NFL Week 9 Picks: Power Rankings

I’ll be honest with you, I hate movies.  Movies stink.  I’ve seen MAYBE 10 movies in theaters in the past ten years.  They’re just WAY too long for me, and I don’t like freezing my ass off in some shitty seat at the theaters.

But for some reason, people effin love movie quotes.  People rattle off movie quotes all the time and I usually have no idea what they’re saying or what they’re referring to.  It’s honestly a gift.  That’s why I had to google “top 100 movie quotes of all time” to help me with this column.  I’ve seen MAYBE three movies on this list. If you’ve seen more than 20 movies on this list, you need to get a life.

It’s Week 9 of the NFL season.  We’re already halfway through the season.  I just had a mini panic attack thinking about it.  These are my power rankings following Week 8, along with a movie quote for each team:

32. Oakland Raiders: “After all, tomorrow is another day.” – Gone with the Wind

Three picks in the first round of next year’s draft.  It’s so obvious what the Raiders are trying to do- they’re tanking now and hoping they can LOAD up for their first season in Vegas.  Expectations are HIGH after what the Golden Knights did in Vegas their first year.  Where can I get “Gruden won’t make it to Vegas” odds?  I consider myself a “next coach to get fired” EXPERT after my Hue pick.  I have odds at +200 right now.

31. NY Giants: “You can’t handle the truth!” – A Few Good Men

You can’t handle the truth, you’re an absolute dumpster fire.  The Giants are ass; no other way to put it.  I’m sorry.  What if  I told you 6/8 games have been decided by seven points or less though?  Maybe the Giants aren’t that bad?  HAHAHAHA yea right.

30. San Francisco 49ers: “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!” – Sons of the Desert

Poor Kyle Shanahan.  Remember everyone’s “dark horse pick” at the start of the season?  The ridiculous “Are the 49ers the Best Team in the NFC West” headline from the Mercury News?  I know, Jimmy GQ got hurt, but that was silly.  Stay woke though- another high draft pick and next year people can double down on their “dark horse” 49ers pick.

29. Arizona Cardinals: “Here’s looking at you, kid.” – Casablanca

The Rosen One. The kid’s looked alright so far.  I am going to ride with Josh Rosen til I die.  I will die on Julius Randle Hill and Josh Rosen Hill.  The Cardinals are going to use this year to see what they have in Josh Rosen.  They’re 2-6 and both their wins came against the 49ers.  If both teams are tied for the worst record at the end of the season, the Cardinals should get the first pick.  Wait, I have a brilliant idea- what if they played for the first pick?!  Winner gets the first pick. It can be the Thursday night game before the playoffs start.  This might be my best idea ever.

28. Buffalo Bills: “What a dump.” – Beyond the Forest

Seriously, what a dump.

27. NY Jets: “Sawyer, you’re going out a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star!” – 42nd Street

It’s all about Darnold, but the Jets are a SNEAKY 3-5 right now.  Can they finish the year .500?  It’s possible.

Week 9: at Miami (DON’T GO OUT, YOU CAN WIN THIS GAME)

Week 10: home vs Buffalo

Week 12: home vs New England

Week 13: at Tennessee

Week 14: at Buffalo

Week 15: home vs Houston

Week 16: home vs Packers

Week 17: at New England

I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but they have a chance.

26. Cleveland Browns: “Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?” – Little Caesar

The end of Hue….. it finally happened.  I am legit upset. Thanks for the memories, Hue.  We’ll miss you.  It’s the end of Hue Jackson in the NFL but the start of ESPN Huey.  Sometimes we need to go backward before we can go forward.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: “Listen to me, mister. You’re my knight in shining armor. Don’t you forget it. You’re going to get back on that horse, and I’m going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we’re gonna go, go, go!” – On Golden Pond

FITZMAGIC IS BACK!!!!!!  Winston threw four interceptions vs the Bengals last weekend, and the Bucs should be done with him.  Fitzmagic went 2-1 during Winston’s suspension and he’s back in action this Sunday.  HE IS TAMPA’S knight in shining armor.  NOW GET BACK ON THE HORSE!

24. Denver Broncos: “Fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” – All About Eve

The Broncos won the Super Bowl three years ago.  Doesn’t that Super Bowl feel like it was 10 years ago?  $36 million for two years on Case Keenum was RIDICULOUS.  They should have never legalized marijuana in Denver.  When does Elway get fired?

23. Miami Dolphins: “There’s no place like home.” – The Wizard of OZ

3-1 at home and 1-3 on the road.  The Miami nightlife stays undefeated, man.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars: “You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.” – On the Waterfront

Ohhhhhhhhhhh boy.  The poor Jags. What the hell happened??  They’re 3-5, last in the division, and Blake Bortles is still their QB.  In the past four games, their “defense” has given up a total of 114 points for an average of 32 points per game!  The Jags were ONE BLOWN CALL away from the Super Bowl last year.  This isn’t talked about enough.  The refs cheated the Jags.  Why wasn’t Myles Jack allowed to return this ball back??

Can the defense get their mojo back?  Can Blake be better than Blake?  Will Leonard Fournette play football this year?

21. Tennessee Titans: “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?” – She Done Him Wrong

Grow a pair of balls and sit at the big boy table.  Mariota has been OK his whole career; the Titans have been OK the past ten years.  3-4 this year after starting the year 3-1.  C’mon, it’s time for the Titans to step up.

20. Dallas Cowboys: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – The Godfather

A first-round pick for Amari Cooper.  I can’t fuckin get over it.  Imagine Jerry Jones just getting pissed the fuck off because the Raiders won’t deal him Amari Cooper.  He then finally screams, “I’M GOING TO MAKE HIM AN OFFER HE CANT REFUSE!  FIRST ROUND-PICK FOR AMARI COOPER!!!!!”  I’m 100% positive that’s exactly how it happened.

19. Atlanta Falcons: “I’ll be back.” – The Terminator

They’ll be back.  People assumed the Falcons were dead after their 1-4 start, but they’ve won 2 straight and they’re still alive.  Dead, but they’re breathing.  Next three games:  at Washington, at Cleveland, and home vs Dallas.  The Falcons can be 6-4 heading into their showdown with the Saints on Thanksgiving night.

18. Detroit Lions: “My mama always said, life is like a box of chocolates.” – Forrest Gump

You never know what’s going to happen next with the Lions.  I mentioned this in last week’s picks, but look at their wins compared to their losses.  Makes no sense at all.  But guess what?  They’re 5-2 ATS- second best in the league!  How is that possible?

17. Seattle Seahawks: “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.” – Animal Crackers

The Seahawks are 4-3 this year.  And with that roster, I have no idea how.  After starting the year 0-2, they are 4-1 in their last five.  But look at Seattle’s ROS.  They still have games vs the Rams, Packers, Panthers, Vikings, and Chiefs.  YIKES.

16. Chicago Bears:I’m the King of the world!” – Titanic

The Bears are in FIRST place of the NFC North!!!!  They’re the King of the NFC NORTH!

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15. Indianapolis Colts: “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac…It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!” – Caddyshack

Andrew Luck is back and it’s a miracle!!!  The AFC South is an absolute shitstorm and any of the four teams in that division can win the division.  Why not the team with the best QB?

14. Washington Redskins:Yo Adrian!” – Rocky

YO ADRIAN PETERSON WTF.  WELCOME BACK!!!  33 years old and coming off a season-high 149 rushing yards on 26 carries, including a 64 yard TD.   He’s fifth in the NFL with 587 rushing yards and ranks third in the league with 279 rushing yards after first contact.

YO ADRIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13. Houston Texans: “Oh, Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars.” – Now, Voyager

Deshaun Watson.  STAR.

Deandre Hopkins.  DOUBLE STAR.

JJ Watt. STAR.

Jadeveon Clowney. Half a star??

Maybe “Houston, we have a problem” would’ve been a better pick here, but that’s just too fuckin corny.

12. Green Bay Packers: “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.” – The Pride of the Yankees

That’s how every man should feel in the Packers organization.  Mike Mccarthy is the luckiest man on earth.  Rodgers has saved his ass so many times I can’t even keep track of it.  What are the odds McCarthy gets fired at the end of the season?  Can I place a bet on that?  I consider myself a “which coach will get fired” savant now.

11. Cincinnati Bengals: “Plastics.” – The Graduate

Plastics.  Fake good team.  It happens every year with the Bengals.  They make the postseason by one game or miss the postseason by one game.  Never a serious threat.  Plastics.  They still have games AT Baltimore, AT Cleveland, and AT Pittsburgh.  Those AFC North divison games are tough, especially away from home.

10. Philadelphia Eagles: “Snap out of it!” – Moonstruck

Super Bowl hangover, it happens.  Can the Eagles snap out of it and find their groove by December, or will they ride this hangover into the off-season?  Carson Wentz looks good again, by the way.

9. Baltimore Ravens: “It’s alive! It’s alive!” – Frankenstein

The Ravens defense is alive and it’s back.  Joe Flacco looks decent- highest rating since 2014!  Are the Ravens back???

8. Pittsburgh Steelers: “Show me the money!” – Jerry Maguire

SHOW Le’veon the money!!!! Actually, don’t.  Screw Le’veon.  SHOW JAMES CONNOR THE FUCKIN MONEY!!!!!

7. L.A. Chargers: “Is it safe?” – Marathon Man

Is it safe to label the Chargers a good team?  Are we 100% they’re a good team?  Is it really safe?  The Chargers are 5-2 and their two losses came to the Rams and Chiefs (both losses were by double digits).  Their 5 wins came against the Bills, 49ers, Raiders, Browns, and Titans who have a combined record of 8-28-1.  I don’t think it’s safe to label the Chargers as a legit team, YET.

6. Minnesota Vikings: “Wait a min wait a min you ain’t heard nothing yet.” – The Jazz Singer

Is this too high for a team that’s 4-3-1?  Yes, but I’m telling you the Vikings are going to be there at the end of the season.  They’ve missed their best defensive player for pretty much the entire game and they’ve been crushed by injuries.  Just look at last week’s game vs the Saints:

Offense

RB: Latavius Murray for Dalvin Cook

LG: Danny Isidora for Tom Compton

LT: Rashod Hill for Riley Reiff

RT: Brian O’Neill for Rashod Hill

Defense

LB: Eric Wilson for Anthony Barr

CB: Holton Hill for Xavier Rhodes

S: George Iloka for Andrew Sendejo

Are you kidding me?  Two of their three losses came to the two best teams in the NFL- Rams and Saints.  Let’s not even talk about the Bills game cause who the fuck knows what happened there.  When and IF this Vikings team gets healthy, look out.

5. Carolina Panthers: “Say hello to my little friend.” – Scarface

Cam went out and just dominated the best defense in the league.  21/29 for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns and 52 rushing yards for 1 TD.  Cam Newton is playing like an MVP again but better.  He has more touchdowns, fewer interceptions, and a higher completion percentage through seven games than he did in his MVP season in 2015.  He’s also the best dressed player in the NFL.  Drip drip drip.

And say hello to Cam’s little friend, Christian McCaffrey is averaging nearly 20 touches per game for the Panthers…. and DJ Moore might turn into something.  Keep sleeping on the Panthers.

4. New England Patriots: “Round up the usual suspects.” – Casablanca

It’s honestly bullshit.  Patrtiots are always in the cut because of Brady, Belichick, and being in the worst division in sports.  It’s the perfect recipe.  The Patriots are luckier than New Orleans in the fact that Drew Brees didn’t sign with the Dolphins.  FACTS.

3. Kansas City Chiefs: “My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you.” – Yankee Doodle Dandy

7-1 ATS.  The Chiefs are 7-1 against the spread. Absolutely bonkers.  That’s why my mother thanks them, my father thanks them, my sister thanks them, I thank them, and my bank account thanks them.  I’ve been riding the Chiefs all year and I’m going to ride them til I get burned.  If it ain’t broke, dont fix it.  THANK YOU KANSAS CITY.

Fantasy Football Rankings:

QB: Pat Mahomes: QB 1

RB: Kareem Hunt: RB 6

WR: Tyreke Hill: WR 2

TE: Travis Kelce: TE 2

EVERYONE, say thank you to the Chiefs.

2. New Orleans Saints: “Well, nobody’s perfect.” – Some Like it Hot

After an 0-2 0-1 start, the Saints look like the team we all expected them to be.  They showed up for what was supposed to be a big time game on Sunday night at Minnesota (it really wasn’t).  Saints next four games:  home vs Rams, at Cincinnati, home vs the Eagles, and home vs the Falcons. If they can go 3-1 there, look out.

1. L.A. Rams: “Made it ma, top of the world!” – White Heat

The Rams are the best team in football.  They made it, they made it to the top of the world.  Now it’s all about staying at the top of the world.  Can the Rams go 16-0?  Why the fuck not?  The only thing that can stop the Rams right now is some stupid injury *knock on wood* and Marcus Peters.  Kidding, I love you Marcus Peters.  You can get burned all year as long as you make a play in the playoffs. I BE-LIE-VE IN YOU!


My Picks for Week 9:

Chiefs (-8.5) at Browns

The Browns don’t even have a real coach.  Oh wait….

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Chiefs in a BLOW OUT.  Gregg Williams is such an idiot.

Jets at Dolphins (-3)

Miami nightlife doesn’t lose.  Riding with the Dolphins and Brock Osweiler.  What a mistake.

Lions at Vikings (-6.5)

DEEEEEETROOOOOOIT BASKETBALL. I just felt like typing and saying that.  Taking the Lions and the points.  I don’t trust the Vikings- YET.

Falcons at Redskins (-2.5)

Redskins are a QUIET 5-2 this season.  Taking the R words -2.5 at home vs the Falcons.

Buccaneers at Panthers (-5.5)

FITZMAGIC is back. I can’t bet against him, can I?  This feels like a trap, funky NFC South game.  Panthers are coming off a big win vs Baltimore, it’s a division game, and they have a Thursday night game vs the Steelers next week.  I’m taking the points and Fitz.

Steelers at Ravens (-3)

Ravens won the first meeting between the two teams, so I’m taking the Steelers here.

Texans at Broncos (Pick ’em)

Demayrius Thomas revenge game!  How funny is it that he got traded to the Texans yesterday and they play this weekend?  Taking the Texans and the DT juju.

Chargers at Seahawks (-2.5)

Oh GOD, is it SAFE?!?!?  Is it safe to take the Chargers here?!  My brain says yes but my heart is telling me no.  This has such a classic, “Chargers are good this year but they’ll lose this game” feel to it.  BUT I’M RIDING WITH THE CHARGERS AND THE POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rams at Saints (-2.5)

Rams.  Rams all day.  If the Rams win this game, I am booking my flight to the Super Bowl.

Packers at Patriots (-6.5)

Brady vs Rodgers.  We heard it all week.  Give me the points with Aaron Rodgers.  Going to throw all over that Patriots defense. Fuck the Patriots.

Last Week: 7-6

NFL Week 8 Picks: How I Won the Mega Millions Last Night

5 – 28 – 62 – 65 – 70 – 5

Those five numbers fucked me last night.  Six stupid ping pong balls just changed someone’s life FOREVER.  I’ll admit, I’m a sucker.  My friends and I fell for the trap.  We’re balls deep, and the lottery has us by our balls.  I might as well be a ping pong ball now.  We went and bought Mega Million tickets this past week.  What a bunch of suckers.  But c’mon, it was stupid not to.  1 BILLION DOLLARS?!?! The odds of winning the jackpot?  1 in 302,575,250.  The Bills, Cardinals, and 49ers all have 5000 – 1 odds to win the Super bowl this year.  5000 – 1!!!!!  You literally have no shot at winning the lottery.

Am I a sucker?  Yes.  Will I win?  Probably not (more on this later), but it’s the best $10 investment out there.  It’s worth every dollar.  Hell, I would pay $10 for one ticket.  $10 for a SHOT at $1 billion?!  Are you kidding me? Get out of town.  I get what you are thinking, 1 in 302,575,250. I’m literally throwing money away.  But I wasn’t raised that way.  I wasn’t raised to quit before I tried.  I was raised to be bold, raised to take chances-  I was raised to take risks!  I have a CHANCE at $1 billion effin dollars?  Are you kidding me?!?!  Sign me the eff up.  Seriously, why wouldn’t I try?!  You have to at least give it a shot.  I’m not going to lie,  I was COCKY going into the lottery.  I was feeling it.  I thought we were going to win last night.  I thought my life was going to change.  I even googled “what to do after you win the lottery.”  I WAS FEELING COCKY AND CONFIDENT.  I legit thought I was going to win 1 BILLION DOLLARS LAST NIGHT.

Obviously, I didn’t win because I’m here writing this stupid blog.

The $10 investment is worth every dollar and I’ll tell you why.  Four of my closest friends and I split a ticket.  $2 each.  At one point, we all believed that we were going to win.  That high was worth $2.  We legit thought we had it in the bag.  We were all pumped up.  For about six hours we all thought, “this is going to fuckin happen, we’re gonna be fuckin millionaires tonight.  These are our last hours as PEASANTS.  WHY NOT US!?”  Someone has to win, so we kept asking ourselves, “WHY NOT US?!?!”  We also talked about what we would do if we won a BILLION DOLLARS. Here’s a couple of the best PG-rated texts:


Person A:  What are we doing tonight if we win?

Person B:  I’m flying out.

Person C: We’ll meet in Miami.

Person D:  We going straight to Ibiza gonna drop like 25K easy, real quick.


Person B:  I would become the younger, taller Dan Bilzerian.


Person C: Do you remember when I was pumped to get a job at ______.  We were in the BMW on the way to Westwood or Northridge.  I was hype as fuck for like 11 bucks an hour.  Crazy.


Person D:  I just saw Sinbad at the airport, we are definitely winning.


Person A:  What chicks DM you sliding in after we win?

Person B:  You want my top 3 or top 5?

Person B: 

1. Sofia Jamora

2.  Kara Jewell

3. Katya Elise Henry

4. Summer Ray

5. Helen Owen

6. Kendall Jenner

No particular order.


Person B:  I did the math and it’s like 180-190 million each.

Person A:  See, you’re thinking about it!

Person B:  I know fuck lol.

Person C:  Same odds of getting your dick bitten off by a shark in a lake.

Person E:  WHY NOT US?!


Person A:  What’s your first purchase?

Person C: Flights.

Person E:  Yeah, flight then I’m buying some toys on the way back home.

Person B: Four-day trip to Ibiza.  First class.

Person E: Actually fuck it, I’m never going back home.  4 days?!?! How about 14?

Person B:  I go hard enough, 4 days is plenty.


Person C:  It’s why the lottery exists, it’s a scam.

Person A:  Don’t bring that negative energy to the ping pong balls.

Person C:  Yo, don’t blame me. I have bad luck and you know this.  I couldn’t even win a three-man lottery for first pick in fantasy football this year.

Person E:  Fuck, that’s the best thing going for us. 28 years of bad luck.

Person C:  Saved it up for one moment.


Person E: Yo if we win, we’re not telling anybody.  We’ll just bounce and live the good life for two weeks, then maybe start telling people.  I get so excited thinking about winning.

Person A:  WHY NOT US!?


Person C:  Ey we gotta make sure no one goes off the rails once we win.

Person E:  Fuck dude, let’s fuckin win.

Person C: I literally can’t focus at work.

E: Speak it into existence.

Person C: Yo everyone chill, I was so worked up and I finally just relaxed.  I almost walked out of work; I was legit pregame hype.


You’re telling me you read that and didn’t think, oh these m-fers are going to win tonight.  We seriously thought we had it in the bag.  We thought it was our lottery.  Don’t even draw the balls.  Draw five ping pong balls with our faces printed on them.  That’s how confident I felt going into the draw last night.

We didn’t win (smh – still pissed), but for half a day we got to think like MILLIONAIRES.  Honestly, just thinking about the chance of becoming millionaires was worth the game ticket.  Pay $2 and you get to DREAM BIG and you have a CHANCE at a billion dollars.  What a fuckin deal.  Only in America- I love this country.  And guess what else? You can bet your ass I will be playing the lottery for the rest of life.  And you should too. It only takes ONE time.  Six stupid ping pongs balls can change your life forever.  Seriously,  WHY NOT US?!?!?!

PS:  I also don’t know why my friends are so addicted to the idea of Ibiza.  We would all be dead after day two.


Here are my picks for Week 8:

Eagles vs Jaguars (+3)

Blake Bortles in London.  You know what that means- it’s time to believe in Blake and the Jaguars.  LONDON BORTLES IS ABOUT TO GO OFF.

Bortles last 3 seasons in London:

W-L: 3-0

Team PPG: 36.0

TD-INT: 8-1

I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I am going with London Bortles and the Jags!!!!  How can you pick against him?  Does he become the best QB in the league if the Jaguars move to London?  Stay woke on UK Bortles.

Ravens vs Panthers (+2)

Joe Flacco buying a mattress from Sean Payton’s brother is an all-time head scratcher.  The Panthers are coming off a great win vs the Eagles, and the Ravens are coming off a tough loss vs the Saints.  I’m taking the Panthers at home.  Always take the home dog.

Broncos vs Chiefs (-10)

The Chiefs are 7-0 ATS this season, and the Broncos stink.  This line should be closer to 14.  I STILL can’t believe the Broncos paid Case Keenum $36 million.  I’m rolling with Andy Reid even though he fucked me last week.  It was such a classic Andy Reid move that I can’t even be mad about it.

Browns (+8) vs Steelers

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How many games does Coach Hue have left in him?  I used to hate on Hue Jackson, but I’m in love with the guy.  I honestly feel bad that I put money on him to be the first NFL coach fired; I don’t even want the money if I win.  He is my favorite coach right now to be honest.  It’s going to be a sad day for Cleveland when he gets fired, almost as sad as the day Lebron left.  It breaks my heart to think about it.  AND FOR THAT REASON I’M TAKING HUEY AND THE BROWNS THIS WEEKEND vs the Steelers.  I know the Steelers are coming off a bye week, but I believe in Hue!  His job is on the line and his players know it!  I hope he gets so fired up that he rips the play calling duties from Hayley in the second quarter of the game.  We deserve one more Huey moment before he’s forced out of town.  I know someone brought this up, but why couldn’t Hard Knocks follow the Browns for the entire season?

Close your eyes and imagine this scene: John Dorsey walks into Hue’s office wearing his classic outfit with the Browns’ dog trailing right behind him.  Dorsey fires Hue on the spot, and they both start crying.  Dorsey hugs Hue and says, “I’m sorry man, I love you.  I’m here for you no matter what.”  The cameras go black then cut to Hue leaving the office with Anna Kendrick (*”Cups- When I’m Gone” playing in the background.*)

I’ve got my ticket for the long way round.  Two bottle whiskey for the way and I sure would like some sweet company and I’m leaving tomorrow what’d you say?  When I’m gone, when I’m gone you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone you’re gonna miss me by my hair you’re gonna miss me everywhere oh you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.

I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

Seahawks (+3) vs Lions

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Lions wins this season:  Patriots, Packers, and Dolphins.

Lions losses this season:  Jets, Cowboys, and 49ers.

I’ve never been so confused in my life.  I don’t like to bet against Russell Wilson so I’m taking the points here.  The real story-line of this game is Russell Wilson vs Golden Tate.  Don’t forget that Russell Wilson’s ex-wife cheated on him with Golden Tate.  Talk about the ultimate revenge game!

Buccaneers (+4.5) vs Bengals

The Bengals are my “fake good team” for this season.  People keep hyping this Bengals team, but we see this from them every year.  They got murdered on Sunday night by the Chiefs.  This has “classic upset trap game” written all over it.  Coming off an embarrassing loss sandwiched between a big game vs the Saints next weekend-  classic trap game recipe.  Tastes like an upset.  WHAT DOES A W TASTE LIKE JAMEIS?!?!?!?!

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Jets (+7) vs Bears

I will never bet on Mitchell Trubisky ever again.  I have learned my lesson.  That is a promise to myself and that is a promise to you, America.  Let’s get #Trubiskytrap trending.  Let’s make it real a thing.  I will never bet on the Bears as long as Trubisky is their QB.  Trubisky -7?!?!  I have ZERO faith.

Redskins (-1)  vs Giants

The Giants are GARBAGE.  They’re obviously in full tank mode.  I can’t believe some people thought this team was going to go .500 this year.  That was the easiest $100 bet of my life.  Thank you Mike Chere.

Colts (-3) vs Raiders

COLTS – 3 LOCK IT UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEYS.  THE RAIDERS’ PLAYERS ARE GOING TO THROW THIS GAME!  I guarantee you.  The locker room hates Derek Carr because he cried last weekend.  They also hate Jon Gruden.  Why wouldn’t the Raiders’ players throw this game to make a statement?  It makes too much sense.

49ers vs Cardinals (+1)

Serious question:  would you go to this game if someone offered you free tickets?  I don’t think I would.  I swear to God these teams just played two weeks ago… I just checked and they played three weeks ago.  WINNER of this game gets the first pick in next year’s draft?  Now that would be fun.  Deal?  Deal.

Packers vs Rams (-9.5)

The Packers stink.  They STINK.  I know, I read all about it.  I read the “Packers vs Rams Spread Features Aaron Rodgers’ Biggest Underdog Odds of Career” headlines, but I don’t give a fooooook.  Donald, Suh, and Brockers are going to destroy Rodgers this weekend.  I can’t wait for this game.  I’ve been looking forward to this game all season.  I already have a W next to this game on the Rams’ schedule posted at my desk.  Rams 40-10. It’s going to get UGLY…..

Saints vs Vikings

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What a treat on Sunday night before Halloween.  We’re going to have to set up two TVs in the living room this weekend because I need to watch this game and Game 5 of the World Series.  People are acting like the World Series is over.  Give me a break, I’m not scared of this Boston team at all.  They got lucky in Game 1.  They caught every break that game.  Fuckin Joe Buck comparing them to the Warriors last night was classic Joe Buck.  Get the fuck out of here.  I was terrified of the Astros last year but c’mon, you want me to be scared of this Sox team?  I have never felt more confident about a series.  Dodgers in 7.

Back to football. Everyone remembers last year’s game.  Everyone remembers last year’s play.  I also remember Saints fans feeling sorry for Marcus Williams after he missed that tackle on Diggs. I don’t care if he’s a rookie, that’s what he gets paid to do.  You cannot miss a tackle like that in the playoffs.  There were no excuses for that play- he fucked up.  The Vikings are rolling right now and that stadium is going to be rocking on Sunday night.  I’m honestly surprised that this is a pick em.  Feels like it should be closer to Vikings -3.

Patriots (-14) vs Bills

I don’t care if it’s Derek Anderson or Nate Pederman this weekend.  I honestly feel disrespected by the NFL.  How dare they put a game like this on Monday Night Football.  How dare they waste a Monday Night game for this.  They should have at least scheduled the Rams vs Packers game for Monday night.  It would have been amazing to embarrass Aaron Rodgers on national television. Who thought this was going to be a good game when they made the schedule?  Seriously, who the fuck did this??  I am on a man hunt to find this person.  No one gives a crap about the Bills and Bills Mafia.  Bills Mafia was funny for about two days.

I have to bring up something from last Monday’s game.  Jason Witten is awful.  He literally said Cole Beasely stretches the field for the Cowboys.  Am I missing something?  What the hell is he talking about???

CBB Cinderella Watch

 

Blue bloods will headline the 2019 college basketball season. However, we all know the main source of excitement and heartache in March will come from random schools beating these powerhouses.

Keep an eye on these mid-majors in the tournament this year.

  1. Buffalo- Coming off an impressive campaign in 2018 the Bison return 5 of their 6 leading scorers from last year. They wrecked the Arizona Wildcats in the NCAA tournament and could be poised for an even deeper run this year. C.J. Massinburg is a stud and their frenetic style of play will continue to wreak havoc on opponents.
  2. Illinois State- This team features a great coach in Dan Mullen and an impressive lead forward in Milik Yarbrough. A senior, Mailik, had an impressive junior campaign averaging 17 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists a game. The Redbirds boast an experienced roster that will compete with Loyola-Chicago and Sister Jean for the MVC title.
  3. South Dakota State- Jackrabbits should have an electric offense led by Mike Daum. If you didn’t see him last year this dude can hoop. Averaging 21.5 points and lighting it up from deep making nearly 43% from 3. Look for the Jackrabbits with a better roster and Daum with the greenest light to average over 25 points a night.
  4. Western Kentucky- The Hilltoppers have potential to make some noise in the tournament this year. 5 Star stud freshman Charles Bassey headlines a talented young core. A good litmus test for this team will be an early November match-up against a good PAC12 team in Washington.
  5. Marshall- The combo of C.J. Burks and Jon Elmore should strike fear in not only conference USA opponents but all of NCAA. An early season clash with Maryland should give insight on their potential. Not even favored in their own conference, this team has a  back-court that will come in handy come NCAA tournament time.

The Voters Have Spoken

With the AP Poll coming out with their official rankings for college basketball before the season starts you might be asking yourself if they got it right? To that I answer your question with another question, does a fat baby fart? The layperson who keeps up with college basketball their first thought is that a Duke or Kentucky should be ranked number one coming into the season and finding out that they aren’t would obviously be some sort of mistake. The truth is going into this season the Jayhawks of Lawrence Kansas are the top team in the nation and they are in this position for good reason.

Like most years Kansas is coming into the season with an outstanding recruiting class, Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson are two of the bigger names that most are excited to see take the court in Phog Allen this year. And while the Kentuckys and Dukes of the country can boast star studded freshman classes as well one area where they have come up short the past ten years or so is in their veteran upperclassman presence. Kansas has repeatedly had experienced players that play major roles that have the conference and tournament experience that helps give them an edge in some of the bigger stage games. This season the biggest of those returners are LaGerald Vick, Mitch Lightfoot and Udoka Azubuike. The biggest factor in this duo is without question going to be Azubuike, the 7 footer is without question the most dominant big man in the Big 12 and possibly the country. Staying healthy has been a concern in the previous two years but when he is on the floor. With a 75% field goal percentage (that took place entirely in the paint) Azubuike was close to averaging a double double in points and rebounds. His size and improvement in his feetwork on the low block has allowed for him to turn most matchups in the post to “Barbecue Chicken” as Dr. O’Neal has so eloquently described it. Coach Bill Self has also been able to land some PAC-12 talent as Charlie Moore, a double digit scorer formerly at Cal will join the roster this year as well.

Kansas for the most part ran the tables in the first place voting receiving 37 first place votes to Kentucky’s 19 and while the rosters play a role in that so does the staff that is at the front of the bench. Coach Self not only has the championships and Final Fours to support his resume, he also has been a part of a level of dominance that is rivaled only by that of the Roman Empire. For 14 straight seasons Kansas has been the Big 12 regular season champions and while some might try to “poo poo” this achievement this was done in the conference that put him up against Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge and Michael Beasley just to name a few. Coach Self has proven that he has the ability to garner the proper mix of veteran players along with younger talent to fit into his system that plays a grit & grind style of basketball that can only be found in the Big 12 and Charlottesville Virginia with Tony Bennett.

The Jayhawks have an interesting non-conference schedule this year so they will put their ranking and experience to the test very early on this year. On top of that the Big 12 won’t be a pushover either as several teams in the conference are in the top 25 and returning key players. Don’t be surprised though when we see that Kansas hasn’t dropped out of the top ten all year and is a lock for a one seed come late April. The reason being Coach Self has the one piece that he has always needed in order to have a successful season which is a dominant big man. Look back on any of his more successful years and you will see there was an outstanding big man on the block. Azubuike fits that description ten times over and he has the surrounding pieces to make this team a juggernaut on both ends of the floor. If you follow any obnoxious Kansas fans on social media you might want to get a head start and block them now because the Rock Chalk Mafia will be out and about flexing their muscles this year.

 

AP Poll Top 25

  1. Kansas
  2. Kentucky
  3. Gonzaga
  4. Duke
  5. Virginia
  6. Tennessee
  7. Nevada
  8. North Carolina
  9. Villanova
  10. Michigan State
  11. Auburn
  12. Kansas State
  13. West Virginia
  14. Orgegon
  15. Virginia Tech
  16. Syracuse
  17. Florida State
  18. Mississippi State
  19. Michigan
  20. TCU
  21. UCLA
  22. Clemson
  23. LSU
  24. Purdue
  25. Washington

Three Contract-Year Players from the 2015 NBA Draft That Have the Most Money on the Line this Season

It’s officially contract year for the class of 2015.  Time for your close up.  Players can forget about everything that happened in the past three years- the spotlight is on you this year.  Show up and perform at a high level in your contract year?  Let’s get you that brand new Bentley you dreamed of.  Get injured or disappoint?  Kiss your money goodbye.  Just look at what happened to Isaiah Thomas this past summer.  He went from “bring the Brink truck” to signing the Veteran’s minimum deal.

Let’s take a look at three players from the 2015 class that literally have millions of dollars on the line this year.


Terry Rozier

Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics

Roziers playoff battle vs Eric Bledsoe was the most entertaining storyline of the first round last year.  Quick recap for those that didn’t follow:  Rozier “accidentally” called Eric Bledsoe “Drew Bledsoe” in a post-game conference when asked about Eric Bledsoe.  Yes, Drew Bledsoe, the former quarterback of the New England Patriots.  Drew Eric Bledsoe didn’t find it funny, and when asked about Roziers play in Game 1 the next day, he responded, “Who?  I don’t even know who the fuck that is.”  Rozier and the Celtics eventually took care of Bledsoe and the Bucks, but the petty war wasn’t over.  Rozier decided to show up to Game 1 of the Celtics second round playoff matchup against the 76ers rocking a Drew Bledsoe jersey.  What a fuckin troll.

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Oh the pettiness. You have to love the NBA.  Guess what?  That’s not even the BEST part of this beef.  The funniest part is that Jalen Rose compared Rozier to Eric Bledsoe at the 2015 NBA Draft!!!!  Are you not entertained?!?!?!

After Irving’s season ended last year, Rozier stepped into Kyrie’s shoes (literally) and emerged as a more than reliable starting point guard for the Celtics.  Prior to Irving’s injury, the third-year guard was averaging an impressive 11.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 25.8 minutes.  Post-Kyrie injury, his numbers increased significantly to 15.2 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in 32 minutes without Irving.  In the playoffs Rozier averaged 16.5 points a game, 5.7 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game (WHOA!).    Rozier finished 19th in RPM wins last year for all point guards, finishing just a shade under Kyrie and higher than All-Stars Goran Dragic and John Wall.  The Celtics were also +21 with Rozier on the floor in the playoffs- the third best, only trailing Horford and Tatum.

Does Rozier deserve more playing time?  Probably,  but he’s not going to get the minutes he thinks he deserves on this loaded Celtics team.  Scary Terry (awesome nickname by the way) showed that he’s capable of handling the ball and running the offense for the Celtics last year.  Unfortunately, his opportunities will significantly decrease with the return of Irving and Hayward.  It’s hard to see Rozier having the same impact on the offensive end for the Celtics this year.  The Celtics will likely have two of either Irving, Hayward, Tatum, or Horford on the floor at all times and they will serve as the primary ball handlers/playmakers.  Rozier will have his spots, but he’ll have to take full advantage of those moments to maximize his value.  Rozier was an effective (44.9%) catch-and-shoot shooter from 3-point range in the playoffs so he can be an effective player for the Celtics even without the ball in his hands.

The Celtics will be in a tricky spot this summer with Rozier, especially after the extension of Marcus Smart last year.  The Celtics would obviously like to keep Rozier, but its unlikely they’ll be able to match the offers Rozier will field next summer.  Will Rozier have the opportunity this year to further prove that he can be a starting point guard in the league?  Probably not, but last year’s performance was enough for teams to offer Rozier a long-term contract next summer (hello Phoenix!!!!!!).  For Rozier, the most important thing is to stay healthy heading into free agency.  By the way, Terry Rozier is my starting PG on my All Dark Alley NBA team.


D’Angelo Russell

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Coming out of the draft, Russell was over-hyped as the next Manu Giobli/James Harden, but those comparisons tapered quickly.  Remember this?  I can’t believe Kobe agreed to this.  This might be worse than the “this is going to be fun” Dwight Howard/Steve Nash cover.

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I have to admit, Russell was handed an unfair deck during his time in Lakerland, most of which he brought upon himself.  The Snapchat debacle was an absolute train wreck.  We’ll never know what he was thinking, but he was never able to recover from that.  Guess what else?  If you think about it, Iggy Azalea is responsible for PG not signing with the Lakers (George and Russell share the same agent).  There were always concerns about his immaturity and Snapgate was the tipping point for the Lakers.

In his first move as president, Magic Johnson used  D’angelo Russell to get rid of Timofey Mozgov’s contract.  When asked about the Russell trade, Magic didn’t hold back either.  “D’Angelo is an excellent player, he has the talent to be an All-Star. We want to thank him for what he did for us. But what I needed was a leader. I needed somebody also that can make the other players better and also [somebody] that players want to play with.”  Geez, that’s probably something you don’t want to hear from the greatest point guard of all time.  Unfortunately for Russell,  Johnson wasn’t the only Laker to bash Russell.  Lakers former coach, Byron Scott, consistently spoke negatively about the young player.  Things this past summer didn’t get much better for him either.  He saw two of his best friends, KAT and Booker, get maxed by their respective teams.

Russell is a gifted scorer and he has the size/stroke to become an impact player in the league.  He’s demonstrated the ability to average 20 PPG in the league.  For a young point guard, he takes care of the basketball and he’s effective in the pick n roll.  Unfortunately for Russell, his lack of explosiveness makes it difficult for him to get to the rim and finish.  He also struggles often times on the defensive end, but that’s mainly due to his lack of effort.

By year three we usually know if a player has the POTENTIAL to become a special player.  Russell hasn’t showed us much, but I’m not ready to label him off yet.  What’s Russell’s ceiling?  Best case scenario, can he be the second best player on a championship team?  Ehhhhh maybe, but probably not. Or is he going to be a “bad team, good stats” guy his entire career?  It sure feels like he’s headed down that road, doesn’t it?  But guess what?  You can make the All Star team that way- just look at Stephon Marbury!  With Kenny Atkinson at the helm, Russell will all have the tools, resources, and opportunities to blossom and prove he can become a valuable piece for the Nets.

In year four, can D’Angelo show that he’s matured on and off the court?  Can he demonstrate the leadership ability at the point guard position that the Nets desperately need?  Can he stay healthy (he’s missed over 50 games the past two years)?  Is D’Angelo someone we will look back on in fifteen years and ask, “why wasn’t be better?” There’s so many questions, but he’s only 22 years old.  Unfortunately for the Nets, they’ll have to make a decision by next summer.  Time is ticking……


Kelly Oubre Jr.

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Kelly Oubre aka “Wave Papi” is entering the final year of his rookie contract.  “That’s my alter ego,” Oubre explained.  “Wave Papi is all about good vibes.  He’s about staying cool, calm, and collected.”  Doesn’t that sound like something you would hear come out of Swaggy P’s mouth?  Oubre has made a bigger name for himself through social media vs on court performance which is never a good sign.  UPDATE – Oubre just evolved into TSUNAMI PAPI.  Oh no Kelly, what are you doing?

The 6’8” small forward averaged 12 points and 4 rebounds for the Wizards in 28 minutes last year.  Oubre playing 28 minutes a night tells you all that you need to know about the Wizards roster.  Tsunami Papi has improved in each of his first three years in the league, but he hasn’t developed into the valuable 3 and D player the Wizards were hoping for when they selected him with the 15th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

This past summer, Oubre worked with Drew Hanlen who has become a go-to trainer for NBA players.  Oubre knows what is at stake this year.  His next contract can help him evolve into Megatsunami Papi or dry him up like Southern California.  To maximize his value, he’ll have to prove to teams he can defend and hit three pointers at a consistent rate.  Oubre will be counted on as one of the Wizards’ go-to players off the bench.  Whether he can answer or not will be the question.  If Oubre can stay consistent  this year, he’s looking at a nice pay raise this upcoming summer from a team in need of a 3 and D player.

Basketball is Baaaaaaack

The NBA regular season is finally upon us. We made it.

Another exciting off-season comes to an end in dramatic fashion as four playoff teams meet tonight. Every team has hope. Some fans hope their team lose every game and get the first pick in the draft (R.J. Barrett whatup?) while other fans hope their team is a legit contender, how can an NBA fan not be happy today?

Opening night features two intriguing match-ups

First up is Philadelphia at Boston on TNT at 8 pm

This is a rematch from the second round playoff series that the 76ers improbably lost to the undermanned Celtics. A healthy Celtics team should strike fear in the heart of any Eastern Conference team. The 76ers stayed relatively pat this off-season and we will get to see if the new found confidence of Markelle Fultz translates to a live basketball game. Two things to watch for:

Will the Celtics be able to neutralize the elite passing ability of Ben Simmons like in the playoffs? 

Can Kyrie get everyone involved on a stacked Celtics roster? 

The Nightcap is Oklahoma City at Golden State on TNT at 1030pm 

The last time OKC took the court they were bounced by a less talented but more cohesive Jazz team. Golden State can’t be stopped unless they stop themselves. Until Roberson returns healthy, it will be hard for OKC to have the players to be an elite team in the West. The addition of Shroder is timely considering they will likely be without Russ on opening night. Golden State is favored in this early season match up, but don’t be surprised if these two team square off in the playoffs.                                                                   Two things to watch for:

Can Paul George keep this game close and go for his own triple double?

Will Golden State score 130 points tonight?

 

The first game is a better match-up on paper, but does anyone really care?

THE NBA IS BACK.

Week 7: 5 Games to Watch

We are back with a rundown for what to watch this weekend.  Don’t forget to listen to the pod and line-up your bets

Five Games at five different time slots:

1.  Tennessee at (21) Auburn -16.5                                               12:00 SEC

Both of these teams are desperate. Tennessee to stay relevant and Auburn to stay in the SEC title picture. Auburn’s offense is averaging a middling 29 points per game. Is it still warm enough for southern girls to wear sun dresses?

2. (2) Georgia -7.5 at (12) LSU                                                         3:30 CBS

LSU got steamrolled by Florida last weekend, getting embarrassed on defense. This one comes down to LSU’s pass rush on Georgia QB Jake Fromm and his 72% completion percentage. Like most SEC battles this game will be won by linemen.

3. (7) Washington -3.5 at (17) Oregon                                          4:30 FOX

Could be the best PAC-12 game of the year, as the two best teams go at it in Oregon. Justin Herbert has looked much better than Jake Browning and can really solidify his status as the best QB in the PAC-12 with a pivotal win this week. Oregon is coming off a bye-week and should be ready to go at home.

4.  (15) Wisconsin at (12) Michigan -10                                          7:00 ABC

The is Harbaugh good talk? will continue to percolate until he gets Michigan into the CFP. Wisconsin suffered an embarrassing loss to BYU and has rebounded since, crushing both Nebraska and Iowa. College Gameday will be there.

5. (19) Colorado at USC -7                                                                10:30 FS1 

Last game of the night features an undefeated Colorado vs USC. USC still has athletes, but is not the daunting power of past. Colorado is improbably undefeated, granted they haven’t really played anyone noteworthy. Somehow this game will go into overtime and 3/4 of the country will be asleep. Laviska Shenault, just remember that name when you watch this game.

 

NFL Week 5 Recap: We don’t deserve the NFL

Giants 31 – Panthers 33

New York Giants v Carolina Panthers

What a game.  I can’t imagine being a Giants fan right now, I really can’t.  Yesterday’s game was an all-time kick in the balls.  Buzzer beater from 63 yards out.  They’re 1-4 and things don’t look like they’re going to get better anytime soon.  But guess what?  That wasn’t the only thing that kicked the Giants in the balls this weekend.  You guessed it!  It finally happened.  It only took ODB (way cooler nickname than OBJ) five weeks to throw his “I need a new QB” fit.  Who didn’t see this coming from the biggest diva in the NFL?  It was a ticking time bomb – tick tick tick tick (Chris Berman Voice).

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The best part about yesterday’s game?  Odell throwing a touchdown pass to Saquon – the longest passing touchdown this year for the Giants.  Can the Giants put Odell at QB?  Maybe just run the read option with him and Saquon every play?  Maybe Odell can throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time (according to Gielse, Tom Brady can’t do it)?  Seriously, what are the Giants going to do?  I’m actually starting to feel bad for Giants fans.  But at least they have Saquon and Odell for the next five years!!!!  That’s exciting!  I’m happy for Giants fans.

Live look at Odell at practice this week:

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Ravens 9 – Browns 12 by Killian Pender

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The Good: This game shows that Higgins can be a factor, thought the loss of Gordon would be back breaking but it seems as though we have something in Higgins (hopefully the injury is not huge). Hyde keeps trucking along and leading potentially the best running back room in the league. Baker is fearless, no matter the outcome he’s gonna slang that thang. Defense is exactly who we thought they were, great. Ward looks like the DROY through 5 weeks and can’t tackle anything, he just makes plays (third INT of the season, and a blocked FG). Peppers has terrible ball skills, but that guy was HITTING. WIN.

The Bad: Drops, drops, drops; drops continue to be an issue for the team. Baltimore has a good defense and I knew we couldn’t score a ton of points but the drops are killing us. Landry not going out of bounds at the end of regulation. If he goes out there, we don’t spike it and we have another play to get closer for our kicker that did not even make 70% of his kicks in college. The special teams remains to be the worst aspect of the team.

The Ugly: Lombardi said on “The NFL Show” that the Browns are a 50 minute team, and it shows week after week. Our clock management at the end of each game has been an issue that led to two losses. Hue didn’t even know the game was over after the kick. We are gonna trip over our own feet. Damn.

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I do believe we can win the division, pound on.


Rams 33 – Seahawks 31

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That was a good win for the Rams.  Division road game are always tough and they pulled it off without Cooks and Kupp in the second half.  Did anyone actually think the Rams were going to lose that game though?  This Rams team has a 2000s Lakers team feel to it.  You expect them to win these games now.  I was never worried or nervous.  Seattle wasn’t going to beat the Rams in a shootout.  The Rams can’t stop the run and that’s the only thing that worries me right now.  I’m not sure why teams continue to try and keep up with the Rams.  Run the ball, work the clock, and keep the offense off the field.  You’re not going to outscore the Rams this year.

Was anyone surprised McVay went for it on 4th and 1 to ice the game?  That’s what good coaches do (more on this later).  He pulled his balls out and said, “I have the best offense in the league.  Try to stop us.”  Love it.  Jared Goff showing that emotion after the first down?  FUCKIN LOVE IT.  IS THAT TOM BRADY?!?!?

There was honestly was never a doubt.  Remember the “too many different personalities in the locker room” talk before the season?  That was cute.

But Marcus Peters.  What the fuck my dude?  He’s been burned for a touchdown every game.  It is cause he’s hurt?  Maybe.  Or is he getting burned trying to make a big play for the defense?  Probably.  It pisses me off but you know what, I’m OK with it.  He has that privilege because of the offense.  Peters will give up touchdowns/big plays this year but I’m calling it right now – he’s going to make a HUGE play in the playoffs this year.  A game winning/clinching pick 6.  I also love watching Peters try and rip the ball out of the ball carrier’s arms.  It’s so much fun to watch and scream, “BALL BALL BALL!!!!”

TOUGH game next week vs the Broncos at Denver.  Back to back road games and possibly no Cooks and Kupp.  The Rams are going to need some players to make some plays (PETERS PICK 6 NEXT WEEK).


Cowboys 16 – Texans 19 (OT)

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What a game.  I’m so glad that game was on prime-time for us to see.  I cannot believe I stayed up and watched this entire “football” game but I’m glad I did.  That game was awful.  I never said, “wtf are they doing” so many times in my life.  Chris Collinsworth did everything he could do to make the game sound exciting.  My personal favorite was, “I’m glad these teams only play once every four years cause they’re doing everything they can to kill each other out there.”  Hey Colin, guess what?   I’m also glad they only play once every four years because I can’t watch those two teams play every year.

Bill O’Brein is my new favorite coach (sorry Hue Jackson).  What the hell was he doing that game?  Was he drunk?  Is every Texans game like that?  Because if it is I need to get league pass to watch the Texans every week.  Here’s my BOB rant:  Deshuan Waston was clearly hurt that game.  They had their team doctors check on him after every series.  But guess what??  BOB didn’t think so!  Hey Deshaun are you hurt?  Ok pefect!  Let’s call a QB sweep to the left where you’ll get crushed by a Jaylon Smith.  I know you’re our franchise QB but my job is on the line.  I don’t care if you get hurt this game!  His play calls from the one yard line were amazing.  I mean not once but TWICE.

1st series:  10-6 HOU with 10 seconds left in the half.   4th and goal from the half yard line.  Hmmm let’s play a game called, “You’re a NFL coach, what would you do?”

A) You just take the points. Kick it and go up 7.  Plus you get the ball to start the second half

B) QB Sneak (you obviously don’t care about Watson)

C) Goal line formation and just smash it in there. I don’t care with who.  Put fuckin JJ Watt back there as your lead FB and just fuckin run it down their throat.  Or just hand the ball off to JJ Watt

D) Go shotgun with Watson and take a sack

DING DING DING!  You win as long as you didn’t choose Answer D!  Guess what BOB did?  D!!! Shotgun from the HALF yard line.  Watson rolled out and got destroyed by Jaylon Smith.  Ok, fine maybe I’m being harsh on BOB.  Let’s take a look at the second series.  There’s no way he can mess this up again, right?  WRONG.

2nd series:  13-13 with 10 minutes left in the game.  Ball at the Dallas ONE yard line.  Here’s a breakdown:

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Alfred Blue is 230 pounds.  Give him the ball four straight times.  I don’t give a fuck if they have 100 people and 10000000 Whataburgers stacked up in the box.  If your team can’t get you one yard and into the end zone in a 13-13 game, I am sorry.

That’s a decision a 13 year old can make on Madden.  Can someone get the Texans an “Ask Madden” app?  An app that calls a random 12 year old Texans fan for a playcall.  I can’t believe I’m this upset about the Texans.

And then there’s Jason Garrett.  What the FUCK are you doing punting on 4th and 1 on the Texans 42 yard line in overtime?!?!?!?  What the FUCK are you trying to do?!?!?  By punting it you’re essentially saying, “let’s kick the ball to them and play for a tie.”  Right?!?!  There’s no other fuckin reason to punt the ball in that situation.  You claim to have the best offensive line in the NFL, you drafted Zeke Elliot with the fourth pick in the draft, and you’re 2-2.  You win this game and you’re in first place of the division!  What are you doing punting the ball in that situation?!?!  You’re on their 42 fuckin yard line!!!!  You think your team is going to be upset that you went for it on 4th and 1 on the Texans 42?  You think they’re going to be upset that you went for the win?!?!?!?  This stuff is just mind blowing.

The Texans and Cowboys need to fire their coach on the same day this week.  Let’s make it a Texas Holiday – give everyone in Texas the day off.  They deserve it.

Week 5: Five Games to Watch

Week Five has some interesting match-ups as top teams in the Big Ten clash, and the Pac-12 play some key non conference games.

Five Games at five different time slots:

1.  (12) West Virginia -3.5 at (25) Texas Tech                         12:00 ESPN2

Start your day off with offense in a Big 12 shootout. Tech is averaging over 600 yards a game and 52 points. Will Grier the Heisman hopeful takes his team into Texas hoping to avoid an early game-day loss.  WVU hasn’t played a close game yet feasting on lowly Kansas State last weekend.

2. (14) Michigan -9 at Northwestern                                            4:30 FOX

The 3:00 time-slot is rough this week so we will bump to 4:30. Michigan goes on the road hoping to establish there run game early on. Led by Paddy Fischer(great name) and the NW defense will have there hands full against a staunch running game from Michigan featuring senior RB Karan Higdon.

3.  Florida at (23) Mississippi State -8                                           6:00 ESPN

Mullen returns to the Mississippi State for the first time since leaving, look for him to get torched by the home crowd. The Bulldogs hope to bury there old coach with QB Nick Fitzgerald leading the way on the ground. Florida’s offense will struggle to put up points against one of the most talented defensive lines in the country.

4.  (4) Ohio State -3.5 at (9) Penn State                                           7:00 ABC

White out, Game of the week, Saturday night in Happy Valley, electricity. After a slow afternoon of football things heat up at night. This game has playoff implications and will test OSU QB Dwayne Haskins. McSorley vs Haskins will be fun to watch.

4.5. (7) Stanford at (8) Notre Dame -5.5                                        7:30 NBC 

The 7 pm hour is loaded. Find a second tv because this is must watch with two undefeated teams after Stanford’s improbable comeback against a good Notre Dame team. Saturday night prime-time in South Bend featuring a Heisman hopeful in RB Love what else can you ask for?

5.  (19) Oregon -3.5  at (24) California                                             10:30 FS1   

Brutal follow up game for Oregon after the Stanford loss at home last week. Finish the night with a high scoring showdown. QB Justin Herbert the possible first pick in the draft next year, and Oregon look to bounce back on the road.

Marvel Villains in the ACC by Jan Redmond

When it comes to super hero movies this year wasn’t a first in regards to the number of movies we saw released. We got the usual sequels and the annual “let’s get all the guys from the sequels together for a group sequel”. However we also got a pleasant surprise with Black Panther, this can be backed by the success the movie saw and still continues to see post release. Let’s be honest, Killmonger was the coolest bad guy in any super hero movie Marvel Studios has put out to date (there are many other categories to rate villains so stay the hate mail). While the style and swagger of Killmonger had our curiosity, his motives grabbed our attention. Here you have a guy who was outcast by his people, spending a decade honing his skills and waiting for the day when he could use those particular sets of skills to take his people’s throne; As king, he would liberate oppressed people all over the world with the resources his country possessed. Take out the super powers and this could pass as a story on CNN, there could easily be someone out there in the world who has seen the same struggles and worked to take the same course of action. Well guess what sports fans, there is, and this storyline has manifested itself in college basketball. The man exercising his “Blue Blood” right to challenge for the mantle of king is none other than the leader of the Pitt Panthers, Jeff Capel.

This all makes complete sense when the scene has been set. The ACC is Wakanda, advanced beyond their years and possibly the cream of the crop in the college basketball landscape. The ruler of this land and the one Capel looks to overthrow is none other than Mike Krzyzewski. The natural resource that Duke and a few others (located in the byzantine backwoods of Lexington) have been selfishly hoarding like a TLC two part special, is the nation’s high school talent, college basketball’s Vibranium. Now that the foundation of this ridiculously intricate and niche metaphor has been laid lets walk through the details that led to Jeff Capel becoming the biggest threat to the culture we have seen present in the ACC for so many years now.

In 2006 Capel landed his first big name head coaching job at Oklahoma University. Before that he was an assistant at Old Dominion and VCU where he eventually had a 4 year stint as head coach. While at OU we were able to see early on what he could do from a recruiting standpoint as he landed the future lottery pick Blake Griffin. While some might say that a nutless monkey could get the Oklahoma City native to commit to his hometown university where his older brother was already playing, it must be said he was still responsible for the team making a run in the tournament with not much more than the Griffin brothers and Willie Warren. The benefits of not being in Lawrence Kansas or Bloomington Indiana is that with runs like that you’ve got some wiggle room as a coach. Stay somewhere in and around .500 with your record and the athletic director sends you a nice Christmas card before the holidays. Capel should have been the gold standard of job security after going to an Elite Eight and losing to the eventual national champion. But everyone has that one friend, the one who doesn’t think things through and takes advice from the vaunted Good Idea Fairy who is infamous for leading even the brightest men and women astray. Yes that one friend for Jeff Capel was none other than assistant coach Oronde Taliaferro. Going into the 2010 season Taliaferro left the OU coaching staff with the rumor being that it was in relation to NCAA violations. This was the birth of the conspiracy theories that still plague Jeff Capel today which is that he isn’t the squeaky clean coach he lets on to be (that is another rant for another day). Even though an investigation proved Taliaferro’s misconduct and Capel’s innocence in regards to NCAA violations, Capel was fired at the end of the season.

Here is where Capel would be gifted the opportunity to hone his craft after being ostracized by programs across the nation. Just two months after being fired from OU he was hired on as an assistant with Coach Krzyzewski’s staff at Duke. It was within the ranks of this cultist like staff comprised entirely of what I like to call “Krzyzewski Youth”, that Capel became arguably one of the two greatest recruiters currently in the sport.

Of all the Blue Bloods Coach K was easily one of the last to jump on board with the idea of taking advantage of the “one and done” phenomenon. He dipped his toe in the water with commits like Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers and two year players like Seth Curry which would make the 2010 national championship team one of the last “traditional” Duke teams before the shift in his recruiting method. A shift that took full effect when Capel arrived. When Duke got into the one and done business they went all in like Tugg Speedman playing Simple Jack. What allowed them to be so successful was Capel and his seeming ability to stay on 5 Star recruits like white on rice with a glass of milk in a snow storm. During his tenure he was responsible for Duke signing Jahlil Okafor (Class of 14’ and ranked #1 in the nation), Tyus Jones (14’)(#8), Justise Winslow (14’)(#13), Brandon Ingram (15’)(#3), Harry Giles (16’)(#2), Marvin Bagley (17’)(#1) and Wendell Carter (17’)(#7). Of the Dukies mentioned five were lottery picks and all were taken in the first round of the NBA draft after one year at Duke (all still in the NBA). As impressive as this track record might seem it was all nothing more than preamble. Capel solidified himself as a one man recruiting powerhouse with his recruiting class for Duke University in 2018. With commitments from RJ Barrett, Cameron Reddish and Zion Williamson (the #1, 2 and 3 ranked players in the nation respectively) Capel had assembled one of the most impressive recruiting classes (on paper) ever. At this point no one is questioning his ability to recruit and it is hard to think Capel wasn’t starting to question if he could take his super human power and put it to use for his own gain as opposed to Coach K’s.

Enter Kevin Stallings and the University of Pittsburgh. In the classic Big East era their conference rosters were filled with quick and scrappy guards from the northeast and teams were captained by coaches that looked like made men from a Scorsese movie. Pitt was no different, with guards like Brad Wanamaker and bigs like Gary McGhee their roster fit the culture of Big East basketball to the letter. That being said nothing was more Big East than their head coach Jamie Dixon. Running a program that even Jake Shuttlesworth would be proud to send his son to. Making numerous tournament appearances and leaving the school with a 328-123 record over 13 years he left big shoes for their new head coach hired our of Vanderbilt, Kevin Stallings. The old Big East was extinct and Pitt with Stallings was a part of the ACC, and if you’re wondering how Stallings did after coming from the nation’s trap game capitol of the world in Memorial Gymnasium allow me to give you the rundown; imagine a dumpster, now fill that dumpster with mounds of garbage, take the now full dumpster and apply heat to it. So what was once a traditional mess is now a sort of heated mess which is even messier. Needless to say Stallings was out after a 24-21 record over just two seasons and Capel took this opportunity to give the whole head coaching thing another try.

So with everything how it is most are probably wondering how any of this screams coup in the ACC. It’s quite simple, Jeff Capel III during his time at Duke became a Demigod amongst mere mortals in the game of recruiting. Since taking the head coaching job at Pitt they have seen the best recruiting class in five years. Now it must be said we can’t expect too much this first year as Capel clearly used all his juice in the recruiting class we will see at Duke this upcoming year. Things won’t start to get interesting until you look to the 2019-2020 season for two major reasons. First, Capel hasn’t fully closed the door on the Monstar recruiting class coming into Duke this year and it is clear that they still have connection with him as well. After taking the job at Pitt Capel was reported as still having communication via text with the recruits at Duke as they prepared for the transition to D1 basketball in the ACC. On the surface this seems quite endearing but in all actuality this is a behind the scenes American Psycho level power move. Duke is no different than any other major program and they see their players transfer all the time when things aren’t going their way. There are plenty of questions as to how the incoming class will work out logistically due to their respective games and the positions they played previously. If for some reason it doesn’t work out Capel wants to make sure he is at the front of the list when they look to transfer. People forget there was a scare toward the end of the last recruiting season as Zion took forever to actually sign with Duke and the worry among the Duke faithful and the prayers of the Clemson and Pitt hopeful was that Zion was going to actually stay close to home or follow Coach Capel but that all was wishful thinking. The second reason his second year will be interesting is because of the actual recruiting class Pitt has for the 2019 season…its actually pretty good. To put things in perspective Duke currently is pursuing 5 top 15 players from the class of 19’. Of those 5, three of them are also being recruited by Pitt who has their eyes set on 4 players in the top 15 of the class of 19’.

Capel is doing all of the right things to set himself up for success. He has a decent sample size as a head coach from his time at OU to his stint as interim head coach for Duke when Coach K was out from injury. The question will be can he recruit with the same success in a division that has him facing Krzyzewski and Roy Williams twice a year? Can he steal some of those top recruits that back in the day were choosing Duke and get them up to Pittsburgh instead? Hearing this should highlight just how much Capel is the real life Killmonger as he has a history of mongering the nation’s top high school recruits. Outcast by his people? Check (thanks OU admin and Coach Taliaferro). Spend years gaining the skills necessary to challenge the king? Check. Finally making the move to openly challenge for supremacy and liberate all the oppressed? Check. For Killmonger it was Vibranium, for Capel it is the top basketball recruits, both with plans to see that commodity used for good and not horded allowing for all those around them to suffer. Now, spoiler alert, we all know that Killmonger’s reign of Wakanda was short lived and ended with him dying on the side of a mountain carved into the shape of a damn panther (irony). This storyline very well might play out the same  with 3 straight years of double digit home losses at the hands of K but I refuse to hedge my bets on this one. The more likely outcome and the one that I am getting behind is Pitt being the new program within the ACC that has a jump in success similar to what we have seen from Miami over the past few years. The conference as a whole is gearing up for a power shift and the moves by Capel along with his background have moved him up very high in the running for the number one spot.