Thursday, January 12, 2012

Taking Leave of Absence

With the Bengals season over, I will no longer post weekly. There are no longer any Powerless teams left to cover this season. However, I will post every month or so or if some unearthly event happens like Tebow winning the SB...but other than that I will be checking back in after the SB and leading up to the draft as I will keep my eyes on this year's Powerless and keep an eye towards the future Powerless. Enjoy it St. Louis because it is tough to repeat as the most Powerless football team in the world.

Thanks for reading and the support and I'll get with you guys in a few weeks or so.

Cheers! and God bless you all!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

No Defeat Like Playoff Defeat

I decided to keep the Keys to Defeat going for the NFL Playoffs because no defeat is quite as crushing as a playoff loss. I guess it is the finality, the do or die, the struggle of the wills to survive against the necessary skills to back it up, that I love so much. I will be focusing on the lower echelon playoff teams, of course, but eventually all but one of the final 12 will eventually suffer that painful loss (some quicker than others). Before getting into the playoffs, I want to wrap up the 2011 season and do the final Powerless Rankings.

I guess "Diggin in that hind parts" was not on the Bengals agenda Sunday. 

Momentum means everything in the playoffs and the Bengals go in with none of that in Houston this Saturday. The Texans aren't exactly lighting up the League like they once were either and are now showing signs that they have a 3rd string rookie QB running the show. This is what makes the game very loseable for the Texans. The theory of a Bengals win (even stumbling and bumbling their way in and playing on the road in a hostile environment goes like this): The Bengals are near perfect (fact checkers!) agaisnt teams with losing records. Although Houston has a winning record, Yates is 2-3 as a starter. I project Houston would have had a losing record however if Yates had started from the beginning of the season and this should make the Bengals feel at home.

Now, if you ask me, if Jake Delhomme makes the start, all bets are off. Delhomme is the wily sort of veteran QB that by his experience, terrorize the Bengals secondary. Either way, I am tired of hearing about the Bengals Defense being top 10, they have been trending downward the second half of the season and need to step up and apply some pressure and put up a little resistance to Foster, I mean, can they not let him rush for 2 bucks (200 yards)?

Final Powerless Rankings

(Band! Fire up the tune they play when they crown Miss America! Or just hum it as you read this). This is what it all comes down to. This is what teams have not worked hard to achieve. Many gave it nothing they had, and left everything in the locker room. This is your final Powerless Rankings for the 2011 season and after the the top 2 teams being set for so long in there, the last month of the season provided for some extra excitement as everything got all topsy turvy. Without further adieu...

1. St. Louis (At the end of the day, the Rams held out and finished the season just weak enough to barely edge out the Bucs as our most Powerless team of 2011. It looked like they turn the corner a couple of months ago with wins against New Orleans and Cleveland within 3 weeks of each other, they wronged the ship and rolled off 7 straight defeats to end the season).

2. Tampa Bay (They did everything wrong they could have done. In the end, it still wasn't enough to beat out the Rams. Not even 10 straight defeats could do it, even though they lost some of those games in spectacular fashion in blazes of defeat that have only been surpassed by the Saints drubbing of the Colts that fateful Monday night. Raheem lost his job and rightfully so not finding a way to motivate a team that started off 4-2. The Bucs started in the stratosphere, but eventually flamed out as they re-entered the earth's atmosphere and plummeted many miles down to the bottom of the sea floor dropping 10 straight games. I almost conceded #1 to them on the strength of momentum alone, but could not deny the Rams after their lack of hard work. It seems that some of those early Buc victories now have come back to haunt them).

3. Indy (What can I say about Indy? They had the title wrapped up with 3 to play, all they had to do was lose 2 out of 3, but out of nowhere they decided to compete. What a wacky finish that has confused the entire scheme of this year's NFL draft as well. Momentum counts in the Powerless Rankings and Indy played themselves out of the #1 spot just as much as the blazing defeats of St. Louis and Tampa hurled  them past Indy).

4. Minnesota (The Vikes actually played hard this year and were in most games they played. Unlike the top 3 their blowout losses were limited in number and a bounce here or there could have easily netted them a couple more victories. But alas, when you drop 13 games, regardless of how close, you are bound to end up earning a spot in the bottom 5).

5. Cleveland (The Browns finally were able to overtake Jacksonville for the final spot and debut at #5 in the Powerless Rankings! Had there been another month in the season, I am sure that Cleveland could have worked there way further towards the bottom. After some early disapointing victories,the Browns finally found their stride and ended off the season losing 6 straight to surpass Jacksonville).

The NBA Gets One Thing Right

I am not going to rail against the NFL Playoffs like I would the BCS, there is no comparision because the NFL has a playoff system. That being said, I don't like all division winners getting in. I think the NBA playoffs is great because they take the top 8 records from each conference and do not base anything on divisoin. The whole point is if you have a weak division, you can get the division champion in and possibly take a spot from a better team. I just think that playoffs should be your best teams and go on records. I pretty much talk about this every year and it is one of my best ideas to improve the NFL, but will Goodell listen? Noooooo...

Lets compare the current NFL Playoff seedings with what a top record in each conference seeding would look like (Only seedings change, but 1 and 2 still get bye and then home game etc. All tie breakers still same and in effect):

AFC Current Seedings
1. New Engalnd
2. Baltimore
3. Houston
4. Denver
5. Pitt
6. Cincy

AFC Seedings under "NBA Type" Scenario
1. New England
2. Baltimore
3. Pitt
4. Houston
5. Tennessee
6. Cincy

Notes: Nobody from AFC West makes the cut, because they don't deserve it. With their best record being 8-8, it is not fair that Denver gets to dance while Tennessee with a better record stays home. The 6 would still play at the 3 and the 5 at the 4. So you have Cincy at Pitt and Tennessee at Houston in Wild Card weekend. Wild Card should just mean let the 3-6 seeds duke it out to see who gets the privelege of going to get beat at the 1 or 2. It is simply not right that Pitt at 12-4 has to play an away game against the 8-8 Broncos.

NFC Current Seedings
1. Green Bay
2. San Fran
3. New Orleans
4. New York
5. Atlanta
6. Detroit

NFC Seedings under "NBA Type" Scenario
1. Green Bay
2. San Fran (same tie break scenario)
3. New Orleans
4. Atlanta (same tie break scenario)
5. Detroit
6. New York Giants

Notes: Only change here (BUT IT IS A BIG ONE) is that New York slides below Atlanta and Detroit. Again, why should the Giants at 9-7 host a game when Atlanta finished up 10-6? In this case, you get NYG at New Orleans to lose and a dream match up of Detroit at Atlanta in the dome. I don't know about you but  I just like the way the best record seedings feel. Divisions are good for scheduling and geography and to develop rivalries, but if you win a weak division as a weaker team, you should not be rewarded in the playoffs with an empty title of "division winner."

Teams That May Have Been Better Off at Home

Consider this a sort of Playoff Powerless Team Preview as I will look at some of the Powerless teams playing this weekend to see who will go home and wish they stayed home. I will not be ranking them:

Broncos - Pitt is going to beat the stew out of the Broncos. Really (as I noted above), the Broncos are not a playoff team and they may regret making the field of 12 at some point right around the 3rd quarter.

Cincinnati - Even though they could very well win the first game, they are Defeated against their playoff brethren at 0-6 or 0-7 vs. this year's field (Fact checkers!) Even if they win, they are facing a playoff massacre in New England where the Vegas would probably put the line at Pats favored by 36 points...It would be so ugly...I can't even imagine, I almost want to see that just to see how many records the Pats would break in a single playoff game.

Houston - Even though they could very well win the first game, with Yates at the QB spot, they are not a true contender. Even if they win, they are facing a playoff massacre in New England where the Vegas would probably put the line at Pats favored by 36 points...It would be so ugly...I can't even imagine, I almost want to see that just to see how many records the Pats would break in a single playoff game. (Yep, I copied and pasted it).

Giants - Although they do belong in the playoffs, they will probably be a one and done. They get a home game vs. Atlanta, but they can not rush the ball. I don't think Eli can win on his arm alone in the playoffs and Atlanta visiting could get ugly. The thing that may save the Giants is if it gets very cold, but temps are expected to be in the 40's and 50's this weekend...sooooo. Even if the G-Men manage to win against a better Atlanta team, they more than likely would have to visit GB and face a thrashing at the hands of the Lombardis.

Well guys, go forth and enjoy Wild Card Weekend! I will be back next week to look at how some of our Powerless Playoff Teams fared and to look forward to the following weekend of Playoff action. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year, the NFL Playoffs! Enjoy!

And as per usual, thanks for reading
Happy New Year and God bless!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Dig in That Hind Parts!"

Keys to Victory?

Victory: Is this what it's come to?
I am going to take a slight detour to begin today's journey. Normally I like to focus on losing and losers in the aptly titled "Keys to Defeat." But let me just take a minute to talk about victory and my beloved Bengals as they find themselves in an almost surreal "win and you're in" scenario. I could sit here and analyze what the Bengals need to do to win, and actually started to do that with a good friend of mine (who is a Steelers fan that lives in Baltimore, go figure). But as he succinctly put it, as only a Black man from Petersburg, VA can, "Rush, I don't need analyst talk, I need yall to dig in that hind parts!"*

Ferocity the Bengals need
"And that's the bottom line!" The Bengals have to get after those little Raven hind parts period. The Bengals need to forget about the second half of their season, the fact that they are leaning on rookies on offense, their defense has slackened as the season progressed, Mike Brown buying the remaining share of the Bengals left on the open market, the injuries, their lack of a quality AFC North (or NFL for that matter) wins, getting smacked in the mouth already by the Ravens and Pitt twice, Simpson getting busted with distribution weight marijuana on his doorstep, their weak secondary, their 1-6 record against opponents with a winning record, and average at best O line; and walk right up (behind the Ravens), tap them on the shoulder and as soon as they turn around to see who it is, cold-cock them with a sucker punch staight in the face.

Sacko Flacco (I know, I know)
The Bengals really need to win this convincingly to prove to themselves they belong. (Although, I recognize a win is a win is a win in the NFL, there is something psychologically beneficial to diggin in some hind parts of the opposition). They have been getting smacked around by winners in the League long enough. Time for that little brother getting his head dunked in the toilet by his older brothers to cease! The Bengals can't take time to think, they have to play and play fast and hard, and this is how they can dig in on that hind parts.

This is a playoff game for both teams as the Ravens not only can secure the division, but they can also capture home field with a New England loss. The Ravens will not lie down or rest starters in the 3rd quarter. But the Bengals playoff lives are at stake, their very existence is being challenged and they must step up not only like they haven't before, but like it's the playoffs. Marvin has to explain to his young team what playoff football is all about, or better yet, he should bring in HoFer Anthony Munoz. Marvin has to tell his team now is not a time to relax but to get tense and fired up as if this is the beginning of the playoffs because it is. The Bengals better grow up real quick if they don't want to be stood up for the big dance.

*Explanation of "Dig in That Hind Parts"

This is a saying I've never heard before, but immediately understood as a play on the steet vernacular of "gettin in dat ___" (c'mon, it's a family blog, sorta). Gettin in someone's ___ is not sexual (at least not for the purposes of our conversation), but speaks to domination of a person/team by another person/team. Of course, upon further analysis my friend's phraseology uses the concept or metaphor of digging, which actually goes a step beyond getting in as digging signifies a focused and concerted effort to go deep. In other words getting in is somewhat surface level while digging in symbolizes an entrenchment or intent to stay, thus promulgating dominance...i.e. planting a flag in enemy territiory to signify that it is now yours which speaks to a type of ownership (that reminds me of the term "Owned"), which is often used in competition to signify dominance.

A hunting we will go
Of course the "hind parts" is a colorful and cleaner way to say "___." I should also note that the character Omar from HBO's The Wire (greatest TV drama ever) told some detectives that he shot someone (I think the boy Mike Mike) in their "hind parts." Thus, dig in that hind parts means he doesn't want to see a close game but he wants the Bengals to dominate from start to finish so that it really is not even a contest and the victory for the Bengals is assured and never in doubt. I love my Southern brothas who have great expressions, and colloquialisms.

Oops I Did It Again, and I'll Do It Again

Coughlin: "Glad to beet ya!"
You can't teach an old dog new tricks, you can't turn a ho into a housewife, you can lead a horse to the trough but can't force it to drink...take your pick of these idioms and they all apply to Rex Ryan. I don't know why I originally didn't write about this, but I should have. Rex Ryan basically did some major talking before the Giants game while Tom Coughlin took the high road and kept his comments focused on the game. Although Coughlin played it right in the media, can you imagine how he fired his team up with the words from the Rexicon... I once prognosticated a few weeks back that all Rex and his big mouth do week after week is add pressure to the Jets and create top notch bull's eyes on his team's back and bulletin board material firing up the other players to pound the Jets.

Jacobs: "We dug in that hind parts today!"
This obviously happened against the Giants. (I am not so naive as to think this is the sole reason the Jets lost, but you have to blind not to make a conneciton here). Teams love to shut talkers up. Rex not only talks too much but he also has too much pride and is foolish. It is this type of pride that won't allow him to take a hard look at Sanchez and his season and bring in a strong back up to compete for the starting QB job. The Jets owner will ultimately have to step in and force Rex's hand on this, if he wants to get back to winning and end the regression. Anyways, as obvious as it is to me and you that the Giants pummeled the Jets in part to shut Rex up, his foolish pride will not allow him to stop talking. He maintains that he won't stop talking and it is just who he is. I guess Rex fails to realize that his brash act, once refreshing, is now old and tired and detrimental to his team's success. Be careful Rex, you could be out of a job quicker than a New York minute if you don't take time to get a in a good long look at the mirror and find a way to bridle that tongue.

(New Look) Powerless Rankings

To say there has been a shake up in the Powerless Rankings would be an understatement. It is more like a seizmic shift of cosmic proportions that has taken place over the last 3 weeks. Even though last week the 1-4 spots were identical to the week before, I noted that it was just the calm before the storm. With Indy on a 2 game tear, and St. Louis and Tampa Bay continuing to come on weak; as I write this brief introduction, I still do not know who is going to fit where. I will sort that out in the next few minutes, but one thing I already know is that YOU HAVE A NEW BOTTOM POWERLESS TEAM (for the first time in many moons).

1. St. Louis (Barely keeping pace with Tampa at this point. It all comes down to this final week, although things look good for St. Louis as they go up against the SF Gold Diggers. This should be enough to guarantee them the quality of loss they will need to hold off the exponentially surging Bucs).

2. Tampa Bay (The Bucs simply will not be denied. They have been the coldest team in the League for 3 weeks running now and show no signs of letting up in Atlanta this weekend).

3. Indy (Drops 2 spots...apparently after dropping their first 13, winning 2 is enough of a stumbling block for St. Louis and the Bucs to fly by them. They will end the season on a 3 game winning streak, but will not drop out of the bottom 5 all together...although they could drop another spot depending on how things play out with Minnesota.)

4. Minnesota (Has a pretty strong hold on #4, they would need a colossal loss against Chicago to pull past Indy).

5. Jax (Is barely holding off Cleveland from grabbing their spot at 5).

Dishonorable mention: Cleveland (they are right on the heels of Jax for that #5 spot).

Well, we are getting close to our final Powerless Ranking of the 2011 season and the above 6 teams have really set themselves apart and earned a worthless place of dishonor. But alas, there can only be 5, so next week there will be no dishonorable mention, just the 5 most pathetic and Powerless teams the NFL has to offer. I don't know how the bottom 3 will finish, but Minnesota at #4 looks pretty settled and the #5 is down to Jax and Cleveland to give up over. Now you've seen by now all the playoff scenarios and know exactly what your team and others have to do to make the dance, but get a load of this:

#1 Powerless Scenarios:

I will take a look at the 3 horse race for that #1 spot and see what these teams have to do to get to the bottom.

St. Louis - clinches #1 spot with a convincing loss to the 49ers or a tight loss to the 49ers + wins/tight losses by Tampa Bay and Indy.

Tampa Bay - clinches # 1 spot with a convincing loss to Atlanta + a win/tight loss by St. Louis

Indy - clinches #1 spot with a convincing loss to Jax + tight loss/win by Tampa Bay + a win by St. Louis

Who would have thunk just a short month ago that Indy would become a long shot to be the most Powerless team in the League.

Are we family?
Random Thought: I was walking in to the office this morning and apparently someone had a less than stellar evening, evidenced by the chunks they blew on the curb of Hudson St. But as we often see in God's creation, there is absolutely no waste. As I observed pigeons feasting on the spoils of a meal lost by a chap or a lass that couldn't handle their liquor, I thought don't Ravens scavenge as well, and if so, perhaps the Bengals should not "dig in that hind parts."

Random Thought 2: Who would have thought that my friend's text would springboard me to the theme of this week's Keys to Defeat which ironically has to do with not only winning, but dominating? I would love to see this sign at the stadium: "Dig in that hind parts!"

Be sure to dig back in next week for the final Powerless Rankings and a look ahead to some of the playoff teams who have absolutely no shot at winning and may have been better off not making the post season and suffering mind blowing defeats. And with this, the last entry of 2011 I want to wish you all a safe and prosperous 2012!

Thanks for reading
God bless you in 2012 and beyond!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Dream Deferred 
"What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun or does it fester like a sore--and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat or or crust and sugar over--like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load..." -Langston Hughes-

"...Or does it explode?"
You should have seen what I had in store in two weeks when we had the first and probably only ever 0-16 and 16-0...I was going to lead with Charles Dickens first paragraph of his classic book A Tale of Two Cities, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." But I now have to lead somewhat unexpectedly (but not disappointingly) posing a question from the classic Langston Hughes classic poem. A Dream Deferred. A season of dreams and hopes all came crashing down this season as the undefeated Pack fell to the "wildly incosistent" Chiefs (I just may change the name of the 2011 Chiefs team to the Wildly Inconsistents...the Kansas City Wildly Inconsistents...hmm it has a nice ring to it), and much more importantly, Indy finally suffered a victory at the hands of the "who is their highly paid running back again?" Titans.

I hope you guys took my advice last week and savored the moments of complete victory and utter defeat like a fine glass of wine, by opening the bottle and letting it breath (weekly following the wins and the losses stack up), pouring a glass and enjoying the aroma (digging in to how the wins and the losses were happening), and finally taking the sip and realizing that the experience leading up to the moment can never be had again (until the bottle of next season is opened), and so it is gone.

And if you did not get enjoyment out of the polarity that this season brought for a while, then you slammed it back like a Bud Light and really, what enjoyment is there to that? (I guess it is not until the 8th or so Bud Light that the enjoyment begins, but I digress). But there is a bright side to the Colts blowing the loss, the race for the #1 Powerless spot is back on and also, #2 still seems in play with the Bucs coming on weak, so sit back, relax and enjoy a bumpy race to the bottom these last 2 weeks of the season!

We're Going Streaking!

"We're going up the quad and to the gymnasium."
Teams are really putting their worst foot forward to end off the season. I'm sorry guys, I am sticking to ranking only the 5 most Powerless teams in the League, not 10. So drop these last 2 and let the chips fall where they may! Here are the top losing streaks in the NFL right now:

1. Tampa Bay - Lost 8 and are making a strong case for cracking the top 2 in the Powerless Rankings.
2. Buffalo - Lost 7 what a colossal meltdown...this makes sense though.
3. Minnesota - Lost 6 this scrappy bunch has just plain run out of gas.
4. St. Louis - Lost 5 after a couple wins in the middle of the season, they have regained their form.

Colts Recap

Game ball goes to Orvlosky
Yep, this is a little different as I usually do my Bengals recap, but I just had to go over a few points about the Colts first W. I could see the handwriting on the wall, and this disappointing win was foreshadowed in my blog last week. Indy was not going to give up the 500 point benchmark needed to go undefeated. Also they are playing in one of the most injury decimated, underperforming, and reorganizational divisions in football, so they were bound to get at least 1 of these last 3 (and quietly, I wouldn't be surprised if they finish off the season with a 3 game win streak defeating Houston and Jax), but again, I digress.

The thing that sticks out here the most is the anemic rushing attack of the Titans and their "feature" back CJ2K (who might as well have been C3PO the way he ran). I know Indy has the 30th ranked pass D, but that doesn't mean you let Hassleback go hog wild tossin the pigskin. Even if you get down a bit, keep plugging away and eventually Indy will crack. This game says a lot about the mental weakness of Tenny and the ineptitude of Chirs Johnson. CJ carried the ball 15 times for 55 yards, for 3.7 ypc, but when you take out a 35 yard scamper you get the truer tale, 14 carries, 20 yards for 1.4 yards per carry. (Without that long run, CJ2K would have to change his name to CJ1K because he would have been below the Mendoza Line. (Non baseball guys, google it)).

Tenny threw it 56 times, if your name is not Marino, Brady, P. Manning, that is just not a good idea. Tenny also lost the turnover battle and when you're on the road in this league, that is tough to overcome...not to mention the Raideresque penalty yards racked up. That's how the Colts dropped the W, it was really the Titans who handed it to them and showed they wanted the loss more, much more, and in the process ruined our dreams of another Defeated squad while jeopardizing Indy's draft position, but more importantly, their Powerless Ranking.

2008 Lions Celebrate

Boats and whaaaaat!?!?!?!
They will deny this in public, but I've got an insider with the 2008 Detroit Lions who said the celebration of Indy's win got a little out of hand. There were Cubans, $1,000 bottles of champagne, women for hire and passing references to a boat kept being made. I even heard that Kim Jong Il was present...could the Detroit celebration have caused the demise of the cruel dictator? You make the call. Former players even set a few cars ablaze for good measure. Again, publicly, they deny all such allegations of reveling in the end of the misery of a team, but I will say my source is reliable and I know who I believe!

The Sweepstakes

I have purposely avoided talking about Andrew Luck all season, because to me, the kid is just another unproven QB with great potential. We've seen this story before, so until he proves himself on an NFL grid iron, he will be just another QB to me. (Keep in mind most successful QB's in the league were not the 1st pick or even a 1st rounder. But, because this Luck saga will effect the career of one of the, if not the, greatest QB ever, I have to mention it. Indy win was excruciating because now, you have 2 teams who are just a game back for the #1 draft pick with 2 to play. This will be very interesting for a couple of reasons. Everybody kinda assumed that Indy was headed straight for Andrew Luck in a bizarre collision course which would have knocked Peyton out of town, but now it seems the #1 pick is still in play.
You want this guy or Luck?
Should Indy now (after clearly showing they weren't tanking purposely, i.e. starting Orvlosky) now blatatnly tank by starting Painter and benching Wayne and Garcon? If Indy loses the #1 draft pick, would Peyton still want to play there, or would he pull a Carson to get out of town. Would Indy have to do damage control so they would not end up in a Lamar Odom taking being offered in a trade personally type situation. If they lost the #1 pick, would they trade up to get it? And this is the biggie: WHO WILL PEYTON PLAY FOR NEXT YEAR? That could be a game changer, injury be darned! The question is tantalizing...I won't go into who has the best chance to land him or who needs him most or who would he go play for (obviously a contender) because that is not my deal. But I will continue to follow the developments and ask the pertinent questions that I often ask myself.

Powerless Rankings

It is the most wonderful time of the year with Indy stumbling arse-backwards into a win the race for the Powerless just heated up this blistery month. Of course as I talk about major shiftings being in the wind, the 1-4 spots remain unchanged, but trust me, this is just the calm before the storm.

1. Indy (suffered a disappointing win, and now all of a sudden, they don't look to have a lock with their next 2 games coming against a playoff team, but with a rookie 3rd string QB and the Blain Gabbert led Jags-there is at least another win in there for them)
2. St Louis (perennial #2 now has an opening to take if they want)
3. Tampa Bay (the Bucs continue to do all the wrong things to strengthen their position in the bottom of the is not inconceivable that they could end up in the 1 spot depending on how things shake out over the next 2 weeks)
4. Minnesota (Minnesota, will probably finish right in this spot, because I don't see anybody that can overtake them, and the 1-3 will all interchange positions but not rise out of the bottom)
5. Jax (has the #5 spot for the week, I imagine this spot will remain the musical chair that it has been until the dust settles on week 17)

Dishonorable Mention: Buffalo (trying hard to crack this top 5 and they are getting weaker by the day, don't be surprised if they sneak in and nab that #5 spot); Cleveland (as usual they are making a B-line to the bottom, but it may be too late and  judging by the lack of quality in the top 4, even Cleveland may not make the cut)

Now for some Honorable Mention 

Future household names?
Andy Dalton tossing for 3,000 yards this season as a rookie (I think only the 5th NFL QB to ever do that!!!!)...Congrats kid! Now hopefully Mike Brown hires a GM and expands the scouting department before Big Red gets fully Bungalized; AJ Green for catching 1/3 of Dalton's 3G, going for 1,000 yards in his rookie campaign. Great job guys!

One Hitter Quitters

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will do 90 days. Whatever, can we just stop expecting our athletes to be perfect and also, we should not teach our kids to put their full faith in any person because no person is perfect. We have to manage our expectations of athletes and all people. On another note, you can put your complete trust, confidence, faith and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ...I'm just sayin...

I think Harrison has a legitimate point on the Browns organization being penalized. Of course the NFL would never do that, and they proved as much by saying they wouldn't. Why shouldn't the managment take some blame for putting the guy back in the game? But I'd like to clarify, Harrison is not a dirty player, he is a hard hitting, nasty SOB...which is what you want on your D...that said, he needs to tweak his tackling and perhaps this offseason NFL coaches should take it back to the basics and do some "pee-wee" league tackling drills.

I almost didn't mention the Bengals as a team and they are my team, but in a blog that features the lower-echelon teams, mediocre just doesn't cut it! It is hard to believe the playoffs are still within reach for them, but they will have to win out against the Cards and the Edgar Allen Poes (Ravens for the uninitiated). I think to have a shot. I will recap the Bengals v Cards next week, but just couldn't because I needed to do the Indy game due to the momentousness of the occasion.
Lastly, I just upgraded from my Blackberry Curve to the critically acclaimed HTC Rezound...what was I thinking holding on the Curve?????? This is the first time ever I've been on the cutting edge of technology and with an iPad 2 on the way courtesy of Moms...this is a huge deal for me! Highly recommend the Rezound...

Check back in next week to see if there will be a major shift in the ranks of the Powerless, and we'll also look to see if the Bengals playoff hopes are still alive and other good and great things!

As usual thanks for reading
And in the truest sense, Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Colts Still Defeated with 3 to Play!

NFL Parity (Especially at the Top and Bottom of the League)

Let's just take a moment to relax, release, and relate what we may see not only this season, but in the span of 5 years. This season there is a better than average chance that 2 teams will run the tables (one of those being in reverse), going 16-0 and 0-16. I don't think many people are taking this moment as seriously as they should...Forget Tebowmania, this should be the absolute biggest story line of the year in the NFL. The odds are so stacked against one of these occurrences from taking place, but to have both occurrences take place within the same season borders on miraculuity (yes I made that up and as of now I coin that phrase to mean on the verge of being a miracle, if it wasn't such a trivial matter in the entire scheme of things).

Not only that, but we have to look back to 2007 and 2008, where in the span of 2 seasons we had teams that went Undefeated and Defeated. Now, just 3 seasons later, the entirety of this moment can crystallize into one shining moment of glory and agony at the same time...The NFL prides itself on parity and all teams after a while getting a chance to climb out of the hole and contend for a title, and this is true, more than any other pro sports league. The team that went 0-16 in 2008 is now a playoff contender and the SB champ from that year is now 0-13. I don't know what will happen this week (and I honestly think the odds are better for the Pack to go Undefeated than the Colts to go Defeated), but let's just take a moment, breathe it in, and enjoy this scenario for at least a few more days...Exhale...

Bengals Recap

Is it time for FraidyCat to come back?
In a game they were on their way to not losing, the Bengals showed why they were preseason Powerless darlings as they found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They are finding ways to lose by making some opportune mistakes at key moments in the game. Consider the Bengals had a plus 2 turnover ration in the game, Dalton managed the game well and did not throw a pick.

Of course, the Bengals lackluster offensive performance only gaining a total of 290 yards, inability to move the chains which contributed to them running less plays and not controlling the clock, ineffectiveness in the Red Zone, again, and the D playing poorly all around allowing Yates to throw it for 270 while giving up5 yards a carry, all contributed to the loss. But they still should have won that game, or maybe not. The Bengals of 6 weeks ago would not have lost that game and it has me questioning if their confidence is totally shot. Their swag (as the young folks say) is gone, and they could still salvage a halfway decent draft pick (mid to high teens) if they lose out.

Crennel Wants Chiefs Gig...Seriously

Even Romeo objects to him getting the HC job in KC
Romeo is for now interim head coach at KC and he is already trying to position, cast, and market himself as the front runner for the job. Romeo claims that his "competitive nature" is the drive for him wanting to get another crack at head coaching, you know to prove he can do it. (Where was the competitive nature when he only won 33% of the games he coached in Cleveland, although it was Cleveland). Well, Romeo should have quietly went about his business and kept the seat warm for the next guy. In his career as a head coach was a dismal 29-59 (although he was in Cleveland). Also you have the ubiquitous Coach Chin, The Real Gruden, Jeff Fisher, and the newly minted Jack Del Rio as potential candidates. KC GM, Pioli said that Crennel will get an interview, because he has to say that. But even if Crennel wins the final 3 games and captures an AFC West crown and playoff berth, would anyone in their right mind give Crennel a shot to run their team into the ground?

Indy 500 Revisited

In all the jubiliation that I feel in being able to witness the rarest of NFL polarities, a Perfect and Imperfect team in the same season, there is a disturbing stat floating around out there that only I and my readers have taken note of and that is the 500 points allowed benchmark I brought up a couple months ago. At that time Indy was on pace to give up 500 plus points joining the 2008 Lions and being almost a no brainer to finish Imperfect. However, after 13 games, the Colts are only on pace to give up 470 points. That is a far cry from 500 and that could make all the difference.

Just to recap from the last time we discussed this key indicator of going Defeated, we saw that the only team I could find in the last 20 or so years (as far back as I could get the stats) that gave up 500 points was the 2008 Defeated Lions. I saw teams who gave up 490, 494, 480, 470, which are all lackluster efforts, but apparently not enough to get over the hump to go Defeated. All of those teams had at least 1 win. So it stands, and I stand by my statistical analysis (until it wilts under the pressure of these lousy Colts). I am afraid to say if the Colts don't suffer at least one final blow out to take away what little manhood they have remaining, they may come up and surprise a team and suffer a win. 500 is the key!!!! Pay attention, I am not wrong on this!

Obligatory Tim Tebow Thoughts (Using the Socratic Method)

Is John Elway jealous of the success that Tebow has found in his rookie year or of the love that is showered on Tebow not only by Denver but by the entire planet? Why have Elway and Fox been so non-committal regarding the starting QB job in Denver? Could John Elway go from being Denver folk hero and legend and one day the most hated man in the Mile-High City? Will Denver ownership change the team name from the Broncos to the Miracles? Might Tim Tebow be the biggest household name in the world right now? If the Broncos don't win the division or make the playoffs, will Denver ship him and/or draft a QB? If Denver tried to trade Tebow, would NBA Commish, David Stern, come in and veto the trade? Could I not mention Tebow after yet another unlikely come from behind victory including a freaking 59 yard FG?

Powerless Rankings

We are coming down to it in a mad scramble for the bottom. Tampa Bay is making a strong case to undertake the Rams but the Rams are having none of it. Minnesota has dropped after holding the #3 spot for weeks and the "wildly inconsistent" Chiefs have once again slinked in the bottom 5. There are also several teams on the outside looking in putting together very weak resumes in the interviews to finish one of the most Powerless teams in the NFL.

1. Indy (Remarkably, if the Colts don't lose out to finish the season and the Rams lose out, the most Powerless team title could get a little dicey.)
2. St. Louis (Not to be outdone by the quickly falling Bucs, the Rams lost in convincing fashion this past week. Feeling the footsteps of Tampa Bay, they mounted a terrific loss to maintain a strong but weakening grip on the #2 spot.)
3. Tampa Bay (Now dropping 7 straight with the latest at the hands of the former #5 Powerless squad. The Bucs are mounting a threat that is growing more serious each passing week for what we previously thought was the locked in #2 spot.)
4. Minnesota (If this team continues to put forth effort and show they care, they are going to drop out of the bottom 5, or more aptly put, be undertaken by some teams that don't want it more.)
5. KC (After stating last week that they were not a bottom 5 team and they so far defied my metrics, they go and achieve an epic loss v the Jets. I did get one thing right in my assessment, "wildly inconsistent," and with that they have worked their way back in at #5 taking the spot of Jags.)

Dishonorable Mention: Buffalo (This season has become a train wreck for the once-heralded Bills as they continue to chase down Miami for the cellar spot in the AFC East by losing 6 straight), Washington (Their season is over and even if Sexy Rexy makes it back, it won't be enough to change their fate of finishing in the bottom 10 of the League), Cleveland (is Cleveland), Jax (The fact that the Jags have 4 wins this season is surprising for the team and is a testament of how great MJD is-who is in the top heap of the league in rushing...that being said, they are still led by Blain Gabbert and are still terrible), Carolina (We have discovered that Cam is a beast and that Carolina's future is bright as they build around him, but this season, Cam's Canon is not enough)

Newsflash: Roethlisberger Will Start Monday

Fantasy owners, start em.
Ben Roethlisberger likes to extend plays, and as a QB who likes to extend plays, he takes quite a pounding and is often injured. Ben Rothlisberger is perenially more banged up than Jenna Jameson in her prime, but he always seems to gimp his way out onto the field and commence to have an excellent game. This leads me to believe that in an effort to lull their opponents into a false sense of security, the Steeler organization softly floats this stuff out there about broken thumbs, dislocated noses, broken hands, ankle sprains, pulled muscles and all other sorts of ailments and maladies as smoke and mirrors. (CGI could definitely further this cause). Despite the publicity stunts and hi-jinx, there is one thing for certain, that is that you can count on seeing #7 with his hands snugly under the crotch of Pouncey or whoever starts at Center for the Steelers on Monday night.

Indy Keys to Defeat

This will be the toughest challenge Indy has faced in a while. As we get down to the wire and peek ahead to the last 3 games on the schedule, it will be a tough haul for Indy to run the table in reverse. They have Tenny, Houston, and the season finale, Jax. Believe it or not, Indy actually has a slight edge in the running attack v Tennessee. (But at least CJ2K got paid, right?) Anyway, with Chris Johnson not playing up to par, Houston on their #3 QB, and Jax being led by Blain Gabbert, there is some doubt about whether or not Indy has the lack of talent to drop these last 3 games (not to mention that they are falling short on the 500 point benchmark). But, as I always say, let's not get ahead of ourselves and focus one week at a time.

On offense:

1. Bring back C Pain to start. Orvlosky is scarily serviceable.
2. Run the ball and stick with it...I am saying run it 50 times and especially on 3rd and long.
3. Play-call conservatively.

On Defense:

1. Make wise business decisions when coming up to make tackles...think about it, what is to gain by sacrificing the body. Wait til next year and enjoy a healthy vacation.
2. Play to stop the pass. Go into a prevent mode and don't let anything get over the top. Get into Cover 2 and stay there.

From here on out, Indy's ride will get bumpy and it is almost certain that if the D doesn't give up 500 points on the season, they would have won at least one game, so let's enjoy this while it lasts, because the separation from 0-16 immortality and 1-15 been there done that levels of terribleness is thinner than the line to see Santa on December 26.

NBA (National Bush Association)

"I can't wait to play here!"
So, the NBA has not been able to find a buyer for the New Orleans Hornets, therefore the Association thought it would be a good idea for each owner to own an equal piece of the Hornets until such time as they find a buyer...Can you say conflict of interest? I mean Bud Selig and the MLB ownership of the Montreal Expos called David Stern to congratulate him last Thursday. In case you missed it, David Stern vetoed a 3 team trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers for what many basketball experts say would have been a fair and even good trade for the Hornets.

"Somebody get me Mike Brown on the phone!"
There are many theories floating out there on why this occured, but the prevalent candidate is whining and complaining from small market owners about the rich big market fat cat owners getting richer...etc, This reminds me of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which just goes to show that the war of the haves and have nots takes place at all levels of the socio-economic ladder, even amongst billionaires. Now I am not a basketball analyst, but you don't have to be one to see that this move reeked of the foul stench of conflict of interest and is terrible for the NBA and quite damning to David Stern's legacy. A few years ago David Stern was considered by most a shrewd genius, but now to mention his name with Bud Selig shows how far Stern has fallen. It is ending in such a tragic way for the man who sheparded the NBA from obscurity and helped make it's stars household names the past 3 decades. Unfortunately, this move is like a deeply ingrained crotch stain that won't come out of otherwise well-bleached tighty whities.

Update: The commish apparently has ok'd a secondary trade move of Paul to the Clippers and now with Eric Gordon can the Clippers finally ecClipse the Lakers?...maybe, but the whole thing is still just Bush League and Stern still has -0- credibility.

And in other NBA news, in case you hadn't heard, Russian Billionaire, business tycoon, and by the way, owner of the New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nets, Mikhail Prohkorov is running against Vladimir Putin for the office of Russian President. What a scenario...I will follow up on this most interesting story.
Would Jigga get a spot in the Russian gov?
Join me next Thursday as we find out if the Colts mishandled business and kept the dream of Imperfection alive, which Bengals team shows up in St. Louis, and other news of mediocrity...

Thanks for reading the
I pray the Lord bless you all!