Thursday, December 21, 2006

NFL Picks: Week 16

As the playoffs get nearer I am starting to already getting cold sweats over the thought of a football season ending. I love and hate this time of year. Here's this week's picks:

^= home team
Packers^ over the Vikings
What should I expect out of Tarvaris Jackson as the Vikings new QB? It's a mystery. But I do know that the Vikes should have made this move 2 weeks ago. Brad Johnson has been awful the second half of the season and has solidified his washed-up status. Unfortunately, Brett Favre has officially joined Johnson in this sad category. Johnson's QB rating is 71.9 with 9 TDs and 15 picks. Favre has more TDs (17) but 15 INTs as well. And his QB rating is an abysmal 74.9. I'm a Favre fan but I've admitted the truth. Favre loyalists need to come clean as well and admit to themselves that if he was any other QB he would have probably been benched by now. Can he flash some of his old brilliance every now and again? Of course he can. In fact he might do it tonight. But that's all it will be: flashes. His last decent year was in 2004 and I don't see him being consistently good ever again. And please don't blame it on his supporting cast. I'm tired of hearing that one. While it has made it tougher, some of the silly decisions he's made over the past 2 years have nothing to do with who'son the field with him. Favre has flat out played bad. If you can't admit that then you're lying to yourself. Again, I root for Favre, but even if he is awesome tonight it won't change the fact that his season has been decidedly un-awesome. Sad, but true.

Chiefs over the Raiders^
Oakland can't score and thus they can't win.

Bears over the Lions^
Kitna is not a starting QB. Or at least he shouldn't be.

Bills^ over the Titans
I like the way Buffalo is playing. Losman and Evans continue to connect and their defense has been playing tough lately.

Falcons^ over the Panthers
I've lost faith in Carolina. Seems like they have too.

Colts over the Texans
If Manning plays well this should be a rout. Sad thing for the Texans is they have 4 wins so they are probably out of luck for Quinn or Troy Smith in the draft. They can't do another year of David Carr though.

Browns^ over the Bucs
For those who attend this game, I hope it ends up more exciting that it sounds.

Ravens over the Steelers^
Steve McNair hasn't been the difference this year for the Ravens, the defense has. It's again the best "D" in football. Having said that (and at the risk of contradicting myself) if Kyle Boller starts on Sunday this pick changes and goes in favor of the Steelers.

Patriots over the Jags^
The Jags are bi-polar but I I'll take Brady over Garrard any day. Garrard has once again failed to grab the starting QB job by the throat when he's had the chance. Leftwich may not be the answer in Jacksonville, but I don't think David Garrard is either.

Saints over the Giants^
Hopefully the Saints figured out what the Redskins did to them defensively and are prepared to counter-act it (cause you can bet the Giants were taking notes).

Rams^ over the Redskins
I'm mentally done with the Rams for the season, but if they play like they can, this should be a victory.

49ers^ over the Cardinals
Think about this: If Leinart had come out the year he won the Heisman he probably would be the 49ers starting QB in this game.

Seahawks over the Chargers
Not that the Seahawks are basement dwellers or anything but this will be the upset of the day.

Bengals over the Broncos^
Both need the win desperately. I just trust Palmer more than Cutler.

Cowboys^ over the Eagles
I'm as stunned as everyone else over Garcia and his resurrection, but I think the Cowboys at home will have an edge.

Dolphins^ over the Jets
It's over for NY but they sure suprised me (and probably you too) this year.

Happy Holidays everyone. Try not to puke at the in-laws house this year. Not that that's ever happened to me. I'm just saying..

Last week 10-6 (62%)
Overall: 144 -78 (63%)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Iverson to the Nuggets? Where was Isiah Thomas when I needed him?

So what do I (a Utah Jazz fan) think about the Allen Iverson trade? Frankly, it gives me the heebie jeebies. I'm nervous about it. Very nervous. I really didn't see the Jazz having a realistic shot at the division title this year before the season began. I thought Denver would take it and Utah might be able to make a late playoff spot. However, with the way the Jazz have started the season I began to rethink that idea. Then along comes this trade. Sure it might implode. I mean Iverson and Anthony aren't two of your more mature players in the league by any stretch of the imagination. Wildly talented? Yes. But can they co-exist? I hope not. Because like I said, the mere possibility that they can, scares the crap out of me.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

NFL Picks: Week 15

The picks for this week:

Seahawks over the 49ers
This time last year the Hawks really kicked it into gear and that momentum propelled them to the Super Bowl. They have looked pretty average this year so I'm starting to wonder if they can regain that edge.

Cowboys over the Falcons
Dallas is the better team. Plus the Falcons backfield is decimated right now. They are going to rely on Vick's arm this week. That's usually not a good thing.

Jets over the Vikings
I'm really torn about this one. Both teams surprised me last week with their play (the Jets choked, the Vikes beat the Lions....wait...nix that part about me being surprised about the Vikings performance) . So basically I flipped a coin here.

Saints over the Redskins
I hope the Saints aren't taking this game lightly.

Patriots over the Texans
Exactly what the New England needs to get back on track.

Panthers over the Steelers
Another tough pick. I think Julius Peppers is going to harass Roethlisberger into some mistakes.

Bears over the Bucs
Unless Grossman give this one away, the Bears should rule.

Ravens over the Browns
Baltimore is just too tough.

Bills over the Dolphins
Losman and Evans are on a roll.

Packers over the Lions
I give up on the Lions. I've picked them several times to win and they always fail me. That's probably what Detroit fans say every week.

Jags over the Titans
This week the Vince Young magic is derailed.

Broncos over the Cardinals.
Because of the Broncos defense.

Giants over the Eagles
Garcia actually is playing better than Manning. But I'm going with the home team here.

Rams over the Raiders.
I'm depressed as hell over the Ram's season but I'm not yet willing to concede they're the worst team in the league. However, if they lose to the Raiders I'll be the first to announce the official news.

Chargers over the Chiefs
Bolts want revenge.

Bengals over the Colts
As long as they resist the temptation to win the game entirely through the air (I mean why not run all day long on the Colts?) Cincy should be able to expose what everyone else has.

Last Week: 7-9 (43%)
Overall: 134-72 (65%)

Monday, December 11, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 14

I was only able to catch 3 games this weekend. I saw the annihilation of the Colts defense, the dominance of Ladainian Tomlinson, and the near perfect performance from the Saints offense (flexible scheduling--what a novel idea!).

Saints 42 / Cowboys 17
It's a good thing Philip Rivers has turned out to be the real deal. If he had ended up being another Ryan Leaf the Charger's decision to let Brees go (with the way he is playing this year) would have been one of the worst personnel decisions in the past 10 years. Luckily for both the Saints and the Chargers, things have turned out nicely. In fact it would be pretty cool if these two teams could meet in the Super Bowl. And it would even provide us with a nice little story about QB mentoring. Except for the fact that the media would play that out within 3 days and then we would be ready to throw up at the mere mention of the Brees/Rivers relationship by gametime. But I digress. Anyway, Brees was awesome against the Cowboys and if his receivers are healthy he has a lot of weapons. I actually didn't think the Cowboys were that bad Sunday night. The Saints were just flat out good.

Giants 27 / Panthers 13
NY still has life but the Panthers are now in deep doo-doo.

Ravens 20 / Chiefs 10
I'm guessing that nobody wants to play the Ravens defense when it comes playoff time. As long as McNair can "manage" a game and not lose it for them, this team has to be seen as a legitimate championship threat.

Jaguars 44 / Colts 17
What a butt-whooping this was. This Colts defense is so bad against the run that I have no confidence at all in their playoff hopes. Watching this game you could sense Manning's frustration of knowing that he had to score on every possession or they weren't winning. It's almost a crime that the Colts have failed to significantly upgrade their defense in the past five years. Last year's defense was the closest they have had to something that could be called decent and they have taken a huge leap backwards this year. As far as the Jags go, they shouldn't get too excited about this win considering everything I just said about the Colts. Still, just I said in the pre-season, Maurice Drew is a huge talent and needs to see the ball as much as possible.

Falcons 17 / Bucs 6
I don't see the Falcons making the playoffs. I just don't. Especially if Dunn and Norwood don't recover quickly. Vick is capable of winning another game or two by himself but it's more likely that his usual 150 yards passing and 1-2 turnovers will doom them in the end.

Chargers 48 / Broncos 20
The Broncos are prepping for next year. It's not a travesty this year if they don't make the playoffs. After all they were going nowhere even if they made the postseason with Plummer. It's good to get Cutler the experience and plan on possible run for 2007.
What can you say about Tomlinson this year? After a couple of sub-par years (for him anyway) he is back with a vengeance and is every fantasy owner's wet dream. Also, I think that Rivers is finally understanding how to use Antonio Gates (7 rec, 104 yards, 2 TDs). If the Colts can't make it to the Super Bowl, this is the AFC team I would want to see play for it all.

Dolphins 21 / Patriots 0
Probably the most shocking score of the day for me.

Eagles 21 / Redskins 19
Jeff Garcia has two good games in a row. When did that last happen? Probably back in the days before Terrell Owens was calling him gay and around the time we were wondering what a dude that looked like he came from Ireland was doing with a Latin name.

Titans 26 / Texans 20
-I 'm just imagining the average Houston fan today and their thoughts toward the previous draft. Most of the season we have talked about Bush not being drafted by the Texans but because of the huge popularity of the Longhorns (and Vince Young in particular) in the state of Texas we have probably underestimated how many people felt pissed about the Texans passing on Vince Young. This game only serves to twist that proverbial knife a little deeper.

Vikings 30 / Lions 20
I've got to quit picking the Lions. Why do I keep thinking they can improve? John Kitna was a backup in Cincy for a reason.

Cardinals 27 / Seahawks 21
This game just reinforces for me what a chance the Rams blew this season for a division title. Seattle has been injured, and less than stellar for much of the season. In fact if I think about this any longer I'm going to walk outside and throw myself into oncoming traffic.

Bengals 27 / Raiders 10
The Bengals are on must-win status for a playoff push and as long as they can avoid a 10 player arrest weekend (not out of the question though) they just might make it. By the way just imagine if Sebastian Janikowski had played for Bill Parcells. He probably wouldn't have made it out of pre-season.

Bills 31 / Jets 13
Buffalo is looking much improved the past few weeks. Losman isn't playing badly, Lee Evans is playing like a man on fire, and McGahee has been solid. That was bad news for the Jets who really needed this win. Pennington has got to play better in the remaining games or their postseason hopes are dead (if they aren't already).

Steelers 27 / Browns 7
It says a lot about the Steeler's season (and the Brown's) that they were the only NFL game of the day (Thursday) and they were probably the 3rd story on many sports newscasts that night.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

NFL picks: Week 14

Steelers over the Browns
I'm bored thinking about this game

Falcons over the Bucs
Can Atlanta run over Tampa? Tough game last time and I suspect this one will be close as well.

Redskins over the Eagles
Garcia surprised everyone with the Monday night game but if was a betting man I wouldn't lay anything on that magic happening twice in 6 days.

Giants over the Panthers
Both are desperate. Both of their QBs should be better than they are.

Colts over the Jags
Indy needs to get tough and this is the game to show it.

Patriots over the Dolphins
New England has struggled more than they should but they still are the king of their division.

Lions over the Vikings
Brad Johnson is in a tailspin. Detroit can often be a place to restore lost confidence. But I'm not seeing it this week.

Chiefs over the Ravens
The Ravens should win this but I think Green is healthy now and a field goal will win it.

Titans over the Texans
I believe Vince. I believe.

Bengals over the Raiders
The Raider's defense is much more respectable than their offense so maybe the Bengals won't get a blowout. They should still win comfortably.

Seahawks over the Cardinals
Despite the Cardinal win last week, they aren't fixed yet.

49ers over the Packers
Favre is just going through the motions. He doesn't really want to be there. If they win he's thinking about sticking around. If they lose he sounds really unsure about why he came back. Sounds to me like he needs to retire and end this self imposed roller coaster.

Chargers over the Broncos
The move to Cutler comes too late.

Jets over the Bills
Losman is playing better so even though this should be a win for NY, they can't take Buffalo lightly.

Cowboys over the Saints
I would love to see Brees and Bush dominate this game. But the Dallas D is playing well and Romo is a very confident QB right now.

Bears over the Rams
The Rams defense is the perfect cure for what ails Rex Grossman.

Last Week: 10-5 (66%)

Overall: 127-63 (67%)

Monday, December 04, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 13

You know I just want to make a quick observation about the BCS debacle this year. Even though I would rather watch a Florida/Ohio St. game just to see if the Gators can compete with the Buckeyes, it probably would have been better overall had Michigan got the 2nd slot. Then the SEC would howl again and a major conference like that getting really pissed is what we are going to need for a few years to push the NCAA and college presidents towards a playoff system.

Now for this past weekend's NFL observations:

Cowboys 23 / Giants 20
I can't believe the Cowboys look like the favorite in the NFC right now. I would have laughed in your face if you would have told me that a month and a half ago. But the Cowboys have something the Bears and Seahawks do not right now: Good QB play. Of course Romo is going to be overhyped now because he's on the Cowboys but for the most part QB ratings don't lie. And Romo's QB rating is 102.4 His pass that put the Cowboys in position to kick the go-ahead field goal was a beauty. It makes me want to puke just thinking about it. Martin Gramatica though? I can't believe Parcells thinks Gramatica would be better than Vanderjagt. I mean the "idiot kicker" missed a few kicks this year but there is a reason Gramatica hasn't been able to hold a job the past couple of years. I think Parcells just can't stomach the idea of a kicker making the amount of money Vanderjagt was making. Being an ex-high school kicker (and someone who had a Morten Anderson football card stuck inside my helmet for good luck) I would have to call him a prejudiced son of a bitch. Whew. Glad I got that out of my system. At any rate, even though it is painful for me to say this, the Cowboys look like the team to beat in the NFC right now.

Bengals 13 / Ravens 10
I sure hope the Bengals can make the playoffs. Lets face it, they will be much more interesting than the Chiefs, Jags or Jets. Unless you are a fan of those teams of course. But for the rest of us, the Bengals and possibly the Broncos would be much more entertaining as playoff options.

Chargers 24 / Bills 21
The Chargers are primed for the #1 seed and Tomlinson has solidified his standing as the #1 back in the nation again after sharing (or even losing that title in some people eyes--ok my eyes) to Tiki Barber the last couple of years. He is a TD machine. Merriman is back and his two sacks against the Bills prove there is no rust for him to shake off.

Jets 38 / Packers 10
If NY beats the teams they should (which is the rest of their schedule--Bills, Vikings, Dolphins, Raiders) they will be in the playoffs. That's amazing and a huge surprise for me this season. Mangini ought to be looked at for coach of the year without a doubt. And how about Jerricho Cotchery? The third year WR has made some great catches this season.

Bears 23 / Vikings 13
Wow. Brad Johnson and Rex Grossman had QB ratings of 10.3 and 1.3 respectively. Except that's hardly respectable. It just boggles your mind that both could play as bad as they did on Sunday. If Grossman plays anywhere close to what he did to start the season, the Bears would still be talked about as favorites for the Super Bowl. But if defense wins championships, offenses sure lose a lot of them as well. If Chicago wants to compete in January Grossman better get better in a hurry.

Seahawks 23 / Broncos 20
Damn that Josh Brown. He killed my Rams twice and then he goes and spoils Jay Cutler's debut. Not that he wasn't spoiling it himself. Because he was. He looked bad, cold (of course it was below 20 degrees) , nervous and pretty overwhelmed. We'll see in these next couple of weeks if he can help salvage Denver's season or not. On the other hand the Seahawks are lurking in the NFC. They haven't looked great but if Hasslebeck can take the next couple of games to get back to form then they could be dangerous again in the playoffs. He's the key regardless of how Alexander plays.

Browns 31 / Chiefs 28
I think this loss is going to doom their playoff chances but they could still spoil somebody else's plans. Decent game by Trent Green even in the loss.

Patriots 28 / Lions 21
This is why I think the Patriots can't be written off in the playoffs yet. Brady single handedly won this game with pass after pass in the last two drives. I think he was something like 14 of 15. I still want him on my team if I'm down in the 4th quarter. Of course since I'm a Brady and Patriot hater he'd have to go through some kind of bizarre hazing ritual if he was to join my team. Probably something involving leather dominatrix lingerie, duct tape, and a Barney the dinosaur costume.

Steelers 20 / Bucs 3
I wasn't even remotely interested in this game. Whatever happened to the Carnell "Cadillac" Williams? After an amazing 4 games to start his rookie year he's been non-existent since. I know he's struggled with injuries but still. He sure looks average.

Titans 20 / Colts 17
This would have been a jaw-dropper upset early in the season but the Titans (and Vince Young) have looked pretty decent lately. And we all know now that Indy can't stop anybody's rushing attack. It's going to be the death of them in the playoffs.

Falcons 24 / Redskins 14
The running game is back (256 yards) for Atlanta. It would be cool to see Vick get over 1000 rushing yards this season. He'll never be a complete QB but he's amazing to watch as he flys around the field. I hate to see Dunn get less carries but at his age and with how good Norwood is it's probably for the best.

Jags 24 / Dolphins 10
Jacksonville is the bi-polar team for 2006. They can't decide if they are good or average. It changes week to week and it's going to cost them a playoff spot. Fortunately for them this week they were good again.

Texans 23 / Raiders 14

Saints 34 / 49ers 10
Deuce McAllister had 136 yards, yet Bush gets the headlines. 4 TDs and 131 yards receiving help make that happen. I'm still disappointed with Bush the rusher but there is no denying Bush the receiver is making an impact.

Cardinals 34 / Rams 20
You know, I read Peter King's Monday Morning QB article today and he has some interesting Bill Belichick's quotes that detail the Patriot coach's observations of the Detroit Lion offense. Basically Belichick says it's scary playing a Mike Martz offense because you never know what they are going to do. Yesterday I found myself wishing at times that the Rams new offense had more of Martz in it. I know I have ripped Mike Martz quite a bit (and rightly so--as a head coach he drove me nuts) but he does have some innovative and effective elements of his offense that I think the Rams should try and recapture. And no I'm not talking about taking all 3 timeouts early in the 3rd quarter or leaving your QB unprotected the entire game. Those are things the Lions are welcome to. But the Ram offense is starting to look pretty stagnant and that's a crime with all the talent they have. And defensively? Let's not even go there. They gave up 34 points to the Cardinals. Enough said. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go staple my hand to my desk to ease the pain.

My name is Albert Pujols. I'm a dumb-ass and it's your fault

Albert Pujols is the latest example of an idiot athlete who does something stupid and then wants to point the finger elsewhere. How else to explain his classless and clueless recent comments regarding the MVP debate? As you know, Pujols told media in the Dominican Republic that he felt anybody who didn't go to the playoffs didn't deserve to win the MVP. Specifically he said this: "I see it this way: Someone who doesn't take his team to the playoffs doesn't deserve to win the MVP."

So now that his own words have indicted him as a selfish dumb-ass, he of course is doing some damage control (and failing miserably at it I might add). Now he wants to apologize to Ryan Howard. For what I don't know. He apparently doesn't feel he needs to apologize for his words because even though he said them, he really didn't. Now he says, "I never said he didn't deserve the MVP. He is deserving of that award. He earned it. That's why he got it. I'm not trying to defend myself... ---Check the contradictions here. He said it, but he says he didn't. He's not trying to defend himself yet, he lays the blame for this whole mess at the feet of the media for having the audacity to report his actual words. Feeling he's been unfairly portrayed, he says "The way that came out hurt me big time," "I'm very angry about that." There you go Albert. Now you have Victimology 101 down to a science. Instead of taking responsibility for you own dipshit comments, you are now pissed that they were reported. Hey not only do you defend Barry Bonds (see more stupid comments made this past summer), you've been taking notes. Atta boy.

Friday, December 01, 2006

NFL Picks: Week 13

Like I mentioned in my previous post, we have a new baby in the house now, so my time is limited untill things settle a bit. Thus, I'm just posting picks minus the senseless banter and stupid comments included (stop clapping...I mean it). The only game I won't try to predict the outcome is the Bengal/Ravens game since it already happened (although honestly I would have picked the Bengals --barely because they were home).

Rams over the Cardinals

Bears over the Vikings

Browns over the Chiefs

Chargers over the Bills

Colts over the Titans

Packers over the Jets

Falcons over the Redskins

Patriots over the Lions

Saints over the 49ers

Raiders over the Texans

Jaguars over the Dolphins

Cowboys over the Giants

Steelers over the Bucs

Seahawks over the Broncos

Panthers over the Eagles

Last Week: 12-4 (75%)

Overall: 117-58 (67%)