NFL Wild Card Weekend

I’ll make this short and sweet since I’m still reeling from the Spanos family’s bad decision to keep the Norv and AJ Smith in San Diego. But before I succumb to an episode of Tourette’s, here are my picks:

Saturday

Texans over Bengals

Saints over Lions

Sunday

Falcons over Giants

Pittsburgh over Denver

What’s my Super Bowl right now?

I’m thinking Patriots and Saints…Who DAT?! WHO DAT?!

NFL Week 17: Play big or go home!

So here we are at the last weekend of the regular season and the start of a new year. The die hasn’t been cast quite yet for the playoffs and a few things that have popped into my sleep-deprived brain are the following:

  • Resting healthy players doesn’t bode well.  Football is all about momentum and resting players, no matter how logically sound, seems to always wind up adding rust to hot players. Green Bay should take note of how the Colts have paid for that strategy multiple times.
  • There is no dominate defense this year.  NFL Sunday had a great piece by Football Jedi Master Bill Parcells on the inconsistency of subjective calls this year such as defensive player calls. I have to think this is feeding the fact that no defense this year has been dominate. Every team has been beaten big (and oftentimes late) by a team. All the 21+ point 4th quarter comebacks accentuates that. It makes the traditional playoff wisdom fly out the window.
  • Veterans have something to prove. With all the Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, and even Andrew Luck (college player QB chat in NFL? WHAT?!), the top echelon quarterbacks in the NFL picked up their game and records are falling. Again, you can’t count out the impact of rule changes but the only rule change that had Tom Brady running into the end zone from short yardage and spike the ball is the rule that he was a precision passing QB. Even Brady, formerly unflappable in style, seemed to be sick of all the Tebow talk. And spiked a ball into the end zone as if to say “Here endth the lesson, son!”

Ok, on to the picks…

The Picks

Falcons over Bucs

Giants over Cowboys

Saints over Panthers

49ers over Rams

Jags over Colts

Texans over Titans

Lions over Packers

Eagles over Redskins

Patriots over Bills

Vikings over Bears

Dolphins over Jets

Bengals over Ravens

Browns over Steelers

Chiefs over Broncos

Cardinals over Seahawks

Chargers over Raiders

Fantasy Island

The results are in. And are very unimpressive. But I had a great time doing it and learned a lot.

One Final Note

I’d like to just take a moment to again thank Marty Schottenheimer for his service to an under-appreciating Chargers organization. Now I think it is absolutely clear: You don’t fire a 14 –2 coach. Ever.

I ❤ Martyball!

NFL Week 15: Early Bird Gets the Home Field

Frankly, I haven’t read all scenarios for the playoffs. I figure it’s all math gibberish and ultimately, whether or not a team on the bubble makes it in depends on so many things that it’s just too early to worry.

Here’s the part where I weigh in on the perfect season talk. Green Bay looked so dominate in the first fifteen minutes of play against the Raiders, that even the Raiders fans changed the channel. Not that it would’ve been a good match up anyways but seriously. I know, I know, every year we have this talk about whether a team can go perfect in the regular season. And then there’s Green Bay. Which seems to walk around with the kind of nonchalant confidence of  the biggest kid in the gym class right before picking sides in tug-of-war.

Yeah, no matter what happens, not only CAN they win but it’s just a matter of HOW. What weapons will Aaron Rodgers use to even the score up? Just how many sacks will Clay Matthews force to get to 4 and out?

Yeah, they’re that good, people. SO don’t worry if you’re team can make it into the playoffs. Can any team beat them?

Oh, and one point that does seem to be kicking around this week from various pundits. If God is gracing Tim Tebow with luck and therefore wins this season, then that must mean one thing:

Aaron Rodgers is God.

The Picks

Thursday

Falcons over Jaguars

Saturday

Cowboys over Bucs

Sunday

Dolphins over Bills

Giants over Redskins

Titans over Colts

Texans over Panthers

Packers over Chiefs

Bengals over Rams

Saints over Vikings

Seahawks over Bears

Raiders over Lions

Eagles over Jets

Cardinals over Browns

Patriots over Broncos

Chargers over Ravens

Monday Night

Steelers over 49ers

NFL Week 14: Wild Card Willies

It’s the time of the season for the wild card windstorm, teams with a hope and a prayer wishing for favors to just get them into the playoffs. Like every year, circumstances of all kinds have popped up this season to take teams that shoulda, coulda, woulda looked like division champs stumble. Chicago, can I buy you a quarterback? Detroit, can I buy you some anger management classes? San Diego….yeah well, you know where I’m going with that one.

The crazy thing about this part of the season is that the teams that should turn it up seldom do and the teams that should put a fork in it and pray for draft day usually play spoiler. And there’s a certain amount of certain-tude in that; the NFL is about parity. On any given day, any given team can beat another.

This season has really pushed the question: why the heck didn’t this team beat this other team? But now, now it gets to be crazy pants, what I like to call the “Wild Card Willies.” Yeah, I’d like to pick the Pats over Redskins, no question….BUT the Pats have a bad record against the ‘Skins. I’d like to pick the Jets to clobber an undermined Chiefs…BUT the Chiefs have retooled so many times this season, they might be pointing at Joe Cool in the stands to come play.

It’s a flurry of Wild Card Willie games today where anything can happen but a few things seem clear: The Packers seem poised to be perfect and Tebow seems poised to eek into the playoffs. One because the team is that good and the other, because other teams are that bad.

What it boils down to is some “Who the Hell Knows?!” games which make it awfully exciting just to savor the season.

You hear that NBA? You may want to take note.

The Picks

Steelers over Browns WIN

Falcons over Panthers

Lions over Viks

Packers over Raiders

Bucs over Jags

Dolphins over Eagles

Pats over Redskins

Saints over Titans

Ravens over Colts

Chiefs over Jets

Texans over Bengals

49ers over Cardinals

Bears over Broncos

Chargers over Bills

Giants over Cowboys

Monday Nite

Seahawks over Rams in the what else is going on that evening on TV? night. Score? Really. Who cares?

Fantasy Island

I’m hovering in the middle of the pack after a big win last week bolstered by top notch Chargers play by Gates and Rivers. It makes one wistful for what coulda been if Kaeding going down on the first play of the first game hadn’t been so predictive of the rest of the Chargers season. The margin of success? 0.68 points.

This week, I’m up against another of the league’s heavyweights and it will again come down to Rivers-Gates to try and afford me another win.

Thinking of Playoff Challenge? Yeah, maybe. Got to get through the holidays first!

NFL Week 13: There’s no time like the present.

Dear Spanos family,

Just get it over with and fire Turner and Smith. Let the rest of us and most importantly, your players, move on with their lives. In a season when the Chargers were televised in my location more times than they have won this year, it’s been an exercise in slow, painful torture watching the team crumble like grandma’s apple pie topping.

Not only has Smith shown himself unable to hold on to the talent he finds, turning the Chargers into a development team for the rest of the league, but Turner’s play calling in recent games has gotten so conservative as to be stupid. You’d think he was worried about his job. Yes, it’s obvious he is.

So dump both of these guys posthaste so the pressure is off and a new coach can get in the door, start assessing, and start changing players attitudes before we lose any more of that talent. This is my sad Chargers fan wish for the holidays.

This letter is being sent to Santa next. A new coach in powder blues is high on my Xmas list, right under World Peace.

Disgruntled Charger Girl

s-NICK-NOVAK-PEEING-large300I was shocked to see that someone doesn’t blame Norv Turner for the slow steady decline of this team since 14-2. In the spirit of fairness, and hey, to have a hearty laugh, read this dissenting opinion from a Turner apologist. This guy barely discussing the history of the team as a problem.

 

 

The Picks

Seahawks over Eagles WIN

Ravens over Browns

Steelers over Bengals

Bucs over Panthers

Bears over Chiefs

Jets over Redskins

Texans over Falcons

Raiders over Dolphins

Saints over Lions

Bills over Titans

Broncos over Vikings

49ers over Rams

Cowboys over Cardinals

Packers over Giants

Patriots over Colts

Monday Nite

Chargers over Jags (But on the other hand, this game should be a dead giveaway except for Turner-Smith).

Fantasy Island

Can I say that Thursday Night games really screw with Fantasy picks in a way I didn’t expect. You have a high caliber player who’s coming off injury but you often won’t know until Sunday morning if he’ll play. Thursday night games, even if you don’t have a single player, kills your ability to make those adjustments.

Learned a lot this season. Suffering a lot from my Chargers. But there’s always a chance.

NFL Week 12: It’s Gravy!

Thanksgiving is a day to reflect, give thanks, eat lots of coma-inducing food and…watch football! But this year we get three, count them three football games and oh yeah, each one has the potential to be knock the stuffing out of you!

Packers versus Lions could be a match-up we see later in the playoffs…if the Lions can get healthy and focus on the game over schoolyard taunting. Dolphins versus Cowboys has the self proclaimed America’s Team versus what, on paper, should be a walkover team…except they are coming off three straight wins.

And then there IS the gravy game, 49ers versus Ravens. Both teams factor in the playoffs. Both teams have fierce defenses. Both have oft questioned QBs.

Lions-Romo-Ravens…oh my! Happy Thanksgiving to Me!

The Picks

Lions over Packers WHAT!?

Dolphins over Cowboys HUH?!

49ers over Ravens SERIOUS?!

Yup, no joke. There they are. Deal!

No, time to go prep that bird that’s the word for the day, Turkey!

NFL Week 11: Back to the Future!

Wow, looking over the list of back-up quarterbacks taking the field today feels like we’ve hopped the DeLorean and hit 88 mph. (If you don’t know what a DeLorean is…sigh….click here.) Matt Lineart for the Texans, Vince Young for the Eagles…sheesh, the prognosticators are even taking former backup quarterbacks and comparing them the the venerable Elway (ESPN, STOP it!)

Back-to-the-Future-e1276098332197

Speaking of going backwards, what was up with the Ravens last week? Getting beaten…by the Sea-Chickens!? It’s not much help today that Ray Lewis is out. The Jets? Are you serious? Rex Ryan is defending his QB…who’s defending Ryan?

One thing that remains the same and gives us a very real view of the future…Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. They are pulling last year’s championship and making a very strong statement that history will be repeating itself.

The Picks

Last week…fess up time….AWFUL. I mean it. 4 and pathetic. This week has already gotten started on the wrong wildcat foot. But that’s why they play the games.

Jets over Broncos LOSS

Ravens over Bengals

Cowboys over Redskins

Bills over Dolphins

Falcons over Titans

Raiders over Vikings

Browns over Jags

Lions over Panthers

Packers over Bucs

Rams over Seahawks

49ers over Cardinals

Chargers over Bears

Giants over Eagles

Monday Nite

Patriots over Chiefs

Fantasy Island

I’m marooned this week on Fantasy Island. I forgot there was a Thursday game and even so, I have so many injuries on my roster, that barring a trading frenzy, there is no hope for this week. It’s a wash. Sproles has a Bye, Maclin out, Green likely out. Yup, put a big ole fork in it, it’s done.

Next up, Thanksgiving blitz! Turkey Day, Mashers, Family home with the new TV. Saaaaa-WEET!!

NFL Week 10: Wakey Wakey, Pt 2

Did you remember to set your alarm? You ready to show up? If so, somebody wake up Hicks. It’s time to play! And while you’re at it, wake up Grossman and whomever is the backup for DeShawn Jackson.

Lots of interesting games today to make up for the not-very-interesting implosion in San Diego. Will Tebow continue to confound the pundits? Will the 49ers live up to their coach’s moxie? Will Belichick and Brady shake off the embarrassment and get it going? Are the Lions and the Bills healthy enough to stay for real? And who’s ready to step up for those wild card slots?

Last week was a rough one for my picks, down from the previous weeks 11- 2 to a mediocre 6 – 8.

On to the picks!

The Picks

Chargers over Raiders (Loss)

Falcons over Saints

Jags over Colts

Chiefs over Broncos

Steelers over Bengals

Panthers over Titans

Buccaneers over Texans

Dolphins over Redskins

Browns over Rams

Bills over Cowboys

Eagles over Cardinals

Ravens over Sea-Chickens

49ers over Giants

Pats over Jets

Monday Nite

Packers over Vikings, 34 –10

Fantasy Island

So despite the loss in SD, I picked up decent points on Thurs night from Rivers-Gates. What has become increasingly clear, even to the writers of the USA Network show Psych, is that Darren Sproles is a master class player and my belief in him is warranted. Oh yeah! I’m looking for another master class day from the lil guy.

Don’t need a psychic for that!

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