Friday, September 24, 2010

Week 3 Previews

Each week, hopefully, I will preview some of the key matchups in the NFL. I’m not going to break down all of them mainly because not all matchups are all that interesting. So if I didn’t pick your team don’t be sad; maybe they’ll make the cut next week. Oh, and you can almost guarantee I’ll be previewing the Dolphins each week because I am such a homer. This week I’m only previewing two games due to lack of time. Next week I should be able to deliver the goods.

Notable Sunday early Game: (Yeah I know, who gives a shit? Well, when I started writing this I was going to add 3 more, but then I realized I didn’t have the time. Plus, they are the local team. Sorry Raiders Fans, next week)
sfo  kan

Spread: 49ers-3  KC +3   Over/Under 36.5

This game should be interesting for a few reasons. Firstly, The Chiefs are one of the surprise 2-0 teams to start the year. Their 16-14 win over the Browns wasn’t much of a shocker, but that Monday night win over San Diego turned a few heads, and bounced one of my picks in a Last Man Standing league, assholes. Anyway, The Chiefs run game looks strong with the addition of Thomas Jones and the emergence of Jamaal Charles. If you play fantasy, you already knew about this though. The KC pass attack hasn’t looked all that good and I think that trend continues this week against the 49ers.

Now onto the 49ers, givers of football games. It seems like whenever I watch these guys play, they always find away to lose. Much like the Dolphins in their 1-15 season, or the Lions in their 0-16 season. Now I’m not saying the Niners are as bad as those teams were, but they certainly have that same giveaway mentality and that is disheartening for a potential playoff contender (So we were told, thanks ESPN), and it seems to happen every year since Garcia left this team. The Niners did however, look pretty good against the Saints on Monday night. Frank Gore was all over the field and Alex Smith didn’t look too bad if you can forget about the first quarter. But this team needs to learn how to finish a game without shooting itself in the foot, or genitals.

The 49ers are the better team here despite the 0-2 record. Offensively, they need to do exactly what they did vs. the Saints, run the shit out of the ball. If they do that and A. Smith doesn’t give the ball away, they should handle this Chiefs team. Personally, I just want to see Patrick Willis vs. Chiefs running backs. P. Willis is a monster and should be laying some wood down on these ball carriers. Niners should have the edge in this one, but you never know with these guys.

Sunday Night Game:

nyj       @         mia

Spread:  MIA –1  NYJ+1      Over/Under 36

The Jets and Dolphins never fail to entertain when they go head to head. There have been many memorable games over the years. I’ll focus the recent trends though. The Fins have won 3 straight against the Jets. It has actually been 2 calendar years since the Jets have beaten the Fins (Brett Farve Era), and there is nothing telling me that trend will change come Sunday night.

Both teams are coming off of very impressive wins. The Jets shut down Brady and Co, while the Dolph’s gave ESPN a week’s worth of Farve material by raping him of his youth, or was it more of an exploitation of his age? Either way, both teams looked pretty good last week. Fins fans should be a little concerned in the lack of aggressiveness in their passing game. They have only tried to go deep 3 times in two weeks, showing little confidence in their young QB. I’d like to see them let Henne loose a little bit more; it may even open up the run game. 

A matchup to keep your eye on: Brandon Marshall vs. Antonio Chromartie. These two have met on many occasions while they were both in the AFC West. Marshall has done pretty well against Chromo, but hasn’t had any huge days yet. He did have a monster 18 catch game against the Chargers but only matched up with Chromo times for 5 catches. Since Edwards will be limited due to DWI, it’s hard to say who he’ll be lined up with. It will most likely be Vontae Davis, who has had two great performances so far. So that will be a good one to watch as well. Another thing to watch is how both defensive fronts handle the run game. These teams are very similar in the way that they love to pound the ball, among other things. Ronnie and Ricky have had early success this year. They always seem to step it up when it comes to the Jets. In the last prime time game between these two teams, the power duo combined for 228 total yards and 2 td’s. Meanwhile, the Jets duo doesn’t look to shabby either. LT looks to be running with something to prove (I did hear accusations of a small penis) and Shonn Greene is a promising young back. This game will certainly be a fun one to watch.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 2 Picks

PACKERS (-13) over Bills
Oh Ryan Grant. What is it with my early round draft picks and injuries? Those of you who are part of our fantasy football clusterfuck will remember that I drafted Tom Brady in the first round the year Bernard Pollard smashed Brady's knee like it was hitting on Pollard's wife. Still, the Bills are pretty terrible (even though they somehow managed to hang in there with the Dolphins last week) and I don't think losing a starting running back is as important to the Packers as it is to, I don't know, say MY FANTASY TEAM!

VIKINGS(-5.5)over Dolphins
If this game were in Miami, with co-owners J-Lo and Marc Antony in attendance, I'd probably pick my team. However, this is on the road, and while I think the Dolphins will hang in there, I see them losing by 7-10 points. The Dolphins' offense strength is their running game, which happens to be Minny's defensive strength. This just doesn't seem like a good match-up and to top it off, if the Vikes lose, that'll be three in a row going back to the NFC championship game. I can't imagine that happening, even though Brett Favre looked like Brett Michaels against the Saints defense.

FALCONS (-6.5) over Cards
Ah, yet another real-life team that is screwing with my fantasy team. Bennie Wells looked like a great pick in the third round as he was poised to "break out" this year. Mmm Hmm. He's injured, plus they like Hightower catching passes out of the backfield, so now he looks like a massive reach in the third round. Anyway, the Falcons hung in tough with the tough Pitt defense on the road and nearly pulled out a victory. That Cards/Rams game was a pretty convincing argument that the Cards are not good. In fact, it's hard to figure out who the "good team" is going to be from the NFC West. I feel bad for Larry Fitz, and all the people who drafted him too early in their fantasy draft. Derek Anderson can't hit the broadside of Tony Siragusa.

Ravens(-2.5) over BENGALS
I really dislike the Bengals. When are we going to admit that the Carson Palmer ship set sail when he knee was destroyed in their first round playoff lose a couple of years ago? He looked bad against the Pats in week one, and he's supposed to have all these weapons. His stats are actually misleading because he got a bunch of his yards in garbage time, just like Ochocinco. Mr. Chad was pretty good on "The League" season premiere, but no doubt not as good as he thought he was. Taco still rules.

Chiefs (+2) over BROWNS
How about them Chiefs? They looked feisty on Monday Night, and they are starting to have the look of a team that could sneak up and take a weak division with a 9-7 finish. They have weapons and I still think Matt Cassell may be a serviceable NFL QB. With JaAmal Charles running the ball, Cassell will have less pressure on him to make big plays. Their defense looked pretty solid, and their special teams changed the complexion of the Chargers game. I'm probably overreacting to that performance, but I think they're going undefeated this year.

By the way, Cleveland, I'm sorry. I don't know what you did, but the sport's world hates you.

Bears (+7.5) over COWBOYS
The Cowboys are not good. They haven't been in years. Over the past ten years, they are 82-78, yet they are always in the top five teams favored to go to the Super Bowl. They're woefully overrated, and even though Romo puts up big Fantasy numbers (usually) he still seems to have trouble in the big moments. The Cowboys may win this game, but I think it'll be by a field goal, not by a TD plus a field goal. Hence, we go with the Bears here, even though it's very possible Jay Cutler doesn't really know what team he plays for and just throws it to whoever is open, regardless of jersey color.

TITANS (-5) over Steelers
Chris Johnson seemed to justify his spot as number one pick in nearly every fantasy draft by busting a big run and going over a hundred yards easily. What's that? They were playing the Raiders? Hmm...though that gives me pause, it seems that the Vince Young/CJ2K combo is going to be driving defenses crazy for the rest of the year. These teams have a pretty interesting history (remember when the Titans disrespected the Steelers extremely high-class accessory - a dirty yellow towel?), but the Titans seem to have the upperhand right now, unless Jeff Fisher decides that Vince Young should throw the ball 39 times in this game. He won't do that. He's not Andy Reid.

PANTHERS (-3.5) over Bucs
Ugh. The NFC south is almost as disgusting as the NFC west, except they happen to have the super bowl champ. I think the Panthers will control the game with their running game and bubble screens to Steve Smith. At least that's what would happen if Steve Alavi replaced John Fox as coach for the week.

Eagles (-6.5) over LIONS
Good God, as someone who loves dogs, I can't believe I'm saying this, but Michael Vick looked really good against the Packers last week, who happened to be 2009's top defense. The poor, poor Lions were clearly robbed by a shitty, shitty, rule against the Bears, but come on Calvin Johnson! You're a freak of nature! You have the skills to be a hall of fame receiver. I know it sucks being on the Lions, but always remember that you are on the Lions! Don't casually drop the ball on the ground after you catch a touchdown pass. I can't imagine what it's like to root for Detroit. I guess it's like the year the Dolphins went 1-15, but over and over again, like "Groundhog Day."

BRONCOS (-3.5) over Seahawks
Broncos at home are a different beast than on the road. Also, I have the sneaking suspicion that the Seahawks played way over their heads last week and are destined to come back down to earth this week. A very possible scenario involves the 49ers blowing out the Seahawks when they play in San Fran. Man, the NFC WEST!

RAIDERS (-3.5) over Rams
The Raiders looked just as bad as we thought they would, and maybe even worse against the Titans. Still, I can't think of a single reason I would take the Rams on the road. Maybe if the Raiders were giving a touchdown, I'd think about it, but with the line at 3.5, I think the smart play is to go with the Raiders. Is Jason Campbell any good? This year is his last chance to prove that he can be a starting QB in the NFL. After this, he's doomed to back up status for the remainder of his career, and possibly in the afterlife, if they have football in Raider heaven. Did I mention one of my wife's best friends is a Raiderette?

Jaguars (+7) over CHARGERS
I hate Philip Rivers. For a while I thought he was a fiery competitor, but now I just think he's a petulant brat. I think the Jaguars might be a kind of o.k. team, and considering that the Chargers struggle early in the season, I'm taking the points. I don't think the line should be this high.

REDSKINS (+3) over Texans
Classic opportunity for a letdown game following the big win versus the Colts for the Texans. We've yet to seen how they respond to such success, and the Redskins were able to spoil the Cowboys first game. Yes, I said the Cowboys were bad, but the Redskins have all this weird potential and energy swirling around them. McNabb is still a great QB, and I'm still afraid to pick Schaub on the road against a good team (yes, I think the Redskins are pretty good.) And without Foster's 573 rushing yards (there's no way he's doing that again this week), the Texans are going to get into a shoot out with the Skin's and their secondary didn't look particularly good giving up over 400 yards to Peyton last week.

COLTS (-5) over Giants
Really? The Giants are favored by five over the super bowl runner up? The Colts don't do this. Just like the Vikes, it's hard to imagine them losing three games in a row. And while the Giants seems to be a solid team, Eli's three INTs last week do not bode well for the Giants offense. I think big brother beats little brother this week.

Pats (-3) over JETS
Was it ever sweet to see the Jets fail against the Ravens on Monday Night Football. The Jets talk a lot, Rex Ryan talks a lot and eats a lot and cusses a lot, but it remains to be seen if he can coach a lot. If one team talks that much smack, and loses, it just makes them seem all the more pathetic. The Pats never talk. They just play and win. Fuck the Jets.

Saints (-5) over NINERS
I don't have to explain this.

Last week: 9-6-1
Season: 9-6-1

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The New York Hype Train Has Brakes

The Jets and Ravens squared off on Monday night in what most considered would be a low scoring rape fest, littered with big hits and big mouths (Rex Ryan). Most football fans were not disappointed (Except Jets fans). I certainly wasn't. The Jets offense looked terrible and incompetent. They were horrible on third down and played exactly the way I and many many more people thought they would. Shitty.

On the other hand, the Ravens didn't look so hot on offense either, but at least they had some promising passing plays, which leads one to believe good things are on their way for this team. Oh yeah, and they have Ray Lewis, the original conductor of the Rape Train; which as you know, has no breaks. They also got a steal in Houshmanzadeh and Boldin looked good too. The Ravens and Jets are essentially the same team, it's just that Flacco and company look a bit better on the offensive side and they kill people. Anyway, it's nice to the Jets with all their talk, at 0-1 to start the year. Looking ahead they have NE next week and then they go to Miami in week 3 for a Sunday night show down!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Week One Picks (Made on Wednesday)

SAINTS (-5) over Vikings

This season should be a good one for me for the following two reasons:
1) The Packers look great. Experts and casual fans alike are fawning over their exceptional preseason, and who can blame them? They’re putting up a lot of points, they had the top-ranked defense last year, and Aaron Rodgers is the next elite QB – that is if you don’t already think he is an elite QB. I think that anyone who watches football at my house this year will hear a lot of screams of joy from my wife. That sounded weird.

2) The Vikings look terrible. Aside from the unfortunate Sidney Rice injury, Favre is a year older with a bum ankle, and they only have three CBs. This is something that most teams would consider to be a problem. Will they run the ball and stop the run? Certainly, but it takes more than that to win a division with the Packers in it. And Sarah hates the Vikings the way that I’m supposed to hate the Giants. She understands rivalry. She hates anything purple.
Anyway, I expect the Saints to put up 35 by half-time and then cruise to victory in the second half. I have a really bad feeling about this Vikings team, and that makes me happy.

Panthers (+7) over GIANTS
Man, I miss Jake Delhomme already, don’t you? I love watching a game with this question in the back of my mind: “How many interceptions does he have to throw before Fox benches him? 3? 6? 12? I honestly have no idea.” I’ll miss that. As for the actual pick, I’m not sold that the Giants are a top-tier team yet. They did fairly well last year, but I’m not sure where the improvement is going to come from. They have essentially the same core they had last year, and I have the feeling that Eli is about as good as he’s ever going to be. Tom Coughlin looks like Emperor Palpatine. Just sayin’.

Packers (-3) over EAGLES
Let me clear this up: I think the Eagles are going to be a good team (again) this year. I still like their defense and as long as Kolb can manage to NOT throw 4 interceptions a game, I think their running back committee should be able to keep them in a lot of games. Not this game though, and I’m a little shocked that the Packers are only a 3 point favorite, given the amount of preseason hype they’ve accumulated. It almost seems like the kiss of death to receive so much praise before the season even starts, but it’s not that far-fetched, considering that the Packers were very good last year and lost in one of the most entertaining and ridiculous playoff games in my memory.

Dolphins (-3) over BILLS
Who is on the Bills? Is their QB still J.P. Losman? Whatever happened to Beast Mode? Unless the Bills are the Padres of the NFL, I have no idea how they win more than four games this year. I guess the Padres’ secret weapon was their bullpen, but I have no clue as to what the Bills secret weapon might be. Playing their games in Canada? The loyal Bills crowd? Their mastermind coach? Never mind, I don’t even know who the fuck their coach is.

Falcons (-2) over STEELERS
The Falcons are certainly better than their record indicated last season. The Turner injury was the breaking point, but if you look at the way Jason Snelling ran the ball after Turner was out, you can see that the offense line is still there. It seems like they made a classic blunder with a second-year QB: They tried to turn Matt Ryan into Tom Brady overnight. I have no idea what Matt Ryan’s ceiling actually is, but were I the Falcons coach, I would limit his pass attempts and pound other teams with my running game. I would also have a mistress on the side.

BEARS (-6) over Lions
Look, I want the Lions to be good as much as the next guy, but I need to see something from them before I start picking against the grain. Yes, I know Jay Cutler is horrible and Matt Forte killed an untold number of fantasy teams last year (I almost picked him with the second pick in the draft last year…), but I still have to believe that the Bears can beat the Lions at home on opening day. I know it’s very possible that the Lions have some sort of turn around this year, but I’m not expecting more than six wins out of them, and I don’t think their resurrection starts week one.

PATRIOTS (-4.5) over Bengals
I can’t get over last year’s playoff loss to the Jets. I don’t remember the last time I saw a playoff team look so terrible in an actual playoff game. Actually, that’s a lie, because I remember the Dolphins loss to the Ravens. Moving on.

Colts (-2) over TEXANS
Same thing with the Lions – the Texans need to show me that they can win these sorts of games before I start picking them to beat the Colts. I think this will be a close game, but I ultimately see only two ways this game can end: With Peyton Manning engineering a masterful last minute drive, or with Matt Schaub choking in the final minutes. Let me put it this way: Schaub is a better fantasy QB than real-life QB, if you understand my meaning.

TITANS (-6) over Raiders
The Raiders are going to be better this year, but you can’t ignore the way the Titans finished their season. After they started V. Young, everything changed for them. The running game improved (somehow! It was already brilliant), their defense started to clamp down, and I’ll be damned if Jeff Fisher doesn’t know how to coach. Tom Cable? Not so sure yet. I hear he throws a mean right-hook though.

JAGS (-2.5) over Broncos
The first in a line of games I don’t really even want to think about. I guess I’ll go with the Jags because their at home, but that line is curious. They’re saying that the Broncos are .5 points better than the Jags. I say both teams are bad.

Browns (+2.5) over BUCS
Yes! Jake Delhomme! Again, two terrible teams, but won’t it be fantastic to see Delhomme without the aid of Steve Smith, DeAngelo or Jon Stewart? I can only hope that his fantasy numbers are in the negative by A LOT, say minus 17.5, with five interceptions, 4 sacks, two fumbles lost and broken tear ducts.

Niners (-3) over SEAHAWKS
O.K. Yes, the Niners look very good this year. I even heard one analyst say that the Dolphins were “The Niners of the AFC.” I thought this was curious because the Niners play in the easiest division in the NFL while the Dolphins play in the AFC east, with three potential playoff contenders. Alex Smith and Chad Henne are similar, right? How about Patrick Willis and Chaning Crowder? Mike Singletary and Tony Sparano? Singletary looks like a football coach while Sparano looks like the stereotypical heavy drinking, polish sausage-eating NFL fan.

Cardinals (-4) over RAMS
I hate this game. I don’t want to talk about it.

Ravens (+2.5) over JETS
I don’t understand this line. I know that the Jets made an improbable playoff run last year, and that their defense is feared, etc. However, just thinking about the two teams, don’t the Jets just seem like a lesser version of the Ravens? Flacco > Sanchez. Rice > Shonn Greene. Boldin > Braylon. I guess the sense in the NFL is that defense wins and since the Jets defense was so dominating next year, they’re just going to continue to do so. And maybe they will, but the Ravens seems like a better overall team, and their defense isn’t terrible either…

CHIEFS (+5) over Chargers
Let’s take the Chiefs at home and see what happens. There are so many questions surrounding the Chargers right now, I can’t figure them out. It’s like trying to look at one of those magic eye pictures at the mall. Can they stop the run? I don’t know, but I know that Jamaal Charles CAN run. (By the way, note to Jamaal’s parents: What the fuck is with that extra “a”? Seriously? Don’t do that anymore. Jesus Christ, NFL players have the largest number of made up sounding names in all sports. LaDainian? Jahvid? Jermichael? Carnell? Just stop already.)

REDSKINS (+3.5) over Cowboys
Fuck the Cowboys and hope for big games out of Cooley and Santana Moss.