Monday, November 29, 2010

A Colts Obituary

The time has come. I've actually been planning to write this article for a couple of weeks because I fully expected that it would be necessary, and rest assured, as a Colts fan it is painful for me to write it. It's over for the most part. The Colts are dead. They still have a good chance to make the playoffs, and once they do that, all bets are off. However, the odds of them making a run in the playoffs are slim to none. They just aren't a good team.

I hate to harp on my Nostradamus moment after the Week 1 loss to the Texans, but I came out of that game predicting that the Colts were going to be bad this year. How could a team that hadn't won less than twelve games since 2002 make me come up with that prediction after one game? Easy. The biggest liability of the past three years wasn't addressed in the offseason. People who don't watch the Colts regularly probably all think I am talking about the defense, but the answer lies on the other side of the ball.

Anyone who has watched the Colts offense on a regular basis over the past decade has (or should have) noticed a startling trend. Starting in 2008, the Colts have gone from a quick strike, dynamic offense to a one-dimensional, dink and dunk, short passing offense with no running game. The lack of a running game has been noticed by all as the Colts have finished at the bottom of the league in every rushing statistic over that three year period. What hasn't generally been noticed is the huge transformation in the passing game. The Colts are no longer a threat to go deep because there just is not enough time to let those routes develop. Don't believe me? From 2003-2007, the Colts were never below 5th in the NFL in Yards Per Attempt. Since then, they haven't cracked the top 10, and this year, they are 22nd. Is it a coincidence that over that three year period, the Colts have dropped to the bottom of the league in rushing while also taken a big tumble in YPA? I don't think so.

The reason that the O-Line hasn't been mentioned as being the true cause of the Colts issues is simple. People look at the stats and see that the Colts have been at the top of the league in fewest sacks given up throughout the past decade. What seems to go unnoticed is that QBs can have a huge impact on sack totals. The Steelers with Roethlisberger at the helm have consistently given up tons of sacks placing in the top five in 2008 and 2009. However, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would make the claim that their O-Line was terrible at pass protection. The true reason is that Big Ben has a tendency to hold onto the ball for way too long. Now on the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Peyton Manning. He gets rid of the ball so quickly that he can cover up most of the flaws in pass protection (at least to the point of not taking sacks). That doesn't mean he isn't constantly dealing with pressure as last night showed. The Chargers only managed to sack Manning once, and just looking at that stat, you would think the O-Line held its own against the Chargers' pass rush. Nothing could be further from the truth. NBC did a good job of showing the issues that come with an offensive line that can't block. The passing timer showed that Peyton was consistently forced to get rid of the ball in under two seconds if he didn't want to get hit. That just isn't enough time to allow the deep plays to develop, and even worse, it isn't enough time to go through the progressions to find secondary targets if the primary target is covered.

Enter Bill Polian. The supposed mastermind of the Colts dominance in recent memory seems to have lost his mind. After the Super Bowl, Polian was extremely critical of the O-Line's performance. So naturally one would expect him to retool it during the offseason right? Of course not. The only changes made were drafting a guard in the 4th round and cutting a starting guard. How exactly is that going to improve the line by any measure? He addressed the swinging gates they start at both left and right tackle by passing on two tackles in the first round, then not even drafting one. It seems Polian has fallen into the trap of taking Manning for granted, and the team is paying for it.

Another issue with the passing game seems to be the complete lack of effort shown by Reggie Wayne and the incredible fall of Pierre Garcon. I just don't understand Reggie. He seems to have mailed it in since he refused to run an actual route on the infamous Tracy Porter pick six in the Super Bowl. I've lost count how many times I've seen Reggie run a lazy route or drop a ball that hits him in the hands. Given the decimated receiving corps, you would expect a true competitor to up his intensity and do whatever it takes to help the team win. Well, someone tell that to Mr. Wayne because he just doesn't seem to be grasping it.

As for Pierre Garcon, he has been terrible. Whether it be him being totally out of sync with Peyton or dropping balls left and right, all that needs to be said about the horrendous season he is having can be found here. On the other hand, at least he tries hard.

Then you have Peyton's struggles. He has made some uncharacteristic mistakes over the past two weeks, and it has become pretty obvious that he is pressing. As was discussed here, the best way to get to Peyton is to make him press and think he has to put the team on his back. If a team can make him feel like he has to win the game by himself, they can lure him into taking risks that he normally wouldn't take. At this point, it's pretty obvious that the Colts can't beat good teams unless he has a basically perfect game.

The Colts have become a one dimensional offensive team, but it really ends up being more of a 2/3 dimensional offense. With no deep threat and no running game, teams only have to play the pass and they can jump underneath routes with little risk. Throw in the fact that the Colts went into the San Diego with the second most dropped passes (Then they dropped everything in sight during the game), and you have a recipe for disaster. That's what we are seeing this year, without a doubt.

The unfortunate part is that the major injury issues that have plagued the Colts all year have avoided the O-Line. The Colts are assured to correct plenty of flaws as the players get healthy, but there is nothing to look forward to with the O-Line. The only hope is that the actual players get better because there is no help on the horizon.

Here are a couple of links discussing last night's game.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Week 12 Picks and Links

Here are some holiday links with our picks at the bottom. Enjoy

If anyone missed the Chris Henry story on CBS, it's awesome. Brought James Brown to tears on the live broadcast.

McDaniels coached where before he got his current job? O, that's right...

Someone created this mix of Jordan and Lebron. It's awesome

Jeter can't be serious with this. Here's another take.

Funny tweet of the week

Who wins, Vince or Fisher?

An insider article on Michael Vick being the beneficiary of a lot of luck so far. Don't agree with some of the points, but the huge bad decision % is pretty interesting

Exactly how did this city get the 2016 Olympics? Outrageous

Hopefully Randall Cobb can carry UK to victory today. End the streak!

Josh Selby takes almost $5,000 from Camelo's business manager and only get suspended 9 games. Enes Kanter takes money (a scholarship) to pay for his education and gets ruled PERMANENTLY ineligible. Even better, Selby (Or basically Kansas) can pay the money back from his scholarship. Kanter can't pay his back, though. Make sense?

ESPN's scoreboard showed Washington blowing out UK in the Maui semifinals. The problem? The game hadn't been played yet.

Bruce Pearl is just like Jesus....Or so his wife believes.

Daugherty - NE -6.5 over DET
Karwatt - Detroit + 6.5 over NE

Daugherty - NO -3.5 over Dallas
Karwatt - NO -3.5 over Dallas

Daugherty - Jets -9.5 over Cincy
Karwatt - Cincy+9.5 over jets

Daugherty - Wash +3
Karwatt - Wash +3

Daugherty - Pitt -7
Karwatt - Buffalo+7

Daugherty - Tenn +7
Karwatt - Hou-7

Daugherty - Car +10.5
Karwatt - Car +10.5

Daugherty - Bal -8.5
Karwatt - TB +8.5

Daugherty - NYG -8 
Karwatt - NYG -8

Daugherty - Philly -3.5
Karwatt - Philly -3.5

Daugherty - ATL -2
Karwatt - GB +2

Daugherty - OAK -3
Karwatt - Mia +3

Daugherty - SEA +2
Karwatt - KC -2

Daugherty - STL +3.5 
Karwatt - STL +3.5

Daugherty - Indy -3
Karwatt - SD +3

Daugherty - SF -1.5
Karwatt - SF -1.5

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week 11 Picks

This is a vacation shortened picks post. Sorry everyone. As compensation, I offer you this.

Pittsburgh vs. Oakland

Daugherty - OAK +7.5
Karwatt Oak+7.5
Pittsburg looks to be going toward another disastrous end of the year.  Oakland is getting better every week

Houston vs. New York Jets

Daugherty - Jets -7
Karwatt - Houston +7
The Jets havent won by 7 in a while.  At some point they have to stop getting lucky

Baltimore vs. Carolina

Daugherty - Baltimore -10
Karwatt - Baltimore -10
Carolina's qb enough said

Washington vs. Tennessee

Daugherty - Tennessee -7
Karwatt - Wash +7
Washington should bounce back.  Vince Young's immaturity will hurt the team eventually

Dallas vs. Detroit

Daugherty - Dallas -6.5
Karwatt - Dallas-6.5 
Dallas will win now that it doesn't matter and they are all done

Minnesota vs. Green Bay

Daugherty - Minn +2.5
Karwatt - Green Bay -2.5  
Brett Favre no longer gives Minnesota the best chance to win.  Why that organization puts up with his tired drama queen BS, I have no idea. It is one thing if he is good, but 21 turnovers isn't very good in a season, let alone a half of a season.

Cincinnati vs. Buffalo

Daugherty - Cincinnati -5.5
Karwatt - Cincy - 5.5 
Buffalo got their one win last week, no need to play anymore they have Andrew Luck in their sights.

Cleveland vs. Jacksonville

Daugherty - Cleveland +2
Karwatt - Cleveland + 2
No hail marys this week....

Kansas City vs. Arizona
Daugherty - KC -7
Karwatt - KC-7
Kansas City should bounce back nicely this week.  Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry and co should get their hands on a few balls from Derek Anderson.

New Orleans vs. Seattle

Daugherty - Seattle +11.5
Karwatt - NO- 11.5
NO looks like they may be getting it together, in an attampt to run down the Facons. Seattle looks like they want to run down the Bills in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Atlanta vs. St. Louis

Daugherty - ATL -3
Karwatt - Atl-3
RODDY WHITE....Here is your chance Atlanta to play a good game outside of the dome.

Tampa Bay vs. San Francisco

Daugherty - TB +3
Karwatt - TB+3
The BUCS should win this one straight up.  Im a believer in the BUCS like JC.  Coach Ra has them buying in.

New England vs. Indianapolis

Daugherty - Indy +3
Karwatt - NE-3
Too many injuries to overcome.  NE will throw short passes all game not allowing freeney and mathis to be a factor.  Brady will be getting the ball out quick to wide open receivers, then the media will be on his jock all week again.

Philadelphia vs. New York Giants

Daugherty - NYG +2.5 
Karwatt - Philly-2.5
MV as in Mike Vick playin like MVP.

Denver vs. San Diego

Daugherty - Denver +10
Karwatt - Denver +10
San diego is too bad to blow anyone out.  However, my MVP Phil Rivers will light it up like always. 

Daugherty - Baltimore -10
Karwatt - Nothing

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cam Newton Updates

Since this has begun to take off, I figured that I would just make a post dedicated to updating the stories that keep coming out about the FBI's involvement in the investigation.

UPDATE 7: LSU Message Board has a HUGE post detailing information of all aspects of this story. Showcases how this could go WAAAAAY beyond Cam's eligibility.

UPDATE 6: A very good summation of what we know so far has been posted over at The Big Lead. Check it out.

Aside from what has been mentioned in previous updates, here are a couple of good points made in the article:

This sums up my biggest question regarding Cam ending up at Auburn
Mississippi State refused Cecil Newton’s offer. Cam Newton broke off his pact with Dan Mullen at Mississippi State in mid-December, made a quickie visit to Auburn and committed, at Cecil Newton’s behest, on Dec. 31, 2009. Allegedly, he apologized to a Mississippi State recruiter, stating he chose Auburn because the money was “too much.”
Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate. Unless Cam was simply was gobsmacked by Gene Chizik’s charisma, the simplest explanation for that series of events is someone at Auburn was willing to put a smile on Cecil Newton’s face. A recent TMZ report suggests that’s where the authorities are moving.
Another interesting statement about the recruiting success
We will learn all about how recruiting specialist Trooper Taylor landed a Top 5 recruiting class in 2010, a year after Auburn barely cracked the recruiting Top 25 and went 7-5, losing five of their last six in the SEC in 2009."

UPDATE 5: NCAA also states that it will expedite the Newton case since he is in the middle of his season. One would hope the ruling comes down before the BCS championship is announced.

UPDATE 4: Text messages and voice mails have been/are going to be shared with the NCAA. The texts reportedly outline a payment plan that Cecil Newton required in order to get Cam to sign a letter of intent

UPDATE 3: Possible problems for Auburn.
Considering one of the school's mega-boosters has already been indicted for bribery, and Auburn's Private Athletics Fund has contributed somewhere around $1 million to one of the lobbyist firms that is under investigation, the FBI investigation is likely to accomplish what the NCAA may not have been able to accomplish. Since the Athletics fund is private, they do not have to disclose financial records, but an FBI investigation will obviously involve those records. If the FBI investigation leads to the fund's records, they will not be private long, and when they are brought out, Auburn's dirty laundry will all come out with them.....Including any dealings with Cam.

UPDATE 2: The FBI's investigation that led to multiple bribery indictments in the Alabama State Congress along with several lobbyists for the gambling industry has been connected to the Cam Newton investigation.


Originally it began with this post

Mini-Reactions and a Bunch of Links

As you may have noticed, the blog is slowing down a bit. As final exams approach, time comes at a premium. I'll still be posting as much material as I can, so make sure you stick with us

Big hitting 6 year olds lay the wood in this video.
This is what $100 million gets you.

And the saga of Vince Young continues. He's a joke.

I'm not certain if this is 100% accurate, but most of it seems to be. Still a good read on what Peyton Manning's responsibilities are as he walks up to the line.

The Cam Newton story keeps getting stranger. Now the FBI has joined the investigation, and it's unclear what they are actually looking for. As this tweet  and this tweet both suggest, there may be MUCH more to the story when all is said and done.

UPDATE: An interesting look into the inner-workings of the Auburn athletics budget and who oversees it. This has the potential to be epic.

Some funny Vick stuff below
Dockett's tweet.
DeSean Jackson with some classic word choice.

Just when you thought soccer was never making another appearance on the blog, I offer you this video.

As you may have noticed, I have been ripping Pierre Garcon's play at WR for some time now. Just to prove that I'm not just bitter, here's an article detailing how Garcon may be having the worst season of any Colts WR since 1999

As many of you may have heard, Colin Cowherd used his radio show to go on the war path against John Wall last week (This shows just how wrong he was). He first accused him of being a selfish player because he danced in a pre-game introduction. Then he took the first six games of a 19 year old's NBA career (one of which was a triple double no less) to write him off as a turnover machine. Lastly, Cowherd made the statement that the first thing he asks when looking at an NBA PG is "Who's your Dad?" Apparently, Wall's future as a PG is dimmer because his father died when Wall was nine years old. Nothing classier than bringing deceased family into the analysis of a basketball player's abilities.

Anyways, the explanation for this week-long rant may have emerged when Cowherd signed on to be in a CBS sitcom. I hope it was worth it Colin.

Lastly, can we please get a moratorium on Vick for MVP talk until he has A: Played a decent defense and B: Played more than four full games. So far he has faced the Lions, Redskins, Jaguars, and a Colts defense that was missing 6 starters. MOST good QBs, with healthy weapons all around them, light it up against those terrible defenses. Let's let him prove that he can stay healthy and succeed against good defenses before we crown him.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Once Again, The NCAA Proves to Be Clueless

Anyone who follows NCAA athletics should have realized by now that the NCAA is as clueless and unfair an organization as there is in any realm. Not only do they make exorbitant profits off the “student-athletes,” but they then turn around and rule with an (often unfair) iron fist. The latest saga in the unfair and ridiculous NCAA rulings might have been overlooked due to the rising storm brewing in Auburn, Alabama. The University of Kentucky had one of its best basketball players ruled ineligible in what might be the most ridiculous NCAA decision to date.

Let’s go through a quick bit of background on the situation before I launch into the meat of the analysis. Enes Kanter is a Turkish basketball player who came to the U.S. for the sole purpose of playing college basketball. He originally signed with Washington, but decommitted and ended up at UK. Kanter played three years for a European club team that had professional players on it, and he was given funds to cover expenses directly related to competition. However, the NCAA determined that he received $33,033 in funds above what his actual expenses were. These funds were used to pay for tutors and educational expenses while the remainder was kept in the account in case it needed to be repaid.

When evaluating a player’s amateur status, the NCAA has generally sought to determine whether the player had the intent to be an amateur. If Enes wanted to be a professional, he would have played on the Turkish national team that lost to the United States in the World Championship this summer. The members of that team split a pot of $18 million and each were given a condominium. Now, if someone intended to be a professional, why would they skip out on that sweet deal? Why did Enes not just sign a contract with the team? The answer is obvious. He wanted to play college basketball and was determined to keep his amateur status intact. It’s not as if the U.S. offers a better route to the NBA than Europe because every year multiple European players go in the draft.

The NCAA based its ruling on the $33,033 that it decided was in excess of Kanter’s actual expenses. Let’s think about that for a second. If this had occurred in the U.S., he could have gone to a private high school and gotten an athletic scholarship that paid for competition expenses, and wait for it, educational expenses. That would be perfectly acceptable for the NCAA. So, because it occurred in Europe where the basketball system is set up much differently than the U.S., Kanter is ruled ineligible thanks to him paying for his educational expenses with the money given by the club team. Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? The Kanters were even willing to pay back the money that was left over AND the money they spent on his education, but no, the NCAA wanted nothing to do with it. Sell a jersey to an agent? Fine. Just pay it back. Get money from a European basketball team for education IE a scholarship? Permanently ineligible!

Enes Kanter still has a chance to play basketball for the University of Kentucky, and that is through an appeal. The appeals committee is made up of representatives from member universities, and they are more likely to take fairness and equity into account when making their decision. There should be no reason for them not to overturn the NCAA’s eligibility decision, but I’m not getting my hopes up that justice will prevail. So goes the long lasting saga of NCAA unfairness.

This story will provide a much more in-depth look at the situation.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Week 10 Picks

Record to date
Last Week - 9-3-1

Overall - 20-17-1
Last Week - 9-3-1

Overall - 29-7-3

Colts vs. Bengals

Daugherty - Colts -7
The Bungles may play their division rivals close, but playing the Colts in Indy is a whole new ballgame. The defense is faster, and the pass rush is infinitely more vicious on the turf of Lucas Oil Stadium. Let's hope Reggie shows up and actually cares.

BTW, it's an outrage that T.O. was voted the most overrated player in the NFL. He's killing it. Plus, Chad is probably the most overrated.

Karwatt - Cincy +7
Peyton is missing too many weapons.  Collie is still napping, Tamme is good, but he isnt Dallas Clark.  Cincinatti showed some signs of offense last week.  I like a close one here Cincy covers.

Dolphins vs Tennessee

Daugherty - Titans +1
A team that has continued to disappoint and now has a new QB starting? No thanks. It'll be interesting to see how much room gets cleared out for Chris Johnson with the acquisition of Randy Moss

Karwatt - Dolphins -1
I still know the Dolphins have the talent and the right guys to be good.  If the offensive coordinator (Dan Henning) gets out of the stone age they should win.  Look for them to establish the run.  Last week Ronnie Brown had 6 carries for 43 yards on the first drive which resulted in him scoring a ten yard TD. He had 3 more carries the rest of the game.  At some point Miami will decide to take shots deep to marshall, and it starts this week in a must win game.

Vikings vs. Bears

Daugherty - Vikings +3
The Bears are so bad, and yet, they are 5-3. What a joke. Rest assured, it will be 5-4 after this week. In other news, Brett Favre isn't coming back next year. Anyone believe that's the end of the story?

Karwatt - Vikings +3  
AP all day. Cutler throwing red zone picks and getting sacked all day. The Vikes feeding AP and percy

Bills vs. Lions

Daugherty - Lions +2.5
I think Buffalo is due to get blown out. Too many heartbreaking losses. Combine that with the fact that the Bills seem to be being a bit overvalued, and this line is pretty nice for the Lions. Even without Stafford, the Lions have a revamped defense that can be vicious.

Karwatt - Bills - 2.5
If Stafford was'nt hurt i would take Detroit.  No Chan Galey does not sponsor this blog (Kenny).  At some point Buffalo gets a win, it is this week. I like Fitzpatrick a lot.

Browns vs. Jets

Daugherty - Browns +3
At what point do the Browns start getting respect? Colt McCoy outplayed Tom Brady last week, and he is really taking over as the leader of that offense. Make sure you go here and click the link about Braylon Edwards to see what kind of hatred Cleveland has waiting for him.

Karwatt - Browns +3  You could make a living betting against the Jets the last few weeks.  They are an above average team that the media loves.  They needed a missed xp by Suh to go to ot against Detroit.  Cleveland and Peyton Hillis pummelled the Brady bunch.  I know the Jets D is a lot better against the run than the Pats.  But, I also know Mark Sanchez is a fumble factory they just usually recover them.  Brownies D should give Sanchez fits.  Browns pull out another W.

Bucs vs. Panthers 

Daugherty - Bucs -6.5
The Bucs have become a favorite of mine over the last few weeks. I can't point to exactly how they do it, but they just keep fighting. Carolina on the other hand, is terrible. No DeAngelo Williams and the key to their running game, Otah, was placed on Injured Reserve. This could get ugly.

Karwatt - Bucs -6.5 
TB has Josh Freeman, Carolina has a collection of young bad QBs.  This should be a blow out.  Go Bucs shout out to JCD

Chiefs vs. Broncos 

Daugherty - Chiefs +1
Chiefs have looked a little off in recent weeks, but Denver has looked horrendous. The Broncos really play well at home as evidenced by Oakland curb stomping them a couple of weeks ago. 

Karwatt - Chiefs +1 
Vegas puts too much stock in home field advantage.  I have no idea how Denver is a favorite against anyone.

Rams vs. 49ers

Daugherty - Rams +6
Once again, Troy Smith is starting for a team that has been miserable throughout the year. The Rams have at least been decent.

Karwatt - Rams +6
St Louis + 6 at San Fran   Contrary to popular beilef San Fran sucks.  They have talent we all know that.  But Bradford looks like a star in the making, Steven Jackson is a beast.  

Cardinals vs. Seahawks

Daugherty - Seahawks +3
Seattle is generally much better at home, but they will be much healthier in this game than they were last week. Arizona has more return TDs than it does passing TDs. That's just not a recipe for success.

Karwatt - Arizona-3 over Seattle  This is a tough one.  Both teams are really hard to read.  Im counting on  LS Howling score on special teams to be the difference

Giants vs. Cowboys 

Daugherty - Giants -14
I can't believe I am picking the Giants to win by more than 14. That's the story of the Cowboys season so far. We'll see if it plummets even lower.

Karwatt - Giants -14
If anyone can get 14 points and not cover it is Dallas.  Wade Phillips is gone, good now they have some strong leadership, discipline, accountability......Wait no they don't they hired Jason Garret.  The GGGGGGG mmeeeennnnnnn will smash Kitna all day, another embarrassment for Jerry Jones

Steelers vs. Patriots

Daugherty - Pitt-4.5
The Steelers have come back to Earth, but the Patriots have followed right behind them. The Pats offense looks terrible if they can't run the ball, and when they go on the road it can get ugly. Guess what the Steelers are sure to stop? The running game.

Karwatt - Pitt -4.5
Did anyone notice how the Browns punked the Faketriots by running the ball down their throat??? Enter Mendenhall.  Look for big plays off play action from Rapelisberger to Mike Wallace.  James harrison might just give Welker a nap also.

Eagles vs. Redskins

Daugherty - Eagles -3
Who knew that Andy Reid was a genius for sending the third best QB on his roster to Washington? McNabb apparently thinks it's funny that people think he doesn't know the playbook. Meanwhile, we are all laughing at him for consistently butchering the two-minute drill. Who gets the last laugh?

Karwatt - Eagles -3
D mac isnt in shape----Im kidding that doesn't matter.  Mcnab just isnt very good.  Andy Reid knew what he was doing trading him in the division.  Vick looked like superman again last week.  Philly should be a 7 point favorite here not 3.  Btw has everyone seen the Andy Reid punt, pass and kick video.  HAHAHHAHA greatest thing I have seen in a while.  The dude was a monster at 13 years old.

Locke of the Week
Daugherty - Eagles -3
Karwatt - Eagles -3

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Links

In Honor of Veteran's Day

A follow-up to the Wheel of Fortune video

A crazy picture from Yellowstone (confirmed to be legit)

Rex Ryan is out to get his brother, Rob.

Cleveland really is a city scorned, but they owned Braylon Edwards here.

Proof the NCAA really doesn't get it when it comes to European players.

The great Keith Law's weekly chat.

One of the people dealing with Cam Newton's recruitment takes to the radio to say that Cam's dad wanted money in exchange for his son playing football at Mississippi St.

The Jeff Francoeur autobiography.

Dwight Freeney took exception to Brent Celek calling him out.

A little of Gregg Doyel's Hate Mail.

Some more Cam Newton talk.

Sports and the military intertwined to weave the tale of Pat Tillman, a true hero.

Both Karwatt and I took ATL -1 for tonight's game.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The irony of twitter and some Dolphins notes

Jason Allen of the Dolphins was cut today. I noticed his tweets today. This is kind of funny and sad at the same time.

Here is his first tweet this morning

jasonallen32 Jason Allen
Good morning to all! The type of day you'll have is your choice, so you choose what type of day you'll have. I'm going to have a great one!!

and his last tweet..
jasonallen32 Jason Allen
I just want to thank all of the loyal #dolphin fans for their support towards me during my yrs here. You'll are the best!!

Kind of ironic.

On a side note with the addition of Al Harris the Dolphins should not have cut Allen, he is one of the few dbs that can catch. They have one of the worst front offices in the NFL.

Jason Allen- 16th overall pick
Jon Beck- second round pick
Pat White- Second round pick
Ted Ginn- Top ten pick in the first round

If you draft horrible players you will never be good....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Such a Travesty

Let me begin this post by saying that I am not a Jeter hater (or fan for that matter). I'm indifferent.

That being said, the news that Derek Jeter has won his fifth Gold Glove today is an outrage. Gold Gloves might have been trending toward meaningless, but giving Jeter one seals the deal. It's a joke, and the worst part is that many people will see that Jeter won the Gold Glove and believe that he had a great defensive season.

Unfortunately, that's just not the case. In fact, using one of the main fielding metrics, Total Zone (A statistic very similar to UZR), Jeter was the WORST shortstop in MLB. Jeter also ranked sixth from last among shortstops with a -4.7 UZR (which I mentioned in my baseball statistics post). That -4.7 means that the Yankees would have been much better with almost any other shortstop in baseball.

My theory is that the coaches are trying to make the Yankees pay even more to keep Jeter, and this served as a great opportunity to inflate his value.

Since other writers have covered every angle of the this development, I decided to post links to their articles. These are all great reads

Lastly, this is a screenshot of the (The biggest MLB stats website) homepage when the awards were announced. Be sure to focus on the addition to the right of Jeter's name.

Links of The Week

Why batting average isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Wheel of Fortune Craziness.

This is why you should follow the fake celebrity accounts on Twitter.

T.O. continues his dominance and adds a classic dance.

Maybe Rex Ryan really has walked over tougher guys than Channing Crowder going to a fight.

This insanity is what results from a website trying to fan the flames to get more hits. We would never do such a thing.

Gregg Doyel with a fantastic piece on Cam Newton.

Always fun to laugh at Tennessee, so I better get it out of the way before UK loses to ETSU Friday.

An NBA player shows his knowledge of the length of games.

Finally, baseball fans can look forward to having an enlightening (hopefully) Sunday Night Baseball booth again.

Fake Jamarcus has his priorities in order.

One of the best commercials of the year. Picking up my copy of Black Ops today.

Brace yourself for a post blasting the Yankees if the Jeter contract negotiations end up like sources are saying.

Keith Law's Top 50 MLB Free Agents. Must have ESPN Insider.

Take a look at this stats page. Amazing

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week 9 Quick Reactions

Take a look at our Week 9 Picks and see for yourself how we did.

Now to the games.

Colts vs. Eagles

It was bound to happen. With it being a short week, on the road, against a team that was undefeated coming off a bye week under Andy Reid, it was destined to expose the many chinks in the armor. The funny thing is, I thought the Colts were destined for failure at the beginning of the season. Since then, things have plummeted downhill. I have never seen a team so completely decimated by injuries, and yet, they have somehow managed to field a competitive lineup. At one point last night, the Colts had lost six starters on defense to injury (seven if you count Bullitt who started throughout the whole season last year). The only healthy starters were Freeney, Mathis, Hayden, Bethea, and Muir. Now consider that the defense isn’t that good to start with, and you have a disaster brewing.

Unfortunately, that’s only one side of the ball. On offense, Peyton is missing his top two targets (Clark and Collie) this year and the two best RBs (Hart and Addai). Fortunately, UK’s own, Jacob Tamme has stepped up to help fill the void left by Clark, but the receiving core hasn’t been so lucky. I’m done with both Reggie and Garcon. Reggie acts like he doesn’t care anymore, and to make matters worse, the Eagles moved their top corner to Garcon’s side and Reggie still had no impact. Garcon tries hard, but he was blessed with frying pans for hands. One couldn’t help but see his dropped pass on the crossing pattern last night and think of his terrible drop in the Super Bowl.

Dropped passes were the theme on offense last night. Reggie dropped a huge TD, Tamme had multiple drops, and Garcon had a couple of painful ones. Combine that with Peyton being a bit off, and it wasn't pretty.

That brings us to Donald Brown. I can handle him not being a great runner given the Colts’ issues in the running game, but he is an AWFUL pass blocker. There were multiple plays where Brown completely blew his responsibilities and allowed Peyton to get crunched. Brown would normally be third string, but injuries to Addai and Hart have forced him into a starting role.

As for the defense, I am still amazed at how the defensive coordinator, Larry Coyer, fails to make adjustments or proper preparations. There were two major issues I had with the defensive scheme last night. First, how in the world does a team running the Tampa 2 defense let their receivers get behind the safeties? Obviously DeSean Jackson is going to run a lot of deep patterns. It might help to cover him. Second, I was in shock that there was no one responsible for spying Vick on the key plays of the game. Vick was good last night, but his major damage came when he was allowed to run.

In the end, Peyton just isn’t going to be able to carry this team every week. When he’s off, he has to have help, and last night there wasn’t any help available.

On to the penalty issues that arose in the game.

First, the Austin Collie hit had the potential to be as bad as it gets on the football field. I couldn’t watch the replay after the first couple of times because it was so awful, and I hope I never have to see it again. Anytime a guy goes to the field rigid and motionless, you pray that it’s just a concussion. Unless you are Asante Samuel, then you dance around his motionless body a few minutes later when they show the replays. Way to show some class Asante. Luckily, it seems that Collie escaped a major injury. He was moving around the locker room after the game, and he was even responding well enough to fly home on the team plane.
In my opinion, the penalty was the correct call, but I also don’t think the player responsible should get fined (Which he didn’t). The officials after the game said they would have called it an incomplete pass because the second foot hadn’t gotten down yet when he was hit. Even though he went to protect himself in the process of the catch, it doesn’t mean that he had completed the catch when the hit was made. As the NFL has said, the officials are instructed to err on the side of caution when deciding whether to throw the flag for unnecessary roughness. Thus, I think they got it right. However, the hit itself was an accident that resulted from Collie getting hit and spun by the initial defender, then getting hit in the head by the safety. There was no ill intent, nor blatant disregard for safety so it should have gone, and did go, unpunished by the NFL.

There has also been a lot of whining about the call on 4th and 18 where Peyton was hit in the head by a defensive lineman. It was obviously a weak hit and wasn’t a call I thought was a legitimate foul. However, the NFL has decided to use strict liability for those hits so the call was by definition correct. The bigger issue is that the officials had just missed a blatant blow to the head a couple snaps before. Peyton took a stiff arm from a rushing DT, and the play went unpenalized. If anything, the plays canceled each other out. Not that it’ll keep Philly fans from complaining.

Bucs vs. Falcons

This Bucs team is a lot of fun. While they didn’t get it done on Sunday, they were one play from a possible win, but they couldn’t score on the goal line. Whenever it seemed like the game was about to get out of hand, the Bucs would do something to jump right back in it. This game, it was kickoff returns that kept them in it. One return was for a TD and another return that let them start deep in ATL territory. I’m not sure what this season holds for the Buccos, but next year is looking very promising.
Story of Crowder's career

Dolphins vs. Ravens

This was an embarrassment. My Locke of the week decided they didn’t want to show up or even attempt to play hard. The Ravens tried their hardest to let Miami get back in it, but Miami just didn’t want anything to do with a win.

The game was the boring part compared to Channing Crowder proving just how stupid he is. Let’s not forget that this is the guy who got owned when he tried to fight without his helmet on. See Below

He really outdid himself this time. The interview is summed up well here.

Somehow Crowder is the only one who doesn’t realize that he sucks. He just keeps running his mouth and adds idiot to his resume of………well he doesn’t really have one. Like I said, he sucks.

Jets vs. Lions

The Jets sneak away with the victory all because a DT was forced to kick an extra point after their kicker was hurt. The joke of the matter is that the Jets benefited from their roughing the kicker because they were able to knock him out of the game. In other news, Mark Sanchez is terrible.

Browns vs. Patriots

The Browns pull off another dominating performance. Funny that Tom Brady is too scared to stay in the game when it gets out of hand. For a team that prided itself on running up the score in 2007 while claiming that they were making sure there were no comebacks. Then when roles are reversed and the Patriots are down big, Belichick pulls Brady with more time remaining than was in those games in 2007. What a joke. Hey Tom, go find out when the last time Peyton came out of the game when trailing was (Not counting the pre-playoff rest). I can’t ever remember it happening, but hey, Brady would rather be purse shopping than watching his team play the biggest game of the year in 2008. There’s a big difference.

Raiders vs. Chiefs

The Raiders are for real. They will win the AFC West….Mark it down. However, the officials tried to hand it to KC. The Raiders used all their challenges early and were victimized by a terrible fumble call that allowed KC to go ahead late in the game. The Raiders didn’t give up though. They fought back, and eventually won with some magic and the leg of Janikowski. 

Monday Mail Bag

In our inaugural Monday Mail Bag, I bring you a wonderful little Drew Brees email. Don't act like we never give back.

Dear John,
First, thanks for your post about the Saints. Always nice to see the defending champs getting some love after a big win on national television.
I would like to briefly address your article about the Saints, in particular your “Or should I say what is wrong with Brees?” question.
In your post you point out three “myths” that have surfaced about the reason for Brees’ struggle – and admittedly, some of these myths I contributed to. I am personally not here to defend or deny those myths.  
After some brief investigative work I now have a clearer understanding of Bressus’ “struggles” this year.
Brees has thrown 11 interceptions this season in 8 NFL games. Now even you would admit that good quarterbacks throw picks. It has to happen. (See Elway Career 1.33TD/INT ratio; Montana Career 1.96TD/INT ration; Marino Career 1.67TD/INT.)
At the moment Brees 2010 Season is 1. 45TD/INT. For his career, before this season, Brees’ ratio was 1.83…therefore it’s obvious – Brees is STATISTICALLY having a below-average year.
Coming off a Super Bowl Victory, MVP trip to Disney World, Autobiography, appearance on Entourage and Cover of Madden, this was inevitable. Super Bowl hangovers always happen, Brees probably didn’t work out as much, doesn’t look at as much film, and is content with winning one Super Bowl (sounds like a true Manning).
But just in case we are wrong, let’s look at not just the stats, not just the hangover, not just what all the commentators and bloggers are saying, and instead look at the 11 interceptions Brees has thrown in 2010.
Before I start, due to limited video coverage, I have accounted for 9 of the 11 interceptions Brees has thrown this year. I apologize. I will not mention one of the 16 touchdowns Brees has thrown for this year.
Week 1: Saints v. Vikings – 0 interceptions
Week 2: Saints v. San Fran – 0 Interceptions
Week 3: Falcons v. Saints – 2 interceptions!! WTF Brees
·         First pick occurs on a flea flicker. RB tosses Brees the ball after getting the hand off, Brees sees Devrey Henderson on man coverage 40 yds down the field – Atl Db makes a pretty impressive snag (no thanks to Devrey preventing it) – could be argued that Brees underthrew the pass by about 1 yd. Drew at this point is thinking, damn there goes the perfect season.
·         2nd Interception as Brees is falling down and getting tackled – Here is your classic Brett Favre pick.
·         As I mentioned earlier, I will make no mention of the two drives that Brees puts together to get the team to OT and into position to win it and shut up these Atlanta fans that I can avoid.
Week 4: Carolina v. Saints – no interceptions.
I know what you are thinking at this point – Holy heck, Brees has made one inexcusably, what the heck is wrong with you Brees  pass through 4 games – sounds like the Breesus I know and love.
Week 5: Arizona v. Saints – The OUTLIER – 3 picks. WTF Brees.
* I can only account for two of three picks.
·         Interception occurs in first half with Saints backed up on their own 2 yard line. Brees dumps off to Ladell Betts (the backup for Bush and Pierre)…the ball goes through Ladell’s hand, into the arms of the Cardinals who score 1 of their three defensive td’s this game
o   Later in the game Ladell fumbles and the Cardinals pick it up and score. Carney also missed a 30 yarder, which would have potentially prevented this next pick…
·         24 Seconds to go in the game…Saints down by three backed up on their own 10 yardline…did I mention only 24 seconds left… Brees makes a pass about 25 yards down the sideline (obviously) and is picked off. Thanks Ladell, we will blame this loss on you.
Week 6: Bucs v. Saints – 1 pick
* I can’t account for this pick because every highlight of this game shows other positive highlights of long passes made by Brees. The game was a rout. Who the hell cares if he threw a pick. Saints were up 17-0 against the vaunted “best team in the NFC”  before anyone tuned in… I guess Saints and Drew got lucky with this one.
Week 7: Browns v. Saints – 4 Freaking picks….Breesus Christ.
·         First pick – Ladell Betts at his best – again…At the Browns 15 yd line, Ladell runs a simple short out to the left. Brees is not pressured and throws it behind Ladell who appears to have no idea what he is doing on the play and has not even turned around to make a catch…
o   Based on career performance and pure speculation, this one probably is another Ladell pick…Even if not the case, the fact that Brees now has to throw to Ladell instead of Pierre or Bush certainly attributes to it.
·         Third Pick – With 23 seconds left in the half, down 20-3, on 3rd and 11, on their own 20 yard line, Brees airs it out 40 yards down the field for Meachem and over throws him by 10 yards (knowing Meachem he likely pulled a Moss on this play)…I will quote announcer, “ Well see that’s essentially a punt, but it’s still going to go down as a pick”.
o   Another pick with Brees taking a chance, with no time in a half.
·         Second and Fourth Pick – Bowen picks up two dump off passes – one bounced off his facemask, in which Brees was falling down and didn’t see Bowen coming over the middle – this is an ugly pick and is the second “Favre” pick of the year for Brees.
·         The other occurs with 3:00 to go in the game with Saints down by 13 – another dump off, another Bowen pick.
o   Obviously these two Bowen picks can be attributed to Brees celebrating the birth of his second child – Bowen, on Tuesday of the week. These two picks were inevitable…
o   Seriously though, Brees being 6’0, it is amazing this doesn’t happen more…definitely not Brees best performance…But this game is a great argument against the “Playing from behind scenario that doesn’t happen”, according to haters.  
Week 8: Steelers v. Saints – 1 Int
How the F*** does Drew Favre throw only one pick against the best team in the league and arguably has his most complete game of the year against the best team in the NFL.
·         Brees, backed up in his endzone, underthrows WR 40 yards down the field. I don’t feel like defending this pick, especially since Brees was putting it where he wanted to all night.
Lets Recap J
Remember only 9 of the 11 I can account for…so lets just say Brees “Favred” on those two.  Add the two Bowen picks and the other Favre pick from Saints game = 5/11 Drew Favre picks.
Passes over 40 yards – I don’t have the completion % that Brees has made of these, but I am sure it is not too high, but higher than many QB’s obviously not including Culpepper and Brady when Randy Moss was trying to play football. Picks on passes made 40 yards down the field: Flea flicker in Falcons, Steelers (best team ever), and Meachem in Browns game with 20 seconds in the half on 3rd and 11, down 20 -3 (emphasis obviously added)…3/11 Brees will never have the arm strength to play in the NFL picks.
Ladell Betts picks – Brees has two balls that can be attributed to Mr. Betts. There is your Reggie/Pierre Effect…2/11 Ladell 4 MVP picks.
I am going to pass it to the sideline 25 yards down the field because I have to pick…See Cardinals game with 23 seconds to go, on own 15, (don’t know timeout situation, but I am willing to guess they were all burned to get the ball with .23 seconds to go)….1/11 Late game pick that no one should care about.
In Conclusion
I argue that nothing is wrong with Drew. (see above). For all these 11 picks, there are arguably dozens of throws he has made, in just this season, that maybe one or two other QB’s can make on a consistent basis (see Rex Grossman in two-minute drill at practice).  See you in January.

Billy S.

Well let me respond to a few points.

1. From the replays on youtube, the INT intended for Betts looks like a bad throw. They don't give an angle good enough to really tell, but you can see that Betts has to jerk his hands way to the right to catch the ball. I thought Brees could hit a bullseye at 40 yards? All he had to do there was hit a Betts-sized target from 7-8 yards.

2. The reason he was playing from behind in the Browns game was that he had already thrown three INTs, one of which went for a TD. The defense gave up one TD and three FGs, and the Saints offense scored 17.  Can't blame the defense there.

Maybe Reggie is the true key to
the Saints offense?
3. It's one thing to go find nine INTs and decide that some of them weren't his fault but quite another to use nine passes to decide that he's been unlucky. Playing that game, I could go back and find five or six Peyton Manning INTs every single year that bounced off a receiver's hands or where a receiver ran the wrong route. 

Here's the key stat, going into Sunday, the Saints were 17th in the league in scoring, and they've only played two good defensive teams. Pretty apparent that they haven't been getting it done at the level they are accustomed to, Brees especially. 

If it's the same ole Brees, why are there so many rumors swirling around New Orleans as to what could be wrong with him? Last week was full of injury speculation, and that type of speculation doesn't show up unless people are noticing a player struggling. Is it a knee fracture and meniscus tear? Is it his other knee that he's favoring? Then there is the rumor that there were complications with the birth of his son, and his wife is still hooked up to tubes in their house (Via our New Orleans based readers). Whatever the issue may be, I'm not the only one noticing that something is wrong.