Tag Archives: John Houseman

NFL16 Cherry Picks W17: MVP Field Is Fat But Houseman Meter Says Brady Ain’t In It

27 Dec

Even as New England Patriots starry signal-caller Tom Brady, on a brilliant but semi-season (12g), may win the MVP on the anti-Goodell vote, a group not dissimilar to that which decided Election 2016, Brady nevertheless must be ineligible, opening the door to the widest field of candidates in years, winner who won’t be clear until the regular season is in the books. With Falcons’ Matt Ryan frontrunner entering final Week 17, its match-ups bearing on this rank, player and to a smaller degree team performance will decide the winner, making the baker’s dozen below as tight a pack as a Friday afternoon subway.

Top contenders for NFL 2016 MVP:

1. Matt Ryan
2. David Johnson
3. Landon Collins
4. Dak Prescott
5. Ezekiel Elliott
6. Alec Ogletree
9. Kwon Alexander
10. Le’Veon Bell
11. Aaron Rodgers
12. Bobby Wagner
13. Justin Tucker

— — —

The football MVP might just be an award more valuable than a championship ring, at least Cam Newton and Rich Gannon hope so.

The biggest personal prize in professional football this side of the 49th parallel is about momentum, early on (W5 >), on-going (consistency) and uninterrupted.

ryan-m-10-19-14-k-allison-702kWith one more game remaining for all 32 in NFL 2016, one more chance for players with MVP aspirations to prove their worth in the eyes of the Associated Press, the obscure but finely calibrated John Houseman MVP Meter is presently pointing to Matt Ryan as the most valuable and deserving player for the coveted prize.

Be aware, this meter gauges the player who most deserves to win the MVP, not the man who ultimately receives the most AP votes and then the hardware.

Wondering, as you should, what is the Houseman MVP Meter?

John Houseman (1902-88) was a noted producer of theater (Federal / Mercury) and then films who later in life became an actor of note in supporting roles in such movies as The Paper Chase (73 (Oscar®)), Three Days of the Condor and the classic sporting flick, the original Rollerball (75). But he may be best remembered for his Smith Barney TV ads uttering in his distinctive high-hat voice, “They earn money the old-fashioned way, they eaaaaaarn it.” Get it?

— — —

The time of announcing the MVP winner should change.

In recent years, the NFL – NFLPA decided it’d be cute to announce MVP winner at a ceremony the nite just prior to playing the Big Game (SB), someone I expect who has no real knowledge of athletics or interest therein. For if they did, they’d know that receiving word of having won what is admittedly a terrific recognition, is about the LAST thing a player, his coaches & teammates, want (or need) to hear < 24 hours before suiting-up for the biggest game of their lives.

Think Cam Newton needed to know he was voted League’s top player in 2015 the nite before kickoff? I doubt it (See; SB50).

— — —

Who Won’t Win

ogletree-wc-8-15-13-johnmaxmena2-119kDefenders

The AP – MVP awarding is, of course, a flawed process, not unlike the Heisman awarding for the supposed best player in a collegiate season. One defender has taken the college equivalent to MVP in its 83 years in Michigan’s Charles Woodson (DB / 97), two NFL defenders winning MVP in Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, Alan Page, as member of the vaunted Vikings’ Purple People Eaters (71) and Giants’ game-change linebacker in Lawrence Taylor (86).

As in most years, a defender will not win the MVP. Not because Landon Collins, Alec Ogletree & Kwon Alexander don’t deserve it, quite the contrary. When the fat field of contenders is assessed with a football savvy mind, tacklers rank high. And with no clear-cut offensive frontrunner this season, a defender should rate high. But AP voters, like most sport observers, think they understand offense best and can’t get enough (sticky-gloves), on field or off (MVP).

Receivers

2016 Toppers like Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, they’ve gotta’ have well over 1500 yards gained in reception, along with 20+ TDs just to be considered. No qualifiers this year.

INT quarterbacks

Big Ben, Luck, Brees (71.C%), Jameis & Eli have too many INTs, i.e., mistakes. Hit the high-40s in TD passes and double-digit INTs won’t weigh so heavy, a huge toss total none of the above mentioned have approached in 2016. In fairness to field generals, until NFL starts judging INTs with an eye for accuracy, detracting deflected-pass INTs from QB tallies, we can’t know for certain exactly how many true interceptions signal-callers actually threw in a season.

Who May Win

Running backs

The last to haul in the AP was…AP, Adrian Peterson in 2012. If he’s the standard, your team need not win their division (NFCN – GB), you need not score a ton (13 TD) nor forge top receiving stats (40 – 217). But pass that 2000 rush barrier (2097) and get good mojo going with media (and blogisphere (moi)) around mid-season and you’ve got a serious shot at the MVP sans a blazing QB.

1. David Johnson (Cardinals): 1233y – 16.TD (run) // 77 – 841y – 4 (rec)
2. Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys): 1631 – 15 // 32 – 363 – 1 (ROY)
3. Le’Veon Bell (Steelers): 1268 – 7 // 75 – 616 – 1

brady-11-29-15-wc-j-beall-2-45mQuarterbacks

Firstly, Tom Brady does NOT qualify for the 2016 MVP. Derek Carr doesn‘t either, going out in W16 with injury, but he’s closer than Tom.

Tom’s terrific but missed one-quarter of the season due to his Deflategate suspension. That’s weighty. Knowingly choose to destroy a phone in an inquiry and you’ll suffer consequences that celebrity won’t deflect.

And if you think the late start somehow worked a burden which TB’s fine play overcame and then now deserves some reward, you can throw that cockamamie theory in the trash with all that Xmas wrapping.

I like Brady. He’s a champion, looks un-enhanced by weight room residency or PEDs and when he speaks, people listen because he thinks about what he says. You won’t hear words like “poopfest” coming from Tom, not publicly, anyway. And it’s that thinking that’s made him maybe the greatest pro QB ever.

But the 2-time winner does…not…qualify. Period.

When Brady receives votes for the award, and he will, those casting will likely have done so, not because they really believe Tom to be 2016’s most valuable man, but instead as pay-back of sorts to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell who ultimatley approved the QB’s Deflategate suspension. But one who thinks it better to show-up Goodell for meting out discipline than to vote with sincerity should not have that vote to cast in the first place. Period.

No Tom in the pool, no problem. It’s a QB league and there are plenty of MVP-caliber quarterbacks in 2016 to fill the bill without working pay-back (See; top).

The QB standard

1) TD-ratio
2) W-L (QB League)
3) Completion %
4) yards-per-pass (ypp), and
5) GWD (CC: clutch & composure)

As nearly every starting quarterback today will, with relative ease, surpass the 3000 yard passing mark, that category’s of lesser importance in MVP think.

Unlike the 1960s – 80s where completion percentages (%), even with great QBs like Bart Starr and Roger Staubach, were often in the mid-50s, in the 2000s the MVP-caliber quarterback should be well over the 60.C% mark.

1. Matt Ryan; 34-7, C% 69.5, 10-5, 9.3, 2gwd
2. Dak Prescott: 23-4, 68, 13-2, 8.0, 5gwd
3. Aaron Rodgers: 36-7, 65.5, 9-6, 7.2, 2.gwd
4. Derek Carr: 28-6, 63.7, 12-3, 7.0, 7gwd
5. Matt Stafford: 22-9, 66.1, 9-6, 7.2, 8 (4Q) gwd

Who Will Win?

Not the reigning MVP. Cats’ Cam Newton, for whatever reason (Super pout or strains of fatherhood?), has probably performed more poorly in defense of the prize than any prior (QB) winner since Brian Sipe in 1980, and, like Camster, proceeded to end his season too with a disastrous post-season game versus Tom Flores Raiders when Sipe went 13-40 with 3 INTs in the loss (Plunkett: 14-30, 2 INT). 2016 Newton: 6-6, 54.C%, 17-9, 7.1 (ypp); Sipe: 5-11, 55.C%, 17-25, 6.8.

It’s a tight race so this final slate of game is crucial for all the candidates.

Rivalry match-ups are in store, most of which could decide the outcome and then be fairly termed as ‘the MVP game.’

New Orleans @ Atlanta (Ryan)
Green Bay (Rodgers) @ Detroit (Stafford)
Dallas (Prescott & Elliott) @ Philadelphia
Arizona (Johnson) @ Los Angeles
Giants (Collins) @ Redskins

Of course, New England @ Miami, a GTW no doubt, is not listed.

Tom Brady would be eligible for the Super MVP if Patriots make it that far. But while Brady is ineligible for the regular MVP, fairness & logic are not always in play for voters, as Tom knows full well. If he performs in Miami, expect the junior-media element in the AP (anti-Goodell) to swing the vote, the trophy and the annoying night-before-the-Super-Bowl phone call, Tom’s way.

Ezekiel Elliott is having a tremendous rookie review but his scoring and multi-facet skill-set falls just short of Johnson’s.

Matt Stafford & Derek Carr’s GWD tallies are super but both relied more heavily on the short pass (7-7.3 ypp), an MVP detractor. It’s a measure which should boost ranking of the other resplendent Dallas rookie in Dak Prescott who’s been very careful with the ball (4 INT) in Ted Bridgewater fashion but unfortunately looked very average in Cowboys’ losses and a few wins, as well.

And Aaron Rodgers, already a vested member of the MVP Club (‘11 / 14), he played pedestrian in clutch time in season’s first half and didn’t get on radar soon enough to build sufficient voter support, especially when Tom is in the mix with many. And Rodgers’ 7.2 ypp , that’s junior league for a quarterback in his class. But there is the Favre Factor (Packer power in the press since 1992) and if Pack pound the Lions, Aaron could steal the trophy.

Who Should Win?

See above list and final game performances. Falcons’ Matt Ryan should take the trophy with strong final show against arch-rival Saints but New Orleans has been playing like contenders this second-half and might derail the Ryan Express, opening the door to the next in line (Johnson), and so on and so forth.

cherries-cloth-picdrome-6-2011-thmCherry Picks Week 17

Texans (9-6) @ Titans (8-7): 1.1 CBS 1:00: Titans win
Carolina (6-9) @ Tampa (8-7): Fox 1:00: Panthers win
Cowboys (13-2) @ Eagles (6-9): Fox 1:00: Philly wins
New England (13-2) @ Miami Dolphins (10-5) GTW: CBS 1:00: Patriots win
Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) @ San Diego Chargers (5-10): 4:25 CBS: Bolts win
Arizona Cardinals (6-8-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (4-11): 4:25 Fox: Cards win
Oakland Raiders (12-3) @ DenverBroncos (8-7): 4:25 CBS: Broncos win
New York (10-5) @ Washington Redskins (8-6-1) GTW: 4:25 Fox: Giants win
New Orleans (7-8) @ Atlanta Falcons (10-5) GTW: 4:25 Fox: Falcons win
Green Bay Packers (9-6) @ Detroit Lions (9-6) GTW: NBC 8:30: Lions win

Record: 73 -88 – 2

......NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: NFL-MVP-trophy, wc.cca, 6.23.13, Teo’s89; M.Ryan, wc, K.Allison, 10.19.14; A.Ogletree, wc, Johnmaxmena2, 8.15.13; T.Brady, 11.29.15, J.Beall; cherries-cloth, picdrome, wc, 6.2011; NFL-symbol, wikiproject
Posted: 12.27.16 @ 2:42pm, edit 6:06 EST; Copyright © 2016

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NFL16 Cherry Picks W11: Pax Patriotana, Caesar Trumpus, Mamarazzi & the Demigoths

15 Nov

I started cutting my political teeth way back in 1968.

I remember the year because it was an event, a national tragedy that began the process: The assassination of Bobby Kennedy (d. 6.6.68), younger brother and AG of slain President John Kennedy (d. 11.22.63), who, after that dreadful day in Dallas, would go on to become Senator from New York and then Democratic presidential candidate, at a rally in the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles.

I can’t say any news outside the home, no matter its import, could’ve shook my young world at age six. But upon hearing the shocking report, my older brothers had headed over to the Humphrey – Muskie headquarters somewhere on the North Shore of Chicago, to throw their support behind the next most viable opponent of GOP front-runner, Richard Nixon. When they returned they had a cachet of campaign buttons, a few of which ended up in my tiny hands, along with a bumper sticker which still reads: “McCarthy Supporters Now For Humphrey.”

kennedys-wc-1-29-61-c-stoughton-626kAs for the turbulent Democratic convention about ten miles south, a ruckus that started in the streets and probably sealed the win for Nixon, I didn’t have a clue. Tooth enamel’s tough stuff.

It’s funny how a single event or piece of political paraphernalia, as ephemeral as it may be, can shape one’s life. I’ve had an interest in politics bordering on passion ever since. And, by jove, still have the mementos from that oh-so sad, significant day.

When my baby teeth fell out, I started to cutting the permanents.

I devoured my share of “heaping helping(s)” of empty TV calories for sure (Josie and the Pussycats, Gilligan’s Island, etc.) but ate up good servings of brain food in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, The Electric Company (1971), ABC Wide World of Sports and the evening news delivered by legends like Cronkite, Brinkley, Reasoner, Huntley, Walters and Chancellor.

And it was Parker Brothers and their board-game Landslide (1971) that gave me hands-on experience with the electoral college and how presidential campaigns must roll their own dice in strategizing on the States. My teeth were sharpening, though, my friend Tom who owned the board game must’ve had a Trump skill-set because he out-tallied me every time. Gotta’ romance those swing States.

But that passion turned downright frigid in lead-up to 2016’s election day.

Not a big fan of Donald or Hillary, I will, nonetheless, honor the November 8th win, respect the authority of Office and hope for the best, in opposite of that .00003174% of Americans, including LeBron James, Gregg Popovich (“sick to my stomach”) & Steve Kerr who’ve chosen to ‘take their ball and run home’ because they didn‘t like the result. Best advice for the Neo-Visigoths: Find a copy of Edward Everett Hale’s ‘The Man Without a Country (1863)’ and read in deep.

Clearly, the campaign to win and then keep basketball player’s “hearts and minds” is a never-ending effort for the NBA coach. So much for trust, eh? Ugh.

clinton-6-10-16-pp-wc-11-2m-l-shaullAnd Hillary Clinton is no loser.

Taking the popular vote is champion and aught win the White House in a democracy. But unlike Al Gore in 2000, whose loss of Florida’s electors constituted the biggest heist job in American history, with the DC Robes as accomplices after-the-fact (Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98), Ms. Clinton never came close to taking the college kitty. In short, the lady blew her chance.

But that doesn’t make her a mascot to suffer the mamarazzi.

Reference to Margo Gerster who, with baby-on-back, cornered Hill on a nature walk two days after the draining election, thinking it proper to void Hillary’s (& Bill’s) privacy to solicit a Facebook moment (What’s HC gonna’ do, tell mom to take a hike?), an image widely disseminated soon thereafter, finding CBS (“Hiker Crosses Paths”), CNN (Erin Burnett) and whomever else feeds the faux pas. Bad play, ladies. And where were the Secret Service? But I’m not surprised.

At first blush the electoral college appears antiquated, anti-democracy and whenever it veers off from the popular vote, always ends in GOP hands.

But a historical tidbit unbeknownst to Demigoths and the normally insightful Bill Maher, the EC is a test the Founders necessitated that a deserving candidate must pass, a test still relevant. The winner must possess the savvy, the wherewithal in mastering the map to sway voters State-by-State, and in the process acquiring a healthy respect for the union that is this United (50) States of America.

The first black president seems now an entitlement, the first female Commander-in-Chief knowing she must, in famous words of John Houseman, “eeeearn it.”

obama-trump-11-10-16-jesusemen-oni-voa-119kThe former First Lady lost the election long before the elector test or her “deplorable” line and had nearly nothing to do with any FBI commentary. In failing to distinguish herself from her former boss, President Barack Obama, majority voters in key States made a statement: ‘Not tough enough, and not again, or for awhile, anyway.’

Most Americans had high hopes when the first minority took up residence in the White House in 2009. Obama was short on experience, seemed, apart from the birth certificate confusion, almost too perfect for the post and resorted to his own form of flippancy when topics got hot, but his ready smile gave assurance and he seemed eager to take on the big challenges that awaited.

Obama will be remembered for four actions: 1) Brokering the deal with America’s healthcare “monster(s)” to create Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (NFIB (2012)), costing greedmeisters next to nothing yet heaping much of the tax burden upon the middle-class (contra-FDR); 2) advising on capture / execution of 9-11 designer, terrorist Osama bin Laden (2011); 3) taking sides in the Trayvon Martin – George Zimmerman incident (2013) (“Martin could’ve been me 35 years ago”) after attacker Martin died of a gunshot fired by block watch volunteer Zimmerman who claimed self-defense, was charged and then acquitted, and 4) picking his NCAA basketball tourney bracket selections come March Madness.

Unfortunately, on the one issue that Obama was particularly well-suited to keep moving the nation forward, race-relations, he has instead presided over what can be called a period of race regression, a sorry state not seen since Reagan-Bush.

As for Donald, he’s sharp as a tack, has energy and an undeniable charisma, a pride in his person and nation and a certain maverickness that McCain the Senator never displayed, a trait lacking in Presidents for quite a spell (LBJ). But his anti-choice stand feels political, must check his habit to flippancy (global warming) and his disdain for regulation (Dodd-Frank), market-place competition and American jobs (monopolist) bespeaks of a boyish greed potentially more disastrous economically than Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down goof.

trump-wc-11-9-16-transition2017-450kMost troubling is that neither candidate exhibited the foresight, honesty, courage to put the voters to a test in self-sacrifice (“ask what you can do for your country (JFK)”), a national unifier if there ever was one. No measurable progress happens without it.

It’d be analogous to Roger Goodell having chutzpah to ditch pink-wear in favor of a field-friendly color for all cancer victims and research (dark green), to use his bully-pulpit to force NFLPA to institute serious PED-testing or to tell NFL fans and sport scribes who curry favor to stop the incessant whine on game officiating come each “Monday morning.” Ugh.

So what does Trump-the-President mean for the NFL and its fandom?

A President, no matter the political party, usually has little impact on League operations or policy. But if a particular Commander-in-Chief has a real interest in the gridiron game, any comments he makes will make news.

And this president-elect might actually have an interest.

President Obama put on a good show, giving warm congratulatory speeches in welcome to a steady stream of title teams that now visit the White House for one more pat-on-their-collective back. But while he’s a love for the links, Barack appears to have no interest in the combative sports (+b-ball). And though he lacks the competitive spirit that led the Kennedys to engage the pigskin for some lawn version touch-football, Don clearly has a curiosity for the National game.

Which toggles four sport topics on Trump: 1) The future of White House pep-rallies now that monarchial King LeBron has given thumbs-down with Trump-soon in residence; 2) What NFL team does Donald Trump favor; 3) how happy is Redskins owner Dan Snyder today, and 4) will the President-elect and his immigration blueprint alter future NFL – Mexico game plans?

redskins-chiefzee-wc-2-4m-k-allison-1-10-16Since the 1970s America’s seen a prodigious growth in sporting endeavors, champions of which nearly all seem to find their way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. So was born a new tradition that’s become about as tired as the never-ending supply of Law & Order reruns, diverting CICs from pressing duties or the down-time that a President must take to keep sound in mind & body in the most stressful job on Earth. Time then the custom gave way to common sense and got terminated by the new Prez. As Trump doesn’t need another reason to tick-off female Dems in cancelling only the less-popular women’s visits, if it happens (sure), expect him to can the whole kit n’ kaboodle.

Who’s Trump’s top NFL team? A New Yorker, he may be a Giants, Jets or Bills fan. If his ties to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are sincere, it’s good chance he’s Foxborough friendly. Like Barack, he’s always working an angle so it’s hard to get a read. If it is the Pats, Don’s hitching his wagon to arguably the greatest pro football dynasty in history. In 2016, the Cowboys believe, Carroll’s crew never quits, Big Ben’s 5-star field general, John Harbaugh mastered the pros and Bruce Arians coaches the Cards, but it’s New England, with their rare loss (SEA 11.13), that remains Empire’s standard.

To the Washington Redskins and their war-in-defense of their 82 yr. old moniker against a niche effort spearheaded by Oneida’s Ray Halbritter and taken up in 2012 by johnny-come-latelies in corporate kids-for-change, malleable media, Democrat elite, a smattering of celebs and the Washington Post whose polling reported “9 of 10” aboriginal Americans are not offended by the motif, a new President in Republicrat Trump will undoubtedly lead to a more sensible, honest directive given the Department of Commerce and its Patent & Trademark Office. Court cases are pending but it’s likely this and other PC-appeasing stands taken by Dems held some sway over mod-voters in swingers. It didn’t help, anyway.

As for the impact the recent American election will have on the NFL – Mexico business relationship, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will publicly downplay its significance but if a border-wall does become reality (doubtful), it’s hard to imagine its continuation. It will be interesting to see if Texans v. Raiders MNF game will out-draw the last record-setting NFLM meet in 2005 between Arizona and San Francisco which drew 103,000+ at Estadio Azteca.

cherries-wc-cca-b-kua-6-1-08-3-3mCherry Picks Week 11: Thank goodness for the spread

Saints (4-5) @ Carolina (3-6): 11.17 NBC 8:30: NO wins
Ravens (5-4) @ Dallas (8-1): 11.20 CBS 1:00: BAL wins
Jacksonville (2-7) @ Lions (5-4): CBS 1:00: Lions win
Tennessee Titans (5-4) @ Indianapolis Colts (4-5): CBS 1:00: Indy wins
Buffalo Bills (4-5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-5-1): Fox 1:00: Bengals win
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) @ Kansas City Chiefs: Fox 1:00: Chiefs win
Arizona Cardinals (4-4-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (5-4): Fox 1:00: Cards win
Miami Dolphins (5-4) @ Los Angeles Rams (4-5): Fox 4:05: Dolphins wins
Philadelphia (5-4) @ Seattle Seahawks (6-2-1): CBS 4:25: Seahawks win
Green Bay Pack (4-5) @ Washington Redskins (5-3-1): NBC 8:30: GB wins
Houston Texans (6-3) @ Oakland (Mex): 11.21 Disney 8:30: Houston wins

Record: 45 – 51 -2

......NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: B.Belichick, wc.cca, K.Allison, 8.28.9; Kennedys, wc, C.Stoughton, 1.29.61; H.Clinton, wc, 6.10.16, PlannedParenthood, L.Shaull; Trump-Obama, wc, 11.10.16, Jesusemen-Oni.VOA; D.Trump, wc, Transition2017, 11.9.16; M.Trump-M.Obama, theWhiteHouse, wc, 11.10.16; ChiefZee, Redskins-DC, K.Allison, 1.10.16, wc; cherries, wc, B.Kua, 6.1.08; NFL-symbol, wikiproject
Posted: 11.15.16 @ 2:34pm, edit @ 11:36 EST; Copyright © 2016

NFL15 MVP: The Houseman Meter

9 Dec

With three-quarters (12g) of the regular schedule now in the books, it’s a good time to reflect upon and rate the front-runners for this season’s NFL (AP) Most Valuable Player award.

Four games remain and the present positions can still change week-to-week. But barring unexpectedly poor performance or disqualifying injury, whomever is on top at this late stage is just short of a lock to get that phone call (text) on the day prior to the Super Bowl informing him he’s been awarded the coveted trophy.

......Houseman.73.Herbert-Barrett.wc.thmThe name in title of this post refers to former film actor-producer John Houseman (1902-88) who in late career became a small cultural icon for a line he spoke in series of Smith-Barney TV ads: “They earn money the old-fashioned way, they eaaaarn it.”

Would John approve of his name serving in such a manner? Well, I don’t think he’d disapprove. He’d probably laugh. But he did show his sporting side in Rollerball (‘75), the original. So, there’s that.

In that tradition, this rating, while not entirely free of bias and / or prejudice to some small degree, is neither guided nor faithful to the concepts of celebrity or trend. As such, the leaders must “eaaaarn” their placement, so I claim.

The same names have occupied the top five spots for most of the way, the two most significant changes being the slide of last season’s winner, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, and ascent of Carolina’s athletic quarterback, Cam Newton.

......Newton.9.28.14.wc.K.Allison.thmCamster-the-Hamster’s rise has been so steady (Cats 12-0) that his bandwagon, with Disney’s Stephen A. Smith, aka, SAS’y, conducting, has been filling up fast.

But there are still plenty of seats available as Cam’s numbers fall a bit short of other spirited tallies and the division in which he and his ’mates toil is about as poor in top talent as is a ‘Bob Cratchit’ college fund short on coin (pre-good Scrooge).

The unwritten standard is as follows, in no particular order:

1) Personal stats and character, if it becomes an issue;
2) Team record (W-L);
3) Quality of competition; and
4) Play and conduct in the big games or moments.

Panthers’ wins @ Seattle (W6) and Green Bay (W9) stand out, where Cam’s play was good (GB) to so-so (SEA). Remaining slate is < challenging (@ Giants W15).

1. Tom Brady
2. Andy Dalton
3. Carson Palmer
.....Brady.wc.cca.mongomez93.thmb4. Cam Newton
5. Top tackler
6. Top receiver
7. Top running back
8. Top trench-man
9. Top kicker
10. Top sack specialist

Steven Keys
Macro Sport
Photo credit: J.Houseman, Hebert-Barrett, wc, 1973; C.Newton, wc, 9.28.14, K.Allison; T.Brady, monogomez93, wc; macroecono-lamcasinoroyal, wc, 2011.
Posted: 12.9.15 @ 2:08pm; Copyright © 2015

NFL15 Cherry Picks W12: Cards, Cats & Colby

26 Nov

For the first time in NFL15 it’s the National Conference that’s looking boss.

Besides defending champ New England, who at 10-0, still ride atop the American and most team rankings, about the only other AFC Super contender appears to be Cincinnati who went down to defeat to Arizona in W11 action (34-31) but did so with gallantry.

Though Denver sit’s at 8-2 they’re a bit shaky with Peyton injured even as Brock gutted out a win in Chi-Town on Weil-power (17-15), while the rest of the playoff possibles, including KC, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, the Jets and Houston feel far from safe enterprises in which to invest your dreams of Santa Clara (SB50).

Arizona Cardinals

Leading both conferences to start Week 12 in key offensive categories of yards and points scored per game (#1) and a run attack that’s been strong with the firm of Johnson, Ellington and Johnson, defensively the Cards look pretty spiffy too in yards (3) and points allowed (13). Where AZ could use some spit & polish is in the press-dept (18sk), tight-end corps where touches trend a bit low (29r) and a few more 50+ tries to test-out kicker Catanzaro for playoff readiness.

........Palmer.wc.9.3.15.J.Beall.thmThree of Arizona’s next four games are roadies (@ SF, @ STL, MIN, @ PHI), the final two toughies (GB / SEA). The plan: Beef-up on the so-sos then tone-up (no benchings if healthy) on the top-talent to enter the post-season well-tuned.

Carolina Panthers

Standing at 10-0, many, including this fan, can’t seem to get behind the Cats as NFC’s top dog. When Green Bay’s down, it’s the Cardinals on top. When AZ stumbles, we look to the fickle G-Men of Meadowlands or the slow-starting Seahawks, rather than Cats of Carolina. Even the media hems & haws.

Why? NFL’s largely about offense, creating and sometimes stopping it. That’s not the side of the ball which we’ve come to think of Carolina. They’ve had scorers, season’s where points piled-up but it’s always been the D-side (#4 (yapg) / 6 (papg)) that’s defined the Coastals. One concern: A complete return to form of linebacking star Luke Kuechly who sat W2-5 from concussion.

Presently, Cats yardage at #18 and #3 in pspg. That means they capitalize and are opportunistic. Good traits but not always reliable, like that offensive scheme that will matriculate with consistency (See; GB, AZ, SEA, Romo, NYG, NO).

And it’s the QB at the core, fueling offensive expansion or contraction, depending much on his leadership and skill, though, the men in the trenches (OL) are key in keeping the core whole (20sk).

Cam’s in his 5th year, a critical campaign in a career marked by highs & lows. He’s a 1-2 PS mark, the sole win coming against a hobbled AZ club. Hamster is back to regular rabbit (9 runs per) and if not for a 5td tally versus 4-6 Redskins (W11) would have a pedestrian ratio (20-9) on top of lowest C% (57) of his tenure.

Green Bay Packers

Nothing cures Green Bay blues (0-3 W9-11) like an intra-division game in the old Black & Blue. Enter the cure for what ails the Packers, the purple-pumped Minnesota Vikings riding a 5g winning streak. The result: Same old, same old. Pack breezes to a win on Norseman’s UoM turf, 30-13.

.......colby.12.30.10.Jeffthequiet.thmbWhen Minnesota needed to match Packers 10 points in 2Q, Bridgewater, Zimmer & Norv Turner laid a goose egg: 0. With Ted’s limited range, defenders key on Peterson (13-45y) and you can pretty much close the book on Vikings’ offense. On the other side, only intense pressure on Rodgers stifled the master-matriculator and all Vikes could muster were 2 sacks while green & yellow got to Ted six times.

Only W16 match-up in Arizona looks daunting for the Pack, while a Thanksgiving feast on Chicago, followed by a leftover gobble in Detroit (W13) and Green Bay’s losing streak lemons will get turned into lesson-learning, playoff-prep lemonade.

Wild & Woolly

Seahawks: Finally finding their stride with boost from Mr. Rawls (6.0 ypc), Seattle is best of the rest and with a slightly favorable remaining slate could jump to Super class by Week 17’s end.

Falcons: Explaining Atlanta’s slide is simple enough. Three loses by a total of seven pts: 23-20 (TB (OT)), 17-16 (@ SF), 23-20 (IND). Sometimes lucky breaks just don’t come, especially when TOs come in bunches. As the remaining schedule is not formidable, Mr. Quinn should have A-Birds flying again.

Giants: With Romo revitalizing Dallas, Cousins looking capable and Eagles not as bad as media has decreed, NFCE may be most competitive of the lot, even if nary one club gets party invite. Giants are as fickle as antebellum “Scarlett O‘Hara (See Also: STL, CHI, NO, TB, etc),” so deciding where they end up is for “another day.”

Vikings: With so much on the line versus GB, Vikings played minny and appear the classic case of pretender. Ahead in the wild card chase, the Purple may squeak into the playoffs but won’t last for long.

Houseman MVP Meter: Ranking “old fashioned way,” leader’s gotta “earn it.”

Tom Brady
Andy Dalton
Carson Palmer
......Brady.8.28.09.K.Allison.wc.cca.thmbAaron Rodgers
Cam Newton
Julio Jones
DeAndre Hopkins
D’Qwell Jackson
Telvin Smith
NaVorro Bowman

Good Spots W11

GB 30 (5sk) @ MIN 13: Pressure Packed
GB wins coin-toss, defers to MIN; outcome: Vikes punt (GB 41)
NE wins coin-toss, defers to BUF; outcome: Bills punt (25)
DEN 17 (8 penalties) @ CHI 15 (0): Weil-power
Brock Osweiler (DEN): 20-27, 250, 2 (1st GS, 8tgt)
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU): 5r-118y, 2t
Julio Jones (ATL): 9-160
Jameis Winston (TB): 19-29, 246, 5tp (5tgt)
Cam Newton (CAR): 21-34, 246, 5tp
Russ Wilson (SEA): 24-29, 260, 3

Bad Spots

US Department of Labor Disses on Pro-Choice

For throwing an NFL-themed party but requesting no Washington Redskins attire be worn by attendees. Not too clever, and kinda’ snooty too, but the DoL bandwagoneers did manage to make the news wire.

It’s the low-level topicality where this non-issue is at with media & political sects who’ve caved to PC bullies and those interests who energized this topic (2012), when, by chance, Nike ascended NFL uniform throne and most everyone, likely most attending this “party,” were silent on the claimed “disparaging” aspects of Redskins historical logo. The general public, PepsiCo et al and most aboriginal Americans (Indians), I suspect, are not buying bully-line. We know it to be artful. So let’s go polling, eh?

John Fox

Ill-effect of Seattle’s SB49 play calling lives on. Bears’ head coach Fox and OC Adam Gase, maybe fearing backlash from fickle fandom for going pass rather than running for a closing 2-pt. conversion attempt that would’ve tied it at 17 versus Denver, chose to keep it on the ground.

Result: Conversion attempt failed as rookie Jeremy Langford was stopped cold. Though JL had just previously scored the TD from 2y out, his digits on the day were not too impressive, going 13a – 25y (1.92).

“Nothing to fear but fear itself (FDR),” Mr. Fox. Besides, those SB49 cry-babies were all wet.

Redskins: 5 TOs (1i – 4fl)
Redskins: 12 carries – 14 yards
Cowboys (10) @ MIA (9): 19 penalties

Kicker’s Korner

.....Crosby.wc.10.7.07.1.6m.P.Cutler.thmJason Myers (JAX) K: 4-4 (38), 1-1x
Matt Darr (MIA) P: 7 (5 < 20), 38.1
Matt Prater (DET) K: 3-3 (51), 1-1x
Graham Gano (CAR) K: 3-3 (48), 5-5
Dustin Colquitt (KC) P: 5 (4), 40.6
Mason Crosby (GB) K: 5-5 (52), 1-1

 

♫ Here, There & Everywhere ♫

Damon Harrison (NYJ): 9t, 3a
J.J. Watt (HOU): 8, 2sk
Kelvin Sheppard (MIA): 10, 4
Tamba Hali (KC): 5, 2sk
Rob Ninkovich (NE): 4, 2, 1.5sk, 1ff

Boogie Shoes

Darren McFadden (DAL): 29-129
Doug Martin (TB): 27-235
Tom Rawls (SEA): 30-209, 1
Eddie Lacey (GB): 22-100

What Not

“Rex Ryan!” Bills celebrity coach was part of a Tom Brady line-call in early 1Q action of Patriots MNF game versus long time rival, Buffalo (20-13). The mind of Belichick can work in mysterious ways. But when you’ve won four Super Bowls, played in six, it’s not crazy, it’s “eccentric (The Rockford Files).”

....cherries.cloth.picdrome.6.2011.thm

Cherry Picks Week 12

PHI (4-6) @ DET (3-7); 11.26 Fox 12:30: Lions win
Cats (10-0) @ DAL (3-7); CBS 4:30 (GTW3): ‘Boys win
Bears (4-6) @ Packers (7-3); NBC 8:30: Pack wins
Saints (4-6) @ HOU (5-5); 11.29 Fox 1:00: NO wins
Rams (4-6) @ Cincy (8-2); Fox 1:00: Bengals win
Vikes (7-3) @ ATL (6-4); Fox 1:00 (GTW4): Falcons win
New York (5-5) @ Redskins (4-6); Fox 1:00: Giants win
Tampa Bay (5-5) @ Indy (5-5); Fox 1:00: Colts win
Bills (5-5) @ Kansas City (5-5); CBS 1:00: KC wins
Raiders (4-6) @ Titans (2-8); CBS 1:00: TEN wins
Dolphins (4-6) @ Jets (5-5); CBS 1:00: NYJ win
Cardinals (8-2) @ San Fran (3-7); Fox 4:05: AZ wins
Pitt (6-4) @ Seattle (5-5); CBS 4:25 (GTW2): SEA win
NE (10-0) @ DEN (8-2); NBC 8:30 (GTW): DEN win

Record: 54 – 57

...NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: Cardinal-mascot, wc.cca, DM.Gibson, 4.21.09; C.Palmer, wc, 9.3.15, J.Beall; colby, wc, 12.30.10, jeffthequiet; T.Brady, 8.29.09, wc, K.Allison; M.Crosby, wc, 10.7.07, P.Cutler; cherries-on-cloth, wc, 2011, picdrome; NFL-symbol, wikiproject.
Posted: 11.25.15 @ 11:57pm EST; Copyright © 2015