Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo Bills’

Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books and so is our Sports Time Radio pick contest. Schaumburg Stu and Dan the Man got off to a hot start both going 10-6 in the first week. I managed a .500 record at 8-8 while Mr. Fantasy starts the year off in the cellar at 7-9. I’ll try to remember to update you every Wednesday on how we’re doing. Feel free to play along and see if your picks are better than ours.

In the 2010 draft the Buffalo Bills thought they had found their feature running back when with the 8th pick I the 1st round they selected C.J. Spiller from Clemson. Spiller rushed for 1212 yards with 12 touchdowns, he caught 36 passes 4 of which ended in touchdowns. Spiller was also dangerous in the return game as he returned 8 punts and 21 kickoffs with 5 of those returns going for touchdowns. Coming into the NFL Spiller looked like a 3-down back which is something that is tough to find in the league now. Spiller averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his first pre-season and was named the Bills #1 running back. Spiller beat out Fred Jackson and Marshwan Lynch. Lynch was dealt to the Seattle Seahawks soon after Spiller was named the starter. Spiller played in 14 games his rookie season getting 1 start. He rushed for 283 yards and caught 24 passes for 157 yards and 1 touchdown. It wasn’t the offensive contribution that the Bills where expecting out of the #8 pick. Spiller did play well on special teams as he averaged 14.6 yards on 12 punt returns and 23.0 yards on 44 kickoff returns taking 1 back for a touchdown. Spiller started 11 games in 2011; rushing for 561 yards with 4 touchdowns and catching 39 passes for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns. 2012 was Spiller’s best season as he rushed for 1244 yards and 6 touchdowns while catching 43 passes for 459 yards and 2 touchdowns. In 2013 Spiller got close to his second 1000 yard season, but fell short at 933 yards. He had 2 rushing touchdowns and caught 33 passes for 185 yards. Injuries cut Spiller’s 2014 season short. He played in just 9 games and totaled 300 yards rushing, but no touchdowns, He added 19 receptions for 125 yards and 1 touchdown. That was Spiller’s last season with the Bills. Spiller signed a 4-year $16 million dollar deal  on at what seemed to be the perfect place for his skill set with the New Orleans Saints. Spiller started 2 games for the Saints on 2015, but played in 13 games total. He rushed for 112 yards, but caught 34 passes for 239 yards and 2 touchdowns. You would’ve thought that with a full off season and training camp with New Orleans that Spiller might be looking at a big role in their passing offense. Sadly Spiller’s training camp was cut short as he suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss the final 2 pre-season games. When Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders rolled around the Saints made Spiller inactive for the game and went with veteran running back Travaris Cadet in that role. It shouldn’t of come as a surprise after being inactive for Week 1 that the Saints decided to part ways with Spiller by cutting him on Monday. New Orleans was carrying 6 running backs on their roster and sooner or later one of them was probably going to be released.

With the release of Spiller the Saints have more than $40 million in dead money counting against their salary cap; by far the most in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns are second at $28.1 million. That number includes their other big free agent signing from 2015, cornerback Brandon Browner, among several others.Spiller will count $4.5 million against this year’s cap, then another $2.5 million next year.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are 3 games under .500 at 70-73 and it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting one of the National League wild card spots this season. Pittsburgh had been in the wild card game the last three seasons. With the playoffs out of reach the Pirates decided to shut their ace down and placed pitcher Gerrit Cole on the 60-dat DL. Cole came off the DL after three weeks to pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday. Cole pitched 2 innings giving up 5 runs on 4 hits while walking 4. Pittsburgh lost that game to Philadelphia 6-2. This time Cole is headed to the DL with right elbow posterior inflammation. This is Cole’s 3rd trip to the DL this season. Cole finishes 2016 the season with a 7-10 record in 21 starts and a 3.88 ERA. Cole was coming off his best season in 2015 when he went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA, made the All-Star team and finished fourth in National League Cy Young Award balloting. Cole is 26 years old and is the future of the Pirates rotation. He has a career 47-29 record with an ERA of 3.16. With the Pirates out of the playoff race it’s in their best interest and Cole’s to shut him down and allow him to be ready to go come spring training in 2017.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com you can also find the podcast on Tune.com

You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

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It’s almost unbelievable how many times Dan the Man, Mr, Fantasy, Schaumburg Stu and I have all taken the same team to win a game in the NFL and that team has lost. I should’ve known something was up when we all picked the New York Jets to beat the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night. While it was a closer game than most of the Thursday night contests by no means was it a good football game. I’m sure the most interesting part of the game for some people where the uniforms the team where wearing. Buffalo wore all red while the Jets went with all green for a very Christmas kind of a look. I did hear an odd stat; 9% of people have what’s called Red/Green Color Blindness and if they would’ve tried to watch this game they would’ve only seen gray. In the end the Bills got a 22-17 victory and we all start off Week 10 with an 0-1 record.

If you where invested in this game fantasy wise it may be a long week for you. There where 3 touchdowns scored and they all came through the air; so hopefully you didn’t have a running back going in this game. Let’s see what we can find for fantasy owners. Tyrod Taylor went 17 for 27 for 158 yards and 1 touchdown for Buffalo; he was also sacked 4 times, but did add 6 rushing attempts for 12 yards. On the Jets side Ryan Fitzpatrick was 15 for 34 for 193 yards; he threw 2 touchdowns and was intercepted 2 times as well. Fitzpatrick was sacked just 1 time and had 3 rushing attempts for 30 yards.

LeSean McCoy put up good rushing numbers for the Bills with 19 carries and 112 yards, but didn’t get into the end zone. McCoy also had 5 receptions for 47 yards. Karlos Williams was a popular add while McCoy was battling injuries and I did see a couple of fantasy experts say he was “The Play” in this game. Williams ran the football 7 times for 24 yards, but he did add 1 reception that went for 26 yards, but more importantly it was a touchdown catch. Chris ivory led the Jets ground game with 18 carries for 99 yards; he also added 2 receptions for 36 yards and did fumble. Numbers wise it was a good rushing night for both teams as their main backs averaged 5.5 yards a carry or better, but the fact that neither found there way into the end zone will hurt fantasy owners.

Tight End Charles Clay was Buffalo’s top receiver with 5 catches for 52 yards. The Bills wide receivers didn’t contribute much to their fantasy teams this week as both Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins each caught 3 passes. Woods went for 19 yards while Watkins went for 14 yards. Jets wide receiver Eric Decker was the best pass catching fantasy option on the night as he had 6 receptions for 85 yards and 1 touchdown. Brandon Marshall caught 3 passes for just 23 yards, but one of them was good for a touchdown. Devin Smith (22 yards), Tommy Bohanon (18 yards), Jeremy Kerley (7 yards) and Kembrel Thompkins (2 yards) all had 1 catch on the night.

The best fantasy option in this game may have been Buffalo kicker Dan Carpenter. Carpenter did miss and extra point going 1 for 2 on the night, but he made all 3 of his field goal attempts with his longest being from 47 yards. The Jets regular kicker Nick Folk was placed on season ending injured reserve with an with a Quad injury; so Randy Bullock was signed to do the kicking for the Jets. Bullock made all his kicks hitting 2 extra point attempts and a 29-yard field goal.

On defense Preston Brown led the Bills with 8 tackles. Marcell Dareus had the Buffalo sack on the night. Corey Graham had an interception while Bacarri Rambo had an interception and a fumble recovery; Duke Williams also recovered a fumble for the Bills. David Harris led the Jets defense with 9 tackles and had a sack on the night. Demario Davis added 8 tackles and a sack and Muhammad Wilkerson had the other 2 sacks for the Jets defense.

Craig Kimbrel was dealt for the 2nd time in his career this time going from the San Diego Padres to the Boston Red Sox. It was talked about that the Red Sox would be looking to add starting pitching and with Koji Uehara in place as closer this move is a bit of a surprise. Of course Uehara will turn 41 at the start of next season and injuries did limit him to just 43 appearances last season. Kimbrel is one of the top closers in baseball, but he is coming off a season where he had his highest ERA at 2.58. It’s still a very good ERA but when you’ve put up 1.61, 1.21 and 1.01 in the seasons before that it’s noticeable. Kimbrel also had career lows in saves at 39 and innings pitched at 59 1/3rd, but you have to factor in that the Padres where 74-88 in 2015. In return for Kimbrel San Diego gets  outfield prospect Manuel Margot, shortstop Javier Guerra, infielder Carlos Asuaje, and lefty Logan Allen make up the return. All four players rated among the thirty best Red Sox prospects. Don’t forget that San Diego trade away most of their top prospects last season to get the likes of Kimbrel, Justin Upton and Will Myers; so this deal will help rebuild the farm system. While the Padres appear to have gotten some quality prospects in return the question now becomes who closes games for them next season. Kimbrel’s in Boston and Joaquin Benoit was dealt to the Seattle Mariners earlier in the week, Before Kimbrel was acquired before the start of last season there was some talk that Kevin Quackenbush would close; so maybe he gets the first shot at the job.

When I first heard this rumor they said the Atlanta braves where just “listening” to offers for shortstop  Andrelton Simmons.  Just a few hours later Simmons and minor league catcher Jose Briceno are headed to the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim for shortstop Erick Aybar and two of the Angles top pitching prospects lefthander Sean Newcomb and right handed pitch Chris Ellis. Simmons is considered by many not only the best defensive shortstop in baseball, but the best defensive player in the game regardless of position. Simmons offense hasn’t caught up to his defense yet, but a lot of experts think it will get there. Simmons did put up his best batting average (.265) for a full season in 2015. After a 17 home run season in 2013 his power number have been way down; 7 home runs in 2014 and just 4 last season. Simmons did win the Gold Glove in 2013 and 2014 and this week Wilson named him the Defensive Player of the Year for 2015. Aybar has 1 year left in his contract and the Angeles sent about $3 million to help cover part of his 2016 salary in the deal. Simmons signed a long term deal last off season; so the Angels pick up his remaining 5 year and the $53 million left on that deal. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Aybar is with the Barves for just the one season he has remaining on his deal as they  have a highly-regarded young shortstop in Ozhaino Albies in there minor league system. This looks like a deal that really favors the Angels, but remember Atlanta is building towards 2017 when they open there new ballpark; so this move appears to be another in that future.

There was a little bit of history made in baseball yesterday as Colby Rasmus (Houston Astros), Matt Wieters (Baltimore Orioles) and Brett Anderson (Los Angeles Dodgers) became the first players to ever accept a qualifying offer from there teams. They all get 1-year deals worth $15.8 million. Instead of the qualifying offer Marco Estrada and the Toronto Blue Jays where able to agree to a 2-year deal. If I understood this the qualifying offer is determined by taking the average salary of the top 125 players salaries from the previous season. The players that didn’t accept the qualifying offer are now free agents, and can sign with any team. However the team that signs a player who was extended a qualifying offer has to send it’s 1st round draft pick to his former team unless it’s a Top 10 pick. Who else is confused?

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It’s opening day for the NFL and as I sit here watching the Bears vs Bills at Soldier Field. it takes me way back for a throwback thursday if you will, to just a couple weeks ago, when I was able to go to the Jacksonville Jaguars vs Da Bears. Yes that is grammatically correct, anytime you put da in front of bears, they are automatically capitalized like so, Da Bears! Now, just because I know a season ticket holder but that doesn’t mean he just throws me the tickets all season long, I wish, but he did give me a set of preseaon tickets that had a face value of approximately $100 per ticket. For Preason! Sadly seeing what it costs to go to a Bears game, I will probably never go to regular season game. Something the Big Jack and I have discussed numerous times on Sports Time Radio. When I looked online, the seats I sat in two rows higher were going for about $350 a piece. If I were to have purchased these tickets, it would be more than my mortgage for the month. The Big Jack and I have talked about today and it being so much easier and cheaper to just stay home and watch on your big screen tv. I have a 55in. Its not a 70in but it still a great view. I have a bathroom close by and theres almost always never a line. I can buy a six pack for the price of one beer. Although I enjoy all the conveniences of home, there still is nothing like go to a live sporting event. Look at this view.

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I had four tickets, one for me and of course my wife, she could care less what we are going to see as long as there is some good food. She prefers the live version than sitting on the couch. She loves a Super Bowl party, where I would rather watch the game at home. Two more tickets left but its a no brainer, I called my dad and my sister, to ask if my nephew could go? Check and Check. First thing you must know when going to a Bears game, is where to park. It’s the NFL, its not the MLB, so don’t drive down and look for parking. Be prepared, go to http://soldierfieldparking.comand buy your parking in advance. My seats were by the North Gate and there is a north gate parking lot which was $50 but it was sold out. Parking by the Planetarium was $100, I’m sure this is where the serious tailgaters are set up. There was a parking lot south of Mc Cormick Place for about $40. You could tailgate there and bring alcohol. There are shuttles to take you to the tunnel that goes under Lake Shore Drive and brings you to the South Gate. I chose the $50 family parking, which was a parking lot near 18th street. The parking lot allows tailgating but no alcohol but no shuttle bus needed because the lot is where the shuttle bus drops off and picks up. Either way your going to do some walking. My suggestion when you’ve decided on parking no which way to go. If you picked the Planetarium, North lot or 18th street, take Lake Shore Drive North. If your going to the south lots. Go south and follow the signs.

My wife works in the loop of downtown Chicago, and she came to the game with a few co-workers and even received free drinks at the bar before the game. Our seats were great, on the aisle and only four rows from the tunnel to the seats. My dad and my nephew went down to the field seats but were unable to snag any autographs. My wife arrived just before the national anthem. It was exiting to be apart of the ceremonial introductions. It seems to go by much quicker when you are there. Before you know it, it’s kickoff and the game is on. It’s very hard to get a whole lot out of a preseason game. Cutler and his offense were out there for a little bit and to be honest, it was the Cutler we’ve seen year after year. It was all about the experience of being at Soldier Field and watching the game. We got a good look at back up running back, Shaun Draughn. Also, Blake Bortles was pretty impressive against the second string defense. Through out the game my wife, father and I had to take my nephew to tour Soldier Field. My nephew surprisingly didn’t want anything from the gift shops. My father, on the other hand, came back from his turn with a t-shirt for my mom. All I went home with was the souvenir cup that went with my hot dog, which my dad bought. Thanks Dad.

Even though it was pre season, it was still a great experience. My dad hadn’t been to game in over 10 years, and it was the first game for my wife, nephew and I. One day, I may have throw away income to spend thousands of dollars for one day watching Da Bears live. That or I will be the proud buyer of season tickets to the Chicago Bears. Which I still have trouble deciding weather or not to sell the whole season as a package or try to sell all but one game to make enough money to pay for the game I attend. Either way, it will be a while before This Old Stub documents my experience at Soldier Field. Unless of course, I am given these tickets again next year.