SBS Stadium Series: The glass palace of Minnesota

Written by :
Published on : October 12, 2017

 

 

The Michigang is back in action for our annual Lions road game meet up. This year takes the crew to Minneapolis, Minnesota for Detroit’s first divisional game against the Vikings.

 

This year’s trip was extra special because we got to visit the newest football arena in the country. US Bank stadium will be home to this year’s Super Bowl and it is clear why. The building is enormous and gorgeous. Let’s get inside and explore the new digs in this installment of the SBS Stadium Series.

 

 

First impressions of Vikings Village (the area outside the building). Kind of lame. All beer stands, which I love but no food, which sucks. Because I was starving and needed something in my belly besides booze. There was also this terrible band playing covers. I wont even dignify them with a joke. Overall, the best part of Viking Village would have to be the view. The glass face of the building is super dope. Also the local train has a stop right in front which is really convenient. But it’s getting close to kickoff so it’s time to head inside. As we made our way to the front gate we came across the witches protesting for social justice. The witches kick ass. Fuck racism and white supremacy.

 

 

The lines to get in moved so fast. Best I’ve ever seen at sporting event. Inside, they scan your tickets like a boarding pass with this fancy laser podium. It’s straight The Fifth Element. First steps inside US Bank are breathtaking. It’s like a football cathedral. The roof is so far above you at all heights. The scale is truly massive.

 

We take the escalators up to the the top level and as we move through the crowds it is clear. There are some Lions fans but not many. Probably the smallest number of Honolulu Blue I’ve witnessed on the road. Bobby joked “these Vikings fans sure do travel well”. We were outnumbered but not outclassed. Our Michigang was 14 deep and rocking our matching custom t-shirts. We drew a lot of attention. But that might be because we were chanting and yelling almost the entire time.

 

 

We find our seats and get ready for the show. But first, it’s time for everyone’s favorite part of a football game, the national anthem! I did not stand for the anthem. Because Trump called NFL anthem protesters, “sons of bitches”, so I stayed seated. Because criticizing protesters who are speaking out against inequality is a trash move. But I did stop eating my pizza which I thought was a very reasonable compromise. From behind me, I hear “it would be nice if all the Lions fans would stand”. I didn’t turn or respond. Facebook comment threads have taught me how to recognize a trigger situation and I’m finally (hopefully) adult enough to not always get sucked in.

 

Then, an epic DRUM BEAT on a brontosaurus sized drum. Like Game of Thrones style viking shit. The room shouts “SKOL!”. Everyone knew what was happening. Everyone but the 14 of us. The crowd claps their hands above their heads with each beat. The drumming gets faster. It’s pretty intense. And admittedly cool. It crescendos it a roar of applause. Super loud. Maybe the loudest I’ve ever heard. This is all being lead by the Skol Line (get it, it’s like goal line) a drum line band that maybe lives in the stadium. Not totally sure on that. But they do get the crowd pretty hype. Also what’s the deal with all the Skol stuff? Do they really like chewing tobacco that much? Apparently they do. Because the entire building is smokeless. No smoking deck or area period. Maybe they have a vape zone? Also not sure on that.

 

 

Finally, it’s kickoff. I get the butterflies in my stomach. I add two beers, a pretzel with cheese and a second slice of pepperoni pizza to that stomach to kill the butterflies. The game is tight. Both defenses are balling. It’s going to be a close one the whole way I can just tell. But hot damn look at the field. The whole place feels so open and new. At one point during the second quarter, the sun peaked from behind the rain clouds and shined down on the glass of the wall and ceiling. The whole building lit up like it was magic in a Disney movie. It was beautiful.

 

Each time the Vikings have a positive play, they blare this awful horn. I’m sure the fans like it. But it gets old quick. The drum is way better than the horn. The NFC North rivals trade points until it’s Detroit 14 and Minnesota 7. But there’s plenty of time left in the game so anything can happen. And for the record, the Viking fight song they play after a touchdown is real bad and I should know, the Lions fight song is not great. But this one is rough. The clock is ticking down and now the gentlemen behind me start chirping. They keep trying to bait me into something. But I surprisingly play it real cool and don’t engage. This was no easy task by the way. I’m petty and very quick with a mean joke so this is kind of my unfortunate specialty but I swallow my insults and let the Lions defense do the talking.

 

 

Lions grind out the clock with a solid ground game and it’s over. We win. 14-7. The row busts into our favorite chant “three and one, three and one, three and one” or for s fun variation, “four and o with an asterisk”. Another huge road win. Seriously, winning on the road in our division is not something I’ve experienced too much of. It was a shock and a real joy. I will remember that day forever.

 

Overall, the stadium is perfect. Not a single flaw to mention. Other than that damn horn. The total experience was great. The Vikings fans were mostly very nice. For example, most had a hard time with trash talk. One guy saw us and yelled “Go Vikings” and then we yelled “Go Lions” and then he went “but seriously that Stafford is my something, I’d say he’s probably my favorite player in the league”. Or another guy tried to heckle by shouting, “Funny hat!” at Tomas with his lion head beanie. Sick burn you guys. It’s almost cute.

 

They say that people who build glass stadiums shouldn’t throw touchdowns. And the Vikings didn’t that day. Go Lions. And who knows, maybe the Michigang will be back in Minnesota watching the Lions in the Super Bowl. A boy can dream can’t he?

 

SKOL.

 

 


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

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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!

 

MV5BNDhmODU2OGItOGNkZC00Y2ZkLTllNGYtMTY1OGEwMDE3ODA5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMDgyNjA5MA@@._V1_

 

“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…

 

The-Brain-That-Wouldnt-Die

 

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.

 

brain4

 

Cop that trailer:

 

Full flick here:

 

 


Blackout Bruno’s NFL picks for week 17

Written by :
Published on : January 3, 2017

 

This article was penned the weekend leading up to week 17 but I got really drunk and forgot to post it. No picks were harmed or changed in the making of this. The correct picks are marked after each guess, along with my record so far.

 

Saturday, January 31st, 2016 –

Woah, just woke up from a 16 hour nap to discover I went 13-3 in week 15. Not bad for a guy with a severally damaged liver and brain. That brings my selective season total for picks to 40-18-1. That record could be even better if I didn’t pick my Lions to win against the Giants. Still mad about that game. Don’t even get me started on that awful Dallas fiasco on Monday night. I mean, Dez Bryant has a handful of facemask but the refs– I said DON’T get me started. Let’s all calm down with a cold one and the picks for week 17.

 

Quick note: many of these games are meaningless as the playoffs are all but set. So some younger players may see some snaps which may throw off the traditional wisdom.

 

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

 

Ravens were 9 seconds away from beating the Steelers last week and having a shot at the postseason but Antonio Brown had other plans. Because of that, they come out mad and take it out all over a depleted Bengals crew.

Winner: Baltimore Bengals (0-1 so far)

 

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

This should have been the showdown for the AFC South crown but the Titans lost to Jags in week 16 and lost their star QB Marcus Mariota. This is a perfect time for the playoff bound Texans to learn how to win on the road.

Winner: Houston Tennessee (0-2)

 

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs need a win and some help to get to the dance, plus they are playing at home and have motivation on their side. For the Panthers, this is the last game of their Super Bowl hangover. I’m sure they just want the season to be over.

Winner: Tampa Bay (1-2)

 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianpolis Colts

 

Despite all their preseason hype, the Jags are one of the league’s worst. While Andrew Luck and the Colts can flash moments of awesome. That is more than enough for Indy to take care of business in front of their home crowd.

Winner: Indianpolis (2-2)

 

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Miami is currently the 6th seed in the AFC going into the playoffs. That projects them to travel to Pittsburgh (outdoors) for the Wild Card. That’s not great for the Dolphins chances, a win against the Pats could get them the 5th seed which pits them against Houston (indoors). Pair all this with the idea that New England may sit some starters and you have upset written all over.

Winner: Miami New England (2-3)

 

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

Bears are garbage. Vikings defense is good. Case closed.

Winner: Minnesota (3-3)

 

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets

 

Speaking of garbage, the New York Jets everyone. They can’t stop anyone and they have no answer at QB. The Bills are better than their record and can run the ball effectively.

Winner: Buffalo New York (3-4)

 

Cowboys Dallas at Philadelphia Eagles

Dallas has it all locked up and is waiting for the divisional round of the playoffs. They will be mentally checked out. While the Eagles and their young QB are trying to grow and learn with each snap.

Winner: Philadelphia (4-4)

 

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

Browns just got their first win last week. I was as shocked as you. But that mostly just proves you can never count on the Chargers for anything. None of that matters, Steelers run all over Cleveland.

Winner: Pittsburgh (5-4)

 

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

 

Falcons are playing for a potential first round bye and they rock at home. Don’t count the Saints out as Drew Brees flashes some vintage magic to make this interesting but it’s not enough.

Winner: Atlanta (6-4)

 

New York Giants at Washington R-words

The G-men’s D is solid and but for Washington, this is their whole season. Should be a tough divisional matchup. I can see it either way but I’ll give New York the edge. True they have less to play for but they know it’s important to hit the postseason with some momentum.

Winner: New York (7-4)

 

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

Both these organizations had high hopes for 2016. Those hopes were dashed weeks ago but the Cardinals are still miles ahead of the lowly Rams.

Winner: Arizona (8-4)

 

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos

 

What happened to Denver? Suddenly they can’t run the ball and that promising start isn’t enough to get them back to the playoffs. The Raiders will hand the offense over to Matt McGloin in place of injured QB Derek Carr. An ugly game but McGloin gets the win.

Winner: Oakland Denver (8-5)

 

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers

Chargers lost to the winless Browns last week and will keep the crappy play going against the red-hot Chiefs. Look for super weapon Tyreek Hill to make fools out of the San Diego coverage units.

Winner: Kansas City (9-5)

 

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

HAHAHAH! Niners just fired everyone for the train wreck of season they are having. I kind of thought they were going to give Chip Kelley another year. Whatever. Seattle rolls in this tuneup game.

Winner: Seattle (10-5)

 

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

This game will determine who is King of the North! So conflicted here. If I pick the Lions they will lose. But I can’t bring myself to pick the Packers out of principle so I guess it will be a tie. Go Lions.

No Winner: Tie Green Bay (10-6) 

 

That’s it for the regular season picks. If I’m not in jail, I’ll try and get some Wild Card predictions in for you to enjoy. Until then, make your favorite cocktail and hold your loved ones close. Who knows what the future holds.

 

Playoffs?

 

 


Blackout Bruno’s NFL picks for week 15

Written by :
Published on : December 15, 2016

 

Sorry for the long absence. I’m still sweating out this hangover after my recent trip to New Orleans. My record last time out was 10-4 (week 10) which gives me an overall record of 27-15-1. Not bad. I’ve done better and better each week, let’s keep this streak going. Let’s streak through the quad and into the gymnasium. These are your booze inspired picks for week 15.

 

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks

Seattle bounces back after a dismal showing against the Packers and stomps a Rams team that just fired its head coach. These crews are headed in opposite directions. Seahawks rack it up.

Winner: Seattle

 

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

 

No Tannehill? No problem. Dolphins focus on the run and push over a terrible Jets team. New York is at home but just barely, the game is on Saturday so the Giants can have all day with the stadium on Sunday. It’s clear which New York squad is liked best.

Winner: Miami

 

Detroit Lions at New York Giants

Two offenses that can’t really run the ball. Both have played in lots of close contests. both have better records than most want to give them credit for. Lions are the hotter team having won their last 5 but the Giants just slayed the mighty Cowboys. It’ll be a nail-bitter but the Lions pull it out, again.

Winner: Detroit

 

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

It may be closer than most expect but Green Bay will win. I know this because I need them to lose, so they won’t. It’s nearly guaranteed. Rodgers and company keep moving the ball down field and link up on several deep bombs.

Winner: Green Bay

 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

 

Jags are bad and already thinking about draft picks while Houston needs this game to stay atop the division as the Titans and Colts nip at their heels. Texans also play way better at home and pull away in the second half.

Winner: Houston

 

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills

Cleveland will not win a game this year. Buffalo is better than their 6-7 record and they are going to prove it all over the Browns. Shady McCoy runs for over a 100 yards and adds a few touchdowns. Cleveland adds some points late but it’s never close.

Winner: Buffalo

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens

Bird battle. Ravens are mad salty after the loss to the Pats. They bring their A-game plus that wicked defense. Wentz turns it over late and that seals it. Baltimore keeps their playoff hopes alive.

Winner: Baltimore

 

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs

 

I’m taking a real risk here. KC is very good in all phases of play. Also, they are nearly bulletproof playing at Arrowhead but they just lost LB Derrick Johnson. The Titans run the ball very well and have been rocking lately. They steal a win on the road.

Winner: Tennessee

 

Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings

Both crews need a W to stay in the postseason conversation. Andrew Luck turns on the magic and hits Hilton for a big score. Colts play spoiler and the Vikings will kick themselves for losing this one. Especially since they play Green Bay next.

Winner: Indianapolis

 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

The simple truth is that the Steelers score too many points for the Bengals to hang. Wether it’s through the air to Antonio Brown or on the ground with Le’Veon Bell, it’s too much for Cincinnati. Big Ben gets his boys one step closer to the postseason.

Winner: Pittsburgh

 

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals

 

Two teams with vet QBs and sub .500 records. Everyone was expecting more. Who will step up? I give the edge to the Cards because of their strong run game. For viewers sake, let’s hope this is a barn-burner because entertainment is all they are playing for.

Winner: Arizona

 

San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons

Oh boy, this may be the most lopsided contest in week 15. Falcons need the victory to hold off the surging Bucs in the NFC South. The game is also in Atlanta and the 49ers stink. Matty Ice torches them for 350 yards and 4 TD’s.

Winner: Atlanta

 

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

This isn’t the Peyton Manning Broncos and Tom Brady is rolling. How can you pick against the Pats after their big win on Monday night? They lit up that solid unit from Baltimore and are looking to do the same in Mile High.

Winner: New England

 

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers

 

The Raiders get back on track in this game but it won’t be easy. Nothing ever is with the Chargers. Their whole team is injured but Philip Rivers keeps slinging. This will come down to the last two possessions but the Oakland defense comes up big.

Winner: Oakland

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys

You can normally just pencil in a Cowboys win each week but they looked like mere mortals in their loss to the Giants. Tampa Bay is a solid squad that has won their last 5 and could prove to be a handful. Still have to think Dallas pulls it out.

Winner: Dallas

 

Carolina Panthers at Washington R-words

This game probably sounded like a fun matchup on paper last year but the 5-8 Panthers aren’t much of a draw for Monday Night Football. Washington is still in the wild card hunt so they will be jacked up and ready to ball.

Winner: Washington

 

Alright, get me a bloody mary and a nap. The playoffs are around the corner, oh and I guess Christmas too. So scratch that bloody and get me a bourbon eggnog, unless you started making it already. In which case, I’ll have both and a beer.

 

Let’s order delivery.

 

 


The New Normal

Written by :
Published on : November 26, 2016

 

 

SOL – A term meant to convey the feeling amongst fans of the NFL’s Detroit Lions that the team will forever be mired in mediocrity due to the fact that they keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Same Old Lions.

 

For years and years, the Detroit Lions have been among the worst teams in all of football. Only 8 years ago, the team set the record for most losses in a season by going 0-16. That is no easy feat, regardless of how bad you are. You’re almost guaranteed to win one game just by accident. From Matt Millen to Joey Harrington to Rod Marinelli, fans of the team have had to put up with a whole lot of garbage. They have one playoff victory since 1957. It’s easy to see why SOL is a common term. When you’ve been beaten down by so much losing it just comes to seem like the way of the world. Like it’s normal.

 

Being a fan of the Lions has never been easy.

 

But this year is different, and there just might be a new normal for Lions’ fans.

 

The Detroit Lions sit at 7-4, on top of the NFC North with a full game lead on the Minnesota Vikings. After a 16-13 win over Minnesota on Thanksgiving, things are starting to get a little weird. As a fan of the Lions, I’m not sure how to react to this success, but I think I could get used to it. There’s still a ton of football to be played but the Lions control their own destiny at this point and a spot in the playoffs is their’s to lose.

 

It’s not to say that these 7 wins have been pretty, or necessarily convincing, but a win is a win. What looked like a fluke after 3 or 4 victories, is starting to look like a real football team that knows how to win. The Lions have had all 11 of their games decided by 7 or less points, so even in their losses they are keeping it close. They have also been trailing at some point in the 4th quarter of all 11 games. Since 2008, there have been 8 teams who have done that, and they are a combined 4-73. The fact that this team has pulled 7 wins out of that stretch is a testament to the beginning of a new era of Detroit Lions football.

 

What is at the center of this new normal?

 

 THE BOSS.

 

That’s hard to tell but it seems like a change in organizational culture associated with new owner Martha Firestone Ford (wife of former owner, the late William Clay Ford Sr) and first year general manager Bob Quinn, along with QB Matthew Stafford taking full ownership of the Lions’ identity are what separates this Lions squad from the rest. Bob Quinn came from the New England Patriots organization and knows what it takes to build a winner. He has brought a new style of management to the team and early returns have been very good on his first draft class. If the first season is any indication, this roster will continue to improve markedly from year to year.

 

Matthew Stafford has been the guy in Detroit since 2009, but with the retirement of Calvin Johnson last offseason, the spotlight is now fully on him. He has stepped into the role and delivered in a big way. Statistically he is having the best season of his career and where Calvin Johnson led by example, Matthew Stafford is a vocal leader on the field who commands the respect of his teammates and opponents. He is the type of quarterback that the Lions have needed for decades. He is the man, the King in the North.

 

 The King in the North.

 

For the first part of this season, the Lions were forced to relay almost solely on Stafford to win games, but now the entire team is contributing. The defense has now held opposing teams to 20 points or less in five consecutive games, something the team hasn’t done since 1991, which is also the last time they won a playoff game. Multiple times this year, a win has been sealed by a big play from the defense and they seem to step up when they are needed the most.

 

Add in the two special teams touchdowns and a kicker in Matt Prater who is now 25-for-25 on kicks that tie or win the game in his career, and it’s clear that the Lions are a more complete team than people give them credit for. They may not be big blowout wins, but they are team wins. And in football that means a lot. Who knows what will happen in the team’s last five games, but whatever happens they have sent a message to their fans and the rest of the league.

 

This is not the Same Old Lions. They are nobody’s doormat anymore and this team will give anybody a run for their money. They might even win a few games too. Don’t sleep on Matthew Stafford or his team of cardiac cats will bite you when you least expect it. No lead is safe against them. There is finally a new normal in Detroit.

 

 


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.

 

 


2016 NFL Stock Report for Week 11

Written by :
Published on : November 15, 2016

 

Trump is president. The peso is at historic lows, foreign markets are in crisis. Financial confidence is in the gutter. But this is about football which is a nice break from reading insane facebook posts or cringing at the news. So bust out the ticker and let’s check the stock report for week 11 of the 2016 NFL season.

 

Trending up

– Dak Prescott, QB Dallas Cowboys

They should call him NASDAQ Prescott cause this dude is money. He’s only thrown 2 picks compared to 14 TD’s in 9 games and has shown some real skills. While Tony Romo slipped a disc just watching from the sidelines.

 

– Miami Dolphins

They have won 4 in a row, found a running game behind Jay Ajayi and things are starting to click. It’s amazing how quick things can turnaround when you can run the ball. Now if they could just do something about those uniforms.

 

– Kansas City Chiefs

 

Since starting 2-2, the Chiefs have ripped off 5 wins and are in the hunt for a postseason birth. This is a balanced football team that everyone should stop sleeping on. You hear me beauty?

 

– Tennessee Titans

Titans are only 5-5 but their last win was a decisive one over Green Bay where they rumbled to a 47-25 victory. They broke big play after big play. This team has the tools to play challenger to Houston. That was a space joke.

 

Trending down

– Cleveland Browns

0-10. Maybe looking at 0-16. I don’t want to keep throwing acid on the baby (as they say) and continue to make fun of Cleveland but this franchise needs help and it will take years before anything changes. It’s plain sad.

 

– Minnesota Vikings

What a mess. Started 5-0, then went 0-4. Injuries piling up and three tough games looming. Fans are trying to cope. It’s so bad that even Hillary feels for them.

 

– Green Bay Packers

 

4-5, lost last 3. Can’t run the ball, leaky secondary and an unfriendly schedule the rest of the way out. Cheese futures are dropping like mad. You can get a wedge of aged cheddar for kraft single prices.

 

– San Francisco 49ers

This squad is really bad but I’m not even sure coach Chip Kelly is on the hot seat despite being 1-8. There is no talent on the offensive roster and the only reason people talk about them is to see who is taking a knee.

 

– Pittsburgh Steelers

Losers of 4 straight, the Black and Yellow need to figure it out, fast. They are still very much alive in the AFC North but the players at Heinz Field need to ketchup.

 

 

That’s your full stock report. Buy gold, watch The Wolf of Wall Street and make the money. If all else fails, invest in an independent film. It’s bulletproof.

 

Greed.

 

 


Blackout Bruno’s NFL picks for week 10

Written by :
Published on : November 8, 2016

 

Just woke up after a long Sunday night of celebrating that insane Lions win. Is this even real life? My brain is moving a little slow but all I need is a little hair of the dog that bit me and I’m ready to talk football. After a few sessions of guesses, my alcohol infused record is 17-11-1 (8-6 in week 5 and 9-5-1 in week 7). Let’s get to the week 10 picks.

 

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

Sorry Browns but this isn’t your time. Maybe week 11 will see you get your first win of the year. Ravens defense is too good and they win a low scoring affair thanks to some Justin Tucker field goals.

Winner: Baltimore

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Carolina Panthers

 

If this was in KC then it would be a no-brainer but Carolina is playing for their season and is looking to string some wins together. I still think the Chiefs are a much more solid team overall. A close one.

Winner: Kansas City

 

Denver Broncos at New Orleans Saints

Broncos rebound after their divisional loss to the Raiders by coming into the Super Dome and shutting down Drew Brees and his offense. Broncos run the ball for over 150 yards and grind out a big victory.

Winner: Denver

 

Los Angeles Rams at New York Jets

The Jets are in trouble. Time to sit QB Fitzpatrick and see what they have in the youngster Petty. The Rams will be all over the new signal caller and sack him multiple times.

Winner: Los Angeles

 

Green Bay Packers at Tennessee Titans

 

I’d love to see the Pack lose, and it’s totally possible because they aren’t playing very inspired football right now but Aaron Rodgers will rally his troops and should be able to shred the Titans secondary.

Winner: Green Bay

 

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles

The battle of the birds. This high flying matchup will have over 55 combined points and will make for some great tv. The balanced attack of the Falcons gives them the edge and Philly drops another close game.

Winner: Atlanta

 

Minnesota Vikings at Washington R-words

The Vikings have lost 3 in a row coming into this week. Washington is good squad with skill in every unit. If Minnesota can’t find a way to get some rushing first downs then they are in trouble because QB Sam Bradford isn’t really made to throw it 40-50 times a game.

Winner: Washington

 

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

 

The AFC South stinks but Houston is the clear leader. They run all over the Jags to set up play-action throws to WR Hopkins. Jacksonville QB Bortles tries to make a late comeback but gives the ball away.

Winner: Houston

 

Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Thank god the Cubs won so the city of Chicago doesn’t have to think about how bad the Bears are. I have no clue what the identity of the team is. They go on the road this Sunday against a Bucs crew that can score. Don’t expect it to be close.

Winner: Tampa Bay

 

Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers

Two of the harder teams to understand. Miami sits at .500 after winning 3 in a row on the back of rusher Jay Ajayi. Chargers are 4-5 and are competitive in every game. Another nail bitter but Melvin Gordon and Phillip Rivers find a way.

Winner: San Diego 

 

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

 

Cardinals are a lock. Palmer will find Fitzgerald, Nelson, Brown early and often. David Johnson will continue to run with authority and the 49ers will have almost no answer. This one will be a one-sided outing.

Winner: Arizona

 

Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers better show up or else it will be ugly. The Cowboy ground game is too good behind that O-line. Elliot has another big day and Pittsburgh continues to slide.

Winner: Dallas

 

Seattle Seahawks at New England Patriots

Seahawks are finally overcoming their slump and playing well. Jimmy Graham has found his spot in the offense and Russell Wilson is slinging it once again. Even with all that, I still give the Pats the edge. They are at home and Brady is fire.

Winner: New England

 

Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants

 

Bengals need the W and will come out fast but it looks like the G-men are finally starting to put it together. Eli limits the turnovers and OBJ finds pay dirt at home in week 10.

Winner: Giants

 

Another tough slate of matchups but it’s a no-stress week for me as my Lions are on Bye. And with that, we say goodbye. Also, would it kill you to buy a round every once in a while?

 

Drink it up.

 

 


Who are the 2015 Atlanta Falcons of this year?

Written by :
Published on : November 4, 2016

 

 

We all remember the 2015 Atlanta Falcons don’t we? They jumped out of the gates last season to start with a 5-0 record. They looked to be the class of the NFC South and of the conference overall. Hopes were high in Atlanta and it had people talking about them winning the division before the season had even hit its half way mark. They had a new head coach in former Seahawks defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn. And had as electrifying a quarterback/receiver combo as anyone in the league with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. On the surface, they seemed to have everything it takes to win the conference and play for the Lombardi Trophy.

 

Then it all came crashing down.

 

After being undefeated through the first five weeks of the 2015 season, the Falcons would go on to finish 8-8 and 2nd in the NFC South to the Carolina Panthers, who would eventually go to the Super Bowl. They got exposed as being too one-dimensional on offense by relying solely on the talents of Ryan and Jones to carry the team. The defense was sub-par, despite it being the specialty of the head coach, and there just weren’t enough pieces to keep winning consistently.

 

This was how the second half of the 2015 season felt for the Atlanta Falcons.

 

In 2016, there are multiple teams that are sitting pretty at the half way point. The New England Patriots (7-1) are in a league of their own, as usual. In Dallas, the Cowboys (6-1) are riding a potent offensive attack led by two rookie of the year candidates. The reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos (6-2) are in good position thanks to their defense and running game (sound familiar?), despite having an untested QB at the helm. These teams are, for the most part, balanced and capable of winning on any given day. They are headed to the playoffs.

 

There are two other teams that have only two losses that aren’t doing things quite as convincingly though. The Oakland Raiders (6-2) and the Minnesota Vikings (5-2) are both deeply flawed teams that seem to be on the verge of getting exposed. Let’s take a look at both squads and see which of them is destined to be this year’s 2015 Atlanta Falcons by falling flat on their faces in the second half of the season.

 

Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders sit at 6-2 almost completely on the back of their offense and their risk-taking head coach. They’ve had the good fortune of playing mostly middle of the pack teams (Saints, Titans, Ravens, Chargers, Buccaneers) and one bad team (Jaguars). They’ve beaten all of those squads. The surefire sign of a good football team is that they beat the teams they are supposed to beat. The two teams they’ve lost to are this year’s Falcons (5-3 and much improved over last year with one of the most prolific offenses in football) and the Kansas City Chiefs (5-2). Both of these teams pretty good so you can’t really fault them for dropping a couple to top competition.

 

In short, the Raiders are getting the job done, if not always in convincing fashion. It took a ballsy as hell 2-point conversion to win the game with 47 seconds on the clock instead of heading to overtime in New Orleans in week 1. Let us also not forget the 513 yard effort from QB Derek Carr and the equally ballsy touchdown pass on 4th down with 1:45 left to play in overtime. This likely helped the NFL avoid yet another tie game. The Raiders also committed an NFL-record 23 penalties for 200 yards. When you figure those two very unconvincing wins against two of the NFL’s worse teams and the rest of their wins came by an average of 7 points, it’s easy to see that this team has some issues.

 

 Can the Raiders survive on the strength of Derek Carr’s arm and the size of Jack Del Rio’s balls alone?

 

The most glaring issues are penalties, which reared its head in a big way in week 8, and the play of the defense. The Oakland Raiders are at the bottom, or near the bottom, in all categories that relate to both of those things. Coach Jack Del Rio has the offense all figured out. The Raiders can put up points with most teams in the league, but if they don’t get these other issues figured out then this team could very well end up like the 2015 Atlanta Falcons, on the outside of the playoffs looking in.

 

Luckily for fans of the team, both of these things can be corrected, especially the penalties. That’s simply coaching and practice. This team HAS to get more disciplined if they want this run to continue and it’s totally within the realm of possibility. A bit more tricky will be improving a defense which ranks at or near the bottom of the league in points allowed per game and yards allowed per game. But there is hope. The star of the defense, Khalil Mack, is finally starting to put it together. He posted a 2 sack, 7 tackle, 4 qb pressure, 1 forced fumble stat line in the week 8 win over the Bucs. The defense also allowed a season-low 270 yards. If this is the beginning of a trend then there is a good chance that the 2016 Oakland Raiders will not be the second-coming of the 2015 Atlanta Falcons.

 

Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings were everyone’s favorite pick to win the NFC before the season began. Then the injuries started, most notably with Teddy Bridgewater’s dislocated knee in the preseason. An injury that has the future of the young QB’s career hanging in jeopardy. This injury forced them to trade for perennial NFL whipping boy, Sam Bradford, and at first the move seemed to have worked out pretty well. Through 6 games Bradford has, for the most part, played as good or better than at any point in his 6 year career. In combination with a defense that is first in the league in points allowed per game, it’s easy to see why this team had such high hopes before the season.

 

But the injuries just kept coming.

 

In September, the team was forced to place all-time great running back (and noted child abuser) Adrian Peterson on injured reserved. Losing the other cornerstone of the offense was a big hit, but it didn’t stop there. The offensive line has seen an endless amount of injuries including season-ending ones for tackles Matt Kalil and Andre Smith. With the rest of the offensive line battling their own injuries or underperforming in their roles, the running game has taken a serious hit. As a result the team is averaging an abysmal 2.7 yards per attempt on the ground and offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, was given his walking papers following week 8. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

 

 A team can overcome the loss of one or two players, but when the entire offensive line goes down…

 

A month ago, the Vikings were owning every team they played and people were talking about them as a shoe-in to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this year. In the last two weeks, they have been exposed by a solid Eagles defense and a poor Bears team. The team scored just 10 points in both of those matchups and Sam Bradford has been sacked a total of 11 times over both games. And we all know that if any quarterback in the league thrives under defensive pressure, it is definitely NOT Bradford.

 

With the problems that this team faces on offense, there is a good chance that they are in real trouble. And dangerously close to repeating what the Falcons did last year. The issues with the offensive line and running game aren’t going anywhere. Anytime a contender is forced to fire their offensive coordinator mid-season, there is ample reason to be worried. The team signed former pro bowl tackle-turned-revolving door, Jake Long, to try and stop the bleeding at the left tackle position and it has been a resounding failure. The defense is AMAZING but that might not be enough to win the division, let alone the conference.

 

Both of these teams have their issues, but for one of them those issues will not be resolved this year. That’s right, it is the 2016 Minnesota Vikings who will be this year’s Atlanta Falcons. The offensive line is paper thin and it is going to get Sam Bradford exposed for the fraud that he was during his first 4 weeks of play. He is not equipped to carry the offense by himself and because of that there’s a chance that these Minnesota Vikings will finish right around .500 and miss the playoffs. Just like the Falcons did last year.

 

 


NFL Halfway way report for 2016

Written by :
Published on : November 3, 2016

 

 

NFL Week 8 is in the books are we are officially halfway through the 2016 season. Damn, things are moving fast. Don’t blink because the postseason is around the corner. Let’s look back at the first part of the year and see what we’ve learned so far.

 

The Standings

The quickest and most superficial way to know a squad is by looking at their record. Who did they beat? Who did they lose to? Was it at home or on the road? These are all telling bits of information. Your current division leaders are:

 

NFC North: Minnesota Vikings (5-2)

NFC East: Dallas Cowboys (6-1)

NFC South: Atlanta Falcons (5-3)

NFC West: Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1)

 

 

AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)

AFC East: New England Patriots (7-1)

AFC South: Houston Texans (5-3)

AFC West: Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos (both 6-2)

 

With Brady back under center, the Pats are the best team in the league. They are the first to 7 wins and should be the favorite in every game for the next 8 weeks. The Cowboys are the only other 1 loss team and they lead the only division where all members have a winning record. The NFC East is finally playing some good football. Houston and Minnesota both seems like crews that could get pushed out of their current standings. The AFC West should be a three horse race going down the stretch as Kansas City starts to string wins together. Stats aren’t everything but number of wins is still huge in the playoff picture.

 

Surprises

One of the biggest shockers of the year has to be the Oakland Raiders. The 6-2 record is nice but it’s the 5-0 on the road that makes you double-take. They are on track for their first playoff appearance since 2003. The second longest postseason drought in football (only the Bills have been waiting longer). I hope they get there. Either by winning the AFC West or locking up a wild card spot.

 

 

How awful the Carolina Panthers are. They are 2-5 and last in the NFC South. Talk about a Super Bowl hangover. I don’t think anyone, including Cam Newton saw that coming. Their D is weak, Cam is getting lit up and nothing is clicking.

 

The Cowboys getting it done with rookies at QB and RB in Dak Prescott and Ezekial Elliot. Enough with the Romo talk. Prescott is winning, you don’t mess with success. Let Tony ride the bench for awhile. Maybe he can come back during the playoffs just time to to throw an interception.

 

How average the Packers look. They are 4-3 but have lost to every team over .500 they have played. Eddie Lacy is on IR, they can’t run the ball and defenses aren’t giving Rodgers all day to throw. This football giant seems very killable.

 

Less Surprising

The Jacksonville Jaguars still suck. Many talking-heads hyped the Jags in the preseason as some sort of dark horse. Their offense (mostly through the air) worked last year and they drafted all these great defensive players but it’s not that simple and this franchise is still years away. Also, what’s with the jerseys in the photo below? They look like the knock-off/unlicensed NFL uniforms from Any Given Sunday.

 

 

The Steelers are good. Even without some of their stars, this roster steps up and fills holes. They started without RB Bell because of a suspension, then QB Roethlisberger got hurt, but Pittsburgh keeps winning. Look for them to make another playoff run.

 

Everyone on San Diego is hurt. I can just save this part and copy-paste it next year because it’s the same story every time. Tons of talent and potential, awful luck and injuries leaves Phillip Rivers in a hole fighting for his life. One almost has to wonder, what would the Chargers look like healthy? A bizarre and perverse thought. Don’t linger on it.

 

The Colts can’t stop anyone. They are wasting QB Andrew Luck. Every game, Luck is forced to throw it downfield because they are playing from behind. Great for fantasy, not for reality. Kind of reminds me of Matthew Stafford. Anyway, Indy needs to shore up both sides of the line and spend some draft picks retooling the whole defensive unit.

 

 

The best part about all of this is there is still time. 8 games is a lot. Go 6-2 over the second half and you may just be in the playoffs. Stranger things have happened. At this moment, I can only guarantee maybe 5 teams will make it. That leaves plenty of spots for your team. All they have to do is get hot.

 

Playoffs?

 

 


Blackout Bruno’s NFL picks for week 7

Written by :
Published on : October 18, 2016

 

 

My week 5 record was 8-6. Not great. But it’s a start and it’s something to build off. Now get your favorite uncle Bruno a drink and I’ll tell you the winners of NFL week 7.

 

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

The Bears aren’t very good, plus they have a short week of practice because they are playing on Thursday and it’s in Lambeau. All signs point to a double digit win for Green Bay. Rodgers throws 4 TDs and this one stops being competitive early.

Winner: Packers

 

New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams

 

Rams lost a close one to the Lions, while OBJ woke up for the G Men and racked up 222 yards and 2 TDs. I see both these trends continuing. New York wins after Odell Beckham Jr posts another monster performance. Los Angeles has one last shot at the end of the game but they come up short.

Winner: Giants

 

New Orleans Saints at Kansas City Chiefs

This is a tough one to call. The Saints are better than their 2-3 record suggests but it’s hard to earn a W in Arrowhead Stadium. It should be close but the KC defense holds Drew Brees in check and Jamaal Charles gets up to speed in a big way.

Winner: Chiefs

 

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

This should be a low scoring affair because these are top defensive units. Vikings have the best D in the league but the Philly crew has also been excellent. Can’t pick against Minnesota the way they are playing. Don’t care where the game is.

Winner: Vikings

 

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans

 

I keep thinking Tennessee is weak and picking against them, and they keep proving me wrong. Well, I’m turning the corner on the Titans. They run all over the porous Indy defense and win a close one despite Andrew Luck’s late-game heroics.

Winner: Titans

 

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

Miami is hot garbage. They somehow beat the Steelers but I still don’t believe in them. The Bills have a legit D and enough weapons to score the points they need against a Dolphins crew that can’t get out of it’s own way. I still don’t understand how a roster that loaded plays so poorly.

Winner: Bills

 

Washington at Detroit Lions

I’m super hesitant to pick Detroit to win but Stafford is playing at an elite level right now. He has 7 TDs and 0 INTs in the last two games. Washington comes to Detroit on a four game winning streak but Stafford out duels Cousins who throws 2 picks in the loss.

Winner: Lions

 

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals

 

The Browns are a dumpster fire. They are the last bad team in Cleveland. Maybe the Browns didn’t get the message that the city’s teams were going to stop sucking. The Bengals win the battle of Ohio with a balanced attack that Cleveland can’t stop.

Winner: Bengals

 

Oakland Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland is coming off a loss and should get back on track against a Jags team that isn’t scoring many points. Jacksonville has won their last two games but a weak running game makes them too one dimensional for a balanced Raider crew.

Winner: Raiders

 

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets

The Jets do not look good. Their QB throws the ball away, they have trouble running the ball and their secondary gets burned deep regularly. Baltimore loves the deep ball. Joe Flacco has a field day and torches the jets who fall to 1-6.

Winner: Ravens

 

San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons

 

San Diego always seems to be in this rough spot of having tons of injuries and losing close games in the 4th quarter. The Falcons on the other hand are flying high and finding success in all levels of the game. Atlanta should smash the Chargers at home.

Winner: Falcons

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers

Tampa is better than I think most give them credit for. They have talent on both sides of the ball and they are facing a 49ers team that doesn’t do much effectively. No matter who the QB is, San Fransisco will turn over the ball and the Bucs will turn that into easy points.

Winner: Buccaneers

 

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

This should have been the best game of the week 7. But QB Ben Roethlisberger is out with a knee injury and that changes everything. Tom and the boys will have their way with the Steelers on their home field.

Winner: Patriots

 

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

 

Arizona started the year slowly but are finally rolling. David Johnson continues to prove he is one of the league’s most complete backs. Seattle is a good football team and this divisional matchup should be a great game. Johnson, the ground game and playing at home should give the Cards the edge.

Winner: Cardinals

 

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos

AKA “the Brock Bowl.” QB Osweiler left Denver for Houston in the offseason. Time for Brock to prove he made the right choice (beyond the huge payday). A hard fought battle but the Broncos defense at home will be too much to handle.

Winner: Broncos

 

 

That’s it. Nap time. Wake me when the pizza gets here. Or if the house is on fire. But please don’t disturb me for any other reason.

 

Liver spots.

 

 


Blackout Bruno’s NFL picks for week 5

Written by :
Published on : October 5, 2016

 

It’s late and I’ve had a few. Let’s go over the upcoming matchups in the NFL and I’ll tell you who is going to win. This is Blackout Bruno’s picks for week 5.

 

 

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

Both are 1-3 but someone has to win. Carson Palmer may not play after leaving with a concussion last Sunday, so look for a steady diet of David Johnson running the ball. 49ers D won’t have an answer.

Winner: Cardinals

 

New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns

Tom Brady’s first game back from suspension. Tom will play angry and the offense will score early and often. This shouldn’t even be close.

Winner: Patriots

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions

 

Two squads trending in the opposite directions. The Lions can’t stop anybody and Wentz and crew are full of confidence. Even at home, Lions won’t do enough to beat a fresh Philly team coming off their bye.

Winner: Eagles

 

Chicago Bears at Indianpolis Colts

Two flawed teams. I see lots of points and a close one but Andrew Luck gets the ball last and drives the field for the game winning score.

Winner: Colts

 

Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins

I don’t like either side. Titans can run the ball but the Fins are at home. Miami’s passing game should be able to get rolling versus a weak Tennessee secondary.

Winner: Dolphins

 

Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings

 

Minnesota’s defense is at the top of their game. Houston has some play makers but not enough fire power to win on the road. Watch for Bradford to find TE Rudolph for another TD and the Vikings to stay undefeated.

Winner: Vikings

 

New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers

Jets defense is giving up a lot of points and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick keeps throwing the ball away. The Steelers on the other hand, are coming off a big win and want to keep that momentum going at home.

Winner: Steelers

 

Washington at Baltimore Ravens

This should be close but the Ravens are solid enough in all three phases of the game that they edge it out. I see Kirk Cousins throwing a late pick and then kicker Justin Tucker will seal it for Baltimore.

Winner: Ravens

 

Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos

 

I like Atlanta’s balanced attack but asking anyone to win in Denver seems like quite the task. Denver runs well enough to go play-action for a few scores. Matt Ryan makes a late 4th quarter comeback but falls short.

Winner: Broncos

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys

I went back and forth on this one. The Bengals should be able to score enough points to put pressure on the rookies (Prescott and Elliot) of the Dallas offense. This extra pressure leads to some turnovers that will ultimately decide the contest.

Winner: Bengals

 

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders

Is it finally time for Oakland to shine? They have a good young QB, a variety of offensive options and are 3-0 on the road. I see them getting their first home win over a Chargers team that is still finding themselves.

Winner: Raiders

 

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams

 

Another total crapshoot. Who knows? The Rams are somehow 3-1 after their week 1 blowout loss. The Bills just beat the Pats at home. Still not sold on either. I’ll give the edge to my adopted second team, Go Rams.

Winner: Rams

 

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

The Packers are coming off their bye and are playing at home plus their D line is shutting down the run. All bad signs for New York. Throw in Odell Beckham Jr’s uneven play and it doesn’t look good for the G-men.

Winner: Packers

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers

Tampa beat Atlanta in week 1, and Atlanta just took apart Carolina, so by the power of bullshit transitivity (joking this never works in sports) the Bucs the win. Honestly, Cam Newton may be out and that D is not what it was last year.

Winner: Buccaneers

 

 

Take what I say with a grain of salt. Or a salted rimmed margarita. Or a pitcher of margaritas. Okay, that’s all for now. I’m going to pass out. Who knows what week Blackout Bruno will return.

 

Broken picker.

 

 


NFL Quarter Season Awards

Written by :
Published on : October 4, 2016

 

 

The 2016 NFL season is a quarter of the way through. Some teams have started slowly, others have flashed brilliance, but all are looking to improve. Let’s glance around the league and hand out some hardware for standout performances both good and bad. These are your 2016 NFL Quarter Season Awards. Or the Quarties as the kids call em.

 

Rookie Award

For the youngbloods who have gone above and beyond their draft status expectations and helped their team in a major way. And the winners are-

 

NFC: QB Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

Many rooks have done well in the NFC this season but none more than Wentz. He is 66 of 102 in attempts for 64% completion percentage. 769 passing yards, 5 TD’s and ZERO turnovers. Beyond a taking a few unnecessary hits, he has played mistake free and has his Eagles 3-0 after their bye week. The future is bright in Philly.

 

AFC: QB Jacoby Brissett, New England Patriots

 

He’s only played a few games but this third round pick looked like a pro in his first start. Give Bill Belichick his credit for getting the kid ready but he played with poise and confidence. Oh yeah they beat a solid Houston Texans team 27-0. The Texans were undefeated before that. He lost his second start to the Bills but continues to grow plus there isn’t another AFC rookie that really deserves it.

 

Ageless Wonder Award

In football, 30 is considered old. That’s tough to type because I’m 31. But once you crack that milestone, father time really starts catching up. A few amazing athletes laugh in the face of time and keep kicking ass well past their management created expiration dates. This award is for them.

 

NFC: WR Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore Ravens

Steve is ancient in football years at 37 but through 4 games he leads the team in catches, yards and targets. His 281 receiving yards just edges out another oldie but goodie, Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals. Larry is only 33 and sits at 280 yards. It’s amazing these guys refuse to slow down. I hope Smith can keep up his pace and crack 1,000 yards on the year.

 

AFC: RB DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers

 

33-years-old and doing work. With Le’Veon Bell suspended (again) the first 3 games of the season, the starting running back job went to Williams. He made the most of his time racking up 258 rushing yards, 2 TD’s and zero fumbles in 3 full starts. That’s good for 86 yards a game. Not bad for over the hill. DeAngelo also managed a rushing TD in game 4 with Bell back in action.

 

MVP

This is the award for the best player in the league. Not the best player on the best team. But the single most elite performer playing the game.

 

NFC: QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Matty Ice is killing it right now. Easily the best stats of any quarterback in the league. His 4 starts have seen him rack up crazy video game numbers. 1473 passing yards, 11 TD’s and only 2 INT’s. 368 yards per game is nice but it’s the over 70% completion percentage and few turnovers that have the Falcons flying high at 3-1 and first in the NFC South.

 

AFC: RB Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns

 

The team is 0-4 but at no fault of Crowell. He is running hard. His 394 rushing yards on only 61 attempts is good for 6.4 yards per carry. Which is epic. Crowell also has scored in 3 of 4 games. Maybe if the Browns want to win then they should feed Isaiah the ball. He hasn’t had more than 18 attempts in a game.

 

The Worst

Like the MVP but in reverse. The Anti-christ of playing well. The bottom of the barrel. Pray your name isn’t listed below.

 

NFC: WR Golden Tate, Detroit Lions

Tate used to be a huge part of the Lions’ offense. He posted career years playing with Matt Stafford but is off to a dreadful start. He hasn’t topped 41 yards in any game and only has 14 catches and zero TD’s. He is on pace for 56 catches. For reference, he had 99 and 90 catches the last two years. And he is dropping the ball and running the wrong routes. What happened to this guy?

 

AFC: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets

 

Fitz is only completing 55% of his passes and has 4 TD’s and 10 INT’s. There is nothing else to say about this. He should have never trimmed his beard.

 

The Best

This is for the best units in the league.

 

NFC: Minnesota Vikings Defense

The hands down, greatest D in the league. They average only 9.5 points allowed per game. They swarm on tackles and have playmakers at every level. This unit is the main reason the Vikings are 4-0. If they keep playing like this then a Super Bowl appearance doesn’t seem out of the question.

 

AFC: Denver Broncos Defense

This crew is giving up 16 points a game but is once again leading the way in the AFC West. This franchise is undefeated in 2016 trying prove they don’t need Peyton Manning to be dominate. It honestly doesn’t matter who is under center as long as Von Miller and company keep up their intensity.

 

 

That’s it for the Quarties. Congratulations to the winners. Unless you won the Worst award. Better luck over the next weeks. Till then, champagne kisses and caviar cars.

 

Glitz.

 

 


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 3

Written by :
Published on : September 21, 2016

 

 

It’s only week 3 and already many big names have gone down with serious injuries. This is the biggest x-factor of fantasy football. Players on your team are going to get hurt. It happens. Champions scoop up their replacements and the next big thing off the waiver wire. So far, we’ve seen Keenan Allen, Jimmy Garoppolo, Danny Woodhead, Adrian Peterson, Robert Griffen III, Doug Martin, Ameer Abdullah, Josh McCown all get added to the injury report. Well, SBS is here to help. First, I’m going to assume you play in a good league and most of the notable players are already unavailable. Below are some free agent options (all less than 50% owned in ESPN standard leagues) to fill the holes in your fantasy roster.

 

QB

Carson Wentz, Philadelphie Eagles – The rookie isn’t totally lighting up the box score but he has been efficient moving the ball and has zero turnovers so far. Owned in 19.5% of ESPN leagues.

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets – Posted 14 and 20 points in his first two starts. Only 1 pick, plus Fitzpatrick has some solid options with Matt Forte, Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall (if he isn’t hurt). Owned in 33.2% of ESPN leagues.

 

RB

Fozzy Whittaker, Carolina Panthers – With Jonathan Stewart banged up, Fozzy got the start and put up 100 yards on 16 carries against the 49ers. Stewart’s hamstring may hold him a few weeks longer making Whittaker a must add. Owned in 1.1% of ESPN leagues

 

Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings – AP is going to miss some time and that opens the door for Jerick. Matt Asiata will also be in the mix but McKinnon is the back you want to add. Owned in 24.4% of ESPN leagues.

 

Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins – Another replacement killer. Arian Foster is nursing a groin injury so it’s time to add his backup. Ajayi got some work at the end of last game but the Dolphins were behind and not running the ball much. Look for Jay to post a decent stat line in Cleveland. Owned in 46% of ESPN leagues.

 

TE

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – Sam Bradford is in and he is throwing. Rudolph found the end zone for the first time with Sam as QB. Look for this trend to continue as the pass game becomes the focus because of the AP injury. Owned in 32.2% of ESPN leagues.

 

 

Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan is red hot and spreading the ball all around. And there is plenty to go around. Tamme has at least 5 catches in both the first two games and has made it to pay dirt once. Falcons will keep passing and Julio Jones keeps sucking up all the coverage. Jacob is a steal right now. Owned in 10.9% of ESPN leagues.

 

WR

Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys – Rookie QB Dak Prescott (owned in 44.3% of ESPN leaagues) has built a rapport with the wideout and looks for him often. He has been second on the team in targets two weeks running. That consistency makes him a legit plug-and-play option for those in need. Owned in 7.4% of ESPN leagues.

 

Kenny Britt, Los Angeles Rams – Britt has posted 67 yards and 94 yards in two games. He has yet to score a TD but he is LA’s best receiving threat in terms of fantasy. You could do a lot worse. Owned in 8.3% of ESPN leagues.

 

Danny Amendola, New England Patriots – Coming off a 4 catch, 50 yard and 2 touchdown game, Danny will be a popular add. The Pats throw the ball enough that this makes sense, no matter who the QB is. Only owned in 3.5% of ESPN leagues.

 

K

Cairo Santos, Kansas City Chiefs – 10 points in week one, 15 in week two and hasn’t missed a field goal yet. Look at your roster, is your kicker this good? Owned in 28% of ESPN leagues.

 

Nick Novak, Houston Texans – 11 points in week one, 13 in week two and he’s only missed one field goal. Look at your roster, is your kicker this good? Owned in 9% of ESPN leagues.

 

D/ST

Philadelphia Eagles – The Philly D has scored 14 fantasy points in both games. They haven’t allowed more than real 14 points in any game and already have 4 takeaways. Owned in 27% of ESPN leagues.

 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers – This unit hasn’t scored a ton of points but they been solid through two contests. Never giving up more than 16 points and averaging two turnovers won per game. Not too bad for a crew owned in merely 21.2% of ESPN leagues.

 

Need more help than that? Then you’re probably screwed. Check back soon for more waiver wire tips as we approach the dreaded dog days of the bye weeks.

 

Flex.

 

 


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