Friday, October 29, 2010

NFL 2010 Week 8 Picks

Not a bad week last week, but let’s see if we can build on this.

Miami @ Cincinnati – Can we do it two weeks in a row? Well, can Palmer do it two weeks in a row? Miami is a tough team that consistently plays well, and that comes from good coaching (and some talent). The Bengals have got to run the ball which may be a chore against the Dolphins, but that helps Palmer be better. It’s a home game and you gotta think that the Bengals are going to get on track at some point in order to save their head coaches’ job. We’ll see. Winner – Bengals.

Jacksonville @ Dallas – The dust has settled and now the Cowboys have to play the hand they were dealt. Jon Kitna is the starter and it’s been almost 2 years since his last start. He was able to get Dez Bryant involved last week and I expect that he’ll continue that. Dallas has to figure out their running game, is it going to be Barber, Jones, or whomever? Get one and stick with him until he gets hurt. The season is pretty much over unless they get something miraculous going on in Dallas. This game should allow them to at least get a win and feel good about themselves. IF they lose to this Jaguars team, they shouldn’t even show up for the rest of the year. Winner – Cowboys.

Washington @ Detroit – Matthew Stafford will get the start for this game. This week they get another NFC East squad in the Redskins. Based on the performance last week by the Redskins against the Bears, Stafford may want to let Stanton take this start. I do expect that the Redskins defense will play pretty well in this game, but I expect the Redskins to have problems running the ball against the Lions front 4. I don’t expect that Stafford will be as good as he has looked in previous weeks, so I gotta go with the veteran. Winner – Redskins.

Buffalo @ Kansas City – On the surface, this would be an easy pick because the Chiefs are showing that they can put points on the board and they can play some defense. Then they get the Bills offense that put up a lot of points and gained a lot of yards against a normally stout Ravens defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick is looking like a better version of Matt Cassel when he was in New England, but of course Fitzpatrick went to Harvard. This could be a test for the Chiefs that they really have to pass since this is a team that they should beat. Are they up to the task? Winner – Chiefs.

Green Bay @ New York Jets – The Jets are coming off of their bye and things haven’t been as entertaining without them being in the news. A week away allows Revis to rest his hamstring, and probably was a good break for this team. I imagine that they will make quick work of the Packers since they don’t have a running game and I think the Jets will get to Rodgers enough to beat him up. The Bears should be happy this week because they are on a bye and they get to watch the Packers lose. Winner – Jets.

Denver @ San Francisco – I guess call me crazy too. I really think that the 49ers can win the NFC West, unless the Seahawks just turn it on. None of the teams in that division are blowing me away. Yes, the 49ers are having QB issues, but I think that it gets better with Troy Smith starting this week. Here’s to lightening in a bottle for Smith. The Broncos need to bounce back from last weeks’ thrashing at the hands of the Raiders (of all teams), so I expect this to be a close game. Winner – 49ers.

Tennessee @ San Diego – Will Vince go this week? Will the Chargers get out of the gate this week? I’m pretty much giving up on the Chargers. They are having problems with their depth at LB but they are going to let go Merriman, they are having problems with their WR but they don’t want to pay their best one in Jackson, and for some reason this pool of talent just can’t seem to get it going. Sounds like front office and coaching issues to me. The Titans have a great running game and some underappreciated receivers. They just continue to push forward and win games. I expect that they will continue that trend this week. Winner – Titans.

Tampa Bay @ Arizona – Somebody has to win this game, right? The Cardinals need a QB and the Bucs need a consistent RB. This will be indoors and maybe this Bucs defense gets a little faster? I really have no idea. I just feel sorry for Fitzgerald having to endure this down period for the Cardinals. Winner – Bucs.

Minnesota @ New England – So the big question is how is Brett’s ankle? We know he can still text, but can he play this week? Yes, the streak is on the line and I imagine that Childress will start Jackson. If that happens, look for the Vikings to be energized with T-Jack back there and I think they’ll be excited enough to get this win. The Patriots haven’t looked good (barring that one game against the Ravens) since they traded Randy Moss. Are they still an elite team without a big play receiver? The Vikings have to have this game, in the biggest way. Winner – Vikings.

Seattle @ Oakland – The Raiders come off their best game in what, 10 years? They play a Seahawks team that seems to find a way to win. Can Jason Campbell play well two games in a row? That may be the biggest question. For some reason I think that he has turned the corner. Hasselbeck may play well in this game also, but I think it’ll come down to the running game of each team, so DMC (McFadden) vs. Marshawn Lynch. Who you got? Winner – Raiders.

Pittsburgh @ New Orleans – The Saints NEED a win and they get to welcome the Steelers into the bayou. I would normally say that this would be an ambush, but I think this is the worst thing for the Saints. The Steelers have been playing decent/good ball when they decide to run, and the Saints have problems stopping the run. Brees won’t have a lot of time back in that pocket, so I gotta go with the better defense. Winner – Steelers.

Houston @ Indianapolis – Rematch!!! The Texans hit the Colts early and often in their last game. The Texans have had some rough patches as of late and the Colts aren’t really impressing me. The Colts have lost Collie and Clark and it seems as though everyone is beat up otherwise. This game is in Indy on Monday night and that’s when magic happens. Going against the grain here. Winner – Texans.

Who you got?!?!?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Good Pitching Always Beats Bad Hitting - NLCS and ALCS Wrap Up

I know this report on the NLCS and ALCS is a little late but I am still in disbelief over how the Phillies let their best opportunity to win another championship slip through their hands. We always hear how in the playoffs good pitching beats good hitting, but in the NLCS you had inept hitting in the clutch. Each game the Phillies had their opportunities but more times than not the so called stars came up small in big moments. Prime suspects were Chases Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, and Raul Ibanez. If I was Ruben Amaro, the general manager of the Phillies I would shake things up and trade the Teflon Don Chase Utley and resign Jayson Werth. This is the kind of move that will kill any complacency that may have seeped into that locker room since 2008. Some of you may think that this is a panic move, it is far from that. It is a move that will make that burning fire that use to permeate throughout that locker room return and bring back championship glory to the great city of Philadelphia.

Now news from the other league, Yankees lose in six and the dream match up of Cliff Lee vs. Roy Halladay will not happen. To quote Florida Evans from Good Times, 'Damn, Damn , Damn!!!'.

Live from the classroom, class is dismissed.

- Philly Educator

NBA Wrap Up - Lakers, Blazers, Celtics 10-27-10

Great night of games last night, let’s recap.

Heat @ Celtics – This pretty much turned out the way I thought.  The Celtics looked good in spurts and they were egged on by the home crowd.  You got the majority of what you’ll see all year long: Pierce (19 pts, 7 rebs), Allen (20 pts), Garnett (10 pts, 10 rebs), Big Baby (13 pts) and Shaq (9 pts, 7 rebs) will show up every now and then.  Rondo had a terrible scoring game but led the Celtics with 17 assists (only 3 turnovers).  Welcome back Marquis Daniels, the Celtics really need you (could have used you last year too).  The Heat were slow out of the gates, with the exception of LBJ.  I can’t believe that he actually posted Paul Pierce up.  I mean, yes, he missed the two foot bunny, but he POSTED Paul Pierce up. If that’s not something to be happy about, I don’t know what is.  The Celtics were able to hold on and win this game, and we know the Heat will be better, but I agree with Charles Barkley when he said that Mike Miller should renegotiate his contract right now, because without him, the Heat have no outside shooting. 

Rockets @ Lakers – The good thing for the Rockets is that Yao Ming didn’t get hurt.  He actually played pretty well and so did the Rockets backcourt of Aaron Brooks (24 pts, 9 asts) and Kevin Martin (26 pts, 3 rebs, 2 asts).  The Lakers got their Championship Rings and it was good to see each player introduce the next.  Interesting note, Adam Morrison has a Championship ring, let that marinate with you for a moment.  Kobe was Kobe (27 pts, 5 rebs, 7 asts) on his gimpy knee, Gasol put on a clinic (29 pts, 11 rebs, 2 blks) and the Lakers bench helped with the play of Shannon Brown (16 pts) and Steve Blake (10 pts, 3 asts).  The scary part is when they get Bynum back, they have to be odds on favorites to repeat.  This team could be scary. Take a look at the Lakers' Ring

Suns @ Trail Blazers – Maybe Steve Nash had a point about being upset about the team around him.  Outside of his performance (26 pts, 4 rebs, 6 asts, 9 TOs) the Suns pretty much stunk.  Yes, Jason Richardson had 22 pts, but for some reason he stopped shooting (he was 9-13 last night).  Turkoglu disappointed by getting two early fouls and he was pretty much done for the night.  If there is a sliver of hope, it’s Hakim Warrick’s play (10 pts, 2 rebs).  He’s not Amare, but he can do some of the things that Amare can do.  Give him some time.  The Blazers were led by Brandon Roy (24 pts, 3 rebs, 6 asts, 3 stls) and Nicolas Batum (19 pts, 11 rebs).  Interesting note, the Bulls should STILL be killing themselves for not picking Roy (and picking Tyrus Thomas back in the 2006 draft) especially now that they really need a 2 guard.  This Portland team may be ready to make some noise this year.    

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NBA 2010 Opening Night

The NBA season kicks off tonight with three games on the docket.  The first game of the night pits the new look Heat paying a visit to the Boston Celtics.  The next two games are both West Coast affairs with the Champion Los Angeles Lakers (on ring night) taking on the Houston Rockets, while the Phoenix Suns visit the Portland to take on the Trail Blazers.  Let’s take a look at these games.

Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics – The original Big 3, get to see the new Big 3.  We all know the principles here, LBJ, Wade and Bosh for the Heat and KG, Pierce, and Allen for the Celtics.  Let’s say for kicks that each Big 3 plays each other even.  The difference in this game will come down to the next tier of players.  Rajon Rondo going up against Carlos Arroyo and the Big Leprechaun playing against Joel Anthony/Ilgauskas are definitely the match ups that the Celtic hope to exploit.  Both benches have their pluses and minuses, but I guess I have to go with the Celtics.  Yes, Game 1 for the Heat is an ‘L’.  Winner – Celtics.

Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers – Ring Night!!!  Can’t wait to see the rock they get.  Is it me or are these rings starting to cost the GDP of a small country?  Back to basketball, with Kobe playing limited minutes, we’ll see how good some of that bench is.  No Luke Walton or Bynum, so Odom should start seeing extended minutes at the 4 with Gasol manning the 5 until Bynum gets back.  The Lakers are stacked so it shouldn’t be an issue and guys like Artest can play 2-4 or Barnes can play 2-3, and the Lakers always have clutch shooter/performer Derek Fisher.  Tonight is the return of a healthy (we’ll see how long that lasts) Yao Ming.  Can Trevor Ariza make his old team pay for letting him walk?  I doubt it.  Winner – Lakers.

Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trail Blazers – What does it say for your chances to win when your star player is pretty pissed with the team that you have around him?  Ask Steve Nash.  The Suns and all of their forwards (how many do they have on this team) go to Portland and play against another forward-laden team (mostly due to injury).  This will be Game 1 of the post-Stoudamire regime for the Suns and I think they will actually be ok.  They were able to pick up some pieces that will essentially replace Stoudamire (although it’ll take about 2 ½ people).  The Trail Blazers have one of the best backcourts in the game with Miller and Roy, but you have to hope that they can play nice with each other.  I’m going out on a limb on this one and I’m picking the Suns.  Winner – Suns. 

Who you got?  Can the Lakers win it all again this year?  Are the Heat for real?  Can the Celtics get another year out of KG and possibly win it all? 

NFL 2010 Week 7 Wrap Up

Ok, it’s getting quite sickening for me.  It’s time for some coaches (maybe some GMs too) to get pick slips.  If you watched some of these games, you should be thinking the same thing.  Let’s see how e did and you gotta always hope for the best. 

Cincinnati @ Atlanta – Shootout!!  It didn’t start that way, but it really ended that way.  The Bengals spotted the Falcons 21 points by halftime, but whatever happened at half time, they might want to look into doing that at the beginning of each of their next games.  Two Carson Palmer TD passes, a Mike Nugent field goal, and a fumble return by Adam Jones (the Artist Formerly Known as Pacman) and the Bengals are up 25-24.   The good news, Carson Palmer looked like the Palmer of old.  He threw for 412 yards and 3 TDs, and he worked his arm out by having 50 attempts (36 completions).  The bad news, they lost the game.  The Falcons, got up early and went to sleep but were able to get back on the horse with a monster game from Michael Turner (121 yards and 2 TDs), Matty Ice (Ryan) with a 299 yard, 3 TDs, and 1 INT, and Roddy White did his best Jerry Rice impersonation with 11 catches for 201 yards and 2 TDs.  The Falcons are 5-2 and things are looking great in Hot-Lanta.  Inquisitive Mind 1 – 0 for the week.  

Washington @ Chicago – I am a sage or something.  ‘The Bears normally play McNabb tough, but I imagine that you’ll see a big game from Arakbo and Landry, and maybe, just maybe big Haynesworth shows up this weekend’.  Pretty much says it all.  The Bears suck.  I don’t know what else to say.  The game was pretty much completed in a few plays on Sunday.  Play 1 - Earl Bennett gets a big play downfield and is stopped at the one.  The Bears offense lines up to run their play, then a challenge flag from Lovie.  If you don’t have enough confidence in your team to get 1 yard, go home.  They challenge the play and lose the challenge.  Play 2 - They call a QB sneak and as Cutler reaches across the goal line (yes it was a TD, but so was Calvin Johnson’s TD in the first game of the season, karma is a #*$(%), the ball is knocked out of his hands and is a fumble recovered by the Redskins. Play 3 - The Redskins punt and the Bears drive all the way back inside the 20.  Cutler throws the ball off his back foot (he does this ALL THE TIME) and DeAngelo Hall intercepts the ball (one handed, find the video, it’s nasty) and takes it to the house for a TD.  All of this happens in a two minute span in the 3rd quarter.  Lovie has to go.  He didn’t challenge the turnover/fumble by Cutler but he challenged the ball being down at the one.  The Bears were able to run the ball pretty well and then they let Cutler go pass crazy and he ends up with 4 INTs (not all his fault, but I digress).  Can the Bears just start over?  Inquisitive Mind 2 – 0 for the week. 

St. Louis @ Tampa Bay – The Rams were up 17-6 at halftime and they just lost this game.  I mean they literally stopped playing and lost this game.  They did everything that they hadn’t been doing weeks before to lose.  Sad, sad, sad.  Inquisitive Mind 2 – 1 for the week. 

San Francisco @ Carolina – Well I guess the situation at QB has been solved for the 49ers.  Alex Smith was knocked out of the game and Carr took over and it looked a little better than a train wreck for the 49ers.  They gave a Carolina team their first (and maybe only) win of the season.  Singletary, it’s been good while it lasted, but I expect that you’ll be on your way out too.  Let the Troy Smith era begin in San Fran.  Inquisitive Mind 2 – 2 for the week. 

Buffalo @ Baltimore – What in the world happened?  The Ravens thought that Ray Lewis’ pre-game dance was going to win the game for them, but someone forgot to tell the Bills.  Ryan Fitzpatrick looked great and if it weren’t for the play of  Joe ‘Cool’ Flacco, the Ravens would have taken a nice ‘L’ here.  Ed Reed got his INT in his first game back and Ray Lewis sealed the deal with a fumble recovery at the end of the game.  The Ravens and Pittsburgh will be the two teams to beat in the AFC, write it down.  Inquisitive Mind 3 – 2 for the week.

Philadelphia @ Tennessee – Kevin Kolb showed up.  This is the guy that I have been talking about.  Kolb goes out and pulls out a forgettable performance (26 of 48 for 231 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INTs), prompting the never flappable Andy Reid to declare Vick the starter after the bye week.  Kolb got outplayed by Kerry Collins.  Kerry Collins retired a year ago, but for some reason, he still plays for the Titans.  Inquisitive Mind 4 – 2 for the week. 

Jacksonville @ Kansas City – Dare I say two good games by Matt Cassel, in a row too.  The Chiefs just beat a bad team in the Jaguars.  Thomas Jones filled in the lead dog runner act and ended the game with 125 yards (on 20 carries) and a TD.  Cassel had a 13 of 18 for 193 yards and 2 TDs performance that says he might be worth a quarter of his contract.  At least I did get one part right on my prediction ‘This has blowout written all over it’.  Inquisitive Mind 5 – 2 for the week. 

Pittsburgh @ Miami – (Laughing).  You can conclusively tell who has the ball when you have several people in a pile?  Isn’t it the guy who comes out of the pile with the ball?  Big Ben looked like he was testifying about the girl in the bathroom again ‘I had the ball at the bottom of the pile’, right and the young lady in the bar wasn’t drunk in the bathroom, right?  (Maybe that’s a low blow).  Nevertheless, the Steelers won and against a tough Miami team.  Many were saying that the Steelers are depending on Big Ben’s arm more since his return, but he attempted 27 passes and they ran the ball 27 times yesterday.  That’s balance.  Inquisitive Mind 6 – 2 for the week.  

Cleveland @ New Orleans – ‘This game ought to be entertaining and may not be the blowout that some expect’.  I still can’t believe the final score on this one.  I guess Drew Brees had that Jay Cutler disease and he decided that the other color jersey was the one to throw to.  The Saints ought to pick up David Bowens and see if they can convert him to a TE because he can catch balls from Brees all day.  Take away the two INTs for TDs and the one Hillis run (great field position) and the Browns didn’t show up for this game but put together enough to get this win.  That’s all that really matters.  Inquisitive Mind 6 – 3 for the week.  

Arizona @ Seattle – This was an ugly game.  If you were looking for offense, you were better off watching ANYTHING else on TV.  Hasselbeck threw for 192 yards and a TD, while both of the Cardinals QBs threw for a combined 114 yards and an INT.  They should pay the fans that had to watch this game.  This had to be a form of torture.  Inquisitive Mind – 7 – 3 for the week. 

New England @ San Diego – Note to Norv Turner:  Just pack it up.  You and AJ Smith, just pack it up and head home.  Thanks for your time and effort.  Gates played and had a decent game, but I’m not sure what it is for this Chargers team.  They suck too.  Inquisitive Mind 8 – 3 for the week. 

Oakland @ Denver – Wow!!!!  This is the Raiders team that I thought would be showing up this year.  No, I didn’t imagine them putting up 59 points a game or anything, but a team that was dangerous on both sides of the ball.  Campbell (12 of 20, for 204 yards and 2 TDs), McFadden (16 carries, 165 yards, 3 TDs, plus 1 TD receiving), and this defense should be playing like this all the time.  What was in the pre-game meal?  Whatever it was, have it again.  Inquisitive Mind 8 – 4 for the week. 

Minnesota @ Green Bay – Brad Childress, pack up your tent and roll out.  Please!!!!!  Yes, Brett had a terrible game (two INTs for TDs) but at the end of the game they have a chance to win and you end up calling a Sprint Out for your 40 year old QB?  Are you serious?  Yes, you move the pocket and maybe that throws off the defense, but why not just protect him (you had for the majority of the night)?  Who is calling this stuff?  Then to make it all better, Childress dumps on Favre during the post-game press conference.  There you go Chilly, be a man, now.  The Vikings have sooooo much talent on both sides of the ball.  This will be a waste if they can’t make it to the Superbowl.  Inquisitive Mind 8 – 5 for the week. 

New York Giants @ Dallas – Well, the good news is that Cowboys Stadium is now closed for the season.  No more of the sickening amusement park ride that has been the Cowboys this year.  The Giants started off the game terribly with Eli Manning throwing two picks and the Cowboys able to take advantage of those turnovers.  Then it went horribly wrong for the Cowboys on a missed blitz pickup and Michael Boley hit Tony Romo and ended up breaking his clavicle.  By this point the Giants went on a roll after this and seemed to break the game wide open.  A few series with Jon Kitna at the helm and then the Cowboys caught fire again and made this game.  In the end, Dez Bryant had his coming out party (3 TDs, 54 yards receiving, 118 return yards), and Manning looked almost like his brother by tossing 4 TDs (but also 3 INTs).  I think part of Jerry Jones died last night when he saw Romo laying on the ground.  Inquisitive Mind 8 – 6 for the week. 

Well it was a fun week watching the games, but I’ve gotta get better than a little over .500.  I think this week will be the turning point for a lot of teams as they head towards the playoff chase.  So I’m sitting at 59-45 for the year and I’m not making up any ground on the leaders, but I still have some time.  Mortensen, I’m coming after you.    

Friday, October 22, 2010

NFL 2010 Week 7 Picks

Week 7 and we're looking good.  Lots of parity or at least a lot of teams playing badly right now.  The league has sent out videos to teach these guys how to hit and I'm not sure that it's something that many will take into practice.  These players have been taught how to play the game and punishing people is part of the game.  You never want to hurt someone, but you do want them thinking about you and not the play that they are about to make.  Anyways, back to the picks.  Here they are,...............

Cincinnati @ Atlanta – The Falcons are looking to bounce back from that debacle last week where they didn’t show up against the Eagles.  The Bengals are looking for ways to ignite their offense and all of the pressure seems to be squarely on Carson Palmer’s shoulders (and rightly so).  Palmer hasn’t played well this season and he has tons of weapons.  The Bengals don't have a backup for Palmer, except his little brother and we all know that inserting him in the game would be a huge mistake.  I guess the Bengals have to dance with the lady they brung.  Winner - Falcons.

Washington @ Chicago – After a humbling loss last week against the Seahawks, what Bears team will show up?  The Bears are going to have to bring it this weekend.  The Redskins are a solid team with a decent offense, but they are underrated on the defensive side of the ball.  The Bears normally play McNabb tough, but I imagine that you’ll see a big game from Arakbo and Landry, and maybe, just maybe big Haynesworth shows up this weekend.  Go with the team with the better offense.  Winner – Redskins.    

St. Louis @ Tampa Bay – Hmmmm,….this is a pretty even game.  The Rams can run the ball and they seem to be playing pretty well as of late.  They have you thinking that on any weekend they can beat pretty much anyone.  There’s nothing to do in Tampa (except strip clubs, but I wouldn’t know anything about those), so I imagine that the Rams come to town and play a solid game and escape with a win.  Winner – Rams. 

San Francisco @ Carolina – It worked last week, so let’s try it again.  The 49ers get their 2nd win of the season.  They have got to solve the issue that is their QB situation, but they are limited by having only Alex Smith and David Carr, but they do have former Ravens QB Troy Smith as their 3rd QB.  Come one Singletary, Troy can’t be that bad.  Winner – 49ers. 

Buffalo @ Baltimore – The Ravens get Ed Reed back to help that defense get better and hopefully they can find TJ Houshmandzadeh and get him off the milk carton he’s been on all year.  This will be a long trip home for the Bills after this but whuppin.  Winner – Ravens.

Philadelphia @ Tennessee – Kevin Kolb gets the start.  (Think before you type the next sentence IM).  Last week I let my feelings be known about Kevin Kolb and he went out and destroyed the Atlanta team (my fantasy team defense), so with that said what do I say this weekend about him?  I don’t think that he can do it two weeks in a row.  The Titans will maybe have VY on a gimpy knee, but if they have Kerry Collins, this turns into an even contest.  The Titans defense is pretty stingy and they are a feisty group and the Eagles will be without DeSean Jackson.  I expect a lot of 8 in the box to stop the Eagles running game.  Because ‘in Kolb, I don’t trust’, I have to go with the Titans.  Winner – Titans. 

Jacksonville @ Kansas City – The Chiefs lost a close one last week, that they should have won.  Jacksonville is starting, who?  In Kansas City?  This has blowout written all over it.  Winner – Chiefs.

Pittsburgh @ Miami – Big Ben in game 2 of his season.  He looked a little rusty last week, but I still will look for the Dolphins to make him make a mistake in the passing game while trying to load the box and stop Mendenhall.  Miami, can run the ball, but this is the Steelers defense and I don’t care what these guys were told about playing, they are going to hit people in the mouth and take names.  Look for a lot of penalties in this game.  Winner – Steelers. 

Cleveland @ New Orleans – This game ought to be entertaining and may not be the blowout that some expect.  McCoy played decently against the Steelers last week and he actually may have Cribbs and Massaquoi back from concussions.  This will be a very interesting test for the Browns this weekend.  The Saints are looking to keep throwing the ball downfield and seem to be on the uptick as of late with their play.  Winner – Saints. 

Arizona @ Seattle – After a surprising win against the Bears last week the Seahawks return home and get the Cardinals.  They can’t lose this game, right?  They seem to be turning the corner, right?  Okung played well against Peppers last week, so he should be ready for an active Cardinals defense, right?  Winner – Seahawks. 

New England @ San Diego – No Gates, No Merriman, No Jackson.  San Deigo can’t seem to get to the games on time because they seem to wait and start playing in the second half.  The Chargers will have to run the ball a little more, but I just don’t see them playing well enough to win against a suddenly hot Patriots team.  How many points will both teams score?  Let me know your over/under.  Winner – Patriots. 

Oakland @ Denver – Starting at QB for the Raiders, Kyle Boller.  (Crickets chirping).  Jason Campbell bombed, Bruce Gradkowski is hurt and he bombed, so why not go with QB #3?  (This week must be an ode to former Ravens QBs).  The Raiders should get back McFadden from a hamstring injury and they should actually go into this game with no stress on them since I don’t think that anyone outside of their locker room thinks they will win.  They are playing in Denver and I expect that it’ll be close, but the Broncos should eek this one out.  Winner – Broncos. 

Minnesota @ Green Bay – Brett Favre returns to Green Bay in purple.  Yeah!!!!  This would be a bigger deal if the Vikings had a better record.  The Packers are beat up all over the place.  Marshawn Lynch would have looked great in the Green and Gold.  This should be a shootout if the Packers can protect Rodgers, otherwise, the Packers 2nd stringer should prepare to play this weekend.  Winner – Vikings.

New York Giants @ Dallas – The Cowboys need a win badly.  They are playing in their billion dollar stadium on Monday night in front of the world.  I think that everyone’s job is on the line despite Jerry Jones’ statements to the contrary.  The Giants are starting to roll and play a lot better and this will be a rough game for the Cowboys to have to win.  The Cowboys need to go a lot of 3 receiver sets and find Dez Bryant for his coming out party.  We’ll see what happens.  Winner – Cowboys.  

Who you got?!?!?!?  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2010 MLB Playoffs - Yankees/Rangers and Phillies/Giants

Wednesday night we have two pivotal games and the results of one still has me puzzled.  


In the Yankees/Rangers game C.C showed why he is a great pitcher and put his team on his back and helped them live to see another day. Let's hope the Rangers are not getting complacent knowing that they have Cliff Lee waiting for game seven. If that is the case then the old saying 'Be careful what you wish for' may bite them in the butt.


Now in the other series we have the game that has me puzzled. I saw consistent mistakes from the pitchers, former MVP's and a manager. Charlie Manuel is a World Series champion manager and his decision making at times must be questioned. Prime example, pitching a pitcher who has not pitched in 19 games in a big time game. Former MVP Jimmy Rollins in the 8th inning with a man on second and no outs refuses to play small ball and move the runner over. That sequence is inexcusable for a veteran like that. The game could have been won right there and maybe the series. Lastly, we have to look at some of the pitch selection of some of these pitchers in critical situations, you have to be able to make adjustments on the fly and all series the Phillies pitchers have not. Before the series started all we heard was that the experience of the Phillies along with their talent was the decided advantage. Well from my view the Giants look like the experienced and hungrier team with all their clutch hitting. Yes, the series by no means is over but it is getting very close.
Live from the classroom, class is dismissed.

- Philly Educator

Welcoming a New Contributor

Keeping up with sports can get rough at times.  We are now bringing on board Philly Educator to assist with this.  As you can tell he may have some of the East Coast bias in him, but he is from the city of Brotherly Love and he'll be putting some of his thoughts on paper also.  So, I welcome him to the fold and you should be hearing from him in the very near future.  Enjoy!!!

Inquisitive Mind

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NFL 2010 Week 6 Wrap Up

Always remember, it's gotta get better.  Last week was pure carnage, let's see what this week brings.   

Seattle @ Chicago – Hassel beck looked like the Hasselbeck of old.  He controlled this game and made the Bears defense look, average.  The Bears offense looked like their offense of late, pretty much nothing.  Cutler didn’t look like all of the cobwebs were gone for him from that concussion and the running game is just about as bad as it gets.  Cutler took some more hits this game and it came from bad offensive line play (again).  This was a game that even though the Bears played terribly, they (gulp) should have won this one.  I don’t know what else to say.  I do know this, I’m starting a Hanie fan club and I’m going to write a letter to Lovie, ‘PLAY YOUR BEST QB’.  Hello Marshawn Lynch and welcome back to being a viable option on a decent team.  Inquisitive Mind 0 – 1 for the week.  

Miami @ Green Bay – The Packers have gone from the darlings of the league to a sad example of what injuries can do to your Superbowl aspirations.  With no running game to speak of, defenses are able to just come after Rodgers and he may have come back a little early from his concussion too.  He had some big plays, but in the end the Packers are just too beat up.  The Packers were able to take this into overtime with a gutsy QB sneak, but the Dolphins ground game was the difference.  Both Williams and Brown had over 60 yards and that’s what did it.  Inquisitive Mind 1 – 1 for the week.  

San Diego @ St. Louis –  This is what I said on Friday - ‘The Chargers are killing themselves. They have to get off to a hot start or they don’t seem to be able to win. The Rams aren’t the best team out there but they really have a chance to win this game’. Rams win.  Chargers need to clean house and that starts with Norv Turner.  Only Wade Phillips is doing a worse job coaching.  Inquisitive Mind 1 – 2 for the week.  

Baltimore @ New England – This game came down to heart, determination, and veteran guile to get the win.  Normally you associate that with the Ravens, but on this day, the Patriots were the ones that were celebrating.  Welcome back Deion Branch, where have you been?  Branch’s return to the Patriots this week and his 99 yards receiving was the catalyst for the Patriots.  The Ravens had this game won, but couldn’t stop the Patriots when they needed to.  All I’m saying, is Round 2 of this matchup will be a great game to watch.  Inquisitive Mind 1 – 3 for the week.  

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay – To answer my own question about the Bucs defense, Carson Palmer (Cincinnati) was just that bad against them.  This game was never in question and seemed more like a Division 1 team playing against a Division 3 team.  Drew Brees played catch and toss all day, while Chris Ivory put up 158 yards on the ground.  Where did this guy come from?  Inquisitive Mind 2 – 3 for the week.  

Detroit @ New York Giants – Whatever’s happening in Detroit, I want some.  The Lions didn’t win this game, but they were right there.  They lost Shaun Hill (9 of 15 for 91 yards and 1 TD) to a broken arm early and put in Drew Stanton, and he goes out and throws for 222 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.  A few plays here and there and the Lions win this game.  Yes, that’s putting a lot of ‘if’s’ together, but they are close.  The Giants got a strong running game from Bradshaw (133 yards) and Jacobs (2 TDs) and that seems to help (any QB) Eli Manning a lot.  Inquisitive Mind 3 – 3 for the week.  

Atlanta @ Philadelphia – It’s hard to win in Philly and maybe that’s why the Falcons didn’t even show up.  I mean they had a bus that brought 53 players to the Linc, but I think they were Clone rejects or something.  The Falcons stunk this up and that’s pretty much all you can say.  Kevin Kolb actually looked good, real good (326 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT). Great game by Jeremy Maclin too.  To Dunta Robinson and DeSean Jackson, get well.  Inquisitive Mind 3 – 4 for the week.  

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh – Big Ben looked rusty, but when you have that defense and the weapons he has, I could probably manage a win as the starting QB for the Steelers.  With that said, a big game by Mike Wallace (3 catches for 90 yards, 1 TD) (thank God for that) and a good game by Mendenhall (27 carries for 84 yards, 1 TD).  The Browns didn’t play as bad as I thought they would.  McCoy looked decent.  The Steelers are going to be (if they already aren’t) DANGEROUS.  Get well Josh Cribbs.  Inquisitive Mind 4 – 4 for the week.  

Kansas City @ Houston – (Still scratching my head)  The Chiefs had a great game from Cassel (20 of 29 for 201 yards, 3 TDs), both running backs (Jones – 100 yards, 1 TD Charles – 93 yards), a great game out of Dwayne Bowe (108 yards, 2 TDs), and they LOST?!?!?  The Texans scored 21 points in the 4th quarter to get a comeback win against the Chiefs.  My only issue with this game is as follows:  When Matt Schaub drops back to pass, what’s the percentage of the time that you would think that he goes to Andre Johnson?  80%, 85%, 90%,….something close.  Why not double cover Andre Johnson and roll the dice with Jacoby Jones beating you?  Especially when the games on the line?!?!?  (Mark and Tracy, I went Chiefs and they let me down.)  Inquisitive Mind 4 – 5 for the week.  

Oakland @ San Francisco – Great job Jason Campbell, you made Alex Smith look like he was a real good 1st round pick.  The 49ers finally cracked the win column and although they played down to their competition, they looked pretty good.  I am still wondering why Alex Smith isn’t holding a clipboard, but hey, I’m not a head coach.  Inquisitive Mind 5 – 5 for the week.  

New York Jets @ Denver – The Orton to Lloyd combination was slowed and the Jets escaped with a win in this one.  The Broncos played well, got 3 turnovers, but couldn’t put points on the boards.  LT ended the game with 55 yards on 16 carries (and 2 TDs) and had to be happy to see the scoreboard when they flashed the Chargers score.  Welcome to the league Tim Tebow as he scored his first TD of his professional career.  Inquisitive Mind 6 – 5 for the week.  

Dallas @ Minnesota – I don’t think that either team was able to get answers to the big questions, like are we good enough to win it all?  But, the Vikings were able to hold off the Cowboys and get a win at home for Randy Moss’ first game back (at home) as a Viking.  All I can say is that AP got 24 carries (73 yards, 1 TD) and after being blanked in the first half, Moss at least got 5 touches in this game.  Tony Romo was second on the team in rushing (with 31 yards) which spells doom in most cases.  I’m all for firing both of the coaches in yesterdays’ game.  Childress for mismanaging talent and the offensive play calling and Wade Phillips for just general malaise.  Inquisitive Mind 7 – 5 for the week.  

Indianapolis @ Washington – The Colts found a running game, Joseph Addai (138 yards, 1 TD) where have you been?!?!?  The Redskins kept this close by having their own 100 yard back, Ryan Torain (100 yards, 2 TDs).  This came down to a few defensive stops and the Colts were able to get them, and that was the difference.  Inquisitive Mind 8 -5 for the week.  

Tennessee @ Jacksonville – What did I say before this game?  ‘Jacksonville has been playing so well lately. It hurts my hurt that they are going on national TV and they are going to lay an egg’.  Both starting QBs got injured and we ended up watching bad football for the majority of the night.  I understand wanting to keep Chris Johnson in the game to get his 100+ yards, but you were already up 20 and there was no way that Trent Edwards (no matter how much John Gruden was trying to give him credit) was going to bring them back.  Inquisitive Mind 9 – 5 for the week. 

Ok, at least this week was better.  It seems as though each week gets tougher because teams are either playing down to their competition or the NFL is getting a little closer to parity.  Not sure what the answer is.  Nevertheless, that puts me at 51-39 for the season and I'm right on the heels of the ESPN guys.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

NFL 2010 Week 6 Picks

I know that we're hitting the road late with my picks, but I took the day off and I slept in and have been spending time with the fam this morning.  Nevertheless, here they are.  Enjoy your weekend.

Seattle @ Chicago – I hate to admit this, but the Bears could end up with a 10-6 record and make the playoffs this year. I bet a haircut that they wouldn’t go 10-6, so it’s looking like I’ll be out of some money. The Seahawks come to town and I expect the Bears defense to take over this game. I hope that Hasselbeck has his life insurance paid up, because this could be painful for him. At least we get to see Pete Carroll in Chicago this weekend, right? Think about it Bears fans, if they make the playoffs, you get at least 2 more years of Lovie. Winner – Bears.

Miami @ Green Bay – Will he or won’t he? Aaron Rodgers may play in this game. If he doesn’t, the Packers have no chance. Miami should be able to win this game because they play within their system and that system works, normally. Look for a big game from Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Winner – Dolphins.

San Diego @ St. Louis – The Chargers are killing themselves. They have to get off to a hot start or they don’t seem to be able to win. The Rams aren’t the best team out there but they really have a chance to win this game. Can I finally get a good game out of Ryan Matthews? Winner – Chargers.

Baltimore @ New England – Whew!!! You just traded Randy Moss, got Deion Branch and you are playing a Ravens team that has a problem stopping the pass, sounds like a match made in heaven. The Patriots will try to throw the ball and the Ravens will try to hit Brady as many times as they can. The Patriots are going to end up playing right into the Ravens hands with this one. If the Patriots win, look for a big game from Welker and the young tight end. If the Ravens win, look for a big game from the Ravens passing game. Winner – Ravens.

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay – Maybe the Saints aren’t done, but they are hurting. Did anyone imagine that Reggie Bush would have this kind of effect on a team? I mean since he’s gone down, the Saints have gone down a little each week. Tampa Bay played pretty well last week by picking off Palmer 3 times. Was Palmer that bad or are the Bucs getting better? Winner – Saints.

Detroit @ New York Giants – The Lions are playing well and now they get the big lights of the big city. The Giants had a great game against the Bears, but they haven’t consistently played well. The Giants should be able to run the ball on the edges, because Suh is dominating the middle of that defensive line. Shaun Hill is playing pretty well and he’ll need to be lights out (ode to the soon to be released Shawne Merriman) for the Lions to be close. Winner – Giants.

Atlanta @ Philadelphia – Imagine this game in Atlanta. Could you see the signs that would be taken by the NFL? Because the signs that would be created would not be suitable for TV. Vick, if he plays, gets to face the team that gave up on him. Yeah, I said it. They should have tried their best to help him recreate his image. Yes he lied to the owner and everyone else, but so have other players. If Kolb plays, this isn’t a big deal of a game. The Falcons are the better team, but it’s hard winning in Philly. Winner – Falcons.

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh – Are you serious? Are you going to start Colt McCoy against the best defense in the league? His first NFL start? I guess we’ll see a lot of Josh Cribbs in the wildcat to help ease McCoy into this game. This is a divisional game so it usually is a nail biter and will probably be close, but this is Big Ben’s first game back. I imagine he’ll be testing out that arm of his. Winner – Steelers.

Kansas City @ Houston – Houston does this every year, right? They get our hopes up about being a good team and then boom, they are out of it. The Chiefs are playing pretty damn good football and they just have to find a way to get rid of Cassel and get a real QB. Pioli, can we pull the plug on the Cassel experiment? Try and get some of that $63M back and let him go on his merry way. Winner – Chiefs.

Oakland @ San Francisco – Ok, here we go. This is it, the first win of the season for the 49ers. They can’t keep getting to the well and not drinking. Just doesn’t make sense. Yes, I know Carr isn’t that much better than Alex Smith, but I’d be finding out just how much better he is by playing him on Sunday. Winner – 49ers.

New York Jets @ Denver – Hopefully someone can stop the Orton to Lloyd connection. Otherwise, this may be a long game for the Jets. The Jets offense is coming along pretty well and Mark Sanchez is making good decisions and not turning the ball over. He’s definitely showing that he won’t be the reason they don’t get to the big game this year. It’s time for the Jets to make a statement game, that will have Ryan talking trash during the press conference. Winner – Jets.

Dallas @ Minnesota – Two teams that need a win. The Cowboys look terrible and the Vikings are struggling on offense. This will be week two of Randy Moss with the Vikings again and it’s at home for the Vikings. This could go either way. I gotta go with the better defense and I think we can all agree that it’s the Vikings. Winner – Vikings.

Indianapolis @ Washington – If I’m a corner playing in this game, I don’t even worry about thinking about the play before. I anticipate that Manning and McNabb will both throw for 325+ yards and neither defense will be able to stop the other teams’ offense. The scoreboard should get a workout during this game, but I imagine that the Colts find a way to win this game late. Winner – Colts.

Tennessee @ Jacksonville – Jacksonville has been playing so well lately. It hurts my hurt that they are going on national TV and they are going to lay an egg. Winner – Titans.

Who you got? Hopefully I can make it above .500 this week.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NFL 2010 Week 5 Wrap Up

Whew,…Week 5 was a tough one.  More close games than I thought.  Let’s see how we did.

Jacksonville @ Buffalo – This is what happens when you bring in Trent Edwards as your backup.  No QB worth his salt would ever want to lose his spot to Edwards.  I will say this again, Garrard is playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play.  Maybe he’s found a way to turn back time.  MJD had a decent game before leaving with an injury, so let’s hope it’s not too serious.  The Bills seemed to perform well with Fitzpatrick at the helm.  Can you imagine that a QB from Harvard is actually playing in the NFL?  Inquisitive Mind 1 – 0 for the week. 

Tampa Bay @ Cincinnati – Ok, I’m done.  I don’t know if I can continue to pick these guys and get games like this.  It’s almost as if the Bengals feel like they should have won this game by scoring the first TD and then they let up.  Benson had a big game with 144 yards (on 23 carries), but the rest of this team stunk it up (well, excluding TO – 7 catches for 102 yards and a TD).  Palmer had 3 picks against that defense?  I’m done.  Count me as one of those who say it’s over for Marvin Lewis and that they should just go ahead and blow it all up.  Inquisitive Mind 1 – 1 for the week. 

Atlanta @ Cleveland – It took a while for this one to happen, but the Falcons finally pulled this out.  The Browns played them a lot tougher than I think many thought.  I did like the fact that the Falcons got Turner involved for his 140 yards (on 19 carries), but Matt Ryan’s struggles (the last two weeks) have got me nervous.  The Falcons can say that they are 4-1 though, which is about all you can expect.  We need to watch this team, but they have got to be more consistent.  Inquisitive Mind 2 – 1 for the week. 

St. Louis @ Detroit – Shaun Hill where have you been all of my life?  That’s got to be what the Lions have been thinking since Matthew Stafford got hurt.  This was a blowout of epic proportions.  I’m not even sure that this team could score 44 points on their practice field against the practice players.  Hill was an efficient 21 of 32 (I thought he was better than that) for 227 yards and 3 TDs.  The Lions weren’t able to run the ball but their defense stepped up including an INT (first of his career) by Ndamukong Suh (a defensive tackle for those who don’t know). Inquisitive Mind 3 – 1 for the week. 

Kansas City @ Indianapolis – Oh so close!!!!  The Chiefs came out and played a pretty good game against the Colts, but lost down the stretch.  They made Peyton Manning look pedestrian but their own QB, Matt Cassel looked worst.  I think we can honestly say that this Matt Cassel experiment is the worst thing ever for the Chiefs.  I think Joe Montana and his Sketchers would be a good pick up right now.  Inquisitive Mind 3 – 2 for the week. 

Green Bay @ Washington – It’s hard to feel sorry for people in Green Bay, but I think it’s time we take up a goodwill offering for them.  This team had Superbowl aspirations, but it looks like they won’t have enough players by the end of the season to even dress 22.  Yes, the Redskins are beat up too, but even if they were healthy, many never expected this (except me, ha!!!!).  Redskins escape with a win and the Packers take another loss that’s going to hurt them more than they think as the Bears seem to be running away with the division. Inquisitive Mind 4 – 2 for the week. 

Chicago @ Carolina – Again, I must be on a roll.  The Bears pulled Collins and put in Hanie and let the Hanie Experiment go, except this time, no Charles Barkley.  This was about what you expected out of the game.  The Panthers suck and they showed it on Sunday.  I almost started to feel sorry for Jimmy Clausen, although he did go to Notre Dame.  With the game over, I will say this:  The Panthers need a good #1 receiver (get healthy Steve Smith) and a decent #2 and they will be able to play.  Their defense kept an inept Bears offense in check, but at least they hustled and made some plays.  It didn’t turn into that 44-6 debacle in Detroit.  So, Malik, there is hope for your Panthers, but it just looks very dim right now.  Inquisitive Mind 5 – 2 for the week. 

Denver @ Baltimore – We knew that the Ravens struggled in the passing game, both their own and defending one, but that defense got stops when they needed to.  Kyle Orton threw for 300+ yards again (take that in for a second).  To make matters worse he has thrown for 300+ in 4 out of the 5 games Denver has played this year and he missed the other one by 5 yards (he threw for 295 against the Jaguars).  Joe Flacco, please take notes or something because the Ravens need you in the 240+ yards per game passing area for them to win.  This game the Ravens got 233 yards on the ground, with the majority coming from Rice (133 yards) and McGahee (67 yards).  Where did this version of Brandon Lloyd come from?  Inquisitive Mind 6 – 2 for the week. 

New York Giants @ Houston – Matt Schaub made it out of Houston alive.  The Giants didn’t have the number of sacks that they had against the Bears, but they got to Schaub and just made everyone’s life with a Texans jersey horrible.  Arian Foster looked like an undrafted free agent with 25 yards, and Eli Manning was his brother for Halloween, or at least for this game, with a 27 of 42 for 297 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INT performance. Inquisitive Mind 7 – 2 for the week. 

New Orleans @ Arizona – Maybe all Fitzgerald needed to do was to not get first downs and keep the Cardinals defense on the field.  The Cardinals defense held the Saints to 20 points and intercepted Drew Brees 3 times to get this win at home.  The Saints are done.  Can you say that?  Done!!  Inquisitive Mind 7 – 3 for the week. 

San Diego @ Oakland – Yes this was a showdown and this underscores the need for the Chargers to get a new head coach.  Yes, in these division rivals, you pretty much can’t bet on a win, but with this game, the Chargers had won the last 13 in a row.  How do you lose to this Raiders team?  I can say that I was happy to see Jason Campbell back on the field looking good.  It helps when you have a running game (Michael Bush – 104 yards on 26 carries and 1 TD).  Inquisitive Mind 7 – 4 for the week. 

Tennessee @ Dallas – This was a dismantling of the Cowboys.  The Titans beat them every which way possible and even when the Cowboys scored to tie the game (celebration penalty), they still had something bad happen to them (Mariani’s big return that setup the last TD for the Titans).  I think you can pretty much cancel the Cowboys playing in the Superbowl in Dallas until the next time they host it.  At least I did predict a big game for Miles Austin.  Dayum Cowboys!!!  Inquisitive Mind 7 – 5 for the week. 

Philadelphia @ San Francisco – Ok, there are only 2 things I can say about this game: 1) Kolb didn’t look that bad (but it was one week, let’s see about next week) and 2) Alex Smith is a starter for an NFL team?  That’s really a question and a statement.  Carr should have been benched.  I think I was excited as the entire Bay Area when I saw Chris Carr start warming up, but Singletary stuck with Smith.  Hey, this might end up being a feel good story if Smith performs well the rest of the season, but in my opinion, we should only be able to see that if Carr gets injured.  In other words, bench that trick!!!!  Inquisitive Mind 7 – 6 for the week. 

Minnesota @ New York Jets – Well, I guess we had it all last night.  The rain, the Vikings forgetting how to block a simple blitz, the Vikings defense playing lights out, the Jets defense playing pretty well themselves, Santonio Holmes reminding people how much of a threat he’s going to be over the rest of the season, Randy Moss playing in his old 84, and another Brett Favre crying episode (before the game).  That pretty much explains it all.  Favre had a terrible time last night doing the easy stuff, like holding on to the ball.  He ended up not only eclipsing the 70,000 yard mark (think about that for a second or two) and the most fumbles (he is now on 161 for his career).  Cromartie played Moss pretty well while Revis looked a little pedestrian and may have re-injured himself.  The Jets snuck this one out and that’s all it’s about.  Inquisitive Mind 7 – 7 for the week. 

Another .500 week?  This is getting pathetic.  I may have to solely pay attention to the day job after a performance like this.  This puts me squarely behind (at 42-34 for the season) half of the crew at ESPN, but we got a long way to go baby!!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where There's Fire, There's More Fire

Add this to the fire that has been Revis vs. Moss for the Jets/Vikings game tonight.  From Tim Kavanagh at ESPN:

New York Jets cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie have talked some smack about Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss leading up to the two teams' matchup on "Monday Night Football." Based on Moss' play in Week 2, one could argue that only one of those two is qualified to issue such commentary; then again, Revis has shut Moss down in prior meetings. Compared to what Cromartie and Revis said, Moss had a more diplomatic answer when asked about the chatter. "Between me and him is a mutual thing," Moss said of Revis to the Vikings Entertainment Network per the New York Post. "It's more of us competing. I think he gets caught up a little bit with how he talks. I've never said anything about him, good or bad. I still give him his respect, but he hasn't given me mine yet. Sooner or later, I'll get it."

I'm betting on Moss to win this battle.  We'll see who wins the war.  Who do you think will come out on top in the game tonight?  Is Moss washed up?  Is Revis, THAT dayum good?  

Friday, October 08, 2010

Just Plain Wrong!!!!

Dear (Athlete):

I am available for mentoring, coaching, handling financial decisions, marketing opportunities, and just general good sound advice.  Please contact me via email.  It is my hope that no one allows you to do anything as stupid and ummm,....WRONG as this cover for ESPN the Magazine. 


Inquisitive Mind

Anyone else want to send in a caption of for this photo?  I'm sick, right now. 

NFL 2010 Week 5 Picks

Bad week last week, but you have to be like a corner, you have to have a bad memory.   Let's get it going this week.  Good games are on tap. 

Jacksonville @ Buffalo – On the surface, this looks like an easy win for the Jaguars.  They are going up against a terrible Bills team that is already in rebuilding mode for the next two years.  After beating the Colts last week, this could be a let down game, but I hope not.  Winner – Jaguars. 

Tampa Bay @ Cincinnati – I don’t know what to say about this game.  The Bengals have to start getting some W’s or they are done for the playoffs (already?).  They have to get back to the ground game with Benson and with the Bucs defense not necessarily a good run stopping D, I expect a big game from Benson.  Although I know he’s all Mr. Reality Show now, Ochocinco has got to do something on the football field.  Tampa Bay could sneak this one if the Bengals come out lackadaisical.  Winner – Bengals.   

Atlanta @ Cleveland – The Browns are coming off of their win in the battle of Ohio last week and I’m not even sure who’s starting at QB.  I said last week it shouldn’t matter (I was wrong because they beat the Bengals) and I’ll say it again this week, it shouldn’t’ matter.  The Falcons are slowly trying to turn the corner and get them in the drivers’ seat in the NFC.  With teams like the Packers (injuries) and the Vikings (injuries) holding out hope of a M.A.S.H. unit this is the time to get ahead in the standings.  Winner – Falcons.

St. Louis @ Detroit – This should actually be a good game.  I don’t think that either team is good, but it seems as though both of them are really competing.  The Rams are looking good with a banged up Stephen Jackson and Calvin Johnson could probably catch passes from me and that makes the Lions dangerous.  The Lions are the home team and that’s where I have to go with my pick.  Winner – Lions. 

Kansas City @ Indianapolis – The only undefeated team left in the league and they get the Colts after the Colts got embarrassed last week by Jacksonville.  The Colts defense is struggling with their injuries, while the Chiefs defense has had two weeks to prepare and play the way that they have been playing.  If the Chiefs win this game, they have to be the feel good team of the year.  I know better than picking the Chiefs, but you know what,…I’m riding.  Winner – Chiefs.

Green Bay @ Washington – Will the Packers be able to dress enough starters?  It seems as though everyone is dinged up on this team and over the past two weeks they have had problems closing people out and finishing games.  This is not the game they want to play against a Redskins team that always seems to be one big play away on offense and they are playing decent ball on defense.  If the Packers can run the ball, they will win.  That’s a big IF.  Winner – Redskins. 

Chicago @ Carolina – Let me get this right, Peppers felt that he was mistreated by the Panthers over his contract requests, the Panthers are starting a rookie QB, the Panthers have no running game, the Bears have no passing game with Todd Collins back there (please get Hanie in the game), the Bears have no running game, and people are expected to watch this?  I could actually see this game ending in a 5-0 score.  An opportunity to get the Bears back winning over that debacle from last week and maybe get Cutler healthy.  Winner – Bears. 

Denver @ Baltimore – Well, we know the formula to beat the Ravens, and that’s run the ball against them.  Most of the time it works, even though the Steelers lost to the Ravens by executing that same game plan.  The problem is that Peyton Hillis is hurt and we’re not sure who the Broncos are going to trot out there on Sunday to run the ball.  The game is in B-more and the Ravens offense HAS to get clicking.  That means you TJ.  Winner – Ravens.    

New York Giants @ Houston – If I’m Matt Schaub, I really consider wearing a flack jacket from Friday until Monday.  If last week was any indication, the Giants are hungry and they are all about hitting the QB.  The Texans offensive line is better than the Bears that gave up 10 sacks last week, but the Giants have the pieces to at least put up 4 or 5.  Eli Manning may consider a similar type jacket because half of his offensive line is presently being shifted around to fill in the holes.  That doesn’t bode well for him either.  This may be the time for more Brandon Jacobs for the Giants since Bradshaw is a little beat up.  No Andre Johnson for the Texans, gotta go with the….Winner – Giants. 

New Orleans @ Arizona – Lance Moore has already scored a TD.  It’s time for Brees and company to rebound.  After a good game against the Vikings opening weekend, they have almost played down to their competition.  I feel sorry for Fitzgerald having to play with this crew.  The defense is decent, but the offense is horriawful.  Save Fitz!!!!  Winner – Saints.

San Diego @ Oakland – A good ole AFC West Showdown.  The Chargers go into Oakland with a red hot Antonio Gates and hopefully a two headed monster at RB with Tolbert and Matthews (coming back from a bad ankle sprain).  The Raiders are just the Raiders right now.  They don’t instill any fear and Bruce Gradkowski is starting for the Raiders.  Run DMC (McFadden) is out for this game so happy returns to Michael Bush in the Raiders backfield.  The Raiders just don’t have enough offense for this one.  Winner – Chargers. 

Tennessee @ Dallas – The Titans have not been able to run the ball that well and Chris Johnson is looking more and more like he’s barely going to break 1600 or 1700 yards this year (no where near the 2000+ that many predicted).  Dallas has had a week to breathe and make some minor changes to their offense, but more importantly they should be healthy coming in to this game.  I’m still not sold on Roy Williams, but it’s time for Miles Austin to have a breakout game.  Dez Bryant is probably hurting from the $50K+ dinner bill he paid, but he should be playing.  Winner – Cowboys. 

Philadelphia @ San Francisco – Ok, this is it.  The 49ers first win of the season.  I’m not going to say much more but this is their game.  LeSean McCoy is dinged up and will actually be wearing a flak jacket for his ribs.  Kolb is not that good, and I think that we’ll see that this week.  Can anyone get Andy Reid a cab outta town?  Kolb is his guy, right?  Winner – 49ers. 

Minnesota @ New York Jets – Gotta save the best for last.  The Jets have been talking all year long and now with a trade to the Vikings, Randy Moss gets an opportunity to play against the Jets again this year.  Moss will have an opportunity to go after Revis (maybe) and Cromartie who have both talked trash this week about Moss and their ability to frustrate him into ‘taking his foot off the pedal’.  All I have to say is if Revis plays, I expect him to be going long with Moss because Favre is going to test that hamstring.  This is a big game for the Vikings because they need this win, but I will say this again (take a picture):  If the Vikings can play .500 ball until they get Rice back, Shiancoe healthy, Harvin healthy, and then add Moss and AP they will be my pick for the NFC Champions.  Winner – Vikings. 

Who you got?!?!?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

You Can Always Go Home

It looks like the deal is almost completed that will send Randy Moss back to his old stomping grounds in Minnesota from the Patriots.  The Patriots are asking for a 3rd round pick but more importantly, Moss won’t be getting a new deal out of this trade.  (Normally, the team that acquires the player gives him a new deal).  We can all agree that Moss has been a godsend for the Patriots while he’s been there while catching 23 of Tom Brady’s record 50 TD passes a few seasons ago.  He was the deep threat that helped stretch the field and make the Wes Welkers of the world better.  But we also knew that Randy was/is a piece of work, whose desire has been questioned on a few occasions (link).  In the end, Moss gets his wish to get out of Foxboro. 

What does this mean for the Vikes?  Well, right now, Brett Favre needs a downfield threat.  The Vikes could end up with with Moss, Shiancoe (when healthy), Harvin, Rice (when healthy) and Adrian Peterson.  That’s a dangerous squad to cover if I’m a defense.  Add in Favre’s 41 year old arm and that Vikes defense and the Vikes would definitely be a team to watch come the playoffs.  Favre wanted the Packers to get Moss years ago, but Ted Thompson whiffed on that opportunity.  Maybe Favre and Moss in Minny is the way to go.

Is this a good trade?  If so, for whom?  With this 3rd round pick the Patriots would have 2 picks in each of the first 4 rounds of next years’ draft. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

NFL 2010 Week 4 Wrap Up

The theme of this week was close games.  If you liked nail biters, you enjoyed Week 4.  Let’s take a look at what happened.  It won’t be pretty for me this week. 

San Francisco @ Atlanta – Whew!!!  I got this pick right, but I have to tell you that I feel for the 49ers.  I mean they have played some great football, but no W’s yet.  They dominated this Falcons team and they came thisclose to getting their first W, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  They held Matt Ryan in check (273 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) and even kept the Falcons ground game under 100 yards.  For the Falcons, these are the types of ugly games you have to win in order to be in the hunt later in the year.  Test passed for the Falcons, moral victory to the 49ers.  Inquisitive Mind 1 – 0 for the week.

Cincinnati @ Cleveland – The Battle of Ohio and the winner is the Browns?  Seneca Wallace got the start for the Browns and he managed this team to a victory.  The Browns seem to have found their key to success and that’s to keep giving Peyton Hillis the ball.  Hillis had 27 carries for 102 yards and 1 TD.  The Browns were also able to stop the run by keeping the Bengals, as a team, to 67 yards.  TO had a big game and a long TD reception, but it just wasn’t enough.  I got the over/under of TO losing it and starting to make his way for his exit out of Cincy at 3 weeks (under).  Inquisitive Mind 1 – 1 for the week. 

New York Jets @ Buffalo – This was a blowout and wasn’t even as close as the 38-14 score indicated.  Funny stat was that Mark Sanchez threw for 161 yards (2 TDs) and LT had a monster game of 133 yards (2 TDs) on the ground.  Add in Shonn Greene’s 117 yards on the ground and this was a TKO by halftime.  Inquisitive Mind 2 – 1 for the week. 

Seattle @ St. Louis – Remind me never to pick the Seahawks again.  They showed up in St. Louis and laid an egg.  Sam Bradford looked good while the Rams got a gutted out performance from Steven Jackson.  The Seahawks just looked terrible.  Inquisitive Mind 2 – 2 for the week. 

Denver @ Tennessee – Just as I am ready to think that the Titans might be real this year, they put up a performance like this.  This was the first game where the Titans looked like they put it on cruise when they feel they are the better team.  The Broncos showed up and fought to the end with Kyle Orton having another monster game with 341 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT.  That’s twice in the same year that Orton has thrown for over 300.  Denver played well and snuck a win.  Inquisitive Mind 2 – 3 for the week. 

Detroit @ Green Bay – I could almost put Bears jerseys on the Lions and it would have been a similar game to the game from last Monday night.  The Packers were up, but then they started losing steam because they can’t run the ball and the Bears came back to beat them.  Fast forward to this weekend in what should have been a run away win for the Packers.  The Packers were up and then all of a sudden a few penalties, Shaun Hill throwing a few bombs (one to Calvin Johnson) and the Lions were right back in this thing.  If they had another minute in this game,...the Packers would have lost back to back games.  Inquisitive Mind 3 -3 for the week. 

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh – The best game of the week!!!!!  Mendenhall was able to get his 79 yards on the ground but more importantly his 2 TDs, but this was a defensive struggle.  This was a rare occasion where you couldn’t be mad as a Steelers fan for this loss.  Yes it was at home, and it was a division loss, but you’ve gone 3-1 without Big Ben.  The Ravens were happy that Houshamdzadeh finally contributed and I think this opens up their offense a little more.  Baltimore will be dangerous, but I think the Steelers are in the drivers seat in the AFC.  Inquisitive Mind 4 – 3 for the week. 

Carolina @ New Orleans – Looking at the score I would have imagined that Drew Brees and half of the offense didn’t play.  The Saints won this game but they haven’t looked like the team that beat the Vikings on opening night.  It seems as though the loss of Reggie Bush has severely changed what they do.  Yes, Lance Moore is playing well, but something ain’t right.  We’ll need to watch this one a little more.  Inquisitive Mind 5 – 3 for the week. 

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville – I can’t believe what happened.  Yes the Jaguars play the Colts tough in Jacksonville, but this Jaguars team is basically done, so what do they do, go out and beat the Colts.  David Garrard hasn’t looked this good since East Carolina.  He was an efficient 17 of 22 for 163 yards and 2 TDs.  The Jaguars were able to get out on top of the Colts quickly and held on to the win with a 59 yard field goal by Josh Scobee.  What’s wrong with the Colts?  We know they can’t run the ball, but this team looks to be lacking something also.  Inquisitive Mind 5 – 4 for the week. 

Houston @ Oakland – Arian Foster ran just about anywhere he wanted.  He only played 3 quarters due to a benching by his team for the first, and he still managed to get 131 yards rushing and another 56 yards receiving.  The Texans jumped out on the Raiders, but the Raiders did battle back to make this a game.  If they could have stopped Foster, they may have won this one.  Inquisitive Mind 6 – 4 for the week. 

Washington @ Philadelphia – I guess I got my wish, eh?  Vick gets hurt after becoming a sandwich and on trots Kolb.  I think that Andy Reid should have been fired on the spot for insisting that Kolb is the heir apparent for the QB position with the Eagles.  HE IS NOT THAT GOOD.  Am I the only one that sees that?  Kolb performed ok, throwing for 201 yards, but outside of that, he just doesn’t have ‘it’.  At no point in that game did the Eagles team react like, ‘Kolb is in the game, now we’re going to win’.  McNabb had a decent game and the Redskins were able to salt this one away late.  The Philly fans gave McNabb a standing ovation at the beginning of the game (they should have) and Andy Reid gave McNabb a big hug after the game (as he was probably saying, we can jump in the hot tub time machine and go back a few months and not trade you, come with me now).  What will the Eagles do now with Vick probably out for a game or two?  Kolb?  Inquisitive Mind 6 – 5 for the week.

Arizona @ San Diego – This is the Chargers team that I’ve been waiting to see all year long.  These are the type of stats that they should be putting up each game with Rivers throwing for 241 yards (2 TDs), Tolbert (you can really put in any back here) running for 100 yards (1 TD), and Gates receiving 144 yards (2 TDs). In my best Arnold voice ‘Go Chargers Go’!!!!  Inquisitive Mind 7 – 5 for the week. 

Chicago @ New York Giants – This is what I was expecting from the Giants front 4 LAST year when I said that they would knock several QBs out of a few games.  Jay Cutler was sacked 9 times in the first half against the Giants.  Chalk it up to an offensive offensive line and Jay Cutler have sticky fingers (holding on to the ball too long).  Nevertheless Todd Collins entered the game and had an uneventful outing also.  He was retired after taking a bad hit.  Enter Caleb Haine.  At least he survived and for those that look for silver linings, in my humble opinion, Haine is better in this offense than Cutler would be.  If Hanie gets a start or two or some decent mop up duty with Collins injured, he might be the closest thing to Kurt Warner for this Mike Martz led offense.  The Giants ended the game with 10 sacks (3 a piece for Umenyiora and Tuck) and decent performances from both Jacobs and Bradshaw (hold on to the ball fellas).  The Giants may not be dead after all.  Side note: The funniest thing I’ve heard said about this game came from Terrell - ‘after Collins bounced passed the ball to Chester Taylor he cut the TV off’.  The Bulls do need a back up point guard.  Inquisitive Mind 7 – 6 for the week. 

New England @ Miami – Special Teams!!!  That’s all anyone can say.  I think the Dolphins are still wondering how this butt whuppin happened.  In two minutes and 16 seconds the Patriots scored 14 points and from there the route is on.  How does Patrick Chung block a field goal and a punt from the same side of the formation?  You are taught early on special teams (and any offensive line play) to block inside out.  Meaning take away the inside gap from the defender because that’s the fastest way to the QB/kicker. I imagine that that will be ingrained in the Dolphins special teams unit this week.  No catches for Moss and only 50 yards receiving for Brandon Marshall.  Chad Henne looked terrible with his 3 INTs and Tom Brady became the youngest QB to reach the 100 win plateau.  Great game by Davone Best and if you haven’t already, add him to your fantasy team.  Inquisitive Mind 7 – 7 for the week. 

Wow, a .500 week.  Shoulda, coulda, woulda, been better.  All we can do is look forward to next week.  So far the season record is a painful 35-27, and the experts aren’t too far ahead

Monday, October 04, 2010

Noah Inks Extension

The Bulls have signed Joakim Noah to 5 year $60M deal last night.  This probably brings to a definitive end any discussions about Noah being included in any Carmelo Anthony deal that the Bulls would be discussing and now it squarely puts Derrick Rose as the next target for the Bulls to re-sign.  At an average of $12M a year, is this a good deal for a guy who averages a double double and really has no offensive game? 

Brendan Haywood got 6 years $55M deal this summer (averages $9.2M a year)

Emeka Okafor got his 6 year $72M deal in 2008 (averages $12M a year)

Tyrus Thomas got his 5 year $40M deal this summer (averages $8M a year)

Tyson Chandler got his 6 year $63M deal from the Bulls in 2004 (averages $10.5 a year)

On the face of this deal, it looks fair for the Bulls.  Yes, it is a little high, but for the heart and soul of your team, you have to pay a little extra.  It will all come down to how well Noah plays next year.  If he regresses then this becomes a terrible deal, but if he plays at the same level, he earned this one.  Think about it, Noah is arguably in the top 5 in centers in the East and top 10 in the NBA. 

Did they overpay?  Are centers really that important anymore?  Should the Bulls have sent Noah off to get Carmelo?