Vol. I, Issue 2
First things first: my beloved Kansas City Royals clinched their first playoff appearance in 28 years and 11 months this weekend!!!
Something as life changing as this needs its own article/essay, so while I’m trying to condense that to under 8500 words, let’s get to the week in sports.
How good was Teddy Bridgewater in his first career start? The win over playoff-quality Atlanta was HUGE for the Vikings. The offense performance, over 550 yards and 41 points, was unbelievable, especially without Adrian Peterson. And Teddy-B’s stat line was phenomenal: 19/30, 317 pass yards, 98.9 QB Rating, 85.6 QBR, 27 rush yards, 1 TD, 0 turnovers. But the only way I can put Teddy’s start in perspective…
Is with an up-to-the-minute, no-minimum ranking (courtesy of pro-football-reference.com) of career leaders in Passing Yards Per Attempt (YPA is, IMHO, the most critical stat other for QB’s).
1. Teddy Bridgewater (2014-Present): 9.3 YPA
2. Otto Graham (1946-1955): 9.0 YPA
3. Sid Luckman (1939-1950): 8.4 YPA
T-4. Norm van Brocklin (1949-1960): 8.2 YPA
T-4. Aaron Rodgers (2005-2014): 8.2 YPA
There it is. At this moment, TB #5 is the greatest quarterback of all time. (And according to this logic, Sid Luckman and Norm van Brocklin also crack the top five!)
Tonight’s MNF matchup is a big one for me: it features my beloved Chiefs and one of my least favorite teams in the league, the Patriots. Three games into the season, the Pats are ranked 27th in the league in total offense, and Tom Uggz Brady has a YPA of 5.5. (In other words, if both Bridgewater and Brady threw the ball 35 times, you can expect 193 yards from Brady and 326 from Teddy Time.)
The Chiefs, meanwhile, have the critical advantage of Arrowhead Stadium, should have All-Pro Jamaal Charles back, and even with six starters injured, will field the more complete team. The Chiefs are rolling with the momentum after nearly winning in Denver and then crushing Miami on the road—and add the collective joy of KC’s upcoming baseball playoff run! I may have picked the Pats to go 12-4 in my AFC Preview, but this one is going to KC—and BIG! Your official Council prediction?
Major League Baseball
With the MLB regular season officially over, it’s time to hand out Fidelity Sports’ MLB Awards.
AL MVP: Mike Trout, CF, Angels
NL MVP: Clayton Kershaw, P, Dodgers
Co-Rookie of the Year: Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox; Yordano Ventura, P, Royals
Co-Coaches of the Year: Buck Showwalter, Orioles; Ned Yost, Royals
Without question, the best all-around ball player right now is 23-year old Mike Trout. The kid is so money. In both traditional (batting avg/home runs/RBI’s) and advanced (Wins Above Replacement, etc) statistics, Trout is the best nightly player in the game, and has been for three full years. Similarly, Kershaw is like Trout on the Mound, dominating every statistical pitching category and putting together one of the best pitching seasons in history. The man finished the season on an 18-1 tear, with the only loss coming from a 3-run complete game when the Dodgers could only muster 2 runs. He gave up only 25 earned runs in those 19 starts. Holy smokes!
The Rookies of the Year are Abreu—the second coming of the Big Hurt (90’s White Sox 1B Frank Thomas)—and Ventura, who is a younger, better Flash Gordon. And Coach of the Year also gets split: between Baltimore’s Buck Showalter (whose O’s battled injuries all season but still finished 12 games ahead of the pack in the AL East—and 25 games above Boston) and the Blue Kingdom’s Ned Yost. Hate on Yost for his player management and not-so-cuddly media presence all you want; the Royals are in the playoffs for the first time in 28 years and 11 months!!! Did I say that already?
Here are your end-of-season Fidelity MLB Power Rankings (including win totals).
1. LA Angels (98)
2. Washington Expos/Nationals (96)
T-3. Baltimore O’s (96)
T-3. LA Dodgers (94)
5. Detroit Tigers (90)
6. KC Royals (89)
7. St Louis Cardinals (90)
T-8. Oakland A’s, San Fran Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates (88)
Playoff preview coming soon!
While (accidentally?) wearing all-red, pajama-style uniforms that looked like walking popsicles, the kansas jayhawks lost to the hapless Texas Longhorns 23-0 at home. So thorough was the defeat (remember, Texas just lost 41-7 at home to a Mormon boarding school two weeks ago and has expelled nine players from its school in the past four weeks) that kU fired head coach Charlie Weis within a few hours of the game. Former Notre Dame coach Weis was a big-name addition to the chronically horrible football program, but he now has the sad reputation of overseeing the worst set of football teams in sporting history. Let’s have some fun at kansas’ expense!
From mid-October 2008 through this past weekend, the jayhawks played 13 games against Non-Power 5 teams (in other words, “against early season cupcakes scheduled to be automatic wins”), but went only 7-6 in these games. Barely over .500 against the cupcakes!!! (My favorite during this span was a 6-3 home loss to North Dakota State College in 2010. Yes, that was a football game.)
Now, ruling out those cupcake games, let’s look at kansas football’s five-year run against Power 5’s. (And remember: kansas plays in The Former Big 12–the weakest of the five conferences.)
Grand total? A whopping 4-45!! Ladies and gentlemen, the worst college football team in history. to put this in perspective, if kansas were an NFL team, this would translate to two 0-16 seasons and a handful of 1-15’s. And did I mention that kU still has to pay out Charlie Weis’ remaining contract, which is over $7 million? Great use of tax-payers money, university of kansas!
In fact, things were so bad in 2012 that the official team website listed a Win for its spring game (an internal game consisting of only its own players) in order to “break” their 11-game losing streak. You can’t make this stuff up.
Oh, and by the way, Mizzou beat #13 South Carolina on the road on Saturday and is the sole undefeated team in the SEC East.
Have a good week, everyone!