Week 4: Recovery Time

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

How I and the G-Men Feel

How I and the G-Men Feel

THURSDAY

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

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

SUNDAY

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

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

You sound like you’re from London!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honey Badger don’t care!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

siren

UPSET ALERT

  • Chiefs
  • Titans

tom-hanks-in-cast-away

SURVIVOR POOL PICKS

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

 

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Week 3: Let’s not Overreact

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

Off to Indy!!!

Off to Indy!!!

THURSDAY

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

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

SUNDAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MONDAY

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

CharlesWoodsonTackle_original

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

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UPSET ALERT

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

tom-hanks-in-cast-away

SURVIVOR PICK

This week let’s just say take the

  • Seahawks
  • Broncos
  • Vikings

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

Week 2: Aftermath of Week 1

kaephit

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

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

THURSDAY

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

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

SUNDAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MONDAY

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

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

siren

UPSET SPECIAL

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

tom-hanks-in-cast-away

SURVIVOR POOL

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

  • PATRIOTS
  • RAVENS
  • COLTS
  • TEXANS
  • EAGLES

Good luck this week to all!

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

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

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THURSDAY

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

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

SUNDAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MONDAY

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

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

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

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

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UPSET ALERT 

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

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SURVIVOR POOL PICK

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

Check back for this week’s recap!

PED Use Not Only a Problem in Major League Baseball but in The NFL Too

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In the wake of the Alex Rodriguez PED circus I thought that it would be relevant to discuss the NFL players that have been suspended for parts of the 2013-2014 NFL regular season.  Now understand that the MLB and NFL do have separate rules regarding PED’s but what it boils to is players trying to gain an edge over their opponents no matter the sport.

Jo-Lonn Dunbar – Linebacker- St. Louis Rams – 4 Games

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A Boston College graduate that was part of the New Orleans Saints 2009 Super Bowl Champion team.  Dunbar was pegged to be the starting middle linebacker for the St. Louis Rams week one but his four game suspensions handed down from the league for PED use will put that on hold until week 5.  St. Louis’s defense is good but no team can afford to lose a guy who they are depending on to be a starter and I believe that the Rams will suffer from his lose.

Asa Jackson – Cornerback – Baltimore Ravens – 8 Games

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Jackson was an unknown on the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion team of 2012 and maybe the departure of a lot of defensive veterans pressure him to up his performance and take PED’s.  Truthfully I cannot tell you why Jackson took PED’s but what I can tell you is that he won’t be receiving a paycheck for eight weeks.  This is Jackson’s second violation of the NFL’s PED policy as he also tested positive for Adderall in 2012 serving a four game suspension.  When will Jackson get the message?

Bruce Irvin – Outside Linebacker – Seattle Seahawks – 4 Games

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Irvin is the best player on this list and the Seahawks are going to suffer from him not playing the first four games of the 2013 season.  Irvin is coming off his rookie season where he recorded 8 sacks and going into this year Pete Carroll was looking for Irvin to be the number one pass rusher on the Seattle front line.  Unfortunately that will have to wait until after the Seahawks week four matchup against the Texans to get on the field.

DeMarcus Love – Left Tackle – Minnesota Vikings – 4 Games

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The most Love has done in his career that is relevant to anyone is he protected Ryan Mallet’s blind side at Arkansas.  Love’s professional career has not gone well after being drafted by the Vikings in the 6th round of the 2011 draft.  He was inactive for the entire 2011 season and in 2012 Minnesota took Matt Kalil with their first pick in the 2012 draft and has not only taken Love’s position at left tackle but also gave Kahlil his number 75.  Don’t think the absence of Love is going to hurt the Vikings performance in the first four games.

Will Hill – Safety – New York Giants – Four Games

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Mr. Hill is also a second offender of the NFL’s and got off a little easier than Asa Jackson who I spoke about earlier.  Hill didn’t receive a greater punishment from the NFL this time because he violated a different violation of the leagues PED policy (whoopie!!!).  Last season Hill tested positive for Adderall and was suspended four games.  This time around it was a different drug that has not been named by the media or NFL yet but some speculate it is Marijuana.  Hill was looking to be in the dime packages for the Giants but now has to deal with this suspension.

Weslye Saunders – Tight End – Indianapolis Colts – 8 Games

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Weslye (no that is not a typo) is another second time offender of the NFL PED policy and he is not getting off as easy as Will Hill.  Saunders is being hit with an 8 game suspension for his second positive test of a drug that has yet to be disclosed but is definitely on the list of drugs that the NFL does not allow.  In 2012 as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers was suspended four games for using Adderall and following the newest 8 game suspension for Saunders he was cut by the Indianapolis Colts.  Struggling there buddy, try and work a little harder and maybe you’ll make a team.

Gabe Miller – Tight End – Chicago Bears – 4 Games

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Miller was recently signed by the Chicago Bears off of their practice squad to fill the hole left at third tight end spot on the depth chart.  The drug Miller was using to violate the NFL PED policy is unknown but if he’s taking it and he’s only on the practice squad than I would suggest pursuing a career in another field.  Miller is probably the most irrelevant guy on this list right in front of DeMarcus Love.

That rounds out the list for now but I am sure that I will be adding names to this list as the season goes on.  Von Miller is waiting to hear from the league about his appeal of his suspension for drug use in the coming weeks.

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