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 10: Somebody wake up the AFC West

So I’m not going to sugar-coat it: The Chargers are having a bad stretch. Fortunately, just about everyone else in the AFC West is too. Raiders losing to Tebow, Chiefs losing to winless Miami, and the Chargers muffing yet another comeback to the championship, lossless Packers.

What does a division have to do to get some respect! Um, win, guys. Yeah. Win.

Is there something wrong with Rivers who can’t seem to get out of his own way and throw the Hail Mary like he used to? Is Carson Palmer an inspiring leader as he was in Cincinnati? Is anybody in the NFL really going to care about this game besides So. Cal?

I don’t know what anyone is saying about tonight’s game and I don’t really care. And if you’ve followed my picks at all you know that I never pick against my team.

Still….it doesn’t mean I won’t spill a little salt over my shoulder and rub that rabbit’s foot for Rivers to get his groove back. Gates, I think that might mean you!

Chargers over Raiders. ‘Nuff said!

NFL Week 8: Who’s coaching this team anyways?

With all the money floating around in the NFL, it’s interesting to see individuals setting some stretch goals for themselves with regards to their official paid responsibilities. Like AJ Smith who decided that for his stretch goal, he was going to be an ass and keep a Pro-Bowl player sitting at home rather than find him a new home or work out a new deal. Oh, sorry, that’s part of his regular commitment which started by firing a 14-2 coach for not going the distance in the playoffs.

Hey, AJ, getting a twitching finger yet?? Maybe you ought to fire yourself for letting superstar players go. Meanwhile, Norv Turner should take a stretch goal himself…to oversee training and fundamentals teaching. Oh wait. That isn’t his bag either.

Phillip, here’s a stretch goal for you: maybe you should take a page out of Mark Sanchez book and invite the kids over to your high school campus for some fundamentals training. I’m sure you’d give up a fee to make it to the Playoffs at this point.

Speaking of quarterbacks with stretch goals, let’s get to Brett Favre who, besides already going far in achieving his stretch goal in multimedia communications, is working on another stretch goal: coach. As TJ of NFL Countdown asked this morning, is there anyone that thinks anyone can tell Brett Favre not to play? Can, maybe not. Should, absolutely yes. Brad Childress, if you’re not ready to coach the superstar players, how are you ever going to build the rookies INTO superstar players? Stretch goal for you, Childress? Grow a pair.

Add to the list of spurious coach-wannabes: Jerry Jones and Mike Singletary. Unfortunately for San Francisco, they’re paying their wannabe. Sorry, Mike, I think you need a bit more seasoning as supporting cast before you’re ready to be the Big Kahuna.

Jumping off the soapbox, I managed a bit better last week: 8-6. Hoping to build on it however, what scares me the most this Halloween? The unpredictable games. Here’s my stab at it:

Sun, Oct 31 Stadium
DEN @ SF Wembley Stadium DEN
JAC @ DAL Cowboys Stadium JAC
MIA @ CIN Paul Brown Stadium MIA
BUF @ KC Arrowhead Stadium KC
WAS @ DET Ford Field DET
CAR @ STL Edward Jones Dome STL
GB @ NYJ New Meadowlands Stadium JETS
TEN @ SD Qualcomm Stadium SD
MIN @ NE Gillette Stadium NE
TB @ ARI University of Phoenix Stadium TB
SEA @ OAK Oakland Coliseum OAK
PIT @ NO Superdome NO
Mon, Nov 01 Stadium
HOU @ IND Lucas Oil Stadium IND
Byes: Falcons, Ravens, Bears, Browns, Giants, Eagles

 

Happy Halloween, everyone!! Here’s what I’m afraid of.

mike-singletary-eyes

NFL Week 6: Worldwide Phenomenon

How much do I love the NFL? Enough to be thinking about games while enjoying a business trip to Hyderabad, India. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be investing some time to understand and enjoy that other worldwide sports fascination: cricket. In fact, with another week of pulling .500 and already tired of the Favre investigation, I’m wondering if I might be more successful with cricket matches than football.

One spot of intense disappointment: my Chargers. Yes, I’ll still call them “my.” I’m harkening back to the days when we weren’t talented, we had forgettable coaches, and the most we could look forward to were the AFC West match-ups where we had a fighting chance based on pride. Now, I oh-so-affectionately call them Franken-team. At some point, we might reactivate Louis Kelcher to play.

If it’s not the injuries, it’s the hubris in the front office. Really, guys, what do you gain by making it impossible for Vincent Jackson to go find a new home? I know, you might worry over a sudden resurgence like the one LT seems to be enjoying. Or worry over having to play against him a la what revenge Washington’s McNabb paid over to his former teammates in Philly.

But get over it, AJ and Co. It’s a distraction the team doesn’t need, makes no business sense, and creates bad karma. You should be worrying over a much-improved St Louis team and reflecting on how you have the #1 Offense everywhere on the field until the ball pops out for yet another fumble. Focus on your poor tackling techniques and even worse special teams coverage.

Now, off the soapbox, and onto those picks. Above .500 this week? There’s always hope. Now, let’s see here…

Sun, Oct 17 Stadium  
MIA @ GB Lambeau Field MIA
SD @ STL Edward Jones Dome SD
BAL @ NE Gillette Stadium BAL
CLE @ PIT Heinz Field PIT
KC @ HOU Reliant Stadium HOU
DET @ NYG New Meadowlands Stadium DET
ATL @ PHI Lincoln Financial Field ATL
SEA @ CHI Soldier Field SEA
NO @ TB Raymond James Stadium NO
NYJ @ DEN Invesco Field at Mile High DEN
OAK @ SF Candlestick Park OAK
DAL @ MIN Mall of America Field DAL
IND @ WAS FedEx Field IND
Mon, Oct 18 Stadium  
TEN @ JAC EverBank Field TEN
Byes: Cardinals, Bills, Panthers, Bengals

NFL Week 4: Hey, Falco, Down in Front!

It’s taken me six whole days to get over last week’s up close and personal disappointing show by my Chargers in Seattle. Thankfully, my local Seahawks fans were well aware of how poorly the Chargers played as well and were kind in not rubbing it in too much. I was quite concerned about all the moves made in the off season with the team but it seems that any care package I’d send to the team right now would include the following:

  • One long snapper – Can they find one that will stay healthy?
  • One balanced playbook – no fancy plays, no desperation tosses, and plenty of Gates.
  • One water resistant Timex – Kneeling down with the play with 15 seconds gone from the play clock = delay of game.

But even so, it was fun to see all the Charger fans crawl out of the warm coffeehouses and don their powder blues. I saw the classics: Winslow, Muncie, Fouts. I saw the rookie Matthews and got to hug one of the many guys sporting Sproles jerseys. Even Alworth was in the house! But the best, strangely, was one Shane Falco, who popped up in our section and provided a constant laugh throughout a nail-biter game.

More math for you: All these rule changes =Very inconsistent and downright dreadful calls.

DSC08273

DSC08288
DSC08299 DSC08278

For the Chargers, it’s been yet another slow start to a season and with Kansas City suddenly sitting alone on top of the AFC West with a bye week, the Chargers are going to have to pull out whatever genie they’ve left in the bottle if they have any hope of gelling this year. Hopefully, Arizona will provide a chance to right some wrongs, tighten up the cleats, stop carrying the pig like a loaf, and keep one eye on the clock.

And now for the rest of the league which has proved for another week to kick me in the teeth.

Sun, Oct 03

Stadium

 

NYJ @ BUF

Ralph Wilson Stadium

Jets

CIN @ CLE

Cleveland Browns Stadium

Cincy

BAL @ PIT

Heinz Field

Pitts

DEN @ TEN

LP Field

Tenn

DET @ GB

Lambeau Field

GB

SF @ ATL

Georgia Dome

ATL

CAR @ NO

Superdome

NO

SEA @ STL

Edward Jones Dome

STL

IND @ JAC

EverBank Field

INDY

HOU @ OAK

Oakland Coliseum

OAK

WAS @ PHI

Lincoln Financial Field

PHILLY

ARI @ SD

Qualcomm Stadium

SD

CHI @ NYG

New Meadowlands Stadium

NYG

Mon, Oct 04

Stadium

 

NE @ MIA

Sun Life Stadium

MIA

Byes: Cowboys, Chiefs, Vikings, Buccaneers

 

Last week’s total, again 6 –10. But you know, I’m hoping, just like my Chargers from years past, I can rally and come back strong.

And now, I’m going to watch Shane Falco and his Replacements!

NFL Week 3: It’s raining, it’s pouring….

The NFL sure hasn’t been boring so far this season. Welcome to Fall and welcome to the day AFTER a beautiful day in the Seattle area. Gameday Forecast for the local Chargers versus Seahawks is soaked to the bone and one slippery pig.

This might make things difficult for Philip Rivers, who is spotty in raining weather (ask KC). However, he’ll have a little extra help in the stands from some local SD transplants. 12th man? Meet SD girls!

There are other games going on and while the first two weeks of play have baffled me, I did some extra due diligence to ed-u-ma-cate myself and moved my picks back to Sunday morning. not sure if this will make a difference and I could get burned but today’s football energy is all geared towards those Bolts, who will need it in the monsoon Pac NW.

SUN, SEP 26 LOCATION  
Tennessee at NY Giants New Meadowlands Stadium Giants
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay Raymond James Stadium Tampa
Cincinnati at Carolina Bank of America Stadium Cincy
Cleveland at Baltimore M&T Bank Stadium Balt
Dallas at Houston Reliant Stadium Texans
San Francisco at Kansas City Arrowhead Stadium KC
Detroit at Minnesota Metrodome Minn
Buffalo at New England Gillette Stadium NE
Atlanta at New Orleans Superdome NO
Washington at St. Louis Edward Jones Dome WASH*
Philadelphia at Jacksonville EverBank Field Philly
Oakland at Arizona U of Phoenix Stadium Oak
San Diego at Seattle Qwest Field SD
Indianapolis at Denver Invesco Field at Mile High Denver
NY Jets at Miami Sun Life Stadium Miami
MON, SEP 27 LOCATION  
Green Bay at Chicago Soldier Field GB

 

Last week, not so good on the record, again. let’s just say, less than .500. I’m still keeping score though. Hoping to finish strong.

GO BOLTS!!!!

RU Ready for some Football??

So the wait is over and in the midst of labor disputes, huge contract renegotiations, and Favre re-un-retirement parties, we’ve started off with…a sigh?

I didn’t put a pick out there for Thursday’s game. I was busy trying to figure out the strategy for my picks in my new football pool (points in the playoffs are worth MORE than regular season? Isn’t that statistically backwards? What would Vegas say?). But anyone that thinks that this amateur prognosticator that picked the Saints to go all the way last year and has clearly articulated a dislike for Favre’s antics would pick the Viks over Drew Brees (former Charger)…um, well, you haven’t been paying attention.

Either way, I’m not counting a win on a pick I assume everyone knew about so no worries there. But I’ll be trying to make my picks before Sunday morning this season, especially since I have to post my pool pick by Friday 5 PM. So keeping track of all that with my handy dandy spreadsheet, let’s open up these season with a bang!

Biggest Question Answered

No, the New Orleans Saints won’t repeat. There, I’ve said it. As I’ve often harped on, the NFL is about parity. It’s what makes it better than college ball. You want bad schedules trying to run up points and cause blowouts so some team can claim to be better than the rest based on playing a program limping by on millions less, go watch college. Or the Yankees.

This year, the Saints will be running with a target on their back. But much like the Patriots of 2001, who had the country behind them waving the flag, the emotional lift of that feel-good story is no longer there. Don’t get me wrong, they are still an awesome team, a team to beat, with a mastermind coach and a QB shaping up to be one of the greats.

But this is the NFL, son. And every great team comes apart.

Biggest Teams with Questions

So who else will be under the microscope this year for great teams gone horrible wrong? I’ll take one on the chin and call them out: the San Diego Chargers. That uber-deep in talent team is no longer there. The undeniable hall-of-fame running back is no longer there. But you know what, I think it’s great. I don’t expect them to win their division easily, if they win it at all. But I’m expected for the prospect of Philip finally calling the team all his. And this year, if all goes well, I will finally tip my hat to Norv.

Right in that mix of questions are the team we love to spell: J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets! Get a tattoo all you want, LT, we Charger fans will never forgive you for the graceless way you left town. And is the price for Revis Island just to much to pay in attitude. With a coach almost as loud as some of the chatty players, I wonder if the N.Y. Jets went too high too fast and will fall, like Icarus, crashing and burning.

Smallest Paths to Improvement

St. Louis has a shiny new QB and Detroit’s QB needs more snaps. Either way, these teams are destined to do better this year with just having new players. Some of the teams circling the drain last year will likely end up bottom barrel. Does it mean St Louis will be challenging the Saints for the NFC crown? No, but look at the NFC West. Um, it wouldn’t take much magic to get that shizz handled. Even with a glaring Mike Singletary trying to intimidate his team to win.

Hot Trainy Messes better Suited For Reality TV

Minnesota, Dallas, Tampa, Chicago, Cincinnati. yeah, if I have to enumerate why, then you really aren’t ready for some football. Out of this bunch, I think Cincy will be left standing. T.O. can keep quiet for the first year. Minnesota may pull together in the early going and then old shoulders and old grudges from last season will likely take hold. And I hope Romo gets a break, I really do. It ain’t easy being Jerry Jones whipping boy.

The Picks

SUN, SEP 12 LOCATION Pick
Carolina at NY Giants New Meadowlands Stadium Giants
Atlanta at Pittsburgh Heinz Field Atlanta
Cleveland at Tampa Bay Raymond James Stadium Cleveland
Denver at Jacksonville EverBank Field Jacksonville
Indianapolis at Houston Reliant Stadium Indy
Miami at Buffalo Ralph Wilson Stadium Miami
Detroit at Chicago Soldier Field Detroit*
Oakland at Tennessee LP Field Tenn
Cincinnati at New England Gillette Stadium Cincy
Arizona at St. Louis Edward Jones Dome STL
San Francisco at Seattle Qwest Field SF
Green Bay at Philadelphia Lincoln Financial Field GB
Dallas at Washington FedEx Field Washington
MON, SEP 13 LOCATION Pick

   
   
 
   

Baltimore at NY Jets

New Meadowlands Stadium Jets
San Diego at Kansas City Arrowhead Stadium SD

*Pool Pick of the Week

Now go out there, kids, and have some tailgating fun!

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