Thursday, October 1, 2015

2015-16 NFL Power Rankings (Week 3)

When defense suddenly stops mattering...

By: Jimbo X


Arizona Cardinals
Season Point Differential: (+77)

The most impressive thing about the Cardinals win over San Francisco on Sunday wasn't that the team won by a 40 point margin of victory. Instead, it was how they won by a 40 point margin of victory: two touchdown passes from Carson Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald, two touchdown runs from Chris Johnson and two interceptions returned for touchdowns. Right now, the Cards have the League's absolute best offense (even outgunning the high-scoring Patriots), and if that wasn't scary enough? They're also putting up the third best defensive numbers in the NFL. 

New England Patriots
Season Point Differential: (+49)

Just three games into the 2015 season and Tom Brady already has more than 1,000 passing yards. To give you an idea just how much air mileage the dude is racking up, his 358 yard, two TD performance in Sunday's 51-17 thrashing of the Jaguars actually constitutes a a step backwards for the first ballot Hall of Famer. Lost in all the gloriously premature hubbub about the team going 16-0 again is the impressive run game approach the Pats utilized against the Jags; they had four TDs on the ground, with LeGarrette Blount alone racking up three touchdown rushes for 78 yards. 

Buffalo Bills
Season Point Differential: (+32)

After last week's demoralizing loss to arch rivals New England, Rex Ryan's Bills made the Miami Dolphins suffer, absolutely pulverizing the Fins 41-14. Tyrod "T-Mobile" Taylor went 21 out of 29, recorded three touchdowns and posted nearly 300 yards in the air in a downright stellar performance, while unsung halfback hero Karlos Williams collected 110 yards on the ground and hit endzone for a solo TD. The defense also shined: they sacked Ryan Tannehill twice, picked up three interceptions and smacked the dog shit out of him no less than eight times

Cincinnati  Bengals
Season Point Differential: (+29)

The Ravens made it a close one, but the Bengals were still able to waltz out of week 3 undefeated with a 28-24 win over their divisional adversaries. QB Andy Dalton had a stellar game, with 383 yards and three touchdowns, while A.J. Green had 227 receiving yards and 2 TDs. The running back corps underperformed with just 86 total yards and no touchdowns, but really, when you are racking up so many points by air, why bother trying to move the rock on the ground

Green Bay Packers
Season Point Differential: (+28)

What more needs to be said about Aaron Rodgers performance on Monday night? 333 yards and five touchdown passes, with James Jones and Randall Cobbs combining for four TD receptions and well over 200 yards after the catch. Overshadowed somewhat, however, was the Packers' steady run game in their 38-28 victory over the Chiefs: despite having no touchdowns on the ground, they nonetheless moved the rock smoothly, collecting 123 rushing yards against one of the League's more efficient front sevens. 

New York Jets
Season Point Differential: (+27)

When Geno Smith get sucker-punched out of the regular season, the doomsayers had a field day. Well, making all of those people look like a bunch of triple-A knaves in hindsight, the Jets are easily the best defensive team in the National Football League right now. Of course, that still doesn't mean they can't have some bad showings, as demonstrated by Sunday's 24-17 loss to the Eagles. The takeaway here? It don't matter how good your secondary is, if your QB is going to throw three interceptions per game -- and your receivers are going turn the ball over twice -- not even the best defensive core in the League is going to be enough to win you ball games. 

Denver Broncos
Season Point Differential: (+25)

Peyton Manning, who obliterated NFL passing records just two seasons ago, has slowed down considerably in 2015. Alas, he looked in tiptop shape Sunday night, as his 324 passing yards and two touchdowns helped power the Broncos to a 24-12 victory over a struggling Lions squad. That said, with a run game that could barely post 40 yards against a subpar Detroit defense, you really have to wonder how this team is going to fare later in the season ... especially as some unexpected interdivisional competition slowly awakens in the Bay Area.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Season Point Differential: (+24)

Well, the good news is, the Steelers got Le'Veon Bell back for week three. The bad news is, they lost Big Ben for four-to-six weeks in the very same game. With arguably the best half-back and wide receiver in the game, this Steelers team is designed to rack up the points; the question now is, can Pittsburgh count on a way-past-his-prime Mike Vick to deliver the ball into the capable hands of Antonio Brown and company? 


Carolina Panthers
Season Point Differential: (+23)

Next to the Jets, the Panthers have the League's absolute best defense. That said, that stellar D couldn't prevent the Saints from giving Carolina a close call, as Cam Newton and company barely scraped by last Sunday with a 27-22 win. The decisive factor, obviously, was Carolina's chief signal caller; Newton -- despite not having "seniority" for a few beneficial penalty calls -- nonetheless racked up some serious yardage (315) and two touchdowns by air, both of which wound up in the mitts of Greg Olsen (who, as it should probably be noted, had 134 yards on just eight receptions.)

Atlanta Falcons
Season Point Differential: (+17)

Another week in the NFL, and another come-from-behind victory by the Falcons. At one point down 21-7, Matt Ryan slowly came to live, as the new-but-not-that-new-look Dirty Birds wound up with a 38-28 victory over the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. With Devonta Freeman racking up three touchdowns and 141 yards on the ground and Julio Jones reeling in two TDs with 164 yards, the Falcons are quickly becoming one of the most versatile offensive threats in the League ... and with a much improved defense from last year on top of it. 

Seattle Seahawks
Season Point Differential: (+13)

The 'Hawks improved to 1-2 on the season Sunday, throttling the hapless Bears 26-0. With 235 yards on the day, Russell Wilson looked much improved, despite being sacked four times by what is statistically the worst defense in the NFL. With about 400 yards of total offense, the Seahawks looked like their old selves again -- that said, with Marshawn Lynch 50/50 for week 4's tilt against the Lions, it is awfully tempting to finger the "upset alarm" button for Monday night. 

Tennessee Titans
Season Point Differential: (+12)

Despite being 1-2 and losing a close one to the Colts Sunday, the Titans -- at the moment -- remain the best looking team in an absolutely ghastly AFC South. Mariota broke even on a TD to INT ration at two a piece, but in the process, he racked up an impressive 367 yards, which was well over a hundred more than Andrew Luck tossed in Indy's microscopic 35-33 win over Tennessee. This team may not be suited for a playoff run quite yet, but there's no denying they are going to be a fun team to watch throughout the season. 

Minnesota Vikings
Season Point Differential: (+10)

Terry Bridgwater (121 yards, an INT and no TDs) has a forgettable day, but AP certainly didn't. America's favorite (alleged) child abuser ran wild in the Vikes' resounding 31-14 victory over the Chargers, accumulating 126 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. You have to give some love to the defense, too, as they sacked Philip Rivers four times, picked him off once and forced him to turn the ball over, before finally knocking him out of the game altogether. 

New York Giants
Season Point Differential: (+6)

Eli Manning had two touchdowns and 279 yards in the G-Men's 32-21 victory over the 'Skins. Both Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham, Jr. and his stupid haircut had good nights, combining for two TD receptions and nearly 200 yards all by themselves. The defense, however, just kind of phoned it in: they let an underpowered Washington offense rack up a good 400 yards against them, with Matt Jones not even really playing

Dallas Cowboys
Season Point Differential: (0)

At the beginning of Sunday's game against the Falcons, Joseph Randle looked like a stud. That said, despite rushing for three touchdowns and 87 yards, it wasn't enough to keep the Brandon Weeden-commandeered Cowboys from overcoming a late onslaught of points from Matty Ice and pals. The backup QB looked decent enough with 232 yards, but none of his air strikes put points on the board. The Cowboys run game might be enough to overcome the loss of Tony Romo against some teams, but as Atlanta proved, their ground attack just isn't enough offensively to get the job down against the NFL's upper-tier units. 

Washington Redskins 
Season Point Differential: (-4)

Kirk Cousins had a TD and 316 yards in the team's Thursday night loss to the Giants. Of course, Cousins also threw an INT, while Matt Jones accumulated only 38 yards on 11 carries and lost a costly fumble. This Sunday's Battle-For-2-and-2 against Philadelphia, needless to say, could be all kinds of ugly, folks. 


Houston Texans
Season Point Differential: (-4)

Talk about coming out of the Blue ... Alfred Blue, that is. The no-name back had 139 yards and ran it in for a TD in the Texans' 19-9 win over the Bucs. Receiver DeAndre Hopkins (1 TD, 101 yards) also looked solid, while QB Ryan Mallett finished with a "meh" 228 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. And of course, there's also the defense, which hit Jameis Winston six times and limited Tampa Bay to just 57 yards. In a gloriously substandard AFC South, that kind of play -- as hard as it may be to interpret -- might just be enough to win them the division. 

Philadelphia Eagles
Season Point Differential: (-5)

The Eagles got their first win of the season against a damn good Jets team on Sunday. Although Sam Bradford only tossed the ball for 108 yards, he still managed a touchdown and no interceptions, and the Eagles running back corps -- led by Ryan Matthews -- accumulated a fair 123 yards and one touchdown on the ground. It may not be too much to be excited about, but in an injury-hampered NFC East, any late September win could have huge implications come January. 

Oakland Raiders
Season Point Differential: (-9)

Granted, the team's 27-20 victory over the Browns was a close game, with the Raiders almost giving it away at the end, but you can't help but feel impressed by this team's emerging offense. For the second week in a row, Derek Carr had over 300 yards passing, with running back Latavious Murray and star wideout Amari Cooper both posting 130 plus yards apiece. And with Charles Woodson making the last second INT, for a week at least, the spirit of 2002 was alive and well in Raider Nation. 

Kansas City Chiefs
Season Point Differential: (-10)

At 1-2, the Chiefs aren't exactly struggling to get their offense going, but they are struggling quite a bit with sloppy play. Case in point? Alex Smith's two fumbles and interception in Monday night's 38-28 loss to the the Packers. With the Chiefs only able to muster 75 rushing yards -- not to mention Smith being sacked no less than seven times -- you really have to start asking some hard questions about this team's offensive line. 

Baltimore Ravens
Season Point Differential: (-14)

The winless Ravens find themselves in an unfamiliar realm; for the first time since the team's inception, they are struggling to win games with a lackluster defense. Offensively, Sunday's 28-24 loss provides the Maryland faithful both some succor and even more reasons to be concerned about the team's fortunes. While Joe Flacco tossed the ball for 362 yards, the team could only muster a poor 36 yards rushing throughout the entire game

Cleveland Browns
Season Point Differential: (-14)

Pro Bowler Joe Haden is supposed to be one of the best defenders in the League. Well, he sure didn't look like it Sunday, as Raiders wunderkind Amari Cooper burnt his ass for well over 130 yards in the Browns' 27-20 loss to Oakland. Gary Barnidge was the offensive MVP for sure (106 yards, one TD), but the run game looked god awful, accumulating just 39 yards on the day. Don't let Josh McCown's 316 yards and two TD passes fool you; this is a team that's still a complete mess at quarterback, and with Johnny Football champing at the bit on the sideline, expect plenty of drama throughout the rest of the season. 

St. Louis Rams
Season Point Differential: (-17)

After upsetting the Seahawks in week one, Nick Foles and the boys haven't really looked all that awe-inspiring. In a fugly 12-6 loss to the Steelers that's memorable solely because the the Rams almost sat the Ed Jones Dome on fire (and secondly, because the grounds crew though they could put out AstroTurf infernos with vaccuum cleaners), Foles had an INT and no TD passes, while the Rams running back corps had just 71 yards on 18 carries. 

San Diego Chargers
Season Point Differential: (-17)

With Rivers getting injured, the Chargers had to make magic work with Kellen Clemens, who managed to toss just as many TD passes as the starter did on literally a fourth as many pass attempts in San Diego's 31-14 loss to Minnesota. Keenan Allen (133 yards, two touchdowns) is definitely the team's greatest offensive weapon, but the question is obvious: just how good is a multifaceted receiver if he ain't got a reliable quarterback to hit him? 


Miami Dolphins
Season Point Differential: (-23)

After a really good week one performance, the new look Fins are starting to look like rotten tuna. While Rishard Matthews got two touchdowns and 113 yards in Sunday's 41-14 curb stomping at the cleats of the Bills, nobody else on the receiving corps could find the endzone. Nor did the run game -- which only racked up 102 yards on the day -- look all that impressive. The big concern, however, has to be the team's lagging defense: the Fins couldn't sack "T-Mobile" once, and on the whole, they let Buffalo chalk up more than 400 total yards of offense. 

Indianapolis Colts
Season Point Differential: (-24)

The Colts got their first win of the season ... BARELY ... in a Big 12 style gun fight with Tennessee. Despite tossing two TDs, Andy Luck posted a relatively low 260 yards, got sacked three times and got smacked around four more. With Frank Gore's two TD day, the rushing game looked all right, but that defense still has lots of work to be done. If these dudes can't keep Dorial Green-Beckham and Kendall Wright out of the endzone, what's going to happen when they have to stop a Gronk or an Antonio Brown?

New Orleans Saints
Season Point Differential: (-24)

The Saints are still looking for their first win of the season, and despite coming away empty-handed over the weekend, there were a few glimmers of hope to be found in their 27-22 loss to Carolina. Backup QB Luke McCown went 31 for 38 and had 310 yards, but unfortunately, he couldn't convert any of them into touchdowns. The special teams unit, at least, found a way to hit the endzone; Marcus Murphy had well over 150 yards and TD on five kick and punt returns. 

Detroit Lions
Season Point Differential: (-27)

Thanks in no small part to having arguably the League's most potent offensive and defensive players, the Lions have been a consistent playoff-caliber team for the last four seasons. That said, with Donkey Kong Suh taking up residence in South Beach and the UGA/Georgia Tech QB-WR tandem failing to light up the scoreboards anymore, the tenants of Ford Field are playing much more like the dreadful 2008 team than the 2014 squad who almost sent the Cowboys packing in the wildcard round. That the team was only able to put up a measly 28 rushing yards against the Broncos in Sunday night's 24-12 loss ought to send a shiver down the spine of any longtime Lions fan. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Season Point Differential: (-31)

With 261 yards, Jameis Winston certainly looked better than Ryan Mallett in the Bucs' 19-9 loss to the Texans on Sunday. With a no-name receiving corps, the former FSU star had some success, as Mike Evans and Louis Murphy rumbled downfield for about 170 combined. Alas, the run game remains a complete non-factor, as Doug Martin and Charles Sims, together, could only muster 57 yards on the day. Then, there's Bobby Rainey's two lost fumbles ... the less said about that, the better

Jacksonville Jaguars
Season Point Differential: (-42)

As hard as it may be to believe, the Jaguars -- despite being crushed by the Pats by 34 points over the weekend -- are still the top team in a sadsack AFC South. Blake Bortles had about as good a day as he could've on Sunday, racking up 242 yards and chucking two TD passes against a ferocious Patriots secondary, but they never could get the run game going. The Jags go toe-to-toe with the de-surgent Colts on Sunday, for control of what very well could be the worst division in modern NFL history (yes, even worse than last year's abysmal  NFC South.) 

San Francisco 49ers
Season Point Differential: (-48)

Colin K. had one of the absolute worst showing by an NFL QB in recent memory on Sunday, as he threw four interceptions and accumulated an astonishingly low 67 yards of offense in the Niners' embarrassing 47-7 loss to the Cardinals. He ultimately finished the game with a 3.2 QBR -- a sum so absurdly low, you have to wonder if the coaching staff isn't thinking about benching him for week four. 

Chicago Bears 
Season Point Differential: (-59)

Well, this is uncharted territory: priding themselves for decades as a defensive juggernaut, the ill-fated Bears now find themselves sans a win and the unfortunate title holders for worst defensive team in the whole dadgum League. The Bears blowout loss to Seattle is just the latest setback in a season that's already shaping up to be one of the most miserable in the franchise's history. With Jimmy Clausen in the pocket and the team giving up more points than anybody in the NFL, how does Chicago's management respond? By literally trading away their best defensive player for peanuts. What's the record for absolute earliest a National Football League team has given up on a season? Whatever it is, this Bears team looks destined to shatter it

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2015 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings (Week Four)

The calm before the storm?

By: Jimbo X

The Associated Press? The USA Today's Coaches Poll? Whatever jibber-jabber is being puked out over at ESPN and Bleacher Report? Puh-leeze, we all know those alleged "Top 25" countdowns are pathetic jokes penned by homers, Power Five loyalists and Notre Dame nuthuggers. That's why I decided to release my own weekly rundown of the best FBS college football squads in the States, completely devoid of all the usual fanboyism and corporate malarkey that makes lists of the like elsewhere so unbelievably annoying. 

Throughout the regular season, a new installment will go up every Wednesday morning, so you may want to bookmark this sucker for future reference ... and to show to all of your fellow NCAA football lovin' chums, so they can know that -- at least somewhere out in the tangled, endlessly frustrating World Wide Web -- there's someone on the Internet with some goddamn horse sense when it comes to ranking college 'ball teams. 

Ohio State (4-0)

In a fairly uneventful week in college football, it's pretty difficult to pick a team who stood out. While no one is ever going to consider the Buckeyes'38-12 victory over non-factor Western Michigan a "statement game," Ohio State's start-to-finish performance over the weekend was nonetheless the most consistent of any top 25 team in the land. Ohio State gets arguably their first real challenge of the year this Saturday, however, when they go cleat-to-cleat with an undefeated Indiana Hoosiers squad in Bloomington. 

Michigan State (4-0)

The running game was the big variable in the Spartans' 30-10 victory over Central Michigan on Saturday, as Michigan State ball carriers scuffed up the endzone thrice and accumulated 181 total yards on 36 rushing attempts. The passing game, however, did look a little anemic (the no-name Chippewas team actually out-tossed the Spartans 285 yards to 143.) That's not exactly a reason to sound the upset alarm for this Saturday's home stand against the 1-4 Purdue Boilermakers, but its nonetheless something to worry about as the season continues. 

Baylor (3-0)

The Golden Bears put on an absolute air show over the weekend, as QB Seth Russell lobbed six touchdown passes (three of which went to receiver Corey Coleman) and racked up 366 yards in Baylor's 70-17 beatdown on Rice. Amazingly, the Bears looked even better running the ball, as the team posted a stellar 427 yards on the ground. The fun may be short-lived, though: this weekend, the squad plays host to a Texas Tech team that most certainly wants revenge for this weekend's oh-so-close loss to Big 12 adversaries TCU. 

Ole Miss (4-0)

The Rebels looked surprisingly lethargic in their groggy 27-16 win over Vanderbilt. Although Chad Kelly racked up 321 yards in the air, he only hit the endzone once and tossed two costly interceptions. Running back Jaylen Walton looked OK (he had a touchdown and 133 yards on the day) as did receiver Laquon Treadwell (135 yards on eight receptions), but the defense looked half asleep throughout the affair. Needless to say, Ole Miss can't afford to dial it in this weekend, as they head to the swamp for a dangerous duel against fellow undefeated SEC squad Florida. 

LSU (3-0)

Leonard Fournette is definitely Heisman Trophy material. In the Tigers' 34-24 win over Syracuse, he had two touchdowns and 244 yards on 26 carries, a sum nearly doubling the total number of rushing yards put up by the Orangemen. That said, the rest of the offense has definitely looked better, especially QB Brandon Harris, who had just one touchdown and 157 yards on the day. 

TCU (4-0)

The Horned Frogs' last-second victory in a back-and-forth offensive slugfest with Texas Tech was easily the most entertaining game of the weekend. While the defense gave up over 600 yards(!), the team also racked up some stellar yardage, too, with Trevone Boykin dialing up nearly 500 yards and the Horned Frogs rushing attack (led by Aaron Green with two TDs and 162 yards) racking up close to 250 additional yards. This weekend, they host a 1-3 Texas team that direly wants retribution for their own last second loss on Saturday. TCU would be wise to not take them lightly. 

UCLA (4-0)

The Bruins knocked Arizona from the list of unbeatens over the weekend, besting the Wildcats 56-30 in a game in which UCLA recorded no less than six rushing touchdowns. Of course, the Bruins' defense also gave up a considerable amount of ground to Arizona's rushing attack -- to the tune of 353 yards, to be exact. 

Utah (4-0)

The Utes surprising success (not to toot my own horn, but guess who called it back in August?) continued over the weekend, as they drubbed Oregon 62-20. The offensive MVP had to be QB Travis Wilson, who tossed four TD passes and walked it in for a fifth, ultimately accumulating 227 passing yards and another 100 with his own two feet. 

Notre Dame (4-0)

Backup QB DeShone Kizer has looked pretty good for the Irish, racking up 207 yards and two touchdowns in Notre Dame's 62-27 win over UMASS. Then again, it was the Irish rushing attack that clinched that little contest; led by C.J. Prosise (two TDs and 149 yards), the team accumulated 457 total yards on the ground Saturday. In quite possibly the weekend's second most anticipated match-up, the Irish travel to South Carolina for a primetime shindig against fellow unbeaten Clemson. 

Georgia (4-0)

Sure, the Bulldogs 48-6 win over Southern was fun, but the cupcake parade comes to a screeching halt this weekend, as the dreaded Alabama Crimson Tide return to the Peach State for the first time since the Tide chucked UGA out of the 2013 National Championship Game. Expect productivity in both states to come to an absolute standstill as soon as 3:30 rolls around on Saturday afternoon.

Clemson (3-0)

The Tigers had a bye this week, which is certainly welcomed, considered the Fighting Irish are coming to town on Saturday night. Can Deshaun Watson and the boys outgun Notre Dame in what should certainly be an offensive-oriented barnburner? We'll just have to wait and see, looks like. 

Florida State (3-0)

Like Clemson, FSU took a breather this weekend. While it's easy to give the Seminoles a free pass against a 2-2 Wake Forest squad this weekend, that may not be the wisest thing in the world. After all, just ask Auburn what happens when you fail to take "sub-par" teams seriously...

Oklahoma (3-0)

Yet another week three inactive re-emerges this weekend, as Oklahoma hosts an undefeated West Virginia Mountaineers squad at home. The upset potential here is quite high -- when it's all said and done, Norman might just be the saddest little town in the Midwest once Saturday's come and gone. 

Texas A&M (4-0)

The Aggies struggled in their 28-21 win over Arkansas, even as QB Kyle Allen chucked the pigskin for 358 yards and two touchdowns. The run game, however, looked incredibly impotent, as the halfbacks could barely muster 65 yards all day against a Razorbacks team that is far from being the most dominant defensive squad in the SEC West. 

Northwestern (4-0)

It was a close one, but the Wildcats still came out triumphant in a 24-19 slugfest against Ball State. Clayton Thorson had three touchdowns and one interception, while the Northwestern running back corps, despite failing to score a single TD, nonetheless carved up the turf to the tune of 290 yards. The Wildcats play host to a Minnesota Golden Gophers team that definitely has potential to wreck their undefeated aspirations ... and on Northwestern's home turf, no less. 

California (4-0)

The other undefeated Golden Bears squad had a scare on Saturday, but Cal nonetheless managed to hold off Washington for a 30-24 victory. This weekend, they do battle with a tough Washington State team; pending California escapes from that one with a W, they then have the unenviable task of heading into Utah for a conference skirmish against a red hot Utes squad on Oct. 10. 

Miami (3-0)

While the Hurricanes have played very inconsistent thus far in the season, they've still been able to weather whatever storms (pun, regrettably, intended) have come their way. After sitting idle in week four, they have an away game against Cincinnati this week ... and after that, a crucial, and perhaps season-determining, clash with the Seminoles in Tallahassee in week 6. 

Oklahoma State (4-0)

If not for truly horrid special teams play from the Longhorns, there is a very good chance the Cowboys would've lost Saturday's tilt against Texas. Alas, fate shined favorably upon Oklahoma State, and they walked out with a razor thin 30-27 victory. Despite racking up nearly 300 yards for the day, QB Mason Rudolph also struggled at times, throwing two picks and finishing the game with a 52.0 quarterback rating. The Big 12 championship picture will clear up considerably this weekend, as the Cowboys do battle with fellow conference unbeaten Kansas State. 

Kansas State (3-0)

After winning their first two games of the season by a 64-3 margin of victory, the Wildcats almost got bumped in week 3's epic overtime duel against Louisiana Tech. Needless to say, we're going to figure out what kind of team KSU really is this weekend, when they go toe-to-toe with the 4-0 Oklahoma State Cowboys on their own turf. 

Florida (4-0)

The Gators' extremely close 28-27 win over the Vols has to be one of the biggest upsets of the college football season so far this year. The undefeated Florida team gets yet another opportunity to shock the hell out of the SEC, as the play host to offensive juggernauts Ole Miss down in Gainesville this Saturday. 

West Virginia (3-0)

The Mountaineers are playing tremendous offensive and defensive ball, scoring no less than 41 points in any of their first three games of the season while allowing opponents to accumulate no more than 17 points against them. Their noon showdown against the Sooners in Norman this weekend -- at the beginning of the season, a seeming throwaway game -- is now one of the most intriguing, and important, conference games of the young season. 

Iowa (4-0)

After pummeling North Texas 62-16, the Hawkeyes have their first real challenge of the year when they face the Badgers in Madison this Saturday. The rest of the month ain't getting any easier, either; they follow up an Oct. 10 game against Illinois with a road game at Northwestern on Oct. 17.

Indiana (4-0)

Two weeks in a row, the Hoosiers have escaped extremely close games against B-level teams, such as Wake Forest and Western Kentucky. The good news for Indiana fans? This weekend, your team has a home game. The bad news? It's against Ohio freaking State

NC State (4-0)

The ACC is still wide open, and pending Clemson and Florida State take a few lumps, the Wolfpack -- against every shade of empirical reasoning you can think of -- very well could find themselves in the championship hunt. The undefeated team takes on an underachieving Louisville squad on Saturday, with an away game against Virginia Tech scheduled just six days later. 

Memphis (4-0)

The high-scoring Tigers are the belle of the AAC at the moment, averaging about 50 points per game. Unfortunately, Memphis is also giving up a ton of points, as well, as indicative as indicated by their nail-biter 53-46 win over Cincinnati. Every year, there seems to be that one overachieving non-Power Five team that makes a run for the national title; could tenants of the Liberty Bowl be 2015's Marshall?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

LIVE(ish) Play-By-Play From Week 3's Raiders vs. Browns Game

11:44 a.m. -- Live coverage begins at 1 p.m. Eastern. Be sure to click the hell out of that refresh button, fellas!

12:30 p.m. -- Kickoff is in half an hour. Rod Streater, Justin Tuck and Jamize O. (the only dude who could score against the Bengals in week one) are all gametime decisions.

12:34 p.m. -- This just in: Josh McCown will START for the Browns over Johnny Football. This, despite Manziel's impressive performance last week. 

1:00 p.m. -- And we are coming to you LIVE from Cleveland, Ohio. And we all remember what happened the LAST time a pro sports team from Oakland came to town...

1:02 p.m. -- Oakland set to receive. And the Raiders will begin within their own 20. 

1:04 p.m. -- Amari Cooper with a first down reception on Oakland's very first play. 

1:05 p.m. -- Latavious dropped for a loss on first down. Third and 12 coming up. AND COOPER WITH NOTHER FIRST DOWN PICKUP.

1:06 p.m. -- Murray with a few yards on first down. Second and eight. Deadball on a dropped pass makes it third and eight. AND COOPER WITH ANOTHER FIRST DOWN CONVERSION!

1:07 p.m. -- MURRAY WITH A HUGE RUN! But a holding call on Oakland brings it back to the CLE 30. First and 20. Shane Crabtree reception makes it about six yards from a new set of downs.

1:08 p.m -- And Helu picks up the first and a shuttle pass. Raiders in the redzone. 

1:10 p.m. -- First and goal. Murray gets nowhere on the play. About five yards to the endzone on third and goal.

1:11 p.m. -- And Carr overthrows Crabtree. Out comes the field goal unit. Janikowski is as automatic as usual. Raiders take the early 3-0 lead and burn damn near eight minutes off the clock in the process.

1:15 p.m. -- The Browns will start at their own 20. About a two-yard run on first down. Incompletion on second down, but a holding call against Oakland gives Cleveland a free set of downs. 

1:18 p.m. -- Raiders looking really good stopping the run so far today. And they are blitzing like mofos, too!

1:19 p.m. -- The pressure on McCown is hot and he tosses it away on a second and nine. And a penalty against Cleveland makes it second and 19. Third and eight. And the D CRUSHES the ballcarrier behind the line for a huge loss!

1:22 p.m. -- Cleveland punts it away, ad Oakland starts their second drive at their own 20. This is the best the Raiders have looked defensively all season.

1:23 p.m. -- Hey, did you know its NFL Hispanic Heritage Month? Well, it is. 

1:24 p.m. -- A flag sets the Raiders back before they can even take the first snap. First and 15. Nothing going on a rushing attempt, so it is 2 and 15. Amari Cooper with a five yard catch.

1:26 p.m. -- Third and six. An incompletion on a hurried throw, but a CLE holding penalty gives the Raiders a new set of downs. 

1:27 p.m. -- Murray dropped behind the line on first down. Second and ten. And he goes backwards again, creating a third and 11 situation for OAK.

1:28 p.m. -- And Crabtree gets tangled up on what probably would have been a TD reception. Oakland has to punt, and the Browns will have to start around their own 20. Fun fact: did you know the Raiders are 2-22 in their last 24 away games? In fact, the last time they won a game outside O.Co was a 2013 game against the Texans.

1:32 p.m. -- McCown nearly picked off on first down. About a third and five coming up. And Hartline reels it in to give Cleveland their first first down of the game. 

1:33 p.m. -- KHALIL MACK with a huge stop in the backfield. Second and 11 now. AND MCCOWN GOES DOWN IN THE BACKFIELD!

1:34 p.m. -- Third and 14. And that's the end of the first quarter. And the Browns can't convert. 

1:39 p.m. -- The Raiders start the drive around their own 10. 

1:40 p.m. -- Roy Helu (I think) can't reel it in. Second down. And a flag. No, wait, the Browns are burning a timeout. 

1:42 p.m. -- Murray in the backfield. And he breaks off a good seven yard rip. Third and 3 coming up. 

1:43 p.m. -- And Cooper drops what would have given the Raiders a first down. Shit. 

1:44 p.m. -- Cleveland will start around midfield. And they get an illegal block in the back penalty to start the drive.

1:45 p.m. -- Cleveland pushed back to around their own 30. Second and six. The presure is on, and McCown overthrows. Third and six. Wait, Charles Woodson is in the game now?

1:48 p.m. -- The Browns take another timeout. And it looks like Johnny Football may be leaving the sideline...


2:07 p.m. -- PROTIP: When using the Blogger app on an iPad, DO NOT click out of the application or else you will lose literally everything you typed thanks to a complete and utter auto-save feature. Guess who learned that one the hard way just a few moments ago?

2:08 p.m. -- All right, Cleveland has a first and ten at midfield. Gabriel is overthrown, so it is second and ten for the Browns. And Hawkins can't reel in another pass. That makes it third and 10 for the Browns. 

2:10 p.m. -- The Browns in Raiders terriitory for the first time today following a conversion. But the ballcarrier gets dropped for a MASSIVE loss on second down!

2:11 p.m. -- Second and 16. But sumbitch, the Browns manage to convert. 

2:12 p.m. -- Looks like its first and ONE for Cleveland. Second down coming up. Two-minute warning is upon us.

2:15 p.m. -- And third and goal! AND OAKLAND MAKES THE STOP!

2:17 p.m. -- Browns take a timeout. They may be going for it on fourth down. Yep, they are. 

2:18 p.m. -- Cleveland gets a false start call. That brings out the field goal unit. Travis Coons (ironically, a white guy) cuts the Raiders lead down to 7. 10-3, Raiders

2:22 p.m. -- And the Raiders start their next drive at their own 30. Murray breaks out a 15 yard run. And Seth Roberts takes it to the Browns' 15!

2:23 p.m. -- Marcel Reece doesn't do much on second down. Third and nine coming up. 


2:27 p.m. -- And Janikowksi's extra point makes it a 17-3 lead for Oakland. What is this strange feeling I am feeling? I am watching a Raiders game, but the emotions I feel are like, not sad or angry. What the hell is going on here?

2:28 p.m. -- AND THE RAIDERS FORCE A FUMBLE ON THE KICK RETURN! Alas, it is under review.

2:30 p.m. -- AND THE CALL IS OVERTURNED. But the Browns can't do shit anyway, so we head to halftime 17-3, regardless. 

2:32 p.m. -- Pretty much everything is clicking for the Raiders today. Derek Carr is 12/21 with 201 yards, with Amari Cooper already over 100 yards receiving on the day. And after a slow start, Murray has now reached the 50 yard rushing mark. But the even bigger suprise? The Raiders D has allowed the Browns to rack up less than 150 yards so far in the game, with the Browns highly touted run offense limited to just 24 yards thus far.

2:45 p.m. -- The Browns get the ball to begin the third quarter. They will start from their own 20. And McCown is still in at QB, for some reason. 

2:47 p.m. -- Second and nine. And a deep pass is overthrown. Third and nine. AND MCCOWN EATS DIRT!

2:49 p.m. -- And Cooper loses about twenty yards on a busted punt return. BUT DIGRESSION, I SAY!

2:50 p.m. -- Oakland starts at their own five. Crabtree with about five on first down.

2:51 p.m. -- MURRAY WITH A HUGE RUN! But a player is down. Oh shit, that's not Latavious, is it?

2:53 p.m. -- Reece can't reel it in on first down. The Raiders have 312 yards on the day, if you can beliee it. And Jones chugs it for a third and one situation. 

2:56 p.m. -- ...and Murray gets the first. Thankfully, that was a Brown that got injured, apparently. 

2:57 p.m. -- And Jones gets almost eight on a busted run. The Raiders have 126 rushing yards on the day. Will they be able to surpass the 500 yards of offense mark this afternoon?

2:58 p.m. -- And another Brown is down. Second and three for Oakland, at Cleveland's 20. An overthrown pass to Crabtree, but there is a flag...on Crabtree. Second and 13. One man in the backfield, and Crabtree bobbles a pass. Third and 13.

3:00 p.m. -- Crabtree with the reception, but its not enough for a new set of downs. Out comes Sea-Bass. Automatic. 20-3 game, Oakland. 

3:04 p.m. -- And the Browns get it at their own 20, with about nine minutes left in the third. And they get about eight on the play.

3:05 p.m. -- Second and two. But there is a flag. ON CLEVELAND. Second and seven. A batted pass, and yet another flag on the play. This time, it is on Oakland. So, second and two, again. 

3:06 p.m. -- A dropped pass makes it 3 and 2. And Hartline converts.

3:08 p.m. -- Or did he? The play is under review.

3:10 p.m. -- The call stands. First down for Cleveland. 

3:11 p.m. -- Cleveland is at midfield. Third and two. And in other news, add BIG BEN to the list of injured quarterbacks for the season. 

3:12 p.m. -- And the Browns can't convert. Here comes the punt unit. Or hell, the Browns may be going for it. 

3:13 p.m. -- They are. And dabnabit, they make enough for a new set of downs.

3:14 p.m. -- And CJ WIlson is hurt. I think he is a defensive tackle or something.

3:15 p.m. -- Gary Barnidge has 77 yards on the day. And Cleveland can't make the magic happen under pressure. Another defensive player for Oakland is down. Manziel chewing gum frantically on the sideline.

3:17 p.m. -- Second and eight. Midfield. And the receiver gets dropped well behind the line of scrimmage. 

3:18 p.m. -- Third and 8. But motherfucker, Hartline reels it in to move the sticks.

3:19 p.m. -- Second and two near the OAK 30. The halfback is dropped for a loss. 

3:20 p.m. -- Third and one situation. And that one leads to a Cleveland touchdown. Barnidge torches the secondary for a 28-yard reception. 20-10, OAK.

3:21 p.m. -- Huh. Did you know there is an all new Halloween-flavored burger out there from Burger King now?

3:23 p.m. -- Raiders start at their own 20. Second and seven coming up. AND MARCELL REECE RUNS LIKE A DRUNKEN ELEPHANT FOR ALMOST 60 YARDS!

3:26 p.m. -- Second and eight at the CLE 30. And Seth Roberts with a nine yard pickup. Three and one for OAK.

3:27 p.m. -- And Murray converts. But there is a flag. ON CLEVELAND. First and goal for the Raiders. And that will do it for the third quarter. The Raiders will begin the fourth quarter in Cleveland's redzone.

3:30 p.m. -- Murray rumbles for about five. Five yards until paydirt. AND MURRAY HITS THE ENDZONE! 

3:31 p.m. -- And a Janikowski gimme makes it 27-10 Raiders.

3:33 p.m. -- Dear lord, you ought to see this girl three tables over to me in a Steelers jersey. She's got the worst case of meth mouth I've seen in a long time, and I live in Georgia, so you know that is saying something. 

3:35 p.m. -- And Mack STEAMROLLS McCown. We've got ourselves a 3 and 17 situation at the Browns' own 10. And mother of fuckers, THEY CONVERT IT.

3:36 p.m. -- Cleveland at midfield. And a holding call against the Raiders puts Cleveland in striking territory. 

3:37 p.m. -- A second and three around the OAK 30. A new set of downs takes the Browns into near redzone territory. And Charles Woodson is walking off the field...

3:39 p.m. -- First and ten, at the OAK 20. And the deep pass is a no-catch. Second and 10. No good on that would-be endzone strike, either. Third and 10, still at the Raiders' 20. 

3:41 p.m. -- AND MCCOWN IS SACKED AND STRIPPED OF THE BALL! Unfortunately, the Browns recover. That makes it fourth and 14. Out comes the field goal unit. And that makes it 27-13, Raiders.

3:42 p.m. -- Yep. Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans are EASILY the whitest fans in the League.

3:44 p.m. -- And the Raiders begin the next drive at their own 20. 

3:45 p.m. -- And Cooper with enough for ten yards. He almost broke loose on that one, too.

3:46 p.m. -- Murray with about two. Second and eight coming up. A holding call makes it second and 18.

3:48 p.m. -- Cooper with about seven on the play. Third and 11. And motherfucker, the ball pops loose. The Browns have it at midfield. 

3:51 p.m. -- About eight minutes left in the game. Cleveland is at the Oakland 40. Woodson back in the game. And there is a flag against the Raiders. Seven minutes left, and the Brown are at the OAK 20.

3:53 p.m. -- Second and ten. They convert. First and goal. No good on the first go-at it.

3:55 p.m. -- TOUCHDOWN BROWNS. And the extra point makes it 27-20 Oakland.

3:58 p.m. -- Six and a half left in the game, and the Raiders take over at their own 20. 

3:59 p.m. -- Murray with about four. Second and six. Six minutes left in the game. Carr tosses it away. And Oakland gets a holding call on top of it.

4:01 p.m. -- Third and 15 coming up. And that ain't nowhere near enough to move the chains. Four and a half minutes left in the game, and Oakland has to punt.


4:04 p.m. -- Murray up the gut for four. Time to play smallball, obviously.

4:05 p.m. -- Third and five. Two minute warning approaching. And Carr tosses it away. Out comes Sea-bass, who will attempt...nothing. The Raiders punt it away, instead. 


4:08 p.m. -- And the Browns are challenging that it's not a touchback. 

4:09 p.m. -- Nope. The Browns have 99 yards to go, the refs say. Second and ten. Looks like the Browns have enough for the first down.

4:12 p.m. -- No go on a batted pass. Second and ten coming up. About a three and four, and we've got two minutes left in the ballgame.

4:15 p.m. -- The Browns convert. A minute and a half left at the CLE 30. McCown chucks it away.

4:16 p.m. -- Cleveland at midfield. About one minute left. The Browns convert, and they are in Raiders territory.

4:17 p.m. -- Cleveland takes a timeout. 0:49 left in the game. 

4:18 p.m. -- MCCOWN IS SACKED. Browns take another timeout.

4:19 p.m. -- Third and 14. AND WOODSON WITH THE GAME-CLINCHING INT!!!!!!

4:20 p.m. -- The Raiders take a knee and walk out of a thriller with a 27-20 win. 

4:23 p.m. -- Derek Carr finishes the game with 314 yards and two TDs, Latavious Murray had over 100 yards and a TD and for the second week and a row, Amari Cooper had over 100 yards receiving. And...impobably...YOUR OAKLAND RAIDERS are 2-1 on the season. 

4:25 p.m. -- With a passion?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

This Week in Social Justice Warrior-dom

A look back at all the things that OUTRAGED ultra-P.C. jihadists ... before they forget all about them in just a few days. 

By: Jimbo X

Surely racist and ableist Bay Area residents sue to keep autistic Indian-American kid from trying to murder their children

While most of America was captivated by a video of one dudebro punching another dudebro who was trying to beat up a tertiary blind dudebro, another news story involving underage violence broke on the West Coast. Apparently, some homeowners in Sunnyvale, California filed a lawsuit against Vidyut Gopal and Parul Agrawal, seeking to declare their middle-school aged son a "pubic nuisance." Unsurprisingly, tons of left-leaning publications and special interests groups picked up on the story, painting it as a tale of insensitive jerkwads trying to force a special needs child out of the community. What many of those accounts leave out, however, is that the violent behavior has been going on since 2007, with one plaintiff describing in brutal detail the numerous attacks on his four-year-old child. Other accounts from neighbors include incidents of baby-punching, bicycle attacks and numerous attempts to kill pets. On Sept. 22, a judge ordered the families involved in the case to seek "mediation" -- in short, demanding the parties find a compromise between doing absolutely nothing and just letting a probable sociopathic juvenile run wild over the neighborhood, all in the name of  promoting neurodiversity

Political scientist Waka Flocka Flame outrages LGBT community with comments on transpeople

Waka Flocka Flame -- a 2016 U.S. Presidential candidate, cough drops spokesman and, as judging by his lyrics, a pretty big fan of heterosexual intercourse -- drew ire from the ever-quarrelsome LGBT contingent when he criticized Brucelyn Jenner on a Sept. 18 talk show. Taking a somehow controversial hardline biological science perspective, Flame criticized Jenner for being something he/her isn't, describing his/her desire to be a transma'am as an act of "the devil playing tricks on your mind." Continuing, the New York rapper made a direct reference to the work of hardcore conservative scribe David Kupelian, alleging that marketers are guilty of promoting the further breakdown of the nuclear family by emphasizing "alternative lifestyles" over cisgender identities and the traditional husband-and-wife construct. How dare Waka Flocka Flame make such prejudicial, homophobic and pro-patriarchy statements? I mean, it's not like there's a huge, longitudinal study out there scientifically validating that children who grew up in homes with their biological parents have greater social outcomes than those raised in other family structures or anything...

The AAU releases new study on college rape with numbers so misleading, even liberal clickbait sites are calling them out on their B.S.

The Association of American Universities unveiled a shocking new study that suggests that as many as one-in-four college women experience sexual assault while on campus. That's a startling claim, seeing as how an official U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics report released earlier this year pegged the 2013 numbers to about five out of 1,000 instead. As it turns out, the AAU appears to have greatly inflated their numbers by categorizing "sexual assault" as a wide-reaching continuum consisting of everything from vaginal penetrations to unwanted cheek kisses to unintentional elbow-to-breast contact in a crowded elevator. They also did a pretty good job of hiding the fact that their survey response rate was an astonishingly low 19 percent -- meaning that the input of 81 percent of the women at the colleges they were surveying weren't included in the final tally. When even staunch dyed-in-the wool hyper-progressivist websites like The Daily Beast and Slate are calling your questionable methodology -- and even more questionable motives -- into doubt, you know you really screwed up somewhere

UFC star cockily issues open-challenge to entire planet, said planet gets upset when washed-up fighter tries to accept said open-challenge

In an August Reddit chat, current UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey said she could "beat up anyone on the planet" in a street fight. That drew the attention of former UFC fighter David "Tank" Abbott, who this week promptly challenged Rousey to a bout with $100,000 (and a sandwich) on the line. Of course, the SJWs came out in full force, calling Tank Abbott a misogynist trivializing the issue of domestic violence. Strangely enough, no one ever said the same thing about Rousey, who literally makes a living punching other women in the face and trying to rip their ligaments out of their sockets. 

University President mistakes lanterns for nooses, decides to have "hate crime" discussion anyway

The social justice sirens were screaming earlier this week at the University of Delaware, when students were aghast at the sight of "nooses" hanging from campus trees. This goaded University President Nancy Target to send out a Facebook message, railing against "such cowardly and reprehensible acts [that] are clearly designed to intimidate and frighten." Using the deductive reasoning skills of only the brightest and most perceptive second graders, however, police investigators quickly determined that the "nooses" were actually just the remnants of paper lantern displays. Despite the glaring lack of a racial angle whatsoever, Targett nonetheless invited students to an impromptu campus rally in the wake of the incident "to talk about what happened and what we as a community have learned from it" -- which, hopefully, is to use a little bit more gumption before automatically claiming victimization status. 

Republican candidate gets grilled for saying he wouldn't vote a Muslim into the Oval Office

week after a Texas student was arrested and given a much better life after taking a suspicious device to class against his instructors wishes, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson infuriated the Islamic community when, on an interview with Meet the Press, he said he would not "advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation." Interests groups immediately called for the neurosurgeon-turned-unlikely-politico to end his campaign, although Carson himself said the remarks have actually resulted in a groundswell of increased financial support from his political base. Carson's disgusting perspective, it is perhaps worth noting, is only shared by an estimated two-fifths of the entire country -- people swayed into their prejudicial opinions, no doubt, by biased, sensationalist news accounts of overblown things like state-endorsed crucifixions in Saudi Arabia and widespread reports of child rape throughout Afghanistan

Syracuse University fights back against sexual assault by cancelling "Kiss Cam" activities

Following an impassioned, not at all hyperbolic letter from an alleged "fan," Syracuse University has decided to suspend its long-running "Kiss Cam" at sporting events ... because it promotes the unwanted sexual touching of women. "The instance I witnessed at the game encourage and condone sexual assault and a sense of male entitlement, at best," the irked letter writer penned, "and they are an actual instance of assault, at worst." As it turns out, the author is the drummer for an incredibly shitty post-punk band ... I wonder if he'll do anything about all the unwanted touching that goes on at his concerts, too?

America welcomes "Average Barbie" with incredible gusto (but doesn't give a shit about climbing childhood obesity rates)

Earlier this week, The Huffington Post regular Nickolay Lamm took to the Internet to finance "Lammily," a Barbie-knockoff with proportions aligned with the aggregate BMI for a 19-year-old American girl per CDC data. Needless to say, the flabby-bellied, huge-hipped and well badonkadonked doll struck a nerve with the national consciousness, as the project generated more than half a million dollars from people presumably fed up with young girls idolizing an "unrealistic" plastic body image. In unrelated news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also published updated national data this week, indicating that only one third of U.S. adults -- and close to one-out-of-five children -- are clinically obese. 

Indian restaurant mocks white customers, but nobody really cares

An Englishman waltzed into an Indian restaurant in West London earlier this week, and after ordering mild curry, he received a receipt emblazoned with the term "white ppl." Rather than fess up to this blatant form of racial profiling and stereotyping, the owner of the establishment told media that "white ppl" was  actually shorthand for "milk," which they merrily accepted as a reasonable excuse. Huh ... do you think any restaurants in the U.S. could convince those same reporters that the initials "NGRS" or "WTBCKS" are actually industry-speak for well-done and extra ketchup? 

The first wide-release Spanish-language animated "kids" movie in the U.S. is a ribald sex comedy about cockfighting 

Steadily approaching 1,000 screens, the animated opus "Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos" can rightly be called the first Mexican CGI children's flick to ever get a wide-scale U.S. theatrical release. Alas, complaints are rolling in about the PG-13-rated film's suitability for los ninos and ninas, as it's central plot revolves around a sanitized form of cockfighting and features copious double-entendres about handjobs and hairy scrotums. Alas, that didn't stop Latin Post from describing the film -- whose title literally translates into "The Chicken with Big Balls" -- as a "genuinely funny film that not only provides good characters but also a family friendly story." Uh...values dissonance much, guys?