The Mahomes Contract has Produced Innumerable Bad Takes.

Pat Mahomes signed the richest deal in NFL History (A 10-year extension worth 503 million dollars)

People have been coming out of the woodwork talking about how this deal will make it impossible for the Chiefs to compete while paying one guy a ton of money.

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Let me give the basic bitch tweet from a ton of talking heads in the sports world. It goes something like

“Yeah Mahomes is great but the Chief won’t be able to pay anyone else, the team around him is gonna suck WHAAAAAAH.”

FALSE THIS IS A GREAT CONTRACT FOR THE CHIEFS

First, let us examine the immediate cap hit.

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So despite being highly paid guys like Goff and Wilson put their teams in a worse financial position.

The Goff contract stinks because Goff is not that good. Wilson is very good and the Seahawks can live with that deal, they are still a playoff team. It’s not a problem to pay a good QB a ton of money, it is only if you pay a bad QB a ton of money that will kill the franchise. Right now nobody is better than Mahomes.

Next year the Chiefs will bring almost the same team back to the field, they are not like the Rams who had to cut guys they just signed like Todd Gurley to pay for Goff. Tyreek Hill, Tyrann Mathieu, Travis Kelce are all signed up for at least two more years. Mahomes’ two best weapons and the team’s best defender are not going anywhere.

Second, let us examine where the NFL was 10 years ago in terms of QB deals.

The highest-paid QB was Peyton Manning at 15.8 million per year. He was far above the next three highest-paid QBs who were McNabb, Sam Bradford, and Matt Stafford.

10 years later what kind of QB does 15 million dollars buy?Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 1.26.28 PM

So ten years later 15 million doesn’t even get you, Jacoby Brissett. What was once the paycheck for Peyton in his prime is now something an average QB can scoff at.  I’m not saying that in 2030 45 million per year will be what they pay middle-tier.  QBs but it is very possible. One thing is for sure by the end of that deal a lot of QBs will be making more money than Mahomes, but I highly doubt those players will be better QBs than Mahomes.

So if early in the deal the cap hit isn’t terrible, and late in the deal other contracts will surpass it and the cap will rise, when exactly does the contract prohibit the Chiefs from building around Mahomes…it doesn’t.

Seattle Dragons play the DC Defenders in the inaugural XFL game.

Here at A-Train Sports, we do not recognize the failure of the XFL 20 years ago. As far as we are concerned the league never existed, and today February 8th, 2020 the REAL XFL begins.

I have already locked myself in as a DIE-HARD Dragons fan. I live in Seattle, as a boy the only thing I could draw with any confidence was a dragon. I read all the Game of Thrones Books. The Dragons are the squad, it’s a match made in heaven. Beyond that, I’m excited about the dragons merch.

 

Unfortunately, everything is either sold out or only the small sizes are left. The XFL shop needs to restock so I can get my dragon drip on.

My Blog Partner: Freddy Van Sheet aka PBM  is located in St. Louis and is obligated to be a fan of the St. Louis Battlehawks. Look, there is NO LOVE LOST between the Battlehawks and the Dragons hopefully our friendship can survive this rivalry the way it has survived Cubs-Cardinals and Blackhawks-Blues.

Setting the Fan Culture:

Part of the reason for getting in early on the XFL is the chance to set the fan culture. Buffalo Bills fans break tables, Green Bay Packers fans embrace morbid obesity, Philly Fans throw batteries. If YOU get in on the ground floor YOU can set this culture. I’m not saying that Dragon fans will be spitting fire AT the game. But maybe at the tailgates?

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Dragon’s fans need to risk becoming permanent burn victims for the sake of fan culture and overall dragon awareness. I am not joking.

This game is about to start and my arch enemy Greg McElroy is calling it. That does not bode well. I will pop back in to finish this Blog after the game.

XFL on ONE ready BREAK!


WOW.  The XFL might actually work out this time.

My beloved Dragons lost 31-19 in a hard-fought game that had a little bit of everything.

Here’s the Good Bad and the Ugly.

The Good:

The Kickoff:

I don’t know if it’s better than the NFL method but it doesn’t suck. I could see the NFL one day adopting this kickoff for safety reasons. I just wonder if we will see more or less return touchdowns using this system.

F-Bombs being dropped on the sidelines:

 

Gambling talk/info:

I never thought I’d ever hear Greg McElroy talking spreads and totals during a football game. But with the Spread… DC (-9.5) and total (51.5) openly displayed they have to talk about it, It definitely adds color to broadcast and gives the booth rats something to talk about, they don’t have to yak about bullshit to fill time the way Romo does.

The Gameplay:

I actually thought the football was good, it was like watching two decent big 10 teams play. That’s about the level of football we see. But there were a lot of BIG PLAYS, only time will tell if this is the norm, or if it was just this game.

The Bad:

Mic’d up coaches. I don’t love it. I don’t need to hear Jim Zorn’s dumbass this much. I reserve the right to move this to the good section if more XFL viewing changes my mind.

(I did enjoy the Zorn sideline interview where Zorn said he lied to his QB when he told him the INT “wasn’t his fault” because “he’s gotta go back out there”)

Replay: 

The replay process is open to the public and while I appreciate transparency, their process is terrible. It appears to be somebody’s grandfather decides replay before seeing every angle and just wings it. “Indisputable visual evidence” does not seem to come into play but neither does common sense.

On one play they took away the first down from Seattle at this guy’s first glance reaction. After he makes the decision they show a better angle he never bothered to wait for or look at.

The Ugly:

Sideline Reporting MY GOD we don’t need this. They need to dial it back more.

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500% is a conservative estimate.

I still think the XFL fan experience was a good one, the one thing that infuriated me was the PAT. Not the rules, but how the coaches are cowards and keep going for 1.

Coaches go for 1 instead of 2 in the NFL because the kick is usually automatic.

There is no extra-point kick in the XFL. You have to run a play.

Score it from the 2-yard line – 1 point.

Score it from the 5-yard line – 2 points.

Score it from the 10-yard line – 3 points.

It seems to me that you should go for 3 every time, that’s a FG worth of points.

What harder going 1/3 from the 10-yard line….. or 3/3 from the 2-yard line?

Plus you have the upside of getting all you 3 point conversions. You go 3/3 and get 9 points!!!

If I was coaching we’d always go for 3.

Atrainsports = fully in on the XFL …..GO DRAGONS!!!!

Mock Draft Season is Out of Control.

Like any red-blooded American football fan, I have begun to dive into the world of mock drafts. What is a mock draft? Let’s check the dictionary:

NFL Mock Draft: A list of players made by an idiot that is almost always completely wrong. Not to be confused with a fantasy mock draft which is also stupid. 

Mock Drafts are the best, they mean nothing and yet people are obsessed with them. Football writers won’t just make one mock draft oh no, they will make several iterations of a Mock Draft. You might get a Mock Draft 1.0 in January by late April you are probably on Mock 6.9 nice.

Today I saw something new and bold from the world of the mock drafts. Quinnen Williams getting drafted both first and sixth overall in the latest mock draft from Ryan Wilson at CBS Sports. I like this strategy. You can never be 100% correct so why not pick one player to go to multiple teams? It increases your chance to be right about where a guy lands.Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 10.19.08 AM

I can say with 100% certainty that if the first 7 picks go exactly like this I will suck my own dick in front of The White House. There is no way the NFL saws Quinnen Williams in half and lets Arizona and New York each draft half of him. That would be a human rights violation.

Just going beyond the basic dumb typo of not fully updating your mock draft or somehow forgetting you had a guy go first overall and then putting him sixth, lies a fundamental lack of football knowledge. It ignores all the trends and how football is played/approached/drafted. It ignores the importance of the QB.

Are you really telling me that the first QB will go off the board at seven! The last time the first QB got drafted that was in 2013 when Buffalo took EJ Manuel sixteenth overall. The 2013 draft was truly QB light and to have a QB go past seven in that draft made sense. It makes less sense this year, teams know the value of hitting on a young QB. Furthermore, Kyler Murray is a real deal prospect, he’s not EJ Manuel. Murray is far more polished, accurate, and probably even faster. Kyler Murray ain’t falling to the Jags.

UPDATE: This wasn’t a mock draft this article had fine print:

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Your tiny note SHOULD be in a bigger font.

This proves my point even more about Mock Draft Season, now people are making up their own rules! Sportswriters are now too big of cowards to do an actual mock draft that they try and side-step the mock by saying “32 Surprise Picks that could Shake-up the First Round.” This is an act of cowardice. This man Ryan Wilson made a list 1-32 that corresponds exactly with the order of the draft. He made picks for every team and says it’s not a mock because these are just picks that would “Shake things up?”

FUCK YOU. I am angrier now than when I thought it was an error. You did this shit on purpose and now the sanctity of terrible mock drafts has been profaned. 

I mean this guy thinks it’s ok to repeat players? Guess what would also shake things up if every team drafted Kyler Murray? Kyler Murray to the Patriots to backup Brady. Kyler Murray to Detroit.

Really what I’m saying is let’s get to the draft so we can analyze what happened instead of trying to predict something very unpredictable.

I mock these mocks, and I really mock non-mocks that are too big of cowards to be a true mock but still want to be mock draft posers.

-Atrain out.

Wet the Beak: 2018. Part I (Thursday 8/30 games)

College Football is back, I stayed away from week zero but the A-Train Corp. Syndicate is ready for week one, and as per usual we won’t shy away from the big games.

Thursday Night (Tonight)

Usually, I write WTB on Friday, but we have games all through the weekend so I’m posting a day earlier. The Biggest Game of the evening is a conference matchup in the Big Ten West Division when Northwestern travels to West Layafette Indiana to take on Purdue.

I’m approaching this game as if Clayton Thorson will play for Northwestern. Purdue opened at -3 and the line has dropped to -1. That is honestly fine by me. We made money last year betting on the Boilermakers early in the season. While I like both coaches, I really believe in Jeff Brohm. Our lean is on the Boilermakers to cover and a slight lean on the over (52.5). The Boilermaker offense is listed as returning 13 starters a feat that I didn’t know was possible since you can only start 11.  If you want to bet real money on Purdue vs Northwestern my advice is Boiler-Over.

Wake Forest (-6.5) at Tulane (O/U – 57)

I have a gut instinct on the over in this game. I feel like I watched a lot of Wake Forest games go over last year. I’m not worried that Tulane does nothing but run it. I think they should be able to run if for a few scores at home in a night game in New Orleans.

Central Florida (-23.5) at Connecticut  (O/U – 72)

I don’t give a shit about this game except to gauge Central Florida in the post-Scott Frost era. Josh Heupel comes from Mizzou and is expected to run plays at an even faster pace than Frost.  I have no play here. I think Unconn stinks, a lot of people like the over. I’m not so sure about that because of how bad Uconn is. I don’t know if they can hold up their end of an over-bargain.

New Mexico State at Minnesota: This line went from -18 to -22 probably based solely on the fact that New Mexico State looked like a dog-shit football team on national television week zero. I have no doubt that Minnesota wins this game, but they are starting a true freshman walk-on in Zack Annexstad. Annexstad spurned a couple other D-1 offers including one from the University of Illinois, to walk on as a Golden Gopher. It paid off and he won the job, but how effective will he be in his first ever start? An even better question is how will I refrain from calling this guy Zack Amistad by mistake. You guys remember Amistad right? The movie about all the slaves who take over the slave ship and then get put on trial. Probably not what I should be calling the whitest QB in existence.

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He looks like a poster child for the Hitler youth.

 

Soooo do you trust this guy to cover 22 points? It’s a home opener at night on national television and NMSU just played on Saturday….now they go to a hostile environment in Minnesota. I’m scared by the line but gun to my head….I roll with Amistad and the Golden Gopher…not because of how bad NMSU looked but because they looked that bad at home….and now play a night road game on short rest. Did I just talk myself into a go-go-gopher bet?

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Gopher Everett? I expect the Gophers to eat and not be eaten tonight.

I’m going to post this as a part one now so it has some time on the interwebs before these games kick-off…part 2 to come A-Train Out.

The NFL needs to just accept that’s its a dangerous game.

If you watched last night’s Hall of Fame Game, then you might be wondering what the hell is going on with the new “safety” precautions in the NFL. I’ll tell you what’s going on, the game is slowly becoming unwatchable and the NFL is doing it to itself.

The reason that the NFL is so popular is because of the violence. We love great catches, runs, and hits. Now they want to take away the hits that fueled the popularity of the game. The problem is that this is no longer the game everyone loves, it’s the game everyone loathes. We loathe it because we remember what it once was. The golden age of the NFL has rescinded and darker days loom ahead.

He is the NFL’s first problem, they try and claim that Football is a safe game that they are making safer every year. Stop that. Let’s act like alcoholics trying to get sober and admit that we have a problem. This is the first step. The problem is all the lying about a safe game.

I as the commish would say this…Look, my predecessor, Roger was both a liar and a scumbag. I’m not gonna be like him. I won’t pretend football is safe. I am the commissioner of a dangerous sport, dangerous to the point of causing on the field death. Dangerous to the point of long-term health effects. This sport is practiced by elite athletes with both God-given talent and talent earned through hard work and dedication. The bigger faster and stronger these athletes become the more dangerous the sport becomes and every year they seem to be getting bigger faster and stronger. Concussions leading to CTE are real and everyone playing is taking on a serious risk.

What we as a league are going to do from now on is take better care of our players financially and medically. Anyone playing in the NFL will have lifelong top tier heal care. But everyone must accept the risks going in. Many people have tried to climb Mt. Everest and not come back, yet we still let people climb mountains. We have to let our players make the choice to play, it is their life and their decision.

We are rolling back many (not all) of our recent penalties regarding how you can hit. All the concussion protocols will remain in place. You still won’t be able to hit the QB up high in the helmet. All the reasonable rules will stray. The unreasonable ones where routine defensive plays are now 15-yard penalties must go.

They must go because they make the game not watchable and because all those hits are still happening anyway.

The End of an Era in Chicago: The Bears Cut Mike Glennon. (this has not officially happened yet.)

I’m a little confused right now. When I heard the Bears made cuts to their roster yesterday I just assumed one of those cut was Mike Glennon. Turns out they just cut Quentin Demps and Pernell McPhee. This is annoying because I have already titled my blog post and I don’t want to change it. Hold on let me look into my crystal ball. The ball is telling me that it won’t be much longer. The ball has been off before, but this time I think it’s correct. There is no way we keep Mike Glennon on this roster.

It’s too bad. The ladies of Chicago are going to miss this stud-muffin quarterback. When this guy took off his helmet in Chicago he was known to soak a woman’s panties to the point of dehydration.

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6’6 most of it cock. Sploosh.

Sadly, Looks Aren’t Everything. <-This is a Life Lesson. Write it Down.

Glennon’s on the field play could not match his off the field looks, though and he got benched for the much uglier, much nerdier named…Mitchell Trubisky. This Journalist thinks that the only reason Glennon has not been cut is as a favor to all the gay and female employees (of which there are many) down at Halas Hall. An unnamed female intern is quoted as saying “Every time he’s in the facilities I just hope to catch a glimpse of that hammer jutting out from his athletic shorts, it’s seriously the only reason I still show up to work, I hate my job. This is off the record right?” I think just for company morale Glennon is here until they absolutely must cut him for cap reasons.

That will leave us with Mitchell Trubisky. I hope this guy can make it in Chicago, a city that is known to have a large population of “size queens.” A special breed of size queen that values neck length above all other traits. Mitch has a neck of average length at best. He will have to win people over with his play on the field because I just don’t see him getting too much play off the field.

I’m sorry but Mitch is a boy, most women want a man.

 

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Enter: Mr. Steal-yo-girl. The name’s Glennon, Mike Glennon. This Black guy helps me keep that groupie beaver at bay, I’m married. (Wink).

After the Bears but Glennon what will be his next step? Sure he could continue to hack away at an NFL career, picking his boogers on the sideline as a backup to a less attractive QB, but why not retire. Do dancing with the stars, start your acting/modeling career. The sky’s the limit. You know this Mike, your giraffe neck has you up there already. Whatever you choose Mike, ATrainSports is Rooting for You.

Atrain Out.

P.S. barstoolsports.com please give me a job.

 

The NFL Average Score Dropped a Point per Game this Season. Why?

That might seem like an insignificant amount but it’s actually very significant, especially when you consider how the game is constantly being pushed towards more passing and more uptempo style of play. One might think that would lead to more points being scored but in 2017 scoring regressed. Why is that? I have a couple theories.

Running the ball is important to scoring points. There is this false narrative in today’s NFL that you run the ball to grind out the clock at the end of games and that you pass the ball to score points. Scoring points is best achieved through a balanced attack. To have a balanced attack you have to run the rock.

Just look at two of the greatest offenses ever… The Greatest Show on Turf Rams and the Peyton Manning led Colts. Peyton always could threaten to hand the ball off the Edge James, and the defense was forced to respect that. Kurt Warner had Marshall Faulk to hand off too. To beat these teams you had to be really good vs the run AND the pass.

Nowhere is running the rock more important than in the redzone. This is where I feel the NFL is losing its points. The power running game has been completely deemphasized in today’s NFL and because of that redzone efficiency, scoring TD’s and not FG’s has suffered greatly.

Should it surprise us that the L.A. Rams led the NFL in scoring this season? Todd Gurley was the best running back in the red zone and led the NFL with 13 TDs. It’s not a fluke that the team with the most points ran the ball extremely well around the goal line. This is not to say that you need the NFL TD leader in order to score points. What you need is balance, the threat of the run has to be an actual threat and not a paper tiger. NFL defenses have adapted to a pass-first league, it took some time but they have caught up, it’s time for the offenses to move in the other direction.

The way the NFL has officiated the game has done scoring no favors. While every score is reviewed and nit-picked we have seen a lot of TDs not stand that would have probably counted in years past.

The NFL is taking scores like this off the board ^ no wonder scoring is down.

One thing that I have noticed in my football watching is how offensive holding is called. They seem to call holding at a much higher percentage of running plays than pass plays. (I tried to find stats to back this up but I couldn’t find stats on holding calls broken up by play type)

It might be the case that holding is called more on pass plays, but if you consider more plays are pass plays it makes sense. Still, I think holding is being called wrong. The slightest minute grab for even a split second gets called in the run game. Meanwhile, you have offensive tackles holding edge rushers on almost every single play and they don’t get flagged. What this tells offensive play callers is that it’s safer to call pass plays because your linemen get more leeway to hold. I’d like to see holding called a little less in the run game and a bit more in the passing game. Give teams more incentive to run.

Penalties are drive killers and there are a lot more flags, not just for holding. Even a 5-yard penalty can make a modern OC afraid to run the ball. Teams are starting off first and 15, first and 20 after a penalty. Do you know what this does to the run game? It kills it. It’s a formula for 3 consecutive passing plays.

I think the following graphic helps illustrate my point as to why the running game is so important.

 

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Source: The Football Database

At the top are the teams that run the ball the highest % of plays. Notice not a single team runs the ball 50% of the time. But start at the bottom how far do you have to go up before you find a team that made the playoffs? You have to go up 14 teams before you get to the Chiefs (a playoff team). Then look at the top 7 teams, all but one of them (Dallas) made the playoffs. It’s pretty clear that team that run are teams that win. There will always be exceptions, like the Patriots. The Patriots use the short passing game as a pseudo-run game, they don’t need to rely on the power run.

I get that when teams are winning they run out the clock and this will push up their rushing attempts in a game. Yet it seems to be the case that they are winning because of running. If a team isn’t good at running the ball then it does them little good to try and run out the clock. The opponent will just stop them and get the ball back. Running out the clock works best when your opponent can’t stop the run.

To conclude, balance = scoring NOT passing = scoring. Bring balance back to the NFL. A-Train Out.

 

Army vs Navy in the Snow, a Fitting End to the Regular Season. Bonus: ATrain’s College Football Awards.

I’m watching this Army-Navy matchup as I write this. It’s the only game on today, and it marks the end of the regular season of college football. I don’t think I’ve witnessed a single pass play yet. Army-Navy is already a run-heavy matchup but if you throw in the falling snow it becomes true trench warfare. I love it.

I’m also sad. This is an unfamiliar feeling waking up on a Saturday and NOT having a full slate of CFB to watch/gamble on.  All we have left are the bowl games and those don’t start until next Saturday. Even that initial Bowl kickoff is pretty weak, the best game is the LeGarrette Blount Bowl. Boise St. vs Oregon. My bad did I say LeGarrette Blount Bowl? I meant Las Vegas Bowl.

Time to give out some regular season awards:

The Steve Spurrier Visor Award for Outstanding Coaching in the State of Florida: Lane Kiffin. Voting was unanimous over at ATrain Corp. on this one, Lane is a fan favorite for his continued coverage of the point spread.

The Brad Smith Award for Best Black Quarterback: Lamar Jackson. Jackson can now add a more prestigious trophy to his collection. Sure the Heisman is okay but the Brad Smith Trophy is given not necessarily every year, it’s given only when there is a worthy candidate.

The Ken Dorsey Award for Most Overrated White Quarterback: Jake Browning. The Washington QB went from Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2016, (an award he never should have won)  to nothing more than an Honorable Mention All Pac-12 in 2017. This is probably because he’s super overrated. Here is your Dorsey Trophy Jake, this one we do give out every year.

The Wes Welker Award for Best White Wide Reciever: David Sills. The former QB turned WR led the nation with 18 TDs and finished 2nd in the Biletnikoff Award race. (Which takes into account WRs of all races) I guess you could say he’s pretty fly for a white guy.

The Tim Tebow Award for Best QB Who Should Have Been Benched in Favor of a Better Back-up, but Wasn’t: JT Barrett. This was another unanimous choice. I wonder what that Buckeyes team looks like with Haskins at the helm for the entire season. I guess we will never know, it’s hard to be a great team when the QB is wildly inaccurate.

(Oh man this Army-Navy is so great. 13-7 Navy up, Army Driving inside the 10)

The Peyton Manning Award for the Team that Just Can’t Beat Florida: Kentucky. You guys almost got the Gators this year. Almost.

That’s all the award for right now folks…we will give out the rest next time on “Wet the Beak”

(Army scores! They are up 14-13 with about 5 min left….this should be good.)  A-Train Out.