Friday, November 14, 2008
Week 11 NFL Pick Extravaganza; Brought to You by the Makers of Brooklyn Hillbilly and Brooklyn Hillbilly Drunk(TM)
Greetings proud and loyal readers. BH is back in the saddle for Week 11, well rested and ready to guide you wrong on this weeks NFL games.
Denver at Atlanta(-6.5, 51)
Rematches of Super Bowls past always go the other way. Am I wrong? Prove it.
Atlanta wins 38-24.
(Sorry Donkeys, I will make up for my lack of attention soon, I promise.)
San Diego at Pittsburgh(-5, 42)
Let me start by saying how incredibly spectacular Big Ben played last week. His passes were snapped off with crisp efficiency, infallible judgement and impossible accuracy. He played so well that Mathatma, Brooklyn Yinzer and I spent the next 5 hours drinking 40s and Natty Ice(at least I did) at an establishment with the word "Roadhouse" in its name with a gaggle of Wisconsinites(Wisconsoneers?) in Brett Favre jerseys. Yes, it was a beautiful sight to behold.
Back to reality now, and the internationally acclaimed BH Numbers Rundown. These next few sentences may be painful for Steeler fans to read, but they are the facts. The Pittsburgh Steelers rank in the bottom ten in the following categories: rushing yards, passing yards, net yards/pass attempt, yards/rush, first downs and interceptions. Ben Roethlisberger has gone from the second highest rated passer last year to the 25th ranked with more interceptions than touchdowns. The rushing attack has fallen from #3 to #24. In short, what was expected to be an explosive offensive year for the Steelers has turned into an unmitigated failure. It is one of the worst offenses in the league. The one bright spot is the the inexplicable lack of fumbles by the team. And boy is there enough blame to go around. Everyone from the offensive line to Ben to offensive coordinator Bruce "a child could out-coach me" Arians all deserve thier share. The only ones I dont blame are Mewelde Moore and Hines Ward. They are trying.
But somethings got to give. I dont see how the Steelers win this division at the rate they are going. If there is a God(or even a thinking GM), Arians will be gone next year, but it remains to be seen if this year will be survivable with this coaching staff who is actively preventing the team from winning games. Ben will have to get out of his funk without any help. Lord knows I hope he does(you know BH is desperate if he pleads with fake deities twice in one paragraph). I think they win this week, but a different team needs to take the field for that to translate into a successful season. Steelers squeak by 24-21.
Time for America's 95th most favorite weekly feature, Fredo Picks! Nice of BH to grace us with his presence this week.
Devo: A poet once proclaimed: Miami, city where the heat is on, all night on the beach till the break of Dawn. Pick: Miami
Mahatma: A different poet also once said: Straight from the West, Oakland is the best Baby it's so fresh (Oakland) It's called the Big Bad O, city of players on the go. Pick: Oakland
BH: Poetry is gay. Pick: Oakland
Houston (+9) at Indy
Devo: I can't think that one thing that either of these cities bring to the table. So I'm going with the nice weather. Pick: Houston
Mahatma: Indy has auto racing while Houston got nuked in Independence Day. Pick: Indy
BH: Nice weather is what Houston is known for, right. Pick: Indy
New Orleans (-5.5) at KC
Devo: KC barbeque is real good. But cajun crawfish is even better. Frankly, it's a shame that I have to choose between the two. Pick: New Orleans
Mahatma: Kim Kardashian > Mrs. Brodie Croyle Pick: New Orleans
BH: I call bullshit on Devo ever eating crawfish. ( Editor's Note: Erroneous!) Pick: Nawlins
Detroit (+14) at Carolina
Devo: Apparently a lot of my money is about to go to Detroit. Fuck that. Pick: Carolina
Mahatma: Cheerleaders+Bathroom+Making out > Kid Rock Pick: Carolina
BH: All Detroit does is take and take and take. They are finally going to give something back, their dignity. Pick: Carolina
St Louis (+6.5) at San Francisco
Devo: You know how you know that I'm not a hip hop guru? I kinda like Nelly. Pick: St Louis
Mahatma: Nelly's music is kindof gay. Speaking of which... Pick: San Fran
BH: Bad and worse. I pick worse. I think. (And stop talking shit about Nelly) Pick:St Louis
Arizona (-3) at Seattle
Devo: Weather. Weather. Weather. Pick: Arizona.
Mahatma: Seattle has beatniks who drink coffee while Arizona has Mexicans and old people but the burritos be the shit! Pick: Arizona
BH: When will Elizabeth Hasselbecks brother-in-law get his team in shape? Not this week. Pick: Arizona
Time to sweep the picks this week and return to my rightful perch...at .500.
Baltimore (+7) over GIANTS
This is one of the more intriguing games on the schedule. So we know what the Giants bring to the table, but what about the Ravens? Yes, they're 6-3 and tied with the Steelers, but there is one HUGE difference between the Ravens and the Steelers that goes beyond the number of linebackers on each team charged with felonies. The Steelers have played 3 of their 4 NFC East opponents this year while the Ravens are encountering their first on Sunday. It's safe to assume that the Ravens will lose at least 2 of those 4 games, putting them at 8-5 with three more games to play. All of this is to say that the Ravens are good, but the Giants have beaten better this year. A few times. This should be a low scoring game, especially if the Meadowlands winds kick out the jams as they have been known to do. Eli is as capable as any other QB of losing a game all by himself, but I gotta think that there's a much more likely chance of Flacco doing that this week, going up against the Giants' pass rush, and soon-to-be Pro Bowler, Corey Webster. Giants win with about 75 rushing yards, Ravens cover.
Dallas (-1.5) over WASHINGTON
Will Homo show up ready to kick ass and take names? I don't know. But I do know that if the Cowboys lose this game, their season is over. If the Redskins lose this game, they'll still be in good position to get the wild card and take down Chicago or Arizona in the first round. It is a common but not-so-inaccurate cliche that the team that needs a win in the NFL is more likely to get it than the less needy. In a game like this, where both teams are fairly equal, I'm going with the desperate team.
(Interesting sidenote: As a Giants fan, who do you root for? A Dallas win, if preceded by a Giants win, pretty much cements the Giants as the NFC East Champions this year. But a Redskins win means that this Dallas team, the most hateable team since the Legion of Doom Flyers, is pretty much down for the count. And we can talk all we want about hating all of the NFC East teams equally, but do people really hate the Redskins? Have they been good enough to hate?)
Tennessee Flaming Thumbtacks (+3) @ Jacksonville Jagoffs
Ah the dreaded home dog. See I really dislike both teams but again I hate all teams. Jack Del Doucho (tm Yinzer) Is already being classified as a fraud. Shocking. The Jagoffs beat up on the Lions but come on that’s like beating up your blind nephew but nono according to the media, THEY ARE BACK, JACK. Uh no. They aren’t back and the team is imploding from the inside out and they lost to the Bungles! I mean really? Who loses to the Bungles?
The Flaming Thumbtacks are overrated. Where ESPN and everyone is saying Kerry Collins is MVP, I’m saying this team is one and done in the playoffs. Course they should devour teams with weak O-Lines (cough) like the Jagoffs currently have. These two teams played already in the opening weekend where David “Kordell” Garrard and sacked seven times in that game and threw two interceptions to Cortland Finnegan as Tennessee won for the third time in the last four meetings. I look for this trend to continue despite the Jags fighting for their season.
Flaming Thumbtacks - 17
Jacksonville Jagoffs - 13
Chicago Nastys (+3.5) @ Green Bay Cheesers
One of the more marquee matchups of the week as the Bears look to hold on to first place by the slimmest of margins. Kyle Orton might return this week but I see Rex Grossman getting the nod. Rex has played okay so far but come on, it’s Rex Grossman. Here comes the Bears inevitable implosion triggered by UF’s finest. Lovie Smith even said, “I can’t wait for the day when Kyle says he is ready,” Smith said. Way to show confidence in your backup there Lovie. Sorry Bears fans but hey Kelly Gregg is your new closer!
Green Bay – 24
Chicago – 13
Thursday, November 13, 2008
(1) Giants Stadium PA (-9) at Bungles - Bengals awful, and the Eagles, above average. This even though the Giants have now beaten the city of brother love's beloved team in 4 straight regular season games in the illadelph. McNabb won't have to throw up on (literally) or choke away (figuratively) another last minute drive because AJ Feely will be in by that point. Enough said THE PICK: EAGLES (35-13)
(2) Adrian Petersons (+4) at Rays Football - Is there a worse 6-3 team in NFL history than the 2008 Bucs. It barely beats and was down 21 points at one point to the Cheiftans. Its QB is going to be really good 6 years ago. It's defense is solid but old. Thankfully it gets to play the horrid AFC West for 4 games. The Vikings have disappointed this season overall but got a hyyuuuuge win last Sunday against the hated Bears. Oh Robbie Gould how you disgrace us chosen people! The chalk says to take the dominant home team against a road dome team. However, I have a hunch Tampa is about to go on a bad losing streak the kind the Giants went on to end the 04 and 06 regular seasons. It just isn't a good team. THE PICK: VIKINGS (20-9)
There was a similar game like this not so long ago, two seasons back to be exact. Week 10 of the 2006 season the Jets (4-4) traveled up to New England (6-2) to battle their AFC rival massholes; although this game wasn’t as incisive as tonight’s matchup it certainly was an inspiring turn for gang green. The Jets road into Spyville and walked away with a muddy, sloppy, defensive 17-14 win, and a cold handshake among two coaches. If I’m not mistaken, the nickname “Mangenius” would start being referred to coach Mangini shortly after that.
What can Cassel do for you?
I remember getting a text from my friend shortly after Brady’s ACL/MCL injury congratulating me on the Jets AFC East division title. I laughed because I really thought that it was quite possible the Jets were just given a “hall-pass” and a shot for the playoffs. But low and behold here we are, Pats are still in the division race lead by none other than Matt Cassel, a man who since week 2 against the Jets had not started any football games since high school. But surprisingly enough he’s played fairly decent stepping in for the departed (“Say hi to your mother for me”).
The Patriots are not the offensive juggernauts they were last season, partly because of the injuries to key players such as Brady and Maroney. But Cassel continues to improve and develop in the Patriots offensive system (hell he should, he’s been the backup for like 6 years). A lot of credit should be given to the offensive line. They’re doing their best not to lose another quarterback.
With the exception of last season, the patriots always were a strong running football team. They like to run between the tackles and pound the ball up the middle. But with injuries to Maroney, Bam Morris and Lamont Jordan has made it difficult for them to establish a consistent running game. Surprisingly Jarvis-Green has been a huge uplift for their offense. Once listed on the practice squad is now the featured back leading the way out of the backfield. Patriots are 7th in the league average over 130yds rushing per game.
But injuries to certain key players are not unfamiliar grounds for the Patriots. The Patriots are good at just filling guys in to play those roles. Remember a few seasons ago when they were short at cornerback on the depth chart because of injuries. So Bill goes ahead and places wide receiver Troy Brown at nickel and wouldn’t you know it, he actually succeeds and played the position to perfection. Someone needs to knock out Belicheat because I don’t think Kraft can just fill in the head coach role as Belicheat does on offense and defense.
The Patriots are hurting on both sides of the ball with injuries. Rodney Harrison, one of the dirtiest players in the NFL, is done for the season and quite possibly his career, thank God for that (HGH won’t save your career this time asshole). Adailus Thomas will definitely be out for this game with a left arm injury and he too could be out for the season.
A. Thomas was the quarterback of the defense. His loss is detrimental to the overall defense. Special teamer Pierre Woods will be his replacement and he’s got huge shoes to fill. This will also put a lot of pressure on Jerod Mayo and the rest of the linebacking corps to cover for him.
The defensive line has been solid for the Pats all season. Although statistically it doesn’t show they have been effective at stopping the run and getting to the quarterback at the time it’s most needed.
The secondary is also very weak. With Rodney Harrison out, Brandon Meriweather had to move back to safety leaving a hole at nickel. Deltha O’Neal and Hobbs are the starters and with injuries to Wheatley and Sanders, Jason Webster will have to step up and play a bigger role.
Thomas Jones is leading a very effective ground attack for the Jets. Leon Washington has been a nice change of pace back on 3rd downs and passing situations with his excellent agility. Together they have rushed for almost a combined 1,000 yds and 10 touchdowns, a huge improvement from last season.
The additions of Pete Kendall and Damian Woody on the offensive line are finally starting to pay off. Not only are they paving the way for the running backs but they are giving Favre more pass protection and time to throw the ball. Favre has only been sacked 16 times so far this season.
This leads me to the man of the hour, The Miracle Man himself, Brett Favre. Jets needed a quarterback with experience and an arm, plain and simple. So Tannenbaum went out and traded for one of the best. So far he’s been…..entertaining. It was obvious early on that he wasn’t completely comfortable with the playbook and this new complex offense. To be honest I still don’t think he’s got the whole thing down. Plus he’s had to develop chemistry with his wideouts and that too can take a season to formulate. The man certainly likes to take chances. His TD:INT ratio is closer than it should be for this gun-slinger. Still, if I were the Jets, there wouldn’t be any other QB (with the exception of P.Manning and Brady) that I’d want to have the ball driving down the field with under 2 minutes left in the 4th.
The last 2 weeks have been huge for the Jets defense. Combined they have given up 20pts but have had 8 turnovers, 7 sacks and 2 defensive touchdowns. The big playmakers have been the recent additions to the team; Kris Jenkins and Calvin Pace. Jenkins numbers don’t show it but he’s been remarkable lining up at nose tackle. Every play it seems like he’s pushing 2 offensive linemen backwards towards the quarterback. At 365lbs it’s kind of hard to stop this man from moving forward. Calvin Pace plays the OLB position to perfection. He’s affective at rushing the quarterback with 4 sacks and he can drop back in coverage and defend tight ends and running backs. Hopefully Vernon Ghoulston is watching very thoroughly as this is expected of him come next season. If not the Jets will have to face with quite possibly another 1st round draft pick bust (yo Brickashaw!)
Darrelle Revis is developing into a solid #1 corner for the Jets, quite possibly a shut down corner. Most opposing teams have been throwing away from him and Kerry Rhodes and exploiting the rookie Dwight Lowery and the slow safety Eric Smith. If there is a weakness on the Jets defense it would have to be in their secondary.
Matchups to Look Out For:
Jerod Mayo vs. Thomas Jones – Mayo has been the Patriots most consistent defender and was a solid pick for them in the draft. He will have his hands full trying to stop both Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.
Randy Moss vs. Darrelle Revis – The Jets will try and confuse Matt Cassel with blitz packages and cloud coverage schemes. On certain occasions if a safety blitz is required Revis will have to handle Moss one-on-one. Hopefully he can step up to the challenge.
Da’Brickashaw Ferguson vs. Richard Seymour – Brick is definitely a better pass blocker than a run blocker. He’s always struggled against Seymour and the Patriots. Hopefully Faneca can provide some support and help him out on occasion.
Jarvis Green vs. David Harris/Eric Barton – Green has been running the ball effectively and the Patriots are 7th in the league rushing. The Jets have been great against the run, one of the leagues best and will be put to the challenge again on short rest.
Wes Welker vs. Dwight Lowery – Lowery has struggled of late. He’s been inconsistent at times. The Jets need him now more than anything. Ty Law was signed to help add depth to a weak secondary but I doubt he’ll be ready to go by gametime. Welker is the catalyst for the Jets, they need to try and shut him down.
Pierre Woods vs. Dustin Keller – This should be a blessing for Keller and Favre. Dustin was his favorite target last week with 6 catches 107yds and a touchdown. Without Adailus Thomas the Pats will have a hard time matching someone up against him. Look for Schottenheimer to get Keller the ball early.
I don’t know why the Jets went ahead and signed Ty Law. It only makes this rivalry more intense. But it’s week 11 and Ty hasn’t dressed at all this season. He’s obviously not going to be in any kind of football shape but he insists that he will play tonight. I understand the dropping of Justin Miller. Sure, 2 seasons ago he was a pro-bowl kick returner but he never acclimated into a starting cornerback the Jets hoped for. And considering he’s still rehabilitating from the knee injury he was expendable.
So how do the Jets beat the Massholes tonight? Simple, just keep playing the way they have been playing. On offense, stick to the basics and play hard-nosed football. Pound the ball with Thomas Jones and throw short route passes to give receivers room to run after the catch. Open up the middle of the field with Dustin Keller and Leon Washington. Don’t take chances right away going deep. If Coles and Cotchery can start getting separation early then start airing them out, otherwise wear down the front 7 with the run game. Bill Belicheat is not dumb, he will know what to expect from Leon Washington when he enters the game. Mix up the play calling and throw some screens. If they can take Mayo out of the play on those screen packages the Jets can churn up a bunch of yards. Hold onto the ball. Turnovers will hurt you especially when you throw interceptions in the red-zone Mr. Farvara.
On defense, get in Matt Cassel’s face early and consistently. Force him to make mistakes. He doesn’t have Brady’s brains or his accuracy to throw down field. Change up the blitz packages and take away the short passing game; Wes Welker has killed teams with his quick 5-8yd outs and slants. If Ty Law can play this is where they need him most, to bump him off the line of scrimmage and his routes putting more pressure on Cassel to look elsewhere.
The weather is going to be crummy as ran/ice and winds are in the forecast for this evening in Masshole country. But the Jets should have no worry. They have a quarterback whose passes will not be affected by wind turbulence 15yards away from scrimmage. The Jets need to come out with some swagger. Earlier in the year in week 2 they put up a weak effort and lost. They are a much better team now. They are starting to believe that they are a good team and can play with the rest of the elite. They need to start acting like they’re the best team in the AFC East because after tonight, they can be......and they will
Jets – 23
Pats - 16
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The change promised by Barack Obama has finally come to Boston University, the one mile stretch of concrete that churned out BH, Mahatma, and myself, along with honorary members SHMUCK and White Boy.
Change you say?
Why yes my good man, for not only is BU on top of the always highly sought after USCHO.com college hockey poll, but look who's playing UConn in the NCAA's if it started tomorrow and was picked by Joe Lunardi!
Coach of the Half Year
Point: You could make a real good argument for Coughlin, but I’ve argued for Giants at nearly every other position, so let’s go elsewhere for this. Generally when a team is 9-0 and you can only name some of their players because they were chased out of
Counterpoint: You could give it to Rats coach, John Harbaugh or maybe Falcons coach, Mike Smith but at this point, with a backup QB, you got to give it to Jeff Fisher for what he’s got out of the Titans this year. Doe
Final Word: Fisher. Next!
GM of the Half Year
Point: Jeerrrrrrrryyyyyy Reese. Screw you and your impending “homer” chants, if the Cowboys can have 13 pro bowlers, the Giants can run the table on the equally prestigious SUS Half Season Awards. This goes to Reese partly because of the job he did last year, but also for the fact that the Giants lost two great DE’s, their tight end, and are more hungry than ever. Also, seemingly another solid draft with Phillips, 2nd round pick CB Terrell Thomas, 3rd Round pick, Mario Manningham, and 4th round pick Bryan Kehl, all of whom have seen a good amount of action in the last few games.
Counterpoint: HOMER. I’m going with Falcons GM, General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. In one season, he has turned a 4-12 team into a NFC South Playoff contender and has a franchise QB, rebuilt O-line, diverse running attack and quick strike receivers.
Final Word: Fine Dimitroff gets this. But Reese is still the man.
Disappointing Player of the Half Year
Point: LDT, a man who is no longer worthy of sharing initials with the greatest pass rusher of all time and the man who invented the sack category. LDT is on pace for 1100 yards, but most LDT fantasy owners (thankfully, this isn’t me) can tell you that this is the worst 1100 yards ever accumulated. Ironic side note, the winner of this award one year ago: Shaun Alexander. Fantastic company for LDT. Brett Favre would have won this award if anyone actually thought he wouldn’t return to his mid 00’s/Corey Webster form.
Counterpoint: Pro Bowler Derek Anderson. He showed enough last year to warrant a Pro Bowl birth and a new 3 year deal. Oops. He hasn’t been the biggest reason for the Browns to flounder but the QB must go down with that brown, shit-stained ship.
Final Word: Yeah, but
Point: Is there any doubt about this?
Counterpoint: Eh I’m going
Point: If the Titans were 8-0 with Vince Young re-enacting his Rose Bowl performance every week, then there’s a chance that another team would have won this award, but how can a Kerry Collins-led 8-0 team not get this award?
Counterpoint: Falcons. The Titans were a playoff team last year with Vinsanity and many people even argued Collins was the better QB.
Final Word: Let’s call this a draw. The Falcons are a surprise, but probably won’t make the playoffs. And if the Falcons make the playoffs, they’re going to lose badly to an NFC East team.
Point: Mahatma and I had this conversation a few nights ago, and I think we’re both going to agree that if our prediction of Giants/Steelers comes through, the blog might divide in two with an all-out bidding war for SHMUCK and MissMet.
Counterpoint: Sure why not. I did say this Friday but this was before the Steelers played the Colts and looked like piss in the process. You know damn well it’s going to be the Colts or Patriots once again.
Final Word: Let’s call it Giants/Steelers, and the end of SUS as we know it.
And now some awards not provided by your more “socially accepted” media outlets:
I’ll believe it when I see them lying in a 53 man casket: My near Super Bowl Prediction: Giants/Patriots. In a year when EVERYONE in the AFC has taken a step back, you’re telling me you can’t see Belichek coaching the Patriots to a few wins in the playoffs? Some would say the loss of their offensive and defensive mvps along with 5 running backs might say something differently. Either way, I’m scared.
2 years of greatness doth not a genius make: Can we stop calling Mike Shanahan a great coach at some point in the near future? He’s been nothing but average without John Elway, and even with a great quarterback, his team has a Marino-era-Dolphins like running game and defense.
Somewhere, Drew Bledsoe laughs into his burger: Tony Romo’s season.
The Cinderella award: To Jets fans. But not because of the fairy tale, but because that bad 80’s band wrote Don’t Know What You Got Till It’s Gone, which should be the music for any Chad Pennington Jets montage, regardless of how they do vs the Pats.
But on the bright side...:…the Jets are holding an open competition for the title of ‘high first round bust’ between D’Brickshaw and Gholston.
And for next year: Corey Webster’s going to be a free agent. What are the odds that the Jets try and please Brett Favre by signing him and turning him into a WR?
Didn’t see this coming…oh wait, yes I did: The Norv Turner Chargers, underachieving once more.
But if you talk to the locals, it’s all on his predecessor’s shoulders: Who knew that once Joe Gibbs left D.C., the ‘Skins would do so well…you know, besides most football fans.
What if Philly follows
The Godfather 3 Award: The one year no one has the Panthers as a sleeper team, they become just that.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
So we're about a dozen games into the NHL season, and things are starting to finally flesh out. Some teams have soared and some have crashed. So I'll give some of my thoughts on what's happened so far.
-First off, the first dozen games of the NHL season are, I dont want to say a wash, but they're not as indicative as you would think. What's that mean? Well if you're a Rangers fan that may mean your team's great start is an aberration. If you're a Flyers fan it may mean your dismal showing will be a thing of the past. Or things may not change at all. You really need to give teams about a dozen games before everything starts to get set. I still remember about five, six years ago where the Islanders started off 10-0 and Marius Czerkawski had ten goals in that span. At the end of the regular season the Isles barely got into the playoffs and Czerkawski had something like fifteen goals that year. Point is, dont be so sure your team's current trend will continue.
-Martin Brodeur has suffered an elbow injury and is out 3-4 months. Many think the Devils are screwed. I dont. The Devils are the Devils no matter who is on that team. I'm not saying talent doesnt help, but through this team has endured injuries and free agent losses and always makes the playoffs. Weekes isnt a bad goalie either, but is probably a bit rusty. The Devils are still going to play well, and frankly if they make the playoffs this injury could be a blessing. Lou has run Brodeur into the ground every year playing him 70+ games, and his aging body can no longer keep up. Since the lockout he has look tired in the playoffs. If he gets 3-4 months rest, he could be very energized in the post season unlike recent years.
-Speaking of goalies, ouch for the Isles. DiPietro has had knee and hip problems this year already. Seeing as how he was the Isles best hope at mediocrity, this injury hurts. And it doesnt bode well for the future as the injuries are after an off seasons rest. That 15 year deal is starting to look a bit risky now, huh?
-It's hard not to watch the Pens and get angry, and Mahatma will agree. The team isnt as good as last year, but with the talent they have they should do so much better. Just the sight of Michel Therrien angers me and my curry friend. Its tough knowing that your team is just being dragged down by an idiot.
-People need to stop thinking trades are going to happen early in the season. Or, more specific, big trades. With the salary cap teams have a lot more trouble moving players, needing to leave space for the deadline and the next year. Yet rumor mongers persist like one is gong to happen at any moment. It's not. Never listen to rumor mongers and definitely dont hold your breath on a deal. The most recent deal is a rarity and one shouldnt expect these to keep happening.
-Hockey is no exception from Meddling Owner Syndrome. Tampa Bay is the latest casualty of this. During the summer the owners came in and made sweeping changes, overhauling the roster. The only problem is they didnt really address what they needed. They did get some scoring forwards, but all they did was sign forwards, not addressing their blue line. They dealt their anchor in Dan Boyle, and the main young defenseman they got in return they just dealt to Philly. Andrej Meszaros for reason they thought could anchor the blue line, has struggled while the two defensemen they dealt for him in Philip Kuba and Alex Picard are both playing well in Ottawa. Of course, there was also that hiring of a head coach who hasnt been behind the bench in almost fifteen years. When will owners learn just to stay out of the day to day affairs? You have a GM for a reason.
Here we are, 10 weeks into the season, every team having played 9 games. Some teams are starting to rise to the top, some teams are falling behind, and the NFL is almost starting to sort itself out. Wait, did I say the NFL? I meant the NFC. The AFC is still a clusterfuck. All that said, it’s time to engage in Offensive MVP (AFC)
Offensive MVP (AFC)
Point: This is kind of difficult, if only because pretty much every team in this conference except for the Steelers and Bengals have 4-6 wins. That said, if the Broncos kept Jake the Snake as their quarterback this year, they’d probably be no better than 3-6. Cutler is quickly establishing himself as a slightly better choice than his ’06 draft peers of Vince Young and Matt Leinart. Unlike the latter two, Cutler does the little things, like start games. And with Denver’s chop block karma starting to come back and haunt them in the form of 15 hurt rb’s, and a lousy defense, Cutler and the passing attack is the only reason that Denver will take the division with a ’73 Dolphinsesque 9-7. Also, some love for Ben, without whom Pitt would be led by Byron Leftwich, he of the Hideo Nomo windup.
Counterpoint: Cutler would have been it if the award was awarded during the first 3 weeks of the year but sadly it hasn’t. Thus, give me Jones who is the most consistent out a sorely inconsistent bunch. Up until the last month, I’d say Ben Roeth but he has apparently slipped into a Derek Anderson type void that will take some time to get out of.
Final Word: Wait, Brett Favre isn’t the Jets running back? I’m going with Cutler, if only because the Broncos have a better chance of making the playoffs and a MUCH worse defense.
Offensive MVP (NFC)
Point: For a guy who dresses up for press conferences like they’re masquerade balls, has anyone had a quieter near-1,000 yard first half than
Counterpoint: I’m going to go with Michael Turner here. He was the big off-season pickup and has helped rejuvenate a 4 win team into the cusp of the playoffs. If you consider that fact that he is behind a rookie QB and has to deal with constant 9-10 man fronts, you’d have to consider his stats and impact to be well worth the price paid. Consideration should also be made for Kurt Warner who has led to the Cardinals finally becoming relevant. He is running an offense that really has not had much of a running game, lost one of his receivers for a couple of weeks, and still turned the Cardinals into a respectable team, which is not an easy feat. Be honest.
Final Word: I’ll give it to Turner, but let the record show that any teammate who has harsh words with Jeremiah Charles Shockey is ok with me.
Defensive MVP (AFC)
Point: I don’t care how many times the Titans appear on television, I’m still not going to even attempt to learn anything about their players other than if you mess with Albert Haynesworth, you’re gonna get cleated. But they’re 8-0 with Kerry Collins, so I guess someone on their defense should get some props. That said, Mahatma can name anyone but Vernon Gholston, and I’ll probably agree with him.
Counterpoint: Haynesworth…if I see Bob Sanders anywhere on the list, I’m going to puke.
Final Word: Oh…so Haynesworth it is, I suppose.
Defensive MVP (NFC)
Point: Please. This is easy. My top 3: #1 Justin Tuck. #2 Fred Robbins, who may actually be more responsible for Tucks’ success than Tuck himself. #3 Brad Johnson, because no one helps a defense more than this guy, just ask Corey Webster. Mahatma, even if you make a credible argument for anyone else in the NFC, I’m pulling rank in the final word on this one.
Counterpoint: I’ll go Tuck here also. He’s been the poster boy for the Gmen’s dominant defense and has helped turned Corey Webster into a respectable corner.
Final Word: Corey Webster is a Pro Bowl Cornerback. Not the Defensive MVP, but a pro bowl cornerback.
Offensive Rookie of the Half Year
Point: Chris Johnson is real good, probably the best player on the Titans’ offense. But Matt Ryan is leading the Falcons to a playoff birth, and good rookie rb’s are much more prevalent than good rookie qb’s. Will this end badly when he gets destroyed by an NFC East pass rush in the first or second round of the playoffs? Absolutely. But that’s not the point.
Counterpoint: Chris Johnson is leading the Titans to the playoffs also without the benefit of a passing game. Sure he has adequate support in Lendale White but Ryan gets tremendous help from Turner, Roddy White, etc. The supporting cast is better on the Falcons and thus I’m going with Johnson.
Final Word: The official SUS pick here is Ryan, because again, how many rookie quarterbacks are anything but embarrassing under center?
Defensive Rookie of the Half Year
Point: Chris Long is having a pretty solid season, on pace for 8 sacks. But every time Kenny Phillips makes a tackle or solid defensive play in general, I envision Brian Dawkins in a big f’in blue jersey. So Kenny gets it for me.
Counterpoint: Sorry homes but shouldn’t the award go to someone that starts? For me, I’d go with Patriots, Jerod Mayo. He’s not making the plays that Patrick Willis did last year but he does collect a lot of tackles. At this point, there is no one else out there.
Final Word: I’ll go Jerod Mayo, but by the end of the season, and more importantly, 5 years from now, we’ll be saying that Kenny Phillips was the best defensive player from this draft.
Hi everyone. Remember me? MissMet. I know, I've been kinda missing in the blogosphere lately, I just didn't have anything much to say that is sports-related. I could talk about the joys of turning 26, looking for a job and of course, helping to elect a president, but those are boring, depressing and have been done by everyone else in that order. So, I have been watching Pardon the Interruption, scanning the Bottom Line for baseball news relevant to me and checking metsblog.com for any type of noteworthy off-season news for anything worth my time for writing and your time for reading.
Today, my good friend* Johan Santana was robbed of the National League Cy Young Award. I went into the day not only hoping that he would win, but truly thinking that he deserved to win. You might think that this is because I am a Mets fan, and well, you'd be right (duh), but only partially right. Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog agrees with me (or maybe I agree with him...potato, potahto) when he said, "The way I see it, Santana should win the Cy Young Award because no other pitcher in the league was on the mound longer, and no other pitcher had a lower ERA over the course of the entire season – and to me, that’s what it’s all about." I was not surprised, however, to see that Cy went to Tim Lincecum of the Giants of San Francisco. Even though I thought Johan deserved it, I also thought that he wouldn't get it. During PTI tonight, Mike Wilbon and guest host Rick Reilly mentioned winner Lincecum, 2nd place finisher Brandon Webb and 5th place finisher CC Sabathia, while they quietly grazed over Senor Santana. CC didn't deserve to win because he split his season between the two leagues and Reilly correctly stated that teams possibly would have fared better against him had they faced him more than one or two times. Later, on Sportscenter, voice of reason Peter Gammons said that he could easily have seen Lincecum, Webb or Santana win, but believes that Johan's expectations got in the way of him winning. Personally, I think that Santana (16-7, 2.52 ERA, 234.1 IP), who led the National League not only in ERA but also in Quality Starts and innings pitched should have won it. How about the complete-game shut-out that kept the Mets in the playoff race on three days' rest (at least till they lost the next day)? Imagine also, what would be if the 'beloved' bullpen had not blown leads in seven of Santana's games. He could have been right up there with Webb's league leading 22 wins. Coulda woulda shoulda. Maybe Jerry Manuel will get some love tomorrow, when the AL and NL Managers of the Year are announced. The good news is that Carlos Beltran won his third outfield Gold Glove, while David Wright picked up his second at 3rd base.
Also look at CitiField!!
*Johan and I are not, in fact, good friends, just acquaintences from back in the day in Venezuela...
Because it's not worth winning if you can't win big!
Much credit to the offensive line for Favre going untouched the last 2 games. This was huge considering the beating he was taking from previous weeks before. The Jets are going to need some Favre magic this Thursday in Foxboro. It definitely looks like the offensive line is starting to gel as a unit and it couldn’t come at a better time.
With the defense playing another solid football game Favre wasn’t forced to make any erratic throws. He actually looked comfortable sitting in the pocket waiting for receivers to get open. It was also very nice to see Favre hook-up with Dustin Keller who had 100yds+ receiving and a touchdown.
I don’t care what the mock drafts said earlier this year about how the Jets need Darren McFadden, Thomas Jones has done just fine. He ranks 5th in the league in rushing and has 9 total TD’s scored this season, 8 more than all of last season. He’s starting to run the ball harder and find the holes more. The one-two punch of Jones and Washington is dangerous but if either one goes down with an injury then there is a problem.
The secondary has been the Jets weakness on defense this season. But this is understandable since the Jets are starting rookie Dwight Lowery at LCB. Teams have been exploiting Lowery while throwing away from Kerry Rhodes' direction. Abram Elam has been a bright spot these last 2 weeks replacing Eric Smith. He’s a lot quicker to the ball, not the best tackler but has made two big turnovers that have lead to defensive touchdowns for gang green. You have to wonder, had he been starting the previous 8 games this season if some of the outcomes (OAKLAND) could have been different.
Kris Jenkins is a force to be reckoned with. John Fox must be kicking himself in the face after letting him go for only 3rd and 5th round draft picks. Man might be fat, but he sure as hell ain’t overrated. He along with the rest of the Jets applied pressure all day long. The offensive line had no answer for the Jets pass rush leaving Marc Bulger and Trent Green no time to throw the ball downfield.
Prior to these last two games the Jets had 1 turnover in a 3-game span; these last two weeks the Jets have 8, not too shabby.
Tune in next week when Leon might return a punt or more than 2 kickoffs
Kudos to Brian Schottenheimer for finally listening to his critics and take what the defense(s) gives you. More running plays against weak run defenses tend to work….diiick! And considering Favre is favoring some kind of arm injury it’s good that he’s not throwing the ball more than 30 times a game.
Sutton and Mangini have got the defense in a nice groove. But why were 90% of the starters still in the game come the 4th quarter? If I were the coach and its 40-0 at halftime I’d bench myself. Give Clemens a shot at the ball if he’s still considered the future. Rest the defense especially because of the short week coming up against the Massholes. Other than that it was superb play calling. With Steven Jackson out the Jets didn’t have to put more than 7 in the box to stop the run, they could focus more on the pass and they certainly did that disrupting the Rams QB’s all game.
Here’s how I see it: Jets win in New England and in Tennessee and the papers will read Jets/Giants Superbowl. Odds of this happening are pretty slim considering the Jets have played well for 2 games in a row while the Pats and Titans have done it consistently throughout the season. Still, if the Jets can go .500 in the next 4 games (NE, TENN, DEN, SF) they will definitley make the playoffs. I don’t know. This team is so unpredictable that they could beat the Titans and Pats and lose the rest of the way. God, it sucks being a Jet fan.
Monday, November 10, 2008
A few thoughts about Giants/Eagles while looking up the average weather in Tampa in February...
Location: Blondie's on UES.
I started going to this place because I have a few friends, including White Boy, who live in this area, and a lady friend of mine, Julie watched the playoff run here last year. The atmosphere is solid in general. (except there was some Douchebag who kept shouting 'Er-ic Lin-dros!!!' after the Eagles took the lead) But I'm starting to question why we keep going to a bar that doesn't have real substantive drink or food specials ($10 domestic pitchers) or any high-definition tvs. That said, I'm 3-0 here and 0-1 in other sports bars this season, so Blondie's it remains. Let's recap the game, shall we?
There's a phrase that describes 3 running backs, each of which average more than 5 yards per carry: the best offensive line in football. If this running game keeps up, I'm going to have to start illegally downloading some Earth, Wind, & Fire songs. Could I have done without all of the fumbles? Absolutely, but if there's one thing that my boy Atiim Kiambu Hakeem-ah has taught Giant fans, it's that fumbling problems can be overcome by good coaching. And it's probably easier to teach a running back to not fumble than to average 5+ yards per carry, so I'll take it.
And Eli was his usual self: unspectacular, but good enough to get the job done when it was necessary. He tends to panic unnecessarily when teams blitz, dumping off the ball more quickly than necessary, but it's still pretty tough to complain about the results. Sure, he threw a bad interception to begin the game, but the Eagles have a solid defense, and props need to occasionally be given to them.
Oh, and if the Eagles were able to score with more than a minute left, I have no doubt that Eli would have set the Giants up for a game winning score.
Time to fellate the O-Line one more time. This team has faced the Steelers who are either at or near the top of the league in sacks, and the Eagles also have a bruising pass rush this year. And they combined to sack Eli once.
I think I've said this before, but Eli's career seems to be heading in more of a Phil Simms direction (good, smart, occasionally spectacular qb who will win games) than a Peyton direction (great qb, great stats). That said, if Eli continues to play at a Phil Simms level, he will have more rings than his brother. I don't want to get into an Eli/Peyton argument other than to say that I'm quite ok with Elisha.
So here' s my question, given that teams are going to start gearing to stop our running game: teams are going to have to start putting 8 guys in the box against this running game, no? If that happens, how is Plaxico not going to be one on one occasionally? And if Plax is doubled, and there's 8 men in the box, that leaves Toomer, Smith and/or Hixon going against a linebacker or safety, no? But then if you bring Toomer, Smith, and/or Hixon into the game, you can't keep 8 men in the box, right? Look, NFL defensive coordinators probably have better answers than me for those questions, but I'm just saying, the Giants offense creates obscene matchup problems for defensive coordinators.
And in breaking news, the Giants D isn't exactly a virtual bye week for opposing offensive coordinators either.
For a game in which the Giants pass rush didn't sack McNabb, he sure had a lousy game, especially in the first half. Without Desean Jackson, who truly is a unique player, the Eagles wouldn't have scored more than 20 points.
And screw it, some detractors (See: Mahatma) have said that the Giant secondary is only good because of their pass rush. But what if the secondary is actually good? They didn't give up a whole lot of big plays, and that was without the front 7 registering a sack. And nice to see Grandpa Madison get his interception, filling in for Dockery. I've said it before, I'll say it again-there's no way that Madison got so bad this offseason that he's worse than Dockery this year. Erroneous.
Remember Brian Westbrook, most dangerous RB in the NFL? Sorry for the off-week, fantasy owners. He'll be back next week. Oh, and you may not want to start either of the Rice/McGahee combo this weekend either. By the way, the Giants can stop the run too. Especially on 4th down.
Maybe it's this Giants defense or maybe it's just an indicator of how far McNabb's star has fallen, but I never felt that the Giants were going to lose this game once they pulled ahead for the final time. Even on their final drive, I had a feeling that a Giant CB was going to make a play to save the game, even if I'm not sure which one would do it. That said, I'll take a 4th down stop by Chase "Devo" Blackburn.
And what's the deal with McNabb being unable to conduct a 2 minute drill without being winded? Sure, he may spend a lot of time scrambling, but I don't remember this being a problem for Steve Young Michael Vick or other running qb's.
Nothing new to report here, just another game of Feagles pinning the opposition inside the 20 for a good amount of the game and Hixon breaking a touchdown that was called back due to a block in the back. Business as usual for this underrated unit.
So we can get on Gilbride for always putting Eli in shotgun, including shotgun draws that everyone knows are coming. Or we can realize that Gilbride's awful play calling has helped the Giants put up 36 points on the Eagles. All in all, I'm going to stop giving the coaching staff crap until we lose another game.
As I said last week, if this team isn't going to lose a road game at night to a damn good Philly team, when the hell are they going to lose? The Giants may or may not go 15-1 this year, but I don't see them having a tougher game on their schedule than at Philly on a Sunday night. Anything is possible, but it's tough to imagine the Giants not winning the division, with a lead of 2 over the Skins and 3 over the Cowboys and Eagles. For that matter, as tough as the Giants schedule is, it's tough to imagine them being worse than 13-3, 12-4 worst if injuries are kept to a minimum. I'd be surprised if they weren't the #1 seed for the playoffs. I know the #1 seed prediction isn't shocking, given their 8-1 record, but it's still nice to see in written form.
And not that it has anything to do with anything, but....
Say hello to your College Hockey #1 Boston University Terriers!
San Francisco (+9.5) over ARIZONA
If Mike Singletary is able to motivate his players to a victory over the heavily favored, imagine what Jersey City Councilman Steven Lipski can do for the people of Jersey City? Lipski, not wanting to miss one minute of Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra, decided that the best toilet was those on the first floor of the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. If the 49ers win tonight after Singletary's actions, and the urban renaissance of Jersey City continues after Lipski's actions, the players on Devo's Dumbasses should be very afraid of what shenanigans I may pull to motivate the troops come fantasy playoffs time.
San Francisco 24
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Props to Chris "Nobel Prize Laureate" Berman for this gem: "By the end of the day some teams could also find themselves victorious."
And I'll go one step further and say that the percentage of teams to find themselves victorious will probably be somewhere between 49% and 51%. Thanks for the insight Boomer, now find some way to give me the two minutes of my life back that was spent listening to your drivel. When I was younger, I was always angry that I had to be in hebrew school during NFL pregame shows. Then I turned 18, and spent those precious hours before kickoff sleeping off hangovers.
Today, upon waking up at a reasonable due to a lack of drinking last night, I had an epiphany: I need to start drinking more so that I can avoid NFL pregame shows. (Or at least get a hobby. But drinking seems easier and less thought-intensive.) There's a reason that I loved NFL pregame shows when I was in middle school: those shows clearly spoke to my 6th grade level of intelligence!
And don't get me started on the CBS and FOX "LOUD NOISES!" Pregame shows.
Have I, Devo, spoken to BH recently? Technically speaking, maybe. Here's a message he may or may not have wanted me to bestow upon you, SUS nation:
From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 to Super Bowl XXXV, we as a nation have prided ourselves on being able to overcome moments of great loss. But friends, as I write to you today, I simply don't know if I can live with myself in a world where a great hero like John McCain is unjustly denied his rightful spot upon the presidential throne. Shed not a tear for BH, for I will get by; but I don't know if I will ever be able to find my appropriate blogging voice with a socialist in the White House.
Shame on you, America, for you denied a great man and an even hotter woman a chance to make history in this great nation of ours. And let me leave you with a question: With a black man in the White House, how am I supposed to tell lil' BH that he can one day become president when lil BH sees a man who looks nothing like him?
God Bless the USA and no one else.
Welcome once again to SUS's 2nd newest weekly literary feature, The Fredo Picks. BH is unavailable because he's going on a hunger strike until John McCain is placed in his rightful place at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, so it's Devo v. Mahatma this week.
Baltimore (-1) at Houston
Devo: In a duel between The Wire's Omar and your random Wild West Bandit (WWB) WWB tries to take 5 steps away before turning around and firing. Omar puts a shotgun shell in his back by step #2. Pick:
Mahatma: Chances are Omar makes out with the WWB and gets shot by WWB’s brokeback partner. Pick:
Devo: You'll be hard pressed to find a Fredo pick against
Seattle (+8.5) at
Jacksonville (-6.5) at Detroit
Devo: I'm not saying that we at Fredo picks are having trouble finding new ways to point out
that Detroit as a city sucks, but if Roger Goddell gets rid of the Lions, we at Fredo Picks will be doing backflips to celebrate. Pick: