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Author: Mickey

Giants Release Victor Cruz

Giants Release Victor Cruz

Bitter sweet day for Giants nation.  On the one hand, you have a revered figure in Giants lore who was basically one of 6 players that lifted the Giants to a Super Bowl championship in 2011.  However, you have a player who is more than likely over the hill and costing the Giants $9M a season.  Being a hit that steep as a below-average third receiver is not what I would consider staying power in this league.

I was genuinely happy for Victor Cruz when he scored the game winner at Dallas in week one.  What a way to cap a return from two devastating injuries, there is truly a special place in my heart for a fourth quarter Salsa Dance.  However,  that proved to be his only touchdown in a season where he caught 39 balls and was a victim of Ben McAdoo’s declamation plan.  Roger Lewis Jr slid into Cruz’s spot at times, and I must say while the play might not be up to par yet, Lewis Jr.’s touchdown dance is HEAT.

Cruz and his story will long be celebrated by Giants faithful–the undrafted free agent from New Jersey who seized the moment early in 2011 against Philadelphia and did nothing but BALL OUT straight to the Super Bowl.  The combination of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks lifted Eli Manning to his best passing season to date and famously had Bill Belichick reminding his defense on the sideline in the Super Bowl “This is a Cruz and Nicks game.”

Alas, the Giants offense is in transition and getting younger. With big money paid to the defense last season, and much needed allocations for the offensive interior, players like Cruz, Jennings and JT Thomas were assumed to be on the chopping block.  With $7.5M in savings thanks to this move, I completely support this necessary yet painful move by the Giants.

Thanks for making the Salsa great again, Vic.  There are plenty of wide receiving starved teams in this league (not named Philadelphia).  I’m sure you will get swallowed up by DRC or Jack Rabbit in the coming seasons.

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*Insert Insanely Idiotic Boat Joke*

*Insert Insanely Idiotic Boat Joke*

I am here right now to call a spade a spade:  The Giants–MY NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS–got the ever loving crap kicked out of them yesterday.  As far as complaints, I have none; I can only tip my cap to the greatest quarterback in the NFL right now.  Aaron Rodgers is an absolute surgeon, and despite losing his best receiver, the man took to carving up the Giants secondary like Hannibal Lecter.

I was confident going into yesterdays game, and my confidence was rewarded through the first 27 minutes of the football game.  It’s a moot point now though considering Rodgers and the Packers kicked it into a hyper speed that left the Giants in the Lambeau mulch.

Here is my lone thought on the game, and I’m going to make this very simple for everyone out there who feels as thought their vanilla ice cream opinion on Odell and co. is even remotely interesting:  Go take a long walk off a short bridge.

To sit there and blame yesterdays loss on a trip to Miami that happened one week ago, on the teams OFF DAY, speaks to the mental capacity of the opinionated.  Yes, Odell had maybe his worst day as a professional yesterday.  I cannot defend his play on the field, but for any person or institution *COUGH NEW YORK POST COUGH* to cast sole blame onto #13 is a fool.  The guy is like 70% of the reason the Giants were in the playoffs anyway.  So do me a sincere favor and shut up.

You want to levee blame?  Ask Dwayne Harris why he field multiple punts inside of the Giants 5 yard line.  Ask Bobby Rainey why he fielded a kick at the 3 yard line and WENT OUT OF BOUNDS.  Ask Robbie Gould why he short-kicked about 8 consecutive kickoffs, and why Brad Wing averaged next to nothing.

It actually might be fundamentally impossible within the structure of the game for one player outside of the quarterback position to be solely responsible for a 25 point loss.

Do I agree with the wide receivers going to Miami on their off-day?

I genuinely do not care.  They make more money than I can possibly fathom, and since I don’t have the financial flexibility to quickly hop on a plane for a day trip to SoBe followed by a nightcap with Biebs, I am unable to speak to that.

Would I have posted to every social media about it?

Maybe not, if the off-day is really only about me getting away from the game for one day, or maybe even celebrating an 11 win season and first career playoff berth.

At the end of the day, the guys showed up on time Tuesday.  They just so happened to fall flat on Sunday.  Whatever.

The Giants lost because Aaron Rodgers is a freaking magician, the Special Teams play of the Giants was terrible and injuries to the Giants secondary got exposed in the second half.  The Packers adjusted accordingly once DRC was out of the game, and exposed Trevin Wade.

Hats off to the Packers.  Aaron Rodgers is the best player I’ve ever seen.  Not even the vaunted Seattle defense could slow him down, and now he adds the Giants defense to his trophy mantle.

It will be a long off-season for the Giants after a loss like this.  However, they took a huge step forward, and with the right acquisitions this off-season, I have no doubt they will compete for a Super Bowl next season.

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Joe Mixon Declares for the NFL Draft

Joe Mixon Declares for the NFL Draft

The controversial Mixon finished his college career in Oklahoma’s Sugar Bowl win over Auburn, scoring two touchdowns and gaining 180 yards from scrimmage — 91 rushing on 19 carries and 89 receiving on five catches.

Mixon finished the season with 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing and 538 yards and five touchdowns receiving. Mixon is a third-year sophomore who is eligible for the draft.

On ability alone, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Mixon as his fifth-highest-rated running back behind Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, D’Onta Foreman and Christian McCaffrey. But Mixon is not on Kiper’s big board or his list of top 10 running backs in his latest ranking.

In 2014, a five-star recruit out of the Oakley, Calif., Mixon was captured on videotape punching a woman in a deli in Norman, Okla. The punch broke her jaw, eye socket and cheekbone.

This dude is actually a scumbag.  A full-fledged womanizing, violent scumbag.  It’s difficult and dangerous to spin Mixons’ initial assault incident that makes this news relevant into anything other than despicable.  Bob Stoops talking about his just punishment and then playing him in OU’s bowl game on national television did nothing but cement the perpetually tone deaf Brent Musberger further as appointment television.  In Mixons case, it allowed all of America to view him as the abuser who plays to the crowd when called an abuser.  Asking for a raise in volume when chants of “He beats women” are thrown at you makes you the lowest form of human life.

You should view this strictly as a grenade going into the NFL draft.  Mixon has appeared to lack remorse for his actions, instead appearing to glorify them on national television.  This is the kind of guy “The Shield” needs to bring the hammer down on, if he even makes it to the league.  Ideally, a referendum from the league to the teams–“If any of you idiots draft this asshole, I’ll make you play the Patriots 16 times next year.”  Speaking of referendum, the timing of this declaration seems like a colossal middle finger to the NFL.  Nixon has to be hyper-aware of the NFL’s “stance” against domestic violence and violence against women, and takes it seriously enough to glorify his own actions and then subsequently declare for the draft.  He is challenging the league to take a harder stance than they have.

He recognizes that this is the same league that furiously litigated over the validity of the natural gas law in the Supreme Court in order to upheld a suspension on Tom Brady that was equal in games missed to Greg Hardy’s suspension.  Tom Brady did not do this to his girlfriend.

This is a league where a clean-cut, conference best pass rusher Michael Sam could not stay in the league because of his sexuality.  The kind of contradictions this abhorrent human could present and the public relations nightmare he could cause for the NFL alone should be grounds for Roger Goodell hiring wet work.  What is Ray Rice thinking as he campaigns against domestic violence and this idiot plays to the crowd like Mick Jagger as the internet circulates his assault video?

Whoever is advising Mixon is a little under qualified to be advising athletes.  In some ways, it is in contrast to Cardale Jones not declaring after his run to the National Championship game with Ohio State.  He ended up returning to school and splitting time with JT Barrett and hurting his draft stock.  Mixon is declaring pro in one of the deeper running back classes in recent memory after a YouTube video of him going Raging Bull on a woman while people around him order off the value menu.  Know when to hold your hand, Joe.

 

 

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Frozen Lambeau Tears

Frozen Lambeau Tears

Throw out all the talk about playoff history as it pertains to the Giants and Packers.

Not because I no longer wish to hear about it, but I have enough false and hallow hope to cling to as the Giants embark on their 2016 NFC runner-up playoff campaign.  I’d rather just toss poor tasting Bachelorette jokes at Rodgers that probably have zero affect on his play, so keep track of those puppies.

On the Giants side of things, the team going to Lambeau on Sunday is the exact same that’s struggled on offense but suffocated foes on defense.  So don’t expect for Eli to flip a switch in his noodle of a brain and suddenly start hanging laundry on his passes.  A big day from the eleven soldiers on defense and a mistake free day on offense is the most functional method to winning for Big Blue right now.  If you expect 2011 Eli Manning to walk through the tunnel on Sunday, you are going to be more disappointed than a Mariah Carey fan on New Year’s eve.

For the Packers, they’re riding the proclamation and play of Aaron Rodgers, whose word is basically like scripture at this point.

Relax, you say?  Sure and while we are at it, let’s hang a fifty-burger on consecutive opponents en route to an offensive masterpiece in the 2014 season.

We can run the table?  Well, we have a wide receiver playing running back, we now rely quite heavily on a white fullback to produce offensively and we literally do not have a healthy cornerback but hey, if you say so!

Any torrid streak by the Packers offense begins and ends with the play of Aaron Rodgers.  2016’s late-season, six game winning streak claimed the NFC North title for Green Bay.  Rodgers’ numbers during the streak are absolutely absurd.  It must be a testament to all the extra time he has not buying his family holiday gifts!

Jokes aside, there’s no denying the mythological crusade Rodgers is on right now.  With regards to the yearly MVP vote, he’s entering Lebron territory.  The calendar flips, but Rodgers is unequivocally the best player in football.  While the Packers hold the edge over other teams in the category of Who has the Best Player, they aren’t too sharp in other areas.

That being said, Sunday’s game is literally going to be about the Giants Defense versus Aaron Rodgers.  What would a victory look like for each respective team?

If the Giants Win…

Looking back at their week five loss in Lambeau, one thing that stood out to me was the early damage Rodgers did with his scrambling.  News flash: Aaron Rodgers can scramble–extraordinarily well.  Early in their previous contest, Rodgers picked up a key third down in the red zone, and later in the drive created time with his legs before connecting with Jordy Nelson for the games first score.  However, he was not even nearly as good when pressured and throwing from inside the pocket.  Janoris Jenkins claimed two interceptions on plays where Rodgers felt heat from the pass rush and had to throw the ball while still in the pocket.

It sounds absurd contrary to the overabundant, cliche term pocket-passer, but Rodgers on the run is almost indefensible.  This is a Packers team that practices broken plays.  They consistently take advantage of breakdowns in X’s and O’s, with #12 throwing dimes like it’s flag football.  To put it simply, the Giants have to contain Rodgers inside the pocket, whether that be via modified pass rush or an assigned quarterback spy (preferably Landon Collins).  In week five, Rodgers punished the Giants early with his extension of plays and mobile throwing ability, but the Giants did clamp down in the second half–allowing only six points.  If the Giants can limit Aaron Rodgers to a pocket-passer, they are going to make it very difficult for every Bachelorette fan’s least favorite NFL player to score.

Offensively, the Giants have built a offensive system that works in synergy with the other two phases of their team.  It is certainly not pretty, but it’s worked well enough to contribute to 11 wins.  They want to play a ball-control, field position game on offense to allow their defense and special teams to flourish.  Eli Manning has been bad when taking shots down the field this season, rendering their offense a quasi dink-and-dunk system.  Manning has averaged 6.8 Yards per Attempt this season, 25th in the NFL (silver lining spin-zone–still number one in the big apple, edging out Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick).  They’ve tried to create as many third-and-managbles as possible for an aging quarterback who has appeared limited in his deep ball ability.  Also, when you have a lightning bolt who can score from anywhere on the field, your best play may be simply give ball to said lightning bolt: Odell Beckham Jr.

I’m a Giants homer for life, so I will always reserve some hope that playoff Eli will show up for Big Blue.  I’m sure 2011 Eli Manning would take full advantage of the Packers dead-last pass defense over the last three games.  They are #32 at 346 passing yards per game, a 50 yard cushion to #31: the perpetually awful New Orleans pass defense.

Sadly, 2016 Manning hasn’t shown the decision making and deep ball accuracy that produced his best season the last time the Giants were in the postseason.  He hasn’t even looked like the quarterback from 2015’s 6-10 football team.  His regression coinciding with the Giants 11 win season is bizarre to say the least.

 

If the Packers Win…

Outside of the offensive core, the Packers roster is fairly weak.  They are completely devoid of a competent cornerback and their pass-rush has been absent in recent weeks.  Aaron Rodgers being the only thing holding this team together is not that crazy of an exaggeration.  If the Packers win this game, you can bet that Rodgers continued the passing trend of recent weeks.

One missing piece of the Packers offense that plagued them in the latter half of 2015 and for spots this season was inconsistent offensive line health.  As I said in Rodgers case for MVP yesterday, he was sacked during Green Bay’s four-game losing streak nearly as many times as Derek Carr was sacked all season.  When you return three All-Pro offensive linemen to the lineup, there is a significant chance of the offensive play picking up.  If the Packers front can give Rodger’s a chance to extend plays, they will have a shot.  It will certainly be no easy task against the Giants ferocious defensive front and Steve Spagnuolo’s exotic and often overwhelming blitz packages.

Rodgers scheme-transcending creativity is so lethal that the Packers allocate practice time for receivers and him to nail down this improvisation.  It is something the Packers will have to do for big gains in order to be successful.  The Giants secondary is a mismatch for the Packers receivers in a traditional sense, so it behooves Rodgers to utilize his creativity.  Without a running game and a defensive cushion to take pressure off, a big day by Rodgers is what Green Bay will have to ride to what is likely a date in Dallas.

 

Prediction:

New Orleans, a double dose of Dallas, Detroit and Washington–all stymied by the Giants’ defense.  With nothing to play for, and a hungry opponent, it crushed the soul of Washington’s offense in week 17.  Critics are no longer concerned about the absence of Jason Pierre-Paul.  The Giants defensive front might just be the best unit of all the playoff units.  If I am right, the Giants defense contains Rodgers in the pocket and swallows him up.  They stop the run better than anyone in football, and should not be duped by the bootleg play-action as they were in the week 5 loss.  Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard connect with Eli Manning to take advantage of a porous Packers secondary, and emerging rushing threat Paul Perkins helps to move the chains for the Giants offense.  If I’m wrong, Rodgers makes just enough plays on the move to spoil the Giants first playoff berth in 5 years.

Give me the former:  Giants 26 Packers 20

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Meandering the MVP Race

Meandering the MVP Race

For as archaic as the thinking around qualified candidates can be for Major League Baseball’s Most Valuable Player Award, the system in which the writers vote is quite solid.  A sliding scale, it assigns a value to each player receiving votes based upon which slot they were voted for in. A 1st place vote receives X points, while a 10th place vote receives Z amount of points.  It’s not as cut and dry as the current NFL voting system, which is only a single 1st place vote to bestow (which Tony Dungy so erroneously gave to Bobby Wagner in 2014). A useful tool to have when you have three or more players in contention for the the award every season, an issue seldom seem in recent years for the NFL’s MVP award.

Q:  Do you know the closest margin of victory in the NFL MVP award over the last 15 years?

A:  4 points in 2001, when Kurt Warner narrowly defeated his teammate, Marshall Faulk–a fact soon to be referenced again.

 

Since 2011, every winner of the award has received at least 30 votes, and the narrowest margin of victory has been 11 votes by Adrian Peterson in 2012.  He’s also been one of three non-quarterbacks to win the award since 2001–the other two also being running backs–along with Shaun Alexander and Ladanian Tomlinson, who each had a record breaking season in their respective MVP campaign.

It seems as though for the first time since about 2005, we will have at least five players receive at least five votes for MVP.  With recent near unanimous finishes, and given the unremarkable nature of typical MVP races in the league, we might be in for as exciting a finish as 50 people writing a single name on a piece of paper can give us.

Now, here is what I think if you’re asking me (you’re probably not) what qualifies an MVP candidate in the NFL:

  1.  Playoff team.  While I don’t think you can formally write this as a prerequisite, it is certainly a strongly, strongly preferred attribute.
  2. If I replaced you with an average player, what would the impact be?  How many wins would I be costing the team?  A perfect example would be the 2011 Colts, who were a 10 win team every season since 2002 with Peyton Manning as their quarterback and a 2-14 team without him that season.  That is valuable.  Most back-up quarterbacks are remedial at best–Dak, Brady and Kurt Warner are complete outliers to the rule.  They are more likely to be Matt McGloin, Matt Moore and Matt Cassel.

I have no idea who stands up at a podium and says “I qualify these players for the MVP award!”, because by my standard, I would have to rearrange the unofficial candidates for the award.  Call me a homer, but if you’ve watched the Giants this season, you know what their formula for winning has been.  Play suffocating defense and give Odell Beckham enough chances to change the game.  Their offense does not erode the opposing defense the way Dallas does throughout the course of a game.  They are stagnate for the most part, generating enough points to be within striking distance before the difference maker blazes through straight to the end zone on a simple slant route.  The Giants formula has two parts to the equation:  Odell Beckham and the defense.  The defense would have to lose about three players for there to be a serious drop off.  Thus, the value of Beckham as a single player is quite apparent.

That being said, no one is going to vote for Beckham because ___________.  I have not been given an excuse.  Meanwhile, there is some crazy notion out there that two rookies behind the most dominating force in the NFL right now should be in serious consideration.  Yet again call me a homer, but there are aspects of the Cowboys that I believe make any consideration for Dak Prescott and/or Ezekiel Elliot almost insane.  The first being the unique situation of the Cowboys quarterback depth chart, which may contradict half of my MVP standard for qualification.  Tony Romo is not a remedial replacement.  If Tony Romo had not been speared in the pre-season, the Cowboys could very well have the exact same standing in the NFL as they do with Prescott as their quarterback.  As for Elliot, as great as he has been this year, their is an unstoppable force leading the way for him.  The Cowboys offensive line is truly a force of nature.  It is by far the most dominating positional group in the entire NFL, better than the Giants pass rush or the Seahawks healthy secondary or the Patriots healthy receiving corp.  They turned Darren McFadden into a 1000 yard rusher last season on a 4-12 team.  This was a team quarterbacked by Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel for an overwhelming majority of the season.  Running the football had the “safe” equivalency of investing with a Certificate of Deposit.  Running the football had the shock value of Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith.  Everyone knew it was coming.  If Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot were replaced by Tony Romo and Darren McFadden, the Cowboys would win 10 games.

Now, there is a movement for each player’s respective MVP campaign.  They are each certainly going to garner votes for themselves.  Look no further for historical precedent on two players on the same team than Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk in 2001.  For the second time in three years, they finished 1st and 2nd in voting for the MVP, and in this particular year, Warner edged out Faulk for the award by 4 votes.  Even though the two split the vote, one of them still managed to secure the victory.  There are however, a couple reasons why I think history won’t repeat itself:

  1. Kurt Warner was that remedial-level player I talked about before.  He was the back-up quarterback when Trent Green was lost for the season in 1999.  There was no Tony Romo behind him.  His value was basically absolute.
  2. The list of candidates that season included a guy receiving for votes who barely had a 1:1 touchdown-interpcetion ratio.  Kordell Stewart was not exactly the dark-horse of today’s potential recipients as he was back then.  Unlikely and at the very best, splitting a vote might secure you a tie (Two Cowboys splitting the MVP award is not the desired outcome for a Giants fan).

Enough about the Cowboys though, I’m paying them the mind that I criticize everyone else for giving them.  Let’s perhaps talk about the hottest and most dangerous player in football:  Aaron Rodgers.  The blazing streak Rodgers is on right now is not unfamiliar to Rodger’s fans because that is the type of football player and quarterback he is.  The Packers started the season 4-6 and were read their last rites by everyone.  A truly foolish maneuver for anyone who genuinely wanted to see Rodgers and the Packers miss the playoffs, a crowd certainly comprised mostly of jaded Bachelorette fans.  Rodgers’ level of play has been gone into a different stratosphere these last five weeks.  Playing through injury no less, his execution has been near flawless, having not thrown a single interception during their five-game win streak.  They massacred Seattle at home, eliminated the Vikings from playoff contention, beat the number one defense in football at home and it has all been on the back of Aaron Rodgers.  People are reserving standing room only seats in amphitheaters just to watch the Packers bandwagon.  The hot topic in the NFL is the Packers being the playoff team nobody wants to play.  Let’s tinker that statement a little bit–Aaron Rodgers is player you do not want to see in the playoffs.

The Packers roster is not very good.  Their secondary is an atrocity, they’ve had to play a wide receiver at running back, they’re still battling offensive line issues and yet they have rattled off five in a row to put themselves in the drivers seat of the NFC North.  You absolutely have to evaluate circumstances surrounding a team when considering the MVP.  The Packers with any other quarterback might have sunk to 6-10 when the team hit rock bottom this season.

If you can lose four games in a row when the quarterbacks line looks like this during that losing streak, you are probably not a good football team.  There is not much that a demigod can do when your defense allows nearly 90 points in back to back losses. Also, he was sacked THIRTEEN TIMES in four games.  Derek Carr was sacked 16 times in 15 games this season.  What Aaron Rodgers has done this season, despite a hurricane of adversity swirling around the Packers, has been magical.  

And yet despite all the publicity Aaron Rodgers is getting for this stretch of play, no one is talking about Matt Ryan in the same light.  While Rodgers has a shiny touchdown-to-interception ratio to hang his hat on in this debate, Ryan has been just a shade “worse” in terms of statistical output.  But also keep in mind that Julio Jones has been absent for much of the latter half of this season, yet Ryan and the Falcons quietly put up one of the most prolific scoring seasons in league history.  I would assume that most campaigning against Ryan for MVP would try and feed the perception of Matt Ryan the quarterback from years past.  Ryan’s career has been good, but there have always been patches of poor play.  That’s in stark contrast to Aaron Rodgers, who most hold within a regard higher than some divine figures.  But the two this season have been neck and neck in most passing categories, while Ryan has the #2 seed in the NFC and the league’s best offense under his belt.

Speaking of Derek Carr, what about his candidacy for MVP?  His season ending injury casts a dark cloud over the Raiders Super Bowl chances, but it should have no adverse effect on his MVP chances.  His deliverance of the Raiders this season has been the story of the year.  In the category of playoff droughts, the Raiders had been mainstays at the top of the list.  For such a storied franchise, it has been a helluva dark day for the Raiders.  Which is why everything about Derek Carr was so fantastic this season.  That is also why his injury is devastating.

That doesn’t erase what he did over 15 games this season.  He secured a playoff berth and potential first-round bye for the Raiders while posting the best season by an Oakland quarterback since Rich Gannon in 2002, who coincidentally won the MVP award.  By the numbers, Carr is outside the pantheon of passing statistics, but let me be the first to tell you that the eye test might be more indicative in this instance.  Eli Manning’s numbers look pretty decent, but I assure you he has been awful this season.

Finally, that brings me to Tom Brady.  Detractors of Brady can only hang their hat on his 4-game absence, a stretch that saw the Patriots go 4-1.  Assessing value in this instance should be done by viewing what their record was without Brady, not that Brady wasn’t there all-together.  Absence is really a relative term, considering some players up and ghost it while actually physically being on the field.  The Patriots buoyed themselves to  3-1 record, with two wins against teams now participating in January’s tournament.  That alone is going to be enough ammunition in voter’s minds to hand the hardware elsewhere, despite Brady sticking it to the league and father time.  His touchdown-to-interception ratio has been stellar this season, and he does technically have the best winning percentage among the quarterbacks remaining this season.  His 11-1 record is punctuated by a dominant performance in Miami, the setting for last regular seasons’  finale that upended New Englands’ hopes for the #1 seed.  Whatever demons Brady held from last season have seemingly been exorcized–he dumped Denver from playoff contention with a road victory, lanced the Miami beast that stole home-field advantage from him last season and as per usual, delivered an embarrassing and soul-crushing loss to the Jets.  It’s been the typical vendetta were used to see from Brady, but without the tombstone numbers you associate with a vendetta.  Brady’s play has been flawless this season, yet in the end I unfortunately do believe voters will take issue with a 3-1 New England record without the GOAT.

When all is said and done, I’m fine with Brady, Ryan or Rodgers.  However,  my guy is Aaron Rodgers.  This is nothing against Ryan–I’m certainly not trying to cling to the his past reputation as a quarterback.  In my mind, Aaron Rodgers has done just as much as Matt Ryan with a lot more wind swirling around him.  Their running back situation was a disaster, the team was in a tailspin 4-game losing streak and he was basically asked to carry a team that outside of a few key players, is not very good.  Their pass rush has been absent (Atlanta’s Vic Beasly leads the league in sacks), their running back is a converted wide receiver (roll the tape of an Atlanta home run by Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman) and their secondary is an unmitigated disaster, punctuated by topsy-turvy play of their young defensive backs (Keanu Neal is a defensive rookie of the year candidate).  The Packers had little breathing room during their six-game winning streak, needing to absolutely beat every team in order to have a chance.  They lucked out Sunday night and essentially clinched a playoff berth by virtue of Washington’s flat performance against the Giants, but needed huge wins against Seattle, a Philadelphia defense that mauled visiting offenses to that point and the Vikings ferocious pass rush.  Rodger’s answered the call and then some, and punctuated his season with yet another awe inspiring performance.

 

 

 

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I Hate Philadelphia Blog Pt. II

I Hate Philadelphia Blog Pt. II

The final chapter in the 2016 edition of the rivalry that makes my blood boil.  This time our heroes in blue travel across the I-90 into the dump that is Philadelphia to do battle with a franchise in the midst of a tailspin.  I knew the Eagles were going to end up like this, it was only a matter of time.  They could only overachieve for so long before their talent and experience caught up with them.  I can remember Peter King on Pardon my Take in week 3 saying the Eagles were a Super Bowl team.  I laughed aloud to myself on the train platform while bystanders probably inched towards the nearest exit.  I would too if I saw some lunatic laughing maniacally at essentially nothing at 6:3o in the morning.

Fast forward to week 16 and the narrative has completely changed.  Philadelphia is 2-9 since starting 3-0.  Eagles fans keep glancing at their watch, waiting for this atrocity of a season to end.  Carson City, Wentzylvania is officially closed for playoffs in 2016.  The rookie has looked like a rookie.  The dude has some tremendous upside, but this isn’t about upside.  Jamarcus Russell could throw a ball into a different area code.  Gotta show me some finished product.  Wentz has taken a step back and out of the public grace like an A-list celebrity after an anti-semetic tirade.  The future might be bright but for the purpose of tonight, I would pray as an Eagles fan that Olivier Vernon doesn’t break Wentz’s back over his knee.

I’m excited for tonight.  What else would you expect me to say at this point.  The Eagles are in a tailspin, the Redskins are out of the playoffs, we’re fresh off a dominating performance and season sweep of the best team in football and OH YEAh the Giants can clinch the playoffs tonight for the first time since 2011.  I’ve got a bottle of champagne ready to go.  It will taste absolutely delightful when being chased with Philly tears.  Can’t wait for Doug Pederson to aggressively go for it on fourth-down or go for 2 points and it completely backfire in his face again tonight.  Really a sight to behold.  Benny Big Balls and Jack Del Rio laugh at Pederson’s feeble attempts to sack up.  Go back to holding Andy Reid’s lunch, NERD!

 

PS–Can’t wait for the Giants to be in the Super Bowl.  Give me the Patriots.  Give me the Steelers.  But PLEASE give me the Titans.  The site dynamic would be amazing.  @Jake

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Least Surprising News of the Day: Ben McAdoo has a Theme Song

Least Surprising News of the Day: Ben McAdoo has a Theme Song

That’s an All-Pro player right there chanting and celebrating Benjamin Lee “Ben” McAdoo.  There’s no tom foolery from Odell, Shepard and the #5 running back on the roster in the locker room after the game–it’s strictly anticipation for the real Big Ben of western Pennsylvania.  I’ve come to know three definite things that get Odell to dance and sing with enthusiasm:  scoring touchdowns, Drake’s mansion and anticipation of a public speaking moment from the 17th coach of the New York Giants.

I personally am glued to the television knowing he is appearing on and/or speaking on TV.  It’s one thing to see the stoic and calculating genius that has a BETTER winning percentage than Bill Belichick on the sidelines, it’s another to be able to listen to him actual speak words of enlightenment and motivation.  It’s something my brain is slowly becoming unable to handle. I’m like any mortal in Dogma whose head explodes when Alanis Morrissette’s divine presence made any sort of vocal sound.

Also, Chris Christie attacking McAdoo’s physical appearance is every type of “No” in the book.  Lack of self-awareness, hypocrisy, betrayal.  Life as Jerry Jones groupie must not be as glamorous for morbidly obese public figures as I had originally imagined.  For the record, McAdoo’s sex appeal has no equal.  Chris Christie is one of the most visually offensively individuals that legally allowed to get in front of a camera.  So let’s pump the brakes on political Jabba the Hutt throwing shade at man who definitely abdicated the throne of “Sexiest Man 2016” to The Rock because he felt bad for all the work The Rock put into being marginally attractive. McAdoo can wear a suit, he can rock a polo and he can still be a knockout immediately after clocking out for the day:

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