You are using an old web browser. Such browsers do not support modern web technologies and do not offer proper security. Please update your browser or download one of the others suggested for free.
Mozilla Firefox |
Google Chrome |
Internet Explorer |
SPOOKY'S HAPPY NEW YEAR NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFF WEEKLY EXPRESS
Monday's List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Sunday.......
13) Imagine being a Bears' fan and spending 3.5 hours rooting for the hated Packers, then they lose 37-34 on last play and your season is over. You can not depend on others to help you: God helps those who help themselves.
12) After the Vikings' won, FOX's hideous Pam Oliver actually inferred to Adrian Peterson that breaking Eric Dickerson's single season rushing record would be more important to him than making the playoffs. She has zero clue, none. Its a team game, ma'am.
11) 2011 Giants: 9-7, won the Super Bowl.
2012 Giants: 9-7, missed the playoffs. Pretty much the same team.
10) Giants crushed Eagles so badly Sunday, they had two TD drives where they had eight first downs. Its hard to have eight first downs on one drive.
It bears noting that the Bengals won Sunday, and had nine first downs for the whole game.
9) Saw lot more fake punts/fake field goals/onside kicks than normal this week; once you know you're getting fired, you loosen up a little. Eagles even started their game with a successful onside kick- that was the last good thing they did all day.
8) San Francisco, New England moved up into byes this week; Houston and the Packers lost their week off.
7) Houston Texans gagged badly last two weeks, losing to Vikings/Colts to blow the first round bye in the playoffs; now if they beat the Bengals next week, they'll go to New England the following week. They won't beat the Patriots in cruddy New England weather. You only get so many chances to go into the playoffs as a top seed- Houston blew one badly this year.
6) Ravens-Bengals both benched their QBs early, turning the game into an exhibition game. Cincinnati won despite being outgained 352-189.
5) Tennessee Titans scored four TDs in 4:40 Sunday, without its offense ever going on the field. Seriously, they had two punt returns for TDs, and a pair of defensive scores. Not sure I've ever seen that before. .
4) In their last two road games, Chiefs gained 119-119 yards. Total. They had 507 yards against the Colts last week, 352 on the ground. Go figure. In their last four games, they scored two TDs, both on 80+ yard runs.
3) At what point do the Cowboys draft a QB of the future?
2) Someday they'll make a movie about the 2012 Colts, who went 11-5 with a rookie QB and an interim coach replacing a guy who fought leukemia all season. Good to see Chuck Pagano back on the sidelines Sunday; what a season that team has had.
Alright, guys, let's head over to the husky section now. Today is Black Monday in the NFL and it is a glorious day. I love coach firings. They are the best. Pat Shurmur and Tom Heckert are supposed to be gone today. Andy Reid will be jobless. A whole slew of other assholes will also be out of work and replaced by other terrible coaches. I can't wait for the carnage. All of you fancy pants Twitter people need to make sure that the comments are up to speed on all of the wheelings and dealings today. Plus Im still pissed with all the fucking late afternoon back door covers that kicked my ass. Blocked punts, hail mary bullshit. Let's get on with the final big weekend of the season (sheds tear) (shits pants).
Pro Bowl Voting - Every year I tell myself that I don't care about this and every year I end up getting pissed off about something. This year, it's the inclusion of Matt Schaub and Frank Gore. Those two guys define average. As you saw yesterday, Andy Luck is WAY better than Schaub and AlfMo is CLEARLY better than Gore in almost every stat category. It makes no sense. I hate myself for wasting my anger on this.
Gentleman James Haslam - The Browns apparently are looking for a "new face" to be their next coach. Oh, this is going to be the LOL-est. They're going to end up hiring Snoad.
Mike Smiff - Here is how I would coach a team that has nothing to play for: your starters play a half. If one of them gets hurt in the first half, then they all come out. When Dunta Robinson lost his head, he should have pulled everyone. Now the Falcons are without John Abraham and they're going to lose their first game as everyone expected. Sorry Dirty Birds, but you know this is true. The bye week is just delaying the inevitable.
Chad Henne and Mike Vick - Both suck dog dick. I liked seeing Andy Reid's last stand featuring so many aggressive calls, but the Eagles were just too terrible. Nnamdi Asomugha is AWFUL. DREAM TEAM!
El Shitbox - This has to be the most fitting nickname for Mark Sanchez ever.
Believers of Houston - I have no idea why Houston was a 6.5 point favorite in a place where they have never won but know that I cleaned the fuck up with the Colts yesterday. Pretty much everything that I said about ATL you can also say about HOU. This team isn't good because Matt Schaub is a joke. But I wagered on them to win Super Bowl so I guess Im screwed in that future.
Stat Padford - I saw this nickname in Simmons' column on Friday and I love it. Padford is so bad. Here's a question: If you are 6'5" then why do you throw the fucking pigskin like Little League? I hate that. Sidearm is for homos. Throw the ball like a man and quit chucking it off your back foot constantly. NO ONE regressed more than Padford this season. He went from ELITE to OVERRATED faster than any QB in league history (may not be true).
Van Heusen - Great idea to have Stat Padford be the face of your company. If I'm ever in the market for dress shirts at JC Penney, I will remember ol' Stats buttery chin waddling through your selection of neckties.
Idiots - Rusty Wilson is NOT the Rookie of the Year. OK?
Eric Dickerson - You piece of shit! All Day is way better than you! That record belonged to him, dammit! All of the afternoon games were shit except for Vikings/Packers which was goddamn awesome. Seriously, that was probably the best game of the season. Good for the Vikings to make the playoffs. I already know that I'm betting against them next week. Since the Pack lost, HarBRAH has a bye. David Akers is ass.
Miles Austin and Dez Bryant - What a couple of pussies. That got fucking PWNED by DeAngelo Hall. Seriously, D-Hall was probably the best player on the field and that hasn't happened since the 2010 Pro Bowl.
Tony Romo - What would life be without a week 17 DERP from the King of Herps and Derps? I was nervous as fuck when they got the ball back down 3 but there he was not seeing a 6'4" 260 LB black man apparently and handed him a pick in tremendous Romo-fail fashion. That was the best. NO ONE chokes like Anthony Lasagna Romo. HAIL!
So there is another regular season in the books. Now we're left with the winners. Seattle @ Washington next week...goddamn is that going to be a great game. I have Seattle and Houston alive in my futures. We shall see.
Tuesday's List of 13: Happy New Year to all of you.......
First things first.......lets look at all the NFL teams who made changes in their coaching staff or front office Monday..........
13) Arizona-- Are they kidding? Before Ken Whisenhunt coached this team, Cardinals were 41-87 the previous eight years, a disaster. Once they got a QB who could play (Kurt Warner) they made the Super Bowl. They failed to get a guy to replace Warner, but they might regret this move.
12) Buffalo-- Went 10-6/11-5/8-8 in three years under Wade Phillips from 1998-2000, fired him, have had one winning season since; next year they'll have their sixth head coach in 16 years. Steelers have had three head coaches in last 43 years. As long as Tom Brady is playing, this is a bad job, because the best you can do is second place in the division.
11) Chicago-- I'll say this; you have an African-American coach who won a lot of games in a sport where most of the players are African-American, and you fire him after he went 10-6, well......you better replace him with a bigtime coach. What bigtime coach you replacing Lovie Smith with?
Smith was 84-66 in Chicago, 30-20 last three years, but he made playoffs once in last six years, since losing the Super Bowl to Indy. I totally disagree with this move; if Packers beat Minnesota, he keeps his job, so he basically got fired because the Vikings beat Green Bay. Is this how you run a business worth almost a billion dollars?
10) Cleveland-- New owners tend to bring in their own guys, so Shurmur got sent packing, even though the Browns were showing improvement.
9) Jacksonville-- Coach Mularkey is last Buffalo HC with a winning year, but if this owner really wants Tim Tebow and they get him, Mularkey will be on this list next year, and also on the unemployment line. GM Smith got canned here. This franchise could wind up anywhere from London to LA.
8) Kansas City-- Everyone is relieved this season is over; Crennel will need therapy for years probably, after watching one of his players shoot himself in stadium parking lot. Organization needs a totally fresh start, but they have yet to dump GM Pioli, whose claims to fame are knowing Tom Brady, and being married to Bill Parcells' daughter.
7) NJ Jets-- GM Tannenbaum takes fall for Tebowmania, Sparano gets the boot too, but Rex Ryan gets another year, albeit with an all new offense. It remains to be seen who the QB will be, but it'll probably be a new one.
6) Philadelphia-- You get so long to win a title, then its time to part ways; Reid never replaced DC Jim Johnson with a quality coordinator, and that was the cause of his demise here. Eagles will go after Oregon coach Chip Kelly, which will be interesting. If he does as well as Reid did in Philly, Eagle fans will be happy- they'll be happier if he wins a title. .
5) San Diego-- Philip Rivers and the weather make this a pretty good open job, especially with Chiefs/Raiders down and Peyton Manning being 37. If I'm making this decision for the Spanos family, I'm going after Reid.
4) Tennessee-- Mike Munchak gets another year; Mike Reinfeldt, team's COO got canned by eccentric owner Bud Adams, who turns 90 this week. QB Locker plays like a righthanded Tebow- this franchise appears doomed; how they ever let Jeff Fisher get out of town is a mystery. Look here and at Buffalo; owners in their late 80's aren't very patient.
Elsewhere in the world........
3) Gonzaga won by a point at Oklahoma State, very good hoop game.
2) Les Miles set clock management back 20 years in LSU's 25-24 loss to Clemson; how much do these bowls matter to teams? Sometimes the way a game is coached, its like they just play the game but they care more about the halftime interview; recruiting season means more than the bowl outcome. If I had LSU's running backs and a 24-22 lead with 5:00 left, I sure as hell ain't throwing ball on three straight plays from midfield, but thats just me.
1) Then there is USC, which lost 21-7 to Georgia Tech, a 6-7 Tech team that fired its DC in midseason, lost 49-28 to Middle Tennessee. If someone knows how Lane Kiffin keeps getting these prime jobs, clue me in. Raiders, then Tennessee, then USC. Why? What has he done?
USC is a 7-6 team? Trojan players bitched about being in El Paso, and their indifference was obvious in watching the game. Never throwing the ball downfield. The QB Winnick regressed over the past month since the Notre Dame game. Just amazes me to see this happening. Kiffen was on the sidelines all bundled up cause his ass was cold while on the Georgia Tech sideline the coach was showing his players it aint cold, we are happy to be here and lets win the game. Kiffen should wake up this morning with a fucking horses head next to him on his bed.
-- Cincinnati Bengals have never won a road playoff game (0-5).
-- Philly's Nikola Vucevic had 20 points, 29 rebounds Tuesday, making him only second NBA player in last 12 years (Kevin Love) to get 20+ points, 29+ rebounds in same game. Vucevic played college ball at USC.
-- Virginia/VCU are starting a home/home basketball series starting next year, which makes sense. Need more of these intrastate rivalry games.
-- John Harbaugh is only NFL coach ever to win a playoff game in each of his first four seasons as a head coach.
-- Last time Kansas City Chiefs won a playoff game, Joe Montana was the QB and they were playing the Oilers in the Astrodome. Been a while.
-- Stanford held off Wisconsin 20-14, handing Big Dozen their 7th loss in last eight Rose Bowls. Barry Alvarez picked up a check for $118,000 for his day's work, not bad for the losing coach.
Wednesday's List of 13: Nobody asked me, but........
13) Seems odd to me that since Washington beat Florida in the '89 Freedom Bowl, there has been only one bowl game between the Pac-12 and SEC, the Oregon-Auburn national title game two years ago. How is that possible?
12) NFL teams who might be interested in hiring Penn State's Bill O'Brien as head coach should know that his contract buyout is right around $9M.
11) There are seven bowl games in Florida this year, most of any state.
10) Mike Holmgren wants to coach again? I'd have trouble hiring an older guy who has already won a title who once retired to spend more time with his family. His longterm commitment would be an issue for me.
9) Jesse Palmer/David Pollack are excellent combo on TV; you learn stuff about the game listening to them, which isn't the case with lot of guys.
8) First downs in Clemson's wild 25-24 win over LSU Monday night; 32 for Clemson, only nine for LSU. Didn't think that would happen.
7) Coolest play of the bowl season so far was Duke's 79-yard punt against Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl; it landed just in bounds, rolled about 15 yards further without going out of bounds, then was downed at the 1-yard line. Look it up on Youtube; weird kick.
6) Purdue started its bowl game with a fake punt inside its own 15-yard line, which exposed the level of competence of their interim coach. The fake worked, but not much else did, as Boilers lost 58-14, in one of the uglier, if not the ugliest bowl this season. Purdue getting 17 points was biggest spread in a bowl game in the last ten years.
5) Lot of college teams bring in different QBs when they get near the goal line, because that guy is a better runner, which makes sense, but it just bothers me when you take your starting QB out. Guess I've been watching too many NFL games, but if you have two QBs, then you don't have any.
4) Wisconsin/Stanford were both allotted 32,000 tickets for Rose Bowl; Cardinal sold theirs plus 8,000 more. I never considered Barry Alvarez to be a coaching legend, until Brent Musberger called him one Tuesday. If Brent calls you a legend, then you're a legend.
3) Not sure if it was my imagination or what, but Georgia-Nebraska game seemed more intense than the other bowl games.
2) Why are there four bowl games at noon/1:00 New Year's Day, then only one at 5 and another at 8:30? What if the late games are bad games? I'm watching NBA games then, I guess. I keep on saying this every year. I understand the Rose Bowl needs to be on at a time of their own for advertising etc. But why not put one of the west coast games on late night. Its not late for people on the west coast. You know how hard it is to watch 4 games at once. But I did it.
1) All these college football coaches have state troopers "protect" them during games, escort them off the field; I'd think NFL coaches need protection more than college guys do, but they don't have police escorts. Some of them do have a cop as a plain clothes escort (Coughlin does), but most don't.
Thursday's List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud........
13) How does Adrian Peterson not have a shoe deal? What am I missing? Guy runs for 2,000 yards, give him some free shoes and film a commercial. How difficult is that?
12) Stunning result in the Sugar Bowl, as Louisville spanked the Florida Gators 33-23 as a 14-point underdog in New Orleans. SEC teams are just so so in bowls so far this year. Teddy Bridgewater is a bigtime QB for Louisville. Had the moneyline and a big play on Louisville and should have done more.
11) Boise State, by the way, is the 18th school to bolt the Big East in the last eight years; Broncos and TCU bolted without ever playing a game there. Two years from now, the Big East may not exist.
10) Creighton 79, Illinois State 72, in what is one of Bluejays' toughest road games in the MVC this year; Wichita/Indiana State also figure to be a tough spot, but Creighton is a very good team.
9) An anonymous New Orleans Saint ripped DC Steve Spagnuolo for being an inflexible control freak with no personality. Hey, at least Spags hasn’t fired the equipment guy, like he did in St Louis.
8) Newsday’s TV/radio critic Neil Best, who is a good guy, points out that Knicks’ TV ratings in NYC are up 74% this season; winning helps, no hockey helps, but winning helps more.
7) There are a total of over 7,000 rooms in the Venetian/Palazzo in Las Vegas, the largest hotel in the world. Thats a lot of pillows.
6) Miami beat Dallas by 10 in OT, making the Mavericks 0-6 in overtime this season; Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points in 29 minutes, as he works his way back to full strength.
5) Mountain West Conference will pay $3M of Boise State’s $5M exit fee from the Big East. Because Boise left first, San Diego State won’t have to pay the Big East when they go back to the MWC, which needs to happen.
4) Chip Kelly is interviewing in Cleveland? Why? He's better off staying at Oregon than going to a cold weather city where his offense will have harder time having an impact. Go for the Arizona/San Diego jobs, Chip!!!
3) Maryland once had Vanderbilt coach James Franklin locked in as coach-in-waiting for when former coach Ralph Friedgen retired, but Franklin got impatient and took the Vandy job before Friedgen retired (he wound up getting fired right after Franklin left). Did Maryland screw up by letting him get away? Sure looks so.
2) Purdue beat Illinois for 8th straight time, upsetting the Illini 66-61 in West Lafayette. Boilers looked shaky at best in December, but this is a good start for them in conference play.
1) NFL will miss Ray Lewis’ passion and enthusiasm for playing; he will make an excellent studio analyst. Think he is better suited for the studio than analyzing games, but it remains to be seen. Four of Lewis’ former DC’s became head coaches, and three of them (Ryan-Lewis-Pagano) still are, along with Mike Nolan. He had an excellent career. We wish him well.
Friday's Dirty Dozen: Clearing out a cluttered mind.........
12) Colorado banked in a 3 to beat Arizona at the buzzer, but after looking at an inconclusive replay (it was this close), refs waved the hoop off, and 'zona beat the Buffaloes by 9 in OT. Highway robbery, in my mind.
That said, Colorado butchered the last minute trying to protect their lead, but that doesn't excuse the refs from giving home team a second chance to win, and I do mean giving them. If the replay is inconclusive, the original call has to stand, and this replay was nothing if not inconclusive.
11) Bruce Arians went 21-45 as HC at Temple from 1983-88; since then, he’s bounced around the country as an assistant coach, with six pro teams and two colleges. Thanks to the Colts’ storybook season this year, Arians is getting some looks from NFL teams as a head coach. At age 60.
Rumor has it Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t happy the Steelers let Arians go last year. Interesting to see if someone will give a 60-year old his first NFL head coaching gig.
10) Rumors are persisting that Nick Saban wants another shot at the NFL; whether this is true, or whether its Notre Dame people planting seeds trying to disrupt the Crimson Tide’s preparation for Monday night’s game, it’ll be interesting to follow. I wouldn’t be too anxious to be the guy that follows Saban in Tuscaloosa. The bar has been set very, very high.
9) Sunday night, March 31, Rangers at Astros in ESPN's season opener for baseball. First AL game for Houston. That’s not Final Four weekend, by the way; that’s the night of the last two regional finals. Baseball and college hoop overlap for a week this year.
8) If you invest in NBA games, you should know that Western Conference teams are already 34 games over .500 ATS when playing teams from the Eastern Conference. Just thought you should know.
7) Jets have already fired their GM and offensive coordinator; Thursday they fired their strength coach, as everyone but Rex Ryan takes the fall for this year’s debacle.
6) Baseball-reference.com informs us today that the fop four batters, in career OPS against the Red Sox are:
1) Nelson Cruz 2) Lou Gehrig 3) Frank Robinson 4) Mike Napoli.
Cruz is a good hitter, but not often you’ll see him ranked above two Hall of Famers in any category.
5) Rose/Orange Bowl did 11% better rating than LY’s games did. Not sure what that means, since neither game was especially interesting, though the Rose Bowl was close, at least. Maybe the Northern Illinois game did well in Chicago.
4) If I’m a Packer fan, I’m worried because Minnesota ran ball for 240-217 yards in their two meetings last month; if I’m a Viking Fan, I’m worried because Minnesota is 0-4 in outdoor games this year—all three of their road wins were in domes.
3) If I’m a Bengal fan, I’m worried because my team has never won a road playoff game (0-5). If I’m a Texan fan, I’m worried because my team just gagged away the #1 seed and a first round bye.
2) If I’m a Colts fan, I’m worried because Ray Rice is on the other side, and Indy gave up 352 rushing yards to the 2-14 Chiefs a couple weeks ago. If I’m a Ravens' fan, I’m worried because we’ve lost four of our last five games, and Indy has beaten us in eight of last nine meetings.
1) If I’m a Seattle fan, I’m worried because Washington won its last seven games and has a coach who won two Super Bowls. If I’m a Redskin fan, I’m worried because my QB is banged up and Seattle has been dominating teams with its defense. I’m also really glad Tony Romo plays for Dallas, or they might be playing in this game instead of us.
Bengals (10-6) @ Texans (12-4)—Houston blew #1 seed and first round bye with losses last two weeks; only once in last nine games have Texans won field position battle- they have only three takeaways in last four games (-2). Cincy won/covered seven of last eight games, losing to Dallas in game they controlled but screwed up late; they lost 31-10 here in this same exact game LY. In their history, Bengals are 0-5 in road playoff games; they’ve allowed 17 or less points in their last eight wins. This is a team that lost four games in row in Weeks 5-9, all games with spread of 4 or less points. Cincy has +11 turnover ratio in last 10 games, after being -7 in first six (+4 for year). Bengals are 6-2 on road this year (lost at Ravens in Week 1, Browns in Week 6); they’re 4-3 vs spread as underdogs this year, 3-1 at home. Houston lost three of last four games, but is 5-3 as home favorite this year, winning at home by 20-24-30-12-6-12 points, with losses to Packers/Vikings. AFC North road underdogs are 4-6 vs spread outside its division. AFC South home favorites are 5-2. Seven of last eight Bengal games, four of last five Texan games stayed under the total.
Vikings (10-6) @ Packers (11-5)—Home team won both series games this year, both played in December, with Minnesota running ball for 240-217 yards in those games; Vikings won/covered last four games, all as underdogs- they ran ball for average of 203 ypg in last five games, behind solid OL and behind prolific RB Peterson, but their problem is this: Minnesota is 3-5 on road this year, with all three wins in domed stadiums; they’re 0-4 outdoors this year, losing by 12-10-18-9 points, and their QB is Florida State alum who is suspect to make big plays in winter weather if needed. Vikings lost five of last six vs Packers, losing last three visits here, by 4-38-9 points. Green Bay blew bye with 37-34 loss to Vikings last week, fifth time this year (1-4) Pack didn’t have takeaway. Both teams had trouble getting other off field on 3rd down this year; in their meetings, Packers were 15-29 on third down, Minnesota 12-24. Underdogs are 4-3 vs spread last seven times divisional foes met in this round. Home favorites are 4-3 vs spread in NFC North divisional games; NFL-wide, divisional home favorites are 26-29-2. Average total in last nine series games is 53.1.
Colts (11-5) @ Ravens (10-6)—Lot of sidebars in this game; Colts coming back to Baltimore (they’re 9-3 vs Ravens, winning eight of last nine meetings, three of last four played here), former Indy coach Caldwell is now calling plays for Baltimore, former Raven DC Pagano replaced Caldwell as Colts’ head coach, returning from bout with leukemia to resume coaching last week, Ray Lewis’ pending retirement after a great 17-year career. Baltimore ended 8-game series losing streak with 24-10 win over Colts here LY, but they limp into playoffs, losing four of last five games; they fired their OC in December, rare occurrence for team with winning record- they were actually underdogs in last four games. Ravens are 2-4 as home favorite this year, winning at home by 31-1-7-2-35-19 points (lost to Steelers/Broncos). Indy has issues; they allowed 352 rushing yards at woeful Chiefs two weeks ago, but in storybook season (they were 1-15 LY), have overcome all odds behind rookie QB Luck. AFC North home favorites are 5-8 vs spread; AFC South road underdogs are 6-9. Colts won five of last six games, are 6-4 vs spread as underdogs this year, 2-4 away from home.
Seahawks (11-5) @ Redskins (10-6)—Since 2006, road favorites in Wild Card round (non-divisional winner favored over divisional winner) are 3-5 vs spread. Two rookie QBs, two hot teams. Seattle won five in row, seven of last eight games; they had scored 58-50-42 points in consecutive games before Rams challenged them in 20-13 Seattle win last week. Should be noted that Seahawks are 2-5 in true road games this year (beat Bills in Toronto), winning 16-12 at Carolina, 23-17 in OT at Chicago, game that ultimately cost Lovie Smith his job, so Hawks are not stellar road team (lost at Arizona-Rams-Lions-Miami). Washington won/covered last seven games, pulling out win last Sunday night over rival Cowboys in what was essentially a play-in game; they’ve run ball for average of 180.6 ypg over last five games. Redskins won six of last eight games with Seattle, but two losses came in ‘05/’07 playoffs, both played out west. Seattle is +12 in turnovers in last four games (+12 for season), Washington is +10 in last six games, +16 for season. NFC West road faves are 3-2 vs spread. NFC East favorites are 6-15 vs spread, 5-9 at home. Five of last six Seattle games, three of last four Redskin games went over the total.