27 September 2012

2012 Week 4 Picks

First of all, welcome back to the regular refs. Never thought I'd be glad to see them back, but there you have it. All it took was one really high profile HUGE mistake to make the owners see reason. Yeah.

This week, the Giants are coming to the Linc to take on the Eagles in prime time on Sunday Night Football. 

Now, if you look at what happened last week, it seems fairly clear how this is going to end, and it's not pretty for the Eagles. Just in case you were blackout drunk and missed it, the Eagles got stomped out in Phoenix by a team nobody really expected to be any good. And the Giants stomped the Panthers, a team many (including myself) expected to be pretty decent this year, even worse.


This isn't just ANY Sunday Night Football game. This is the game where the Eagles retire Brian Dawkins's number 20. Wolverine is one of the most beloved players in Philadelphia history. Not just Eagles history, Philadelphia history. The Eagles have so far retired only seven numbers in nearly 80 years. The fans are going to be pumped for the game. The team better be, too.

Think Ray Lewis would hire out to do the pre-game pep talk?

I expect it to be another nail-biter. But I cannot - CANNOT - see the Eagles letting this one get away. Not after the gutsy performance I witnessed less than two weeks ago against the Ravens.

Eagles. Do Wolverine proud, boys.

In the other matchups:

Browns at Ravens: The Browns look better this year, but they ain't that much better. Ravens. And have I mentioned how much I dislike Thursday Night Football.

Patriots at Bills: I think the Pats will probably take this one, but I think it's going to be a lot closer than most people expect.

49ers at Jets: I'm picking the 49ers to bounce back from their surprising loss to the Vikings last week. Their D is just too strong, and Mark Sanchez can be pressured into making mistakes.

Seahawks at Rams: The Seahawks are mortal away from CenturyLink Field, and the Rams aren't quite as bad as they looked against the Bears last week. And their at home. And domes provide a pretty major advantage to the home team. Rams.

Panthers at Falcons: Falcons. Oh Cam, I still love you.

Vikings at Lions: Lions. Last week as an aberration for both teams. Trust.

Chargers at Chiefs: I've got the Chiefs. I know, I know. But I don't think the Chargers can slow down their offense - at least not after what I saw last week.

Titans at Texans: Texans. The Titans are no match for them, even if Matt Schaub does only have part of an ear now.

Bengals at Jaguars: The Bengals can score a LOT of points. The Jaguars can't stop, well, anybody. Bengals.

Raiders at Broncos: The Raiders surprised me last week, but I can't see them pulling off another upset. Broncos.

Dolphins at Cardinals: I'm in. Cardinals.

Redskins at Buccaneers: Gotta keep the faith with RGIII even if the Redskins do have pretty much the worst D in the entire league. Redskins.

Saints at Packers: Stick a fork in the Saints. Packers.

Bears at Cowboys: You never know which Jay Cutler is going to show up, but when it's close I HAVE to go against the Cowboys. Bears.

On bye: Steelers and Colts

24 September 2012

2012 Week 3 Recap

Eagles at Cardinals, Sunday, September 23, 2012


Stud of the week: Uh...Alex Henery? Hey, at least he made both field goals and provided all the points the Eagles were able to muster. So yeah, I guess Henery wins by default. Chaz Henry had a pretty good day of punting, too. On the other hand, he was getting plenty of practice.

Given the problematic wins of the past two weeks, we all had to figure that things were going to go awry sooner or later. But I don't know that anyone expected them to go so spectacularly awry, and against the Cardinals.

Where to start? There's plenty of blame to go around.

Michael Vick. Yes, there were O-line problems with two new guys out there. And I'm guessing his receivers weren't getting open downfield. But he is holding the ball WAY too long. No one doubts his toughness, but he's not going to make it to the bye week at this point. And he constantly seems to run into the pressure rather than staying calm and, I don't know, maybe stepping up in the pocket. Is there going to be a QB controversy? After some of Andy Reid's remarks today, one might think so, but since I don't see any way Vick holds up with the pounding he's taking, it very well might end up as a forced option.

The O-line. See above. Y'all have 5 days to get better, because if you play like that during the game where the Eagles retire Wolverine's number, you're going to need to hire police protection to leave The Linc.

DeSean Jackson. Here's a tip: DO NOT get stopped on the two when your team is down by 17. NO MATTER WHAT. Also, here's another tip: it's a lot easier to make the argument that you were interfered with when you don't quit on the route and start waving your arms at the refs while the ball is still in the air, donkey.

The defense did OK - other than having no answer to Larry Fitzgerald, boneheading some penalties (what else is new?), and, of course, giving up 27 points. Then again, they played about 58 of the 60 minutes and were in some very tough field position situations, so I'm guessing they were mentally and physically tired.

And Andy Reid. 

How do you not have a better game plan to cover Larry Fitzgerald? I mean, he's only one of the best receivers in the entire league. It's not like you didn't know what was coming.

How do you, once again, run the ball pretty much not at all when your QB is struggling and no one is getting open downfield? Shouldn't that, by process of elimination, mean there's some room to run? And then they get to the 4th quarter, down by 21 points and decide to...start running the ball. Seriously. Little late, yo.

How do you burn a timeout at the beginning of the second quarter? How? Just how? If you recall, the Birds really needed that timeout at the end of the half...right before Vick was stripped of the ball and the Cardinals went ahead 24-0, instead of going into the locker room at 17-7.

It was actually at that point that I suggested to Chef Spouse that we might want to start watching a game that was actually, you know, good.

(Of course, some of the head-scratching moves weren't entirely Andy's fault).

(Also, Kevin Kolb is a game manager as a QB. The Cardinals, given what I've seen the past two weeks, may be a strong enough team outside the QB position that that's all they need.)

Jeff Lurie has basically put it out there that the Eagles make a deep playoff run this year or it's curtains for Big Red. I've been a huge supporter over the years, and if the Eagles win the Super Bowl this year, I'll gladly eat crow (I hear it will go well with the celebratory champagne), but maybe it's time for Andy to go.

Around the rest of the NFL:

If they don't get the real refs back soon, the 2012 season won't finish in time for the 2013 season to start. I'm not saying the games took too long, I'm just saying Chef Spouse had an 8 am meeting today in the Philly area (2 1/2 hour drive), and he drove there straight from the end of SNF and barely made it. Look, if you have to have a 10 minute conference after every single play in order to figure out where to spot the ball and what down it is, that's not good.

Giants over Panthers: OK, so I was a little wrong about my upset pick. The Giants dominated the Panthers as thoroughly as the Cardinals dominated the Birds, if not more so. That's saying something.

Bears over Rams: Even with Jay Cutler's emotional problems, the Rams weren't up to the challenge. Sam Bradford was brought back down to earth.

Bills over Browns: Did you notice that the Bills are tied with the Jets for first place in the division? OK, OK, it's only week 3, but still.

Cowboys over Buccaneers: The Cowboys won their home opener, but they did not exactly look dominant against the team that many of expected to be the dregs of the NFC South this year. Well, at least until the Saints fell apart.

Jaguars over Colts: What?!? Well, I'm sure that's what the Colts must've been saying after they went ahead with under a minute left, and lost anyway. Big day from MJD, too.

Jets over Dolphins: Who would've expected this game to go to OT? Of course, losing Revis Island didn't help the Jets. Also, could we please stop with the dumb timeouts trying to ice the kicker? All it does is give him a do-over. Thanks.

Vikings over 49ers: This is totally what I meant to make my upset pick! Can *I* get a do-over? Sorry, but this one is just shocking.

Chiefs over Saints: Hey Eagles fans, it could be worse. I'm having to talk my Saints friends down off the ledge at this point. This is shaping up to be one heavy-drinking season for members of the Who Dat Nation. Fortunately, New Orleanians' livers are up the challenge. Unlike their team.

Titans over Lions: Another shocking outcome. Did I mention that week 3 was also disastrous for my picks?

Bengals over Redskins: The Skins lose RGIII's home opener. And it wasn't his fault - he had a good game. Who manages to climb back from leading 24-7 and then giving it up? Right - Andy Dalton. And did you see Shanny get all up in the ref's face? And then he thinks he shouldn't be fined? Right. Hey, at least DC has the Nats. 

Falcons over Chargers: I had called the Chargers, but admitted I could see this one going either way. In actuality, the Falcons kicked the crap out of the Chargers, which I didn't expect.

Texans over Broncos: As I expected.  Now that Peyton doesn't enjoy a rock solid O-line anymore, funny how he looks mortal.

Raiders over Steelers: No wait! THIS is what I meant to make my upset pick! Really! On a serious note, how does Steeler Ryan Mundy get away with hitting Darrius Heyward-Bey so hard he knocks him out and sends him to the hospital with a neck injury and no penalty is even called?

Ravens over Patriots: There were some egregiously bad calls in this game, too, as Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels kept reminding us, maybe even some that would've turned the game, but I can't complain about the Ravens getting a win against the Pats, who knocked them out in the AFC Championship game last year, and on a night when Torrey Smith was playing in memory of his brother, Tevin, who'd been killed in a motorcycle accident only that morning. Also, maybe now the Ravens will quit whining about how they didn't like the playcalling against the Birds last week.

The Seahawks are currently beating the Packers. What is going on with the NFC West these days? All these guys started eating their Wheaties or something?

20 September 2012

2012 Week 3 Picks

This week the Eagles travel to Arizona to take on former teammate Kevin Kolb and the Cardinals. The Cardinals, like the Eagles, stand at 2-0, having just shocked the Patriots and most of the football punditry with a two point loss at home. The Eagles, meanwhile, were busy shocking the Ravens with a win after turning the ball over 9 million times (actual figure: 4).

In other words, both of these teams could be in for a let down game.

And the Eagles are struggling to field five offensive linemen.

In the end, I think this will come down to two things: one, the Eagles D is going to make K2 miserable all day, and two, Michael Vick is getting the team to win by sheer force of will. It will be another close game, guaranteed, but I think the Eagles will escape with another narrow win. And I'll have yet another coronary watching it.

Giants at Panthers: Panthers, in my upset pick. They're at home, it was a short week and Eli's gotta still be tired from throwing for 5,634,736 yards Sunday (actual figure: 510 yards, which is still a lot).

Buccaneers at Cowboys: I'm soooo tempted to call the Bucs, but I just can't see the Cowboys dropping their home opener, particularly after laying an egg against the Seahawks last week.

Jaguars at Colts: Colts. I don't necessarily think the Colts are that much better than the Jags, but they are at home.

Bills at Browns: Browns, again at home, and coming off a "most improved" type effort against the Bengals, getting their first win of the season.

Jets at Dolphins: Jets. Who are think are going to be up and down all season, but it's the Dolphins, for chrissakes.

Chiefs at Saints: No way the Saints drop two in a row at the Dome. They'll get their first win this week.

Bengals at Redskins: Look for the Redskins to bounce back from their surprising loss in St. Louis, even without Brian Orakpo. The Bengals, after last year, are looking pretty disappointing so far.

Rams at Bears: Jay Cutler pouted and whined last week, while Sam Bradford led a furious comeback over the Redskins. I think Cutler will pull his head out of his ass and do enough to let Brian Urlacher lead the Bears to victory, thus holding off their pending circular firing squad for one more week.

49er at Vikings: 49ers all the way. Is it too early? Juggernaut.

Lions at Titans: Lions.

Falcons at Chargers: This one could go either way, but I think I'm going to Chargers because a lot of teams have trouble traveling west and because they're at home. But I could easily be wrong.

Steelers at Raiders: Steelers. Man, Raiders, y'all are making me look foolish already. Pull it together! Play some AFC South teams or something!

Texans at Broncos: Texans. Peyton is going to have another bad day, because the Texans' D is for real.

Patriots at Ravens: Some NFL commentators who shall remain nameless (*cough*Rodney Harrison*cough*) were calling the Pats the best team in the league after week 1. It was so fun to watch him eat crow after they lost to the Cards last week. And he'll be getting another big helping this week, because the Ravens are pissed (ha!) and look to take it out on a conference rival that, really, all right thinking teams love to hate.

Packers at Seahawks: I know the Seahawks are tough at home and looked great against the Cowboys last week, but I just can't see them beating the Packers who, while not as dominant as last year, are still a damn good team.

17 September 2012

2012 Week 2 Recap

Eagles v. Ravens, Sunday, September 16, 2012

If 2011 was the year of the Eagles finding a way to lose, perhaps 2012 will be the year of the Eagles finding a way to win?

Stud of the week: Despite the fact that he caused one of Vick's picks by whiffing on a tough but not unmakeable catch, I have to go with Brent Celek, who had an otherwise outstanding game, with 8 catches for 157 yards. Also, hurdling Ed Reed is personal highlight reel material. And he had the stones to pop back up and do his first down signal after taking a huge hit from Bernard Pollard that should've drawn a defenseless receiver penalty.

Gotta love DJax taking a huge hit from Ed Reed and shrugging it off. And Vick taking big hits all day and shrugging them off, too. Well, OK, I don't love Vick taking huge hits. But looking at Joe Flacco whining for a flag after every single Ravens offensive play, it made me proud to see the Eagles just get up and keep playing hard without crying to the zebras all day long.

Which was a good thing, because *again* with the turnovers (although fewer this week, so at this rate, we'll be down to none by the time they face the Lions in the middle of October) and dumb penalties (although not as many dumb penalties as I saw in other games, Redskins I'm looking at you, just saying).

Also, this was looking seriously like another body bag game, only this time the Eagles were on the wrong side of it. Andy almost ran out of offensive linemen. It may be apochryphal, but I read somewhere that Big Red joked that his next move was to start with the biggest, oldest defensive lineman (Jason Babin, FYI) and go from there. Personally, I think Howard Mudd might've been a better choice. He seems pretty tough, and at least he knows the plays and formations, right?

But the real story again was Juan Castillo's defense. They even, after a tough start, managed to shut down Ray Rice. RAY RICE. I apologize for all the terrible things I may or may not have said about Juan Castillo. What? There's no proof, right? Oh wait.

Anyway, at the end, the Eagles needed a touchdown and a big stop, and they got both. For the second week in a row. Clutch and clutch, and against a team many people (myself included) think will make a deep playoff run this year. No "but it was just THE BROWNS, fer chrissake!" this week.

(Speaking of, Brandon Weeden's numbers this week? 26 of 37 for 322 yards and two TDs. Trent Richardson? 19 carries for 109 yards and a TD. Maybe slowing those two down last week was a bigger accomplishment than we all thought.)

In the rest of the matchups....

The NFL HAS to get the regular officials back, stat. The scabs are not able to control these games, with the result that a bunch of the players are acting like two year olds who missed their nap and then had their favorite toy snatched. No, not crying. Punching the kid who stole the toy in the head. Because that's how toddlers roll. Pure Id.

Packers over Bears: Speaking of acting out, it was the return of Emo Quarterback. Or Jay Cutler went off his meds. I'm not sure. Aaron Rodgers didn't have a great night, but the Packers defense was so good, it didn't really matter in the end. 10-23 makes it look a lot closer than it was.

Bills over Chiefs: Now THAT's what you call a rebound. NFL.com called the Bills "bumbling" last week. Yep. Not so much this week. Then again, Chiefs.

Panthers over Saints: Told you so. Losing your head coach is a big f-ing deal. In case you were unclear.

Bengals over Browns: Yeah, that whole recitation of Browns solid offensive stats above? Didn't really help them all that much in the end.

Colts over Vikings: The Colts led all game, the Vikings staged a furious come back, but in the end, it wasn't enough, and the Colts took it on a last-second Vinatieri field goal, with which he redeemed last week.

Texans over Jaguars: The Texans, who are looking VERY solid this year, put away a weaker divisional opponent easily. As they should. No drama.

Dolphins over Raiders: I'm starting to think I may have been wrong about the Raiders being a better team this year. Hmmm.....

Cardinals over Patriots: HOLY SHIT. Normally, giving the ball back to Tom Brady down by 2 and with a minute left is the kiss of death. Not this week. But missing a 42 yard field goal at home WAS the kiss of death for the Pats.

Giants over Buccaneers: So Chef Spouse and I are at the beach this weekend and were watching the 1 pm games at a sports bar. Down the bar from us was a group of Giants fans who were FREAKING out for the entire first half. They left during halftime, and I assured them there was no reason to be concerned. I was right. No way were the G-men dropping two in a row at home.

Seahawks over Cowboys: Also HOLY SHIT. I was watching the Skins in the 4 pm timeslot with the Cowboys game running on the computer, so the screen was a little smaller than I'm used to and might be influencing this, but they just looked totally flat in all three phases. That big win over the Giants was JUST ONE GAME is all I'm saying.

Rams over Redskins: Did I mention HOLY SHIT? Because, you know... Also, the whole game was a mess. Also the officiating was particularly egregious in this game, and it resulted in players acting out. Particularly Josh Morgan, who quite literally cost the team the game. OK, I know - it's possible they would've tied it up and gone to OT and lost. But that was some punk-ass BS.

Steelers over Jets: Much less close game than I anticipated. It's tough to beat the Steelers at home and all, but the Jets looked like a completely different team than last week.

Chargers over Titans: Well, yes.

49ers over Lions: The Niners have beat two very good teams convincingly. The entire NFC should be worried.

12 September 2012

2012 Week 2 Picks

This week, the Eagles host the Ravens in their 2012 Linc home opener. I do not have a good feeling about this. Did you see the Ravens whup up on the Bengals last week? Did you see the Eagles barely squeak by the Browns? If the defense can force Joe Flacco to beat them through the air - but then again, shutting down Trent Richardson is a very different proposition than shutting down Ray Rice. If Michael Vick can remember how to play quarterback - but then again Ed Reed is not going to whiff on all the near picks the Browns secondary blew. If LeSean McCoy can have a big day - but then again, Andy Reid dials up a bunch of run plays in what universe exactly?

Well, let's just say this: I hate calling the Eagles to lose their home opener, but that's exactly what I'm doing.

On the up side, at least I won't be at M&T Bank Stadium getting punched by Ravens fans.

Bears at Packers: Despite how great the Bears looked last week, I can't see the Packers dropping two in a row at home, although the fact that they'll likely be without Greg Jennings makes me a little nervous. Packers.

Buccaneers at Giants: Same as above. Giants.

Raiders at Dolphins: OK, the Raiders let me down last week, but I don't think they'll do it again. Mostly because the Dolphins are really not very good. Raiders.

Texans at Jaguars: Texans all day! Did I mention they're going to win AFC South again this year? Because they are.

Browns at Bengals: The Bengals, despite getting spanked, looked better against the Ravens than the Browns did against the Eagles. Also, their secondary should have a big day against Brandon Weeden. As will all secondaries this year if last week was any indication. Hey, they'll all do well against the Eagles, too, if Mike Vick can't pull it together. I'm willing to call out my team, too.

Chiefs at Bills: The Bills looked pretty sorry against the Jets, but I have to think they can put the Chiefs away at home. Bills.

Saints at Panthers: Both teams disappointed last week. The Saints, even with Sean Payton at the helm, are mortal away from the Superdome. To me, that says Panthers. Go Cam!

Cardinals at Patriots: Patriots. But the Cards fans really shouldn't hold this loss against Kevin Kolb, because, really, not fair.

Vikings at Colts: Can AP have another big week? Well, we're only in week two, but the Colts aren't very good against the run. So I'm going with "yes" and the Vikings.

Redskins at Rams: Redskins. With a two game winning streak, it will be time to cue the Super Bowl talk in DC.

Cowboys at Seahawks: Damn, I hate to say this, but Cowboys. Yes, I just called every team in the NFC East but the Eagles. Is it too late to change my pick for the division? Sigh. Chin up, girlie. No throwing in the towel yet, but I do think it will take a few weeks for the Eagles to pull it together. Again. What exactly is it that these guys do in the offseason?

Jets at Steelers: The Steelers got schooled by the Broncos last week...and I didn't expect the Jets to do well, and then they did...then again, they're at Heinz Field. Whew. Steelers? Jets? Who knows? Going with Steelers and home field, but I'm not convinced.

Titans at Chargers: The Titans have Chris Johnson and...who exactly? Chargers.

Lions at 49ers: This should be a great game. Megatron's iffy and the Niners are at home. I'm going 49ers. Who might be a Super Bowl pick this year. (Here I am, going crazy with the Super Bowl talk already.)

Broncos at Falcons: The Falcons put up 40 points last week. The Broncos shocked the hell out of me by beating the Steelers. The Falcons are pretty good against the pass, though. And again, they're at home. So Falcons. I think. Damn, calling games this early in the season is hard!

(Did I mention that I'm not a fan of starting the Thursday night games already? Or, really, ever? Dear NFL: some of us have lives outside of football, you know!)

10 September 2012

Eagles at Browns, Sunday, September 9, 2012

That was ugly as sin, but 1-0 is a lot better than 0-1. Just ask Giants fans.

And actually, it wasn't universally a mess. But we'll get to that in a minute.

This week's stud honors are shared by two guys:: DRC and Kurt Coleman, each of whom came down with two picks. On a day when the offense needed the defense to carry them, the D delivered. Big time. OK, sure, it was against a team that decided that drafting a 28 year old rookie was a smart move, but still. Great job, Kurt and Dominique.

On to the bad:

Alex Henery missed another field goal. In a game when points were inexplicably hard to come by. I don't care if he can hit from 55 if he can't hit from 40 when it counts. I miss Akers.

Vick was a hot mess. Those four picks could easily have been more like eight if the Browns defenders had better hands. And they weren't flukey, tipped bad luck passes that could happen to anyone. He was trying to force balls to guys who were double or even triple covered, while dancing around like his shoes were on fire. I'm not going to go all "PUT FOLES IN!" Yet.

And on a day when his QB was struggling and his star running back was ripping an average of 5+ yards a run, why oh why didn't Andy Reid call more run plays? I know, I know - haven't I been paying attention for the past 14 years? I have, of course, but hope springs eternal.

There were some bright spots as well. LeSean McCoy, aside from that extremely rare fumble, had a solid day. So did DeSean Jackson. The entire defense did well. Can I just tell you how much happier I am with our linebacker situation this year? A LOT. Of course, it also helped that Trent Richardson was more interested in hitting guys than looking for the hole. Chas Henry boomed some huge punts on a day when the Birds needed every bit of help they could possibly get.

But the brightest spot of all: even in the midst of a rapidly-escalating debacle, they pulled out a win. How many games like this did the Eagles NOT win last year? Michael Vick had a terrible day, they were sloppy as hell with the penalties, they committed FIVE turnovers - last year, this would've been a loss. They found a way to win. It wasn't nice, it wasn't pretty, it's certainly not going to stand against any team but the Cleveland Browns, but when the game was on the line and they needed one good drive, they did it. It never should've had to come down to whether or not they could be clutch, but they were.

In the rest of the matchups:

Can we all just agree that the replacement officials were terrible? The worst call I saw personally was when they accidentally awarded the Seahawks an extra time out that almost changed the outcome of that game. But I didn't watch every single game, so who knows? Maybe there was worse. NFL, pay up. Please.

Cowboys over Giants: OK, was it that both offenses were that bad or that both defenses were that good? Actually, it was that both o-lines were pretty awful, but the Cowboys' o-line was less awful.

Bears over Colts: Not surprising. Maybe Emo-QB will finally have a reason to smile.

Lions over Rams: All Matthew Stafford does is win. Well, after almost getting beat by the Rams. Still, clutch drive there at the end.

Texans over Dolphins: Another unsurprising outcome. With one notable exception, it was a pretty bad bay for rookie QBs. The Eagles had a lot of turnovers, too, but at least they weren't on back-to-back possessions.

Falcons over Chiefs: One of at least five games this week (with the MNF late game still to start) where the winning team scored 40+ points. Anybody other than me remember the days when 10-6 or 7-3 were common scores? I know they've changed the rules to promote scoring because, as Chef Spouse observed yesterday, 40-32 is way more exciting to watch than 16-10.

Vikings over Jaguars: First game with the new OT rules. Huge shout out to Adrian Peterson for rehabbing a torn ACL faster than pretty much anyone in history.

Redskins over Saints: The Saints haven't lost at home in like a million years (actual time: I think 4 seasons). RGIII clearly had the best rookie start of the week. I'm thinking that whole "the NFL put Sean Payton in a time out" this season is going to be a problem for them.

Jets over Bills: I think Mark Sanchez heard me talking smack about him and decided to prove me wrong. I wonder if that works in reverse? You know, if I praise someone to the skies, they'll screw up royally just to spite me? Because if that's the case, Tony Romo just became my best friend.

Patriots over Titans: Well sure, although who would've figured the Pats would completely shut down Chris Johnson? Then again, Jake Locker's rough day did help them figure out pretty quickly that there was only one guy they had to worry about on the Titans' offense.

Cardinals over Seahawks: And Kevin Kolb had one of his flashes of competence! And the egregiously bad officiating didn't change the outcome of the game! Actually, it might have been better if it had, since that would've probably made the NFL cave.

49ers over Packers: I have to give a shout out to my boy David Akers for tying the NFL field goal record with a 63 yarder as time ran out at the half that clearly shocked even him. And it was in Green Bay, not Denver, so he wasn't getting any help from the location. The 49ers are looking like the complete package this year - smothering D, solid special teams, an outstanding running game, and a QB who has someone to throw at. And a Harbaugh at head coach. They could be trouble.

Buccaneers over Panthers: Huh. Of course, it's pretty hard to win a game when you only rush for 10 yards. Total. As a team. Cam's good and all, but help a QB out, man!

Broncos over Steelers: OK, maybe I was wrong. Maybe Peyton has fully recovered. I was right about this, though: the Steelers are aging out.

Ravens over Bengals: It's Bungles time again! I only caught the second half, and the Bengals couldn't do anything right. Given the final score, I'm guessing that was the story of the first half, too. Andy Dalton spent the whole second half on his ass staring at the sky, when he wasn't getting picked off or watching Ray Rice run all over his defense when Joe Flacco wasn't picking them apart. Bad weekend for Ohio.

05 September 2012

2012 Week 1 Picks

Eagles at Browns: Eagles of course. This should be an easy win. Trust the Eagles to make it harder than it has to be, of course, but there's no excuse. They have to win the easy games this year, and if they blow this one, they might want to think about relocating to Cleveland. Permanently.

Cowboys at Giants: Giants. And more drama in Dallas. Also, the sun rose in the east this morning.

Colts at Bears: Bears. Rumor has it Brian Urlacher might not play, which would be a shame. Gotta let Andrew Luck know what he's in for, right?

Rams at Lions: Lions. Everyone's 0-0, and the Rams are still one of the worst teams in football.

Dolphins at Texans: Texans. Except for the Dolphins.

Falcons at Chiefs: Falcons. Oy, and the Chiefs.

Jaguars at Vikings: Jaguars. Blaine Gabbert HAS to be better this year, right?

Redskins at Saints: Poor RG3. What a lousy way to start your NFL career. Saints.

Bills at Jets: Bills. How long do you think it will take Jets fans to erect a billboard to Tim Tebow along 95?

Patriots at Titans: Patriots.

Seahawks at Cardinals: Cards? Who knows? Who cares? It's the first week, and it's already nearly a lock that these teams will be bottom feeders.

49ers at Packers: Now this is gonna be a game. I'm calling the Pack. despite my contention that the 49ers will win their division, because, come on, they aren't going to lose their home opener.

Panthers at Buccaneers: Panthers. Looking for a good year from Cam Newton.

Steelers at Broncos: Broncos. Unless someone knocks down Peyton a few times, because The Peyton does not care to be knocked down, of course.

Bengals at Ravens: Ravens.

Chargers at Raiders: Raiders. It's my upset pick.

04 September 2012

Preseason Picks, Hot Off the Electrons

Because, I mean, really, what's hot off the presses these days that's not a dying industry?

You know the drill. I make preseason picks right before the season starts based on scant information, then in January, I check back and rank on myself for doing a bad job. Fun for the whole family.

AFC East

Patriots, not so much because they're great. I mean, they still have Tom Brady and all, but the cast of characters around him is looking a little thin these days. But the rest of the division is terrible. The Bills? They were 6-10 last year, which could earn them the #2 spot in the division this year. Yep, it's that bad. The Jets? Well, they now have TWO quarterbacks who can't play the position. The Dolphins? I'm starting to think that being featured on Hard Knocks is like the Madden Curse, only worse.

AFC North

Ravens. Most of the pieces are still in place from last year, the Steelers are still an aging team, last year for the Bengals was a fluke, and the Browns? They're still the Browns.

AFC South

Texans. Again, most of the pieces are still in place from last year, and I think they get at least one more year to make something happen before Andrew Luck figures out the pro game.

AFC West

I think the Chargers step up again this year. I know most people are picking the Broncos, but I don't think Peyton Manning is going to last long. I didn't think he'd ever play football again after the neck surgery, and he's sure as hell not used to getting hit. Ever. Welcome to the NFL, buddy.

AFC Wildcard

Raiders and Steelers. The Steelers may be old, but they're not dead. And the Raiders? I have a good feeling, based on zero evidence. Also, the AFC competition isn't exactly brutal this year.

NFC East

It's going to come down to the Giants and the Eagles for sure. The Cowboys remain punks, and, while the Skins may be on a upswing, they're at the very start of it this year. I have to go with my boys, of course, but I wouldn't be shocked to see both teams in the postseason.

NFC North

Lions. Which is probably crazy, given that the Packers play in this division, but I always have to have one wacky pick. No, it wasn't the Raiders to make the playoffs. OK, maybe I have TWO wacky picks this year. Then again, everyone thought I was nuts for picking the Texans last year. Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

NFC South

Falcons. I think the Panthers will do well, too, thanks to Cam, but there are still too many missing pieces in Carolina. The Saints are battling adversity - it's adversity they brought on themselves, of course - and that usually seems to help them, but I think the "no real head coach for a year" hurdle is too big to clear. The Bucs? Tough luck with that division, kids.

NFC West

49ers. I don't know that we'll see them in the NFC Championship game again this year, but they'll get to the playoffs, not least of which because their division is TERRIBLE.

NFC Wilcard

Giants and Packers. Who could easily swap for the division with the Eagles and Lions.