Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books and Mr. Fantasy had the best week of picks in our little contest. He ends Week 1 with an 11-5 record. Dan the Man is a game back at 10-5 while Schaumburg was 9-7 for Week 1. Sadly I was a huge embarrassment going 7-9 for the first week of the season. Looks like I have quite a hole to dig myself out of right from the start of the season.
So if your a New York Giants fan and your team misses winning the NFC East by 1 game or just happens t miss the playoffs by 1 game you can look back at their Week 1 (27-26) loss to the Dallas Cowboys as the reason for it. This was far and away the stupidest football played by any team in Week 1. The Giants where on the Cowboys 2-yard line with about 1:40 to go in the game with Dallas having no timeouts. On 3rd down instead of just jamming the football int the line and trying to pound it in for a touchdown Eli Manning decides that he’s going to throw for it. Now there’s no issue with that, but as he rolled to his right he threw the ball away. Now I don’t know if he forgot the situation or is just dumb, but he stopped the clock. Then instead of going for it on 4th down the Giants decided to take the field goal and give themselves a 6-point lead. If Manning would’ve taken the sack and then New York would’ve just ran the ball on 4th down they would’ve had a 3-point lead with about .45 seconds to go in the game and Dallas would have to go 98 or 99 yards for a touchdown to win the game. So the Giants opt for the field goal and then they have to kickoff to the Cowboys. Oddly they decided to squib kick instead of just kicking out of the end zone and making Dallas start from the 20- yard line. This of course backfires as well and Dallas ends up wit the football at the 30-yard line instead where they easily drove down into scoring position. Dallas went 72 yards in 1:27 and Tony Romo even dropped the last snap he took before picking up the football and throwing the game winning touchdown pass to Jason Witten. With as easily as Dallas moved the football on their last drive could they of done the same if they had started at their own 1-yard line. I’m sure they could’ve, but remember they would’ve had far less time if Manning doesn’t throw the football away and if they had ran the football instead of kicking the field goal. Even stranger a story came out that on 1st and 2nd down Manning told running back Rashad Jennings not to score to run some time off the clock. I guess Manning’s math is bad because a touchdown and the extra point would’ve given the Giants a 10 point lead and Dallas would’ve needed 2 scores to tie or win the game. Manning has actual confirmed that he told Jennings this and Jennings has apologized for more or less throwing Manning under the bus to the media. 2015 is Manning’s 12th season in the NFL he’s a 3-time pro bowler and has won 2 Super Bowls. What I’m wondering is how? It’s almost as if Manning didn’t want Jennings to score so he could throw a game winning touchdown pass and be the hero. I’m sure that wasn’t it, but the shear stupidity of the situation is just impossible to figure out. Now I myself was dumb enough to pick the Giants to win the game on Sunday night and I also having them winning the NFC East this season. Looking back at that; maybe I’m the dumb one.
It’s looking as though the Chicago Cubs will end up with one of the two National League wild card spots. Now the debate has started; who is the Cubs starting pitcher for that game? Everyone I know and have spoken to on the podcast think it’s a slam dunk that Jake Arrieta will get the ball for that game, but I’m the one not sure about that. With the season Arrieta has had 19-6 in 29 starts with an ERA of 1.99 with 3 complete games and 2 shutouts as well. Arrieta goes for his 20th win tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates. If it’s not Arrieta; who would be the other Cubs option? Jon Lester is the answer. Lester is 10-10 in 29 starts with an ERA of 3.38 with 1 complete game which he threw yesterday (Tuesday) against the Pirates. Lester was given big money in free agency last off season to pitch these kind of games. Lester has had his issues, but his last 2 September starts have been good. He went 7 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals giving up 1 run on 2 hits while walking 1 and striking out 7 in a no decision. Against the Pirates last night (Tuesday) Lester went 9 innings giving up 1 run on 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 9. Now I’m in the Arrieta camp here. I think he should get the ball for the wild card game but you’re going to hear about Lester’s post season experience in comparison to Arrieta’s; who’s never pitched in a post season game. My question is, does Joe Maddon make this decision or does the front office of General Manager Jed Hoyer and team President Theo Epstein get involved. Which ever pitcher gets that start in the wild card game if the Cubs don;t win it there are going to be questions as to why they didn’t start the other pitcher.
The Texas Rangers took over 1st place in the American League West by a 1/2 game last night when they beat the Houston Astros for the 2nd time in a row 6-5. On Monday the Rangers won the first game of the series 5-3. Last night it was 5-5 going into the bottom of the 9th. Prince Fielder led off with a single off of Oliver Perez. Will Harris came out of the Astros bullpen to replace Perez and face Adrian Beltre. Drew Stubbs enters the game as a pinch runner for Fielder. Beltre singles to centerfield and Stubbs goes to 3rd base. It’s 1st and 3rd for Mitch Moreland. The 1st pitch of the at bat is a ball. Moreland hits the 2nd pitch to centerfield and Stubbs tags and scores to win the game and put the Rangers in 1st place. While a sacrifice fly isn’t the exciting highlight the networks like when it comes to walk offs I’m guess the Rangers could care less. The Astros look to get back into 1st place as they send Dallas Keuchel to the mound. Keuchel is a 3-time pitcher of the month. He leads the AL in ERA (2.22) innings pitched (206 2/3rd) and my favorite stat WAR (7.1). Keuchel is 13-0 at home, but just 4-7 with a 3.13 ERA on the road. By the way the Rangers are the home team. Keuchel does have a win over the Rangers this season, but it was back in April. The Rangers are going wit Martin Perez on the mound. Perez is 1-3 with a 5.64 ERA over his last 4 starts. His win was at home, but his home ERA is 5.82. Perez is 3-1 with an ERA of 2.17 in 4 career starts against the Astros. These two teams have a 3-game series on the 25th, 26th and 27th of this month whcih may decide who wins the AL West.
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