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Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three posted by Joe Anello

Welcome back everyone! I would have posted this last night but the lack of sleep Monday night really caught up with me. Now I’m back and ready to pick apart the transactions of days two and three of NFL free agency. Let’s get that money man!

OG Gosder Cherilus signs a 5-year, $34 million deal with Indianapolis Colts.
Additional signings: OG Donald Thomas (4 years, $14 million), LB Erik Walden (4 years, $16 million), S LaRon Landry (4 years, $24 million)

This is a group of Colt signings that I didn’t discuss in the day one recap because I was exhausted and there were too many to address. Cherilus was overpaid, but I get it. Thomas’ deal is tolerable and revamps the interior of their line. I don’t feel confident that Walden’s contract will prove to be money well spent. Still, signing Landry as well gives Chuck Pagano a play-making safety in his secondary. The Colts are spending, but not as crazily as the Dolphins.

WR Wes Welker signs a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Denver Broncos

Okay, I have a LOT to say about this deal. I took to Twitter to express my thoughts shortly after the news broke, but I felt utterly hindered by the 140-character limit. I was really upset by the news that New England only offered Welker $10 million (including incentives). He’s only been one of the hardest workers on your team for the past six seasons and this is how he gets rewarded? EFF YOU PATS.

Welker’s caught 100 balls in his entire run with the Pats and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. So imagine my surprise when I heard the Broncos only had to pay him $12 million… for two years!  If he, in this odd-as-hell receiver market, shouldn’t get more than $6M a year, I obviously don’t know football.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Bears 51, Titans 20 posted by Joe Anello


Yes, that is the only word necessary for the introduction to Chicago’s dominant blow-out win over the Titans on Sunday. Special teams got the scoring train rolling early and the offense fed coal engine late with some help from a defense that forced five turnovers on the day. Let us recap this glorious event.


(7-1) Chicago Bears 51

(3-6) Tennessee Titans 20 

Sunday’s contest had an auspicious start for the Bears. On the Titans’ very first play from scrimmage, Matt Hasselbeck found Kenny Britt wide open over the middle for a big gain. As he manages to do so often, Charles Tillman came over to make the tackle… and strip Britt of the football. From it only got worse for the Titans as Sherrick McManus blocked a punt which landed in the arms of Corey Wootton, who ran it in for the game’s first touchdown. Following a safety (due to a J’Marcus Webb penalty) and free kick, Chicago backed up the Titans offense, making them punt deep from their own territory, which Devin Hester returned 44 yards to the eight yard line. Matt Forte took that short field and turned in a one-play TD drive as he carried a pile of defenders over the goal line. Up 14-2, Brian Urlacher was not content, picking off a Hasselbeck pass on the next drive and taking it back 46 yards to paydirt. Tillman then victimized Chris Johnson with the dreaded ball-punch, forcing another fumble. Cutty and the offense got back on the field and finished a drive with a 13-yard score to Brandon Marshall. Following that insane barrage of action, Chicago held a 28-2 lead at the end of the quarter. They never looked back.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Bears 51, Titans 20"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans posted by Joe Anello

After squeaking by the Panthers in a game they had no business winning, the Chicago Bears continue their southern trek in week nine by heading to Tennessee. The Titans are led by veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck, who continues to fill-in for the injured Jake Locker. No more time to waste! Let’s preview this game!

(6-1) Chicago Bears at

(3-5) Tennessee Titans 

The Offense

Mike Tice’s offense will have to contend with an aggressive and physical Titan defense that has actually given up the most yards in the NFL. (Yeah, they’re that bad.) Whether through the air or on the ground, Tennessee will be at a decided disadvantage. That means Brandon Marshall (yet again) will have the edge over corner Jason McCourty. Kellen Davis figures to factor into the gameplan as well, since he should be able to find the openings behind a simply decent linebacking unit. The Titans have a solid front four though, the most dangerous of which being rusher Kamerion Wimbley. Wimbley’s caused problems for the Chicago o-line before, so chipping him to make sure he doesn’t get confident early is key. (And obviously we need to keep Jay upright.) Get ready J’Marcus Webb.

Obviously Chicago needs to find its balance again today with Matt Forte and Michael Bush out of the backfield. Tennessee gives up a lot of yards on the ground, (over 140 per game), so Tice can’t afford to get pass-happy this week. (Though I feel like I can say that about every game.) Between the two backs we need to see about 30 carries in order to establish a ground attack and a valid play-action game as the contest draws on.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Chicago ..."

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 4, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week four in the NFL did a lot to clear up our impressions all 32 teams, as we now have a four game sample size from which to judge them. Our three undefeated teams managed to continue their winning ways and our shockingly winless squad kept disappointing. Let’s review the weekend’s best action!

(4-0) Atlanta Falcons 30
(1-3) Carolina Panthers 28

It took a last second field goal, but the Falcons overcame their defensive lapses to get to 4-0. Carolina gave them all they could handle, but Matt Ryan calmly led his team on a drive from their own one with barely over a minute left in regulation for the game-winner. And now they get to reap the benefits of sitting pretty atop the NFC South.

(2-2) New England Patriots 52
(2-2) Buffalo Bills 28

For about a half, this game looked interesting. And then the Patriots woke up. Tom Brady remembered how awesome Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski are, finding them a combined 14 times for 233 yards. And the Bills remembered that they can’t hang with the Patriots and proceeded turn it over a whopping six times. Things were righted today in the AFC East.

(3-1) Minnesota Vikings 20
(1-3) Detroit Lions 13

Uh… don’t look now, but the Vikings are atop the division. The Lions? Yeah they’re on the bottom. Mikel LeShoure crapped out in his second career game, returning the Lions to their normal state of “no running game.”


Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 4, 2012"

Joe Anello

My Many Musings on the Manning Maneuver posted by Joe Anello

The cloud that’s hung over the NFL for months ended today when the story broke that Peyton Manning would be signing with the Denver Broncos. The ramifications are not just limited to the Broncos however. They are far-reaching across the NFL landscape. Here are my thoughts on the biggest free agent signing in NFL history.

Why it’s an idiotic move for Manning:

The Broncos are still a massive rebuilding project away from legitimately contending in the AFC. Even if they bring in ALL of Peyton’s fellow aging ex-Colt teammates, their best hope is to win the AFC West. Beating the likes of Pittsburgh, New England, and Baltimore is going to take more than slapping the 2007 Colts back on top of an already shaky offense.

Former Colt center Jeff Saturday is already scheduled to visit Denver this weekend, starting the process of bringing Manning’s buddies to town. Dallas Clark will probably be next on the list to make a stop in the Mile-High City, ensuring that John Elway will do anything for his new legend. Even if they do make a push to bring in Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace, the Broncos are supposed to be a run-first team under John Fox. This system will need to undergo an overhaul now that Denver has an actual quarterback. He can’t run this offense like Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow ran it. (Nor should he.)

What this means for the Broncos:

It means they’re still a playoff team. Beyond that, they’re good for another couple wins thanks to Manning’s presence. The offense will be improved by leaps and bounds, which will hopefully be enough to take the pressure of a defense that carried the team too often last year. No more will the Broncos be forced to win 15-12 skirmishes. I’m not convinced they’ll have even a top five offense with the pieces that have currently in place, but perhaps a shrewd maneuver or two will lean me in their direction.

Continue reading "My Many Musings on the Manning Maneuver"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 14, 2011 posted by Joe Anello

Heart attacks were felt across the nation on Sunday (especially by me), leading to plenty of hospitalizations. While you’re incapacitated, why not get the full scoop on week 14’s heart-stopping action?


(10-3) Houston Texans 20
(7-6) Cincinnati Bengals 19

So maybe the Texans aren’t absolutely screwed with T.J. Yates at quarterback. Who knew? They probably won’t make a lot of noise in the playoffs depending on the seeding, but they should stay competitive. Unfortunately for Cincy, there may be too many “respectable losses” on their record.

(10-3) New Orleans Saints 22
(7-6) Tennessee Titans 17

If the Titans weren’t in the middle of a playoff chase, I’d say it was time to start Jake Locker. Though with Hasselbeck’s injury, it might happen anyway. Kudos to the Saints for not falling into the “Trap of the Week.”

(5-8) Philadelphia Eagles 26
(4-9) Miami Dolphins 10

Oh Tony Sparano, we hardly knew ye. Wait, I did. You were a mediocre coach. Its obvious management was waiting for him to lose just ONE more game after that streak of wins they went on. Dropping one to the Eagles wasn’t going to cut it.

(8-5) New York Jets 37
(5-8) Kansas City Chiefs 10

Sparano wasn’t the only coach let go today, as Todd Haley was relieved of his duties in Arizona following this shellacking. When you make Mark Sanchez look good… nothing good can follow. The Jets inch closer to the playoffs with a surprisingly lop-sided win.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 14, 2011"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 13, 2011 posted by Joe Anello

The weeks are rushing by in the NFL with the playoff picture beginning to take shape. Two 11-game streaks could push their way to 12 and an NFC contender tries to get by without one of their biggest stars.


(6-5) Tennessee Titans at
(5-6) Buffalo Bills

I gotta say, the only reason I’m putting this one on here is that the Titans could actually sneak their way into contention for a wildcard slot if the Jets and Bengals lose. That shouldn’t be a tremendous feat against the Bills, who are stumbling mightily.

(0-11) Indianapolis Colts at
(8-3) New England Patriots

This is crazy. A 20.5 point line for a professional game? That just proves how utterly hopeless the Colts have been this season. I don’t expect it to be close… but that’s a very large number. Very. Large. Still, with Dan Orlovsky starting for Indy it could be a safe bet.

(7-4) Cincinnati Bengals at
(8-3) Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bengals have had two shots to make statements against the Ravens and Steelers but have failed to deliver. Round two against the AFC Champs takes place on Sunday as the Bengals try to hang onto their playoff hopes. Look for things to be different this time around as Andy Dalton should hopefully have A.J. Green for the entire game.

(7-4) Atlanta Falcons at
(8-3) Houston Texans

Uh… who’s Houston starting at quarterback again? T.J. Yates? …It would be REALLY hard for me not to take Atlanta here. I’m not saying Yates is awful, but first starts are hardly ever stand-out performances. The Falcons are quietly winning but need a noisemaker for anyone to start taking them seriously.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 13, 2011"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 12, 2011 posted by Joe Anello

Another Monday night means another edition of The Final Drive! I’m going to skip right past the Thanksgiving Day games as we all saw what happened. (Right?) Lots going on in week 12, including another QB injury in Houston and more magic from Jebus and Teebs.

(6-5) Tennessee Titans 23
(4-7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Hey… Chris Johnson showed up to the 2011 NFL season. Welcome.

(6-5) New York Jets 28
(5-6) Buffalo Bills 24
Completely overshadowed by his idiotic celebration and dropped touchdown is the fact that Stevie Johnson made Revis Island look like a vacation. He consistently beat Revis in one-on-one match-ups, but that wasn’t enough for the Bills to avoid dropping their fourth straight.

(8-3) Houston Texans 20
(3-8) Jacksonville Jaguars 13

I don’t care so much about this result, since the Jags are pretty terrible. But Matt Leinart broke his collarbone, effectively ending his season and leaving T.J. Yates in charge of this playoff-bound squad. That has to be a frightening thought for Texan fans. I was really looking forward to Leinart and his porn’ ‘stache.


(8-3) New England Patriots 38
(4-7) Philadelphia Eagles 20

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 12, 2011"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 5, 2011 posted by Joe Anello

Week five is warmed up and ready to go, and that means The Opening Drive! A former “Dream Team” could turn into a nightmare in Buffalo and one of the best rivalries in football is renewed in New England. Let’s get into the games!

(3-1) Tennessee Titans at
(2-2) Pittsburgh Steelers
This seems like a pretty even match-up… which is really odd to say. But the Steelers defensive line will be missing tackle Casey Hampton and end Justin Smith, so look for the Titans to get Chris Johnson going early and often. I’m not all-in with the Titans, but Matt Hasselbeck could find weaknesses in this Pittsburgh secondary. With Ben Roethlisberger in a boot and Rashard Mendenhall set for limited action, the Steelers could be bent over for the kicking.

(1-3) Philadelphia Eagles at
(3-1) Buffalo Bills
Why are these records flipped? I’m positive no one saw this coming. The Eagles are in a bit of a must-win in October because of a poor start and are staring at a 1-4 hole. The Bills are coming off their first loss of the season (to Cincy, ugh) and need to get back on track at home versus the ex-Dream Team. On their own turf, the Bills could out-shoot Vick and the Eagles.

(3-1) New Orleans Saints at
(1-3) Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton gets his first (of many) live looks at Drew Brees in this division match-up. The Saints will attempt to punish and confuse Newton with blitzes up the wazoo. Even with that in mind, I wouldn’t be shocked if this turned into a shoot-out.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 5, 2011"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2011 NFL Season Preview: The AFC South posted by Joe Anello

I was holding off on predicting this division as long as I could. With an injury sidelining Peyton Manning for an undetermined period of time, this division should be up in the air. However, there’s only one team in this division who has a returning starter under center in week one.

Indianapolis Colts

If anyone could please tell me what the F*** is going on with Peyton Manning, I’d really appreciate it. I’ve never seen an injury with such a nebulous timeframe for return. I’m putting the Colts down at 8-8 because I legitimately have NO idea how much time Manning is going to miss. If he misses one to three games, I could see them getting to nine or ten wins. If he misses four to six, then eight wins is the max. If he misses the season, this team would be lucky to get to five. He means that much to them. Their pass-rushing defense isn’t built to come back from any significant point deficit and they have no power running attack whatsoever. Even their receivers are just above average. The burden will be squarely on Kerry Collins’ old-ass shoulders if they Colts are going to even whiff the playoffs. Without Manning, this team is dead in the water.
2010 Record: 10-6
2011 Prediction: 8-8

Get used to it Colt fans.

Jacksonville Jaguars

So two days ago I would have been writing this talking about how unexciting David Garrard was. Thankfully the Jaguars cut him less than a week before their opener and now I get to talk up… Luke McCown? Oh what the F***? Honestly, Luke’s a classic NFL journeyman back-up QB. He’s not particularly strong at anything, but he won’t utterly embarrass you… if he has any playmakers around him. The problem in Jacksonville is that they have so few of them. Their wide receivers are young and inconsistent, headed by Mike Thomas. (Wait, who?) Marcedes Lewis is an excellent tight end, but he can’t draw enough defenders to keep teams from stacking the box against Maurice Jones-Drew all game long. Defensively the Jags are going to struggle to rush the passer, again. They lack depth at linebacker, but made a decent if overpriced pick-up in Paul Posluszny. Rashean Mathis is supposed to be a good corner, but I haven’t seen that level of play from him in a year or two. Good luck keeping the Jaguars in Jacksonville with the season you’re about to witness. But don’t worry Jag fans, Blaine Gabbert will be starting soon enough.

Continue reading "Joe's 2011 NFL Season Preview: The AFC South"

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