A running back’s career ends at 30. Just ask Eddie George, or better yet, find out from Eric Dickerson. But don’t bother telling Thomas Jones that, for his career followed the highly improbable path of flourishing the later he got in his career. In many respects, Thomas Jones’ career path has been the inverse of the typical running back’s development. Somehow at 32-years-old, TJ is still getting it done in the NFL.
It’s hard to believe it, but Kansas City Chiefs running back Thomas Jones actually started off his career as a bust with the Arizona Cardinals. Selected 7th overall in the 2000 draft, Jones had three lackluster seasons in Arizona before heading to Tampa Bay for a season. He didn’t do much in his second stop, and it wasn’t until Jones was picked up by the Bears that he flashed the talent and ability which originally made him a first-round pick.
Though TJ was blowing up with the Bears, it was likely his poor showing in Phoenix that had me doubting Jones’ skill. Finally, in 2005, I became a believer after watching Jones tough it out week after week. Thomas would be listed as questionable on the injury report almost every single week, often with foot or ankle injuries, and he’d be listed as a game-time decision. No matter how hobbled he was or how little he practiced, the guy always suited up! And he didn’t just suit up; he would rack up 120 yards and score a touchdown or two.
- Thomas Jones
It’s about time. After a rough couple weeks, Del was able to get back on track last week and post a respectable 8-5 ATS and 9-4 SU. He’s still sitting at a game below .500 for the season ATS, but it’s nice to enjoy a solid week after quite the drought. Most importantly, the Top 3 came in at 2-1 once again, proving those are still the picks you should bank on if you’re taking our advice. Let’s have a look at this week’s Top 3.
I love the Jets on the road this week in Detroit, only laying four points. Getting shutout by the Packers at home last Sunday could not have felt good for Rex Ryan’s squad. The Lions may be resilient, but that doesn’t mean they’re very good. The Jets’ defense should be able to force Matthew Stafford into making a few mistakes and their offense should be playing with a chip on its shoulder. I expect them to win by at least a touchdown.
Another team I like is the Texans at home getting 3 points. They may have the worst pass defense in the league, but the Chargers have the most banged-up passing attack in the league. Antonio Gates is reportedly battling injuries to both his feet and I doubt he’ll be himself if he’s able to go. Malcom Floyd is out once again and Vincent Jackson is not yet eligible to play. There should be a lot of scoring in this one, but Houston should be able to win in a shootout in front of their home crowd after a tough loss to the Colts on Monday night.
The third team I’m high on this week after their victory against the Steelers is the Saints. Like Doc Brown said, Carolina hung with New Orleans earlier in the year and that’s deterring a lot of people from taking them laying almost a full 7. Their passing game seems to be clicking and their defense showed plenty of life against Pittsburgh on Sunday night. They should beat a poor Panthers team easily this time around. More analysis after the picks.
(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)
- Filed Under:
- Sports Almanac Picks
- NFL Picks 2010
There aren’t many quarterbacks in the NFL who are more exciting to watch than Peyton Manning. Michael Vick is one of the few. Vick electrified the Eagles when he started filling in for the injured Kevin Kolb. He was then forced to miss time with his own injuries, but he returns to action on Sunday to face the Colts. We’re now right around the halfway point of the 2010 season, when we can really start to get a feel for who the real contenders are. Philadelphia and Indianapolis are two of them.
Legendary manager Sparky Anderson sadly died Thursday due to complications because of dementia. Sparky became the first manager to win a World Series in both leagues, winning two titles with the Reds and then a third with the Tigers. He was said to be self-deprecating and didn’t want to set foot into the Hall of Fame feeling he was unworthy of the honor.
The Dorsey High product, who I knew best as the longtime manager of the Tigers, once went on a legendary rant littered with cuss words. Ben Maller pointed out the rant and by goodness, is it epic. This one sets a record for highest percentage of cussing. This baby is NSFW and unsuitable for Ray Allen’s ears. It’s a must-listen if you’ve never heard it:
For those of you keeping track at home, here’s the cuss word scoreboard:
- > F-Bombs: 18
> S-Bombs: 7
> A$$: 3
> ***k sucker: 1
> SOB: 1
Now that was freaking impressive.
- Filed Under:
- Sparky Anderson
It appears there’s at least one guy out there who feels Donovan McNabb’s pain. Much has been made over Mike Shanahan’s decision to bench McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman with the game on the line last weekend. While Shanahan has denied it, several reports indicate the Redskins coach is unhappy with McNabb’s conditioning and his lack of effort during practice.
According to former Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, that’s just Mike being Mike. Plummer said he thinks Shanahan’s expectations tend to be too high, especially for his quarterbacks. Out of Bounds passed along Plummer’s thoughts on the McNabb situation:
It just seemed like every game I could have completed these four more passes or these five more shots here and it would have been perfect. And that just wasn’t my personality… But Shanahan wanted perfection and he wore a lot of us down there.”
“I think Shanahan is still searching for John Elway,” Plummer said. “Somehow, someway, he thinks there’s going to be another guy like John Elway.”
“He coached a team to almost perfection (with Elway) so he wanted that again, he wanted that every time we went out there. It’s just not realistic.”
Maybe it’s just me, but it sounds like Shanahan’s mentality is consistent with that of all the great coaches in sports. Does Bill Belichick ever truly seem satisfied? How about Bill Parcells? Mike Ditka doesn’t seem like the positive reinforcement type, does he? You get the point. Some guys need a pat on the back to keep them going and some coaches aren’t going to give it to them. If that’s what McNabb is looking for, his stay in D.C. will likely be a short one.
Clipper Darrell went from leading a fan parade begging LeBron to sign with the Clips to going on strike after the team started off 0-4. He said he was striking until the team started to put forth a full effort of hustle and heart for 48 minutes and that he would wear black while on strike.
Clipper Darrell showed up for Wednesday’s game against the Thunder in all black, but he did bring his famous suit in his car. After the Clippers stunned everyone getting out to a double-digit lead in the second quarter, he went out to his car at halftime to change into the suit. Here’s how he turned out by the end of the game when he posed for a pic with yours truly:
Clipper Darrell said after the game he was having drug addiction-like withdrawals and that he just couldn’t do it. Factoring into the strike ending — aside from the withdrawals — was that the Clippers actually played well, running the Thunder out of the building. Things may have been awkward for Kevin Durant after the loss, but all was well in Clipper Land. Now all we need is for Vinny Del Negro to sit down once in a while and stop blocking my damn view!
- Filed Under:
- Clipper Darrell
So much for the Cam Newton Auburn love fest. The Heisman Trophy favorite is being investigated by the NCAA for possibly accepting illegal benefits during his recruitment. Word of the report was first passed along by Bryan Fischer on twitter, and then it was confirmed by Pete Thamel of the New York Times.
Newton, currently the star quarterback at Auburn, left Florida after getting into trouble for stealing a laptop and went to Blinn College. After having success at Blinn and winning a national championship, Newton was heavily recruited by SEC teams once again. He wound up going to Auburn over Mississippi State and has led them to a 9-0 season and number two ranking in the BCS Standings. A report from ESPN says Mississippi State told the SEC that a man who claimed to represent Newton said MSU could have him for $180,000. The implication is that Auburn at least matched the price tag during their recruitment of the QB.
Auburn is home against Chatanooga this weekend and Newton is currently eligible but there’s no word on his status for the game. With his situation under investigation, Auburn might not want to have Newton play until he is officially cleared from wrongdoing. Any wins they achieve while he was deemed ineligible can be forfeited retroactively. You can bet Bama fans are having a ball over this news.
- Filed Under:
- College Football
- Cam Newton
With so many updates on Aubrey Huff’s red rally thong, we may have to rename this site Huff’s Thong Sports instead. Here’s the background on the thong in case you’re unaware, and it must be pointed out that Huff had it in his mouth at the parade. He wore that thing every day at the end of the season – gross. But what is really cool is that Huff went straight Zoolander with the thong at the parade. If you don’t know what that means, check out the video:
I’m just glad he didn’t wind up with an atomic wedgie after that stunt!
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If you can picture me rubbing my hands together with eyes wide open and saliva dripping down the sides of my mouth, it’s because I’m getting excited for this matchup between the Giants and Seahawks with Charlie Whitehurst as the starting quarterback. The Seahawks announced Thursday afternoon that Matt Hasselbeck would miss the game to recover from his concussion and that fifth-year backup Whitehurst would make his first career start.
Charlie Whitehurst was drafted in the third round by the Chargers in 2006 out of Clemson and he’s only thrown two career passes. He has seen plenty of action in the preseason however, which I’m sure has you excited. In five preseasons, Whitehurst has nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions as well as a few fumbles.
In what appeared to be one of the worst trades of the off-season, the Seahawks gave the Chargers a third-round pick for Charlie to become their backup and they signed him to a two-year $10 million deal. Now it’s time for Seattle and Charlie to prove he was worth it. Wise thinkers will want to see something out of Whitehurst before they believe he can perform well against a brutalizing defense like the Giants. That’s not a good draw for one’s first career start.
- Charlie Whitehurst
Last week was somewhat of a struggle for Doc Brown who went 6-7 ATS and 7-6 SU. The good news is his Top 3 went 2-1, keeping the season percentage at 75%. Now that’s what you should be banking on when you peep the picks each week. Full analysis of this week’s games is after the picks chart, but here are some thoughts on the Top 3 picks.
One of the first games to which I gravitated was the Bears at the Bills. Chicago is laying 2.5 points which doesn’t seem like too much. The strength of this team is defense, and I expect the Bills to struggle scoring against the D. Chicago’s offense is the major question mark. Jay Cutler has been throwing picks as if he can hit a million dollar bonus by getting to 30 on the year. Their offense has been brutal and that’s because of their inability to protect the quarterback. What makes me believe this game will be different is that Buffalo’s pass rush isn’t nearly as potent as Seattle’s or Washington’s. I think the Bears will be able to protect Cutler and score enough points to cover in Toronto.
I’ve been big on the Dolphins all year. Their defense is extremely underrated and one of the better units in the league. I think this will be a game of field goals and very close, coming down to the final five minutes of the game. Baltimore can come out on top, but it will be by a slim margin.
Drew Brees may or may not be playing with a knee injury, but it doesn’t matter. He looked great in the second half last week against Pittsburgh and seems to have turned the corner. Carolina may have played them tough before, but they’re one of the worst teams in football. I think the Saints will look like the team on display last weekend and annihilate the weakened Panthers. Analysis on the rest of the games following the picks chart.
(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)