February 20, 2015 |
INDIANAPOLIS - On these endless frigid days and nights, the remote possibility of Marcus Mariota again chucking footballs for his old college coach Chip Kelly is the only thing that is getting many Eagles fans through the winter. Well, that and Mr. Yuengling. I'd love to have some good news to report to them on that subject from the NFL Scouting Combine. But alas, a Marcus & Chip Reunion Tour continues to appear to be nothing more than a pipe dream. Please stop emailing me trade suggestions that you somehow think would entice the Tennessee Titans to part with the second pick in the draft so that Kelly can swoop down and gobble up The Son He Never Had. Trust me, packaging their first- and second-round picks this year and their first-round pick next year along with Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, Casey Matthews, Marcus Smith, Cary Williams and Howie Roseman will not get it done.
January 21, 2015 |
The news that the NFL is investigating the New England Patriots organization concerning whether some footballs were intentionally deflated during the AFC championship game on Sunday is interesting, but only in a what-will-Belichick-think-of-next kind of way. It's easy to believe, given their history, that the Pats would be eager to gain any edge possible, but exactly why having a softer football, one that is easier to grip and catch in pouring rain,...
January 20, 2015 |
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - There were the requisite hugs and handshakes in the New England Patriots' locker room Sunday night, but the celebration of their sixth AFC championship with the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady coach-quarterback combination seemed to occur with almost a restrained excitement. The tone might have been set during the trophy presentation, when Belichick played off one of his phrases from earlier this season: "We're on to Seattle. " The Patriots have become the gold standard of the NFL, and their consistency has made events like the 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium seem like a television rerun.
January 19, 2015 |
Andrew Luck was 12 years old on Jan. 27, 2002, the day Tom Brady first played in an AFC championship game. Brady helped lead the New England Patriots to a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on the way to the Patriots' first Super Bowl title. Two years later, Brady played the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game. Brady won that one, too. That was the first of Brady's four playoff games against Peyton Manning, three of which came with a Super Bowl trip on the line. The two top quarterbacks of this generation could have had another AFC championship meeting, except Manning's Denver Broncos lost to his old team - and the quarterback who replaced him - last week.
January 16, 2015 |
PERHAPS NOW sanity will manage a toehold. The best of 2014's quarterback class were undressed in consecutive playoff rounds. Florida State's Jameis Winston by Oregon, then the Ducks' Marcus Mariota by Ohio State. The Buckeyes did so in prime time, on national television, drawing record ratings. The Buckeyes did it without a particularly remarkable defense. It was good, to be sure, but it did not dominate. The Buckeyes ranked 15th in yards allowed per game. They were 17th against the pass.
January 14, 2015 |
STOP DREAMING. There is no way the Eagles can move up high enough in the draft to get Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Heisman Trophy winner might indeed be the perfect quarterback for the system of Eagles coach Chip Kelly. And now that he is the Eagles' newly anointed grand pooh-bah of football matters, Kelly may indeed be willing to do whatever it takes to move up in the draft to select Mariota. But Kelly does not operate in a vacuum. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the top pick in the 2015 draft, and they are not dropping 19 spots in the draft in a deal with the Eagles.
January 13, 2015 |
DENVER - The people with the cameras and the reflective green vests formed a buffer on all sides, moving as Peyton Manning moved, a dozen or so shuffling steps from midfield toward the Indianapolis Colts' sideline. From above, Manning looked like the nucleus of some colorful amoeba. Usually the winning quarterback gets the bigger throng, but the crowd around Andrew Luck looked decidedly smaller yesterday, until both groups briefly joined into a huge mass, as Manning shook hands with his successor.
December 10, 2014 |
As the old maxim goes, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Chances are, if you made it to the fantasy postseason, your team is pretty good. But if you were facing off this weekend against Peyton Manning or his prolific receiving corps, you may want to run out and buy some lottery tickets. Fortune is clearly on your side. Like countless others, I spent a tortuous three hours Sunday afternoon cheering on the Bills and their improbable success against Denver's aerial superstars.
November 28, 2014
IT'S ALWAYS CUTE when the little kid at the table says Grace before the Thanksgiving meal. The child will recite the usual blessings of health, family and togetherness. It's a shame they don't ask fantasy leaguers to come up with the annual prayer. We would give thanks for such things as Emmanuel Sanders shaking off a violent hit to register nine catches for 125 yards last week. Or we might thank Golden Tate for taking advantage of Calvin Johnson's injury to post a pair of 150-yard games in Weeks 7 and 8. Remember that Andrew Luck garbage-time touchdown at about 11:30 on Sunday night of Week 1?
October 28, 2014 |
I don't spend a lot of time regretting decisions I've made in life, mostly because there's nothing I can do about them now. Still, I regret targeting Nick Foles ahead of Andrew Luck in my drafts this year. And though Foles hasn't been a bust by any stretch, I don't think this mistake is going to end so well for me. When it comes to fantasy drafting, most of us have regrets, don't we? Seriously, who thought DeMarco Murray would be a record-breaking beast? And weren't most so-called experts convinced that Antonio Gates was all washed up?