What we learned from Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season

Written by :
Published on : September 12, 2017

 

After what seemed like an eternity, football is finally back. With the return of both NCAAF and NFL action, girlfriends and wives across this great nation begin to weather the long and lonely storm that will last until Super Bowl LII is completed in February. With commencement of the 2017 NFL season, as with every NFL season, there are questions abound. Let’s survey the post week 1 landscape and see if we didn’t learn anything from the first action of the year.

 

The Colts are in disarray.

 

Not only did they get their asses handed to them by the Rams, but during the post game press conference their coach couldn’t even remember which team it was that handed them their aforementioned ass, to the tune of 46-9. It’s was the Rams who the Colts made look like the Patriots, by the way. It’s no secret that Andrew Luck is, by far, their best player, but it’s shocking just how bad the rest of this team is. Much like when they had Peyton Manning as their QB, this organization is content let the signal caller win games single-handily and let the team go down in flames should anything happen to the guy under center. They better hope Andrew Luck gets healthy quick and saves them from a top-5 draft pick in 2018.

 

 

The Jacksonville Jaguars defense could finally be living up to all the hype.

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The Jags came out and wiped the floor with the Houston Texans in week 1. Their defense totaled 10 sacks, a new record for the franchise, and their prized free agent acquisition, Calais Campbell, came away with 3.5 on his own. After years of drafting athletics freaks and paying for big name free agents, it appears that the team with the ugliest uniforms in the NFL could finally be seeing some dividends on that investment.

 

 

The injury bug is back with a fury.

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Week 1 was brutal for many fantasy football enthusiasts (myself included) and for pure fans around the league. The Arizona Cardinals look like they’ve lost David Johnson for a significant period of time to a wrist injury. The Jaguars lost Allen Robinson for the year with torn ACL and the Chicago Bears have once again lost Kevin White for the season with a broken shoulder blade. That’s only the big name offensive specialists that got inured. Their were also significant injuries among linemen and defenders across the NFL in week 1. Football is violent sport and injuries are inevitable but one has to wonder if the reduction in full contact practices in preseason under the current CBA has anything to do with it?

 

 

The Dallas Cowboys are picking up right where they left off last season.

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When the Cowboys selected running back Ezekiel Elliott with the 4th overall pick last year, and then moved on from Tony Romo last season and ushered in the era of Dak Prescott, a 4th round rookie, their was some consternation among fans in Dallas. The doubters were quickly quieted last season after the two rookies set the league on fire, and if there was any doubt lingering, the team squashed it out with a dominant 19-3 victory over the division rival Giants on Sunday Night Football. As much as I hate to say it, the Cowboys will be among the favorites to win the NFC this year.

 

 

It’s criminal that Colin Kaepernick does not have a job right now.

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Scott Tolzien, Tom Savage, Brian Hoyer, Josh McCown. These are names of guys who started in week 1 and led their teams to some brutal losses. That’s not even to mention middle-of-the-road guys like Andy Dalton and Carson Palmer, who looked like trash. Colin Kaepernick could help any one of these teams by at least providing some quality competition for their starters. It’s hard to believe that there is any type of collusion among owners to keep him out of the league but it is puzzling that he hasn’t landed on a roster yet.

 

The most important thing that we all learned in week 1 is… NOTHING! The NFL season is a long and grueling endeavor and anyone who thinks they can truly discern the direction of any team from one week of action is full of shit. Teams that looked like world beaters this week (I’m looking at you, Rams) will miss the playoff and teams that came out flat (the Patriots) could go on to win the rest of their games. There is really no way to tell. So buckle up and enjoy the ride because it’s a mighty long road to Super Bowl LII.

 

 


The NFL free agency mambo

Written by :
Published on : March 15, 2017

 

NFL free agency has only been a few days but already the complete landscape of football has changed. Huge names have moved and found new homes while others have decided to hang up the cleats and retire. Millions are being tossed around and it’s a lot to process. Let ScoreBoredSports ease your weary brain with this helpful review of all the big transactions so far. Strap on your dancing shoes and let’s all do the free agency mambo.

 

WR Brandon Marshall to Giants

2 year/$12 million dollar deal saves Marshall from moving homes or facilities as he switches to the Giants. The former New York Jet will join Odell Beckham Junior in the receiving corps. Should make for a pretty solid unit.

 

WR Pierre Garçon to 49ers

This organization is totally rebuilding. They need offensive weapons. Garçon is nice possession receiver but it’s unsure who will be throwing him the ball. Got to start somewhere, though it looks like San Francisco overpaid.

 

 

OT Ricky Wagner and OL TJ Lang to Lions

Oh boy, the Lions add some beef upfront to help keep Stafford alive. As a fan, I love any effort to improve the o-line and help our lackluster running game.

 

TE Dwayne Allen to Pats

This was a trade with the Colts where Allen and a 6th round pick went to New England for only a 4th round pick. Seems like a small price tag for a guy that will blossom under Brady. But that’s what the Pats do.

 

RB Mike Tolbert to Bills

Mike packs his bags and leaves the Panthers to join Shady McCoy and the other backs in Buffalo. This team loves to the run the ball so look for Tolbert to get the short yardage/goal line duties.

 

 

QB Brian Hoyer to 49ers

I expect the new heads of the organization to draft a QB but this will be their starter for the time being. Hoyer has flashed moments where it looks like he has all the tools for the job. This will be a tough test. Hopefully, they can add a few more pieces around him.

 

S Barry Church to Jags

Jacksonville focused on defense in last year’s draft and maybe those picks will pay off but they couldn’t stop anyone last season. Church is a vet who Jacksonville hopes can bring some leadership to the secondary.

 

WR DeSean Jackson to Bucs

DJax headed to Tampa where his skills should pair well with star WR Mike Evans. This could be a nasty duo. This team has playoff sleeper written all over it.

 

 

K Steve Hauschka to Bills

Hey, kickers matter and Steve is one of the best. The long time Seahawk is bringing his talents to north beach. This is a good pick up for any team.

 

WR Kenny Britt to Browns

Get that money Kenny, but it sucks to be on Cleveland. This team needs tons of help and they don’t seem close to an answer. Would love to be wrong.

 

CB AJ Bouye to Jags

Jacksonville continues to invest on the defensive side of the ball with the splashy signing one of the top cornerbacks available, but they paid for it. 5 year/$67 million.

 

 

WR Alshon Jeffery to Eagles

Philly adds a big time target for a 1 year/$14 million deal. This is all about fit. That’s why the contract was only for a season. If Jeffery soars, expect a huge offer next year.

 

CB Logan Ryan to Titans

The other top defensive back on the market lands in Tennessee. This is another team that is quietly building a real competitor.

 

DE Julius Peppers to Panthers

Homecoming. I love when a player gets a chance to head back to his old team for another tour. Fans bust out their old jerseys and we all have fun.

 

 

WR Terrelle Pryor to Washington

1 year/$8 million and suddenly you are QB Kirk Cousin’s new favorite target. He will replace Jackson and keep the passing attack rolling in the Capitol.

 

TE Martellus Bennett to Packers

Just what Aaron Rodgers needs, a Super Bowl winning-mega talent. Ugh. The only worse headlines are from the real news.

 

WR Brandin Cooks to Pats

God damn it. How do they keep reloading so fast? It’s almost like every player in the league wants to play there and win one of those fancy trophies. New England sent their 1st and 3rd round draft picks to New Orleans for Cooks and a 4th rounder.

 

 

TE Lance Kendricks to Packers

Looks like Green Bay is following the Pats model of the two TE sets as they add another big body pass catcher.

 

WR Kendall Wright to Bears

Chicago needed to do something after losing top wide out Jeffery. Wright becomes the go-t0 guy in the Windy City. The real question is, with Jay Cutler gone, who is throwing the ball?

 

QB Nick Foles to Eagles

Another reunion. Foles will presumedly be the number two quarterback behind Wentz, who just finished his rookie year. Foles should be considered a top tier backup. Someone who is ready to start and win in the event of an injury.

 

 

RB Eddie Lacy to Seahawks

The big back joins Seattle on a 1 year/$5 million deal with $3 mil fully guaranteed. His weight is an issue. Some reports have him at 267 lbs. That’s heavy for a running back. The hope is he becomes the new Marshawn Lynch but that may be unrealistic.

 

QB Mike Glennon to Bears

Chicago has finally cut ties with Jay Cutler and they need a new signal caller. Glennon may not set Chicago on fire but he is young, 6’6″ and has experience. Not a sexy signing but the free agency market for QB’s is slim.

 

Some big names are still available. Guys like Dont’a Hightower, Adrian Peterson and Colin Kaepernick are still looking for a team. The NFL draft is a month away so we can expect to see some more action in the coming days. But most of the high profile talent is already off the board. This is such an exciting time for football. I can’t wait for the season opener.

 

Show me the money.

 

 


Bears to sign Mike Glennon, NFC North rivals rejoice

Written by :
Published on : March 9, 2017

 

The NFL’s new league year is beginning and with it we are seeing a flurry of new signings. This is one of my favorite times of year as teams begin to retool and build their rosters for the new season. It’s an exciting time for fans, who get to play amateur GM and imagine how they would best build their favorite team. And when teams don’t go along with the fan’s ideas of what’s best, they get to light the torches and get out the pitchforks, only to realize once games start that they had no idea what they were talking about. Aside from being excited about what your team might be doing, fans get to revel in the mistakes of their rivals. That’s why I am so excited for what the Chicago Bears are rumored to be working on.

 

 Get this man in a Bears jersey!

 

The Bears are being connected to former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Mike Glennon. As a Lions fan, I would love to see the Bears sign Mike Glennon. They will have gone from Jay Cutler, a sub-par, but proven and somewhat talented quarterback to a guy that hasn’t seen the field in two years and has one mediocre rookie season as his body of work. Regardless of what the delusional fans in the Windy City want to believe, the Bears have been the gutter trash of the NFC North for a few years now and this move would make sure that trend continues. With the Packers always awesome (even when they suck) and the Vikings riding their defense, I feel like the Bears being respectable again would be too much for my Lions to handle. Better that they sign a garbage quarterback and leave the competitive football to the big boys.

 

This might be unfair to Mike Glennon. The Buccaneers did offer to make him the highest paid back up QB in the league, after all, so he has to at least have some talent. The Bears are reported to be offering him $14.5 million per year. When you say that out loud it seems like a ton but when you’re talking about a starting quarterback it isn’t really that crazy an amount of money. In fact, it puts him right around 21st when you rank starting QB yearly salary in the league. The Bears are betting big on Glennon’s potential and the fact that tons of people in the Buccaneers organization love the guy, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has only ever won five football games in his career.

 

 John Fox might not survive the Mike Glennon experiment.

 

This move reeks of desperation and that should have the the Lions, Vikings, and Packers licking their chops at the prospect of playing Chicago twice a year. Glennon might have the size (6’6″, 225 lbs), potential, starting experience (albeit limited) and knowledge of the game (he has been watching from the sidelines since Jameis Winston was drafted), but he is definitely unproven. He is also going to a team that just decided to let their best receiving option walk in free agency. When this move inevitably blows up in their face and they win five or six games, they will probably be looking for a new head coach. It seems unlikely John Fox will survive another bad season in a city that so loves football. All of that adds up to another three to four years of mediocrity in Chicago. And that most likely has the rest of the NFC North praying for Mike Glennon in a Bears uniform.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon Week 17: Minnesota Defense and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die

Written by :
Published on : January 5, 2017

 

Welcome back to Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon. In this spooky sanctum I’ve poured over all the replay tape to come up with my favorite NFL play of the week. Then it’s straight back to the projector to unspool a film you may have not been aware of…

 

The lights have dimmed, the bloodlust is sated, and tarantulas crawl over virgin flesh.

 

Week 17: Minnesota Defense With Team Effort in Strip Sack For TD

 Celebrating the TD.

 

Watch Video: Here

 

Sure there’s always gonna be one or two high drama games in week 17 in terms of playoff hopes, but for the majority of squads, the die was cast back in weeks 15 and 16. The best games in the regular season’s final week are invariably those between two teams already locked out of the playoffs, playing for pride alone.

 

Minnesota has had a high caliber defense all season and this play against a hapless Matt Barkley shows us that scary pass rush in all its glory. Three different Vikings D-men get in on the action here, starting with Linval Joseph. The Defensive Tackle doesn’t so much strip the ball as he puts a hard shot on Barkley that knocks the ball loose. Anthony Barr comes in with the smart play to goose the ball down the field in the other direction when he realizes there’s no whistle, and that Charles Leno Jr. of the Bears is about to recover. Finally Everson Griffen scoops it up with the sure hands and brings it home.

 

My Lions are going to the playoffs this season, leaving the Vikings behind, but I’m not looking forward to facing that Minnesota defense again next year

 

Week 17: The Brain That Wouldn’t Die

Brain

 

Director: Joseph Green
Released: 1962

 

Operating on a level that may be the closest to the platonic ideal of what this column is about, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die serves up enough monsters, kink, and weirdness to satisfy most obsessives of obscure cinematic horror.

 

Once again, we have mad science to thank for the majority of this film’s pleasures with an ambitious Frankenstein-like doctor brilliantly, but unethically, pioneering new transplant technologies including the successful reviving of his fiancée’s severed head!

 

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“Jan in the pan” isn’t thrilled about her new predicament and begs to be taken offline for good, but Doc Cortner won’t have any of it as he prowls the streets, strip clubs, and beauty contests in search of a proper body to affix Jan’s noggin to. Meanwhile, in the laboratory basement, Jan’s tortured melon begins to communicate telepathically with a giant monster locked behind a heavy wooden door…

 

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Lots of good stuff here, particularly Virginia Leith’s performance as Jan, with her husky voice and barely concealed rage expressing a Medea-worthy madness. The sex angle is pure sleaze and gets a pulp slant when the bad doctor introduces a two-faced burn-victim and former beauty queen into the scenario as Jan’s body-to-be.

 

The monster is no joke either with a seriously ugly makeup/prosthetics design that’s of a higher quality than might be expected. His inevitable violent rampage includes an arm ripped from the socket, and a throat chewed open. The whole experience is dizzyingly unwholesome. Just what the doctor ordered.

 

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Cop that trailer:

 

Full flick here:

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon Week 14: Matt Stafford Rushes For Game Winning TD and “Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell”

Written by :
Published on : December 14, 2016

 

Welcome back to Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon. In this spooky sanctum I’ve poured over all the replay tape to come up with my favorite NFL play of the week. Then it’s straight back to the projector to unspool a film you may have not been aware of…

 

The lights have dimmed, the blood ritual completed, and the demons have been summoned.

 

Week 14: Matt Stafford Shows Toughness on Rumbling Rushing TD

 

There’s nothing quite like December football with the winning teams battling for playoff spots, and the hopeless ones happy to play spoiler. Week 14 gave us a billion amazing special teams plays, and Vic Beasley Jr. became Jared Goff’s own personal hell, but this week’s highlight comes from none other than the comeback king himself: Matt Stafford.

 

It’s starting to get a little nutty for us Detroit fans as we watch the boys in blue repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. The amount of different opinions and analyses of Stafford over the years have been all over the map, and I would argue that he’s actually one of the more divisive QBs in the game in terms of opinion.

 

One thing I don’t think he gets enough credit for though, is his ability to move within the pocket. He avoids a sack attempt before opting to run, and even breaks a few tackles along the way into the end zone. In the replay it looks like John Timu has a great opportunity to stop the play, but Stafford makes a bit of a cut and ends up home free. It’s a pretty ugly run for sure, and it’s definitely hilarious to see number 9 bowl over teammate Eric Ebron in the end zone, but with each successive season I’m starting to appreciate Stafford’s goofy looking QB scrambles more and more. He’s getting results.

 

Week 14: Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell

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Director: Hajime Sato
Released: 1968

 

I’ve read before that this is apparently a favorite of Quentin Tarantino’s, and it’s so damn good I don’t see why it wouldn’t be.

 

The setup: An airplane is downed on a garishly colored desert island thanks to the passing of a UFO. The alien craft’s occupant is a blob that acts as a parasite, splitting apart the head of one of the surviving passengers and turning him, and successive victims, into vampires.

 

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The sci-fi/horror mash up works wonders here and director Hajime Sato takes the brilliant Goerge Romero rout of centering much of the drama on how different human personalities react in a crisis situation. The characters are a hoot too, including a corrupt politician, a morally bankrupt businessman and his trophy wife, a would-be terrorist youth, and a grieving American widow.

 

Nothing is quaint or quiet in this picture as the survivors’ predicament is highly politicized, mirroring the turbulent political climate of the late 60’s, with references to the Vietnam War, political assassinations, and the growing rift between socioeconomic classes. All of this is of course made more hysterical with a complete lack of drinking water, leading to a dehydrated fever-pitch of desperation.

 

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The film’s simplistic antiwar statement dressed up in cautionary-tale-clothing makes a great backdrop for all manner of bizarre and terrifying happenings. There’s a wide range of special effects shots on hand from miniatures and models, to the more horrific face molds, oozing slime creatures, and bodies drained of blood.

 

And unlike our glorious Independence Days and Wars Between Worlds, the baddie Gokemidoro alien at the heart of this film knows it’s a little too late for humanity this time around.

 

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This trailer gives you an excellent idea of the wackiness on hand:

 

You can catch the whole movie here, but Criterion Eclipse has a beautiful DVD copy that’s definitely worth tracking down:

 

 


The ones I Love to Hate: NFL QB Edition

Written by :
Published on : September 4, 2016

 

 

We all have people we don’t like. We can never really like everyone. It’s just part of the human experience. Sometimes there is a legitimate reason for that dislike, perhaps the person has wronged you in some way or behaved in a way that just didn’t jive with you. Other times, there might not be a reason you dislike that someone, you just do. That’s okay too. Well as with most things in life, this can relate to sports as well.

 

Obviously we all have our hated rivals that we just can’t stand. Maybe it’s because they always beat your team’s ass on the field or maybe it’s because they are a pesky thorn in the side of your favorite squad as they try to win a championship. But there are also those guys that your team barely ever plays that you still can’t stand. It happens to us all, and I’m here to help you embrace that strong dislike, or dare I say hate, by giving you glimpse at the NFL QBs that I love to hate.

 

AARON RODGERS

 Most hated.

 

FUCK THIS GUY! When I was young, I didn’t think I could ever possibly hate a Packers QB more than I hated Brett Favre. Then this smug bastard plummeted in the 2005 draft and landed in Green Bay. He’s been making me hate my football life pretty much ever since. Remember that hail mary TD pass that was the result of a bullshit face mask call? Yeah, me too. I still see it in my nightmares every fucking night of my miserable Lions-loving life. The 49ers can fuck right off too for drafting Alex Smith over him. How did that work out? Whatever, I just have to hope Ziggy Ansah develops into a Rodgers killer and turns the tide in the Lions’ favor because I can’t take much more of this guy murdering the Lions.

 

JAY CUTLER

 A face only a mother could love.

 

I kind of feel bad for this dopey bastard but still, fuck him too. I know this list is starting out with the two biggest rivals of my favorite team, but hear me out. I’m pretty sure most Bears fans can’t stand Jay Cutler by now. He has continually underwhelmed as the guy leading the Bears’ offense. He pretty much squandered an offense that consisted of Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey. Martellus Bennett, who recently left that offense, expressed frustration at Cutler’s decision making. “He just sucks. And he happens to have perhaps the most punchable face in all of the NFL.” I’m just happy that he hasn’t beaten the Lions in 6 straight meetings. Here’s to hoping we get to see this sad sack of trash lose to the Lions forever.

 

TOM BRADY

 Best Friends Forever.

 

In all reality, I should like this guy because I’m a huge University of Michigan fan but he still bothers the shit out of me. Ever since that first Super Bowl in 2001, I’ve had a simmering hatred for Tom Brady and the Patriots. You can see how highly I think of Tom and coach Belichick here. I fully accept and submit to the fact that they are the greatest coach/QB combination ever, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. There’s something infuriating about how easy he makes winning look. Maybe it’s the jealous rage inside of me fueled my desire to be part of a winner but I’m pretty sure it’s just that he kind of seems like an asshole. Also he’s homies with Donald Trump so he has to be shitty. If we’re lucky he will start to decline soon and we can stop having to hear about him and Roger Goodell fighting all the time.

 

RUSSELL WILSON

 What a tool.

 

It’s pretty well documented here at ScoreBoredSports that I can’t stand Russell Wilson. He’s such a tool. Like everyone else on this list outside of Jay Cutler, I accept that he is a very talented quarterback. His run at the end of last season was downright bananas. He’s going to be a good football player for a very long time. That’s what makes it even worse. I’m seriously going to have to deal with this guy’s bullshit for the next decade. His relationship with Ciara is enough to make you want to vomit. It all looks so staged. If I was a Seattle fan, I’d be stoked to have him but I think I speak for everyone outside of the Pacific Northwest when I say that I can’t wait for the time when he hangs up the cleats and walks off into the sunset. Maybe he can move to Tibet and become a monk. Perhaps even some sort of lifetime vow of silence can be arranged?

 

That’s it for the ones I love to hate. Which quarterbacks rub you the wrong way? Add your most hated in the comment section below, and stay tuned for other players that I love to hate.

 

 


The NFC North will be the most competitive division in 2016

Written by :
Published on : August 21, 2016

 

 

Everyone is always talking about the great rivalries NFC West, or the AFC East, or even the NFC East. People love to stroke the egos of teams like the Cowboys and Giants, Broncos and Chiefs, or Patriots and Jets, but what about the teams that have been playing each other the longest? I’m talking about rivalries that began in years like 1921 and 1930. The real old school heated rivalries lie in the snowy lands dominated by the NFC North.

 

The Packers, Bears and Lions have all been playing each other since the prohibition era. The Vikings joined the fun later on in 1961, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be included in the conversation. This has been one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL over the history of the game and I think that this year will be no different. The talking heads are already handing the division title this year to either the Packers or Vikings, and I get it. These are going to be two of the better teams in the league but I also think people are unfairly dismissing the Lions and Bears.

 

By the time December rolls around, I could see a situation where there may be somewhat of a three team race in the NFC North. This situation involves the Vikings and Packers jockeying for first place in the division and one of the other two teams sitting in striking distance and not yet mathematically eliminated. With most of the NFC North’s teams all playing each other toward the end of the season, who knows what could happen. Maybe my Lions hang around long enough that they steal away the division title from Green Bay at home in week 17. This is of course following a Packers loss at home to the Vikings in week 16 and a Vikings loss at home to the Bears in week 17.

 

There are reasons on each of these teams for fans to be optimistic. The division is going to end up being a lot closer than most people think at this point. Here are a few reason any given team could take home the title of NFC North Champion.

 

Green Bay Packers

 

This is the historical darling in the division. The Packers are always good because even when their roster isn’t all that great (you know like last year and maybe even this year?), they still have the man who is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. That’s right, Aaron Rodgers is still among the best of the best at his position. It’s starting to get old, but the fact is that this guy is awesome. Sure, they still have Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews is back to his natural position, but it’s because of number-12 that the Packers are always in the hunt. Last year they had injuries all over the field, including their top receiver Jordy Nelson, and their running back was a bloated mess and Aaron still almost won them the division. This team lives and dies with Aaron Rodgers and if they win the division it’ll be off of his arm.

 

Minnesota Vikings

 

The Vikings are everybody’s trendy pick to win the division for the second consecutive year in 2016. If that does indeed come to pass it will be for two reasons. The defense and Adrian Peterson. I’m still not sold on Teddy Bridgewater, but all he really needs to do at this point is not make mistakes so big that it loses his team the game. The defense has the tools to have the top squad in the league and because of that, they should be competitive in every game they are in this year. Anthony Barr & company play as a unit and can stifle opposing offenses. If Adrian Peterson can continue to be dominant, as he has been almost every year of his career, the Vikings will be a very good team. If they can get competent and mistake free quarterback play they could be downright great. Last year they were an 11 win team and if they can build off of that campaign then they are a lock to win the division.

 

Detroit Lions

 

Admittedly, we have to start grasping at some straws when looking for reasons why these last two teams will win the division. Most people find it laughable to suggest that the Lions might win the NFC North this year but just bear with me. Matt Stafford looked awesome during the last 7 or so games in 2015. If he can carry that performance over to this year, and the Lions can find and sustain at least a mediocre run game, then the offense should be good enough to supplement the real reason the Lions have a shot at the division, the defense. In 2014, the Lions had one of the scariest defenses in the league. In 2015, they took a big step back due to the loss of Ndamukong Suh, but more importantly due to the fact that DeAndre Levy missed all but a single half of one game with a hip injury. In 2016, there are rumors that the retooled defensive line might be one of the leagues best and it looks like DeAndre Levy will be back and healthy. When combined with the fact that the Lions secondary could be much better than the last few years, the Levy factor along with a nasty d-line led by Ziggy Ansah, could return the Lions’ defense to greatness. If that happens, there’s a good chance the Lions are contenders in the NFC North.

 

Chicago Bears

 

If the Chicago Bears are to somehow win the division in 2016 it will be completely on the back of the defense. I hate this offense. They may have been able to retain Alshon Jeffrey, but they don’t have much else and as long as Jay Cutler is still behind center they will continue to turn the ball over on offense. For as many reasons as there are to be pessimistic about the offense, there are as many to be optimistic about the defense. The team brought in Danny Trevathan (who I wanted the Lions to sign) and Jerrell Freeman to bolster the linebacker corp and give Pernell McPhee a little help. The secondary isn’t awe-inspiring but if McPhee, Eddie Goldman, and rookies Leonard Floyd and Jonathan Bullard can generate a consistent pass rush, they might not need to be. With the pieces in place for a decent pass rush and two linebackers who excel against the run, anything can happen. Who knows, if Jay Cutler doesn’t shit the bed for a few weeks in a row, the Bears could be in the hunt come December.

 

I don’t care what anyone else says, the NFC North is the greatest division in the NFL. This year most of the teams are bookending their seasons with division games, with the end of the season being particularly loaded with rivalry games. Everybody thinks they have it figured out until the games are played and all preconceived notions get turned upside down. We’ve seen it all before. Once the games start it will all get sorted out, but at this point the division could belong to anyone and that’s that the NFL is all about. The NFC North is up for grabs. Will our team seize it or will they fall on their faces?

 

 


SBS Guide to: Camping

Written by :
Published on : July 30, 2016

 

 

 

Recently, we published a checklist of fun summer activities and on that list was camping. This really got me thinking about how much I love getting out of town and spending a night under the stars. Michigan was great for outdoor adventures and I spent many days as kid just Huck Fin-ing it up in the woods. Every person deserves the chance to enjoy that. So I present to you, the noble reader, the SBS guide to camping.

 

Before you hit the dusty trail you need to make sure you have everything so you don’t get stuck up shit’s creek without a cell signal. These are the basics.

 

Gear

Husqvarna-Hatchet

 

You don’t need much but there are some critical pieces not to leave out. A sleeping bag, knife, flashlight/headlamp, medkit, rope, duct tape, axe/hatchet, fire-starter, something to cook in/on, appropriate clothes and shoes/boots, plus a bag to carry it all in. Here are few helpful questions to ask yourself:

 

– Where are you sleeping?

– What’s the weather/climate of where you are staying?

– How are you starting your fires/cooking your food?

– Where are you going to the bathroom?

– How many bears will you have to fight?

– How long is your trip?

– What’s the distance from your ride to your campsite?

 

If your tent is a stones throw from your car or truck then you can bring all sorts of crazy things. Leave the popcorn machine at home. Instead, bring your pop-up canopy with heavy duty stakes to anchor it. It will suck if your shade blows away. Camp chairs rock or you can always sit on the cooler or a tree stump. I suggest, if the weather and bugs allow, sleep outdoors. It’s awesome. Grass will get dewy so a tarp is a smart thing to pack and can be used in tons of ways.

 

Food

campfirecook

 

Whatever fresh items you bring need to be in a cooler with ice. You can never have too much ice. If you are cooking over a fire, then you need a frying pan or maybe even a grill grate (take it from your charcoal grill) to place over the campfire. Stick to the classics. Hotdogs/brats, s’mores, bacon and eggs. Maybe make some dope chili and reheat it. Bring tons of snacks, water, and booze. I like canned american beer, high-end boxed wine and whiskey. Oh and don’t forget coffee. Pre-grind some quality beans and bring your french press. Also consider a couple trash bags, a roll of paper towels and some dish soap to wash your food surfaces. You want to clean that mess up quick as to not attract unwanted critters, monsters or newly escaped criminals.

 

Camping Life Hacks

Freeze a gallon of water and put it in your cooler, it will keep food cold and you can drink it when it melts. Secure a leather belt around a tree and then use that as an anchor point to hang things without harming the trunk. Bring protection if you want to have sex with someone and not get an STD. Put a head lamp on a gallon of water to create a make-shift lantern. Pre crack your eggs into an empty water bottle, now you don’t have to worry about packing such a fragile item. Doritos or hand sanitizer can work as fire kindling. Deodorant can double as a topical itch relief from bug bites. Oh, and never keep any food in your tent. Ever. Unless you want to wake up next to something furry and hungry that made it’s way into your bed.

 

My biggest takeaway is that camping should be fun and simple. It’s a way to connect/reconnect to nature. Experts at fancy outdoor supply stores will recommend all manner of expensive gadgets but that completely misses the point. Camping is a chance for us to get offline and be present in the moment. Swim naked in the river, stare up at the night’s sky, enjoy the silence. Just be. Now, get packing and get out of town.

 

Rough it.

 

 


Detroit Lions 2016 Win/Loss Predictions

Written by :
Published on : June 20, 2016

 

 

Last season was a disappointing one for the Detroit Lions. The team came out of the gates firing on all cylinders in the first half of their week 1 matchup against the Chargers, and then promptly fell flat on their faces. They started off 1-7, but managed to finish 7-9 by overhauling their offense midseason. They could have easily had two more wins and possibly made the playoffs, but last second insanity against the Seahawks and Packers killed those hopes.

 

This season the team is looking to build off of the second half of last year and keep improving. A full offseason in Jim Bob Cooter’s offense, improvements along the offensive line, and the return of DeAndre Levy should have the Lions looking better than many people in the national media are giving them credit for. Here is my 2016 Win/Loss Predictions for the Detroit Lions.

 

Week 1 @ Colts

The Colts were pretty awful last year, especially on defense. In my opinion, they didn’t really do enough to fix that. They do still have Andrew Luck, but they also have an aged Frank Gore slated to start in the backfield. Luck keeps the game interesting but I think the Lions have an advantage in defense, which gives them the edge. The Colts offense will have a good day, but the Lions will get just enough stops to come out on top. The Colts defense on the other hand will have huge problems containing the Lions offense. Lions win, 37-31.

 

Week 2 vs Titans

There are some folks out there who are pretty high on the Titans. They have some nice pieces on offense but with Mike Mularkey as head coach this team is going nowhere. They will fold under the pressure of that home opener Ford Field crowd. The defense will come up big and DeAndre Levy will have a pick 6. Lions win, 45-28.

 

 Look out for Levy in this one.

 

Week 3 @ Packers

The Lions are lucky to once again get to travel to Green Bay before winter has had a chance to wrap its freezing cold hands around the neck of that godforsaken wasteland of cheese. While that definitely helps their chances, I’m not sure the team will get as lucky this year as they did last year. It will be a hard fought battle, but I think Green Bay gets this in a close one. Lions lose, 27-24.

 

Week 4 @ Bears

Big thanks to the NFL for sending my favorite team to play their two biggest rivals consecutively on the road. The Bears are much improved, but luckily the Lions have their number in the last handful of years. The streak continues. Lions win, 17-16.

 

Week 5 vs Eagles

The Lions obliterated the Philadelphia Eagles last year on Thanksgiving. By that time of year, Detroit was starting to put it together on offense, and the Eagles meltdown was in full effect. Philly will still be recovering from what Chip Kelly has done to them. Lions win, 21-6.

 

Week 6 vs Rams

I’m not sure what the Rams plan on doing at quarterback just yet, but they could present some problems for the Lions. Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald are beasts and could very well both be in the running for OPOY and DPOY. I think they give the Lions enough trouble to hand them their second loss of the year. Lions lose, 24-17.

 

Week 7 vs Washington

I know Washington was a playoff team, and have some good pieces all over the field. But I find it hard to believe that Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins are going to have sustained success. The Lions will be sharp after getting worked extra hard in practice following their loss at home to the Rams. They come out on fire and win handily. Lions win, 28-10.

 

 Look for a win against Washington.

 

Week 8 @ Texans

The Texans always have a scary defense with JJ Watt out there. They will be the big difference here and will give the Lions trouble all game. The Lions offensive line will be much improved but there aren’t many answers for JJ Watt, who will have 2 sacks. Lions lose, 24-14.

 

Week 9 @ Vikings

The Vikings are definitely the darlings of the division this season. Most people seem to think that they will challenge the Packers for the NFC North title. I think they are pretty good too, and they are definitely going to be a tough test for the Detroit Lions in Minnesota for this matchup. Lions lose, 28-27.

 

Week 10 BYE

 

Week 11 vs Jaguars

The Jaguars should be pretty solid this year, but on the road in Detroit, a win won’t be likely. Ameer Abdullah goes off in this one for 120 yds rushing and 2 TDs, while adding 60 yds receiving. Blake Bortles will also throw interceptions to both DeAndre Levy and Glover Quin. Lions win, 34-13.

 

 Look for Ameer Abdullah in the end zone in this one

 

Week 12 vs Vikings

Watching the Lions on Thanksgiving is a long tradition. I’ve seen many Turkey Day loses through the years, but as of late they have really shown up. I’ll be damned if I call them to lose this year, even if it is against the infallible Vikings. Lions win, 14-12.

 

Week 13 @ Saints

The Saints had an AWFUL defense last year, and Drew Brees started showing signs that he might be past his prime. I’m flying across the country to go to this game so my boys better show up, and get some vengeance for that 2011 playoff loss! Lions win,  21-9.

 

Week 14 vs Bears

Lions rule, Bears drool. Jay Cutler throws three interceptions. The streak continues for another year. Suck it, Chicago. Lions win, 45-6.

 

Week 15 @ Giants

The Giants are the first of two consecutive road games against the NFC East, a division that was truly awful last season. In typical Lions bad luck fashion, I believe the NFC East will be much improved in 2016. The Giants threw around some serious money in free agency and I think that by this time it will start to pay dividends, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Coming off of a big win over the hated Chicago Bears, I think the team is in for a big letdown. The offense has trouble and Eli Manning frustrates the defense all day. Lion lose, 31-17.

 

 Eli will rule the day in week 15

 

Week 16 @ Cowboys

The Detroit Lions return to the “House that Jerry Built” for the first time since getting worked over by the refs in the 2014 Wild Card game. The team is going to come out hot and I see early touchdowns from Marvin Jones and Eric Ebron. Then things will slow down as the Cowboys adjust. In the second half things will get a little hairy for Detroit and the ‘Boys will take the lead. Dez Bryant catches a late touchdown. Lion lose, 28-24.

 

Week 17 vs Green Bay

This will be a game that decides whether or not Detroit heads to the playoffs as a wild card team. Teryl Austin is going to have the Lions defense totally fired up and I envision Ezekiel Ansah having a monster game. Ziggy will get to the quarterback three times, including a late one that seals the game for Detroit on 4th down. Lions win, 17-14.

 

The Lions will be the #6 seed in the NFC at 10-6.

 

 

This is my prediction for the Detroit Lions. It’s quite a bit more positive than most of the win/loss predictions I’ve seen for the team, but I think it’s totally realistic. Most people seem to underestimate the amount of talent on the team. This is a solid squad that has improved both lines and should be able to control the trenches. Playoffs here we come!

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Review ‘N Brew: Week 17

Written by :
Published on : January 7, 2016

 

 

In this little corner Roger Pretzel will review his favorite play of the week along with a thoughtful review of what beverage he was imbibing at the time.

 

 

Week 17: Ziggy Pressures Cutler Who Throws A Pick to Quin, Wrapping Up the Game/Season

CutlerAnsah

 

VIDEO: HERE

 

It’s been a struggle for Lions fans (when hasn’t it?), but at least the blue and silver get to go out with a little joy, with a win over the only divisional rival more pitiable. Cutler has looked good as of late with his interception figures way down, but the Lions got to him here, forcing him into his old ways with three turnovers on the day.

 

Ziggy Ansah has had a mega season, and is certainly one of the more unsung players in the league, as DeAndre Levy was the year before. He does what he does here, getting around the edge and launching into Cutler, forcing the bad throw. Glover Quin is there for the easy catch and then there’s the inevitable scuffle. Not sure why Ansah’s the aggressor here, but I do have it on good authority that Jay Cutler has a withering collection of “yo mama” jokes under his belt.

 

The simultaneous sense of sadness and relief that there will be no more high-anxiety, beer-fueled Sunday mornings is the just the way it goes this time of year.

 

 

Week 17: The Sad Salty Tears of Jets Fans

 photo jets_01_zps3hdil2qc.jpg

 

I’ve never thought I’d be sad to see the Jets miss the playoffs, but there’s something about the 2015 campaign that made me quietly root for them. Mostly it’s Todd Bowles. Coming into his first season as head coach, this was a team that looked all but dead in the water with some high profile injuries, arrests, and Geno’s broken jaw.

 

It’s not unusual for many an NFL fan to latch onto their favorite stories of the year, and I often gravitate towards the pound’s ugly puppy. The Jets aren’t a perennially sad-sack team like the Browns or the Titans, they’re a solid franchise in transition, with no real reason for an outsider to root for them, but then there are those two little doggies in the window that nobody wanted…

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chris Ivory. These guys were never top-tier Pro Bowl types, but often gained my respect in watching them over the years. Fitzpatrick having officially played for every single team in the NFL, most of them on two different signings, was never afraid to take a big hit on a successful first down run with the play disintegrating. Chris Ivory had, and still has, some fumble issues, but I love his violent run style with feet refusing to stop even when wrapped up by two linemen and a linebacker. They’re two players that made a difference on the field this year, both in terms of performance and perception.

 

 photo jets_02_zpscclprcmo.jpg

 

Of course all this lovey-dovey treacle I’m throwing Gang Green’s way is ephemeral, fragile, and easy to say in hindsight. If the Lions had lost to ‘em this season, I’d be crowing at their elimination. And don’t get me wrong, I much prefer the Steelers, and can’t wait to see Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

 

Still, it’s another one of those fun things about the NFL, where team’s structures and dynamics move so fast that a squad you hated, or even just didn’t think anything about last season, becomes a somewhat loveable scrapper. This Sunday, for about a minute and a half, I felt genuinely sorry for Jets fans.

 

Glad that’s over. Time to move onto the playoffs.

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 17

Written by :
Published on : January 2, 2016

 

 

Well folks, it’s been an incredible year making picks for the all the SBS staff. We’re a bunch of smart motherfuckers. Though there was a heated competition and I am currently a distant second, I will make my boldest prediction yet: I will become the ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks Champion. In fact, here is an excerpt of my acceptance speech:

 

 

But the real point here is more exposé than anything. What the hell got into SBS Editor and possible PED user Bruno? Here we are in a two-man race between myself and Ryan, comfortable on our laurels, when all of a sudden this dude Bruno gets the Shining and mounts a ridiculous comeback. In the last five weeks he’s been among the top two in picks, including blowing us all (out of the water) this past week. Sick of it. Someone needs to dig up the dirt.

 

Moving on, the trickiest game on the slate this week for me to pick was the Cardinals – Seahawks matchup, mainly because they’re both damn good.  The game is in Arizona, but there’s very little at stake for the Cards, already having won the NFC west, while Seattle and Russell Wilson were straight up Megachurching everyone in their path before that unfortunate Rams loss (yes, when it applies to Russell Wilson on the football field, I believe “Megachurch” can be used as a verb). That loss makes this game critical for the Seabirds, not so much for the Sandbirds, so I went with Seattle.

 

That about does it for the ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks for this year.  Thanks so much to the readers, we sincerely hope that you made money gambling illegally, using our tried-and-true methods of nonsense.  Here’s to a great end of the NFL season, playoffs, Super Bowl, and hopefully a Roger Goodell Satan-worshipping scandal in the off-season.

 

My New Year’s resolution for 2016:

 

 

Week 17

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 15

Written by :
Published on : December 17, 2015

 

Here we sit on the precipice of week 15. The ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks are almost done for the season and what a fun ride it has been. At least for Ryan and Antoine, who are the only ones who have had a legit shot at the title since the beginning of the year. With 3 weeks of picks left, it’s not likely that Ryan is going to be unseated from the top spot. I suppose he could have a couple of bad weeks and I could miraculously catch up, but this guy just seems to know how to pick winners. He’s a madman who can’t be stopped, and he should probably start gambling on sports.

 

But we can talk about Ryan’s future gambling addiction some other time, right now let’s look at this exciting slate of games. Actually the only game that really looks exciting to me is Panthers at Giants. Mostly because these last fews Panthers games are going to be really suspenseful as they try to go undefeated, but also because it seems like the Giants are finally starting to put it together. Some of that bad luck has turned into late season good luck with that win over the Dolphins last week and they sit in a 3-way tie for the top spot in the abysmal NFC East.

 

There’s also a bunch of garbage matchups, either between good teams who will crush their bad opponents ( Titans @ Patriots, Browns @ Seahawks), or between two bad teams ( Dolphins @ Chargers, Lions @ Saints.) Either way, those will all be hard games to watch, but we’ll watch ’em anyways, because it’s football. And we love football!

 

On to the picks…..

Week 15

 

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 14

Written by :
Published on : December 10, 2015

 

Hi, I’m Sandy, but no, I’m not a female. However, I am the staff writer that follows the NFL the least avidly despite working at NFL Red Zone last season (HINT: there’s a reason they wouldn’t have me back this year….).

 

So, it’s Week 14 and I couldn’t be happier that it’s almost the postseason for a litany of reasons. What makes me the happiest about entering the third trimester of the 2015-16 NFL season’s pregnancy is that SportsCenter will soon reach that sweet spot of the year in February where they’re basically only showing NBA highlights, and in my world NBA reigns supreme. The next best reason to be happy the regular season is almost over: Super Bowl parties. I do kind of love football, but my favorite part of football is easily the eating that goes along with it. Plus, playoff games are way better in general, but also because my team, the Detroit Lions, won’t be able to break my heart and open my mind to the possibility of NFL conspiracy theories against The D. Their season will simply be over. Football in the snow is cool too.

 

Granted I’m the least knowledgable writer for SBS regarding football, I’ve done pretty well predicting winners this season. As for this week, I predict the NFL to beat the film Concussion on account of Will Smith trying out a weird accent. When Will Smith is kicking ass in action movies, we all win. The Lions might lose the rest of their games, or least the ones they should win, but the NFL will always be undefeated against concussions, but will the Panthers?

Here are the ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks for Week 14:

 

Week 14

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 12

Written by :
Published on : November 25, 2015

 

Thursday is Thanksgiving, the holiday that football owns the same way that Bill Murray owns Groundhog Day. It’s inescapable. If you’re not watching it on TV or playing it in the front yard, then you’re probably hiding in the kitchen filling up on hors d’oeuvres and making small talk with your boring cousin. Good luck with that. I’ll see you at halftime.

 

Meanwhile, these ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks remains a tight race. Ryan and Antoine still lead the pack. I find myself squarely in the middle —  ten points away from both highest and lowest record. Oh, and Alex and Mike both have the same stats (95-65). Not bad? Not good enough. All it takes it one good/bad week to change everything.

 

I’m not much for trash talk, so I’m going the opposite route this week — passive aggressive kindness. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, SBS staffers, and good luck with this week’s picks. Don’t choke.

 

Week 12

 

 

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 11

Written by :
Published on : November 19, 2015

 

Hello out there everyone,

It’s been since week 1 that I’ve written the intro to these ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks, and what a rollercoaster of a ride it has been. I spent the first few weeks in the basement of the standings but since then, I’ve really turned things around. I’ve had a 1st or 2nd place record for the past 4 weeks and I’m clawing my way back to relevance. Sure, I’m still 11 correct picks behind Antoine and Ryan but if they have just a couple more stinkers like last week then I’ll be right in the thick of it. I think I can, I think I can…

 

There are a few interesting trends in the way the SBS Staff picked this week’s slate of games. For instance, the Jaguars are the consensus winner over the Titans, as if the Jags are some sort of standard of excellence nowadays (or maybe the Titans are just THAT bad). Also, the Lions seems to have restored faith amongst quite a few of us here and as a lifelong Lions fan, that is the perfect time for them to let everyone down. Besides that, everyone is picking the Patriots and Panthers to win their respective games and remain the last two undefeated teams. How great would it be for both of them to lose? Anyways let’s get to the picks.

 

Week 11

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

 

 

 

 

 


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