Spring Training Divisional Trash

It appears that bmaz is still grieving the Packers’ loss last week and so has outsourced trash to me. As a courtesy to him, I’ll refrain from loading up the Brady pron until around 1PM, at which point it will become too late. Settle in for 4 games played at or close to 40 degrees (though Gillette will be a sloppy mess), spring training for Divisional round football!

Rivers’ Bolo v. Peyton’s Head

They say this weekend marks the changing of the guard, with 4 elite QBs of old and 4 elite QBs of the future. But the Bolts-Broncos matchup pits an elite QB who has never reached that elite pinnacle, Philip Rivers, against the best QB of this generation, Peyton Manning.

Only, there’s that troubling little problem that Peyton’s own head tends to beat him once he gets to the playoffs.

Which is one of two reasons I think the Chargers will repeat their feat of several weeks ago, beating the Broncos at home. The other is Rivers has really grown comfortable with letting others carry the ball (which is how they beat the Broncos the last time).

Deion Branch Comes Home

Boy did I laugh my ass off when the Colts announced, earlier this week, that they had signed Deion Branch. That’s the kind of thing BillBel would do, after all, hiring a longtime player from the opposing team just in time to learn signals and other neat details. But to do it with one of Brady’s long-time partners? Priceless, even if it only serves as a head game.

I’ve been predicting for weeks the Pats would make it to the playoffs yet again but go nowhere, and I stand by that. I think three things will deliver that: Tom Brady lying on his ass under Robert Mathis, Andrew Luck running through the holes where the Pats D used to be, and Adam Vinatieri kicking a game winner from a very sloppy field as time expires because why not? I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

The Young Guns

I think the Panthers are right to complain that commentators are underestimating them. They are a great team this year, with the D that has already proven they can hold the Niners — and especially Kap — in check.

But that was when Steve Smith was healthy and Michael Crabtree was out. He’s back and hurting people. Now that the Panthers will have to account for him, it’ll free up Anquan Boldin to do what he always seems to do in playoffs.

Who Says “Short” Men Can’t Throw?

This game features the most poignant matchup, as Russell Wilson has modeled his game on the way Drew Brees succeeded as a sub-six footer before.

This game will be closer than the blowout earlier this year, because the Saints have been emphasizing the run. Still. It’s Seattle. It’s their D. I just don’t think the Saints can beat Seattle in Seattle.

104 replies
  1. jo6pac says:

    I feel sad bmz is still down in the cheesehead dumps, thanks EW. Go 9ers and would love NO win against Sqwaks. Let the fun begin:)

  2. jo6pac says:

    @bmaz: I sure would and yes EW it would be sweet for sure. I think NO could pull this off.

    Time to go do something so I can watch the games later.

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    Holy Bloody Mary
    The fucking tomato cans are back with Dan stirring up Indy, like he did with the Bengals and Texans.

    “The Patriots are ready to dance to the Waltz of the Tomato Cans straight into the AFC Championship game” according to Dan Shaughnessy “And the way things go around here, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Chargers stun the Broncos and come to New England for the conference title. It would be the ultimate example of the Patriots getting to the Super Bowl without really . . . you know . . . being a great team”

    I’m not predicating a waltz, rather a back and forth shootout with a strange ending at Patriot Place.

  4. Starbuck says:

    I gave up on bmaz last month when he confidently predicted Boise State over OSU.

    Couldn’t happen to nicer guy!

  5. Starbuck says:

    Too bad Portland doesn’t have an NFL team. But then, being a West Coaster…but in this case, I’ll go with Denver as well.

    Gut response, since I don’t watch FB nearly as much as Basketball.

  6. Bay State Librul says:

    A-Rod down for 162 and the count?

    Let’s review the lying urge

    Nixon lied over a break-in.
    Clinton lied over a blow job.
    Christy lied over a highway study.
    Clemens lied over needles up his arse.
    A-Rod lied over a bad connection in Miami.

  7. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Can the arbitrator ban Bud Selig while he’s at it? Just on general principles, MLB could do without BS for a year or so.

  8. jo6pac says:

    @JohnT: The Rams did this yr. and if any one can NO can.

    Myers melting the ice—check
    TeeBee warmed up—Check
    Fireplace putting out heat–check

    Here we go.

  9. sluggahjells says:

    Well, it’s going to be a long afternoon as I (and many others) thought for the Saints, even with the toughness they have shown. Just this field and those fans are a great swarm, and Ingram’s fumbled caused by Bennett’s great hit is the devastating play in the game, along with graham’s missed field goal.

  10. sluggahjells says:

    On the Colts-Pats:

    Many signs point to the upset, but the rain will lea both teams to really established the run, and Indianapolis really has one of the worst running attacks in the league, plus I fear (for them) that they won’t be able to stop the run against Blount, Ridley, and even Vereen too.

    Brady will have his usual awful half of play, especially in the rain conditions, but I wish but don’t think the Colts are physical enough to stop the run and then establish it with Brown and, sigh, Richardson.

  11. bmaz says:

    @jo6pac: Also. Wait….You have Myers Rum??

    Back in the ice age, when I was in graduate school in Boulder, much Myers Rum was consumed. In fact, the next morning, you mixed it with coke to make a “Boulder Eye Opener”.

  12. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: Jerry already has a more mature version of Manziel with Romo. Frankly, I don’t think either Texas team takes Johnny Football, but if one does, you would think it is the Texans.

  13. sluggahjells says:

    Two key points on the Chargers and the Broncos, since a good bit of people are picking the Chargers for the upset as they are this year’s “hot team” right now in the playoffs.

    The 2nd game in Denver with San Diego winning was aided by the fact that the game was on Thursday night, which was a huge factor for short rest for Peyton Manning, and the fact that Wes Welker was not available.

    WIth Welker available, that is a huge change in the dynamics, although Von Miller is lost for the season with his injury. But Welker’s return and full rest for the Broncos is the vital X-factor in this third matchup tomorrow to factor in.

    San Diego must have another decent to solid day running the ball (with or without Matthews), but more on that tomorrow.

  14. sluggahjells says:

    Pete Carroll just out thinking Sean Payton once again…Payton has done nothing great to move Graham in motion today to free him.

    Also, When you don’t have Harvin to go along without Sidney Rice, it is so tough for Wilson to find anyone to pass it to.

  15. sluggahjells says:


    They did try to hire him to play with Heyward-Bey’s injury……They just had to place him inactive since he just has nothing left to offer.

  16. JohnT says:

    You all can have your Johnny Football’s and all that. The one QB I wouldn’t think twice about drafting is Mariota, but he’s not coming out this year


  17. Skilly says:

    Turns out the Trent Richardson is a mudder. He runs for 180 yards and is Player of the game. It could happen.

    Also, while I am dreaming, how about some government support for the rule of law.

  18. jo6pac says:

    @bmaz: Yep had a few myself and right now I think might something even stronger;) Well if the 9ers win tomorrow it won’t be fun in Seattle and that a big if.

  19. bmaz says:

    @JohnT: Naw, I think Blake Bortles has a future in the league too. Rickey Hunley’s kid, Brett, too, but he is staying in. I knew Ricky for a long time, he is a great guy, and his kid is pretty cerebral. I think Brett will make a better NFL QB, given the right team and coaches, than he was a college QB.

  20. sluggahjells says:

    Not in this league he can….He will be lucky to get 50, even with the Patriots injuries.

    Brown is the feature guy now.

  21. sluggahjells says:


    He’s a pretty darn good college QB tough already, and will be for sure next season. As much of a Heisman contender as Winston and Mariota.

  22. bmaz says:

    @sluggahjells: He is. Although not necessarily flashy like some others. My bet is Ricky played a healthy part in the decision to stay in, although not talked to him in years.

  23. sluggahjells says:


    It actually was Brett Hundley himself and how he wanted to really stay after Mora remained, and he wants to at least give the school a shot of winning the Pac 12 for the first time in a while. He knew he wanted to stay another year, but only if Mora didn’t bolt to Texas and take the money.

    Thanks to Mora staying, Brett wanted to stay to really fulfill Mora’s promise to make their program a power in football and be better than USC for the LA bragging rights.


    Get lucky to avoid to the Chiefs and the Chargers, get a Colts team that is soft away from the Dome with injuries too. #PatriotsLuck

  24. sluggahjells says:

    @bmaz: Oh gosh, here we go again.

    Okay, as proof, his father was NOT his main word on that: http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/college-football/story/_/id/10246277/brett-hundley-return-ucla-bruins

    Hundley spoke to former UCLA teammates Johnathan Franklin and Datone Jones about their NFL experiences while making his decision, and they encouraged him to take his time with the Bruins.

    “Johnathan Franklin, he told me that there are things in life you don’t want to rush,” Hundley said of his former tailback, now with the Green Bay Packers. “That sort of stuck. Knowing that you’re only in college once, and to play this game and to be part of this kind of brotherhood that we’ve built here and understand we’re on the verge of something great … is something that I really want to be a part of.”

  25. bmaz says:

    @sluggahjells: Well, okay then, you got me there. You quoted some line tripe from ESPN on me. WOW YOU GOT ME DUDE.

    I mean, seriously, who am I to counter your cut and paste crap from ESPN when all I know is that I’ve known Ricky Hunley since before you and Brett were born. But, whatever, continue to lord over this blog and all who comment here, like you ARE THE BOSS, because, shit, this is YOUR world and we are all just living in it and waiting for YOUR benevolence in providing us with the TRUTH in sports.

    Thank you for blessing us with your presence o holy one!

  26. sluggahjells says:

    The Patriots just ran the same play the other way and got the two point conversion. That’s all McDaniels did.

    McDaniels >>> Hamilton, and it’s not even close. Reason why the Pats have touchdowns and the Colts have field goals. Also, because of #PatriotsLuck

  27. sluggahjells says:

    You are all a John Pagano nice schemes and Ronnie Brown fine day stopping you from “Manning-Belichick/Brady XLIV”

  28. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: You should, they are great and ridiculously consistent. I may reserve my love for the Pack, but I am constantly in awe of the Pats, Bill Bel and Tom Brady.

  29. sluggahjells says:

    And a lot better than seeing and hearing Marv Albert embarrassingly get names and current moments wrong.

    Dan got silly hate over the years when he is much better than so many.

  30. Bay State Librul says:


    Outside of New England, most folks hate/loathe the Patriots.
    I get it.
    Belichick is not easy to love, many times calls go our way (like the missed tripping and pass interference call last night, and the safety bounce)
    Yet, there is something magic about Brady.
    I’m still pissed at Kraft for threatening to move the Patriots to Connecticut many moons ago
    Talk show hosts want a Brady v Manning duel.
    I’m still rooting for the Chargers.

  31. Bay State Librul says:

    We have a Clemens moment.

    Change Bosch to MacNamee and you have an instant double play, change 800 homers to 400 wins and you see the arrogance of Roger, and well you know how intimidation works.

    “Bosch’s first public interview will air on Sunday night, as part of a 60 Minutes segment with Scott Pelley. Among his claims:

    -He personally delivered banned substances, including testosterone, insulin-like growth factor 1 and human growth hormone to Rodriguez at least a dozen times and Rodriguez paid him $12,000 a month in cash.

    -He personally injected Rodriguez because “Alex is scared of needles, so at times, he would ask me to inject.”

    -Rodriguez’s mission was to hit 800 home runs and that the Yankee slugger asked him for what he gave MLB superstar Manny Ramirez, a former Bosch client

    -Text messages obtained by 60 Minutes between him and Rodriguez indicate that at times they communicated daily about the substances the slugger took on his “protocol”

    -Says Rodriguez associates intimidated him to try to prevent him from cooperating with MLB in its investigation of the Yankee third baseman.”

  32. emptywheel says:

    Q: Given Josh McDaniels’ decision to withdraw from consideration for the Brownies job, why hasn’t there been speculation that he was told to stick around for a succession plan?

    If BillBel could win this SuperBowl (unlikely, but still), he’d beat Landry’s record for playoff wins and match Noll for SB wins.

    And a transitional coaching role, with McDaniels at its head, might be the only way Brady would stick around.

    What are the chances Kraft told McDaniels not to go because chances were a head coaching job would open up in NE with his name on it this year or next?

  33. nomolos says:

    I had a good laugh this morning when I read this

    I’ve been predicting for weeks the Pats would make it to the playoffs yet again but go nowhere, and I stand by that. I think three things will deliver that: Tom Brady lying on his ass under Robert Mathis, Andrew Luck running through the holes where the Pats D used to be, and Adam Vinatieri kicking a game winner from a very sloppy field as time expires because why not? I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

    I hope you enjoyed the game bmaz

  34. Bay State Librul says:


    Around these parts, there has been absolutely no speculation on the successor to King Bill. Kraft spends more time with his young chick and Billyboy’s girl friend is a hottie…
    Outside of football, it’s the dating scene, and who in their right mind would go to Cleveland?

  35. emptywheel says:

    @nomolos: Oh, I’M the one who wrote that, not bmaz, and not bc I don’t love the Pats, but bc I keep waiting for the team to thoroughly exploit their many weaknesses. It’s getting too late for teams to do that (though I do think most NFC teams would beat them easily, especially the Niners).

    But BillBel is just that good of a coach it never happens.

  36. emptywheel says:

    @Bay State Librul: If you’re BillBel how do you want to go out? With a successor in place, or without, so the world knows how much you brought to the table?

    Dunno, but if you’re Kraft, you do anything you can to make sure you don’t lose both Brady and BillBel in the same year, so long as Brady can continue to do what he does (and his accuracy is not what it once was). BillBel might be able to live w/o Brady (though Mallet doesn’t seem to be the guy–Hoyer seemed to work the system better). But Brady has suggested he wouldn’t play for another coach at this point in his career.

  37. nomolos says:

    @emptywheel: Oops, sorry bmaz.

    Maybe a team held together with duct tape is a strength in that the opposition have not a bloody clue as to how to defend them.

    Lots of cheering and support for the mighty Chargers this afternoon although the expected warm weather in Denver may make it possible for the QB wimp to be actually on a winning playoff team.

  38. scribe says:


    Q: Given Josh McDaniels’ decision to withdraw from consideration for the Brownies job, why hasn’t there been speculation that he was told to stick around for a succession plan?

    Be serious. Would you rather go to Cleveland and work for the Three Stooges where you’d have to try to build something while they were tearing it down faster, or stick with Cheatin’ Bill and walk into an established, functional organization? Where you can spend the next couple years scouting kids still just entering college to audition them for the Bieber slot?

    Of course, McDaniels could turn out to be the next Ray Handley.

  39. emptywheel says:

    @nomolos: Yep. It has happened before.

    As I said on Twitter, I was most excited by Collins’ play last night. For obvious reasons, it was at times hard to remember whether he was a DE or a SS. Being part of the duct tape may just have given him enough practice to really begin to flourish in the playoffs.

  40. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: Fair enough. NFL is also reporting that candidates for the Brownies job have been checking with Chudzinski and rethinking their interest.

  41. scribe says:


    … NFL is also reporting that candidates for the Brownies job have been checking with Chudzinski and rethinking their interest.

    Quelle surprise!

  42. bmaz says:

    Well, it has been bleak for football here at Casa de Bmaz without any Packers. Even put the Cheesehead away for the year.

    So it all comes down to the Broncos and Peyton’s head. If he keeps thoughts of his legacy out of his head and just plays, should be okay. But can he?

  43. emptywheel says:

    I was right about Steve Smith (and Anquan Boldin) after all. Pity. With Smith healthy it would have been an even more interesting game.

  44. JohnT says:


    Sadly, I think the run ends next week.

    Although, I don’t dislike the Seahawks cuz they’re Vikings West. Then add in the fact that Pete Caroll was a DB’s coach under Bud Grant, and their first HC ever, Jack Patera, was the DL coach for the Purple People Eaters

    But, I’m a homer. Go Niners!

  45. jo6pac says:

    Yep it’s a sweet 9er win and now off to the hardest place to play at. If the 9ers rush Wilson like they Camdon I think we would have a chance.

    Go Denver, my ex and husband live near by and are big fans. Yes we’re friends.

  46. freepatriot says:

    how bout them donkos
    Peyton fookin Manning
    yep, that hubcap is almost mine
    wish they had a defense though

  47. sluggahjells says:


    Nah, McDaniels just knows he has it better with the Pats for now until he is ready for being a head coach again. He’s not ready to be a coach again and needs to just a wait a bit more.

    Belichick wants to keep this going for as long as possible and isn’t thinking of grooming a successor yet. In fact, he would want to groom one more from the defensive side of the ball.

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