Welcome to Week 15 Blitzers. As always, kudos to the guys on this week’s show for another hilarious episode. I’m glad the Miami Miracle Margarita was a winning cocktail for the show (lets be real, the reason alone it was chosen made it a winner before it was even tasted) and fortunately it didn’t lead to any questionable outbursts this week. From a personal standpoint, I was relieved I wasn’t blamed for anything again… or was I? You’ll have to check it out for yourself here to find out. One way or another it’s all-star effort from our guys over at Blitzed NFL.
Speaking of All Stars, the Pro Bowl rosters were just released yesterday and while I personally don’t care about the game anymore, I do care about the players on my team getting recognition for their accomplishments on the field of play. The NFL really needs to figure out a way to make the game more relevant so that casual fans will want to tune in again. At the end of the long, stressful, punishing season, the players are there for the recognition and the camaraderie with fellow stars, not so much for the competition in the game itself. Even still, us fans get all bent out of shape if our favorite players get snubbed after a great year. Case in point, my Buffalo Bills were blanked on the roster even with the #2 ranked total defense in the league. So, this week I decided to give you the 2018 Barkeep’s All Snubbed Team, and the reasons why I feel they deserved their trip to Orlando this coming January.
Blitzed Barkeep's ALL SNUBBED Team
Christian McCaffrey (RB- CAR)
Blitzed Stats: 179 att 979 yds 5.0 avg 7TDs; 94 rec 768 yds 6 TDS
Three names: Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley and Saquon Barkley. That’s why McCaffrey is not on the roster for Orlando in January. McCaffrey is the rare three-down back who makes Carolina’s offense versatile and defensive coordinator’s heads spin. The play action fake in Carolina’s offense opens up the field but very often leads right back to McCaffrey as evidenced by his 94 catches with another two games to play. While a 1,000/1,000 rushing and receiving year is probably out of the question this season, it’s not hard to fathom that he will reach that feat at one point or another in his career very soon. McCaffrey is deserving of a Pro Bowl nod this season, and he is only going to get better with time.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR- PIT)
Blitzed Stats: 95 rec 1,274 yds 6 TDs
Juju has had himself one hell of a year- so much so that he has out-produced his teammate Antonio Brown. That in itself is a big deal due to the fact that Brown is very often considered as one of the best, if not THE best, wide receivers in the entire NFL. Smith-Schuster leads the Steelers in targets (more than Brown), and receiving yards (also more than Brown) while at the same time preventing opposing defenses from double teaming “the best receiver in the league”. Out of the two wideouts that have helped the Steelers to the #1 passing offense in the NFL, its is Brown, not Smith-Schuster that is heading to Orlando. Its not to say that Brown doesn’t deserve that honor. I’m saying that Juju does. At least we named a drink for him! (Check out Blitzed NFL podcast Episode 20 if you missed it)
Andrew Luck (QB- IND)
Blitzed Stats: 375 out of 557 (67.3%) 3,951 yds, 34 TDs 13 INTs; 98.4 QBR
He missed the entire 2017 NFL season with a shoulder injury. He thought at some point he may never play football again. He came back in 2018 and no one knew what to expect. He started off a bit rusty but then he caught fire. He had a stretch of nine straight games where he had at least 3 TD passes. He also has six 300 yard passing games including one 400 yard game and another 399 yard game- both against the 10-4, division-leading Houston Texans. His most important stat of the season? His team started 1-5 and are now back in the playoff hunt at 7-6. This snub was simply mind-boggling when you look at everything he’s overcome along with the stats he has put up. One can argue that he can’t replace Patrick Mahomes or Philip Rivers with the years they are having. He can, however, replace Tom Brady and deservedly so. Team Blitzed would gladly make that switch any day of the week.
Mike Evans (WR-TB)
Blitzed Stats: 74 rec 1,328 yds 5 TDs
He’s not flashy. You don’t hear about him mouthing off. He’s rotated between two quarterbacks multiple times this year and not due to injuries. But yet he continues to go out every week and produce. He is one of only three players in NFL history to begin their NFL careers with five straight 1,000 yard seasons (Randy Moss and AJ Green are the others) and could surpass 1,500 yards this season. He is the steady hand in Tampa Bay when other, important positions are not so steady. Considering what he has had to transition through this year behind center, this snub is not to be overlooked. He more than deserves to be in Orlando with his peers as the one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
Blitzed Honorable Mentions:
Alvin Kamara (NO), Darius Leonard (IND), Robert Woods (LAR), Chris Jones (KC), Tre White (BUF), Leighton Vander Esch (DAL)
In a year full of players excelling and not being recognized for their accomplishments, we are steadily rolling towards the playoffs with teams full of players that were recognized and headed to Orlando. In fact, my game of the week this week has a combined eight (8) pro bowlers that were selected yesterday including five first timers. This week’s game of the week should be a good one and features the Kansas Chiefs (11-3) heading to CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks (8-6). Seattle plays tough at home with that 12th man advantage so what better than to partake in some 12th Man Cocktails?
12th Man Cocktail
1.5oz Citrus Vodka
½ oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
Float Blue Curacao
Blitzed Barkeep Build: Add ingredients except Curacao to a shaker with ice, shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass over rocks. Flip a bar spoon over and place at the top of the pour in the glass. Slowly pour the Blue Curacao to float on top of the cocktail to separate the two colors. Garnish with aa lime wedge or wheel.
Seattle has always been a tough place to play. The mystique of the 12th man advantage seems to give the Seahawks a little more edge when they’re at home. This year they’re a respectable 4-2 in Seattle with their two losses coming only to the two teams based out of Los Angeles- the Rams and Chargers. They have been hot of late, winning 4 out of their last 5 before losing a head scratcher to San Francisco in overtime. The Chiefs, on the other hand have three losses all year by a combined 7 points. Two of those losses (New England and also the Los Angeles Rams) were on the road. Like Seattle, they are coming off a very tough loss to the Chargers who went for the win with a gutsy two-point conversion last Thursday night.
So, as always let’s play out the game Barkeep style. The game gets underway with two teams known for the exact opposite things- offense and defense. Seattle gets first crack and immediately runs down the field for a touchdown. Forgetting that its 2018, the fans begin to throw packets of skittles on the field thinking Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch was back in town. Arguments begin to fly about who the running back was this year as some weren’t sure which of the five being used actually scored that last touchdown. (Kansas City scores on a 40 yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill) Microsoft Surface Pros are pulled out to Google their answer. Or Bing it. Another fight breaks out as to which search engine is better. (Kansas City Scores again on a 50 yard pass to Travis Kelce) Someone in the stands had the audacity to open Internet Explorer. (Touchdown KC to Chris Conley) Silence falls over the crowd as that fan is quickly escorted out of the stadium and banned for life (Kansas City scores another touchdown on a no look pass to Damien Williams). Seattle fans have no idea that through all of this the score quickly jumped to 28-7 in the blink of an eye. Somewhere off in the corner, a shadowy, dreadlocked character in a black trench-coat happily opens a bag a skittles and walks away down the tunnel. In the end, Seattle gave it their all gets shellacked 63-7. To console everyone, free Starbucks are handed out as fans leave the stadium. Of course, no one’s name is spelled correctly on the side of the cup this time either.
Ah, to have some fun with these games. In reality, I do think this will be a high scoring affair once again involving the Chiefs but I don’t think it will be a blow out. Seattle’s Legion of Boom is not as terrifying as it once was, but their defense will keep them in this game. I simply do not think Seattle stacks up with the offensive power that Kansas City has. Eventually, Kansas City will put Seattle away, keeping the top seed in the AFC for another week.
FINAL SCORE: Kansas City 42 Seattle 36
Well Blitzers, that’s all from your Blitzed Barkeep for now. Remember to drink responsibly, take Brady’s name in vain and always give your keys to a friend if you’ve had too much. Tune in to the Blitzed NFL podcast this Tuesday to hear the guys review this week’s drink of the week and recap all of the action during Week 16.
The Blitzed Barkeep is a #TeamBlitzed All Pro from Bills Mafia. You can follow Blitzed Barkeep on Twitter here.