I ran 13.1 miles on Sunday. After that - the rest of the day was a blur. It also looked like the Bills ran 13.1 miles right before the start of their game against the Miami Dolphins. I'm not really sure what happened this week in the NFL. So I'll look through some headlines and see if there are any interesting things to learn going forward...
My picks have been pretty poor lately (5-7-2). So bad in fact I've hit the .500 mark for the first time this year. Stings a little bit. Not to mention the laughing stock that I've become amongst all my followers (crickets...) I'm just glad I couldn't operate a computer to place any bets on Sunday.
The biggest story of the weekend is undoubtedly the injury of Jay Cutler who will now require surgery on his thumb and will be sidelined for about 6-8 weeks. Pretty unlucky for a team that has definitely seemed to figure 'it' out lately. After reeling off 5 straight wins, at 7-3 the Bears have become the Texans of the NFC. They will turn to an unproven Quarterback in Caleb Hanie. Many may remember Hanie as the QB that came in against the Packers in the NFC Championship when Jay Cutler pulled himself with an ouchie to his knee. Going forward it will be very interesting to see how the Texans and the Bears rally behind their new signal callers. The Bears have the defense to hide a QB, and the Texans have an elite Running game that could open things up for Leinart - in both cases expectations have been raised. I'm intrigued to see how each finishes out the season.
In Week 11 we saw the resurgence of Lions RB Kevin Smith. The UCF product was originally drafted by the Lions in 2008 then promptly cut after two unsuccessful seasons. Smith exploded this week with a Monster Game (140 rushing yds, 61 receiving yds, and 3 total TDs) as he carried the Lions back from down 20 to beat the Panthers. Going forward if Smith can give the Lions any semblance of a running game he'll be a great addition to many fantasy teams as well as the Lions who have been lacking that part of the game all year. I know it was just the Panthers defense, but I would definitely take a waiver on Smith to add another starting RB for a playoff run.
Also Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski simply isn't fair. 20 touchdowns in his first 26 games. He's become the focal point of Tom Brady's offense and has not disappointed. At the beginning of the season Wes Welker was running wild putting up unbelievable numbers - teams adjusted by doubling Welker. Gronk has taken advantages of all these mismatches with a mix of speed, strength, and unreal catching abilities. I just don't see how teams are going to stop this guy. He's faster than a LB - stronger than a safety - and he hooks up with pornstars. The triple threat of TE's.
My Fantasy squads went 0-3 for the first time this year. No excuses - just didn't get the production out of my players this week. Still need to lock up playoff positioning down the stretch so hopefully I can get back on track this weekend.
Weekly Buffalo Bills Update:
That about does it. After a 5-2 start, and everything looking peachy - the Bills have torn my heart out again and stomped all over it. I knew not to raise expectations with this team. Their wins over the Raiders and the Patriots seemed too good to be true - but I thought they were at least a middle of the pack team with an outside chance at the playoffs. Now after a three game losing streak and an inexcusable loss to the Dolphins in a must-win game- I'm ready to pack it in. You just can not lose to the Dolphins when the Jets already lost and the Bengals and Titans did their part to make room in the Wild Card race. I hope there isn't a correlation to the Fitzpatrick $59 million deal - and the lack of productivity. At this point, screw the playoffs - I'm legitimately concerned that I won't win my Bills over 5.5 wins for the season bet.
The Patriots are back in the drivers' seat of the AFC - if they beat Philly next week there doesn't look like another potential loss on their schedule (maybeeee Tebow in Denver?) That's pushing it. The Pats are back in control and the AFC will have to run through Brady & Co. this year. The NFC will have to go through the Packers - but this game on Thanksgiving is no gimme. Chris Berman has alluded to the 1962 Lombardi-led Packers (10-0) who went into Detroit (8-2 at the time) on Thanksgiving and lost their only game of the season on their way to the Super Bowl. The Niners still have not lost a game against the spread this year (9-0-1). That's nuts.
Oh well - not a good weekend last week in the NFL - I'm hoping for MUCH better results on Thanksgiving both in the NFL as well as the Annual CJSA Turkey Bowl. Stay tuned for a recap and potentially highlights of the game. Shah - you recordinnnnnn?!