Monthly Archives: September 2013

South Shore Ave’s Four Down Journey

Week 4 is upon us ya’ll, so here’s my quick rundown leading up to Week 4… you know, just before you sit down on the couch for the next 11 hours watching every game under the sun & managing your multiple fantasy teams with your smartphones & laptops attached to you like a kidney…..

FIRST DOWN: Is Kansas City for real?

They could be actually. With Andy Reid & Alex Smith manning the two most important positions, it was a significant upgrade for a team that had to go through the Scott Pioli regime. He in turn had the excellent hires of Todd Haley (who by the end of his term, had players turning on him left and right); and Romeo Cronnel (who in one game last year, forgot to get touches to his best player Jamaal Charles & couldn’t explain why). There was also their run of QBs: Matt Cassel, Tyler Thigpen, Some backup QB with the last name Zlasko, Brady Quinn, etc. I mean, take a look at the lineup again. Can you imagine being a fan of this team? It’s no surprise they only won 2 games, but even with that they still sent 5 defensive players to the Pro Bowl. Which leads me to this: it’s on this side of the ball where they have made their greatest impact during their 3-0 start, not on offense. They’ve been averaging just over 11 points per game for the season. They kept Dallas in Week 2 to only 1 TD & made the fastest, most explosive offense in the league last week to turn over the ball to them 5 times. Thus far, they are a top 5 defense, & judging by their schedule, it may stay that way. Outside  of playing Denver twice, they have one of the easiest schedules in the league. I thought going into the season, they would win 8 games, but now, I can see that number going as high as 11. We all know Smith has a ceiling as a game manager, but he’s probably the best game manager in the league. This team has NO turnovers since the season started. He may not throw deep passes and get explosive plays (I feel sorry for you Dwayne Bowe) but he moves the chains & protects the football. Since 2011, he has gone 22-5-1 in games he has started. Between Smith & Reid, they provided stability that hasn’t been seen in Kansas City since Priest Holmes was running wild out of the backfield. For the past 10 years, watching the Chiefs has been like watching a girl who’s been dating nothing but thugs, drug dealers, drug users, & chronic fornicators who cheat on her relentlessly. Now she found a man with a good job, a good home, has a good head on his shoulders, has no outside kids as far as she knows, and who wants to have a family with her one day down the line. She finally has something stable, and right now, that’s all she needs. She doesn’t need to focus on getting married, but just enjoying the first positive relationship she’s had in years. Chiefs fans don’t need to worry about anything else other than the playoffs, which is where they seemed headed this season. We’ll talk about making the Super Bowl (marriage) later.

SECOND DOWN: Is New Orleans the best team in the NFC?

New Orleans you say? But what about Seattle??? Well for starters, I’m still slightly annoyed about  Week 2 drubbing the Seahawks dealt my 49ers in Seattle (just remember Seahawk fans, you come to our house Dec 8th), but I really believe now that the Saints will finish with the best record in the conference. Their defense has been more than getting it done. They have allowed 38 points in 3 games & is fourth overall in total defense. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan’s 4-3 defense is getting everything out of its young defensive roster, particularly Cameron Jordan. According to Peter King on his MMQB website, Jordan has 17 QB disruptions (sacks, knockdowns & pressures) which is 3 more that J.J. Watt. It’s a small sample size, but it speaks to the 180-degree changes of mentality  it’s made on this side of the ball. It doesn’t need to be on Seattle’s defensive level, but if it can stay in the top 10 and still keep its explosive nature on offense (the Saints haven’t kicked it into 3rd gear yet & Jimmy Graham has already had a monster start to the year), they will be extremely hard to beat. The remaining playoff contenders on the schedule (Chicago, New England, San Fran, & Seattle) are slightly easier than what Seattle will go through (Houston & Indy the next 2 weeks, solid Tennessee team, then 5 more games vs. their division including the aforementioned San Fran game) so it sets them up to get home field advantage. However, they’re flying under the radar in comparison to Seattle & San Fran, & I’d never thought I’d see that happen to a team with Drew Brees on it.

THIRD DOWN: Upside Down & Round & Round…….

Kansas City is undefeated. So is Miami who’s tied with New England for the division lead. The Jets trail them by one game. Chicago has a 2-game lead on Green Bay, & until Thursday night, so did Seattle on the rest of the NFC West.. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Washington, & Giants are a combined 0-12. Pittsburgh and Minnesota play in London on Sunday so someone has to come back across the Atlantic a winner I guess. The teams I’m looking at that I’m not sure can bounce back from their start are both Washington & the New York Giants.  Robert Griffin III brought much hype to his team and had everyone thinking he will have another Adrian Peterson-type production coming off of knee surgery, but not only has that not happened, but the defense are giving up points & yards like it’s an album leak. They are 30th or worse in almost every major defensive category, they can’t stop the run (turning Joique Bell into a fantasy stud last week) or the pass, but the positive is that their offense sucks too. They can’t seem to get any momentum until the second half of games. The Read option is useless unless Griffin gets full confidence back in his legs, which I don’t think will happen until closer to midway point of the season. The good thing though, is that Mike Shanahan did the right thing this time and protected Griffin for the future. They mortgaged their first round picks for him, so they will continue to build around their talents. However, the same cannot be said about the Giants. With all the mistakes that the defense has made & the disastrous play of their O-Line (providing Carolina with 6 sacks in the first 17 mins of the game & only had 25 combined yards at halftime), here’s when I knew this may be a lost season. In preparing for the Panthers last week, Tom Coughlin’s brother passed away. Normally when an important person on the team loses someone close to them, the team usually rallies behind that person & will play hard for their grieving teammate or coach. In fact, I would have bet anything that they would have beat up the Panthers. So for them to get blown out the way they did tells me this team isn’t as tight-knit as years past for whatever reason. Now they head to Kansas City. If they get blown out again this week, Couglin’s job this time may be on shaky ground for fear that he may be getting tuned out.

FOURTH DOWN: Greg Schiano vs. Josh Freeman

Well, looks like Schiano won this round. By benching Freeman & starting the rookie Mike Glennon, it looks like the Freeman era is over before it got rolling. By all accounts, it looks like Freeman has lost the locker room by his lack of work ethics, being late to meetings, etc., which is a no-no if you’re supposed to be a QB and leader of an NFL team. So I’m in no way excusing Freeman for his transgressions, but Schiano shouldn’t get a pass either for how he’s handled this situation.  The reports of him fixing the captaincy process (which he’s denied), to throwing Freeman under the bus to the media for being late to the team photo shoot, to bum-rushing the V-formations last season that pissed off many teams alike.  He resembles a coach who should still be coaching in the NCAAs, not the men in this league. I can’t see him lasting longer than next season presuming he’s not canned before this one. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see that locker room supporting his style & ways while they continue to collect Ls.

PERSON TO WATCH: Leslie Frazier; Coach, Minnesota Vikings

There’s a few coaches on the hot seat for sure early this season, but don’t underestimate Frazier’s ground on the team. A defensive coach whose team can’t defend (they gave up 33 points to the Cleveland Browns for goodness sakes!), their QB Christian Ponder is inconsistent at best (kiss those endorsement deals goodbye Greg Jennings!), and teams are loading up on Adrian Peterson.  They made the playoffs just sneaking in on the back of Peterson, but I believe if not for his exploits, that team would have won 7 games at best and he’s be out of a job now. If they come back from London 0-4 which is a strong possibility, I wouldn’t be totally shocked if he’s at home on the couch watching Family Feud, and The Young & the Restless past the bye week. Even if that doesn’t happen, he’s not making it to next season if they win 5 games or less. (Note: Now it looks like Matt Cassell will start vs Pittsburgh. Yup, the smell of desperation has come. Get the pink slips ready.)

Sideline Notes

OK, can we put the “San Francisco is in trouble and their season is over” viewpoint to rest now??? They’ll be fine….. you wanna know what’s the most underrated factor of this whole Ravens party with Jacoby Jones getting his head busted open by a hostess/stripper Sweet Pea? The involvement of Bryan McKinnie. Seems like every time he’s involved with a big gathering after midnight, the police are eventually involved. If you remember the last time anything like this happened with his named attached, the words “party”, “boat”, “Lake Minnetoka”, “Cunnilingus”, & “Boat captain mortified beyond belief” were involved….. Also, if this situation doesn’t drum even more business and street credibility for Sweet Pea and the good wholesome people of the King of Diamonds establishment, I don’t know what will. Her request should go up anywhere between 50% to 175% I would think….. Why hasn’t Jacksonville traded for Josh Freeman yet? Like what they have behind center is any better??? Give up two 5th round picks & get this over with already….. Am I the only one who likes the Calvin & Johnson commercials?….. Looks like Drake put himself in the mega-superstar level now with his new album “Nothing Was The Same”. Where Kanye & Jay-Z missed out on in terms of capitalizing on the Best Album of the year title, it looks like Drake will clean up. Not 100% sure what his numbers will be once Soundscan calculates it up on Tuesday, but I’m expecting at least north of 600K sold for 1st week sales. He’s the best and the biggest artist that the Cash Money/Young Money team has on their roster. Lil’ Wayne included….. finally, Tim Lieweke has already started showing you the impact that he will have in Toronto as he has secured the NBA All Star Weekend. I think it’s waaaaay overdue, but in 2016, this city will be the Winterized version of Caribana weekend on HGH & the Clear. In the illustrious words of my friend Headley: “To all American groupies, get your passports ready”.


Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

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South Shore Ave’s NFL Week 1 Questions

The NFL season as usual, began with a bang in Week 1. Peyton Manning throws for 7 TDs, Reggie Bush puts on his best Marshall Faulk impersonation, the Eagles play their first game of the season like their fast forward button was stuck, Colin Kaepernick found another way to stick it to the Packers, the Steelers & the Jaguars forget how to score, and the San Diego Chargers find yet another way to choke a late game lead. Throughout the season,  I’ll be given you a rundown of the week’s games in question form. For this session, it’ll be less of a recap and more of the questions that I had before the season started that I still feel needed to be answered even after week one was done. Let’s start first with the biggest star from Week 1….. 

Is Peyton Manning the best regular season QB ever?

I had this debate with my friend during last week’s game vs. Baltimore, but I do believe Peyton is the best QB in NFL history…..during the regular season. Think about it for a second: He’s won 68% of his games for his career; his stats per season over his career, 4000 yds/30 TDs/13 INTs; 4 MVPs which is the most in NFL history (almost won 5 if not for Adrian Peterson last year); 12-time Pro Bowler, 6-time All-Pro. Plus having him under center is a guaranteed 11 wins, a spot in the playoffs, & in most cases, a Super Bowl contender. He dominates teams during the season like some sort of android. I’ll never say the best ever because, well, he is 9-11 in the playoffs, so even though he won a Super Bowl, you can make the argument that his teams sometimes plays playoff games with two hands around their necks. Also, I’m biased because I’m a 49er fan since I was little so I’ll always say Joe Montana is the greatest ever. Dominated the 80s, won 4 Super Bowls, never lost a Super Bowl game he played in, & unlike another 4x Super Bowl winner Terry Bradshaw, he was THE MAN for all four of those championships teams. Basing this strictly off regular seasons, it’s hard to argue against Manning who’s been playing at this elite lever for 14 of 16 seasons (omitting his rookie year and the 2011 season he missed from his four neck surgeries). On the other side of the spectrum…

Will Tim Tebow Play in the NFL Again???

God I hope not. As much as the NFL want to hitch their star to this wagon, the dude simply can’t throw.  He can’t make accurate passes, which is kind of important for a QB in the NFL.  It’s absolutely astounding that he’s lasted this long.  What makes me laugh is hearing everyone pushing him towards the CFL.  Yes, the league is a minor league in comparison the NFL, but the CFL is a passing league too.  Have they seen the size of the field?  The end zone itself is like 30 yards long, and it’s a 3-down league. If he has problems with accuracy, Tebow’s not going to survive there either.  He should probably take a year off and just work on his mechanics.  He can start by throwing the ball in the ocean at first, then get down to smaller targets; like throwing the ball between two trees; then hitting only one of the trees; then through a hula hoop; then an archery board, while backing up the distances to throw from.  Then, and only then, should he get a shot at the NFL again, and not a moment sooner. 

Will AP Run for 2000 Yards in back-to-back seasons?

Can’t say that will happen. He had possibly the most amazing season a running back can ever have considering the injury he had just 9 months before last season started. Once he got his groove going, it was nothing to watch him break off 70-yard runs, while receiving a text from one of your friends saying, “Are you watching AP??? He’s got 160 yards & the 3rd Q just started!!!” By the time the season ended — he had 2,097 yards, just 8 yards shy of breaking Dickerson’s all time record – and all the awards and accolades were won, you can almost understand in this day & age why you heard rumblings of testing for HGH when his name was mentioned (which I’ll mention I don’t think he’s on by the way…or hope). But out of all the RB’s that ran for more than 2,000 yards in a season, no one has even come close the following season to that number. Only Barry Sanders came the closest & he finished just shy of 1,500 yards (1,497) the next year in 1998, before abruptly retiring after that season. Think about this, we’ve been calling Chris Johnson CJ2K since 2009 when he ran for 2,006 yards, & he’s never been the same since. I almost feel like it takes something out of you physically, like it’s the ultimate sacrifice an RB can make in his career. Only Dickerson still had enough tread on his tires to kick out 1,821 in 1986 with the L.A. Rams & 1,659 in 1988, his first full season with the Indianapolis Colts. Look at the list of the 5 RB’s here who ran for 2,000 yards, followed by their stats the next season:

O. Simpson – 1973, 14G, 332/2,003/12 TDS; next season: 14G, 270/1125/3

E. Dickerson – 1984, 16G, 379/2,105/14; next season: 14G, 292/1,234/12

B. Sanders – 1997, 16G, 335/2,053/11; next season: 16G, 343/1,491/4

T. Davis – 1998, 16G, 392/2,008/21; next season: 4G, 67/211/2

C. Johnson – 2009, 16G, 358/2,006/14; next season: 16G, 316/1,364/11

A. Peterson – 2012, 16G, 348/2,097/12: next season: ???

I think Peterson is a freak of nature, but between the wear and tear, defences loading up 8 in a box every time until J.P. Losman Rob Johnson Casey Printers Christian Ponder proves he can be a consistent threat in the pocket or to at least keep defences honest enough, I can see him surpassing Barry’s total & coming closest to 2,000 on that list above this season: 16G, 302/1650/12. Still a successful season, but still not close enough. Judging from Week 1, he only had 15 yards on 17 carries after breaking that 78 yard TD run on his 1st carry, I’m thinking teams will contain him better than they did last year. Now, if he runs for 200+ this weekend vs. the Bears… we may have to revisit this section.

Will Buffalo make the playoffs this season?

Lol… come on now. Stop it. I will say this: they do have some good pieces in place. Between C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson, rookie QB, E.J. Manuel, a solid O-Line, and guys like Leonis McKelvin, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Stephon Gilmore, Jarius Byrd (if he ends his contract holdout) on defence, they’re about a year away from sniffing a playoff spot. They should finish the season as the 2nd best team in the AFC East, which may mean nothing as this is THE worst division in the NFL, but still, you gotta strive for something Bills fans!

How bad will the Raiders be?

Terrell Pyror’s admission that up until this season, he didn’t know how to throw a football, I mean….what more is there to say? The funny thing is, he actually gives them the best chance to win. Mind you, he didn’t have a bad game vs. the Colts last week (19-29, 217 yards, 112 yards rushing, 70.6 QBR) & will have to depend on his legs as much as his arm to move the chains down the field, but he is pretty raw. This isn’t even Cam Newton-lite, this is a extremely poor man’s Cam. Even if Darren McFadden can stay healthy for 16 games (unlikely, but still), teams will ultimately stick 8 & 9 guys in the box & force them to depend on Pryor. And with no weapons to speak of on both sides of the ball, I just can’t see this team winning more than two games. They will stink so bad they’ll be eligible for both the JaDaveon Clowney sweepstakes and the Andrew Wiggins lottery. Yes, their stench will cross into other sports. Speaking of stinking….

Should Matt Flynn have just stayed in Green Bay as a backup QB?

Since he left Green Bay to try to run his own team, he lost his starting spot in training camp to a 3rd rounder in last year’s draft that may very well be one of the top 5 QBs in the next 2 years (Russell Wilson), to then get traded to a new situation in Oakland where he couldn’t beat out a guy who was drafted in the 3rd round….of the 2011 Supplemental draft. When given a chance to legitimately run your own team as a QB, you have to take it if you have any competitive spirit as an athlete, but considering that he no longer has a shot at the starting QB spot for the Raiders (at least right now), maybe holding a clipboard for Aaron Rodgers might be a better situation at this point. At least you’re holding it for a superstar, at least there’s some pride in that….right???

Will the Saints reincarnate the spirit of the 2007 Patriots?

After last year’s Bountygate fiasco & disappointing 8-8 finish, the Saints got back their head coach Sean Payton, after taking the fall and being suspended for the full season. They may not have protested it publicly (not including Johnathan Vilma of course), but they felt like the punishment was excessive, and it definitely affected their play calling on the field, giving up the most yards for a defence (7,092) in NFL history. I sense a very strong revenge factor this season playing with a massive chip on their shoulders (already beating their rivals Atlanta Falcons in Week 1) and then running up the score every chance they get, especially in their division. Now if Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan can get the defence to be at least the middle of the pack in comparison with the rest of the league, they will win 13 games this season & reclaim their spot not only at the top of the NFC South, but will be right there with San Francisco and Seattle as the elite SB Contenders from this conference. With that in place, it will allow Drew Brees to win his 1st NFL MVP. I’m predicting his 3rd straight 5,000+ yd season, with 49 TDs and 10 INT’s max. Am I saying this because I have him on my fantasy team? Absolutely! But I also think he’s about due for one. Out of the super elite QB group we have in the league right now (Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Brees), only Brees hasn’t won one MVP yet. This year, it’ll be his turn.

Can Larry Fitzgerald have a bounce-back season?

Considering his O-Line has improved a bit, finally getting a competent QB (Carson Palmer) throwing him the ball again, and looking at the stats that he is coming off of from last season, the worst since his rookie year I might add (71/798/4 TDs), he’s going to bounce back in a major way. He’s slowly coming out of the back end of his prime years as a WR, but he will float back into the discussion with the top 3 receivers in this game again. I see him putting up somewhere around 97/1305/11 in 2013. Whoever has him on their fantasy team, rejoice!

Over/Under: Danny Amendola plays 12 games this year.

UNDER!! Not only was he already hurt going into the regular season, but now he’s not even playing tonight. Including Sunday’s game, Amendola has played a combined 13 games in two years and has a combined 7 TD for his entire career. Now he’s just supposed to replace Wes Welker as if that job can be done by just about anyone??? Listen, say what you want about the Patriots Way and their systems, but Welker has been the best slot WR since 2007, and not only that, but he’s been incredibly durable too, missing 3 out of a possible 96 games during that period. I don’t care if Welker’s in Denver, he’s going to put up similar stats on that team. New England took him for granted, and they will miss his steady presence this season. They will still win the division because as I mentioned, it’s the shittiest division in the NFL, but unless Amendola stays healthy and as productive as Welker; and Rob Gronkowski plays like he did in 2011, they don’t win a playoff game.


MVP – QB Drew Brees, New Orleans

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Peyton Manning, Denver

Defensive Player of the Year: CB Richard Sherman, Seattle

Offensive Rookie of the Year: RB Eddie Lacy, Green Bay

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Manti T’eo LB Barkevious Mingo, Cleveland

Coach of the Year: Sean Payton, New Orleans

Comeback Player of the Year: WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

AFC Playoff Teams: 1. Denver 2. Houston 3. Cincinnati 4. New England 5. Indianapolis 6. Baltimore

NFC Playoff Teams: 1. New Orleans 2. San Francisco 3. Chicago 4. Washington 5. Seattle 6. Green Bay

Conference Championships – AFC: Denver over Houston; NFC: San Francisco over New Orleans

Super Bowl Prediction: San Francisco over Denver

Game of the Week

San Francisco @ Seattle. Sun 8:15PM

This could turn out to be the game of the year, even this early in the season. Two Super Bowl contending teams out of the NFC West who can’t stand each other, two coaches who have had beef since they were both coaching in college a few years ago, both teams are led by young, franchise changing QB’s, supported by dynamic running games with smash-mouth defences to match. I may be biased, but I think the 49ers take this one in a very, very, VERY close game that goes down to the last two minutes. I’m anticipating lots of hitting, lots of trash talking, lots of skirmishes & possibly one player to be carried off to the locker room. Most importantly, I can’t wait to see the match-up between Colin Kaepernick & Russell Wilson again, who I think will be the two best QB’s in the league by 2015. My runner up game of the week is tonight’s game with the Jets @ Patriots. Ok, I don’t really believe that, but I just wanted an excuse to show these…..

God Bless the Jets.


Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

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