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Saturday, September 09, 2017

OT - 2017 NFL thread

Free agent NFL cornerback Antonio Cromartie and his wife Terricka announced the birth of baby girl Jhett Paxton, born Aug. 30.

This is the couple’s sixth child, and it is Cromartie’s fourteenth. By our count, it is his third child since (supposedly) having a vasectomy during his tenure with the New York Jets in 2013.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: September 09, 2017 at 12:36 AM | 2118 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nfl, off-topic

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   901. Nasty Nate Posted: January 09, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5603310)
noone cares about how the steelers or patriots or packers are positioned for the future.
I do. Presumably the Browns themselves do, because they'll be playing the steelers twice a year. They won't just be playing other building teams.
   902. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 09, 2018 at 11:26 AM (#5603329)
the giants are in a poor position. the jets are in a poor position. the bears are in a poor position.
the browns are in a good position. the texans are in a good position. the raiders are in a good position.

The Giants are in a poor position because Eli sucks, and they are mostly stuck with him and his cap drain for now.

The Texans are in a good position, because Watson looks like a stud, if he can come back healthy. Without him they sucked balls.

The Raiders are in a good position, because Carr still has huge upside.

The Jets and Bears are in a bad position, because like the Browns, they don't have a decent QB. They would be in pretty much exactly the same spot as the Browns, but at least they aren't shackling themselves to HueHueHue. So they are still in a significantly better position than the Browns.

There is nothing about Hue Jackson that makes me think he can turn the Browns around. He can't develop players. He can't develop schemes. He can't coach. He can't design and call plays. Apparently the only things he is good at, is slef-promotion, and throwing others under the bus. And bringing him back, just proves that there is a significant lack of accountability that is necessary to run a successful organization. I would say they lack direction, but that would be wrong. It's just that they have actively chosen failure as a direction.
   903. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 09, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5603342)
I'm not usually all about ~Count The Wins~ but Hue Jackson is 1-31 and that's all you need to know about him. It's fantastic that they're keeping him.
   904. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: January 09, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5603393)
The Jets and Bears are in a bad position, because like the Browns, they don't have a decent QB. They would be in pretty much exactly the same spot as the Browns, but at least they aren't shackling themselves to HueHueHue. So they are still in a significantly better position than the Browns.
they have less talent, less cap room and fewer draft picks. that's a much worse position than CLE.
There is nothing about Hue Jackson that makes me think he can turn the Browns around. He can't develop players. He can't develop schemes. He can't coach. He can't design and call plays. Apparently the only things he is good at, is slef-promotion, and throwing others under the bus. And bringing him back, just proves that there is a significant lack of accountability that is necessary to run a successful organization. I would say they lack direction, but that would be wrong. It's just that they have actively chosen failure as a direction.

i think it's as reasonable to let hue jackson coach for a 3rd year as it is to hire a 7th coach in 11 years, which is what the browns would be doing if they fired him.

   905. jmurph Posted: January 09, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5603397)
i think it's as reasonable to let hue jackson coach for a 3rd year as it is to hire a 7th coach in 11 years, which is what the browns would be doing if they fired him.

Agree. I think it's also a display of humanity, to some degree: firing the guy after giving him garbage to work with for two years would just make them look even worse, which they're surely sensitive about at this point. But he'll surely be on a short lease next year working with the top end new draft picks and, presumably, a new QB.
   906. Quaker Posted: January 09, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5603427)
Carr is trash and probably the most overrated player in the league. His numbers are not very different from Blake Bortles'.
   907. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: January 09, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5603451)
The Jets and Bears are in a bad position, because like the Browns, they don't have a decent QB. They would be in pretty much exactly the same spot as the Browns, but at least they aren't shackling themselves to HueHueHue. So they are still in a significantly better position than the Browns.

they have less talent, less cap room and fewer draft picks. that's a much worse position than CLE.


I bet the Bears make the playoffs again before the Browns.

(I think the Bears are in a better position that you seem to think, with more talent that you're granting them, even with allowing for your draft/cap fetishes.)
   908. JJ1986 Posted: January 09, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5603455)
Is everyone giving up on Trubisky already?
   909. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 09, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5603460)
Giving up on him, would require ever having been in on him to begin with.
   910. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: January 09, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5603481)
I wasn't in on him, but I saw enough this year to think that maybe he could eventually be something. He needs receivers, and we'll see how he takes to what is hopefully a better system. He won't be as good as Watson, but that ship sailed.
   911. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: January 09, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5603506)
David Haugh @DavidHaugh 22m22 minutes ago

Nagy on the Chiefs' playoff collapse: "I called every single play in the second half…that’s a learning situation for me. That was a failure in my book, for me. I'll learn from it.''


Well, that's not a reassuring thing to say during your introduction, though I admire the brutal honesty.
   912. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 09, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5603519)
"I called every single play in the second half…that’s a learning situation for me. That was a failure in my book, for me. I'll learn from it.''

as the late great Peter Cook said "I've learned from my mistakes and I'm sure I could repeat them exactly"
   913. Tony S Posted: January 09, 2018 at 03:28 PM (#5603533)

The Browns retained Hue Jackson after he went 0-16, and they'll probably fire him after he goes 3-13 next year.

   914. zenbitz Posted: January 09, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5603550)
They went 0-16 because they fielded the worst offense (relative to its league) the NFL has ever seen


This is absolutely false. They were much better by DVOA (-20% to -40%) than the Rams were just last year. They were pretty close to Denver. I think the worst offense in (modern?) history was the 2005 49ers (Alex Smith rookie year).

The Browns look absolutely hapless, and it would not be at all surprising to see them screw up yet another draft loaded with high picks... BUT they could still turn it around in a year or two if their new GM is good and they get a little lucky.
They might need to catch Harbaugh-in-a-bottle or something, but if they acquire enough talent they will be salvageable.

I do think they pick a QB - draft is loaded.
   915. zenbitz Posted: January 09, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5603570)
I thought the Giants were bad because they are old.

I have no idea what happened to the Raiders. Carr regressed a little but was still solid. Their already bad pass defense got worse. Amani Cooper got reverse Steve Sax disease and Crabtree fell back to earth. Still don't see how that team goes from 12 wins to 6.... ah they were only +31 in points last year, their expected W/L was more like 9-7 (and they underperformed by a game this year as well).

Carr 2017 was just a bit better Bortles 2017... but that's because this year Bortles was somewhat average. Carr is much better than a TYPICAL Blake Bortles year. And Jacksonville 2017 is a much better team than the Raiders were last year.

   916. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 10, 2018 at 12:34 AM (#5603841)
Anyone have the spreads for this weekend's games?
   917. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: January 10, 2018 at 02:11 AM (#5603849)
I wasn't in on him, but I saw enough this year to think that maybe he could eventually be something. He needs receivers, and we'll see how he takes to what is hopefully a better system. He won't be as good as Watson, but that ship sailed.

a few things work against trubisky from a perception standpoint:
1: he only started 1 year in college
2: noone thought he was a prospect worth watching until september of that year
3: even people who thought he was a prospect considered him a sleeper
4: his draft stock rose from top 50 to top 10 without anyone seeing him play in a live game
5: CHI looked like a bunch of suckers by trading up to get him
6: they drafted him too high
7: they drafted him over watson
8: he threw 7 passes in one game.
9: he threw 15 passes in another game.
10: he threw 16 passes in another game.
11: he threw for 200 yards in only 3 of his 12 starts


sure, he can still develop into something decent (look how good alex smith has done for himself and noone else), but he's got a lot of work to do to catch up to stafford, tannehill and dalton...which is not the tier of QB that an organization wants their #2 overall pick to be associated with, let alone looking up at.
   918. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2018 at 09:02 AM (#5603882)
Anyone have the spreads for this weekend's games?


They'll change by Saturday, but right now I see:

Falcons (-3) at Eagles, over-under 41
Titans (+13.5) at Patriots, over-under 47
Jaguars (+7.5) at Steelers, over-under 40.5
Saints (+4) at Vikings, over-under 45.5

My favorite bet is one I already put some money on: Jaguars +270 (meaning you bet $100 to win $270) to win outright. I like that better than the spread because I think that while it's entirely possible the Steelers get a quick lead and go on to blow the Jaguars out, I also think that if it's close at halftime the Steelers are in trouble. +270 gives Jacksonville barely a 1-in-4 chance, but I think they're closer to 1-in-2.

I like the Saints +4, too. Undecided/ambivalent about the others.
   919. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 10, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5603892)
I took the Steelers at -6.5 when it opened. I suspect that line will go to about 9 before kickoff, so if you like the Jags you may be better off waiting. No guarantees for that of course.
   920. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5603897)
I like the Pats and Vikings to cover at the present numbers. I really want the Vikings spread to drop a point, or even a half.
   921. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 10, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5603899)
I think the spread is about right for Saints vs. Vikings, but I would be tempted by the under. The Vikings defense is the real deal, they were peaking towards the end of the season and they will be rested and ready to go. The Saints defense is also on the upswing and impressed me a fair amount last week.

EDIT: And I think the winner of this game represents the NFC. That game has better teams than the other one by far.
   922. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5603906)
Early weather forecast is for dry and mild, but windy, in Massachusetts and Philadelphia. Colder this weekend in Pittsburgh, but that's a 1:00 game so they could get sun. And the Vikings' home is basically a dome, right?
   923. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 10, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5603916)
And the Vikings' home is basically a dome, right?


Not basically, it is a dome. And the home crowd will be very energized for redemption tour 2018*.

* Avenging previous playoff losses to the Saints, Falcons, and then the Steelers all at home. In the dreams of the frozen tundra at any rate.
   924. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 10, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5603943)
The decision to replace the Metrodome with a dome for football and a non-dome for baseball will never stop being bizarre.
   925. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: January 10, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5603952)
give me the falcons -3, the saints +170 and the jaguars +300.

keep in mind, julius jones is not playing for atlanta on saturday.
   926. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5603958)
But Julio Jones probably is...
   927. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 10, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5603968)
Falcons (-3) at Eagles, over-under 41
Titans (+13.5) at Patriots, over-under 47
Jaguars (+7.5) at Steelers, over-under 40.5
Saints (+4) at Vikings, over-under 45.5


I've got the Eagles, Pats, Jags, Saints.

The Steelers seem wildly overrated to me. +98 on the year is good but not great and not commensurate with a 13-3 record; they got lucky in some respects. The Jags meanwhile were +149.

   928. zenbitz Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5604202)

That steelers / jags line is STRANGE. I haven't been following the Jags too closely but is it possible that their defensive numbers are built on a very strong first half? Or is this line just "Rothlesberger >>>> Bortles, steelers win".

/looks up some stats. OK, it's not that strange. PIT is actually +14% DVOA over JAC on the season, and Jacksonville has REALLY fallen off (probably due to getting smoked by the 49ers) in the weighted numbers. Still -7.5 seems high, I would put it around -6. I think that's right around +200.

Steelers are top 3-5 DVOA (depending on weighting).

I'll take:
Falcons
Titans (spread!)
Steelers
Saints
   929. jmurph Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5604203)
Last I checked Jacksonville had, I believe, the easiest schedule in the entire league. Not among playoff teams, but literally 32nd overall.
   930. jmurph Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5604204)
Titans (spread!)

Not a gambler but this seems like the easy bet to me this weekend, too. Even if we assume New England wins comfortably, that's just a ton of points.
   931. SoSH U at work Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5604210)
Last I checked Jacksonville had, I believe, the easiest schedule in the entire league. Not among playoff teams, but literally 32nd overall.


It stands to reason. Their division sucks, and they played the easiest schedule in it (an unavoidable byproduct of winning it).

   932. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5604215)

/looks up some stats. OK, it's not that strange.
In addition to the things you mention, they simply did not look that good last weekend in the game against the Bills.
   933. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5604225)
a few things work against trubisky from a perception standpoint:
1: he only started 1 year in college
2: noone thought he was a prospect worth watching until september of that year
3: even people who thought he was a prospect considered him a sleeper
4: his draft stock rose from top 50 to top 10 without anyone seeing him play in a live game
5: CHI looked like a bunch of suckers by trading up to get him
6: they drafted him too high
7: they drafted him over watson
8: he threw 7 passes in one game.
9: he threw 15 passes in another game.
10: he threw 16 passes in another game.
11: he threw for 200 yards in only 3 of his 12 starts


sure, he can still develop into something decent (look how good alex smith has done for himself and noone else), but he's got a lot of work to do to catch up to stafford, tannehill and dalton...which is not the tier of QB that an organization wants their #2 overall pick to be associated with, let alone looking up at.


Oh, I agree overall and that trade is likely never going to look good in retrospect no matter how good he gets. As for points 8-10, and a little of 11, that's outside his control. I'm just saying I think his floor and ceiling are a bit higher than I thought going into last season. The fact that he did have some promising games is more than I expected for this past season all things considered. Damning with the faintest praise possible, I know.
   934. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5604228)
I wouldn't call the Steelers vastly overrated--they're a legit 11-12 win team, it almost always takes a little luck to win more than that--but they have a few serious flaws in a way the other contenders don't. Most notably that they can't stop a good running game at all, and in general their defense is very exploitable if you can stymie their pass rush (especially without Shazier) and if you can get pressure with four rushers and smother their receivers you can frustrate their offense.

You'll notice how two of those three things are things Jacksonville is very good at. I think this matchup could go either way, slight win probability edge to the Steelers just for home field. I think the Steelers either get a lead and then get after Bortles, or they lose.

This should be said for the Steelers, though, and it's critical to their offensive success: they and the Saints have the best offensive lines in the league this year. Very strong across the board. You'll notice this tends to be true of teams that are elite at both passing and rushing.
   935. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5604233)
The Falcons looked good against LA last week, and the Eagles have looked bad without Wentz, so yeah, I'm tempted to take them and the points. But then I remember this team struggled mightily to eke out a win against Mike Glennon, and allowed Jay Cutler to erase a 17 point second half lead *at home.*
   936. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5604234)
In addition to the things you mention, they simply did not look that good last weekend in the game against the Bills.


I think that's actually something that works a little bit in their favor. Bortles can't possibly be as bad as he was last week, and Fournette ought to be better, too.

The Jags' defense matches up very well with the Steelers' passing game, as we saw in the first game between these two. They get after the quarterback, and Ben is already inclined to take a lot of sacks. If he tries to get rid of the ball quick, the Jags' CBs are good at taking advantage of that. The best outlook for the Steelers would be to take an early lead, then give Bell 35 carries.
   937. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5604235)
In addition to the things you mention, [the Jags] simply did not look that good last weekend in the game against the Bills.

OTOH they beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh by 30 to 9 when they played them in October, outscoring them 23 to 3 in the second half. And their "Expected W-L" is 11.8 - 4.2", so if anything they're slightly better than their 10-6 record might indicate. I can't see them beating a Steelers team with Antonio Brown now back on the field, but it wouldn't shock me if they beat the spread.
   938. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5604253)
The Falcons looked good against LA last week, and the Eagles have looked bad without Wentz, so yeah, I'm tempted to take them and the points. But then I remember this team struggled mightily to eke out a win against Mike Glennon, and allowed Jay Cutler to erase a 17 point second half lead *at home.*


Well, Pittsburgh lost to Mike Glennon, so...
   939. RobDeer Posted: January 11, 2018 at 04:30 AM (#5604452)
sure, he can still develop into something decent (look how good alex smith has done for himself and noone else), but he's got a lot of work to do to catch up to stafford, tannehill and dalton...which is not the tier of QB that an organization wants their #2 overall pick to be associated with, let alone looking up at.


Stafford is approximately 65% completion, 4500 yards, 30 TD 10 INT, 7 ANY/A right now per season; any team in the league would be happy with that production from even a #1 overall pick.
   940. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 11, 2018 at 05:24 AM (#5604453)
I don't necessarily disagree overall, but I don't see how you can say Stafford is a 7ANY/A guy. When this season is the only year he ever reached that mark, and it was with an overwhelming 7.01. I think you would hope for something a bit more in terms of raw numbers from a #1 overall, but that discussion kinda misses the point anyway imo.

Detroit's problem is that they can't run the ball. At. All. Dead last this year in total yards, and yards per attempt this year. And they have been pretty consistently in the bottom few teams the last few years. Give Stafford a running game other teams have to respect even a little, and his efficiency would go way up.
   941. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: January 11, 2018 at 07:20 AM (#5604462)
Yeah, Stafford is an excellent QB stuck on a bad franchise (partly of his own doing, since he’s fairly paid).
   942. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 08:36 AM (#5604479)
The Falcons looked good against LA last week, and the Eagles have looked bad without Wentz, so yeah, I'm tempted to take them and the points. But then I remember this team struggled mightily to eke out a win against Mike Glennon, and allowed Jay Cutler to erase a 17 point second half lead *at home.*


Yeah, they're impossible to figure out. Their home game against Carolina is a perfect example of why. On the one hand, they allowed just 10 points and 248 yards to a playoff bound team, 50 of which were basically garbage time yards after they went up 12 with 2:31 to go.

On the other hand, they just kept kicking FG after FG after FG. The defense would give them great starting field position after a turnover? FG. They'd drive and get a 1st and 10 at the 12? FG. Matt Bryant is a great kicker, but I could absolutely see them losing 17-13 after he misses a FG early in the 4th and Atlanta's final drive ends in the red zone with Ryan overthrowing Sanu on 4th down because they have no clue how to get Julio Jones into the end zone.

I guess I'd take Atlanta because, well, if they can limit the Rams to 13 in LA, they could certainly hold Nick Foles to 3, and Julio is always capable of just going nuclear. But this is going to be an ugly game.
   943. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 11, 2018 at 08:49 AM (#5604485)
Yeah, they're impossible to figure out. Their home game against Carolina is a perfect example of why. On the one hand, they allowed just 10 points and 248 yards to a playoff bound team, 50 of which were basically garbage time yards after they went up 12 with 2:31 to go.

That was almost entirely down to Newton being worse than Bad Bortles in that game. He was like Peterman level bad. Maybe worse, because he was missing people by so much, that even the defenders had no chance of making a play on the ball. And he still threw 3 of those too. I am not even joking. Even on really short, dink and dunk stuff, with no pressure, he was routinely missing by 10 feet in that game. 14-34 with 3 picks, and I still think that understates just how bad he was in that game.
   944. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:41 AM (#5604508)
My almost certainly wrong picks:

Patriots 33, Titans 21 - Titans get the garbage time cover but it's not that close.
Steelers 24, Jaguars 13 - Steelers get out to a 10-0 lead and the Jaguars can't get back into it.
Falcons 22, Eagles 20 - Eagles lead most of the way but the Falcons pull it out late. Eagles cover.
Saints 26, Vikings 23 - I'm not sure how the Vikings will lose this game. Just that it will really, really hurt.

Hmmm... I'm backing three underdogs this week, after all four underdogs covered last week. That's not likely to turn out well.
   945. jmurph Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5604509)
Sidebar, but is Cam Newton just bad? Over the last 4 years, he's had two terrible years, one good year, and one bad year (2014/16, 2015, and 2017, respectively).
   946. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5604512)
Newton's not bad but he's not very good. The talent is clearly there--he played at an MVP level in 2015--but there's no week to week consistency with him at all. Every Panthers fan I know loves Newton and swears the problem is, and has always been, terrible offensive coaching (they really hate the just-fired Mike Shula). Unfortunately that's not likely to improve with the hiring of Norv Turner, a profound mediocrity who's now milked 25 years of NFL paychecks out of happening to be in the right place (Dallas) at the right time (1991 to 1993).
   947. jmurph Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5604520)
Newton's not bad but he's not very good. The talent is clearly there--he played at an MVP level in 2015

Well he did literally win the MVP that year, so sure, but in reality he was somewhere between the... 5th-8th best QB in the league? Brady/Palmer/Wilson were all better, Brees was very good, Dalton (!), Cousins, and Roethlisberger all had good years. If that's the year that's doing the heavy-lifting for his reputation then he's even more overrated than I originally suggested.
   948. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5604523)
Newton is incredibly variable in results, the poster child for high variance.

Norv is very stuck on his plan. He has a way of doing things and that is what he is going to do. Within that framework he is solid and was once innovative, but he can't seem to reach past that framework. Watching him fail to adapt to the large changes the Viking went through in personnel was really painful.

I have no idea how well the two of them will work together, likely bad but maybe magic - if their respective weaknesses cancel out and their strengths work together I guess.
   949. Nasty Nate Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:11 AM (#5604528)
Patriots 33, Titans 21 - Titans get the garbage time cover but it's not that close.
Entirely plausible. However, NE has covered lots of big spreads in the last few years because more often than not, they are the ones putting up the garbage time points.
   950. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5604564)
True. I'm envisioning it being 33-14 and the Titans going down the field in the last three minutes of the game and scoring when even the Patriots no longer really care.
   951. PepTech, Bane of Epistemological Foundations Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5604570)
On the field, Newton is remarkably similar to Kaepernick. Mercurial start, wobbly and inconsistent follow-up. Same kind of post-season results. Same ability to polarize...
   952. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5604614)
Sidebar, but is Cam Newton just bad? Over the last 4 years, he's had two terrible years, one good year, and one bad year (2014/16, 2015, and 2017, respectively).

i think he had a shoulder one or two of those years.

the way to build around newton is to use the threat of the deep ball to keep two safeties out of the box and make the foundation of the offense a simple zone running scheme, with a big, powerful one cut RB. use 3 WR packages to keep defenses in nickel personnel and split the TE out wide if they stay in base. mix in some WR screens to keep defenses honest and some zone reads to take advantage of newton's running ability, and you'll stretch nearly any defense past its breaking point.

it seems like they're making the same mistakes that jim mora made with mike vick in ATL. even if precision passing is a strength for newton, you don't want him throwing to RBs and slot receivers because that sucks defenders up to the line of scrimmage and takes away the running game.

threaten the deep ball and use formations to get defenders out of the box, and then just run the damn ball. it's not rocket science.
   953. Tony S Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5604633)
My predictions, for what they're worth:

Eagles 21, Falcons 14 -- the Eagles are tired of hearing how bad they are without Wentz, and the Falcons are about as consistent as the application of the NFL catch rule. The Eagles are at home, the weather won't be great, they've had an extra week to rest, so this will be their "silence-the-doubters" game, creating a new media narrative that will last until they're destroyed in the NFC championship game.

Saints 28, Vikings 24 -- It's basically a matter of trusting Brees over Keenum.

Patriots 31, Titans 14 -- The NFL divisional round is often fraught with stunning upsets. This won't be one of them.

Steelers 20, Jaguars 7 -- Good as their defense is, I just can't see Jacksonville keeping up with Pittsburgh at Heinz with Blake Bortles, especially since Roethlisberger probably isn't going to oblige with an interception party this time around.
   954. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5604635)
That was almost entirely down to Newton being worse than Bad Bortles in that game. He was like Peterman level bad. Maybe worse, because he was missing people by so much, that even the defenders had no chance of making a play on the ball. And he still threw 3 of those too. I am not even joking. Even on really short, dink and dunk stuff, with no pressure, he was routinely missing by 10 feet in that game. 14-34 with 3 picks, and I still think that understates just how bad he was in that game.


In fairness, Atlanta still ranks 8th in the league in PA/G, and they've held some pretty good teams to solid point totals recently: 17 and 23 against the Saints, and 14 against Minnesota, and of course, just 13 to the Rams. I'm just saying, the defense is much improved (though they don't force turnovers enough) to the point where I'm confident they can stop Foles. But the offense is just so off-kilter, they just take easily winnable games and kind of make them competitive. As you say, Newton was terrible , but the Falcons just kept settling for FGs, after both long drives and after getting short fields and it was still a one-score game in the 4th when Bryant was lining up for a 56-yarder. That's why the Falcons make me so jittery. But it's still Nick Foles.
   955. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5604646)
Man this thread doesn't like the Vikings. At home, as the favorite not only to win but also to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, with a world class defense and a killer narrative (Keenum and Thielen, overachieving underdogs! Revenge for 2009), and still most here are picking against them.

I think the Vikings win. I trust the coaching staff and defense and think the offense can do enough to win at home.
   956. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5604659)
The Vikings have a long long history of kicking their fans in the balls... but then, what better way to do that than to painfully blow the Super Bowl in their own stadium? :)

They're very good, well balanced and can definitely beat the Saints. I think the Saints are the best team, though, I picked them (and bet on them) to win the Super Bowl before the playoffs started, and I'm sticking with them. Unfortunate for the Vikings to draw the Saints rather than the Falcons in the second round.

e: Actually I should probably put a small bet on the Vikings moneyline as a hedge (I got 9-to-1 on the Saints before the playoffs began).
   957. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 11, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5604672)
Man this thread doesn't like the Vikings. At home, as the favorite not only to win but also to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, with a world class defense and a killer narrative (Keenum and Thielen, overachieving underdogs! Revenge for 2009), and still most here are picking against them.

I think the Vikings win. I trust the coaching staff and defense and think the offense can do enough to win at home.


Since the worst thing that can happen is to be wrong, I'm going with the Purple People Eaters -4, the Falcons -3, the Jags +7 and the Patriots -13. Then the Vikes over the Falcons, the Patriots over the Steelers, and the Keenumites to finally bring the stinky nasty lutefisk trophy to the land of Calvin Griffith.

At least that's what I've been hoping for, ever since the Ravens were left to contemplate their final defensive breakdown for the next eight months.

Only one thing: Why do the Twins get to enjoy the brisk outdoor air, but the Vikings don't? What would Bud Grant have had to say about that?
   958. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5604675)
Well, the revenge for 2009 thing is meaningless to everyone but the fans.

I too think we're sleeping a bit on the Vikings. The Saints are 4-4 on the road this season, one of which was a win over the inept Brett Hundley-led Packers. With Drew Brees all things are possible, but the Saints on the road have never inspired the most confidence
   959. Nasty Nate Posted: January 11, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5604680)
The Vikings spread is up to 5, so somebody believes in them.
   960. jmurph Posted: January 11, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5604688)
I'm with Mouse on this one, I just think the Vikings are good. That all the fancy stats love the Saints definitely gives me pause, though, even if I haven't seen them look great in the times I've watched them.
   961. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 11, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5604700)
Only one thing: Why do the Twins get to enjoy the brisk outdoor air, but the Vikings don't? What would Bud Grant have had to say about that?


The Twins wanted an outdoor stadium and the Vikings wanted an indoor stadium. Sometimes the simple answer is the right one.
   962. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 11, 2018 at 03:42 PM (#5604885)
Man this thread doesn't like the Vikings. At home, as the favorite not only to win but also to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, with a world class defense and a killer narrative (Keenum and Thielen, overachieving underdogs! Revenge for 2009),


I think the narrative for Keenum is less "overachieving underdog" than "mediocrity having a fluky good year."
   963. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 11, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5604920)
I think the narrative for Keenum is less "overachieving underdog" than "mediocrity having a fluky good year."


As long as that year is 2018 and the Vikings win the big one I don't care if he turns into a pumpkin or not.

Anyway I just saw this article, it is a good read - Case Keenum is having the ultimate breakout, but we shouldn't be surprised

"He's playing at a Pro Bowl level," the executive said. "He's put himself in the same conversation as Kirk Cousins. His film is excellent. He's got a live arm, accurate, accurate on three levels, good mobility, tough, smart. I didn't give him a good grade out of college, but his tape this year is outstanding. He's playing like a real quarterback -- a borderline franchise guy -- not a journeyman. You watch six games this year and you say, 'Holy s---, look how good Case Keenum is."
   964. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 11, 2018 at 05:23 PM (#5604984)
Only one thing: Why do the Twins get to enjoy the brisk outdoor air, but the Vikings don't? What would Bud Grant have had to say about that?

The Twins wanted an outdoor stadium and the Vikings wanted an indoor stadium. Sometimes the simple answer is the right one.


Well, that first part was a rhetorical question, but I'd still love to see a seance with Bud to get his opinion on climate-controlled stadiums. He'll be watching Sunday's game through a hole in the roof, wearing his halo and a windbreaker.
   965. dlf Posted: January 11, 2018 at 05:25 PM (#5604987)
Only one thing: Why do the Twins get to enjoy the brisk outdoor air, but the Vikings don't? What would Bud Grant have had to say about that?


The coldest I think I've ever been was watching a 1977 game between the Bud's boys and the 49ers at old Metropolitan Stadium. The stadium was basically U shaped with one end open. Dad and one of his colleagues split a season ticket package that had two seats 6 rows from the top and right against the rail at the open end of the field. Kick-off was a balmy 12 degrees with a bit of wind at ground level. Way up where we were, it was certainly well below the listed -2 wind chill. I was ten years old and, for the first time in my life, was allowed to take nips from the flasks (schnapps, I think) that the adults kept passing back and forth to stay warm.

I love games played in those conditions -- as long as I'm safely inside watching on tv.

   966. dlf Posted: January 11, 2018 at 05:27 PM (#5604989)
...but I'd still love to see a seance with Bud to get his opinion on climate-controlled stadiums. He'll be watching Sunday's game through a hole in the roof, wearing his halo and a windbreaker.


Bud is still alive and working for the Vikings. I wouldn't be surprised if he is ice fishing in Superior at game time, but rather doubt he watches through the roof.
   967. zenbitz Posted: January 11, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5605048)
Yeah, Stafford is an excellent QB stuck on a bad franchise (partly of his own doing, since he’s fairly paid).


No, that describes Phillip Rivers (who I guess has not actually aged very well). Stafford's _AY/A_ is 7.0 career but his _NAY/A_ is lower (including sacks). His sacks went down this year, making him quite a bit better. He's probably the kind of QB you can realistically hope to get with a high draft pick, assuming you don't win the lottery. So he's a franchise QB but not what I would call excellent.

Stafford is in the Dalton/Palmer/Pennington zone, not even getting to the Jeff Garcia stratosphere, but better than the Flacco/Manning/Smith tier of game managers.
   968. zenbitz Posted: January 11, 2018 at 06:51 PM (#5605051)
My pick against the Vikings (WITH the points, not straight up) isn't really a strong call. I just think the game will be close and the Saints have a better QB.
   969. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 11, 2018 at 07:12 PM (#5605060)
Were Vinny Testaverde and Kerry Collins "game managers"?
   970. Nero Wolfe, Indeed Posted: January 12, 2018 at 12:58 AM (#5605256)
Is everyone giving up on Trubisky already?


I think Trubisky's ceiling is Blake Bortles.
   971. zenbitz Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:31 AM (#5605269)
Without looking their (Testaverde and Collins') numbers up I would put them between Eli and Stafford.
   972. MHS Posted: January 12, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5605321)
The Vikings are a little unfortunate to be playing the Saints this week. I think their is a strong case that they are two of the three best teams in football. I'd make small (half a normal bet) on the Vikings, giving the points, but not love it.

I think the Falcons, are highly overrated and love the Eagles as a home dog. The Falcons are getting the benefit of two things, 1) recency bias as people are putting way to much emphasis on a strong recent defensive performances and 2) over extrapolation, since their offense was wonderful last season it is still wonderful. When in reality the defense is rather below average, and the offense is merely good. The Eagles, while obviously have the headline issue of blah QB play - their defense is easily the best unit in the game and will get to play home. 2x normal bet on the Eagles, with the points.

I like the Pats and the over. I don't think Tennessee will be able to slow down the Patroits offense. The extra week of rest plus the return of White, Hogan and Burkhead all loom large for the Patriots. I have little confidence in the Patriots D, but I don't expect the Titians to be able to keep up, though I wouldn't be surprised to see them put up 20ish. Bet the Pats and the Over.

I like the Jags, though likely to just cover. Once again more recency bias, this time as it relates to the Jags offense, which is OK/Averagish - not horrible like it has looked. I do think Jacksonvilles Defense is legit excellent, and I'm skeptical Brown is 100% which might be enough to slow down the Steelers offense. Bet the Jags, and take the points.
   973. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 10:06 AM (#5605339)

Stafford is in the Dalton/Palmer/Pennington zone, not even getting to the Jeff Garcia stratosphere,


Ha -- the other day, Colin Cowherd was arguing that Palmer deserves to go to the HOF.
   974. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 12, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5605346)
I think the Falcons, are highly overrated and love the Eagles as a home dog. The Falcons are getting the benefit of two things, 1) recency bias as people are putting way to much emphasis on a strong recent defensive performances and 2) over extrapolation, since their offense was wonderful last season it is still wonderful. When in reality the defense is rather below average, and the offense is merely good. The Eagles, while obviously have the headline issue of blah QB play - their defense is easily the best unit in the game and will get to play home. 2x normal bet on the Eagles, with the points.


This game is IMO the hardest to read. There are enough factors going in different directions that I wouldn't be surprised by any outcome. I want the Falcons to win, mostly because I like the idea of the Vikings only playing at home, but I am not sure I have a real sense either way other than both these teams are worse than both the Vikings and Saints.

Regarding the Vikings and Saints game one factor that I think is being a bit underplayed is injuries. Right now the Vikings are pretty healthy and it appears to me the Saints are much less so, that and the home field advantage and belief in the Vikings defense is giving me more confidence than I probably should have.
   975. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 12, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5605524)
If I were a Vikings fan I'd rather go to Philly than host Atlanta. Philadelphia won't score on Minnesota's defense.

Philadelphia doesn't have blah QB play. They have awful QB play.
   976. zenbitz Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5605580)
OK I looked up Testaverde and Collins.... what did I miss? Testeverde >> Collins but both are worse than Eli Manning. Not really sure why I give Alex Smith that much credit, although his early career really destroys his stats.
   977. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5605586)
There's a significant era/context difference that narrows the gap between Testaverde and Manning, especially when you consider that Testaverde's early career also tanked his stats.

That wasn't what I had in mind when I asked that question, though--I was questioning what the term "game manager" is supposed to mean. I always interpreted it to mean a guy who can't really lead an offense by himself but takes care of the ball, makes right decisions and safe throws, etc. Alex Smith the past five years, or Sam Bradford the one or two weeks a year that he's healthy. So it strikes me as odd to call a guy who threw more interceptions than anyone of his generation* a "game manager." Maybe my interpretation is off base and most people just use the term as a polite way of saying mediocre.

* Manning's tied with Drew Brees for the lead among active QBs, but Brees is older and has 2,000 more attempts. Ben Roethlisberger is 50 interceptions behind in third place.
   978. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5605590)
If I were a Vikings fan I'd rather go to Philly than host Atlanta. Philadelphia won't score on Minnesota's defense.


Think about what you just wrote. You would rather go to Philly? Really? (I kid, I actually like Philly)

Seriously though you are missing two important fan narratives ... Home all the way through the Super Bowl AND Redemption Tour 2018 (Saints, Falcons, Steelers). Going to Philly kind of defeats both of those. Also weather is an X factor, and I think we are better enough than both teams I would rather be at home with weather being no factor.

That said I think we can beat either team, the Saints are much more of an obstacle.
   979. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5605594)
Home field advantage is a real thing. BUT. In the modern NFL, given the choice between playing a team that as an elite QB and a team forced to play its backup, I will take the latter every single time even if that team has a better defense and I have to play them on the road. Especially if I have a damn good defense myself.

Plus, far as narrative goes, Philly's history of NFC Championship games at home is pretty tortured too. :)

Regardless, I do think the winner of Minnesota-New Orleans is the likely NFC (and Super Bowl) champion.
   980. zenbitz Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5605682)
agree I should not have used the game manager title. I looked at league/season-adjusted stats for Collins and Testaverde too. Testaverde, like Eli had a year or two where he excelled (I mean, so did NIck Foles so YMMV). Collins had maybe 1 above average year?
   981. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 11:34 PM (#5605840)
That wasn't what I had in mind when I asked that question, though--I was questioning what the term "game manager" is supposed to mean. I always interpreted it to mean a guy who can't really lead an offense by himself but takes care of the ball, makes right decisions and safe throws, etc. Alex Smith the past five years, or Sam Bradford the one or two weeks a year that he's healthy. So it strikes me as odd to call a guy who threw more interceptions than anyone of his generation* a "game manager." Maybe my interpretation is off base and most people just use the term as a polite way of saying mediocre.


"Game manager" means that the QB isn't trusted to throw deep. (Mainly because his head coach doesn't believe in a vertical offense.)
   982. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: January 13, 2018 at 03:26 AM (#5605858)
Or because they can't throw deep effectively. Most NFL coaches are willing to tolerate long completions from their QBs.
   983. Tony S Posted: January 13, 2018 at 08:12 AM (#5605865)

I find the use of the term "game manager" when describing journeymen quarterbacks as silly and superfluous, and demeaning for its own sake. We don't call pitchers who rely more on control than on their fastballs "play originators".
   984. Greg K Posted: January 13, 2018 at 08:33 AM (#5605868)
I find the use of the term "game manager" when describing journeymen quarterbacks as silly and superfluous, and demeaning for its own sake. We don't call pitchers who rely more on control than on their fastballs "play originators".

We call them innings-eaters though. Which in effect carries a very close meaning.

EDIT: At least, I consider "game managers" and "innings eaters" to be pretty similar. Neither one is going to take the team on their shoulders and win the game. But you can usually rely on them to hang in there, not #### the bed, and give your team a chance.
   985. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 13, 2018 at 08:43 AM (#5605873)
Falcons -2.5
Patriots -13.5
Steelers -6.5
Vikings -4.5

All 4 favorites, well this is going to go horribly. I really wanted to pick the Eagles, because I just don't think the Falcons are that good. But I just can't bring myself to bet on Foles.
   986. Tony S Posted: January 13, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5605876)

#984 -- That's interesting. I'd never thought about that, but it makes sense.

I still think there's a small difference, in tone anyway. When a quarterback is described as a "game manager" it seems to be more about his abilities than about his role. "Alex Smith is more a game manager than a real quarterback." When we talk about a pitcher as an "innings eater" it's more about his role; we don't really say "Charlie Morton isn't really a pitcher, just an innings eater." Just my impression on the way the terms are used...

   987. Greg K Posted: January 13, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5605877)
Yeah I think another distinction is that a game manager has a tactical association, short passes, and a running game.

An innings eater doesn't necessarily have a tactical profile. A lot of innings eaters are low-K, low-BB pitch to contact type guys. But they aren't necessarily that.
   988. Tony S Posted: January 13, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5605878)

I think the Vikings would have a markedly greater home-field advantage if they were playing out in the elements, but they're a dome team hosting another dome team, so they lose some of that edge in the process. I have no idea how one would study and confirm such an effect, though.

Saints-Vikings could very well be the Super Bowl.
   989. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 13, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5605880)
When we talk about a pitcher as an "innings eater" it's more about his role;

I don't see that at all. "Innings eater" is all about the abilities and quality of a pitcher. It's a non-elite pitcher, who is good enough and durable enough to give you 180+ innings, without killing you, but without setting the world on fire. Nobody calls Sale, or Kershaw, or Verlander, or Sxherzer innings eaters, even if they are routinely near the top of the leaderboard in terms of innings pitched.
   990. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 13, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5605889)
I think the Vikings would have a markedly greater home-field advantage if they were playing out in the elements, but they're a dome team hosting another dome team, so they lose some of that edge in the process. I have no idea how one would study and confirm such an effect, though.


It is -10 out there this morning. Earlier this winter we spent the better part of three weeks below zero. Many here in MN love the idea of outdoor football - Oorah! - but that be crazy weather to play outdoor football in. Losing a little home field advantage is maybe not the worst thing in the world, even assuming that is so. Especially in the age of free agents, "you can play in LA, Miami or on a frozen hellscape, all three teams are offering similar contracts - which will it be?"
   991. Greg K Posted: January 13, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5605893)
The Roughriders' new stadium was built to be "full roof capable" in some unforeseen future when there's money for such extravagances.

But at least this new one has an over-hang to protect fans from the snow. But really, watermelons provide all the insulation from the elements that you need.
   992. puck Posted: January 13, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5605993)

EDIT: At least, I consider "game managers" and "innings eaters" to be pretty similar. Neither one is going to take the team on their shoulders and win the game. But you can usually rely on them to hang in there, not #### the bed, and give your team a chance.


Typically they are not making the big play--not even trying. But also avoiding turnovers. Safe passes to cut down the INTs, and get rid of it quickly to cut down the sacks/fumbles.

The Broncos were hoping Trevor Siemian could be a game manager.
   993. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 13, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5606002)
I find the use of the term "game manager" when describing journeymen quarterbacks as silly and superfluous, and demeaning for its own sake. We don't call pitchers who rely more on control than on their fastballs "play originators".


We do call them LAIM, though.
   994. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 13, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5606004)
Or because they can't throw deep effectively.


Every NFL quarterback can. It's the coaches who are gun shy, running screaming from interceptions without considering all the factors. Selective memory bias is a natural human phenomenon but coaches -- whose job is to study this and understand the different factors at play -- really ought to know better.
   995. puck Posted: January 13, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5606011)
Stafford is approximately 65% completion, 4500 yards, 30 TD 10 INT, 7 ANY/A right now per season; any team in the league would be happy with that production from even a #1 overall pick.


Interestingly, Stafford has never done this in a single season. 4500 yds and 10 INT's is a really tough combo.

If we cherry pick his last four seasons (when his INT's seemed to have gone down), he's averaged the following, which seems pretty good for a non-elite guy:

588 ATT, 64.6%, 4323 Yds, 27 TD, 11 INT, 7.4 Yd/att.
Started all 64 games.

4500+ passing yards with 10 or fewer INT's has been done 11 times, by Tom Brady (4 times), Peyton Manning (twice), Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rovers, and Rich Gannon (!).


30+ TD's and 10 or fewer INT's is also tough, only 28 seasons.

If we loosen up the parameters a bit: 4400 yds+, 28+ TD, 12 or fewer INT, 64+ %, we get 17 seasons. Stafford's 2017 is on the list.
   996. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 13, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5606020)
I don't understand why the Falcons aren't putting an 8th man in the box. Make Foles beat you. Right now, they are just letting Ajayi run rampant over them.
   997. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 13, 2018 at 05:27 PM (#5606028)
The Falcons are horribly coached.
   998. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 13, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5606029)
Double post
   999. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 13, 2018 at 07:04 PM (#5606068)
Neither team is impressing me right now.
   1000. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 13, 2018 at 07:07 PM (#5606070)
Foles is not that impressive, but the rest of this Eagles offense is awfully good. Blake Bortles would probably look like a decent QB under these circumstances.
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