Bring the Blitz Back to the Pro Bowl

NFL fans have been critical of the Pro Bowl in recent years and with good reason. After the game in 2012, Commissioner Roger Goodell talked about the need to improve the game or “consider eliminating” it. Four Pro Bowls later and I don’t know if enough improvements have been made.

If there was a single thing the NFL could do to improve the quality of the Pro Bowl, it would be to allow teams to blitz.
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I understand the NFL’s attempt to keep injuries down in a meaningless game, but without blitzes, the game just isn’t the same. For example, in the last two Pro Bowls, the quarterback dropped back to pass 178 times and was sacked a mere three times. For comparison’s sake, I looked at two random regular season NFL games over the past two seasons, Week Six of the 2014 season and Week Eight of the 2015 season. The Vikings-Lions game in 2014 featured 70 dropbacks and 12 sacks while the Chargers-Ravens game in 2015 featured 74 dropbacks with four sacks.

Keep in mind, allowing teams to blitz doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily reach the quarterback. But putting that kind of pressure on the quarterback can lead to:

  • Negative yardage plays
  • Incompletions
  • Interceptions (or Pick Six)
  • Fumbles (or Sack-Fumble Six)
  • 50/50 balls

Pick Sixes, Sack-Fumble Sixes and 50/50 balls (‘jump ball’ between a wide receiver and a cornerback) are potential game-changing plays and all have the ability to invigorate an excitement-starved crowd.

What would the MLB All-Star Game look like if stolen bases weren’t allowed? What would the NHL All-Star Game look like if no odd-man rushes were allowed? In recent years, the NFL has made strides in protecting the quarterback. When the excitement of the game is compromised as a result, it’s time to re-examine the rules.

DraftKings: Our 2 Cents on a $2 Payout

Like the phoenix that rises from the ashes, Section 426 returns to the fantasy field where we fell only a couple of months ago. Foregoing the long-term commitment of a sixteen-week NFL season, we turn to DraftKings, a FREE week-to-week fantasy football game that allows participants to pick their own players while staying under the $50K salary cap. The weekly winner takes home $2. In the event that our selected lineup is good but not good enough, that’s okay because the weekly top 5 finishers all get $2. I know what you’re wondering: since we do work with a low budget at Section 426, why do we take such big risks.

Every time we participate, we’ll show who we’re picking, how much they were drafted for, and some key notes regarding their season (for example, their NFL rank by position, their NFL opponent’s rank, etc.)

Here’s who we’ve chosen this week:

Philip Rivers $6,600 – 10th in NFL in passing yards, 6th in passer rating
DeMarco Murray $8,500 – 1st in NFL in rushing yards, 1st in carries over 20 yards, 1st in yards/game
Joique Bell $4,900 – 23rd in NFL in rushing yards
A.J. Green $7,300 – 49th in NFL in receiving yards (7 games played)
Josh Gordon $6,300 – 1st in NFL in receiving yards in 2013, 1st in receptions over 20 yards in 2013
Sammy Watkins $5,600 – 22nd in NFL in receiving yards in 2014, 19th in receiving targets
Zach Ertz $3,100
Darren Sproles $4,500 – 4 TD on 61 touches
Colts $3,200 – opponent is 2nd in NFL in Giveaways

What do you think? Can this lineup conquer all? Who would you have drafted? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Jay Cutler and Crew Cut My Survivor Season Short

And just like that, my Survivor season is kaput. To my credit, my decision to take San Francisco in this game had more to do with who wasn’t going to play for Chicago than who was already playing for the 49ers.

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Survivor Round 2 Features the 49ers Facing a Poor Run Defense

In the immortal words of Eddie Vedder, ‘Ooooh Iiiiii, ohhhh I’m still alive.’

The Eagles came through for me in Week 1 with a second-half comeback, prevailing 34 – 17 over the Jaguars.

On to Week 2, my pick is the San Francisco 49ers to beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.

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Seventeenth Heaven for NFL Survivor Pool Entrants

Seventeen doesn’t get the buzz that its odd-number counterparts 7-11, Lucky 13 and Product 19 get. When it comes to NFL Survivor Pools, though, the number 17 might as well be numeric royalty.

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We — we — Need New Ownership of the Phillies

“Ruben is not on the hot seat,” Montgomery explained during a back-and-forth with season ticket holders. “I think we have somebody whose experience working under two general managers served him well and positioned him to be very effective at his job. We — we — need to do better.”

This quote from Phillies owner David Montgomery tells me two things, neither of which is good: Montgomery is either completely full of crap or he’s a very sick man.

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Aging Gracefully in Section 426

10271606_10203834544412103_2083958341796465289_nI’m proud to say that in 40 some odd posts in a little more than a year, I haven’t made myself a focal point.

Until now.

If you haven’t figured it out yet (and someone like Ruben Amaro probably hasn’t), my blog name is derived from my birthday 4/26.

Now that that’s cleared up, here’s a topical post to celebrate the day: Since 2000, which Phillie has the most hits on April 26? Here’s the top 20 (with a minimum of 2 hits).

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