Category Archives: 4 Downs with Chris

4 Downs With Chris…Been A While

Chris Schisler

Its been a while since I have written a 4 Downs with Chris post, so its time to get back to it. I am writing for now, part of the FanSided Network. It takes a lot of time away from this website but I promise to keep it up. Writing for FanSided is a pretty sweet gig, and an honor-its part of the career path. This is more of my passion filled hobby and I’m so glad that you enjoy it.

First Down: I’m Not A Blind Homer

The Baltimore Ravens are one of the top organizations in sports. This is not a Baltimore boy saying this to sip the hometown Cool-Aide. This is a plain fact. Its not even debatable. The Ravens are tied with the Green Bay Packers for the most playoff victories on the road. The Ravens came to existence in 1996, the Packers have been around forever. The Ravens have won 2 Super Bowls, they have played in 2 AFC championships and they have won 4 division titles. All since 1996…but yeah praising the Ravens makes you a homer.

Second Down: Jameis Stay In School

I don’t think there has ever been an athlete who needed his senior year of college more than Jameis Winston. The guy simply is not ready for the NFL. His off the field antics are almost as troubling for his poor decision making as a quarterback. His game needs polishing and he needs time to grow up.

Winston should not worry about missing out on millions. He is talented, the money will be there next year provided he does not suffer a career threatening injury. In the NFL its not about making money after being drafted. Many players blow through that and Winston does not strike me as a smart guy to hand a boat load of money too. In NFL, especially with the rookie wage scale, true success is getting that big time second contract. Winston needs time to polish or he could become spoiled goods quickly in the realm of big boy football.

Third Down: Bad Calls Make League Look Bad

Referees will make mistakes, this is guaranteed by them being human. The refs of the Cowboys wild card playoff win screwed up big time. This is undisputed (even to most sensible Cowboys fans). The officials probably just made mistakes, the problem is that it smells bad.

Head of officiating, Dean Blandino was once on the Dallas Cowboys party bus according to multiple sources-its old news by now. This makes it look bad. It does not matter if Blandino and the officials give no preferential treatment to Dallas or not. It looks bad. It smells fishy. Preferential treatment or not, putting yourself in such a compromising situation is unacceptable. I’m not accusing the head of officials of foul play but he put himself in a position, in which everybody must raise the question. This puts a cloud of doubt over the league’s integrity in a year where the NFL does not need more bad publicity.

Fourth Down: The Usual Suspects

Its amazing how little has really changed in the pursuit of the past handful of Lombardi Trophies. The Patriots, Broncos and Ravens are almost always contenders. The Packers and Seahawks success surprises nobody. The teams in the playoffs always change but the usual suspects remain most years.

4 Downs With Chris Week 5

Chris Schisler

First Down: Too Quick To Count Out & To Quick To Crown
We live in the most overreacting, group-thinking and frustratingly judgmental sports world. Everyone said the Patriots were awful. It was a groupthink bombardment of the New England team. Reporters were even asking if Brady was done. The Patriots loss to the Chiefs was so horrible that we declared them dead on the spot. The Patriots just demolished a Bengals team that people practically were anointing champions already. Its what have you done for me lately to an extreme, when a team that has had more success than anyone since 2001, does not receive any benefit of the doubt.
The great Bill Parcells famously said that you are what your record says you are. With no apparent world beater, and many teams clumped with similar records, what does your team’s record really say right now? Remember that even the great 1985 Bears lost 1 game. I’m not saying the Patriots are a great team, or even that they’re all that good. My point is that we cannot overreact to one game, no matter the result. We are at a point in the season where anything can happen.

2nd Down: Embrace the Madness:
This was the week of madness in College Football. Arizona took down No. 2 ranked Oregon. Alabama lost to Ole Miss. Oklahoma lost to TCU. The insane. UCLA lost to Utah. Every time we think we know who will be in the 4 team playoff, somebody loses and changes the picture. There is no need for weekly predictions of the playoffs because nobody knows what to expect.

3rd Down: We May Actually get a good TNF Game:
The Colts and the Texans play on Thursday night. We might have a treat as great offense meets great defense. JJ Watt is having an incredible season, Andrew Luck is on fire and this game has potential to be fun.

4th Down:
The Ravens have found Ray Lewis 2.0. CJ Mosley is having a Pro Bowl type season in his rookie year. He plays fast and without doubt. He makes plays all over the field and he hits like he means it. The Ravens clearly found a steal at pick 17. I had him ranked 7th overall and his play supports my rank.

NFL Week 3: 3 Things We Learned

Chris Schisler

1.) Cleveland is building something:
I never thought I’d say this, but the Cleveland Browns are on the right track. The Browns are 1-2, though every game has been a dog fight. Baltimore beat the Browns with a last second field goal. Last week the Browns shocked the Saints, with a last second field goal of their own. In there opener Cleveland almost beat Pittsburgh. Brian Hoyer is playing well. The Browns have two exciting rookie running backs, a star tight end and a good defense. The Browns will be competitive as they build for a brighter future.

2.) The 49ers are undisciplined:
Two weeks in a row? Two weeks in a row? Thats my question for the 49ers in regards for their two week penalty spree. Two weeks in a row the 49ers have had over 100 yards in penalties. These penalty yards have costed the 49ers dearly. You’re going to have the occasional holding call but these penalties are stupid. They bring it on themselves with unchecked emotions, that earn them personal fouls. If you add Colin Kaepernick’s poor play, the 49ers 2014 season is off to an underwhelming start.

3.) The Super Bowl was no fluke:
Sure the game went into overtime, but the Seahawks showed that the Super Bowl was no fluke. The Broncos had the same problems against that defense. While we must credit the Broncos for a great comeback, we got the same result, a Broncos loss. It was a great game but the Seahawks still frustrated Peyton Manning and company.

Week 2: Four Downs With Chris

Chris Schisler

This was in many ways a wacky week 2 in the NFL. With fresh football to digest we are spared from the less palatable headlines. Here are four of the my most interesting takeaways from the week of football.

First Down: Browns Stun The Saints

The Browns treated their home crowd to a thrilling 26-24 victory over the favored New Orleans Saints. Cleveland got off to a 17-3 lead that took everyone by surprise. Drew Brees struggled in the beginning of this game; he had under 10 yards in the opening quarter. The Saints came back and scored 3 of the last 5 scores in the game. After earning a healthy lead the Browns barely squeaked by. This makes me question what we should takeaway from the game. Are the Browns this good or did the Saints have a bad day?

I think its a little of both. Cleveland has talent, especially on defense. With stable quarterback play and a good running game, they had the ammunition to win. Its hard to buy Cleveland as a world beater, though. Brian Hoyer played well but needs to prove he can do that on a regular basis. Once Drew Brees found his groove, he gashed the Browns defense. Twice on the last drive, New Orleans should have stopped the Browns offense. New Orleans has a history of stumbling on the road. The Saints blew it as much as the Browns won it. Credit Cleveland, just don’t get carried away yet.

2nd Down: Im sorry Dean Pees

In two games the Ravens have allowed 7 field goals and only 1 touchdown. If the Ravens can continue to average 14 points allowed a game, that would be really good. I was critical of Pees after the Bengals game. I thought we were too passive and allowed the Bengals to have their way. The defense, kept us in the game. I was wrong-even if it was too passive the results were good. If it was not for one boneheaded play against AJ Green the Ravens may be 2-0 right now. The defense got more pressure against Ben Roethlisberger. The defense forced 3 turnovers and surrendered only 6 points. I may have my reservations about the defense, but if its keeping teams out of the end zone, there is nothing to complain about.

3rd Down: Enough Penalties?

The Sunday Night Football showcase featured the Bears and the 49ers. It was the opening of the 49ers new beautiful stadium. The officials called a combined 26 penalties in the 49ers loss. There were stretches where it seemed that there was a flag on every play.

The penalties hurt the 49ers the most. They had 16 penalties, costing them over 100 yards. A few of the penalties kept costly Bears drives alive. The flags tainted what was otherwise a great game. While both teams played a sloppy brand of football at times the penalties seemed excessive.

Colin Kaepernick was flagged for inappropriate language, the holy grail of BS penalties. Anyone who calls this has a stick where the sun don’t shine. Its naive to think that the players watch their language at all on the field. This was a costly 15 yards for a word.

The flags were ridiculous but they hurt both teams and the game was called consistently. Some games you get away with a little more contact in the secondary, this was not one of those games. The refs called every conceivable penalty on every ticky-tacky thing. It may have been ridiculous but at some point the players had to adjust.

4th Down:

Don’t look now, but the Arizona Cardinals lead the NFC West at 2-0. The Cards have such a strong team. They have playmakers on offense and defense. They play a physical and stingy style of football. The Cardinals are going to be a tough team this season.

The Cardinals get half the attention of the Seahawks and 49ers. That being said its hard to knock the Cardinals on anything. They just got a victory in New York with their back up quarterback. They beat a very strong Chargers team in week 1. After an impressive 2-0 start, we have to take Arizona seriously.

4 Downs With Chris Schisler

1st down:

Hello, I am Chris Schisler and nobody knows what is going on. Pass interference, defensive holding and illegal contact have been the NFL official’s points of emphasis this preseason. In other words, nobody understands what merits a penalty in the secondary. John Harbaugh the other night basically had a seminar before the game from the referees. I have $10 saying he still does not get it. Thats because these penalties are plentiful to a point where no matter what we see a yellow flag.

Its not as if the refs ignored these penalties in the first place. Its gotten to a point where breathing on a receiver can get you a penalty. This is basically like a IRS agent saying we are now going to start focusing on tax fraud.

I encourage the zebras to call it how they see it, but man, they must get over themselves. Nobody pays to see your wonderful flag flowing. Its quite good technique, your in postseason shape, but NOBODY CARES. When you call ticky tacky calls, calls that you know are total BS, you do nobody any good. The young unproven players are trying to make the team and your making it harder. Remove what ever got lodged where the sun don’t shine and lets move on.

2nd Down

I could not care less about Johnny Manziel giving the finger to the Redskins bench. I literally am unaffected by this supposed to be awful act. The last time I checked the middle finger was a perfectly good way to communicate disdain for another. If I was next to the Redskins sideline, I may have had the urge to erect my middle finger as well. “The finger” is only considered unacceptable because too many people live in the 1950’s. I say there is a time and a place for most taboo things (some are taboo for very good reasons); next to the Redskins bench may just be the time and place for a finger shaped expletive. We need to get over this acute sensitivity to anything and everything.

3rd Down:

Its amazing how the Redskins vs Browns preseason game was sold as a titanic clash between RG3 and Johnny Manziel. Not surprisingly a preseason game failed to meet ESPN’s hyped expectations. It was not exactly Brady vs. Manning, the quarterback play was mostly awful. In fact, Redskins backup Kirk Cousins played overwhelmingly better than any of the quarterbacks on Monday Night. Congratulations ESPN, you hyped up an exhibition game, whats next a intense thrill ride in a laser tag arena?

4th Down:
I don’t know about you but I think I nailed it. Who needs fourth down when you can score on third down? I will save my fourth bullet for another article. Thanks for reading.

Go get frozen yogurt at Yogolaada. It literally is the best.

Four Downs with Chris Schisler

Chris Schisler

This is a new series of articles. The point is to take 4 topics and give a quick take on them. Each topic will be a down to fit in with the football theme.

1st Down
I want to start by saying to Alex Smith that you are not special. Smith stubbornly wants a better deal than that of Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton. These contracts set the market on second tier quarterbacks. I am sorry Alex, but you are not Aaron Rodgers just because a team drafted you before him in 2005. You are not a top tier passer, there is a reason Peyton Manning keeps beating you. Just because Jim Harbaugh took you from draft bust to star does not mean you’re all that good. While you may not like the Dalton and Kaepernick deals they may be too good for you, Mr. Smith. At least we know Dalton and Kaepernick are young and are still developing. We know what you are. Your a decent quarterback but you don’t make Kansas City a contender. Take the deal Mr. Smith.

2nd Down
I came to a realization the other night. I think Joe Flacco is going to have the best year of his career. I foresee a higher completion percentage, more yards, more touchdowns and less picks. The Kubiak offense is exactly what Joe needs. Do know whats going to happen? Joe is going to play great and all the credit will go to Gary Kubiak. The Flacco bashers are relentless in their disdain towards Joe. If the Ravens do well they just work harder to give the credit to somebody else. For example Joe Flacco’s record tying 11 touchdowns to no picks performance was all because of Anquan Boldin; even though only a few of those touchdowns were to Boldin.

3rd Down
The memory of the average football fan most be short term only. Last season many Ravens fans were outraged that Juan Castillo was trying to fully implement the zone blocking scheme. Moron after moron whined that it does not work (ignoring all the teams over the years that it has worked greatly for) and that Castillo was only on the staff because he was John Harbaugh’s buddy. Thursday night the zone blocking scheme worked to perfection. Everyone is hailing Gary Kubiak’s offense as genius. It is genius but he just help complete the process Castilo started. People who once hated the same concept they just praised, how rich. Castillo is still the offensive line coach by the way.

Fourth Down
I want to call out the good service that is NFL rewind on some bush league crap. NFL rewind is a great service where you can watch any completed football game of the season on the internet. It gives some coach’s tape, and there is even a telestrator tool where you can diagram the plays for the iPad. However the $45 subscription begins in August. However if I want to watch preseason games I need to get the preseason subscription for $20. That is bush league. If we cannot get preseason games it should not charge us until September. This is just a alert for the football consumer.