NFL: PLAYOFF RACE MAYHEM/WEEK #17 PICKS

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     I cannot remember an NFL Season that has entered the final week of play with so many questions unanswered and so many open Playoff Spots to be had.  The AFC Playoff Picture is a little more clear than the NFC, but not by much.  In the AFC, the New England Patriots have clinched the AFC East, the Cincinnati Bengals are the AFC North winners, the Colts the South, and Denver Broncos the West.  The only other team that has clinched a playoff birth is the Kansas City Chiefs.  No seeds have been clinched and home field advantage is still there for the taking.  So there will not be many players resting this week, or at least any whose team has a significant opportunity.  The Miami Dolphins, the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Diego Chargers are all vying for the sixth and final playoff spot.

     The NFC picture is even more clouded.  Not one Division has been clinched thus far in the NFC, and only the Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, and San Francisco 49ers have clinched playoff births.  The Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, and Arizona Cardinals all go into Week #17 needing a win to lock up the final 3 Playoff Spots.  And here we are, the second week without a Thursday Night Game, making Sunday the Number One Story of the year.  2013 still has a few days left and Sunday will be a significant day in many team’s 2013 Season.  There could not be much more hype going into a final weekend of a regular NFL season.

     There are also many side notes as we enter this final weekend.  Peyton Manning has a chance to add to his league record 51 Touchdown Passes.  The Eagle’s Running Back LeSean McCoy goes into the weekend in search of the rushing crown and is only 50 yards shy of an Eagles Team Rushing Record.  It was announced just today that the Packer’s Aaron Rodgers will make his first start, after missing seven games due to a collarbone injury.  The Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo suffered an injury Sunday that many are saying is season ending, but you and I both know the media drama monster that the Cowboys propose.  This should be one of the most memorable final weekends in NFL History.  So now with out further a due…my picks.

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CAROLINA PANTHERS (11-4, 1st Place NFC South)

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ATLANTA FALCONS (4-11, Last Place NFC South)

This game is a microcosm of how the 2013 NFL Season has transpired.  The Falcons were many experts picks to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.  My, my, my how wrong were they.  The Carolina Panthers lead the Division with one game to play and either need a win or Falcons loss to clinch the Division.  However; if for some reason the Panthers are upset by the last place Falcons and the New Orleans Saints can win, then the Saints take the Division Title.  On paper, this game is a huge mismatch.  Cam Newton has been stellar at Quarterback for the Panthers and has turned an abysmal start of the season into a tremendous run in the past two months.  Newton has lead the resurgent Panthers to the brink of a Division Win and a First Round Bye.  The Falcons would love to play spoiler in this one.  Every time I have picked against the Panthers this season I have been wrong.  So, I am changing my pattern and I am taking the Panthers to win the game and the Division.  They will win in comeback fashion 23-17.

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GREEN BAY PACKERS (7-7-1, 2nd Place NFC North)

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CHICAGO BEARS (8-7, First Place NFC North)

Here is a head to head contest where winner takes all and the loser goes home.  Its hard to believe that the Packers are a 3 Point Favorite in this game on the road.  The only reason that this game means anything is that tie that the Packers had a Month back.  If not for that tie, the Bears would have won the Division by default.  But that is a what if scenario that does not exist in the NFL.  The Bears were completely humiliated on Sunday Night Football last week against the Philadelphia Eagles.  The Packers on the other hand had another comeback win behind back up Quarterback Matt Flynn.  In order for the Bears to win this game, they will have to do a better job with their deep passing game.  Also, the Eagles were the first team to neutralize Running Back Matt Forte.  The Bears have the worst pass defense which does not bode well against a hungry Aaron Rodgers.  I have said numerous times that the Packers are the dark horse sleeper in the NFC if Rodgers could somehow come back.  Although Aaron Rodgers is back, and I do think this will make the game close, I am taking the Bears in an upset at Soldier Field.  The Bears win the game 31-28.

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HOUSTON TEXANS (2-13, LAST PLACE AFC SOUTH)

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TENNESSEE TITANS (6-9, Second Place AFC South)

The first meaningless game on my docket.  Well, it will not be meaningless if the Titans can beat the Texans at home, which would give the Texans the league’s worst record and the first pick of the 2014 Draft.  The Texans are the NFL’s most disappointing team.  Their defense has been ranked #1 almost all year, however, they turn the ball over and give up loads of points.  The Texans are favored by 7 in this game.  I am taking they Titans to win this game outright 17-14.

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CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-11, LAST PLACE AFC NORTH)

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PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-8, 3RD PLACE AFC NORTH)

The Steelers are favored by 7 in this one at home.  The Steelers have avery slim chance to make the playoffs but many things would have to go their way.  However, despite the ramifications, the Steeler’s coach said this week that they will not lay down.  I expect the Steelers to come out and play Steeler Football as they best the Browns 24-21.

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WASHINGTON REDSKINS (3-12, LAST PLACE NFC EAST)

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NEW YORK GIANTS (6-9, THIRD PLACE NFC EAST)

Ok, so this Division Rivalry comes into Sunday with absolutely no meaning.  There will not even be bragging rights in this one as both teams were eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago.  However, this is still a Division Rivalry and these games always have some type of meaning.  I do not see the Redskins just crawling in a whole and throwing in the towel.  In fact, last week they almost beat Dallas, which would have played the playoff spoiler.  The Giants look like they gave up months ago, which is not like a Tom Coughlin run team.  Nonetheless, the Giants are favored by three at home.  I take the Redskins to beat the Giants, handing them their first ten loss season in ten years.  The Redskins win handily 27-14.

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BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-7, SECOND PLACE AFC NORTH)

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CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-5, FIRST PLACE AFC NORTH)

So here we are, the last week of the season and the Super Bowl Champion Ravens are still in contention.  However, they need a few things to go their way.  The Bengals on the other hand, are looking to lock up a top seed and a first round bye.  If the Bengals can win and the Patriots somehow lose, they would get the second Seed.  This is a huge game for a team that was highly rated coming into the season.  The way that the NFL has been this season is crazy.  So because of that fact, I am taking the Ravens to upset the Bengals who already have a playoff spot locked up.  A win by the Ravens could possibly set up a game the following week in the wildcard round as a rematch.  The Ravens win 20-17.

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JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (4-11, THIRD PLACE AFC SOUTH)

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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (10-5, FIRST PLACE AFC SOUTH)

The Colts who are favored by 11.5 Points at home in this game against the hapless Jaguars have been quiet beast in the AFC.  The Colts have beat the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, and Kansas City Chiefs all of who are top Playoff Teams.  The Colts are also in search of a First Round Bye and a win would go pretty far in helping their cause.  I say that Andrew Luck does not need any luck and they beat the Jags 34-20.

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NEW YORK JETS (7-8, THIRD PLACE AFC EAST)

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MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-7, SECOND PLACE AFC EAST)

The Miami Dolphins come into this Divisional Game needing a win to have a shot at the playoffs.  The Dolphins beat the jets in New York last month, but have been extremely inconsistent.  The Dolphins need a win and a few other teams to lose to make the wild card round.  Ryan Tannehill has been superb most of the year but his playing status is in question due to an injury.  The Dolphins are favored by 5.  Although, it would be a nice conclusion for Rex Ryan and the boys to get to .500, the Fish win this game and sneak into the playoffs.  The Dolphins win 23-20.

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DETROIT LIONS (7-8, THIRD PLACE NFC NORTH)

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MINNESOTA VIKINGS (4-10-1, LAST PLACE NFC NORTH)

Wow, a month ago the Lions had a comfortable lead on the NFC North and looked like a playoff lock.  However, this team has totally collapsed.  They have one of the most potent offenses in the league but cannot put teams away.  The game a few weeks in Philly in the snow really seemed to be the turning point.  The Lions were 7-5, beating the Eagles and well on their way to 8-5.  Now, three straight losses coupled with Packers and Bear’s wins has knocked them out of playoff contention.  The Lions are favored by 5 in this one but not much matters.  The biggest story will be if Adrian Peterson can come back from that horrifying injury and finish out the season.  The Vikings win 27-20.

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BUFFALO BILLS (6-9, LAST PLACE AFC EAST)

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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11-4, FIRST PLACE AFC EAST)

Once again, another game with huge playoff implications.  The Bills have been a door mat for the most part this season.  The Patriots need a win to lock up home field advantage and a bye in this one so Im sure Bellicheck will have the troops ready.  The loss of Gronkowski has put a weakness in the Patriots armor.  Even though the Bills have had some upsets this season and have a chance to play spoiler, I see the Pats winning this one and locking up a Bye.  The Patriots win 28-20.

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TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-11, LAST PLACE NFC SOUTH)

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NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-5, SECOND PLACE NFC SOUTH)

Wow, the two bottom feeders of the NFC South have a chance to play spoiler against the Saints and Panthers.  Well, I do not see this happening this week.  Drew Brees is on a mission this season.  He is tired of hearing about Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.  He wants to show the NFL that he is still a force in the league.  The Saints roll over the dead Bucs 38-21.

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DENVER BRONCOS (12-3, FIRST PLACE AFC WEST)

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OAKLAND RAIDERS ( 4-11, LAST PLACE AFC WEST)

The Broncos go up big in the first half and rest their starters the rest of the way.  A win gives the Broncos Home Field throughout the playoffs and a week 1 Bye.  The Raiders have struggled against good offenses all year and the Broncos are averaging 38 Points per Game.  Peyton adds to his record stats and the Broncos are well inn their way.  Broncos win 35-24, as the game is much closer after Denver decides to rest their starters.

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SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (11-4, SECOND PLACE NFC WEST)

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ARIZONA CARDINALS (10-5, THIRD PLACE NFC WEST)

The Cardinals have to be kicking themselves for playing in the toughest division in football this year.  They have an extremely respectable record at 10-5 and may not make the playoffs.  The 49ers already have a playoff spot locked up and still have a shot at the Division.  If the Niners win and Seattle loses the Niners can win the Division.  The Cardinals can only make the playoffs with a win and Saints Loss.  The Niners take this one and make the Cardinals the best 10-6 Team to not make the playoffs in forever.  The 49ers 21-16.

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KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4, Second Place AFC WEST)

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SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (8-7, THIRD PLACE)

The Chiefs have locked up a playoff spot and really cannot move up or down in the standings as they will be the Number 1 Wild Card Team.  However, the Chargers can sneak into the playoffs with a win and thats exactly what I see happening.  The Chargers win 28-24 at home and sneak into the playoffs.

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SAINT LOUIS RAMS (7-8, LAST PLACE NFC WEST)

The Rams have tread water ever since Sam Bradford went down with an injury.  They have a chance to finish with a .500 Record.  The Seahawks have been very dominant and are favored by 11.5.  However, my story has the Rams upsetting the Seahawks at home and giving the 49ers the Division Crown.  With an Eagles win against the Cowboys that would set up a Seattle Philly game in Philly in the Week One Wildcard Round.  Call me a homer, I don’t care, thats what I see happening.  The Rams win 20-17.

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PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (9-6, FIRST PLACE NFC EAST)

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DALLAS COWBOYS (8-7, SECOND PLACE NFC EAST)

In August, if somebody would have told me that the Philadelphia Eagles would be playing on the last Sunday of the Season against the Dallas Cowboys, for a chance at winning the Division I would have said they were nuts.  However, here we are.  The Eagles have completely matured and bought into Chip Kelly’s System in year One.  The Cowboys have been inconsistent as usual. They do have that potent offense but their defense has been weak.  This game will be completely different than the one in Philly where the Cowboys won 17-6.  Since that game, the Eagles have won six games and are rolling behind a confident Nick Foles.  Tony Romo came up lame in the last game and there is a chance he does not play.  In my eyes, it does not matter if he plays.  The Eagles win the NFC East and beat the Cowboys 45-31.  There you have it my picks.  We shall see what happens.  No matter what the outcome, Sunday will matter up until the last buzzer during the Eagles Cowboys game.  Thats what makes the NFL the best.

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NFL WEEK #11 PICKS

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     Week #10 of the NFL season went nothing the way experts and analysts alike had predicted.  My picks this season have been average at best.  However; I never quit until the “Fat Lady Sings.”  My Fantasy Team has also underperformed up to this point and right now I am on the Outside Looking In.  Nonetheless, I am not throwing in the towel.  At 4-6, I have 4 games left until the playoffs.  Last season I was 4-6 and then won 3 Straight to go 7-6 and make the Playoffs.  I actually ended up in the Championship and came within 4 Points of winning the whole entire thing.  There are many similarities in this season for my team as last season.  Without writing a book, I had the 8th Pick of the Draft back to back seasons.  My Running Backs have been average at best both years due to injuries and poor drafting.  Megatron has carried my team both seasons.  And my last pick, the very last pick of the draft was a key contributor to my team.  Last year it was a Kicker; this season it is Josh Gordon.  Anyways, I am still in this thing folks.  Ok…on to more important matters and the real NFL Season.  Here are my Week #11 Picks:

 

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ATLANTA FALCONS (2-7)

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TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1-8)

This game is a Pick Em.  Both Teams have had extremely disappointing seasons.  First of all, the Buccaneers have lost their 1st String Running Back Doug Martin and 2nd String Running Back Mike James to season ending injuries.  Tampa’s Franchise Quarterback Josh Freeman was cut after an addiction problem.  The team also lost star Wide Receiver Mike Williams for the season.  The Buccaneer’s only bright spot has been a defense that cannot do it all without any resemblance of an offense.  Likewise, the Atlanta Falcons have been extremely frustrating to fans and analysts alike.  Many people had picked the Falcons to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this season.  In the offseason they added All-Pro Running Back Steven Jackson to an Offense that already included Matt Ryan “Matty Ice”, Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez.   Well, Julio Jones is out for the season with an injury.  Roddy White has missed most of the season due to various injuries.  Steven Jackson scored a Touchdown on his first play from scrimmage in game one and left the game injured.  He only returned in Week #9 and has been non-existent.  This leaves Matty Ice and Tony Gonzalez.  Unfortunately they are not Super Human.  Comparing the offense and defenses; Tampa is ranked 31st in Total Offense, having only scored 146 Points for an average of 16.2 Points Per Game.  Tampa is 30th in Pass Offense, 15th in Rushing, and 5th in Time of Possession.  Atlanta is not much better on Offense at 14th in Total Offense, 24th in Points with 186 Points for a 20.7 Average, 6th in Passing Offense, and Dead Last in Rushing.  Tampa is 14th in Total Defense while Atlanta is 25th.  Atlanta is 6th in Points allowed at 251 and 4th in average giving up 27.9 Points Per Game.  Tampa is 20th in Points allowed and 18th in average with 23.2.  Matt Ryan has thrown 16 Touchdowns compared to 10 Interceptions.  Tampa is going with rookie Mike Glennon who has thrown only 9 TD’s and 4INT’s.  This game is really dull on the outside but the Division Rival Aspect should rear its head.  I am taking Tampa to get their second win only because they are at home and the final score will be 20-17.

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NEW YORK JETS (5-4)

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BUFFALO BILLS (3-7)

The New York Football Jets are Second in the AFC East behind the Patriots and come into the game a 1 Point Favorite against the Division Rival Buffalo Bills, who are dead last.  The Jets are 8th in Total Yards allowed giving up roughly 326 Yards per game.  The Bills are 19th giving up 356.  The Bills and Jets are 16th and 17th respectively on offense.  So, the Bills have been disappointing as far as not competing.  In New York, Geno Smith continues to shine.  However, the Jets still are ranked very low in Passing Yards per Game.  Both of these teams can run the ball as the Bills are 7th in Rushing Yards and the Jets are 9th.  So, with two Top Ten Rushing Teams, we should expect a running game with both teams jockeying for Time of Possession.  The Bills keep losing Quarterbacks while Geno Smith has been a mainstay all year for the Jets.  Smith has 8TD’s/13INT’s and only 1800 Yards Passing.  However, he has contributed 172 Yards on the Ground with 3 Rushing Touchdowns.  However, Smith has been a game manager.  Another tough Divisional Game here and expect frigid temperatures.  The Jets will win on the road and keep pace with the Patriots as they win 17-10 in a low scoring affair.

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DETROIT LIONS (6-3)

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PITTSBURGH STEELERS (3-6)

At first glance one may think that this is an error.  It looks like no one proofread this game.  However, it’s true.  When is the last time the Lions were leading their Division at this point while the Steelers were in dead last place.  Well, that’s the exact scenario that we have here in Week 11.  The Detroit Lions have the 6th Ranked Offense rattling off over 410 Yards Per Game.  They are 3rd in the league in Passing and 21st in Rushing.  Matt Stafford continues to mature as a Quarterback.  Megatron has been better than Megatron if that can be possible.  Stafford almost has 3,000 Yards Passing already with 2,836.  He has also tossed 19 Touchdowns while only 7 Interceptions.  Of course, his favorite target Calvin Johnson continues to be an absolute beast with 53 Receptions for 904 Yards and 9 Touchdowns while missing almost two full games.  Then add Reggie Bush to the mix who has 623 Yards Rushing and 2 TD’s, and another 343 Yards Receiving and 2TD’s.  On the other hand, Detroit is only 24th in Defense while the Steelers come in with the Tenth Ranked Defense.  So, why are the Steelers so bad.  The Steelers are better than average on Offense at 15.  Well the answer lies in one easy word: Turnovers!  The Steelers are 31st in Turnover Ratio at -11.  This is not a recipe for success.  They really are putrid on Offense when you look at the numbers.  They are 11th in Passing Yards compared to 27th in Rushing.  This game is being played at Pittsburgh, which is the only reason that I am hesitating on my pick.  The Lions are favored by 2.5 on the road.  The Lions have an opportunity to add to their Division Lead and keep pace in the NFC.  I am going Detroit to win the game and cover as they beat the sad Steelers 34-21.

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WASHINGTON REDSKINS (3-6)

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PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-5)

I always promise not to be a homer and favor my team.  This should be another Division Smash Hit.  The Eagles rolled on the Skins in Week #1, but that was the first time we saw Chip Kelly’s Offense.  Nonetheless, the Eagles Offense may be even better now.  There is definitely more balance.  Nick Foles is trying to become the second Quarterback this season to toss 20 touchdowns without an Interception.  Oh yeah, guess who the other QB was?? If you said Peyton Manning you were right.  The Eagles are 4th in Total Offense averaging 413 Yards per game while the Redskins are 5th with 410.  Wow, thats extremely close.  The Eagles are 2nd in Rushing with 153 Yards and the Skins are 3rd with 151 Yards.  Finally, the Eagles are 9th in Passing while the Skins are 10th.  So on paper, these two teams are very close on Offense.  Washington has been a tad bit better on Defense at 27th while the Eagles are 31st.  The Eagles are 31st against the Pass, however they are 14th against the Run giving up 110 Yards on the Ground.  The Redskins like to pound the ball with Alfred Morris.  The Eagles have a positive Turnover Ratio at +2 and the Skins are Even.  This game will be a knock em down beat em down type Division Battle.  This time the Game is in Philly.  The Eagles are Favored by 4 Points.  I am taking the Eagles to win and cover at home, their 1st Home Win in 13 Games!!!!  The Eagles will win 35-27.

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SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-5)

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MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-5)

This game is one that I am having a hard time to read.  Both of these teams come in 4-5 and are in Third Place in their respective Divisions.  Miami is coming off a loss on Monday Night to the Winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  They are also still going through the controversy regarding Incognito and Martin.  This story was the largest one on sports networks everywhere this past week.  San Diego is only favored by 1.5 Points.  The Chargers have been very inconsistent.  The Chargers are 7th on Offense while Miami is 30th.  Miami is 20th on Defense and San Diego is 29th.  Both of these teams are in must win situations.  I was leaning towards the Chargers, but now I am taking the Fins to win at home 20-17.

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CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-5)

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CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-4)

The Bengals are first in the AFC North while the Browns are Second.  During the early part of the season, fans and experts had written off the Browns as they traded their Franchise Running Back Trent Richardson.  They also lost their starting Quarterback Brian Hoyer.  However, somehow the Browns have been able to stay afloat.  The Bengals are so much more Balanced this season as they are 8th on Offense and 4th On Defense.  The Browns are 5th On Defense, which is truly unbeleiveable while their Offense has struggled.  The Bengals are 7th in Passing as Andy Dalton is having a career year.  Dalton has 18TD’s/13INTS, almost 3,000 Yards Passing and is completing over 60 Percent of his passes.  The Bengals also have over 900 Yards Rushing and 7 Touchdowns from the combination of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovanni Bernard.  The rookie Bernard is averaging over 4.0 Yards per Carry.  Brandon Weeden has over 1100 Yards Passing and 5 TD’s.  Richardson has been a bust so far.  Josh Gordon leads the Browns in Receiving once again with 35 Receptions, 626 Yards, and 3 TD’s.  The Bengals are favored by 6.5 Points at home.  I am going to take the favored Bengals to win the game as well as cover as they beat their Rivals 27-17.

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OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-6)

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HOUSTON TEXANS (2-7)

I find it hard to believe that the Texans are favored by 9 Points against the Raiders.  The Raiders have been much better the past few weeks.  The Texans are really playing horrible.  They lost their star Running Back Arian Foster.  The Texans do boast the Number One Defense in the League.  I am taking the Texans to win but they will not cover.  Final Score Texans 24-Raiders 20.

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ARIZONA CARDINALS (5-4)

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JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-8)

Jacksonville managed it’s first win of the season this past week.  They are still the worst team in the league however.  The Jags are 32nd in Offense and 28th in Defense.  The Cardinals are in 3rd place in the West behind the 49ers and Seahawks.  Arizona is ranked 13th on Defense and 13th on Offense.  You cannot get more balance than this.  The Cardinals are also a turnover machine on Defense.  Jacksonville comes back down to earth as the Cardinals win and cover the eight points 28-10.

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KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-0)

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DENVER BRONCOS (8-1)

One would have to say that the Kansas City Chiefs are America’s Team at this point as the only undefeated team in the league.  However, the Denver Broncos have maintained pace as they only have one loss.  The Broncos are still the League’s Number ONE Offense.  Peyton Manning has been absolutely lights out.  Manning has an incredible 33 Touchdowns/6Interceptions and 3,249 Yards Passing.  The past three games he has played on two sprained ankles.  Manning is having a season for the ages.  Obviously, the only thing stopping Manning from a trip to the Super Bowl is his health and the Chiefs.  The Chiefs at 9-0 are the other story of the season.  Andy Reid has brought a last place team to first.  The Chiefs are the best team as far as Turnover Differential.  However, Reid’s run stops tomorrow.  The Broncos, who are favored by 7.5 Points, will win and give the Chiefs their first loss of the season.  Denver wins 38-24.

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MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-7)

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SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-1)

The Seahawks are the Best Team in the NFC.  The Vikings are one of the worst.  The Seahawks continue to dominate on both sides of the ball.  Russell Wilson is becoming one of the best Game Managers in the League.  Marshawn Lynch is an absolute beast on the ground.  The Vikings are using their third Quarterback.  Seattle wins big as the cover the 12.5 Points.  The Seahawks win 42-10.

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SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (6-3)

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NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-2)

The Saints are 3 Point Favorites on the Road in this one.  The Niners are still awesome on Defense.  Drew Brees is on a Hot Streak. The Saints win big at home 34-27.

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GREEN BAY PACKERS (5-4)

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NEW YORK GIANTS (3-6)

The New York Football Giants are playing the Packers who are still Aaron Rodgerless.  The Eagles beat the Packers pretty easily this past week.  The Giants are 4 Point Favorites.  However, I see the Packers beating the Giants 24-20.  The Giants remain in the basement in the NFC Least.

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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-2)

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CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-3)

When is the last time the Patriots were underdogs??  That has not happened too often the past few years.  However, they are playing the hottest team in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers.  The Panthers have been absolute beasts the past few weeks.  They are playing stellar on offense and defense.  I am going to take the Patriots to beat the Panthers 27-24.

That is a wrap of this week’s games.  Stay tuned for my Fantasy Advice and also my next installment of the Top Lists of NFL by Position.  Thanks once again to Intheneutralzone.com.  Happy Sunday Everyone!!!

 

NFL WEEK#1 RESULTS AND FANTASY FALLOUT

     WEEK #1 OF THE 2013 NFL SEASON IS IN THE BOOKS.  IT WAS A WEEK THAT SAW THE MOST CLOSE GAMES ON OPENING DAY SINCE 1970.  THE WEEK BEGAN ON THURSDAY EVENING, WHEN PEYTON MANNING PUT ON A SHOW AGAINST THE REIGNING SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS.  PEYTON HAD 400+ PASSING YARDS AND TIED A LEAGUE RECORD WITH SEVEN TOUCHDOWNS.  THEN ON SUNDAY, ADRIAN PETERSON WITH ANOTHER HUGE TOUCHDOWN ON THE FIRST DRIVE OF THE GAME.  WE SAW THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS BLOW OUT THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS.  NOW DONT GET ME WRONG, THE JAGS ARE DEFINITELY THE DOORMAT OF THE NFL.  HOWEVER, ANDY REID WAS IMPRESSIVE IN HIS DEBUT.  THE PATRIOTS BARELY GOT BY WITH A TWO POINT WIN AGAINST THE BUFFALO BILLS.  THE PATRIOTS ARE BANGED UP AT TIGHT END AND SEEM TO LACK THE STAR POWER THAT THEY USED TO HAVE.  THE MIAMI DOLPHINS SMOKED THE CLEVELAND BROWNS, WITH A SOLID OFFENSIVE/DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE.

     SEATTLE WAS BARELY ABLE TO BEAT THE CAROLINA PANTHERS, DESPITE A SOLID 300 YARD PASSING PERFORMANCE BY RUSSELL WILSON.  THE BEARS BEAT THE BENGALS DESPITE A HUGE GAME BY WIDEOUT A.J. GREEN WHO HAD 9 CATCHES FOR 162 YARDS AND TWO TD’S.  JAY CUTLER AND BRANDON MARSHALL CONTINUED THEIR CHEMISTRY AS MARSHALL WENT OVER 100 YARDS ONCE AGAIN AND SCORED A TD.  THE DETROIT LIONS BEAT THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS BY TEN POINTS IN A GAME THAT SAW REGGIE BUSH RUSH FOR 90 YARDS AND CATCH FOUR PASSES FOR 101 YARDS AND A SCORE IN HIS DEBUT.  MATT STAFFORD CONTINUED HIS ARM SLINGING AND CALVIN JOHNSON WAS PRETTY MUCH SILENT IN THIS ONE.  INDY BEAT THE RAIDERS AS ANDREW LUCK MANGED THE GAME IN PROLIFIC FASHION.  THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS UPSET THE ATLANTA FALCONS AS MATT RYAN AND DREW BREES BOTH THREW FOR 300 YARDS.  HOWEVER, THE SAINTS DEFENSE WAS IMPRESSIVE IN STOPPING THE FALCONS HIGH FLY OFFENSE.  

     THE 49ERS EDGED THE PACK BY A TOUCHDOWN AS COLIN KAPERNICK HAD A CAREER DAY THROWING FOR 412 YARDS AND THREE TOUCHDOWNS.  ANQUAN BOLDIN HAD THIRTEEN RECEPTIONS FOR 208 YARDS AND A TD WHILE VERNON DAVIS ADDED SIX FOR 98 YARDS AND TWO TOUCHDOWNS.  AARON ROGERS HAD 333 YARDS PASSING, BUT THE 49ERS WERE JUST TOO MUCH.  THIS GAME SHINES A LIGHT ON GREEN BAY’S WEAKNESS ON DEFENSE.  THE RAMS SAW JARED COOK CATCH SEVEN BALLS FOR 141 YARDS AND TWO TOUCHDOWNS AS THEY BEAT ARIZONA.  IN THE DALLAS/GIANTS GAME, ELI MANNING THREW FOR 450 YARDS PASSING AND FOUR TOUCHDOWNS, BUT ALSO HAD THREE INTERCEPTIONS.  TONY ROMO HAD A DECENT GAME AND DALLAS WAS ABLE TO ESCAPE WITH A KEY DIVISIONAL WIN.  THE EAGLES UPSET THE REDSKINS BEHIND THE NEW HIGH FLY “CHIP KELLY” OFFENSE.  LESEAN MCCOY WAS A BEAST.  HE RUSHED FOR 184 YARDS AND A TOUCHDOWN.  MICHAEL VICK WENT TURNOVER FREE.  AND FINALLY, AFTER BEING DOWN 28-7, THE HOUSTON TEXANS STORMED BACK TO BEAT THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS IN THE LAST GAME OF WEEK #1.

     OK, SO AS FAR AS AARON SAVAGE AND MY PICKS, WEEK #1 SAW MY RECORD BEGIN AT 10-6 WHILE AARON WENT 8-8.  STAY TUNED FOR OUR WEEK #2 PICKS AND ANALYSIS COMING LATER IN THE WEEK.  WEEK #1 SAW MANY CLOSE GAMES, A FEW UPSETS, AND ALL IN ALL WAS A GREAT FIRST WEEK.  EVERYBODY IS HAPPY TO SEE THE NFL BACK.  I THINK THE BIGGEST SURPRISES IN MY OPINION WAS NEW ENGLAND BARELY BEATING BUFFALO, THE SAINTS UPSETTING ATLANTA ON THE ROAD, THE RAMS BEATING ARIZONA, THE JETS UPSETTING THE BUCCANEERS, AND THE EAGLES BEATING WASHINGTON ON MONDAY NIGHT ON THE ROAD.

     NOW LET’S VISIT THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WORLD.  OBVIOUSLY, THE PLAYER OF THE WEEK WAS PEYTON MANNING WITH HIS HUGE PERFORMANCE ON THURSDAY WITH 450+PASSING YARDS AND SEVEN TOUCHDOWNS.  HE WAS ONE OF MY MUST STARTS.  ANQUAN BOLDIN HAD A HUGE GAME WITH 13 RECEPTIONS, 200 YARDS RECEIVING AND A TOUCHDOWN.  A.J. GREEN FROM THE BENGALS PUT UP 164 YARDS AND TWO TOUCHDOWNS.  REGGIE BUSH HAD 98 YARDS RUSHING AND 100 YARDS RECEIVING.  ANOTHER HUGE PERFORMANCE WAS COLIN KAPERNICK FROM THE 49ERS WHO HAD OVER 400 YARDS PASSING AND THREE TOUCHDOWNS.  SURPRISINGLY, ONLY SHANE VAREEN AND LeSEAN McCOY WENT OVER 100 YARDS RUSHING IN WEEK#1, ALTHOUGH MANY BACKS HAD BIG GAMES INCLUDING THE UNANIMOUS NUMBER ONE PICK A.P. WHO HAD 78 YARDS RUSHING AND A TOUCHDOWN.  FINALLY, JASON WITTEN HAD THE BEST START AT THE TIGHT END POSITION.  

     THERE WERE ALSO SOME FANTASY DUDS.  I HAD CALVIN JOHNSON AS A MUST START AND HE ONLY ENDED UP WITH FOUR RECEPTIONS AND A LITTLE OVER 40 YARDS.  CJ SPILLER HAD A QUIET GAME AS DID MIKE WALLACE FROM MIAMI.  I HAD PEYTON MANNING ON MY TEAM AND I STILL BARELY WON MY GAME AS THE REST OF MY TEAM WAS QUIET.  MY NUMBER ONE RUNNING BACK ALFRED MORRIS DID NOT REALLY MAKE AN IMPACT.  THERE WERE MANY OTHER DUDS OF THE WEEK.  THE JAGUARS WERE THE WORST AND MJD, MAURICE JONES DEW WAS NON-EXISTENCE.  STAY TUNED LATER IN THE WEEK WHERE I WILL GIVE YOU MY MUST STARTS/SIT-EMS.Image

NFL WEEK 12 RESULTS/ NFL WEEK 12/FANTASY UPDATE/ POWER RANKINGS

Ok well I am back from a very refreshing vacation away from NEW JERSEY and day to day life. Anyways, Week #12 in the NFL saw Aaron and I both go 10-4. The standings through Week #13 with 4 weeks left are Jason- 93-64/ Aaron-90-67. So with Four Weeks Left we are neck and neck so this is anyone’s for the taking. In the NFL, Atlanta continues to be the toast of the NFC and appears to be on their way to a Divisional Title as well as Home Field Advantage throughout the playoffs. The 49ers, Bears, Giants, and Packers are also contenders. in the AFC, Houston looks to be on the same path as the Falcons. However, New England and Baltimore are RED HOT! On to my picks for Week #13.

1)New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons- The last time these two teams met, the Saints won a close one at home. Atlanta is the best team in the NFC and they are trying to lock up home field throughout the playoffs. The Saints on the other hand have been on a role after beginning the season 0-4. The Falcons are favored by 3.5 points at home so expect them to win at home…paybacks are a bitch.

2)Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears- The Bears have been dominant on both sides of the ball and they are set up well as the colder weather arrives. They run the ball with authority along with a deep passing game and they get after the quarterback with the best of them. Seattle on the other hand has been good one week and bad the next. Chicago is favored by 3 Points at home so I am taking the Bears to win and cover.

3)Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers- The PACK was embarrassed by the struggling Giants last week and appear to be slumping at the wrong time. Green Bay is favored by 8 points in this one, which I feel is very odd being that Adrian Peterson is the leading rusher in the league and the Packers have struggled on Defending the run. I am going against the grain and say that the Vikings will eke out a last minute upset in this one.

4) San Francisco 49ers @ Saint Louis Rams- The Niners are back to playing consistently on both sides of the ball. The Rams have been playing much better as of late. The 49ers are favored by 7.5 in this one on the road. I say the Niners win but the Rams will cover at home.

5) Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets- Both of these teams have struggled and disappointed their coaches and fans after fast starts. The Cardinals are in a tailspin after starting the year at 3-1, and the Jets have been the circus of the AFC. The Jets are favored by 5 points in this one, and although Mark Sanchez has been terrible…they can run the ball. Arizona has been incompetent on offense. The Jets will win and cover.

6)Carolina Panthers @ Kansas City Chiefs- As if its not bad enough that the Chiefs are the worst team in the NFL up till now. Now they must deal with a terrible tragedy which saw one of their players, unnamed as of yet, murder his girlfriend in front of her mother and their 3 month old baby and then proceed to the Chiefs practice facility where he shot himself after coaches and players pleaded for him to surrender. It’s another sad, sad, sad day in the NFL, which seems to have the most tragedies as far as the sports world goes. Carolina is coming off their Monday Night Win against Philly. They are favored by 3 but its hard to pick a game under these circumstances.

7)Indianapolis Colts @ Detroit Lions- The battle of 2 Dome teams in close proximity. 2 Teams having different seasons. Detroit has been a disappointment thus far as Indy has been a surprise. Detroit is favored by 6 points at home but I’m Going with Andrew Luck and the Colts to win this one on the road to go to 8-5.

8)Jacksonville Jaguars @ Buffalo Bills- The Bills are favored by 6 points at home. The Jaguars are one of the worst teams in the NFL and have been decimated by injuries. The Bills have one of the most potent rushing attacks so expect them to pound the ball in the cold. The Bills win and cover.

9)New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins- The Fish have been better as of late and these games always seem to be close and entertaining. LOOK OUT…New England has put the league on notice the past few weeks…they are making their run. The Pats are favored by 7.5 in this one and I say they win easily and cover.

10)Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans- The Titans lost last week to a horrible Jaguars team. Houston is seeking the Division as well as home field advantage in the playoffs. The NFL’s most balanced team is favored by 6.5 points on the road. Houston wins easily by double digits.

11)Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos- Peyton Manning is the hands down COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR in the AFC. Denver has been potent in offense and their defense continues to improve. Denver is favored by 7.5 against the surprise Buccaneers. If Tampa was at home I would say they would cover, but this game is in Denver so take Denver and the points.

12)Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens- The Ravens are one of the top teams in the AFC after being decimated by injuries on the Defensive side of the ball. Ray Rice is the best Third Down Back in the game and their still Nasty on D. The Steelers are much different without Big Ben. He is one of the best leaders at the quarterback position in the NFL. They struggle without him. Baltimore is favored by 8 points and will win and cover at home in this one.

13)Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders- This is a battle of two of the worst teams in the NFL. Darren McFadden is once again healthy for the Raiders. Both of these teams are bad and Cleveland is favored by 2.5. I say Oakland wins outright at home.

14)Cincinnati Bengals @ San Diego Chargers- Ok so both of these teams expected to make the playoffs. Well, it doesn’t look like they will accomplish this fact. Phillip Rivers is having his worst statistical season of his career and the Bengals only bright spot has been Wideout AJ Green. The Bengals are also favored by 2.5 points and that’s a safe bet, Bengals win and cover.

15)Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles- C’MON….broken record. Well again…I have to do a better job of putting my players in positions to make plays. What is the over/under on the times you have heard this phrase leave Reid’s lips after a loss?!!!! Anyways, this will be the last game that Andy will coach the Eagles against the Cowgirls as he will likely be replaced at the end of the season. The Cowboys are favored by 10.5 points at home and this should be another blowout against a horrible Philly Team.

16)New York Giants @ Washington Redskins- RJ3 has been incredible…better than advertised. The Redskins will be a force to reckon with once they surround him with more weapons. The Giants broke out of their slump last week with a big week against the PACK. The Giants need this game to stay ahead of the Cowboys in the NFC Least. Anyways…The New York Football Giants will win and cover the 3 points.

Stay tuned to Aaron’s Picks later in the day. Anyways, as far as Fantasy Football goes my team has won 3 straight to go to 6-6. My best players have been Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Alfred Morris. The Giants Defense was my best waiver pick up. Aaron continues to lead the Division as anyone who has Brady always has a good chance to compete for the Division.

Power Rankings
1) Atlanta Falcons, 2) Houston Texans, 3) New England Patriots, 4) San Francisco 49ers, 5) Baltimore Ravens, 6) Denver Broncos, 7) Chicago Bears, 8) New York Giants, 9) Green Bay Packers, 10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bottom Feeders
1) Kansas City Chiefs, 2) Philadelphia Eagles, 3) Oakland Raiders, 4) Carolina Panthers, 5) Cleveland Browns.

*****More NFL NEWS to Follow******

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WEEK 12 NFL PICKS/ FANTASY START EMS- SIT EMS

Wow….It’s Week 12…Thanksgiving a thing of the past…3 good games on Thursday…Black Friday madness…insane amounts of shoppers and money spent. It’s Sunday, November 25th. A day before the opening of Buck Season in Pennsylvania…over a million hunters will venture into the woods hoping to bag a big trophy buck (Myself Included). Anyways…there are Four Games left in the season and playoff implications are on the line in many games. At this point…the race is on for the best record in each conference and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Now to Week 12’s picks:

1) Oakland Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals- The Bengals are favored by 8.5 points at home. Cincy is playing much better and Andy Dalton/AJ Green have been on a role. In contrast, Oakland has been terribly inconsistent. Their Defense has been suspect and their usual strength (running game) has been inept due to lingering injuries to Darren McFadden. My pick is the Bengals to win the game, but Oakland will cover the spread. Aaron on the other hand takes Cincy to win and cover and AJ Green will have his 10th straight game with a Touchdown Reception.
2) Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns- The Steelers are favored by 1.5, even without Rothlisberger. The Steelers are tough on Defense and will rely on their running game to control the clock. Cleveland will keep the game close, but the Steelers will win and cover the spread. Aaron agrees that the Steelers will win and cover, and he feels it will be a low scoring game.
3) Buffalo Bills @ Indianapolis Colts- The Colts are favored by 3 at home. Andrew Luck may be the rookie of the year in the NFL and is showing the team that they made a move in the right direction. The Bills get Fred Jackson back and have a great 1-2 punch in the running game with Jackson and Spiller. I’m gonna take the Bills to win outright behind their strong running game. Aaron believes that Indianapolis will win at home and cover the spread. He expects a big game from Reggie Wayne.
4) Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs- Denver is favored by 10.5 on the road. Peyton Manning continues to dominate the AFC and already should be cemented as the comeback player of the year in the NFL. The loss of Willis McGahee could be bigger than expected, though as he really has brought balance to the Denver Offense. Denver will win, but KC will cover the spread. Aaron and I both agree on this one.
5) Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars- The Titans are favored by 3.5 on the road. Chris Johnson has resurrected his career and the Titans have looked good at times. Jacksonville on the other hand has been the worst team in the NFL. However, the Jaguars are due and Aaron and I are both taking the Jags to win outright.
6) Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears-
The Bears are favored by 6.5 at home
and are getting Jay Cutler back. The Vikings are still in the playoff hunt, but Chicago’s Defense will be too much. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall will be back to the grind. Chicago wins and covers…Aaron and I both concur.
7) Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Atlanta is favored by 1.5 on the road. Aaron says The Falcons will win and cover. I’m taking Tampa Bay at home behind another big game by Josh Freeman. Atlanta is due for a
Slump.
8) Seattle Seahawks @ Miami Dolphins- The Seahawks are favored by 3 on the road. I’m taking Seattle, who continues to impress the league. Expect Marshawn Lynch to pound the ball and get 100 yards/2 Touchdowns. Aaron feels that Seattle will be jet lagged by the trip and Miami will upset.
9) Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers- Baltimore is favored by 1 so this game could go either way. Aaron and I both are taking Baltimore to win and cover with an inconsistent Philip Rivers struggling week in and week out.
10) San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints- The Niners are favored by 1.5 on the road. Aaron is taking the Niners in a tough game while i am going to say that The Saints continue their hot streak…as they try to become the first team in NFL history to start a season 0-4 and then make the playoffs. Drew Brees is a Beast!
11) Saint Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals- The Cardinals are favored by 1.5 at home. Aaron and I are both taking the Rams to win against an Arizona team that has been in disarray after a strong start. The Rams win by at least a touchdown.
12) Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants- The Giants are favored by a field goal. Eli has been inconsistent and their wide receivers have disappeared. Aaron and I are taking the Pack to destroy the NY Football Giants.
13) Carolina Panthers @ Philadelphia Eagles- Carolina is favored by 3 points and we both agree Carolina in a route!!!

Five to Start;
1) Brandon Marshall
2) Steelers Defense
3) AJ Green
4) Reggie Wayne
5) Josh Freeman

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NFL WEEK #9 PICKS/FANTASY START EMS-SIT EMS

WEEK #9 in the 2012 NFL Season Already…the New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, and Saint Louis Rams all on a bye.  We are getting to the meat and potatoes of the season.  This is the time when teams usually go into late season streaks either for the better or worse.  This season, as evidenced by the amount of upsets, has been up and down for many teams.  The Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans lead their respective conferences with solid records.  While the Falcons remain unbeaten in the NFC, the Texans are 6-1.  Last year the Falcons did not gain their 7th win until after Thanksgiving.  They are set up down the stretch with a fairly easy schedule.  In my halfway review Matt Ryan was placed at the top of the list for MVP so far this season.  In the AFC, the Texans are 6-1 and coming off of a BYE.  Their players are well rested and key players that were injured will be back this week.  My TOP10 Power Rankings so far this season are as follows:1) Atlanta Falcons (7-0), 2) New York Giants (6-2), 3) Houston Texans (6-1), 4) Chicago Bears (6-1), 5) San Francisco 49ers (6-2), 6) New England Patriots (5-3), 7) Green Bay Packers (5-3), 8) Baltimore Ravens (5-2), 9) Denver Broncos (4-3), 10) Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3).

Ok, so here are my Week #9 Picks:

1)  Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals-  The Broncos are favored by 3.5 on the road.  This is my lock of the week.  Denver has been on a role and Peyton Manning continues to get better with each game he plays.  He is having his best season in over four years.  Manning is playing with supreme confidence and the Bronco’s running game and offensive line is probably the best that Manning has played behind since his golden years.  Willis McGahee has been a pleasant surprise and is having a healthy productive year thus far.  Look for Denver to keep up it’s balanced offensive attack while putting extreme pressure  on Andy Dalton.  Cincy has been a huge disappointment.  The one bright spot has been A.J. Green.

2)  Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers-  The Packers have been on fire and Aaron Rodgers is having another MVP type season leading the NFL once again in passer rating.  Green Bay is favored by 10 Points.  This spread is a bit high against a strong Arizona team that is in the Top 5 in NFL Defense.  Im taking the Pack to win but the Cardinals will definitely cover.

3)  Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts-  The Dolphins are favored by 2.5 on the road against the upstart  overachieving Colts.  The Fish could be 7-0 and have played much better on the road so far.  They are playing a more balanced offense from week to week…more consistent.  And their defense is way underrated.  Im taking the Dolphins to win this game fairly easy although it will not be a blowout.  Ryan Tannehill is not making many mistakes which keeps the Fish in every game.

4) Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns-  The Ravens are coming off a much needed bye week.  The Ravens are still reeling from some very tough injuries, mainly their captain Ray Lewis.  However, help is on the way as they should be getting Terrell Suggs, the teams best pass rusher back from IR.  He has been practicing two straight weeks.  Cleveland has played much better their past two games but they do not match up well against the Ravens.  The Ravens are favored by 3.5.  I was leaning towards the Browns covering earlier in the week, but now I feel Baltimore will win fairly easy.  I believe that Ray Rice will have a huge game and Joe Flacco will get back to his accurate passing ways.

5)  Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans-  The Texan’s are favored by 10 points in this one.  Although they are the best team and coming off a bye, their passing game has still been suspect.  Arian Foster has been carrying this team.  The Texans are favored by 10 points.  The Bills have been inconsistent, however their defense is better than average and if they can keep Foster out of the end one, they stand a chance.  Im taking the Texans to win the game, but the Bills will cover.

6)  Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins-  The Redskins are favored by a field goal at home.  Alfred Morris has been the surprise running back in the NFL this season as he is at the top of the rushing statistics.  RJ3 has been better than expected in his first season and the Redskins play a over the top defense.  Carolina is reeling has and has struggled so much so far.  They are due for a breakout game.  Its hard to see Cam Newton playing this bad all season.  Im taking the Panthers to upset the Skins at home and get their 2nd win of the season.

7)  Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars-  Detroit has not been favored that much this season as they have been anything but good.  In fact, the Lions were expected to contend for a playoff spot and thus far are not playing like a playoff team.  They are favored by 5.5 Points on the road against the awful Jaguars.  The Jags are really bad right now without their starting quarterback and tailback.  Im going to take the Lions…I see a breakout game from Matthew Stafford and Megatron.

8)  Chicago Bears @ Tennessee Titans-  The Bears are playing inspired football and Jay Cutler/Brandon Marshall has been the top passing receiving combo up to this point.  Tennessee has been much better this year and Chris Johnson is having a comeback year.  The Bears are at the top of their game though and they will win this on the road by a touchdown.

9)  Minnesotta Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks-  Both of these teams have been surprises in the NFC.  The Vikings and Seahawks are both ranked at the top defensively.  Both teams are playing stellar on the ground.  Marshawn Lynch has been a Beast and Adrian Peterson is at the top of the list of comeback players of the year.  Seattle is favored by 4 at home.  I see the Vikings winning and stealing a game on the road.  Maybe I am still not a believer in Seattle.

10)  Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders-  I guess the Raiders are favored because they are the home team.  Only by 1.5 points though.  Tampa has been better than average against the spread.  Josh Freeman is com ing into his own and has put together four straight passing efforts.  Tampa is solid on Defense as well.  Im going with the Bucs to win outright in this one.

11)  Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants-  The Giants won a close one last week against division rival Dallas.  New York is playing possessed on Defense and they are balanced on offense.  The Steelers are playing inspired football, but its hard to pick against the Defending Champs.  Big Blue is favored by a field goal and I see them winning easily at home.

12)  Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons-  The Falcons are favored by 3.5 at home.  They are 7-0.  Dallas is coming off an emotional loss against the Rival Giants.  The Cowboys will be without their starting tailback once again as well as Dez Bryant who failed to practice all week.  Im taking Atlanta to go a perfect 8-0 in half a season.  

13)  Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints-  The Saints are favored by a field goal at home.  Im a DIE HARD EAGLES fan and never like to bet against them.  But this team is just BAD right now.  They will not win another game under Andy Reid…he has lost this team.  They are mistake prone, take a lot of penalties, are undisciplined on defense and are a turnover machine.  All this as well as the worst offensive line in the NFL.  Take The Saints in a route.  Drew Brees throws for over 300 yards and 4 touchdown against the porous Eagle’s pass defense.

As far as fantasy goes this week…I like all of the stars to shine again.  Stay tuned for Aaron’s picks a little later.  Im looking forward to another good fall weather Sunday and plenty of fun filled action in the NFL in Week # 9.  As mentioned earlier…my stone cold lock is the Broncos this week.ImageImage

 

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It’s Hard to Believe that we are almost through the mid-point of the 2012 NFL Season.  After this week there will be Eight more Games to Decide Which Teams will have the Kahunas to make the Playoffs.  2012 has been a very crazy season….up and down….some key stars shining….some stars declining…some rookies playing like veterans…some rookies making teams second guess their drafty day decisions.  There have been record tying field goals…numerous overtime thrillers…some very surprising upsets…some teams on the rise…some teams on the way to their demise…some coaches taking it to the next level…some coaches same old/same old (Sorry Andy Reid)…many key season ending injuries (Ray Lewis, Derel Revis, etc.), some stars playing well for new teams…some high price free agent busts…and some dramatic comeback players (Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson).  Let’s face it…there has been no lack of drama and surprises on every facet of the game.  Well, this will be the midway point between Aaron and I in our first season of picks.  We are very close thus far and have been both up and down each week with our picks.  Aaron went a season best 11-1 last week to take the points lead, while I had a mediocre 6-6.  Ok time to get to the picks for Week 8.  Hopefully this will be a successful week Against The Spread as well as outright.  Here are my Week 8 Picks:

1)  Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings- Well I missed this Thursday’s game…very busy with work but we are going to go on the honor system here.  Minnesota was favored by 6.5 Points at home against the Bucs.  I know its after the fact, but I truly did have the Buccaneers winning this game outright.  They almost pulled out a last second win at New Orleans last week albeit for a bad call and their offense has been on a role the past three weeks.  Josh Freeman is coming into his own as a Quarterback and has now thrown 3 Touchdowns in Four Straight Games and over 250 Yards in those games also, even throwing for 400 yards in 2 of those games.

2)  New England Patriots @ Saint Louis Rams- The Patriots have not played as the dominant team that they usually are.  They have been upset by the Cardinals and Seahawks and were almost upset last week against the Jets.  They are favored by a touchdown on the road in Saint Louis, a team that really has struggled.  I expect a huge game from Tom Brady in this one and i feel that the Patriots will roll over the Rams…I can even see this game being a two touchdown margin.

3)  Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans-  The Titans are favored by 3.5 at home against the Colts.  Both of these teams have been inconsistent so this game could go either way.  Andrew Luck has been ok, but the Colts are struggling to run the ball.  Chris Johnson has been resurgent the past few weeks for Tennessee.  Im going to take the Colts to win and cover although this one could easily go the other way…when in doubt go with the home team.

4)  Jacksonville Jaguars @ Green Bay Packers-  The Packers are favored by 13 in this one at home against a banged up Jaguars team.  The Jags are missing their starting running back Maurice Jones-Drew as well as their starting Quarterback Blain Gabbert.  The Packers, on the other hand are operating on all cylinders.  Aaron Rodgers is playing like a man possessed.  Im taking the Packers to win and cover.

5)  San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns-  The Browns were the last team to get a win and have played a little better the past few weeks.  The Chargers are coming off a a bye and are well rested.  Philip Rivers usually plays well after a bye and has had some huge games in the past against the Browns.  San Diego is favored by a field goal and I believe they will win this game easily and cover.

6)  Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles-  Who knows if the impending Hurricane Sandy will effect the ability to get this game in or not.  Atlanta comes into Philly with the best record in the NFC and they are playing tremendous defense as well as sporting a potent offense.  The Eagles are favored by 2.5 at home, but have been terribly inconsistent.  They totally blew a Fourth Quarter Lead against a bad Detroit Lions team.  However, as horrible as Andy Reid has been lately, the Eagles are 13-0 with him as their coach after a bye week.  And the Eagles track record the past few years has been to play poorly against bad teams and somehow beat the teams they are not supposed to beat.  Take the Eagles to win and cover in this one, whenever the game gets played.

7)  Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions-  The Seahawks have been a total surprise this year and are playing excellent football.  In contrast….The Lions have been a huge disappointment and were lucky to win two weeks ago at the Eagles.  They looked terrible on Monday night against the Bears.  Although Detroit is favored at home by 2.5 points, I am taking Seattle to win this one outright.

8)  Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets-  These games are always the BEST.  The Jets are favored by 2.5 Points at home.  Last time I took the Dolphins to beat the Jets they lost.  I am taking the Dolphins again after a bye to beat the Jets.

9)  Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears-  The Bears have been stellar and Jay Cutler looks like a new found star now that he has been reunited with Brandon Marshall.  Matt Forte continues to be an elite force on the ground and the Bears Defense has been one of the best if not thee best in the league.  The Bears are favored at home by 7.5 points and I feel that they will easily win and cover.

10)  Washington Redskins @ Pittsburgh Steelers-  The Steelers are favored by 5 points in this one.  Both teams have been up and down.  Neither team has really built an identity.  I will take the steelers to win and cover in this one.

11)  Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs-  The Chiefs are favored by 1.5 at home, almost a pick em.  Go with the Chiefs to win by a field goal.  The Raiders have also been inconsistent.

12)  New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys-  The Cowboys are favored by 1 point at home in this tough divisional rivalry game.  The Cowboys have been playing better, but are missing their top 2 Tailbacks.  Big Blue has been excellent against the spread and I personally cannot bet against them right now.  Take the Giants to win at Dallas.

13)  New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos-  The Saints have won 2 Straight…but they are still neglect on Defense.  The Broncos are favored by 6 at home and after the way Peyton has been playing…I have to take the Broncos to win and cover.

14)  San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals-  This will be a division dogfight.  The Cardinals are favored by 6.5 against the 49ers.  Take the Cardinals to win but the 49ers will cover.

Fantasy Start /Sit-  Real Quick….Start all the star players this week…its time for everyone to shine.

*******STAY TUNED TO AARON”S PICKS SOON TO COME*********

NFL WEEK 7 RESULTS/Fantasy Fallout

Ok….Well Week #7 was a doozy…many close games. While my picks were an even 6-6…Aaron had a huge week ATS going 11-1 with his picks!!!!! I sense a familiar theme here. Aaron is 5-2 in Fantasy… I am 2-5. So here are the up to date standings this far:
Aaron: 60-42
Jason: 56-46.
I must admit…I was having a bad week last week and was starting to feel very negative about my performance on both sides of the spectrum…Fantasy and Reality. But then a light bulb went on…a revelation…the season is not even half way over and there is still a lot of Football to play!!!! So far…The Giants are the toast of the NFC and the Texans are the Beast of the AFC. The Vikings, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta have been major surprises in the NFC, while the Raiders, Colts, and Broncos have been a surprise in the AFC. Stay tuned to next week where I will provide a special 2012 NFL Season in Review post that will focus on the highs, lows, best teams, worst teams, players that have shined, players that have declined, overachievers, underachievers, injuries, Statistical Leaders and Fantasy Overview. Speaking of Fantasy…Week 7 Provided some high and low points as always. Let’s start with my team. Both of my Quarterbacks were on byes so I picked up the surprising Josh Freeman who was going against Drew Brees so I had hoped to just keep it close at the QB position. Well…Freeman performed well above expectations and finished with 41 points, only 1 point less than Drew Brees. Where I got killed…Maurice Jones Drew got hurt and gave me a big ZERO…Vernon Davis (Top 3 TE in points) gave me a big ZERO…Baltimore’s Defense who I should have dropped after all their injuries gave me a whole ZERO…and my Kicker (Jason Hanson) the number 1 kicker in Fantasy Points gave me a superb 1 point! WTF….not a good week. With all all the 0fers…I only ended up losing by 30 points. That’s how Fantasy Football goes…you win some and you lose some and some weeks there is just nothing u can do but put your tail between your legs and take it like a man. Anyways…at 2-5 it’s not looking good for my team so I am at the point where drastic measures are needed to be taken to try and salvage my team. Maybe a big trade…a free agent who blossoms at the end of the season…a waiver wire steal…all of these options will be looked at. Michael Vick and Calvin Johnson are officially on the trading block as of today. Also Jason Witten. I will be open to any offers…no one is untouchable. So there you have it. I am ready to take some chances and be proactive. Nonetheless…I said to sit Owen Daniels and he got 30 points. So sometimes even playing the matchup does not end up working out the way it was expected. So until Thursday…that is my NFL WEEK 7 in review. At least Fantasy can keep us occupied in World that is full of negativity and violence. Special condolences go out to Autumn Pasquale’s family and friends…the 12 year old girl whose life was viciously ended by two minors over a bike. This world is getting worse by the day so this should put things into perspective. Sports is only sports…it does not transpire real life and the tragedies that occur everyday in this world. For that reason…any of us who are able to even interact in the sports world must realize that we are blessed and be thankful that we are given these chances to enjoy things in life. Unfortunately…too many people have this opportunity taken away by some inauspicious tragedy. HUG YOUR NEIGHBOR FOLKS.

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NFL WEEK 7 PICKS/FANTASY START EMS- SIT EMS

Week # 7….Both Aaron’s favorite team and my favorite team are on byes so I will actually be able to focus more on The Fantasy Realm. Anyways here are my picks for Week # 7:

1) Washington Redskins @ New York Giants- The Giants are favored by 5.5 points in this one at home. The Giants have been unstoppable on Offense and they really made a statement by blowing out the 49ers at San Francisco. Eli Manning and Ahmad Bradshaw are in post season form already and Victor Cruz is showing that he is not a one year wonder. That being said…this is a Division Game against a fierce rival. The Redskins are coming off a tough game last week and this has the makings of let down game for the Giants. I’m taking Washington to pull out a last minute win.
2) Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills- Buffalo is favored at home in this one by 3.5. Tennessee has struggled mightily this year, especially on the road. They have a horrible run defense so the Bills 1-2 punch of Jackson/Spiller should be able to control the clock. I’m taking the Bills and the points.
3) Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts- The Browns got their first win of the season and the Colts lost a close one. Andrew Luck still looks green, but he does have a few weapons…Reggie Wayne seems to have an extra gear this year. Indy is favored by 2.5 in this one. My hunch is that Cleveland will win it’s second game of the year.
4) New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Saints are favored on the road in this one by 2.5. The Saints are still a great offense, but their defense is terrible. Tampa Bay has been impressive and their defense is one of the tops in the league. Josh Freeman is coming into his own as is sophomore receiver Mike Williams. I’m taking the Bucs to upset the Saints.
5) Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers- The Panthers have been embarrassing and The Cowboys are team inconsistent. Dallas is favored by 2.5 on the road so Vegas is not too confident in this one. Dallas is too good to lose against a poor team like the Panthers, but stranger things have happened. Take the Cowboys by a field goal…they barely cover.
6) Green Bay Packers @ Saint Louis Rams- Green Bay is favored by 5.5 on the road this week. Aaron Rodgers looked like a man possessed last week with a career high 6TD passes. Saint Louis has been inconsistent at best. The Packers run all over a week Rams Defense and win outright.
7) Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesotta Vikings- The Vikings are favored at home by 6.5. Both teams have pretty decent records and both have performed better than expected. The Vikings have been more consistent on both sides of the ball though. The Vikings win but the Cardinals cover.
8) Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans- The Ravens will be playing this game without 3 Pro Bowl Defenders. Houston is favored by 6.5 at home and can really distance itself with a win against the upstart Ravens. I’m taking Houston to win the game but the Ravens will cover.
9) Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders- The Raiders are favored by 4.5 at home. The Jaguars have been terrible but are coming off a much needed bye. Expect the Jags to pound the football. I expect a big game from Maurice Jones Drew. Jaguars win.
10) New York Jets @ New England Patriots- New England is favored by 10.5 at home. Last week they were favored by 9.5 and were upset by the Seattle Seahawks. I believe the Patriots will win but a better Jets team down this stretch will cover.
11) Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinatti Bengals- The Steelers are favored by 1.5 in this one. Pittsburgh is not firing on all cylinders and the Bengals have been playing better football. I’m taking Cincy to squeak this game out in a nailbiter.
12) Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears- Nothing like this division rivalry. These games are always hard fought battles. 2 of the best receivers are playing in this one. It will be close as Chicago wins but Detroit will cover.

Start Ems:
QB- Tom Brady, Josh Freeman, Jay Cutler
RB- Maurice Jones Drew, CJ Spiller/Fred Jackson, Alfred Morris
WR- Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker, Victor Cruz
TE- Jason Witten, Fred Davis, Aaron Hernandez
K- Jason Hanson, Sebastian Janikowski, Laurence Tynes
D- Minnesota, Dallas, Chicago

SIT EMS:
QB- Mark Sanchez, Ben Rothelisberger, Matt Schaub
RB- Chris Johnson, Rashard Mendenhall, Steven Jackson
WR- Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Lloyd
TE- Jermicah Finley, Owen Daniels, Martellus Bennett
K-Mason Crosby, Nick Folk, Mike Nugent
D- Carolina, Saint Louis, New Orleans
Looking forward to a great week 7!!!!

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NFL WEEK 6 RESULTS/FANTASY FALLOUT/INJURIES

Week 6 has come and gone! Thus far, this season had been the craziest one in recent memory. Underdogs are winning at a much greater pace, which is making it very difficult when picking winners and losers and even the spreads are out of whack. Nonetheless…us Football pundits cannot stop the urge to pick each week and join Vegas in the fun. Ok…Well after a stellar week last week, Aaron and I had a difficult time as we both went 6-7 with the spreads and that brings our season totals to:
Jason: 50-40
Aaron: 49-41.
You cannot get closer than that. Needless to say…we were both wrong about the Patriots, Eagles, Texans, and Vikings. We had all these teams winning and none of them came close to sniffing a win. We also had the Colts upsetting the Jets which did not happen. So as mentioned…this season is going crazy and could end up totally different at the end and going into the playoffs.
The Baltimore Ravens barely squeaked by the Dallas Cowboys after having a 10 point lead at halftime almost slip away. However…they received some terrible injury news as both Pro-Bowl
And future Hall of Fame Linebacker Ray Lewis and Pro-Bowl Cornerback Ladarius Webb are out for the season. Webb tore his ACL and was put on injured reserve today and Lewis tore his triceps muscle. Haloti Nhada also was injured in the game, but it is not clear how much time he will miss. This is a huge blow to a Baltimore Defense that is always at the top of the NFL in statistics and you definitely can’t replace Lewis’ Leadership on the field…especially amongst the younger players. The Ravens did receive some good news as Terrell Suggs was taken off the PUP list and will officially practice this week. Baltimore is still in trouble and mat want to focus more on containing the clock with a consistent running back instead of their all around Arial Assault.
In other league news…The Philadelphia Eagles fired their defensive coordinator Juan Castilla on Tuesday. The Eagles team, which was expected to compete for a Superbowl has been inconsistent at best and have made so many mistakes. Where to start…Andy Reid (as good a coach he has been for the past 15 years) is a weak game strategist and their game plans seem to get worse and worse each week. Reid is so stubborn and will never commit to a consistent ground game. They have one if the most talented all purpose Running Backs in LeSean McCoy an they don’t even use him. It is unacceptable for a team to drop back and pass the ball 60 x a game…especially when their offensive line is absolutely pathetic. Michael Vick has not been great, but I don’t know too many quarterbacks that would play much better considering the pressure and duress that he has been under all season. It really is a travesty…the Eagles high power offense has been under seige. While the offense continues to play horrible, the defense has not fared much better. They have went 3 consecutive games without a sack, which is the first time that has happened since 1983! Wow! 1983! And their defensive game plan had fallen apart in the fourth quarter of every game. Today…Juan Castilla was fired (he’s obviously a scapegoat) and there may be more changes coming. If I were Jeff Lurie…I would fire Reid and get rid of Vick. I would also get rid of Joe Banner who hasn’t made a good decision in forever. This team needs a new identity and a coach that can get respect of the team. Reid ha lost this team. Stay Tuned.
Well, well, well another Patriots Loss! This time to the very young Seattle Seahawks team. One thing is for sure…mediocre offenses are scoring at will against the Patriots defense. I can see Bellichek switching it up and this team will come around. Bellichek is the Anti-Reid as he is the best game plan manager in Football and holds his entire team accountable. The Houston Texans were destroyed by Aaron Rodgers, who had a career high 6 touchdown passes, and the Green Bay Packers. The Broncos came back from a 24-0 point halftime deficit to win 35-24! Wow…never count Peyton Manning out.
Onto Fantasy…my team lost another close one and this week I head into a tough week as both of my Quarterbacks are on the bye. I’m scouring the waiver wire now for talent. So now I sit at 2-4. Aaron on the other hand won again and leads the league in power rankings. Fantasy Football has been just like the regular league…so hard to predict. It’s going to come down to the wire because each week their is a different set of superstars as well as scenarios and circumstances. Coming soon…Thursday Night Pick and waiver wire steals and duds. These are the weeks that make and break many fantasy owner’s seasons with injuries mounting and byes being taken. Oh well…hopefully we can get some mire consistency.

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