Picks for the week:
Will this be the first time referees are actually cheered? (at least until the first call goes against Baltimore)
Ravens over the Browns. Congrats to Baltimore for taking down the Patriots last week. Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, last season in the playoffs. Though 2011 is not truly avenged until you can take them out in the postseason. Then I'l be ready to bow to my Joe Flacco Bobblehead. (wait....I have a Flacco bobblehead?. How did that happen?).
Falcons over the Panthers. I have seen nothing so far this season out of Cam Newton and the Panthers to make me want to pick them in this game. Atlanta looks good.
Patriots over the Bills. This game is usually an automatic win on their schedule every season. Of course The Pats have already lost a couple that I thought they would win. A weird season so far.
Lions over the Vikings. Minnesota has looked more consistent and steady than the Lions have. Discipline and consistency has plagued this team for a bit now. Schwarz better right that ship or they'll be starting to talk problems at the top soon. This team has too much talent to be wasting it.
Chiefs over the Chargers. One of my favorite running backs in the league, Jamaal Charles, had a breakout game last week. Give this guy a crease and he can exploit it fast.
Seahawks over the Rams. Imagine if somehow a wildcard playoff spot came down to the last week between Seattle and Green Bay, and because of the win last week the Seahawks grabbed that spot. This ref debacle is not over yet due to the implications down the road.
49ers over the Jets. San Fran was great last year on the road on the East Coast. I think they do it again. The Jets are a mess (what's new huh?).
Texans over the Titans. Last week Tennessee was part of one of the more interesting games of the season (maybe of the decade so far). Crazy plays over 50-60 yards won it for them but that's not sustainable so they are going to need to show that they can grind it out down the field as well. Tough opponent to do that with this week.
Bengals over the Jags. A.J. Green is a beast.
Dolphins over the Cardinals. Upset of the week. Seems weird to say that about the Cardinals.
Broncos over the Raiders. Rivalry game that's lost its fire since Al Davis has died. His son seems a lot more level headed.
Packers over the Saints. This game blows. I like both of these teams and don't want either one to fall into a hole they can't climb out of for the season. Who do I root for? I think that hole gets deeper for the Saints.
One note on the call from Monday night's game. Although it was a bad call, it wasn't the worst call of all time in terms of the play itself. What made it egregious was the terrible timing. The point in the game that it happened (deciding the outcome) and the culmination of bad calls from replacement referees gave the call and aftermath an apocalyptic feeling. And ultimately it gave us regular referees back a week or two earlier (or maybe more). But the call sucked.
Bucs over the Redskins. Not sure what to think of either of these teams. Talented yes. Trustworthy no.
Giants over the Eagles. If I'm Michael Vick, I'm already hurting as I think about the hits I'll take in this game.
Bears over the Cowboys. These two teams (perhaps more than any other two) represent the Jeckyll and Hyde syndrome that some many franchises suffer from. I like Tony Romo and I dislike Jay Cutler so I hope this one goes different than my prediction.
What are we going to whine about this weekend without the replacement referees?.....Oh right.....we'll whine about the real referees.
Last Week: 6-9
Overall: 22-25 (47%)
Saturday, September 22, 2012
WEEK 3 PICKS
Bears over the Rams
Chicago is feeling pretty good about themselves this week after getting Michael Bush in the off-season as another option in the backfield. Forte is injury prone and as much as he resented the Bush signing and the touches Bush will take from him, it was a good move for the Bears. I like Bush; he runs hard and is shiftier than you might think.
Browns over the Bills
I was impressed by Brandon Wheedon's ability to bounce back from a dreadful first start in week 1. He was more than respectable, he was actually pretty good. However, Trent Richardson was more than pretty good; he was awesome and gives Brown fans hope that they've got a star in the backfield. Hope those knees of his are ok.
Cowboys over the Bucs
Which Cowboy team shows up?
Jets over the Dolphins
We don't really have any idea after 2 weeks if these teams are actually any good. They look like probable 7-9 or 6-10 teams. It was nice to see Reggie Bush flash some old moves this past week. Maybe he's right and he just needed the chance and the right situation to thrive.
49ers over the Vikings
San Fran looks like the team to beat early on.
Saints over the Chiefs
What's that odor? ...oh yeah ...that's desperation in the air.
Bengals over the Redskins
They're in D.C. this week and everyone loves Griffin, but maybe Andy Dalton shows last year wasn't a total fluke.
Lions over the Titans
I just want Chris Johnson to shut up.
Colts over the Jags
Where was rookie receiver Blackmon last week? They need to target those insanely huge hands of his.
Eagles over the Cardinals
Am I crazy to think that the Eagles can't play much worse than they have the past two weeks? They don't have to give back their ugly wins. But they should.
Falcons over the Chargers
Norv Turner is 2 and 0 to start the season. Is the apocalypse next?
Texans over the Broncos
Took us only a week to declare Manning old and armless. Should be a roller coaster with him this season as he tries to get the old magic back. I've been watching Manning closely for many years and the criticism of his arm strength and inability to throw effectively past 15-20 yards is a valid one. However, the deep pass has not been his strength for awhile now. His previous two seasons before the injury the Colt offense was essentially a grind it out down the field type team. Albeit that grinding was with 5 yard receiver screens, 10 yard outs, and 15 yard slants instead of a running game, but to rip on Manning for not throwing the deep ball well is to misunderstand where he is as a QB in his career. Yes the neck injury has robbed him of arm strength but I think he would have been done throwing deep effectively regardless. Don't count him out though. Manning will figure out what he can and can't do soon enough and there will be an adjustment. He'll want to do what works. If that's 10 yard hooks then so be it.
Steelers over the Raiders
Biggest surprise of the season for me so far: An ineffective Darren McFadden. He's not injured is he? Because that wouldn't be a surprise.
Patriots over the Ravens
What a pleasant gift it was to see the Cardinals take down the Pats at home last week. How the hell did that happen? In this game it will be the QB who says he's the best in the game (Flacco) against the QB who could legitimately make that claim.
Packers over the Seahawks
I did like how the Pack got Cedric Benson involved last week but it's definitely time for some Green Bay explosiveness don't you think? Nobody throws a prettier deep ball than Aaron Rodgers.
Last Week: 10-6
Overall: 16-16 (.500)
Friday, September 14, 2012
NFL Picks: Week 2
- Packers over the Bears
I saw this one coming. Or at least I've convinced myself of that by now. Good to see the Packers haven't abandoned the run entirely. Cedric Benson got some work in and though Rodgers had to work for it, he looked reasonably good throwing the ball. Not razor sharp but certainly not close to the seeping pile of QB sewage that Cutler was that night. Ouch. Too harsh?.......Nah, it's Jay Cutler.
- Bills over the Chiefs
Rebound opportunity for someone here. Both need it bad after giving their fan bases glimpses of hope over the last couple of years and then snatching that hope away with inconsistent play and by being plagued with untimely injuries. I'm interested if C.J. Spiller can replicate even on a modest scale what he did last week. Both Fitzpatrick and Cassel need to play significantly better or calls for their heads begin Sunday night. They are in Buffalo and it's a toss up for me so I'm going with the home team.
- Bengals over the Browns
--speaking of QBs on the hot seat, Brandon Wheedon, the vet of 1 game, is already being thrown under the bus. A passer rating under 10 as well as being eaten by a giant American flag will do that for you. His flag incident was an ironic and unfortunate metaphor for being swallowed by the opposing defense and expectations of week 1. I'm rooting for you Brandon. You're an older rookie due to your failed baseball career (look for that to be brought up each week till we need to vomit), but hey you took a shot and that's commendable and when it didn't work out you went back to school, got some education and had a great college football career. I like the attitude. Plus you've got a hot wife, What's not to root for?
- Vikings over the Colts.
I really want the Colts to win this. I'll admit it. I'm drinking the kool-aid and I like Andrew Luck. He's humble, hardworking, athletic, and although Jim Irsay doesn't deserve him, I wish him success in Indy. However, I'll concur with my wife that the neckbeard needs to be avoided at all costs this year. Keep that razor handy Andrew. If your significant other is like mine, that crap's got to be shaved before your getting "any".
--Hallelujah for the return of Adrian Peterson. We need the good old days again. 60 yard runs with guys hanging off you...it's not too much to ask for right?
- Panthers over the Saints.
Dangerous game for New Orleans. All these stats are being thrown around right now about 0-2 teams and their lack of success in making the playoffs. Starting off that way is disappointing but if anybody could resurrect a season after that it would be Drew Brees. I've got Cam Newton as a fantasy QB this week so I'm hoping a little home cooking can help him capture some of that rookie 2011 magic.
- Texans at Jags
I'm not sure how good their defense is yet, but if Foster, Schaub, and Johnson are healthy and in sync this should be a Texan victory.
- Raiders over the Dolphins
Oakland without Al Davis isn't as fun to mock. No more Weekend at Bernie Jokes. Maybe we can make fun of the arm that Carson Palmer used to have. He and the Raiders looked sluggish last week.
If the Dolphins weren't breaking in a rookie QB that was mildly heralded during the off-season then they would be about as irrelevant as possible. And that's after spending training camp on HBO's Hard Knocks. Think about it, your every move is watched for weeks on cable and still we don't care. Man do I pine for the glory days of the 80s when I was kid and watching Marino torch defenses with Duper and Clayton as sidekicks. If you have no idea what I'm talking about you need to hit youtube right now and see the 80s version of the 2011 Packers.
- Pats over the CardinalWhat's the line on this? 40 points? Shouldn't be that close.
- Giants over the Bucs
Nice win last week for Tampa but the defending champs are at home and they are still good. At least I think they are. Josh Freeman will be sacked.
- Ravens over the Eagles
Vick and Philly were lucky last week and they know it. They run into Ed Reed and a proud defense this weekend and it will take more than luck to score on them. And is it just me or has Ed Reed looked the same since he came into the league? When healthy he plays the same as he always has.which is to say, freakishly awesome! Far and away my favorite defensive back of all time.
- Redskins over the Rams
Prepare for non-stop RG3 hype. If he starts of with a couple of wins in dominating fashion there will be no end to it. D.C. is due though right? First the Nationals and now the Skins. Griffin is just what they need and he looks to be damn good. Now the Rams get an up close and personal look at what they could have drafted.
- Cowboys over the SeahawksDo I start Jason Witten at TE for my fantasy team? Whats up with his spleen? Of course I'm concerned for his health and not just my fantasy stats. So anyway, could you please score two TDs this week Jason? Thanks. Break a leg....I mean.....
- Steelers over the JetsI saw an article this week that read "Jets and Tebow to take on the Steelers". Wow. Disrespect Mark Sanchez like that at your own risk. He may just dare to have another good game.
- Chargers over the TitansSan Diego's kicker won their game for them last week (with some help from the defense as well) and now they take on a team I have absolutely no feel for. At least with Jeff Fisher I could count on 8-8 most years. These Titans are an enigma to me. I'm banking on less than .500 based on their QB situation, but we'll see.
- 49ers over the Lions
Hard to pick against San Fran right now. Based on the last season and the first game of this season they look good. Real good. Good thing Detroit has Megatron because they'll need somebody freaky like him to beat that defense. I don't think it will happen this week. My biggest excitement over this game is the coach's handshake. Hugs? Punches? Look away while barely touching palms? Can I bet on this?
- Falcons over the BroncosThe Manning hype takes a bit of a dip this week as Atlanta continues with their new offense that Santa left in their stocking this past off-season. Why weren't they targeting Julio Jones more last season??
Sorry for the formatting. I hate the formating tool on this blog. I can't get the spacing right between bullet points. It messes with it when publishing.
Last Season: 154-98 (61%)
Last Week: 6-10. Yikes.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
NFL 2012: FinallyI'm back and so is Football! The sweet smell of pigskin and perspiration is in the air (the latter being not so sweet). I always wonder how I survive the long dreary and dry months between seasons. NFL news and the draft just don't do it for me especially when the news is full of concussion related stuff (the scary reality of the nature of this sport is too much for me. I want blissful ignorance). Anyway, I'm ready for some football and I have some things I'll be watching out for in this coming NFL season.
- Will Payton Manning's neck snap and will his head fall off? This is the most cringeworthy story to watch. Every game he gets hit I'll be watching for signs of problems. Now that he's in Denver I'll see more of his games since I'm in the Mountain time zone. I used to be upset that my AFC Sunday afternoon game was always Denver. Now I'll be morbidly interested in these games.
- Which rookie quarterbacks will play well and which ones will be yanked or knocked out the fastest? I like Wilson in Seattle.Reminds me of Drew Brees. I'm interested in Luck and Griffin.Will the talent we saw last year in those guys shine this year? The speed of the NFL often turns good looking college QBs into sniveling piles of crappy signal callers. Think back to the fantastic college careers of Vince Young and Matt Leinart. Now think of their NFL careers. Yikes. The two that I'm guessing will crash and burn the fastest are Tannehill and Weeden. But the games have yet to be played and maybe they'll surprise me.
- Will 5,000 yards be as easy as it was last year? Brady, Stafford, Brees all got there and others came close. I like the passing game a lot but it is getting ridiculous out there.
- How fast will my Rams regret not taking Griffin III once Sam Bradford takes the field. One game? Two? The idea on passing on Griffin was that Bradford just needs a team around him and that last year was an anomaly. But have you watched him pass the ball in the past year and a half? It's ugly. He's inaccurate and skittish. I'm doubtful that he can become what he's hope to be.
- Will Justin Blackmon become a TD beast or a TD bust? Some of the most amazing catches I've ever seen in college came from this guy. He's not super tall but his arms are freakishly long. He'll play longer than he is.
- Can Austin Collie stay on the field? Not a major story for all, but since I've followed him since college I'm on the Austin Collie head watch as well. That guy has the worst luck with the angle of hits. He was on his way to being a breakout receiver for Manning two years ago and then the Colt horseshoe became unlucky for him. Manning was done in Indy just as he was becoming his favorite target and then concussions came one after another. Now he's one head shot away from retirement in his 20s.
- Who will claim title as best back this year? It's gone back and forth past few years. Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Arian Foster, Maurice Jones Drew. Most of the time rushing yards can tell you who had the best year but it's not necessarily the rushing champion who always has the best year. If the Back has lots of yards and blows everyone away with yards per average and TDs then that's a better indication of his prowess. Lots of contenders this year. The group mentioned above of course as well as Jamaal Charles (high yds per carry), Matt Forte, Steven Jackson, Murray, Lynch, and some other sleepers could make a run for it. I think Foster and Charles if they stay healthy have the best shot this season.
- Is it another monster season for Tight Ends? Gronkowski and Graham had breakout years last year with wide receiver numbers. Those two firmly yanked the title of best tight ends in the game from Antonio Gates, Jason Witten, and Tony Gonzalez (who are still good but are a bit older and show some signs of fading).
- Will Revis Island still rule in NY? Revis is the best corner I've seen in a long time but their window for dominance is short unless your name is Deion Sanders or Darrell Green.
- Will this be a weird year where the Baltimore offense is better than their defense? I'm not sure how long Lewis and Reed can anchor that defense and keep it dominant.
- Will Ndamukong Suh avoid the wrong kind of headlines this year? That guy was the definition of bad press last year.
Should be fun again this year.
Picks for the first week:
Giants over Cowboys (oops)
Bears over the Colts
Lions over the Rams
Eagles over the Browns
Patriots over the Titans (the Pats have a ridiculously easy schedule.....Again.!)
Chiefs over the Falcons
Vikings over the Jags
Saints over the Redskins
Bills over the Jets
Texans over the Dolphins
Packers over the 49ers
Seahawks over the Cardinals
Panthers over the Bucs
Steelers over the Brocos
Bengals over the Ravens
Raiders over the Chargers
Predictions for the year. It will be funny to look at these a few months from now.
NFC East: Giants
NFC North: Packers
NFC South: Saints
NFC West: 49ers
AFC East: Patriots
AFC North: Steelers
AFC South: Houston
AFC West: Denver (if Manning's healthy, if not this is the worst pick of the bunch).
NFC Wild Cards: Cowboys, Bears
AFC Wild Cards: Ravens, Raiders
Super Bowl: Patriots vs. Packers. Packers the winner.