It’s Sunday

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It’s Sunday, we’re all about to bear witness. I’m going to head to church, and when I return I’ll be throwing on my #12 Luck jersey, firing up the consoles of my fantasy squads and settling in for some really good football.

Here’s the games of interest today:

Colts at Jaguars (Gross)
Bengals at Browns
Seahawks at Texans

The Sunday night game with the Patriots and Falcons in Atlanta should be a good one. You can’t beat a football Sunday. Enjoy it everyone.

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The Plot Thickens in the Demise of Josh Freeman

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Josh Freeman was benched this week in favor of Mike Glennon. In reading this piece by Bill Simmons on Grantland, Simmons actually insinuated that Freeman had something to do with cocaine. A simple Google search turned up a lot more.

From the comments section of a recent Pewter Report article:

Don’t normally comment on these things, but quite frankly, I”m tired of the proverbial elephant in the room. I’ve lived in South Tampa for all 7 years that I’v lived in Tampa, it is COMMON KNOWLEDGE, that Josh Freeman is not only an alcoholic and cokehead, but is also gay. I’m actually gay and I know this to be a fact, Josh lives with his openly gay brother, Caleb Freeman and was close to coming out last year. Everyone in the locker room knows this and has known for awhile. It’s not a big deal in most professions, but this is an NFL locker room.

And this:

I have heard the same from my S. Tampa bar owner/bartender buddies (sans the coke comment; cannot verify). Lord knows I take down my share of wine but damn what a waste of a good kid with talent. I wish him the best elsewhere.

And another:

Ok guys, here’s the scoop on the Freeman situation… And I promise this info is accurate (a close friend of mine is close friends with a guy on the team, not to be named out of respect, and she was informed by that buc player this morning)…. The scoop is that Josh Freeman is an alcoholic party animal, and he recently started doing cocaine regularly. In light of this sad new info, it is totally understandable that he couldn’t be relied upon to lead this organization. So sad. I really hope he turns his life around and gets clean… Time to move on and focus on the guys who are trying to do things the right way.

Lots more coke talk out there on Freeman, and rumors that he’s gay.

Thursday Night Football Post

*Thursday Night Football tonight on the NFL Network. The San Francisco 49ers take on the St. Louis Rams in that God awful dome. I was telling a co-worker today that it was the easiest money in the world to take the Niners -3.5 tonight, and then be pointed out to me that the Niners were beaten twice by the Rams last year. He had it wrong. They tied 24-24 and then lost to the Rams 16-13 in St. Louis. I look for Harbaugh’s squad to get it done in a big way and cover the spread. They’ll get back to .500 tonight and then begin a roll. I think.

*Kaepernick is wearing a glove tonight, ala the Super Bowl run last winter.

*Great read in USA Today about the Indianapolis Colts playing a more physical brand of football.

Remember when Indy was a finesse team, fooling people, overwhelming them with Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison, throwing the ball all over the yard? Remember what happened when they were forced into the octagon, as they were all those times in the bad weather in New England in the postseason?

This was an old-fashioned battering, the kind we never could have associated with the Colts in the past — the kind of bar-fight game the Colts never could have won in the past. They ran for 179 brutish yards. They held the 49ers to just 254 total yards, 91 of them coming on a single touchdown-scoring drive. They were the vintage Pittsburgh Steelers, the championship Baltimore Ravens, the 49ers of last season, grinding and pounding and winning so ugly, it was beautiful to behold.

All game long, they threw body punches, even if it meant gaining just 1 or 2 or 3 yards. But eventually the head died. The onslaught was too much for the 49ers, who pride themselves on winning these kinds of alley-fight games.

*Drew Magary’s Thursday Jambaroo at Deadspin deals with putting an NFL team in London. Ugh.

*Interesting read on why Thursday Night Football games are not very entertaining. Bring back Saturday afternoon football Goodell, especially late in the season when the NCAA is off.

*I received my Andrew Luck knock off jersey in the mail today. SWEET.

*Off to watch the game!

A Shocker in San Francisco: Colts 27, 49ers 7

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[Game Book]

[NFL.com] [Indy Star – Phil Wilson] [Indy Star – Bob Kravitz] [ESPN NFL Nation]

This will go down as one of those “Upsets of Biblical Proportions” to quote my father-in-law.

The Colts entered the Bay area as 10.5 point underdogs yesterday, and they absolutely took the fight to the 49ers. They employed a power running attack that featured 19 carries and 95 yards from Ahmad Bradshaw who played a helluva game, and 13 carries and 35 yards from Trent Richardson in his Colts debut.

Andrew Luck played the part of shepherd of the offense. People will scoff at Luck’s 18 for 27 day in which he had just 164 yards passing. But consider several things:

1) Luck was only sacked once – meaning he was making his reads and getting the ball quickly. He still hit six different receivers.

2) Luck didn’t turn the ball over. In a hostile environment like San Francisco, that’s huge.

3) He took what the defense gave him, and outplayed Colin Kaepernick. The clinching moment on the day was when he scrambled in on a bootleg from six yards out to put the Colts up 20-7.

On the other hand, Colin Kaepernick struggled mightily for the second consecutive week. Kaepernick is still going to be a phenomenal player but he won’t be without his own struggles like most young QB’s have in the NFL. He went 13 of 27 for 150 yards and an interception. A lot of those yards came in junk time or he might not have even finished over 100.

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OBSERVATIONS:

*The Colts defense was awesome, and showed they could play a physical brand of football to match the gameplan that Pep Hamilton wanted to employ: pound the ball with the run and play stout defense.

*Jerrell Freeman had another sack which forced a fumble, and Robert Mathis had another 1.5 sacks on the day.

*It sure seemed like the Colts were good on third downs, especially throwing the ball. The longest passing play of the day was a 25-yard pass to Reggie Wayne thrown short of the sticks on third down. Wayne picked up a block and spun out of several tackles to pick up a huge first down and get the Colts offense out of a backed up position. Another play that broke the Niners backs (this was the play that Patrick Willis got hurt on).

*Wayne had 5 catches for 63 yards. Darrius Heyward-Bey had 5 catches for 59 yards. DHB had his best game of his Colts career. He was very good as a secondary option for Luck.

*Trent Richardson looked like the same old Trent Richardson. He really lacks burst and never really has a “big” run. Something doesn’t meet the eye here with Richardson, but I think the guy doesn’t see holes well and seems to lack explosiveness. He also didn’t impress me on balls thrown his way when there was a defender near him. He’s got to be a lot better – and I assume he will be at some point. With Bradshaw’s injury history, it’s a matter of time until Richardson needs to carry more of the load.

*I liked the way Richardson picked up blitzes on at least a play or two and chipped big defenders trying to get to Luck.

*Donald Brown was pretty good. He had 3 carries for 25 yards including a 16-yard run. He shows some explosiveness off draw plays. He’s not a bad option to have as a third running-back.

*Samson Satele didn’t play. This worried me before the game. That’s big to be missing your starting center. But Mike McGlynn (who doesn’t get enough credit from Colts fans) stepped in admirably and did that job. The guy isn’t a center. He had a helluva game yesterday and did the job in keeping his Quarterback mostly clean.

*Probably didn’t hurt the Colts chances that Vernon Davis was out and Aldon Smith had his pending suspension/DUI trouble looming. Both reasons to think about taking the Colts and the points. There were signs the Niners could be in trouble.

*This was as signature of a win as the Colts have had under the Pagano/Luck era. They had a few of them last year, but to go into San Francisco when the opponent is favored by nearly two touchdowns in a game both teams need to avoid being 1-2; the Colts just looked like it was more important to them. I still think the 49ers end up being a very good team that is very dangerous before the dust settles on this season, but Indianapolis showed that they are absolutely again for real this season.

*With the Texans losing in Baltimore, and playing the Seahawks next week; the Colts have a chance to make some hay quickly by beating the Jaguars in Jacksonville.

Sunday Football Post

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*Andy Dalton gets to headline the post, because today as I sat there and watched the Packers/Bengals game in Cincinnati work it’s way to a conclusion, I said to myself “If the Bengals are what I think they are (a Super Bowl type team) they find a way to win this game and not to lose it. They find a way to be different then the Bengals of the past.”

At one point, it got to 30-14 Packers. Things weren’t looking great. And then Andy Dalton started to get the ball to his playmakers. Sanu, Gio Bernard, and then A.J. Green. He hit Green with a beautiful 20-yard touchdown pass to cut it to 30-21 and hit Marvin Jones from 11 yards out to put the deficit to 30-27.

The Bengals play on fourth down to stuff the Packers RB Franklin was just incredible. He didn’t have the first down, but then the defense popped the ball loose. BUT OH LOOK THEY’RE GOING TO FUMBLE IT RIGHT BACK TO THE PACKERS! Tell me that wasn’t your thought? Terrance Newman picked up up and rolled to the end zone. Bengals win 34-30, and again the defense held on late. To me, this was one of the signature wins of week three. Andy Dalton was solid – he outplayed Aaron Rodgers – and went 20 of 28 for 235 yards and 2 TD’s with only 1 INT. A rating over 100. Most importantly he has beaten the Packers and Steelers in back to back weeks.

*I don’t see the big deal about the Packers. I’m just not that impressed. Sure they will have weeks like last week where Rodgers plays a perfect game and beats you. But overall they aren’t that scary. Paper champion defense that can be scored upon. Have to wonder if they’ll ever find it again under Mike McCarthy.

*And while I’m on the topic of over-rated: Carson Palmer. I have to say it, because I feel like some people actually think this washed up guy can play a little. He can’t. Maybe people don’t realize it because he’s been in the two abyss franchises of the NFL the past two years. But the guy is clearly holding a job in places that teams should go to someone younger or a guy who can be developed. He’s just so mediocre and I don’t think he inspires people around him to want to be better. Such a Palmer day in the 31-7 loss to the Saints: 18 for 35, 187 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions. He’ll take his big check and head home, I’m sure.

*Tyrann Mathieu is well on his way to being a star. He had another huge sunday with an interception and ten tackles today. He needs in my fantasy lineup.

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*I feel horrible for my in-laws, and Tom Coughlin (who just lost his brother). I feel bad for Eli. But I am happy for Cam Newton who had a really big day against the Giants in Charlotte. Carolina wins 38-0, and Cam throws for 223 on 15 of 27 including touchdowns to Brandon LaFell (2) and a beautiful bomb to Teddy Ginn Jr.

The Panthers defense looks absolutely nasty. They sacked Eli Manning seven times today, including three from Greg Hardy. News shook out shortly after the game that Ron Rivera was safe for the year. The Panthers have a real chance after their week four bye week to get on a roll, their next four opponents are very manageable before starting a brutal part of their schedule.

It was great to see Cam Newton have success today. Right here if you ever want to see the highlights.

*Brian Hoyer and the Browns get the win today in Minnesota. Jordan Cameron (three touchdowns) is going to be a semi star/pro bowl type guy. Really think that the Browns are screwing themselves for the long run by winning a game like this. They’re going nowhere with Hoyer at QB, that’s no secret. I do think he could be a good back-up (in the mold of a Kelly Holcomb) to whomever they draft in the first-round next year. But I think they’re already out of the Bridgewater sweepstakes. Their thought is they have the picks to move up to any slot but #1 overall where the Jaguars will select and they can at least get the second best QB in the draft.

*A couple more losses, and RG3 is going to wilt under the hot lights of the post game press conferences. I am telling you, the guy is not going to handle this losing well. It’s his turn to crash around in the waves a little bit. [Big win for the Lions today in D.C.]

*The Seattle Seahawks are the best team in football right now. I really like Russell Wilson, too. He had four touchdowns today, and the game ended up about like I thought it would; 45-17 Seahawks over the Jaguars, who are the most worthless watch in the NFL. I wish they would go ahead and move to L.A. so people would care about them again. I do want to make a point to start watching Seattle more often while Wilson is still young however.

*The crowning game of the day, you think I would forget? My Colts STUN the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco! I am going to have a huge, full, elongated post on the subject tomorrow. I am really happy for Luck and the Colts who are now 3-1 and have a date with the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Andrew Luck is the perfect QB.

*I watched LT: Life & Times of Lawrence Taylor last night on Showtime. It was really good. I don’t think there is anything closer to L.T. in today’s game than Aldon Smith, literally. Smith said he would be entering rehab after playing in the game today.

*The Steelers are really bad. I can’t wait to see Mike Tomlin’s presser after this one if anything close to this Bears 24-3 lead holds up.

*Finally got back in the gym today. I really hope to keep this going. 30 minutes on the elliptical, and lifted my chest. Helps break up the morning before football comes on.

It’s Sunday

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Happy Sunday all.

Today we’ve got a good early slate. My wife’s Giants take on the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. It could be Ron Rivera’s job if he doesn’t win today the rumor has it. Also the Bengals play host to the Packers in Cincinnati in what could end up being a shootout.

The late slate has my Colts going out to San Francisco in the national game – Andrew Luck’s return to the bay area and Trent Richardson’s first game as a Colt. It’s going to be a great, action-packed Sunday of football. God bless everyone.

I love this so much: