5 Stages of Grief



Paul Gutierrez for ESPN:

“McGloin lost his last five starts as a rookie and has played sparingly since. But Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. is impressed with McGloin’s tape.

“Right now I see him as a gunslinger,” Harris said of McGloin. “From the past and watching him play, he doesn’t have any fear. He can fit the ball into coverage. That’s something I’ve seen from him in the past.”

The sideline throw that Matt McGloin made to Amari Cooper in the fourth quarter on Saturday did more than seal the Oakland Raiders’ 33-25 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

It also sparked an instant chemistry between the new Raiders starting quarterback and the Pro Bowl receiver.

“It’s really huge,” Cooper said Wednesday, “the fact that he trusts me to put the ball up there, allowed me to make a play like that. It just shows his confidence in me.”

Rookie offensive lineman Vadal Alexander said:

“He’s going to be a great leader,” Alexander said. “He leads men. You can feel it when he gets in the huddle, the presence he has. He’s a natural guy who’s meant to play quarterback.”

Phil Simms gives his sense byway of raiderswire:

“It’s tough to compare. First off, Jeff Hostelter is a better quarterback than Matt McGloin . . . McGloin, I like a lot of things about him. I know a lot about him, I’ve watched almost all of his throws in preseason. But the gap between Derek Carr and Matt McGloin [is bigger] than it was with me and Jeff Hostetler, that’s for sure.”

“It’s going to be rough. I expect it to be rough, I really do. The Raider defense is going to have to be outstanding.”

Raider fans still have hope that Matt McGloin can carry on what Derek Carr started. They can read all the articles and opinions that remind us of how much Matt McGloin has overcome. The problem is, he has started and he went 1-5. The good news, I guess, is that his one win was against Kubiak.

It is unsettling when Rookie Vadal Alexander, an offensive lineman, telling us how good McGloin is, only to two-time Super Bowl winning QB Phil Simms, who tells us that he is going to have a bad day. But, what does he know, he isn’t even a hall of famer.

McCaffrey leaves early for the NFL

There are opinions all over the map on what is right and wrong, with strong arguments on all sides. SB Nation has an article explaining the sides:

“Put yourself in their shoes, an injury could change the course of the rest of their lives,” the veteran NFL personnel man said. “We’re not talking about a left guard here. We’re talking about a skill (position) player who is a huge target. That’s the reality of it.

“Look at what these coaches are making now. Those guys are making $5 or $6 million a year and they may pressure these kids to play? Look at what these coaches and ADs are doing. It’s OK for them to leave, but it’s not OK for players to think about their futures? For coaches to (be critical), that’s incredibly selfish. Hold on a second here, guy. You pressure these kids to play, and then one of them (suffers a career-altering injury) and it’s, ‘I love you, and you’re a great teammate. Sorry about that.’ And it’s all for some bowl game who no one cares about? That’s a joke. I’m looking at it practically. If it was your son, what are you gonna say?”

Bruce Arians, the Arizona Cardinals Coach, doesn’t seem enamored.

“That would concern me. Depending on what their situation is as a team, because this is a team sport. But you’ve had a couple of guys get injured in the last couple years. Agents have a lot to say about it. Parents have a lot to say about it. But, it would concern me.”

Current Strength of Schedule

Top 15 Teams Strength of Schedule
              Week 17
Rank     Team Difficulty
1 Broncos 49
2 Buccaneers 47
3 Steelers 46
4 Raiders 45.5
5 Redskins 44.5
6 Chiefs 44.5
7 Packers 43.5
8 Ravens 43.5
9 Cowboys 41.5
10 Falcons 41
11 Lions 40
12 Seahawks 38.5
13 Giants 38.5
14 Dolphins 34.5
15 Patriots 34.5

Who has had the easiest path to the playoffs?  Who has had the hardest?  This strength of schedule table is based off current power rankings and gives you those answers.  Key word, current. This is not a projection of strenth of schedule from before the season, but based off the current power ranking positions of the teams they have played.

The Patriots have a 13-2 record, but have had a patsy schedule, not to mention they played the Steelers without Roethlisberger.  They do have a 12-3 record against the spread, but haven’t been tested besides a Seahawks game, that they lost.

Also, if the Dolphins and the Broncos had switched schedules, maybe the Broncos would be in the playoffs.  The Buccaneers strength of schedule knocked them out of the playoffs.  The Raiders record with the 4th toughest schedule is impressive.  Vegas still hasn’t shown them respect, they have gone 12-3 against the spread.  The Steelers may have 5 losses, but they came against a schedule tougher than most.  They have been tested this season.

Before you buy too much into the records of the teams, check out their strength of schedule to determine whether there value is inflated.

Week 16’s Power Rankings by Andrew Sumsion

From Andrew Sumsion:

 1.      Cowboys
2.      Patriots
3.      Falcons
4.      Chiefs
5.      Packers
6.      Steelers
7.      Seahawks
8.      Giants
9.      Raiders
10.    Dolphins
11.    Lions
12.    Texans
13.    Redskins
14.    Ravens
15.    Broncos
16.    Saints
17.    Bucs
18.    Cardinals
19.    Colts
20.    Bills
21.    Eagles
22.    Titans
23.    Vikings
24.    Panthers
25.    Bengals
26.    Chargers
27.    Bears
28.    Jets
29.    Jaguars
30.    Rams
31.    49ers
32.    Browns

Brady and Belichick have dominated this league since 2001. I don’t think that two rookies, who have been playing really well, will come in and upend things. If the Cowboys and Patriots played, I don’t care where it is, I am taking the Patriots every day. The Patriots have played a weak schedule compared to other teams, but they have been handling business.  They are 12-3 against the spread. I take tried and true over new and shiny.

Sherman forgets his role

Timothy Rapp reporting on Richard Sherman:

After Sherman said he would have accepted criticism from offensive players if a defensive call cost the Seahawks a game—much like Russell Wilson‘s interception to end Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots, which Sherman referenced—Moore, a radio host for 710 ESPN Seattle and a columnist at SeattlePI.com, asked Sherman if he had thought he had a better handle on play-calling than Bevell.

“No, I just had a prior experience, so we talked about it,” Sherman responded. “But let me guess, you have a better play call. Let me guess, you have better experience.”

“No, I don’t have a better play call,” Moore replied.

“Then you should probably stop,” Sherman added.

But Sherman wasn’t done. As he walked away from the podium, he confronted Moore.

“You don’t want to go there,” Sherman said. “You do not. I’ll ruin your career.”

“You’ll ruin my career?” Moore asked. “How are you going to do that?”

“I’ll make sure you don’t get your media pass anymore,” Sherman countered.

The Pack is Back! Beat Seattle 38-10

Looks like The Green Bay Packers avoided the Grim Reaper and have put the NFC on notice.

Pete Carroll, as reported by the Green Bay Press Gazette said:

“This is such a rare occurrence for our team, we’ve been playing for a lot of years and have not seen a game like this. We don’t remember those days. We’ve had a remarkable run. The thing just snowballed on us; it just turned out to be a terrible night.”

This puts Green Bay where everyone thought they would be.  A top tier team with a chance to win it all.  This shows their recovery wasn’t because they played the Eagles and the Texans.  It is because their receivers are playing better and their defense is healthier.  They no longer let opposing quarterbacks throw touchdown passes on them at will.  They have the Bears next weekend, then finish with the Vikings and the Lions.  The Lions at 8-4 play the Cowboys, Giants, before finishing the season against Green Bay.  The Lions have a tough schedule leaving many to think the Packers can get in by winning out.

This is sports and anything can happen, but in my opinion, the Packers are going to the Super Bowl.  The best way to prevent this is: collusion.

Both the Cowboys and Giants play the Lions in the next two weeks.  If either team beats the Lions, and the Packers take care of business beating the Bears and the Vikings, the winner of the Lions/Packers game would win the division and are in the playoffs.  After treating Seattle yesterday, like a Fast and Furious movie treats cars, not one team wants to see them.  The best way to keep the Packers out would be for the Giants and the Cowboys to tank against the Lions.  That would seemingly ensure the Packers were out.   They would avoid the hottest teams in the league and everyone would sleep better keeping them out.  They still might be able to get a wildcard, but this is the NFC’s best shot.  All of the teams would prefer the road to the Super Bowl not include the Green Bay Packers.

Aaron Rodgers playing this well against the Seattle defense?  I’d rather play against Dak Prescot, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, or anyone else not named Brady.

Lambeau, The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Packers Fans I want you to win tomorrow and think you will, but…

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are up against the Grim Reaper this Sunday.  If the Packers win, they have a great shot at making the playoffs. They need the Lions to lose two games, including the head to head matchup in week 17.  The Packers have won their last two games which is encouraging, but hardly tells us anything, because of who they played.

The Packers beat the Texans and the Eagles.  Osweiler may be the worst QB in the league.  He is the new Matt Flynn, but instead of the coaching staff realizing he can’t play before the season, they have started him all season long.  Osweiler beat the Patriots last year with a good performance including another game or two.  So the Texans decide to give Osweiler a massive contract, and in return the Texans now have the worst yds/attempt of anyone in the league as well as 30th in Net Passing yards/Game.

The Packers also beat the Eagles who are 2-7 in their last nine games.  Pro Football focus ranks Philadelphia’s receivers as #29th in the league.  Which, explains why the Packers were able to win that game handily.  The Packers secondary looked abysmal against teams with good receivers.  The prior 4 weeks they had given up at least 31 points and lost 4 straight.

The Packers’ defense was too hurt to compete, but are getting healthier by the week.  This week will be the test whether or not the “Pack are back”.  If they are back I agree that no one will want to face them.  We know Aaron Rodgers is incredible and when the Packers are playing well together they can beat anyone on any given Sunday.  But…if that defense is still giving up 31 points to teams Death will visit them Sunday.

Red in the Shawshank Redemption tells us, “Hope is a dangerous thing, hope can drive a man insane”.  Since week 6 when the Packers were chewed up by the Cowboys they have been on life support holding onto hope.

Mythology also tells us that the Grim Reaper visits to sever all ties between the soul and the body.   The Seahawks come to town this weekend to sever any hope that the Packers had of making the playoffs.  I feel each football season has a soul and The Grim Reaper is taking the 2016’s Packers’ soul and delivering it to Hades.

It is not unheard of though, for people to avoid the Grim Reaper.  We know Bill & Ted did it in their excellent adventure, but hope seems dim.  The Lions are winning more than expected and with a Packers loss tomorrow their death is imminent.  My advice to Packer fans, is to let 2016 go with a loss on Sunday, but don’t let it destroy your enjoyment of the NFL season.  It’s ok to enjoy watching another team after your team’s soul is gone, football is too short to only enjoy 13 weeks of it.  Find some other players you like and cheer for them.  You aren’t cheating on your team, but rooting for players.  The distinction is important.  There is no one more fun to cheer for and root for than Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Khalil Mack.  Aside from this Thursday (everyone knows Thursday night games suck) they are the best watch in the NFL.

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