Friday, September 30, 2011

Francona Done

Looks like the Boston Red Sox are letting Terry Francona go.  Tough loss for the Red Sox, but I guess the folks in Chicago are already calling him frantically.  We'll touch base on this one again later.

Should Francona leave?  Is this a bad move for the Red Sox?  Is the fail of the Red Sox squarely on Francona? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 3 Wrap Up

Good week, great wins by the Lions and Bills (did I write that?).  Let's see what happened.

Houston @ New Orleans - I said take the over on points on this game, but as I watched it I was thinking neither team would get past 24.  The Saints looked out of sorts but then Drew Brees (31 of 44 for 370 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT) got going, and while we're here, please pay this man.  He might not deserve Manning or Brady money, but the difference will probably be a few thousand dollars.  Houston jumped out to an early lead and Matt Schaub looked pretty good but they couldn't hold it together.  I think the better team won this game.  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 0 for the week.  

New York Giants @ Philadelphia - Dayum, dayum, dayum.  I'm not sure if this is karma or what, but Vick gets hurt again and the Eagles lose.  The Giants took a lot of shots on Vick and ended up hurting the QB's off hand.  It isn't broken but still swollen and no one has said yet whether he'll be ready for next week.  Eli Manning (16 of 23 for 254 yards, 4 TDs) looked like his brother out there and the Giants were able to exercise the demon that has been the Eagles in a statement game.  Can the Giants ride this win for a while and can Eli continue to play like this?  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 1 for the week.  

Jacksonville @ Carolina - I saw the funnies thing about this game on Twitter when someone said that Noah had pulled up to watch the Panthers and the Jaguars play this game (get it, Noah and the Ark?).  This game was played in what looked like a monsoon and from a fantasy team standpoint, terrible numbers.  The Panthers found a way to win their home opener and are now sitting at a not too bad 1-2 for the year.  This team will be interesting to watch for the remainder of the season.  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 1 for the week.  

New England @ Buffalo - This was a game.  Brady (30 of 45 for 387 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs) ends up having another good game, and yes I say that it was a good game because he did have 4 TDs and almost another one (a drop by Ochocinco(2 rec, 28 yards)).  Ryan Fitzpatrick (27 of 40 for 369 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) is a gunslinger that is really showing me something (Bills, you might need to pay him now before his price goes up).  The Bills came back and beat the Patriots and had Ralph Wilson Stadium rocking.  Great win for the Bills who are 3-0 and we're not even talking about a team from the 90's.  Inquisitive Mind 3 - 1 for the week.  

Miami @ Cleveland - Well, no Hillis in this game and the Browns were still able to pull this one out late.  Miami just seemed off the mark all day.  Inquisitive Mind 4 - 1 for the week.  

San Francisco @ Cincinnati - Not a bad game by the rookie, but the 49ers were able to play some inspired defense and got a decent performance out of Alex Smith (20 or 30 for 201 yards) to get a win.  Read that again, they got a decent performance by Alex Smith.  That doesn't happen too often.  Inquisitive Mind 5 - 1 for the week.  

Denver @ Tennessee - The Titans won the game but may have lost the war with Kenny Britt tearing both his ACL and MCL (out for the season).  Still no results from Chris Johnson (13 car, 21 yards, 4 recs, 54 yards), but somehow it didn't matter. The Broncos may start seeing more Tebow for QB signs because of Orton's (24 of 39 for 173 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) performance in this game.  They looked horriawful.  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 1 for the week.  

Detroit @ Minnesota - The Vikings deserved this loss.  I'm sorry, explain to me how you get a 4th and 1 and you don't give it to AP?  You know that you've had leads in the last 3 games and have lost each of them, you know that you don't really have too many playmakers other than AP (17 car, 78 yards, 1 TD, 4 recs, 19 yards) and Harvin (2 car, 41 yards, 3 rec, 47 yards) on this team.  Then on 4th and 1, you give the ball to the fullback, who isn't really a fullback?  They deserved to lose this game.  The Lions didn't look good early, but they were able to turn it around and get back on track to get this win.  Stafford (32 of 46 for 378 yards, 2 TDs), I see how you took some hits and kept getting up (not hurt) and kept playing the entire game.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 1 for the week.  

Baltimore @ St. Louis - We knew what was going to happen, but all I can say is Torrey Smith (5 recs, 152 yards, 3 TDs), who would have thunk it?  Rams gotta find a way to score, something ain't right in St. Louis.  Inquisitive Mind 8 - 1 for the week.  

New York Jets @ Oakland - The Raiders are winning and somewhere Al Davis is rolling over in his grave as they do it on the ground.  Jason Campbell (18 of 27 for 156 yards) looked pedestrian, but that's all he needed to do when Run DMC (19 car, 171 yards, 2 TDs, 3 rec, 7 yards) is playing the way he is.  LT (6 car, 38 yards, 5 rec, 116 yards, 1 TD) tried to keep pace with him in total yards, but the Jets couldn't stop the run and that killed them.  Rex had to hate that long flight back to NY.  Inquisitive Mind 9 - 1 for the week.  

Kansas City @ San Diego - I don't know if this was more of the Chargers being the Chargers or the Chiefs knuckling up from a pride standpoint.  This game should have never been this close and I'm still flabbergasted at the final score.  The Chargers almost let this one get away.  Inquisitive Mind 10 - 1 for the week.  

Arizona @ Seattle - You've got to be kidding me.  I can deal with being thisclose to a perfect week, but then you let Tavaris Jackson (18 of 31 for 171 yards, 1 INT, 4 car, 20 yards, 1 TD) ruin it for me (yes, I picked the Eagles, but Vick got hurt, c'mon man!!!!).  This Seattle team sucks and will continue to do, but the Cardinals let them win this game.  Didn't realize that Beanie Wells was that important.  Inquisitive Mind 10 - 2 for the week. 

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay - The Bucs stopped Michael Turner (11 car, 20 yards) and that was the entire game.  The Falcons looked terrible and their record shows it.  They tried to win this one late, but they just didn't have enough tries.  The Bucs were unspectacular, but good enough to get this win.  Inquisitive Mind 10 - 3 for the week.  

Green Bay @ Chicago - This looked so easy.  The Packers started off hot, cooled down and then finished strong enough to beat the Bears.  The Bears practiced how to pick up the blitz last week but they forgot how to run the ball.  These numbers best explain the 'success' that the Bears are having 37 pass attempts, 12 rush attempts (12 car, 13 yards).  The Bears need more balance than this and they won't get that with Mike Martz running the offense.  With that said, Cutler (21 of 37 for 302 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) is looking good and they have to protect him by running the ball.  Hire me Martz, I can help.  Inquisitive Mind 11 - 3 for the week.  

Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis - You have got to be kidding me.  This game shouldn't have been this close and I'm not sure what the Steelers have to do to make this work.  Their defense played dominate at times and the offense looked just as bad, starting with Big Ben (25 of 37 for 364 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 fum lost).  They better get more consistent before they start playing some better teams.  Inquisitive Mind 12 - 3 for the week.  

Washington @ Dallas - (@MikeCrowder, your boy had a good game and then gave it away at the end).  The Redskins have a pretty dayum good defense if you didn't know.  Landry would have gotten 3-5 years in prison for some of those hits he doled out last night.  Hightower (14 car, 41 yards, 5 rec, 39 yards, 1 TD) looked good and actually Grossman (22 of 37 for 250 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 fum lost) looked good for the majority of the game, but that gunslinger in him almost cost him the game late, while the fumble did in fact cost them the game.  Tony Romo (22 of 36 for 255 yards, 1 INT) put in a performance that should allow him to go to practice today and take a bat and beat half of his team for not helping him last night.  They have to do better or it's going to be a tough season.  Inquisitive Mind 13 - 3 for the week.  

I think I can say that's a pretty good week.  33-15 for the season.  I think I'm back in the hunt and I'm going to win this thing this year,...I gotta.  What did you think about Week 3? 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 3 Picks

Tough week last week, but I think that we can bounce back this week.  Lots going on with me this week, so my picks are coming in later than usual.  Let's jump in.

Houston @ New Orleans - Get your popcorn ready!!  If you like teams putting numbers up, this will be the game to watch.  Don't know what the over under on points for this game is, but I can guess that you should pick the over.  I doubt the Saints defense plays up to the level that they played against the Bears, so this may come down to which team has the ball last.  Winner - Saints

New York Giants @ Philadelphia - Well the Giants come to town without Umenyiroa, Manningham, Hixon, and a defense that feigns injury.  The Eagles are trying to get back into their groove with a recovered Mike Vick (with kevlar in his helmet) and an offensive line that is allowing him to look like 'senior pinata'.  The Eagles have spanked that butt the last 6 times and this is a game where your QB has to step up.  We know Vick will.  Manning?  Manning?  Winner - Eagles

Jacksonville @ Carolina - Home opener for the Cam Cats and I want to see a show.  Will cam be the first QB to ever throw for 400+ in his first 3 games as a pro?  I'm actually thinking that with this Jaguars secondary, he just might.  The question is whether the Panthers will have enough people healthy on the field to stop Blaine Gabbert in his first start.  Two rookies, someone has to lose, going with the best rookie we've seen thus far.  Winner - Panthers

New England @ Buffalo - This should be an easy pick here, right?  I mean the Patriots playing the Bills, Brady and crew should mop the floor with them.  Take away last years December drubbing of the Bills and over the last three games against the Pats have been close.  The Bills have found a way to make Ryan Fitzpatrick look very good and the defense is playing well.  Not a lot of trash talk out of this one this week between the two teams, so look for some solid hitting and the Pats pulling out all stops to make this defense think.  Winner - Bills

Miami @ Cleveland - This should be an easy game for the Browns if they stick to their formula, run the ball and play good defense.  So all of you Peyton Hillis fans, get ready for a great fantasy day from him.  The Browns have won the last 3 against the Dolphins and I'm expecting the same this week.  Winner - Browns

San Francisco @ Cincinnati - The 49ers gotta run the ball and the Bengals gotta rely on Andy Dalton pull some magic out of his pocket and throw for at least 300 yards.  Both teams are struggling and normally the 49ers running the ball isn't an issue with Frank Gore being back there, but he's averaging right around 2.5 yards per carry.  This Bengals defense might just be the answer to his struggles.  Winner - 49ers

Denver @ Tennessee - Well the Titans come off an impressive win against the Ravens and they get a Broncos team that is recovering from a host of injuries, with the most important one being Champ Bailey.  If Bailey can't go against Kenny Britt, then I expect that the Titans will do there best to expose that Denver secondary.  Interestingly enough, look for Chris Johnson to have a decent game in this one.  He sat out of training camp for a bigger paycheck and they have brought him along slowly so far.  Winner - Titans.

Detroit @ Minnesota - I fell bad for McNabb.  Not sure if he's getting old in a split second or he just doesn't have enough around him on the offensive side of the ball with Rice being out and Harvin really more of a possession receiver.  The Vikings do get Kevin Williams back which may help on teh defensive line, but this Lions team is looking very good.  They have to find a way to keep Stafford healthy, but they can make some noise and become 3-0 with a win.  Winner - Lions

Baltimore @ St. Louis - No one wants to play a motivated Ravens team and they have to be motivated after laying an egg last week against the Titans.  This is a fast track and the defense should be better and I expect that the offense will pick it up a notch also.  The Rams are probably still kicking themselves for giving that game away last week to the Giants and I expect that they'll need an almost picture perfect game to get a win this week.  Winner - Ravens

New York Jets @ Oakland - Tough road game for the Jets.  They haven't really played well but they are 2-0 (yes, wins against Jacksonville and Tony Romo's gift don't equate to playing well).  The Jets will have to have their helmets strapped on for this game, because that front four of the Raiders is probably the best they've played this year.  The Raiders are playing well, compared to previous years.  I like what Jason Campbell is doing and I'll look for McFadden to keep up his special play.  This ought to be a dogfight and I'm not sure who wins this one.  Yes, I'm on the fence.  Winner - Raiders.

Kansas City @ San Diego - This is nothing more than a scrimmage.  If the Chargers lose this game, they should be banned from the playoffs by the commish.  Winner - Chargers

Arizona @ Seattle - How's that Kevin Kolb guy doing?  Not too bad so far, but the injury to Beanie Wells' hamstring is an issue that the Cardinals can't really afford to have.  The Seahawks are just horriawful and injuries to Robert Gallery will hurt the cohesiveness of that offensive line.  Sydney Rice may play this week and that will help Tavaris Jackson, but I'm not sure it's enough.  Winner - Cardinals

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay - Good win against the Eagles last week and now you get to travel to Tampa.  The Falcons have a lot going for them, but they haven't hit their stride yet and I could see them laying another egg against this Bucs team.  Talib will probably cover White and the rest of the secondary has to find a way to stop the never aging Gonzalez and the rookie.  The Bucs may be without Blount (big blow) and they have to find a way to get to Ryan who didn't practice because of a banged up knee.  Winner - Falcons.

Green Bay @ Chicago - This might be the most interesting game of the week (outside of Giants/Philly).  The Bears looked good week 1 and then looked terrible week 2, but I think that they are somewhere in the middle.  They have a stud in Forte (PAY THE MAN HIS MONEY) and IF they can keep Cutler upright, he actually might turn this team into a perennial threat.  The Packers aren't as dependent on the running game as they once were, but Rodgers can move that ball around to everyone and he's always dangerous.  The Bears just need a #1 receiver and no they don't have that person on their roster.  Winner - Packers

Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis - Is Peyton Manning back yet?  Oh ok,....Winner - Steelers

Washington @ Dallas - Well, nothing like a Monday Night game where everyone has their popcorn.  The surprising Redskins are being led (@MikeCrowder, it hurts me to even type this) by Rex Grossman and a very good defense (sounds like a Bears team).  The Cowboys are wondering whether Tony Romo will play with cracked ribs and a kevlar vest (is kevlar the word of the week or something?).  This is a home game for the Cowboys so the lights will be bright and I expect that Romo will play, although Kitna will be ready.  Winner - Cowboys.

Who you got?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 2 Wrap Up

Yep, the wrap up is coming late this week and it was a tough week.  I was thisclose on some of these games, but that's how it goes.  Let's take a look.

Kansas City @ Detroit - I know the Lions are good, but are they THAT good?  Matt Stafford (23 of 39 for 294 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT) had a very efficient game and the Lions put up 48 points.  Let that sink in, 48 points.  The Chiefs can pretty much wrap this season up and toss it in the can.  They have lost Moeaki, Berry, and Charles to torn up knees.  Matt Cassel (15 of 22 for 133 yards, 3 INTs) is looking like he's worthless and the I'm not sure that they even want to get on a football field next week.  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 0 for the week.  

Oakland @ Buffalo - My first thisclose game this week.  The Raiders looked good with limiting the Bills for most of this game but then Ryan Fitzpatrick (28 of 46 for 264 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT) happened again.  The Bills were able to win this one late and go to 2-0 for the season.  Who would have thunk it?  I was happy to see Campbell (23 of 33 for 323 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) play well and I can see this Raiders team being dangerous the rest of this year as long as they stay away from that 'I' (injury) word.  Maybe I should believe in the Bills now and Fitzpatrick has earned him a decent contract (PAY HIM!!).  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 1 for the week.  

Tampa Bay @ Minnesota - Not a terrible outing by McNabb (18 of 30 for 228 yards) but his butt is still on the line.  Somebody has to figure out how to flip Josh Freeman's (22 of 31 for 243 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) switch so that he can be 'on' all the time.  This guy sees that 4th quarter on teh scoreboard and it's like he becomes the closer.  The Vikings had this game and then all of a sudden Freeman and LeGarrette Blount (13 carries for 71 yards, 2 TDs) turn this game for the Bucs.  Good game, but the Vikings are 0-2 and that's not going to work well in Minny.  How long do they stay with McNabb?  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 1 for the week.  

Chicago @ New Orleans - Tough game to watch for the Bears.  Probably even tougher for Jay Cutler (19 of 45 for 244 yards, 1 TD) to watch this game from where he was, which seemed to be on the turf on every play.  The Bears played pretty good on defense, but the offense gave up 6 sacks and 11+ hits on the Cutler.  He's not going to make it like that.  What was even more puzzling is that they stopped going to Forte (10 carries, 49 yards, 10 recs, 117 yards) on the ground.  (PAY FORTE, NOW!!  I imagine that the Bears are going to work him until he breaks and then try to low ball him.  Just watch.)  Brees (26 of 37 for 270 yards, 3 TDs) played well and the Saints defense, and DC Greg Williams, decided that they were going to try everything against this Bears offensive line.  Inquisitive Mind 3 - 1 for the week.  

Baltimore @ Tennessee - What a let down!!  I mean you go from handing the Steelers their behinds in one of the most dominate outings in a while and then come in and let Hasselbeck (30 of 42 358 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) and Britt (9 rec, 135 yards, 1 TD) kill you?  Flacco (15 of 32 for 197 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs), Rice (13 carries, 43 yards, 5 rec, 53 yards, 1 TD), Boldin (3 rec, 46 yards), what happened on the offensive side of the ball?  I'm still scratching my head over this one.  Inquisitive Mind 3 - 2 for the week.  

Cleveland @ Indianapolis - Another thisclose game.  I just thought that the Colts would be able to sneak this win.  I don't expect Collins (19 of 38 for 191 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) to go out and throw for 300 yards, but I thought he could manage this team to a victory.  It just wasn't in the cards for the Colts.  Colt McCoy (22 of 32 for 211 yards, 1 TD) and Peyton Hillis (27 carries, 94 yards, 2 TDs, 4 recs, 23 yards) pretty much salted this game away for the Colts.  Talk about being in the running for Andrew Luck.  Just think, if the Colts get that pick and Manning is limited to another year or two,....and then you get Luck, the Colts should see this as a blessing. Inquisitive Mind 3 - 3 for the week.  

Jacksonville @ New York Jets - Luke McCown (6 of 19 for 59 yards, 4 INTs, a 1.8 QB rating) made McNabb's first weekend look like a Pro-Bowl performance.  Other than that the Jets just dominated and got an easy win.  Inquisitive Mind 4 - 3 for the week.  

Seattle @ Pittsburgh - The Seahawks are in the Luck sweepstakes too.  they looked horriawful. Inquisitive Mind 5 - 3 for the week.  

Arizona @ Washington - @MikeCrowder, you won again this week.  Your boy Grossman (25 of 43 for 291 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) performed well and the Skins are 2-0 and leading the NFC East.  This moment in time should be recorded because this may be the highlight of the year.  I will say that the Skins defense is doing a great job of winning up front and making it easier for the offense.  Inquisitive Mind 5 - 4 for the week. 

Green Bay @ Carolina - Cam Newton (28 of 46 for 432 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 10 car, 53 yards, 1 TD), is for real.  I know 2 games don't mean much, but Cam is showing that the Panthers are going to be a team to be recon with if they can stay healthy (they lost another LB in this game).  They put a scare into the Packers but weren't able to seal the deal.  Rodgers (19 of 30 for 308 yards, 2 TDs) and the Pack keep rolling and it's all about winning (no references to Charlie Sheen here).  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 4 for the week.  

Dallas @ San Francisco - Romo (20 of 33 for 345 yards, 2 TDs) goes from not being a closer to being THE man for the Cowboys in a week.  Romo returned to the game after having his rib(s) cracked and a punctured lung and the Cowboys won this game late.  We'll have to see how much he plays next week but for this week everyone is all smiles in the Big D.  I will say this, Alex Smith (16 of 24 for 179 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) didn't look too bad in this game and they almost pulled this one out.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 4 for the week.  

San Diego @ New England - They let me down again.  The Chargers had this game, but they always do this so I'm not sure I'm surprised.  Yes, Brady had a good game, but Rivers did too and had it not been for a Tolbert fumble and some other miscues the Chargers would be sitting with this win.  This is going to linger for a while.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 5 for the week.  

Houston @ Miami - No Henne (12 of 30 for 170 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) magic and a repeat of Schaub (21 of 29 for 230 yards, 2 TDs) and Tate (23 carries, 103 yards) for Houston.  Good win for the Texans who look to take advantage of Manning being out of their division.  Inquisitive Mind 8 - 5 for the week.  

Cincinnati @ Denver - Denver cut this one too close for me, but they figured it out in the end.  I like Kyle Orton (15 of 25 for 195 yards, 2 TDs) better than Grossman (since they're both former Bears QBs), but I also owe an apology to Andy Dalton (27 of 41 for 332 yards, 2 TDs).  Get it done young fella, get it done.  Inquisitive Mind 9 - 5 for the week.  

Philadelphia @ Atlanta - Great game.  Didn't want to see Vick hurt, but that happens.  The Eagles couldn't stop Turner and Gonzalez made us think that he has rewound the clock to somewhere in the 1990's.  Yes, Vick should have pointed at the scoreboard, cause they were up 10 when he got hurt, better than flicking people off when they are cheering for the fact that you got hurt.  The Falcons needed this win to make up for that egg they laid in Chicago.  Inquisitive Mind 9 - 6 for the week.  

St. Louis @ New York Giants - Spagnola should be fuming right now.  His team had his former team beat and then gave them the game.  You can't turn the ball over that many times and expect to win.  (Another Giants defender has feigned an injury, hold on a second).  Inquisitive Mind 9 - 7 for the week.  

A 9-7 week to go along with an 11-5 start brings us back to the pack, 20-12 for the season but a long way to go. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 2 Picks

Great first week and now the games get exciting.  The question is, the way your team played last week, is it indicative of future results or an anomaly?  Let's see what's on tap for this week.

Kansas City @ Detroit - The Chiefs come off a game where they stunk the joint up and got blasted by the Buffalo Bills, and the decade isn't the 90's.  Ryan Fitzpatrick threw (not 1, not 2, not 3,..) 4 TDs against this Chiefs defense and they lost Berry for the season.  Will they be able to stop anyone?  If I'm the Chiefs, I gotta forget this game and just start over.  This is Week 1 for them. 

The Lions showed that they are an all around good and balanced team.  Megatron is going to play on an injured ankle and the defense should be looking for a chance to get at Matt Cassel.  The Lions should depend on what they did Week 1 and that's running the ball and playing defense.  This should be a palatable equation for them for the year.  Winner - Lions.

Oakland @ Buffalo - Somebody has a chance to go 2-0 after this game.  Again, these aren't your dad's Raiders and Bills.  Oakland won a slugfest against Denver, with Darren McFadden leading the way (150 yards) and a long kick by Janikowski.  Their defense should lead the way all year long and by the end of the year I expect that Jason Campbell will develop into a more than average QB for this team.  They just gotta give him a chance. 

The Bills come off a blowout win against the Chiefs and they do have some injuries, so they should win this game right?  I'm just not sold on them yet.  Yes, Fitpatrick had a wonderful game, but can he do that two times in a row.  Call me a Bills skeptic.  Winner - Raiders.

Tampa Bay @ Minnesota - Tampa Bay ran out of gas at the end of the Lions game last week but they have to work on that running game.  That's the biggest thing that a young QB needs to be successful.  The defense can slow down almost any offense, so it's gotta happen for the Bucs this week and plus you're on carpet this week.

Ok, this is Week 2.  I've been a McNabb supporter for years, but he is now on the clock.  I don't give credence to the stuff in Washington because he was dealing with that minitiature dictator there (Shanny).  But after a Week 1 performance where McNabb put up a 7 of 15 for 39 yards stat line, while playing the entire game?  You got some explainin to do.  Of course they have AP back there and Percy Harvin may need to score a TD on a kick return for this team to score points.  This is a pivotal game for the Vikes, more pivotal for McNabb.  Winner - Bucs.

Chicago @ New Orleans - Great game.  First off, condolences to Brian Urlacher and his family.  It's gotta be tough for him to handle the loss of his mother.  Urlacher will play and hopefully he finds some solace in being on the field, where he's comfortable.  The Bears come off a Week 1 dismantling of the Falcons and they look good.  The only issue that I could see is that they still have to protect Cutler because he can't take the beating that he took last week (5 sacks).  With the return of Marion Barber, maybe they can pund a little on the Saints defense and get some late production from the running game. 

The Saints come in with a long layoff since the Thursday night opening loss to the Packers.  They lose Colston for at least 4-6 weeks (and so does my fantasy team), but they may get Lance Moore back for this game.  The best thing about Brees is that he is a rhythm QB and it almost doesn't matter who's out there at the WR spot as long as they can catch the ball.  Darren Sproles showed how fast he was Week 1 and that was on grass.  Someone on the bears better get ready.  Winner - Saints.

Baltimore @ Tennessee - The Ravens showed just how dominate that they could be with a win over the Steelers.  The way they did is the Ravens' blueprint for each season, run the ball and defense.  The only difference is that they have opened up the offense a little to provide Flacco the ability to stretch the field with the passing game.  So the formula now is: Run the ball, pass enough and defense.

The Titans come in thinking about increasing Chris Johnson's workload.  They have to break him in slowly or they are going to break him (literally).  We all know that the Titans really don't have much on the offensive side of the ball and Hasselbeck and Kenny Brit won't be enough for this game.  Winner - Ravens

Cleveland @ Indianapolis - If you want tickets for this game, they are available.  The without-Manning season has caused many to not even want to show up.  Maybe the team took this to heart in their Week 1 performance?  The Colts got blasted by the Texans and looked horrible the entire time.  A late TD pass by Collins at least let us know that this offense can score some points.  Look for them to be 1000% better in this game. 

The Browns come to town after they gave a game away last week to the Bengals.  Nothing that they did made me think that they can win this game.  Cribbs is dangerous but I think the Colts will limit his touches as often as they can.  Yes, the Colts defense isn't that good, but they're better than the Bengals.  Winner - Colts.

Jacksonville @ New York Jets - This is going to be a good game.  The Jags surprised me last week with a win and they will continue with the effort that they had last week.  They will run the ball with MJD and then help Luke McCown manage the game. 

The Jets come in after a win against the Cowboys and they need to perform better than they did in that game.  They weren't really able to get their running game going so I expect a lot of Greene and Tomlinson in this game.  Jacksonville doesn't have the best defensive backfield, so Plaxico Burress congrats for your 100 yard plus receiving game.  Winner - Jets.

Seattle @ Pittsburgh - I feel bad for the Seahawks.  They have to go to Pittsburgh and they have to play a Steelers team that got housed in Week 1.  I guarantee that the Steelers punish the Seahawks.  Winner - Steelers.

Arizona @ Washington - @MikeCrowder, I will hit you on your facebook page when this game is done to see how well your boy, Rex Grossman did in this game.  It's on, for the rest of the year.  The Redskins come in from a performance from aforementioned Grossman having a great game.  They beat the Giants and Rex is on record saying that they are going to win the NFC East.  Let's see how they perform. 

The Cardinals come into this game and they looked terrible against the Panthers and Cam Newton last week.  This week they go up against another highly pass heavy offense, can they cover anyone?  The Cardinals on offense have to continue to ride the Kolb train and just hope that the defense comes through.  This game, I think they do.  Winner - Cardinals

Green Bay @ Carolina - Cam Newton, great first week, now we'll see how good you are.  The Packers and more specifically Dom Capers is coming to town with that defense.  Carolina is going to have to find a way to not only stop Aaron Rodgers, but they are going to have to run the ball against that Green Bay front four.  If they can't run the ball Newton is going to take a lot of hits in this game.

The Packers come in well rested and Dom Capers saw tape on Netwon from last week and said 'it won't be us'.  This will be fun to watch.  Winner - Packers.   

Dallas @ San Francisco - The Cowboys come in with questions about whether their prized QB can close out games and Dez Bryant is questionable about whether he'll play.  This Cowboys team needs a strong outing from their defense to right this ship.  They should be able to run the ball and keep Romo from giving it away late in the game. 

The 49ers have Ted Ginn Jr, but I'm not sure any other opportunities on the offensive side of the ball.  Yes, they have a good RB, TE, and some decent receivers, but as long as Alex Smith is still the QB, they are limited.  This should be an interesting game, but I don't expect a lot of points on the board in this one unless the defense creates them.  Winner - Cowboys

San Diego @ New England – This should be another good game.  Again, every year we talk about the Chargers and how they are talented and how they should win the AFC West and possibly the AFC, but they find a way to screw it up each year.  So far, so good, yes and it’s only 1-0, but Rivers looks like he’s trying to be something other than a great fantasy football player.  Tolbert got nicked up a little but should be ready to play and I’m looking for more from Matthews seeing as he is the starter.  The Dolphins torched this secondary lat week and I’m looking for the Chargers to do the same. 

New England is coming off of a great win against Miami and Tom Brady looks already in midseason form.  Ochocinco caught a lot of unneeded flak about being in awe, but he should have been.  He’ll contribute more in this system as the year gets longer . This is his first time in this system and Brady is going at his usual targets.  Look for a lot of 2 TE sets until a team shows that they can defend it.  Both Gronkowski and Hernandez are like big wide receivers and they create mismatches just by being on the field.  Winner – Chargers.

Houston @ Miami – The Texans come off the drubbing of the Colts and this may be their year.  I expect them to pick up where they left off last week.  That defense is going to cause Miami some problems and again, Mario Williams should be definitely causing problems for Henne this week.

Miami had a great game in a loss and the question is can they do it again this week.  Brandon Marshall should find some other issues with this secondary and should have some tougher sledding than last week.  The ground game will be important to try and keep the Texans on their toes.  Do the Dolphins have enough?  Winner – Texans. 

Cincinnati @ Denver – The Bengals won their first game with a rookie QB at the helm by finding their running game with Cedric Benson.  They’ll need more of that this week as I imagine that Denver will stack the line and force them to throw.  With Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil both hurt, that may end up allowing a few opportunities down field. 

Denver is banged up on both sides of the ball and the biggest question is how will Kyle Orton react to the fans being behind Tebow?  He’s got to know that he is the starter, but this Tebow stuff has caused some issues with the team.  I’m looking for Orton to have a big game.  Or, it’s going to get pretty noisy in Denver.  Winner – Broncos.

Philadelphia @ Atlanta- Finally Mike Vick has returned to Atlanta as a starter.  The Falcons have to bounce back from their pitiful performance last week against the Bears.  They weren’t really able to run the ball or get the ball to their WRs.  The bad thing is that the Eagles are coming in to this game and they have the cover guys, but may have some issues up front.  Can the Falcons make the Eagles pay with the run?

The Eagles are coming in from a close game, until it turned into a blowout, with the Rams.  They didn’t look sharp, but got the win.  The Eagles have a high powered offense and something in me says that Vick is going to show up and show out.  Should be a very entertaining game, the Eagles have to protect Vick and keep him from taking big hits.  Winner – Eagles.    

St. Louis @ New York Giants – Spagnola beings his young team to NY to play his old team.  I guess he really left at the right time too with all that’s going on in NY.  Anyway, the Rams have a hobbled Stephen Jackson who probably won’t play but Cadillac will have to have a good game for them.  This is the Giants secondary that made Rex Grossman look like a good quarterback, so even with Bradford’s finger hurting, I imagine that this Rams team will be fine on offense. 

The Giants come in to this game banged up too.  They should get Justin Tuck back, but he and that front four are going to have to have a great game to take pressure off their secondary.  Hakeem Nicks is a game time decision, but having him will help Manning.  Look for a lot of Bradshaw and Jacobs to keep Bradford on the bench and allow this defense to come after the Rams.  Winner – Rams. 

Who you got?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 1 Wrap Up

Ok, an amazing day of football.  First off I'd like to re lost on September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten.  A lot of people gave their lives that day because of a senseless attack on our country.  The one thing that I remember on that day is that everyone was brought together because of that event.  It didn't matter about the color or status that day.  In some ways I wish we could go back to that.  It was great watching the out pouring of emotion that the NFL put on display as they showed the pre-games across the country. 

Now, back to football.  Let me caution you before you go any further, there were lots of surprises this week.  Some more painful than others.  Let's take a look. 

Atlanta @ Chicago - Wow!!  I'm not sure how much better the Bears can play.  Let me start first with PAY THE MAN (note to the Bears about Forte, about $17M guaranteed).  Forte (16 carries for 68 yards, 5 recs for 90 yards, 1 TD) had a monster day and showed how he is going to be an important piece to this offense over the rest of his time in Chicago.  Next item, this is the Jay Cutler (22 of 32 for 312, 2 TDs, 1 INT) that the Bears thought they got when they cut that $50M+ deal.  Cutler looked great out there today.  He hit 8 different receivers and was in total control out there.  The down side is that he did get sacked 4 times and got hit on several plays.  The defense was lights out with Urlacher not only making a great pick against Ryan, but he also returned a fumble for a TD.  Henry Melton was in the Falcons' backfield so much I thought he would have been better off with a Falcon's jersey on.  The Falcons looked beat when they started the game and it got worse from there.  They get Mike Vick next week, so they better get ready now.  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 1 for the week.

Cincinnati @ Cleveland - Chalk this one up to good living or something.  Andy Dalton was knocked out of this game and Bruce Gradgowski came in to help the Bengals get a win that I'm not sure many people thought would happen.  The Bengals depended on the ground game of Cedric Benson (25 car for 121 yards, 1 TD) and let their QBs manage the game.  The Browns had a chance to win this game with a Cribbs return for a touchdown and he was tackled by his own guy.  Then the Colts had a chance with great field position and they blew it.  Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 2 for the week.   

Buffalo @ Kansas City - I aologize to you Mr. Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Fitzpatrick (17 of 28 for 208 yards, 4 TDs) led his Bills team to a blow out against the Chiefs.  Fred Jackson led the Bills with 112 yards and the Bills defense got after the Chiefs (2 fumble recoveries, 1 INT).  I didn't see this one coming and it seems as though neither did KC.  Matt Cassel had a terrible game, they were able to run the ball (18 carries for 108 yards, 6 yard avg), but their time of possession for the game was about 22 minutes, and the fans let the Chiefs know how they felt as the stadium was close to empty in the 4th quarter.  This was truly a butt whuppin.  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 3 for the week.   

Philadelphia @ St. Louis - This game started like the Eagles were planning on just showing up for the playoffs and were going to skip the rest of the games. The Eagles got behind because of a Steven Jackson romp, but then the ship righted itself. The Eagles exploded for 14 points and never really looked back. Yes, Vick (14 of 32 for 187 yards, 2 TDs, 10 carries for 98 yards, 1 TD) had a good game and so did McCoy (15 carries for 122 yards, 1 TD, 2 recs, 15 yards, 1 TD), but finally the Eagles defense woke up and made this into a blowout of sorts. I will say that I'm a little more than nervous because Vick can't keep taking these hits and he definitely can't be one of the highest ground gainers for your team if you want him to make it through his $100M deal. Philly, you gotta work on that offensive line. This was a costly game for the Rams as they lost 3 players to injury: Sam Bradford hurt his hand but x-rays came back negative but his hand is still sore. Steven Jackson left the game with a quad injury (didn't he have that injury last year too) and Danny Amendola is probably out for the year with a dislocated elbow.  Inquisitive Mind 2 – 3 for the week.

Detroit @ Tampa Bay – Great game and it ended up being as competitive as I thought it would.  Matt Stafford made one mistake (really wasn’t his, it was a tipped ball) in this game and Aquib Talib took it back for a TD, but that was it.  He was almost perfect for the remainder of the day.   The Lions ran the ball enough to be dangerous (35 carries for 126 yards, 3.6 average), Megatron (Calvin Johnson, 6 recs for 88 yards, 2 TDs) had a great day, and the Bucs couldn’t overcome the tough day that Josh Freeman (28 of 43 for 259 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 fumbles) had.  The Lions look like they are on the way up.  I might even go out on a limb and say that the Lions are going to make the playoffs.  Watch out now!!!!  The Bucs couldn’t get it going on the ground that was one of the reasons that Freeman was successful last year.  Fix it Bucs, fix it soon.  Inquisitive Mind 3 – 3 for the week

Tennessee @ Jacksonville – Del Rio stuck to his guns and maybe his guns were right.  The Jags host the Titans and win this game with Luke McCown (17 of 24 for 175 yards) having a decent game.  He was able to manage the game and they depended on Maurice Jones-Drew (24 carries for 97 yards, 1 TD) to do the heavy lifting.  Add to that a very tough defense and you get a win in a very ugly game.  The Titans came into this game with a healthy Hasselbeck and recently paid Chris Johnson (9 carries for 24 yards, 6 recs, 25 yards), but were not able to put it all together.  With that said Kenny Britt  (5 recs, 136 yards, 2 TDs) and Hasselbeck have become BFFs in just one game.  This is one the Titans let slip away and you could see how desperate Hasselbeck was as he went for it all at the end of the game instead of going for something a little shorter.  Inquisitive Mind 3 – 4 for the week.

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore – Whew, I guess I should have said a ‘can of a$$ whoopin’ when I said that the Ravens were going to open their playbook up.  The Ravens caused 7 turnovers, and Joe Flacco (17 of 29, 224 yards, 3 TDs) looked like the guy that the Ravens have wanted for the past few years.  The Ravens exercised the demons of not beating the Steelers lately (more importantly last year in the playoffs), but the way they did it made you scared.  The old men, Lewis (7 tackles, 1 FF, 1 INT) and Reed (6 tackles, 1 FF, 2 INTs) had picks, and if you can watch ESPN and see the hit that Ngata (4 tackles, 1 FF, 2 fumble recoveries) put on Mendenhall, you’ll shiver for a second or two.  The Steelers looked bad that’s it.  It is one game in a long season, so I expect the Steelers to bounce back and I pray for the team they play next week.  Inquisitive Mind 4 – 4 for the week

Indianapolis @ Houston – How do you pay back a team that has pretty much owned you since you became a part of their division?  Well, if you saw this game, this is how you do it.  The Texans destroyed the Colts in Houston that just didn’t feel right.  Schaub (17 of 24 for 220 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) and team pretty much did what they wanted as Ben Tate (24 carries for 116 yards, 1 TD) did his part and the Houston defense sealed the deal.  I did say that Mario Williams (2 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 QB hits, 1 FF) would have a big game and he looked pretty damn good in that new defense.  This just in, if you hire Wade Phillips for anything other than a defense coordinator position, you should be fired.  He’s pretty good at that, don’t make him a head coach, just give him the DC job.  No, Manning didn’t play in this game but honestly the Colts have more problems than just the offense.  Andre Johnson (7 recs, 95 yards, 1 TD) said it best, ‘we still played against their #1 defense and they couldn’t stop us’.  Nuff said.  Did I mention that Foster didn’t play?  Inquisitive Mind 5 – 4 for the week

New York Giants @ Washington – Rex Grossman (I’ll have to write something specifically about him later, hopefully to settle and argument).  Every dog has his day.  Grossman (21 of 34 for 305 yards, 2 TDs) outplayed the younger Manning (18 of 32 for 268 yards, 1 INT) to help his team win their first home game of the 2011-12 season.  The Giants didn’t look good at all with the exception of Hakeem Nicks (7 recs, 122 yards).  I’m sure Tom Coughlin is somewhere red faced over his team’s performance.  This was an ugly game unless you are a Redskins fan.  No, I’m not sold that the Redskins can win the NFC East, but they took a great step today with this win.  Inquisitive Mind 5 – 5 for the week

Seattle @ San Francisco – Thank you Tedd Ginn Jr. (102 yard kick return, 55 yard punt return, 2 TDs) and the 49ers defense.  I almost added Alex Smith (15 of 20 for 124 yards) to that list, and I guess I can include his name because he didn’t lose the game for the 49ers.  This 49ers team is going to have to win games with their special teams and their defense because I don’t have the confidence Alex Smith to help this team in a shoot out.  Seattle looked horrible with Tavaris Jackson (21 of 37 for 197 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 3 fumbles, 2 lost) at the helm and I’m sorry, I’m not sure he should be starting.  We don’t have to worry about the Seahawks duplicating the run they had last year.  Inquisitive Mind 6 – 5 for the week

Minnesota @ San Diego – At least the Vikings started the game off the right way with Percy Harvin returning the opening kick for a TD, but after that it got bad.  Donovan McNabb (7 of 15 for 39 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) said that he didn’t feel like he had anything to prove and he showed us with his performance.  The Vikings defense kept this close for a minute and then the Chargers finally were able to wear on them.  Philip Rivers (33 of 48 for 335 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) struggled in this game, along with the rest of the Chargers, and this game was a lot harder than I think many thought it would be.  Mike Tolbert (12 carries, 35 yards, 1 TD, 9 recs, 58 yards, 2 TDs) is making Ryan Mathews (12 carries, 45 yards, 3 recs, 73 yards) look expendable even though he left the game with a knee injury late in this game.  I thought that McNabb would be better with AP (16 carries, 98 yards) behind him, but it looks like McNabb is on his way out of the league.  The Chargers won the game but lost Luis Castillo and Nate Kaeding to knee injuries with Kaeding’s a possible torn ACL.  Inquisitive Mind 7 – 5 for the week

Carolina @ Arizona - The start of the Cam Newton (24 of 37 for 422 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 8 carries, 18 yards, 1 TD) era in Carolina and ladies and gentlemen, it’s looking goooood.  Cam Newton played the best game for a rookie since a QB from Indianapolis did it as a rookie (Peyton Manning).  Normally the best thing for a rookie QB is to get him a good running game but in this case, Newton just needed to find the diminutive Steve Smith (8 recs, 178 yards, 2 TDs).  Kevin Kolb (18 of 27 for 309 yards, 2 TDs) played pretty well in his first official outing for the Cardinals and this Cardinals team showed that they may be a team to watch for the rest of the year.  Good games by Wells (18 carries, 90 yards, 1 TD), Doucet (3 recs, 105 yards, 1 TD) and Fitz (3 rec, 63 yards).  The Panthers lost this game, but I think they found their future.  Inquisitive Mind 8 – 5 for the week

Dallas @ New York Jets – (I have to laugh for a little bit on this one before I write).  You mean to tell me that the Cowboys have this game all sewn up, my pick of the Jets is looking terrible and then Tony Romo (23 of 36 for 342 yards, 2 TDs, 1 (bad) INT) makes me look like a genius in the last minutes.  All I have to say is look out for the questions about Tony Romo and his ability to get into trouble late in games.  Did I say that the Cowboys had this game sewn up?  The cowboys are thin at the DB position and they seemed to all fall in this game.  In the end it was LT (5 carries for 16 yards, 6 recs, 73 yards) getting it done for the Jets along with a few big time catches by Plaxico (4 recs, 72 yards, 1 TD).  Dez Bryant (3 recs, 71 yards, 1 TD) looked like he was going to be unstoppable at the beginning of the game but he had some cramps or injured something and became nothing more than a decoy.  As I start to think about it, maybe Witten (6 recs, 110 yards) and Romo do talk about how to get Witten all of the catches, maybe TO was right?  This is one the Cowboys let slip away because the Jets didn’t play their best football but came away with a win.  Inquisitive Mind 9 – 5 for the week

New England @ Miami - If I told you that Chad Henne would have the following stat line: 30 of 49 for 416 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 7 carries, 59 yards, 1 TD; how many of you would have thought I pulled up some of his old high school film? or how many of you would have thought that this was done on Playstation?  Henne had a career game where he looked pretty dayum good.  The flip side is that he was playing the Patriots and Tom Brady also had a career game: 32 of 48 for 517 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT.  This was a shootout and unfortunately the Dolphins were on the wrong end of it.  Wes Welker (8 recs, 160 yards, 2 TDs) had a great night aided by a record setting 99 (and 1/2) yard reception for a TD and both Pats tight ends (13 recs, 189 yards, 2 TDs) had great games.  Maybe the Pats don't need a deep threat.  More interestingly is that Chad Ochocinco (1 rec, 14 yards) was invisible and his body language showed it.  Let's see if this experiment blows up on the Pats.  For the Dolphins, Brandon Marshall had a game and should have had more if he and Henne would have been able to hook up a few more times.  This was a tough game for the Dolphins to lose, but if they can build on this, they might scare some people this year.  Inquisitive Mind 10 - 5 for the week

Oakland @ Denver - This was the brutal game with the animosity that the Steelers/Ravens game should have been.  The two teams combined for 25 penalties for over 200 yards.  Denver turned the ball over 3 times (2 fumbles lost, 1 INT) and with Moreno (8 carries, 29 yards) and Bailey hurt, they weren't able to pull this one out.  Sebastian Janikowski (record tying 63 yard field goal to win the game) and Darren McFadden (22 carries, 150 yards) led the Raiders to this win.  The defensive line played well and got 5 sacks on Orton (24 of 46 for 304 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 fumble lost).  The Raiders looked like a team that is figuring out 'how' to win these types of games and they may make some noise this year.  Not sure if they make the playoffs, but I think they'll be close.  Inquisitive Mind 11 - 5 for the week.  

Ok, this was a good week.  I'm trying to get the perfect week, but 11-5 isn't bad and when you look at the ESPN guys, I'm looking pretty good.  Check back next week and let's do it all over again.   

Monday, September 12, 2011

Banged Up - NFL Week 1

Looks like a lot of people went down in Week 1.  Here's a brief list of injuries that may impact Week 2 and further.

Eric Berry (Chiefs) - Hurt his knee yesterday and it's not looking good.  He may be out a substantial period of time and that won't bode well for the Chiefs.UPDATED - Berry is out for the year with a torm ACL.

Orlando Scandrick (Cowboys) - Hurt his ankle and looks to be out for 4 weeks.  The Cowboys secondary was already beat up and this won't help matters. 

Dez Bryant (Cowboys) - Hurt his quad and it showed last night against the Jets that he couldn't really move.  This will probably be ongoing since he's going to want to play and the team probably wants him to play.  Side note:  Don't expect him to be returning any punts or kickoffs anytime soon.  Jerry has spoken that Dez seems to get hurt during those plays. 

Jon Beason (Panthers) - Seems that things went from bad to worse with Beason.  Looks like he tore his achilles and will be out for the season.  Beason had started the season with a badly sprained ankle. 

Luis Castillo (Chargers) - Broke his leg and will be out for the season.  He anchored a pretty good defense in San Diego.

Nate Kaeding (Chargers) - Still waiting for more information, but looks like his ACL is torn.  The Chargers are bringing in kickers as we speak.

Sam Bradford (Rams) - MRI results back and it seems like it's just some nerve damage in his finger, but nothing that will keep him from playing next Monday night.  That glass is at least half full, right?  UPDATED - Bradford has a bruised right index finger but will play against the Giants next week. 

Justin Tuck (Giants) - No one seems to know the extent of Tuck's neck injury but he didn't play last night and we don't know if/when he will play again. 

Marques Colston (Saints) - Colston separated his collar bone (I'm not even sure what that means), but he'll be out for at least 4 to 6 weeks.  With Lance Moore also day-to-day with a groin pull, the Saints seem to be losing people already. 

Kevin Walter (Texans) - Broken shoulder that will keep him out for 10 to 12 weeks.  That big win didn't come without a price. 

Michael Crabtree (49ers) - Injured his foot and no prognosis as of yet when he'll return.  May be a minor issue. 

Ron Bartel (Rams) - Has a few small fractures in his neck and could miss the season. 

Danny Amendola (Rams) - UPDATED - Danny will miss the Giants game but will be week to week after that. 

Steven Jackson (Rams) - UPDATED - Jackson won't play against the Giants and will be week to week with a strained quad. 

More to come as I see if come across the wire.  Feel free to make additional adds here also. 

Friday, September 09, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 1 Picks

Can you smellllllaaaa what is cookin'?  Yes, it's that time, it's football season ladies and gentlemen.  Time to make sure that there are alternative things for the kiddies to do on Sunday afternoon, Monday night, and Thursday night.  In my best Bart Scott voice, 'Can't Wait!!!!'.  Let's get to the games and follow along all year as we go against the ESPN professionals.

Atlanta @ Chicago - Good way to start the season off with the Dirty Birds coming to the Chi.  The weather shouldn't be too bad but I expect the field is going to be in terrible shape.  The Bears come into this game with improvement from Cutler in the off-season (his feet look a lot better, hopefully no more back foot throws) but the two problems that I'm not sure they have solved: Offensive line and a #1 receiver.  Let's go on record now, Roy Williams IS NOT the answer.  Your #1 can't drop that many balls, even in the pre-season.  The Bears had problems protecting Cutler last year and they went out and got 1 offensive lineman in the draft and let Olin Kreuntz go to New Orleans.  Not looking good.  If the Bears can protect Cutler, they should win this game.

Atlanta comes in with a team that has to be hungry based on the way they got whupped last year against the Packers in the playoffs.  Mostly everyone is back and they partly mortgaged their future by trading up to get Julio Jones.  I think it's well worth it.  Jones doesn't have to be Roddy White, but if he can play decently, Matt Ryan will have more than enough weapons.  Not too worried about their defense and with Abraham going against this patch worked Bears line, I expect a good outing for them.  Winner - Falcons.   

Cincinnati @ Cleveland - At least we get this game out of the way early.  This should definitely be an ugly game.  The Bengals are starting Andy Dalton and I started thinking, if Carson Palmer (he was good before that Pittsburgh knee injury game) and Ochocino couldn't win, how in the he77 will Andy Dalton and whomever else win?

The Browns, well they aren't the Bengals.  That's enough.  Winner - Browns.

Buffalo @ Kansas City - Another not so good game.  The Chiefs biggest concern is whether Cassel can breathe with those hurt ribs.  It shouldn't be hard for him to hand the ball off to Charles and getting out of the way.  Yes, he'll have to throw a little to Bowe, but the Chiefs really need to get their ship going.  No bad starts.  They need to put some pressure on the Chargers for the division early in the year.  Losing Moeaki for the season will hurt, but there are enough playmakers on the offensive side of the ball to pick up the slack.   

Buffalo will be starting Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB (from Haaarvard) and they have some pieces in CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson, Brad Smith and Roscoe Parrish, but I think it's more what they did last year.  They'll be in some games, but they'll end up playing spoiler to some team later in the year.  Winner - Chiefs.

Philadelphia @ St. Louis - And the Eagles start the 2011-12 season with a trip to St. Louis, let the Pink Slip be ready for the influx of customers (if you don't know, Google it).  The Eagles are the Dream Team according to VY, so they better start their Dream Season with a win.  We know everything on this team hinges on Vick, and more so the offensive line keeping his jersey clean (something they didn't do in the preseason).  IF they can protect Vick, the Eagles have more than enough weapons to put up numbers.  On the defensive side of the ball, I'm waiting to see a QB beat Asomugha, Samuel, and Rodgers-Cromartie.  If the Eagles front 4 can put pressure on Bradford, I see the defense winning this game for the Eagles.

St. Louis is St. Louis.  They are solid on both sides of the ball.  Bradford has a good arm and he has a few different weapons to distribute the ball to.  I think this game will be close, but in the end, the veteran team wins.  Winner - Eagles

Detroit @ Tampa Bay - This is the game I want to see.  Two up and coming teams with good young players.  Detroit is riding the arm of Matthew Stafford and the catching of Calvin Johnson.  If Stafford can stay healthy, watch out.  The thing I want to see is this defense.  Suh and Fairley (out for this game) are going to terrorize offensive lines all year long.  Suh could get some serious votes for defensive player of the year.

The Bucs surprised many last year with the way their 10-6 record, but no playoffs.  Josh Freeman was helped last year by the play of LeGarrette Blount and they will need both of them to play well this year.  I imagine that Winslow and Mike Williams will continue with their great play from last year too.  The Bucs are light on their pass rush, but the rest of the defense is solid.  Can each team duplicate their promise from last year?  Winner - Lions.     

Tennessee @ Jacksonville - How are you going to cut Garrard 5 days before your opener?  Just for that Jack Del Rio, you're probably on your way out (that's twice you've done this).  The Jags are starting Luke McCown and the only thing good about that is that he's finally wanted in someone's fantasy football league.  Thank goodness for Maurice Jones-Drew or this team might not even be worth seeing.  McCown is warming the seat for Blaine Gabbert, so this is rebuild city.

The Titans get Matt Hasselbeck and a recently signed Chris Johnson.  The goal is to not run Johnson into the ground early because he missed training camp (we all know he's going to get injured, just is what it is) and depend on the new defensive pieces (Barrett Rudd, Shaun Smith, and Jordan Babineaux).  This should be an easy one.  Winner - Titans.

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore - I just got a bruise thinking about this game.  You get two of the best defenses in the game going at each other and as usual each team has a bit of an edge and disdain for each other.  The Ravens are hoping that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron opens up the offense to allow Flacco more opportunities to throw the ball down field.  Ray Rice is the bowling ball out of the backfield, but it's going to come down to the receiving corp and how they play.  Are they good enough with the loss of Mason and the addition of Lee Evans.

Pittsburgh is pretty much returning the team that took them to the Super Bowl last year.  They have Big Ben, Wallace, Mendenhall, and a host of others on offense.  On defense they are bringing back the guy the Commissioner loves to hate, James Harrison, and a hopefully healthy Troy Polamalu.  This is going to be a gem of a game with a lot of hard hits and I think the winner in the special teams battle will win this game.  I don't expect a lot of scoring.  Winner - Ravens.

Indianapolis @ Houston - Every year we talk about how the Texans are on the cusp of something great and then the season happens.  This year, no Manning for the Colts and possibly no Foster for the Texans.  The Texans do have Matt Schaub, whom I like and they have arguably the best receiver in the game in Andre Johnson.  The Texans weak link has been their defense and the hope this year is that with a new defense they'll be able to keep teams under 30.  Look for Mario Williams to have a good game against the Colts because Collins likes holding on to the ball a little too long.

The Colts start the season (I say this entire year) without Manning who is not only the starting QB, but the offensive coordinator and at times he also gets water and snacks for his teammates.  Kerry Collins starts this game after being retired (sounds like Favre) and the Colts have to be shell shocked.  The Colts still have weapons in Wayne, Addai, Brown, Garcon, and Clark, but can Collins get them the ball?  This game will be close because this Colts team isn't going to come in and lay down, but in the end, no Peyton, no win.  Winner - Texans.   

New York Giants @ Washington - The Battle for the NFC East begins.  Rex Grossman says this Redskins team can win the division, me thinks he is smoking something extremely good.  The Redskins start Grossman due to a coin flip and everyone in Redskins Park is expecting a 10 win season.  I looked at the roster and unless they pull a 'Tanya Harding' on Vick, Manning and a few other folks, I just don't see it.

The Giants start the season with Eli hoping to cut down on turnovers but with his receiving corp not looking so good, the Giants might be great on the ground this year.  This should be an easy win for the Giants.  Winner - Giants.   

Seattle @ San Francisco - Tow relatively new coaches and two struggling teams.  The 49ers have talent all over the field with the exception of their QB.  I'm sorry, Alex Smith just isn't the answer, unless the question is 'Who's one guy that should step down and let another QB take the reigns?'.  Unless Harbaugh can work some voodoo on this guy, this team is at best a .500 team.

Seattle decided to let Hasselbeck go and they brought in Tavaris Jackson to replace him (crickets, crickets).  I'm not going to pile on TJ, but I think that he just needs someone to work with him and give him a chance and maybe that's Carroll?  Sidney Rice may not play, and this team looks a lot better when they have one of their other non-starting QBs in the game.  This has got to be a toss up.  Winner - 49ers.

Minnesota @ San Diego - Redemption.  It worked for Favre for at least a year so I'm expecting that it'll work for McNabb too.  McNabb will have AP behind him and Percy Harvin and a pretty good defense, but it'll all be on his shoulders.  I think that part of his legacy is in question and he'll have to prove to people that Washington was nothing more than just a bad time with the Shannahans.

The Chargers.  Every year we gush about how good they are and how talented they are and then they go out and lay an egg the first 8 weeks of the season only to finish the season in a flurry and scare everyone in the AFC.  This year, I expect something different and it'll start here.  Winner - Chargers

Carolina @ Arizona - The start of the Cam Newton era in Carolina.  I hope this goes well.  The Panthers are going to have to rely on their running game to give this young QB a chance to prove to us that he can play.  Cam is also going to have to use his legs to move around and make some things happen.  Look for a lot of two tight end sets to provide receiving and pass protection.  On defense they will continue to rely on Beason (he's probably out for game 1) and the rest of this defense to keep the scores down.  It's going to be rocky this year, but there is a lot of opportunity for growth and learning.  Years from now, we'll look back on this game and say this was 'the beginning'.

The Cardinals come in broke.  They paid for Kolb, and they re-upped Fitz so their money is gone for now.  The only thing left is to figure out how to make all of this work on the field.  The Cards will look to Beanie Wells to handle things on the ground and I actually am looking forward to seeing Heap play for someone besides the Ravens.  He may have a big year.  Winner - Cardinals.

Dallas @ New York Jets - For once no one is really talking about the Cowboys.  They are coming off a season where Romo got hurt and things just never materialized for them.  I'm going to say this now, this may be the year of the Boys.  They get their defense back that played pretty well down the stretch, but right now their DBs are hurting.  They get a dynamic offense with Dez Bryant hopefully maturing in the off season to go with Choice, Austin, Jones, and Witten.  Romo may be able to operate a little better without the spotlight on him too.

The Jets come in talking, as they usually do.  They have all their pieces and a new piece in Plaxico Burress that may pay dividends.  From an offensive standpoint, the Jets are dependent upon whether Sanchez has gotten better.  Sanchez will have Holmes, Keller, Burress, and Mason to throw to, so the receiving corp is much better than average.  On defense the Jets still have Revis and Cromartie to man the corners and they are solid everywhere else.  Romo will probably get blitzed coming off the bus.  Winner - Jets

New England @ Miami - If Chad Henne is still the starter in Miami, there's not much else to say.  Don't get me wrong, he's decent, but that won't get you much.  Miami will play hard because of their coach and they'll be prepared, but they won't wow you even with the addition of Mr. Wow, Reggie Bush.

The Pats brought in Haynesworth and Ochocinco and some thought this was a bad play for them.  I think they struck gold on both of these guys because they both need some sort of vindication and redemption.  I think that Haynesworth goes back to his Tennessee form and that defense becomes that much better.  With Brady at the helm, the only real question is whether this team would entertain bringing Randy Moss back.  Winner - Patriots

Oakland @ Denver - The final game of the week and two teams with a bad history.  Oakland comes in with a good running game with McFadden and Bush, a decent QB in Campbell, and a host of receivers.  If they can protect Campbell, maybe, just maybe they catch fire.  The Raiders on defense are actually pretty good upfront (Tommy Kelly, Richard Seymour, and John Henderson) and they have some decent LBs, but they will have some problems in the secondary.  If they can stop the run and get some pressure on Orton, they could surprise in this game.

Denver has Kyle Orton.  Yes, I said it, Kyle Orton.  He's not sexy but he gets the job done.  They have Moreno and McGahee in the backfield and they have Lloyd at the WR spot, so they have some weapons.  The question is can they be consistent and can they run the ball?  Orton put up some very good numbers last year throwing the ball, so we'll expect much of the same this year.  Should be fun.  Winner - Raiders.

Well those are my picks.  Check back after the games to see how well I did.  If you disagree, let me know who you got?!?!?!?!?

2011-12 NFL Week 1 - Thursday Night Recap

What a game!!!!  The Packers and the Saints both played great, with some surprises and this was a great game to start the season off.  The Packers were able to get out of the gates early and take a 14 point lead on the arm of Aaron Rodgers (27 of 35 for 312 yards, 3 TDs) and the hands of Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings.  Rodgers threw for 188 yards and 3 TDs in the 1st quarter. That ended up waking up the Saints and you could see that Drew Brees (32 of 49 for 419 yards, 3 TDs) was slowly getting into a rhythm. 

In the second half Brees seemed to have figured out the Packers defense and it looked like 7 on 7 drills there for a minute.  He marched them up and down the field, but their Achilles heel in this game (and anytime they lose this year) was their defense (and their running game).  The Saints couldn't stop the Packers and the Packers went deep into their playbook, several different formations, packages, and personnel.  The Packers pretty much did everything they wanted (outside of that 3rd and 4 towards the end of the game).  The Saints gained 81 yards rushing as a team last night and that just won't get it, they have to have more balance.  Fantasy owners will love having Brees throw that much, but they aren't going to win the important games if they can't run the ball.

In the end, the Packers defense stop Mark Ingram on a 4th and 1 to end the game.  The 'Game Ball' goes to Randall Cobb and the Packers offensive line.  Cobb returned a NFL record-tying 108 kickoff for a TD and scored another TD on a pass from Rodgers.  The 2nd round pick out of Kentucky looked like he belonged.  Meanwhile the Packers offensive line dominated the Saints.  The line allowed Starks and Grant to both average above 4 yards a carry and they combined for 97 yards and 1 TD.  They also kept Rodgers' jersey clean for the majority of the night.  Great game, but the best part is,......Inquisitive Mind 1 - 0 for the week

P.S. - @ Darryl, I'm not saying I told you so, but you were slightly wrong last night.  Since the start of the season has been moved to Thursday nights the previous years Super Bowl winner has won the majority of the games.  Be glad that you didn't bet any real money on the game and giving me 10 points. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Is Peyton Done?

Rumors are starting saying that Peyton Manning may miss the entire season due to his neck injury.  We already know that he won't start against Houston this weekend, but if Manning is done for the season this really not only turns the tables in the AFC South, but the Colts are an entirely different team when he's on the bench.  Supposedly Manning underwent another surgery on his neck earlier this week and that's the reason he'll be out.  Stay tuned to this story. 

Thanks for the heads up from Jake Query.

What happens to the Colts if he's gone for good?  As a side note, me picking up Kerry Collins off of waivers may have been a great thing in my 20 team Fantasy League. 

Las Vegas NBA Pro-Am Players

Thanks to Alex Kennedy at HOOPSWORLD, we can now see the list of prospective NBA players heading to Las Vegas for their version of a Pro-Am.

John Wall, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Stephen Curry, Kyle Lowry, Stephen Jackson, Chauncey Billups, DeMar DeRozan, Tayshaun Prince, Al Harrington, Jermaine O’Neal, DeAndre Jordan, Mo Williams, J.J. Hickson, Austin Daye, Jared Dudley, Marreese Speights, Dahntay Jones, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, David Lee, Dorell Wright, Jeremy Lin, Omri Casspi, Hakim Warrick, Eric Maynor, C.J. Watson, Ryan Gomes, James Anderson, Avery Bradley, Melvin Ely, Derrick Caracter, Armon Johnson, Shawne Williams, Terrico White, Iman Shumpert, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Jordan Williams, Malcolm Lee, Josh Selby, Trey Thompkins, Travis Leslie and Shelvin Mack.

Several former NBA players will also compete including Jamaal Tinsley, Bonzi Wells and Damon Jones.

The list isn't that impressive (i.e. no Kobe, LBJ, etc.) but this is good for the guys to get together and play against NBA caliber players.  I might try to make a trip out to Vegas to see them play.  I need to borrow someone's plane, any takers?

New Partner in Crime

Just a quick note to let you know that I'm trying to grow this thing into something big and I happen to hear from a buddy of mine who is doing something similar with his free time.  If you have a chance, check out my guy, 'A', over at Tail Gate City.

We are working together to provide some interesting stuff between our two blogs in the near future.  Stay tuned!!!!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 1 Picks - Thursday Night

Yes!!!!!!!  we are officially starting the season and we got the Packers and the Saints kicking it off.  Both of these teams are expected to fight each other to represent the NFC in this years Super Bowl.  Let's get down to the picks.

New Orleans @ Green Bay - The Packers are at home and weather shouldn't be an issue (the tundra isn't cold yet).  The Saints spread it out as good as any other team and Brees can get the ball anywhere on the field when he needs to.  With the Saints it's always on the defensive side of the ball as to whether they will be good.  The Packers return almost everyone (especially the starters they lost to injury last season) and Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best QB in the game (yes, I'll argue with you that he is the best right now*).  The Packers just seem to have gotten better and they were pretty good (or lucky, depending on how you see it) last year.  I'm looking for the Packers to start the season off the way they ended it last year.  Winner - Packers.  

*For those that know me and have read here previously, I have not been an Aaron Rodgers fan.  I thought that the Packers were going to rue the day they handed the reins over to him.  I am man enough to say that I was wrong on this and that Rodgers has now put himself in the discussion of being an elite QB in the NFL. 

Catching Up

Yep, I'm back refreshed and ready for some football.  Let's see what's been going on.

Fantasy Football:

I've joined 3 leagues this year and that's probably one too many.  The league on and created by my guy @Malik sucks.  It's 20 teams, and I couldn't make the draft so I used the automatic drafting tool and I didn't even get a starting QB in the league, not one.  What kind of BS is that?  I digress, that team will probably be on cruise control all year long unless I can pull off a trade.


Well, the players are still locked out and it's not looking good for people expecting the NBA season to start on time.  The owners are making a hard line and that's not going to work out well for the players.  We'll see what happens with this one, but my expectation is that you will find more NBA ballers at these smaller leagues and possibly during the Vegas league that is being pushed by (Adidas) Joe Abunassar.  Some folks have been pushing for such a league with only pros allowed so that a collective can market the game more than smaller groups of players. 


Yes, it's that time and we are only a few days away from the Saints and Packers starting the 2011/12 NFL Season.  Yes, I'll be starting with the picks and I look forward to a great year.  Let's look at some team specific stuff.

Indianapolis Colts - Yes,that is fear that you see coming from the Colts headquarters as they have Manning's neck checked out yet again.  If he's out for more than these next few games, I doubt that anyone has to worry too much about the Colts in the playoffs this year.  Manning streak of games started should end and then they'll start talking about the other Manning (Eli).

Chicago Bears - Why Lance Briggs would ask for a raise now is beyond me.  He really has no leverage and this is just a distraction to the team.  If anything, they need to find a new #1 receiver will their present #1, Roy Williams, not able to catch a cold, butt naked in a winter storm. 

Washington Redskins - Are starting Rex Grossman for the first game of the season.  @Mike C. you are probably jumping up and down about the argument we had about Rex.  Yes, Rex will start and that'll give him the status of being a starting QB in the NFL, but this is more out of necessity than choice.  He'll be pulled in a few weeks, watch. 

Kansas City Chiefs - After taking a beating, Matt Cassel is practicing but he his ribs might keep him out of game 1 for the Chiefs.  I doubt he'll miss the first game of the season but it's tough for a QB to start the season with a target on his chest (literally).  The Chiefs need Cassel at 100% in order for them to have a chance at the playoffs.  I don't know how ribs heal until you take some time off. 

Pittsburgh Steelers - James Harrison is still recovering from back surgery but isn't at 100% yet.  If anyone knows him, he'll be out there game 1.  Harrison is an important piece to the Steelers defense and they gotta hope that he won't break down during the season.  In my opinion, any surgery on your back isn't minor and needs to be rehabbed accordingly. 

New England Patriots - A return of Moss?  Not likely, but Tom Brady has had discussions with the mercurial WR as of late.  I find it hard to believe that any team would take a flyer on Moss unless they were in a dire situation.  With the acquisition of Ochocinco and the rest of the Pats WR corp, the Patriots could probably do without Moss.  With that said, never say never. 

Cincinnati Bengals - Return of Palmer?  Palmer was actually seen at Paul Brown Stadium recently and that's about it.  The Bengals did cut his little brother (Jordan) as their #2 QB, so maybe that makes Carson a little more upset?  Carson is leaving $11.5M on the table by 'retiring' instead of playing for the Bengals this year.  he must really be pissed to not want to pick up that check.  I'm not sure how this one turns out, but you've got to think that Carson doesn't have anything else to do that would make him that amount of money (he says he doesn't need the money), but the Bengals aren't trading him or releasing him.  Interesting,.....


As the playoffs get ready to start, I've been promised that we'll have some coverage on the MLB items.  Stay tuned.