Week Eight Rankings


A formerly unbeaten team finally met its match and there are no longer any teams with perfect records this season, leveling the playing field a little bit more whereas rankings are concerned anyway. Who dominated this week and who was dominated? There’s a new number one in town, or rather one that has returned to form thanks to a foe’s loss. Let’s take a gander at what I’ve got in store today.

First-Rate Kings:

  1. New England Patriots- The Patriots got lucky here because the Cowboys could’ve very well vaulted into the lead if they hadn’t been on a Bye this week. As it was Tom Brady and his crew didn’t have the greatest showing (essentially just meaning Brady didn’t pass for four touchdowns and 400+ yards at this point). They stuffed the Steelers in the second half, but bear in mind that’s a conference rival that was captain-less with Big Ben on the sidelines. +1 6-1
  2. Dallas Cowboys- What a week for the Boys. They didn’t even have to play and they moved up one spot nonetheless thanks to the Vikings getting manhandled by the Eagles. I’m as interested as anyone else is to see how Dak and Zeke perform in the upcoming week, especially since it could be one that sees the return of key offensive players such as Dez (or Romo?). +1 5-1
  3. Minnesota Vikings- Small dip for these guys now that they’re no longer undefeated. They could’ve dropped lower if it hadn’t been for the majority of teams close to them also losing. The team that was supposed to have the greatest defense of them all ironically found themselves losing the defensive match to the Eagles. Meanwhile Sam Bradford passed a LOT and wasn’t so bad but wasn’t really great either. Things still look fine even after their shock. -2 5-1
  4. Arizona Cardinals- Arizona moves up big in part thanks to their absolute domination of Seattle in a game that inevitably ended in a tie thanks to two ineffective offenses and hit or miss (literally) special teams units. It was a historic game, but not necessarily for the reasons most teams would like. Still, David Johnson literally carried his team and although it ended in a tie, it wasn’t a loss at least. +3 3-3-1
  5. Seattle Seahawks- The only reason Seattle moves down one in a week they didn’t lose is because Arizona would’ve definitely won the game if it had come down to statistics alone. While games rarely do, the Seahawks were definitely hurting for yards thanks to costly penalties and their own share of mistakes as well. -1 4-1-1
  6. Philadelphia Eagles- Carson Wentz may not have had quite the statistical day he would’ve liked but the Eagles won regardless. The real reason and the real hero to thank however was surprisingly the Eagles D which came up in a big way and won the defense matchup with the talented Vikings force. It was slow going at times but the Eagles outscored the Vikings 21-10 in their victory. +2 4-2
  7. Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons take a slight dip this week after their second consecutive loss, this time to a team that also knocked off the talented Broncos team which has lost two consecutive games and looks to break that streak. They were dominating the Chargers but eventually gave too much ground away and lost by a frustrating field goal in overtime. Julio Jones was definitely the star here with less than ten receptions for over 170 yards. -2 4-3
  8. Oakland Raiders- The Raiders hop and skip their way into the top ten finally off of a strong performance over the Jacksonville Jaguars who admittedly aren’t a very good team this year, much less a disciplined one (Ramsay?). Michael Crabtree certainly showed the clutch connection he and Derek Carr have been establishing this year and why he’s such a good receiver to trust. +5 5-2
  9. Washington Redskins- I’m leaving the Skins in place as they are even off of a very disheartening loss to the Lions that came quite literally down to the wire. They had completed an already impressive fourth quarter comeback when the Lions (Matt Stafford) completed his own comeback and sealed the deal. Josh Norman is out with a concussion right now but the Skins have been rolling even with this minor setback now. +/- 4-3
  10. Buffalo Bills- The Skins weren’t the only team with a broken streak at the end of the day. The Bills found their four game streak ended thanks to a Miami Dolphins team that has literally run teams over in back to back weeks. To be fair, Tyrod Taylor and the Bills tried even without LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and made it a close game, ultimately losing 28-25. -4 4-3

The B-Movie Crowd:

  1. Denver Broncos- For the time being Denver is staying put even with a solid victory over the Texans in which they prevented the team from scoring a single touchdown. CJ Anderson finally broke one hundred again and Devontae Booker came close to it. Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. had their way with Brock Osweiler’s mind and the defense came on strong. Still, the play at quarterback wasn’t anything special and offensively they didn’t put many numbers up. +/- 5-2
  2. Green Bay Packers- They may not have started to roll until the fourth quarter where they put the game away against a divisional rival, but the Pack is still getting things together as they go. So whatever issues you might have with Aaron Rodgers and his consistency this year, celebrate the win and Davante Adams’ career day while you’re at it. +/- 4-2
  3. Detroit Lions- Another week and another close one for the Lions who came out on top in a truly clutch fashion. Matt Stafford has always been very hit or miss but for the moment he is hitting all the right notes and looks to be on pace for a career season if he can keep it up and stay healthy as well as consistent. Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin secured yet another win for the Lions in this one. +3 4-3
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers take quite a drop this week in due part because of their loss to the Patriots (which could’ve and should’ve been a lot worse) and also in part thanks to Big Ben’s injury which rendered him unable to play this week as he recovered from leg surgery. This loss was a lot more understandable than last week’s but it still left a lot to be desired offensively with the exception of performances by Brown and Bell. -4 4-3
  5. New York Giants- The Giants won against the Rams but drop one spot thanks to teams leapfrogging them this week. Landon Collins had QUITE the day on defense and personally accounted for two picks of Keenum’s four as well as one of the Giants’ touchdowns which were in short supply and higher demand. Landon had a day in London and the Giants ultimately stuck it out to stay on top of a now floundering team. -1 4-3
  6. Cincinnati Bengals- Sure it was the Browns who have now lost every game so far this season, seriously haven’t even won a single game, but the Bengals notched a divisional win regardless. And it wasn’t close as a lot of the Browns games have been so far. It was a 31-17 affair. So a proper congratulations to the Bengals for beginning what is a somewhat easier second half of the season. +1 3-4
  7. Kansas City Chiefs- Being one of three teams seeking to gain the lead and pull away in the AFC West isn’t a bad thing and neither was another win today for the Chiefs. However they are dropping this week thanks to a poor second half where they accounted for only 6 points to the Saints’ 14 and almost let the team come back and defeat them on the wings of yet another Brees performance. -2 4-2
  8. San Diego Chargers- The Chargers move up in what may be their largest shift all season and it is thanks to yet another good victory over an even better team. This week’s victim was the Falcons whom they roughed up in an overtime victory by three. Even with injured players missing Philip Rivers and his defense is getting things done on both sides of the Chargers’ ball. +6 3-4
  9. New Orleans Saints- The Saints move up even though they lost by a touchdown to the Chiefs this week. It was another Michael Thomas and Drew Brees heavy performance and it was a close one until the end. Drew Brees and Philip Rivers truly know how it is to be on teams that are nearer to the .500 mark each season and yet they still manage to perform at such a high level year to year. +3 3-3
  10. Houston Texans- It was a big night in Mile High but not for the likes of Brock Osweiler’s Texans, nor for the quarterback for that matter. He turned the ball over, failed to scored a single touchdown, and finished the game with a paltry 131 yards on 41 attempts. The Texans couldn’t stop the Broncos’ ground game or their defense and it hurt them all night. +/- 4-3

Third Time Charmless:

  1. Indianapolis Colts- Off of yet another strong performance from both Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton (as well as special guest star Jack Doyle) the Colts secured a victory. Luck and his team have been no doubt frustrated with their offensive line and defensive issues leading to losses early in the season, however they’ve reversed their fortunes for the time being. The Colts pulled away from the Titans to lead by two scores to end the game. +4 3-4
  2. Miami Dolphins- Big leap for these sea creatures as they swam up from the depths for yet another week on the strength of a Jay Ajayi 100×2 showing (again) as well as some special plays from Kenny Stills (black magic no doubt). They edged out a (probably) better Bills team and also put an end to a dour game win streak to boot because what better way to snub a divisional rival? +4 3-4
  3. Tennessee Titans- The main reason the Titans dropped to this spot and not lower off of a busted fourth quarter giveaway to the Colts is because the Ravens were bested by Fitzpatrick and the Jets and the Titans didn’t play quite THAT bad. The so-called “Exotic Smashmouth” showed some neat offerings including an offensive tackle making his way into the endzone but it was little more than that. -4 3-4
  4. Baltimore Ravens- Even with Joe Flacco back this season the Ravens look like they could have a repeat off year if things keep going the way they’re going. After a 3-0 start they’ve now lost four consecutive games which is exactly the kind of streak a team doesn’t want to have at this time or any time in the season. Turn it around somehow guys. -6 3-4
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Congratulations to the Bucs for winning a game and for not having a lightning delay and then subsequently losing the game in the fourth quarter. Granted they played Kap and the struggling 49ers but wins are wins. Jameis and Mike Evans had a good showing as did the ground game even in Doug Martin’s absence for yet another week. +2 3-3
  6. Los Angeles Rams- Case Keenum what were you doing out there? FOUR picks. FOUR. But hey, Ryan Fitzpatrick plays worse so I’ll give you that. The Rams couldn’t really catch a break although they were in the game until the very end in London. Todd Gurley wasn’t able to get much going as his offensive line continues to struggle to provide for him. Put Jared Goff in already and see how he fares. -5 3-4
  7. New York Jets- The Jets are moving back up again! Mind you, they’re far from soaring after just one more win… But Geno Smith went back out with an injury and Ryan Fitzpatrick game in to collective groans but surprisingly played for his job and won the game over the floundering Ravens 24-16. Matt Forte played some very, very good ball. So that’s probably the real reason for the win. +3 2-5
  8. Jacksonville Jaguars- Another loss for the Jags even after last week’s victory boosted their spirits a little bit undoubtedly. This one came at the hands of Derek Carr and the talent in Oakland. Quite honestly I’m surprised the Jags scored as many points as they did but then I’d forgotten Oakland’s struggles in the secondary. Bortles looked a bit better but the team needs to work on its overall discipline as well. -5 2-4
  9. Carolina Panthers- Ouch, not even playing for a week could keep the Panthers from dropping down in the rankings. If they can’t catch a break on a Bye Week then I wonder how they will continue to fare in the weeks to come. Surely they can win at least three more games? Then again only time can tell. At least Newton has his fashion sense and at least Olsen has his stats. -1 1-5
  10. Chicago Bears- In the eternal switch between the Bears, 49ers, and Browns this week’s switchup sees the Bears moving slightly up on the strength of a (mostly) okay battle and loss to the Packers. Mainly, they just didn’t get outscored as badly as the 49ers did nor was it by a worse team. So have at it Bears. Bad news however as Brian Hoyer now has a broken arm. +1 1-6

The Bottomless Pit Club:

  1. San Fransisco 49ers- If I could do it in good conscience I would put these guys below the Browns but of course I can’t seeing as they’ve at least won a game. Honestly the Browns should’ve won several of their closer matchups but then that’s a topic for when I get to them momentarily. Kap had nearly as many rushing yards as passing but this team struggled the whole way and the Bucs just picked that apart. -2 1-6
  2. Cleveland Browns- Well the Indians made it to the World Series so there’s that. And Lebron and crew aren’t looking too shabby either. But the ball club known as the Browns continues to face issues and lose games. They have such talent and potential if only they can stay healthy and stay disciplined. +/- 0-7
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Week Seven Game-Changers


This particular post is something special I thought of to do in order to highlight one player per game this week who had a spectacular day or otherwise was clutch enough to give their team the win. So without further ado, let’s get to it shall we?

Davante Adams (Green Bay)– Adams may not have had the final Rodgers-Cobb reception that sealed the deal for the Packers in a tough grudge match against division rival Bears, however Adams had a career day. 13 receptions for 132 yards (averaging 10.2 yards per reception) and two touchdowns.

Landon Collins (New York Giants)– Collins wasn’t the only person to pick off Case Keenum but he did manage to do it twice off of deflected passes, even going so far as to return one forty plus yards to score. He finished the trip abroad in London with 8 tackles, 2 defended passes, 2 interceptions (for 62 yards), and one defensive touchdown.

A.J. Green (Cincinnati)– A.J. Green is no stranger to big days but today was BIG indeed. The highlight of the first half was a last second Hail Mary that ended with Green beating out not one, not two, not three, but five Browns defenders in the endzone for a bobbling catch. His final stats for the day were 8 receptions for 169 yards (averaging 21.1) and a touchdown.

Matt Stafford (Detroit)– Initially this would’ve been going to Kirk Cousins for his clutch comeback performance and 30/39 completions for 301 yards but Stafford came back after the comeback and won the day. He lead a 6 play drive in 49 seconds to score with less than twenty seconds to go. Add onto that 18/29 completions, 266 yards, and one touchdown and you’ve got yourself a win.

Michael Crabtree (Oakland)– Another week, another big game for Crabtree who is outshining even Amari Cooper lately and has an even better connection with Carr in clutch moments. His highlight of the day came off of a 56 yard reception but his stats are equally impressive. 8 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Drew Brees (New Orleans)– Drew Brees and Philip Rivers share more things in common than at one time both playing for the Chargers. Brees ushered in another game where he played great but his team lost. His performance (besides an interception) was better than that of the Chiefs and so he gets the acknowledgement here even on a loss. 37/48 for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns, albeit 1 interception. But let’s not also forget receiver Michael Thomas who had 10 receptions for 130 yards.

Jay Ajayi (Miami)– Who thought this guy couldn’t do it two weeks in a row? Probably a lot of people but he did. Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Tannehill had virtually the same stats but this guy shines bright. The Bills fell apart in the second half and were outscored in an important divisional match. Ajayi’s stat-line is as follows: 29 carries for 214 yards and a touchdown, averaging 7.4 yards a carry.

Matt Forte (New York Jets)– I’ll bet you didn’t think the Jets would win one again so soon or that Ryan Fitzpatrick would somehow make his way back under center as well didn’t you? Don’t kick yourself. Not only did Forte rush well but he was a valuable receiving back today. He had 30 carries for 100 yards, averaging 3.3 yards and getting 1 rushing touchdown. He also had 4 receptions for 54 yards, averaging 13.5 yards for 1 touchdown.

Josh Huff (Philadelphia)– It was a defensive day for both teams but miraculously the Eagles outplayed the Vikings when it counted. My star player however comes from the receiving and special teams corps. Huff had a brilliant 98 yard kickoff return touchdown but also had 4 receptions for 39 yards in the Eagles’ 21-10 victory over the Vikings.

Andrew Luck (Indianapolis)– This is a tough one because T.Y. Hilton had a day as well (7 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown) but it all wouldn’t have been possible without Luck. He’s played great this year even if his team has oftentimes let him down a la Drew Brees and the Saints. At the end of the day he tallied 27/39 completions for 353 yards and 3 touchdowns, coupled with 5 carries for 17 yards when it counted.

Denzel Perryman (San Diego)– The Chargers earned another upset win and proved that maybe they can come back from fourth quarter deficits just like teams have done to them. Nobody deserves the thanks more than Perryman who intercepted a pass intended for Julio Jones in order to set up a late game-tying field goal and then also stuffed Devonta Freeman on 4th and 1 to get the ball back on a game winner. His final stats were seven tackles and an interception. Honorable mention to San Diego’s Tyrell Williams who had 7 receptions for 140 yards.

Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay)– Give it up for Famous Jameis for another week. Tampa Bay is now one more game stronger. The run game and passing game were both effective today against the 49ers. Winston’s stat-line was not bad at all. He completed 21/30 attempts for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mike Evans was his biggest receiver with 8 receptions for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns. All was well for Tampa Bay tonight.

Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh)– It’s not often you lose a game but still end up being the best player on the field. Bell had the best performance overall despite a 27-16 loss to Brady’s Patriots. Bell finished with 21 carries for 81 yards and 10 receptions for 68 yards on the night. Not a bad deal at all.

Defense (Seattle/Arizona)– Really, the two defensive units on the field deserve this one. Sure, Carson Palmer passed for 342 yards and Russell Wilson added his own 225. Sure, David Johnson ran for 113 yards and the Seahawks had 90 yards worth of penalties. But not one touchdown was scored, both teams missed kicks and got iced at times, and each team punted at least seven times. That’s an impressive tie game.

C.J. Anderson/Devontae Booker (Denver)– Together these two players combined for nearly 200 rushing yards on 33 attempts for 2 touchdowns. While this may not be too impressive, they kept pounding the ball down the field when it mattered and contributed to two of Denver’s three touchdowns on the night. Anderson’s final stats for the night were 16 attempts for 107 yards and 1 touchdown with a long of 19, whereas Booker’s stats were 17 attempts for 83 yards and 1 touchdown with a long of 12.

As far as my predictions go, I saw the Eagles and Colts potentially winning but went with records instead. Shows me gut instinct typically works instead.

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Battlefield 1 Review

[As Originally Read on GIO.]

I’ll admit, I’ve been a great fan of the direction shooters have been going in lately even if it means ALL shooters have been racing for space and science fiction narratives it seems. That having been said, it is a refreshing change of pace to see something take a step back in terms of setting but not in terms of quality or gameplay. Call of Duty heads into both the future and space this year with Infinite which we will soon see whether or not that gambit pays off. Titanfall 2 heads back to the frontier and space and wild worlds galore. And pretty much every major shooter franchise still kicking has in some way embraced the future. But thanks to DICE we’ve got something more along the lines of Battlefield 1942 and 1943 again and the experience couldn’t be more enjoyable.

Welcome to the Great War. Or rather, DICE’s thoroughly realistic take on trench warfare and all-out beachhead assaults, romps through chemically and biologically decimated wastelands, and gritty, gory setpiece moments. Rid yourself of any modern perspectives or ideas you may have because going from Battlefield 3, 4, and even Hardline to Battlefield 1 is going to be a traumatizing experience otherwise. Tanks are just as deadly as before but this time for the sole reason that they are the most incredible and terrible weapon on the battlefield. Planes should still only be piloted by the most skilled of pilots, not necessarily because they are difficult to grasp conceptually but instead because they can be cut through like butter with a hot knife by even the smallest of arms. Horses are quick and surprisingly powerful and sometimes turn the tide of battle with swift and deadly cavalry charges. And let us not forget the power of biological warfare- gone from today’s world in most cases but still a devastating factor even now in some areas of the globe.

Like, I suspect the Great War itself was, combat is often up-close and very, very personal (and bloody) in Battlefield 1. Combat has evolved and been refined by Battlefield 4’s globe-spanning conflicts but it was nowhere near in World War I. I’d always been surprised how much more gore most Call of Duty games typically had when compared with the much more destructive Battlefield series, however Battlefield 1 balances the scales with its gory melee finishers and thrilling (albeit horrible and terrifying) death animations thanks to flamethrowers, mortar shells, and more. If you ever needed more of a reminder that millions died during a conflict that largely amounted to merely resetting the status quo of the world, look no further. In keeping with the concept of destruction being rained down around the world, Battlefield 1 features what is quite possibly the highest caliber of destructibility to date in a Battlefield game, if not in ANY game.

Tanks can truly change the tide of battle as well as the landscape of the battlefield itself- their shells will virtually annihilate anything that stands in their way, guaranteeing nothing is left standing by the end of battle. Even grenades alone have devastatingly destructive potential against vehicles, enemy cover and emplacements, and enemy soldiers. Think Call of Duty: World at War when you think of the gore and death here. To keep you on your toes, DICE has also injected Battlefield 1 with realistic weather patterns and changes across matches and missions as well. You just gassed an enemy outpost? Better watch out if the wind shifts and carries that deadly poison back to your own fortified position. Such things happened all the time during the Great War and they may happen here as well. The fog and lighting and weather effects are all magnificent and a welcome addition I’d love to see from here on out.

Perhaps one of the coolest additions yet is the added destructibility granted by monstrous weapons and machines such as the zeppelin, battleship, and armored train. Typically a team is granted such beasts when they’re falling behind in a match, and while they can be a gamechanger they aren’t so overpowered that they blot out the other team’s existence entirely thanks to fair balancing. However, that’s not to discount or discredit the immense impact that intense mortar barrages and sheer strength can have on matches. Nothing beats taking down a zeppelin or riding your horse alongside a speeding iron giant during a sandstorm. Such things truly are “only in Battlefield.”

I know one of the most important things people are eager to hear about is the multiplayer offering and how it stands when compared to previous entries. Well, you should take heart if you’ve been a longtime fan because many modes return and there are even some new ones to be found as well as the promise of additional post-launch updates. Conquest returns, a new Operations mode melds the best elements of Conquest and Rush as well as injecting Capture the Flag elements and all-out frontline assaults. Other typical longterm Battlefield modes return and there are also that seem like they are going to be added with either future multiplayer packs or perhaps through free multiplayer updates as well. Currently there are about ten multiplayer maps if  recall correctly and while they mimic moments from the singleplayer campaign as usual, each is diverse and different and entertaining enough that it feels fresh.

The second-tier gameplay modes such as Domination, Rush, and Deathmatch are virtually unchanged and still there, ready to cater towards the fans who enjoy smaller scale warfare as opposed to the total warfare of Conquest and now Operations. My recommendation is, whether or not you like one particular mode, try them all but bear in mind that Conquest is pretty much the epitome of what Battlefield should be as it is the truest to the integrated squad dynamics and always has been. Operations is a new, close second, but Conquest is still king. If you want the truest Battlefield experience then you’ve got to go down that road and not rely so much upon the smaller scale modes that are often done better or so similarly in other shooters such as Halo or Call of Duty.

Let’s switch gears a little bit here and talk about multiplayer in terms of glitchiness and bugs, as well as lack of options or other issues. Customizing loadouts is a little bit different than it has been on the past and slows down gameplay dramatically for whatever reason, whether intentionally or not. The game at least as of right now will often lag if thirty of sixty-four players are all swarming one specific objective, which isn’t surprising but is still a letdown. As with previous entries expect some random crashes for no real reason here and there as well. Spawns in gamemodes without dedicated spawnpoints are finicky as always, which has been an issue since who even remembers how long. There are some random bugs with clipping and bodies and weapons flying through the air in both multiplayer and singleplayer at times which is a new one.

Speaking of singleplayer, let’s briefly discuss that while we’re here. First things first, it’s not the worst to grace a Battlefield game. I’d also say it’s not the best when you take into account that the Bad Company duology is also a part of the series. But it definitely trumps Battlefield 3 and 4 as well as Hardline’s hit or miss cops and robbers tale. I was somewhat of a fan of Hardline’s episodic sort of feel and so crafting singleplayer as multiple vignettes in Battlefield 1 also appealed to me. The story is largely narrative but also features plenty of action-packed moments in a diverse array of settings. The one drawback to me was that is essentially is only there to serve as a tutorial mode for multiplayer, but even that isn’t a terrible idea since it guarantees players will know the controls of vehicles and the ins and outs of gameplay before entering multiplayer should they choose to try the story mode first.

The most annoying and glaring flaw to me about the singleplayer is that, unlike the crowded multiplayer matches that are full of mayhem, the singleplayer is a little dull and empty even in its most challenging and grueling moments. For example, if you stealthily enter a desert village with roaming Nazi forces hunting you, there’s a grand total of maybe ten enemies in one large map (before they call for reinforcements) and virtually none of them will ever be inside of the sprawling buildings which, oh by the way, are all open to entry. So on one hand I like the ability to enter every fully detailed and realized environment, however on the other I wish the story felt as lifelike as the multiplayer does.

Concept: Enter the Great War and the world of total warfare within the confines of World War I including Battlefield’s classic destructibility and over the top arsenal.

Graphics: There are moments when it falters, however the lighting, environments, and weather effects are some of the best in gaming and certainly the best I’ve yet to see in any shooter save for possibly Uncharted 4.

Sound: The soundtrack is a perfect mix of battlefield sounds, the cries of your wounded compatriots and enemies alike, whistling of mortar shells overhead, hiss of mustard gas, and orchestral takes on the classic Battlefield themes.

Playability: The controls are much the same as they’re likely to ever be and that’s not a bad thing considering they are very intuitive and react accordingly.

Entertainment: I’ll admit, I thought it might slow things down a bit to be behind the wheel of a dusty old war machine, however this iron giant moves at virtually the same pace as any modern shooter and is doubly entertaining it seems.

Replay Value: Very High.

Overall Score: 8.5

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My GIO Manifesto

[As Originally Written on GIO]

No of course this isn’t my manifesto because I’m completely joking about that. Well, maybe for now anyway. Come hit me up for that when I establish the Great Republic of John in order to escape the political spectacle ongoing. No, this is something altogether different. This is my breath of fresh air so to speak for the moment. For the four hundred of you or so who follow my writing blog Suspect No 2 or the numerous followers I have on Twitter or anywhere else, this is something beyond my usual gaming exploits or occasional football updates and miscellaneous other crap.

It’s been far too long since I’ve had any sort of regular review or blog schedule and I don’t see that changing much in the foreseeable future. So here’s just a life review of sorts I guess for the past two and half almost three years or so I suppose. I’ve been a subscriber to GIO for a looong time (think issue 83). I’ve been an online GI member since say 2009 or so, but in reality only actively since about 2011. Still, years are years are they not? I’ve been overworked and out of touch since roughly 2014 at some point and that still doesn’t quite sit right with me. A lot in my life has shifted around and as a result the majority of social media and my overall online presence has often taken a hit. I’m not as active as I once was and most likely won’t be.

I’m still suffering/working my way through the graduate program I’m a part of, still slowly but surely helping out on personal gaming projects here and there, and still writing at times. None of what I’ve personally wanted to get published project-wise has really amounted to anything, however I have been published twice now under a pseudonym which is progress I do suppose. I’m resolved in my attempt to maintain my presence here for as long as I can, whether or not time often allows. So for that at least I can remain happy in doing, even if the majority of staff and users I once recognized seem to be long gone. Such is life, even online.

Things have been going well for my longtime girlfriend and I (we’re engaged, so yay to that). I suppose it’s crazy to think that another year has passed nearly as we are almost eleven months into this one and the gaming landscape has changed so much even over the course of 2016. We’ve now seen virtual reality and virtual concepts come, the announcement of another Nintendo console, and the establishment of several new IP ideas as well. It’s a year in which we can look forward to much and still so much more to come in the next as well as far as sequels and reboots and new sagas go.

I’ve never been one to write for an audience more so than I’ve been one who wants to share my thoughts and ideas with the world. So I do hope for what it’s worth you few who continue to put up with me will read my works and my thoughts and my blogs and reviews. I enjoy the effort it takes to write them and dole them out and slowly but surely will continue to do so. I guess this is more of a thank you to all those who have stood out over the years and who have appreciated my efforts and critiqued them along the way as well. Your comments and concerns and challenges and responses have always been my pleasure to answer. I’ve loved this community and will continue to do so as it revolves and evolves. Some things will never change (like Andy Mac being our constant GI godfather).

So cheers to the holiday season about to come, cheers to the little things, and cheers to each and every one of you writing and reading and commenting. GIO is what it is because of you all.

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Opinion: Resident Evil 7 Could Go Either Way

[As Read on GIO.]


This isn’t the first time that the Resident Evil series has sought out a new direction or sought to go in a completely different one. We first experienced that with the surprise success of Resident Evil 4 which buoyed the series for several more years even off of the return to semi-stagnation in terms of creativity that came subsequently with main series entries such as RE5 and RE6. However, I will admit that I’ve been somewhat worried by what I’ve seen thus far. Not because it seems such a far cry from classic Resident Evil at times, but because it just doesn’t seem like the first-person survival horror vibe is going to hold up at the moment.

The main reason for my title is that I’m equally torn between thinking this game could be something new and great (or new and terrifying, yet still in a good way) or it could fall flat like I think most people thought Resident Evil 6 did for all it accomplished as well. One thing is certain- it will not just be “more of the same” as it seems to ditch a lot of what fans have grown accustomed to and not just in terms of HUD and point of view. If done properly I really think it could channel somewhat of an Outlast vibe and that’s what I’ve seen thus far in terms of potential from gameplay and trailers and creepy demos.

Now, with Outlast 2 on the horizon that is truly an interesting possibility to entertain as well. So far this title reminds me of the creepy madness that plagued players across Resident Evil 4, and to some extent with the increasingly manic majini in Resident Evil 5. While RE6 took us back to the zombie apocalypse in earnest (sort of I guess), things have largely gotten stale with the golden exception of a few handheld and console spinoffs (Revelations 1 and 2). I don’t think you need traditional zombies in order to make the Resident Evil formula work and I applaud the developers for the titles they’ve attempted to create without the series staple. That being said, I really want to see how this game works- from a gameplay perspective as well as a story perspective.

The weaker elements of the previous two titles have been story by far, as the gameplay has often been acceptable to good even if it is borderline ludicrous or repetitive at times. I want a “less is more” approach right now but I also want to see it done properly. Spend less time focusing on multiplayer modes and extra outfits and ultimately useless downloadable content packs and craft an interesting, creepy, and horrific story for players to enjoy the atmosphere and illusion of. Those are what got our heads wrapped around the franchise in the first place and I think those elements are what we keep hoping to see again and again as well.

Ultimately, I think Resident Evil 7 DOES have the potential to be a memorable experience and even a good one, however my main concern is that the simple changes to gameplay will have an adverse effect rather than a beneficial one. So many times in franchises, change can be a breath of fresh air and a good thing however by the same token in other instances it can ruin the overall experience. I sincerely hope that is not the case for this game but as is I’m not setting my standards too high lest my expectations go up in flames.

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The Stack: My Results in Week Five and Six Picks


The ever-changing dynamic of the NFL and team rankings continues to amaze as teams we had written off mere weeks ago have made glorious comebacks and teams we were so sure of have gone down in flames. Which narratives are destined to continue and which are destined to fall flat? Let’s take a look at what I predicted for weeks five and six shall we?

Week Five Predictions

  1. Cardinals v 49ers | Pre: ARI W Act: ARI W
  2. Titans v Dolphins | Pre: TEN W Act: TEN W
  3. Jets v Steelers | Pre: PIT W Act: PIT W
  4. Bears v Colts | Pre: IND W Act: IND W
  5. Texans v Vikings | Pre: MIN W Act: MIN W
  6. Eagles v Lions | Pre: PHI W Act: DET W
  7. Redskins v Ravens | Pre: BAL W Act: WAS W
  8. Patriots v Browns | Pre: NE W Act: NE W
  9. Falcons v Broncos | Pre: DEN W Act: ATL W
  10. Chargers v Raiders | Pre: OAK W Act: OAK W
  11. Cowboys v Bengals | Pre: DAL W Act: DAL W
  12. Bills v Rams | Pre: BUF W Act: BUF W
  13. Giants v Packers | Pre: GB W Act: GB W
  14. Buccaneers v Panthers | Pre: CAR W Act: TB W

Teams W/ Bye-Week: KC, JAC, SEA, NO

Weekly Total: 10-4

Week Six Predictions

  1. Broncos v Chargers | Pre: DEN W Act: SD W
  2. Panthers v Saints | Pre: NO W Act: NO W
  3. Browns v Titans | Pre: TEN W Act: TEN W
  4. Eagles v Redskins | Pre: PHI W Act: WAS W
  5. Bengals v Patriots | Pre: NE W Act: NE W
  6. Ravens v Giants | Pre: NYG W Act: NYG W
  7. 49ers v Bills | Pre: BUF W Act: BUF W
  8. Jaguars v Bears | Pre: CHI W Act: JAC W
  9. Rams v Lions | Pre: LA W Act: DET W
  10. Steelers v Dolphins | Pre: PIT W Act: MIA W
  11. Chiefs v Raiders | Pre: OAK W Act: KC W
  12. Cowboys v Packers | Pre: DAL W Act: DAL W
  13. Falcons v Seahawks | Pre: SEA W Act: SEA W
  14. Colts v Texans | Pre: HOU W Act: HOU W
  15. Jets v Cardinals | Pre: ARI W Act: ARI W

Teams W/ Bye-Week: MIN, TB

Weekly Total: 9-6

Bonus Material

(Week Seven Predictions)

  1. Bears v Packers | Pre: GB W
  2. Giants v Rams | Pre: NYG W
  3. Vikings v Eagles | Pre: MIN W
  4. Colts v Titans | Pre: TEN W
  5. Bills v Dolphins | Pre: BUF W
  6. Ravens v Jets | Pre: BAL W
  7. Saints v Chiefs | Pre: KC W
  8. Browns v Bengals | Pre: CIN W
  9. Redskins v Lions | Pre: WAS W
  10. Raiders v Jaguars | Pre: OAK W
  11. Buccaneers v 49ers | Pre: TB W
  12. Chargers v Falcons | Pre: ATL W
  13. Patriots v Steelers | Pre: NE W
  14. Seahawks v Cardinals | Pre: SEA W
  15. Texans v Broncos | Pre: DEN W

Teams W/ Bye-Week: DAL, CAR

Total Record Thus Far: 55-37

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Week Seven Rankings


This may or may not be the largest shakeup we’ve yet to see this season whereas the rankings I’ve been formulaic in writing are concerned. The top few teams and the bottom few are largely unchanged save for a few shifts, but the middle domain is really where all hell has broken loose. Anyway, let’s get the show on the road and see where it takes us.

The Cream of the Crop:

  1. Minnesota Vikings- For the second consecutive week the Vikings top the league rankings. They may have had a Bye Week this week but that doesn’t change the fact that they are not only undefeated but also have so far played well enough to still rank higher than teams like the Patriots. +/- 5-0
  2. New England Patriots- Like the Vikings who still dominate this list, the New England Patriots enter the week ranked the same as last week. Not much has changed here and now with Brady back and two tests already passed with flying colors things are looking good for the Pats. Not to mention they have a healthy Gronk and other talent at receiving positions as well. +/- 5-1
  3. Dallas Cowboys- Thanks to the teams above either losing games that they really shouldn’t have or just plain losing in general, the Boys find themselves ascending the rankings for another week. If you ever doubted they were for real- don’t. The supposedly good run-stopping defense the Packers boasted was completely ineffective as E.E. continued his trend of big games and big numbers. +3 5-1
  4. Seattle Seahawks- This week the Hawks and their Falcon counterparts switched placed in terms of who was ranked higher than the other. That’s largely due to the Hawks defeating the Falcons off of a field goal and winning by two. Comeback complete. Honestly, although they had some missed opportunities which were borderline tragic, the pure determination of Russel Wilson to win carried this team to victory. +4 4-1
  5. Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons lost the other day and yet they’re moving up the chains based upon strength of play against a formidable opponent. They had some miscommunication and mistakes no doubt, even going so far as to potentially lose them the game bad call or no. However, at the end of the night the comeback king that is DangeRuss stole their show and thunder. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones and co shouldn’t feel too bad though because they’re surely only going to improve. +2 4-2
  6. Buffalo Bills- After a largely ineffectual 0-2 start the Bills are really starting to roll now. Or at least to roll over other teams it seems. They’ve won four straight games and the latest opponent to be felled was the 49ers in a blowout 45-16 game. And if you thought the Bills had trouble keeping the score up, they went full steam ahead and scored another 21 points in the fourth quarter alone. Now compare that to the fact those points alone would’ve still won the game by five. +4 4-2
  7. Arizona Cardinals- I feel somewhat leery about placing Arizona this high based upon their week to week consistency issues but they deserved it after a 28-3 win against the Jets. The defense made plays and came up big and the offense responded in kind. Time will only tell if they’re back to a semblance of their old selves and their record is certainly not good, but things are improving for now. +5 3-3
  8. Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles lost their second game for the second consecutive week. Don’t start worrying yet Eagles fans, because Carson Wentz still plays with poise and has strong showings. But they need to be better about being clutch of third downs when balls are catchable and they need to be better about scoring when playing teams that theoretically should be inferior. -3 3-2
  9. Washington Redskins- Kirk Cousins and the Skins have got it. They’re slowly but surely pushing their way up the rankings week to week off of some close wins against talented opponents. This week’s victim was Philadelphia who only scored in the second and fourth quarters. With another important divisional victory the Skins are definitely in a good place right now. +5 4-2
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers- Oh how the mighty have fallen. I think this is enough of a punishing drop for the Steelers, especially considering they are genuinely better than the teams I’m going to list below them and so dropping them any further wouldn’t make much sense. But how could you flop so badly and let Miami of all teams trounce you so thoroughly? And then play your already hurt starting QB to boot which means he’s now going to miss a key matchup against New England and potentially another game after that? -7 4-2

The Second-Tier Kings:

  1. Denver Broncos- Fresh off of a fifth week loss to Atlanta- a great team, the Broncos fell apart against San Diego- a troubled team. Their record is still respectable however they’re starting to look shakier as the weeks go on. The offensive line is questionable at times and they miss opportunities as well. They dropped an important divisional game that could come back to snub them later. -7 4-2
  2. Green Bay Packers- The Pack continues to drop and once again it is due to poor play by the offense. Aaron Rodgers is clearly going through some sort of micro-slump and that’s far from the end of their troubles. Couple an ineffective offense with a defense that couldn’t stop the run against the talent the Cowboys have this year and you’ve got a team in danger of eeking out a 8-8 year. -3 3-2
  3. Oakland Raiders- It took some time but Derek Carr finally had a rough day that he couldn’t weasel through and pull out a W on. The Raiders scored ten points in the first half and then never scored again. What looked like a close 13-10 game at halftime turned into a 26-10 loss for a team that couldn’t get it together on either side of the ball in the second half. And the Chiefs took advantage of the miscommunication. -2 4-2
  4. New York Giants- I’m hesitant to say it but Sunday’s win over the Ravens was somewhat of a good win. Meaning they secured the W and OBJ played well among other things I suppose. It was another close game for the Giants and another tough break for the Ravens. So those two trends at least look to continue. +2 3-3
  5. Kansas City Chiefs- These guys constantly come off of their Bye Week and manage to get business done. They went in on a low note and came out of it with heads held high, rolling to a victory over the talented Raiders. They’re beginning to get a little bit of balance back and starting to look like a familiar team again. Let’s see if they can keep it up. +2 3-2
  6. Detroit Lions- Congratulations to the Lions on managing to secure a tough victory over a team that kept pace with them all day long. Sure, both the Rams and Lions are now both at an even 3-3 but don’t let that fool you. If Matt Stafford and his crew can continue to win the games they face like this, they’ve got a chance at a possible wild card bid maybe. +4 3-3
  7. Cincinnati Bengals- For those of you hoping to see a tough game from the Bengals in their showing against New England- sorry. True, the Bengals have had a tough schedule for this half of the season and things do look to get easier from here on out, but they’ve still had some winnable matchups this one notwithstanding. What looked close going into halftime turned into a relatively unanswered twenty-five point deluge in the second half. -4 2-4
  8. Baltimore Ravens- After going 3-0 the Ravens have subsequently gone 0-3 over the previous weeks. If that isn’t telling enough then I don’t know what is. They are a team who manages to win and lose while keeping it close. It largely boils down to who plays better in the final minutes of games and they’ve been on the losing end for several weeks now and need to be able to hold steady leads if they want to ever reverse the roles again. -3 3-3
  9. Tennessee Titans- Sorry Titans, I know you all won but it was the Browns and so that doesn’t really count when compared to how everyone else fared above you in the rankings. Plus it was only a two-point victory as the Browns managed to get close but still not secure a win for the sixth week in a row. Other than that, props to Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray on another strong week. -1 3-3
  10. Houston Texans- The Texans are moving up this week solely because of their uncharacteristically clutch overtime performance against a divisional rival. Besides that they only continued to show me that they are easily the most flawed team with a winning record out there right now. They may have won four games but it sure doesn’t look like it. +1 4-2

No-Clutch Zone:

  1. Los Angeles Rams- Last week I said the Rams needed to push through and win those winnable games and this week they dropped the ball yet again, this time to the Detroit Lions. Now they sit at a precarious 3-3 and could fall off and end the year on another sour losing season or could pick themselves back up and truck on to a respectable finish at the least. Ball is in your court LA. -2 3-3
  2. New Orleans Saints- The Saints are one of the few teams staying put in the rankings this week and it comes off of a Drew Brees heavy performance and victory over the failing Panthers. It was yet another much-needed win and a good finish against a divisional rival in a close matchup. +/- 2-3
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Congratulations to the Jags for securing at least two victories on the year now. They could’ve and should’ve been so much better than they have been but I imagine they’ll take any scrappy victories they can get right now regardless. They scored all seventeen of their points in a fourth quarter comeback against a Bears team that absolutely fell apart on defense. +2 2-3
  4. San Diego Chargers- For the first time in who knows how many weeks, the Chargers are moving from their increasingly stagnant position on the rankings here. They managed to secure a very nice divisional victory in handing the Broncos their second consecutive loss and in their upset victory against them. Let’s see how they fare from here on out. +4 2-4
  5. Indianapolis Colts- Another week and another close one for the Colts who dropped the game in overtime to the Texans in their divisional matchup. It was a game that was theirs to lose and somehow they managed to lose it. They didn’t play poorly per se but they still came up short. -1 2-4
  6. Miami Dolphins- Miami somehow came up in a big way and shocked pretty much everyone, especially the Steelers I would imagine. They rolled to a 30-15 win over Pittsburgh, hurt Big Ben, and had almost five hundred yards on the day (over two hundred of which was rushing by one man). Have a day? +4 2-4
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Seeing as nobody was really better that actually did play this week, I suppose Tampa Bay can rest easy knowing they’ve retained at least the same spot for another week. They had a Bye Week and only time will tell if it has allowed them to straighten things out. +/- 2-3
  8. Carolina Panthers- Okay, so it’s officially time to really worry if you’re a Panthers fan. Because this team looks like it is honestly trying to have the biggest Super Bowl hangover of all time. They’re guaranteed at least a 1-15 season and as of right now that could very well be possible. We’ve seen them turn rags to riches and even make the playoffs by being clutch and ending the season with a 7-8-1 record, but even that looks difficult if they can’t win another game soon. -5 1-5
  9. San Fransisco 49ers- Surprisingly the 49ers stayed put this week even with the absolute demolition of their hopes and dreams by the Bills in a runaway 45-16 game. The reason for this is solely because the Jets, Bears, and Browns all played even worse or lost their sixth consecutive game (in the Browns case considering they’ve got promise, they just can’t seem to capitalize on it). +/- 1-5
  10. New York Jets- For a team that just barely missed the playoffs last year the Jets are not playing good or even the same this year. They’ve had one strong(ish) game and the others have been absolutely painful to watch even though I’m not a fan. Monday night’s blowout by Arizona was just another game in a long string of losses that hurt to watch. The Quarterback situation needs to be addressed because the talent is there elsewhere even if the other positions have their own flaws. -4 1-5

The Dull:

  1. Chicago Bears- Another week, another close loss for the Bears. It must be heartbreak city whenever and wherever this team plays, because they seem to want to lose. Ironically even more than the 0-6 Browns at this rate, seeing as they stay in games and only lose late instead of rolling over and giving up when they actually have a lead. Do better Chicago- you let the Jags score all of their points in the fourth quarter and complete their comeback. +/- 1-5
  2. Cleveland Browns- Not all teams in Cleveland are playing poorly right now but this one certainly is. Actually, scratch that- they aren’t playing poorly but then they still aren’t winning games either. Their stats line may be perfectly acceptable week to week but they need to convert that to wins soon if they want to make it to 4-12 on the season. +/- 0-6
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Everything that Has Happened in College Football this Season to Date


Since I’ve been keeping up week to week with the NFL season I’ve mainly ignored any writing about the Division I FBS and FCS NCAA football seasons. That’s not to say I haven’t watched the games or kept a handle on them, I just haven’t decided to write about any of them. So today I’m going to dedicate the blog to the upsets and good, close games that there have been so far among other things.

FBS/FCS Games Week 1 Upsets, Close Ones,  and More

19 Louisville v Charlotte 70-14

9 Tennessee v Appalachian State 20-13

1 Alabama v 20 USC 52-6

2 Clemson v Auburn 19-13

15 Houston v 3 Oklahoma 33-23

Wisconsin v 5 LSU 16-14

13 TCU v South Dakota State 59-41

Texas A&M v 16 UCLA 31-24

18 Georgia v 22 UNC 33-24

South Alabama v Mississippi State 21-20

Texas v 10 Notre Dame 50-47

4 FSU v 11 Mississippi 45-34

North Dakota State v Charleston Southern 24-17

Citadel v Mercer 24-23

FBS/FCS Week 2 Games

13 Louisville v Syracuse 62-28

2 Clemson v Troy 30-24

9 Georgia v Nicholls State 26-24

Arkansas v 15 TCU 41-38

Central Michigan v 22 Oklahoma State 30-27

East Carolina v NC State 33-30

Navy v Connecticut 28-24

Utah v BYU 20-19

New Mexico State v New Mexico 32-31

Arizona State v Texas Tech 68-55

San Diego State v California 45-40

Citadel v Furman 19-14

FBS/FCS Week 3 Games

Arizona State v UTSA 32-28

10 Louisville v 2 FSU 63-20

1 Alabama v 19 Mississippi 48-43

9 Wisconsin v Georgia State 23-17

California v 11 Texas 50-43

12 Michigan State v 18 Notre Dame 36-28

North Dakota State v 13 Iowa 23-21

16 Georgia v Missouri 28-27

20 LSU v Mississippi State 23-20

Nebraska v 22 Oregon 35-32

North Dakota v South Dakota 47-44

Chattanooga v Furman 21-14

FBS/FCS Week 4 Games

24 Utah v USC 31-27

Wake Forest v Indiana 33-28

7 Stanford v UCLA 22-13

11 Wisconsin v 8 Michigan State 30-6

9 Washington v Arizona 35-28

Auburn v 18 LSU 18-13

UNC v Pittsburgh 37-36

Duke v Notre Dame 38-35

West Virginia v BYU 35-32

Vanderbilt v Western Kentucky 31-30

Colorado v Oregon 41-38

Wofford v ETSU 31-0

FBS/FCS Week 5 Games

10 Washington v 7 Stanford 44-6

5 Clemson v 3 Louisville 42-36

Indiana v 17 Michigan State 24-21

4 Michigan v 8 Wisconsin 14-7

UNC v 12 FSU 37-35

California v 18 Utah 28-23

South Alabama v 19 San Diego State 42-24

Oklahoma v 21 TCU 52-46

Oklahoma State v 22 Texas 49-31

West Virginia v Kansas State 17-16

Samford v Wofford 28-26

Charleston Southern v Coastal Carolina 59-58

FBS/FCS Week 6 Games

4 Michigan v Rutgers 78-0

Navy v 6 Houston 46-40

8 Texas A&M v 9 Tennessee 45-38

23 FSU v 10 Miami 20-19

Washington State v 15 Stanford 42-16

25 Virginia Tech v 17 UNC 34-3

20 Oklahoma v Texas 45-40

USC v 21 Colorado 21-17

FBS/FCS Week 7 Games

10 Nebraska v Indiana 27-22

2 Ohio State v 8 Wisconsin 30-23

3 Clemson v NC State 24-17

22 Arkansas v 12 Mississippi 34-30

13 Houston v Tulsa 38-31

UNC v 16 Miami 20-13

Syracuse v 17 Virginia Tech 31-17

21 Utah v Oregon State 19-14

Citadel v Chattanooga 22-14

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A Rising Tide: Destiny and the Rise of Iron

[As Read on GIO.]


Destiny’s latest expansion released nearly a month ago and now I’ve finally had a good enough taste of what it offers in order to give some of my own thoughts. This is a review of sorts but more importantly it is a discussion. Destiny has been and will undoubtedly continue to be a good game. The first two expansions were welcome if smaller additions, The Taken King was a very welcome and game-changing and much larger addition, and Rise of Iron falls in a happy medium between those two.

Rise of Iron changes a few things up, adds a few others, but for the most part tweaks the core experience you’ve come to recognize and enjoy. The fundamentals are unchanged however they have been given a facelift in terms of menu layout and inventory for example. You now have the ability to explore a whole new section of the Cosmodrone labeled as the ominous Plaguelands. While for the most part it is a nuclear winter reskin of the original areas, it offers some interesting new places to explore and missions delving into a cult-like mechanized and bioengineered Fallen guild.

Another much anticipated new addition to the gameplay is Felwinter Peak, Destiny’s newest social space and the second on Earth proper. Like any good update, Rise of Iron has its fair share of secrets, only a few of which I’m sure have actually even been discovered yet. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones’ House Stark, then you’ll enjoy Felwinter Peak’s plethora of scenic snowy vistas, wolves, and twisty trees a la a weirwood forest.

There is a main questline but also a pretty good number of side quests including exotic hunts and strike missions (as well as a game changing raid that I won’t spoil at all here with details). However the updates aren’t limited to the solo and fireteam aspect of things, as multiplayer has also been changed both in terms of being updated and in terms of adding accessibility and functionality. There is a new dedicated offline/online sort of private match building potential, several new game modes including (for comparison) a sort of Kill Confirmed (for CoD fans) crest stealing mode. Maps have been updated, added to, rotated about, and even new additions have been added.

This is only a small description of what the complete package has to offer but rest assured it is worth shelling out the extra money for if you are a Destiny fan. If you have yet to play the game but are interested, I encourage you to seek out Bungie’s complete edition as it includes every single expansion and is the same price as a normal retail game. Between The Taken King and Rise of Iron alone there is plenty of new content to explore as you seek to rid the galaxy of the Darkness and raise your light level to the new cap of 385. My one grievance of sorts is that they don’t seem to want to increase the actual level capacity to say 50, probably due to balancing purposes.

All in all, you really should heed the call. It may not be the call to duty, but it’s a call to go on a galaxy-spanning adventure of a lifetime and to combat ancient and evil threats along the way.

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Week Six Rankings


Another week, another shakeup in this volatile league we enjoy watching week to week. A new number one emerges and an old foe steps back up to the plate after a four week hiatus. Welcome back Brady-bunch and Brady haters and believers alike. It’s been an interesting and entertaining week thus far even though it also features the fewest games yet and two teams have yet to play (this will be amended upon TB and CAR’s Monday night spectacle).

The Dazzling:

  1. Minnesota Vikings- As of right now the Vikes are the only undefeated team in the league. Who thought that was possible after losing both Bridgewater and Peterson? Who thought a Sam Bradford-lead team could take flight? Maybe the Vikings subscribed to the service that Carolina performed last year when they went 15-1 without key players like Kelvin Benjamin. +1 5-0
  2. New England Patriots- Sure it was the Browns who seem fated to lose it all again and again, but Brady is back and even his “rusty” performance (his words, not mine) was a spectacle. 400+ yards and 3 touchdowns. Oh, and here comes Gronk for his finishing touch. Have a day Pats fans. +1 4-1
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers- When the Steelers win they win big and ever since their miserable showing against Philly they’ve been out for blood. The latest unlucky soul to wander across their path was the unlucky Jets and they paid dearly. It wasn’t the demolition derby that they put on for Kansas City but it was close. +1 4-1
  4. Denver Broncos- Don’t let a good team get you down. The Falcons are rolling right now and assuming they don’t become a colossal trainwreck like they did after a 5+ streak to begin last season, they’re going places. It’s a one-two shindig with Coleman and Freeman, they’ve got Julio Jones running about, and Matty Ice brings in the bacon. So who can blame Denver for not being able to stop the roll. (Notice I didn’t say too much about the Broncos?) Hey, Von Miller didn’t disappoint. -3 4-1
  5. Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles lost today to the Lions and they’re moving up a spot. You must surely think I’m crazy but here’s why. The Hawks had a bye and the Lions got a lucky grab to seal their one point deal. Carson Wentz threw his very first interception and it came after five weeks and over one hundred and thirty throws. That’s pretty amazing, as is the fact that it was a clutch moment even in defeat. Had the receiver been able to play the ball, it would’ve more than likely been a sizable gain or potential touchdown. Bygones are bygones. +1 3-1
  6. Dallas Cowboys- They lost some steam going into the fourth quarter and Cincinnati picked up the slack to finally score on two Brandon Lafell touchdowns, but boy Ezekiel Elliott and the Boys were on a rampage. It was 28-0 for the longest time. Some good old Dak and EE action put the Cowboys up big all day and they got their deserved recognition. That offensive line though. +2 4-1
  7. Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons have notched some big wins, most notably over both Super Bowl contenders from last season (which makes the Falcons the third team to do so and first in thirty plus years). However they’re only slowly creeping up the list because there are some equally impressive players and teams surrounding them. If they want to be for real then its entirely up to how they continue on from here. But heads are definitely turning. +2 4-1
  8. Seattle Seahawks- The Hawks got hit with the same magic the Packers got hit with last week and are the victims of the Bye-Week ratings shift. There’s not much for them to do besides practice and come back sharper than ever, but that’s certainly not been an issue for them thus far and they’ve battled through injuries to preserve a lock on their division for now as well. -3 3-1
  9. Green Bay Packers- The Packers won another one but it had its ugly moments and those came again at the hands of the turnover monster itself. They let a struggling Giants team stay within a score until the very end and weren’t able to capitalize on successful and long-winded drives as often as they should’ve been able to. -2 3-1
  10. Buffalo Bills- The Bills continue their turnaround by ironically ending another team’s turnaround for the moment. They were neck in neck with the Rams for the longest time until they managed to breeze by them for a nice 30-19 win and make themselves a viable threat to the Pats, whom they’ve already beaten while Brady-less. +2 3-2

The Raggedy Men:

  1. Oakland Raiders- The Raiders are a team that needs to be taken seriously. They’re good and gutsy in tough situations and its paid off so far for them with some close victories when other teams stumble in crucial fourth quarter moments. They’ve thus far been the closers of the league and its mainly due to an unearthly clutch connection between Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree. Those two point conversions though. +/- 4-1
  2. Arizona Cardinals- They played a sometimes ugly and sometimes slow game with Drew Stanton at the helms while Carson Palmer sat out due to concussion protocol, however the Cardinals walked away with a win and another week of breathing room. For whatever reason they’ve suffered their fair share of problems like Carolina, who will also have a backup quarterback at the helm this time tomorrow. +2 2-3
  3. Cincinnati Bengals- Things continue to be up and down for the Bengals from week to week as they came off a week showing and only managed to escape a shutout off of two Brandon Lafell touchdowns in the closing moments of the game. Dallas is a powerful ball club but honestly I expected a tougher showing from Cincy as well. Instead they lost a bad one. -3 2-3
  4. Washington Redskins- Another week and another tough loss for the Ravens catapults another team up in the ranks. This time around it was the Redskins who managed to hold on for the win thanks to a last minute touchdown being nullified. They’ve suffered their fair share of injuries but they’re climbing the ranks for sure. +6 3-2
  5. Baltimore Ravens- For the second consecutive week the Ravens got taken down by a team they could’ve beaten. They lost it in the closing minutes yet again when it was a close contest the entire time. That’s not to say they weren’t playing an alright game, just that they didn’t seem to really want the win as badly. -2 3-2
  6. New York Giants- The Giants find themselves slightly moving down after Sunday’s loss to the Packers thanks to the fact they didn’t capitalize on moments when the Pack left opportunities wide open. They were somehow in the game the entire time and could’ve capitalized on a weakened Packers attack in order to push things into overtime even perhaps if not clinching a lead. -1 2-3
  7. Kansas City Chiefs- The Chiefs went into a Bye-Week on a somewhat sour note but thankfully for them they had the weekend to contemplate it and figure out what needs adjusting. Thanks to the teams around them predominately going downhill in the rankings they’re actually getting a slight bump up. +1 2-2
  8. Tennessee Titans- Sure, the Titans played the Dolphins this week but their victory and 30 point game was a pretty grand one for them anyway, not to mention needed. Marcus Mariota had quite a day and so did the smashmouth scheme the backs have been running lately. All in all, some of the teams that are queued for the year look more and more beatable if the Titans can tap into this kind of performance more often than not. +3 2-3
  9. Los Angeles Rams- For the moment the Rams have been brought back down to earth thanks to the Buffalo Bills pulling away and putting the nails in the coffin. The Rams are definitely one of the most underrated teams on this list however they are staying put for the time being until they can prove they can push through and score more frequently when they need it, especially in winnable games such as this one. +/- 3-2
  10. Detroit Lions- Thanks to the last minute interception magic that handed the Lions another win and knocked the Eagles out of a perfect record the Lions are moving up big this week. And of course because several other teams found themselves dropping as well. It was a close one and Carson Wentz played nearly perfect but the Lions come out on top thanks to one clutch mistake. +6 2-3

The Wretched:

  1. Houston Texans- The Texans definitely seem like one of the weaker 3-2 teams out there and this week it’s being reflected appropriately. Sure, they played a powerful Minnesota team but that’s no excuse to perform as they did. This performance was only marginally better than their shutout loss to New England a few weeks ago. -4 3-2
  2. New Orleans Saints- The Saints had a much-needed Bye off of their win last week and only time will tell if it helps them to recharge before heading back into the thick of things. Drew Brees has been playing well and putting up big numbers but only time can tell if the defense can actually prevent other teams from scoring. +/- 1-3
  3. Carolina Panthers- Another week and another potential victory turned to dust in the Panthers’ mouths. Derek Anderson put up big numbers in this start but also contributed to the massive turnovers the Panthers gave up to the Buccaneers, twice in critical redzone situations too. Big days for Greg Olsen and Derek Anderson couldn’t overshadow the complete lack of defense on the Panthers part. -7 1-4
  4. Indianapolis Colts- The Colts managed to eek out another victory and this time at the hands of the Chicago Bears who are facing their own troubles this year. It was truly a day for Andrew Luck and T.Y Hilton as they connected big in crucial situations all day to secure the win. +3 2-3
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jaguars are the final team to have a Bye-Week this week however they find themselves moving down off of stronger performances by their counterparts. They’ve got some work to do on defense as well at Quarterback whereas confidence is concerned. But the secondary and receivers are looking fairly strong week to week. -2 1-3
  6. New York Jets- Pittsburgh is only the most recent team to show the troubled Jets up in a big way. The Jets were a dangerous team last year but they are finding themselves floundering like several other talented teams from last season. Turnovers are the major problem that needs to be addressed here. As is Ryan Fitzpatrick. -1 1-4
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Buccaneers won another game but don’t tell them that because they missed so many opportunities (and field goals) that it doesn’t even feel like a divisional victory. Jameis looked like he wanted to audition for running back more than throw the ball, their third down back was a bright spot and rushed for a surprising number of yards, and somebody teach Aguayo how to kick please. +2 2-3
  8. San Diego Chargers- San Diego stays put yet again for the umpeenth week despite losing their heads in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Granted, the Raiders have become comeback kings, but that is truly no excuse for this continual run of bad luck for the Chargers. Phillip Rivers is the only consistently good player and he’s being punished for it. +/- 1-4
  9. San Fransisco 49ers- What at first looked like a possible win from the 49ers quickly evaporated as usual in their Thursday loss to the Cardinals (run by Drew Stanton this game). It was bad enough that Chip Kelly is putting in Kaepernick for the next game. The 49ers have a lot to work on as they look to halt their downward spiral after a strong week one victory over the Rams. +2 1-4
  10. Miami Dolphins- Somebody needs to bench Ryan Tannehill and I’m honestly surprised he’s gotten to play as long as he has with the mistakes he makes. Too bad they don’t have a decent replacement for him. The Dolphins give up way too many points and put too few on the board. -6 1-4

The Ghouls:

  1. Chicago Bears- Chicago went down again this week, this time to the rallying Colts and Andrew Luck. They’ve made some improvements and Brian Hoyer is playing a much better game than Jay Cutler has in awhile (if ever) so that is a promising development. -1 1-4
  2. Cleveland Browns- Pretty much by virtue of their winless schedule thus far alone, the Browns are at the bottom yet again. Of course nobody expected them to come in and upset the Patriots this week, but several of the games they’ve played so far have been winnable. +/- 0-5
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