Week 2: Aftermath of Week 1

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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.

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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!

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Thursday Night Football Preview

The NFL regular season kicks off Thursday, September 6 at 8:30 with the Ravens heading to Denver to take on the Broncos in a rematch between two AFC heavyweights.

WOOO HOOO for Fantasy football being back!!!! That’s all I really care about anymore as a Jets fan. Now, what is going to make this game interesting is the star studded talent on the offensive side of the ball for Denver. The Broncos with Peyton Manning and his 12 disciples (Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Knowshown Moreno, Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball, Jacob Tamme, Julius Thomas, Ryan Clady, Adam Gase, John Elway, Jesus Christ, and Manny Ramirez (not that Manny Ramirez) are going to give the Raven’s defense a headache. Peyton will and has picked apart every defense in this league and Baltimore is no exception especially after the off-season where they saw two veteran and emotional leaders in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed depart from the team.  To go along with losing Lewis and Reed the Ravens lost key linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger to free agency, but they brought in Elvis Dumervil and Chris Canty to bolster up an already Pro Bowl studded line with Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata.  It’s going to be interesting to see how the Broncos offensive line deals with the Ravens defensive front seven specifically in the run game. Back to the Denver offense.

Wes Welker and Peyton Manning are going to take over this game.  I can’t imagine the Ravens putting LaDarius Webb on Wes Welker all game, Webb is going to have to take care of Demaryius Thomas on the outside.  That leaves Jimmy Smith covering Welker in the slot and that is going to be bad for the Ravens D.  Jimmy Smith doesn’t have a chance covering Welker in the slot and with Manning throwing the ball Smith really doesn’t have any chance at slowing him down.  Smith’s head will be spinning by the end of this game.

What I will be paying attention on the Broncos offense is the running back situation.  Adam Gase who is Denver’s offensive coordinator has said that the Broncos will use a running back by committee approach in their offense.  Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman and Knowshown Moreno are the three backs that will make up Peyton Manning’s backfield and the playing time that they will get will be based on their production start the regular season.  I’m looking at this running back committee approach extra close to figure out which back will have the most productive play behind Manning in this first game.  The cream will rise to the top.  By the end of the Broncos first game I think the back that will stay at the bottom is Montee Ball.  Ball is a rookie and was a great runner in college and showed that he is a dynamic back out of the back field but it’s going to take a some time for him to warm up to NFL defenses.  Knowshown Moreno won’t rise all the way to the top but he will definitely be hovering around it.  Moreno reminds me of Joseph Addai when he played in Indianapolis with Manning.  Moreno is the best pass protector of the three backs but he’s not great by any means.  He can run between the tackles and catch a ball out out the backfield.  Moreno will be in for a lot of pass protection and that also takes time away from Ball.  The Denver back that will be the cream going into week two is Ronnie Hillman.  I believe in Ronnie Hillman.

I think that Hillman is the back that Peyton trusts the most.  Hillman learned a lot in his rookie season and with that Hillman has been able practice the hiccups in his game with an even better team this year.  I may be completely wrong but in my defense I’ve never claimed to have read the future.  Just a gut feeling.

Now onto what we’ll be seeing on the Baltimore offense. A couple of changes here, wide receiver Anquan Boldin went over to the 49ers, tight end Dennis Pitta is done for much of the year with a hip injury and the only other significant loss on offense was center Matt Birk.  Joe Flacco will have speedster Torrey Smith on the outside to work with and from there, progress together over the past two seasons, things are looking up for this connection.  Flacco can launch the deep ball and isn’t afraid to.  Smith is deceptively fast and his quickness compliments his size and speed. Let’s add in the fact that these guys have a great trust in each other and we get a thunderous combination.  I’m real high on Torrey Smith to have a breakout year this season.  Ray Rice will still be vacating the backfield for the Ravens and will share some time but not much with Bernard Pierce.  I’ve heard that Rice may be flanked out to the slot at some point this season to see what havoc he could cause there.  Rice’s size has always amazed me.  Rice is about 5 foot 7 inches and has always played bigger no matter the level.  I had friends on the defensive line in high school that were twice as big as me tell me that trying to tackle Rice is like tackling a chain chomp.  Rough.

Flacco will have to deal with the Denver pass rush that will be without Von Miller but is still a pretty damn good pass rush.  Second year defensive end Derek Wolfe and veteran Robert Ayers will be gunning for Flacco’s head all night.  I’d expect them to get at least three sacks between the two of them for the night.  Champ won’t be able to take care of Torrey Smith on the outside because of his injury but they have Dominque Rodgers Cromartie to put on Smith expect for some fire works as Rodgers-Cromartie has been known to get burned by quick receivers in his past.

Should be a great game to start the 2013 regular season.  All that matters is that football is back!!!!!!!!

The Rejuvenation of ARod and the Yankees

Last night, the Yankees and the Red Sox finished off a weekend series in Boston that was filled with the usual fanfare and fireworks of the greatest rivalry in all of sports. The game was a high scoring affair in which the Yankees came out on top 9-6. CC looked rocky again, giving up 6 ER in 5.1 IP (improved to 11-10 on the year). The Yankees bullpen looked strong, hurling 3.2 scoreless frames with the GOAT getting his 36th save of the year. Every Yankee got a hit except for Soriano (0-6) and Jayson Nix (0-1), even Chris Stewart got a hit and an RBI…Aliens

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The real story coming from this game occurred in the second inning where Rex Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster threw four straight pitches at ARod, with the fourth pitch of the AB hitting ARod right on the left elbow. This resulted in warnings to both benches. Joe Girardi was furious, flying out of the dugout like a bat out of hell (obligatory Meatloaf reference) screaming at home plate umpire Brian O’Nora. He was clearly upset that Dempster was left in the game after intentionally throwing at ARod and being allowed to stay in the game. Girardi was ejected, but it got the Yankees blood pumping and fired them up. “Whether I agree with everything that’s going on, you do not throw at people and you don’t take the law into your own hands,” Girardi said. “You can’t just start taking potshots because you disagree with the way the system is set up.”

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You’re right Joe…That IS bullshit and he IS a pussy.

Later on in the game, ARod got his revenge, hitting a home run off Dempster to straight away center to start the Yankees rally that would eventually give them the lead. “It was awesome. I was pretty excited,” Rodriguez said of the homer that started the Yankees’ go-ahead rally. “It was the ultimate payback.” When arriving at home plate, ARod delivered an even bigger jab to the Boston faithful, imitating David Ortiz’s point to the heavens. It was a big ‘Fuck You’ moment from ARod and will hopefully spark the rest of the Yankees season.

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This was a huge game for the boys in pinstripes.  They took two of three from the first place Sox, moving within 7.5 in the East and 6 back in the Wild Card. The ejection by Girardi in the second will prove to be one of the turning points in the season. It showed that their manager, regardless of off the field issues and injuries still believes in this team and supports his players. It was the needed spark to light a fire under everyone’s ass (the proverbial “Michaels Secret stuff”, if you will) .

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You heard it here first…The Yanks are about to go on a tear down the stretch. Don’t count us out just yet. Pride, Power, Pinstripes.

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Sports GIF of the Week … Two Weeks Late

So I’m a few weeks behind but here’s a classic from the NFL Draft.

 

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Thoughts in his friend’s (Mr. Moocher) mind:

  • “We’re in the NFL”
  • ” LOOK MA! I’m on TV”
  • “WAZZZZUPPPPPPPPP”
  • “The Jags!!!????? BAHAHAHAHAHAHA”
  • “BYEAHHHHHH” (his best Howard Dean impression)
  • “Thank god I’m friends with THIS guy”

Add your thoughts!

 

Sports GIF of the Week

I know I’m late on this, but yet again last week was won early on in the week. On Monday Ben Revere made a ridiculous diving catch in center field while playing for the Philadelphia Phillies.

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However, it wasn’t his catch that won the week for me, it was written on his glove that made the moment so memorable. Take a look:

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Straight class. Philly and Boston aren’t the same rivals as New York and Boston in my opinion, but this move shows compassion and professionalism. For those of you who can’t/don’t read the above photo: download (1)

Sports GIF of the Week

So we are going to start a new thing here at SportsGoneHam. Sports Gif of the week!

Of course the winner is

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Possible thoughts going through Pitino’s mind:

  • Oh no, Charlie in the stands!!!!!
  • NOT THE HAIR!
  • Please daddy no!!!!
  • The boys from the Hood found me!
  • Lastly, GET TO THE CHOPPA

Stay tuned for next weeks Gif of the week!