NFL Picks Week 14, 1:00 o’clock games

 

Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5), O/U (41.5)

Miami is 0 and 2 since 1995 when they play the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Dolphins have a 2-6 record in their last 8 games against Pittsburgh and are on a 5 game losing streak against the Steelers overall. Ben Roethlisberger seems to have a knack for winning games late in the season at home when they mean something and the Steelers are 18-6 ATS at home over the past 24 games.

Gonna go with Pittsburgh here to cover the spread.
Take the under 41.5.

Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots (-10), O/U (45)

New England plays every team tough at home and are coming in on a 5 game winning streak at home. The Browns are 1-4 against the Patriots in their last 5 meetings and are 1-4 against the spread versus the Patriots in their last 5 matchups. Cleveland is going off a tough loss to the Jaguars at home and now have to go on the road against a tough opponent in the Patriots.

Gonna take New England to cover the 10 point spread.
4 out of the past 5 games between Cleveland and New England have gone over the line. Gotta go with the OVER here.

Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Redskins (+2.5), O/U (44)

Kansas City and Washington have both not fared well against the spread in their last 6 games going just 1 and 5 ATS. Washington is on a 5 game losing streak against the Chiefs and haven’t covered the spread in those games either. With the Redskins struggling not looking to make the playoffs and Kansas City looking to get back on track against at team that head coach Andy Reid knows well, I expect this game to get oit of hand rather quickly.

Got to take the Chiefs to cover the 2 points.
Chiefs have gone UNDER the line in 14 of their past 20 games and Washington has gone UNDER the line in 8 of its past 12 at home. All signs pointing to the UNDER here.

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5), O/U (53)

Detroit has gone under the line in 4 of their last six road games and the Eagles have also gone under the line in 5 of their past 6 homes games. Philadelphia is coming in hot and are 6 and 1 against the Lions at home in their past seven meetings. Detroit has covered the spread in the past two games against Philadelphia and with both teams looking to make a run at the playoffs its going to be a tight game. This game is going to come down to a field goal.

With that I’m going with the Eagles to win this one at home but the Lions WILL COVER the 2.5 point spread.
both defenses have been playing well of late which leads me to believe this is going UNDER the 53 point line.

Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5), O/U (44.5)

The Colts have beaten the Bengals 7 times in the last 8 meeting between the two and the Colts have covered the spread in those games 5 times. Cincinnati is just 2 and 6 against the spread when playing Indy at home in their last 8 meetings. The Bengals are coming off a 17 to 10 win over the Chargers in week 13 and they had their bye week during week 12. I think the Bengals are going to hit their stride this week and put up a bunch of points against the Colts defense through the air.

Take the Colts to cover the 5.5 in a low scoring game that will go UNDER the 44.5 point line.

Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5), O/U (41.5)

Truly a toss up here with two rookie quarterbacks going head to head and two pretty good defenses both against the run and pass. EJ Manuel is heading back to the state where he spent his college career and will have a bunch of fans there pulling for him and that will play a factor in this game. Tampa Bay is 5 and 1 in their last six home games against the Bills and the Bills haven’t cover the spread in their past 5 games in Tampa Bay.

Gonna go with the Bills to win this game covering that 2.5 point spread.
The Bucs and the Bills have both gone OVER the line in 6 out of the last 8 games. Take the OVER again here.

Oakland Raiders at New York Jets (-3), O/U (41.5)

The Jets have played better of late at home this season going 4 and 2 in their past 6 home games. and are also 4 and 2 in their past 6 games against the Raiders. The Raiders will be relying on Rashad Jennings with Run DMC out with an ankle injury against the leagues best run defense so expect Matt McGloin to be throwing the ball a lot against a Jets secondary that has been struggling.

Gonna take the Raiders to COVER the spread in a nail biter with the Jets sneaking out the win but by less than 3 points.
It’s going to be a fast paced game with a lot of drives that end with long touchdowns so I’ve gotta go with the OVER 41.5 point line.

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-3), O/U (46.5)

Atlanta has really struggled this year but they have picked it up of late and I believe that Mike smith’s team will finish the season strong. Green Bay is good at home but they are still without Aaron Rodgers and have been struggling to find the endzone on offense. I think that will continue this week for Green Bay’s offense and the Packers defense will have to try to find pay dirt somehow and keep Matt Ryan at bay. I like the Falcons to upset the Packers here and get a much needed win in regulation by a touchdown.

Take the Falcons against the spread.
Gonna have to go with the UNDER, as I don’t expect much scoring from the Packers offense but their defense will keep the Falcons offense under 30 points.

Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens (-6), O/U (42.5)

The Vikings have been playing surprisingly well in the past two weeks getting a win versus Chicago and tying with the Packers the week before that. Both of those games went into overtime. We could attest that to Minnesota’s defense and Adrian Peterson. The Ravens know that the Vikings are going to give AP a lot of touches and will probably challenge the Vikings wide receivers to beat them on the outside. Matt Cassel should be able to take advantage of the play action and hit his receivers and tight ends down the field. Baltimore has played really well at home all season but they haven’t scored that many points at home.

Gonna take the Ravens here to COVER the 6 point spread getting the win by a touchdown over Minnesota.
But I’m going to take the OVER on this 42.5 point line with both teams scoring into the twenties.

Advertisements

Week 15: Who makes a Playoff Run?

We have placed ourselves back into double digit victory discussion, with a 10-6 week.

CHEEESEEEE!!!

CHEEESEEEE!!!

A lot has happened over the past week in the NFL, the former NFL Commissioner has dropped the suspensions of players related to the Saints bounty case and now Roger Goodell is talking about expanding the playoffs (of course to talk the heat off of himself for suspending players that were now exonerated for such actions.) Let’s jump into this week’s picks where now the going gets tough and the playoff contenders get going.

THURSDAY

BENGALS @ Eagles – The Eagles stunned the Buccaneers and their playoff hopes with 2 seconds left on the clock last week. The Bengals defense is better than the Buccaneers as a whole and won’t have a problem getting to rookie Nick Foles in the backfield. They must contain Bryce Brown, which seemed natural for those Bucs last week (they sport the #1 run defense, however.) Andy Dalton became the third quarterback, with Marino and Peyton Manning being the other two, to eclipse twenty touchdowns in his first two seasons. Dalton and A.J. Green have remarkable chemistry and now A.J. Green has to get over a sure touchdown drop last week in an upset by the Cowboys. Go Bengals here because they want and need it more.

SUNDAY

GIANTS @ Falcons – A lot to prove for both teams here. The Giants can prove they can still be the team to beat from the NFC, and the Falcons are trying to prove they have become that team. It is a rematch of the Wild Card playoff round last year in which the Giants romped the Falcons 24-2 in the Meadowlands. There will be no Ahmad Bradshaw so the rookie David Wilson will carry the load against a bad run defense. The Falcons come back to Georgia after a bad loss to Cam Newton and Cam Newton only, so they will be angry.

PACKERS @ Bears – After the first matchup the Bears went on a tear and it seemed they had climbed to the top of the NFC North, but in the past five weeks they’ve looked like a completely different team. That’s what injuries and a bad offensive line will do to you. The Packers on the other hand have ascended to the top of the NFC yet again. They are getting healthy at the right time and rookie running back Alex Green is beginning to step up. The Bears need to keep Jay Cutler upright, and that is going to be tough with Clay Matthews getting ready to play. Good Luck, Jay.

Ouch-town population you, Jay

Ouch-town population you, Jay

Redskins @ BROWNS – Kirk Cousins is going to get the start for the ‘Skins in Cleveland. Cousins has proved he can step into games and take over with his arm, not his legs like RGIII. The Redskins need him to be big, but it’s going to be tough against a suddenly good defense. Another rookie quarterback needs to step up for the ‘Skins against a rookie quarterback for the Browns. I think the Browns have been rejuvenated the past few weeks and it’s weird typing that. I take the Browns here in the upset.

Vikings @ RAMS – Adrian Peterson will continue to light up the world, but Christian Ponder will continue to be lit up by the world. The Rams defense is good and underrated, but are better against the pass than the run, lucky for the Vikings robot running back. Peterson needs to average 169 yards over the final three weeks to surpass Eric Dickerson’s rushing record. While I think Adrian Peterson is the greatest back of our generation, I don’t believe he will do it, as much as I want him to. I am picking the Rams because Sam Bradford > Christian Ponder.

Jaguars @ DOLPHINS – The Jaguars just called me up and asked me to play running back. I respectfully declined, of course. The Dolphins sport another underrated defense and a rookie quarterback that has shown flashes of maturity and serious potential. Chad Henne has a grasp on the starting job, but struggled mightily last week without his favorite target in Cecil Shorts. Shorts will be back this week, but I don’t think their defense is good enough to win this game. Montell Owens almost had 100 yards against the Jets last week, but the Dolphins sport a much better run defense. Dolphins based on a talent standpoint.

Buccaneers @ SAINTS – Bad thing for the Saints: Buccaneers rank #1 against the rush. Good thing for the Saints: They don’t typically run the ball very much especially at home. Josh Freeman and his Bucs are coming off a shocking loss Nick Foles’ Eagles that knocked them out of the playoffs. This will be a high-scoring game if you ever see one. Brees and Freeman better be locked into all fantasy lineups this week. Brees in the Superdome trying to ruin playoff lives from here on out!

BRONCOS @ Ravens – Peyton is doing what Peyton does. Just running things in the NFL week by week. Moreno has stepped up mightily since Willis McGahee went to the I.R. and the defense has been steady all year as a top 5 NFL defense. The Ravens’ record does not indicate how the good the team is, because their 9-3 record is an overestimation of this team. Their defense is not the same and they need to realize it, their offense just fired its offensive coordinator after another disappointing year, except this time they won’t give the ball to their best player as much. The Broncos are the better team and it will show in Baltimore today.

Colts @ TEXANS – I have to be honest, I like those Texans letter-man jackets. I have to be honest, I can’t believe they worse those. The Texans defense was embarrassed on national television. The Patriots exploited all of their weaknesses with all the injuries they have suffered. The Colts are coming off another comeback win against a bad Titans team. Andrew Luck is still playing poorly on the road, but against this shaky secondary it’s hard to not believe in him putting up numbers today. The Texans are still the better team and will come out with full force in Reliant Stadium.

SEAHAWKS @ Bills – Seattle is underrated let’s get that out of the way. “Pint-sized” quarterback Russell Wilson has led this team to becoming a contender, the biggest problem is, most of their wins come at home. The Bills excel at one thing and that’s running the ball, and the Seahawks excel both defensive aspects. The Seahawks will make the playoffs, unfortunately for them they will not host any games. The Bills just lost at home to the Rams after having the lead. The Bills front-office won’t stop talking about the status of their franchise quarterback and it’s a flip-flop every week. They should focus on their weekly opponent instead of on who their quarterback NEXT year is going to be.

Darren Sharper ... Hold ma  ****

Darren Sharper … Hold ma ****

LIONS @ Cardinals – The Cardinals defense has to keep them in this game. Good luck! It’s the Ryan Lindley show again in ‘Zona. Let’s see how good the Lions defense looks this week against the Cardinals because typically they make everyone look like top 10 defenses. Patrick Peterson wants one on one against Megatron who is moving toward Jerry Rice’s single-season record. Imagine if the rushing and receiving record are broken in one year, but two non-playoff teams, intriguing.

A8AmLXUCAAA5aYW

Panthers @ CHARGERS – This may not be as high-scoring as everyone would think. The Chargers sport a pretty good defense that was able to abuse the Steelers last week before they gave up some garbage time touchdowns. Cam Newton is on a tear right now, but I believe that won’t continue today in San Diego. However, Philip Rivers probably won’t play well either. I think this will be pretty ugly from a bunch of underachieving teams.

STEELERS @ Cowboys – Toss-up of the week here. I think the Steelers know how to win these games and the Cowboys typically lose these even at home. I don’t believe Dez will make that big of an impact. The Cowboys need this win or they can count themselves out of the playoffs, on the other hand the Steelers can put themselves out of the playoff spot with a loss. Their bigger game is next week against the Bengals, but they usually don’t look ahead.

Chiefs @ RAIDERS – The “yikes” game for the week. Expect a lot of Jamaal Charles and a lot of punts. Both of these teams have been hopeless causes all year and the Chiefs were destroyed by the Browns last week, while the Raiders lost to the Broncos before the game even started. I pick the home team in this matchup.

49ers @ PATRIOTS – This is the game of the week, but the Patriots showed they are still the team to beat. They took it to the Texans and early. The 49ers better be ready to go as soon as the ball is kicked. Kaepernick has come down to earth recently and hasn’t had to take the games over like he did the first couple of games. The 49ers are 1st in defense and the Pats are 1st in offense, so what will give?

MONDAY

JETS @ Titans – Easily the worst Monday Night game of the year. I pick the Jets because the Titans are bad and the Jets are better. Mark Sanchez didn’t play well again last week when the Jets inched out a win against the Jaguars without their best receiver. Jake Locker is the most erratic quarterback in the NFL. The guy looked great last week after looking like a college quarterback since coming back from his injury. Mark Sanchez cannot turn the ball over for the Jets to win, but for the Titans to win Chris Johnson has to go off and Kenny Britt cannot be dominated by Antonio Cromartie.

siren

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Texans, the Vikings , the Falcons and the Redskins on upset alery.

tom-hanks-in-cast-away

 

Survivor Pick – First of all if you’re still in survivor pools, just good for you. This week I’ll take the Lions to keep it going. (If picked already: BengalsTexans, and Seahawks.)

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.

216105_352829598125338_679964590_n

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 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 6 … They Are Who We Thought They Were

After 12-3 we had a 10-4 showing. So let’s keep this baby rolling now that teams have come into their own, but some nice surprises are still shocking the NFL World, say the Vikings and the Cardinals. On the other hand we have disappointments like the Steelers and of course the ‘Aints (Saints).

Let’s get right into it:

THURSDAY

STEELERS @ Titans – This game is already over, but I’d be completely lying to you if I told you that I had even thought of picking the Titans. Chris Johnson is still playing like crud and Matt Hasselbeck’s arm just isn’t the same anymore. Mendenhall is back, not anymore seeing as he left this game and Big Ben has been playing great, but without Polamalu this defense just isn’t the same and they showed that by allowing the Titans to march down field with 45 seconds left in the game.

SUNDAY

Raiders @ FALCONS – Matty Ryan and his Falcons keep on rolling, but they almost slipped up last week at Washington until RG3 was knocked out with a concussion. They might have escaped one of their trap games and can breathe a sigh of relief and can now refocus as they head home to play an inconsistent Raiders team, which has played the Chargers and Steelers tough, but got wiped out by the Broncos and the Dolphins. Let’s see which Raiders team shows up, but it shouldn’t matter.

BENGALS @ Browns – The Browns came out firing against the Giants last week and looked good until they came back down to Earth and Eli Manning did his thing. The Bengals had a disappointing outing last week against a pretty solid Dolphins’ defense, but their offense this year has really been the story compared to their defense last year. The Browns are hurting having to play some unexpected wide receivers, but Brandon Weeden seems to be inching along. These two teams have already played this year and it was a close game at Cincinnati, this probably won’t be much different.

Rams @ DOLPHINS – Both of these teams have been somewhat surprising. Sam Bradford has regressed more than anyone I’ve seen (maybe not Cam Newton). Their strength for years has been their running game, but they’ve been playing solid run defenses and that doesn’t change this week against the #1 ranked run defense of Miami. All the scouts and experts are saying Ryan Tannehill’s progression is amazing, especially considering a few years ago this guy was playing Wide Receiver at Texas A&M, and I agree even though the numbers may not.

Colts @ JETS – This is now a let down game for the Colts. An emotional comeback win for Chuck Pagano against many people’s Super Bowl favorite. Now they have to go on the road to New York, where Jet fans are always loud. The Jets just played their hearts out against a very good Houston Texans team, without their two best players in Revis and Holmes. This fire and this heart leads me to this pick, also no Mathis for the Colts and Freeney is still clearly rusty. Sanchez might throw over 50% this weekend.

Only a matter of time …

Lions @ EAGLES – This is a must win for the Lions and that’s why I can see them winning this game, but the Eagles are coming off an ugly loss to the Steelers in which Vick turned the ball over three more times. The Eagles defense has been sound through the first five games, but the Lions are coming off a bye in which I’m sure Jim Schwartz has gotten his team focused. Stafford has not played anywhere near the level he did last year, but don’t expect that to last very long especially when you have Calvin Johnson to throw the ball to.

Chiefs @ BUCCANEERS – Both of these teams have been disappointing and now Matt Cassel is out with a concussion, apparently to the bliss of Chiefs’ fans. Brady Quinn who hasn’t played in a football game in almost three years, must now take the reigns against a Buccaneers team coming off their bye at home. Josh Freeman has to play better in order for the Bucs to win or even keep up with the way Jamaal Charles is running, and Romeo Crennel has said that his workload will not dwindle.

Cowboys @ RAVENS – The Cowboys are coming off their bye and the Ravens are coming home from one of the ugliest football games I’ve seen against the Chiefs, a 9-6 barn-burner win. The Cowboys looked horrific in their Monday Night game against the Bears in which Romo hurled five interceptions. The road doesn’t get easier against an always ball hawking Ravens defense. The Baltimore crowd is extremely loud and the Cowboys have enough problems on offense, forget not being able to hear. Joe Flacco must have a better showing than last week if he wants us to truly believe he has taken that next step. P.S. Did anyone hear them saying Ray Lewis isn’t playing at the same level?  The guy is 37 … get over yourselves.

Bitch, please ….

BILLS @ Cardinals – The Bills have been real bad the last two weeks against the 49ers and the Patriots, especially their defense. Fitzpatrick cannot keep throwing the magnitude of interceptions that he always does, but now they have a healthy two-headed monster in the backfield and the pressure can be taken off of his shoulders as long as their expensive defense can keep the Cardinals offense off of the field, which shouldn’t be all that difficult with the running backs the Cardinals have lined up for this week’s game.

PATRIOTS @ Seahawks – The 12th man will be the quietest it’s ever been this weekend when Tom Brady and his video game offense hit the field in Seattle. The Patriots have been playing to prove they are the top tier team in the AFC, and the past two weeks have done just that. Hopefully Bill doesn’t punish Wes Welker for his public joke about “shoving it in Bill’s face.” The Seahawks’ games have all been just pure ugly, and anyone can sit here and argue with me on that, but it’s true. Russell Wilson is having a better year than Mark Sanchez, not saying much but for a small rookie it’s a plus playing with the offense he has. Pats in a blowout of course.

GIANTS @ 49ers – I will tell you why I am picking the Giants to win this game in two words … Road Warriors. The Giants go on the road and win big games, it’s just what they do. They came up short against the Eagles, literally, but they played two great games against the 49ers last year and don’t expect anything different from these two this year. The Niners have played complete football all year long and their offense went off last week against the Bills defense, but who hasn’t this year? It’s tough to pick this game, but I’ll go with the G-MEN!!!

Vikings @ REDSKINS – The Vikings have looked good and may still be overachieving. Ponder has been good, despite throwing two interceptions last week (his first two of the year). Peterson hasn’t looked the same, but who can blame him. Harvin has looked like a complete player, seriously what can’t he do? Roger Griffin III has just been concussed and may not remember who he is, but let’s go ‘Skins! Alfred Morris has been running lights out and the Skins offense is as high-powered as any with RG3 under center. Even Kirk Cousins hit Santana Moss on a wide open post last week. This game is a toss-up to me, but usually on close games I go home team. Side note: Billy Cundiff is no longer kicking with the ‘Skins (every Ravens fan curses his name with pure hate).

CHEEESEEEE!!!

PACKERS @ TexansThe Packers are hurting and now their without Greg Jennings and Cedric Benson. They can’t keep Aaron Rodgers straight-up. Rodgers hasn’t looked like his MVP-self either, although it is tough to reproduce his performance from last year. This feels like a must-win for the Pack. The Texans are also hurting without Cushing now and Ben Tate is banged up. Cushing is the center of their defense, even with the emergence of JJ Watt. The Packers will be pissed, again, after another disappointing loss.

MONDAY

BRONCOS @ Chargers – The Chargers unfortunately ran into the Saints at the wrong time as Sean Payton looked on and Drew Brees broke the consecutive games with a TD pass record. Peyton Manning looked good against the Patriots, but just couldn’t keep up with Tom Brady in the first half, which seems to be a reoccurring theme for Peyton this year. His team gets behind and he brings them back, but cannot pull off the comeback. The Chargers had finally gotten that good start to the season they wanted, but after losses to the Falcons and to the Saints they need a bounce back game, unfortunately it’s against a good division rival Broncos team that sits under .500.

UPSET ALERT – The Colts are on Upset Alert going into Metlife Stadium after a big emotional win, this is letdown time! I am also putting the Vikings and the Cardinals on Upset Alert. The Vikings have been solid, but the Skins can score a ton of points with the play of RG3. The Bills can also score a lot and the Cardinals offense can’t keep up with many teams if their defense allows points.

To Survive!

SURVIVOR PICK – Falcons, hands down. The Raiders have already gutted me once this year when I picked the Steelers against them. The Falcons have now traveled back and forth from San Diego, Washington and now back home. The good side of this is they’re playing at home. (If Picked Already: Bengals and Patriots even though I don’t like away teams.)

These are my two cents … cash ’em in!

Anthony (T Catz)

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 3 Picks

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

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

C’MON MAN!!!!

THURSDAY

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

SUNDAY

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

You won’t like him when he’s angry!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will the Bags make a return???

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scary ass …

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

SURVIVAL PICK:

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

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

UPSET ALERT:

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

Those are my two cents … cash them in!

Anthony (T-Catz)

5 Things We Learned: The Game is 60 Minutes Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honorable Mention


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

#BookIt

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

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

-This is the year of the backup running back!

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

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

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

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

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

5 Things We Learned: Week 1 Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wins will be hard to come by.

Honorable mention:

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

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

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

#BookIt

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

– Jimmy Lips