Wrestlemania 33 – Grades, Reviews, and Reaction

Wrestlemania has come and once more and Project Shanks is here to break down the matches, the booking, and deal out some much needed reaction and grades.

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Monday Morning Quick Snap: NFL Week 7

Each week the crew at Project Shanks will take a look back at what caught our eye from the previous weekend of NFL football. Every Monday we will have a cast of various writers bringing you what piqued their interest from the Sunday before, and this will be our Monday Morning Quick Snap.

Manning-returns-to-Indy

Jim Irsay is an idiot, but not for the reasons you think.

I killed Irasy as much as anyone over the past week because of his comments about Manning, Harrison and James only equating to win one Super Bowl ring. But, after further consideration I was wrong. Not about Irsay being stupid for what he said, I am wrong for saying he shouldn’t have said what he said.

All week long we heard about Peyton Manning versus Jim Irsay. That seems odd considering Irsay has never played a snap of football in the NFL. Instead of hearing about how Andrew Luck will do in his first game against the legend he had to replace, we heard about Irsay. Irsay took all the media attention and pressure off of his young quarterback. Not that Luck would not have been able to handle the pressure, but it was one less thing he needed to worry about this week. I’m not saying Irsay’s comments helped Luck have one of the best games of his career and lead the Colts to a 33-30 victory, but it sure didn’t hurt the cause any. – Robbie Marbury

There is no defense in Chicago, and now there’s no Cutler.

Locusts! The Plague! Poverty and Petulance! And last but not least, the polarizing quarterback of the Chicago Bears, Jay Cutler, fell down and couldn’t get up. What in the world of pulled groins will happen next? Well, Charles Tillman, out. Lance Briggs, out. And all the while, while wondering whether my beloved Bears will be able to field a team when they next take the field against the Packers, I wonder whether first year coach Marc Trestman really came from the Canadian Football League? Or was it actually the Arena League where scores like the 45-41 that the Bears were on the short end of, are commonplace. For the first time in a very long time, defense on the lakefront is only a rumor. The only thing that kept the Redskins under 600 yards offense was an apparent bad spot of the ball by the officials, because the official yardage total for the Redskins came up a pedestrian 599. [Read more…]

Three Reasons to be Worried about the New England Patriots

By Matthew Cafaro
PSDC Writer

You will see many NFL “experts” over the next week offer-up a host of excuses as to why the Patriots looked horrible in barely beating a terrible Jets team last night. Chief among those excuses will be the, “It was a short week, so they couldn’t practice,” excuse. Yes, this excuse will carry some validity, but this is the New By God England Patriots we’re talking about. This is Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. They’re supposed to be twice as good as the other guys no matter the situation. The short week excuse also doesn’t explain why the Patriots played so poorly, yet the Jets seemed to play with energy and vigor in trying to take down the boys from Foxboro. The Jets lost because they’re a bad football team. Yet, if “trying” was all it took to win, the Jets would’ve won, because they played harder, tried harder, than the Pats did.

Last week, I wrote about Three Reasons to be Worried about the Atlanta Falcons, which I laid out three presciently accurate reasons why the Falcons were going to fall on their faces this year: the horrible offensive line, the terrible pass rush and a play-not-to-lose head coach. In a game against the Saints which had Matt Ryan under pressure on 21 of 42 drop backs (easily the worst in the NFL), the pass rush allowing Brees have all day to find his targets, and a head coach who refusing to allow his offense to run the no-huddle to slow down the Saints pass rush, I hit the trifecta of “I Told You So” to anyone who may have disagreed with my assessment. So Patriots fans, I apologize in advance. [Read more…]

Project Shanks Fantasy Football Preview: Tight Ends & Defense/Special Teams

Here we go kiddos, it is time again to get ready for everyone’s favorite pastime: FANTASY FOOTBALL! We here at Project Shanks have lined up a top-notch crew of Bryan Douglass, Matt Carpenter, Joe Hines, Bobby Roberts, Matt Rogers and Robbie Marbury to bring to you all the knowledge you will need for this upcoming fantasy season. We have compiled everyone’s ranking for each position, with the writer that had the most and least amount of love for a player giving you their commentary as to why that particular player should be higher or lower on your draft board. This approach will give you the good and evil that comes with each player.

We have combined TEs and DEF into one column, because, well, let’s face it, most of you will have one or two of both and that’s it. If you end up with a stud TE or DEF, you are probably going to play them every week, and the only time you will need a replacement is during a bye week, so there isn’t much reason in using a high draft pick on a TE or DEF that you will have for one week. You will also notice that we did not rank kickers in this year’s rankings, mainly because KICKERS SUCK! There is no need for them in fantasy football, and if you waste anything other than your final pick on one, you are a fool. 

TIGHT ENDS

1. Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints

(Robbie) Graham and Calvin Johnson were the only two unanimous choices for No. 1 at their position. With Gronk being broke down, and Witten, Gates and Gonzalez getting old, you would be stupid to take any other tight end over Graham. He is the favorite target in the league’s most potent passing attack, and our clear-cut choice for the best TE.

2. Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys

Good (Bobby) Jason Witten still has a lot left in the tank. He developed into even more of a crutch for Tony Romo in 2012. I don’t see that stopping this season. It’s as simple as that.

Evil (Matt C) This isn’t really a knock on Witten, who is a top five TE this year, but Gronk has to be the No. 2 TE off the board until there’s more definitive information that he’ll miss considerable time. Witten has eight TDs in his last 32 games. Gronk has 41 in 48 career games. Witten is a solid TE1, especially in PPR leagues, but much closer to the rest of the pack than a healthy Gronk. It’s like comparing apples and drunk apples that catch a lot of touchdowns.

3. Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots

Good (Robbie) Gronkowski might be an idiot and make bad decisions off the field, but when he is on the field he is the best TE in the league. He will probably end up missing some time this season, but 10 games of Gronk,and six games of the 11th or 12th best TE is still good enough to be better than every TE other than Jimmy Graham in my opinion.

Evil (Joe) Ok, he’s probably gonna be the only viable option for Bill Belichick given Aaron Hernandez’ penchant for killing people, but he’s coming off of FOUR offseason surgeries, including back surgery which is probably pretty important for a tight end. Still ranked third here is pretty good and speaks well of his ability.  [Read more…]

10 Creative Alternatives to the Pro Bowl

By Matthew Carpenter
PSDC Writer 

Oh hey, the Pro Bowl is changing its rules. Say it ain’t so! It’s America’s 11,271st greatest pastime – right between National Potato Pancake Day and the Connecticut State Dental Association’s Annual Conference. Now it’s ruined because instead of fielding a team of players from each conference who don’t want to risk a broken leg for an exhibition game, there will now be ‘captains’ who get to choose which disinterested players will represent teams in this last gasp to grab every scrap of ad revenue.

Personally, I think the Pro Bowl should be discontinued. But that opinion falls into a vast chasm of ‘No one cares.’ Also, the game’s unlikely to end because the league cares so much about its players that it wants to reward them with a trip to Hawaii so they can try to avoid injury for three hours. But just in case, here are some alternative programming options for the league that I’d be more likely to watch during that Saturday in January.

1. (Transitional programming) – Another Grandma Died?
Which NFL Star Presented The Best Note To Get Excused From The Pro Bowl? You choose America!
Last Year’s Winner: Tom Brady – “Sorry Roger. Can’t play. Injured myself talking ‘emerging African economies’ with the wife. See you next year! (No I won’t) Regards, Tom”

2. The 49ers’ Offensive Line Goes Wine-Tasting!

3. Unstoppable Force vs. Immovable Object:  Are Packers’ Fans Really That Hospitable? Replacement Refs Visit Green Bay. [Read more…]

2012 NFL Team Preview: New England Patriots

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Staff

The New England Patriots are the model of consistency in the NFL.  The Patriots have had nine straight seasons of 10-plus wins, and have only missed the playoffs once over those nine seasons.  The reason for this consistency is Bill Belicick and Tom Brady.  New England has had years without talent on the offensive side of the ball, and years without talent on the defensive side of the ball, but they stay consistent because Belichick and Brady know how to get the most out of what’s around them.

The Patriots are once again one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl, but there are some questions surrounding this team.  This team finished 31st last season in total defense.  Will the defense improve from last years horrible performance?  Who will run the ball now that BenJarvus Green-Ellis is gone?

And the offensive line is getting old, will they be able to protect Tom Brady this season? [Read more…]

Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Staff 

During the past few seasons the tight end position has exploded (see what I did there?).  In the past decade, a tight end has recorded 65-plus receptions and 750-plus yards only 52 times.  Of those 52 instances, nine of them occurred last season.  Gone are the days of having to get Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez or Jason Witten to ensure fantasy value out of the tight end spot.  As a matter of fact, Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham were the second and seventh most productive receivers respectively when you combine wide receivers and tight ends.  Think about that a second.  You were better off having Rob Gronkowski than any receiver not named Calvin Johnson.

Heading into this season, tight ends are being targeted very early.  Everyone wants to get the next Gronk or Graham, who burst onto the scene, but buyer beware.  Unless a tight end has 900 yard potential or double-digit touchdown potential, they are not worthy of being drafted in the first three rounds. [Read more…]