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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#GBvsSEA THIRD QUARTER THOUGHTS

Marshawn Lynch is still crushing it. Robert Turbin sighted.
Maxwell may have conned Jordy Nelson the whole time. Nelson dropped a perfect pass and Maxwell is there at the right time and in position to intercept Rodgers’ pass.

Seahawks misdirection plays aren’t going to work this half (I think). Clay Matthews doesn’t bite.

Randall Cobb drops crucial one hander.

Still not much pressure on AaRod.

Huge play made by Seahawks D–AaRod throws cross his body to the opposite end of the field to Nelson.

4th down attempt is questionable.

Wilson and O are finding their groove late into the 3rd.

Lynch scores #2 for the night.

29-10

#GBvsSEA SECOND QUARTER THOUGHTS

Seahawks score with ease; Russell Wilson finds fourth receiver Ricardo Lockette for a touchdown.

Eddie Lacy started hot but now is getting pummeled.

Huge pass interference committed by Bobby Wagner. Rodgers finds Randall Cobb streaking down the right hash on a broken play. First and goal but the Packers only tie the game up 10-10.

Percy Harvin is an excellent return specialist. TRIPLE THREAT.

Zack Miller makes a one-handed snag — whole bar goes wild.

Lynch is running with conviction. Monster mode.

Harvin keeps finding open lanes on the edge after taking handoffs from the backfield. Packers can’t seal the edge fast enough.

Zach Miller’s backup Luke Willson throws an excellent block on Clay Matthews and Monster Mode walks into a welcoming endzone.

On two-minute drill Aaron Rodgers could have ran and converted the third down (and four) but his pass sails OB.

#GBvsSEA FIRST QUARTER THOUGHTS

Richard Rodgers already forgets his assignment on second play of the game.

Caught him asking Eddie Lacy where to go before Aaron Rodgers gets the snap off.

Thoughts on Earl Thomas returning his first punt? Reckless.

Percy Harvin is just as much as an offensive threat on third down as he is on first.

Tip drill. Russell wilson almost throws a pick…running into the kicker (#76 Daniels) gives the Seahawks new life after they go 3-and-out.

Harvin=the truth=dual threat.

Time out taken (12 time on the field).

The Packers cannot locate their offensive rhythm.

Earl Thomas III needs to learn how to call for a fair catch. Recklesssss!!

Jordy Nelson keeps on rocking Maxwell’s world … Over and over…

John Kuhn with the easy bucket. Takes handoff on a misdirection route from the backfield and the Packers take the lead 7-3.

Change the punt returner or else the Packers will purposely go 3-and-out. Stop trying to do too much.

NFL Week 1 Predictions

NO @ATL SUN 1:00

The cup is tilting for the team on the left more than it is for the hosts. Drew Brees will be playing in his 14th NFL season. He wants to win another ring, like Manning does, and this could be the year that the Saints could make noise. Atlanta, on the other hand, is a team that demands respect and their bite is a lot less vicious than their bark. Eat my words, say you?

NO 38 ATL 30

CIN @BAL SUN 1:00

The Ravens and the Bengals already find themselves in a must-win situation. Both teams will try to attack the same way on Sunday: run the ball and chip away before throwing the long bomb. We’re all excited to watch Steve Smith Sr. take the field and Joe Flacco needs time behind the line if his offense wants to take it to the next level. Watch out for the one-two punch in Cincinnati’s backfield: Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Statement game won by Baltimore.

CIN 20 BAL 23

BUF @CHI SUN 1:00

Sammy Watkins will be challenged in his debut. The Chicago Bears have all the utensils they need to find themselves atop the NFC. They could challenge the Eagles, Saints, Panthers, 49ers, Seahawks, Packers and Detroit comfortably. That’s what I call a bold opinion.

BUF 14 CHI 30

WAS HOU SUN 1:00

The Redskins are the worst team in the NFC East. Their defense is still suspect. Let me rephrase that: the pressure lies on their defensive front seven, really, as their secondary is still suspect. The Texans are the exact opposite. Their defense looks sharp, whereas their offense looks – and feels – too shaky for my personal investment. Look for Jadaveon Clowney to run down and pressure Robert Griffin III who will frantically run around to spot his A-list receivers in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.

WAS 24 HOU 14

TEN KC SUN 1:00

Nothing really stands out from this game. The scoreboard won’t reflect who the better team is. Watch the Titans offensive line and how they protect Jake Locker. The Chiefs defense will look to impose from the first snap and whistle blow.

TEN 14 KC 19

NE MIA SUN 1:00

The New England Patriots play sharp like their quarterback’s hairstyle. The Dolphins look to avenge their woes from last season but won’t muster enough firepower to take down the mighty Patriots. Look for a close first half.

NE 34 MIA 20

OAK NYJ SUN 1:00

Congratulations to Derek Carr. He earned the starting nod over Matt Schaub. Geno Smith, who is running slim on excuses now with Chris Johnson in the backfield and Eric Decker lined up wide. The Jets defense is underrated (already!?) and the Raiders won’t click on all cylinders from the jump. Jets’ edge.

OAK 17 NYJ 20

JAX PHI SUN 1:00

Jacksonville Jaguars made many strides to bolster both tips of the football this offseason. The Eagles did, too, and will be shocking it they lose their season opener under Head Coach Chip Kelly. The lesson here is that Nick Foles is aiming towards breaking his PR of 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions. The problem is that the secondaries are also aware — and they’re significantly much more relieved the Eagles cut DJax. They will also scissor JAX.

JAX 15 PHI 23

CLE PIT SUN 1:00

Cleveland is the AFC North’s phantom. They will come in like they know somebody and leave alone like they were just swinging by. Between Brian Hoyer and ‘Money’ Manziel, never mind. The Steelers better not underestimate the Browns’ defense, who is now strong at the safety and cornerback positions with Donte Whitner, Tashaun Gipson and Joe Haden opposite Buster Skrine.

CLE 21 PIT 24

MIN STL SUN 1:00

Like the Titans and the Chiefs game, this game piques our interest all for the wrong reasons. Matt Cassel starts, along with Adrian Petersen, Cordarrelle Patterson and  Greg Jennings. This is an exciting offense to watch, if their quarterback is capable of executing the plays. Look for Kyle Rudolph to get behind a solid defensive front in the St. Louis Rams. It’s hard envisioning the Rams winning a game of spin the bottle without their quarterback Sam Bradford.

MIN 24 STL 23

SF DAL SUN 4:25

Yum, what a delicious scoop of game. I love this match. San Francisco is dealing with their own unique set of issues. The Cowboys know exactly how to play the 49ers: contain Kaepernick, cover Vernon Davis and bracket coverage Anquan Boldin. Dez Bryant wants to win and that’s exactly what Dallas will do.

SF 20 DAL 31

CAR TB SUN 4:25

Don’t relax on Tampa Bay. They are sensitive and will attempt to release their anger and frustrations from last season with any chance they get. Look for fights and facemask grabbing. That boiling heat in Florida will be the team’s Achilles’ heel.

CAR 14 TB 10

IND DEN SUN 8:30

Denver is an early favorite to make the trip to the Super Bowl in February. Wes Welker is suspended and won’t play but when was the last time Peyton Manning lost a game because of a receiving missing in action? Hmm. As far as I know, Andrew Luck will play without his best receiver, who we know as Reggie Wayne. The Colts defense will be battle tested at the Mile High.

IND 17 DEN 35

NYG DET MON 7:10

The New York Giants better run the ball well this season to give them a chance at winning games. Do they have a game plan to defeat the Lions? Yes, if they meet in the playoffs. For now, the Lions’ high-powered offense is buzzing with talent. Jim Caldwell is a coach’s player who can corral this team like he did with the Ravens.

NYG 16 DET 34

SD ARI MON 10:20

Flip a coin, just kidding. This is another rare gem – early statement game – for both sides. The Cardinals don’t want to trail behind the Seahawks and 49ers (or the Rams) for the Division Title. The Chargers, same thing, can’t fall to the Chiefs, Broncos (or the Raiders). The intensity levels are high. I like …

SD 21 ARI 27

—————————– ALREADY PLAYED ————————————————

GB @SEA THU 8:30

Game is played in Seattle, one of the toughest spots to win anything. (I couldn’t take home a stuffed animal trying to make a basket at a carnival in Seattle.)

We’re curious to see how the Green Bay Packers’ offense will look. How will they fare without Jermichael Finley, James Jones? How will Eddie Lacy be deployed in their new-look offense? The Seattle Seahawks lost a pound of blood on their defense (Red Bryant/Chris Clemons), too, so don’t expect a blowout.

GB: 24 SEA 30

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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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

MIND-BLOWING STATS: WILL PEYTON MANNING BE THE FIRST TO DO THIS? #ESPN #NFL @NFL

What’s happened only five times in NFL history?

Three wide receivers from the same team recorded 1,000-yard seasons.

Peyton Manning may quarterback for the sixth, and no it won’t be his first time (Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley in 2004 with Colts).

Would it be the first time in NFL history that three receivers AND A TIGHT END accomplish such unfathomable feat? Julius Thomas is already at 625. …

#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. …

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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 …

A win is a win, whether it’s by 26 or .26: life of Yahoo’s (un)luckiest fantasy football owner Episode 11

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THANK YOU @FF_gods for this much-needed win! Wait, this isn’t my early Christmas present is it? Better not be. …

Who’s 3-and-6 now!?!? (All my doubters are STILL doubitng). You can’t spell haters without a, HA. Does that make any sense?

Well, give me a minute, huh? Allow me to bask in this glorious. … aroma of victory, ahh.

OK, OK, I’m done, now back to work. …

WHY I PICKED UP GENO (13) AND DUMPED RUSSELL WILSON (25):

I predicted that the Seahawks would struggle against Tampa Bay’s stout defensive front. They did – but in retrospect, the sporting-brand-names-for-a-name exploded in the second half.

Smith’s, on the other hand, was challenged more mentally than physically against the Saints. Geno’s rushing touchdown was the sole reason why I scooped him up from the waiver wire; I thought he’d run for two and pass for another.

THANK YOU TOM BRADY, I MEAN AARON DOBSON

AD scored two meaningless touchdowns, 14 of 55 points. … weren’t necessary at all, especially in a lopsided punishing of the Steelers.

Dobson’s 27-pointer covered for Drew Davis’ and Dexter McCluster’s absence.

Thanks, Denarius Moore, for exceeding my expectations.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THANK YOU AP AND EDDIE LACY…

FIRST AND FOREMOST, I wish Aa-Rod a speedy recovery.

Secondly, the Vikings played a great game against Dallas. They slipped up, and Tony Romo exploited Minnesota’s weaknesses.

Eddie Lacy rushed for 150 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown in a loss against Da Bears, but most importantly. … helped this unlucky writer obliterate his opponent by .26.

#boydoeswinningfeelgreat

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.”

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.

Committed To Pursuing Your Purpose

"i'm 5"4 and on my way to become the first qb in the NFL"

“i’m 5″4 and on my way to become the first qb in the NFL”

(Editor’s note: it’s 5’4″ and first Korean QB…)

October 1998 – My aunt hands me this spiraled notebook. The cover is decorated with light pink ballerina slippers, red roses, and sheet music.

What was I supposed to do with a diary? Couldn’t she have picked a more masculine design? A Batman toy would’ve sufficed.

My mother, on the other hand, is enamored with this idea of me sitting at a desk and penciling in my thoughts.

This hobby would “help my critical thinking and my reading comprehension.” Right.

Her eagerness for me to write? Ox-strong. I did it for a few days. She believed that if her Korean son could jot down his emotions into the blank pages, uh, he’ll turn out OK.

But I don’t know any better. I give it a try.

14 years and nine books later…

“Dear Diary…today was fine and fun.”
Eloquent, I know. I described my day at school, what happened after school, and proceeded to tell my Diary what grade I got on my test (a D if you’re wondering). I’m scratching it out though, in fear of my mother finding out the truth (I told her a white lie). I didn’t do it often, twice is a stretch. 

>>Fast forward 2 years>>

My father knows how much I enjoy playing football. I remember checking the classified ads in The Washington Post for a pair of Redskins tickets. I contact a man selling two stubs for $150 — which is a great deal — for lower-level seats. As a last-minute gift for my 12th birthday, my father and I watched the game at FedEx Field, a memorable time. I still cherish it today.

Imagine a warm sunny afternoon in D.C. An hour into the game, the sun stops shining. Blocked by a group of bullying clouds, those white puffs loiter above  the stadium to then rain on the fans for ten straight minutes. The heroic sun beams and rescues us out of our wet clothes. Besides this refreshing moment, I recall how loudly the fans cheered after Stephen Davis scored on a 2-yard run.  So loud that my hot dog vibrated through my puny fingers.

Redskins prevail at home, 20-17. 9/3/2000

Redskins prevail at home, 20-17. 9/3/2000

It’s amazing how football has shaped my life. My favorite quarterback back in the day was Daunte Culpepper, primarily because of how far he could bomb the ball. Receiver #84 Randy Moss and No. 11’s connection was supernatural.

>>January 6, 2001>>: Divisional Championship Saturday. My parents took with me them on their shopping trip to Sears. While they moved about, I stood in front of the television the whole time and admired the mercurial Randy Moss toast the Saints’ secondary (on a WR screen pass by the way) for a long touchdown run. Of course, I was heartbroken the week after; the New York Giants shut out Minnesota 41-0. I couldn’t understand. The beat-down ignited rumors of how the Giants coordinators tapped into the Vikings’ systems to hacked their play-calls. Beats me.

When I dedicated my life to watching the NFL in 2002, it was quarterback Donovan McNabb and former Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid who stole my heart. They were obliterating the Chicago Bears in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game. Remember “Duuuuce” Staley, Brian Dawkins, the dynamic tandem, Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent? Wow.

Although they made four consecutive NFC Conference Championships, no one was more ecstatic than I was when they stripped the monkey off their backs against the Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field. I then teared up in front of my friends after the Eagles barely lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl (2005).

I thought I'd QB for the NFL. Don't think I can anymore.

I thought I’d QB for the NFL. Don’t think I can anymore.

There’s a lot more to this story. It’s not just about a child with a football crush.

With dreams of someday playing for the Eagles, the sights that I set were torn in the 10th grade. After an eye checkup, my optometrist informed my family that my weak retina was gradually tearing behind both eyes–meaning that I could permanently lose my vision if ever I were to have a head-to-head collision. That, (and well, my Korean genes didn’t let me grow any taller than 5’9.5″) sucked.

Although my heart ached, I still had God to vent to. God and something.

A journal.

It’s funny how an empty, wide-ruled notebook which should’ve been given to my girly cousin – landed in my hands. That book from my Aunt would be the first of nine. It’ll be awesome to feel as if I’m writing journal entries in the blank boxes of an ESPN.com or NFL.com article.

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)

My Summer

My post-grad life actually started in the final days of January 2013.

Determined to finish my final semester at VCU on a high note, a 3.5 grade point average attested to that, and making it on the Dean’s List for the first time in my life confirmed how much I’ve matured over the last four years.

Acknowledging the fact that my college years were coming to a close, I applied to jobs earlier than most of my fourth-year peers to get an early headstart. About sixty jobs, I think? The hunt was a grueling chase, writing cover letter after cover letter strengthened my patience.

On top of the job searching process, I juggled Senior class assignments and projects, wrote for two publications at VCU (the Blacksheep Journal and The Commonwealth Times), retyped NFL.com articles for more practice, blogged, performed at open mics, and filmed VCU Basketball games and practices. Whenever the laptop was connected to the T.V. (HDMI cable), NFL Network was streaming in the background.

Scatterbrained? A bit. Goal-driven.

May rolled around as did a throng of rejection letters. What hurt more than them informing me that I couldn’t, was my mother’s dissatisfiction after my graduation ceremony. She’s pushy, saying that I should’ve been done with school three years ago. Moms are always right, but it pained me nonetheless.

I applied to a few more positions after May 11, NFL Films being one of them. The Producer position enticed me most.

As a Producer intern,  I would learn the NFL Films style of storytelling and perpetuate Mr. Steve Sabol’s vision. The opportunity of a lifetime for any avid NFL follower.

When checking your bank account,  expect to be surprised. I’m in dire need of money and I formed a bad habit of transferring funds from my credit card to my debit. Cash advances cost an extra $10? No problem…

Quick cash.
With two and a half years of restaurant experience,  I decided that applying to the food and beverage industry would make the most sense. I rented a bike every other day and rode to Kitchen 64, Osaka, Tarrant’s, Bistro 27, Three Monkeys, Sticky Rice, Can-Can, Mellow Mushroom and a high-end diner in Carytown. No response.

If you know me, you know where I stay, and how ridiculous it was for me to bike to some of those places.

Soul Search
This is something that you shouldn’t be doing too often. 24 hours. That’s how long you’re allowed to rent out a VCU road bike. During the day, I’d write and edit and submit my articles to FootballNation.com, then apply to those places aforementioned. After sunset, I figured it wouldn’t hurt my chances to explore the city and check out RVA’s night life.

There’s a method to it. Everyday, a different bar. Happy hour here, open mic there. I chatted with new people and indulged myself to the practice of having an engaging conversation without stepping on a stranger’s toes. More importantly,  I focused on talking to a diverse group of men and women without bringing up “football.”

If they broached the topic, then so be it. Other than that, football was the forbidden fruit to not be touched for four hours.

I received numbers. I gave mine out. What mattered is what we did with the ten digits afterwards: stayed in touch.

Bonchon
After no callbacks, I notified my dad about my car. I needed to go the distance now, local restaurants didn’t want me. God is fair. I applied to Bonchon and the manager, Erica, hired me on the spot. I’d make enough cash in the first 40 hours to pay off my lingering credit card debt.

After befriending the managers (all of the coolest brothers by the way), I opened up to them and shared my career goals with the kitchen staff. The story intrigued Sonny,  impelling him enough to tell me about his cousin who works for the NFL Network as a photographer. Unreal. Surreal. I ask how I could reach out to him. A Facebook message later, Mr. Vy and I are on the phone discussing my next plan of action. He knows Mr. Justin Hathaway, NFL.com’s Senior Editor and texts me his email addy.

Moments later, Mr. Vy texts me again,  stating this time that Mr. Hathaway suggests me to send Mr. Gregg Rosenthal an email.

For those who don’t know me,  I emailed Mr. Rosenthal two years ago and asked for his advice. God connected me again to the man who I asked for help,  this time for employment attached with a resume.

Rosenthal is super busy editing articles on the website, and therefore hasn’t written back. As for Mr. Hathaway,  he recommended me to intern for NFL Films and contact him seven months from now. Well, uh, I didn’t even get the position yet.

I quit Bon Chon after a week due to personal problems; we’ll keep it at that.

새벽 예배 (Early Morning Service)
My mother,  thankfully,  woke me up at 5 a.m. and took me with her to these prayer services when I was a child. That part of me still exists. God helped me realize that I need to rely on him,  not more,  but most. When you’ve nothing to lose,  the best thing to do is to wake up at 6 a.m. and head to the nearest church. I Googled RKPC, Richmond Korean Presbyterian Church; they open at 6.

I woke up at 7:20 the next morning and assumed that I had more than enough time. Don’t assume. No cars were parked in the lot when I arrived. Trying to get in, a woman who was leaving caught glance of me and stopped.

She’s never seen me before and asks if I’m lost. I tell her that I just came to pray. This short lady old enough to be my mom re-parks her car and unlocks the church’s side door. She walks me through the hall and leads me to Pastor Lee Young Ho’s office.

He’s surprised to see me, as well. The head pastor interrogates me, wondering what brings me here. I share tidbits of my upbringing, tell him about my murky future and relay my prayer requests. He’s more compelled as soon as I answer his question, Who’s your favorite team?, in which I reply The Eagles.

He smiles, and stands up to shake my hand. How coincidental, the pastor grew up in Philadelphia.

We wrap things up with a prayer and I’ve been doing my best (by God’s grace) to wake up at six for early morning service.

NFL Films
I receive an email from them requesting from me a date and hour for an interview. The drive to NJ was tough, I got lost for nearly two hours and arrived to Super 8 by 3:30 am. The interview went well, however didn’t say everything I wanted to say. I’m praying that this is where God places me for the next seven months.

Redskins in-seat serving
Centerplate catering services at FedEx Stadium interviewed me to serve Redskins fans in their premium-level seating. They’ve invited me to work for them this season.

Redskins Training Camp Ambassador
Welcome to Richmond! Finally, a professional football team in my vicinity. I was fortunate to be selected as a training camp assistant and I’m hoping that this experience is what I imagine it to be.

VCU Basketball
Out of 32,000 students I was selected to film for the VCU Basketball team. If you know me, you know that I am horrible at basketball. God works in funny ways, yes. I reported to work and never complained. The grad assistants and student managers are awesome.

I’m thankful that I had a chance to work for Coach Smart, Coach Ballard, Coach Rhoades, Coach Morrell, Coach Roose, Coach Eddie, Coach Bopp and former Coach Wade.

Special Thanks
In no specific order:
Joe, Josh, Young, Lea, Janice, Esther, Brian,  Brian Lee,  Danny, Jon Chung, Graham,  Dwight, Paden, Nate, Brad, Coach B., Coach Smart, Mrs. Smart,  Holly, Mrs. Hanneman, Dr. Wiegardt, Sandy, Juliette Cho, Jackie Ho, Slavic, Rebecca, Mrs. Bridgette, Michelle, Mostar, Hannah, Kenny,  (Hoa, Andrew, Jonathan, Mike you know why), Grace Min, Kevin Kim, Mr. Kevin/Greg Kristof, Sunny, Greg, Chris N., Johnny Vy, Mr. Andy Pollin, Gregg Rosenthal, Brian Nachman, Nedra M., Ellen, Brandon B., Austin, Alex C., Mr. Headley, Kenneth, Thomas,  Rafik, Kevin van Valkenburg, Rory, Tashunda, Slimm, Z, Chung, Sonny, Suhan, AJ, Mike Lim, PG. Eva, Chris, Jonas, Kyle, Sean Hicks, Christina Johnson, Curt, Mike Krooked Smilez, Chef Dane, Erik.

Andddddd of course my dad for always supporting me, my brother for our bond, and my mom … because she once told me that working for the NFL is like pulling a star off the night sky.

Always, always give God thanks and do everything for His glory, not yours.

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.”

You Don’t Like Football!?!?

I’ve built a few relationships with the staff at BP. One cashier is an aspiring rapper, currently working on his second mixtape. I stood outside the gas station with the twenty-three-year-old during the wee hours of Monday morning, shared a few concepts, spat a few bars. The man has talent.

Another cashier, I won’t mention any names, is the mother of “two daughters and a spoiled, thirteen-year-old son.”
I asked her if he plays any sports. He does. Baseball and football. Quarterback. That last tidbit about him stuck out like Brittney Griner standing in a room full of hobbits. I told her that if there was anything I could do to help, to let me know.
“Sure,” she said, grimacing, “but I hate football.”
“What? You don’t like football?” I responded in disbelief. I immediately realized how ignorant that sounded.
“Yeah, everybody loves football, right?” she questioned, then answering her own, “Not me, because it caused the death of his father.”
She thought that I had already known. I did not; I would have avoided bringing up something so deep, so tragic; her heartbreak.
In 2008, the man who fathered two of her children won a Super Bowl bet, however, the sore loser didn’t want to pay and what escalated afterwards between two grown-ups led to a cruel and unnecessary murder.
There I was, dumbfounded, trying to contain my tears. I’ve been fortunate to not lose a loved one and it was difficult to relate to that type of pain. I was too young at my grandfather’s funeral. I, sympathetic, apologized for having her recall the traumatic experience—she smirked saying “it’s okay, I’m not over it yet and I may never get over it.”

No she won’t. How could she forget? She sees “him” every single day.

She doesn’t go to watch any of her son’s games and whenever she asks him about how he feels, he remains quiet.
Five years has passed since the incident but here she stood, unshaken, sharing with me how God is always good, and that everything happens for a reason.

I admire this woman’s courage. I thanked her for sharing a piece of her testimony with me. Do you believe in divine appointments? I do. There’s a reason why God grouped football, her and I tonight, and it has definitely stretched the screen of how I view the sport. Perfect timing too, I needed a slap of reality before I graduate next week.

Readers, of the millions of requests that I have, I simply ask if you could lift up a prayer for her. She informed me that her testimony would take an entire day to write out, and says she’ll have her life story published someday. Pray for her three children as well; God’s purpose for her family is great. Also, readers, please pray for me. I ask for an increase of humility and that I would never shove a plate of football in someone’s face. Football teaches about life values and teamwork–but gambling on the game should never cause the loss of a loved one.

Thanks.

I have nine journals of handwritten stories. Before posting this one in particular, I had to decide whether or not blogging about it was appropriate.
I decided to do both, log it in my journal, and share it with the world. It’s a sensitive subject, which is why the latter was a challenging task. I appreciate all of your support and thank you for walking with me on my journey. Feel free to leave comments.

Roger [Goodell] that.

Dear Commissioner Roger Goodell,

Because there is a small, minute possibility of you landing on my blog, I thought why not give it a try?

I love football. But because of a tearing retina, I couldn’t risk losing my vision and therefore quit the contact sport in high school. I’d like to tell you more when you’re in Richmond.

I will be graduating on May 10th, 2013.

Commissioner Goodell, I’m sure you have better things to do on a Friday afternoon than sit for fourteen minutes and watch an ecstatic group of students shake hands with the Dean. However, please, if your busy schedule permits, it would mean a lot to me, if you could make an appearance at the VCU Student Commons Theater.

The ceremony starts at 4:00 p.m., it would be the greatest graduation gift any NFL-loving college student could ask for.

Sincerely,

Daniel Park

$120.6 MILLION!?

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Growing up from Silver Spring, MD, you’d expect to see those kind of numbers on a Washington Post headline coupled with an, “Owner Daniel Snyder” and a Redskins player/coach.

Oh how times have changed. The Baltimore Ravens will pay Joe Flacco $120.6 million over a span of six years. The heavens-touching payment has all sorts of critics, cynics, fanatics and any other word that you could tag an ‘-ic’ to uproar, voicing their opinions whether or not the quarterback is worth it. Is he though?

Put on your thinking caps and dive into the complex world of the NFL.

1) Quarterbacks live in a vault

A quarterback’s personal life is somewhat like the one that we see on the field every weekend. Constantly bombarded, hassled, harassed, and chased down. Whether it’s the gridiron or behind the scenes, the quarterback is juggling pressure. The men protecting him off the field when he’s lounging around in his sweatpants are his coaches and other members in the front office.

2. We’re talking about Baltimore here; not Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Patriots, Denver…

The Ravens hail from the AFC North. The Bengals are on the rise. Cleveland won’t be easy to bring down. The Steelers, well, they’ve two Super Bowl victories in the past decade. This Division contains a plethora of strong personalities, and while coaches are incessantly refurbishing their schemes, it’s feasible to slip behind the other and fall down to the bottom half. 

Third or fourth place in the Division usually doesn’t cut it in the AFC (maybe the NFC, Eagles/Giants/Cowboys) to qualify for the playoffs. But chances of clinching a playoff berth in the AFC? Tough. Exactly what the Ravens need from their star. Toughness. The past is the past. Super Bowl champion or not, five straight playoff berths or not, those things were undoubtedly factored in, but as a business-minded owner, this is a justifiable investment. Look at the Colts in the Manning-era for instance. No one in their division came close to upending them when Manning stepped on the field 208 consecutive regular-season times. They won games with ease; no disrespect to him, obviously, but Indianapolis handed Manning the right amount of money to play at a high level. He was given a reason to demolish teams by throwing extraneous touchdown passes. Same with Tom Brady. For a while, the Patriots finished first in their division. Tom Brady didn’t have much to worry about when visiting or hosting Miami, New York or Buffalo. Money should be spent to players to keep them hungry and passionate to feed their drive. Which is why I trust that the Ravens made this move to guarantee Joe Flacco’s  efforts all while keeping him balanced and level-headed throughout the season. Because $120.6 million doesn’t come packaged with excuses.

3. Defense no matter what

Baltimoreans just lost the heart and soul of their team. Ray Lewis is gone. Sure they have a whole offseason to do some soul-searching but it’s pretty clear that the great linebacker’s presence will be missed.

The Ravens are entrusting #5 to be the new #52. As long as we live, all of fankind will believe to the day that we die that DEFENSE wins CHAMPIONSHIPS. I’ll be reciting that on my death bed. I promise. Engrave it on my tombstone.

We witnessed Ray Lewis’ team almost lose to the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Point blank. Colin Dappernick and Co. almost pulled off the miracle for the ages but lost by executing three consecutive plays designed to the right side of the field. I’m still confused about that–but that’s not the point. Would Joe Flacco be looking at a delicious plate of $120.6 million today if they had lost? Jacoby Jones did field a kickoff return to the house, but hey, Joe Flacco executed everything in his power and got the job done.

Which was to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Baltimore, after twelve long years.

The Readiness of Matt Ryan

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Image credit to Midway Illustrated

With their latest acquisition to bolster up their “W” column last Thursday, the Atlanta Falcons are now 11 and 1, and looking solid with four games left to go.

Since Ryan’s rookie year in 2008 up until Thursday, Brees and Co. have proudly waved their banners as they’ve defeated their rivals  in seven out of the last nine battles. Matt Ryan though, who’s record at the Georgia Dome stands tall at an unreachable 32 wins and only 6 losses, made 82.4% sure that their arch-nemesis would mutually understand: that they weren’t leaving with a win.

(“I was there two weeks ago, five interceptions isn’t really the greatest feeling,” Ryan sympathized”)(false quote example)

Falcons fans know better not to celebrate prematurely, after all, a lingering, bitter Matt Ryan effect has grown over the years and proven nothing but 3 disappointing endings to great regular-season finishes. It’s safe to ask the question that surfaces in the minds of many around this time of year: is the Irish 26-year-old ready to win his first-ever playoff game?

Yes, general public, yes he is.

(“I overheard Drew in the pregame huddle that this was their division,” Ryan nonchalant, “Not true.”)(false quote example)

The Falcons are actually stronger than they appear. In plain sight, their near-perfect record doesn’t showcase how much adversity that they’ve truly overcome.

“Entering Week 13 the Falcons have had the lowest strength of schedule in the NFL by a wide margin and the third-lowest strength of victory in the NFC. Only two of their 11 games have been against teams that currently have a winning record (Broncos and Buccaneers).” (http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/tag/_/name/matt-ryan)

After injecting their reality-shot in New Orleans, many believed that the Saints had exposed the flaws of the mighty Falcons. If a 4-5 team could exploit their divisional rivals, hold their ball-carriers to a measly sum of 44 yards on the ground, (46 if you include Ryan’s 2), then that just might have to be the formula for every team to use in order to stop them from winning. Right?

Wrong. The resurgent Falcons guaranteed never to lose to an inferior team again. The team sloppily overcame some unexpected pressure visiting from Arizona. In a bout of two Angry Birds, the Cardinals intercepted Matt Ryan five times but couldn’t heed the recipe that the Saints had written a week before. They couldn’t hold Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers to less than 44 yards running–instead let them maneuver their way around the turf for a total of 72. The phenomenal aspect of this game was the fact that Matt Ryan was picked off 5 times and the team rallied, put him on their shoulders and rotator cuffs to win the game. A week later the birds migrated to the land of the Buccaneers, a squadron who were heading into the game off a four-game winning streak. The Falcons reapplied what they learned: not to lose to inferior teams. Matt Ryan was too accurate, completing 26/32 passes and most importantly, showed flashes of chemistry by hooking up for a long touchdown pass down the rail with his third favorite receiver, Julio Jones. The Falcons won again, this time running for 66 yards total (79 including Ryan’s 13).

For their next upcoming games before entering the postseason, the Falcons should be projected to win all four with ease. They play at Carolina and at Detroit, and host the Giants and the Buccaneers in their final showdown. If they finish, hypothetically 15-1, they’ll clinch a first-round bye and the shortcut to the Super Bowl will be through the sharp turf blades of the Georgia Dome.

PARITY A RARITY

Why unfinished?

We still have four weeks left.

For the confused:

Start at the top (Ravens) and go right. The Ravens beat the Chiefs, Chiefs beat the Saints and so forth.

The Saints are notorious for winning and losing one game. They’ve blessed the Chiefs their only victory this season and scarred the Falcons with their only “L” in their red column.

Continue and you’ll learn that the Redskins slaughtered the  Eagles, who barely beat the Browns, and the Browns beat the Bengals, which is weird again, because the team from Cincinnati upended the Super Bowl champions, the Giants.

Of course the Giants took on a shaky Cowboys (they play in heels, not boots) squad easily. Dallas and Tampa Bay was decided by six points, and the Buccaneers hot, 4-game winning streak includes 2 teams from the AFC West, the Chargers and the Raiders. (The Chargers beat the Raiders.)

The Cardinals upset the the Patriots, who then went on to angrily manhandle the New York Jets. The Colts won an emotional game against the Packers in Indianapolis, which I feel is a season-changing victory for them. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers shhhhhhh-ilenced the mighty Texans at their own house and I don’t know what to believe anymore.

Any Given Sunday (1999) is just a movie but the proverbial title rings loud in the National Football League still today.

As I mentioned before, there are 4 exciting more weeks left, so we’ll see how the story unfolds!

Until next time, keep a look out for the parity in the NFL to finish its cycle.

preseason week 2.5

For those wondering why this is a short entry, I just wanted to post a quick update before the library closes in thirty minutes.

I’ll begin with a question. Why do we stop eating at specific restaurants?

Because they become less valuable.

Now what does this question pertain to, you ask? OK.

Let’s take a look at Mr. Joe Flacco and Mr. Ryan. Quarterbacking is the hardest job in all of sports and in my opinion, all of history. I think Barack Obama endures less pressure than these human beings. Obama definitely does not deal with mammothic and gigantic beasts chasing him down after every action or move he makes, right? So anyways before I get sidetracked.

This tandem I put under the microscope for special reasons. For one, they’re both 28. I’d include Fitzpatrick (29), Alex Smith (28) and Matt Moore (28), but they do not qualify for this conversation for me to make a valid statement. Ryan and Flacco are proven, and have acquired a bittersweet taste for the playoffs. A few years ago, these fine men were labeled as the quarterbacks of tomorrow, with auspicious moments and flashes of promise to their cities. Matt Ryan’s QB Rating has actually improved throughout his career meddling around the upper 80s and low 90s, while Mr. Flacco’s took a downhill turn with a bad swing in 2011. (93.6->80.9). So what’s my point?

Right. Readers. Brace yourselves for this wild pitch. It won’t even make it to the catcher’s mitt. Joe and Matt have become average at best, and their “quarterbacks of the future” stickers need to be stripped from their chests. Sometimes being consistent is not good enough. Look at Eli Manning, for example. The man has developed himself nicely, whether or not it takes outstanding wide receivers to get the job done. Yes, we know that Mark Sanchez (not a QB) has “lead” his team to the conference championships as a young buck. BUT, what must be realized is that the Jets had a solid defense to sort of, bail him out, in situations.
Value, my friends. When they raise the prices for the #1 meal menu at McDonald’s, I predict many to boycott the company.

#2. Andrew Luck is great. Just from watching his preseason game (alone, yes, at a bar), his drive in the last minute of the 2nd quarter is what compelled me to type the latter sentence. He brushed himself off of the two interceptions before and marched his troops down to end the quarter on a Vinatieri field goal. Brilliant man.

#3. Last things last. I sat and watched the Eagles handle the Patriots. Yes, a few notes.

a. stop with the roughing the passer penalties! nullifying the great interceptions and handing the opponent a first down and 15 yards is basically like setting the die in a game of Monopoly for you to land on Free Parking and scoop up the stash. SO annoyed.

b. Foles. Nick Foles. I think the man just took the #2 spot with the sweet performance. Well, maybe only because he ran with the first string offense.

c. Michael Vick needs to stop getting punished. It’s just preseason sir, save those hits for game-winning touchdown throws in the Super Bowl. Please. PLEASE.

<3thank you

preseason

Oh how wonderful it is to start writing about the NFL again!

There are some grudge matches on television you don’t want to miss out on tonight, as veterans and rookies both eagerly take the field and showcase what they’ve been working on all offseason. I’m looking forward to seeing Peyton Manning perform in a Broncos uniform. Is he rusty or does he still have it? Will Aaron Rodgers even set feet on the gridiron to manage an offensive drive or will Mike McCarthy save the team’s most valuable asset for future use? Are the Eagles going to come out and score on their first possession? AH the questions that bounce around in my mind ….

was@Buf

3 things I’ll look for: Steve Johnson and Ryan Fitz connection. RG3 and offense. Both defenses, impact of Mario Williams with the Bills and the Redskins’ communication.

2 things that must happen: RG3’s leadership shows today. Nick Barnett’s statement as a LB.

1 lasting impression: Bills’ starters all have to be on the same page.

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bal@Atl

3 things that should happen: Falcons win at home. Ray Rice averages 5 yards per carry. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan end up with similar stats.

2 things I’ve noticed: The mercurial safety, Ed Reed said he wants to finish his last season strong. Julio Jones might outshine Roddy White this year.

1 thing that’s most important: Matt Ryan’s career with the Falcons might be over if this season doesn’t go right.

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no@Ne

3 things that we’ll admire tonight: A short preview of Drew Brees pinpoint accuracy, Tom Brady’s elegant throwing motion, and there won’t be any head-blowing injuries.

2 things that we’ll miss: Sean Payton won’t be on the sidelines coaching. Solid WR Robert Meachem was traded.

1 thing why 2012 matters: If Tom Brady and Brees don’t make for a playoff run, they’ll be labeled as the old great hags of football. Sorry.

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pit@Phi

3 things to pay attention to: All the Eagles’ runningbacks. They’re scary fast. Michael Vick’s new ‘do. A Steeler team without Mike Wallace.

2 things to listen for: Vince Young better not say something silly on the sidelines. Antonio C. and Nnamdi A. communicating on the field.

1 thing under the microscope: Andy Reid’s tenure as Eagles’ coach is on the edge…no joke.

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gb@Sd

3 things to witness: Kendall Reyes, rookie defensive end for the Chargers’ is pumped. Phillip River’s throwing arm (said it hurt last year). The swag on the Super Bowl contending Green Bay Packers.

2 things sure to happen: Both starting offenses should score. Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem should help the with the absence of Vincent Jackson.

1 thing on the line: Norv Turner’s job.

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den@Chi

3 things we look forward to seeing: Peyton Manning, duh, for all the reasons. Life without Tim Tebow, the fans will get over it, if they haven’t already. The Broncos could push for a playoff run, they have the quarterback and the defense to do so.

2 things we need: Johnny Knox, Brandon Marshall, and Jay Cutler to blow up. Look for 1990 Aaron Brewer to put in some work tonight at left safety.

1 thing we hope doesn’t happen: Peyton Manning gets hurt.

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enjoy the preseason games tonight! ❤