Tuesday Evening Fullback NFL Week Five: Anger over Favre

•October 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Sorry folks, but the Tuesday Evening Fullback is going to be taking a hiatus this week due to anger and jealously over the fact Brett Favre did not feel that I was worthy enough to send pictures of his man region to. I’ve have had an unrequited love affair with Brett Favre for 20 years, and this is the thanks I get! Guess I’ll have to start sending picture of myself to Donovan McNabb. I want to see his moxie.

Regards-

Peter  aka “Elevation”

Way to wrangle my heart, Brett.

NFL Week 5 Vertically Striped Power Rankings.

•October 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

(Elevation Note- Craig Dodge. Football. Rankings. America. Also enjoy this song. Craig is awesome, so I am going to give awesome song people can listen to as they read his column.)

 

The NFL is facing it’s first season since 2005 where there doesn’t appear to be the juggernaut team that is clear and away the best team. Everyone has their weaknesses, and there is a group of 8 to 10 teams that legitimately might win the Super Bowl right now. Some might prefer that one team claim clear and present domination over all others, but I like the NFL better when there is uncertainty. (The exception to this rule is when the Broncos are the clear and present juggernaut, which hasn’t happened for awhile.) So, here is my lastest attempt to make sense of the land of the senseless, the NFL landscape as we approach Week 5.

I got your juggernaut right here.

1. Steelers – Yeah, they lost to the number 2 team at home, but it was with a fourth string quarterback, and it was ridiculously close. They’re getting their lecherous quarterback back, they have a feisty defense and I don’t think anyone else deserves the top spot right now more than them. That said, it’s clear that the NFL this year is jumbled, and although they are number one right now, they are not a juggernaut with no problems.

2. Ravens – They have been pretty solid this season apart from one inexplicable loss to the Bengals. However, I wonder how far they can go when their quarterback has basically just been an average Joe. Flacco is the 25th rated passer in the league right now, and at some point, you need to score points to win. You can’t just shut down every team every Sunday, sometime you need to outscore them, and the Ravens are only averaging 16.5 points per game.

Craig Dodge bringing us Troy Aikman like advice, such as you need to score more than the other team to win.

3. Packers - Green Bay is a good team, but the Packers feel like they are in a funk. Losing to the Bears in a game they really should have won, and then almost letting the Lions come back against them; the Pack was expected to excel, and while they are doing well, it doesn’t seem like they are firing on all cylinders right now. It’ll be interesting to see if Aaron Rodgers can get it going in the way so many expected from him this season.

4. Saints – Talk about another team in a funk. A home game against Carolina starting a rookie quarterback should never be this close. Although the Saints are not off to the same type of fast start they had last season, they do lead the league in kickers on the active roster, so that’s something.

5. Jets – Since losing their opener in a dreadful Monday Night opener to the Ravens, it turns out the Jets have been pretty good. They have sliced their way through every team in their division, and it now appears that they are the team to beat in the AFC East.

6. Texans – Houston seems to be performing almost exactly to expectations. I expected them to be good, but not elite. After a quarter of the season has been played, I would classify them as good, but not elite. Well played, Mr. Kubiak.

7. Colts – We’re used to seeing this team be elite, so to see them have to struggle is weird. Imagine if Peyton Manning were to get hurt, how far would this team fall? Could they win 5 games this year without number 18? Although they are clearly not the team they have been in past seasons, I think this may actually play to their advantage. It’s not about getting out to a hot start, it’s about finishing strong. Despite being just 2-2, I kind of like where the Colts are at right now. That said, they need to stop losing games to the likes of the Jaguars.

Indy could tip a cap to their season if Curtis Painter ever had to play.
8. Patriots – Adios, Mr. Moss. I am exceptionally curious to see how the Patriots handle being without their mercurial wide receiver. It’s not like he’s been on fire, 9 catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns thus far this year, but it did feel like he was the catalyst for a lot of the other players to get less attention and thrive. Now we’ll need to see if the Pats can continue to plug in unknowns and keep producing at high levels, they’ve done it for most of the past decade, but that can’t continue forever, can it? Also, their defense is dreadful.

9. Falcons – Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than to be good. The Falcons are a little of both, but they had no business winning that game against the 49ers. Who would have guessed that Roddy White’s biggest contribution on the day would be defensively?

10. Bears – It’s nice to know that if Jay Cutler’s football career doesn’t pan out, he has a future renting himself out as a piñata. He was getting murdered by the Giants defense Sunday night. His concussion may have been a blessing, as I’m not sure he could have survived another half of football if it were again that brutal.

11. Redskins – Donovan McNabb went into Philadelphia and proved why it was such a mistake for the Eagles to jettison him this past offseason…Oh wait, no he didn’t. Despite winning the game, the Redskins new quarterback was not exactly playing like he had vengeance on his mind. Unless completing only eight passes for 125 yards is being a cold-blooded killer, in which case, Donovan McNabb was a bad man!

12. Chiefs – Yes, they are undefeated; the only undefeated team in the league, actually. No, they are not even close to the best team in the league. In fact, I think even having them at number twelve is a bit high, but if I am wrong, they get their chance to prove it during the next two weeks. They will be travelling to play the Colts and the Texans, and I am predicting that at that point they will be 3-2, and this talk of them being a good team will have quieted down significantly.

13. Vikings – Randy Moss comes home, and I wonder if you’re a Viking fan how do you feel about that? On one hand, if properly motivated, he can be a force of nature. On the other hand, in a bad situation, he can destroy a team. I guess Vikings fans are taking their purple 84 jerseys out of mothballs and trying to figure out if this acquisition will give Brett Favre renewed life and vigor, or just make things spiral even more out of control. The Vikings have a lot of potential to rise, but it’s an interestingly fragile concoction they are bubbling in their chemistry set right now. It could explode in their face at any moment.

14. Cowboys – Rested and relaxed after a bye week, the Boys need to string together some more wins and prove that their slow start doesn’t mean that they can’t finish strong. Next on tap: A Titans team that probably can’t believe they let one get away from them at home against the Broncos.

15. Chargers – We’ve seen it a lot, and I think we’re seeing it again. Chargers stumble out of the blocks, then go on a run. I have a feeling that the blowout against the Cardinals was the start of the run for this year, and what better way to jump start a run than have consecutive games against the likes of Arizona, Oakland, and Saint Louis?

16. Giants – Will the real New York Giants please stand up? I can’t figure out this team, and neither can you. One week, they get slaughtered, the next week they are doing the slaughtering. We’ll put them right here in the middle of the rankings, and they could slide significantly in either direction over the next month. I have no idea what to expect from Eli and the G Men.

17. Eagles – Just as the Mike Vick express starts gaining steam, he goes and hurts his ribs. I hope he gets healthy soon, because I’ve been enjoying his return to being the freaky good athlete playing quarterback and because something about Kevin Kolb just seems boring and bad in comparison. What is that thing? It’s hard to put a finger on, but I think it’s that Kevin Kolb appears to be a boring and bad football player. Yes, I think that’s it.

18. Dolphins – Yikes, could a unit look worse than the Miami special teams did on Monday night? A blocked field goal, blocked punt, and a kickoff return for a touchdown. Not to mention an interception returned for a touchdown by the Pats as well…I’ve seen football teams self-destruct many times before, but few with the variety and flourish that the Dolphins displayed against the Patriots. It would have been neat to see Doug Flutie come out of retirement to do a drop kick to complete the bizarre scoring fest against Miami. I’m going to chalk that game up as an aberration, but that was a hard game for anyone associated with South Florida. The Dolphins have a well timed bye week to try and iron out the problems, but Miami might need a month to recover from that debacle.

19. Titans – If you’re a contending team, you need to beat the Broncos in your own stadium.

20. Bengals – Terrell Owens and the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson now have a reality show? What could possibly go wrong? At least it will help distract from the mediocre football team they both play for at the moment.

21. Jaguars – Huge exciting win for the Jags over the Colts. They needed something like that after getting pasted the previous two weeks by the Eagles and Chargers. Team Teal appears to be pretty inconsistent. I don’t think they are much good, but more showings like the win over the Colts could change my mind. I’ll keep them down low for now, as I am not expecting great things from them, but they can be frisky on the occasional Sunday.

22. Broncos – This is a young likable team. Not a highly talented team, but I’ve enjoyed following them, and it’s been nice cheering for them thus far this year. They may lose more than they win this year, but at least it does feel like they are making good progress right now. Also, Kyle Orton is showing no signs that he wants to give up the quarterback position to Tim Tebow anytime soon, or have you not noticed that he leads the entire NFL in passing yards right now? Now if they could just run the ball a little bit…Laurence Maroney was on pace to rush for 100 yards against the Titans…providing the Broncos could have found a way to get him 200 carries on Sunday.

23. Buccaneers – Starting with two wins this year is more a product of the scheduled than it is a sign of them turning the corner. The Bucs still aren’t very good.

24. Browns – The Browns are legitimately frisky. They have only won once, but they are hanging around every opponent they play. It’s not easy being a Cleveland fan, but there is legitimate reason to at least be excited for the future of the Browns right now. I’m going to go ahead and say that they won the Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn trade…although Brady has looked nice holding a clipboard as the third string quarterback for the Broncos, Hillis has gone over 100 yards each of his past two games.

25. Rams – Two consecutive legit wins by the Rams. I’m speechless. Another run like this, and the four wins might be enough to win the NFC West.

26. Seahawks – Thus far the Seahawks win the games they are expected to lose and lose the games they should win. If this trend holds true, look for a big victory in Chicago by the Seabirds. (I expect they lose to the Bears, though.)

27. Raiders – The dysfunctional wind is an Oakland Raider. This streak of incompetence is nearing the decade mark, and I’m beginning if the East Bay is ever going to have a Silver and Black Moses lead them to the promised land of more than six wins ever again. Right now definitely feels like their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

Craig Dodge, question me if you want to die.

28. 49ers – It’s not like the West part of the Bay area is any better though. Mike Singletary’s squad looks lost which can’t be good, as I want things like mooning your team during halftime to continue to be considered valid motivational coaching ploys and not just the manic ravings of a lunatic. “Sane people, Can’t play with em, Can’t win with em, Can’t do it!”

29. Cardinals – Positives for Arizona: Somehow they have managed to win two games thus far this year. Negatives for Arizona: Something called “Max Hall” will be their starting quarterback this Sunday. That can’t be good, can it? Also, they have already been outscored by 60 points in 4 games, despite the fact that the won HALF of those games. Yikes!

30. Lions – The Hard Luck express rolls on in Detroit. The good news is that they have the Rams coming into Ford Field this week, which should mean that they have an excellent chance to win, right? Only problem, the Rams have won their past two games by an average of fifteen and a half points. If it weren’t for bad luck, the Lions would have no luck at all.

31. Panthers – You’re 0-4, you are being quarterbacked by a rookie out of Notre Dame, your offense is atrocious, your defense isn’t much better, and your hopes for improvement aren’t much better. On the plus side, you have a coach that is widely regarded as being very good for some reason, although judging by this year, you’d be hard pressed as to know what that reason is. You are the Carolina Panthers, and you have my pity. There is a very real chance that we could have two 0-16 teams this season, and this is one of the possibilities.

32. Bills – The Bills couldn’t sell enough tickets this weekend to get the blackout restrictions lifted locally. The blackout restriction rule in Buffalo may also alternatively be referred to as “The Angel of Mercy” Law. Watching the Buffalo game with a rooting interest in the Bills is what’s known as cruel and unusual punishment.

Tuesday Evening Fullback, Wednesday Edition: Football, America, Purple Drank, Jay Cutler.

•October 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

(Elevation Note- Welcome back to Week II of the Tuesday Evening Fullback, my little tribute to the great Peter King. As always, you can read the real thing here. Also check out The Wounded Warriors Project which provides aid to our injured servicemen and women.)

Welcome back folks. Week IV of the NFL is in the books and there are a million storylines to cover. I intend to write about 567,890 of them in this article alone, so hang on to your butts.

A great man.

Personal Connections/ Thoughts on Week IV

As I like to remind you each and every week, I am a close friend to many NFL players. In fact just this week I rode in the back of Brett Favre’s pickup truck while texting Peyton Manning with one phone and calling Peyton Hillis with the other. Am I popular or what?

Mike Singletary was a busy man on Sunday night. He was able to multitask by skyping with me, at the exact same time he was preparing a resume to post on http://www.Monster.com. The 49ers have fallen to 0-4 and are the worst team in the worst division in football. Mike told me “Man, I’m so frustrated with this situation. 2 years ago I pulled down my pants at halftime. Today, I tried assless chaps. Damn it, I don’t know what to do.”

LaDanian Tomlinson took time out of mixing a unicorn blood protein shake to send me a text that said “I feel great this season. Hopefully we can keep playing this well and make a Super Bowl.” Tomlinson has led the Jets to 3 straight wins and rushed for 133 yards and 2 TDs on Sunday against the hapless Bills.

You're damn right I made a Professor Quirrell and Lord Voldemort reference in a football column.

Donovan McNabb revealed a few interesting things during our post game phone call on Sunday following the Redskins 17-12 win in Philadelphia. It was a dramatic homecoming for McNabb who was greeted warmly upon his return to the city of Brotherly Love. He told me “It didn’t feel like a homecoming until the Eagles had to take a delay of game penalty following a 10 minute booth review that was followed by a Philly timeout. Its great to see that Andy hasn’t changed a thing.”

A very downtrodden Larry Fitzgerald sent me a sad text message following the Cards 41-10 thrashing at the hands of Phil Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. He told me “Derek Anderson is so goddamn bad, I’m one more interception away from running over him in the parking lot and speeding away. Don’t tell anybody I told you this.”

Hell, I was expecting Phil Rivers and Antonio Gates to start beating up Beanie Wells, only to have Derek Anderson rushing onto the scene and pretend to make the save on Wells, only to join in on the beat down. Cardinals broadcaster would have then expressed his moral outrage that Derek Anderson was the third man, only to be followed by an impromptu interview with Cards sideline guy Paul Calvisi where the fans started pelting Anderson with trash as he tried to explain his actions.

Hulk, Scott, and Kevin should call Derek Anderson next time they get the band back together.

After leading his team to a come behind late game 17-14 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ravens QB Joe Flacco let me know on Monday that he was excited following the victory. He told me “Peter, I’m excited following the victory.”

I tried texting Jay Cutler after his Bears were dominated 17-3 in the swamps of Jersey by Osi Umenyiora and the Giants. Jay had to come out of the game following 9 first half sacks by the G-Men. He told me “I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob.” I like his moxie.

Sam Bradford deserves all the credit in the world for leading the Rams to a 2-2 record. The Oklahoma rookie had a great weekend as he led the Rams to 20-3 win over the Seahawks and saw his Oklahoma Sooners defeat Texas in the 2010 edition of the Red River Rivalry. I tried faxing him, sending him a DM on Twitter and a personal message on Facebook. I go tno response. YOU BETTER WATCH YOURSELF BRADFORD. DISRESPECT ME AND I WILL BURY YOU!

I tried calling Jay Cutler back after our first disappointing communication. He did not answer his phone. A little while later he left this voice mail for me.

Awards

Offensive Player of the Week:

Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins. I don’t care that he only had 8 completions on Sunday. He got the win in a tough Philadelphia environment. He had gumption. My fantasy league scores for gumption, does yours?

Who cares about stats when you have gumption?

Defensive Player of the Week:

Patrick Chung, New England Patriots.

Chung had one of the best individual games of 2010. He had a blocked punt, blocked field goal, and an interception return for a touchdown. Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano is going to start having John Rambo like flashbacks the next time he walks by a Panda Express.

Coach of the Week:

Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars were horrific in Week 3 against the Eagles. However, in week 4 they were able to pull an offensive explosion out of nowhere and defeat the Colts as time expired thanks to Josh Scobee’s 59 yard field goal. I was going to make Josh McDaniels coach of the week, but Del Rio threatened to impale me with the same locker room motivational axe that former Jags punter Chris Hansen used to put gash in his own leg.

Fantasy tip for Week V

Folks, I hope you listened to my tip for week 4 and benched Brett Favre. As usual my fantasy advice comes from consultations with an army of experts and insiders. For week 5 I suggest that you bench Detroit Lions left tackle Jeff Backus. Bakcus has given me zeros every single week this season. I’m going to take him out of my lineup and I suggest you do the same.

The select six

#1 New York Jets (3-1): This is a team on a roll. The debut of Santonio Holmes will give this dangerous team even more weapons. Hopefully Santonio can abuse defenses the same way he abuses substances.

#2 New Orleans Saints (3-1): This team was able to scrape by and get a win on Sunday against Carolina despite missing Darren Sharper, Lucky Pierre Thomas, and Reggie Bush. Hopefully Thomas returns soon because backup Running Back Chris Ivory-Wayans just isn’t bringing it.

The Wayans Brothers are voting for their storyline brother Chris Ivory.

#3 Baltimore Ravens (3-1): All their gears aren’t in motion yet, but Ray Lewis has led the Ravens to a strong 3-1 start. They are still weak at kicker. Maybe they should follow the Saints example and cut Billy Cundiff and bring in veteran favorite Matt Stover. They can then cut 42-year-old Matt Stover. After they cut Stover they can bring in 50-year-old Morten Anderson. After they cut Anderson they can bring in 51 year old Gary Anderson.

#4 Kansas City Chiefs (3-0): KC Chiefs are the only undefeated team left in the NFL. KC won’t stay that way. Mercury Morris is devastated that he won’t be able to rap on national television anymore.

#5 Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1): Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told me that he is excited for the offensive boost Ben Roethlisberger will bring to the team. He said “Man, we are going to penetrate the end zone so many times with Ben.”

#6 Omaha Nighthawks (2-0): This win streak is getting crazy. I think Geno Auriemma must be coaching them.

Things I think I liked and didn’t like.

I think I liked……..

1- The Philadelphia Phillies World Series chances. Their rotation is loaded. Eagles coach Andy Reid told me that he gets alot of ideas about time management from watching Charlie Manuel. That may explain a few things.

2- Terrell Owens with 222 receiving yards against the Browns. You know its a good day when Owens gets more yards than total viewers in the history of the TO show on VH1.

3- Randy Moss to the Vikings. It will be nice to see Randy Moss return to the Minnesota Vikings. Hopefully Dante Culpepper and Gus Frerotte don’t join him.

4- John Cena joining the Nexus on Raw. I’m a football columnist, but I was glued to USA on Monday Night even though the Dolphins-Patriots game was on. Maybe I shouldn’t be telling people that.

5- Bon Jovi’s chances for making the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You ever seen me in leather pants?

You're with me, leather.

I think I didn’t like……

1- Jimmy Johnson getting voted off of Survivor. I’m going to miss seeing Jimmy without his shirt on every week. His bare chest has more charisma than the entire cast of the CBS NFL halftime show.

Jimmy, go put some clothes on.

2-Derek Anderson’s performance against the Chargers. Forget the Kurt Warner glory days, Anderson had Cards fans pining for the return of the Shaun King days.

3- The Undertaker-Kane feud. These two guys have been feuding since 1997. That is so long ago Brett Favre was the MVP. How crazy is that?

4- NFL pregame shows. These shows are about as funny as the Saw movies, but the talking heads all laugh like they are at an Artie Lange standup gig. Speaking of Artie, this was one of his best moments on the Howard Stern show.

5- Team USA losing the Ryder Cup against England. Corey Pavin was so comatose for this tournament, I thought he was sharing a bottle of Purple Drank with JaMarcus Russell.

Purple Drank!

The Return of the Vertically Striped NFL Power Rankings

•September 29, 2010 • 1 Comment

(Alright folks, please welcome back Craig Dodge of Vertically Striped Radio and Dever Penitentiary fame. Dodge is the host of Vertically  Striped Radio and author of the Vertically Striped Blog. I frequently call in and annoy him on his show. Between the Tuesday Evening Fullback and Dodge’s rankings and previews, we will own all when it comes to NFL content. Visit Dodge at www.verticallystripedsocks.com)

I know the NFL likes parity, but wow! Only 3 undefeated teams after just 3 weeks, even more odd is that the Chiefs are one of the three. We are nearly to the quarter pole, and if you think you have any idea who the best teams are, you’re an idiot. I pride myself on being an idiot, so here is where I say the power lies. List is subject to change, lots and lots of change…

1. Steelers (3-0) – Before the season started, people were worried how bad this team would be without Roethlisberger for the first month. With the defense that appears back to 2008 standards, it appears the concerns were overstated, and they only figure to get better when their big oaf of a quarterback comes back from suspension.

2. Packers (2-1) – I can’t kill the Packers too much for losing in Chicago to the undefeated Bears with a revved up Monday Night crowd. That’s tough sledding against your biggest rival. I still think at the end of the season that Green Bay will be better than Chicago, though.

3. Saints (2-1) – How many Saints fans are pulling a “What have you done for us lately?” routine with kicker Garrett Hartley? “Sure you nailed a pressure kick against the Vikings to get us into the Super Bowl, hit 3 kicks of over 40 yards in the Super Bowl, AND executed a successful onside kick to start the second half of the Super Bowl, but now you’re going to shank a 29 yard kick to win a game in overtime? You suck, Hartley!” Apparently even the Saints themselves are pulling this, as they are looking into new kickers, pro sports everybody!

4. Colts (2-1) – You wouldn’t know it from the stats, as on paper, Peyton Manning had a big day against the Broncos. However, if you watched the game. (And I was there, so I was definitely watching.) He seemed a little off. Also, the defense tightened up when the absolutely needed to, but Kyle Orton was moving the ball with ease in between the 20 yard lines.

5. Bears (3-0) – Huge win against the Pack. I’m not a big fan of the Bears, but those throwback uniforms they were wearing Monday night were pimp. They looked like the coolest High School team ever.

6. Jets (2-1) – Team Manic-Depressive. Two weeks ago, they looked like they had hit rock bottom after losing to the Ravens and looking dreadful. Now both the Jets and their fans are making plans to be in Dallas in February. I’d feel better if they were a little more consistent, but I have to admit that they are much better thus far through three games than I was anticipating at the outset of the year.

The Jets defense is unbreakable, much like the DUI ignition lock Braylon Edwards will now have in his car.

7. Ravens (2-1) – Baltimore righted the ship against Cleveland…sort of. I was expecting them to win by a bit more, and was surprised that Cleveland scored 17 against their defense. I feel like we’ll know a lot more about them after next week against the Steelers.

8. Falcons (2-1) – This team has been solid this year, and I am believing in them, but how many of their fans are experiencing Vick regret?

9. Texans (2-1) – The Texans were sort of playing with house money against Dallas after starting 2-0 and getting a win against their nemesis the Colts, but I still thought they were going to win the battle of Texas due to the inferiority complex that comes with being the Cowboys little brother. They are still out to a good start, and clearly that game meant more to the Cowboys, but I think a contender puts their foot down on the struggling Cowpokes.

10. Patriots (2-1) – The Pats will need to win every game 42-35 by the looks of it. Bill Belichick’s team is defense optional.

11. Bengals (2-1) – After getting killed by New England in week 1, Cincy has kind of slipped below the radar, but they are there lurking right now.

This is apparently the image Carson Palmer sees in his head when he is about to throw a football.

12. Eagles (2-1) – Best story of the first month so far has to be the redemption of Michael Vick. Playing well doesn’t mean he’s turned into a good person, but at least he’s fun to watch again…and really, when it comes to sports, that’s mostly what matters. I’m all for having guys with good character, but at the end of the day this is entertainment, not a morality play.

13. Cowboys (1-2) – Wow did Wade Phillips need that win. I feel like the Cowboys are about to go out and string together a bunch of wins now. This team may be dumb, but they are also talented.

14. Vikings (1-2) – The Lions came to town at just the right time. Minnesota now needs to go out and beat someone impressive. Brett Favre is still likely to regret coming back this season.

15. Chiefs (3-0) – The Chiefs have had a nice little start, but let’s not get too overly excited about beating the 49ers, Chargers, and Browns.

16. Titans (2-1) – The perfect cure for Vince Young’s quarterback woes is coming…a home date against the Broncos defense!

17. Dolphins (2-1) – What a terrific game against the Jets on Sunday night. For once, everyone was cheering FOR Miami. Once basketball season rolls around, that will change quickly.

If Craig Dodge thinks Sunday night was the first time people ever cheered for Miami, he is mistaken.

18. Seahawks (2-1) – Perhaps this will be the first team in NFL history that bases most of it’s offense on Kickoff returns. Not a strategy I would associate with a champion, but it sure worked on Sunday.

19. Chargers (1-2) – Is this the typical early season malaise, or are the Chargers actually not that good anymore?

The only thing uglier than San Diego's performance this year is Norv Turner's face.

20. Cardinals (2-1) – I am baffled that this team is over .500. Talk about something I don’t expect to last. I’d put more stock in a BP popularity resurgence in Louisiana than in the Cards right now.

21. Giants (1-2) – That opening season romp over the Panthers seems less impressive now that the Panthers look about as fierce as a wet noodle and the Giants have getting obliterated ever since.

22. Redskins (1-2) – I think the reason that the Eagles may have been so quick to dump McNabb to a division rival is because they knew he just isn’t very good anymore. Skins still have some hope, but Shanahan will need to do better than losing by two touchdowns to the Rams.

23. Jaguars (1-2) – This team has flat out sucked since opening the season win versus Denver. It’s gotta be tough to find reasons to put on teal and root for this team if you live in Northeast Florida.

24. Buccaneers (2-1) – You knew they wouldn’t stay undefeated TOO long. This is a young team that has the opportunity to grow and get better this year, but they have a long way to go before they are contending.

25. Broncos (1-2) – The Broncos are playing hard for Josh McDaniels, which is a good sign. They don’t seem like they are going to get blown out much, but I can sure see them losing a lot of relatively close games.

26. Rams (1-2) – The Rams beat Washington by two touchdowns. Wait…What?

27. Lions (0-3) – Perhaps the best 0-3 team in America!

28. Raiders (1-2) – Every year I think, this is the year the Raiders finally won’t completely suck. Every year I am wrong.

29. 49ers (0-3) – Mike Singletary’s team looks lost. Perhaps he should moon them and see what happens?

Mike Singletary is so intense, it looks like he stands on the sideline and thinks of ways to kill people without getting caught.

30. Browns (0-3) – Well, at least it appears safe to say that they won the Peyton Hills for Brady Quinn trade. The Browns will take whatever wins they can get.

31. Panthers (0-3) – Masters of the thirteen point loss. They are three for three in losing by thirteen this season thus far.

32. Bills (0-3) – This is too depressing to even mock. I’m sorry, Buffalo. You deserve better.

Tuesday Evening Fullback- Week 3 of the NFL- Thoughts on Carroll, Favre, Manning, McCluster and more.

•September 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Peter King: A great man

(Enjoy the Tuesday Evening Fullback folks, its my weekly little tribute to Peter King. Click here for the real thing.)

Well folks we’ve been swept up by another week of NFL action. As the preeminent football journalist in the entire world, I felt like it was my duty to offer a weekly rundown of all things Romo, Moeaki, McCluster.

Personal Connections/ Thoughts on Week III

There were alot of happy players, coaches, and owners following Week 3 of the NFL season. I thought I would share a few snippets I heard from a diverse collection of personnel around the league. You see, I am the preeminent NFL columnist in the entire world so its my constitutional duty to pretend like I am a close friend and confidant of every single person associated with the NFL in order to impress all you peons and fill my insatiable ego.

An ebullient Jerry Jones admitted to me on Skype that “Quite candidly, I had already picked out a whole in the desert to bury Wade (Phillips) if we had lost again.” Jerry Jones runs a class organization.

An exuberant Pete Carroll texted me after his Seattle Seahawks impressive 27-20 victory over the Chargers to tell me that this was really the wrong number and the person I was contacting was really a guy named Mike Krayzelburg from Battle Creek Michigan who was going to pursue legal action if I kept texting and calling him. You could feel the camaraderie emanating off Pete on the phone.

Speaking of Pete Carroll, I spilled a scalding hot cup of Seattle’s finest on my privates the other day.

Pete Carroll responds to a media question about USC.

Andy Reid called me from his traditional post game trip to the bathroom to let me know that he is extremely pleased by the way Mike Vick played  against the beleaguered Jacksonville Jaguars and that he plans on never eating taco’s followed by his wife’s brownies at the post game spread ever again.

My close personal friend Peyton Manning left me a voicemail to let me know that if I cheated on him by calling Brett Favre again this week he and Eli were going to hogtie me and leave me in front of an oncoming train.

I think the Pittsburgh Steelers are a team worth watching. If Charlie Batch keeps up his great play, he will likely be allowed to stick around as Pittsburgh’s 3rd Quarterback after Ben and Dixon get back.

Braylon Edwards sent me an e-mail during his traditional postgame DUI to let me know that he was impressed with Mark Sanchez’s poise and confidence following the Jets impressive Sunday Night Football victory. You gotta love the confidence Rex Ryan has established in these boys.

Later in the night Mike Krayzelburg interrupted my dinner with Tony Dungy to let me know that he had called the authorities and that a protection order had been filed against me. I tell you, Leon Washington is a player to watch.

Todd Haley is doing such a great job as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, that I just want to pick him up like a dog and start petting him. When I texted this to Todd, he quickly texted back saying, “Peter, thats a little creepy.”

Speaking of Kansas City, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis took timeout of counting all the piles of money he stole from Notre Dame to let me know that Sunday was a great day for him. He told me in a fax “I was very pleased by the progress Matt Cassell has shown this season. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that Jimmy Clausen took the loss and went 16 for 33 with 188 yards and an INT. He is doing even better in Carolina than he did at Notre Dame.”

I asked Charlie if he watched the Stanford-Notre Dame game on Saturday and he responded with this

Boy I tell you, I can’t get enough NFL action. You know what else I can’t get enough of? Coffee. I drink so much of Colombia’s fineset that the DEA has actually found traces of cocaine in my system. Maybe that will help me when I run the New Hampshire half marathon this Saturday. Send your donations to http://runpeterkingrun.com/ The Kenyans have no idea whats going to hit them. No, I literally plan on hitting them with baseball bats.

Awards-

Offensive Player of the Week:

Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings- Look I know Adrian Peterson ran for 160 yards and 2 TDs. I also know that Brett Favre through 2 interceptions. However, Brett Favre showed moxie in the Vikings season saving 24-10 victory over the Lions. I like moxie. You know what else I like, going into the Vikings  locker-room and pretending to interview other players just so I can see Brett Favre put on his Wrangler jeans. God he looks great in them.

"Nice Wranglers, Brett."

Defensive Player of the Week:

Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings- Look I know Brett Favre plays QB and didn’t have any tackles in this game, but he showed tremendous poise and moxie chasing after Corey Williams and Alphonso Smith following their interceptions of his passes. Were you watching this Jimmy Clausen?

Brett Favre is a handsome man. Jimmy Clausen looks like an emu.

Coach of the Week:

Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans- Congratulations to Jeff Fisher and the Tennessee Titans for knocking off the struggling New York Giants. I have to give the Coach of the Week award to Jeff for actually leaving Vince Young in an entire game. I know the temptation was there for a little bit to pull him like Fisher always does, but he stuck to the game plan and it got him the win.

Fantasy Tip for Week IV

Look, I know I’m an old school guy and not too into the fantasy stuff, but I have a tremendous tip for week 4. I have been cultivating my sources and checking the newswire and have come up with this. Do not start Brett Favre in Week 4 on your fantasy team. The Vikings have a bye week. I took me hours to get that information and I hope you do the right thing with it.

Hopefully you followed my advice for week 3 and did not start Todd Bouman the backup quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had 0 passes for 0 yards.

What can you say? Move over Mr. Roto, make the Tuesday Evening Fullback your source for fantasy information.

The Select Six-

#1 Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0): Forget about Ben Roethlisberger looking over his shoulder, 4 time  Super Bowl winner Terry Bradshaw better be looking over the shoulder at his place in history if Charlie Batch keeps playing like this.

#2 Kansas City Chiefs (3-0): What can you say about the Kansas Chiefs that hasn’t already been said about the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls that won 72 games? I hear Chiefs rookie star Dexter McCluster used to wear Jordan sneakers as a child? Coincidence?

#3 Chicago Bears (3-0): They beat the Green Bay Packers in a great game on Monday night. Jay Cutler played with a winning mentality that hasn’t been seen since his high school days, due to the fact his teams largely sucked at Vanderbilt and Denver.

#4 New Orleans Saints (2-1): The Saints were a 29 yard missed field goal in overitme away from going 3-0. The only way Garrett Hartley keeps his job is if Matt Stover steps on a bear trap.

#5 Indianapolis Colts (2-1): Peyton Manning is a special professional football player. He is a great man, in fact he is so great I decided to write a song about our relationship.

#6 Omaha Nighthawks (1-0): I don’t care that the Omaha Nighthawks play in the UFL. Between Jeff Garcia, Maurice Clarett, Ahman Green, Cato June and coach Jeff Jagodzkinski, these guys would win at least 14 games in the NFL.

The least famous Stallone movie of all time.

Things I think I liked and didn’t like:

I think I liked the following this week:

1- Coffee

2- Mike Vick against the Jags. He appears to have developed a great feel for the passing game behind bars. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis should plant a bag of heroin in Carson Palmer’s car, so he can also re-learn how to throw the ball.

3- Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Patriots. Although the Bills lost 38-30 to Tom Brady and the Patriots, acclaim must be given to new starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills were so bad with Trent Edwards as QB, Canadian border officials were going to have the team declared a banned substance so they wouldn’t be allowed into the country.

The Mounties ride to head the Bills off at the pass.

4- Mike Martz with the Bears. Martz and Cutler seem like the perfect couple. With Cutler, it appears that Martz has finally found the quarterback he was missing when he failed repeatedly with the Rams, Lions, and 49ers.

5- The Philadelphia Phillies clinched their 4th NL East title in a row. It appears that Brad Lidge has found his 2008 form, and the pitching and hitting are rolling on all cylinders. Its odd to me that Charlie Manuel has a better grasp of the 2 minute drill than Andy Reid, and he doesn’t even coach football.

I think I didn’t like these things:

1- 18 penalties for 152 yards for the Packers against the Bears. Apparently the Packers missed seeing the yellow color of cheeseheads so they repeatedly kept committing penalties in order to have yellow flags all over the field.

2- Giant Gonzales’ death. I am saddened by the death of the Argentine big man. The world has gotten a little smaller. I’ve decided to include this obituary by AOL Fan House in the report this week:

“Local Argentinian media is reporting that Jorge Gonzalez, who competed in World Championship Wrestling as “El Gigante” before heading to the World Wrestling Federation as Giant Gonzalez, has died from diabetes complications and other issues due to his 7-foot-7 height. He was 44.

Gonzalez was brought into WCW by Turner Broadcasting through a contract shift. Originally drafted into the NBA by the Atlanta Hawks, Turner introduced the wrestling world to El Gigante (“The Giant”) at WCW’s Capital Combat 1990 pay-per-view, debuting as a surprise during a Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger steel cage match. Gigante made an impression on fans with his incredible height, but was considered “extremely limited” in the ring.

Gigante worked from 1990 through 1993 for WCW, and was signed by WWF in early 1993. Gonzalez debuted at the Royal Rumble that year in an airbrushed, furry bodysuit that made him appear to be naked. He began a feud with The Undertaker that culminated in a match at WrestleMania IX in Las Vegas. Gonzalez was managed by Harvey Wippleman during the run, which ended after a SummerSlam loss to Taker in a “Rest in Peace” match. He left the company soon afterward.

Gonzalez made appearances with both New and All Japan Pro Wrestling and appeared in an episode of “Baywatch,” playing a sad, bullied giant. Last year, he was scheduled to return to the U.S. for a convention appearance, but his health was deteriorating and the appearance was canceled. http://www.fanhouse.com/2010/09/25/giant-gonzalez-dead/?synd=1

Shame on Commissioner Goodell on not making every single team observe a moment of silence before each game this week.

Farewell Giant, the candle burned out long before the legend ever did

3- Frank Mir’s victory over Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 119. Its called fighting gentlemen, not slow dancing. Cro Cop is finished. His kicks are now more useless than Garrett Hartley’s.

4- Eric Mangini’s coaching tenure for the Cleveland Browns. Despite a great performance from Peyton Hillis, Mangini’s team dropped to 0-3 with no relief in sight. If you can’t get a win with Jake Delhomme on the bench, you sure as hell aren’t getting one with him in the game.

5-Gus Johnson’s constant screaming. Gus relax. You should have stopped screaming after this horrible moment in your announcing career.

Berlin Chronicles II: The Bundesliga Strikes Back

•September 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So, since my last article the Bundesliga has gone through more changes than a Lady Gaga live show and yielded some results that were frankly far more shocking than anything she has ever done. There was the closure of the transfer window, the  humbling of some big boys and a whooping 39 goals in just 9 matches that took us up to the international break on Friday 3rd September.

The matches kicked off with another Friday showdown for Bayern Munich in their first away game of the season. This time they were against new boys, FC Kaiserlautern. Munich started brightly and were pushing hard for an early goal which should have come courtesy of Thomas Muller who was set free inside the box thanks to some fine team play but he failed to convert the opportunity.

There was no doubt that Bayern were dominating but Kaiserlautern were playing strong counter attack football and they opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a high drive into the corner by Ivo Ilicevic. The home fans were ecstatic and thanks to some high adrenaline racing through their veins the boys added another within a minute thanks to Srdjan Lakic.  2-0!

Although the second half brought more Bayern pressure they seemed to lack the spark in front of goal and couldn’t get their act together and the big lavish Bavarian stars crashed to their first defeat of the campaign.

On Saturday it was a battle of the numbers as Schalke 04 played host to Hannover 96. This should have been a relevatively easy affair for the home team but as we all know, affairs can get messy- just ask the England team.

Hannover’s manager is Mirko Slomka, a man that was recently dismissed by Schalke. This was his first trip back to the Vetlins Arena since he received his marching orders and it was one for him to cherish for many moons to come.

Schalke started well and had a goal disallowed as the corner that preceded Jefferson Farfan’s attempt was judged to have gone out of play en route to his head. Raul showed some sparkle and backheeled to set up German-born, U.S international Jermaine Jones, who squandered the chance.

It was Hannover who took the lead however when Konstantin Rauch placed the ball past German Number 1, Manuel Neuer. After half-time, Hannover doubled their lead thanks to Abdellaoue converting a rebound.

Schalke looked out of sorts but with 10 minutes to go, the controversial Jones  (he once told a German sports mag that he hoped there were no gay players in the Bundesliga) pulled one back. However, it was all too little too late as Schalke kept up their 100% losing streak this season.

New signing Diego shone on his return to the Bundesliga but he couldn’t help his new boss (comedy character Steve McClaren) get his first league win with Wolfsburg as they threw away a 3 goal lead to lose 3-4 on home soil to 1. FSV Mainz.

Werder Bremen beat sorry 1. FC Koln 4-2 and that scoreline does not incidate the dominance Bremen had. On this evidence Cologne really need to pull their socks up or they will be the next big German city without a team in the Bundesliga.

At the other end of the table, Hamburger SV are looking good for a strong finish and a possible title challenge this season after a convincing away win against Frankfurt with that man van Nistelrooy showing even in his advancing years he has much to offer.

In the other Saturday afternoon game, Freiburg beat Nurnberg 2-1 away from home.

Saturday evening brought St. Pauli hosting Hoffenheim. Both teams played attacking football from the off (proving this ain’t Italy) and each had a number of chances but couldn’t convert them due to some good goalkeeping and poor finishing. Hoffenheim eventually got the winner with just 3 minutes of the 90 to go thanks to an Isaac Vorsah strike off the back of a corner. A bitter blow for the Hamburgers of St. Pauli.

On Sunday there was a 9, yes count them, NINE, goal thriller between Bayern Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach (try saying that after one too many).

Home boys Leverkusen struggled after European exploits earlier in the week and their defence showed more holes than a pair of Kurt Cobain’s jeans. Despite bringing Ballack and Hyypia into the staring line up they couldn’t prevent themselves going into the break 3-1 down. The second half was no better and after just 10 minutes of the second half they found themselves 3 goals behind. Vidal scored a penalty to bring it back to 4-2 but then Monchengladbach made it 6-2 in the next 10 minutes before Kiessling scored a consolation in the 70th to make it 6-3  and that is how it ended.

The last game of the weekend featured Borussia Dortmund travelling to Stuttgart and winning comfortably. Stuttgart got off to the worst possible start as the human liablity that is Khalid Boulahrouz put a Marcel Schmelzer cross into his own net. Then on the 26th minute Lucas Barrios made it two, thanks to a poor clearance by Georg Niedermeier and by half time it was 3-0 to Dortmund due to a mix up between Ulreich and Niedermeier. Stuttgart got better in the second half but could only claw back 1 goal courtesy of Cacau. It ended 3-1.

Here are the big incoming transfers before the window closed at the end of the business day on August 31st:

Diego: Juventus to Wolfsburg- €15.5m

Klass Jan Huntelaar: Milan to Schalke- €14m

Gylfi Sigurdsson: Reading to Hoffenheim €8.9m

DaMarcus Beasley: Rangers to Hannover 96- Free

Mauro Camoranesi: Juventus to Stuttgart- Free

Mickeal Silvestre: Arsenal to Werder Bremen- Free

For all those statos out there who want to know the details that most find dull head over to the Bundesliga site at: www.bundesliga.de. Don’t stress it can be put in to English.

See you after the International break.

Mark.

www.soundcloud.com/popcampaign.

Getting back on the autobahn: Bundesliga Roundup

•August 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

(Elevation Note- I’m pleased to introduce Mark Rex our newest OE correspondent. He will be our guide to help us navigate the 2010-2011 Bundesliga season. He knows everything about German football. I know very little, therefore he gets to be on the German beat. Check out his band at: http://www.popcampaign.blogspot.com/)

This article is Hof tested, and Hof approved.

After the excitement of Germany’s performance in this summers World Cup, everyone has waited for the new domestic season with baited breath and this weekend that wait was finally over with the commencement of the latest installment of the Bundesliga, now in it’s 48th season.

Ok, so Oezil and Khedira  made the big money moves to La Liga and the main managerial excitement involved ex-England flop Steve “Man with an Umbrella” McLaren (Wiki it) taking over at VfLWolfsburg. This is the man, lest we forget, that within a matter of months of taking over at former club FC Twente was talking in broken English during an interview (Youtube it for laughs). It’s not all doom and gloom though, Ballack (Chelsea to Bayer Leverkusen, free) is back and that coupled with the arrival of Raul (Real Madrid to Schalke 04, free) is bound to keep the entertainment levels high in one of the biggest Football Leagues in the world.

The opening match kicked off on Friday night and pitted reigning champions Bayern Munich against 08-09 champs, Wolfsburg. It was the first match in charge for the aforementioned McLaren and there ain’t no bigger baptism of fire than this. 69,000 crammed into the Alliance Arena to watch a Bayern team that boasts absolutely no changes from last season other than the return of German World Cup medalist Toni Kroos from Leverkusen (obviously now surplus to requirements with the above Ballack switch). This is in stark contrast to Wolfsburg who splashed the cash this summer, spending in excess of €19m.

Bayern got off to a flier thanks to a fine finish from Golden Boot winner Thomas Mueller after just 9 minutes. Munich continued to press with some fine play by Ribery showing no signs that his impending court trial is affecting his performance on the pitch. Bayern dominated until half time and could have went in 2 or 3 ahead if they had taken their chances. After the break, Wolfsburg were a changed side. They suddenly had a swagger and a will to win the game. After several missed chances (mainly thanks to some sloppy Bayern defending) they finally equalised in the 55th minute from a corner received successfully by the head of Edin Dzeko. The match then could have gone either way. Both teams made a couple of changes to try shake things up but it looked set for a draw, until, in the 92nd minute, Bavarian local hero, Bastian Schweinsteiger connected at the far post to a Ribery cross that sealed Wolfsburg’s fate. The stadium exploded as Bayern tasted sweet victory and Wolfsburg suffered a cruel fate. Their pain was no better explained than via the replayed television coverage of McLaren throwing his water bottle down in anger and mouthing an obscenity in perfect English.

Franck Ribery prepares to enter the game.

Saturday afternoon brought with it the emergence of funf neu (5 new) matches. The rise of 1899 Hoffenheim in German Football is a true David vs Goliath story and one that fairytales are written about. They continued their ascendance to the top of the game with a convincing 4-1 victory over SV Werder Bremen who are clearly at a bit of a loss with the departure of Oezil. It all started so well for Bremen who were awarded a penalty after just 3 minutes due to a handball by Marvin Compper. Captain Torsten Frings stepped up and made no mistake from the spot. However,  Hoffenheim are not a team that allows a silly thing like having a tiny population of just 3,300 to stop them competing with the big boys in the Bundesliga and in turn they showed what they are all about by equalising in the 20th minute and then banging in three more in the space of eight minutes before Half-Time. Bremen couldn’t get back into it after that and were showing clear signs of fatigue after their impressive 3-1 victory in the Champions League Play-Off in mid-week against Sampdoria. It finished 4-1 Hoffenheim.

Newly promoted St. Pauli and 1. FC Kaiserlautern both won their first games back in the top flight 3-1. It is the first time that the new boys have both won their opening fixtures in Bundesliga history.

Kaiserlautern’s victims were 1.FC Koln (who played with just 10 men for 88 minutes of the match due to the sending off of Yousseff Mohammed) and St. Pauli saw away SC Freiburg with relative ease.

In 1997/1998 season, Kaiserlautern beat Bayern Munich in their opening fixture and went on to win the league becoming the first newly promoted team to do so in the Bundesliga. They will be hoping for a repeat this time round but in reality staying up would be a good achievement for both these sides this year.

In the other matches on Saturday afternoon, Borussia Moenchengladbach drew 1-1 with 1.FC Nurnberg and Hannover 96 beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1.

Saturday evening brought the Bundesliga debut of Raul with Hamburger SV vs Schalke 04. HSV dominated the first half and should have been ahead at the break when Ruud Van Nistelrooy hammered the crossbar with a free kick leaving Neuer to make a fantastic save by denying the rebound by Elia. However, just a minute after the break, Van Nistelrooy did score after a dream cross by Elia on the left wing. Soon after, around the 60 minute mark, Hoewedes was sent off for Schalke and things looked like caving in on them until on the 80th minute when Farfan netted from an Ivan Rakitic free-kick. However, they couldn’t hold on for the draw and Van Nistelrooy pounced again 3 minutes later to seal their fate and hand victory to Hamburg.

On Sunday afternoon, 1.FSV Mainz shocked Stuttgart after goals from their new strike duo of Allagui and Rasmussen after Stuttgart’s Cacau missed a penalty and that evening Bayer Leverkusen sealed a 2-0 away victory against Borussia Dortmund with goals from Barnetta and Renat-Augusto which meant a happy return to the Bundesliga for Michael Ballack after four years away.

For those of you who love a good stat here are the details of all the games this weekend:

20.08.10          20:30   FC Bayern München   2          :           1 VfL Wolfsburg

Mueller (9’)        Dzeko (55’)

Schweinsteiger (90’+1)

Line-ups:

FC Bayern: Butt – Lahm, van Buyten, Badstuber, Contento – van Bommel, Schweinsteiger – Müller, Kroos (Pranjic 73′), Ribery – Klose (Gomez 74′)

Wolfsburg: Benaglio – Pekarik (Misimovic 46′), Kjaer, Barzagli, Schäfer – Riether, Josue – Ziani (Dejagah 77′), Cicero, Mandzukic (Grafite 88′) – Dzeko

Attendance in the Allianz Arena: 69,000

Bookings: 4 Yellow Cards: Mark Van Bommel (BM 33’) Peter Pekarik (VfL W 43’), Cicero ( VfL W 62’) Andrea Barzagli (VfL W 66’)

——————————————————————————————————-

21.08.10          15:30   1899 Hoffenheim         4 : 1    SV Werder Bremen    4:1 (4:1)

Demba Ba (20’)            Torsten Frings (3’ PEN)

Peniel Kokou Mlapa (37’)

Vedad Ibjsevic (41’)

Sejad Salihovic (43’)

Line-ups:

1899: Starke – Beck, Vorsah, Simunic, Compper (Eichner 72′) – Weis, Gustavo, Salihovic – Mlapa (Thomalla 77′), Ibisevic, Ba (Vukcevic 62′)

Bremen: Wiese – Fritz, Mertesacker, Prödl, Pasanen – Frings – Borowski (Wagner 73′), Hunt (Marin 46′), Bargfrede – Pizarro, Almeida (Arnautovic 23′)

Attendance: 13,000 (Rhein-Neckar-Arena)

Bookings: 3 Yellow Cards: Tim Borowski ( WB 10’) Clemens Fritz (WB 66’)                   Christian Eichner (H 89’)

——————————————————————————————————-

21.08.10          15:30   Borussia M’gladbach  1 : 1    1. FC Nürnberg

Idrissou (31′)             Hegeler (15′)

Line Ups:

Mönchengladbach: Bailly – Levels, Brouwers, Dante, Daems – Bradley, Marx – Reus, Arango (Hermann 83′) – Matmour (Bobadilla 64′), Idrissou

Nürnberg: Schäfer – Judt, Wolf, Nilsson, Pinola (Bieler 67′) – Hegeler, Simons – Ekici (Eigler 73′), Gündogan, Bunjaku (Frantz 86′) – Schieber

Attendance: 42,202 (Borussia Park)

Bookings: 2 Yellows Cards: Filip Daems (BM 80’)  Raphael Schaefer (FCN 86’)

—————————————————————————————————–

21.08.10          15:30   1. FC Köln      1: 3      1. FC Kaiserslautern

Novakovic (8′)    Lakic (70′)

Lakic (84′)

Ilicevic (88′)

Line Ups:
Köln: Mondragon – Brecko, McKenna, Mohamad, Salger  Petit (Ehret 86′) – Lanig, Jajalo  Yalcin (Pezzoni 14′) – Novakovic, Podolski (Freis 78′)

Lautern: Sippel – Dick, Amedick, Rodnei, Bugera (Jessen 46′) – Tiffert, Bilek  Kirch (Ilicevic 46′), Moravek (Nemenc 78′) – Lakic, Hoffer

Attendance: 49,200 (RheinEnergieStadion)

Bookings: 1 Red Card : Mohamad (FCKo 2′)

3 Yellow Cards: Lukas Podolski (FCKo 78’) Florian Dick (FCKa 37’) Leon Jessen (FCKa 56’)

21.08.10          15:30   SC Freiburg     1  :  3   FC St. Pauli

Cisse (78′)          Boll (83′)

Sukuta-Pasu (89′)

Bartels (90+1′)

Line Ups:

Freiburg: Pouplin  Mujdza (Williams 46′), Barth, Butscher, Bastians – Schuster Caligiuri (Nicu 56′), Makiadi, Rosenthal (Reisinger 89′), Jäger – Cisse

Pauli: Hain – Rothenbach, Thorandt, Zambrano, Oczipka – Boll, Lehmann – Bruns (M. Kruse 58′), Hennings (Bartels 68′), Naki (Sukuta-Pasu 80′) – Ebbers

Attendance: 24,000 (sold out – Badenova-Stadion)

Bookings: NONE

—————————————————————————————————–

21.08.10          15:30   Hannover 96   2: 1      Eintracht Frankfurt

Rausch (21′)              Köhler (27′)

Ya Konan (75′)

Line Ups:

Hannover: Fromlowitz – Cherundolo, Haggui, Pogatetz, Schulz – Pinto, Schmiedebach (Stindl 85′) – Carlitos (Stoppelkamp 3′), Rausch (Djakpa 74′) – Abdellaoue, Ya Konan

Frankfurt: Nikolov – Jung, Franz, Russ, Tzavellas (Korkmaz 65′) – Meier, Schwegler (Caio 78′) – Ochs, Köhler – Gekas (Halil Altintop 60′), Amanatidis

Attendance: 37,212 (AWD-Arena)

Bookings:  1 Yellow Card: Georgios Tzavellas (F 62’)

—————————————————————————————————–

21.08.10          18:30   Hamburger SV            2: 1      FC Schalke 04

van Nistelrooy (46′ & 83’)                      Farfan (80′)

Line Ups:

HSV: Demel, Westermann, Mathijsen, Jansen (Rincon 77′) – Jarolim, Ze Roberto – Pitroipa, Petric (Guerrero 70′), Elia (Kacar 79′) – van Nistelrooy

Schalke: Neuer – Matip (Uchida 59′), Höwedes, Metzelder, Hao – Papadopoulos (Schmitz 49′), Jones – Farfan, Rakitic – Raul (Moritz 63′)), Edu

Attendance: 55,000 (Imtech Arena)

Bookings: 4 Yellow Cards and 1 Red: van Nistelrooy (H 47’) Ze Roberto (H 84’) Benedikt Höwedes  (FCS 53’)  Benedikt Höwedes (FCS 60′ 2nd Yellow > RED)

—————————————————————————————————–

22.08.10          15:30   1. FSV Mainz 05         2: 0      VfB Stuttgart

Allagui (26′)

Rasmussen (47′)

Line Ups:

Mainz: Wetklo – Zabavnik, Svensson, Noveski, Fuchs – Holtby (Simak 89′), Karhan (Caligiuri 67′), Polanski – Soto – Allagui, Rasmussen (Szalai 72′)

VfB: Ulreich – Degen (Harnik 67′), Boulahrouz, 6 Niedermeier, Molinaro – Gentner, Kuzmanovic – Gebhart (Audel 57′), Träsch – Cacau, Marica (Pogrebnyak 75′)

Attendance: 20,300 (sold out – Bruchwegstadion)

Bookings: 5 Yellow Cards: Mainz: Bo Svensson (M 18’) Radoslav Zabavnik (M 20’) Christian Fuchs (M 38’) Christian Wetklo (M 70’) Georg Niedermeier (S 90+3)

—————————————————————————————————

22.08.10  17:30           Borussia Dortmund  0 : 2        Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Tranquillo Barnetta (19′)

Renato Augusto (22′)

Line Ups:

BVB: Weidenfeller – Owomoyela (Rangelow 77′), Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer – Kehl (Lewandowski 63′), Sahin – Großkreutz (Piszczek 67′), Kagawa, Götze – Barrios

Bayer: Adler – Castro, Reinartz, Hyypiä, Kadlec – Ballack, Vidal (Balitsch 81′) – Augusto (Schwaab 81′), Barnetta (L. Bender 76′) – Derdiyok, Kießling

Attendance: 73,300 (Signal-Iduna-Park)

Goals: 0-1 Bookings: NONE

——————————————————————————————————-

And finally looking forward to next weeks Bundesliga Matches:

Date                                        Home              Away

27.08.10          20:30   1. FC Kaiserslautern : FC Bayern München

28.08.10          15:30   FC Schalke 04 : Hannover 96

28.08.10          15:30   SV Werder Bremen    : 1. FC Köln

28.08.10          15:30   VfL Wolfsburg           : 1. FSV Mainz 05

28.08.10          15:30   Eintracht Frankfurt     : Hamburger SV

28.08.10          15:30   1. FC Nürnberg           : SC Freiburg

28.08.10          18:30   FC St. Pauli     : 1899 Hoffenheim

29.08.10          15:30   Bayer 04 Leverkusen : Borussia M’gladbach

29.08.10          17:30   VfB Stuttgart : Borussia Dortmund

 
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