Disclaimer: I tried to post this yesterday, but goddamn yahoo is really weird about posting anything.
Another Thursday and this probably means another sloppy-ass game. I hate these Thursday games. They are hard to evaluate for fantasy purposes. Baltimore vs. Cleveland was ok last week, but on what plain of existence would Cleveland beat Baltimore?
In other NFL news the “real” Refs are back. It is interesting that media members and TV personalities spent so much time talking about the “fake” Refs and how bad they were doing. Did they miss a lot of calls? Yes they did. Did they make calls that were not accurate or ticky-tacky? Absolutely. Is that any different than what the “real” Refs do? No, it is not. The call made in the Green Bay vs. Seattle game is not an outlier from standard refereeing. In real time it is impossible to determine if anyone “caught the ball first.” When they went to the replay booth, an NFL official, not a replacement ref, upheld the call because there was not enough evidence to overturn the ruling that Golden Tate had 50ish percent of the possession of the ball. In case anyone needs refreshing, the NFL rule book states that if both the receiver and defender have simultaneous possession of the football than the catch/TD is awarded to the receiver/offense. It is only awarded to the defender if he clearly has possession of the ball first and maintains possession through the process of the catch. (Thank you NFL for adding a phrase to our lexicon in an attempt to justify a bullshit ruling in the Calvin Johnson catch/no catch.) Did the Green Bay player make the interception? Yeah, he did. However, there was not enough evidence to overturn it. In fact, if you look at some pro-Seattle sites, there is evidence that it was a Tate reception.
So the douche-nozzles that networks find to work in the broadcast booth saw one camera angle, that happened to favor Green Bay, and ran with the story line causing a national outcry. There are two differences between the “real” refs and the “fake” refs. The “real” refs have more control over the flow of the game. There were a lot of fights, scuffles, and glad-handing that extended games. The regular stock of refs do not let that kind of skullduggery persist. The other difference between the regular and replacement variety is that the regular refs know that they are supposed to give those calls to teams named the Patriots, Packers, and Steelers. Yeah GB almost lost the following week to the Saints on a bad call, but when two popular teams play each other it is a wash. Were Green Bay fans apologetic when they were gifted the game against the Vikings (details provided in the link above)? I doubt it. Yet TJ Lang was talking about not playing in Week 4 and fans were protesting at the stadium. Did fans protest when Green Bay benefited from this little gift (click link)? (Additional link) Where was the national outcry for this debacle?!
And that was a god damn playoff game. Farve gets rocked on a high-low hit after he released the ball and there is no call. Somebody falls down near Brady and they gift him field position and extra downs. The reality is that being a ref is a tough job no matter who is doing it. The differences between the regular officials the replacements are the “real” refs are more confident about sucking. That and the replacements did not get the memo to help popular franchises with bullshit calls. If there are any fans of a team, other than the Lions, that has spent a considerable amount of time sucking, post examples of a time when a ref jilted your team for a more popular one.
Jimmy v Fred
Jimmy is taking over the mantle of league antagonizer. Ed clearly was not ready for that role this year. Ed managed to avoid drafting two TE’s in the top 3 rounds this year, but he clearly was not ready for the responsibility. Meanwhile Jimmy has managed to provoke Marty into horse fucking diatribes. Well done, sir. Well done. RG3 has a big test this week with Atlanta and Matty Ice coming to town. Being forced to start a guy whose name sounds like a euphemism for going number 3 hurts, but the rest of his roster seems to be intact during the first bye week.
A couple of bad weeks for Michael. He really needs Kenny Britt to show up. Roddy White has been a beast. Through the first quarter of the season, it appears that he may finish first in scoring for WRs. His two stud RB’s, McCoy and MJD, have been steady but only one big game out of them so far.
Prognostication: I have pick Michael the past 2 weeks and he has sucked during that time. With Rivers and Floyd facing a superbly generous New Orleans defense, I think I have to take Michael again this week. Don’t burn me yo.
Ed v Geoff
This is it folks. Never has there been a matchup so grand in people not giving a shit about it. The bright side for these two teams is that one of them has to win it. Geoff’s team showed some signs of life last week when CJ0.8K ran for more than 20 yards. Geoff is going heavy on the Niners against Buffalo. I have a bad feeling about this strategy. I feel like this could be a trap game for the Niners. Even if they win, I think Buffalo will keep the game low scoring. Both of these teams will look to run the ball more this week and run the clock.
Peyton looked like Peyton against the Raiders last week. Green Bay seems insistent on feeding Cedric Benson (Which is a weird thought). However, Julio Jones is dealing with a hand injury and Steve Smith is facing a stout Seattle D (Also a weird thought).
Prognostication: I don’t really like either team this week, but I am going with Ed. CJGrillMasterK faces a powerful Minnesota run defense and Greg Jennings is out this week with a groin episode.
Marty v Mo
Some M&M action going on here. Marty’s season has been a bit uneven so far, but he still has a lot of talent on his roster. His running back situation is potentially great and potentially a nightmare. God knows what Belichick has planned for the two RBs that Mary has on his roster. Adrian Peterson is back though. After watching him abuse the Lions last week (not that abusing the Lions run defense is a feat, but his cuts looked great) I think it is time to only refer to him as Purple Jesus again. Only the great lord and Purple savior could return from such a horrific injury in such a short amount of time. Is that his first miracle? Or is it far down the line of many football miracles? I am not sure. In fact, I think if Marty wants to win the title again this year he should change his name to Purple Jesus. Do not anger our Lord and Savior Purple Christ. Oh yeah, Mo has some horse shit little players too.
Prognostication: Purple, peace be with you my son.
Ryan v Jesse
I do not understand how Arizona is 4-0 with a startling lack of offensive production. Ryan Williams, their starting RB has a total of 13 points so far this season. The passing game is not a ton better. Yet somehow in an era where rules favor the offense, Arizona is getting it done with defense. I would not be terribly surprised if Arizona took a nose dive with the regular refs in full swing now. With an upcoming stretch that will include STL, BUF, MIN, SF, GB, and ATL, I would not be surprised if they were 5-5 six weeks from now.
Ryan is starting Ahmad Bradshaw and Fred Jackson this week. At the start of the season those two looked like great draft picks. Now both of them have lost a lot of playing time due to injury and emerging young-bucks charging in from behind them on the depth chart. Eli should have a big day against Cleveland.
Prognostication: Have to go with our other lord and savior Breesus Christ here. I am sure that Jesse is praying for Hakeem Nicks to come back. I am surprised he has not invested in one of NY’s other available receivers. Also, as Jesse pointed out, there was a bit of a QB explosion last week. I expect the trend to continue upward.
Anthony and Berman
I wish Eric would change the name Bermstar. I don’t know why, but I dislike it. I feel like he can do much better than that. Well the B-meister went heavy on KC players against NO and it went well. He was less heavy on KC fever last week, but bye weeks have forced him to play his KC hand. Not good when they are facing Baltimore. Surprisingly, the Chicago defense has been the best member of this squad.
Anthony took me out last week in what was essentially a gamble on how well the Bills would do against New England. I started their defense and they recorded -8 fantasy points while Brady put touchdowns up like he was being fed the Buffalo play calling in his helmet or something. I can’t imagine such a classy organization doing something like that though.
Prognostication: I think the bye week blues might get Eric this time. Especially since he still has one guy in the starting lineup that is on bye. Taking Anthony.
Justin V MaryKate
I would like to start by saying that Jordy Nelson is dog shit. Fuck him. Fuck you Jordy. That being said, it is surprising that Tony Gonzalez is the leading receiver on the Falcons right now. I watched the NFL Life ‘95 Cleveland Browns last night. There are an amazing number of people who were there, under Bill Belichick, who have head coaching jobs or general manager jobs in the NFL right now. They briefly talked about Scott Pioli and Tom Dimitroff making their first trades as GMS with each other. Tom worked on the grounds crew by day and did scouting work by night. Pioli had some other bullshit role there in the personnel department though. Years later they become GMs at the same time and trade Gonzalez. Kind of weird think about connecting circles in the NFL. Tony Gonzalez may have been forced to stay with the Chiefs if events were slightly different. He left right before they became perennial doormats. He could have retired a couple of years ago if he were forced to play for crappy teams.
Prognostication: In honor of Bill Belichick, I pick the cameraman. Just kidding, I take MK.
Me v Jake
The way Matt Ryan is going, we may need to change his nickname from Matty ice to something classier. Maybe Matty Boh? Or perhaps a nice Matty Honey Brown Lager?