Saturday, January 31, 2015




Regular Season Results:
On Vacation! 

Final Regular Season Record:  107-100-5
Wild Card Record:  0-4
Divisional Round:  2-2
Championship Round:  1-1
Overall Record:  110-107-5
BAGELS in the Basket:  -2

Got my mind on my Bagels and my Bagels on my mind:  Let's roll dough...  I'm a pair of Bagels in the hole; every pun intended.  So the only thing I can do is double down in the hopes of breaking even with the local baker.  Ha!  Get it?

  • I'll have two Bagels on the coin toss please = TAILS!  WIN +2
  • One Bagel says the Seahawks kick the first field goal.  WIN +1
  • One Bagel says the Patriots score the first touchdown.  WIN +1
  • I'm rolling 5 Bagels(!) on the chance Marshawn Lynch scores a touchdown, and grabs his junk.  DIDN'T SEE IT. DAMN!  -5
  • The O/U is set (48); two Bagels says Over.  WIN +2
Including 2 Bagels on the game itself, that makes a baker's dozen into the oven.

Patriots 28; Seahawks 24  WIN +2

I finished +1 for the season.  Pass the cream cheese and jelly please!

  • 1st and Ten: With a victory Seattle would be the first team to repeat since Tom Brady and the Patriots won back to back Lombardi trophies; XXXVIII and XXXIX, or, Tom Brady would tie Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for most QB Super Bowl victories with four.
  • 2nd and Long: Russell Wilson is going for his second SB victory in just his third season in the league.  Notable two timing QB's: Eli Manning, Jim Plunkett, Bart Star, Roger Staubach, John Elway, Ben Roethlisberger, (honorable mention = Bob Griese).
  • No Gain: I get what Marshawn Lynch has been up to.  I have no problem whatsoever with his media boycott, or with the way he's handled himself.  His figurative silence, has made his position crystal clear.  I can't say the same for Richard Sherman.  His act; literally trying to outsmart, and belittle the media; is getting real old, real fast.  I wish he'd take a cue from Lynch, and just shut up.  I congratulate him on the eminent birth of his child though.  I'd even respect his decision to skip the game to attend the birth.  That's what dads do, and that's cool with me.  His act, however, is not.  He definitely jumped the shark during that 49ers game against Crabtree.  He was pleasantly more anonymous prior to that.
  • PUNT!  Roger Goodell's tenure has been an ongoing punchline.  He's more practiced at cover-ups, than understanding a cover-two.  Soliciting a physicist, then having some inconsequential equipment handler become Scotland Yard's number one suspect in DeflateGate is far out man.   Can someone book Goodell a room in a Holiday Inn please?  If the league is so insistent on pursuing a deflated balls controversy, they should call Woody Allen.
And Now, a Word from the Sponsor: Me

Thank you all for tuning in to my PIGSKIN PICKS, and for riding my TROLLEY on Football Sundays.  I hope I provided at least a small measure of entertainment in return for your time this season.

Guten Apetit!

It's the Super Bowl; I'm going traditional.

Fruits; nuts; cheese/crackers; shrimp.

A towering salsa/chips inferno; stuffed mushrooms; homemade beer battered/lemon zest onion rings; my special pickled green tomatoes; salads.

Wings! A) mix of hot sauce, teriyaki sauce, BBQ sauce.
Wings! B) garlic, parmesan cheese.

Grilled flank steak with chimichurri sauce; grilled corn on the cob finished with paprika and roasted garlic butter; grilled zucchini, eggplant, and peppers.

Coronas; German heffe-weizen; wine (including my own); sodas; iced tea; juices and spirits.

Locals; no one drives; all in walking distance; helps work off 11-hours of merriment and gluttony.

What's on your Super Sunday menu?

Snoring Me to Tears

I've watched every Super Bowl since 1977; that makes 37 of 48 games.  Through the years and decades, there have been more than just a few yawn inspiring games.  This is my list:

XII - Cowboys def. Broncos
XX- Bears def. Patriots
XXII - Redskins def. Broncos
XXIV - 49ers def. Broncos
XXVII - Cowboys def. Bills
XXVIII - Cowboys def. Bills
XXIX - 49ers def. Chargers
XXXV - Ravens def. Giants
XXXVII - Buccaneers def. Raiders
XLVIII - Seahawks def. Broncos

Time Well Spent

Of course, I'm a Giants fan.  But, you can not deny that each of their four Super Bowl victories were thrilling.  Here's my list of most entertaining Super Bowls:

XIII - Steelers def. Cowboys
XIV - Steelers def. Rams
XV - Raiders def. Eagles
XVI - 49ers def. Bengals
XXI - Giants def. Broncos
XXIII - 49ers def. Bengals
XXV - Giants def. Bills
XXXIV - Rams def. Titans
XXXVI - Patriots def. Rams
XXXVIII - Patriots def. Panthers
XLII - Giants def. Patriots
XLIII - Steelers def. Cardinals
XLVI - Giants def. Patriots
XLVII - Ravens def. 49ers

Countdown to Kickoff

The NFL/NFC has won 26 Super Bowls; the AFL/AFC has won 22 Super Bowls.

The AFL/AFC won 11 of the first 15 Super Bowls.  The NFC then won 14 of the next 15 Super Bowls (including 13 in a row from 1985 through 1998).  The AFC holds a 10-8 advantage over the last 18 games.

The Patriots, Giants and Steelers own seven of the new millennium's 13 Lombardi Trophies.
  • Most NFL Championships: Packers 9; Bears 8; Browns 4; Giants 4; Lions 4; Eagles 3.
  • Most AAFC Championships: Browns 4.
  • Most AFL Championships: Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs 3; Houston Oilers 2; Bills 2.
  • Most Lombardi Trophies: Steelers 6; 49ers 5; Cowboys 5; Giants 4; Packers 4.
  • No Super Bowl Appearances: Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans.

1920's = Canton Bulldogs
1930's = Green Bay Packers
1940's = Chicago Bears (NFL); Cleveland Browns (AAFC)
1950's = Detroit Lions
1960's = Green Bay Packers (NFL); Kansas City Chiefs (AFL)
1970's = Pittsburgh Steelers
1980's = San Francisco 49ers
1990's = Dallas Cowboys
2000's = New England Patriots

The team of the 2010's will close out the first full century of professional football.  The Patriots and Seahawks are making their second SB appearances.  As defending champs, the Seahawks own first dibs on the decade.

The Matchup

AFC - New England Patriots (12-4); def. Ravens, Colts.
NFC- Seattle Seahawks (12-4); def. Panthers, Packers.
  • Useless fact #1- Bill Belichick replaced Pete Carroll as head coach of the New England Patriots.
  • Useless fact #2 - The last time these teams met in 2012, Carroll, Russell Wilson, and the Seahawks walked off the field in triumph.  Tom Brady threw two picks, and the Seahawks scored 14-points in the 4th quarter for a 24-23 victory.
That game pitted the NFL's top offense against the NFL's top defense. Two years later, the Seahawks still boast the #1 defense.  They allowed the least total points, and were the only NFL team to hold opponents under 300 yds. per game this season.  The Patriots allowed the 13th fewest yards per game, and the 8th fewest total points.  Offensively, the Patriots were 4th in total points scored, and the Seahawks were 10th.  The Pats were 11th in yards per game; the Seahawks were actually 9th.

The Patriots had a +12 turnover ratio; the Seahawks had +10.

Game Time


New England Patriots
Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have fielded the NFL's best defense for three years running.  Period.  They're not very intricate or technical; they just line up on either side of the ball and defy you to outplay them.   They're young, strong, extremely athletic, and even cocky - like their coach.  Offensively, Marshawn Lynch runs with power, and Russell Wilson is problematic in that he's both equally adept at running or throwing, or throwing while running.  The Seattle Seahawks are the closest to being a complete team as there is in football.

A strong running game and a formidable defense smells like victory.

That said, the Cowboys should have beaten the Packers, and the Packers should have beaten the Seahawks, and Tom Brady and the Patriots know how to finish.

This is one game - any given Sunday applies.

No one understands the Seahawks mentality better perhaps than Bill Belichick.  He mastered how to defend the read-option as a teenager, and over his career, has humbled the league's best.  Pete Carroll is bold, and capable of his own trickery.  Bill Belichick however, is methodical and brilliant.

If Vince Lombardi was the Moses of football, then Belichick is surely Joshua.  He authored the next volume of modern football biblia, and decides when to reveal his law - like when he had Doug Flutie perform an obscure drop kick for an extra point, or employing two/three tight end sets, or rushing the QB with just two linemen in SB XXV, or most recently with his tackle eligible deployment against the Colts.  One of the things Belichick does best is exploiting other coach's complacency.  There is no doubt in my mind he has something in store especially tailored for Seattle.

Everyone forgets that while the Jets went to back-to-back AFC title games, the Patriots were actually rebuilding their entire defense, and still won division titles.  This game is exactly what Bill Belichick has been drafting over the last 6 years for - to build a defense, and squeeze out one more Super Bowl ring out of Tom Brady before he retires.

Part of Bend-don't-Break has less to do with rushing the QB, and more to do with sure tackling.  I think the Patriots defense will be up to the physical challenge that awaits them.

Seattle isn't exactly a prolific scoring team to begin with.  Marshawn Lynch won't be hard to find.   He'll be running between the tackles behind a good offensive line.  The Pats just can't allow Lynch to bounce off.  Then, after two weeks to prepare, Hoody will also have his defense sufficiently schooled in detecting and stopping the option play.

If Rex Ryan can write a thesis on how to defend the old Green Bay sweep play, then Belichick can surely author an entire encyclopedia on defending the option.  I particularly do not like running QB's, however, Russell Wilson is one of the smartest hybrids in the business.  He knows how to pick and choose his moments.

I suspect the Pats will leave Darrelle Revis in man coverage, and dare Russell Wilson to stay in the pocket, and pick on Brandon Browner, Devin McCourty, and Patrick Chung.

When the Patriots have the ball, I expect Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to take out every ounce of their frustrations from DeflateGate on the Seahawks.

Here's the kicker: I think Belichick is going to try and rush the ball right down Seattle's throat.  The Seahawks soft white underbelly is their defensive line.  The Patriots have a big offensive line, and are four backs deep, with three backs who averaged over 4-yards per carry this season, and no fumbles.

Their 5 yard crossing pattern scheme is also pseudo running game.

I also fully expect Tom Brady to go right after Richard Sherman.  If Sherman is going to be playing with a compromised shoulder, Brady will try and exploit him.

The idea is to create more problems for Seattle than just having to account for Danny Amendola and The Gronk.

My Pick:
Patriots -1 (Seahawks)

WIN; 28-24 Patriots

As the Las Vegas line suggests, I expect a close game, and for the Patriots to come out on top.

Then again, what the hell do I know..?

I could be completely wrong about everything.  But I doubt it.

Good luck, have a Happy Super Bowl Sunday, and get home safe!


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