Oh no, not again: NFL edition

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Published on : August 8, 2017

 

The NFL is a wild and entertaining league with tons of new and exciting storylines to follow but then there are these other headlines. The ones you see year after year. It’s like a broken record. You think “oh no, here we go again”. We aren’t even into preseason games yet and already some familiar news items have surfaced. Let’s dive right into it.

 

More off-field trouble for the Dallas Cowboys. Running back, Ezekiel Elliott, got into a fight outside a Dallas bar. This after pervious issues with failed drug tests and claims of domestic abuse. But these are the players that Jerry Jones likes to draft. Fans in Texas are used to their stars having run-ins with the law. It feels like the players act like the old movie cowboys and treat the world like the wild west. Shoot first, ask questions later and hire a great lawyer.

 

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When the Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, the hope was that the franchise could turn over a new leaf. Start fresh. Shed that rotten luck that always hamstringed a talented roster. Well, I hate to report but the injury bug still haunts the Chargers. They’ve already lost rookie guard Forrest Lamp to an ACL tear and their top draft pick, Mike Williams, is currently out of all training camp action with a back injury. Not a great start for the bolts.

 

Speaking of ACL tears. Miami Dolphins QB, Ryan Tannehill, got hurt again. He re-injured the same knee that held him out parts of last year. He likely needs season ending surgery to repair it. And in a hilarious turn of events, Jay Cutler, has been signed out of retirement/broadcast booth on a 1 year/$10 million deal. He will become the starter with Matt Moore serving as backup. Miami must now consider the future of the quarterback position. Even if Tannehill comes back healthy, can the organization trust him? Next year’s draft will tell us how much faith they still have.

 

Rumors are that the Dolphins considered Tim Tebow for the job as fill-in QB. That’s nuts and officially proves that NFL owners are black balling Colin Kaepernick. That can be the only logical reason. Why else would one look to a minor league baseball player and an announcer before a guy who played in a Super Bowl? I hope Kap gets a shot somewhere. He is too talented and only 29-years-old. Racist ass league. SMH.

 

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As we inch closer and closer to real football, the news cycle will continue to spit whatever they can. Maybe a hyper interesting piece about an aging star going vegan or something else really cool and important. The hope is, among all that noise, some real developments will emerge. But for now, let’s feast on the old faithfuls. Who wants to guess when the next Cincinnati Bengal going to be arrested?

 

Rinse and repeat.

 

 


Who will be the next NFL player to head to the broadcast booth?

Written by :
Published on : May 16, 2017

 

 

As you’ve all heard by now, Tony Romo and Jay Cutler have decided that since no team wants them as their signal caller, they will head to the broadcast booth. The decision by these two long time NFL QBs has caused a bit of a stir in the pro football world. Many people, myself included, think that it’s a great fit for Romo since he is a pretty likable guy who seems to get along with everyone. Cutler, on the other hand, is a bit more controversial considering most people, myself included, can’t stand the guy. Where Romo seems like the kind of guy your parents would love, Cutler seems like the guy who would come into your parents house reeking like cigarette smoke and refuse to look your father in the eye or say hi to your mother.

 

While Jay Cutler as a color commentator is outright ridiculous for a guy who seemingly has one of the worst personalities in all of football, the pick of Tony Romo seems as safe as white bread. I think the broadcast community can do a lot better than both of those guys. Here are a few current NFL players who I think would be much better choices to head up to the booth once their careers are over.

 

Marshawn Lynch

When you think of Marshawn Lynch you might think about ridiculous broken tackles, long TD runs or even his hatred of the media, but hear me out for a second. Despite his late-career antics with the press, he has always been pretty funny in front of the cameras. He may have shunned the spotlight in recent years but for enough money I think that the right crew could get the most out of him as a commentator. Beast Mode has never lacked in the personality department and if you don’t believe me just watch this video of him visiting Scotland. It’s clear that in the right setting he thrives and is pretty damn entertaining. With the right team around him (more on that later), it could be ratings gold.

 

 

Michael Bennett

This one makes the most sense. Michael Bennett is everything that you could ever want in a television personality. He is intelligent, witty, funny, charismatic and a total weirdo. He always has something to say and when he opens his mouth, it’s usually something that people talk about. Michael Bennett is like the Hunter S. Thompson of pro athletes; he’s socially conscious with a flair for the unorthodox. Bennett would be a better color guy than Jay Cutler could ever hope to be and he wouldn’t be afraid to take the NFL or society at-large to task if he saw something he perceived as wrong. Bennett has opinions for days and the broadcast media would be wise to try to get him on camera once his playing days are done.

 

 

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski represents the big, dumb, wide-eyed kid in all of us. For that reason, one has to believe that he has a future in television once he can no longer weather the constant storm of injuries that has plagued him for most of his career. I can’t speak to his analytical abilities but much like the rest of these guys, he has got personality in buckets. Gronk is the type of person that seems like he can have a good time no matter where he is and I’m sure that would translate to the broadcast booth. I envision him as a Charles Barkley type; he might not always know what he’s talking about but he will definitely make it entertaining. Maybe we can hook Gronk up with Marshawn who can be the Shaq to his Charles. Take a look at the two on camera together and tell me it’s not a match made in heaven.

 

 

The NFL media juggernaut would do well to try to bring any of these guys into the fold once their playing days are over. If they’re lucky they will lock down all three. Who would you like to see in the booth after they walk off the field for the final time? Leave your ideas in the comments below and see if you can think of anyone better than these guys.

 

 


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.

 

 


What to do with Tony Romo?

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Published on : February 14, 2017

 

 

What will happen with veteran quarterback Tony Romo? Rookie Dak Prescott kicked ass all last year and soundly won the job in Dallas. Even when Tony was healthy, it was clear that Jason Garrett and company were going to ride the hot hand and stay with Dak. As management plans out the next season, this question begs to be answered. What do you do with a guy like Tony?

 

The one thing we know for sure is that Tony Romo will be leaving the Dallas Cowboys. I’m sure the faithful would love to see him stay on as a backup but Romo is owed way too much money for that type of role. Plus, Tony sees himself as a starter. Those factors say he is going to a new team. His injury history suggests no one is trading for him but you never know. The best guess is that the Jerry Jones will cut the former face of the franchise. This will allow Tony Romo to sign with any team. Let’s check out some of his options.

 

 

San Francisco 49ers

Just hear me out. The 49ers will have zero QB’s under contract once Kap leaves. New GM, new coach, new start. They will need someone who can play day one and bring some leadership to the huddle. Someone to run the offense through. San Fran will no doubt draft a quarterback but throwing that kid right into the fire may not be the best move for development. So bringing in a Tony Romo type on a 3-year deal makes a lot of sense. But most importantly, it would really piss off Cowboy fans. For that alone, this should happen.

 

Chicago Bears

The Bears need a real answer under center. I don’t think anyone in Chicago wants another year of Brian Hoyer or *shutters* Jay Cutler. The team has some weapons on offense and their defense is improving. They are consistent quarterback play away from being competitive. The biggest selling point here is young running back Jordan Howard. He had a stellar rookie campaign and looks to be a complete back. Tony Romo could do much worse than handing off to Howard and playing with that D at Solider Field. Cleveland anyone?

 

 

Miami Dolphins

If the Dolphins ever want to challenge Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC East than they need an upgrade at signal caller. It may be time to pull the plug on the Ryan Tannehill experiment and find someone who can win right now. This type of splashy move could help bring the organization over the hump. Their roster is loaded on both sides of the ball but they need someone to galvanize the unit as a whole. Plus Miami never gets cold. Sounds like Tony Romo could be taking his talents to South Beach.

 

There you have it. Tony Romo is FOR SURE going to one of those three. Or maybe to the Broncos, Texans, Bills, Jets or even back to the Cowboys on a way smaller deal. Or somewhere else. But it’s for sure one of those. I mean all we know is he isn’t going to the Patriots. They already have a guy. I hear he’s good.

 

Anthony’s song.

 

 


Overreaction: NFL Week 2

Written by :
Published on : September 20, 2016

 

 

Week 2 is over. The 2016 season is officially off and running. Some would say it’s still too early to know anything about the identity of teams but those people have obliviously never met me. Listen up while I spout off wild, speculative snap judgements on all 32 NFL teams after only two games completed.

 

– The Bills are 0-2 and their season is already over. It was fun while it lasted Buffalo. Maybe they should have let Rock Star Bon Jovi buy the team a few years back.Well, better luck next time. Living on Prayer.

 

– The Jets offense is great as long as Matt Forte stays healthy and keeps moving them down the field. Without him, this team is doomed to be a sub .500 unit.

 

– The league office still hates the Detroit Lions. The conspiracy continues. In the 15-16 loss to the Titans, the Honolulu Blue and Silver were flagged 17 times for 138 yards. None worse than the two fantom calls that negated TD’s on back-to-back plays. Those calls completely changed the landscape of the game.

 

 

– The Titans are now 1-1 but this crew showed me little to make me believe in them. They exploited a super injury-weakened Lions D and scored some late points but that seems more situational than skill. It was mostly just smart play calling. I’m obviously still salty about this but this team sucks plain and simple.

 

– The Panthers got back on track in week 2 with a solid performance against the 49ers. Cam had 4 TD’s with two going to Kelvin Benjamin. This offense is even better than last year because Benjamin is back. Panthers look bound for another deep playoff run.

 

– San Fransisco blew out the Rams last week and no one knew what to make of them, but hanging with Carolina tells me they are more complete than most think. They leave the bottom of the barrel of last campaign and join the blurry middle of the pack.

 

– The Cincinnati Bengals cannot beat the Steelers. They melted down in the playoffs last year and failed again at Heinz field this Sunday. Marvin Lewis needs to figure a way to slay this dragon or else they might never get Andy Dalton that postseason win.

 

– The Steelers are legit. They score bunches of points and this is all without star running back Le’Veon Bell. If Big Ben stays off IR than the steel city boys are eyeing another division crown and maybe a meeting with the Patriots in the conference finals.

 

 

– Speaking of the AFC North, the 0-2 Cleveland Browns still suck. What’s new? Week 3 may see the Browns start their third QB of the year. Ouch. This team is done. Go hang out with the Bills. Your year is over.

 

– Baltimore is 2-0, sounds great but they barely came back against Cleveland and squeaked by Buffalo week 1. Two close wins against the worst of the NFL does not inspire confidence.

 

– Washington is 0-2 after losses to Dallas and Pittsburgh. Kirk Cousins is playing on the Franchise Tag trying to prove he is worth a big contract. So far, he hasn’t shown that moxie of 2015. Things better turnaround quick or the D.C. area may have to start rebuilding, again.

 

– The Cowboys got their first win with rookies Dak Prescott at QB and Ezikel Elliot at RB. This young team is lead by that great offensive line but I don’t see them going too far with all that inexperience running the show.

 

– Giants are looking good. I talked shit about them before but at 2-0 they are now the favorites to win the NFC East. The defense has played well and they have showed guts in two close contests.

 

 

– The Saints are winless. It feels like the same story every year with these guys. They can score lots of points and Drew Brees keeps it close but they can’t string the W’s together. No chance at the playoffs.

 

– The Miami Dolphins. A squad full of talent and names that never seems to be able to put it all together. Another slow start at 0-2 and Arian Foster is already dealing with health issues. Call the nurse, we have another dead team. Sorry not Sorry.

 

– The New England Patriots are undefeated and playing without Gronk or Brady. Their next two games are at home and untested rookie, Jacoby Brissett, may start at QB for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. If the Pats are ever going to lose, it may be next week against Houston, but after that, they will probably run the table. As per usual.

 

– The Houston Texans will win the AFC South. They are 2-0 and the most complete team in the division. I’m sure JJ Watt can’t wait to introduce himself to Brissett on Thursday night.

 

– Kansas City Chiefs are a hard team to read. They beat the Chargers week 1 but lost to the Texans. They will hang around the Wild Card spot most of the year only to drop off at the end.

 

 

– The Los Angeles Rams are one of the worst teams in the league. It pains me to type that because they are now my second favorite. It’s a mystery how they beat Seattle but it was a 9-3 ugly affair. They should start planning their draft picks now.

 

– The Seahawks are 1-1 after that bizarre game with L.A. that saw injuries to Thomas Rawls, Tyler Lockett and Russell Wilson. Russ stayed in the game but was clearly ailing. Seattle will weather the storm and make a serious push for the playoffs.

 

– Arizona lost a close one with the Pats in week 1 and took their anger out on the Bucs in week 2. This is a solid team top to bottom. They will be hosting a postseason game. Hopefully Carson Palmer can last that long.

 

– Tampa Bay is 1-1. They have some nice pieces across the roster but don’t get too excited. They are not ready for prime time. Maybe they can finish second in the NFC South. No postseason though.

 

– Jacksonville Jaguars were a breakout pick from many talking heads in the sports world. I’ll admit they have many promising players but they still suck.

 

 

– San Diego Chargers are once again battling the injury bug. Already, key starters Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead are done for the year. This trend will unfortunately continue because that’s what happens in San Diego.

 

– The Falcons sit at 1-1. Matty Ice leads an even attack that is more than effective but the lack of close out defense will limit Atlanta’s potential. No playoffs for you, one year.

 

– The Raiders have all the tools needed to make the postseason and they will finally punch their ticket this year. Move over Warriors, Oakland’s true love is going to the dance for the first time since 2002.

 

– The Colts can’t stop anybody so they will keep losing. They are 0-2 and have zero chance of winning their division.

 

– Broncos will be playing without DeMarcus Ware for a bit but it’s okay, that defense is still so nasty that they will be in every game. Look for Denver to have another serious playoff run.

 

 

– Green Bay is 1-1 after a win over the Jags and a loss to the rival Vikings. Jordy Nelson doesn’t look 100% and Eddie Lacy is still fat. I hope and pray the wheels fall off but they will probably turn it around all over the my Lions this Sunday.

 

– The Sam Bradford project is working in Minnesota. The Vikings beat the Packers which is all you need to do to win over the locals. The team is 2-0 but may have lost Adrian Peterson for extended time. I still see them in the hunt for a Wild Card birth.

 

– Carson Wentz looks good in two games. The Eagles are 2-0 and those monsters in Philly must be smiling. Just wait for some adversity and those cheers will turn to boos. The Eagles can’t keep this up.

 

– Bears are really bad. Jay Cutler is worse. And the schedule doesn’t get any easier. At least the Cubs are good.

 

Is it week 3 yet?

 

 


The ones I Love to Hate: NFL QB Edition

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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.

 

 


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

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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.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Cloudy Crystal Ball: NFC North Predictions

Written by :
Published on : July 29, 2015

 

With the rise of the Lions from laughingstock to “that team no one believes in,” combined with a schizophrenic Vikings squad and a Bears crew struggling to hang on to mediocrity, the NFC North has gotten a little goofy. Besides the Packers no other team is currently considered a viable Super Bowl threat.

But I’m a Lions fan, and the NFC North is my home sweet home, so I’ll be following it much closer than the guys who actually get paid to write about it. Granted, the people who get paid to write about it are professionals as opposed to a disgruntled old crank who talks to his cat.

Enough pretense! The visions are taking substance…

Minnesota Vikings:

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The good folks in Minnesota love Teddy Bridgewater, and I can’t blame a fan base hungry for a franchise quarterback, but I found it a little irksome that the media fawned over this kid from the get go. It happens all the time in a hype-fueled profession, but I wish some of these guys could be held accountable for their big mouths. At least put them in a dunk tank or something with Brett Favre throwing footballs over his shoulder at the target. I saw a lot of potential in Bridgewater, but I also saw a lot of kinks that needed ironing out. He can scramble and hit some good passes on the run, but for all those nifty highlights, there were costly interceptions as well.

The return of Adrian Peterson in purple and gold surprised me. I thought the reconciliation to this uncomfortably troubled marriage was possible, but I wasn’t counting on it. Hey, the crystal ball is cloudy after all. Now that AP is back in the game, I’m fascinated to see what happens. I don’t care how good he is: age and expectations are going to be a factor.

The crystal ball says:

Teddy’s gonna have a decent season, but he’s more of a long term threat than a breakout stud. Talking Heads will continue to praise him to high heaven until the last fourth of the season when they turn on him and ask whether or not he’s any good. He’ll stay the same, continuing to grow and improve unless he proves injury prone. Adrian Peterson will have a solid season, keeping his hyperbolic god-like status, but he’s going to be eclipsed on the stats sheet by some of the hungrier young guys.

Chicago Bears:

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Da Bears are hurting right now, and I think there’s an inevitable degree of soul searching going on in the organization regardless of the coaching change. John Fox is certainly going to liven things up as much as he can. Fresh blood will flow, the slate will be cleaned, but there’s no getting around the elephant in the room: Jay Cutler’s competency, commitment, and the club’s decision to stick it out with him. Personally, I’m not as down on Cutler as many people are, but I do feel that his remaining presence in Chicago has metastasized into an untenably toxic relationship. Even if they win a few more games this season with Cutler, the team’s long-term success is going to be in the hands of their next quarterback. And let’s not act like a break with the Bears would be bad for Cutler: he could gracefully transition to a lower-tier team and play with a squad that would actually appreciate him. Not the worst way to play out the rest of your career.

The crystal ball says:

Another abysmal year for Soldier Field’s finest. There’s little hope in restructuring and re-growing without faith in your lynchpin. Chi-town will spend a year taking its losses while John Fox settles in and shows off what he has to offer.

Green Bay Packers:

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Green Bay is easily the least fun team to pontificate on in the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers is currently in top form with a rock solid team behind him. I won’t be surprised if this group keeps on clicking and humming along together, giving opposing NFC North fans fits. The crew is well-oiled, well-managed, and has that “cool factor” of playing in an open stadium during the rudest of Midwest winters. You can certainly criticize The Pack when it comes to the league as a whole, particularly that they don’t deal well with unexpected loss, but in the NFC North, this is the team that everybody wants to dethrone.

The only real worry is keeping Rodgers healthy. We’ve seen in the past how this team has collapsed without its sometimes-mustachioed heart on the field. If I were Mike McCarthy, I would be spending an inordinate amount of time working with that O-line on QB protection.

The crystal ball says:

A clear division victory for The Cheeseheads, with Detroit and possibly Minnesota nipping at their heels. However, the entire house of cards collapses if Rodgers misses four or more games.

Detroit Lions:

 photo lions_zpsmbfs5wgb.jpg

Like last season, Detroit has a great chance of giving the Packers a run for their money, but it’s not going to be easy. Detroit is currently a team full of potential and unanswered questions. I’d love to see the defense as dominant as it was last season, a tall order considering the loss of Ndamukong Suh. Yet the return of Stephen Tulloch and acquisition of Haloti Ngata are hard to dismiss. Of course I’ll be watching that offensive line closest. It’s the single factor in Stafford having as productive a season he did in his INT-happy, record-breaking slinger days, though he’s likely to have a more disciplined system that actually wins games this time around.

The run game is going to be the x-factor. I love Joique Bell, but he can’t carry the team like a Marshawn Lynch or a Jamaal Charles. He gets you three yards on a 3rd & 2, and punches his way into the end zone in short yardage situations, but he’s not going to break off 15 yard chunks with any regularity. And sure, there’s Theo Riddick and a very “maybe” George Winn. I’m hopeful for Ameer Abdullah, but I also think there’s a lot of bluster and hype for the second round pick.

Crystal ball says:

Detroit has so much talent on the roster, but also has trouble putting it together. I see the defense not being as strong as last year, but staying damn close to that caliber thanks to the prior season’s proof of concept. The offense is going to pop more this year in the passing game, but the running game will remain blue-collar. Green Bay has a good chance of winning both games vs. the Lions, but the really exciting divisional games are going to go down with the Vikings. The division title will most likely go to Green Bay, but the Lions will make the wild card slot and head to the playoffs for the second year in a row.

 

 


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