September 26th, 2008
Well, I was horrible last week and went 7-9 while Al was excellent at 10-6; for the season I’m now 24-22-1 and Al is 27-19-1. Hopefully I can catch up a bit this week…
Falcons @ Carolina(-7)
This is the most interesting spread on the board. I’m going to take the points on the idea that the Panthers haven’t blown out anybody and no matter who wins this, I see this as being close.
Broncos @ Kansas City(+9.5)
The Chefs are hopeless, Denver all the way. Hey, which Missouri team will win a game first, the Chiefs or the Rams? They couldn’t both go 0-16, could they? Probably not, but whoever loses first to either of them will be hating practice the following week…
Niners @ New Orleans(-5.5)
San Francisco is better than I thought, but beating the Seahawks and the Lions really doesn’t say all that much. Go Drew Brees!
Cardinals @ New Jersey Jest(-1)
I will take Arizona on the theory that Al will take his Jets.
Vikings @ Tennessee(-3)
I watched most of the Vikings game last week and they actually looked decent. The Titans are, however, for real. I’m going with Tennessee
Packers @ Tampa Bay(-1)
Wrong team favored, I’m going with Green Bay.
Texans @ Jacksonville(-7.5)
This is a joke, kind of like the Houston front office. I’ll easily give the points.
Browns @ Cincinnati(-3.5)
My, how the mighty have fallen—the Browns were obviously a one-hit wonder. I’m even taking the Bengals here!
Chargers @ Oakland(+7.5)
I was traveling this week and really didn’t see any sports news. Does Kiffin still have this job? If so, I can easily imagine Al Davis firing him during the game this week if the Chargers get a lead, which they will. I’ll give the points and take the Bolts.
Bills @ St. Louis(+8.5)
Have the Rams played within ten points of anyone? No? I’ll take Buffalo.
Redskins @ Dallas(-11.5)
The Cowboys are good and will win big, but the spread seems just a little bit too big, as I was thinking Dallas by ten. I’m going to take Washington and hope they can keep it respectable.
Eagles @ Chicago(+3)
The Bears are a lot better than last year, but they’re not within a field goal of Philly.
Ravens @ Pittsburgh(-5)
The Steelers have played three low-scoring games in a row, and this one doesn’t exactly figure to be anything like an arena game, either. Therefore, five is too many points, and I’ll take them.
September 26th, 2008
Somebody please explain to me exactly why the hell it is that in airport terminals electrical outlets are harder to find than integrity in Washington? Is it really that hard to put more than two outlets per gate? Sheesh…
September 19th, 2008
OK, last week I went 8-6-1 (the Carolina-Chicago game was a push) and Al went 7-7-1, meaning we’re tied at 17-13-1. Still in the black, as it were. I also managed to win in FF—thank you, Brandon Marshall, now stay the f*ck out of jail, dimwit. Since we were away avoiding the hurricane, I didn’t see very many games, which is too bad, as it looked like I missed some good ones. I did manage to catch the Monday night game, which was a hoot, but the wrong team won. I also caught the end of the Sunday night game, and I still think that the Browns’ decision to go for the field goal late was stupid. Yeah, sure, it was 4th and 7, but the three points did them no good whatsoever. Look, Romeo, this ain’t college football, where you get some kind of twisted credit for containing margin of victory. Three points do you no good, stop being a pansy and go for it late in the game. Ugh.
Anyway, this week is pretty much all home favorites.
Chefs @ Atlanta(-6)
The Falcons got a reality check last week but man, KC sucks. Give the points.
Cardinals @ Washington(-3)
Meh, I don’t like either one of these teams. Obviously, neither does Vegas, with the generic “we know nothing, so home team by three” spread. Coin says heads, so that’s Redskins.
Texans @ Tennessee(-5)
Kerry Collins actually makes the Titans better and the Texans always play like crap against them. Give the points.
Raiders @ Buffalo(-9.5)
Urgh. Man, that’s a lot of points. I guess, though, that the Bills have actually looked good, haven’t they? Toughest pick on the board for me, because I don’t see Buffalo losing, but 10 seems like a lot—I’d be a lot happier with 8. Ahh, screw it, I’ll take the Bills.
Buccaneers @ Chicago(-3)
Something about the way the Bears lost last week has me thinking Tampa here. Oh, wait, for some bizarre reason, the Bucs are apparently starting Griese again this week. Against the Bears rush, that seems… odd. I’m taking the Bears.
Panthers @ Minnesota(-3)
Aww, come on, Carolina is 2-0 and the Vikings are 0-2 and Minnesota is favored? They think Gus Frerotte is the answer? (Today’s imponderable: why did the Vikings not sign anybody at QB? Why is Byron Leftwich not starting for the Vikings? No, he’s not great, but he’s clearly better than either Jackson or Frerotte.) Hell, yeah, I’ll take the points.
Bungles @ New Jersey Giants(-13)
That’s an awful lot of points, but Cincinnati is a complete train wreck. That porous offensive line will have its lunch handed to them by the G-Men. Giants win big, big enough to cover.
Dolphins @ New England(-13)
Miami is also awful, but I just don’t see the Patriots blowing people out. They’ll win, but I don’t think they’ll cover this. I’ll take the Dolphins and the 13.
Saints @ Denver(-5.5)
Frankly, I’m surprised the spread is this small, because right now the the Broncos’ offense looks fantastic, and the New Orleans defense looks more than a little suspect. This should be a shootout (the over/under is 52 and I’m inclined to take the over), but I see Denver covering this.
Lions @ San Francisco(-4)
Hard to believe the Niners are favored over anyone. Oh, but it’s the Lions on the road… yech. I’m going with the home team.
Rams @ Seattle(-10)
St. Louis is hopelessly bad, but I’m not sure the Seabags are ten points better than anyone. They win but fail to cover this.
Browns @ Baltimore(-2.5)
Cleveland is 0-2 but they’ve lost to legit good teams, whereas we still really don’t know what’s up with the Ravens. I’ll take these points.
Steelers @ Philadelphia(-3.5)
I’m looking forward to this game, it should be a showcase. I think these are both teams which can contend for their respective conference crowns. Too bad the Iggles are in the same division as Dallas. My problem is that when i saw this game on the board, I thought Philly by a field goal… so if the spread was 2.5, I was going to give the points. I guess with 3.5, though, I have to take them. Go Steelers!
Jaguars @ Indy(-5.5)
Jacksonville has to right the ship eventually. With Sanders out, even the Jaguars have to be smart enough to just run the ball down the Colts’ throat. I’ll take the points.
Sunday Prime Time
Cowboys @ Green Bay(+3)
The Cowboys have looked great. The Packers have looked very good, but come on, how much credit should you get for beating up the Lions? I’m actually kind of surprised the spread isn’t bigger. I’m going to be pulling for the Packers, but I’m picking the Cowboys.
Jets @ San Diego(-9.5)
Something is seriously wrong with the Chargers. Yeah, that was a blown call, but you know what? Don’t be in a situation where you have to get all the calls right to win. Or stop the freakin’ two-point conversion. The Bolts look like they’re on the verge of turning inward and finger-pointing at each other, and I don’t see Norv righting the ship. So, in a break with tradition, I’m going with Gang Green here.
September 12th, 2008
Coming to you from glorious Ennis, TX. Can’t wait to see what kind of redecorating Ike did back home; I hope the banana tree is OK.
So, last week I went 9-7 and Al went 10-6, so at least we’re both off to a positive start. I also won in Fantasy, beating my brother by a whole 2 points, though I lost Nate Burleson for the season. Anyway, on to this week’s picks.
Raiders @ Kansas City(-3.5)
Wow, did Oakland look unspeakably bad or what? Not that the Chefs looked all that great, but wow, man, the Raiders were awful. Give the points.
Packers @ Detroit(+3)
Just how bad will the Lions really be? Hopelessly awful…meaning, the usual. I’m taking Green Bay.
Titans @ Cincinnati(-1)
Hunh? I mean, yes, Vince Young is out, but he’s not been all that great lately and, wow, the Bengals are a mess. I’ll take that point, thank you very much.
Bears @ Carolina(-3)
Last week was a miracle for the Panthers—great game to watch in the second half, though—but the Bears might actually be the real deal if Orton just manages to not throw picks. The Bears D, if they can stay healthy, might just be back. I’m takin’ Da Bears.
Bills @ Jacksonville(-5)
I really, really did not like the look of the Jags offense, but then the Titans’ defense is stout. I think Jax will bounce back and cover this.
Saints @ Washington, pick
Well, New Orleans won’t be quite the same without Colston around, but I’m not sure the Skins offense can stay out of their own way here. I pick the Saints.
Colts @ Vikings(+2)
Indy is better than they showed in week 1 and I’m really not sure if the Vikings are. If Indy scores first, how does Minnesota catch up? During my FF draft, someone asked if Ryan Leaf was still available, and I said he was, but now he goes by Tarvaris Jackson. That’s maybe a little unfair, but only a little. I think I’m staying away from the Vikes until TJ is benched or shows some improvement.
Giants @ St. Louis(+9)
Yes, the Rams are awful, but nine? At home? Too rich for me, I have to take them.
Niners @ Seattle(-7.5)
I watched a lot of the Bills-Seahawks contest last week, and once Burleson went out, the Seabags completely went south. I know SF is terrible, but I’m still taking these points; Seattle is going to struggle until they get someone who can catch the ball.
Falcons @ Tampa Bay(-7)
That was very nice for Atlanta, but I suspect they won’t move the ball quite so well against an actual defense (as opposed to the Division II train wreck that is the Lions defense). Give the points.
Dolphins @ Arizona(-7)
I will readily admit that I watched very little of the Niners-Cardinals game, but what I saw of it was not good. However, the Fish on the road? I’ll give the points.
Patriots @ New Jersey Jets(-1.5)
Because I fully expect Al to pick his beloved Gang Green, I will take the Brady-less Pats, who will [A] not be as bad as everybody thinks without Brady (I mean yes, there will be a big dropoff, but they aren’t going to suddenly be the Raiders) and [B] still make the playoffs by virtue of a hopelessly easy schedule. What? Yes, I figure they’ll have to win 10 to make the playoffs and they have the Dolphins twice and the entire NFC West—that’s six gimme wins, plus the one they have now— meaning they have to go a mere 3-6 against the rest of their schedule.
Chargers @ Denver, pick
Merriman is out for the season which means the Bolts will be able to summon very little pass rush, I suspect. Cutler will pick them apart… well, OK, maybe not, but it’ll be enough that I’m picking the Broncos.
Sunday Prime Time
Steelers @ Cleveland(+6.5)
Are the Texans bad? Oh yes, the Texans are bad—but they’re not that bad. I think Pittsburgh might actually end up being the class of the AFC when this is all said and done, and I’m giving the points in this rivalry game.
Eagles @ Dallas(-7)
I’m surprised the spread is that big since both teams looked good last week. However, I still don’t trust the Eagles. McNabb will probably get a hangnail and will have to sit out the second half, and you know TO just wants to light the Eagles up. I’m giving the points.
Ravens @ Houston(-4.5)
Ahh, yes, the bonus MNF game for the Ike-delayed Texans. Look, until the Texans show me something, I am not having them as a favorite, and certainly not in a week where they have a few other things to think about. I’ll be there if I can, though, cheering them on, but the smart money here goes with Baltimore.
September 7th, 2008
Well, OK, maybe this call in the BYU-Washington game wasn’t the worst call ever, but this is a truly hideous call. I’m all in favor of making sure players don’t taunt and showboat, but that kid did neither. If this is really the kind of thing which is supposed to draw a flag, then you, referees, are morally obligated to not enforce this utterly stupid rule and you, NCAA, need to change this rule immediately. If, on the other hand, the rule is really intended to control taunting and showboating, the NCAA needs to fire referees who make calls like this. This is totally ludicrous.
September 5th, 2008
First, I have one thing to say to Roger Goodell and the NFL folks discussing cutting down the preseason and lengthening the regular season: please please please make this happen!! The NFL has the shortest season of the big four; the other three are all interminably long, and seem even longer because of the shortness of the NFL season. Make this happen!
Anyway, on to the picks. I haven’t been paying much attention the last couple weeks because of the beginning of the semester, and this is where I’ll pay the price. Man, I cannot wait for my Sunday Ticket-fest…
Bucs @ New Orleans(-3.5)
I expect both of these teams to be better this year than they were last year, so I think this could go either way. I think early in the season offenses don’t necessarily have the timing and so I think the Saints won’t be as good right out of the gate so I’ll take the points. However, I’d be thrilled to be wrong and have Brees go for 4 TDs since he’s my fantasy QB…
Rams @ Philly(-7.5)
The Eagles seem to me to be on the decline over the last few years, but the Rams have been just awful of late. Did anything happen in the offseason that makes the Rams a lot better? No? Hmm. On the other hand, McNabb was largely horrible last year (he destroyed my FF season last year) and now the Iggles might be down both their top two wideouts. Just how much can they lean on Westbrook? (Well, personally, I hope a lot.) Ach, the Philly wideouts aren’t much anyway, they’ll be fine against the Lambs. Give the points.
Jets @ Miami(+3)
The Fish cannot possibly be as bad this year as last year, but even if they have improved, so have the Jets, I think. I’ll give the points.
Chefs @ New England(-16)
Interesting game and spread. Why? Because I think the Pats will tone it down this year with a “just win, keep everyone healthy, focus on the playoffs” attitude. I don’t think they’ll run it up, plus Brady is clearly hurt. On the other hand, there’s a very real chance that KC will be the worst team in the NFL this year. (Hey, Herm, how’s your resume looking?) The Pats might run it up by accident on these clowns. Well, if LJ is really back maybe the Chefs can keep it closer than two TDs; I’ll take the truckload of points.
Texans @ Pittsburgh(-6.5)
Well, since the Texans signed all those free agents and drafted all those O-line guys, they’ll finally be better… err, wait, they didn’t? Ugh. I’ll take the Stillers.
Bengals @ Baltimore(+1)
Billick and Boller are gone, which are probably good in the long haul, but I think they’ll be a train wreck early. Not that the Bengals will be great, but they should be able to outclass the Ravens.
Lions @ Atlanta(+3)
I watched a couple BC games last year, and I have to say that I really don’t understand the Matt Ryan hype. The Falcons could easily give the Chefs a run for league-worst. Detroit.
Seahawks @ Buffalo, pick
No idea, just none whatsoever. Bills?
Jaguars @ Tennessee(+3)
Should be a grinder, but the Jags should be able to cover this.
Cowboys @ Cleveland(+6)
I don’t see lightning striking twice with the Browns; give the points.
Panthers @ San Diego(-9.5)
Hmm. I see the Chargers as being a little worse this year and the Panthers as a little better, but the gap between these teams was huge. Chargers cover.
Cardinals @ San Francisco(+2.5)
If I were restricted to only NFC West games this year, I think I’d have to give up football. I guess in principle the Cardinals should be better but Leinert has failed to show much and Boldin wants out; this locker room must be a great place to hang out. But I think the Niners are going to be rotating random season ticket holders in at QB so I’ll give the points.
Sunday Prime Time
Bears @ Indianapolis(-10)
I think the Colts will have a bit of a down year this year, but the Bears will be cover-your-eyes horrible, at least on the offensive side of the ball. However, good D and special teams will keep them in a lot of games. I’m going to take the points here figuring Chicago to lose but to keep it closer than ten.
Vikings @ Green Bay(-2.5)
Against the Packers early in the season, I’d crowd the line like crazy and see what Rogers can really do; he’s essentially a rookie. And if the Vikings get a lead, they’ll be hard to deal with. But if Minnesota get behind, it’s still the Tarvaris Jackson show; that should scare Vikings fans. But in game one, I’ll take the points.
Broncos @ Oakland(+3)
I have a bad feeling about the Broncos this year; I will again take the points.
September 2nd, 2008
HOORAY, the NFL is back! And with a Thursday game, too…
Redskins @ New Jersey Giants(-4)
OK, so the Giants have less pass rush, but then, the ‘Skins have Jason Campbell at QB. I guess he’s not so bad, but somehow I just don’t like the Redskins on the road, so I’ll give the points.