What started eight weeks ago as a completely unoriginal idea and a way to keep two interns busy for a few hours has become its own breathing, living being. First, our weekly Thursday Madden simulation was able to predict Kevin Ogletree’s Jerry Rice impression on opening night when he had 114 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Giants. When Madden forecasted that he’d have 115 yards and one score, we were petrified, knowing that with great power comes great responsibility. How were we to harness our oracle abilities? There’s never been an awful television show about the possession of such a power, so we were lost, alone, and cold.
But with one giant step comes another bounding leap, and now we’ve grown from this post’s humble beginnings that featured the profane rantings of a few interns who have since become paid employees solely because of their ability to watch a video game*. Now we have actual moving pictures with sound, and not just any sound. From now on when I play Madden, epic gladiator music will fill the room at max volume.
Current betting percentage: 52% action on the Buccaneers, 64% action on the OVER
Individual Team Trends:
Buccaneers are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 road games against a team with a winning home record.
Buccaneers are 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 road games.
Buccaneers are 2-10-1 ATS in their last 13 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
Vikings are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 home games against a team with a losing road record.
Vikings are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games following a straight up win.
Over is 4-1 in Buccaneers last 5 road games.
Under is 5-1 in Vikings last 6 games overall.
Under is 9-2 in Vikings last 11 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Buccaneers are 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Home team is 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 meetings.
This is the first Thursday Night Football game this season where there is literally 50/50 action on both sides. You can see why. It’s really tough to feel completely confident that the Vikings are going to be able to put up enough points to win by a touchdown, and it’s equally as tough to see the Bucs keeping the game close.
Temptation is a hell of a drug. It makes otherwise sane men eat a Dorito taco shell, because why the hell not. It makes children lick icicles, and it made us watch a reality TV show that started the gradual decay of society. But hey, girls and boobs, right?
So I understand the Josh Freeman temptation you’re feeling this morning. You’re itching, jittery, and scared. This especially applies if you’re in a league that allows quarterbacks to be played at the flex spot, or if you’re the very concerned owner of a QB in the muddled second tier who has a less than ideal matchup this week (HI, Matthew Stafford). You’re heavily considering starting Freeman tonight, partly because of the preceding sentence, but also because you hate yourself after he sat on your bench last week.
Whenever you’re contemplating a trade, it is crucial to check out the fantasy playoff matchups of your potential acquisitions. Fantasy playoff start dates vary from league-to-league (most leagues start in either Week 14 or 15), but they are an absolutely vital piece of information. I would rather have Donald Brown against the Saints defense than Arian Foster against the 49ers. That’s not to say I would trade Foster for Brown – but I wouldn’t want to neglect that information either.
Both of my recommendations this week have great fantasy playoff schedules. Doug Martin has dates with New Orleans and Atlanta, while Antonio Brown will be seeing San Diego, Cleveland, and Baltimore over the final five weeks.
A quick search for Gerald McCoy scouting reports on Google reveals various links to reports from the 2010 NFL Draft. They are littered with details of great strengths and few weaknesses listed about McCoy’s talents. Accompanying the praise are lofty comparisons to the likes of under tackles Tommie Harris and Kevin Williams, both products of Oklahoma like McCoy.
They were both absolutely terrifying pass rushers in their prime with electrifying quickness and endless motors, but they also had a string of injuries that slowed down or derailed (in Harris’ case) their careers. It seemed like that might be the case with McCoy too after he had consecutive biceps injuries in his first two seasons that saw him play only 19 of a possible 36 games. But three weeks into his third season, McCoy is completely healthy and completely dominant. He’s compiled three sacks and been equally productive against the pass and run.
Herm Edwards’ press conference tirade has been rightfully mocked in the years since the former Jets coach leaked his in-depth coaching philosophy.
Maybe he was on to something. On Monday Sean let his feelings be known on Bucs’ coach Greg Schiano’s decision to rush the passer on the last play of Sunday’s game against the Giants.
Since then pundits, analysts and bloggers have weighed in – was it the right thing to do? Never did I think I’d find myself agreeing with Mike Ditka, Eric Mangini and Ron Jaworski, but here I am.
Down by a score a Manning fumble was the last chance for Tampa Bay to salvage anything from a game they let slip away in the second half. While I don’t agree with the Bucs’ decision cut Giants Center David Bass with three men – that’s an injury waiting to happen - I find it difficult to lambaste the rookie coach for doing anything he can to win games in a league that demands it.
Recall last year’s Monday night game between the Chiefs and Chargers. Phillip Rivers had led San Diego down the field and was a kneel down away from setting up a game winning Field Goal attempt. And then this happened:
“We’ve caused a fumble four times in the last five years with that play, and it’s something that we practice,” Schiano said. “To me, it’s a clean, hard, tough, finish-the-game play. Some people disagree with that, but that’s what makes the world go round. Everybody has opinions. But I don’t have any remorse or regret. There was no sneak attack. We were down, ready to go and that’s how we do it all the time.”
Those four fumbles occurred during Schiano’s college coaching days at Rutgers, with the last one happening on September 10th of last year against North Carolina.
It’s a different game in college, only in the sense that every single player involved has everything to prove on every snap as talent evaluators determine whether or not they’re worthy of playing in the best league in the world. But the same can also be said for the NFL. A bad snap in week three can result in someone losing their job. An egregious decision to put yourself before the team – ahem, Josh Morgan – can lead to the same thing.
Schiano has opened his team to retaliation from teams across the league, but for an organization that was thoroughly embarrassing under Raheem Morris last year, a change in mentality – i.e, not giving up – can only be a good thing. The majority of fans agree, as an ESPN SportsNation poll indicated 55% of fans supported the call.
Respecting your opponent is an ethos that has been lost in the current game, no disagreement there. But if I’m a Bucs’ fan I love the message this sends both to the team and the league – we aren’t quitting for nobody. Read the rest of this entry »