Jul 312012
 

Welcome back! or maybe I should be saying that to myself instead of to our readers.

Let’s see… in the past twenty-five days I have gotten married, taken a long weekend mini-moon, taken a six day business trip to San Diego and spend about thirty hours writing dissertation materials and working on updates to a book I am co-writing. So please forgive the interruption in our service.

So what else has happened in our absence? Training campus have broken, more players have been arrested, other players have failed conditioning tests, Drew Brees has continued to run his mouth and Rex Ryan started making ridiculous statements again after saying he was done making ridiculous statements. In other words, it’s been business as usual in the NFL. :-)

If you are not too wrapped up in gymnastics, swimming, and basketball to notice, football season is on our doorstep, and we at GiR could not be more excited. We do have articles on the way… really, I promise… these guys are writing again. If you have topics you’d like to see addressed let us know, or better yet pen your own article and let’s see if it is GiR material (meaning it is more advanced than a cave drawing).

Additionally, we have two late openings in GiR fantasy football… 16 teams, $50 keeper league… blah, blah, blah… read the league rules to learn more. We are opening the league to all comers, so please give a shout out to me quickly. Oh, and GO USA!

 

Jul 312012
 

Well, the Rat’s Widow has spoken. Don’t laugh; she ended up with a pretty decent final four, and may well kick the butts of the rest of our resident experts. The real fun will be her weekly columns explaining all of the picks she made and how she arrived at them.

Enjoy!

NFL REGULAR SEASON
AFC EAST
New England

11

5

#1 Seed
Buffalo

9

7

Miami

7

9

New York Jets

6

10

AFC NORTH
Cincinnati

9

7

#4 Seed
Cleveland

9

7

Pittsburgh

8

8

Baltimore

7

9

AFC SOUTH
Jacksonville

10

6

#3 Seed
Houston

9

7

#5 Seed
Tennessee

6

10

Indianapolis

6

10

AFC WEST
Denver

10

6

#2 Seed
Kansas City

9

7

#6 Seed
San Diego

6

10

Oakland

6

10

NFC EAST
New York Giants

12

4

#1 Seed
Philadelphia

11

5

#5 Seed
Dallas

8

8

Washington

7

9

NFC NORTH
Detroit

9

7

#3 Seed
Green Bay

8

8

Chicago

7

9

Minnesota

3

13

NFC SOUTH
Tampa Bay

9

7

#4 Seed
Carolina

8

8

New Orleans

8

8

Atlanta

5

11

NFC WEST
Arizona

10

6

#2 Seed
St. Louis

9

7

#6 Seed
San Francisco

8

8

Seattle

6

10

NFL POST-SEASON
AFC Wildcard Round

Jacksonville over Kansas City

Houston over Cincinnati

NFC Wildcard Round

Detroit over St. Louis

Philadelphia over Tampa Bay

AFC Divisional Round

New England over Houston

Denver over Jacksonville

NFC Divisional Round

New York Giants over Philadelphia

Detroit over Arizona

AFC Championship

New England over Denver

NFC Championship

New York Giants over Detroit

Super Bowl

New England over New York Giants

Jul 312012
 

Well, we are back with more picks. These are from Country Preacher… interesting to say the least! I am not sure how a quarterback who played all season last year can win Comeback Player of the Year, but hey, I just print these things after they are sent to me.  :-)  I won’t even get into my thoughts on Michael Vick as MVP and Andy Reid as Coach of the Year. anyone think he is making these predictions just to play with me? (Ghost Rat)

 

NFL REGULAR SEASON
 
AFC EAST
New England

11

5

#4 Seed
Buffalo

9

7

#6 Seed
New York Jets

8

8

 
Miami Dolphins

4

12

 
AFC NORTH
Baltimore

13

3

#1 Seed
Pittsburgh

9

7

#5 Seed
Cincinnati

7

9

 
Cleveland

6

10

 
AFC SOUTH
Houston

12

4

#2 Seed
Tennessee

9

7

 
Jacksonville

4

12

 
Indianapolis

3

13

 
AFC WEST
Denver

11

5

#3 Seed
San Diego

9

7

 
Kansas City

7

9

 
Oakland

6

10

 
NFC EAST
Philadelphia

11

5

#2 Seed
New York Giants

9

7

#6 Seed
Dallas

8

8

 
Washington

5

11

 
NFC NORTH
Green Bay

12

4

#1 Seed
Chicago

11

5

#5 Seed
Detroit

7

9

 
Minnesota

4

12

 
NFC SOUTH
Atlanta

11

5

#4 Seed
Carolina

9

7

 
New Orleans

8

8

 
Tampa Bay

5

11

 
NFC WEST
San Francisco

11

5

#3 Seed
Seattle

7

9

 
Arizona

6

10

 
St. Louis

4

12

 
 
NFL POST-SEASON
 
AFC Wildcard Round

Buffalo over Denver

New England over Pittsburgh

 
NFC Wildcard Round

New York Giants over San Francisco

Atlanta over Chicago

 
AFC Divisional Round

Baltimore over Buffalo

New England over Houston

 
NFC Divisional Round

Green Bay over New York Giants

Philadelphia over Atlanta

 
AFC Championship

Baltimore over New England

 
NFC Championship

Philadelphia over Green Bay

 
Super Bowl

Baltimore over Philadelphia

 
POST-SEASON AWARDS
 
Most Valuable Player – Michael Vick, Philadelphia
Offensive Player of the Year – Michael Vick, Philadelphia
Defensive Player of the Year – Ray Lewis, Baltimore
Offensive Rookie of the Year – Brandon Weeden, Cleveland
Defensive Rookie of the Year – Courtney Upshaw, Baltimore
Comeback Player of the Year – Joe Flacco, Baltimore
Coach of the Year – Andy Reid, Philadelphia
Jul 132012
 

Tonight we welcome our newest contributor, longtime Cowboys fan and close friend Brodrick Kincaid. Fans of our FFL will see him listed as SG-1 on the league site. (GR)

NFL REGULAR SEASON
AFC EAST
New England

15

1

#1 Seed
New York Jets

8

8

Buffalo Bills

7

9

Miami Dolphins

6

10

AFC NORTH
Baltimore

11

5

#2 Seed
Pittsburgh

11

5

#5 Seed
Cincinnati

9

7

Cleveland

2

14

AFC SOUTH
Houston

10

6

#3 Seed
Tennessee

9

7

Jacksonville

5

11

Indianapolis

2

14

AFC WEST
Denver

9

7

#4 Seed
Oakland

9

7

#6 Seed
San Diego

8

8

Kansas City

7

9

NFC EAST
New York Giants

9

7

#4 Seed
Philadelphia

9

7

#6 Seed
Dallas

8

8

Washington

6

10

NFC NORTH
Green Bay

12

4

#1 Seed
Chicago

10

6

#5 Seed
Detroit

9

7

Minnesota

3

13

NFC SOUTH
New Orleans

10

6

#3 Seed
Atlanta

9

7

Carolina

6

10

Tampa Bay

5

11

NFC WEST
San Francisco

12

4

#2 Seed
Seattle

8

8

Arizona

6

10

St. Louis

6

10

NFL POST-SEASON
AFC Wildcard Round

Houston over Oakland

Denver over Pittsburgh

NFC Wildcard Round

Philadelphia over New Orleans

New York Giants over Chicago

AFC Divisional Round

New England over Houston

Denver over Baltimore

NFC Divisional Round

San Francisco over New York Giants

Philadelphia over Green Bay

AFC Championship

Denver over New England

NFC Championship

San Francisco over Philadelphia

Super Bowl

San Francisco over Denver

Jul 092012
 

The Gridiron Rats Fantasy Football Keeper league is now online! This is a $50 head to head pay league conducted through LeagueSafe, and all registration money collected is allocated for prizes.

We are seeking serious players, willing to make at least a three year commitment to playing. The league is run through Yahoo and our league number is 138930. The league page is at http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/f1/138930. All money must be paid by Sunday, August 19 and the live online draft will be conducted on Monday, August 20 at 8:30 pm Central time. All rules for the league can be found at http://gridironrats.com/fantasy-football-league/.

First preference in the league is given to site contributors and to those we have played in other leagues with, but we are anticipating several at large spots that are available to interested readers. If you are interested, please send a note to girghostrat@gmail.com. Once a spot can be confirmed, you will be mailed a password to the league.

UPDATE (7/11/12) – ONLY 6 SPOTS LEFT!

UPDATE (7/13/12) – ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT… BETTER HURRY!

Jul 092012
 

I am finally back after a wonderful long weekend with my new bride (rat’s Widow). We took a long weekend in St. Louis simply because we don’t have the time for a real honeymoon at the moment, thus the “mini-moon” designation. Once Christmas has come and gone it will be time for a real honeymoon in a warm destination where they wait on us hand and foot.

As to our trip to St. Louis, we got to eat at one of our favorite restaurants (Eleven Eleven Mississippi) and also ate at the famous Ruth’s Chris Steak House, in addition to being baked at Sunday’s Cardinals game against the Marlins. The Cards won, but we were gone by the 7th inning stretch, and I am in recovery with lots of aloe vera gel. And yes, I am a Redsox fan first and a Braves’ fan second, but I have always enjoyed catching games in St. Louis, and find the Cards to be my next adopted team.

A big welcome to Reyno Island as a new contributor to the site. he may be a Yets’ fan, but he is at least pragmatic, and he takes as good as he gives, so there should be some fine banter as we get into the season. We still have a couple of more sets of predictions on the way, including those from Rat’s Window, who has painstakingly developed a sophisticated system for predicting the winner of each game throughout the NFL season. Consider it part Bloggess and part John Madden, but it will definitely be entertaining. For our male readers who have wives/girlfriends that either think football is silly (gasp) or who read The Bloggess, they should enjoy the column.

Some quick hits for today –

1. The fantasy football league is about to be activated, and an announcement will be posted as soon as it is live. Check the FFL rules if you are interested. We are still looking for players in the Gridiron Rats League.

2. According to Amani Toomer, Tony Romo is better than Eli Manning. I’m sorry, but until Romo wins something more than a single playoff game, there is little room for discussion or debate.

3. Add Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson to the list of people that just can’t stay out of trouble this off-season. Maybe he’s trying to get traded to the Lions.

4. The Patriots have a week to get a deal done with Welker, but the two sides seem pretty far apart. Consider me in the camp of considering Welker’s contract demands unreasonable. The Pats made a good offer that was rejected by Welker, and are not known for overpaying players who are on the wrong side of 30. As good as Welker is and as much as I like him, I expect the Pats to stick to their guns on this one, perhaps offering another $3 million guaranteed but no more. It’s still possible that Welker could be traded if a deal does not get done.

5. I will be in San Diego all of next week for a professional commitment, so posting will be in fits and starts. I’m still waiting for a couple of articles to come in for your viewing pleasure, and will post them as soon as they arrive.

Finally, please “Like” us on Facebook and share our articles on your own Facebook pages. You can also follow us on Twitter.

 

 

Jul 092012
 

Here are predictions from our resident Cleveland Browns fan, Fat Jesus.

NFL REGULAR SEASON
AFC EAST
New England 12 4 #1 Seed
Buffalo 8 8
New York Jets 8 8
Miami Dolphins 5 11
AFC NORTH
Baltimore 10 6 #4 Seed
Pittsburgh 9 7 #6 Seed
Cincinnati 8 8
Cleveland 5 11
AFC SOUTH
Houston 10 6 #3 Seed
Tennessee 7 9
Jacksonville 5 11
Indianapolis 3 13
AFC WEST
Denver 11 5 #2 Seed
San Diego 10 6 #5 Seed
Kansas City 8 8
Oakland 7 9
NFC EAST
New York Giants 10 6 #4 Seed
Dallas 9 7
Philadelphia 8 8
Washington 5 11
NFC NORTH
Chicago 11 5 #2 Seed
Green Bay 11 5 #5 Seed
Detroit 9 7
Minnesota 5 11
NFC SOUTH
New Orleans 11 5 #3 Seed
Atlanta 10 6 #6 Seed
Carolina 7 9
Tampa Bay 4 12
NFC WEST
San Francisco 12 4 #1 Seed
Arizona 7 9
Seattle 7 9
St. Louis 4 12
NFL POST-SEASON
AFC Wildcard Round

Houston over Pittsburgh

San Diego over Baltimore

NFC Wildcard Round

 Green Bay over New York Giants

New Orleans over Atlanta

AFC Divisional Round

 New England over San Diego

 Denver over Houston

NFC Divisional Round

 San Francisco over Green Bay

 Chicago over New Orleans

AFC Championship

Denver over New England

NFC Championship

Chicago over San Francisco

Super Bowl

Denver over Chicago

POST-SEASON AWARDS
Most Valuable Player – Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
Offensive Player of the Year – Drew Brees, New Orleans
Defensive Player of the Year – Patrick Peterson, Arizona
Offensive Rookie of the Year – Trent Richardson, Cleveland
Defensive Rookie of the Year – Morris Claiborne, Dallas
Comeback Player of the Year – Peyton Manning, Denver
Coach of the Year – Romeo Crennel, Kansas City
Jul 092012
 

Thanks to Brian, a friend from my college days, for passing this NFL release. Training camps are just around the corner.

Following is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates:

 

AFC TEAMS (Site, Location, Rookies, Veterans)

Baltimore – Under Armour Performance Center Owings Mills, MD 7/22 7/25
Buffalo – St. John Fisher College Pittsford, NY 7/9 7/25
Cincinnati – Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, OH 7/26 7/26
Cleveland – Cleveland Browns Training Facility Berea, OH 7/24 7/26
Denver – Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre Englewood, CO 7/25 7/25
Houston – Methodist Training Center Houston, TX 7/22 7/27
Indianapolis – Anderson University Anderson, IN 7/25 7/28
Jacksonville – Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields Jacksonville, FL 7/26 7/26
Kansas City – Missouri Western State University St. Joseph, MO 7/26 7/26
Miami Miami – Dolphins Training Facility Davie, FL 7/26 7/26
New England – Gillette Stadium Foxboro, MA 7/19 7/25
NY Jets – SUNY Cortland Cortland, NY 7/23 7/26
Oakland – Napa Valley Marriott Napa, CA 7/29 7/29
Pittsburgh – Saint Vincent College Latrobe, PA 7/25 7/25
San Diego – Chargers Park San Diego, CA 7/22 7/25
Tennessee – Baptist Sports Park Nashville, TN 7/24 7/27

NFC TEAMS (Site, Location, Rookies, Veterans)

Arizona – Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ 7/23 7/23
Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons Training Facility Flowery Branch, GA 7/25 7/25
Carolina – Wofford College Spartanburg, SC 7/16 7/27
Chicago – Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL 7/25 7/25
Dallas – City of Oxnard Fields Oxnard, CA 7/25 7/29
Detroit – Detroit Lions Training Facility Allen Park, MI 7/23 7/26
Green Bay – St. Norbert College Green Bay, WI 7/25 7/25
Minnesota – Minnesota State University, Mankato Mankato, MN 7/26 7/26
New Orleans – New Orleans Saints Training Facility Metairie, LA 7/24 7/24
NY Giants – University at Albany Albany, NY 7/26 7/26
Philadelphia – Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA 7/22 7/25
St. Louis – ContinuityX Training Center Earth City, MO 7/24 7/28
San Francisco – Marie P. DeBartolo Sports Center Santa Clara, CA 7/21 7/26
Seattle – Virginia Mason Athletic Center Renton, WA 7/27 7/27
Tampa Bay – One Buccaneer Place Tampa, FL 7/18 7/26
Washington – Redskins Park Ashburn, VA 7/16 7/25

Note: The first official practice of training camp for each club at the site designated above is generally held the day after the veteran reporting date.

Jul 092012
 

First of all, as resident “newbie” (and this being my first real post), we need to set a few things straight. First, I’m very happy to be here to set the record straight against all this Pats fan propaganda that the Ghost Rat has been stinking up the AFC East section with… your team is good, we are all very happy for you (especially the New York Giants haha) but the competition in the AFC East is stronger than you may think. Second, yes – I probably am just as outrageous and delusional as every other Jets fan you have ever met. Get used to it.

I’m here to tell you that Gang Green is coming back this year with a vengeance and because I like you so much… I’ll tell you the reasons why:

Reasons the Jets will be AWESOME this season:

1. We have better players.
Across the board, the Jets have much better players than they had last year. This is most evident in two areas:
Safety – Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry (assuming he can get/stay healthy) are a more powerful, more experienced, more dynamic duo then Leonard/Smith ever were. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Jim Leonard – but Eric Smith tackles even worse than he covers the deep ball and though neither Bell nor Landry are long term solutions – they will be much better than the alternative.
Wide Receiver – outside of our veteran diva who seems only interested in continuing to see if he can get “tone time” to catch on, the Jets WR core is bigger, faster, stronger, and YOUNGER. We saw last year that rookie Jeremy Kerley could be a deadly (sure-handed) weapon in the slot; now add his speed to that of our newest rookie Stephen Hill who is tall like Plax, blocks like Braylon, but has the speed that this positions has lacked. Hill ran the 40 in 4.3 seconds at the combine this year – this guy is FAST! Number 4 and 5 guys like the veteran Chaz Schilens and the 6’5”- 220lb – Patrick Turner also provide some depth that the Jets haven’t enjoyed in a long time.

2. The Wildcat
… I know, you were waiting for me to talk about Tebow. Well here you go. The Wildcat will be the best it has been in Jets history. Not only is our Wildcat guy a better QB than Brad Smith and Jeremy Kerley ever were, but he is probably faster and more experienced in it as well. Along with Tebow (who poses both ground and air problems for defenses), the Jets front line is healthy and hungry. My boy Matt Slauson (out of Nebraska) who had shoulder injuries throughout the whole last year is at full health and ready to get back to leveling DTs all over the league. Finally, the outside of our box got a lot stronger this year. We said goodbye to the worthless Matt Mulligan (TE) and have accepted that Dustin Keller will never learn how to block to make room for some young guys like Josh Baker (TE), Terrance Ganaway (Rookie RB), and the infamous Terminator to get involved.

3. The Coaching Staff
Take the incredible defensive mind of Rex Ryan, pair that with the guru of great special teams play Mike Westhoff and add the disciplined, run-heavy, father of the wildcat – Tony Sparano and you are likely to find success. Jets fans will no longer be able to play the Brian Schottenheimer drinking game (taking a shot every time a fullback lines up as a wide out, a run call is played on third and (very) long, or the slowest receiver is targeted on a screen pass) this season because Gang Green has new leadership. Rex is thinner, quieter, and watching his words and the consistent message from players, coaches, scouts, and the front office has been that the locker room dynamic is at the top of the priority list this season. When a guy like Bart Scott comes out and says that the Jets will be better because they don’t have their old sense of entitlement anymore… that says something.

4. GROUND AND POUND
I don’t care how many ESPN analysts say that the NFL is a passing league first – the Jets are at our best when we are beating the pulp out of defenses over and over again. Shonn Greene has his back against the wall and if he doesn’t need his typical 7 game warm up period, Jets fans are going to like his production. Greene, Tebow, McKnight, (the occasional Conner and Ganaway) and a healthy/hungry O-Line will rival any D-Line and will do a lot to set up Mark Sanchez in the one place he actually does excel – the play action.

5. We’re still the JETS!
I don’t care if you like us or not, but you have to admit… The Jets are just awesome. We are loud, in your face, old-school football at its best. We have a great defense, we have a great balance of young guys and veterans you love to watch, and we never stop finding ways to beat you. You have to be on your game when facing our run game, our special teams, our secondary, our pass rush (oh you better believe it’s coming back)… We may not always take ourselves seriously, but you better while you prepare to face us.

Confused?

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Mr. Reyno, how are you going to tell us that the Jets will be awesome when you predicted they would go just 9-7? Well my loyal (first time) readers, that is because awesome does not equate good. The Jets have missed out on a few things that will likely keep them from success this season. For every step we took forward, we took a few steps back.

Reasons Awesome ≠ Playoffs

1. Depth…
This is our biggest issue. The talent gap between our top players and their backups is larger than Gronkowski’s ego. Think about it. What hope do we have if Shonn Greene gets hurt and we have to rely on Joe McKnight exclusively as our starter? What if Brick gets hurt and we have to use Vladmir Ducasse? If John Conner gets hurt do we even have another FB??? These are the things that keep me up at night.

2. Wayne Hunter
I don’t need to explain this do I? Basically, if you haven’t followed football much over that last year, Wayne Hunter is the Jets Right Tackle. He is bad at football. The End.

3. Mike Tannenbaum
How can a GM ruin a season? Just you wait… this man has a gift for making absurd decisions. I’m hoping that our first round draft pick in 2013 is a new GM but it looks less and less like my wish will ever come true.

4. Other teams will be better than us
It is going to be very difficult to be the team to beat in the AFC East when 2/3 of the Dolphins possible starting QBs are probably better than both of ours and the Bills and Patriots seem to understand complex equations that have plagued our front office for years like: How to sign free agents that will be helpful to your team or How to draft based on your teams current needs

5. We’re still the JETS
Don’t think we will stay muzzled forever. You have Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes, Bart Scott, and Tim Tebow on one team. So what do you get when you take the equation: Boisterous + Diva + Cocky + Polarizing … you get problems.

So is it better to be awesome or good? I don’t really know. Someday I’d like to be both. Either way you spin it though, one thing is for sure. It’s still better than being a Browns fan. :-)

Thank you for visiting Reyno Island!