Trash Talk – The Axe Starts To Fall Edition

I’m snakebit. Am driving down the road Saturday afternoon listening to NPR’s Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me when the first crushing blow occurs. The guest is CIA head honcho Michael Hayden, and the interview is actually superb. Seriously. Then I realize the dude has a great sense of humor; another blow to my world. Now comes the clincher; Hayden is from Pittsburgh and is a lifelong diehard Steelers fan. The host asks him what he thinks of Bill Belichick secretly taping other teams (Hayden is non-plussed by this) and then asks "Well, we know the NSA has secret tapes of everything, surely you must have some of the Patriots’ practices and plays, have you ever thought about covertly sending them to the Steelers"? Hayden quips back "Naw, the Steelers don’t need to cheat to whip the Patriots!" Now, between laughing my ass off and trying to grab my phone to obligatorily call Marcy and prick her with this nugget, I nearly run off the freaking road. Then, in all the inordinate joy of relating this wondrous story to EW, I blow by a photo radar setup. Go figure. Still, it all seems worth it.

Okay, enough hilarity; time to get down to business. Three weeks left in the season, it’s go time baby. There are teams that are going to solidify their hold on a playoff position, and there are teams that are going to start falling victim to the axe. Here’s the rundown:

Steelers at Ravens: Yep, the game of the week is the Chief Spook’s Stillers against the Baltimore Not Colts. Both teams are on strong late season rolls, and they have the top two defenses in the league with Pittsburgh number one and the Ravens number two. Rookie Joe Flacco has been excellent and the Ravens are uncharacteristically scoring a lot of points. Even though the Ravens have Ray Lewis, it is really hard to go against Ben Roethlisberger. But I’m going to. Ravens win at home.

Giants at Cowboys: In Dallas, Jerry Jones has finally got the sideshow freak circus he has been angling for all these years. As Condiliar would say, "Who could have imagined?" Yeah, well, they are going to have to take time off from the carnival to play Eli and the Gents, who have a little theater going themselves. I may be bat shit crazy, but I think the ‘Boys will win.

Broncos at Panthers: Another tilt where both teams are coming on strong at the end of the year. Denver certainly has the better quarterback, but Jake Delhomme has a knack for winning, and the Panthers can flat out matriculate the ball down the field on the ground. D’Angelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are probably the best tandem RBs in the league (the Titans’ Chris Johnson and Lendale White are a real close 1A there). I think the Panthers’ defense is better than the Broncs though and Carolina wins at home.

Vikings at Cardinals: Whoo doggie, that Adrian Peterson is something. The Cardinals could have drafted him, but passed him up. Yeah, I know, how shocking; a stupid move by the Cards. Who’d a thunk it? Well, the Vikes aren’t real clean there either, they could have used a real quarterback and, strangely, thought that Tavarius Jackson was it. Oops. Creaky old gus Frerotte is hurt and is doubtful; very bad news for the Norske. More bad news: Kurt Warner isn’t hurt, and neither are Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. Cards win and send the Vikes back north worse for the wear.

Buccaneers at Falcons: Man, the Falcons have had a magical season considering the disarray they were in last year. Matt Ryan looks like the real deal and Michael "The Burner" Turner is a speedy bowling ball on wheels. The Falcons have palyed with focus, skill and heart all season, and their record shows the results. But Jeff Garcia flat out quietly wins games when it counts and the Bucs historically have the Dirty Birds’ number. They will again. Tampa Bay wins on the road.

Bills at Jets: Well the glowing promise that Brett and the Jets showed mid season has been wearing off fast lately. The wheels are getting real wobbly after a loss to the Niners last week in Frisco. But the Bills are feinting on the couch even harder; in fact, they just have not been the same since Trent Edwards conked his head against the Cards a couple of months ago. Marshawn Lynch hasn’t been running well lately either. Brett and the Jets, Jets, Jets get their mojo back and beat the Bills.

Lions at Colts: This here game is what I would call "Teh EW Special". It’s got her kittycats AND the really evil Manning brother. Let’s see here, hmmm Dan Orlovsky or Peyton? I think the Colts have a slight edge at QB. Aw, hell, the dolts have an edge everywhere and will dispatch the Lions to Oh and 14.

Rams bounce the Seahawks, Fish flip the Niners, Cheeseheads salvage a little respect and beat the sinking Jags, Marcy gets what she really wants and the Pats obliterate the Raiders, Texans have been cowboying up lately but not enough to fend off the Titans, Iggles claw the eyes out of the Brownies (and probably seal Romeo Crennel’s fate), Skins scalp the Bengals, and last, and really kind of least, the Bolts and Chiefs sputter to a 0-0 tie.

That is it for this week folks. It is getting cold out, suck up a few hot toddies, get yer swerve on and pitch some trash!

77 replies
  1. foothillsmike says:

    Well NCAA FB isn’t totally in a hiatus. Okla QB Sam Bradford was awarded the Heisman last night. So far this century OU has twice as many as anyone else. This sets up Jan 8 as a battle of Heisman recipients too. Go Sooners.

  2. BlueStateRedHead says:

    I blow by a photo radar setup.

    I first read that I blew into (and thus destroyed) a photo radar setup which I understood to be a warrentless surveillance setup a la UK CCTV.

    Bmaz, the things you do in defense of the Constitution amaze me.

    Then I took my first sip of coffee and it all became clear.
    As clear as the disastrous state of the Patriots.
    Until they get better, I have taken up learning the rudiments of the art of home improvement.

    (pimping daily kos. Home improvement thread every sat. at 9. Already saved me from making expensive unnecessary purchases.

  3. JimWhite says:

    I’d say it’s pretty scary if just listening to Hayden on the radio puts you under surveillance on the road.

    Sorry, Mike. Now Tebow just has more incentive to win the game. C’mon, can there really be a league with that many QB’s with unnatural numbers (Bradford, McCoy, Harrell, Daniel, Riesing and more), or is it just possible that defenses in the Big 12 suck? We’ll find out on the 8th, and I think the Gators will find it pretty easy going against the OU defense. The Gator defense is pretty good, too, so it could just get ugly. [The Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2 will let us test these ideas when Mississippi takes on Texas Tech. Tech is a 5 and half point fave right now, but I look for Ole Miss to win pretty big. Gators are a three point pick but I say it’s going to be quite a bit more than that.]

    • randiego says:

      Hmm, lots of smack talk about the Big 12 offenses and defenses. Those offenses all look pretty innovative to me, and OU and Texas get some of the best athletes in the country, so I’m not buying the weak defenses thing. I think the conference was just strong this year.

      Tech is a 5 and half point fave right now, but I look for Ole Miss to win pretty big. Gators are a three point pick but I say it’s going to be quite a bit more than that.

      damn bro, what you been smoking – ya got to share man!

      That 5.5 will be going up, not down. Texas will crush OSU. OU will beat Florida. Tech will handle Ole Miss easily. USC will embarrass JoePa.

  4. emptywheel says:

    Incidentally, I think that Bucs Falcons came is the game of the day, as the NFC South home team STILL is unbeaten in intra-division games and a Falcon win and Boys win would give you a three way tie for the NFC wildcard.

    Question is, will Ronde look as teeny and ineffectual in this game as he looked last week?

    • bmaz says:

      Ruh roh, I detect another brothers grudge. This time not the Maninnings, but other brothers. As in Barbers. Tiki sucks too you know.

      By the way EW and JimWhite, on ESPN this morning, Chris Mortenson said he think the Pats are the kind of team that is going to draft Tebow for his smarts, versatility and toughness. I think he is on to something there.

      • emptywheel says:

        Yeah, but with Tiki’s fat ass (he’s cute, but he’s got sprinter’s butt, which isn’t really that attractive), he wouldn’t be bouncing off his own tackles like Ronde was last week.

        I’m a tackler with a bit of sprinter’s butt myself, you know, and I know how not to bounce off of all but the best runners.

      • JimWhite says:

        By the way EW and JimWhite, on ESPN this morning, Chris Mortenson said he think the Pats are the kind of team that is going to draft Tebow for his smarts, versatility and toughness. I think he is on to something there.

        Coupla things here:

        1. I don’t see how Tebow could ever go over to the dark side and play for a team that cheats.

        2. Definitely on the smarts. I’m thinking there’s a good chance Tebow will call the plays in the championship game. Nobody spends more time in the film room and the offensive coordinator just took the Mississippi State job.

        3. Also on the versatility and toughness. In the SEC championship game, if that last drive for Alabama had gotten close to the goal line, I think they should have put him in at linebacker. He would have blown up the play at the line of scrimmage out of pure effort. I don’t think the situation will come up in Miami, it’s not going to be very close.

        Also, I’m thinking he might be another Nolan Cromwell (the Jayhawk QB in my undergrad days) and wind up in the NFL as a safety. He understands offense, is smart, quick and can pack a hell of a wallop. He’d be big for a safety, but do you think Moss or T.O. would want to run a route across the middle in front of him?

        Okay, yeah, three is more than a couple…

  5. freepatriot says:

    can there really be a league with that many QB’s with unnatural numbers (Bradford, McCoy, Harrell, Daniel, Riesing and more), or is it just possible that defenses in the Big 12 suck?

    maybe the big 12’s defense DOES suck

    but florida ain’t playing the big 12, they’re playin Oklahoma

    we’re the ones who score 60 points a game

    not the guys who give up 60 points a game

    didn’t think of it that way, did ya ???

    texas got 45 on us, but they had some help from the refs

    tebow’s gonna run into a Pro Style defense for once

    I don’t think he’ll survive



  6. radiofreewill says:

    freepatriot – you guys just bring all you got: your overalls, that obnoxious schooner and Switzer, too!

    And, you know it’s a year of change when the Downtown Athletic Club gives your boy-wonder the Heisman for shredding secondaries full of synchronized swimmers!

    Gators draw the line on the Sooners, 52-10.

  7. JohnJ says:


    Be Bop Delux!!

    Wow, I didn’t think anyone else knew about Bill Nelson!

    Watch some of his videos, he puts the “top” guitarists to shame with so little effort. I had every one of their albums.

    Are you sure you weren’t one of those guys I passed to like one of Jerry Fords kids? (Couldn’t think of why there were these guys in suits were lined up along the walls at this party).

    How about “the Tubes” next.

    • bmaz says:

      Heh, I saw Nelson and Be Bop Deluxe a couple of times long ago. Fucking great. And the Tubes?? Heh heh, I have seen them about 10-12 times. They are from Scottsdale and I have partied with them a couple of times (well, two of them anyway, Fee Waybill and Sputnik Spooner).

  8. whitewidow says:

    The Be-Bop made my day.

    And JohnJ, I still have every one of their albums, and a couple years back I bought myself a nice new turntable, and listen to vinyl all the time. I was surprised at how much new stuff is actually still coming out on vinyl.

    My next plan is to start transferring from vinyl to computer for archiving purposes, and so I can listen to some of my old junk on the ipod.

  9. Neil says:

    TB v ATL _____NFC south #2 v #3
    WAS v CIN
    TEN v HOU ___AFC South #1 v #3
    GB v JAC ____battle of the cellar dweller
    SF v MIA ____picking MIA wanting SF
    SEA v STL ___NFC West battle of the 2-11 teams
    BUF v NYJ ___picking NYJ wanting BUF
    SD v KC
    DET v IND
    MIN v ARI
    PIT v BAL _____AFC North #1 v #2, game of the week
    DEN v CAR ___8-5 v 10-3
    NE v OAK
    NYG v DAL ____NFC East #1 v #2
    CLE v PHI

    TV coverage: at 1 in Boston we get BUF @ NYJ and SF @ MIA, where NYJ and MIA are 8-5 in the AFC East in a three way tie with the Patriots. BUF is the AFC East cellar dweller. Go cellar dweller.

    NE arguably has the toughest game of AFC East contenders as they are on the road and the other two are at home, Cassell is contending with having lost his dad, NE is 1-6 in Oakland, NE linebacking corps is in rough shape playing against a big fast running back with a wide open running attack, and a QB with arm strength that even Belechick finds impressive.

    (Now is the time when I set low expectations for my Patriots. Later, if they win, is when I’ll start trashtalking their rivals.)

  10. PJEvans says:

    Ah, Garcia. Even though the Niners didn’t treat him well, he still demonstrates their taste in quality QBs.

      • emptywheel says:

        Oh, did you think I was talking about football?!?!?!

        No, silly, I was talking about everything else going on in MI this year. Silly me, I must have thought I was in an auto industry thread.

        • bmaz says:

          Why not have Corker or Shelby quarterback, coach, or better yet be general manager of teh Lions? Hey, not like the results could be worse….

          Might be better than Rich Rod too.

        • freepatriot says:

          looked like one for Big Blue, One for MSU, and two for the lions

          cheer up though, even the mighty SOONERS had to spend a few years in the wilderness, and then they returned to greatness

          but your team had to be a great football power at some point in the past for this to be possible (sorry bmaz)

          New England is up by 21 with 3:30 in the first quarter, and the fans in oakland are already tired of booing the tRaiders, time to clean the garage or somtin …

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah Jeebus.

      If the Jets are gonna win with a come from behind victory, isn’t there some kind of union requirement that Favre lead it?

      And, true to form, the kitties were in it against the Peytons. And then lost it.

      • Neil says:

        What was Losman doing getting caught from behind on a roll out pass on 2-5? He should have thrown it away when the clock in his head got to 4.5 [email protected]$%er. They had 3rd down and they had a punt team that could have put the game in the hands of the BUF defense. Kick it on fourth down and give Favre his chance. Now THAT’s a lose I could stomach.

        Kitties beating the Colts would have made their season.

        Congrats Randiego. A fine victory to be sure. Without it, I would be 5-4 in the early games and my handicapping would resemble random luck more than informed insightfullness.

        • freepatriot says:

          What was Losman doing getting caught from behind on a roll out pass on 2-5

          that’s a designed play. It’s Losman’s second option on every snap

          trent edwards is a guy who is so slow he looks like he’s runing the “Statue of Something” play every time he touches the ball, and Losman lost the job to edwards, so how mobile could edwards be ???

          In Chicago, they got a play in the book where the QB takes three steps back, trips and drops the ball. It must be in the playbook. I’ve seen Chicago’s QB’s run it six or eight times a year for the past 20 years

          Oh, sorry, I thought you wanted details …

            • randiego says:

              It was excellent, a great tonic on a bad day (that was the day that the New Confederacy tried to kill the UAW). He didn’t play any Rage or Audioslave – except an acoustic version of Guerrilla Radio that was quite good – it was all his solo stuff.

              He’s a virtuoso, it was really an exceptional show. He really understands the history of protest music as well. He played a rousing version of This Land Is Your Land that contained the verses that most have never heard.

              The show was a benefit for a local homeless shelter, and the IWW (otherwise known as The Wobblies) had a table there as well. (Who knew they still existed?)

  11. Neil says:

    SF has the ball with less than 2 minutes, down by 5, on the MIA 22!

    Look at that! DET is without 7 in the 4th Q.

  12. Neil says:

    Neither of the Pats two co-division leaders cooperated today with a lose but both made it interesting. The pressure is on in Oakland. Do the Pats have the stuff winners are made of… today?

  13. 4jkb4ia says:

    I am flat-out disgusted. The Rams played all of one half and the difference in the game was a stupid fumble.

  14. Neil says:

    TB v ATL +1
    WAS v CIN -1
    TEN v HOU -1
    GB v JAC +1
    SF v MIA +1
    SEA v STL -1
    BUF v NYJ+1
    SD v KC +1
    DET v IND +1 

    6-3 in the early games thanks to SD which comes from behind with a Rivers’ TD strike! and PAT. Up by 1 with :01 left.

    Pats off to a good start with field position. They’re moving the ball too. TD pass 7-0.

  15. freepatriot says:

    if ya like kick returns for touchdowns, you’re missing a hell of a game if you don’t have the NE-oakland game on

  16. Neil says:

    If I were NE or OAK special team coach,I’d have my kicker aim for the corner near the flag (either) to destroy the timing of the return team.

    Will Miller or Hobbs get another one today?

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah, I was going to ask you, whether they were practicing losing a game to their likely opponent in the playoffs?

      But then I realized that’s wrong–they’re unlikely to get past whatever wild card team they get sent from the NFC South.

      • emptywheel says:

        If you thikn about it, this game may well set up the two worst Division winners for their eventual loss to wildcard teams. What with the Vikes believing they’re a passing team and the Cards getting into their old ways.

    • Petrocelli says:

      Like the Packers are finding out … it’s not just how you start the season, it’s how you finish …

  17. randiego says:

    The Bolts are 6-8, and improbably still in the playoff hunt. It’s a weird feeling considering the season was lost weeks ago. A lot of people want to blame Norv Turner for that, but it’s really very simple: Line Play – the inability to rush the passer and get the Defense off the field, and the inability to both run and pass block to extend drives. That ain’t Norv’s fault – that’s a personnel issue.

    Denver is down 20 in the 4th. Bolts live another week.

    • bmaz says:

      Dude, you been drinking too much. Teh Bolts are nowhere near the playoff hunt and this, like the real Cards having reared their ugly head, is the real Norval Turner brand of mediocre football.

      • randiego says:

        Ahem. I just re-read, I DID say “playoff hunt”. I stand corrected, they are only NOT mathematically eliminated, not “In the hunt”.


        • bmaz says:

          Yes yes, much improved. The west division of both conferences are simply pathetic this year. EW is right, they are fodder for the wild card teams.

  18. randiego says:

    Hey, easy now… I said improbably, and yes they are mathematically alive, are they not? Please note that I did not say they are playoff caliber, just still alive.

    Now, I never ever thought they would win their last 3, and Denver would lose their last 3… but it’s certainly possible. Denver would need to lose to Buffalo next week at home, not a likely outcome.

    I’m no big Norv fan, but if he is so bad, how did a crippled team fight their way into the AFC Championship game last year? Schottenheimer never could…

    • freepatriot says:

      how did a crippled team fight their way into the AFC Championship game last year? Schottenheimer never could…

      point of order

      any shotty coached team is automatically considered “crippled” just by shotty’s presence

      • randiego says:

        any shotty coached team is automatically considered “crippled” just by shotty’s presence

        Can’t disagree with that. I will say that the offenses under Cam Cameron were more innovative, less predictable than the vanilla stuff that Norv is running.

  19. bmaz says:

    That 5.5 will be going up, not down. Texas will crush OSU. OU will beat Florida. Tech will handle Ole Miss easily. USC will embarrass JoePa.

    I think that is all correct, except the title game is a pick em between Fla. and OK

  20. freepatriot says:

    10 & 4 ???

    no pick on the thursday game ???

    4 losses gets ya a second place tie in our pool

    Cleveland Philly is not a factor (nobody picked Cleveland)

    youse a pretty good picker …

    and people should listen to Randiego, he speaks from experience

    he’s seen what Oklahoma’s defense is capable of

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