Tag Archives: nfl

Season Finale: BTL Packers Podcast 3.9

We are back for the final edition of season three of the BTL Packers Podcast. The Packers magical run over the last two months finally ran out of gas but we sure as hell did not run out of opinions on the Packers last stand in the NFCCG.

In this episode the whole crew discusses the following:

  • Sum up the Packers effort in the NFCCG in one word/phrase.
  • Who is to blame for the NFCCG loss?
  • One phrase that sums up the 2016 Packers season.
  • Jordy Nelson’s effort in the last game.
  • NFL Draft 2017/Free Agency
  • Closing Thoughts

 

 

I hope you enjoyed season three of the BTL Packers Podcast. It was a rollercoaster ride and we hope to achieve the greenest of pastures next year.

For now, farewell, and we will see you for season four of The BTL Packers Podcast, look for us around draft time!

#RunTheTable

-MikeV87

Week 11 – Thursday Night Football Pick

This is Carolina’s last stand if they have any hope of making the playoffs. After blowing the Chiefs game last week, the Panthers have a short turn around with the Saints, another team that lost in dramatic fashion in Week 10.

I like the Saints to perform well on the road Thursday as they have all year. Through 10 weeks of the NFL season, I trust the weapons of Brees and company to mount serious offensive pressure that I don’t think the Panthers will be able to hang with blow for blow.

Cam Newton and his Panthers continue the trend of the Super Bowl loser under-performing the following year and also missing the playoffs. The Saints creep back to .500 and send the Panthers packing for 2016.

Saints +3.5 over PANTHERS

BTL Week 10 NFL Picks

Went 7-5 versus the spread last week. Had some hits, had some misses that I didn’t see coming. But ever so slowly I’m inching closer to the right side of above 50%.

I’m going to keep this week’s pick’s post short. There was a lot that went on this past week that was bigger than football and I myself found myself less concerned with the NFL, fantasy football and making picks against the spread than paying attention the bigger issues. So in the spirit of conciseness. On to the picks.

Last Week: 7-5 / To Date: 69-75

Packers -2.5 over TITANS

REDSKINS -1.5 over Vikings

BUCCANEERS +2.5 over Bears

PANTHERS -3 over Chiefs

EAGLES over Falcons

JETS over Rams

SAINTS -3 over Broncos

JAGUARS -2.5 over Texans

CHARGERS -4 over Dolphins

STEELERS -3 over Cowboys

Niners +14 over CARDINALS

PATRIOTS -7.5 over Seahawks

GIANTS +1 over Bengals 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTL Packers Podcast 3.4

It has been awhile since we did a BTL Packers Podcast. In this episode we had a lot to touch on. We quickly review the performances against Dallas (seems like a lifetime ago), Da Bears and dive in-depth for the Atlanta game.

Who or what gets the blame for the crushing 1 point loss to the Falcons?

Is Aaron Rodgers and the offense back?

Who needs to get healthy for the Packers to lockdown a playoff spot?

This episode is a long one, hour and twenty minutes, where we also touch on college prospects we’d like to see on the Packers. Another round of Prediction Corner and we do an impromptu NFC big picture playoff outlook.

So enjoy and as always, feel free to like, comment and share the podcast.

 

 

-MikeV87

BTL Week 8 NFL Picks

The term “peak” has been a common pop culture reference to describe a lot of things in 2016. “Peak television” has been thrown around many times this year to describe its sole place as the needle mover of America’s media gossip.  If not television itself, then the content it has aired that has moved the Twittersphere in every which direction with “peak Trump” or “peak Hillary”. I mean honestly, is there anything from either candidate that would surprise you at this point? But I’m not here to bang the drum of politics, I want to make a point. Regardless of everything that goes on around us, there is one thing that is not even close to “peak” anything right now, and that is the one-time insurmountable king of all sports and related content, the NFL.

With these last two primetime disasters for the NFL; Seattle and Arizona with the “Sunday Night Snoozer” or the blowout in Jacksonville before it was even halftime, I think the NFL is at an all-time low. And when you consider the last decade, it does not look good. To borrow Bill Simmon’s famous line, “are we sure anybody is really good”?

You would have to turn the clock back a little over 10 years to where the league felt as watered down as this. In 2005-2006; Brady and the Pats where on a break (3 SBs in 4yrs), Favre was toiling away in Green Bay (led the NFL in INTs in ’05), Jake Plummer was leading the quasi-resurgence in Denver(I repeat, Jake Plummer), Big Ben and the Steelers had not been born quite yet and Dallas was still pretty terrible. I mean we had Rex Grossman start a Super Bowl against the Colts in 2007!! Rex Grossman! Let that sink in for a moment. I mean can you imagine someone so inept at quarterbacking that he actually led his team to the Super Bowl?!…………..Well……. we did have Peyton Manning’s corpse this past February, so maybe this thing is cyclical, like Clemenza’s theory about mob wars in Godfather Part I (calm down Denver fans, just throwing a little shade, still SB champs).

Anyways, this massive uncertainty week to week has left us borderline degenerate gamblers grasping at the proverbial straws for anything to hang our hat on. Other than Belicheck and Brady (keep in mind they have a shaky defense that can’t generate pressure like they use to), is there anybody you can really trust? Big Ben and his Steelers can’t stay healthy for more than 4 games at a time and cannot be trusted on the road (see Miami). Seattle can’t protect Russell Wilson to generate more than 20 points, much less a touchdown (I had to pick Russell freaking Wilson in fantasy this year)! The young Raiders just might be the AFC’s second best team. We’re only one game away from “what’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers this week” for the 6th time in a calendar year. And Carolina has shown us that the league giveth and the league can taketh away before you can bat an eye.

If the NFL is anything as of late, it’s “peak uncertainty”. It feels like this might be the start of a multi-year slump where no one can be trusted and a lot of these picks hinge less on quarterback play (the gold standard of betting from 2004-2014), to matchup based analytics. And no, I don’t pretend to be a founding member of Football Outsiders, but just keep in that in mind when you throw down junior’s college fund on Andrew Luck over Alex Smith.

On to the picks, I went 10-6 last week to extend my streak of plus .500 to three weeks in a row. I will be keeping the same picks format, and I will get back to giving thoughts on each game, just been a little busy with life at the moment, which is why I went a little longer on the intro.

(Home team in caps, pick in bold)

Last Week: 10-6 / To Date: 56-65 

BENGALS -3 over Redskins

Chiefs -2.5 over COLTS

Raiders -1 over BUCCANERS

SAINTS + 1.5 over Seahawks

Lions +1.5 over TEXANS

Jets -2.5 over BROWNS

Patriots -6.5 over BILLS

PANTHERS +3 over Cardinals

Chargers +4 over BRONCOS

FALCONS -3 over Packers

COWBOYS -4.5 over Eagles

Vikings -4.5 over BEARS

 

-MikeV87

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTL Packers Podcast 3.1

Here is Season 3 of our BTL Packers Podcast. Give us a listen to find out our thoughts on the cutting of Josh Sitton, signing of Jared Cook, which Packer makes the leap this year and much, much more!

 

We’ll be back in two weeks to recap Week 1 & 2. Give us a like and share the podcast. Find us at http://www.btl-sports.com

Enjoy!

 

-MikeV87

BTL Top 5 Friday: Top NFL What If’s

What if? Every sport fan has uttered that phrase. What if we would’ve went for it on fourth down? What if the coach would’ve challenged that play? What if we would’ve drafted player A over player B? It gives us both a false sense of satisfaction but also drives us completely insane at the same time. In this edition of BTL Top 5 Friday, I’m going to look at the Top NFL What If’s. Here are 5 of MY what if’s. Yes I could do what if the AFL failed to merge with the NFL in 1970 or what if Vince Lombardi had decided to wait for the New York Giants job opening? These will mostly focus on the past 20 years I have watched football, enjoy:

#5 – What if Sean Taylor was never murdered?

  • Washington Redskin physically imposing and ridiculously gifted safety was murdered in November 2007. He died just a few days short of my 20th birthday. No other athlete’s death has resonated so much with me than his.
  • Standing 6’3″ and weighing nearly 230lbs, he was built like a linebacker but ran a blistering 4.30 40-yard dash. Just combine Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor’s abilities into one player and you had Sean Taylor.
  • In 2007 (drafted in 2004) he had just started to put together all his attributes into the most lethal all-around secondary defender in the NFL.
  • If he had lived, he was on pace for one of the single-greatest seasons put together by a safety in 2007…ever.
  • He would’ve gone on to have his name placed among the likes of Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu for best safety of the 2000s.
  • He could’ve anchored a Washington Redskin defense and team that would’ve made deep playoff runs from 2007-2010.

#4 – What if the Packers pulled off the 2007 Randy Moss trade?

  • Green Bay and New England were the clear front runners for Moss in the spring of 2007. Moss wanted to play with Favre more than anything.
  • On Draft weekend ’07, the Pats pulled the coup for Randy with a 4th round pick to Oakland and guaranteeing his second year (something Ted Thompson would not do).
  • If Green Bay had not ruffled his feathers beforehand and guaranteed the 2nd year, Moss would’ve been a Packer.
  • Green Bay most likely goes to the Super Bowl that year and wins, probably beating New England. Green Bay even had a chance to run the table that year too (went 13-3 without Moss).
  • Brett Favre most likely retires after riding off into the sunset, only for Moss to talk him out of it (don’t think he’d have to push Brett too hard though).
  • The Rodgers vs Favre drama still happens, with Randy taking Favre’s side. Both are traded out of town, probably both to the the Jets.
  • Favre returns to the Vikings with Moss in 2009, both hell bent on beating the Packers after getting jettisoned after the 2007 SB win.
  • With pissed off Favre and Moss, THE VIKINGS WIN THE SUPER BOWL IN 2009!! They already should’ve that year anyways…….. Or Favre throws that same pick again and Paul Allen goes nuts….

#3 – What if the San Francisco 49ers drafted Aaron Rodgers over Alex Smith?

  •  In the 2005 Draft, Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith were the presumptive #1 picks. The Niners went with Smith and Rodgers slid all the way to #24 to the Green Bay Packers (cut to me silently fist pumping).
  • Now if the Niners had drafted Rodgers, would they still had enjoyed all the same success that Green Bay did?
  • Alex Smith falls to #24 and is picked by the Green Bay Packers because GM Ted Thompson believes in BPA (best player available) and well, it doesn’t get any easier than that for Teddy.
  • Mike Nolan turns the tutelage of Aaron Rodgers over to guess who? Offensive Coordinator Mike McCarthy (Packers current HC since 2006). He begins to immediately revamping Rodgers’ flawed quarterback mechanics.
  • Let’s say for the sake of argument that Rodgers’ overall talent wins the Niners a few more games in 2005. But, Ted Thompson hires away OC McCarthy in 2006 anyways because HC money is better than coordinator money and he gets to develop Alex Smith in Green Bay.
  • Rodgers continues to struggle but improve in San Fran. Everything turns around when a former quarterback named Jim Harbaugh takes the reigns in 2011.
  • Rodgers flourishes under Harbaugh when he is handed an elite defense and running game and Harbaugh has a quarterback who no only limits the turnovers but can and will make every throw on the football field.
  • The Niners win back-to-back Super Bowls in both 2011 and 2012. The Niners lead the NFL with 7 SB titles and Harbaugh/Rodgers are the taste of the town.
  • Meanwhile in Green Bay, MM develops Smith into the ultimate West Coast quarterback. There is still the power struggle in 2008 with Favre but what there isn’t is a Super Bowl title in 2010.
  • Alex Smith fails to put a Packers team on his back time and again in the playoffs and subsequently runs out of chances, leading to the president cleaning house in 2013.
  •  As a Packers fan myself, I’m so glad I don’t live in this universe…..

#2 – What if Eli Manning stays with the Chargers in the 2004 Draft?

  • Archie Manning got his son Eli traded on draft day 2004 to the New York Giants because San Diego was basically New Orleans West except they had better weather. Philip Rivers ended up getting traded from NYG to SD in the process.
  • With Eli manning (pun intended) the Chargers from 2004-present, we have a couple things that would go different for both quarterbacks.
  • Eli will still have the Patriot/Belicheck krytonite gene and he takes care of them in the 2006 Divisional Round. Eli has the far superior team, playing at home and even Pats fans will tell you that they had no business winning two playoff games that year.
  • Which sets up the first major “Manning Bowl” in the 2006 AFCCG. Which Eli would win (giving the nod to home field). Which would put his brother Peyton into a near manic depression.
  • Eli and the 2006 Chargers win Super Bowl XLI because can Rex Grossman really be allowed to have a Super Bowl ring?
  • Eli also has a very decent shot to repeat the following year in 2007. He wouldn’t be hurt in to AFCCG (no dis at Rivers but has Eli ever been hurt, like ever?!), he already beat Brady/Belicheck the previous year and oh yes, he’s Eli-freaking-Manning who owns the Pats. Which would set up…..
  • Eli’s Chargers vs Rivers’ Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Rivers may have a chip on his shoulder since he may believe that SD should’ve taken him #1 in ’04 but I can’t be too sure. I want to give the game to the Giants since nothing about that pass rush would change but I don’t know, I feel Eli does Eli things in the final minute and wins back-to-back.
  • Going forward, not much would change outside of Eli being a pain in Tom Brady’s backside and the NFL getting a Manning Bowl every two years.

#1 – What if the “Tuck Rule” was never created?

  • NFL Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2: The Tuck Rule.
  • In the 2001 AFC Championship Game, Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson had what looked like the game sealing strip-sack on Patriots Tom Brady. The “Tuck Rule” overturned the fumble as an incomplete pass. You know the rest.
  • But what if the rule never existed? Would Brady and Belicheck still have four Super Bowl rings and countless AFC titles?
  • One thing is for certain, the Patriots certainly don’t win Super Bowl XXXVI. It would be 2001 Rams up against the 2001 Raiders. Given that Belicheck had a penchant for defensive game-planning, I don’t think Jon Gruden and company hold the Rams down to 17 points like the Pats did. Rams win SB XXXVI, there second in three years.
  • New England doesn’t have the shine that it would’ve, Tom Brady still isn’t Tom Brady yet. It’d be tough to think Brady preforms as well as he did in SB XXXVIII without his experience two years earlier, specifically as well as he did in the fourth quarter with his duel with Jake Delhome. I’ll give the slight nod to the Panthers in the 2003 Super Bowl.
  • I’ll still give the Pats the Super Bowl in 2004. They were by far an elite team and no other team was really that close to them that year. After 2004, Brady/Belicheck 1-1 in Super Bowls, a far cry from a dynasty.
  • The rest pretty much goes as chalk, they may just pull off one of the two Giants losses in 2007 or 2011. They still probably win in 2014. But 2-3 or 3-2 in Super Bowls is a far different narrative then we have currently. Brady’s and Belicheck’s legacy are both shaped irrevocably by that fateful play in January 2002.

 

-MikeV87