6 Thoughts from Week 5

Posted: October 7, 2013 by dontbeskerritt in NFL

ScreenShot2013-10-07at9_03_03AM_original_crop_north1. Tony Romo: Good game, good effort. But on a serious note, there is no way the Cowboys are in that game without the otherworldly performance by Antonio. Unfortunately, the book has been written that he has a block when it comes to the 4th quarter/December. However, based on Sunday’s performance, I predict that Mr. Romo’s book isn’t quite finished yet.

2. Whatever I said about Romo, multiply it by 1000 for Matt Schaub. Except for the otherworldly performance. And the good game part. And that the book isn’t finished. Schaub might be toast. It’s a shame because the Texans were Super Bowl contenders until their QB fell off a cliff.

3. I’ve defended Cam Newton for years. One year, he has no talent around him. Next year, his coaching staff is negating his talents. I’m running out of excuses for him now. Granted, that same coaching staff is there. And his go-to receiver is 34 years old and 5’9″. But he should be making guys around him better and he isn’t. He shouldn’t be turning the ball over 4 times against the Cardinals. Ah well, I’ll just blame Mike Shula.

4. Since Cam is letting me down, Terrelle Pryor is going to be my new favorite young gunner to watch for a long time. Speaking of which, Andrew Luck is quietly asserting himself as the best of the new class of QBs that have come out in the last 3 years. Andy Dalton is probably ranked behind T.J. Yates right now.

5. Can’t just talk QBs. To borrow a quote from the best Browns fan I know (actually, the only Browns fan I know) Ed Bailey: “If the [Browns] offense doesn’t turn over the ball for us, our defense will keep us in every game.” Unfortunately, Brandon Weeden is back starting (duh, another QB), but the Browns have definitely reverse jinxed themselves back into relevance.

6. Back to the Cowboys (and really the whole NFC East in general). What made us the “SEC of the NFL,” was the defenses that we had for many years. The Giants in the 80s. The Eagles’ Buddy Ryan and Jim Johnson defenses. Cowboys with their Doomsday and early 90s defenses. The Redskins as well. These days? I don’t want to make you sick with the stats but, there may be some flag football squads that can put up 20 on all of these teams.

WHO’S REAL:
– Tony Romo
– Sound Trax from the NFL
– The AFC West
– Peyton’s Bootleg Game
– Jimmy Graham’s Leaping Ability
– Baylor Wide Receivers
– 37-year old NFL Players (Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez
– A 28 point spread in the Broncos-Jaguars game
– Rob Ryan’s Buddha Belly
– Rex Ryan’s Figure

WHO’S NOT:
– Tony Romo
– Defense in the NFL
– Pink Flags
– The Kiffin Family
– Cancer & Concussions
– Atlanta Falcon’s Offensive Line
– Patriots not resigning Wes Welker
– Colin Kaepernick
– Eli Manning being better than his Brother
– Matt Schaub Struggle Face

Face of Champions

Face of Champions

Football Friday: Turtle Power

Posted: October 4, 2013 by dontbeskerritt in NFL

Ftlbl-Uniform_MarylandPride_FullSize_JerseyFront_092113

Nate Burleson wrote this week that he’s the 5th ninja turtle of his love for pizza.  He loves it so much, he willingly risked his life to save a falling box of pizza in his car.  His heroism cost him a broken arm and a month of games for the Lions (not to mention a hit to my fantasy team).  But the pizza is saved. That’s dedication.  That really has nothing to do with what I’m talking about today, but I thought that it was a cool story.

Another cool story is the rise of the Maryland Terrapins.  Much maligned for the last two years, the Terps have crept back into the Top 25 under Randy Edsall.  When he first came, fans were calling for his head, in the middle of his first season.  He supposedly turned off players with his uptight style.  No one would want to come to Maryland.  They were god-awful the first season, and because of injuries, were even worse the next. 

But Edsall didn’t change up.  He kept recruiting and coaching his way.  All of a sudden, talent like Stefon Diggs, an all-world receiver wanted to come to Maryland.  The Terps never had a problem with getting talent; it was coaching it up that proved difficult.  Now with talent and scheme, the Terps are now #25 in the country.  Quite a long way from firing their coach. 

The Terps come into this week’s benchmark test against Florida State with the 3rd best defense in the country.  Now who have they played?  3 nobodys and West Virginia.  In fact, the mollywhopped WVU 37-0. That’s the same West Virginia team that beat Oklahoma State last week.  But you and I know that WVU is no Florida State.

Famous Jameis Winston has been ripping teams apart this season.  He’s the best player the Terps have faced all season.  Maryland has never beaten Florida State in Tallahassee.  Quarterback C.J. Brown and Diggs can keep the Terps in the game on offense.  But can the defense rise up to the challenge?

Maryland isn’t at the top of the ACC just yet.  They aren’t going conference juggernauts (especially since they won’t be in the ACC for much longer).  But Edsall has the program in a great place in a fast amount of time.  And with promising new recruits committed to coming in, the backing of big time money and resources like Under Armour, can the future of Maryland football look like Oregon?  I trust Randy “Master Splinter” Edsall will have the Terps slicing and dicing the competition for years to come.

Games of the weekend following the song of the weekv=vLReIhRgVS8

Saturday, October 5

EARLY: 25 Maryland vs 8 Florida State (12pm/ESPN), North Carolina vs Virginia Tech (12:30pm/CSN), 7 Louisville vs Temple (12pm/MASN)

AFTERNOON: Georgia Tech vs 14 Miami (3:30pm/ESPNU), 3 Clemson vs Syracuse (3:30pm/ABC), 6 Georgia vs Tennessee (3:30pm/CBS)

LATE: 15 Washington vs 5 Stanford (10:30pm/ESPN), 4 Ohio State vs 16 Northwestern (8pm/ABC), 22 Arizona State vs Notre Dame (7:30pm/NBC)

Sunday, October 6

EARLY: Detroit vs Green Bay (FOX), New England vs Cincinnati (CBS), Kansas City vs Tennessee (CBS)

LATE: Denver vs Dallas (CBS), St. Louis vs Pittsburgh (MLB/4:30pm/TBS), Carolina vs Arizona (FOX)

 

Football Friday: Limping To The Starting Line

Posted: August 30, 2013 by dontbeskerritt in NFL

Look To The Heavens...Football Is HereI was almost done with Sportscenter this summer.  I got tired of seeing manufactured story after manufactured story about football players turned ESPNTMZ fodder.  From the Justin Bieber of college football, Johnny Manziel, to even the beloved son, Robert Griffin III, no one was safe.

I mean, an NFL player was allegedly involved in a murder, but that seemed to take a back seat to a college kid oversleeping during the summer time.  A player that actually wanted to play in the preseason gets skewered by national writers for doing what national writers want from players; speaking their mind.  Deadspin deftly described how ESPN literally came up with a story about Colin Kaepernick out of thin air that got replayed, regurgitated and got really, really old, really fast.

It’s easy to blame the summer boredom of media.  The dark days between the NBA Finals and Week 1 must be dreadful for these sports talk show hosts.  What are they gonna talk about, baseball?  But the problem is bigger than that.  Beat writers, whose job was to just cover the day-to-day workings of the team now have to create these headlines and opinions on something like RG3’s ego.  In fact, this week a writer announced the Redskins would clear and play RG3 week one.  Just one problem, the team doctor hadn’t even seen RG3 to clear him yet!  How did things get turned upside down?  Also, the opinion writers are now trying to get on ESPN however they can, so they spew out hack opinions however off based they are.  That’s why we care about a certain 3rd string quarterback that can’t even get playing time in the preseason.  That’s why we look at the QB’s tattoos and pause even though he was 4 yards shy of winning the Super Bowl. And worst of all, we as the consumers eat up whatever is spoon-fed to us by the talking heads.

How can this cycle of drudge be stopped?  I don’t know about you, but I want to like RG3 again and not be turned off by him thanks to the media spin.  I don’t really care about how the psyche of Johnny Manziel anymore; isn’t there 21 other guys that are important to Texas A&M? So, I’ve muted the noise.  I watch highlights on the internet.   I compete on the softball fields.  I play Madden and NBA 2K13.  Really, what it comes down to is that we need to get back to football, get back to true sports, and in a hurry.

Well, after an offseason that has dragged on long enough, we are finally here.  We’ve been beaten, bruised, and paled by the spin cycle all summer.  Now our attention is back where it really belongs, in between the lines.  Hope you stick with us throughout the season.

As always, the list of games below are the games that need to be on your screens.  Bold for the main console, italics for the second best screen, and regular font for the TV your grandma gave you from the attic.  Song of the week is right after the Mancave schedule:

Saturday, Sept 1

EARLY:  Rice vs 7 Texas A&M (1pm/ESPN); Buffalo vs 2 Ohio State (12pm/ESPN2); Purdue vs Cincinnati (12pm/ESPNU)

AFTERNOON: Mississippi State vs 13 Oklahoma State (3:30pm/ABC, ESPN2); 1 Alabama vs Virginia Tech (5:30pm/ESPN); Temple vs 14 Notre Dame (3:30pm/NBC)

LATE: 5 Georgia vs 8 Clemson (8pm/ABC); 12 LSU vs 20 TCU (9pm;ESPN); 19 Boise State vs Washington (10pm;FS1)

keller done

If you haven’t seen it, watch Dustin Keller get his knee destroyed (to the tune of 3 torn ligaments and a dislocated knee cap). This catastrophic injury has been compared to Marcus Lattimore’s leg swinging around like a nunchuck against Tennessee. Swearinger’s comments after the game were just as unsettling as watching Keller’s injury:

In this league, you’ve got to go low. If you go high, you’re going to get a fine. I’m sorry that happened. I would think you’d rather have more concussions than leg injuries. Leg injury, you can’t come back from that. A concussion, you be back in a couple of weeks.

 

How do we change this mindset? Well, another tweak of the rules may work, as @NFLosophy suggested.

nflosophy

Sounds simple enough, especially since the NFL puts its money where its mouth is and heavily fines players for hits like this. These are hits I used to get excited for but the league is “hyper-conscious” about concussions after a group of retired players sued the NFL for their handling (or hiding) of concussions and the long term effects of these injuries. This suit, which is basically a class action suit with hundreds of players, is for upwards of 1 Billion dollars. I can understand why owners and Roger Goodell are fighting it.

I would like to see the NFL tone down its overdone charade of boasting “player safety” but glorifying (and profiting off) a violent sport.

chris burke tweet

Football is physical. It is part of the reason we like it. Let the players hit, the fans crave it. No more defenseless receiver penalties. These rules are just half-hearted attempts to show concern for head injuries that happened years ago.

My recommendations would be:

  • Implement a recommended (i.e. no fines for clean plays) “strike-zone” for tackling: shoulders-to-thighs
  • continue to enforce the strict rules against playing with a concussion,
  • allow the NFLPA to have a neutral doctor on site,
  • and to stop this song and dance you think fans, players, and lawyers are too dumb to see through; it is arrogance at its finest.

I would also think that a high number of these players suing the league have hid concussions throughout their careers. Sacrificing their bodies is part of what made them great football players. Their sacrifice (and rare abilities) are why they command higher salaries than any average profession. On some level, you have to mention that they assumed the risk.

That is not to say the NFL played no part in that. I believe part of this was because much of this concussion research is new. At the time, the league (and their players) did not know the risks and complications of head injuries. But like any decent employer, the NFL should take care of their employees who were hurt on the job. To show good faith, they should set up a fund for players with long term disabilities due to injuries (including concussions) and fund research for concussions.

That kind of good faith builds goodwill in players, fans, and the media. Not making the NFL the “No Fun League”.

Be Easy.

Dwight.

The Ten Draft Commandments

Posted: August 21, 2013 by dduren06 in Fantasy Football, NFL
Tags: , , ,
Uhh, it’s the 10 draft commandmentsnotorious-big-biggie-smalls-big-poppa-frank-white
What, uhh, uhh
Cuh can’t tell me nothin bout this fantasy, uh-huh
Can’t tell me nothin bout these receivers, these QB’s
To my commissioner cuhs
Cuhs on the internets I ain’t forget you, cuh…
Draft running backs back to back cuhs, word up
 
Been in this game for years, it made me an animal
It’s rules to this isht, I wrote me a manual
A Step by step booklet for you to get
Your draft on track, not your team push backed
Rule Nombre Uno: never miss your draft

This is the foundation of your season. It accounts for probably 50% of your success during the year.

While an auto draft may give you a balanced team – autopick will overdraft a kicker or a team

defense (which you should only draft in your last two rounds) or give you Lance Kendricks (who?!) as

a second TE. You will miss out on a solid bench player with starter upside (see: Morris, Alfred – 2012

season).

Attend the draft. Get your targeted players. Draft Kickers and Defenses last. Talk some trash to your

opponents at the same time. It’ll be fun, trust me.

Number two: Never let ‘em know your next move

Even better, have a next move. Research draft strategies. Are you going old school (two running backs in

the first two rounds), progressive (tight end/QB in the first round), or best available player (value based

drafting)? It does not have to get too technical, but a little planning never hurt nobody… (insert the 12

P’s).

There are countless resources (paid and free) for information; it will help you win (no one sets out to

lose their league, right?). You’ll have more fun, your league will be more competitive, and you’ll find you

enjoy the NFL a bit more.

Here are some good resources:

Footballguys.com

Rotoworld.com

FFToday.com

Twitter has countless people to follow (Matt Waldman, Sigmund Bloom, Evan Silva to name a few). Get

active and use your resources.

Number three: Never refuse to draft no-bod-y

Don’t be a homer. Skins fans, look for Romo to put up big points for you despite his propensity to turn

the ball over.

This applies for any draft-worthy player on all 32 teams, no matter who your squad is.

Number four: I know you heard this before – never get high on your own supply

Here’s a story: the year was 2008. It’s draft day for my 12 team fantasy league. One guy (let’s say his team

name was “Bellicheck’s Hoodie” to protect the innocent) gets the 4th overall pick.

Here is his draft (warning graphic content below):

Round 1 (Pick 4): Randy Moss – WR, New England

Round 2 (Pick 16): Tom Brady – QB, New England

Round 3 (Pick 28): Wes Welker – WR, New England

Round 4 (Pick 40): Laurence Maroney – RB, New England

Round 5 (Pick 52): Benjamin Watson – TE, New England

Round 6 (Pick 64): Stephen Gostkowski – K, New England

Round 7 (Pick 76): Patriots Team Defense

Tom Brady would go on to blow out his knee in the first game.

You can guess where “Bellicheck’s Hoodie” placed that year.

Don’t be that guy (or gal).

Number five: never go and draft without practice

Try a few mocks. It will help you get a feel for where players you are targeting are getting drafted. It will

help you test out your strategy and see where your people draft your targets. Trust me, you will benefit

from having a plan and some (simulated) experience with live bullets.

Here are some sites:

football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/‎

MockDraftCentral.com

fantasyfootballcalculator.com/mockdrafts

Remember: you play liked you practice.

Number Six: your league scoring rules, get it

In other words, KNOW THEM! The scoring format (Flex WR/TE/Rb, Yards per completion, Points per

Reception [PPR], etc…) should shape your draft.

If your league allows a flex WR/RB/TE, then draft an extra running back or receiver early. If you get

rewarded points per reception, keep that in mind when drafting running backs.

Not knowing your league scoring will set you behind the competition. It only takes a minute.

Seven: this rule is so underrated / keep your family and fantasy completely separated

Have fun but don’t overdo it. Know your limits and take it one week at a time. I once played in 10

leagues at one time. That was not a fun time, as you can imagine.

Number eight: never have to wait for the computer

Get mobile. Sign up for leagues that have a good mobile app to manage your roster. They are often

quick and easy and keep your team competitive while you are out and about. My personal favorite is

Yahoo! but NFL.com, CBS Sports, and ESPN all have decent mobile apps.

Number nine shoulda been number one to me / Don’t blow off the rest of your draft because you

missed on RG3.

Have a plan b (or c or d). Yes it sucks, someone sniped your top target a few picks ahead of you. But

remember, one player will never make or break your draft.

Try not to reach for a player because of a run on a position or missing a target, either.

Number ten: a strong word called commitment / Strictly for live men, not for freshmen

Stay active in your league. This makes up the other 50% of your success. Active managers who set

their line ups on before games, play the waiver wire, wheel and deal players give themselves the best

shot at winning the league.

Play the match ups and trade/look for undervalued players who may have had a recent rough patch but big

point potential.

As a general rule, it is better to be early than late to pick up players on waivers that blew up the week

before. Also, trade to improve your team earlier than late in case it does not pan out.

Follow these rules you’ll have mad bread (or chips) to break up/
If not, double digit losses, on the wake up…
Gotta go gotta go more leagues to blow up, word up, uhh

Good luck this year – here’s to second place if you’re playing against me.

Your Champion,

Fantasy King, Diwigit Blizzard aka D-Wight the deputy.

HTTR.

06 Most Important Players This Season: Philadelphia Eagles

Posted: August 21, 2013 by dontbeskerritt in NFL

kelly vickTo get ready for the season, we’ll be looking at the most intriguing teams heading into the year and the guys that will be the most critical to that teams success.  We start off with the new look Philadelphia Eagles:

This is probably one of the most fascinating teams that has ever come off a 4-12 season.  The Philadelphia Eagles are loaded with talent on offense, with a totally new system that’s ready to take the NFL by storm; or is it?  Chip Kelly looks to bring his Oregon flying offense East to Philly, a city built on grit and toughness.  Should be an interesting mix.  Can opposites attract? Or will it be like oil and water?  Here are the 6 guys on the squad now that can help Coach Kelly hit the ground running.

6. Connor Barwin, Linebacker – One of the few Eagles that has any type of experience with the 3-4 look.  This doesn’t bode well for a defense that hasn’t had great 3-down linebacking play since the days of Jeremiah Trotter 1.0.  This year, with DeMeco Ryans who looks like a non-factor, and Mychal Kendricks, who was inconsistent (while being miscast), and Russian roulette at the 4th LB spot, Barwin is going to be the one to lead this ragtag bunch.  Safe to say, the Eagles may need to score 30 points a game to win this year, again.

5. LeSean McCoy, Running Back – This is no diss to Shady as the Eagles best player.  I know he’s going to show up.  He even said he the last couple seasons were disappointing, and expects a bounce back.  I know Chip Kelly will get McCoy his touches.  I have no doubt he’ll show up.  But will he make a winning impact on the team if other guys don’t show up?  That’s why he’s number 5.

4. Fletcher Cox, Defensive End – The Eagles defense ranked 15th last year, but only 23rd against the run.  Fletcher Cox, probably the only reason that rank was not lower, moves from defensive tackle to defensive end.  He will lead this defensive front to at least mildly contain rushing attacks.  From the look at these first couple preseason games, he’s going to have a lot on his shoulders.

3. Desean Jackson, Wide Receiver – This is actually where I originally put LeSean McCoy on the list. But with Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn going down, and Riley Cooper being captured on Candid Camera, it’s time for your favorite rapper’s favorite wide receiver to stop pouting, and resume putting up big numbers.  If he falls back to last year’s performance, I doubt he’s gonna be able to go out so easily in the city of Brotherly Love.

2. The Starting QB Michael Vick - Chip Kelly is bringing an offense that has never been seen before in the NFL.  But we’ve heard that before with June Jones, Steve Spurrier, and others that have come and gone.  Kelly’s staying power may rest on Vick’s left arm.  He has the skill set, he has the motivation.  Can he put it together? Vick’s getting better help with the offensive line so he’s not getting destroyed on every drop back.  The play calling should protect him as well; but they are going to have to score 30+ to win most games. Hey, the expectations are low; all Philly wants this year is two wins.  Two versus Dallas, and one against Andy Reid and the Chiefs.

1. The Back-up QB Nick Foles – Because it will take just one bad game by Vick to make him the most popular guy in the city of brotherly love.

Quite possibly the worst football related song of all time. Of all time.

Video  —  Posted: August 11, 2013 by dduren06 in NFL
Tags: , , ,