Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Descansa En Pas: Diego Maradona



DIEGO MARADONA


1960  ~  2020


El Mejor del Mundo
Descansa En Pas


PIGSKIN 2020: Thanksgiving Day



HOLIDAY PIGSKIN
Week Twelve

SCOREBOARD
Week Eleven Record:  6-6
Overall Record ATS:  74-61-4 (+9)
Schmear of the Week:  2-8-1 (-21)
Bagels in the Basket:  -12

Week Twelve
Friday Line ~ NYP/MGM

Texans -2 1/2 LIONS
Tradition says never bet against the Lions at home on Thanksgiving.  Well, tell that to an unforgiving 2020.  Last week the Texans defeated the Patriots, and the Panthers whitewashed the Lions.  I got both games wrong.  Otherwise, these teams are mirror images of themselves.  They've scored exactly the same amount of points and have yielded very near the same number as well.  You might say the Texans play in a tougher division, barely.  Houston's pass game was already a tad more effective than Detroit's.  Now consider Stafford is playing with strained ligaments in his (throwing hand) thumb.  Both represent two of the worst running games in football.  Meanwhile, neither team can stop the run.  The Texans are high off last week's win, while the Lions are licking their wounds after getting shut out.  Matt Patricia is on the hot seat, whereas Romeo Crenel coaches the post-implosion Texans with no such pressure being placed upon him.  Although, he may be coaching for a continuance.  Matt Patricia's time is running short.  DeShawn Watson holds a minor advantage over Matt Stafford.  
WIN  41-25 Texans

Washington +3 COWBOYS
The NFC Least is fit to be tied ... oh, wait.  A big division clash between two losers!  Philly is in first with a 3-6-1 record.  The Giants, No Names, and Cowboys are all tied for second with a 3-7 record.  The more Alex Smith gets comfortable back on the field and taking hits, the more Washington and their defense become a viable consideration to pull away from the pack.  But the Cowboys will have something to say.  They still have some playmakers at their disposal that can sway a game.  I suspect Washington will devise an effective plan to thwart Andy Dalton.  The question is, can Alex Smith befuddle an already suspect Cowboys defense.  I say he can ... take the points.
WIN  41-16 No Names

STEELERS -4.5 Ravens


HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OUR MILITARY STILL SERVING IN HARM'S WAY, 
WHO SPEND HOLIDAYS AWAY FROM THEIR HOMELAND AND FAMILIES.


Monday, November 23, 2020

N.Y. Giants: Head Coach Reads and Reacts to Deficiency in Coaching Ranks

From the desk: DO IT FOR THE DUKE

JUDGE RENDERS HIS DECISION

That settles it ... Joe Judge has an ally in me.  

I previously said that I would wait till after the season to pass judgment.  But with the defense surprising everyone, the offense progressively coming around, and the head coach taking a member of his staff to task, I'm sold.

Marc Colombo is now the former offensive line coach of the Giants.  After a heated discussion with Joe Judge, the Giants' first-year head coach fired him in a move Judge claims is both in the short and long-term interests of the team.  Colombo is the former offensive line coach of the Dallas Cowboys who came to the Giants at Wayne Garrett's behest.  Mind you, Colombo at Dallas was handed an already heavily invested and talented offensive line.  Where did that get them ...

Apparently, Joe Judge over the last four weeks has been taking a more active role in coaching up the offensive line.  If that was not perceived as an affront by Marc Colombo, then perhaps hiring the more familiar Dave DeGuglielmo as an assistant offensive line coach was.  Said another way, Colombo was never a Joe Judge guy, to begin with.  It's evident, now, Judge's lack of confidence in Colombo inspired him to take proactive measures.

What has transpired on the field in recent weeks makes much more sense when framed in this context.  If you're down with DO IT FOR THE DUKE, then you know I've been harping on the running game since Week One.  After failing to breach 100 yards in their first three games and four of the first five, the Giants have now rushed for 100+ yards in five consecutive games and six of their last seven.  In fact, they've now exceeded 150+ yards in two straight games and three times in their last four (twice against PHI and once against WAS).  They now are out-rushing their opponents this season by a slim +96 yard differential and rank 14th in rushing attempts, 16th in yards per game, and 11th in total yards gained.  Looking back, it indeed seems as if the rushing turnaround is the result of Joe Judge's intervention.

A man with conviction, a head coach with broad oversight, and laser-focused superintendence, I like it.

Left guard Will Hernandez contracting the corona-virus also created another development - namely playing time for Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux who have been rotating with Andrew Thomas on the left side.  Andrew Thomas, of course, was handed the starting left tackle position right out of the draft and struggled early.  However, he likewise has put together a series of sound performances in recent weeks.  

It begs the question: can this be chalked up to coincidence, playing experience through ten games, or did Joe Judge realize his offensive line was in the hands of an unqualified coach?

N.Y. Jets: Ten Shades of Gase

From the desk: WALT MICHAELS REVENGE

WEEK TEN
Jets           28
Chargers  34
FINAL

Ten is the magic number.  

The Jets are now 0-10, which assures them of a tenth straight season without a playoff appearance.  That's not all Adam Gase's fault, but this season is certainly the punctuation mark denoting the end of a decade of futility.

However, things are looking up.  They've only lost their last two games by a total of nine points.  In fact, coming off their performance against the Patriots, I picked the Jets to cover the spread against the Chargers ... and they did!

So, there's that.

The Chargers fumbled on their second possession of the game, recovered by the Jets on their own four-yard line.  On the Jets first play from scrimmage, Joe Flacco ponderously throws a pass to the right flat that gets intercepted for a pick-six.  Add in two missed extra-points by Sam Ficken, and therein lies your margin of defeat and your tenth loss of the season.
On the prospect of finishing the season and his career for that matter with an 0-16 record, Frank Gore says, "I can't go out like that."
By the way, Frank Gore is the third leading rusher in NFL history.  

Just saying ...

GOOD NEWS: After battling injury earlier this season, second-round selection Denzel Mims is starting to demonstrate his worth.  Mekhi Becton, the eleventh overall selection of the draft, is also proving himself to be a major player of impact on the line.  There's no doubt at this point that Joe Douglas has his sights fixed on next year's number one draft pick.

Friday, November 20, 2020

PIGSKIN 2020: Week Eleven


PIGSKIN
FOOTBALL SUNDAY
Week Eleven

SCOREBOARD
Week Ten Record:  5-5-1
Overall Record ATS:  68-55-4 (+9)
Schmear of the Week:  2-7-1(-18)
Bagels in the Basket:  -9


COVID WATCH
  • Since Aug. 1, the NFL has 112 reported player positives and 215 team personnel positives.  Half of all teams have experienced at least one positive case.
  • Cowboys QB Andy Dalton said COVID hit him hard!
  • Eagles add five new players.
  • GIANTS add four new players.
  • Bengals three coaches.
  • Browns five players in last seven days; Myles Garrett OUT for Sunday.

1st and Ten
  • Jake Scott, Dolphins Safety, MVP of 1972 Undefeated Super Bowl Champions - R.I.P.
  • Steelers (9-0) still undefeated.
  • On Nov. 23, the Bucs/Rams game will feature the NFL's first-ever all African-American officiating crew.
  • Bill Belichick desires American intervention in defense of Armenia against Turkey and Azerbaijan!
2nd and Long
  • Rookie Tua Tagovailoa is 3-0 as a starter; he has five TD passes and no INT's.  Miami is 6-2 in their last seven games.  Meanwhile, their former head coach, Adam Gase, has effectively destroyed Sam Darnold's right arm while the Jets are off to a franchise-worst 0-9 record to start the season.
  • Giants win two in a row; they're tied for most wins in the NFC Least.  Bill Parcells endorses Joe Judge.
No Gain
  • Drew Brees entered last week's game with two broken ribs; he had three more ribs broken and also sustained a collapsed lung courtesy of the Niners.
  • Who knew what and when?  NFL still "gathering information" on the Antonio Brown incident in October. 
  • The winless JETS still lead the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes.
PUNT!
  • Matthew Stafford's wife is tired of living in the dictatorship called Michigan.
  • Meanwhile, nothing stops Texans from attending Cowboys games (without masks).  Jerry's World leads the NFL in attendance.

WEEK ELEVEN
Friday Line ~ NYP/MGM


Jets +8 1/2 CHARGERS
This is easily Toilet Bowl XI.  Prepare yourselves; Flacco-Mania is running wild.  If the Jets are to win a game this season, this just might be the one.  If nothing else, the Bolts have been best at giving up leads.  The Jets ability to generate 27 points in their previous game against the Patriots makes me think, perhaps too long.  I certainly like the Jets chances to cover the spread.
WIN  34-28 Chargers

BROWNS -3 1/2 Eagles
The Eagles have more problems than a math book.  Browns still have the requisite talent to pull away late.
WIN  22-17 Browns

Falcons +5 SAINTS
Sean Payton is trying to be cute by starting Taysom Hill over Jameis Winston.  He has every intention of throwing at Atlanta's secondary.  Is Hill up to the challenge.  If you're inclined to throw the Falcons a bone, this is the game.  After all, they still have Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.
Loss  24-9 Saints

Lions +1 1/2 PANTHERS
Christian McCaffrey is out, and Teddy Bridgewater is likely out as well.  At a minimum, he'll be compromised.  Lions are feeling good right now.  Let them have their fun.
Loss  20-0 Panthers

Patriots -2 1/2 TEXANS
Fundamentals still rule the day; can't rule out Cam.  Texans are just a mess.  Like last week, expect the Patriots to grind out this game with the run. 
Loss  27-20 Texans

Steelers -9 JAGUARS
Green Bay let the Jaguars hang around last week and almost blew it.  Steelers will make no such mistake.  I defy the Jags to score twenty points again.
WIN  27-3 Steelers

D.C. NO NAMES -1 1/2 Bengals
This is Alex Smith's game to lose.
WIN  20-9 No Names

Titans +6 RAVENS
The most intriguing match-up of the week.  SMASH MOUTH--> Titans are going to run roughshod over the Ravens.
WIN  30-24 Titans

Dolphins -3 1/2 BRONCOS
The Fish are the second hottest team in football.  The Broncos schedule has been a bit harder, but this is nonetheless a bad match-up for Denver.  Miami is just better on both sides of the ball.
Loss  20-13 Broncos

COLTS -2 Packers
The Packers have thrown me out of kilter.  I had a beat on them, then lost it.  But this isn't about them. It's time for the Colts to step it up.  Games like these define seasons.  Seize the moment!  Dee-Fence!!  Come up with something to bedevil Aaron Rogers.  Colts will have fans in the stands.
WIN  34-31 Colts

VIKINGS -7 Cowboys
Very quietly, the Vikes are the fifth-best rushing team in football.  Cowboys defense is semi-pro level.
Loss  31-28 Cowboys

Chiefs -8 RAIDERS
Can the Raiders win the season series?  Odds say no.  They already had their fun.  The only question is, will the Chiefs cover.  That's an iffy proposition.  I so badly want to take the points, which is exactly why I'm going the other way.
Loss  35-31 Chiefs


Schmear of the Week
Dolphins -3 1/2
LOSS

Good luck and have a great Football Sunday, everyone!

POSTGAME
Week Eleven Record:  6-6
Overall Record ATS:  74-61-4 (+9)
Schmear of the Week:  2-8-1 (-21)
Bagels in the Basket:  -12

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A Metsian Podcast Book Review: New York Mets in Pop Culture: Critical Essays Edited by Author David Krell

From the desk: HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

With SAM, RICH & MIKE

GUEST
Journalist, Producer, Author

BOOK REVIEW:
NEW YORK METS IN POP CULTURE: CRITICAL ESSAYS Edited By DAVID KRELL

one-hundred twelve minutes




Capped off with a classic rant about Citi Field!!






Wednesday, November 18, 2020

James Harden Clamoring For Trade to Brooklyn

From the desk: THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

BIG THREE?

James Harden Trying to Shoehorn Himself into Nets Neighborhood

James Harden wants out of Houston and to prove his point has turned down a two-year $103 million dollar contract extension.  Instead of potentially becoming the first player in history to break the $50 million per season salary barrier, he instead requested a trade to Brooklyn.

Sure he did ...

The Houston Rockets franchise is falling apart like wet toilet paper and Harden knows it.  Former general manager Daryl Morey left the organization, coach Mike D'Antoni is no longer there, Robert Covington was recently traded and now Russell Westbrook says he wants out as well.  Besides, I guess it's easy to snub your nose at another ten million when you're already making forty million per season.  

Not that I have any experience with that ...

Harden asked for a trade to Brooklyn indeed, where he has convenience and familiarity on his side.  He is former teammates with Kevin Durant when the two played at Oklahoma City, and his former head coach is now an assistant with the Nets.  According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in recent weeks have been in frequent communication.  Woj says Durant is enthusiastic about a potential deal and that contrary to rumors, Kyrie Irving is not known to be opposed.  Woj also says the Nets and Houston Rockets have spoken.  Discussions are being characterized as nothing serious.

Wednesday is the NBA draft.  If such a deal should occur, the potential cost for acquiring James Harden is being speculated to include anyone from Spencer Dinwiddie to Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen along with a slew of draft picks.  Some pundits say it would take someone more talented like Kyrie Irving in order to facilitate any trade.

I'm opposed to all of it.  

I understand Spencer Dinwiddie's value is as a trade chip.  However, I am particularly protective of Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert.  First, Allen is my favorite player.  But, mainly because Harden still has two-plus seasons left on his present contract.  He can become a free agent in 2022 if he opts out of the final year of his deal.  Then what?  Maintaining three super-max contracts on the roster is extremely prohibitive.  

I'm also completely averse to trading away draft picks.  This organization has already been there and done that.  The Nets are now on the other side of Billy King's disastrous Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade.  Waiting out the aftermath and smartly rebuilding is what laid the foundation needed to sign Durant and Irving in the first place.  

Why put yourself right back into the same hole?

I was completely geared up for Kevin Durant's return to the floor, and playing a full season together with Kyrie Irvin.  I was satisfied with that.  Otherwise, I reserve further judgment.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

N.Y. Jets: Breaking Sam

From the desk: WALT MICHAELS REVENGE
Johnson! - End - The - Stupidity

In Defiance of Adam Gase, Uncompliant Right Shoulder Slams Brakes on Darnold's Season

The destruction of Sam Darnold's career continues.  After sustaining the initial injury to his throwing shoulder, head demolition expert Adam Gase allowed Sam Darnold to retake the field against the Broncos.  Darnold subsequently missed games against the Cardinals and Dolphins.  Still far from feeling 100%, the team said there was minimal risk involved insofar as Sam playing forward.  But the results speak for themselves.  Sam was utterly ineffective in his return against the Bills, going just 12/23 for 120 yards with three interceptions.  The following week and still clearly hurting, Sam was an inconsequential 18/30 for 133 yards in a 35-9 blowout loss against the Chiefs.  He was ultimately held out of last week's game against the Patriots and will not start this coming week against the Chargers.  More games are likely.

Let's just say the Jets earn next year's #1 draft pick and select Trevor Lawrence.  Who in their right mind would let him play under Adam Gase?  At the moment, the answer is Christopher Johnson, that's who.  Just look how Ryan Tannehill is flourishing while playing far away from Gase as possible.  Look at Tannehill's seasons before Gase started polluting his life versus the seasons he played under Gase.  Then take a look at what he's presently doing at Tennessee.  The Bears were 6-10 when Adam Gase was their offensive coordinator.

What about all this makes Adam Gase "brilliant?"


N.Y. Giants: Basking in November Daylight

From the desk: DO IT FOR THE DUKE


WEEK TEN
Eagles    17
Giants    27
FINAL

First Five Games vs. Last Five Games Like Night and Daylight

You can't be disappointed with what you do not expect!  

The Giants snapped their losing skid against the Eagle, tie for most wins in the division, and set themselves up for a potential playoff appearance.  All of which makes for a good day in the neighborhood.  

Whereas a 3-7 record is indeed unsightly, they are 3-2 in their last five games and winners of two in a row.  If nothing else, they are trending in a positive direction.  It's the byproduct of demonstrable improvement in all aspects of their game.

Daniel Jones this season has been the slowest to progress.  But it seems as if he's finally coming around.  Is he trending?  No, I have a rule: one is an occurrence, twice is a coincidence, and three times equals a trend.  Sunday marks only his second straight game without a turnover, and wouldn't you know, the Giants win two straight.  But whereas he fumbled twice last week and the Giants recovered, this game was clean - no interceptions and no muffs whatsoever.  Otherwise, Jones was 21/28 for 244 yards and rushed for his first touchdown of the season.  He has thrown just one touchdown pass over the last two games, which perhaps demonstrates just how great a role ball control and game management really play.

Jones continues padding the rushing numbers.  On Sunday, he scampered nine times for 64 yards.  If opposing defenses want to offer him daylight, by all means, take advantage.  However, I do not want Daniel Jones dominating the run game for obvious reasons.  In the absence of Saquon Barkley, he is easily the team's leading rusher with 384 total yards on 49 attempts.  That equates to 35% of the Giants' ground game.  They have grossed 1,105 yards this season.  Wayne Gallman is the second leading rusher with 275 yards.  Against the Eagles, Gallman and Alfred Morris joined in rushing 26 times for 87 yards.  Not great, but it's enough to keep pass-action viable.  

All told, the Giants rushed 36 times against the Eagles for 151 yards.  After failing to breach 100 yards in their first three games and four of the first five, the Giants have now rushed for 100+ yards in five consecutive games and six of their last seven.  In fact, they've now exceeded 150+ yards in two straight games and three times in their last four (twice against PHI and once against WAS).  They are out-rushing their opponents this season by a slim +96 yard differential and rank 14th in rushing attempts, 16th in yards per game, and 11th in total yards gained.  Through the first four weeks of the season, the Giants were ranked near the bottom in all the aforementioned categories.

Improvement ...

Monday, November 16, 2020

A Metsian Podcast: Inside Steve Cohen's Purchase of the Mets with Journalist Laura S. Goldman

From the desk of: HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

With SAM, RICH & MIKE

GUEST
Journalist ~ Consultant
Wharton Grad and Provocateur

seventy-four minutes



⚾               ⚾               ⚾

We open the podcast with Laura S. Goldman, who provides a business insider's report about Steve Cohen's recent purchase of the New York Mets.  The bidding process, players and pretenders, outstanding debt, the status of SNY, and property redevelopment rights; are all on the docket.  Afterwhich, A Metsian Podcast lights the Hot Stove.  We debate and discuss off-season priorities, the merits of Seth Lugo as a starter, or reliever, and update the Brooklyn Cyclones future course.  The podcast winds down with a 1967 New York Mets retrospective.   #LGM
Our guest Laura S. Goldman is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her financial investment career includes work with Merrill Lynch, Paine Webber, and her own firm which cleared through Bear Stearns.  She's presently a consultant at LSG Capital as well as ABC News where she helped produce the presidential election town halls moderated by George Stephanopoulos.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Brooklyn Cyclones: Longer Seasons Ahead For Baby Bums

From the desk of: THE SURF AVENUE SLUGGERS

Ain't nobody going nowhere..!

No Longer Just a Summer Job at Coney Island, Cyclones Become Full-Time Work Force

Tuesday's introductory press conference for New York Mets incoming owner Steve Cohen included very comforting news for us Brooklyn Cyclones fans.  The future of our Coney Island Nine is safe.  In fact, they're being transitioned into a full-season affiliate.  Pencil them into what should be a reconfigured high-A circuit, which I assume will include the Yankees new Hudson Valley Renegades affiliate.

In pairing down the farm system from seven teams down to four, Sandy Alderson announced Syracuse, Binghamton, Brooklyn, and Port St. Lucie will continue forward as the Mets affiliates.  The GCL Mets, Kingsport Mets, and Columbia Fireflies are now out of the loop.

Brooklyn supplants Columbia as the new high-A affiliate while Port St. Lucie is demoted to low-A status.  There is still speculation that Brooklyn could be named the double-A affiliate.  In that scenario, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies would be the high-A team.  When you plot Binghamton versus Hudson Valley and Brooklyn versus Somerset (Yankees new double-A affiliate), the logistics make perfect sense.

There's nothing necessarily new about the Cyclones versus the Renegades outside of the ongoing minor league reconfiguration.  However, a potential Brooklyn versus Somerset rivalry would be brand new.  

Sounds intriguing already ...

Saturday, November 14, 2020

N.Y. Yankees Throw Affiliates a Screwball

From the desk of: EVIL EMPIRE STRIKES AGAIN


BRONX BOMBERS ABANDON BABY BOMBERS

Over the last year, we've watched Rob "Simon Bar Sinister" Manfred and MLB owners radically alter the landscape of minor and independent league baseball.  Major League clubs are pairing down their farm operations to four affiliates each.  Over forty teams are presently either ostracised or face elimination, with even more teams and leagues slated for reclassification.  The (rookie) Appalachian League has already been reorganized into a wood-bat summer league for college freshman and sophomore players while the New York-Penn League and other short-A season leagues face a similar fate.  Major League Baseball also has struck partnerships with the formerly independent Atlantic League, Frontier League, and American Association.

MiLB said in a statement that MLB owners are solely interested in protecting their own profitability.  I must agree.  If I were an MLB owner - I get it - there's a clear advantage to maintaining all your affiliates within close proximity of the parent club.  However, the owners intentionally made no effort to renegotiate in good faith a new bargaining agreement with minor league baseball and have since steamrolled their agenda regardless of the impact on individual proprietors, local communities and economies, and above all, players.  

The New York Yankees are perceived to have employed a rather cold and distant tact in severing ties with Trenton, (Charleston), and a local affiliate here in Staten Island.  Trenton and Staten Island claim they first learned of the news through (social) media and not until after the New York Yankees official announcement.  In separate statements, the Trenton Thunder owner calls the Yankees action a "betrayal" while the Staten Island Yankees owner deems the decision to be "unacceptable."

So incensed is the Trenton Thunder owner he calls the New York Yankees despicable for leaving culturally diverse Trenton for a wealthier, higher socioeconomic area in Somerset.

Trenton is supplanted by the formerly independent Somerset Patriots as the Yankees' new double-A affiliate.  The Yankees also bid adieu to Charleston who will be replaced by the Hudson Valley Renegades.  

For now, Staten Island is without a team.

PIGSKIN 2020: Week Ten


PIGSKIN
FOOTBALL SUNDAY
Week Ten

SCOREBOARD
Week Nine Record:  5-8
Overall Record (ATS):  63-50-3 (+10)
Schmear of the Week:  2-6-1 (-15)
Bagels in the Basket:  -5

1st and Ten

2nd and Short
  • (IND) Philip Rivers passes Dan Marino in all-time passing yardage.
  • On second thought, we didn't witness (NYG) DeAndre Baker commit armed robbery.
  • (CAR) Christian McCaffrey is back, and then he's not.

No Gain
  • Oh, now (NYG) Golden Tate wants to play good soldier.
  • Antonio Brown's impact with the Patriots ...?
  • JETS still winless.

PUNT!
  • You know times are changing when the NFL gets bumped by The Masters.
  • Have gun, will divorce, Nina wants out of marriage with (BAL) Earl Thomas.
  • Washington partners bailing on Daniel Snyder.
  • (GB) Aaron Rogers thinks NFL's COVID policy sucks.

WEEK TEN
Friday Line ~ NYP/MGM

GIANTS +3 Eagles
Just throwing my home team a bone here ... the Giants have been running the ball well of late and the defense is playing better by the week.  But when has anything mattered in a Giants/Eagles game?  Look for something stupid to transpire.
WIN  27-17 Giants

BROWNS -3 1/2 Texans
I think the Browns will get back to grounding and pounding.  Texans defense won't be able to stop them.
Loss  10-7 Browns

PACKERS -13 Jaguars
Jake freakin' Luton!!  Packers are just 2-2 in the last four games.  Great time for them to rev it up again.  This could get ugly.  They screwed me on last week's Schmear; I'm doubling down. 
Loss  24-20 Packers

Buccaneers -5 PANTHERS
Bucs are very good against the run, and Christian McCaffrey is out again.  Makes Teddy Bridgewater too predictable.  Bucs have stumbled of late, but it won't last.  
WIN  46-23 Bucs

LIONS -3 d.c. wtf
This is simply a game the Lions should and need to win.  At least they have capabilities on offense, the No Names not so much.  Matt Patricia loses this game, he should expect to be fired after the season.
PUSH  30-27 Lions

CARDINALS -2 1/2 Bills
A great matchup between second and third year QBs.  Bookmakers can't get themselves to give the Cardinals the obligatory three points at home.  Just think Kyler Murray is a few degrees hotter than Josh Allen.  One mistake ruins it for either team.
Loss  32-30 Cardinals

RAIDERS -4 1/2 Broncos
The Raiders are back home after reeling off two straight wins on the road.  Last week against the Bolts they ran, ran, and ran the ball to victory.  This used to be one of the best rivalries in football ...
WIN  37-12 Raiders

DOLPHINS -1 1/2 Chargers
The South Beach Fish are 5-1 in their last six games!
WIN  29-21 Dolphins

STEELERS -7 1/2 Bengals
Big Ben hasn't practiced all week due to COVID protocol.  At his age, it's a welcome break.  This spread is otherwise troublesome. 
WIN  36-10 Steelers

SAINTS -9 Niners
Niners are down, and the Saints are gonna keep em down at home in the dome.
WIN  27-13 Saints

Seahawks +1 1/2 RAMS
Seahawks over the last three weeks have me completely off track.  Still think the Rams are a paper tiger.
Loss  23-16 Rams

Ravens -7 PATRIOTS
It's becoming clearly evident the banged-up Patriots are in need of a complete rebuild.  Foxboro can't help them now.  And then there's the Ravens defense.
Loss  23-17 Patriots


Schmear of the Week
Packers -13
LOSS

Good luck and have a great Football Sunday everyone!

POST GAME
Week Ten Record:  5-5-1
Overall Record ATS:  68-55-4 (+9)
Schmear of the Week:  2-7-1(-18)
Bagels in the Basket:  -9
 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

N.Y. Jets: Throwing It All Away

From the desk of: WALT MICHAELS REVENGE

WEEK NINE
Patriots  30
Jets        27
FINAL

WHO CALLED THAT PLAY?

Add this to Adam Gase's resume: the New York Jets are off to the worst start in their nearly sixty-year history.  With Monday night's loss against the Patriots, the Jets this season are now winless through nine games.  Although, this was their closest margin of defeat.  Gang Gase led this game for 58:03 minutes.  So, there's that.

Leading 27-20 with six minutes left in the game, the Jets have the ball at their own 18-yard line.  Joe Flacco playing for Sam Darnold, has three touchdown passes on the day.  On first and ten, Flacco throws deep intended for rookie Denzel Mims but is picked off at the Patriots 28-yard line.  New England drives and ties the game on Cam Newton's one-yard rush.  The Jets go three-and-out on their ensuing possession.  The Patriots then kick the game-winning field goal.  Game over.  Gang Gase allows ten points in the final six minutes and 13 points in the fourth quarter.  It's yet another example of Gase getting out-adjusted after halftime.  The Jets generate no sacks and touch Newton just four times all game.  

Belichick ordered a heavy run game.  The Patriots gained 159 gross yards.  Cam accounted for sixteen yards.  In place of inactive Sony Michel, Damien Harris and Rex Burkhead joined for 26 rushes for 127 yards.
  • Breshad Perriman catches five passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.  Jamison Crowder also catches a touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Jets running game is nonexistent.  Frank Gore and La'Mical Perine join together for 65 yards on 18 rush attempts.  Joe Flacco otherwise handles the load until his ill-fated interception.  The play selection itself, the actual pass 55-yards downfield, and the failure to check down are the reasons for this loss.  Instead of concentrating on first downs and killing the clock, they elect to go as high risk as they can imagine.

... just stupid.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

N.Y. Giants: Hail to the Blue Team, Hail Victory

From the desk of: DO IT FOR THE DUKE

Hail Victory..!

WEEK NINE
Giants        23
NoNames   20
FINAL

Too bad they can't play W every week; Big Blue would be undefeated.  

The Giants sweep the season series from the No Names with a dramatic 23-20 victory at Washington.  After starting the season 0-5, they are now trending 2-2 in their last four games.  

Dare I say this was perhaps their most impressive game this season?  I say that after watching them play a little bit of bend don't break, and a little bit of smash mouth.  

Daniel Jones technically did not turn the ball over, but he fumbled twice, and the ball was recovered each time.  He threw no interceptions for just the second time this season.  Jones and Alex Smith nearly have the same number of attempts and completions.  But whereas the veteran Smith throws for 325 yards, Jones tops out at a mere 212 yards.  Each throws for a touchdown.  However, Alex Smith throws three interceptions, and Jones wins the day.

Low and behold, ball security and control prove pivotal for the Giants.  This is what happens when you rush the ball effectively - you hold the ball for 36:27 minutes!  The Giants rush for 166 gross yards.  Wayne Gallman, Dion Lewis, and Alfred Morris rush 26 times for 140 yards.  Most of this takes place behind and to the left of center Nick Gates and against a formidable Washington front seven.  Andrew Thomas enjoys a rebound game.  Shane Lemieux starting in place of (COVID) Will Hernandez, puts forth a stellar effort at left-guard.  The offensive line as a whole continues to incrementally improve.  The Giants have now rushed for 100+ yards in five of their last six games. 

Big Blue's defense is eighth-best against the run!  That ranks them right alongside the Ravens and Steelers.  They limit Washington to just 37 total yards on nine rushes.  Every week Blake Martinez' star shines brighter and brighter.  He dutifully leads the team with ten tackles. 

Leonard Williams records his fifth sack, putting him just two away from matching his career-high with seven games left in the season.  How are you feeling about the trade now?