Wednesday, September 27, 2006

NFL Picks: Week 4

I'm looking forward to several games this week probably highlighted by the Bears/Seahawks and Bengals Patriots. Plus Mike Martz and the Lions visit my Rams. I wonder if he will forget what team he works for now and try and call a timeout for Bulger. It's not as far-fetched as you might think. The man just can't help himself.

Colts over the Jets
The Jets haven't looked too bad, but Pennington isn't Manning.

Panthers over the Saints
The emotion has worn off and they are on the road against a tough defense.

Bills over the Vikings
I really don't know how good either of these teams are. I'm picking the Bills at home.

Falcons over the Cardinals
The Falcons are angry and they'll take it out on Warner in the first half and Leinart in the second half.

Chargers over the Ravens
Two tough defenses, a wiley old veteran QB, an inexperienced young QB, and two coaches that often do stupid things. Rivers has looked solid so far but he has yet to face someone like Ray Lewis. So why the Chargers? I'm taking a leap of faith with Rivers. I like his arm and poise so far.

Dolphins over the Texans
With the way Miami has played so far you might think this would be a possible win at home for Houston. Or not.

49ers over the Chiefs
How much will K.C. miss Green and how many yards will Larry Johnson rack up against San Fran? I'm not sure but I like the progress Alex Smith has made and Frank Gore just might pick up a few yards himself.

Cowboys over the Titans
T.O. and controversy? Shocker. Dallas still has more weapons and a defense that will eat Collins alive.

Rams over the Lions
The Rams are at home and if they lose to the Lions and Mike Martz I just might be on suicide watch myself.

Jaguars over the Redskins
I've seen more good things from Jacksonville than I have Washington.

Browns over the Raiders
Just what the doctor ordered for the Dog Pound.

Bengals over the Patriots
It's crazy to underestimate Brady's ability to bounce back from a bad game. But the striped kitty cats look pretty good.

Bears over the Seahawks
Was last week's points and yardage explosion an indication that Seattle has finally gotten on track offensively? I'm not sure playing against the Bears D will help answer that. I do believe Hasselbeck is capable of carrying this team.....just not this week.

Eagles over the Packers
Favre and Monday night is a dangerous combo but the Eagles have a better team and it looks like McNabb is on a mission this year.

Last Week 11-3

Season 34-12

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 3 in the NFC

Saints 23/Falcons 3
I'm mildly surprised that the Saints dominated this game. Granted, there was a lot of emotion and obviously these aren't your daddy's Saints. It's not a secret why they are better on the offensive end. After going through the QB Hell (otherwise known as the Aaron Brooks Era) , New Orleans now has Drew Brees who brings credibility to the QB position. They've got a loaded backfield with McAllister and Bush, and Joe Horn is a nice go-to receiver. And although their defense has yet to be tested in the air, they have looked good against the run so far. It will be interesting to see how they fare against some of the other quality opponents left on their schedule (Carolina, Baltimore, Philly, Pittsburgh & Cincinnati are coming up in the next two months).
This game should be the wake up call yet again for Atlanta in regards to the passing game. Vick is not going to win games with his arm if they fall behind more than 2 TDs. For those who thought they'll be just fine bulldozing over (and sprinting around) defenders all year long; think again. For the Falcons to be successful in the playoffs (if they get that far this year), Vick will have to make plays with his arm and his legs. And just for the record, he doesn't have to have 300 yards passing to prove he can throw the ball effectively. He just has to make throws when it counts. Thus far he hasn't shown the ability to do that.

Packers 31/Lions 24
A banner day by Favre gives all Packer fans a warm fuzzy. I'm not a true Packer fan but even I got one. But then again I'm easy to please. Apparently so is the Lion's owner. After all Matt Millen is still around.

Bears 19/Vikings 16
The Vikings played the Bears tougher than I thought they would. Could they really contend for this division? I'm doubtful still. Brad Johnson isn't exactly tearing it up yet, but he isn't killing them either and not every team can say that about their QB. Their defense has been solid enough that even the Bears could be proud of it. Of course the Bears D is the cream of the division (and perhaps the NFL) when it comes to stopping people. And despite Grossman's interceptions (they don't call him a gunslinger for nothing) he still played well down the stretch in this game. If they can run the ball better in games to come then their play action passes will be even more wide open.

Panthers 26/Bucs 24
John Kasey kicked field goals of 51, 50, 46, & 49 yards for Carolina. As an ex-kicker I just want to give him a hug. Or shine his shoes. Or maybe we could just hang out and watch a copy of Walt Disney's "Gus" together (If you haven't seen it shame on you. I mean who doesn't like a movie about a mule that can kick 90 yard field goals?!). But I digress. Anyway I think we saw that having Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson both out on the field for the Panthers is a good thing (Johnson 97 yrds, Smith 112). Now I know Chris Simms was getting killed all day (what's a spleen by the way and why can we do without it?) but what's the deal with Carnell Williams? They're running game is almost non-existent. And it should be obvious by now that not too many QBs can be successful without a running threat. Not Simms and certainly not their rookie-and soon to be starter- Gradkowski.

Redskins 31/Texans 15
Is Brunnell back on track or are the Texans that bad? Well it might just be both. You know, 22 straight completions (5 yard variety or not) is not bad against anybody. He's got receivers that can do a lot with their legs so why not let them use them. It helps that Portis is back as well. His TD run shows you just how dangerous he can be. And by the way, the Texans David Carr is not looking too bad (compared to... well....himself) and his receiver Andre Johnson is a guy that should be talked about more.

Rams 16/Cardinals 14
"Just hold on to the ball and we win this thing". That's what Cardinal fans were thinking at the end of this game. But alas, Kurt Warner is your QB. We Rams fans know all about Warner's fumble problems and we giggle over your misfortune in the desert. Sorta. I mean Bulger sometimes looks like he's taking lessons from Warner. After all Bulger gave it up just minutes before in the exact same way and set up the Cardinals for the win. As I watched the end of the game it was with a small trace of sadness (but again mostly giggles) because I used to cheer for Warner when he was a star for St. Louis. But it was exactly that type of play that got him run out of town. Warner can throw for 300 yards almost every week, especially with his two stud receivers. But he's gonna kill you more times than he'll thrill you.

Eagles 38/49ers 24
Brian Westbrook is trying to silence all us doubters who say he can't be the do it all back for Philly. 8 carries for 117 yards (3 total TDs) is a nice statement. McNabb continues to impress as well. The 49ers are also making progress. They would have lost this game 38-3 last year. Tough luck for TE Vernon Davis (breaking his leg). Smith needs him for his safety valve.

Seahawks 43/Giants 30
What smells? Oh yeah-- it's that giant turd NY laid in Seattle. Holy crap they looked bad for 3 quarters. Hasselbeck was awesome until he started getting sloppy. 3 picks? 5 TDs helps ease the pain. Except for the pain of Alexander's foot which will keep him out for a while. Will it hurt the Seahawks in the meantime? I sure the hell hope so. Go Rams.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 3 in the AFC

I'll post the NFC tomorrow but for now the AFC Thoughts:

Colts 21 /Jaguars 14
I see that some are saying this is a statement games for the Colts. Sure. How about a statement that they can't freaking stop the run? I can't believe how they were bulldozed in the first half. Still they did manage some stops in the second half and forced key mistakes from Leftwich so it wasn't all bad. I tell you what though, the Jags need to keep finding ways for Maurice Drew to get his hands on the ball. He's hard to tackle and quick as lightning. I think he could be one of the best rookie offensive players out there. This was a game that could have been there for Jacksonville. They controlled the clock and they kept the scoring down. But you can't beat the Colts when you don't take advantage of those things by throwing interceptions and allowing a punt return TD. I'm looking forward to the next meeting between these two.

Jets 28/Bills 20
I didn't watch this game but the stats seem to favor the loser. Losman over 300 yards. McGahee rushes for 150 yards. What the hell happened to them? It was the usual suspects of course. Turnovers and not converting in the clutch. The Bills were 3-12 on third down and on 1-4 on 4th down. I'm not a genius but I know that's bad.

Dolphins 13/Titans 10
I'm very disappointed in the Dolphins so far. Their offense looks like it hit a time warp and emerged in the Jay Fiedler era. Culpepper is so bad it's almost hard to describe. Miami fans are thirsting for a QB who can pass the ball with efficiency. This is like throwing water colored confetti at a de-hydrated man in a desert. I really thought Culpepper was going to improve this week. I see now that I should have listened to those who really understood the debacle he had become in Minnesota before he got hurt.

Bengals 28/Steelers 20
Amazingly this went about the way I expected. In other words, kinda ugly but ultimately a win for the tiger stripes. The Steelers defense have a way of making everything tough. Two of Palmer's TDs were outstanding catches by Henry and Houshma-whatever. And here's an obvious understatement: If the Steelers are going to repeat they are going to need Roethlisberger to start playing better. And you know what? He just might. I wrote the Steelers off last year and they sure made me feel stupid. Not that I need any help in that area.

Ravens 15/Browns 14
Great defense. Struggling offense. That's not exactly what Raven fans are hoping for this year with McNair in town. But lets be honest. He hasn't looked great so far at QB. Maybe the dollar signs weren't the only reason the Titans were willing to let him go to the Ravens. He does have a lot of mileage on that body. Still, he wasn't bad on the final drive that led to Stover's very cool 52 yard field goal. But the guys in orange and dirt colored unis have to be disgusted. Cleveland dominated most of this game and if Frye makes a TD play instead of getting hit and intercepted in the end zone then we're talking about a surprising win for Cleveland. Baltimore says a win is a win. And maybe they're right. I mean after all it wasn't too many years ago that they won games like this all season long and then went and won a Super Bowl.

Broncos 17 /Patriots 7
A few things we learned in this game. 1. The Packers should have tried harder to hang on to Javon Walker. 2. The Broncos defense is still pretty good (not a good trend in the NFL this year --look at the scores for the past three weeks, it's getting uglier and uglier out there). and 3. Shanahan and Belichick are just damn creepy looking.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

You posted what?!

I saw the injury report for the Colts listed last night on ESPN's ticker as thus: Dwight Freeney (buttocks), Adam Vinateri (groin) questionable for Sunday.

Think that may end up taped to their lockers by a prankster teamate? I'm thinking Freeney may end up decapitating the guy who authorized that release.

Friday, September 22, 2006

NFL Picks: Week 3

Here's my picks for this week. I don't pick the spread because: 1. I have no money to gamble with and 2. I'm not smart enough.


Bears over the Vikings
With Chicago being nasty on both sides of the ball I'd be crazy to pick against them.

Panthers over the Bucs
Both have been less than impressive. In a low scoring affair Carolina will squeak one out.

Packers over the Lions
I don't have a good reason for picking the Packers. But could you really make a strong case for the Lions either?

Redskins over the Texans
I should pick the Texans against an underachieving Skins team. Especially at home. But I won't.

Rams over the Cardinals
The offense will finally start to come together (I hope) and although the game will be high scoring, the Rams will outlast Arizona.

Eagles over the 49ers
Philly is still pissed over last week.

Falcons over the Saints
A good defense and a running game will mean Brees and Bush don't see the field that often.

Seattle over the Giants
I wouldn't be surprised if NY pulls this one out.. Having said that I just don't see them getting lucky two weeks in a row against a tough road opponent.


Patriots over the Broncos
Facing New England is not the remedy for Jake Plummer. Brady will show him how it's done.

Ravens over the Browns
Baltimore's defense will cream Charlie Frye.

Dolphins over the Titans
Culpepper can't look as bad against the Titans as he has the first two weeks....can he?

Colts over the Jaguars
I just don't think the Jags can score enough points to win this game.

Bengals over the Steelers
Cincinnati won't score as much as they're used to but they'll still pull out a win.

Bills over the Jets
The D is back in Buffalo and it will make Pennington's life hell on Sunday.

Last Week: 12-4

Season: 23-9

Thursday, September 21, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 2 in the NFC

I thought Grossman had a chance to be good last year. Then came the preseason and I wasn't so sure. But if he can play like he has been for the first two games then the Bears officially become the bad asses of the NFC. Their defense was already at that stage but their offense was sorta like the little wimpy brother that tells bullies he'll sick his tough older brother (Urlacher and Co.) on them. While being scared of the older brother everybody pretty much still taped the younger sibling to the goal post. Well now the little brother is taking names along with a stick to the side of some heads. It's nice to see. Keep it up Rex. I like Griese but I'm sure the Bears hope he never sees the field this year.

It's weird, I was watching this and in the first half I thought "wow Brees isn't playing to well". He wasn't very aware in the pocket with seemingly everybody stripping the ball from him. Then he and the Saints pick things up and before you know it he has 353 yards passing. Not a bad day's work. Bush still hasn't busted lose but he's been a solid receiving option. Packer fans brace yourself for a long year.

If the Rams lose again to San Fran I may just have to stick my head in an oven and set it to broil. These losses are driving me nuts. I'm losing faith in Bulger. He's basically Drew Bledsoe at this point. I get that he's immobile and slow. But does he have to quit on the play every time the pressure amps up? That's what getting killed in Mike Martz's system did to him I guess. I've got to go throw up.

The neon green boys are just getting warmed up. They haven't looked especially good yet but I think it's coming. On the flip side, the Cardinals are failing to live up to the hype. Again.

Brad Johnson has never gotten enough credit for being a decent QB. Even by me. No he's not great, but with a decent team around him he can be a winner. Chester Taylor is surprising me and the defense has been good. I still think the Minnesota is going to come back down to earth and I think it will be this coming week against the Bears. But they played Carolina tough and despite their rough start I think the Panthers are still a good team (just not a playoff team this year) But can't the Panthers do anything on offense without Steve Smith?

Manning gets too much hype and credit due to his name. Burress and Toomer bail him out plenty. What happened to the Eagles offense in the second half of this game? It was like they quit playing.

Looks like my preseason pick for the Bucs to take this division is really working out well. Simms can't seem to get a pass over the arms of a defender and their defense has some issues with the running game. Or is the Falcons running game just that good? Obviously Dunn is great in their system and I like the option stuff they are doing with Vick. Why not use that to their advantage? Sometimes NFL coaches get it in their head that certain college style elements will never work. And sometimes they just don't give it chance to work. Give Mora the brass nuts award for going against the grain. Of course you wouldn't try it unless you had a guy like Vick. But they do, so they ought to use him accordingly.

No T.O for a few weeks. Fine by me. Glenn's their best receiver anyway right now. He and Bledsoe are really in sync. And like I've said, I think this Dallas defense is pretty good. Brunnell is proving so far that last season was a fluke and the washed up tag might stick. They need Portis bad.

Monday, September 18, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 2 in the AFC

Since they're were no cross conference games this past week I'll post the AFC today and the NFC tomorrow or Wednesday.

If the Broncos are 0-2 with the way Plummer is playing then I might be tempted to agree with the entire Denver area which is begging for Jay Cutler right now. But they're not winless anymore. They managed at least one win with Plummer reverting back to his Arizona form. You'll notice I said managed. That means you sucked donkeys but you still won. But hey you know, maybe Plummer will hit his stride soon. For his health and well being he'd better. I think I saw a crazed woman in the stands with a John Elway jersey and a sign that read "Jake I know where you live". She probably doesn't want a date. These people want a strong armed gun slinger and Plummer doesn't fit the bill. Unfortunately for Jake it doesn't get any easier as they play the Pats on the road next, then get a bye and a whole week to ruminate if things don't go well against Brady and co. , then they get the suddenly resurgent Baltimore Ravens. So cheers Jake. If he can survive that gauntlet Oakland comes to town in week 6 and then it's part-ay time. On another note, the Bell/Bell RB tandem is really bugging me. When stats are listed or the announcer says "Bell for 5 yards, I'm not exactly who they are talking about. I shouldn't have to deal with that kind of an inconvenience should I?
--As far as the Chiefs play in this game, I mean what can you say? Their offense was worse than Denver's. They have Larry Johnson and Tony Gonzalez. That's it. And if you only have two weapons and you don't or can't use one of them (Gonzalez, 2 catches 7 yards) then you're pretty much screwed. But at least their defense came to play. That's a bonus especially in K.C. where defense has been about as sharp as George Bush's vocabulary skills.

Speaking of QBs who are getting booed. How about Culpepper's performance in this game? The stat sheet says he threw for 250 yards. But man was that an ugly 250. Apparently some fans were even chanting Joey Harrington's name near the end. Please. Culpepper's been bad but believe me Miami fans you don't want any part of Joey Harrington as your starter. Still Culpepper is destroying many people's confidence and predictions of a successful comeback (hand raised) along with any hopes at a division title. On the bright side I thought Ronnie Brown played really well. He looks good running and catching the ball.
Maybe we should give some credit to a scrappy Buffalo team. Their offense hasn't looked great but it hasn't given the games away either. And their defense has been awesome so far. The Bills might just be that non-playoff team that nobody wants to play this year.

Jet's WR Jerricho Cotchery hands down wins best catch of the day. His 71 yard TD reception is a little like my bedroom skills. Pure magic. Coles TD catch was pretty fun to watch as well. All in all a pretty entertaining second half. Brady rules though. I'm actually wondering if I ought to release some of my hate and anger for the guy and start to appreciate one of the best QBs to come around in a while. ..... Or not.

The Colts comparisons are obvious. The Bengals throw the ball really well just like their Indy pals. Palmer to me is one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the game now. The Bengals and Colts are very similar in another more disturbing way. They're leaving their star QB in the game too damn long. Exactly what the hell are Marvin Lewis and Tony Dungy thinking? Both games are blowouts and yet halfway through the 4th quarter Palmer and Manning are still in there flinging it. Lewis especially is an idiot with Palmer coming off knee surgery. I could care less about running up the score. This isn't high school. Nobody cares about hurt feelings in the NFL. But what a smart head coach ought to be worried about is their franchise going into the toilet because of a stupid injury in garbage time. The only thing I can figure is Dungy and Lewis each have their own guy as their starting QB in a fantasy league. Other than that there is no reason for them to be playing at that point in the game. ....Well alrighty then. I'm glad I got that off my chest.

I'm not sure what to think of the Chargers. The defense has obviously been great. And they will still probably be great when they actually play an NFL team this year. So far the Titans and Raiders don't qualify. But at least Rivers actually threw the ball this week. And he looked good doing it. Will he do it against better competition? I'm optimistic about it. I like the Chargers. Any team with a bolt of lightning on the side of their helmet is fun to root for.
As far as the Titans are concerned; what did Volek do to piss Jeff Fisher off? I mean it must be a real doozy. Like urinating in front of his wife or stealing Fisher's Snickers bar before practice (as if he didn't know you just don't steal something so satisfying). It can't be because he couldn't play better than Collins because of course he could. This is mystifying. Vince Young will probably be starting a little sooner than expected. All because Volek can't buy his own damn candy bar....or pee out of sight of the coach's wife....or pick a theory.

The Ravens should have won this game by even more than they did. Because well....the Raiders are back to their old tricks. And it ain't David Copperfield stuff. It's more like those dumb ass David Blaine "look at me I'm in a block of ice for 80 days" type tricks. It's getting ugly in Oakland. Aaron Brooks' injury will be a good excuse to start Andrew Walter although there is absolutely no offensive hope in Oakland right now. Just read their team's post game comments. And boy does Art Shell looks clueless. Is it any wonder coaches turned this job down right and left. It's like asking someone if it would be alright to give them an STD. The answer should be "thanks for the offer but I'm currently virus/Al Davis free and I'd like to stay that way". You'd have to be crazy to work for this organization. Judging by Shell's in-game demeanor, he qualifies.

It's the same old story here. The Colt's kick the Texans' asses and Payton stays in the game too long. I've already ranted about this aspect in the Bengals section so I'll spare you. I will say that the Colt's running game looked better this week. After watching Addai have a decent game here I'm thinking the Colts need to start feeding him the ball more. I'm also thinking Payton Manning has entered Donovan McNabb Chunky Soup territory. In other words Payton we're sick of your goofy commercials and it's only two weeks into the season. Is this a preemptive strike to get us mesmorized by his acting ability and forget about his playoff ability? Damn he's a sneaky bastard.

Prior to seeing this I thought it had the look of being defensive and ugly. It lived up to it's billing. I know it's early but this season so far has the potential to have a league populated with defensive powerhouses that will shut you down. The Jags and Steelers are on the list along with the Ravens, Chargers, and of course the Bears headlining the group. But the entire NFC East has the potential to dominate defensively along with Seattle, Buffalo and Miami. For an fan of unadulterated offense this does not bode well. Thank heavens for Manning, Brady, Palmer, Tomlinson, and all those who would break this evil wall down.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

College Football Thoughts Part 1

I'll be brief. Irish loss: good. Miami loss: even better. Boston College win: frustrating. I'm having trouble really getting into the college games this year. Give me a couple more weeks and I'll care a little bit more.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

NFL Picks: Week 2

I didn't do this last year but I think for this season I'll post my pre-game picks. It's an invitation for public ridicule to be sure, but a little humiliation never hurt anyone. I missed posting my picks last week due to a business trip. The picks I got wrong ( made in my head but never made it to the blog) were Miami, Carolina, Washington, Tennessee, & Dallas. Sure you don't know if I'm lying or not but it's my blog so I'm posting the results in my record for the season anyway. I picked the obvious ones that most everyone else did based on their opponent in the first week. Indy, New England, Philly, Seattle, Cincinnati, Chicago, Arizona, and San Diego just weren't brain stumpers. The other games like Baltimore, St. Louis, New Orleans, were more of a crap shoot but I guessed right.

Season record: 11-5

So onto Week 2:

Panthers over the Vikings
a tough win on the road will have everyone hopping back on the bandwagon.

Dolphins over the Bills
Miami pulls it together for an entire game this time .

Giants over the Eagles
It won't be pretty but the Giants get a must win with Seattle looming next week

Saints over the Packers
Bush will give us a spectacular play and Favre will be frustrated again.

Colts over the Texans

Chicago over Detroit
Detroit's defense looked great last week. But Chicago's D is still better.

Cincinnati over Cleveland
The battle for orange supremacy goes to the Tiger stripes.

Bucs over the Falcons
I'm going to go with the rebound game here for Gruden's crew.

Ravens over the Raiders
This has blowout written all over it

Seahawks over the Cardinals
After last week's performances by both teams I'm tempted to take the redbirds. But I won't.

Rams over the 49ers
This week we'll actually see a TD by the Rams.

Chargers over the Titans
Maybe this week Marty will take the training wheels off Rivers.

Patriots over the Jets
Last week was nice. But Brady shreds the Jets this week.

Broncos over the Chiefs
Plummer rebounds and silences the cries for Cutler for at least a week.

Cowboys over the Redskins
I 've got to take the Cowboys at home especially if Portis is not playing or not 100%. Then again the Skins pulled the upset at Dallas last year.

Jaguars over the Steelers
The Jags are home and win in a squeaker.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 1

First let me say that my 1st trip to NYC was quite an experience. Living in rural Utah doesn't give this country boy much of a chance to experience mass humanity in all it's glory. New York is dirty, smelly, horribly overcrowded and pretty damn loud. So of course I loved it! I sluffed most of my business meetings and hit all the required tourist spots. I even caught a Mets game. Now that I'm back home, I'm pretty much going through sensory deprivation. Everything is so freaking quiet here that I feel like screaming "hey I'm walking here!" at the next person that even gets close to me at work tomorrow.

As I mentioned, I missed all the games on Sunday except for the Giants/Colts circus that I recorded and then watched when I got home (I'm in the doghouse for that incidentally....apparently proper homecoming etiquette with the wife you haven't seen for 6 days involves something other than watching football at 1 a.m. ......was I really supposed to know that when she told me she was looking forward to sleeping with me, she actually meant I was supposed to fall asleep with her after our "getting reacquainted session" (that's sex for the erotically impaired) ? Please! I had a football game to watch! Anyway I caught other game highlights the next morning and read what I could. I saw about half of the two Monday night games as well. Here are my abbreviated thoughts for my abbreviated look at the first week.

So at least we know where the constipated looks come from with the Manning Brothers. Mom and Dad Manning put on a pretty nice display of pained expressions Sunday night. What a horrible experience they had to endure. I mean wow, two of their multi-millionaire starting QB kids had to play each other. I just want to give them a hug. Or kick them in their private parts. I haven't decided yet. Pretty good game though. The Giants were robbed with the pass interference call near the end of the game. Nice to know the officiating crews picked right up where they left off last year. Also, a couple of other thoughts I had while watching this thing. 1. Tiki Barber still looks great. He should be in any discussion concerning the top running back in the league 2. The Colts had better figure out their running game. Last year's run-pass ratio was pretty nice for them. True they choked in the playoffs but their regular season game plans were right on. They'll need a ground game eventually.

I was surprised that Batch didn't totally blow chunks. Just goes to show you that sometimes a really good team can survive a less than average QB---temporarily. I'm not ready to give up on Culpepper figuring out he used to be good. He has a good enough team that he doesn't have to win it by himself. He just can't lose it by himself by throwing costly interceptions.

McAllister and Bush are going to give New Orleans a powerful rushing attack. With one of my favorite QB's on board now (Brees), I finally have a team in the NFC South that I will honestly root for every week.

Collins, Volek, Young? None will provide the answer this year. On the flip side, is Pennington back to 2002 form? I'm wary. Don't get too excited yet Jets fans....except over the fact that you no longer have Herm Edwards.

How many times do we need to be reminded that the 1st week of the season is no time to over-react? Plummer's not done yet. Before Cutler is anointed by Denver, the Snake needs a chance to show that last year's solid season was no fluke. As far as the Rams are concerned,...they need to be concerned. Where the hell are the touchdowns? I'm happy for Jeff Wilkins. I mean, I was a kicker in high school (no smirking allowed) and I would have killed for a day like that. Well maybe not killed...that's a bit strong....but I would have at least beat a few cheerleaders senseless for a six field goal performance. But seriously, I liked the game Steven Jackson had running the ball and I loved the defensive performance. Still, redzone production has to improve.

Fans who watched this in person probably demanded a refund.

Trent Green's hit was unfortunate but he wasn't going to change the outcome of this game. The Chiefs have some work to do. The Bengals have to be happy with Palmer's rehabilitation and his progress so far.

Shocker of the week for me. I would have pegged this a 35-7 blowout. Instead the Bills almost knock the Pats off. I'm speechless. Or at least I would be if you were here and I was talking. Except that would mean I wouldn't talk. So you know, like I said, speechless.

Another surprising game for me. Not that the Ravens won.....I actually thought they might. But that the Bucs looked so bad. In Baltimore the D is back strong and a decent QB is making them confident.

If McNabb looks this good the rest of the season then the the rest of the NFC East is in trouble.
Still it was Houston and week 1, so again, no over-reacting. Except to say Eagles rule!. Oh wait I'm a Ram fan....Rams rule!....not overreacting...just rambling.

So the Cardinals can pass but not run. Edgerin James is a really good locker room guy though. He's playful and a winner. At least that's what I've read. And they have a really nice stadium. Or so I've heard. The 49ers looked pretty good against them. So either Alex Smith is really improving or the Cardinals defense really sucks. Which one would you bank on?

The Bears with some potent offense just might cause opposing team's to wet themselves. The Defense obviously is going to be good and opportunistic again. Unfortunately the same can't be said for Favre and the Packers. However, the Bears D is not the best barometer for the Packer offense. Not every defense will be that good. If the Pack stink it up against everyone else then we'll be able to ask the question that Favre is going to be asked all year long. "do you regret coming back?" And of course his reply should be, "no I just regret that one night stand with your mamma". Cause Yo Mamma jokes always play well.

I'm not a Bledsoe fan but I would say again that this is not the time to jump ship with him. Maybe Romo is the future but Drew's regular season play last year earned him a little grace period here (I can't believe I'm saying that). It's still a good team. So are the Jags. Nice Defense, and a solid QB. If Fred Taylor can stay healthy then maybe this offense can post enough points to win some more tough games like this.

Everyone seems to be saying that it was a good thing Philip Rivers only threw 11 times in this game. Break him in slow. Are you serious? Oakland was a gimme even if he threw a couple of picks. Why not let him throw a few more times and get into a groove (which he totally would have) and gain confidence against a bad team. He's going to need it when they play better teams. They are not going to be able to run on three straight 3rd down plays like I saw them do in this one. I hate "Marty ball". It's stupid and doesn't work in the playoffs. And by the way, Does Art Shell ever talk into his headset? Everytime something bad happened (pretty much anytime Brooks took a snap) he just stood there with a dazed expression. He sort of had that look I get when I have a really bad fart and I'm in crowded room. It's smells but you just have to get through it. Don't try to over-compensate by talking or joking. Look straight ahead and maybe no one will notice the devastation. Then again, we all notice a train wreck and the Raiders certainly qualify.

I'm worried about Daniel Snyder's health. The Skins can't tease him with a year like last season and then go back to business as usual (sucking) without some nasty consequences. Wait, I'm not over-reacting this week, so Daniel you just hang in there buddy because there is plenty of time left in the season to act irrational and crazy. The Vikes looked so-so which is about what I expected. Everything about them screams .500 team to me.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Oh well

Just got in from a late night flight from New York. I plan to post some thoughts on the first official week of NFL action later today or tomorrow. I can't believe I was on a plane while the first week of games were going on. What was I thinking when I planned the trip?

Monday, September 04, 2006

AFC South Predictions

Indianapolis Colts
So once again I see many experts on the major sports websites picking the Colts to win it all. It's like last year never happened. Remember the Colts were the hot pick then as well. In some ways I can understand this need/want to pick the Colts to finally do it. Their defense has come a long way in two years. I mean they have Freeney and Mathis on the D-line and Cato June will headline a group of linebackers who if not huge will at least be quick. The secondary has Bob Sanders who is in that Roy Williams, Sean Taylor "leave em convulsing" vein as a safety. It's the offense that worries me. Weird huh? Payton will be his usual self and rack up a ton of yards and TDs. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne will be great as well. And their running game won't suffer that much of a drop without James. Payton may get sacked a few more times (James was good at picking up blitzes) but still they'll score enough points to win games during the season. So what's the problem then you ask? To that I would say, have you not watched each of the Colt's elimination games the last few years? Manning has looked terrible. He is truly a head case in the playoffs. I simply can't accept that he is the best QB in the land when he tends to stink when it counts. And believe me I want to. I root for the Colts every year. After my Rams, the Colts are probably the team I have watched the most and cheered for the most. After the Rams , they are probably the team that has pissed me off the most as well. So until Manning shows the cojones of Tom Brady (may he and his Patriots rot in hell), I just can't believe in the power of the horseshoe.

Division Prediction: 1st
Playoff Prediction: AFC Championship game
and a suicide watch for Manning afterwards

Jacksonville Jaguars
I hope the Jags really make some noise this year. I like them as a team and I want to pick them for a Wild Card but I think that the Ravens or the Dolphins will just slip by them for that final spot. They look great again on defense with linebacker Mike Peterson leading a very tough group. Their offense will need to show they can score more points this year though. Jimmy Smith is no longer a safety valve for Leftwich. And speaking of Lord Byron (as some in the Jacksonville fan base have at times called him), I think he is getting better as a QB and has ended any mini-QB controversy that may have been there last season. I was one of those people that wanted to see if backup QB David Garrard could do better. Garrard has had plenty of opportunity to show his stuff and has blown chunks. Leftwich is the man and he has some promising rookies that could develop in TE Mercedes Lewis and RB Maurice Drew. Still, like last year the offense will be inconsistent at times and ultimately doom them.

Division Prediction: 1st
Playoff Prediction: Just miss

Tennessee Titans
It's not a good omen for a season when Kerry Collins can be brought in just before the real action starts and become your starter. At least I'm guessing like everyone else that he might be the starter at some point. Volek must have really pissed Fisher off. Some think Vince Young could see action this season. I'm holding off on that one but realistically, although talented, the offense doesn't inspire a lot of confidence right now. I do like Givens and Bennett at WR and Troupe and Kinney at TE but I'm not sure their backfield is going to be as good as people think. Chris Brown and Travis Henry have been inconsistent at times and Lendale White needs some more carries to see what he can do. Defensively they are average and pretty much all people remember last year about them was overblown clips of Pac-man Jones getting burned. Defensive backs should never be loudmouths because it doesn't matter how good you are, with rules favoring receivers, you will get burned at times. Champ Bailey gets burned too but you don't see him getting scorched in the press for it like Jones did last year. Just a thought.

Division Prediction: 3rd
Playoff Prediction: Another year at home

Houston Texans
The sack stat is the key here. Will it haunt them like last season (68 sacks)? If the O-line improves, which I think they will slightly, then Carr may actually get the ball out of his hands. I would say this is his make-or-break year. If he doesn't show significant improvement then he is going the way of Joey Harrington. Of course they should have taken Bush, but they didn't, and they will now have to live with Wali Lundy or newly acquired Ron Dayne as their starter at tailback (Davis injured and Antowain Smith cut). Yeah I had never heard of Lundy either. Glad that Mario Williams thing is working out so well. Actually that's not really fair. Hey Williams could become a sack monster and revitalize their defense. Or he could end up being the biggest bust ever while he watches Reggie Bush zoom all over the field and pick up endorsement contracts. So you know, no pressure.

Division Prediction: 4th
Playoff Prediction: looking to the draft again

Sunday, September 03, 2006

AFC West Predictions

Denver Broncos
Is Mike Shanahan arrogant to the point of recklessness when it comes to his running game? Is Dick Cheney a lousy shot? Yes and Yes. How else do explain letting Portis and Mike Anderson go, and then telling us that rookie Mike Bell is going to start over veteran Tatum Bell who had 921 yards last year and a freaking 5.3 yards per carry! He's convinced it's his system and with the right type of runner (no-name or not) he can get the production he's looking for. And you know what?, Mr. Freaky eyes may just have something. I mean how can I question the results? It's worked so far. What I don't get is why more teams don't copy the Broncos zone blocking. Anyway, if Jake Plummer has another regular season like he did last year, Denver should cruise to another Division title. Their defense is going to be really good with great linebackers and a solid secondary, so if Mr. Snake can keep the turnovers down like he did last year, the Broncos are going to be good again.

Division Prediction: 1st
Playoff Prediction: They'll make it to the 2nd playoff weekend

San Diego Chargers
Make no mistake about it, the San Diego Chargers are loaded as a team. Look at the players they have with Tomlinson, Gates, Merriman, etc. Had Brees not torn up his shoulder and had they then decided to keep him, I would be probably picking this team for the Super Bowl. But all that didn't happen and being a Drew Brees fan I am of course a little skeptical of the team's chances this year. But you know what, maybe Philip Rivers will be as good as Brees was the past couple of years or even better as they all hope and pray. Maybe he becomes exactly what they need to take it to the next level. He has what Ben Roethlisberger had when he was a first year starting QB and had success; namely a great team around him and a favorable schedule. He would be bucking the odds and that ultimately is the clincher for me. I think he needs another year before he will be able to deliver as needed. The problem with that of course is that the rest of the team is ready now.

Division Prediction: 2nd
Playoff Prediction: maybe next year

Kansas City Chiefs
First of all I don't like Herm Edwards as a coach. Nothing personal but I jut think he sucks. His slimebag exit from the Jets was on par with a Larry Brown move. Not very endearing. I don't think this team will challenge for the playoffs this year. Their defense is suspect, Trent Green is looking worse with each season and with offensive lineman abandoning ship in droves towards retirement (well, ok only two have retired but I tend to exaggerate every now and then. sue me) it's not a given that Larry Johnson will have the same success he had last season. Although I really hope Dante Hall recaptures some of his kick return magic from a couple of seasons ago.

Division Prediction: 3rd
Playoff Prediction: nope

Oakland Raiders
A couple of big problems with this team. First Al Davis is still alive and owns this team. Wait, scratch that. I'm happy Al is still kicking. Seriously. He was a very innovative owner in his time. At least that's the impression I got from a Sportcentury documentary I watched on ESPN this summer. He was a maverick, an out of the box thinker, a pretty cool guy. But now he's like 150 (sorry exaggerating again) and somebody more in tune with the times should be running this team. The other problem is the infamous Aaron Brooks. He giveth and he taketh away. I'm betting Randy Moss blows up over a lack of balls coming his way or over his head, or into the other team's arms, etc. Raider fans prepare. I like Lamont Jordan but he's got to average over 4 yards a carry this year for the Raiders to stick with him. With a defense that has some speed but lots of inexperience they are going to struggle against decent offenses. I feel bad for Art Shell. He's a good guy and actually did a good job coaching the Raiders in his last stint, but this season is going to give him ulcers. He may kick it before Al.

Division Prediction: last
Playoff Prediction: not for a while