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Category Archives: Gamehenge

Games I have played and enjoyed.

Bills vs Redskins post game

I spent the first half listening to the game.  I know that announcers that are employed by the team typically have a homer mentality, but it felt like John Murphy and Mark Kelso were watching a game where there were some ‘aw shucks’ moments.  After watching most of the second half all I came away with was a drubbing.

– I feel awful for Kevin Kolb.  It appears that if his career is not over he will have to pass extremely rigorous tests in order to even get on a practice field.  He was not a guy I wanted to see leading my team. I still hate to see him lose it this way.

– The only player to impress me in a big way was traded to the Lions for 4th year pro Thaddeus Lewis.  Chris White made an impressive stop near the goal line during the second half, stopping the Redskin RB in his tracks.  He was the immovable wall. While he was a Special Teamer first and foremost you can’t teach the play he made on Saturday. Only a player can make it happen.

– Matthew Leinart can break out his beer bong at the Ralph and feel right at home. He will just have to do it on a non-team lot.

– The team looked as bad as they have in years.  You know they would face adversity at some point, but so ugly so early was a let down, especially with the momentum the franchise was moving with.  I look forward to see how they rebound.

– I wish Tuel would have had the playbook opened up at some point for him. He had a rough night, but he also was kept on a very short leash.  I would guess he starts against the Lions.

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Posted by on 08/25/2013 in Gamehenge

 

Bills/Vikings pregame thoughts- Kid’s Day with my daughter

I am heading out to the stadium with my daughter for a preseason matchup with as much excitement as I have been able to muster since Bledsoe’s first year. This front office and coaching staff appear to have a focus on fast, smart football. I plan on doing my best to watch some football, but that is all dependent on my copilot for the evening-

– I will be watching some of the game on the concourse TVs while in line for a pretzel, hot dog, drink or dip-n-dots. That’s okay. Despite my excitement about the direction of the franchise this is about Dad/Daughter time.

– I am assuming Kiko Alonzo’s injury is minor if he is hurt at all. All I heard from Marrone is he is out. I was bummed at first, but if uninjured there are a few reasons why I changed my mind: 1. He looked so good last week there is no reason to risk injury. Alonzo is that important to the Defense at this point. 2. Because of number 1 the Bills need to identify a solid backup in case Alonzo gets injured.

– The cornerback battle is extremely interesting with Crezdon Butler and Ron Brooks vying for the starting spot opposite Gilmore. While Leodis McKelvin is penciled in as the starter he is battling a groin injury. It is possible Leodis could be limited in his ability to run and keep up with speedy wide receivers. Thus week on WGR550 one of their ‘experts’ was bemoaning how often our WRs are torching the DBs in practice. I don’t see it as a horrible thing. They are training against one of the fastest units in the league. They should be better in the Regular Season where most teams don’t have four burners.

– WR cuts are going to be hard. I will be surprised if Brad Smith is on the Opening Day roster. They are so deep here it is almost certain some other team will claim our cuts. Hopefully they will slip one or two onto the practice squad. I can’t wait to see how fast Goodwin looks in person.

– Can’t wait to see all three QBs. I hope Teul sees time against 1st or 2nd team soon. They need to give Kolb his time, but make sure it isn’t at the expense of E.J.

– It should be a more competitive game.   The Colts are looking to build off past success and looked lazy. Minnesota is a hungrier squad looking to make the next step.

– I am hoping for zero injuries.

– If we stay until half time I would be impressed.

 
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Posted by on 08/16/2013 in Gamehenge

 

Bills/Colts post game thoughts

– EJ was pedestrian for long stretches, but it was competent vanilla. His big run showed some versatility that other teams will have to consider. If someone had to spy Manuel it is one less defender gumming up execution. He never threw a long ball, but there was no need. The touchdown throw to Dorrin Dickerson was well placed and well paced.

– CJ Spiller looked great. He looked like he was playing at double speed while the rest of the players were in sloooooowmoootiooon. It was great to see. I recognize he ripped off two decent runs in a row, but perhaps Chan Gailey was onto something with the conditioning angle. Spiller probably will need more breathers with the pace of his style, but it seemed awfully early to pull yourself out of a drive,

– The Wide Receiver battle is going to involve some tough cuts. It is certain guys who are talented and dedicated will be let go. It is a good and decidedly 1990s type problem for the Bills.

-The defense was tough. The defense was relentless. The defense was on target. For the most part. Ron Brooks taunting penalty after a successful 3rd down stop is in the category of unacceptable mistakes.  He made up for it on a thunderous hit that caused a fumble, but it never should’ve come to that. It was nice to see Mario Williams get a sack, even if it was due to incompetence on the part of the Left Tackle. Kiko Alonzo looked like he was born to be a star NFL linebacker.  A natural.

– Jeff Tuel looked good. Tuel was QBing against the 3rd & 4th stringers and was commanding. I hope HC Doug Marrone gives him some earlier reps next game so that we can see what he is capable of.

It’s too bad preseason isn’t a solid predicator of regular season success, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Bills are starting their new direction with a synergy that says we are onto something special here.

 
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Posted by on 08/11/2013 in Gamehenge

 

Bills /Colts pre-game thoughts

Obi-Wan (my son) and I are watching the game today, meaning I have one eye on the screen and one eye on his trail of destruction. Some quick thoughts on my hope and feelings.

– I am excited to see what our base/vanilla D looks. Pettine promises passion and heart. Mario Williams is dressing and it would be nice to see him deliver effort. I will never forget him standing still with no whistle last year against the Chiefs, but it would be nice if he could bury it deep for me with some strong play.

– EJ Manuel. Damn I’d love to see competence over flash. Abuse the running game. We shall see. The WR battle is exciting too.

Go Bills

I am not sure why I underlined….

 
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Posted by on 08/11/2013 in Gamehenge

 

Cook the Byrd

I have been a long time advocate for Jairus Byrd’s place as the elite free safety in the NFL. With that he should be fairly compensated as one of the elite safties in the league. I believe playing on a bad Bills team coupled with name recognition holding too much power in the  selection processes was the only reason he was second team  All Pro this year.

Watching Byrd grow into a complete player has been one of the bright spots in the Bills recent dismal run. He could hawk balls but was atrocious as a tackle his rookie year. He came back next season in a new system with significantly improved skills and now is one  of the surest tacklers on the team. He has yet to be exposed to Mike Pettine’s system, which is worrisome. Like Gregg, Mike likes to come in waves. Mike seems to pick a greater degree of difficulty though.

Here is where I jump off the Byrd bandwagon and wonder just how much Eugene Parker (Byrd’s agent) hates the Bills. The window for a long term deal is closed until after the season. The only options Byrd has are to sign or sit and I guess wait for Godot. He is well past any reasonable point of ‘looking out for his’ as there is nothing else to hash out. Sign or sit. He may be trying to arm bar the Bills into agreeing to no tag in 2014.

If Byrd isn’t in Rochester by weeks end with his signature on the tender they should let him sit a full season out. I am hoping the safeties we have look promising. This is some of the seedier stuff in pro-sports. The I in team is too strong.

Go Bills

 
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Posted by on 07/26/2013 in Gamehenge

 

NHL Playoffs and prizes

What a shame that it took the NHL so long to guarantee every game on American TV. I catch a lot less than I wish to, but when I get a chance to watch one of the current greats play. Ryan Callahan is the best complete player in the game today. He doesn’t have the tremendous upside in scoring Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin have, but he is upper crust in every area. Props to Sid for his continual growth defensively but it is more positional than tenacious like Callahan.

If I were building a team right now and had to rank my first forward taken out of the current NHL talent pool I would have Callahan and John Tavares alternating as my number one and two picks. If it were in the venue of NHL ’13 it would be  Taylor Hall.

I never would’ve believed it two years ago, but Patrick Kane is a finalist for the Lady Byng. 47 games Avg ice time 20 minutes 8 minutes in the box. I am impressed with his growth. That Chicago team is very nicely built. How I wish the Bowman family had that magic touch going during Scotty’s time in Buffalo. I hope he wins the award.

Raffi Torres. The type of game Raffi plays on the wrong side of the edge. It is one thing to play a physical game, but the goon has no place on the roster of an NHL team any longer. Torres plays the game with no respect  for his opponent’s safety. He is banned from the remainder of the Western Conference semifinals for his hit to the head of Jarrett Stoll.

Let’s go Rangers

 
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Posted by on 05/16/2013 in Gamehenge

 

Fitzmagic Era ends, Buddy era on its last legs

Buddy Nix had a phone call recorded today. During the call it became apparent that Ryan Fitzpatrick had an uphill battle to stay the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills. He would also have to drastically restructure his current contract just to stay on the team. By 4 PM the Bills released Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Fitz era at QB was set up to be a positive- good guy who has shown some promise but never handed the reigns to lead the Bills, what is more Buffalo than that? And how can you get worse than Captain Checkdown, master of the five yard pass, leader of the Council of Trent?

It started very well. Fitzmagic had us believing, even while losing often in 2010. Stevie and Fitz developed chemistry as the season progressed and close loses to Baltimore, KC and Chicago were better efforts than Bills fans had seen strung together in years. A Stevie Johnson drop kept the Bills from taking out the eventual Super Bowl loser, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Things were looking up for the Bills, then October 28th 2011 pen, paper and expectations rewrote everything.

Fitzmagic began to dwindle shorty after his big 6 year 59 million dollar deal was signed. I don’t believe Fitz ever gave less than everything he had every Sunday, but the pressure of living up to his deal appeared to make him press. He went from slinging the ball like a Vegas magician does misdirection to fumbling the dove in his pocket like a carney hack. By the 2012 season his timing with Stevie was shot and he started to behave Trentonian. That is right, like the two Darrens on Bewitched the Bills had two Captain Checkdowns. To make matters worse the offense labored on his distressed shoulders while CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson played part time roles, CJ while averaging over 6.5 yards a carry. The third best player in the offensive backfield was the focus.

Fitz is the most loveable of the post Jim Kelly Bills quarterbacks. He was the most easy to root for and came across as one of the most genuine Bills I have ever cheered for. At this point we need so much more than that. Like every QB since Kelly he failed at leading us to a playoff victory… only one has even taken us there since.  Fitzmagic was like smoke and mirrors on the score board and the standings. It wasn’t enough in the end.

Tarvaris Jackson, could be the answer. 1st or 2nd rounder to groom? I hope so. Maybe a flier on one in the fifth or sixth round too. The team has many needs, but the main one is under center.

 
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Posted by on 03/12/2013 in Gamehenge