Jared Allen Literally Rode Off To Retirement

After 12 years in the NFL, four-time All-Pro pass rusher Jared Allen took to Twitter Thursday morning to announce his retirement.

Good for Allen, beating Peyton Manning to the whole “sheriff/cowboy” riding off to the horizon. However, someone should pass this PSA for vertical videos to him.

The defensive end was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs 26th overall, in the 4th round of 2004 NFL Draft out of Idaho State. Allen spent the majority of his career in Minnesota, leading the Vikings defense to the playoffs 3 times out of the 6 seasons he was there. His tenure in Chicago seemed more like being in the wrong place at the wrong time, although it worked out fine as he was traded to the Super Bowl contending Panthers early in the 2015 season.

Allen was also a 5-time Pro Bowl selection, all with the Vikings, and finishes his career ranked 9th all-time in recorded sacks.

Enjoy retirement, ya goof.

Jared allen Canadian Tux

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NFL Week 4 Fantasy Mailbag

After 3 weeks into the season, it’s fun to see the rising Fantasy Football stars (and who you should be benching to send a message to your team).

Buffalo Bills backup RB Karlos Williams has scored a rushing touchdown every week so far, 3 total on the season. Starting running backs Jonathan Stewart, Justin Forsett and C.J. Anderson have all combined for 0.0…LeGarrette Blount matched Williams’ TD total in just the 2nd half against the Jaguars last week.

Do I seriously suggest you bench J-Stew, Forsett and Anderson?  If you have better options at running back, what have any of those 3 done to stop you? 

HEY LOOK! 

THE CHIEFS THREW A TOUCHDOWN PASS TO A WIDE RECEIVER FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE 2013 SEASON!

Maclin Touchdown

Can they make it two weeks in a row? Tune in to find out!

Quick Hits

  • Michael Vick starts tonight for the Pittsburgh, which I am *slow clapping* for because Steelers fans were so against him being on the team in the first place. Vick has a 2-1 record against the Ravens in his career, with 2 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, and averaging 211 pass yards per game. He’s not the scrambler and Madden video game dream that he used to be, but he doesn’t have to be with Antonio Brown capable of catching anything you throw up and Le’Veon Bell in the backfield. Both skill players help make Ben Roethlisberger a better quarterback. Vick becomes a decent option if you’re hard pressed at QB…especially with Le’Veon Skywalker doing his thing out there. 

(Insert “getting high” joke here)

  • Julio Jones was awarded the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Month for September, and rightfully so. He leads the league in receiving yards and has recorded the most receptions through 3 games (34) in NFL history. Jones is currently on pace for 181 catches, 2,346 yards and 21 touchdowns…It’s highly unlikely he’s actually record those numbers, but dammit, he’ll try.

Jones has missed some practice this week, but still a must start. He’s earned the rest.

  • Rant Time: If you have used the term “fire sale” regarding the Chicago Bears, STOP IT. If you continue to do so, I’ll be forced to reach through your laptop or mobile screen and slap you. Contrary to recent popular belief, the NFL is not Major League Baseball. Teams can’t eat money to trade away whoever they want to. The team taking a trade must absorb the contract of a player and it must fit within their cap space, unlike baseball where there is no cap. The Bears moved Jared Allen because he was owed bonus money to start the season. Nobody would have taken him if his $11.5 million bonus was actually base salary for the season…Regarding Matt Forte, a team would need $15 million in cap space to take on what’s remaining in his contract. Only the Jaguars, Titans, Raiders and Browns fit that bill and NONE of them are looking to make a playoff push by adding Forte. None of those teams would be willing to trade back resources to match his value either, especially when he is a free agent at year’s end. Stop worrying about that if you have him on your roster. End rant. 

Mail Time!

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I love…none of your options. If Derek Carr is out there, go get him. Especially for this week.

If I’m choosing among your options though, Ryan Fitzpatrick is oddly the most trustworthy. Brandon Weeden behind his offensive line and with his weapons has the higher upside against a bad New Orleans pass defense, but I feel better about The Beard in London against a reeling Miami secondary.

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If Davante Adams is out this weekend, Ty Montgomery becomes an excellent play this weekend…and would be by far the best of your options. If he’s still available, I would recommend getting Leonard Hankerson as Roddy White’s usage is quickly becoming non-existent.

For your flex, Ameer Abdullah is your guy…even against the Seattle defense. He’s the Lions best option out of the backfield and will get plenty of work, at least in dump off passes. Ravens new OC Marc Trestman apparently has no idea how to use Forsett, and Melvin Gordon has taken over as the true #1 back in San Diego over Woodhead.

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TY Hilton is healthy enough, and now an even better play against Jacksonville while Donte Moncrief helps stretch defenses more. Then I go with Jarvis Landry over Brandin Cooks, especially if you get return points. Darrelle Revis is dealing with a groin injury and becomes even less of a fear as he’s left slot receivers alone in recent weeks.

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If Arian Foster can go, he’s going going to get plenty of work doing so. Pay attention for the active/inactive list I put out on the Facebook page Sunday for his status. I’ll be making that a weekly tradition going forward…otherwise, go with Ryan Matthews.

Among your wide receivers, I can’t ignore James Jones any longer. He has 4 touchdowns in 3 games, and the Adams injury makes him all the more a priority play.

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Marshawn Lynch drove the country crazy on Sunday with his late entrance into the game against the Bears, and even more so when he left early. If he can go though, you have to start him. That’s why you drafted him. Otherwise, Abdullah is a nice play in the flex.

Among your WRs, Pierre Garcon sticks out going against a Philly defense, that he recorded 11 catches, 138 yards and a touchdown on in one game last year.

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I am going to echo my advice that I gave to Bucy…Start Foster if he’s active. Bill O’Brien is dying to use him. Just keep an eye out for the Facebook Page for the IN/OUT list prior to kickoff. Just have your backup ready to go.

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Gotta go with Derek Carr against the Bears. He’s been slinging it like a younger Rodgers as of late and the matchup is too good not to.

If Andre Ellington can go, start him. If not, then go with his backup….yes, that’s Chris Johnson.

Then Pierre Garcon, for the reasons I listed to Kirk earlier.

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For your long-term question (which I’m sure interests my readers), Yes, Derek Carr is the best option and I have been trying to drive that home since the question asked for this week’s mailbag. He’s the most talented of those options and the combo of Latavius Murray/Amari Cooper makes him even more dangerous.

With your Dolphins WR predicament, in a standard league you can’t put Rishard Matthews in the corner. He’s catching the most passes, despite Landry getting double digit targets each week. While I believe Landry is the better receiver. Matthews is scoring touchdowns, and you should play him until he stops…As noted earlier, Revis is nursing a groin injury. I anticipate Ryan Tannehill testing that plenty in London this weekend.

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Despite my appreciation for his wide receivers, Tannehill has taken a step back in his progress this year and I think it’s going to finally get Joe Philbin fired. If you’re looking for a spot start, roll with Carr against the Bears. If you are looking longterm, I trust Tyrod Taylor to sustain his production as a dual-threat quarterback. He’s proven himself through 3 games and against tough competition.

Have more lineup questions? Feel free to ask on both Facebook and Twitter! Also, don’t hesitate to post any questions for next week’s Mailbag. Good luck this weekend! 

Bears of Thrones

As Free Agency kicked off a week ago, the Chicago Bears made it clear that Jay Cutler will be on their roster in 2015. Pro Bowl guard and 3rd year veteran Kyle Long went as far as declaring his allegiance to his quarterback…

And so, Cutler was dubbed the #OneTrueKingOfTheNorth.  It’s no secret that I am a huge geek…or obsessed with Thrones. So thanks to Long’s Tweet, I will take it a step further and align the 2015 Bears with characters from Game of Thrones (That’ll be stuck in your head forever). WARNING: MILD SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T CAUGHT UP ON THE SHOW. CONTINUE IF YOU DARE.

Jay Cutler / Stannis Baratheon

image1 Long has set the tone with his allegiance and it makes all the sense in the world (of Westeros). Cutler had knocked on the gates of a Super Bowl birth before he was knocked out with a torn MCL against the “Lannisters” of the NFC North, the Green Bay Packers. Sound familiar? Stannis Baratheon was dealt a similar hand at the Battle of Blackwater, blown away by a similar “Green” explosion.

Blackwater Packers

Neither Cutler nor Stannis are very likable to the public. Both can be viewed as underestimated to their opponents, but command loyalty from those closest to them. And you best believe Cutler has slayed some Wildlings in his day… (Picture this being the Vikings)

Slaying Wildlings

Kyle Long / Jon Snow

image2 Most Thrones geeks probably assumed I would have gone with Davos Seaworth, Stannis Baratheon’s righthand man, but I felt Long deserved a much more badass comparison…and there are some strong correlations. Long comes from a family rich in football prowess. While not a bastard, he is the son of a well respected warrior of the game (like Ned Stark). Kyle’s brother, Chris, built a reputation as one of the league’s elite defensive players before he came onto the scene. One hopes Chris doesn’t attend any shady arranged weddings in the near future. And Long has stepped up to lead his position group to protect his quarterback, much like the Night’s Watch at the wall.

Alshon Jeffery / Daenerys Targaryan

image3 Now hear me out, Alshon… Like Daenerys, Jeffery has proven naysayers wrong over the course of his young professional career. He was underrated in the draft, similar to when Daenerys acquired her Unsullied army from “The Masters” of Astapor. Jeffery’s skills and work ethic that helped him ascend to Pro Bowl status are like the Khaleesi’s dragons doing this to everyone in her path…

Jeffery has an opportunity to prove he is a #1 wide receiver like Daenerys, who is gunning for the throne of the seven kingdoms.

Alshon Browns catch

Matt Forte / Jamie Lannister

image4 Incest aside, Matt Forte and Jamie Lannister can be considered comparable for their accomplishments. Forte has always been a workhouse and a consistent weapon for the Bears offense and for multiple head coaches while Jamie served as captain of the Kingsguard under multiple kings. Both are getting up in age and have dealt with their share of injuries (Jamie losing his hand is a lot more severe than anything Forte has dealt with), but have plenty to offer still. Oh, and Bears…

Thrones Bear gif

Martellus Bennett / Tyrion Lannister

image6 Like Tyrion is to all of Game of Thrones, Martellus Bennett is a unique individual on the Bears roster. Both have a great sense of humor. Neither care what others think of them. And when the moment counts most, they can get the job done in the clutch. Bennett will come up with the big play against a division rival…

Marty GW TD

…and Tyrion will rally his troops against impending doom.

Eddie Royal / Barristan Selmy

image5 Neither Eddie Royal or Barristan Selmy are flashy names, but they are helpful pieces to their respective teams and both are quality free agent signings. I mentioned how Jeffery is like Daenerys already…Royal’s skill set can potentially make Jeffery better by forcing team’s to respect the slot more. That pulls coverage away from Jeffery that would allow him to shine, just like Barristan providing council to Daenerys. image7 Proven veterans who both could use a bounce back season. Jermon Bushrod is Pro Bowl left tackle who had difficulties blocking in year 2 of his Bears tenure. Sir Jorah was recently cast away by Daenerys for losing her trust. Both were meant to play big parts in achieving greatness, whether it be a Super Bowl or control of the Iron Throne, and both have the ability to make a comeback.

Jared Allen / The Hound

image8 Outside of similar appearances, both Jared Allen and The Hound are defectors of their longstanding teams. Allen (former Viking) and Sandor Clegane (formerly employed by the Lannisters) are also looking to return to form and regain the feared reputation they both once had.

Pernell McPhee / The Mountain

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In his Bears introductory press conference, Pernell McPhee was asked to describe himself.

“I’m violent.” And that was it.

Pernell sack

Also violent and a man of few words, meet Gregor Clegane…

The Mountain

Ego Ferguson / Hodor

image10 Transitioning to a 3-4 defense, the Bears need to identify a nose tackle to eat space up the middle. Hodor would be an AWESOME 0-technique…and Ego Ferguson also seems to fit the bill as well. I’d also like to hear Ferguson do an entire interview just saying “Ego.”

Willie Young / Daario Naharis

image11 In his first year with the Bears, Willie Young was a quarterback assassin. Daario is not very different, playing deadly mercenary for Team Targaryen. Hoping Young can return fully healed, and in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 system, let’s hope to see more of this…

Daario GIF

Followed by this…

Willie Sack dance

Antrel Rolle / Davos Seaworth

image12 Antrel Rolle is another new Bears addition but there are two things he brings to the defensive side of the ball: Loyalty and Leadership. It’s been very cool to hear Rolle speak on his experience in New York and it sounds a lot like what Davos brings to Stannis Baratheon’s camp. Loyal to a fault, not afraid to speak his mind, a warrior, and adaptable.

Antrel Rolle

Kyle Fuller / Bran Stark

image15 Unlike Bran Stark, Kyle Fuller still has the use of legs. But LIKE Bran, Fuller has the potential for big things. After an excellent first month in the league, Fuller had a tough rest of the season. He was forced into a starting cornerback role after Charles Tillman was ruled out for the season and had a quick “Welcome to the League” experience against the league’s best wide receivers. Fuller has the skills and makeup to improve though, and you can’t help but get excited for what’s next…like Bran Stark.

Jon Bostic / Arya Stark

image13 Sure, on the outside the two are nothing alike…but think about it. Jon Bostic has been out of position for most of career, mis-casted as a middle linebacker and a strongside linebacker when he was best suited for weakside linebacker. Arya Stark was raised to be proper and in a world of aristocrats while she is truly meant to handle a sword. Both play with a chip on their shoulder and strike like they have some serious anger issues. Don’t be surprised if both have breakout seasons in new positions coming up.

Bostic hit

Have some more Football & Thrones comparisons on your mind? Or maybe you just want to geek out some more about sports and TV? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03