Sunday, September 22, 2013

NFL Picks 2013: Week 3

Eagles over the Chiefs
-Got this one wrong. I know Vick is vulnerable physically when he runs but I actually thought he should have run more Thursday night. The strong armed QB can throw a beautiful ball but more often than not he just doesn't have an accurate touch. On the other side, Alex Smith is what everyone says he is: a game manager. You can win games that way and occasionally if your defense is great enough you can even win a Super Bowl (Trent Dilfer). I don't think that the Chiefs are heading that way but after having only one winning season in the last five years.  9-7, 10-6, or even 8-8 will probably feel pretty good.

Packers over the Bengals
This will be a tough one. The Bengals are a good team and I"m still not sure how good the Packer defense is.

Cowboys over the Rams
The Rams should find a way to get the ball to Tavon Austin. Watch his college Youtube highlights. Give him a little space and he's ridiculous. Unfortunately for the Rams, Dallas has their own freak in Dez Bryant.

Titans over the Chargers
If the Titans can put pressure on Rivers, he and the Chargers are toast. Rivers moves like his feet are in cement.

Vikings over the Browns
A tanking Browns team is just what the doctored ordered for Minnesota. The Vikings struggle to pass and this year they'll struggle to run it. That's relative of course, they're used to Peterson running wild but there's no way he's getting 2,000 yards this year. In fact he may not get to 1500 yards. He's still the best back in the game, but as teams continue to stack the box yards will be tough to come by unless Ponder can make plays in the passing game.

Patriots over the Bucs
I'm interested to see if Revis and the Bucs secondary can limit Brady's passing. His own receivers have been doing a pretty good job of that lately.

Saints over the Cardinals. 
Brees is at times a little too greedy down field but it's hard to argue with his decision making when he just keeps moving that Saints offense with precision.

Redskins over the Lions
The pass rush of Detroit will force Griffin outside of the pocket and he'll do some damage that way.

Giants over the Panthers
Inconsistency meets it's match.

Texans over the Ravens
I'm just not sure Flacco has enough weapons anymore.

Falcons over the Dolphins
Miami is tougher than I thought. That should keep the game interesting.

Bills over the Jets
Wouldn't it be cool if E.J. Manuel turns out to be good. We actually won't know that for a bit though. I mean remember when we thought Mark Sanchez was a good QB?

49ers over the Colts
The Richardson deal is the story of the season so far but the excitement in Indy will fade quickly if it turns out Cleveland let him go for a reason.

Seahawks over the Jags
Who would have thunk it? The Seahawks elite. It's early but they sure look like a top 3 team in the league.

Bears over the Steelers
I'm wanting my Pittsburgh Super Bowl pick back now. The Steelers look terrible and old.

Manning (I mean the Broncos) over the Raiders
Keeping Manning upright will be a challenge without Clady protecting his blindside. If I was Oakland I'd send the kitchen sink.

Friday, September 06, 2013

NFL 2013 Picks: Week 1

Broncos over the Ravens
I didn't see 7 touchdowns, but I did think Manning might come out strong. 

Patriots over the Bills
Please. It's over already.

Bengals over the Bears
Intriguing game. The Bears have talent, as do the Bengals. Can either offense be consistent against a good defense? This may be low scoring.

Browns over the Dolphins
When the only reason to tune in at all is because you have a fantasy player (Trent Richardson for me)-- you know you've been bad for awhile. Congrats Cleveland and Miami,  I'm nominating you for least interesting game of the week. 

Saints over the Falcons
Maybe the most interesting game here. Rivals, Old king of the hood against new king of the hood. 

Bucs over the Jets
Almost mirrors the Cleveland game in interest, except the Bucs have some players that might be fun to watch --or at least see if they will finally emerge (ehem..Josh Fremman).  Doug Martin and Revis are worth keeping an eye on in this one. 

Steelers over the Titans
It seems like the Steelers have hung around for a few years without really getting bad or great. It's time to make a decision here guys. I think they'll be good and challenge for the Super Bowl but a precipitous decline wouldn't surprise me either. 

Lions over the Vikings
I'm excited to see what Reggie Bush can do with the Lions. He won't rival number 28 on the purple side,... but then who can? Peterson wants not just 2,000 yards this year but 2,500 yards.  He's the best but I don't think another 2K is in the cards this season. 

Colts over the Raiders
Luck will be in a shorter passing scheme this year. How will that look?  Probably boring but maybe that will be better for him in terms of cutting down interceptions. His Stanford days were efficient in a similar system but I thought it was a snoozefest at times. If they want the power running game to fly can they do it with their two unknown and unproven running back?  I'm doubtful. 

Seahawks over the Panthers
I predict some read option here. Mind blowing the powers I can marshall at times --isn't it?

Chiefs over the Jags
Alex Smith will check down a few times but Andy Reid should be good for him. The guy was pretty damn good last year before he lost the job to Kapernick. Anything's better than what has been passing for QB in K.C. 

Rams over the Cardinals
Tavon Austin ....please breath life into Sam Bradford for the sake of an old Ram fan-- who often forgets he was a Ram fan.  It may be difficult but I've watched your highlights and I believe. Or at least I want to. 

49ers over the Packers
This game on paper looks awesome. 

Giants over the Cowboys
Traditional rivalries. I like this for an opening salvo. The Cowboys may surprise us and Jerry Jones will certainly continue to creep us out. Good times. 

Redskins over the Eagles
This game is in my top 3 most anticipated of the week. RGIII against a Chip Kelly offense led by Vick. Bring it on!

Texans over the Chargers
I'm most interested to see if J.J. Watt can continue to dominate. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

NFL 2013 Predictions

Attempting to forecast the NFL is a bit like trying to predict the behavior of Miley Crus. In short it can be ugly and crazy. By the way, I found it interesting that sports fans and Miley share a love for the iconic # 1 foam fingers. Different uses...but still.  Anyway, the NFL never fails to surprise as I'm sure there will be both teams that step up and those that disappoint this year. However, I do think that barring injury to their QBs there a few teams that are near locks to make the playoffs.
  •  Aaron Rodger's Packers have only failed to make the playoffs once with him at the helm (his first year starting). Maybe they're due for a down year, but I doubt it. 
  • The Pats with the golden boy are in again by a mile. Tom Brady is more responsible for the last decade of Patriot success than Bill Belichick. I'm not saying Belichick wouldn't have won in New England but I feel fairly confident in saying that he wouldn't still be there today without the Hall of Famer at QB.  He doesn't have the personality to weather the lean years. A couple of down years (a certainty with a mediocre QB) and the combination of surliness and non-cooperative attitude would have gotten him fired for sure. 

Here's who I'm picking for Division winners.

AFC East: Patriots...they play with the Bills, Dolphins, & Jets.(sigh). Next to the fact that the Patriots are a very well run organization (from owner to probably the janitors), you can't underestimate the significance of playing against cupcakes in your division for a decade. Think about that. How would it be to totally discount your entire division year in and year out when you evaluate potential obstacles for a Super Bowl run. It's probably the most overlooked aspect of Patriot success during the Belichick era. 

AFC North: Bengals. Maybe too trendy here. The Steelers and Ravens are sure to contend too. Andy Dalton has to progress this year for it to happen but he's got a receiver in A.J. Green that rivals Calvin Johnson in talent. And I really liked the Cincy defense last year. They more than anything carried the team down the stretch and into the playoffs. 

AFC South: Colts. I want to say the Texans but the potential of Andrew Luck is tantalizing.

AFC West: Broncos. Maning, if healthy is the difference between the Broncos making the playoffs or not. His 2012 season, especially after sitting a year, is in my opinion one of the most incredible QB seasons of all time. And that's saying something considering what we're seeing at the position now.

NFC East: Giants. What crap shoot. This division has the potential to be the best in the league. A Chip Kelly Eagle offense is something that is a must see for me early in the season. The Redskin's Griffin III could be both better and worse at the same time if he limits his running. Dallas is always hanging around (for better or worse). But overall NY seems to me like they may get back on top this year. 

NFC North: Packers. Detroit, Chicago & Minnesota have potential to win this thing but I see more question marks in terms of inconsistency with all of them compared to Green Bay.

NFC South: Saints. Rebound year. I may be crazy since the Falcons are on paper the better team (and by better team I mean they actually have a defense). But who knows, maybe Sean Payton really is that valuable. 

NFC West: 49ers. Should be a battle between the 49ers and Hawks. Too bad Harbough and Caroll can't engage in single combat for division supremacy ......(for you Game of Thrones nerds). 

Super Bowl: I would have never picked the Ravens last year so I figure my pick is as good or bad as anyone else's pick (please don't tell me you saw Joe Flacco's 2012 brillance in the playoff coming....I won't believe you if you do). I would love to see the Rams seriously compete (doubtful with the brutal division they are in) and I wouldn't mind seeing the Broncos, Colts, Saints or Packers win it all, but I'll say it will be a battle of wildcards, the Seahawks over the Steelers.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

NFL 2013 Anticipation

Which NFL player or players will give us a truly amazing season in 2013?  We've seen crazy numbers and historic seasons in recent years.  In this run of history there have been great defensive players emerge to be sure, but offensive players will continue to rule the league as the NFL gives us hurry up offenses, mobile QBs, and new rules emphasizing safety and less physicality by defensive backs. I'm salivating just thinking about the possibilities this season. We're seeing a large number of Hall of Famers in their prime! They'll be talking about these guys for decades to come. and some will be in the argument for "best of all time" at their position. Peterson, Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, etc.  ..I mean the list goes on. That doesn't even include the possible legends in the making such as cornerback Richard Sherman (as annoying as he is), D-lineman J.J. Watts, and quarterbacks Luck, Griffin, and Wilson.

 I just hope Chris Johnson of the Titans doesn't have a resurgent year. I hate that guy.

Lots of great storylines to watch. As Bart Scott says, "Can't Wait"!

Individually which guys are you most excited to see play this year?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lebron Hate Fading. Apocalypse Near.

What happened to the Lebron Hate? Is it not possible to admire his skill and still hate him?

It is. I'm proof.

 I saw an ESPN poll today that showed 48% of the country was rooting for the Heat to break the record of most consecutive victories.

What has this nation come to? We really are going to hell in a handbasket. Bunch of bandwagoners. Everybody's ready to crown Lebron the greatest ever before his career is half over. He may come to be what ESPN has decided he is now.  But that day is not here yet.

Admire the skill. Lebron is a freak.

He's also still a douche.

For me the hate is still alive. Amen.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

NFL Conference Championship Weekend

Fascinating weekend. Two Harbough brothers now will be coaching in the Super Bowl against each other. That story will be played to death by midweek. On the other hand, you have to admit it's pretty amazing. I think I like the elder brother a bit more. Baltimore's John H. seems a bit more in control. Jim's a spaz at times. Are we still using "spaz" in the lexicon of today's language? I'm a child of the 80's so it seems appropriate. Anyway, you have to be impressed by the way the 49ers and Ravens have been coached the past couple of years. They are fairly disciplined and tough and when their players are on, they are a tough to beat. Joe Flacco was certainly "on" this past weekend. Ray Rice was solid, Kaepernick continues to impress, and the defenses for both squads bent at times but didn't break. I wouldn't have put either team in the Super Bowl at mid-season (hell, I didn't have the Ravens there as of yesterday morning) but they are the last two standing.... and good for them. I really thought the Packers, the Seahawks, Patriots, or the Broncos may end up in the big game but all made critical errors that sank their chances.
     I'm shocked with the play of Joe Flacco most of all. He has the most road playoff wins by a QB...ever.  You would in no way say he's a better QB than Payton Manning, but it's absolutely legitimate to say he's been a better playoff QB than Manning. Even in Manning's Super Bowl year he wasn't at the top of his game. Flacco has a chance to further his reputation as a playoff warrior by taking down San Fran's secondary in a couple of weeks.
    I need to also say how shocked I am at the Patriots play yesterday. Brady looked, dare we say it, ...average. Does taking Gronkowski out of the lineup really make them attack that much less? The whole season they were relentless in their offensive approach, yet yesterday they were much less aggressive. Even Belichick who is normally a go for it kind of guy on 4th down, punted twice inside the Raven's 40 yard line. Belichick has taken heat for it when it hasn't worked in the past but in this case he should take some heat for not being more attacking. They punted at the Ravens 36 yard line! Either something was wrong with their kicker or something was wrong with Brady. Otherwise I can't explain why the Patriots were playing not to lose. That's not their "m.o" usually. Again, shocking to see what happened in Foxborro.

    I'm looking forward to the Super Bowl. I' don't have a dog in the fight so I'll just be rooting for a competitive offensive style game.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lies we Tell: Manti Teo and Lance Armstrong.

I found it interesting that yesterday Lance Amstrong admits to doping and bullying others and yet he's bumped in the news by the Manti Te'o story. Check the headlines yesterday and today. Te'o is usually listed first and Armstrong second.  I realize the news leaked earlier that Armstrong had doped but still the actual interview played yesterday. One guy told us lies either for 2 days, a few weeks, or at most a few months. The other guy told us lies for over a decade. And then he tried to obliterate anyone who challenged his lies.
One guy had a fake girlfriend. The other guy had 7 fake Tour De France titles.  I know the Armstrong story is still big.....but to be 2nd tier in the news to a dude who is most likely more dumb than he is complicit seems weird.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Crap

Ofer. A word to describe the fact that  I was 0/4 with the teams I wanted to win this weekend in the NFL playoffs.   Dammit. Teams that shouldn't be in the next round are there due to some silly plays and even screwier decision making. Seattle goes stupid in the first half and then can't defend the field in the last 30 seconds. Unless you're a Falcon fan can you honestly say that Atlanta is better than Seattle? I don't believe so. The Broncos could and should have done the same thing the Falcons did but instead chose the chicken route and take a knee with 30 seconds left. I know Manning had not been at his best and the conditions were icy cold. Still, show some balls and try to win the game! How do you know you even get the ball back in overtime? That's at least as risky as trying to win it with less than a minute left.

    And can we agree that Payton Manning might be one of the greatest QBs of all time but that he's one of the worst big game QBs in playoff history?  His game wasn't the worst I've seen out of him but I've watched a lot of Payton Manning playoff games, and the same pattern crops up: He's hurried by a well prepared defense and he never gets into a groove, usually leading to him throwing interceptions or fumbling. It's like a broken record. Why did I become such a fan of his?  I should have gone to the dark side and become a Tom Brady fan.   ooh. Slap my face for saying that. That reminds me, the Patriots win was the most predictable of all. They'll be in the Super Bowl again even though you should give the Ravens a puncher's chance since they probably should have beaten them last year in the playoffs.  Still, you trust Joe Flacco? Not me.

   Hopefully the Pats will end up against a team that can beat them. Maybe that's the 49ers. They've done it before. I would rather have seen the Packers have the chance to destroy Atlanta and then play New England but to be honest the Pack probably would have lost to the Patriots. The 49ers may lose as well but we'd at least have hope going into the big game. You won't get that if it's Atlanta in the Super Bowl.

    So a crappy weekend ends and I'm hoping for better results next week.  My hope: San Fran over Atlanta and Baltimore over New England. My prediction: The Pats and 49ers in the Super Bowl. That will give us a couple of weeks to discuss who is smarter, Bellichick or Harbough. Awesome.

Monday, January 07, 2013

We're in College Football Hell

It doesn't get any worse than this. Alabama again. I hate that team. I hate that coach. I'm a hater at times but how can you like Alabama unless you're from Alabama?  Let's face it, a playoff system can't come soon enough. Alabama may continue to win them even in the playoffs but at least they won't get gifted a berth in  the championship game over other teams with the same number of losses just because of the initials of their conference. Roll Tide, right into Hell. And take your scum coach with you.