Thursday, September 21, 2017

2017 NFL Power Rankings (Week 2!)

ESPN and Sports Illustrated can eat shit - these are the only pro football rankings anybody needs.

By: Jimbo X

This Week's Episode:
"Your defense is offensive"


Oakland Raiders (2-0)
Season Point Differential: +35

Ten years ago, the hopeless, hapless and helpless Raiders drafted Jamarcus Russell, setting into motion a cap space nightmare made flesh that insured they would be hardly anything more than perennial AFC West bottom-feeders for the better part of a decade. Well, a mere three years after picking up Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and Gabe Jackson in the 2014 draft, the Raiders have transformed into quite possibly the most explosive offensive threat in pro football - as evident by the team's 45-20 mangling of the New York Jets last Sunday. Powered by veteran ball carrier Marshawn Lynch, the Raiders are just as explosive running the ball as they are throwing it, as indicative of Jalen Richard and Cordarrelle Patterson (who is actually a slot receiver by position) each breaking off 40-yard plus TD runs against N.Y. If this defense (in particular, the secondary) improves, this team could become a MAJOR postseason player - if not an outright dynasty in waiting.

Baltimore Ravens (2-0)
Season Point Differential: +34

There's nothing flashy about the no-name offense of the Ravens, but they're certainly getting the job done. In Baltimore's 24-10 win over Cleveland, Joe Flacco went 25 for 34 for 217 yards and 2 TDs (plus an INT), with Javorius Allen (5 receptions, 35 yards) and Jeremy Maclin (four receptions, 31 yards) each reeling in TD passes. Still, as solid as the team's rushing defense may be (they held Isaiah "Kill All Cops" Crowell to just 37 yards on the day), their pass defense seems fairly suspect; I mean, did these guys REALLY let DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan tag team 'em for 300 yards? Another reason for the Baltimore hype train to be awfully cautious: Pro Bowl lineman Marshal Yanda is officially out for the remainder of the season.

Denver Broncos (2-0)
Season Point Differential: +30

In yet another sign that the biblical Apocalypse is nigh, Denver QB Trevor Siemian (231 yards, 22 completions) threw four touchdown passes in his team's 42-17 rectal execution of the Cowboys last Sunday. The run games of the two teams couldn't have been any more divergent; while Dallas struggled to rack up 40 yards on 14 carries, the Broncos easily accumulated 178 yards on the ground, with top producer C.J. Anderson racking up 118 yards and one end zone visit on 25 carries.

Detroit Lions (2-0)
Season Point Differential: +26

After Monday night's game, you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody who thinks Matt Stafford isn't worth his record contract dollars. Going 15 for 21 for 122 yards and two scores, Stafford led the Lions to a facile 24-10 victory over the G-Men, with Detroit's defense holding New York to just 62 yards rushing  ... and sacking Eli Manning's ass five times for a net loss of 31 yards.

Carolina Panthers (2-0)
Season Point Differential: +26

It wasn't pretty, but Cam Newton and company nonetheless managed to pull out the 9-3 win against Buffalo over the weekend. Both teams were held to less than 200 yards passing and neither squad could reach triple digits in terms of rushing yards; alas, the Panthers got within field goal range more times than the Bills, and that was the big decider in the ball game. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the game, of course, is the injury to Pro Bowler Greg Olsen, whose broken leg is going to keep him out of action for the next two-to-three months.

Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
Season Point Differential: +22

Kareem Hunt's outstanding rookie year continues. In the Chiefs' 27-20 win over the Eagles, the first-year pro out of Toledo collected 81 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, and he currently leads the League in total rushing yards. Alas, after a 400-yard-plus performance against New England on opening night, Alex Smith's numbers looked a little more, well, Alex Smith-like; KC's QB finished the game with a more down-to-earth 251 yards and one TD pass on 21 completions.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
Season Point Differential:+22

Well, there's no hurricane rust on the Bucs. In their 29-7 beatdown of Chicago, Jameis Winston went 18 for 30 for one TD, with Mike Evans leading the receiving corps with 93 yards on seven receptions. Alas, as good as the Bucs' run defense was (they held the Bears to an absurd 20 yards on the ground), they also let the Bears get way more aerial yardage than they probably should've; thankfully, the Bears were more than happy to turn the ball over four times so their foes had ample opportunities to capitalize on Mike Glennon's fuck-ups. 

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)
Season Point Differential:+20

The Steelers had no problem surmounting the Vikings in a facile 26-9 home victory. Big Ben went 23 for 35 for two touchdowns, with top receiver Martavis Bryant hauling in three passes for 91 yards and one trip to the end zone. Le'Veon Bell had a pretty good showing, collecting 87 yards but no scores on 27 touches, and the defense looked tremendous, too, holding Case Keenum to just 167 yards passing on 20 completions and Dalvin Cook to just 64 yards on 12 carries.

He may not stand for the flag, but at least he knows how to get down to the beat.


Atlanta Falcons (2-0)
Season Point Differential: +17

Don't let the 34-23 final score fool you - the Falcons/Packers shindig last Sunday night was never that close. Indeed, in the opening of the third quarter a fumble returned for a touchdown gave Atlanta a 31-7 lead, and everything Green Bay posted afterwards was the definition of garbage time pointage. Matt Ryan had an alright showing (19 for 28 for 252 yards for one TD), but the hero of the day for Atlanta was definitely back Devonta Freeman, who finished the contest with 84 yards and two touchdown trips on 19 touches.

Miami Dolphins (1-0)
Season Point Differential: +2

The Dolphins just barely eked out a win against the Chargers in their first game of the season in L.A., with an errant kick from the recently displaced powder blue jerseys giving Miami the 19-17 victory. Jay Cutler went 24 for 30 for 230 yards and one passing TD, while Jay Ajayi looked just as good as he did last season, accumulating 122 yards on 28 carries. Still, that passing defense is just the worst; at the final horn, the Fins allowed Phillip Rivers to complete 31 of 39 passes for 331 yards and one score.

Los Angeles Rams (1-1)
Season Point Differential: +30

After destroying the Colts 46-9 in week one, the Rams followed suit by dropping a 27-20 loss to Washington. Stats-wise, there isn't much to talk about; Jared Goff was just sorta' OK with 224 yards and a 1-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio on 15 completions while Todd Gurley looked fairly solid carrying the pigskin 16 times for 88 yards and one score. The team's rush defense, however, was downright putrid, allowing the Redskins to rack up 229 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. 

Tennessee Titans (1-1)
Season Point Differential: +11

After a ten-point loss to the Raiders in week one, the Titans rebounded in a big way by besting divisional foes Jacksonville by a whopping 21 points. The pass and run game both clicked for Tennessee; Marcus Mariota finished the affair 15 for 27 for 215 yards and a 1-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio, while Derrick Henry led the backfield's combined 179-yard, three touchdown day with 92 yards and one TD on 14 touches.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
Season Point Differential: +6

Even though the Eagles lost 27-20 to the Chiefs last Sunday, there's still plenty of positives for Philly fans to take away from the game. For one, Carson Wentz posted great numbers again, going 25 for 46 for 333 yards and two touchdown passes - that, in addition to the extra 55 yards he picked up scrambling. And Philly's defense looked pretty solid, sacking KC'S Alex Smith four times for a cumulative 19-yard loss. Alas, Philly's offensive line looked equally terrible, allowing Chiefs' defenders to drop Wentz six times for a net yardage loss of 34.

Buffalo Bills (1-1)
Season Point Differential: +3

In the Bills' 9-3 loss to Carolina, only kicker Stephen Hauschka could net any points for Buffalo. Perhaps the low-scoring affair was inevitable; after all, averaging 234.5 yards per game, Buffalo currently has the League's second stingiest defense ... behind Carolina, of course, who leads the Leage with 196.5 yards allowed per game.

New England Patriots (1-1)
Season Point Differential: +1

Well, Tom Brady decided to be Tom Brady again last Sunday. Following a shocking 15-point loss to the Chiefs at home on opening night, the Pats took out their frustrations on the figuratively-but-might-as-well-be-literally-defenseless Saints, walloping Drew Brees and amigos 36-20. Brady led the League in passing yards in week two, accumulating 447 yards and three touchdowns on 30 completions, with Gronk leading New England's receivers with 116 yards and one touchdown on six catches.

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)
Season Point Differential: +1

After a dominant 22 point victory over the Texans in week one, the Jaguars quickly reverted to form and got their asses waxed 37-16 by the Titans last Sunday. Blake Bortles went 20 for 34 for 223 yards, one TD and one INT, with Allen Hurns leading the Jags' receivers with 82 yards and a score on six receptions. After topping 100 yards in his regular season NFL debut, Leonard Fournette was far less impressive in week two; he got a touchdown, but he only recorded 40 yards on 14 carries.

Yeah, like anybody expects a segment literally sponsored by Gilllette to be anything other than a Tom Brady dick-suck-a-thon.


Green Bay Packers (1-1)
Season Point Differential: -3

Down at one juncture by two dozen points, there's not a lot that can assuage the Green Bay faithful following their prime time 34-23 loss to the Falcons. Granted, Aaron Rodgers had decent stats (33 for 50 for 343 yards, two touchdowns and one INT), and Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery both looked solid with 75-yards-plus and one TD haul a piece. But what the hell happened to the run game? The Packers sputtered out on the ground, racking up just 59 yards on 19 carries, while letting their adversaries chalk up 141 on 27 carries.

Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
Season Point Differential: -5

With seven minutes and some change left in the fourth quarter, Russell Wilson connected with Paul Richardson on a nine yard pass to give the Seahawks a 12-9 victory over divisional foes San Fran. Even in victory, Wilson chalked up one of his worst performances ever under center for Seattle; he finished the game 23 for 39 for 198 yards, got sacked three times and had four of his passes deflected by 49ers defenders.

Washington Redskins (1-1)
Season Point Differential: -6

Kirk Cousins' 11-yard zip to Ryan Grant with less than two minutes in the fourth was the game winner for the Redskins, who bested the Rams 27-20 at the L.A. Colosseum. Washington's run game definitely helped out the sluggish passing attack; while Cousins could only accumulate 179 yards in the air, the combined Redskins backfield was able to rack up 229 on the ground, with backs Rob Kelley (12 carries, 78 yards, one score) and Chris Thompson (3 carries, 77 yards and two touchdowns) leading the charge.

Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
Season Point Differential: -7

The Vikings offense just couldn't get started against the Steelers. In the 26-9 road loss, Case Keenum had just 146 yards on the day after factoring in the two times he got sacked for negative 21 yards, while Pittsburgh's defenders recorded six deflections and hit the QB seven times. The lone positive out of the experience? Kicker Kai Forbath looked pretty solid, knocking three field goals to give Minnesota their only points on the board all afternoon long.

Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
Season Point Differential: -9

Just one week after throttling the Giants, the Cowboys themselves wound up getting strangulated by the Denver Broncos in a pitiful 42-17 ass thrashing. Dak Prescott went 30 for 50 for 238 yards, two touchdowns and two INTs, while Ezekiel Elliot wrapped up the game with an atrocious eight yards on nine carries. At least Jason Witten got you some fantasy points, though; he completed the game with 97 yards and a touchdown on ten receptions.

Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
Season Point Differential: -9

With 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Cards were down 13-3. About five minutes later, Carson Palmer would hit J.J. Nelson for a 45-yard TD strike, and barely four minutes after that Phil Dawson would boot the game-tying field goal. Seven minutes into O.T. Dawson would knock another one through the uprights to give Arizona the hard-fought, extra-innings victory; if you listen very, very closely, you can still hear the residents of Indianapolis cursing their television sets. 

Houston Texans (1-1)
Season Point Differential: -18

Deshaun Watson may not have had any TD throws in his 15 for 24, 125 yard passing day against the Bengals last Thursday night, but he at least managed to put points on the board with a 49-yard rushing TD. Beyond that, there really isn't much to celebrate concerning Houston's 13-9 win over Cincinnati. Well, except for maybe the DeAndre Hopkins' 73-yard, seven reception day, but at that point, we'd really be stretching it.

Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)
Season Point Differential: -5

Yeah, I know it's going to sound like a backhanded compliment, but the Chargers really are the best winless team in the NFL. Indeed, both of their losses have been by three points or less, and in each outing the team was undone by a last second special teams snafu. That's not to say there aren't some major problems with their run game, though. The Chargers - who now play in a soccer stadium that can barely hold 30,000 people - only put up 44 yards on the ground last Sunday, while allowing the Dolphins to rack up 111.

No, a half-starved Somalian teenager didn't steal Hue Jackson's wardrobe; that's actually what the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns looks like.


Cleveland Browns (0-2)
Season Point Differential: -17

After a shockingly close loss to the Steelers in week one, the Browns quickly reverted to standard operating procedure with a 24-10 loss to the Ravens last Sunday. Quarterback play from both DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan were downright atrocious, with the former going 15 for 31 for 182 yards, zero scores and THREE interceptions and the latter going 5 for 11 for 118 yards, one garbage time TD and one INT. To put that in perspective, their COMBINED QBR of 60.6 was still 14.2 points lower than that of Baltimore's Joe Flacco. 

San Francisco 49ers (0-2)
Season Point Differential: -23

49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer may have had the worst day of any QB thus far in the NFL season when his team got bested by Seattle over the weekend. In the 12-9 loss, Hoyer had a grand total of just 99 passing yards on the day, which you might as well roll back to just 89 because he got sacked twice for minus ten yards. And if that wasn't bad enough, he also lobbed an interception, had five passes deflected and got hit ten times by Seattle defenders. Well, I guess at this point, it's not like Colin K. would be any WORSE of an option at QB, would it?

Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)
Season Point Differential: -26

In the Bengals' 13-9 Thursday night loss to the Texans, Andy Dalton went 20 for 35 for 224 yards and no touchdowns. He got sacked three times, was hit five times and had five passes deflected. Meanwhile, the team's backfield combined for a lowly 82 rushing yards on 24 carries, and some players for Cincinnati are already clamoring for the Red Rifle to get benched in favor of Colin "Fuck White People" Kaepernick. Considering they're traveling to Green Bay on Sunday, one can only hope the revitalized Bungles have plenty of guffaws in store for us over the weekend.

New Orleans Saints (0-2)
Season Point Differential: -28

The more things change, the more they stay the same, especially if you're talking about New Orleans' porous defense. In their 36-20 loss to the Patriots, the Saints gave up 555 yards of total offense; just two games into the 2017 campaign, and New Orleans has already allowed their opponents to rack up 1,025 yards. Averaging 388.5 passing yards alone per game, these Saints are on pace to break the League record for most yardage given up in a single season - by almost 1,000 additional yards!

Chicago Bears (0-2)
Season Point Differential: -30

After a stellar showing in week 1's surprisingly close game against Atlanta, the Bears got shellacked 29-7 by Tampa Bay over the weekend. Mike Glennon had 301 yards on 31 completions, with a one-to-two TD-to-INT ratio (with one resulting in a pick six for Robert McClain) while Jordan Howard was held to an ABSURD seven yards rushing on nine carries. Oh, and their only points came in the form of a pointless TD with less than two minutes left in the game - when they were already down by 29 points.

New York Giants
Season Point Differential: -30

The G-Men are just two games into the season and they're already in total implosion mode. They followed up their demoralizing loss to the Cowboys in week one with an equally demoralizing 24-10 loss to the Lions on Monday night, one in which Eli Manning went 22 for 32 for 239 yards and one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio. Even worse, the Giants' rushing game was practically rudderless; at the final horn, New York's backfield could only produce 62 yards worth of ground-based offense - and yet, they're still only the second worst pro football team playing home game at MetLife Stadium!

New York Jets (0-2)
Season Point Differential: -34

The jets on 9/11 fared better than the Jets last Sunday, as they got waylaid by the Raiders 45-20. Josh McCown had 166 yards and two touchdowns (both tosses to Jermaine Kearse, who finished the game with 64 yards on four receptions) but he also got sacked four times for a net loss of 21 yards. And defensively, this team couldn't do shit; they let Derek Carr (23 for 28, 230 yards) connect with Michael Crabtree (six receptions, 80 yards) for three touchdowns, and their defenders didn't even hit the Raiders' QB once.  Factor in two costly turnovers which immediately led to Raiders' touchdowns and you have what might just be the most holistically dreadful performance of the fledgling NFL season thus far. 

Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
Season Point Differential: -40

In the 2011 season, some accused the Colts of intentionally losing games on purpose so they could "Suck for Luck" and pick up the highly touted QB as the first selection in the NFL draft.Well, today, the Colts are running an entirely different campaign, "Suck without Luck," as they dropped a 16-13 overtime heartbreaker to Arizona. Ex-Pat Jacoby Brissett wasn't much of a factor in the game; going 20 for 37 for 216 yards, he had no touchdown passes or runs and was sacked four times for a cumulative loss of 26 yards. But on the bright side? At least they managed to hold Chris Johnson to 44 yards rushing on the day. Tis a pity they couldn't stop Carson Palmer's old ass from dropping 332 yards on them in the air, though ...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2017 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings - Week Three!

USA Today and the A.P. can take a hike - these are the only college football rankings anybody ought to care about.

By: Jimbo X

Do you honestly respect the opinions of organizations like ESPN or USA Today to give it you straight about college football? Of course you don't, which is where The Internet In America's 2017 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings come into play. Every Wednesday throughout the '17 season we'll post our own selections for the best teams in college football, complete with hilariously un-P.C. (yet surprisingly thorough) recaps of their last games as well as a brief preview of their upcoming contests. Plus, we're throwing in a whole bunch of animated GIFs you can steal and post elsewhere on the 'net, because we're cool like that. Simply put, you won't get better NCAA football analysis anywhere on the Internet - and if anybody else dare claims their rankings are more authoritative, you proudly have my permission to go to their corporate offices and take a big fat stankin' shat right on their doorsteps. And with all of that out of the way, who's ready to revisit the week that was in the best kind of football there is - the one with unpaid black people without due process in rape accusations?

Clemson (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Boston College (Sept. 23)

After bumping off top 25 teams in back-to-back weeks, I reckon it's probably safe to call the reigning, defending college football champs the best team in the land once more. In the Tigers' 47-21 win, QB Kelly Bryant looked VERY Deshaun Watson-like, going 22 for 32 for 316 yards and one TD pass - plus another two touchdowns he scored with his feet. Although Clemson didn't do much to prevent Lamar Jackson from racking up 317 aerial yards, at least their D did pretty good containing Louisville's potent run game; at the final horn, Clemson held the Cardinals to 116 yards and no scores on the ground, while recording 297 yards of rushing offense (and four touchdowns) themselves.

Alabama (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Vanderbilt (Sept. 23)

It was another effortless victory for Bama over the weekend, as the Tide crushed Colorado State 41-23. Jalen Hurts had another solid outing, going 12 for 17 on pass attempts for 248 yards and two aerial TDs while also running the ball for 103 more yards and another trip to the end zone. While Alabama's rushing offense (239 yards) greatly overshadowed the Rams' ground production (just 144 yards), the total aerial offense for the teams was nearly dead even, with Colorado State QB Nick Stevens collecting only one less aerial yard than Alabama's gunslinger.

Oklahoma (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Baylor (Sept. 23)

Baker Mayfield's Heisman campaign continued Saturday, as his Sooners poleaxed Tulane 56-14. Mayfield finished the game with 331 yards and four touchdowns on 17 completions, with receivers Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb both posting 130-yard-plus days. Alas, Oklahoma's defense told two totally different tales; while their pass protection looked great (holding Tulane to just 54 yards in the air), their run defense allowed the Green Wave to rack up 237 yards on the ground.

Oklahoma State (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. TCU (Sept. 23)

Yeah, this Mason Rudolph kid is one bad motherfucker. In the Cowboys' 59-21 throttling of Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State's QB lobbed the rock for 497 yards and FIVE touchdowns (three of which landed in the arms of receiver Jalen McCleskey) on 23 completions, and once you factor in back-up Taylor Cornelius' garbage time yardage, the Cowboys outgunned the Panthers 572 to 288 passing yards. Still, the rushing production was practically identical; Oklahoma State finished the game with 104 rushing yards on 35 carries, while Pittsburgh concluded the contest with 103 rushing yards on 34 carries.

Penn State (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Iowa (Sept. 23)

Good lord, was the Nittany Lions' 56-0 molestation of Georgia State tough to watch. Probable Heisman candidate Trace McSorely went 18 for 23 for 309 yards and four touchdowns, as well as an additional 24 yards running the ball (complete with another scrambling TD, naturally.) Oddly enough, Penn State's top back Saquon Barkley was practically a non-factor in the blowout; on ten carries, he accumulated just 47 yards and no touchdowns.

But what he's really excited about the most is that maybe, this means they'll stop sodomizing him in the showers with mop handles after practice.

USC (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. California (Sept. 23)

Well, it only took two overtime periods, but the Trojans FINALLY exacted their revenge for the 2006 Rose Bowl by besting Texas 27-24 on their home turf. Sam Darnold went 28 for 49 for 397 yards and three touchdowns (connecting with Deontay Burnett, who finished the game with 123 yards on eight receptions, for two of them), but he also tossed two costly interceptions. And as far as the run game is concerned, USC did a good job holding back the Longhorns' rushing attack to only 68 yards, but by that same token, the Trojans' total ground production of just 71 yards isn't much to celebrate, neither.

Washington (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Colorado (Sept. 23)

No, there was not a whole lot of drama in the Huskies' 48-16 win over Fresno State. Jake Browning had an outstanding game, going 19 for 22 on pass attempts for 255 yards and four touchdowns, of which receiver Dante Pettis (92 yards on five receptions) reeled in three. Alas, while Washington easily outyarded the Bulldogs in the air by a 328-to-194 margin, Fresno State actually outgained Washington on the ground, finishing the game with 119 yards to the victors' 92.

Michigan (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Purdue (Sept. 23)

At times, Michigan struggled against Air Force last Saturday, but the Wolverines still managed to pull off the 29-13 win. Wilton Speight had a pretty forgettable day, going 14 for 23 for 169 yards and no touchdowns, with Donovan Peoples-Jones' 79 yard punt return breaking a third quarter 6-9 deadlock. Still, you've got to give Michigan's pass defense its props; after all, they did hold Air Force QB Arion Worthman to just ONE completion the entire game ... which, of course, resulted in a 64-yard-touchdown for the Falcons.

Wisconsin (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Northwestern (Sept. 30)

The Badgers' 40-6 mauling of BYU has to be the most one-sided drubbing of Mormons since the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Alex Hornibrook had an excellent day, going 18 for 19 for 236 yards and four passing touchdowns, as running back Jonathan Taylor ran the ball for 128 yards and one scamper into the end zone on 18 carries. At the final horn, Wisconsin outyarded the Cougars 256 to 111 in the air and 235 to 68 on the ground, proving once and for all that spirit of Joseph Smith has finally forsaken his chosen people, probably because the last season of Sister Wives wasn't any good.

Mississippi State (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Georgia (Sept. 23)

In one of the biggest upsets of the college football season so far, the Bulldogs absolutely crushed the Tigers in a 37-7 butthole fisting of a game. Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald went 15 for 23 on pass attempts, ultimately collecting 180 yards and two touchdowns in the air, on top of the extra 88 yards and two end zone visitations he chalked up with his cleats. Remarkably, the Bulldogs not only managed to hold LSU's ferocious run game to a relatively lackluster 133 yards, the Bulldogs' rushing attack more than doubled their opponents' ground production, with back Aeris Williams (146 yards, 23 carries) outrunning LSU's entire backfield.

I haven't seen Louisiana got blown away this bad since Hurricane Katrina!

Georgia (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Mississippi State (Sept. 23)

In a Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs match-up, the ones from Georgia easily surmounted the ones from Samford. In Georgia's 42-14 win, quarterback Jake Fromm had his best game to date, going 8 for 13 for 165 yards and three touchdown passes, while running back Nick Chubb collected 131 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Oddly enough, while Georgia positively mulched Samford on the ground (the rushing yardage differential was 284 to 22), Samford did indeed outyard Georgia in the air, by a margin of 227 to 175. Needless to say, such makes this weekend's clash with Mississippi State a recipe for points city.

Miami (1-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Toledo (Sept. 23)

So yeah, Miami didn't play this week either, thanks to the hurricane and all that jazz. Interestingly, their opponent this Saturday is no pushover; the undefeated Toledo Rockets currently rank eighth overall in total offense among the 130 or so NCAA division uno teams, and are tied with NC State for 12th most passing yards. Be careful, Hurricanes' faithful ... this upcoming contest has "trap game" written all over it.

Virginia Tech (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Old Dominion (Sept. 23)

The Hokies went Seung-Hui Cho on Eastern Carolina over the weekend, shellacking the Pirates 64-17. VT QB Josh Jackson had a hell of a game, going 24 for 31 for 372 yards and five touchdowns, with top receiver Cam Phillips hauling in three of them and finishing the contest with 189 yards 14 catches. And while the Hokies did let Gardner Minshew chalk up 241 aerial yards against them, at least they had no problem stopping ECU's run; at the final horn, the Pirates had just 40 rushing yards on 31 carries, compared to Virginia Tech's 287.

TCU (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Oklahoma State (Sept. 23)

In a 20-point win, TCU quarterback Kenny Hill (yes, the same guy who played for Texas A&M back in 2013) went 24 for 30 for 365 yards and four touchdowns while back Darius Anderson cashed in two touchdowns on 14 carries for a grand total of 89 rushing yards on the day. Alas, the Horned Frogs DID let SMU collect a bit more yardage than they probably should've in the 56-36 win; somehow, their defense let Southern Methodist collect 339 aerial yards on 18 completions.

Washington State (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Nevada (Sept. 23)

The Cougars pounded the Beavers last weekend ... and no, that isn't a summary of the last lesbian porno I watched. Luke Falk had a TREMENDOUS showing in Washington State's 52-23 win over Oregon State, going 37 for 49 for 396 yards and SIX touchdown passes, with Tavares Martin Jr. (10 receptions, three touchdowns, 194 yards) and Isaiah Johnson-Mack (9 receptions, two touchdowns, 79 yards) leading the wideout production. Still, Washington State's run game looked downright anemic; at the final whistle they had 60 yards on 16 carries, while their foes finished the outing with 155 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries.

Things I Thought I'd Never GIF, Volume One: fucking Vanderbilt highlights.

Vanderbilt (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Alabama (Sept. 23)

It's sort of an unwritten role around these parts that if you are an unbeaten, unranked team and you defeat a team that was ranked and was formerly unbeaten, by proxy you're allowed to take over the defeated team's slot on the top 25 rankings. Just such a scenario happened over the weekend when the Commodores upset Kansas State in a low-scoring 14-7 affair. Of course, Vanderbilt's time in the top 25 will probably be a one-and-done appearance, figuring they have Alabama as the next stop on their schedule. But if they do pull off the monumental upset on Saturday, would I have any other choice but to put them in the top 3 next week, if not even the number one slot?

Memphis (2-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Southern Illinois (Sept. 23)

The undefeated AAC stalwarts enter the top 25 on the strength of their 48-45 shootout win against UCLA. Quarterback Riley Ferguson was on fire the entire game, concluding the contest with a superb six aerial scores on the day, for a grand total of 398 yards on 23 completions. Granted, their own passing defense might need a little work, considering they only let Josh Rosen lob the rock for 463 yards in their losing effort ...

Oregon (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Arizona State (Sept. 23)

Might as well get as many PAC-12 teams in here as we can, eh? The Ducks had no problem surmounting Wyoming on Saturday, pounding the Cowboys into Matthew Shepherd-like submission 49-13. Quarterback Justin Herbert (251 yards, one TD and one INT on 18 completions) played OK, but there's no denying Oregon's rushing attack is what won 'em the game. The Ducks posted six rushing touchdowns and 307 yards of ground offense in the win, with top rusher Royce Freeman leading the pack with 157 yards and three touchdown gallops on 30 carries.

Colorado (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Washington (Sept. 23)

Despite quarterback Jacob Knipp's three touchdown day, the Northern Colorado Bears were simply no match for the Buffaloes, who bested 'em 41-21 over the weekend. Colorado QB Steven Montez finished the game with 357 yards, four aerial touchdowns (each targeting a different receiver) and one interception on 29 completions, while rushing yardage leader Phillip Lindsay mulched up the field for 151 yards and a score on 26 carries.

San Diego State (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Air Force (Sept. 23)

At this point in the season, SDSU remains the only unbeaten team left in the MAC, and they definitely recorded their biggest W of the fledgling season last Saturday night. The Aztecs prevailed over Stanford 20-17 in a back and forth game that saw Christian Chapman zip the game winner to David Wells with only 54 seconds left in the fourth. Even weirder, that was the only TD pass for SDSU's QB, who finished the affair 21 for 29 for 187 total passing yards.

Things I Thought I'd Never GIF, Volume Two: fucking San Diego State highlights.

South Florida (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Temple (Sept. 21)

Do you think South Florida QB Quinton Flowers would get mad at me if I called him "a poor man's Lamar Jackson?" Because that's certainly what he played like in the Bulls' 47-23 win over Illinois. The multi-talented, multi-tasking mobile QB lobbed the rock for 280 yards and four touchdowns (plus an INT) on 15 completions, while also racking up 106 yards and another score running the ball on 25 carries. With a day like that, perhaps it's forgivable if South Florida forgets all about that Gay dude blocking their field goals ...

Duke (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. UNC (Sept. 23)

It was a battle of the falsely accused against the maliciously unprosecuted when Duke locked horns with Baylor over the weekend. The Blue Devils' run game was the deciding factor in their 34-20 win, as the team combined for 246 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, led by back Shaun Wilson, who finished the game with 176 yard and two scores on 18 carries. As for Duke's defense, they did a really good job stopping Baylor's run (they were held to 57 yards on 27 carries), but they didn't really have an answer for Baylor's pass game, which saw Zach Smith collect 263 yards and three touchdowns on 12 completions. Well, except for the three interceptions they got against him, I guess.

Iowa (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Penn State (Sept. 23)

Quarterback Nathan Stanley and running back Ivory Kelly-Martin both had pretty good days in Iowa's 31 -14 win over North Texas. Stanley finished the contest 16 for 27 for 197 yards and two touchdown passes, while Kelly-Martin wrapped up the game with 74 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. Alas, we'll see if the Hawkeyes are as successful when they host Penn State this Saturday (spoiler: they totally won't.)

California (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. USC (Sept. 23)

Cameron Goode's 32-yard pick-six clinched it for Cal, who beat Ole Miss 27-16 on Saturday. Granted, QB Ross Bowers didn't exactly have a stellar outing (he went 24 for 47 for 236 yards and a one-to-two TD-to-INT ratio), but at least the Golden Bears looked good running the ball and stopping their opponent's rushing game, as they finished the contest with 163 yards on the ground compared to the Rebels' 53. The question now is, can Cal pull off one of the biggest upsets of the year in their homestand against USC this weekend? Hey, stranger things have happened when Cal's played fellow Californian schools ...

Utah (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Arizona (Sept. 22)

If you like your college football sloppier than a blowjob from a girl with a cleft lip, you would have LOVED the Utah/San Jose State game over the weekend. In the 54-16 win the Spartans managed to fumble the ball SEVEN times, with the Utes doing their part by fumbling it an additional three. Alas, Utah QB Tyler Huntley managed to hold on to the ball long enough to get some pretty impressive production put up, regardless. At the final whistle, he went 30 for 43 for 341 yards, four touchdowns and one INT - despite also recording one of the WORST ball slippages you'll see outside of masturbation-related emergency room visits.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Tribute To The Fast Food Burgers of Summer 2017!

Bidding summer adieu the only way that makes sense: by reminiscing on all of the seasonal, limited-time-only hamburgers that have been making us fat since Memorial Day.

By: Jimbo X

With Halloween rapidly approaching and the official cutoff date for autumn sneaking up on us (it's Sept. 22, if you were keen on the specifics), I reckon now is as dandy a time as ever to reminisce on the limited-time-only fast food hamburgers that made Summer 2017 one of the most memorable ever for people who don't care about dying ten years earlier than they should've. All in all it was a pretty solid season for special-edition burgers, with just about every major chain you can think of trotting out at least one major LTO offering. Really, this thing could've been 30 or 40 entries long if I honestly put the effort into it, but I reckon limiting the retrospective to just ten LTO burgers is good enough. So what do you say we cut the empty pleasantries and get right down to business, eh? Yeah - I didn't think your fat-ass would complain, no how.

McDonald's Signature Crafted Burgers!

This is as good a place as any to begin our whirlwind tour of seasonal fast food hamburgers, since the May launch of the trio above more or less marked the beginning of the LTO summer rush. The gimmick here was that Mickie's D was allowing you to custom build your burger from a select group of ingredients; i.e., you could pick a regular hamburger bun or a greasy ass artisanal roll, pack it with beef, fried chicken or grilled chicken, etc. The burgers came in three different dressings, which I've outlined from top to bottom; the pico-guacamole permutation, the sweet BBQ bacon iteration (which came with both grilled and fried onions) and the maple bacon Dijon variation, which was apparently the least popular of the trifecta since it got subbed out for the Signature Sriracha burger a few months after it dropped. All three were pretty good (if not overpriced) burgers, but really, they didn't offer anything wildly different from anything you've probably eaten before. Still, it was cool to see McDonald's at least try to bring a little diversity to their all-too-predictable menu lineup; maybe we'll get lucky and they'll finally resurrect the Arch Deluxe for Summer '18?

Hardee's Jalapeno Double Cheeseburger!

Hardee's (known as Carl's Jr.'s on the West Coast, for whatever stupid ass reason), is one of those chains that's ALWAYS releasing seasonal LTO Franken-burgers. Indeed, they usually trot out some kind of newfangled specialty sandwich every two weeks, and this here Jalapeno Double Cheeseburger is one of the better they've churned out over the last couple of years. The ingredients are pretty basic: you've got sliced pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, two chunks of beef and a couple of chunks of diced, pickled peppers thrown in for good measure. But what really made this sumbitch pop was the proprietary Santa Fe Sauce, which was a really nice goulash of chipotle, barbecue and some kind of mayonnaise like substance I just can't put my finger on (so yeah, it was probably just plain old mayonnaise.) Few things in life irk me as much as fast food that touts itself as being spicy that don't live up to their own hype, but this one really impressed me for a change. That you can still get these suckers for $2.50 a pop in locations in the remote American southeast suggests the things were quite the regional sellers; I take it these little buggers are now going to be an annual offering, right, Hardee's/Carl's Jr.'s executive marketing department?

Steak 'n Shake's Bacon 'n Cheese Triple Xtreme!

I'm not entirely sure how many words I can say about the Bacon 'n Cheese Triple Xtreme burger, but I'll give it my best shot. Obviously, the Steak 'n Shake offering is a humongous, 900 calorie-plus abomination of a sandwich, complete with no less than three huge ass strips of bacon. I don't remember too much about the sandwich (basically, it tasted like any other steakburger you'd get at the eatery, only far heavier) but I DO remember it having a downright preposterous amount of sodium in it - like, an entire day's worth. But hey, we don't eat fast food burgers because we're trying to live forever - we're just doing it to enjoy today while we're still able to, ain't we?

Chick-Fil-A's Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich!

Chick-Fil-A is a chain that doesn't fuck around with its core menu that much, so this early summer addendum to the line-up was a pretty big deal. As you can see with your own peepers, it was a grilled chicken breast topped with two strips of bacon, marble cheese and a hearty dollop of sugary (but not too sugary) BBQ sauce. I'm not sure which brand it was, but I assure you it was pretty doggone good - I mean, not as solid as the shit good old J.R. hawks, but good nonetheless. Anyhoo, I thought it was a very, very good little sammich, and since it only packed about 500 or so calories, it was also one of the healthier (I guess less unhealthy is a more fitting term) LTO burgers circulatin' around the fast-food-o-sphere. And apparently it's a pretty big hit with the bible-readin', first-wife-havin', homosexual-marriage-denyin' C-F-A base - I mean, here we are in September, and in my neck of the woods the thing is still being advertised all over the place.

Arby's Triple Thick Brown Sugar Bacon BLT!

So, uh, does a product still technically count as a burger even if it doesn't actually have a burger inside it? I'm hedging my bets and saying this Arby's LTO qualifies, despite its flagrant lack of a patty of any kind. As the picture above indicates, it's basically just a huge honking sandwich filled with lettuce, mayo, tomato and - the obvious selling point - three downright humongous pieces of artery-clogging, cholesterol-raising, deep fried sugar-encrusted bacon supplying it with its protein quotient. Alike Burger King, Arby's is a franchise that's always trotting out LTO stuff, a strategy akin to Sega's in the mid 1990s when they kept releasing consoles nobody in their right mind would've purchased out of the desperate, childlike hope that at least one of their wacky ideas would've stuck. And with that clumsy analogy in mind, the absolute best thing I can say about the Triple Thick Brown Sugar Bacon BLT is that it, indeed, tasted way better than anything that came out on the 32X.

Wendy's Bacon Queso Burger!

Really, Wendy's should've called this the "fuck your pants burger," because there's scientifically no way to consume it without getting at least four ounces of chili all over your blue jeans. Despite being billed as a "queso" burger, the bulk of the LTO sandwich comes in the form of a weird-tasting red sauce, which isn't quite cheese or chili - just this iffy, disharmonious batter runoff comprised of the two. Throw in a couple more bizarre toppings choices - ick, red onion and unmelted cheddar cheese! - and you have a strong candidate for the season's least special special edition burger. Unless by "special" you underhandedly mean "retarded," and in that case, this thing is unquestionably the specialist thing I've ate all summer, and that's coming from a motherfucker who just ate a two pound ice cream sorbet shaped like a watermelon

Freddy's Hatch Green Chile Double Steakburger!

As one of those "off-brands" that can't decide whether or not it's slightly upmarket fast food a'la Steak 'N Shake or a genuine, faux-prestige burger joint a'la Red Robin, it's pretty easy to forget Freddy's Frozen Custards and Steakburgers exists sometimes. And that's a shame, because some of the stuff the restaurant trots out, like this LTO Hatch Green Chile Double Steakburger, is actually pretty good. As the name implies, this is one spicy motherfucker, with a ton of grilled onions and diced jalapenos doused atop the patty, thus ensuring a most painful shat the next time your assbone meets toilet lid. But thankfully, this mustard soaked seasonal delight is so yummy going down that you won't even mind the fact it turns your asshole into a flamethrower 12 hours later. If they're still selling these suckers around your parts, do yourself a favor and give these things a try - but for fuck's sake, make sure you've got some 2-ply T.P. waiting for you at home.

Sonic's Ultimate Dunked Garlic Parmesan Chicken Sandwich!

Well, you can't say Sonic didn't at least partially deliver what they promised here. This sandwich came with what is EASILY the biggest chicken patty I've ever eaten in my life. We're talking a slab of deep-fried poultry easily the same circumference as a saucer plate, or maybe even a really small Frisbee. While the patty wasn't as flavorful as the usual Chick-Fil-A patty, it was definitely a step up from what you'd get at McDonald's or Burger King, for sure. As for the Garlic Parmesan part (they also sold buffalo sauce and bourbon barbecue doused iterations of the same sammich), they basically just dumped a fuck-ton of Italian dressing all over the lettuce then grated some Parmesan cheese and said "eh, good enough." The brioche bun was oilier than a motherfucker, and it was nigh impossible to take a bite without at least four or five splotches of garlic juice getting all over the place. Still, it was a damned filling and unexpectedly flavorful little LTO burger; now I'd LOVE to see what the chain can do with their own Chicken Parmesan sandwich.

Arby's Bourbon BBQ Triple Stack!

Yeah, I know we already took a look at one of Arby's seasonal offerings, but this thing was already on my camera roll and really, why waste such primo footage? Again, we can argue until the cows come home as to whether this quad-meated sandwich technically meets the criteria for a burger, but the way I see it, as long as it's dead something wedged in-between two sesame seeded buns and there's cheese all over it, by golly, it ought to count as a burger. Even now I'm not entirely sure what all was in that thing, but I think it was brisket, slivers of steak, mulched up turkey and brown sugar bacon. Oh, and there were some fried onion bits and cheddar cheese in there, too, and - of course - the whole damn thing was drenched in a savory, sugary bourbon-flavored barbecue sauce. And perhaps the most amazing thing about the item? Despite basically being an entire barnyard dumped in between two buns, it only registered 760 calories. Oh, and 2,470 milligrams of salt, which is only about 1,000 more than the FDA says is safe for daily human consumption.

Hardee's Charbroiled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich!

And we conclude with the only LTO burger of summer 2017 it would make any sense to conclude with - Hardee's Charbroiled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich, which is clearly the most idiosyncratically summery of any of the burgers we've taken a gander at in this article. This sandwich could only be released during summer, when the temps are north of 80 degrees at 7 in the morning and just walking around feels like a synthwave song. We're talking charbroiled chicken breast, we're talking a goddamn chunk of grilled pineapple on top of that and fuckin' half a bottle of teriyaki sauce dumped on top of that. Any other time of the year such a product would be deemed too ludicrous for consideration, but when it's boiling hot outside and sweat is dripping off your balls and the only sport that's on TV is baseball, all of a sudden spending millions to market and mass-produce a chicken-pineapple-and-teriyaki-sauce burger makes all the sense in the world. For better or for worse, this was the unofficial burger of summer 2017, with every bite tasting like Charlottesville, Mayweather vs. McGregor and the solar eclipse while "Stay" loops endlessly in the background. And in a way, that disjointed jumble of ingredients is an almost perfect metaphor for the season that was. We began with James Comey getting shitcanned and ended with Houston getting turned into Atlantis, and in the middle? We had the Hardee's Charbroiled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich, which I'll always remember eating in slow-motion while Coldplay and the Chainsmokers' "Something Just Like This" blaring in the ocean breeze. Not only do I have no problems labeling this sandwich the official LTO burger of summer 2017, I have half a mind to go on ahead and declare it the official physical embodiment of summer 2017 itself. Like a long lost lover, we'll never forget you, Hardee's Charbroiled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich - and all I can say is "thanks for the memories, but fuck you in the ass for ruining my only GOOD pair of khaki Dockers, you teriyaki-drippin' cocksucker."