NFL Turkey Day Priveiw 2016

Written by :
Published on : November 23, 2016

 

For many, watching NFL action on Thanksgiving is as essential as mashed potatoes. Most of my Turkey Day memories include the Detroit Lions and eating way too much. Then watching watching the Dallas Cowboys and eating a little more. Then complaining about how the Lions played while having coffee and pie. Let’s look at the menu for Thursday’s football feast.

 

9:30 am (PT) – Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

 

Time to wake up and jump straight into fire. The lead in the NFC North hangs in the balance as both teams are 6-4 and coming off wins. Lions beat the Vikings in OT just a few weeks ago and this looks to be another close one. The winner will have a commanding lead with only 5 games left. All while Green Bay continues to implode and Chicago celebrates the Cubs. This Thanksgiving day game may decide the division.

 

Make at least a light snack during or before the game. Better yet, do a full breakfast or meal. You may think skip the early meal and save the room for dinner but it’s the early calories that kick start your metabolism and allow you to consume the most food possible. When you skip an eating, your body goes into reserve mode where it burns calories slowly. That’s not what you want, you want a roaring fire of an appetite. Let there be meat! Let there be football! Glorious Turkey Day to you all!

 

Good news for Minnesota is that their defense is legit and that will keep them in any contest. Good news for Detroit is that all 10 of their games this season (NFL record) have been decided within 7 points and Stafford seems to have a knack for winning it late. So we know this is going to come down to the last few possessions. Great, another holiday filled with screaming and tension.

 

1:30 pm – Washington R-words at Dallas Cowboys

 

Another tough divisional bout. NFC East leading Dallas defends their 9-1 record against 6-3-1 Washington who have found their stride recently, winning the last two. It’s hard to pick anyone to beat the Cowboys in Texas but Washington is sneaky. Alright, time to eat. First plate strategy is to get a small taste of everything the dinner has to offer. This may be tough depending on how many side dishes your Aunt brings. Resist the urge to make some mountain of first portion or else there will never be seconds.

 

I’ve mentioned this before but why does the league always schedule the Cowboys against one of the Native American themed franchises on Thanksgiving? Washington is in the division, so that kind of makes sense but it seems more than just luck. It’s kind of like someone at the NFL thinks it’s cute to play cowboys and indians on Turkey Day. Also, I’ve stopped using the Washington mascot name in my writing and I hope Washington ownership makes a change.

 

Good news for the Cowboys is that rookie QB Dak Prescott is playing great and limiting turnovers. Good news for Washington is they found a spark with RB Robert Kelley and QB Kirk Cousins is slinging. Time for a second plate. This time load up on all the best stuff, extra gravy please. But do it quick, the second half is about to start. The Washington defense needs to slow down the Dallas rushing attack or there is no chance they can win. Let’s hope Washington can score enough so this stays interesting.

 

5:30 pm – Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts

 

More football? Pile it on. This third game was added a few years back and can be any two teams, while Dallas and Detroit always host games. The last matchup features two 5-5 crews that both need the win to keep their playoff dreams alive. Grab a strong cup of black coffee, cream or sugar not needed because of what’s next: a piece of every pie, cake, pie or pie that’s available. Add ice cream or whipped cream where applicable.

 

Indy has trouble slowing down opposing offenses and Pittsburgh knows how to score a gang of points but those 5-5 records means we aren’t really sure who is going to show up. The Steelers’ ground game is solid with Le’Veon Bell and Big Ben to Antonio Brown is money in the bank but they don’t always seem to be able to put it all together. The Colts and QB Andrew Luck are building some steam with back-to-back wins over Green Bay and divisional foe, Tennessee.

 

Good news for Indy is they are at home and indoors which doesn’t sound like much of an advantage until you consider playing outside, at night, at Heinz Field. Good news for Pittsburgh is that QB Ben Roethlisberger has feasted on the Colts in his career. Ben Hungry. This could be a shootout. Which is the best case scenario because we are all very sleepy, so if this isn’t gripping, I’m napping.

 

nfl-thanksgiving-madden-jpg

 

Remember, Thanksgiving is day is about family and those close to your heart. Eat, drink, be merry but take a second to thank those around you. If you are away from the ones you love, call, text or fax. And if you go out into the world on Turkey Day, please be appreciative of the men and women who are working on the holiday.

 

Nap time.

 

 


NFL’s Clutch Killers

Written by :
Published on : November 18, 2016

 

This one goes out to the true ballers. The teams and players that never say die. The stats and odds may be stacked against them but they laugh in the face of fear and pull off the impossible. But if you routinely pull off the impossible can we really call it impossible? Woah, intellectual brain freeze. Let’s get to know the NFL crews that are pure clutch.

 

The New York Giants

Coming off a 1 point win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, the G-men are now 6-3. Not bad, still chasing Dallas, even though they did beat them in week 1, but that seems ages ago. All 6 wins have been within 7 points. So the games they are winning are all being won in the fourth quarter. That takes guts. Giants are last in the league in rushing. So Eli Manning has t0 get some of the credit here. We all jump on him when he throws the pick but he is leading them to wins. And looking ahead they have Chicago and Cleveland. Both seem like very winnable games. The schedule after that gets brutal: at Pittsburgh, Dallas, Detroit, at Philly, at Washington. We are going to learn a lot about New York in those last weeks.

 

 

The Detroit Lions

Matt Stafford is the new comeback kid in the mold of Favre or Elway. In all 5 wins, the Cardiac Cats were trailing in the 4th quarter and Stafford led them back. The arm of quarterback and the leg of kicker Matt Parter have been clutch all season. All these two need is 40 seconds (with or without time outs) to get down the field and boot the game winner. The world is finally taking notice of what fans in Detroit have seen Matt do this his whole career. Stafford currently has 25 game-winning drives in just 102 games played. That’s all fancy stat talk meaning don’t give him a last chance with the ball unless you are ready to lose.

 

Detroit can add some wins in their next four games where they play Jacksonville, Minnesota, at New Orleans and Chicago. After that it gets wild with all road games starting at New York, at Dallas and at Green Bay. Wow, who at the scheduling office hates the Lions? If Detroit is going to make the playoffs, it is because of Stafford and his killer instinct.

 

The Kansas City Chiefs

 

KC is 7-2 and winners of 5 straight. Unlike the teams mentioned above, the Chiefs have been winning late but not necessarily because of QB Alex Smith. Don’t get me wrong, he has been vital in the victories but they have found different ways to win each week. In week 10, Kansas City was down 17 to Carolina before they finally woke up. A few field goals, a pick six, a touchdown and a forced fumble led to a game winning kick that stole Christmas from the Panthers.

 

The AFC West is tight and KC plays 2 divisional games in the next 4 weeks. First it’s Tampa Bay, at Denver, at Atlanta, Oakland. The regular season ends for them with matchups with Tennessee, Denver and at San Diego. This crew will make the playoffs either as the division winner or a wild card.

 

No one wants to play these types of teams. They keep hanging around all game and it almost seems over until something crazy happens. It’s a powerful x-factor that swing the fates of the postseason.

 

Heart attack.

 

 


SBS’ 500th Post: An Ode to the Number 500 in Sports

Written by :
Published on : October 22, 2016

 

 

For ScoreBoredSports 500th post, we honor the number 500 and see its mark on the world of sports. 500 is a mountain to climb for things like wins, goals, yards in a game but many of the greats have those milestone in their rear-view. Let’s dig through sports history books and see where the famous number presents itself.

 

Indy 500

The first thing that comes to mind. I’ll include Daytona and all other major 500 lap Sprint Cup races in this section. Racing wasn’t always on my sports radar but with age, I’ve come to appreciate the talent needed to drive a car over 200 mph for hundreds of laps. My old car can’t even go over 45 mph. NASCAR speed is almost shocking but it’s the control that’s truly impressive.

 

The term “.500”

In reference to a team’s winning percentage. Often in the context of over or under .500. AKA are you a winning or losing team. This metric is used in many pro games. It is the gold standard for coaches where W’s mean keeping a job. Over .500? Things are probably going pretty good.

 

500 yards passing in a game

 

Only 16 NFL QBs have pulled this off. From older names like Norm Van Brocklin to modern gun slingers like Matthew Stafford. As football goes more and more pass heavy, this club will stop being so exclusive. Then we’ll start talking about 600 yards passing in one game.

 

500 home run club

Babe Ruth was the first to hit 500 dingers and 26 others have matched the feat. Albert Pujols is the only active member of the 500 club. He sits at 591. Barry Bonds’ 762 home runs seems like an insane hill to climb for anyone.

 

The game “500”

You know the rules. Your one friend plays dealer and tosses a ball and calls out a point value. The rest of the players fight to catch the ball. You earn points with each catch. Hit 500 and you earn the right to be the dealer. Perfect game for when you didn’t really have the numbers for full teams of something else.

 

500 goals in NHL

 

Only 44 hockey players have this honor. Most of them Canadians. 500 is a huge mark but for reference, the all time leader in goals is Wayne Gretzky and he has 894. Gordie Howe is second on that list with 801. Suddenly, 500 doesn’t seem that wild.

 

500 wins

Coaches in almost every sport have broken this barrier. Often it is a college coach who stays at one program for two decades plus. There are too many to name but most of the greats you can think of are here. Just no NFL guys because of the much shorter schedule in terms of overall games.

 

500 goals in soccer

27 futbol gods have netted 500 or more GOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! Scoring machines Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the only active players with over 500 goals. Who knows how many more these two will score before it’s all over.

 

 

Happy 500 everyone. To all the athletes with the insane records, we tip our caps to you. And to all the SBS family and all the loyal Bored-Agains, here is to the next 500 posts.

 

Half thousand.

 

 


Detroit Lions vs Los Angeles Rams: My Kids Are Fighting

Written by :
Published on : October 15, 2016

 

I’m a life long Detroit Lions fan. No matter how much it hurts. I just can’t stay away. I know it’s bad for me, it ruins most Sundays but I love the stupid team. I moved to Los Angeles almost ten years ago and the Rams just relocated back to town. My love of football told me I could like two teams so I decided to adopt the Rams as my second football child.

 

So far, this hasn’t been a problem but the Los Angeles Rams (3-2) travel to the Detroit Lions (2-3) this weekend for a game both franchises need to win. Everyone is still in the playoff hunt (for now) and victories over conference opponents is huge when it comes to wild card standing at the end of the season. This may seem like an non-issue to some who support hometown over anything but the Rams are my way out of a bad relationship. This could be the perfect moment to break it off with the Lions and finally start fresh. Oh, what to do?

 

 

So far the teams have been weird opposites. Rams lost week 1 while the Lions won. They each changed directions with LA winning three in a row for a 3-1 record. While the Lions dropped winnable games to the Titans, Packers and Bears for a 1-3 mark. Week 5 saw another reversal where Detroit edged out Philly, and Los Angeles fell to Buffalo. What will happen Sunday? Are the Lions still trending up? Will the Rams right the ship? I feel like no matter who I pick I’m going to lose.

 

The Los Angeles Rams have a solid defense but the real threat is them running the ball with Todd Gurley. The RB could spell disaster for a Lions unit that has had trouble getting off the field and keeping folks out of the end zone all year. On the flip side, Rams may not be able to stop Stafford and company from racking up so many points that LA has to abandon the ground attack and force the ball down field.

 

 

My football brain says the Lions come out fast (again) at home after a big win and maybe play enough of a full game for a decently sound victory. My heart always wants the Honolulu Blue and Silver to win but it’s hard to pick them each week. I can also see flashes of how it could all burn down. I dare not even say my negative predictions aloud in case they come true and haunt me.

 

I’m trying to love the Rams. They are my new thing but the Lions are my blood. An LA win will be great for the organization as they grow in their new (old) market but I don’t think I can celebrate any part of that. Loyalty is a funny thing and you don’t get to choose family.

 

Sophie’s (almost) choice.

 

 


Concerns about the Lions defense

Written by :
Published on : September 15, 2016

 

 

In typical Lions fashion, the team gave up a late lead with less than a minute to play on Sunday. In not-so-typical Lions fashion, they managed to drive down the field and win the game with a late field goal. Much like the first game of last season, the team built up a 21-3 lead in the first half, only to watch it slip away as their defense withered against Andrew Luck. If not for superb play from Matt Stafford, and a long lost running game that showed up big time, this team could very well sit at 0-1 right now.

 

The offense was a pleasant surprise. The line held up fairly well (against a weak Colts defense), and the Detroit backs and receivers more or less did as they pleased all day. A win is a win and in the NFL, you have to take them where you can get them. It’s encouraging that the offense seems to be picking up where it left off last season with Jim Bob Cooter calling the shots. But there might be some cause for concern on the other side of the ball. After a strong first quarter, the Detroit Lions defense regressed as the game wore on. The way things unfolded in the second half has me wondering if the Lions defense might be in trouble. Here are some of my biggest concerns at each level of the defense.

 

Piss poor pass rush

Early on in the game, the Colts offense looked lost and the Lions defense looked pretty tight. I was specifically impressed with the play of the defensive line, going as far as to voice my pleasure on Twitter…

 

 

As usual, I was premature in my praise. Early on, the pressure was constant and guys like Kerry Hyder Jr (one of the last players to make the 53-man roster) were making plays. The team was using stunts and disguising the rush in order to confuse the Colts offense. Andrew Luck looked uncomfortable and the pocket was collapsing with regularity, causing some difficult throwing situations for the young QB.

 

About midway through the second quarter that began to change. The Lions had built up a comfortable lead and then it seemed like defensive coordinator Teryl Austin took his foot off the gas. The play calling went vanilla as the Lions switched almost exclusively into a two-linebacker package, after working the 4-3 with Kyle Van Noy early on in the game. The four man rush was inept and the guys looked slow off the ball. Big boys like Haloti Ngata got pushed off the line much more often than they should have been. Devin Taylor wasn’t much of a factor either, giving a bit of legitimacy to my original concerns about him being a full time starter.

 

 Ziggy just couldn’t get there.

 

There just wasn’t much going on up front and Andrew Luck took full advantage of it. Even when there was pressure the boys couldn’t get home. Like on the Colts final drive, when Ziggy Ansah allowed Luck to narrowly escape a sack that could have been a big boost to the defense. By the end of game, hell, by mid-game, the defensive line looked worn down. This is despite a pretty constant rotation of bodies. The defensive line has got to be the heart and soul if this defense is going to thrive. If they play against top level offensive lines like they did Sunday, then there are going to be some painful moments in Detroit this season. Two sacks against that Colts is unacceptable.

 

Linebacker issues

Tahir Whitehead started the game pretty strong. He made some big hits and looked good in man coverage. But as the game progressed, and the team asked him to play more zone coverage, he got exposed. Teryl Austin was clearly asking him to do more than he could handle. There were some suspect coverage hand-offs in zone that left me thinking Whitehead may have been out of place or indecisive about where he needed to be. The team should let him do what he does best and let other players who thrive in more complex coverages do their thing. That’s what we have our other stud linebacker for, right?

 

The only problem is that he didn’t look so great either. DeAndre Levy played a total of 17 snaps in 2015, and only a handful during this year’s preseason, but was on the field for all 70 defensive snaps in week 1. By no means was he a liability (except on that shit head taunting penalty), but he didn’t live up to what we expect from him either. He was solid enough but also much slower to react than Lions fans have become accustomed to with him. It was his killer instinct and quick reflexes that helped earn him a big contract extension before last season, but this was not the same bearded beast we are all used to seeing. It was obvious that there is some rust to be knocked off with Levy, but if by some unfortunate chance his play doesn’t improve, this defense could be in trouble. They need him to be game changer not an average guy.

 

Second(ary) Thoughts

We all know that the Lions have at least one star in the secondary with Darius Slay. They also happen to have one above-average safety in Glover Quin, although he had a bad game against the Colts. In the NFL, that’s the foundation of a pretty good secondary. If those guys do their job and you can get just a few more players to play up to, or slightly above, their potential then you can have some real success. On Sunday that didn’t really happen.

 

It remains to be seen if Tavon Wilson and Rafael Bush can combine to form a serviceable safety tandem, but they sure as hell aren’t going to do it if the defensive line can’t get any pressure. Slay and Quin can only do so much on their own, and without a consistent pass rush the entire unit will be a failure. Nevin Lawson and Quandre Diggs have shown that they can be better than adequate when given a fair shot in a defense that is functioning properly at all levels. When that was not happening on Sunday they couldn’t keep up and they shouldn’t be expected to. This secondary can thrive, but much like the defense as a whole, that is predicated on the defensive line.

 

 Nevin Lawson getting beat for a TD.

 

With all of that in mind, we have to remember that this is only the first week of the season. Many of these issues will probably get resolved as the team plays itself into game shape and the boys knock off some of that rust. With the limited amount of full contact practices during training camp nowadays, many teams need a couple weeks to get back up to speed, and after the last two seasons it’s clear that the Lions are one of those squads. This team seems to come out of the gate in sluggish fashion every year.

 

We often don’t see a team’s true self until they have played a few games. I suspect that may be the case with these guys too. DeAndre Levy had played only a handful of snaps in more than a year before Sunday. Time will tell if he will ever get back to being his pre hip injury self, but I’d be willing to bet that once he gets into shape we will see a better version of him than the one we saw against the Colts. Jim Caldwell and his staff once again has failed to have his football team prepared for 60 minutes of regular season gameplay coming out of training camp.

 

Speaking of the staff, defensive coordinator, Teryl Austin, deserves a big chunk of the blame for how the defense played Sunday. He displayed an unwillingness to play to the strengths of his players and the team suffered. By simplifying his schemes once the team had a comfortable lead, he gave Andrew Luck the window he needed to mount a comeback. It was a repeat of last season in San Diego all over again. This year, they were lucky enough to come out with a win in week 1, but they had better hope they get up to speed soon.

 

 


NFL Quarterbacks who just got Paid

Written by :
Published on : March 20, 2016

 

 

Boy, oh boy, it’s a good time to be an NFL quarterback. It feels like almost every team is looking for a starter and is willing to pay handsomely for one. The apparent lack of quality arms has seen some teams shell out huge contracts for players who are mostly backups. And speaking of backups, you need one of those too. You can’t build a great team without at least preparing for the idea that your star QB may get hurt. Plan accordingly and that injury may not sink your playoff hopes.

 

Below are not the quarterback elite. That’s the whole thing about this. We understand when Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers gets a fat extension but some organizations are so desperate that they will sink their fortunes in someone a little less proven. Let’s take a look at some the big money deals that have been inked so far:

 

Case Keenum

 

The Los Angeles Rams got him for 1 year/$3.6 million. He is supposed to start. I don’t know much about him. I know I don’t want him on my team, holding the ball every play. Not a great beginning for the LA franchise. Maybe they can still go out and sign someone. What is Tim Tebow doing?

 

Sam Bradford

The Philadelphia Eagles gave Sam a 2 year/$35 million deal. With $22 million of it in guaranteed money, including a $11 million signing bonus. This guy has never played well or stayed healthy for a full season. But teams keeping thinking he can be the guy. Maybe he can. Probably not. He is becoming the new Matt Flynn.

 

Brock Osweiler

 

You know, Peyton’s backup. Oh yeah, the Houston Texans gave him a 4 year/$72 million contract with $37 million guaranteed. Part of that $37 is a $12 million signing bonus. Not bad for a guy who just won a Super Bowl ring for holding a clipboard. I’m being mean, Brock could become a great player. The only problem is we just don’t know yet but that contact says differently. For example, Joe Flacco, who has won the Super Bowl for his Baltimore Ravens just signed for 3 years/$66.4 million. Flacco is a proven commodity. Osweiler is not, even if he is 6’8”.

 

Mark Sanchez

With Peyton Manning retiring and Brock Osweiler moving to Houston, the Denver Broncos needed to do something. They picked up the phone, called Detroit and asked about Mathew Stafford. The Fords just laughed and hung up. So Denver got the next best thing: Mark Sanchez! I’m kidding. It’s an insult to Stafford that I mention him in the same breath as Sanchez. Both were drafted in first round of 2009. Matt 1st overall and Mark 5th and that’s where the similarities end. Denver acquired Sanchez through a trade with the Eagles for a draft pick. Last year Sanchez signed 2 year/$9 million deal. Denver will pay him $4.5 million this year. So Sanchez didn’t exactly just get paid but if he plays decently then another sizable contract is coming his way.

 

Kirk Cousins

 

Cousins played great in the second half of last season but Washington still wasn’t sold enough to give him a multi year deal. Instead, they slapped him with the franchise tag which will net Kirk around $19.7 million for the year. If he performs well in 2016, then he can expect a massive contact.

 

 

There are still quite a few teams that need quarterbacks. Browns, Niners and the Jets all come to mind. Will RGIII and Colin Kaepernick find new homes? Maybe Brett Farve will come out of retirement? Only time will tell. The only thing we know for sure is these signal callers are ballers with the checks they cash. And from the looks of it, the money train isn’t slowing down. Damn, is it too late to switch majors?

 

Cha-ching.

 

Contract info from spotrac.com


Dr James Andrews: Surgeon to the Stars

Written by :
Published on : February 19, 2016

 

 

It used to be that if you blew out your knee, your career was over. Now it’s just a 6-8 month setback. Crazy advancements in medicine have allowed our top athletes to bounce back sooner and sometimes even stronger. We see this across all sports, not just your high impact ones. Leading the pack in the future world of sports medicine is Orthopedic Surgeon, Doctor James Andrews. So when a star player goes down, this is the Doc you call. Let’s get to know James a little bit better.

 

Doctor-James-Andrews-and-Robert-Griffin-III
Doc and Robert Griffin III

 

He specializes in repairing damaged ligaments, you know like those ACL, MCL, LOL or whatever injuries in the knee. And for those who don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, a ligament is the rubberband-thingy that connects bones or holds together a joint. The doc is based out of Alabama but travels for work regularly. In addition to a full schedule of surgeries, Andrews serves as Team Doctor for both Alabama and Auburn football teams as well as the Washington Redskins in the NFL. That’s crazy. You think Nick Saban ever asks him for insider info about the Auburn players?

 

James Andrews has worked on some of the biggest names in sports. And at an estimated net worth of $100 million, he is richer than most players. Notable patients include: Matthew Stafford, NFL (Shoulder), John Smoltz, MLB (Tommy John), Scottie Pippen, NBA (Elbow), Roger Clemens, MLB (Shoulder), Bo Jackson, NFL and MLB (Shoulder and Hip), Drew Brees, NFL (Shoulder), Peyton Manning, NFL (Knee), Hulk Hogan, WWE (Knee) and Troy Aikmen, NFL (Elbow and Shoulder). This list is just SOME of the big names he has done surgery on. He has also consulted on pretty much everyone. If you are star and you get hurt, you go see James Andrews. That’s the end of it.

 

james cena
Doc and John Cena

 

I don’t know this for sure, but I bet he golfs and is pretty good at it. He is a doctor. He must golf. Don’t get confused though, he still performs surgery on non-famous folks. This guy is just one of the best scalpels we have and he works his hardest to help as many hurt people as possible. That is really commendable. So if you’re ever in the south and you rip your shoulder, smash your elbow or destroy your knee then you know who to call. Ghostbusters! No, I mean my man James. The hardest working man in scrubs.

 

 

Now let’s all go throughly wash our hands before we give him a high five.

 

 


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