Saturday, December 27, 2008

NFL Picks: Week 17

Last Week: 9-7
Overall:155-84 (65%)

This week's picks:

Falcons over the Rams
I wore a bag over my head to the family Christmas party.

Patriots over the Bills
This is an automatic win for the Pats every year

Chiefs over the Bengals
Will a victory help Herm keep his job? I don't know but Marvin Lewis is probably safe with his gig no matter what. The reasons behind that type of thinking are why the Bengals suck every year. This is after all the team that brought back the talented but habitual screw-up, Chris Henry.

Packers over the Lions
Detroit is desperate to win a game but the Pack should be desperate to avoid losing to a 0-15 team.

Titans over the Colts
This one's a toss up really because both teams have their playoff positions set. So do their starters play all game or what?

Saints over the Panthers
I'm a very big Drew Brees fan but I don't want to see him take Dan Marino's passing yards record with the so-so year the Saints have had. It doesn't mean as much.

Steelers over the Browns
Last year was such a tease for Browns fans. Now it's back to the usual.

Bucs over the Raiders
Gruden gets motivated against the Raiders still doesn't he?

Texans over the Bears
I give up on picking these teams. They both lose or win games they shouldn't.

Ravens over the Jags
I really like Ed Reed. One of my favorite defensive players of all time.

Redskins over the 49ers
Singletary is the man now. Good luck dude.

Dolphins over the Jets
I usually root for Favre because I like him. But seriously, who's been more likable this year, the classy and resilient Pennington, or the erratic and increasingly annoying Favre?

Cowboys over the Eagles
It's tough to tell who will self-destruct in this game, Romo or McNabb. I guess I'll go with the latter.

Cardinals over the Seahawks
Don't care.

Chargers over the Broncos
Rivalry game at it's best. These teams hate each other so this should be good.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

NFL Picks: Week 16

Last Week: 9-7
Overall: 146-77 (65%)

This week's picks:

Colts over the Jags
The Jags are at home and the Colts are not dominant so this may turn out in favor of Jacksonville. However, it's hard to go with a team that has played so badly this year.

Cowboys over the Ravens
Too much T.O. talk as usual in the press. He gets a hugely disproportionate amount of attention for the talent he has. He is at times a great receiver. He has never been the best receiver in the game. Never. He is a narcissist and unfortunately we give him what he wants: attention. Look-- I'm even writing about him now. I'm part of the problem. I like Tony Romo, I like Whitten, I like Patrick Crayton, and Marion Barber. But I can't embrace my former favorite team (from childhood and teens) with Owens running the asylum. Jerry Jones may think he's in control of this franchise but the only thing he's in control of, besides an extremely creepy face, is turning his teams into dysfunctional madhouses with his personnel decisions.

Jets over the Seahawks
More "I might retire comments" from Favre? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Giants over the Panthers
NY might be in an offensive crisis if Eli doesn't pick up the slack for his suddenly unreliable receivers. If he has to do this without Plaxico, then so be it. The Panthers have won a ton of games this season and I still don't know what to think of them.

Patriots over the Cardinals
Cassel shreds another so-so team. I don't know if he's really good or a system QB. If their system is that good why don't my Rams start using it. Oh yeah-- because they have no leadership on the team, on the coaching staff, in their management or ownership. Hmm that sounds like a high draft pick to me. Bring on the losses at this point. I'm officially rooting for the top pick, but since the Lions are a lock for that, I'm hoping for number 2.

49ers over the Rams
see above.

Falcons over the Vikings
Peterson is hurting with that ankle and though the Viking defense will stifle Ryan and Turner a bit, I sense an eked out victory here for the Dirty Birds. Of course my senses are a little off right now based on a batch of chili I downed for lunch. Where is that orange spray when you need it?

Texans over the Raiders
I think it would be cool for the Texans to finish above .500 this year. I think any bad thing that can befall the Raiders in a football sense is also a good thing. Oakland (Al Davis) deserves all the bad karma he can get after giving away Randy Moss to the Evil Empire.

Dolphins over the Chiefs
Is the firing over in K.C.? Their G.M. isn't the only problem.

Titans over the Steelers
I'm torn over this pick. I think Kerry Collins has had an amazing season, but I don't trust him. Haynesworth is out but I think they come after Roethlisberger and every body's new fave team will lose a tough and defensive game.

Lions over the Saints
Detroit isn't going to win next week in Green Bay. So this is the shot they have to avoid total defeat for the season. 0-16 cannot happen in today's NFL. At least it shouldn't. Jim Rome may have a dream but I think he may be disappointed because I believe the Lions may just surprise the very up and down Saints.

Broncos over the Bills
Is Cutler really Pro Bowl material? He should be playing the Bills

Bengals over the Browns
I'm not sure why.

Bucs over the Chargers
ditto. by the way, how does Philip Rivers have such good stats this year and his team is so bad? I would be interested in his 4th quarter stats and 3rd down stats. It can't just be the running game and defense that has left San Diego in shambles this year.

Eagles over the Redskins
I don't think McNabb is a great QB. I've watched too many Eagle's games this year to be swayed otherwise. His receiver's body language when he throws a ball in the dirt or way over their head in critical situations is very interesting. What their body language doesn't say is, "wow, how did that happen?", --Nope--it's more like, "not again, (sigh)". That doesn't mean he can't have an amazing game occasionally. He had a good game against the Giants and the talent has always been obvious with him, but I just don't trust the guy to make the right throw when he has to. I do think he'll play ok against the Skins and get Philly closer to almost making the playoffs this year.

Bears over the Packers
What a disastrous season for the Pack. If they can improve on defense next season I think things will improve.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pro-Bowl Voting: The Skill Positions

So Pro Bowl announcements came out today. In my opinion, the Pro Bowl is the most irrelevant of all the major sports all star games. That may change if they go forward with the plan to hold the Pro Bowl the week before the Super Bowl. That would make it far more interesting and give us something else to talk about in those insanely long two weeks before the big game. Still they need to do something about how the voting is done on this thing. First of all it's crazy to have the rosters done 2 weeks before the season is finished. I could maybe see the argument with setting the team before the last game is played, with a few teams resting starters that week,--- but in reality, what makes the first game of the season anymore important than the last game of the season for Pro Bowl voting. You can make a strong case that many of the last games that have playoff implications are more indicative of how crucial a player and his stats are to a team. Anyhoo, as far as the skill positions go for the Pro Bowl I wanted to make a couple of comments about how the rosters filled out.


Quarterback: Kurt Warner, Drew Brees, & Eli Manning
Not a lot of argument from me here. Warner played crappy competition all year but his stats are great and you simply can't keep him out with him being 2nd in yards, QB rating, TDs and first in completion percentage. I agree with the Brees selection as well. Even though his team sucked this year, they are at least at .500 and this game should recognize individual success when it is outstanding as well as team success. On that point, Manning's selection I can see because his team was great, he was the leader of that team and his stats were very good (not great though). I could also see an argument for Matt Ryan or Tony Romo based on very good stats and fairly decent team success. Others might tout Aaron Rodgers, Jeff Garcia, Jake Delhomme, or McNabb but they are weaker arguments based on their stats, recent benchings (that's you Donovan) and in the case of Rodgers, his team's lack of success.

Receivers: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith, & Roddy White
Fitzgerald and Boldin are solid picks here with almost 90 receptions each and over 1000 yards. Calvin Johnson has more yards than Boldin but only by about 100 yards and remember Boldin missed games with that awful facial injury. Roddy White also deserves a spot based on his receptions and yards. The 4th pick is in my mind a little debatable but I think it's the right one. Steve Smith is 2nd in yards, and is 1st in yards per game, being the only guy over 100 ypg. Antonio Bryant has a case here being 4th in catches, and over 1000 yards, and Calvin Johnson and Greg Jennings could argue they belong as well. Bottom line is I think the 4 selected are the right ones based on what they have done to this point.

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner, & Clinton Portis
Peterson is the best back in football (having ripped that title from Tomlinson last year) and Turner and Portis join him in the top 3 for rushing yards. Turner has 15 TDs, tops among NFC running backs and again not to bash Tomlinson, but MT has been better than LT among the two former teamates. Here is where I think early voting screws some guys. I actually might take Deangelo Williams of the Panthers over Clinton Portis based on how Williams is surging and how he is responsible for much of his team's late season success. He may end up with more yards that Portis and his average yard per rush is 5.5, almost a full yard above Portis. Brandon Jacobs, Ryan Grant and Matt Forte also could make a claim here, with probably Jacobs having the best case if he wasn't hurt.

Tight Ends: Jason Whitten, Chris Cooley
There isn't anybody close to these guys in receiving yards so they are obvious selections. Blocking is important but you need catches to be known as an all-star Tight End.


Quarterbacks: Payton Manning, Brett Favre, & Jay Cutler
The way Manning started the season I would have bet this was one year he wasn't going to make it. But he's pulled it together as of late and ranks high in most categories so I think he's a good choice here. Cutler has the most yards passing and Favre has the best completion percentage so they are both worthy candidates for the Pro Bowl. Philip Rivers has the best QB rating and very good stats but the disappointment of the Chargers is even worse for me than Brees and the Saints debacle this year. So I really do think Cutler deserves the nod over him. Plus Rivers is such a punk it probably really bugs him Cutler got in and that's ok with me too. I think Chad Pennington has a case to make too and I'd probably go with him over Favre this year based on consistency. What a weird thing that he is dumped by the Jets and he goes out and has a great year for the Dolphins. I wonder if the Jets regret it at all? Probably not because Pennington had plenty of years to prove something to them and he basically had one great year earlier in the decade and then a whole lot of injured or crappy years. Also weird is that I could see someone making the argument that Matt Cassel should get some thoughts here for the Prow Bowl. I think he has played brilliantly for most of the year and whether it's him, the system, Moss & Welker, or just plain luck, you can't argue with the results.

Receievers: Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker
Johnson and Welker are no brainers here with both having over 100 receptions and over 1000 yards. Marshall and Reggie Wayne also make sense because they are the only other receivers over 1000 yards at this point. However, you could make some noise for T.J. Houshmandzadeh who has pulled in nearly 1000 yards and has over 90 catches compared to Reggie Waynes 72 grabs. I think Houshamwhatshisname is more deserving than Wayne even though I like the Colt's receiver much more. Randy Moss is having another decent year also with 10 TDs and over 900 yards but he'll have to wait until Brady is back for his trip.

Running Backs: Thomas Jones, Chris Johnson, & Ronnie Brown.
How does Ronnie Brown get on this list? The only thing I can think of is that all those wildcat formation highlights he starred in must have swayed some people. Steve Slaton absolutely deserved to be one of these guys. He's third in yards with over 1100 (Brown barely has over 800 yards), and he's averaging 4.9 yards a carry compared to Brown's 4.2 yards. This pick is a joke. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. I get Jones and Johnson, both whose leading rushing yard totals and yards per carry and TDs easily get them the nod here. I just don't see Ronnie Brown here.

TE: Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates
These are almost automatic picks right. You don't even have to think about. But you should, Owen Daniels of the Texans and Dallas Clark both have more receiving yards and catches. I think this year Dallas Clark is the guy that should go instead of Gates. His big catches have saved the Colts season and he's one of the main reasons they have won so many close games.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NFL Picks: Week 15

Last week's picks: 12-4
Overall: 137-70 (66%)

This week's picks:
Bears over the Saints
at Chicago, cold weather game. Looks like it favors the Bears right? Plus the Saints have been more up and down this year than my 2 year old daughter in the middle of the night. And that's saying a lot.

Falcons over the Bucs
I like the Falcons to rebound here from last week's loss to the Saints. It's not that I don't think the Bucs are good because they are, but so is Atlanta. In fact this division might be the best in the NFL. We would have laughed about that before the season started. Having said that, the teams are very good, but I don't think a Super Bowl candidate comes out of the division.

Giants over the Cowboys
I do think Plaxico Burress is a good fit for the Giants (at least on the field), so they will be hurt by his absence come playoff time, but last week's loss should be enough to motivate them for the final stretch.

Lions over the Colts. ....No seriously, that would be wild though wouldn't it. Upset of the year. But I'd have to be smoking something to make that pick. Back to reality....
Colts over the Lions

Chargers over the Chiefs
Both head coaches should be fired after the season. Reports indicate both will be back in 09. Yay. Look forward to more mis-management of games and heavy disappointment K.C. and San Diego.

Patriots over the Raiders
Is Cassel healthy this week? It shouldn't matter.

Seahawks over the Rams
These two were the class of the NFC west a few years ago. It's got to be embarrassing when the Cardinals wrap this thing up so early.

Redskins over the Bengals
Cincinnati is the right medicine for the Skins. The Bengals are more dysfunctional than they are so they have that going for them. Which is nice.

Dolphins over the 49ers
The 49ers have won a few games I didn't they would. This is another that I'm not picking them for.

Jets over the Bills
if NY can't win this game then they are dead for the season.

Cardinals over the Vikings
I see Peterson having a decent day but ultimately the receivers for the Cardinals will be too much for the Vikes.

Broncos over the Panthers
I can't believe I'm picking the unbelievably inconsistent Broncos over the fairly consistent Panthers. And the Panthers are at home! But every week there is a team or two that do the inexplicable.

Packers over the Jags
I've picked the Pack a lot and they have lost a lot. Both these teams are really disappointing this season. I should pick the Jags at home to run all over the defenseless Packers. Except the Jags can't run or throw the ball.

Ravens over the Steelers
another mild upset.

Titans over the Texans
I'm interested to see how the Titans handle the end of the season.

Eagles over the Browns
sometimes the Eagles struggle with games like this. Maybe not this week.

Monday, December 01, 2008

NFL Picks: Week 14

Last week: 11-5
Overall: 125-66 (65%)

This weeks picks:

Chargers over the Raiders
Sand Diego has no pride and no heart left if they lose this game.

Dolphins over the Blue Jays....I mean Bills.
So they are in Toronto. Big Deal. If I was a Bill I'd be all for an indoor game in December.

Bears over the Jags
Jacksonville is lost and I don't really trust the Bears. It's a toss up.

Broncos over the Chiefs
Time for some consistency Denver. Otherwise Mike Shanahan's eyes are going to pop out of his head. .....Oh wait, that that already happened......never mind.

Vikings over the Lions
They may lose a couple of suspended offensive lineman and that's bad news for a running team. Whether they have them for the Lions or not shouldn't matter.

Packers over the Texans
I can't believe I'm picking the Pack with the crappy run defense they have exhibited this year. And Steve Slaton is coming to town to boot. He's a good rookie runner but ultimately the Texans have been even more inconsistent than the Packers this year.

Titans over the Browns
Who's Cleveland's QB now? I forget. Why not fly in Vinny Testeverde. He played for the Browns at one point in his career didn't he?

Colts over the Bengals
Indy is winning ugly and Peter King of is touting Payton Manning as a leading candidate for MVP this year. Too many lattes for Mr. King because he's thinking of the wrong Manning. As good as the defense and run game has been for the Giants this season, Eli should be getting some love for his play as well.

Falcons over the Saints
New Orleans is putting together another underachieving season and the Falcons are overachieving. I have a man crush on Matt Ryan. Why didn't my Rams draft him? (sticking my head in an oven right now). speaking of which....

Cardinals over the Rams
Kurt Warner comes back to torch his former team again. The team that he totally took to the heights of NFL glory and then just as rapidly took to NFL mediocrity with his fumbling/broken thumbs/and ghastly interceptions. He's pulled himself back together in the past few years but he is still as likely to lose a game all by himself as fast as he can win one all by himself. This week he'll do the latter.

Giants over the Eagles
One team wins the tough ones and one loses the tough ones. Don't go straining anything while deciphering which one is which here.

Steelers over the Cowboys
Pittsburgh is going to pop the Dallas receivers and pressure Romo into mistakes. I think.

Jets over the 49ers
It's not time for a late season NY collapse is it? I hope Favre can pull it together this week.

Pats over the Seahawks
New England has the Raiders, Cardinals, & Bills after this. They should easily end up 11-5 and into the playoffs. Not bad for a Brady-less team. That should earn the serial killer look-alike/hoodie wearing Belichick a few coach of the year votes

Ravens over the Redskins
another decent rookie QB this year and another year of Redskin owner Daniel Snyder eating through his limo's leather seats after a disappointing loss. It's just a game Dan, relax.

Panthers over the Bucs
both are 9-3 and teams you probably won't trust either one to make it out of the first round in the playoffs. Carolina is at home so I'm going with them this week.