Week 2 Predictions: Panthers, Lions or Bears and 49ers? Marquee matchups

I went 9-7 last week. That was spellbinding – considering I was 1-5 before the Jets sealed the deal to ignite my win streak.

Without introduction, my Week 2 Picks:

STEELERS 06 — 26 RAVENS
The emotional week has taken its toll on the Ravens and it will show in tonight’s performance. A loss would exacerbate the negative attention surrounding a team that has been dealing with adversity since the start of the offseason. But a loss could, however, provides a spark in the locker room and the Ravens punish their next opponent, the Cleveland Browns.
Prediction: STEELERS 27 Ravens 17

DOLPHINS AT BILLS

Both AFC East teams are coming off impressive wins. The Bills de-clawed the Bears while the Dolphins confiscated the Patriots’ weapons. Neither want to play each other coming off of that high, but the Bills will make sure that the salty waters they send the Dolphins to will be saltier after they win. #MIAvsBUF

Dolphins 17 BILLS 23

JAGUARS AT REDSKINS

The Jacksonville Jaguars must not lose to the Redskins if they want to save face. I’m thinking that Washington gets swept by every team in the AFC South, so there’s a lot on the Jags’ plate. Robert Griffin III wants to prove that he still has that rookie magic — he doesn’t.

JAGUARS 20 Redskins 19

COWBOYS AT TITANS

The ‘Boys hot-air balloons were deflated last week against a 49ers team that didn’t have much air about them heading into Dallas. The Titans terrified me so bad that I had nightmares all week.

Cowboys 18 TITANS 24

CARDINALS AT GIANTS

The Cardinals won’t force the ball to Larry Fitz. The Giants are unstable and I’m almost going to convince myself that they’re going to finish 9-7 after going 3-6. Man. I can’t. …

CARDINALS 30 Giants 17

PATRIOTS AT VIKINGS

Mike Zimmer, when with the Bengals, sacked Tom Brady four times last year. Matt Cassel has waited for this day since he warmed the bench for his superstar quarterback. The reason that the Vikings don’t win this game is because they fall into a funk late in the second half. Tom Brady doesn’t down two in a row, not this early in the night.

PATRIOTS 38 Vikings 28

SAINTS AT BROWNS

The Saints and Drew Brees are pissed. Anger doesn’t help and the Browns abscond their own city with a last-second touchdown. The heavy favorite to win the NFC South make their climb even more challenging. But they thrive off of that “against the world” mentality, anyway.

Saints 21 BROWNS 27

FALCONS AT BENGALS 

This game makes my stomach hurt. The Falcons pulled a rabbit out of a hat last week, so did the Bengals. This is a toss up for two teams that were gimmicks seven days ago. Home team wins.

Falcons 27 BENGALS 30

LIONS AT PANTHERS

The Lions have a better backfield than Carolina’s.

LIONS 30 Panthers 17

RAMS AT BUCCANEERS

The Rams and Buccaneers will play two-hand-touch today.

Rams 14 BUCS 17 (OT) 

SEAHAWKS AT CHARGERS 

The Chargers aren’t ready to handle their first win, says the Seahawks.

SEAHAWKS 31 Chargers 18

TEXANS AT RAIDERS

Texans know better not to go to Oakland and win. The Raiders have the talent to take their visitors and toss them into the Pacific.

Texans 21 RAIDERS 28

JETS AT PACKERS

The Packers are flustered and cannot stomach two losses back-to-back. Sorry, Jets fans.

Jets 19 PACKERS 31

CHIEFS AT BRONCOS

Game is in Denver and the Chiefs don’t have the firepower to stop Julius Thomas, whereas the Broncos have the defense to stop Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe.

Chiefs 17 BRONCOS 38

BEARS AT 49ERS 

Best game of the week? Maybe, depending on your preference. Personally I like Panther meat and Lion meat.

Bears 14 49ERS 21

EAGLES AT COLTS

Eagles win their second game in a row. Colts go 0-2 and sit behind the Jaguars’ big heads in the passenger seat. Titan driving.

EAGLES 28 Colts 24

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Life of Unluckiest Fantasy Football Owner — Season 2, Episode 1: The Nightmare Continues

Good afternoon all,

Welcome to the Life of the Unluckiest Fantasy Football Owner series. I am your humble, tearful host, Daniel P. Here we will rejoice, cry, exchange advice and (hopefully) win together.

I promised myself that I would draft wisely and cut down on the mistakes I made managing my team last fall.

If I learned anything from 2013, I didn’t. OK, OK, greed is evil.

I am in a Fantasy League with five other Baltimore Beatdown writers and six staff members of The Purple Reign Show. No money is involved (thank God), and the epic battles will be for our souls.(Just kidding.)

I drafted a phenomenal team. Listen to it here.

I selected Eddie Lacy and took his handcuff James Starks late in the draft. I predicted and bet a Chipotle meal against my friend that Robert Griffin III will not compete in all 16 games this season. That explains why I took Kirk Cousins; Captain Kirk has the weapons to flourish if Griffin III goes down.

Tom Brady had to be scooped and runningbacks Toby Gerhart’s (JAC) and Andre Ellington’s (ARI) upside were too glorious for me to see them on someone else’s roster.

Rollouts

I wish God blessed me with the gift of predicting the future. I mean, prophesying is that, kind of, right?Wes Welker is suspended for four games. Boom. Marvin Jones is out for a “few weeks.”

Eddie Lacy suffered a concussion last night in the Packers‘ loss. It’s happening again. Marlon Brown isn’t a surefire start for now, or is he? Andre Ellington, Tom Brady and Sammy Watkins all have either a “P” or a “Q” next to their names as if they need improvement with their “please”s and “thank you”s.

Oh, that’s right, Jordan Reed, my Redskins‘ tight end. Reed is listed as probable for the game against a Texans defense swearing to clown and watt the hell out of Griffin III and Co.

(Swearinger, Clowney, and Watt if that flew over your head.)

Welp, what’s there to say? Yahoo, ESPN, NFL, CBS, XYZ.

Fantasy Football will always be the source of my gloom.

#NFLTraining Camp Redskins v. Patriots Recap

The Redskins are practicing against a Super Bowl contending team. Head Coach Bill Belichick won’t (and hasn’t) take it easy on the burgundy and gold these past couple of days.

Redskins rookie Stephen Campbell is wearing 45, the same number second-year linebacker Gabe Miller is donning across his chest and back. Campbell made an impressive catch against rookie linebacker Taylor McCuller. 

Lache Seastrunk beat third-year pro Dont’a Hightower (Alabama) in a footrace to catch an under thrown pass by Kirk Cousins.

Jordan Reed’s route running = thumbs up. 

Rookie out of USC Silas Redd couldn’t outplay linebacker Jamie Collins in their one-on-one battle.

Redskins energy at practice = high.

11 on 11

Play 1: Robert Griffin III is “sacked” because he took time to show off his dance moves in the backfield.

P2: pass complete to tight end Reed on a slant in front of the Patriots linebacking corps.

P3: Vince Wilfork picks off a tipped pass intended for Santana Moss, who surprisingly came out of the backfield. 

P4: Roy Helu Jr. knifes his way out of the right gap for a large gain.

P5: a reverse? Ryan Grant takes a handoff from a receiver who runs across the backfield. 

P6: poor run blocking up front. 

P7: Evan Royster takes a screen pass from Cousins and the offensive linemen do a great job setting him up for a long run. 

DeSean Jackson is open. … Defenses are focused on sacking Griffin III and Patriots safeties tend to bite. 

— More punting drills

— 11 on 11 drills

Kenbrell Thompkins crisp route running leaves Daryl Sharpton dead in his tracks. 

Brady running a merciless no-huddle offense and the Redskins cannot stop TB. Communication is key and I hear them talking but still no match for TB. 

Jackson makes (finally) a catch against Revis Island. The Redskins go back to DJax on their second play but Revis puts an end to the streak. 

Josh Boyce is well-guarded by Chase Minnifield . … if the ball was placed better. … completion. 

Middle of the field is wide open against Washington’s defense. Ryan Mallett leads a smooth 2-minute drill which results in a field goal. 

Nick Williams makes a grab, courtesy of KC. 

Revis has officially shut down the left side of the hash mark. 

Griffin III completes a perfect pass to Andre Roberts between Devin McCourty and Logan Ryan for a catch-and-score.

Patriots still running the 11v11 drills on the other side of the field. 

Redskins defense and offense split up and are walking through the motions. 

Redskins OL vs Patriots OL Battles

Rookies Spencer Long and Tevita Stevens are challenged by Chris Barker and Bryan Stork. 

Trent Williams vs. Will Smith, defensive tackle. 

Kevin Kowalski vs Rookie Cameron Fleming

The Redskins offensive line needs help at the right tackle/right guard position as far as I know.

Skill position drills

Jerod Mayo lays out running back Morris. Griffin III held the ball too long before throwing it to AM. … Mayo popped him. 

Griffin completes a screen pass to DJax but no one bites. 

Morris redeems himself by zipping across the goal line untouched. 

Shot gun single back formation: hand off to Roy Helu Jr. up the middle before he gets clocked by Jerod Mayo. Second biggest hit of the training camp session. 

Griffin again holds the ball too long and scampers outside of the collapsing pocket. He escaped to only get pushed ob. 

Helu looks like he’s enjoying his reps. 

Single back shotgun. Moss, Roberts and Logan Paulsen are lined up to the left (trips bunch). Moss takes a step back to pretend he’s receiving the screen pass but Griffin III hands the ball off to Helu. 

Ryan Grant destroys cornerback Malcolm Butler after he catches a zip-fade in front of the right cone of the goal line. 

Cousins doesn’t find anyone open (or was it designed?) – he steps up into the pocket and runs in a 15-yard touchdown.

Shotgun formation, again trips right. Jordan Reed is alone on the weak side, drawing in a one-on-one matchup — makes the catch for a touchdown. Kirk Cousins adds another TD pass to his practice resume. 

11 on 11 

Deangelo Hall vs. Brandon Lafell. E.J. Biggers vs. Julian Edelman. Patriots’ spread offense is difficult to contain. 

Edelman runs a perfect out-and-up pattern and obliterates Biggers, who is behind him eating his dust. Brady with the perfect over-the-shoulder pass. 

Lafell is getting open, too, his route running looks razor-sharp. 

Redskins 

Logan Paulsen runs a post between the safeties and behind the linebackers — tries to one-hand catch yet drops an accurate pass. 

Logan Ryan covers Aldrick Robinson. … 

Duron Harmon, Malcolm Butler, Brandon Browner, Logan Ryan and nickelback Kyle Arrington are the defensive backs during this particular exercise. 

If #HoldBallBob can release faster Santana Moss will record monster stats between the months of September and October. 

Griffin III’s playaction kind of fooled me but no — only I stared at Morris run through the gap without the ball. Griffin III is sacked. 

Redskins Personnel may have all the talent in the world but if it’s a coordinator problem then that spells trouble for their franchise. 

Rookie safety Ross Madison and safety Trenton Robinson and cornerback Richard Crawford didn’t communicate loud enough, which is why Mallett delivers a sweet pass to rookie Wilson Van Hooser. 

 

Washington Redskins’ mansion space for improvement

Just like last year, the Washington Redskins are going nowhere this season.

The team on paper is mouth-watering, a piece of rock candy that we swallow whole with our eyes. We build our rosters in Madden like Daniel Snyder and his front office builds his football team. And yet when we try to win in All-Madden mode, we don’t, because the team that we’re trying to manage comes down to this one issue. It revolves around the one thing it shouldn’t: self.

A mansion is awesome to own, but why live in it alone?

Yesterday I watched the Redskins Training Camp live from Richmond, Va., and noticed a few powerful scenarios.

Robert Griffin III’s drop back needs work.

Joe Flacco is working on his footwork this offseason.

Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts will do damage this season. This special unit reminds me of the 2008 Cardinals receiving corps: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston tripod that all surpassed 1,000 yards.

This feat also happened in D.C. in 1989: Art Monk (1,196), Gary Clark (1,229), Ricky Sanders (1,138).

Guys named Mark Rypien and Doug Williams quarterbacked that season.

Kirk Cousins is up there with the the best backup quarterbacks in the league. I’m stamping my prediction that Griffin III doesn’t finish all 16 games this season. Not because I’m a narcissist but because I see Jay Gruden giving Cousins a trial run. Why? Because he deserves a chance.

The Redskins offensive line needs to get lower when they run block. I watched the Patriots defensive line punish them for mistakes.

NFL Analyst Mike Mayock stated that he saw a legitimate starting quarterback in Tom Brady’s backup, Ryan Mallett. He’s a guru so I won’t argue but for the sake of argument, the Redskins secondary is nowhere close to where they should be. If Mallett puts up a 5/6, 39-yard down-field march against the Panthers or Ravens, that’s another story.

The Redskins special teams had Andre Roberts returning a few kicks. Is that safe? Is that smart?

Roy Helu is involved in a lot of their offense’s snaps. It’s not sayanara for Alfred Morris but I would be wamboozled by the head coach if he starts Helu over AM.

Single back formation. Repeat 10 times.

Jordan Reed, Jordan Reed. Blow up or deflate in 2014.

 

Redskins Training Camp Live

Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, Virginia

8:04 AM ET

There’s a calm breeze fighting to cool off the thousands of Patriots and Redskins fans gathered here on this muggy Monday morning.

Anticipations are supreme as excited fans stare at the practice field for the legendary Tom Brady and Washington’s third-year face of the franchise, Robert Griffin III.

Fans heckle and kill the buzz of this cheerful Cowboys fan walking the concourse of humiliation to find his seat. Good luck.

Players are making their way out 12 minutes prior to the official start time for practice (8:35 AMT ET).

Tom Brady spotted.

Both teams are out on the field. Patriot quarterbacks are warming up their arms. Griffin III loafing around. He jogs over to where the Patriots are stretching and shakes Josh Boyce’s hand.

A toddler in Patriots gear next to me is wailing … or cheering for Brady.

Redskins defense donning burgundy jerseys. Offense in white. Quarterbacks in red.

Kai Forbath and rookie Zach Hocker taking turns kicking field goals … from the opposition’s 35-yard line.

Andre Roberts takes the opening kick off to the house; nobody pursues the ball carrier after the whistle blows.

Chris Thompson returns kick offs, fast but again, everyone is going through the motions.

Nick Williams takes a few swings returning.

After special teams workout, both teams disperse and the Patriots defense start with feet drills. They wrap up after they go in and out of the half-round bags. Level of intensity is very high. Redskins are still standing around.

Patriots offense are doing lunges on the far end of the field.

Four minutes later, movement! Redskins defensive backs do lateral and backpedaling drills. #workthosefeet

Linebackers are back and forth using cones and finishing by catching passes. Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Gabe Miller, Adrian Robinson, Everette Brown, and Trent Murphy is a solid linebacking corps in my book. Now they’re doing stack and shed drills.

Darryl Sharpton, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Perry Riley Jr., Akeem Jordan, Jeremy Kimbrough, Adam Hayward and Rob Jackson are on another section of the field, doing backpedaling and ballhawking drills. Foot work+Reaction Time are integral factors in a linebacking corps’ success.

I realize I could be Deangelo Hall. He looks like an overgrown 13-year-old.

Wide receivers are aplenty, 11, enough to create a soccer team.

Aldrick Robinson has a tough pill to swallow.

I really don’t like Griffin III’s drop back.

Receivers run routes both ways. Hitches, slants, comebacks and fades. Comebacks were thrown from the shotgun formation. Fades were thrown by Griffin III, Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins from under center.

Griffin III hits Pierre Garcon along the rail. I’m jealous of that spiral and touch.

DeSean Jackson beats Darrelle Revis on a comeback pattern, aggressive and breaks on the ball.

Kirk Cousins throws the first pick of the day. Tavon Wilson on Lee Doss.

Jordan Reed on an out pattern, great pass+catch.

Two incomplete passes in series from Griffin III.

Revis has Jackson’s number. DJax can’t shake him off.

Garcon owns Brandon Browner on a slant pattern.

Santana Moss gets owned by Devin McCourty.

Some guy from the crowd with the “they’ll keep him as a mentor” proclamation. Never heard that one before. …

A. Robinson fries defensive back No. 27 T. Wilson, courtesy of Kaptain Cousins.

Griffin’s passes are sailing high, #PERTURBED.

Lee Doss beats rookie defensive back Justin Green–great ball placement by Kirk Cousins.

11 on 11 dreills. morris takes first carry for a gain of six.

On the flip side:

Brady heaves a perfect pass to a wide open receiver. Who I can’t really see from here but the lesson to be learned here is that the Redskins may blow their assignment.

Griffin III’s pass attempt to DJax sails right … Excellent coverage by Revis. Redskins offensive line is struggling to create holes for Alfred Morris.

Defensively the Patriots let a few deep balls get by them. Robinson burned the secondary for a score. …

The Pats’ O looked sharp? Or are the Redskins O still rusty?

Special teams unit working on squib kicks and surprise onside kick offs. too necessary. Not.

7-7 drills:

1. DJax vs Revis, Jax short hitch route complete.

2. Moss in the slot runs an inside drag — pass complete.

Kind man says “will you sit down if I give you a chair?

I turn around and there’s at least 40 people standing behind me.

Ted Bolser, Niles Paul both running with the 2s. Led by Kirk Cousins.

RGIII holds ball too long. Completes pass to Garcon on a broken play.

Jordan Reed hauls in a poorly placed ball (behind him).

Learn baby learn…

1st: Morris, Jackson, Griffin III, Reed, Logan Paulsen

2s: Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Reed, Moss

Colt McCoy completes a nice pass to Niles Paul — takes 3 seconds to get the ball out of his hands.

McCoy pumps right, double guesses himself and the pass sails. … much better option than backups Rex Grossman and Pat White though from 2013.

11 on 11:

1st pass too high. Brady’s in, 2nd pass to Julian Edelman on an inside drag route. Huge gain. 3rd pass complete to No. 80 Danny Amendola wide open in the flat. 4th pass complete to Edelman again, gets a nice pop from safety Ryan Clark. Fifth completion same pass complete this time to the left side. 5/6 on the opening drive.

Ryan Mallett … Derrick Johnson (rookie) burns Phillip Thomas on an out pattern. Rookie Justin Jones is wide open on a post route and connects between the safeties. Stevan Ridley blazes past the defense gain of 17.

Brady: Kenbrill Thompkins “beats” defense, wide open near the goal line. Brady floats one up for him but the defensive line stopped pursuit after Brady stepped up into the pocket. #PLAYitTHROUGH

Griffin III to Garcon, batted away by Darrelle Revis.

Roy Helu is in, while is trips left. … shotgun Griffin III, Roberts/DJax on his right. … pass complete to Reed on the weak side.

Redskins offense marches down field. Revis locks up Jackson. Revis locks up Garcon. Staring down Griffin III’s drop backs. … so far so OK.

Pass to Reed on a corner route perfect between Revis. Revis on left side.

Bon Secours Training Center

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#REDSKINSTRAININGCAMP

The Washington Redskins gathered for the second time on Sunday for their 4 o’clock walkthroughs. Spectators oh’ed and ah’ed with each snagged, and dropped, pass.

The Redskins are getting better by the day! How they’ll fare this season is completely up to them.

Here are some pictures I took for Redskins fans, enjoy!

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NFL Playoff Predictions: Wild Card Weekend

I’m half-naked right now (take that, your imagination) in a motel room (won’t specify where), updating my blog, because, well, Sports Center on ESPN won’t let me sleep. Poor Chris Paul.

My attempt to book a motel in Philadelphia failed (SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT BEFORE I PLANNED THIS SPONTANEOUS TRIP), so I’m somewhere … an hour away.

Look, don’t judge me. But do stare, at the teams who I think will punch their second hole on their ballots and proceed to the Divisional Round of the Pray-offs. Or Choke-offs. Whatevs.

Ready? Good.

CHIEFS 24 at COLTS 13#KCvsIND

At one point during the 2013 regular season, Kansas City’s defense ruled the League. I trust in Andy Reid.

SAINTS 28 at EAGLES 31 #NOvsPHI

Rookie head coach Chip Kelly has tricks up his sleeves. Guarantee it.

CHARGERS 26 at BENGALS 20 (OT) #SDvsCIN

Back and forth did they go, Ryan Matthews rushed for 124 yards in the snow

NINERS 20 at PACKERS 21

Don’t underestimate the power of the Packer … at Lambeau. Something magical is bound to happen, say, like a field-goal block to end the game.

Enjoy the WC Weekend! Good luck to your favorite team(s).

THREE BOLD PREDICTIONS: COWBOYS at REDSKINS

RGIII is not under center. A winning result for the ‘Boys does not secure them a playoff spot.

If Dallas does fall, the Philadelphia Eagles would need to beat/tie Chicago at the Linc. And if both NFC East teams lose (no shock there), then the Eagles will travel to Texas, to face America’s Team for the division’s title.

So let’s not compare this game to last season’s finale, when the red-hot Redskins picked off Tony Romo thrice in December and knocked them off the track to Disney.

Bold Prediction One: Coach Mike Shanahan Wants to Win Out, and Will

The Redskins turned over a new leaf last week (if new leaf is a football), handing backup sophomore quarterback Kirk Cousins starting duties for the second time in his career.

Cousins provided the missing spark for the Redskins offense, throwing 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and in the first half alone, 248 yards (381 total). Still his efforts fell short – literally by two yards – after Coach Shanahan decided to avoid overtime and go for two.

Oh and by the way, the 248 passing yards in the first half by Cousins was 1.6 yards more than RGIII’s game average this season (246.4). Red-iculous.

Bolder Prediction Two: Kirk Cousins Will Outplay Tony Romo, Because of Dallas’ Abomination on Defense

Scroll down to the bottom of this list and you will find,

The Dallas Cowboys are last in line.

No team does it better, no matter how hard they’d try

To blow a first-half, 23-point lead against the Packers, Dallas fans at home did cry

I don’t blame Tony Romo for changing the play. It’s not his fault that Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin, Andrew Quarles, and James Jones consistently blew past everyone (who’s not a defensive lineman) on Dallas.

Let me know if I’m getting too carried away. I’m not saying that I’m espoused to Cousins just yet (get your head out of the gutter), but the fashion that he surgerized the Falcons defense was enough to quickly pepper-spray most of my doubts about how he’d perform.

Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan should feast. … Jason Hatcher and George Selvie should feast. … Whoever has the last bite takes the cake.

Tony Romo PROJECTED Stats: 25/ 37, 256 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, Sacked twice, 10 rushing yards, 0 fumbles

Kirk Cousins PROJECTED Stats: 30/38, 304 passing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, Sacked three times, -3 rushing yards, 0 fumbles

BOLDEST Prediction Three: The Redskins Roar to Bittersweet Victory

Perennial inside linebacker London “The General” Fletcher is 99 percent certain he’ll retire after this season. The humble Ironman has started 239 games (254 total), making his first-string debut as a Ram in December 27, 1998 against the 49ers.

For the God-fearing linebacker, a victory in Landover, Maryland against his franchise’s storied rival is more than a befitting way to finish his 16-year career. It’s perfect.

Washington Redskins 30, Dallas Cowboys 27

Daniel Park at your service: Episode 1

I will share with you my experiences at the six… or seven… restaurants I’ve worked at over the years. Enjoy!

—– 2005 ——-

During the summer, I applied to Woo Lae Oak, a 3.5 star restaurant in Tysons Corner, VA.

I started as a food runner, logging in around 11 hours a day, sixty-five hours a week, everyday except Sunday.

My  (brother from another mother) who worked there vouched on my behalf, promising management that I was indeed a hard worker. I fulfilled his words with the quickness. Food running, though, wasn’t cool. Carrying heavy trays with … Korean food… back and forth and pre-bussing tables at this high-volume diner tortured the body.

A chef in the kitchen pulled me aside one afternoon and asked if I could teach him English. Without hesitation I complied. I sat down with him for an hour, once a week, in his Annandale apartment. Most of you preach that hindsight is 20/20, and it’s true. More than learning the language, the man wanted a goofy friend keeping him company on his days off. I lost his number though, and I still wonder how he’s doing.

—– 2006 ——-

This summer, I applied to Glory Days Bar and Grill. Assured that I could serve, I got the job. I’m now exercising more than silent service, and setting plates down for guests. Serving required us to do the whole nine: inform, interact and accommodate.

We were receiving $2.13 an hour, plus tips, then tipping out the bus-boys for their hard work. That was sarcasm.

I was still a shy high school student, and my lisp beat up my confidence. I found myself standing at a distance from my tables (so I don’t spit on them like Daffy Duck) whenever I addressed their questions and/or when I shared my clever jokes. I think they laughed at my failure to pronounce S-lettered words more than the hilarious joke itself. Shucks.

Ah yes, the Mystery Shopper Evaluation.

Jim, our boss, during a pre-shift meeting, promised $100 to whoever achieves a perfect score on the MSE. Results were in a week later, and my peers informed me that I had won.

“Go get the $100 from him,” they reminded.

Still that shy kid, I stepped into his office and politely asked if I could retain my prize.

Jim: no
DP: why
Jim: because the team as a whole needed a perfect score, that the hostess received a 90
DP: are you serious?
Jim: yes
DP: no way but you never said that in the pre-shift meeting
Jim: oh well I’m saying that now
Me: that’s unfair, can I go to management?
Jim: I am the management
Me: can I report this to corporate?
Jim: said are you out of your mind?
Me: somewhat, but I feel that I deserve this…

Jim snarls: OKAY YOU WANT IT? HERE TAKE IT, WHAT DO YOU WANT.

He aggressively rips out a few hundred dollar bills and couple twenties from deep inside his pocket, places them on the table, and hands me a crumpled up Benjamin. Poor Benny.

Why or how everyone in our restaurant witnessed the confrontation didn’t faze me — I stood up for myself and this, my readers, is how a Super Bowl champion is crowned. Battle in the trenches. Other servers congratulated me as if I’d just won the Nobel Peace prize. That was an exaggeration.

But, maybe that’s how Superman feels after he saves a plane from crashing into a baseball stadium.

Next Episode: Silver Diner and Fireside Grill.

#MNF 128-point underdog: Life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner episode 13

FFW13 Apologies for my hiatus. I’ve been in my car a lot recently, traveling from Springfield to Landover to Centreville to Gainesville for work — you know how bad it’d be if I were posting entries behind the wheel.

#DontPostAndDrive #Swerve Of course I’m bitter. I’m 4-8, about to go 4-9 – UNLESS RUSSELL WILSON PUTS UP 130 POINTS TONIGHT – why did I even bother to type that out?

If there is a 2014 fantasy football for Daniel (huge IF), I’ll make sure to write down a few caveats to follow and obey the warnings and traps my so-called friends set up for me to fall in.

From now on, I will be drafting the best playmakers on each team. Who cares – their city’s weather, their quarterback, their defensive woes – HooDaFudge cares.

If I had
kept Victor Cruz, Calvin Johnson, Fred Jackson and Giovani Bernard – I’d be holding not just a 7-6 record, but holding a ticket to our league’s postseason bracket.

But no, I have Adrian Peterson, Stevie Johnson and Denarius Moore. And we’ll all, yes, in reality, be watching our enemies clash in the 2013 NFL Playoffs.

I was wrong, but again, right at the same time. Fantasy Football, as much as you required me to research and prepare for the season, without luck – not Andrew – it’s impossible to win the lottery.

Maybe someday I’ll win when it matters – when I’m playing against the NFL.com’s Around the League writers. Yes Rosenthal, Hanzus, Wesseling, and Sessler and Patra … sooner than later.

Winning is sweet, if I remember the taste correctly. #Salty

In the shape of an “L” on her forehead: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 12

I feel like the pathetic girl that Smashmouth is singing about in, “All Star.”

Wipes tear. …

Image

Play: Usher’s hit song, “There Goes My Baby”

Change “Baby” to “Season”

Belch it out. Repeat.

3-7, SIGH.

No more crocodile tears left behind my football-shaped eyes.

I’m trying not to rhyme (it comes naturally), but is sympathy too much to ask for nowadays?!

The ONLY two that could rescue Chris out of his 33-point pit … decide to, “Hey, let’s put on our superhero costumes and rescue the wrong guy.”

Gee, thanks, Drew Brees and Dez Bryant – didn’t know you supported villains.

1. What stinks: 

I couldn’t ask for more from my sterling running backs, AP and Lacy.

2. What stinks more:

Chris didn’t change his lineup (Kyle Rudolph is OUT), but Drew Davis (from my squad) lays a goose egg. What in the damnation. …

3. What stinks most:

I had nobody else on my bench to play. Literally, McCluster, Dobson, Geno Smith, Ryan Succop took the weekend off and … sadly, Joseph Randle warped back into the dungeon where he belongs.

3-7 … I pray that I win out …

For unto us a 2nd win is born, life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 9

No venting. Let’s talk fantasy football.

FF W9

1. Sigh. I benched Russell Wilson because, well, I didn’t expect the man to surgerize the pretty-respected Cardinals defense. Their defensive line forced two Wilson fumbles, but Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu constantly got beat by Sidney Rice and Golden Tate.

Nick Foles left the game with a head injury, and Dallas’ D pounded the not-so-revolutionary-anymore Chip Kelly offense into powder on Sunday afternoon.

2. Rueben Randle showed up to work today per usual. What I hate about Eli Manning and his offense is this: any one of his talented receivers may find themselves statistically having a field day, on pace for setting another career-high. When Hakeem Nicks isn’t open, Victor Cruz is. When Cruz isn’t, then Randle is behind the secondary.

3. Joseph Randle (Cowboys) put up 13 points yesterday against the Eagles, and I’m somewhat regretting my decision of placing him on the bench. . . Adrian Peterson is a must-start, touche with Eddie Lacy . . .

#CrossingFingersNothingsHappensToAdrianPeterson

#CrossingFingersNothingHappensToAdrianPeterson

#CrossingFingersNothingHappensToAdrianPeterson

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN ON MNF:

A) Adrian Peterson runs for 3 touchdowns, 100 yards = 20 points
B) Blair Walsh = 5 extra points
C) Giants DBs shut down Greg Jennings = 2 points
D) Rueben Randle 5 catches, 80 yards, 1 TD = 12.5 points

Fantasy Football’s Comeback of the Century starts on Monday night.

Edited:

WHAT HAPPENED ON MNF:

A) Josh Freeman couldn’t engineer a drive because of obvious reasons and Adrian Peterson was shut down facing a defense who stacked eight in the box for most of the night.
B) Blair Walsh missed a field goal from afar, and the Vikings reached the endzone once – thanks to Marcus Sherels’ punt return
C) Greg Jennings was shut down
D) Rueben Randle = 3 – 40 – 1 : 9.25 points

Pulling an upset, even against your friends, requires insanity and confidence: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 8

So what if all the team owners in my League are complaining?

My commissioner reconfirmed that I’m getting banned for eternity if I don’t make the FF Postseason this year.

“My trades are too sporadic,” they cry. I do something blameless and Pontius Pilate stays fresh by washing his hands. !?Word?!

When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” – NASB, Matt. 27:24

No I’m not Jesus, but please let me walk my own plank. Shit – this could be my stairway to heaven for all you naysayers know.

They’re angry, duh. Who wouldn’t be … in hindsight?

Honestly though, if I’m sitting here with a 6-0 record (not 1-5), these people would still bemoan, “How the hell is ‘DP’ 6-0? OMG, now he thinks he knows more about football than the rest of us.”

But I don’t. I’ve told my commissioner that I despise FF prior to start of the season. I didn’t want to play, I thought it’d be a waste of cash, money I don’t have (yet). But he convinced me, and now I’m trying to turn things around, and now the cynical vultures criticize my moves. Why? I’m not scheming – that’s a promise. Daniel Park is trying to win six straight and make the postseason. That requires bold transactions.

Jack of All Trades

After trenchant deliberation and prayer, I accepted Andy’s trade offer.

Parks was sending me two “questionable” wide receivers (Williams+Johnson), the league’s best back (AP), Joseph Randle (who will spell Murray until he returns) and a non-threat wide receiver, Aaron Dobson.

Here’s why I did it:

1. Mike Williams, when healthy, is a dominant force for the Bucs offense. Tampa Bay is gradually ascending out of their ditch (Identity Crisis) with Mike Glennon behind center, and though Williams’ future matchups aren’t favorable, I could always start Denarius Moore without hesitation.

2.  Stevie Johnson, is similar to Williams. The Thad Lewis Experiment isn’t off to a bad start – they almost upended the Bengals without Johnson in last Sunday’s loss in overtime. I’m not thrilled about Johnson’s future matchups either – but it was the logical thing for me to do: steal #1 and #2 in a package deal.

3. AP / Joseph Randle for the price of one (Giovani Bernard) was an easy sendoff for me. Parks and I discussed how AP could experience a downswing due to the turbulence that he’s experiencing in his personal life. His two-year-old son passed away, and no father should bury their own child. The deciding factor in this acquisition wasn’t about the star running back’s potential depression, but Giovani Bernard’s future (@DET, NYJ, @MIA, @BAL, CLE, @SD and IND). I took into account that BJGE will share the load as the season unravels.

I am well aware that DeMarco’s return means saying farewell to Randle, but at least for now I’m less burdened with any of my “starting” running backs sharing carries with their backups. Hence the Fred Jackson release. To cut my stress in half again, I shipped F-Jax (who shares with C.J. Spiller) over to Parks so he could deal with it. Barring any setbacks or personal motives or freak injuries, Lacy, AP, and Randle won’t share the rock for a while. #CrossingFingersNothingHappensToAdrianPeterson

4. Yes, I sent Cruz and Calvin. Yes, I see the potential. But, take a look at Park’s team. Torrey Smith, Brandon Gibson, Tim Wright are weak plugs to fill in the gaps. Even Matt Ryan, his lone QB, is in a dire situation with only Tony Gonzalez and Harry Douglas to throw to.

This trade didn’t help his team at all, no where close to how you exaggerating drama queens are making of it. 

You do know that Roddy White is hurt, right?

My Team's New Look

The spit and rotten tomatoes are inevitable, people. I made this trade thanks to something we call “foresight.” The prescience, and not the present.

Definition of Prescience

#YouDoYouIWillDoMe

And then a Win was born: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 7

Ah! Finally. 

Now that, is a-how you WIN. I sure feel raunchy, however.

My friend had to forget to update his team’s roster. #NoComplaintsHere

1-5 !!!

1-5 !!!

Thank you, Fantasy Football gods.

Eddie Royal stubbed his toe running a play. He of course, was the reason why I lost my other FF League (in which I am 1-5 as well).

Trust issues: 

Started Donnie Avery (-.90) over Denarius Moore (15.45) due to favorable matchups. Must…Learn…To…Trust…Moore… Terrelle Pryor’s development (although obviously positive), scares me.

No hair, don’t care:

Andy may have started a pair of inactive wide receivers but that – ladies and gentlemen – is his fault for not waking up before 1:00 p.m.

I know him so it’s okay for me to say this: “You can’t spell Sympathy without HA.”

No Trade Backs: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 6

Man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

Man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

I’m Receiving: Cruz, Calvin Johnson and Denarius Moore

Cutting: Amendola, Welker, Gore and Smith.

Andy needs a running back (Frank Gore). I’m thin on healthy receivers (Cruz and Moore).

But remember my FF luck? After all the sowing and reaping, Johnson provided ME no food on the table.

0-5

0-5

Austin Pettis, thank you for your services. (What a scoop.)

I am wholeheartedly relying on F-Jax, Frank Gore’s replacement, to complete the task.

Again, we are a total wreck. Alex Smith slips a 10.4-turd into my Christmas stocking, Russell Wilson chuckles his butt off from the bench (26.2), and viable options (Randle/Donnie Avery) outshine Cruz and Calvin Johnson . . . the two fantasy studs that I traded for.

My FF team is officially dysfunctional.

My bench players totaled close to 100 points.

My bench players totaled close to 100 points.

This is embarrassing – I’m confused on who to start come Week 6.

Heart Breaker 2: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy owner Episode 5

0-4

0-4

I hate losing to Booty Call 757. Something about his username annoys me.

Ladies if you thought that you held most of the power to get your boys down –  think again.

This right here, losing by a hair, a split-end, puts me in a [expletive] mood.

Clearly. Just CLEARLY I was due for my 1st score, and now I . . .  sit here with my arms crossed and staring at this STUPID 0-4 record.

Goodness.

Whenever I bench Alex Smith (26.62) he thinks it’s funny and blows up. Russell Wilson’s matchup vs Houston, clearly enticing. Yet again trolls me (13.62) when he starts.

Giovani Bernard vs. Cleveland? Nah, I don’t trust the Bengals to run well. Wait. Of course they’d run well, they don’t allow 300-yard passers!

Who cares, when F-Jax (17.90) is screaming from the bench, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, I’VE BLOWN UP FOR YOU EVERY WEEK AND YET I’M STILL WARMING THESE SEATS!? C’MON SON!”

Get my act together…

Get my act together… I’m telling myself.

I over-studied and over-researched way too much preparing for this season.

Drastic measures . . . soon.

Together We Make Football @nfl

Before the fiery, redheaded orb makes its daily appearance my father is already awake, already driving to work in Washington, D.C.

For 15 years, the God-fearing head chef relentless work ethic and vicarious sacrifice has provided food on the table for the loves of his life: his mother, wife and two sons.

Oh the irony.

Lately I noticed the wrinkles worsening on the corners of my father’s eyes. Narrating the toil that he’s suppressed throughout the years are these marks, stretched longer than run-on sentences. The unspoken adversity he’s overcome in recent past has drawn lines on his mild-mannered palette. My father is exhausted, yet musters up the last bit of energy to laugh and smile – a grin warm enough to light a candle.

In 2000, I asked my mother for a ride to Ashburn, Virginia, where the Washington Redskins were holding Training Camp. Her response was a simple, “nope.”

I dealt with her reluctance. A week later she acquiesced, and chauffeured us to Ashburn – an hour-long trip from Silver Spring, MD. At the time this was a newsworthy headline for a woman whose excursions basically consisted of maneuvering a crusty Plymouth van to a church 12 minutes away.

I recall standing in awe while defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield, quarterback Jeff George, and little-known backup Todd Husak signed pages of my Redskins team guidebook.

“Is it clear yet?”

Joshua and Young (my best friends to this day) are watching the Dallas Cowboys game while I, as ordered, am adjusting the silver rods to improve the fuzzy images for their viewing pleasure.

I fiddle around with the antenna some more, “how about now?”

We munch on cheap, microwaved chocolate chip cookies inside Bella’s, a place most would describe as a hybrid pizza shop and a lousy convenience store. We’re the only three present.

“That’s Troy Aikman,” informs Josh, “great quarterback.”

Quarterback. This leadership role that traveled through space before landing on my lap; a position my peers beseeched me to play only because my arms flapped and stubby legs stumbled when I ran routes.

(I’m grateful for these wobbly chopsticks.)

Whether it was tackle-football in the rain during the summer months or brawls amid the November flurries, we – Josh, Young, Jee, and Da Bin – would practice for countless hours after Sunday service. On the grass or on street, “The Three Musketeers” shared a telepathy that no monitoring equipment ever created could sense. Football gave us the powers of concentration and synergy that professional players get paid for, but rarely achieve. Labeled as the PQB, or “Permanent Quarterback,” I’d captain our classic two-on-two battles – sharing half the glory and half the blame.

After my parents discovered that some kids at the elementary school were bullying me (for my Coke bottle-thick glasses), they panicked, packed their bags and moved our family to an apartment complex in McLean, Virginia. Their disposition to relocate to another state hurt; running away from the bullies meant jogging into more.

In eighth grade, to console my heartbreak, they allowed me to play football for the McLean Mustangs – 125-pound division. Fate or not, Coach Ed assigned me to start at quarterback.

We lost a majority of our games. The lone touchdown pass I threw all season – a game-winner with no time left – was called back due to a holding penalty by our center. Through every drubbing, my dad cheered from the sidelines. He, however, witnessed me return an interception for a touchdown against Braddock Road.

At a young age I learned that you can never practice enough.

To sharpen my accuracy, I threw Jenny (named my ball) at stop signs, poles, and the squirrels perched on trees trunks (no animals were hurt). For a while I fetched my own rebounds. In solitude, I challenged myself to refine my footwork – taking three, five, seven step drops – and beaming the football at the exact block on the brick wall that I hit on my first attempt. My compulsive behavior led to marked improvement. Alone I polished my skillset, believing that soon my chance would come.

An Eye for a Vision

I’ve been infatuated with Donovan McNabb ever since he and the Eagles obliterated the Chicago Bears in the Divisional Playoff Game in January 2002.

After (again) relocating to a new city, I begged my parents to let me try out for the West Springfield High School freshman squad. They complied. I auditioned for the lead role but was knocked down to fourth string. My height – no – experience was my downfall. Coach Mac placed me at cornerback, and I channeled my frustrations by destroying ball carriers.

My life however, took an intense U-turn during the middle of the season.

With a tearing retina, I could lose my eyesight with one vicious head-to-head collision. My concerned parents urged me to quit as the doctor advised me to refrain from playing contact sports.

Football

Post-retirement, my friends and I gathered at local fields to play pick-up games. Moving to three cities in a span of six years required me to build rapports with awesome people, and quickly adapt to dynamic wide receivers (Andy, Dwight, Antonio, David).

When a handful left for Virginia Commonwealth University, I served tables, studied at a community college, and attended the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii before transferring to VCU in 2008 (I was throwing around my football in Egypt). Upon my arrival, my football-loving buddies put me under center, my second home.

Better than quarterbacking for six championships, the timeless memories of hardship and happiness compiled during the four-year stint will remain with me for a lifetime. I apologize for the occasional stress I caused my teammates (especially in the huddle) and appreciate your (Chris, Joe, Danny, Brian, Joe C., Suhan, Narae, Alex, Sooji, Anna, Stephanie, Soyeon, Sonya, Abby) encouragement.

I will cherish your mentorship (all the screaming in my left ear to make smarter decisions), until I reach my career goal: to write for the NFL.

Like this story? Support me in NFL.com’s Together We Make Football Contest.

bgCo-ed Champs 2011Football Project 005

The nightmare begins: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy owner Episode 3

0-2

0-2

I trust in Russell Wilson (13.98) to outperform Alex Smith (24.22) in Dallas.

Right, of course starting Wilson and San Francisco Defense counterbalances each other you idiot.

😦

Nobody makes me cry more than Daniel Park does.

I start Eddie Lacy with high hopes. He leaves the game with a concussion.

Giovani Bernard is on the bench with 20.35 points vs. the Steelers, and I’m thinking … didn’t the Steelers shutout Chris Johnson Week 1 (25 carries, 70 yards)?

F-Jax runs for days against the Panthers (16.15). Thanks, C.J. Spiller, I thought you were getting the rock until “he throws up.”

Le sigh, Lance Moore’s wrist isn’t 100 percent healthy and now I can care less about points-per-reception.

I power-bomb Pettigrew off my roster and ink Brent Celek . . . who then proceeds to do nothing (0 pts.)

Whoopdee-doo, awesome sum of 63.13 points.

Pop the champagne bottles!

Three cheers — for the lowest points scored among the others that week.

Week 1 Plucky Predictions

Week 1 Poem and Lyrics

Here’s my handle (@imDPerent), for FN readers who disagree with these savvy picks. I’ll honor your courage – even if it’s telling me that I’ve lost my mind – and will favorite each of your tweets.

BAL 20 @ DEN 31 #DENvsBAL

Welcome to the wild, wild Wes-tWelker! The firepower on the Broncos offense is (hands down) the best in the League this year. Good questions to ask: How does Torrey Smith respond to his responsibilities as a primary receiver? What percentage of the Denver playcalls are run? Watch the Manning’s Gun Show at Mile High tonight, as the Denver’s Sheriff puts on a clinic for his fans — shooting memories of their last meeting with the Ravens (playoff loss) to rest.

Updated: The Broncos pistol offense is renamed: bazooka-offense. To answer the questions above: Jacoby Jones left with a sprained knee, and Torrey Smith despite a good game statistically, wasn’t the go-to man as TE Dallas Clark and Ray Rice caught eight apiece. The Broncos ran the rock 23 times and Manning attempted 42 pass attempts, signifying that Denver ran 35 percent of their total 65 offensive playcalls. Many experts are arguing that the Broncos running back situation is a tad too crowded – no breathing room for either of them to outshine the other. When that matters in fantasy, in reality I feel that it works out for their style of play. It keeps defenses surprised (maybe hesitant is a better word for it). What do you think about the Broncos’ running back rotation? I want to hear your thoughts, trust/tweet me @imdperent.

NE 24 @ BUF 13 #NEvsBUF

If only Tom Brady could play permanent quarterback for this game — if only. The Bills captured two former Cardinals (Kevin Kolb, Matt Leinart) and let Ryan Fitzpatrick go. Regretting that move or not, it’s too late; rookie E.J. Manuel will start behind center and face a team that knows how to crush the souls of rookie quarterbacks. Injury-prone C.J. Spiller was told that he’d be ‘given the ball until he throws up‘, but I’ve already clicked ‘Call Any Bet’ on my bluff detector. Prove me wrong, please, Mr. Nathaniel Hackett (Bills OC).

SEA 21 @ CAR 24 #SEAvsCAR #SylvesterFinallyCatchesTweety

UPSET ALERT: Poor Seattle, this is their third (excluding presesason) consecutive game that’s on the east coast. Understand that the acquistion of Percy Harvin was soley to add another dimension to that offense and mitigate the workload for running back Marshawn Lynch this year. Harvin’s hurt, but it shouldn’t add or subtract any doubt that Russell Wilson is incapable of throwing for 26 touchdowns, again. Sympathize more for Cam Newton, who plays the hero role every week with his aging sidekick and receiving specialist Steve Smith. Carolina’s defense is clearly on the rise, and practicing against Newton makes it a lot easier for their front seven to prepare for Wilson and his antics.

CIN 14 @ CHI 27 #CINvsCHI

Marc my words and trust in the Trestman. Chicago’s defensive unit is ridiculously good. In addition to the playmaking abilities of defensive backs Tim Jennings, Charles “Peanut” Tillman, Major Wright and Chris Conte, a few members of the front seven: Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams could definitely help stand their ground at home. Expect the defense, not the offense, to quickly deflate the ballooned expectations that the Bengals bring to this game.

MIA 17 @ CLE 20 #MIAvsCLE

Why? Because Mike Wallace pulls his hamstring late in the third – after he blows by Browns cornerback Joe Haden. Ryan Tannehill overthrows his receiver, only because he’s on the ground wincing in pain.

MIN 28 @ DET 35 #MINvsDET

Both team’s secondaries are shaky. Matt Stafford cleans up his horrendous preseason act by tossing beauties to The Magician (Calvin Johnson‘s hands makes balls disappear), and ultimately outshines his friend Ponder (who fortunately throws a pair of touchdowns).

OAK 21 @ IND 23 #OAKvsIND

Why so darn close? Without an (truly) established run game, Andrew Luck and offense will divide the time of “clicking” and “not clicking.”

In moments of the latter, the Oakland Raiders will capitalize on the Colts’ turnovers by providing Terrelle Pryor and his teammates with good field position – ultimately keeping this game neck-to-neck until the final whistle blows.

KC 30 @ JAX 19  #KCvsJAX

Expect a few dazzling highlight reel-esque plays from both running backs MJD and Jamaal Charles. What else is there to say? Let the action commence. Pay attention to how Andy Reid exploits the Jacksonville defense (an easygoing warmup by the way) with Charles and Dwayne Bowe. This game comes down to how accurate Alex Smith is (70% in 2012) and/or how well the Jaguars offense manages to hold onto the ball. Time of possession is the deciding factor and my prediction spills it all – the Chiefs will score on at least 6 of their 8 drives.

ATL 37 @ NO 38 #ATLvsNO

Choose one: both defenses are suspect, OR neither defenses are suspect. In the pistol offense, Matt Ryan will throw for multiple touchdowns but his last one will fall short, into the hands of an underrated safety Malcolm Jenkins. Ryan will underthrow a wide open Julio Jones on the rail, extinguishing all chances of setting up Matt Bryant to kick a game-winning field goal. Ouch.

TB 24 @ NYJ 15 #TBvsNYJ

With this mentality to torture the rookie quarterback behind a crooked line – not shaky, crooked – and you will win. Geno Smith isn’t ready. Please surprise me. Doug Martin will record 150 yards from scrimmage, and HC Greg Schiano might keep the Jets defense honest. The Jets, I’m thinking, will move the chains with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell until it withers away or rots up like an old (gangrene) apple.

Ten 30 @ PIT 35 #TENvsPIT

Too high scoring for your taste, eh? Well get used to it. I believe in the KB, that’s right, Kenny Britt. Of course Jake Locker will underperform – only seven of those 30 projected points. The two other touchdowns will be thanks to a resurgent Chris Johnson behind a rejuvenated Titans offensive line. Watch how rookie Chance Warmack holds his section of the fort. Ben Roethlisberger will zip away his passes under the Pittsburgh sun per usual.

GB 38 @ SF 41 (OT) #GBvsSF

Both offenses will go 3-and-out a max number of three times. Colin Kaepernick makes his first start of a 16-game campaign and he’s in a good mood, damn right he is. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are ready to dump out the trash at Candlestick, especially after Kaerpenick kissed his biceps once too many times in the playoff confrontation last January. Watch for Eddie Lacy’s confidence when he squeezes through the middle gaps and how well he braces himself for the menacing linebacking squadron of the 49ers: Bowman, Willis and Smith. 

AZ 18 @ STL 20 #AZvsSTL

Safety. No I did not bust one loose – but I do smell a safety in St. Louis credits to a honeybadger who goes by the name of Tyrann Mathieu. Here’s how it happens: Arizona punts the ball to rookie Tavon Austin. Austin calls for a fair catch, and muffs the punt. The pigskin rolls to the 1-yard line. On first down, the Rams’ attempt to run it out of the endzone fails. On second down, Mathieu is sent on a cornerback blitz and tackles second-year Daryl Richardson in the endzone. The Cards take the lead, 18-17, but give the ball back into the hands of Sam Bradford with four minutes left. They drive down the field, manage the clock wisely (a few wide receiver endarounds with Tavon Austin here, a few slip screens to Richardson there) — and voila, a field goal by Young GZ (Greg Zuerlein) seals the deal.

NYG 23 @ DAL 30 #NYGvsDAL

Mind you, the game is, in actuality, 30 to 9 Dallas up until the fourth quarter. Forget about Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Miles Austin…for a second. Think big. Think Dallas. Imagine Sean Lee, Demarcus Ware. Dream Anthony Spencer, Brandon Carr. Welcome to the Monte Kiffin Era, now enjoy your first win against the Giants at your new stadium. #Finally #SheeshTookForever

PHI 40 @ WAS 24 #PHIvsWAS

Yes I see the Eagles scoring 10 points per quarter. Yes I see the Redskins front seven growing tired throughout the course of the game because their inexperienced defensive backs constantly blow their assignments. Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense style is to physically drain defenses out, (picture writhing a soaked towel). Welcome back Orakpo, Kerrigan needs ya here. Cofield is ‘hopeful’ and Brandon Meriweather, uncertain. The Eagles depth on defense is more than capable to stabilize RGIII’s efficiency. IMO, he’s not on the same page with his receivers right now – maybe not even in the same book – and no doubt about it would the Redskins beat themselves.

HOU 24 vs SD 20 #HOUvsSD

Stop joking, Coach Kubiak! When asked if he’s set a carry limit for Arian Foster, Kubiak cheesed, ’42.’ That’s not funny. Because if Foster does touch the ball 42 times…I need to tweak that score. Expect mistakes from San Diego‘s defense. Yes, a lot of misses: mishaps, miscues, and miscommunication. Watch for how these pairs gel together throughout the four quarters: Manti Te’o and Dwight Freeney, Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes, and Marcus Gilchrist and Eric Weddle.

Fantasy Journey: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy owner Episode 1

League: OHHHHHHMAZING LEAGUE

Username: dp_kelly

Avatar: Head Coach Chip Kelly

Auction Draft Position: 1st overall

What went down:

1. (1) Phil Dawson (SF – K) $1 – obviously I play it cool
2. (25) San Francisco (SF – DEF) $7 – I’ll let the others do the nominating
3. (27) Steve Smith (Car – WR) $12 – Great quarterback, solid purchase
4. (37) Russell Wilson (Sea – QB) $15 – $15 for a sophomore QB coming off a Peyton Manning-rookie-type year (26 TDs)
5. (39) Lance Moore (NO – WR) $6 – Points Per Reception King
6. (49) Eddie Lacy (GB – RB) $22 – I was outbid for Reggie Bush
7. (61) Wes Welker (Den – WR) $29 – I’ve money to spend
8. (64) Frank Gore (SF – RB) $22 – Aging but fine wine
9. (71) Danny Amendola (NE – WR) $21 – Moore, Welker, Amendola looks solid on any given sheet
10. (75) Giovani Bernard (Cin – RB) $15 – No one knew
11. (97) Brandon Pettigrew (Det – TE) $1 – Desperate for TE
12. (101) Miles Austin (Dal – WR) $15 – PPR Kings
13. (104) Daryl Richardson (StL – RB) $14 – Why not, I like him
14. (109) Fred Jackson (Buf – RB) $5 – In hindsight: What a really really cheap deal
15. (121) Alex Smith (KC – QB) $1 – Sweet goodness of sweetness
16. (133) Zach Sudfeld (NYJ – TE) $8 – Overpay much?
Unused – $6

 

I’m sleeping good tonight. I like the flexibility that my team offers. It’s well-rounded, my backups could very well start any given Sunday and produce.

Toodles.

Daniel Park’s Fantasy Football Yahoo Draft 2013

“Underachieved” is an understatement.

As cozy as it sounds, a group of NFL fanatics cooped up in Mr. Brian Sato‘s living room was everything but warm and fuzzy.

I plopped down on the poofy couch but was overwrought. I tried, trust me, to take my own advice “DON’T PANIC. EVER,” but the opposition was too strong.

Reviewing my research 20 minutes prior to Draft time, I duped myself into thinking that everything would unravel perfectly. My position was indeed, what I secretly desired all this time. Yeah. Someone reading this, please create a time machine, beckon me in, and take us back 12 hours.

Enough of my dopey whining. Here’s how I did:

1st Round Sixth Pick; Seahawks RB, Marshawn Lynch
Trust me. I vomited in my mouth when Antonio took LeSean McCoy 2nd overall. It was a great move on his part, kudos, but wow no one expected him to be this ballsy. T. Rich from CLE, Ray Rice (BAL), or Arian Foster (HOU) remained, but Lynch stuck out to me like Janet Jackson‘s nipple in Super Bowl 38’s Halftime Wardrobe Malfunction Show in 2004 (welcome back, JT and N’SYNC). For starters, Russell Wilson is a quarterback under development of shepherd and head coach of the Seahawks, Pete Carroll. As a rookie, Wilson threw 26 touchdown passes with 10 interceptions in 2012. He’s proven that he’s capable of tossing nearly 2 TDs a game. My olfactory senses are picking up a sophomore slump roasting in Seattle this year, and the loss of Percy Harvin to an ACL injury does their offense no better than the previous. This means that RB Lynch will (crossing fingers) carry the load once again (315 attempts).

2nd Round; Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
My friend swiped Megatron’s pal Optimus Reggie Bush off the board right before I did, making my decision that much easier. I predicted that the best quarterback in the league, Aaron Rodgers, would (obviously) not be available in the 3rd round, nor did RB Stevan Ridley and David Wilson from the Giants catch my eye. The quarterback will reap in $40 million in 2013, Jermichael Finley hands look improved (for now), and if their offense establishes a running game early, then the Packers will prosper come wintertime.

3rd Round: Falcons RB Steven Jackson
My fingers slipped with this pick. Frank Gore and Darren Sproles shouted for me from the crowd – I was too busy staring at Jackson’s high rank. He was the ranked 34th, and the next runningback hovered from a distance. I don’t believe he’ll be the best value for Fantasy. In Real Life football, he will definitely contribute as a role player for the Falcons offense. But in the Fantasy World, the aging runningback who’s been on a statistical decline since 2006 (honestly, be real), won’t be rushing for 1,000 yards especially with solid QB play from Matt Ryan. 

We see Jackson being used to close out games (remember their 17-point lead against the 49ers in the NFC Championship?). That means that Jackson will run for an extra 50 yards at the end before they kneel the ball and scoring drives will result in field goal attempts (that is unless they’re within 10 yards from the endzone).

4th Round: Saints WR Marques Colston
This pick refreshed my emotions of regret from the last selection. Colston is a threat-to-score-six at least once a game, and his production’s burgeoned annually since the season he injured his thumb (2008). Look. Jimmy Graham  or not, Drew Brees’ rapport with Colston commenced when Brees was brought in from San Diego (2006), when the wide receiver was just a seventh-round pick and rookie from Hofstra. Together they endured memorable years — and barring any setbacks, 2013 could be the season that MC sets a career-high.

5th Round: Dolphins WR Mike Wallace
This one-trick pony (out of all the veteran wide receivers) is IMO, the steal of this draft. He’s been successful in freezing temperatures up in Pittsburgh, has he not? 32 touchdowns in 48 games? Drafted in 2009, Wallace has yet to play a full season since 2010 – but the electrifying receiver will light up Miami’s offense on fire (in a good way) and allow the strong-armed Ryan Tannehill to launch away under the sun. #CantWait

6th Round: Rams WR Tavon Austin
Sam Bradford’s other option is this year’s sleeper WR Chris Givens. Austin Pettis and Brian Quick are reliable, too but aren’t as sought out as Givens or Tavon Austin. Coach Jeff Fisher won’t talk about how the team will be utilizing Austin’s assets, so for now his explosiveness will be contained in the confines of today’s NFL.com article.

7th Round: Falcons QB Matt Ryan 
Life is not fair, you know that. For Matt Ryan to be available this late, I couldn’t prevent myself from adding extra icing to the cake. Of course, I’m aware I have A. Rod., which gives me leverage later when or if the Packers legend gets injured. It gives me flexibility to start either/or quarterback based on their matchups, and ultimately Ryan is great eye-candy for those in my league who want to rid an under-performing Cam, Matt Stafford, or even RGIII. #TradeBait

8th Round: Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon 
Ahem. I was away from my laptop as my pick timer waned and my sly friends, they stayed quiet. I ran over, saw 20 seconds left, foraged through the draft board like a mad man and Blackmon enticed me. Right, He’s suspended for the first four games and will be back Justin time for the Rams, a great game to regain his confidence. They then play the Broncos, Chargers, 49ers, Titans…and I’m in love with this selection.

9th Round: Patriots TE Zach Sudfield 
With Aaron Hernandez most likely out, Sudfield is a must-have.

Defense Philadelphia

Kicker Ravens Justin Tucker

Bench:

Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce, Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels, Atlanta Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Cincinnati Bengals WR Andrew Hawkins, Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert, Green Bay Packers WR Jonathan Franklin

Yahoo Fantasy Football Mock Draft 2013

I have perfected my fantasy football drafting skills (for the upcoming season). Ah, that feeling.

With the ninth choice in the snake draft here are my results:

Round 1 (9) – Jamaal Charles (RB – KC)

The key to the FF draft is DON’T PANIC. EVER. You have a thousand players on the board, relax. Among the runningbacks Charles, Alfred Morris , Matt Forte, and CJ2K (the list goes on), the Chiefs (seemed) to have the easiest schedule. With new acquisition Head Coach Andy Reid, look for Alex Smith to check down his receiving options and dump it off to a wide open and super-quick Charles on his swing routes along the coast of the line of scrimmage. Rookie Eric Fisher (Central Michigan) is capable of playing multiple positions (guard, tackle) and is expected to make a huge impact on the offensive line that’ll protect former 49ers QB Alex Smith ahd open holes for Charles and McCluster.

Round 2 (16) – Maurice Jones-Drew (RB – JAC) 

I would’ve slapped myself in the face if I passed up MJD.  I’ve now two dynamic runningbacks on my team. MJD is durable and a workhorse, I expect him to bail Blaine Gabbert/Chad Henne when they’re struggling late in games. And don’t forget. Runningbacks that play in warm-weather games (Jacksonville, Fl) flourish.

Round 3 (33) – David Wilson (RB – NYG)

I crossed my fingers for Reggie Bush to stay afloat. Of course not. But for insurance reasons, I picked up an extra runningback that was a hybrid of MJD and Charles. Fortunately enough, Wilson called out, and I extended my hand … and clicked “Draft.”

Round 4 (40) Wes Welker (WR – DEN) 

Flip a coin: heads, Welker, tails Decker. In Denver, every one is a primary target for Sheriff Manning. It’s true, the gunslinger doesn’t favor anyone above the others, it sometimes appears that way. He may target a wideout more than the other, but that doesn’t always mean it’s a completion. Welker is a beast until proven otherwise – don’t doubt the wise man from the slot.

Round 5 (57) Anquan Boldin (WR – SF)

I’m comfortable with my three running backs. I learned a valuable lesson last year: don’t need more than three. I confess my biases. I love Boldin. He developed and gained the trust of Joe Flacco in the quarterback’s third year in Baltimore, and I believe with the wisdom and attained from experience (and a Super Bowl ring), the wide receiver will enhance Colin Kaepernick’s development in San Francisco.

Round 6 (64) Mike Wallace (WR – MIA)

Two possession receivers are enough for me. What must I do now? That’s right. Pick up the best deep threat out there on the board. That plays in warm weather (again with the sunny weathered teams). Call it love, call it lust, whatever you want. All I know is that Wallace may blow up out of the Miami water like a huge marlin (or dolphin) in 2013.

Round 7 (81) Michael Vick (QB – PHI)

My favorite team. Not my favorite quarterback. This new Chip Kelly thing excites me. He’s looked sharp in the three preseason games that they’ve won. Intrigue me more.

Round 8 (88) Zach Sudfield (TE – NE)

I don’t know about you but, is the sky blue? This pick had to be done this early.

Round 9 (105) Emmanuel Sanders (WR – PIT)

It only makes sense when Sanders proves his worth on the Steelers with 83 receptions and 1,198 yards. Until then, don’t question my logic.

Round 10 (112) Bernard Pierce (RB – BAL)

Flaccco is sick with the Super Bowl flu and the running game might cure the offense’s/QB’s hangover this season like a bowl of boiling pho’. Never tried Pho? You’re missing out. When Ray Rice sits, the Pierce leads. I like my backups…that backup superstars.

Aaron Dobson (129)

Philadelphia (136)

Dan Bailey (153)

Brandon Lafell (160)

Tyler Eifert (177)

Buffalo Bills at Washington Redskins

Really?  I mean, seriously?

Thanks to the Bills’ lack of quarterback-manship, the Redskins played a well-rounded game. well-rounded, but not solid.

LASTI(NG) IMPRESSION
40 minutes. Fine, 38 minutes and 52 seconds, to be exact. In that time frame (which is plenty of time), the fighting match for Washington’s QB3 position unraveled.

Let’s all take a moment of silence for poor ol’ Coach Mike Shanahan. Aside from notes he’s already had from watching practice and their previous two games, Coach Shanahan didn’t learn anything from today’s evaluation.

Sorry, but we’re all aware that Pat White goes to his left and runs the read-option slower than RGIII, and Rex Grossman will forever throw off his back foot and overcompensate for his “superior” arm strength.

And that’s what we spectators spectated. OC Kyle Shanahan rushed to the right hash mark to create ample space for White to comfortably run the ball into the endzone. Besides the six points from his legs, White overthrew his receivers twice when throwing to his weak side and hit his wideouts in stride when crossing through the middle.
7/14 96 yards 3 rushes 26 yards 1 TD

Rex Grossman struck gold in the endzone, hooking up with the Redskins No. 1 receiver Pierre Garcon.
Grossman’s gross performance was almost forgotten when slot wideout Santana Moss managed to catch a risky pass in good coverage and ran for an extra 30 yards on third down.

Grossman returned to poor form shorty after that and the Redskins offense again sputtered in the redzone like broken garden sprinklers.

The final preseason game tape should (hopefully) be enough for coach Shanahan to decide which link is weaker between the two.

Amerson did not impress me this evening. He clapped his hands on the play Stevie Johnson fumbled the pigskin – but the rookie cornerback missed the tackle. The rookie played like a youngster should, overdoing it on the respect (cushion between DB/WR) on X down-and-short situations.

New England at Detroit: What To Look For

Depending on coaching styles, starters may or may not see more playing time this weekend. Some quarterbacks will be behind center, in drives up until the middle of the third quarter, presumably based on the head coach’s discretion and ultimately their satisfaction with their assessments.

As players are getting weed-whacked off roster lists and personnel coaches are trimming down their depth charts, here’s what NFL Fankind needs to direct their focus on tonight in the Patriots/Lions matchup.

The Lions showed both aggressive and passive identities in their first two matches. Versus the Jets, Matt Stafford completed a lousy total of 3 passes (3/8) all to Calvin Johnson for 58 yards. That formula last season equaled a 4-12 answer. Detroit must diversify their play calling.

Ghana rookie Ezekiel ‘Ziggy’ Ansah picked off a Mark Sanchez pass and returned it for a defensive touchdown. Good for the rookie’s confidence. So-called ultra-threat Reggie Bush rushed for five yards on three carries against the Jets.

In the scrimmage against the Cleveland Browns, Bush didn’t impress. He rushed for 15 yards on eight attempts. CJ1.9K didn’t play, which is why Bush hauled in five passes for 44 yards. Again, the problem emerges: a running back shouldn’t be the leader in the Receivers stat column, even in a winning effort (they lost to the Browns). Detroit’s defense is showed problems of the past. It’s still early but when quarterbacks Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, Mark Sanchez, Kellen Moore and Shaun Hill have easily solidified their candidacies on their respective depth charts, thanks to the Lions.

Opposing quarterbacks statline: 49/65 559 yards passing 5 TD, 1 INT, 8.6 Yards per Attempt, 75 percent accuracy

The Patriots sport one of the deepest pockets in their backfield. Behind Tom Brady, men named Stevan Ridley, Legarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen are all more than capable of carrying the load. Knowing Tim Tebow‘s skillset, they may consider him a running back (with an arm!), too.

If you’re rooting for Tebow to make the team, take notes on how he drops back and throws the ball as opposed to tucking it in and scrambling out of the pocket. The quarterback definitely gets too jittery at times and Coach Bill Belichick hates (I think) his QBs with insecurity issues. Remember, this is the final season of BB’s contract and it’s a fragile time in New England right now.

It’s Belichick-Mate for the Patriots if they miss the playoffs this season, and as far as we can tell, the AFC East crown is theirs to keep. No one today affiliates the Dolphins, Jets, and Bills with “teams on the rise,” so if the Pats can steady their boats through stormy weather, they’ll creep into the playoffs.

Go long, until next time.

Philadelphia spring cleaning; Eagles undergoing surgery

Ah, how the stomachs have churned.

The Philadelphia Eagles enter the 2013 offseason looking up at the sky.

Indeed, with no team in the NFC East finishing worse than 4-12, up is the only direction for our national emblem representatives.

The bald eagles from Philadelphia recorded less wins than the chirpy Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West (5-11).

It’s sad to say because the Cards started their 2012 season off with an astounding four wins, including this obliteration of the Eagles in Week 3.

To add salt to the wound, the mighty Eagles were clipped by the paws of their identical-record-twins, the Detroit Lions (4-12) in five, not four, quarters of play.

This actually, as hard as it is for me to type this after this upcoming comma, crowns the Eagles as the Worst Team in the NFC period.

The Eagles won four games of 16 by a total margin of six measly points, beating Cleveland by one, Baltimore by one, New York Giants by two, and Tampa Bay by two. Did I mention measly?

Starting the 2012 season 3-1 (ahem, you beat the Super Bowl champs) by differentials thinner than a supermodel’s waist size – did the team no justice. Winston Justice, they needed you.

Now if you’re an Eagles fan, I’d hope that you saw the loss to Arizona coming. The midnight-green were rightfully pummeled.

Okay, that’s enough. No Eagles fan wants to read more on these unfriendly reminders like the four parking tickets they have stashed away in their closets.

Cowboys, Giants and Redskins fans, this is where you close this window. I warned you…

Uncertain but Certain:

I’m not sure how quickly the Eagles could turn their misfortune around. In 2011, head coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers took a bland roster that went 6-10 the year before and magically whipped the squad into a 13-3 team. New Orleans Saints’ head coach led a team that finished 3-13 in 2005 to the conference title game in his first year as head coach.

Could former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly pull off this incredible feat?

Perhaps.

There’s an unspoken period (three years) that NFL owners are willing to wait with hopes to reap what they’ve sewn. Owner Jeff Lurie is, to my understanding, a patient man when he’s all-in with the right man.

We know that coach Kelly prefers to work at a fast pace, but in satisfying Lurie’s dreams, he should pace himself. The city of Philadelphia wouldn’t mind watching him grind out his contract (five years, $32.5 million) – as long as he takes five years to achieve a playoff berth.

Eagle fans, right now you’re all probably feeling what I’m feeling with all the heavy renovation: vulnerable.

Starting from Head to Toe:

The ‘head’ of your organization needs a strong ‘neck’ to rest on. The ‘neck’ represents the reliable assistants that head coach Chip Kelly will lean on all season.

The ‘upper-body’ of a team represents the sturdy hands of their receivers and their willingness to block for LeSean McCoy or Bryce Brown (or Felix Jones, Chris Polk and rookie Matthew Tucker), and the forearms of the offensive linemen coupled with their inner-drive to protect the quarterback.

I also hold a profound inkling: ex-Houston Texans tight end James Kasey and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer wide receiver Arrelious Benn will make an immediate impact on offense.

Before I add anything to that, there’s this other tidbit I need to get off my chest. The Eagles, you see, should sign a thicker and taller receiver. I’m not too enthusiastic by the 1-2 punch they have in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, especially because they weigh less than 200 pounds.

I do not condone playing lights-out football until mid-October and being stuck with the consequences when inclement weather hits the muddy fields (when it matters) in December.

Maclin recorded 353 yards in the month of a 1-5 December (beating the Bucs under the sun) — probably because Jackson ended up on injured-reserve after Week 12.

Football is a tough sport. And I promise I don’t mean for this to rub any of you the wrong way, but signing a winter-reliable wide receiver will improve the Eagles’ chances during playoffs time.

Avid Eagles fans realize that their offensive line statistically, eh who am I kidding, clearly didn’t live up to their hype.

How could they have?

Most of the offensive linemen sustained injuries: Todd Herremans was placed on the season-ending injury reserve list with an ankle injury, All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters tore his Achilles tendon twice in the offseason, center Jason Kelce tore knee ligaments in Week 2 and Danny Watkins missed two games with an ankle injury.

It’s a depressing story, poor left guard Evan Mathis.

Giving up 48 sacks and a league-high 118 “hits on quarterback,” Foles and Vick wasn’t exactly the popular topic of discussion during dinner.

When I heard them say, “Michael Vick’s back!” I had no idea that they meant literally, his spinal cord.

Under the durable chests of the offensive line, are quarterbacks – the squeaky heart and soul of the body: Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon and rookie Matt Barkley. That list looks a bit mum but don’t let your eyes deceive you. Remember, Coach Kelly knows best.

Michael Vick will undergo a makeover for the ages and possibly reappear in tip-top shape (hopefully Atlanta Falcons form). You wish I could take it even further and say he’ll return as the quarterback he was at Virginia Tech. Sorry, for my fingers won’t let me officially type that in.

The legs and feet on the body are the special teams and defensive unit.

Kickers and punters are people, too. The feet of kickoff and punt returners will change the longevity of this sport.

Defense wins championships, especially the Super Bowl. The 2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2011 Giants and 2008 Steelers would agree. Truthfully, I’m still shaken up about the Eagles signings on defense.

Former outside linebacker Connor Barwin and 49ers’ defensive end Isaac Sopoaga — understandable. Pat Chung and Kenny Phillips? I’m a bit upset. The acquisition of those defensive backs doesn’t massage my body right. I knew I shouldn’t have eaten that Chipotle burrito in the car with Nnamdi Asomugha. Rams cornerback Bradley Fletcher and former Ravens cornerback Cary Williams? Ho-hum.

It’s only June.

Maybe, maybe three months from now, Eagles fans will finally say to their fellow NFC Eastern friends, “Oh how the tables have turned.”

How great would this be?

As Christians, we are to wholeheartedly believe in the validity of this phrase: “Nothing is new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.)

Yes in hindsight, this verse guarantees me that Tom Brady is supposed to be the modern day Joe Montana, Aaron Rodgers is the contemporary Steve Young and, as much as I disagree, Phillip Rivers is-uh, Dan Marino (because of their funky throwing motions?). Apparently nothing hasn’t been “seen before” and events throughout history will eventually balance out on this invisible fulcrum that we Christians simply label as, ‘faith’ (believing without proof).

I found out an amazing fact though. For some unfamiliar reason, there hasn’t been a season in which every single team finished with 8-8 records. Yes, I checked every year since 1920, when the Akron Pros finished in first place with an 8-0-3 record. Is it too unrealistic?

I wonder if it will happen in our lifetimes. Why not the 2013-2014 season? Debating if team chemistry is more important than talent is a stark issue but when you fuse both of the topics together there should be a slight chance that every team could tab eight wins and lose eight games; and confuse the world when it’s time to determine who receives their playoff-berth certificates and who unfortunately won’t.

Colin Dapper-nick will need to look exceptionally sharp on Super Bowl Sunday

Colin Kaepernick, rising junior, future super star

Colin Kaepernick, rising junior, future super star

If you consider yourself religious and fashionable, can I guess that church-Sunday is your favorite day of the week?

On Super Bowl Sunday, Colin Kaepernick, or Dapper-nick as I like to call him, will have to put on more than just his usual crimson-red 49ers jersey–he’ll have to put on the best show that he’s ever televised since his first start in 2012 against the Chicago Bears. That amazing episode.

Do not let his lanky 6-foot-4 frame fool you, his daddy-long legs will leave you biting dust if you pursue him at the wrong angle. The 25-year-old’s jersey number, the same as Michael Vick’s, was called upon after Alex Smith went down with a concussion in the tilt vs. the St. Louis Rams.

Kaep rose to the occasion, yet ended in a 24-24 tie. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh stuck with his gut and handed the keys to the bus of their franchise to. ……………………… a 25-year-old sophomore.

The inexplicable, but fortunately correct, decision has paid off for Harbaugh and his coaching career after bus driver Colin Dapper-nick has driven his team safely to New Orleans, their second-to-last stop. The fuel that the bus runs on is vengeance and motivation.

It will be a glorious day to hoist the trophy for Frank Gore (8), Isaac Sopoaga (9), Brian Jennings (13), Vernon Davis (7), Michael Crabtree (4), and Patrick Willis (6) (just to name a few) who have played every season with the 49ers since their post-college days.

It would be perfect for a future Hall of Famer such as Randy Moss to finish his adversity-bloated career with a Super Bowl victory in his repertoire.

A wallet-sized picture of him lifting his hands when the confetti sprays from the heavens, I’d buy that.

NFL Power Rankings

NFL Top 5 Power Rankings

By: Daniel Park

October 17, 2012

1. New York Giants

Why does the best team in the NFL hold a 4-2 record?

Simply put, in the season opener, Cowboys’ wide receiver Kevin Ogletree had the best day of his career (8 catches 114 yards). Of the 114, a 13-yard reception on a 3rd-down conversion with 2:17 left sealed the deal. The Giants burned their last time-out with confidence before his clutch-grab and the remaining two minutes were enough for Romo to escape The Meadowlands.

With 10 seconds left against the Eagles some might argue that the G-men had one more play in them to progress the ball closer for Lawrence Tynes, who usually boots game-winning field goals. If it weren’t for Barden’s offensive-pass interference, he would’ve split the uprights from the Philadelphia 27-yard line, which would’ve been a much-favorable 34-yard attempt.

The Giants potentially could be sitting at 6-0 – and unlike all the other shaky teams out there – they proved last Sunday in San Francisco that they’re victorious when it comes to must-win games. How’s forcing a hot-handed Alex Smith into throwing three interceptions and sacking him six times? For a defense many proclaimed as “suspect” and “average,” those are bad numbers. How many of the sacks recorded were contributed by Umenyiora or Tuck? Another alarming statistic: 0.

2. Denver Broncos

We all know that nothing is new under the Sun.

But what is it about Monday Night Football that Peyton Manning illuminates brighter than the moon?

By halftime on October 6, 2003, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were up 21-0 against the Manning-led Colts, feeling confident heading into their locker rooms. Brad Johnson just threw his second touchdown pass with four minutes left in the second quarter and I’m sure he, with the rest of the squad, was thinking the same thing: preserve the lead.

Enter: the great Monday Night Manning.

That plan, to protect the lead diluted faster than grocery-brand soda when the Colts’ offense hit the field. They reached the endzone on their opening possession. Tampa Bay’s lead vanished as Manning and the Colts defense went on to score 38 points, just enough to win the game by a 3-point margin in overtime, 38-35.

By halftime on October 15, 2012, the San Diego Chargers were destroying the Broncos – making it crystal clear that they were the top seed in the AFC West. Winning 24-0 heading into the half, the team and Phillip Rivers, who already threw three touchdown passes, were on the same page; Chapter 3: Protect the Lead. Peyton Manning again, struck under the first five minutes in their first drive to cut the lead by 17. The Broncos went on to score a total of 35 points, all unanswered to drill his point: we’re actually the best team in the AFC West.

Manning countenance was that of an an orchestra conductor from the marines.  The way he yelled and pointed across the field. In one of the drives, Manning changed Brandon Stokley’s route while you can hear Broncos center J.D. Walton screaming, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” because the play clock is winding down to its last second. Manning snaps the ball in time and throws a magnificent pass to Stokley towards the right rail of the endzone. Manning changed every play in the two drives that they scored on. If the Broncos can sustain their leads and most importantly, stay healthy throughout the next batch of games, they will be Super Bowl contenders.

3. Seattle Seahawks

Before anything else, I’d like to say that the Golden Tate controversy in the Packers game was a…

Catch. Them while you can. Especially when they’re not playing at home! The Seahawks lost in two close games in Arizona and in St. Louis–all within the last two minutes. Second-year receiver Doug Baldwin quietly raises his yardage totals with each game, Marshawn Lynch remains consistent and enjoys himself to an average of 91.5 yards, and Russell Wilson is 3-0 in games when he’s not intercepted. Yes I’m aware that the Seahawks offense is ranked 29th in total yardage, but when a team, any team, overcomes a thirteen-point deficit in the fourth quarter against a Bill Belichick-coached group of men, it should never go by unnoticed. I’ll bet coaches are studying that game tape right now.

The outcome against the 49ers on Thursday night will speak volumes because the Seahawks are currently 0-2 against NFC West rivals. The Seahawks need to blow out the candles at Candlestick Park this Thursday and if their defense can execute the way the Giants did last week, I don’t see any reasons to doubt a Seattle victory.

4. New England Patriots

Fourth is the perfect number for this team. In their three losses, they’ve lost by a short sum of 4 points. Remember to try and forget about the current record of a team. Looking at the upcoming schedule, the Patriots are projected to finish 13-3. Of the ten left over, they play in two dome games (STL, IND), under the sun in the west coast (SF), in the heat of Texas (HOU), and mild weather (JAC, MIA twice). The team schedule’s forecast is clear, as long as they tweak their secondary a little bit and reincorporate their running game.

I think the crisis here is an easy-fix, as it appears to me that they’ve misplaced a few holes buttoning up their shirts. Coach Belichick rarely loses in games after a loss, and with the chance to knock the pesky Jets off of the AFC East throne is looking looking favorable for the Patriots in Foxborough. Thanks for keeping the seat warm.

5. Washington Redskins

You were wrong if you assumed this last spot should be a team from the NFC South or the AFC South. Washington sticks out like a swollen kneecap on this list, but maybe because they should. This team is that special. Mike Shanahan has no more excuses to spare as Redskins fans are now evaluating him as a coach with all the pieces of the puzzle– in his hands. While we’re witnessing a sensational rookie campaign presented by RG3 and Alfred Morris, Shanahan must not get distracted and keep level-headed each week. Robert Griffin III has solidified his role as their starting quarterback in their first six games. Check: when your QB is able to complete 17 out of 22 passes–to 8 different receivers–run for 138 yards, account for three touchdowns…with a 23-year-old rookie running back contributing 47 yards and 6 points of his own…And on top of THAT, against a tough Minnesota Vikings team? I can only expect more from DC. If you’re wondering where I got these sky-high expectations check the rest of their schedule.

For 6-11, plug in any of the following teams: Ravens, Texans, 49ers, Packers, and….the Bears.