The season is winding down and things are getting tense. With just three games to go certain elements of the playoff picture get clearer while others become harder to resolve. Congrats to the first unofficial official playoff teams, the Crackheeds and GBP who both get their seventh wins this week. While not 100% mathematically in the playoffs at this point, their odds are overwhelming (every other team with a winning record in the history of MLOM has been in the playoffs) and so Commish declares them officially (unofficially)…IN. Two spots down, four to go. So let’s see what’s left. The Rat Pack and Los Pescaderos, rather than finding ways to win and get in the playoffs, are instead both riding losing streaks now, with Los Pescas losing a quick two and the Rat Pack dropping their last three. What’s going on? Does Commish have to alter his playoff prediction chart? Let’s look at the most updated standing and likely scenarios:
Crackheeds: (7-3, 3rd most points); With playoffs in the books, have to work on getting the bye week to avoid mediocre week 14 match-up for Brees. Huge divisional games loom.
GBP: (7-3, 4th most points); Week 1 game and 0.0000001 point win over Rat Pack is a monster win right now. GBP have 3 wins of less then 5 points this year. Now they can breathe easy, focus on getting healthy.
The Birdmen (6-4, 5th most in points): Huge jump in the rankings for the B-men. Rivers and Manning provide a stud QB backdrop which is imporant; LT ices the cake. Oh yeah, and their best player remains…Lee Evans. See you in the playoffs B-men.
Los Pescaderos (6-4, 7th in points); Lack of offensive production (read: points) is alarming, but wins are wins and they remain just a win away; They need a new QB; What to do, what to do…Enter McNabb.
The Rat Pack (5-5, 1st in points); With their point total only really need one win to have a good chance; two wins is a lock. But they’re fading fast lately. WR’s other than Fitz are ice cold of late. Do we have this season’s 2007 Defenders on our hands?
Crazy Canucks (5-5, 6th in points); They control their own destiny and have the league’s hottest player in K-dub, plus a favorable schedule. So why does Commish have an uneasy feeling that they could drop like a rock?
Cobra Kai (4-6, 2nd in points); It’s simple for Fwats; win, win, win and they’re in. Next up on the No Mercy Train? The GBP.
Mormon Defenders (4-6, 8th in points); They looked a lot better in the standings last week. Points total won’t help any tie-breakers. Need to win out to have a shot. Next up on the Missionary Hit List? The Devil’s Own Heeds!
Smell ya’ next season:
The Poo Fish (4-6, 9th in points): A Romo resurgence and this low listing by the Commish in the power rankings could provide a spark. Hey, they win out and they’re in. Do they have what it takes? Next up? Brother, sweet Brother.
The Gang (2-8, 10th in points);Mathematically out and headed squarely for franchise’s worst season unless they win out; Time to play spoiler. Next up: Fightin’ Birdmen.)
Early in the season it looked like Cobra would run away with things, kind of like the time Cobra decided to build Serpentor. Cobra operatives scrambled across the world raiding tombs of the great historic dictators in order to obtain samples of their DNA to build the ultimate Cobra Leader. At first the Joes were confused and ineffective (like the early part of the 2008 MLOM Season) while Cobra beat them to the mark time and again and stayed ahead of them at every turn. Later, the Joes caught on and put up a much better fight (analagous to the past few weeks in MLOM). Eventually, Serpentor was built and though fairly effective (especially in the comic book, not as much in the cartoon series) didn’t provide the dominant leader Cobra had expected. This mixed result led to lots of Cobra infighting and the Joes evenually staved off Cobra’s new leadership and got the upper hand again. So what happens next and where exactly does MLOM pick up the tale? Does the Cobra Serpentor plan succeed? Do they get him made and does he lead them to victory? Or do the Joes, led by Duke, Snake Eyes, and the rest, find a way to stop them before it’s too late? Find out in Marvel Comics! (Or the MLOM Playoffs – either one.) (By the way, and Commish is just ad-libbing here, but that Cobra plan to sample all sorts of conqueror DNA (i.e from Napolean, Genghis Kahn, Sun Tzu, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, etc.) to build the ultimate leader was more or less the single coolest plot line from anything I can ever remember as a kid. So cool. Can someone make it so Commish is 12 years old again and life is simple? Thanks.)
Anyway, with Jonny G’s triumphant come-from-behind win over The Gang the Cobra Legions retain their foothold on the inter-divisional series. A PPR win would have brought the inter-division battle to an even tally, at 13-13. But with a late rally the GBP keep the Cobra hopes of inter-divisional dominance alive and maintain a 14-12 edge in the inter-division series. They need only one more win in the next three games (Canucks vs. Rat Pack – Week 11, Pescaderos vs. Defenders – Week 12, Birdmen vs. Cobra Kai – Week 13) to officially win the series for the season. Regardless of who wins (go Joe!), Commish remains pleased at the way the Joes fought back from an early beating to make the inter-divisional battle at least respectable. Also, Cobra once dominated the points scale with all five of the highest scoring teams. Commish knew it was too impossible to last, and so here we are now, much more balanced. Cobra has teams 1,2, and 4 in terms of points, whereas the Joes have made headway, now controlling spot 3 and 5, and they appear to be climbing. Now, let’s take a look at the winners and loser of inter-divisional play thus far:
Record in Inter-Divisional Play:
The Gang: 0-6 (yikes!)
Cobra Kai: 3-2
Rat Pack: 3-2
Los Pescaderos: 2-3
The Poo Fish: 2-3
Analysis: Wow, take the Gang’s atrocius inter-division losing streak away and the Joes aren’t half bad. In fact, the Birdmen, Heeds, and Canucks have a combined 11-4 record against Cobra, making them Duke, Snake Eyes, and Flint in just about any order! Still, every team counts and every game counts, and we’ll see where this ends up.
Commish keeps wanting to d a draft recap but keeps running out of time each week with the otherwise cumbersome notes. Here’s something fun in case peeps don’t check this stuff out. Here are the top 5 in each skill position to date.
Kurt Warner (Canucks)-226 points
Drew Brees (Crackheeds) -221 points
Rivers (Birdmen) – 213 points
Cutler (Rat Pack) – 208 points
Rodgers (Defenders) -182 points
Portis (GBP) – 156 points
Peterson (Crackheeds) -149 points
Forte (Canucks) – 145 points
Thomas Jones (Crackheeds) – 139 points
Jacobs (Crackheeds, now) – 135 points
Boldin (GBP) – 133 points
FItzgerald (Rat Pack) – 129 points
Roddy White (Cobra Kai) – 128 points
Andre Johnson (Cobra Kai) – 123 points
Santana Moss (Defenders) – 118 points
Gonzalez (GBP) – 94 points
Gates (Cobra Kai) – 83 points
Witten (The Gang) -75 points
Daniels (Crackheeds) -73 points
Cooley (Rat Pack) – 65 points
This Week’s Games
LT’s Crackheeds 113.01 over The Rat Pack 85.50
Player of the Game: Thomas Jones, 33.42 points (149 rush yards, 3 TDs)
After a quick 37 points by Jay Cutler on Thursday night it looked like this game was heading distinctly in the Rat Pack’s direction. Cut away to Sunday, when the Crackheed backs (cutely called “Crackbacks” for short – tee hee!) decided to shoulder the load and deliver the goods. Despite five Crackheed players scoring only 5 points or less, the Heeds managed to throw up a 113 point game. The aforementioned backs, Peterson and Jones, accounted for 64+ points all by themselves. Part of the Heeds victory, it must be said, was pure luck. On the last play of the Saints game, Brees chucked a 32 yard hail mary which bounced off of several hands before landing in the grasp of Lance Moore in the endzone. A meaningless “real life” touchdown ended up giving the Heeds approximately 15 or more points on one play. By itself it was not enough to account for the win, but with the game up in the air at the time Commish just hopes Rat Pack skipper E-ron didn’t have to witness that play and lose 3 years off his life in stress in the process. As for the Pack, they continue to struggle this week with only 3 players getting into double digits. Cutler probably would have locked up the POW if the Rat Pack had won, but well, they didn’t. It appears that the Steven Jackson injury and the slow-down of Jennings and Steve Smith couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Rat Pack have now dropped three straight, and have lost their leading scorer title to division rival and hated enemy Cobra Kai. Their last two games represent two of their weakest three efforts of the season and they’ve scored less and less points each of the last four weeks – a disturbing trend. The Heeds, on the other hand, continue to roll. They get their fifth straight win, their seventh total, they lock up a playoff spot and they are only a few key wins away from locking up the division and enjoying a first round bye. Somehow their receiver woes don’t seem as dire as they once did, and since the infamous 48 point stink-bomb in Week 5, the Heeds have been all business, getting over 100 points three times (including the 162 point blow up) and not scoring less than 94 points. Commish has to say it, this is a well oiled machine right now. But they’re not done yet. Those division games coming up are going to be huge.
Fun Fact: With this win the Heeds continue to molest the Pack, as if with a cordless phone antenna (inside joke); they move to 8-1 all time, and this has become the most lopsided rivalry in the league (since Iwan has now beat Fwats twice).
Fightin’ Birdmen 100.87 over Los Pescaderos 84.63
Player of the Game: NYJ Defense – 31 points (1 TD, 3 points allowed, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries)
The good news for Los Pescaderos is that their game plan to take away Lee Evans worked to perfection. (The Ninja Master of all WRs was held to just 2.47 points this week. You see, Ninjas like Lee Evans are also trained in the art of diversion.) The bad news is that many of the other Birdmen had good games. Wait, strike that. Actually it was really just Rivers and the Jets Defense, who together accounted for 54.80 points and provided the foundation for another Birdman win, their third straight. WR production was poor at best for both teams in this game, with all 6 WRs combining for just 30 points or so, total. Gabe finally coaxed a good performance out of his QB, but it wasn’t enough with the rest of his team lacking, save Brandon Jacobs, who’s now off the team by the way. Just a few short weeks ago it seemed that the rest of MLOM would stand by and watch the Rat Pack and Los Pescaderos battle it out for the Crown. Things certainly can change fast. With this defeat, Los Pescaderos dropped their second straight and three of their last four. It’s as if Cobra Commander himself has relinquised command and handed it over to Major Bludd. Or is this all part of the plan? The good news for the Pescas is that they need just one more win to climb into the playoffs. And, yup it’s official, they just made a deal to start working on that QB consistency problem. The cost? Only a goddam Man Beast named Jacobs. And on the other of the fence sit the Birdmen. With three straight wins they have their sights set on retaking the division lead, and they remain right on the Crackheed’s heels. A week 12 battle with said Heeds could turn out to be THE showdown for the Joe Division. Commish wonders how often Adman scours the schedule to see when the Bolts actually play a good defense. For a glimpse of the playoff Birdmen, the Bolts play the Raiders in week 14, KC in week 15, and Tampa Bay in Week 16.
Fun Fact: With this win the Birdmen break the series tie with Los Pescaderos, taking a 4-3 lead. Los Pescas have scored between 75 and 99 points in eight of ten games this season, making for remarkable consistency.
Cobra Kai 121.37 over The Mormon Defenders 93.61
Player of the Game: Mewelde Moore – 22.95 points (57 rush yards, 2 TD’s, 6 receptions for 48 yards)
It’s only fitting that at the tail end of election week would MLOM’s biggest liberal meet its biggest conservative. And, also perhaps fitting, the game went the way of the election – to the liberal. Commish was about to say that Fwats finally got his groove back with this win, but in putting up 121 points he really only put up his fourth best performance of the season. Nice work was the fact that the Cobra Kai put six of nine players in double digits (none of those less than 13 points) and two other players quite close. Only Robbie Gould didn’t show up with a measely two point performance. What’s remarkable about the Cobra Kai team is the fact that they’ve only scored under 100 points TWICE all season. Twice. Yet here they sit at 4-6, a travesty of fate and fortune. The heavy reliance on the Falcons is amusing to Commish, and seems like a great plan, but what happens if the Falcons are shut down for a week, say in the playoffs? Fwats could be in trouble. Though despite the strong effort and being the top scoring team in all of MLOM to date, the Cobra Kai still have a tough road ahead. Every game left is a must win and they face three of the top five teams in the GBP, the Birdmen, and the Rat Pack. Wouldn’t it be some fight to watch the Rat Pack and Cobra Kai battle it out for that last playoff spot in week 13? Could happen. Despite some decent play of late, the Defenders find themselves struggling for air amidst the churning waters of MLOM. A tough loss this weekactually could signal the end of their season. If they win out from here, they’re still a playoff team. But lose a single game and it will be down to the fate of points at best. Aaron Rodgers put up a serious let-down game this week, and despite a great performance by MJD the Defenders just didn’t have enough firepower to butt heads and win against the surging Cobra Kai. If they grab a win or two in the next couple of weeks, their week 13 match-up against the Canucks could prove the difference between playoff life or death.
Fun Fact: With this win Fwats grabs a 5-4 edge in the lifestime series against the Mormon Defenders.
Crazy Canucks 115.74 over The Poo Fish 56.87
Player of the Game: Kurt “K-dub” Warner – 37.11 points (32 of 42, 328 yards, 3 TDs, 0 picks)
Ladies and gentlemen, Kurt Warner. All he does is blow up. Commish isn’t sure who else envisioned this, but imagining bosom buddies Iwan and Little Buhr go at it here in MLOM is kind of like watching those two old guys on the Muppets turn and just start whaling on each other until one drops. In the end, poor Little Buhr and his One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Poo Fish are dealing with injuries and are stuck throwing scrubs like Sage Rosenfels and Jamal Charles into lineups. Something tells Commish that every time Little Buhr hits “Submit” on his lineup the past few weeks, his facial expression resembles that of someone who has just caught a whiff of a devastating fart. Fact is, Little Buhr has been absolutely reeling since the injuries to Bush and Romo. Since scoring 129 points in week 6, his Poo Fish have played like their namesake, and have been unable to garner more then 81 points in any week since, including two stink bombs. (Coming into this season, the Poo Fish had only two stink bombs in their team history.) With Romo and Bush due back soon, it’s possible that the Poo Fish could make some noise late in the season, but Commish thinks it’ll be too little, too late. Still, if they put they together three wins then odds are they’ll crawl into the playoffs. Maybe they still have a chance. For the defending champs, they’ve done what champs do. Hang around, win just enough games, maybe put a run together. And here they are. Sitting at 5-5 and without a brutal schedule ahead (Rat Pack, Gang, Defenders), the Canucks are in good position to make a run and show everyone what they’ve got. Plus they’ve got K-dub – currently the league’s top scoring player – on their side and therefore, from what my sources tell me, Jesus as well. (The Mormon Defenders really screwed up on draft day with this one.) Could we see a run like last season where K-dub went nuts and brought the Canucks a Crown? Commish certainly hopes not. But of course, he knows Iwan hopes so. And damn it’s hard to root against K-dub.
Fun Fact: WIth this win the Canucks move to 5-3 all time agains the Poo Fish. This “Beat Down” for the Canucks registers as the franchise’s 10th. Only the Gang and The Poo Fish themselves have more.
The GBP 102.01 over The Gang 98.04
Player of the Game:Tony Gonzalez – 27.53 points (10 catches for 113 yards, 2 TDs)
Try as they might, the poor Gang just can’t seem to catch a break. Fairly well ahead going into MNM, Commish for one thought the Gang had this game locked up. WIth a 20 point lead and a RB and WR against the GBP’s WR and DEF, how could they lose? Commish hears that PPR flew out to Arizona to personally oversee the proceedings. And all for naught. The GBP fought back using Anquan Boldin and the subtle Arizona Defense, amassing 30+ points while Tim Hightower looked like a rookie and Ike Bruce looked like a fogey. Must be tough. The Gang dropped their seventh straight, a franchise record. It seems that neither Roston man can catch a break right now, with PPR’s seven game losing streak and Eryn’s three game losing streak. Life is tough in the Roston house. It’s no wonder Seando had those kleenex. Where do the Gang go from here? Commish guesses nowhere but up. Also, Commish suspects they might just shock someone in the next three weeks, possibly even Commish’s own Heeds. On the other side there’s the GBP. With the heroic comeback they snag a playoff spot, steal the Cobra Division lead, and win their fourth out of their last five games. This season they’ve notched up six of ten 100+ point games as well. Commish keeps waiting for the age and injury issues to crop up, and though those issues HAVE cropped up, they haven’t been enough to derail this team. 7-3 is nothing to scoff at. Next up for the GBP are the Cobra Kai followed by a little Brothers Buhr sandwhich. And then, more importantly, the playoffs.
Fun Fact: With this win Jonny G moves to 5-4 against the Gang. With this MLOM Official Close Win (win less than 5 points), Jonny G racks up his third such win of the season. He now has 9 total, tops amongst all MLOM teams. He also has more close losses than any other MLOM team, with 8.
Player of the Week
Kurt Warner – 37.11 points (32 of 42, 328 yards, 3 TDs)
Chalk up another POTW for K-dub, no stranger to this award over the years in MLOM. Currently he’s the highest scoring player not just at QB, but in all MLOM right now. K-dub baby! Still got it!
Jon Fogerty Sponsored Ronnie Brown Memorial Award
Tough call this week with several players making great cases: Kellen Winslow, Willis Mcgahee, Steve Breaston, Eddie Royal, Donvan McNabb, Peyton Manning, Brady Quinn, and Ricky Williams all bested 20 points from the bench this week AND outplayed someone at their position who was starting. That said, Commish is left simply picking the highest scoring non-QB player left on the bench, and that’s Eddie “Money” Royal, who stands out with 25.89 points on the Rat Pack bench. He might have two tickets to paradise, but he still rides the pine.
“Put me in coach, I’m ready to play…”
Game of the Week
GBP over The Gang
This game was the closest, the last to be resolved with solid MNM, and also has huge implications in the ongoing struggle for supremacy between Cobra and GI Joe. WIth this comeback win Jonny G notches up a sure playoff spot and can now make his move toward dominating the Cobra division. Great game, great comeback. And another tough loss for the Gang.
Team of the Week
There was certainly no mercy this week with Fwat’s Karate Army sporting the highest score of the week in a must-win situation. They have to get hot and stay hot (and ready to pop). No let downs. No Mercy.
Coach of the Week
With every other winning coach having an obvious coaching blunder this week (Crackheeds – benched Winslow; Birdmen – benched Smith and higher production WRs; Canucks – benched Wayne; GBP – Benched Run Ricky Run), so that leaves Fwats, who led his team to victory in a must-win situation and made “all the right moves” as if he were on a wedding dance floor. In short, that guy’s “awesome”, and he’s also Commish’s Week 10 Coach of the Week!
Goat of the Week
Bernard Berrian. While it’s true that the Philly Defense posted the lowest score of the week (something that will bring a smile to Commish’s lips every time – especially when it’s because of the G-men), and then were several players who dropped goose eggs like it was going out of style (Chambers, Stuckey), Commish feels obligated to select Bernard Berrian as the goat of the week. He dropped a goose egg when all he needed to do was catch even a few moderate passes to propel his team to victory. Mr. Berrian, come get your horns.
Good luck to all teams in week 11!