Week 6: Props to Those Still in Survivor Pools

So as the headline says, if you are still in your survivor pool, good for you! I was in two, find myself in a loser’s bracket in my big money one, but lost this past week thanks to the Atlanta Falcons (sucksters). At least I still have fantasy football, five leagues, I just finished off my second 5-0 week in a row as I am paying equal attention now to all teams, so WATCH OUT! Last week saw an improvement at 9-7 Money Line and  8-8 Against the Spread (.500 for the first time all year!) Let’s take a look at our Week 6 Matchups!

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Bye Weeks: FALCONS, MIAMI THURSDAY

pngGiants @ Bears png-15– MONEY LINE: Bears — SPREAD: Giants (+8.0)

This is the worst season I have watched as a Big Blue fan, and now they will be without David Wilson. Everything that can go wrong has and the sledding won’t get easier against a Bears team that has dropped two straight games and get to play at home. The Bears looked bad against a surging Saints’ defense. Jay Cutler has to get the ball to Brandon Marshall more, but now Alshon Jeffery has solidified himself as an asset after his ridiculous Week 5 performance, which he was probably on Fantasy Football benches for. Again we use opening lines for each week:

SUNDAY

png-16Raiders @ Chiefschiefs – MONEY LINE: Chiefs — SPREAD: Raiders (+10.5)

Terrelle Pryor is coming into his own and looked good against the Chargers at home last week. The defense isn’t all that good, but Pryor can keep the team in games with his legs and apparently now his arm. The Chiefs survived a scare in Nashville last week against the Titans. The Chiefs still look like a complete team and their defense has become smothering under Andy Reid. Jamaal Charles will most likely have a field day against the Raiders.

png-18 Eagles @ Bucs png-6– MONEY LINE: Bucs — SPREAD: Bucs (+1.5)

The Eagles beat up on the bad Giants as Nick Foles had to come in and finish off the G-Men. Vick is banged up, yet he wasn’t even hit. The Bucs are coming off their bye and have now rid themselves of Josh Freeman and Mike Glennon will take control under center. I think this is the week they get their first win as Nick Foles will lead a fast-paced spread offense that he isn’t built for. The Bucs defense is still better than many and will most likely shot down an offense that without Vick lacks its second-best weapon.

packers Packers @ Ravenspng-4– MONEY LINE: Packers — SPREAD: Packers (-3.0)

The Packers won an ugly one in Green Bay last weekend against the Lions, but their defense showed up against the Megatron-less Lions. They shut down Reggie Bush and the Lions only scored a touchdown, but not without a price. Clay Matthews is out for at least a month with a fractured thumb. Rodgers will have to produce more with the defense now lacking its best pass-rusher. The Ravens are suffering because of Ray Rice’s inability to break tackles this year and put up Ray Rice numbers. If this continues, Joe Flacco will have to carry the load and a defense that is beginning to click will have to step up even more.

png-13 Lions @ Brownspng-23 – MONEY LINE: Lions — SPREAD: Lions (-2.5)

If Megatron plays this will stay, if he doesn’t I will come back and change this pick you have my word. The Lions looked horrible without the best WR in the league right now, that can’t continue they need to make something of their other players. The defense held up pretty well against Rodgers until the end of the game, but the sledding is easier against the Brandon Weeden led Browns. Hoyer is down and Weeden takes back over. They were 0-2 with Weeden under center, but he won in emergency work last week against the more banged-up Bills. Browns’ players have said they have instilled their confidence in Weeden and we will see how it plays out. Haden vs. Megatron would be fun to watch!

png-3 Panthers @ Vikingspng-12 – MONEY LINE: Vikings — SPREAD: Vikings (-2.5)

The Panthers looked awful and Cam looked scared last week against the Cardinals front seven. How is this team supposed to be taken seriously after performances like that??? The Vikings are coming off their big win in London and their bye week. Matt Cassel will be under center, but now Josh Freeman is in the picture. All I can think is Adrian Peterson and the wide receivers are thinking pick one and stick with him … as long as his name isn’t Christian Ponder.

ramsRams @ Texanstexans – MONEY LINE: Texans — SPREAD: Texans (-7.0)

The Rams beat the future 0-16 Jaguars … Congrats, guys! Now you play a real team that just took a beating at the hands of the 49ers. Last year the Texans took a beating from the Packers 42-24 (not as close as the score says), then they turned around and demolished the Super Bowl Champion Ravens 43-13 at home. The Rams offense is ugly and a mess right now even after scoring 34 on the lowly Jags. The Texans’ fans might be calling for Matt Scahub’s head but they have no better option right now, so suck it up!

png-21Steelers @ Jets images– MONEY LINE: Jets — SPREAD: Jets (+2.5)

This line has swapped as the Jets are now 2-point favorites. Geno Smith was calm under the 0 pressure he faced from the Falcons on Monday and he knocked tons of people out of Survivor Pools everywhere (hate you, Geno). The Jets defense is as solid as ever even without Revis, it’s mainly their front seven that’s supplanting their 3-2 record. The Steelers are as bad as the Giants, but they are hoping a steady run game will help them, but they still have no offensive line and they need to find a defensive groove, good luck with all that.

png-14 Bengals @ Bills  png-9– MONEY LINE: Bengals — SPREAD: Bengals (-7.5)

The Bengals played an ugly game with the Patriots in Cincy last weekend 13-6 with some good defense. The Bengals will get to feast on Thaddeus Lewis for the Bills as E.J. Manuel is going to miss over a month. They will also get Leon Hall back, sorry Thad. The Bills need to establish a run game with their two-headed beast in Spiller and Jackson. Thaddeus Lewis is most likely going to have to check down a lot to the running backs. The Bills always play up at home and I wouldn’t be shocked if they were in this game the whole way.

png-20Titans @ Seahawks png-2– MONEY LINE: Seahawks — SPREAD: Seahawks (-13.5)

The Titans fought with the Chiefs, but came up short at home. Now they travel to the Seattle to face a Seahawks team that lost a heart-breaker to the Colts in Indy last week. The defense will be angry after giving up 24 (one touchdown was scored on a blocked punt) to the Colts. The Titans defense is a quietly good unit, but Ryan Fitzpatrick will not be able to outmatch the Seahawks defense. Russell Wilson needs to gain some consistency this year for his team to take the next step, especially on the road.

download Jaguars @ Broncosbroncos – MONEY LINE: Jags (Not even a little funny?) — SPREAD: Broncos (-28.0)

The biggest spread in the history of the game. I will still take the Broncos who survived a scare against the Cowboys on Sunday. The Jags are turning back to Chad Henne because Gabbert is hurt … again. Peyton will keep the machine rolling against the Jags and hopefully “no Jags will be harmed in the making of this.” Avert your eyes Jaguar fans … all 10 of you.

png-10 Arizona @ 49ers 49ers – MONEY LINE: 49ers — SPREAD: Cardinals (+10.5)

The Cardinals defense was everywhere on Sunday and made Cam Newton pay. The defense will be just as ferocious against the 49ers. Colin Kaepernick continues to struggle this year as defenses are getting more and more after him. He still hit Vernon Davis on a touchdown pass, made mostly by Davis ridiculous 4.38 speed. The 49ers defense will be the reason they win this game, but the Cardinals’ defense is underrated as Cam Newton saw.

saintsSaints @ Patriotspng-8 – MONEY LINE: Saints — SPREAD: Saints (+2.0)

This will be a good one. Two teams with good defenses, when no one though they would have solid defensive units. The Saints are coming off a big win in Chicago, where Drew Brees was winless prior to Sunday. Brady & Co. are coming off an ugly loss to the Bengals where his touchdown streak was halted. One would expect the Patriots to bounce back and pounce the next opponent, but they face a really good Saints team. Gronk should be back and Danny Amendola actually didn’t get hurt last week. This is a toss-up.

png-19Redskins @ Cowboyspng-1 – MONEY LINE: Cowboys — SPREAD: Redskins (+4.5) The ‘Skins are coming off their bye. Their defense is really bad, but RGIII (not his legs) are keeping them in games or almost pulling off comebacks. Let’s see how healthy RGIII’s knee is after the off week. The Cowboys were in a shootout with the Broncos and lost on a crucial Tony Romo interception … SHOCKER! The pick wasn’t that bad and Danny Trevathan made an unbelievable play. Romo will look to turn it around against an easy feast in the Redskins’ defense.

MONDAY

png-17 Colts @ Chargers chargers – MONEY LINE: Colts — SPREAD: Colts (E)

Andrew Luck leads another furious comeback and takes down a Goliath. This kid is turning into an elite quarterback in front of our eyes. If they can get Trent Richardson going, watch out. The Chargers looked bad against the Raiders on Monday and this team is a story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It all depends on how Philip Rivers performs, but expect Andrew Luck to put up a ton of points in this one. Todays_Special UPSET SPECIAL

  • PATRIOTS
  • STEELERS
  • VIKINGS
  • EAGLES
  • BEARS

survivor-logo SURVIVOR POOL

  • BRONCOS
  • CHIEFS
  • TEXANS
  • 49ERS
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Week 5: Bring on the Byes

7-8 Money line for the week and against the spread we went 5-9-1… Another bad week unfortunately, but let’s delve into Week 5 as more byes have come into play with the Redskins, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay all having their off week.

130923020135_Jacoby Jones 1280 usa today

THURSDAY

Bills @ Browns – MONEY LINE: Browns — SPREAD: Browns (-3.5)

Bills pulled off a shocker at home against the Ravens as their defense picked Flacco five times, The rookie quarterback-led Bills head to Cleveland where the Browns have rattled off two straight W’s with Hoyer under center now. The Browns defense will prove too much for EJ Manuel to handle.

SUNDAY

Chiefs @ Titans – MONEY LINE: Chiefs — SPREAD: Chiefs (-3.0)

The Chiefs kept Big Blue’s embarrassing season rolling as they routed them in Arrowhead. Now they head to Nashville to face a Titans coming off their own rout of a New York Team, Gang Green. The Titans lost Jake Locker for at least four weeks to a rib injury and now have to rely on Mr. Harvard, Ryan Fitzpatrick. I can’t believe this spread is only three.

Ravens @ Dolphins – MONEY LINE: Ravens — SPREAD: Ravens (+3.0)

Joe Flacco threw five interceptions and this team still almost won. Ryan Tannehill was embarrassed and constantly under duress during his Monday Night bout with the Saints’ defense. The Ravens will be ready to feast on a turnover-happy Tannehill and the Dolphins’ defense will be looking to avenge their performance against the Saints.

Jaguars @ Rams – MONEY LINE: Rams — SPREAD: Rams (+13.0)

The Jags are bad and playing for the first pick, easily demonstrated by them sticking by Blaine Gabbert. They have been monster underdogs in the two games preceding this one and are again big underdogs. I want to take the Rams, but with the way they’ve performed since pulling off a comeback win against the Cardinals, it makes it tough. Sam Bradford doesn’t have a better opportunity to put his offensive weapons on display than this game.

Patriots @ Bengals – MONEY LINE: Patriots — SPREAD: Patriots (+2.0)

Tom Terrific did this thing again on Sunday Night against the beat up Falcons’ defense. The Falcons offense only got really going in the fourth quarter as the Patriots are back to playing physical defense, but will now be without Vince Wilfork. The Bengals lost a bad game to the Browns away from home and are probably seething for that reason. I know the Bengals are very talented but Andy Dalton would have to beat Tom Brady on this night and I don’t see it.

Seahawks @ Colts – MONEY LINE: Seahawks — SPREAD: Seahawks (-3.0)

The Seahawks pulled off a miraculous comeback thanks to Matt Schaub and Richard Sherman, who play on two different teams. The Colts whooped the Jaguars, to put it nicely. People keep saying the Colts defense is underrated and we will see that get tested this week. We will also see how the Colts offense can hold up as the Seahawks get some of their premiere defenders back.

Lions @ Packers – MONEY LINE: Packers — SPREAD: Packers (-6.5)

The Lions took it to the Bears last week. The Packers were off and Lacy is coming back from his concussion. Expect a lot of points in this one. Rodgers will be on the money this week.

Saints @ Bears – MONEY LINE: Saints — SPREAD: Saints (E)

The Saints had their way with the Dolphins on Monday Night. Drew Brees is having fun this year and Rob Ryan has shocked the world by turning this defense around completely. The Bears almost had a last minute comeback against the Lions last week but came up short. Jay Cutler finally main some mistakes this year and it cost the Bears.

Eagles @ Giants – MONEY LINE: Giants — SPREAD: Eagles (+3.0)

I don’t want to talk about this game … but I have to. The Eagles offense was outdone completely by the Peyton Manning show. The Eagles question is their defense if the offense can’t score. The Giants are a mess and the season may be in the tubes already after four weeks if it wasn’t for their weak division. This team needs a run game and needs to keep Eli upright.

Panthers @ Cardinals – MONEY LINE: Panthers — SPREAD: Panthers (-2.0)

The Panthers are coming off their bye. The front seven is simply loaded and Jon Beason is getting healthy. The Cardinals beat a beaten Bucs team that has switched quarterbacks and may switch coaches soon. I don’t really like this pick with the Cardinals at home.

Chargers @ Raiders – MONEY LINE: Raiders — SPREAD: Raiders (+5.5)

The Chargers pulled off an upset at home beating the Cowboys. Philip Rivers looked decent again. The defense looked solid, but now Dwight Freeney is done for the year. Terrelle Pryor who has been surprisingly better than average this year will draw the start in a game that was moved to 11:35 ET from 4:35 thanks tot he Oakland A’s playoff game. I am going ballsy on this pick.

Broncos @ Cowboys – MONEY LINE: Broncos — SPREAD: Broncos (-6.0)

The massacres continue. Peyton Manning is toying with the league as he has yet to throw an interception. The Cowboys looked bad again against the Chargers last week. The ‘Boys have demoted Morris Claiborne and their defense does not look good, so their offense will have to keep up with Peyton & Co. against a stout Broncos’ defense.

Texans @ 49ers – MONEY LINE: 49ers — SPREAD: Texans (+7.0)

The Texans lost a heart-wrencher as Matt Schaub threw away their sure-fire 3-1 record to Richard Sherman. Arian Foster seems to be rounding back into form. The 49ers returned to beating up teams as they took it to the Rams last Thursday night. I like the 49ers because of the extra rest, but it should be close with the Texans’ defense knowing how to shut quarterbacks down.

MONDAY

Jets @ Falcons – MONEY LINE: Falcons — SPREAD: Falcons (-9.0)

The Jets looked horrible against the Titans. They have no hope this week as they will be without Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes. The Falcons almost pulled off a comeback against the Patriots. The banged-up defense will be facing a banged-up offense. I expect a blowout in Atlanta.

siren

UPSET ALERT:

  • 49ERS
  • CHARGERS
  • DOLPHINS
  • BENGALS
  • SEAHAWKS

Forrest Gump front

SURVIVOR POOL PICK

  • RAMS
  • BRONCOS
  • FALCONS
  • CHIEFS

 

 

 

Week 4: Recovery Time

Last week was a rough 5-10-1 against the spread … we got worse. 8-8 money line. I will fix this issue, but what a week that was! Too many upsets and we see a lot of teams going 0-3 that are quite puzzling, Giants and Redskins! Thursday night is here and I know you want to see the picks for Week 4!

How I and the G-Men Feel

How I and the G-Men Feel

THURSDAY

49ers @ Rams – Money Line: 49ers — Spread: Rams (+3.5)

The 49ers kept up their poor play against the Colts. Andrew Luck didn’t have a great game but he commanded it while his counterpart in Colin Kaepernick struggled mightily against a Colts team not known for its defense. Did the league figure out the 49ers’ read option over the offseason or is this just a bad stretch of games for the Niners and their 2012 hero? The Rams looked awful in Dallas last week and I expect them and their underrated defense to bounce back this Thursday night. Both teams coming off bad losses and the 49ers will probably be without Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith.

SUNDAY

The rest of these will not have blurbs for this week … sorry to disappoint!

Steelers @ Vikings – Money Line: Steelers — Spread: Steelers (E)

You sound like you’re from London!!!

Ravens @ Bills – Money Line: Ravens — Spread: Ravens (-3.5)

Ravens big win and Bills bad loss in Week 3, expect the Ravens to have fun with EJ Manuel and the injury ravaged Bills’ defense.

Bengals @ Browns – Money Line: Bengals — Spread: Bengals (-4.5)

I’ll regret this one because the Browns and Bengals always play close.

Colts @ Jaguars – Money Line: Colts — Spread: Colts (-9.0)

Big win for the Colts last week in San Fran and this is definitely a let down game, but I can’t pull myself to take the Jags.

Seahawks @ Houston – Money Line: Seahawks — Spread: Seahawks (-3.0)

‘Hawks embarrassed the Jags last week, now they go on the road to play a Houston team probably upset at the way they got manhandled by the Ravens last week.

Cardinals @ Bucs – Money Line: Cardinals — Spread: Cardinals (+2.5)

Bad loss to the Saints for the Cardinals and then bad loss to the Patriots for the Bucs who have now benched their “franchise” quarterback in favor of their newest rookie, Mike Glennon welcome to the fire.

Bears @ Lions – Money Line: Bears — Spread: Bears (+3.0)

Bears are really the underdog here? The Bears look like one of the best teams in the league as their line looks better and Jay Cutler seems under control. Sorry Lions!

Giants @ Chiefs – Money Line: Giants — Spread: Giants (+4.5)

Honey Badger don’t care!

Jets @ TItans – Money Line: Jets — Spread: Jets (+4.5)

Both MetLife teams on the road to win? Why not! (Herm Edwards voice)

Cowboys @ Chargers – Money Line: Cowboys — Spread: Cowboys (-1.5)

Don’t care, I wish the ‘Boys would lose though.

Redskins @ Raiders – Money Line: Redskins — Spread: Redskins (-3.0)

Redskins are going to get that win regardless of whether Terrelle Pryor plays for the Raiders.

Eagles @ Broncos – Money Line: Broncos — Spread: Broncos (-10.5)

High scoring, the Eagles won’t be able to keep up with how good the Broncos’ defense is.

Patriots @ Falcons – Money Line: Falcons — Spread: Falcons (-1.0)

No Gronk and Amendola means a loss for the Pats as Matt Ryan tosses it around the Georgia Dome where he loves playing.

Dolphins @ Saints – Money Line: Saints — Spread: Saints (-5.5)

I like the ‘Fins, but going into New Orleans Tannehill will struggle against the revamped Saints’ defense.

siren

UPSET ALERT

  • Chiefs
  • Titans

tom-hanks-in-cast-away

SURVIVOR POOL PICKS

  • Colts
  • Bengals
  • Ravens
  • Redskins (ballsy at 0-3)

 

What if We Could Alter the NFL Logos?

It’s Week 3 of the NFL and I’m already fully engulfed in all of the madness, but how about a little shakeup? Imagine if the NFL did a total re-haul of all the logos and what each one would look like. Recently, Barstool Sports has linked us to some of the ideas fans have had and I actually like most if not all of them. Remember when the NFL announced they were switching to Nike and dropping Reebok from their jersey production? There were images of what one illustrator thought would be possible with the new agreement with Nike and the possibility of Nike Pro Combat Jerseys, but none of that happened or even came close, except the Seahawks. If only (sighs).

Here is a link to three articles:

Simply redesigned logos

http://www.barstoolsports.com/philly/super-page/somebody-redesigned-the-logos-for-all-32-nfl-teams/

(Original link: http://imgur.com/gallery/yGJKk)

XRJXsWw-500x281hhNuHqI-500x281

Game of Thrones (somewhat) inspired NFL logos:

http://philly.barstoolsports.com/random-thoughts/somebody-made-nfl-logos-game-of-thrones-style-and-they-are-amazing/

(Original link: http://whatshotdjroomba.minus.com/uploads)

n10

Hypothetical Uniform redesigns from 2010, just to look at what could have been. Have fun with your uni’s like NCAA does! Looking at you, Nike and NFL: (Scroll through with arrows)

http://www.businessinsider.com/check-out-these-insane-nfl-uniform-redesigns-2010-11#arizona-cardinals-1

Waiting on you, Nike!

Waiting on you, Nike!

 

 

 

Week 3: Let’s not Overreact

12-4 Week 2 money line, against the spread we got better going 7-8-1 rather than 4-12 in Week 1. I’ll get better at the spreads, that’s a promise, but let’s keep the ball rolling on the money line picks ’cause we’re on fire. I will reiterate we make picks with spreads based on opening lines from Sundays before the respective week.

Off to Indy!!!

Off to Indy!!!

THURSDAY

Chiefs @ Eagles – Money Line: Eagles — Spread: Chiefs (+3.0)

The Eagles high powered offense was outmatched by Philip Rivers? The one weakness of the Eagles is what Chip Kelly fears the most, the offense sitting on the sidelines. If their opponent can dominate the time of possession then the Eagles could see a bunch of losses. The Chiefs defense is underrated after a solid showing against the Cowboys in Arrowhead. If Alex Smith can be the 13-3 Alex Smith from two years ago the Chiefs are headed to the playoffs.

SUNDAY

Texans @ Ravens – Money Line: Texans — Spread: Texans (+1.0)

The Texans keep needing late game comebacks and that will only work for so long. Ben Tate has been outplaying Arian Foster, but has only been getting about 25% of the snaps that the overused Foster has. I’m not saying Foster has lost a step after missing training camp and the preseason, but it wouldn’t be outrageous to think so. DeAndre Hopkins might be emerging as the second option behind Andre Johnson the Texans have always desired. The Ravens’ defense looked much better against the Browns last week, but the offense still looks off without many weapons. If they could get Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce on the field most of the time, they would be better off, but Rice might not play, tilting the scales.

Giants @ Panthers – Money Line: Giants — Spread: Giants (+2.5)

Eli Manning has 7 interceptions already and the G-Men have 10. Yikes. They haven’t looked like themselves, their pass rush can get no pressure leaving their somewhat surprisingly deep corners out on islands. The Giants need to give the ball to David Wilson and get over the fumbles, it’s time to turn the corner on it. They need to right this ship. Cam Newton and the Panthers seemed to find a stride somewhat against the Bills. We will see how the talent-less offense responds against the Giants’ defense at home. The Panthers front seven is surprisingly good, like the Giants on the road as dogs.

Rams @ Cowboys – Money Line: Cowboys — Spread: Rams (+3.5)

The Rams played catch-up and almost completed the comeback against the Falcons last week. The defense is probably seething after that embarrassing first half, which is bad for Tony Romo. I will repeat the Rams have speedsters all over the field on offense, so watch out Cowboys. The ‘Boys looked real good in the first quarter, especially the connection of Romo and Dez Bryant, but they strayed away from Bryant in the second half, leading to a bad loss. They will look to rebound in Jerry’s World, but don’t expect the run game to get going against this front seven.

Chargers @ Titans – Money Line: Titans— Spread: Chargers (+3.0)

The Chargers shocked the world with their first half performance against the Texans on MNF opening weekend. Then, they froze hell over and beat the Chip Kelly Eagles in Philly. Philip Rivers looked like vintage Philip Rivers, which is something we shouldn’t count on every week. With no run game and few weapons on offense the Chargers will have trouble finding more wins, but might not be hard pressed to find one in Nashville. Nothing to say about the Titans, except their in trouble with an unhappy Kenny Britt. The biggest challenge for the Chargers is the fact they traveled to Philly, back to San Diego, only to come back to Tennessee.

Buccaneers @ Patriots – Money Line: Patriots — Spread: Buccaneers (+7.5)

The Bucs look bad, but played the hell out of the Saints. Josh Freeman is in the doghouse of Greg Schiano and probably won’t find his way out until he starts winning some games. Darrelle Revis appeared to be there as well, but he claims they have smoothed things out. The Bucs’ defense isn’t their problem it’s the offense, but that’s the problem the Pats have right now. Tom Brady has looked pedestrian through the first two weeks and I doubt it will continue when Gronk comes back, but that probably won’t be this weekend. The defenses will keep this game close.

Browns @ Vikings – Money Line: Vikings — Spread: Vikings (-3.0)

Well this is awkward. The Browns have traded away their best player and are back into a rebuilding mode after having hopes for two games? Their defense has held up their side, but the offense has not been able to get going and won’t find any more success with Richardson gone (they have replaced him with Willis McGahee) and Brian Hoyer starting now. Adrian Peterson is salivating at the thought of his Vikings competing in a game, which results in more carries for him. Expect a heavy workload for Purple Jesus this week, but this team might need to turn the page on Christian Ponder soon.

Packers @ Bengals – Money Line: Packers — Spread: Packers (+1.5)

The Packers looked like the Packers of two years ago scoring in bunches against the Redskins last week. Rodgers looked like his MVP self and his weapons are pretty solid yet again. James Starks filled in quite nicely for Eddie Lacy as he was knocked out with a concussion (no pun intended). Their defense allowed the Redskins to make a game out of it, but shouldn’t find too much trouble against the Andy Dalton led Bengals. The Bengals defense had their way with the Steelers and Big Ben. The offense struggled yet again at the hands of Andy Dalton. All of his down-field passes seem to go out of bounds. I like the Packers offense to outrun the defense of the Bengals.

Lions @ Redskins – Money Line: Redskins — Spread: Redskins (-2.5)

The Lions lost a heart-breaker to the Cardinals in Arizona last week and now have to travel back to Washington to face an 0-2, but hungry Redskins team. Calvin Johnson exploded again on Patrick Peterson in a losing effort, while Reggie Bush came out of the game all banged up, but Joique Bell has and would fill in nicely. RGIII has not been called upon to run, but now every media outlet is saying that’s why the Redskins keep losing. We will see how the game planning has changed over the past week, but expect him to stay in the pocket a lot and sling the ball around against a bad Lions defense. This should be a shootout.

Cardinals @ Saints – Money Line: Saints — Spread: Cardinals (+7.5)

The Cardinals eeked out a late win after losing a late on against the Rams in Week One. Carson Palmer is having fun with this new offense he is playing under, but Larry Fitzgerald’s injury will not benefit him. The Cardinals defense is a solid unit, but I don’t know if they can stick with the Saints. The Saints defense has looked better, but now they just lost Patrick Robinson and are very thin every where on defense. Drew Brees will explode sooner or later, and might be in for a big game at home, but I’ll take the 7.5 points considering the Cards also play in a dome.

Falcons @ Dolphins – Money Line: Falcons — Spread: Falcons (+1.5)

Steven Jackson won’t play this week and nobody knows when he will be back, but that means Matt Ryan gets to have fun. The Falcons are 1-1 after losing a heart-breaker at the Thunderdome, but face another tough defense like last week against the Rams. The Falcons are getting thinner on the defensive side after losing Sean Witherspoon to the I.R. The Dolphins are surprisingly 2-0, having beaten the Browns and the offensive line-less Colts in Indy. Ryan Tannehill has looked improved and Lamar Miller looked better last week and will look good against a bad Falcons defense again this week. If Tannehill and Mike Wallace continue to build their rapport, this team could sneak into the playoffs.

Bills @ Jets – Money Line: Jets — Spread: Bills (+2.5)

The Bills inched out an exciting win at home last week. Now they face what’s turning into a typical Rex Ryan defense at MetLife Stadium. Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods are already on the same page as E.J. Manuel, spelling trouble for opposing defenses, especially if C.J. Spiller can get into the open field. The Bills defense just needs to stand its ground. The Jets lost an ugly one to the Patriots on Thursday Night in Foxborough. Geno Smith cannot keep making the mistakes he was baited into by Bill Belichick. The defense is how I’m going to make this pick.

Jaguars @ Seahawks – Money Line: Seahawks — Spread: Seahawks (-16.5)

The line has been at 20 as well, and I still would’ve taken it. The Jags look like the cream of the crap so far, and might be without Maurice Jones-Drew, good luck with that Jacksonville! The Seahawks had their way with the 49ers yet again last week even with Russell Wilson’s poor performance. The Seahawks might send out the backups after the third quarter in this one.

Colts @ 49ers – Money Line: 49ers — Spread: Colts (+10.5)

Post-Trent Richardson Trade this line has moved only half a point to a point. The Colts merely gave up a first round pick (most likely in the 20s) to get the former #3 pick overall from the Browns. They have massively upgraded their running back, but their line still sucks. Andrew Luck will now have a new play toy and a great 1-2 punch in Richardson and Bradshaw. The Niners were embarrassed on national television and I don’t think they liked it. I see them embarrassing the Colts to save face, but garbage time will see this game get closer.

Bears @ Steelers – Money Line: Bears — Spread: Bears (-1.0)

When a road team is favored, it’s never good for the home team. The Steelers can’t get much going on offense except from their speedy receivers on dink and dunk passes. The Steelers kept attempting to go to Jerrico Cotchery on Monday Night, which left me wondering what was Todd Haley smoking in Cinci. Their offensive line is horrendous and will struggle against a good Bears’ defense. The Bears offense pulled out a victory in the last seconds of their 31-30 win against the Vikings. The defense will have a better game against the mostly talent-less Steelers’ offense.

MONDAY

Raiders @ Broncos – Money Line: Raiders (just kidding, Broncos) — Spread: Broncos (-15.5)

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Charles Woodson made one of the best tackles I’ve ever seen on MJD last week to save a touchdown, but that’s all I can say about that game. Good luck, Raiders! Peyton Manning and the Broncos went into MetLife Stadium and dismantled the Giants and little brother Eli. The Broncos are firing on all cylinders already and Knowshown Moreno looks good right now and expect a lot of carries from him as the Broncos will be up early and often here. I can see the game finishing closer than expected because it is Monday Night Football after all.

siren

UPSET ALERT

This week I am putting the Dolphins, Panthers, Bengals, Titans and Redskins on Upset Alert. I know it’s a lot of teams but one of the most beloved things about the NFL is the parity every year.

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SURVIVOR PICK

This week let’s just say take the

  • Seahawks
  • Broncos
  • Vikings

No need to look at anyone else, the Vikings could lose, but the Browns will look bad this week.

Week 2: Aftermath of Week 1

kaephit

RIP Kaep … Ouch-town Population you, Bro! (Pepper Brooks)

What did we look like after Week 1 you ask? Taking a look at the money line Sports Gone HAM went a solid 11-5, but against the spread we were a truly disappointing 4-10-2 (pushes). We will get better on the spreads, but it is the first time we are trying and Week 1 saw some head-scratchers. Let’s get into week one and reflect on some injuries and Week 1 games during each match-up:

THURSDAY

Jets @ Patriots (-12.0) – Money Line: Patriots —- Spread: Jets (+12.0)

The Pats are hurting on offense and it showed last weekend. Stevan Ridley has struggled to hold onto the ball ever since the playoffs last season and now Shane Vereen, his talented backup, is out until at least Week 10. Danny Amendola is not expected to play and they are still missing Gronk. It looks like Thompkins and Edelman will be the one-two punch. The Jets pulled a win out of nowhere last Sunday as Geno Smith scrambled out of bounds and was inexplicably pushed out of bounds by Lavonte David. The Jets defense looked solid as usual last weekend, but the offense looked somewhat anemic in Smith’s first start. He did show some maturity throughout the game taking some sacks and not making horrible throws. I like their defense to keep this game somewhat close.

SUNDAY

Chargers @ Eagles (7.5) – Money Line: Eagles —- Spread: Eagles (-7.5)

The Chargers had an epic collapse with only twenty minutes to go in their Monday Night Football game against the Houston Texans. From what I saw in the first half, Philip Rivers looked pretty good and crisp after an off-season where his possible regression was called into question. The second half happened and it looked like the critics could be right, but only time will tell. The Eagles fumbled the ball on a questionable call their first drive, but dominated after that. They ran 53 plays in the first half with their new Oregon offense and looked sharp. They play fast because that’s what their top three guys have, speed and lots of it (Vick, Jackson and McCoy). Look for the Eagles to tire out the Chargers and coast in the second half.

Browns @ Ravens (-6.5)  – Money Line: Ravens —- Spread: Ravens (-6.5)

The Browns looked lost at home against the Dolphins. Besides Jordan Cameron, Trent Richardson is the best receiving option and he lines up in the backfield. The Ravens defense will be angry after being embarrassed, man-handled, torched and simply run off the field by the Broncos and Peyton’s seven touchdowns on Opening Night. The Ravens offense was average with a lack of talent in their receiving corps as well. Marlon Brown seems like he might make a nice addition in the slot, but Torrey Smith can’t man the outside by himself. This will be interesting and even though I think 6.5 is a lot of points, I still go Ravens at home.

Titans @ Texans (-9.0) – Money Line: Texans —- Spread: Texans (-9)

The Titans looked good, but that was against a really bad offense that calls its home Pittsburgh. That line is horrific and made the Titans defense look like … well the Steelers’ defense. Chris Johnson found some lanes against a stout run defense, but his sledding won’t get easier against the tough Texans defense. The Texans looked disastrous in the first half against the Chargers, but turned into the AFC South champs in the second half. Andre Johnson did his Andre Johnson thing and broke 100 yards as Matt Schaub abused him in the target area. Arian Foster looked a little rusty and Ben Tate looked poised to take over when he could. Gary Kubiak said they might need to split the carries more evenly if this keeps up. I still like Texans giving the 9.

Dolphins @ Colts (-3.0) – Money Line: Colts —- Spread: Colts (-3.0)

The Dolphins beat a bad looking Browns team while leaving their most talented player on offense out of the equation, which left him pretty upset with the coaching staff. Mike Wallace needs to be given the ball because he’s a play-maker, and if their run game can’t get going he has the talent to make something out of nothing. The Colts looked flat for some reason against a bad Oakland defense. The Colts line still isn’t the best and their run game is at the bottom of the pack. If Ahmad Bradshaw can’t overtake Vic Ballard, it could mean more passes for Andrew Luck each game. At home I like the Colts

Panthers (-3.0) @ Bills – Money Line: Bills —- Spread: Bills (+3.0)

The Panthers front seven looked great against a great run team in the Seahawks. However, that team had traveled from the other corner of the country and played at 1 P.M. and I don’t care who you are, that’s never easy. The Panthers offense looked horrendous against a great defense, so try and get a read on that one. The Bills looked pretty good against the Patriots and took them to the wire, but couldn’t finish the job. E.J. Manuel had a couple of nice throws, but his defense couldn’t hold up against Tom and the Pats beat-up offense. I like the Bills at home.

Rams @ Falcons (-7.0) – Money Line: Falcons —- Spread: Rams (+7.0)

The Rams came roaring back against the Cardinals and used “Legatron” to cap off the come from behind victory. Bradford looked better than the past few years behind a revamped offensive line featuring newly acquired Jake Long. He has explosive weapons all over the field, Richardson, Austin, Givens, and Cook and he seems to be hitting it off with all. The defense is underrated and can get in the backfield as well as force turnovers. The Falcons are coming off a heart-breaker against their arch-rival Saints. Their defense played better than anyone expected with Asante Samuel, but their offense looked nothing like last years with Roddy White being banged up. I want to pick the Falcons, but their defense and the speed around Bradford worry me.

Redskins @ Packers (-7.0) – Money Line: Packers —- Spread: Redskins (+7.0)

RGIII looked rusty, but then he settled in against the Eagles defense. Alfred Morris did not look like himself on a very costly fumble, and the defense was tired after the Eagles ran their up-tempo offense. The defense will need to shore up against Rodgers and the Pack to have a shot. The P ackers put up a good fight against the reigning NFC Champions, but simply couldn’t put a cap on the Kaep. Their secondary was lit up by the likes of Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis, which makes RGIII feel confident. The Pack tried to establish the run game while airing it out with Rodgers. They have a good fit in Lacy and he likes what he saw from McCoy’s performance on Monday night I’m Sure.

Cowboys @ Chiefs (-2.5) – Money Line: Cowboys —- Spread: Cowboys (+2.5)

The Cowboys defense looked great forcing 6 turnovers against the Giants, but the offense was unable to capitalize on each turnover as the Giants were on the verge of a comeback until the final turnover did them in. Tony Romo suffered bruise ribs after getting finally hit by the Giants defensive linemen. The Cowboys still looked like the better team on Sunday and could be a force with all their talent if they can get the offense really flowing. The Chiefs looked well-rounded, but that was against the lowly Jaguars. The defense forced turnovers and got into the backfield, which could help against the Cowboys O-Line. Their defense will need to perform up to better standards to stop the Cowboys offensive weapons. I like the ‘Boys here even with Dez Bryant injured.

Vikings @ Bears (-6.0) – Money Line: Bears —- Spread: Bears (-6.0)

The Vikings pass game is going to be a problem for a while unless someone can teach Christian Ponder how to be an NFL quarterback. As was the case last year, Adrian Peterson will face a lot of “full box” situations because most teams want leave the game in Ponder’s hands. The Vikings corners looked good last week shutting down Calvin Johnson, but the whole defense was embarassed by probably the most dangerous open field player in the NFL in Reggie Bush. The Bears withstood a tough test from the Bengals last week and somehow Jay Cutler did not take a sack. Brandon Marshall and Cutler are on a whole other level right now. Their defense isn’t the same without Urlacher and Tillman was abused by AJ Green, but the Vikes don’t have that type of outside weapon so Bears here.

Saints (-3.5) @ Buccaneers – Money Line: Saints —- Spread: Saints (-3.5)

The Saints defense stopped the Falcons. Say what? The Saints offense looked pretty good with Sean Payton back, but they can definitely do more. Just wait till they hit their stride, but their defense will leak and won’t hold teams to 17 very often to be honest. The Bucs lost in shocking fashion. Their defense looked good with the addition of Revis, but the offense looked lost. Josh Freeman is in a make or break year, his contract year, and he has weapons that most quarterbacks would thrive with. They need to fix his focus otherwise it’ll be another long season to the team with pewter helmets. Saints here.

Lions (-1.0) @ Cardinals – Money Line: Cardinals —- Spread: Cardinals (1.0)

The Lions newest offensive toy looked fantastic against the Vikings; however, they can’t rely on Reggie Bush to beat better teams like the Arizona Cardinals. Calvin Johnson will needed to produce more than 4 catches for the Lions to keep winning games. Suh made another stupid mistake that cost him a ton of money. The Cardinals looked good throughout the game against a good Rams defense and Carson Palmer seems to fit Bruce Arians’ offensive scheme. Their defense looked solid as well and they have talent that’ll surprise most. I think at home the Cardinals will take this one.

Jaguars @ Raiders (-6.0) – Money Line: Raiders —- Spread: Jaguars (+6.0)

The Jaguars looked historically bad. Gabbert is out (apparently with an injury) and Henne is in. Henne produced decent numbers last year while filling in for Gabbert. I like Maurice Jones-Drew this week against a bad Raiders defense, but it’s hard to expect much from the Jags’ offense. The Raiders looked surprisingly decent against the Colts in Indy on Sunday. Until the final drive where they turned the ball over, the Raiders looked serviceable. I like the Raiders here because of the elusiveness of Terrelle Pryor, but with Henne under center I don’t like them by more than 6, but I might change my take on this game.

Broncos (-5.0) @ Giants – Money Line: Giants —- Money Line: Giants (+5.0)

The Broncos looked scary on Opening Night as Peyton tossed seven touchdowns at Mile High. Their defense, even without Von Miller and Champ Bailey looked pretty solid against the defending champs. I am worried about what the Broncos are capable of this year in a division with zero defense. The Patriots record of points scored and Tom Brady’s touchdown record have been warned. The G-Men. Where to start? Six turnovers doomed the Giants on Sunday night and no team could recover from that. Except, the Giants almost had the game won before the last turnover. The defense looked good and held Dez Bryant to two catches. If David Wilson can fix himself and the line can protect Eli, the Giants could surprise people here with a win against Big Brother. These are the games the Giants always step up and win.

49ers @ Seahawks (-3.0) – Money Line: Seahawks —- Money Line: Seahawks (-3.0)

Could be one of the games of the year. The 49ers took down the Packers using Anquan Boldin last week at Candlestick. Kaepernick proved yet again he can toss the ball around with the best of them. The Niners defense, even giving up 28 points still looked like a bunch of studs. The Seahawks looked jet-lagged in Carolina and eeked out a 12-7 win. These are probably the two best teams in the NFL and they play in the same division. I can’t wait to sit down and watch this outright brawl as this rivalry has become grounded in their hatred and their physical play. I like the Seahawks at home. Remember last year’s game?

MONDAY

Steelers @ Bengals (-7.0) – Money Line: Bengals —- Money Line: Bengals (-7.0)

The Steelers’ offense looked as bad as the Jaguars’ did. Big Ben can’t stand in the pocket for more than four seconds and his receivers, maybe excluding Antonio Brown, are a bunch of B-listers and below. He will continue to struggle without his safety blanket in Heath Miller. The defense looked more fresh against the bad Titans’ offense, but they will truly be tested against a young Bengals offense. The Bengals lost a heart-breaker to the Bears last weekend in Soldier Field. The defense wasn’t able to get to Jay Cutler which is puzzling considering the front seven this team has. The defense and the offense are both solid units making this Bengals team my favorite to still take home the AFC North. This will be a physical game, but I like the Bengals even with the big spread.

siren

UPSET SPECIAL

My Upset Alerts for this week fall on the BroncosLions , Chiefs, Falcons and Panthers. All of these teams are favorites, three of which are on the road. Keep an eye on these games ladies and ‘gents.

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SURVIVOR POOL

So last week I actually took the Colts and survived by the hairs on my chin (there are none right now). For this week the teams I like, depending on who you have chosen are:

  • PATRIOTS
  • RAVENS
  • COLTS
  • TEXANS
  • EAGLES

Good luck this week to all!

Week 1: Here We Go … Football!!! And It’s on Your Phone!

We are back … with a little bit of a change this year. This year I will be picking money line wins as well as picking with the spreads according to ESPN.com and see how good we really are here at Sports Gone HAM. The NFL off-season was torturous and filled with headlines, many for the wrong reasons, I’m looking at you Aaron Hernandez. We enjoyed a great season last season so let’s all hope for a continuation of last year’s success.

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THURSDAY

Broncos @ Ravens –  Money Line: Broncos  Spread: Ravens (+7.5)

Look for the revenge factor to kick in. Both defenses have huge changes with no Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil and Champ Bailey for the Broncos; while the Ravens have lost Danell Ellerbe, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Peyton Manning has a new play toy in Wes Welker and it’ll only help.

SUNDAY

Patriots @ Bills – Money Line: Patriots — Spread: Patriots (-11.0)

EJ Manuel gets his first NFL start against a defense that would let up a ton of points to a veteran quarterback, but he’s banged up and will have to try and keep up with Tom Brady. Brady’s offense is completely revamped and even the parts that aren’t (Gronk) are banged up. Look for Brady to put up pre-Moss and Welker numbers this year at least until Gronk is 100%. The Bills could make a playoff run in a weak AFC East if Manuel plays like last year’s rookies and Spiller emerges as a top 5 running back. Pats easy here.

Bengals @ Bears – Money Line: Bears —- Spread: Bengals (-3.0)

Toss-Up! I will be picking the Bengals to win the AFC North. There is a lot of talent on this team, but it will all rest on Andy Dalton’s shoulders (see Joe Flacco). The defense is star-studded and have added a true leader and enforce in James Harrison. The Bears lost their true leader on defense in Brian Urlacher, but gained something on offense in Martellus Bennett. The Bears also have a new head coach, whom is offensive minded in Marc Trestman and their fate will rely on whichever Jay Cutler appears every game.

Dolphins @ Browns – Money Line: Browns —- Spread: Browns (-1.0)

I think the Browns are going to be competitive this year and one reason is their defense. Their defense has become much improved and they also have a new head coach. Their most talented receiver is suspended for the first two games, but Jordan Cameron is coming on like a freight train right now and if Weeden can put it where these two guys can catch it, they could surprise some people. Let’s not forget Trent Richardson who runs harder than most. The Dolphins could also be sneaky good with the acquisition of Mike Wallace as long as he runs his routes and builds a rapport with Tannehill. If Tannehill comes along as many say he appears to be the Dolphins could finish second in the AFC East.

Raiders @ Colts – Money Line: Colts —- Spread: Colts (-10.5)

Andrew Luck is going to have a big year and now he has a real running back in Ahmad Bradshaw, assuming he stays healthy. On the other side we have the Raiders, yikes. Most people can’t name anyone besides Darren McFadden on the Raiders and that never spells well for a team. Terrelle Pryor will the start over weak-armed Matt Flynn, but he has almost no weapons in this offense. The Raiders seam to be on board the “Clowney Train”.

Vikings @ Lions – Money Line: Lions —- Spread: Vikings (+5.0)

Overachievers of 2013 vs. Underachievers of 2013. The Vikings will go as “All-Day Peterson” goes. If he can reach anywhere near his production level last year, Christian Ponder and his revamped receiving corps (looks good too) will have an easier time keeping up with teams. The Lions were the biggest disappointment of last season with the talent on their team. One of the most fierce front four will hound quarterbacks again this season, but the secondary is questionable. If Stafford can stay healthy he has a new toy in Reggie Bush who is still as dangerous as anyone in the open field.

Falcons @ Saints – Money Line: Saints—- Spread: Falcons (+3.0)

Sean Payton is back and I think he should have gotten a few votes for Coach of the Year last year. This offense will be running on all cylinders with him back and a healthy Jimmy Graham. However they still look awful on defense and that doesn’t bode well against a team that has added Steven Jackson to it now. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and now Steven Jackson, good luck Rob Ryan. No Asante Samuel and a banged up Roddy … that spells trouble trying to keep up with the Saints offense.

Buccaneers @ Jets – Money Line: Buccaneers —- Spread: Buccaneers (-3.5)

The Bucs didn’t add much on offense and their tight end position is ugly, but they have talent with Freeman, Jackson, Williams and Dougie. Their defense just snagged the Jets best defensive player through trade and are easily the best in their division and will be a solid squad. The Jets are a mess and Geno Smith will draw the start with little talent around him behind the same offensive line, probably worst, than Mark Sanchez was ducking behind last year. Rex Ryan’s last year how will they do. Everyone says they’re aboard the “Clowney Train”.

Titans @ Steelers – Money Line: Steelers —- Spread: Titans (+7.5)

To me the only thing that can save the Steelers this year is their defense, which has only gotten older. They drafted Le’veon Bell to keep their running game moving and keep that run first mentality going, but he is injured and that will rest on the backup Isaac Redman for now. Big Ben lost his favorite receiver in Mike Wallace and Heath Miller is also injured. The Titans are another team possibly boarding that “Clowney Train”. Chris Johnson has an improved line to run behind now, that could be dangerous for the rest of the league, but Jake Locker needs to take a step forward this year.

Seahawks @ Panthers – Money Line: Seahawks —- Spread: Seahawks (-3.5)

The Seahawks have talent all around on both sides even after Percy Harvin went down with a serious hip injury. Lots of experts are expecting big things from Russell Wilson this year after he shocked the world with his performance last season. Cam Newton took a step back last season with a ton of mistakes, but it appears they are trying to line him up under center much more this season, meaning we will get to see how much of a pure passer he really is. Jonathan Stewart is on the PUP list, which only hurts the offense, but the young linebacker core hopes to carry this defense.

Chiefs @ Jaguars – Money Line: Chiefs —- Spread: Jaguars (+4.0)

Andy Reid has a new job in Kansas City and so does Alex Smith. The only talent around him is Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe, but if you look at Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy careers, Jamaal Charles could be in for a big year under Andy Reid. The defense might be at the middle of the pack at best. The Jaguars have some talent, just not at the most important position, quarterback. Gabbert is hurt even though he was named the starter and now Chad Henne will be put into action. The defense won’t look much better than the offense, but MJD has carried the load before.

Cardinals @ Rams – Money Line: Rams —- Spread: Cardinals (+4.5)

Both of the teams are sleepers for the NFC Playoffs, the only problem is the division they play in. Bruce Arians has taken over in the desert and has a quarterback who can throw it around the yard in Carson Palmer who had over 4,000 yards last year with the Raiders. Rashard Mendenhall has been added, but they pray he can stay healthy to put a little balance in Arians’ typically unbalanced offense. The Rams have talent everywhere and are sneaky good as long as Sam Bradford can stay healthy and Daryl Richardson can replace Steven Jackson to a certain extent.

Packers @ 49ers – Money Line: 49ers —- Spread: 49ers (-4.5)

Rematch of last season’s eye opener and then the playoff eye opener. The Packers defense didn’t get any better and their offensive line got worse because of injuries. Aaron Rodgers lost Greg Jennings, but gained Eddie Lacy, but sans the Giants the run game never worked against the 49ers last season. The Niners lost Michael Crabtree, but with a full offseason under his belt Colin Kaepernick could be improved. The Niners acquired an aging Anquan Boldin, but the rapport with Vernon Davis is apparently getting better.

Giants @ Cowboys – Money Line: Giants —- Spread: Giants (+3.0)

The Giants are 4-0 in Cowboy Stadium and I hate picking against Big Blue. The line is banged up and as usual so is the defense. David Wilson is receiving a lot of pressure without Andre Brown and Eli will have it all on his shoulders again. Tony Romo has the same talent around him on offense but maybe a healthy DeMarco Murray. It will ride on Tony Romo’s mistakes and how he lives up to his new big contract. He always seems to make the mistakes when most important and the Giants have the ‘Boys number right now.

MONDAY

Eagles @ Redskins – Money Line: Redskins —- Spread: Eagles (+3.0)

Vick vs RGIII. This will be exciting as hell with two meddling defenses and the implementation of a new system in Philly. Chip Kelly is here with his Oregon system, but without the Eagles best receiver it’ll be a tough go this year. RGIII is coming off an ACL Tear and Ron Jaworski has said he doesn’t look the same when stepping up and throwing. This is the biggest tough up of the week.

Texans @ Chargers – Money Line: Texans —- Spread: Texans (+3.5)

The Texans keep looking like the best team in the regular season and then getting kicked out of the playoffs while looking like a team that doesn’t belong. Arian Foster is healthy and Ben Tate seems appear to have a breakout season. The defense might be improved with the addition of Ed Reed if he can get healthy along with Brian Cushing. The Chargers are a mess. Rivers looks like his arm is depleted and their run game is confusing. Their defense might be able to keep them in some games, but their weapons on offense don’t instill any fear.

siren

UPSET ALERT 

I am putting the Broncos on Upset Alert … Deja Vu?? The Cowboys, the Bears and the Saints have also been warned.

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SURVIVOR POOL PICK

This weeks top 3 picks are: Patriots, Colts and Texans.

Check back for this week’s recap!

AP Top 10 Preseason … ALL HAIL THE SEC! Part 2

6) Texas A&M

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There is so much stuff going on with this team at that the moment that I do not now know where to begin. First, the signal caller needs to stop being Johnny “So College Bro” Manziel. This discussion is meant for another post, but for now I will say, “No Manziel equals no chance at the West title or even at a major bowl game.” Texas A&M has 6 starters both on offense and defense returning but this could change with a possible Manziel suspension. Their rushing game must pick it up in order for Manziel to have the heat taken off him (even if he plays). They have a strong schedule, but they will be “Roll-Tided” early on and knocked out of BCS chances if Manziel is not playing (Possible game of the year here). Whoever plays quarterback will have good protection again thanks to the depth of the line which is what the SEC is notorious for. Their secondary and defense looks good with some starters returning, but there is just so much in the air right now. You need Manziel, and if I were the coaching staff, I would sit this kid down and tell him he better shape up or the team has to take losses or even wins without him.

7) South Carolina

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I dont…I dont even know where to begin, but i will start in an obvious spot. I started following Clowney around the time I really got into college football and football in general. I remember him being the top prospect and wondering why he would go to South Carolina and not Alabama who had just won their first BCS National Championship or Florida who had Urban Meyer and were equally good. Ever since, this kid has been nothing but a menace. He is frightful and I have always thought of him as one of the best defensive ends even when he entered as a freshman. Now, South Carolina shares a similar schedule with Georgia in regards to having to play three top contending teams. The good thing is that South Carolina’s offense has matured, which means they can hopefully do a lot better this year. The defense has carried South Carolina for the past couple of years (as shown by Clowney’s murderous hit). If South Carolina’s offense puts up 30 points a game, then I would recant my comment about Georgia reaching the SEC Championship from before. The hard thing about this is which quarterback will take the snaps and the hopes of Davis filling in for Lattimore, who is a ‘Niner now, may be a long shot. I want Clowney to win this year so he can leave and start his NFL career, but that’s just me and the other SEC quarterbacks’ hopes.

8) Clemson

Discover Orange Bowl - West Virginia v Clemson

Sorry, no glove … No love!

I will tell you why this team is going to be much better than the Florida State “powerhouses” we have seen in the past couple of years. Firstly, this team is going up against two SEC teams that are ranked in the top ten in two of their four out of conference games. That alone proves this team is willing to take on the best. Second, they quietly finished at 11-2 last year and they hit bad tides a couple years back when they got embarrassed by 70-35 in their bowl game. However, they can score and not many teams are going to be able to shut down their scoring efforts very well. They have defensive problems much like Georgia, and they look like the Mud Dogs defense without Bobby Bouche. There are 7 returning starters on each side, but the offense is more ready to go this year with Tajh Boyd and and Sammy Watkins. The hardest part is going to be the opener against Georgia (offensive powerhouse SEC) and the closer against South Carolina (defensive powerhouse SEC). If, however, this team rises up and beats both of them (even one of them), I can see them going to a major bowl game. Their schedule may be too weak to warrant a BCS national championship game, unless they are unbeaten and win the conference championship. However, I like this team and they can make a good run if the defense can find a rhythm.

9) Louisville

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Around a year ago in October to November, I text my brother telling him that Lousiville was third in the nation when it comes to the defense giving up points and I said their quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was a good player. I humbly stand corrected about this and say he is now an excellent player. Louisville is the underdog of this top 10 and I can see them climbing these polls as all these teams destroy their own seasons. The only way at this point for Louisville to make the Big Dance is to be the only team or one of the last two teams standing undefeated. With their schedule, they could be poised to go undefeated and should with all the talent returning. They have 17 returning starters and most of which are on that stingy defense. Their problem is running the ball and their offensive line. If those two big issues are fixed somehow, then Louisville’s fate is sealed and they can move “forward”. However, they showed they can play with the big boys when the thrashed Florida in the Sugar Bowl. That 33-23 win was not as close as many think. Louisville proved that day they can play with the big boys and teams better recognize. Teddy may end up being the Heisman trophy winner unless Clowney decides to start intercepting the ball and sacking the quarterbacks on every other play. Overall, this team can make a run and I am excited to watch them play. It is clear and simple Louisville and I will make it simple: “Win…Win…Win…Win.” You do this, and you will be in the dance or at least a major bowl game.

10) Florida

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Florida comes back with a lot of questions raised. The team did not perform well in their performance against Louisville, but that team was tough in respect to them. Florida’s secondary is somehow still good even though they have 3 returning starters. The team has to reload and begin figuring out how to pass the ball this year. In addition, the front seven must be addressed before they can step forward but this SEC team (like many) has good depth and they may only need to find the right chemistry to be okay. For the offense, Driskel must begin passing the ball more, means relying on his receivers to get open. For Florida, correcting the pass rush and getting a pass offense is what they lack from moving up further in the ranks, clearly the pattern is in the word pass. They must play Georgia, LSU, and South Carolina . They could also make a run for the title, but it will be a little more difficult as they are the last team in the top ten and would need to be all teams on their schedule.

BCS National Championship - Alabama v Texas

My choice for the championship realistically/idealistically:

Well, this is the breakdown from the top 10. This group seems to be heavily strong towards offensive prowess which is a nice change. Overall, Alabama is the more realistic choice here and it makes sense really. Three championships in the past four years. However, ideally I would pin them against the Lousville Cardinals. I love this team and everything they have achieved in the past year. They came from nowhere in the Big East and were probably underestimated by many teams and were expected to lose to Florida. Instead, Louisville came in and decided to K.O. Florida within three quarters and prove who the real team was. I hope it happens again and I hope the best for Bridgewater. This young man does not have the best line nor the best run game and he was able to produce an astounding 3,400 passing yards along with 25 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. Louisville v. Alabama, you heard it here first.

Go Play Outside Johnny!

Do I like Johnny Manziel? Yes. Do I think he deserved to be suspended and that he clearly needs to start thinking before he acts? Absolutely. Did I know that he would play in every game or merely miss one? Duh. There was no way in hell the NCAA would allow its most marketable asset to miss more than one game and not be on the field against the most anticipated face-off of the 2013 season, Texas A&M vs. Alabama. For those of you who aren’t aware, Johnny Manziel has been suspended for the first half for this Saturday’s game against Rice University. How did it come to this you ask? Let me explain.

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Reports surfaced, along with informants, that Johnny Manziel had signed memorabilia in hotel rooms and had received over $7,500 from brokers. Apparently there was sufficient information and backing to this, but this half game suspension might disprove that theory. On the other hand, it could prove how consistently inconsistent the NCAA is in their rulings and how ridiculous they will continue to look. The NCAA is that kid in the corner of the room with a dunce cap on his head. The half-game suspension was handed down because the NCAA claims Manziel did not take the proper steps to prevent this from happening. Texas A&M’s lawyers claim they accepted the penalty because they wanted to get Johnny back on the field.

UNCLE NATE!!!!

UNCLE NATE!!!!

Now, don’t get me wrong College Football is arguably my favorite sport, but its governing body needs a few slaps to the head. Let’s touch on some past head-scratchers:

  1. USC – Gets a three year bowl ban and loss of a ton of scholarships because Reggie Bush’s parents accepted some free stuff, Reggie was already in the NFL at this point for a couple of years, so let’s punish a school and the players that now have 0 to do with Reggie Bush?
  2. Penn State – Loss of  10 scholarships per year, a large amount of money ($60 million), loss of all victories from 1998-2011, basically attempting to destroy a program because of something that one man did an the reluctance of a few others to take extra steps, but let’s penalize the incoming athletes and the people replacing these other individuals, instead of the individuals.
  3. Miami – Reportedly a booster, Devin Shapiro, paid former and current Miami players, but the NCAA had to stop its investigation, to investigate its own employees and whether or not unethical practices had taken place. Miami is still waiting on a ruling regarding their case after nearly three months, Miami could reach the ACC Championship game and have it stripped away from it the day before. Ridiculous.

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College athletes have been accepting forms of payments since god knows when. In the late 80s with the SMU “Death Penalty” there were funds being provided under the table (BTW watch the “30 for 30” on this scandal). It has been over 25 years since that and athletes are still accepting payments, compensation and gifts. This will always be an issue, even if the NCAA allows players to be paid, other versions of this issue will arise. There are reports coming out now that these autograph brokers have “client lists” dating back to 2004 (YIKES!).  Johnny Manziel was trying to cash in on “Johnny Football” just like the the NCAA has. Yes, he is held to a higher standard and should hold himself in such as well now that he is a Heisman winner, but only time will tell if he makes smarter decisions.

-Anthony

What If the Yanks kept Soriano?

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Again, hear me out.

162 game averages :

Player Hits 2B HR RBI SB BB SO GDP
                 
A-Rod 177 29 39 125 18 85 135 16
                 
Soriano 171 40 35 99 19 47 148 11

Another interesting number when comparing the production of these two players is the location in the batting order that they produced these numbers in. In A-Rod’s career (throughout the whole span) he has hit in the 3-4 spot 71.85% compared to Soriano who has hit there 21.17%, but has batted in the lead-off spot 41.21% of his career. Think about the numbers Soriano put up for the Rangers, Nationals and Cubs when they were all last place teams and hitting lead-off almost half the time along with being moved around the line-up. Now think about what he could have produced if he was hitting anywhere in the Yankees lineup from 2004-2012. Soriano came up and was a speed demon with power in the lead-off spot and his speed went underutilized after 2008 with the Cubs, which is head-scratching. A-Rod’s speed was also an asset of his but he was more known for his pure power and great contact. What’s shocking is how close the home run numbers are over the past 9 years since they were traded. Let’s also not forget to factor in the proven notion that Yankee Stadium is a launching pad, and who knows what Soriano could have done here.

Now listen I’m not saying we would have or would have won the 2009 World Series without A-Rod and the actually clutch performance he put on throughout that postseason. But the headaches, the drama and the disappointment that has followed ever since trading for A-Rod in the 2004 season. We reached two world series when we had Soriano and only one since we’ve acquired A-Rod.  Let’s take a look at this financially speaking too now. Since being traded to Texas, Alfonso Soriano has averaged a $13.322 million salary per year, with most of that money coming after 2008 in a bad contract offered by the once “spend-happy” Chicago Cubs. Now in the other pocket, we have the worst contract in baseball history. A-Rod’s contract since 2004 has averaged over $27.555 million, helping the Yankees break the luxury tax threshold by milestones. Consider the fact that there would have been more money for the Yankees to spend on other superstars and stay around that total salary number they hovered around for years during the early 2000s, but adding another player rather than spending it on one guy. Hindsight is always 20/20, and call me crazy but I would have kept Soriano and built from there if I were the Yankees going back. There are some things that would have been changed guaranteed: less headaches, less insults, less boos and less scrutiny. We can’t go back, but now the Yanks seem to be in somewhat of a rebuilding mode after mistakes made in years past. Tell me what your thoughts are on this!

-Anthony