Hey all – doing the blog a day early this week as I’ll not have time throughout the weekend to do this. Onto the week.
– Seriously, would you draft King Crab (i.e Jameis Winston) with all of his off the field issues? Really? He may have the physical tools, but if you’re drafting a quarterback as your number 1 draft pick, you’re expecting that guy to be the face of the franchise. Do you want a guy who assaults (allegedly) and steals king crab legs from a Publix store? Yep. Rally behind that one if you’re Tampa Bay. Bucs fans are more on Marcus Mariota – at least the ones I spoke with.
– Speaking of Mariota – I’m fearing he’s more of a system QB than thought. The best place for him would be Philadelphia and a reunion with Coach Chip Kelly as he knows that type of offense and its tempo. I would not be surprised one bit if the Eagles make a move up in the draft to take Mariota.
– I’m not surprised Ohio State won the National Championship, but it’s the manner of how they did it. 4 turnovers and you still win by 22? Oregon may have punched the Buckeyes in the mouth first, but Ohio State made the resounding statement with their defense stopping Oregons’ fast-paced offense. Imagine what the score would be without the 4 turnovers?
– ESPN Analyst Ray Lewis probably needs to shut up regarding Tom Brady. If it wasn’t for the tuck rule that nobody would know who Tom Brady is? Um, never mind that the guy has won 3 Super Bowls and is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He needs to look at the whole picture. Is the tuck rule dumb? Yes, just like the completing the catch rule is. But, it’s not the right call on Brady. Don’t diminish what he’s done throughout his career over one play.
– I’m hoping Broncos QB Peyton Manning has one more good year left in him. The Packers play at Denver next season and it’d be fun to see those two play in person.
– Milwaukee Bucks C Larry Sanders has to be a complete idiot. How many times is he going to screw up before they cut ties with him via trade or an outright release? This time, he has been suspended at least 10 games for substance abuse. He has the talent, but being a complete knucklehead won’t do any wonders if he can’t mature and understand he’s a professional. I think the Bucks made a huge mistake with the 4-year $44 million contract from last year.
– The Chicago Bears hiring John Fox is a good hire. Now, I’m really hoping they keep the turnover machine that is Jay Cutler. As long as he’s the Bears quarterback, I’m sure the NFC North will take their chances against Chicago. Oh, and never mind that fantastically crappy defense they have.
– Bad loss last night for the Green Bay Phoenix. Losing to a 6-12 team in Oakland could permanently damage any at-large NCAA Tournament bids, meaning they best win the Horizon League and host the tournament at the Resch Center. However, it is hard to beat any team that shoots 61% from the field. A group of my buddies and I are going to watch them next Friday vs. Valparaiso – so that will be fun to watch.
– It’s good to see Frank Kaminsky back from his concussion symptoms for the Badgers basketball team. He was in full display as Wisconsin handled Nebraska 70-55. In the first half though, UW could not stop Terran Petteway to save their lives. He was a beast in the first half and hit shots from all parts of the floor.
– Championship Game weekend picks. I have a hunch one favorite falls, especially with both home teams being a touchdown or more favorite.
– Green Bay at Seattle. Keys for the Packers to pull this off.
- Pound the rock – teams that beat the Seahawks this year average 32 carries a game.
- Pass on first down and run on second down. This has the opportunity for personnel mismatches and confusion when to send in their speed rushers
- Tackle – no extra yards after the catch
- Use the whole field. In the first matchup, the Packers cut themselves off the side Richard Sherman played.
- Contain Marshawn Lynch and on some level, Russell Wilson. The receivers aren’t anything to write home about, but Wilsons’ versatility puts Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Luke Willson in good spots. Hit them at the line.
- The Offensive Line MUST protect and keep Rodgers upright. We all know how tough the Seattle D is.
- Calling Richard Rodgers and Andrew Quarless to open up the middle of the field
The Packers can pull this off. The defense is playing good football, sans some tackling. Going into that environment is daunting, though. Heart says Packers 27-23. Head says Seahawks 27-20. Since I’m a homer, I’m going with my heart. Green Bay to Arizona…
– Indianapolis at New England. The Colts advancing feels similar to the Packers rise in the mid-90s. Beating the 49ers to advance to face the best team in the conference at the time in the Cowboys. Here, the Colts take care of the Broncos and face Tom Brady and company. I’m not sure if the Colts match up well here. The Patriots won the first meeting 42-20 with some unknown running back Jonas Gray going for 199 yards. If he did that to them, I can only imagine what Shane Vereen, Branden Bolden…never mind the passing game of the Patriots will do. New England punches their ticket 35-20.
That’s it from here. Enjoy the nicer winter weather this weekend!