Biggest Fantasy Busts of 2017

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Published on : December 14, 2017

 

 

If your fantasy team is still playing that means you made it deep into the playoffs. Congrats. The rest of us are back to the role of spectator. I made the postseason in one of my two leagues and was instantly bounced. It’s been a rough few months for me. But for once, this isn’t about BRUNO ARKADY TYSH. This is about fantasy football. So looking back at the regular season, we can see some interesting trends that may have lead to the doom of your team. These are the biggest fantasy busts of 2017 fantasy football season.

 

Mike Evans WR, Tampa Bay
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This was a top 10 pick in most leagues. Everyone was expecting huge things from him this year. But that production never really came. Not one game over 100 yards and only 4 touchdowns. He had a few great games but for your number one pick you need solid and excellent production and this wasn’t it. Evans also got himself suspended for one game during the year which is another strike against him.

 

Jordan Reed TE, Washington 

Pre-draft, Reed was just after names like Gronk and Kelce in the tight end department but nagging injuries have mostly kept Reed on the sideline. What’s worse is that it looked like Reed was just a step away from returning to his old form. He even teased owners with a 2 touchdown game mid season just to further trick everyone.

 

Eric Decker WR, Tennessee 
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Decker came to the Titans to be a top weapon for Marcus Mariota but the surehanded wideout never really carved out a consistent role. 1 touchdown and only 1 game with more than 4 catches is not even within the shadow of flex play. That’s the definition of a fantasy bust.

 

David Johnson RB, Arizona

It’s hard to get mad at a someone who got hurt but this was the guy and he got hurt in the middle of the first game. The consensus number 1 overall with a major injury right out of the gate. Ouch. Those owner’s odds of making the playoffs went way down immediately.

 

Odell Beckham Jr WR, New York Giants
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Speaking of injuries, we must talk about OBJ. Not all hurt players are busts but when the hype is so high and the player only plays a few games then that pushes it into bust territory. Sorry Odell. Who I took with my first round pick. In the league where I missed the playoffs.

 

Martavis Bryant WR, Pittsburgh

Bryant was supposed to be the number two behind Antonio Brown on a very high scoring offense. That also never really happened. And after a few games of low targets, Bryant seemed unhappy and asked to be traded, then retracted his comments. Also, this was paired with the rise of rookie, Juju Smith-Schuster, who was seeing more and more attention. After only a few weeks, Bryant went from starter to free agent on the waiver wire.

 

Matt Ryan QB, Atlanta
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Look, Ryan is an excellent QB but his stats last year made expectations maybe unrealistically high. But that’s the world of 24 hour news cycle. Matty Ice is currently the 16th highest scoring QB one year after being NFL MVP. That fall is enough of a drop that it lands in bustville. I also have Ryan in my other league, where I lost in the playoffs. Where Ryan got me 9.6 points in the first round.

 

New England D/ST

They are currently the 19th best unit which means not ownable in any format. The selection of a defense isn’t a huge deal but any time you miss on a draft pick is a blown opportunity and somebody drafted the Pats. Fantasy bust.

 

Jay Ajayi RB, Philadelphia
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The day one starter in Miami, had a rough first few weeks, then was traded to Philly’s crowded backfield and looked to be the first option but more mediocre play turned the situation into a time share. On the year, he has only scored 1 rushing TD with plenty of opportunities. Busty bust.

 

Jordan Mathews WR, Buffalo

The Bills moved on from Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods then added Mathews. The thought was Mathews would become the number one option but for many reasons that move never panned out. Womp womp.

 

Kelvin Benjamin WR, Buffalo
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Then the Bills traded for Benjamin, he became the new top receiving threat supplanting Mathews. But shaky QB play didn’t give Kelvin enough touches to truly make an impact. Another big name that didn’t live up to the potential.

 

Donte Moncrief WR, Indianapolis 

There was a time where Donte thrived playing along side T.Y. Hilton in an air attack lead by Andrew Luck. But with Luck out, the luck ran out for Moncrief. His big play ability all but dried up leaving him as a fantasy afterthought.

 

Jameis Winston QB, Tampa Bay
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As mentioned with Mike Evans, the Tampa Bay offense simply isn’t that good this year. Many hoped for much more and were greatly disappointed. 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions just isn’t enough for a top QB. Better luck next year.

 

These dudes did not pan out and many fantasy owners are still reeling because of it. This all goes to prove a valuable lesson about fantasy football, each season there will be names that you know that fall off and new faces that step up. Championship squads navigate this razor’s edge. Time to start working on next year’s draft board.

 

Bust a move.

 

 


Best Wide Receiver combos in the NFL

Written by :
Published on : March 21, 2017

 

 

There have been some big roster shake ups since the start of NFL free agency. Many new faces in new places. Every team is trying to get faster, younger and better but who really did improve? So, the question is: which team now has the premier wide receiver duo? Let’s take a second and look around the league to determine which franchise has the best WR’s going into the 2017 season. These are your top 8 wideout tandems.

 

#8 – Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns – Jacksonville Jaguars

Team Allen had a breakout campaign in 2015 but 2016 proved to be a bit rougher. It’s clear that both these guys have the talent to post monster numbers. The biggest factor here isn’t the WR’s but everyone else. The defense that never takes the ball away, the inconsistent QB and the often dreadful play-calling.

 

#7 – Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins

Another set of young guns that have the speed and hands to wreck opposing secondaries. Like the duo from Jacksonville, the Miami unit also suffers from up and down production from their signal caller. One could only imagine the numbers they would post with a Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady type.

 

 

#6 – Golden Tate and Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions

It’s better to have two great receivers than one amazing one and average one. Just ask the Lions. The team always struggled to find a sidekick for Calvin Johnson, allowing defenses to zone in on him and limit his effectivness. The current Lions are much harder to defend because both Tate and Jones have the ability to be a force.

 

#5 – Bradin Cooks and Julian Edelman – New England Patriots

Cooks has yet to catch a pass from Brady but one can imagine how dangerous he will be playing for the champs. This also allows Edelman to move back to the number two spot where he is a better natural fit. Now, Cooks can handle the down field routes while Edelman takes the underneath.

 

#4 – Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers

This team may have been the best receiving combo over the last few years. Injuries are the only thing capping their success. I despise throwing praise to any Packer players but these guys are legit. It will interesting to see how the passing game will work in 2017 with Davante Adams in the mix.

 

 

#3 – Alshon Jeffery and Jordan Matthews – Philadelphia Eagles

One of the only number 1 receivers to change squads this offseason. Jeffery will join Matthews in Philly. Both are big bodied guys who can do it all. Their youth and strength give them a huge upside. The real question is how it is all going to work. Seeing they are playing with a sophomore QB in Carson Wentz.

 

#2 – Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jackson just signed with the Bucs and he brings agility and ball skills to wide out unit already featuring rising star, Mike Evans. This pairing is great because Jackson is small (5’10”) and Evans is big (6’5″). They are the new David and Goliath of football. Both will benefit playing along side each other, which makes me believe both are bound for huge seasons.

 

Djax bucs

 

#1 –  Odell Beckham Jr and Brandon Marshall – New York Giants

The top spot on the list. We all know how good OBJ is but the addition of Marshall is just nuts. Brandon Marshall has played the role of top option most of his career. Adding him will force defenses to pick their poison. Blanket both guys and the run game will kill you. The Giants just got a little bigger.

 

Over half the teams listed will feature a new wide receiver combo this year. So it’s hard to guess who will stay healthy and who will gel in a different offense but the on paper talent is clear as day. The pass-happy NFL is gearing up for another high-flying season and I can not wait. Did I leave out your favorite WR combo? Or do you think my order is crazy? Leave a comment.

 

Just give me the damn ball.

 

 


Blackout Bruno’s Wild Card Picks

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Published on : January 6, 2017

 

 

Oh snap, it’s Wild Card time. Deal me in and get me a drink. Seven and seven, please. Sorry about last post, I got New Year’s drunk, then angry drunk after the Lions game and time kind of got away from me. But I’m up and I’m ready to work. My final regular season record is 50-24-1. Pretty decent. Now, let’s flash ahead to the weekend and talk about the opening round of the NFL playoffs. These are Blackout Bruno’s Wild Card picks

 

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans

 

This game is such a crapshoot. Both crews are without their top QBs so who knows what will really happen. Someone has to step up. Because it’s so hard to call, I’ll rely on old stand by garbage about being at home and how much better the Texans are in Texas.

Winner: Houston

 

Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks

This is not the super awesome Seahawks crew that won the Super Bowl. They have been up and down all year. Russell Wilson and company normally take care of business at home but I can see how Detroit could surprise everyone. I don’t think you will find any sports pundit picking Lions but this will be a wild game to be sure. Look for Golden Tate to have an epic day and a late Matt Prater Field goal wins it.

Winner: Detroit 

 

Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Dolphins are banged up. Matt Moore is starting and they are traveling to Pittsburgh to play outside, in the cold. Plus the Steelers have Antonio Brown, who can single handedly win you a game. I think Steelers win in a confident fashion.

Winner: Pittsburgh

 

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

 

Looking at the weekend slate, this screams to be the most intriguing matchup. Giants defense is a powerful unit. They should keep this thing close but I just know that stupid Aaron Rodgers is going to find a way to pull it off. Like he almost always seems to do.

Winner: Green Bay

 

Let’s hope these games excite and delight. Try mixing things up by trying a new cocktail. I love a good vodka martini. Up, dirty and with olives. Too boozy tasting for you? Go tiki and blend up some fresh fruit, fresh citrus juice with dark rum over ice. Maybe throw some coconut cream in there. Grab a straw, kick back and let’s hope Wild Card weekend is interesting.

 

Onward.

 

 


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.

 

 


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.

 

 


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.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon Week 7: Landon Collins Insane Pick Six and “The Creature Walks Among Us”

Written by :
Published on : October 26, 2016

 

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

 

The lights have dimmed, the ghosts are screaming, and the chains rattle ominously.

 

Week 7: Landon Collins Insane Pick Six

 

We here at the Haunted Dungeon love a good pick six and this is the wackiest one we’ve come across this season. Straight from Twickenham Stadium in jolly old England, Case Keenum pitches one to Tavon Austin who gives up a monster tip that lands in the arms of Landon Collins. And that’s when the fun begins.

 

Intercepting the ball at the 45-yard-line, it takes Collins nearly fifteen whole seconds to cut and amble his way into the end zone. He does a good job breaking that first tackle that comes from behind with speed, and picks up an even better block immediately right after from safety Andrew Adams.

 

My favorite part of the play is the convoy of blockers at the end just rumbling through those last few yards before an exhausted Collins collapses into the end zone. It speaks to this wild and wooly six points being a team effort as opposed to just the singular heroics of one dude. Big Blue Wrecking Crew indeed.

 

Week 7: The Creature Walks Among Us

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Director: John Sherwood
Released: 1956

 

Universal Studios will always be best known for its cycle of classic monster movies from the 1930’s all the way into the 1950’s. You know the crew: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon, not to mention a whole host of one-off chillers with the kooky The Old Dark House (1932) being my personal favorite. It’s also pretty amazing to think that our primary pop-culture visual conceptions of these monsters, particularly Dracula and Frankenstein, come directly from these movies.

 

creature3

 

All these beasties appeared in multiple films and sequels, but in the entire cycle there is no single film more bizarre or improbable than The Creature Walks Among Us. Dig the plot: A deranged scientist and his cheesecake pinup wife are hunting the escaped the Gill-man down in the Florida Everglades. Upon capture, the monstrous innocent is horribly burned in a fire, and a surgery to save his life shows that he has human-like lungs in addition to his aquatic gills. The logical conclusion is to put the Creature in a bizarre ill-fitting suit and try to integrate him into society!

 

The ludicrous premise along with the Creature’s noticeably shabby make up design is a hoot, and when the picture tries to elicit sympathy for the Creature’s plight, with the bulkily clothed brute staring out longingly towards the ocean, you’ll enjoy picking your jaw up off the floor.

 

1956_CreatureWalks_img14

 

Along with the inevitable and obligatory destructive rampage, there’s some hilarious scientific pontification about how the Creature’s genetic makeup could provide that boost to send man into space. There’s a truly memorable moment in which the Creature manhandles a savage mountain lion in a style that would make Andre The Giant proud.

 

the-creature-walks-among-us

 

For proof that I’m not lying, behold the trailer here:

 

 

I couldn’t find any streaming options out there but there are plenty of cheap DVD copies available on Amazon.

 

 


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.

 

 


Is Odell Beckham Jr imploding?

Written by :
Published on : October 8, 2016

 

2016 hasn’t exactly been kind to Odell Beckham Jr. He was held to a career-low 23 yards on three catches this past Sunday. Sure, the Giants were playing the Vikings who happen to have what most would consider the best defense in the league, but still, someone with his level of talent should do a little better than that. Through four games he has amassed 303 yards and 22 receptions, but has yet to find the end zone. And his frustrations are beginning to boil over to the point that it is becoming a distraction to the team.

 

Odell Beckham Jr being vocal about his displeasure and making a scene isn’t necessarily something new. But when your own coach says in the media that you need to cut it out, then maybe it’s time to worry. For the last couple of seasons, most of us have brushed off Beckham’s antics by saying that he is just a passionate young player who is learning to control his emotions. Everyone loves passion in their players, right? When does that excuse not work anymore? I think we may have reached that point.

 

 

I’ll admit I enjoyed his fighting with Josh Norman last season. When two players don’t like each other, the competition is that much better. And seeing it turn physical like that appeals to some of my more baser instincts. But if I was a Giants fan I would have hated it. Especially after my talented young wide receiver drew three personal-fouls in that week 15 matchup last year. When Norman was signed by Washington this last offseason, you had to believe we were in for more fireworks. In their first meeting this season, the refs made sure to squash any funny business before it even began, warning the two that they would be ejected from the game without warning if they didn’t play nice.

 

There was some minimal aggression between the two on field, but the worst of it was when OBJ picked up Josh Norman at one point. Not exactly must see tv. The real fun happened on the sidelines after what had already been a pretty solid game for Beckham. With the Giants down 2 but in the red zone and threatening to score, Eli Manning threw an untimely interception. Then Odell Beckham Jr reverted to what I can imagine his 4-year-old self was, throwing one of his biggest tantrums yet. There were tears. There was the flailing of limbs. There was yelling. There was one point where he assaulted the kickers’ practice net, only to have it retaliate and hit him in the fact. It was great. But not for the Giants.

 


OBJ has proven that he is even more immature than we thought, and he followed up his childish display of anger and frustration last week with his worst game ever on Monday Night Football this week. He got owned, and got another penalty after his frustrations with Vikings’ CB Xavier Rhodes boiled over. Now he comes out and claims that he “isn’t having fun anymore” playing football. Can you believe that? Someone isn’t having fun when things aren’t going their way at their job. What a shocker! This dude is ridiculous.

 

As if he wasn’t already ridiculous enough as it is, he then tried to play the victim in the media by insinuating that he might be unfairly scrutinized by the league and the refs. Maybe if he didn’t always fly off the handle and make a scene that wouldn’t be the case. Or maybe the high pressure situation of playing professional sports in New York is finally starting to get to him. Or maybe he is coming apart at the seams.

 

 

Whatever is happening, he had better get it figured out soon. Odell’s image has taken a big hit these last few weeks, and while that isn’t the most important thing, his underperformance only exacerbates it. He had better catch a couple touchdowns this week or the fans and media in New York might go full witch hunt on his ass. And if an Eli interception gets the water works going, he won’t be able to handle that.

 

 


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.

 

 


Overreaction: NFL Week 2

Written by :
Published on : September 20, 2016

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Is it week 3 yet?

 

 


Preseason Questions for all 32 NFL Teams

Written by :
Published on : August 17, 2016

 

 

The sports gods have answered our prayers and brought NFL football back to us mortals. Huzzah! It’s only preseason action but it’s better than nothing. These early practice games are great because they give us a chance to see the team for the first time. Naturally, many questions will bubble to the surface about each squad. Will this rookie make an impact? Will this player stay healthy? Who will win the starting the job? There is tons of buzz out there but these are the big questions facing each NFL team. Find your favorite franchise below and see what they are dealing with.

 

AFC North

Browns – Can RGIII stay on the field for 16 games and be the QB Cleveland needs to move forward?

Steelers – Can this team stay healthy and out of jail?

Ravens – Will the defense improve enough to make them competitive again?

Bengals – Can Andy Dalton be the guy who takes them deep into postseason? Or just win one single  playoff game?

 

 

AFC East

Patriots – Can New England survive Tom Brady’s four game suspension under Jimmy Garoppolo and still win the division?

Dolphins – Will this squad ever play up to their potential?

Bills – How will Tyrod Taylor fare under center in his second year?

Jets – With Fitz back at QB, can the Jets score enough points to win games?

 

AFC South

Colts – Which Andrew Luck will we see? 2014 or 2015?

Jaguars – Is this the season everyone wakes up and believes in the Jags passing attack?

Titans – Tons of new pieces, how will they all work together?

Texans – Is Brock Oswieler really the guy?

 

brock osweiler

 

AFC West

Broncos – Will Mark Sanchez butt-fumble in Denver?

Chiefs – How long will Jamaal Charles last?

Chargers – Can anyone on the team stay off Injured Reserve?

Raiders – Can the Raiders finally get out of their own way?

 

NFC North

Lions – Can the o-line hold up so Stafford finally has some time?

Packers – Is Eddie Lacy too fat?

Bears – Why is Jay Cutler still there?

Vikings – Can AP carry them to another division title?

 

 

NFC East

Cowboys – Who will get hurt first: Tony Romo or Dez Bryant?

Giants – Is Eli Manning still good?

Eagles – What is the identity of this team? Seriously. And don’t say Sam Bradford.

Skins – Can Kirk Cousins keep up his play from the end of last year?

 

NFC South

Saints – Does Drew Brees have any tricks left up his sleeve?

Panthers – How does Cam respond to losing the Super Bowl? Is there any hangover?

Falcons – Can the defense figure out how to stop anyone?

Buccaneers – Bucs took a kicker in the 2nd round of the draft, how many misses before fans freak out?

 

 

NFC West

Cardinals – Is David Johnston really all that? And a bag of chips?

Niners – How much of a mess will the offense be under Chip Kelly?

Seahawks – Is this the year they start throwing Jimmy Graham the ball?

Rams – Can Todd Gurley keep up his dominance? Or will opposing defenses finally figure out how to stop him?

 

Real-deal NFL games are only a few weeks away. So close, I can almost taste it. The regular season starts Thursday, September 8th. Until then, let’s enjoy the rest of the preseason and hope no one gets badly injured. Leave any questions you may have in the comments.

 

Are you ready for some football?

 

 


Post Draft/Free Agency Minnesota Vikings 2016 Win/Loss Predictions

Written by :
Published on : June 5, 2016

 

 

Technically, free agency isn’t over, but the big name signings (Anquan Boldin, where you at?) are over.  The draft was a month ago and now I’ve had time to process how the Vikings will do against their 2016 opponents.

 

Week 1 @ Titans

USA Today recently ranked Mike Mularkey as the worst head coach in the NFL.  I have to agree here and the move to hire him as the head coach is baffling.  The Vikings will start out slow but explode in the 2nd half.  Harrison Smith returns a Marcus Mariota interception for a TD early in the 4th quarter that seals the game.  Treadwell scores his first NFL touchdown on a 5 yard back shoulder fade.  Vikings win 31-17

 

Week 2 vs Packers

I don’t like the fact that the Green Bay Packers are the new stadium home opener at all.  The Packers will be coming off a blowout win against the Jaguars and be extra confident in thinking they’ll spoil Minnesota’s big night.  However, this isn’t the cutesy Leslie Frazier era of Vikings football.  Vikings can win a close game here versus Green Bay.  This game screams “Adrian Peterson rushes 20-160-2” stat line.  Rodgers keeps it close with some ridiculous throws late but the Vikings get a critical sack from Everson Griffen on 4th down to seal it up.  Vikings win 21-18

 

 Look for more of this.

 

Week 3 @ Panthers

Carolina is easily the most well rounded team in the NFC and it’s not even close.  Cam Newton had a fantastic MVP campaign in 2015 and he continues to roll coming into week 3 versus the Vikings.  The Vikings can hang with Carolina, much like they did vs Denver in week 4 last year, but Carolina’s weapons will be too much for the Vikings.  Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess (aka Fun-Fun according to Cam Newton) will make Rhodes and Newman look silly in a tight contest.  Cam Newton gives the Vikings fits by rushing for 60 yards and a score.  Vikings can expose the middle of the field (if Kuechly is blitzing) with crossing routes and deep posts with WR Stefon Diggs.  Vikings lose 27-23

 

Week 4 vs Giants

Ah, I’m sure the world is waiting for a Giants vs Vikings primetime match up.  The last two times these two teams have met in primetime?  2015: The Vikings obliterated the Odell Beckham Jr.-less Giants 49-17 on Sunday Night Football.  2013: THE JOSH FREEMAN MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME.  Holy hell, does anyone remember that game?  I was on tour in Providence, RI watching this game on a day off and I had such high hopes for Freeman.  Turns out he was concussed early in the game and the Vikings kept him out there.  I drank a bunch of bad craft beer and had 20 buffalo wings to drown my sorrows out.  Also, I’m pretty sure Freeman threw 4-5 footballs out of MetLife Stadium that night.  Anyways, the Giants spent a grip of money on high priced defensive free agents (DE Olivier Vernon, DT Damon Harrison, and CB Janoris Jenkins) and actually drafted a productive-in-college WR in Sterling Shepard to go across Odell Beckam Jr.

 

Their OL is a bit of a concern and RB Rashad Jennings turned 31 this offseason.  Beckham is going to make Zimmer an extremely angry coach this night and Rhodes or Newman might get chewed out by halftime.  I really hope Zimmer is mic’d up for this game.  I think Adrian Peterson and McKinnon can 1-2 punch this game for the Vikings and they win a close contest with a much improved New York Giants team.  Rudolph becomes a nice target for Teddy Bridgewater and gives the Giants fits all night.  Eli throws a late game pick to Captain Munnerlyn that sets up the Vikings in the red zone.  Adrian rushes for a 20 yard TD to put the nail in the coffin.  Vikings win 28-21

 

Week 5 vs Texans

Houston spent a ridiculous amount of money on a QB (Brock Osweiler) who played 7 games last year and got benched in Week 17 for a revived corpse version of Peyton Manning.  I think Bill O’Brien is an interesting coach (probably the best Bill Belachick student) and has gotten the best out of the talent he has but Houston does absolutely nothing for me.  Houston wins this game if JJ Watt plays QB, RB, and all of the defensive positions.  DeAndre Hopkins is a top 5 WR in the NFL and will more than likely make Rhodes look silly on a couple of plays, but I get the feeling Brock Osweiler throws multiple picks and is strip sacked for a touchdown by Danielle Hunter.  Teddy won’t have to do much and can lean on the running game to win this game after the defense sets the offense up with great field position on multiple drives.  Vikings win 30-14

 

Week 6 BYE

 

Week 7 @ Eagles

It’s anyone’s guess as to who will be the Eagles’ starting QB in week 1, but I think by this time the Vikings are going to see Sam Bradford.  The Eagles are rebuilding, however, they force a good amount of turnovers and Sproles is still dangerous in the return game.  I get the feeling Anthony Barr is asked to play coverage against Eagles TE, Zach Ertz, a handful of snaps this game.  New Eagles coach, Doug Pedersen, loved to utilize the TE position in Kansas City under Andy Reid’s offense.  The WRs that Philadelphia has can be contained, and feel like Munnerlyn can handle his own vs slot WR, Jordan Matthews.  Bold prediction:  Bradford is benched at the half and we see Carson Wentz take over.  Vikings win 27-17

 

Look for some Barr on Ertz action in this one.

 

Week 8 @ Bears

Halloween Monday Night Football at Soldier Field.  The Vikings finally won at Soldier Field in 2015 for the first time since 2007.  However, I think this will be a Halloween nightmare for the Vikings.  I’m actually impressed with the personnel the Bears have landed on defense this offseason.  This has the makings of a rainy, cold, sloppy mess of a game.  Cutler seems to shine from time to time against the Vikings and I think Alshon Jeffrey and Kevin White have monster games.  Harsh conditions are not helpful for an average armed QB like Teddy Bridgewater and the Bears defense looks like a legit unit.  Vic Fangio is one of the better defensive coordinators in the game and he’s starting to get guys (OLB Leonard Floyd, ILB Danny Trevathan, ILB Jerell Freeman, DL Akiem Hicks) he can mold for his system.  Fangio was the defensive coordinator for the 49ers from 2011-2014 who had players such as: Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks, Dante Whitner, Eric Reid, etc.  Vikings lose  24-14

 

Week 9 vs Lions

The Vikings should be thankful they played the Lions in the first half of the season last year.  Matthew Stafford was absolutely money the end of the season and the Lions finished with a semi-respectable 7-9 record after starting the year 1-7.  I cannot figure out the identity of this team now that Calvin Johnson is gone.  The Lions made protecting Stafford a priority during the draft by selecting OT Taylor Decker in the first round.  If the Lions can get RB Ameer Abdullah going to take pressure off Stafford, this could be a scary team.  Golden Tate is a really nice WR and adding ex-Bengals WR, Marvin Jones, wasn’t a horrible move.  The Vikings are the better overall team and will prevail by a Cordarrelle Patterson kickoff return for a TD late in the game.  Vikings win 27-20

 

Week 10 @ Washington

I had predicted Jay Gruden getting fired last year, but hey, turns out his team won the division at 9-7 with Kirk “YOU LIKE THAT?” Cousins at QB.  WR Josh Doctson was a nice grab for Washington in the first round in the draft.  Between Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis (you never know with this guy), Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Josh Doctson, and Matt Jones, the Vikings will have their hands full.  They can win it if they force turnovers and get to Cousins.  Vikings lose a heart breaker in the final seconds of this game.  Vikings lose 21-20

 

Week 11 vs Cardinals

The Vikings hung with the Cardinals in a 2015 matchup pretty well.  Arizona ended up winning the game (23-20) on a brilliant strip sack by Dwight Freeney.  Carson Palmer got exposed by Seattle (Week 17), Green Bay (Divisional Round), and Carolina (NFC Championship) last year but I think part of that had to something to do with his finger injury.  He had hardly any zip on his throws during those games but Palmer knows this year is his best shot for a Super Bowl and will have another great regular season.  Vikings hang with the Cardinals but lose in close fashion again due to David Johnson being a monster.  Vikings lose 24-21

 

 David Johnson will be too much for the Vikings to handle in this one.

 

Week 12 @ Lions

The Vikings haven’t played on Thanksgiving since facing the Cowboys in 2000.  Randy Moss was known for lighting up the world during the 1998 and 2000 Thanksgiving games and I think Laquon Treadwell will get his chance in this game.  Vikings defense sacks Stafford 5 times and Teddy and Treadwell connect for two touchdowns.  Vikings win 31-21

 

Week 13 vs Cowboys

Thursday Night Football usually is a stinker, but thankfully both the Vikings and Cowboys play on Thanksgiving and will be coming off a normal weeks of rest.  Dallas has an elite level offensive line and Ezekiel Elliot will make life for Romo so much easier.  Mike Zimmer coached the Cowboys’ defense from 1995-2007 and it’s fair to say he probably knows about some of Tony Romo’s tendencies.  This is nail biter game where Tony Romo throws a late pick to Harrison Smith and Blair Walsh successfully converts on a time expiring field goal to clinch the win.  Vikings win 27-24 

 

Week 14 @ Jaguars

Remember how the Raiders were going to destroy the Vikings in their 2015 matchup?  There’s no way Minnesota’s defense can handle the Raiders ariel attack!  The Jaguars hype train comes to a crashing end in a blow out game vs the Vikings.  Bortles will throw 2-3 interceptions, giving Teddy Bridgewater excellent field position for 3 touchdown scoring drives.  Adrian Peterson daggers the game late with a 60 yard touchdown run to put the Vikings up by three possessions.  Vikings win 38-17

 

Week 15 vs Colts

Andrew Luck has thrown 55 interceptions in 3.5 seasons.  He had the worst QB rating in the league last year (when healthy) and struggles versus stingy defenses.  Though, I still can’t figure out how he picked apart Seattle in 2013 but looks lost versus defenses like the Jets, Patriots, and Bills.  The Colts drafted a good center in Alabama’s Ryan Kelly to protect Luck, but the Colts are going with 33 year old Frank Gore as their starting running back.  Adrian Peterson goes wild versus a soft Colts defense and cruise to an easy victory.  Vikings win 28-20

 

 We’ll be getting a good look at that classic Andrew Luck interception face.

 

Week 16 @ Packers

This game is for the division and will be played in horrible winter weather on Christmas Eve.  Packers RB, Eddie Lacy, is in a contract year and is currently slimming down with the P90X founder.  Rodgers gets quick completions to Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson to wear out the corners and grind Eddie Lacy to wear out the Linebackers and Defensive Line.  Adrian Peterson has a nice day to keep this close, but ultimately the Packers take the NFC Division Championship.  Vikings lose 24-17

 

Week 17 vs Bears

Thankfully the Lions lost their week 16 game and the Vikings have clinched a wild card spot.  Zimmer is furious and makes his starters play versus the Chicago Bears.  The Vikings look sharp and refocused and take it to the Bears in all three phases.  Chicago will be a 7-8 team at this point and will be playing for pride.  Cordarrelle Patterson returns the opening kickoff for a touchdown and the Vikings never look back.  Teddy shows poise and throws for 350 yards and 3 touchdowns (Diggs, Treadwell, and McKinnon each with a score).  Zimmer’s defense rattles Cutler into forcing 2 turnovers and one for a score. Vikings win 45-18

 

Vikings will be the #5 NFC seed in the playoffs at 11-5.

 

BOLD PREDICTION:  Mike Zimmer is the AP Coach of The Year.

 

                                               Mike Zimmer probably yelling at Jeff Fisher

 

 


A Mockery of the NFL Draft

Written by :
Published on : April 28, 2016

 

 

This is not a mock draft, it’s a mockery of the crazy draft coverage we have come to love and hate. If you want someone to guess who your team is going to choose then ask Mel Kiper. If you want football jokes then I’m your huckleberry. Most experts say that the best way to build a winner is through the draft and I generally agree. This list will address what each NFL franchise needs to become successful right now. Let’s get to it. The first team is on the clock:

 

1st – Los Angeles Rams

With the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select a really good lawyer! This mid-level team just got bumped up to first class and I don’t know if they are ready for the off-the-field life in Los Angeles. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least two different Rams get into legal trouble this first year. Rams need a top flight legal team. It’s an investment in their future.

 

2nd – Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles should pick either Andy Reid or Donovan McNabb. Remember how solid they were back then? Like in the NFC Championship every year good. Maybe they just need Mrs. McNabb and some Campbell’s Chunky Chicken Noodle soup.

 

 

3rd – San Diego Chargers

Stem cells! Yup, that’s their pick. A giant vat of stem cells. I think they had 200 players go on season ending injured reserve last season. Ouch.  A few well-placed stem cell injections will have these guys back in the division race.

 

4th – Dallas Cowboys

Clones of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. One of these guys (Tony) is always hurt. I think everyone in Texas would like to see a full year of them playing together.

 

5th – Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags offensive unit is decent and has a core of young talent. Where they need help is on defense so I suggest drafting the Incredible Hulk. A great run stopper who can also rush the passer. You do not want to make him angry.

 

hulk

 

6th – Baltimore Ravens

Will Smith from Men in Black so he can use his memory-eraser thing to get America to forget about that Ray Rice elevator tape. This team can’t win until we all move on.

 

7th – San Francisco 49ers

A time machine. So the 49ers can go back just a few short years when they looked like the most stacked team in the league. Back when the city and management loved coach Harbaugh. They lost the Super Bowl and it all started to unravel.

 

8th – Cleveland Browns

A genie or a wizard. Someone magical. This squad needs spiritual help of the cosmic order to reverse the bad juju they carry into every game. I’d also take a voodoo priestess or witch if they had a quick enough 40 yard dash time.

 

9th – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Johnny Depp. The ultimate Buccaneer, Mr. Captain Jack Sparrow himself! They try so hard to act pirate at those home games. But they never win much. Some star power could turn that all around.

 

jack sparrow

 

10th – New York Giants

A hair stylist for Odell Beckham Jr. He is the best player on the team and you want to build around your greatest assets. OBJ has fantastic hair and that could use some full-time attention.

 

11th – Chicago Bears

Anyone to replace Jay Cutler. Literally anyone. Do you know a guy?

 

12th – New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Graham. I don’t how they ever let their version of Gronk leave. But since then, their offense has been missing something. I’m sure Brees would love it.

 

13th – Miami Dolphins

LeBron James. It helped the Heat win a championship. I mean if Dan Marino can’t win one then Ryan Tannehill has no chance at a ring without some serious assistance. If James brought his talents to South Beach then I could see the Phins winning not one, not two, not three but 18 championships.

 

 

14th – Oakland Raiders

A moving van to get them to Los Angeles. I don’t know what they are waiting for? There are millions of fans in LA who would greet them with open arms. Plus they can join the Rams and play at their new stadium. Oakland has no cash for a new building so this seems like a no-brainer.

 

15th – Tennessee Titans

A real Titan. I’m talking the enemy of Zeus and the other Greek Gods. Huge, elemental terrors that can destroy a city in an instant. Hopefully, this rookie will help lower opposing offenses 3rd down completion percentages.

 

16th – Detroit Lions

Sonic the Hedgehog. Many fans want to see O Line improvements but that can be addressed in later rounds. The Lions must deal with the retirement of Calvin Johnson by drafting a speedy receiver who can take the top off the defense. Plus he’d look good in those blue and silver uniforms.

 

sonic

 

17th – Atlanta Falcons

Rick from The Walking Dead. He’s from Atlanta so the fans will love him, plus he will do WHATEVER it takes to win. You got to have guts to play in the NFL and Rick Grimes knows guts.

 

18th – Indianapolis Colts

A new kidney for Andrew Luck.

 

19th – Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bill, the serial killer from Silence of the Lambs. Also knows as John Grant, Jack Gordon or Jame Gumb. This guy is a sneaky pick because he can play multiple rolls, has that killer instinct and should not be underestimated. Also the name thing is kind of perfect.

 

jame Gumb

 

20th – New York Jets

Jets could use a new QB but I think they should get Donald Trump to act as owner, GM and coach. Maybe QB too if he is up to it. Trump already reps NYC hard and claims to make “the best deals” so it should be a perfect fit.

 

21st – Washington (offensive name omitted)

A new owner. Dan Synder sucks bad. Change your racist team name already.

 

22nd – Houston Texans

A body guard for Brock Osweiler. Management gave this guy tons of money so nothing can happen to him or they are screwed. This organization is acting like they are a good QB away from a deep playoff run. If Brock is the guy then you must keep him safe.

 

23rd – Minnesota Vikings

The big dragon from Game of Thrones. This is a controversial choice because the beast could do some harm to Minnesota but I think the Vikings are the one team that could maybe work with the dragon and find some success. This is for sure a boom or bust pick but the upside is colossal.

 

GOT dragon

 

24th – Cincinnati Bengals

This one is easy. Much like the Giants, the Bengals need to help the stars they have. I’m talking about getting some hair dye for Andy Dalton. I know being a ginger is his thing but no redhead has ever won the big game. It could be that simple. Hair dye.

 

25th – Pittsburgh Steelers

Cyborg reconstruction for Ben Roethlisberger. This guy is the heart and soul of the team but I’m suggesting replacing is heart and soul with cold steel. Help Big Ben stay on the field for all 16 games plus the postseason. Think somewhere between The Six Million Dollar Man and Robocop. Dead or alive, we’re going to the playoffs.

 

26th – Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks are still hurting from their SB loss to the Pats back in February, 2015. So they should draft Doctor Frasier Crane from Frasier and Cheers. He could help heal their bruised egos and get them back to fighting form. Goodnight Seattle.

 

 

27th – Green Bay Packers

These guys always have great drafts so I’m not going to even offer joke advice for them. I hope they take kickers in every round.

 

28th – Kansas City Chiefs

KC needs a suitcase full of cash to bribe the commissioner so they can leave the AFC West and instead join the much less fierce AFC South. They could switch places with the Houston Texans and that will create an easy path to the playoffs on a more regular basis.

 

29th – New England Patriots

The Pats lost this pick for cheating. So with their second round choice they get a rule book. You dirty cheaters.

 

30th – Arizona Cardinals

A real Cardinal from the Vatican. Maybe their sacrilegious name has been keeping them back. If they finally get the blessing they need from the Catholic church then a Lombardi trophy could be in store.

 

FrancisCards

 

31st – Carolina Panthers

This crew is already fairly loaded but the reason they lost the Super Bowl was because of the pressure from Von Miller and the other members of the Broncos D, so an offensive lineman seems like a good fit. WWE Super Star Brock Lesner would fill in great at either Tackle or Guard.

 

32nd – Denver Broncos

A young Peyton Manning. With old Peyton retiring and Osweiler leaving, the team is in the lurch. They need a signal caller with some promise and no one seems like a better fit than young Peyton, or maybe young Elway.

 

 

Tell me who you wish your team would select in the comments below.

 

Draft dodger.

 

 


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