Alright, Packers fans. This shit needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. So the Packers lost 20-17 to the Bears on Monday night. So the Bears are 3-0 atop the NFC North and we are now a game behind. So we lost a game that we were favored to win. Things like this happen. This is the NFL. I realize that expectations around the Packers are about as high as ever, and I am guilty of that too, but this whole mentality of how if we win a game we're destined for the Super Bowl and if we lose a game then our season is over needs to end. The Packers are a great team, and they lost a tough game. Things will be fine, we will be fine. It's one game. I know we made a shitload of mistakes, and I don't agree with the decision not to let the Bears score, and I know our penalties were embarrassing. But I still feel good about this team. I feel like we will work out our kinks and be fine. What I don't feel like right now is defending myself for that thought when every other blog I go on right now is crying Armageddon because we lost to a good team on the road by three points.
1. 70 - I have to admit, I had some bad feelings about the Badgers when I woke up on Saturday morning. One of the dreams that I had during a drunk night of slumber was that the Badgers had dropped a non-conference game to UW-Parkside by a score of 44-41. Keep in mind that UW-Parkside doesn't even have a football team, and it's athletic department is actually most well known for race-walking. No joke. I guess realistically though I really didn't think that the Badgers would lose to Austin Peay, but I never would have envisioned a 70-point performance. Those kind of scores are usually reserved for SEC teams during their non-conference schedule, not for a run-first team like the Badgers. The seventy points the Badgers scored on Saturday not only meant a lot of push-ups for Bucky but it was also the most points that the Badgers have ever scored in the modern era, as they say. The previous record was the 69 points that Wisconsin put up against New Mexico State in 1961.
I really feel bad about this, because I'm definitely treating the Brewers right now with the tendencies of a bandwagon fan. I'm highly negative of them, and I haven't watched a full game since they were competitive. I don't want things to be this way, but it's hard to start to watch something that you know is going to be a trainwreck at the end (kind of like NBC's "The Event"). I remember two years ago at this time I had to be watching every second of every game, even blowing off a Packer game or two to watch the Brewers. I liked when things were like that, because I love watching the Brewers. But watching the Brewers when they are good and watching the Brewers when they are bad are two completely different scenarios.
Forgive me, but I'm seriously trying to pull this off. I've written only three posts this week, and one is about Twitter? How embarrassing. I'd say the biggest reason why I haven't been posting as much lately is that my job is actually forcing me to work 40 hours a week, something I did not sign up for. I can make excuses all I want, but the fact of the matter is I'm not posting much as all. Consider my weekly Twitter shoutout a way to make it look like I am.
Also on Thursday it was Brandon Jennings 21st birthday. The Bucky Channel would like to wish him a Happy Birthday, because let's face it, we haven't been doing much else around here lately. Also camp starts Tuesday so don't party too hard Young Buck. The quest for making the playoffs again starts Tuesday. How good can this team be, well I found a cool article previewing the season, and you check it out for yourself.
1. No Surprise Here - Packers 34, Bills 7. Pretty much what we all expected, but it was beautiful in it's dominance. These kind of games where you know they are going to be blowouts and then they end up actually being blowouts are actually what the 1996 season was full off, and yes you're getting Super Bowl season comparisons in only week two. Actually, I've been making them since training camp so no surprise here. Sure, the Packers started a bit slow, but the second half was all Packers. Aaron Rodgers put up the kind of game that we've been expecting of him too, throwing for 255 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 20 yards including gaining nine of those for a score (which sadly almost made him the leading rusher). There are still a few things to work on with this squad, but for not playing your best football in the first two weeks and still being 2-0, while the hated Vikings are 0-2, it's a good time to be a Packer fan right now.
Oh boy. The Badgers game against Arizona State on Saturday wasn't a cupcake game by any means, as the Sun Devils play in a legit conference and are a legit foe. But we've come to except that any time the Badgers play a home game before the Big Ten schedule beings, it's going to be a victory. In fact, that Badgers have started 3-0 in every season that Bret Bielema has led this team. Yet, that was nearly not the case on Saturday as the Badgers needed a Cal Poly-like miracle to come out of this one victorious, using a blocked extra point to gain the 20-19 victory.
I could have gone all CBS and put Randy Wolf, What the $@!%, but I thought laying down an actual curse word would be more effective (Seriously though, William Shatner's new comedy will be on for six weeks, tops. It's never a good idea to base a show off of a website. Remember the Baby Bob show?) I know I've been non responsive lately when it comes to the Brewers, but when Randy Wolf pitches a complete game three hitter against a playoff contender something has to be said for that. Nine innings, three hits, no runs, six strikeouts against the San Francisco Giants in their ballpark. WHHHAAAATTT!
What's better than a column about NFL Power Rankings? A column about NFL Power Rankings that is about two days too late and is about 5,000 words too long! In between a couple days of work and a trip to the doctor to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack (that's what you start to think after you pound two Qdoba burritos every Tuesday), I somehow squeezed out this garbage. With that ringing endorsement, make sure you check out this week's edition of Winks Thinks, which can now be found exclusively on PocketDoppler.com.
When news quickly spread that Ryan Grant's season was officially over, the immediate question became just who exactly would replace him on the roster. It was a no-brainer that Brandon Jackson would take over the starting running back duties on this team for the time being, but Grant's roster spot needed to be filled. The answer to the question was a name not too many Packers fans may have even heard of in Dimitri Nance, who the Packers poached off of the Falcons practice squad on Tuesday afternoon.
When I heard Mike McCarthy say that Ryan Grant had suffered a "significant" injury, I was immediately worried. McCarthy had said the same thing about Justin Harrell's injury one day before, and Harrell ended up being out for the season. It looks like Ryan Grant is going to suffer the same fate, as Jay Glazer has first reported that Grant's 2010 campaign is indeed over.
Oh man, how does your heart just not bleed for Justin Harrell at this point? He never asked to be drafted so absurdly high after a season where he was coming off of an injury, but that's what happened. Also what happened: a ton more injuries. After a preseason where he legitimately played his way onto the roster, Harrell is exiting the 2010 campaign after just one game. It's a sad story for the former first round pick, as he's just never been able to stay healthy. This latest injury, a torn ACL, is going to cost him his season, and possibly his career.
1. A Very Familiar Game, With an Unfamiliar Outcome - The Packers haven't won a game in Philadelphia since 1962, so it was fair to assume that if Green Bay were to lose a handful of games this season, this would be one of them. But then again a lot of things were going in the Packers favor. Kevin Kolb, the Eagles starting quarterback, is more talk than he is walk at this point, and the Packers have one of the most prolific offenses in the league. Green Bay's defense is improved from a year ago as well, so perhaps Green Bay could go into Philly and steal one from the Eagles. That's basically what happened, at least initially in the Packers week one game, as after a few quarters of play the Packers found themselves up 20-3 on the road.
1. Yeah, it's a dumb rule. It's the dumbest rule the league probably has right now. You're telling me when a quarterback dives into the end zone all he has to do is get a slight piece of the ball over the end line, but when a receiver catches the ball he has to complete the catch all the way to the ground? So that means that having possession as well as having your ass and your knee touch the ground aren't enough? This is a rule that needs to get changed immediately, because it definitely cost Calvin Johnson and the Lions a victory in Chicago on Sunday. I wasn't rooting for either team in this case, but the Lions deserved to win that game if not for that play alone. Sometimes I think in cases like this the NFL doesn't mind the controversy because hey, any press is good press right? Terrible play.
1. Sloppy, But Victorious - The defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide opened their season with a 48-3 victory against San Jose State, so it would be a good measuring stick for the Badgers to see how they could face against the common opponent. Wisconsin didn't do quite as well as Alabama did, only managing to beat San Jose State 27-14. The Badgers could have easily ended up winning this game by 40 plus points as well, but turnovers got in the way on this Saturday. Scott Tolzien fumbled a couple of times, losing one, and he also threw an interception. Overall, Tolzien had a decent day, it's just that those turnovers stopped this game from being more of a blowout. If you're going to contend for a national title as we blindly think the Badgers can, you have to beat these kind of teams by more than thirteen points when you have them at home.
Fridays have become a better popular day over in the Twitterverse, as it's become tradition to give a few shoutouts to some of your followers as part of "Follow Friday". Very clever with the term, I know. We're taking it one step further here at The Bucky Channel, spotlighting one of our followers right here on the blog. I initially pitched this as a weekly feature last week, so I suppose I should at least try to keep it going for another week.
Yesterday, we looked at some of the guys you may have drafted in fantasy that will make your team a contender this season. Today, we're going to look at some of the guys who will make your team similar to Winks - and that is perennially out of the playoffs. Actually, I had written this all as one post, but Winks wanted to separate this into two different postings to make it look like we're posting more than we actually are. Good to see that he's finally using that communications degree of his. Douche. Anyway, on to some of the guys that will make your fantasy team a loser.
Philip Rivers, Chargers. He is an awesome QB, but it just seems that he has lost a lot of his targets. I'm not sold 100% on Ryan Matthews, and Malcom Floyd as your top receiver seems a little odd to me. Gates will have to carry this team, although he seems to be able to handle that. I just don't know if these other guys will step up their game. It just seems like a real risky pick to me more than a bad pick.
C.J. Spiller, Bills. Loved him in college, loved him on draft day, and he looked awesome in pre-season. The only problem I have with him is he has two backs behind him if he makes one mistake. Being young you have to play every game perfect, or else you will lose your spot to someone else. That is my biggest fear with Spiller. As of now he is going into week one as the main back, but Fred Jackson seems to be healthy as of now. I'm not worried about Spiller himself just worried about him getting lost in the shuffle sometimes.
Beanie Wells, Cardinals. For the same reason as Spiller. Tim Hightower is still on this team, and they don't have a QB that scares anyone. So my guess is teams will stack the line against the Cardnials, which could also make it harder for Wells to do what he did last year. You put Kurt Warner in a 4 WR set with Wells in the backfield, and Wells runs all day. Derek Anderson in a 4 WR set with Wells in the backfield, and Wells gets shut down real fast.
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals. Nothing against him, but everything against the guy throwing him the ball. It could be a long year for Fitz and the Arizona offense. If you didn't reach to get Larry then I would say your alright, but if he was a guy you targeted early, and took a chance with him early that might come back to hurt you. It will be a challenge for him this season to put up numbers like he has in the past.
Anquan Boldin, Ravens. Well, first he is missing the guy above him right now in Fitzgerald, and second the Ravens seem to have a lot of weapons now with the signing of Housh. I still like Boldin, but his targets might be down with Mason, Heap, and Rice already in the picture and now with T.J. joining the team. It is almost like having a Packers WR this year. There just seems to be too many options to get them all the ball every game. He will have huge games, but don't be shocked to see some dull games from him.
Greg Olsen, Bears. I really love the TE spot this year. I think you have a lot of guys that will put up big numbers for you. So my Olsen pick just goes back to staying away from Bears. He had a good season last year, but did have some games where he did nothing. He was not a threat all the time, which at this spot you have to be in order for your fantasy team to be good. You want guys that will at least catch a few balls every game. Olsen just seems like the guy that can go a game without catching a ball, which makes it hard for you to win when you are playing a man down.
Vince Young, Titans. I know you might be asking yourself, how can Gweeds explain this one?Well I'm a salesman, kind of, so I can talk myself out of any situation. He has the top back in the league that he can dump a pass off to for him to take to the house at anytime. He has his own two feet that can put up good yards on the ground at any point in time. He still has an arm, and yes it is not that great, but he just always seems to makes plays. In a league where it's tough for quarterbacks to score based on yardage and in leagues where you get only four points for a QB touchdown, waiting for Young will pay off for you. Write that down.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers. He will only miss four games this season, well unless he gets injured or another girl steps forward. He has always been a solid QB, and if you take a chance with a guy like Matt Ryan, Kevin Kolb, Or McNabb it would be nice to have Big Ben as a back up. I like all those guys I just brought up, but they are a little bit of a risk. Ben should be able to play solidly when he returns, and he'll make your team stronger for a late run at the title.
Leon Washington, Seahawks. I see him getting the most touches for the Seahawks in week one, and then that happening for the rest of the season. The team overall is not good, but Washington always seems to get good stats. He also will be doing kick returns, so if those count in your league that is just a bonus. Some leagues he may still be out there to pick up, so if he is keep a close eye on him, he will be off the waiver wire soon.
Jerome Harrison, Brown. This one is a "no pressure, and no one to take touches from him" sort of selection. I'm not sure if this is the season, but this team will turn it around. Harrison is a big back that can run and catch balls. He may not put up MVP type numbers, but if you need a solid backup or maybe a guy to fill an injury spot he was a solid pick for you.
Pierre Garcon, Colts. Reggie Wayne will do his thing, but Garcon is faster and younger so he might be in line for a huge season. Manning loves to work the ball around, but Wayne will get the number one corner back which leaves Garcon to just do work. Also he just seems like that awesome dome WR that gets faster when they play at home. I love this pick this season, and if you get some top RB's and waited to take Garcon as your wideout I say good work to you.
Roddy White, Falcons. Seems to me he feel in almost every league I was in, but he would get taken right before he got to me. I think Matt Ryan should have a better year this season, and he just loves to throw the ball to White. If you were the guy in all my leagues that took him right before me I congratulate you for you pick. I could see him being the third best WR this season in fantasy. Maybe even the second behind Andre Johnson.
Terrell Owens, Bengals. He just seems to run his mouth all the time, but in the end he always has a solid season, and least when he's not with Buffalo. I never really liked the guy, but everytime I seem to play him he has a huge game. With Ocho next to him he could be in for a big year. Maybe Palmer can play like he did pre-ACL injury, and this team could be a fantasy power house team again. T.O. in the 10th round or later was a steal for you either way.
Zach Miller, Raiders. He some how caught 66 balls with a blind man at QB, so the sky is the limit for him now. So I know Campbell isn't a huge step up, but you have to figure 75-80 balls is not out of the question here. Will he find the endzone is the huge question, but he should get targeted a lot. He had three touchdowns last season, so you have to think he can double that number this season with a QB update.
Kellen Winslow, Bucs. He had 77 catches last season, and I see that happening again this season. He is a huge body that can beat most Linebackers over the middle. Also with Josh Freeman not having a strong deep ball arm he loves to target Winslow. Take out Gates, Finley, and Davis these would be my next two best TE's. If you were able to hold off till later to get one it should pay off well for you.
Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders. This is a crap shoot every year, so I don't know how I can say he is a value pick. The only thing I do like is Campbell being the man moving the ball, but failing to score touchdowns on drives. SeBass has a huge leg which always makes him a good pick, because odds are he will have the most 50 yard field goals. This isn't a real steal, but I just pray you didn't take your kicker before the last round. If you did you must know something I don't know about a team this season.
San Francisco 49ers. This is another category that can be a crapshoot, but if you go by schedule you have to take these guys for sure. They play in the weak NFC West, so that is six good starts right there. Like I said this is not a for sure pick, but if you were able to get them after like six other teams were taken you will be happy with your pick.
Those are the picks that I like a lot. This doesn't mean you can start asking for the trophy from your league commish, but you should be able to have solid season if you were able to snag a few of these guys. Tomorrow, I'll go through some of the guys I think were taken a little too high. Here's a hint - I basically looked at the team Winks drafted and went from there.
I think it's safe to say that this Milwaukee Brewers season hasn't really gone the way that a lot of us planned it to go. I'm sure many of us thought that now in the first week of September we'd be at least rooting for a Wild Card birth, but the truth of it is most of us stopped watching the Brewers about a month and a half ago. Even though this season was all but a waste, one positive did come out of the Brewers 2010 campaign - Trevor Hoffman got to celebrate his 600th save in front of the home crowd in Milwaukee. It's a milestone that really couldn't have happened to a better guy, and something I'm pretty sure we'll never see again in baseball.
A bit off-topic here, but I just wanted to say how glad I am that Boise State beat Virginia Tech on Monday night in the already biggest game of the young college football season. Nothing against Virginia Tech here, but this is more of an all out of defense for Boise State. I know that the Broncos play in an inferior conference so to speak, but they have proven year after year that they can hang with the big boys every time they've been given the chance.
1. Overcoming Adversity - Ever since the Badgers nearly lost to Cal-Poly in 2008, and hell, even before then, Badgers fans have always been a bit uneasy when facing nonconference teams that we should easily beat. We've won our last 25 regular season games against these opponents, but they don't come easy. This was was looking to be another one of those challenges as the Badgers only led UNLV by three at the half, thanks to a couple of key defensive plays by the Rebels, and despite the fact that UNLV had just twelve yards of total offense at that point. But despite the strong defensive effort from their opponent, the Badgers overcame what they called their first test of adversity of the season, and took down UNLV 41-21.
While a lot of the names that you'll see on the list of players released by the Packers on Saturday shouldn't be any surprise, Spencer Havner actually comes as quite a shock. Not that he's a huge name or anything, but I don't think anyone had even considered him being one of the casualties when they were predicting their 53-man roster. Havner is a touchdown monger who ended up stealing a lot of should-have-been Ryan Grant touchdowns for me last year in fantasy, but I still loved him regardless. He's a fullback. He's a linebacker. He plays special teams. His versatility made him valuable to this squad and that's why it's surprising to see him released. They always say that "the more you can do, the less expendable you are", but in Havner's case that was not to be. The other cuts are as follows:
P Chris Bryan
OT Chris Campbell
WR/KR Jason Chery
CB D.J. Clark
OL Evan Dietrich-Smith
WR Charles Dillon
LB Robert Francois
OL Breno Giacomini
QB Graham Harrell
LB Alex Joseph
S Anthony Levine
RB Kregg Lumpkin
LB Cyril Obiozor
LB Maurice Simpkins
DE Ronald Talley
NT Anthony Toribio
WR Chastin West
WR Patrick Williams
DE Jarius Wynn
On Twitter there is this thing called Follow Fridays, which is where you basically devote your tweets for the day to either giving shoutouts to your friends or shoutouts to people that you wish would follow you that don't currently. I'm taking it one step further today by telling you someone you should follow on my blog! This has to be the ultimate #FF, right?
Even though this is technically more of an "alignment" than a "realignment", one thing is for sure - Jim Delaney and the other Big Ten officials didn't really set up these two new divisions with the Badgers in mind. Sure, we still will be playing for the Paul Bunyan Ax every season against the Golden Gophers, but other than that nothing about this restructuring plays into the Badgers favor. We lose our yearly rivalry against the Hawkeyes, we have to play Penn State and Ohio State every season no matter what, and most importantly we unfortunately don't get to beat up on Northwestern every year. L-ame.
SEPT. 3 UNLV
SEPT. 10 OREGON STATE
Sept. 17 vs. Northern Illinois (at Soldier Field - Chicago)
SEPT. 24 SOUTH DAKOTA
OCT. 1 NEBRASKA
Oct. 8 BYE WEEK
OCT. 15 INDIANA
Oct. 22 at Michigan State
Oct. 29 at Ohio State
NOV. 5 PURDUE
Nov. 12 at Minnesota
Nov. 19 at Illinois
NOV. 26 PENN STATE
The 2012 schedule does not include nonconference games but here is the partial schedule, which includes all eight league games.
SEPT. 1 HOME TBA
Sept. 8 at Oregon State
SEPT. 15 HOME TBA
SEPT. 22 HOME TBA
Sept. 29 at Nebraska
OCT. 6 ILLINOIS
Oct. 13 at Purdue
OCT. 20 MINNESOTA
OCT. 27 MICHIGAN STATE
Nov. 3 BYE WEEK
Nov. 10 at Indiana
NOV. 17 OHIO STATE
Nov. 24 at Penn State
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