Saturday, November 20, 2010

Picks and Blake Griffin

If Whitlock can beat the "Jeff George deserves another shot" point into the ground, I can beat the "You should have traded for Michael Beasley" point into the ground. Even Bill Simmons recently made the same points I made this summer which means he's a big fan of the blog. Since my last entry, Super Cool Beas (probably the best nickname/tattoo ever) has averaged 28.6 ppg and 7 rpg on 50% FG/60% 3P/ 83% FT. In the same amount of time, Amir Johnson had 19 points and 14 rebounds total. Total.

It was recently announced the Greg Oden will miss the entire season yet again. At the end of his fourth season, Oden will have played in 82 career games. The Blazers didn't work out an extension with him so where he plays (if he plays) next year is up in the air. Portland can offer him the qualifying offer of 8.7 million after the season in hopes that someone signs him to an offer sheet, which they can match or decline. Still, if you offer the QO, there's a good chance he takes it and no one bites leaving you stuck with 8.7 million dollars of Oden in street clothes. If you decline, you got no return on investment from your number 1 pick after four years. Hell, at least Michael Olowokandi stayed healthy. I feel bad for Oden and the Blazers, but they chose to build a franchise around two injury prone guys. They had to have seen this coming. Oden had the injury questions coming out of Ohio State. Brandon Roy had injury concerns about his knees going into the draft. Now he's in the first year of a max extension and is missing games with knee problems and missing the last bit of last season with more knee problems. Knees rarely get better over time. They had to think this was somewhat of a possibility, didn't they?

Picks.

Bengals over Bills- This will be a very close game and it wouldn't surprise me a bit to see the Bills win it. Still, I can absolutely see some locker room footage of a teary eyed Fitzpatrick getting the game ball and talking about how Cincy let him go. As funny as that would be, I think we win a close one.

Cowboys over Lions- Hill! Kitna! I don't buy Dallas turning it around just yet, but they do enough to beat the Lions.

Titans over Redskins- I don't really have anything interesting to say about this game but isn't there a better way to gauge a quarterback than QB rating? Vince Young has completed 57 percent of his passes and has 10 TD's to 3 interceptions this season. He is 5th in the league in QB rating with 97.6. Your old pal Peyton Manning has completed 64% of his passes, completed more passes than VY has attempted, more than doubled his yards and has 16 TD's to 4 interceptions...yet his QB rating is 93.9. There's been a revolution in baseball that resulted in more telling stats. What gives for football?

Chiefs over Cardinals- Not a great slate of games thus far.

Packers over Vikings- Please put this Vikings team out of its misery. I don't care that it's the last time that Favre and the Packers will face off. I just don't care.

Jets over Texans- After going 5 games without an interception, Mark Sanchez has thrown at least one in 4 straight games. That's more like it.

Steelers over Raiders- Could be a surprisingly good game. I see the Raiders keeping it close for 3.5 quarters and then blowing it at the end.

Ravens over Panthers- These games really couldn't get much worse.

Browns over Jaguars- Colt McCoy gives me hope that the Bengals will just blow things up and start with a new QB next season. Or even give Dan LeFevour a shot this season. I know better.

Falcons over Rams- I keep saying I don't believe in the Falcons and they keep winning. Their schedule looks very favorable over the next couple of weeks. This team could realistically win 12 games.

Saints over Seahawks- Let us not forget that the Seahawks traded a third round pick and the right to switch second round picks for Charlie Whitehurst. Third round picks are being flushed down the toilet this season.

Bucs over 49ers- Alex Smith is healthy yet Troy Smith is starting. Classic case of reverse racism.

Patriots over Colts- New England looked great last week. Maybe a little too great because I don't think they can keep that up for the rest of the year. An old fashioned late game interception by Manning gives NE the win.

Eagles over Giants- The Kevin Kolb era sure was a hoot wasn't it? I would like to fully get the "Kevin Kolb to the Bengals in 2011" movement started.

Broncos over Chargers- This could be a fun game. Rivers and Orton are leading the league in passing yards and there probably won't be a whole lot of defense played here.

Sweet Jesus.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Super Cool Beas and Kanye

Listened to the new Kanye. Liked it. My favorite tracks were probably "Hell of a Life", "Dark Fantasy" and "Devil in A New Dress". I love the production/sample on "Devil in A New Dress". It was a little shorter than I would have liked for a Kanye album and I still have to give it a second listen, but I did enjoy it. I'll get to the Cee-Lo sometime this week.

Also, do you happen to have Janelle Monae's first album? I was listening to The ArchAndroid again and I think I like it more each time I listen to it.

It just keeps getting worse for the Bengals. Not only are we on a 6 game losing streak, but now Andre Smith is out for the season with a broken bone in the same foot that he broke last season. Thank goodness foot problems usually work themselves out on men that weigh 350 pounds. Also, I told you guys that Palmer signed a 10 year extension after the 2005 season. I was incorrect. It was a 9 year extension that makes him a Bengals until 2014. My apologies.

The great thing about Derek Jeter winning a Gold Glove this year? Reading Yankee fans trying to defend this injustice and talk themselves into the ridiculous contract Jeter is about to receive. If you get a chance, find any Jeter related article from a New York based website and read the comments. Laughs by the dozen.

I tracked down those Ray Lewis-London Fletcher numbers. Check these out:

Tackles:

Ray Lewis: 1759 (14 years) (126 per season)
London Fletcher: 1480 (12 years) (123 per season)

Sacks:

Ray Lewis: 36.5 (14 seasons) (2.6 per season)
London Fletcher: 30.0 (12 seasons) (2.5 per season)

Interceptions:

Ray Lewis: 28 (14 seasons) (2 per season)
London Fletcher: 15 (12 seasons) (1.3 per season)

Forced Fumbles:

Ray Lewis: 14 (14 seasons) (1 per season)
London Fletcher: 12 (12 seasons) (1 per season)

Stuffs (tackles at or behind the line of scrimage)

Ray Lewis: 41 (14 seasons) (2.9 per season)
London Fletcher: 50 (12 seasons) (4.2 per season)
Those accolades had Ray Lewis voted as the 18th greatest player of all time, while Fletcher has made the Pro Bowl as a non-alternate just once. And that was last season as Jon Vilma was out due to the Super Bowl. Lewis has been on more competitive teams lately, but both have a Super Bowl ring so you can't even play the "He did it for a winner" card. I would have to give the "Celebrates plays made by a teammate" tally to Lewis though.

I mentioned it to you earlier, but now I have now I have some rock solid facts to support my argument. This summer I openly questioned why teams weren't going after Michael Beasley after Miami had to get rid of him to clear cap space. I begged the Suns to trade for him. They didn't listen and instead chose to give 18 million to Hakim Warrick and trade for the remaining 42 million on Hedo Turkoglu's contract. I demanded the Raptors to take a chance on Super Cool Beas. They too chose to ignore me and give 30 million to Amir Johnson. Let's compare numbers on the season.

Hakim Warrick:28 years old, 12 ppg, 5 rpg, in the first year of a 4 year, 18 million dollar contract

Hedo
Turkoglu: 31 years old, 10 ppg, 3 rpg, in the second year of a 5 year, 50 million dollar contract

Amir
Johnson: 23 years old, 9 ppg, 5 rpg, in the first year of a 5 year, 34 million dollar contract

Michael Beasley: 21 years old, 20 ppg, 5 pg, still on his rookie contract
Beasley's last three games have seen him put up 42, 35 and 25 points on 56% FG shooting. Not to mention you get him for a shade under 5 million this year, a shade over 6 million next year and could give him a qualifying offer of 8 million the year after that. The qualifying offer would make him a restricted free agent giving the Timberwolves the right to match any offer sheet he signed. Also, he's playing out of position because of Kevin Love playing power forward. Imagine what he could do running the 4 spot alongside Steve Nash in Phoenix. Nope, Phoenix would rather employ Warrick/Turkoglu for millions more.

Manny Pacquiao broke Antonio Margarito's face to no one's surprise. No, seriously. Margarito had his right orbital bone fractured. When you throw 1000 punches, as Pacman is known to do, these things happen. I'm not surprised by the outcome, but I am a little surprised Pacquiao went 12 rounds with him and won by UD instead of KO. I still think his fighting style fits right into Mayweather's strengths, but it doesn't really matter because that fight will probably never happen. What a shame.

I'm going to add this video to my list of videos that never cease to make me laugh. From Webber trying to politely ask "Why in the hell would you give Darko Milicic 20 million dollars?" to Kahn likening Darko to "Manna from Heaven" to Webber's "Good luck" at the end, it's 5 minutes of comedic gold.









PS- I don't know why everyone is on the Redskins case for the McNabb extension. Any time you have a chance to lock up a quarterback about to turn 34 years old, has played 16 games in a season once since 2003 and currently has a QB rating of 76, you have to do it. 5 years, 78 million was a steal for the Skins!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Little Football, A Little Boxing

I guess I don't need to say it, but I will: Manning is ranked way too high on that list.  #8?  That's ridiculous.  No way he's better than Barry Sanders (I do like that Sanders is ranked higher than Emmitt Smith), and no way he has made the kind of impact on the game that Hutson has.  I know lists are made to be argued with, but that Manning thing is absolutely ridiculous.  It's hard to argue with some of those (I have no qualms with the top 5 on that list).  Down a little lower on the list, ranking Aikman ahead of Young is mind-blowing.  I know Young didn't have a really long career, but there's no way Aikman should be rated higher than Young.  I don't like Ray Lewis being #18 and Nitschke all the way down at #47.  By all accounts, Nitschke was the hardest hitter of his time.  He was also pretty quick.  I know Lewis was dominant for a handful of years, but I think this is yet another case of people overvaluing Ray Lewis.  What say you?
I could go on and on about this, but I'll stop here.

I caught the first episode of 24/7: Pacquiao vs. Margarito, and I have to say this: Pacquiao did not come off well at all.  He seemed distracted by politics.  He seemed cocky.  But, worse than cocky, he seemed entitled.  He acted like the fight was already over, and he had won by a knock-out in the first round.  His trainer seemed concerned about Pacquiao's lack of focus...but the trainer also seemed distracted.  He seemed to be taken with his celebrity-like status in the Philippines.  And he also seemed like the outcome of the fight was a foregone conclusion.
Margarito, on the other hand, was extremely likable, extremely humble, and very thankful for the opportunity to fight.  He was training harder.  He knows what the fight means to him, and he also respects Pacquiao's ability.
I'm not saying Margarito is going to win, but I think he has a legitimate shot.

Before I get to the picks, I want to go on yet another rant against Manning.  I get that the Colts have injuries on offense.  But everyone has injuries on both sides of the ball.  "Manning just wins with whoever is out there. If he can win with this crew, he should win the MVP."  No, he shouldn't.  Look at who Manning is throwing to: he still has Wayne, and Garcon has been healthy for the past couple of weeks.  I get it.  Collie is out.  Clark is out.  But he still has Wayne and Garcon...those are two good receivers.  Who is Philip Rivers throwing to?  Patrick Crayton, an injured Antonio Gates, and...um...Richard Goodman, I guess.  And he's on pace to break the record for passing yards in a single season.  And no one is talking about Rivers for MVP.  Manning is not the only quarterback to have injuries to his receiving corps, and he won't be the last.  If you've watched Manning this year, you will have seen a lot more missed throws than normal.  You will see him complaining even more than normal.  Just because a quarterback has injured receivers does not mean that he should win the MVP.

Here are my picks:

Atlanta over Tampa Bay
I'm still not a big believer of the Falcons, but I'm not a believer of the Bucs, either.  Still, I do thoroughly enjoy watching Freeman.  That guy has talent.

Buffalo over Chicago
The Bears are a mess.  The Bills have been playing well the past couple of weeks.  Never have I seen so many people picking an 0-7 team over a 4-3 team.

New England over Cleveland
I'm with you...this game could be close.  But the Pats are looking good, and the Browns are starting Colt McCoy again.

Detroit over New York Jets
Yeah...I'll take the Lions.  Their defense is looking better every week.  I would actually feel better about this pick if Shaun Hill was starting...the Lions need to minimize their mistakes in order to win.  Look for Sanchez to throw a couple picks and have his shoulders slumping on the sidelines by halftime.

New Orleans over Carolina
I think the win last week over the Steelers will kick-start the Saints.  I don't think they'll be as good as they were last year, but they're a better team than they've played this year.  And the Panthers look awful.

Miami over Baltimore
I kind of like this Dolphins team.  They play hard.  They'll force some turnovers in this game, and that will be the difference.

San Diego over Houston
If Gates doesn't play (all signs are pointing that he will not), this could be a closer game than it should be.  But that Texans defense does not look good.  And that Texans offense doesn't look great, either.  For the life of me, I can't understand why everyone talks about how great Schaub is.  He never looks great to me.

Minnesota over Arizona
People have been talking about how bad Favre has been this year.  Granted, I laughed when they carted him off the field like a little baby after busting his chin open, but, before that, he actually was having a very good game.  Accurate.  Good decision-making.  His one interception came on a ball that hit Harvin in the chest and bounced straight into the arms of a defender.  Still, this Vikings team is a mess...I think Childress is trying to get fired.  It doesn't really matter though...the Cardinals are terrible.

New York Giants over Seattle
I'm with you.  I'm still not sold on the Giants, but I refuse to believe that the Seahawks are good, especially with Whitehurst out there.

Philadelphia over Indianapolis
I'm excited to see Vick back out there.  I think it'll come down to the fourth quarter, but the Eagles should win this.  Gimme a couple sacks and Manning interceptions while we're at it, as well.

Oakland over Kansas City
Because I believe in the Raiders running game.  I actually trust Cassel more than Campbell, but in a match-up of two run-heavy teams, I'll take the Raiders.

Green Bay over Dallas
Although I have to say that I'm a little nervous about everyone picking the Packers in a blow-out.  If the Cowboys decide they feel like playing, they have the talent to make trouble for anyone.  I believe the Packers will win this game (and I think their offense will finally get on track), but I'm just a little nervous about all this hype.

Cincinnati over Pittsburgh
I don't know why...but I just have a feeling.  I have a feeling that the defense will smother the Steelers.  I have a feeling that the Bengals will get their running game going.  I have a feeling that Palmer will look accurate for four quarters.

Cyphers and Picks

First things first, what do you make of this list? I'm not going to get on my high horse about how Otto Graham was shafted because I've never seen him play but I do have a couple of questions. Barry Sanders at #17 seems extremely low. As does Randy Moss at #65. As does Marshall Faulk at #70. Peyton Manning slips in just before your boy Don Hutson. No Terrell Owens at all? What say you?

Also, our old pal Dameshek is doing some decent work at NFL.com via columns and videos. Worth a look.

The past couple of games Orlando has gone with a situational starting lineup and I like it. Against the Timberwolves and Nets, Stan Van Gundy has opted to shift Rashard Lewis to SF and let Ryan Anderson start at PF. The first game was a success as Anderson answered with 19 points in 19 minutes. Last night, Anderson got a quick hook for his defensive shortcomings. Still, I like the move because it's something different. Barring injury, Orlando is just about a lock for a playoff seed so why not do some experimenting during meaningless games? I imagine SVG had Boston/LAL/Miami in mind with this move. It allows the team to go bigger to combat the big frontlines of Boston and LA. Also, Paul Pierce and Ron Artest aren't able to consistently make Rashard Lewis pay on defense with their athleticism. As for Miami, I guess the thinking is that no one is going to be able to guard LeBron either way so we might as well get a couple more rebounds with the bigger lineup. Good move SVG.

Loved this video.


Dwight Howard has looked great this year. Last night he destroyed Brook Lopez. The line for Howard: 30 points, 9-13 FG, 12-16 FT, 16 rebounds. Lopez: 10 points, 3-17 FG, 5 rebounds. The numbers don't do it justice as Lopez started 0-13 and scored 8 points in the 4th quarter after Orlando had a comfortable 15-18 point lead. In the game against Minnesota, he had 18 points, 16 boards and 8 blocks...in only 23 minutes of play. His new confidence gets a bulk of the credit but his teammates have also been getting the ball to him a lot quicker. I only hope it keeps up.

I think I'm one of the few people that enjoyed the World Series. I think part of it has to do with me still trying to rationalize the Volquez-Hamilton trade and a WS ring for Hamilton would make that a lot harder. I think another part of it is thinking that if the Giants with Cody Ross batting cleanup for them can do it, surely there is hope for the Reds. I do feel bad for the Rangers a bit though. Vlad really struggled in his first,and maybe last shot, at a WS ring. Texas gutted their system to get Cliff Lee and it seems he's all but been placed in a New York Yankees uniform already.

Brandon Webb is a free agent and I would love for the Reds to take a look at him. He's from Ashland so the appeal of playing close to home for a playoff team may be enough to get him. As he's still coming off of a shoulder injury, I imagine he could be had for a very cheap incentive based contract. With the Reds surplus of starting pitching, there would be no rush to get him to the majors either so he could start in AA or AAA and come up when he feels ready. As for Aroldis Chapman, I think he should be sent to AAA and be taught how to start for a season. There has been talk of him in the bullpen again this season, and I don't know how I feel about it. It would definitely help in 2011, but I think it hurts his chances after that. I could see him going to the bullpen in 2011 and then never really becoming a starter before his contract is up. I say put him in AAA for the entire season if you have to and let the AAA coaches who worked well with Cueto/Bailey/Wood/Leake teach him how to be a starter. If we're in the playoff race again next September, call him up as a long relief man. If not, call him up and let him get some major league starts.

Pick time.

Buccaneers over Falcons- I think I'm probably a little too high on the Bucs and not high enough on the Falcons, but so be it. I think the Bucs steal one here.

Bills over Bears- Of the 7 losses Buffalo has, only your Packers and the Jets put the beats on them and the GB game was Pre-Fitzpatrick. They've played NE, Baltimore and KC tough. I think they finally get their first win.

Patriots over Browns- NE gets the win in a game that's a lot closer than it should be.

Jets over Lions- Jets get back on track here in the battle of the most over hyped Quarterbacks in the league. Flacco should do the coin toss.

Cardinals over Vikings- As mean as it was, the Randy Moss catering story killed me. Absolutely killed me. I just pictured him saying everything in that "I didn't hit no woman/I KNOW THAT CHARLES!" voice. Still, seems strange Childress is trying to act tough by waiving Moss after he lets Favre disrespect him for 2 seasons.

Saints over Panthers- I'm still in shock that the Panthers are this bad. Williams/Stewart is a thing of the past and Steve Smith is being wasted.

Ravens over Dolphins- My man Ed Reed is back on the field and the Dolphins didn't look as good against us as they probably should have.

Chargers over Texans- Phillip Rivers might go for 500 yards here.

Giants over Seahawks- Not sold on the Giants but Charlie Whitehurst is making his first career start here. Giants win.

Raiders over Chiefs- Did I say Alex Smith? I meant the Jason Campbell for Pro Bowl campaign is under way!

Eagles over Colts- Game of the week. Peyton and the Colts are heating up and Vick is coming back to face an average Colts defense. If only they had Bob Sanders.

Packers over Cowboys-I've picked against GB two straight weeks and they've proved me wrong. Also, can we stop the "We knew Kitna would be terrible! He threw 4 picks his first start!" jokes? Three bounced off the hands of Cowboy receivers. I think Jon has a decent day but Clay Matthews is licking his chops for this one.

Steelers over Bengals- We are a horrible football team. If any changes are going to be made we have to lose a lot of games. Rebounding and finishing the year 7-9 or something like that will just convince owner Mike Brown that we are a good team. We need to go up in flames.

I leave you with this. Outstanding efforts from all involved.