Tag Archives: Roger Goodell

NFL Owners “Compromise” Is the Worst of All Possible Scenarios

Steve Balestrieri
May 25, 2018 at 7:00 am ET

Opinion: Just when you thought the NFL couldn’t fall any lower after last fall, they hit rock bottom and began to dig. The NFL has passed a new policy about the entire standing for the national anthem, and now players will have the choice to either stand for the national anthem or remain in the locker room. If players on the field don’t stand for the national anthem, the teams not the players will be fined. This move is in direct response to the Colin Kaepernick protest.

Kaepernick began protesting the treatment of young men of color by the police and began kneeling during the national anthem. This began in the 2016 season and soon other players took up the cause as well. Regardless of how silly Kaepernick looked showing up to a press conference wearing a shirt of the biggest mass murderer and oppressor of people of color in the Western Hemisphere, there was a huge undercurrent of support, especially among the African-American players of the NFL.

Many have been told that they’ve abandoned their roots and have lost touch with their own people. Other players have experienced what Kaepernick was protesting first hand. The protesting reached a peak during Week 3 of the 2017 season. It remained a hot topic for about the next month and gradually faded away.

Why the NFL decided that this issue needed to be decided this spring was foolhardy at best. And let me say …again, I was against the protest, because of the manner in which they conducted it. It struck a nerve inside myself as a military person as it did many of the other veterans who’ve turned their backs on the NFL because of it. I hated it.

But the freedom of speech is one of the things we defend for the people of this country. I haven’t walked in any of those men’s shoes. If they truly feel that those issues are a problem, it isn’t up to us to dismiss them but to fix them. I thought there was a better way to protest, however, that opportunity is lost now. I wrote about it here: So, while I may have disagreed with the manner of the protest, I fully supported the idea that the players could protest.

As a veteran, the flag to me represents the beacon of freedom that most of the world, who rushed here to become part of our nation, had never known. It also gives you the right to peacefully protest perceived wrongs without the fear of retribution. That is what soldiers defend every day.

The prevailing attitude among many of the fans was that the players were unpatriotic, were disrespecting the military and the flag. Nothing was further from the truth.

And in coming to their “compromise”, the NFL and the league owners decided the outcome for everyone. And their method is completely un-American.

The compromise was made between the league and the owners where the players were not even consulted. If that isn’t a slap in the face to the NFL Players Association I don’t know what is.

They knew this entire thing stunk so badly that they didn’t even take an official vote on it. They took an informal consensus among the owners. This shows what a disconnected, fractured relationship the league has with its main employees. They’ve effectively decided that they can give or take away the players First Amendment rights.

In the end, the league voted with its wallets. Several sponsors have discussed their discomfort with the fan bases pushing back against the player protests and don’t forget the league’s “Salute to Service” that they pushed back in the 2015 season wasn’t done for free. The Department of Defense paid heavily for those ads.

That isn’t a brave act or even a smart one. It was a cowardly act that showed that the league and owners are hoping that if they ignore a problem it doesn’t exist. During my many years in the military, I served with men and women from all walks of life and every conceivable background one can imagine. America is a true melting pot. The NFL is different.

The NFL is predominantly made up of African-American young men. And many of them don’t feel they get treated the same way other citizens do. Unless you’ve walked in their shoes, then we can’t tell them their feelings are wrong. The First Amendment is more than just words on a piece of paper. It is one of the cornerstones of what our country is founded upon.

That’s what our veterans fought for and continue to fight for today. Of all weeks for the NFL to come up with this fiasco, on the week we celebrate the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service to this country, it is ludicrous. For a league that wraps itself around the flag and the military every week, they should have known better.

They could have easily let the issue alone and it would have been minor at worst this season. They could have opened a dialogue with the players to see what the two sides can work out while not stomping on the players First Amendment rights. But they chose Door #3, and arbitrarily decided what rights the players have or don’t have.

And that path is wrong, it is un-American and the league, not the players disrespects what the flag and the veterans represent.

Roger Goodell To Skip AFC Championship, Attend NFC Title Game In Philly

Robert Alvarez
January 18, 2018 at 7:53 pm ET

“Where Is Roger?”

“Where Is Roger?”

In news first broken by the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian, NFL Comissioner Roger Goodell will not be in attendance during the AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, choosing instead to be at the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Of course the whereabouts of Goodell hit a fever pitch in the seasons following Deflategate when it appeared the Commissioner was intentionally avoiding Gillette Stadium despite stating its “not awkward at all.”  That all finally ended when he attended a preseason game against Jacksonville in secret and the Patriots home opener on September 7th to a greeting of clown towels.

Regardless of Goodell’s decision, Patriots fans will be rooting hard for yet another opportunity for him to present their team with a sixth Lombardi trophy in Minneapolis on February fourth.

Latest from the NFL Marketing Machine: New Draft Day Hats

John Morgan
April 11, 2017 at 7:00 am ET

The intrepid warriors at 345 Park Avenue have apparently been busy the last few months. Moving on from their color rush uniform campaign that left television viewers temporarily blinded, the quest for yet more revenue from apparel sales has ventured onward. Now it is new and unique hats for all 32 teams, to first be worn in public at the upcoming draft.

Interestingly the scoop on this exclusive story was not given to a traditional sports media outlet. The NFL knows those sports fans are already hooked on pro football. The sneak preview was provided to Maxim magazine, known for its titillating photo galleries and glamorous Hollywood celebrity profiles.

Exclusive: Here’s The Hat Football’s Top Pick Will Wear at the 2017 NFL Draft | Maxim

New products to sell to a new target audience that yearns for the latest and greatest style.

Maybe the NFL will use the profits from incremental apparel sales to help former players dealing with the effects of CTE, right?

Yeah, I didn’t think so…..

 

Cleveland Browns

It took me a while to figure it out, but that is supposed to be one of the dogs from Cleveland’s Dawg Pound.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

This hat simply shouts out “bandwagon fan” to me. Maybe I’m wrong and it will catch on, who knows.

 

New England Patriots

Patriots

Pats

Flying Elvis

I suppose it could be worse. At least the Patriot hats aren’t as bad as Pittsburgh’s.

 

Daily Notebook: Wednesday Patriots News and Notes 3/29

Ian Logue
March 29, 2017 at 5:00 am ET

Here’s a look at this morning’s top stories:

Goodell Finally Planning to Visit Foxboro – After being chased out of New England thanks to the incredible disdain and rancor he managed to create among every single Patriots fan, it appears that Roger Goodell is ready to make his return to Foxboro.

With New England having won their second Super Bowl in three seasons last month, apparently Goodell believes that all of the misery he created here, along with the damage he did to Tom Brady and the Patriots’ organization, is just water under the bridge and he’s planning on being at Gillette Stadium for the home opener in 2017.

It doesn’t matter that he was still calling Brady a cheater during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, but now he’ll be on hand at Gillette Stadium when the team unveils their 5th championship banner.

Robert Kraft dropped the gauntlet Monday when he said the commissioner was “welcomed to come” to the team’s home opener.

“Well, I think I’ll let you all ask him that,” Kraft said Monday via the Boston Herald. “Look, he’s commissioner in the league. As we all know, he has the right to go wherever he wishes to go. And if he wanted to come, he’s welcomed to come. We’re happy we’ll be celebrating our fifth banner. He can decide whether he wants to be there.”

Knowing how much he’s disliked in this region, it will likely be a choice fans will do their best to help make him regret, but one he’ll probably be glad to get out of the way.  Goodell skipped the 2015 banner ceremony and hasn’t stepped foot at Gillette Stadium in nearly two years.

The date and time of the game have yet to be announced, but you can bet there will be a sea of boos unleashed should his face hit the scoreboard.

Columbia High School Retires Flowers’ Jersey – On Tuesday, one member of the Patriots got a little recognition, and it was definitely well deserved.

According to AL.com, Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers returned to his former stomping ground and was honored at his high school on Tuesday, with Columbia High in Huntsville opting to retire his #88 jersey.

“It’s definitely something special to be able to go back to your school and have your jersey retired,” Flowers said in a video provided by Huntsville City Schools.

https://twitter.com/columbiahschool/status/846811774276046852

Good for Flowers, who played in all 16 regular season games in 2016, finishing with a team-best 7 sacks and then added 2.5 more in the postseason.

McClellin not impressed with NFL’s decision to ban leaping FG block – Whenever the Patriots enjoy success exploiting an NFL rule (or lack thereof), it usually ends with the league making a change to ensure that success doesn’t continue.

On Tuesday, the NFL ruled the technique of leaping over the line of scrimmage to block a field goal is now illegal, with Shea McClellin going down as the final NFL player to try it thanks to his attempt in Super Bowl LI, which was called back after he was called for an illegal formation penalty.

McClellin took his displeasure in learning the news to Twitter, which saw him post this tweet:

McClellin was the final Patriots player to successfully pull it off, with the linebacker doing his best Jamie Collins impression when he blocked a field goal against the Ravens back on December 12th.  It was a big play at the time, with New England leading 2-0 in the first quarter and they turned around and marched back down the field and scored a touchdown to take a 9-0 lead.

The Ravens eventually battled back but fell short, and thanks to that play, New England walked away with a 30-23 victory on Monday Night Football.

The NFLPA reportedly endorsed eliminating the play citing safety concerns.  For now, it’s safe to say McClellin looks like he might disagree.


The Patriots paid back $4.5 million in cap space this week.

Patriots Lose Cap Space After Repaying Cap Loan – Even after the moves the Patriots have made this offseason, they still found themselves sitting with plenty of cap room as they continue building their roster for the upcoming season.

However, it was noted on Tuesday that the Patriots simply repaid a cap loan from the 2011 and 2012 seasons, which saw them “borrow” $1.5 million in 2012 and $3 million in 2011 to help adjust to the new CBA.  That money was due before the 2017 season.

Following the change, according to Patriots salary cap guru Miguel Benzan, the team currently sits with $21.9 million in cap space.

The Patriots weren’t the only ones in this situation, with the Cowboys, Broncos and Saints among other teams who took advantage of the additional space.

Raiders Coach Not Happy With Patriots Moves – Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio never got an opportunity to face New England in the postseason and it seems he might not be looking forward to a potential match-up should one arise.

Del Rio admitted on Monday that after seeing the moves New England has already made this offseason, he appears concerned that the road through the AFC will still likely go through the Patriots in 2017.

VIc Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle Tweeted on Monday that Rio told him, “I do cringe a little bit. Cooks can really create separation.”

Del Rio was obviously referring to New England receiver Brandin Cooks, who the team acquired from the Saints this offseason.  But the Patriots are the least of his problems as the Raiders now face a difficult challenge in 2017 after it was announced Tuesday that the team is leaving Oakland and heading to Las Vegas, which will likely be quite a distraction for a club who had finally seemed to be heading in the right direction after finishing 12-4 in 2016.

The 8-hour trek by car will likely sever the connection to one of the wildest and most passionate fans in the league, which is obviously a major disappointment for a group who supported that club week in, and week out for so many seasons, only to see them leave town.  Those who wish to stay on will continue pouring money into the machine for at least two more seasons, with the relocation coming after their current stadium lease expires after the 2018 season.

Principal owner Mark Davis knows there will be backlash, and he’s just hopeful that the fans support them until the end.

“We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry,” said Davis via the New York Times. “But we hope they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff.”

What’s to be frustrated about?  After 13 straight seasons without a playoff appearance, this is a team finally on the way up with a young talented nucleus of players who will likely become a serious contender both in the AFC West and in the Conference in the coming years.

Instead, another city will get to enjoy it while Oakland joins St. Louis and San Diego as the latest fan base who get to have their hearts broken while the NFL machine rolls on out of town without them.

SUBSCRIBE FOR UPDATES

Fresh Content Delivered by 6:30am Each Day:



Matt Patricia ‘Clowns’ Goodell On the Flight Home

Ian Logue
February 7, 2017 at 5:00 am ET

It appears that there is little love in the Patriots locker room for Roger Goodell to the point where even one of the coaches is taking part in goofing on the NFL commissioner.

Player favorite Matt Patricia was spotted wearing a t-shirt with a rendition of Goodell with a clown nose as he got off the plane, with the Patriots’ defensive coordinator further endearing him to a fan base that watched him lead this defense to an NFL best in points allowed this season, as well as seeing that same group shut the Falcons out for the final quarter plus as the Patriots ran off 31-straight points, the final six of which came in overtime to win Super Bowl LI.

You’ve gotta love him, and fortunately after not taking a head coaching position, he’ll be back on the sidelines again for New England in 2017.

TB Times: Pats Bite Bengals

John Morgan
October 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm ET

Welcome back to Gillette Stadium TB12

Patriots 35, Bengals 17

Playing in his first game in Foxboro since Roger Goodell abused his Article 46 powers, Tom Brady completed 29 out of 35 passes for 376 yards as the New England Patriots defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 35-17. Brady threw three touchdown passes and went over 5,000 pass completions in his illustrious career. TB12 led the Patriots to scoring drives on each of their final four possessions. He finished the day with a 140.0 passer rating, completing 83% of his passes with no turnovers.

The Bengals came out of the second half with an 80-yard touchdown drive to take the lead 14-10. Cincy forced a punt after just four plays and things were looking good for the visitors. The tide quickly turned as Trey Flowers stuffed Jeremy Hill for no gain and then Cedric Ogbuehi was called for holding after being beat by Rob Ninkovich. That penalty negated what would have been a 15-yard completion to AJ Green for a first down, and backed Cincinnati up to the 8-yard line.

On the next play Dont’a Hightower sacked Andy Dalton in the end zone for a safety and close the score to 14-12. That was the turning point of the game, as New England dominated the rest of the way. The Patriots scored on each of their next four possessions while the defense held Cincinnati to two punts and a field goal. Hightower was a beast all game. At one point he looked as if he would be unable to continue after being hit by a teammate on a tackle. On the very next play the defensive captain was in on a crucial sack.

Marvin Lewis was unable to come up with a game plan to slow down Rob Gronkowski. In spite of dealing with a flu this week Gronk had his way with the Cincinnati defenders, catching seven of the nine passes thrown his way for 162 yards – an incredible 23.1 yards per catch – and a touchdown. Gronk simply ran past Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and over corner Adam Jones.

The officiating was inconsistent with questionable decisions (perhaps make-up calls) on both teams. We’ll save that for another day and savor this victory for now. Tomorrow it is on to Pittsburgh.

NFL Week 5 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
October 8, 2016 at 10:00 pm ET

After a lethargic and underwhelming performance against the Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots look to get back on track at Cleveland on Sunday. In case you have just awoken from a coma, Tom Brady will be starting his first game of the season after Roger Goodell’s Article 46 triumph. Vegas expects the Patriots to win this game with ease, listing the Pats as a rare double-digit road favorite.

Unfortunately most out of town Patriot fans will have to head to their favorite local tavern to see this game, unless they forked over an ungodly sum of money for the Sunday Ticket. Outside of Ohio and New England the Pats-Browns game will only be broadcast in Buffalo, Reno, St. Louis – and for some odd reason, Utah.

Primary network distribution will be for the Jets at Steelers on CBS early, Bengals at Cowboys on CBS late, and Falcons at Broncos on Fox late. Giants at Green Bay is the Sunday night game, and Tampa Bay at Carolina wraps up Week Five on Monday. Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans and Seattle are off with a bye this week.

On the bright side Pats fans will not be subjected to listening to Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts this weekend. Greg Gumbel will announce the play-by-play from Cleveland, with Trent Green fulfilling the analyst commentary. For more on what is being televised in your neck of the woods, please check out Patriot fan JP Kirby’s NFL Maps.

 

NFL Week 5 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

 

★★★★ 3-1 Houston Texans at 4-0 Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, October 9 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots
Vikings -6½ (opened at -6) . . . . over/under 40½ . . . . MIN -275, HOU +225
Broadcast in Atlanta, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

After four weeks Minnesota has an incredible +10 turnover differential. To put that in perspective the Patriots rank sixth in this category – at plus-3. The Vikings have succeeded in stopping the run (3.6 yards per carry), putting pressure on the opposing quarterback (58.2% completion rate, 67.7 passer rating) while protecting the football (only one turnover).

Prediction: Vikings 27, Texans 13
Vikings -6½ (two units) . . . . . under 40½ (one unit) . . . . . Vikings -275

Final Score: Vikings 31, Texans 13 ✓
Vikings -6½ ✓✓ . . . . under 40½ ✓ . . . . Vikings -275

 

1-3 Tennessee Titans at 1-3 Miami Dolphins
Sunday, October 9 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker
Dolphins -3½ (opened at -4) . . . . over/under 42½ . . . . MIA -175, TEN +155
Broadcast in Florida and Tennessee.

Miami has not been able to generate any offense other than in the second half of the New England game, after falling behind 31-3. The Dolphins can’t run the ball, which puts too much pressure on Ryan Tannehill. Tennessee’s defense may be just what the Fins need: Tennessee has allowed 300+ yards in thirteen straight games. Something has got to give here but it is tough to say which it will be.

Prediction: Titans 20, Dolphins 17
Titans +3½ (two units) . . . . . under 42½ . . . . . Titans +155

Final Score: Titans 30, Dolphins 17 ✓
Titans +3½ ✓✓ . . . . under 42½ x . . . . Titans +155 ✓

 

New England Patriots Game of the Week

 

★★★★★ 3-1 New England Patriots at 0-4 Cleveland Browns
Sunday, October 9 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Patriots -10½ (opened at -10½) . . . . over/under 47 . . . . NWE -500, CLE +400
Broadcast in New England, Ohio, Utah, Reno and St. Louis.

The Patriots game plan to take away an opponent’s best offensive threat. Last week the defense failed to accomplish that task as LeSean McCoy produced 108 yards from scrimmage on 25 touches. This week the Patriot D faces Isiah Crowell, who leads the NFL with 6.5 yards per carry and 98.5 rushing yards per game. Other than Crowell and triple threat Terrelle Pryor, the Browns don’t have much though. Rookie Cody Kessler makes his third NFL start, but without receivers Josh Gordon (rehab) and Corey Coleman (broken hand), he doesn’t have much to work with.

While Patriot fans would love to see a scorched earth return for Tom Brady, his timing may be a bit off. I wouldn’t be surprised if TB12 is so amped up that a few bails sail high of his target. New England is allowing an AFC-best 15.3 points per game; expect Matt Patricia’s unit to lead the team to victory. After last week’s loss the Patriots will not take the Browns for granted. This is an extremely rare instance where I will take a double-digit road favorite.

Prediction: Patriots 31, Browns 17
Patriots -10½ . . . . . over 47 . . . . . Patriots -500

Final Score: Patriots 33, Browns 13 ✓
Patriots -10½ ✓ . . . . over 47 x . . . . Patriots -500 ✓

 

More Early NFL Week 5 Games

 

★★★★★ 1-3 New York Jets at 3-1 Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, October 9 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Steelers -7½ (opened at -6) . . . . over/under 48 . . . . PIT -350, NYJ +285
Broadcast in most markets.

The Jet defense is stout up front, allowing just 3.1 yards per carry. If they can somehow contain RB Le’Veon Bell then they might have a chance for the upset. For that to happen though their secondary needs to stop blowing coverage assignments. On the other side of the ball Ryan Fitzpatrick has been putrid, throwing nine interceptions in the last two games. The Jets are in desperation mode, but other than their front seven they are simply overmatched here.

Prediction: Steelers 27, Jets 20
Jets +7½ . . . . . under 48 . . . . . Steelers -350

Final Score: Steelers 31, Jets 13 ✓
Jets +7½ x . . . . under 48 ✓ . . . . Steelers -350 ✓

 

★★★ 2-2 Washington Redskins at 3-1 Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, October 9 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston
Ravens -3½ (opened at -4) . . . . over/under 45 . . . . BAL -185, WAS +165
Broadcast in DC, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Cincinnati.

Washington’s defense is in disarray, allowing a 31st ranked 6.3 yards per play. The Skins are atrocious on third down, allowing opponents to convert on 57.5% of those opportunities – over ten percentage points worse than any other team in the NFL.

Prediction: Ravens 30, Skins 17
Ravens -3½ (two units) . . . . . over 45 . . . . . Ravens -185

Final Score: Skins 16, Ravens 10 x
Ravens -3½ xx . . . . over 45 x . . . . Ravens -185 x

 

★★★ 3-0 Philadelphia Eagles at 1-3 Detroit Lions
Sunday, October 9 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis
Eagles -3½ (opened as a PK) . . . . over/under 46 . . . . PHI -170, DET +150
Broadcast in Arkansas, California, Minnesota (except Minneapolis), Montana, New York (except New York City), Pennsylvania (except Pittsburgh), Texas (except Houston), Fort Myers, Memphis, Orlando and St. Louis.

Detroit will once again be without DE Ziggy Ansah and LB DeAndre Levy, which makes them a far less effective defense. TE Eric Ebron is also out, RB Ameer Abdullah is on Injured Reserve and RB Dwayne Washington is doubtful for the Lions as well. The Eagles have run the ball well enough to not put too much pressure on Carson Wentz. Most importantly Philly has yet to turn the ball over this season.

Prediction: Eagles 24, Lions 17
Eagles -3½ (one unit) . . . . . under 46 . . . . . Eagles -170

Final Score: Lions 24, Eagles 23 x
Eagles -3½ x . . . . under 46 ✓ . . . . Eagles -170 x

 

★★ 1-3 Chicago Bears at 1-3 Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, October 9 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Colts -4½ (opened at -5) . . . . over/under 48 . . . . IND -220, CHI +190
Broadcast in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri (except St. Louis), South Dakota and Wisconsin (except Green Bay).

Why is Fox sending their number one broadcast team to this game, rather than Atlanta-Denver? Perhaps they know that Joe Buck is just going to mail it in, as he is more interested in baseball. Fox is loathe to promote an AFC team, as that is perceived to be their competition. Perhaps the executives in Los Angeles decided that it would be more palatable for Buck and Aikman to call a game with a mediocre AFC club. Fox will typically avoid making the Patriots, Steelers or Broncos a primary national telecast whenever possible.

The Bears are rebuilding, but the Colts are just as bad. Maybe Indy is overrated based on star power, but they are not a good team at all.

Prediction: Bears 23, Colts 20
Bears +4½ (two units) . . . . . under 48 . . . . . Bears +190

Final Score: Colts 29, Bears 23 x
Bears +4½ xx . . . . under 48 x . . . . Bears +190 x

 

Late NFL Week 5 Games

 

★★★★★ 3-1 Atlanta Falcons at 4-0 Denver Broncos
Sunday, October 9 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, John Lynch
Broncos -5½ (opened at -6½) . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . DEN -215, ATL +185
Broadcast in New England, Houston, New York City, Pittsburgh, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida (except Fort Myers and Orlando), Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee (except Memphis), Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Atlanta has the best offense in the NFL, ranking first in scoring (38.0 ppg), yardage (479 ypg), passing (354 ypg, 10.5 ypa, 126.3 rating) and DVOA (29.7%). However, the Falcon defense neither generates a decent pass rush nor stops the run. Denver once again has a formidable defense but their offense is still very mediocre. With running backs Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman Atlanta has a balanced offense that can keep the Denver defense from simply teeing off on Matt Ryan.

Prediction: Falcons 27, Broncos 24
Falcons +5½ (two units) . . . . . over 46½ . . . . . Falcons +185

Final Score: Falcons 23, Broncos 16 ✓
Falcons +5½ ✓✓ . . . . over 46½ x . . . . Falcons +185 ✓

 

★★ 2-2 Buffalo Bills at 3-1 Los Angeles Rams
Sunday, October 9 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Bills -1 (opened w/Rams -3) . . . . over/under 39 . . . . BUF -115, LAR -110
Broadcast in southern California (except San Diego) and New York (except NYC).

The line has dropped significantly, and even now is split evenly between Buffalo favored by one, the Rams by one or a pick’em depending on where you shop. Buffalo has no legitimate downfield threat; the Bills are one of only four teams to average fewer than 200 yards passing per game. The Ram defense is stout, more than capable of stopping the run as well as pressuring Tyrod Taylor. The problem for the Rams of course is their offense. Case Keenum is not a threat in Jeff Fisher’s conservative offense, which allows opponents to sell out to stop running back Todd Gurley. Between the three time zone trip and last week being Rex Ryan’s super bowl, expect Buffalo to regress to their norm here.

Prediction: Rams 17, Bills 13
Rams +1 (one unit) . . . . . under 39 (two units) . . . . . Rams -110

Final Score: Bills 30, Rams 19 x
Rams +1 x . . . . under 39 xx . . . . Rams -110 x

 

★★★★ 1-3 San Diego Chargers at 3-1 Oakland Raiders
Sunday, October 9 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta
Raiders -3½ (opened at -3½) . . . . over/under 51½ . . . . OAK -185, SDC +165
Broadcast in southern Arizona, southern California (except San Diego), Hawaii, Kansas, western Missouri, Nebraska, New York (except NYC), Oregon, eastern Washington and Reno.

Unlike college football, there is not a large difference in talent level between the all but the very best and very worst NFL teams. ‘On any given Sunday’ is apropos for these two clubs. Oakland could easily be 1-3, but finished strong to defeat New Orleans, Tennessee and Baltimore. The Chargers on the other hand seem to find novel ways to lose on a weekly basis; they could have very well beaten the Chiefs, Colts and Saints. San Diego is due to come out on top in one of those winnable games. Oakland cannot keep winning while allowing an NFL worst 6.8 yards per play.

Prediction: Chargers 27, Raiders 24
Chargers +3½ (one unit) . . . . . under 51½ . . . . . Chargers +165

Final Score: Raiders 34, Chargers 31 x
Chargers +3½ . . . . under 51½ x . . . . Chargers +165 x

 

★★★ 2-2 Cincinnati Bengals at 3-1 Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, October 9 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Bengals -2 (opened at -1) . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . CIN -130, DAL +110
Broadcast in all markets with the exceptions of southern Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, western Missouri, Nebraska, New York (airs in NYC), Oregon, eastern Washington and Reno.

Oh joy, yet another near-nationwide broadcast of the Cowboys

The Cowboys again?

The Cowboys again?

Unless Cincy is looking ahead to next week’s game – a very real possibility for a Marvin Lewis-coached team – the Bengals should easily win this game.

Prediction: Bengals 24, Cowboys 17
Bengals -2 (two units) . . . . . under 45½ . . . . . Bengals -130

Final Score: Cowboys 28, Bengals 14 x
Bengals -2 xx . . . . under 45½ ✓ . . . . Bengals -130 x

 

★★★ 2-2 New York Giants at 2-1 Green Bay Packers
Sunday, October 9 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
Packers -7½ (opened at -6½) . . . . over/under 48 . . . . GNB -310, NYG +260
Broadcast in all markets.

The NFC East on prime time again?

The NFC East on prime time again?

An already mediocre Giant secondary has been dissolved with injuries. That is a recipe for Aaron Rodgers to break out of early season sluggishness. A new lethal drinking game: everyone does a shot each time the camera cuts to Odell Beckham on the sideline, as the armchair psychoanalysts attempt to decipher his body language and facial expressions.

Prediction: Packers 27, Giants 24
Giants +7½ . . . . . over 48 . . . . . Giants +260

Final Score: Packers 23, Giants 16 ✓
Giants +7½ ✓ . . . . over 48 x . . . . Giants +260 x

 

★★ 1-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1-3 Carolina Panthers
Monday, October 10 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden
Panthers -4 (opened at -6) . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . CAR -200, TAM +175
Broadcast in all markets.

Cam Newton is out, though that should not make a huge difference against the Bucs. Carolina’s defense has not been able to generate a pass rush, permitting opponents to complete an alarming 78% of their passes over the last game and a half. Perhaps facing the Bucs will reverse that trend. Jameis Winston has thrown eight picks, second worst to only Ryan Fitzpatrick. Derek Anderson has already beaten Tampa Bay twice as a backup filling in for Newton.

Prediction: Panthers 27, Buccaneers 20
Panthers -4 . . . . . over 44½ . . . . . Panthers -200

Final Score: Buccaneers 17, Panthers 14 x
Panthers -4 x . . . . over 44½ x . . . . Panthers -200 x

 

★★ 1-3 Arizona Cardinals at 1-3 San Francisco 49ers
Thursday October 6 at 8:30 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms

As expected, Arizona was able to break out of their slump against the hapless Niners.

Prediction: Cardinals 27, Niners 20
Cardinals -3½ (one unit). . . . over 42 . . . . Arizona -170

Final Score: Cardinals 33, Niners 21 ✓
Cardinals -3½ …. over 42 ✓ …. Cardinals -170 ✓

 

edit to add: With the announcement that Miami has placed seven starters on today’s inactive list with injuries I am going to place two units on the Titans, and also use them in a parlay and teaser.

3-Team Parlay (one unit): x
Titans +3½ at Dolphins ✓
Vikings -6½ vs Texans ✓
Bears +4½ at Colts x

3-Team 6-Point Teaser (two units): ✓✓
Titans +9½ at Dolphins ✓
Falcons +11½ at Broncos ✓
Bears +10½ at Colts ✓

 

Tale of the Tape

Last week was a very nice bounce back after an unprofitable week three. Although the overall won-loss record is nothing to write home about, the primary focus is on the games that I am confident with and invested in. The Vikings over the Giants and Cardinals-Rams under were two big winners, playing integral parts in the teaser and parlay as well.

Week 4 Results:
6-9 Straight Up
10-5 Against the Spread
9-6 Over/Under
2-unit plays: 4-1, +580
1-unit plays: 3-1, +190
3-Game Parlay: 1u, 1-0, +600
3-Game Teaser: 3u, 1-0, +540
18 units invested
9-2, +1910 on $1980 risk
96.5% ROI

Year to Date Results:
32-31 Straight Up
35-27-1 Against the Spread
34-29 Over/Under
3-unit plays: 2-5-1, -1080
2-unit plays: 13-3, +1940
1-unit plays: 13-6, +640
Parlays: 1-1, +490
Teasers: 1-1, +430
30-16-1, +2420 on original $2310 risk.
104.8% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
27.2% ROI on $8910 (81 units) of total weekly investments.

9-2, +1910 on 18 units (+96.5%) in Week 4.
3-9-1, -1280 on 22 units (-58.2%) in Week 3.
9-3, +950 on 20 units (+43.2%) in Week 2.
9-2, +840 on 21 units (+36.4%) in Week 1.

 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT or 1-888-GA-HELPS.

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

 

10 Thoughts Following the Patriots 27-0 Win Over Houston

Ian Logue
September 23, 2016 at 5:00 am ET

It didn’t matter that the Patriots were down to their third-string quarterback with the 2-0 Texans coming into Gillette Stadium, and after seeing New England improve to 3-0 on the season, here are some thoughts about the win.

1) Just Give Belichick “Coach of the Year” now and get it over with – Watching the masterful performances in terms of the game plans that Bill Belichick has put together in these three football games, it’s hard not to appreciate what an amazing job he’s done in helping his team overcome Tom Brady’s suspension. He’s done a terrific job with both back-up quarterbacks but Thursday night really drove the point home as Jacoby Brissett looked confident, which starts at the top when you have coaches you can believe in to put you in good situations. Given the fact that the Patriots dominated this game in all three phases, Belichick and his coaching staff clearly put together a pretty flawless game plan this week.

It will definitely go down as one of the most impressive performances of his tenure given the circumstances.  The win also saw him improve to 6-0 all-time with quarterbacks making their first ever NFL starts.  That’s not a fluke, it’s a trend and if nothing else, Thursday night’s win only further cemented the point that Roger Goodell needs to try and come to grips with.  This team doesn’t win because of psi or stealing signs, they win because they outwork and out-prepare their opponents. Thursday night proved what Belichick has built here is unbreakable, no matter how hard the commissioner may try to change that.

Needless to say, he deserves to be in the discussion for “Coach of the Year” because depending on how things unfold over the course of the rest of the season, this will definitely go down as one of the most memorable ones of his tenure.  It’s nothing short of remarkable, and if this team can stay on track and make another run with Tom Brady back at the helm, people need to just call Belichick what he is, which is the best coach of all time.  The sooner Goodell realizes that, the better off he’ll be.

2) Great job by Brissett – Given what we’ve seen from past quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett in recent years, it’s safe to say that there were plenty of reasons to be impressed with Brissett given how he played. One thing that hurt both Hoyer and Mallett were their inabilities to handle pressure and their tendencies to make poor decisions under duress.  That wasn’t the case with Brissett, who had a pretty good sense of where players were around him and did a good job eluding pressure and extending plays.  But what was even more impressive was the fact that he knew when to take the sack or throw the football away, as opposed to the Patriots’ previous quarterbacks who had a tendency to break down and make bad decisions.

Part of that is obviously coaching and Brissett is being groomed and coached by arguably one of the best staffs in the game.  But the rookie also showed off his athleticism when he broke off his 27-yard touchdown run, which adds a little different dimension to the position.  He also showed that he has plenty of room to improve after making a couple of reads where he took too long to get the ball out down in the red zone.

Overall he finished with just 103 yards passing but he outplayed a veteran quarterback in Brock Osweiler as he didn’t make any mistakes or turn the football over.  That’s about all anyone could have asked for, and the rookie should be feeling pretty good about how he played Thursday night.


Blount has been terrific so far in 2016. (USA TODAY Images)

3) Despite setbacks, Blount kept bringing it – One thing that was impressive about LeGarrette Blount’s rushing effort was the fact the Texans did a good job of making things difficult for him, which could have easily changed the tone of things.  Houston repeatedly stopped him for no gain or a loss and Blount never got frustrated nor did he let up and as the game wore on. His bruising style of play eventually wore the Texans down.

The veteran finished with another game where he broke the 100-yard mark, rushing for 105 yards on 24 carries along with two touchdowns, which after last week’s effort, now gives him 12 games where he’s broken the century mark for his career.  This is the player Brady will need when he comes back and fortunately, after the way he’s played thus far, Blount definitely appears to be up for the challenge.

4) Collins Lights out in Win – Collins had another great night, leading the team in tackles with nearly twice that of another player as he finished with 14 tackles, as well as an interception.  Through three games he’s been terrific and he leads the team in both tackles (23) and interceptions (2). He’s also second in passes defended (3).  Those are usually stats where defensive backs tend to hold the edge, but being the incredible athlete Collins is, he’s doing it all so far through Week 3.

5) Big Night for Jabaal Sheard – Sheard played a big factor in the win finishing with two sacks, the only ones on the night for New England’s defense.  But he was incredibly disruptive, breaking into Houston’s backfield repeatedly as he ended up with one of his best games so far this season.

6) Ryan Handled Hopkins Pretty Well – While it looked a little shaky when the Texans went after Logan Ryan early as he matched up against receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Ryan ended up coming away the winner in that match-up.  Hopkins was targeted 8 times but caught just 4 passes for 56 yards, with Ryan doing a great job of holding the Texans receiver in check during the win.

7) Allen the MVP in the win – Enough can’t be said of Ryan Allen’s performance Thursday night, with the veteran punter going out and making life miserable for Houston.  Ryan helped the Patriots dominate in the field position battle, booming six punts inside the 20 yard line, five of which he hit at the 11 or less.  He did a great job and thanks to him the Texans found themselves pinned in deep, which gave the Patriots defense plenty of room to work with and it played a huge part in keeping Houston off the scoreboard.

8) Rookie Jones Gets Lucky – It never hurts when you have the ball bounce your way and that was the case with Cyrus Jones returning punts against the Texans.  He had a fumble Thursday night but also appeared to lose the handle on another, and given the fact Houston had two big fumbles on kickoff returns which resulted in touchdowns and turned the tide of the game in New England’s favor, Jones was lucky he escaped this one without incident.  Hopefully he walks away having learned his lesson, and he was fortunate that he escaped unscathed.

9) Edelman Getting Pounded So Far -It seems like each time Julian Edelman touches the football, defenders are going at him hard this season.  He’s taken some big shots in each of New England’s three games this season, but fortunately, none have been costly.  The veteran receiver also appears to be playing with an edge, dropping his shoulder and laying out some hits of his own early on.  He had a productive night, catching four passes on six targets for 38 yards, and he also had three carries for 14 yards.  He currently has 18 catches thus far on the season for 180 yards.

10) Mitchell’s been a playmaker – So far through three games, rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell has been able to come up with at least one big play in each of them.  He’s had a reception for at least 15 yards in each contest, catching a 28-yard pass in Week 1 in Arizona, a 15-yard grab last week against Miami, and he caught a 27-yard pass early on Thursday night that helped set up Stephen Gostkowski’s first field goal of the night to give the Patriots the lead.  He’s been a pleasant surprise so far and he runs smooth routes and has great quickness.  It’s going to be interesting to see how he evolves in the offense once Brady returns, but he’s certainly done some good things early on here at this point in the season.

Week 3 NFL Television Coverage and Odds

John Morgan
September 19, 2016 at 7:45 am ET

Week 3 NFL Television Coverage and Odds

 

For the second time in three weeks the New England Patriots will be on prime time television. That means out of town Pats fans who drew a line in the sand and refused to fork over money for the Sunday Ticket, which indirectly funds Roger Goodell’s salary, will be able to see their favorite team in high def from their living room couch.

Here is a preliminary list of all the Week 3 NFL games and their network broadcast coverage. CBS has the double header for week three. The New England area will receive Denver at Cincinnati early, followed by Pittsburgh at Philadelphia for the two AFC games. Fox will predictably televise an NFC East game; this time it is Washington at New York.

NFC games rule from thereafter with Chicago at Dallas playing on Sunday night on NBC, followed by Atlanta at New Orleans Monday night on BSPN. Get your popcorn ready, there are plenty of interesting matchups.

Please keep in mind that local affiliates can request a change of the game that the network has initially assigned to their market, and that those requests are almost always granted. There will almost undoubtedly be a handful of changes in some local markets between now and Sunday.

 

★★★★★ Houston Texans at New England Patriots
Thursday, September 22 at 8:30 pm ET on CBS
Texans -2½
Broadcast in all markets.

 

★★★★★ Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Bengals -3
Broadcast in all markets with the exception of northern California, southern Oregon, Reno NV, Tennessee, Florida, southern Georgia, Washington, Baltimore and New York City.

 

★★ Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans
Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
PK
Broadcast in northern California, southern Oregon, Reno NV and Tennessee.

 

★★★ Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills
Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Cardinals – 4½
Broadcast in Arizona and western New York.

 

★★ Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
PK
Broadcast in Jacksonville, southern Georgia, Washington and Baltimore.

 

★★★ Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins
Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Dolphins -7
Broadcast in central Florida, southern Florida and Cleveland.

 

★★ Washington Snyders at New York Giants
Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Giants -4½
Broadcast in all of the northeast (except Buffalo and Baltimore), Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio (except Cleveland and Cincinnati), Mississippi, Arkansas, northern Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and New Mexico.

 

★★★★ Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Packers -8
Broadcast in Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska.

 

★★★★ Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Panthers -6½
Broadcast in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, New Orleans, Knoxville, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

 

★★ San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, September 25 at 4:05 pm ET on Fox
Seahawks -10
Broadcast in Baltimore, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Nashville, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, northern California, Alaska and Hawaii.

 

★★ Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Bucs
Sunday, September 25 at 4:05 pm ET on Fox
Buccaneers -4
Broadcast in southern California (except San Diego) and Florida (except Miami and West Palm Beach).

 

★★★ Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, September 25 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS
Steelers -5½
Broadcast in all markets except for New England, New York, south Florida, Tampa, southern Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

 

★★★★ New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, September 25 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS
Chiefs -3½
Broadcast in New England, New York, southern Florida, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

 

★★★★ San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, September 25 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS
Colts -2½
Broadcast in California, Reno, Houston, Jacksonville, Indiana and southern Illinois.

nbsp;

★★ Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, September 25 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC
Cowboys -4
Broadcast in all markets.

 

★★★ Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
Monday, September 26 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN
Saints -3
Broadcast in all markets.

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

 

Brady Committed An Equipment Violation During the Preseason, and It’s Brilliant

Ian Logue
September 2, 2016 at 10:56 pm ET

Tom Brady seemingly put together his own form of protest during the preseason, which upon review involved an equipment violation that may set up a scenario that may be interesting to see how it plays out.

A listener for 98.5 the Sports Hub pointed out that Brady removed the small NFL logo decal from his helmet, with the sticker missing from the lower left of the veteran quarterback’s helmet during the preseason.

Michael Hurley of CBS Boston took a look at a series of photos from last season, which showed that Brady obviously took no issue with it last year as it was present on each of the photos he reviewed.  Brady’s teammates were also each seen with it on their helmets during this presason, so it’s clearly “more probable than not” that Brady removed it himself from his helmet than it is it was simply forgotten to be applied in each of the games Brady was present for.

The NFL Rule book clearly states that sticker needs to be there, which means that Brady may be daring Goodell to punish him for an equipment violation, which barring a second 4-game suspension, would essentially mean an inconsistent punishment without notice and further strengthen the case against the league that isn’t completely dead yet.

From the NFL Rule Book as it pertains to helmets:

“Helmet with all points of the chin strap (white only) fastened and facemask attached. Facemasks must not be more than ⅝-inch in diameter and must be made of rounded material; transparent materials are prohibited. Clear (transparent) plastic eye shields are optional. Tinted eye shields may be worn only after the League office is supplied with appropriate medical documentation and approval is subsequently granted. The League office has final approval. No visible identification of a manufacturer’s name or logo on the exterior of a helmet or on any attachment to a helmet is permitted unless provided for under a commercial arrangement between the League and manufacturer; in no event is identification of any helmet manufacturer permitted on the visible surface of a rear cervical pad. All helmets must carry a small NFL shield logo on the rear lower-left exterior, and an approved warning label on the rear lower-right exterior. Both labels will be supplied in quantity by the League office.”

Forgetting the potential that he could be receiving, here’s a look at the penalties for players who are involved in any kind of violation:

From the NFL Rule Book:

Penalties:

– For violation of this Section 4 discovered during pregame warm-ups or at other times prior to the game, player will be advised to make appropriate correction; if the violation is not corrected, player will not be permitted to enter the game.

– For violation of this Section 4 that is discovered while player is in the game, and which involves the competitive or player safety aspects of the game (e.g., illegal kicking toe of shoe, an adhesive or slippery substance, failure to wear mandatory equipment), player will be removed from the game until he has complied.

– For any other violation of this Section 4 (e.g., wristbands that are not League-approved, towel with a personal message, impermissible headwear under the helmet) that is discovered while the player is in the game, player will be advised to make appropriate correction at the next change of possession; if the violation is not corrected, player will not be permitted to enter the game.

– For violation of this Section 4 detected in the bench area: Player and head coach will be asked to remove the objectionable item, properly equip the player, or otherwise correct the violation. The involved player or players will not be permitted to enter the game until the player has complied.

– For illegal entry or return of a player suspended under this Section 4: Loss of five yards from succeeding spot and removal until properly equipped after one down. See 3-33.

– For repeat violation: Disqualification from game

Note 1: In addition to the game-day penalties specified above, the Commissioner may subsequently impose independent disciplinary action on the involved player, up to and including suspension from the team’s next game—preseason, regular season, or postseason, whichever is applicable.

Note 2: If a player is suspended for having adhesive or slippery substances on his body, equipment, or uniform, he must remain out of the game for one play, even if there is a team time out, the two-minute warning, or the end of a period.

Note 3: If a player (kicker) is suspended for having an illegal kicking shoe, he must remain out of the game for one play, unless there is a team time out, the two-minute warning, or the end of the period.

So under that guideline, a player shouldn’t be suspended more than one game for an equipment violation.

It’s a brilliant move by Brady, who obviously knew what he was doing since he’s far too intelligent to make a move like this without understanding exactly what the implications could be, and it’s essentially daring Roger Goodell to punish him further knowing that the violation is more or less equivalent to the reason why he’s set to be suspended for the first four games of 2016.

Brady’s suspension is set to begin on Saturday at 4pm ET, which is still surreal to imagine given the reasons behind it and how we’ve already seen players get punished for less despite doing more.  Needless to say, things are likely set to get interesting.  Given that the battle in court isn’t completely dead, while he may have accepted his punishment, he’s clearly not done battling the commissioner just yet.