The Air Force Special Ops was dispatched to find the AWOL bird which they finally did somewhere around half time. Too bad the Wreck was unable to take advantage of the situation as they lost a heartbreaker 17-10.
The Minnesota Vikings weather travails continued as their game against the Eagles was delayed until Tuesday due a monster blizzard that hit the east coast. It will be the first Tuesday game in the NFL since 1946. While some complained that we are becoming a country of wusses - its probably coming from the same guys who would get all drunked up watching the game and then miss work blaming it on the snow.
FIU and Toledo played a great little game. Toledo scored a tying TD with 1:14 left in the game but decide to go for 2 and the win. They get it - but FIU had one last chance. Getting a great 44 yd KO return to start at their 47 FIU nearly
blew it with a 12 yd sack. Facing 4th and 17, FIU executes a beautiful hook and ladder to get just enough for the 1st down. 3 plays later the Golden Panthers get it to the Rockets 22 yd line and kick a walk off winning FG.
Finally - break up the Lions. They won their second game on the road and third straight overall by coming back from 10 down with a little over 4 minutes left in the game. DeAndre Levy's pick six capped off a furious 17 point Lions rally to seal the win 34-27over Miami. Next week they face Minnesota and potentially their nemesis over the years - Brett Farve.
Coaching Carousel Update:
Its that strange time of year when coaching changes flop their way into the college bowls
Sun Bowl - neither recently fired Miami (FL) HC Randy Shannon nor new HC Al Golden (formerly with Temple) will be leading the Hurricanes in the latest Convicts vs Catholics. Rather former MSU OL Coach Jeff Stoutland will lead the Canes against the Domers. Temple announced their new HC would be Steve Addazio former OC at Florida. Addazio was known to be a great recruiter especially in the Northeast but was criticized this year as the Gator's offensive production plummeted after graduating Tim Tebow.
Outback Bowl - And speaking of Florida - apparently Urban Meyer's health is good enough to coach in one more bowl game as he will lead the Gators against the always healthy 84 year old JoPa. Not sure where Will Muschamp will be during the game.
GoDaddy Bowl - If nothing else - at least watch the ads. After just 2 years -the original Miami lost its HC to the "Stacheless" Pitt. Must have been a hell of a turnaround to upset what was a solid program with a good recruiting class. Or maybe not. Miami (OH) went 7-1 on the MAC and 9-4 overall but were 103rd overall in scoring and 114th in rushing. Could be a couple of tough years for the Panthers who were built around the run and strong defense. RedHawks DB coach Lance Guidry will be given a one game tryout to be the new HC.
Compass Bowl - Speaking of the 'Stache - he will close out his career against the Kentucky Wildcats against first year HC Joker Phillips. Kentucky will be playing without QB Mike Hartline who was suspended for public intoxication. Good thing we are not suspended for public intox or we wouldn't be able to watch many games.
I had a tough time coming up with good picks last week so I went with the minimum 3 games. My hunch proved out as the BBofG went a disappointing 1-2
Week 17 Recap:
Baltimore -3 @ Cleveland - After letting Browns RB Peyton Hillis rip off 142 yds in their first matchup Baltimore
backed up its pregame bulletin board vow and limited him to 35 yds. Cleveland's passing game fared no better as QB Colt McCoy threw 3 picks - with Ed Reed getting 2. After spotting Cleveland a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Baltimore responded with a FG then forced a fumble on the first play of the Browns next drive. Baltimore QB then threw the first of his 2 TD passes for the day and Baltimore was up 10-7. Cleveland's next drive resulted in the first Ed Reed INT at midfield. The Ravens drove to the Cleveland 22 kicked another FG to lead 13-7 and never looked back. The Ravens scored on thier opening 2nd half drive to win 20-10. All in all - Baltimore QB Joe Flacco played just good enough to win throwing for 102 Yds and 2 TDs. With the win Baltimore clinched a playoff spot. After the game someone yelled to Reed "Reed - you're on fire" and literally he was - he had gotten too close to a sideline heater and his coat was in flames. WIN
San Diego -7 @ Cincinnati - Coming in to the game the Chargers were 21-1 in December. Make that 21-2 now. Needing a win to make the playoffs for a fifth straight years - the Chargers froze and were thoroughly beaten by a Cincinnati squad that won its second straight game after dropping 10 in a row. You knew it was going to be a long day for the Chargers when they missed the handoff on a reverse on their first play from scrimmage which rolled all the way back to the 1 yd line. After going three and out the Bolts punted it for 24 yds in the cold swirling wind. Cincy QB Carson Palmer then threw the first of his four TD passes for the game and the Bengals were out to an early 7-0 lead. The game was fairly tight through the first three quarter with Cincy leading 13-10 going into the final stanza.
But the San Diego's defense imploded yielding TDs on Cincy's first three drives of the fourth quarter. The Bengals were playing without both clowns from the TO-Ocho outsized ego circus and yet managed to pass for 269 yds and 4 TDs. Sounds like the end of that sad side show. LOSS
Atlanta -2 vs New Orleans - Hoping to come out on the winning side for Week 17 the Doofus was relying on Matt Ryans 19-1 home winning margin (second only to Tom Brady's 16-0 over the last three years) to carry the day. What was expected to be a high scoring affair (the over/under was 50 the highest for the week's NFL slate) turned out to be a defensive slugfest. On the first 5 drives of the game there were only 2 first downs as the two teams combined for three 3 and outs. New Orleans finally got a drive going getting the Falcon 34 and kicking a FG. (Once again, while laying points, all three of the BBofG opponents got the first points. That's a trend I would like to see end!). The Falcons started the second quarter by fumbling on their own 38 when the center dribbled the shotgun snap off his foot which was recovered by the Saints. Five plays later Pierre Thomas punched it in from the 2 and New Orleans led 10-0. Matt Ryan led the Falcons on an 8 play 78 yd TD drive the next time he got the ball and a great game was on its way.
Trailing 7-10 the Falcons opened the second half by driving to the NO 1 yd line. The announcers were going on about how the Saints have allowed points to opponents 90 straight times when the get inside their 10 yd line (worst in the NFL) and how Michael Turner has not fumbled in over 400 carries (longest streak in the NFL this year). Of course, Turner promptly fumbles it away at the one and the Falcons blew a great chance to take the lead. With no scoring in the 3rd quarter - Drew Brees started the final quarter by throwing an ill timed shovel pass that was deflected by John Babineaux caught by Chauncey Davis who took it to the house for a pick six Falcons now lead 14-10. Looking good for the Doofus! Brees then throws another INT on the next drive to a different lineman John
Abraham. Abraham made a real nice play by batting it to himself and then returning it ATL 47 yd line. He was tackled by Brees - C'Mon man you gotta to beat the QB! He had a clear path the the end zone if he could have beaten Brees. No one seemed to know if DLs picked off 2 straight passes before. Unfortunately, the Falcons were unable to capitalize on the second INT.
With 10:37 to go ATL pinned NO back on their 10 yd line setting up a brilliant Drew Brees drive. Going 7-8 the Saints marched 90 yds for a TD and taking 7 minutes off the clock and the lead 17-14. With 3:24 and two timeouts left - Matt Ryan's attempt at Monday Night glory failed as he went 4 and out on his next and final drive. NO then ran off the final 2:44 of the game and sealed the win.
After the game - a slew of Saints rubbed it in by going to the Falcons logo at midfield to get their picture taken. It’s going to be a real nasty game if these two meet up in the playoffs - Can't wait LOSS
It's time for some good College Bowl action. With the final week of the NFL fraught with peril as some good teams rest their stars for the playoffs (Indy - I'm looking at you - who needs perfect season?) while some bad teams start
making tee times - I'm going to go back to a more normal palate if several college games and less pro.
It's still a bit early for all the picks but I did want to get one game in - so here is Pick One for Week 18
Week 18 Mega Bet - Part One
West Virginia -3 vs NC State - West Virginia has the second best rush defense,scoring defense and total defense in Div 1A and are the only team to not allow more than 21 points in a game. Meanwhile, NC State is one dimensional ranking 93rd in rush offense and relying on QB Russel Wilson for the vast majority of its production. West Virginia's offense sputtered a bit too with star RB Noel Divine nursing several injuries. He's back to full strength which makes the 'Neers multi-dimensional with QB Gino Smith blossoming into a better young QB's with an outstanding 23/6 TD to INT ratio. This could be a low scoring affair as NC St sports the number 12 defense against the rush but 40th overall. The motivation should be on WVA's side as HC Bill Stewart was told he can coach in 2011 and then hand the reins over to HC in waiting Dana Holgorsen.
More picks to come!!