Monday, October 15, 2018

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK SIX WRAP-UP AND PUNTATHON


It's a Punt Eat Punt World



Every once in a great while, a team steps forward...I think it's two or three steps, and then you swing your leg...right?...and puts themselves into the Doormat Division record books.  Doing this despite their current record (3-3) does not diminish the accomplishment. In the case of the Tennessee Titans, the Basement really isn't that far away, ever. We only have to peel back one or two layers of wallpaper to get to our Titanics pattern.


TITANS 0, RAVEN-POES 21
It's not the 11 sacks, one off the NFL record, that is impressive, even though it's often a coach-sacking offense. It's not the 7 first downs. It's this: 9 Titans possessions, 9 Titans punts. We've been covering the Doormat Division for 8 years, and following the stats for a lot longer than that, and we have never seen every possession in a game end with a punt. No interception, no fumble (though Titanics QB Marcus Mariota tried), no 4th down failure (not even late in the game?).  

That takes skilled determination. The Titanics haven't crossed the goal line in 8 quarters, have lost two straight, and Titans coach Mike Vrabel was pretty verbal in the post-game press conference. Taking full credit for the incredible accomplishment, Vrabel said "you don't have time for any hangovers," clearly meaning they can't celebrate for too long, because another sinking ship is on the horizon.  

THE STANDINGS

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 6

NFC            W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Arizona         1-5          82       139       -57
NY Giants     1-5         117      162       -45
*Santa Clara  1-4         118     146       -28
Atlanta          2-4         167      192       -25
Tampa Bay    2-3         141      173      -32
Detroit           2-3         125      137      -12


AFC            W-L        PF        PA      DIFF

Oakland        1-5         110      176       -66
Indy              1-5         152      180       -28
Buffalo         2-4          76        138      -62
Denver          2-4         120      154      -34
Cleveland     2-3-1       128     151      -23

*Santa Clara plays the Packers tonight

RAIDERS 3, SEAHAWKS 27
The Seahawks are not a great team. But the RAIDERS.  Every year, the NFL invites 4 teams out to London for a couple games, and it's never teams that might make the Super Bowl. If you're in London, you're a Doormat rep or you're auditioning to be. The Raiders passed the audition with damp moldy colors, something any Brit can appreciate. The only way to be the worst of the worst is confident totally wrong top-down leadership. 7 years into the (owner) Mark Davis era, the downward spiral, with one season of up, is starting to look like a whirlpool from which the pirate ship Raider Nation will not escape, and why should they? They've got a Moldy Carpet Trophy (the Doormat Division's highest award) to hoist at year's end. They can cart it out to Las Vegas, put the ol' Skull and Crossbones up in some dusty creosote tangled lot, get bit by a scorpion, put their pirate vessel in dry dock, stop showering and let that Moldy Carpet dry out, blowing its spores across the lonely desert.  

What're the odds?  

p.s.  You know, if Al Davis were alive, he'd look terrible, but he would have hired Colin Kaepernick as soon as he was available, if just to thumb his nose at all the other owners.  The NFL misses that. With two rookie tackles watching the world go by, they could really use someone who is already out on the edge by the time the pass rush gets to the backfield. Just sayin'.  

BROWNS 14, CHARGERS 38
The Brownies are keeping it real, 2-3-1, and back in our standings.  Noting that Browns QB Baker Mayfield likes to run around, the Chargers decided to help him out and turn it up to 'run for your life.'  5 sacks, two more interceptions, and a Brownie day at the yard, in Cleveland. The Browns defense shored up its run strategy, getting mowed for 246 rushing yards, and making Philip Rivers look like a level-headed cool cucumber. He's not really green, it's just this old TV.  The tubes come from Russia. Are they listening?

CARDINALS 17, VIKINGS 27
You know it's a tough news day when your worst team in the league is item #4, but what can you do?  It's not flashy, it's just brain-dead. Cardinals accomplish difficult task of making Kirk Cousins signing look good, for one day.

MIAMI 31, BEARS 28 OT
I know this is not a Doormat game, but last year it sure was. Another loony game in the NFL in 2018. And it's mostly ex-Doormats (attempting to leave) leading the charge.

COLTS 34, JETS 42
Like this one!  The Clots are 1-5, yet are averaging 25 points a game. But they're giving up 31, so it's one near miss, blown lead, futile comeback, after another.  They only punted twice!  

BUCS 29, FALCONS 34
Down...down....down... another pirate ship slowly sinks in the harbor.  3 losses in a row gets them back to a losing record, despite 512 yards of offense.  Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who cares who's back there- just come close.  But, please, no cigars.  Although, the completely hilarious multi-fumble-lateral final play that 'almost' got in the end zone, you gotta give the Bucs some style points.  Big Doormat style points.

BILLS 13, TEXANS 20
12 first downs, 12 penalties, 11 pipers piping, 5 punts-a-punting, TWO -In-ter-cep-tionnnnns!
Bills interception machine QB Nathan Peterman got into the game (one INT for every 8.7 attempts. That's 63 in a season with 550 attempts), finishing off the game with a pick-six with 1:23 left. This came after the Bills had set up the Toxins at the 1-yard line with a pass interference call, but the Toxins refused to move in, kicking a tying field goal, hoping for an overtime loss or something.  But when you've got an interception wizard out on the field, a team just has to be patient with impatience.  Bills 2-4 and in the race.

GIANTS 13, PHILADEPHIA 34
Yes, Eli Manning is still playing football. 

JAGUARS 10, COWBOYS 40
Well!  It's like old Home Week.  The Jags turn back the clock for a day, 10 first downs, scrape up 204 yards of offense and sink back to 3-3.  Two blowout losses in a row, and they could easily lose 3 of the next 4 games.

Tonight!

49ers at Packers
Whiners should get to 1-5 with this one, but I think they may cover the 9-point spread (biggest of the weekend), as this may be their last gasp before giving in and playing out the string.  Packers are not what they once were, but the Whiners have no idea what 'were' is.


aaaAAAAAAnd That's the View From the BASEMENT!!!!

-wacko


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

NFL Predictions Week VI: Parity Storm Raised to Category 3


It’s only week VI, a time of year when there is usually a lot of parity going around. But this year the parity clouds are especially dark, and some strong winds of mediocrity are traversing the continent. The National Weather Service has raised Parity Storm Doug to a Category 3. Fans should get their emergency kits ready and load up on beer and wings.

There are eight 2-3 teams, two 2-2 teams, and four 2-2-1 teams. Don’t forget we have six 1-4 teams as well. So out of 32 teams 20 of them are NOT over .500. The storm could get worse. An awful lot are hanging around the middle. Kinda like a flat line on that TV show ER. And don’t forget we have six teams at 3-2. It’s hard to tell which way this storm will go. Who will get a heartbeat and arise from the parity cloud and who will sink to the depths of the basement?

With so much parity going on the patio is really crowded. What are Green Bay, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh doing out there? It’s like a Halloween movie.

Some important stats. The six worst teams league wide in overall defense so far (in order) are
Buccaneers,
Falcons,
Raiders,
Lions,
Vikings and
Saints/Colts (tied). Whoa, only one AFC team?

Bottom Offenses are
Cardinals,
Bills,
Cowboys,
Eagles (wow),
Redskins,
Broncos.

The only team in both of those lists is…none. Hmm, parity again. We glance at point differential and some clarity emerges: Bills (-55), Cardinals (-47), Raiders (-42), Broncos (-31), Falcons (-30), and 49ers (-28).

And though offense is king these days, we still know it’s defense that loses championships.

So the Oracle predicts the three bottom defensive teams with the biggest point differentials are going to tank: Bills, Cardinals (duh), Raiders.

And speaking of the Raiders. They managed to plug the holes in the ship and make it through the storm to England for a Doormat special at sticky-with-beer Wembley Field. Coach Gruden hates flying in planes, so they sailed to Jolly old England. Not much space to work out on the deck and they lost all the footballs to sea. Now they face a Seahawk team on the verge of mediocrity and desperate for another win. Looks like the fans at Wembley are in for a treat. The Raiders kinda feel like a home team for the Brits, and as one English friend told me: “Getting sauced and punching someone, it’s what we do, mate.” This should be a wild game with a predictable outcome: Raiders lose, fans fight.

And now the rest of the Oracle’s predictions. With so much parity going around, this week I only predict games for teams with at least 4 losses:

Eagles- 18
Giants- 21
(Vegas says Eagles, but these teams hate each other. It’s in Jersey. Eagles are in a swan dive. And the frozen turkey said so, so there.)

Buccaneers- 16
Falcons- 24

Seahawks- 33
Raiders- 21

Colts- 16
Jets- 21

49ers- 16
Packers- 28

Cardinals- 12
Vikings- 36

Chargers- 14
Browns-12
(OK no 4-loss team, but it’s the Browns!)

And finally, not a prediction, but stunned to see that the Bears and Dolphins is NOT a doormat game.

The Oracle has spoken!

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Monday, October 8, 2018

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 5 WRAP-UP and PARITY THREAT

TRY-OUTS FOR WORST CONTINUES


This season, every week a whole new set of teams decide to be the worst team in the league.  Everybody is trying out the new clothes, seeing how they fit. Can they miss a tackle, get a personal foul, turn the ball over, shank a punk or- this year's new wrinkle- clank extra points and duff field goal tries in that new outfit?  Black and red?  Green and Yellow?  Red and Gold? 

So far, there are only 2 teams that appear to be unable to score points in amounts that would have any bearing on an outcome: Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. And they played each other this week. Everybody else takes turns putting up a zero and then 34 points. ONE consistent factor- about 10 teams can give up points all day long.  So, let's face it- sloppy as hell and completely entertaining. Unless you are looking for excellence. You really should re-think that, if you're watching football. 

The NFC has a huge logjam at 1-4.  The AFC, after Oakland and Indy, is rife with teams that are playing Doormat ball on alternate Sundays.  Could this be the year where 8 teams go 8-8?  

Here's the standings:

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 5

NFC            W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Arizona        1-4          65       112       -47
Atlanta         1-4         133      163       -30
NY Giants    1-4         104     128       -24
Santa Clara   1-4         118     146       -28
Detroit          2-3         125      137      -12

AFC            W-L        PF        PA      DIFF

Oakland        1-4         107       149      -42
Indy              1-4         118      138       -20
Buffalo         2-3          63       118       -55
Denver          2-3         100      131      -31
Houston        2-3         115      124       -9
NY Jets         2-3         123     105       +18

THE GAMES

49ers 18,  CARDINALS 28
The Whiners pulled a classic move yesterday- have a great first drive and then screw up for the next 55 minutes.  They got right to it after the TD by missing the extra point, the new favorite play in the NFL. But then, it was time to give the Cards the ball. And boy, did they.

Faced with a team that can't move the ball on a team of grandmothers in walkers with tennis ball skids, the 49ers strategy was to turn the ball over deep in their own territory and hope the Cards stumble into the end zone. It worked! 5 turnovers helped push the Cardinals (c'mon get in there!) into the end zone for 21 of their 28 points. Scintillating drives of 18 and 26 yards and a fumble return for 23 pretty much accounted for all of Arizona's yardage, save for the first play of the game, where the Whiners opened up their Freeway Defense for a 75 yard pass and scamper by the Cards.  After that obvious ploy, the Cards shut down all open field options in an effort to remain un-victorious.

They punted 8 times.  They went 2-12 on third down. They kept their defense out there so long, guys were receiving junk mail on the field. Nothing worked. The 49ers got under the Cards low bar, and look out Green Bay, the Whiners are coming for you next week.

COLTS 24, PATRIOTS 38
Never mind about the Pats and the Basement.  The Colts demonstrated how you score points, but still get shellacked, and the Pats won't get the hang of that until next year, if ever.

RAVENS 9, BROWNS 12 (OT)
The Stiff Of the Week is a Browns victory.  The Browns aren't even in our standings this week, the first time in....ever.  It's a milestone. It's a millstone off their necks! That's three OT's in 5 weeks (the record is 5- '83 Packers and '03 Panthers).
Game winning field goal appeared to be a photo-shopped Little Guy Football crossbar scraper, pasted into the telecast.

BILLS 13, TITANS 12
The other stiff of the week, delivered by the usual parties.  But the Bills take the win, stunned by Titans QB Marcus Mariota not chalking up come-from-behind 4th quarter win #15, despite avoiding sacking him as much as possible, for fear of the yellow hanky.
The Titans braked hard and kicked field goals all day, and shazam, the Bills found themselves pushing one over the crossbar with 0:00 left on the clock. This, THIS is what you get for depending on the other team. You gotta take care of these things yourself.

PACKERS 23, LIONS 31
The Lions demolish the Packers in Detroit. Did that feel good or what? The Pack take their Doormat star turn this week, falling behind 24-0 with the noodle leg of Mason Crosby missing 4 field goals and clanking an extra point. But let's not put all the blame on Mason. This was a team effort.  Mason just gave it eloquence and pathos.  The Doormat Division is loving the upside down NFC North.

RAIDERS 10, CHARGERS 26
Raiders-Chargers games have a long history, and have often featured wild contests, and also brutal clashes of will. This one was about showing just how bad the Raiders are going for this year, and it looks formidable. If Raider fans had any doubts, this answered it: after the Chargers went up 20-3 on a field goal late in the third quarter, the Raiders drove the length of the field, on a must-score drive. Then, on second and goal, on the brink of making a statement, QB Derek Carr threw a perfect-strike interception in the end zone. Even I saw the guy standing there. The Raiders, like a drunken Jack Sparrow, then led the Chargers down the field 96 yards for the TD and good night. Yo-Ho-Ho!
Raiders should lose 12.  Get comfortable on the Barcalounger, guys, you may be the AFC Doormat Champs.  Good job, Mark Davis, the team looks ready to move already.  Or, at the very least, go hide in the desert.

GIANTS 31, PANTHERS 33
It's not often you have only 1:08 to lose a game.  But the Panthers scrape a 63-yard field goal over the crossbar at 0:00, and the Giants do it again like last year.  1-4 and tied for first.

BRONCOS 16, JETS 34
The Jets are WAAAY better than the Broncos.  For one day.  Next week, don't bet on it.

COWBOYS 16, TEXANS 19
Boy, the Toxins just keep barely not losing.  I'm losing confidence in their chances to hit 10 losses.
You keep winning close games, you start to believe things. Cowboys, on the other hand....maybe I should get that corral finished...maybe I'll just turn that first fence post into a hitching post.

FALCONS 17, STEELERS 41
The Steelers were teetering on our top step to the Basement last week, found the light switch and...that put the scare in them.  Failcons can't stop anybody and really like giving up the long bomb, so 1-4 and looking strong in the NFC. They just have to stop scoring points so often.  But, I dunno this year that doesn't seem to matter.

SEAHAWKS 31, RAMS 33
After this one, maybe old-timers in the northwest who still complain about getting force-fed Seahawk telecasts instead of 49ers or Raiders will think again. Maybe you'd RATHER watch the Seahags blow another one instead of the Whiners or Raydurz, you know?  Where's your comfort zone?  Which telecast is easier to turn off and go shopping for mulch?

Well, the old Basement got real busy last week.  We had more visitors dropping by than I can remember for a long time, if ever.  The Commish had us pull out the old Detroit Lions velvet rope, and get some security out there on the patio, in case some trolls tried to camp in the unfinished corral in the alley.
But, here in the Doormat Division, we promise to keep the sanctity of the Commodore 64, the duct tape couch, the pizza box table and the peeling Browns wallpaper.  The possum nest by the broken washing machine will not be disturbed.  We run a tight ship, flaming and sinking as it usually is, and the best cooler in the neighborhood. We'll just keep on keeping an eye out for the underdog.  In case you were wondering what we're doing here.


aaaAAAAnd THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE BASEMENT!!!!


-wacko

Thursday, October 4, 2018

NFL Predictions Week V: You Can't Lose if You're Not Behind

Linehan reminds Dak that his 4th Quarter antics could cost them the loss while Garret watches the field in disgust as Lions narrowly lose to Dallas 24-26 in Week IV.
Best Doormat game ever last week between the Brownies and the Raydurz. Lots of bonehead football punctuated by moments of glory on both sides. 965 yards in offense, 87 points scored, 13 punts, 3 fumbles, and 4 interceptions. Glorious!

The keg and the nacho cheese bladder were empty by overtime, and I missed the final score standing in line at the liquor store. But we kept that party going until Tuesday, just in time for the Cubs vs Rockies marathon. Someone, please put out the sun, my eyes are killing’ me!

And now we turn our attention the a crucial week five in the NFL. I remind all Doormats, you can’t lose if you’re not behind. Take note Titans, you won again. You have to score fewer points than your opponent if you intend to stay on the Barcalounger! Cowboys, you too. You had that game lost! But the worst has to be the Texans. Colts did everything they could to win that game and you still just had to find a way to win in OT. What were you thinking?

Well, I hope the doormats find a way to stay behind this week. The turkey spins and here are the predictions:

Colts- 32
Patriots- 18
(Yeah, Pats probably win, but it is a Deflategate Rematch and Luck is healthy, so….)

Titans- 24
Bills- 15
(Titans get back on track)

Falcons- 28
Steelers- 24
(These are doormats?)

Broncos- 24
Jets-12
(Broncos get another win. Playoffs?)

Packers-38
Lions-17

Ravens- 28
Browns- 21
(Browns continue to play well, but well, they are playing better teams.)

Giants- 14
Panthers- 17

Raiders- 33
Chargers- 21
(What’s wrong with the Chargers? Oh, yeah, it’s the Chargers.)

Cardinals- 16
49ers- 24
(Cards continue march to the bottom. These guys are good, er bad, er…)

Vikings- 21
Eagles- 36
(Whoa, Vikings’ season is really going off the rails now)

Cowboys- 17
Texans- 21
(Stiff of the week!)

The Oracle has spoken!

Monday, October 1, 2018

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 4 WRAP-UP and KICKER AUDITION

Browns and Raiders....Doormats?



RAIDERS 45,  BROWNS 42 (OT)
In a pregame full of fear and potential loathing, with the specter of losing to the Browns dangling over Mark Davis' hideous hairdo, the Raiders and Browns put on a game of free-wheeling huge plays (could that be bad defense? Oh, come come!), bonehead mistakes, dropped balls, interceptions, fumbles and everything that should make for a fan crushing display of ineptitude, and turned it into the most entertaining game of the season.  

If that's Doormat Division play, then I'm all for it. New Brownie savior Baker Mayfield did his part, turning the ball over 4 times (though 1 interception and 1 fumble were not his fault), with a pick six for the first score, but also pulling off plays of almost hilarious daring and speed. The Browns have a real QB.  Until just this moment the Browns have been like most rock bands- terrible lead singers.  After a while you just give up and go with whoever can stand in front of a mic and scream (or mumble), and maybe remember lyrics.  Just filling space, and always opening first on a bill with 7 bands. The punk days, bless them, were Doormat Gold.  If you had a good singer, nobody trusted you.  So Baker Mayfield looks like a young Pavarotti right now...just ignore the low trajectory on the passes, shhhh.  

 Raider QB Derek Carr responded with 2 interceptions of his own, and hurled 58 passes.  There were three runs over 40 yards, two for TDs, multiple big yardage pass plays.  It was like the old AFL.  

The teams still got off 13 punts, and how you score 87 total points when you keep bailing, well, you gotta have just the right combo of good and bad. These teams have it. For one day.  38 total possessions. That's an average of holding onto the ball for only 1:57 for each possession.  Speed football!  

The Browns really appeared to be robbed of a first down when Carlos Hyde's knee touched down just shy of the marker (sure didn't look like it to us!) at the end of regulation.  They would have run out the clock and won.  Las Vegas called the replay booth or something, there. Good grief.  The Raiders then scored the tying TD and 2-point conversion.  TVs all over Cleveland are still stuck in freeze-frame on that spot of the ball.

Skinny rookie Raider kicker Matt McCrane, one of a chorus line of kickers rotating around the league right now, who missed twice when kicking from the 2nd base bag earlier, chipped in the last FG late in the OT to hang the win on Raiders, now 1-3 and no longer perfect. Browns return to having a losing record, and everyone can relax a little bit.

It is now proven that, despite having Brent Musberger as their new radio play-by-play man, the Raiders can win a football game.  I cannot tell you how off-putting and completely wrong it is to have ol' Brent as the Raiders announcer.  So, utterly, totally WEIRD.  

Let's have a look at the standings:

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 4

NFC            W-L        PF       PA      DIFF

Arizona        0-4          37        94      -57
NY Giants    1-3          73       95       -22
Detroit         1-3           94       114     -20
Santa Clara   1-3         100      118    -18
Atlanta         1-3         116      122     -6

AFC            W-L        PF        PA      DIFF

Buffalo         1-3          50        106    -56
Oakland        1-3          97       123      -26
Houston        1-3          96       108     -12
Indy              1-3          94        100      -6
NY Jets         1-3          89         89        0
Pittsburgh     1-2-1       102      116     -14
Cleveland     1-2-1       102      104     -2

Lotta losing going on, here, something's gotta give.

THE GAMES

CARDINALS 17,  SEAHAWKS 20
It took everything they had, including shanking a winning FG with 1:50 left, but perseverance pays off.  The Cardinals lost a game they were in deep danger of winning, going right down to 0:00 to fall to the Seahags.  Let's face it- the Crudinals wanted it more.  Last 0-fer team left in the league.  Cards engaging in too many close scores.  They need a blow-out loss.  Let's see what they can dial up next week in Santa Clara.

BILLS 0, PACKERS 22
The Bills have clearly righted the ship, and wiped the memory of that bizarre victory over the Vikes last week from the collective memory: 11 first downs, 3 turnovers, 87 passing yards, 8 punts, 7 sacks.  Wow.  Only 3 penalties, but when you are just refusing to do anything, it's hard to get penalties.  Still the early favorite to take the AFC.

49ers 25, CHARGERS 27
His name isn't BeatHard for nothing.  SF QB C.J. Beathard takes another shellacking, with LT Joe Staley having to leave the game, but doesn't seem fazed, as the Whiners barely escape Los Angeles with the loss. Neither team seemed sure about winning the game, but, ultimately, the worst kicker on the field kicked the winning field goal.  San Diego kicker Caleb Sturgis missed TWO extra points, but scraped in 3 out of 4 field goal tries, and juuuuust saved his job, and didn't have to go back to the high-kicking unemployment chorus line.

DOLPHINS 7, PATRIOTS 38
The worst 3-0 team in the NFL met up with reality yesterday, and took their usual beat-down from the Patriots, who, for one week, returned to being the best team in the AFC East.  Which isn't hard to do, when your competition is the Nyets, the Nils, and the Floppers. Woulda been a goose-egg, but the Patriots started playing fans from the stands (only ones with the best costumes!) late in the 4th and the Floppers got a pointless touchdown and 5 phony first downs on their last drive.  They had only SIX first downs until that tortured crawl down the carpet.  I hate when stats get skewed like that.

GIANTS 18, SAINTS 33
The Gnats score first.  And then pretty much stopped.  1-3 and right behind the Cards in the standings.  Still, NY fans (not the Mets fans) can just ignore all this until the Wednesday Wild Card game is over.  Football?

COLTS 34, TEXANS 37 (OT)
They gave the Colts multiple chances to win, but to no avail.  Another wild Doormat game goes in the books, and the Toxins have to take a win.  944 total yards, 20 penalties, 11 sacks, 2 lost fumbles.
Gotta love those porous defenses when they meet up.

STEELERS 14, RAVENS 26
Our Commissioner called on the red phone around 6:00 last night, and notified us that the Steelers were on the top step of the Basement stairs, an extremely rickety construction, and gingerly taking the next step down.  We could hear the tattered hulk of Big Ben looming up there, in the dark (the light burned out 3 years ago), fumbling with the light switch, hoping for some vision. The Shower Curtain?  The Reelers?

BUCS  10,  BEARS 48
The Bucs have not just come down to earth, they went under a steam roller yesterday.  It was 38-3 by halftime, it was so efficient.  The Bucs yank Fitzpatrick as daBears keep dynamiting every team they play, throw in Jameis Winston, and he delivers with a couple interceptions.  But...the Bears!  QB Michael Trubisky throws 6 TD passes, almost tying HOF Bear god Sid Luckman for most ever (7) in a game.  Bears are exiting the Basement.

Remember last year and 'Orange You Bad'?  Our Orange teams this year have turned it around:  Bears 3-1,  Bengals 3-1, Broncos 2-1 (not after tonight), Miami 3-1, and Cleveland 1-2-1.

JETS 10,  JAGS 31
Jets QB Sam Darnold may well be the QB of the future, but, right now, he's the QB of a Doormat contender.  Keep an eye on the Jets.  I don't know if you should WATCH them, but...

FALCONS 36, BENGALS 37
Another wild game, and though they don't play like it, the Falcons just keep on losing.  1-3 and who knows what wheels will come off in the next couple weeks.

Next week will clear out the standings, for sure.


aaaAAAAAAnd That's the View From the Basement!!!!!

-Wacko






Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Predictions Week IV: Burn Baby Burn!

Raiders stagger out to sea after taking on torpedoes in Miami.

As the NFL set sail for the 2018 season every team proudly launched their ships. Some of them soon started to list and the rudders were not responding. Pittsburgh is one. Patriots are another. Not usually a Doormat team, the Pats appear to be taking on water before the season is past game 4.

But the Raiders are truly in flames. Last week they sailed into the harbor at Ft. Miami, shelling the Dolphins with one broadside after another, but late in the game the "SEAL" 'Fins ran deep and detonated a torpedo just below the magazine, and Pirate Ship Raiders exploded. They left Miami still in flames. This week they drift back under the Golden Gate and into Oakland to face Cleveland, a team that, for the first time in five years, believes in itself. They may sink just outside Treasure Island. Well, at least they won't have to sail to Vegas. Anyway, several other teams are in flames: Cardinals, Texans and Titans come to mind. I think I see smoke in New York, New Jersey, and Atlanta.

But in the meantime, here in the Basement, we are stocking up on Pumpkin Spice Latte ice cream, cheap bourbon (I think the label said Hood River Distillery), and a pony keg of Hamm's. Lots of hot dogs on the grill, too. I cleaned up the place with a leaf blower, and kicked the fridge twice and it is holding steady at 49 degrees (in the bottom drawer).

The Oracle now takes the ceremonial frozen turkey from the freezer, and spins it for this week's predictions!

Vikings- 10
Rams- 28
(Not really a doormat game, but the Rams have been a doormat for mostly the last 12 years, and the Vikings always feel like one, especially last week. Cousins got the big paycheck and the big stage this year, if he doesn't deliver a Super Bowl, it's walk the plank time, matey. This is a preview of maybe the NFC title game. Sorry, Vikes.)

Jets- 12
Jaguars- 28
(Jags get their mojo going again. Jets flame out again. D'Arnold tosses two pics.)

Dolphins- 17
Patriots- 14
(Whoa, Dolphins were picked by most experts to win maybe 3 games this year. Patriots look slow and old. Is it the end of an era? It's definitely the end of the poop deck. Don't drop back too far, there, Tom!)

Eagles- 46
Titans- 10
(Eagles get "it" back. Titans just get it.)

Texans- 14
Colts- 24
(Hey, Luck looks good. Texans are toxic again.)

Bills- 10
Packers- 33
(Bills, you may have shocked the Vikings, but the Packers will not be buffaloed.)

Lions- 14
Cowboys- 10
(I don't know why Vegas is picking the Cowboys by 4. Everyone always overestimates these guys. This might be the last game Detroit wins this year.)

Buccaneers-
Bears-
(Sorry, can't really do a prediction. They are not doormats right now. WTF?)

Seahawks- 36
Cardinals- 9
(Two field goals in the 4th for Phoenix. They are the class of the Doormat Division this year.)

Browns- 21
Raiders- 18
(Raiders have the lead...again...and lose it in the 4th. Shake 'n Bake era is on in Cleveland. Bad teams, beware!)

Saints- 42
Giants- 17
(Brees throws for 500+ yrds. Saints finally win a game without a heart attack.)

49ers- 3
Chargers- 17
(Chargers are 1-2?)

Chiefs- 36
Broncos- 8
(No comment)

The Oracle from the Basement has spoken!

Gentlemen, make your predictions.

Monday, September 24, 2018

DOORMAT DIVISION: WEEK 3 WRAP-UP AND BUD LITE PYRAMID

 NOT A PIPE DREAM ANYMORE





BROWNS 21, JETS 17

How do you make perfect Brownies?  Get a really good BAKER.
After 635 days of losing, twice as long as it took Frodo to throw The Ring into Mt. Doom, the Browns have not just won a football game. They look like a team that's going to win the next football game. And it's the Reeling Raiders in Oakland! Get your tickets NOW, Basement Dwellers out in the Bay Area. Hop on a plane, Cleveland fans, and bring Chomps with you. The Dawg Pound is going on the road!!  The Super Bowl will be on-  

All right, let's calm down. And, besides I can't even get to the patio door for all the Bud Lite cans, let alone get to the airport. But, seriously, here in the Basement, it's a new day. Starting Browns QB Tyrod Taylor (I hope he has a brother named Axle) was having a really bad day, and then took a whack on the pavement with his skull, and left the game with a lulu of a concussion. Rookie Gandalf Mithrandir- I mean- Mayfield Baker came in, and the rest is Browns history. The Shake n' Bake era has begun.

They may still only win 5 games, tops, but who cares?  They won a friggin' game, and there is joy in Mudville.  HOORAY!!

Let's take a look at the standings, and get to the games


DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 3

NFC            W-L        PF       PA      DIFF

Arizona        0-3          20       74       -54
Santa Clara   1-2         73      89        -16
Detroit         1-2           70      88       -18
NY Giants    1-2          55      62        -7
Dallas           1-2          41      53        -12

  
AFC            W-L        PF        PA      DIFF

Oakland        0-3          52        81       -29
Houston        0-3          59        74       -15
Pittsburgh     0-1-1       58        63       -5
New England  1-2       57        77       -20
Buffalo         1-2          50        84       -34
NY Jets         1-2          77        58       +19


BLOWOUT AND UPSET OF THE WEEK AT THE SAME TIME!

BILLS 27, YIKINGS 6
As Blowouts go, this is a mere 21 points, but it felt like 50.  Nobody, and I mean nobody, saw this one coming.  Last week the Bills looked like they had a shot at losing every single game. But the 'lucky' card this season- the rookie QB- worked for the Bills to mess things up and win a game.  16 1/2-point underdogs going in, Bills QB Josh Allen accounted for enough points- 21- to beat the spread.  He did try to go Doormat, fumbling 3 times, but the Bills got them all back. The Vikings countered with three turnovers that stuck (thank you Kirk Cousins, you know how).   We salute the Underdog of the Week!

Vikings fans, now that they have taken off their Viking hats and fake blonde pigtails, have become aware that Case Keenum is not their starting quarterback.  The Yikes get to get off the mat and play the Rams in LA on Thursday.  Lycka Till!!

CARDINALS 14, BEARS 16
At least somebody around here is taking care of business.  The Cards are kings of the Basement right now, and the Bears are forced, yet again, to win a game. Pour yourself a strong coffee, sports fans, they're in first in the NFC North.  

 The Cards (0-3) got out to an uncomfortable 14-point lead in the 1st quarter, but Sam Bradford cranked up the interception machine (2), dropped a couple fumbles, and the Cards tried the Magic Rookie QB card, with rookie Josh Rosen going out there and smartly chucking the game killing interception. Now THAT's a confidence builder. Whew. DaBares couldn't keep it to field goals the whole day, and, eventually, they found themselves ahead, mostly because their defense isn't bad enough. Oakland defensive end Khalil Mack got two more sacks for the Bears. They're going to have a hard time losing with any consistency with that defense they're saddled with now.  

TEXANS 22, GIANTS 27
Try as they might, the Giants could not muster a Total Collapse after getting ahead 20-3. The Toxins (0-3) racked up 427 yards against our solid NFC Doormat contenders. We're doubtful here, in the Basement, that the Toxins can lose more than 11. Big challenge next week against the Colts.  

49ERS 27, CHIEFS 38
At one point, the Chiefs were ahead 35-7, and it looked for all the world like it was going to be 70-14 by the end. The Whiners stacked up a stunning 147 yards on 14 penalties, and the defensive secondary left Chiefs receivers so much room to run that they could have brought a dog along and played a little frisbee with them, while waiting for the pass.  

The Whinos are now instantly a Doormat 10-loss club favorite because, sadly, starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL trying a Steve Young 'feint' at the sideline, trying to get some extra yards. It didn't work. He is most likely out for the season. And, no, they won't be signing Colin K as a backup, I don't think, because he is not, at all, a Kyle Shanahan kind of QB.  Lots of teams need a solid backup right now, though.  The Browns come to mind.

COWBOYS 13,  SEAHAGS 24
Dallas looks pretty darn bad.  Gonna have to build a corral out by the grill, and open up the pasture this week.  Cattle comin' in.  

RAIDERS 20,  DOLPHINS 28
Mark Davis, unhappy that the city of Oakland isn't pissed off enough at him, traded off Khalil Mack to the Bears, and voila, the Raydurz have ZERO pass rush. They're back. Until they leave for Las Vegas.  And yet...they may still be here, in the Basement.  Big Amazing Observation: Raider QB Derek Carr may not really be all that great.  Add in signing Brent Musberger (I can't tell you how weird this is) as your play-by-play radio announcer, and you are really, really, REALLY trying to crush the spirit of Raider Nation.  It's working.

JAGS 6, TITANS 9
Stiff of the Week.  5 field goals.  Dad, wake up- it's time to go home.  $375 nap.

CHARGERS 23, RAMS 35
The Chagrins: playing in the wrong city, for the wrong fans, with the wrong owner.   

PATRIOTS 10, LIONS 26
Dare I say it? The Patsies.  Are they coming back to us, after all these years? They looked like an actor who couldn't find his motivation for the scene last night.  They couldn't have thrown a 20-teabag box of Lipton tea into Boston Harbor with that level of effort.  Lions get a win hung on them, and the NFC North is wide open, so optimism abounds in Detroit.  Things are already icing over in Foxboro.  

WHAT A WEEK!  Upsets, new members, great weights lifted off entire cities.  It's a new day, and there's always still time to lose!


aaaAAAAAnd That's the View From the Basement!!!!!

-wacko



Thursday, September 20, 2018

BROWNOUT!!!!!


Predictions Week III: That sinking feeling



Week III and some teams are starting to list to port and take on water, Buffalo and Oakland to name a few. No Titanics yet, but we expect the Giants to get a torpedo below the water line this weekend. 

And speaking of ships underwater, hey, Doormat game of the week is the first game: Brownies vs Jets! At this point the Brownies are, for the last four seasons: 3-13, 1-15, 0-16, 0-1-1, for a combined 4-1-44. I don't think any losing streak can touch that, especially since we can expect at least 5-1-10 this year. Imagine, 54 losses in four years.

What does that mean for the Jets? After all, they are on the classic slide of first round pick gets put in a game too soon, plays well, they win, everyone gets excited, and then the new guy leads them to five consecutive defeats. 

So the Brownies have their work cut out for them! Even Vegas is picking them by 3 points. Not this Oracle. 

Browns- 21
Jets- 24 (OT)

Packers- 36
Redskins- 3

Bills- 6
Vikings- 42

Colts- 21
Eagles- 17

Raiders- 28
Dolphins- 31

Giants- 12
Texans- 17
(Stiff of the week)

Titans- 14
Jaguars- 36

Cowboys- 10
Seahawks- 7
(Boy this will be a stinker)

Bears- 24
Cardinals-12

Patriots- 28
Lions-10

And the Oracle has spoken!


Gentlemen, make your predictions.