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Big XII Monday

Each week every article, media outlet, and experts think we have finally figured out what to expect and who will win. Then West Virginia decides to stomp Baylor, Kansas State beats who I thought would be the National Champions on the road and many other twisty turvy storylines that excites and befuddle most college football fans.

I for one am usually not yet strangely surprised by the revealing of this week’s AP rankings. If Baylor wins and holds the number 4 spot then does TCU move back into the top 8 rather than rising a whole whooping two spots in the rankings? Is the SEC really miles ahead of the Big XII or is it just media perception? Continue reading

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NFC East: Touchback Week 7

The NFC East:  Touchback

Tom Landry, Buddy Ryan, Bill Parcells and Joe Gibbs led their teams in 1987 in old school smash mouth football when football was really fun to watch.  The identities of these teams where fashioned by run first offenses and 4-3 defenses that stacked the line like the Great Wall of China.  The air on these Sunday afternoon football games was thickened with warriors such as Lawrence Taylor, the hogs, Randall Cunningham, Phil Sims, Doug Williams, Art Monk, Mark May, Gary Clark, Darrel Green, Charles Mann, Mike Golic …

… Missing from this eclectic group of players is the mighty Dallas Cowboys?  How could anyone leave out Steve Pelluer, Gary Hogaboom, and Eugene the hitting machine Lockhart, K-Mart Kelvin Martin and the manster Randy White?  I think the point has been made; however, within the 1987 Cowboys which was the beginning of the end of the Tom Landry era, the Cowboys had some hidden gems on this roster.  For instance Herschel Walker, the center piece of what was to become one of the most lopsided trades in NFL history giving the Cowboys seven picks over two seasons including the drafting of the NFL’s all time rusher Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, the moose Darrel Johnson and several other players who contributed to the 90’ s run for the Cowboys.   Within this 1987 roster was a hidden gem of one Mark Tuinei, a university of Hawaii product who made an appearance on the famed television show Magnum P.I. when it was actually cool to wear a mustache.  Tuinei helped anchor a line that featured three Super bowl wins.  The next gem in this 1987 roster was Nate Newton, the often-controversial figure with the big smile who partied more than he practiced.  Jim Jeffcoat anchored the defensive line along with a safety and special teams player, the beloved Bill Bates who in his final season stepped out onto the field at the Georgia Dome in 1993 and walked off a champ.

As we touchback this week through the NFC East for week seven, the question of Cowboys, Giants, Redskins and Eagles is can these teams step into the rivalries of the past and regain must watch television that made the 1987 season one to remember?

 

Featured Game of the Week

NY                          Giants 21

cowboys logo                         Cowboys 31

 

Seven, the perfect number, the number that represents what no other back in NFL history has ever done, not even Jim Brown.  Seven straight games with one hundred yards of rushing was accomplished in Sunday’s game against the Giants by Demarco Murray, giving him a total of 913 yards for the season.  Peyton Manning however will certainly overshadow this record on the day, with good reason.  The Giants played much better this past Sunday making up for the gaff they experienced in Philadelphia.  Eli Manning was proficient in the passing game this week going 21 of 33 with 248 yards and 3 touchdowns, not bad considering the drumming he received the previous week.  On three different occasions the Giants had the opportunity to sustain drives; however, the offensive line once again proved to be dazed and confused with false start penalties that ended drives forcing the punt.  Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. will in the future be a connection that will place fear in the hearts of defensive coordinators around the league; they hooked up for two touchdowns.  The combination of Cruz and Beckham in the future will be fun to watch and we all know that with options and speed Manning will quietly dominate much like he did when he had weapons during both super bowl victories.   The Giants scored 21 points which is an improvement over zero; yet, there is much to be done in the way of finding a way to win.

The Cowboys entered Sunday’s game against the Giants riding the adrenaline train off the win in Seattle and played off the rails taking the engine to the station.  The win over the Giants was the sixth straight win for the Cowboys and they are experiencing success because the system is being played the way Jason Garrett envisioned and experienced in the early ‘90s, by running the football.  The question of Murray’s health is being answered by having Dunbar and Randle to keep him off the field so that he may rest and face less reps. It’s working, the previous years Murray has not made it through a season without being hurt; however, if the Cowboys can keep Murray healthy, the rest of the season may be promising.  That being said, the Cowboys have won six in a row for the first time in seven years.  Escobar showed up Sunday with a coming out party of sorts, the potential of the second year tight end is preparing him self to take over for Witten when he retires.  Escobar caught two passes today from Romo, both for touchdowns.   Romo continues to find Terrance Williams each and every week at the right time and the right place connecting once again for the second touchdown of the game tying the game at 14 in the 2nd quarter.  The Cowboys are dominant in one category this year; they lead the league in third down conversions.  Last year, the Cowboys were beyond terrible on third down production, what has snapped?  The Run is putting teams in position to respect the way they game plan the play action because at anytime Romo could hand off to Murray for a burst or throw to Bryant, Beasley, Witten, Escobar, Williams, and Street…

Tony Romo completed 17 of 23 passes for 273 yards three touchdowns and one interception after Bryant fell down on a route.  Murray ran for 128 yards and 1 touchdown.  The defense continues to finish games; causing two fumbles and interrupting the flow of the run making Manning throw the ball.  If the Cowboys continue to play with the team mindset and believing in their coaches, then the Cowboys will remain atop of the NFC East.  Did anyone notice that worst home field advantage in football was in favor of Dallas?  I believe that was the first home game that the Cowboys have experienced since moving over from Texas Stadium in Irving.  Great job fans!  Cowboys face the Redskins next Monday night on ESPN and the Giants will be on bye week.

 

redskins            Redskins 19

nfltitanslogo               Titans 17

 

The Washington Redskins improve to 2-5 Sunday on the leg of Kai Forbath who contributed 13 of the 19 points scored on the day including the game winner with no time on the clock.   What is more disturbing about the win for the Redskins is the play of Kirk Cousins, who by no means deserves to be given special treatment.  In the games he has played with preparation, Cousins has played a role in turning the ball over 11 times.  Sheepishly, RGIII sat on the sidelines Sunday with a sigh of relief taking the game with ease knowing that his job is not in jeopardy.   What more can you say about Colt McCoy?  Colt McCoy has patiently waited for a turn, a chance, and reclamation so to speak to prove that he has the skills to be a winner on the field.  Why would anyone think different about McCoy?  In college at the University of Texas, all McCoy did was win, he was the DJ Khalid of the Big 12.  No, McCoy is not the prototypical NFL Quarterback; he has a little backyard football in him, escapability and the will to win.    McCoy entered the game in the second half after Cousin gave up a fumble and an interception, which led to points for the Titans.  Is this really a win for measure though?  I mean the Tennessee Titans are not the darlings of their division.  When Charlie Whitehurst is the quarterback of the team, there is not much hope for winning the division.  Please do not get me wrong, I like the pony tail and all, he has been proficient when he has playtime; however, Whitehurst, like Cousins, like McCoy, are back up quarterbacks on teams trying to recover identities.

That being said, the Titans and Redskins both had an equal day.  The Titans claimed 14 first downs to the Redskins 16, both teams had 2 turnovers, time of possession for the Titans 30:56 to the Redskins 29:04, both teams were 3-11 on third downs and both teams were equally bad to watch.   McCoy on his first play from scrimmage found Pierre Garcon for a 70-yard touchdown pass, not bad for a throw to flats that ended in Garcon finishing with his legs.  The rest of the day belonged to Kai Forbath, who over McCoy deserves the recognition of doing his job and helping the Redskins to their second win of the season.  Washington Faces the Cowboys this week on Monday Night Football at the death star in Arlington, TX, the Cowboys have won 4 of last 5 matches on Monday Night; this is a rivalry game and a classic watch for the historical fans of the past and present.

Eagles          Eagles Bye Week

The Eagles face a huge challenge this week when they face the Arizona Cardinals who have quietly surged to the top of the NFC West.  Seattle’s loss to St. Louis yesterday gave the Cardinals a two game lead, the Eagles will need to focus on the task coming this Sunday and not fall prey to looking ahead to the Dallas game on Thanksgiving.

 

NFC East: Week 7

Dallas 6-1                         Washington

Philadelphia 5-1           @ Arizona

New York 3-4                 Bye

Washington 2-5           @ Dallas

 

Garrett, Gruden, Kelly and Coughlin do not yet stand up to the 1987 coaching line of Landry, Gibbs, Ryan and Parcells; nonetheless, these teams are still rivals, still fun to watch and still have one common goal, which is to pound each other to the ground in submission to show who will be beast in the East.

BTW, congratulations to Peyton Manning for surpassing Brett Favre as the leader in all-time touchdown passes with 510, no small feat considering the year off that Manning did not play.  Manning is on his way to 600 a record that will surely stand for the coming future.

Follow me on twitter @jtgoodson  

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LSU and Miami To Play in 2018 AdvoCare Cowboys Classic

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The 2018 AdvoCare Cowboys Classic will feature Louisiana State University against the University of Miami at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Today’s announcement of the matchup continues a college football tradition of bringing two top college programs to AT&T Stadium on Labor Day weekend to kick off the college football season.

 The 10th annual AdvoCare Cowboys Classic will be the 13th meeting between these two schools, and the first regular season match-up since the 1988 season. In the most recent contest, the two programs met in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2005 where LSU won 40-3. The Tigers lead the all-time series 9-3.

 This will be the fourth AT&T Stadium appearance for LSU who is 3-0 in the building, having appeared in two previous AdvoCare Cowboys Classic games – a 40-27 victory over Oregon in 2011 and a 37-27 win over Texas Christian in 2013 – and in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic where they defeated Texas A&M 41-24 to cap off the 2010 season.  This will mark the Hurricanes first visit to AT&T Stadium.

 The game will mark the 10th contest in the AdvoCare Cowboys Classic series. Each matchup has featured nationally ranked teams with Brigham Young University upsetting the University of Oklahoma 14-13 in the inaugural game in 2009, TCU knocking off Oregon State 30-21 in 2010, LSU defeating Oregon 40-27 in 2011, Alabama downing Michigan 41-14 in 2012, LSU beating TCU 37-27 victory in 2013 and Florida State downing Oklahoma State 37-31 in 2014.

Future games in the series include Alabama matching up against Wisconsin in the 2015, and the Crimson Tide returning the following year in 2016 this time to face Southern California. In 2017 Florida will take on Michigan.

 Information on ticket sales and kickoff time will be announced at a later date.

                                AdvoCare Cowboys Classic Results

Sept. 5, 2009: Univ. of Oklahoma 14 vs. BYU  13   Attendance 75,437

Sept. 4, 2010: TCU 30 vs. Oregon State University 21 Attendance: 46,138

Sept. 3, 2011: Louisiana State University 40 vs. Univ. of Oregon 27 Attendance: 87,711

Sept. 1, 2012: Univ. of Alabama 41 vs. Univ. of Michigan 14  Attendance 90,413

Aug. 31, 2013: LSU 37 vs. Texas Christian University 27 Attendance: 80,230

Aug. 30, 2014: Florida State University 37 vs. Oklahoma St. 31 Attendance:  61,521

Future Games

Sept. 5, 2015 University of Alabama vs. Univ. of Wisconsin

Sept. 3, 2016 University of Alabama vs. Univ. of  Southern California

Sept. 2, 2017 University of Florida vs. Univ. of Michigan

Sept. 1, 2018 Louisiana State University vs. Univ. of Miami

AGSH

NBA All-Star 2010

NBA Eastern Conference Preview: Part 2

Last week, we looked at the Eastern Conference teams who made the playoffs last year and reviewed some of the major changes they’ve seen. In that preview, we come to the conclusion that teams such as Atlanta and Brooklyn could see themselves drop out of the Playoff talk, even as teams like Toronto and Charlotte snag high Eastern Conference seeds. It seems crazy, but it could happen.

This week, we’re looking at the Eastern Conference teams that failed to make the Playoffs last season, trying to figure out which ones have the best chance of making it in this time around. Will the Knicks have anything going for them? And what can we actually expect from everybody’s new favorite team, Cleveland? Let’s take a look.

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New York Knicks
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Last season saw the Knicks fail to reach the Playoffs even with what seemed to be a solid starting roster. Yet even the pure talent found in players like Carmelo, Amar’e, J.R., and Iman wasn’t enough to balance out the lack of sanity found in the same players. They have replaced defensive stalwart Tyson Chandler with more offensive-minded Jason Smith, and brought in the always productive Jose Calderon to replace the always fluctuating Ray Felton. There is clearly a difference in mentality with the Knicks that you would have to think has something to do with Phil Jackson’s presence. The young Knick talent, such as Tim Hardaway Jr., Cleanthony Early, and Shane Larkin need to take more responsibility this year to bring stability off the bench. Stability will be the key for the Knicks, and if the Zen Master works his signature style, they have a decent chance of getting there. The Knicks this season will be hit-or-miss for sure, since the core of their talent is still such a volatile bunch, but their Playoff chances are solid. Not guaranteed, but solid. Continue reading

AGS_FantasyFootball25

WEEK 7: Game Recaps, Injuries, and Chutes and Ladders

Alright Folks, we’re going to break down three games from Week 6 and their subsequent fantasy impacts.  Then we’ll hit up the Big-3 knee injuries of the week and play some chutes and ladders to see who’s sliding downward and who’s climbing on up.  Let’s roll.

WEEK 6 GAME RECAPS

Green Bay vs. Miami:

Boy that ending was predictable wasn’t it.  Miami leading; Green Bay struggling; then… Aaron Rodgers leads a game-winning drive as time expires.  You could have fooled me that it was a road game.  The Cheesehead faithful showed up in droves in Miami.  I’m sure Andrew Quarless almost went for the Lambeau leap after catching the game-winner.

#Typical Rodgers

-Eddie Lacy owners, I give you permission to let out a big groan.  I’ve hyped him, I’ve told you to be patient, I’ve cited his cupcake schedule from here forward, but if the Packers won’t give him the workload, then I don’t know how we can rely on him as anything more than a TD-dependent RB2 going forward.  After I courageously ranked him as my 12th ranked player overall last week, reports began surfacing that McCarthy wanted Lacy and James Starks to have more of a 50-50 workload split.  Lacy still out-carried Starks by a ratio of 14:6, but Starks was more productive and also caught a couple of passes and most importantly was on the field when the game was on the line.  I’m trying not to be too reactionary to one week, but if you can still get 90 cents on the dollar for Eddie Lacy this week, I don’t know how you can pass it up.

-Davante Adams seems to be carving out a nice role as the 3rd WR in an Aaron Rodgers led offense, and the less talented Jared Boykin has shown us in the past that that spot in this offense can produce fantasy value (particularly with all the 3-receiver sets that Green Bay runs these days).  Rodgers claimed he saw separation on tape of Adams last week and true to his word, he looked Adams more often in Miami (8 targets, 6 receptions, 77 yards).

-Jordy Nelson is the best wide receiver in fake sports.  I was jostling between Jordy, Antonio Brown, and Julio Jones last week.  The juxtaposition of the offensive woes in Pittsburgh and Atlanta compared to the greased lightning in Green Bay has me firmly in Jordy’s camp.  If you were smart enough to zap him up in the late second round of your draft, kudos to you.  68 targets from Aaron Rodgers can go a long way despite in spite of one’s talent level, but Jordy’s got book-oodles of talent to boot.

-Mike Wallace has scored a TD in four out of his five games played.  The yardage leaves some to be desired, but he should be consistent moving forward as the true number one guy in Miami.

-Jarvis Landry caught 5 balls for 71 yards and a TD.  With Brian Hartline struggling and Brandon Gibson hurt, he could be the number 2 target in this offense.  But how many fantasy-relevant wide receivers can Ryan Tannehill really support?

-Lamar Miller is the real deal.  See the injury section below for more on my thoughts.

-On a non-fantasy note:  Aaron Rodgers has done the fake spike several times in his career.  This one almost cost him the game, if Davante Adams had not magically found his way out-of-bounds.  Let’s not call this a phenomenal play or even a surprising one.  It was a bit of trickery that was ill-advised and not novel.

Continue reading

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I Got The Power: Week 6 NFC Power Rankings AGSH Style

What an eventful week in the NFC!  Just when we all thought the Giants were turning the corner, huh?  Yeah, well…not so much.  And a tie…the Panthers/Bengals ended in a tie.  And did the Cowboys steal the win in Seattle?  Only if Joseph Randle had something to say about it.  So, without much further ado….The Week 6 Rankings:

16.  Tampa Bay (1-5) Umm….Joe Flacco  put up 5 touchdowns in like the first 60 seconds.  We can’t have that.  Do you guys even football??

15.  Washington (1-5)  I put this team at 15, despite having a 4 game loosing skid.  They at least show some life in games…for the most part.

14.   New York (3-3) They got shelled in Philly. Cruz is out.  Their O-Line is like Swiss cheese.  Not looking too great for this team right now.

13.   St. Louis (1-4)

12.  Atlanta (2-4)

11.  Minnesota (2-4)

10.  New Orleans (2-3)  Just when we thought they may turn it around, there goes Jimmy Graham.

9.  Chicago (3-3)

8.  Carolina (3-3)

7.  San Francisco (4-2)

6.  Green Bay (4-2)

5.  Detroit (4-2)  Have new kicker….Still went 1 for 3.

4.  Seattle (3-2)

3.  Arizona (4-2) This team is just outchea getting it done.  Sitting on top of the NFC West.

2.   Philadelphia (5-1)

1.  Dallas (5-1)  I mean, we’re all talking about it still.  Is it time to just tip your hat to Dallas now?  I’m thinking yeah.  But I’m gonna be honest….December is still out there.

Follow Sonja on Twitter @Mom23RN

AGSH

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Breaking The Huddle: Week 7 Review

Before Week 6, AL.com writer Kevin Scarbinsky told the state of Mississippi to “Put up or shut your trap” and then before week 7 ESPN’s PTI (Pardon The Interruption) told the state of Mississippi “It’s Over” on their Friday afternoon show. Hmm, wonder how that crow taste? In all fairness, Scarbinsky did write this article bragging on the MSU fan base this past weekend. The two SEC programs in the state of Mississippi just keep rolling and impressing. Even to the tune of a #1 ranking for Mississippi State. Let’s take a look at how these two programs impressed this past weekend.  Continue reading

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I Got The Power: Week 6 AFC Power Rankings, AGSH Style

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What do I remember about this week in the AFC? Let’s start with one of my biggest pet peeves in sports…ties. Bengals didn’t win or lose versus the Panthers and the game ended 37-37. I hate the rule, let’s get rid of it FOR—EVER, FOR—EVER. Man up and play a sudden death overtime period.  When I hear the word tie I have bad flashbacks of Bud Selig circa 2002, but I digress.

Something else that sticks out to me is a team that took yet another defeat. The Raiders impressed me how they came off the bye week, played tough and really took it to the Chargers despite the loss.

So how does these games effect the AFC Power Rankings? Check it out with the help of our good friends at Numberfire.

Continue reading

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NFC East: Touchback

Bone chilling, skin tingling, adrenaline pumping is the simple feeling of being wrapped up in your favorite team on each and every Sunday during football season. These feelings sprinted through my eighteen year old body like a cheetah chasing its prey as I watched the triplets make their Super Bowl runs in the early ‘90’s for the Cowboys. I was born in Irving, TX in 1974 as the generation of Staubach, Dorsett, and Pearson put the Cowboys on the map as a dominant force in the beast known as the NFC East. My father screamed at the television, stomped around the room, and modeled how passionate a fan could be as a long season encapsulates the emotions that the Eagles, Giants, Redskins, and the then NFC East Cardinal teams created in his Cowboy body. Over the years, I grew to respect each team from the NFC East as a perennial power in the NFL. In the past Ten years, the NFC East teams have not shown the perennial power it once had; outside of the Giants turning up the heat in the playoffs in two separate seasons the NFC East has been the NFC least. Today, watching the Cowboys beat the defending super bowl champ Seahawks at boisterous CenturyLink Field brought back the bone chilling, skin tingling and adrenaline pumping sprint through this forty-year-old body; and it felt really awesome.

The goal of this and future articles is to “touchback” through each NFC East contest through the playoffs. Today’s article is no exception, as we touchback through this weekends contest for the Cowboys, Eagles, Giants and Redskins we will look how the NFC East, can they reclaim the glory days from the past? Continue reading

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