Biggest Fantasy Busts of 2017

Written by :
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 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.

 

 


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.

 

 


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.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon Week 5: “Big Play” Slay Saves The Day and “Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky”

Written by :
Published on : October 13, 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 bats are fluttering, and the graves have been treated with quicklime.

 

Week 5: “Big Play” Slay Saves the Day

 

Nothing like a big win to keep a season’s hopes alive after a three game losing streak. Darius Slay is now getting paid like a top cornerback and he finally looked it on Sunday with a forced fumble that ended up giving the Lions the lead and then this huge interception to put the day away.

 

Wentz’s first NFL pick was a backbreaker with time still on the clock and a Lions defense that had trouble stopping the Eagles’ offensive march most of the day. It seems obvious enough that all Slay had to do was “become the receiver” on a deep ball, but re-watching the tape shows just how good Slay’s coverage on Nelson Agholor is and the play Slay makes isn’t just a jump ball, but an aggressive and intelligent move. As a Lions fan I’m hoping that Slay continues this caliber of play throughout the rest of the season. He’s a bright spot on a defensive side that’s struggling with injuries and mediocrity.

 

The cherry on top? I was at the game. And while the play happened on the opposite side of the field from where I was sitting, there was absolutely no feeling like seeing Slay pivot and head back the other way. “Fly Eagles, Fly” getting drowned out by “Gridiron Heroes” on the way home.

 

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 12.03.00 AM

 

Your humble author making new friends…

 

Week 5: Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Story Of Ricky blu cover

 

Director: Lam Ngai Kai
Released: 1991

 

I managed to catch this one via another internet recommendation when it was streaming on Netflix (which is sadly no longer the case), and I can safely say I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Sure, Gareth Evans’s The Raid (2011, 2014) movies have a little bit of that “anything can happen” martial arts perfection, but while those flicks truck in expert action and a sense of videogame-era storytelling, this one pours on the red stuff and crazy special effects for the most outrageous gore set pieces I’ve ever seen in the martial arts genre.

 

Not being too familiar with the picture’s background, I was able to find that the film is supposedly a very faithful adaption of a Japanese Manga, and director Lam cut his teeth working at the illustrious Shaw Brothers studio in Hong Kong, so he’s definitely got the right pedigree.

 

960

 

The plot, which is of course gloriously beside the point, hinges on good-guy titular inmate Riki in a not-too-distant future where all prisons have been privatized. As with many violent kung-fu movies, the evildoers’ corruption revolves around the heroin trade and like the best of these types of movies, the jailor and inmate villains are gloriously stylized in the mold of the “Street Fighter” game franchise.

 

ricky5_758_426_81_s_c1

 

The outlandishly cartoonish violence can border on camp at times, but the good far outweighs the bad with Riki strangling an enemy with his own intestines (which Riki removed in the first place), our hero performing bootleg surgery on his own tendons in the span of twenty seconds, and a full blown monster a la the mother of all horror films: Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive (1992). That’s right. This picture is so batshit crazy and ludicrously nutty that it deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as Dead Alive. If you screen this movie for a date and your partner reacts positively you got marriage material right there.

 

ricky2_758_426_81_s_c1

 

Here’s a nicely edited highlight reel of the gonzo gore insanity:

 

Full movie below:

 

 


The Detroit Lions saved their season, and maybe their coach’s job

Written by :
Published on : October 11, 2016

 

 

It was a scene that we are all too familiar with. The Detroit Lions have a lead at halftime and everything seems to be going their way. The offense is scoring points and the defense is holding up. If they can just maintain the momentum of the first half, they should win the game handily. Then the second half rolls around and everything goes to shit. The offense can’t get going and the defense gets torn to shreds. Then the Lions do just enough to make you think they can pull it off, only to screw it up in the end and lose in painful fashion. It’s a story that everyone in the Lions fandom universe knows very well.

 

That’s how it was at Ford Field on Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles came to town. The Lions scored touchdowns on all three of their first half drives and managed to hold the Eagles to 10 points. The perfect storm of good fortune and the type of scenario that is ripe for another Lions letdown. But this time was different. And for once in this harrowing 2016 campaign, the defense of the Detroit Lions did enough to win, forcing two late turnovers and sending the Eagles back to Philly to drown themselves in tears and cheese whiz.

 

   

Both of those late turnovers were forced by cornerback Darius ‘Big Play’ Slay. The first was a fumble by Eagles RB, Ryan Mathews, and the second was a great interception on an ill-advised deep ball thrown by rookie QB, Carson Wentz. It was the type of deep ball that you can see beating the Lions in your nightmares. Except Slay made a great play on the ball and Nelson Agholor wasn’t even looking for it. This was the first game this season where Slay has shown the type of talent that got him a fat contract extension over the summer. And by finally showing that top-tier talent, he may have saved his team’s season and his head coach’s job.  

 

One of those things makes me very happy. The other, not so much.  

 

If the Lions had lost this one, after once again holding a sizable lead, then that would have been curtains on the 2016 season. The team is still dangerously close to unraveling and there are considerable issues involving injuries, depth, discipline, and overall talent on the roster. But with that win over the Eagles, this team lives to fight another day. And the same goes for their coach, Jim Caldwell.      

 

 Big Play Slay saves the day!

 

Jim Caldwell has underwhelmed as head coach of the Detroit Lions and he seems destined to be relieved of his duties by 1st year general manager, Bob Quinn. The different issues facing this team can and should be placed on the shoulders of Caldwell. Lack of concentration, sloppy play, guys giving up on plays, failure to make adjustments in game. These are things that should be corrected after a few games, yet they seem to keep popping up. When it keeps happening you have to think that it’s systematic. Most would agree that Caldwell should go, but while saving the Lions season, did Darius Slay save Caldwell’s job too?    

 

 

It seems unlikely, but the Lions are great at doing just enough, or just little enough, to fuck everything up. Doing well enough to justify keeping Jim Caldwell would be a typical Lions move that would continue to keep the team mired in mediocrity for years to come. Through five games, it’s obvious that Caldwell is not the guy to take this team to the next level. I would never hope for my team to lose, and while I still hope they can get it together and make a playoff run, I sure hope it doesn’t save Caldwell’s job.

 

This Lions team has proven that they have the talent to win. They have been competitive in every game this season, despite missing some of their biggest playmakers for a majority of the games. They will be getting some of those guys back soon and that should make them better, but this inconsistency will be their downfall in the end. That’s on Jim Caldwell. So while Darius Slay and his teammates may have saved their head coach for the time being, they won’t be able to overcome his inadequacies for the entire season, and eventually he’ll be gone.

 

 


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.

 

 


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?

 

 


Supplements: The Silent Career Killer

Written by :
Published on : September 13, 2016

 

 

We always hear about NFL players getting suspended for failed drug tests. In today’s game it is a harsh reality that all teams must face. People aren’t perfect. They make mistakes and sometimes that includes taking drugs. People mostly take drugs for recreation but sometimes, as can be the case with professional athletes, they take them to gain a competitive edge. Either way, the NFL is vigilant in trying to keep all drugs out of football. Players are routinely caught and faced with the consequences for their actions, but what happens when an NFL player has something in their system that they didn’t knowingly ingest?

 

 That look when your career is in jeopardy.

 

Philadelphia Eagles offensive linemen Lane Johnson is facing a 10-game suspension for his second positive drug test. It wasn’t weed that did him in, but an undisclosed performance enhancing drug. This is a big hit for Johnson and it isn’t his first offense. Financially speaking, the Eagles can now recoup about $1.7 million in bonus money should they choose to, and his base game salaries that were once guaranteed no longer are. For the 26-year-old tackle who is in the first year of a new contract extension, this is could be career-threatening. Right now he should be entering his prime and playing the best football of his life, but instead he will be on the shelf until November and the Eagles could void his $56 million contract altogether, should they feel so inclined.

 

When Johnson was last suspended four games for PEDs back in 2014, he took full responsibility for letting his team down. This time he is singing a different tune and is throwing some of the blame at the NFLPA. Lane Johnson is not accepting responsibility for this positive PED test and is instead blaming an amino acid supplement that he purchased from a league approved app. Blaming a tainted supplement is nothing new. Recently it was Antonio Gates who missed 4 games in 2015 using this same excuse. There’s no way to know the truth but if you know anything about the dietary supplement industry, you know this isn’t all that far-fetched.

 

Johnson claims that the players union does not stand up for it’s members in instances such as this because they approved this app and recommended that players use it. But the NFLPA responded by reminding him that the final responsibility for what enters their body lies with the players, that the NFLPA does not approve any supplements and that players are reminded within the app and at team meetings that supplements may contain ingredients not listed on the label. With all of that information available to him, I don’t think Johnson has much hope for overturning this suspension upon appeal but that’s not the important issue in this story.

 

 NFLPA spokesman, George Atallah says Lane Johnson is full of shit.

 

The important issue is that supplements may contain ingredients that aren’t listed on the label. What other product in this country is available for public consumption that allows the manufacturers to include mystery ingredients? There’s nothing to stop companies from including fillers and cheaper ingredients to increase profits and that’s exactly what they do. This is ludicrous and it’s time for the FDA to step it up and fully regulate the supplement industry.

 

The FDA’s logic for continuing to allow the dietary supplement industry to run wild and adulterate their products is that these dietary supplements are classified as food products and therefore are not subject to the strict standards governing the sale of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Obviously the companies can still be held liable in court for any misleading statements made about the supplements or their ingredients but in cases like Lane Johnson’s (if he is telling the truth) the damage is already done and the victim has lost out on millions of dollars.

 

Who knows what's in there.
Who knows what’s in there.

 

Supplements are not food. They are powders and pills that claim to have specific nutrients or vitamins in them and are used by athletes to help them achieve and maintain peak physical condition. It’s dangerous for these companies to be allowed to police themselves, and it is not in their best interest to be honest about what is in their products. As long as they can make money by cutting corners and using cheaper and more dangerous ingredients, that is exactly what they will do. Just like Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle illustrated how the meat industry at the turn of the 20th century needed to be regulated. Cases like this show why the supplement industry needs regulation.

 

There are many ingredients that are common in supplements that are known to be unhealthy or downright dangerous and it’s no secret that the supplement manufacturers disregard these facts. The idea of tainted supplements may seem on the surface as a desperate attempt by players to clear their names after being caught cheating. But there has been at least one case that proved the innocence of an NFL player who tested positive for a banned substance. Back in 2009, a court awarded Rams linebacker, David Vobora, $5.4 million in a case against a supplement company that included a banned ingredient in the product that the player had ingested. After Vobora’s suspension, he claimed that he had studied the ingredient list and consulted the NFL about the product, yet the product still contained PEDs. The court ruled in Vobora’s favor and said that the company had included the ingredient without putting it on the label but nothing has changed. How is that legal?

 

 David Vobora won in court, but did it have to come to that?

 

It’s time for the FDA to get on top of this situation. NFL players missing out on millions of dollars is one thing. No one wants to see their favorite player miss time because they did everything they could to operate within the rules and maintain the ludicrous level strength and speed required for pro sports, but still tested positive due to some supplement manufacturing assholes lying about what’s inside that powder that tastes like chocolate piss water. Sports is one thing, but what about other stuff that might be in these supplements and the risk that it puts regular folks at?

 

Our government is there to protect us from money-hungry companies that put profits ahead of people, it’s about time the FDA remembers that and clamps down on the supplement industry. For an industry that has been estimated to be worth as much as $37 billion, it doesn’t seem like to much to ask that they be forthcoming with the ingredients that they put inside their product. It should have happened a long time ago, but maybe it will take Paul Ryan’s favorite player getting banned for a tainted supplement before anything substantial happens. Until then, it could be your favorite player who gets screwed next.

 

 


Why you DON’T want to go Undefeated in the NFL Preseason

Written by :
Published on : September 1, 2016

 

Beware! The last of the NFL preseason games are set to kickoff and there is a little known danger all franchises should avoid. You do not want to go undefeated in the preseason. One may think that rolling into the start of the regular schedule on a winning streak would be good a thing, but you would be wrong.

 

Those first four practice games are to evaluate talent, determine the last few roster spots and give rookies a chance to learn the system. Vets do gain something from those early reps but those games are more for the greener players to help them get up to speed. The contests are not about getting the win. It’s nice if it happens, but the coaching staffs use preseason as a tool to develop the best squad they can. If those games’ outcomes meant something then starters would play longer and that would ruin the purpose.

 

 Rams rookie, Jared Goff

 

A loss is a good learning experience. It can show you where the holes are. What needs to be fixed. It can bond and galvanize a unit together. It’s an important step in the journey of any successful team. You lose and you learn that it sucks and you never want to feel like that way again. Every champion requires this moment. It’s best to take care of this when the games don’t count.

 

And let’s not forget the 2008 Detroit Lions. They cruised to a 4-0 record in the preseason then went 0-16 in the regular year. So yeah. Not saying that you will automatically lose all your games if you go undefeated in the pre but it doesn’t bode well for your future. Learn from the Lions. Please, no one wants to see 0-16. It’s ugly for everyone involved.

 

 

All 32 NFL teams need to get their acts together quick. Real football is almost here and there is little time left to improve. The faster each squad can pull together, the better their chances are in the long run. An early loss is often that perfect item to focus on to help players get better. Also, you don’t want to risk getting your stars hurt playing against less experienced players. Coaches, be smart about how you manage this last outing.

 

So watch out 3-0 preseason teams. I’m looking at you Eagles, Patriots, Vikings, Texans, Ravens and Packers. Don’t blow it by winning that last game. It’s totally not worth it. Trust me, I’m a Lions fan.

 

Perfect.

 

 


SBS Remembers: The Snow Bowl

Written by :
Published on : August 29, 2016

 

 

“You gota eat ’em to beat ’em.”

 

 

That was the mantra of my fellow Detroit Lions loving compatriots and I here in LA during the 2013 NFL season. We would get together and recreate the regional specialty of whichever team the Lions were playing. This worked out in our favor, especially when early December rolled around and we were playing the Philadelphia Eagles. I set up a flat top griddle right in the living room and proceeded to make some mean ass Philly Cheesesteaks. Deliciousness was on the menu that Sunday. What we didn’t know was that snow was also on the menu. Lots and lots of snow. So much in fact, that the game would be forever remembered as, The Snow Bowl.

 

 A light dusting.

 

As the grill was warming up before kickoff and I was beginning to cook up some perfectly sliced rib-eye with onions, we could already tell we were in store for a sloppy game. We had no idea just how wild the ride would be, and by the time a full 8 inches of snow had fallen upon the field in Philadelphia, there were multiple big plays and some lead changes.

 

This was back when Nick Foles was the hottest quarterback in the league. He had thrown 19 touchdowns and zero interceptions before Chris Houston got to a hold of an errant pass. Also it was before the Eagles had gotten rid of LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. They were riding the Chip Kelly train full steam ahead and were loving it.

 

The Lions got out to 14-0 lead with the help of a Joique Bell rushing touchdown and a Jeremy Ross punt return touchdown. The field was such a mess that no team could attempt an extra-point. That’s right, all two-point conversions, a Chip Kelly wet dream.

 

 As if Eagles fans needed another reason to be miserable.

 

The early parts of the game were so thick with falling snow that many Eagles players claimed that they couldn’t even see the Lions in their white uniforms out on the field. They were pretty much just guessing where they would be. That could be why the Lions got out to that quick lead, a lead that I was sure they would hang on to with conditions as they were.

 

But by the time the blizzard had calmed enough to be able to see the game out there, LeSean McCoy had started to heat up. Thanks to another long return by Jeremy Ross, the Lions led 20-14 in the 4th quarter. Then Shady started making moves.

 

 Shady was unstoppable in the 4th quarter.

 

In that 4th quarter of week 14 of the 2013 NFL season, LeSean McCoy was damn near unstoppable. Maybe it was the half foot of snow on the ground, maybe it was unbelievable quickness and athleticism, but either way, he stole the show. The Eagles scored 20 unanswered points in that 4th quarter to win by a final score 34-20. Mostly on the back of McCoy’s franchise best 217 rushing yards, which featured 2 touchdowns.

 

As was the case for most of that season, the Lions totally fell apart at the end of the game. Then head coach, Jim Schwartz, could not get his team to close out games and it’s because of that fact that he lost his job the following offseason.

 

Still, it was a game I’ll never forget. It was an absolute shit show, but it was one that I couldn’t take my eyes off of for a single second. It was also the day I realized that I make a mean Philly Cheesesteak. So even though we lost, everyone viewing the game at my house that day was a winner.

 

 


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