It had been a long time since Tom Brady got his ass kicked. It had  been even longer since the New England Patriots loss to an NFC team.  But both happened last night, as the New Orleans Saints laid claim to the title of best team in football by trouncing New England 38-17 in a game that failed to live up to the hype surrounding it — largely because the Patriots’ defense failed to show up.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw five touchdowns to five different receivers during a monster performance that made the once-vaunted New England defense look confused and slow, not good news for Patriots fans (There comes a point in the season for most true fans of NFL teams when you realize that your team is probably not going to win the Super Bowl.  That day was last night for us.  We can’t remember this realization coming earlier in any season since the beginning of the Tom Brady era.

The loss to the Saints was the Patriots first regular season loss to an NFC team since week 2 of the 2005 season, a loss to the Carolina Panthers, a streak of 17 straight games in which they beat every team in the NFC, save the Panthers who they play later this season (they beat the Buccaneers and the Falcons twice during that stretch, and lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.) Tom Brady had not lost to anybody by more than a touchdown since Week 14 of the 2006 season, a 21-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins.  Yet all of things streaks came to a crashing halt last night in New Orleans, leading us to ask the tough question … Is this the end of the Patriots’ run?  (more…)

Advertisements

nfl_manning_brady_580

In all honesty, there are very few must-see events on the sporting calendar on Saturday. There is some college football action, but nothing to write home about.  So if you want to do anything with your sports fan we strongly suggest that you do so tomorrow.  The NFL returns on Sunday, and we all know that means.  Add in the fact that the Colts ad Patriots will be going at it on Sunday night, and we would urge you to make alternate plans for Sunday night. Here’s our guide to what’s on tap.

1. The Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots have played each other every year for the last seven years, and the two winningest teams on the decade will renew hostilities on Sunday night.  This rivalry features the two best quarterbacks in the league, bar none, in Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning and New England’s Thomas Edward Brady Jr. The Colts enter this game unbeaten at 8-0, while the Patriot are 6-2, but have won their last three games.  This one should be very entertaining.  Don’t expect your average sports fan to be doing anything else on Sunday night.  It’s a good thing the Mad Men finale was last week.

2. If the Colts-Pats game is the main event on Sunday night, the NFL does have a few rather interesting games on the undercard in the afternoon.  The Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Pittsburgh to face the defending champion Steelers at 1 p.m. in a game that will determine the leader in the AFC North.  The Philadelphia Eagles, fresh off a terrible loss to the Dallas Cowboys, will travel to the west coast to face the suddenly resurgent San Diego Chargers.  And the Dallas Cowboys will square off against the reeling Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin.

3. When the best game on the college football schedule is a match-up between Texas Christian and Utah, you know that this is not a banner week on the collegiate gridiron.  But still, there are a few games this weekend that could get in the way of your best laid plans.  Tonight, Cincinnati will put its unbeaten record on the line when the Bearcats face West Virginia at 8 p.m.  This is the beginning of a brutal final stretch for Cincy as they play both the Mountaineers and number 12 Pitt in their final three games, with a home date against pesky Illinois sandwiched between those two league contests.  Speaking of Pitt, they wil go up against Notre Dame on Saturday night in a game that may very well determine the future of Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis. (more…)

tim-tebow-injured-d08deba35644e0a4_large

Unlike the past few weeks, this weekend is filled with all sorts of must-see events that will keep the average sports fan glued to the television from Friday at 6 p.m. until Sunday at 7:30.  In all honesty, there is no viable away to work around the sports schedule this weekend, but we suggest that if you need to make plans, that you schedule them for Saturday afternoon from noon to 3 p.m., or Sunday night after the NFL action concludes.  Otherwise, we strongly suggest you make alternate plans that do not require your sports fan’s presence.  Anyway, we’re here to let you know what exactly the sports fan in your life will be doing while you’re out and about.

1. College football’s first big game of the year is set for Saturday night when Tim Tebow’s Florida Gators travel to Baton Rouge to face the L.S.U. Tigers at 8 p.m.  Both teams are undefeated, but an argument could be made that L.S.U. could have lost two weeks ago to Mississippi State, and should have lost last week to Georgia (an excessive celebration penalty against the Bulldogs in the final minutes gave the L.S.U. great field position and allowed the Tigers to come back.)  Tebow may or may not play due to a concussion he suffered two weeks ago against Kentucky (pictured above).  We here are betting that he does play, and we’re putting L.S.U. on ass-kicking alert.  The Tigers have a puncher’s chance because they will be playing at home, but Florida is a much better team, and the jury’s still out as to whether or not L.S.U. is even good.  In other games this week, Alabama takes on Ole Miss in a game that will have national championship implications.

2. The Major League Baseball playoffs continue this weekend.  The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins play Game 2 of their series tonight at 6, while the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels will face each other at 9:30 in the American League playoffs.  Saturday is all about the National League as the Los Angeles Dodgers will look to close out their best-of-five series against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of their divisional series at 6 p.m, while the Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies will square off later that evening.  Their best-of-five series is currently tied at 1.  If St. Louis wins tomorrow night, all eight teams will be in action on Sunday, with a quadruple-header scheduled on TBS.

3. Finally, this is not a stellar week for NFL Football, but the weekend will be highlighted by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots going up against the undefeated Denver Broncos at 4:15 on Sunday afternoon.  But despite the dearth of top-notch games, the NFL owns Sunday afternoons.  And with the addition of a potential MLB doubleheader, we suggest that non-sports fans write this weekend off.

That’s it for this week.  See ya Monday.

Feel free to follow us on Twitter by clicking here. Or you can become a fan of ours on Facebook here.  Also, you can e-mail us at info@acasualfan.com.

24__1254691632_8142

Brett Favre Bowl I is set to take place tonight when the Vikings play Green Bay in Minneapolis.  Favre is the former Green Bay quarterback who has made it his personal mission to get back at the Packers since he was traded by them at the beginning of last season.  Favre now plays for the undefeated Vikings. We personally believe that this game is not all that important and that the November 1 match-up in Green Bay is the true must-see event.  But tonight’s game is on ESPN, so the hype has been and will be deafening for the next several hours (our advice: just watch the game and avoid all the pre-game shows.)

Anyway, for the most part, yet another week of NFL action is in the books, and we are here to fill you in on what you may have missed (because there was no way you were spending a beautiful autumn afternoon inside watching television.)

1. Rumors of the demise of the New England Patriots have been greatly exaggerated.  After losing to the New York Jets in Week 2, many prognosticators forecast that the Pats were staring down the barrel of a 1-3 start since games against the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens loomed.  But New England is now 3-1 after handing the Ravens their first loss of the season 27-21.  Thomas Edward Brady Jr. (that’s right, we’re going back to calling him by his full name), was not at his best yet again, but he did throw for 244 yards and a touchdown to lead the Patriots to victory. The Ravens had a chance to win the game in the waning moments, but  Mark Clayton dropped a pass that would have given Baltimore a first down inside the Patriots 10-yard line.  But after the game, the Ravens reserved their animus for  the referees, who they felt made a couple of questionable roughing-the-passer calls that helped the Patriots along the way (the Patriots were also victimized by a roughing the passer call that kept a Baltimore drive alive when Mike Wright accidentally smacked Joe Flacco upside the head [pictured].  Note that Flacco still has the ball).

(more…)

bilde-1Carolina plays Dallas tonight, but other than that, Week 3 in the NFL is in the books.  Both New York teams remained undefeated, but the only news that matters is the Detroit Lions finally won a game.  Here is our brief recap of what you may have missed in yesterday’s action.

  1. In retrospect, this was foreseeable.  Detroit had been somewhat competitive in their first two games on offense, and the Washington Redskins had looked less-than-impressive in their win last week against the St. Louis Rams.  But still, very few thought that the Redskins would be the team just awful enough to let the Lions win for the first time in a full year.  But as it turns out, the Redskins were exactly that bad.  Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (pictured) threw for 241 yards and a score, while running back Kevin Smith rushed for 101 yards and another touchdown to lead the Lions to a 19-14 win over Redskins — the team’s first win since 2007. “We not only got the monkey off our back, we got King Kong off our back,” Lions owner William Clay Ford said after the game. “I’m hoping that this gets us over that hump and gives us a winning attitude.”  Slow down, buddy.  A good win, no doubt.  But let’s not start printing playoff tickets just yet.  By the way, due to lagging tickets sales, the game was blacked out in Detroit, so no one in the area saw the monumental win. But Washington bailing out Detroit does have a familiar ring to it.
  2. So now that the Lions have won, the question now is who is the worst team in football.  Our vote goes to the Cleveland Browns, who were routed for the third consecutive week by the Baltimore Ravens, 34-3.  Cleveland turned the ball over four times, and put up a paltry 186 yards of total offense in the loss and have scored only one touchdown this year.  Not far ahead of the Browns, are the Kansas City Chiefs, who were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles.  Michael Vick played in the game, but made very little impact (he had a seven yard run in the second quarter, and that was it.)  Both the Chiefs and Browns deserve to have their NFL charters revoked.
  3. And lastly, we don’t like Brett Favre.  We think he’s overrated and gets way too much attention for being as turnover prone as he is (think Tony Romo, only older and even more overrated).  But yesterday, we grudgingly admit that he was fairly amazing in leading the Minnesota Vikings to a 27-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.  Favre found Greg Lewis in the back of the end zone with a 32-yard strike to give the Vikings the improbable win.  A great play by Favre for sure, but we’re already tired of hearing about how incredible he is once again.  Why couldn’t this guy have just retired two years ago?

Other noteable games and performances:  The New England Patriots looked pretty solid on defense in beating the Atlanta Falcons 26-10, but Tom Brady still didn’t look like himself.  The Cincinnati Bengals shocked the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers 23-20 on a last minute touchdown pass by Carson Palmer.  And the New York Giants and New York Jets continued their hot starts by beating the Tampa Bay Bucs and Tennessee Titans, respectively.

JETS V PATRIOTS SSave for the Indianapolis Colts’ expected shellacking of the Miami Dolphins in tonight’s Monday Night game, Week 2 of the NFL season is in the books, and it was a good day for the New York teams.  Here’s our brief recap of all the action you may have missed yesterday.

  1. After a week full of smack talk, the New York Jets sort of backed it up by beating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 16-9 yesterday in New Jersey.  Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (pictured above) threw a touchdown pass early in the second half to give the Jets a 10-9 lead, and wasn’t heard from again until he knelt down to run out the clock at the end of game as he, his teammates, and the Jets fans celebrated as if they had won the Super Bowl (Jets fans can be forgiven, being as their team has not even sniffed the Super Bowl since 1969.  Any win is a big win for those jokers).  More puzzling was the mysterious disappearance of Tom Brady and the Patriots offense, which failed to score a touchdown in a game for the first time in three years.  Jets coach Rex Ryan, who had spent a good portion of the week tweaking the Patriots and is seemingly not a fan of humility, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who really, really hates being tweaked, exchanged a very frosty handshake after the game.  That Belichick … quite the poor sport.
  2. Speaking of humility, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones officially opened his $1.2 billion shrine to the Dallas Cowboys last night, and his Cowboys promptly paid him back by losing to the New York Giants 33-31 on Lawrence Tynes 37-yard field goal with no time left on the clock.  During the pre-game ceremony, Jones showed a video comparing his new palace to less-expensive feats of architecture like the Parthenon and the Great Wall of China and former president George W. Bush was on hand for the opening coin toss, but they seemed unimpressed, as quarterback Eli Manning marched his troops 56 yards in 11 plays to set up the game-winning field goal.  Not surprisingly, the goat of the game was Tony Romo –the single most overrated player in the entire NFL, if not all of professional sports — who threw three interceptions in the loss.  Insert your own Jessica Simpson joke here (We just don’t have the time).
  3. The Washington Redskins avoided a 0-2 start by barely defeating the hapless St. Louis Rams, 9-7.  The Redskins were unable to muster a single touchdown against one of the worst teams in all of football, greatly disappointing fantasy owners of quarterback Jason Campbell, running back Clinton Portis, and wide receiver Santana Moss, while thrilling those who nabbed Shaun Shuisam as their fantasy kicker.  More fantasy highlights tomorrow.

Other noteworthy performances:  The Atlanta Falcons went to 2-0 after defeating the Carolina Panthers behind three touchdown passes from quarterback Matt Ryan.  The New Orleans Saints joined the Falcons at 2-0 by thrashing the depleted Philadelphia Eagles 48-20 (the Eagles were playing without Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb, who was out with a fractured rib.) And finally, the Houston Texans used a huge day by wide receiver Andre Johnson (149 yards receiving and two touchdowns) to upset the Tennessee Titans 34-31 in Nashville.

images-3images-4In all honesty, there are very few must-see events on the sporting calendar for this weekend.  There is only one match-up of ranked college football teams this Saturday (Nebraska visiting Virginia Tech), and most of baseball’s pennant races have been stripped of any real drama as all the division leaders (save the Detroit Tigers) hold substantial leads heading into this weekend’s action.  However, true sports fan will find any excuse to plop themselves in front of the television on a fall afternoon, so we’re here to let you know what exactly the sports fan in your life will be complaining about missing when you insist on having a picnic in the park.

  1. The New England Patriots will be traveling down I-95 to face the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon at 1.  The game will feature GQ model and recently-minted New York Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez (the one not holding a goat) and one Thomas Edward Brady Jr. (this is the last time we will be referring to him by his full name), who also has been featured in the pages of a certain men’s lifestyle rag (pictures above. Btw, GQ has a thing for NFL quarterbacks.  Check out Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell looking all pimped out in a full length fur coat in front of a jet and Cleveland’s Brady Quinn trying to channel James Dean, but looking more like The Fonz, minus the leather jacket.)  Anyway, since both Brady and Sanchez will be wearing helmets, shoulder pads, and a lot more clothing on Sunday, some of you may not want to spend your Sunday afternoon watching their teams go at it.  But your sports fan will.
  2. Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators will be taking on the Tennessee Volunteers Saturday afternoon on CBS.  Normally, a match-up between the defending national champions (Florida) and a team that finished with a losing record last year (Tennessee) would not be much of a draw to the average sports fan.  But Tennessee’s new coach, Lane Kiffin, has spent the last several months talking smack about Florida, and Gators coach Urban Meyer has a long memory and keen ear for insults.  Tennessee is on ass-kicking alert.
  3. Lastly, the Dallas Cowboys will open their monstrous new stadium Sunday night against the New York Giants on NBC. Everybody knows at least one Cowboys fan, so expect said person to be indisposed starting at 8 p.m.

Okay, that’s it for this week.  Follow us on twitter at acasualfan for updates throughout the weekend, where we’ll tell you what to say in case you get caught talking to a college football fan on Saturday night.  See ya Monday.