September 25th, 2010
OK, so Week 1 I went 6-9-1, which isn’t great but isn’t too bad (I still think the Saints should have won by more) but Week 2 was a disaster, 3-12-1. Total disaster, missed multiple games where I got the winner right but missed the spread by like a point (Chiefs, Raiders), but that’s no excuse, I was awful. Ugh. So… Al was 7-8-1 in Week 1, not much different, but he didn’t completely punt Week 2, and went a respectable 8-7-1. Ugh. So I’m already behind 9-21-2 to 15-15-2. Seriously? Already? Ugh.
On the other hand, the Texans are 2-0 and looking like a real team, and Michigan is 3-0 and looking at least not awful, so I can’t complain too much.
I’ll just have to do better this week and start the recovery process…
Niners @ Kansas City(+3)
The Chefs are probably the worst 2-0 team in the league, if not in the history of the NFL. The Niners, however, seem to be imploding and are already heavily into finger-pointing mode, which is never a good thing. I’m not comfortable taking a road ‘dog with a record that’s two games worse. Even if the Niners win, I’m happy to be getting points.
Bengals @ Carolina(+3.5)
I cannot for the life of me figure out why people still think Notre Dame quarterbacks are any good in the NFL. Yes, Joe Montana was an all-time great. Thiesmann was OK, but might be the most annoying human being on the planet. Since then, though, we’ve had Rick Mirer, a real winner, and how’s Brady Quinn, the last ND “chosen one” workin’ out? No way Clausen is ready, and he was probably the most overrated college QB in the last 10 years. What was his record as a starter vs. ranked teams? 0 for what, 12? He is not ready, the Panthers have no quarterback, give the points. Give ten.
Browns @ Baltimore(-10.5)
The Ravens defense might win this game by 10 even if the offense never takes the field, which might actually be the Baltimore game plan given last week. How do you throw four picks against the Bengals? (Well, OK, the Panthers might, but that doesn’t count.) Whatever, the Brows stink on ice and might not get the ball past midfield.
Lions @ Minnesota(-11.5)
Both teams are 0-2. Both teams have played two close games. What’s the reason to expect a blowout this week? Will the Vikings suddenly develop a cadre of decent wideouts? From where? Way too many points for my blood.
Titans @ New Jersey Giants(-3)
Interesting matchup: two teams that looked great in week 1 blowouts of bad teams, and then got embarrassed the following week against good teams. So now what? The Giants can’t protect the QB, the Titans clearly have no confidence in theirs. I don’t like it, and the bookies clearly don’t like it, either. OK, so I’m going to go with the “Pittsburgh is the only defense that can really contain CJ” theory and I will take the points. No clue, and given my early record, going the other way might be the safe bet…
Steelers @ Tampa Bay(+2.5)
Hey, both teams are 2-0! However, Pittsburgh is 2-0 against teams that are actually pretty good, and if the Browns and Panthers win a total of eight games combined, that’ll be amazing. I really want to pick Pittsburgh here, but they’re starting Charlie Batch. Charlie freaking Batch. It was amazing that he was drawing an NFL paycheck a few years ago; it’s a miracle now. Wait, the spread is less than a field goal. Could be a 9-6 game. OK, Steelers.
Falcons @ New Orleans(-3.5)
So, the Saints are 2-0, but they haven’t really looked all that great, and haven’t won by what you’d call compelling margins. In a tough divisional matchup, I need to see more from the Saints before I’m willing to give more than a field goal, even at home. I don’t think the Falcons will be able to run wild like they did last week, but I think this game will be close enough that I can’t give that many, even though it isn’t a lot.
Bills @ New England(-14.5)
Is it me, or are the really bad teams even worse than usual the last couple years? Ryan Fitzpatrick? The Pats need a bounce back game, and who better serves that purpose than the Bills. Think the Pats might run up the score against a horrible team? Uhh, just a little. Give the points.
Cowboys @ Houston(-3)
The Texans basically never beat Indy. The Texans had never won a game in overtime, and the Texans have always managed to miss clutch field goals. Incidentally, the Texans have never started 3-0. I think this is it, I think they’re for real… finally. And even if they aren’t, the Cowboys might be the worst-coached team in the NFL right now. Normally I’d pick against the Texans here because this is exactly the kind of game they have always blown, but I think maybe this time they’ll manage. Plus, while they may not have much of a secondary, the Texans have a legit pass rush, and we know what the Cowboys’ O-line is like. It’s going to be loud in there on Sunday, too, and Dallas has shown me nothing that suggests they have any ability to overcome adversity. If the Texans get an early lead and the Cowboys have to pass, this game is over. Holy crap how awesome would it be to see Super Mario just tattoo Romo a couple times late in the game? OK, I have no ability to be objective here, just ignore me…
Redskins @ St. Louis(+3.5)
Washington is pretty good and can definitely get after the quarterback, though I’m not sure about their secondary. Then again, Schaub/Johnson do tend to make secondaries look bad. Bradford isn’t that caliber, though, and I don’t see the Rams hanging with a real team, even if they kept it close vs. the Raiders and the Cardinals.
Eagles @ Jacksonville(+3)
“Kevin Kolb is my quarterback.” What do you think life is like in the Reid household? “I will take out the garbage tonight.” “Yeah, sure, dear, whatever you say.” Everyone is gushing about Vick, but he played two garbage-time quarters against the Packers at home, and four quarters against the freakin’ Lions, who started a backup, and they barely won that game. If there’s anything worse than an Andy Reid decision on 4th and 1, it’s a mid-week flip-flop at QB. I don’t like it. I’ll take Jax and the points. It does raise a question, though: if an Eagle falls in a stadium and there is nobody there to watch it…
Chargers @ Seattle(+5)
Look, the whole Vincent Jackson thing is stupid, but mad props (yes, yes, the 1990s wants its catchphrase back) to Jackson’s agent for calling their GM “the Lord of No Rings.” That is too freaking funny. Now, no matter what happened in week 1, I still think the Seabags suck, so I’ll give the points.
Colts @ Denver(+5.5)
The Broncos’ corners are both nicked up. No way do they hang with the Colts.
Raiders @ Arizona(-4.5)
Two really, really bad teams. Derek Anderson looks even worse this year than he did when he was last seen on the field in Cleveland, if that’s possible. How much do you think Larry Fitzgerald is hating life right now? “Hey, Derek, I’m open on almost every play.” “Really? I had no idea.” <facepalm> Seriously, if the Cardinals aren’t 4.5 points better than the Rams, it’s hard to figure out how they’re supposed be 4.5 points better than anyone else… well, maybe the Panthers or the Bills. I think the Raiders are actually better than the Panthers and Bills, though, so I’m taking the points. Hmm, something is very, very wrong with the universe, as this is the third week in a row I’ve picked the Raiders… and I’m doing it even knowing they’re 0-2 against the spread. Yikes!
Jets @ Miami(-2.5)
I really, really hope Braylon Edwards didn’t actually finish college, because if so, my degrees from Michigan have been degraded. How much of a moron do you have to be to get a DWI in New York City? Not only are there a million cabs, the team even has a service for exactly this purpose. WTF? So, will he play? Will it matter? I still don’t believe in the Jets’ offense, and I think the Miami defense is for real—how studly was standing up AP four times to preserve the win? Now, I think Sanchez will take better care of the ball than Favre did, but this is in Miami, and I like the Dolphins to cover this.
Packers @ Chicago(+3)
Sometimes, 2-0 just means you’ve played bad teams; the Lions are still the Lions and I’m not sure what exactly the Cowboys are doing, though clearly neither are they. I’m not really sure that the Bears have really been tested; however, last year Cutler couldn’t throw a temper tantrum without it being picked off, so something there is working better. Now, on the other hand, I’m not so sure that the Packers quite have it together, either, as Rodgers has looked pretty average and the Pack now don’t have a real RB, and of course beating up on the Bills says very little. My heart says Green Bay so I’m picking the Bears because my explicit reversal on what I thought was one of the few picks I got right last week. How’s that for screwed-up logic?