December 17, 2012

Vikings beat Rams with another stellar Adrian Peterson performance

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 09:16

This was a do-or-die game for both teams: only the winner would still have playoff aspirations. At 7-6, the Vikings were contending for a wildcard in the NFC North, while St. Louis was in contention in the NFC West with a 6-6-1 record.

The Rams hadn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in several games and featured strong defensive line performances to clog running lanes and limit opportunities. It worked well: after eight runs, Adrian Peterson had only tallied eight yards. It was the ninth run that broke it open: 82 yards to the end zone for the touchdown (the Vikings never gave up the lead). By the time the Vikings stopped sending Peterson in, he’d gained over 200 yards and was that much closer to breaking Eric Dickerson’s rushing record (2,105 yards, set in 1984). It’s already his best season at 1,812 yards with two games left to play.

The “Blair Walsh Project” continues to prove the wisdom of drafting a kicker: he now owns the Vikings rookie scoring record and made five-of-five of his field goal attempts (53, 50, 42, 38, and 51 yards). It’s the first time a Vikings kicker has hit three field goals from 50 yards or more (and he also tied the NFL record with eight in a season).

November 18, 2012

The Two Scotts psycho-analyze the New York Jets

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas Russon @ 11:54

Scott Reid and Scott Feschuk try to explain the New York Jets:

New York Jets (plus 3) at St. Louis

Scott Feschuk: The New York Jets have done the impossible: they’ve made me feel sorry for Tim Tebow. Here we have a team that’s 3-6 — a team that over the past two weeks has been blown out by Seattle and Miami… a team that stops the run about as well as Kevin James stops at eating just a couple of your fries… a team that insists on starting a quarterback who plays like a kid dressed up for Halloween as an NFL quarterback — and all week this team devoted its energy to debating whether its backup QB, who hardly ever plays, is or is not “terrible?” Here’s the hard truth: the Jets have tuned out Rex Ryan. They need to make a change. You know who should coach this team? That Jill Kelley lady from the David Petraeus sex scandal.

She seems to be able to make grown men do anything. Within minutes of meeting her, FBI agents are ripping off their shirts and army generals are sending off lewd email messages about their four-star boners. Surely, if anyone could get Mark Sanchez to throw the ball in the general direction of someone — anyone — in green, it’d be her. Pick: St. Louis.

Scott Reid: Pro-tip for you buddy — it’s not all that difficult to get army generals talking about their boners. In fact, military men can be included in a rather exclusive list of male-dominated professions that can be easily coaxed into talking online about their wood. This group includes, but is not necessarily limited to: doctors, lawyers, door-to-door salesmen, pastry chefs, magazine editors, cabinet ministers, air conditioner repairmen, director Kevin Smith, certified management accountants, video game designers (especially video game designers!), piano instructors, hot air balloonists, dairy farmers, astronauts, union leaders, clergymen, tutorial assistants, pipe fitters (no surprise there), air traffic controllers, official team mascots, building inspectors, glass blowers, financial regulators and whatever the hell it is that you call what we two do for a living. The real trick, in fact, is to get us men NOT to talk about our boners. How? Actually that was a ruse. There is no way to get us not to talk about our boners. But the wise among us do know better than to do it via email with chicks who suffer from “f-ing crazy big-eyes syndrome.”

Of course, none of these human failings afflict Tim “Mr. Vanilla” Tebow. You know, maybe a little dirty-talk over the interweb would help Tim straighten out his skinny post (and yes, I’m speaking metaphorically). Pick: St. Louis.

March 21, 2012

NFL hands down punishments in Saints’ bounty hunting scandal

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 13:56

The NFL has finally announced what penalties it will assess against the New Orleans Saints and individual coaches for the bounty scheme the team ran (individual penalties against players who took part have not yet been disclosed):

  • Saints’ head coach Sean Payton is suspended without pay from NFL activities for one year.
  • Former Saints’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is suspended without pay indefinitely. The NFL will review his case after the 2012 season. This will also hurt the St. Louis Rams who hired Williams this season.
  • General manager Mickey Loomis is suspended without pay for eight games.
  • Assistant head coach Joe Vitt is suspended without pay for six games.
  • Loss of the Saints’ second-round draft pick in both 2012 and 2013.
  • A $500,000 fine on the club.

The penalties for the 22 or more individual players are apparently being held until the NFL Players Association can complete its own investigation into the scheme.

Earlier posts on this issue here and here.

Update: As several people have pointed out, this has a commonality with a lot of political scandals, in that the original sin is compounded by the cover-up attempts. It’s pretty much a certainty that this wasn’t the only bounty program in the league, and the penalty would likely have been much less if the Saints hadn’t worked so hard — as an organization — to cover it up after the initial accusation was made.

March 10, 2012

St. Louis Rams rob Washington Redskins, haul away bagload of draft picks

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 11:46

The headline expresses what appears to be the consensus view of yesterday’s blockbuster trade between the Redskins and the Rams. The Rams had the second pick in the 2012 NFL draft and Washington paid through the nose to obtain it. To move up in the draft and — we assume — pick their quarterback of the future, Washington gave up their first round picks in 2012, 2013, and 2014, plus a second round pick this year. That’s a pretty hefty price to pay, although the future value of draft picks are usually discounted by one round, so on that reckoning, Washington only gave up the equivalent of two seconds and a third to swap places in the first round, which makes it seem a bit less eye-popping.

Of course, the Minnesota fan base blames the Vikings’ win over Washington at the end of the 2011 season for allowing the Rams to benefit from this trade (if Washington had won that game, the Vikings would have the second overall pick and likely have been the beneficiaries of the trade).

Christopher Gates would like to disillusion everyone about that meme:

Yes, the Minnesota Vikings’ victory over the Redskins on Christmas Eve “cost” the Vikings the opportunity to hold the #2 overall pick and get that potential haul from Washington or some other team. While I was bopping around the internet this morning, I found that there are a decent number of folks that are still not entirely happy that the Vikings didn’t try harder to lose that game in order to make that happen. If you should happen to be one of those people, I have something I’d like to say to you. . .

Stop it. Just. . .freaking. . .stop it. You’re embarrassing yourself.

We’ve been over this a couple of times, but it bears repeating in this case. . .you are not going to get a team full of professional athletes to “tank” in order to gain draft position. Why? Because the guys that are currently on the team don’t give a damn whether the Vikings are drafting at #2 or #3 or #10 or #29 or wherever else in the first round of the NFL Draft. Or, at the very least, they shouldn’t.

The Minnesota Vikings have 18. . .that’s eighteen. . .players that could potentially hit the free agent market when things open up in about 48 hours. Do you suppose those guys give a damn about draft position? No, they don’t. . .I’m guessing they’re much more interested in being employed when Training Camp starts in late July, and they’re not going to get employment from teams watching game film of them and seeing that they quit when things got rough late in the year.

Update: John Merkle at The Viking Age points out that the player Washington (probably) traded up for wasn’t even being consistently mentioned as a top-five draft pick as recently as December:

Robert Griffin III wasn’t even deemed the 2nd overall pick on that Christmas Eve. If anyone cares to google mock drafts from late 2011 you’ll notice that Robert Griffin III was slated to go anywhere from 5 to 15. There were mostly two major campaigns going on for two top shelf prospects — Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck’s “Suck For Luck” and USC tackle Matt Kalil’s “Fall Flat For Matt”. There was not one mention of “Whiffin For Griffin”. Yes, RG3 had already won the Heisman Trophy, but he hadn’t lead his Baylor Bears to 67 points in a video game style Alamo Bowl nor had he blown members of the NFL away at the combine (including running a 4.41 40-yard dash and interviewing like someone who should be running for political office). His draft stock was indeed solid in December, but hadn’t soared until the past couple of months.

So go ahead you guys. Whine all you want about winning a football game that costs us plethora of draft picks and be glass half empty sort of folks. Go invent a crystal ball that can see into the future. You’ll be rich. Maybe with a little hope in the next several days we’ll see a few more glass is half full personas amongst our fanbase. If anything we should be grateful for the ascension of RG3 allowing us to be in perfect position to take Kalil. A franchise left tackle is tremendous building block for any team, let alone one that has young quarterback who has to account for Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers four Sundays a year. 13 losses turned out to be enough falling flat for Matt.

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