Over/Under times NFL commentators will remind us touchbacks go to the 25-yard line this year: 6 million.
WELCOME BACK FRIENDS, LET'S HOP TO IT!
A FUCKABLE MIND
A lot of people ask me on a regular basis, “Hello, I’m on a recorded line with (insert name) bank, is this is Mr. Edward Gobbo?
A slightly less amount of people ask me on a regular basis, “Hey, Gobbo. Who do you think’s going to make the NFL Playoffs this year?
Now, as much as you think this stuff is pretty easy for me, it’s actually EASIER than you think!
Many moons ago, when I was a young man on Gordon St., I created a NFL Playoff formula that’s actually pretty fucking legit. Give it a whirl!
1) Look at the twelve teams that made the Playoffs last year and remove the four teams you think will have the hardest time getting back to the playoffs this year, for whatever reason (difficulty of schedule is the biggest factor to consult).
2) Pick three teams that haven’t made the playoffs in recent memory but are on the upswing.
3) Pick three teams who were on the down swing, but have playoff experience and are talented enough for it to be feasible for them to make the Playoffs.
Those six teams you picked are likely to fill those four playoff spots of the teams you subtracted.
Usually about 2/3rds of the teams that make the NFL Playoffs in a given year were in the playoffs the previous year. Which means, by that math, approximately 1/3 of the teams that make the playoffs WILL NOT be there the following year.
As far as this year is concerned, these are the 10 most likely teams I’d write on a my chalkboard between floor buffings:
Four Falloffs: Minnesota, Kansas City, Washington, Houston.
Three Upswings: Tampa Bay, Oakland, Jacksonville.
Three Vets: Giants, Jets, Ravens.
Amazing, right? Ok, fuck you then.
Cat’s Away. Mice Jump on Chairs.
I’m going to start with my review of last weeks game’s by throwing shade at two teams that consistently upset me heavily: The New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills.
The bane of both these teams existence is currently serving a four game suspension. So, it would be best for both these teams to stockpile wins during this time to have some type of a division lead before he returns. I actually have Brady making an run at MVP when he returns; an award that those that vote for would throw Brady’s way in defiance of the league, which notably many have gone on record saying they often disagree with.
The Jets lost a tough game at home to Cincinnati, and the Bills were unable to eke out a road win a low scoring affair in Baltimore.
I’ll let the Jets loss slide here. Cinci is a pretty legit team with play makers, definitely capable of winning on the road. They, frankly, are the more talented of the two teams. The Jets ran with them for four quarters and showed life the whole game. They sacked Andy Dolton seven times. Ultimately, AJ Green dominating Darrelle Revis in their one-on-one matchup (12 catches, 180 yards, TD) and a key goal-line stand by Cincinnati, resulting in a chip shot Nick Folk field goal instead of a TD, we’re the game’s deciding plays. A playoff style game that was indeed decided on two plays, like the majority of great NFL games are.
Then there’s the Buffalo Bills. You’ll notice in my prediction formula that I didn’t mention The Buffalo Bills as one of my upswing teams this year. It’s partial because of difficulty of schedule, and the fact that I think they’re extremely overrated in general. I can’t tell you how many times I heard this off season that “Tyrod’s gonna blow up this year.” I’ll be the first to tell you he wont. Any success he had last year was fool’s gold. He’s a better than average scrambling QB, ill give him that. Other than that, he lacks arm, awareness, and experience to be even a middle of the road QB in this league. Just consult history: He was a sixth round pick that was eventually released by the Baltimore Raves, and caught steam with Buffalo due to favorable matchups and them having an opportunistic defense that gave him great field position gifts all season.
All that said, and I know it’s early, but I look at Buffalo as being one of the league’s biggest disappointments this year. They’ll drafting in the top four and fight for the first QB off the board with Miami, another team in the AFC East who has a dead end QB. The rub: There’s no way they’ll keep Rex Ryan around to groom a first round QB talent. Even though he was extremely overrated heading in to the draft, I’m one of the few believers that Rex’s NYJ regime didn’t groom Mark Sanchez to the best QB he could have been. You really only get that chance once.
Also, to all you gamblers out there: If you EVER see the Jets and Bills lose on the same afternoon, make sure you bet the New England Patriots to win later that night. They win 100% of the time. Backup QB, star player out, road, doesn’t matter. They are the definition of an opportunistic team. Something, sadly, neither of the aforementioned teams is.
These two teams clash this week in Buffalo. Whoever loses, their season is over.
Raid WITH the Machine
Starters have officially become Columbias in Oakland. Mad props to the Oakland Raiders this week who won what appeared to be a personality changing game this Sunday in New Orleans, resulting from a gutsy two point conversion call over settling for a game tying extra point play in the final moments.
The Oakland Raiders over the last decade are a team that has consistently played not to lose the few games they’ve lead in, as apposed to playing to win said game. They’ve essentially spent the last decade being the West Coast Cleveland Browns. It looks like the Raiders MAY have finally turned a corner though. This team is a chemistry building season, a key free agent pickup, and a great draft to being the AFC West toast next year. I still think a team like the Denver Broncos, Manning-less or not, would own a team like the Raiders in a big game. We can’t let a road win against the Saints, a team with no defense mentality since the Bounty Gate controversy, serve as anoint this Raiders team, but it still means something!
The most intriguing thing about that final play would have to be Del Rio’s approach to that final drive. According to Del Rio, the final play of that game was not an impulse bet:
"Everyone knew about our strategy. I didn't really ask for any feedback there. I said, 'When we score here, we are going to go for 2 and win it right here.'"
Jack Del Rio probably cemented his job as Raiders head coach for the next decade with that play call. They’ll be afraid to get rid of him for the next decade.
Hopefully, you, and the 70 thousand people who attended the Rams/9ers game came out of your coma in time to read this article.
All kidding aside, does anyone in San Francisco gives a fuck about the 49ers and whatever semblace of a they have going forward. They’re fans seem completely heartbroken and dejected since Jim Harbaugh’s exit. They have absolutely no long term faith in Chip Kelly as a HC. They are completely disenchanted with Blain Gabbert as a QB. They hate their defense. They hate their defensive Coordinator, Jim O’Neil, compared to their beloved Vic Fangio. They EVEN hate their brand new billion-dollar stadium. Have you noticed that everyone is always fighting the sunlight and heat in that stadium? The 49ers fans are ants under a magnifying glass, being burned by Melissa from Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead.
By the way, she’s hot now.
It’s ironic, because they were playing against a team who’s fanbase has the exact opposite level of excitement in the LA RAMS. At least that WAS the case until they witnesses their team actually PLAY A FOOTBALL game this Sunday.
Just a horrible game all around from the LA Rams. Literally nothing positive can be taken away from their performance. It was ultimately most embarrassing for Jeff Fischer, who is soon to find himself in the same Rex Ryan hot seat by about mid season. The Rams aren’t quite a playoff team, but they best show fight this year if Fischer wants to remain the Coach in the second biggest market in the United States. Fischer may actually already on the hot-seat after a game which featured an undisciplined defense, uncharacteristic of the Rams, and an offense which didn’t feature their first round draft pick, Jared Goff behind center. L.A. fans aren’t stoked on the fact that number 2 pick Carson Wentz started in Philadelphia and got a win for his team with probably less Offensive weapons than the Rams have on their roster currently.
The only thing the Rams can do is throw Jared Goff in the fire and hope for the best. Until then, Case Keenum is really not going to have many supporters on the LA front. We are on the brink of a Bryan Hoyer/Johnny Manziel controversy between the two, with the fans guiding the ship. Buckle up.
Kaep and Groan
And finally this week, we got our second dose of the Colin Kapernick revolution, if you will, with Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season. Several players around the league kneeled or raised fists in the sky during the national anthem this week, several of which occurred on the 15th anniversary of the darkest day in American history.
As of now, my personal jury is still out on Kaep’s movement. There are things I like about it and things I don’t. I roll my eyes when a real American like Kid Rock weighs in like only he can.
But I’m also roll my eyes when those back Kaep’s crusade if only for the anti-establishment feel it inherently has. It reminds me when dudes in the 90’s wore “Free Mumia” shirts without knowing the story behind Mumia, or literally anything about Mumia other than he was a African American dude with dreads that Rage Against the Machine liked.
As of now, I’m going to remain open minded.
My only grevance with Kaep would have to be the timing of his protest, not so much on the fact that it’s during an election year, but that it’s during what is more than likely the twilight of his career.
This was for the most part put in to perspective for me by an interview I seen with Shaquille O’Neal this past week, another man who is neither for or against Kaep’s message at this point.
Skip to the .59-second mark.
What’s Shaq’s basically insinuating is that we’re getting THIS Kaepernick because the one we first got that focused on nothing but playing ball and winning doesn’t have a place anymore in the NFL. A mere two years removed from his rookie season and a Superbowl run, we have a player that lost his starting job, his team leadership status, and frankly has nothing to lose, especially with the 49ers organization. I’d agree with Shaq; these ideas didn’t popped Kaep’s head over night. So it begs the question, is it the lack of having something to lose that has lead this protest to take shape? If so, does it make said protest less genuine
What’s Shaq’s basically insinuating is that we’re getting THIS Kaepernick because the one we first got that focused on nothing but playing ball and winning doesn’t have a place anymore in the NFL. A mere two years removed from his rookie season and a Superbowl run, we have a player that lost his starting job, his team leadership status, and frankly has nothing to lose, especially with the 49ers organization. I’d agree with Shaq; these ideas didn’t popped Kaep’s head over night. So it begs the question, is it the lack of having something to lose that has lead this protest to take shape? If so, does it make said protest less genuin
This is the beginning stages of what is could be an important chapter in sports history, ironically not based at all around on field play . Therefore, whether you like it or hate it, we all must agree that we’re for better or worse witnessing something special, and should celebrate it if only for that.
Pick of the Week
NYJ -1 in Buffalo