Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celtics Look Pretty Good In The Preseason


The Celtics finished 5-3 this pre season and I'm all in!

I really like the pieces on this team. Jared Sullinger could just be playing out of his mind in the pre season due to lack of competition but last nights performance of 15 points and 17 boards could be a thing that could be close to his average. He will never be looked at as a Kevin Love type superstar, but he can certainly be a 15/15 type of player. He has incredible rebounding skills and he has a very polished offensive game for a shorter PF. He's going to be a real solid player.

The rooks Marcus Smart and James Young have their flashes of brilliance and also rookie mistakes. Smart is going to be a problem for the league once he gets some time under his belt. I never saw him take a play off on both ends of the floor and is an extreme competitor. He's not afraid to shoot which I like the confidence (but could be a detriment some times) and is willing to drive and get to the line. James Young is a flat out gunner. I don't know how much time he will get this year due to a surplus of SF players on the team, but he could easily be instant offense.

Speaking of instant offense Marcus Thornton is that. Yes he looks like he is 300 lbs, but he is very Eddie House like offensively. There will be games where he wins it for us, there will also be games where he shoots us out of the game.

Kelly Olynik has disappointed me somewhat. He still looks extremely slow defensively and his aggressiveness on offense can come and go.

Tyler Zeller is better then he showed pre season, but he will need to be a lot better if he wants to get minutes in the season.

Evan Turner is good. He is going to be a pleasant surprise. I never minded him in Philly, and he is a solid player.

Jeff Green Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley did what I expected.

This Celtics team is going to win a lot of games with their 3 point shooting, unfortunately they are going to lose a lot of games to their gunning nature.

Now, Rondo is expected back very soon it will be interesting to see what Brad Stevens does to the line up.

I imagine the starting line up will be:
Rondo, Bradley, Green, Sully, Olynik

With Smart, Turner, Bass, Thorton, Zeller, Wallace, Young being in the rotation.

I think during big stretches during the games you will see a lot of small line ups like:

Rondo, Bradley, Smart/Turner, Green and Sully

And when Rondo is out I see a lot of

Smart, Bradley, Turner, Green, Sully/ Olynik

This is a very big year for the Celtics as guys will have to make major steps for improvement/ trade value. I like this team a lot and think they will surprise a lot of teams especially on the defensive side of the ball. I predict the Celtics will be a top 8 defensive team.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pittsburgh Is Back! Probably Not Going To Lose Another Game This Year


The Steelers needed to play a complete game like this. They had 2 embarrassing losses against the Browns and Bucs, but pulled in a complete game on both sides of the ball against the Texans in a 30 to 23 win game. The score makes the game look closer then how it was as a TD got taken away from Ben and Antonio Brown late in the game.

Speaking of Antonio Brown, he may be the best WR in the NFL right now (with Calvin Johnson is injured). The guy is just incredible he had 9 catches for 90 yards and threw a TD. Like I said earlier the refs overturned what should have been a TD. He leads the league in catches with 50, yards with 719 and has 5 TDs. He's the best and yet another great draft pick by the Steelers.

Ben threw the other 2 TD passes to home grown Le'Veon Bell and Martavious Bryant. Just an incredible performance by Ben.

The defense held it's own and got some turnovers which they were last in headed into the game. Just an incredible performance and Pittsburgh is going to go undefeated for the rest of the year and win the SB.

We are back Baby.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Yet Another Reason Why Jameis Winston Should Be A High First Round Pick Next Year


Florida State could have lost this game very easily to Notre Dame and it would have been understandable. Notre Dame although having a weak schedule have been playing well, FSU lost 10000 people in the draft and impact players at that and all the controversy surrounding QB Jameis Winston. As a matter of fact, ND was leading at halftime by 7 and Jameis had a forgetful first half.

But in the second half, when all the pressure was on the young QB Winston excelled. He hit another level in the second half and completed 15 of 16 throws for 181 yards and a TD. He kept himself composed as he always does, and won a game with all the chips stacked up against him. Of course there was some controversy surrounding the ending, but that had nothing to do with Winston... so it's not worth getting into.

I wrote a post last week saying there was a poll saying teams wouldn't want Jameis as their starting QB and that was dumb. Here is another case on why this guy is the best QB in college football. Cool, composed, and the best under pressure QB in college football. For the teams that don't see their current QB as the guy of the future, Jameis is already better then most of them. He can be a franchise player and he's a proven winner. The off field stuff, does play a roll in the draft, but I believe that those can be overlooked based on the production Winston has had.

Lay off Jameis Winston and just enjoy the ride.

The Curious Case Of Percy Harvin


In an odd move that seemingly came out of nowhere, Percy Harvin was handed over to the Jets for a potential 4th round pick. When Harvin was traded to the Seahawks and got the huge contract for accomplishing nothing in his short career, I was incredibly critical of the moves because Harvin didn't do shit yet to deserve all this stuff. Other on the site argued with me thinking he was a giant X factor and blah blah. In Seattle he had impact in the playoffs, but when it came to the post season his name was mentioned a lot, and he better have as the Seahawks gave up I think a 1st and 3rd for him. But as for the impact player they hoped for, there was much to be desired.

Well now he is on the Jets and the gets got him for 1/1000 of what the Seahawks original investment was. I like the move for the Jets as they obviously don't have many playmakers and he can help them in that regard. The only thing is, there have been several reports about his attitude in Seattle including sitting out games, not coming back into games, altercations with teammates, etc. The Jets had a player like that in Santonio Holmes that didn't work a lot for them.

What I don't get is that if he was such a clubhouse cancer and almost cut for nothing, why didn't we hear about this until this week? It's odd. You would think one of these things would get leaked somehow.

I guess bottomline, this makes the Jets better. No, Harvin will not turn the team around especially if these attitude problems are as prevalent as they have been reported, but he does make them better.

Peyton Manning Breaks Brett Favre's Career Touchdowns Record

Peyton Manning threw 4 touchdown passes in a rout of the San Francisco 49ers last night. In the process he broke Brett Favre's career touchdown record of 508 touchdown passes. This has given me a great excuse to talk about one of my favorite topics: How overrated Brett Favre is.

It's easy to dislike Brett Favre. There's the general stuff like the constant retiring/un-retiring shit he pulled. The Wrangler commercials. The dick pics. John Madden's love affair with him. There's also stuff that's a bit more localized to Patriots fan with his lone Super Bowl win coming at the Patriots expense and his short stint with the Jets. But beyond that, there are his fans that think he belongs in the GOAT discussion with the likes of Brady and Manning.

I think when it comes down to it I don't like Brett Favre because he's so different from the way Tom Brady plays the game. Favre made his career off of highlight reel throws on the run or across his body. He was a gun slinger that made risky decisions that either got him onto SportsCenter or lost his team the game with a costly interception. Brady built his career off of good decision making and protecting the football while still putting up results. Where Favre was looking to throw the home run ball downfield into double coverage, Brady saw a risky play and hit the easy 5 yard completion to his check down. This is why when you look at Brett's numbers compared to Peyton Manning you see the huge gap in turnovers. Brett has 112 more interceptions and 67 more fumbles than Peyton does. This is why Favre holds the NFL career record for interceptions, protecting the football was never his top priority.

There is also the speed with which Peyton has managed to surpass Brett's record. Brett had 56 more games in his career than Peyton Manning currently has. If Peyton plays out this season and then 3 additional seasons without missing significant time he should be in that neighborhood for career games played. Brady would need an additional 6 more seasons after this one to catch up to have played that many games.

The Brett Favre apologists will point out that the rules changes have given quarterbacks better protection and freed up their receivers. I agree, but I don't believe that comparing Favre to Manning is the same thing as trying to compare Manning to one of the old time greats like Joe Montana. Favre and Manning had significant overlap in their careers. In the 20 seasons Favre was in the NFL, he played 13 of them with Peyton Manning in the league. One of those early seasons was his rookie year with the Atlanta Falcons before being traded to Green Bay. Favre only appeared in 2 games for the Falcons and made 4 pass attempts. He still managed to throw 2 interceptions in those 4 attempts. There is some consideration to be given to Favre for playing more of his career in an era that was tougher on quarterbacks and receivers, but not nearly enough to cover the gaps in production and ball security when compared to Manning and Brady.

Now that I've said I'll that I can get back to forgetting Brett Favre existed, at least until his Hall of Fame induction in 2016.
-Mike

Friday, October 17, 2014

Anyone Who Says They Wouldn't Want Jameis Winston QBing Their Team Is A Moron


Sure Jameis off the field has messed up and shown immaturity from the bbgun incident, Burger King Incident, Crab Legs Incident, Autograph Incident and Fuck Her Right in the Pussy Incident (I'm leaving out the false rape allegations because it's not fair to label him as a rapist if he was found of no wrong doing). But he is already better then half the QB's in the league right now. There is a poll on ESPN saying would you want Jameis to be QBing your favorite team right now and 81% say no. That means that 19% of America is sane.

On the field Jameis Winston has done nothing that he can perform at a high level and on top of that perform when the pressure is highest. He won the Heisman, he won the National Championship, he finished a highly pressured final drive in the National Championship in game winning throw, and led FSU to an undefeated season last year and probably this year. I know that there is a hearing today and Jameis will probably get suspended from college football due to some maturity issues. However, nobody can't say this kid can't ball. If the Jets, Bills, Dolphins, Vikings, Giants, Bucs, etc would rather have their shitty QB over Jameis then you are a horrible fan. Last year Winston threw 40 TDs to 10 picks and got another 4 on the ground. This year his stats aren't as gaudy but enough to be leading a top 2 team in the country.

Again, I'm not defending Jameis' maturity, because it's not where it should be, however, that can be corrected. He should be the 1st overall pick and if the team that picks number 1 passes on him, it's the biggest disservice to their franchise. I would take Winston 100% of the time over Mariotta.

FREE JAMEIS

The Patriots Get By With A Little Help From The Refs


Sure the Jets probably deserved to lose, they relied on FGs instead of actually scoring in the red zone. However, it seemed as if Goodell wanted to help the Patriots out before his inevitable firing.

Apparently you can't line up directly in front of the long snapper during FG attempts (I never heard of this rule, but apparently it's a rule) so when the last second FG attempt was being had Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower was initially lined up right in front of the Jets long snapper. If the play was snapped during the attempt it would have been a 5 yard penalty and the Jets would have had a closer attempt.... which Folk could have missed/ blocked/etc. However, before the snap took place the official ran up to Hightower and moved him so their would be no penalty. I don't know why he would do that as officials are supposed to be honest and it's not his place to do it, but he did it anyway. The Jets then snap the ball, Chris Jones blocks the field goal for sweet redemption from last years push play, game over.

There is only one conclusion to draw from this, is that Goodell is the gift that keeps on giving for N.E., he first covered up the spygate scandal, he constantly gives the Patriots breaks and ultimately gave the Patriots the game last night. Also if that official lay up wasn't enough, there were multiple pass interference calls that simply weren't.

I don't want to harp on this because the Patriots defense looks horrendous and when they play better teams they will be exposed without a rushing defense and with Revis being far from an island, and beating a lowly Jets team by 2 at home is nothing to boast about but it is worth noting that once again the Patriots get bailed out by officiating. I was shocked that a personal foul wasn't called on that Brady flop job either, Goodell must have been in the bathroom.

Patriots Survive Jets

This was an ugly win. This one didn't bother me as much as the one we saw earlier in the year against the Raiders. The Jets were playing to salvage their season/Rex Ryan's job and they do have some areas where they are competent. This game had "trap game" written all over it and the Patriots survived it with a win.

I said in my preview that I was concerned about the Jets pass rush. The lone sack for 1-yard would make it seem that this concern was unfounded, but I think that the impact of the Jets pass rush was bigger than that. Brady was feeling the pressure this game. He threw the ball away to avoid the sack on a number of plays and he was moving in the pocket to avoid pressure often. The offensive line was generally able to do their job and when the protection did break down Brady was able to buy himself time or limit the damage. It was nice to see Brady and the O-Line working in tangent to limit the effectiveness of a good pass rush. Brady's numbers were less exciting than we had seen the past two weeks, but it was still a solid performance with a lot of good decision making. The distribution of passes continues to be well spread out among the receivers. LaFell, Gronkowski, Edelman and Shane Vereen all had 4-5 catches each. There was a Danny Amendola sighting as he caught a 19-yard touchdown pass on a long 3rd and goal.

The Patriots running game was adequate, but got few opportunities. They only got 15 touches in this game. One of those was the once-per-game Julian Edelman end around play. Three of them were on the Patriots final drive where the runs were obvious because of the need to kill the clock.

I said in my preview that I was concerned about the Jets running game. The Jets running game chewed up the Patriots for 218 yards on the ground. Geno Smith, Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson all ran right over the Patriots defense. This opened up opportunities for Geno in the passing game as he had arguably his best game of the season. The Jets moved the ball at will and scored on their first 5 drives in this game. Fortunately, all but one of those scores were field goals. The Jets weren't forced to punt until late in the third quarter. I think it's becoming clear where the Patriots weakness is on defense. They're getting exposed by big north-south running backs as they can't make tackles at the line of scrimmage. I'm tempted to put this onto the loss of Jerod Mayo, but it had been a problem against Kansas City and Miami when he was out there as well. The pass defense was also lackluster for such a highly regarded unit. The Patriots defense is one of the best teams in terms of creating turnovers and the Jets are one of the worst teams in terms of ball security, but the Jets never turned the ball over.

All in all, this was a strange game. I think if you looked at the stat sheet without knowing the score you might assume the Jets won this game. They got more first downs. They dominated time of possession. They dominated in total yards. They didn't make any turnovers. In the end, they couldn't come through when it mattered settling for field goals on those early drives. The Patriots were able to maximize their opportunities and punch it into the end zone and that was what allowed them to win this game despite being outplayed for the most of it.

We're on to Chicago! The Patriots will have the long week to rest up and prepare for when the Chicago Bears come to Gillette. This is the beginning of a tough stretch in the Patriots schedule as they take on 4 playoff teams in the next 6 games. Chicago might be the easiest team in that stretch, currently sitting at 3-3. The Bears will be taking on Miami this week at home before heading to Foxboro. The Bears are a well-rounded team. Their defense is above average but not spectacular by any means. Jay Cutler has put together some good numbers for this year and Matt Forte has been solid. This is a team the Patriots should beat, but if they make mistakes the Bears are competent enough to capitalize on those mistakes.
-Mike

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Steelers Stink Right Now..... They Will Be Back


So Mike is obviously really jealous of my popularity and probably should recognize who puts the asses in the seats. Anywho, here is my Steelers have been sucking this year post. I touched upon it before but Todd Hailey is the anti christ. The fact that Pittsburgh has let this blow hard coach the offense is fucking pathetic. They don't utilize Ben to his best ability (which is back yard football) and run shitty draws and short passes. I think LeVeon Bell is great, I think the WRs are great and I think their line has been performing well enough. However, they rarely go for it and they don't utilize their big playmakers the way they should. I guess Tomlin deserves some of this blame for letting it happen, but Hailey is the main culprit. On the other side of the ball Dick LeBeau needs to go. He was great and has been for an incredible amount of time, but offenses in today's Goodell driven NFL have caught up with him. The Steelers have had too many injuries and blitz too much and for them to be able to cover 3/4 wrs/ a TE. It's pathetic.

They lost to the Browns and Bucs, which are 2 inexcusable losses and they lost mainly because the offense is playing scared and the defense puts to much pressure on themselves to be effective.

Either way my prediction of the Steelers vs the Seahawks stays because Pittsburgh will make a miracle run like the Royals.

Jets by 8

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ebola..... Should I be Concerned


Ebola just came to Mass.... should I be concerned?

I have been ignoring Ebola and just assumed it was an Africa thing because everything in Africa is awful. However, this is starting to become like every movie ever Outbreak, contagion, etc. Soon everyone will be throwing up their guts and dying. I'm starting to get terrified. I'm starting to think that 100% of us will get this stupid virus. When it's time for me to go, I want an honorable death like getting shot while saving a child or something heroic.... most likely now I'm not going to make it to 30 and be throwing up and shitting my guts out of my mouth and ass.

Things I'm grateful for before Ebola takes me:
Sox, Celtics, Steeler, Bama and Kentucky Championship wins
DMX
Food specifically Cheeseburgers, Hot Dogs, Steak and Cheese Subs, Buffalo Wings
Spygate
I guess friends and family

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pats Continue to Roll, Beat Bills

This was a good win for the Patriots. It seems like with the Patriots extensive run of success against the Bills, beating them should be old hat at this point. This year was different. The Bills had started off strong. They were coming off of a big win against the Lions and were tied with the Patriots for the division lead. The Bills had been one of the best defenses in the league at getting to the quarterback and the Patriots offensive line had struggled to protect Tom Brady. It was going to be a big test for the Patriots glaring weak spot. Both teams were trying to back up their impressive wins from last week and prove they're the top dogs in the division.

There were some concerns around Tom Brady going into this game with him being listed with an ankle injury coming into this game. His mobility had always been limited, but with Buffalo coming hard for him he would need to be able to buy himself a few extra seconds with his legs. He actually managed to improve on his performance against the Bengals the week prior with more passes, more completions, more yards, more touchdowns and no turnovers. Last week Brady had a working running game to give a more balanced attack on offense. The running game was stymied with just 50 yards on 27 carries and Brady picked up the slack. They needed to lean on Brady and he picked apart the Buffalo secondary. The offensive line did well in limiting the Bills pass rush to just 2 sacks on Brady in this game. With the extra time, Brady was able to spread the ball out to 10 different receivers. Brandon Lafell, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman all had just under 100 yards receiving. This is a result of Brady getting more time in the pocket. He has more time to find the open man and he can step up to deliver more accurate throws.

The Patriots running game was a no-show for this one. Stevan Ridley was seriously hurt over the course of the game, but things had been going poorly before that. The Bills have a stout run defense, so simply keeping the defense honest to allow Brady to work was adequate.

The Patriots defense was solid. The Bills offense is below average (19th passing, 22nd rushing), but the Patriots managed to limit them to just 3 touchdowns and came up with some key turnovers to give the Patriots offense good field position for some easy scores. Jamie Collins came up with a pick to kick off the second quarter to kill a Buffalo drive and put the Patriots in a good spot around midfield. 6 plays later the Patriots were on the board with a touchdown. Chandler Jones came up with a strip sack on Kyle Orton to put the Patriots on the Buffalo 24-yard line. The Patriots went 3 and out and Stephen Gostkowski's kick made it 10-0. With just 14 seconds left in the half, the Bills went conservative with a running play to take them to the half. Devin McCourty forced the fumble and put the Patriots in a position to get a field goal going into halftime. All 13 points in the first half came off of turnovers. They limited the Bills and managed to boost the offense with some key turnovers. It's hard to ask for more than that from your defense.

The special teams didn't stand out in any way. Stephen Gostkowski missed a chip shot 36-yard field goal for his first missed kick since December of last year. I'm inclined to give Gostkowski a pass on this one. He's been a very good, consistent kicker. His first kick was good, but negated by a false start. His second kick involved a bad snap/hold by Danny Aiken/Ryan Allen. Gostkowski hit all the extra points and the other 3 field goal kicks including a 53-yarder.

The Patriots have officially gotten their shit together. They've scored the same number of points in the last 2 games as they did in the first 4 games of this season. This win came at a price as Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley were taken out of this game with injuries. The early reports indicate that they are both headed for season ending injured reserve. I have never been a big fan of Ridley, but he managed to make some solid contributions this year without putting the ball on the ground. This should result in some more opportunities for rookie 4th round RB James White and Brandon Bolden. Some possible options for the roster spot are promoting Jonas Gray from the practice squad or possibly picking up the "Law Firm" Benjarvus Green-Ellis. The Law Firm played 4 seasons of fumble-free football for the Patriots before the Bengals lured him to Cincinnati with a lucrative contract. The Bengals released him at the end of August and he has been a free agent for the last 6 weeks. He hasn't been on the couch for very long and had a respectable season for the Bengals last year. He's proven to be an effective cog in the Patriots system and his salary should be near the veteran minimum if the Patriots wanted him. I think it is a good match. Replacing Jerod Mayo for the second year in a row may prove more difficult. The depth chart shows undrafted rookie Deontae Skinner and 4th year player Chris White. Alternatively, with the Jets and their run-first offense coming up on the schedule they might add another body up front to the scheme and use just Hightower and Collins at the LB spots. In either case it will be hard to replace Mayo's solid play and leadership.

We're on to New York! The Jets have been a disaster this year. Their lone win came in week 1 against the Raiders. Since then they've lost 5 straight (Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, San Diego and Denver) and they're on the bottom of the AFC East. Rex Ryan's job again appears to be in jeopardy. Geno Smith is arguably the worst QB in the NFL that still has a starting job with just 6 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. This is the classic trap game for the Patriots. Nobody on the planet will be picking the Jets to come out of Foxboro with a win. The Jets are reeling, but they're not as bad as their record might seem as they have played some quality opponents from the NFC North/AFC West. When you look at the few areas the Jets do well, running the ball and sacking the quarterback, it aligns favorably with areas the Patriots have struggled at times this season. When the Dolphins and the Chiefs beat the Patriots they did it by getting into Tom Brady's face and pounding them with the running game. The Jets can do both of those things. This is compounded by the Loss of Jerod Mayo, whose primary strength was against the run. Rex knows that he's on the hot seat and that if he is to have any hope of turning this season around they will have to win this game. If the Patriots expect to get the win just for showing up they could be in for a nasty surprise.
-Mike