Week 4 Picks: For the Love of Refs

Ladies and Gentleman … Welcome back to the Gun Show!!

So after another putrid week we take a look into Week 4, I won’t tell you my last record because I’m not proud of it. Rather I’ll speak of the referees coming back. Thank god because that Monday night game was atrocious and how they handled the Sunday night game was embarrassing. Welcome back Carrey, Hochuli, Green and all the other real Zebras! But I will miss the Referee Memes, I was addicted, but now I am cleansed. I am not saying these guys are perfect, but they are better. They get calls wrong, but it doesn’t take 15 minutes for them to decide and they know the rules and are not afraid of the players. These guys are the real deal!

Sad, Sad day

So let’s get this thing started:

THURSDAY

Browns @ RAVENS – I respect Torrey Smith more than anyone in the world right now as of Sunday. His brother passed away and less than twenty-four hours later he was on the field in Baltimore ripping apart the Patriots Secondary and was forced to answer constant questions about his brother directly after the game. Joe Flacco put together another very nice game and Ray Ray continued to play well despite this new pass first offense. Ravens are at home on a short week against the irrelevant Browns. Trent Richardson has looked pretty good so far as a rookie, but Weeden is meh and no Joe Haden means fantasy dream matchup for Flacco.

SUNDAY

Panthers @ FALCONS  – Scam Newton has come out and said that the Giants didn’t beat the Panthers, they beat themselves.  Listen, Mr. Newton (sighs) … you were embarrassed on NFL Network by Eli Manning and his backups, enough said. What a joke … and that is why when he goes to Atlanta this week, him and his team will yet again get rolled. Matt Ryan is looking like a top 5 quarterback and he has possibly the best 1-2-3 combo in the NFL with Rowdy Roddy, Julio (who likes oddly like the Predator, less now with no dreadlocks ) and the ageless Tony Gonzalez. Also be aware of Jacquizz Rodgers, the next Darren Sproles.

PATRIOTS @ Bills – Tom Brady and Bill Belchick would have been the embarrassment of the replacement referees until they did their work on the Packers game. Welker came alive when Edelman left the game with an injury, and it appears they stopped punishing him, for now. The Bills running game has looked great, no matter who has been in there, but now both running backs might be headed for an unexpected Week 4 return, which is good and bad. Who gets the majority of the carries? Not a bad problem to have! These Pats are angry after Belichick has been fined and couldn’t get a review on that awfully close kick.

Vikings @ LIONS – If not, for the Cardinals, the Vikings might be the biggest surprise at 2-1 in the NFL. They took down the mighty 49ers at home and didn’t get pushed to the end. They had them right where they wanted them the whole game. The Lions now have a legitimate running back it appears. Calvin Johnson is 3 games down 13 to go to beat the Madden Curse. Stafford might have avoided an injury that could cost him a game. Jim Schwartz allowed Shaun Hill to lose the game on 4th and 1 in Overtime last week, so they’re in need of a win. I see the Lions winning this and returning to last year’s form.

CHARGERS @ Chiefs – The Chargers have quietly been good. Rivers is playing alright and the Defense looks good. If Ryan Mathews stays healthy they could be a much better team. The Chiefs pulled off a ridiculous comeback win in Saint Louis as Jamaal Charles put up Madden numbers against a horrific Saints defense. Arrowhead is a very tough place to win a game and usually this is a very hard-fought game. I don’t see the Chiefs repeating their second half success from last week simply because they have been embarrassed by the Falcons and the Bills.

Seahawks @ RAMS – This is the definition of a letdown game. The Seahawks were just gift-wrapped a game by the replacement referees who were promptly returned to their shelves where they belong. The Seahawks defense has looked great but their offense is simply meh right now. The Rams have been in 2/3 games they have played, the only one they never seemed to be part of was in Soldier Field against the Bears, an outdoors game. But now they go back home to face the Seahawks. Seahawks are pretty high on themselves I’m sure right now.

49ERS @ Jets – If Revis was playing in this game I’d think about taking the Jets, but without him they’re a completely different team. Trying out Joe McKnight at corneback??? (Slaps hands against face) R-E-A-L-L-Y? The Niners are coming off a bad loss in Minnesota and yes they’re are traveling yet again, but last year they did well in 1 o’clock games on the East Coast. They could lose but simply because of the travel factor, but that defense is just something else and will probably make Sanchez look like a backup QB. I am taking the angry 49ers in this game.

Titans @ TEXANS– Is there a more complete team in the NFL right now? The answer is no. They look good running the ball, passing, special teams, and especially on defense. They almost let the Broncos back in the game when they fell asleep, but so did the Falcons. They sit at 3-0 and the Titans are coming off a pretty luck win where Jake Locker looked pretty solid. The Texans defense will feast on the pathetic likes of Chris Johnson who is still averaging 1.4 YPC and has less total rushing yards than Jake Locker. The Texans average 14.0 Points Allowed, enough said.

Raiders @ BRONCOS – The Raiders pulled off a comeback of their own against the Steelers, whose defense  did not look good at all last Sunday. The Raiders also benefited from a bad penalty call that moved them up fifteen yards enabling them to kick the game-winning field goal. The Broncos keep putting themselves in holes and almost digging themselves completely out. I don’t expect a hole this Sunday. No Heyward-Bey after he got demolished by Ryan Mundy means less of a vertical threat for the Broncos to watch out for. No Joe Mays because of his vicious helmet to helmet hit on Matt Schaub, which helps Darren McFadden.

Dolphins @ CARDINALS – Could the Cardinals get a better game to continue their roll and keep their confidence? The only issue they might suffer here is Darnell Dockett vs. Reggie Bush, because Darnell Dockett is doubtful and probably won’t suit up, but Reggie Bush will be. Tannehill is showing signs of readiness, but his weapons are seriously lacking. The Cardinals defense looks good and the Dolphins doesn’t look that bad either. Kevin Kolb is simply not turning the ball over, and last week did exactly what he should be doing, throwing the ball at Larry Fitzgerald. The home crowd was loud last week against the Eagles, and they shouldn’t be any quieter for a team looking to start 4-0.

BENGALS @ Jaguars – The Bengals offense has looked surprisingly good. They’re defense hasn’t looked great, but hey if you score more points that’s all that matters. AJ Green is filthy and could be better than Julio Jones this year after the way he torched the Redskins secondary last weekend. Maurice Jones-Drew doesn’t look like he missed training camp in the least bit, feasting on the Colts as he usually does. The Bengals will roll through these Jags and enjoy the nice Florida weather.

Saints @ PACKERS – Pissed off Packers vs. the Beat-up, beat-down, no hope Saints. Aaron Rodgers is licking his chops with how bad this Saints’ defense is. This game is also in Lambeau, where the Packers typically don’t lose games. The Saints have looked like a completely different team without Sean Payton and have become a joke to the rest of the NFL I’m sure after Roger Goodell made an example out of them during the offseason. Aaron Kromer, the interim to the interim, is clearly in over his head and should just let Drew Brees call all the plays, maybe even on defense. Has anyone noticed how bad Steve Spagnuolo has been since he left the Giants by the way. Let’s not forget how Brees plays outside and it’s always cold in Lambeau.

ANDDDD …. THEY’RE BACK!!!

REDSKINS @ Buccaneers – RG3 continues to play very very well especially for a rookie. He fought them back into a game in which the Bengals were torching the Redskins defense, which does not look the same without Orakpo and Adam Carriker. The Buccaneers suffered another ugly loss, this team by the hands of the Cowboys. Josh Freeman was an abysmal 10/28 last game and hopes to improve on this. Both rookie running backs have looked strong in their first three games. The Bucs are at home but I like RG3 to carry his team to victory in this one as Freeman struggled to find his accuracy.

GIANTS @ Eagles – The Eagles offensive line showed its real worth last game as Michael Vick was torn to shreds by the Arizona Cardinals front 4, which is not as talented as the Giants’. The Giants embarrassed the Panthers last Thursday and have had a lot of time to rest, but will still be without star receiver Hakeem Nicks (damn my fantasy team). Ramses Barden stepped up nicely in the absence of Domenic Hixon and Nicks, and will need to build off that game if the Giants have a shot. Andre Brown and Ahmad Bradshaw will be splitting carried out of the backfield. Michael Vick must simply not turn the ball over if he wants to control this game and it should be easier with his best receiver, Jeremy Maclin returning to the lineup. If Shady McCoy goes off it’ll be a W for the Eagles, but if the turnover woes continue, expect Eli Manning to lead his Giants to victory.

MONDAY

Bears @ COWBOYS – Both teams played ugly offensive games last week. Don’t expect that to continue for Tony Romo as he takes his Cowboys back to the Big Stadium. His offensive line is still playing like a D-3 college team, but luckily for him the opponents’ line isn’t any better. Both teams should be playoff contenders, but have played pretty bipolar football so far. Cutler keeps turning the ball over and Romo can’t seem to score with a high-powered offense that Jerry Jones has presented him with. This should be a good game for MNF though.

UPSET ALERT – The Rams are my upset alert. This is your letdown game after the Seahawks are flying high and think they’re God’s gift Jeff Fisher’s feisty team will bring them back down to earth. (Honorable Mention: Chiefs vs. Chargers – As I said, Arrowhead is a tough place to go in and win a game, and this matchup is always a tough game, period. Jets )

SURVIVAL PICK  – Last week I suffered a heartbreaking loss because of the Raiders. This week I am still picking against them as I will be choosing the Denver Broncos. I don’t see Peyton Manning’s team going 1-3 and the Raiders are not as good of a team simply put. The Broncos’ defense, although lacking Joe Mays, are still a solid group. (If Picked Already: Cardinals)

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

Anthony (T-Catz)

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5 Things We Learned: The Seattle Screwjob Edition

1) If players can be flagged for throwing the ball at fellow players, then coaches should be reprimanded for throwing the game. Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, you should be ashamed of yourself. Schwartz took full blame for the loss after the game (which he should), but that doesn’t change the fact that it was arguably one of the dumbest play-calls on fourth down since Belichick went for it deep in his own territory versus the Colts.

“I was getting ready to call timeout,” said Schwartz after the game, who said the play was an attempt to draw the Titans offside. Jim, we are still waiting for you to call that timeout. Quarterback Shaun Hill telegraphed that QB Sneak the moment he broke the huddle.

It was fourth-and-1. All Schwartz had to do was send Jason Hanson, who was 4/4 on the day, out for the 24-yard field goal, thus displaying trust in his defense to get one more stop. Sounds too easy right?! It’s a move like that which makes a player on the defense start to question the coach’s play-calling on the offensive side of the ball.

Then there is Miami Dolphins first-year head coach Joe Philbin. Joe, is there any conclusive evidence to suggest that icing the kicker actually works? Because if there is, I am dying to get my hands on that data. It’s bad enough coach Philbin believes if a coach calls for time the moment before the place-holder asks for the ball to be snapped, the kicker will miss the ensuing field goal. What makes this even more of a face-palm moment is the Dolphins were able to successfully block the kick!

Coach Philbin, I get it. You’re a superstitious individual. I am too. When the Giants were getting steam-rolled in the first half of their week 2 game vs Tampa Bay, I found myself scratching my head a lot. Then, at half time, my friend’s sister texted me and implored that the four of us switch seats for the second half. Nothing else seemed to be working at the time, so we did switch. And what do you know, the Giants came roaring back to win on the shoulders of a career-day from quarterback Eli Manning.

Did I actually believe I had any impact on the Giants performance in the second half? In the moment, of course I did, but in reality the answer is no. Did Philbin really believe his timeout call was going to ice Nick Folk? As Timbaland and Nelly Furtado would say, “Nope. Didn’t think so.”

2) Panic should ensue in New Orleans right about…NOW!

You’re the New Orleans Saints and you’re 0-2 going into week 3. You’re down on yourselves for the disappointing start to the season (as you should be.) But then the football gods hear your sorrows, and they give you the gift of the Kansas City Chiefs at home. What more could you ask for?! To the credit of the Saints, it has taken monster performances from their 3 previous opponents to keep them winless:

-Robert Griffin, III threw for 320 yards and 2 scores, with the addition of 42 rushing yards on the side for good measure.

-Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers, as a team, rushed for 219 total yards on 41 carries.

-Jamaal Charles gutted the Saints defense for 233 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Needless to say, to beat the Saints, a team needs to have at least one player with a breakout game. They’re not getting blown out. The Saints simply aren’t closing out games, as this past Sunday’s overtime performance displayed. Blame the lack of coach Sean Payton’s missing presence on the sidelines all you want, but the reality is the Saints look flat, and even more so, beatable. If anything, the absence of Payton should inspire them and bring out more passion in their game, and yet, the opposite is occurring. More often than not, when something/someone is taken from you, you will do whatever it takes to retrieve it. Maybe the Saints don’t want it bad enough.

Now, the Saints have to travel up north to take on the very pissed off Green Bay Packers. This game may very well determine if the Saints can make one final push to turn their season around, or if they should start scouting for their top 10 pick in next season’s NFL draft. According to nfl.com, since 1990, only 5 NFL teams have started the season 0-3 and still made the playoffs. With the depth that is in the NFC this season, the Saints would need to play near perfect football, and need a lot of teams to fall off immediately.

3) It is time to cut ties with Chris Johnson on your fantasy team. I take this learned lesson especially personal because I was one of those fantasy players who felt Chris Johnson’s holdout two season’s ago would not stop him from being a 1500-yard rusher in 2011, at the minimum. Boy was I wrong. Fast forward to this past August and there I was, like many of you, sitting there with a second round pick and thinking, “I have to take him here.” Now together, we are all face-palming the decision to have drafted him at all.

Through three games, Chris Johnson is averaging a mere 1.4 yards per carry. Per espn.com and the Elias Sports Bureau, among those who have the minimum 6.25 per game to qualify, Johnson ranks dead last at number 51. As I have stated in previous weeks, this is the year of the backup running back, and there are plenty of players out there who can amass the measly eight fantasy points he has put up thus far. Drop him now, while there are still valuable players on the waiver wire, because he is done.

4) Goodell Logic. I certainly can’t take credit for the name of this (shout-out to WFAN’s Evan Roberts), but I definitely subscribe to this theory that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell approves moves that make you scratch your head. In this case, the weekly Thursday night football game, which every team plays in at some point during the regular season.

Goodell Logic allowed the Baltimore Ravens to play in the prime-time game on Sunday night, only to have them play once again this Thursday evening vs the Cleveland Browns. That makes no sense whatsoever. Regardless of who they are playing, teams should not have to play a football game on 3 days rest. Nothing good can come of that, except the NFL making more money by having people tune into its network channel every Thursday.

Sadly, nothing will be brought to the table to end this until players start to get injured because of these short turn-around weeks. Be on the lookout though, because Goodell Logic is bound to punish your favorite team at some point this season.

5) The Sunday night game featuring the Ravens and Patriots may have been the worst officiated game this season…until we all witnessed the screwjob that was Seattle vs. Green Bay.

No need to rehash what has already been beaten into the ground over the last 48 hours. The officiating of those two nationally televised games was abysmal! The final play should not have been ruled a touchdown at all. It was clear as day (apparently not if you were on the field and wearing stripes it wasn’t) that Golden Tate did not have possession, simultaneous possession, anything, and yet the refs still ruled in favor of the Seahawks.
I really want to believe professional sports are never rigged, Tim Donaghy aside, but then officials blow calls like that and it makes me wonder if Roger Goodell runs the NFL, or if Vince McMahon and the writers at WWE are the ones calling the shots. The ending to the football game delivered from a ratings perspective, something Vince McMahon has seen the WWE excel at. Fact is, when the conclusion of Monday Night Raw seems less fixed than the outcome of a professional football, we as a fan base, and as a culture, have failed ourselves.

#BookIt

-The New York Jets are done. You know the rest of your season is bleak when one of the backup running backs is being converted into cornerback.

-Michael Vick will be the starting quarterback in Philly as long as he healthy. Head coach Andy Reid wasn’t fooling anyone when he told reporters that Vick was their quarterback for now. What are his other options?

-The blown call in Monday night’s game changed the landscape of the NFC playoff picture. Just wait.

-If the Saints lose on Sunday, they are not making the playoffs. If the Saints win on Sunday, they are not making the playoffs.

-Rob Gronkowski will not be as effective as last season until: A) Aaron Hernandez returns B) Josh McDaniels actually figures out what he is doing with that offense…whichever happens first.

In Week 3, McKayla is certainly not impressed with the Green Bay Packers. This is truly meant for guard T.J. Lang and cornerback M.D. Jennings. Had the two of you done your jobs just a tiny bit better, your team would not have been on the wrong side of a horrendous call.

Mr. Lang, had your offensive line had a pulse in the first half, the game would not have had to come down to the final Hail Mary. Mr. Jennings, all you had to do was swat the football down, up, to the left; any direction your heart so desired. That is football 101. Instead you chose to go for your individual defensive player fantasy points and be a hero to your own team. McKayla is not impressed, and neither is anyone that witnessed you selfishly catch the ball on that last play.

Week 3 Picks

This has been a crazy NFL season already, Pats losing to the Cardinals; the Saints are 0-2, Cowboys got smoked by the Seahawks but hey it just makes the sport more interesting! Once order I’ve figured out what the hell is going on in the NFL season I know these picks will get better.

So, Barely made it out of Week 2 with a .500 Record 8-8 … gross! Week 3 won’t get any easier, but the picks’ll get better!

C’MON MAN!!!!

THURSDAY

GIANTS @ Panthers – I am very concerned about the G-Men. No Nicks, Bradshaw, Hixon, and Diehl because of the huge roles 3/4 play on offense. However, last year the Giants didn’t have Nicks, Bradshaw, David Baas and Henry Hynoski when they traveled to Foxboro and beat more formidable opponent than the Panthers they are about to face. However, Cam and Brady are two different Quarterbacks. The Giants will have their hands full but last year went 3-1 on short rest. Look for big games from Andre Brown and Rueben Randle, as well as the return of the Prince! No doubt that Cam and Steve Smith put up fantasy numbers though!

SUNDAY

Rams @ BEARS – Jay Cutler angry. Jay Cutler Smash (and it’s not J’Marcus Webb). It’s the Rams defense, but watch out for a Cortland “THE Instigator” Finnegan vs. Brandon Marshall bout at some point in this game. The Rams have played both of their games valiantly, but both have been indoors. The Bears have one of the toughest home field advantages and that will be on display this weekend. In addition, Steven Jackson, the Rams best offensive player is banged up and is a game-time decision.

You won’t like him when he’s angry!!

BILLS @ Browns – Yeah the Browns have challenged both teams they’ve played, but they’re still BAD. The Bills defense might be starting to click and is salivating at Brandon Weeden’s early tendency to make mistakes. CJ Spiller is playing out of his and the rest of his team’s mind right now. Trent Richardson will have to carry most of the load this game if they are to win.

Buccaneers @ COWBOYS – Wow, talk about a let down game after a nice win in Metlife Stadium against the champs? I will repeat what I’ve been saying that the Buccaneers are underrated, but that was a heart-wrenching loss for them last week after owning the first three quarters against the Giants. The Cowboys are looking to light up the scoreboard in their home opener and now Jason Witten should be 100% in Week 3. Romo is out to put a smile back on Mr. Glory Hole’s face.

LIONS @ Titans – Chris Johnson is playing like he’s worth every penny! Hang on choking on my sarcasm … Anddd we’re back. The Lions are coming off a tough loss against maybe the most complete team in the NFL, the Niners. The Titans are just not producing on offense and allowing opponents’ offense to produce WAY too much. The Lions need a bounce back game and they got the team to get it against. The Lions have a strong front seven, so I would expect Chris Johnson to struggle. The Lions are getting Mikel Leshoure back from injury and suspension so now they have two capable backs, dangerous. Also, Calvin Johnson doesn’t have a TD yet, in other word’s … HE’S.DUE.

Jaguars @ COLTS – This is just an ugly matchup. I am picking the Colts because their QB is simply better and they are at home where Luck seemed to play pretty well. Maurice Jones-Drew typically goes more than HAM against the Colts … let’s say he goes Double HAM typically. If the Jags defense steps up and Maurice Jones-Drew does his thing against the Colts, the Jags could be looking at their first of an expected one or two wins, but don’t bet on it!

Jets @ Dolphins – The Jets looked utterly lost last week and Reggie Bush looked utterly dominant. I am glad Reggie Bush is finally succeeding as an every down running back, but I don’t expect him to go off like that again this week against a much better Jets defense. Tannehill still doesn’t look great, but is finding a connection with Brian Hartline and has no problem handing the ball back to Reggie Bush. . If Dustin Keller plays this should be a sure win for them, if not don’t be surprised if the Dolphins no name (besides Cameeron Wake) defense wreaks havoc on the Jets.

49ERS @ Vikings – Honestly, I can see the Niners losing this game because they have to travel back across country for the third time already this year. The only problem is they’re playing the Vikings who’s best weapon, Adrian Peterson, goes head to head against the 49ers beastliest side, their front seven. The Niners look as complete as any team in this league and they shouldn’t slip up against the lowly Vikings.

Chiefs @ SAINTS – Who Dat Who Dat Who Dat ain’t going 0-3??? That’d be the Saints … this is the game where Drew Bees “Breesy” and puts together a W for his team. The Chiefs only hope is to let Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis run amock in the Thunderdome, but they’re going to be so far behind that it won’t be the case. Expect the Saints to come out firing! Pierre Thomas looked like the one of old last week with over a hundred yards. Dwayne Bowe proved that he is Matt Cassel’s ONLY target last week and should be.

Will the Bags make a return???

Bengals @ REDSKINS – The Bengals just simply don’t look like the Bengals of 2011, mainly on defense. The Bengals racked up a whole lot of points last week, against the lowly Browns, but gave up a ton to those same Browns as well and to the no-huddle Ravens. RG3 knows what he can do offensively and now he’ll have his home opener. The only rough patch for the Skins is the fact that Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker are done for the year, both integral parts of their defense. This game is probably a toss-up but I’m going with the home team and the inspiring rookie QB.

EAGLES @ Cardinals – 2-0 vs 2-0 (WHAT???) … The Cardinals have played exceptional on the defensive side of the ball, but offense has been U-G-L-Y, and the same for the Eagles. They have turned the ball over nine times and Vick is responsible for seven of those. Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett will be looking to get into the backfield and test the toughness of Vick’s flak jacket. There is no Jeremy Maclin and no King Dunlap, but as the Giants proved anybody can step up and help a team get a nice W. All that matters is LeSean Mccoy is still there and the Eagles defense is playing great. Eagles will show Kolb why they don’t regret trading him away.

FALCONS @ Chargers – Another 2-0 vs. 2-0 game. The Chargers have played two pipsqueaks so far, Raiders and Titans. The Falcons have played the Chiefs and the Broncos, and until the fourth quarter of their game with the latter have handled their business. The Falcons will continue their winning ways while making it look easy against the Chargers. The Chargers need Ryan Mathews back soon and it appears he’s headed back, but this is a tough front seven to get your first real game action against.

Texans @ BRONCOS – Yeah the Texans and the Niners are probably the most complete teams. But the Broncos defense are sneaky good (shut the Falcons down when it mattered last weekend, most of their points were given up with their backs against the goal line because of Peyton’s mistake). Peyton won’t make those same mistakes two weeks in a row and at home this time around. The Texans with the best 1-2 RB punch and Andre Johnson are good on offense but even more sound on Defense, but travelling to Denver is going to be tough. These Broncos fans love them some Peyton. 

STEELERS @ Raiders – No Polamalu, Harrison or Mendenhall? No problem! The Steelers took care of the Jets, who besides Run DMC, probably have a similar offense to the Raiders. The Jets defense is much better and the Steelers put some points up on them, so expect the same this week as Mike Wallace doesn’t have Antonio Cromartie on his tail. The Raiders are scary desperate at 0-2, but the Steelers will not start this year at 1-2, they will go into the Bye at 2-1 and welcome back their star running back, Rashard Mendenhall.

Patriots @ RAVENS– No Hernandez, and coming off a loss to the Arizona Cardinals are the Pats. They have been barely using their most consistent offensive weapon in Wes Welker. Stevan Ridley is developing rather nicely for them, but what other team consistently disrupts Tom Brady’s pocket presence besides the Baltimore Ravens?? These same Ravens are out searching for some sweet revenge after they missed out on a trip to Superbowl 46 because of Lee Evans’ dropped pass and Billy Cundiff’s botched kick. If the Ravens run their no-huddle offense, there’s no way the Pats defense can stop them.

“Never Forget 01/22/12”
-Baltimore Ravens’ Fans

PACKERS @ Seahawks – The Packers are very well rested after destroying the Bears last Thursday night. The Seahawks are coming off a big win at home against the Cowboys, but will not repeat their performance against this team. Clay Matthews, sitting at six sacks already, will lead the Packers better looking defense against rookie Russell Wilson. The Seahawks defense is underrated, but everyone is simply anticipating Aaron Rodgers to have one of his games, which he didn’t the first two games (three tough defenses in these first three games though: Niners, Bears & Seahawks).

Scary ass …

Okay, done with the pictures for this week, let’s get onto two new things for week 2…

SURVIVAL PICK:

Week 1 – I took the Texans vs. Jaguars, Week 2 – Bengals vs. Browns.

This week’s Survival Lock is the Steelers vs. Raiders. (If used: Bears vs. Rams)

UPSET ALERT:

Technically the Broncos are an Upset alert so we’ll keep them there, but if you want a real upset keep an eye on the Cardinals … 9-2 in their last 11 games dating back to last year. It’s not pretty but they find a way to win games.

Those are my two cents … cash them in!

Anthony (T-Catz)

5 Things We Learned: The Game is 60 Minutes Edition

Week 2 saw a lot of highs, lows, and many in between performances. Without further ado, here are the 5 things we learned from Week 2.

1- Teams that looked sensation in week 1, came back down to Earth this weekend. You may be wondering who these teams are, and they go as follows:

The New York Jets came spiraling down to earth after a complete dismantling of the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. Granted, the Jets were without their best defender in Darrelle Revis, and last season’s team leader in receiving yards, tight end Dustin Keller, the way they played terrible. On the flip side, the Pittsburgh Steelers were also without their elite defenders, Troy Polomalu and James Harrison. The Jets were expected to take advantage of those key injuries and failed to. The offense looked good on one drive where Mark Sanchez was able to connect with Santonio Holmes on a 14 yard touchdown pass. The rest isn’t worth mentioning. Sanchez missed his receivers at times, his receivers missed the ball at times, and the spark the Jets had in week 1 was also missing from the game as well.

The Dallas Cowboys, riding a tremendous season opening win at the hands of the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, fell victim to the Seattle Seahawks. As you may recall, the last time Tony Romo and Co. visited Seattle, they left the game feeling very sleepless to say the least. This time was slightly different, as the Seahawks put the game away earlier than anyone expected. These are your current generation’s Cowboys folks. They go out and win a game against a really good team, then they lay an egg the following week against a lowly team like the Seahawks.

The Denver Broncos also hit a roadblock in the form of the Atlanta Falcons. Peyton looked like he was in character for a commercial, and his objective was ‘how can I make the Falcons defense look elite?’ He would have received an Oscar for the performance he put on, because he executed that role down to a ‘t,’ or in this case ‘I” for interception.

2- One guy can really lose your team a football game. Insert Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan jokes here. Josh Morgan committed one of the dumbest and most selfish penalties in the history of the NFL. But let’s not forget that Cortland Finnegan was able to get away with the initial push of Morgan, which occurred right in front of the referees. Lesson learned: The referees never seem to notice the first contact.

3- If you didn’t think it was possible, the replacement referees took another step backwards and became worse. All the blame can’t be placed on these men and women because they were ‘promoted’ to a level they were clearly not ready to officiate. In the Jets/Steelers game, there was a phantom defensive pass interference called charged to Ike Taylor. Video link after the jump.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gJzK6-p9KEQ

In the the Sunday Night Game of the Week (49ers/Lions), there was a play in which quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked while trying to evade a tackle. The real-time game footage clearly shows that Stafford’s knee makes contact with the grass. The replacement officials missed this entirely, and allowed Stafford to get back up and continue play, which resulted in the Lions losing 6 more yards. This mishap led to the Lions having to challenge the play in order to stay within field goal range.

Then, there is the one hour long first quarter that the entire country had to sit through this past Monday night. At what point does the NFL reach out to its veteran officials and negotiate in good faith, allowing a fair and reasonable deal to get done? The amount of bad calls will only increase as the season progresses. If your team hasn’t been on the wrong side of a blatantly obvious call, give it time, because it’s coming.

4- Football is a 60-minute game. Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano will make sure you know that going forward. By now, everyone knows about the kneel down heard ‘round the world in the Giants/Bucs game. It was totally uncalled for to say the least. Sure, Schiano is giving everyone the impression he is trying to change the culture down there in Tampa Bay, and that is commendable, people get it, but going 100% on a play in which you know the offense is surrending…you’re better than that Schiano. That is not the way you go about showing your fan base and the football world that you want to be taken seriously as a franchise. What worked for Rutgers, should stay at Rutgers. This is the NFL and you better believe teams took notice of what happened at the end of the game, and the Bucs will have to deal with it in the coming weeks.

5- You cannot hit the panic button on an 0-2 team…just yet. This means you New Orleans. The last team in the NFL to start a season 0-2, and then win the Super Bowl was the New York Giants in the 2007 season. If that team could finally get it going after surrendering more than 90 points in the first two games to the Packers and Cowboys, surely Drew Brees and Co. can go marching into their next two games and rewrite their season. Stranger things have happened in this league, so don’t count the Saints out…yet.

Honorable Mention


-Drafting Chris Johnson is the worst decision you probably made in your fantasy draft. It’s up there with your decision to sit back on Adrian Peterson because every “expert” informed you he would not be close to 100% until mid season.

#BookIt

-The Ravens/Patriots Sunday night game will be the one everyone is talking about next week at the water cooler.

-The Patriots are going to look ‘human’ without Aaron Hernandez. What does human consist of? Oh you know, any other above average offense which contains a solid quarterback, 2 strong options at wide receiver, a decent, yet vastly unproven running back, and a more than serviceable tight end. Thus, they are not going to scare anyone with that offense. The Cardinals sure welcomed the one tight end formation in the second half of their win over the Pats last Sunday.

-This is the year of the backup running back!

-The NFL will not have turn-around games every week next season. It benefits no one but the NFL, and can lead to more injuries because of the shorter rest between games.

-The Saints are going to rout the Chiefs this weekend!

The McKayla Is Not Impressed Award for Week 2 goes to Atlanta Falcon Michael Turner. Congratulations Michael! He scored a 1 yard touchdown on Monday night and wanted to celebrate after the game. He took celebrating to a whole new level though, when he decided to go out and get a DUI later that evening.

According to police reports, Turner went to Magic City, an infamous strip club in Atlanta, after the game. Turner told the arresting officer that he did not remember how many shots he had while there, but that it “was less than 10 shots, but approximately five,” said the officer.

Michael Turner, clearly you can score yourself a touchdown in the NFL, so why not score yourself a ride home from your post game celebrations?! McKayla is not impressed!

Week 2 Picks

So after going 9-7 I think I need a better showing this week.

So here.we.go.

Bears @ PACKERS – No way these guys lose two in a row to start the season at Lambeau. Greg Jennings might not play, which only hurts their chances The Bears looked real good against the Colts, not saynig much, but Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler will only get better as the season goes along. I can see the Bears winning this game, but it’s tough to pick against the GB Juggernaut.

Bucs @ GIANTS – Yes the Bucs looked better, especially their defense against the Panthers, but it’s the same Panthers that went 6-10 last year. On the other hand the Bucs went 4-12. This should be a good game as Doug Martin looks to reproduce what DeMarco Murray did to the Giants D and Eli Manning looks to help his receivers get over their drop issues from the season opener.

Chiefs @ BILLS – The Chiefs looked good in the first half of their game against Atlanta, but the second half, not so much. Jamaal Charles looks to be picking up where he left off in the 2010 season (torn ACL last year in Game #1), but the Bills defense will be out for the kill after an embarrassing loss to what was supposed to be an anemic offense of the Jets. Chiefs may pull out a win, but the games in Buffalo, not Arrowhead. Also, CJ Spiller … What was that game? Don’t look for a repeat performance but he just eased the pain of losing Fred Jackson for Buffalo. Don’t forget nobody circles the wagon like the Buffalo Bills!

Browns @ BENGALS – What team looked more awful and almost won their game besides the Browns? Brandon Weeden threw four picks (so did his adversary Vick) and the defense he’s about to face was a good one last year. They did just get torched against the Ravens, but they run a no-huddle which is impossible to adjust to in the first game of the season. Joe Haden will not play, which means AJ Green is about to have himself a nice Sunday afternoon.

VIKINGS @ Colts- What will happen here? Luck didn’t look great against the Bears, but they’ve got a solid D. AP came out of nowhere with 84 yards and 2 TDs, the man’s an animal. He’s not human. He will dominate a shaky Colts D that will be without its best player in Dwight Freeney. Luck will have a better game than last time, but his defense will cost him this game.
RAIDERS @ Dolphins – The Raiders pulled a reverse Chargers and lost their last game because of poor Special Teams. Denarius Moore is coming back and Darren McFadden looked like a beast again. Palmer didn’t throw a pick. On the other side, I feel bad for Reggie Bush who will have to carry this team led by rookie QB Ryan Tannehill and my siblings as wide receivers (seriously Davone Bess is the #1) Raiders go enjoy the Miami weather and win this one.

Cardinals @ PATRIOTS – Skelton’s hurt so enter the most expensive backup in the NFL! The Pats barely used Wes Welker, for their sake I hope they stop trying to punish him for trying to get a bigger contract. Shame on him for trying to get paid! The Patriots offense scored 34 points, 1 point under my guarantee for every game this year, but don’t worry they’ll pile them on this week folks.

SAINTS @ Panthers – Who saw loss coming? RG3 announced his arrival to the world by going into the not-so-Superdome and ripping apart the Saints. Saints are looking to score and score they will! Cam Newton and his offense had a less than stellar game, but Jonathan Stewart should be back this week, not that he’ll help them beat the Saints, but he’ll help.

RAVENS @ Eagles – This will be the best afternoon game of Sunday. The Eagles narrowly escaped a monumental loss to the Browns. Vick didn’t look good at all, but they squeaked a W out. The Ravens tore up the Bengals with their new no-huddle offense. Ray Rice only ran the ball 10 times … that would’ve meant a loss in prior years. These defenses are ferocious and the offenses can put up a lot of points = great game. I say Ravens because they look real good already.

TEXANS @ Jaguars – Yeah, Gabbert looked good and will continue to develop as he didn’t seem as scared as a five year old in the pocket. However, it was against the Vikings and the Texans are a much better defense (understatement). The Texans looked solid against the Dolphins, Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub looked healthy. It looked like they won’t miss Super Mariot too much this year. MJD pulled an AP and stole the show last game when he wasn’t even supposed to play more than 1 down per series basicaly. If him, Gabbert and Blackmon can restore order to this Jags offense they could win a few games this year.

REDSKINS @ Rams – I am currently Griffin-ing … not really. This one is a little more farfetched then Tebow-ing, guys have celebrated from their backsides before. Regardless of this the Skins looked great (unfortunate for the Saints and the NFC East) on defense and on offense. This trade to get the second pick, may not hurt them after all, but only time will tell for that. The Rams caught the Lions off guard and almost beat them. Jeff Fisher knows how to turn a bad team into a respectable one, at least for one game, let’s see how he does the rest of the year, but I’m going Skins with RG3.

COWBOYS @ Seahawks – All that hoopla surrounding Russell Wilson was put on hold when he got out-dueled by John Skelton (FORDHAM!!!) and Kevin Kolb. The Cowboys showed they were ready for 2012 by beating the champs on national TV at MetLife Stadium (Ouch 😦 ). The Cowboys will keep their offense running on all cylinders (KEVIN OGLETREE???) against the Seahawks, as Russell Wilson will try to find a groove for himself.

Jets @ STEELERS – This should be a good game. The Jets blew up on the Bills (how?). Marky Mark threw for 266 yards and 3 TDs, Greene had 94 yards and Stephen Hill busted onto the scene for 2 Tds and 90 yards. This is a more experienced defense though, one that has been together for a while, and that won’t happen. The Steelers will not stand for starting 0-2 with both losses coming against 2 AFC playoff hopefuls. Jonathan Dwyer is salivating at what Spiller did to this Jets D, if only Mendenhall was back!

Titans @ CHARGERS – Chargers won an ugly won in Oakland and Titans got stomped by the Pats. CJ2k was almost CJ2 … where is the passion in this guy’s game anymore. Their QB of the future is banged up and they’re #1 wideout is coming back from suspension and a monstrously torn ACL. The Chargers still don’t have a run game but at least they’re at home. This won’t be pretty, but expect Rivers to have 300+.

Lions @ 49ERS – Damn did one team look like crap and the other look like gold (get it 49ers?). The Lions came close to embarrassing themselves to the Rams. Megatron didn’t catch a touchdown *GASP* MADDEN CURSE!!! (I hope he doesn’t get hurt now) and Stafford threw three picks. The defense looked “meh”, but they’re going to need to sharpen up to play with the revamped Niners offense. THe Niners D is a thing of beauty that kept disrupting the best QB in the game and made him look like human. Frank Gore found the fountain of Youth last game and Kendall Hunter may be the best #2 in the league. Niners take it to the Lions at home and Harbaugh kindly shakes hands with Schwartz (maybe).

BRONCOS @ Falcons – The Broncos D did a solid job against the Steelers (not much to my surprise), but the Falcons absolutely torched the Chiefs and now return home the comfort of their weather controlled Dome. This should be a great game and I can’t wait to see if on MNF. Peyton had a nice return and is looking to build off of it, but it will be a tough go against Matty Ice, Hurricane Julio, Rowdy Roddy and T-Gone. The Broncos D will continue to surprise, however.

Let’s hope I better my 9-7 record from last week … it’s always tough at the beginning of the year when you’re not sure who’s who yet!

Like he said!!

Those are my two cents … cash them in!

Anthony (T-Catz)

5 Things We Learned: Week 1 Edition

Happy Holidays football fans. The NFL regular season is back! And with a new season comes new expectations amongst the NFL’s 32 teams. So this season I am going to do something different from other sports sites. Each week I will be compiling two lists of information: On the one side, there will be 5 expectations going into the week of things one should anticipate seeing in one of the week’s matchups, and on the flip side, a list of 5 occurrences that the majority of football enthusiasts never saw coming.

Since Week 1 has technically come and gone, this week’s recap will be: 5 Things Week 1 Taught Us.

1) It was only Week 1, also known as ‘Overreaction Monday’ (kudos to Adam Schefter for coining that). Don’t be down if your team did not clutch it in the fourth quarter (Giants fans). Don’t walk into your office this week yelling the words ‘Jets,’ ‘Superbowl,’ and ‘bound’ in the same breath either. Ravens fans, we’re talking to you too! Don’t think your team is going to hang 40+ points again anytime soon. Yes, everyone knows and remembers Ray Lewis and the rest of the defense can carry an average offense to the Promised Land. The point is lots of teams have looked great in Week 1 and crashed the remaining 15 games, and the same can be said for teams who have lost their opener, then went on to win the Superbowl. The point is: Stay grounded until we reach October.

2) Robert Griffin, III is NOT going to have a season like Cam Newton. He will put up solid numbers and win games along the way. He will not accept comparisons to Newton, and after the game Vick had, he certainly will look at you with disdain if you ask him if certain aspects of his game resemble number 7 in Philadelphia. RG3 looked like a player worth the five draft picks that the Washington Redskins traded to acquire him this past April. Griffin posted a 92.3 quarterback rating, while going 19/26 with 320 passing yards and 2 touchdowns, one of which was an 88-yard score courtesy of Pierre Garcon.

Now, I know what your thinking: It was the Saints defense, and you are not impressed. It’s very easy to forget though, that Drew Brees and Co. are very difficult to beat, especially in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The noise level in that building has been very unfriendly to many opposing offenses over the years, but not to Griffin, III who appeared to be right at home.

I am not Newton bashing, but the best team the Carolina Panthers defeated last season were the Houston Texans sans Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. Thus, the Redskins getting a season-opening win versus the New Orleans Bountygate Saints is that much more impressive for RG3 and company.

3) You should be ready to hit the panic button if you own Patriots players on your fantasy team other than Brady and Ridley. The Patriots may have found a running game, albeit against the Tennessee Titans, but you have to start somewhere I know it’s just Week 1, but look for sporadic production from all parties involved on the offense on a game-to-game basis. Gronkowski and Hernandez aren’t included as locks for huge production on a weekly basis because they can easily cancel each other out. So if you wasted a 2nd or 3rd round pick on Welker and Lloyd, you should start looking at your waiver wire. New England has too many weapons on offense for everyone to get consistent fantasy production out of.

4) The Ravens made a statement last night! Joe Flacco is demanding that the football world take him seriously as a Top 10 NFL Quarterback. And what better stage to make a statement then when everyone is watching on Monday Night Football! Everyone knows the Ravens have a solid running game with Ray Rice at the helm. The Ravens defense is still anchored by the ageless wonder Ray Lewis, with Ed Reed still ball-hawking in the secondary. If Flacco can develop even a glimpse of the same consistency he showed in the first half versus the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens might be early favorites to give the Patriots a run for their money on the offensive side of the ball in the AFC.

5) Going into the Jaguars/Vikings matchup, I strongly believed that the loser of that game would flirt with having a winless season. Well, the Jaguars lost (does that shock anyone?) and their schedule doesn’t get any easier.

Thankfully for their sake, they get 2 chances at the Indianapolis Colts, and matchup versus the Miami Dolphins towards the end of the season.

Wins will be hard to come by.

Honorable mention:

– A.P. is still A.P. and if he manages to put up around 80 rushing yards a game, and a touchdown or two, he would instantly become the steal of the draft since all the experts were doubting how much he would contribute in the first few games of the season.

– Tony Romo discovered a clutch gene, playing one of his best statistical games in his career. He and DeMarco Murray torched the Giants defense for more than 400 yards total offense, and the Cowboys offensive line neutralized the Giants well-known defensive line.

-Peyton Manning picked up where he left off, and that is going to make the AFC playoff picture a bit deeper this year as a result. Look for the Broncos to flirt with one of the top seeds in the AFC with Manning running that offense.

#BookIt

– Kevin Olgetree (Dallas Cowboys), Alfred Morris (Washington Redskins), and Stephen Hill (New York Jets) will be the most added fantasy players this week.

– Fred Jackson will be dropped in more than 50% of fantasy leagues because people realize that the Buffalo Bills were given a taste of what C.J. Spiller could do, against a solid defense nonetheless. Jackson may not have his starting job handed back to him when he returns.

– Julio Jones will have a better season than Roddy White; Week 1 was not a fluke.

– This is the year of the back up running back. Ask Matt Forte how he feels after seeing Michael Bush take away his goal line carries and touchdowns.

The McKayla is Not Impressed Award for Week 1 goes to the Philadelphia Eagles. No one is impressed that they beat the Browns, despite Michael Vick trying to throw the game away, literally. Vick gave the Browns plenty of chances to run away with the game, but in the end Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden one-upped in crunch time, giving the ball right back to the Eagles by way of an interception.

McKayla is not impressed by a Philadelphia 1 point victory over Cleveland.

 

– Jimmy Lips

Week 1 Picks

Okay so this is just to get back in the swing of things but I’ll make this quick, sorta: (Winners are in bold)

GIANTS vs. Cowboys – Well it’s the day after but I would’ve taken my G-Men based on the fact that we beat em last year and we looked poised to defend our title in our own house on the national stage … but I was wrong! AND THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS

Colts @  BEARS– Jay Cutler, barring an injury or his offensive line continuing its tumultuous run, will take it to a defense-less Colts team. This Bears Defense is salivating at an awful Colts offensive line and a rookie QB, yes I know it’s Andrew Luck, but regardless I’m going Bears because Cutler is once again hooked up with Brandon Marshall and Forte’s healthy.

EAGLES @ Browns – Eagles simply because the Browns are bad, or so we think. Weeden is a 28 year old rookie and Trent is already hurt and their best defensive player is suspended? Eagles might finally make people in Philly believe again and not throw snowballs at Santa.

Rams @ LIONS – The Lions shocked a lot of people last year with how well they played. Their defense was shaky at times and will probably continue to be. They basically have no running game unless Kevin Smith stays healthy (good luck with that). Stafford and Megatron will run a mock at Ford Field yet again this year, unless the Madden Curse veers its ugly head.

PATRIOTS @ Titans – The hoodie is a mastermind of offense now, weird huh? Brady & Co. will make mince meat of the Titans D that is surprisingly adequate, but with Jake Locker behind center and almost no one to throw to without Britt Patriots will score 35+. Chris Johnson is hoping to get back to CJ2K form and so are his fantasy owners, and it can start here against a pretty bad Pats D. But who needs to play defense when your QB averages 38 TDs and 9 Ints over his last 4 seasons played.

FALCONS @ Chiefs – Falcons are poised and should make a run at the Saints this year as Julio Jones showed he can be a force, which frees up the secondary for Rowdy Roddy. Turner can still run even though hes beat up, but Jacquizz can be their Sproles and their D should be better this year even with the loss of Curtis Lofton, replaced by Akeem Dent. The Chiefs can surprise a lot of people by going back to the 2010 team that went 10-6 and ran the ball over 500 times, now they have a healthy Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis. Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe should have good years I am picking ATL, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs win in Arrowhead, which is a tough place to go into and win.

JAGUARS @ Vikings – This is a toss-up. I am going with the Jaguars simply because their offense is much better considering the Vikes offense is just AP who is not going to play as much. I know MJD is only playing 3rd downs, but Jennings is a good fill-in and I think Gabbert is going to be better than Ponder, and Justin Blackmon has 3x the talent of any Vikes’ receiver even with his latest injury.

Redskins @ SAINTS – Yes, the coach is suspended, but is the guy who broke the single season passing yards record? Um, NO. The Saints will pour on points like they usually do, but the Skins are no longer offensive slouches themselves with RGIII, Garcon and a committee of running backs that may or may not include Kyle Shannahan. No way they outscore the Saints offense, but the Skins will be fiesty this year!

BILLS @ Jets – Anyone who knows me, knows I’ve been ranting about the Bills D all offseason. Wait till you see how much of a difference one man can make, Super Mario. The Jets offense looked bad because it isn’t good. Sanchez is a decent QB, 26 Tds 18 Int (nothing wrong here) and over 3,000 yards, but his targets are WAHntonio Holmes and Dustin Keller (injured). His RB runs with no steam, but Stephen Hill can maybe be a surprise this year. Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson will enjoy a good year together this year!

Dolphins @ TEXANS – People are still raving about the Texans D, yes they will be good but they’re missing two of their best players in Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans, tough to replace them. The Dolphins won’t be scoring a lot this year without a single WR who has ever come close to 1,000 receiving yards, Reggie Bush has the most career receptions on the team. The Texans offense will be better with a healthy Schaub and Owen Daniels AND Andre Johnson, and the best 1-2 punch with Foster and Tate.

49ers @ PACKERS – Niners are going to be better this year, not necessarily record wise, scary right? They have added Manningham, Randy Moss, and LaMichael James. Too many offensive weapons for a team that basically just runs the ball, tries to not let its QB turn the ball over and let’s the D handle its business (Jets circa 4 years ago?). The Packers will overpower them with Rodgers’ arm. Hey look! The Packers have a legitimate running back for the first time in three years, too!

Seahawks @ CARDINALS – Both teams aren’t really that good, but I suspect one of them will surprise the world and finish 8-8 or 9-7. I am picking the Cardinals because Skelton wins and he still has Larry Fitzgerald. Their Defense is okay and the Seahawks is underrated, but I think the Seahawks offense is just lacking without a true #1 WR at this point. Braylon will surprise many this year if he stays healthy and Russell Wilson, who knows yet??

PANTHERS @ Bucs – Freeman has a load of talent around him now. But the Defense is still pretty bad and Cam will take advantage of that. Freeman, VJax and Doug Martin may score some points on the Panthers defense, but they will not outscore the Panthers.

Steelers @ BRONCOS – Peyton’s return will not be spoiled. The Broncos defense will also surprise many this year. Unless the Steelers put Jonathan Dwyer in the game they will have a tough time running the ball. Big Ben will be on his backside a lot with Von and Elvis playing on Sunday night. It’ll be a great game, but I pick the Broncos to squeak out a win for Peyton in his new home opener.

Bengals @ RAVENS – The Bengals will be as good as they were last year and I think that’s their max. Gresham might improve but the Law firm of BenJarvus Green-Ellis will put up Cedric Benson type numbers, and AJ Green will keep being a monster, but how good is there D again and can these Bengals stay out of another orange uniform (jail for those of you who don’t get it). The Ravens, even without Terrell Suggs will be a physical force as Flacco connects with maturing Torrey Smith, who opens up lanes for Ray Rice AND Anquan Boldin (finally).

Chargers @ RAIDERS– Battle of the “Who knows what could happen in 2012?” I am taking the Raiders because they are at home and McFadden is healthy. In addition, Ryan Mathews will not be playing and Rivers’ targets only got worse with the loss of Vincent Jackson. Yes I know Meachem is fast, but if he wasn’t THAT good in New Orleans why would  he be here? Antonio Gates needs to be big in this game for S.D. and Darrius Heyward-Bey needs to play like a first rounder finally for the Raiders. Carson Palmer try not to throw 3 picks okay?

Thanks check back  next week for Week 2 picks!

Those are my two cents … cash them in !

Anthony