Archive for the Football tag

Mike

NFL Week 7 Preview

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Evan: I went 4-1 going against my instincts last week, so we’re gonna stick with that system.

Seems like a good plan. Evan’s big week put him in the front of the pack. Ahad was a little too busy this week, he took just enough time to get me his picks.

Minnesota @ Chicago, Sunday 1pm
Evan: Instincts say take the Bears at home. Orton is coming into his own and the defense, while not as lights out as it used to be, is still capable of shutting anybody down. Pick: Minnesota
Mike: These teams have nearly identical stats against the run this year (ypg: MIN 73.7 CHI 74.3). I give Adrian Peterson and the Vikings run offense a slight advantage. On the other hand, the Bears throw for more yards but also give up more in the passing game. The Vikings seems to be playing right at the level of their opponent. You don’t want to do that in Chicago against the Bears. Pick: Bears
Matt: I don’t know what to think about Minnesota. They needed the bonehead play of the year (maybe ever?) from Dan Orlovsky to beat a weak Detroit team. Chicago has lost some really tough ballgames, and they are typically formidable at home. Pick: Chicago
Ahad: Bears

San Diego @ Buffalo, Sunday 1pm
Evan: Buffalo is playing as good as anybody in the league. It’s always difficult for a west coast team to travel east. The Chargers have been inconsistent this year. Pick: San Diego
Mike: My first reaction is that I’m not sure if the Chargers are any good and that I want the Bills to be good, which could cloud my judgment. The Bills only loss was 2 weeks ago to the Cardinals, which doesn’t look as bad as it did at the time. Plus, Trent Edwards was hurt early in that game. He’s back this week. San Diego had to play Sunday night and now have to head to Buffalo. Pick: Bills
Matt: Game of the week. Buffalo has had two weeks to prepare for this game, and Dick Jauron will have his team ready to go. Buffalo had been playing great in all 3 phases of the game until they lost Edwards and played poor defensively against the Cardinals. Buffalo should be able to exploit the Charger’s defense, but Rivers and the Charger’s offense should be able to put up some points of their own. Buffalo is awfully tough at home, though. Pick: Buffalo
Ahad: San Diego

Indianapolis @ Green Bay, Sunday 4:15pm
Evan: This is a whopper of a game. Indy looks like they have finally figured out how to play football again. Green Bay started off hot and has since cooled down, but the game is at Lambeau Field. Instincts say Peyton is ready to play again. Pick: Packers
Mike: This game is important for the Packers to keep pace with the winner of the Vikings/Bears game. Problem is, looks like Peyton and Indy are back and Rodgers is still a little banged up. The Colts finally won in Lucas Oil Stadium last week, that would have been my only concern. Their matchup against the Titans next week is much more intriguing for me. I don’t think the Colts are looking ahead to that one at all just yet. Pick: Colts
Matt: The Colts could get caught looking ahead to next week’s game against the Titans, but that doesn’t usually happen to a Peyton Manning led team. The key to the game will be Dominic Rhodes’ ability to run on the Packers D. The Packers struggled in winning against Seattle who was playing Charlie Frye at QB. Lambeau is not as intimidating as it used to be. Pick: Indianapolis
Ahad: Indy

Cleveland @ Washington, Sunday 4:15pm
Evan: I’m glad this game was included. Cleveland surprised everybody last week and the Skins have gone downhill since taking it to the Cowboys. Instincts say the Browns are a flash in the pants and the Skins re-group at home. Pick: Browns
Mike: Before last week there is no way this game looks even close. Can the Browns knock off another NFC East team? With the Redskins losing the the Rams they could lose to anybody. I think they bounce back. Pick: Redskins
Matt: The Redskins aren’t going to underestimate any team after the debacle against St. Louis last week. Cleveland showed up big time last week to knock off the defending champs. If Cleveland can get a similar defensive effort as they did against the Giants, they can win this game. Pick: Cleveland
Ahad: Redskins

Denver @ New England, Monday 8:30pm
Evan: Denver can’t stop anybody. New England can’t either. New England apaprently also cannot score any points. Cassel’s confidence has to be at an all time low. Pick: Patriots
Mike: Last week I was a fan of the Patriots and picked them to beat the Chargers. No more. I thought the team would get better under Cassel each week but I’m not seeing it. Pick: Broncos
Matt: I think Denver’s defense is slowly starting to improve, and I do mean slowly. There should be some points put up in this game by both teams. I would love nothing more than the Patriots to keep piling the losses on. It will be close, but I think Cutler makes more plays than Cassel. Pick: Denver
Ahad: Patriots

Eagles
Mike: Bye week for the Eagles, which is huge. They need to recover from injuries to Westbrook (should be back), Andrews (who knows), and Brown (haven’t heard anything). And what happened to Kevin Curtis? He was hoping to play against the 49ers but didn’t. I have to imagine he’ll be ready to go for next week. He will be a huge addition. The current batch of receivers have been playing well but he’s better than all of them.

Mike

Great Stories from the SI NFL Stadium Rankings

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SI posted their NFL stadium rankings today. The Eagles come in at #10 overall. They are hurt by their #26 ranking on Atmosphere. I’ve been to a few Eagles games at the Linc, it has a great atmosphere. I clicked on the ranking and found out what they used to judge atmosphere: Fan IQ and hospitality offered to fans of the opposing team. Hospitality? Really? If I’m judging a stadium I’d look at it from the perspective of the fans of that team. Doesn’t really matter. The real greatness of these rankings are the stories shared by people have been to each stadium. There are two questions: What is the worst incident you have witnessed against an opposing fan or yourself at the ballpark? and What is your favorite memory from a game at the stadium?

I didn’t bother reading the responses to that second one. I figured it would be a lot of playoff memories or great comebacks. I read all the worst incidents, I couldn’t look away. Check them out for yourself. What I think you can learn from this is that almost every stadium in the NFL has rowdy, drunk fans. The Eagles aren’t any better or worse than the others.

Here are some of my favorites (with some of my comments) …

Eagles: “I saw a little girl, about 10, get put in a trash can because she was wearing a Giant’s jersey.” Honestly, this one sounds pretty funny. I can even see it happening.

Colts: “We booed a little girl in the Punt, Pass and Kick competition who was wearing a Patriots jersey. Parents should know better than to dress their children in clown clothes.”

Chiefs: “Somebody hit a Raiders fan with a car … I clapped.” This one took me by surprise since all the others were inside the stadium I pictured someone swinging a car inside the stadium and hitting a Raider fan.

Broncos: “A Cincinnati fan was severely bludgeoned with his own trumpet after playing Charge! for the Bengals for three quarters during a game at the old Mile High Stadium in the early ’80s. I do remember it being annoying, but still. I was 5, and that is my first Broncos memory.” I enjoyed this one for the imagery.

49ers: “Traffic! It took four hours to get out of the parking lot.” Life is so difficult in San Fran.

Bills: “A Miami fan came and didn’t get pelted with beer until the fourth quarter. That was really disappointing.”

Bears: “A guy wearing a Barry Sanders jersey (one week after he retired) slipped and fell on the steps. There was much pointing and laughing.” This one is just funny, no fan-on-fan violence. They should lose points for stadium safety. Someone should inspect those steps.

Giants: “Watching a Jets and Giants fan pummel each other rolling down rows of seats over people. The Giants weren’t even playing the Jets that day, they were playing Green Bay in Week 2 of 2007!” I must say, I enjoy fights over team loyalty when one of the teams isn’t even playing.

Chargers: “We play the Raiders every year … take your pick of any violent incident possible.” and # “A Raiders fan was caught on tape stabbing a Chargers fan once at the stadium. After that, they no longer sold single-game tickets to home games against the Raiders. Yeah, I still don’t go to those.” The poor people of San Diego. All the comments are about the Raiders fans coming to town. Every team near Oakland or in their division mentions them.

Detroit: “It is the best incident for the opposing fan and the worst incident for me — the Lions taking the field before kickoff.” This will be better one day.

Vikings: “Just giving obnoxious people the glare … remember, we have Minnesota Nice.”

Browns: “An idiot Broncos fan in the Dawg Pound wearing a John Elway jersey was pelted with batteries, dog biscuits, beer bottles and other objects.” Is there a bigger insult than being pelted with dog biscuits?

Rams: “The last couple of years, so many visiting fans show up, they end up heckling the Rams fans.”

Raiders: Worth reading all of them, but my favorite is “A Raiders fan had a sock full of loose change, used it to club a Broncos fan and knock him out.”

Dolphins: “One fan punched another for drinking his beer through a straw. Not manly enough, apparently.” I saved this one for last because after I read it, the others just weren’t nearly as good. I’m guessing this was Dolphin fan-on-Dolphin fan violence, even better.

Many of these instances happened because the fan of the visiting team was drawing attention to himself. In my experience if you just sit there and cheer an appropriate amount when your team scores, that’s fine. The only place I wouldn’t go and cheer for my team would be Oakland. That just sounds dangerous.

Mike

NFL Week 6 Recap

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Cowboys and Injuries
Mike: Is anybody left to play for them? I say they don’t fall off much because of Brad Johnson. I think losing Felix Jones for a few weeks will be a bigger deal.
Matt: Losing Felix is a pretty big deal, even though he still doesn’t get enough touches over the course of the game. But don’t discount Romo’s value to this team. Brad Johnson will be a serviceable replacement, and his experience is valuable, but he just can’t do some of the things Romo does to make this offense go. Ball security will be better most likely, but I just hope the offensive line blocks better because if Romo can barely escape, Johnson certainly won’t. Pacman is now suspended at least 4 games, so this further depletes the secondary with injuries to Roy Williams and Terence Newman. I must say, I was kind of hoping something like this would happen to the team during this season, but maybe not quite to this magnitude. They were highly touted as being the best team and obvious Super Bowl contender, but I knew they needed some serious adversity during the season, and boy, did they ever get some. I just hope they can hold it together until they get everyone (mostly) back after the bye in 4 weeks.
Ahad: The offensive line is going to have to step it up. Johnson is a solid backup QB but I doubt he will single-handedly win any games. This information has just come across my desk … Cowboys acquire Roy Williams. How are they going to work that with the names on the jerseys? Are they going to use middle initials? The bye week can’t come soon enough for this team.
Matt: I saw that a little after my initial response. It will be interesting to see how he fits in with the team. Will TO embrace him? Or will he not like another receiver taking his touches? And Ahad, they are just going to have their last names on their jerseys. Adam Jones and Felix Jones just have Jones on the back of each of their jerseys.
Evan: Romo’s injury kills my fantasy team. I’m forced to choose between picking up Brad Johnson or starting Eli. The younger Manning’s performance on Monday night has me leaning towards Johnson.

Madden skipping next week’s game
Mike: NBC couldn’t just drug him and stick him on a plane? I want to see an E:60 on Madden, Kornheiser, and Blackledge. I want to know why they don’t fly and I want tours of their RVs.
Matt: I hardly watched any of the Sunday Night game, so I was not aware Madden was skipping a game. Is it the London game? I didn’t realize neither Kornheiser or Blackledge liked to fly. Ahad, you fit right in with these guys. When you get your RV?
Ahad: What else does Madden have to do during the week that he can’t have someone drive him across the country? Is it really that big a deal? I don’t like to fly, mostly because of the bad experiences that I have had on planes.
Mike: Madden will be missing this week’s game, I believe. Sunday he did the game in San Diego, the week before he was in Jacksonville. This week’s game is in Tampa Bay. Too many trips across the country. Chris Collinsworth will be filling in. What I don’t get is why he couldn’t stick it out one more week. There is no Sunday night game the week after, that is Game 4 of the World Series. Also, I’m not sure about Kornheiser and Blackledge having a problem with flying. I just know they both have RVs to travel to games.
Matt: Is traveling back and forth across the country really that taxing for Madden? It’s not like he is doing the driving. And why would NBC schedule games like that, unless the game was flexed? I don’t mind the use of Collinsworth. He is one of the best announcers out there.
Evan: This is a poor showing by Madden. What’s the point of having a pimped out RV if you’re not gonna throw some miles on it?

Cardinals
Matt: This team is actually a pretty good team. You could see how their defense got after the Romo, but if you can protect the QB, their secondary is quite lacking. I think they win the NFC West.
Ahad: The Cardinals seems to be putting it together this year. It really helps that the division is really bad. Once Boldin comes back the offense will be even better.

Falcons
Matt: I know DeSean Jackson is having a great rookie season, as are Chris Johnson and Felix Jones, but if Matt Ryan doesn’t win Rookie of the Year, it will be a travesty.
Mike: I don’t think DeSean Jackson has much of a case for ROTY and Felix Jones is going to miss a few games. Matt Ryan is the clear favorite.

Evan in Love
I loved how there were 3 game winning kicks within 6 minutes of each other. I love how I was cursing the Eagles for 2.5 hours as I was watching the ticker until they remembered they were playing San Francisco and decided to score some points. I love how the Pats suck. I love how Steve Breaston is coming into his own, I never minded him at Michigan, he was much more appealing than that Mario Manningham fellow. Most of all, I love how both the Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants lost.


Last Week’s Picks

Ahad Evan Mike Matt
Panthers @ Buccaneers Panthers Buccaneers Buccaneers Panthers
Ravens @ Colts Ravens Colts Ravens Ravens
Bears @ Falcons Bears Falcons Bears Bears
Jaguars @ Broncos Broncos Jaguars Broncos Jaguars
Patriots @ Chargers Chargers Patriots Patriots Chargers
Record (Last Week) 13-12 (1-4) 14-11 (4-1) 11-14 (1-4) 12-13 (2-3)

Scores from Week 6

Mike

NFL Week 6 Preview

Sports No Comment

Evan has decided that after 2 striaght 1-4 weeks he is going against his instincts. I had that idea 2 years ago when each week I was going 5-11 in NFL picks. Never did try it out, let’s see how it works out for Evan this week.

Carolina @ Tampa Bay, Sunday 1pm
Ahad: Who is playing QB for Bucs this week? It doesn’t matter; Carolina comes up with a big win on the road. Carolina is going to have a good year because the Eagles get their first round pick in the 09 draft. Pick: Panthers
Evan: I haven’t lost picking the Bucs this year, and I’m not going to start this week. Tampa Bay never looks “good”, but somehow they are finding ways to win some games. I’ve never been convinced that Carolina is that good either. In fact, I think these are the same teams in different uniforms. Carolina has a better record and, so far, a better defense. Pick: Bucs
Mike: So this is 4 weeks in a row with the Bucs? The first 2 times I went against them and was wrong. Last week I picked them and I was wrong. I’ve picked the Panthers both times they’ve been an option and made me 1-1. I like that Garcia is back for the Bucs. Pick: Buccaneers
Matt: Hard to gauge Tampa Bay after last week’s showing in Denver. I am sure they are miffed about the loss. Carolina is coming off a shellacking at the expense of the Chiefs. Even the Chiefs beat the Broncos. Garcia being back will limit the turnovers from the QB position, but the Panthers got it going better on both sides of the ball. Pick: Carolina

Baltimore @ Indianapolis, Sunday 1pm
Ahad: Flacco has been named the started for the rest season. This doesn’t mean much because at this point Troy Smith isn’t going to come out and win the job. Indy needed a furious comeback last week to beat Houston. The Ravens defense will be ready for this game. Indy has yet to put everything together on offense this season and there are more distractions with the Marvin Harrison incident coming back into the spotlight. Pick: Ravens
Evan: Indy squeaked one out in Houston. The Ravens almost made me look brilliant last week until they had a reversal of fortune at the end of the game. I think Baltimore should win this game, so pick: Indy
Mike: Ahad mentioned about Flacco being the starter for the rest of the year. I like that boost of confidence. Openly supporting Indy at any point this year will only cause me pain. If they wind up winning, fine, Peyton is amazing, end of story. If they make it close and blow it, I will be angry with myself. Pick: Ravens
Matt: Baltimore has lost two tough games in a row, and the Colts are lucky to have any wins at all. Plus, they don’t have any wins at home yet. The Colts are soft against the run, so Baltimore should be able to run the ball and take the pressure off Flacco. Baltimore’s D is playing lights out right now. Pick: Baltimore

Chicago @ Atlanta, Sunday 1pm
Ahad: Atlanta has been a very good team at home this year. They have been able to execute on the offensive side of the ball. However, I think the Bears are a match up problem for them. Atlanta will try to run the ball but the Bears defense is built to stop the run. Special teams could be the x-factor and Hester gives the Bears the edge in that aspect of the game. Pick: Bears
Evan: Chicago > Philly, if Philly is < Atlanta, then I don’t know if I believe in the fundamental orders of the universe. Therefore, it should be Chicago > Atlanta. so, pick: Atlanta
Mike: Atlanta won in Green Bay last week? Well that screws everything up. I was fine with them doing just what they were supposed to do. Beat the bad teams, lose to the good ones. Chicago had a bye last week (also known as ‘played the Lions’) so they should be well rested. Pick: Bears
Matt: Good matchup of two teams outperforming preseason expectations. It will be hard for the Falcons to establish their run game against Chicago’s tough defense, but I am sure they will continue to bang Michael Turner into the line in hopes of softening up the defense so that they wear down later in the game. If Atlanta can keep it close in the 4th quarter, I like their chances, especially with Chicago’s history of tiring in the 4th quarter and squandering leads. The Bears will play their usual game on offense, but I think the defense will bottle up Turner and force a few mistakes from Matt Ryan. Pick: Chicago

Jacksonville @ Denver, Sunday 4:05pm
Ahad: The Jags are coming off a very tough loss to the Steelers. This team has yet to establish themselves as a physical running team due to injuries along the offensive line. Denver has a bad defense, but the offense has been able to pick up the slack and outscore teams. The Jags won’t be able to keep up if this becomes a shoot-out. Pick: Denver
Evan: Jacksonville should not have a chance in this game. Everything points to Denver. Pick: Jacksonville
Mike: Ok Denver, didn’t we have this talk last week? You were bad, remember? And Jacksonville, the Steelers didn’t have any running backs, that was clearly an easy win. Heads Jacksonville, Tails Denver … umm, how do I not have any coins? Pick: Broncos
Matt: Denver has a defense? Wow, where did that come from? I think it may have been moreso the Buccaneers ineptitude on offense last week, though. Jacksonville needs a win bad or they will further back in the AFC race. They should be able to run the ball and control the clock. Cutler should be able to play pitch and catch with his receivers all day. I think the Jags barely eek out the win. Pick: Jacksonville

New England @ San Diego, Sunday 8:15pm
Ahad: Both teams have underachieved so far this season. LT is not the same LT from previous years. Randy Moss has pretty much been a non-factor since Brady got hurt. Something has to give in this game. Rivers continues his strong play to keep Norv Turner off the hot seat for now. Pick: Chargers
Evan: Intriguing matchup. I wonder if, at midfield, they’ll talk about how they both got spanked by Snowflake. I like San Diego at home. Pick: New England
Mike: I’m still a Pats fan this year. I think the loss to Miami was an aberration. I use aberration so that I feel like a football analyst. I also don’t trust the Chargers with a pick. Pick: Patriots
Matt: The Patriots stayed on the West Coast this whole week after their game in San Francisco. The Cardinals attempted this strategy a few weeks ago except on the East Coast, and we know how that ended up for them. The Chargers are another team who need a win badly to keep pace, and they get it here. Pick: Chargers

Week 6 Schedule

Make picks on Ice Cream Helmet.

Mike

NFL Week 5 Recap

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Redskins/Eagles
Mike: I started out attempting to watch both the Eagles and Phillies games on Sunday. The Eagles easily jumped out to a 14-0 lead and I focused on the much closer Phillies game. From that point I stuck with the Phillies and only occasionally checked in on the Eagles slowly blowing it. Good choice on my part. I don’t know what’s wrong with the Eagles. They get their chances but don’t do anything with them. Now Westbrook has two broken ribs. If we can’t run the ball, we aren’t going anywhere. Haven’t I heard that before?
Ahad: I ended up DVR’ing the Eagles game so I could watch the Phillies games. I wish I didn’t watch that Eagles game. They started out strong, but then were completely dominated. How was the penalty flag picked up on the punt return for a TD? Have the refs never seen two players with the same number before? That was a terrible call. At first I thought Ed Hocculi was the ref. How does the team fail to put the ball in the end zone from the 2 yard line again? The Eagles run defense was exposed. The question is, is this an aberration or will this become the norm. Westbrook getting hurt was icing on the cake. Unless something changes, this team appears to be in trouble, with or without Westbrook.
Matt: I was able to catch most of the 4th quarter of this game, and saw yet another failure to score at the goal line. Where are the play action rollouts for McNabb? Ahad, I don’t think your run defense was exposed. The Redskins are just very good at running the ball and stopping the run. They did the same thing last week against the Cowboys. The Skins are going to be a force to reckon with the remainder of the season.

Steelers/Jaguars
Mike: I’m done predicting the Steelers. The image of Roethlisberger running for his life during the Eagles game made me think they have no chance if they have to rely on their passing game. They lose their top two running back and … win?
Ahad: Steelers games are never pretty. This team is hard to get a gauge on. One week, they look pathetic and the next week they look like a solid team. I thought that if this team couldn’t run the ball they would be in trouble.
Matt: The Steelers are a tough, tough team. They are getting by on good defense and some major grit on offense. The Jaguars are supposed to be a physical team, but I am just not seeing it this year. It will be a tough road for them to make the playoffs.

Giants
Mike: Since they won without Burress, does that mean he’s getting traded? He could be more trouble in the clubhouse than Shockey was.
Ahad: Apparently Eli has been saying that Hixon is capable of being a top flight receiver. If he keeps it up, plexi-glass could become expendable. After they gave him that contract extension, I just don’t see it happening.
Matt: How bad are the Seahawks this year, seriously? I am not sure what to take from the blowout. Considering that the Seahawks look awful, have the Giants really played anyone? The schedule gets tougher very soon.


Last Week’s Picks

Evan Mike Ahad Matt
Redskins @ Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles Redskins
Buccaneers @ Broncos Buccaneers Buccaneers Broncos Buccaneers
Titans @ Ravens Ravens Titans Titans Ravens
Steelers @ Jaguars Steelers Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars
Vikings @ Saints Saints Vikings Vikings Vikings
Record (Last Week) 10-10 (1-4) 10-10 (2-3) 12-8 (3-2) 10-10 (2-3)

Scores from Week 5

Mike

NFL Week 5 Preview

Sports No Comment

Washington @ Philadelphia, Sunday 1pm
Evan: Philly has to get back on the winning track. They will not overlook Washington after their performance in Dallas. I’m glad this game is in Philly. Pick: Eagles
Mike: Westbrook should be back for the Eagles. With him back and the team needing to bounce back after a bad loss in Chicago I think they win this one easily and get back to being talked about as a force at the top of the NFC. Pick: Eagles
Ahad: The Skins are riding high after a big win last again the Cowboys. This could be a letdown game. More importantly, the Eagles need this game to keep pace in the division. Pick: EAGLES
Matt: Westbrook being back for the Eagles is good news. The Redskins injuries in the secondary concern me in this game. Springs is out and Fred Smoot got hurt in last weeks game. McNabb should be able to take advantage of that. I do like the way Washington is playing right now. This is a tough one. Pick: Redskins

Tampa Bay @ Denver, Sunday 4:05pm
Evan: What happened to Denver? Were they never really that good? Their offense is great but they can’t stop anybody. Tampa’s defense should hold Denver to less than what they normally produce and I think they have enough firepower (barely) to put up points against a Prep School Defense. Pick: Tampa Bay
Mike: I’ve been overlooking Tampa Bay. I picked against them the past two weeks and got burned. I thought the Broncos were good before that KC loss but I’m not sure where that came from. The beat Oakland by a bunch, beat San Diego by a terrible call, and beat New Orleans by 2. Pick: Buccaneers
Ahad: I am still not sold on Tampa. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I think their QB is a bum. Denver needs to bounce back after the loss to KC. Pick: Denver
Matt: Tampa Bay should be able to control the ball and keep the Broncos offense off the field. Tampa’s defense should be able to limit Denver’s offense when they do have the ball. Denver’s defense is just offensive. Pick: Buccaneers

Tennessee @ Baltimore, Sunday 1pm
Evan: Flacco for MVP. Pick: Ravens
Mike: Flacco for MVP? He hasn’t seen a defense as strong as the Titans. Pick: Titans
Ahad: Evan, I didn’t know your last name was Jaworski. Flacco will be in trouble against this defense. Pick: Titans
Matt: There is gonna be a lot of hard hitting in this game. Expect several injuries. This should be a low scoring affair and whoever can run the ball better should win the game. Kerry Collins doesn’t have a good history playing against the Raven’s D. Another undefeated goes down. Pick: Ravens

Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville, Sunday 8:15pm
Evan: Pittsburgh has been real sluggish recently and Jax is the surprise loser team of the AFC. I think Pitt finds there offense in some beautiful sunny weather. Pick: Steelers
Mike: Who exactly is Roethlisberger going to hand the ball off to? Mewelde Moore is going to be the starting running back. That’s all I need. Pick: Jaguars
Ahad: The Steelers brought back Najeh Davenport this week. I’m sure everyone remembers what he did in college to get himself in trouble with the law. The Steelers are going to have to throw the ball more than they want to and that isn’t good when your QB apparently has a separated shoulder. Pick: JAGS
Matt: The Steelers are beat up, and now are scrapping to find running backs to hand off to. This looks like another tough, defensive game. I say David Garrard makes enough plays to get the win. Pick: Jaguars

Minnesota @ New Orleans, Monday 8:30pm
Evan: Welcome to thunderdome. Is Colston back yet? He’s on my fantasy team but he may as well not be. I don’t know if this is an upset pick or not, but it feels like it would be. Pick: Saints
Mike: Has anyone played a more difficult schedule than the Vikings? They are 1-3 and I would still like them if they were 0-4. I’m on the fence about the Saints. Pick: Vikings
Ahad: The Vikings defense will be able to contain Deuce and Reggie. No Hollis Thomas means AP will run wild on the non-existent Saints defense. Pick: Vikings
Matt: The Saints won’t have Sedrick Ellis either to man the middle against the run. It is hard to pick to pick against Drew Brees, and he will probably get his usual numbers, but Adrian Peterson and the Viking’s running game will rule this game. Pick: Vikings

Mike

NFL Week 4 Recap

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Eagles/Bears
Mike: Can’t get much closer for the Eagles. With Westbrook, this is an easy win. Missing Shawn Andrews doesn’t help much either. I expected to see a lot more Lorenzo Booker and even some Tony Hunt. Too many defensive breakdowns and an offense that never looked all that smooth cost the Eagles.
Ahad: This was a heartbreaker. Failing to score on 3 chances from the 1 yard line is unacceptable. I am hearing a lot of “we would have won if Westbrook played”. That cannot be an excuse. This is not a one man team. Jackson needs to get his head in the game and not make stupid mistakes. I am not just talking about the fumble. It was a terrible decision to no catch that punt which the Bears ended up downing inside the 10.
Evan: I only saw the first half. I went to bed thinking the Eagles would pull it out. I didn’t even know what happened until Monday afternoon because a guy got shot to death in a drug deal gone bad in front of my driveway. That event took up much of my morning. I’m not too concerned about the Eagles, although after seeing the highlights I got the same frustrated feeling about the play calling as I had after the Gator game.
Matt: I only saw bits and pieces of this game. Kyle Orton looked pretty decent in the first half. I only saw the highlights of the goal line stand. It seemed like they pretty much ran 3 dive plays in a row. Why wasn’t there a pass mixed it there? Or a McNabb rollout? I agree, if I were a fan, I would be upset with some of the play calling.

Broncos/Chiefs
Ahad: I picked Denver in my survival pool this week. My thought process was that KC is a bad team on both sides of the ball and Denver has been putting up points at will. Herm decided to give LJ the ball this week and he was his old self again.
Evan: Who didn’t pick the Broncos to win this game? I also did not watch this game, so I have no thoughts.
Matt: It would have seemed the Broncos were a lock to win this game, but their prolific offense wasn’t enough to cover up their swiss cheese defense. This is going to be a problem for them as they try to make a playoff run.

Redskins/Cowboys
Ahad: The Redskins played a great game. I fail to understand why the Cowboys didn’t give the ball to Barber. When did Andy Reid start calling the plays for the Cowboys? What is TO complaining about, didn’t he have 20 touches?
Evan: Very impressive job by the Redskins. Are we ready to say that the 4 best teams in the NFC are all in the east? T.O. is not happy with Romo, although I agree with Ahad that I don’t understand what he has to complain about, although I have never understood anything T.O. has to complain about.
Matt: I agree, the Redskins simply played a great game and outplayed the Cowboys, especially in the trenches. For some reason, the Cowboys haven’t been able to run the ball on the Redskins the past few years. They typically hold Clinton Portis in check, but he ran all over the defense in the 2nd half. I found out from my sports reading that there were actually 10-14 other run plays called in the game, but Romo audibled out of them due to the defensive alignment. Barber and Jones do need more touches, and they just didn’t get it in this game. Regarding the TO saga, I don’t know what he was really complaining about. Obviously, he shows his frustrations more when the team loses, but there was a 3 and out drive where all 3 passes went his way. Even though there was tight coverage on all of them, he could have come up with at least two of those. That is what elite receivers do. I don’t like the forcing of the ball to TO. He needs to get it in the flow of the offense. This should hopefully blow over once the team starts winning again.

Packers/Buccaneers
Mike: I said that Ryan Grant needs to get in the end zone. Let’s take a look at his stats against the Bucs: 15 att 20yds 0 TDs. Awesome. Waiting on stories about Aaron Rodgers being a bust after last week’s stories about him being better than Romo (is that an accomplishment?)
Evan: Don’t be too concerned about the Packers, Tampa is a tough to place to play and the Bucs were emotionally charged for this one, especially with the situation regarding their kicker.
Matt: I told you last week Monte Kiffin’s defense would give Rodgers trouble. The defense, especially Derrick Brooks, played a great game. And you had to root for the Bucs because of the Matt Bryant situation. It is going to be tough on Rodgers due to him having his worst game and Favre having one of his best games ever with 6 TD’s. And Mike, what is your beef with Romo? You don’t think he is one of the top QB’s in the league?

Ravens/Steelers
Ahad: I think Jaws has a major man-crush on Joe Flacco. It might be possible that he loves him more than he does Jay Cutler. It was very painful to listen to.
Matt: I didn’t watch a whole lot of this game, but I do know that these two teams beat the crap out of each other. Flacco has looked better than most expected. Will Roethlisberger make it through the season?


Last Week’s Picks

Mike Evan Matt Ahad
Falcons @ Panthers Panthers Falcons Panthers Panthers
Vikings @ Titans Titans Vikings Titans Titans
Browns @ Bengals Bengals Browns Bengals Bengals
Packers @ Buccaneers Packers Packers Buccaneers Packers
Eagles @ Bears Eagles Eagles Bears Eagles
Record 8-7 (2-3) 9-6 (1-4) 8-7 (4-1) 9-6 (2-3)

Scores from Week 3

Mike

NFL Week 4 Preview

Sports No Comment

Atlanta @ Carolina, Sunday 1pm
Mike: What we have here is a good Panthers team and an Atlanta team the might be good? That’s the impression the Falcons have given but have you seen who they’ve played? They easily beat the Lions and Chiefs. Look out, just give them the title now. What? They got beaten up by the Bucs? Well then … Pick: Panthers
Evan: I know Atlanta hasn’t played anybody, but I feel like maybe this is the team that will win some games against better teams for inexplicable reasons. Maybe its karma coming back around after the pitbullgate and mynameisbobbypetrinoimajerkoffgate. Pick: Falcons
Matt: I like what Mike Smith is doing with this young Falcons team, and they will put up a fight with the Panthers. Surprisingly, the Panthers have not played well at home over the last few years, so this should be a good game. Pick: Carolina in a close one
Ahad: I don’t think Atlanta is very good. This will remain my opinion until they beat a good team. Pick: Panthers

Minnesota @ Tennessee, Sunday 1pm
Mike: With Adrian Peterson improved from last week puts this game very close to a toss-up in my book. As I mentioned the other day, I’m excited about this Titans team so I’ll take them at home. Pick: Titans
Evan: I am not on the Tennessee bandwagon. I’m not a fan of anything football related coming from that state. I still like Minnesota’s defense. Pick: Vikings
Matt: Great matchup of similary built teams. It will likely be a low scoring affair with whoever can pass the ball better coming away with the win. Both defenses are stout against the run, but I like Tennessee’s secondary to shut down the Minnesota passing attack. The opportunistic defense wins. Pick: Tennessee
Ahad: A battle of two good teams playing backup qbs. This game will probably come down which quarterback avoids making the big mistake. I will go with the PSU connection. Pick: Titans

Cleveland @ Cincinnati, Sunday 1pm
Mike: This one looks like a winner. Derek Anderson is getting the start. How badly does he have to play against the Bengals to get replaced? He might be able to do just well enough to hang around the whole game. I think the Bengals have confidence after taking the Giants to OT. Pick: Bengals
Evan: Ooohio, the ultimate toss up state. The epitome of mediocrity. Right now I think the best football team in this state is Miami (OH). I thought the Browns would be playing much better by now. This is the week they get it figured out. Pick: Browns
Matt: You can just see the headlines on Monday. OHIO FINALLY WINS ONE! Unless there is a tie of course. Either way, this matches up two underachieving teams, but the Bengals played decent and showed some fight last week. Haven’t seen that from the Browns yet. Bring on Brady Quinn! Pick: Cincinnati
Ahad: A showdown between two bad teams. Does anyone really care who wins this game? The Bungals showed some life last week. Look for Quinn to finally get some playing time. Pick: Bengals.

Green Bay @ Tampa Bay, Sunday 1pm
Mike: I try to avoid talking fantasy in these posts, but can Ryan Grant please find the end zone? If the Packers are going to be a real threat, that needs to happen. I doubt Griese can match his 400+ yard performance against the Packers defense. Without Al Harris the Packers pass defense might give up a few more yards, but should reduce their penalty yards by about the same amount. Pick: Packers
Evan: Tampa had little business coming back to win that game against the Bears. I agree with Mike’s assessment on Griese. I like teams that are coming off a nationally televised prime time loss. Pick: Packers
Matt: This was supposed to be the Favre Bowl until the Jets swooped in and snatched up Favre. I think Tampa will be able to run the ball and control the clock in this game. Aaron Rodgers takes a step back in his progess after facing Monte Kiffin’s D. Pick: Tampa Bay
Ahad: Is Griese going to be able to throw the ball this week? It doesn’t matter. The Tampa defense doesn’t scare people the way it used to. I think the Packers are the better team. Pick: Packers

Philadelphia @ Chicago, Sunday 8:15pm
Mike: If the Eagles defense caused Roethlisberger so much trouble, what does that mean for Orton? McNabb and Westbrook are both banged up but McNabb always plays well when he heads home. My guess is that this week’s practices focused on Booker being in more of the Westbrook role so the offense doesn’t fall apart if he isn’t 100%. Pick: Eagles
Evan: Was Pitts o-line really bad, or can the Eagles replicate this every game? The Eagles offense is much more dynamic than what the Bears saw last week. Can’t pick against my boys (but if sexy rexy ever comes in, look out!). Pick: Eagles
Matt: Tough game to call. The Eagles are a little banged up on offense, so this should be a good defensive battle. The Bear’s defense just can’t run out of gas and give up leads at the end of games like they have the past two weeks. The Bears are going to need to get a running game going against the Eagles #1 run defense to take the pressure off Orton. If they can do that, they will keep the game close. I think the Bear’s defense gets a few turnovers in this game. Pick: Chicago
Ahad: This game could get ugly. If the Bucs had 60+ pass attempts against the Bears, I think Reid might go for 100. It doesn’t matter if Westbrook plays or not. For the record, I think he shouldn’t play. Look for Hank Baskett to have another big day, maybe his new lady will be on the sidelines again. Pick: Eagles

Mike

NFL Week 3 Recap

Sports No Comment

Patriots Loss
Matt: That was pretty ugly, but you got to hand it to the Dolphins, their creativeness on offense and ability to ‘throw the kitchen sink’ at Cassel was a great gameplan. Luckily, they have a bye this weekend and two weeks to get ready for their next game. Prepare for some roster churning and the possibility of a QB signing.
Ahad: I expected more out of the Patriots defense. No way this team should have been killed on the run like that. Look for them to clean things up for the next game.
Mike: Can Cassel be written off already? The team did beat the Jets last week. This is not a 16-0 team this year and even with Brady, maybe they were a 13 win team. Is there a QB out there that will make this team significantly better? I don’t think so.
Evan: One of the most fabulous things I’ve ever witnessed. Does anyone think the Patriots win this game if they have Brady? With the way Miami was running the ball, I still think they win, although maybe the score would have been 38-35. I’m sticking with my Bills pick to win the division.

Eagles D
Matt: Was it their D or a horrendous effort by the Steelers offensive line? Their D was overmatched against the Cowboys last week, but I assume they blitzed much much more against Roethlisberger.
Ahad: The blitz was key. Big Ben held the ball too long and the o-line was swiss cheese. I was surprised to see the Steelers abandon the running game and not use more 3 step drops.
Mike: That was fun to watch. I have no idea what to make of this D after the Dallas game. I think there was just something special about that Cowboys game and nothing can me made too much out of the poor defensive effort. My highlight was Dawkins looking strong on his flying forced fumble.
Evan: D was awesome, very excited about this. I watched the game with a Steelers fan, which made it even better.

Kiffin Saga
Matt: I hate it. Does Al Davis even know what year it is anymore? He looks like he is dying whenever they show him. Look, if you have been wanting to fire him, then just fire him already. If not, wait and see how the season goes, and make a decision at the end. I have had enough of the rumors every Monday that Kiffin is going to be fired only to hear the next day that he is safe another week.
Ahad: Al Davis is just trying to make some headlines. I think if he is going to fire Kiffin, just go ahead and do it. There is no reason to wait around. It only hurts the players.
Mike: How about saving the news stories for a week when he isn’t about to get fired? He hasn’t had a lot to work with on the Radiers. They lost this week on a last second field goal to the AFC East leading Bills. Was Al Davis pulling for a big loss so that fewer people questioned his decision?

Griese/Orton
Matt: I like Kyle Orton, and I always have since his college days. I think he is the right fit for the Bears. They just need to open the playbook a little more. That was a nice little redemption for Griese on Sunday, but he is going to need at least two weeks rest for all the passes he threw.
Ahad: Kyle Orton will not win the Bears many games. He is more of a game manager than game changer. The team will continue to rely on the running game, defense and special teams. I have never been a Griese fan. Eventually the Bucs will have to stop rotating one veteran QB in for another.
Evan: I don’t like Orton because he played for Purdue when I was in high school playing baseball under a coach who went to Purdue. By the transitive property of being run through killer conditioning workouts, I hate Orton. Also, I’m the only Grossman fan left, including his mother. But that’s just cause he’s a Gator.

Any of the surprise undefeated/winless teams
Matt: Tennessee, Buffalo, and Baltimore are winning with the same ingredients. Tough defense, good running game, and minimizing mistakes at the quarterback position. Denver is just outgunning their opponents at this point. Buffalo would seem to be the biggest surprise of the undefeated teams. Baltimore has played both Cincy and Cleveland, two of the current bottom feeders of the league, so don’t expect their winning to continue. Tennessee has always been a tough team to play. Cleveland to me is the biggest surprise as a winless team. They just look awful at this point. It’s time for a QB change.
Ahad: The Titans are a big surprise, especially with the QB situation. It looks like Vince might have a seat on the bench for the foreseeable future. I now have to root for them as long as Collins is the QB. Cleveland looks really bad, not Rams bad, but still really bad. Quinn will have to get into a game at some point, if Romeo wants to avoid the hot seat.
Mike: The Titans are the biggest surprised undefeated team based on what has gone on. I’m with Ahad on rooting for the Titans this year. Kerry Collins is my all-time favorite college player. As for the winless teams, not too much of a shock. Cincy sounds like they should be a good team, but all they have are a couple of names. Poor Trent Green. The Rams are trotting him out as starting QB this week. He better wear two helmets.

Last Week’s Picks

Evan Mike Matt Ahad
Panthers @ Vikings Vikings Panthers Panthers Vikings
Buccaneers @ Bears Buccaneers Bears Bears Bears
Saints @ Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos
Browns @ Ravens Browns Ravens Browns Ravens
Steelers @ Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles
Record 8-2 (4-1) 6-4 (3-2) 4-6 (2-3) 7-3 (4-1)

Scores from Week 3

Mike

Good at Pickem, Bad at Wager Points

Sports No Comment

When I created College Football Pickem last year I wanted something more than just one point per game. Confidence points were a little too much. I came up with the idea of Wager Points. Each person has the option each week to wager points on one game or split it up any way they wish. The risk being that if that pick is wrong, those points are subtracted from your total. For my group I went with 10 points.

I still think its a great idea, except for the fact that I’m terrible at it. For college football, through Week 4, which was this weekend, I have been wrong on every pick I’ve put wager points on. That’s -40 points. My total score for the season stands at -4. You might think I’m terrible at making picks in general, not so. My group has 9 members. The most correct picks in the group (just picks, not counting wagers) is 37. Two people have that total. Their scores counting wager points: 41 (1st Place) and 29 (5th Place). Me? I have 36 correct picks. I just have no idea which ones of them are going to be right beforehand. So while I’m only 1 pick behind the most in the group, I’m 45 points behind. If I would be even on my wager points so far, or just decided not to ever use them, I’d be in 2nd place.

I should either stay away from Vegas or go and bet every game. I think betting every game is the wiser idea. My win percentage is just over 50% and it would be more fun than not doing anything.

My method for using my wager points is to pick the two games I’m most confident in and then wager 5 points on each. I’d rather give myself a chance to come out even in the week than wind up losing 10 points off of one game. People in my groups seem to have come up with their own method. Some do the all in on one game, others wager 2-3 points at a time. I haven’t seen anyone go 1 point on 10 different games yet. Actually, that might not be a terrible idea for me.

For NFL Pickem I have the same setup. For some reason I’m a little better at that. Through Week 3, the games I put wager points on were both early games and I got those correct. That puts me at +10 for the season.

Mike

BF NFL Week 3 Preview

Sports No Comment

Carolina @ Minnesota, Sunday 1pm
Evan: Is Peterson playing or not? My whole pick rides on this situation. I like Carolina if Minnesota is sans Peterson. I don’t think Mike will let me give a qualifier though, so because of their defense, and it’s at home. Pick: Minnesota
Mike: Steve Smith is back for the Panthers. Gus Ferotte is starting for the Vikings. I think even if Peterson plays, he’s not 100%. Pick: Panthers
Matt: I really like the toughness Carolina has displayed the first two weeks of the season. Minnesota really needs to win this game, though. I don’t think the switch to Gus Frerotte will make much of a difference. Minnesota struggles some against the pass, and with Steve Smith looking at his first action of the season, I don’t see them stopping Carolina’s offense. Pick: Carolina
Ahad: It doesn’t matter that Steve Smith is back. The Vikings will be carried by their defense and running game, even if Peterson doesn’t play. Pick: Minnesota

Tampa Bay @ Chicago, Sunday 1pm
Evan: Which Chicago team shows up? Is Griese the real deal in Tampa (and how many times has that been asked about Griese)? I’m gonna have to go home state on this one. Pick: Tampa Bay
Mike: Brian Griese vs Kyle Orton. The Bears continue to somehow get by with what Orton gives them. The Bears D will give Griese all sorts of problems. Pick: Bears
Matt: Brian Griese has played in Chicago and is familiar with their defense. However, I feel like Chicago has been playing some good football, playing it safe on offense and playing tough defense. I like the home team. Pick: Chicago
Ahad: Tampa has all kinds of problems at the quarterback position. Chicago will look to attack Griese and show just how bad a QB he is. Pick: Bears

New Orleans @ Denver, Sunday 4:05pm
Evan: Denver is looking pretty sweet. Brees has not lived up to anything yet, and Colston is still out. Pick: Denver
Mike: Cutler tried to give that game away last week before getting saved by Hochuli. As long as Brandon Marshall and stay on the field (not suspended or in jail) then this offense will be very difficult to stop. Pick: Broncos
Matt: Neither defense has played all that great, so this will be a shootout. First team to 40 wins. I like the way Cutler is playing right now. Pick: Denver
Ahad: Despite getting lucky last week, Denver is still a good football team. The Saints are struggling on offense without Colston and Shockey has yet to do anything for his new team. Sean Payton might have a new contract extension, but he comes up short in this game. Pick: Denver

Cleveland @ Baltimore, Sunday 4:15pm
Evan: This is the kind of game that I won’t watch and know nothing about. I’d be mildly interested if Brady Quinn got in the game. Pick: Cleveland, I literally just flipped a coin
Mike: The Browns lost a hard fought game against Pittsburgh last week. The Ravens had the week off, thanks to the hurricane. This week both teams will learn a lot about their QBs. Is Flacco for real? Is it time for Quinn? I’m saying yes to both. Pick: Ravens
Matt: The Baltimore D is rested and ready for this one, but I think Cleveland will get the offense going this week. Whether or not that comes with a switch to Quinn, I don’t know. All I know is that Cleveland needs to win. Pick: Cleveland
Ahad: Cleveland has yet to impress me on either side of the ball. Baltimore’s defense will be ready for this matchup. Flacco does just enough to lead the Ravens to victory. Pick: Baltimore

Pittsburgh @ Philadelphia, Sunday 4:15pm
Evan: One of my students is a Steelers fan. We have a “wearing a t-shirt on Monday bet” going. I feel like Philly (both the crowd and the team) is going to be pumped up after that game in Dallas. Pick: Philly
Mike: I fear that after that MNF game and the Steelers playing in poor conditions Sunday night, everyone has forgotten that the Steelers are pretty good. I’m glad this game is at home for the Eagles. An away game could easily be a letdown. The fans should be pumped to welcome this team back and keep them going for a solid win. Pick: Eagles
Matt: I got all the information I needed about these two teams watching them play the past Sunday and Monday nights. I feel an Eagles win, and it may not even be close. Pick: Philadelphia
Ahad: I’m glad I no longer live with Dave because this week would have been brutal hearing how great the Steelers are. The Eagles showed how explosive the offense can be. I don’t think the Steelers can score enough points to keep up. Pick: EAGLES

Matt’s Extra Thought
No Cowboys and Packers? It is probably the marquee game of the weekend. As much as I feel the Packers may take this one, it is hard for me to pick against the Cowboys at this point. Romo’s first start in his home state will result in a win. Pick: Cowboys by a field goal

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