Tag Archive | Football

Take It To The Bank: NFL Week Eight

By Brett Malamud

Happy Halloween! We’ve taking the Take it to the Bank report this week and giving it a Halloween feel with today’s section: Trick or Treat! Use this section as you look to this week and beyond as you set your fantasy football lineups.

Trick: Charcandrick West

Yes, many people had Jamaal Charles in their running back slot and are looking to West to produce. Yes, West had a big game last week, rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown. Yes, I did say to pick him up (and he should be picked up), but I’m not that big on him. This player is not a RB1, and I’m not sure he’s a reliable RB2 option. You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge West by one big game. He’ll probably have a good game this week, but don’t expect huge numbers every week.

Treat: Gurley Owners

Gurley owners that stuck through the thick and thin are now grinning at the results. Gurley has been the league’s most productive player, especially in an offense that has become run-heavy. Continue to enjoy Gurley having big games almost every week.

Trick: The Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are an interesting story. Yes they took a heartbreaking loss to the Giants last week, letting the Giants return a kickoff for a touchdown just after tying the game. But they also found new life in running back Darren McFadden. With Joseph Randle possibly out for a few games due to violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, the Cowboys will look to McFadden, Christine Michael and Rod Smith. Flashback to a week ago when Jason Garrett planned on making Michael the starter. Yeah, so that didn’t happen, and you can look elsewhere for a better running back on your team. McFadden however is a flex play at best this weekend as the Cowboys welcome in the Seattle Seahawks, so don’t be tricked by last week’s big performance.

Treat: The New York Jets

The Jets are another interesting story. The offseason changed everything for them, bringing in cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, along with wide receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Many members of the New York media propelled them to Super Bowl contenders. Then the season came, and Geno Smith got punched in the jaw by his now-former teammate I.K. Enemkpali, sending the Jets predictions out the window. There was no way that Ryan Fitzpatrick could pick up the pieces right? Wrong. The Jets headed into New England last week at 4-1. They played till the final whistle and although they sit at 4-2, look at their schedule. Eight out of their remaining 10 games come against teams that are currently at or below .500 and that should be looked at closely. Fitzpatrick should be looked at if he’s still available in your leagues, and Brandon Marshall and Chris Ivory should be starting in your lineup. The defense should be starting most if not all weeks. If you want that sneaky play, look to Eric Decker, as teams are focused on stopping Brandon Marshall.

Brandon Marshall is a player worth looking at trading for this fantasy football season (Via NYDN)

Brandon Marshall is a player worth looking at trading for this fantasy football season (Via NYDN)

Trick: The New York Giants

While I’d like to stick the entire NFC East in the tricks section, I’m not going to do that because I’m not that mean. But I will stick the Giants in here with the Cowboys because of their fantasy impact. I understand that the team is 4-3, but with a lot of tough teams (looking at you AFC East and Carolina Panthers) coming up on their schedule, it’s not really an ideal situation. I definitely do not trust any of the Giants running backs, and other than Odell Beckham Jr., I don’t trust any of their wide receivers. I’d consider Ruben Randle in deeper leagues, but only if you don’t have other options due to the bye week. Quarterback Eli Manning certainly cannot be trusted in fantasy leagues, compiling just 14 fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues over the last two weeks. I’d look elsewhere for impactful fantasy players.

Treat: San Diego Chargers Tight Ends

So Antonio Gates came into the season off a four game suspension, and immediately made a major impact. Gates had two touchdowns in his first game back, and has had 90+ receiving yards in both games that he has played in. But with a sprained MCL, the Chargers looked to Ladarius Green and he has been contributing all season. Quarterback Philip Rivers loves to throw to his tight ends, and while Gates is taken in most leagues, Green isn’t so pick him up now.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

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Take It To The Bank- NFL Week Three

By Brett Malamud

Another week is here and you know what that means! Here is week three’s installment of Take it to the Bank:

Take a Chance(llor)

After weeks of frustration in Seattle, strong safety Kam Chancellor ended his holdout and returned to practice this week. The Seattle Seahawks are 0-2 headed into their home opener on Sunday, and with Chancellor back in the mix, look for this defense to return to being one of the league’s best.

While we’re on the topic of the Seahawks, tight end Jimmy Graham made headlines this week when it came out that Graham was frustrated with his reduced role. Now as I pointed out a few weeks back, we knew that this would happen. With an elite running back like Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks are destined to run the ball. Graham is being utilized as a blocker right now, but don’t expect him to NOT make an impact. Graham has the second most red zone targets (four) out of all of the league’s tight ends (New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has the most with five). Expect Graham to catch some for touchdowns. Now is the time to buy low on Graham.

Now is the time to buy low on Jimmy Graham (Via USA Today)

Now is the time to buy low on Jimmy Graham (Via USA Today)

Fitz and the Tantrums

I think we were all shocked by the three touchdown performance by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Now, this was against a weak Chicago Bears defense, but the hype is real. I believe that Larry Fitzgerald proved that he is not done yet. Expect a healthy dose of Larry Fitz as he takes on a weak San Francisco 49ers defense.

Devin’s Day

With news that New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is out this week, the number-two receiver slot is up for the taking. With Chris Owusu also out this week, timing couldn’t be better for second round pick Devin Smith to make his NFL debut. Smith was a long ball threat and speed receiver at Ohio State, and I’m expecting him to channel that with the Jets. You probably won’t see a big impact immediately, but with the possibility that Decker might miss multiple weeks, Smith could be a sneaky addition to your fantasy team in deeper leagues.

Matthews, Matthews, Matthews

With news of the Philadelphia Eagles setting DeMarco Murray inactive for week three, running back Ryan Matthews will get the start against the Jets. This is where I stay away, as the Jets have the fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Then we head to the other Matthews for the Eagles at wide receiver with Jordan Matthews. This is my “buyers beware” player of the week. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis will likely be on Matthews for the entire game. This matchup would essentially take Matthews out of the game and out of your lineup.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Take It To The Bank- NFL Season Kickoff

By Brett Malamud

Another NFL season is finally here! In seasons past, we have published our season predictions on the opening night of the season. Don’t worry! Those will be published on Sunday. However, over our first two years, we’ve received multiple requests for fantasy football advice. Well today, we’ll be introducing a new weekly section called “Take it to the Bank” where we’ll offer up a few bold predictions for the upcoming week. We hope that this section helps you in those last-minute lineup-tinkering situations. We’ll start off week one with a few bold predictions for the entire season. Enjoy tonight’s season kickoff and here is the first installment of Take it to the Bank:

Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood

We’ll begin with the question brought up recently in Wisconsin. Can quarterback Aaron Rodgers win a Super Bowl without top target wide receiver Jordy Nelson? The short answer is yes. The Green Bay Packers are extremely deep and Rodgers is still going to be one of the league’s top quarterbacks. Rodgers still has top wide receivers in Randall Cobb and Davante Adams, along with a fantasy sleeper pick in tight end Richard Rodgers. But wait, there’s more! Running back Eddie Lacy is the top fantasy pick out there in my opinion and will help Rodgers power this team deep into the playoffs.

 

The Newest Seahawk

Tight end Jimmy Graham was shipped out west this offseason and joins a hungry Seattle Seahawks offense, which fell one yard shy of a Super Bowl title last season. Will the offense succeed? Yes. But don’t expect Graham to put up the numbers that he did in his time with the New Orleans Saints. Thanks to running back Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks will run the football A LOT. New Orleans ran a very pass heavy offense and that is where Graham found his success. I’m not saying to beware of Graham in fantasy because he’ll still be reliable, but I will say don’t overvalue him.

The Book of Eli

The last year has been a shaky one for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning but I think that we’ll see the Eli of years past this season. I’m not saying that they’re Super Bowl bound, because the Giants still have some work to do, but it’ll be a noticeable improvement. Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Ruben Randle (a sleeper that you should take in the last round of your draft) and tight end Larry Donnell give Manning an arsenal of weapons to throw to. With no clear cut top running back, look for Eli to throw the ball more and return to his old self this season.

Turn Down for Watt

The Houston Texans D/ST is definitely a unit that you want on your team if you can’t grab the Seahawks defense in your draft. With defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney rushing from either side, this defense is scary. I’d also take a look at the New York Jets defense if you can’t get Houston or Seattle due to their stacked offensive line and upgraded secondary.

The duo in Houston will be a force to be reckoned with (Via SBNY)

The duo in Houston will be a force to be reckoned with (Via SBNY)

Gurley Birds

I am putting this in writing. Todd Gurley will be a great addition to any fantasy football team. He’s slipping in fantasy drafts due to the torn ACL he suffered last November, but as the saying goes, buy low and sell high. I managed to grab Gurley at pick number 86 and for good reason. The St. Louis Rams going to be back in action around week four, and should be a force for the rest of the season. Take him on your team, sit him on the end of your bench while he’s out, and then you’ll have the last laugh come playoff time in your league.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

AFC East Preview

By Jack Allen

If you ask me, I believe the AFC East is a constantly improving division. Starting with the New England Patriots (Division winners for the last 6 years) under future Hall of Fame head coach Bill Belichick they’ve dominated the AFC East for pretty much the last 14 years. With three Super Bowls (2001, 2003, and 2004) are the overwhelming favorite for this division as of right now. They might have one problem, with an aging Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski just coming back it could be a problem staying healthy. It’ll take a lot to keep them off the field, but don’t forget Tom Brady could soon be wearing down.

Tom Brady is still an elite quarterback but could he be losing steam? (via ibtimes)

Tom Brady is still an elite quarterback but could he be losing steam? (via ibtimes)

As for the New York Jets, under 2nd year QB Geno Smith I believe they have enough to clinch a Wild Card birth in the AFC. Rex Ryan and his defense can lead this young team in the NFL playoffs. Im not sure how far they can go, but it will be an exciting year in East Rutherford. Im going to say it comes all the way down to Week 17 in Miami to possibly sneak in to the playoffs. With new faces like Eric Decker, Chris Johnson and Jonathan Babin it should be an exciting season.

Down in South Florida they have a very nice thing going that I think needs some time to develop. Last season in week 17 they had a win and in game at home against their divisional rival NY Jets. Nothing went right in a disappointing 20-7 loss. The Dolphins will give themselves a chance and play the Jets at home in a similar way they did last season and blow it again. Ryan Tannehill seems to have developed nicely, but not too many other threats on the football field. Should be an interesting year in Miami.

Ever since 2001 the Buffalo Bills have had no divisional titles, a 26-54 record within the AFC East and no playoff appearances. For the first time, in recent memory they look to have to hope. With a good defensive line, a young talented quarterback in EJ Manuel, and their new draft pick Sammy Watkins. Are they ready for a run yet? I say not just yet, but this team will not be a good one to have on your schedule. I project them at 6-10, but I say due to some inexperience they lose some close ones. Not so much now, but the future is looking bright in Western New York.

Prediction:
1). Patriots 11-5
2). Jets 9-7
3).Dolphins 8-8
4).Bills 6-10


Jack Allen is a writer for dabuzzza.com. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Queens Park Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball. His favorite athletes are David Wright, John Tavares, Geno Smith, Allen Iverson and Charlie Austin. He is a very passionate and determined fan. You can follow him on twitter @JackAllen99.

NCAA Proposes to Slow Down College Football Offenses

By Nick Vespasiano

The NCAA has proposed a new rule that would prevent the offense from snapping the ball for the first 10 seconds of the play clock. With offenses running more plays than ever before, the NCAA Football Rules Committee believes giving defensive players time to substitute would improve player safety.

A February 12th press release on NCAA.org, “The committee believes that 10 seconds provides sufficient time for defensive player substitutions without inhibiting the ability of an offense to play at a fast pace…This rules proposal also aligns with a request from the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports that sport rules committees review substitution rules in regards to player safety.”

If the offense snaps the ball before the 10 seconds they receive a five-yard delay-of-game penalty. The rule would not be in effect the last two minutes of each half. Some head coaches have voiced their opinions.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy expressed his opinion February 13th on twitter, “The no huddle, fast tempo style has changed the game of CFB. Our sport has exploded in popularity with high scoring games & packed stadiums.” A relevant point when college football attendance is on the decline. A recent article on ESPN.com by Darren Rovell reported “attendance for FBS schools dropping below 46,000 per game for the past five seasons.” (http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10458047/next-generation-ticket-holder-concern-students-show-college-football-games). These fast offenses are fun to watch but this rule change could hurt the already dropping attendance numbers.

Alabama coach Nick Saban was present at the Rules Committee meeting where this rule was introduced. Saban sounded off two seasons ago  about a need for a rules change in an October 3rd , 2012 teleconference: “I think that the way people are going no-huddle right now, that at some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety. The team gets in the same formation group, you can’t substitute defensive players…That’s when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt when they’re not ready to play.”

Alabama's Nick Saban is one coach who would not like to see the new rule put into place (Via AP)

Alabama’s Nick Saban is one coach who would not like to see the new rule put into place (Via AP)

Alabama’s only losses in the regular season came against Texas A&M and Auburn, two of the country’s best up-tempo offenses. Oklahoma also used some no-huddle offense to their advantage in their 45-31 defeat of the Tide in the Sugar Bowl. The no-huddle can clearly work against Alabama. Many people, myself included, think Saban wants this rule change so his defenses can continue dominate.

Some Saban-style teams, however, have managed success in stopping face paced offenses. Stanford, a team known for its slow, ground-and-pound offense held Oregon and UCLA to 20 and 10 points respectively. They also beat Arizona State twice, another team with a solid no-huddle attack. Michigan State, for example, held Ohio State’s fast paced offense to its lowest point total of the season in the Big 10 Championship Game.

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has been outspoken against the rule change, stating in a press conference,“there’s absolutely zero evidence, documented evidence, that is hazardous on the pace of play, only opinions.” He also pointed out the rule change would make it more difficult for a team to come back late in the game.

NCAA national coordinator of officiating, Rogers Redding told CBSsports.com on February 13th, “I think it’s fair to say there’s not really much hard data on this.”

A website cfbmatrix.com has been putting together data on pace of play and its effect on injuries. His data reflected the Big 12 conference ran the most plays of the five BCS conferences between 2009-12 and had the fewest “starts lost to injury” of the five conferences. Alabama lost 30 starts to injury from 2010-12 despite being in the bottom 10 of plays run per game. Compare that with Oregon which lost only 18 starts between 2009-10. The most glaring stat of all though was in 2012, the top 15 teams in plays-per-game had eight less “starts lost to injury” than the 15 slowest teams.

To become official, this rule will have to pass the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on March 6. Hopefully the panel makes their decision based on the evidence.

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Nick Vespasiano is a senior English major at St. Olaf College and aspiring sports writer. He was raised in Minnesota, favorite teams are the Vikings, Wild, and Twins. Favorite athletes are Randy Moss and Jaromír Jágr.

Vikings Hire Zimmer

By Nick Vespasiano

Mike Zimmer was hired on Wednesday to be the ninth head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. The first time head coach was the Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator since 2008 after holding the same position with the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys. The hire came just over two weeks after Leslie Frazier was let go by the team.

Personality wise, Zimmer’s blunt honesty sharply contrasts Leslie Frazier’s passivity. When addressing the media, Leslie was often painfully vague or sounded like he was just repeating what general manager Rick Spielman wanted him to say. Vikings management was not willing to give up on Christian Ponder despite his lack of talent and Leslie stood by as we lost game after game. Zimmer is not that kind of coach. He will not be Spielman’s “yes man” like Frazier was for three seasons. Had he been head coach of the Vikings during the Christian Ponder era, Zimmer would have put up more of a fight when Spielman insisted Ponder be the starter.

One thing Zimmer and the former Vikings head coach have in common is they are defensive minds. Excluding a dismal 2010 season, in his six years in Cincinnati, the Bengals yards, touchdowns, and points allowed per drive and sack totals trended from the bottom half of the league to the top ten. Last season the Vikings ranked 31st in yards allowed and last in points allowed. Zimmer’s defenses in Cincinnati featured very few Pro-Bowlers, but the Vikings hope he can improve their defense that lacks top talent.

Mike Zimmer will take over as the ninth head coach in Vikings history (Via The Enquirer/Jeff Swinger)

Mike Zimmer will take over as the ninth head coach in Vikings history (Via The Enquirer/Jeff Swinger)

Zimmer has proven he can revamp a defense but the Vikings have issues offensively as well. This new coaching staff will have to find a quarterback that can consistently give the team a chance to win. If that doesn’t happen, the team likely won’t win many games and Zimmer will be fired in a few years just like Leslie Frazier. The Vikings’ offensive success will depend on not only on acquiring a quarterback either in free agency or the draft but also on hiring the right assistant coaches. While the draft is not until April, assistant coaches are being hired right now. The Vikings hired Norv Turner yesterday to replace Bill Musgrave as offensive coordinator. As the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator last season, his offense had the 11th ranked passing game in the league despite an offensive depth chart worse than the Vikings’. While the offense will run through Adrian Peterson, Turner can help utilize weapons like Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings.

There are still many unknowns. There are still open assistant coach positions, free agency, and the upcoming draft. The roster and coaching staff are still incomplete but the Vikings seem to be moving in the right direction.

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Nick Vespasiano is a senior English major at St. Olaf College and aspiring sports writer. He was raised in Minnesota, favorite teams are the Vikings, Wild, and Twins. Favorite athletes are Randy Moss and Jaromír Jágr.

Fantasy Football Love/Hate Week 10

By Brett Malamud

Right off the bat, if your fantasy team had to go up against Robert Griffin III like mine did last night, I’m sorry. RG3 torched the Vikings defense for a total of 27 fantasy points in ESPN Standard Leagues. My other fantasy team had to face Adrian Peterson, who rushed for two touchdowns and scored 19 fantasy points in ESPN Standard Leagues. It’s pretty safe to say that I was a bit unhappy while watching the game from a fantasy football perspective. However, it’s not always about who starts, but rather who finishes. Before we get to it, a quick shout out to Mr. Roto, Matthew Berry, who has been doing Love/Hate for years. On that note here are my Love/Hates for week 10 in the NFL:

Quarterbacks I Love in Week 10

Jake Locker vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Why would you think of starting this inconsistent quarterback, you ask? Well, the Jaguars defense has allowed double digits to quarterbacks in every single week.

Jay Cutler vs. Detroit Lions: While the Lions defense has allowed double digits to quarterbacks in every single week except for week one, that’s not the reason I would start Cutler. I believe that the Bears’ receivers performed well over the last few weeks without their fearless leader and with Cutler back, they’ll excel even more.

Philip Rivers vs. Denver Broncos: Rivers has been on fire for the entire season and has done very well for my fantasy team. I am expecting a big game out of him against a team that has a weak pass rush that allowed more than 300 yards to Chad Henne.

Quarterbacks I Hate in Week 10

Andy Dalton at Baltimore Ravens: Here’s a guy that was on my team and was traded in a blockbuster deal for Peyton Manning. Looking back, I was pretty happy that I got the top scoring fantasy player in the NFL. But Dalton did have a streak of his own over the last few weeks. However, the red headed Dalton struggled last week against the Miami Dolphins. Look for Dalton to struggle in a loud M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens have been red hot on defense.

Matt Ryan vs. Seattle Seahawks: Ah yes, Matty Ice. It’s fair to say that Matty Ice has gone ice cold, throwing seven interceptions in his last two games. It’ll definitely be tough for him to go up against the second best defense in the NFL.

Case Keenum at Arizona Cardinals: The streak has got to end, right?

Running Backs I Love in Week 10

Reggie Bush at Chicago Bears: Fans in Detroit have been voicing their pleasure at Lions home games with chants of “Reg-gie! Reg-gie!” Expect this to continue against a shaky Bears defense.

Reggie Bush has been a great fit in Detroit's offense (Via USA Today Sports)

Reggie Bush has been a great fit in Detroit’s offense (Via USA Today Sports)

Eddie Lacy vs. Philadelphia Eagles: He’s scored double-digit points in each of the last four weeks, and without Aaron Rodgers on the field, expect him to do it again.

Zac Stacy at Indianapolis Colts: While Stacy is questionable at the moment, he should keep up his streak as well in this upcoming game if he plays.

Running Backs I Hate in Week 10

BenJarvus Green-Ellis at Baltimore Ravens: Giovani Bernard got the red zone carries and cashed in. That’s all that needs to be said.

Rashad Jennings at New York Giants: The 28 year old got his shot when Darren McFadden went down with injury. But don’t expect greatness against a team that has done nothing better than stopping the run.

DeAngelo Williams at San Francisco 49ers: The return of Jonathan Stewart has taken away many carries from Williams and so he’s not such a great option at the moment.

Wide Receivers I Love in Week 10

Keenan Allen vs. Denver Broncos: In what has been one of the biggest surprises of the season, Allen has helped make the Chargers offense electric. He’ll continue again this week.

Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall vs. Detroit Lions: See Jay Cutler

Hakeem Nicks vs. Oakland Raiders: Nick Foles did throw seven touchdowns against this defense last week. I believe Nicks is due for a big game.

Wide Receivers I Hate in Week 10

Cecil Shorts at Tennessee Titans: There will be more coverage on Shorts this weekend, as Justin Blackmon is suspended.

Mike Wallace at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Going up against Darrelle Revis on Monday Night Football is not a favorable matchup for Wallace, who hasn’t scored since week two.

Marvin Jones at Baltimore Ravens: If Dalton struggles, so will Jones. I mean, you can’t throw it to yourself, right Hakeem Nicks?

Tight Ends I Love in Week 10

Antonio Gates vs. Denver Broncos: Gates is ranked the number two wide receiver by Matthew Berry this week. Expect Rivers to find him for a TD or two.

Garrett Graham at Arizona Cardinals: The Arizona defense has not been able to contain tight ends this year and so Graham could make for an interesting play.

Jason Witten at New Orleans Saints: Witten is coming off of a great week against Minnesota last week. This one is expected to be a shootout, so expect Witten to be heavily involved.

Tight Ends I Hate in Week 10

Jared Cook at Indianapolis Colts: Cook had a good week last week, but it was his first since week one. The Colts are in the top 10 against tight ends this year so it’s not really a good play.

Defenses I Love in Week 10

Tennesee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: They are playing the Jaguars so…

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills: With EJ Manuel first coming back from injury, don’t expect a great game from him.

Defenses I Hate in Week 10

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions: The Bears just haven’t been themselves this season and now they have to play a scary Lions team.

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints: Sunday Night Football. Superdome. Drew Brees. Doesn’t look so good for the Cowboys defense.

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Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy