Tag Archives: San Francisco 49ers

What We Learned From Week One of the 2013 NFL Season

By J-Dub and Ryan Meehan

Without any further fanfare, let’s just get to the stuff week one of the NFL season showed us.

1) Peyton Manning’s performance hid the fact the Broncos’ defense sucks.

If Thursday night taught us anything, it’s that the Broncos are indeed going to struggle on the defensive side of the ball.  By “struggle,” we’re talking something akin to a turtle on its back getting gang-raped by a group of Hell’s Angels all to an all Kenny G soundtrack. If you consider all of the mistakes that Baltimore made offensively, the fact that Denver gave up 27 points is pretty pathetic.  Ray Rice is a pretty solid “yards after contact” guy, but against the Ponies defense, he got more second chances than Robert Downey Jr.

Not to mention, we aren’t even counting the mistake made on the interception return that by all that is right in the football universe should have resulted in yet another Broncos’ touchdown. This is where Danny Trevathan had a “Honey Badger meets DeSean Jackson” level brain-fart. After making the pick, and cruising to what should have been the “pick-six” part of this, he inexplicably released the ball before he crossed the goal line in a momentary lapse of judgment reminiscent of a young DeSean Jackson.  As you would hope, Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio ripped Trevathan’s ass open like he was Edward Norton in the prison shower scene in American History X, because Denver can’t expect Grandpa Manning to chuck 7 touchdowns every week.

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The Dubscast, Volume 3: Randy Moss Needs To Retire

jdub dubscastToday’s installment has a bit of a Sesame Street feel to it, as it is brought to you by the letter “R” and the number “36,” all of which have to do with the fact that future football Hall of Famer Randy Moss needs to realize his playing days are over.

Hat tip to Blog Surface whose piece inspired this rant…

 

Why You Shouldn’t Cheer For: The San Francisco 49ers

sna francisco 49ers team of the 80s video

1) This Video

If the 49ers win, they will join the Green Bay Packers, the team with the most NFL Championships, as the only teams to win a Super Bowl in three different decades. it will also tie them with the Pittsburgh Steelers as having six titles in the Super Bowl era. Invariably, this will lead to some ass-loaf San Francisco fans trying to declare the 49ers as the greatest team of all-time. Then I will have to shoot them.

2) I’m Already Tired Of Jim Harbaugh And His Bullshit

harbaugh schwartz handshake

Harbaugh could easily be the main reason for cheering against the 49ers, but he wouldn’t even be on this list had he beat the shit out of Lions’ head coach Jim Schwartz last year. That would have been the only thing saving him from my labeling Harbaugh as a complete dipshit who inherited a team that was pretty well stocked and then pulled a “Belichick” by finding his star quarterback purely by accident, thanks to an injury.

By the way, did I mention he is a complete hypocrite? It seems everybody forgot what an asshole he made of himself with the lies he told during last off-season’s Peyton Manning Sweepstakes. It seems everybody forgot about how Harbaugh went on this big, dramatic speech telling his players the one thing he won’t tolerate is the abuse of women and how the media used this to show what a great guy Harbaugh is. Of course, right after this, he made sure the 49ers signed Perrish Cox fresh off his somewhat dubious acquittal on sexual assault charges, despite an O.J.-style mountain of physical evidence and particularly damning testimony from his own “wingman” Demaryius Thomas. By the way, there’s still a civil lawsuit pending in this situation, but that obviously doesn’t matter to Harbaugh.

3) God Hates Randy Moss 

Randy “I’m the best ever” Moss. What a fucktard. He’s not even the best to ever wear a 49er uniform. I’m convinced God put David Tyree on the field in 2007 just to make sure Patriots fans would be mumbling about “that fucking helmet catch” in perpetuity. Many people don’t know that “David Tyree” literally translates from ancient Sanskrit meaning “divine punishment for giving a douche-hammer who runs over traffic cops a shot to win a Super Bowl ring.”

4) Thug Life…Bay Area Style

Perrish Cox and Randy Moss are just the tip of the iceberg. Everybody talks about the thug-a-licious nature of the Ravens, but the 49ers relations with the Department of Corrections gets overlooked. Aside from the aforementioned “alleged” rapist and a guy with a rap sheet longer than a “fly” pattern, there’s the Thug Hall-of-Fame-worthy accomplishment of Aldon Smith, who managed to snag a DUI charge, then got stabbed at his own house party. I don’t know how you pull that off, but you have to admit, that is an achievement certainly worthy of dubious note.

justin smith anheuser busch tattoo

By the way, while it isn’t necessarily thug-like, Justin Smith’s Anheuser-Busch tattoo on his bicep is a clear indicator of either future thuggish behavior or his becoming a very popular member of the Dallas Cowboys.

5) The “Fair-Weather” 49er Fan Base

Don't ever let anyone tell San Francisco isn't a baseball town.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you San Francisco isn’t a baseball town.

There’s so many things to hate about a great number of 49er fans. Be advised I’m not talking about the real die-hards; the ones who remember guys like John Brodie, Russ Francis, and what an unmitigated disaster the O.J. Simpson experiment was in the late 70’s. The die-hards who stayed loyal during the years John York butt-fumbled that team into obscurity after the Walsh-Siefert era. If the mere mention of the name “Ken Dorsey” gives you heart palpitations, you are not the 49er fan I’m talking about.

In fact, the people I’m talking about aren’t really fans; they define the term “band-wagoners.” The honest truth is that other than the 387 true “die-hards” I’ve mentioned, the San Francisco fan base worships at the alter of the baseball Giants and only comes around to football after the World Series and only then if the 49ers are winning. The minute the 49ers hired Dennis Erickson, the fans dissolved like the Alka-Seltzer you need after gorging yourself at the Korean barbecue food truck. Real fans go all “Tammy Wynette” and stand by their team. I’m a Philadelphia Eagle fan who still covets his moth-eaten Herm Edwards jersey; the same one who lived through the Rich Kotite years and who hasn’t seen his team win an NFL Championship since before the Super Bowl even existed.

That’s why these people piss me off so much; they don’t deserve a team with such success. These people have been nowhere to be found for damn near fifteen year, but last year they came back in such numbers that white wine and sushi is now again popular at Candlestick Park. Don’t even get me started on how fucking wrong that is.  These are the same butt-nuggets who spent the last decade-and-a-half at the organic, holistic, hippie-fucknut co-op market, then the minute Jim Harbaugh hit town they spewed a bunch of bullshit about how they never lost faith.  You bailed on the 49ers faster than Colin Kaepernick’s birth mother, and now that they are successful, you want back on the football teat.

Forget about the Korean barbecue food truck. You all can eat me.

The Definitive Dubsism/Sports Blog Movement Super Bowl Preview

super bowl 47 sbm banner

Now that we are down to a head-to-head match-up, there are three categories to analyze.

1) What Vegas Thinks

Anybody who loves to bet knows professional gamblers pay attention to five key statistics:

  • Yards Rushing per Game: Regular Season – San Francisco 155.7, Baltimore 118.8; Post-Season –  San Francisco 236.0, Baltimore 173.5
  • Yards Rushing Allowed Per Game: Regular Season – San Francisco 94.2, Baltimore 122.8; Post-Season – San Francisco 92.5, Baltimore 128.3
  • Points Scored Per Game: Regular Season –  Baltimore 24.9, San Francisco 24.8; Post-Season – San Francisco 36.5, Baltimore 30.0
  • Points Allowed Per Game: Regular Season – San Francisco 17.1, Baltimore 21.5; Post-Season – Baltimore 19.0, San Francisco 27.5
  • Ratio of Points Scored to Points Allowed: Regular Season – San Francisco 1.45, Baltimore 1.15; Post-Season – Baltimore 1.57, San Francisco 1.32

During the regular season, The 49ers dominated the Ravens in 4 0f the 5 statistical categories, with the 5th being a virtual tie. In the post-season, the Ravens narrowed the gap, but not enough to keep the 49ers from appearing on paper as a statistical favorite.

Advantage: San Francisco

2) The On-the-Field Matchups

  • The Battle of the Trenches

The 49ers offensive line is the best front five in the NFL, and the Ravens defense is old, slow, injured and over-rated. Frankly, I think Baltimore used its “miracle” card holding  the Patriots offense to 13 points in Foxboro, although they did get a significant amount of help from some seriously bad play and decision-making on Tom Brady’s part.  The Ravens offensive line is pretty solid as well, and has been playing exceptionally well of late, but the 49ers feature the best line-backing corps in the league and the defensive line ain’t bad either.

  • The Battle of the Quarterbacks

Kaepernick vs. Flacco.  Young vs. Not Old Yet. Relatively Inexperienced vs. Pretty Well-Established. New-School “Scrambler” vs. “Old-School” Pocket Passer. No matter how you frame it, this should be one of the most interesting Super Bowl match-ups of quarterbacks having completely different styles since Donovan “Runs Around And Still Doesn’t Make Plays” McNabb faced Tom “Can’t Outrun Haloti Ngata” Brady.

  • The Battle of the Non-Over-Rated B.S.

Insert your own joke here about which Harbaugh brother gave the other one wedgies when they were kids.  Joke all you want about the coaching brothers, they aren’t the only similarities these teams share. Both teams have a bruising running game, both teams have a solid set of receivers, and both teams have a “go-to” tight end, although Vernon Davis is a Mercedez-Benz and Dennis Pitta is more like a solid, American-built pick-up truck.

Advantage: San Francisco

3) A Comparison of the Cities

baltimore and san francisco skylines

  • Baltimore

The horrible nature of Baltimore simply cannot be understated.  One of the great tragedies in our lifetime was that the 2001 Howard Street Tunnel fire didn’t cauterize that weeping sore know as Baltimore off the face of the planet. If Baltimore were a baby, it would have been the result of West Virginia raping Washington, D.C.  There’s a reason why Baltimore is one of few cities to lose three sports franchises. In 1903, the original Baltimore Orioles left for New York to eventually become the Yankees. The NBA’s Baltimore Bullets fired their way down-range to D.C in the 1970’s, and the Baltimore Colts literally skulked out of town in the middle of the night in 1984.

  • San Francisco

San Francisco gets a bad rap for being like a bowl of Granola…full of fruits, nuts, and flakes. While that may be true, there’s something to be said about a city that has remained one of the greatest cities in America despite the fact it has been run by a bunch of liberal panty-wastes for close to four decades.

Advantage: San Francisco

Despite the fact this looks to be an advantage across the board for the 49ers, this game likely will promise to be close with the team who makes the least mistakes prevailing. As far as your picking which team to back, you simply have to look at the fan base with which you are going to align yourself. Your choices are:

49ers fan

A) Homeless Banjo Santa…OR…

baltimore west virginia

B) Guys who want to create some sort of urban West Virginia with Barney the Pimp.

Choose carefully, America. The enjoyment of your Super Bowl Sunday is riding on it.

The Dubsism 2012 Pre-Season NFL Power Rankings

As we find ourselves on the verge of another NFL season, it is time for the degenerate gambler in me to preview the carnage.  Let’s face it, the NFL is comprised of three classes: Really Good, Mediocre, and Lousy. This means NFL predictions are pretty easy to get reasonably correct.  For example, the online sports book experts find it easy to predict the AFC East standings each year.  As long as quarterback Tom Brady is healthy and playing for a non-senile head coach Bill Belichick in New England, that will be your division favorite.  Another point that should be obvious is that if you are reading this article and expecting anything more clever than a sports book expert, maybe you shouldn’t be gambling in the first place.

Having said that, here’s how we see these teams come January (playoff teams noted in green).

Rankings by Division

AFC East:

The Patriots looked invincible last season until the New York Jets and Giants found their Achilles’ heel yet again.  The Jets beat the Patriots twice and the Giants won the Super Bowl based on one dirty little secret about the Patriots.  Once you take away their running game, their offense suddenly can’t create plays.

The Brady/Belichick offense needs at least the threat of a running game to keep the opposing safeties honest. Once the defensive secondary can cheat back into pass coverage, a lot of the “easy” passing lanes Brady depends on slam shut like a steel bear trap.

The Jets got worse, the Bills got better, but neither did enough to really make a difference. The Jets get the second spot in the AFC East by default; the Bills and Dolphins are both in that “Lousy” category. The Jets season hinges on two things: the defense has to live up to expectations by being the dominant unit it should be, and Mark Sanchez has to not suck.  Frankly, it is time for Sanchez to prove he is worthy of the star status he has been accorded.  If he finally shows us he is the “San-chise,” another deep play-off run is possible.  But it isn’t likely…get ready for Tebow-Mania – The New York Edition.

  1. New England Patriots
  2. New York Jets
  3. Buffalo Bills
  4. Miami Dolphins

AFC North:

The Ravens defense used to be radioactive to offenses, but like all radioactive elements, eventually they pass their half-life and the decay becomes noticeable. This may not be the year that happens, but it is getting more likely with time.  Not to mention, the Ravens are no longer offensively-challenged. Now that Ray Rice is locked up, expect this to be the year Joe Flacco shows that he is a Top 5 quarterback in this league.

Flacco isn’t flashy, but he’s never thrown more than 12 interceptions in a single season. Quarterbacks that don’t give the ball away are infinitely more valuable than those who toss 20+ interceptions. This is also the year the Bengals force a changing of the guard in this division.  At the same, Cincinnati is young and full of talent and the Steelers are old and already hurt.  The constant will be the Browns, who will prove yet again to be a non-factor.

  1. Baltimore Ravens
  2. Cincinnati Bengals
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers
  4. Cleveland Browns

AFC South:

Once again, here’s another division winner by default. This division goes to the Texans largely because the Titans are depending on an unproven rookie Tebow-esque quarterback in Jake Locker, a now-unreliable Chris Johnson by default, and Kenny Britt is a variable nobody needs.  Jacksonville is just plain bad, and I don’t even want to picture that team without Maurice Jones-Drew.  Lastly, while it may be the dawn of the Luck era in Indianapolis,  the offensive line still looks weaker than no-alcohol beer and the defense acts more like the express lane at the toll-booth.

  1. Houston Texans
  2. Tennessee Titans
  3. Indianapolis Colts
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars

AFC West:

Welcome to the AFC “7-9 Division,” or as I like to call it, the “Somebody’s got to win it” Division. Here’s another default situation which drives me nuts.  Every year,  I get sucked in by the Chargers, only to watch them underperform. Those days are over, because I will never say a kind thing about the Chargers ever again as long as that organization doesn’t realize that Norv Turner is to football coaches as Benito Mussolini is to successful fascist dictators.

As I said before about the AFC West, nobody is really good enough to win this division. The Chiefs look the best on paper, but they have so many question marks nobody can tab them for sure.  We already know the Chargers won’t be a factor, thanks to Norv the Numbskull.  The Raiders have the usual Raider drama, and I refuse to annoit the Denver Mannings because I am not convinced that Peyton’s neck won’t explode at some point during the season., although they will likely be a play-off team.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Denver Broncos
  3. San Diego Chargers
  4. Oakland Raiders

NFC East:

Granted, the Giants are once again the defending Super Bowl Champions, which is less a function of their talent level and more a product of the fact Patriots are the league’s new big-game choke artists.

However, the Giants are still the class of this division.

As a life-long Eagles’ fan, I hate Michael Vick as my quarterback because he excels at getting the crap beaten out of him, which helps explain why he gets progressively worse as the season progresses.  Not to mention he is age-wise already north of 30, and I don’t know of too many athletes that aged like wine; running quarterbacks age like milk.

Then there’s the Cowboys. To buy this team, I need to do two things that make me nervous. First, I have to buy Tony Romo as a quarterback who can win a game that means something; here’s a guy who is also past 30 who I keep hearing “needs to live up to his potential.” Isn’t there a point where you realize this is what you get, there is nothing in terms of “potential” left to live up to?

The only thing for sure about this division is that the Redskins will be a vortex of inter-galactic suckittude; the kind that generates such a gravitational pull it threatens to collapse under its own mass. Robert Griffin III has no chance to solve all the problems this team has; his best chance might be if he shot Mike Shanahan in the back of the head.

  1. New York Giants
  2. Philadelphia Eagles
  3. Dallas Cowboys
  4. Washington Redskins

NFC North:

When healthy, the Packers are amongst the best team in the league.  But since the advent of the salary cap era, there have been very few truly complete teams, and Green Bay is no exception to that rule. They are really a green and yellow version of the Patriots; they have a big-time quarterback, an offense built around that quarterback, and they both like to lose to the Giants.

Meanwhile, three hours to the south lies the enigma known as the Chicago Bears. How can a team have so many ex-head coaches on its staff (Mike Martz, Rod Marinelli, and Mike Tice) and not know that a key to a successful offense is not letting the other team turn their quarterback into lawn mulch? It is easy to beat on Jay Cutler, but’s let’s be fair, he could sue his offensive line for non-support.

If there’s a guy in Chicago who should be getting called out, it’ s Lovie Smith. He’s done the least with the most talent of nearly any coach in this league, and yet his job never seems to be in danger. One can make an argument that a coach who didn’t have his head up his ass could have won two Super Bowls with the Bears during the Lovie regime, but nobody ever seems to mention that…

I don’t care what anybody says, I don’t buy the Lions. Sure, Calvin Johnson is a freak show, but I’m convinced that Matthew Stafford is a one-trick pony and Jim Schwartz is one of the worst coaches in the league.  The Lions have no discipline and they play really stupid football far too often.

This will be the second year of the post-Favre debacle in Minnesota; an era that will continue to be marked by 5-win seasons and a continued failure to understand the value of the quarterback position and the talent required to make a winner. Oh, and Adrian Peterson will never be the same. Get used to it.

  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Chicago Bears
  3. Detroit Lions
  4. Minnesota Vikings

NFC South:

This division is an exercise in the process of elimination. The Saints are a question mark after having been nuked by Kommissar Goodell. Drew Brees still captains one of the most potent offenses in the league, but nobody has noticed the offensive line isn’t what it used to be.  The Panthers are like a race-car engine; will its’ main Cam-shaft hold up?  Cam Newton isn’t going to surprise anybody this season; NFL defenses are going to be geared to stop him as he really represents the motor that drives the Panther offense. Then, there’s the sad state of affairs in Tampa. The Buccaneers might use their pirate ship to sail for Cuba to plead for asylum.

  1. Atlanta Falcons
  2. New Orleans Saints
  3. Carolina Panthers
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC West:

Remember a few years ago when  we had to live through all the belly-aching that went on about how a team with a losing record shouldn’t be in the playoffs? Yeah, the 7-9 record of the SeaHacks won fair and square, the SeaHacks won under the architecture provided, and the people who bitched the loudest about the NFL playoff system are the same ones who beat on college football for not having a playoff.

That won’t be a problem this year, since the 49ers may very well be the best team in the league. They are certainly the most complete.  They have a solid offensive line, a great defense, and a coach who has been a winner at every level he’s competed.  The million dollar question is this: Can Alex Smith repeat last season’s performance in which he finally looked like a legitimate NFL quarterback?  The rest of this division can be summed up by the Mettalica classic…Nothing Else Matters.

  1. San Francisco 49’ers
  2. Arizona Cardinals
  3. St. Louis Rams
  4. Seattle Seahawks

Overall Rankings

  1. San Francisco 49’ers
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Green Bay Packers
  4. Baltimore Ravens
  5. New York Giants
  6. Chicago Bears
  7. Atlanta Falcons
  8. Cincinnati Bengals
  9. Houston Texans
  10. Philadelphia Eagles
  11. Pittsburgh Steelers
  12. Detroit Lions
  13. Kansas City Chiefs
  14. Dallas Cowboys
  15. Denver Broncos
  16. New Orleans Saints
  17. New York Jets
  18. Arizona Cardinals
  19. Tennessee Titans
  20. San Diego Chargers
  21. Oakland Raiders
  22. Buffalo Bills
  23. Carolina Panthers
  24. St. Louis Rams
  25. Miami Dolphins
  26. Washington Redskins
  27. Seattle Seahawks
  28. Minnesota Vikings
  29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  30. Cleveland Browns
  31. Indianapolis Colts
  32. Jacksonville Jaguars

The 2012 NFL Playoffs – The Definitive Dubsism Oddsmaker’s View

1) Green Bay Packers

Why They Can Win:

In this case, there’s three good reasons. First, just like in boxing, you are the champs until somebody beats you, and to get to the Super Bowl, an NFC team is going to have to pull that off in Lambeau Field in January. Secondly, the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, who is Tom Brady before the very mention of his name drove me another notch toward rectal cancer. Third, and most simply, the Packers offense as a unit may be the most formidable weapon in the entire league.

Why They Can’t Win:

In what will prove to be a theme here, the Packers can barely run the ball, and their idea of defense is simply to outscore the opponent. They can make that work, but it is also an approach susceptible to failure.

Odds of Winning: 2.5 to 1

2) New Orleans Saints

Why They Can Win:

To be honest, I don’t have a good answer for this.  Last season, the Saints had two major flaws, First, Drew Brees tossed picks at a  near Favrian clip. That got fixed. The Saints also did not have a realistic offensive option coming out of the backfield. That got fixed too.

Why They Can’t Win:

They have to go on the road to get past Green Bay, which is going to be a tall order.

Odds of Winning: 4 to 1


3) Baltimore Ravens

Why They Can Win:

The worm has turned 180 degrees from this time last year, at which point I said the following:

“If you know the difference between Target and WalMart, then you know the difference between the Steelers and the Ravens. The shopping carts are little cleaner and they roll a little straighter at Target, but you get better prices at WalMart. The Baltimore Ravens are WalMart, and nobody loves to save a buck more than a Hot-Pocket eating blogger.”

Well, the Ravens are now Target, and the Steelers are now Walmart.  Target is better.

Why They Can’t Win:

Ray Rice remains the main offensive weapon of this team, as Joe Flacco still has  consistency issues. Any team that can force Flacco to be the play-maker has a puncher’s chance.

Odds of Winning: 8 to 1

4) San Francisco 49ers

Why They Can Win:

The 49ers might very well be the most complete and balanced team in this field. Alex Smith finally looks like an NFL quarterback, Frank Gore continues to deliver, and the defense is one of the best in the league.

Why They Can’t Win:

Jim Harbaugh may very well be the NFL coach of the year, but he’s still a Rookie head coach. Most of this team has never been down the playoff road before, and the way they got manhandled by the Ravens just seems like too much of a warning sign there’s a demon out there which will present itself during a playoff game.

Odds of Winning: 12 to 1

5) Pittsburgh Steelers

Why They Can Win:

The Steelers are are still very physical and still have playmakers.  Ben Roethlisberger is one those guys that makes anything possible.

Why They Can’t Win:

Like the rest of the team, Roethlisberger is beat up. Rashard Mendenhall is gone for the duration. The one guy this team absolutely cannot win without is Troy Polamalu, and he is nicked up as well.  Without him, the Steelers become the Aluminumers.

Odds of Winning: 15 to 1

6) New England Patriots

Why They Can Win:

Because Tom Brady is still Tom Brady; one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history on the NFL, and he isn’t far enough past his prime to be discounted.

Why They Can’t Win:

To see the future in Foxboro, just look toward Indianapolis. Don’t look right this second, because you may notice the Patriots are beginning to get old before your very eyes.  They are the worst 13-3 team I’ve ever seen – they define over-rated.  They can’t run the ball and their defense couldn’t stop a Pop Warner team, yet somehow they are top-seed in the AFC.

All this team has is Tom Brady, and that’s just enough to hide the real defects in this team. There’s a reason I call this the “Manning Rule.”

Odds of Winning: 18 to 1

7) New York Giants

Why They Can Win:

Take a coin out of your pocket. This coin represents the streakiness of the New York Giants. Flip the coin. Heads, Giants win.

Why They Can’t Win:

That complete lack of consistency drives me batshit crazy. Flip that coin Again. Tales, Giants lose. Eli Manning is easily my favorite player to watch in the NFL; he is like a poker player who loses a shitload of $50 pots, and just enough $10,000 ones to stay above water.  This time, Eli is all in with two pair.

Odds of Winning: 20 to 1

8 ) Atlanta Falcons

Why They Can Win:

Matt Ryan is an up-and-coming young quarterback who has been compared to a young Peyton Manning, and the Falcons have one of the best receiving groups in the game, which means the Falcons are capable of hanging big numbers on anybody.

Why They Can’t Win:

Ryan lives up to the Manning comparisons.  If he does, expect the Falcons to fold because Manning has always been a terrible “big game” quarterback; Manning’s only Super Bowl win comes from Lovie Smith’s refusal to get Rex Grossman off the field. Eventually, I think Ryan will prove to be a “big-game” quarterback, I’m just not sold this is the year.

On the other side of the ball, the Falcons lack the pass rush or secondary to handle the lethal passing attacks in this postseason group.

Odds of Winning: 25 to 1

9) Houston Texans

Why They Can Win:

There is an inviolable rule about play-off football: never count out a team that can a) run the ball and b) play defense. This is the recipe the Texans used to get this far.

Why They Can’t Win:

The injury to Matt Schaub could be crippling. If Jake Delhomme is the answer, I don’t want to know the question.

Odds of Winning: 30 to 1

10) Cincinnati Bengals

Why They Can Win:

Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are going to be one the best QB/WR combinations in this league for quite some time. Not to mention, the Bengals can play a little defense as well.

Why They Can’t Win:

Because they are the Bengals. If you were going to spin a yarn about a NFL team with a curse, you’d start in Cincinnati. Even if you don’t buy that, winning three road playoff games and a Super Bowl with a rookie quarterback is the poker equivalent of hitting an inside straight three times in a row.

Odds of Winning: 35 to 1

11) Detroit Lions

Why They Can Win:

They can’t. Well, I take that back; everybody else’s plane could crash, there could be a plague of locusts, there could be a massive outbreak of food poisoning from the people who do all the NFL food handling.

Why They Can’t Win:

Even though they have Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, I don’t buy this team and I never have.  This is a team that hasn’t even sniffed the playoffs in over a decade, hasn’t won a division title in nearly two, and hasn’t won a league title in over five.

This year’s version loves to act like a high-school junior varsity team. They run their mouths constantly. They have a complete lack of discipline, which comes from the coach on down. They implode the minute they face a challenge. They’ve been pretty good this season, but they have yet to show me they have the stones to make the move from good to great.

Odds of Winning: 50 to 1

12) Denver Broncos

Why They Can Win:

Two words: Tim Tebow.

Why They Can’t Win:

Two words: Tim Tebow.

Odds of Winning: 100 to 1

What We Learned From This Weekend in Football 11/12/2011

1) OK, We Get It – Aaron Rodgers is Crazy Good

I’m trying to make sure all you media people understand this. You can all stop with the stories telling football fans how good Aaron Rodgers is. We get it. All of the people you are telling this to are in fantasy football leagues in which they either a) curse his name because he spends every week flame-broiling your team or b) laughing uncontrollably as he scores yet another bazillion points for team Dubsism.

Please don’t tell me I need to explain which side I’m on.

2) I Never Want To Hear Another Word Out Of Boise State Until After November

November is the 11th month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of four months with the length of 30 days.  It is also the month when Boise State annually ends all its blue crapola about having a claim to a BCS title game.  November retained its name from the Latin novem (meaning “nine”) when January and February were added to the Roman calendar, and Boise State keeps thinking it deserves a shot after the BCS was expanded to include a #1 vs #2 Championship Game.

Don’t misunderstand me…we all loved the Fiesta Bowl “Statue of Liberty” win over Oklahoma. We even loved it when you crushed them after that in a regular season game. Not to mention you beat what may very well be a participant in the SEC Championship Game this year. But when the rest of your season contains ten Roast Beef States and one seminal moment – and you blow the seminal moment – it is time you quit whining about respect.

See, the key thing you have to understand is while wins in September are nice, losses in November are season-killers. If you want respect, make those field goals when it matters against Nevada and TCU.

3) The Detroit Lions are Punk-Ass Bitches

What else can you say? This team  acts like a junior-high team with a bad coach every time it gets challenged. Is it time to realize that perhaps this stems from the fact their head coach is a complete pussy who can’t take a “handshake” he didn’t like?

I can’t help but notice that a month weeks ago, writers were ready to annoint this team as the best in the NFL, and since then, the head coach got into an on-field incident which made him look like a third-grader, the team has lost three of its last four, and the team is getting a reputation for being “dirty.”

It seems nobody in Detroit gets that when your star defensive player gets called on the commissioner’s carpet, then he proceeds to keep ripping helmets off people, the “dirty” tags are going to start flying.

But there’s more to it than that. Just look at this past week – there was Kyle Vanden Bosch’s clear late hit on Matt Forte, Cliff Avril attempt to rip Forte’s head off, Nick Fairley driving Cutler into the turf, Matthew Stafford’s assault of D.J. Moore, and my favorite, the Dominic Raiola’s deliberate chop-block – it’s hard to ignore all that.

This team is going to draw some serious “street justice,” and they strike me as the kind of punk bitches that will cry about it when they get what they deserve.

4) What Is To Be Done With Tim Tebow?

I’m going to save all the arguments for you in the comments section. Here’s what you can’t argue with – dude is 3-1 as a starter this season. Discuss amongst yourselves.

5) The 49ers Are The New Team We Can Be Premature About

Up until now, this week’s win against the Giants is their signature accomplishment. Sorry, but I don’t buy them yet. I don’t buy Alex Smith as an “elite quarterback,” I don’t buy a banged up Frank Gore carrying this team, and I don’t buy Jim Harbaugh…yet.  I may not buy Harbaugh as an NFL coach yet, but I’m starting to reach for my wallet.

If you want to see the cash come out, Jimbo, show me something when you play the Ravens in Baltimore, then host the Steelers.

What We Learned From This Weekend In Football 11/5/2011 – The “I Can’t Believe This Is Happening” Edition

1) The Penn State Situation

I’m not going to get into the minutia of this disgusting affair now, if for no other reason than I want to see if somebody hits the nail on the head about why this played out the way it did. As horrible as this story is, there is also a very stinging indictment of American society contained in all of this. While we should all be foremost concerned with the well-being of the victims, and while we must reserve the hottest fires of hell for the perpetrators of these terrible acts, we must also take a hard look at how the society we’ve collectively created allowed this to happen.

In a few days when the emotion has settled off of this story, I’m going to revisit this point in detail.  Stay tuned…

2) LSU and Alabama are still the two best teams in the country

Don’t believe that? Which team not currently in the SEC could beat either of them? I’m waiting…I’ll be here all day…

3) The Tebow Question, volume 2:

I will be the first to admit that I was wrong about Cam Newton; I said he’d never make an NFL quarterback. To me, this begs a question about another son of the SEC, Heisman-winning signal-caller. What does Tebow have to do to to get all the Tebow-haters to change their minds? I’m suggesting he’s done anything worthy of that yet, but I’m wondering where the line is? I’m looking at a guy who has won two road-games with a team which barely has the talent to win two games period, so I’ve got to ask…

4) Speaking of Rookie Quarterbacks…Have You Seen The Bengals lately?

This begs another question. What does Andy Dalton have to do to get some love? Don’t look now, but the Bengals have won five in a row, led largely by Dalton’s  1,696 yards, 12 touchdowns versus only 7 interceptions.  I don’t know if you knew this, but rookie quarterbacks aren’t supposed to be able to U-turn a team from 4-12 to 6-2.

5) The San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are 7-1. They’ve won six straight games. The last time that happened, the sex scandals were in D.C., not State College, Jim Harbaugh was quarterbacking the Colts, and the 49ers were still doing that Bill Walsh/West Coast offense.

Then the 49ers were as a “finesse” team. Now with Harbaugh as their head coach, the 49ers are more than willing to kick your ass.

There was that whole incident a while back when Harbaugh had some words with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. This past week, Niner tight end Vernon Davis got into a squabble before the game with several Redskins players, then later wide receiver Kyle Williams felt the need to throw his shoulder into the body of Washington linebacker London Fletcher.  This led to another fight, one that included a few choice words from Harbaugh himself.

Oh, and they’ve abandoned that pass-happy offense as well. Now, the 49ers are ranked 30th in passing yards and winning.

49ers-Raiders Aftermath – Get Ready For Another Classic Over-Reaction

This past weekend, we had yet another episode of violence at a sporting event. This time, three people were seriously injured in separate incidents at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park during a 49ers-Raiders game.  So far, two have been upgraded to fair condition, one was a 24-year-old man who was shot several times in the stomach, and the other was a 26-year-old man who was beaten unconscious in an upper-level stadium restroom during the fourth quarter. An additional shooting victim was treated after receiving superficial facial wounds after the game.

This begs the question: What will be the response to this violence? Increase stadium security? Make sure the people who committed these crimes are arrested and have examples made of them? Revoking the season tickets of those involved?

That last one is supposedly going to happen, along with the idea of banning tailgating in the stadium parking lot after games start. Those both are good ideas, but they only go halfway in their approach as they only solve part of the problem. So what do the teams and the NFL see as a solution? Pat yourself on the back if you said we should cave in to this kind of crap and just don’t play the game.

Both the San Francisco and Oakland police departments have recommended that the annual San Francisco 49ers-Oakland Raiders exhibition game be eliminated following weekend violence during this year’s football game at Candlestick Park, officials with the 49ers told CBS San Francisco on Monday.

The 49ers said they were reviewing the police recommendations and scheduled a news conference for later in the day with team president Jed York.

The San Jose Mercury News and Oakland Tribune newspapers reported Monday that the NFL had decided to stop scheduling the rivalry game, but both 49ers officials and Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask told CBS San Francisco that no decision had yet been made on the Battle of the Bay’s future.

Welcome to another typical American over-reaction; it is weak, it is misguided, and it doesn’t solve the problem.

First of all, even though Raiders CEO Amy Trask says no decision has yet been made, you can tell cancelling the game is clearly the primary option on the table based on what she’s not saying. Go through the rest of the story; you won’t see any allusions to specific plans for solving the problem.

SFPD Chief Greg Suhr told KCBS Radio that “we added substantial numbers (of officers) for Saturday’s game” and added, “obviously we were right (to do so.)”

You would expect a police chief to talk about beefed-up security, especially since that is exactly what was done at this event. Yet, after increasing security, we still have three people shot and another beaten to a pulp.

There’s two problems here. First, we really don’t know what the original size of the security presence was, so we really can’t tell if the precautions taken for Saturday’s game were appropriate. Second of all, unless you declare martial law, security can’t stop every drunken bum who wants to throw a punch in a men’s room.

But let me ask three questions: How does somebody get into an NFL stadium or parking lot with a gun? How do they pull it out, use it, and get away in front of 50,000 witnesses? How does this happen more than once at the same event?

There’s one answer for all three questions: because even the “increased security” was monstrously inadequate. Look at any video out there on this issue; look at how long punches are being thrown without even the slightest hint of a security presence. Instead of addressing that issue, the hope is that if we simply throw our collective hands up in the air and say “nothing else could have been done, so let’s just not play the game anymore,” no one will ask the questions I just did.

But, there’s some flaws in that theory. It is one thing to call off a pre-season game, but what about the regular season?  Granted, the Raiders and 49ers don’t play each other every season, but they do play each other. What then? Suppose the it wasn’t the meeting of these two teams that was the problem; let’s say both fan bases contain a gun-wielding component prone to violence? Are they willing to cancel all of the home games for these two teams, or re-locate them to “low-crime” cities like Fargo, North Dakota and Cheyenne, Wyoming?

The bottom line is that sports venues are becoming dangerous places. This quoted story naturally makes mention of the Dodger Stadium incident this past spring.  But that is just an anecdotal example of what is by all accounts a growing problem.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, both teams and the NFL were all quick to condemn Saturday’s violence and pledged to work with law enforcement for a solution.

“Fans come to our stadiums to enjoy an afternoon of football, not to be subjected to intimidation or violence,” the mayors said in a joint statement. “The incidents are completely unacceptable.”

Lee, who was at the game, indicated Monday that he also personally observed numerous brawls among fans in the stands and was horrified at some of the conduct.

“We definitely have to curtail the violence,” he told KCBS Radio. “What we have to do is make everyone who comes into the stadium more responsible.”

Former Raiders head coach and NFL broadcaster John Madden told KCBS Radio during an interview Monday that the violence at Candlestick was symptomatic of the declining fan experience at NFL stadiums across the country.

“This isn’t something that just showed up Saturday night in San Francisco,” Madden said. “Over the years, I don’t think that the clubs, the NFL have really taken care of the fans… That’s what they have to watch out for, that the parking lots in our stadiums don’t become hangouts for hooligans, and that our stadiums don’t.”

The NFL, and sports leagues in general, would be well served to pay close attention to Madden’s comments, particularly that bit about the “declining fan experience.” It matters little if the quality of the product is first-rate, it matters little if the tickets are comfortably priced. If people can’t feel safe at the ballpark, they won’t show up. Then nobody will need to make a decision as to whether or not to play the games.

Guest Column: Joe McGrath on Which NFL Teams Are Most Likely To Move To Los Angeles

Editor’s Note: Mr. McGrath has long and storied history in the management of professional sports franchises, most notably as the general manager of the Charlestown Chiefs of the now-defunct Federal League. Oh, and this is probably a good time to mention that Mr. McGrath’s views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Dubsism, our staff, or anybody else whose house you might want to burn to the ground.

I will keep this simple. The NFL has been without a franchise in Los Angeles for close to two decades.  One the primary stumbling blocks to putting a team in the Southland has been the lack of a suitable venue. However, now that Los Angeles City Council has voted unanimously to approve a stadium proposal, the question is this: which team or teams will move to the City of Angels.

I say “teams” because the rumor is that the new model being kicked around as a cost-savings measure may be to emulate the sharing arrangement the Jets and Giants have used in New York.  It is important to keep that in mind as we move through this discussion where I will rate the teams in contention to make the move based on their likelihood to do so.

1) San Diego Chargers – Odds To Move: Almost Certain

The minute the shovel breaks ground in Los Angeles, the boxes will start being loaded on the trucks in San Diego. They won’t do it in the fly-by-night manner like the Irsays took the Colts out of Baltimore, but relocating this team 120 miles north has been an open secret for a while. Current owner Art Spanos in nearly 90, in failing health, and has been looking to sell at least a minority stake in the team. It doesn’t take a giant leap of faith to see the word “minority” turn into “majority” or “complete” in this case. Even if it doesn’t, the group looking to build the Los Angeles stadium would settle for a 30 percent ownership stake if there’s a commitment to move by May 2012 (upon completion of a stadium). Couple that with the fact the Chargers only need to make a $24 million payment to escape their lease at Qualcomm Stadium, and the fact San Diego has a flaky fan base, and you can start printing the Los Angeles Chargers T-shirts now.

2) Minnesota Vikings – Odds To Move: Pretty Damn Good

Take a good look at that picture. This is the one team that doesn’t want a new stadium; it desperately needs one.  The Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome expires after this season, and if Minnesota makes a commitment to build a new stadium before the end of that lease (the Governor may call a special legislative session in the fall to hammer out a deal), the Vikings stay.  Keep in mind that Vikes’ owner Zygi Wilf isn’t looking to sell the team, but he has met with the President and CEO of the Los Angeles stadium group, and the Vikings’ vice president of public affairs Lester Bagley has said the Vikings are solely focused on staying in Minnesota. That means two things – first, there has been a serious discussion about moving this franchise, and secondly Bagley knows he needs to say that to keep any hopes of a Minnesota stadium deal alive.  In other words, if a stadium deal doesn’t get done in Minnesota, look for the Vikings to announce their departure.

3) St. Louis Rams – Odds To Move: Better than 50-50

Again, here’s a team in a crappy dome, the team has a lease which expires right around a feasible completion date for a Los Angeles stadium (after the 2014 season). The only way to improve the Edward Jones Dome is to raze it and build a new stadium, which isn’t likely to happen since the city of St. Louis is still paying for the construction of the dome. That makes the infusion of public money on a stadium project not very likely.

Go back to that “two teams in Los Angeles” thoery. There’s a key in this which sweetens this deal for the Rams, but also makes the Vikings and our surprise “dark horse” very viable options as they all share similar characteristics. According to ESPN Los Angeles, there’s a set of criteria involved in the consideration of a franchise on this list.

The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission has until Feb. 1 to give the Rams a preliminary proposal for how it plans to give the Dome “top-tier” status. The Rams can either agree to the offer a month later or reject it and make a counter-offer by May 1, which is the most likely scenario. The commission can then either agree to the counter-offer by June 1 or reject it and go to arbitration. If such a scenario unfolds, the lease could be voided and the Rams could rent the Dome on a year-to-year basis or choose to move elsewhere…

…It seems the chances of the Rams getting a new stadium in St. Louis are as remote as they are for the Chargers in San Diego. Having the Chargers and the Rams relocate to Los Angeles would be the most ideal scenario for the league, which would like to see one AFC West team and one NFC West team move to Los Angeles (preferably with Los Angeles ties) so the geography of the current divisions still work and each of the conference’s television broadcasters (currently CBS and FOX) will get a team in the country’s second-biggest media market.

Like I said before, keep this model in mind…

4) San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders – Odds to Move: Not Very Good

This is another example where the “two team” model comes into play. If the Chargers move as expected, the league and the networks won’t want two division-rivals in the same stadium. Not to mention the stadium owners would lose two dates worth of parking and concessions under such an arrangement. If the Raiders don’t move, it makes it much easier for the 49ers and Raiders to get a shared-venue proposal. Both teams need a new stadium, and the 49ers proposal on a Santa Clara site has been gaining momentum. A partnership with the Raider could push that deal across the goal line.

5) Buffalo Bills – Odds To Move: Drawing to an Inside Straight

Let me be clear – this team is moving, but it isn’t going to California. Considering this team has agreed to play eight home games in Toronto over the next five seasons, once 93-year old Ralph Wilson is gone, this team will move north of the border.

6) Jacksonville Jaguars – Odds to Move:  Slim and None, and Slim Just Left Town

Seven words: Owner Wayne Weaver and an honerous lease. It’s Weaver’s team, he wants it in Jacksonville, and he structured the lease on EverBank Field to be nearly impossible to escape until 2029.

Surprise “Dark Horse”) New Orleans Saints – Odds to Move: Much Better Than You Think

Actually, the Saints can check many of the same boxes on the “moving” criteria list as the Vikings and Rams, which is why the “dirty little secret” is the Saints are as good a candidate to move.

1) They are in an old, crappy dome that is falling apart.

While there is an $85 million dollar plan on the table to upgrade the Superdome, the fact remains this is a stop-gap fix. Within the next few years, there will be no covering the fact the Superdome is obsolete.

2) There’s a state money entanglement.

Right after Katrina, there were concerns Saints’ owner Tom Benson was ready to move to San Antonio. To head that off, the state of Louisiana pays the Saints $6 million per year in direct funding. That’s already a tacit admission that post-Katrina New Orleans is simply no longer a major-league city. The aforementioned stadium upgrade is also an admission that there is no chance of a completely new facility anytime in the near future.

3) They make the most sense.

According to the “two team theory,” the league wants one team from each conference, and making such a move without making massive re-alignments would be preferable. Los Angeles like will have either the Chargers or Raiders from the AFC, and that means they other teams likely to load up and head west are from the NFC. The Saints could easily be “traded” to the NFC West of the St. Louis Rams, just as the Rams could be swapped to the NFC North for the Vikings.

In any event, somebody is  moving to Los Angeles . Who will get into this Southern California NFL version of “‘musical chairs?”

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