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Weekend Games

Oct 18, 2014 -- 10:22am

 

Falcons at Ravens: On paper this matchup looks horrifying for Atlanta. The Falcons come in reeling, having lost 3 in a row, they’re offensive line looks porous and in particular the play of tackles Mathews and Carimi, who must be pooping their pants at the thought of blocking T-Sizzle and Dumervil. Atlanta has struggled to run the ball vs. soft units and the Ravens are 7thbest in the NFL against the rush. Defensively Atlanta is atrocious, allowing explosive plays via the run or the pass. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak has dramatically improved the Baltimore offense, the Ravens have 9 runs of 20 yards or more, best in the league. Atlanta can’t put any pressure on opposing QBs, they are currently 28thin the league in sacks per play, plus Baltimore’s improved o-line hasn’t allowed a sack in 4 of the 6 games this year. Last week Joe Flacco threw for 5 touchdowns faster than any QB since the merger in 1970, that record could be in jeopardy this weekend! Baltimore’s record at home vs. NFC teams since 2003 is 21-2, they’re 8-1 vs. dome teams at M&T Bank Stadium since John Harbaugh became the coach, meanwhile Atlanta has been awful on the road 0-3, and Matt Ryan has 6 interceptions in those losses. Nightmare matchup for the Falcons? If evaluating this game on paper, the Ravens should win 51-3, but funny things happen on NFL Sundays, I have a feeling the Falcons keep this close.

Carolina at Green Bay: Last week Cam Newton ran the ball 17 times, gashing the Bengals defense for over 100 yards. The Packers have historically had great difficulty stopping the read option, remember the 49ers running for what seemed like a million yards in that playoff game? Jonathan Stewart’s return should help vs. a Green Bay defense that is DEAD LAST in the NFL against the rush, yielding 154 yards per game. The problem is that Aaron Rodgers plays for the Packers and must be salivating at the thought of opposing a Panthers defense that has given up 30 plus points in 4 straight contests. Carolina’s secondary is a dumpster fire, and without Greg Hardy, they have no pass rush, which is an explosive combination versus Rodgers. Panthers still in the midst of schedule death march, after this likely loss, they have Seattle, New Orleans and Philadelphia. Good Luck with that.

Saints at Lions: 2 offenses that have under- performed and both having to deal with the loss of key cogs. Megatron is still out for Detroit, and Jimmy Graham is missing for the Saints. Don’t look now but the Lions might have the best defense in the league, their front four has been terrorizing opposing qbs, and the New Orleans O-line has really disappointed this year. The Saints defense is allowing opposing QB’s to accumulate a 103 rating! Stafford , who has struggled this year, should have a good day at the office 

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Oct 12 -Sunday Game

Oct 12, 2014 -- 2:16pm

Chicago at Atlanta: Best thing that Atlanta has going for it is Jay Cutler, who has thrown hideous picks the last 2 weeks to doom his team. I wonder if Arthur Blank is going to have the Atlanta Fire dept. on the sidelines to hose down Robert Alford, who was burnt to a crisp last weekend, and now must face Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey.  Bears have no defense, and their talented offense is grossly underachieving, scoring a total of 3 points in the 2ndhalf the last 2 weeks. If the modestly talented Panthers offense can put up 31 points vs. this toothless Bear defense, Matt Ryan at home should light them up!. Falcons win a high scoring affair.

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Today’s Games

Oct 05, 2014 -- 11:39am

Atlanta at Giants: Last week Falcons were smacked around like donkeys by the Vikings, this week figures to be an even tougher matchup in the trenches. In 2 roads losses thus far the Falcons defense has surrendered over 1,000 yards, now they get a resurgent Giants offense that has outscored the opponent 75 to 31 last 2 weeks. Jake Mathews draws a tough assignment vs. Jason-Pierre Paul and Atlanta will be missing 3 other starters on the O-line. Matt Ryan may  want to make sure his medical insurance premiums are up to date.

Bears at Carolina: Both come in a disappointing 2-2. The Panthers are the worst team in the NFL in the red zone on offense and defense. The Bears have no defense. Carolina’s season is in serious jeopardy, the o-line is terrible, Cam Newton is limping around, and no one wants to say it but, the defense without Greg Hardy is just not the same. The Bears big WR’s should fubar the Panthers porous secondary, and start Matt Forte on your fantasy team this week, as the Panthers have given up almost 400 yards rushing the last 2 weeks.

Buccaneers at Saints: The only number you need to know is 18, that’s how many games in a row the Saints have won at home with Sean Payton coaching. At 1-3 the Saints, a Super Bowl favorite in the pre-season, are in must win mode. Saints are only 19thin scoring offense, look for that to change today. New Orleans secondary has been very skittish, bit the SUCS offer little competition.

Houston at Dallas: Both come in a surprising 3-1. A win today would be 4 in a row, and represent the longest streak under Jason Garrett. If you look at the Dallas schedule, this is a big game, because next week they are at Seattle a probable loss. DeMarco Murray is having an MVP like season thus far with 4 straight 100 yard and 1 touchdown games to start the year, the only other 3 guys to do that, Jim Brown, OJ Simpson and Emmitt Smith. Nice company.

Steelers at Jaguars: The immovable object meets the unstoppable force. The Steelers have no pass rush vs a Jaguar O-line that has given up an incredible 20 SACKS in 4 games. The Jags defense has allowed 152 points in just 4 games, they’re just the 6thteam since 1940 to do that, but they could  meet their match due the stone stupid play calling of dimwit Todd Haley, the Pittsburgh offensive coordinator. He will single handedly keep Jacksonville in this game.

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NFL Preview Week 3

Sep 21, 2014 -- 7:58am

Minnesota at New Orleans: Being on the road might be preferable when you consider the week the Vikings have had. The Saints opening 0-2 are perhaps the biggest surprise of the season, but don’t panic just yet, I agree with Brees, they are literally 2 plays from being 2-0. Remember, last year the Panthers got off to lousy start and still won the NFC South. I have a feeling the Saints defense, which is more talented than last years’ top 5 unit, starts to play like it today, New Orleans at home in a rout!

Denver at Seattle: Super Bowl rematch! Russell Wilson is 18-1 at home and his offense averages about 30 points per game there. Peyton is looking for revenge and is getting Wes Welker back from suspension. Denver won last week at home but didn’t look great vs. a mediocre Chief team, and I’m still waiting for their improved pass rush to be more consistent. Denver will play better this time, but Seattle off a loss playing at home could be too difficult.

Steelers at Panthers: The Panthers are nearly invincible at home { 13-1 in their last 14 regular season games}, which is best in NFL. Last week they shut down the Lions, without Greg Hardy their pass rush was all over Stafford, sacking him 4 times. The Steelers still can’t adequately protect Roethlisberger who will probably be running for his life tonight. Thus far Pittsburgh’s run defense has been horrendous, getting trampled by weakling Cleveland and Baltimore. The Steelers are 3rdin the NFL in missed tackles, with the Panthers Stewart returning, look for that trend to continue.

Redskins at Eagles: If Kirk Cousins goes into Philly and wins does RGIII ever get his job back? Griffin is in the same boat as Sam Bradford, both guys in the final years of their contracts with lots of uncertainty. Kirk just looks like a better fit in Jay Gruden’s offense, his skill set is very Andy Dalton-like. Meanwhile Chip Kelly’s offense leads the NFL in totals yards and points scored, they’ll provide a much more formidable challenge for the Skins defense that recorded 10 sacks last week vs. putrid Jacksonville. The Eagles need to get off to faster starts, they have scored a total off 6 points in the 1sthalf this year, 58 in the 2ndhalf.

Rams at Cowboys: Both teams are coming off road victories. The Cowboys recipe for success is to feed DeMarco Murray and keep their lousy defense off the field, in last years’ whipping of these Rams,  Murray ran for 175 yards. Look for the same approach, Romo still doesn’t look healthy to me., he’s not moving as well and his passes lack power. Do you seriously think Austin Davis wins a 2ndstraight road game? The Rams , by the way , are the only team in the NFL  still without a td pass!

  

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NFL OBSERVATIONS WEEK 1

Sep 13, 2014 -- 11:16am

  

Miami over New England : Ryan Tanneyhill and his offensive line seem much improved. Cameron Wake when he is healthy, is one of the premier pass rushers in the game, his strip sack caused a fumble that turned this game around. Knowshon Moreno ran over around  and thru the Pats soft defense. Patriots have issues, their O-line can’t protect Brady, their run D is a sieve and Revis still isn’t all the way back, Mike Wallace had him beat for a TD but didn’t stay in bounds. Brady will not stay healthy if he keeps getting hit like he did in this game. Pats were totally dominated on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

Bengals over Ravens: Cincinnati’s defense still has bite, the Ravens had 28 yards of offense in the 1st quarter and just 97 yards for the half. Ravens did have a number of drops, especially Steve Smith, he must have been nervous playing for the 1st time with a new team. Bengals pass rush doesn’t seem as good this year without Michael Johnson. Vontez Burfet is one of my favorite players in the NFL, he plays with great hostility!  Andy Dalton looked okay, but this game, which was largely controlled by Cincinnati, should have been over by the 4th quarter, instead the Ravens had a 16-15 lead with 6 minutes left. Dalton throws too many dinks and dunks, needs to show more confidence in his arm.

Titans over Kansas City: I kept finding myself asking the same question while watching this blowout win for the Titans. Is Alex Smith worth the big money that the Chiefs just invested in him? Smith has to be in manageable 3rd downs, the offense must stay on schedule, because he doesn’t have the confidence to threaten down the field. The Titan defense sensed this and their secondary played so shallow that all the short stuff was taken away. When Smith tried to beat them deep twice, both balls were intercepted. The Chief’s total offense was a paltry 245 yards, that’s not going to get it done. Adding to this opening day disaster, they suffered 2 significant injuries to their defense, which was generating little or no pass rush, and like many teams in their first real action of the season, their tackling was shoddy. When you are a playoff team, like KC was last year, you don’t lose at home to mediocre teams like Tennesee , and the Chiefs got hammered!

Jets over Raiders: or the “Rat Trap” game : The Jets totally dominated this game and should have won big. Instead this was a 13-7 game in the 4th quarter. The Raiders of the lost cause, started a rookie qb who was in way over his head. The result was 75 yards of total offense in the 4th quarter, totally embarrassing! Geno Smith is a good athlete, has a nice arm, will make some nice throws, but his decision making leaves much to be desired. He forces throws into coverage, fumbles at the goaline, and loses 19 yards on a sack which takes his team out of field goal range late in the 4th quarter of a tight game. Jets could be a good football team if they stop shooting themselves in the foot with dumb penalties. MJD is lucky to still be alive after the hit he took from Quarales! The 2 things you must have in order to win in the NFL are a QB and a pass rush, the Raiders have neither, they might be the worst team in the league.

Bills over Bears: Bad loss for the Bears! Chicago’s defense is horrendous, they have no pass rush, can’t stop the run, and can’t cover rbs out of the backfield. When this Bears team plays some good offenses, like Green Bay and Detroit in their own division, their defense will get lit up like a Christmas tree! Jay Cutler can spin it with anyone, but he’ll make some hideous decisions. Cutler made as dumb a throw as you will see with 8 minutes left in a tie football game, then should have had another interception in the overtime. If the Bears suffer any injuries to their offense this year, they will crater like the Falcons last year. Sobering reality for the Bears, if you can’t beat a SLACKER team at home, you ARE one!

Eagles over Jaguars: The final score of this game was misleading, the score was tied with 8 minutes left. The Jags played dominating defense in the 1st half, went to the locker room up 17-0, and the score should have been worse. The Jaguars got constant pressure on Foles, 4 sacks in the first half, McCoy, the lowlife that doesn’t tip, had nowhere to run. But the defense tired in the 2nd half partly due to the Eagles pace, but mostly due to the ineptitude of Chad Henne, who was truly awful. The Jaguars have a championship level defense, it will be interesting to see how long the mule stubborn dullard Gus Bradley continues to sacrifice games by not playing Bortles.

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THE BIGGEST DRAGON CON EVER

Sep 05, 2014 -- 2:39pm

THE BIGGEST DRAGON CON EVER

2014 Dragon Con Coverage by Rob Jenners

 

It seems that every year the cultural phenomenon that is Dragon Con grows bigger and bigger – and this year was no exception. There was more costumes, vendors, celebrities and good natured mayhem than any previous year. And in the wake of such a huge turnout, the Dragon Con staff handled it better than ever.

 

Let’s start with the parade. There is nothing better on Labor Day weekend than climbing onto a MARTA train, wedging yourself into a seat between an Alabama football fan and a guy dressed like Deadpool (complete with plastic swords). Though they are from two different walks of life, they are both headed to the same place – a curbside along Peachtree to watch one of the biggest parades in the south. The streets are lined with young and old, children cheering on their favorite characters, and thousands of costumed participants marching down the middle of normally crowded Atlanta streets. It’s a spectacle, there’s no better way to describe it.

 

But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the costumes. Every year there are more unique and interesting creations, many I’ve never seen before. It boggles my mind how much time and money the gentlemen in the fully developed Groot costume spent on his creation – but the payoff was amazing. His picture, along with “Guardians of the Galaxy” writer and director James Gunn, was spread all across social media, drawing even more attention to the growing legacy of Dragon Con in Atlanta. Personally, I’ve never laughed harder than having to wait in line for the restroom behind three Storm Troopers, two Batmans and a Ghostbuster. Seeing them all lined up at the urinal was a sight to be seen. (No phots because, well, snapping photos in the restroom is a good way to insight a riot.)

 

When you round the corner into the Walk of Fame, you can’t help but be taken aback by the rows of celebrities having a great time with thousands of fans who’ve lined up to see them. Most impressive to me was the aforementioned James Gunn, writer and director of the summer’s smash hit “Guardians of the Galaxy”. What made him stand out? He wasn’t accepting money for pictures or autographs. I fully understand and support to charges to take photos with celebrities – but here was a guy so humbled by the response to his film, that he simply wanted to say thank you to the fans who supported him. It was refreshing, from a guy who has proven that he’s the genuine article in an otherwise jaded business.

 

Vendors were doling out their normal stash of impressive collectibles, and I spent way more money than I should have! For fans like us, though, that’s like Christmas. I also picked up some incredible original prints from the Artists Gallery, which was again overflowing with amazing talent and fresh perspective.

 

If you’re a regular of Dragon Con, than you know that the 2014 convention was the biggest we’ve ever seen. If you have plans to attend next year – start planning now! Hotels are selling out already. Yes, it’s become that big of an attraction. Just save me a spot on the floor and a handful of Spiderman t-shirts and I’m good for the weekend! Onward, fans – we’ll see you next year.

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