NFL Week 6: Welcome to the Bye!

This is a first time in years that I can truly and honestly enjoy the Chargers bye week. So much better to sit and ponder whether the Colts will win one or whether the Cowboys have the cajones to beat the Pats at home or whether Detroit will keep on rolling sitting on a 4-1 start. Never mind that as the season ages, that loss looks even more dumb. Or the fact that each win has been pretty much ugly. And Rivers hasn’t hit his high gear. Or that the Charger have the most breakout season is eating jambalaya now instead of nachos. Bye Week in SD

No, this week is about the fringe games as teams start to get desperate and locker talk is streaming across the Interweb. Biggest doubts for the season have become the Colts and the Eagles. Here’s my answer: No leadership denotes no recovery. It’s hard to come back and be relevant from 1- 4 or 0 –5 and I don’t see those teams with the leadership they need in the locker room to pull through.

What I’m watching this week? I’m so not on the Giants, never have been. But will the Bills be able to shake off Wide Right to put a substantial fork in the much vaunted Coughlin team? I’m thinking yeah, I’m hearing the wagons and they be circling.

On to the picks!

(And yes, I did, much like the Buffalo Bills after beating the Pats, crumpled last week into a mind-numbing 6 – 7.)

The Picks

After chatting with some MNF buddies about picks, I’m throwing out the complicated thumbs up approach to rating the games to a confidence pick, one high Star, one so-so Fingers crossed, and one longshotGoat. Here we go:

– Falcons over Panthers

– Redskins over Eagles

Fingers crossed Bills over Giants – Time to throw those Carrot Top Tissue-dispensing Buffalo Bills helmets away. I think the Cowboys could use them.

– Bengals over Colts

– Steelers over Jags

Goat 49ers over Lions – Yeah, I know. I‘m a big supporter of the Lions. And I still think they’ll be great this year. But I’m suspicious they need some motivation served up from another upstart team.

– Packers over Rams

StarRavens over Texans – Ravens after a Bye week, rested, at home. Really?

– Raiders over Browns

– Saints over Bucs

– Pats over Cowboys

– Bears over Vikings – ONLY, ONLY because of the Bears defense. But after a Monday night fiasco, and I don’t use that lightly, there ARE leaders on that team that will whip some people into shape.

Monday Nite

– Jets over Dolphins 24 – 21

There’s a lot of chatter about the Jets. My thought? Team reflects leadership. And I’m not sure Ryan is more than a snarly cheerleader. Sanchez needs some mentorship. And Ryan is not it.

Fantasy Island

Who wins the “You Gotta Be Kidding Me!” award this week? I DO! In heads up fantasy play against a player who had Stafford at QB and Lions Defense to my Jahvid Best at RB and Chicago Defense, I thought I didn’t have a shot at winning. Hold Everything!!! Jahvid had an amazing game, twice as good point wise as Stafford and the Detroit D. So shock and awe, I won last week!

This week? I’m scrambling for a QB since Orton is benched (and on a Bye) and Philip is sipping mojitos this week. I wanted Hasselbeck but he’s on a Bye week too. So I snatched up Alex Smith, thinking that the Lions might have an off week. Suh wasn’t that dominating on Monday night. Then, the Tight End merry-go-round continued. I picked up Fred Davis from Washington thinking the Redskins might need the short, middle routes against the Eagles.

Lets’ have a good clean game out there this week. And no shoes in helmets.

 

l_SC1025-Football-Follies_LG

NFL Week 5: Commitment to the Game

alhelment

You can know a lot about football without knowing how pro football organizations work. It isn’t that difficult to understand that the NFL makes money. A lot of it.  And for a lot of owners, that is their role job in this money making enterprise; provide the money, hire people to manage the game.

Al Davis never hired someone else to manage the game for him. He was always involved, always visible, sometimes in head shaking ways. But one could never doubt his love of the game, his passion for the game, his commitment to the game and commitment to his team.

His fashion glasses, his expensive track suit, his presence on the sidelines all became indelible marks on the collective psyche that no one will ever replace.

As a Charger fan, Al Davis meant a whole host of other things to me as does his organization. But we learn the most from our closest adversaries and when they are at their best, their scariest, their most challenging, then they push us to excel. And excellence was a passion that Al Davis had for his entire life. We will all miss that. Rest in peace, Al. We already miss you.

The Picks

I had an amazing week last week: 15 –1. It’s a record and while I took a great amount of time reveling in it, everyone knows that they play the game because it’s unpredictable and you just never know. And I don’t bet games so ultimately, this is all about fun. And my fantasy league is definitely a lesson in humility right now.

Thumbs downSaints over Panthers

Fingers crossedBills over Eagles

Thumbs downBengals over Jags

Thumbs downGiants over Seahawks

Pointing upTitans over Steelers

Broken heartTexans over Raiders

High fiveColts over Chiefs

Thumbs downCardinals over Vikings

Thumbs downBuccaneers over 49ers

Fingers crossedChargers over Broncos

High fivePats over Jets

High fiveFalcons over Packers

Monday Night

High fiveLions over Bears 17 – 14

Fantasy Island

So I have a much better appreciation for injuries in the NFL now considering that I’ve had to do a few rejiggers of my team based on injuries. The big one hurting me? Antonio Gates. Whether Antonio can heal up and come up big later in the season, I’m waiting to see. And it’s a risk having players that are so symbiotic like Gates and Rivers on one team.

But I’ve been making good points overall, just getting routed in my head to head matches. But it’s a long season. Today, I chose to play Maclin over Green at wide receiver. I picked up Casey from the Texans to fill in for Gates at TE. Projections are I’m going to get routed. However, the week I beat the league in points, I was projected to lose by 20.

It’s why they play the game, baby! 

NFL Week 4: Who DAT? Sproles all dat!

Sometimes the way to really measure a player’s impact to a team is to look at that team’s performance after their gone. Sproles is all DAT!The Chargers 3rd down and kickoff return performance have been rather anemic despite the better-than-average September start. And frankly, Rivers is looking a little unnerved back there.

Could it be that he is missing his little helper? Darren Sproles is, to quote my favorite sports film Rudy, “five foot nothing, one hundred and nothing,” but there’s where the quote comes to a screeching halt. Sproles has incredible athletic ability including being able to have his 5’6” frame as one of the most effective pass blockers the Chargers had.

It’s good to see the Saints seeing all dat Sproles can bring to a game. I’m sorry that I didn’t have that faith in week 1 of my fantasy league. But nevermore.

On to the picks!

The Picks

Some really choice contests this week. Check it out!

Pointing upSaints over Jags

Fingers crossedChiefs over Viks

Pointing upBears over Panthers

Thumbs downTitans over Browns

Pointing upTexans over Steelers

Fingers crossed49ers over Eagles

Thumbs downRedskins over Rams

Fingers crossedBills over Bengals – Hoping the huge win last week isn’t a huge letdown for this week’s Bills

High fiveLions over Cowboys – Out of both Dreamers, still thinking the Lions are more real.

Pointing upGiants over Cardinals

Thumbs downFalcons over Seahawks

Thumbs downPackers over Broncos

Thumbs upPatriots over Raiders – While I think this will be close, the Patriots biggest defensive hole is its secondary. And I’m not sure how well the Raiders can pass. Plus, Belichick will have taken the car into the shop for a tune-up after last week.

Pointing upChargers over Dolphins – Might be more exciting to watch a replay of the 1982 classic.

Pointing upRavens over Jets – The Ravens really scare me right now. Really. Flacco is starting to look tight. which has really been their weakness.

Monday Night

Thumbs downBuccaneers over Colts, 14-10

Fantasy Island

Oh how the mighty have fallen fallen fallen. Up one week and decimated by injuries the next. Guess the honeymoon is over for me in Fantasy league. So a little shuffling had to be done.

Rivers is still a starter as are Best RB, Sproles RB, Smith WR, and Green WR. However, Jeff King is stepping in for Gates who likely will have an extended sit-out. Driver is healthy and back in.

Looking for some defensive love this week from Chicago against Cam Newton. Ooh, ugly! Folk could get a lot of play today when Jets take on the Ravens.

Game on!

NFL Week 3: Surprise, Surprise!

Run, Ryan, Run!

Well, well, well, if it isn’t Mr. Parity paying a visit to the most profitable sports industry on the planet. Even if the Bills choke like the, well, Buffalo Bills, or the Lions get declawed by the nearly shorn Vikings, jerseys for numbers 14 and 9 are probably selling pretty well about now.

Which just goes to show….Roger Goddell is a genius. No, seriously. You may enjoy the scoreboard antics of college ball. But give me the honest chance of any team winning on any given Sunday any day.

And if the Detroit Lions manage to win a very manageable game against a sun-setting Minnesota team, then wily Matthew Stafford will definitely have something to be smiling about: the rebirth of a franchise.

stafford

The Numbers – The Picks

Last week, after missing the starting week, I roared to a great showing of 10 – 6, which I reasonably proud of. Now then, it was a pretty easy week to call. Having said that, there weren’t a lot of brain teasers this week either. And I managed to throw a couple of Hail Mary’s in there too. I love this Parity thang!

– Bills over Pats – Yeah yeah yeah, call me crazy!
– Lions over Vikings
– Eagles over Giants
– Panthers over Jags
– 49ers over Bengals
– Saints over Texans
– Dolphins over Browns
– Broncos over Titans
– Chargers over Chiefs
– Ravens over Rams – I suspect this one won’t be pretty.
– Raiders over Jets – Yeah, you read that right.
– Bears over Packers – I still have faith in that defense.
– Falcons over Bucs
– Cardinals over Seahawks
– Steelers over Colts

MONDAY NIGHT

Redskins over Cowboys 17 – 14 (assuming Romo won’t play).

Fantasy Island

Last week, I thumped my fellow NFL.com fantasy leaguers with a whopping 120.52. My secret weapon? Philly’s Jeremy Maclin lit it up with 171 yds and 2 TDs winning the MVP award but barely ahead of Jahvid Best of the Detroit Rock Lions who ran for 57 yds and received for 66 yards with one TD a piece in those categories.

In the category of “Didn’t know what I had” goes Steve Smith who could’ve cemented me as a early season leader…if I’d played him week 1. But no matter, I have learned from that mistake.

I had to pick up an extra tight end as Antonio Gates foot seems to be ailing yet again. But in picking up Jeff King from Arizona, I’m hoping to at least have some decent numbers against the Seahawks secondary. My 2009 resurrection Chargers team has already shown signs of withering but adding Darren Sproles back into the starter’s ranks for the benched Gates will hopefully help. Rivers had a rough week in Boston but still put up impressive numbers making him “The Unbenchable One.”

Nick Folk, replacing Nate Kaeding, showed up in spades and happily filled in nicely. I’m quite enjoying learning about the players and how they fill into teams, even when they don’t win. Kinda a refreshing look beyond the W’s and L’s.

NFL Week 2: It is ALIVE!

Hello, Football Fans! Yes, it is already Week 2 in the NFL and apologies for being a bit late on the ball (Ha!) but some of us had to SEE football to believe it was really here. Months of worry translated to months of ignoring the news turned into weeks of la-la-la-la, hands over my ears, I’m not listening to the bad juju.

So yes, I was a bit behind. What did I miss?

  • The Cam Newton hype machine rolling…after 1 game.
  • The Colts and Steelers looking bad bad bad…after 1 game.
  • And Brady making tweetie birds out his new teammate…after 1 Monday Night game.

New to me this year is a fantasy team. Yup, I finally caved in order to learn up about the players and their game inside the game. Strangely, my fantasy team looks a heckuvalot like the 2009 Chargers. So we’ll be adding that into the predictive mix this season.

Onto the picks!

  • Lions over Chiefs – It was a tough call to play Jamal Charles over Darren Sproles after last week and opponents D had everything to do with it. I think the Bears will play inspired Yo Mamma defense in honor of of Brian Urlacher’s momma and while I hear good things about Detroit’s D, I’m thinking Charles will be feisty today.
  • Steelers (over Seahawks) – Frankly it doesn’t matter who Pittsburgh plays today. Seriously. And formerly Pac-10 coached defense at home? Oh boy. Not good.
  • Browns over Colts – Hmmm, not preparing for a Manning-less Colts when they should’ve was a risky move I think they now regret.
  • Ravens over Titans – Maybe a notch down from last week’s beating of the Steelers but can’t see the Titans putting up much fight.
  • Packers over Panthers – Sorry, Cam, meet a really good defense. OUCH! Oh, and a better QB than you.
  • Bills over Raiders
  • Bucs over Vikings
  • Bears over Saints – My heart goes out to Brian Urlacher at this trying time. And to the Saints who will be feeling it today as well.
  • Redskins over Cardinals – A little less drama in DC. A lot more production.
  • Jets over Jags
  • Cowboys over 49ers – I’m tired of talking about Tony Romo. Yeah, it’s only game 2. *Sigh*
  • Chargers over Patriots – Uh, DUH!!
  • Bengals over Broncos
  • Dolphins over Texans – Can Henne look as good this week? Can Dolphins fly? Not sure.
  • Falcons over Eagles – Home Field advantage. I’ll take it.

Monday Night Game

  • Rams 24 Giants 17

Fantasy Land

As I’ve said, my team is busting with Chargers alum. However, I’m keeping Jamal Charles at RB over Sproles because of the Chicago D. So I’ve got Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, and just replaced injured Nate Kaeding with Nick Folk from the Jets. Who else I’m playing?

  • Running Back – Jahvid Best had a great game last week. Looking for more against the Chiefs.
  • Wide Receivers – Steve Smith, fuled by Cam Newton’s hot week, went OFF! Except he was on my bench. Won’t be making that mistake again. Adding AJ Green and hoping for a bigger game from Jeremy Maclin this week and some high potential here.
  • Chicago Defense – I think Brian Urlacher will make his momma proud.
  • Concerns: Chargers versus Pats? This will either be a shoot out which bodes well for Fantasy Land or the gears will get stuck.
  • Bench: Kyle Orton (QB), Darren Sproles (RB), Daniel Thomas (RB), Donald Driver (WR). Santonio Holmes (WR), Sidney Rice (WR)

Woo-HOO! Week 2!!

Butterflies and Summer Skies



Butterflies and Summer Skies, originally uploaded by StacieBenton.

Woke up to a misty white morning that caught me completely off-guard. But it turned into a really pretty day and enjoyed the best company for a long walk along the river trail. Back at the house, the butterfly bush has finally bloomed. I hate to think how soon fall may come so, for now, just focusing on all the green and color and remembering how lucky I am. I’m guilty of forgetting that and a day like today was a good one to remind me.

NFL Week 17: And that’s All, Folks!

We’ve said Hello to a new year and goodbye to 2010 (and another regular season). While I’m mourning my Chargers playoff hopes (and wishing fervently that SD was saying adios to AJ and Norv), this week’s roster lists so many games with playoff implications, the stats teams are salivating at the thought, creating plenty of other intriguing interest.

I’m not going to trouble over the math. Instead, I think Pats v Hot-lanta with the Falcons pulling off the upset in the next Super Bowl.

See? There. Done. Now for a the rest of the picks…

Happy New Year, everyone!!! See you in the playoffs!

Sun, Jan 02 Stadium  
MIA @ NE Gillette Stadium MIA
CIN @ BAL M&T Bank Stadium CIN
CAR @ ATL Georgia Dome ATL
MIN @ DET Ford Field DET
PIT @ CLE Cleveland Browns Stadium PIT
OAK @ KC Arrowhead Stadium OAK
BUF @ NYJ New Meadowlands Stadium NYJ
TB @ NO Superdome NO
NYG @ WAS FedEx Field NYG
DAL @ PHI Lincoln Financial Field DAL
ARI @ SF Candlestick Park ARI
SD @ DEN Invesco Field at Mile High SD
JAC @ HOU Reliant Stadium JAC
TEN @ IND Lucas Oil Stadium IND
CHI @ GB Lambeau Field GB
STL @ SEA Qwest Field SEA
Byes: None

   

NFL Week…um….

Considering I’m in Turkey having a fantastic time and completely unable to keep track of time zones, I’ve already missed picks for this Sunday’s games.

However, mucho props to my madre for texting me updates on the fantastic Charger win while in transit so that I got them all on landing in Amsterdam. Smile 

GO CHARGERS!!!

And Merry Xmas!!!

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