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Michael Bay Reviews Week 3 of Fantasy Football

Before I introduce this week’s guest recapper, I feel compelled to type a few words about this pile of horseshit that Pro Football Focus masks as analysis.  Normally I wouldn’t call attention to such blatant clickbait, but it really does deserve a read, if for no other reason than to open your eyes to the ridiculous drivel Pro Football Focus refers to as “advanced stats”.

In a nutshell, Aaron Rodgers’ 24-35/333 yards/5 touchdown effort against the Chiefs on Monday Night Football was “graded” as average to below average by the P.T. Barnum algorithms and formulas PFF claims are a more accurate method to critique a player’s performance. The article is equal parts head-scratching and LOL funny. But the last paragraph is worth dissecting.

The greatness of Rodgers’ performance last night was in the intangibles. Recognizing the blitz, drawing the defense offsides, catching the Chiefs in bad situations and exploiting those scenarios with simple passes to open receivers. But you cannot — and we do not try to — quantify intangibles, or what comes pre-snap. Our system grades what can be graded — the execution of the play post-snap — and in that regard Rodgers did not stand out in the same way that his statistics did.

So, because Rodgers actually did the things he gets paid handsomely to do, he is covered in red ink? Ya know, things like diagnosing the blitz, reading the defense, drawing penalties, converting “simple” throws into touchdowns, and generally running the offense the way  it’s supposed to be run. Ya know, the kind of things guys like Eli Manning, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck (yeah, him too), and countless other quarterbacks struggle with every single Sunday.

The writer made a point of saying he and his brethren didn’t think Rodgers played a poor game, but that’s like spending ten minutes trashing a girl’s physical appearance, then tacking on the disclaimer, “I’d still bang her, though.”

Sure, Rodgers has been better than he was on Monday night, and yeah, he tossed a couple of errant passes. But slapping him with a negative grade because a ball “should’ve” been intercepted is much sillier than all us philistines believing a 5-touchdown game is, ya know, pretty fucking awesome.

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My guest recapper this week is iconic movie director Michael Bay. I met Michael a few years ago in the Hollywood Hills where I was totally not hiding in the trees snapping pictures of Megan Fox with a telephoto lens. Bay gave me a lift downtown and we hit if off. He used a bunch of the notes I offered on Transformers: Age of Extinction, so he’s obviously a sharp dude. Take it away, Mike (only I call him Mike).

Bad Boys

bad-boysFantasy owners who started Jamaal Charles and Randall Cobb were treated to six, count ’em six, touchdowns on Monday night. They tore shit up, which is exactly what Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are gonna do in Bad Boys III and Bad Boys IV, if I decide to lend my talent to the projects. However, I’m seriously considering kicking major ass on Broadway with a stage rendition of Transformers.

The Rock

Like my massive blockbuster of the same name, Julio Jones has been an unstoppable force. 34 catches for 440 yards and four touchdowns in three games, and he isn’t even 100%. If Julio keeps it up, he’s definitely getting an invite to my next exclusive yacht party, “Ballers Only.”

Armageddon

I’m a big fan of high body counts in my movies, so the widespread injuries inflicted throughout the league bring a smile to my face. The more shredded ligaments and shattered limbs, the better. All this season needs is a slow-motion pan of the of all the players on IR standing in front of an American flag with some lens flare throw in for effect. That’s not just epic. That’s Michael Bay EPIC!

Pearl Harbor

Just like the Japs did in WW II, the Arizona Cardinals have launched a textbook sneak attack of mass destruction. They’ve outscored their first three opponents 126-49. No team has scored more, and only the Jets have allowed fewer points. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are dropping some serious bombs. I’m not talking box office bombs, either. I wouldn’t know what one of those is, cuz I’m rich, bitch!

Bad Boys II

The Panthers’ dynamic duo of Cam Newton and Greg Olsen combined for 482 yards and five touchdowns against the awful Saints. I enjoy crushing at DFS and the stack of Newton-Olsen helped score me $200 this past weekend. If I tipped, that would make great tip money. Instead, I’ll probably use it to light my Cuban cigars.

The Island

matthewsJordan Matthews has 22 catches for 231 yards and one touchdown. He is the only non running back to score a touchdown for the Eagles. The rest of the team’s wide receivers have a total of 13 receptions for 122 yards. Matthews reminds me of myself. On my movie sets, I’m constantly yelling at people to work harder and be smarter. I tell ya, being an artistic master can be lonely sometimes.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Tom Brady’s season-long middle finger to the NFL is off to a rousing start. 1112 yards and 9 touchdowns in three games? That’s Bay-like success. His recent troubles with the league office Reminds me of my longstanding relationship with douchebag film critics. Pencil-necked fuckers love to cast aspersions on my movies, but the billions of dollars grossed at the box office speaks for itself. Tom Brady owns. Not on the same level as I own, but he owns nonetheless.

Pain and Gain

Da Raiders have gone through a decade of all-around futility. Botched draft picks, piss-poor coaching hires, and idiotic free agent signings turned them into the most embarrassing NFL franchise by a wide margin. But, the trio of Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, and Amari Cooper are bringing back prestige to the Silver and Black. Even Vegas is taking notice, because  Oakland is favored by 3 points in Week 4 ON THE ROAD. I used to direct shitty music videos before I became one of the most respected and lauded auteurs in the history of film, so I know pain.

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Thanks Mike. What a great guy. Can’t wait to see Transformers 5. I’ll be back next week with another guest recapper.

Where the 2014 Eagles Stand After Week 4

eagles-week4Step away from the ledges, people. Yes, the Eagles finally lost a game. On the road to a team that’s participated in the last two NFC Championship games. They lost by 5 points after posting the second worst offensive output of Chip Kelly’s young NFL career. They lost by 5 points with LeSean McCoy rushing for a pathetic 17 yards. They lost by 5 points after committing four turnovers. They lost by 5 points without scoring a single offensive touchdown. They lost by 5 points without the services of Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis, Mychal Kendricks, and Lane Johnson.

And despite all that, they still had a chance to take the lead at the Niners’ two-yard line with less than two minutes to play. Sorry, but I’m not very upset about this defeat. This is still the same talented, yet flawed team that staged comeback wins in the first three weeks. This is still the same talented, yet flawed team that score 30-plus points in the first three weeks. This is still the same talented, yet flawed team that has scored a league best five touchdowns on defense and special teams.

Do the Eagles have issues? Of course, just like every other NFL team. LeSean McCoy’s horrific start is worrisome. Nick Foles’ wild inaccuracy is frustrating. The battered offensive line is a growing concern. Riley Cooper and Brent Celek’s disappearing acts are problematic. The glut of boneheaded penalties committed by the defense is maddening. All that said, it could be much, much worse.

Lane Johnson is back from suspension. His return allows Todd Herremans to slide back to right guard, meaning they will have three starters playing at their regular positions on Sunday, as opposed to one versus San Francisco. Johnson is a good bet to make his share of mistakes in the next couple of games, but his presence alone should bolster a moribund rushing offense.

The last time the Eagles’ run attack failed to top 100 yards in consecutive games was Weeks 7 and 8 last season, losses to the Cowboys and Giants. The next game was Nick Foles’ coming out party in Oakland. McCoy wasn’t great with 44 yards on 12 carries, but he did notch four catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.

I’m not suggesting the Birds will destroy the Rams. I’m just saying that the panic button shouldn’t be prematurely pressed. Chip Kelly hasn’t been “figured out.” To suggest that’s the case — as some local and national pundits have — is ridiculous, not to mention ignorant.

Now, Kelly does need to rethink his game plans. His tendencies are becoming a bit predictable. He’s also allowing defenses to dictate too much. Of course defenses are going to stack the box to stop McCoy. That’s football 101. Chipper needs to reach into his endless bag of tricks and find ways to open rush lanes.

And Shady needs to run vertically, not horizontally. Defenders are doing an excellent job of tracking and taking him down. Dancing can be fun to watch, but it’s not conducive to consistent success. Bryce Brown was jettisoned because he refused to run North-South. McCoy must hit the windows harder, even when they’re tight. Maybe giving Chris Polk a few totes would help. With Johnson back, perhaps Kelly can utilize the unbalanced line that was so effective last year.

Whatever he does, having Foles repeatedly drop back and launch bombs isn’t the answer. This offense clicks when all its moving parts are working in unison. Kelly was correct when he said guys are trying to do too much on their own. Players need to do their jobs and trust everyone else will do the same. Sounds simple because it is. Oh, and maybe use Zach Ertz more? Or, maybe not.

07 mccoy run ertz missed block
Via: Inside the Eagles

Defense:

Talk about the “porous” run defense if you want, but the Eagles have yielded 11 scores, 10 of which have come via the pass. Roy Helu (?) is the only running back to rush for a touchdown. Obviously allowing 218 yards on the ground isn’t ideal, but facing an athletic freak like Colin Kaepernick has a way of skewing the stats. In short, I’m not worried about the run D.

On the other hand, this Eagles secondary, with the exception of Malcolm Jenkins, is causing migraines. The bumbling trio of Williams, Fletcher, and Allen just can’t get their shit together. The defensive holding call on Cary that wiped out a third-down sack by Trent Cole is inexcusable. Just can’t happen. I don’t place a lot of stock in advanced stats, but according to this, Williams ranks 75th among NFL cornerbacks. Notice that Fletcher and the criminally underused Brandon Boykin rank 17th and 18th, respectively.

Guess who grades out as the number one safety in the league? And look who’s a top three defensive tackle. And a top five defensive end. Again, these rankings are derived from weird algorithms, but it’s hard to argue that all three of these guys are passing the eyeball test big time.

Get off the damn field! That’s the problem with Billy Davis’s unit. Be it dumb breakdowns, blown coverages, or egregious penalties, the defense isn’t getting the job done on third down. They were solid on first and second down versus the 49ers and consistently harassed Kaepernick into sacks, scrambles, and errant tosses. But giving up multiple third and longs is atrocious.

Special Teams:

Save for a few lazy infractions, Dave Fipp’s guys have been tremendous. Trey Burton is all over the place on kick and punt coverage. Free agent additions Chris Maragos and Bryan Braman are meeting expectations. And what else can you say about Darren Sproles? Howie Roseman deserves major praise for stealing him from the Saints. And the Saints deserve what they’re getting for letting Spoles and Jenkins walk.

Turnovers/Penalties:

Herein lies the biggest issue. A pair of derp fumbles from Cooper and Ertz, both of whom need to wake the hell up. Two picks for Nick, one of which was a prayer to end the game. Eagles are -4 in TO ratio and have yet to have a clean game. 10 penalties for 70 yards. The Cary Williams’ holding call was brutal. Three offensive holding calls? Ugh.

Looking Ahead:

Home to a well-rested Rams team that will start Austin Davis under center and boasts the 30th ranked run defense. Methinks Jeff Fisher used the extra days of preparation to ensure McCoy stays stuck in neutral. This is a tricky spot for the Birds. I could definitely see the Rams offense moving the ball early against a defense leaking confidence. Is this Shady’s week? Last time he played the Rams he went for 137 total yards and two scores.

Eagles get right. It won’t be pretty, but it never is.

Tripping the Light Fantastic

Due to an impromptu sojourn to the tropics, there will be no fantasy recap this week. I’d pass the duties along to my unpaid illegal intern, Juan Carlos, but a) he doesn’t speak English, and b) is busy cataloging my extensive collection of 1920s era pornography.

Fear not faithful readers, I shall return bright-eyed and sunburned to review the Week 13 festivities. In the meantime, here’s a video of Nic Cage overacting. Aloha.

Sorry, Folks

There will not be a recap this week. I’m busy, busy, busy. I’m sure you are all greatly disheartened and will find it extremely difficult to survive, but it can’t be helped.

I shall return next week as we inch closer to the Gulfman League playoffs, which sadly, I will not be a part of. Before I scurry off to finish my other duties, I’ll leave you with some horn tooting. In last week’s recap, I wrote the following about the Broncos being frauds:

I wouldn’t be shocked if they lose to the ‘Skins this weekend.

Final score: Redskins 27, Broncos 17. Let’s just say I put my money where my mouth was and earned a couple shillings.

I also penned this pearl:

I’ll say it now: either the Vikings or Saints will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Cardinals, Cowboys and Eagles are wannabees. The Packers, Bears, Falcons and Giants are pretenders.

What happened? The Vikes and Saints continued their winning ways, while the Eagles, ‘Boys, Bears and Falcons all lost. The Cards might make some noise, but they ain’t winning inside a dome in January. Not gonna happen. Stud out.

Are you ready for Fantasy Football 2009?

It’s that time of year fellow fantasy fanatics. Time to prepare for total domination in the Gulfman League. Better get your player rankings and draft strategies in order because I have no intention of relinquishing the title I currently hold. The view from the top is much more to my liking.

I’ve raised the bar here at the Gulfman League blog. A new year means a new look and an official moniker. So, if you want legit fantasy football news, info and biting sarcasm, tell your friends and family to stop by Stud Running Back. It’s all the rage and puts those tiresome mainstream experts to shame. I’m talkin’ to you Matthew Berry!

Anyway, it’s nice to be back for another round of fake teams with real players. Good luck to all involved. Here’s to a fun-filled fantasy season.