On the eve of Halloween, there are no spooky things in "the stack." But The Stack would like to take this time to tell everyone on the east coast to stay safe and good luck. Hopefully there won't be too much damage as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall. There are a few things to get to today so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, October 30:
49ers knock out Cardinals in NFC West clash
The San Francisco 49ers made easy work of the Arizona Cardinals Monday night, beating them 24-3. Alex Smith, was simpley amazing going 18 for 19 for 232 yards and three touchdowns. His completion percentage of 94.7 percent is an NFL record for minimum of fifteen attempts. Two of those touchdowns went to Michael Crabtree while the other one went to Randy Moss. Nice of him to make his presence known so late in the season. The 49ers defense was good, but the Cardinals helped them a lot. Inability to protect the quarterback and throw the ball downfield. That and their quarterbacks aren't very good. Other than that, the Cardinals are a good team. Looks like it's going to be the 49ers and Seahawks duking it out for the NFC West. Got to give the edge to the 49ers. For the week, 9-5 on the picks. Not as bad as it could have been.
Giants World Series thoughts
So the San Francisco Giants are World Series champions for the second time in three years thanks to their sweep of the Detroit Tigers. The two biggest contributors to this sweep in my opinion were the Tigers lengthy layoff after sweeping the Yankees and the Giants momentum following their 3-1 series comeback against the St. Louis Cardinals. When Justin Verlander went out in game one and laid an egg for the Tigers, you had a feeling the Tigers would be in trouble. Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera struggled to get hits when the Tigers needed a spark.
For the Giants, they got some timely hits and some great contribution from Pablo Sandoval, your World Series MVP, who got things really going for the Giants with his three homerun performance in game one. That really set the tone for the Giants. Marco Scutaro really made an impact on this team. Don't forget about Brandon Crawford's defense at shortstop. And then there was the pitching. The entire staff was amazing. Barry Zito came up huge. Tim Lincecum pitched decent out of the bullpen. What about their closer Sergio Romo was as dependable as ever. He shut down opponents. All of these things factored into the Giants World Series title. Perhaps most important though was their mentality. Six games they faced elimination and they won all six games. Such fortitude and focus from this team.
I always thought they had the pitching, but would the offense be able to break through. It did and it has resulted in the San Francisco Giants being the World Series champions. Congratulations Giants. You earned it! Enjoy the offseason and thanks for capping off a prety remarkable year on the diamond. See you in the spring.
David Stern to retire
A surprising announcement, at least to me, came out from the NBA office last week. Commissioner David Stern will retire February 1, 2014. He's been the commissioner for close to thirty and while he has rubbed some people the wrong way, you can't deny what he has done for the popularity of the game. Sure he's presided over a couple of partial lockouts, but what he has done to increase viewership, marketability and revenue for the league is something that can't be denied. He has globalized the sport. Think how many foreign superstars the NBA has seen...Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli just to name a few. Great players help, no question about it, but Stern has lead the NBA from uncertainty as a pro sport into easily the number two pro sports league in the country. There is plenty of time to further discuss his legacy, but the initial thought is that the NBA is losing someone who has been a major leader for them regardless if he is well liked or not. More thoughts to come as the time gets closer.
NFL week 8 power rankings
1. Atlanta Falcons 7-0
With that showing by Matt Ryan & company, the Falcons showed they are the best team in the NFC and a much different team than last year.
2. Houston Texans 6-1
Texans are the best team in the AFC...for now. The Broncos are looking good and charging fast which will help keep the Texans focused.
3. New York Giants 6-2
JerryWorld may as well just be named Giants Stadium II. The Giants haven't lost once there. Giants know there were lots of opportunities left on the field that they have to correct sooner than later.
4. Chicago Bears 6-1
Not a good game by the Bears the first three quarters. But good teams find a way to win and the Bears did that with that fourth quarter. Six TD's for the defense now. Not bad.
5. Denver Broncos 4-3
Might be a little high, but with the way Peyton Manning is looking and how that defense is coming together, the Broncos are one dangerous team.
6. San Francisco 49ers
Impressive game by Alex Smith who finally got back on track after a bad couple of games. If he plays well, the 49ers will be a tough out in the playoffs (yes they will make the playoffs).
7. New England Patriots 5-3
The Patriots really layed a smackdown on the Rams in London. Did they find themselves? Makes you wonder why they can't play like this every game.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers 4-3
The Steelers are really starting to turn it on. If they can stay healthy, the Steelers are once again very dangerous and the favorites in the AFC North.
9. Baltimore Ravens 5-2
Wonder if the Ravens defense will turn it around after the bye. I have my doubts too. That's what will hold this team back.
10. Seattle Seahawks 4-4
The Seahawks play teams close, but just couldn't do enough to beat the Lions. They'll have a good matchup with the Vikings this week though at home, they will definitely be energized.
11. Green Bay Packers 5-3
The Packers should be higher, but when you are given a game by the Jaguars in Green Bay, don't think you deserve that high ranking despite the injuries the Packers had.
12. Minnesota Vikings 5-3
That was an embarrassing performance against the Bucs last Thursday night at home. If the Vikings want to make something of their season, this week's game against the Seahawks is a must win.
13. Indianapolis Colts 4-3
Impressive comeback on the road for Andrew Luck. This team certainly looks like they'll be around this year and be a factor for years to come.
14. Miami Dolphins 4-3
The Dolphins keep surprising people and crushed the Jets even after rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill got injured. They're doing a lot with very little and impressing a lot of people, including myself in the process.
15. Dallas Cowboys 3-4
The Cowboys sure do makre it interesting don't they. From downright terrible, to good to failure once again, the Cowboys simply are not a consistent or good enough team to make the playoffs at this point as evidenced by their 14-13 record at home.
16. Washington Redskins 3-5
The Redskins did not look good against the Steelers. Then again who does? They'll bounce back against Carolina this weekend.
17. Philadelphia Eagles 3-4
Is this the end for Michael Vick? It might be, though it's not his fault he has no offensive line and the coaches don't run LeSean McCoy more. The defense is a mess too, but the Eagles can save their season. They just have to bunker down and focus.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-4
That was some road performance by the Bucs against the Vikings. Greg Schiano is definitely changing the culture in Tampa and Doug Martin is one heck of a running back.
19. Detroit Lions 3-4
Season saving win for the Lions against the Seahawks. Now they get the Jaguars next week. A chance to build some positive momentum.
20. Arizona Cardinals 4-4
Really, this might even be too high. No offensive line and bad quarterback play. The season is doomed for the Cardinals.
21. Buffalo Bills 3-4
Wonder how well the Bills defense will look after a bye week to straighten things out. It can only be better after the first seven weeks, can't it?
22. San Diego Chargers 3-4
I'm here to say it once and for all. The Chargers are done! Heads will roll with no postseason this year.
23. Cincinnati Bengals 3-4
Hopefully during the bye week, the Bengals tried to rekindle their success they had last year that got them to the playoffs. So far this year, I haven't seen it.
24. St. Louis Rams 3-5
Wasn't that defense supposed to create a little pressure for Tom Brady? I wasn't expecting the Rams to win, but definitely not get blown out.
25. Tennessee Titans 3-5
So much for Matt Hasselbeck continuing to be the spark that leads the Titans. May as well go back to Jake Locker.
26. Oakland Raiders 3-4
Hard to believe the Raiders are only one game out in the AFC West. They longer they stick around, the more they will believe.
27. New York Jets 3-5
A week after the Jets played right with the Patriots they show that performance against the Dolphins at home?! Tim Tebow may not be answer, but surely he could make the offense better than what Jets looked lik on Sunday.
28. New Orleans Saints 2-5
Their offense is good. Their defense is all time bad. Like worst in NFL history bad. They won't make much noise until they figure that out.
29. Cleveland Browns 2-6
New owner Jimmy Haslem gets his first win no matter how ugly it was and the Browns and their fans will take it.
30. Carolina Panthers 1-6
The Panthers gave the Bears all they could handle, but bad teams make mistakes that cost them games and the Panthers did just that. That's what makes you 1-6
31. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-6
The Jaguars gave the Packers one hell of a test, but just don't have enough weapons to beat the good teams. If Blaine Gabbert plays like he did against Green Bay the rest of the year, the Jaguars will win some games.
32. Kansas City Chiefs 1-6
The Chiefs have still not led in a game this season. Know how you're not going to get a lead. Giving the ball to Jamaal Charles five times. Recipe for losing all year long.
Coming up Wednesday: NBA season preview