Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Aaron Rodgers is Awesome, Leads Another Comeback Against Dallas

It turns out this Aaron Rodgers cat is pretty damn good at football. I didn't get to watch this game because I was flying home from Clemson and also had a pretty important playoff game to attend in the Bronx. (Hell of a weekend by the way, would do again for sure.) But, what a damn comeback. Rodgers doesn't have a ton of 4th quarter comeback wins in his career because his MO is getting off to hot starts and beating teams early and often. But this season he has absolutely dominated 4th quarters and led two impressive second half comebacks (he has 3 total counting defeating Seattle in week one after being down 3-0 at the half, but I wouldn't call that impressive).

(Ignore the foreign language.)

The Packers were down 21-12 at the half, thanks to two missed PATs. A one TD deficit wouldn't seem terrible but 9 points is two possessions against a quality team. On the road too. But Aaron Rodgers led his team to another great comeback and got a little help from a pick six by Demarious Randall. The Cowboys scored to go ahead 31-28 with 1:13 left on the clock. That's not only a ton of time for Rodgers to get within field goal range and tie the game, but it's plenty for him to get to the end zone. And that's exactly what he did. Incredible drive from Aaron and he capped it off with a great toss to Davante Adams for the game winner. Adams had a pair of TD catches in the game and both were pretty fantastic. Also, rookie fifth round pick Aaron Jones looked incredible running the football in his first start with Ty Montgomery out. 19 carries, 125 yards and a TD. Gotta love that production and hopefully he can team up nicely with Montgomery when he gets back.

The defense wasn't great, giving up 31 points obviously, but the made some plays when they had to - namely the pick six by Randall. The ball was dropped by the receiver with Clay Matthews closing in on him and Randall seized the opportunity, snatching the ball outta the air and scampering in for the TD. It's plays like that that the Packers defense needs to come up with in order to make a serious run at the Super Bowl this season. Yards and points aren't a big deal if Rodgers and Co. are putting up points themselves. But when opportunities present themselves for a big defensive stop or turnover, they have to come through. I saw a lot of 3rd down plays turn into big plays for the Cowboys and that is surely something that Green Bay will look to improve on Sunday in Minnesota. Get the opponent off the field and give the ball back to Rodgers. A lot easier said than done but if you create third and longs, don't let up on third down. It's like Hobbs telling Dom in Furious Seven, "and if you find that sumbitch...don't miss." If it's 3rd and 12, don't give up a god damn 40 yard completion. That's the lesson.

But luckily Rodgers is a legend and the D made a few plays, and the Packers made it out of Dallas with a win and a 4-1 record. They're in Minnesota to take on the 3-2 Vikings on Sunday. The Vikings STINK, hopefully the Packers can show up on the road against them. A rare occurrence in recent years. Go Pack.

P.S. That last lateral play by the Cowboys was fucking hilarious. Fat guys tumbling all over the place. Gotta love that shit.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Clemson Uses Fast Start to Beat Wake Forest and Move to 6-0

I was down in Clemson this past weekend for homecoming and it was great to be back in Death Valley. The noon start time was a bit of a buzzkill but it was great to see some Tiger football in person nonetheless. I'd much prefer a 3:30 start but oh well.

Clemson got off to a hot start, opening with two straight TD drives in the first quarter. KB looked great, he was spreading the ball around, the running game was doing well. And then it was like the offense hit a wall. For some reason they just couldn't sustain drives the rest of the first half. Even to start the second half they looked pretty bored with the game. But they kicked it back into gear down the stretch, getting the lead to 28-0 with two more scores. Kelly Bryant did exit with an ankle injury but I think he's expected to play Friday at Syracuse. It came right before the Tigers extended the lead to 21-0. KB was trying to muscle into the endzone and twisted his ankle a bit. He stayed in to hand the ball off to Etienne for the TD on the next play but that was it. Zerrick Cooper came in and they ran some weird plays for him, and he didn't look very good at all. Hunter Johnson came in and they ran exactly the plays I'd expect them to run for a freshman QB in semi-garbage time, and he looked great leading them to their fourth TD drive and his first career TD pass. 

The defense, once again, carried the team for the most part. There weren't very many flashy plays, no turnovers created, and they needed a couple missed field goals to keep it scoreless for a bit but it was the same ole dominant Clemson defense. They held Wake Forest to fewer than 4 yards per carry which was solid because that QB had some nifty moves when he took off to run. They hardly let Wake Forest throw the ball anywhere on the field, holding them to 14-30 passing. Clemson allowed a couple garbage time TDs to Wake but no big deal. Woulda loved to keep that shutout but whatever. It wasn't a flashy win by any means on either side of the ball but I'll take it. I honestly hate when they play like that, but whadaya gonna do? Can't be perfect all the time.

Clemson's got the Friday night game up at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse this week. Hopefully KB is ready to go, but I'd be confident in either of the other two guys to beat god damn Syracuse regardless. Defense travels anywhere. Go Tigers.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Packers Embarrassed the Bears Last Thursday

First off, realized tonight that I hadn't written about either Clemson or Green Bay this week so my b. Traveled Friday after Green Bay's win Thursday, and then got black out Saturday and watched the Clemson game, traveled Sunday, busy Monday, had to do the Yankees preview and watch the game last night (FUCK YES btw), finally got some time to do these posts tonight.

Gotta love Green Bay taking care of business on Thursday Night Football against the miserable Bears. However, the injuries kept piling up for the Packers. Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, Joe Thomas, Davante Adams (more on his injury later). The Packers can't escape the injury bug ever.

Aaron Rodgers and Ty Montgomery led Green Bay down the field on the opening drive for a quick and easy touchdown. However, Montgomery left the game and didn't return after that drive with a rib injury he suffered on the first carry of the game. Clay Matthews forced a fumble on Mike Glennon on the first play of the game for the Bears and just like that Rodgers had the ball inside the 10 again. He threw his second TD pass in under a minute of play and it was 14-0. LOVE it. 

The Bears continued turning the ball over the rest of the game, including one of the funniest fumbles I've ever seen. Glennon basically punted the ball forward accidentally and the Packers recovered. Before you knew it, it was 21-0 Green Bay and you could pretty much book it that the Pack would win. The Bears did cut it to 21-7 at the half but the Packers wrapped it up in the second half by winning 35-14. I went to bed because it was way too late for such a sloppy game, but a nice win for Green Bay. 

It took another toll though with the injury to Davante Adams. Just got absolutely demolished in a helmet to helmet hit while fighting for extra yards. He was basically held up, not moving anywhere forward and Danny Trevathan came flying in and launched his helmet right into Adams' head. Entirely fucked play and Trevathan ended up getting suspended. Adams was on the ground for a while and went immediately to the hospital but ultimately was a lot better than anyone probably could have thought he was. Scary moment for sure though.

You can't read too much into the performance by the defense due to Chicago's incompetence, but obviously I liked the ability to force turnovers and seize opportunities when they presented themselves. You have to beat teams like the Bears in this manner to be taken seriously. Hopefully the Packers can build off that momentum, get rested up and a little healthier in the long week, and be ready to beat the Cowboys in Dallas again Sunday afternoon. 

Clemson Moved to 5-0 with Another Dominant Win Last Saturday

And just like that another dominant win over a top 15 team. The final score was only 31-17 but it was a lot more dominant than that. Even so, the victory almost doubled the spread on the game so that's pretty significant. 

It was another defense-led attack last Saturday and there's just nothing left to say about these guys. Crazy athletes all over the field. A 72 yard TD drive in garbage time against the second team defense actually gave Virginia Tech more total yards than Clemson, but the Tigers were able to force 3 turnovers and one went for six. The pick six was Dorian O'Daniel's second pick six of the season and that dude is just a freak. 10 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, and a pick six. He's doing it all for the Tigers defense and it's amazing to watch. Speaking of freaks, how bout Austin Bryant? The guy's a D-End out there making acrobatic interceptions and on a fourth down he lined up on a wide receiver and forced a 5 yard loss. Fuckin incredible. 

Kelly Bryant wasn't sharp but he once again proved he can lead the team on the road in a tough environment and win football games. He missed some deep balls that could have put the game away real early, but he didn't turn the ball over after throwing two picks against BC and again made some really clutch throws on 3rd downs, so I'll take that performance all day. Plus, he ran for almost 100 yards again so he's consistently creating plays with his legs and arm. 

The running backs had a down night for the standards that they've set, but with KB keeping most of the carries they didn't have a ton of opportunities. Tevian Feaster made the most of one huge opportunity out of the backfield catching and running for a 63 yard TD to put the Tigers up double digits early. Hopefully some of the backs get rolling again this week against Wake Forest.

Speaking of Wake Forest, they've had a good start to the season as they are 4-1 and took FSU down to the wire. However, the Tigers defense will just be too smothering I think. And I believe Dabo will be a little less cautious with his offense this week in Death Valley. Let's get some big plays going and get it over with quick. Go Tigers.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

AL Wild Card Preview

The New York Yankees are set to face off against the Minnesota Twins tonight in the American League Wild Card game. A one game playoff to get to the ALDS will make any fan sweat their ass off, but with the Yankees heavy favorites after finishing 6 games ahead of the Twins in the wild card standings, us Yanks fans expect to win tonight and will be especially devastated if they lose.

We've got Luis Severino going up against Ervin Santana. The Yankees have owned the Twins this century, but that hardly matters. It's one game to move on or your season is donezo. It sucks but that's what you get for not winning the division. The Yankees swept the Twins in the Bronx about two weeks ago, including a win over Santana to basically cement the fact that they'd be hosting this eventual Wild Card game. Credit to the Twins though, they bounced back after that and didn't really let anyone back in the second wild card race. I'm pretty impressed at the way the Twins have played in general in the second half though. You simply can't overlook them. They've scored the most runs in the league in the second half, and they traded two pitchers at the trade deadline. They were "sellers" not "buyers." Also, you gotta tip your cap to Paul Moliter and the team for becoming the first team ever to make the playoffs the year immediately following losing 100 games. They're underdogs, but do not overlook them or else you're fucked.

That being said, the Yankees have the far superior roster and are the much better team overall. They have a dominant starting pitcher going tonight, they've scored the second most runs in baseball this year, and they have the deep and dominant bullpen to wrap up games. They have the blueprint to be successful in the postseason. There's something about this team that makes me believe that won't royally fuck up tonight and they'll win the game they're supposed to. A lineup boasting Judge, Sanchez, Didi, Castro, Bird, and Gardner is scary for an opposing pitcher. This team makes pitchers WORK too. They will take pitches and foul off pitches and battle. I'm pretty confident in this year's Yankees. It may be stupid considering the recent Yankees teams, but I just do. Obviously given the way some of the losses this year have gone, I could totally see the Yankees losing this game 2-1 or 3-2 but I think they got this shit. 

Prediction: I think the Yankees take this one 4-2. Santana is good enough to not get blown out of the water by the Yankees high scoring offense, but ultimately Severino and the Yankees bullpen are just better. You never know when someone will just totally suck but Severino just has a big game attitude about him. I don't care that he's never pitched in a playoff game. A few weeks ago he went up against Chris Sale on Sunday Night Baseball and outdueled the absolute shit outta the guy. You think a September start against Boston and Chris Sale on Sunday night to try and close the gap in the division isn't a playoff type start? Fuck outta here, he's got the attitude to go out and dominate tonight. Can't wait to watch him go to work. I say 6 innings, 1 run, 8 Ks for Sevy realistically. But if he pitches a perfect game like I predicted on twitter earlier today then that is my official prediction. 

Here are the lineups for both squads: