Broncos Thrill Pats In OT, Pats Unbeaten No More

It was 3rd and 1.  The Broncos were on their first drive in overtime.  The Pats had won the toss and tragically gone 3 and out.  Then Osweiler handed it to C.J. Anderson.  He swerved to the left and just kept going and going.  He had just scored the game winning touchdown.

C.J. Anderson as he heads to the end zone for the game winning TD in OT

The Broncos were the first to beat the once undefeated Patriots this season, with a 30-24 overtime win.  It was a very exciting, back and forth game, but it ended with the Broncos putting an end to the regular season portion of the Revenge Tour.  If they win a super bowl, then they still get vengeance on Roger Goodell.

The Broncos went 3 and out on their first drive.  A horrible punt got the Patriots started in Broncos territory.  This was turning into a field position game.  The Pats marched down the field, and Gronk scored a touchdown.  Gronk had already had a nice pass earlier in the drive, lasting 2:07, with 4 plays for a whopping 47 yards!!!!  They started at the opposing 47 and easily scored a TD.

The great defense continued.  The Broncos went 3 and out again, and even the Pats did it after starting around the 50.  Still a field position game.  On the next drive, the Broncos were on 4th down & inches, and Brock Osweiler ran a QB sneak for the first down. They didn’t challenge the spot, even though it was clearly 4th & 2.  On the next set of downs, Osweiler got sacked, knocking Denver out of field goal range.  When Brady got the ball back, they sacked him in return.

A good punt keeps Denver starting at their own 10.  The Pats were thinking safety, but as Osweiler progressed down the field, they had other plans.  Sheard knocked the ball from Osweiler, and Chandler Jones caught it in the air for and interception.  The Pats marched down the field and Chandler was wide open as Brady threw to him for the touchdown.  14-0 Pats.  It was now the 2nd quarter.

A couple of drives later, the Broncos progressed down the field, and Ronnie Hillman went beast mode and got a 19 yard TD, making it 14-7.  Th next couple minutes before the half were slow, as the Pats failed to score before getting the ball back in the 2nd half.  In the first drive after halftime, Gronk caught a 22 yard pass, but it wasn’t enough as the Pats punted it away.

The Broncos were near safety territory again on the next drive, but quickly marched down the field to escape.  But they didn’t get far away enough.  They were in field goal range, but Brandon McManus had to attempt a 47 yarder.  It was way off.  The field goal was no good, and it was still 14-7 Pats.  The remainder of the third quarter was a snooze-a-thon.  But things got exciting in the 4th quarter.  The Pats went into it with the ball.  They had just started a drive before the end of the 3rd.  On the first play of the quarter, they threw to Bolden.  He had no problem catching it, but the real thriller was what happened next.  He took off, and soon the defenders were nowhere to be found.  Brandon Bolden kept on running and running, until he got to the end zone.  He had just scored a 63 yard touchdown!!!!

It was now 21-7 Pats.  They had a two TD lead.  The Broncos went 3 and out, but on the punt, Chris Harper fumbled in the attempt to return the punt, and the Broncos recovered it.  That was his only noticeable play of the night.  He ended up with -2 fantasy points.  NEGATIVE TWO!!!  The Broncos got to start at around the opposing 40.  They marched down the field and Anderson scored a touchdown.  So technically, CHRIS HARPER is the reason the Pats lost.  Otherwise, we would’ve had a 24-17 win.  The Pats couldn’t do anything because of some stupid penalties.

Denver got the ball around the 50 and they marched down the field.  They slowed down in the red zone, and had to settle for a field goal.  It was now 21-17 Pats.  Our lead was not very secure.  On the next drive, we couldn’t do anything because Gronk was called for offensive pass interference!!!  It was a stupid call!!!  Just stupid!!!!  What were those refs doing?!!!  Are they just out to get us for “DEFLATE GATE”?!!!!  On our next drive, we threw a nice pass to Gronk, but it was followed by a heart-breaker. Brady threw to Gronk for an incomplete pass, but it was worse than that.  Gronk had tripped over someone, and fell on his right knee.  When the staff came over, to look at it, he was screeching in pain.  He was carted off the field, and they are fearing a torn right MCL.    On a late 4th quarter drive, DeMaryius Thomas caught a 36 yard pass, followed by an Emmanuel Sanders 39 yarder.  Osweiler through the much needed TD pass to Andre Caldwell, giving them a 24-21 lead.

The next drive was the last of the regulation playing time, and it was filled with some nice passes, but it wasn’t enough to score the game winning TD.  However, Stephen Gostkowski did attempt a 47 yard field goal, and it was good!!!  It was tied, 24 all.  This game was going to overtime.  Then, the next heart-breaker occurred.  The Pats won the toss, went 3 and out in a horrible drive.  They had no weapons, and Brady was too worried about his teammate to focus.  Then Anderson did his thing, and it was game over. However, the Pats can still earn home field advantage.  Denver plays Cincy in Week 16, so one of those teams will lose again.  If we can go 4-1 on the following schedule:

vs PHI


vs TEN



Then they can still do it.  For now, we’re on to Philadelphia.


Patriots-Broncos Preview

The New England Patriots take on the Denver Broncos in Denver tonight.  Typically, this would call for Brady vs. Manning, but tonight, it will be different.  Due to a Peyton Manning foot injury, Brock Osweiler will face Tom Brady at quarterback.  This is an eye-catching stop on the Patriots’ Revenge Tour, based on two things.  First, Denver is almost as good as the 10-0 Patriots.   Second, if the Patriots win this, they could be inches away from clinching their division, and will have a bigger lead to earn the home field advantage in the playoffs.

The Pats have a lot of injuries to overcome on offense, but their defense is growing into a premier D again.  This will likely be a low scoring game.

My Prediction: Patriots, 20, Broncos, 13

This is a clear game of defense.  I think there are so many good Broncos defensive players.

Defensive Eye-Catchers: Broncos

DE: Malik Jackson

LB: Von Miller

LB: DeMarcus Ware (OUT)

LB: Brandon Marshall

LB: Shane Ray

LB: Danny Trevathan

CB: Aqib Talib

CB: Bradley Roby

CB: Chris Harris Jr.

S: T.J. Ward


That’s a lot of defense!!!!  But sleepers will play a big role.  James White is one of those big names that could have a big game.  Also look for Keshawn Martin and Chris Harper.  But tight ends Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, and Asante Cleveland (signed from practice squad this week), especially with Michael Williams out.  Our defense has plenty of eye catching names as well, and they are short on sleepers, especially with Jordan Norwood out.  Sleepers will play a big role, and the Pats have more, so I think they have the edge.  What makes me think that even more is that the Pats are 12-0 historically in the snow.  It is snowing in Denver right now.

3 Keys To A Win

  1. Despite the lack of corners, the Pats need to keep an eye on the receiver duo of DeMaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, along with tight ends Vernon Davis and Owen Daniels.
  2. The Pats need to use sleeper tight ends Scott Chandler and Asante Cleveland as a bigger part of their offense.
  3. Despite Peyton Manning being out, Brock Osweiler could be dangerous. Apply pressure on him.




Christian Ponder QB

Peyton Manning QB

DeMarcus Ware LB

Jordan Norwood WR

Lorenzo Doss CB

Richard Gordon TE

Sam Brenner C



Danny Amendola WR

Trey Flowers DE

Jamie Collins LB

Justin Coleman CB

Michael Williams TE

Jordan Richards S

Julian Edelman WR







Week 12: Match-up Breakdown

Week 12: Match-Up Breakdown

Week 12 is just hours away and this is the ultimate cheat sheet to a all of the games. Know what to watch for and you can even create a DFS lineup using this. Oh, and speaking of DFS, let’s start with my suggested lineup.

DFS Lineup

I know there are a lot of injuries, but Dalton and Johnson are now probable. DeMaryius Thomas did better with Brock Osweiler at QB than Manning, and A.J. Green is just plain out on fire.

Chris Johnson is also having a monster season, and Yeldon is facing a weak, banged up Chargers defense.
Vikings @ Falcons
Matt Ryan is looking to bounce back after the Vikings had a tough week. But the Falcons also lost last week, and to the Colts. Will A.P. bounce back and lead the Vikings to victory, or will Matt Ryan turn things around after countless recent struggles. Both of these teams are good, and are still easily playoff contenders, but have a lot of adversity to overcome.

How Can The Falcons Win?

First, you need to keep Adrian Peterson covered throughout the entire game. They need linebacker Paul Worrilow or Justin Durant to keep an eye on him, and prevent him
from reaching the end zone. Next, Matt Ryan’s o-line needs to provide better protection, allowing Matt Ryan to make up for the loss of Devonta Freeman by passing a lot to Julio Jones, Leonard Hankerson, Roddy White, who bounced back last game, and other targets. Reception TDs need to be scored. You also have to keep the young guns like Stefon Diggs under enough pressure to slow them down. But still don’t forget about veterans like Mike Wallace and Kyle Rudolph. Good luck, Falcons.

How Can The Vikings Win?

Good question. It’ll be difficult, but there are ways. First, you have to keep Matt Ryan under pressure. That is what teams have done to “break” Matt Ryan and defeat what would be a pretty darn good Falcons squad. Second, Adrian Peterson needs to get to the defense’s heads a little more. If they can’t do those two things, they will be disappointed as they lose to the Falcons and the Packers take the NFC North lead.
Saints @ Texans

The Texans are one of the hottest teams in football. DeAndre Hopkins is having a season for the record books, and after suffocating in a huge loss to Miami, the Texans have won their last three games, soon to be four. This is because the Saints are also struggling at the same time. They have lost their last two games to the Titans and Redskins. But seeking vengeance, the Saints have a chance, and of they lose, they’ll prove that they still have something left in the tank for the rest of the season.

How Can The Saints Win?

The Saints are clear underdogs, so they have to do several things to secure a win. First, Drew Brees needs to get rid of the ball fast so that J.J. Watt doesn’t have a chance to get his hands on Brees. Watt ties for the league lead with Ezekiel Ansah of the Lions in sacks (11.5). Ansah’s team played on Thanksgiving, so they’ve played twelve games and the Texans, only eleven. Second, the defense needs to do several things to step it up. They need strong double coverage on DeAndre Hopkins. They need to stop the run better, and can’t let the streaking Brian Hoyer slip away. Third, Mark Ingram can’t run the running game all alone. C.J. Spiller has a role on this team, and he needs to take responsibility for it, especially to help Ingram get past this strong rush defense.

How Can The Texans Win?

As long as the defense is on their best, and the offense keeps working their magic, there isn’t much else the Texans need to do. Is this their winning formula. Could continuing to play like this get them to the playoffs. However, even if they win, they can count this as almost, but not quite a trap game. They need to treat it like they’re facing Bart Starr’s Green Bay Packers, or Dan Marino’s 1970’s Dolphins, even Tom Brady’s 2007 Patriots. The Saints will try hard, but of the Texans do that, expect them to win by a nose.
Giants @ Redskins

This is a crucial division match-up. This could factor into deciding this cluttered NFC East division. If the Redskins win, they could have a serious chance at making the playoffs. If the Giants win, they will likely steal the division. So, let’s break down the match-up and discuss the keys to each team winning.


1. Don’t let DeSean Jackson go far. Through three games this year, he averages approximately 49 yards a game, and has one TD on the season (last week). Jackson is bringing back his Eagles days, and he’ll just get better again, not worse.

2. If Hakeem Nicks plays, use him heavily. DeAngelo Hall will be on OBJ, so Nicks won’t get as much defensive attention. Nicks couldn’t make the cut in Tennessee, but should be used as a starting WR2. Nicks was fighting to be the backup to Kendall Wright in Tennessee, but lost the fight to Justin Hunter and Dorial Green-Beckham, with Harry Douglas winning the WR3 role.

1. Don’t just use Matt Jones. Jones will get serious defensive attention. Mix in the other running backs: Alfred Morris, Chris Thompson and Silas Redd. Morris had a stellar 2014, and hopefully he can pick up where he left off if they use him more.

2. Try and have a guard for everyone on the field. Don’t heavily focus the defense on stars like OBJ and Rashad Jennings. Also pay attention to Shane Vereen, Andre Williams, Rueben Randle, Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Harris and Will Tye.
Rams @ Bengals

The Rams haven’t looked great these past couple games, and the Bengals have not lost during the day time. Their two losses are on Sunday and Monday Night, to the Texans and Cardinals. Can they continue history and beat the Rams? Let’s break down the keys to each team winning.


1. Stop the run better. The Bengals D needs to find a way to limit Todd Gurley, especially in the red zone. Gurley has had a dominant rookie year so far and if the Bengals can’t have better rush defense, he’ll lead the Rams to victory.

2. The Bengals need to include everyone. Against a defense like the Rams, a mixed offensive game plan is the best approach.

1. Make sure receivers like A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are under pressure. Despite a weak secondary, they still should know how to apply pressure to the team. They also need to pressure Andy Dalton. That is the formula for Dalton to scramble, in which case he struggles to get the team very far.

2. Don’t put everything you got on Gurley. The Bengals will keep an eye on Todd Gurley. If you just go to him, you lose to a feast or famine rush D. If you mix it up and use Tavon Austin, Wes Welker and Jared Cook too, then you might be able to break through by confusing the defense. You need to change your plans.

Buccaneers @ Colts

The Colts surprisingly pulled a win out against the Bucs division rivals, the Falcons. Can they beat the not as good, but good for themselves Bucs? The Colts still have a shot at the AFC South, but they have to win this game.

Keys To A Win


1. Doug Martin has been red hot these past couple games, and so has Mike Evans. The Colts have to improve their defense. They have the players to do it, they just need to be on the same page as each other, or the defense isn’t functional.

2. TY Hilton and the other receivers need to take advantage of the empty secondary and score. Hilton just needs to keep doing what he’s doing, but Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Philip Dorsett and Dwayne Allen need to step it up, just do more.


1. If Vincent Jackson and ASJ are out, tight ends Brandon Myers, Cameron Brate and Luke Stocker need to step it up. The Bucs don’t have many other options at receiver. The running game can’t win this game alone.

2. Apply enough pressure to the Colts defense to break them up and be able to break through. That could mean a big game for the entire offense. Otherwise this could be a huge disappointment. Whoever wins, this will be a blowout, especially based on the keys to each team winning.
Dolphins @ Jets

Both of these teams have been pretty bad lately, even though the Jets started the year at 4-1. However, the defense has lots of injuries and the Jets are just overall slumping. Can they get a home win vs. Miami and bring back the sensation of the early games? Here are the keys to the win for each team.


1. Keep an eye on Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry and Jay Ajayi. This trip is all that’s really keeping the Dolphins in this thing. What’s left on the defense needs to provide good guard for the star players on the Miami offense.

2. The Jets need to be able to overcome the middle tier guys on the Dolphins defense, and the stars need to just overcome any defense. Guys like Tony Lippett and Brent Grimes can be stopped, especially by guys like Chris Ivory and Brandon Marshall. The Jets are very capable.

3. Although the stars on this team have it easy, use some sleepers too. Guys like Jeremy Kerley, Stevan Ridley and Jeff Cumberland may have no defensive attention at all.

1. The Dolphins rush defense is starting to lose its power. It needs to be as strong as it used to be. If guys like Ndamukong Suh and Olivier Vernon do their thing, and guys like C.J. Mosley and Tony Lippett step it up, they will stand by.

2. The offensive line has screwed up way too much. They had a three game freak of giving up safeties. Mike Pouncey and Ryan Tannehill must take the blame for this mess. Aren’t they both typically decent players?

3. The secondary needs to keep working their magic formula. Keep getting interceptions, maybe even a pick six. Reshad Jones and crew have done it all lately, and they need to continue to do so.
Chargers @ Jaguars

The Chargers are one of the worst teams in football, and have really showed it lately? Can the shocking Jaguars keep it up and get another win to make that 5-6?

Keys To A Win


1. Step it up on rush defense. Don’t let T.J. Yeldon go anywhere. It’ll be difficult without Corey Liuget, but they need to find their next young star in their front seven.

2. Use Malcom Floyd like he’s Jerry Rice. Floyd needs to play a bigger role due to the Chargers’ injury woes at receiver. Stevie Johnson is the other good receiver left, so Floyd plays an important role for the rest of his last season.


1. Basically, make sure the Chargers do exactly what they’ve been doing. Because the Chargers SUCK!!! If you want to go the extra mile, go for 50+ points. This is a very easy game for the Jaguars, any game against the 2015 Chargers will be from here on out.
Raiders @ Titans

The Raiders have struggled recently, but the Titans just plain out suck. Can Marcus Mariota pull the upset in this home match?

Keys To A Win


1. Don’t let Amari Cooper score. This should be an easy one, as long as Jason McCourty has a breakout game. He is one of the great McCourty twins.

2. The o-line needs to keep the strong d-line away from Marcus Mariota. Marcus Mariota has had a good season. No pressure, no problem. That’s how Mariota has rolled during his time in the NFL.


1. If Derek Carr is under pressure, he’ll have another sloppy week. The offensive line needs to have a field day and protect Carr well.

2. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree also need to break free from the defense. They also struggled greatly last week.
Bills @ Chiefs

This match-up is crucial to the AFC Wild Card Race. The winner will have a pretty nice shot at it. The losing team could very likely be out of contention. Will Rex Ryan and the Bills hold up, or will Andy Reid bring a surprise?

Keys To A Win


1. The Chiefs injuries have done plenty to help the Bills defense, but they need to keep an eye on those sleepers. Sleepers are capable of more than you think. Sleepers can win teams games. The Bills better be careful.

2. They have to overcome the rush defense. They have such a good running game, but the Chiefs’ rush defense is powerful, and they need to exceed their expectations to overcome it.


1. The young secondary has to watch out. The Bills have guys like Sammy Watkins and Charles Clay that can win them the game. They need to apply good guarding and Marcus Peters needs to keep up his strong rookie year.

2. The Chiefs cannot let injuries get to their heads. If it means heavily using sleepers like Albert Wilson and Spencer Ware, then they need to do so. If it means putting more work on Jeremy Maclin, they should. If it means starting Knile Davis, they should do so.
Steelers @ Seahawks

Pete Carroll and the Seahawks could be looking for playoff contention by winning this game, and so could Big Ben and the Steelers. Another tough game worth watching.

Keys To A Win


1. The rush defense needs to be able to stomp on Marshawn Lynch’s handcuff, Thomas Rawls. Can Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier step it up to do so, along with Cameron Heyward and Alvin “Bud” Dupree?

2. Big Ben’s receivers, like Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Heath Miller need to overcome Richard Sherman, Kam “Supreme” Chancellor and Earl Thomas III. 3 on 3. Steelers have got to win this battle.

1. Take advantage of the weak secondary. Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin need to have big games, along with the sleep receivers.

2. Win the battle I was talking about with the Steelers receivers.
Cardinals @ 49ers

The Cardinals are clear favorites, but can the 49ers win?

Keys To A Win


1. NaVorro Bowman and the rush D need to stop Chris Johnson and the rest of the run game. If the 49ers are being blown out, the Cardinals will run the football.

2. Patrick Peterson cannot get to Garrett Celek, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. Otherwise, the 49ers will be left with their sloppy run game, and they’ll be done.


1. Make sure the Niners continue to struggle, and do your thing!!!!

10 Free Agent Moves I Think Should Happen

10 Free Agent Moves I Think Will Happen
The free agent market has been slow starting up so far early in to this hot stove season, but I think that is going to change. It already has began too, as teams have sucked the blood out of the catcher position’s free agent options, the best going from Matt Wieters to John Jaso.

1. Greinke Returns To The Brew Crew

I don’t think that Zack Greinke is returning to L.A. after becoming the ace he’s turned into. The Dodgers would be an ace hog if they had him and Clayton Kershaw, both Cy Young candidates. Other teams like the D-Backs, Rockies, Brewers, Phillies, Indians and Red Sox need an ace. I know, most of those are very bad, low money teams, except the Red Sox and Indians, middle ground teams. However, not one of those teams has much money, and despite the Phillies and Red Sox being options, I think the Brewers will be the team that have enough in their budget to sign Greinke. They don’t absolutely stink, and they don’t have enough stars to be hogging the money Greinke wants.

2. White Sox Ink Zobrist

Emilio Bonifacio is gone. Gordon Beckham is lost in free agency, and he wasn’t the greatest anyways. But now, as Hot Stove Season goes on, there are so many options for second basemen. The best choices would be Howie Kendrick, Daniel Murphy, Chase Utley or Ben Zobrist. Murphy is likely returning to the Mets after his great playoff triumph, and either Kendrick or Utley will likely resign with L.A. unless Jose Peraza starts now at second. Peraza needs to start slow. So, that leaves the White Sox’ best bet being Ben Zobrist. They could go lower, at guys like Kelly Johnson or Dan Uggla, but without Bonifacio, they want a solid guy. So, welcome to Chicago, Ben Zobrist.

3. Jays Resign Buerhle and Sign Southpaw Samardzija

With Buerhle and Samardzija, the Blue Jays rotation would look like this:

R.A. Dickey
Mark Buerhle
J.A. Happ
Jeff Samardzija
Marcus Stroman

That rotation is the strongest rotation I’ve ever seen. But I think they should trade R.A. Dickey, (see 10 Trades I’d Like To See), so this is more realistic:

Mark Buerhle
J.A. Happ
Jeff Samardzija
Marcus Stroman
Jesse Chavez/Marco Estrada

That is one strong rotation. So, why exactly Buerhle and Samardzija? Why not David Price? Well, Price will probably go to one of those 5 remaining ace hungry teams, the Red Sox, Indians, Phillies, Rockies or D-Backs, considering that Greinke will go to Milwaukee. So, if they want to bring back their pitchers, which apparently they do, Buerhle is their best bet. Samardzija is the best non-ace superstar out there, and that is what Toronto needs.

4. Set Up Man Broxton Returns To Dodgers

The Dodgers lack a bullpen, and Kenley Jansen is their closer. What other closers are out there? Just Joakim Soria, Neftali Feliz and Fernando Rodney. Feliz can re-sign with the Tigers as a set up man, the Mariners need Rodney back and Soria is getting old and is not a long-term option. That leaves Jonathan Broxton. A pretty young set-up guy that can close better than anyone in this weak bullpen besides maybe Jansen. If Jansen closes, he can be set up. So it’s worth a shot. His old team, the Cardinals is fine without him. Move on, Broxton.

5. David Price To Red Sox

The Red Sox are already front-runners to sign Price. They’re among the only decent teams that need an ace. Greinke, as I said should go to Milwaukee and this is the only other ace the Sox are favorites to sign. Just the idea of having David Price here in Boston excites me.

Price had a stellar 2015 season, starting relatively slow in Detroit, then heading for playoff contention while heating up in Toronto, where he got traded at the deadline. Now he’s already a free agent after just 3 months. Do you think it’s realistic? Come on Price, save us!!!!! Bring us back to victory!!!!

Also, if we sign him, this time he’ll want a big money, long term deal. We’d be happy to keep him several years, but do we have the money to afford a big deal? If we do, this is totally a realistic move.
6. Cespedes Follows Cruz, Cano to Starville

The Mariners has become the team for the best stars in free agency. First Robinson Cano (2013-2014) and then Nelson Cruz (2014-2015). I think LF Yoenis Cespedes is the next to join them. The Mariners clearly need a left fielder, with Nelson Cruz at DH and Franklin Guiterrez taking right. A Trumbo-Martin-Guiterrez outfield is not good enough. Sure, they have Seth Smith. NOT ENOUGH!!! After losing Austin Jackson, the Mariners need a star outfielder. All of their guys are meant to be platooning players, not everyday starters!!! They need a solid everyday starter like Cespedes to join the outfield.

7. Kendrick Returns to Anaheim

You may be surprised to hear this, but I don’t think Howie Kendrick will even think of leaving the L.A. area. Kendrick began his career an Angel, before being traded to the Dodgers with only a year left on his contract. They didn’t think that that was Kendrick’s permanent solution. Trading him in the first place was a bad idea. The Dodgers could’ve given him some crazy extension, and then he was long gone if Johnny Giovatella failed to start efficiently at second base.

But now he’s out in the open again. This is likely the Angels’ last chance to fix their mistake in time to prevent themselves from flopping without him again. They fell in to third place as a non-Kendrick team last year. Can they resign him and bring the Angels back their playoff hopes from 2014? I think a big money deal should keep him in L.A. for possibly the rest of his career.

8. Cabrera Resigns Big Money Deal With Rays

Asdrubal Cabrera had a smooth season last year in his first year in Tampa. I think that although there has been no talk of it, Cabrera would nicely fit in the Rays’ new scheme. He’s also worth much more money and a bigger deal. I think they should sign him to a big-time long-term contract. Is Cabrera going to do it, and does he fit in between Brad Miller and Logan Forsythe?

9. Royals Sign Another Chen

The Royals could use an ace, but it’s not a major need. They do need a better middle tier guy for the rotation, with Johnny Cueto and Jeremy Guthrie going into free agency. Wei-Yin Chen is a solid, middle of the rotation guy. The former Oriole (2012-2015) was signed to a four year contract by Baltimore from the NPB, a pro baseball league in Japan. Chen is the perfect fit for this Royals team. Can he help them to a third straight World Series and help them win a second?
10. Twins Sign Another Vet Outfielder In Upton

Torii Hunter announced his retirement late last October. Then the Twins traded Aaron Hicks in November. Their outfield went from this:

LF: Eduardo Escobar
CF: Aaron Hicks
RF: Torii Hunter

To eventually this:

LF: Escobar
CF: Byron Buxton
RF: Eddie Rosario

With Justin Upton in right, Rosario can move to center and Buxton can be a pinch-hitter, ahead of Oswaldo Arcia and Max Kepler. Why exactly Upton? The next best options for right field are Jason Heyward (long shot for Twins), Grady Sizemore, Alex Rios, Gerardo Parra and Shane Victorino. In all of outfield, Dexter Fowler, Denard Span, Austin Jackson, Jonny Gomes, Alex Gordon, Rajai Davis, Nate McLouth, Marlon Byrd, Yoenis Cespedes, Skip Schumaker and David DeJesus. Most, if not all of those are either inconsistent, reaching out to other teams, or are a long shot for the little old Twins. Upton is the perfect fit, a Torii Hunter type.

NFL Week 12 Picks

NFL Week 12 Picks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!  Although Thanksgiving is known as a time to spend with your family and be thankful you’re here, while feasting on a delicious turkey, besides food and family, there is one more thing that Thanksgiving has come to be about.  Football.  So for the special occasion of Turkey Day, my Week 12 Picks are here, just in time for the 12:30 Eagles-Lions Thanksgiving football game.

Lock Of The Week

Colts, 27, Buccaneers, 9

Although the Buccaneers have had a decent year so far and the Colts have looked like crap for most of it, I think this one will end like the old times.  Colts blowout Bucs.

The Colts already have plenty in TD scoring RBs Frank Gore and Ahmad Bradshaw, despite the decent Bucs rush.  However, the opportunities for Colts receivers are endless versus a horrible, practically empty secondary.  T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson alone will score plenty, not to mention tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener.  So expect lots of scoring for Indy.

Meanwhile, the Bucs will likely fall to a well balanced, powerful Colts defense.  Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and ASJ won’t even fill a starting lineup, unless Luke Stocker, Brandon Myers, Cameron Brate, Louis Murphy, Bobby Rainey or Charles Sims III joins.  Doug Martin will have D’ Qwell Jackson in his way.  Three good corners, (Vontae Davis, Greg Toler and Darius Butler) to stop the pass.  So their will be limited chances for the Buccaneers to score, leading the Colts to blow them out.

Notable Locks: Cardinals over 49ers

Upset Of The Week

Titans, 38, Raiders, 24
The Raiders have made a fool of themselves and lost in easy, winnable games.   They’ve lost to both the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions, one good NFC North team in a home game, one really bad NFC North team that is slowly getting it together in a road game.  Can the sloppy Titans get by in a home game against them?  Well, let’s get into the details.


Marcus Mariota has had an alright season so far, there have been two major road blocks.  One is his sprained MCL around Week 6.  Two is that his team isn’t stepping it up for him.  They can as they will find ways against a mysterious Raiders D.  Sure, running backs David Cobb, Dexter McCluster and Antonio Andrews will be slowed down by a good Raiders d-line, but the secondary has one good safety, Charles Woodson, nobody else is a quality player on the secondary.  Delanie Walker will sure have a guard, but Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, Harry Douglas and Anthony Fasano can also score enough to outbeat the recently struggling Raiders offense against a growing Tennessee defense.
The Raiders running back Latavius Murray has already struggled enough, but it’ll be worse against Brian Orakpo.  The receiving game has began to slack of as well.  They’ll have a couple weapons in Michael Crabtree and Mychal Rivera.  But still, the Titans will have slightly more weapons, giving them upset power over the suddenly slacking Raiders.

Notable Upsets: Redskins over Giants, Cowboys over Panthers

Other Games

Lions, 28, Eagles, 17
Cowboys, 20, Panthers, 17
Packers, 20, Bears, 17
Texans, 34, Saints, 27
Falcons, 48, Vikings, 44
Bengals, 35, Rams, 21
Redskins, 31, Giants, 27
Chiefs, 41, Bills, 34
Jets, 34, Dolphins, 13
Jaguars, 62, Chargers, 13
Cardinals, 49, 49ers, 21
Seahawks, 33, Steelers, 21
Broncos, 27, Patriots, 20
Browns, 35, Ravens, 24

Team Of The Week

  1. I have not done well predicting this team historically
  2. This team used a backup QB as a starter for an injury at some point this season.
  3. This team has a good, but injury filled defense
  4. This team is located south of St. Louis.
  5. This team is one of the Top 5 most shown teams on Thanksgiving Day and is on today.


What team is this?  Guess in comments.
Last Week: Panthers



Patriots-Bills Preview: Do Your Job

The Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills tonight, and it’s under an hour away!  For the Patriots, this is the 10th stop on the Revenge Tour, and the Pats have double the pressure of a typical undefeated team.  So, for the Pats, this is like any other game.  Meanwhile, the Bills are fighting to stay in the playoff hunt.  So, this is a critical game for both teams to win.

Both teams are dealing with serious injury issues.  The Patriots have lost Jamie Collins and Rufus Johnson to a horrible stomach virus.  Dion Lewis is done for the year with a torn ACL, and Julian Edelman is out till the playoffs with a broken foot.  Meanwhile, the Bills are without Percy Harvin for the season, and Kyle Williams for the game.  Scott Chandler also has a chance to prove himself against his former team.  Traditionally he is good against Rex Ryan defenses.

3 Keys To A Win

  1. The Patriots have to stop the run.  The Bills have an improving running game.  LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams and Daniel “Boom” Herron cannot touch foot in the end zone.
  2. The Patriots have to pass to the other TEs.  Former Bill Scott Chandler and Michael Williams need to get more receptions, as well as receivers Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell, Aaron Dobson and Chris Harper.
  3. Use Duron Harmon as a corner along with Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan.  Harmon and Ryan, long with Butler, have proved themselves, unlike Rashean Melvin.




Justin Coleman CB

Julian Edelman WR

Jamie Collins LB

Trey Flowers DE

Tre’ Jackson OG

Sealver Siliga DT

Keshawn Martin WR



Stefan Charles DT

Daniel Herron RB

Gabe Ikard C

Josh Johnson QB

Kyle Williams DT

Randell Johnson OLB

Cyrus Kouandjio OT







NFL Week 11 Picks

NFL Week 11 Picks

Last week was pathetic for everyone.  For me, it was as pathetic as 3-11.  But this week I’m doing three new things.
1. Picking the surprise bad teams less.
2. Picking the surprise good teams more.
3. Being less dependent on home teams winning.

Lock Of The Week
Eagles, 38, Buccaneers, 14 FOX Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Mark Sanchez leads the Eagles into an easy home match-up, despite losing to Miami in a similar one, also against a Florida team.  But Philly is still relevant, at least enough to beat out the Bucs.
The Eagles good running game may be in jeopardy against the heavy rush Bucs D, but the receivers and tight ends have a huge opportunity against a weakling secondary.  The Bucs secondary is practically empty.  Receivers like Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor and Riley Cooper, plus tight ends Zach Ertz and Brent Celek should all have big games and be huge factors in the Eagles blowout.
The Bucs have a similar defense to face, but have issues that will hold them back.  Doug Martin will run for it when Fletcher Cox and Connor Barwin get something started.  Meanwhile, the Bucs don’t have enough key receivers to lead to dominance of the Eagles secondary.   With Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins injured, Mike Evans is really the only key receiver.  So, clearly, the Bucs will fall, and all because they lack offensive weapons.
Notable Locks: Panthers over Redskins, Seahawks over 49ers
Upset Of The Week
Bears, 38, Broncos, 29 CBS Sunday 1:00 PM EST
John Fox takes on his old team in this intriguing match-up.  About three weeks ago, the Broncos would be clear winners.  But Peyton Manning was benched and the Broncos are trending down.  And at the same time, the Bears are in a nice uptrend.  The Broncos are now run by former Ravens o-coordinator Gary Kubiak, who was replaced by former Bears coach Marc Trestman.  Yup.  Trestman, Fox and Kubiak moved teams in a triangle.
Let’s get into the juicy details.  Well, I think the Bears offense might just have a shot against this balanced Denver defense.  Jeremy Langford will see more carries, even if Matt Forte returns.  The reason Forte got so many reps is because his backups before Langford plain out sucked.
But they also have Ka’ Deem Carey, Antone Smith and Jacquizz Rodgers to help in the backfield if the defense gets to Forte and Langford.  The reason I like this for the Bears is because Eddie Royal and Jay Cutler are both former Broncos.  I could see a lot of Cutler to Royal action, especially if the Broncos three best secondary members are valuing Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, Marquess Wilson even Zach Miller over Royal.  That gives Royal a shot to break out, if he plays.  Carry the offense for TDs.  Sure, he’ll be helped by Cutler’s other receivers, but he should be seeking revenge on the Broncos.
On the Broncos side of the ball, the young Bears defense is one of the most underrated in the league.  I like the Bears secondary a lot.  They have young developing players in Adrian Amos, Kyle Fuller and Tracy Porter.  Well, Fuller is already pretty much developed.  They have a mentor in safety Antrel Rolle.  That should take care of the main guys, like DeMaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Owen Daniels and newbie Vernon Davis.  Sleeper Cody Latimer still will be open, but he’s done nothing, so so what?  The running game even will be guarded appropriately.  Pernell McPhee and Eddie Goldman should be enough to stop Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson.  And don’t say Brock Osweiler will be any better with preventing interceptions.  This Bears D is enough to prevent TDs, but Denver will come close, and have plenty of failed attempts.  You know what that means.  Plenty of field goals, and a big day for kicker Brandon McManus.  I expect about 5 FGs and a couple XPs. Enough for 17 whooping fantasy points!!  That’s plenty for a kicker.  But face it.  If Chicago keeps scoring TDs and Denver keeps scoring field goals, you know who’ll win.  If you guessed the  now Good News Bears, or just the Bears, you are correct.
Notable Upsets: Texans over Jets, Lions over Raiders
Other Games
Jaguars, 24, Titans, 6 NFLN Thursday 8:25 PM EST
This AFC South division is so pathetic, that if they win this, the JAGUARS can actually play for something.  That means they have
a motive to win this game!!!!  That hasn’t been the case for Jacksonville this far into the season for over a decade, and this team is only about 25-30 years old.  Not very often does it happen.  The Titans are even more modern and bad though.
Jacksonville has good running backs in Denard Robinson and TJ Yeldon, but they have a good guard, Brian Orakpo and Jurrell Casey.  However, even with Allen Robinson guarded by Jason McCourty, one, McCourty’s not that good and two, they have Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, Julius Thomas and Marcedes Lewis all unguarded.  So, they have something to cheer for.
The Titans offense however, may be in some trouble.  They don’t have many weapons against a growing Jaguars defense.  Even with running back David Cobb back, him and Antonio Andrews, even Dexter McCluster will be covered by Paul Posluszny, Sen’ Derrick Marks and strong rookie defensive lineman Michael Bennett.  Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker have powerful safeties; rookie James Sample and Jonathan Cyprien.  Even if sleepers like Anthony Fasano and Harry Douglas slip away, the Jaguars still have the edge.
Lions, 24, Raiders, 10 CBS Sunday 1:00 PM EST
The Raiders are favorites in this one, and even with my new ways, the Lions were on to something in their defeating of the Packers last week.  I think they can do the same, especially at home, and with somewhat of a chance of snow.  Oakland isn’t used to that.
I feel that Golden Tate and Eric Ebron should have good games along with Megatron, and sleepers Lance Moore, Tim Wright and Brandon Pettigrew.  Matthew Stafford should have plenty of passing options.  Ameer Abdullah may even have some touchdown opportunities.  The Raiders rush suffered a big loss in their star linebacker Aldon Smith to a one year suspension.
The Raiders may be able to work the pass as well, but the Lions are even heavier on the rush.  They have their linebacker Stephen Tulloch, and D-lineman Hatoli Ngata.  I just think overall, Detroit has more general passing weapons, costing the Raiders the game.
Falcons, 38, Colts, 27 CBS Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Even if the Colts are in trouble in the division, pressured to win and Matt Hasselbeck is 2-0 and the Falcons are also on a downtrend, I think Matt Ryan’s offense has enough power to receive the bounce back win, despite their history of being good very early and being horrible late in the season. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, but I see this one differently, and it’s because of the Colts’ impact on the Falcons, and it’s not a good one, if you’re a Colts fan.
The Colts have a balanced, but weak defense going.  With lots of hard work, the stars like Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones can break through.  Sleepers like the struggling Roddy White, (was passed in depth chart by Leonard Hankerson) could look
like himself again.  Tight ends could even have a chance. Jacob Tamme, Levine Toilolo.  Even Tony Moeaki. They’re all that bad, the defense doesn’t know who to guard!  But that little bit of beast in them could mean they make some small contributions.
The Colts however, are facing the Falcons decent defense.  The most mediocre in combined balance and power.  The running game is done.  Is Jonathan Babineaux and Paul Worrilow enough to stop the rush?  Along with maybe Vic Beasley?  I think yes.  Justin Durant could even help, by keeping Hasselbeck down on blitzes.  They might have a few passing opportunities, but it will never match up to the Falcons offense.  I have a could feeling about their offense.
Texans, 37, Jets, 31 CBS Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Why are the Jets even favored in this game?  The Texans proved themselves last Monday Night, knocking down and undefeated team, with T.J. YATES at QB.  Yates may start again this week with Brian Hoyer going through the concussion protocol.  Meanwhile, the Jets are on a downtrend.  On Thursday Night last week, the Bills tied them for 2nd place in the AFC East by beating them.
The Jets will not be left with much options on offense.  Chris Ivory and crew have J.J. Watt and much more to deal with, so the running game has no chance to get through.  Four amazing defenders (Watt, Clowney, Cushing, Wilfork) await.  That takes care of Ivory, Bilal Powell, Zac Stacy even Stevan Ridley.  The passing game will still have lower down receivers like Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley maybe Chris Owusu but Brandon Marshall shall be guarded appropriately.  The Texans only have one quality corner.  He can’t guard four receivers and tight end Jeff Cumberland.  That leaves some scoring opportunities, but it doesn’t match up to the Texans.
With Sheldon Richardson out, I think Alfred Blue or Chris Polk may have a shot at a TD. The Jets secondary is still tough, but the Texans have so many passing options.  Expect sleepers Cecil Shorts III, Keith Mumphery and Nate Washington us star DeAndre Hopkins to put on a show, even if it means Hopkins is taking a trip to Revis Island.  So, things are looking up for the Texans, especially if the Colts also lose.
Panthers, 20, Redskins, 16 FOX Sunday 1:00 PM EST
This may be closer than you think, but in the end Carolina’s defense will jump in to help the entire team to a win.  The Panthers have faced a lot of adversity without Kelvin Benjamin at receiver, despite going undefeated so far.  Since then Corey Brown and Jerricho Cotchery have suffered injuries, and their other receiver, rookie Devin Funchess has struggled.
Cotchery is back, but unless Funchess can step it up, it’ll all be up to sleeper Ted Ginn Jr.  Cotchery has DeAngelo Hall to deal with, but the remainder of the secondary is easy.  Funchess, Ginn even Greg Olsen and Ed Dickson.  So, the Panthers have options, even if running backs Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart are guarded well.  I expect Superman to take the running game using the QB sneak or just going for it.
The Redskins are in even more of a pickle though with this strong Carolina defense.  Running backs Alfred Morris, Matt Jones and Chris Thompson have two great linebackers and a strong defensive end to face (Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Charles Johnson).  Wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder have Josh Norman and Charles Tillman.  The tight ends may slip away easy, but they do have some good safeties and LBs to face. So in the end, I think Carolina will win.
Dolphins, 44, Cowboys, 38 FOX Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Even with Tony Romo back, I think Dan Campbell and the Dolphins have enough power to beat the struggling Cowboys, who are only still in it due to a seriously weak division.  The Dolphins have the power to beat them, Romo-less or not.  When you lose your star running back in the off season, you stink.  It’s what you do :).
But Miami’s offense will need to step it up.  This week I actually like Lamar Miller.  Jay Ajayi will get all the Rolando McClain attention after last week, and then, BOOM!!!  Miller breaks out.  I also expect sleep receivers DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills to do something.  But the offense will mainly belong to Miller, Damien Williams and the running game.
The Cowboys however, have a relatively healthy defense to face.  Infact, Miami is emerging into on of the league’s healthiest teams, (knock on wood).  Darren McFadden and Robert Turbin should be stopped by stud d-lineman Ndamukong Suh & Olivier Vernon.  Dez Bryant and Jason Witten will be a perfect fit for Brent Grimes and Reshad Jones, but sleepers like Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Gavin Escobar may do something.  Still, it won’t be enough to beat that stupid Miami running game.  Dolphins win in a slugfest, 44-38.
Rams, 45, Ravens, 42 FOX Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Even with Case Keenum at QB for the Rams over NICK FOLES and SEAN MANNION  in what I’d call the worst QB decision this season, the Ravens have been so unlucky with injuries and bad overall, that I can’t say that Case Keenum will lose the Rams this game.  This off season, the Rams’ll need a new QB, but for now, I guess Keenum will have to do.
Plus, Todd Gurley, Wes Welker, Tavon Austin and the rest of the offense can make up for it.  The Ravens secondary is very weak, meaning big games for Tavon Austin, Wes Welker and Jared Cook.  That could be the difference in this game.  Todd Gurley may struggle against the strong Ravens rush D, but the receiving game makes up for it.
The Ravens are in a similar situation (key word: similar).  Justin Forsett may also fall to a tough rush, but in the Ravens case, unless former Ram Chris Givens can step it up, the Ravens receiving game is out of luck. Joe Flacco has so few weapons that it will cause them to fall to Case Keenum’s Rams in Baltimore!!!  (Note: This is one of those games I’m trying to look at differently.)
Chargers, 34, Chiefs, 28 CBS Sunday 4:05 PM EST
Although the Chiefs have slowly improved lately, and the Chargers have been really bad, I think San Diego can beat their division rival at home.  San Diego has also had some serious injury problems, but they won’t let that hold them back.
The Chargers still likely have Antonio Gates, Ladarius Green, and Steve Johnson.  Only one Eric Berry, only one Marcus Peters.  Expect Antonio Gates to have a big one today.  He hasn’t fully broken out since his season starting 4 game suspension.  Gates is one of the premier tight ends of all time, among Gronk and Tony Gonzalez.  The running game again will be worn down, but Rivers still has passing options through many injuries.  I would also expect to see sleepers get receptions, far down ones like Dontrelle Inman.
The Chiefs will run it easy via Charcandrick West & Knile Davis through a weak San Diego rush D, but the Chiefs passing options are in such depth, that Eric Weddle and former Chief Brandon Flowers are enough to take down all the quality ones, just TE Travis Kelce, and Jeremy Maclin.  So, the Chargers actually surprisingly have the EDGE in this game.
Vikings, 45, Packers, 30 FOX Sunday 4:25 PM EST
This is one of the most intriguing match-ups of the week.  If the Vikings win, the Packers are two games out and have a 4 game losing streak.  If Green Bay wins, they take back the division.  So, let’s get in to this.
The Packers may have a good game on offense, but it won’t neccisarrily earn them a win.  I think Eddie Lacy will finally go back to normal, with a monster game today, maybe even looking better than he did at the beginning of the season.  I think the Vikings secondary will be able to stop Randall Cobb and James Jones though.  Good young corners.  Xavier Rhodes, and Antone Exum Jr.  But Richard Rodgers and sleep receivers Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery and Jeff Janis.
The Vikings however are in an even better place.  Adrian Peterson may have adversity to overcome, facing Clay Matthews.  But the young receivers, like Stefon Diggs and Charles Johnson, maybe even Mike Wallace, are pretty much guard free.  I also like Kyle Rudolph and Rhett Ellison at tight end.  So, the Vikings have more scrounge chances.  They win at home vs. Green Bay.
Seahawks, 27, 49ers, 10 FOX Sunday 4:25 PM EST
This will be a blowout.  The Seahawks will charge to easily demolish the Niners.  Even off a bye, Blaine Gabbert will still be washed up, and with Shaun Draughn as the best running back on the team, it means nothing big.  Garrett Celek has to deal with Kam Chancellor, and Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin won’t be any help against a good secondary.
In Seattle, they’re facing the worst NFL defense.  Come on.  Jimmy Graham will do well, Fred Jackson should do well, Thomas Rawls even.  But whatever they do, it’ll be better than the Niners, especially on defense.
Cardinals, 28, Bengals, 20 NBC Sunday 8:25 PM EST
The 7-2 Cardinals take on the 8-1 Bengals.  Be sure for a game to watch when teams this good square off.  Not.  When the Bengals are one of them, and the game is prime time, because Andy Dalton + Prime Time = DISASTER!!!!!!!!!!
The Bengals are facing a tough defense anyways.  A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert face good secondary members.  Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu will guard them to the end of the Earth.   The running game has a great set of linebackers in Sean Weatherspoon, LaMarr Woodley and Matt Shaugnessy.  So, not many scoring opportunities except for sleep receivers Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, will have LOTS!!!   The running game may have a tough defense match-up but Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd is greater than Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu, so Cardinals get the edge in this game.
Patriots, 38, Bills, 23 ESPN Monday 8:25 PM EST
My Pats face the division rival Bills on Monday Night.  I think that they can pull off the win.
The Bills are still full of offensive injuries.  LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams and Dan Herron are facing an improving rush defense.  Sammy Watkins and Charles Clay will face a nice pair of safeties, (McCourty and Chung).  So, again not many opportunities to score.
For the Patriots, they face a balanced, but overrated Bills defense.  Blount Force Trauma could be in trouble, but Brady will go heavy on his receivers again, even without Edelman.  Expect Danny Amendola to break out, joined by tight end overload, (Gronk, Chandler, Michael Williams).  So they have more weapons to take the edge over the Bills.  It’ll be 10 down, 6 to go on the Revenge Tour.

Hot Stove Round-up: Red Sox Trade for Kimbrel, Angels and Braves swap shortstops

Plenty has happened in just two weeks of hot stove season.  Qualifying offers have been decided and GM meetings are over, but the season has tipped off, mainly with trades.  Here’s the most important ones so far.

Red Sox Acquire Kimbrel For 4 Prospects

The Red Sox have new plans at closer.  They are moving on from the days of Koji Uehara.  They brought in star closer Craig Kimbrel from the Padres.  This is one step towards another miracle in 2016, hinted from a late lineup heating.  Kimbrel is only 26, so if they hold on to him, he should last a while.  Obviously they still need a starting ace but Dave Dombrowski plans to fill that need via free agency.  The prospects they traded were no major names besides Manuel Margot, who nearly hit for the cycle in Pawtucket.  But, the Padres didn’t give away Kimbrel for free.

Braves Acquire Erick Aybar, Angels Receive Andrelton Simmons

The Braves and Angels traded shortstops on the spot.  Why though?  Well, it wasn;t straight up.  Andrelton Simmons isn’t Erick Aybar on offnese, but gets the edge for his great fielding skills.  So Simmons came with two prospects, while Aybar came with three.  Starter for starter trades like this come with surprise, but they happen.

Mariners, Rays make 6 player exchange

The Mariners and Rays made the biggest trade yet this off season.  They Rays gave up Nathan Karns and C.J Riefenhauser, plus outfield prospect Boog Powell to the Mariners.  The Mariners needed more batting than pitching, but this trade didn’t make it seem that way.  The Rays received SS Brad Miller, a viable replacement for Asdrubal Cabrera, and 1B/OF Logan Morrison, plus reliever Danny Farquhar.  It really takes a hit at the Mariners infield depth, but plenty of free agents are out there that can help make that happen.

Mariners Acquire Joaquin Benoit

The Mariners have made plenty of yrades already, and in their second of three, they acquired Padres reliever Joaquin Benoit for two prospects.  The Padres have also made two trades this off season, one dealing Kimbrel to Boston.

Yankees Trade John Ryan Murphy to Twins for Aaron Hicks

The Yankees traded their backup catcher, John Ryan Murphy to the Twins.  The Yankees already have a third catcher in Austin Romine ready to take that role.  Meanwhile, the Twins have been without a relevant backup catcher for a while, pretty much ever since Kurt Suzuki took the starting job.  The Twins did not already have another CF ready though, which may cost them.  Was Aaron Hicks maybe the wrong guy for the Twins to trade, considering the Yankees are fine on outfielders, besides backup depth?  Hicks is traditionally a starter.

Phillies Acquire Jeremy Hellickson from D-Backs

The Phillies acquired Jeremy Hellickson from the D-Backs from prospect pitcher Sam McWilliams.  giving up Hellickson hurts the sub-.500 D-Backs’ pitching depth, but the Phillies needed a veteran.  Aaron Harang and Jerome Williams are both free agents, Cliff Lee declined a qualifying offer, and Cole Hamels was traded to the Rangers at the deadline, as the Phillies were clear sellers while Texas leaned towards the buying side.  Hamels helped Texas to the playoffs, and he had recently thrown a no-no for Philly.

Mariners Acquire Leonys Martin in 5 player trade

The Mariners, now onto their third trade of the off season, acquired Rangers backup center fielder Leonys Martin and reliever Anthony Bass.  Martin was the starter, until being injury plagued forced him to lose his job to Delino DeShields.  In return, the Rangers received Mariners outfielder James Jones, reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, and a player to be named.

Jose Pirela to Padres

The Yankees traded their utility man, Jose Pirela to the Padres.  In return, they got prospect RHP Ronald Herrera from the Padres.  Pirela was passed on the depth chart by Rob Refsnyder last season.

Cliff Pennington Signs With Angels

Free agent Cliff Pennington signed a two year deal with the Angels.  Pennington was traded to the Blue Jays at the deadline.  The middle infielder should fill the hole Howie Kendrick left at second.  Will they possibly sign an additional 2B?

Francisco Rodriguez Traded to Tigers

The Brewers had been rumoring this for ages.  The Tigers have their closer, and his name is not Neftali Feliz.  Francisco Rodriguez was traded to Detroit for their prospect, Javier Betancourt.


So, as you can see, most of the moves so far were trades, but a few free agents have signed.  Some re-signing, sometimes through qualifying offers or club options, but in the end, there’s still plenty more to this exciting off season.


Retirement Announcements:

Note: All Retirements Effective Immediately Unless Otherwise Noted (See David Ortiz)

A. J. Burnett

Dan Haren

Aramis Ramirez

Barry Zito

LaTroy Hawkins

David Ortiz (After 2016 Season)

Torii Hunter



Lewis Out, Edelman Out, What Now?

Dion Lewis is out for the year with a torn ACL, and Julian Edelman is out until the playoffs with a broken foot.  How will they replace these two key players to the offense?

Dion Lewis

Although Brandon Bolden and James White are doing their part, they need a significant passing back.  There are a couple options, although Travaris Cadet was signed by the 49ers.  Last week, the Pats worked out with RBs Pierre Thomas and Robert Turbin.  Thomas, a powerful Saints passing back for several years, parted with the Saints this off season.  When Reggie Bush had a season ending torn MCL, with Carlos Hyde also hurt and Jarryd Hayne gone, the Niners signed both Thomas and Shaun Draughn.  Thomas was cut after a win over the Falcons, exchanged for Cadet.  Is Thomas still relevant?  If not, they can resort to their other option, Robert Turbin.  Turbin was Marshawn Lynch’s handcuff and Seattle’s passing back for a while, but after getting cut this preseason, he joined the Browns, where Isaiah Crowell and rookie Duke Johnson Jr. beat him out.   Turbin is still a solid passing back.  Will they sign somebody?

Julian Edelman

Edelman, the important slot receiver, will be replaced greatly by Danny Amendola and injury plagued Keshawn Martin.

“Martin, was enough”, Tom Brady said in a press conference.  “It’s too late in the season for another guy to learn our offense”. However, in addition, preseason sensation Chris Harper has been promoted form the practice squad.  Harper apparently may also be a slot receiver based on the fact he was promoted, and not somebody else.

So, there are options to replace our stars, but it’s still another obstacle in our Revenge Tour we need to overcome.


Gostkowski Perfect, Pats Perfect

Stephen Gostkowski was going for a 54 yard field goal.  He was perfect on the season.  It was 26-24 Giants.  Gostkowski attempted the kick and the Giants called a timeout.  He tried again, and it just barely made it!!!!!!!  Stephen Gostkowski’s field goal had been affected by the wind, but it just made it!!!!!  Gostkowski did a squib kick, and then the Giants started running with it, then the guy passed.  The Giants continued to toss it around until, OBJ got tackled.  It was over.  The Pats had won.

The Pats just edged the Giants in a 27-26 back and forth game.  Well, how did it get there?  Lets start back from the beginning.  The Patriots had a long winded drive, which led up to a Scott Chandler touchdown.  Then, the Giants took immediate action and Odell Beckham Jr. went 87 yards for a touchdown!!!!  Longest play of his career!!!!  Amazing play, OBJ!!!  There weren’t any more major plays soon after that.  Then Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal.  10-7 Pats.  But Edelman looked hurt.  He limped off the field with a left foot injury.  He would not return for the rest of the game.  Matthew Slater already got hurt on a punt.

A couple drives later, just after Justin Coleman had given up big yardage to a Giants sleep receiver, White, he recovered an Eli Manning fumble.  With about 5 minutes to go, Josh Brown kicked a field goal to tie the game.  Eli Manning had a couple big 31 yard passes to Rueben Randle and Will Tye, getting them into the red zone where they went to Dwayne Harris for the 1 yard TD.  17-10 Giants at the half.  The Giants were schooling the Patriots.  First by deferring, second by their scoring strategy based on deferring.  Then in the 2nd half, the Giants kept it up in a penalty filled drive by kicking field goal.  20-10 Giants.  HEY Tom Coughlin, that’s our strategy!!!

Then, the next time the Giants had the ball, Brad Wing had to punt it away, and Amendola looked like he was going all the way, nearly untouched, until he reached the 7 yard line, where he was tripped by Duron Harmon and Patrick Chung, his own teammates!!!  Then Blount Force Trauma took the rest by scoring the touchdown.  20-17.  But the Giants followed with a good drive, but penalties held them back to a long field goal.  One stupid Pats penalty though, put the Giants into field goal range in the first place.  Now it was 23-17 Giants.

Brady fumbled on the next drive to add to his struggles.  But Rob Ninkovich returned the favor by sacking Eli Manning.  Then, after the punt, the next drive was great.  They started at the 14, ran a couple plays, then Brady went long.  Rob Gronkowski kept going with it and soon he was untouched.  Rob Gronkowski was added to the list of longest career play.  76.  Yard.  Touchdown.  GRONKINATOR!!!!!!  24-23 Pats!!!

the 4th quarter continued on.  Later in the 2nd half, things got pathetic.  Brandon LaFell caught a 54 yard pass, then Brandon Bolden scored the touchdown.  But because of a penalty on the Pats, it got overturned.  Then Brady got intercepted by McBride.  After a slow next 3 minutes, Josh Brown kicked another field goal.  Then on the next drive, the Pats only had a couple minutes left, and they raced into field goal range quickly, where Gostkowski did his thing, and we won.  The Pats now have scored in guess how many straight quarters?  35!!!   All but the first quarter of the season.  They broke the record today.

Next week, the Pats face Buffalo on Monday Night.  We just have to pray for Edelman to play next week, let alone return this year.  Otherwise, our undefeated hopes, even at 9-0 and SB 50 hopes go down.  But for now, “We’re on to Buffalo.”

Star Of The Game

I was not able to choose a star this week.  I felt that everyone contributed enough for us to win, but nobody was especially good, even Blount.  Also, check out my upcoming replacing Lewis article.