Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's Implosion Sunday! NFL Week 14 Doormat Predictions

The charges go off at the Silverdome, but the Kat Box does not come down.

Only four games to go in the regular season and it's so much fun to open a bag of chips, crack open a Anchor Steam, put our dirty-sock-covered feet on the Ottoman (it's actually a trash can with a newspaper duct-taped on top for padding), fire up a cigar, and watch the pundits talk about the "road to the playoffs" for teams that are still "in the hunt." Sorry, 5-6 or eve 6-6 is not in the hunt, it's a parity team looking to escape disaster. "If they get all their injured players back, the quarterback suddenly discovers how to step up in the pocket, the defense plays like its never played before, and all the rest of the division loses all the rest of their games, then (TEAM X) has a shot a wild card." 

Really? It's not the road to the playoffs, it's the road to ruin! And that's why we are all here, right? So let's take a look at who will implode this week and guarantee a shot at Doormat greatness. 

Chief vs Raiders.
Yes, the Chiefs and Raiders are both 6-6 and vying for the AFC West championship-how magnificently parity-ish that is--but it's really a Doormat game because the team that loses this trash-talking hate fest is shoving it into least mode and imploding for the rest of the season. The team that wins may win the division, but they will lose in the first round. The Chiefs are already like a drunk driver avoiding police by driving backwards on the Interstate, and the Raiders are like, well, the Raydurz. So, Doormat fans, this is truly your game of the week! Look for a lot of points on both sides of the ball, and for Alex Smith to bungle the clock at the end. Chiefs 28, Raiders 33.

Lions vs Bucs.
And speaking of implosions, did you see the Catastrophe at the Kat Box? Yes, folks, the Lions may be 6-6 (and playing like 1-15), and the Brownies may be threatening to go 0-16, but the Kittens strutted their stuff last week and showed the world what institutionalized, systemic badness looks like by failing to blow up their own stadium. That's right, they have moved out of the old Kat Box (Pontiac Silverdome) and moved into a beautiful new Kat Box. I hear the new one smells a lot better because it has an automatic cat litter sweeper. Anyway, when the charges went off to destroy the old stadium al that happened was the roof caved in, but the rest of the old box was still there. Way to go Detroit! Show them how you get it done! By the way, Atlanta successfully detonate their old stadium just two weeks before, right next door to the new one, without a hitch. And what about this game? Lions continue the implosion: Lions 18, Bucs 24.

Titans vs Cardinals
The nail goes in the coffin this week in Arizona. It's the 3:10 to Yuma, guys, and Titans are starting to play like winners. Well, division winners. They will be a parity sacrifice in the playoffs, if they get there.
Titans 17, Cardinals 14

Patriots vs Dolphins
The season finally implodes completely for Miami as the "suspect" Patriots gill the Dolphins.
Patriots 38, Dolphins 10

Redskins vs Chargers
At 5-7, Redskins are another team ready for the final implosion. I still can't figure out how Cousins can have such good numbers and such lousy results. Anyway, Chargers are ready for this one and Washington is ready for the dumpster.
Redskins 10, Chargers 34

Steelers vs Ravens
This is last gasp Sunday for the Ravens. Steelers are still reeling from the devastating win last week against the Bungles. If Ravens win this one, they might go on a run. But it's more like running to the locker room this week. Implosion Sunday in Baltimore.
Steelers 24, Ravens 23

Cowboys vs Giants
At 6-6 the Cowpies are still in "in the pond" as they say for a divisional title. Giants have a new quarterback and an all new swagger, and they always play Dallas tough, but not this week. Pies DON'T implode this week. 
Cowboys 28, Giants 21.

Bears vs Bengals
Two teams that wear orange, which is the new pink. At 5-7 Bengals are "in the hunt." Ha. Bears have all the right cylinders not firing right now, but Bengals are really banged up.  It's implosion time.
Bears 17, Bengals 14.

Packers vs Browns
This would be the moment for the final implosion of the Packers. But they are playing the orange you kinda bad Brownies and playing in Cheese Head central.
Browns 10, Packers 21.

49ers vs Texans
Toxins are a really bad team in not a very good disguise. Niners have a handsome new quarterback who knows all about deflated balls. 
49ers 17, Toxins, 10

Colts vs Bills
Bills are definitely an imploding team. Colts imploded in week one. Sorry Bills, this week you get a "W" and stay on the patio. You can implode next week against the Fins.
Colts 17, Bills 21

Jets vs Broncos
Broncos  are going to draw straws for who starts under center this week. Doesn't matter, that guy will only get two series of downs. 
Jets 21, Broncos 9

The Oracle has spoken!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


It's the Year of Orange Bad in the NFL.

In case you hadn't noticed, here are the current records of every team that has orange in its uniform

Cleveland Oranges    0-12
Chicago Bears          3-9
Denver Broncos        3-9
Tampa Bay Bucs      4-8
Miami Dolphins       5-7
Cincinnati  Bengals  5-7

OK, the Bucs don't really count, as their orange moment is the little football on their flag, but I'm counting it because you never know when some team is going to take the tiniest thing and make a big deal out of it. And, don't forget, the Bucs WERE ultra-orange back in the before-time, when they set the record for bad (0-14) and lost 26 games in a row. They defined Orange Bad, a title currently held by the Pumpkin Head gang over in Cleveland. But the Bucs owned it first. Ultimately, in an attempt to exorcise the demons of their Doormat existence, they buried the orange (they also changed their helmets, one of the few teams to ever do that). Now, it is but a hint on a flag.  But maybe too much of a hint, and just maybe that orange should take a hint, and a hike.

Anyway,  NONE of our oranges have winning records, they're all in the Basement, and this is clearly not the choice of the paint industry, which declared that 'blush' was the color of the year in 2017.

Go Big Blush!!

This begs the question:  which of our 'struggling' franchises should get modern and make the leap to the color of the year?  What do YOU think?


Monday, December 4, 2017



We've got the home organ my uncle left me warming up in the corner of the Rumpus Room here in the Basement (just look at those dusty tubes glow, warming the electronics of your heart), and we're gonna tune it to 'beguine' on the  rhythm buttons on the left side, and tape down a C chord, and let the 'slalom' setting take it from there, because it's PARTY TIME in the Doormat Division! Gone are those pesky Parity teams, except for maybe a couple of late arrivals right around Xmas, but as long as they bring some good scotch with them, they can add it to the MJB camp coffee we got brewing on the grill out on the patio.  

We're good to go 'til the end of the season, fans, and we're in for a wild finish.  


                                  W-L          PF        PA      DIF

NY GIANTS               2-10         189      291     -102
SANTA CLARA         2-10         202      298     -96
CHICAGO                 3-9           191      267      -76
TAMPA BAY              4-8           243      288     -45
ARIZONA                  5-7           219      310     -91

                                  W-L          PF        PA      DIF
CLEVELAND             0-12        176      308     -132
INDIANAPOLIS         3-9          205      330     -125
DENVER                    3-9          206      315     -109
HOUSTON                 4-8          296      309      -13
MIAMI                        5-7           209      298      -89


BEARS 14,  49ERS 15
The Chicago Bears inched a game closer to the NFC Doormat lead yesterday with a lunchpail effort against the Whiners, who came into the Windy City sporting a new QB, freshly minted from the Patriots back-up QB factory.  It took everything the Bears had to lose this one, though, as the Whines went 0-5 in the Red Zone, and the big moment ended up being when 49er kicker Robbie Gould taunted his former team, after his fifth field goal (with 0:04 left on the clock) blew the loss for the 49ers. Yeah, take that, you fools!  You'd be....3-9 if you still had me!! If a kicker taunting his former team isn't a Doormat Legends moment, I don't know what is.

The Bears waited until late in the 3rd quarter to get over 100 total yards, kept the first downs in the single digits (8), and mustered exactly one scoring drive (59) yards (the other TD being the most entertaining punt return of the year, with the runback actually taking 167 yards to complete). The Whiners, now 2-12 and in a tie for the league lead with the Giants, look like they are in trouble with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.  They might win another game, and next week it's the 4-8 Texans, so what looked like a lock a few weeks ago is now a big question mark. But, let's wait and see what happens when the 49er offense plays a team that fields a defense.  

NY QB Geno Smith may not have thrown any interceptions, but he made up for it with two fumbles, and they were big plays for the Flailing Giants, who move into the NFC lead with the loss, as the Gnats hold the tie-breaker over the 49ers. You gotta hand this one to Giants coach Ben McAdoo, for boldly going where no man has gone before...except the 1976 Giants, who also were 2-10 before they fired their coach. But he made the move for Geno, and he delivered. If Ben's still here next week, and makes it to the bitter herbal end, the Flailers will win the NFC Doormat crown. Rrraiders barely beat another Doormat.  (UPDATE:   McAdoo and the GM got fired minutes after I posted!).  

What else do the Chiefs need to do to get some respect around here? Lose four more, baby, and join the 10 club (10 losses on the season). And they way they are playing, they're gonna do it. What a slide!  When you can score 31 points and still lose, and lose to the Jets, you are clicking on all cylinders, and the team effort is there. The Chiefs set the record for time of possession yesterday:  17:11!! That's barely being on the field!  The Jets really, really tried, coughing up some huge plays for the Chiefs offense, but to no avail. Can the Chiefs lose 10?  They get the Raiders next week, who only look good against terrible teams (Raiders wins:  Titans, Jets, Bills, Chiefs, Giants, Broncos...Titans only half-assed decent team in the bunch).  So, the only question is, can the Chiefs maintain terrible? It's a lot of work.

Yes, the Broncos are so orange-bad, they pulled off getting plastered by the Fins.  The quarterback roulette paid off for the Bunks, as Trevor Simian hurled three INTs, ran for his life most of the day, and the got the team off the field quickly enough to squeeze in 8 punts into the busy schedule. The defense responded by getting winded and making the Fins look sharper than a sea urchin in heat. Broncos have lost 8 straight, second only to the trailblazing Browns, who have lost so many in a row, you need a sextant to figure out where the last win was. It's a big ocean.

The Brown-outs last win was last year against the Chargers, so a tiny flame of hope sprang up in the chilled hibachis back in Cleveland. But the premier Orange Bad team was not to be denied in this one. The Blank Helmets and the Chargers both held it to one touchdown, but the Chargers just could not prevent the extra field goals at the end of failed drives, and lo and behold, the Chagrins are 'hot' and tied for first the AFC West, at parity gold 6-6, over in the 'real' league.

The Brownies are up against the Packers in Brownieville next week, and, even though the Pack has figured out how to win without Aaron Rodgers at the helm, this will be no gimme.  The perfect season will be on the line next week.

We always think the Texans are one or two injuries away from being a 10-Club team, and it looks  like, at 4-8, that they are gonna make it this year. Impressive.

Same thing for the Bucs, who can't shake the Doormat mantle just yet. The Packers shouldn't be scaring anybody, but apparently the Bucs (4-8) are determined to get back in the Basement.  Bucs QB Jameis Winston's weird flip-fumble for a TD for the Pack was a play we have never seen here in Basement-land.  Wow.

Now, a team that goes 4-4 on 4th down can't be ALL bad, but it's good enough for 3-9, but in the AFC side of the Doormat, that puts you in a distant 2nd place to the Browners.  Nothing you can do but just muster on.

Okay, Doormat Denizens, I gotta go fix a flat tire and go get ripped off by a tire salesman, so enjoy your coffee, your warm life, and remember, losing is the standard, winning, why would I know anything about that?? Jaguars officially exit the Basement, with an at least 8-8 finish guaranteed.


Friday, December 1, 2017

NFL Week 13 Doormat Predictions

Remember this guy? Bears didn't just win games, they won wars back then.
Wow, if Giants and Bears lose and 49ers win, we have a three-way grapple for the NFC drain! Browns are running away...from home.

The Parity Party on Thursday night (Cowpies vs. Deadskins) was proof again that there is no joy in watching mediocre teams stumble through a game like zombies at Wal Mart. Unless you are a Cowboys fan—yech—there was little to enjoy. Kirk Cousins is hard at work proving that a “franchise quarterback” is NOT what a team needs to get to the Super Bowl, or even the playoffs, or a .500 record. Yes, a great QB helps, but it takes solid players in the trenches….period.

So Doormats and All Stars are the only shows worth watching in this town, and since we are the Doormat Denizens, its the worst of the NFL that counts.

Looking to this week…


49ers vs. the Bears. The San Francisco Santa Clarans have won a game! And because they got close to a few other wins, things are looking suspect. Can they lose on the Bears home turf? Of course! But it won’t be easy, because the rock-jawed, five o'clock-shadowed finely sculpted Garappolo (sounds like a bunch of islands full of weird lizards) is about the squeeze the pigskin in his manly fingers and guide the hapless 49ers through the Swiss cheese Chicago secondary. Holes the size of Lake Michigan.

The word on the street in Chicago is that they should have traded for the Garappolo when instead of drafting Trubisky. But they didn't. So now, "Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes… The dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria. That may or may not be a quote from Ghostbusters, but it certainly feels like what Bears fans are experiencing right now. (Chicago Tribune Sports)." 

Trubisky actually tripped over his own feet several times against the Eagles, and I have gathered that he's been in an alley with some old squinty-eyed guy chasing a chicken in the hope that his footwork will improve. As far as I know, he wasn't eating any chicken.

This isn't the 3-game winning team of last year, it's much worse. Can they continue to get blown out as they did against the Eagles (31-3)? Uh, the Eagles were a cinch,  a cream puff loss, and SF will be a difficult game to lose.

The scaley Garoppolo makes losing questionable for the Niners, and the Bears have their own thing going for the loss--they can't tackle at the line, and Jordan Howard can run. The bottom line? San Francisco has a 1-10 record and the Moldy Carpet at stake; they have to lose this game or the Bears and Giants will be right on their ass. The game is at Soldier Field, the Bears may have to win just in order to escape the stadium alive. So at this moment, it is anybody's loss. But I am going with the Whiners.

And now the predictions:

49ers- 20
Bears- 24

Buccaneers- 17
Packers- 12

Colts- 10
Jaguars- 13

Broncos- 10
Miami- 9
(This is the AFC doormat game of the week. Anyone could lose this one at any moment. Tough call.)

Chiefs- 20
Jets- 21
(Yes, Chiefs are in a total swan dive)

Texans- 17
Titans- 24

Browns- 17
Chargers- 33
(Another journeyman loss. The Browns are so good at this it's getting boring, even if they go 0-16).

Giants- 17
Raiders- 21
(This should be a very interesting game. Giants have no business winning this one, but they might).

The Oracle has spoken!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017




Interceptions/TD passes:  14/5   DeShon Kizer, CLE-  (tops in both categories among starters)
Interceptions have really dropped off the last few weeks.  14 is really not all that impressive, but Kizer didn't get to start every game.  But...22 often wins the INT Title for the year.  There is still time.  

Sacks:  43 Jacoby Brisset , Colts
Lowest Passer Rating:  57.6,  Kizer, CLE
Fewest YDs per game:  162  Trubinsky, CHI

MOST PUNTS:   63, Brad Wing, Giants.  Moving past SF, IND, JAX all at 62.  

Lowest Net Punt Avg.:  37,  Wing, Giants

In this week's stats, note the Jags, who still are tied for their division lead, had the most turnovers, worst 3rd down conversion, and punted 8 times.  Watch them to miss the playoffs if they keep this nose dive up.

Points:  3                      Bears
First Downs:  7             Giants  (Bears 8)
Total Yards:  140          Bears
Rushing Yds:  6           Bears
Passing:  86                 Giants
QB Rating:   31            Savage, Texans
3rd Down Conv:  1-12  Jaguars
4th Down Conv:  0-2    Bears
Red Zone Conv:  1-5    Chargers     (Bears 0-0)   
Turnovers: 3                MIA, TEX, PITT, JAX
INT:  2                         MIA, TEX, PITT, TENN, CHI, COWS
Fumbles/lost:  2           Jaguars
Sacked: 8/31               Colts
Fumble six given:  1    Jets, Bears
Pick-six given:  none!!

Points:    35               Jets,  Bears       
Total Yards:  516       Bucs (515 Cowboys)
Pass yards:  434        Cows
Rush Yards: 198        Dolphins
No Sacks:  0              Lions, Bucs, Colts, 49ers
Penalties for first downs:  5   Ravens (and only 7 total penalties),  Dolphins
3rd Down Conv. allowed:  11-14    Bucs
Red Zone conv allowed:  5-5    Dolphins

Punts: 9                  Giants, 49ers
Total Punts:  16      Giants-Wash
Penalties: 9-98      AZ;   7-112  NO

Total Penalties:  20    CHI-PHI
Time of Poss:  nobody even in 20:00 range.  

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



The New York Giants made a bold bold move yesterday, benching longtime star Eli Manning in favor of Doormat All-Star Geno Smith. Geno, who etched his name into Doormat lore in just two bumbling seasons as a starter for the NY Jets, surfaces- like an old corpse popping up in the East River on a cold, cold, cold day in November- just in time to guide the Flailing Giants into Oakland, California to see if he can't improve on the Giants negative turnover differential, which is not keeping pace withe league leaders.

 After all, in just two years as a starter, Geno sailed 34 interceptions (and 7 fumbles) compared to just 25 TD passes!  While that may not be George Blanda's single season record of 42 ints (and how he did that, I mean, WHOA), it's really only because they stopped letting him throw after a while. But, pay attention now, the Giants have NO running game, so Geno will be dropping back and throwing, so even the brick-handed Oakland defense will get some chances. Somebody call Lester Hayes and see if he has a can of Stick-Um in the garage!!!

Obviously disenchanted with Eli's tendency to not turn the ball over enough, and even worse, keeping the Gnats close enough to possibly win a game, Giants ownership had to make a move. What with boxing great Michael Crabtree out with a bruised ego, the depleted Raiders need some help, and the Flailing Giants are UP to the task.  Up Up Up and DOWN DOWN DOWN.  

Nothing less than the Moldy Carpet (and next year's #1 pick) is at stake, so siddown, Eli, we don't need your 'help' around here.

I'm more impressed than I've ever been, here in the Basement.  This is a real, true, Doormat moment.

I'll be back with the Worst Stats!  


Monday, November 27, 2017



The end is in sight, Doormat denizens, and only the hardiest survive to very VERY stale beer end that is the Doormat Division Championship Trophy.
Teams that once thought they could blow any game, anywhere, find themselves awash in the doldrums of parity, with the threat of playoff relevancy, and an opportunity for fans to witness their gridiron warriors become this year's lambs to the slaughter in the first round.
Only the determined and truly gritty will make it through the gantlet of teams giving up on the season, and manage to lose the final 5 games, and wear the Best of the Worst crown. 

Only one team will eventually hold (however briefly before needing to go wash their hands) the Moldy Carpet Trophy, and, at this writing, 5 teams still have a legitimate shot at the Doormat Championship.  With five games remaining, any team with a 5-6 record could still be champs, but let's be realistic. 5-6 is parity, and don't wave that banner at me.

It's the Browns, 49ers, Bears, Giants, Broncos, and Colts.  Let's take a look at the standings and then call the shots.  


                                  W-L          PF        PA      DIF
SANTA CLARA         1-10         187     284      -97
NY GIANTS               2-9           172     267      -95
CHICAGO                 3-8           177      252      -75
TAMPA BAY              4-7           223      262      -39
GREEN BAY             5-6           232      261      -29

                                  W-L          PF        PA      DIF
CLEVELAND             0-11        166      289      -123
INDIANAPOLIS         3-8          195      300      -105
DENVER                    3-8          197      280      -83
MIAMI                        4-7           174      289     -115
NY JETS                    4-7           228       57      -29


49ers @ Bears
Broncos @ Dolphins
Brownies @ Chargers


CLEVELAND (0-11):  with Sunday's nail-biter loss against the Bengals, the Turnover Browns showed that, under the right circumstances, they might yet win a game this season. They do try. WR Josh Gordon, who hasn't played in 3 years, returns next week from purgatory. He will play WR, QB, announce the game and sing the national anthem. Not that expectations are high or anything.

The Brownouts are in the driver's seat for a perfect season, but they could win their games against the stumbling Packers(12/10) and for sure against the Bears (12/24). Still, they'd only be 2-14, tops, and that leaves only the Giants and 49ers as competition.  But they've tailed off with the turnovers (leading the league at -17 give/take) lately, and that makes them vulnerable against teams that don't score.  

Predicted finish:  0-16

SANTA CLARA (1-10):  The 49ers overdid it with the losing thing yesterday, and punching bag QB C.J. Beathard finally got knocked out of a game. Enter "star" backup Jimmy Garoppolo, who promptly throws a TD pass in the waning moments of another grindingly annoying loss to the Seahawks, causing the entire Red and Gold fan base and media in the Bay Area to elect Jimmy G to the Niner Hall of Fame with that one ray-of-hope toss.  Even if only 47 people were actually in the stadium to see it.

This much is true: if Garoppolo starts next week in Chicago against the Bears...look out.  The Whiners could win a game, and give the Giants and the Bears an opening to the NFC crown and perhaps the Moldy Carpet. The remaining schedule: Texans (danger), Titans, Jags, Rams (finish season with massive blowout).

Predicted finish:  2-14

NEW YORK GIANTS (2-9):  The Giants gave up so long ago, it was amazing to watch the Chiefs hand them a game two weeks ago. Now they have to run the table for a shot at the Moldy Carpet. But they have a shot, because this team really is mailing it in from so far away, they're about to lap everybody. The last five: Raiders, Cowboys, Eagles, Cardinals, Redskins. Raiders appear to need to get into all-out brawls before they wake up, so the Giants should toss in a couple scuffles early, and get out of Oakland with an L. The Cowboys pose a threat, because they can lose anywhere they like, and the Cardinals prefer to score only one touchdown a game if the competition would only comply.   Giants might beat the Cardinals.

Predicted Finish:  3-14

DENVER (3-8)  
The Broncos have to lose all 5 remaining games. They sure are going after it, with a hard-charging -16 turnover differential and showing little sign of slowing that down. The Raiders got their FIRST interception of the season yesterday, so you know the Broncs are dealing.  But good luck with this schedule: Miami, NY Jets, Indianapolis, Washington and Kansas City. They could win 3 of those games. Still, they managed to be sloppier and more undisciplined than the Raiders yesterday, and lately that's been hard to top. And they won the Brawl and Lose Your Cool challenge yesterday, so...

Predicted finish: 4-12

A tweak here, a bad game plan there, and the Bears could be 1-10. Interestingly, though, the Bears' 3 victories are against the Ravens, Steelers and Jaguars, none of whom have losing records. This is the Upset Team from the Doormat Division this year, and for that alone, we have to be proud of these bums down here in the Basement. Upsets are in extremely short supply this season, and if you ever hear someone say "on any given Sunday", stuff a cream pie in their face, and rub it in a little.  

daBares amassed 140 total yards against the Eagles on Sunday, and 6 giant yards of rushing offense.  So, uh, they could also lose every single game left.  

They should win this Sunday against the Whiners, Jimmy Garoppolo or not, and the rest of the schedule is this:  Bengals, Lions, Browns, Vikings.  

Predicted finish:  5-12  (edit- if you think the Browns are going 0-16, and the Bears will beat the 49ers, you are also predicting the Bears will beat the Browns.  So 5-12 it is.).  

The Puntin' Clots almost upset the Titans on Sunday, but killed off their offense for the second half, and eventually the Titans woke up and scored. The Colts have the Jags, Bills, Broncos, Ravens and Texans to finish up the grind, and they will probably wind down Frank Gore for the last 4 games, to save some wear and tear on him.  
Colts should beat the Broncos....and that's it.  Maybe the Texans, who may give up even more extensively than the Colts.

Predicted finish:  4-11


Upsets don't happen very often, and, in the Basement, it's almost never. Like I said above, don't give me that "On Any Given Sunday" baloney. The worst teams never upset anybody. They just hope another bottom dweller comes to town and somehow they might stumble through to victory. Upsets are usually between middle of the road teams and dubious division leaders. Like this:

Teetering high above their usual perch, Jacksonville gets vertigo and slides down the rigging and hides in the hold and...why am I on a boat?  The Jags aren't used to leading a division, so pulling off an upset for the Cruds engineers a safe tie with the Titans in the AFC South.  Whew. Jags still have a chance to fade and miss the playoffs.

Fake Upsets
The Chiefs are the league's designated 'upset' target, having delivered an upset to the Raiders, Cowboys, Giants and Bills.  So, by the time the Flailing Giants beat the Chiefs, it didn't even count.  Just not really satisfying.  

Almost Upsets

This would have counted, had the Pack somehow pulled it off.  Without Aaron Rodgers, Gangrenous Bay plays a solid game, their shaky rookie QB settles down, and...they lose on a FG with 0:00 on the clock.  

We wait...and wait...for a real upset down here in the Basement, but on the other hand, the Moldy's so close I can almost smell it.  Wait.  I can smell it.  

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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Punt Fest on Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is usually a day of games that are, well, turkeys. Maybe not this year. The Vikings and Lions are actually good this year. Vikings will probably demolish the Lions, but who knows, it could be close. Chargers are improving and the Cowboys are on the way down the stairs. That might be an interesting game. The Giants are horrible and the Redskins are a zombie doormat. However, that is a long standing rivalry game so stats mean nothing. It could be a real close slug out, and the Giants might even find their third win of the year. The Oracle punts this Thursday. No predictions.

So just for fun, let's look at punts.

The leading punt team in the NFL is the Indianapolis Colts with 58 punts for 2,601 yard. They have only 3,000 yards of offense! As we all know, the more times you are punting, the more likely it is that you are leading the league in third and long, and the Colts are! The Houston Texans are tied for second with Cincinnati with 57 punts. Both teams are at 4-6 and functioning mostly as a team to beat as the good teams pad their divisional leads. However, the Jags are in 4th with 55 punts. Little stats like that might hint at bad things to come in the playoffs.

But the stat that really tells the story is Punts Per Minute of possession. Let's look at the teams playing on Thanksgiving:

Vikings (39 punts), PPM=6.2
Lions (43 punts), PPM=5.2
Chargers (53 punts), PPM=3.7
Cowboys (40 punts), PPM=5.9
Giants (55 punts), PPM=2.8 
Redskins (43 punts), PPM=5.3

If your PPM is over 5, you are doing pretty well. Below 4, you are suspicious. Below 3, OMG. The three leading PPM teams are Bengals (2.75), Giants (2.8) and Colts (2.9). Jags, by the way, have a PPM of 3.75.

Based on their punting records, the Oracle expects The vikings and Lions to have a pretty close game, the Cowboys will barely beat the Chargers, and the Skins are going to bury the Giants. But hey, these are just stats, and it's Thanksgiving, so anything can happen.

The Oracle has spoken!

Monday, November 20, 2017



Just when you thought we were in the mid-season doldrums, and everybody is just a Parity League mid-level bumbler, an inspired determination emerges from the depths of the NFL, and franchises across the land, when finding themselves between a rock and a hard place in the sun, take the bull by the horns of a dilemma and make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke's silver lining by being just ingeniously flat-out worse than anybody else on the gridiron, and by day's end land with a spectacular thud in The Basement!  What a weekend!


                                  W-L          PF        PA      DIF
SANTA CLARA         1-9           174      260     -68
NY GIANTS               2-8           162      247     -85
CHICAGO                 3-7            174     221     -47
TAMPA BAY              4-6           203     228      -25
ARIZONA                  4-6            176     254     -78
WASHINGTON          4-6            238     266     -28

                                  W-L          PF        PA      DIF
CLEVELAND             0-10          150      259      -109
INDIANAPOLIS         3-7          179      280      -101
DENVER                    3-7          183      259      -76
MIAMI                        4-6          157       254     -97
RRAIDERS                4-6          204      247      -43
CINCINNATI              4-6          169      199      -30

Faced with the prospect of being in the playoff hunt for several more games, possibly ending their 17-year playoff drought,the Bills pull out secret weapon Nathan Peterman, and obliterate any doubt about what the Bills are trying to accomplish here. Peterman, the 5th round QB pick out of Pitt, stepped into the fray and diced up the Charger defense with 5 interceptions in the first half! The first five possessions were INT (pick-six), TD, INT, INT, INT. That's the stuff of legend. Every pick, except the first one, was pulled off deep in their own territory, and by the end of the first half the Chargers, the team that blows leads better than any other teams in the NFL, led 37-7, and was just going to have to take a victory like a man.
The Chargers find themselves, at 4-6, in 2nd place in the AFC West, and, I'm not kidding, in the playoff hunt.

Peterman, probably in therapy this morning, needed only three more to break the NFL record, but, alas, was yanked in the second half for some guy named Tyrod Taylor.  It is true the Bills had lost 2 in a row, and looked shaky doing it, but...starting a completely inexperienced rookie in a game you could win with your regular guy out there?  

Mission accomplished.  But the AFC is a dogpile of mediocrity, and, at 5-5, the Bills need to keep getting pulverized for at least 3 more weeks to move out of the danger zone. Up next: gimme

0-10 and looking like 0-16, the Blank Helmets had to get back in the turnover derby late in the second half to pull out this loss, but once they bared down with 3 consecutive turnovers- the final one coughing up the ball in their own end zone to MAKE SURE the stubborn Jags would just score a stupid TD and get off the field- the game was in the bag. 
17 punts and 5 turnovers in this Doormat gem. 

Drunk with power from polishing off the 49ers last week (and handing them their first victory), the Giants completely under-prepare for the reeling Chiefs and end up blowing their tie for the Doormat NFC lead, and end up with a victory. Typical. They tried hard to lose the game in regulation, but Chiefs minimal yardage ace QB Alex Smith was having none of that, stalling a drive at the NY 5, and keeping it to a tie, forcing overtime.  If the Chiefs can keep this up, the entire AFC West could have a losing record in a couple weeks!

We were calling this Swamp Thing all last week, and wowee what a game.  Dolphins QB Jay Cutler whips up 3 ints in the first half, leaves with a concussion, and was probably surprised to find out later that he is, in fact, still playing football for the Fins. "Didn't I retire?" 
17 penalties by the Dolphins, 9 for the Bucs, four fumbles for the Fins (two lost), which barely got the Bucs to score...the Fins racked up 448 yards of offense, with the Bucs allowing huge yardage plays from every angle of the field, but, yet, not enough poor defense could get these Dolphins to give it up and win. After the Bucs kicked the go-ahead FG with 00:04 left on the clock, the Floppers pulled off a magnificent multi-lateral play on the ensuing kickoff, which just kept going backwards until they fumbled it right into the end zone, and the Bucs fell on it for the final score.  Do that at home, and you are really bringing it.

The question on everyone's mind this week was, which orange team is worse, the Bungles or the Bunks?  HEY, it's the BRONCOS!  Lowering to the occasion, the Broncos lose it at home, and now ascend into a tie for second with the Colts in the Doormat AFC race. 
Bungles can now be overconfident before their crucial game with the Browns next week.

4-6 and fading fast, we have some trends: Raiders receivers not named Crabtree drop more deliveries than a UPS mail sorter. The Raiders have zero interceptions this season.  They have no pass rush. They... well what did they do? They played in Mexico City yesterday, so at least their fans had to travel a really long way to drink cheap beer and witness this trip down memory lane to the bad old days...which were only a couple years ago. The Al Davis flame still burns, and the team is burying themselves.  Funny thing about winning. It's a lot more fleeting than losing.

Keep playing like this, and the Bears (3-7) might win a couple games and fall out of contention for the Moldy Carpet trophy.  But, they still found a way to lose at home to the Kittens, and the Giants won, so anything is possible. It's just one game. 

Not everybody can make the Ravens look good, but the Porkers pulled out all the stops, including the most hideous throw-back uniforms ever allowed on a football field.  Beige pants with blue and yellow tops?  The Pack played down to their attire, and flailing rookie QB Matt Hundley hurled 3 interceptions and dropped a fumble, and the Packers offense just got off the field as much as possible, and, eventually, the Ravens found a nearby end zone.
The Packers play the BROWNS in 3 weeks.  Whoa. If Aaron Rodgers isn't back for that one, the Browns are in trouble, as in perfect season is in trouble trouble.  

Just when you think some one will pull off an upset, just one, somewhere, the Deadskins can't do it, and, in phenomenal swirl of inactivity and blowing up, rally the Saints to victory, a 17-point swing in no time, and snatch the ring of defeat off the merry-go-round. Holy Cow.  ANOTHER 4-6 team joins the party.  

It's getting really 4-6 crowded in the Basement and out on the Patio, and the next two weeks will separate the men from the Moldy Carpet contenders FOR SURE.  We gotta hope.  I'm running out of stale pretzels.

AAAAAAnd That's the View from the BASEMENT!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

NFL Week 11 Predictions and Coal Chute Slides

As the NFL doormats stagger into week 11, we take a look at the 16 teams in negative territory in terms of “EXP” which means the predicted combined offensive and defensive output of a team by season’s end as compared to the average team in the 2016 season. This is a very complicated formula that accounts for strength of schedule and numerous offense and defense stats.

There are exactly 16 teams (half the league) in negative territory. A team plus or minus 10 is in the middle of Parity Junction, minus 25 means your team is marginally awfully, able to lose to just about anyone. Once you are plus or minus 40, well, you are headed for the playoffs or you are on the patio looking down the external stairs to the basement. That used to be the coal chute, I think. Slide on down! Pick up a shovel and start working. It’s cold down there. When you're finished you can have a beer and some old pizza.

Indianapolis Colts
San Francisco 49ers
Miami Dolphins
Cleveland Browns
New York Giants
Chicago Bears
Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo Bills
Oakland Raiders
Arizona Cardinals
New York Jets
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Denver Broncos
Tennessee Titans
Kansas City Chiefs
Washington Redskins

Wow, Dolts and Whiners and Fins are gettin' it done!  Now the Giants are clearly playing at the lowest level in the NFL right now, but their EXP is still -80, not as bad as the Browns, Dolphins, 49ers, or Colts. But remember, this is production, not wins and losses. The Giants may have a better points lost to points gained ration than the Colts, but head to head, Colts probably win. But who knows? I am going with the numbers here and predicting the Giants are going to find a way to be 4-12.

And now for this week’s predictions. Wow, the Texans are not on the list above, but boy are they losing! They definitely will be in the basement before the Fat Lady Sings.

Lions- 36
Bears- 21

Jags- 33
Browns- 10

Cards- 14
Texans- 16

Skins- 24

Chiefs- 20

Bucs- 10
Fins- 9

Bills- 21



Ravens- 21
Packers- 17

The Oracle has Spoken!