As we begin to wrap another NFL week let it be known that if you have an kicking experience at all, soccer, pee wee football, the can, there is likely an NFL team that wants to speak to you. Here is the thing, kicking a field goal isn’t hard. I’ve kicked 40 yard field goals and despite my years playing soccer I was never considered a big leg kind of guy.I was talking to the oft mentioned buddy of mine Jay about the state of kicking in the NFL….
Sull: Some weird teams won and the insane number of kicks was stupid.
Jay: Right! Wtf kicker.
S: Man I wish I was in kicking shape, I’d audition! haha
J: Apparently you don’t need much “shaping” to do it professionally.
J: Just show up and say “I have no experience kicking prior to this year.”
S: I’ll fit right in!
J: You’ll have a…….Leg up.
I told Jay I wasn’t going to use that joke, and what I meant was that I wasn’t going to use the joke and ascribe it to myself. I’m sure there are guys all over the country thinking just like us though, “it’s kicking? how hard can it be?” And the truth is it’s really hard and I don’t mean to belittle their job or their importance to the game. The Steelers and Jaguars both lost games this week because of poor kicking.
While this has always happened at one point or another in the NFL it’s happening at an alarming rate this year. Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely thinks that moving the extra point back has caused the seemingly sudden glut of missed kicks.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 6, 2015
It’s a bit long, but it makes sense to me. I’m I am all for it because I’m for anything that makes the games closer and adds drama.
GAME NOTES – THURSDAY NIGHT EDITION
I got this game wrong, technically.I got the feel right though. I knew it would be close. I knew it would be decided by a field goal or less and I thought the home team would prevail, as is so often the case in games of this variety. Josh Scobee though missed 2 kicks in the 4th quarter allowing the Ravens to tie it and force overtime.
Scobee’s kick’s were so bad and left such a bad taste in Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s mouth that he left Scobee on the bench twice in overtime attempting to convert 4th and shorts. The idea of that isn’t what leaves a bad taste in my mouth, it’s how they went after the plays.
The Steelers have arguably the best running back in the NFL, Le’veon Bell. A player who led the league in all purpose yards in 2014. And for both plays he didn’t touch the ball. When I worked for Coach Hannon he very much felt that in big moments you trust your best players and if those players got beat, at least you got beat utilizing the best talent you had. I agree completely. Anything else is too cute, like kittens on YouTube. Why do people watch that shit, it’s nauseating. Putting the ball in Michael Vick’s hands instead of Le’veon Bell’s is equally as nauseating. Coach Hannon is a Steelers fan so I can only imagine the string of curse words and amount of Beefeater Gin he drank after that game.
0-1 for the week, 28-21 for the season
GAME NOTES – 9:30 AM LONDON EDITION
Cheerio govnah! I’m still not sure if the Dolphins brought Joe Philbin back from England or if they left him to enjoy the sights. I picked the Dolphins because when a team likes their coach they typically rally and win at least a game or two to save their season. Apparently the Dolphins players didn’t like Philbin much and so they decided not to play. Now they tight ends coach has become the head coach. Its going to be interesting to see what happens to the team the rest of the way. I’m sort of heavily invested in them picks wise, and Tannehill fantasy wise, so I’m hoping for a stark turnaround. I just don’t know how likely that is.
0-2 for the week, 28-22 for the season
GAME NOTES – 1 O’CLOCK EDITION
The Buffalo Bills. I’m not sure what else to say really. My Friend Craig is emphatic that Rex Ryan sucks as a coach, Greg Roman sucks as a coordinator and that Tyrod Taylor is worse than me as a QB. And it’s hard to get My Friend Craig to say anything nice about me! That game looked like the worst game the Jets played during the Rex Ryan era combined with the worst game the 49ers played during the Greg Roman era smashed together with the flaws of each pouring out in their players performances. Penalties for Rex’s defense, poor play calling and poor blocking for Roman’s offense. So please lets all send some good luck vibes to My Friend Craig, he is gonna need them.
Jess’s Bears won! It wasn’t pretty and Jay Cutler threw another heartbreaking interception, but in the end they won! In what looks to be a lost season for the Bears every victory will be cherished. But in reality Chicago fans, go cheer for the Cubs tonight, that could be a fun team to watch make a long October run.
Chip Kelly ISN’T smarter than everyone else. That Washington team is not good, but they seem to be able to win at home. Is that enough to get them a division crown? I think it’s possible!
Recap of my picks
A win is green and a loss is red.
So that’s 4-3 for the 1 o’clock games, 4-5 for the week and 32-25 for the season.
GAME NOTES – 4 O’CLOCK EDITION
Well the Cardinals came back to earth mostly because they fumbled the opening kick off. It was the type of thing that they never really seemed to come back from. They seemed to be forcing things on offense and defense trying to make up for the the error rather than just playing their game. I expect them to rebound at Detroit, a team we will get to in a minute.
3-1 for the 4 o’clock games makes me 6-6 for the week and 35-26 for the season so far.
GAME NOTES – SUNDAY NIGHT EDITION
Another game I essentially had correct. I mean almost exactly. I picked a 21-20 Cowboys win. At the end of regulation it was 20-20. I mean that should count as a win! I had the feel of the game exact and the that’s the point of predictions.
Football wise the Cowboys just aren’t the same without Tony Romo. I loved the pitch by #2 Brandon Weeden to #2 Terrence WIlliams to force overtime, but otherwise if the run game isn’t firing on all cylinders the Cowboys can’t win. Defensively the Cowboys are very good at blitzing and swarming the ball carrier, and they are decent at deep zone coverages and man to man. But their hook to curl zone and flat zone coverages are just awful. And I took that note before CJ Spiller caught a wheel route in a soft spot of a zone or a miscommunicated man coverage hole that went 80 yards for the game winning TD.
Got the Sunday night game to make me 6-7 for the week and 35-27 for the season.
GAME NOTES – MONDAY NIGHT EDITION
Danielle’s WeHawks stole a victory with help from some shading referring, again. In the same end zone where the infamous “Fail Mary” occurred allowing the Seahawks to beat the Packers in 2012, the Lions lost on an illegal bat. Not a Sammy Sosa corked bat, but a linebacker being cute and tapping the ball out of the back of the end zone to ensure the on charging Lion, Theo Riddick didn’t recover it for the go ahead touchdown.
I’m not here to debate the merits of the rule itself, but the rule exists on the books and as such should be enforced. The refs and tangentially the NFL screwed up, again. You want to make a big deal about ball pressure? How about refs blatantly not making a call because it wasn’t overt enough? Hasn’t the NFL learned yet that letting humans be the judge the gray area of things is an awful way of doing business? Leadership at the top is again in question and while I don’t know that this is a call that should decide a game every rule on the books should be called period. If they aren’t you start wondering why. Is the ref or back judge on the take? Pete Carroll paid everyone at USC why wouldn’t he do the same at the NFL level? Did the ref or back judge bet the game and so they would have lost money had the Lions won? I’m not saying either of these is likely, but the situation makes me think they are possible.
It’s likely coincidental that the team that benefited was the Seahawks, but I’ll still tease Danielle about it. The long and short of the game is that the Lions season is over, which is good for Lions fans because they can get rid of Jim Caldwell as their coach because he sucks. Has an NFL head coach ever been held up more by a QB than Caldwell was during his time with the Colts and a guy named Peyton Manning? I doubt it. For the Seahawks they could very easily be 1-3 this morning, traveling east to play the second best team in the AFC on a short week. 2-3 is in the cards the way their offense played last night and how much can it be fixed in just a few days, with or without Marshawn Lynch? I don’t expect a lot of drastic shifts in scheme or performance.
The lesson the week is that sometimes something as simple as a single opening kickoff fumble can throw a team of their whole game, like what happened with the Cardinals. I expect them to return to the form we saw in weeks 1-3, as long as they avoid that early miscue.
Now let’s quickly recap not only my DFS lineup, but the guys I told you had good matchups and what they did.
So Weeden came out 13 points below the 27 point average against for QBs against New Orleans, but he wasn’t high on my play him list. Dalton came out 6 points below the average against the Chiefs, but that was a lot of game flow hurting him. They didn’t need to throw, so they didn’t. Eli came out 4 points short of the average against for QBs against the Bills, but that number is skewed a bit by the big number put up by Tom Brady in week 2. It was still a good suggestion and had the pick been a TD would have proven so, but Eli did a great Jay Cutler impression. Taylor was the second most disappointing on this list, scoring 7 points below at home against a team that looked be susceptible to a dual threat QB. The most disappointing name was Jimmy Clausen because he didn’t even play! Which means you played Jay Cutler, and that 18.24 in the table is his score because this is about the matchup more than the player. Cutler scored only 4 points below basically his soul crushing interception crushed your soul if you used him in DFS.
Game flow got away from the Texans and they had to throw, throw, throw that’s why Chris Polk ended up with the TD instead of Arian Foster or Alfred Blue. But the Texans running game as a whole vastly underachieved against a poor Falcons run defense. The duo of Crowell and Johnson, Jr beat the chargers average by 9 points so if you picked Johnson you were in a good place, Crowell not as much. The Cardinals 2 backs matched the average against, but split it right down the middle, so neither was a stud, but both gave you ok production. Frank Gore wasn’t a huge disappointment and neither was he a huge boon to your lineup. Karlos Williams was the biggest disappointment of the week for DFS players, but I don’t blame the player as much as I blame the play calling of offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
The Bengals passing game was a disappointment overall, but there were some solid performances out of Green and Sanu. The Bills were able to shut down Beckham Jr., or at least scare Eli away from him and a couple of other WRs benefited. Desean Jackson didn’t play, but Garcon was a solid play for anyone in DFS. The Packers got a bit stuck in the mud in SF and it showed on the scoreboard and in the individual performance scores. The Lions gave up a bunch of points to WR, but not to anyone in particular.
Well at the top Bennett was a great call, in the middle Clay was a great call and the rest were ok calls, but nothing to write home about. I think that Witten is more injured than anyone wants to admit in Dallas, but he almost has to play because they have lost so many offensive weapons. Larry Donnell isn’t good, but he is huge. He should be a bigger factor in the red zone, but teams are daring Eli to trust him and he obviously doesn’t. Seattle’s offense is a mess and it’s directly resulting in Jimmy Graham seeming terribly out of place in the Pacific Northwest.
My lineup wasn’t pretty. 200.02 took home the millionaire maker prize on DraftKings. After the week before’s 300 point total that seem light! My lineup and the points scored.
So 92.14 points is a disappointment, some of it was gameflow, some of it was injuries (poor Lance Dunbar), and some of it was the mystery of Jimmy Graham being a lost soul in Seattle.
Thursday look for my picks of every game in the NFL:64! And Friday look for my DraftKings preview!