EL BARRIO, EL FALLS: I got an unexpected text this morning. Your up, I am in Ireland. XOXO The Shortster! And just like that I had to whip up a fresh batch of Rain Man Rants faster than I was prepared. On the menu for today are US Soccer Says No to Lopetegui And Turkey Day Football Recap!
US Soccer Says No to Lopetegui: So I mentioned who Julen Lopetegui was a couple of weeks back in a piece. So this guy who is down on his luck and has a damn good resume, figured he would have his people reach out to US Soccer since the Americans have yet to announce their head coach. The Americans kindly told a guy thanks but we are too far along in our process. This is news to me as a US Soccer fan because it has still not been announced who is the new USA coach. I mean we believe it will be Greg Berhalter but rumor has it he may go and coach another MLS team rather than take the US Men’s national team. Like seriously, the Vegas odds have it as even that Berhalter could go either way, from when he was a 2 to 1 favorite a couple of weeks ago. To me, short of the contract already being signed, I can’t imagine a reason to not sit down with Lopetegui and hear him out. What in the world is GM Earnie Stewart and leadership of the USA doing!.
Turkey Day Football Recap: Football on Thanksgiving, use to be fun. You would get up a little early play a block vs block game, least when I was in the Bronx then head home and get ready while watching the early game on TV leave after that game and go to where ever you had to go in time to catch the end of the first quarter of the second game. Now the NFL has squeezed in a 3rd game and so the first game starts so much earlier. Plus the two teams that host Thanksgiving day football, both suck. I mean the Lions have been horrible for a while but the Cowboys haven’t been good since the Triplets were in town. Here is my recap of the 3 games that I sorta watched.
Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears: From their opening night loss to the NY Jets, this Lions team has not looked as good as last couple of seasons. They decided to replace Jim Calwell with a Bill Belichek scion in Matt Patricia and they have looked poor. Yes they were missing two key pieced of their attack in Marvin Jones and Kerryon Johnson, but they also choose to trade Golden Tate away. The Bears where without their first choice QB, Mitchell Trubinsky (C.P.A) and had to lean of (CMA award winner) Chase Daniel. Daniel did the what he needed to do, which was not ruin the defense’s chance of winning the game. Sure enough the Defense got two picks in the last 6 minutes including a pick 6 to win the game. Chicago are 8-3 and the new Baltimore Ravens of the early 90s or the Bears of the 80s (minus the shuffle). A a half decent running game, aggressive defense that makes plays, and no turnovers. The question is can Trubinsky or Daniel be a Trent Dilfer and can Tarik Cohen + Jordon Howard come close to Jamaal Lewis like performance.
Dallas Cowboys vs Washington DC: Don’t believe the hype. Dallas is not a contender and they are not a playoff bound team. They beat a Washington team that was 4 days removed from losing their starting QB for the season. Washington barely had time to adjust and though Colt McCoy threw 2 TDs, he also threw 3 Ints. McCoy has more of a gunslinger streak in him than Alex Smith and that tends to mean more risky passes, meaning more interceptions and that helped Dallas win this game. Washington will have to adjust and lean on Adrian Peterson a bit more and try to play to McCoy’s strengths while the defense now knows they have less of a margin for error. Dallas have won 3 in a row but they aren’t impressive wins and when you look at it, it looks like the opponents lost more than Dallas really won from start to finish. They are now tied with Washington for the lead in the conference. I feel it is much more likely that Washington figures things out than Dallas has found their groove and are going to rumble to the playoffs. I actually wouldn’t doubt a late surge by the Eagles in the NFC “Least.”
New Orleans vs Atlanta Falcons: For all the grief we give Steve Sarkisian, he can at least get that offense throwing some touchdowns. The problem is the defense needs to be better. It failed them against the Cowboys and it failed them against the Saints. When you play the Saints, your offense has to be ready to put up 30 to give you a chance of winning and it doesn’t look like the Falcons could keep up. That is because Drew Brees and the Saints attack breaks the back of the defense often and so the defense has to be able to hold the line and keep them in the mid 20s. If you don’t get two of those things, you are not winning the game and that was what happened last night.
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