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Monday, December 15, 2014

Run over by Bengals,Browns lose 30-0...

In the biggest game of their season,the Cleveland Browns went out and played their worst offensive game of the season in a 30-0 loss to the revenge-minded Cincinnati Bengals in Cleveland.
There were no offensive numbers worth mentioning that weren't,well,offensive in a different way,but Johnny Manziel tossed two interceptions in the defeat that saw him fail to reach even the pedestrian number of 100 yards passing for the day.
The now 7-7 Browns will finish their season on the road in Carolina and Baltimore.

Brownie Bits

1) I was fine with the decision to start Johnny Manziel over Brian Hoyer.
Hoyer had been so bad that I felt it was worth a try.
Manziel was disappointing and there is blame to spread to around .
Manziel seemed overwhelmed and borderline unprepared.
If Manziel is going to play in this league-he has a long way to go.

2) The big question-Do the Browns win this game if Mike Pettine had started Brian Hoyer?
No.I just don't see it all things considered,but if you would have preferred a 30-14 loss,Ok.
Hoyer might have engineered more offense,but I think this was a rearend kicking in the making and the starter didn't matter other than maybe some garbage points...

3) The play calling didn't help Manziel much either.
In a game that you were down quickly and early,the Browns didn't throw the ball enough (18 passes) and when they did,it looked like a return to the three yard pass day of old.
Manziel threw just one pass of over 15 yards for a completion (32 yards to Josh Gordon) and allowed the Bengals to play press coverage....

4) More than Manziel was bad in this game as the run defense allowed the most rushing yards to a team this season as the Bengals blew the Browns off the line of scrimmage to the tune of 244 yards,with 148 of them to noted wordsmith Jeremy Hill.
Hill had spouted off after the Browns win in Cincinnati about not being impressed with the Browns.
If he wasn't then,wonder what he thinks now???

5) By the Browns not being able to stop the run,the Bengals were then able to spot Andy Dalton and not force him to win the game.
Dalton's numbers look light (117 yds and a INT) and they are,but they were able to not have to throw the ball to win,keeping those numbers down...

6) Five first downs and 1 of 10 on third down.
Ugh,Kyle Shanahan didn't help Manziel with makeable third downs with run up the middle calls on 1st and 2nd down,especially once the Browns got down 20,but this is still a bad number.

7) Jeremy Hill was able to add something the Bengals needed-a power runner between the tackles.
Hill gained most of his yardage that way and I'll address this more in the off season,but the Browns miss Phil Taylor immensely and if Taylor doesn't appear ready to start next season,Cleveland will need a defensive tackle in the worst way.

8) The Browns lost Joe Haden and Justin Gilbert to injury and no word if they will play against Carolina yet.
The Bengals didn't need to throw much,but considering the big picture,the pass defense could have been far worse..

9) The Browns waived Billy Cundiff and added former Saint Garrett Hartley,who never touched the field as Spencer Lanning did the kickoff and only once did the Browns threaten to score.
Johnny Manziel threw up a floater off his back foot that was snared in the end zone by a Bengal ending the Browns only serious scoring threat...

10) The offensive line was not the answer either to any prayers as they were beaten often off the line by Bengal rushers that left Johnny Manziel throwing off his back foot with little time to throw.
Center has been an issue since the loss of Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz is a player degressing not progressing at right tackle.
Right tackle has been a Browns achilles heel for years and it needs to be fixed...

11) Finally,some are ready to give up on Johnny Manziel.
I'm not,but others are saying the Browns are saddled with Manziel for next season too.
I disagree,sometimes one needs to cut loose a mistake and if after three games,the Browns are convinced this is a disaster-I wouldn't be against a QB.
I think it would be premature,but if the last two games are disasters similar to this,you have to at least consider the possibility....

Boxing Challenge Results

The Boxing Challenge took some twists and turns last night in Las Vegas,but after it was all said and done,R.L.Malpica still held a two point
lead at 83-81.

The HBO portion of the show gave R.L. one point and me none..

The first fight saw Mauricio Herrera in a great bout with a bad decision as Jose Benavidez won a unanimous decision.
I scored the fight 116-113 for Herrera...

Neither of us earned points for Timothy Bradley's draw vs Diego Chaves.
I thought this one was pretty clear cut too with Bradley winning 116-112 on my card.
Bradley griped afterward about the decision,which I cannot blame him for,but considering I had him losing to Manny Pacquiao,Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez and he got the call,so I'd might rack this up to karma....

R.L.earned a point for Andy Lee's upset sixth round KO of Matt Korobov.
I had Korobov ahead 49-46 at the time of the stoppage,which I thought was a little premature considering Korobov was never floored,but he was hurt and I've seen worse stoppages....

Down the Vegas strip for Showtime,R.L. moved his lead to four points with Abner Mares winning over Jose Ramirez,when Ramirez's corner stopped the fight after the fifth round.
R,L added two points for the Mares win and KO,while I picked up just one for the win..

Each of us added one point for Keith Thurman's boring win unanimous decision over Leonard Bundu.
Thurman disappointed fans (not me) that think he is the future of the division (Not me again) with a boring bout that only saw Bundu dropped in a flash knockdown in the first round...
I scored Thurman a 120-107 winner.

Amir Khan saved the day for me and kept my hopes of a comeback alive with a unanimous decision over Devon Alexander.
Khan dominated the bout giving me two points for picking him and zero for R.L. and his selection of Alexander.
Khan;s win brought the lead back to the starting point of two with the win and I would bet that it will likely get him a bout with Floyd Mayweather next year...

Next weekend's next two cards on Showtime will end the 2014 challenge and decide this years winner....



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pigskin Picking Machine


With the college season in bowl hiatus.
I've decided to have two games of the week....

Bengals over Browns 24-17
Saints over Bears 41-34

Games of the Week

Best: Eagles over Cowboys 27-20
Worst:Jets over Titans 20-10

Last Week:7-2

Season: 86-32

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Boxing Challenge

The Boxing Challenge continues with a big weekend of bouts on both HBO and Showtime.
Both R.L. Malpica and I each earned two points last night for Erislandy Lara's unanimous decision win over Ishe Smith...

HBO

Welterweights.12 rds
Timothy Bradley vs Diego Chaves
Both:Bradley Unanimous Decision

Middleweights 12 rds
Matt Korobov vs Andy Lee
R.L: Lee Split Decision
TRS:Korobov Unanimous Decision

Jr Welterweights.12 rds
Mauricio Herrera vs Jose Benavidez
Both:Herrera Unanimous Decision

Showtime

Welterweights.12 rds
Amir Khan vs Devon Alexander
R.L:Alexander Split Decision
TRS:Khan Unanimous Decision

Welterweights 12 rds.
Keith Thurman vs Leonard Bungu
R.L:Thurman KO 3
TRS:Thurman KO 8

Featherweights,12 rds
Abner Mares vs Jose Ramirez
R.L:Mares KO 8
TRS:Mares Unanimous Decision

Friday, December 12, 2014

Boxing Challenge Update

R.L.Malpica won the pivotal bout and took a two point lead over me at 78-76 going down the stretch in the boxing challenge.

The differing bout was Canadian middleweight David Lemieux's stoppage of Gabriel Rosado in the tenth round.
R.L.picked up two points for the Lemieux victory and moved to his lead after this in the HBO main event.
There has only been two times this year that I had second thoughts about a selection before the bout (right or wrong) and both involved David Lemieux.
Lemieux would win both bouts and might be the difference in winning or losing this event....
HBO looks to be moving Lemieux to a summer 2015 bout vs Gennady Golovkin,which will be entertaining with Lemieux's hitting power and less than strong defense.
I don't see Lemieux having much of a chance vs GGG,but it might be fun to watch while it lasts.
As for the game Rosado,I'd like to see HBO and Showtime pass on his fights against upper level fighters.
Rosado will fight hard,fall behind and just as Rosado is turning the tide in the fight,the bout gets stopped because his face is too busted up,so what's the point??

R.L would get a point on Thomas Dulorme's close split decision over Hank Lundy.
Dulorme dropped Lundy in the first,but Lundy was taking over and if this would have been a 12 rounder and not 10-I think Lundy would have pulled this out.

I got that point back with Hugo Centeno's one punch KO over James De La Rosa in round six and set the stage for the Lemieux win...

I'll have some picks up later today for a big weekend of boxing and the boxing challenge.

Failing in Philly-Devils lose 4-1

The New Jersey Devils entered this game in Philadelphia against a tea, below them in the standings with two needed points on the line for both teams.
The Devils came out slow,battled back and then flattened out again in a disappointing 4-1 loss to the Flyers.
Martin Havlat's goal (3 Power Play) in the second period was the only New Jersey goal.
The Devils next game sees them travel to Dallas Saturday night.
Considering the 8;30 start,I doubt that I will have coverage of that game...

Hell Raisers

1) Start with the good news-Scott Gomez assisted on the Havlat goal for his third game in a row with an assist.
Gomez's passing skills seem to be a good fit with Jaromir Jagr and Martin Havlat-guys that are shooters not playmakers....

2) The penalty kill went 4 of 5,which continues its uptick in the PK stats among teams.

3) The power play giveth and taketh away as the Havlat goal was a plus,but a botched Marek Zidlicky shot led to a Philly breakaway and goal shorthanded by Sean Couturier.

4) Zidlicky was bad and so Jon Merrill as both basically could each be faulted for a different goal.
Merrill is still learning,Zidlicky is just bad...

5) Cory Schneider was OK,not awful,not terrific.
It's not his fault,three quarters of the team couldn't be bothered to play...

6) Big question-How long does Peter DeBoer survive this crap?
I don't know,I would have fired him last year,but Lou Lamoriello sees something in him,but I will say this-between injuries,lack of talent and the oldest team in the league-this is not all his fault.
I'm still in favor of a coach that likes to deal with young players (I'll get more in detail on this one slow day with a massive Devils article that I have planned),but this not all on DeBoer.
Even though I'd love to blame it on him.....

7) I really like the fourth lines play-Gionta,Bernier and Ruutu are always scrapping and considering the way the higher lines are playing,I would not be against them getting more ice time against the opposition's higher lines...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rule V Results

Very little to report as none of the three teams made a selection in today's Rule V draft.

The Pirates did lose hard throwing lefthander Andrew Oliver to the Phillies in the major league portion of the draft,which means Oliver will have to stick all season or be offered back to the Pirates.
Pittsburgh also lost two pitchers in the AAA portion of the draft,which means they lose them for good in return for a modest cash payment of $12,000 dollars.
Tampa selected Luis Urena,who has been pitching for just one season and St.Louis took Tyler Waldron,a decent prospect that has been passed by others in the system....

The Indians lost no one at any level and did select Delvi Francisco from the Phillies in the Triple A portion.
Francisco's numbers were nothing to get excited about at short season Williamsport and low A Lakewood,so there must have been something that I'm missing that the Indians liked.

The Giants were at 40 men on the big league roster,so they could not participate in the upper draft,but did take two players in the AAA draft with one of them being a once big name in the prospect game.
Former Cubs first rounder Brett Jackson problem has always been contact not power,so Jackson might be a pick to bolster the Giants new AAA affiliate in Sacramento.
Ramon Del Orbe was taken from the Marlins to provide depth for Augusta or San Jose as looking at the 22 year old's stats-I cannot see any other reason to project him as a prospect.
Del Orbe spent most of the last two seasons with low A Greensboro and never rose above that level.

Back later with the Devils vs the Flyers....