Category Archives: NFL

Bills & Eagles Trade: Who Won?

Chris Schisler

The Philadelphia Eagles sent shock waves through the football world by sending LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills. In return the Eagles got one of the best young linebackers in football, Kiko Alonso. Who won the trade?

The answer is the Philadelphia Eagles. They parted ways with LeSean McCoy and also parted ways with a large cap hit for 2015. They added a much needed player to their defense, a player whose cap hit is tiny in comparison to McCoy.

Both teams got a big time playmaker in this blockbuster trade. McCoy will certainly be the centerpiece of the Bills offense. Head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator will surely wear McCoy thin with their ground and pound mentality. The injury prone McCoy is a short term investment.

Alonso may be coming off a year of not playing due to an ACL injury, but he’s young and talented. Barring a setback, the Eagles possibly longterm solution at linebacker. In the short-term McCoy may provide the most production. Remember though, that Alonso is the more cost efficient player with likely much more longterm value.

The Eagles won the trade. They have Darren Sproles, who is a formidable weapon in the backfield. They will surely take advantage of the deep running back crop in this year’s NFL Draft. Its easy to replace a running back. Its hard to find a linebacker as good as Alonso.

When you can pay much less for a rare talent linebacker in his prime, than a running back with much wear and tear that you can replace, why wouldn’t you?

I Hated Roger Goodell Before It Was Cool

Chris Schisler

After a turbulent year in the NFL, left and right there are people calling for the firing of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. My only question is what took so long for people to get here?

I hated the impact Goodell has had on the game long before chanting for his dismissal was a popular opinion. He may be good for the owners, and the NFL is a business but he is not good for the game.

Everything about Goodell is superficial. Every action he takes is about dollars and cents, not about football. He does not care about player safety he cares about legal liability. He does not care about the integrity of the game, he cares only that the money trucks keep coming in.

Some of the new rules for player safety are a welcomed change to the game. Most however take away from the game. The constant flow of yellow flags and player fines only boils up frustration pointed at Goodell. The phrase “Let them play football” should not be a regularly yelled response on NFL Sunday, but it is.

How fair is it to cripple a defender by the rules? By just playing fast and hitting hard (like he is supposed to)He can’t hit high so he is encouraged to hit low. Congratulations NFL, you’ve traded concussions for blown out knees and tendon tears. But Goodell’s first priority is player safety.

Goodell’s failure to punish domestic violence abusers roughly from the beginning has the nation stirred up. The initial Ray Rice suspension was 2 games. Then when a video was released (a video the NFL claims they didn’t see) Rice was cut and suspended indefinitely.

Goodell robotically stood by his weak precedent of two games. When public outcry overwhelmed him, he steepened the penalty (subsequently losing a fight with the NFLPA). Goodell did not care about justice. He cared about the precedent. The quick second punishment only showed how fickle he can be; whatever suits him in the moment is what he does.

Goodell does not care about the fans. He does not care about the players. He works for the owners and only cares about the owners. His employment actually shows the same problems with NFL ownership.

I disliked Roger Goodell before it was cool. He is a businessman. He is not a football man; football will never be the priority for Goodell. We need a football man in charge of the NFL.

Ravens Have A Chance

Chris Schisler

The Baltimore Ravens can earn a playoff spot by winning out in the final 2 weeks of the season. For the sake of conversation lets say that the Ravens make the postseason, can the Ravens make another unlikely playoff run?

The Ravens have been there before. In 2012 there were very few people who thought the Ravens had a chance-they won it all. This year pundits and panels far and wide declare that the Ravens secondary will prevent playoff success. Are the experts wrong?

The biggest mistake people make in any debate is to accept popular consensus. Too often we are trapped in an almost subconscious groupthink, without actually considering the issue at hand. The Ravens know better than anyone that if you just get in, anything can happen.

The Ravens have a pretty darn good team. Joe Flacco is on fire, its reminiscent of the Super Bowl run. The running game is one of the best in the league. The Ravens make up for their porous secondary with a phenomenal pass rush and a strong run defense.

There is not a team in the AFC that is absolutely impeccable, not even the projected 1 seed Patriots. The Ravens know that the AFC is a conference up for grabs, why can’t it have purple reign.

The point is that the Ravens have a chance. They are not the favorite, who cares. The Ravens are flawed, who isn’t? If the Ravens earn a playoff spot, Baltimore and Maryland should be very excited.

Greatness Of NFL Not Showing in Prime Time

Anything can happen in the NFL this year. Heading into week 11 the possibilities are endless; with 7 of 8 division races too close to call. Even the mighty Denver Broncos (who have earned the number 1 seed in the AFC two years in a row) have the Chiefs and Chargers breathing down their neck. Arizona has the best record at 8-1 but could come back to earth without Carson Palmer. The competitive balance in the NFL could not be better.

This great competitive balance has not always translated to great prime time games this season. Thursday Night Football has seen 6 games be decided by 20 points or more. Sunday Night Football has 8 of these games. Here we have contradicting information. The NFL has a bunch of teams clumped together by record, which provides much drama as we head into the final stretch. However, in the prime time games, their has been little drama. In fact the nationally televised prime time showcases have been an embarrassment for the NFL.

The NFL has had many great games this year. Something that prime time viewers have not seen much. It should be noted that the concept of Thursday Night Football ruins the week of preparation and essentially asks for sloppy football. There is a built in excuse for Thursday Night Football but not for NBC’s crown jewel Sunday Night Football. I think when everybody gets to play in prime time, you’re going to get some stinkers.

The NFL is the league where anything can happen on any given week. The league that can see the Steelers win back to back games against the Colts and Ravens but then lose to the lowly Jets. It feels like every Sunday afternoon there is nothing but drama and heart pounding finishes. The races for playoff spots are so tight. It may not show in prime time but the NFL is the league where you never know what to expect. I would not have it any other way.

NFL Predictions Week 8

Chris Schisler

It is hard to believe that we are half way through the NFL season. Week 8 has a great slate of games. Here are my picks:

My Record this season is 66-36-1

Chargers @ Broncos
Pick: Broncos
Reason: This will be a great game. Both teams are better than they were last year, when they met in the playoffs. In a toss up game, I tend to go with the home team. I also tend to pick the home team on Thursday nights.

Lions @ Falcons
Pick: Lions
Reason: The Falcons weaknesses feed into the Lions strengths. The Lions should be be able to give Matt Ryan a beating. Matthew Stafford will win the battle of the Matt’s by shredding the Falcons secondary.

Bills @ Jets
Pick: Jets
Reason: Almost every game has been close for the Jets this season. They’re really not a bad team. They do not have a good quarterback and they have lost to really good quarterbacks. Kyle Orton is decent but is no Tom Brady. Give me the Jets to get off the snide.

Ravens @ Bengals
Pick: Ravens
Reason: This is a tale of two teams in different directions. The Ravens have found their way ever since stumbling against the Bengals, in week 1. The Ravens have a sweet recipe for sweet victories and nothing would be more satisfying than revenge. The Ravens pass rush and the Bengals inability to stop the run will be the difference in this game.

Seahawks @ Panthers
Pick: Seahawks
Reason: You know my favorite saying: this is a get right game for Seattle. The Seahawks offense will find its stride against an inconsistent Panthers team.

Bears @ Patriots
Pick: Patriots
Reason: Ever since being humiliated on Monday Night, Tom Brady has been on fire. Give me the Patriots to win in a shootout. The Patriots home field may advantage may lack the mystique it once had, but its awfully hard to win there.

Texans @ Titans
Pick: Texans
Reason: Being the Titans QB is becoming a CBS gameshow called “Next Victim”. Enter Zach Mettinberger, who will soon know JJ Watt all too well.

Dolphins @ Jaguars
Pick: Dolphins
Reason: The Dolphins are simply a better team. Jacksonville has fight in them, but not much talent.

Rams @ Chiefs
Pick: Rams
Reason: I think the Rams can stop the Kansas City run game and subsequently beat up Alex Smith.

Vikings @ Buccaneers
Pick: Vikings
Reason: The Vikings defensive front will dominate Tampa’s offensive line. Bridgewater may dazzle in this game as well.

Eagles @ Cardinals
Pick: Cardinals
Reason: The Cardinals defense should dominate this game. If the Eagles pull this one off it won’t be pretty.

Raiders @ Browns
Pick: Browns
Reason: Can the Browns make a team 0 dimensional? The defense should pulverize Oakland. This game is why NFL Sunday ticket was invented.

Colts @ Steelers
Pick: Colts
Reason: Andrew Luck against that secondary? Some fantasy owners are going to see Christmas come early.

Packers @ Saints
Pick: Packers
Reason: The Superdome is not scary if the defense is as soft as ¬Ę25 toilet paper. Aaron Rodgers is gonna rock and roll in this one.

Redskins @ Cowboys
Pick: Cowboys
Reason: I sense a lot of DeMarco Murray rushing yards and Redskins turnovers in the near future.

Top 10 Games of The Week

Chris Schisler

Top 5 College Football Games:

1.) No.2 Auburn @ No.3 Mississippi State
Saturday 3:30 TV: CBS
Preview: Auburn’s Nick Marshall aims to outscore Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs. This game features two of the most complete teams in all of College football. The Bulldogs are stingy on defense but expect a high scoring affair between two top 5 teams.

2.) No.9 TCU @ No.5 Baylor
Saturday 3:30 TV: ABC/ESPN2
Preview: If you love high scoring games featuring spread offenses, you will love this game. Senior QB, Bryce Petty, is on fire this season for Baylor. He comes into this game with 1,024 yards and 9 TD’s. TCU is coming off a thrilling upset over the fourth ranked Sooners. Can the Horned Frogs of TCU knock off another undefeated top 5 team?

3.) No.13 Georgia @ No.23 Missouri
Saturday at noon TV: CBS
Preview: This is a matchup of two one loss SEC teams, still determined to reach the conference championship. Georgia features a bevy of talent, headlined by Todd Gurley. Gurley is a potential Hiesman winner. Mizzou QB, Maty Mauk is having a great year with 14 touchdown passes.

4.) No.3 Ole Miss @ No.14 Texas A&M
Saturday 9:00 TV: ESPN
Preview: Ole Miss just shocked the world, beating the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide. Texas A&M was a victim of “upset week” losing to Mississippi State. Texas A&M will look to redeem themselves while Ole Miss is looking to prove that their big win was no fluke.

5.) No.12 Oregon @ No.13 UCLA
Saturday: 3:30 TV: Fox
Preview: These are both teams many picked to be in the four team playoff before getting upset. Oregon features more speed than anyone in the country and they flaunt in with a frenetic pace. UCLA has a defense with a knack at getting turnovers, as well as a future NFL quarterback in Brent Hundley. NFL scouts will be keying in on this match up of two potential top picks in Marcus Mariota and Brent Hundley.

Honorable mention: WVU @ Texas Tech, USC @Arizona

Top 5 NFL Games

1.) Cowboys @ Seahawks
Sunday 4:25
Preview: The Cowboys have impressed with their running game based offense this season. In fact, DeMarco Murray is on pace to go over 2,000 yards. It will be interesting to see if the Cowboys can run the ball facing the Seahawks vaunted defense and rowdy the 12th man.

2.) Packers @ Dolphins
Preview: The Dolphins and the Packers should make for quite the shoot out. The game could be decided by who rushes the passer most effectively. For the Pack, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers are hard to slow down. Cameron Wake is a beast in his own right for theDolphins.

3.) Ravens @ Buccaneers
Preview: The Ravens look to get back on track against the 1-4 Buccaneers. The Ravens are clearly the better team but they have struggled on the road. Opponents average 159 yards per game against Tampa Bay; expect a heavy dose of run from the Ravens.

4.) Steelers @ Browns
Preview: The last game between these teams was in the season opener and it came down to the end. The Browns are better than they have been in a long time, and they want to show that to Pittsburgh more than anyone.

5.) Chicago @ Atlanta
Preview: Neither team is wildly impressive defensively and both teams have good offenses. This could be a blowout. The amount of receiving talent in this game is mind boggling.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Chris Schisler

Roger Goodell, the robotic commissioner of the NFL, has found himself in quite a jam. The man who fought so hard to be the judge, jury and executioner when it came to disciplining players is under scrutiny for his performance in all three roles. Many people believe his handling of the Ray Rice issue should cost him his job. Though these people may have a very logical point of view they are forgetting something rather important. In short, my message is to be careful what you wish for.

Roger Goodell is in power for a reason. He works for the owners and the owners love him. We love to build Goodell up as a strong dictator while he is just the owners whipping boy. His actions are always to protect the owner’s best interests. Sure he punishes the owners who step out if line (a la Dan Snyder) but he does it only because the other owners are okay with it. The NFL is a business and the brand has never been so strong.

Roger Goodell naturally became the owners dirty deeds doer. Its simply a matter of self preservation. This is most clear when examining the NFL lockout. This was the league’s power play against the Players Association. All of the drama, all of the kicking and screaming and all the fear the lockout generated boiled down to one thing, the owners’ bottom line.

The reason the lockout of 2011 raged for so long is that Goodell placed the owners against their product. There was no desire for a middle ground there was only a desire to get more than the other side. The commissioner could have been the mediator, instead he was the owners’ lead attorney. There would have been no need for outside mediation if Goodell would have done it himself. Roger Goodell risked the 2011 season so he could make sure the players got less than the owners. The players make the NFL what it is. Nobody pays to see Robert Kraft in his game day suit and tie. To Goodell the owners are what the league is about; because the employ him. The owners won their battle giving the players just enough to sign the CBA.

The owners are not going to do away with such a valued pawn. Roger Goodell will continue to rake in the millions. The league will regain its sponsorships and advertising. The country loves football and nobody hates Roger Goodell enough to change that. Let’s just walk down the hypothetical-bricked road and say the owners fire the commissioner. Nothing would change. The league would have a different leader but the job would remain the same. You would have another highly paid worker bee to be the league’s frontman. If you want to really make a difference go after the 32 NFL club owners. Good luck.

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