Friday, September 28

Week 4 Pick'em

Philadelphia over New York (6). This one shouldn't even be close - the Giants are awful and the Eagles are amazing. How is this line under three points?

Tampa Bay over Carolina (5). Pains me to do this, just like it did last season when I picked against the Cats, but Delhomme's out for the game and I'm just not seeing it this week after getting stomped by the Texans and not doing nearly the damage to the Falcons that we should have.

Seattle over San Francisco (4). Not much to say about this one; the 49ers offense has been stagnant so far, and Seattle's been decent.

Green Bay over Minnesota (3). Officially on the Green Bay bandwagon, and Minnesota's lack of a quarterback isn't going to help their situation.

Houston over Atlanta (2). Trading Matt Schaub was a bad idea.

Detroit over Chicago (1). Toss-up; both teams have looked piss-poor so far, and I certainly don't trust Griese to carry the Bears here. Roy Williams' big day is still lingering in my mind, also.

Upset Special: Kansas City over San Diego (-13.0). Call me crazy, but Kansas City's defense has actually been decent thus far, and based on FO's article about the San Diego offensive line, I believe the Chiefs can prolong Tomlinson's offensive struggles for one more week. Plus, I just can't say no when seven big ones are staring me in the face if I pull this off.

Thursday, September 27

Ravi's Picks

and no we didn't discuss these, though it may seem like it

so i like houston over atl 3
chitown over detroit 4
minnesota over gb 1
philly over nyg 6
sanfran over seattle 2
carolina over tampa 5

for the upset i will go cinci over ne on monday night in a shoot out.

Ryan's Week 4 Picks

6)Houston over @Atlanta - The Fowlcants are reeling, and the Houston defense is good. Look for Matt Schaub to rub Mr. Blank's nose in Atlanta's mistake
5)Green Bay over @Minnesota - The Packers defense should feast on whoever QBs the Vikings
4)Philadelphia over @New York (N) - I hope Andy Reid is a better coach than Joe Gibbs
3)@Carolina over Tampa Bay - Keeping the faith, screw the Bucs
2)@San Francisco over Seattle - Even game, let's ride with the home boys (and the team with a running game)
1)Chicago over @Detroit - Strength versus strength here, there are two halves of good teams on the field when the Lions have the ball, the other half of the game, errr. I'll take the Bears on the strength of their defense (and the fact that I can't see them going 1-3)

Upset Special - Cincy over New England (7.5) - yeah, I know, the Pats are a MACHINE. But the Bengals are a lot like the Panthers, they play up or down to competition. They'll lay and egg against the Browns but then step up to the challenge of the Pats, besides have the Pats played an offense like that of the Bengals yet? Didn't think so...

PS: Ravi is the guest picker, he'll email you John. and if I do well this week I'm never spending more than 10 minutes on my picks again.

Quick Pick 'em

Looks like its a low or high line on the games this week, here are the lowest (with a few 2pt or 1.5pt lines)

Houston @ Atlanta
Chicago @ Detroit
Green Bay @ Minnesota
Tampa Bay @ Carolina
Seattle @ San Francisco
Philadelphia @ New York (N)


Monday, September 24

Knee Jerk 16

1) LSU - Dominant, though again at home, over the Gamecocks, they'll test their road mettle at KY and AL in 2 and 4 weeks respectively
2) USC - Just blowing out opponents, man, I really wish they played in the SEC or a league where they would be tested week in and week out, then it'd be easier to get an actual barometer for how good they've been over the past 4 years
3) Oklahoma - As Football Outsiders says (and this is probably more important in the parity-filled NFL)
4) Florida - Ole Miss, really guys? That was nearly grounds for knee jerking them out of the top 5, but no one else really had a good enough weekend to bump them out
5) West Virginia - Dominated weak competition, similar to the teams above them in the rankings, oh and Pat White is getting LUCKY!
6) Ohio St - Simply building on the performance at Washington, looking like they might be the team to beat in the Big XI
7) California - The Bears continue to erase their blunder at Colorado St with big wins
8) Rutgers - Idle
9) Texas - Putting away bad competition (noticing a theme here?)
10) Oregon - Ummm, see above (numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9)
11) BC - Wow, why did I do this this week? I should have just copied and pasted last week's in with Penn St erased, I mean, see above (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10)
12) Kentucky - Woah, is this a change in the poll?!!? Yes, for those of you who remember, I went out on a limb, and hung out on the Arkansas/McFadden bandwagon for another week. Well, there's a new SEC bandwagon that I'm obligated to jump on since this is the Knee Jerk 16, though the victory over Louisville looks a little less impressive now
13) Penn St - I wasn't in total agreement with some of the calls that lead to this upset, but Michigan looked silly against Oregon, Penn St shouldn't have been in the position where calls would make a difference in the outcome of the game
14) Clemson - They've shown up some decent opponents, winning by 20 points on the road is impressive, I don't care if it was NC State
15) Wisconsin - Slipping, slipping, the Big XI is really looking weak this year
16) Miami - The first signature win of the Randy Shannon era, beating a top 25 team on the road is enough to outweigh the loss at OU (besides, OU is pretty good, even without Sweet Purple Jesus)

Booted: Arkansas, Louisville, South Carolina

Week 3 Pick 'em Recap

I warned you all that it was going to be a rough week, so, here are the standings (with John's upset bonus points to come as an edit later tonight).

John (2): 9 pts, 4-2 (25 pts 12-6)
Ryan (1): -1 pts, 3-3 (11 pts, 11-7)
Jesse (0): -11 pts, 1-5 (-11 pts, 7-11)

Wow, the guests had really been treading water, which is expected with the fact that the games we pick seem to be nearly toss-ups, you would expect about 50-50 and a .500 record. I should have put more faith in my gut call of Dallas over Chicago, which turned out to be right, but instead I left it down at 1 point to earn me literally nothing. John combined the usual blog poster record on the week (4-2) with a good allotment of point values to rack up 9 points on the week. The Minnesota collapse really hurt all of us, costing the panel a total of 15 points, I mean, really, the Chiefs? Oh well, like they say, any given Sunday. The next two weeks I'll do what I can to mail my picks in from Thailand, and John will be in charge of tracking down a guest or inviting trusty old Abe Lincoln (and his friend the random number generator to weight the games) to do the guest honors. We could make it internatonal week if Chuck wanted to weigh in from Poland, just a thought.

News Updates:
Catfight in Bristol! (sorry John, Erin Andrews isn't involved)
The Rockies are roaring back into the playoff race (+7% in one day!)
Oh yeah, and Peter King must have been playing the Brian Westbrook owner in his Fantasy League this weekend, its really the only possible explanation for this.

Depending upon how noisy these Starlings get I might be back on later for my "Knee-Jerk Power 16" (and Byron, its not going to be pretty for your Gators)

(note Ryan's first attempt at HTML tagging)

Sunday, September 23

Jesse's picks

So Jesse e-mailed Ryan his picks, but neglected both to weight the picks or try his hand at an upset. I randomized the weights assigned to his picks, and here's how they came out:

Denver over Jacksonville (6 points).
Seattle over Cincinnati (5 points).
Minnesota over Kansas City (4 points).
Miami over New York (3 points).
Chicago over Dallas (2 points).
Cleveland over Oakland (1 point).

Turned out about as well as it could have, with his lone victory so far (Seattle) being assigned five points. Too bad he didn't pick an upset; looks like he could have used the points.

Saturday, September 22

Ryan's Week 3 NFL Pick 'em

6) Minnesota over @Kansas City - Ummm, I know the Chiefs are at home, and Arrowhead is a HUGE home field advantage, right up there with Seattle's, but the Chiefs just SUCK this year, and the Vikes aren't starting Jackson anymore, so they have something other than a running game.

5) @New York (AFC) over Miami - I can't think of any reason either of these teams will win the game. They're both very very bad teams, the only thing I can think of is that the Miami offense is simply inept, and the Jets have faced fairly superior opponents, so I'll lean with the home team and the SOS

4) @Oakland over Cleveland - Was the Bengals defense just that bad? I'm going to go with yes. The Browns really do suck people, now will everyone just drop Derek Anderson from their fantasy teams?

*Note: I really feel like these last 3 are crap shoots

3) @Denver over Jacksonville - The Broncos' defense is too good and will completely shut down David Gerrard, without breaking a sweat. Meanwhile, I refuse to put stock in the Jags' potential until at least some of it is realized, and no, beating the Falcons 13-7 isn't realizing potential.

2) Cincinnati over @Seattle - Bounce back game for the Bengals (uh, just like the Saints last week, right?). The Seahawks haven't done much worth talking about and the Bengals are always a threat to move the ball freely, and hopefully Marvin Lewis will "coach 'em up" this weekend after his defense was embarrassed by the Browns.

1) Dallas over @Chicago - Maybe I'm just really skeptical of good teams, but both of these teams have pretty major character flaws, Dallas hasn't beaten anyone decent, while Chicago almost layed an egg against Kansas City (ugh). I'll stick with the Cowboys here, they're well rounded and the Bears offense doesn't even scare the Tar Heels right now. Oh, and get ready for Romo overload for a week.

Upset Special: St. Louis over @Tampa Bay (4.0)- I'm going for the easy money here, its a hard week, I'll steal a few points by hoping to nail a game in which Tampa only has a 4 point line b/c they're at home (It'd be a 2 point line towards St. Louis in the Jones Dome).

Week 3 Pick'em

New York over Miami (6). Expect the Jets to put up a good game. Some tough matchups in the first two weeks have made them seem worse than they really are, although Chad Pennington's performance this week coming off an injury will be the deciding factor.

Minnesota over Kansas City (5). The Vikings are a pretty solid team; their defense is better than their offense, but I'll take Adrian Peterson and a backup quarterback against the Chiefs any day of the week.

Dallas over Chicago (4). The Bears have yet to show me anything this season, and the Cowboys appear to be firing on all cylinders early.

Jacksonville over Denver (3). Two close victories over weaker opponents have me doubting the Broncos. Expect the Jaguars to put it together this week on both offense and defense and win a barn-burner.

Seattle over Cincinnati (2). Okay, the Bengals probably won't have another game as embarrassing as the one against Cleveland, but I trust the Seahawks much more here fresh off the defensive disaster in Ohio.

Cleveland over Oakland (1). Ugh, why are we picking this game again? Both teams are terrible on both sides of the ball, but I suppose I have to give the Browns the benefit of the doubt after last week's offensive breakout.

Upset special: Tennessee over New Orleans (6-point spread). Not sure why the spread is so high on this game; I think Tennessee has a very good chance of winning this one. Hopefully I can go 2-0 on the season with Monday Night Football upset specials.

Thursday, September 20

Week 3 Pick 'em

I'm going to go ahead an apologize for a weak posting week, as I notice that our most recent post was about last week's picking action. So I'll lead off here with a few web discoveries:
1) Vegas Watch - my new favorite blog is pretty much 100% stat-devoted, hopefully they'll keep up the posting as the baseball season winds to a close
2) Reggie v. LenDale - with the Titans/Saints showdown approaching, Epic Carnival wonders: which USC product will turn out to be the better back? (Does this qualify as Cason-baiting?)
3) Beatpaths! - the return to importance of Beatpaths (it looked sorta silly after Week 1), this is a site that takes wins literally and ranks teams based on the teams they've beaten (and the teams the teams they've beaten have beaten)
4) BlogPoll - the recap of the week's blog poll from MGoBlog

Now, the week's NFL pick 'em lineup (paying attention, Jesse?)
Minnesota @ Kansas City
Miami @ New York (AFC)
Jacksonville @ Denver
Cincinnati @ Seattle
Cleveland @ Oakland
Dallas @ Chicago

As always, lines are courtesy of Vegas Insider. An aside: in case you haven't noticed in the past 2 weeks, the home team gets a 2.5- to 3-point advantage just for playing at home.

PS: I'm at work listening to Starling song, so I apologize for the lack of formatting, Safari sucks and I don't know html

Editor's note: John has taken the liberty of cleaning up not only the links in the post, but the grammar and spelling as well.

Monday, September 17

Week 2 Pick'em Recap

Ryan: 7 pts, 4-2 (12 pts, 8-4)
John: 3 pts, 4-2 (16 pts, 8-4)
Emily: 1 pts, 3-3 (0 pts, 6-6)

As the loser of the week, I'll offer a (somewhat) in-depth analysis of the week's events. The Washington upset over Philadelphia helped out both Ryan and myself in the points category, improving us to 12 and 16 points on the season, respectively. The last-second field goal by Arizona obviously killed my week, but the Minnesota loss in OT to Detroit certainly didn't help matters. I can continue to console myself (as I did for much of last season) that my losses are generally close; I don't usually end up on the wrong side of blowouts. That said, assigning six and five points to two losses doesn't reflect well on my ability to hedge my bets, no matter what the final score was.

Ryan's week was marred by Arizona's victory as well, but he did end up on the wrong side of an ugly New Orleans loss to Tampa Bay. Who knew Jeff Garcia would light up the Saints secondary so well? I suppose the fact that Jason David has "defensed" just one pass in the last two weeks against Indianapolis and Tampa Bay should tell us something, especially with a quarterback like Garcia at the helm in that second loss.

So far, so good, as both Ryan and I are in the positive numbers and have dazzling 8-4 records on the season. The guest pickers have come out to (big surprise) a 0-point total and a .500 record. There are a lot of tempting upsets this upcoming week, so hopefully we can each nail one and score big points to boost those totals. Jesse, as a new Redskins fan, are you in as the guest picker for Week 3? You think you can nudge that guest record upwards a bit?

the NEW Power 16

well, more like top 16 of the AP Ballot, just call it the "Knee Jerk 16"

1) LSU - didn't flinch this weekend, and still have the single best win in the Top 25
2) Florida - flexed its offensive (and defensive) muscle against Tenn, so they get the #2 spot (and the poll gets nicknamed the "Knee Jerk")
3) USC - impressive in an away victory over Nebraska
4) Oklahoma - didn't do anything wrong, just didn't have as good a win as the 3 teams above them
5) West Virginia - the question here, as usual, is defense, they can put points on anyone, but could they stop a USC or Florida?
6) Ohio St - winning with a dominant 2nd half on the road is quite impressive and erased doubt from early stumbles with lesser opponents, just wait until the offense gets its legs under it
7) California - easy win makes up for last weekends' squeaker with Colorado St.
8) Penn St - will they provide a challenge for OSU in the Big Ten
9) Rutgers - i'd like to see them do something against someone meaningful (we might have to wait until the end of October, with back-to-back against USF & WVU)
10) Texas - poor showing in UCF, who scheduled that game? would any other power be caught dead playing such a "no win" game on the road?
11) Oregon - and here we fall off the wagon, these teams I don't feel particularly good about, but there isn't anyone else around
12) BC - good win at GT, but the ACC is just pitiful this year, VT and FSU really aren't pulling their weight
13) South Carolina - I'm still high from their win at UGA, but next week will provide a true test (@LSU), boy the hits don't stop coming in the SEC, do they?
14) Wisconsin - wow, the year the Big 10 is theirs for the taking, the always overlooked (and preseason favorite) Badgers seem to be choking it away
15) Louisville - um, they're just here by virtue of my lack of faith in the next 5-10 teams
16) Arkansas - yeah, yeah, yeah, didn't they just lose to Alabama? they did, but by 3, in last second fashion, on the road, without thier best WR, in Nick Saban's SEC re-debut. The Hogs will bounce back to win the next 6 to go to 7-1 taking a nice head of steam into the meat of the SEC schedule

Wow, that was harder than I thought, finding 16 teams to fill out the 16 spots, thus the bottom 3 are either weekend losers who may be better than they're playing now, or teams who haven't really shown me anything. All the teams after those (GT, Clemson, South Florida, Alabama, UCLA, Nebraska, etc) haven't really impressed me either, College Football meet Mr. Parity.

And no, I have no reason for picking the number 16.

Oh, and those links I promised:
Duke students need to work on its football celebrations
Looks like Red Sox fans should stick to asking Red Sox for autographs, what's the matter kid, did Jacoby Ellsbury turn you down?

Week 2 Pick 'em Recap

Just a quick post for now, I'll try and hunt down some entertaining blog posts later:

Ryan: 3 pts, 4-2 (8 pts, 8-4)
John: -1 pt, 4-2 (12 pts, 8-4)
Emily: 1 pts, 3-3 (0 pts, 6-6)

Wow, I didn't realize Emily had such a good week until I posted that, congrats, looks like I'll need a War Eagle upset tonight to catch her. I guess, I could learn a thing or two from her unwavering faith in Bill Belicheat.

Edit: OOPS, looks like I was drinking the Emily Kool-Aid, thanks for the catch, what an honest guest, and a better picker than Byron too...

Saturday, September 15

Ryan's Week 2 Pick 'em

Hopefully, I won't get robbed out of a decent record this week, but we'll see.

6) Green Bay over @New York Giants - to steal a line from John, Brett Favre BLOWS UP for 5 TDs, the Giants secondary is horrid which may help GB hide its inability to run the ball, and as you all know, I'm on board with the young Packers defense
5) New Orleans over @Tampa Bay - gotta be a bounce back game, right?
4) Seattle over @Arizona - wow, thats a lot of winning road teams, I'll take the better overall team here, the Cards really need to show me something before I put faith in them
3) @New England over San Diego - great matchup here, but I think the Pats are the better balanced team
2) San Francisco over @St. Louis - this one is tough, but I think the loss of Pace and Tye Hill hurts the Rams, where defense was already an issue
1) @Detroit over Minnesota - I can't believe I'm going with the Lions, but the Vikings are really one dimensional, and the Flyin' Lions can really throw the ball around, look for a huge game from Kitna

Extra Point: Washington over Philadelphia (-7.0) - I couldn't see any of the other games having upsets, this one seems much more likely that the next closest candidate, NYJ over Baltimore

Week 2 Pick'em

Seattle over Arizona (6). Feeling Seattle in a rout here, just too easy to pick against Arizona this year.

Minnesota over Detroit (5). Given the running back situations for both teams, this is the easy choice.

Green Bay over New York (4). Green Bay's defense will smother a less-than-100% Eli Manning or his backup, and don't expect to see the same efficiency from Derrick Ward as you would from Brandon Jacobs. Favre throws five picks in this one, but it won't matter.

San Francisco over St. Louis (3). I like San Francisco this year, they could contend in the West if Gore lives up to expectations.

New England over San Diego (2). I honestly don't think the Patgate fallout will affect New England too much, but this one could go either way.

Tampa Bay over New Orleans (1). I like Tampa Bay in the mild upset here, but the point value I've assigned it should show you how much faith I have in the pick.

Upset Special: Washington over Philadelphia. Philadelphia will be a force this season, no doubt, but I think War Eagle has a chance here after a missed opportunity for the Eagles last week at Green Bay.

Guest Picker: Emily Rosowski, MIT PhD Candidate

Ok, so let's keep in mind here that I really don't follow football that
much and in general will be making picks based on past grudges or
disliking/liking a player/coach. Although I did try to do a minimum of

San Francisco over St. Louis (1) - I guess mainly because St. Louis lost
last week at home while San Fran won, and plus I still don't like the
Rams from when the Pats played them in the super bowl in 2001 (is that
the right year?).

Green Bay over NY Giants (4) - I mean come on, it's new york, and my
uncle was a Green Bay fan. Plus again, GB won last week and NY lost.
AND the giants have Eli Manning (insert picture of me vomiting here).

New Orleans over Tampa Bay (3) - I guess I better pick the favored team
in at least one game...

Minnesota over Detriot [sic] (2) - Apparently Detriot's [sic] got a strong offense and Minnesota's got a strong defense. Gonna go with the defense here.

Seattle over Arizona (5) - Didn't Seattle almost win the Super Bowl a
year or two ago, and who's even heard of the Arizona Cardinals? Plus
now that Lauren's in Seattle I've gotta support the Seahawks.

New England over San Diego (6) - Ok, so it looks like Bill Belichick is
a cheater which is kinda disappointing, but even more reason for the
Pats to come out and win big to show that they don't need the tapes to
demolish an opponent.

Upset pick: NY Jets over Baltimore - Even though the Pats pretty much
destroyed the Jets last week, I thought they actually played well and
was amazed at how well Chad Pennington played while limping around the
field. Plus Eric Mangini, an ex-Belichick disciple, coaches the Jets.

Editor's note: Sorry about the formatting, apparently Blogger doesn't like it when you copy things in from Gmail

Friday, September 14

Pick 'Em Week 2

First off, we'd like to welcome MIT Biology PhD. student (and occasional reader of TFSB) Emily Rosowski to the guest picker spot, hoping to better Byron's record of 3-3. Also, one quick modification before we get to the set of games to be picked for this coming weekend on NFL Football. Last weekend John and I decided to modify the "Extra Point" rule. This week (and from now on) the upset pick's value will be based in the line on the game. So, if an upset happens and is picked, the point value for such will be half the point spread, rounding up, so, if I picked Buffalo over Pittsburgh this week (line -9.0 to the Steelers), I'd recieve 5 bonus points (9/2=4.5, rounded up to 5). This will add extra incentize to picking more unlikel upsets. Last week there was only one upset amont the 9 games we didn't pick, Tennessee over Jacksonville. Now, onto this weeks' games:

San Francisco @ St. Louis
Green Bay @ New York Giants
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay
Minnesota @ Detroit
Seattle @ Arizona
San Diego @ New England

Monday, September 10

Pick 'Em Recap

John: 13 pts, 4-2
Ryan: 5 pts, 4-2
Byron: -1 pts. 3-3

I personally feel insulted as the two losses I incurred were results of muffed punts (thanks Eagles) or just a direct shaft from the referees (Todd Heap Touchdown? OT?). Although, I will admit that I got a little lucky with the Broncos, but I'd trade that for my killer 6 point game of the week. I guess I was overeager to crown the Eagles after their preseason display against my beloved Panthers. Speaking of, congrats to finally winning a winnable game, last season that would have been a squeaker.

Also, from Deadspin, a unique look at the last second field goal to win the Broncos-Bills game.

Free Segways?

This idea dawned on me as I watched Marvin Lewis hobble around the Bengals sideline, I mean, if I worked in the Bengals front office, I call Segway, ask if they want some free national airtime on ESPN's MNF, and offer to let Lewis parade around the sidelines in a Segway. It definitely makes Marvin Lewis a better coach, especially if you take to heart the announcers assertion that he was unable ot move around well enough to coach. Then, for a PR boost afterwards, you can auction the Segway off on Ebay (signed of course) and give the money to charity, because if anyone need positive PR, its the Bengals.

Saturday, September 8

Guest Week One Picks: S Byron P Huff

So, it's an on-weekend, which means I did no research into these picks. So keep that in mind. Anyway, here they are:

Philadelphia over Green Bay (4)
Denver over Buffalo (1)
Kansas City over Houston (6)
Atlanta over Minnesota (2)
Cincinnati over Baltimore (3)
Carolina over St. Louis (5)

Ryan says I have to do some sort of upset here goes

NY Giants over Dallas


Ryan's Pick 'Em Week 1

Here are my week one picks, the point values are obvious and the home team is signified with an "@", and yes, I picked 4 road teams to win.

6) Philly over @Green Bay - The Packers will have a good team this year, but the Eagles really are the class of the NFC, as the more complete team they should win this one handily
5) Denver over @Buffalo - The Broncos have had some poor opening days on the road in recent memory, they have lost their last 3 road openers, yes, even in 2005 when they went 13-3. This contest shouldn't prove difficult as the Bills are overmatched on both sides of the ball.
4) @Houston over Kansas City - The Texans are entering a new era just as the Chiefs are leaving one. The Chiefs defensive woes will be exploited by Houtson's new backfield combo of Schaub/Green, and Damon Huard will be, well, Damon Huard.
3) @Minnesota over Atlanta - This is one that I'm actually worried about. Just like Katrina it is difficult to predict, or measure for that matter, the impact of something like the Vick trial and suspension. The Falcons could all miraculously step up and play out of their heads, Harrington could click when finally given a decent run game and defense, or they could fall apart as expected without their "playmaker".
2) Baltimore over @Cincinnati - I think this is the easy pick to make, Baltimore is a good team that made a major upgrade at RB to counter their aging O-Line, the Bengals are good, but I'll take the balanced Ravens over the offense-heavy Bengals.
1) Carolina over @St. Louis - Yeah, I'm not sure what to expect here. I think the popular opinion on the Panthers is that no one has any idea which team will show up or whether or not they'll play to their talent level, which is easily in the upper echelon of the NFC. If the Panthers play to said level, they should have no trouble with the Rams, as they can bottle up Steven Jackson and run (and pass) buck wild over a weak Rams defense, but will they?

"PAT" Game - Tampa Bay over @Seattle - Yes, I know its the largest line on the board, but this matchup pits the most oveerrated team against a pretty underrated Bucs team, so I'll give this one a ride.

Week 1 Pick'em

Week 1 NFL Pick'em:

Carolina over St. Louis (6 points). No way am I able to pick against the Panthers in Week 1, especially against St. Louis (yuck).

Minnesota over Atlanta (5 points). Trading Matt Schaub was a bad idea.

Cincinnati over Baltimore (4 points). Offense is more consistent from year to year than defense, and I'm totally feeling the Cincinnati offense this season.

Kansas City over Houston (3 points). Even though LJ won't be getting many carries (allegedly), the Houston defense can't even stop LJ's backup, Michael Bennett.

Green Bay over Philadelphia (2 points). Brett Favre BLOWS UP for five touchdowns. Five picks will come next week.

Buffalo over Denver (1 point). Marshawn Lynch has a BREAKOUT first game as a Bill, and totally annihilates the Bronco defense.

Upset special: New York over Dallas. Ehhh, not really big on any of the upset possibilities over a 3.5-point spread, which I feel is a little bit of a cop-out. So I'm hoping Eli and Brandon Jacobs will be able to lead the charge on Sunday.

Edit: forgot to add point totals.

If his last name weren't Manning...

...he wouldn't be starting. Ok, that's probably a tad harsh, but it does have a certain truth to it. Since he was drafted by the Chargers and traded to New York Eli Manning has far from lived up to the expectations of many both inside of the Giants organization and outside among the media and fans. Although this isn't too terribly surprising, he did have 6'5" 230 lb. laser-rocket arm shoes to fill, maybe. Some, namely Tiki Barber, suggest that his poor leadership in the form of "comical" pep talks, is what is holding him back from becoming an elite QB. However, another common angle is that his throws aren't always the most accurate, and he is especially prone to overthrows, which is at least based in real statistical measures of game charted data, and not a blatent attempt to make controversial statements to be successful as an analyst. As a part of the "Two Deep Zone" series, Mike Tanier seems to have spotted another possible reason for Eli's habitual failure, the inability to read defenses and react accordingly. In summary, Eli sees a very similar play twice within the same game, an overoad zone blitz, but misreads and makes a similar mistake on both plays, the second of which gives the Eagles six points and seals the game. This part of Eli's game is as critical to his success as a passer as both accuracy and speech giving skills.

This is the kind of thing I hope to be doing more of within the blog, bringing together a couple of articles on related topics or pointing out interesting developments, hopefully making the NFL (and eventually college basketball) more enjoyable for everyone, well, not like there is much room for improvment, but I'll try.

Friday, September 7

NFL Pick 'Em

Hello folks, John and I are back for another year of NFL Pick 'Em, and this time, with exciting new rules. So, if you all remember, we adapted the format of Pick 'Em to be able to assign differing point values to the slate of games we choose. So, since John and I are professionals, we only pick the tough ones, each week we'll select 6 games, all of which have lines of 3.5 or under. Each of these games get point values that correlate with the certainty of our picks, and we will be given either positive or negative points based on being right or wrong. Now, that's not all, we'll also add an Extra Point: Upset Special to the mix. John and I have to pick the underdog in a game whose line is greater than 3.5 points, and if this game is picked correctly, we'll get 3 extra points (but none if we're wrong, they can't take points away if you miss the PAT, can they?). OK, hopefully you'll all get used to this new method, and hopefully it will help John and I feel better about knowing what's going on in the NFL (ie, by have above .500 records). Last, hopefully we can get a guest in here every now and again to try and pick games against us, and if no guest is present, the "guest" tally will be random. So now onto this week's games (John, please correct me if I'm wrong).

Carolina @ St. Louis
Kansas City @ Houston
Denver @ Buffalo
Atlanta @ Minnesota
Philadelphia @ Green Bay
Baltimore @ Cincinnati (M)

Update (9/7 10:00 pm): S Byron P Huff has graciously agreed to be the guest in our initial week of Pick 'Em