Midweek Gameplan 11-23-11


The Buccaneers’ Most Recent

There was one major positive from the Bucs‘ game with the Packerslast Sunday. Despite the tough loss, they did not have the bonehead penalties which have plagued them throughout the year. This is not to say they were penalty free, but they didn’t have the false starts, illegal shifts, and personal fouls which cause my stomach to turn.

Winslow needs to learn that he cannot jump like Blount, and that the refs are just looking for him to push off the defender
Winslow needs to learn that he cannot jump like Blount, and that the refs are just looking for him to push off the defender /

The only one I was really disappointed in was Kellen Winslow’s pass interference call. At some point he is going to have to realize that he cannot push off to get separation, as the refs know he is going to do it and flag him pretty much every time.  He has already had multiple touchdowns reversed because of this, and I just think he would learn by now.

Finally, the game was just filled with bad breaks, like the Green Bay punter fumbling his way to a first down.  Some years these go for you (2010) and others they go against you (2011).

Injury Updates and Commentary

Tenard Jackson missed he Packers game with a hamstring injury this week.  He will likely be week to week with the injury, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this keeps him out for a couple more weeks.  Hamstring injuries are not all created equal and they can tend to linger, especially for players who really rely on speed and change of direction.  Just ask the Texans who have had both Andre Johnson and Arian Foster out with them for games this year.

Josh Freeman’s thumb has been a little bit of a mystery and I have held off on writing about it for the past couple of weeks hoping I would get more information about it. It appears that it was some sort of sprain and that he wrapped it up the past couple of weeks, but did not have it wrapped last Sunday. He looked like he had better control on the ball and more zip on his passes, though, without the wrap. This is often the case with athletes, especially throwing ones, where a wrap on their hand will rally interfere with their control and touch pn passes. Whether this is mental, physical, or both, depends on the athlete.

I assume that the injury itself has also gotten better, and that Freeman will start to regain some of the magic that made us all anoint him the franchise quarterback of the next 15 years for the Bucs.

NFL Matters

I am a big fan of the NFL having games on Thanksgiving day as it adds to the experience of just sitting around acting like a stuffed glutton. What I don’t like is the fact that the games do not rotate to other venues for the day games and Dallas and Detroit always host the games. To me, these games (and the London game) should feature different teams every year.

Not only does this always give the Cowboys and Lions an advantage schedule wise with a home game on a short week every year, it also may mean that the NFL may get a horrible game because they are locked into those two teams. Before this year, the Lions were terrible and didn’t compete well despite the advantage. Now that they are good again it doesn’t matter as much, but either them or Dallas may slip again for a few years. I just don’t think the league wants to show bad teams in one of their most popular slots.

In addition, rotating the games will give other cities the opportunity to have that marquee slot and game to showcase their teams. Thus, the short week home team advantage is spread around. Finally, please get rid of the stupid Thanksgiving day game trophies, as they have become overplayed and hokey.

Fantasy Focus

On a personal fantasy note, Connor Barth filled in well for me this week as a fantasy kicker. I have often said that kickers don’t matter much in fantasy, but they do provide points and can make a difference in a tight fantasy game. Barth is not an elite kicker in fantasy, but he is serviceable for bye weeks and injuries as the Bucs move the ball well, but struggle mightily in the red zone, usually giving Barth a field goal or two every game.
It was also nice to see Mike Williams return to the end zone for only the second time this year as many fantasy owners had given up on him despite him getting so many targets. Maybe this will drop his value for next year so that I can steal him later in the draft.

At The End of the Day

If LSU runs the table and gets into the BCS championship as expected, the other team who will play them will be surrounded by controversy, and the BCS will once again have a mess on their hands but won’t care. The one team who may get there is Alabama, and I think this is a horrible idea. I will concede that they are probably the next best team, and may provide the closest game, but this sets a bad precedent.

LSU beat Alabama at Alabama in the later half of the season. If the media are going to made a big deal about road wins, and wins later in the season, then there is no reason for them to play again. The media constantly argues that these are two important points every other year and with other teams this year, so my point is that they need to be consistent. Of course, if the BCS could switch to a playoff and then most of this goes away.

Until next week, enjoy pie.