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SPOOKY'S WE ALL BLEED GREEN AND GOLD WEEKLY NFL EXPRESS
Spooky’s Game 5 Elimination Day Thoughts
– Michael Wacha’s last two starts are amazingly good: two hits, one run (the Alvarez HR Monday) in 16 IP. In those two games, batters are 2-48 against him. Wow.
– Of the four pro sports teams in Philly, none of the four coaches who were in their job on January 1 are still employed by that team- tough year. Chip Kelly is now the dean of active head coaches in Philly- he was coaching Oregon this time last year.
– Falcons-Raiders-Jaguars will be “home” teams for the NFL’s three games in London in 2014. There are rumors that because of security concerns at recent 49er-Raider fans with fans of both teams clashing, that game might be the one that gets moved to England next year.
– With four baseball playoff games and an NFL game at night, was this past Monday the best sports Monday of the whole year?
– Nice to know federal workers are getting paid; but they’re getting paid to do nothing. Our government’s leaders are screw-ups and that’s being nice.
– Joe Girardi signed up for another four years in the Bronx, at $4M a pop. Where does this leave the Cubs in their search for a manager?
– Speaking of blame, Rex Ryan needs to learn basic strategy; up 20-14 with 13:30 left Monday, Jets scored a TD to go up 26-14. At that, you really have to go for two points, since a 12-point lead is basically the same as a 13-point lead, but a 14-point lead is WAY better. But no, Jets kicked the PAT, Atlanta scored two TDs to take a 28-27 lead and only Geno Smith’s last-minute heroics saved Rex from a very long week in the Big Apple.
– Scary thing is that Ryan said Tuesday that he didn’t realize he should have gone for two until after the Falcons went ahead. Say what?? Why do the Jets have assistant coaches if they’re not assisting Ryan?
– In case you wonder about such things, Mike Glennon’s two backups with the Buccaneers are Dan Orlovsky and Jordan Rodgers, not exactly rating as high as Frank Reich or Don Strock as high-quality backup QBs.
– Logical landing spot for Matt Flynn is back in Green Bay, where he knows the offense and they need a better backup to Aaron Rodgers.
– USC plays its first game under interim coach Ed Orgeron tonight; my question is this: who is running their offense? Lane Kiffin did all that; and with such inexperienced QBs, you need a strong coach to help them thru games. Orgeron reached out to former Cal coach Jeff Tedford, but Tedford turned him down. Guy named Clay Helton is the OC; his dad used to coach the Houston Cougars; before coming to USC, Helton had only coached at Duke and in Conference USA– not very USC-like.
– Speaking of Kiffin, where does he go from here? I know a lot of us really can tell him where to go, but……He’s still young but has had three prime coaching jobs; Tennessee/USC and the Raiders. No one else is hiring him, not for a while. I’d be curious to hear him on TV, to hear if he offered any insight. He already has enough money to sit home and do nothing if he wants, so we’ll see what happens.
While Oakland has nothing to be ashamed of taking the Detroit Tigers to the limit in game 5, it's hard to second guess if it was the right decision for manager Bob Melvin to go with Sonny Gray instead of Bartolo Colon. The Athletics were up against Justin Verlander who pitched no hit ball into the 7th inning. Joaquin Benoit retired Seth Smith on a fly ball with two on in the ninth to close out the deciding game of their division series. Aching slugger Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the fourth off with a drive into the left-field seats for his first homer since Sept. 17 and just his third extra-base hit in 99 at-bats. That ended a 20-inning scoreless streak by the Tigers at the Coliseum. The Tigers became the first team to reach the ALCS in three straight years since the New York Yankees from 1998-2001.
The Chicago Cubs appear to have narrowed their search for a new manager down to a final four or five candidates. Nobody has emerged as a "favorite" for the job quite yet, at least not now that Joe Girardi is unavailable . However, the club has a very short list of serious candidates. Former Indians manager Manny Acta and Padres exec A.J. Hinch, who have already been in for interviews with the club, headline the small group of prospective skippers. Padres bench coach Rick Renteria is scheduled for an interview next week, and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez may be headed for a one-on-one at some point as well.
For the latest sports news, capper picks and tracker results, turn to JTG, the leader in BTB information
Another great day in college football and only some backdoor covers ruined our day. Here is a quick wrap up if you missed anything yesterday.
-- Texas 36, Oklahoma 20-- Longhorns didn't just beat Oklahoma, they kicked their butts all over the field, running ball for 255 yards, scoring on both defense and special teams. An excellent day for Mack Brown.
-- South Florida 13, UConn 10-- Bulls won second game in row after 0-4 start, despite completing just 8-28 passes and not scoring on offensive TD in either one of their wins. Kicker Marvin Kloss had six FGs in the two wins.
-- Mississippi State 21, Bowling Green 20-- Top-tier MAC teams are pretty good, but this would've been a horrific loss for Dan Mullen, who will need to either beat Ole Miss in Egg Bowl or pull a big upset to get to a bowl.
-- Penn State 43, Michigan 40 OT-- Game was so odd, so even; yardage was 390-389 Penn State, with Lions turning ball over four times, Wolverines three. PSU tied game with TD in last minute of regulation by driving 80 yards in 0:23 with no timeouts- pretty good for freshman QB Hackenberg.
-- UNLV 39, Hawai'i 37-- Rebels haven't beaten anyone good, but they've won four games in row for first time since 1984- they blew a 19-point lead in second half, kicked a FG at the gun for the win.
-- Oregon State 52, Washington State 24-- Sean Mannion was 34-51/493 passing; he is the best quarterback very few people have heard of, and he has a pro coach in the underrated Mike Riley (former coach of Chargers). This game was actually 24-24 after three quarters.
-- Baseball note-- Jonny Gomes plays for the Red Sox-- this is 4th playoff team he has played for the last six years, though he didn't appear in playoffs for the '08 Rays. Rays-Reds-A's-Red Sox. Gomes is a great team guy.
-- Central Michigan 26, Ohio U 23-- 17.5-point dog Chippewas pulled biggest upset of day, scoring with 0:22 left after Ohio fumbled a punt, their fourth turnover of the day. Bobcats had won four games in row coming in.
-- Missouri 41, Georgia 26-- Costly win for 6-0 Mizzou, which lost QB James Franklin for rest of regular season (shoulder). Georgia is also banged-up after giving up 113 points the last three Saturdays (2-1).
-- Utah 27, Stanford 21-- Utes stopped Stanford at the 6-yard line in final minute to preserve the biggest home win in program history. Bubba Poole had 111 yards rushing, 75 more receiving-- Utah outgained Cardinal, 410-389.
--Texas A&M 41, Ole Miss 38-- Johnny Manziel was 31-39/346 passing on a night when Aggies needed every yard. After giving this a decent amount of thought, Manziel most reminds me of the old QB Fran Tarkenton.