy owner I’m pissed, but thank God I’ve got a trade pending to drop the WomenHaterz). These are good signs for the Jets. Why you ask must they win BIG? Next week they are away against their division rival Buffalo. The Bills are one of the best teams in the league right now and are currently first in the AFC East. A win there would be a big confidence boost for the Jets because the next stretch of their schedule will certainly be their toughest (BUF, STL, NE, DEN, TENN). Nothing can help a team bounce back more coming off a tough loss than facing a Chiefs club as bad as they are.
Chiefs are giving up a league worst 402 yards per game. The Jets need to establish the run and wear down the Chiefs defense. KC’s offense will struggle to move the ball on the ground against one of the best run defenses in the league. As long as Eric Smith and Kerry Rhodes can contain Tony Gonzalez I don’t see any other player on the Chiefs offense making a huge impact.
There isn’t a whole lot of excitement coming from the Jet players. They look tired, confused and agitated. This is not good considering: first, they are an above average team but not playing like one and secondly, its half way thru the season and the toughest part of their schedule begins next week. The Jets need to execute better and have a flawless victory or I can guarantee you that Mangini and company will be on the hot seat quicker than you can say “jam out with your clams out.”
Jets 27, Chiefs 6
TENNESSEE TITANS (-4) vs. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Sure the titans schedule does look soft, but they are playing like one of the best teams in the league and beating these soft teams by a wide margin. Jeff Fischer is one of my favorite coaches in the NFL, if not all of sports and there’s good reason why he’s been a head coach for as long as he has. He’s an intelligent, laid-down to earth guy and when one of his players goes down with an injury he also will run on the field to make sure that they’re ok. Did you remember the “Music City Miracle” (Ah hah Buffalo)? I sure do, fanf*ckingtastic! Well even without their star QB Vince Young (overrated) he still has their team playing at an elite level under Kerry “I’m still a Redneck” Collins. They run the ball extremely well and are solid on defense.
I’m not sure what is up with the Colts. Before their meltdown against the Pack last week, they spanked what we thought was a good Baltimore Ravens team. Now they are going to Tennessee on Monday Night, hurting on both sides of the ball, going up against arguably the best team in the NFL. One more injury to a player on either side of the line and this team’s season is over. Colts are just way too inconsistent on defense and offense that you’re not sure which Indy team you’re going to get. But Manning is the best QB in the game (sorry Massholes, eat me). I think the Titans win the game but it’s going down to a field goal
Titans 16, Colts 13
Welcome once again to SUS's 2nd 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 because frankly they are awful. In this recession filled land, you need every edge to remain a leg up on the bill collector.
Oakland (+7) at Baltimore
Devo: Both of these towns blow, but at least it's warm in Oakland. Pick: Oaktown
BH: Mr. Russell, I'm Detective McNulty and you are under arrest. Wait in the interrogation room for my defense and my partner Bunk to beat the living shit out of you. Pick: Baltimore
Mahatma: Purple is the new black. Pick: Baltimore
St. Louis (+7.5) at New England
Devo: You know what's good? Sam Adams, especially his Oktoberfest. You know what sucks? Budweiser. Pick: New England
BH: I can easily say the highlight of my time in St. Louis was puking on a downtown street in the middle of the day after the World Cup final and noticing there wasn't anyone else in the city to notice. Pick: New England
Mahatma: St. Louis has at least shit to do there. Foxboro? Not so much. Pick: St. Louis
Seattle (+5) at San Francisco
Devo: I think Kurt Cobain owned a "I'm grateful Jerry's dead" t-shirt. And if he didn't, it's still a great shirt. Pick: Seattle
BH: Both are known for hippies, but at least in Seattle they sober up over coffee, however momentarily. Pick: Seattle
Mahatma: San Fran is known for hippies? I thought it was something else but I can’t quite put my finger on it….uh...that came out wrong. Pick: San Fran
Cincinnati (+9.5) at Houston
Devo: Cincinnati is such a lousy town that Cleveland apparently rocks in comparsion. Wow. Pick: Houston
BH: Nobody likes either of these places, but if "Boys will be Boys" has taught me anything, Texas chicks are easy. Pick: Houston
Mahatma: In Cincy, cornhole is the big thing. I don’t what the thing to do is in Houston but it’s probably better than a thing called cornhole. Pick: Houston
Arizona Cardinals (+4) @ Carolina Panthers
Everyone is on the Cardinals jock after they beat the Cowboys and knocked out Tony Romo's pinky. Granted it was an impressive showing but that ladies and germs was the Cardinal superbowl. This team is notorious for sucking a fat one when they get hyped up. Moreover, they are horrendous on the road. Until this team wins a big road game, I will get on the bandwagon. Actually anything piloted by the great Ken Cheesenhunt and Russ Grimm I'll gladly stay away from. Carolina is also a very good football team at home because of those lovely kissing cheerleaders.
Cleveland Browns (+7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Is this the game we see Brady Quinn? Is this the game we see the Browns offense return to glory? Is this the game where we finally the preseason AFC North Champions rise? Is this the game where the Cleveland defense resembles an NFL quality defense? Just when you think of the answer, I'll change the question.
The Jags are starting to look like a playoff team again and have been playing well with the team overall getting more healthy. Cleveland too has begun to look like a good team as they came back from the dead and almost stole a win against Washington. Derek Anderson should be on quite the short leash eventually right? He has played like utter filth all season and Drew Carey and friends are all crying for Brady Queen and why not? He's the backup QB -- the most popular guy in the city. Figures that the Browns would also suspend Kellen Winslow after their medical facility gave him a staph infection. I see a close game regardless as I think Cleveland has turned the corner and Jacksonville is still too one dimensional to pull away but they will win.
Jacksonville - 23
Cleveland - 20
Wow, Devo, weren't you above .500 in your picks very recently? In a word, yes. But that's ok, because I've learned to use my Dan Orlovsky-like instincts for good. Onto the picks!
DALLAS (-2) over Tampa Bay
Dallas is due for a win, right? There's too much talent for them not to win, no? And Jeff Garcia is still in the league? He's a hack who never wins. But let's talk about Brad Johnson, who will be HELLBENT on revenge against his old team, where he won a Super Bowl in '02. That's right, Brad Johnson isn't just a very good quarterback, but a Super Bowl Champion quarterback! Jim McMahon and Trent Dilfer can tell you, the Super Bowl Champion quarterbacks don't just grow on trees. And let's remember, Brad Johnson beat the Raiders! The Raiders! Not just anyone beats the Raiders. Ask Brett Favre.
The Pick: Dallas 21-10. (Viva the Orlovsky instincts!)
PHILADELPHIA (-9) over Atlanta
Ok, enough with the sarcasm. Sorta. This has the feel of a game in which the awesome power of the Philly pass rush reminds the rest of the country that Matt Ryan is a rookie quarterback. I have absolutely no proof of this, but it seems that Philly has a larger proportion of blowout wins than any team each year. This seems like one of those games. And if I'm wrong, let the Orlovsky instincts move Philly that much farther away from a playoff spot!
The Pick: Philly 28-3
Thursday, October 23, 2008
What happens when you have a blog comprised of mostly Steeler and Giant fans?
Well I don’t really know but things are a bit different here at SUS. Whether it be the ignoring Devo or wanting to slap White Boy in the face, things are getting testy and there is an uncommon uneasiness this week. Or maybe I just added the last line for dramatic effect.
Both teams slopped away wins last week in unspectacular fashion and will need far better efforts this week to expect a victory. Until the Cleveland game, the Giants defense looked great without teams having an answer for what they did. The answer turned out to be a good job by a top 5 O-line in the Browns. As a result, plays were there for the taking and holes were a plenty in the Giant defense. Luckily for the Giants, the Steelers don’t have the same talent as Cleveland along the trenches but their play has improved from the Philly debacle.
On a side note, The Great Ketchup Bottle is home to the Pitt Panthers as well. Pitt plays on Saturday. Rain is expected all weekend. What does that mean? SLOP FIELD. Good bye speed and hello plodding.
When the Steelers have the ball:
In the Trenches:
LT Max Starks vs. RDE Mathias Kiwanuka
Starks is a beast in the run game and should have no trouble moving Kiwanuka out of the way on running plays. Starks should also surprise this week in the pass game. Kiwanuka is a solid pass rusher but he's equipped with a speed rush as his primary weapon but the shitty turf of big ketchup bottle allows fleet footed defenders to be an extra step slower which plays into big Max’s game. Max for being a 6’7’’ inch guy, 350 lbs is about as soft as they come but I still think he handles Kiwi especially in the run game.
LG Chris Kemoeatu/C Justin Hartwig/RG Darnell Stapleton vs. LDT Fred Robbins/ RDT Barry Cofield
Robbins and Cofield are both underrated pass rushers with a penchant for not allowing a QB to step up into the pocket. Both are very good at getting penetration and forcing running plays to the outside. Once Hartwig becomes more comfortable with the blocking assignments I see this aspect of the Steelers line to be an upgrade but until then it’s learning on the job. I can expect a lot of stunts by the Giants and a ton of blitzes up the gut to take advantage of this situation and see how quick of a learner Hartwig is. On paper though, the inside of the Steelers can match up well against the Giants DTs. Kemo and the Stapler are both strong enough to anchor and allow Hartwig to seek and destroy lbs. It’s up to the O-line of the Steelers and Hartwig especially to know where the blitzers are coming from and to keep their heads on a swivel.
RT Willie the Colon vs. LDE Justin Tuck
Horrible matchup for the Steelers. Colon hasn’t looked horrendous since the Eagle game but he's far from a sure thing. Justin Tuck has shown an ability to hold the point in the run game. This will only spell doom for the Steelers as this allows the weakside backers to come in and smack Mewelde Moore whenever possible. On passing plays this will only get worse. The Colon is slow off the ball and lazy with his technique when you add in below average physical tools you have a shitty right offensive tackle. Also add an elite pass rushing talent with enough strength should mean a lot of tight ends/running backs helping out the Colon to avoid further embarrassment. Giants will likely counter by moving Tuck all over the field. This will be one of the many games within the game.
Steelers Passing Offense:
Big Ben still has that mentality of being a game manager in the Trent Dilfer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Roth can make all the throws. His problem is that like Favre and Elway he always is looking downfield and has that confidence to air it out. At times he tries to do too much and forces throws but make no mistake about it -- no matter how over matched his team is he can always hit the big play on you. Giants must follow the Eagles blue print and WRAP HIM UP.
The Giants corners are overall very physical but can be burnt deep. Santonio Holmes has yet to have a big game this year and will likely see the Giants’ Corey Webster for much of the day. Webster has continued the momentum from his playoff run and has shown to be a good NFL corner. Ward vs. Ross should be an interesting matchup. Ross can surely keep up with Ward as Ward has lost a step but he makes up for it with an uncanny ability to get open. Ward’s also been a big factor in blocking and is bound to smack one of the big blue defenders into next week. The Giants must be aware of this and at the same time, not try to knock out Hines Ward.
Nate “Clang” Washington has been huge the last three weeks for the Steelers by getting behind nickel corners and making BIG plays happen. Much to my surprise, he has even caught balls he’s supposed to catch! Clang isn’t anything special but he has some tremendous acceleration that allows him to steak by defenders. This is a big disadvantage for the Giants as I think neither Kevin Dockery or Sam Madison can cover him deep.
The Giants safeties are deep as a group but do have their weaknesses. Butler is liability in coverage and Johnson is talented but prone to the greenhorn screw up and double moves. Add in Sammy Knight who was slow 4 years ago and potential superstar Kenny Phillips in nickel and dime looks gives the Giants some options in defending the Steelers weapons. However, I fully expect Steelers TE, Heath Miller to beat both Pierce and Butler in the pass game and then get promptly ignored from the rest of the game. I see the Giants lack of overall speed at linebacker to serve as a problem when the Steelers swing it out the Mewelde Moore. The blessing in disguise in the injury to Willie Parker is that Bruce Arians is going to more draws and swing passes to the HB in the flats. Parker I doubt will play a significant role if he does play. Expect to witness the screen also. How the Steelers execute that is another story.
Steelers Running Game:
The running game of the Steelers is getting the job done through stretch plays, counters, draws and trickery but when the chips are down and they still need to get a 3rd and 1, they can’t get it. Willie Parker is a better runner than Moore but will likely again miss this game. The Steelers have Gary Russell and Dump Davenport to help give Moore a breather and to get short yardage. The Giants counter with not the most skilled linebackers in the league but adequate pluggers who can flow the football and make tackles but again if the Steelers can block the d-line and allow the backers to get picked up than the Giants will be in for a long day. I don’t think the Steelers will be able to run on the Giants straight ahead. They will need to take advantage of the Giants aggressiveness.
Over the last 3 games the Steelers have distributed the ball to their RBs more often, have relied on quick passes, and have gone no-huddle. This is the style of offense that our O was built for. The Steelers are n longer a power running team and need to pass the ball well and distribute the rock to win football games. I’m not telling Bruce Arians to ignore the run (ever)…. but this is a passing team. The no huddle could be big this week and getting these run stuffing linebackers in space should be the goal.
When the Giants have the ball:
The Giants can either look unstoppable or pathetically average. It’s somewhere in between but again isn’t that every team. Even through their inconsistencies they can do it all. Led by a team that has only allowed 6 sacks all season. The Giants will now go against a team that has sacked opposing QBs 25 times. Strength on a strength. However, both have not played the type of teams that are considered to be worthwhile. Ironically, I’d say the strength of the Giant’s O-line is their run blocking. That too is a strength of the Steelers defense. I love matchups like this. Something’s got to give.
LT David Diehl vs. RDE Brett Keisel/ ROLB James Harrison
By far the most important matchup in this. Harrison has dominated this year in all facets of the game and looks like a complete freak. By being only 5’ 11’ Harrison offers a matchup problem to most 6’3+ OTs and has the strength to walk them back consistently. He also has added some moves to his various swim and rip moves, Harrison will be a problem for Diehl in the pass game. Diehl vs. Keisel should be a good matchup with Diehl getting a ton of stalemates. Keisel returned last week and was basically unheard of. I expect him to come on this week. Regardless, Diehl is a hoss in the run game and the Steelers need to be ready.
LG Rich Seubert/C Shaun O’ Hara / RG Chris Snee vs. DT Casey Hampton/DT Chris Hoke
Casey Hampton should be back in the lineup on Sunday and if healthy should have no problem with O’Hara one on one. I expect Seubert or Snee to down block on him considerably or else Brandon Jacobs will have a tough time doing anything. When the Giants are looking to pass, I see the interior of the line holding up well against Keisel/Smith/Farrior/Timmons/Foote, etc. Eli should have room to step up into the pocket.
RG Chris Snee/RT Kareem McKenzie vs. LDE Aaron Smith/LOLB Lamar Woodley
When the Giants try to the run ball, The Smith/Snee matchup could be quite a battle. Aaron Smith has rebounded from injury and continues to play at a very high level with the ability to penetrate and force runners wide. Snee however is one of the league’s best guards and is nasty as they come. I expect more stalemates here and that can only help the Giants and Jacobs get to the second level. McKenzie vs. Smith can also be a war but I think Aaron get atleast hold the point better against an aging McKenzie. Woodley vs. McKenzie in the pass should also be a war. Woodley has surprised the league with 7.5 sacks already as a first year starter. McKenzie is veteran that knows a lot of tricks but Woodley has shown a good combination of speed and power. Should be interesting but I think McKenzie can show the youngster a move or two.
Gints Running game:
Yikes. There’s nothing like getting run on like a guy like Jacobs. No one in the league is as intimidating to tackle. The Steelers also have only 3 guys who outweigh him. YES!!! Giants do a great job in the running game with solid blocking from the O-line, Boss and Hedgecock. I expect to see some success for the Giants here against the normally stout Stiller run defense. In fact, I expect a healthy dose and rotation of Earth Wind and Fire in this especially if the Giants get the lead.
But it’s what makes their attack so potent. They get hats on hats and they sustain blocks and they beat the shit out of you. It’s very difficult to get Jacobs before he gets started. A lot of times, he’s long-striding through holes three yards into the line of scrimmage without getting touched. You’ve got a problem there. That’s what makes them a great offense. It’s not only him. (Derrick) Ward averages six or seven yards a carry and the other guy (Ahmad Bradshaw) averages about six yards as carry also. This football team averages 5.6 yards a carry. Granted the Steelers are the toughest run defense they have faced by far but it’s still a cause for concern. One positive is that the longest run the Steelers have allowed to this date is 15 yards. I fully expect one of Earth, Wind and Fire to break that but the Steelers can hold their own.
Giants Passing Offense:
Eli Manning has taken that next step. Is he an elite QB? Frankly this season there are no elite QBs anymore but I will say he is in the top 10 and arching towards the top 5. This is not to say he’s without the occasional brain farts and poor decisions –all qbs have that – but he is able to rise to the occasion and take that important next step to closing out other teams while not making the big turnover. Like all QBs he can be pressured into making bad decisions but he is extremely resilient. If the game is close, Eli might be the league’s best.
The Steelers are extremely banged up all around. Troy Polamalu is a game time decision and steady Bryant McFadden is out with a broken arm. I see Plaxico Burress taking on Ike Taylor in a one on one matchup. Burress should take it to Taylor here despite similar measurable. Taylor frequently plays off receivers and this is bad news when dealing with someone like Plax. Burress also isn't blazing fast and uses push-offs, elbows, whatever possible to get open. Ike has to played up in Burress’s face and smack him around. Won’t happen but I see Plax getting doubled. The problem with Plax is that he’s Eli’s go to guy and he gets 30% of passing looks. Eli can’t lock down on Plax. He needs to get his other weapons involved.
The other side will likely be Deshea Townsend vs. Amani Toomer. Both are veterans who don’t have a ton of speed but make up for it in being masters of the game. I give the advantage to Toomer here as Townsend has been gimpy recently but overall should be fairly even.
The 3rd matchup here is William Gay vs. Steve Smith. Big mismatch here as Gay has been solid in small doses but not nearly tested to handle the slot guy. Smith isn’t necessarily particularly fast but he is quick and runs crisp routes. He also gets open frequently. The Giants will continue to feed him the ball in the slot and that’s where Gay or Townsend will be. Gay is unproven but looks okay in pass defense so far this season. He hasn’t been called upon like this in his brief 22 game career though.
Kevin Boss doesn’t scare me unless Brandon Jacobs starts getting 7 yards a carry. Boss will likely be causing damage in the run game though so if Jacobs can get early success look for Boss to get his looks. James Farrior/Larry Foote and Lawrence Timmons regardless can cover him and shut him down outside of that. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Timmons matched up on both Burress and Toomer as he was asked to cover both Chode Johnson and Piss Henry on multiple plays. He will be vital for the Steelers in passing defense and in watching the swing passes for Eli.
To make matters worse is when the Giants trot out Domenik Hixon and or Mario Manningham. The Steelers don’t have guys to stay with them unless you want to trust special teams gunner, Anthony Madison. Otherwise this could be a bad time for the Steeler secondary especially if Harrison or Woodley can’t get to Manning. If Polamalu can’t go than you are looking at the worst safety in football playing significant time in Tyrone Carter. He of the Look Ma David Garrard can juke me variety. I’d be way more comfortable if Anthony “Guarantee” Smith is back in the lineup.
The only thing stopping this offense from doing damage is Kevin Gilbride. He must use every weapon at his disposable. The Steelers defense is ripe for the picking especially with their patented cushions and deep zones.
New York Giants – 31
Pittsburgh Steelers – 20
2. Watching one of the funniest wrecks ever.
http://view.break.com/591372 - Watch more free videos
3. Reliving some memorable post-game sports meltdowns(be careful, sound is all over the place).
4. Finally finding out what periodicals Sarah Palin reads.
There is a simple fact in life: all hard core sports fans are douchebags when they watch their teams. With that said, it's now time for the writers of your 10th most favorite website to tell about the little and not so little things that they do that qualify them as Sports Douchebags.
Part I: Devo Edition
-Hockey is Canada's pastime. So how do I honor our beady-eyed neighbors to the north when I watch their game? By drinking Molson, aka the Canadian Budweiser during all hockey related events. Sure, I could drink a good beer. But nah, let's honor Canada by drinking it's piss flavored watered down beer!
-And while we're talking about hockey, a story for which my douchebagginess is legendary: Game 7 of the 2003, Devils/Ducks Stanley Cup Finals. Mahatma, his Jack Daniels, me, and my Molson. Now, what I love about hockey is that if you go to the bathroom for any 30 second spot, you can miss the entire game. With the small bladder, I have, I took this to heart, by making a bathroom run during EVERY TV TIMEOUT. Nice bladder, ya douchebag.
-Superstitions are retarted. But when it comes to my teams, I'm superstitious as hell. After all, the team can only do so much to put themselves in a position to win-after that it's up to me to wear my same lucky cheese whiz stained BU jersey to put us over the top. But it also involves me doing everything in my power, rational and irrational, to make sure that I watch specific games in lucky locations. Two examples:
- In the '99-'00 NHL playoffs, whenever we watched the games at SHMUCK's parents' place, the Devils won. So clearly we had to watch the entire '00-'01 playoffs there as well. I'm pretty sure we woke up his parents every time Colin White committed a stupid roughing penalty. And as Yinzer or BH can attest to, that went down quite a bit that summer.
- Two of my boys went to Hoboken to watch the Giants-Packers NFC Championship game. It never came to this, but I was ready to physically threaten those guys if they decided to not watch the Super Bowl there. For most people going to Hoboken is nothing more than a few slightly long train rides. But for the 'locals' like BH and Mahatma who think that Hoboken is half a world away, they're clearly thinking that my boys were masochistic.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
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2. Checking out hot pics of Obama's mom. The write up is a little crazy, but the first commenter makes a great point to refute most of it.
3. Watching Jersey get owned. Bigger hands=bigger smack.
4. Gathering ideas for the next time Devo passes out at my place.
The Who Gives a Flying Fuck World Series
I love baseball, and it takes a lot of heat for being slow, boring and not requiring athleticism to play. In baseball's defense, consider that commercials only come between half inning and during pitching changes and that there is no intermission. The amount of commercials in the NFL, (still the best sports league anywhere) and the halftime aspect combine to make me quite frustrating. I much prefer the cyclic nature of the commercial breaks in a baseball game Secondly, its timelessness makes it unique from every other team sport this side of its cousin Cricket. Whether you like baseball or not, this cannot be denied. All of this being said, this series does very little for me.
I have very little emotions for or against either team. Yea I don't like Philadelphia sports fans but I only really hate them when they are dressed in shit green and puke white on Sundays. Tampa fans are front runners but Yankees and Sox fans are rewarded each year with a competitive team so I can't really hate on Tampa fans for being into their team for the first time ever. The Rays are technically a division rival of the Yankees so maybe that should get me all riled up? No sale. But maybe I can root for one of these two teams instead of just picking one team to hate on? I kind of appreciate the Phillies for torturing Mets fans again. On the other hand, the Rays took the heart out of Sox nation by shocking its beloved team in game 7 which included a stunning bases loaded strikeout of J.D. "I'm suddenly Mr. October since I've been with the Sox" Drew by young phenom David Price. I do hate the Sox significantly more than I hate the Mets so perhaps this should make me side with the Rays? But the Phillies have a more star studded team with big sluggers so maybe I can latch on to them? No sale. In the end, none of these 4 angles gets me jacked up to root for either side.
Does this series do anything for pure baseball fans like myself? Sort of. Tampa's great rotation taking on Philly's great lineup is exciting. However, another big reason why I love baseball is its classic and/or beautiful stadiums such as Fenway, Yankee Stadium (R.I.P :( ), Wrigley, Camden Yards and Citizen's Bank park in Philly. However, the first two games of this series are played in the worst stadium in the sport by leaps and bounds. (Editor's Note: Why would the Tampa Rays play their games in Nassau Coliseum?) There is no excuse at all for any team not to have a retractable dome. It is downright depressing to me to watch the World Series played indoors if it is not horribly cold and/or raining outside. Tampa not only plays in a non-retractable dome, its a dump. It is aesthetically nauseating and has no character. If that wasn't annoying enough, those cowbells are irksome to say the least. Unless Christopher Walken is walking through that door, I don't want to be anywhere near a cowbell.
So while the baseball itself is intriguing, the series' complete lack of anything sexy in terms of entertainment value makes it a tough watch even for a big baseball fan like myself. Still, I feel obligated to make a pick so I will. The Phillies have taken over the baseball world almost as much as the Obama campaign has taken over the direction of the election. Its lineup is excellent and its closer, Brad Lidge might as well as paint his skin dark and put a 42 on his back because he is pitching as well as Mo ever has/had in any season. Although its only truly excellent starter is its ace Cole Hamels, it boasts a hot 2 and 3 of Brett Myers and Joe Blanton. Tampa's rotation is the best in baseball and its lineup, although not scary, is perfectly opportunistic. Neither team has any significant World Series experience but Philly has an older and more experienced team. The last team to win the world series without the best or hottest starting rotation in the league was the 1996 Yankees, 12 years ago. I have to go with the Rays in a competitive and long series.
THE PICK: Rays in 7
If you had told me in April that the 2008 World Series was going to be between the Philadephia Phillies and the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays, I would have looked at you with doubting eyes. The Phillies part I would have believed with resignation. I would have said something like, "It figures, those bastards," and then moved on to the fact that it was the Rays that they were going to play. We all know how unlikely that seems, even now. This is a great turnaround story. In fact, yesterday I was at an airport (it was either when I was in Austin, waiting to fly to Charlotte or in Charlotte, waiting to fly to Newark...it was a long day) and I found a USA Today that was left behind. The paper compared the 2008 Rays to the 1969 Mets. The comparison found quite a few similarities. Both teams had had their own league's worst record 5 times before their World Series run. Both teams had a "Young flamethrower on the mound for the final out in the League Championship Series"- Nolan Ryan for the Mets and David Price for the Rays. Both teams played their Spring Training games at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, FL. The comparison even says that the fan base is, well, the same- New York area Baby Boomers for the Mets and Former New York area Baby Boomers for the Rays. The Mets went on to win that year, so will the comparison become even closer with the Rays winning this year? As much as I rooted for the Phillies waaaay back in 1993 against the Blue Jays (remember reliever Mitch 'Wild Thing' Williams with his mullet??), I absolutely do not want the World Series Champions to be the other team from the NL East.
Look let's be honest- Tampa will win because superior starting pitching always wins the World Series, right? I mean, ask the Atlanta Br-nevermind.
But Tampa will win because they have superior relievers like the 90's Yankees right? I mean, the Red Sox never came back on the Dev-nevermind.
But seriously, I don't know which of these teams is better, and I don't care. Frankly, they're both fairly likeable teams, so long as you're not a Mets fan. I'm not a big fan of Philly teams, but anyone who knows me knows my Phillies talking point: There's been so many great stars that have come and gone through Philadelphia since their last title in the early 80's, Iverson, Barkley, Lindros, Roenick, Rolen, Schilling, McNabb, Cunningham, Reggie White, T.O., and I'm probably still missing a few. A city like Philadelphia deserves a championship somewhere, and as a Devils/Giants fan, it better not be the Flyers or Eagles. So I'll accept a Phillies Series victory in the big scheme of things.
But it won't happen, and the explanation is stupid but accurate. The last few years, one team has waited a week to play the Series after wrapping up a quick LCS. Last year, Rocktober came to a stunning halt when the Rockies were off for a week (and faced a far more talented Sox team.) The year before, the Tigers had the extra time off and made some retarted errors in losing to a far inferior Cardinals team.
Look, I'm not a doctor, and I don't know which team is better, but the truth of the matter is that it's going to be very difficult for Philly to get their timing back and win one of the first two games in Tampa. With a 2-0 lead, Tampa can put a quick end to this series by winning game 3 or 4 and going up 3-0 or 3-1. And Tampa is good enough that they probably will. Tampa in a painless 6.
Wondering how to break it to that special someone that you've given them an unwanted STD? Have no fear, the STD e-card is here!
"When you weigh the importance of getting people notified, that's ultimately what needs to be done," said Jeffrey D. Klausner, director of STD Prevention and Control Services in San Francisco, California's Department of Public Health. "By notifying them -- even if it's done anonymously, even distantly, even with an e-card -- the benefits of getting someone diagnosed and treated outweigh the concerns of insensitivity."
The electronic cards deliver the news in a variety of styles. Some are flirty: "You're too hot to be out of action. I got diagnosed with an STD since we played. You might want to get checked too."
Some are somber: "Who? What? When? Where? It doesn't matter. I got an STD; you might have it too. Please get checked out."
Here at SUS, we've decided to help spread this trend (pun somewhat intended) by creating a few new E-Cards to send that dirty-but-special someone:
Remember how your landlord wouldn't let you have a pet? Well let's see him take these crabs away!
Roses are Red Violets are Blue, I have gonnorhea, and so do you.
Roses are Red Violets are Black, You and I both share the clap.
Roses are Red, Violets are Yellow, those aint just coldsores, but herpes, young fellow.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A new season, and more firepower was brought in to give us more depth on the offensive side of the puck, and they look just like last year's team, with a "breakout" game against the Capitals, scoring 4 goals, one of which came in the shootout. Other than that, they've been scoring 1 or 2 goals per game, though in their defense, they have won most of those. Those wins won't continue though, because Marty's played every game, and will tire in April just like he has each of the last three seasons.
But at least the free agents will come in and make a difference once they learn to mesh with their teammates. Um, maybe, but that's going to take a while now, since our free agent class, Holik & Rolston, is out for a month, if not longer.
You're doin a heckuva job, Lamoriello...
I don't think the Jets have been able to score a touchdown on their opening drive in over 2 seasons (look it up, I could be right). Raiders were missing their star pass rusher Derrick Burgess and yet they still manifested a solid pass rush against the revamped Jets O-line. The Raiders weakness are their linebacking corp. The Jets should'vee exploited them more over the middle with Dustin Keller but that wasn't in the playbook. I'll give credit where credit is due, the Raiders defense did not let the Jets beat them through the air, they refused to give up the big play and they succeeded.
The O-line's pass blocking was far worse than their run blocking. Favre got hit way too many times by a line that is getting paid wayyy too much to protect him. Woody got beat bad by the rookie Trevor Scott and Favre paid the price.
The Legs Feed the Wolf
Oakland, like any smart team with Jamarcus Russell behind center, was going to challenge the Jets run defense all day. New York hasn’t faced an opponent that was truly successful in the run game so this was going to be a challenge. The D was decent but allowed the Raiders to effectively move the ball and control the clock. Jamarcus Russell looked comfortable in the pocket and his decision making was precise. Even the Jets make the inexperienced QB’s look like all-stars. The defense clearly underestimated Russell’s ability to hit his receivers. The defensive line could not produce any pressure, sacking him only once.
Again the Jets go into halftime and come out not making the proper adjustments to counter their opponents gameplan. Both Jets lines got outplayed by their opponents and it was disgusting. Maybe they should have worn their throwback Jersey's (NO!).
Where Do We Go From Here
Monday, October 20, 2008
-It's impossible to miss a sporting event, TiVo it, and go back and watch it without finding out the score ahead of time.
My dad and I were at a wedding Sunday afternoon during the Giants/49ers. The plan was to turn off our cell phones and TiVo it so that we could watch it when we got home. A rough timeline of what went down:
2:20: Ya know what? Missing the Giants game isn't that big a deal. My cousin is feeding me the Dallas score, and I'm ok with not knowing the Giants score quite yet. This could be alright...
2:30: Fuck it, the suspense is killing me. I ask my cousin to tell me the score and tell White Boy that I need consistent updates. So much for holding out.
2:45: I ask my Dad if he wants to know the score of the game. He says no. Me, multiple beers/wines/champagnes into the afternoon says 17-10, Giants. Clearly I'm handling my liquor well.
4:15: The band leader says something like "It's a beautiful day here, the bride and groom look beautiful, and even the Giants won!" My cousin and I start laughing our asses off as my dad picks a fight with the bandleader. Part of that last sentence may not be completely true, but you get the point.
-Red Sox Playoff games + me drinking=me nearly fighting. Twice.
We're in a bar in Jersey City. I cheer for Tampa Bay. The guy sitting down and I start talking, and it gets to the point that I say I'm a Yankee fan. The details are fuzzy the day after, but I think he started saying something like 'why do you take so much joy in rooting against a team?' So I respond in what must have been an embarrassingly loud voice "FUCK THE RED SOX! FUCK THE PATRIOTS! FUCK THE CELTICS! FUCK THE BRUINS! FUCK BOSTON!" Why do I know this was embarrassingly loud voice? Well, when my rant ended the guy gave me one of those "Fuck it, this argument ain't worth winning if this guy is as crazy as that outburst makes him appear." That ended that fight
Ok, so this wasn't almost a fight as much as this was just me being an asshole. I went into this other bar with 1 out in the 9th, ordered a drink, chugged and then started saying "Hail to the Red Sox" to the tune of Hail to the Redskins as I ran out the door of the bar before people had the chance to fight me. Am I an asshole? Yeah, but I'm okay with that. More importantly, there's 5 people who only had a Jersey City bar in common who are all wondering who the hell that kid was who came in, drank half his Yuengling, and left while shouting anti-Red Sox epithets.
I'm the greatest drinker of anyone I'm related to.
If you've been to a gathering with my cousins on my dad's side and myself, you'll come to a quick realization: I can drink any of my cousins under the table. Having drank with cousins on my mom's side for the first time ever, I can safely say that I'm also the best drinker on my mom's side as well, making me the greatest drinker in at least two families. Mom and Dad wanted a doctor or a (employed) lawyer, but they got an alcoholic. Oops.
Denver at New England(-3, 48.5)
One of the unfortunate consequences of not having cable is that one loses touch with the real world. Things like TV shows and the memory of the starting time of Monday Night Football pass you by. So here it is, and Ive been waiting years to say this: The Patriots suck. I cant tell you the joy that brings. Now a lot of that obviously has to do with the lack of production at the quarterback position and the fact that no one respects the thier running game anymore. Why would you? Cassel is a hack, dont believe that completing 65% of your passes makes you promising, I could do that with Wes Welker, who, by the way is the best player on the team now. The Pats D is trying to get all they can out of their aged roster, but they are failing(Randy Moss and Welker are in the top 10 in tackles). Some of their D stats are good, but they have only played one good team and gave up 400 yds to the Chargers. I dont think either side of the ball will prevail for the Pats. Cutler and they Donkeys are going to be able to hurt the Pats in the air and on the ground. I think Jay is gonna have a big day, and one of the 56 running backs for Denver will gash NE for 100yds. I see this as not being as closely contested as some think. Broncos win 31-14
On Sunday my mom woke up at 615 am for a 730 am breast cancer walk at Jones Beach and my dad went canvassing for Obama in Philly. So I may be a little biased, along with approximately 57% of likely voters, but I couldn't help but notice that (a) "Obama" comes up as an incorrectly spelled word and (b) the first suggestion that spell check provides is "Osama." Cue the ad not endorsed but certainly supported by McCain/Palin & Co. Good to know who Microsoft Word endorses for President.
Anyway, I did my part for humanity by going to a sports bar with the B.I.G to take in the Giants and Bills games simultaneously. Before you cast me off as some bum with no social conscience, let the record show that I was wearing an Obama hat. Nevertheless, the day did not get off to a rousing start. I woke up 10 minutes before kickoff and missed the first drive of the game for the 49ers while en route to the sports bar. Upon my arrival, I found out the Bills Chargers game, my entire reason for going to the bar to begin with (as opposed to watching The Giants game only at home), was unable to be shown on TV due to some odd electrical failure. This still is much preferable to the absolute debacle of a television broadcast by TBS on Saturday night of game 6 of the ALCS. Unlike the solid job CBS did to keep viewers informed of the stadium issues at the Ralph, TBS not only did not ever explain to you why the Steve Harvey show was being shown instead of game 6 but then Chip “my father and grandfather were awesome but I suck ass” Carey told you that you "had not missed much" when in reality you had missed a monster moon shot of a home run by B.J. “don’t call me Justin” Upton. Despite some moments of despair which I will detail later, week 7 of the National Football League season was ultimately a success for the champs.
Defense A-: The Giants played very Un-Giants like defensive game Sunday. Unlike the ball hawking style of other premiere defenses in the league such as the Steelers and Ravens, the G-men usually play a more “dominate from the point of attack” defensive style. It generally does not create turnovers, but gets a lot of sacks and plays staunch defense between the 30’s. On Sunday, the Giants deviated significantly from this style of play. Despite a very impressive performance from 49ers QB J.T. O’Sullivan for much of the game, the Giants D forced him into three atrocious plays. 2 of these plays were interceptions and another was a fumble/sack turned into a safety late in the game to put the contest away. These 3 turnovers plus a Frank Gore fumble resulted in 19 net points by the Giants (16 Giants points and -3 points on an interception late in the first half when the 49ers were in clear field goal range). The optimistic White Boy says these turnovers were a product of great Giants defense and a welcome departure from the largely turnover free defense played so far this season. The pessimistic White Boy tells the optimistic White Boy to shove it because the 49ers handed the Giants 19 net points. The truth likely lays somewhere in between.
Offense B-: This was not a pretty offensive performance by any means. Eli continued his trend of poor play in windy conditions and Jacobs, despite scoring 2 touchdowns, only amassed 69 yards total on the ground. To be fair, he was only handed the ball 17 times so his 4.1 yards per rush is fairly solid. The other alarming trend which carried over from the Cleveland disaster was Eli forcing the ball to Plax. I don’t think it was a fluke that Eli’s best game this season came in a game in which Plax did not play. I am not foolish enough to think that New York is a better club without its best skill player, but Eli has seemed more interested in appeasing his sophomoric star than he has been in finding the most open man. Plax, by cursing out the coach Sunday after a terrible offensive pass interference call against him on a third and 9 great catch, is starting to show why no team other than New York was willing to give him a shot during his '04/05 free agency.
Special Teams C: This grade would be a D or an F if not for a hyuuuuge 48 yard field goal by Carney in the 4th to give his club a 27-17 win with about 8 minutes to go. Otherwise this was a horrid effort by the special teams. How the middle was not clogged up by a blocker on Carney’s would be 35 yard field goal is beyond me. This failure to block the middle created an instant 10 point swing in the game as a sure 3 for New York was turned into 7 for Nate Clements and the 49ers. Instead of it being 27-10 Giants late in the third and the game being put all but out of reach; the 49ers made us sweat unnecessarily until Carney’s clutch boot. Finally, the kickoffs have simply got to be longer. Kickoffs routinely reaching the 15 yard line will not suffice against talented offensive teams like Pittsburgh, Dallas (if Romo ever comes back) and Arizona.
Coaching B: As usual Steve Spagnuolo, despite having his first truly horrid game on the job last Monday against the Browns rebounded nicely against San Fran. He realized that if you bend but don’t break against this 49ers club, you will allow it to shoot itself in the foot. As usual, I have major issues with the offensive game plan and play calling. The Giants offense is incredibly predictable. Gilbride calls a pass every 1st down and then a run on 2nd and long. Sometimes, because it has a great offensive line, this running play will net 8-12 yards. However, because teams are now wise to this trend, they will simply stack the box and have 3 guys drag down Brandon in the backfield created a 3rd and very long situation. Here is a novel idea Gilbride, how about running on 1st and 10 thereby creating a 2nd and short. This would open up the play-book significantly and put opposing defenses back on their heels.