Mike McCarthy: Is He Worth the Cheddar?

It’s another disappointing loss for the Green Bay Packers, their second game without star QB Aaron Rodgers(technically third since he didn’t finish that game against the Vikings). The Lions roared into Lambeau and won 30-17, with Matthew Stafford throwing for 361 yards and 2TDs. In the same game, Stafford threw his 200th career TD in 117 games (sixth fastest in NFL history) and the fourth in NFL history to have that many before turning 30, behind Marino, P. Manning and Favre.

Though, the real story here is Green Bay. They are 0-3 without Rodgers and Brett Hundley is 0-2 as the starter. When Rodgers initially went down with a broken collarbone, McCarthy was asked about maybe bringing in Kaepernick. He yelled at the reporter, saying he already addressed his QB situation. He basically said he was content with their QB situation and he had faith in Hundley moving forward. Hundley has thrown for 489 yards, 1 TD and 4 INTs since taking over the Green Bay offense.

But hold on, let’s not gang up on Hundley. Coming in to back up Aaron Rodgers comes with a lot of pressure. Plus, blame cannot be thrown on this kid when McCarthy is the one who carries the title of head coach. This is not the first time we have witnessed a losing streak without Rodgers in at QB. In 2013, he went down with a similar injury, only this time it was a fractured left clavicle. The team was 5-2, but fell to 5-6-1 with Matt Flynn at QB and McCarthy as head coach. It seems the absence of Rodgers is exposing McCarthy for what he really is: a crappy coach. If he were worth the money, he’d be able to make Hundley look like a superstar and in effect, win some games. A great coach can make anyone look good with the right play calls.

Aaron Rodgers IS the Green Bay Packers. His magic on offense makes up for the poor defense that this team has been trying to pass off as stable for years. When you rely that heavily on ONE player you are bound to fail (the Titanic analogy that Newton used would definitely be better suited for this team). Maybe it’s time for a change in Green Bay, because right now the only thing they should be taking pride in is their cheese.

NFL Rundown

In Case You Missed It…

                The KC Chiefs falter in the Big D, losing 28-17. Neither QB had a particularly bad day in terms of stats, even though everyone was worried about Alex Smith because he had never played in Dallas before. Though, Zeke Elliot had a far better day than Kareem Hunt, rushing for 97 yards and 2 TDs on 27 carries. I really thought the Chiefs could have pulled out a win in Dallas, but the defense was too much for Hunt. KC still leads their division, while Dallas sits in second place in theirs.

                The 49ers are still winless…no surprise there. I was personally hoping that Stanton would just hand the 49ers the W, but he actually played a decent game. It looks like the Niners have just about reached Cleveland Browns status.  Only difference: the Niners have a potential QB of the future in Jimmy G, while the Browns are still trying to figure it out (something they’ve been doing for what feels like a decade).

                The Redskins stunned the Seahawks 17-14, with Cousins driving his team 70 yards in 35 seconds. Kelley capped off the drive with a 1 yard TD run to take the lead. Wilson was unable to drive his Seahawks with 59 seconds left, and the game ended on an incomplete pass from the Washington 46 yard line. This was a poorly played game by the Seahawks, who were shutout in the second and third quarter (but I have to give props to the Washington defense). The Seahawks have been a bit inconsistent: they beat SF by only 3, scoring only one TD; they blew out the Colts 46-18; they lost to the Titans, giving up 21 points in the third quarter; they only beat LA by 6, even though the Rams fumbled twice and Goff threw 2 INTs; and they barely beat the Texans 41-38. My point: even though they won some of those close games, you still expect so much more from this team.

                The Panthers shocked the crap out of me by winning their second game at home! They defeated the Falcons 20-17, with Cam leading the team in rushing (9 carries, 86 yards, 1 TD). I guess we can expect a happy week of press conferences with the media and Titanic analogies (he does know it sank right?). Of course, no one likes to lose AND give a press conference, but that doesn’t mean you can act like an adolescent. We’ve seen it more than we can count: Cam sulks on the sidelines and gets snippy with the press during losses. This guy is basically a toddler in a grown man’s body who throws a tantrum when things don’t go his way (immaturity at its finest). But for now he’s all smiles, and ready to take the questions of Carolina reporters.

NBA Rundown

In Case You Missed It…

                After getting off to a slow start the Celtics won their eighth straight game against the Magic 104-88, holding them to a season low 20.7% shooting from three. Jaylen Brown led the team with 18 points, and the bench really came through with 36 points for the Cs. Marcus Smart led the bench with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. But of course, NO ONE is talking about how great this team is, just how awful the Cavs are.

                After LeBron scored 57 points Friday night, Harden went and scored 56 to help his Rockets soar past the Jazz 137-110. Harden was 7-8 from three and had 13 assist (hard to believe someone who scored 56 points even shared the ball). Houston is now 8-3 and is getting ready to host the Cavs on Thursday. Who needs Chris Paul anyway?

                The Clippers lost to the Heat at home 104-101. Griffin had 23 points and Jordan had 19 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough. After starting 4-0, the Clips have now lost 4 of their last five, including a 28 point loss to the Warriors. The new look Clips with Griffin at the helm seems to be having some difficulty. They look to bounce back against the Spurs on Tuesday.

                Cavs lost their home game to the Hawks, handing them their second win of the season (and gaining their sixth loss). The Cavs gave up 37 points in the first quarter, but came back to get within 2 after LeBron’s layup with just seconds on the clock. The Cavs could have won this game with a three or tied it to go to OT after Taylor of the Hawks missed his free throws; but the coward who shall remain anonymous decided not to take the last shot. Instead, he passes the ball to Channing Frye…like, what? Who is that? I mean, if he was going to pass up the last shot, at least give it to Korver who made five 3-pointers and scored 19 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. But really, how about not putting yourself in this position in the first place by, oh I don’t know, playing some defense (did I mention they are dead last in the league, while Kyrie and the Cs sit atop the rankings in this category AND the East?). What a disappointment Cleveland.

Friday Night Lights (and I’m not talking football)

Friday night’s NBA action saw a team make history, a surprising loss, some hopeful wins and continued disappointments.

The Celtics won their seventh straight game last night and became the first team in NBA history to do so after losing their first two games. It wasn’t easy, as they were down 55-37 at halftime. They came back and scored 64 points in the second half, with Irving scoring 22 of his 25 total points and Horford coming through with some clutch threes in the fourth quarter.

The Magic lost to the Bulls at home by 22 and fell to 6-3. Aaron Gordon only scored 11 points in the game (he has an average of 19.3). The Cavs won their matchup against the Wizards and LeBron scored 57 points. This win ended a four game losing streak and they look to continue rolling against the Hawks on Sunday. The Spurs beat the Hornets, ending their four game losing streak. Forbes and Gay were the heroes, scoring 22 and 20 points, respectively.

The disappointment continues for the Mavs, who just can’t seem to get it together. They lost their fifth game in a row, falling to the Pelicans 99-94 (probably because Nowitzki went 2-9 with 7 points). This team used to be a contender, so it’s hard to see Nowitzki spend his final years on a team like this. But I know his loyalty won’t allow him to go anywhere else. I would just like to this team get back to their winning ways.

Mitchell watch: although his team lost to the Raptors 109-100, the rookie scored 25 points off of the bench (he led the team in scoring). That’s two 20+ point games in a row. I’m telling you, don’t sleep on this kid. 

Celtics should be the story this coming week: without Gordon Hayward, this team has won seven straight games and have held their last seven opponents to less than 100 points; talk about defying expectations! But unfortunately, I have a feeling that LeBron’s 57 point performance and the Cavs first win in four games will take center stage. Why do people feel the need to praise this team for something they were expected to do in the first place? Whatever, because Derrick Rose’s weak knees and ankles won’t make it through the season (they never do) and IT won’t be the same. D-Wade’s old knees can’t last much longer and hasn’t LeBron already confessed to feeling his age? It is a new era; move over LeBron!

NFL Week 9

So far this season, we have witnessed some match ups that prove numbers mean squat.  My favorite upset: the 0-5 Giants defeating the Broncos. Oh, and how can I forget that exciting game in Oakland that literally came down to the last play… five times with the clock reading 0:00. Needless to say, predictions this year have been tough, but here are mine heading into Sunday (sticking to the numbers though):

Falcons @ Panthers

Falcons win: this team is coming off of a win against the Jets, and I expect their momentum to keep rolling. Meanwhile, Cam Newton and the Panthers are coming off of a bye week, but not before recording two straight losses. Newton handed the Bears a win week 7 from the 2 INTs he threw. Plus, Cam has a 55.6 QBR at home, so yeah.

Colts @ Texans

Colts win: Texans may falter trying to recover from loss of Watson and the Colts will try to take advantage. The two Texans back-ups (Yates and Savage) have minimal experience and a disappointing track record. Colts QB Brissett was able to get his team’s offense going last week, so hopefully that’ll carry into this week; with minimal mistakes, they can win this game.

Bengals @ Jaguars

Jaguars win: Sacksonville is coming for Andy Dalton. This defense leads the league in sacks, and Campbell leads the team in that category. Plus, Dalton has already been sacked over 20 times this season, so I predict Sacksonville will have a field day. Jags also get Fournette back this week, which helps their run game (team leads the league in rushing). This is bad news for the Bengals, who give up over 100 yards rushing per game.

Buccaneers @ Saints

Saints win: the Bucs have just been so disappointing this year and really, it seems they just fall short every game. The Saints have won every game since dropping their first two, and the defense is finally catching up to Drew Brees and the offense (ranked 2 overall). The Saints D is moving up and sits at #20, while Bucs D sits at #29. Saints D will beat Winston and the Bucs offense come Sunday.

Rams @ Giants

Rams win: This is a no brainer. It seems all hope is lost in NY; that win against Denver wasn’t enough to get them going and Eli is not looking like the elite QB everyone thought he was. The Rams are one of the more complete teams in the league, with an emerging defense (15th overall) and explosive offense (30.3 pts/g). NY is ranked 27th in defense AND offense: gives up too many points/yards AND they can’t score. Rams blow them out

Broncos @ Eagles

Eagles win: this was tough, but I think the losing streak for the Broncos continues. This Wentz kid is absolutely unbelievable. I could go on about his stats… but I won’t because anyone who’s been paying attention already knows. I know this Broncos D is still holding up, but I believe Wentz and the offense (w/ new addition Ajayi form the Dolphins) will still be able to put points on the board, whereas Siemian and the Broncos offense has been struggling.

Ravens @ Titans

Titans win: this could happen right? Flacco is out with a concussion but it’s not like he made much of a difference anyway *(correction, Flacco will play. Still have same opinion though). And I know the Ravens defense is strong but I think the Titans can deal. Mariota has to be perfect and not get rattled by this defense. As long as the Titans put points on the board (from both sides if necessary) they can win, because the Ravens only hope is to score some defensive points.

Cardinals @ 49ers

49ers win: THEY ARE DUE A WIN!! I know, it’s stupid, but they are. Plus Stanton’s track record isn’t good, so the Cards will struggle; you can’t win with just a run game, you need balance. Both teams will struggle, but I’m hoping the 49ers pull out the win (anything to avoid going in the same direction as the Browns).

Redskins @ Seahawks

Seahawks win: Not even a question. Seattle’s D knows how to rattle QBs, and Cousins and the Redskins never bounced back (it seemed) from that blocked field goal in the Dallas game. Russell Wilson will keep the Seattle offense rolling at home. Also: 12th man. One of the loudest stadiums in the league. Need I say more?

Chiefs @ Cowboys

Chiefs win (barely): Chiefs have been great all year, despite that loss to the Steelers (and I’m not counting the loss in Oakland because it was by 1 and their defense failed like 5x in a row. I mean, you score 30 points, you’re supposed to win right?). Alex Smith is having the season of his career and Kareem Hunt is explosive in the run game. I know Zeke is eligible to play, but I just think the Chiefs will pull out the win. I expect a close game though.

Raiders @ Dolphins

Raiders win: Raiders should be able to find their footing again in Miami. Both teams are coming off of losses (the Dolphins were blown out by the Ravens 40-0). Matt Moore threw 2 INTs and less than 200 yds after taking over for Cutler the week before and leading the Fins to an explosive comeback win over the Jets. Raiders look to get back on track after a loss to the Bills. Maybe playing in a warm climate will help. Both teams get back on track, but the Raiders are the better team.

Lions @ Packers

Lions win: Packers don’t have Aaron Rodgers. Hundley tried but it’s just too overwhelming. Rodgers IS the Green Bay Packers and without him I don’t know who they are. Tough-as-nails Matthew Stafford and the Lions pull out the win. No need to bring in any stats.

13 Degrees of Separation

There are a number of rookies around the league this year trying to make their presence felt. You’ve got Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma of the Lakers, Ben Simmons of the 76ers (but is he really a rookie? It’s technically his second year), Jayson Tatum of the Celtics, De’Aaron Fox of the Kings; the list goes on. But in Utah, the underestimated rookie Donovan Mitchell is quietly working to prove his worth. The 13th overall 2017 draft pick from Louisville is averaging 11.6 points, 2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game and had himself a night to remember against  Lillard and the Trail Blazers. Mitchell scored 28 points, had 6 rebounds, 3 assists and shot 40% from three-point range. Oh, and he did all of this coming off the bench.

Donovan Mitchell came out of Louisville, having played in 65 games (starting in 38) and averaged 11.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Though, it was his sophomore year is what got him noticed: averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and shot 80.6% from the free throw line. All of this along with his aggressive playing style, how could anyone pass on this kid? He wasn’t afraid to drive to the rack and finish strong; and on the defensive side of the ball: he had 70 steals his sophomore year. That’s pretty impressive, so you could understand why he wasn’t happy he fell to 13th overall. But he was able to channel his frustrations into the Summer League, where he averaged 24 points (44% shooting), 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3.7 steals in five games. In one of those games, he had 37 points and an impressive 8 steals.*  

 There has been inconsistencies in his NBA performance so far, but this is to be expected of a rookie who only had one solid season in college. This kid is out to prove himself, and with time he will continue to improve. The Jazz face Toronto tonight at 9. Don’t sleep on Donovan Mitchell.

                                                                                                                                 

*Shout out to SB Nation’s Kaleb Searle for these summer league stats. All other information is from ESPN/ FOX

World Series Champs

Congratulations to the World Series Champions of 2017: the Houston Astros. After winning the ALDS 3-1 against the Red Sox, this team fought hard to beat the Yankees in the ALCS. It took seven games but they got it done, and it brought them to their first World series since 2005. They were able to out-play the Dodgers, and won the explosive series in seven games. This young team, with the guidance of seasoned  veterans like McCann, Beltran and Verlander, ‘earned history’. 

The first title in franchise history could not have come at a better time for the city of Houston, who was hit by hurricane Harvey in late August. Congrats to the city and the team, especially Gattis who was a janitor 10 years ago. Remember kids, dreams do come true. 

Just a sports fan with an opinion