Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just a thought...

This literally just popped in my head as I was watching ESPN: Who says no to a Blaine Gabbert for Tim Tebow trade? Tebow signed a 5 year/11.25 million dollar deal after being drafted (which can escalate to $33 million if incentives are met). Gabbert signed a 4 year/12 million dollar deal after being drafted. Tebow is 24. Gabbert is 22. In Gabbert, Denver would get the "prototypical" quarterback that Elway is looking for. If the season ended today, Denver would have the 15th pick in the draft. Probably too late to get Luck, Barkley, Griffin or even Landry Jones (OU). Reaching for a QB on a team with some solid pieces doesn't seem like good business. You could take a guy in the second round and hope for Andy Dalton-esque success, but that's a long shot. Or you could trade for Gabbert, a guy that is taking his lumps right now. Gabbert hasn't looked good by any stretch of the imagination, but I imagine a QB like Elway will always think he can save a guy that "plays the right way." Jacksonville gets a local legend and an immediate boost in ticket/jersey sales with Tebow coming home to Jacksonville. They could pair him with MJD and their first round pick (Currently #6, high enough to get an Alshon Jeffery/Michael Floyd/Justin Blackmon to help out at WR). With the news of Jack Del Rio's firing, new regimes tend to mean new quarterbacks. Unless of course, the Jags get bought and moved to LA. Then all else is moot.

In the meantime, who says no?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Week 12 Picks

I'm glad you brought up Robert Griffin. I caught glances of him during his freshman year, and have checked in on him and every once in a while since then. I've watched a few Baylor games this year and I can't think of any reason why his success can't translate to the NFL. I will be the first to admit that I'm no expert scout. I thought Cam Newton and Tim Tebow would have success in the NFL, but I also thought Andre Woodson had quality NFL quarterback written all over him. Still, I don't see a lot of weaknesses in Griffin. He has good arm strength. Accuracy isn't a problem, as he is completing over 70% of his passes. He has decent size and his athleticism is off the charts. He has a quick release and doesn't appear to have any flaws in his throwing motion. He will have the issue of transitioning to a NFL style offense, but he appears to be a very bright guy. He has a 4.0 GPA and is working on his Masters. Also, if Cam can make the transition while being an apparent idiot and having one season of Division I starts, then surely there is hope for Griffin, his Masters and nearly three years of starts under his belt.

Why do you hate USC? I'm sure I've asked you this before, but I can't recall the answer.

Speaking of USC, I'm shocked they don't have a good basketball team every year. If I'm a 5 star recruit and probably a one-and-done guy (sans NBA lockout), why not spend my one year in LA instead of Storrs, CT? Why not spend a season in Miami instead of Durham, NC? You'll still be heavily scouted, you can be The Guy at a school instead of just another guy at a bigger school and you get to spend winter in LA/Miami. Am I missing something?

A little analysis on the Thursday games, before the weekly picks.

Ndamukong Suh is a creep.

Pick time.

Houston over Jacksonville- I'm not sure why, but I can see Leinart delivering for the Texans. Not in a "Schaub or Leinart decision next year" but in a "Setting himself up for a decent payday this offseason after proving he can be an effective game manager" type of way. Also, the Jaguars suck.

NY Jets over Buffalo- Hate that Fred Jackson injury. He's already 30 and a broken leg doesn't bode well for a running back. Jets win this one easily.

Cincinnati over Cleveland- AJ Green is back and we need a win to keep our slim playoff hopes alive.

Atlanta over Minnesota- Toby Gerhart is looking to pick up the slack for white running backs. The first time Gerhart is stopped behind the line, Travis Jervey will pop champagne like Mercury Morris and the '72 Dolphins.

Arizona over St. Louis- I think Jake "The Snake" Plummer is getting the start of Arizona this week. I could be wrong.

Carolina over Indianapolis- Cam Newton's Superman celebration is surprisingly fun to break out at inappropriate moments.

Tampa Bay over Tennessee- Only because Hasselbeck is playing. Jake Locker looked great last week, albeit in garbage time. He looked Tebow-esque in his ability to extend a play with his legs and then hit a guy right in the numbers/overthrow him by 5 yards.

Oakland over Chicago- A little sad to see Cutler go down because they were really hitting their stride. Rest assured, there should still be plenty of passes up for grabs with Hanie/Palmer suiting up.

Seattle over Washington- Whatever.

Denver over San Diego- I want to pick SD, but have no reason to. Tebow's legend grows.

Philadelphia over NE- I don't know why, but I see Vince Young going crazy here. Like "good numbers, limiting mistakes, extending plays" crazy. Not "throwing your gear into the crowd after a loss, wandering the streets with a gun while your family fears for your well-being" crazy.

Pittsburgh over Kansas City- Orton or Palko? Palko or Orton? You talk about a quarterback controversy. I would NOT want to be in Todd Haley's shoes!

New Orleans over NY Giants- I can see Brees having more than a couple of turnovers with that NY pass rush in his face, but they still get the win.

Rejoice! The NBA is back!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Football Talk and Picks

Sorry to hear about your old man.  That's some tough news to take, especially this late in the game.  You think your parents know best, and then you find out something like that.  That's a real shame.
For the record, I was crushed about the Ducks game.  I've been following them since I was a kid, and I have hated USC for a while now.  I was really hoping for a Ducks blow-out.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen.  Still, they're a fun team to watch.
I have also been enjoying watching Robert Griffin III play for Baylor this year.  He has been terrific.  I'm not sure if he'll turn into an NFL quarterback, but I have loved watching him this year.

The Packers didn’t look great last week.  Aaron Rodgers, in particular, looked a little off.  There were a couple of dropped passes, but he was just missing throws, too.  Definitely his worst game of the season.  Although it’s kind of amazing when you’re 10 games into the season and your worst game saw you complete 67.6% of your passes for 299 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.
But I’m still not ready to say he is playing at a higher level then Favre ever did.  But there are so many factors that go into that.  Rodgers has a better group of weapons at receivers than Favre did.  Favre usually had 1 or 2 good receivers, and a handful of decent ones.  Let’s look at the 1996 season.  Favre was throwing to Robert Brooks (who broke his leg in the 7th game of the season), Antonio Freeman (who missed 4 games due to a broken arm), Don Beebe, and, towards the end of the season, a past-his-prime Andre Rison.  That season, he also had Mark Chmura and Keith Jackson at TE, which was pretty impressive.
Of course, he also had a great pair of running backs: Edgar Bennett and Dorsey Levens.
That’s not a bad receiving corps, but they weren’t as good as what Rodgers has now (and that’s before Brooks broke his leg).  Of course, the Rodgers’ Packers don’t have nearly as good of a running game as Favre did, so Favre didn’t need 5 amazing receivers.  He only need a couple good ones, and a handful of guys that can catch whatever is left.  So Favre had to do more with less, but he also didn’t need to do as much as Rodgers.
Over the weekend, I plan on going back and watching some games from that ’96 season.  I’ll have a more definitive answer for you at that point.

Picks picks picks.

Green Bay over Detroit
I can see both teams piling on points here.  But Stafford will do what he does (sail passes into the arms of Packers defenders), and Rodgers will do what he does (not sail passes into the arms of Lions defenders), and that will be the difference.

Dallas over Miami
The Dolphins have been playing better lately, but so have the Cowboys.  Amazing how having someone other than Felix Jones as your feature back can make your team better.  Also, Dez Bryant is a monster.

San Francisco over Baltimore
The 49ers should be able to limit Ray Rice’s damage, which means this game is on the shoulders of Flacco.  And I don’t trust Flacco.  He had a good game (or, at the very least, a handful of big throws) against the Bengals last week, but I don’t think he’s capable of putting together back-to-back good games.

Houston over Jacksonville
The Texans running game has been terrific, and Leinart will be able to do enough in his limited opportunities, and the Texans defense will be able to shut down the Jags offense.  Maybe that’s not great praise…but it’s enough.

New York Jets over Buffalo
It seems like only last week everyone was scared of the Bills offense.  How times change.  Also, the Jets killed the Bills just a couple weeks ago in Buffalo, and that was with Fred Jackson in the line-up.  I can’t see a different outcome in New York.

Cincinnati over Cleveland
After two tough losses, the Bengals should be able to beat up on the Browns and make themselves feel a little better.

Minnesota over Atlanta
I can see Harvin busting loose for a handful of big plays.

Arizona over St. Louis
Who is starting for the Cardinals this game?  Skelton?  Bartel?  Kolb?  Does it really matter?  The Rams look awful.  Granted, the Cardinals don’t look much better…but they do look a little better.  So that’s something.

Carolina over Indianapolis
After throwing 4 picks last week, Newton gets back on track.

Tampa Bay over Tennessee
I liked what I saw out of the Bucs last week.  I still don’t trust the Titans at all, and now they’re throwing Jake Locker out there.  No thanks.

Oakland over Chicago
The Raiders should see a steady dose of Forte in this game, which is always a good thing.  But I can see Hanie throwing a couple picks, while Palmer plays another unspectacular – but turnover free – game.  And Michael Bush will go bonkers.

Seattle over Washington
A week after almost beating the Cowboys, the Redskins have a little meltdown in Seattle.  And by “the Redskins have a little meltdown” I mean “Rex Grossman will throw at least 3 interceptions.”

Denver over San Diego
Broncos keep the game close, with the help of a couple turnovers from Rivers.  Then they’re able to pull away late in the 4th quarter.

New England over Philadelphia
Brady looked off at the beginning of the Chiefs game, but he pulled it together as the game went on, and the Patriots ended up killing them.  If the Eagles can make Brady uncomfortable early and take advantage of Brady’s inaccuracy, they have a shot.  If not…well…then they don’t really have much of a chance.

Pittsburgh over Kansas City
The Chiefs may be able to hold Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown in check for a little while…but not forever.

New Orleans over New York Giants
Remember how bad Eli looked against the Eagles last week?  Now take that performance, and put it up against a team that can actually score points.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Week 11 Picks and then some...

Agreed on all the Tebow talk. I don't think he'll ever evolve into a Rodgers/Manning type and pick defenses apart, but can you imagine how effective he would be if he could just hit the wide open guys? If he could get that 45% completion rate up to 55% or so, even if it's just on screens and checkdowns, they could completely control the clock. If they can get him some legitimate weapons (i.e., Not a 30 year old Willis McGahee or Eric Decker as your #1 WR), and let the defense grow (Von Miller is fantastic), Denver could be in great shape. I think a pass catching TE would do wonders for him, but in this pass oriented league, I'm not sure any version of Trent Dilfer will get it done for you. Like you, I am leery of him sustaining this success, but I am interested to see how things play out. The way his teammates and that home crowd come alive for him is unparalleled. I have no idea where the Tebow Era is going, but I will be tuning in.

I'm having a tough time coming to grips with some information I just found out. I only have myself to blame because I should have seen the warning signs: My old man is a bandwagon fan. I should have done the math, but I never saw it coming. He was always a Magic Johnson fan. During the MLB playoffs, he adopted the Rangers as "his team" during the Tigers series. After the Game 6 debacle in the World Series, he didn't bother watching Game 7. During the Stanford-Oregon game last week, he mentioned that he likes Stanford's head coach...but he's always liked Oregon thereby covering his ass either way. I've never heard him mention Oregon in ANY way, shape or form in my life. Not the state, not the team. Tonight he mentioned he was waiting to watch "his Ducks" play USC. He then started watching a movie after USC jumped to a 14-0 lead. I should have known something was up when he adopted Atlanta teams after moving to Georgia. Mind you, that this was in the midst of the Braves NL East dominance and the Falcons during Vick's heyday. He never mentioned the Hawks... presumably because they sucked. I feel dirty.

Maybe some picks will take my mind off this foolishness.

Green Bay over Tampa Bay- I enjoyed that write-up of Rodgers incompletions. Are you ready to admit that at this very moment, Rodgers is playing better than Favre ever has? As long as Randall Cobb is a Packer, I'll always keep an eye on them. But I could never adopt them, as they just won a championship and that would turn me into my father. I still have an eye on the Eagles just to figure out how in the hell they keep losing they way they do. Truth be told, if I had to pick a random team to start following, it would be...

Detroit over Carolina- These Carolina Panthers. I love watching Cam that much. They are obviously having some struggles with closing out games and that defense is abysmal, but they have some pieces. I still think they aren't using Stewart/Williams right, and that less of Cam will prove to be more of Cam in his rookie year, but he is great to watch. They'll lose here though in a game Detroit needs to stay relevant in the NFC North.

Jacksonville over Cleveland- I don't care.

Oakland over Minnesota- I don't know why, but I feel like this could be a good game. I like what I see from Christian Ponder and I wouldn't be surprised to see Minny eek out a win.

Miami over Buffalo- Reggie Bush has looked great these past two or three weeks. I gained a new respect for Bush after reading this 5 year old article. I can only hope that one day I have a son that gets the illegal perks that Bush got in his time at USC.

Dallas over Washington- I watch Rex Grossman and can't help but think that this man still beat out Donovan McNabb for a job.

Cincinnati over Baltimore- Only because we have historically played well against Baltimore. Maybe Carson took the good vibes against the Ravens with him out west. Last weeks loss was brutal. Leon Hall is out for the year. I feared the absolute worst after that awkward landing AJ Green had after a phenomenal catch. Carlos Dunlap is still questionable because of a hamstring he pulled on the last play in the Tennessee game. Still, this is Joe Flacco we're talking about and Ray Lewis is still questionable for the game. Our O-line kept Dalton clean last week, and I'm hoping they can do the same this week.

San Francisco over Arizona- Haven't these teams already played each other like three times this season?

Seattle over St. Lous- OK, seriously. Haven't THESE teams already played each other like four times this season?

Tennessee over Atlanta- Chris Johnson has picked up a little steam lately and I think Atlanta is still dejected from the way they lost in OT against the Saints.

Chicago over San Diego- I'm not even sure how San Diego rights the ship. They go as Rivers goes and he has not been himself this year.

Philadelphia over NY Giants- I seem to remember another record breaking, mobile college QB that became a first round draft pick, and started to defy football logic by winning games despite an unorthodox style and lackluster numbers.

New England over Kansas City- I was hoping this one was in KC, because they usually play hard at home. No such luck. I'll watch this game, but I won't like it.

I've been watching a lot of Matt Barkley lately, and I've been very impressed. It seems like Luck has been anointed #1 pick/Future HoF, but are we so sure about that? He did not look good against Oregon, and he has a habit of hanging receivers out to dry. The loss at Oregon may have spared him some criticism in the long run, because I don't think a matchup with LSU and their secondary would do him any favors. I've got my eye on Barkley.

Is it time to admit that LSU might be even better than we think? This season they beat #3 Oregon, #25 Mississippi State, #16 West Virginia, #17 Florida and #20 Auburn all by at least 13 points. They then beat #2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. They still have #6 Arkansas and #14 Georgia in the SEC Championship game before the BCS Championship, assuming all goes well. I believe that it will, because I'm not sure who beats them.

I hear that Urban Meyer has been linked to the Ohio State and Penn State jobs. At first thought, the PSU job seems untouchable with the scandal that is going on. However, there are thousands people defending a man that turned a blind eye to molestation. If you could win there and get that team through this scandal, you'd be a god in Happy Valley. Hell, with the way the Gators have looked this season, Meyer might be able to step back in at Gainesville.

I didn't watch the Pacquiao-Marquez match, but I wish I had. By all accounts, Marquez gave Pacquiao more than he could handle. I keep hearing about how this was a brilliant ploy by Pacqiao to dupe Floyd into thinking he could beat Manny. There is no need. He can beat Manny. I only wish that we could settle this once and for all.

I finally listened to that Wale` and really enjoyed it. Then again, I said that about his first album and now I never listen to it anymore, but I don't think that will be the case with Ambition. The growth in his lyrics is evident, but I think production is what makes the difference. If nothing else, Rick Ross has the best ear for beats in the game and has no problem sharing it with his team. MMG has had some outstanding production in the last year or two. I'm really looking forward to Ross' next project God Forgives, I Don't. Ross isn't the rapper that Wale` is, but I think he has helped him tremendously in terms of crafting songs.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tebow & NFL Picks

I am involved with a weekly pick ‘em group on Yahoo, and I picked the Broncos to beat the Jets last night.  I was very happy about that.
The Broncos are a fascinating team to me, as I’m sure they are to many.  I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them over the past few weeks.  How they continue to win with Tebow playing the way he has been is amazing.  Last night, I saw him misfire on at least 5 passes to wide open receivers.  He’s either throwing them into the dirt, or too far outside, or just out of bounds.  It’s unreal.  But he’s also throwing them where defenders can’t get their hands on them.  Did you realize that, in his 5 starts this year, he has only thrown 1 interception?  (And that 1 came in the loss to the Lions.)  I could’ve sworn he has thrown more than that.  He has yet to complete 50% of his passes in a game (he is completing 44.8% of his passes on the season), but there’s something to be said for not turning the ball over.
I’m not buying into the “he just wins” narrative yet.  He is 4-1, but the defense is playing terrific, and that running game has been great.  Sure, Tebow drove the team 95 yards in less than 5 minutes for the win.  But he would not have been in the position to win if not for the defense playing great all game (and giving the Broncos 7 points on an interception returned for a touchdown).  So he is basically a less effective, more mobile Trent Dilfer.  Like I said, there’s something to be said for not turning the ball over.  But at some point he’s going to need to become more accurate.
Still, do you remember what both of us said when Tebow came into the league, and what he would need to succeed?  He would need a good running game and a good defense.  He would need a team that didn’t really need him to throw any more than 15-20 passes a game.  Basically, he needed what Roethlisberger had when he came into the league.  Can Tebow grow into an actual quarterback?  I don’t know.  Judging from what I’ve seen, it’s doubtful.  But he’s 4-1 on the season, and that’s pretty impressive.  Whether he can build on this remains to be seen…but I have thoroughly been enjoying watching him so far.  There’s a strange beauty in the ugliness.
Also, kudos to John Fox for building a gameplan around Tebow’s strengths.  When he first stepped into the starting role, it looked like they were setting him up for failure.  I know it’s not easy to completely change what your team does in the middle of a season, but he has done a terrific job with it.  That has been extremely impressive.  I know Harbaugh is an easy choice for coach of the year with what he has done with the 49ers, but Fox shouldn’t be overlooked.

To the picks:

Green Bay over Tampa Bay
Mike Tanier at Football Outsiders had a great write-up of all 18 of Aaron Rodgers incomplete passes over the past 3 games.  Take a look at it if you get a chance.  Really impressive stuff.  I mean, I know he’s been great this year, but it’s always cool to read different takes on it.  I know I’m a little biased (being a Packers fan and everything), but this team has been a ton of fun to watch this year.  Rodgers, of course, has been unreal.  But the receivers are tremendous.  They make a lot of tough catches every game.  And, even though they don’t always get equal attention from week-to-week, they don’t really complain about it (James Jones’ comments from earlier in the year notwithstanding).  They also seem to get along really well; when not on the field, all of the receivers are usually all standing in a circle together on the sidelines, talking strategy, or just joking around.  I know you picked the Eagles as your new team to follow early in the year, but have you thought of switching to the Packers?
Anyway, about this game.  The Packers are rolling.  The Bucs look awful.  Freeman has 13 picks on the year.  The Packers defense has 17.  I can see at least 2 Freeman interceptions in this game.  The Packers get a bit of a running game going, and the game is a snoozer (for every non-Packers fan) by half-time.
I will say this, and we’ve talked about this before: I get nervous when a lot of people start talking about any of my teams in glowing terms.  I just feel like all the hype has nothing but negative effects on the team.  I’m feeling a bit of that here.  I know the Bucs have been pretty bad over the last few games, but I can’t shake the feeling that they’re not that bad.  Still, the Packers have been playing so well that I have a lot of confidence that they’ll destroy this Bucs team.  They’re not letting up on people, and I like to see that.  So, in this case, my confidence outweighs my fear.  Not by a ton, but by enough.

Detroit over Carolina
The Lions got absolutely murdered by the Bears last week, and Stafford look awful in the process.  But I think they'll get their offense ramped up a little against the Panthers defense.  Newton will have a pretty good day, but it won't be enough.

Jacksonville over Cleveland
It seems like there is one of these extremely boring games once a week.  Here it is for this week.  I can't imagine wanting to watch a single second of this.

Oakland over Minnesota
Palmer does just enough to get the win here.  Ponder throws a couple picks.

Miami over Buffalo
The Dolphins have been looking better in recent weeks, while the Bills have completely lost their way.  Apparently Fitzpatrick can't complete a pass that's further than 20 yards downfield.  We call that Brad Johnson/Chad Pennington disease.  And that hurts when you have a burner like Stevie Johnson on your team.

Dallas over Washington
Because the Redskins are terrible.  Beck can't move the offense more than 3 yards at a time, and Grossman doesn't know how to throw anything that's not an interception.

Baltimore over Cincinnati
If AJ Green were healthy, I would take the Bengals here.  But, with him either on the sidelines or not fully healthy, I just can't do it.  Sorry man.

San Francisco over Arizona
Skelton.  Kolb.  It doesn't matter.  It looks like Fitzgerald will get more looks with Skelton, but against the 49ers defense, it won't matter.

Seattle over St. Louis
Really, this is a toss-up.  I'm taking the Seahawks because I trust Tavaris Jackson and his receivers more than Sam Bradford and his.  But really...who cares?

Atlanta over Tennessee
I know the Titans have had some good games this year (including last week), but I still don't trust them.  A win here would help.  But I can't see them winning.

Chicago over San Diego
The Chargers are looking terrible.  The Bears are looking great.  Pretty simple, really.

Philadelphia over New York Giants
I can see this being one of those "Giants have a huge letdown game", while the Eagles have one last game where they look unstoppable.  And yes...that's with Vince Young.

New England over Kansas City
This game will be over by halftime.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NFL Picks

Concerning Drake: meh.  I need to listen to it again, but, after one listen, I was very much less than impressed.  After a while, all of the songs started to sound the same.  By the time I got to track 9, I was listening to about half of the song, then skipping to the next one.  Like I said, I'll listen to it again, but, after one listen, I wasn't a huge fan (of course, you have always loved him more than I have).
However, I'm a really big fan of the new Rihanna album, although I doubt you would be.  I like her more than you do.
Also, I'm really excited for the new Roots album coming out next month.  Their last album wasn't great, but I have high hopes for this one.

I'll just give a couple quick thoughts on the Penn State thing.
Firing Paterno is the least they could have done.
Sandusky should be shot.
How does McQueary see Sandusky sodomizing a boy in the shower and not stop it?  In that situation, the very least you can do it say something like, "What are you doing?"  What he should have done was just walk in and start throwing punches.

And one more college football thought.
How much fun was that Oregon/Stanford game last night?  I loved it.  When that Ducks offense is clicking, they're a lot of fun to watch.

Philadelphia over Arizona
I would like to say that this game won't be close, but the Eagles haven't been great.  Still, they have a good offense, and the Cardinals have a terrible defense.  Lots of points in this one.
I'll have to comb the archives for our predictions.  I know I predicted decent years for Alex Smith and Tavaris Jackson.  I can't remember what I said about Kolb, although I think it was something like, "He won't be bad, but he won't be great, either."

Carolina over Tennessee
Agreed.  I think Cam Newton is an idiot.  But I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him play.

Houston over Tampa Bay
The Texans running game is ridiculous.  It's fantastic that they have been able to keep winning even though they're missing their best WR.  For a team that has traditionally relied on their passing game, I like seeing this change.  Also, kudos to Wade Phillips for helping to turn that defense around.  Their transformation has been amazing.  But he should never be a head coach again.

Miami over Washington
I'll take Moore over whoever the Redskins are throwing out today.

Indianapolis over Jacksonville
The Colts defense has looked awful recently...but the Jags have been terrible on offense.  This could be a supremely ugly game.

Denver over Kansas City
Like you, I'm excited to see how the option will work.  I love that they've made this change.  Play to Tebow's strengths, and see what they can do with it.  Should be fun to watch.

Buffalo over Dallas
This seems like one of those "Romo makes a terrible mistake late in the game" type of games.  It's been a couple of weeks since we've seen one of those.

New Orleans over Atlanta
Like you, I don't trust either of these teams.  But I trust the Saints offense more than I trust the Falcons offense.

St. Louis over Cleveland
Just because.

Cincinnati over Pittsburgh
Letdown game for the Steelers.  And the Bengals have been looking good.  Some stout defense by the Bengals, and a couple of turnovers will be the difference.

Baltimore over Seattle
Because even a letdown game should be good enough to beat the Seahawks.

San Francisco over New York Giants
Without a running game, the Giants will be forced to rely heavily on Eli.  The 49ers will be able to get pressure, and they'll force Eli into a couple turnovers.

Chicago over Detroit
Cutler will, once again, be forced into eluding pressure all day.  But Forte will have a monster game, and Cutler will make just enough plays to win.  Stafford throws a couple picks.

New York Jets over New England
The Patriots haven't looked great, and the Jets seem to be clicking.  New England loses their third straight, and the entire city of Boston cries.

Green Bay over Minnesota
I'm with you.  There will at least a couple Ponder picks in this game.
The Packers defense has been pretty scary this year.  They've been giving up a ton of yards, and quite a few points.  Still, it's hard to argue with being #1 in the league in turnovers forced.

Green Bay over Minnesota

Friday, November 11, 2011

Week 10 Picks and Take Care

Thanks for the kudos on the NBA rankings. ESPN has a daily 5-on-5 of NBA topics, and I enjoy reading it, but it's getting a little thin. This week, a topic was "Who are the 5 best NBA seniors?", meaning guys that would be seniors in college. Please come back to me, NBA. I need you. NBA 5-on-5 needs you. I did enjoy this piece though. It talks to NBA players affected by the one year in college rule and if they would change anything about their decision.

Loved Take Care. I'm on my third listen and it's getting better each time around. It reminded me of a soundtrack with the way everything seemed to flow so well. I could do without the title track with Rihanna, but even that isn't terrible. He sings more on this album, but it works with the flow of the album. When he does decide to rap, his progression/improvement is noticeable. "Lord Knows" and "The Real Her" and probably two of my favorite songs off of this album, and maybe from 2011. I think Drake is a fascinating character, for lack of a better word. He's obviously very talented, but I think his candidness is refreshing. Sure, it lends way to quotes like this one from a recent interview:

On receiving nude pictures:
If you send them without me asking, it’s like, You’ve done this before. But I’m away a lot. If there’s a woman I’m into, I might want to get a picture from her to handle business myself, as opposed to doing something I might regret.

Well....alright, Drake. Didn't see that one coming. I also think his honesty helps in his music. In his first album, the theme seemed to be his difficulty transitioning to fame. On this album, it's more like, "Ok. I'm a full full fledged star. Now what?" He willingly admits his insecurity by calling an old ex to complain about her current boyfriend or admitting he checks womens phones while they are in the bathroom. Soft? You betcha. But I'll be damned if I don't enjoy listening to it.

I'm amazed there are people defending Joe Paterno in this trial. I won't spend much time on this, as it's been/being discussed ad nauseum, but kudos to Penn State. I thought they would give in and let Paterno go out on his own terms. Not the case. They rightfully fired him, and a couple of others. I'm not quite sure what the rioting on campus was about. The man knew about criminal acts (one of the most heinous crimes at that) and did not get this information to the police. Period. Add in the fact that most of the rioters weren't alive for PSU's last championship, and that 60 years on the sidelines doesn't outweigh him overlooking this scandal. This was a no brainer.

Pick time.

Falcons over Saints- Atlanta appears to be hitting its stride at the right time. I'm still not quite sold on them, but I'm not sold on New Orleans either. Falcons win at home.

Bengals over Steelers- First real test for Dalton & crew. I'm a little worried about Mike Wallace against our secondary, but I feel confident in our ability to stop Mendenhall and get to Big Ben enough to make things uncomfortable. Andre Smith and Andrew Whitworth have had nice years at tackles, but this will be the test. If they can keep Dalton upright, I think he makes enough plays to win a low scoring game.

Browns over Rams- I have nothing to say about this game. Former Browns coach Eric Mangini has been doing some analyst work on ESPN...and he's terrific. Granted, it's not hard to look competent next to Herm Edwards, but I've been pleasantly surprised by Mangini's work.

Cowboys over Bills- Cowboys are good at home. Bills ain't too good at home. Stevie Johnson is quietly having a nice season. I miss the Woodson/Little/Burton/Johnson/Tamme era at UK.

Jaguars over Colts- Don't care.

Broncos over Chiefs- Could be a surprisingly decent game. I love Denver bringing the option to the NFL. I'm interested to see how long this works.

Dolphins over Redskins- Matt Moore looked dynamite last week. This Dolphins fans have showed some fight lately. The Redskins have not.

Eagles over Cardinals- I love the analysts saying that Kevin Kolb has vengeance on his mind. He should have "not sucking" on his mind. Which one of use predicted dynamite numbers for Kolb this season? I'm almost certain it was you.

Texans over Buccaneers- Matt Schaub has been reduced to a game manager with Foster/Tate ripping and running. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I don't think it's a coincidence that Schaub has thrown more than 30 passes this season three times and the Texans are 0-3 in those games.

Panthers over Titans- The Texans are playing exactly the way I thought the Panthers would, and vice versa. Need a good laugh? Watch any interview with Cam Newton. I'm not sure he knows his basic shapes and colors, but man can he sling it.

Seahawks over Ravens- Game after a huge win + Seattle crowd= Four interceptions for Flacco.

Lions over Bears- Just counting the days until the Thanksgiving showdown between Detroit and Green Bay.

Giants over 49ers- I saw that Ahmad Bradshaw has a broken foot but was only recently listed as being out for this game. Wait, what? Broken foot? There was doubt he might play? Nonetheless, this should be a good game. The winner likely gets the #2 seed in the NFC.

Patriots over Jets- Nice Sunday night game. Jets undefeated at home. Patriots coming off two straight losses. A stinker by Sanchez makes sure there won't be three in a row.

Green Bay over Minnesota- I'm guessing Christian Ponder hasn't learned his lesson and Charles Woodson comes away with at least two picks.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Baseball, Movies,and NFL Picks

I should have mentioned this in my last post, but great work on that NBA rankings post.  I thoroughly enjoyed that.

The World Series ended a little over a week ago, and I too miss baseball.  I wouldn't miss it as much if I was able to watch more hockey during the week.  But, right now, it's college football on Saturday, NFL on Sunday and Monday (although the past few Monday games haven't been great) and then...nuthin'.  What do you mean I can't watch sports every day of the week?  This is ridiculous.

Actually, my favorite part of Rubber came a little before that, when he's eating and telling the story about his brother getting stuck between a couple rocks.
I watched Captain America last night.  I enjoyed it.  It wasn't amazing, but it was pretty entertaining throughout.  Really, my only hope was that it would be better than Thor, and it met that criteria.  I'm pretty excited for The Avengers movie next summer.

To the picks!

Kansas City over Miami
Surprisingly, the Chiefs don't look like a terrible team anymore.  However, the Dolphins still do.

Atlanta over Indianapolis
It's not like the Falcons are gangbusters this year, but the Colts have been...well...what's the opposite of gangbusters?

New Orleans over Tampa Bay
I still am not a believer in the Bucs.  But Brees threw 2 INTs last week, and he threw 3 INTs the last time he played against the Bucs (which was just a few weeks ago).
Here's just a little thought.  I know Brees is always mentioned as being in the top tier of quarterbacks.  And I'm not saying I dispute that, because his numbers have been huge, and his completion percentage is normally amazing.  But he threw 22 INTs last year, and he has thrown 10 through 8 games so far this year.  Can we agree that he's good, but he's also prone to bouts of carelessness?  Or are we not allowed to say anything negative about him?

Buffalo over New York Jets
The Jets defensive strength is their pass defense.  The Bills strength (regardless of all the stories I have seen on Ryan Fitzpatrick) is their running game.  Also, the Bills defense leads the league in interceptions with 14.  You can see where I'm going with this.  The Bills should be able to get a strong running game going, and they should be able to force a couple Sanchez interceptions.  

Dallas over Seattle
After getting destroyed by the Eagles last week ,the Cowboys should be able to take out their frustrations on this Seahawks team.

Houston over Cleveland
I'm pretty surprised that the Texans have been playing so well without Andre Johnson.  They'll have to do it again here, but it shouldn't matter too much.

San Francisco over Washington
The 49ers having been taking care of the lesser teams, and scratching out wins over the better teams.  They'll be taking care of business here.

Cincinnati over Tennessee
I don't really have much to say about this game, so I'll make a comment on the Bengals game last week.  That touchdown pass from Dalton to Green was a thing of beauty.  They haven't been blowing people away this year, but they've been doing just enough to win.  I have a feeling they're going to fall off a little in them second half, but they have a great young team in place already, and they have the future draft picks to really fill that team out with some great young talent.

Oakland over Denver
We texted back and forth about this last week, but watching Tebow last week was kind of fascinating.  He was so bad that I just couldn't look away.  The fact that he's going up against Carson Palmer this week should make for an absolutely terrible QB match-up.  I'm kind of excited to be able to flip over and watch them trade interceptions.

New England over New York Giants
I can see this game ending up with a score like 42-38 or something.

Arizona over St. Louis
I believe in John Skelton.

Green Bay over San Diego
The Packers are coming off a bye.  The Chargers are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs.  Also, Rivers has looked pretty bad all year.  I give the edge to the Packers in this one.  Rodgers goes crazy (again), Rivers throws a couple of picks, and San Diego just keeps waiting for him to turn it around.
By the way...I love this.  I love the idea of a pro football player getting frustrated by his game, and his response is, "This is the worst day ever."

Baltimore over Pittsburgh
I know the Ravens haven't looked great recently (by that I mean Flacco hasn't looked great), but I can see Ray Rice having another big game and carrying the offense.

Philadelphia over Chicago
If the Eagles can continue to play like they did against the Cowboys, how do you beat them?

Gold Gloves and Week 9 Picks

First things first, congratulations to Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips for winning Gold Gloves for their fieldwork in 2011. Winning a GG doesn't quite carry the prestige it once did, especially with the likes of Jeter winning one last year, but it's still an honor. It's bittersweet for me to see Votto win one. On one hand, it's refreshing to see a guy that has worked hard each year to get noticeably better at defense win his first GG. On another hand, I know that probably added another couple of millions to his free agent payday in two years. Millions that the Reds probably won't be able to afford. Oh well. I'll enjoy it until that day comes. Congrats, fellas.

We're hours away from what should be an outstanding game with LSU traveling to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama. It goes without saying that whoever wins this game will probably win the National Championship. I think LSU wins this game by mixing and matching their QBs, and getting a few big plays from Rueben Randle/Tyrann Mathieu. I'll go with LSU 24, Alabama 20.

I miss the NBA badly. College hoops is on the horizon which should help, but I need NBA ball in my life.

I reckon it's Pick Time.

Bills over Jets- Bills haven't lost at home. Jets haven't won on the road. That Buffalo crowd is great and they haven't seen the Bills in Buffalo in over a month. Freddy Jackson runs wild here and three Sanchez interceptions seal the deal for Buffalo.

Cowboys over Seahawks- I think the Seahawks uniforms cause their games to appear more boring then they actually are. Romo and the Boys win big here.

Colts over Falcons- Just seems right. And might I add, shame on the Colts fans spotted wearing personalized "Luck #12" jerseys. Now I'm hoping the Colts don't get the #1 pick/Luck just so these fans have wasted $300 on a jersey they can never wear again.

Chiefs over Dolphins- The Chiefs might actually be a decent team. Game #1- Loss to the Bills, a legit team. Also, they lose Eric Berry for the season killing defensive morale. Game 2- Loss to the Lions, a legit team. They lose Jamaal Charles for the season killing offensive morale. Game 3- Loss to the Chargers, which they just avenged. They still have two games against Denver, one against Oakland and they keep their winning streak going with a victory over the Dolphins.

Saints over Bucs- I'll take the Saints here but I don't feel good about it. Drew Brees has had at least 20 combined interceptions/fumbles in four of the 9 full seasons he has started. He's also had three more years of at least 18. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing. Just thought it was interesting.

49ers over Redskins- San Fran appears to be headed for 13-3. After this laugher, they still have Arizona twice, St. Louis twice and one against Seattle. And I'm still upset we lost to them.

Texans over Browns- Peyton Hillis is writing the book on ways to piss off your team during a contract year. At least get paid before your numbers go to hell. Word to Chris Johnson.

Bengals over Titans- With Cincy's luck, this will be the week Chris Johnson goes for 233 yards. Our schedule goes downhill after this one, so a win here would be big.

Broncos over Raiders- Palmer! Tebow! I would say the defensive backfield of each team is licking their lips, but it'd be for naught. Some of the passes thrown in this game will be so overthrown, there won't be a chance for an interception. I'm strangely looking forward to this one.

Patriots over Giants- The Patriots will beat the Giants here. Some NFL analyst will claim it is revenge for the Super Bowl loss. That claim will be wildly inaccurate.

Cardinals over Rams- Larry Fitzgerald's custom gloves are pretty sweet.

Packers over Chargers- This could get out of hand in a hurry, but I'm hoping for a decent game. Either way Rodgers continues his evisceration of the defenses this season.

Steelers over Ravens- I wouldn't be surprised to see the Steelers win this one comfortably. They are on a roll and that Ravens offense has looked dreadful at times recently.

Eagles over Bears- I'm just happy to have what appears to be a solid set of night games this week. Eagles keep on trucking.