Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Yeah, I don't have the dedication to maintain a blog. If I still have a random thought or two, I'll toss 'em on my tumblr.

Friday, October 7, 2011

He's Phony, She's Fake

That's the type of team that I hate.

But really, this is the week where we find out whether a lot of teams are real contenders or if going to flake out.
  • Philadelphia @ Buffalo (+2.5): This is the toughest game of the week for me. I have no idea if Buffalo's real or if Philly has too many weaknesses to contend. We'll learn a lot this week, but since I have no idea I'm taking the points, especially since they're for the home team. 
  • Indianapolis vs. Kansas City (+2.5): Indy has to win some week, right? They're at home and Curtis Painter actually looked half-decent last week. Meanwhile KC's coming off a victory, and I don't think they have what it takes to come back and win on the road after that. Indy looses the goose-egg. 
  • Minnesota vs. Arizona (+2.5): Same story, Minny has to win some week, right? I don't trust Arizona, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if they won, but I'm taking Minny. 
  • New York Giants vs. Seattle (+10): If this game was in Seattle, I'd take them. Ten points on the road though? Not enough. The Giants are making a push, which I really didn't expect this season. Too bad...
  • Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee (+2.5): Yet another tough one. I don't believe in Tennessee yet, but Pittsburgh's really banged up and their defense didn't look right even when it was healthy. When you're signing offensive linemen mid-season, you know you're in trouble. I'll take the points. 
  • New Orleans @ Carolina (+6.5): I'm really tempted to take Carolina. They love them some back-door covers and the Saints didn't blow out the Jags like I thought they would. Less than a TD isn't enough though. Saints. 
  • Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati (+2.5): I'm not sure whether Cinci will have some hangover after their win vs. the Bills, but I like them better than Jacksonville. POINTS!
  • Houston vs. Oakland (+6): Another tough game. Oakland's looked good and they know who they are, but are they good enough to take down the Texans? (it felt weird to type that...) I'd rather put my money on Houston. 
  • San Francisco vs. Tampa Bay (+3): Guess what. I don't know again! It's in San Fran though, and I think Candlestick's one of the few remaining real home field advantages. Plus the Bucs couldn't blow out the Colts, which they should have if they were real. No Eagles hangover, Niners. 
  • San Diego @ Denver (+4): It's not September anymore, meaning the Chargers should be getting out of their early season funk. Them. 
  • New England vs. New York Jets (+9): Regardless of how horrendous the Jets looked last week, this game will be close. Our defense isn't close to the Ravens defense when healthy, and it's banged up. Plus the Jets will be out for blood after being embarrassed. No matter how much bulletin board material they want to give us, it's throwback week, and Pat Patriot is cursed. Even though I still think we win, take the points. 
  • Green Bay @ Atlanta (+6): Atlanta's looked weak. It's like the Steelers defense, they have the talent but they're just not passing the eye-test. Roddy and Julio have been solid fantasy players though, especially Julio in PPR. I'm taking the monstrous, NFL decimating, superior to the rest of us, Packers. (Hopefully they pull an us last year and collapse in the playoffs)
  • Detroit vs. Chicago (+5.5): I read this stat this morning. Jay Cutler had nine completions last game. Nine. I don't care who's running the ball for them, they need more than that to win against a real team. Also, really?!!? Martz running the ball? Wow... They'll give us a heart attack winning, but I'll take the Lions. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Week 4: The Sheila Broflovski Week

For those of you that don't watch South Park, Sheila, Kyle's mom, screams "what what whaaaat!?!?!" whenever something shocking happens. That was this entire weekend.

  • The Texans proved they're a legitimate contender. You can't be the best without beating the best, and even though the Steelers aren't near what they were, it's a symbolic victory. 
  • The Steelers need to figure out what's wrong with their defense. The offense's problems are clear, but I'm not sure why the run defense is awful. 
  • Detroit continues to give their fans heart attacks. I'm sure they're having fun though, there isn't much more fun than a comeback. 
  • I almost feel bad for Tony Romo. Almost. I'm still getting my fantasy numbers and they keep losing though, so I really don't care. 
  • Not sure why the Saints game was as close as it was. 
  • The Skins game shouldn't have been that close either. The defense looked stellar though, and Ryan Kerrigan looks beastly.
  • I do feel bad for Sam Bradford. Can that man get some line help? 
  • Remember when I said Tennessee was going to make the playoffs? It's looking like my blind dart throw hit a bullseye. 
  • If I was a Niners fan, I wouldn't be too disappointed about the season. Forcing Vick into that press conference is victory enough. 
  • Dream Team!
  • The Chiefs finally won! Unfortunately they're behind in sucking for Luck. 
  • Vikings fans, welcome to the '10 Skins season minus the decent defense. 
  • Cam Newton will be a top 10 quarterback. He's got the will to win and has all the physical tools a QB could need. I was wrong about him, and I'm already ready to say that. 
  • I respect the hell out of Matt Forte. He wants a new contract, but is proving he needs one by playing his ass off instead of holding out. 
  • Trap game for Buffalo. Coming off a great win like they had the week before, fans should've expected some let down. 
  • I still have trouble believing in the Bengals. They just don't pass the eye-test for me. 
  • The whole NFC South's somewhat of a let down. Atlanta especially though, I thought they were a top five team, but it looks like they might be bottom half. 
  • No idea how Seattle came back. I thought they were awful, but it looks like the 12th man is a force. 
  • I guess the Giants won't be last in the NFC East. Oh well...
  • I'm glad we won, but losing Mayo is awful. He was a true leader for our defense, and hopefully he can heal up fast. I just don't want us to rush him back like a couple years ago, he was never the same. 
  • Aaron Rodgers... wow. 
  • I'm just going to attribute the Chargers only winning by 10 to their usual slow starts. 
  • Reggie Bush: welcome to the bust club. Lex Hilliard, really? 
  • The Sanchize! 
  • We need a nickname for Flacco that I can use sarcastically too, he played horrendously. He's lucky their defense is probably the best in the NFL. 
  • Bucs Colts... yawn. 
Week five has some really tough to call matchups, we'll learn a lot about what some teams are made of. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Week 3 Thoughts

I was on my way back from New Jersey Sunday, so I didn't see the Bills amazing comeback win that everyone loves reminding me about. I knew that it would be a close game, but I thought we'd pull through. Hopefully our secondary can step up and get healthy again. I'm not too worried though, you can't overreact to a loss within the division. It means a lot standings-wise, but these are the teams that know each other best. We'll be back strong next week.

  • If you haven't read the story about Ryan Fitzpatrick proposing to his wife, go read it. It's hilarious. 
  • Cam Newton beat Blaine Gabbert. Woo irrelevant teams. 
  • I don't know whether Frank Gore's hurt or he's just lost favor with the coaching staff, but I definitely put in waiver claims on Kendall Hunter in a few fantasy leagues. 
  • It's looking more and more like the Phins week 1 was a fluke. If you can't beat the Browns, you're not doing anything this season. 
  • I do like the Browns, but Colt McCoy's gotta step it up. I know you have no receivers, but good QB's can make them. These under 50% passing days aren't gonna cut it. 
  • Detroit is the single-game version of the Chargers. They start horrendous but finish amazing. Life as a Lions fan must be hectic. 
  • Houston is legit. Years before, they'd have a big road game and flop miserably. They stepped up to the Saints, and even though they didn't win, they proved they can hang with the contenders. 
  • I don't know what happened with the Giants, but congrats to them. 
  • No offensive linemen, no linebackers. I said at the start of the season that would be the downfall of the Eagles, and it's looking like I was right. 
  • Losing Kenny Britt knocks the Titans out of sneaky playoff contender status. He was their 2nd best player, and while Hasselbeck can succeed with average receivers, I'm not sure if it's enough. 
  • Anyone else feel like the Jets have lost their identity? They used to be a ground and pound, screw everyone else's team philosophy, beat 'em up team. Now they're this air it out, screen-throwing, losing to the Raiders team. Maybe they wanted to prove that Sanchez is a real QB, but I don't think they'll win if they get away from the identity that they succeeded with. 
  • No idea how the Chiefs got back into that game, but that last pick might have used up the last bit of morale the team had. Suck for Luck!
  • Welcome to the NFL Torrey Smith, Maryland product. 
  • I feel bad for the Rams. They were primed to succeed coming into the season, but injuries and a brutal schedule will keep them down again. 
  • The Bears once again played up to the Packers, but just weren't good enough. They need to figure out what's wrong with the running game. 
  • I'm not sure how Seattle won either, but again, woo irrelevant teams. This time though, one will make the playoffs. 
  • Good win for Tampa Bay. I still feel like the Falcons have more talent, but if they can't put it together it'll be the Bucs in the playoffs instead. 
  • What happened to the Falcons' offensive line? All of a sudden Matt Ryan isn't getting nearly as much protection. 
  • Where exactly did the Colts defense come from? They were crushing the Steelers' run game at the line of scrimmage. 
  • Pat Angerer - one of the best names in the NFL. Great play from him Sunday night. 
  • I'm not sure who the Steelers will be calling to play on their line, but all I can do is laugh. 
  • The Skins defense showed up. They didn't let the Cowboys score a TD, which is a solid accomplishment. Unfortunately, they had a few lapses that kept them from winning. 
  • If the offense showed up to the level the defense did, the Skins would have won. Gotta be more careful with the ball Rex. 
  • Much respect to Tony Romo, playing with hurt ribs and a set of backup WR's. They eek'd it out, but I wouldn't expect to see that happen when they make their way to DC.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lockout After-Effects

Before week three last year, I was in the 99th percentile for ESPN's Pigskin Pick 'Em, with and without the spread. The full offseason let me get an understanding of each teams identity, so I knew who was legit and who was ready to be upset. This year I had a 50% week one, and even though I'm rebounding I didn't start off near where I'd like to. There just hasn't been enough time for me to get a read on how these teams are built. I say all this not just to brag, but to intro the return of weekly picks. 

  • Patriots @ Bills (+8.5) - Take the Bills. Fred Jackson's always run hard against us and the secondary is not 100%. My only concern with taking them is their offensive line has some injuries. If we can get  consistent pressure on Fitz, then maybe it's a blowout. 
  • 49ers @ Bengals (-2.5) - I can't get a read on the Niners. They look like crap vs. the awful Seahawks, but then give the talented Cowboys a run for their money. I feel like the Bengals have been improving though, so I'd take them. 
  • Dolphins @ Browns (-2.5) - The Dolphins are better than an 0-3 team. They have solid lines, but Henne's too inconsistent for them to be a playoff contender. The Browns are even more inconsistent though, so I'm going with the Phins. 
  • Broncos @ Titans (-6.5) - This one's all gut. I don't think the Titans can follow up a great performance vs. the Ravens with another big win. The spread's too big for me, take the points. 
  • Lions @ Vikings (+3.5) - I'm pretty sure I'd take the Lions -10. Not sure why this line is so small. 
  • Texans @ Saints (-3.5) - The Texans are going to make the playoffs, but they're not better than the Saints. I don't think they're good enough to come in to New Orleans and win. 
  • Giants @ Eagles (-7.5) - With all the injuries the Giants have (HAHA), I'm in on the Eagles, and would be even if Kafka was playing. 
  • Jaguars @ Panthers (-3.5) - Finally there's a team that the Panthers can beat. I'm curious to see Gabbert play, but Newton has been amazing and he's finally getting a win. 
  • Chiefs @ Chargers (-14.5) - This line could be bigger. The Chiefs have nothing going for them at all. Chargers. 
  • Jets @ Raiders (+3.5) - Upset of the week. The Jets are coming off a big win and the Raiders are coming off a close loss. The Coliseum's sold out and they won't be disappointed. 
  • Ravens @ Rams (+3.5) - There's no way the Ravens lay an egg two weeks in a row. As much as I like the Rams, it's not their week... again. 
  • Falcons @ Buccaneers (-1.5) - I think the Falcons are better than the Bucs, so taking points is no problem. 
  • Packers @ Bears (+3.5) - I've got a sneaking suspicion that the Bears will show up for this game, but Rodgers has been too good this year to take the Bears. 
  • Cardinals @ Seahawks (+3.5) - The Seahawks suck. 
  • Steelers @ Colts (+10.5) - I'm very tempted to take the Colts, but I have zero faith in Kerry Collins. Steelers. 
  • Redskins @ Cowboys (-6.5) - I don't understand this line AT ALL. The Cowboys are hurt, Romo's got bruised ribs, and their line is weak. If I had a bookie, I'd lay a good amount of money on the Skins. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 2 Thoughts

Week two, the week where we realize how badly we overreacted to week one.
  • The Chiefs season is over. They were already hanging on by a thread, but no Jamaal Charles means they're officially in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. I do feel bad for them since I love Matt Cassel, but it's looking like he's not the long term answer at QB.
  • Does anyone else remember how a certain contingent of Pats fans wanted to trade Brady and keep Cassel because he could actually run? I wish I took names... 
  • The Lions, on the other hand, are looking like the real deal. Good teams blow out bad teams, and that's what they did. 
  • I'm now considering starting Matthew Stafford over everyone except Brady/Brees in my fantasy leagues. He's en fuego. 
  • The Raiders Bills game was one of the most exciting games I've ever followed through game breaks. E ven more shocking is that a west coast team travelling east playing at 1:00 showed up. I can't remember the last time that happened. 
  • I almost wish the Bills were in another division. Their fans are tortured, and while they're having a good year, they're not passing the Pats or Jets. 
  • With how well the Bills are playing and with Miami playing decently, the AFC East is probably the 2nd best division in the NFL. Very close to the NFC South. 
  • Wait, my idiotic, no reasoning/logic pick to make the playoffs beat a contender? Wow. 
  • It's insanely easy to root for Matt Hasselbeck. He's one of the funniest guys in the NFL, and a Boston guy. 
  • I'm just gonna blame the Ravens' performance on Steelers-domination hangover. Another performance like that though and I'll be questioning their contender status. 
  • "Luke McCown gives us the best chance to win." - Jack Del Rio. They should fire him just for making that statement. I get towing the company line, but at least rephrase it as something like "We're moving in a different direction and David doesn't fit into our plans anymore." 
  • The Jets, like the Lions, dominated a bad team as good teams should. 
  • The Browns just took the first step of a team stepping out of the cellar. Beating a perennial playoff team on the road, no matter how hurt they are, is an important step of becoming a legitimate team. 
  • If the Colts get the first pick in the draft, which they are in the running for, I think we'll see the first Ricky Williams-style trade in a while. You don't get rid of one of the best QB's of all time for a rookie, no matter how much of a sure thing he is. That'll also give the Colts enough picks to retool and add depth. 
  • The thing that shocked me the most about the Cardinals is that Beanie Wells actually ran well. 
  • The Skins also took a huge step out of being a cellar-dweller. They won when Rex Grossman wasn't perfect, which will probably happen often this year. Especially since they were playing core special teamers as top corners. 
  • I thought the Bucs were taking a huge step back when I saw the first half score, but Josh Freeman once again engineered a huge comeback. They're a legit team and will push for the playoffs. 
  • Your 2011 Minnesota Vikings!
  • Christian Ponder will not be red-shirting this season; if they keep playing to this level, the fans will be screaming for him in a couple weeks. 
  • I knew the Panthers were underrated coming into this season, but wow. I didn't think there was a sliver of a chance that they'd legitimately compete with the Packers, but Sunday was a moral victory. With how bad they've had it, I'm sure Panthers fans didn't mind the sports equivalent of kissing their cousins.
  • Cam Newton is shocking me. I didn't think he was worth the risk because of how little history he had, but I'm eating my words. He's making smart audible calls at the line and not looking very green. 
  • Losing Nick Collins is a huge blow for the Pack. He's a great free safety that makes plays all the time. They've gotten over injuries before though, and I'm sure the next guy is ready to step up. 
  • The Bears are who I thought they were. They had a great week one win over the Falcons, but they couldn't stand up to the proven big boys. 
  • The Saints played as they should. 
  • Tarvaris Jackson! Hit that Vikings link again. 
  • Steelers dominated a bad team, woo. 
  • The Niners also shocked me. They looked like crap against an awful Seahawks team and barely eek'd out a win, and then they come back and challenge a team with legitimate talent. They might be this year's Jekyll & Hyde team. 
  • Much props to Tony Romo for going back in the game with a cracked rib. He knew there was no coming back from a loss to the Niners so he did what he had to do and fought through the pain. 
  • The Chargers always find a way to beat themselves. Even though the Pats played great, the Chargers could have won the game. Turnovers are lethal. 
  • Philip Rivers to Vincent Jackson is one of the scariest and most lethal QB-WR tandems in the NFL. Rivers will just toss a ball up there and Jackson will get it, no matter how good the coverage is. 
  • In case you didn't see it, RUN VINCE RUN! I wonder if a player's ever pulled back just because seeing a 325 lb lineman run back a TD is the funniest thing ever. 
  • Brady continues to be sublime. I don't know what he did this offseason, but it's working. 
  • The defense worries me. It played well enough to get us the win, but I never felt comfortable when San Diego was moving the ball. 
  • I didn't see anything from this game, but it sure sounds like Andy Dalton's starting to develop into a legitimate QB. 
  • Willis McGahee, please steal the starting job from Knowshon. Sincerely, my fantasy teams. 
  • Chad Henne followed up a great performance with an awful one. Completing 40% of your passes isn't going to get it done in the NFL. 
  • I really hope Ben Tate steals the starting job from Arian Foster. Yet another reason why I don't pick one year wonders early in fantasy leagues. 
  • Anyone remember how I said the Eagles not having linebackers is something you can't ignore? Yeah, Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez loved that. 
  • Strip-sacks happen when your offensive line isn't up to snuff. Concussions too. 
  • For some reason, the Falcons didn't make me feel like they're a legitimate contender. They were able to hang around the entire game, but I never felt like they had it in them to just take over for a quarter. 
  • Shame on Cadillac Williams for not falling on the ball on the lateral. I never played organized football and even I knew you have to cover that up. Shame on the rest of the team minus Bradford and Saffold for not running and trying to make the tackle. I'm sure Spagnuolo is going to be laying into them all week for that. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Week One Overreactions

I was going to write this yesterday morning, but I'm really glad I didn't. And not just because I don't have a voice after screaming for the Pats last night. TOM. EFFING. BRADY. It's still just week one though, so everything is probably an overreaction.

  • Maybe the Steelers recent Super Bowl hangovers will repeat themselves. For their past two post-superbowl seasons, they've missed the playoffs the year after. They're off to a great start to that. 
  • I had high hopes for Atlanta, but they might be taking a bigger step back than I thought. 
  • I still don't think Chicago's anything though. Lucky start.
  • Cleveland choked. What a surprise. I really feel bad for the city, they don't deserve it. 
  • Peyton Manning should win MVP this year too. The Colts are NOTHING without him. 
  • Hasselbeck went for the win and unfortunately failed. Kenny Britt's living up to my expectations for him though. 
  • The BILLS! Harvard man looked great. 
  • The Chiefs on the other hand, are taking a HUGE step back. No Eric Berry is going to kill their secondary. 
  • Even though they won in dominant fashion, Vick got hit a lot more than I'd be comfortable with if I was an Eagles fan. 
  • I feel bad for the Rams. They get off to a promising start, and then the injuries strike. They need to go back to the original jerseys, screw these metallic-colored ones. 
  • Stafford proved that he's legit, and Megatron is really a transformer. At night he's in the garage, back in Acura form. 
  • Cam Newton was the only thing that shocked me this weekend. I definitely didn't see him playing that well in his first game. 
  • All I have to say about the Vikings is this tweet I saw: "Donovan McNabb is on pace to pass Tom Brady's Week 1 yardage total in Week 15." 
  • Also, the Chargers are off to another slow start. More things we're not surprised about. 
  • Ted Ginn will never live up to his draft position, but he definitely made a lot of Niners fans' day. 
  • Brian Orakpo is also a Transformer. That man is built. I also called it on the Skins. 
  • Romo... *stifles laughter*
  • I'm not going in depth into the Pats, all I'll say is I was furious when I saw Dan Koppen go out. And then Brady made my night. 
  • I didn't watch most of the Raiders Broncos game. Sue me, I had no voice. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Big NFL Preview Part 3: Playoffs

I've been going back and forth on this one. Some days I'll think this team's dropping out, other days I'll think it's another. Then I'll see how terrible someone's schedule is and I'll rethink things. So once again, I'm going by my gut. I didn't really figure out a way to sort this, so it's a little sloppy, but deal with it.


  1. San Diego Chargers
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. New England Patriots
  4. Houston Texans
  5. Baltimore Ravens
  6. New York Jets
This basically comes down to me not really liking AFC teams. I think someone's going to shock and knock the Jets out of the playoffs, but I have no idea who they are. So I go with logic and say there isn't much turnover. 

Wild Card Round: Patriots over Jets and Ravens over Texans
Divisional Round: Chargers over Ravens and Patriots over Steelers
Conference Championship: Patriots over Chargers

  1. New Orleans Saints
  2. Green Bay Packers
  3. Dallas Cowboys
  4. Arizona Cardinals
  5. Atlanta Falcons
  6. Detroit Lions 
I think there are a lot more good teams in the NFC than the AFC, meaning their record will be a lot tighter. There'll be a lot of tie-breaks involved here. There are three or four more teams who could make it, and I can see the Lions dropping out since they're everyone's favorite sleeper now.

Wild Card Round: Falcons over Cardinals and Cowboys over Lions
Divisional Round: Saints over Falcons and Packers over Cowboys
Conference Championship: Saints over Packers

Super Bowl: Patriots over Saints.

As if I'm going to pick anyone else to win. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Big NFL Preview Part 2: AFC

I actually got it done! Time for part two.

AFC West
  1. San Diego Chargers
  2. Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Denver Broncos 
  4. Oakland Raiders
I think this is the easiest division to call in the NFL. There's no way the insanity of last year repeats itself. Now that special teams aren't going to be as important, the #1 offense and defense Chargers should run away with the division. The Chiefs are growing, but they're definitely taking a step back from last year's playoff run. Adding LeRon McClain was a solid move and should open up bigger holes for Charles/Mr. Injure My Teammates in a Fight. The Broncos will probably rely on their running game to have a decent year, but their defense still has a lot of holes. Plus the Tebow fans will continue to question John Fox at every step. The Raiders went 8-8 and fired their head coach, so yeah, status quo's maintained there. 

AFC South
  1. Houston Texans
  2. Indianapolis Colts
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars
  4. Tennessee Titans
I've said it before, and I hate doing this. Absolutely hate it. But the Colts are too injured and the Jags and Titans have too many questions. The Texans will make the playoffs... It feels dirty saying that, but they're the most solid team in the division. Even though they're shifting to a 3-4, Wade's actually a great defensive coordinator and they have a lot of talent. Jonathan Joseph and Danieal Manning should improve the secondary enough that they won't be the worst pass defense in the NFL. Ugh... Meanwhile the Colts haven't had a good draft in a while so their depth is depleted, and Peyton might need a 2nd neck surgery... No bueno. 

The Jags and Titans are both very similar teams. Solid veteran QB's that no one gets excited about, elite RB's that fantasy players love, and high-pick rookie QB's that might take over before the season's done. The only difference is that the Jaguars are more aggressive since Del Rio's on the hot seat. He spent more money since he's fighting for his job and the Titans already have a new coach who's setting up his system. They could easily swap, and I'll be rooting for the Titans since I'm a huge Matt Hasselbeck fan, but neither team's doing anything.  

AFC East
  1. New England Patriots
  2. New York Jets
  3. Miami Dolphins
  4. Buffalo Bills
I'm not going to talk about the Patriots much since I could go on for pages, but I obviously think we're the best team in the division. Meanwhile, I think the Jets are taking a step back. One thing I like looking at is where did a team improve compared to last year. LDT's a year older, their defensive line's weaker, their receivers aren't as good, and Sanchez was one of the luckiest QB's in terms of dropped interceptions last year. They're still a very good team because Rex Ryan's a damn good coach, but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't make the playoffs. 

I'd think the Phins would be decent if they didn't jerk Sparano around this past off season. I don't think the players will commit if they know he most likely won't be there next year. Their defense is solid and they have a great offensive line. If only they had a RB to take advantage of it... The Bills were underrated last year, their record didn't reflect their talent. I don't think they can match it though, people are ready. People know what Fitzpatrick brings to the table and they'll be ready for him. 

AFC North
  1. Pittsburgh Steelers
  2. Baltimore Ravens
  3. Cleveland Browns
  4. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals suck, and Andy Dalton's going to have a rough rookie year. Enough said there. I like the Browns better though. Colt's looked great in preseason (once again, meaning nothing, but still) and Peyton Hillis will still be trucking people. The defense has some talent, but they're stuck in a tough division. They'll have a shot when the Steelers and Ravens age. The Steelers and Ravens are both elite teams, but I think it's the Steelers year... again. Roethlisberger's better than Flacco, they both have suspect offensive lines, and Polamalu's better than Reed (yeah I said it).

Tomorrow's my playoff pics. Then Thursday I spaz out and scream like a teenage girl hugging Justin Bieber. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Big NFL Preview Part 1: NFC

So this year I'm hoping the post isn't really that big or dry and dull like it was a few years ago. You know I'm not a scout and I predict based on my gut. I'm doing the NFC first, then AFC and finally playoffs. Hopefully I finish before the season starts.

NFC West
  1. Arizona Cardinals
  2. St. Louis Rams
  3. Seattle Seahawks
  4. San Francisco 49ers
There's nothing I hate about the Rams except their schedule. It is brutal. I love them adding Josh McDaniels as their offensive coordinator. He can really mold QB's, and Bradford has the capability to make every throw. But that schedule's a killer. Meanwhile, the Cardinals get a 4th place schedule and they've improved. I don't trust Kolb or Beanie Wells, but they can't be horrible. Seattle's solid in a lot of places, but they're probably worst out of everyone at QB. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if 3rd stringer Josh Portis started a game. The Niners are going to suck outside of Frank Gore. Also, Crabtree kept his streak alive, a 3rd season without playing in a preseason game. 

NFC South
  1. New Orleans Saints
  2. Atlanta Falcons
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  4. Carolina Panthers
The Saints and Falcons are two of the five best teams in the NFL. They both got better on offense and defense and they should scare the rest of the NFL. I love the Saints RB stable; Ingram's got a nose for the end zone, Sproles is dynamic (although a bit overrated honestly) and Pierre Thomas has always been reliable. They drafted Cam Jordan too, who I really wish we took at 17. Gregg Williams is going to kill QB's. The Falcons basically traded their entire draft for Julio Jones, and it looks like that'll pay off. He's been beastly in preseason and looks like he might not be the typical rookie WR. Their o-line is intact and they got Ray Edwards for cheap. 

I think the Bucs overachieved last year. They're a young team with a lot of potential that took advantage of a cake schedule. I love their draft, but I feel like they can't help but take a step back. It might only be a step back to 8-8 or 7-9, but I don't think they'll be a playoff team. The Panthers are starting Cam Newton, I think that automatically makes them 4th in this division. They might shock a few teams though, I don't think they're horrendous. 

NFC North
  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Detroit Lions
  3. Chicago Bears
  4. Minnesota Vikings
I think the Packers are running away with this one. Everyone knows I'm down on the Bears. I almost wish the Lions hadn't beat the Patriots since now they're the trendy sleeper, and the trendy sleeper never makes the playoffs. I hope it was only a confidence boost and not a reason for them to get complacent. The Vikings have potential, but I don't trust their offensive line. Losing your left tackle as late as they did is never a good sign. Not much to say here.

NFC East
  1. Dallas Cowboys
  2. Washington Redskins
  3. Philadelphia Eagles
  4. New York Giants
Lemme guess what you just thought. "Whaaaaaaaatttt?! Is he writing drunk?!" No, I'm completely sober and I know what I'm writing. The "Dream Team" is going to flop. I feel like the hype's built too high. Rarely do teams ever live up to expectations, especially when they involve uber-teams. Everyone loves their additions, but no one talks about their o-line being subpar. Vick never plays a full season, now Vince Young's hurt, and they're the new 16-0 team. I don't love Dallas' offensive line either, but they won't have everyone asking "what's wrong with the Cowboys?!" when they drop a game or two.

How insane is it that the only offensive line that improved in the division is the Redskins? After years of ignoring it, they have a decent/good line that can play how Shanahan wants it to. They gashed the Ravens and Steelers in preseason, which means nothing but is far from a bad sign. Their defense looks stellar too. They're going to be a shocking team. Meanwhile the Giants lost pieces from a once-elite offensive line, lost I don't know how many players to IR, and they still have "Mr. Elite" Eli Manning as their QB. If they lean on Bradshaw and Jacobs they could do better, but I'm not seeing a good season for them.

Well that's it for the NFC, hopefully I can get it together and have the AFC ready by Tuesday. Playoff picks come Wednesday, then we all go nuts Thursday.

Friday, September 2, 2011

NFL Superlatives

Hooray! The crossword gave me an idea for a blog post! Here we have this season's NFL superlatives, a lot of most likely things. This'll be my award picks and a few other fun ones with a full playoff prediction post coming later.

Most likely (to)...

  • Drop out of the playoffs: Chicago Bears. I don't trust Cutler or Martz, and if it wasn't for a great schedule Lovie Smith might have been on ESPN this year. 
  • Win MVP: Drew Brees, NO. I feel like the Saints are going to have an amazing year, and he's their QB. No one else really wins MVP. 
  • Team to all of a sudden get old: Indianapolis Colts. Everything goes through the QB and Peyton's old. Their fast offense could all of a sudden slow down.
  • Win Offensive Player of the Year: Philip Rivers, SD. Stats on stats on stats.
  • Make the record books, leading to alcoholism: Alex Smith, SF. No one's been given more chances to lead a team and failed every time. 
  • Win Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mark Ingram, NO. I don't think any rookie QB's in a position to really impress. I love Julio Jones, but rookie WR's don't succeed often. 
  • Team to disappoint: Philadelphia Eagles. Does anyone have them not winning the NFC East? There's too much hype.
  • Win Defensive Player of the Year: Ndamukong Suh, DET. No explanation necessary, this man is a monster. 
  • Get suspended: James Harrison, PIT. Uh... this
  • Win Defensive Rookie of the Year: Patrick Peterson, ARI. A couple return TD's, a handful of picks, and unlimited swag. 
  • Player to surprise: Colt McCoy, CLE. I think he's looked great; I think he wants to prove to teams he was worth a lot more than a 3rd rounder. 
  • Fire their coach mid-season: New York Giants. They've disappointed the past couple years, and I don't think they improve. Coughlin hasn't been "safe" for a while now.
  • Make the record books and be happy about it: Indianapolis Colts. Making the playoffs for ten straight years is amazing. 
  • Win Coach of the Year: Steve Spagnuolo, STL. Generally, feel good stories win over perennial stars, and I don't see many people hating the Rams. 
  • Team to surprise: Washington Redskins. The drama's gone and it actually seems like Snyder's hands-off. I think they have an identity, and that's a huge positive. 
  • Win Comeback Player of the Year: Plaxico Burress, NYJ. He's the biggest face associated with a comeback, so he only has to have a decent to good season to win it.
  • Player to disappoint: Arian Foster, HOU. His hamstring's already injured, Ben Tate's looked great (rhymes yo) and there's no more Vonta Leach blocking for him. 
  • Team to be overused in Madden: Atlanta Falcons. Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, and Mike Turner give them a ton of weapons. 
  • Be a waiver-wire fantasy star: whichever RB the Cardinals sign after cuts. Beanie Wells, meet Beanie Sigel. This is what happens to people named Beanie.
  • Win the Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers. They got better after winning last year, that's scary. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Arian Foster & Fantasy Ignorance

So if Irene knocked out your power and you happened to ignore ESPN earlier this week, you probably didn't hear about Arian Foster's now infamous tweet.
4 those sincerely concerned, I'm doing ok & plan 2 B back by opening day. 4 those worried abt your fantasy team, u ppl are sick
At first I got a little annoyed with Mr. Foster (who's not on any of my teams this year, too much risk to me for a top tier pick) and his disgust with fantasy football. If you hadn't noticed before, I'm an addict. After all, who outside of Houston would really care about Arian Foster if it wasn't for fantasy football? Hell, who would care about the majority of NFL players?

Before fantasy football, I knew about the Pats... and the Pats. I had a slightly above casual fan knowledge of the Skins too since I moved to Skins country, but I couldn't tell you who the WR1 on the Lions was or who backed up Jerome Bettis. I was a casual fan, someone who paid attention to my team and the rest of the stars: Peyton, Favre, Vick, etc. The Arian Fosters of the world were an afterthought to me that I only occasionally saw at the Pro Bowl.

When I started playing fantasy football, all of a sudden RB2's and WR depth became important. Would you draft a RB with potential if his offensive line was horrible? No. Is one of your WR's playing a shutdown corner? Might want to check your matchups. To be great at fantasy football, I had to learn about real football. It was the gateway for me to go from casual to die-hard, as I'm sure it's been for millions of others.

Let's not forget about the benefit to the players too. I don't think Maurice Jones-Drew would be a household name with a radio show without fantasy football. Not much feels as great as hitting on a sleeper or rookie and having them lead your team to a championship. I'll forever be a huge Adrian Peterson and Marques Colston fan just because they've won me leagues. If I wasn't cheap as hell, I'd probably own their jerseys.

At the same time though, some people take it too far. There's no "fantasy etiquette" that fans abide by. Fantasy football's great. It means that a week three Bengals at Browns game actually matters to me and many other people outside of Ohio. It's an awesome supplement to the game, but it should be just that and no more:  supplementary.

Personally, I can't stand the people that get pissed off at players for not scoring enough. The "only four points?!??" people are ridiculously annoying. They've committed the cardinal sin of caring about their fantasy teams more than the actual game. For me, the Patriots come first. No matter what happens to my fantasy teams, if the Pats lose I hate the weekend, and if they win I'm elated.

It doesn't matter if your team is awful, I know enough beaten down Skins fans that don't get upset about Santana Moss not catching for more than 44 yards in a game. They knew who they were drafting and understand the risk. If the player isn't on your team, stop complaining. A team other than yours didn't play well, so be happy.

At the end of the day, players need to understand that fantasy football is their friend. It'll give them more opportunities and a higher Q-score. Fantasy players need to understand that it's a supplement to the game, and nothing more. If you're complaining about a player not scoring enough, you should've picked a better match up. There's inherent risk in starting anyone, don't play if you can't accept that. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Preseason Game 1 Thoughts

Time to overreact to a single meaningless game where we played 0 offensive starters and 4 defensive starers. WHOO! 

  • We probably have the best backup situation in the NFL. Hoyer looked more than capable of handling the offense and Mallet's got a serious arm. Hopefully though, we never see them play outside of the last five minutes of a game.
  • Dane Fletcher looked like a leader. Even though we have two ILB's that already look great in Spikes and Mayo, I'm sure he'll find a way to stick around. 
  • Stevan Ridley made me eat my words. I hated the pick when we made it since we already took Vereen and have Law Firm and Woody, but he ran hard and didn't give up on plays. I still have no idea how the carries are gonna get split though. 
  • The touchdown review rule is annoying. I hate that it adds time to the game, but it's especially annoying since it makes sense. I've never trusted ref's with always making the right call and I'd hate to see Belichick have to blow a challenge on an iffy TD, but they need to figure out how to streamline it. 
  • Kickoffs from the 35 are annoying too. Once again, especially annoying since the rule makes sense. It'll definitely reduce injuries on kick returns, hard to get hurt when there isn't one. I don't think anyone's returning a kick against the Raiders this year. 
  • Brandon Tate might not make the team. Taylor Price looked like he was a steal last year, great hands and ability after the catch. Edelman's been more reliable than Tate too as a receiver, so if kickoff's are (essentially) eliminated, it could be hard to justify burning a roster spot on him. Hopefully he gets healthy in time to prove his worth. 
Tweet of the Game goes to Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders, with this:
"Usually when you hear 'Brown grad goes both ways,' it's a woman. @MikeReiss Buddy Farnham, a WR turned S, with the Interception."

Jumping In

So I did yesterday's post without looking at schedules... it's gonna be the Jets and not the Ravens. Oh well, the Ravens took a step back so I'll stand by it.

If five teams are out, five teams have to be in. This was actually kinda hard because there's always one surprise team. There's also always one team that goes last to first in their division, but that's somewhat easy this year.

  • Arizona: This is the easy one. Arizona's awful QB situation last year lead to a last place finish, and them trading for Kolb this year. They added the best player in the NFL draft and still have Fitz. I like the Rams more for the long term, but they're probably a year away. The Cowboys have the talent too, but the Eagles added too much talent for me to think they could overtake them. 
  • Dallas: The second wild card team in the NFC. Romo's back and they cut some dead weight (Roy Williams). I don't really have any other reasons, I just like them more than the Bucs, Bears & Seahawks.
  • Houston: I hate doing this. HATE IT. Every single year, everyone hypes up Houston and says it's finally their year, and every single year they're wrong. I love the Jonathan Joseph move and Wade Phillips' hiring, and that in combination with my worries about the Colts means I unfortunately think it's their year. Ugh.
  • San Diego: First in offense, first in defense. If it wasn't for their choking tendencies and horrendous special teams play last year, they would've been in the playoffs for sure. They added a solid linebacker in Takeo Spikes and they'll have a full year with Vincent Jackson. If they don't win the AFC West, I'd be shocked. 
All four of those teams make sense in one way or another. There's logic behind the choices. Every year though, there's that one team that no one expects to make it that does. Meaning analysis, deep (ha!) thought, and me giving my reasons is kinda pointless. So:
  • Tennessee: This means I think the Colts are finishing 3rd in their division. True insanity. They've got a new coach, a new old QB, and their star is holding out. Basically they have zero expectations. 
Am I gonna be wrong on that one? Probably, but what the hell, stranger things have happened. Also, it's really easy to root for Matt Hasselbeck. So go Titans, make me look "smart". 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bounced Out

I was listening to Mike & Mike last week, and they were talking about for the past 10 years, at least five teams that made the playoffs the previous year didn't come back the next year. That got me thinking about this coming year and who's not making it, and I realized that I wanted to start blogging again. It's much easier to get your thoughts straight when you're typing them out. 

I think there are three teams that are easy to "eliminate": 

  • Seattle: The first under .500 playoff team. They're starting Tarvaris Jackson (who I like more than Charlie Whitehurst, but c'mon) and their division rivals got better. I don't think the Rams or Cardinals are ready to contend, but they're probably better than Seattle. I also have zero faith in Pete Carroll as an NFL coach.  
  • Kansas City: I love Matt Cassel from his Pats days, but last year felt really fluky. I don't think Dwayne Bowe or Jamaal Charles can repeat years like they had last season, and I definitely don't think the Chargers are letting them take the division again. 
  • Chicago: Did anyone outside of Chicago have faith in the Bears last year? I sure as hell didn't. They just didn't make an impression on me; there were damn near none where I thought they deserved to win. If the Stafford stays healthy, I think the Lions could jump them for 2nd behind the Packers. 
After those three it gets tough for me. The Packers have a ton of talent coming back from injury and I think they'll be hungry to prove that they can make this team better, so I doubt there'll be any Super Bowl hangover. Then Philly went crazy in free agency and added tons of talent. Unless Vick gets hurt, I'm pretty sure they're in. The Saints had an amazing draft and added a few key free agents too, so I think they'll reclaim that division. Everyone else though, I've got questions about (yes, my Pats too).

With all the defensive linemen we added, will there be enough time for any of them to learn the playbook? Will we finally succumb to the Jets and fall to 2nd in the division? Did the Jets get worse by losing Brad Smith and Braylon Edwards or can their two "new" old receivers fill in? They lost pass rushers too and their defense is aging, can it perform like it did last year? When anyone mentions aging defenses, Baltimore's automatically in the discussion. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are on their way out, can they keep up their success? Will Flacco be able to survive on offense without his two favorite targets gone? We still don't know if Pittsburgh has an offensive line, and they're awful every year after they make a Super Bowl. Peyton's neck is also scary, can they make the playoffs for an insane 10th straight year? Atlanta's the only NFC team I'm unsure about, but that's got nothing to do with them. They changed, but I'm not sure if they improved. If they don't make the playoffs, it'll be because of New Orleans and Tampa Bay more so than themselves. 

There could be a lot of turnover in the AFC. This could be one of those years where only three or four of the previous years playoff teams makes it back. Since there have been at least five though, I'll pick two more:

  • Baltimore: I don't think both the Ravens and the Steelers are making the playoffs again. The reason I'm picking Baltimore to miss out is roster turnover. Flacco relied on Derrick Mason and Todd Heap too much for there to be no impact of them leaving. If he had a full summer with the 2nd year TE's and a veteran receiver (they have to sign one), I might think differently. It's also another year of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed getting older, and I'm not sure if they can still hold up. 
  • Indianapolis: Ten straight years. In NFL terms, that's a ridiculous number that means insane consistency in everything: roster strength, drafting, and quality of play. It didn't matter who the Colts lost, they had a replacement. Running backs, receivers, linemen; it didn't matter who left, the next man always stepped up. After a couple bad drafts and with Peyton's neck injury, I'm not sure if they can stay at that level. The division doesn't scare me at all, but *gasp!* it just might be the Texans' year. 
If it's not the Colts, it's the Jets. I think Sanchez was the luckiest QB in the NFL last year and I think they lost better players than they added. The AFC East's probably the toughest division in the NFL now too. Picking the Colts over them came down to me trusting Rex Ryan more than I trust Jim Caldwell. They could easily be a 6th team that doesn't make it. 

Next up: the five teams that'll make it in place of these five. 

Guess Who's Back

...Face Mob, Mack Mittens & Hov.

Oh yeah, me too.