Category: Football


By:  Jason “Big J” Allen

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

This is going to be fun, especially since I live OTP (Outside the Perimeter) in Atlanta.  We all can see that Hotlanta has been very Luke Warm, and Matty Ice has melted away this year behind a terrible line.  Everything that could go wrong for the Red and Black has, and now all the ATL is hoping the Dirty Birds “Rise UP!!!” or nose dive into oblivion.  Now I figured the Falcons wouldn’t make the playoffs I wrote that in the NFC Predictions (granted I had the Steelers in the Superbowl vs. Niners, and I thought the Bucs would be better, so what the heck do I know.) I just didn’t foresee them being this bad.  Well I guess I’m transforming into Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, or should I say turn into Al Borland, because if you ever watched Tool Time (Home Improvement) you know Tim could never fix anything.  Either way I’m here to tell the world “How to Fix The Atlanta Falcons”.

Speaking of Tool Time, I really could go for Pam Anderson helping me write this article.  Sorry I take that back, I’m a Married Man now.  Anyway let’s get to it:

1.  Jonathon Martin-  I know everybody just let their jaws hit the floor, but Atlanta needs Offensive Line help badly.  BADLY! even to the point that if the Dolphins release Martin, or Richie Incognito they need to jump through the hoop of fire to pick either one of them up (honestly you hope for Incognito he is a better lineman, but maybe a bigot).  If Martin is available they should give him a try, just to see if he will want to prove the world wrong and show that he can be tough and you don’t need to N-Bomb him or threaten his family on voice mails (for the record who leaves messages anymore, text harassment is the new wave).

2.  Get the team off the trainers table.  These Falcons have got to get healthy and get Roddy White, and Weatherspoon back.  They need these guys to help contribute to the team.  The injury bug has ran through the team and no one is knocking on the door to save the day, so the first needs to be the last and Roddy White needs to become the number WR he used to be.

3.  Find a way to get after the Quarterback.  I would be having FA try outs for any pass rushers that would/could at least breathe on an opposing QB.  The Falcons need to generate some kind of pass rush, and honestly Mike Nolan should start taking blitz schemes from teams like New Orleans, New York Jets, and other teams that don’t have dominate pass rushers ( no disrespect to Mo Wilkerson, cause he is a beast!).  I know the best pass rush is rushing 4 and dropping 7, but the Falcons actually have really good corners, rookies or not, they do a decent job in man to man and zone coverage.  So Nolan’s main objective is Quarterback harassment.  Throw the book at the teams every week, make the Gritz Blitz Deluxe at least if you don’t win you could possibly sell some merchandise.

4.  Change the Offense back to the early Matt Ryan days.  Go back to basics and run the ball, even if it is not effective, it will keep teams honest.  Actually when the Falcons run to the right side of the line they are averaging 4.4yds a carry, and 3.5yds running up the middle.  So stay away from the left side, but run there to keep teams honest.  Also get back to the WR, TE, and RB screen game to slow down opposing teams pass rush.  When you have a sub par line you have to do anything in your power to protect your QB so getting the ball out quickly and confusing the defenses so they can’t tee off on Matt Ryan.  Screens, Draws, shuffle passes, misdirection runs, and counters.  Sometimes you will have to frustrate the fan base and run on 3rd and longs.  The point of the offense should become no MISTAKES!!!  No 7 turnovers in 2 weeks!  Allow your defense and playing the field position game help you keep the games close and then let Matty Ice, be Matty Ice with clutch plays down the stretch to win games.  Tony Dungy once said you can win 10 games a year if you don’t beat yourself with turnovers.

5.  Maybe the fans want the high draft pick.  Maybe tanking this season will help for the future?  You needed pass rush help and yet the Falcons drafted 2 corners last draft (which I said was dumb), and you brought in a has-been Usi who has done nothing, so cut him at the end of the season.  Let Roddy White go unless he wants to take a home town discount (doubt it because I know he doesn’t tip well at restaurants).  In the draft use early picks on pass rushers and O-Linemen, and use late picks on a running back, and wide receiver.  Build the team around Julio Jones, and Matt Ryan.

 

Follow me @UnsportsMenBigJ  Jason “Big J” Allen

 

Written By:

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

Everybody in the NFL has been making a big fuss over the NFL coming out and saying if no one volunteers for “Hard Knocks” the league will pick a team.  Honestly I think that is a terrific idea!  As much as we (not me I love him) hate on Roger Goodell, he always seems to be on the right path.  I think he should eliminate volunteers and choose the team every year.

First off everyone needs to know what qualifies or disqualifies you from being on “Hard Knocks”:

1.  You have to missed the playoffs at least two weeks in a row to be on the show.

2.  If you have participated in “Hard Knocks” in the last 10 years you are no longer eligible

3.  Or if you just got a new coach you can’t participate.

Now that you have the rules down, I’m all for the choosing of the team without volunteers, why you ask?  Imagine when/if the Eagles don’t make the playoffs next year Goodell should choose the Eagles.  This way we can see all this “Speed Read” Offense.  We can see this new way of training, conditioning, and eating that keeps his team “FRESH”.  We get to see an aging Mike Vick try to hang out to whatever is left.  Compelling right?  Not to mention other characters like Riley “I will call you a Ninja” Cooper.

How about in the near future when Brady is starting to become washed up and the Patriots happen to miss the playoffs for two years, we get to see the Sith Lord himself, Bill Belichick, operate and work hard to build one more winning team for Brady to lead.  We get to see an old Ben Kenobi-type Brady still weaving his magic.  We can see Brady prepares with the chip still on his shoulder from draft day.  Can you even picture this?  I’m getting excited with the possibilities.

Hell, why stop at choosing the teams, I feel like Goodell should mandate that the Jaguars take Tebow and then make them do “Hard Knocks”.  Can you imagine all the fun it will be to see the acclaimed Terrible Tebow practices.  Also we get to see the Wide Receivers bite their lips, because Tebow is their teammate and he loves God and you never bash a man of faith (unless he touches little boys).

Hopefully you are starting to see the awesomeness of the NFL/Goodell just picking the darn team and letting us enjoy.  Right now if nothing changes (i.e. head coach) with all the dysfunction going on in Tampa Bay, they would be delicious TV.  We might actually see a team revolt.  I can see it now the  team comes out to practice with pitchforks and torches to run Greg Schiano out of town as if he was Frankenstein’s Monster (the name Frankenstein was the Doctor not the Monster).

Earlier in the last season of Hard Knocks  “Cool Reece” wrote about how terrible the show was, but I think the choosing of the team would help make the show exciting again.  You can just choose the biggest trainwreck, most compelling star, or coach out of a bunch of losers.  These are just my thoughts tell me what you think, by leaving a comment or tweeting me @UnSportsmenBigJ.

Jason “Big J” Allen

Written By:

Raymond "Big Play" Miller @bprunsportsmenm

Raymond “Big Play” Miller
@bprunsportsmenm

The Broncos, Saints, Chiefs remain undefeated; Seattle and San Francisco are Super Bowl contenders.  However, the one team we’re not talking about are the 4-1 Colts.  Now look I’m not crowning these guys (granted last year JD crowned Andrew Luck in his article); man I didn’t even pick them to make the playoffs.

The Colts remind me of the 2011 49ers, a physical, smash mouth team on both sides of the ball. Now those 49ers made it to the NFC Championship game, and yes I know the talent isn’t comparable but the mindset is.  The acquisition of Trent Richardson made a statement to the league.  That statement is, while we have an upcoming star in Luck we still believe in being physical.  This style works for Luck, because it’s reminiscent to how Luck’s Stanford teams played (enter Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamiliton).

Fans of Indianapolis have embraced the new style of play.  This style is much different than it was when The Sheriff (Peyton Manning) ran the city, who will be making his return in a few weeks.  Funny thing is that this style fits the image of the city better anyway.  Peyton had the team as more finesse team, where this Colts team is physical, grind it out, hard worker, Blue Collar attitude like the city.  The Colts have had victories over two extremely physical teams (if not the most physical teams in the league).  They just totally beat up the 49ers and outlasted the Seahawks (finally the Seahawks trash talk caught up with them), and with the way the Texans aka Matt Schaub, (who are number 1 in pass Defense and my pick to make the SB) are playing the possibility of them winning the division doesn’t seem so farfetched.  Could a Super Bowl appearance be on the horizon?  I don’t know, but the style they play can be played any and every where, the rest of NFL you have just been put on notice!

Raymond “Big Play” Miller

Thank you for reading and follow me @bprunsportsmenm

Matt Schaub: How can you FIX him!

Written By:

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

“If it aint broke don’t fix it” is a saying we have heard over and over again.  What happens when your QB is broke?  And everything looks like it can’t be fixed?  Some are saying to bench Schaub, because T.J. Yates has own a playoff game.  Some are saying that Schaub is done and is having a career fall off similar to Jake Delhomme or Marc Bulger.  Regardless I have taken up the mission of “How do you fix Matt Schaub!”

This fix up job maybe the Wreck-It Ralph of all repair jobs I have tackled (I have written about Cam Newton last year, and the 49ers a week ago).  Majority of the time you look at what made the player successful and you try and see if the team is still doing that same thing.  In Matt Schaub’s case the Texans are still doing the same things for the most part.  Still running the ball effectively, still living in the play action pass world, and still using their athletic TE to dominate the middle of the field.  So what is hurting Schaub then?  One thing that needs to be fixed for Schaub to get back to being successful is limiting his reads.  I think he has been given more reads to make in the passing game, which accounts for indecisiveness and interceptions.  Schaub has always been a 2 read guy, basically Andre Johnson and then the TE and if nothing is there dump down to the RB.  Now with Hopkins showing he has amazing ability and seeing more two TE sets with an underrated Graham at TE, Schaub isn’t getting an easy read that he is used to.  Get him back to making the simple read and you will see the change.

Another issue that no one is talking about is the talent around Schaub.  Now pound for pound he has better talent then most QBs on paper, but really look at the talent for a second.  Andre Johnson is not the same player he used to be after all the injuries and years.  I know that’s blasphemy and majority of people have stopped reading at this point.  Yet, would the Johnson of 3 or 4 years ago been able to be covered well by Tramaine Brock?  A third stringer for the 49ers?  Don’t give me the Schaub argument because if you watched that game Johnson was getting no separation.  Look at Arian Foster, a few times during these games we expect to see that 5th gear burst through the hole that would ultimately result in 6 just is not there.  Ben Tate has been inconsistent at best in games, to the point that a not all there Arian Foster is still a way better back.  Some of the big plays that the Texans used to have protected the flaws of Schaub.  How easy was it for Schaub for the last 3 years to throw a screen and Foster took it to the house, now think about the last time you have seen the Texans even run a screen play at all?  They do have youth in Hopkins, Graham, and we know that the zone blocking scheme can make any RB look good (ask Mike Bell, Tatum Bell, Mike Anderson, and may I dare say Alfred Morris) so picking up a younger, explosive RB shouldn’t be an issue.

Look I’m not saying that Matt Schaub is not the problem, I’m just saying its fixable and can be turned around.  Next week give him the bootleg easy read throws to warm him up.  Have him air it out down field a few times in jump ball situations for Johnson or Hopkins.  Just start building his confidence.  Every game minus the Baltimore game no team has been able to totally shut down the run game, so why not have a whole drive of running the ball with a shovel, screen, or swing pass in it?  These things build your QB mentally, with the loss of Daniels for a while it will hurt, but go back to the mantra of a young QB’s best friend is his TE.  Now Schaub isn’t young by any means, but you have to repair his psyche just like a young QB.  If all else fails we can at least make fun of Travis Johnson who claimed Matt Schaub could take a team over the hump and Tony Romo couldn’t.

Jason “Big J” Allen

Follow me @UnsportsmenBigJ and tell me why I’m right or wrong

 

By: Maurice “Cool Reece” Thomas

Follow Me @CR_Unsportsmen

How can the NFC East be one of the most talented divisions, but also be one of the most inconsistent divisions in the NFL? The way these teams play reminds me of some girls I’ve tried to date or sleep with, but always ended up a tragedy.  I know your thinking football and dating don’t mix right?  You’re absolutely right!

Its not like I sit around thinking about girls while watching football.  But let me explain why I compare the two.  BTW No-Homo.  Season after season your never know what team is going to win the division, its always a crap shoot.  They either tease you into thinking they can have a good chance at winning a Superbowl.  In fact a certain team won a Superbowl then the next few years have been completely horrible.  Or they hype you up thinking you’ve found, “THE ONE”, the player that will get you to the promise land, but all you find is a disappointing season.  The NFC East is hard to predict just like a WOMAN!

Fellas, have you ever dated a women that was fine as hell and you think you can get with her?  She throwing that Miley Cyrus at you, but once the opportunity presents its self she ends up being a teaser.  Kinda like the way the EAGLES play.  They excite fans with their speed and fast pace offense, but its a tease.  Because they will find a way to lose, either they are going to turn the ball over, play bad defense, or just not score enough points.


How about a girl you’ve slept with but, in the back of your mind you know she isn’t marriage material.  She has potential, but lacking in other areas.  The GIANTS of course.  They have a proven 2 time Superbowl winning Quarterback and a possible Hall Of Fame coach but this season they start 0-4.

Or a chick that the first few times you see her she was fine ass hell, but the next few times you see her she is suspect. On Seinfield they called this the “Two-Face”.  This is the REDSKINS.  You saw her at the club looking amazing and then you see her later with no make-up, without her wig, or weave and looks like a Dumpster Fire.  Also she forgot to use Dove in certain areas. 

What about that “All-American Girl” (blonde of course).  She is the one you’ve tried to date in High School, but never could get it because you were in the “friend zone”.  These are the COWBOYS. On paper the relationship would be great.  You get along as friends, but can never figure out why you can’t take it to the next level with her, or “Unfriend Zone” yourself.  Then when you get close she starts to have meltdowns and has problems upstairs (yea I’m talking about Jerry Jones).  Just another tease. (Video is Explicit)

Bottom line is its all about expectations. These NFC East teams just like some women are expected to be a winner. These teams have strong potential, but they don’t bring it every Sunday.  The NFC East has a total of 4 wins. Really!?  I guess just like in life you have to go through the bad to hopefully get to the good.

Maurice "Cool Reece" Thomas @CR_UnSportsMen

Maurice “Cool Reece” Thomas
@CR_UnSportsMen

What type of Woman is your team?  Twitter me or leave a comment

By:  Raymond “Big Play” Miller

Follow Me @bprunsportsmenm

So while I was watching Peyton Manning, on Monday night, carve up Oakland’s D as if they were Florida International.  I took a look at his numbers so far this season 12tds, 0ints, almost 1,200 yds and a crazy QB rating and thought to myself “man how will Peyton blow it this time”.  If you think it sounds harsh tell me why?  Peyton has made defenses look softer than Charmin and made coverage look weaker than a Chad Pennington hail mary; yet, his playoff record leaves much to be desired at 9-11.  Big Ben and Eli have combined for 4 SB but yet are currently a combined 0-6, and both never seem to perform great in the regular season, which has to make Peyton just throw up sometimes.  So let’s see…  the Broncos go 13-3 or 14-2 and will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs right!  We already know that no starting QB has won a SB with two different teams.  So which scenario that we have seen before dooms Peyton this time:

1.  Weather: Peyton just can’t get a good grip on the ball, which makes him inaccurate, see the Ravens playoff game last year.

2.  Raheem Moore/Defensive Letdown: does what Raheem Moore does and reads a play, or reads a pass as well as Stevie Wonder reads books.

3.  Peyton blames someone: the O-Line on some communication issues (sorry Jeff Saturday), WR running poor or sloppy routes (sorry Reggie Wayne), Game plan was too conservative (Dungy, and Fox).

4.  Bad refereeing:  A few bad calls or no calls disrupt the offense or cost the team the victory (They won’t call holding every play, right Belichick).

Look Peyton is one of the best QB’s I’ve ever seen play the game, and will go down as the Greatest Regular Season QB f All-time.  Peyton is way to good to be so average in the playoffs, so we will sit back and enjoy this great regular season, because we know doom and gloom awaits in the Postseason.

Raymond "Big Play" Miller @bprunsportsmenm

Raymond “Big Play” Miller
@bprunsportsmenm

By:  Jason “Big J” Allen

Follow me @UnSportsMenBigJ

A lot has been made of the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.  A lot of the MAKING has been in my face.  Since the two game losing streak I have heard it from every NFL fan not a 49er.  All the return trash talk is my fault, because last year I told everybody how great the 49ers are.  How NO-BODY! Has it better than us.  How our parts are the best in the league.  Also how we have the 2nd best coach in the league, I used to make jokes that if Belichick was Emperor Palpatine, Harbaugh was Yoda.  Now the if I asked “Who has it better than us?” you can reply “3/4th of the LEAGUE!”  So what’s wrong and how do we fix the Gold Rush?

Problem:  Rushing game- It starts just with that, the RUSH-ing game.  Now I know its very easy to say run the ball, better or more efficiently, but have you read anything on this site?  In three games the 49ers have rushed for 305 yards, that’s about 101.5 a game.  Last year by Week 3 the 49ers had rushed for 423, that’s about 141yds a game.  So you can see that the rushing total and average yards vastly different.  The thing is that the 49ers have not rushed the ball less (77 attempts in ’13 and 79 attempts in ’12) its the effectiveness of the running game.

Solution:  Harbaugh and the 49ers need to get back to the creative running game that was on display when Alex Smith was under center.  They ran a power heavy run style with a West Coast twist.  Remember the sets of Far and Near, off set I-Formations, running the same play from numerous formations, and using play action out of run sets to open up the pass?  Well where has that been in the first 3 games?  NO-WHERE! Coaching staff has fallen in love with Kaepernick arm strength and the read option.  The 49ers got an up close and personal mirror image of the team they used to be last week with the Colts. We haven’t seen that team since the 2012 regular season.  Get back to the creativity of the running game.

Problem: Passing game-  Let it be said “Seattle Seahawks Exposed the 49ers passing game!”  They showed the world that NO-BODY on our team except Davis and Boldin can beat man coverage.  So now we will see every game; every team run, man to man, bump and run coverage, with a single safety high, with a cover 1 scheme.  Thus putting everyone else in the box to stop the run.

Solution:  Before the break out of Kaepernick last year, the word was the 49ers had no one on the outside that could win in man to man situations.  So everybody game planned to just stop Vernon Davis.  Crabtree was hindered by Alex Smith so even if he did win man to man match ups Smith was reluctant to the throw the ball his way (sorry Dwayne Bowe it will be a long season).  So to help that situation, you saw overloaded line formations showing run, but running play action to expose Corners peeking and move safeties.  Also the bunch formation makes it hard to bump and run and sometimes confuses corners on who to pick up.  Also putting one WR (preferably Davis or Boldin)  on one side by themselves, with 3 WR on the other side to promote an one on one situation, and if the safety cheats to help you have 3 WR on the other side getting free releases on one on one opportunities.

Problem:  Defense is not creating turnovers-  The 49er Defense has created a lot of turnover and if has been with its personnel.  Losing NT and safety to free agency, and players to injury, has changed what the defense used to be.  This is no excuse, because every team has roster turnover.  But the outlook is no better going forward, with Aldon #WishHeWasMoreCharlesHaley Smith seeking help, Patrick Willis nursing a leg/groin/hamstring injury, Nnmadi Asomugha injur…  Honestly he has been playing like a bum and I can’t take myself serious writing him as a key loss, and Eric Reid battling through being a rookie in the National Football League.

Solution:  Get back to the fundamentals, with all the changes the biggest concern is the lack of tackling.  In both the Seattle and Indianapolis losses terrible tackling plagued the team.  The 49ers were one of the most sure tackling defenses in the league.  Look at Reggie Wayne break like 3 to 4 tackles on a 3rd and long last week to see how the tackling has gotten terrible.  If we start tackling better and getting our offense more chances to score which forces our opponents offense to press and that creates…  TurnOvers!

Problem:  Kaepernick turnovers-  It’s plain and simple, WR can’t get open, and the running game hasn’t protected him.  So naturally Kaepernick is forced to try and make plays by relying to heavily on his arm strength.  Watching the game you can see a lot of balls get away from him, that is usually of symptom of bad mechanics.  His bad mechanics are coming from indecisiveness.  When the timer in his head goes off to get rid of the ball he can’t because no one is open so now he is in a fire drill (when all players break off their routes to get open) and that creates forced passes or throws into coverage sometimes.  One thing about the Alex Smith days, Smith would take the sack and live to fight another down, with the help of the 49er defense.

Solution:  Harbaugh has committed the Cardinal Coaching sin, no not having your mistress ride on the back of your motorcycle, but falling in love with his Player’s Talent.  Ask Don Shula what one of his biggest mistakes was?  Loving Dan Marino’s arm too much that he never built the proper team around him.  Well Harbaugh has fallen in love with Kaepernick’s ability and has put a lot on him.  He has changed his offensive strategy to fit the strengths of Kaepernick, instead running his philosophy and using Kaepernick’s strengths to transcend the offense to another level.

Solution:  Just a bonus for everyone out there especially 49ers who are hitting the panic button, we will get healthier soon and see the return of Mario Manningham, Crabtree will not be the same player immediately but getting him back can help with teams keying on Boldin.  Also we might get a Marcus Lattimore appearance later in the year which could help with fresh legs.  Lets not forget the chance of a trade to help, we do have a pile of draft picks.

Basically all the 49ers ills can be fixed easily by going back to basics.  A semi conservative offense that lets the Defense keep us in games while we grind away at the competition.  Somewhere between week 10 last year til now the 49ers have slowly lost their way.  Hopefully two blow outs in a row will bring Harbaugh and Co, back on the right track.  With that being said I fully expect the 49ers to be 1-3 by next week this time, because the Rams play us tough and without Davis and Willis at least 90% I don’t think the 49ers can win it.  So while everyone is hitting the panic button next week I promise you will see a return to the elite 49ers and things being turned around.

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

Smart Governers!

Give the NFL credit, it loves its rivilaries, but never relies on them to be successful. Every 5 years we seem to get new riviliaries, but some of the Great ones never leave like this one.

jsportsblogger

Bears vs Lions

The NFL has its share of great rivalries throughout the league. Cowboys vs. Redskins. Bears vs. Packers. Browns vs. Steelers. Even recent feuds such as Ravens vs. Steelers and 49ers vs. Seahawks are starting to write their own chapters, in rivalry lore.

Perhaps the most overlooked rivalry in the NFL is one of the oldest rivalries in the history of the league. The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions have been battling each other since 1930, yet very few talk about the great rivalry it really is. Granted, it is somewhat one-sided, as the Bears hold a decided 96-65-5 advantage over the Lions. In recent times, the Bears have increased their dominance over Detroit, winning 9 out of the last 10 contests.

The two cities are no strangers to sports rivalries. The Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls had one of the most heated rivalries in NBA history during the late 1980s…

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Another week of awesome picks, I think i’m taking the Cards over the Saints though (feel like NFC WEST id BEST), and I feel its time to see old Jay Cutler creep up now especially with the Steelers backs agains the wall. I like the Giants, but when is Cam going to do something amazing for the Panthers? If any week it should be this week.

FANTASY FURNACE

Last week’s record: 3-2 Season to date: 6-4 Although we wanted to stay away from the NFC East given their total ineptitude this season,  we find ourselves with one selection from that putrid division. It’s our first Best Bet this week and we’re hopeful it will begin a winning trend this weekend.

Home team in CAPS

1. Giants over the PANTHERS- This is almost a deja vous game given that the G-Men went into Charlotte after a so-so 1-1 beginning to last season and completely overwhelmed Carolina 36-7. Fearing that they could conceivably be 0-3 after this meeting, we expect more of the same this Sunday. Several of the Panthers defensive backs are playing with some sort of handicap which will allow Eli to have his prototypical kind of game. If Ramses Barden can have a career day against Carolina last year, then imagine what a healthy Hakeem Nicks, Victor…

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