NFL WEEK 15: IT’S CRUNCH TIME

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     I cannot believe that its already week 15 of the NFL Season.  It just seems like yesterday that I was watching that first Thursday Night Game with Peyton Manning throwing 7 Touchdowns on Opening Night.  This season has been a gut wrenching one for many successful teams and some unlikely teams have dominated the league.  For instance, the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets that were all playoff teams last year will miss this year’s Dance.  The Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, and New Orleans Saints have been surprise teams.  If these teams make the playoffs they will be a force to reckon with.  As we get close to the close of the season and the start of the Post Season (Playoffs), we will quickly analyze this seasons winners, losers, MVP Favorites, key injuries, Super Bowl Contenders or Pretenders, and a look at the teams that are on the bubble fighting for a playoff spot.  But first, lets look at this weeks match ups and I will give you my picks.

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WASHINGTON REDSKINS (3-10, Last Place NFC EAST)

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ATLANTA FALCONS (3-10, LAST PLACE NFC SOUTH)

Okay, so this is a meaningless game between two of the worst teams in the league.  Washington and Atlanta are both tied for the worst record in the league behind the Houston Texans (2-10).  So yes, as far as the playoffs there are no implications here.  However, whatever team loses will go a long way to deciding next year’s NFL Draft.  The Washington Redskins, have been a major disappointment this season.  Some people will say that the injury that RGIII suffered last season is an injury that really takes two years to come back from.  I am not buying that.  The Redskins are actually ranked Ninth in Total Team Offense (17th Passing/2nd Rushing).  They are 23rd in Total Team Defense, however they are dead last in points allowed with 407, which is 31.3 Points allowed per week, terrible.  The Falcons were many people’s pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.  Ouch.  What a bust.  Atlanta is 4th in points allowed so I sense a similar theme here.  Atlanta also lost their best Wide Receiver, the dynamic Julio Jones to a Knee injury and their second wide out, Roddy White has missed a ton of time.  Also, Steven Jackson their offseason signing at Tailback missed the first seven weeks.  Also, Matt Ryan has been very inconsistent.  Nonetheless, this matchup is important for both franchises.  The Redskins are 6.5 Point Road Dogs at the Dome in Atlanta.  For some reason, I see this as a trap game if there is such thing between two bad teams.  I see the Redskins winning in an upset 27-24 on the road.

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SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (9-4, 2ND PLACE NFC WEST)

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TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-9, 3RD PLACE NFC SOUTH)

The San Francisco 49ers are behind Seattle in the standings, however they need this game more than Seattle needs a win.  The Bucs on the other hand are just finishing out another poor season full of disappointment and injuries.  As good as San Francisco has been this year, their Offense is ranked 28th Total in the League.  However, they are in the middle of the pack as far as team scoring at 12th (24.3 Points Per Game.)  San Fran has the 4th ranked Defense behind the Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, and Houston Texans.  The 49ers bread and butter is their defense and they rely heavily on their running game and creating turnovers.  With the 49ers favored by 5.5 in this one, I would say this could be a trap game.  Nonetheless, Tampa is just too bad and has been plagued by injuries and controversy.  I am taking the Niners to win fairly easily by a score of 27-10.

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ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-5, 3RD PLACE NFC WEST)

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TENNESSEE TITANS (5-8, 2ND AFC SOUTH)

The Arizona Cardinals are holding on for dear life in the playoff race and basically need to win out to have any hope of making the playoffs.  They trail Seattle (11-2) and San Fran (9-4) in the Division.  So the only way they have a shot at the playoffs is to leapfrog the 49ers, which will take 3 wins and 49ers 2 Losses.  The Titans have been a weird team this season as they are lacking a true identity.  However, they have played spoiler to a few teams.  The Cardinals are favored by 2.5 in this one and I say they will win due to the playoff implications.  Arizona has the 5TH ranked Total Team Defense, which is amazing because Seattle, San Fran and Arizona are each in the Top 5.  The Cardinals have only been average on Offense but they bring it on the Defensive side.  Arizona wins 20-13.

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NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-3, 1st PLACE NFC SOUTH)

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SAINT LOUIS RAMS (5-8, LAST PLACE NFC WEST)

The New Orleans Saints have played above expectation this season.  Their Defense has turned it around and their offense is…well their offense is LETHAL.  They have the League’s 6th Ranked Total Offense and are averaging 26.4 Points per Game, which is good enough for 7th.  Drew Brees has only been overshadowed by Peyton Manning.  Brees has a 106.5 Rating with 33 Touchdowns (2nd NFL) and 4,107 Yards (2nd NFL).  Star Tight End Jimmy Graham has 14 Touchdown Receptions, which leads the NFL.  On Defense, End Cameron Jordan is 4th in the league with 11.5 Sacks.  The Rams lost Franchise Quarterback Sam Bradford for the season after Eight Games, so they actually have played above expectations as well due to the circumstances.  The Saints win 35-21.

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SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-2, 1ST PLACE NFC WEST)

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NEW YORK GIANTS (5-8, 3rd PLACE NFC EAST)

Well, this looks like a huge mismatch on paper.  The Seahawks are the First Seed in the NFC and the Giants are hanging onto playoff hopes by a thread.  The Seahawks as mentioned every week are one of the most balanced teams in the NFL as far as offense and defense.  They are 12th in Total Offense and 1st in Total Defense.  However, they can pound the ball and are 3rd in Rushing behind the Eagles and Redskins.  The Seahawks live and die with their Defense and also the 11th Man (FANS).  The Giants are 7 Point Underdogs at home.  I cannot bet against the Giants in December and near the Playoffs.  The Giants upset 20-17 as Eli Manning keeps the Giants slim playoff hopes alive.

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CHICAGO BEARS (7-6, 2nd NFC NORTH)

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CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-9, LAST PLACE AFC NORTH)

The Bears are only favored by 1 on the road in this one which tells me something.  The experts do not have much faith in the Bears at this point in the season.  They are tied with the Lions but talk about a team with no true identity.  ANd there is the Browns.  They have a terrible record, however, they have been in every game.  Their star receiver Josh Gordon leads the league in Receiving after serving a 4 Game Suspension.  Thats absolutely ridiculous.  And he is doing this with below average Quarterbacks, the latest being Josh Campbell.  The Bears really need this one but I say the Browns upset the Bears at Home, 27-24.

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HOUSTON TEXANS (2-11, LAST PLACE AFC SOUTH)

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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (8-5, 1st PLACE AFC SOUTH)

The Houston Texans are the league’s biggest disappointment along with the Atlanta Falcons.  They are trying to become the first NFL team to lead the league in Defense and have the worst record.  Starting Quarterbacks have thrown 8 PICK SIXES.  The turnover has been Houston’s own worst enemy.  Indy on the other hand is playing consistent ball behind second year quarterback Andrew Luck.  The Colts have also shined on Defense.  They are favored by 5.5 in this one and i see them winning as well as covering as they play for a top seed in the AFC Playoffs.  The Colts beat the Texans 32-21.

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BUFALO BILLS (4-9, LAST PLACE AFC EAST)

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JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (4-9, 3RD PLACE AFC SOUTH)

The Jaguars were the laughing stock of the AFC, and the NFL for that matter for most the season, however they are on a  role lately lead by a resurgence in their running game with Maurice Jones-Drew and they are also playing much better defense.  The Bills have been absolutely brutal against the spread.  I am picking the Jaguars to win this one outright 20-13.

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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3, 1st PLACE AFC 

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MIAMI DOLPHINS (7-6, 2nd PLACE AFC EAST)

New England Patriots/Miami Dolphins games always seem to be very entertaining.  This game pits the Division leading Pats against the 2nd place Fish.  Miami has been hot as of late and will be playing in front of the home crowd.  Miami needs this win much more than the Pats.  Also, losing Rob Gronkowski for the season was a terrible blow to the Patriots Offense.  Tom Brady has not had a Brady Like Season.  Its been more like the Brady Bunch in New England.  The Pats are favored by 2 in this one.  Miami upsets the Pats by a score of 20-17.

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PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-5, 1st PLACE NFC EAST)

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MINNESOTA VIKINGS (3-9-1)

The Eagles are coming of their epic instant classic win against the Detroit Lions, last sunday in the snow.  What an awesome game to watch both live and on television.  Nick Foles continues to show improvement each week.  In my opinion, it was an absolute feat for him to throw some of the balls he did last week in that weather.  He is definitely becoming a fan favorite in Philly.  With his play he has also garnered some much deserved MVP credit.  The Eagles have already performed above expectation.  At this point, the Eagles control their own destiny.  If the Eagles can win out, they win the Division and host a home playoff game.  Nick Foles has 20 Touchdown Passes and only 1 Pick and continues to lead the league in passer rating.  LeSean McCoy, who comes off an Eagles season game rushing record is the leader in yards from scrimmage in the NFL.  McCoy has been compared to Barry Sanders.  The Vikings have been a huge disappointment and now start Chris Ponder at Quarterback.  The Eagles are favored by 5.5 in a game that Adrian Peterson will likely miss.  I am taking the Eagles in an onslaught 45-17.

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NEW YORK JETS (6-7, 3rd PLACE AFC EAST)

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CAROLINA PANTHERS (9-4, 2nd NFC SOUTH)

Up until last weeks loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Panthers were the NFL’s hottest team.  The Panthers had won 8 straight games.  They play a ferocious relentless type of defense and Cam Newton is another MVP candidate.  The Jets however, have been extremely disappointing.  I see this as a trap game.  The Panthers are favored by 11.5 Points.  I say the Panthers win 24-20 but do  not cover.

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KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10-3, 2nd PLACE AFC WEST)

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OAKLAND RAIDERS (4-9, LAST PLACE AFC WEST)

The Chiefs have come down to earth, losing three straight after winning nine straight.  It makes perfect sense, tho.  For the first ten weeks, the Chiefs were Number One in Turnover Differential.  In their three straight losses, they have lost the Turnover Battle.  However, after the Broncos lost on Thursday, this is a perfect game for the Chiefs to rise back up and keep on the trail of the Broncos.  The Raiders are having another poor season.  Chiefs 27-Raiders 21.

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GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-6-1, 3rd NFC NORTH)

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DALLAS COWBOYS (7-6, 2nd NFC EAST)

The Packers are like Jekyll and Hyde without Aaron Rodgers.  The two time MVP has missed the past four games.  The Packers are barely hanging in there.  Dallas on the other hand is trying to keep pace with the Eagles in the NFC EAST.  However, the Cowboys have been dead last in total Team Defense all season n and have not been much better in points allowed.  The Cowboys do have a potent offense that can keep up with any team.  The Packers are 6.5 Point Dogs on the Road.  I say the Cowboys win big 45-27.

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CINCINNATI BENGALS (9-4, 1st PLACE AFC NORTH)

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PITTSBURGH STEELERS (5-8)

The Bengals are trying to play for seeding at this point as they almost have the Division wrapped up.  Don’t get me wrong yet, this is not over yet.  The Bengals are facing a fierce rival in the Steelers.  However, the Steelers are not the same Steelers in 2013.  There is no swagger.  The Bengals are favored by 2.  I say the Steelers upset the apple cart at home and win 17-14.

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BALTIMORE RAVENS (7-6, 2nd AFC NORTH)

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DETROIT LIONS (7-6, 1st NFC NORTH)

The champs are back as the Ravens are hot behind the resurgent Joe Flacco.  However, the Lions after their loss to the Eagles are in a must win so that they can win the Division.  The Lions win this game as Megatron goes off once again.  Lions 34-Ravens 24.

Winners- Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks.

Losers- Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay, Minnesota.

MVP FAVORITES- Nick Foles, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, LeSean McCoy, Jamal Charles, Calvin Johnson.

Key Injuries- Julio Jones, Sam Bradford, Mike Vick, Doug Martin, Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler.

Contenders- Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, Carlina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers.

Pretenders- New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals.

Bubble Teams- Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys.

Until Next Time…This has been your host DA BIRD.  Enjoy your Sunday of Football and Good Luck to all of the Fantasy Football Playoff Teams.

NFL WEEK #10 PICKS

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     It’s hard to believe we are already at Week #10 in the NFL.  Every NFL season has it’s share of injuries; however, 2013 seems to be much more devastating to teams as far as the amount of injuries as well as the caliber of players that are being injured.  Let’s take a look at some of the Season Ending Injuries, just on the Offensive Side of the ball.  So far, Reggie Wayne (WR), Doug Martin (RB), Julio Jones (WR), Miles Austin (WR), Jermicah Finley (TE), Randall Cobb (WR), Brandon Gibson (WR), Dustin Keller (TE), David Wilson (RB), Da’Rel Scott (RB), Mark Sanchez (QB), Jeremy Maclin (WR), Plaxico Burress (WR), Malcolm Floyd (WR), Sidney Rice (WR), Sam Bradford (QB), Mike Williams (WR), Kevin Walter (WR), Spencer Ware (RB) are all out for the season with injuries.  These are all important pieces to their team’s offense.  

     The following Quarterbacks have missed extended time due to injuries: Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, Mike Vick, Terelle Pryor, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert, Brian Hoyer, E.J. Manuel, Kevin Kolb, and Thad Lewis.  There are also many Key Season Ending Injuries on Defense.  Of course, the most devastating injuries have hurt the Indianapolis Colts (Reggie Wayne), Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones, Roddy White, Steven Jackson), Tampa Bay Bucs (Mike Williams, Doug Martin), Miami Dolphins (Brandon Gibson, Dustin Keller), and the Saint Louis Rams (Sam Bradford).  Injuries are a part of the game, but this season seems to have many more than usual.  These injuries have also hurt many Fantasy Teams throughout the nation.  Let’s preview Week #10’s Match Ups and we will pick our winners and losers.

 

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JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (0-8)

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TENNESSEE TITANS (4-4)

     Ok, the Jacksonville Jaguars have not come close to even sniffing a win so far this season.  The Jaguars will almost certainly get the First Pick of the Draft in 2014.  The Jags are 32nd in total offense with 2,292 Yards.  They are the only NFL team that is averaging less than 300 yards per game at 287 YPG.  They have also scored a league low 86 Points for a 10.8 Point Average.  The Jaguars have turned the ball over 15 times with 12 INT/3 Fumbles.  In contrast, they only have 8 Takeaways.  Their -Seven Turnover Ratio is tied for twelfth.  Jacksonville is 25th in team defense.  So add their pathetic offense with their horrible defense and they have a recipe for failure.  Tennessee on the other hand has the 7th Ranked Defense, only having given up 2,722 Yards.  The Titans are Eighth in Points Allowed (167) and Ninth for Points Per Game (20.9).  Tennessee is 28th In Team Offense.  So how do these two teams match up?  The Titans are 13 Point Favorites at home.  Jake Locker has been hot as of late and has a 91.0 QB Rating.  This is the Thirteenth Best Passer Rating which is not bad for a second year QB.  Chris Johnson had a breakout game last week with over 150 Yards Rushing and Two Touchdowns.  He is currently 12th in League Rushing.  I  am taking Tennessee in this one and they will cover.  Jacksonville is just that terrible.  Tennessee wins 24-10.

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PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-5)

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GREEN BAY PACKERS (5-3)

     The Packers come into this game only favored by one point at home.  Green Bay is missing their best Player and Leader Aaron Rodgers (QB) who is a perennial MVP and who always gives Green Bay a chance to win.  The Packers are also missing their best Wide Receiver, Randall Cobb who is out with a knee injury.  Senaca Wallace will be taking the snaps.  Rodgers has thrown Fifteen TD’s and only 4 INT.  Wallace in his limited action was 11 for 19 and 114 Yards, 0 TD’s/1 INT.  Meanwhile, Green Bay is 5th in Total Offense and 3rd in Points Scored Per Game.  The Packers have scored 232 Points, good enough for Fifth in the League and they bolster a strong rushing attack with Eddie Lacy.  Lacy is Eighth in Rushing with 596 Yards on the Ground and 4TD’s.  Green Bay is 11th in Total Defense and Fifteenth in Points Allowed Per Game with a 23.1 Yards Per Game Average.  Philly comes into the game  with the Leagues Second most potent offense with 3,719 Total Yards, only 20 behind Denver.  The Eagles have also scored 225 Points for an average of 25 Points per Game.  However, the Eagles are dead last in almost every Defensive Category.  Quarterback Nick Foles is coming off a career day as well as tying a league record with Seven Touchdown Passes.  Foles has a 127.4 Passer Rating, 1,028 Yards Passing and 13 TD/0 INT.  Expect Foles to come down to earth a little bit, but the Eagles will win the game pretty easy on the Road.  I am going with the Eagles 35-20 in a route.  The Eagles Defense will score a Touchdown in this game as well.

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BUFFALO BILLS (3-6)

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PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-6)

     No one would have predicted that both of these teams would be as bad as they have been.  The Steelers and Bills both came into the season with high hopes.  Buffalo is Twelfth in Total Offense; however they are only averaging 21 Points Per Game which is 21st in the League.  Pittsburgh has been even more abysmal on Offense scoring 19.5 Points Per Game which is 25th in the League.  The Steelers are 23rd in Total Yards.  The Steelers are Eight in Defense though, while the Bills are near the bottom at 28th and have given up over 26 Points Per Game.  This game will not be a pretty one.  The Steelers are favored by a field goal and I say the Steelers will win and cover, 20-13.  However, the Steelers have come on a little too late and will not be making a playoff run.

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OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-5)

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NEW YORK GIANTS (2-6)

     The Oakland Raiders were manhandled by the Philadelphia Eagles in Week Nine, despite coming into the game with the Eighth best Defense.  The Raiders will also be without running back Darren McFadden, who will be out with an injury.  The Giants are only 26th in Total Offense and Tenth in Team Defense.  Eli Manning is having his worst season of his career and the Giants lack a strong running game.  The Giants are favored by a Touchdown.  Neither  of these teams are playoff contenders and both are sloppy on both sides of the ball.  The Raiders and Giants are also two of the most penalized teams in the league.  I am going to take Oakland with the upset as they beat the New York Football Giants, 24-17.

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SAINT LOUIS RAMS (3-6)

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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-2)

     The Colts lead the AFC South with a record of 6-2.  Yes, the Colts have lost a key weapon in Reggie Wayne; however, they do have more talent surrounding Andrew Luck than the previous year.  Andrew has not needed as much “luck” this season.  The Rams are dead last in the NFC West, and have lost franchise Quarterback Sam Bradford for the season.  The Colts are in the middle of the pack with the 18th Ranked Defense and 24th Rated Offense.  However, the Colts are Eighth with a 26.8 Points Per Game Average and they have been multi-talented through the air and ground.  The Colts traded for running back Trent Richardson early in the season and he has yet to shine.  Colts Defensive End Robert Mathis leads the league with 11.5 Sacks.  The Colts have also beaten the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, and Houston Texans, all teams with winning records.  The Rams have been pretty bad.  The Colts are favored at 9.5 Points at home.  I say the Colts win but fail to cover, 21-14.

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SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-1)

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ATLANTA FALCONS (2-6)

     This line surprises me.  The Falcons have been the most disappointing team this season as they were many experts pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.  However, poor Quarterback Play from Matt Ryan and injuries have shut the Falcons down.  Marshawn Lynch has been an absolute beast for the Seahawks and is Fourth in Rushing in the NFL with 726 Yards and 6 Touchdowns.  Russell Wilson has a 98.9 Passer Rating with 1,800 Yards Passing, 15 TD/6 INT.  Seattle is 11th in Total Offense and Fourth in Total Defense.  The Seahawks have given up only 16.6 Points Per Game.  The Seahawks are only favored by 4 Points??? Something does not add up here.  Seattle goes to 9-1 as they clobber the injury riddled Falcons 34-17.

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CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-3)

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BALTIMORE RAVENS (3-5)

     My how things change in a year.  The Ravens, fresh off of their Super Bowl win are second to last in the AFC North, while the Bengals are at the top.  The Bengals are Fourth in Offense and Sixth in Defense.  Andy Dalton is 4th with 2,587 Yards Passing and 16TD/10 INT and a 92.0 QB Rating.  The Bengals also have 961 Rushing Yards as Ben Jarvius-Green Ellis and Giovanni Bernard have been the Lightning and Thunder.  The Ravens have definitely dropped off on both sides of the ball, mainly the Defense.  They are however sixth in Total Defense.  Every time these teams get together there is a rivalry.  The Bengals are only favored by 1.5 Points on the Road.  Andy Dalton throws 4 TD’s and the Bengals beat the Ravens 35-20.

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DETROIT LIONS (5-3)

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CHICAGO BEARS (5-3)

     The Lions and Bears are both 5-3.  The Lions beat the Bears in their first meeting in Detroit, 40-32.  The Lions are coming off a bye after beating the Dallas Cowboys in the last 14 Seconds in week 8.  Calvin Johnson (Megatron) had 329 Yards Receiving in that game.  Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson on the same field has created mismatches all over the field.  The Bears are also hungry.  They lost Jay Cutler and have the league’s 14th Ranked Offense.  Detroit has the Sixth Ranked Offense.  Matt Forte has done it onb the Ground though with over 700 Yards and 7TD’s.  Calvin Johnson is 3rd in Receiving, despite being injured almost two games.  This is another rivalry game.  They are calling this a Pick Em, but I say Detroit wins big again, 35-27.  

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CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-3)

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SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (6-2)

     The 49ers and Panthers are both hot.  This game will pit two young Quarterbacks, Cam Newton vs. Colin Kaepernick.  This game will feature two veteran Running Backs with Frank Gore vs. Deangelo Williams.  This game will feature two old school receivers in Steve Smith vs. Anquan Boldin.  And this game will feature two good defenses.  The Niners have Five Straight Wins after two losses to the Seahawks and Colts.  The Panthers have Four Straight wins after starting 1-2.  The Niners are favored by two field goals.  I am taking the Panthers in an upset on the road, 24-21.

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HOUSTON TEXANS (2-6)

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ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-4)

     The Cardinals have been one of those inconsistent teams.  However, their Defense is extremely good.  The Houston Texans on the other hand have been horrible.  More Pick Sixes than any team in the league.  The Cardinals are favored by three points and are at home.  The Cardinals win 24-17.  Arian Foster will not play in this game which hurts the Texans chances.

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DENVER BRONCOS (8-1)

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SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-4)

     The Broncos role after their bye week.  Peyton Manning, Julius Thomas, Knowshon Moreno and the Receivers all come up big.  The Broncos are only favored by 7 Points.  However, the Broncos annihilate 49-32.

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DALLAS COWBOYS (5-4)

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NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-2)

     In the Sunday Night Matinee, the High Powered Cowboys go on the Road to the bayou.  The Saints are having a comeback year, while the cowboys are the best team in the NFC Least.  The Cowboys are nursing a few injuries.  Drew Brees has the Cowboys Number as of late.  The Saints win 35-31 in another thriller.

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MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-4)

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TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (0-8)

     The Bucs officially put their Franchise Running Back, Doug Martin on injured reserve.  This team will go the rest of the way with rookie QB Mike Glennolen and RB Mike James.  Tampa will fire their coach any week now, regardless of what the analysts are saying.  The Fish rise again as they beat the Bucs, 24-10.

*******STAY TUNED TO MY BLOG FOR MORE METAL AND SPORTS NEWS YET TO COME.  ALSO….

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NFL WEEK 5 PICKS

ImageImageBYES:  Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

 

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(KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 4-0)

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(Tennessee Titans, 3-1)

WEEK #5 Sees Two of the NFL’s Surprise Teams Square Off.  The Chiefs (4-0) take the road to face the Tennessee Titans(3-1)   The Chiefs have been a pleasant surprise as they remain one of the Five Teams that are Unbeaten.  Meanwhile, The Titans have won 3 Games and lost just 1.  The Chiefs are Favored by 3 Points on the Road.  Kansas City comes into the game with the league as the Seventh Ranked Total Defense and allowing a stingy 10.3 Points Per Game.  They are actually tied with the Titans with a 9 Point Differential in Give Aways/Takeaways with 9 at Number One.  The Chiefs have 12 Takeaways…which is tops in the league.  The Chiefs are also Eighth in Total Offense.  I find this kind of Ironic that Andy Reid is coaching a team that has a stellar defense…and there is no coincidence that they remain unbeaten and are one of the best teams in the league.  The Titans are no slouch, coming in at 3-1.  The Titans are right behind the Chiefs at Number 10 in Total Net Defensive Yards.  However, losing Jake Locker to injury is a big blow.

MY PICK- Kansas City beats Tennessee and Covers the Spread.  The Score will be 24-13.

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(BALTIMORE RAVENS, 2-2)

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(Miami Dolphins, 3-1)

The Miami Dolphins are favored at home in this game after losing their last game to the Saints on Monday Night.  The Fish will surely not be a happy bunch and I expect them to come out firing on all cylinders.  The Ravens (Defending Champions) are still struggling to find a new identity after the departure of Ray Lewis and Others.  However, the Ravens can still pound the ball with Ray Rice.  I expect a very entertaining game in this one as both teams are evenly matched on both sides of the ball.  As mentioned…The Fish are Favored by 3 Points against the road dog Ravens.

My Pick:  I am going with the Fish here.  I really feel that they are an improved team and are ready to challenge for the Division against the Patriots.  I am taking the Dolphins to win and cover 17-10 in a low scoring affair.  I still see the Ravens going backwards and not forward at this point.

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(Jacksonville Jaguars, 0-4)

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(Saint Louis Rams, 1-3)

This is a battle of two of the League’s worst teams.  Jacksonville may not win a game as I had predicted.  The Rams have Sam Bradford, who is inconsistent but has still shown flashes of brilliance.  The Rams are favored by 11.5 Points.  The odds makers do not have much faith in the Jaguars at this point, which is the reason for all of these double digit point spreads.  

MY PICK:  The Rams will win this game, but they do not cover as both teams have not shown me any signs of improvement.  The Rams win 24-14.

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(New England Patriots, 4-0)

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(Cincinnati Bengals, 2-2)

This Game is a Pick Em…Although I find it hard to bet against the Patriots, even on the road, even this season where they have not been as dominant.  Tom Brady is still Tom Brady and we know what that means.  Meanwhile, the Bengals who came into the season with much promise have only been average at best.  Their Defense, which many took as the number one fantasy defense has been anything but stellar.  The Patriots are 7-1 in these team’s last Eight Games.  I do not see this trend changing and the Patriots need to win to keep pace with the Dolphins.

MY PICK:  The Patriots win easily 34-17.

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(Seattle Seahawks, 4-0)

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(Indianapolis Colts, 3-1)

The Seahawks are favored by a field goal.  Last week, it took a heroic effort by Russell Wilson to lead the Seahawks to a come back victory in dramatic fashion.  The Seahawks, despite last weeks near miss, still boast one of the League’s best Defenses and their offense remains one of the most dynamic.  The Seahawks can run the ball with power as Marshawn Lynch is probably the most durable and tough running back in the league today.  The Seahawks still have the Fourth Best rated Defense in the NFL.  The Colts are only sixteenth against the run…middle of the pack, while Seattle is Fifth in Team Rushing.  However, The Colts remain right behind the Seahawks at Seventh in Defensive Passing Yards.  The Colts are Tenth in total team offense and the Seahawks are Thirteenth.  So…on paper this looks like an even matchup.  However, I look at Russell Wilson and I see a young Donovan McNabb as far as his leadership skills on the field.  And just for the record, yes I am a McNabb fan and yes Wilson does have more weapons on offense and a better defense behind him.

MY PICK:  The Seahawks win the game and cover in a close game 27-21.

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(Detroit Lions, 3-1)

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(Green Bay Packers, 1-2)

The Packers are coming off a Bye, while the Lions are coming off of an emotional win against the rival Bears.  The PACK are favored by 7 in this one.  Detroit has the potential to have the League’s, or at least the NFC’s Number One Offense.  A healthy Reggie Bush provides so many matchup problems for opposing defenses.  Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers though.  He is 14-4 after a loss, which does not bode well for the Lions.  I think this game has shootout potential.

MY PICK:  Green Bay Packers win 38-34, thus they win but do not cover.

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(New Orleans Saints, 4-0)

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(Chicago Bears, 3-1)

Ok, this is my personal game of the week.  The Bears are coming off an emotional loss to the Lions…while the Saints are riding high as one of the two NFC Unbeaten Teams.  I think that list will drop to only one after this week.  The Bears always play well against the Saints, although their pass defense is not that strong this season.  I believe they will stack eight men in the box and blitz, forcing Drew Brees to win this game through the air.  Matt Forte, the Bears Running Back, is Fifth in Rushing Yards with 320, and has a 4.6 Yards per Carry Average, one of the best in the league.  He has also scored three touchdowns.  I expect at least two defensive scores and possibly a special teams return for a touchdown in this game.

MY PICK:  The Saints are favored by 1.  I am going Chicago with the win…27-24.

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(Philadelphia Eagles, 1-3)

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(New York Giants, 0-4)

Who would have saw this coming.  The Giants are in the NFC basement and have yet to win a game.  The perrenial playoff contenders are perennial failures so far this year.  Eli Manning is having one of his worst seasons in his career at this point and the Giants have been blown out in all Four Games.  The Eagles have not faired much better though in this Division we call the NFC Least.  After a Week 1 Win against the Redskins on Monday Night Football…Chip Kelly’s new Hybrid Offense has quacked like a duck.  Michael Vick looks lost again and is running for his life.  The Eagles are making every Quarterback they face look like a Statue in the Pocket, having all day to throw.  So the Eagles cannot protect the Quarterback and they cannot touch the opposing team’s Quarterback.  These two fundamentals, or lack there of is a recipe for disaster. I am still not giving up hope that Chip Kelly can turn this team around; however, they must address the Defense or they will be in the cellar every season here after.

MY PICK:  The Giants are favored by 1.5 points in this NFC least showdown.  I see the Eagles winning this game 27-24.  Expect a big game from LeSean McCoy.

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(Carolina Panthers, 1-2)

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(Arizona Cardinals, 2-2)

After last week’s last minute win over the Buccaneers, the Cardinals must be feeling pretty good about themselves.  Carolina is coming off of a Bye and is licking their wounds.  Deangelo Williams has been a decent player in the backfield, but after getting over 100 Yards rushing in last game, he is destined for less here.  Arizona is giving up a stingy 75 Rushing Yards per game, and held Doug Martin under 70 Last week.  So…If the Panthers are to win this game, it will have to be the Cam Newton Show.

MY PICK:  The Panthers are favored by 2 on the Road.  I go with an upset here as the Cardinals win 20-10.

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(San Diego Chargers, 2-2)

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(Oakland Raiders, 1-3)

The Raiders have been bad as expected.  The Chargers are playing much better than their 2-2 Record Shows.  Phillip Rivers has found his mojo again and Antonio Gates has found the Fountain of Youth.  The Chargers are putting up some prolific numbers on Offense.  However, their two wins have come against the NFC Least which does not show that they have really been tested.  The Eagles and Cowboys are both bad on Defense.  However, these games are always exciting.

MY PICK:  San Diego who is favored by 4.5 wins 34-23 in a high scoring affair that only gets closer at the end in garbage time.

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(Denver Bronco’s, 4-0)

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(Dallas Cowboys, 2-2)

The Denver Broncos are the best team in Football right now…no one will argue against that.  In fact, right now this team seems unbeatable.  Peyton Manning (16 TD’s-0 INT) in Four Games projects out to 64 Touchdowns in a sixteen game season.  Now…I am pretty sure he will have one game where he slips up, but I do not see that being this game.

MY PICK:  Denver in another route 42-28.

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(Houston Texans, 2-2)

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(San Francisco 49ers, 2-2)

This is a battle of two teams that have underachieved so far.  The 49ers are favored by 6.  The Texans have struggled compared to their hot start last year.  Colin Kaepernick has looked shaky for the Niners at times.  However, last week the Niners turned to their Defense and their Running Game with Frank Gore.  If the Niners are patient and play their game, I do not see them losing.

MY PICK:  San Fran wins 20-17.

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(New York Jets, 2-2)

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(Atlanta Falcons, 1-3)

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The Falcons are in a must win game.  Atlanta was picked by many to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.  However, they have not played up to expectations.  It does not help that they are missing key offseason pickup, Running Back Steven Jackson.  Jackson scored a Touchdown in Week 1 and has not returned since with a thigh injury.  The Jets have been better than expected.

MY PICK:  Atlanta needs this game.  They will win and cover 28-13.

******Stay Tuned For My next Installment of My TOP 20 which will feature the TOP 20 Wide Receivers*********

Have a Great Weekend everyone…I will have my Fantasy Picks as we get closer to game time.

 

 

NFL WEEK 4 RESULTS/FANTASY FOOTBALL/THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

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Ok…Week Number 4 of the NFL season was anything but obvious. I went 5-8 while Aaron went 7-6. Another fellow blogger joined us in the quest and also went 7-6. For those of you keeping score my record fell to 31-30, while THE SAV is now 28-33 against the spread. THE SAV made some headway this week and ROBAKERs is 7-6. Ok…enough about last week…I can’t believe Week #5 is already here. I can remember a time before there was no Thursday Night Football or even a Sunday Night Game. Keeping up with the NFL and Fantasy has become that much more difficult with these two games…especially Thursday. It seems like the Monday Night game just ended yesterday.

Before I get to my Thursday Night Picks…lets take a look at how my Fantasy Picks for Week 4 did. Ok…to begin we will look at the Quarterback.
Peyton Manning continued his mastery while my other two picks Matt Stafford and Philip Rivers also enjoyed success. Eli Manning was a bust as I had predicted. Running Back was not as successful for me. My must starts were Bilal Powell, LeSean McCoy and Jamal Charles. Charles was the only one of the bunch who had a huge fantasy game. My Receivers were also busts. I mean Calvin Johnson scored a Touchdown but was nowhere near his dominant self. Meanwhile, I did hit the nose on the head with my Running Back Duds as I said to sit Doug Martin and CJ Spiller.

Taking a quick look back at Week 4 may teach us something. New Orleans is definitely back, The Chiefs are most certainly for real, and the Giants are sinking faster than the Titanic. The Eagles looked pathetic once again as did the Bengals. The Colts stepped up and so did the Vikings. We now have five Unbeaten teams…Kansas City, New England, Denver, New Orleans, and Seattle. Wow…five teams. And then we have the lowly Jaguars. Maybe they will show some as semblance of an offense this week as Justin Blackmon comes off suspension. One thing is for sure…Denver could go-all-the-way!!!!

Now lets take a quick glance at Thursday Nights game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns. This matchup pits two 2-2 teams going in different directions. First we have the Bills. Their much maligned rushing been nothing short of embarrassing. Tonight will also be the debut of Rookie Quarterback EJ Manuel. Manuel is not the big name variety but judging by what analysts say he does have NFL tools.
Now lets get to the Browns. Two weeks ago, the entire nation had thought that the Cleveland had thrown in the towel. They benched their starting quarterback in favor of Brian Hoyer. Hoyer was an understudy of Tom Brady, but he never had any big game experience. Then the Browns went and traded Franchise Running Back Trent Richardson to the Colts and signed Willis McGahee off of the scrap heap…WHAT??!!!!!!!&&$@&@@&! That’s what the Browns fans had to be doing. Could you imagine if the Eagles traded LeSean McCoy! As if that was not bad, there was talk around the league that the Browns were shopping stud wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was fresh off a suspension. Well folks, this Browns team did a 360. Hoyer has had 2 great starts, Gordon has over 200 yards receiving and a Touchdown, and star rising tight end Jordan Cameron has caught four touchdowns in three weeks. So, the Browns are moving forward as the Bills are going backwards. Cleveland is favored by 3.5 at home against the Unknown Bills. By unknown I mean no identity. Anyways, I am taking CLEVELAND to win the game 24-10. I think Cleveland has the right idea with a young quarterback who studied the BEST…Tom Brady. Stay tuned for the SAVs pick and later in the week I will have the rest of my Week 5 picks. Everybody enjoy Thursday Night Lights.

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NFL WEEK #3 RESULTS/FANTASY FALLOUT

    Week #3 saw both DA BIRD and SAV go 8-8 with our picks.  So at this point, I am still leading the season with a 26-22 Record, while Savage is now 21-27.  This year has been anything but easy to pick so far…as the league seems more even this year.  The Haves and Have Nots are a small portion of the entire league.  In the NFC…The Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans Saints are all 3-0 so far.  In comparison, The New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all 0-3.  Yes, that’s not a mistake folks…the Giants and Redskins are both 0-3.  There is no misprint.  The NFC LEAST has become like the OLD NFC WEST.  The NFC at this point is anyone’s division and it appears that a team could even win the division with a 7-9 record as bad as these teams are at this point.

     Now…let us travel to the AFC.  The New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, and Kansas City Chiefs are all 3-0 in the early going.  The Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars are both 0-3.  So if we do the math…there are Seven Unbeaten Teams and and Six teams without a win yet.  The surprises so far has been the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins in the AFC and the New Orleans Saints in the NFC.  As far as disappointments thus far are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins and New York Giants who are all 0-3.  The biggest surprise there are the Steelers and Giants, who have combined for five of the past ten Super Bowl Wins in the past ten years.  The Jacksonville Jaguars are probably the only team that is right on schedule for a record close to the preseason picks.

     Peyton Manning has set a record for a three game period by throwing 12 Touchdowns in the first three games.  The Denver Broncos seem to be the toast of the AFC and have unlimited weapons.  I would be buying a dog this week if I was the Eagles.  Any team that has to face this offense has to be scared out of its wits at this point.  The Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears are leading the NFC so far.  The teams that have good records, but have played poorly are the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints, who have both escaped with some very close wins.

     There were many standout players in Week #3 on both Offense and Defense.  Of course, like always there was expected and also surprises.  Let’s begin with the Quarterbacks.  Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Brian Hoyer all passed for over 300 Yards and 3 Scores.  Ben Rothlisberger, Geno Smith, Matt Stafford and RGIII also threw for over 300 Yards.  Demarco Murray of the Cowboys and LeSean McCoy of the Eagles lead the way at running back rushing for over 150 yards and a score.  Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, Donnie Avery, Jimmy Graham, Calvin Jones and Julio Jones stole the show at receiver in Week #3.  So far the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos have been the most dominant defenses in the NFL.

     In the Fantasy Realm, my team won giving me a 2-1 Record so far.  Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson and Antonio Gates were my top three scorers.  A player that I left on the bench, that I was contemplating starting, Josh Gordon absolutely exploded.  But who would have took that chance with Brian Hoyer starting his first game at Quarterback for the Cleveland Browns who had also traded their Franchise Running Back earlier in the week.  That is why Fantasy Football still remains mostly luck.  Its luck due to many factors.  Injuries can kill your team.  However, there is also skill involved in knowing the match ups. Savage’s team, The Deuce Droppers once again DROPPED A DEUCE.  His team is lighting it up thus far.  Many of our owners are eating crow for him drafting four Dallas Cowboys.  Well, that is all I have for my weekly recap.  Stay tuned for my blog on the Top 20 Running Backs of 1990-2010 and also my Week #4 picks and analysis.  Everyone enjoy this beautiful Tuesday afternoon.  THE ECHO BEACH LEAGUE is in full swing…HOLLA!ImageImage

WEEK #10 NFL RESULTS/FANTASY FALLOUT/POWER RANKINGS

Ok.  Well I already ranted enough about the state of the Philadelphia Eagles in my previous post so I will not even go into any details about this subject.  Week #10 saw my team on a Bye and Aaron was solo as far as picks go.  Aaron went a modest 6-6, which moved him and I into a virtual tie for the year so far, both of us with a 78-51 Record ATS.  Aaron actually picked the Eagles to beat the Cowboys, a result that was far from the outcome.  We are coming down the stretch so with six weeks left…it’s anyone’s win for the taking.  As I have stated in many previous blogs….this NFL season has been full of surprises both on an individual performance basis, as well as on a team level.  Of course, my trend continued as I lost another tight one in Fantasy.  The New York Giants Defense and Miles Austin both killed me.  Both the Giants and Austin had been my most consistent performers to date.  Well, this week they cost me.  I also lost Fred Jackson, once again to an injury after compiling a stellar 26 Point Day (ughhhhhh!!!!!).  I have had no luck at the Running Back position, which continues to be my weak link in Fantasy.  So with this loss….my record drops to 4-6 with 3 weeks left.  I would probably have to win out at this point in order to have a chance of making the playoffs.  Aaron on the other hand won this week and moves to 7-3.  Last year Aaron won the league as well as the points total.  My team is really putting up good numbers, but I keep getting bad breaks by starting one or two of the wrong players.  Peyton Manning is at the top of the points charts as far as quarterbacks go.  I probably have the best Wide Receiver core in the league with Marshall, Megatron and Miles Austin.  Jason Hanson is at the top for Kickers, The Giants are at the top in defense, and Jason Witten is at the top in Tight Ends.  My weak link is definitely at Running Back where I have had some key injuries.  Oh well, thats how Fantasy works.  It takes some luck and good health.  Well as far as Power Rankings go….here is my Top 10:

1) Atlanta Falcons

2) Houston Oilers

3) Chicago Bears

4) Baltimore Ravens

5) Denver Broncos

6) Chicago Bears

7) Seattle Seahawks

8) New England Patriots

9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10) Pittsburgh Steelers

*****Honorable Mention: New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers.

Stay tuned to Thursday for the pick of the week and more Fantasy News.Image

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

 

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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NFL WEEK 6 PICKS/FANTASY START EMS-SIT EMS

It’s that time AGAIN. 1 game already down in Week#6, an upset with the Tennessee Titans beating the Pittsburgh Steelers. This season has been a very tough one to get a handle on as far as favorites and underdogs. Many times the opposite has won. Well I guess that’s what makes sports fun. At least the Yankees lost…so there should be a lot of happy sports fans this AM. Anyways…here are my Week #6 Picks:
1) Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns- The Bengals are only favored by 2.5 points on the road against the woeful Browns. This tells you a fee things…Vegas has no faith in the Browns, who are winless and have even less faith in the Bengals. I’m actually going out on a limb and taking the Browns at home to win outright. The Bengals have been a major disappointment and the Browns are due for a win.
2) Indianapolis Colts @ New York Jets- The line in this one is 3.5 with the Jets favored to win at home. The Jets have been another disappointment, losing Revis for the season really hurt this team bad. The Colts have been up and down. Andrew Luck has not been too bad. Look for his luck to shine in this one. I’m taking the Colts as Road Dogs to beat the Jets.
3) Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs are favored at home by 4.5 points. I’m taking the Bucs to win the game, but the Chiefs will cover. I don’t see this being a high scoring game as both teams play good defense. I don’t think the Chiefs will be able to run on the Bucs and If Tampa can control the clock they should be able to pull this out.
4) Oakland Raiders @ Atlanta Falcons- Wow! The Falcons are the toast of the NFC right now and Vegas is showing this. Atlanta is favored by 9.5 points. Normally I stay away from these one sided games…but Atlanta is playing dominant football on both sides of the ball. Look for Matt Ryan and this explosive offense to continue it’s onslaught on a not so good Raider’s defense. Take the Falcons and they will cover.
5) Dallas Cowboys @ Baltimore Ravens- The Ravens are favored by a field goal in this one. Baltimore continues to shine on Defense and their offense remains one if the most balanced in the NFL. Tony Romo has been horrible and I don’t see the Cowboys turning their game around on the road against a tough Raven’s D. Take the Ravens to win and cover.
6) Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles have been so inconsistent and have not faired well as the favorite. The only thing as consistent that the Eagles have done under Andy Reid’s tenure as coach besides being pass happy is that they usually bounce back with wins after a loss. I picked the Eagles to beat the Steelers and of course was wrong like most of the experts. If the Eagles can commit to the run I could see them routing the Lions. However, Andy Reid could screw up a wet dream. The Birds are favored by 3.5 points. Look for another close game here and the Eagles bounce back at home. The Eagles win but the Lions cover.
7) Saint Louis Rams @ Miami Dolphins- Miami has really jelled this season and they continue to improve on both sides of the ball. The Rams pulled out a win on Monday Night in an upset but they will not fair as well against the streaking Dolphins. The Dolphins, who are favored by 4.5 points at home will beat the Rams easily and cover.
8) New England Patriots @ Seattle Seahawks- New England is only favored by 3.5 on the road. The Patriots are looking for a blowout and this has the makings of one. However, they played a very intense game last week against Denver and this could be one of those let down games. I cannot bet against the Patriots though. Take New England to win the game and cover.
9) Buffalo Bills @ Arizona Cardinals- The Cardinals are favored by 4 at home against a Bills team that has struggled to find an identity this season. Arizona has played consistent as evidenced by their record. The Bills are due for a solid game and I’m taking the Buffalo to win but Arizona will cover.
10) Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins- The Redskins have had many injuries including RJ3 last week suffering a concussion. They are only favored by 2 points against a Vikings team that is not getting any credit around the league for the good start. I’m going to take the Vikings in a road upset as they win outright.
11) New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers- This is the marquee matchup of the day pitting the number 1 offensive team (Giants) against the number 1 Defense (49ers). The 49ers are favored by 6.5 points at home in this one. I like the 49ers to win the game but the Giants will cover as this one comes down to the wire. It could be a preview of the NFC Championship Game Folks.
12) Green Bay Packers @ Houston Texans- In the past few seasons the Packers would be favorites on the road, but not this season and particularly not in this game. The Texans have distanced themselves as the class of the AFC. Houston is favored by 3.5 points in this game and I am going to agree with Vegas. Take Houston to win and cover.
13) Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers- This game is a pick Em right now. The Chargers have played well this season, but Peyton Manning continues to show the league that the Colts made a huge mistake in getting rid of him. Manning is back and he makes the Broncos so much better. Take the Broncos to squeak by the Chargers in a Monday Night Thriller.
Ok…stay tuned for Aaron’s picks. It should be another exciting Sunday.

Now to Fantasy Football. My team is plugging away at 2-3. These are the weeks when leagues get interesting with the injuries mounting and more and more teams on the bye. This is where having a good bench can really improve your chances. Here are my Start Ems for Week #6:
QB-Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady
RB- Reggie Bush, Michael Turner, LeSean McCoy
WR- Calvin Johnson, Roddy White, A.J Green
TE- Brent Celek, Vernon Davis, Tony Gonzalez
K-Mason Crosby, David Akers, Stephen Gostowski
D- Ravens, Miami, Atlanta

Sit Ems:
QB-Andy Dalton, Tony Romo, Matt Cassel
RB-Shonn Green, Ahmad Bradshaw, Demarco Murray
WR-Brandon Lloyd, Brian Hartline, Anquan Boldin
TE-Owen Daniels, Jason Witten, Jermicha Finley
K-Lawrence Tynes, Matt Prater, Sebastian Janikowki
D-Giants, Oakland, Rams

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