Too busy of day to get my own rant out…as expected. And now the game is about to start. BUT, Mr. Royal has my back.
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Fillerbuster opening shots:
Two things and two things only before giving the floor to Mr. Royal.
1) Florida State has NOT been in a close game this year. Their strength of schedule is horrible. BUT the WAY they beat what turned out to be a pretty damn good Clemson team and their speed on defense, which will rival SEC speed leads me to the following prediction: Auburn will beat the spread in a decent game. FSU: 31 Auburn 23
2) DeSean Jackson needs to start telling Philly fans about how much he hurts from a painful loss before demanding more money next year. At least on the Monday right AFTER the loss. Geez. Now…Mr. Royal.
As my never ending quest to find a good format for these writings, I got this tweet from the Fillerbuster himself Saturday night: “@GabeRoyal you don’t need to use my rant form. Actually better if you don’t moving forward. A change for people.” Word. Message received. “Ranting is my thing.” That’s cool, FIller. I’m more highbrow anyways. More sophisticated. I’m more like Ray Lewis’ giant purple pocket square thing and you’re more like one of Craig Sager’s suits.
Obviously kidding. But let’s do this.
An Unbelievable Sports Saturday, Minute by Minute
~ 2:30 PM – Vanderbilt is up 24-0 on Houston at halftime of the BBVA Compass Bowl. James Franklin’s voicemail is full of messages from AD’s and GM’s everywhere.
~3:45 PM – Houston has come back to tie 24-24 in the third quarter. Franklin receives about 15 texts within a 5 minute span that say, “Jk. 24 points in one quarter against Houston? Lol bro”
~4:45 PM – After winning the game 41-24 in a dominant 4th quarter, Franklin sends out a mass text to all his haters that says only one thing: “Ringwalled.”
~4:01 PM – SMU hands UConn its second-straight conference loss, likely sending them tumbling out of the Top 25 as Larry Brown’s squad outscores Shabazz Napier and the Huskies 42-32 in the second half. Yikes. Too early to panic for Kevin Ollie, and we have to remember that UConn does this crap every single year as they play down or up to their opposition. But not every team can flip that switch Kemba Walker’s Huskies did in 2011. And Shabazz may have the skills, but he’s not the leader Kemba was. UConn can be beaten by any physical team with decent size that knows how to run a 2-3 zone. But they also probably have the second-most talented backcourt in the NCAA (I think Kentucky/maybe Kansas has more raw talent in their backcourt, but that’s for another article)…
I resist the urge to throw my remote at my TV, and instead change the channel to the NFL Football pregame.
I feel like Football Night in America on NBC has quietly become my favorite way on the best network to watch a football game. It’s not because they’re particularly great at breaking down football. It’s just that I don’t really hate them the way I hate the guys on the other networks. Check it out
ESPN – MNF: Jon Gruden is the worst. There’s no debate. He says things that Madden couldn’t have even gotten away with and he’s got maybe half the resume. It needs its own article. Thank god for these guys. http://thesportsgeeks.com/2013/12/30/ridiculous-jon-gruden-quotes-mnf-2013/
Cris Carter is still yelling at me and I don’t even know him. C’mon man.
CBS – Shannon Sharpe. WHO HIRED YOU?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOacOZcAihY Sorry about the quality. But Jay Pharoah is so good.
Phil Simms. I’m sorry dude, but Eli is better than you were. He just is. Ask any Giants fan. He throws a lot of picks, I get it. But you had LT for both your Super Bowls and Eli only had a good defense for one of his. Stop being so obviously critical of QB’s that we now perceive as being better than you were. There are a lot of them. Get over it.
FOX – Troy Aikman and Joe Buck. ‘Nuff said. But it is great to watch Troy hate on the rest of the NFC East as he is obviously a Cowboys homer, while simultaneously ripping Tony Romo. Its Simms-esque.
On NBC there’s no one I really hate. Cris Collinsworth comes close, but he really does make good points sometimes and he’s balanced out by Al Michaels. Consummate pro who put up with John Madden for years. Respect. Dungy is great too.
To the game.
Chiefs plan of attack entering this game:
You’re playing your buddy in Madden. He throws a lot, and he’s good at it. You, not so much. Your strategy is to play shut-down defense, contain the big play, and dominate the time of possession with the run because you’ve got an Adrian Peterson type in the backfield with a 98 rating. I mean, you’re like Bo Jackson in Tecmo.
2:00 elapsed in 1st quarter: I imagine it’s kind of scary to see your whole franchise on the ground and not getting up. When Jamaal Charles went down and I saw that replay, I said, “there’s no way the Chiefs win this game. He’s the WHOLE OFFENSE.” Alex Smith had other ideas.
6:49 elapsed: Alex Smith throws a 6-yard TD to Dwayne Bowe. 7-0 Chiefs.
Alex Smith walks over to Dwayne Bowe, Nile Davis and Donnie Avery: “Really sick and tired of people doubting me. I don’t care if Jamaal is out for the whole game, I’m winning this game. We’re throwing the football and we’re goin deep.”
3:37 (gametime) seconds later: Andrew Luck goes 7-7 and throws a TD capping off the most perfect drive you could expect from any QB, nevermind a second-year QB. I hate to compare him to Peyton, but the similarities are striking. 7-7 tie game.
At the start of the second quarter, Alex Smith throws two straight incompletions at short distance, says, “f*** it” and throws a 79-yard bomb to Donnie Avery.
OH GREAT! Trent Richardson just checked in for the Colts for the first time in like, three games. Get ready for some power football.
Touchdown KC. 24-7 Chiefs. What was that you said about the Chiefs losing this game? Suck it Royal.
Hold on, just got a tweet from @AdamSchefter: “This just in. Trent Richardson cut in the middle of the Colts-Chiefs game. Headed to the locker room.”
Quick side bar. Alabama NFL disappointments:
– Glen Coffee
– Antoine Caldwell
– Mark Ingram (Heisman)
– Trent Richardson
– Kareem Jackson
– Rolando McClain
– Dee Milliner (so far)
(Meanwhile, Donald Brown has been tremendous for the Colts, and Anthony Sherman has been tremendous for the Chiefs. Go UConn?)
With 1:51 left in the 2nd quarter, Alex Smith is on fire. He’s scrambling, throwing, and the Niners are rolling. The score is 31-10 and I’m beginning to SERIOUSLY re-think picking the Colts to win this game. Then the announcer says, “The Indianapolis Colts just aren’t a team built for comebacks.”
That’s probably the most idiotic and uneducated statement made by an announcer that I’ve heard all year. It’s Andrew Luck. Mr. Fourth Quarter Comeback. That’s what he does. As a matter of fact, Luck has 10 fourth quarter comebacks in the past two years, more than any other active QB during that time span and the most by any two-year QB ever. At that moment, I realized I needed to stick with my gut. Andrew Luck is gonna make us pay for not believing in him.
A minute and 51 seconds later, Luck throws an INT. “You’re on fire today Royal,” I think to myself.
Its cool. The Colts will regroup.
Third quarter kicks off. Luck throws a pick on the first play from scrimmage.
1:15 elapses, and Alex Smith throws his fourth TD.
“Royal, you are such an idiot”
38-10 Chiefs. “Plenty of time. Don’t jump on the Alex Smith bandwagon Royal. Don’t do it. You’re better than that.”
To be completely fair, what happens next is actually not Alex Smith’s fault whatsoever at all. Let me be very clear. Smith was great. He lost his best weapon in Charles and absolutely shocked us all by shredding the Colts defense all game. 30/46 for 378 yards, 4 TD’s and 0 INT, 81.9 QBR, 119.7 Passer Rating. He also had 8 rushes for 57 yards, 1 fumble.
I’ve said it a thousand times, there’s something about playoff football that Andy Reid just hasn’t fully grasped. Three straight NFC Championships lost with the Eagles; then they lose his only Super Bowl trip and spend the rest of his time in Philly waddling in mediocrity with “the Michael Vick Project” as his neighbors in Jersey win two championships on 9-7 seasons. The resume says it all.
When its 38-10 and you’re on the road, RUN THE BALL. I understand the arguments: No Jamaal Charles, you don’t want to play too conservative with so much time left, etc. etc. Don’t care. Here’s why:
– Nothing demoralizes a home crowd quite like running the ball down their throats
– Alex Smith was averaging 8 yards a carry himself
– We equate “keeping your foot on the gas” or “stomping out all hope” as throwing TD’s like Favre in Madden 99’. That’s dumb. Dexter McCluster, Alex Smith, Nile Davis… RUN THE BALL, short completions… whatever.
– Robert Mathis was beginning to figure out how to pass rush that O-line. Thus the forced fumble.
Luck goes on to throw for 443, 4 TD’s and a rushing TD on a freaky Donald Brown fumble recovery. This kid just gets it. He feeds off that crowd, and even after three picks and the Richardson fumble he just never doubted that the Colts were going to win that game. And neither did I 😉
“You knew it all along Royal. You’re so smart.”
But the real story here really is Andy Reid. I know the Chiefs were 2-12 last year. But they had 6 Pro Bowlers last year. It’s not like he was working with nothing. The argument that he’s suddenly figured out how to coach dominant defense without a great coordinator is ridiculous. You show up to play a playoff game and give up 536 yards and blow a 38-10 lead? Say what you want, but just like the Cowboys “They’re So Talented This Year” bandwagon, I know that even if Andy Reid goes 16-0 in the regular season, I’m giving away my ticket to ride on the Andy Reid bandwagon every year until he shows me something. There’s a reason he got fired in Philly, and there’s a reason he blew that game. He knows a lot about football, but he’s not a great coach.
1st-half/Regular Season Andy —-à 2nd half/Playoff Andy
Philadelphia didn’t “fire” Andy Reid… they “fixed the glitch.”
Meanwhile in Kansas…
K-State upsets #6 Oklahoma State in the Big 12 opener. To be fair, OK State lost their best big man to a season-ending Achilles injury. The Chiefs lost, but at least fans in Kansas have something to cheer about???
Elsewhere in Indiana…
Almost simultaneously as the Colts win, Notre Dame upsets #7 Duke in their ACC debut making us all realize that ND is legit, and they can compete in the ACC.
Side Note: Jabari Parker went 2-10 and had 7 points. Rodney Hood had 27. I suggested to someone earlier this year that Rodney Hood may be better than Parker at this point in their young careers and he may actually be the biggest Duke addition this year. He disagreed… We’ll see.
For the Philly game, there’s really not much to break down honestly. The Saints struggled in the cold and on the road as we expected, and neither team really went out and won the game I think. It kind of came down to whoever held the ball at the end and the Saints were able to do that. Chip Kelly has done a lot with Andy Reid’s mess and deserves a lot of credit and so does Nick Foles. Mike Vick will be wearing another jersey next year. Couple funny things:
– Anyone else notice that as soon as Carey Williams went out, Brees was like, “Oh Williams went down. Cool. Lets throw at his replacement.” First down. You say cold-blooded, I say brilliant QB.
– When Keenan Lewis went down as the Eagles were driving with an apparent head injury, Philly fans started BOOING!! Are you KIDDING ME!? Yea, the guy decided to fake a concussion. In today’s NFL, who fakes a concussion!? Why wouldn’t he fake a leg cramp, or a sprained ankle? I’ve said it a thousand times: Philly fans are the worst people in the world.
– Also, along with “Ringwalled,” I think I’m coining the phrase “The Michael Vick Project.” Can’t wait to see what desperate team starts him next year. Looking at you, Tennessee.
~ 8:05 PM – I do want to talk about a basketball game in Minnesota. Kevin “Second Place” Durant quietly dropped 48 points (23 in the fourth quarter) against a scrappy Timberwolves team. He is averaging 29.2 points a game, 3 points better than the guy in second place (Kevin Love), a lock for the All-Star game, and probably a scoring title.
KD has been SO GOOD. And no one really seems to care. Its half-because its basketball in January, and its half because we all know at the end of the year he’ll come in second place. You just get the feeling that even if he keeps this streak up and wins an MVP award, they’ve got no shot in a 7-game set against the Heat/Pacers, thus leaving Durant in second place once again.
I hope I’m wrong. I’m sick of Lebron-a-palooza every May and I think the NBA could benefit from a Magic/Bird-type rivalry again because I don’t think fans are sold on the ESPN/Stern conspiracy that Lebron is the next Jordan. Not yet at least.
12:00 AM – Its time for bed. My wife (once again) is upset that we had to sit through the end of the Eagles-Saints game and another set of Colts-Chiefs highlights before I relinquish the remote control. Sorry I’m not sorry.