Buoy, the Patriots sure made this one look easy. They sailed past the Dolphins 28-0. No way, Rear Admiral Belichick even considered removing Captain Brady from the helm in this one.
First year sailor, Justin Francis, a long shot at best to sail with this crew, has navigated himself into a position of prominence. Could he eventually be promoted to the top deck?
Mates, let us bow our heads and thank the Indianapolis Colts for charting the course of the S.S. Patriot for smooth sailing to the Isle of Denver.
Before I lose my compass, enough with the nautical chatter.
This time of year it’s common to put together lists. I’m no different. Here is my list, in no particular order, of people who annoy the hell out of me.
Bill Belichick – H.C. N.E.P., this “sub-human” treats every Patriot injury as if it is a state secret. At every press conference, Belichick describes (you fill in the name of the team) as big, tough, athletic, well coached and fundamentally sound.
Ed Hochuli – NFL referee, loves to be seen on camera. Ed uses 25 words to explain a decision that would take someone else 5.
Jon Gruden – Former coach, now works as a broadcaster on Monday Night Football. Gruden repeats the same thoughts a minimum of ten times per game.
Rob Ryan – Defensive coordinator, Dallas Cowboys. Ryan comes from a family of annoying people, twin brother is Rex, father is Buddy. Must be a joy to play for.
Fireman Ed – Longtime NY Jet fan, manages to get his mug on TV almost every game.
Either Manning brother – They’re good, but boy are they annoying.
Bernard Pollard – Safety, Baltimore Ravens. Jerk who injured Tom Brady, forcing him to miss an entire season. He, along with Logan Mankins, is among the dirtiest players in the league.
Jimmy Johnson – Former coach, currently “works” as a broadcaster for Fox. This buffoon must comb his hair with glue, as he never has a hair out of place.
Honorable mentions – Ben Dreith, Ben Hur, Ben Bernanke, Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis, Ben Vereen and Ben Roethlisberger.
If you have yet to write a review for Spogo on the App Store, now is your time! In this week’s contest, we’re challenging our fans to write and post an awesome review. Just like last time, we’ll give you a week to post. The winner will be selected by the spirit of Steve Jobs, and announced via the blog, Facebook and Twitter. If that’s not incentive enough, you’ll also receive a free Spogo T-shirt and 1,000 points.
If you’re on your phone, you can review the app directly from the App Store. If you’re on your computer, follow these instructions:
Step 1: Go here — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spogo/id568987730?mt=8
Step 2: Click “View in iTunes”
Step 3: Click on “Ratings and Reviews” and start reviewing! Use a username that you’ll remember, that’s how we’ll announce the winner.
Good luck and Godspeed.
Recap and Preview in one piece? Why the heck not? Happy Holidays from Spogo!
Week 16 Recap: The Noteworthy… and not so Noteworthy
Week 16 is always a great week for teams trying to squeak their way into the postseason. It can be exciting. If you’re a Giants fan, it can be as painful as smashing your hand in a car door. Like, a big car. A Suburban. Smashing your hand in a car door is painful enough, but doing it two weeks in a row is even worse. Maybe this playoff-deciding week left you with a holiday present, mine just left me with a bruised hand and some broken fingers.
San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets
Both of these teams showcased one thing on Sunday: neither is close to becoming a contender. This game was so sloppy, I occasionally checked my guide info to make sure it wasn’t some holiday prank, or I was watching the new NFL Developmental League. McElroy proved he’s just what we thought, not great, but new, so he didn’t draw boos like Sanchez did. Personally, I think Sanchez had the best game of anyone. He didn’t play a snap, avoided the punishment that McElroy ended up taking (11 sacks?!), and looked very engaged in diagramming coverages from print outs. He looks good with a playbook and clipboard in his hand. He better get used to it.
New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars
I looked back at my preview for Week 16 and laughed. Well, I wasn’t completely wrong, there was some early scoring. It just wasn’t the Patriots doing it. When Justin Blackmon caught a TD pass from Chad Henne to take a 7-0 lead, I thought it was a fluke, but when the first quarter ended 10-3, I had to consult the internet to make sure CBS wasn’t reporting it wrong. It seems like the Pats had their holiday party the night before and everyone was hung-over. Brady had two interceptions in this contest, but had thrown a combined six in the fifteen games prior. If I’m a Pats fan, I’m not terribly worried. Sometimes, you don’t win pretty, and this was just one of those times. But I seriously wish I could have seen the Gronk at that party…
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Pete Carroll just looks smarter and smarter as the weeks go on. He has to be considered for the Coach of the Year award. This guy has
taken a lowly touted rookie QB, and made him into a solid starter, and transformed a team that was 7-9 the past two seasons, into a team no one wants to match up against. They’ve scored 58, 50, and 42 points the last three weeks. If I’m in the NFC, I do not want to draw this team in the first round. On the other side, the 49ers just haven’t been able to be consistent. They are playing like a better version of the Giants. Flashes of greatness marred by susceptibility. They’ll need to buckle down to be effective in the postseason.
Week 17 Preview: What This Weekends Games Mean For The Playoff Picture:
This is when people start to scratch their heads. You get those if, when, maybe scenarios that make this game as easy to understand as a cricket score. I’m here to try to make your lives a bit easier and simplify this process. Hey, dummy, this one’s for you.
RGIII and the Skins currently are in the playoffs. Whether they stay there, will depend largely on how they play on Sunday. If the Redskins go on to beat the Cowboys on Sunday, they’ll win the NFC East. If they lose, they leave their fates up to the Vikings and Bears, who would both need to lose for them to secure a wild card spot.
Every inch of my body is screaming for a Tony Romo fourth quarter choke on Sunday, to reinforce the fact that he doesn’t have the crunch-time game that his numbers contradict. No team in the NFL has a simpler playoff picture: win, and they’re in. On Sunday Night Football, we’ll see if Romo can step up and lead this team to the playoffs.
Adrian Peterson has kept them in the hunt with his near record-breaking season, and now they have the chance to make the playoffs by just winning on Sunday. Unfortunately they play the Packers, who have been performing at a high level the past few weeks. If they do fall to the Packers, they’ll need the Giants, Bears, and Cowboys to all lose to stay in.
New York Giants:
This year’s Giants team failed to do something they did last year: turn it on. It almost seemed like they were just expecting to magically play marvelously down the stretch, and come away with a playoff birth. Now, they find themselves in a pickle. They do not control their destiny. In fact they need all of these to happen to make the playoffs: Win vs. the Eagles with the Cowboys, Vikings, and Bears all losing. While this isn’t impossible, it’s definitely improbable. Hell, Osi Umenyiora is already talking about playing his last game as a Giant. This can’t end well.
Yeah I’m lumping this together because the AFC is boring. All the teams are already decided. Only the positioning is up for grabs. Right now Houston and Denver sit in position to grab the first round bye, with New England trying to snatch a piece of this two-team pie. If these three teams all win on Sunday, Houston and Denver will keep their byes. However, if one of them were to lose, the Pats would slide up and take their position. The Pats would need both Denver and Houston to lose to gain home-field advantage. Sorry Pats fans, Denver plays KC on Sunday, it’s not going to happen.
Non-Playoff Picture: The Draft
This years draft could not be less star-studded. Unlike last year, in which the number one and two picks were incredible talents, this year will not be remotely close to that. Right now Kansas City is set to have the number one pick, with Jacksonville close behind. KC really needs a QB, because they’re starting Brady Quinn right now, which is laughable. Unfortunately there are no great prospects at the QB position, which will force them to take something else. Even the trade value of these top picks will not remotely touch what they were last year. So even if the bad teams think they’re winning the race to the first pick, it’s kind of like being first in line to see the new Schwarzenegger movie The Last Stand: extensively more to be embarrassed of, than excited about.
This is a funny week in the NFL. A week where teams like the Giants, Steelers, and Bengals are fighting with all their might to make the playoffs. It is also a week of teams to fight for absolutely nothing at all (see: Chargers v. Jets, Bills v. Dolphins, and Raiders v. Panthers). The medley of minimal effort and playing like it’s your last day on earth creates an interesting montage of football action. Which games are worth your time? Let’s take a look.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
In Week 9, it looked like the Bengals were history. They’ve won five of their last six and find themselves in the hunt. Of course, this is possible due to the fact that the Steelers and Ravens have been doing their best to crash and burn. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on what happens) the Bengals also play both of their competitors in the last two weeks. If they can do something they haven’t done in any of their last nine games against these divisional foes (win), they’ll find themselves in control of the AFC North. For Pittsburgh, it’s back-to-back losses. Coming off a heartbreaker against Dallas in overtime, the Steelers will look to defend their turf and keep their noses in the playoff picture. They have an extremely banged up secondary, Cortez Allen missed last week, while Keenan Lewis, and DeMarcus Van Dyke left the game against Dallas injured. The Steelers held A.J. Green to just one catch in their first meeting, a challenge they’ll try to repeat with a limited secondary.
New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars
This game has the same odds of being close as Red Dawn does of winning an Oscar. A 15.5-point spread is not enough for this game, and that’s a gigantic spread. The Pats are pissed, hungry, and like to score points. This contest won’t be close, but it could change the outcome of your fantasy football championship. Non-Pats fans should tune in to the first quarter if you like well-oiled offenses. After that it will probably be over.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
I’m extremely impressed by what Pete Carroll has done in his time in the NFL. I did not expect him to win at the NFL level. Alas, the Seahawks, after a shaky middle of the season, have roared back to the spotlight. They’ve scored 108 points in their last two weeks, which is striking. Not so much for beating the crap out of the Bills, because they’re really sloppy on defense, but putting up 58 on the Cardinals who have the 4th best pass defense in the league. This offense now has a true test as the 49ers come to town. The battle between the 49ers defense and Seahawks offense is worth the watch alone. Then, you have a Seahawks defense that ranks 3rd against the pass and 10th against the run, facing off against Colin Kaepernick, making this a complete football game. No team this season has been able to go to Seattle and win a game. If the 49ers can do just that, they’ll leave champions of the NFC West.
New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens
Last Sunday for this Giants fan (but I think I speak for the majority of fans) was like watching an episode of Real Housewives of New York City. You turned it on, and 5 minutes in the voice in your head just started repeating: “this is not real life, turn it off, TURN IT OFF”. Neither team enters this contest with any momentum. If the Giants win their last two games, they’re guaranteed a wild card spot at worst (a position they’re quite comfortable with). The Ravens will seem to be without wideout Torrey Smith, who left with a concussion last Sunday. They are banged up on defense as well, with LB Jameel McClain out for the season and Ray Lewis still not back. Eli Manning will look to capitalize on these missing pieces, but something is missing. I’ve watched all 60 minutes of every game this season, and he doesn’t seem to have his form from even the early season. I’ve seen him over/under throw more receivers in the last three weeks than maybe all of last year. He needs to get his accuracy under control, and his timing down with his receivers, in order to come away with a win this week.
STEP 1: Take out your iPhone and click the Home button. (Enter your password if necessary).
STEP 2: Click the App Store icon and click Updates on the lower right hand side of the screen.
STEP 3: Fasten your seat belt, hold onto your loved ones dearly and press UPDATE next to Spogo.
Yes, Spogo Version 3.0 is now available on the App Store. This update includes a few great new features for the remainder the NFL season, including:
- Wild Card, Divisional, Conference and Superbowl playoff weeks now included on the GameZone schedule
- Option to turn push notifications ON or OFF for each individual game (no more being bombarded with push notifications for games you don’t care about)
- Questions now become grayed out after they have been locked or after you have wagered on them
As you can tell, many of the updates we make are based on feedback we get from users, so please keep playing and telling us what you think. Looking forward to seeing everyone out there for Saturday night’s game. The Playoffs are almost here…
By the end of Week 15, you have a pretty good idea of who will have a job come Fall 2013, and the unfortunate souls who will be out of a job or searching for a new one this off-season. Job security in the NFL is like a leprechaun. You want it too exist, it would be awesome to see, but it’s just not real. If Peyton Manning can get ousted, anyone can. Who’s future is looking bleak?
Mark Sanchez (Quarterback (debatable), New York Jets)
Mark’s career is similar to Melissa Joan-Hart’s, when it was good no one was saying anything. Hell, even I watched Clarissa Explains It All. But when it went south, it went south fast, and she/he has become the butt of many jokes. Who’s to blame for this decline? It’s got to be Eva Longoria right? She starts dating the guy and his game goes out the window. I suppose it’s possible, but it seems more likely that no one is to blame but Mark Sanchez. He’s been a game manager at best (when they could run the ball), but was never capable of carrying a team. The Jets gave him an extension, put their faith in him and it backfired. So he’s riding the bench for the last two weeks. But he’ll cost the Jets so much money against the cap (around $17 million) that it seems like he’ll be a Jet next year. He may be down but he’s not quite out. After all, what do the Jets have to lose by starting McElroy? They can’t make the playoffs, so why not take a chance that McElroy can be the guy? If he’s not, at least their draft position gets better.
Andy Reid (Head Coach, Philadelphia Eagles)
Andy has had a rough, rough year, from burying his son before the season, to getting walloped in the NFC. Maybe it’s best he gets a year off. It’s quite hard to pinpoint exactly what happened to the Eagles this year. Serious turnover issues and an underperforming defense led to questions, but even the offense was nothing remotely close to what it was supposed to be. Reid will definitely get another crack at coaching if he wants it, but there is no way he keeps his job in Philadelphia. Sometimes even good coaches and players don’t fit in places, and change of scene is what’s required. It seems that’s what is happening here, I don’t doubt his ability to coach, but maybe he needs a year off. Imagine if he left Philly and went straight to Dallas? He’d have to wear a full suit of armor just to protect from things fans would throw at him.
The Arizona Cardinals Quarterbacks
I doubt I have to spell this one out. Unless you’ve been under a rock the entire season, you know how bad the Cardinals QB’s have been. From Skelton to Kolb, to Lindley, it just doesn’t matter. Kevin Kolb must watch tape of his weeks in Philadelphia and just wonder who that guy is. Larry Fitzgerald probably rolls over in the middle of the night, picks up his phone, and hovers his finger over Kurt Warner’s number. He probably writes texts and deletes them with “Baby Come Back” playing in the background. Even Michael Floyd, a rookie, has to be ready to blow his lid. Ryan Lindley, who has started since November 18th, has 0 TD passes with 6 interceptions. That’s five weeks of play without a passing touchdown. Every time they think it can’t get worse with the next guy, it does. I think it’s safe to say that Arizona will be pursuing a new QB this off-season.
Romeo Crennel (Head Coach, Kansas City Chiefs)
The Chiefs have run through coaches since Dick Vermeil (who only lasted 5 seasons). It seems like Crennel is headed for the chopping block as well. After rattling off some wins at the end of last year to secure his head coaching position, he’s won two games this year. With Indy and Denver left on the schedule, something tells me he’ll stay at two wins. It’s extremely hard to say that replacing Crennel is the right move. Making a head coaching change every year or two is not going to create a cohesive unit. However, losing the locker room (like it seems Andy Reid has) is the kiss of death for a coach. No one can win without belief in the cause.
It’s mid-December, and we’re neck deep in ornaments, wrapping paper and reindeer feces. That’s right, the holidays are almost here, and whether you are celebrating the birth of Christ, or whether you’re flippin’ latkes (or some other offensively-phrased December-time holiday activity), ’tis the season–for Spogo. And here are some nice little gifts, from us to you:
CBS SCENE – BOSTON
Free nachos, buy one get one free entrees, or free desserts. What better place to watch Tom Brady zinging spirals into the end zone than right next door to hometown Gillette?
MIDTOWN 1015 SUTTON PLACE – NEW YORK
Any football fan’s dream–three floors, great food, huge TV’s and yes, Spogo rewards. Free nachos, free beers and free well drinks. God, is there anything in this world that you can’t unlock playing Spogo?!? (Yes. Love.) So, get those elf-ears wiggling, those dreidels spinning, and make your way to one of Spogo’s featured rewards partners this Sunday. Happy Holidays, with plenty of love–from Team Spogo.
When the league makes the schedule, they try to make competitive games for the end of the year. But who knows how a team is going to be by week 15? Well whoever designed Week 15 deserves a pat on the back, a hug, or even a cookie for putting together these games. Normally we get two to three games really worth watching each week. But, no. This week we have six high quality, high-powered, and meaningful match ups to soak up on Sunday. I know you’ll be entering sensory overload. Try not to have a stroke during the 1:00 games or you’ll miss the rest of ‘em.
49ers @ Patriots (8:20 PM EST)
When you think of job security, Tom Brady has to be on the top of the list. Alex Smith may have thought he had some, but Kaepernick evaporated those thoughts quickly. The explosive sophomore has undoubtedly given the 49ers an extra dimension in the running game, but some questions are arising in the passing game. He hasn’t thrown a TD pass in two weeks, and has just one in the last three games. While San Fran is a run-heavy team, they’re going to have to try to pass against this Pats defense. The Pats will probably practice with the roadrunner at quarterback or something; they always come up with weird stuff (last week they practiced with tennis rackets to prepare for J.J. Watt). They’ll have to bring in a Rhino to simulate Aldon Smith, who will give Tom Brady fits when he drops back. Aldon is closing in on Michael Strahan’s single season sack record, something additional to play for. If anyone can slow down this offense, it’s the 49ers. But… can they?
Colts @ Texans (1:00 PM EST)
The AFC South was wrapped up when the Texans started 6-0… or so we thought. The Colts have surged onto the scene powered by their cancer-embattled coach Chuck Pagano. They’ve won 7 of their last 8, not necessarily in pretty fashion, but they win. They’re two games behind Houston, which sounds insurmountable with three games to go. However, they play Houston this week, and then again in Week 17. That makes this game a must win for the Colts, if they want to challenge for the AFC South title. The Texans have got to be livid at how they played on Monday night against the Pats. They will come out fired up. But if the Colts can make an early statement, that wind could come out of the Texans sails.
Broncos @ Ravens (1:00 PM EST)
The Ravens are hitting the boiling point. After starting 9-2, they’ve dropped their last two games. They’ve fired their offensive coordinator, but the coordinator can’t make Joe Flacco become something he’s not. Flacco has made a career out of underwhelming. Every pre-season, it’s “oh, Flacco has learned how he needs to play” and blah blah blah. Then, every year, he just can’t fill the shoes. This year is looking no different, and with an amazing QB coming to town, the Ravens are going to have to lean heavily on their defense to get it done. The Broncos have won eight in a row, and I don’t see the streak ending… especially with a first-round bye on the line.
Giants @ Falcons (1:00 PM EST)
The Giants just do not get a break. I’m a fan, sure, but their schedule is brutal. They’ll head to Atlanta after playing the Saints and Packers at home, and the Redskins on the road. The Falcons are 6-0 at home this season, but are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Panthers where they were never really in the game. Perhaps they were looking ahead to the Giants matchup. Even so, they’ll have to plan for an increased dose of David Wilson, who set a Giant single-game all-purpose yards record on Sunday. The college sprinter can flat out fly, and is starting to do what the Giants drafted him to do. The Falcons have wrapped up the NFC South, but the Giants are trying to claw their way into the playoffs. That could be the difference in this contest.
Packers @ Bears (1:00 PM EST)
Da Bears and the Packers are battling for the NFC North. One of the most difficult divisions to win has come down to this. The Packers are
set to pull away with this one, as the Bears have lost four of their last five. Jay Cutler has been in and out of their starting lineup due to injury, but he claims he will try to play on Sunday. I don’t think there is any question that if it’s Jason Campbell at QB for Chicago on Sunday, the Packers are walking away with an NFC North title.
Steelers @ Cowboys (4:25 PM EST)
One sportswriter likened the Steelers current woes to those of the Jets. I’m not sure it’s quite that bad, but there’s no doubt they’re sliding. They’ve lost three of their last four to teams like San Diego and Cleveland. They now have Roethlisberger back, who seemed to be shaking off some rust last week (and by rust I mean the absolutely terrifying prospect of having a rib jab your aorta and dying). The Cowboys are on the other end of the spectrum after winning four of their last five. Let’s not get too excited, they beat the Browns and Eagles twice. I think the Steelers go in, win this game, and silence the “Jets” comments.
“The emperor has no clothes.” The 11-2 Texans last night were disrobed by the 10-3 Patriots. Houston looked ill prepared and untidy, as they were outplayed and outcoached by the local lads.
Offensive coordinators Tom Brady and his assistant Josh McDaniel managed to keep the Texans confused with rotating sub packages, quick snaps and lining up players in unaccustomed positions. Aaron Hernandez on his touchdowns was lined up once as a split end, and another time at running back. Guaranteed, Houston’s next opponent, the Colts, implement a lot of the Pats’ game plan.
Let’s stop wasting time. Tom Brady should be immediately enshrined in Canton 44720. Tom Terrific showed last night that he is among the best to have ever played the game.
Is there anyone in New England other than Belichick who thinks that Wes Welker shouldn’t get a long term deal? What does he have to do?
I didn’t think I’d be saying this any time soon, but I now understand what Brandon Lloyd can bring to the table. Last night was his break out game.
I also didn’t think I’d be saying this any time soon, but the secondary played a very good game. In the second half, former starter Patrick Chung got off the bench, removed some splinters, and played safety when Devin McCourty was moved to DB to replace an injured Aqib Talib. Chung almost immediately got called for a face mask infraction. Good luck with your new team next year, Patrick. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out of town.
Other defensive stalwarts who stepped up to the challenge last night were Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork. Both have had stellar campaigns. I know this because Jon Gruden said this at least a dozen times. I looked up repetitious in the dictionary and one of the definitions was Jon Gruden, former Raiders and Buccaneer head coach. How about redundant?
Next Sunday night we have another doozy to look forward to. Yes, Seymour, Randy Moss is still on their roster.