Showing posts with label Football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Football. Show all posts

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Some NFL Draft Musings

Once again, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay proved themselves completely worthless, as they managed to incorrectly pick almost everything outside of the top ten. Every year the same thing happens. McShay makes five mock drafts, Kiper makes five, I make a mock draft based on some combination of their choices and none of us end up picking anything correctly. Now that this process has once again played itself out, I must air a few more grievances.

1. You have to love the clueless faces of every analyst by the time the draft reaches the 5th round. The pick is announced, followed by four guys shuffling through papers, looking for this 6'0 185 lbs. guy from Ohio State. Meanwhile Mel rattles off his combine stats, college career stats and his full bio dating back to when he was three years old. You know you're late in the draft when even Jon Gruden cannot sing the player's praises.

2. I've ranted about McDaniels and the Broncos before, but the transformation is now official. He swapped Jay Cuter, Brandon Marshall and Peyton Hillis for a long from NFL ready Tim Tebow, DeMaryius Thomas and Knowshon Moreno. Once again, way to go.

3. On the flip side, Pete Carroll managed to land the best tackle in the draft in Russell Okung, Texas safety Earl Thomas, McDonald's #1 customer LenDale White and Leon Washington. Given his track record, I have to say that I am truly surprised. I expected his drafting ability to mirror Al Davis' more than Bill Polian's.

4. I would still like to know what teams are waiting for when they use the entire clock in the first round. Mike Holmgren admitted that St. Louis rejected a trade offer for the 1st overall pick 2o minutes before the draft started because they were without a doubt going to draft Bradford. Yet they still waited until the last second to make the pick. A part of me wonders if Goodell works in collusion with all the GMs to make sure the draft will remain on ESPN for as many minutes as possible.

5. The months before the draft build up anticipation. Yet when the moment comes and the picks are being made, ESPN cuts to the player on the phone, obviously from the team that is about to select him. Is this not completely contradictory to the entire drawn out process that has come to define the NFL draft? If they're going to make me wait for almost three months after the season ends, the least they could do would be to allow Roger Goodell to announce the picks with some element of surprise.

6. When the Eagles traded up to select Brandon Graham, everyone at the ESPN table agreed the selection was going to be Earl Thomas. Their confidence even propelled them to discuss his future Philadelphia career. Yet when they were all proven wrong, they ignored the previous five minutes as much as San Diego fans ignore the career of Ryan Leaf. This is why the NFL needs an official draft heckling club (just like the Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society of Gentlemen). It's time for the passing of the torch and the birth of a new society. Or at least one to comment on the never-changing hairstyle of Mel Kiper Jr.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

NFL Picks Week 16

Last Week - Spread: 6-8-2
Last Week - Game Winner: 8-8
Overall - Spread: 79-80-3
Overall - Game Winner: 103-59
This Week: 1-0

Green Bay Packers (-14) over Seattle Seahawks
Game Winner: Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5) over Cincinnati Bengals
Game Winner: Cincinnati Bengals

Oakland Raiders (+3.5) over Cleveland Browns
Game Winner: Oakland Raiders

Buffalo Bills (+9) over Atlanta Falcons
Game Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Miami Dolphins (-1.5) over Houston Texans
Game Winner: Miami Dolphins

New York Giants (-8) over Carolina Panthers
Game Winner: New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+14) over New Orleans Saints
Game Winner: New Orleans Saints

Jacksonville Jaguars (+10) over New England Patriots
Game Winner: New England Patriots

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) over Baltimore Ravens
Game Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Philadelphia Eagless (-7) over Denver Broncos
Game Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

Saint Louis Rams (+15) over Arizona Cardinals
Game Winner: Arizona Cardinals

Detroit Lions (+14) over San Francisco 49ers
Game Winner: San Francisco 49ers

Indianapolis Colts (-4) over New York Jets
Game Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Dallas Cowboys (-7) over Washington Redskins
Game Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Minnesota Vikings (-7) over Chicago Bears
Game Winner: Minnesota Vikings

Saturday, December 26, 2009

NFL Salary Cap Woes

With the NFL on the brink on an uncapped season, the most glaring issues of the salary cap are coming to light. With no regulation on rookie contracts, the Matthew Staffords of the NFL can walk away with 6 year, $72 million contracts and $41 million guaranteed. How can we expect players to be totally motivated with that kind of money already in their pockets before they even play a down? So let's go NBA on these players and mandate contracts for certain draft picks. Start off with a contract of 3 years, $15 million, decreases of 1% (in terms of money) with every pick. Day two selections have to make the roster in training camp to even get a real contract. Players are then motivated to play for a bigger contracts when their rookie deals expire, and high draft picks do not make or break teams.

The counter argument is that nothing in the NFL is guaranteed. That's why players go for so much guaranteed money; one injury could end their careers, and thus their paychecks. For the same reason teams want cheaper labor. No one in their right mind would choose a 50-year-old with more experience demanding $10 an hour to run a cash register when a 25-year-old only wants minimum wage. Owners are the same. Not wanting to invest in higher priced, more injury prone veterans (even if they're better players) makes them go for unproven rookies. Well, there's an easy solution. Guarantee contracts. NFL owners have too much power. They control their players' fates in every way. Let's take some of that control away.

However, if the NFL does in fact guarantee contracts, they will run into the same problem that exists with high draft picks: there's no reason to compete as hard. Here's the solution: a maximum of three years per contract, except for 6 guys. Therefore, players are always fighting for new contracts, and thus playing harder. With 6 guys as exceptions, teams can lock up their best players so the core of their team remains intact. With so much player turnover in the NFL, it's not as if most teams have more than 6 core guys anyway.

I realize these changes may be implausible or impossible in the current NFL and economic climate, but they would make for better competition and better player security. Draft picks like Tim Couch and Ryan Leaf will no longer completely handicap franchises, and teams will be comprised of the best players, as opposed to the cheapest.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NFL Picks Week 15

Last Week - Spread: 8-8
Last Week - Game Winner: 11-5
Overall - Spread: 73-72-1
Overall - Game Winner: 95-51

Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars
Game Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Number of teams that rest their players after securing #1 seeds: almost everyone. Number of teams that go on to win the Super Bowl title: I can't think of any. As everyone has already pointed out, the only time the Colts won was when they were the #3 seed and played hard every week. Another exciting stat: The amount Jim Caldwell has contributed to Indianapolis' success: zero. To take another shot at him, what is the percentage of people (outside of Indy) that would recognize him if they saw him walking on the street? Approximately 3.7%.

Dallas Cowboys (+7) over New Orleans Saints
Game Winner: New Orleans Saints

Indy and New Orleans might be the two worst 13-0 teams ever. You know they're especially bad when ESPN analysts don't unanimously, or at least almost unanimously pick them to: a.) win each week and b.) make the Super Bowl. Truthfully, I really wanted to pick Dallas to win this game, but as we all know, it's December, which means 3 things . . . Wade Phillips' only solace from his team's yearly breakdown is eating his 18 daily Big Macs. Jerry Jones is hiring even more attractive cheerleaders to make his fans forget that they won't make the playoffs. And lastly, Tony Romo has a stupid smile on his face. On another note: Did anyone else jump for joy when Romo became the holder again?

Green Bay Packers (+2) over Pittsburgh Steelers
Game Winner: Green Bay Packers

The only way to explain this line is that Vegas is a Steelers fan. 5 game win streak vs. 5 losing streak. Though Mike Tomlin is still by far the coolest coach in football. If I could pick any coach to be my best friend, he would definitely be the one.

Tennessee Titans (-3) over Miami Dolphins
Game Winner: Tennessee Titans

The two consistent underdog/Vegas does not favor them enough so everyone picks each week teams. This begs the question, who do we pick now? The home team, I say. Although it pains me to think Tennessee is actually in the playoff hunt with a win on Sunday, once again falsely validating Jeff Fisher. It seems like everyone has forgotten that THE OWNER turned the team around by making his own coaching decision.

Buffalo Bills (+7) over New England Patriots
Game Winner: New England Patriots

It's obvious: if the Bills win, Perry Fewell goes Mike Singletary and removes the "interim" label. Lucky for him the Pats are not what they once were, with a 1-5 record away from home. Every Pats game this season has been an "eff you" challenge for the opposing team. Some other evil dynasties: New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Red Wings.

Arizona Cardinals (-11.5) over Detroit Lions
Game Winner: Arizona Cardinals

Arizona has not lost two in a row the whole season. Detroit is missing Matthew Stafford and Kevin Smith. Baltimore beat them by 45 last week. To anyone who has Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin or Kurt Warner on his fantasy team: Say hello to the next round of the playoffs.

San Francisco 49ers (+8.5) over Philadelphia Eagles
Game Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco is 1-5 on the road, but they have not lost a road game by more than 6. What has been driving me crazy all week is how Vegas knew to make the spread only 4.5 last week against the Cardinals. It's like they knew Arizona was due for a collapse. There has to be an inside job here. Tim Donaghy #2, anyone?

New York Jets (-6) over Atlanta Falcons
Game Winner: New York Jets

No Matt Ryan, an injured Michael Turner and the Jets fighting for the playoffs. Throw in Mike Smith and you have the holy trinity of race-neutral names (random, I know).

Chicago Bears (+11) over Baltimore Ravens
Game Winner: Baltimore Ravens

Gotta love Vegas for completely overrating the Ravens because of an offensive outburst against a horrendous defense. What if it had been the Saints winning 48-3? What would the spread on this game have been? 20? 30? On an unrelated note, how is Lovie Smith not on the hot seat (at least with the media)? Tony Dungy could only pull off the "laid back, players' coach" thing because he had Peyton Manning. I know they went to the Super Bowl, but c'mon. They were not that good.

Kansas City Chiefs (-2) over Cleveland Browns
Game Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

It makes me so happy that the Chiefs are a favorite; they really do work hard, even if they have no talent. If I had to rank bad teams that I hope will turn things around, it would look like this:

1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Detroit Lions
3. Saint Louis Rams
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
198. Cleveland Browns

I actually spent 10 minutes trying to come up with a reason why the Browns are likable. There isn't one. Someone prove me wrong.

Saint Louis Rams (+11) over Houston Texans
Game Winner: Houston Texans

This game screams "possible upset." Houston is coming off a huge win; Saint Louis a huge loss. I would be a fool to make the logical pick here. Too many times this scenario leads to the impossible upset. On a random but upsetting note, what was worse, Steve Spagnuolo leaving the Giants or the his becoming head coach of the Rams?

Cincinnati Begnals (+6.5)
over San Deigo Chargers
Game Winner: San Diego Chargers

It didn't take much time for the Broncos to be exposed. The same will happen to Cincinnati when they lose in the first round of the playoffs. Did you know they've only scored more than 23 points once (not including a 45 point outburst against the Bears)? Yet, I'm taking them simply because of the "death of a teammate/coach/etc." effect. It always makes teams come together. Case in point: in Chad Ochocinco's interview about Chris Henry, his eyes had a half teary, half "I'm gonna go for 15 catches 200 yards and 3 TDs because my friend died" look.

Denver Broncos (-14) over Oakland Raiders
Game Winner: Denver Broncos

It's so hard to pick Denver, especially when Josh McDaniels has become the coach everyone loves to root against. Isn't it ironic that he kicked out the player everyone roots against, and subsequently became that same person? Gotta love the irony of the NFL.

Seattle Seahawks (-6.5) over Tampa Bay Buccanneers
Game Winner: Seattle Seahawks

Seattle is 4-2 at home despite their 5-8 record. However, this is by far the most boring game of the week. In fact, no matter who they are playing, Seattle is always involved in the most boring game of the week. Even when they made the Super Bowl, was anyone really excited?

Minnesota Vikings (-9) over Carolina Panthers
Game Winner: Carolina Panthers

If there's any player in the league I feel bad for, it's Jake Delhomme. Everyone knows he's seen his last day as an NFL starter. If there's any player I truly cannot explain, it's Deangelo Williams. I still have no idea if last season was a fluke. And lastly, how long will it take until Carolina's Steve Smith truly becomes "the other Steve Smith?" I say by next season, but Carolina's Steve will not go down without a fight.

New York Giants (-3) over Washington Redskins
Game Winner: New York Giants

So Vegas is saying that this is an easy match up. As a Giants' fan, I'm offended. I hope the defense is also offended after receiving a non-conference Alabama vs. random college beat down last week. Although probably not as offended as Jim Zorn, now that his firing has been almost guaranteed with the hiring of a new GM in Bruce Allen. A part of me wishes Zorn would just get a break . . . but then I remember: I hate all NFC East teams that aren't the Giants and I love non-Giant NFC East coaching turmoil.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NFL Picks Week 12

Last Week - Spread: 9-7
Last Week - Game Winner: 13-3
Overall - Spread: 48-49-1
Overall - Game Winner: 65-33

Green Bay Packers (-11.5) over Detroit Lions
Game Winner: Green Bay Packers

I’m willing to bet that Matthew Stafford’s 5 TD performance led to his “percent owned” skyrocketing across fantasy leagues everywhere. Also, Detroit’s 37 points allowed against Cleveland’s horrid offense only cements them as the official worst defense in the league. On another note, the award for biggest difference between fantasy and real life value goes to Aaron Rodgers, who somehow has managed to be a weak link despite his 19 TDs, 5 INTs and 102.6 QB rating.

Oakland Raiders (+13.5) over Dallas Cowboys
Game Winner: Dallas Cowboys

It’s mind boggling to think the Raiders have three wins, two of which have come against the Eagles and Bengals. Thank God the Bruce Gradkowski era has begun. I actually do feel terribly for Raider Nation because of three things: their horrific QB situation, having Al Davis as an owner, and a coach that beats women and is somehow still employed.

New York Giants (-6.5) over Denver Broncos
Game Winner: New York Giants

It always feels good when one of my claims is vindicated. The Broncos are not a good team. They’ll finish the season around 8-8, better than they should have to begin with. During the game, look for Tom Coughlin’s face to explode after something unfavorable happens to the Giants. I also would like to extend a special thanks to FOX for always giving a close-up of that epic Coughlin face at least eight times a game.

Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) over Houston Texans
Game Winner: Indianapolis Colts

This game comes down to one thing. All season, Indy has found ways to win, while Houston has found ways to lose. Although this one will definitely be close. 4 of the Texans losses are by a combined 20 points. By the way: Do you have any idea what Jim Caldwell looks like? He might be the least visible NFL head coach in 30 years.

Cincinnati Bengals (-14) over Cleveland Browns
Game Winner: Cincinnati Bengals

Don’t be fooled by the Browns’ offensive outburst. After a solid win against the Steelers and a terrible loss against the Raiders, the entire Bengals team is waiting to unleash its fury on the inept Browns. I would take the Bengals if this line we’re 24 points. Also, Eric Mangini wins the award for second dumbest coaching move of the season by allowing Matthew Stafford to reenter the game by calling a timeout on the last play of the game. His thinking: “Let’s give them a chance to think over their offense while we think over our defense. Meanwhile, instead of going against the rusty Daunte Culpepper, we’ll let Stafford get back in, who has already thrown 4 TDs.”

Minnesota Vikings (-11) over Chicago Bears
Game Winner: Minnesota Vikings

The most frustrating part about the Vikings is that Brett Favre is an MVP candidate. I wouldn’t be surprised if he underperformed last year on purpose, just so he could throw it in Ted Thompson’s and the media’s face that he’s still a top QB in the league.

Washington Redskins (+9.5) over Philadelphia Eagles
Game Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

The play of the Washington Redskins has put Dan Snyder in an interesting spot. Even though their record is 3-7, they have played hard and well enough that it’s hard to justify firing Jim Zorn, especially with their depleted talent on offense. But knowing Dan Snyder, I wouldn’t be surprised if after the season he offers Bill Cowher a $100 million contract to coach his team.

Miami Dolphins (-3) over Buffalo Bills
Game Winner: Miami Dolphins

The Bills used up their “our poor play got our coach fired and now we’re motivated” factor last week. Also, Perry Fewell must feel confident in his job status now thanks to Buffalo ownership meeting with Mike Shanahan for seven hours. And Miami is somehow still in the playoff hunt at 5-5.

Arizona Cardinals (+3.5) over Tennessee Titans
Game Winner: Arizona Cardinals

This is probably the first time a 4-6 team is favored over a 7-3 team. It’s also probably the first time that owner input in coaching decisions has actually worked out. It just goes to show that Jeff Fischer is by far the most overrated coach in the league. If Tennessee wants to actually make a legitimate playoff run, they need this game. Too bad Arizona is 5-0 on the road.

Seattle Seahawks (-3) over Saint Louis Rams
Game Winner: Seattle Seahawks

Does anyone actually want to watch a divisional game in the NFC West?

Atlanta Falcons (-12.5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Game Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta is 4-0 at home. But the more interesting storyline is Raheem Morris taking over play calling duties for the defense. Is that really necessary when the season is already over anyway? Also, someone needs to explain the Jon Gruden firing. The team was 9-3 last season before its collapse. Then they fire the coach, hire a 33-year-old defensive backs coach and get rid of all its talent to rebuild. Am I the only one seeing some problems in the front office?

Carolina Panthers (+3) over New York Jets
Game Winner: Carolina Panthers

These two teams epitomize the importance of the QB. Both are strong in every area except QBs, and the result is a 4-6 record for both. The only difference in this game is that Jake Delhomme will throw less picks than Mark Sanchez. The more important line for this game should really be:
Interceptions (-2) vs. Touchdowns Scored

Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) over San Francisco 49ers
Game Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

Did you know that the Jaguars are 6-4? Everyone knows that Maurice Jones-Drew is putting up a stellar numbers, but who knew it was translating to wins. Even though I’m picking the Jaguars, I really do want the 49ers to win. Let’s try and create some excitement in the NFC West.

San Diego Chargers (-13.5) over Kansas City Chiefs
Game Winner: San Diego Chargers

If New York did not have a football team, I would be a Chiefs fan. Despite their lack of talent, they play extremely hard, even though their season is already over. Coming off a great win against Pittsburgh, their confidence is high. But the first matchup this season, which was in Kansas City, ended with a 37-7 San Diego win. But if there's one game which I won't be upset if I pick it incorrectly, its this one.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+4) over Baltimore Ravens
Game Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Baltimore has a knack for losing close games. Last week Joe Flacco pick in the red zone and Ray Lewis’ hit on Chad Ochocinco are just two examples. But what bothers me most is Ray Lewis’ bad mouthing of Brady Quinn after his hit on Terrell Suggs. If that was dirty, then what was his hit on Chad Ochocinco? Yet I still can’t hate him, because whenever I Youtube NFL big hits, Ray Lewis is always involved. He falls into the category of athletes that I hate and like at the same time along with Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Reggie Miller.

New England Patriots (+2.5) over New Orleans Saints
Game Winner: New England Patriots

Two high-octane offenses + two mediocre defenses = a great game for fantasy owners. Even though New England is 1-3 on the road, there’s no way Bill Belichick does not lose his final opportunity to spoil a perfect season. Also, does anyone else find it amusing that Drew Brees is the man that pumps up his team before the game? He’s probably the smallest guy on the team.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NFL Picks Week 11

Last Week - Spread: 6-8-1
Last Week - Winner: 9-6
Overall - Spread: 39-42-1
Overall - Winner: 52-30

Miami Dolphins (+3.5) over Carolina Panthers
Game Winner: Miami Dolphins

I can honestly say that I have intentionally not looked at the score of this game so that the integrity of my pick is not ruined. I have zero trust in Jake Delhomme. Every week the Panthers look like their season is going to turn around, they implode. And every time we write them off, they come out with an impressive performance. Their last 5 games have alternated between wins and losses. That means this week they're due for loss. On a brighter note, Jonathan Stewart fantasy owners have a meeting this week to give thanks to his emergence (finally) on the fantasy scene.

Detroit Lions (-3) over Cleveland Browns
Game Winner: Detroit Lions

You know it's a sad game when the Lions are favored, but the Browns are just that bad. They're even on pace to set a new NFL record for least points scored in a season. Even the New Orleans defense has more TD's than the Browns offense (7-5). On another note, congratulations to the Lions. It has to be an improvement that they're favored for the second time this season (-3 against the Rams).

Buffalo Bills (+8.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars
Game Winner: Buffalo Bills

One main stat points in favor of the Jaguars. Maurice Jones Drew vs. Buffalo rush defense. Last week Chris Johnson had 132 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns, and another 100 yards receiving on 9 receptions. But there's one factor in this game that cannot be accounted for in the stats: The guilt of the firing of Dick Jauron. Every Buffalo player knows Jauron was not the reason the team lost. Interim coach Perry Fewell, a candidate for other head coaching positions last off-season, will have this team fired up.

Minnesota Vikings (-11) over Seattle Seahawks
Game Winner: Minnesota Vikings

It's upsetting that Brett Favre is enjoying such great success this season, and it's even more upsetting that I'm picking them this week, but it's hard to pick against the emerging Sidney Rice and MVP candidate Adrian Peterson. Hopefully the playoffs treat them poorly.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-10.5) over Kansas City Chiefs
Game Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Vegas allowed last week's games to affect this game's line too much. Yes, Kansas City won...against Oakland. And Pittsburgh did lose... but there's no doubt that they'll take out their frustration on Matt Cassel. I wouldn't be surprised if Charlie Batch made an appearance due to a 35-0 halftime score.

Indianapolis Colts (-1.5) over Baltimore Ravens
Game Winner: Indianapolis Colts

It's hard to pick against an undefeated team, especially when they were completely outplayed and still managed to win last week. Also, I think it's time everyone finally jumped off the Ravens' bandwagon. They consistently prove that their defense is not the same, especially now that Terrell Suggs will miss significant time. The icing on the cake: Peyton Manning has won his last 6 in a row against Baltimore.

New York Giants (-7) over Atlanta Falcons
Game Winner: New York Giants

I'm willing to bet that Coughlin fined a minimum of 10 players for arriving 15 minutes early to team meetings (as opposed to 20) during the Giants' bye week. There's no chance that after 4 straight losses and 2 weeks of preparation the Giants let this one slip away, especially since the poor play of every NFC Wild Card contender has given the Giants new life.

Green Bay Packers (-6.5) over San Francisco 49ers
Game Winner: Green Bay Packers

These might be the two most frustrating teams in the NFL. The 49ers are everyone's "you're an underdog team with a coach who preaches hard work, so we root for you because you win games the right way" team. Then came Michael Crabtree. Green Bay, on the other hand, is proportionally the team with the best talent and least to show for it. I'll take the talent this week.

Washington Redskins (-11) over Dallas Cowboys
Game Winner: Dallas Cowboys

These teams are in completely different places. Washington is coming off an uplifting victory thanks to Kyle Orton's ankle. Dallas was dominated last week in a 10 point defeat to the Packers. Even though Washington is 0-4 on the road, last week gave them some much-needed confidence make this a game. But there's one undeniable factor: Both coach and QB are playing for their jobs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+10.5) over New Orleans Saints
Game Winner: New Orleans Saints

New Orleans is in cruise control until the playoffs. They've also failed to cover three straight lines over 10 points, while Tampa Bay has covered as the 10 point underdog two weeks in a row. Favorite injury of the week: Reggie Bush. Fantasy owners are disappointed when he gets injured. Yet why are we still surprised? This pattern has become almost as consistent as the Philadelphia Eagles' mid-season collapse.

Arizona Cardinals (-9) over Saint Louis Rams
Game Winner: Saint Louis Rams

It's a shame that Stephen Jackson suffers from Barry Sanders Syndrome: He's losing the prime of his career on a consistently horrendous team. Hopefully he doesn't retire at age 31, because he's currently setting himself up for the biggest contract extension/free agent contract of all time. Meanwhile, Arizona, despite Kurt Warner's admission on PTI, seems to be losing its schizophrenia. Hopefully I didn't just jinx them.

New England Patriots (-10) over New York Jets
Game Winner: New England Patriots

Bill Belichick has two factors in his favor this week:
1) Revenge - The loss in week 2 to an obnoxious coach and a rookie quarterback is probably eating away at Belichick.
2) A chance to reassert his dominance after last week - All doubters will be silenced. If Belichick let the door creak slightly open, he will slam it shut on the Jets.
Expect a Tennessee-type beating in which he continues to pass the ball deep into the 4th with a 50 point lead, just to shove it in Rex's face. Maybe it'll bring him to tears (again).

Cincinnati Bengals (-9) over Oakland Raiders
Game Winner: Cincinnati Bengals

It really bothers me that this is an upset pick for a lot of people. I simply don't get picking the Raiders, espcially when they do not have any upset factors, which include revenge, underachieving or a uniting factor (i.e. the death of the wife of Cincinnati Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer). Is Cincinnati really on too great a high after last week's win? Not so great that they'll let lowly Oakland beat them.

San Diego Chargers (-5) over Denver Broncos
Game Winner: San Diego Chargers

These teams are moving in completely opposite directions. Although this game has lost of the appeal of the two most hated QBs in the NFL (Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers), I'm still looking forward to Josh McDaniel's coaching ability being questioned in the post game press conference after Denver gets killed, again.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3) over Chicago Bears
Game Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

When is the league finally going to recognize that Jay Cutler does not deserve the acclaim that he gets? His 17 INTs is even higher than Jake Delhomme, yet Jake gets all the criticism. It's also about time that Philli rounds into form to become the team that no one wants to face in the playoffs for the 28th year in a row.

Tennessee Titans (+4) over Houston Texans
Game Winner: Tennessee Titans

I have a man-crush on Chris Johnson. I think Madden creators will finally get it right next year to give him a 99 rating in every category relating to running. It's also remarkable how teams can't stop him, even though everyone knows he's going to get 35 touches a game. Plus, Vince Young is actually completing passes. Who knows what could happen when the QB throws it to his own team?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Week 10 NFL Picks

Last Week - Spread: 6-7
Last Week - Winner: 7-6
Overall - Spread: 33-34
Overall - Winner: 43-24

I haven't been so hot recently. Interestingly enough, the Giants losses have coincided with my bad streak picking games. Here we go for Week 10.

San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) over Chicago Bears
Game Winner: San Francisco

I can only hope that you believe me when I say that I did pick this game before it happened. Although my reasoning before was that Chicago's defense is embarrassing and San Francisco is a good team with a bad record (The Michael Crabtree effect. As soon as he signed, they started to lose).

New York Jets (-6.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars
Game Winner: New York Jets

Rex Ryan has had a bye week to prepare, predicting his team's future appearance in the playoffs. Jacksonville is the exact opposite of San Fran. A bad team with an okay record (4-4). Plus they're 1-3 on the road. Although the award for best fantasy player on a bad team would go to Maurice Jones-Drew, with Steven Jackson and Chris Johnson a close second.

Denver Broncos (-3.5) over Washington Redskins
Game Winner: Denver Broncos

Is it just me or does this line seem a bit low? A 6-2 team only giving 3.5 points to a 2-6 team playing without Clinton Portis? I know I've already stated my dislike of Denver (Bandwagon article) but they're much better than Washington. On another note, Jason Campbell's numbers are not as bad as one might think.
Completion Percentage: 66.2 TD: 9 INT: 8 QB Rating: 86.5
Not so bad for the scrutiny he gets. It's not his fault he plays in the West Coast Offense.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) over Cincinnati Bengals
Game Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Just as Denever was finally exposed as a non-elite team, so will Cincinnati. I'm not saying that either team is bad; they are solid teams. But with a healthy Troy Polamalu, an emerging Rashard Mendenhall and Big Ben playing well, this team also happens to be my Super Bowl pick. Although I have to say that Chad Ochocino's fine for "bribing" an official was awful. How does DeAngelo Hall leave an on-field fight unscathed while Chad comes away with a $20,000 fine? That was almost as bad as Andy Reid's decision to kick a field goal down 20-13 with no timeouts and 4 minutes and change left on the clock.

Tennessee Titans (-7) over Buffalo Bills
Game Winner: Tennessee Titans

Two stats make this game an easy pick: Chris Johnson is on pace for 1900 yards rushing on approximately 18 carries a game. Buffalo gives up a league worst 173.6 yards per game. But what makes me like Chris Johnson even more is Al Davis. Because of his obsession with speed at WR and RB, he choose a fast running back with the 4th overall pick: Darren McFadden. Too bad he took the wrong guy. Like always.

Minnesota Vikings (-17) over Detroit Lions
Game Winner: Minnesota Vikings

I really do feel bad for the city of Detroit. When the pride of your town is your hockey team, you know you have issues. All your general managers have ruined your teams. Joe Dumars managed to destroy one of the greatest team chemistries ever by getting rid of Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, (I know he's back now, but he's not the same) and Antonio McDyess. Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski got rid of Miguel Cabrera. I don't care how much he's asking for. You pay him. And Matt Millen, well I don't have to say anything. And it's too bad the city of Detroit's morale will not improve after they get smacked by Adrian Peterson and the Vikings. I'd also like to make a tribute to the truck stick of the year, courtesy of Mr. Peterson.

New Orleans Saints (-14) over Saint Louis Rams
Game Winner: New Orleans Saints

Although Steven Jackson somehow continues to put up great numbers, Saint Louis is way overmatched. Fantasy wise, this is a great matchup for Jackson, who should continue with another outstanding statistical game. Although one thing that bothers me: Cleveland and Saint Louis are both terrible, yet only Eric Mangini is critcized. Because of Steve Spagnuolo's status as a first year coach, I think the media has relegated him to the category of "You're a first-year coach and your team is so terrible that we just feel bad for you. Good luck and we're all pulling for you."

Atlanta Falcons (-1.5) over Carolina Panthers
Game Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Carolina had every opportunity to turn their season around. But John Fox decided that it would be best to run the ball and trust the defense to make stops against Drew Brees. I thought it was Andy Reid out there coaching. On another note, the New Orleans receiving core continues to be the most frustrating fantasy receiving core ever. Every great offense has a couple of go to receivers. Brady has Welker and Moss, Manning has Clark and Wayne (plus Harrison circa 3 years ago) yet Brees only has one, Marques Colston. Why can't Robert Meachem or Devry Henderson just step up already?

Tampa Bay Buccanneers (+10) over Miami Dolphins
Game Winner: Miami Dolphins

I am not falling into the trap of Tampa's win last week against Green Bay. Miami has become the team that's never out of any game and never running away. Not including their 28 point victory over Buffalo, their largest game margin, defeat or victory, has been 12. But I'm somewhat pleased that Raheem Morris' desperation hail mary (switching QBs, again, to Josh Freeman) actually worked. You have to love it when coaches look smart after making desperate decisions. When Raheem says something like "We were just accelerating our plan in developing Josh," he really means, "I didn't want to become the first first-year head coach to be fired before my #1 draft pick even gets on the field."

Kansas City Chiefs (+1.5) over Oakland Raiders
Game Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

Possibly the worst game in the history of football. Yet the intensity will probably be one of a playoff game. No one wants to be labeled the worst team in the league, as the loser of this one will. However, a more intriguing matchup is number of turnovers vs. number of punts. I'll take the punts. The teams are too inept to even create turnovers, even when JaMarcus is essentially gift-wrapping the football for opposing teams.

Arizona Cardinals (-8) over Seattle Seahawks
Game Winner: Arizona Cardinals

The first matchup between these two teams ended with a 27-3 Cardinals victory. Now the game is in Arizona and the Cardinals are coming off an impressive victory at Chicago. Yet every time the Cardinals seem to show some promise, they relapse. Also, they're 1-3 at home this season, where they've been the favorite all 4 times. Watch out for the reemergence of the Cardinals schizophrenia.

Philadelphia Eagles (+1) over San Diego Chargers
Game Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

As everyone has pointed out this week, Andy Reid is the worst game clock manager of all time. Everyone who has played Madden before knows how to manage timeouts and the last 2 minutes better than he does. But San Diego's recent praise is unwarranted. They barely escaped with a victory against the Giants. Had the Giants been able to get six points after getting a 1st and goal from the 4, everyone would be clamoring for Norv Turner's head. His position in San Diego is interesing though. He's doing well enough with a terrible defense that you can't fire him, but every San Diego fan knows that he can't lead them to a Super Bowl title.

Dallas Cowboys (-3) over Green Bay Packers
Game Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Aaron Rodgers' 103.3 QB rating is deceiving, since he's approaching David Carr status in terms of sacks. Yes, his offensive line is terrible, but he's so afraid to throw an interception that he takes drive-killing sacks all the time. But I'm glad that Vegas actually chose the correct line for this game. Dallas is not that good. Yes, they're on a 4 game winning streak, but two of those wins came against Seattle and Kansas City, and the other two we're close games against Atlanta and Philadelphia. It's not as if they're blowing teams away. They're simply winning games they should be winning. Also, Tony Romo is 13-0 in his career in November. It's funny how this team seems to abide by the same formula every year. Solid record after 12 games, collapse in December, first round playoff exit. Here we go again.

Indianapolis Colts (-3) over New England Patriots
Game Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Without a doubt the game of the week. Although Tom Brady historically owns this matchup against Peyton Manning (7-3), the vaunted dynasty of the Patriots is no more. Looking down the road, it's funny how meaningless this game truly is. Either way, Lucas Oil Stadium will be the location of this rematch, since Indy's toughest opponent after this game is next week at Baltimore. Let's see if Bill Belichick actually tries to win this one or if he withholds strategies to use in the playoffs instead. If you're looking for an unexpected fact about this game, guess who the #1 and #2 ranked points against defenses are in the league?

Baltimore Ravens (-11) over Cleveland Browns
Game Winner: Baltimore Ravens

Everyone needs a pick-me-up game. The Ravens won the first matchup 34-3, when Brady Quinn was the starter. Doesn't that make the timing of Mangenious' decision all the more terrible? Although let me reiterate my support of Brady Quinn. You can't expect a young QB to thrive in under 1/2 of a season of experience, with zero weapons. In fact, you can't expect any QB to thrive without weapons, period. But back to Mangenious. I've found it interesting that of the 4 Belichick head coaches (Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Eric Mangini and Josh McDaniels) only McDaniels has succeeded (at least for now). Compare that to the Bill Walsh Tree, who had Mike Holmgren, Jon Gruden, and Steve Mariucci just to name a few. And you know when one of your coaching descendants starts his own line of coaches (Mike Holmgren with Jim Zorn and probably others who I cannot remember), you know you were a success.

Friday, November 6, 2009

NFL Picks Week 9

Last Week - Spread: 4-9
Last Week - Winner: 9-4
Overall - Spread: 27-27
Overall - Winner: 36-18

So I got killed last week. It's alright. I haven't dipped below .500.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-6.5) over Kansas City Chiefs
Game Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags are at home and coming off a terrible loss. Although Matt Cassel fantasy owners, if they still exist will be happy to know that he may actually have a decent game against Jacksonville's terrible pass defense. When Vince Young throws only 3 incomplete passes, bells should go off.

Baltimore Ravens (-3) over Cincinnati Bengals
Game Winner: Baltimore Ravens

Chad Johnson has not forgotten that hit from Ray Lewis. Cincinnati sports the 3rd worst pass defense in the league. Joe Flacco is a great fantasy starter for this week. Although at the end of this season Marvin Lewis should thank his team for overachieving and saving his job.

Houston Texans (+9) over Indianapolis Colts
Game Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Houston may finally be losing the title of "most overrated underrated team" in the NFL. For the last 3 years either ESPN or Sports Illustrated has picked them to break out. While they may be 2 games over .500 for the first time ever, they're not that good. But without a running game and an improved Texans team, 9 points is too much to cover.

Seattle Seahawks (-11) over Detroit Lions
Game Winner: Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are pretty bad. The Lions are way worse.

Atlanta Falcons (-10) over Washington Redskins
Game Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Washington is so terrible that picking them is extremely difficult. Although I would love for Dan Snyder to explain why he brought in a coach who uses the West Coast Offense when he has a QB who's strongest asset (well, only asset) is his arm. And they have Santana Moss. And I am definitely not the first person to notice this.

Green Bay Packers (-9.5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Game Winner: Green Bay Packers

Another confidence booster for Green Bay after having to play a real team last week.

Chicago Bears (-3) over Arizona Cardinals
Game Winner: Chicago Bears

The two most schizophrenic teams in the league. Therefore my pick is determined by the home team.

Miami Dolphins (+10.5) over New England Patriots
Game Winner: New England Patriots

New England is better. Just not 10.5 points better. Plus Miami always comes up with a new twist on the wildcat just for Bill to deal with. There might not be another Ronnie Brown 6 TD game, they'll rack up the rush yards.

Carolina Panthers (+13.5) over New Orleans Saints
Game Winner: New Orleans Saints

It's interesting what happens when Delhomme doesn't turn the ball over. They'll give New Orleans a run for their money.

San Francisco 49ers (-4) over Tennessee Titans
Game Winner: San Francisco 49ers

Who knew that of all people Alex Smith would give this team the spark they needed. The game with Indy was tight, and Tennessee looked better than they actually were against a terrible Jaguars team.

New York Giants (-4) over San Diego Chargers
Game Winner: New York Giants

If you're looking for a fantasy game of the week, this is it. Rivers will torch the Giants terrible pass defense, and if there's any game for the Giants ground game to get on track, this is it. But what kind of Giants fan would I be if I picked against them?

Philadelphia Eagles (-3) over Dallas Cowboys
Game Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

Tony Romo is due for a 6 INT game. Dallas has beaten Seattle, Atlanta and Kansas City with Miles Austin turning into everyone's favorite "run to the computer to pick him up off the waiver wire only to realize that someone beat you to it" (although this probably happened a few weeks ago).

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) over Denver Broncos
Game Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Broncos were not exposed last week. They were simply beaten by a better team. Are they a great team? No. Are they a good team? Yes. But Pittsburgh is better. The Ravens won because their linebackers ate up the dink and dunk style of Josh McDaniels and Kyle Orton. Pittsburgh will do the same.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NFL Picks Week 8

Last Week - Spread: 7-6
Last Week - Winner: 8-5
Overall - Spread: 23-18
Overall - Winner: 27-14

I know these picks are coming in late, but I promise they are not affected by the current scores. (Proof? I picked the Giants, and they're down 13-0 with Philadelphia driving in Giants territory)

Baltimore Ravens (-4) over Denver Broncos
Game Winner: Baltimore Ravens

Read my article on bandwagoners. This is the week the Broncos lose.

Cleveland Browns (+13.5) over Chicago Bears
Game Winner: Chicago Bears

I realize that Cleveland is terrible, but they keep covering these huge spreads. Plus Jay Cutler is due for a 4 interception game.

Houston Texans (-3.5) over Buffalo Bills
Game Winner: Houston Texans

Is it just me or is this spread way too low? Buffalo's only wins have come when the game was given to them.

Minnesota Vikings (+3) over Green Bay Packers
Game Winner: Minnesota Vikings

Brett Favre might be the story of the week, but Adrian Peterson is the player of the week.

Indianapolis Colts (-13) over San Francisco 49ers
Game Winner: Indianapolis Colts

I do not believe in the resurrection of Alex Smith. Although I gotta say that it would be quite the feel good story, especially combined with Vernon Davis finally realizing his potential.

Miami Dolphins (+3.5) over New York Jets
Game Winner: Miami Dolphins

Miami won the first one. Rex Ryan threw the kitchen sink at Chad Henne and nothing worked. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams wildcated their way to a victory.

Detroit Lions (-3) over Saint Louis Rams
Game Winner: Detroit Lions

Does anyone find it funny that Detroit is actually a favorite?

Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) over Tennessee Titans
Game Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Titans may be better with Vince Young, but their defense is still awful. And I say let's wait to anoint Vince Young the king of Tennessee again until he actually has some success.

Seattle Seahawks (+10) over Dallas Cowboys
Game Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Seattle is decimated by injuries, but Dallas is giving way too many points.

San Diego Chargers (-17) over Oakland Raiders
Game Winner: San Diego Chargers

Vegas is finally making the spread more realistic. But it's still not good enough.

Arizona Cardinals (-10) over Carolina Panthers
Game Winner: Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are actual contenders, as opposed to last year. It took a historic performance from Larry Fitzgerald to even reach the Super Bowl.

New York Giants (+3) over Philadelphia Eagles
Game Winner: New York Giants

The Giants aren't losing 3 in a row, and there's no Westbrook.

New Orleans Saints (-10) over Atlanta Falcons
Game Winner: New Orleans Saints

It's hard to pick against New Orleans right now. Although I'm tempted to take Atlanta.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

NFL Picks Week 7

Last Week - Spread: 7-7
Last Week - Winner: 9-5
Overall - Spread: 16-12
Overall - Winner: 19-9

San Diego Chargers (-5.5) over Kansas City Chiefs
Game Winner: San Diego Chargers

San Diego is too good to keep losing. Although I'm tempted to pick Kansas City because they keep covering as the underdog.

Indianapolis Colts (-14) over Saint Louis Rams
Game Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Last week I said Jacksonville was good enough to cover 10 points against the Rams. They weren't. But Peyton Manning and the best team in the league coming off a bye against St. Louis? I won't be wrong this time.

Green Bay Packers (-9) over Cleveland Browns
Game Winner: Green Bay Packers

The Browns are quietly the worst team in the NFL. We keep thinking they're okay, but if you remember, they now have no offensive weapons since they traded Edwards, Winslow and Jamal Lewis' career is basically over. Plus Green Bay is finally showing their true colors. Also, Rodgers is finally going to be the fantasy QB that everyone has been waiting for.

Minnesota Vikings (+6) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Game Winner: Minnesota Vikings

I know the game is in Pittsburgh, but Vegas is asking everyone to take the Vikings. They're 6-0. A healthy dose of Adrian Peterson should do the trick for the Vikings.

New England Patriots (-15.5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Game Winner: New England Patriots

I think they're Madden-like 59-0 win versus Tennessee showed that even though they may not be elite this year, they can still rub it in against the Latoya Jackson's of the league. Also, if this were truly Madden, this was a clear I'm-letting-Brady-get-all-these-stats-so-he-can-improve-his-overall-rating-in-franchise-mode game.

Houston Texans (-3.5) over San Francisco 49ers
Game Winner: Houston Texans

I keep picking against San Francisco and winning. Why? Because they're overrated. And Houston isn't that bad either apparently. Also, this will be the week where every fantasy owner who wasted a roster spot on Michael Crabtree will finally be completely and utterly disappointed.

New York Jets (-6) over Oakland Raiders
Game Winner: New York Jets

I like to think that Mark Sanchez has gotten the normal terrible-games-by-a-rookie-quarterback out of his system. Also, don't be fooled by Oakland last week. They're still terrible.

Carolina Panthers (-7) over Buffalo Bills
Game Winner: Carolina Panthers

This is the game of which coach will get fired first? Answer? Dick Jauron.

Chicago Bears (-1) over Cincinnati Bengals
Game Winner: Chicago Bears

This little early season spurt by the Bengals has completely saved Marvin Lewis' job. They Bengals haven't been to the playoffs since Carson Palmer tore his ACL, yet why is Lewis' head not on the chopping block? The Bengals will soon get back to mediocrity.

New Orleans Saints (-6.5) over Miami Dolphins
Game Winner: New Orleans Saints

This is a popular upset pick for the week. But Since New Orleans doesn't ever seem to have a drive that stalls before scoring a touchdown, they're going to win by 7 or more.

Atlanta Falcons (+5) over Dallas Cowboys
Game Winner: Atlanta Falcons

I don't understand how Vegas can favor the Cowboys by so much even though they have continued to prove how overrated they are. And why doesn't Atlanta get some respect? And turns out I was wrong; Michael Turner isn't suffering from Larry Johnson Syndrome (I was way overused last year and thus my career was ruined).

New York Giants (-7) over Arizona Cardinals
Game Winner: New York Giants

Even though I'm a Giants fan and I'm going to pick them every week, it actually has made sense every week thus far. It will be way harder for Kurt Warner to run his 2007 Patriots offense in the cold and wind of Giants Stadium. Maybe there will also be an Anquan Boldin sighting this week.

Philadelphia Eagles (-7) over Washington Redskins
Game Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia's terrible loss last week shot the confidence of Vegas, only giving them 7 points against the horrendous Redskins. Don't be fooled. That was just the annual: terrible coaching by Andy Reid + terrible performance by Donovan McNabb = Questions about whether they're the right coach and quarterback followed by a late season surge where they become the most dangerous team heading into the playoffs. You watch. I said it here and now.

Friday, October 16, 2009

NFL Picks Week 6

Last Week - Spread: 9-5
Last Week - Game Winners: 10-4

Kansas City Cheifs (+6.5) over Washington Redskins
Game Winner: Kansas City Cheifs

Both teams are terrible, but at least Kansas City tries hard. And Matt Cassel is quietly putting up decent fantasy numbers with one more TD pass (7) than Tom Brady. Everyone in New England misses the one yard play action pass from the goal line to Mike Vrabel.

Cincinnati Bengals (-5) over Houston Texans.
Game Winner: Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati keeps finding ways to win (aside from the epic Gus Johnson, "STOKELY!!! WOW!!!! STOKLEY!!! 3 second pause. TOUCHDOWN!!!") ... and Houston keeps finding ways to lose.

Cleveland Browns (+14) over Pittsburgh Steelers
Game Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Why am I picking a team with a QB that went 2-17 last week? Because the Steelers' largest margin of victory thus far is 10 points. They only beat the Lions by 8. Although Mike Wallace has become everyone's favorite "rookie fantasy receiver who's putting up good stats but I don't know if I should pick him up or not since it's so early, but if I wait someone will grab him."

Minnesota Vikings (-3) over Baltimore Ravens
Game Winner: Minnesota Vikings

Baltimore became everyone's league's best team because Joe Flacco put up ridiculous stats in the first three weeks. Too bad it was against Kansas City, San Diego, and Cleveland. When they played real teams (Cincinnati and New England), they lost. Plus this one's at Minnesota. I can't wait till Jared Allen freaks out after a sack.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-9.5) over St. Louis Rams
Game Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville sucks. St. Louis sucks 80 times more.

New York Giants (+3) over New Orleans Saints
Game Winner: New York Giants

Just like against everyone else, the Giants will pressure Drew Brees the whole game. Plus Eli is better on the road (24-14) than at home (22-15). But here's a fun game to play while watching this matchup. Which will be higher: The over/under on this game (47.5) or JaMarcus Russel's passer rating this week?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) over Carolina Panthers
Game Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy owners continually bet on Lee Evans to put up good numbers (myself included) and each year he disappoints. Similarly, everyone has been waiting for the Panthers to break out of their funk. They won't.

Green Bay Packers (-14) over Detroit Lions
Game Winner: Green Bay Packers

The only true weapon on Detroit (Calvin Johnson) is not playing. Green Bay needs a statement game. Although I did enjoy how Greg Jennings went T.O. on the media by demanding the ball more, but then immediately tried to retract his statement by saying that he understands that Aaron Rodgers has no time to get it too him. Way to throw your O-line under the bus.

Philadelphia Eagles (-14) over Oakland Raiders
Game Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

Correction: Philadelphia Eagles (-147) over Oakland Raiders

Arizona Cardinals (+3) over Seattle Seahawks
Game Winner: Arizona Cardinals

This will be the game that Kurt Warner finally reverts to his 400 yard, 3 TD, 3 pick performances that became customary last season. Too bad Seattle isn't good enough to take advantage of the turnovers.

New York Jets (-9.5) over Buffalo Bills
Game Winner: New York Jets

The Bills couldn't defeat the Browns when Derek Anderson went 2-17. Mark Sanchez won't be that bad. Also, a big thanks to the Jets ownership for reviving the 2009 fantasy season for all owners of Braylon Edwards.

New England Patriots (-9.5) over Tennessee Titans
Game Winner: New England Patriots

What's the point of standing by a useless 37 year-old Kerry Collins when you have a younger, faster QB in Vince Young who led your team to the playoffs without Chris Johnson and a ferocious defense? Kerry Collins does not hand the ball off to Chris Johnson any better than Vince Young would.

Atlanta Falcons (-3.5) over Chicago Bears
Game Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Two overrated defenses. Two young QBs on their way to stardom. The only difference is that Atlanta is at home.

Denver Broncos (+3.5) over San Diego Chargers
Game Winner: Denver Broncos

Denver should be terrible. No one wants to bet on them. Even Vegas doesn't trust them with this line. Shouldn't the 5-0 team be favored over the 2-2 team? Also, thank you Vincent Jackson for breaking out of the Lee Evans curse.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gus Johnson: An Appreciation

For those of you who don't know, Gus Johnson is a sports commentator that does the play-by-play for multiple sports on CBS. But Gus is no ordinary commentator. His child-like enthusiasm inspires viewers to appreciate the excitement of great sports moments. Here are, in my opinion, the top 5 Gus Johnson calls. This one's for you, Gus.

5 - Scenario: March Madness, 1999 Sweet Sixteen, Gonzaga vs. Florida. Gonzaga trails by 1.

If Gonzaga had not put the ball in the basket after Hall's missed runner, Gus' head probably would have exploded. Even though he's only waiting to let out his classic scream for joy for a mere 4 seconds, it is obvious that he's in pain. That bucket was good for everyone's peace of mind.

4 - Scenario: Non-Conference play, College basketball, Oklahoma State vs. Gonzaga. Adam Morrison, the nation's leading scorer, has the ball as Gonzaga trails 62-61 in the final seconds.

This call may seem like any other Gus Johnson call. A player hits a crazy shot, Gus goes absolutely out of his mind. But what separates this video is the other commentator who tries to react even crazier than Gus. But Gus doesn't have any of it. Every time the other guy chimes in, Gus comes back even louder. Way to mark your territory, Gus.

3 - Scenario: Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Week 1, NFL. The Broncos are down 7-6 with 26 seconds left. The ball is on their own 13 yard line.

Not only does Gus continue screaming for a full 25 seconds, but he manages to maintain his unparalleled enthusiasm (besides the few breaks to breathe) for the entire play. Although Stokley's decision to waste time by not immediately going into the end zone kills all of Gus' momentum.

2 - Scenario: March Madness, 2006 Sweet Sixteen, Gonzaga (3) vs. UCLA (2). Gonzaga must go the length of the court for the tie.

The actual play is not that exciting. What makes this video great is Gus' inability to emphasize the right moment. But it only makes for a better sound bite that he nearly has a heart attack saying "BATISTA WITH THE CATCH!!!!!!"

And the #1 moment:

1 - Scenario: March Madness, 2007 Round 2, Ohio State (1) trails by 3 points to Xavier (9) with 9.3 seconds left.

Not only is Gus' call exciting, but he manages to both throw in some personality with an impromptu "HAHA!" and an advertisement for CBS when he says "College Basketball. CBS Sports. This is March Madness." Just lovely.

Special thanks to Kushal Patel and Daniel Perlman

Saturday, October 10, 2009

NFL Picks Week 5

I know it's a little late to start picking now, but here goes anyway. Starting this week, I will pick games against the spread according to and pick game winners.

Minnesota Vikings (-10) over Saint Louis Rams
Game Winner: Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre, the emerging Percy Harvin against a Rams team that has been shut out twice and held to 7 and 19 points in the other two games. This game should be a blowout.

Kansas City Chiefs (+8) over Dallas Cowboys
Game Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Although they're 0-4, the Chiefs offense is finally looking respectable and the defense has big play capability, especially when they will be feeding off the crowd at Arrowhead. All the pressure is on Tony Romo and the Cowboys to right the ship.

Carolina Panthers (-4) over Washington Redskins
Game Winner: Carolina Panthers

The Redskins scored 9 points against one of the worst defenses in the Rams. Although Carolina is winless, their record does not convey their tough opponents nor talent level that gave them a 12-4 record a season ago.

Philadelphia Eagles (-15) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Game Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

15 points may be a lot to cover, but a healthy McNabb + a healthy Westbrook + a Tampa Bay defense that gives up big plays like its their job = blowout for the Eagles.

New York Giants (-15) over Oakland Raiders
Game Winner: New York Giants

Oakland's defense may be respectable, but JaMarcus Russel's sub 50% completion percentage is not. Especially when it comes against a defense as tough as New York's.

Cleveland Browns (+6) over Buffalo Bills
Game Winner: Cleveland Browns

Braylon Edward's 10 receptions on the season won't be missed. The Cleveland offense should improve with the switch to Derek Anderson who seemed bring some life to a previously dysfunctional offense especially after how well they played against a strong Bengals team.

Cincinnati Bengals (+8.5) over Baltimore Ravens
Game Winner: Baltimore Ravens

Don't let the Bengals fool you. Just because they seemed inept on "Hard Knocks" does not mean that they are in reality. Because of a fluke play against the Broncos, their record is 3-1 instead of 4-0. They have played well thus far and should make this a closer game than it may appear to be on paper.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-10.5)
over Detroit Lions
Game Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh's offense manhandled San Diego last week, and should continue to do so against the porous Lions' defense. With Matt Stafford's injury and Pittsburgh's not wanting to fall to 2-3, Pittsburgh should make this a statement game.

Atlanta Falcons (+2.5) over San Francisco 49ers
Game Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Without a healthy Frank Gore, this game becomes significantly tougher for the 49ers. Although their defense has been excellent, their main offensive weapon was the only thing protecting a relatively week offensive unit. Also, Matt Ryan and Mike Smith have had two weeks to prepare following their defeat at the hands of the Patriots.

New England Patriots (-3) over Denver Broncos
Game Winner: New England Patriots

Although Josh McDaniels might have righted the sinking ship that was the Denver Broncos and he may have a few tricks up his sleeve from his experience as New England's offensive coordinator, Belichick's mind and Brady's arm are too much for the young coach to handle.

Houston Texans (+5.5) over Arizona Cardinals
Game Winner: Houston Texans

This game will undoubtedly be a shootout, but while Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are regaining their rhythm from last season, the Cardinals are still in disarray, coming off a 21 point point defeat because of Peyton Manning's 379 pass yards and 4 TDs. On a fantasy note, don't be surprised if Andre Johnson sets a fantasy record this week for TDs, receiving yards and catches (in PPR leagues).

Seattle Seahawks (-1) over Jacksonville Jaguars
Game Winner: Seattle Seahawks

With Matt Hasselbeck healthy, Jim Mora Jr. can go back to doing what he does best: throw the football. Jacksonville is also tied for last in the NFL in pass defense, giving up 280 yards per game.

Indianapolis Colts (-4) over Tennessee Titans
Game Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Peyton Manning is the league MVP after 4 weeks, singlehandedly leading the Colts to a 4-0 record despite a shaky offensive line, no running game, and a mediocre defense. Chris Johnson cannot continue to run against 8 man boxes. Kerry Collins needs to step up in the passing game for them to have a chance.

New York Jets (-2) over Miami Dolphins
Game Winner: New York Jets

These teams are very similar. Both have young QBs, solid running games, and a strong defense. But New York's stronger, and Chad Henne does not have a big target to throw to in Braylon Edwards as Rex Ryan throws the kitchen sink at him each and every play.