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Some of the items that may have slipped by you from last weekend…first from the NFL…
….why would any coach agree to have his team play in England? In the last 2 years, coaches have flown back from Europe w/o job…being fired right after the game. Joe Philbin (Dolphins) was the latest casualty. That long flight home probably REALLY seemed long!
…if you weren’t convinced already….the NFL running backs are young AND good….We see Todd Gurley right here and in Atlanta as 2nd year pro—Devonta Freeman has more TD’s in the past 3 weeks than the aging (31) Steven Jackson could nudge out over 15 starts for the same team last year…sure maybe the line is some better….but…the proof is in the pudding (whatever that means?)
…bad news out of KC…d-coordinator Bob Sutton’s defense has surrendered 30+ points in each of the last 3 games….that’s the worst performance for this franchise since 1987….hope he doesn’t plan on buying a home in KC
….one QB on the up-tick was Matt Hasselback with a 282 yard, 1 TD performance..Hasselback demonstrated some escapability with an occasional sparkling completion on the end of it…all you 40+ year olds keep cheering for a contemporary of yours!!
…floating adrift is rookie QB Jameis Winston….he shows some signs of being a quality NFL QB and other signs of traveling down the JaMarcus Russell road (ya know… the road with the quick exit from the NFL)….while Winston has some good moments in first 4 weeks he also has 4 interceptions including a pick 6 (including 2 INT on Sunday vs Carolina)
…another QB who’s trending down….remember RG III….the guy on the bench…maybe the Skins should have listened to Mack Brown (TX coach at the time)?…Brown wanted to recruit RGIII as an “athlete” not a QB….it turns out that this week, Washington had RGIII playing safety on the practice squad…I seldom hear any praise for the Rams making that trade…sure…they’ve goofed plenty of times…but that was a stroke of genius
…recall all the hype about Chip Kelly’s offense in the pre-season?….would all his assistant coaches be plucked by other teams to install this “new look”…well once the regular season arrived…things changed…in 3 of his teams four 1st halves….they’ve been held to 3 points or less…oops…
….I hate to do this…but Bill Belicheat does deserve some props…disdaining the long thought premise that the o-line had to “Jell”, play together, stay together in order to be good….Belicheat continually rotates his offensive lineman with all different personnel (including 3 rookies) each and every game….it isn’t willy-nilly…each group develops certain skills…they are evaluated throughout the season so that by post-season, the actual best performing group…not the highest paid, or longest tenure or largest player…the best performing group take over the duties for the post-season. …just think of how hard each lineman prepares, works and improves since he knows he’ll be on the playing field and maybe even the post-season
…while Stan Kroenke, who seems intent on having a team in LA next year, made his case to the NFL last week…it became clear…at least to some…that Kroenke doesn’t want a partner…he wants a tenant…San Diego seems like the most likely partner for Stan to dance with on this song. The Carson City project involving Oakland & SD also seems to have hit a snag….but…look for something to be decided shortly….it’s thought that a decision MUST be reached by the NFL in the next 3 months. The news Wednesday about the Stadium naming is a plus….a big plus…but that doesn’t impact the issue of who is paying for the actual building of the stadium
…place kickers must feel like that they are walking the plank each and every Sunday….last week, the new x-pt distance caused a successful rate of 57 of 61…4 misses in one week….somehow it seems that FG kicking has also dipped..those crucial misses have already cost Josh Scobee (Balt) & Kyle Brindaz (TB) their jobs….meanwhile Jags Kicker Jason Myers’ had two misses and Saints Zach Hocker missed the possible game-winning kick against the Cowboys with 16 seconds left…get ready guys…they have out the blindfolds…the next time it’s a key miss…ur walking down the plank
Some quick MLB stuff…
….in the final week of the season, the StL Cardinals hazed the many rookies…these rooks were actually seen at the airport wearing speedos!..you can bet it wasn’t by choice….some went even a step further with skin-tight skull caps or neon goggles…some had on boots with the speedos..one had on white shoes so he looked like he was ready for WWE action…hmm…didn’t see that in the local papers J Google it…it’s rather fun.
…Max Scherzer’s 2nd no-hitter this year put him in rare company…Roy Halladay (2010), Nolan Ryan (1973), Virgil Trucks (1952), Allie Reynolds (1951) and Johnny VanderMeer (1938)….Halladay’s has a bit of an asterisk..his 2nd no-no came in the Division playoffs
…Zack Greinke (LAD) kept up the Dodger domination of the ERA title…after Clayton Kershaw had won that title for the last 3 season, Greinke won it this year with a 1.66 ERA…this was the lowest total since the Greg Maddux mark of 1.63 in 1995…Kershaw fell all the way to 3rd place in ERA with 2.13…Jake Arrieta was in-between these 2 Dodgers with a 1.77 ERA including a record breaking 0.75 ERA AFTER the all-star break!
…the newest winners of the SAVES category are two winners for the 1st time—Mark Melancon (Pitt) noteched 51 saves & Brad Boxberger (TB)-41…that would be a great trivia question next spring J
…Miguel Cabrera chalked up batting title #4 in AL while Dee Gordon’s hitting on the last day of the season won him the NL title…he’s 1st batting champ since Jackie Robinson to win both the NL Batting Title and lead league in steals.
————you just broke the tape…..see if you made it in 60 seconds—————