Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Six Pack

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How many times do we have to go through this? Every couple weeks it's the same story. You kick it to him he returns it for a touchdown. He did it to the Panthers in Week 4. He did it to the Vikings in Week 6. Now, it's the Detroit Lions turn to look like idiots. Playing without rookie punter Ryan Donahue who was unavailable due to a strained right quadriceps, the Lions turned to Robert Malone who punted for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year. Malone kicks it to Hester. The result? Hester takes one 82 yards to the house for yet another return touchdown. Now this didn't cost the Lions the game, but still. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??? Kick it out of bounds! It will be interesting to see if Malone still has a job next week.

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The Denver Broncos won for the third time in four tries with Tim Tebow as their starting quarterback leaving them just one game behind the Oakland Raiders in the race for first place in the AFC West. What was interesting about today's win was that Tim Tebow threw the ball just 8 times completing only two passes, but it was enough as Denver beat Kansas City 17-10. One of Tebow's two completions was a 56 yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker, and Tebow also ran for a score as the Broncos won despite losing running backs Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno early on. Instead they turned their running attack over to Lance Ball who carried 30 times for 96 yards. All together, Denver ran the ball 55 times for 244 yards and the Kansas City defense just didn't have an answer. Now I don't think this strategy is going to work most of the time - particularly not against stiffer competition, but it worked today. According to ESPN's stat guys, the last time a team that only used one quarterback completed only 2 passes and won a game was just 2 seasons ago back in 2009. That day Derek Anderson went just 2 for 17 for 23 yards, but the Browns still managed to defeat the Bills 6-3 in an ugly game that featured 16 punts.


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Only it was probably the worst page he could've chosen. Flashback to November 15, 2009, almost exactly two years ago. Colts versus Patriots. 4th quarter. Patriots lead 34-28 with 2:08 to play, but face a 4th and 2 from their own 28 yard line. Bill Belichick throws caution and good sense into the wind and decides to go for it. The result? Brady's pass to Kevin Faulk comes up short giving Peyton Manning a short field to work with. Manning hits Reggie Wayne for a touchdown with 13 seconds to play, the Colts win 35-34. Flash forward to this afternoon. Falcons versus Saints. Overtime. 23-23 ballgame, Falcons have the ball on their own 29 yard line facing a 4th and inches. Logic here dictates you punt, right? Whoops. Michael Turner takes the handoff and gets stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Drew Brees and the Saints take over deep in Atlanta territory and a few plays later win 26-23 on a John Kasay field goal. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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In just another example of how preseason rankings mean very little, Cleveland State stunned #7 Vanderbilt 71-58 in the Vikings season opener. D'Aundray Brown led an experienced Cleveland State squad with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 7 steals as the Vikings never trailed in Nashville. Vanderbilt shot just 35% from the field and had 20 turnovers as they fell to 1-1. It's a huge win for Cleveland State, a team that missed last year's NCAA tournament after losing to Butler 3 times in Horizon League play.

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The Cardinals have named their new manager for the 2012 season and it'll be former Cardinal catcher Mike Matheny. Matheny played with the Cardinals from 2000 through 2004 and has no managerial experience, but has served as a minor league hitting instructor for the Cardinals. So with the managerial question answered, the Cardinals must now turn their attention to first baseman Albert Pujols whose status is still uncertain. It's hard to picture him in other than a Cardinal uniform, but as we've seen with many stars in this day and age, it could certainly happen if the price is right.


Any thoughts on the Miami Marlins new jerseys?
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All I can think of when I see them is Will Ferrell in Semi-Pro. Let's get tropical!
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