How to Fix the NFL Ref/Penalties Problem in 2 Easy Steps

NFL REfs.jpeg

It seems like every week the NFL is embroiled in a refereeing controversy. My interwebs have been blown up with articles about making the NFL refs full time and how to end the madness. I have a simple 2 step solution that is so easy even the pea-brained Roger Goodell could get behind hit.

  1. Give both teams an extra challenge specific only for penalties. We have pylon cams. We have flying cams. We have more cameras and angles than we honestly know what do with yet we penalties can’t be challenged? Look at notorious NFL scumbag Vontaze Burfict flop his way to 15 yards being an insufferable piece of shit. Surely, an NFL coach should be able to challenge the personal foul enforced on Steve Smith. The game has already slowed down because nearly every game-changing play from scores to turnovers is reviewed, so spare me the pace of the game argument. The ticky tacky PI and holding calls have already made watching many NFL games intolerable. If the coach challenges a penalty and the ruling is overturned in their favor they should also be given another penalty, similar to the third coaches challenge given if the coach is correct in his first two challenges.
  2. Make all plays AND penalties reviewable by the booth after the two-minute warning. I feel like this is a no-brainer. Again, all the controversial plays are reviewed anyway because people are terrified a ref might make a bad call, yet we don’t hold penalties to the same scrutiny? It makes no sense. Especially, in controversial non-calls towards the end of games. There are plenty of nitpicky calls that get made when the game isn’t on the line and as soon as it’s the final plays of the game every ref seems to have their flag soaked in glue in their pockets, scared to throw it. With a review from the booth to fall back on, I think refs would be more willing to call the game the same way from start to finish without worrying they might get blasted for costing a team the game on a bad penalty.

There you have it. I’d love it there was actual meaningful discussion about games, teams, players and situational football rather than wasting at least half of any sports show blathering on about a bad call here or there.

Jamie Collins: Gone but not Forgotten

20151020-collins-header-v3.jpg

Goodnight, sweet prince. I have broken my blog silence to discuss the Jamie Collins trade briefly. Also, I can’t have that trash “Jags will win the AFC south” blog as my last post. Truly, an embarrassing prediction I made. With all that talent and relatively inept division members, I thought for sure the AFC South was ripe for the Jags picking. Unfortunately, they are the Jags and they will continue their existence in last place misery.

I digress. Collins was an exceptionally versatile playmaker. He was fantastic in coverage as well as pass rush and showed ridiculous athleticism (read hurdling the line to block a FG). So his midseason trade left many Patriots fans distraught and looking for answers. Like most sports writers, all I have are musings and guesses based on the same shit you all read on the internet.

  1. Bill Belichick understands football better than any of you fans questioning the trade for a compensatory pick.

One of the biggest complaints I heard is that we should have kept him for the season and let Collins walk after our Super Bowl victory, claiming a compensatory 3rd round pick for the loss. Do you really, honestly, actually believe Bill Belichick didn’t think of that? He’s been HC and GM for the past decade and a half, building teams that consistently win to the tune of 13 AFC East championships and 10 AFCCG appearances. But you hardcore fans think Belichick missed something it took you all of five minutes to figure out on your own?

If Collins walks and doesn’t get a big ass contract the Pats get nothing. If Collins walk, but due to the Patriots recent success big name free agents take pay cuts to sign with the Pats in the offseason we could end up with nothing. Free agent acquisitions play into compensatory pick calculations as well as player losses. If Collins tears his ACL, we get a fat nothing.

2.  The Pats had no leverage in trading Collins.

We offered him $11 million/year. That’s public knowledge. Now the teams interested in a trade dwindles to the number of teams with the cap space to sign him to a “Von Miller-like deal” aka $19 million/year.

Top 5 teams by cap space are Browns, 49ers, Jags, Titans, Panthers.

Ok. Now, these 5 teams could just as easily wait until Collins walks (and we all know he was going to walk) before they sign him. What leverage does Belichick have to ask for a 1st round pick or whatever you ninnies think Collins was worth? The answer is none. Those teams stink. They’re all divisional bottom feeders who aren’t winning shit this year and can wait to finish out their losing seasons before signing some big names. So let’s just simmer down with the Belichick heat.

What does this mean for the team moving forward?

This is the question people should really be asking. The timing of this trade was almost certainly planned, in that it occurred during our bye week. Belichick and that Patriots now have ~2 weeks to prepare for the Seahawks and can devote a lot of that time to figuring out who can fill in for Jamie Collins.

Elandon Roberts is now in the spotlight as he has shared time at Collins’ position this season. So far he has done well with the snaps he was given, but time will tell if he can compete as a regular starter. As far as my speculation goes, although Collins may have been a great defensive player and incredibly versatile, I think his impact on the defensive unit as a whole is overblown. The NFL has become a pass-heavy league as many pundits will tell you and the void Collins leaves I think can be filled with more Big Nickle formations featuring Chung as the 3rd safety. He can provide help with run defense as well as coverage on strong, pass catching TEs. Ninkovich also has experience playing inside and although he is not the fastest, can certainly provide some veteran play while things shake out.

As far as the Seahawks are concerned, the are where I think the loss of Collins will probably be felt is QB containment. Russell Wilson is incredible at extending the play and scrambling for first downs. In the past we’ve seen the Patriots struggle to contain the likes of Tyrod Taylor and Wilson himself. Collins’ athleticism provided us with a player who could spy Wilson particularly well and bring him to the ground if he rushed. Without Collins, Sheard and Chis Long will have a lot of the burden pushed to them, as outside rushers, to keep Wilson in the pocket. As good as Hightower has played, I don’t think he has the quickness to stay with Wilson if he pursues him outside the pocket.

Prediction: Patriots win 34-17 with Legarrette Blount rushing for 100+ yds and 2 TDs.

 

The Jacksonville Jaguars will win the AFC South

jaguars990_22

I’ve been a long hiatus. With the Bruins and Celtics out of the playoffs and my distinct lack of baseball knowledge I’ve decided to make my annual bold NFL prediction.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to win the AFC South. Yes they gave up the second most points in NFL last year. They also have Dante Fowler Jr coming back from his unfortunate ACL tear. The Jags first 5 picks were all defensive players. Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack have incredible upside. The increased pass rush combined with new blood in the secondary should help to ameliorate some of the defensive problems the Jags had last season. Julius Thomas is going to have a full off season healthy. TJ Yeldon will be healthy and provide a stable backfield. He can run and catch and had over 1000 yards from scrimmage in 12 games. The surprising Allen duo can also help the Jags bring their offense to the next level. Both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns posted over 1000 receiving yards and proved to be invaluable targets for burgeoning QB Blake Bortles (who also smoked me on more than one occasion in fantasy).

The Colts did little to address their defensive issues last year, leading them to give up the 8th most points in the NFL. The Colts are also still headed by Chuck Pagano who, in my opinion, is one of the least adaptable “old school” coaches I’ve seen. I’m pretty confident his idea of a game plan is to tell his team they need to “play with more heart” and “show them who’s boss.” Despite Andrew Luck and his best efforts, the Colts also sported the 8th worst offense in the NFL. Yes Matt Hasselback played a lot of games but at the end of the day this team is going no where fast.

The Texans went all in on the Brock Osweiler train and are fucking morons. Brock Osweiler was the definition of a game manager. People talk bad about Russell Wilson and Teddy Bridgewater, both of whom are better than Osweiler. He sucks ass and I will drink his tears as he languishes in the barbecue pit called Houston. Despite having Deandre Hopkins, the Texans continue to prove that a QB is essential for any offensive success. They drafted 2 WRs in the first 3 rounds of the 2016 draft and are in for a rough year. Yes their defense was in the top 10 in points allowed last year, but at some point teams are going to figure out how to keep JJ Watt from ruining their day if he doesn’t have other playmakers behind him. Brian Cushing is great and they have a few other good players on their defense but I don’t see this team winning the AFC South in consecutive years with their current offense.

Lastly, the Titans. I don’t think I need to speak about them. They were in the bottom six teams for both points allowed and points scored. Marcus Mariota is still raw and given the franchise he’s in I can’t really get a gauge on how good he is. The picked up DeMarco Murray and have a good offensive line so perhaps they can get to “not sucking total asshole” but with so many areas needing to be addressed they won’t sniff the top of the AFC South.

Final Prediction: Jags finish the season 11-5 winning the AFC South.

Cam Newton is What’s Right with Football

Cam Polarizing.png

Cam Newton is why we watch football. Cam Newton is one of the few shreds of light in an otherwise shackled game. The fact that people are blasting Newton for dancing in the endzone and for being a sour puss after losing the biggest game of his life is absurd. We shove cameras in people’s faces in the most emotional moments of their lives to live vicariously through them. To see the passion with which they play the game, to see how much this means to them. As fans of this game, we would hope that those playing the game care far more than we do about the outcome.

There are videos every year of losing fans smashing TVs and creating mayhem. Cam Newton gives one word answers and walks out on a interview because he can here his opponents bathing in his tears and suddenly its like all the kids in the world who saw this are growing up to be murderers now. No kid is ever going to have to give an interview about how they got their dick’s kicked in and their dreams smashed. All good sportsmanship entails is shaking your opponents hand and telling them good job, which is what Newton did after the game. Everything after that is fluff and nonsense.

I love the way Cam Newton plays and I love the way he handled that loss. I’m sure Broncos fans everywhere are using his dejected post game interview in place of viagra at this very moment. It is great to have your team win and even better to see someone as in your face as Cam Newton be diminished to a pouting school child. Every time I see Richard Sherman’s horrified look as he realizes Malcolm Butler sealed the game for the Patriots, I cream myself. That will probably happen for the rest of my life. It was all the sweeter seeing him crestfallen as he had minutes ago mocked Darrelle Revis for giving up a TD to Doug Baldwin.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. The NFL may be a business but football is still a competition and a game. All year Cam said “if you don’t want me to dance keep me out of the end zone” and he kept his promise.

 

 

Before We’re “On to Philly” Let me Vent a Little

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap3000000591223/Patriots-Rob-Gronkowski-flagged-for-offensive-pass-interference-on-crucial-3rd-down

Skip to time 4:10

As much as I’m trying to move on to Philadelphia, I can’t scrub the abortion of a game I watched last night from my brain. Perhaps my rage fueled venting will help me move on from this nonsense.

First turn your attention to the videos I posted above. One is the offensive PI call on Gronk. The other is the defensive PI call on Chung. Both coming in crucial situations and both absolutely rail roading the Patriots. I just don’t understand how you make one of those calls one way and make the other call the opposite. Either they’re both offensive PIs or they’re both defensive PIs.

I wish these were the only blown calls in the game but the Football Gods were not merciful. A holding call on Tre Jackson eliminated a 50 yard pass to Keyshawn Martin. The clock debauchery regarding the excessive timeout. Too many games, not just Pats games, are getting ruined by the refs. It needs to be fixed because its ruining the game.

As far as actual gameplay goes, I thought the Pats did as well as they could have given the situation. They were making plays when they needed to be made. The Broncos style of defense left Gronk with a lot of mismatches, which he was able to take advantage of. Bolden continues to impress in the passing game with a lot of great catches. Brandon LaFell seems to still be struggling with the dropsies which seems to be contagious Scott Chandler continues to perform like a man with vaseline all over his hands.

The defense looked great until Dont’a Hightower went down. This is a defense that has been battered with injuries including Jamie Collins. Patrick Chung is the unsung hero of the defense. I don’t read a lot of hype bullcrap but I’m going to doubt he’s getting the attention he deserves. He has been playing a lot of man coverage and has done a phenomenal job these past few weeks. Malcolm Butler continues to show he is a true #1 CB and can play with the big boys. With the weather conditions the way they were, we knew it was going to be a grind it out kind of game, unfortunately for us things just didn’t fall our way.

The biggest news I saw yesterday, as I stared at the TV in a depressed catatonic state, was that Brock Osweiler is apparently the second coming of Manning and is just a fucking football god. Let me nip that bullshit right in the butt. People are talking about how Belichick normally disguises his coverages and how Brock must just be some type of savant. This is not the case. It was man coverage almost exclusively and the clutch throws Brock made were on streaks up the field with man coverage. He didn’t have to do anything hard. You play that game any other day and he has at least one more interception and 100 less pass yards.

Lastly, I’d like to congratulate Chris Collinsworth for having the strength and courage to be so forward about his relationship with Brock Osweiler. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard a broadcaster do a game live with someone else’s dick in their mouth for the whole game. At times it was hard to understand Collinsworth, but his love for Brock Osweiler would not be denied.

sad bill.jpg

Will the Patriots Reign of Terror Stop? ……no.

Belichick on lion

This early bye week has given me some time to reflect on the Patriots current situation and the stupidity of the pundits once again. First of all, anyone who thought the Colts were going to be top dog in the AFC is a moron and you should now wear an “i’m with stupid” t-shirt, with the arrow pointing directly at your dumb face for the rest of the NFL season. Chuck Pagano is a lovable oaf. That’s it. He is a terrible NFL coach. How do you have two games against the same team where your opponent goes in with the EXACT same game plan and get absolutely steam rolled twice. Does Chuck know what halftime adjustments are? Plays? Formations? Does he just go in at halftime and tell everyone to play with more heart? Honestly. I want to know how a man who’s only job is to change his team’s scheme went to play the same opponent twice without changing anything.

Second of all, after watching the Broncos squeak out a win against the Vikings, we all know they aren’t winning shit in the AFC. They should probably get some sort of AFC playoff participant banner ready to go. Yes, their defense is quite good. Their pass rush has been phenomenal and I think a lot of credit has to go to Wade Phillips and the way he’s using his players. Problem is, Peyton Manning’s arm is dead. They had a small closed casket wake attended by Peyton’s good arm and his enormous head. The fall of Manning’s QB abilities is staggering. I think it highlights how good he is at pre-play adjustments and reading defense because he couldn’t even have a paper route at this point. They’re remaking the game duck hunt but its just Peyton lobbing soft balls near a pond. Beagles everywhere just rushing to their tv screens hoping to go fetch what he’s throwing.

I’m not going to address the Bengals/The Red Rifle, because we all know they will get themselves knocked out of the playoffs first round, if they don’t implode before hand.

So the real question becomes, will the Patriots go 19-0? The answer is almost assuredly yes. People have been fairly shocked by the effectiveness of the Patriots offense and the resurgence of Tom Brady. I think they also forget this is Tom Brady’s first offseason in god knows how long where we didn’t lose every offensive starter minus Gronk. There is no “Brady needs to get on the same page as X.” Brady is on the same page with everyone and this is what it looks like. More offensive production than 2007.

Dion Lewis is an animal and cannot be contained. He has been Shane Vereen 2.0. Unreal lateral quickness. Finishes runs like a back who weighs 230. Hands like a receiver. Belichick has probability had a versatility related boner since the day we signed him. Everything else about this offense is the same as last year. Gronk is the best mismatch in the NFL bar none. Edelman and Amendola get the job done. Probably the second biggest surprise has been the offensive line. I’ve seen articles floating about the internet referencing Belichick’s genius once again. All I know is, the Patriots have been shuffling offensive lineman like a Vegas poker dealer with amazing results.

Defensively, the patriots have been a lot better than anyone thought. Malcolm Butler had his first test against a real receiver in Antonio Brown and proved he can play with the big dogs. Since then he’s been our consistent number 1 CB. Devin Mccourty got his first pick last week against the pop warner team known as the Jaguars. The gem of our defense has been the pass rush. Chandler Jones has been exceptional using his length to man handle offensive linemen and get to opposing QBs. The defensively line hasn’t done a great job against the run but in this day and age if you want to win football games you gotta pass the ball.

Captain Salami’s Bold Prediction: Pats beat the Packers in Superbowl L 31-28 ending a perfect season. Count it.

…And We’re Talking About SpyGate Again……

i-dont-want-to-live-on-this-planet-anymore

Time is a flat circle folks. We’re actually talking about SpyGate again. Someone bludgeon me until I can’t tell right from Goodell. The absolute worst part about this is the people who were just talking about how the Patriots obviously cheated in DeflateGate; the same people who took out of context texts and believed them as good as video evidence of Brady jamming needles into balls; somehow feel validated by all of this.

The ESPN article (which I will not link here because fuck them) states in its opening paragraph that DeflateGate was a make up call for SpyGate. Yet, apparently the people who believed DeflateGate suddenly don’t remember how incriminating the “Deflater” texts were. How sure they were that the Patriots deflated balls and Tom Brady was the orchestrator of a secret, criminal deflation scheme.

Do you idiots not remember this? So what now? You knew that DeflateGate was just an apology for SpyGate the whole time? All you geniuses, are trolls who can predict the future and clung to DeflateGate like life preserver? Either DeflateGate was real or what all Patriots fans have been saying was true and the rest of you can eat a fat dick. Which is it? I need to know.

Moving on from the fact that DeflateGate has now been admitted to be a witch hunt, I want one name. One real name from one real former Patriots coach who is allegedly dishing out all these dirty secrets. The only name cited in the entire ESPN article is a one Matt Walsh, the original SpyGate guy who has more credibility issues than Ray Lewis and his missing white suit. There is not one shred of evidence to any of these allegations.

Are you dinguses noticing a pattern yet? There was no evidence for DeflateGate and no evidence in the SpyGate article that the Patriots have ever done anything wrong, except win. The most winningest franchise since the start of free agency in fact. Probably the most winningest franchise in history by the time Brady and Belichick finally hang it up and get their busts in Canton.

What’s that I hear? A bunch of sour fans of loser NFL franchises screaming that the Patriots clearly are doing some sketchy things because of all the accusations (read the latest SI article to pile on to this click bait). Well lets do a thought experiment here shall we? Lets say you’re right. Belichick is the most evil mastermind to ever live and has been bugging, stealing and slightly cheating in every way imaginable. This is what you people believe, right? With all the security measures and precautions team take how has there never been one shred of evidence found that the Patriots are doing anything illegal. Not one.

“You could say the rest of the NFL is paranoid, and you might be right. What’s not debatable is that New England, because of that lack of trust, is inside opponents’ heads, forcing other teams to devote time, brainpower and resources to protecting themselves.”

Sorry we have so much headspace in the rest of the NFL that it negatively impacts their play. That’s their fault not ours. Be better maybe? Actually win something? Or just spread lies and cry about illegal formations.

I’ll just leave this here and call it at that:

http://thornography.weei.com/sports/boston/2015/09/09/video-spygate-was-happening-in-1992/