AFC Wildcard Preview: Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs.

Image result for Chiefs vs. Titans

Saturday afternoon will feature the first of two AFC Wild Card Playoff Matchups.  The 5 seed, Tennessee Titans will travel to Kansas City, to take on the 4 seed, Chiefs. The Chiefs haven’t won a home playoff game in their last 5 attempts.  Tennessee has not qualified for postseason play since 2008.  Looks to me like this one has all the makings of a shitty Wild Card match-up.

Image result for ravens titans divisional playoffs

Tennesse Titans: 

The Titans are back in post season play for the first time since 2008.  That was a 13-10 loss at the expense of the Baltimore Ravens.  This season has been a bit of a roller coaster for them.  At times, Marcus Mariota looks flawless, and the Titans look like a real contender.  Other times, they look mediocre at best.  They finished the year with a 9-7 record.  The problem with the Titans is I don’t feel like they had any real signature wins this season.  Their best wins on paper were at home against Seattle in week 3, and at Houston in week 4.  Nothing to write home about.  The Titans Defense will have it’s handsfull with the Chiefs Offense.  They rank 17th in the NFL in points allowed (356), and 13th in yards allowed.  They have played a weak schedule as well.

Marcus Mariota was poised to take the proverbial “Next Step” in 2017, but has fallen short.

Mariota stats.JPG

WOOF.  Brutal season from the ex Oregon Duck.  Obviously, it’s the turnovers that present the largest concern.  Generally in the postseason, whoever wins the turnover battle, wins the game.  Mariota is going to have to make plays with his legs, along with his arm.  He is known for his ability to extend plays with his feet.  He did rush for 312 yards, and 5 rushing touchdowns on the year.  Personally, he sucks.  Look for him to look like shit.

Kansas City Chiefs:

Much like their opponent, the Chiefs have had an up-and-down 2017.  They started out looking the immediate Super Bowl Contenders beating the New England Patriots 42-27 on opening night.  Four more wins came at the expense of the Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, and Texans.  They were off to a 5-0 start, and we go a boat load of the “Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl Contenders” talk.

They would go on to lose 6 of their next 7 games.  The losses came at the hands of the Steelers, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants, Jets, and Bills.  They certainly showed their true colors.  They did finish the season with four wins in a row over the Raiders, Chargers, Broncos, and Dolphins.  All crap bag teams.

Image result for Marcus Peters flag

Chiefs Quarterback, Alex Smith seems to be on borrowed time with Patrick Mahomes breathing down his neck.

smith stats.JPG

Still a solid year for Smith.  He doesn’t turn the ball over whatsoever.  This trait is vital, in the playoffs.  Ultimately, Smith’s ball protection will likely be the key too the game.  If Tennessee can force some turnovers, then they may be able to sneak out a win.

Smith will be looking to chuck the rock to Tyreek Hill, his speedy deep threat. Hill has 1,183 yards, 7 touchdowns in 2017.

Image result for Tyreek Hill

Kansas City has the league’s leading rusher at their disposal, in Kareem Hunt.  Hunt finished 2017 with 1,327 rushing yards, and 8 touchdowns.  Look for Hunt to make an impact running the ball, catching it in the passing game, and make an impact on special teams.

The Chiefs defense ranks 15th in the league in points allowed, and 28th in yards allowed.  Not quite the stout Kansas City Chiefs defense of years past.  However, they do have insane playmakers in Justin Houston, Marcus Peters, and Tamba Hali.

Final Verdict: 

Chiefs 21 – Titans 10

The Chiefs are just far too well rounded for the Titans, who just barely got in.  I don’t love the Chiefs going much further, but they’ll throw their fanbase a bone, and win a meaningless Wild Card game in 2018.

I leave you with a photo from the Chiefs last home playoff win:

Image result for arrowhead 1993 playoffs

Advertisements

Bruins Beat 1/4

The Boston Bruins opened up the 2018 Calendar year in spectacular fashion. The boys would kick the shit out of the Islanders 5-1. Great start to the new year indeed. Like many games recently, this wasn’t much of a contest.

The Islanders came into the game in a playoff position. Given how tough the Metropolitan Division that could change quickly. Once again, this game had scheduled loss written all over it. Random Tuesday night game in Brooklyn. Just didn’t have the feel of Bruins victory.

As they have for most of the season, the Bruins proved me wrong. From the drop of the puck they seemed to have their legs. They applied a relentless forecheck with all 4 lines early. At 8:17 of the first period, Danton Heinen ripped a wrist shot over the glove hand of Jaroslav Halak. The goal came from Riley Nash winning a face-off right back to Heinen, who slotted it home. 1-0 Bruins in the first.

Just over a minute later, the Bruins would be victimized similarly to the Islanders. Off. Brandon Carlo got the puck in front of Tuukka Rask off a defensive zone face-off. Carlo ended up having a car wreck, falling down, and kicking the puck in front of the net. Jordan Eberle hopped on the gift, and put it home

The first period would come to a close at 1-1. Carlo’s blunder had undermined what was a great first period from the Bruins. In the second, the B’s continued to hound the puck. Most notably, the fourth line. Tim Schaller, Noel Acciari, Sean Kuraly. A group of JAGS, but damn good ones. Kuraly in particular due to his speed, and relentlessness. This line made the Islanders look foolish all night. They drew multiple penalties on the Islanders, and 8:28 into the second, Patrice Bergeron batted home a wrap around goal to make it 2-1 Bruins. Perfect Patrice was behind his own net, caught the puck that bounced over the crossbar, put it down, and wrapped home short side. Perfect Patrice strikes again.

The game was 2-1 until mid-way through the third period. David Pastrnak stripped the puck from Cal Clutterbuck in the neutral zone. It created a 2 on 1, which Pasta beautifully sold a shot. Pasta slipped a pass over to Marchand, who ripped the puck home to make it 3-1 Bruins. Tim Schaller, and Noel Acciari would each notch a goal to ice the game. 5-1 win for the Bruins.

Tuesday was a night for the fourth line. They hounded the puck all night, and made life hell for Islander defenders. Each member isn’t afraid to use their body to make a few plays. They can also chip in on the scoresheet. Can’t find a better 4th line in the league right now.

Wednesday saw the Bruins assign forward, Anders Bjork to the Providence Bruins.

Bjork was the odd man out here, as he had been on the 9th floor in street clothes since David Krejci returned to the lineup. This was the right move to make for the kid. Let him go down, and play top minutes at the Dunk. Providence has been instrumental in the development of Debrusk, Heinen, and Pastrnak. Bjork will find his way back to Boston in no time.

Tonight’s game against Atlantic Division foe, Florida Panthers has been cancelled due to the horrid storm. The Boys will get a few extra days of rest, as their next game will see the Carolina Hurricanes come to TD Garden. Puck drop 7:00 pm on Saturday. Let’s go Bruins!!!

Cleveland Browns’ Quarterback Sam Darnold/Josh Rosen Declares for NFL Draft.

Kudos to Sashi Brown. Really, what an absolute masterpiece of a tank job. Last night, USC’s Sam Darnold, and UCLA’s Josh Rosen both declared for the NFL draft. Cleveland’s offseason will come down to which one they’ll choose. Personally, I’m not too thrilled with either one. I really feel like Rosen, and Darnold will go 1 and 2, a la Mariota and Winston, or Goff and Wentz. In that regard, we’re stuck with one of them, so let’s pick one and roll with it. Build the fucking team around him.

Right now if you put a switchblade to my balls, and asked me who the better Quarterback was, I’d say Rosen. He’s got a more rounded game than Darnold. He’s obviously very smart, makes the right reads, and doesn’t force it too much. I see Rosen having a Alex Smith type career. Not great, but not bad in any way.

Now, for Darnold. Based on chatter surrounding these two, Darnold seems like he’ll be the pick. He’s not the better of the two quarterbacks right now, but he has the tools to have a higher ceiling than Rosen. Sam is big, 6’4 225 lbs, a frame which will come in handy in the AFC North. His highlight clips indicate that he has more willingness to take risks with the Football. I’m more than ok with it, so long as he can be coached properly on when to take them.

I like the fact that Darnold is willing to make some risks to make plays. Based off the highlight clip he can do it with his legs as well. He’s certainly not Michael Vick, but he can improvise with his legs when needed.

As mentioned in previous posts it’s going to come down to which one isn’t a Nancy boy. Who’s willing to accept the challenge of joining the Cleveland Browns. So far, Darnold is the leader in that regard:

So I sit here on January 4th and am telling you that Sam Darnold will likely be picked 1st overall in April. I’m not exactly thrilled, but I still have some hope. Unfortunately, the only quarterback that’s really intrigues me is Baker Mayfield.

He presents the most upside out of any quarterback out there. He’s got the swagger, drive, and ability to lead a team on Sunday’s. There are obviously off the field concerns, but I generally feel like he wants it more on the field than the QB he’s most compared to, Johnny Manziel.

The Rose Bowl was telling in a negative way for Mayfield. He had his Sooners up 31-17 at the half. They ended up losing the game 54-48. I thought it would be a game where Mayfield would go out, and take a win from Georgia. It never happened. Suspect play-calling was an issue, but Mayfield seemed to wilt. It was a concerning game for him.

Still a long way to go, but again it just seems inevitable Darnold will be the guy. The Browns have some options, as they pick 4th overall as well.

Oh I can certainly fuck with that.

Browns Hire Alonzo Highsmith for VP of Football Operations.

Well, it looks we have our first John Dorsey hire of the off-season, in Alonzo Highsmith.  Highsmith announced that he would be joining John Dorsey’s staff, as Vice President of Football Operations.  He spent the last 19 years in Green Bay working to build a Super Bowl contender.

Good to See Mr. Dorsey getting his ducks in a row here before a long, and very lonely off-season for the Cleveland Browns.  By all accounts, Highsmith, like Dorsey seems more than qualified for the job.  He is a well respected Football lifer, who is known for his ability to identify, and develop talent.

Image result for John Dorsey Alonzo Highsmith

Let’s take a quick look at some of the highlights from Highsmith’s interview with ESPN regarding the move:

“We discussed so many ideas and all kinds of stuff,” Highsmith said in a phone interview from Cleveland. “I was exposed to so much stuff today. That’s why I thought it was as great opportunity. It feels good to go somewhere that you feel like you’re trusted…

This is an opportunity to build something from the ground up, having an input, working with John Dorsey, who I respect a great deal,” Highsmith said. “To watch his work ethic today — we watched film all day. He made me feel rejuvenated. It was a lot of fun today”

 

Image result for drooling emoji

Seriously, that quote made it move.  Alonzo has made a name for himself, especially in the draft.  It was documented in the ESPN piece that he convinced the Packers Brass to pick Donald Driver in the seventh round of the 1999 draft.  He was also instrumental in scouting, and bringing in un-drafted free agent Cornerback, Sam Shields.  Shields was a major contributor in the Packers Super Bowl win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.

Image result for Sam Shields Alonzo Highsmith

As second thing that stands out is taking a look at Wide Receivers drafted, and developed by the Packers.  Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Devante Adams, and James Jones just to name a few.  Just a bunch of guys that were starters, and contributes on very good teams.  A couple of number 1 receivers in that list as well.

Lets take a look at what they got running routes in Berea, Oh.  The Browns have Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins, Bryce Treggs, Jordan Leslie, Jordan Payton, Ricardo Louis, and Kasen Williams, and Bug Howard.  I’d like to think Highsmith will help turn this group of mush into something, or draft new guys.

Again I don’t have the slighest clue how this dude will fair in Cleveland.  I pray Dorsey know’s exactly what is needed, and is lining up his people in place to execute the plan.  Highsmith seems like a positive step forward.

The off-season is our season baby!

https://twitter.com/CoachT2658/status/948614465901289472

Oakland, How Could You Be So Stupid?

Insane.  On Sunday, cocky Adam Schefter strutted his stuff on Twitter, and SportsCenter reporting that Jon Gruden will be the next Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders.  I for one, cannot believe a team would make such an asinine decision to hire Gruden.  Not only are they going to hire him, they are offering him an Ownership Stake!  INSANITY!

What a complete, and utter gong-show.  Was Gruden once a very good NFL coach?  Absolutely, the man has won a Super Bowl.  It was clear by the end of his tenure in Tampa, that the game had passed him by.  Hi defense wasn’t what it once was, and he had an aging roster.  Since his win over Oakland in 2002, his teams toiled in mediocrity.  He was fired in 2009.  Since that time he’s done Hooter’s Commercials, and “Gruden’s QB Camp”.  They really want to hire this guy?  He is a goddamn media personality now.  He has been for quite some time, what makes the Raiders think he will do any better than Del Rio?

The Raiders pretty much pissed on Del Rio this past weekend.  He was fired after going 6-10, just one season after finishing 12-4.  Del Rio is a joke in his own right, but the man restored respectability to a once proud Franchise.  They canned him before they could even get on the flight home.  That’s the Oakland Raiders for ya!

Image result for jack del rio fired

Overall I’d be super pissed if my team went after Gruden.  Granted, he’s probably (definitely) better than Hue Jackson.  Gruden is a media circus.  The internet lost it’s bonkers when the news broke.  Now imagine mini-camp, OTA’s, and Training Camp?  Going to be a fucking zoo.

I’d also be worried about how long he was removed from NFL coaching.  He hasn’t coached a game in nearly 10 years.  Long ass time to be removed from the best league in the world.  Back in ’09 it seemed like Gruden’s methods and schemes had gone stale.  Wonder how they will look in 2018-19?

Now, I think he could be a good coach for a still very young Derek Carr.  I think Gruden’s ability to connect with Quarterback’s on a personal, and coaching level is very real.  Spider 2 y Banana man!

I would also like to think that he is inheriting a pretty good roster.  The Tampa 2 defense he inherited in Tampa Bay was one of the best of all time.  He doesn’t have anything similar in Oakland, but they have Kalil Mack, Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Amari Cooper, Donald Penn, and many other good foundational players Jon can work with.   I still think this is an extremely asinine decision to mortgage so much on a man who’s been a TV personality for so long.  The Raiders had better hope this works out, or dark times will be ahead.

Image result for Gruden qb camp Carr

Bruins Beat 1/2

Image result for Bruins vs. Senators 12/30

The Boston Bruins ended their 2017 Calendar year with an impressive 5-0 shutout win over the “dead from the neck up” Ottawa Senators.  It was the second time the Bruins had played them this week alone.  Saturday night they played the Sens in their barn, Canadian Tire Centre. The outcome of the game was the exact same however, a fucking beat down.

The first period saw both teams come out with some jump.  The Senators were matching the Bruins scoring chances in the first.  8:13 into the first Ottawa Native, Ryan Spooner banged home a rebound to make it 1-0 Bruins.

Overall good puck movement on the power play.  They found Krejci for a hard slapshot threw traffic from the point.  Anderson couldn’t handle it, and Spooner was there to clean up the trash.  With David Krejci coming back, it looks as if the Bruins will get a much needed boost on the Power Play.

At 3:23 of the second period, Noel Acciari made it 2-0 Bruins.  The onslaught was on, when Ryan Spooner scored his second goal of the game. It came just two minutes after Acciari scores the Bruins second. Spooner won a puck race in the neutral zone, then beat Ben Harpur to the front of the cage.  It was 3-0 Bruins.

The Bruins added two more power play goals in the third from returning center, David Krejci, and Patrice Bergeron. Tuukka Rask notched another shutout, and was named the NHL’s Player of the Month for December.

The game was honestly over long before the two third period goals.  Acciari’s goal to make it 2-0 in the second took the wind out of the Senator’s sails.  They then decided to not give a fuck for the next 18-19 minutes of play.  When all is going well for Ottawa, they play what is called a 1-3-1 neutral zone trap.  It is the most garbage form of play.  Basically just slowly surround the puck in the neutral zone, until there is a giveaway.  Rather than forecheck in the offensive zone, guys hold back to play the fucking trap.

Image result for 1-3-1 trap

Senators coach, Guy Boucher is famous for employing this tactic.  The defending team lines three guys across their own defensive blue line, and one forward plays the man with the puck in front of the three lined up defenders.  There is another defenseman that plays in his own zone behind the wall of three.  It clogs the whole neutral zone to a point in which teams can’t function against it.  Last season the 1-3-1 trap frustrated the shit out many teams, including the Bruins.  It is a good system when guys are willing, and committed to playing that way.  The 2018 Senators do not care.  Last year, the B’s could barely get the puck into the offensive zone, against the Senators, and tonight they won 5-0.  They have outscored the Senators 9-1 in their match-ups.  Time to blow it up and get rid of the Bond Villain (Guy Boucher).

Image result for Guy Boucher Senators

Tonight, tune it to catch the B’s in Brooklyn to take on the New York Islanders.  The Islanders come in at 20-15-4 record. That is good for 44 points.  Right now, it’s towards the bottom of playoff seeding.  It is a playoff spot none the less.

Tuukka Rask will be between the sticks for the Bruins tonight.  Nothing has changed lineup wise, and why should it?  The game in Ottawa really showed how important David Krejci is to this team.  When he came back all of a sudden they started potting a few more chances on the powerplay, they have more overall depth, and Krech just makes players around him better.  He slows the game down to his pace, allowing his linemates get into dangerous shooting positions.  He’s got hands as soft as a feather.  He can make any pass on the ice, and is good in the face-off circle.  It has certainly been nice to have Krech back.  Here’s to hoping he can stay healthy.

Veteran Net-Minder Jaroslav Halak will be manning the cage for the Isles.  Bruins fans might not want to, but definitely keep an eye on Islanders Rookie Center, Matthew Barzal.  In 2014-15 the Bruins had a chance to draft him on three consecutive picks., and did not pick him.  It kind of stings, because Barzal has 13 goals, 23 assists, and 36 points in his rookie campaign.  He tops all rookies in points, and is 1 goal behind Arizona Coyote’s forward Clayton Keller for tops in goals.

Image result for mathew barzal

As always, let’s go Bruins!

0-16.

0-16.  Oh and fucking sixteen.  This past Sunday was the worst Sports related event in my lifetime.  What happened is exactly what I did NOT want to happen.  The Browns played the Steelers hard, as Brown, Bell, and Ben did not suit up.  The Browns were driving late in the 4th quarter to take the lead.  It was 28-24 Steelers with under 2 minutes left to play.  Kizer was leading a march into Steeler territory, where they found themselves a 4th and 2 from the Pittsburgh 27.  After a timeout the Browns shockingly drew up a play that left Corey Coleman WIDE OPEN for an easy first down, and probably a touchdown.  The ball went right through his hands ending the game.

Image result for Corey Coleman drop

Again, not much to analyze.  They lost.  Again.  You try to prepare for 0-16, but never really can.  The pain, anger, and sadness felt once the game was over just can’t compare to anything I’ve felt sports.  I hope to look at back at this season one day, and be able to smile.  I highly doubt it I’m afraid.  The Browns secured the #1 overall, pick and #4 overall pick with a Texans loss on Sunday.  Great!  There isn’t a QB worth my morning shit coming out of College.  Great, just fucking great.  They’re going to pick some bag of milk like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or Josh Allen (? No idea if that’s even his name). Anyone watch Darnold on Saturday? WOOF.

Image result for Sam Darnold interception

I am not going predict who they take, or even give you some BS as to who they should take. Whoever they pick better be properly developed, and the team built around him.  Godspeed whatever poor bastard gets chosen.

Unfortunately, it looks like it will come down to Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen.  Leader in the clubhouse seems to be Sam Darnold, simply because there isn’t rumblings of him having a swollen camel toe like our man at UCLA, Josh Rosen (What a pussy).

Again, what a pussy.  Look dude, part of being drafted high is the fact that 90% of the teams suck.  It’s nothing new guy.  He apparently would prefer a more stable frachise in the New York Giants.  Yeah Josh, the Giants are a real model Franchise right now, huh?

Image result for boat boys giants

Despite Rosen apparently being a massive loser, he does have OK numbers:

Rosen stats.JPG

Solid enough numbers that’s for damn sure, but UCLA sucks in a garbage Conference.

Darnold has put up similar numbers:

Darnold stats.JPG

Not much there, but Darnold has 387 more passing yards than Rosen with 3 more interceptions.  Overall, the numbers are eerily similar.  There is one stat that stands out to me.  With the same exact numbers Rosen’s UCLA went 6-7 overall this season.  Darnold lead USC to 11-3. So, I guess it will come down to which player is less of a pussy?  Which ever one declares, and open about being ok with going to Cleveland will be picked.

So, everything really hinges on whether or not he will come out.  Who knows if he will.  I don’t follow College Football closely, especially Schools on the West Coast.  Hopefully does so we can take him #1 overall, and get this thing going.  If not, take some other QB (Baker Mayfield, Rosen, Allen).  Either way, no dicking around with the QB position this year.  Pick a guy, and direction for fucks sake.

Finally, to coaching.  Hue Jackson.  Wow.  I have never hated someone as much as Hue.  Hue came out, and blamed all of the players for this 0-16 campaign as par for the course.   He spews nothing but incoherent bullshit.  He even had the balls to pat himself on the back for the job he did:

Job well done Hue, you vile weed.  He couldn’t be more wrong.  Is the team bad?  Yes!  Absolutely they suck, but they are not 0-16 suck.  How many games over the past 2 years should have been won had the team had half a clue? upwards to 10.  I hope soon his players completely turn on him, and trash him in the media.  He deserves it for constantly blaming them.  The players aren’t the ones who completely ruined DeShone Kizer.  Kizer is fucking good.  He has all the tools, ability, and toughness to be a starting QB in the NFL.  Had he been coached properly, they probably win against Green Bay, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh TWICE, Jacksonville, and Detroit.   DeShone had a rough year, but he is not as bad his stats would indicate.  There were a lot of boneheaded decisions, but not all were on him.

Kizer stats

Hue refused to dial down the offense to acclimate a rookie QB.  Despite having arguably one of the worst Wide Receiving corps in league history, he’d still have Kizer chuck it up to JAG’s.  The Browns were in the top 10 in the league in passes attempted over 30 yards.  Inexcusable.  They refused to run the ball, or gave up half-way through games.

DeShone exhibited the ability to make plays with his legs this season, amassing 417 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns.  Solid.  Definitely a foundation to build on.  Poor kid was set up to fail. Say it with me again, “Fuck Hue Jackson”.  I hope they hold on to Kizer whether they go in for a Darnold/Rosen draft pick, or Cousins/Taylor free agent.

Image result for DeShone Kizer browns

It is going to one hell of an off-season for the Browns.  Over $100 million in cap space to waste, and two top 5 draft picks. We’ll see how it goes.  Hopefully they don’t, “drop the ball” 😉

Image result for Browns 0-16