Category Archives: Ohio

What We Learned: Wildcard Weekend Edition

WildCardWeekend

Absolutely bananas way to get this NFL post season underway.  All kinds of things happened on the gridiron (does anyone still call it that? Feel like I havent heard it in a while) from historic comebacks to clock mismanagement to Andy Dalton doing Andy Dalton things and a game played on a dirt parking lot in arctic temps.  Lots of things going on so lets see what we learned this Wildcard Weekend as we prepare for the next round of games this coming weekend.

Colts 45 Chiefs 44

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This was an absolutely wild game that set the tone for the weekend and saw all kinds of offensive playoff records being set amid one of the biggest comebacks in NFL post season history.

-You could kind of feel this one coming in the 1st half.  We’ve all seen it before when a team commits a major football faux pas and blows their load too early in a big game.

-It seemed like Kansas City was just playing too well too earl.  Every break was going their way, all of Alex Smith’s miraculous shovel passes found friendly hands and Andrew Luck played about as poorly as he possibly could

-And the Andrew Luck Playoff Comeback narrative was going to play amazing in the media. Indy came out of locker room, quickly went down 28 and then proceeded to take the game away from KC.

-This loss makes it an even 20yrs since Joe Montana led the Chiefs’ franchise to its last playoff victory.

-I mentioned in my picks blog prior to the weekend’s games that laying any money on Fat Andy Reid on the road in the playoffs is a terrifying proposition because of all of that wonderful clock management ability he’s shown over the years.

-Wouldnt you know it, suddenly down 1 but driving the Chiefs come out of the two minute warning break and…promptly burn their last time out. The king is dead, long live the king.

-That last Indy TD was a gift for anyone that had KC +1, pretty much ensured at worst a push and with Big Ref in charge of the clock that was really comforting

Saints 24 Eagles 23

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What an opening day of the post season we got this year. Jesus, two games decided by one point played in wildly different styles. Great stuff.

-Both offenses came out of the gates sluggish in this one. They managed to find some rhythm in the second half and started exchanging scores.

-The self inflicted head injury to Keenan Lewis allowed Foles to find some receivers open in space and for a brief moment in time it looked like the Eagles were going to pull this one out and continue the Saints’ road playoff woes.

-That is until the Iggles somehow managed to allow Darren Sproles to return the kick off back to midfield. Couple that with 15yds for a horse collar tackle and the Saints were in business.

-At the time it seemed like that horse collar tackle was a neccessary evil but hindsight being what it is one has to wonder if maybe the Eagles would have been in better shape had that tackle been missed and Sproles took it to the house with more than 3 minutes to go.  That’s an awful lot of Armchair QBing but worth a mention for sure.

-Then Chuck Kelly, apparently a graduate of the Andy Reid School of Clock Management called a mad weird time out prior to the 2-minute warning. Just a complete and utter Fat Andy-esque ending to that game.

Chargers 27 Bengals 10

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What the fuck was with this game? Zero rhythm at all, injury time outs, penalties and booth reviews all over the place. The final 2 min of the 1st half took roughly 45 min.

-My notes from this game can be found by clicking on me

-Oh and this game also provided us with this little gem of a stat from everyone’s favorite maybe human Darren Rovell

well now I just feel really fuckin old. thanks a lot, dick

49ers 23 Packers 20

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About as entertaining of end to the weekend as anyone could have asked for.  This game saw offense in flurries towards the ends of both halves with some stagnant offense/good defense played in between.

-The 49ers dominated the 1st Qtr and yet somehow came away with only two FGs.  They had GB beat on both sides of the ball and the Packers just  looked flat out lifeless

-That is until Truman Williams undercut Vernon Davis on a ball under thrown by Kaepernick which breathed some life into the Green Bay side especially after Truman buried his helmet into Kaepernick’s.

-Truman Williams lived out the dream of many an NFL defender on that one.  Got to believe that in this day and age of Roughing the Passer every defenders dream is to be returning a turn over and see the QB lowering his head to make the tackle.

-I have to think that someone on the San Francisco sidelines grabbed Kap the second he got off of the field to remind him that “making tackles with your helmet” is no where to be found in his job description

-The INT really did provide the spark that Green Bay needed in the 2nd Qtr as the Packer marched down the field and scored the games first TD on a beautiful throw to Jordy Nelson.

-Hey guys did you know it was cold in Green Bay yesterday? Like super cold.  At least Joe Buck handled the elements well and didnt whine on national TV for 3 hours, that would have sucked.

Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers

-After a punt happy 3rd Qtr both teams got their offenses in gear just in time to give us a fantastic finish

-How Randal Cobb can continually find an open pocket in the middle of the field when Rodgers breaks the pocket is surreal.

-Oh and apparently holding doesn’t apply in Green Bay to the Packers.  Good to know for next season.

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-When the 49ers got the ball back with 5min to go in a tie game I had the old “here we go again” feeling regarding Kaepernick and the Packers.  He broke the pocket for a few big runs and the rest of the time Harbaugh just used Frank Gore as the battering ram that he is.

-The Packers defensive deficiencies were glaringly apparent on that final drive.  They just could not muster up an answer for the monster that Frank Gore is which allowed SF to set up Phil Dawson for a nice easy chip shot.

-Which was essential because in those temps he was basically kicking a rock and for a split second it appeared that kick was going to be blocked (he was called offsides but whatever, it makes the story more dramatic) and then that it might screwball itself wide right but found itself true through the uprights. Ball game San Francisco.

Next week we have four rematches from earlier in the regular season and one round three between division rivals.  We’ll get into that later this week in a Division Round Picks post but lets all just hope that we get as good of a slate of football next weekend as we did this weekend.

If You Were Carlos Hyde How Pissed Would You Be That Matt Millen Said You Were “Going To Be An Excellent Pro”?

play above for the audio from the game

Infinity.  I would be infinity pissed off.  There is literally no scale humans could ever come up with nor comprehend that would be able to measure my level of anger towards Matt Millen.  Getting an endorsement from Millen that you’re “going to be an excellent pro” is effectively the kiss of death on your NFL career before halftime of the Orange Bowl.  Remember Matt Millen is the man that spent seven years carefully crafting the 0-16 Detroit Lions, his Magnum Opus if you will.  This is the man that in consecutive years at the top end of th 1st round of the NFL Draft selected Joey Harrington (3rd Overall 2002), Charles Rogers (2nd Overall 2003), Roy Williams (WR, 7th Overall 2004), Mike WIlliams (WR USC, 10th Overall 2005), Ernie Sims (LB, 9th Overall 2006), Calvin Johnson (2nd Overall 2007) and Gosder Cherilus (OT, 17th Overall 2008).  Obviously Megatron #2 overall in ’07 was a homerun in the draft that saw JaMarcus Russel go 1st Overall but other than that, woof.  And there werent any late round gems in there either.  It’s too bad to because Hyde’s draft stock has been rising pretty meteorically towards the end of his senior campaign and had positioned himself to possibly be the first Tailback taken off the board this April.  That is until Matt Millen interfered.  Sorry Carlos.  I feel for you my man, thats a tough beat to dance to.

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Why? Why Matt Millen? Why would you do that to me?

Lets Make Some NFL Playoff Picks

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Everyone else on tv and the interwebs seems to be picking this weekend’s slate of games against the spread and I’m just as if not smarter than all these motherfuckers so I figure I should get in the game myself, here’s my picks for Wild Card Weekend:

Kansas City +1 @ Indy (Sat  1:35pm PST)

The first game of the weekend is also probably the toughest call, Indy giving 1 point at home is basically Vegas just throwing their hands up in the air and saying “fuck it, you guys figure it out”.  On one side you have an amazingly inconsistent Colts team with (a wildly overrated) Andrew Luck at the helm.  No other team benifited more from the Patriots breaking the Texans sole on MNF towards the end of last season than Indianapolis.  If there were another half decent team in the AFC South the Colts probably wouldn’t even be here.  However picking Andy Reid and Alex Smith on the road in the playoffs is kind of a terrifying proposition since you know, Andy Reid will be in charge of clock management.  In the end on this one I think the loss of Reggie Wayne earlier this season is going to kill them in this game and the Chiefs should lean heavily on Jamaal Charles and their Defense.

Gun to my head I think Jam Chuck carries the Chiefs offense, lets Alex Smith do his minimalist QB thing and take any time management issues out of Big Red’s hands by grinding out clock on the ground.  The pick if I had to: Chiefs + 1

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New Orleans @ Philly – 2.5 (5:10pm PST)

The Saints have a tough time playing on the road.  Charlie Kelly’s Eagles are fahkin rollin along right now.  The game is in Philladelphia and the weather should be just alright saturday.  It’s going to be cold, around 20 at kickoff, but should be snow and relatively wind free.  Plus Shady McCoy has a championship belt.

Got to believe that No Huddle No Mercy allows Shady to put off our rock, paper, scissors title belt unification match for the ages another week.  The Pick: Eagles – 2.5

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San Diego +7 @ Cincinnati (Sun 10am PST)

I love the Chargers to win this game outright for the same reason I fully expected them to lose last week to KC (and boy howdy did they ever try to lose to Andy Reid’s JV Squad), its the San Diego Chargers. They sabotage themselves in games they’re supposed to win and somehow pull out Ws when absolutely nobody expects it. This is exactly who they’ve been in the Phil Rivers Era. I know Cinnci is a ball hawking Defense and that they crank that D up a notch at home. I am aware that they went undefeated at home this season and that it will be what meteorologists refer to as cold as balls Sunday afternoon in the Queen City but this is EXACTLY the kind of game the Chargers win. And does anybody really trust Marvin Lewis and the Red Rocket in a big game? When was the last time anyone saw the Bengles (or any key component of their current roster) win or even make a significant (positive) play in a huge game? I got nothing.

Despite all the evidence pointing the other way my pick here is: Chargers +7 (+225 on the M/L is worth a thought as well)SD_Chargers1

San Fransisco – 3 @ Green Bay (1:35pm PST)

Man oh man.  The NFL is closing out the Wildcard Weekend with a fucking bang.  And by bang I mean what is predicted to be one of the colder games in recent memory, with a high of FIVE and a low of MINUS TWENTY FOUR! I had to spell those numbers out because I wanted to make sure everyone understood that wasn’t some sort of typo.  Kickoff for this game is set for 3:35pm local time and the sun will be gone dragging with it whatever little warmth it was providing.  Its always going to be tempting to hammer GB catching three points at home with Aaron Rodgers.  Its even more tempting when you factor in a California team traveling to those kinds of temps.  But the thing is at those temps all advantage for being a cold weather team is fucking scrubbed.  At those temps its just fucking cold no matter whom you are.  Also its worth factoring in that fresh break on ARodges collar bone is going to sting like a mother in this cold.  Once you factor in the weather this game should come down to Frank Gore and Eddie Lacy bashing into the opponents defense.  While its always difficult to pick against the Packers at Lambeau but they arent unbeatable in playoffs at home as history has shown us.

The Packers come riding in hot after that Chicago win but I have a strange feeling that Frank Gore will end up as a battering ram and SanFran’s D tends to travel pretty well.   Yay area rejoice The Pick: 49ers -3

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Presidential Debauchery Dream Team

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Lets say that we were given the opportunity to assemble a Dream Team of United States Presidents to go on a balls-out weekend tear with.  I’m talking a full three or four day bender in Las Vegas or New Orleans or Miami or Thailand or where ever your favorite debauching location happens to be.  Point is you get to pick 5 POTUS to go partying with and since it’s a “Dream Team” lets break down my selections (aka the right ones) basketball starting 5 style:

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