Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trouble Brewing in Kansas City


The Kansas City Chiefs are not in serious trouble.  Though they have lost three in a row, Chief fans shouldn’t be worried about a total collapse.
The Chiefs have lost three close games to three good teams, falling to the Broncos (one of the best teams in the NFL), the Chargers (a team capable of scoring a lot of points with Philip Rivers), and the Broncos again.  Falling by 10 and 7 points against the Broncos should not be viewed as earth-shattering losses. 
The Chiefs are a very solid team that doesn’t make many stupid mistakes (+14 in turnover ratio).  Alex Smith, though not a star, is playing well, with 16 TDs, 2,736 passing yards, and only 6 interceptions.  They’ve got a good running game led by Jamaal Charles, who averages 4.6 yards/attempt and already has over 1,000 yards on the season.  On the other side of the ball, they’ve got a great defense, or at least they did through the first 9 games.
At the same time though, I don’t think the Chiefs are all that great.  Most of their wins came against bad teams–the Jaguars, Giants, Titans, Raiders, Texans, and Bills.  And their other two wins were against the Eagles and Cowboys, neither of which are having great seasons.
 Yet in a league where scoring is so important, I don’t think they’ll be able to beat a Broncos or Patriots team in the playoffs.  Realistically, I think they’ll lose in the divisional round or at best the championship game.  No Super Bowl for Chiefs’ fans yet.



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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Let ‘Em Play, Ref!


It’s been a week since the game-changing penalty on San Francisco 49er Ahmad Brooks and his hit against the Saints, and I’m still upset about it.  For those of you who don’t know, Brooks sacked Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees with 3:12 left, forcing a fumble that would’ve given the 49ers the ball with the lead late in the game.  Instead, the Saints got a 15-yard penalty and ended up scoring a game-tying field goal on the drive, ultimately winning the game with another field goal.
Don’t get me wrong, this was a vicious hit.  Brooks closelined  Brees with ferocity, living him on the ground with a bloody lip.  But while brutal, I thought this hit was clean.  Brooks mainly hit Brees in the chest and collarbone area.  While officials made the call because contact was near the neck, the majority of the hit was below the neck.
I agree that player safety is very important, especially when it comes to quarterbacks.  And I understand that star players get special treatment.  But to make a game-changing call like this with so little time left is unfair. 
More absurd than the call is the fine put on Brooks, $15,750!  Brooks shouldn’t be fined a cent.  There was nothing malicious in this play.  Brees himself said that Brooks had no bad intentions.  It was a hard hit, but hard hits shouldn’t be frowned upon.  This is a contact sport after all, remember?



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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Smith Controversy


Ready for more Twitter trash talk?  The latest Twitter battle, this time between NBA players Brandon Jennings (Detroit Pistons) and J.R. Smith (New York Knicks), is over Chris Smith (J.R.’s brother) and his ability to play in the league. 
Jennings claims that Chris only has a New York Knicks roster spot because of J.R.  Surprisingly, he’s right.  When asked if J.R.’s play has influenced the decision to sign Chris, Knick coach Mike Woodson said, “Sure, it does . . . I look at him just like I look at J.R., though J.R. is the guy who played in a uniform and has been very productive for us. I have a great deal of respect for that family.”
I never thought nepotism had much role in the NBA, but apparently it does.  While siblings and sons of great athletes are more likely to be great athletes themselves, reportedly Chris is not an NBA-caliber ballplayer.  For J.R. to have that much influence on keeping Chris is surprising.
J.R. has adamantly defended his brother through the Twitter-sphere.  And by adamantly defending, I mean he’s been threatening Jennings.  J.R. tweeted, “Might call some of my Number street homies an put #Detroit on smash for a min! #DeadSerious.” While I hope he was kidding, with the friends some NBA players have, it isn’t very amusing.  I wouldn’t be surprised if J.R. knows some “homies” who would love to beat the crap out of Jennings.  Let’s not joke about hiring thugs to beat someone up, ok J.R.?



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