Posts Tagged ‘Detroit Lions’

The NFL playoffs kick off today with wild card weekend. The first game we’ll see today has the (12-4) Oakland Raiders at the (9-7) Houston Texans.

Both of these teams are dealing with what you could call interesting quarterback situations. The Raiders where 12-3 with Derek Carr as there starting quarterback, but in Week 16 Carr went down with a broken leg and is done for the season. Oakland turned to back up Matt McGloin for the final game of the season and then hopefully into the playoffs. Then in what has to be looked at as just bad luck McGloin got hurt in the Week 17 game against the Denver Broncos. McGloin has been limited in practice all week and is listed as “Questionable” on the injury report. While most reports are saying McGloin won’t play we won’t actually know until inactive list for the game is released. So the Raiders are down to there 3rd string quarterback. That is Connor Cook who was the Raiders 2016 4th round draft pick. Cook will actually ne the first quarterback in NFL history to make his first career start in a playoff game. Cook did go 14 of 21 for 150 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception in relief of McGloin against the Broncos. The Raiders did sign Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad to serve as a back up quarterback.

The Texans quarterback situation was affected by injury in Week 17 as well. Tom Savage had taken over as the Texans starting quarterback when he replaced Brock Osweiler in Week 15’s game against the Jacksonville Jaquars. Savage made starts in Week 16 and Week 17, but Savage suffered a concussion in Week 17 against the Tennessee Titans and has not cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol. That means Osweiler gets the job back as Houston’s starting quarterback for today’s playoff game. Osweiler was 8-6 as the Texans starter this season. He completed 59% of his passes and threw 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. After taking over for Savage against the Titans Osweiler went 21 for 40 for 253 yards and a touchdown. It was the most passing yards Osweiler had thrown for sine Week 6. The other injury the Texans are dealing with is to leading rusher Lamar Miller. Miller has been inactive the last two weeks, but wasn’t on the Texans final injury report for the playoff game. Miller ran for 104 yards in the Texans 27-20 loss to the Raiders in Week 11.

Here’s how we’re picking this game. Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I are all going with the Houston Texans. That means Dan the Man is the only one picking the Raiders.

The second playoff game today has the (9-7) Detroit Lions at the (10-5-1) Seattle Seahawks. The injury situation isn’t as bad for either of these teams entering the playoffs, but there is some concern with the way they both played down the stretch. The Lions come into this game on a 3-game losing streak that dropped into a wild card spot. Now the Seahawks did win there final regular season game of the season, but it was just a 2-point (25-23) win over the 2-14 San Francisco 49ers. Luckily for the Seahawks they are the home team and they’ve never lost a playoff game at CenturyLink Field. The Lions have also never won a game in Seattle. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will still be wearing a glove on his throwing hand to protect his injured finger. Detroit has made only two playoff appearances since 1999 and has not won a postseason game since 1991. The Lions have also trailed in the fourth quarter of every game during the regular season, and they overcame nine fourth quarter deficits while getting out to a 9-4 record before falling back to earth in December and early January. The Seahawks ate just 2-2 since Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas was injured and some sideline squabbles only added to the idea that Seattle is a team in turmoil. The Seahawks are also missing wide receiver/return man Tyler Lockett who broke his leg in the game against the Arizona Cardinals on December 24th. To fill the void Lockett leaves in the return game Seattle signed veteran return man Devin Hester. Hester has an NFL record 20 returns for touchdowns, including a record 14 on punts, 5 on kickoffs and 1 on a missed field goal attempt return. Hester played in 12 games for the Baltimore Ravens this season. Hester returned 25 punts averaging 7.2 yards per return. He also returned 19 kickoffs averaging 24.5 yards per return.

We’re all in agreement with our pick for this game as we all have the Seahawks getting the win.

You can kind of add this to the list of it happens to everybody. Last night the Golden State Warriors blew a 24 point lead and ended up losing to the Memphis Grizzlies 128-119 in overtime. The loss took place at Oracle Arena where Golden State was 16-2 coming into last nights game. Golden State entered the 4th quarter up by 19 points which normally leads to victory. The Warriors came out “lethargically” at the start of the 4th quarter and Memphis went on a 23-6 run. It took the Warriors offense 7 minutes to score those 6 points. Down the stretch the Warriors used there “Super Death Line Up” of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala and it looked as though they would hang on for a win. Then, the end of regulation was ugliest of all for Golden State. Tony Allen muscled home a follow-up to a key offensive rebound. With the Warriors up two, the Warriors delivered what might have been their most awkward sequence of the season. As Curry dribbled it appeared that Durant did not know where to be, as Green gesticulated. The play led to a Curry miss, salvaged by a Thompson rebound. From there Durant and Curry deliberated over what was supposed to happen, until Curry finally gave up the rock. Then Curry set a less than forceful screen and Durant, facing Zach Randolph’s closeout, missed an off the dribble 3. Green sauntered to the bench looking less than pleased, before exchanging heated words with Durant. The Warriors continued their struggles into overtime and after Troy Daniels hit a 3-pointer the Grizzlies where up 6 points. It looked as though Durant had a chance to pull the Warriors within three as it appeared he scored and was fouled, but after a review of the play the called was changed and a foul was called on Durant. It seemed as though the Warriors couldn’t get back on track and after Mike Conley hit a step back jumper Memphis had the game in hand. After the game Draymond Green had some pointed comments, but pretty much blamed everyone for the loss. This is the kind of loss that doesn’t happen to a team like Golden State. In the end it won’t affect much as they’re still looked at as the best team in the Western Conference and any issue they might be having; they’ll have 45 regular season games to work out.

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It looks like the Top 2 free agent starting pitchers are going to be off the market before the winter meetings even start. Earlier in the week Price signed a 7 year deal worth $217 million to pitch for the Boston Red Sox. Then last night news broke that Zack Greinke will sign a 6 year deal worth $206 million to pitch for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  It had more or less been decided that when Greinke made a decision on who to play for he would either return to the Los Angeles Dodgers or sign with the San Francisco Giants. The Diamondbacks where able to sneak in last minute and make Greinke the offer he liked. Like all the deals top pitchers get in free agency it’s a lot of years and a lot of money for a pitcher, but that’s the going rate and you have to pay this price if you want to add this type of pitching. At first the big pitching signing on Friday was the Chicago Cubs signing John Lackey to a 2 year deal worth $32 million, but then the Greinke news broke and that deal took center stage.

Now the question has to be do these signings make Boston and Arizona contenders to win the World Series. The Red Sox finished 2015 78-84 and in last place in the American League East. The Diamondbacks where 79-83 in 2015, but that was good enough for 3rd place in the National League West. Boston finished 15 games out of 1st place while Arizona was 13 games of of 1st. While both Price and Greinke will be the “Ace” of their new pitching staffs will there new teams be able to put together a good enough 2 through 5 spots in the starting rotation to contend. The Red Sox went into last season without a real #1 starter and it showed. Price fills that role and he’ll pitch with Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Joe Kelly, Clay Bucholtz or maybe Eduardo Rodriquez and Henry Owens in some form of a pitching rotation. Will the Red Sox look to trade a veteran starter to make room for one of their younger starters or will the pair of 22 year old (Owens & Rodriguez) start the season in the minors. Greinke joins a much younger starting rotation in Arizona. Rubby De La Rosa led the Diamondbacks in wins last season with 14; so he looks to slot in behind Greinke in the rotation. Patrick Corbin made 16 starts in 2015 after returning from Tommy John surgery; so he’ll be ready for 2016. Then we’ll have to see if Arizona fills the rotation with Chase Anderson, Robbie Ray or Archie Bradley, but there where some reports that the Diamondbacks may still be looking to sign another free agent for the starting rotation.

You have to think that other teams will start to scramble and try to get a pitcher signed. I mentioned Lackey got a deal with the Cubs and there have been multiple reports that Jeff Samardzija was offered a deal worth $90-$100 million, but the team that made the offer was never disclosed. Starting pitchers like Johnny Cueto; who turned the Diamondbacks offer of 6 years $120 million down, Mike Leake and Scott Kazmir should be very popular at the winter meetings this week. Wei-Yin Cheng has been kind of an under the radar player, but with the Top 2 pitchers now off the market his name should start to come in play as well. There is still a decent amount of quality starting pitching on the free agent market and this week should give us an indication of where some of these pitchers are headed.

Hey; we finally got a great finish to a Thursday Night football game. The Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions 27-23 on a 61-yard hail mary from Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers with no time on the clock. Now we’ve all seen the highlights by now and everyone knows that the Packers shouldn’t of even gotten the play that won the game for them. The play before the game winner the Packers completed a short pass and then the laterals started as this looked like Green Bay’s last chance. The football ended up in Aaron Rodgers hands and there didn’t appear to be anyone behind him to pitch the football to and he was tackled high around the head area. When you look at the play going full speed it appears that Rodgers is taken down by his facemask and a penalty flag was thrown. When the play was looked at in slow motion you can clearly see that Rodgers facemask was never grabbed, but just brushed by the Detroit player. Of course penalties aren’t reviewable and the Packers got 1 last offensive play with no time on the clock and that play was Rodgers to Rodgers for the 61-yard game winner. Now the referee is at fault for missing the call and he’s getting his share of abuse for it you can’t tell me at full speed you didn’t think it was a facemask. While this call stinks for the Lions and there fans it may actual save the Packers season as it allowed them to stay in control of there playoff hopes.

Fantasy wise Rodgers was 24 of 36 for 237 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. Rodgers was also the Packers leading rusher on the night running 4 times for 27 yards and a touchdown. Matthew Stafford was 23 of 35 for 220 yards and 1 touchdowns. Stafford also ran the football 2 times for 22 yards.

There wasn’t much to the Green Bay running game on the night. John Crockett carried the football 5 times for 22 yards. James Starks had 9 carries for 15 yards, but added 5 catches for 45 yards while Eddie Lacy had 5 carries for 4 yards. Lacy also had 1 reception, but it went for -4 yards Detroit’s Ameer Abdullah had the most success running the football. He had 13 carries for 67 yards in the game. Joique Bell had 8 carries for 5 yards along with 2 catches for 25 yardrs and Theo Riddick got 1 carry for 4 yards while catching 5 passes for 27 yards.

Richard Rodgers had a big night in the Packers passing game. Rodgers caught 8 passes for 146 yards and that 1 touchdown. Randall Cobb had 4 catches for 29 yards and 1 rushing attempt for -1 yards. DaVonte Adams caught 4 passes for 21 yards, but did have a touchdown. James Jones had 1 catch 19 yards and Jared Abbrederis also had 1 catch for 16 yards. Golden tate led the Lions with 8 catches for 63 yards and he also had a rushing attempt that went for -3 yards. Calvin Johnson caught 3 passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. T.J. Jones caught 2 passes for 37 yards while Eric Ebron also caught 2 passes for 9 yards, but had a touchdown. Corey Fuller also had 1 catch for 15 yards.

Jake Ryan led the Packers in tackles with 10 while Julius Peppers, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and Micah Hyde all recorded a sack.  Isa Abdul-Quddus was the Lions leading tackler with 11 while Devin Taylor had 2 sacks and Ezekiel Ansah added a sack as well.

It wasn’t the best of fantasy games, but if you had a guy who found his way into the end zone that always helps your team. Hopefully Richard Rodgers was in your starting line up.

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For Thanksgiving the NFL gave us 2 blowouts and an upset. The day in football started out with a game I thought would be closer than it turned out to be as the Detroit Lions blew out the Philadelphia Eagles 45-14. In the second game the Dallas Cowboys where a 1 point favorite going into it. I hope you bet what would’ve been the underdog and took the 1 point and went with the Carolina Panthers. Even before Tony Romo got injured and had to leave the game Carolina was far and away the better team in this game and easily won 33-14. The third game of the night brought us an upset as the Chicago Bears went into Lambeau Field and defeated the Green Bay Packers 17-13.  Green Bay had 4 chances inside the Bears 10-yard line with under a minute to go in the Chicago defense kept the Packers out of the end zone to win the game.

Believe it or not we actually pick 2 out of the 3 games correctly for a 2-1 start to our week in picks. Schaumburg Stu, Dan the Man, Mr, Fantasy and I all had Detroit, Carolina and even though we all live in the Chicago suburbs we had Green Bay. Of course I think us living in the Chicago suburbs may have made us pick Green Bay to win that game.

Fantasy football wise in Thanksgiving if you had Matthew Stafford as your quarterback you got off to a good start. Stafford scored right around or in the 40 point range depending on how your league is scored. No matter how it’s scored he was the best quarterback on Thanksgiving.Cam Newton came in right around the 20 point mark while Mark Sanchez, Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers all finished in the 12 to 15 point range. Matt Cassell actually outscored Tony Romo as Cassell end up at about 10 points and Romo was in the negatives if your league scores negative points. With the way our longest running league is scored Stafford had 37.54 points. Then it was Newton (16.66), Sanchez (11.88), Cutler (11,40), Rodgers (11.34), Cassell (10.76) and Romo with -4.38 points.

Eddie Lacy was the top fantasy running back on Thanksgiving. Lacy ran for 105 yards and caught a touchdown pass as well. Lacy totaled 25.15 points in our fantasy league. Two Lions running backs came in 2nd and 3rd on the day. Joique Bell scored 17.45 points and Theo Riddick scoced 17.05 points. Bell rushed for 57 yards, but out one in the end zone. Riddick rushed for just 6 yards, but caught 5 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart scored 15.20 fantasy points with 68 rushing yards and the Bears Jeremy Langford scored  15.05 points 48 rushing yards and a touchdown to round out the Top 5 running backs.

It’s not a big surprise that the Lions had the 2 highest scoring wide receivers on Thursday. Calvin Johnson led the way with 33.30 fantasy points. Johnson caught 8 passes for 93 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. Golden Tate was 2nd with 16,43 points. Tate caught 7 catches for 50 yards and 1 touchdown. Cole Beasley is a free agent right now in our longest running league. Beasley scored 14.90 points on 6 catches, 44 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Matthews and Alshon Jeffeys tied for 4th with 14.25 points. Jefferys had more catches 7 to 3 and more yards 90 to 60, but Matthews scored a touchdown and Jefferys didn’t. Randall Cobb rounds out the Top 5 receivers with 11.92 points catching 6 passes for 74 yards.

Greg Olsen of Carolina was the top scoring tight end on the day with 10.75 fantasy points. We start 2 tight ends a week in our league and no one has Philadelphia tight end Trey Burton who ended up being the 2nd highest scoring tight end on the day with 8.90 points. The other Philadelphia tight end Brent Celek was tied with Zach Miller of the Bears for 3rd with 8.50 points. Jason Witten was 4th with 6.60 points and Richard Rodgers was 5th with 6.00 points.

Carolina’s Graham Gano was the best kicker to have as he totaled 20 points on the day.  Matt Prated (Detroit) and Mason Crosby (Green Bay) each had 10 points. Dan Bailey had 7 fantasy points for the Cowboys while Robbie Gould put up 5 in the Bears victory. The eagles Caleb Sturgis came in at the bottom of the kicker list with 2 points on the day.

It was Carolina’s defense that led in fantasy scoring with 22.62 points. They where followed by the Bears (13.26), Detroit (12.90), Green Bay (6.57(, Dallas (3.57) and Philadelphia (-2.38); I’m hoping you didn’t play Philadelphia’s defense.

As far as my team. I had Jay Cutler, Eddie Lacy and Green Bay’s defense; so I ended up with a total of 43.12 fantasy points. I am off to a little better start than I was projected to have. My outlook for the day was 37.87 points; so all in all it was a good fantasy day for my team.

The Golden State Warriors improved to 17-0 last night with a 135-116 win over the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors set the tone for the game with a 44 point 1st quarter. Stephen Curry led the way for the Warriors with 41 points. Curry was 11 for 20 from the field going 9 of 16 from behind the 3-point line. Draymond Green grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 10 assists to lead Golden State in those categories. Green also had 14 points on the night for a triple-double.  Leandro Barbosa came off the Golden State bench to score 21 points while T.J. Warren came off the Suns bench to lead them in scoring with 28 points. The Golden State 17th win to start the season was the first of back to back games as tonight they host the 6-11 Sacramento Kings. Will it be 18-0 for Golden State? Or can the Kings be the team that hands then their 1st loss?

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I’ll start off by saying I’m not a fan of the Detroit Lions. I am also not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. The outcome of their playoff game was good for me as a Seattle Seahawks fan. To be fair I did pick Detroit to win the game in the Sports Time Radio playoff picks. Dallas winning sends them to Green Bay while Seattle will play the Carolina Panthers instead of the Lions. With all of that out-of-the-way if you are a fan of the Lions you got robbed of any chance to win that playoff game against the Cowboys. The referees throw a flag for pass interference and then it’s picked up with no explanation that I heard. If it wasn’t pass interference it was what they used to call face guarding. Either way it was a terrible call by an officiating crew that was given this game on merit. Not only did the officials blow that call they missed a clear as day holding call on 4th down. I know people will say they could call holding on every play, but when it’s as blatant as this holding was it needs to be called. The Cowboys gained 21 yards on this 4th down on the drive that led to the eventual game winning touchdown. If they would’ve called the holding penalty it would’ve been 4th down with 16 yards to go and the Cowboys would’ve opted for a punt. No there’s no guarantee that Detroit would’ve scored had they gotten the football, but it might have changed the way the game ended. Maybe it goes to overtime and we have a different finish. Detroit was in the process of getting the momentum back when the first missed called happened and that drive could’ve also changed the outcome of the game. While I understand that this was just terrible officiating and hopefully the referees who worked this game are done for the rest of the playoffs, but since everyone is always looking for a good conspiracy; how about this one. I’m sure the NFL was happy with the AFC match ups. They have Peyton Manning with his new team the Denver Broncos against his old team the Indianapolis Colts. The other AFC game has the New England Patriots against the Baltimore Ravens A couple of really good solid match ups, but the NFC side was lacking something. With the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs as an under .500 team the NFL would like a match up to take the interest away from an under .500 team. How about a game between two marquee teams; the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. The Cowboys and the Packers haven’t met in the playoffs since about 1900 with Schaumburg Stu in attendance. I’m just kidding about that; it was the 1967 NFL Championship game which is referred to as the Ice Bowl. I don’t know if Schaumburg Stu was in attendance for that game or not. I’m pretty sure the NFL got the marketable match up they wanted with this game and all it took was a few referees looking the other way and picking up a flag to make it happen for the fans.

We wiped the slate clean for the playoffs and made our picks for the Wild Card weekend. Mr. Fantasy ended the weekend with a one game lead going 3-1. Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu and I all started the playoffs off by going 2-2. Four more games for us to pick this weekend; so we’ll see how this goes for us.

Okay let’s see if I can get this three team deal correct. The Cleveland Cavaliers traded guard Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City Thunder for a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. Cleveland also traded forward Lou Amundson and center Alex Kirk and a 2019 second-round draft pick to the New York Knicks for guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. The Knicks also get forward Lance Thomas from Oklahoma City. The Knicks also waived center Samuel Dalembert. Did you get all that? Oklahoma City gets a player they hope can replace James Harden. Cleveland gets a former 6th man of the year with some issues and an upgrade on defense at the guard position. The Knicks get the valuable salary cap room they where looking for. You have to wonder if the Cavaliers and the Thunder are done dealing. The Cavaliers still haven’t found a way to replace the injured Anderson Varejao. Smith and Shumpert won’t fill the void created by Varejao’s season ending injury. The Thunder now have quite a bit of back court depth and you have to wonder if a Anthony Morrow, Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb or even Ish Smith might be on their way out of Oklahoma soon. The Cavaliers have had their eye on Denver Nuggets big man Timofey Mozgov, but getting him is proving difficult. Kosta Koufus is another big man on the Cavaliers radar and may not command a hefty price tag, but don’t be surprised if Memphis is reluctant to move him. Those are a couple of the rumored deals out their for the Cavaliers, but with Waiters being dealt will they have the pieces to land the center they need. In a bit of what I’d considered odd NBA news it’s being reported that Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders has informed team officials that he doesn’t want to play basketball anymore. Sanders, who is averaging just 7.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this season, has not played in the team’s last six games due to a combination of an illness and personal reasons. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out in the coming weeks. If Sanders were to retire, he wouldn’t earn the $33 million remaining on his contract after this season.

For the first time since 1955 four players will enter the baseball Hall of Fame. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smolts all made it into the Hall of Fame on their first ballot while Craig Biggio gets in this year after just missing by a couple of votes last year. For the most part I believe they got the voting right this season and you can’t always say that. I wasn’t as sold on Smoltz as a lot of people where, but the writers like him and he’s working for the MLB Network now; so he gets in with 82.9 % of the vote. With Smoltz getting in this opens the door for two pitchers that are on the ballot with similar stats as Smoltz. That would be Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina; Schilling got 39.2 % of the vote and Mussina got 24.6 % of the vote. Of course I don’t have a vote, but I don’t believe that either of these players belong in the Hall of Fame. While it is just my opinion and I did see both of these players throughout their entire playing careers. I’m guessing they both get in down the road, but they wouldn’t get my vote. A player that would get my vote, but didn’t get a lot of votes from anyone else was Gary Sheffield. Sheffield’s problem is he is part of the steroids era of Major League Baseball and those guys don’t get a lot of votes, but Sheffield only got 11.7 % of the vote in his first year on the ballot. No player has ever gotten into the Hall of Fame after getting less than 15% of the vote; so it looks like Sheffield won’t ever get a call from Cooperstown and I wish he would.

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