Thursday, December 1, 2016

Week 13 NFL Picks: Let's Reward Effort

Snake Face
With five weeks left in the regular season, I need all kinds of hotness to break even, and it's pretty obvious that, like many other things, isn't likely to happen. Along with an Eagles season that doesn't make me think HC Doug Pederson is going to be a washout, that the country isn't about to embark on a period of historic disaster, and that other issues in my personal life that we're just not going to get into.

But, well, effort is its own reward, right? (Taps mic.) Right?

And with that... on to the picks!

* * * * *

DALLAS (-3) at Minnesota

The Cowboys are the best team in this or any other Universe, and the sooner we all accept that, and President Trump, and the knowledge that all human endeavors end in sweet, sweet death and utter indifference, the sooner we will all be happier. Also, the Viking offense isn't good enough to win this game, even at home.

Cowboys 24, Vikings 20

KANSAS CITY (+4) at Atlanta


The Chiefs are coming off a car crash of an overtime win against the Broncos, and have to go into a loud dome against a Falcon team that just handled the desperate Cards. Having said all of that, I think the Chiefs defense is just coming into its own, especially with Justin Houston coming off the edge. With Julio Jones getting more or less handled by the great Marcus Peters, the road team gets it done.

Chiefs 23, Falcons 20

DETROIT (+6) at New Orleans


Just too many points to give for what could be a last serve wins kind of game. Give me the Lions to make the late cover.

Saints 34, Lions 31

LA Rams at NEW ENGLAND (-13.5)


I'm not ready to imagine Jared Goff doing much of anything on the road against a Bill Belichick defense, especially when the Patriots are coming off an escape win in New York. It also doesn't help that the Ram defense got absolutely trucked last week.

Patriots 34, Rams 16

DENVER (-4) at Jacksonville


I know, road team with a shaky offense in Florida heat in December, seems like all kinds of trap game. But with the overtime loss on SNF at home, Denver has no more margin for error, and the Jags are the AFC's answer to homecoming week. Even on the road.

Broncos 23, Jaguars 13

HOUSTON (+6.5) at Green Bay


I'm not counting on the Pack suddenly figuring it all out and racing down the stretch to a playoff spot, just because they beat the shockingly unprepared Eagles on the road on MNF. Houston's coming off a bad loss at home, so I'm looking for a little bounce and a cover, if not more.

Packers 24, Texans 20

Philadelphia at CINCINNATI (+1)


Which team wants it less? I'll take the home team in this battle of profound disappointments, mostly because they've got an extra day of rest, and the Eagle defense suddenly looks like it's drank too many Magic Smoothies from the Nero Kelly Era. Oh, and the Bengal DBs might fall asleep covering these circus animals that call themselves WRs.

Bengals 27, Eagles 23

Miami at BALTIMORE (-3.5)


The Dolphins are the NFL's best bad team, having used a cupcake schedule to get to the playoff periphery. Baltimore's far from a juggernaut, but at home, in cold weather, with their way too into it fans in full howl, I think it starts to get away from them.

Ravens 23, Dolphins 17

SAN FRANCISCO (+1) at Chicago


Lots of folks have been having joy at the Niner season, as if it were all Colin Kaepernick's fault that the Niners are terrible. The truth is he's actually been pretty damned good over much of it, especially recently. It's not his fault that his coach is a manifestation of the innovator's curse, or that his team was put together by one of the worst GMs in the business. At least this week, Kaepernick gets to win a game and put up monster fantasy numbers, because Chicago is nearly as bad, and even more injured.

Niners 31, Bears 20

Buffalo at OAKLAND (-3)


The magic year for the Raiders continues, because the Bills defense isn't good enough to stop them on the road, especially if they are smart enough to be patient behind their near best in class offensive live. I'm still not sure that they are going to win this division, but the breaks have definitely been going their way.

Raiders 30, Bills 24

NY Giants at PITTSBURGH (-6)


A big number for an up and down Steeler team to cover, but the offense has been aces at home, and the Giants have been doing it with mirrors.

Steelers 34, Bills 24

Washington at ARIZONA (-2.5)


Arizona loses games when they can't protect the QB, but DC isn't all that special at rushing the QB, so the home team gets it done. Besides, this isn't exactly an easy road trip.

Cardinals 27, Racial Slurs 20

Tampa at SAN DIEGO (-3.5)


Bucs are definitely on an upswing after last week's smothering shocker of the Seahawks, but I'm not buying that game as sustainable. Chargers have been surprising in recent weeks, especially in line play. Probably one of the better games of the day.

Chargers 24, Bucs 20

Carolina at SEATTLE (-6.5)


Despite Carolina's disappointing year, a clear signature game, and fairly fascinating. Seattle's line play is scary enough to make what should have been a clear path deep into the NFC playoffs problematic, but the Panther defense, especially the secondary, isn't going to be up to the task. I'm not in love with the number, but going against Russell Wilson at home isn't fun.

Seahawks 31, Panthers 23

INDIANAPOLIS (-2) at NY Jets


NY actually played a very solid game last week against the Patriots, but getting up for a non-rival isn't the same thing, especially in front of bitter night fans in December. Colts still have something to play for, and QB Andrew Luck will have fresh legs from a week off due to concussion. At this point in the season, that's a major help.

Colts 27, Jets 20

Last week: 8-7

Year: 73-98-4

Career: 832-849-53

Monday, November 28, 2016

Eagles - Packers Diary

I Am An Eagles Fan
> HC Doug Pederson chooses to bench WR Nelson Agholor, AKA the only thing that anyone wanted to talk about this week, as if anyone will miss him in 14 months when he's cut for the minimum cap hit, or as if he'll wind up anywhere else

> While many in the area who wanted to see Agholor keep getting chances, arguing that you risk losing him for good, I personally feel that you can't lose what doesn't actually exist

> On Merrill Reese Hall of Fame Night, the Eagles win the toss and defer, while ESPN craps on Ron Jaworski and his luck

> Touchback instead of trickery, then RB James Starks for a one yard loss as LB Mychal Kendricks cleans up the mess

> QB Aaron Rodgers to WR Jordy Nelson for nearly the first down, then on 3rd and short, play action and way too easy bootleg by Rodgers for the first and 16 yards

> From the Yellow 48, Rodgers to WR Randall Cobb for the bubble screen and whiff; Cobb goes for 12 and another first

> Cobb for another hitter, and this is where I note that I left him on my fantasy bench

> Throw away on 2nd and 4 as Rodgers gets pressured, then connects with TE Jared Cook for another first down; defense not getting there against a make shift offensive line

> From the Green 25, Starks for 4 on a hole that a good back would have gotten a lot more from

> Rodgers from the pistol moves around and runs for another cottony first down, and the defense seems to have missed the memo that Rodgers is mobile

> From the Green 12, easy slant to WR Davonte Adams, six points, and that's about as bad as this defense has looked at home this year

> CB Leodis McKelvin with the terrible coverage, and he's not exactly a strength

> K Mason Crosby connects, and it's Yellow 7, Green 0, visiting legends disgusted

> KR Kenyan Barner doesn't get enough against the league's worst coverage unit as the fun continues

> From the Green 19, QB Carson Wentz takes TE Trey Burton for 9, big clean pocket

> On second and one, Pederson elects for simple conversion, and RB Darren Sproles converts for 2 on a dive

> RB Wendell Smallwood for 2 as the World Wide Lemur notes the OL is even more make shift than usual, thanks to G Ron Brooks taking ill

> From the gun and play action, Wentz to WR Dorial Green-Beckham for 13, and man, Yellow's secondary is, to be Barkley-esque, turrible

> Wentz to WR Jordan Matthews for 8 on a high slant, good hands by the Eagles' best and not very good wideout

> On 2nd and 2, not so simple conversion, as WR Bryce Treggs gets a few on an end around with a massive block by G Allen Barbre on LB Clay Matthews

> Wentz to DG-B for a big gain on a clean play action drop, and all kinds of room for the WR

> Matthews off as Went takes DG-B again on a slant for 6, then on the opposite side to get to the 3

> Sproles to the 1, as S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is lucky to save the points

> Wentz shows his legs and dives for the goal line for the score; excellent tit for tat

> K Caleb Sturgis connects, and we're tied after 11 minutes of No Defense Monday

> Eschewing the onside, touchback, but maybe I'm just being pessimistic

> Rodgers to RB/WR Ty Montgomery for easy yards out of a complicated backfield, then easy conversion for Starks

> Starks for 2 in what almost passed for defense, then blitz for no effect as Rodgers takes Nelson for 13

> From the Green 48, Nelson for 9 on the bubble screen, and I'm not sure this defense gets a stop tonight without it being a Yellow mistake

> Rodgers misses Nelson on the fly in double coverage, then on 3rd and no one ever gets a stop, it's Starks on the toss sweep for the kitteny soft conversion

> From the Green 31, Rodgers to Cobb for 10 as the Green secondary isn't good enough to even stay close off the line of scrimmage

> Clay Matthews questionable to return as we start the second, then Rodgers hits Adams again for the 20-yard TD right through CB Nolan Carroll's sad little life

> Crosby connects, Yellow 14, Green 7

> QBs so far tonight are 16 for 18 for 179 yards in 15:07 of time, so, um, yeah

> Barner murdered again and starts Green at their own 14

> Wentz to Mathews for 17 as the coverage gets just enough to keep the pocket clean; Barbre gets it done

> Smallwood for 6 on good line violence, then takes another 7 on nice hesitation and a massive hole

> From the Green 44, Smallwood loses two as the line gets handled, then Wentz runs for an ungainly 9 off a lacking blitz

> On 3rd and please Lord don't give Rodgers the ball back, it's uncalled DPI on a throw to Treggs, and that's just another ridiculous non-call at home for my laundry; something of a theme this year

> P Donnie Jones to the Yellow 13 as the crowd boos some combination of the refs, the defense, ESPN or the last 56 years of title-less football

> Montgomery for 2 in a play call that's a favor to Green, then does that instant throw thing to WR Jeff Janis for the beyond easy 8 yards

> 3rd and 1 and what manner will Yellow choose to convert is a QB option because Rodgers isn't making his fantasy owners happy enough

> From the Green 26, Rodgers to Montgomery for 3 as the line is already looking desperate

> Neutral zone infraction and a stopped play as DT Fletcher Cox jumps; lucky the refs took mercy and killed the play

> Actual pressure and a throwaway with LB Marcus Smith getting some heat

> 3rd and 2 and yeah, no actual chance of ever getting off the field without giving up a touchdown is Rodgers to Cobb, S Malcolm Jenkins not up to the task

> Honest, this has been a good defense at times this year

> Starks for 4 on the toss, MLB Jordan Hicks gets on the scorecard

> Yellow flag as Rodgers looks disgusted, and it's Cook with the wiggle

> Starks for 4 on borderline offsides as the line is getting jumpy

> 3rd and 7 is an actual opportunity to get off the field, but Yellow goes 6 for 6 on the slant to Cobb; no one on this team can cover tonight

> Jenkins stops Cobb for no gain as Green finally plays a bubble screen correctly

> Long clock, then all day to throw, deep ball to Nelson isn't close, and maybe that's how you stop Yellow -- give Rodgers enough time to get greedy

> 3rd and 10 with the crowd feigning enthusiasm is Rodgers to Starks off pressure, and LB Nigel Bradham stops him in front of the sticks

> From the Green 45 on 4th down, full clock of pointless pantomime, then a Yellow timeout

> After commerce and a loving montage of Philly Fan Freakout, Yellow punts, with P Jacob Schum dropping it at the one with a ridiculously perfect check up, and after a frustrating replay and burned timeout, it stays there; good grief

> From the Green 1, Peters' league-leading 8th false start, then Smallwood to the 2

> Wentz with a perfect fly to Mathews for 20 yards, nice touch, good catch, terrible CB play, and the WR limps off; joy

> Wentz on the worst play action you've ever seen waltzes back into a massive sack, and we're at the 2 minute warning

> From the Green 8 on 2nd and 24, Wentz to TE Zach Ertz for 13, and that at least makes it possible; Yellow timeout

> 3rd and 11 and dear God keep Rodgers on the sideline is Wentz from the gun, draws an offsides; the rook does that a lot

> 3rd and 6 is easier, and Wentz from the gun evades the blitz for 17 yards of Clay Matthews is Overrated

> From the Green 43, Wentz to Treggs on a cross against the rumor of a blitz, with Sproles doing yeoman pick up work

> From the Yellow 46, Wentz evades pressure but can't avoid a throwaway; line isn't winning, but isn't doing so much that Wentz hasn't handled so far

> Green timeout for some reason with 1:27 left, maybe so they can heal a lineman or six

> Wentz from empty to Ertz for 7, clock burning and only one time out left

> Wentz to DG-B moves the sticks, clock moving

> From the Yellow 35, Wentz holds it too long, and DE Julius Peppers closes for contact and an incomplete

> 41 seconds left, Wentz batted down as CB Quentin Rollins comes ludicrously clean to the QB

> 3rd and 10 and points are not a given from here is a screen to Sproles for 3, and Yellow timeout with 27 seconds left

> K Caleb Sturgis from 49 is a big damned deal, because a miss would give Yellow an easy shot; he connects from 48, which is a relief

> Yellow 14, Green 10 with 25 seconds left in the half

> Wouldn't mind to see some kind of clock burn from the kick, and Sturgis obliges with a ball to the 1; returned to the 16

> With 22 seconds left, Rodgers takes a knee, and that's that; you'd never guess from a 14-10 halftime score just how bad the defenses were

> Thanks to my wonderfully considerate daughter who needs a ride and also to make me wait for her, I miss the entire first drive of the second half, which ends in a Clinton-Dix interception of Wentz as I switch from radio to TV, so yeah, it's my fault

> Also, Wentz was intending for Ertz, who is on my fantasy team, so definitely my fault

> Rodgers with all day, throws to Adams, beating McKelvin, and that's 50 yards in a blink; perfect ball by the QB, and this game looks gone

> RB Christine Michael for 4 into the red zone, then Nelson on the bubble for 3

> 3rd and 3 from the 15 is a prayer of a down for the defense, and Rodgers obliges with a scramble to nowhere and throwaway

> Crosby connects from 32 because no figgie ever misses against my laundry, and it's Yellow 17, Green 10

> Rodgers getting his leg looked at, as if he ever misses game time

> Touchback, then Wentz to Burton for a piddling 2 as Green goes no huddle with no weapons

> Outlet to Sproles for 4 against blitz, then 3rd and 4 to keep the ball is the same things for 8 and the first

> Speed to a Sproles give for 1, and he nearly dies on a big hit; gets right up anyway

> Wentz misses him on a blitz outlet, and this offense is looking absurdly one dimensional

> 3rd and 9 and keep Rodgers in his odd little tent is cross to Ertz for 16; big and useful play

> From the Yellow 44 with tempo, Wentz to Barner, who eats contact and spins for the first

> More tempo to a Barner give for 2, then slower before a drop by Ertz as the crowd loses it

> 3rd and 8 from deep figgie range is another big damned down, and it's Wentz from the gun, batted down as the pressure gets there

> Sturgis from 50 to avoid field position and get the points is dead solid perfect; useful

> Yellow 17, Green 13, still a game if the defense ever shows up

> Touchback, then Starks for nothing as Yellow continues to do running play favors

> Rodgers to FB Aaron Ripkowski for 6 old-time violent yards

> 3rd and 4 and the dream of a three and out would have been achieved, if not for Cox attempting to play football on Rodgers; that's not allowed, and an utter back breaker of a first down

> From the Yellow 46 after the flag gift, it's Starks for 5 as CB Jalen Mills gets some; major profanity on the field mics

> From the Green 49, internal screen and an immediate stop; another short third down that Rodgers will convert, this time on a juggle catch by Nelson over Mills

> No luck for Green

> Rodgers to Cook, ball in the air, falls perfectly for him for 2 yards and more lack of luck

> For some utter asshat reason, Pederson challenges a play that even if overturned, gets him all of two yards; it actually works, but it also means they are out of challenges

> Rodgers screen to Starks, who dallies long enough to let Jenkins stop it; a good back just goes

> 3rd and 5 outside of figgie range, as if Rodgers hasn't converted these all night; no holding call on pressure, easy toss to Starks, first down

> I count three holds on that play, but why not; Yellow now 8 for 10 on third

> DT Beau Allen and Cox stop Starks for no gain as ESPN tells the story that Rodgers is hurt; I call bullspit

> Non-Rodgers runs: 11 for 31 for Yellow

> Yellow has won 28 games while leading after 3, Green has lost 17, so this one's over

> From the Green 26, Rodgers throws it away, and  I guess he does look a little slow on the hamstring

> 3rd and 10 from the gun to Adams, who is Kelly Era open; 23 yards and Carroll is trash

> From the 3, Rodgers gets away with grounding and it's defensive holding on Carroll anyway, so why not; even ESPN buries the call

> From the 2 with no running game, fade to Adams and Sarcasm Cheer for the lack of flag

> Second down, give to Ripkowski, he lurches in as DC Jim Schwartz shows absolutely no imagination, and the DL no push

> Crosby converts, and with 13:50 left, it's 24-14 and damn near done, both game and season

> Touchback, all on Wentz now, with nearly no weapons, against a defense with nearly no NFL players

> From the gun, Sproles for a long gain that comes all the way back for OPI on DG-B, because we can't have nice things, and DG-B has no idea how or when to block

> 1st and 20, this is all Nero Kelly's fault for running off DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, Wentz to Smallwood for 10

> Long clock because why not, then Wentz misses Burton badly

> 3rd and 10 and beat the traffic home is Wentz aginst a blitz, spins through traffic, gets 15 as a gift on a face mask, and that was all escape

> From the Green 47, screen to Sproles, it's actually blocked legally for once, 17 yards

> Outlet against blitz to Burton for a loss, and the rookie QB makes rookie throws sometimes

> Bad snap by C Jason Kelce leads to a gift sack, and the utter lack of blocking along with the bad snap is all we need to say about this line

> 3rd and 19 from the Yellow 46 is Wentz to Treggs in traffic; he can't hang on to a ball that's behind him, and that's that

> No fake punt or other inventiveness, and beat the traffic, folks: Cobb muffs a fair catch but recovers, because my laundry is just that lucky and bad

> Way past caring flags on Yellow for holding on the punt return, then a run; 10 minutes left if you want to delude yourself

> Draw stopped by S Rodney McLeod; for a breath, I had dreams of safety

> 2nd and 14 with the crowd still there for some reason, Rodgers to Ripkowski to get breathing room and the inevitable back-breaking third down conversion

> This one's third and five, makes Yellos 10 for 12 on the night, and it's achieved with a false start on DE Brandon Graham; go home, people, go home

> 8 minutes left and clock burning away, Starks for 6 on way too much run on an obvious run; defense has been garbage all night, so why change now

> Rodgers to Nelson, QB looks absolutely bored and should be, everything here is as easy as it gets in the NFL

> Starks loses yards, all clock, then timeout at end; 5:51 left and no reason to watch this waste of time

> Rodgers tries Nelson deep for no good reason at all, and the WR can't make the one hand grab; clock stops

> 3rd and 12 and how will Rodgers convert this one is all day to throw, the offensive line never called for holding, Nelson wide open, good night now

> More plays happened, one of them even a penalty for offensive holding just for chuckles

> 3rd and 18 with Rodgers looking like he's going to fall asleep and the stands empty and/or quiet, bubble screen to Adams to run out of bounds for chuckles

> Refs call a delay five seconds after the clock runs out, but it's 12 men on the field because even the Green STs are absolute trash tonight, too

> 4th and 5, Rodgers comes back on for giggles, Yellow timeout, then gadget backfield formation, throw to Nelson, obvious OPI push off, but what the hell

> Nelson is actually laughing about how much he got away with there, as if it mattered

> Runs to the 2 minute warning, and I've had surgeries that were more run to watch than this game

> Crosby connects, 27-13, and assuming the offense hasn't already showered, they get to play again

> Barner to the 12, and yeah, the STs suck now, too

> Wentz in to try to pad his stats, does so on a bullet to DG-B through multiple guys for 24; kid has talent

> Sack for Peppers, sack for DT Nick Perry, and yeah, just so everyone knows, the line is garbage now, too

> 4th and 29 is a give up Sproles checkdown, and that's the season

> Not sure this team wins another game this year, given injury status and utter lack of fight in a must game tonight

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Top 10 NFL Week 12 Ad Questions

Frank's Wild Years
10) Is Time Warner Cable renaming itself for just the PR benefit, or are there also legal reasons?

9) How does discussing the history of a sandwich name help to, you know, sell sandwiches?

8) Does Southwest think that covering REO Speedwagon with black actors makes the song any less stunningly white?

7) Is it required to be a singing weirdo with authority issues to buy a Toyota?

6) Does giving Jared hoarder charms get anyone laid by someone that would be any fun to sleep with?

5) How much do you have to tip your Polaris flight attendant to not put your privileged finger in warm water on the overnight flight?

4) If Santa has become such a lard butt that he can't even get in his sleigh, is FedEx helping him to anything but an early grave?

3) Can Hum by Verizon also come with video recording, so you can bring charges against your out of control spawn?

2) Is it now illegal to make a movie that wasn't a video game first?

1) Why is it always up to little girls to make the first move to complete the redemption of monsters?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Week 12 NFL Picks: Thanks For Nothing

I suppose this is the heart of ingratitude, and just asking the Universe to smite me and my loved ones down, but I don't see much to like about this year. So let's just get to the picks and try to use the time.

And with that... on to the picks!

* * * * *

Minnesota at DETROIT (-2.5)

The Lions are the best team in a very sorry division, and are going to the playoffs. Where they will lose, of course, because LOL Detroit.

Lions 27, Vikings 17

Washington at DALLAS (-7)


Trump won, Bowie and Prince and way too many other people died, and the Universe is giving me Cowboys-Patriots, the Super Bowl of my nightmares. Couldn't Kirk Cousins smash his head into a wall, Gus Frerotte style, and give me something nice to think about?

Cowboys 31, Racial Slurs 20

PITTSBURGH (-9) at Indianapolis


The line has moved, correctly, since QB Andrew Luck has hit the concussion protocol; Scott Tolzien is likely to get the start. This just in -- he's not good. It's way past time for the Steelers to show the home offense on the road.

Steelers 41, Colts 20

TENNESSEE (-5) at Chicago


Bears weren't deep, then everyone got hurt, and may be the worst team in the NFL right now. The Titans will take advantage.

Titans 26, Bears 13

JACKSONVILLE (+7.5) at Buffalo


Jags are getting back to their old garbage time back door cover best, and the Bills aren't disciplined enough, or deep enough at the skill positions, to run off and hide.

Bills 26, Jaguars 24

CINCINNATI (+4.5) at Baltimore


Without WR AJ Green and RB Gio Bernard, many will think the Bengals are DOA in this division match-up. I think they'll get a big game out of RB Jeremy Hill and win, in a bit of a shocker.

Bengals 24, Ravens 20

Arizona at ATLANTA (-4)


Falcons are coming off the bye, and the Cards just look snakebit this year. Also, they can't pass block. That's not good when your QB is ancient and turnover prone.

Falcons 31, Cardinals 24

GIANTS (-7) at Cleveland


I don't trust the Browns to win a game this year, and really don't expect to see a cover, either. Hell of a year you've got going, Browns Fan. I'm also still bitter about the NBA rigging the Finals last year, and preventing the decades-long narrative we had of your town as the year-long Factory of Sadness. Guess football will have to carry the load for everything.

Giants 27, Browns 17

LA Rams at NEW ORLEANS (-7)


Rookie QB Jared Goff couldn't do squat at home in his first start, and that was with a lead for most of the game. On the road in a loud dome, I think he's a hot mess. The Saints aren't a mess, especially at home.

Saints 34, Rams 20

San Francisco at MIAMI (-8)


I hate having to float such big lines, but the Niners are just a dead team walking, and the Dolphins have to feel energized after last week's escape from LA. Especially with the bad Niner run defense.

Dolphins 28, Niners 16

San Diego at HOUSTON (+1.5)


Chargers are battered, Texans need the win after the MNF fail, and the defense looks like it's coming together a bit.

Texans 20, Chargers 17

SEATTLE (-5.5) at Tampa


Seahawks are starting to put it together, especially on the offensive line and in the running game. Against a Bucs team that will be feeling too good about themselves after winning in KC, and can't win at home, they'll get it done.

Seahawks 24, Bucs 17

Carolina at OAKLAND (-3.5)


Wrong game to be missing heart and soul LB Luke Kuechly, and the right game for the Raiders to get back to pancaking people with the running game.

Raiders 27, Panthers 17

NEW ENGLAND (-8) at NY Jets


Yes, this game is always close, and yes, the home team has more talent than they've shown. But the Patriot defense might score against the perpetually wacky Jets, and I'm not sure if the defense gives up points outside of garbage time.

Patriots 34, Jets 20

KANSAS CITY (+3.5) at Denver


Just not seeing the Broncos doing enough on offense to win this one. My KC love is being tested.

Chiefs 24, Broncos 23

Green Bay at PHILADELPHIA (-3.5)


The Packers just don't defend anyone (to be fair, everyone's hurt), and the Eagles have been much better at home. Add in the need for the Eagle DL to prove themselves after last week's confetti bucket job by the Seahawks, and I think this one goes for the home team. Maybe with a charity touchdown for World's Worst WR Nelson Agholor. Also, they survive the back door cover attempt.

Eagles 34, Packers 30

Last week: 8-6

Year: 65-91-4

Career: 824-842-53

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Eagles - Seahawks Diary

What This Game Was Like
> Wet weather adding to CBS's concern for rookie QB Carson Wentz, so expect 3+ hours of Phil Simms discussing wetness now

> Jim Nantz jinxes the kickoff coverage, so K Caleb Sturgis puts it in the end zone for funsies

> RB CJ Prosise for a loss of one on a harmless screen, then QB Russell Wilson misses WR Jermaine Kearse on a slant

> 3rd and 10 and make the decision to defer the kick pay off is Wilson running after heavy pressure, but not getting to the sticks; defense keeps up its string of good early

> PR Darren Sproles fair catches at the 22 after solid work by SEA P Jon Ryan

> Wentz to TE Trey Burton for 14 on a slant; nice hands and a really good throw

> S Kam Chancellor down for a play, and Seattle isn't as deep as they used to be if he can't make it back, though he's running fine

> RB Ryan Mathews for 5 as Chancellor returns after a play off; no concussion protocol

> False start by RT Jason Peters on crowd noise, which isn't going to help

> Play action misses TE Zach Ertz, but Green lobbies for DPI and gets the call

> From the Green 45, Wentz misses Ertz again; all TEs so far on throws, which seems wise

> Wentz dumps on pressure as the o-line looks on their heels

> 3rd and 10 and don't make a mistake when you have the worst 3rd down percentage in the NFL is Wentz with time, then not, then scrambling and bailing, because this group could have 10 seconds and not get open

> P Donnie Jones to the end zone as Blue does nice trickery to make sure the gunners aren't near the ball, and Jones didn't get his job done

> Prosise for 8 as S Rodney McLeod is first to the carrier; not great

> Prosise for 72 as he's never touched, and, yeah, um, so much for the defense traveling

> McLeod with a bad line to prevent the points, but the LBs got entirely sucked up, the CBs looked like Keystone cops, and that's all kinds of terrible and worrisome for the rest of the day

> K Steven Hauscka's PAT is blocked for small consolation; something of a trend today in the NFL

> Mathews for 19 on the pull sweep that C Jason Kelce does well

> RB Kenyan Barner on a slow developing run to the same left side; it gets 11 as the line does the trick again

> From the Blue 46, play action into the end zone, double coverage, short to WR Bryce Treggs and yeah, not much for WRs today

> A yard for Mathews, then 3rd and 9 and stop the avalanche is a timeout on crowd noise, and rookie QB on the road in Seattle is not exactly a prescription for fun

> After the timeout, Wentz has time and then not; sacked by LB Bobby Wagner to end the series

> Peters limps off because this game isn't starting off with enough fun; Jones can't do his job again and Seattle starts at the 20 again

> Wilson to TE Jimmy Graham for 5 off play action and pressure, then a toss to Prosise and a loss of six as the d-line wins across the board

> 3rd and 11 and get off the field please is Wilson missing WR Paul Richardson on a fly route against a blitz; CB Jaylen Mills is physical and doesn't get a DPI flag

> Ryan to the Green 32, no return on 50 yards of net

> Peters out with forearm injury, and this is usually a disaster

> Mathews loses a yard, then Wentz takes Ertz on play action for seven yards

> 3rd and 4 and I'm not sure how you move the ball is long clock, then a slant to WR Dorial Green-Beckham, who takes punishment and holds on for 11, amazingly

> Toss to WR Wendell Smallwood to the left, only gets one, as the line looks predictably degraded with shuffling and Peters out

> Wentz with time, no targets, and Sproles for a checkdown; a flag is picked up

> 3rd and 3 and outside of figgie range is Wentz from the gun and alone, long clock, and a tapped catch and first down for Burton; the play comes back on offsetting flags as it's just a full on mess

> On the re-try, Wentz gives to Smallwood, who gets 4 and runs through contact for the first

> From the Blue 40.5, Sproles to the left for 7, as Green shows they like that side very much

> Mathews for a couple up the middle, but doesn't move the chains

> Measurement for no good reason, then Wentz on illegally great surge for a winning sneak

> Mathews for 1 to the left, then play action to TE Brent Celek, who old mans his way to the 9 on a good touch pass

> End of the first, as HC Doug Pederson continues to do his clock magic; it also "helps" when the defense gives up a huge play to get off the field

> From the Blue 9, Mathews to the 5, and nearly had more

> From the 5 with Mathews looking hobbled, Wentz to Ertz on a cross, and the TE reaches with the ball and scores a touchdown for the first time this year

> Legitimately great play by the TE there, and with the successful PAT by Sturgis, my laundry leads on the road in Seattle, amazingly

> Wentz's first TD pass in three games, and a hell of a drive without your presumed best offensive lineman

> Short high kick, bad idea lateral run, and the gunners bring down KR Tyler Lockett at his own 6; helpful

> Wilson to Kearse on move action for 12, and yeah, the QB is really good

> Motion on Blue, then Wilson tries RB Thomas Rawls on a screen, ended with exceptional violence by CB Nolan Carroll for an incomplete

> 2nd and 15 is another false start into a Green blitz, and Blue's OL is not looking good right now

> Wilson to Kearse for an easy chunk of 17, then on 3rd and 3 and I'm not feeling confident is Wilson to Graham for the easy slant and first down; Wilson looking very comfortable despite blitzes

> Play action and a deep ball to WR Doug Baldwin is missed, but S Malcolm Jenkins gets hit with a hold for another first down

> Rawls for 9 as Blue remembers that running plays were working before, and yeah, getting back RB1 helps them, too

> Despite early pressure by LB Nigel Bradham, another Blue first as Rawls can keep moving forward

> Rawls to the left for tons of room and 18 yards as the Seattle WR corps blocks well

> NFL's 30th ranked rushing offense for Blue is already +30 over their per-game rate, and it hasn't been all the touchdown play; Blue loses a starting tackle in George Fant on the play, which just makes things even

> In long figgie range, Rawls for 3, then 1, as DT Fletcher Cox gets his first mention of the day

> 3rd and 6 from the Green 30 is a textbook pick to free up Lockett, but instead of letting it go for 27, it's a loss of 10

> 3rd and 16 outside of figgie range is a free play due to an offsides by DE Brandon Graham, and a missed deep ball in coverage; smart play by the QB to risk it

> 3rd and 11 is Wilson dealing magic on pressure to Graham, and poor tackling by DB Jaylen Watkins compounds the disaster for a touchdown

> Honestly, just seven points of brilliance by the QB, because an ordinary player gets nothing from that, and the drive ends outside of figgie range

> 92 yard drive by Blue as the defense continues its Jekyll and Hyde routine that they do in losses; Blue gave them so many flags in that drive, it was absurd

> Successful PAT make it Blue 13, Green 7 with 8:20 left in the half

> Touchback, then Smallwood to the left for 2; Peters is back after a winning X-ray, though maybe he shouldn't be

> Wentz to Ertz for 12 and a first on Wagner; impressive from the QB and TE

> Wentz to Matthews for 3 on the ugly cross, and why the WR thinks he can beat this secondary laterally, I'll never know

> Smallwood for a yard as Wagner shows his quality

> 3rd and 6 and quiet the crowd is Wentz to Ertz on a screen for what would have been a 72 yard score, but the whole thing comes back on a killing flag for illegal formation

> That would have been the best play in Ertz's career, with amazing speed for a man that size, and it was all for not a damned thing

> This is where I note that Ertz is on my fantasy team, because of course he is

> 7 point flag for an utterly meaningless infraction

> 3rd and 11 and we're just suicidally depressed is Wentz scrambling off pressure and getting a throwaway, so, um, yay

> Jones to the 23 on the punt, then Wilson to Baldwin for 44, because Seattle knows how to get kill shots

> Wilson to Lockett for 31 on not enough pressure, and Green doesn't get the major break of a touchback on a last-second fumble

> No gain for Rawls, then Wilson throws it away on pressure

> 3rd and goal from the 3 is Wilson from an empty set, misses Kearse on the slant that Seattle Fan probably will never like again, as Carroll rallies

> Hauschka makes from 21, and it's Blue 16, Green 7 with 3:47 left, and Still A Game

> Replays show that Disaster Nelson Agholor was the guy who ruined the Ertz score, and then he compounds the error by dropping a perfect pass as he's open for once

> Sproles for 8 on the off run, then a batted ball to end the series, as Chancellor's blitz is perfect

> Jones nearly hit and doesn't get off a good kick, and Blue's got it back with 2:47 left in the half and the chance for ample kill shottery

> Holding because the Blue offense isn't very good (even with Fant's return), then more movement; good thing these guys are at home

> Prosise for 2 as Blue gets conservative before the 2 minute warning; might come back to bite them, since Green has two timeouts left and a tolerable kicker

> 2nd and 23 is a dump to Prosise for a quick stop and a Green timeout

> 3rd and 19 and give your offense a chance is a checkdown to TE Luke Wilson, with Jenkins stopping him before the sticks; final Green timeout with 1:45 left

> Ryan to Sproles, and the PR gets it back to the Green 37; not bad, but he looks dinged afterwards

> Barner gets 5 on an odd call, quick clock, then a terrible idea throw to Ertz for 2 and in bounds

> 3rd and 2 with less than a minute left is Wentz from the gun, to Ertz, moves the sticks

> From the 50 with less than 30 seconds left, picked by Chancellor; Wentz just telegraphed the throw and never saw the DB

> From the Blue 40 with 16 seconds and 3 timeouts, options for the home team

> Wilson to Prosise is incomplete on pressure from both directions

> Wilson misses Richardson on the sideline; the WR was open, but the throw wasn't good

> With 4 seconds left, Wilson to Rawls for 20 meaningless yards, and that's the half

> Smallwood ruined as CBS tells us two Green RBs are out, then Wentz tries a hyper-dangerous out that CB Richard Sherman nearly houses

> 3rd and 11 and danger all over is movement from the line on crowd noise, because why make this easy; Peters' 7th, which leads the NFL

> 3rd and 16 and just don't get picked is Barner dropping a checkdown that would have only changed about five yards of field position, and yeah, so much for the offense turning in a plus effort in a tough spot

> Jones for 60, Lockett for a yard, excellent ST work

> On the defense to keep it a game, and Rawls for 5 through CB Leodis McKelvin isn't encouraging

> McKelvin separates Baldwin from a 20+ yarder; excellent play by the CB

> 3rd and 5 and have to have it is Wilson to Baldwin, shakes off a hit, keeps for 10, moves the sticks, dude is just aces

> Wilson, all day, runs for 3 and looks fine doing it

> RB Troymaine Pope in for a yard of respite for Rawls

> 3rd and 6 from the Blue 40 is another big damned play, and Wilson has time until he doesn't, with a 1-yard trip sack from DE Vinny Curry and Marcus Smith

> With no Sproles on, Barner lets a ball bounce; 59 yards of net to the Eagle 1, and yeah, that's not helpful in the least

> Wentz tries to get Blue to jump, gives to Smallwood, gets four yards of margin

> Play action arm punt, Wentz tries for Treggs in double coverage, and Sherman collects it easily at his own 35; 54 yards of net, at least, and S Earl Thomas looks hamstrung

> Wentz has spent most of this year not looking like a rookie who has never played against elite athletes, but in this game, um, he looks like that

> Wilson tries Kearse deep, just out of bounds, then Rawls loses yards as Cox is hurt, and oh hell; he gets up, thank the Lord

> 3rd and 11 and get off the field is Wilson eluding pressure, Baldwin wide open for 34, and yeah, you've seen that play before; DE Connor Barwin down on this play and then up

> From the Green 26 with the game about the get out of hand, Rawls for 8 with violence at the close, and it seems like the road team is losing its appetite for football

> Rawls for 2 and the first as he does his Marshawn Lynch impersonation, then a gadget play where Baldwin throws to Wilson for the score, because it's time for confetti buckets

> Blue 23, Green 7, 22 minutes left

> Smallwood for 4 as Pederson tries to lose with dignity, then long clock and a checkdown for another 4

> 3rd and 2 and keep your pants on is Wentz in the empty set and a Blue timeout; long clock, drop by Matthews, fire up the bus

> CBS notes that Wilson has as many receiving yards as the Seahawks QB; um, yup, we know, they suck

> Rawls for 3, then Wilson evades pressure and gets 3 more; just so frustrating for a DL to chase

> 3rd and 4 and keep your pants on is Wilson to Rawls, but McKelvin hits him right on the catch, and that's a 3 and out

> Ryan to Barner, hop and ended, with Burton taking a late hit for funsies

> From his own 9, Wentz short hops Burton and looks tentative, then Smallwood gets 17 on the right side of the line again

> Green has ran for more than they've thrown today, which doesn't speak much for the chance of a 16-point comeback on the road

> Smallwood for 4, then Barner for nothing, and the offense isn't even snapping the ball quickly, which should tell you all you need to know about Pederson's thoughts about this game now

> 3rd and 6 barely gets snapped before the clock ends, then pressure, Wentz doesn't just take the sack, and he's very lucky to have the fumble recovered by T Hala Vaitai

> Green now -220 in total yards, and it's about to get worse

> Jones with a weak punt, Lockett gets 18 on the return, not sure why I'm still watching

> Wilson for 7 as Cox can't track him down; all day for this defense

> Wilson to Richardson, and it must be nice to have WRs who hold on after getting hit; Blue first down

> McKelvin off because he's always off; Rawls for a few, than Wilson to Lockett for a first, and he can do anything he wants right now

> McLeod separates Graham from a ball, then Wilson misses Lockett in the end zone as we are deep into Stat Paddery

> 3rd and 10 has Wilson missing Graham with no flags, as Bradham gets fortunate that feet tangling isn't called

> Hauschka from 35 makes it 20 unanswered points

> Matthews for 6 as Green goes a little up tempo and tries to make this look less terrible; Smallwood gets the second first down of the half on a draw for 5

> Wentz tries Ertz deep; he's not open and it's not close

> Smallwood for 3 to the left, then 3rd and 7 is to Matthews on a cross for the first, miracle of miracles

> DG-B drops what should have been 12 yards; throw wasn't perfect, but whatevs

> Batted ball as Blue seems to be able to dial up pressure whenever they like, then takes Ertz for 7 on clear four-down territory

> 4th and 3 and long clock, drop by Ertz in front of the sticks, and if there's a less threatening set of wideouts in NFL history, I haven't seen them

> Rawls for 8 on scattered running, then 4 more; if Prosise gets healthy as well, this team gets very dangerous

> Baldwin through tackles for 12, and at this point, I'm just rooting for him for my fantasy team without shame

> Rawls for 2 and then 3, then Wilson eludes the entire Eagles defensive line for about 7 seconds before throwing it away to avoid the sack

> Hauschka from 44 misses, pissing off America's fantasy football nerds, and anyone who bet the over

> Wentz to Matthews for 26 on a drag route; stat paddery, and Green's longest play today

> Wentz to Smallwood for 5, then a tipped ball because of course

> 3rd and 5 with Seattle Fan still yelling a lot out of reflex is pre-snap confusion, then a good ball to Matthews for the first

> Matthews now has 5 for 59, none of them impactful

> Wentz tries a free play to Ertz, who can't make a one-handed catch; free 5 yards on pre-snap

> From the Blue 19, Wentz misses an open Ertz in the end zone, lucky to not be picked; bad touch

> Smallwood for 4, then quick tempo and another give, which fools Blue not at all; 2 yard loss

> 4th and 3 might be defensible to kick the figgie, but Pederson goes for development instead, Wentz to DG-B for 8 and the first

> From the Blue 9, Smallwood on the underneath throw for 3, and a Blue injury

> From the 5, Wentz to DG-B for a score, and that was weak work by backup DBs for Blue, but at least some fight from Green

> Down 13, going for 2, and gets it to Agholor on an out against Sherman, of all people; Blue 26, Green 15

> Sturgis with the funky onside kick that, like all onside kicks, doesn't work

> Cox nearly takes the exchange, and a 5 yard loss, as back up QB Terrell Boykin doesn't like life as an emergency RB; Green timeout

> Wilson keeps for 4; Green timeout

> 3rd and 11 give to FB/DT Will Tukuafu just to get Blue out of town; 4th and 9

> Ryan punts from the Green 45 on an 11-man rush; it gets away, and stops at the Green 16

> Wentz with time to Ertz, for 3, tackled in bounds, but illegal shift wipes that out

> Wentz to DG-B on pure prevent for 21, then Smallwood for 18 more; Vaitai is hurt, which is just another disaster moment from a game filled with them; he's able to get up and avoid the cart, but that looks terrible

> Wentz to DG-B for 9, then misses him while open, another wild high throw

> 3rd and 1 to Barner on an outlet for the first, but it's OPI on DG-B, and the 2 minute warning

> I have no idea if DG-B actually knows that you can't block like that before the throw, because it was absurdly obvious

> Pressure because Blue wants it, holding on Peters on a throw away, and Blue declines for 4th and 10, rather than 3rd and 20

> From the gun for fun, Wentz is tipped on pressure, and yeah, whenever Blue wanted to get to the QB, they did

> Blue 26, Green 15, not as close as that would seem

> Eagles are now 5-5, as dead as a doornail in the NFC East, and all of this would be fine if they hadn't started 3-0

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