Archive | October, 2015

NFL15 Cherry Picks W8: Psychology of Winning

31 Oct

In a time when sport stats suddenly went from being a straight-forward standard measure of performance to becoming an endless avalanche of esoteric acronyms that’re the be all and end all for those of the sabrmetric sect, the less tangible measure of emotion in athletics has been given short-shrift by many who vest heavily in analyzing the games.

But just as numbers never tell the whole story, or sometimes speak downright “lies (See; British super PM Ben Disraeli and Mark Twain),” neither does physical skill by itself deserve all the spoils for victory won on the battlefields of tumultuous merriment.

...batman&robin.wc.1966.dadofJGKlein.thmIf you think the Patriots and Packers win lots o’ football games simply because they possess top QBs, innovative staffs and run deep on player talent…well, you‘d get a good mark, I’ll give you that, but overlooking the importance of mental muscle and emotional fortitude in winning would get you big demerits.

Impassioned play, or more broadly stated, the psychology of winning, plays a critical role in determining outcomes of most games. More importantly, it’s the on-going maintenance of that winning attitude and unselfish play that will sustain those who ultimately take possession of the vaunted VLT (Vince Lombardi Trophy).

Just as the noted Russian-American film producer-writer Val Lewton (See; TCM) cultivated the psychology of scary (Cat People (’42), I Walked With a Zombie (’43), The Body Snatcher (’45), The Leopard Man (‘43)), so too do the savvy sideliner (coach) and signal-caller utilize the mind-game mode to it’s fullest.

Belichick and McCarthy are calm & calculating in front of the camera, probably away from it as well, but no doubt they pepper their pronouncements with constant reminders to players and staffers alike on the mental keys that will play big in each week’s upcoming contest.

New England Patriots

The aura of a champion will buoy all spirits but likely requires no small amount of emotional effort to maintain the high standard of play expected by both their fandom and co-workers as well. Nobody wants to be the guy who killed the mojo.

Green Bay Packers

Just as winning helps Tom Brady put Deflategate in the back of his mind, so too do Ws help the green & yellow push last January’s playoff collapse versus Seattle (22-28) to the back recesses of their brains in the methodical progression forward to the same goal of returning to the Super Bowl in 2016.

Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, KC Chiefs, SD Chargers, Dallas Cowboys

Winning breeds winning, so too does losing, especially when unexpected. These five franchises had high hopes for ’15 but find themselves on cusp of catastrophe. Breaking the cycle of loss requires what may be the toughest task of all, that being to plant seeds of hope where there have been precious little to germinate.

Cincinnati Bengals

Most teams anticipate playoffs with a certain glee, but when you’re 0-6 the past decade it’s a different mood: tempered & tight. But like GB, these striped tigers see the past as yesterday’s news and 2016 as a new opportunity. Gulp.

Miami Dolphins, NY Jets, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, STL Rams

For these teams the mentality of winning is a fairly new feeling, being forged one game at a time, one step forward, one back and so on and so forth.

A Better Way

On Wednesday NFL announced it had fined Steelers’ defenseman William Gay $6000 for willfully violating NFL/PA policy that essentially requires a dress code. Gay violated it by wearing a pair of purple cleated shoes, the color to promote the fight against domestic violence and then honor his deceased mother. Bill was a child when his mom was shot to death by the hand of his stepfather who afterwards took his own life.


Bill’s reported to be active in the anti-DV effort in Pittsburgh metro and made statement on his actions that rings sincere and logical: “I’m not trying to be bad teammate (Steelers-friendly yellow on the shoes (Vikings)) or embarrass the owners, there’s so much pink, on shoes, on gloves, for breast cancer awareness, I think domestic violence awareness is just as important (“William Gay’s Purple” / / A.Kinkhabwala / 10.30).

And he’s absolutely right. It’s the 10,000 lbs pink elephant in the room. The anti-breast cancer campaign in which the NFL participates is fighting the good fight, ostensibly (8%), but over-tailored to just one cause, of which there are many.

He’s also absolutely wrong. There’s a better way to bring awareness to important issues apart from rebelling against dress-code, rules that you, through union, signed onto. Such small power-plays, becoming more frequent, make news but are ephemeral and open a Pandora’s Box to less honorable expressions ($).

Using his celebrity bully-pulpit to connect with press and public is just one way William and his brethren in ball can make his noble effort truly impactful.

“Brady, Brady, Brady, Almighty (S. Tracy)!”

As most NFL teams hit the midway marker at weekend‘s close, the eventual recipient of the League’s prestigious MVP award (Feb?) start to take serious shape in the minds of voters.

...NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbBarring an injury or big fall-off in performance, once that frontrunner gets hold in the psyche, it’s unlikely he’ll be extricated therefrom by any other person short of the most stupendous play down the stretch-run.

To write that it’s a two (Rodgers) or three (Dalton) or four (Newton) horse race would be disingenuous to Mr. Brady. Tom’s out front by a good two lengths, seems to be gaining speed and it’s his hardware to win or lose.

Aaron may close the gap if he shines at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday night (These corporate stadium names are a major drag), while Andy and Cam are the dark horses but unlikely to catch the two thoroughbreds leading the pack. Their best chance: A gopher jumps the track.

One thing that might derail Brady’s near perfect run would be if Sports Illustrated and their cover kids decide to grace their magazine with Tom’s likeness sometime in the next two months. Not hard to imagine.

I put no stock in kooky claims of curse (That billy-goat thing in Chicago is an insult to the “city of the big shoulders”) but SI’s recent run of cover crash has me wondering whether I’ve been too close-minded. TimeInc had the Cardinals as the greatest ever, then Blue Jays best thing since sliced bread and this week it’s the slow-startin’ Mets and “Amazin’ (Dan) Murph.”

But like sage Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” And Mets just took G3.

..cherries.on.cloth.thumbCherry Picks Week 8

DET (1-6) @ KC (2-5) (Ldn): 11.1 Fox 9:30: Lions win
Arizona (5-2) @ Cleveland (2-5): Fox 1:00: Cards win
49ers (2-5) @ St. Louis (3-3): Fox 1:00: SF wins
Giants (4-3) @ NO (3-4): Fox 1:00: Saints win
Minnesota Vikings (4-2) @ Chicago (2-4): Fox 1:00: Bears win
San Diego Chargers (2-5) @ Baltimore (1-6): CBS 1:00: Ravens win
Cincinnati (6-0) @ Pittsburgh (4-3): CBS 1:00 (GOTW2): Steelers win
New York Jets (4-2) @ Oakland Raiders (3-3): CBS 4:05: Jets win
Seattle (3-4) @ Dallas Cowboys (2-4): Fox 4:25: Seahawks win
Green Bay (6-0) @ Denver (6-0): 8:30 NBC (GOTW): Broncos win
Indianapolis (3-4) @ Carolina Panthers (6-0): 11.2 ESPN 8:30: Colts win

Record: 32 – 32

Steven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo Credits: WalterWhite.pumpkin, wc.cca, 2013, A.Barhan; Batman-Robin-Halloween-kids, wc, 1966, father-of-JGKlein; pumpkin-cat, Silar, 10.28.12, wc; W.Gay, wc, 2007, E.Owens; NFL-symbol, Wikiproject; Cherries-on-cloth, wc, picdrome, 2007.
Posted: 10.31.15 @ 2:22pm EST; Copyright © 2015


NFL15 Cherry Picks W7: Super Synergy

21 Oct

Some things just go together:

Bacon & eggs;
Beer & pretzels;
Astaire & Rogers;
Siskel & Ebert;
McCartney & Lennon;
Berra & baseball;
Fall & football;
Lombardi & Starr;
Belichick & Brady;
Earth & Moon;
Jimmy & Rosalynn. You get the idea.

Same holds true on the gridiron.

....Astaire&Rogers.TheBarkleys.wc.thmAn NFL quarterback won’t be long for the League without a stout offensive line. The trench-men figure big for the grinders and kickers, too (See; B. O‘Neill (UM)).

But it’s the synergism flowing like a current between the field general and his receiver corps that makes five-star matriculation and TDs a thing of beauty to behold.

This season’s synergy sirens:

Falcons: Matt Ryan and Julio Jones (49r-638y, 4td);
Chargers: Phil Rivers and Keenan Allen (53-601, 3);
Pats: Tom Brady, Julian Edelman (40-449, 4) & Rob Gronkowski (23-425, 5);
Ravens: Joe Flacco & Steve Smith (36-510, 3). Synergy’s just part of it (1-5);
Cardinals: Carson Palmer and John Brown (33-497-2) & Larry Fitzgerald
Broncos: Peyton Manning and D. Thomas (48-527) & E. Sanders (38-527-3)
Lions: Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson (38-488, 2)
Texans: Brian Hoyer & Ryan Mallett and DeAndre Hopkins (52-726-5)
Jaguars: Blake Bortles and Allen’s Hurns (29-460-4) & Robinson (28-488-5)
Chiefs: Alex Smith and Jeremy Maclin (39-531-1) & Travis Kelce (29-416-2)
Bengals: Andy Dalton and A.J. Green (35-531-3) & Tyler Eifert (28-342-6)

Wheels Off

Seattle (2-4)

Dick Sherman’s been pretty quiet this NFL15. But now’s the time to work your mouth, stoke the spirit of winning. Anyone can talk-it-up when times is good. And if he hasn’t, Kam Chancellor should find himself a new agent. Holding out to start the season with 3y left on a deal was silly but particularly ill-advised on heels of a stinging SB loss.

Kansas City (1-5)

Loss of Jamaal Charles is titanic (ACL) but Chiefs’ malaise goes back farther, to 2013 when the Reid era jumped out to a 9-0 start, had the bye, then slumped to 2-5 and closed with a wild-card loss at Indy. It’s been a rocky boat ever since.

Chicago (2-4)

Made a fight of it in road loss to Detroit (34-37 (W6)), but even with a healthy Jay Cutler and Matt Forte the Monsters of Midway are toothless in team ranks on offense (#25 yapg / pts) and perplexing on the D side (#10 / 32). Halas Hall expected much better after exiting the Trestman train early (2y).

Detroit (1-5)

Sabrheads would have a collective conniption-fit were one to suggest that Jim Caldwell’s aggressive play-call versus Redskins in pre-season, an unnecessarily tough tack by Detroit defenders that got RG3…gone, has come back in form of karmic-backlash. Take that, tough guy. The Sporting Gods have long memories.

Baltimore (1-5)

Ravens were pick of many a prognosticator (moi) to win AFC in 2016 after getting line-shifted out of last season’s playoffs (v NE) and having every reason to make it gel this time around. But no gel. Offense is a-okay (10 / 11), but the defense that defines the B-birds is clearly missing it’s leader in Suggs (25 / 27). Delegation of duty & depth do matter so one of equal leadership can step into the breach.

Wheels On

Check out NaVorro Bowman, linebacker extraordinaire of the still-in-the-hunt 49ers: 13 tackles, 2 assists. This upward trend is a bright light in a 49ers season fraught with change and concerns. Joe Namath (knees) dreams of what might’ve been had the miracles medicine (See; AP) arrived a couple decades earlier (‘67).

Killer Quarter

Last year’s strange phenomenon was “swing-time.“ One club would build a big lead, fritter it away and the other rise from it’s stupor to take that lead and the win. This year, it’s beware of the killer quarter. It aught not be lethal but for today’s moodier players & coaches it too often proves the death blow.

Falcons (@ NO): 1Q 0-14
Chargers (@ GB): 1Q 3-14
Cardinals (@ PIT): 3Q 0-12
Jaguars (v HOU): 4Q 6-21
Bills (v. CIN): 3Q 0-14

Curious Quote

When speaking of Bengals’ Andy Dalton (22-33, 243, 3 (BUF)), Disney’s Tom Waddle said this: “He’s all grown up now…and I don’t mean to be disrespectful.”

....Waddle.wc.6.8.12.Kevie0508.CHI-NPNo, of course not, Tom, just like “Billy Batts (Frank Vincent)” didn’t mean to be “disrespectful” to “Tommy (Joe Pesci (Goodfellas ’90))” that nite they had the beef in the bar. That is, until “Batts” told “DeVito” to “go get (his) shine-box!”

If you’re gonna’ be cute, Disney’s the place for it, but don’t slip it into reverse so fast, Tom. Own it. Besides, Andrew’s handled signal-caller duties in four straight playoffs in this his 5th year (45-23-1 (0-4)), and you, well, you caught passes for three seasons.

Good Spot Week 6

Landry Jones (PIT) QB (sub): 8-12, 168, 2td
Drew Brees (NO) QB: 30-39, 312, 1
Devonta Freeman (ATL) RB: 13-100, 1
Benjamin Watson (NO) WR: 10-127, 1
Phil Rivers (SD) QB: 43-65, 503, 2
Jim Starks (GB) RB: 10-112, 1
Keenan Allen (SD) WR: 14-157
Andrew Luck (IND) QB: 30-50, 312, 3
Tom Brady (NE) QB: 23-37, 312, 3-1
Colin Kaepernick (SF) QB: 16-27, 340, 2
Cam Newton (CAR) QB: Two 4Q TDs (12-14 (1t), 2c (1t))
Lamar Miller (MIA) RB: 19-113-1
Martavis Bryant (PIT) WR: 6-137-2
John Brown (AZ) WR: 10-196
Chris Ivory (NYJ) RB: 20-146-1
Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR: 10-111
Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) WR: 4-109-1
Mathew Stafford (DET) QB: 27-42, 405, 4-1
Calvin Johnson (DET) WR: 6-166-1
Lance Moore (DET) WR: 5-106-1
Alshon Jeffery (CHI) WR: 8-147-1
Brian Hoyer (HOU) QB: 24-36, 293, 3
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) WR: 10-148, 2
Andy Dalton (CIN) QB: 22-33, 243, 3


Bad Spot

Falcons (v NO): 3-FL, 5 sacks allowed
Titans OL (v MIA): 6 sacks (Wake 4)
Cardinals: 9-pen, 2-INT (Palmer), 1-FL (Brown)
Alfred Morris (DC) RB: 11-21
Peyton Manning (DEN) QB: 26-48, 290, 1-3i
Chicago @ Detroit: 19 penalties

Kicker’s Korner

Pat McAfee (IND) P: 6-46.5, 3 [-20]
Phil Dawson (SF) K: 4-4 (53), 1xp (13)
Steven Hauschka (SEA) K: 3-3 (50), 2 (11)
Chris Boswell (PIT) K: 4-4 (51), 1 (13)
Dustin Hopkins (DC) K: 2-2 (54), 2 (8)
Brandon McManus (DEN) K: 4-5 (39) GWF, 2-2 (14)
Robbie Gould (CHI) K: 4-4 (38), 2 (14)
Matt Prater (DET) K: 3-3 (39) GWF, 4-4 (13)
Blair Walsh (MIN) K: 3-3 (45), 1 (10)
Dustin Colquitt (KC) P: 6-39.3, 3
Kevin Huber (CIN) P: 3-40.3, 3

“Here There & Everywhere”

Dannell Ellerbe (NO) LB: 13t-1a-1fr
Cameron Jordan (NO) DE: 5-1-3sk-1fr
Nate Palmer (GB) LB: 9-2
Chandler Jones (NE) DE: 2-2-2.5s
Michael Wilhoite (SF) LB: 11-2-1i
Luke Kuechly (CAR) LB: 5-9
Kam Chancellor (SEA) LB: 6-4-1i
Cameron Wake (MIA) DE: 4sk-2ff
Reshad Jones (MIA) S: 5-3-1i-td
Antwon Blake (PIT) LB: 10-2
Dashon Goldson (DC) S: 7-6
Pierre Desir (CVD) CB: 10-2
Shaquil Barrett (DEN) LB: 6-3-1.5s-1ff-1fr
Karlos Danby (CVD) LB: 5-2-2i-1td
Steve Tulloch (DET) LB: 9-4
Brian Cushing (HOU) LB: 9-3
Eric Kendricks (MIN) LB: 9-1-1s


Cherry Picks Week 7

Seattle (2-4) @ SF (2-4): 10.22 CBS 8:25: SEA wins
Saints (2-4) @ Indy (3-3): 10.25 Fox 1:00: Colts win
Minnesota (3-2) @ Detroit (1-5): 1:00 Fox: Lions win
Steelers (4-2) @ KC (1-5): 1:00 CBS: Chiefs win
Texans (2-4) @ Miami (2-4): 1:00 CBS: Dolphins win
Jets (4-1) @ NE (5-0): CBS 1:00 (GOTW): Pats win
Raiders (2-3) @ San Diego (2-4): CBS 4:05: Bolts win
Cowboys (2-3) @ Giants (3-3): Fox 4:25: Dallas wins
Eagles (3-3) @ Carolina (5-0): NBC 8:30: Philly wins
Ravens (1-5) @ AZ (4-2): 10.26 ESPN 8:30: Cards win

Record: 27 – 27

Steven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: Cherries, B.Kua, wc.cca, 6.1.08; Astaire&Rogers, wc, TheBarkleys; T.Waddle, wc, Kevie0508, 6,8,12, CHI-NP; NFL Wikiproject; Cherries, B.Kua, wc, 6.1.08.
Posted: 10.20.15 @ 11:34pm EST; Copyright © 2015

NFL15 Cherry Picks W6: Pink-Eye, Sweet-Tooth

15 Oct


.....pinkeye.wc.9.11.07.P33tr.thmSince 2009, the month of October has kicked-off a blizzard of pink that falls heavy over America’s top pro’l football circuit, the National Football League.

It’s a joint-enterprise teaming the NFL with the American Cancer Society (“A Critical Catch) to increase awareness of breast cancer and ostensibly to raise money for research and education through the sale of pink-wear and related merchandise.’s reported, however, that only near 8% of sale proceeds actually make it to research coffers (“Pinkwashing“ / medicaldaily / 10.16.13 / Weller). Assuming the number’s accurate, that’s not a whole lotta‘ headway.

The fight against cancer by raising money to educate, treat and fund research is common cause. Some have taken the pink thing to heart (DeAngelo Williams (PIT)) and join in what appears a sincere solidarity to pursue those points.

.....pinkheart.D.Sharon.Pruitt.12.8.06.wcBut a tepid tally ($) which will hopefully help to fuel that fight, crass marketing (in it’s element pink is splendid but hideous on the gridiron) and a singular target subject (breast), maybe designed in large part to merely bridge NFL’s consumer gender gap, should leave fans wanting more and, at the same time, wanting less.

Let us together fight all forms of cancer with dedication, dignity (no on-field pink-wear) and devoid of any doubts on altruistic goals.

Heart & Soul

The NFL is a for-profit enterprise. Outside it’s purview of business & entertainment it’s under no obligation, moral or otherwise, to join in fights against any disease. Anything it or any other going-concern decides to give in good faith to combat illness is a good thing.

.....sugar.cuboid.10.30.5.wc.Carioca.thmBut as they’ve shown a spirited effort in the breast cancer fight, the National might consider teaming with it’s top sponsor PepsiCo in taking the lead in combating another major health concern in curtailing the world’s growing obsession with sugar, known to have inflammatory and oxidizing effects throughout the human body.

For every one woman who dies of breast cancer, six will die of heart disease.

The list is long: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fatty liver infiltration, neurodegenerative disorder (Alzheimer’s) and even possible link between large and long-term consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) by expectant mothers and rise in diagnosis of developmental disorder autism which “increased 91% between 2005 to 2010 despite fewer children receiving special education overall during the same time period ( (CPJ) / “A macroepigenetic approach” / R.Dufault et al / 2012, 4:6).”

....HFCS.tanker.T.Arthur.6.3.8.wc.thmAdmittedly, it’s hard to see NFL asking a sponsor to invite consumers to cut intake of sugar, it’s bread & butter, so to speak. PepsiCo, like Coke®, is a business helping feed the world and its growing numbers. Part of the answer may lie in reduction of sugar ingredient throughout their line, coupled with education effort on health risks posed by excess consumption, before the Washingtonians may decide to intervene. FFT.

Curious Quote…from the past

Ruth Gordon (Harold & Maude (‘71)):

....Gordon&Wood.wc.2.28.66.WB.GGA“Alot of people enjoy being dead, but they’re not dead, really. They’re just backing away from life. Reach out, take a chance, get hurt even, but play as well as you can.

Go team go! Give me an L, give me an I, give me a V, give me an E, L-I-V-E…LIVE! Otherwise you got nothing to talk about in the locker-room.” Ruth was wise, and cute as the dickens.




Cherry Picks Week 6: Some real beauties

Atlanta (5-0) @ New Orleans (1-4): 10.15 CBS 8:25; Saints win
Redskins (2-3) @ New York (3-1): 10.18 Fox 1:00; Jets win
Arizona (4-1) @ Pittsburgh (3-2): Fox 1:00 (GOTW): Cards win
Kansas City (1-4) @ Minnesota (2-2): CBS 1:00: Chiefs win
Cincy (5-0) @ Buffalo (3-2): CBS 1:00 (GOTW): Bengals win
Denver (5-0) @ Cleveland (2-3): CBS 1:00: Broncos win
Carolina (4-0) @ Seattle (2-3): Fox 4:05 (GOTW): Seahawks win
San Diego (2-3) @ Green Bay (5-0): CBS 4:25: Packers win
Ravens (1-4) @ 49ers (2-3): CBS 4:25: Baltimore wins
New England (4-0) @ Indianapolis (3-2): NBC 8:30: Pats win
Giants (3-2) @ Philadelphia (2-3): 10.19 ESPN 8:30: Eagles win

Record: 20 – 23

...NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo Credit: pink, wc, Jarcje, 7.22.8; pinkeye, wc, P33tr, 9.11.7; grapefruit, THOR, 11.20.8, wc; A Little Love, D.Sharon.Pruitt, wc, 12.8.6; ; cube-sugar, HFCS, wc, 10.30.5, Carioca; HFCS-tank-car, wc, T.Arthur, 6.3.8; Wood&Gordon, GGA, 2.28.66, WB; ripe-cherries, wc, Chirak, 6.24.7; NFL-wikiproject
Posted: 10.14.15 @ 5:13pm EST; Copyright ® 2015

NFL15-W5 Minute Waltz: Air of Invincibility

13 Oct

Amongst superstitious types, and those camped outside the grounds where millions of Tom Brady bivouacs still set-up in support of their hero awaiting final court ruling on Deflategate, there was to be no mention of even the possibility of the 2015 New England Patriots once again (‘07) running-the-table in a regular season of NFL football fun & frolic.

So I shan’t.

But there’s no mistaking the air of invincibility the defending champs exude each time they step onto the gridiron or take to mike after one of their cake-walk wins.

Maybe a bit like Patton & Co. must’ve displayed in ‘45 after they finished rolling over the remaining resilient but desperate remnants of the Axis army like it was nobody’s business, except Monty (Brits) to the West and Russkies to the East.

.....Brady.8.28.09.K.Allison.wc.cca.DC.thmbThat might be putting too fine & dramatic a point on it but the New Englanders, their coach Bill Belichick and not-out-of-the-legal-woods-quite-yet QB in Brady made what had been thought a pretty fair opponent in hosting Dallas Cowboys look like flavorless mince-meat on Sunday afternoon (30-6). They face but three (IND, NYG & DEN), maybe four (NYJ (3-1)) semi-imposing road contests the rest of the way.

Some are losing that air of élan in their game balls like they had been man-handled by an over-zealous, needle-happy NFL referee with too much Deflategate on the brain, i.e., Seattle, Saints, Lions, Ravens, etcetera.

But there’s alot of football still left in this 2015 regular season.

All any team has to do is get in (the playoffs). After that it’s anybody’s VLT (Vince Lombardi Trophy) for the taking. One caveat: Those who do make it into Phase II dread like a doctor’s visit having to go through one of those teams that sports that imposing look of invincibility.

Invincibility Meter: 1 = nope, 10 = money-in-the-bank

New England: 7.5
Arizona: 7: Rams (W4 24-22 L) can bring out the worst in opponents;
Cincinnati: 6.5: Gotta’ make more amends given Marvin’s 0-6 playoff mark;
Green Bay: 6: That 2Q (STL) was shaky and sad NFCN won’t test any mettle;
Atlanta: 6: Dan ‘Mighty’ Quinn had Falcons believing and winning ugly if need be;
Denver: 5.5: Looked shaky all afternoon versus Oakland…Oakland;
Carolina: 5: Ws versus Jags, Texans, Saints & Bucs, but most were Luke-less.

‘If it works,…’

The old field general Matt Hasselbeck (2-0 / 63.2) has been ably holding down the (Indianapolis) fort in absence of injured starter, Andy Luck (shoulder).

Nobody on planet Earth would dare suggest that the 17-year vet and 3-time Pro Bowler assume the starter’s role once Andy gets the all-clear, even as he looks to’ve been the sparkplug for the Colts’ jump-start.

But consider me a ‘nobody’ on this big rock in space. Point being, I’d leave Matt in the starter’s role: ‘If it works, (keep your hands off) and don‘t try to fix it.’

Colts were off kilter when Luck went out. It’s fair to write that, while their resurgence is of course not entirely due to Hasselbeck, he is the one who’s been at the helm while other contributors (Gore (22-98-1t), D’Qwell (8t-3a), etc.) have been helping to get this thing turned around.

Everyone knows Luck is the Colts’ future. He may be a great one someday, is a darn good one now. But if the Sporting Gods are pleased, you don’t want to get ‘em riled, you don’t wanta’ rock their winged-chariot, Mr. Pagano. Get it?

Andy will be happy to sit tite for the team and let the good times keep rolling. He knows he’ll be back in the saddle soon enough.

And for all the gripe on Miami’s owner this week (Ross), there’s been noticeably little on Texans cufflink crew (McNair, Rootes & Smith). Could argue this franchise has been trending for trouble since 2013 and the bail on QB Schaub.

Good Spots (W5)

Pitt offense: Tied or took lead 3x to a SD road-win (24-20)
Le’Veon Bell (PIT) RB: 21-111, 1t
Antonio Gates (SD) TE: 9-92, 2
Brian Hoyer (HOU) QB: 24-31, 312, 2-1
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) WR: 11-169
Colin Kaepernick (SF) QB: 23-35, 262, 2; just 3c-23y. Poise-ing
Eli Manning (NYG) QB: 41-54, 441, 3-1, GWD
Odell Beckham (NYG) WR: 7-121, 1
Tom Brady (NE) QB: 20-27, 275, 2t
Julian Edelman (NE) WR: 4-120, 1
Darren McFadden (DAL) RB: 9r-62, 5c-16
Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) WR: 9-111
Chris Johnson (AZ) RB: 11-103
Carson Palmer (AZ) QB: 11-14, 161, 3t
Theo Riddick (DET) RB: 10-53, 1t
Blake Bortles (JAX) QB: 23-33, 303, 4t-1i
Doug Martin (TB) RB: 24-123, 2t, 3r-35, 1t
Willie Snead (NO) WR: 6-141 (59)
Devonta Freeman (ATL) RB: 27-153, 1
Josh McCown (CVD) QB: 36-51, 457, 2
Justin Forsett (BAL) RB: 21-121, 1
Gary Barnidge (CVD) TE: 8-139, 1
Todd Gurley (STL) RB: 30-159
Thomas Rawls (SEA) RB: 23-169, 1
Andy Dalton (CIN) QB: 30-44, 331, 1t, 7c-18-1t

Bad Spots

NFL: So many bad run games (team / player), too many to list
Texans (L): 13 PEN – 125y
Jaguars’ OL: six (6) sacks Bortles
Patriots’ OL: Letting face of NFL (Brady) go face-down 5x in Dallas
Peyton Manning (DEN) QB: 22-35, 266, 0t-2int, versus…Oakland
Matthew Stafford (DET) QB: 20-32, 188, 1-3
Drew Brees (NO) QB: 26-43, 335, 2t-1i-2lf
Matt Ryan (ATL) QB: 24-42, 254, 2i, 1lf
Nick Foles (STL) QB: 11-30, 141, 1-4i

Kicker’s Korner (Football’s Genesis)

Sam Martin (DET) P: 4-39, 3 [-20]
Jordan Berry (PIT) P: 8 –, 6
Josh Brown (NYG) K: 3-3 (41), 3x-3 (12)
Steve Gostkowski (NE) K: 3-3 (57), 3-3 (12)
Ryan Allen (NE) P: 4-42.3, 3
Marquette King (OAK) P: 4-50.8, 3. Cool name, cooler if Joliet is his middle
Brandon McManus (DEN) K: 3-3 (41), 3-3 (10); P: 1-41y
Barth Connor (TB) K: 3-3 (47), 3-3 (12)
Caleb Sturgis (PHI) K: 4-4 (41), 3-4 (15)
Dustin Colquitt (KC) P: 7-41.6, 4
Travis Coons (CVD) K: 4-4 (43), 1-1 (13)
Sam Koch (BAL) P: 6-49.2, 2
Jon Ryan (SEA) P: 8-36.8
Kevin Huber (CIN) P: 6-44.3, 3

♫ Here, there and everywhere ♫

NaVorro Bowman (SF) LB: 13t-3a
Mike Wilhoite (SF) LB: 11-5
Greg Hardy (DAL) DE: 4-1-2s-1ff
Jerraud Powers (AZ) DB: 9-2-1
Deone Bucannon (AZ) SS: 9-2
Telvon Smith (JAX) LB: 13-1
Fletcher Cox (PHI) DT: 6t-3s-1fr-2ff
Kenny Vaccaro (NO) FS: 9-2
Robert Alford (ATL) CB: 1t-2i (1td)
Guy Lawrence (BAL) DT: 3-3-2s
Robert Quinn (STL) DE: 4-3-1s-1ff
Lamarcus Joyner (STL) CB: 6-1-1fr
James Laurinaitis (STL) S: 3-5-1i
Michael Bennett (SEA) DE: 5-1-1s
Vincent Rey (CIN) LB: 6-7
Carlos Dunlap (CIN) DE: 3-3-1.5s
Bashaud Breeland (DC) CB: 6-2-1i
Chris Baker (DC) DT: 2-1s-2ff

Steven Keys
Macro Sport
Photo credit: T.Brady, 12.18.11, J.Beall, wc.cca, Denver; T.Brady, 8.28.09, K.Allison, wc.cca, Washington-DC.
Posted: 10.13.15 @ 1:30pm EST; Copyright ® 2015

NFL15 Cherry Picks W5: Feel No Pain

8 Oct

“Comfortably Numb”

This week’s theme was served up in the early going in post-game interviews after Ravens Thursday night win in Pittsburgh (23-20 OT), a Steelers stumble due in some measure to their kicker, Josh Scobee, whose two field-goal misses (2-4) enabled the visitors opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

....Scobee.wc.9.14.14.thm.AllisonScobee’s opposite in Baltimore, kicker Justin Tucker, did most the snatching by-way of three 4Q boots of 40, 42, 52 yards, the last proving the game-winner in OT.

In locker-room Q&A that queried his foot-fail, Josh closed with this: “It’s time to get beyond it and move forward,” a sentiment echoed by his coach, Mike Tomlin.

The casual tenor Scobee displayed in afterburn of a loss he helped permit took this sport fan back a decade to that day on Capitol Hill (3.17.05) when slugger Mark McGwire spoke in front of Congressional House Government Reform Cmte investigating use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in MLB.

Mark‘s memorable line: “I’m not here to talk about the past.”

The McGwire Line never sat well with Cmte members nor the American public, though, AM radio jocks did their part to dismiss the affair as a witch (warlock) hunt on a matter of drugs that, in their odd expression, didn’t matter one iota.

...McGwire.1989.wc.SilentSensei.thmPED usage and the integrity void that fostered the blight did matter then, matters even more today and McGwire has since ‘opened-up’ on the subject and admitted to having taken performance enhancers. “Little steps and big ‘uns.” It’s a little one, but a step.

But what his bob & weave, evasiveness to a clearly relevant question (Did you use PEDs?) ultimately did was set a troubling precedent for anyone, not just athletes, who chooses to avoid taking responsibility and then the bitter medicine needed to learn, grow and finally move forward from miscues.

Would it’ve been asking too much that Josh and coach reflect on the events that led to failure for some measurable time? Not to a depressive, self-destructive state, but long enough (into the next day) to absorb it’s lessons and toughen-up the psyche a little, build some mental calluses, so to speak. I think not.

‘No pain, no gain,’ is no more in 2015. Today’s it’s outta’ sight, outta’ mind, then check your account for messages.

Maybe Scobee, along with co-workers, did assess what went wrong Thursday as preparations for W5 get underway. If that’s the case, good, but those hours immediately following a loss are a critical time to begin the process. The longer you wait, the more you bury unpleasant memories, the harder it’ll be to engage and learn from ‘em later on.

Curious Quote

“They’re (Carolina) clearly the worst of the 3-0 undefeateds, but that’s no reflection on them (Skip Bayless, First Take, Re-Take (10.1.15)).”

A Bit of Alright (Good Spot)

Mike Vick (PIT) QB: 19-26, 124, 1t, run 9-33: Rabbit-habit dies hard
Justin Forsett (BAL) RB: 27-150: Good sign for Ravens
Drew Brees (NO) QB: 33-41, 359, 2td: Getting it back
Todd Gurley (STL) RB: 19-146 (52): Nice debut-in-start
Josh McCown (CVD) QB: 32-41, 356, 1: Johnny Who?
Duke Johnson (CVD) RB: 8-31, rec 10-85-1: Double-duty dandy
Kirk Cousins (DC) QB: 4g, 68.6 C%, 1004y, 4-4: Good enough for this team
Vincent Jackson (TB) WR: 10-147, 1: Like clockwork.
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) WR: 9-157 (4g, 31-409, 3t)
Bennett (CHI) WR, Maclin (KC) & Hurns (JAX): 11r: Buy ‘em all a steak
Chris Ivory (NYJ) RB: 29-166, 1
Matt Hasselbeck (IND) QB: 30-47, 282, 1: The old man’s still got it
Tavon Austin (STL) WR: 6-96, 2: ‘Pocket Rocket’ looking a 1st-Rd’er (#8 (13))

A Bit of Bloody Awful (Bad Spot)

Jaguars: 13 penalties (92y)
Jets: 14 penalties (163y)
Vikings OL: 7 sacks (T.J. Ward (DEN): 2)
DeAngelo Williams (PIT) RB: W1-2: 41a-204…W3-4: 3a-7): In coach’s doghouse?
DeMarco Murray (PHI) RB: 8-36 (3g, 29-47, 1): More “touches” might be ticket
Cam Newton (CAR) QB: 12r-51 (4g, 43 (10.8 per) – 195, 2): Run won’t get ‘er done
Jameis Winston (TB) QB: 26-43, 287, 2, 4 (7 (54.9 C%)): Some support, Lovie?
Arian Foster, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Cecil Shorts (HOU): fumbles lost (3), game lost
Ryan Tannehill (MIA) QB: 19-44, 198, 2-2: “Best laid plans of mice & men…”

Kicker’s Korner

Chandler Catanzaro K (AZ): 5-5 (42), 1-1 (16p)
Johnny Hekker P (STL): 7-45, 2 [-20]
Andy Lee P (CVD): 4-46.8, 3
Josh (Curly) Lambo K (SD): 3-3 (46), 3-3 (12p)
Dustin Hopkins K (DC): 3-3 (38), 2-2 (11)
Brad Wing P (NYG): 8, 41.9, 4
Colton Schmidt P (BUF): 7, 49.3, 2
Robbie Gould K (CHI): 3-3 (54), GWF (49)
Cairo Santos K (KC): 7-7 (51)
Brian Anger P (JAX): 8, 36.4, 5
Adam Vinatieri K (IND): 3-3, 1-1, GWF (27)

“Here, There and Everywhere”

Broncos: 7 sacks
Packers: Held SF to 8 1st-downs, 6s (Perry 2)
Desmond Trufant (ATL) CB: 2t, 2rf
Josh Norman (CAR) CB: 4-2i-TD
Manti Te’o (SD) LB: 13t
D’Qwell Jackson (IND) LB: 10-7
Daryl Smith (BAL) LB: 9t-4a-1sk
Larry Timmons (PIT) LB: 10-1-1
Tony Hitchens (DAL) LB: 8-3-0.5
Calais Campbell (AZ) DE: 10-1-0.5
Thomas Davis (CAR) LB: 8-3-1i
Corey Graham (BUF) S: 8-5-1sk
Vincent Rey (CIN) LB: 10-5
John Cyprien (JAX) S: 11-3
NaVorro Bowman (SF) LB: 7-1 & 3/5ths of the way back

Week 5 Cherry Picks: Bushel of Upsets

Colts (2-2) @ Texans (1-3): 10.8 CBS 8:25; HOU wins
Bears (1-3) @ Chiefs (1-3): 10.11 Fox 1:00; KC wins
SEA (2-2) @ CIN (4-0): Fox 1:00 (GOTW); Hawks win
DC (2-2) @ Atlanta (4-0): Fox 1:00; Redskins win
Saints (1-3) @ Philly (1-3): Fox 1:00; Eagles win
Rams (2-2) @ GB (4-0): Fox 1:00 (GOTW2); STL wins
Bills (2-2) @ Tennessee (1-3): CBS 1:00; Titans win
AZ (3-1) @ DET (0-4): Fox 4:05 (GOTW3); Lions win
NE (3-0) @ Dallas (2-2): CBS 4:25; New England wins
Broncos (4-0) @ Raiders (2-2): CBS 4:25; Denver win
49ers (1-3) @ Giants (2-2): NBC 8:30; New York wins
Steelers (2-2) @ SD (2-2): 10.12 ESPN 8:30: Bolts win

Record: 16-15

...NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: Cherries, wc.cca, Hispalois, 7.2.12, Spain; Scobee, wc, 9.14.14, K.Allison; McGwire, wc, SilentSensei, 1989; Cherris, wc, Hispalois; NFL-symbol, Wikiproject.
Posted: 10.8.15 @ 5:16pm: Copyright ® 2015

“Hurry-Up” Harbaugh? Hold ‘Yur Horses!

5 Oct

They were the days of raccoon coats and day-time donnybrooks telegraphed by wire, amplified in radio and devoutly devoured in newsprint;

Co-eds and flappers were beginning to fill the wooden stands with regularity;

The guys on gridiron wore leather helmets, metal spikes, lots o’ wool and none of those sissified ($) sticky-gloves in sight;

The forward pass was still a curiosity and the occasional ‘ringer’ was rostered by some to beat the big rival at homecoming.

College football in the days of the doughboy.

One believed ringer of the day, at least in opinion of Pennsylvania “Quakers” and press, was the young man who’d just a few years later embark on a legendary coach career at University of Michigan, “Hurry-Up” Yost (1901-23, ‘25-26).

Fielding Harris Yost, born and schooled in West Virginia, would become the man who put Wolverines football on the college map, bringing Michigan national prominence with six national titles (165-29-10 (198-35-12)) and a win in the inagural Rose Bowl in besting California’s Stanford, 49-0 (1902).

Before his halcyon days in the cherry State, Yost distinguished himself playing tackle at UWV but caused a ringer-ruckus in 1896 when he made an impromptu and temporary transfer to nationally prominent rival, Lafayette, helping them to victory over those rough & tumble Quakers, 6-4. Fielding denied any impropriety and the brouhaha blew over.

Yost then headed straight into the coaching life in a string of jobs that’d set Larry Brown’s hair on fire, taking five posts in just four seasons, beginning at Ohio Wesleyan (’97), then Nebraska (’98), Kansas (99), Stanford (’00) and San Jose (‘00) before settling down in Ann Arbor.

Other memorable coaches followed Yost, like Harry Kipke (NT ‘32-33 (“punt, pass & a prayer,” “great defense is a great offense“)), Fritz Crisler (‘47 / “platoon” system and today‘s helmet design)), Ben Oosterbaan (‘48), Bo Schembechler (194-48-5), Gary Moeller (44-13-3 / 4-1) and Lloyd Carr (’97 / 122-40).

The years after Carr was shown the door (resigned (‘07)), have seen big blue turn a shade of baby blue. Rich Rodriguez (15-22) and Brady Hoke (31-20), winners in prior coaching stints could not translate that success to the “Big House.”

.....Harbaugh.12.30.14.wc.Upchurch.thmIn 2015, enter former 49ers guru and Wolverines star signal-caller (‘83-86), James Joseph Harbaugh to right the listing ship that had become Michigan football.

The UM Board of Regents voted Jim a pile o’ cash to lure him from a pretty rosy NFL life in San Francisco and the early signs are showing it to be a wise investment.

After coming up short against Utah (4-0) to open the Harbaugh era, Wolverines (4-1 (#18)) have run off four straight wins and line up against the #13 Wildcats of Northwestern (5-0) in Ann Arbor on Saturday (3:30 EST) for what should prove a classic Big Ten grinder and good test of both teams true capabilities.

Jim Harbaugh clearly brings a verve to Michigan. He had his trouble in NFL red zone (SB47 / NFCC’14) but he’s been a winning coach at both levels (Stanford), recruits with the best of ’em and should have Wolverines back in the mix quick.

And when he does it’ll likely swing a national spotlight that’s been fixated on the SEC, back onto the Big Ten. In particular, a showcase of the formerly anticipated and highly rated TV event that is the long-running UM – TOSU rivalry game.

You’ve gotta’ look for small signs when a new coach takes the reins.

One that this writer noticed was the subtle alterations made in the Wolverines uniform design and then other clothing accoutrements.

Gone is the fluorescent maize and fat ‘M’ lettering, replaced by a darker yellow hue (school bus) and a tapered, classic line.

It may read infinitesimal but speaks a volume or two on Harbaugh’s confident, focused persona in that he and his staff don’t have to scream at fans, a tack taken up in tired trend by today‘s logo & uniform Lilliputians. Jimbo, like more sport-minded people, will let the record speak for itself. And a little throwback to the good times doesn’t hurt, either.

...brass.thumbtack.J.Dalton.wc.ccaSteven Keys
Brass Tacks
Photo credits: JimHarbaugh, wc.cca, 12.30.14, E.Upchurch; brass-thumbtack, wc.cca, J.Dalton.
Posted: 10.5.15 @ 2:31pm EST; Copyright ® 2015
Source reference, UM football history: Wikipedia.

NFL15 Cherry Picks W4: Collision Course

2 Oct

Go-Getters & Grass-Legs

It’s early in NFL 2015, or as Steve Buscemi (Fargo (‘96)) would say, the season “still has that new car smell (gulp),” and as such, hard to be drawing too many or certain a conclusion on any concern.

While Atlanta, Denver, Cincy, Arizona and Carolina remain unbeaten, one feeling that cannot be denied is that perennial powerhouses Green Bay (3-0) and New England (3-0) appear both to be on missions to right past poor perceptions (Cheese-Melt 2015 / Deflategate), hitting on all cylinders and seemingly on collision course to meet in Santa Clara (SB50) next February.

Three games under your belts ain’t a whole lot to bank on and much can happen between now and January, but the manner in which these two clubs have been handling themselves and their opponents speaks volumes.

Besides the teams spirit, the two glamour pusses (cats) in Tom (72.2, 1112, 9-0) and Aaron (73.6, 771, 10-0) look to be early frontrunners for the individual hardware (MVP), with fellow QBs Andy Dalton (66.3, 866, 8-1i) and Matt Ryan (66.4%, 5t-2i, 946y) not far behind and Adrian Peterson who’s getting back those grass-legs and doing his part to dictate the dialogue (291, 2t, 4.9).

Also worth noting: Pack head coach Mike McCarthy and OC Edgar Bennett would appear to be taking a page out of Bill Belichck and Josh McDaniel’s playbook.

In Monday night’s contest (KC @ GB 38-28), the green & yellow engaged in a bit o’ tomfoolery (mischief) themselves in some irregular snap-counts, harkening back to Packers fake ball-down at Miami two season‘s past and the Patriots floating line versus the Ravens in last season‘s AFCC.

That anyone can do it won’t be the standard (fair-play) when NFL rules committee muses the topic.

That Haynesworth Feeling

It’s premature to tab new Eagle DeMarco Murray (Q’able W4 (ham)) a bad buy in class with former Redskin Albert Haynesworth, but the newly well compensated RB who, along with Romo & Bryant, helped carry Dallas back respectability in ’14 (2261 YFS), has been so strangely ineffective in his two outings (21a-11y, 0.5, 1td) that that dreaded Haynesworth feeling is beginning to creep into the mind.

Monster (K)s followed immediately by non-productivity gives the heebie-jeebies. Most likely it’s a health issue that should clear-up soon. Fingers crossed.

It’s a Quarter League

Half-dozen or so of W3 contests were decided in one 15-minute quarter where one team looked a bit lost while the other decided it a good time to pull away. Watch for it.

Nice Spot

Across the League: Penalties down in W3 where combined team tallies trended below 20, excepting CIN @ BAL (22), KC @ GB (19) where hosts got hit with 12.

Speaking of Green Bay, WRs James Jones (7-139, 1) and Randy Cobb (7-91, 3) are making the angst following Jordy Nelson’s injury exit seem wholly hyperbolic.

Tip o’ the cap to those who, even in loss, give it their all. CIP: Bears Jarvis Jenkins (4t-6a-2sk) & Pernell McPhee (6-1-2), Rams Alec Ogletree (5-4-2), new (old) QB Luke McCown (31-38 (81.6), 310, 1int), younger brother of Josh (CLE) in only 10th start dating back to ‘04 and ageless Raven Steve Smith (WR / 13-186, 2).

Tyrod Taylor QB (BUF / 21-29, 3td, 3r-12): I had my doubts but Rex knew best and TT is taking to it like duck to water. Scamper started bad (9-41 IND) but he appears to be fighting the rabbit habit. Rookie teammate Karlos Williams (R5 (FSU) 2015)) is doing his part to help. Through W3: 24-186 (7.8), 3td.

Patriots (JAC / 35-15) and Texans (TB / 30-14) 1st-down ratios. That’s balance.

Paul Posluszny, LB (JAX), 14t-4a: Were he a QB, that’d probably translate roughly to 600 passing yards and 7 TDs. A.J. Green, WR (CIN): 10-227, 2td.

Travis Benjamin, WR (CLE): Not that many hauls (10r), but the conversion is fantastico: 249y, 24.9, 4td. Similarly small total but Cowboys’ QB Brandon Weeden is w connected: 2g (1-1), 1td-1i, 29-33.

Bad Spot

W4 byes (NE / TEN): Though R&R&R (rest, relax & recover) may not be a goal, it should in a long season and later versions (W6-10) may offer unfair advantage.

Kansas City Sieve: Offensive line allows 7 sacks to Green Bay (Matthews 2).

4Q el-foldo: Giants foible is still the 4th set, nearly letting Redskins win get away.

M.I.A. run-games: DC, NYG, DEN, DET, STL, TEN, PHI, JAX, CLE and in serious trouble and about a half dozen other clubs in need of a boost but soon.

DeAngelo Williams RB (PIT): Had but one (1) carry v. STL (Bell, 19-62) after a 127y (NE) and 3-TD (SF) performances priorly. Wonder what Mike‘s thinking?

Bill Belichick leaving Brady in the game w/13m left in the 4th and Pats up 44-10. Tom wasn’t throwing for the end-zone but plenty of good reasons to bring in Garoppolo (came in at 1:22 for two kneel-downs). Wonder what Bill’s thinking?

Teddy Bridgewater QB (MIN): Fine C% (67.6) but 1 TD toss in 3g suggests Norv Turner and Mike Zimmer getting a little too cute with caution. No pain, no gain.

Justin Forsett RB (BAL): from 5.4 (1266y) in 2014 to 3.2 (39-124) in 2015.

Kicker’s Korner

Matt Darr P (MIA): 4-47.3, -20 (3)
Brad Pinion P (SF): 6-44.8, 4
Pat McAfee P (IND): 5-50, 1
Donnie Jones P (PHI): 9-41.2, 2
Steve Gostkowski K (NE): 3-3fg, 6xp
Andy Lee P (CLE): 4-51.3, 2
Kyle Brindza K (TB): 1-4 (58y). On a bad day he made the toughest one.


Week 4 Cherry Picks

Ravens (0-3) @ Steelers (2-1): 10-1 CBS 8:25: Ravens win
Jets (2-1) v. Miami (LDN) (1-2): 10-4 CBS 9:30am: MIA wins
Jaguars (1-2) @ Colts (1-2): CBS 1:00: Indianapolis wins
Eagles (1-2) @ Redskins (1-2): Fox 1:00: Philadelphia wins
Chiefs (1-2) @ Bengals (3-0): CBS 1:00: Kansas City wins
Carolina (3-0) @ Tampa Bay (1-2): Fox 1:00: Buccaneers win
Giants (1-2) @ Buffalo (2-1): Fox 1:00: New York wins
Browns (1-2) @ San Diego (1-2): CBS 4:05: Chargers win
Vikings (2-1) @ Denver (3-0): Fox 4:25: Broncos win
Cowboys (2-1) @ New Orleans: NBC 8:30: Saints win
Lions (0-3) @ Seattle (1-2): 10-5 ESPN 8:30: Seahawks win

Record: 9-11

Steven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credits: A.Rodgers-M.McCarthy, wc.cca, M.Morbeck, 9.9.12; cherries-ripe, wc.cca Chirak, 6.24.7.
Posted: 10.1.15 @ 8:20pm EST; Copyright ® 2015