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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Prognostication Bukakke, NFL Week 4.

Panthers (1-2) at Bears (1-2):
Code Red: Please God, let them get something figured out here and get healed up/back on track before the MNF game in Detroit. Bears win.

Iggins!: If I were not a Bears fan I would pick Carolina. But I am, so DA BEARS win.

Mrs. Code Red: Bears.

Lions (3-0) at Cowboys (2-1)
Iggins!: The Lions have had a very pleasant schedule, haven't they? The Cowboys have no business posing as a 2-1 team. Lions win.

Code Red: I know I said I'd stop hating on the Lions, but Dallas at home is a tough draw. Cowboys win.

Mrs. Code Red: I really don't know. I guess the Cowboys, because I want the Lions to lose?

Vikings (0-3) at Chiefs (0-3)
Code Red: Well, Minnesota has to get a break at some point. Adrian Peterson should be the difference here. Vikings win.

Iggins!: The Chiefs showed signs of life last week, and the Vikings will probably lose after being up 35-0 at the half. Chiefs win.

Mrs. Code Red: Chuckle chuckle chuckle. Vi..kings?

Bills (3-0) at Bengals (1-2)
Iggins!: I am riding the Bills to prognostication glory. CIRCLE THE WAGONS. Bills win.

Code Red: No reason to hop off this bandwagon this week. Bills win.

Mrs. Code Red: Bills. Obviously they're somehow actually good.

Titans (2-1) at Browns (2-1)
Code Red: Tennessee has been surprisingly good. The Browns have been playing it way too tight the last couple weeks. Titans win.

Iggins!: Yeah, what the hell? The Titans aren't supposed to be above average! Titans win.

Mrs. Code Red: I don't care? The Titans?

Redskins (2-1) at Rams (0-3)
Iggins!: The Rams look terrible. Redskins win.

Code Red: Really, really terrible. Redskins.
Mrs. Code Red: Sexy. Rexy. Redskins.

49ers (2-1) at Eagles (1-2)
Code Red: Well, my Bears angst is calmed somewhat by the EaglesFail. They should get back on track here, though. Eagles win.

Iggins!: The 49ers are 2-1?! Good God. Eagles win.

Mrs. Code Red: I think Michael Vick is a scam, but the 49ers suck. Eagles win.

Steelers (2-1) at Texans (2-1)
Iggins!: The Steelers appear to be mediocre, and even against the Saints the Texans fought hard. I'll take the Texans here.

Code Red: Houston has to prove they aren't the Texans anymore. Steelers win.

Mrs. Code Red: Texans, because even without Arian Foster (FUCK HIM)* they look good.

Saints (2-1) at Jaguars (1-2)
Code Red: Ha. Saints win.

Iggins!: Saints win.

Mrs. Code Red: Saints.

Falcons (1-2) at Seahawks (1-2)
Iggins!: Wow there are a lot of good 1-2 teams in the NFC right now. Falcons win.

Code Red: Seattle is not one of them. Falcons win.

Mrs. Code Red: Falcons. They're much better.

Giants (2-1) at Cardinals (1-2)
Code Red: That Cardinals secondary is certainly bad enough to lose to Eli Manning. Giants win.

Iggins!: The Cardinals have not yet figured out how to play offense. Which is odd. Giants win?

Mrs. Code Red: Giants.

Patriots (2-1) at Raiders (2-1)
Iggins!: The Raiders are a good team, they just don't match up well against the Pats. Patriots win.

Code Red: The Raiders could shoot out with the Patriots just as well as they did with the Bills, but Tom Brady will probably be too much. Patriots win.

Mrs. Code Red: Do the Patriots ever lose two in a row? Patriots win. WELKAH.

Broncos (1-2) at Packers (3-0)
Code Red: Well, this should be quite the brutalization. Packers win.

Iggins!: There are states in which showing this type of disgusting massacre would be illegal. Packers win.

Mrs. Code Red: That's humorous. Packers.

Dolphins (0-3) at Chargers (2-1)
Iggins!: The Fins... wow. Maybe even moreso than the Vikings these guys find a way to lose. Chargers win.

Code Red: Damn you. Keep picking your beloved Dolphins, moron! Chargers.

Mrs. Code Red: Chargers, and Philip Rivers better have a damn good day.*

Jets (2-1) at Ravens (2-1)
Code Red: The Ravens are the better team, and they're at home. Ravens win.

Iggins!:Rex Ryan, I will reiterate, is an idiot on offense. And that will doom him until he starts acting like the Raiders instead of the frigging Saints. Ravens win.

Mrs. Code Red: I guess I'll play defensive bukakke. Ravens win.

Colts (0-3) at Bucs (2-1)
Code Red: Well, this must have looked like a much better game in the offseason. Bucs win.

Iggins!: Lots of fantasy points for Blount here. Bucs win.

Mrs. Code Red: Bucs.

Prognostication Bukakke NCAA Week 5

Rough week last week. For the first time in two years, Iggins! now holds a lead in the prognostication bukakke. This cannot last.

Iggins!: 34-18
Code Red: 32-20
Mrs. Code Red: 29-23

This week's picks:

Northwestern (2-1) @ Illinois (4-0)

Code Red: Even with the return of Dan Persa, Northwestern doesn't appear to be as talented as Illinois, and Illinois is at home. The Illini win.

Iggins!: It looks like Illinois got the Zook out of their system last week, so Illinois wins here.

Mrs. Code Red: Illinois. Native state, homes.

Arkansas (3-1) @ Texas A&M (2-1)

Iggins!: That was a pretty epic meltdown by A&M last weekend. They'll get an early welcome into the SEC here. Arkansas wins.

Code Red: Sigh. I was hoping you'd pick A&M. Arkansas.

Mrs. Code Red: Texas A&M. Not sure why. I just kind of like the Aggies.

Auburn (3-1) @ South Carolina (4-0)

Code Red: This is exactly the kind of game Spurrier would find a way to lose, but I'll stick with the logical odds. South Carolina wins.

Iggins!: South Carolina has been trying to lose all season, but they just can't! So until they do I'll say South Carolina wins.

Mrs. Code Red: I'll go with Cam Newton. He was at Auburn last year, and now he's in the Carolina region, so South Carolina wins.

Michigan State (3-1) @ Ohio State (3-1)

Iggins!: Here stand two very underwhelming Big Ten teams. I feel like MSU should be better, so I'll take Michigan State to win.

Code Red: OSU sucks. MSU wins.

Mrs. Code Red: The Ohio State University.

Baylor (3-0) @ Kansas State (3-0)

Code Red: I don't think anyone has noticed that both of these teams might be kinda good. I'll roll with Robert Griffin III and Baylor. Baylor Wins.

Iggins!: That was a nice win against Da U last week for K State, but Jacory Harris ain't no Robert Griffin. Baylor wins.

Mrs. Code Red: Kansas State because I hate Baylor, since I had a professor who was a Baylor alumnus who annoyed the crap outta me.

Air Force (2-1) @ Navy (2-1)

Now I'm picking service academy games? Jesus. Air Force wins using their secret weapon: T-REX IN JETS.

Code Red: Coach Unspellable Name for the win. Navy.

Mrs. Code Red: Go Navy, because my Dad was a sailor. Navy wins.

Miss. St (2-2) @ Georgia (2-2)

Code Red: The SEC's two most disappointing teams meet. I'll give the Bulldogs the edge here. Ha. Ha. I make a funny. MSU wins.

Iggins!: The difference is that Georgia has looked much better. MSU appears to suck. Georgia wins.

Mrs. Code Red: I pick the red and black team. Ha. Ha. Georgia.

Clemson (4-0) @ Virginia Tech (4-0)

Iggins!: Crap. Now Clemson is winning the big games they normally lose! If I pick Clemson they will certainly lose, so I'm pick Virginia Tech to win in hopes that Clemson makes me look stupid.

Code Red: Never. Trust. Clemson. Virginia Tech.

Mrs. Code Red: I'll go with the Hokies, because I just found out that means turkey. Awesome. Virginia Tech wins.

Nebraska (4-0) @ Wisconsin (4-0)

Code Red: Now things get interesting. I think Russell Wilson gives Wisconsin the edge. Badgers win.

Iggins!: The Big Ten is basically Wisconsin and a bunch of slightly above mediocre teams (Illinois may be slightly better than that). So Wisconsin wins.

Mrs. Code Red: I'll go with the Huskers. Nebraska wins.

Alabama (4-0) @ Florida (4-0)

Iggins!: You know my policy on Trent Richardson. Alabama wins.

Code Red: Sigh. I'll be the gambling man. Florida wins.

Mrs. Code Red: Alabama. Florida is so 2008.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Packers 27, Bears 17- Ugly

I don't really like admitting I'm wrong. I was very high on this Bears team all offseason as everyone relegated them to third place, and I held my head up very high after they destroyed the Falcons. That team is still there, somewhere, even if it's banged up and has made too many mistakes the last two weeks, but the problem is that we've seen two incredibly disappointing, inconsistent performances. Right now, they're playing like an 8-8 team. There's a lot they can do to patch it up and get better, but that's true of most teams hanging around at that level. The next two games against the Panthers and Lions will determine if they're the Bears I thought they were, or if the naysayers had the right idea. If they're standing here after those two games at 3-2, things will be looking good for the stretch, but if they're not...well, it's going to be a tough go in a division with two contenders who aren't going away.

The Good:
- Lance Briggs: He played well, with 11 tackles and a forced fumble.

- Brian Urlacher: Nice interception. Nearly gave the team a chance to come back.
That's all I've got.

The Bad:
-The offensive line: I can't blame Mike Martz for going away from the run. Every single one they attempted was a fucking disaster. The pass blocking was alright, but that run blocking is going to ground this offense until they get it straightened out. If they can.

-Frank Omiyale: Rot in hell, Frank. Rot. In. Hell.

-Craig Steltz: My God, Craig Steltz vs. Jermichael Finley is the greatest mismatch I've seen in years. Guh. Hurry, Chris Harris.

-Mike Martz: Balance alone isn't Mike's problem. Calling for two different plays where Chris Williams was responsible for pulling and blocking Clay Matthews? Who thinks that's a good idea? He also ran that damn Wildcat of his that has never done a single good thing for this team. He refused to call quick slants or anything else that could have gotten them small chunks in place of the absent run game. I'm really beginning to wonder at this point if Mike makes it out of the season in one piece.

-Jay Cutler: He had some nice moments, and he certainly had to take everything onto his shoulders given the non-existent running game and the poor play of his receivers, but he still threw two awful interceptions and a third that was nullified by penalty. His frustration is understandable, but his poor accuracy today really hurt.

-Johnny Knox- He may have been the team's leading receiver, but he showed off today everything that makes him such a frustrating player. His drop that would have been a first down--and more--on 2nd and 16 was classic Johnny, as you could see him looking for the hit as the ball bounced off his chest and then his face. That gave the Packers the field position they needed for the clinching TD. Then on the 4th and five with the team driving, he quits once more on a slant route and allows the defender to break up the pass. I'm fucking tired of seeing this show. Toughen up or just give up on football, Johnny. It's getting old.

The Ugly

-The officiating: Both teams had their fair share of issues with penalties, but the no-call when Woodson knocked down a streaking Hester on what should have been a TD pass was awful, as was the decision to only flag Hester when both Hester and Shields were throwing fists, and especially the phantom penalty on Corey Graham that nullified Knox's punt return TD. They couldn't even name the "real" player who committed the penalty. It was fucking awful.

That's it for now. This team needs to find some answers, fast.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Prognostication Bukakke, NFL Week 3

49ers @ Bengals

Code Red: This game will suck. Bengals.

Iggins!: Andy Dalton has been surprisingly serviceable in his rookie year, but nobody really cares because Cam Newton is the second coming. Bengals win.

Mrs. Code Red: I'll go with the Bengals, because I've actually heard of their QB.

Lions @ Vikings

Iggins!: The Vikings have played two teams who are clearly superior to them and lost in heartbreaking fashion both weeks... yup. Gonna happen again. Lions win.

Code Red: Well, spite is still driving me. Vikings win. This is probably the last week I'll forfeit a win in vain hopes that the Lions will fall apart.

Mrs. Code Red: Lions, because the Lions actually don't suck and the Vikings do. Strange world.

Broncos @ Titans

Code Red: Well, the Titans defense has been surprisingly decent, and the Broncos aren't good. Titans.

Iggins!: Hoo boy was that confusing. The Titans lost to Luke McCown in week 1... then they turn around and stymie the freaking Ravens? My gut tells me these guys are basically this year's version of last year's Browns and that they play big against tough opponents and play poorly against the weak. But until I see the Broncos beat them I won't fully accept that so I still think the Titans win.

Mrs. Code Red: I'm gonna have to go with the Titans because I just picked up their defense in fantasy.

Dolphins @ Browns

Iggins!: Crap. I'm developing my old desire to pick the Dolphins to win every week. Dolphins win.

Code Red: You damned fool. Browns.

Mrs. Code Red: Let's give the Dolphins a shot.

Giants @ Eagles

Code Red: If Vick ain't startin? Giants.

Iggins!: The Giants looked bad and somehow won by 12. I have yet to see any reason to think the Giants aren't one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Eagles win regardless of their QB.

Mrs. Code Red: Whether Vick is healthy or not, it's about time for him to suck. I'll take Eli and the Giants.

Texans @ Saints

Iggins!: I like the Texans a lot, but I think this game will come down to home-field advantage. Saints win by the narrowest of margins.

Code Red: Yeah, the Saints are just a damn good team. Saints win.

Mrs. Code Red: I want to hope the Saints are really good because of what they did to the Bears. Saints.

Patriots @ Bills

Code Red: New England just has more ammo in a shootout. Patriots.

Iggins!: My upset special of the week. Basically all it takes is an offense with enough firepower and a little magic to beat New England, and Buffalo has that, plus they're at home. CIRCLE THE WAGONS. Bills win.

Mrs. Code Red: Well, I used to think I'd be really confident with the Patriots...I'll go with the Patriots just because they're the Patriots.

Jaguars @ Panthers

Iggins!: If Cam Newton plays, Panthers by a longshot. If not... will anybody care about this game at all if not?

Code Red: Jacksonville is terrible. Panthers win.

Mrs. Code Red: Is that a real game? Panthers

Ravens @ Rams

Code Red: Ravens.

Iggins!: Well after being a trendy pick to have a good season this year the Rams have gone and sucked just like they did last year. Plus the Ravens are going to be SUPER FUCKING PISSED. Ravens win and a Ram will be lost for the season in some way.

Mrs. Code Red: I'll go with Flacco and the Ravens.

Jets @ Raiders

Iggins!: The Jets defense will keep them afloat long enough to win by some stupid score, like 19-16 or something. Jets win.

Code Red: Both of these teams are kinda good and yet kinda not good. I'll gamble on the Raiders at home.

Mrs. Code Red: Jets.

Chiefs @ Chargers

Code Red: My God, the Chiefs are awful. Chargers.

Iggins!: There really isn't any reason not to start Palko or Stanzi at this point. Something needs to be shaken up dramatically on offense so the Chiefs can keep up with their terrible defense. Chargers win.

Mrs. Code Red: Oh my, the Chiefs are boned. Chargers.

Packers @ Bears

Code Red: Well, last week was brutal, but there are a lot of things Mike Martz can do to correct it. I'd really rather not see Green Bay with the team this banged up, but you know I'll take my Bears.

Iggins!: The Packer defense is terrible, what happened in New Orleans had a hell of a lot to do with the Superdome and a dramatic change of offensive gameplan that made no sense. Both of those things will be different here, and the Bears will win.

Mrs. Code Red: I will prove my loyalty here and pick the Bears to win.

Cardinals @ Seahawks

Code Red: The Seahawks and the Chiefs will both be in the running for Andrew Luck. Cardinals.

Iggins!: The Seahawks fall into the same category as the Giants this year as a team that looks like crap all the time despite a supposedly talented roster. Cardinals win.

Mrs. Code Red: Eww. Cardinals.

Falcons @ Buccaneers

Iggins!: The Bucs have not looked particularly good, but really neither have the Falcons. I think the Bucs came to a realization during the second half against the Vikings that running the ball is good and that will carry over here. It'll be close, but the Bucs will win.

Code Red: The Falcons are a better team. Falcons win.

Mrs. Code Red: Umm...Bucs because that angry bird on the Falcons helmet annoys me.

Steelers @ Colts

Code Red: Steelers. Colts suck.

Iggins!: Wow. No words needed. Steelers win.

Mrs. Code Red: Steelers.

Redskins @ Cowboys

Iggins!: Neither of these teams makes any sense, so I really just want to pick the Houston Oilers to win... but I guess I'll settle and take the Cowboys to win instead.

Code Red: Fuck it. I'll roll with Rex. Redskins win.

Mrs. Code Red: I'm sticking with Sexy Rexy until he lets me down. Redskins win.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Prognostication Bukakke, NCAA Week 4

Last week's results

Code Red:18-8 (NCAA 8-2, NFL 10-6)
Iggins!:17-9 (NCAA 7-3, NFL 10-6)
Mrs. Code Red: 15-11 (NCAA 5-5, NFL 10-6)

Onto this week's picks:

FSU (2-1) at Clemson (3-0)

Code Red: One rule has served me well since the start of the prognostication bukakke several years ago. Never. Trust. Clemson. FSU wins.

Iggins!: I'm taking FSU because Clemson is still Clemson and they can't just stop being Clemson the second I stop caring about them. FSU wins.

Mrs. Code Red: I guess I'll take FSU too?

LSU (3-0) at West Virginia (3-0)

Iggins!: West Virginia is... sporadic, shall we say? They seem to take a half off each game, and against the ridiculous defense LSU has that just isn't enough. LSU wins.

Code Red: That LSU defense is truly terrifying. Their offense is...mediocre at best. Last year's game was a squeaker that WVU lost in Baton Rouge. Their offense is better than last year and they have homefield advantage. I'm going to go with the upset here, and pick WVU.

Mrs. Code Red: LSU. I just like them better?

Arkansas (3-0) at Alabama (3-0)

Code Red: Arkansas nearly knocked off Saban last year. I know Mallett is gone, but Tyler Wilson is a Petrino quarterback, and someone has to take advantage of Alabama's shaky offense at some point. Arkansas.

Iggins!: Alabama has Trent Richardson, and I will continue to pick them because of this until someone actually beats them. Alabama wins.

Mrs. Code Red: Alabama, because they're supposed to be better.

OK State (3-0) at Texas A&M (3-0)

Iggins!: I also have a perennial mistrust of Texas A&M and an unnatural love for Oklahoma State and their shiny offense. This early in the season gut instinct is pretty much all one has to go on, so I'll take Oklahoma State to win.

Code Red: That offense is so shiny. OK State wins.

Mrs. Code Red: Texas A&M, because I hate black and orange unless it's Halloween. I'd pick OK State were it not for that offensive combination.

USC (3-0) at Arizona State (2-1)

Code Red: Damn you, USC. You escaped my grasp last week, but this week you shall drown in the desert. Well, that doesn't make sense, but AZ State wins.

Iggins!: USC is a very weak 3-0, with a near-loss to Minnesota. I could talk about AZ State being good or something, but... that pretty much says it all. AZ State wins.

Mrs. Code Red: I generally just ignore Arizona sports, so I guess USC.

UNC (3-0) at Georgia Tech (3-0)

Iggins!: The GaTech offense has posted some pretty amazing numbers, and UNC probably won't fully recover from Butch Davis for a few years. GaTech wins.

Code Red: I miss when I would always pick the glorious triple option and your cantankerous ass would refuse to acknowledge it. Now I can't count on GA Tech getting me easy wins. Tech wins.

Mrs. Code Red: 'Cuz I'm a ramblin' wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.

California (3-0) at Washington (2-1)

Code Red: I know nothing about either of these teams. Seriously, I have no idea who replaced Jake Locker and whether or not Jeff Tedford is still alive and coaching. I'll take California.

Iggins!: Washington has shown some signs of life this year, and Cal has perenially underachieved for about a decade. Washington wins.

Mrs. Code Red: Washington, because it's fun to disagree with you. Plus they were in that one game we really enjoyed that one time.

Code Red: She's referring to the overtime thriller last year between Washington and Oregon State, although she usually thinks it was between Oregon and Oregon State.

Kansas State (2-0) @ Miami FL (1-1)

Iggins!: Remember that Miami lost to Maryland to start the season. What does that say about OSU? This game will come down to the last few minutes but Miami wins.

Code Red: It says that OSU sucks. So does Kansas State, I think, which always has a misleading early season record thanks to Bill Snyder's tendency to schedule the Mid-Central Kansas School for the Blind and other similarly enfeebled opponents. I'll take Miami.

Mrs. Code Red: Miami, the alma mater of my G-reg Olsen and his seventh floor crew.

NC State (2-1) at Cincinnati (2-1)

Code Red: Ye olde coin toss game. Cincy

Iggins!: In a game between the Big East and the ACC you might as well just pick the home team and pray. Cincinnati wins.

Mrs. Code Red: This is a tough one. They both seem so insignificant. I'll go with NC State because I don't really care for colleges named after cities instead of states. It's pretentious.

Notre Dame (1-2) @ Pittsburgh (2-1)

Iggins!: Pitt is going to come out filled with an epic rage after being VANDENBERGED (this is a word) and will cause at least 4 suicide deaths in Indiana. Pittsburgh wins.

Code Red: Iggins! just wants something to validate his Hawkeyes win over a lackluster Pitt team. Notre Dame's offense is very explosive. Pitt's is not. Notre Dame wins.

Mrs. Code Red: Pittsburgh, because even though it's pretentious to name a university after your city, nobody is more pretentious than Notre Dame.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Saints 30, Bears 13- Outclassed.

Sorry for the late recap, folks. I was on the road most of yesterday, so I've had time to exhale before putting this together. I'm not going to do a good/bad. The good was the under-utilized Matt Forte (at least as a runner, anyway) and the fact that Jay Cutler survived in one piece. The bad was everything else, but especially Major Wright (YOU CANNOT COMMIT THE CARDINAL SIN OF LETTING A MAN GET BEHIND YOU IN THE COVER 2, MAJOR), the injuries (Earl's bruised sternum should heal soon, but the worse injury, Carimi's, could take up to a month), the return of Frank F*&king Omiyale, and most of all, Mike Martz. The rest of this recap will consist solely of my rant about Mike, so if you aren't interested feel free to move on.

I thought we were past this, Mike. I thought you'd learned the value of Matt Forte, runningback. Hell, yesterday's game started off with a beautiful 87 yard drive that was pretty much entirely Forte running his ass off. Alas, the rest of the game played out much like the Seahawks game during last year's regular season. Clearly, Mike panics when he's confronted with a team down by a mere 6 points, because much as Mike abandoned the run and had a 47-14 ratio in that game when down just 7 points for much of the game, he abandoned a running game that was averaging FIVE YARDS PER CARRY while he was down just 16-10.

I know the sack totals have been ugly for both games, but the offensive line, at least while Carimi was in, wasn't bad. They've generally held up well. There've been some lapses, and some plays where Jay held the ball too long, but since the beginning of the preseason they've been clearing holes in the run game and that's opened up everything else. Why did Mike just go the hell away from it? The breakdown came in the second half after the offensive line was forced to stand up to blitzes of six or even seven rushers on dropback after dropback while Mike stubbornly refused to do what the Saints were daring him to do and run the ball. Obviously Mike went in convinced that he could pass on that secondary and do what Green Bay did, and he thought that the screens he had dialed up would be good enough to slow down the rush. When the screens didn't work, he had nothing and he refused to admit it.

We've seen this movie before. The only way it ends well is if Martz runs the ball. He doesn't have to cut the playbook down like last year. The line is better than it was. I still believe that. They can block for five and seven step drops, especially if Roy Williams and Earl Bennett get back and do a better job of finding holes and getting separation, something that Devin and Johnny failed to do yesterday. But the only way they can do that is if Mike takes some of the teeth out of the blitz by making teams pay on the ground. He has a back that can do it, and whatever liabilities this line may have in pass protection, they have the sheer size to run it. Just do it. It's not that hard, and it might keep your quarterback alive.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Prognostication Bukakke, NFL Week 2

Bears (1-0) @ Saints (0-1)

Code Red: The Saints defense looked terrible, even if it was the Packers. I know Aaron Rodgers can put up 42 points on a lot of teams, but Matt Hasselbeck can't, and those are the last two Qbs who have faced the Saints and done just that. Plus, Breesus is going to have a rough go against that Bears defensive line. Luckily he has the intangibles of Olin Kreutz to pick his ass up off the ground. Bears win.

Iggins!: Incredibly, the Bears are still getting little respect, with the media focusing on Atlanta being bad rather than Chicago being good. Does that make any sense? The Falcons offense could only have gotten better! Surprisingly, the most stalwart part of the Bear defense was the Pass D (most of Ryan's yards came after the game was won) and that bodes well against the Saints, plus that Saint defense can't stop anything. Bears win. As a side note, I live in Des Moines, IA, and it seems that everything East of here and West of here will show the Bears game on Sunday... but Des Moines will show the Packers. GODDAMNIT.

Mrs. Code Red: Bears, because they're the f*&king Bears, and because I've come around to the idea of not rooting against them just to get ahead in this.

Code Red: Amen.

Raiders (1-0) @ Bills (1-0)

Iggins!: A battle of mighty unbeatens! I'll take the Bills to win at home here and shake my head quizically as it happens.

Code Red: I was impressed by the Bills, but more so by a fierce Raiders pass rush that should be able to get to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Raiders win.

Mrs. Code Red: Raiders, because their defense looked pretty solid.

Browns (0-1) @ Colts (0-1)

Code Red: One of these teams sucked like it was supposed to in week one, the other suffered a huge letdown against the Bengals. I'm going to assume the Colts can't stop Peyton Hillis. Browns win.

Iggins!: I don't understand the Browns very well, but what I do understand is that they only play well against great teams, so Colts win.

Mrs. Code Red: Poor Colts, they deserve a win, don't they? Colts.

Code Red: They've had enough of them. This shit's funny. Learn to acquire the schadenfreude gland, honey.

Bucs (0-1) @ Vikings (0-1)

Iggins!: The Bucs threw the ball 43 times Sunday. They ran it 16. I predict the Bucs will understand why they barely moved the ball against Detroit and will win this game. Bucs win.

Code Red: Bucs, because Minnesota blows, and the only thing Tampa did well last week was stop the run.

Mrs. Code Red: Bucs, because I want the Vikings to lose.

Packers (1-0) @ Carolina (0-1)

Code Red: Well, either Arizona's pass defense is absolutely atrocious (quite possible) or I'm way wrong on Cam Newton. Well, Cam, if you're going to throw for a billion yards, do it against the Packers. I'm not crazy enough to pick them, though. Packers win.

Iggins!: I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THIS GAME, DES MOINES. Could I possibly, finally, be right about a QB that Red was wrong about? I'll save my gloating for after the season. Packers win.

Mrs. Code Red: Packers. I don't feel an explanation is necessary.

Code Red: It's really not.

Seattle (0-1) @ Pittsburgh (0-1)

Iggins!: The Seahawks here will play the role of Ty Cobb's wife after a bad game. Pittsburgh abuses.

Code Red: Indeed. Tarvaris Jackson is a crime against football itself. Pittsburgh wins.

Mrs. Code Red: Even though I usually like Seattle teams for their uniforms, I gotta face the facts at some point that none of them are very good. Steelers win.

Jags (1-0) @ Jets (1-0)

Code Red: Well, I don't expect that Luke McCown will be enough to get past a defense much better than Tennessee's. Jets win.

Iggins!: If the Jets traded for Luke McCown I would probably take them to win the Super Bowl, oddly. Jets win.

Mrs. Code Red: Jets, I don't really know why. The Jaguars are really boring. You never hear anything about them, I don't think I've ever even seen them on TV.

Code Red: No one has, actually. Not even in Jacksonville.

Ravens (1-0) @ Titans (0-1)

Iggins!: HAHAHA oh my this is going to be painful. Ravens win.

Code Red: Ravens.

Mrs. Code Red: Ravens. Again, no explanation necessary.

Chiefs (0-1) @ Lions (1-0)

Code Red: Well, the Chiefs got destroyed by the Bills. That doesn't bode well against a pretty decent (yet overrated) Lions squad. However, I want LIONS FEVER to die down soon, so I will take a chance on a Chiefs redemption. Chiefs win.

Iggins!: I will say this; Jamaal Charles will keep it close, but the Lions win in the end.

Mrs. Code Red: The Chiefs looked like absolute shit last week. Lions win.

Cardinals (1-0) @ Redskins (1-0)

Iggins!: This game will answer questions about 4 different teams. I will answer them beforehand for you: Yes, the Giants are that bad. Yes, Cam Newton is a freak of nature. No, Rex Grossman still sucks. No, the Cardinal defense isn't THAT bad. Cardinals win.

Code Red: My heart wants to choose the Sexy Rexy, but I just can't buy the Redskins yet. Cardinals win.

Mrs. Code Red: My heart can. Do yo' thang, Sexy Rexy! Redskins win.

Cowboys (0-1) @ 49ers (1-0)

Code Red: The 49ers got two special teams touchdowns to beat the Seahawks, but I just checked, and the Cowboys starting QB is not Tarvaris Jackson. Cowboys win.

Iggins!: Oh yeah, make no mistake, the 49ers are still terrible. Cowboys win.

Mrs. Code Reds: If Tony Romo can get his shit together this should be no problem. Cowboys win.

Bengals (1-0) @ Broncos (0-1)

Iggins!: I do not trust the Bengals to be anything more than the worst team in the NFL. Broncos win.

Code Red: My gut, too, tells me to go with Kyle Orton. Broncos win.

Mrs. Code Red: I too, shall trust Kyle Orton and the Broncos, even if they don't start Tim Tebow. (SARCASM). Broncos win.

Chargers (1-0)@ Patriots (1-0)

Code Red: The Chargers generally play the Patriots pretty tough, and I have nothing but spite and malice for New England. Chargers win.

Iggins!: So the Chargers almost lost to the Vikings... and they always start slow...2+2 equals Patriots win.

Mrs. Code Red: WELKAH! Patriots.

Code Red: Sigh. Her father is from Boston. The Masshole escapes sometimes. It's a work in progress.

Texans (1-0) @ Dolphins (0-1)

Iggins!: I liked what I saw from the Fins a lot (Brady can do that to a lot of teams) especially on offense. Henne has improved and is playing within himself, Reggie Bush looked like he was playing with more tenacity than he ever has in the NFL, and the defense won't be that bad again. I think the Dolphins win by a point.

Code Red: Every year you have to find some way to talk yourself into thinking a mediocre team is more than that. Last year it was the Titans. Now it's the Dolphins. I'm going with Schaub. Texans win.

Mrs. Code Red: Iggins!, Henne is one of the main reasons they didn't win. THROW TO BRANDON MARSHALL IN THE RED ZONE DAMMIT. Also, I refuse to believe I paid 67 dollars for Arrian Foster for no reason. Texans win.

Code Red: The Mrs. is also trying fantasy football this year for the first time, so you can tell from the preceding statements that her opening weekend went splendidly.

Eagles (1-0) @ Falcons (0-1)

Code Red: Its early in the season, so spite and malice are tainting all of my picks. Vick had a ton of yards rushing, but the 14/32 line passing makes me think the Old Mike Vick may not be as dead as people want to believe. Philly's O-Line is shaky, and the Falcons defensive ends actually are pretty good. Common sense and everything says Philly, but I'll take the Falcons because I just want them to win.

Iggins!: Vick was sloppy in game one, and something people haven't been talking about is that the Eagles got burned by both Steven Jackson early on and CADILLAC WILLIAMS after that. Turner is going to go nuts and the Falcons D, not to mention the Falcon fans, will get to Vick often. Falcons win.

Mrs. Code Red: Eagles because Michael Vick probably isn't that bad...yet.

Rams (0-1) @ Giants (0-1)

Iggins!: The Giants are very bad. Much worse than previously thought. Rams win and New York gets pissed.

Code Red: I'll flip the coin. Giants it is.

Mrs. Code Red: Rams, I guess. Sam Bradford is adorable.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Return of Prognostication Bukakke! (Again). NCAA Week 2

It's back, folks. The weekly feature where I and the reclusive co-founder of SKO, Iggins!, match wits and predict the winner of this week's football games. As usual, we pick the ten best college football games and then predict every NFL game. This year I've also decided to have Mrs. SKO join us for the whole year, as she joined for the last several weeks last year as part of an exercise in which I, already up 25 games on Iggins!, decided to demonstrate that even someone with absolutely minimal football acumen could destroy him. Which she did. I laughed hard, so now I'm bringing her on full time. Without further bullshit, here come the picks:

LSU @ Mississippi State (1-1)

Code Red: Mississippi State really shocked me with their incredibly shoddy defense against Auburn. I'd expect them to right the ship against the Tigers defensively, but LSU's defense is a holy terror. LSU wins.

Iggins!: It's near impossible to pick MSU in this game, which is unfortunate considering how high the expectations were just a week ago. LSU wins.

Mrs. Code Red: Geaux Tigers! LSU wins.

Tennessee (2-0) @ Florida (2-0)

Iggins!: This game is going to be extremely close, but I'll give the edge to Florida here. Florida wins.

Code Red: I don't know that it'll be that close. I think Charlie Weis will really make something out of Jonathan Brantley. Florida wins.

Mrs. Code Red: Florida, because Volunteers is a stupid name and bright orange uniforms are nauseating.

Michigan State (2-0) @ Notre Dame (0-2)

Code Red: Notre Dame has really been a tough luck loser so far, but that doesn't change the fact that they're staring at 0-3. MSU wins.

Iggins!: Damn, I was really hoping you'd take Notre Dame here. Michigan State wins by at least 10 points.

Mrs. Code Red: I actually watched Notre Dame last week. I don't think they can stop anything. MSU wins.

Oklahoma (1-0) @ Florida State (2-0)

Iggins!: I'll trust the ACC when I see it do... anything? Oklahoma wins.

Code Red: God dammit, too much agreement this week. Oklahoma wins.

Mrs. Code Red: I'll take Florida State because it's fun to be controversial.

Arizona State (2-0) @ Illinois (2-0)

Code Red: Illinois has looked quite dominant against two shitty teams. Their schedule is really stacked in their favor, as their only tough non-conference opponent has to travel all the way to Champaign. I'm definitely taking my beloved Illini here.

Iggins!: If this were in the desert I would take ASU by a TD, but without that ridiculous home-field advantage versus the midwest, this game plays out in reverse. Illini win by 20.

Mrs. Code Red: Illinois, because....home state loyalty?

Utah (1-1) @ BYU (1-1)

Iggins!: Wow. So this is a game between a Pac-12 school and an independent... not a Mountain West conference game? Neither of these teams is very good, but I'll take BYU to win by a hair.

Code Red: Well, BYU played Texas tough last week, but I want to believe that that's just because Texas sucks. Utah.

Mrs. Code Red: BYU, but they're both losers because I don't like the state of Utah.

Code Red: Seems like an odd state to hate, but if there's anything I approve of, it's unexplained rage.

Stanford (2-0) @ Arizona (1-1)

Code Red: After watching OK State demolish the Wildcats I can't imagine Andrew Luck not doing the same. Stanford wins.

Iggins!: Though I don't think Stanford has a more potent offense than OK State I do think this game will be a win for Stanford.

Mrs. Code Red: Stanford, because Andrew Luck is pretty dreamy.

Code Red: Yes, yes he is.

Syracuse (2-0) @ USC (2-0)

Iggins!: Who the hell scheduled this nightmare? Aren't these two schools about as far apart as possible? USC wins partially due to Syracuse being Syracuse and partially due to massive jetlag.

Code Red: I say Syracuse, because USC's been flirting with disaster and Syracuse is better than people think.

Mrs. Code Red: USC, because they're cheater, cheater, pumpkin eaters. And this is America, so cheaters win.

Code Red: She went third grade on yo ass, Lane Kiffin.

Ohio State (2-0) @ Miami (FL) (0-1)

Code Red: Apparently Miami is plotting to vacate their possible win here later on by starting Jacory Harris. I'm going to with Miami, here, since fucking Toledo's scrambling Qbs gave OSU fits last week.

Iggins!: Jesus you took all my upsets! Miami wins because God hates OSU even more, surprisingly.

Mrs. Code Red: I'll take The Ohio State University, because everyone knows it apparently makes you better than everyone else if you put a "The" in front of your name.

Louisville (1-1) @ Kentucky (2-0)

Iggins!: Kentucky wins. Anybody who watches this game loses.

Code Red: Well, you made this easy on me then. Louisville wins. My eyes can never unsee the ugliness of Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky. They show that game on loop in football hell.

Mrs. Code Red: Do I have to pick one? I know nothing about these teams. I'll take Kentucky since they have the better record? And because I like disagreeing with you.

Week 1 NFL Roundup

What an amazing opening weekend for football. 14 passers threw for over 300 yards this weekend, the most in a single week in NFL history. Our beloved Bears shocked the NFL by curb-stomping the Falcons, the Packers and the Saints had a shootout for the ages, and some idiots (Iggins!) managed to get knocked out of their suicide pools by picking the Browns over the Bengals. Now for the specifics:

Packers 42, Saints 34
Not to take anything away from Aaron Rodgers, who put on a fucking clinic, but you have to wonder what the hell has gone wrong with Gregg William's scheme to allow Matt Hasselbeck and Rodgers both to shred them in their last two games. Hopefully it keeps up for a week. I liked that the Saints couldn't get pressure with their front four. Martz loves to exploit the blitz.
As for Green Bay, Drew Brees or no, I don't ever remember seeing them look that bad on defense last year. Their special teams coverage remains an issue. Of course they're still the favorites, but there are chinks in the armor somewhere.

Eagles 31, Rams 13
The Eagles are another team with some concerns hidden by their win. They allowed the Rams to average 5.9 yards per rush, and they allowed 3 sacks. Vick completed a paltry 43.8% of his passes for just 5.8 ypa, and given his weak preseason, you have to wonder a bit if his late season issues last year were indicative that perhaps his "improved" passing was actually the byproduct of an incredibly hot streak rather than a complete transformation into a pocket passer. Like the Packers, I certainly wouldn't discount the hype, but you also can't expect them to coast. As for the Rams, well, injuries to Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson have to suck. That division is still garbage, though.

Bills 41, Chiefs 7
Well, nobody saw that coming. I was quite sure the Chiefs were headed down because Haley's an asshole, Matt Cassel is overrated, and they had a pathetically weak schedule last year, but I still didn't expect a massacre at the hands of the Bills. I guess we'll find out this week whether Buffalo's just that much better or Kansas City's that much worse.

Lions 27, Bucs 20
Matt Stafford and the Lions justified the hype for a week, but I still think they're more likely a 7 or 8 win team than a playoff contender. We'll see, though. You win this round, Detroit.

Jaguars 16, Titans 14
Both of these teams suck.

Bengals 27, Browns 17
Apparently, the Browns suck too. Whoda thunk? Oh, you did? Yeah, I guess I kinda did too. I still think the Bengals will end up with the worse record of the two by the end of the year.

Ravens 34, Steelers 7
Holy shit, that was an ass whoopin. It defies logic, but man, Pittsburgh really falls apart the year after they go to a Superbowl. As for the Ravens, if they can have that kind of balance, with Joe Flacco throwing for 288 yards and Ray Rice over 100 on the ground, against the Steelers it makes you wonder who besides maybe New England could stop them in the AFC.

Texans 34, Colts 7
I had my suspicions that the Colts were in trouble this year even with Manning, but man, they're destined for a top five draft pick without him. If the Texans can't win the South this year they should just disband the entire franchise.

Redskins 28, Giants 14
Good Rex made yet another appearance and the Redskins beat the badly ailing Giants. I don't know if they're contenders in the east, but they do appear much improved. I don't think Rex is ever going to be much of a star, but if he's managed to level out his highs and lows under Shanny's tutelage he could certainly have a nice mid-to-late career run as a quality starter, much like Jake Plummer managed to tame himself in Denver in order to put together a couple of playoff appearances. As for the Giants, well..things are looking bleak. Outside of their defensive line I don't see much to be excited about for a team that's already been hit hard by injury.

Chargers 24, Vikings 17
As I mentioned, 14 quarterbacks threw for 300 or more yards this weekend. One of them was Philip Rivers, who appears to be leading the AFC West's best team once more. Donovan McNabb, however, was not, as he managed THIRTY NINE yards for the Vikings. It's going to be a long, long year for Vikings fans.

Cardinals 28, Panthers 21
Oh come on. I wasn't the only one who thought Cam Newton would suck. It could still happen, of course, but damn, he looked dynamic yesterday. On the other hand, that Arizona defense is still a work in progress, even if Kolb looked like the real deal. They'll probably still be good enough to win the West, but they're still a one-sided team at best.

49ers 33, Seahawks 17
Ted Ginn's late game heroics hid the incredibly disgusting performance of offensive football that was most of this game. There was only one offensive play on either side that went for over 27 yards. The NFC West, folks. It still really, really sucks.

Jets 27, Cowboys 24
Tony Romo cost them the game, undoubtedly, but the Cowboys deserved to lose for the shame of allowing Mark Sanchez to throw for over 300 yards against their defense. The Cowboys will be better this year than last, but I don't see them as a much of a Superbowl contender.

Patriots 38, Dolphins 24
Well, at least New England's defense looked like shit? I'll just be glad for now that New England is nowhere to be found on the Bear's schedule this year. Kudos for Chad Henne, though. Most of them were garbage time yards, but he still had a career game. Won't mean anything at all in the long run, but hey, it's a dark time to be a Dolphins fan.

Raiders 23, Broncos 20
Oakland's defensive line was impressive, and Run DMC seems like he's going to stay on the elite tier where he put himself last year. That combination should be enough to keep Oakland in the race against San Diego for awhile. Denver, however, remains in serious trouble. I love Kyle, but the switch away from McDaniels appears to have really hurt him. Denver's taken him out of the spread and he won't have the easy throws that masked his deficiencies over the last two seasons. The fans chanting for Tebow will be sorely disappointed, however, whether they get their wish or not.

Monday, September 12, 2011

College Football Round Up

Sorry I skipped week one, but most of those games were meaningless anyway, so this week I'm rolling out all of the regular features: the college football roundup (generally Mondays), the NFL roundup (Tuesdays), and the Prognostication Bukakke (Wednesday and Thursday if I don't get lazy). So let's begin with this year's first NCAAF roundup:

Notable Top 25 Games-

#9 Oklahoma State 37, Arizona 14.
This game wasn't even as close as it looked. There might eventually be some noticeable drop-off in this offense thanks to the loss of coordinator Dana Holgorsen and runningback Kendall Hunter after last year, but as long as they have Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon they'll remain an elite offense and a serious threat to Oklahoma's title hopes, both Big 12 and National.

#21 Missouri 30, Arizona State 37
Words cannot express how glad I am that Arizona State has to leave the desert and come to Champaign this week. Bad things just seem to happen to midwest schools that head out west. That said, I think Missouri was a bit overrated coming into this year and I feel confident that Arizona State's offense can be contained at home.

#16 Mississippi State 34, Auburn 41
A big surprise here. I'm not shocked that Gus Malzahn has figured out a way to put up points without Cam Newton, but I am shocked that Mississippi State's typically stellar defense fell apart so easily. I have no idea what to expect from either of these teams from here on out.

#11 Virginia Tech 17, East Carolina 10
East Carolina is probably one of the best 0-2 teams in the country, considering they've given South Carolina and Virginia Tech huge scares the last two weeks. They have a phenomenal QB in Domonique Douglass. As for VT, their chances this year really hinge on new QB Logan Thomas, who came in with a lot of hype, but he's looked like garbage so far.

#12 South Carolina 45, Georgia 42
Poor Mark Richt. I've always liked him. He's totally fired, but he seems like such a nice guy.

#24 Texas 17, BYU 16.
Must be nice to be Texas. They've been declining in nearly all phases since Vince Young left, but no one noticed until Colt McCoy wasn't there to patch up the holes. Then ESPN gives them a TV network and people rank them anyway, despite no certifiable offense to speak of.

Big Ten-

Michigan State 44, FAU 0
Poor Schnelly.

Illinois 56, South Dakota State 3
I'm so happy Illinois has learned to schedule non-conference games like a real team. Illinois' schedule is set up quite favorably for them to make enough noise to get to a January 1st bowl game, hopefully.

#8 Wisconsin 35, Oregon State 0
The whole Russell Wilson thing seems to be working out well.

#3 Alabama 27, #23 Penn State 11
I'm not discussing this game for the unsurprising final score (although Alabama's QB issues will haunt them somewhere down the road), but I'm wondering what the hell Penn State had done to have earned a ranking before last week. They were incredibly mediocre last year, got destroyed in their bowl game, have no QB or offense of any kind, and a rebuilding defense. There are several teams I'd rank in the Big Ten alone before I got to PSU. Oh well.

#15 Ohio State 27, Toledo 22
Toledo's not a terrible MAC team, but the fact that they shut down Ohio State's offense and put a lot of pressure on their defense should be very concerning for Buckeye fans. Ohio State is now forced to field the third incarnation of Craig Krenzel, Joel Bauserman, and each incarnation seems to get worse (see Todd Boeckman). They're not going to be able to just coast by on their defense and run game in the Big Ten this year. This team's set up for a fall.

Iowa State 44, Iowa 41
I watched this game live with Iggins!, and it was awesome as he fatalistically predicted every single Iowa State score. His first quarter prophecy that "Iowa would lose because they can't stop a running quarterback...ever" was square on the nose. Not looking like a good year for the Hawkeyes.

Rice 24, Purdue 22
There are so many horrible forms of torture in this world, from waterboarding to The Rack, that I would consider before willfully watching Purdue football at this point.

Nex Mexico State 28, Minnesota 21
I'm not at all surprised that it's taken two games of coaching Minnesota football to give Jerry Kill a seizure. New Mexico State? Their last bowl came during the Eisenhower Administration. No joke.

Northwestern 42, Eastern Illinois 21
Yeah, that sounds right.

Virginia 34, Indiana 31
Well, Indiana is still terrible. So there's that. You want awesome? Illinois gets Purdue, Indiana, and Minnesota. Give me my Capitol One Bowl, please.

#10 Nebraska 42, Fresno State 29
Fresno State is just a giant pain in the ass.

Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31
Both of these teams have just god awful defenses. Michigan is incredibly inconsistent on offense, and I don't think a lot of teams are going to allow this watered-down version of Denard Robinson to put up 330+ yards passing on just 11 completions. Glad to see that we definitely won't have to listen to any "wake up the echoes!" bullshit this year from the Domers.

That's all for now. See you tomorrow for the NFL roundup.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bears 30, Falcons 12-Mother. F*&king. Football.

That was the best opening day win the Bears have had in my lifetime. The Bears dominated in all three phases in one of their most impressive wins, period, in years, but one that looks especially good for an opener. There were some sloppy penalties, and the five sacks, while misleading, weren't great, but other than that this is going to be one happy breakdown:

The Good:
-Jay Cutler: Given the painful memories we all had of the last time Jay Cutler played a meaningful game at Soldier Field, it seems fitting to put him first since had a spectacular game. There were some tipped passes, including the one that Bierrmann made an incredible play on for the INT TD, and he should have thrown the ball away on three of the five sacks he took, but outside of that he played one of his best games as a Bear, if not ever. For the day he finished 22/32 (68.8%) for 312 yds (9.8 YPA) 2 TDs, 1 INT, and a 107.8 rating. Those are stellar and they really showed just how comfortable he's getting in this offense and just how dangerous he can be downfield when he's got time to scan the field.

-Matt Forte: He had a tough going on the ground early on, but finished with a respectable 4.3 avg (16 rushes for 68 yds) but, much like last year's opener, made his big damage through the air with 5 receptions for 90 yds and a TD. I like this team's chances if he's going to put up 158 yards from scrimmage weekly.

-Roy Williams: Roy made the first catch of the game and finished with 4 catches for 55 yds. Not a dominating performance, but impressive in that all four catches were for big first downs. He doesn't have to get 1,000 yds to justify his status on this team, he just needs to be a target Cutler can find to move the chains consistently. He was today.

-Devin Hester: 3 catches for 60 yards, with one very long reception leading to a touchdown.

-Johnny Knox: Knox, like Hester, had 3 catches for 60 yds. Four different receivers had over 50 yards today, a good sign of the depth this team has and the weapons Jay can utilize if he has time.

-Brian Urlacher: Oh man, this is the kind of game that reminds us all just why I get so angry when people say Urlacher is overrated. 10 tackles, 1 INT, and a fumble returned for a TD that absolutely broke the Falcon's back. Stay healthy, Brian.

-Henry Melton: My pick for the most improved player on this defense has been Henry all offseason. He's a bit undersized for a DT, but he has a quickness and violence to him that reminds me of John Randle. He had 2 sacks today and was a total menace.

-Julius Peppers: You know all about this guy, of course. He only had 2 sacks, a pass deflection, and a fumble recovery. No big deal.

-The rest of the defensive line: 5 sacks on Matt Ryan. They had consistent gap penetration all game long. The Falcons run game was mostly held in check outside of the 53 yard run and Matt Ryan had one hell of a time once he was forced to drop back on every down. Some idiot will find a way to criticize all of the yards the defense gave up, but Lovie-ball worked to perfection and the only numbers I know the Bears or anyone should care about are the 5 sacks, the 3 turnovers, and the 6 points allowed by the defense.

-Charles Tillman: He takes a lot of shit from the fans for playing how he's supposed to play in this defense, but today they had him playing tight on Roddy White very early on and he fucking owned him holding him to 61 yds on the day (just 7.6 yards per catch) and he had yet another of his glorious punches to force a fumble. Someday, when P'nut is retired, they need to build a statue of him just punching a football through the air.

The Bad:

Penalties: Too damn many (eight), along with some missed tackles. Perfectly acceptable opening day mistakes, but they'd best tighten things up soon. Winning the turnover battle 3-1 really helps.

Webb/Carimi: They actually held their own pretty well against two very good edge rushers in John Abraham and Ray Edwards (21 combined sacks last yr), but there were enough breakdowns and two holding penalties that really hurt. As I said, Cutler should have thrown the ball away on two of his sacks as he had plenty of time, and on the last sack of the game Cutler simply slid on what wasn't really a sack so much as a run for no gain, so they really only allowed 2 bad sacks, but you have to hope for some improvement primarily in the penalty department.

Matt Ryan: That was the weakest 319 yard game I've ever seen. The Falcons got destroyed by the Packers passing game in the playoffs and apparently decided they needed to get Julio Jones to compensate. Ryan made that look even dumber but not even attempting to go downfield until the game was well out of hand. He finished with an average of 6.8 YPA and a rating of 76.5 on 47 attempts, but was sacked five times and had a fumble that led to a huge Bears score. I've been saying for awhile I didn't think he'd ever be much more than an overrated game manager. Today he sure didn't prove me wrong.

That's all for now. I haven't been this jazzed after an opener since 2006. Hopefully this season has even more fun in store for us than that one. You all have a good night. Go Bears.

Also, I'm not not one for moralizing here, so I'll just say on the 10th anniversary of that horrible day....God Bless America.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Your 2011 Chicago Bears (and, Fuck Yeah, Brandon Meriweather)

Apparently I'm not supposed to be excited about the Bears acquisition of Brandon Meriweather because A) He's an asshole and B) BILL BELICHICK IS TOO SMART TO GET RID OF SOMEONE GOOD. Well, as far as the asshole thing goes they've told me for two years that my franchise quarterback is a cancer and I'm still pretty fond of him. As for B, I'd like anyone to look at the following players who left the Patriot organization and were still productive players for several years: Lawyer Milloy. Ty Law. Asante Samuel. Willie McGinest. Drew Bledsoe. Richard Seymour.

I have a hard time believing that Brandon Meriweather is suddenly a shitty player, unless there's a medical reason for it. If he passes a physical I have a hard time seeing where he's just going to disappear. At the very least, he's one hell of an insurance plan for Major Wright. That should be good news for everyone involved.

That said, it's time for my half-assed preview of the 2011 Bears. I never get much into previews since I spend the whole offseason talking about what I expect, so none of this is really new information. Anywho, let's start with the 53 man roster broken down by position:

Starters in italics-
Offense (24):
QB: #6 Jay Cutler, #12 Caleb Hanie, #10 Nathan Enderle
RB: #22 Matt Forte, #24 Marion Barber, #32 Kahlil Bell, #44 Will Ta'ufo'ou.
WR: #11 Roy Williams, #23 Devin Hester, #80 Earl Bennett, #13 Johnny Knox, #81 Sam Hurd, #18 Dane Sanzenbacher
TE: #87 Kellen Davis, #89 Matt Spaeth, #86 Kyle Adams
OT: #73 J'Marcus Webb, #72 Gabe Carimi, #68 Frank Omiyale,
OG: #60 Lance Louis, #74 Chris Williams, #70 Edwin Williams
C: #63 Roberto Garza, #67 Chris Spencer

Defense (26):
DE: #90 Julius Peppers, #71 Israel Idonije, #96 Mario Addison, #98 Corey Wootton, #94 Nick Reed
DT: #95 Anthony Adams, #69 Henry Melton, #91 Amobi Okoye, #92 Stephen Paea, #75 Matt Toeaina
OLB: #55 Lance Briggs, #53 Nick Roach, #52 Brian Iwuh
MLB: #54 Brian Urlacher, #58 Dom DeCicco
CB: #33 Charles Tillman, #26 Tim Jennings, #30 DJ Moore, #35 Zack Bowman, #21 Corey Graham
S: #46 Chris Harris, #27 Major Wright, #31 Brandon Meriweather, #47 Chris Conte, #20 Craig Steltz, #49 Winston Venable

Specialists (3):
K: #9 Robbie Gould
P: #8 Adam Podlesh
LS: #65 Pat Mannelly

There's a few surprises with the final roster cutdown. I'm still surprised the team is so thin at backup linebacker, and I'd expect at some point they'll find someone and cut DeCicco. Until then, congrats to the rookie. I'm pleased that Martz finally broke down and admitted his offense Does use a fullback and kept one accordingly. I was sad to see Dez Clark go, but Kyle Adams played very well this preseason. Of course, everyone's thrilled to see that Gritty McGrindenwhitey made the roster as a sixth wide receiver, but I'm not sure who he's going to take meaningful reps away from, because I doubt he's a better receiver than Williams, Hester, Knox, or the BBE. Probably a smart move that the team has a billion safeties, since that position always seems to suffer attrition, plus Chris Conte has experience at corner if needed.

On offense this year I'd expect vast improvement. It's dangerous to take too much away from the stellar pass blocking we saw in the last three preseason games, but there's a lot to like about the infusion of size and youth on this offensive line. I think you'll see a much more successful running game from the outset, with the pass blocking to come. The wide receiver corps is undoubtedly upgraded, Marion Barber should be so much better than Chester Taylor that it isn't funny, and the tight ends appear to be capable blockers, which is all anyone will ask of them this year. I'd be willing to stake everything on the 2011 Bears scoring more points than the 2010 edition.

On defense, I'm incredibly psyched about this defensive line. The only sure-fire star may be Peppers, but I don't think there are many teams out there that can bring in fresh, quality bodies at both end and tackle like this team can. There are quality run-stuffers in Anthony Adams, Paea, and Idonije, and young, fast legs that can help on third and long in Okoye, Wootton (assuming he's healthy), Melton, and Toeiana. I'm not sure what to expect from Mario Addison and Nick Reed, but they both had great preseasons and Addison racked up double digit sacks last year at Troy.

Lance Briggs may be a heaping pile of douche, but the linebacking corps should be just as solid as last year if it stays healthy. The safety position may have been upgraded if Meriweather gets up to speed quickly. Corner remains a concern, but if the other units are as good as I hope it shouldn't be too much of a concern since cornerbacks are the sacrificial lambs of Lovie's defense anyway.

I expect good things from this team, but you already know that. I hope you agree with me. It's been another long and painful offseason and everyone and their mother would have you know that the Bears were just a lucky team and that they're screwed this year thanks to the presence of the unstoppable Packers and the ascending Lions. Well, fuck that. Actual football games are about to start, so the meaningless predictions stop here. I'll see you all on Sunday.

Go Bears.

UPDATE: Two seconds after I praise Martz for keeping a fullback, he waives him. There's an open roster spot for now INTRIGUE.