Thursday Ramblings Nov 6, 2014: Raps Winning the Hard Way, Leafs Up to Old Tricks and Megatron Returns!

How does it feel Raptor fans? Raps are 4-1 and off to their best start in 10 years! I’ll tell you how it makes me feel…nervous as hell. I’m not sure I like this new mentality of “let’s start the game down by 15 points and work our way back”. You can not sustain the entire season when you are always playing from behind. The defense needs to shape up and step up. Last night they were down by 16 at one point to the Boston Celtics! I understand with no Amir and last night no JV it is tough playing undersized, especially with a big team like the Celtics, but our smaller guys need to defend the perimeter better. Celtics were shooting the lights out from the 3-point line and the defense never really adjusted. Watching this team so far this season has been bad for my blood pressure and I’ve seen a noticeable increase in grey hair (fortunately mostly on my chest).

Did you hear that screeching sound on Tuesday? That was the Leafs Planning Committee putting a halt on parade plans. Their 3-2 loss to Arizona may not look bad in the boxscore, but let’s break it down a little further. Leafs were outshot 33-30. Very acceptable. Except that the Leafs had a total of 3 shots in the 1st period. In perspective, they only had 3 more shots on goal than my grandfather and we buried him in 1982. Mind you they came back and shot on net at a regular pace in the 2nd and 3rd but the fact they got off to such a brutal start is worrisome as they have worked their way back into the Wildcard standings so every game should be a “must win” mentality for them. We’ll see how they respond in Colorado tonight.

No Fantasy Football GM in the world can be as happy as I am to hear that Calvin Johnson will be back this weekend against the Dolphins. As Stafford put it in his press conference “it’s conducive to get the best receiver on the planet the ball as much as possible”. Amen to that. Johnson hasn’t played since week 5 and even that was in a limited role. Somehow the Lions have managed to go 3-0 with Megatron hurt (by “somehow” I mean “Golden Tate”) but with the Bye week, Johnson will be joined by teammates Reggie Bush, Big Joe Fauria and Brandon Pettigrew on the field as all of them were out in London. It couldn’t come at a better time as the second half of their schedule goes: vs Dolphins, @Cardinals, @Patriots before it eases up vs Bears, vs Bucs, vs Vikings and finish the season @Bears and @Packers. It’s been three years since they made the playoffs but it feels like ten. With the new coaching staff and a healthy Megatron, they can’t miss. Right?

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