Week 17: For all the Marbles

We find ourselves at 69% percent for the year ladies and gentleman. Let’s end this thing right shall we?

Marbles

 

SUNDAY

Only Sunday Games now, no whackass Thursday or Saturday Night games to mess with the NFL Original flow.

Eagles @ GIANTS – Win and get in with some help situation for the Giants. They will do their part against a once again Michael Vick-led Eagles squad. The G-Men have become notorious for stepping it up when they need to, but the Eagles have also been a thorn in their side as they showed earlier this year. Michael Vick is giving an audition to quarterback needy teams in this game, so expect him to play his hardest, unfortunately for the Giants and the fans at MetLife.

Buccaneers @ FALCONS – The Falcons will definitely rest some of their starters in this game, they may get the lead and then give it up later in the game must to the chagrin of the crowd, but they’d have to risk getting their starters injured. I don’t believe they are in the mindset of handing a game away to a divisional opponent and the Bucs are awful at stopping their opponents’ passing game. The Bucs on the other hand have some respect to play for and can show that their offense can match anybody’s. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons accepted a loss here.

Jets @ BILLS – The merry-go-round keeps turning for the Jets. Their quarterback situation is a mess and only got messier when McElroy was sacked eleven times and, naturally, suffered a concussion. The Jets, yet again, overlooked Tim Tebow who has made a life off of winning games and turned back to Mark Sanchez. It is being reported Mike Tannenbaum will be fired on Black Monday for his mismanagement of this team. The Bills are going to finish another mediocre season, but with the help of CJ Spiller and Mario Williams will most likely beat up on the slugging Jets.

Ravens @ BENGALS – This is revenge. The Bengals are the hottest team that nobody is paying attention to right now. They have won six out of seven games and it appeared they would be looking to next year when they sat at 3-6, but since they have looked like a well rounded team with a front seven that has developed into a force. The Ravens are coming off a statement win against the Giants in which I and most others underestimated them. With Jim Caldwell behind the helms of the offense, it looked like a force that many have thought it could be for a few years now.

Bears @ LIONS – The Bears have crumbled and are all different types of banged up coming into this game. I believe the Bears play their way out of playoff contention and the Lions light up the scoreboard against the Bears.

Jaguars @ TITANS – The Jaguars played a very tight game with the Patriots last week while the were blown out by Green Bay. These teams have both played very poorly all year long. Montell Owens vs Chris Johnson and Chad Henne vs Jake Locker. Some seriously nice matchups here (sarcasm).

Texans @ COLTS – I am picking the Colts in this game for one reason, Chuckstrong. The Texans may play themselves out of the bye and homefield here. The Texans are definitely the better team here but there is a Magic surrounding these Colts this year and especially at home that I cannot seem to deny this last game of the year.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts

Panthers @ SAINTS – Drew Brees last game of the year with news that Sean Peyton comes back next year with a nice big new contract? I’ll take him even with Cam Newton and his underrated defense playing solid down the stretch of the year. Both of these teams have underachieved all year, but the Saints find themselves in second place in the division after the Bucs have fallen apart. Maybe a new coach next year for the Panthers and Cam.

Browns @ STEELERS – No Steelers in the playoff, has a weird ring to it. The Steelers had a prime opportunity at home against the Bengals, but played poorly enough to lose that game. The Browns will be firing their head coach Pat Shurmur and starting fresh after this game. I would imagine that the Steelers would be firing Todd Haley after this year and the ineffectiveness of the offense since he came aboard. Big Ben will definitely love the support.

Chiefs @ BRONCOS – Broncos playing for the bye and possibly homefield, the Chiefs are playing a game. Let’s not joke around here. Peyton Manning has been either the Comeback Player of the Year or the MVP, whichever he doesn’t get Adrian Peterson will.

PACKERS @ Vikings – Aaron Rodgers is completing 70% of his passes with 14 touchdowns and 2 interceptions this year in dome games. The Packers put up 55 on the Titans last week for funsies. Adrian Peterson needs 209 yards to break Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record and as much as I want this machine to break it, I don’t believe he will because they will be playing from behind, even though their running game is what drives them. I think if Leslie Frazier sticks with it then and keeps running the ball to AP they can have a chance, don’t make Christian Ponder throw the ball.

Dolphins @ PATRIOTS – The Pats are also playing for a bye here. Tom Brady will get back his favorite target on a limited basis in Rob Gronkowski. The Dolphins have been fiesty all year under first year coach Joe Philbin and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. With a win the Dolphins could end up with a .500 record, but it won’t happen in Foxborough. The ‘Fins have not played great games in the colder weather this season.

Raiders @ CHARGERS – Terrelle Pryor will get his first career start after the Carson Palmer was knocked around last week. The Raiders and Chargers met in their first game of the year, an ugly one, and paved the way for their ugly seasons. The Chargers are coming off a beating of the Jets where they sacked Greg McElroy 11 times. The Chargers will be looking at a new front office and coaching staff, finally, next year.

Cardinals @ 49ERS – The 49ers need this win to clinch the division. Brian Hoyer will get the start. The Cardinals defense has been fierce all year and is the main reason they have won a game in the past 11 weeks. The 49ers defense has been simply better and besides when they got blown up last week by the underrated and streaking Seahawks have been one of, if not, the best defense in the league.

Rams @ SEAHAWKS – Jeff Fisher has coached up this Rams team, mostly their defense. Something is in the defenses’ waters in the NFC West this year because they are all solid. Sam Bradford has been limited this year with developing and injury prone receivers (mostly his best target Danny Amendola). The ‘Hawks are coming off a destruction of the 49ers on national television last Sunday night and are aiming for 8-0 at home this year. No reason they won’t win this game as Russell Wilson continues his ridiculous rookie season, which has been unfortunately overlooked by many because of RGIII and Andrew Luck. Any other season he wins the Rookie of the Year, and he still might this year. He will tie or break Peyton Manning’s rookie single season touchdown record today.

Cowboys @ REDSKINS – Both of these teams came back from “dead” in the NFC East to now be playing for the division title on Sunday Night Football, second consecutive year that the division title will be decided on the last day on NBC. The Cowboys have ridden a red-hot Tony Romo until last week where the Saints played spoiler. The Redskins have now won 6 straight games since starting 3-6 and RGIII is not 100%, but he is still very dangerous with his arm. The home crowd will be pumped and I’m sure the Cowboys will make some mistakes and their defense is just as banged up as the Redskins.

Seems like I like the home teams in these Week 17 matchups.

siren

UPSET ALERT – Anything goes in these games, I’ll put everyone on Upset Alerts this week.

BYEAHHHHH!!!!

BYEAHHHHH!!!!

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SURVIVOR PICK – Let’s go with the Patriots here. (If picked already: 49ersBroncosSteelers)

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Week 14: Nestle Crunch Time!

The double digit wins streak is gone with a 9-7 record last week. Some surprise victories did us in. This week should be better as we have come to the point of the season where no surprises happen, typically. On the year we are sitting at  132-59-1 for a 69% correctness.

Let’s get into it with only four weeks left!

THURSDAY

BRONCOS @ Raiders – This will be a “snoozer”. The Broncos are missing their number one running, but gave an enormous workload to newly anointed starter in Knowshon Moreno. The Raiders’ Carson Palmer is having a good year, but most of his statistics are coming in garbage time. This should be an easy win for the rolling Broncos.

SUNDAY

Rams @ BILLS – I am picking the Bills because they are playing at home and I am certain it is cold outside. The Rams defense isn’t as solid as their run defense, and the Bills are starting to realize their best game-plan is to not force Ryan Fitzpatrick to win them the game, but rather leave it up to their run game. The Rams think they have a shot at the playoffs, but not if Danny Amendola doesn’t play. I want to pick the Rams because they are underrated in my book and bad on the road, 1-3-1. It’s going to be cold and rainy in Buffalo, not good for a passing game.

Cowboys @ BENGALS – The Cowboys just lose their starting nose tackle and now are down to their third string. Tony Romo is going to have a tough time against the Bengals front four, which will have an easy time against the Cowboys bad offensive line. The Bengals will be able to run the ball and throw the ball on a banged up and now very underachieving Bengals defense. It may be a high scoring game however and both teams need the game to stay alive in the playoff chase.

Chiefs @ BROWNS – Only a few words can describe this game: “Man, I hope this isn’t televised.” The Chiefs are coming off a very emotional win, which yours truly predicted correctly. Jamaal Charles needs to go over 100 yards, because nobody should expect the same game from Brady Quinn we saw last week against a bad Panthers defense. The Browns defense is underrated and with Joe Haden guarding Dwayne Bowe, don’t expect much production out of him. The Chiefs will need to have an answer for Trent Richardson and the new #1 receiver on the Browns, Josh Gordon.

Titans @ COLTS – The Titans can’t keep the ball on offense. Jake Locker was looking like he could develop into a good quarterback at the beginning of the season, but it appears that the injury has hindered him. Chris Johnson might have a field day with this Colts run defense, enough to keep them in this game. Andrew Luck will lead his team to another home victory and hopefully with his own touchdowns (for my fantasy team). No Donald Brown for the Colts, which leaves them with a very sub-par running game.

BEARS @ Vikings – I know Brian Urlacher is the leader of the defense, but there are enough play-makers on that team to take over the role. Jay Cutler’s offensive line needs to play better in the face of trash-talking by both teams opposing lines. Cutler will keep abusing Brandon Marshall in the target department as long as their both still living. The Vikes will once again lean heavily on their robot running back, Adrian Peterson. If he can take the pressure of Christian Ponder the Vikings have a chance.

Chargers @ STEELERS – The coach and general manager of the Chargers have already been named soon-to-be victims of the disappointing season experience in San Diego. They were unfortunate to arrive in Pittsburgh with Big Ben returning to good health. The Steelers are more than happy to have their signal caller back healthy so that they can leave their turnover-happy woes behind them. Expect the Steelers to win this one easily.

Eagles @ BUCCANEERS – Nick Foles is starting to look better and not completely incompetent in that offense. Bryce Brown is running a muck in the NFL and seems to be the hottest back besides Adrian Peterson in the NFL. They’re bigger problem now is their failing leaky defense that will get no mercy from the Bucs juggernaut offense. The Bucs need this game to stay in playoff contention because with a loss and any teams in front winning can count themselves out. Doug Martin has seen the box stacked a lot in the past few weeks.

Ravens @ REDSKINS – The Ravens’ record does not show their fault, but the highlights and tapes do. They are not as solid as their 9-3 record would have you believe, but they find a way to win games. Joe Flacco is having another disappointing season, and Cam Cameron appears to not want to lean on Ray Rice every game, which worked in the past (head-scratcher as to why you wouldn’t.) RgIII played a great game Monday night, but was helped certainly by a fluke play on the first touchdown and then by the ineptness of the Giants’ offense in the fourth quarter. The Ravens won’t have an answer for him, but expect some points here.

qm rg

FALCONS @ Panthers – The Falcons are coming off a huge win to their “daddy”. This is a typical let down game, but the Panthers just hit rock-bottom after losing to the Chiefs. Asante Samuel probably won’t play here leaving the Falcons somewhat thin in the secondary. The Panthers haven’t beaten the Falcons in three years now. Matt Ryan isn’t putting up the same numbers as he was at the beginning of the year, because teams have adjusted to the passing game plan of the Falcons. Expect some scoring here as well.

JETS @ Jaguars – Another ugly won that I know will be on television in New York. The Jets turned to Greg McElroy last week, only to turn back to Mark Sanchez (which I predicated) this week, but this is a completely different defense they faced last week. The Jags are down to their fourth string running back and will be without Cecil Shorts. Cromartie will be pinned to Justin Blackmon leaving the Jags only weapon Mercedes Lewis. This will not be pretty or enjoyable unless your a Jets fan.

Saints @ GIANTS – The Giants are doing exactly what we’ve come to expect. Roll through the first half of the year and then start to swoon, but win the games they need to in order to find their way into the playoffs on a hot streak. The Saints need this win to even have a chance, but it’s a very slim chance. Drew Brees does not play as well outside as he does indoors, but coming off 3+ interception days (he’s had five of them), Drew Brees has thrown 17 touchdowns and 4 interceptions (not good for the Giants’ secondary). Expect the Giants pass rush to disrupt Brees because they couldn’t get to RGIII last week and they don’t have consecutive bad games.

Dolphins @ 49ERS – This 49ers defense will have their way with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, especially Aldon Smith (the NFL’s sack leader) because Jake Long is now on the I.R. Colin Kaepernick is coming off a bad game against the Rams defense and almost another tie. The Dolphins are scrappy so this might be closer than one would think, but the 49ers should take this one.

Cardinals @ SEAHAWKS – Has one team ever had more home-field advantage in a single season? The 12th man in Seattle is something else and it will continue this week with the lowly Cardinals coming into town. John Skelton has been re-injected into the #1 spot on the depth chary after Ryan Lindley’s awful and abysmal performance, which left many wondering why Ken Whisenhunt didn’t replace him at halftime. The Seahawks are coming off a huge win against the Chicago Bears in overtime and will look to keep a hold on the last wild card spot in the NFC.

Lions @ PACKERS – The Lions are definitely the most disappointing and under-achieving team this year. Lots of talent, lots of promise but not enough of the “it” factor to put games away and keep themselves winning like last year. It’s a shame because Calvin Johnson’s possible MVP year is going to waste. Megatron is on pace to break Jerry Rice’s receiving yards record in a single season, and most likely won’t slow up even facing more double teams now that the Lions are depleted at wide receiver. The Packers are just sledding along toward the playoffs with a bunch of injuries of their own, but their guys will be healthy come playoff time.

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MONDAY

PATRIOTS @ Texans – This is a fantastic game and definitely the game of the week. Possibly the best matchup ESPN picked for Monday Night Football all year long. The Pats certainly miss Gronkowski, but Aaron Hernandez is getting healthier and Tom Brady will definitely find much more now. Their defense has been getting better and has been forcing a large amount of turnovers. The Texans are sitting at a nice 11-1 with a playoff spot locked up. Their defense is slowing up with all of their injuries and the Patriots offense will definitely exploit this. Expect a barn-burner here.

siren

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Falcons, the Bearsand the Ravens on Upset Alert.

tom-hanks-in-cast-away

SURVIVOR PICK – Colts (If Picked already: Seahawks, and Broncos)

 

Week 13: No Mo No Shave!

Men’s favorite month and women’s least favorite month has come to an end and it’s time to get rid of those furry things on your face gentleman. The playoffs are coming in the NFL quickly and this season has definitely flown by. We come into this week after a 10-6 showing last week. Definitely not the best we’ve had, but the double digit wins won’t stop rolling in.

Here we go ....

Here we go ….

THURSDAY

SAINTS @ Falcons – The Saints need this game to stay alive, but the Falcons might need this game for the respect and to show that they have gotten over that divisional hump that has haunted them since Drew Brees arrived in the NFC South. The last game was a nail-biter and a eye catcher for the NFL and I don’t expect any less from this one. The Saints will win because they need it to stay alive, but I am honestly not sure about this because the Falcons play so much better at home.

SUNDAY

Jaguars @ BILLS – It’s one thing to beat a bad Titans team at home, but it’s another thing to go to freezing cold Buffalo and beat a bad Bills team. The Bills looked flat against the Colts defense and the Jaguars looked like a decent team against the lowly Titans. Chad Henne has sparked some life into Mike Mularkey’s team, but now with both of the Bills running backs healthy, there’s no reason to believe they won’t be able to handle the Jags at home.

Seahawks @ BEARS – The Seahawks are a different team at home than they are away. I think they can pull the upset here because of their defense and how banged up the Bears offensive line is, but Russell Wilson cannot turn the ball over, which is nearly impossible to do against this Bears defense. However, Colin Kaepernick did it and he is mobile and elusive, just like Wilson is so who knows. Brandon Marshall has been targeted 121 times by Jay Cutler, you think they have a nice connection?

Colts @ LIONS – Another team that plays completely different at home compared to away from home. Andrew Luck and the Colts are bipolar and cannot seem to find grounding away from home with a 2-3 record and a 5-1 record at home. However, Andrew Luck has been an outstanding rookie this year. On the other side of the ball the Lions have not performed up to the expectations placed upon them this year. I see the Colts away woes to continue as the Lions offensive fire power will be too much to handle and the Lions vicious defensive line will be at Andrew Luck.

Vikings @ PACKERS – The Packers got rolled by the Giants at MetLife Stadium Sunday night. They might have been better off not showing up. They have key injuries on defense and some on offense, but it’s no excuse to play so poorly and they know that. They will definitely be a different team this Sunday against their division rivals from Minnesota. Adrian Peterson still had a great game even after fumbling the ball twice to the Bears. This game is always a hard-fought win for whomever comes out on top, but I fully expect the “Cheeseheads” to take a few Lambeau leaps this Sunday.

TEXANS @ Titans – Some of the experts have been saying that the Texans have been walking a fine line, and they have been and that’s the reason I picked them to lose last week. However, when you are gifted a game like they were like last week I don’t see this team taking anything for granted this weekend. The Titans are also not as talented as the Detroit Lions. The Titans are coming off a bad BAD loss to the Jaguars and things can’t get worse, so why can’t they win?

Panthers @ CHIEFS – Two days ago I would’ve picked the Panthers hands down with the way this Chiefs team is playing. After the sad passing of Javon Belcher I cannot pick against the emotional team here. This Chiefs team is not better than their opponent, but emotion wins in any fight. The Panthers allowed Bryce Brown and the Nick Foles led Eagles to stay in a game they should have handled with ease on Monday Night last week. I think the Chiefs will be ready to play Sunday for their “brother”.

49ERS @ Rams – Man I hope this game doesn’t end in a tie. Colin Kaepernick has been exciting to watch, but now Alex Smith has been benched for playing the way Jim Harbaugh has asked him to and because he got a concussion. Seriously? They are winning their games, not that they weren’t before. The Rams #1 option will not be playing as he is hurt again, that is Danny Amendola. This just makes the sledding that much tougher for the Rams, but I can see this being a close game again as long as Bradford keeps the ball out of the 49ers’ defense hands.

PATRIOTS @ Dolphins – The Pats have blown up scoreboards the past two weeks and I have no doubt it won’t stop this week in warm Miami. The Patriots defense is forcing turnovers, which they’ve been known to do over the year and will definitely continue Sunday against rookie Ryan Tannehill. This Dolphins team has been scrappy all year long, but it’s time for the Pats to put a stake through their season. The addition of Aqib Talib has already helped the Patriots secondary.

Eerie isn't it?

Eerie isn’t it?

Cardinals @ JETS – I want to pick the Cardinals, but I don’t know which one of their quarterbacks is actually going to get playing time in this game. As one of my friends told me, when the Jets win, they win handily. If Ryan Lindley starts the Jets win in a blowout, but if anyone else starts it’ll be a harder win for the Jets, who have had more media attention for the past few years than any other underachieving team. Tim Tebow will not be dressed, but Greg McElroy finally will be. Why not give the Alabama champion a shot?

Buccaneers @ BRONCOS – Tough loss for the Bucs against the Falcons last week. They should have won that game plain and simple, as many teams should have against the Falcons. Josh Freeman didn’t throw a touchdown pass last week, but his offense still put up a ton of yards. The Broncos are coming off a disappointing lackluster performance in Kansas City. Even though they won the game, it looked like the worst complete game for Peyton Manning this year. Knowshon Moreno has emerged as the new starter since Willis McGahee’s injury, surprising a lot of people by leaping up the depth chart.

Cleveland @ RAIDERS – Two bad teams at 3-8 and I’m going with the home team. The Browns have been in every game they’ve played and just beat the Roethlisberger-less Steelers. So, this is now a let down game in a place that many teams find it tough to win, the Black Hole. The Raiders are struggling all around on defense and Carson Palmer has to force everything to try and get his team back in the game, but he has now thrown for over 3,000 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Raiders here because they are at home.

BENGALS @ Chargers – Andy Dalton has led this team in surprising fashion with a new high-powered offense. The Defense is coming along for these Bengals, after playing poorly in the first half of the season. Philip Rivers and Norv Turner can’t turn this season around, or finish it any sooner. If they lose this game or the Broncos win the Chargers are basically eliminated from playoff contention because one of the teams they are chasing would be the one who beats them today. Norv Turner is finished in San Diego, finally.

Steelers @ RAVENS – No Ben, no win for the Steelers. The Defense has been doing anything and everything to stay in games, but when you are on the field for as long and as much as this defense is, you are bound to lose. The offense turned the ball over eight times last week and that never bodes well. Ray Rice converted a 4th and 29 last week on a check down pass, and that speaks more for the Chargers season than anything. Ravens win this one because Charlie Batch is no Ben.

True Story

True Story

Eagles @ COWBOYS – On Nick Foles first drive against the Cowboys a few weeks ago, he hit Jeremy Maclin on a bomb. Since then it’s been forgettable for Foles. He let Bryce Brown do the work last week against the Carolina Panthers, but he will have to make some throws against a much better Cowboys defense this week. Tony Romo tried his hardest to bring the Cowboys back from dead on Thanksgiving against the Redskins. With DeMarco Murray expected back, Jason Garrett gets a capable back in his backfield. Tony Romo’s job becomes a little easier now as long as DeMarco can stay healthy.

GIANTS @ Redskins – The Giants are road warriors. RG3 is a beast. This will be a good Monday Night matchup with two divisional foes who each need this win. The Redskins need it to stay alive in the playoff race because the Wild Card is closing quickly in this tough NFC, but the Giants need this win to pad their lead as their schedule becomes harder over the next three weeks with the Saints, the Falcons and the Ravens looming. The Giants looked like the Champs last week against a 38-10 thrashing of the Packers and RG3 didn’t look like a rookie against the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving. Giants in a squeaker here.

siren

 

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Giants, the Panthers ,the Bears, and the Colts on Upset Alert. The Giants lost both games last year to the lowly Redskins, but their better offensively this year. The Panthers are playing a defeated team that was just struck by tragedy and it’s always to play a team with that kind of emotion. The Colts are just not the same playing away from home. The Bears offensive line is still horrendous and the Seahawks defense is still very physical.

tom-hanks-in-cast-away

 

SURVIVOR PICK – Patriots (If Picked already: Texans, Cowboys and Ravens).

Week 11: Shave your Season!

10-3-1 … thanks a lot Rams and 49ers. The double digit wins just won’t stop coming, and I won’t stop taking them if they’re offered.

 

LEGGGO!!!!

THURSDAY

Dolphins @ BILLS – It’s cold in Buffalo. Tannehill hasn’t been somewhere this cold. Both of these offenses are turnover prone and the Bills will be without one of the heads of their two-headed monster. For some reason Joe Philbin has been chopping down on his best running back’s carries. This is a recipe for loss. The Bills will take this game in frigid Buffalo.

SUNDAY

Cardinals @ FALCONS – This Falcons team is pissed. Undefeated season gone at the hands of a despised rival, who doesn’t call themselves rivals because “they own them”. The Saints took it to the Falcons and beat them at their own game. The Cardinals are reeling and I don’t see it stopping soon, especially this week. The Falcons at home are +10 and I definitely believe they can cover. Expect some offensive fireworks for one team.

Browns @ COWBOYS – Tony Romo is fire in November, we’ll talk about December in a few weeks because we know how that typically goes. The Browns keep struggling every year with mismanagement under Holmgren. The Cowboys will most likely win their games in November and start bailing their dedication for a comeback in December.

PACKERS @ Lions – Old foes meet again in Ford Field. The Packers are coming off their bye, but still aren’t really getting healthy besides Jordy. However, they’ve been fine without the guys they are missing, but they haven’t really run across the offense that they’re about to see in the dome. The Lions lost a real heart-breaker to the Adrian Petersons last Sunday. Stafford will definitely be looking to light up the scoreboard against his Cheesehead adversary.

BENGALS @ Chiefs – Arrowhead used to be one of the toughest places to win a game, but unless Jamaal Charles has well over 100 yards, I don’t think the stadium will have that kind of affect or magic on today’s game. The Bengals embarassed the Super Bowl Champion Giants last week at home, and I’m sure Marvin Lewis won’t let his young team get head of themselves sitting at 4-5 and now with a golden opportunity to seize a playoff spots from a Steelers team that is without their quarterback. Also, good luck to the Chiefs stopping AJ Green.

Jets @ RAMS – Sorry my Jet fan friends, you’re team just looks awful. The Rams defense will overpower the Jets anemic offense. Greg Zuerlein will have at least one fifty yard field goal. The Jets need a change, somewhere and soon. The Rams probably have a bad hangover from their tie with the division leader. They had the game won, but just didn’t want it. They will be looking for blood today at home against a struggling Jets squad.

Greg the Leg

Eagles @ REDSKINS – Nick Foles is not the answer. Michael Vick is not the problem. He’s never been a quarterback who has excelled at reading the defense, but rather baiting the defense into changing their own scheme, but without a line the defense is free to do what they please and get into the backfield. Even LeSean Mccoy is having big issues this year trying to get out of the backfield while he is being hit more than 30% of the time behind the line. RGIII enjoyed his bye after losing to Cam Newton two weeks ago and let’s see how he and his coaches handled their time off.

BUCCANEERS @ Panthers – The Bucs find themselves in the fight for a wild card spot, but will have to hold off the furiously charging Saints. Josh Freeman is leading the third highest scoring offense in the league, who would’ve thunk it? He now leads a Fantasy Football juggernaut. The Panthers will be experiencing a lot of changes in a few months, and the sledding won’t get easier this weekend.

Jaguars @ TEXANS – This is a snoozer. MJD just sit back and see how this team misses you and draw up your own contract. Enough said.

SAINTS @ Raiders – Drew Brees is leading his team back from dead. They must go to the Black Hole and take it to the Raiders struggling defense. The Saints defense isn’t playing lights-out, but they are coming together at the right time and making plays when they need to. Carson Palmer still isn’t turning the ball over as much as last year, but without Darren McFadden this team lacks a big play running game and now they have to face a Saints team that’s simply on fire.

Here they come …

Chargers @ BRONCOS – Don’t expect any revenge, but don’t expect the same comeback because the Broncos will be ahead early. Philip Rivers has found some gold in a healthy Danario Alexander, but Peyton Manning is looking like a possible Comeback Player of the Year and an MVP candidate. If they Chargers want to pull out the upset and make the AFC West a race, Rivers needs to not turn the ball over  and the Chargers defense needs to stop Peyton … good luck.

Colts @ PATRIOTS – This will be a great game. Luck has shown the poise of a veteran and has won some big games already. Bill Belichick and his team have not been as sound this year and they are not better than the other two top teams in the AFC. Don’t be surprised by a shootout in Foxborough.

RAVENS @ Steelers – This would’ve been the game of the week, but without Big Ben it’s the Ravens versus the running back committee of the Steelers. They could definitely do some serious damage against the  a weak Ravens run defense. This will still be a good game, just because it’ll be physical and these teams hate one another, but I can’t see Byron Leftwich pulling out a win against the Ravens. Hopefully Big Ben gets better and thank god his injury wasn’t worse.

OUCH TOWN POPULATION YOU BRO!!

Bears @ 49ERS – This is another game with an injured quarterback not being able to play, but this backup has proven in the past few years he can win some games. Don’t be surprised if the Bears pull out a win here, but I think the Niners at home after that horrible tie will be on their game. These are two of the top defenses in the league and love to hit hard. Expect a similar game to the Bears and Texans last weekend.

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Patriots on Upset Alert because of what Andrew Luck brings to the table. I am also putting the Bears on Upset Alert, because their record is better than the 49ers.

 

SURVIVOR PICK – Texans, no questions asked. (If Picked already:

Week 10: Start of Movember

12-2 last week … SOMEBODY STOP ME!!! … We are now two weeks into “No Shave November” …  Who’s taking part in it??

Our winning percentage is off the charts right now, so why should we stop??

THURSDAY

COLTS @ Jaguars – I called the emotional win for the Colts last week. The team has shaved their heads in honor of Chuck Pagano. They are on a roll and Andrew Luck is playing less like a rookie each game. The Jaguars are a team that cannot stop going in the wrong direction. They lack weapons on any side of the ball without MoJo-Drew. The Colts will win this easy as long as they keep their eyes on the prize.

SUNDAY

GIANTS @ Bengals – The Bengals are mired in a big slump after their offense started on fire and their defense was just awful compared to last year’s surprising squad. Andy Dalton has thrown an interception in each game this year and the Giants are prone to taking the ball away on defense (not as much as that team in Chicago.) The Giants loss to the Steelers was a tough one, because the Steelers patch-work running game was able to go straight down the Giants throat. Eli Manning is starting to slump and Ron Jaworski from ESPN said his arm looks “tired”. The Giants would do well for themselves by winning this away game before their bye because one of those second place teams actually has to win today by definition.

Titans @ DOLPHINS – Jake Locker’s healthy after Hasselbeck gets lit up? You’re kidding??? What a shocker! The Titans need Locker to stay healthy to stay relevant in the AFC South because the Colts are getting better weekly and the Titans are light-years ahead of them right now. The Dolphins could have won the game last week against the Colts, but Ryan Tannehill was outdone by his rookie counterpart in Andrew Luck. Reggie Bush is starting to get back to form, which spells trouble for a bad Titans defense.

LIONS @ Vikings – The Vikings took it to the Lions in the first meeting this year. That’s when the Vikings were a surprising team, but they’ve since begun their descent back down to Earth. The Lions are starting to click, even with a running game last weekend. Adrian Peterson continued his absolutely inhuman ways last week on a ridiculous run that he nearly scored on. His absurd play cannot compensate for Christian Ponder’s recent plummet.

Bills @ PATRIOTS – Too easy. The spread is now at 14, and some are probably tempted to take it … WHY NOT! The Bills have been talking all week about drafting a franchise quarterback, when they just signed their current one to a new deal last year mid-way through the season. Never a smart move. The Patriots are coming off their bye and will look to pad their AFC East lead at home against a bad, BAD Bills defense.

Smooth like Keith Stone !

Falcons @ SAINTS – This is a big game AND a big rivalry game. Now the Falcons are definitely the more complete team, but the Saints are facing straight must-wins and they get this one at home. The Falcons have been skating along some thin ice in a lot of their wins this year. Drew Brees didn’t even have a Drew Brees game, but they still smoked the Eagles on Monday Night. I think this is the game the Falcons finally lose.

Chargers @ BUCCANEERS – The Chargers are their usual selves just hanging around .500 and keep underachieving. Philip Rivers is not of the Big Ben, Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Peyton, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers group where you can make any receiver look like fool’s gold. They have some offensive talent in Mathews, Gates and Floyd, but it hasn’t clicked yet. The Bucs are rolling and have become a Fantasy Football juggernaut. Freeman has been playing much better with weapons like Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams (resurgence), and the “Muscle Hamster” (Doug Martin). I like the Bucs at home.

BRONCOS @ Panthers – I was just watching Sunday NFL Countdown and a couple of the guys picked the Panthers and all I could do was shake my head. The Broncos may be the most dangerous team in the AFC right now. The defense is solid and almost just as good as the Texans defense, but I definitely give the edge to Peyton Manning running an offense over Matt Schaub. The Broncos will not lose this game because Peyton is just too hot right now.

Raiders @ RAVENS – That banged-up Ravens defense didn’t look to shabby last week only giving up 15 points to the Browns and keeping them out of the end zone. The Raiders are going to be without their top two receivers and will most certainly have to rely on Carson Palmer, who has been much better this year than last. The ball NEEDS to go to Ray Rice more if the Ravens want to stay a legitimate playoff contender. This shouldn’t be a tough game for them though.

Jets @ SEAHAWKS – The 12th man is doing its job this year. The Seahawks are 4-0 this year and I don’t see that changing this Sunday. The Jets have been more scrappy than ever since their two most talented players went down to season-ending injuries. Mark Sanchez continues his poor play and probably won’t break out of it against a good Seahawks defense that held Christian Ponder to 63 yards. Rex Ryan salivates over rookie quarterbacks usually, but if they can’t contain Marshawn Lynch, it’ll be a different story.

COWBOYS @ Eagles – Andy Reid will not finish out the year, and it’s not necessarily his fault. Michael Vick probably won’t be back next year and it isn’t his fault. Yeah he’s turning the ball over but he has 2 seconds to get rid of the ball, and they’ve basically abandoned the run. There’s too much talent on this Eagles team on both sides of the ball for them to be 3-5, and the same thing can be said for their division rival Cowboys. Tony Romo didn’t turn the ball over last week and they still lost. Their defense played very well last week, but the offense was not opportunistic and missed a lot of chances to win the game. I don’t expect either of these coaches back next year.

Rams @ 49ERS – Danny Amendola’s coming back already. It won’t make a difference against this 49ers team. Both of these teams come off their byes to face physical defenses. The Rams have only really been blown out against the Patriots in London and the 49ers have appeared to be on a mission since getting rolled by the New York Giants. Both quarterbacks need some time and their running games if either one wants to win this game. This feels like a coaching chess-match to me, but it’ll go to the more talented team ,but Jeff Fisher has helped turn this Rams franchise around already.

TEXANS @ Bears – This is the toss-up of the day. The weather report says it’s going to rain … a lot and all day. That favors defense, as if these defenses needed any help. The Bears defense can’t keep their hands off the ball and themselves out of the endzone. Jay Cutler is winning these games and usually by playing better in the fourth quarter, surprisingly. What does not bode well for the Bears is that the Texans can hold onto the ball very securely and are solid on both sides of the ball and are probably the best AFC team. This could even be a Superbowl preview ladies and gents.

MONDAY

STEELERS @ Chiefs – Why bother justifying this when the Chiefs have turned the ball over more than anyone and have never had a lead this season. Steelers seem to only be getting better and without their best defensive players. Watch out AFC! Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe are wasting away in Kansas City’s offense.

UPSET ALERT – I am placing the traveling Broncos on Upset Alert, as well as the Falcons because the worst team to face is a desperate team that needs to win the game to stay relevant, and a good one at that. The Lions have a worse record so that means the Vikings get an Upset Alert from me.

SURVIVOR PICK – Steelers are a mortal lock. (If Picked Already: PatriotsRavens49ers , and Seahawks).

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

T-Catz (Anthony)Saints

 

 

Week 8: Can’t Defend the Pretenders

11-2! Many keep saying pick with the spread, by why I’m not trying to help ya’ll gamble. I’m trying to do what the experts do, but at least I know people are checking the posts!

Don’t forget to check out the Lessons Learned from Week 7 after reading my picks.

THURSDAY

BUCCANEERS @ Vikings – Christian Ponder simply looked awful against the Cardinals, Adrian Peterson did not. But this Bucs’ defense is a top 10 run defense. I never expect anyone to hold Peterson down, but it will put more pressure on Ponder, which as last week showed he’s merely a game manager right now. These Bucs are pissed that they lost a heart-breaker to the Saints last week. This offense is for real and if the defense could stay healthy you’d be looking at possibly the second best team in the NFC South. I expect the Bucs to come out with a purpose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yisxlE4p3BA – If you haven’t seen Joe Morgan’s Touchdown.

SUNDAY

Panthers @ BEARS – The Panthers season has been ugly and will continue to get ugly. Cam Newton has pouted his way through press conferences and most of the season. The GM has been fired and the coach is definitely next. They keep losing focal points of their roster to the IR: Beason, Gamble and Kalil. The Bears offense looked average at best on Monday Night, but the defense has looked masterful the whole season the turnovers and the shutdowns of teams’ number one receivers, now including Megatron.

CHARGERS @ Browns – The Chargers find themselves coming off a bye and off that 24 point blown lead debacle. Unfortunately, that means they’ve had two weeks to let it sink in and watch lots of tape. These things leave a bad taste on in your mouth, but Norv shouldn’t let off the gas now in games and I expect to see that weekend against the lowly Browns, who couldn’t get much against a bad Colts defense. Brandon Weeden is progressing especially with the help of Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon, but it won’t help coach Pat Shurmur.

Seahawks @ LIONS – Seahawks played their letdown game last week and came out flat, especially their wide receivers. Their defense is still living up to its hype, but the offense is just lacking solid play all game long. Russell Wilson dials up one big play usually each game, but you can’t win games like that forever. The Lions again looked flat against a solid Bears defense. Stafford will probably be running for his life a lot, but with two young wide-outs now playing we should expect a lot of throws across the middle, with the focus turned to Calvin Johson.

Jaguars @ PACKERS – No Maurice Jones-Drew and Blaine Gabbert is hurting pretty bad means enough said for this game. The Packers are on a roll and Rodgers won’t lose his funk here. (Side note: Greg Jennings is having surgery on his abdominal and will be sidelined even longer and Jordy Nelson might not play, but Rodgers will make others step up.)

COLTS @ Titans- Luck was a selfish fantasy football player last week as he ran the Colts’ only two touchdowns in himself. This team has not looked much like a playoff contender, except for the team that appeared in the Packers’ game. Luck will have plenty of chances to make the playoffs in what is shaping up to be an illustrious career. Chris Johnson has been going H.A.M the past few weeks and all in Tennesseee are hoping the roll continues.There is no reason to believe it shouldn’t continue in this game against a bad Colts defense, but the Titans are now 2-1 under Matt Hasselbeck. Does this spell Quarterback controversy?

PATRIOTS @ Rams – I dislike the London game, almost as much as I despise Thursday night games. It’s unnecessary travel for players who shouldn’t have to and it’s a marketing ploy by the league. If they wanted to play a game in London, don’t you think they would have played soccer? Anyway, the Pats looked beatable again last week against the Jets. Bill’s got to dial something up this week against a feisty Rams team, who lack play-makers on offense right now as teams stack the box against S-Jax and Daryl Richardson. Danny Amendola is making surprise returns to practice, and they (mostly Sam Bradford) need his slot capabilities.

Dolphins @ JETS – The Dolphins are coming off their bye week, in which they broke a tie and now find themselves in second place in the AFC East. Last game against the Jets, came down to one of the ugliest overtime games ever, in which the Jets won by a field goal. The Jets come off a very gritty overtime loss to the Patriots and they seem to be playing above their talent level. No Santonio Holmes and no Darrell Revis, but this team has been more than in the games that those two guys haven’t played. Expect no less from the Jets on Sunday, but Sanchez will look less than average again against a very underrated Dolphins defense.

Falcons @ EAGLES – Both teams are coming off a bye. The Falcons are 6-0, but have looked beatable and have needed some late magic from Matt Ryan to keep that “L” column clean. The Eagles are an ugly 3-3 in which the games they’ve won haven’t been great and the games they’ve lost haven’t been memorable. The Eagles are 13-0 coming off a bye under Andy Reid. This is the reason I am picking them. Keep in mind that Matt Ryan is from Philly and that Asante Samuel played in
Philly for a few years, and usually those two feed into great performances by individual players. This is my toss-up game for the week.

Redskins @ STEELERS – RG3 looked masterful against the Giants, but Eli Manning did what he does best. The Redskins defense is sub-par after injuries have taken its toll, and now it appears that London Fletcher’s consecutive games streak is in jeopardy. He isn’t as good as he used to be, but he is still a foundation in that defense. RG3 could really use Fred Davis and Pierre Garcon, but he will be without them possibly for the rest of the season as Fred Davis was just lost and Garcon hasn’t been there since the first game. The Steelers came out on top of a hard fought game on Sunday night against the Bengals. Big Ben is leading this team that has only had a running game in this past game. Big Ben will keep his swag this weekend against a bad Redskins defense.

RAIDERS @ Chiefs – The Raiders pulled off a nice comeback against a bad Jaguars team, but a win is a win. Carson Palmer has been much safer with the ball this season, but Darren McFadden hasn’t been putting up those same numbers as last year. The Chiefs are just straight awful. They have turned to Brady Quinn and they have said for good, “so that he won’t be looking over his shoulder.” Dwayne Bowe is just shaking his head. The Chiefs have talent, but turn the ball over a lot and their defense can’t stay on the field that long and expect to keep teams out of the end zone.

It’s Come to This … Now He’s Done!!!

Saints @ BRONCOS – The Saints are coming back, mark it down. They run into a tough test this Sunday against a 3-3 Broncos team that is really better than its records indicates. The three losses have been near comebacks in which they put themselves into a hole early. The Saints are scoring points at will. Drew Brees had over three-hundred yards and four touchdowns at halftime last week, not joking. Peyton is leading this talented offense the same way he did in Indy, the difference is his defense is ten times more talented in Mile High than it ever was in Indy. This is a home game for the Broncos, which spells trouble for Drew Brees, who doesn’t play very well in cold outside games.

49ERS @ Cardinals – America, say hello to your #1 Pretenders. The Arizona Cardinals are crumbling before our very eyes, blame the QB injuries and the RB injuries, but it wouldn’t have mattered. They have a solid defense, and Larry Fitzgerald, but that’s all they’ve had going for them. Even when they were winning game their greatest weakness was on display big time, their offensive line. The 49ers will expose this weakness with great magnitude because this teams defense is always hungry. The 49ers are out to prove the NFC West is still theirs and theirs only. This game is for a tie atop the division, but it won’t happen.

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Falcons on Upset Alert as they have walked pretty thin ice while riding a 6-0 record, they better not come out flat against the Eagles. I have also put the Vikings on Upset Alert against the pretty high-powered Bucs.

 

SURVIVOR PICK – Simple. The Green Bay Packers. (If picked already: Patriots or Chargers).

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

Anthony (T-Catz)

 

Week 7: Average now Acceptable

Where’s Patches O’Houlihan when we need him?

Eleven teams currently sit at 3-3 in the NFL, and only two are better than that in the AFC. Take it in for a second, there’s never been a more average year. Last week I went 10-4 again and this week should only produce strong results as I try to continue this roll.

THURSDAY

Seahawks @ 49ERS – I’ll preach it again, it’s just becoming repetitive now, this is a letdown game. Great teams don’t have these, but a scrappy and average team like the Seahawks do. Tom “Terrific” couldn’t seal the deal on them last week and they were able to pull out what seemed to be another miracle win. The Niners were punched in the face by the Giants and will be looking to take some shots themselves.

SUNDAY

Redskins @ GIANTS – The Redskins offense looks great, but the defense is banged up. RG3 looks like the real deal and he can most certainly fly. Their receiving options are nothing to write home about when Pierre Garcon is hurt. The Giants are coming off a statement win in San Francisco, which snapped Eli Manning’s streak of 24 straight games with over 200 passing yards. Last year the Redskins had the Giants number and the Giants always play down to their opponents, especially at home. I believe the Giants will win because it is a must win in a division match-up if they lose they fall to 0-3 in the division.

Titans @ BILLS – How did this Titans team beat the Steelers? Beats me. The Steelers’ defense has been awful this year and Shaun Suisham missed the game winning field goal near the end of the game. Matt Hasselbeck is going to be under pressure this Sunday from a Bills’ defense that may be starting to turn the corner. Ryan Fitzpatrick simply cannot turn the ball over, he’s got a two-headed monster in the backfield now and should just rely on them.

Browns @ COLTS – Big win, Browns! Bad loss, Colts! Andrew Luck is poised to take down a worse defense than he just faced. The only problem is the weapons on the Browns overshadow those of the Colts, but guess who the home team is? Andrew Luck had a bad, BAD, game and many don’t expect to see consecutive ones of those too often and who better to keep that from happening against?

PACKERS @ Rams – The Packers just stomped out the Texans, in Houston. Rodgers showed why he was the MVP last year by tossing six touchdowns and no interceptions against one of the best defenses in the NFL . How bout a little Championship belt? The Rams played an ugly game in which they were heartbroken by the Miami Dolphins. This team has been feisty all year under Coach Fisher’s control. Don’t expect a hangover from the Pack.

The Doublecheck!

Cardinals @ VIKINGS – The Cardinals are finally coming back down to earth. They have no running game and their defense is solid, but not enough to carry them past their offensive woes. The Vikings still sit in second in the NFC North. This team ran into Hurricane Robert, who ran all over them like they were the football field, but I expect a bounce back game here against a falling Cardinals team.

SAINTS @ Buccaneers – A bye week is a nice gift after your first win during what has already been a long season. This team needs to fix its defense, and what better way than to get the leader of the defense back from injury. We will have to see how big of an impact Jonathan Vilma has in his first game of his dramatic 2012 season. The Bucs looked great last week against the Chiefs, but after all it was the Chiefs. The Bucs have not left Tampa in three weeks now, nice life. This match-up provided two great games last season, I expect no less this weekend.

COWBOYS @ Panthers – The Cowboys have to win this game, otherwise they will start to challenge the Saints for the biggest story this season, and don’t expect Jerry Jones to remain quiet. Cam Newton is defining “Sophomore Slump” right now and runs into a good Cowboys defense. The Panthers, I don’t even know. There’s so much talent on this team, but they simply don’t look like a team is the biggest problem. Cam is trying to force his throws and the defense needs to step up against a week Dallas offensive line.

Ravens @ TEXANS – The Ravens took so many hits last week in the win against the Cowboys: Injuries to Ray Lewis, Ladarius Webb and Haloti Ngata. Now they have to rush Terrell Suggs less than six months removed from an Achilles tear.  Now the weight of the team actually drops onto the shoulders of Joe Flacco. The Texans were shellacked by the Packers at home. They’ve had some time to digest it now and stay home and you better believe they’ll be ready to play the Ravens without their leader (don’t the Texans know how this feels) and their best cornerback.

Jaguars @ RAIDERS – These Raiders seem close to being able to compete in the AFC West. They went to the wire with the undefeated Falcons and played great defense the whole game against a high-powered offense. Carson Palmer is turning the ball over less, and they need more production out of Darren McFadden. The Jaguars don’t look good. Gabbert is definitely progressing, but not much. Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the best running backs in the NFL and proves it weekly, but Gabbert has no protection and gets scared when it falls on him. They also don’t have much of a defense.

Jets @ PATRIOTS – The Jets had a great win. Sanchez threw for less than 90 yards, but their was a Shonn Greene sighting. Don’t expect the same this week. Sanchez will have to throw the ball much more. The Patriots are not a happy bunch right now. A very tough and heartbreaking loss in which Tom Brady was “owned” by Richard Sherman. Expect a lot of scoring from the New Englanders.

Steelers @ BENGALS – This is the toss-up game for me. The Steelers have looked plain crappy. The defense is the worst part and as usual their offensive line can’t stay healthy and Big Ben doesn’t have a lot of time in the pocket. Rashard Mendenhall is hurt again. The Bengals offense has looked great as I said last week, but last week Brandon Weeden tore up the defense. This will be a physical game as it always is, but I will take the home team.

Lions @ BEARS – The Lions were able to pull off an upset against the Eagles with some last minute and overtime heroics. The Lions were a great team last year, but do not seem to be half that team last year. If they are going to win, Stafford will have to make the throws he made last year be mistake free against a Bears defense that takes advantage of any mistakes. The Bears have looked like a complete team, mostly on defense. Cutler, of course, has been under fire for his turnovers, but that’s Jay being Jay. This will be a great Monday Night game.

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Giants (because of what they are capable of each year) and the Bears on upset alert. Division games are always played harder than the rest of the games, because they actually do mean more.

SURVIVOR PICK – This week I like the Patriots over the Jets as my lock. (If used already: Packers and Cowboys). 

5 Things We Learned: The Coach Is Here (In The Building) Edition

Judging from the title of this week’s blog post, you know exactly which coach and team I am referring to. So without further ado, I present 5 things we were able to take away from Week 5 in the NFL.

1) Drew Brees is capable of winning a game…as long as he knows Sean Payton is present. Raise your hand if you were shocked that the New Orleans Saints won this game? In the infamous words of Katt Williams, I say no more.

Truthfully, I am inclined to believe that most football fans knew two things were going to happen on this night: 1) Brees was going to break Unitas’ record for consecutive games with at least one touchdown thrown and 2) Brees and Co. would finally figure out how to win a game with head coach Sean Payton present. Is this a coincidence? No.

Call it a conspiracy, or call me crazy (and it wouldn’t be the first time today either), but there is something to be said about the Saints finally coming together and rallying behind their captain to win their first game of the season. Where has this fire been the previous four weeks? If the Saints can manage to put together a petition to have Sean Payton in the parking lot tailgating before and during games, they may be able to salvage the rest of this season and finish just outside of a NFC playoff spot.

2) You’re still having trouble justifying your first or second pick in your fantasy football league, on Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham.

Through five weeks, Gronk and Graham have looked very average. In fact, neither one of them is on pace to replicate last year’s numbers. I believe the old fantasy adage goes, “Never pay for last year’s stats.” Fantasy owners are learning this the hard way with these tight ends. Gronk, so far, is ranked 4th in ESPN standard leagues points wise, while Jimmy Graham is closely behind at 6th. That is unacceptable at any point for someone whom you wasted a first or second pick on.

Meanwhile, the ageless wonder that is Tony Gonzalez is enjoying being matched up against single coverage due to his teammates being Roddy White and Julio Jones. Also, Vernon Davis and Owen Daniels are also having great starts to their season, while not being the focal point of neither of their offenses.

With respect to both Gronkowski and Graham, they appear to be suffering from what I like to call “Drew Brees Syndrome.” What is Drew Brees Syndrome you ask? It’s when the quarterback has so many different weapons that he never goes to a single guy too many times, and finds himself spreading the wealth a lot.

Last season’s MVP Aaron Rodgers also contracted this ‘virus’ if you will. It’s the type of illness that plagues you as an owner of a specific guy in a high-powered offense, unless you have that quarterback. Also, Gronkowski may have it worst than Graham going forward due to the emergence of Stevan Ridley (more on that later).

3) The Buffalo Bills defense is garbage. It’s getting to the point where you could round up 10 of your least athletic and nerdy friends, who spend countless hours in a basement playing mystical card games every day, and step onto the field vs. that horrendous defense, and score at least three touchdowns, while amassing somewhere in the ballpark of 400 yards in the process.

Over each of the past two games, the Bills defense has surrendered over 550 yards of offense to the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers. Now, the Patriots are understandable, but giving up that many yards to an Alex Smith offense is utterly disgusting.

4) You are just as surprised as anyone to see the Minnesota Vikings leading the NFC North Division. If you were asked six weeks ago who was the favorite to be atop the NFC North division at any given point in the season, conventional wisdom would’ve told you to pick the Green Bay Packers.

If you were under the influence of alcohol, you would’ve been feeling a bit risky and selected the Detroit Lions (because no one picks the Lions soberly). You weren’t picking the Chicago Bears unless you stumbled into a Delorian and gunned it back to 2006, where a superb defense could carry the most average quarterback far into a season. All of this concludes that you were never going to pick the Minnesota Vikings no matter what!

Nevertheless, the Vikings find themselves sitting atop the NFC North a quarter of the way through the season. Along the way, the Vikings were able to pick up a tremendous win against the NFC contending San Francisco 49ers.

The Vikings have been able to win games despite not having Adrian Peterson play at the high level we have come to expect from him. Instead, it has been their defense and quarterback who have led the team to three straight victories. Christian Ponder has looked great in the pocket, while connecting many times with his veteran wide receiver Percy Harvin, and emerging tight end Kevin Rudolph. Also, he has shown that he can move the chains with his nifty scrambling.

This team is already turning heads, and as the season goes on, Ponder will only continue to get better. If Peterson can get back to 100 percent, the Vikings may turn themselves into a NFC contender.

5) Patriots have a legit running game? Pinch yourself. Click your heels together three times. Heck, try to emulate Peter Pan off the side of your bed. No matter what you do, the fact will remain the same: The Patriots are developing a balanced offense.

Not that they ever appeared to need one in the Brady era, it sure doesn’t hurt to keep the defense honest. The emergence of Stevan Ridley is a problem for the rest of the AFC. Teams already have a hard enough time stopping throw-happy Patriots week to week, with Ridley, teams are going to be forced to scheme differently going forward.

This past Sunday, Ridley rushing for 151 yards and a score on 28 carries. This was the third time he has gone over 100 yards in a game. If he can minimize his fumbling woes, the already number 1 total offense in football will only get better, and that’s a nightmare that even Freddy Krueger himself wouldn’t want to face.

#BookIt

-Darryl Richardson will see pay dirt before Steven Jackson.

-Both the aforementioned running backs will see their first rushing touchdown’s before Titans’ back Chris Johnson does.

-2011 Cam Newton is to Steve Smith as 2012 Andrew Luck is to Reggie Wayne.

-The Bills will not give up more than 400 yards of offense this Sunday vs. the Cardinals.

-If the season ended today, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan would be your league MVP.

The recipient of Week 5’s McKayla is Not Impressed Award goes to Jets head coach Rex Ryan. There are times when a player takes sole responsibility for a loss, and then there are times like this past Monday night where the blame should be on Rex Ryan.

Prepare your team better! He promised the defense would be better, and it was, but where was the attention to the inexperienced wide receivers dropping passes all night?! You have got to get them more snaps during the week, so that sort of performance does not happen on game day. Also, you have Mark Sanchez under throwing Antonio Cromartie, who made a great double move on the play, on a deep route. How is that possible?

At what point does Rex say to himself, “Maybe I should give Tebow a drive or two to shake things up and fire up the team.” What he accomplished in Denver was not a fluke, but proof that when players believe in their quarterback, they go out and play at an even higher level on the field. If Rex doesn’t get it together, he will find himself as the former coach of a team that won’t be accumulating more than 6 wins this season.

Week 5 – Keep on Rolling

12-3 Last week …

BOOM

Not to brag but sitting better on my picks this season than SI’s Peter King. The first three weeks were tough, but this past week I started 11-1 before Sunday night and went 0-2 on Sunday and Monday night. Let’s continue this strong showing.

THURSDAY

CARDINALS @ Rams- Last week I correctly predicted that the Rams would upset the Seahawks, although both teams should have been 1-2 going into that game. The Rams defense played much better than their offense as they seemed to be shying away from their #1 asset in Steven Jackson. This Rams defense is underrated and is flying under the radar more than these Cardinals. The Cardinals didn’t look like the same team in the first half against a less than average Dolphins team. The Cardinals had to make an emotional comeback and outlast the Dolphins in overtime to stay undefeated. That’s why I find this a very tough pick and think it might be the biggest toss-up game of the week.

SUNDAY

Browns @ GIANTS – The Browns are the only winless team left in the NFL and they will stay that way after this weekend. They haven’t looked great, but they’ve stayed in some games that they had no right to be in. Brandon Weeden has played like a rookie, unfortunately he’s seven years older than most rookies and has looked worse than a few of them. The Giants came within a 54 yard field goal of beating the Eagles and moving to 3-1 instead of the other way around. Still no Hakeem Nicks for the Giants, big blow to the offense, but Eli finds ways to get ‘er done and will continue Sunday.

Dolphins @ BENGALS – The Dolphins looked pretty solid in their almost overtime upset against the Cardinals Sunday, but they fell short, per usual these days. The Dolphins run defense has looked great, considering its #1 right now in the NFL, the problem is the Bengals have been throwing a lot, and for good reason, with weapons like stud receiver A.J. Green and dangerous slot man Andrew Hawkins, along with red zone threat in Jermaine Gresham. The Bengals defense hasn’t been the same as last year, but they should continue their winning ways this weekend.

PACKERS @ Colts – The Packers won a squeaker in which they were helped out by the referees (consolation for the Seahawks game?). Greg Jennings will not be playing yet again this week, which does hurt the Packers offense, but Rodgers will most certainly spread the wealth just fine. Andrew Luck will see a healthy dose of Clay Matthews in his face and he will not like it! The Packers will go into Indy and show Andrew Luck how it’s done.

RAVENS @ Chiefs – The Ravens have looked really good so far, but almost allowed the Browns to win that game on Thursday night. Flacco threw a bad interception but was pretty sharp after that and they seemed to keep the ball out of Ray Rice’s hands, chalk that up to the short week. That will change this week now that they’ve had a week and a half for rest. The Chiefs just won’t stop turning the ball over. They haven’t looked awful but their turnovers are head scratching with 15 of them, and the sledding won’t get much easier as they face the Ravens defense.

Eagles @ STEELERS – The Eagles played an offensive ugly game against the Giants until they started running the ball to the outside. They almost lost the game, but were able to pull it out after a bad offensive pass interference on Ramses Barden of the Giants. Vick looked better seeing as he didn’t turn the ball over. The Steelers are coming off of their bye, with a full load of healthy starters coming back: Polamalu, Harrison and Rashard Mendenhall. In state foes, but one needs the win more and that is the home team and that’s why I pick the Steelers.

I’M BACKKKKK

FALCONS @ Redskins – I don’t believe this will be an easy win for the Falcons and they can actually lose this game. The Falcons have looked like a complete team and Matty Ice actually lived up to his name because he was ice cold in that comeback win over the Panthers. The Redskins controlled the entire game against the Bucs until they let them take the lead by backing off the gas in the second half. Then, Robert Griffin marched his offense down the field and Billy Cundiff did what he couldn’t go all game long, hit a FG, and a clutch won at that. Falcons win here because of their weapons and the caliber of their defense right now.

Seahawks @ PANTHERS – The Panthers should have gone for it on Fourth down last week and the Falcons wouldn’t be sitting undefeated anymore, but hey that’s why they play the game. The Seahawks did not look good against the Rams, besides Lynch who has the most yards in the NFL this year. I think the Seahawks have a good physical defense, but it stops there, their offense is atrocious. The Panthers D looked good getting pressure on Ryan all day, but clearly they needed to double Roddy White, good thing is there is no one close to Roddy’s talent on the Seahawks.

BEARS @ Jaguars – I know everyone saw what the Bears did to Romo, imagine what they could do to Gabbert. The Bears defense was unstoppable and Romo is evasive, Gabbert is known for playing scared, so watch out. Cutler played pretty well in the Cowboys game against a good Cowboys defense. Maurice Jones-Drew is doing all he can, as usual, to carry this team, but it won’t be enough this Sunday.

Titans @ VIKINGS – Never thought I’d see the day where I was picking the Vikings while Christian Ponder was still their starting Q, but here I am. Adrian Peterson is going to have a field day and Ponder will continue his game managing ways. The Titans took step backward with Jake Locker’s shoulder injury and Kenny Britt’s setback. Chris Johnson had a good game against a tough Texans defense, but it’ll take more than one good game to get back to where he used to be, and the Vikings run defense has looked good so far.

Broncos @ PATRIOTS – I would like to pick the Broncos, but the Patriots can just light up a scoreboard no matter how good your defense is and how well your team has been playing. The Broncos Joe Mays will be coming back from a suspension and their defense is pumping on all cylinders now, but this is the wrong team to play when you start to. Peyton Manning has not thrown an interception since the first quarter debacle against the Falcons, not a bad stat. Tom Brady turned in a Tom Brady performance, but the biggest surprise was the explosion of the Pats run game, which we should all keep an eye on, because if they become two dimensional …. eek.

Bills @ 49ERS – The Bills had control of the Patriots in the first half forcing turnovers and not allowing Brady to slice ’em and dice ’em. Then it simply got ugly. The Bills have two solid running backs, possibly the best 1-2 punch in the NFL this year, but the 49ers don’t give up rushing yards to many. The 49ers looked great against the Jets, especially the defense and good news for them Fitzpatrick turns the ball over a lot. The 49ers defense are going to have their way with the Bills, but keep an eye on the other side.

Chargers @ SAINTS – The Chargers are playing quietly good and the Saints are playing noisily awful. Rivers has been carrying the team and Jackie battle bruised his way last week to a couple of scores. The Defense has looked good as well, but now they go into the Superdome, to play a battered Saints team. Here’s the difference maker, Sean Payton will be at this game. This will be one of those games where daddy shows up for the first time for little Johnny’s football game, and little Johnny goes HAM (Insert “Little Giants” movie quote here, please).

MONDAY

TEXANS @ Jets – Is there a team more depleted by the loss of two players, one on each side of the ball. The Jets looked like an FBS school against the 49ers last week and Santonio Holmes reaffirmed how selfish he is by throwing the ball into the hands of Carlos Rogers when he hurt his foot. HOLD ONTO THE BALL WHEN YOU GO DOWN! The Texans could be the most complete team in the NFL and they couldn’t have picked a better team to face to stay undefeated than the Jets. Tim Tebow might be looking mighty good after this game if Sanchez can’t do well with his now patchwork receiving corps after rookie Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller won’t play … OUCH.

 

UPSET ALERT – As I said be way of the Rams, (they already beat the Cardinals). Another upset to keep an eye on is the Redskins over the Falcons, just depending on how well the Skins defense plays. I’m not saying it’ll happen but let’s not forget that Arrowhead is one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL and the Ravens can falter just don’t expect it. I also wouldn’t call this an upset, but the Broncos CAN beat the Patriots.

To Survive!

SURVIVAL PICKTexans over the Jets is a lock, but most have already used the Texans I’m sure so the next best thing is the Bears over the Jaguars.. (If picked already: Vikings and Giants )

Week 4 Picks: For the Love of Refs

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

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

Sad, Sad day

So let’s get this thing started:

THURSDAY

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

SUNDAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANDDDD …. THEY’RE BACK!!!

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

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

MONDAY

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

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

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

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

Anthony (T-Catz)