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.

siren

UPSET ALERT

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

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.

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5 Things We Learned: The Seattle Screwjob Edition

1) If players can be flagged for throwing the ball at fellow players, then coaches should be reprimanded for throwing the game. Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, you should be ashamed of yourself. Schwartz took full blame for the loss after the game (which he should), but that doesn’t change the fact that it was arguably one of the dumbest play-calls on fourth down since Belichick went for it deep in his own territory versus the Colts.

“I was getting ready to call timeout,” said Schwartz after the game, who said the play was an attempt to draw the Titans offside. Jim, we are still waiting for you to call that timeout. Quarterback Shaun Hill telegraphed that QB Sneak the moment he broke the huddle.

It was fourth-and-1. All Schwartz had to do was send Jason Hanson, who was 4/4 on the day, out for the 24-yard field goal, thus displaying trust in his defense to get one more stop. Sounds too easy right?! It’s a move like that which makes a player on the defense start to question the coach’s play-calling on the offensive side of the ball.

Then there is Miami Dolphins first-year head coach Joe Philbin. Joe, is there any conclusive evidence to suggest that icing the kicker actually works? Because if there is, I am dying to get my hands on that data. It’s bad enough coach Philbin believes if a coach calls for time the moment before the place-holder asks for the ball to be snapped, the kicker will miss the ensuing field goal. What makes this even more of a face-palm moment is the Dolphins were able to successfully block the kick!

Coach Philbin, I get it. You’re a superstitious individual. I am too. When the Giants were getting steam-rolled in the first half of their week 2 game vs Tampa Bay, I found myself scratching my head a lot. Then, at half time, my friend’s sister texted me and implored that the four of us switch seats for the second half. Nothing else seemed to be working at the time, so we did switch. And what do you know, the Giants came roaring back to win on the shoulders of a career-day from quarterback Eli Manning.

Did I actually believe I had any impact on the Giants performance in the second half? In the moment, of course I did, but in reality the answer is no. Did Philbin really believe his timeout call was going to ice Nick Folk? As Timbaland and Nelly Furtado would say, “Nope. Didn’t think so.”

2) Panic should ensue in New Orleans right about…NOW!

You’re the New Orleans Saints and you’re 0-2 going into week 3. You’re down on yourselves for the disappointing start to the season (as you should be.) But then the football gods hear your sorrows, and they give you the gift of the Kansas City Chiefs at home. What more could you ask for?! To the credit of the Saints, it has taken monster performances from their 3 previous opponents to keep them winless:

-Robert Griffin, III threw for 320 yards and 2 scores, with the addition of 42 rushing yards on the side for good measure.

-Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers, as a team, rushed for 219 total yards on 41 carries.

-Jamaal Charles gutted the Saints defense for 233 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Needless to say, to beat the Saints, a team needs to have at least one player with a breakout game. They’re not getting blown out. The Saints simply aren’t closing out games, as this past Sunday’s overtime performance displayed. Blame the lack of coach Sean Payton’s missing presence on the sidelines all you want, but the reality is the Saints look flat, and even more so, beatable. If anything, the absence of Payton should inspire them and bring out more passion in their game, and yet, the opposite is occurring. More often than not, when something/someone is taken from you, you will do whatever it takes to retrieve it. Maybe the Saints don’t want it bad enough.

Now, the Saints have to travel up north to take on the very pissed off Green Bay Packers. This game may very well determine if the Saints can make one final push to turn their season around, or if they should start scouting for their top 10 pick in next season’s NFL draft. According to nfl.com, since 1990, only 5 NFL teams have started the season 0-3 and still made the playoffs. With the depth that is in the NFC this season, the Saints would need to play near perfect football, and need a lot of teams to fall off immediately.

3) It is time to cut ties with Chris Johnson on your fantasy team. I take this learned lesson especially personal because I was one of those fantasy players who felt Chris Johnson’s holdout two season’s ago would not stop him from being a 1500-yard rusher in 2011, at the minimum. Boy was I wrong. Fast forward to this past August and there I was, like many of you, sitting there with a second round pick and thinking, “I have to take him here.” Now together, we are all face-palming the decision to have drafted him at all.

Through three games, Chris Johnson is averaging a mere 1.4 yards per carry. Per espn.com and the Elias Sports Bureau, among those who have the minimum 6.25 per game to qualify, Johnson ranks dead last at number 51. As I have stated in previous weeks, this is the year of the backup running back, and there are plenty of players out there who can amass the measly eight fantasy points he has put up thus far. Drop him now, while there are still valuable players on the waiver wire, because he is done.

4) Goodell Logic. I certainly can’t take credit for the name of this (shout-out to WFAN’s Evan Roberts), but I definitely subscribe to this theory that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell approves moves that make you scratch your head. In this case, the weekly Thursday night football game, which every team plays in at some point during the regular season.

Goodell Logic allowed the Baltimore Ravens to play in the prime-time game on Sunday night, only to have them play once again this Thursday evening vs the Cleveland Browns. That makes no sense whatsoever. Regardless of who they are playing, teams should not have to play a football game on 3 days rest. Nothing good can come of that, except the NFL making more money by having people tune into its network channel every Thursday.

Sadly, nothing will be brought to the table to end this until players start to get injured because of these short turn-around weeks. Be on the lookout though, because Goodell Logic is bound to punish your favorite team at some point this season.

5) The Sunday night game featuring the Ravens and Patriots may have been the worst officiated game this season…until we all witnessed the screwjob that was Seattle vs. Green Bay.

No need to rehash what has already been beaten into the ground over the last 48 hours. The officiating of those two nationally televised games was abysmal! The final play should not have been ruled a touchdown at all. It was clear as day (apparently not if you were on the field and wearing stripes it wasn’t) that Golden Tate did not have possession, simultaneous possession, anything, and yet the refs still ruled in favor of the Seahawks.
I really want to believe professional sports are never rigged, Tim Donaghy aside, but then officials blow calls like that and it makes me wonder if Roger Goodell runs the NFL, or if Vince McMahon and the writers at WWE are the ones calling the shots. The ending to the football game delivered from a ratings perspective, something Vince McMahon has seen the WWE excel at. Fact is, when the conclusion of Monday Night Raw seems less fixed than the outcome of a professional football, we as a fan base, and as a culture, have failed ourselves.

#BookIt

-The New York Jets are done. You know the rest of your season is bleak when one of the backup running backs is being converted into cornerback.

-Michael Vick will be the starting quarterback in Philly as long as he healthy. Head coach Andy Reid wasn’t fooling anyone when he told reporters that Vick was their quarterback for now. What are his other options?

-The blown call in Monday night’s game changed the landscape of the NFC playoff picture. Just wait.

-If the Saints lose on Sunday, they are not making the playoffs. If the Saints win on Sunday, they are not making the playoffs.

-Rob Gronkowski will not be as effective as last season until: A) Aaron Hernandez returns B) Josh McDaniels actually figures out what he is doing with that offense…whichever happens first.

In Week 3, McKayla is certainly not impressed with the Green Bay Packers. This is truly meant for guard T.J. Lang and cornerback M.D. Jennings. Had the two of you done your jobs just a tiny bit better, your team would not have been on the wrong side of a horrendous call.

Mr. Lang, had your offensive line had a pulse in the first half, the game would not have had to come down to the final Hail Mary. Mr. Jennings, all you had to do was swat the football down, up, to the left; any direction your heart so desired. That is football 101. Instead you chose to go for your individual defensive player fantasy points and be a hero to your own team. McKayla is not impressed, and neither is anyone that witnessed you selfishly catch the ball on that last play.