Isabeli Fontana is Quite the Wild-Card.

Only Interested in Winners.

Lot of things doing as we wrap up the week here.  I thought really hard about doing a post on the BCS title game, but joke’s on you.  That game isn’t until Monday.  Dear God, soon they will be playing this game Saturday of Super Bowl Week.  We’ve got Sixers home opener action tonight.  That’s also not quite post worthy.  Penn State hired New England’s offensive coordinator to be their new head coach.  This is probably good news for anyone who has been waiting for the Nittany Lions to recruit a decent QB.  Things haven’t been the same since that Dan Kendra snub.  But, all of that stuff is the kind of news you can get elsewhere.  You come here to see a picture of a model you’ve never heard of and to hear me educate you on winners.  So, onward….

Pittsburgh (-9) over Denver.  

I think a lot of people are making the mistake of talking themselves into Denver.  I made the mistake of listening to the Grantland podcast where you can hear an argument for any outcome and you hear pearls like, “Nobody in Vegas is winning 60%.”  They aren’t?  What the hell are they doing out there then?  Game’s in Denver, the Steelers are banged up, but I don’t see how Denver is going to score.  I really don’t.  Brady Quinn is taking snaps in practice with the 1st team.  Just let that wash over you.  I don’t think this is going to be pretty, but they’ll shoot Big Ben up with some donkey adrenaline and he’ll get the job done.

Houston (-3) over Cincinnati.  

Both these teams started better than they finished, so it’s tough to really get a feel.  When bad plays bad, it’s tempting to take the points.  But, I think the Texans are a little bit better prepared to win this game.  The Bengals really don’t have a quality win.  They beat Tennessee and Seattle.  That’s their resume.  Andy Dalton (6 Tds in last 7 games) is getting worse as the season goes on, not better.  You could make the same arguments for Houston, but at least they beat Pittsburgh, Atlanta and this very Bengals team.  The Texans’ running game is by far the best unit in this game, so I’ve got to take them to beat the happy to be there Bungles.

Atlanta (+3) over New York Giants

There’s a little too much national love for the Giants this week.  I don’t see actual Giants fans being that confident, but every national pundit you listen to is talking about how the Giants “have the type of team” that could beat Green Bay or New Orleans.  Well, they also “have the type of team” that went 9-7.  They “have the type of team” that lost twice to the Redskins.  So, if I can shoehorn in a Super Troopers reference, let’s settle down Meow on the Giants.  I think the Falcons are going to be able to have a nice balanced offensive attack.  TG might even have a big day, who knows?  But, bottom line, there’s no way in hell I’m laying points with NY.  Let’s get serious.

New Orleans (-11) over Detroit.  

Make it 14 points.  I don’t care.  The Saints have won 8 in a row.  Six of those eight wins were by double digits.  They’ve gone over 40 points SIX times this season.  This line isn’t as out of whack as it looks.  And, don’t get me wrong, I have a little soft spot for the Lions.  Not for that chihuahua Jim Schwartz, but for the team.  I think they’ll score some points.  And, maybe they get a little pressure on Brees, but Brees looks like Joe DiMaggio on about game 42 of the streak right now.  He’s just comfortably in rhythm.  I don’t care if the Lions score 24 points.  I don’t care if they take the opening kickoff right down the field.  They can’t sustain it for 60 minutes.  They’re idiots.  Saints by minimum two TDs, make other plans for tomorrow night.

***

Big Dub’s (AKA, Regular Season Champ) Picks:

  1. Houston (-3)
  2. Denver (+9)
  3. New York (-3)
  4. Detroit (+11)–Lions can win this thing outright. Lions had a ton of penalties the last time they played the Saints, including 3 offensive pass interference penalties. if they cut that dumb stuff out they can hang around and possibly win the game.

***

Non-Football Interlude:  Big Showtime Sunday night.  Showtime is hot right now–coming off Homeland, and ’tis the season for their guilty pleasures.  Shameless is back.  Californication is back.  And, there’s a new 1/2 hour show premiering as well called House of Lies that promises to continue in the trend of gratuitous nudity.  It stars Don Cheadle as a con-artist behind a bogus consulting firm.  The thumbnail I get is that it’s pretty people, Cheadle being suave and low impact on the cranium.  That’s what they’re shooting for with this lineup, I think.  I don’t even remember what is happening on Californication anymore, but I’ll be downloading it come Monday, because yeah, what else am I going to watch?  Everyone feel free to weigh in with their reviews.

***

Found a link:  I don’t think I’ve posted a link in a long time.  Stumbled across this one today.  It’s called Reasons to Go Broke.  It’s a blog filled with odd and enticing nick-knacks that no one would need, but you might find yourself wanting…badly.  I only made it through two pages real quick, but certainly enjoyed the creeping kitten paw piggy bank among others.  I’d wait until Monday and then waste your entire afternoon.

***

Ok, that’s it for now.  You’re welcome for the 4 winners.  Everyone enjoy the games.  Enjoy your last Tebow…maybe ever.  Look at that jinx.  The Tebow supporters of the world really owe me for that one.  Giants fans owe me too.  Have a super sweet weekend….later.

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31 thoughts on “Isabeli Fontana is Quite the Wild-Card.

  1. hah, yeah…

    better hope the steelers don’t cover or simmons will be 4-0 and he’ll have the most insufferable column of all-time next week.

    I also enjoyed this shot. Only in Virginia.

    The Falcons are a disgrace. That’s the first time I’ve ever watched a game and said a team would have been better off with Andy Reid coaching.

  2. Agreed on the ATL- well, they’ll just have to reload in the draft…oh that’s right they gave everything away to get Julio Jones. And the ‘2 pts’ jokes will be nice…honestly, that’s all you can muster in a big time playoff game that’s supposed to be your coming out party Matty Ice & co. After getting shellacked by GB at home? A safety? That kind of effort should lead to a mike smith post game version of ‘ I’m a man, I’m 40’ or ‘playoffs? Playoffs?’ or ‘they are who we thought they were’

  3. pathetic effort by Atlanta and Matty Nice.

    of course, Eli didn’t have much to do with it either, I don’t care how many TDs he threw.

  4. I’m no Steelers fan, but there is no way that the game is close if it’s played in Pittsburgh.

    Seems like a simple fix to avoid bad teams from getting home games in the playoffs.

  5. I’d have to disagree- I heard a stat on espn radio that over the last 8-9 yrs the home team has won 52% of wildcard round games… Just like the NO/Seattle game: take care of business, if you’re the bad ass team just dominate. We are watching ‘4th & God’ before our eyes- what is the line next week? Pats -16.5?

  6. So what’s gonna be the new argument? Eli won BUT…… I’m just asking, since i know the criteria for eli is different here. He throws 3 TDs and that’s no longer the barometer. He didn’t “Carry the team”, is that the new one? So he should have checked out of run plays when they were gashing the Falcons D b/c they were loaded up to stop eli from beating them, just to appease the pundits and silence the critics?

  7. Eli shouldn’t have done anything different. But, it wasn’t the type of game where you say, OK he’s now beyond reproach.

    The guy has been f’ing awful in big spots since the Super Bowl–a game where his overall contribution was debatable.

    Why does everything have to be so extreme with you? He wins one game and that’s got to be the end of the discussion regardless of circumstances.

    If you want to believe that his stats yesterday weren’t padded by garbage time and a 60 run after a 5 yd pass or whatever it was–go ahead. But, you’re kidding yourself.

    Any number of QBs win that game yesterday the way they were running the ball,playing D and the way ATL was buckling.

    Eli had a nice year and he didn’t do anything wrong yesterday, it just doesn’t prove anything to me–a game like that.

  8. I’m not going to an extreme. The guy has carried the giants all year. He’s doing it with a no name TE, he turned Victor Cruz into an All-Pro (he’s 2nd in the NFL in receiving yards and top ten in TDs), and an offensive line that started Kevin Booth all year and Michael Pietrus for half the year. If his name were “tom brady” people would be falling all over themselves to anoint him an elite QB. Instead, all people try and do is make the excuse as to why Eli ISN’T an elite qb. I wonder what the ranking of wins is the last 5 years, or where eli ranks in it?

    Garbage time? He threw 3 TDs and they scored 24 points…..so where’s the garbage time? Their rushing attack was literally the worst in the league. ATL basically went out of their way to make the running game beat them and Eli did what elite QBs do and took his shots when they were there and otherwise just went ahead with winning the game.

    Right now, there aren’t 5 other QBs I’d take over Eli. The top 3 (in any order) are untouchable: Brees, Brady, Rodgers. But after that, you can’t give me two QBs who I’d trade places with Eli.

  9. I really don’t mean to take anything away from Eli, but the reason they won yesterday was defense and the run blocking. I mean they had the Falcons so turned around on those trap blocks that the Falcons LBs didn’t know what the hell they were supposed to be doing. I’m with Grossy on this one: Eli played very well, but I don’t think that this was the game that we’re all going to point to at the end of Eli’s career as proof that he was or was not “elite.”

    • So the run blocking magically appeared in game 17? Or do you think it’s likely that ATL game planned to stop eli and let LITERALLY the worst run game in the NFL try to beat it? I’m leaning toward the latter. In my post, I don’t give Eli credit for the win, I agree that the defense and run game were the keys to the victory (more the D than anything) but the run game was there b/c of Eli.

      • I don’t agree with that assessment at all. The Falcons were stopping everything at the beginning of the game. The defense swung the momentum and that’s when things opened up with the running game.

      • Eli’s scramble for a first down changed the momentum, but that’s neither here nor there. The fact remains that the giants had the worst run offense in the nfl and yesterday they were rolling. The defense was ridiculous yesterday, that i agree with entirely.

  10. No one is arguing he didn’t have a good regular season. Though, if he “carried” them, it was to a 9-7 season. Let’s not act like they blitzed through the league. They snuck into the playoffs despite his atrocious game at home against the f’ing Redskins so let’s take him out of the MVP discussion at least.

    I don’t know why you think Cruz is some charity case just because no one had ever heard of him before this year. Welcome to the modern NFL–A ton of #2 non-featured receivers make an impact. Antonio Brown anyone? Laurent Robinson? Floyd and Vincent Brown putting up big games in SD, Jordy Nelson, the list goes on and on. Who are these guys? They’re guys that play opposite of WRs the defense keys on like Nicks. Nicks was the established #1 coming into the year, and Cruz takes advantage just like teams preoccupy themselves with MIke Wallace and Antonio Brown goes off for 1000+

    Again, I’m glad you like your QB (now that the Bills are eliminated, of course) but you are kidding yourself if you don’t think Atlanta completely packed it in after the 2nd missed 4th and 1. Up to that point, Eli hadn’t really done much but from that point on NY was gashing them with anything they wanted. The Falcons were worn down and beaten. A 17-2 lead might as well been 170-2.

    It’s fine though, because he’s got another game coming up this weekend and he’ll likely have to play much better to win, so we’ll see what happens.

  11. This team is 4-12 with 27 other QBs in the league. And again, using your own discussion, all the receivers mentioned except for Nelson are home and none had more yards. Steve Smith, former Giant, led the league in receptions on the G-men, left for another team and he had a whopping 11 catches this year-and that’s on a team with an established number one.

    I’m not using this one game to point to as an exhibit one for eli being elite. The fact remains that before it was “he can’t get into the playoffs, i guarantee it”, then it’s “well he won’t win a playoff game, i guarantee it” and now it’s “they won but Eli didn’t do enough in the one game…” so what’s the criteria? Is there a player who’s gone out and beaten a team single handedly? Just left everyone on the bench and said “i got this”? To imply that any player wins games on their own is ludicrous. If Brees puts up 45 points, but the defense lets up 46, is it Brees’ fault? Of course not. If the G-men had lost yesterday 38-35, everyone on here would be hammering Eli for lossing, regardless of how he played, but they win and it doesn’t count. The double standard is humorous to me.

    It seems the bar for Eli keeps moving and people just love hating on him. How many 4th quarter comebacks did he lead this year? 5? How many times did they bail the defense out? So this year doesn’t count, he’s a super bowl MVP but that doesn’t count either b/c he just “got hot” at the right time, it’s a constant “no no no, that gets discounted b/c….”. Like he’d have to be traded to the Jags, win 14 games and another super bowl and be MVP to be considered top 5.

    • to the 4-12 point…totally disagree, but whatever.

      And, in your long history of horrid examples on the blog, the Steve Smith one is probably your worst. The guy had major knee surgery. He hardly played. How about Plaxico? He stumbled out of jail and caught 8 tds. I think we can agree the Jets offense and Sanchize are both atrocious.

      and, you can’t have it both ways. I’ve heard you use the Eli’s best WR shot himself, blah blah he has no help argument to explain his lack of success after the Super Bowl. Now you’re saying any receiver that crosses his path is suddenly deadly by association, which is it?

      And, to be clear, Mr. Dub is who you’ve had the previous arguments with. He said Eli wouldn’t win a playoff for 5 years or whatever. You won that bet. That’s not the discussion.

      To repeat for the 100th time, all I’m saying is, Eli didn’t do anything spectacular yesterday. That’s all I’m saying.

      And, you’re going to extremes again. Obviously no one wins the game by themselves, but you can certainly have a bigger impact than Eli had yesterday. I’d put his impact behind several players yesterday. Where a guy like Brees is obviously at the front of the line for New Orleans.

      • Eli led 6th fourth quarter comebacks this year, all game winning drives. So…..let’s say Eli isn’t the qb and it’s one of the other 27, what’s the record? Let’s say they, best case, get two of those wins. Is that fair? 5-11 then.

        Re: his best wr shot himself, that’s the same as me using your commentary on big ben being elite as contrary to what you say regarding Eli.

        And how about kevin boss, is that better for an example? He’s half the player he was when he was with the giants last year stat wise, and Ballard is 1/4 the player Boss is and he doubled his production.

        Again, I’m not playing in the extremes, i think the level of hate for eli here is extreme.

      • john skelton had four 4th comebacks this year. let’s not fall in love with one stat.

        you want the list of QBs that managed to beat the redskins this year?

        the giants beat 1 playoff team the entire the regular season. they play in one of the worst divisions in football. i think some qbs could manage more than 5 wins.

        they played seattle, st louis, arizona, buffalo and miami that’s 5 winnable games outside of a putrid division

      • Not that I’m making the argument, b/c you can only beat the teams on the schedule but:

        New England somehow did not defeat a team this season that finished with a winning record. Remarkably, the Patriots beat six teams that wound up 8-8, including two wins over the Jets. Other New England wins over .500 teams came against San Diego, Oakland, Dallas, Philadelphia and Denver.
        Of the Patriots’ three losses, two came against teams that finished with winning records: Pittsburgh (12-4) and the Giants (9-7).

        Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/don_banks/01/08/wild.card.playoffs/index.html#ixzz1j0HkhfEr

      • yeah and you can only lose to the teams on your schedule. like washington twice, seattle, you want to throw the eagles in there?

        the pats won 13 games. not 9. so, they did a bit better job with their blah schedule.

        it’s not a question of deserving to be in the playoffs or anything like that. the giants deserve to be in, it’s just a characterization of their schedule in regard to judging how easy it would be to pick up 5 wins, which you said that only 4 other QBs in the league could have done.

        In my opinion the following QBs win 5 or more games with the Giants without even batting an eye: Brees, Brady, Rodgers, Big Ben, Rivers, Stafford, Ryan, Newton, Vick, Schaub, Cutler, Tebow, Alex Smith….you realize only 5 teams in the entire league won fewer than 5 games? With the sea of awful QBs in the league and I think the Giants have better talent aside from the QB than their share of teams.

      • The point is simply that saying “well, eli had a good year but his schedule is sh*t” wasn’t challenging enough. When Brady was going lights out this year, his strength of schedule isn’t discussed, but when it’s eli his schedule wasn’t strong enough. Newtown, for example, has plenty of weapons but mustered few wins. Rivers’ schedule isn’t lights out either, but how many times did he sink his team this year with a back breaking turnover?

        The point is, I think it’s underrated how poorly the giants played for most of the year. Seriously, Michael Pietrus. That guy started a handful of games and Booth started almost all the games. Injuries happen, obviously, but they’re in the playoffs, beat one of the QBs named below as a guy who’d have carried this team to the playoffs, and a large amount of that is attributable to Eli.

      • I didn’t say “but his schedule” in terms of his year, I’m only talking about winning 5 games.

        You should stop. You’re just looking like an idiot now. Cam Newton’s weapons? Are you serious. Steve Smith and who? That team is a trash heap. And, Smith was crap before Newton showed up and using your logic, Cam gets all the credit for his revival. You’d really take take Eli with the rest of the Panthers as your Giants over what you have? You’re high.

        Matt Moore won 5 games easily with THE DOLPHINS. Rex won five games. Can we talk about the talent level of the Redskins? It’s pitiful.

        The point is you made some off the cuff remark about how only brees, brady, rodgers and 1 other mystery guy could manage better than 4-12 with the Giants and it’s a totally inaccurate statement.

        Tell me you think Matt Stafford, Big Ben and Philip Rivers go 4-12 with the Giants this year and I’ll just chalk it up to insanity and we can move on.

      • Oh, did I misread the panthers roster? Could have sworn I saw one of the best TE’s in football on that team in Greg Olsen. I’ll bet there are at least 20-25 teams in the NFL that wouldn’t mind having DeAngelo Williams in their backfield.

        Steve Smith was “trash”? And yes, Cam Newton is partially responsible for his revival b/c someone has to throw him the ball. But he didn’t take a no-name and make him a top 5 WR in the game. You can’t compare Steve Smith to Victor Cruz.

        Philip Rivers was TERRIBLE this year. HORRIFIC. Are you serious? Defending that guy? Last year Eli threw 20+ picks and he was sh*t on all over here. Rivers threw how many this year? Oh, ok. People will blame injuries on offense for rivers. That’s fine.

        Do I think it needed an elite QB to go win more than 5 games with this team? Maybe not, but certainly it needed more than Newton, Skelton, guys like that. The offense for at least 12 of the 16 games was entirely dependent on Eli, and I don’t think there are more than 5-10 guys who could carry a team like that in the NFL.

      • Greg Olsen is one of the best TEs in football now?

        BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

        are you serious?

        Um, Gronk, Hernandez, TG, Gates, Graham, Witten, Finley, Pettigrew, Celek how far down does “one of best go” He’s one of the best 32. I’ll give you that.

        Of course, Football Outsiders has him 36th in the league. So, maybe I spoke too soon.

        Steve Smith 2010: 46 catches 554 yards. Call it what you want, I call it Jason Avant numbers. Jason Avant is trash. If a=b and b=c then a=c.

        I know Rivers had a bad year. And, he still won 8 games. Which is FOUR clear of your ridiculous standard. Of course, now you’ve backpedaled to ‘maybe 10’ so keep going and it’ll keep getting less ridiculous. You’ve gone from 5 Qbs could have done it to needing someone better than Skelton, so we’re making progress.

  12. No wonder all of the giants D-line gets Subway commercials, they just flat out get after the QB. When is Jason Pierre Pauls $5 footling commercial coming?
    No doubt Eli has made some pretty big strides this year…he’s stepped up big in some key spots, but then he’s relapsed into ‘Eli face’ against some inferior opponents. His play is a microcosm of their team, because they didn’t just learn how to run block or rush the passer…they are just terribly inconsistent. When they get everything working at the same time, as much as it pains me, they can win this thing.
    I’m with Gross on this one and I don’t want to not pick- its hard to explain, but I don’t fear Eli in a big game or a big drive, but I do fear the G-men d-line. They can do things no one else does.

    • JPP already has a footlong, they use his foreskin as a tarp at Yankee Stadium.

      Joe Buck might have had one of the funniest uneducated comments of the year last night. He attributed the giants defensive turnaround to Chase Blackburn, pinpointing his arrival as when they began stopping teams. Hahah, ok joe buck. The guy they pulled off the street is the reason, probably not Tuck/Osi/Canty/JPP stepping up their game.

  13. The last thing I’ll say (for now) is that part of my argument is based on the belief that Eli is good–that he is capable of more. If we’re talking Tebow, i’ll be like OK he careered it yesterday. If Alex smith has the game eli has, i’m like heroic effort for Alex Smith.

    But, Eli has gotten better this year and so you think he’s capable of more. it wasn’t required yesterday, but that fact alone doesn’t make it a great performance.

    if eli is going to be one of the better QBs of this generation, i think it will take multiple super bowls, or at least multiple deep runs. so far, he’s got 1. And, if he ends up getting more, I just don’t think anyone is going to look back on yesterday and be like, OH YEAH–epic Eli performance. That’s when he turned the corner for good. That put all the doubters to bed.

  14. Any thoughts on the Showtime Sunday lineup? I think Shameless outshined the other two shows by a mile…House of Lies – still not ready to give judgment, but the talking to the camera shtick should have been retired in 1986 post-Ferris Bueller. Californication – Two and half years have gone by?!? Maybe it was a warm-up episode (Hank’s grown up, oh wait, he hasn’t), but I need Hank a little more volatile.

  15. Just watched Californication. Have to get to the others. I don’t have real high expectations on House of Lies other than it will be amusing in a mindless way.

    I’m feeling a bit worn out on Hank Moody. He’s kind of like a comedian who doesn’t change his material. I mean, it’s still an entertaining show in some ways, but some of it feels a little forced. I mean, he walks in on 2 different sex scenes and both are more disturbing than gratuitous? No thanks.

    They should get rid of the daughter and then there wouldn’t have to be a timeline. It’d be like the Simpsons, just stuck in time in the Moody universe.

    and, not sure how I feel about Karen’s new guy–they brought that weirdo back?

    eh.

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