Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 8 NFL Picks

No time to speak, too much picking to do.

Last Week: 10-4
Season-to-Date: 62-40-2 (60.6%) (That's right, bitches, I'm over 60% for the year now, but by one game. Gotta keep making salad with these picks).

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)

This line seems a little strange, since the Chiefs just blew out a team at home, and the Bills are 0-6. Of course, the Bills have done a good job of playing close on the road, evidenced by their eight point loss in New England, and overtime loss in Baltimore, which are comparable teams with the Chiefs. The Bills offense has improved under the guidance of Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Lee Evans finally decided to strangle his QBs until they throw at him. Their defense is still a mess, which is a big problem, since the Bills are the worst team against the run in the league, and the Chiefs are the best running team in the league. This spells a major problem. I feel like this game will turn out like the Jaguars/Chiefs game, which was close for a while, but the Chiefs eventually took over and covered. The Bills might keep it close for a while, but the Chiefs are a better team, at home. There is a slight chance that they overlook the Bills, and focus at their game in Oakland next week, but I don't think a Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis coached team (they are the real coaches, not Todd Haley) will overlook any team. Not really the "Patriot Way."

Bills 17 Chiefs 31 (KC)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)

For one week at least, the Cowboys will rally behind Jon Kitna. Backup QBs can win a couple games. Of course, if the rest of the team was motivated, or they had a solid foundation of leaders outside of the QB, they could win quite a few games (The Cassel' Patriots are a prime example), but the Cowboys aren't that team. They can be for one week. Plus, I really don't see the Cowboys approaching 0-4 at home. The real question will be if the Cowboys can cover or not? The Jaguars are horrific against the pass, giving up 8.1 yards per attempt. That is, how you say, nightmarish. The Cowboys are having a tough time running the ball this season, but don't worry, since the Jaguars can't really stop that either. It really doesn't matter who the Jaguars start at QB. If the Cowboys can't cover this, then Wade should honestly just be escorted of the premises.

Jaguars 14 Cowboys 28 (DAL)

Carolina Panthers @ St. Louis Rams (-3)

The Rams really are not that much better than the Panthers with Matt Moore starting and Steve Smith healthy. The Rams, however, are quite good at home, going 3-1, beating the Redskins, Seahawks and Chargers all at home (two +.500 teams as well as the Chargers - who if not for earning the title "the dumbest fucking team in the history of the NFL" would be like 5-2 or 6-1). The Rams aren't particularly good at any facet of defense, but their pass defense is better than their rush defense, which probably hurts them in this game, as the Panthers should have success pounding the rock. As for those Panthers, their defense should be able to bottle up Sam Bradford and his cast of randoms pretty well. I fear that they will not be able to have a good answer for Steven Jackson, who should play. I like the Panthers here, but the Rams at home have been solid all year. Call it a hunch, but I think I will for one game, go against my head, and take the Panthers.

Panthers 23 Rams 20 (CAR)

Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals (-.5)

I am truly astonished that the Bengals are favored, given all the shit that has been piled on this team. This is the type of game the Bengals win, just to get some people back on their bandwagon, until they go out and lose to the Browns, again. The Bengals have some advantageous matchups in this game. The Dolphins have struggled against the pass since the bye, which might not bode well against Palmer, who looked a lot better last week. The Bengals, on the other hand, have been better at stopping the run of late, which is the key. When Henne is forced to put the team in the back, he can't quite meet the pressure, yet. If the Dolphins run game struggles, they will lose. The Bengals are due for another win. They really play up or down to their competition, and this is a game I think they will get up for.

Dolphins 17 Bengals 23 (CIN)

Washington Redskins @ Detroit Lions (-2.5)

I know Stafford is back, but really? The Lions are really favored against a team that is 4-3, and has beaten four quality teams this year? This is a huge surprise. The Redskins have been awful against the pass, but the stat that truly matters, y/a, they have been better than awful, as they are only below average. What helps them is the fact that the Lions run defense is bad in every way, which should work great for Ryan Torain, who has put up two straight 100 yard games. What gives me caution is the fact that the Redskins have already shown they can't be trusted on the road, looking flaccid in St. Louis, and this is the second of two road games, and the first one was quite physical. What I do like is the fact that the Redskins pass rush is looking better in each game, while the Lions pass protection is getting worse. I love the Redskins here.

Redskins 27 Lions 20 (WAS)

Denver Broncos @ San Francisco 49ers (-1.5) [in London]

Will we ever send a good game to London. They got a nice one in 2008, with the Chargers and Saints, but neither team was that good at the time of the game. This one is probably the worst one yet. The 49ers are starting Troy Smith, and the Broncos just had the worst loss in franchise history, and now have to travel eight time zones. The Broncos are not a very good team. The 49ers are worse in a lot of ways, but they have the pass defense to at least control Kyle Orton. The niners rush defense is about average, but that wouldn't matter since the Broncos couldn't run the ball against Boise St. at this point. I would like to think the Broncos would be extra motivated to show up after that type of loss, but if they were effected by such types of motivation, they wouldn't have lost that type of game in the first place. That was truly embarrassing. The 49ers are still a team good enough to beat the Broncos on a neutral field, Troy Smith be damned. The Broncos can't stop the run at all, and Frank Gore will have a field day.

Broncos 23 49ers 27 (SF)

Green Bay Packers @ New York Jets (-6)

The Packers should be getting Al Harris and Ryan Pickett back. Al Harris is old, and probably won't be able to cover anyone that well. On the other hand, getting Pickett back is huge, as he adds a ton of size to the Packers front and should help stop LT and Shonn Greene. The Packers are a good team, off of a huge win, and should be inspired to play well. They generally are a good road team as well. Aaron Rodgers is getting good protection, and I can't imagine that he will have as bad miscommunication problems with his receivers two weeks in a row. As for the Jets, to me, the key is Sanchez. The Packers pass defense has been good, and has a tendency to force turnovers. Clay Matthews probably won't be his usual beast self, with D'Brickshaw being able to slow him down, but the Jets' offense hasn't fully clicked in any game since the Buffalo game. Being off of a bye helps, but I am always wary of teams that go into byes with long winning streaks like the Jets. I think the Jets win this game, but not by that much. That line is awfully high.

Packers 20 Jets 23 (NYJ)

Tennessee Titans @ San Diego Chargers (-3)

The Chargers will still be missing Malcolm Floyd, but Legedu Nanneee should be back, and Antonio Gates should be closer to 100%. The Titans pass defense has been great, but if you take out the Oakland game, and the Steelers game (Dennis Dixon, Chaz Batch), the numbers aren't other-worldly. For the Chargers, it comes down to turnovers, again. At some point, they have to stop these ridiculous turnovers. Even for a team as scatter-brained as the Chargers, this is too much. Their propensity to fumble has to regress to the mean at some point, right? I think it will be this week. The Titans did not play well in the game in New York against the Giants, but capitalized on Giants' turnovers, which is a good sign for them, since the Chargers have even more maddening turnovers. Everything I have said points to a Chargers loss, as they are a playing a team that capitalizes on turnovers better than any other team in the league. However, this matchup has never worked for the Titans. The Titans have lost their last four games to the Chargers, and most of them haven't been close (their last two meetings were a 17-6 Chargers win in the 2007 playoffs, and then there was a Chargers 42-17 win in Tennessee last year). The Chargers just match up really, really well with the Titans. The Chargers, finally, get a much needed win over a good team.

Titans 14 Chargers 24 (SD)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals (-3)

This is a really tough game to pick. The Cardinals don't deserve to be favored over anyone, but their defense usually steps it up a notch when they play at home. The Buccaneers have done a great job of avoiding turnovers, which is what the Cardinals make their living off of. I really don't feel like this game deserves much time. The Buccaneers are pretty much the 2010 version of the 2008 Miami Dolphins, which is not necessarily a bad thing. They win these close games by hanging around and stealing them in the end. The Cardinals QB, whoever it will be, will get time, since the Bucs can't get a pass rush on anyone, but again, that might not necessarily be a bad thing, given the fact that Max Hall and Derek Anderson are not very accurate and struggle with no rush anyway. I think the Bucs are the better team, and they win the game.

Buccaneers 27 Cardinals 20 (TB)

Seattle Seahawks @ Oakland Raiders (-3)

I always get nervous when the Raiders are favorites. They usually don't do so well with that tag. Of course, this Raiders team is better than every Raiders team since 2005 (that team actually wasn't all that bad, but lost a ton of close games. This is not a good matchup for the Raiders, who will be missing their top 2 wide receivers. The only saving grace is that the Raiders wide receivers aren't that great, so it isn't like there will be much of a dropoff incurred. The Seahawks have really bottled up the run, but the Raiders are by far the best running team the Seahawks have faced so far, so this is a different test. The Raiders usually play teams pretty well at home, and I have called that team pretty well so far, picking them to win against both San Diego and Denver. I like them to win this game too. Historically, they have done well against the NFC teams (at least compared to their performance against AFC teams). Look for the Raiders to be .500 at the midpoint of the season for the first time since 2002 (the year they played in the Super Bowl; ironically, they were 4-4 in that year as well).

Seahawks 16 Raiders 24 (OAK)

Minnesota Vikings @ New England (-5)

The Patriots are geniuses again for making that Randy Moss trade. Of course, Brady is only 46-76 for 451 yards with 2 tds and 2 ints since the trade, but they are 2-0, so who gives a shit right. I mean, if Randy Moss was still on their team, the Chargers definitely remember to not fumble the ball without getting touched, or cover potential live balls, right? The only reason that happened is because the Patriots no longer have Randy Moss. The Patriots defense still can't really stop anyone, and their offense is now pretty average, but they keep winning games. They can't be beat. It is 2001, 2003 and 2004 all over again, despite the fact that the Patriots defense is nowhere near the teams of those years, and the fact that the Patriots have been outgained for the season. Of course, Brett Favre will play, which will only mean that he will throw for 10 ints against the Patriots young, but talented defense that gives up 260 yards per game passing and allows their opposition to convert over 50% of their third downs. How can the Patriots not win this game?

Vikings 23 Patriots 31 (NE)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New Orleans Saints (-1)

The Saints are a surprise to be getting points against the best team in the league, but I understand it. The Saints still have the mystique of being able to feed of their home crowd in a night game. I mean, they've lost twice already at the Superdome, and lost to Colt McCoy and Max Hall, but those weren't at night (unlike above, I am being totally not sarcastic this time; I mean it). The Saints offense is just waiting to explode. The Steelers are also due for a little tumble, and the second straight road game, after a tough, physical emotional game, might be cause for concern. The Superdome should be jacked up. Also, here is a stat: Brees is 13-4 against 3-4 teams in New Orleans. That said, I like the Steelers. They are the best team in the NFL, and they too really get up for night games. The last time the Steelers lost a Sunday or Monday Night game in which Ben Roethlisberger started (to discount their Week 12 loss to Baltimore last year)? Week 7.... of the 2007 Season. Since, they have won 10 straight. They are also Colt-like in their ability to win when the lights are brightest.

Steelers 27 Saints 24 (PIT)

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts (-5.5)

No Addai, No Collie, No Clark? No problem. The Colts are thirsty for some sweet revenge. Here are a couple of stats for you. The Colts have given up just four sacks in the five games since Week 1, and here is another one: Manning is 22-3 in night games since 2005. Twenty Two and Fucking Three!!! Those three losses? Two were in Weeks 1 and 8 of the 2008 season, when Manning was still recovering from offseason knee surgery, and the team was in the midst of a 3-4 start. The other? Week 10 of the 2007 season, when they went to San Diego and played the team that would end up in the AFC Championship Game that year. In that game, Manning was missing Marvin Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez and, irony here, Dallas Clark. He threw six interceptions, yet led the team back from down 23-0 to within a 26-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal of winning. Yeah, so he almost won a night game on the road throwing to Reggie Wayne, Aaron Moorehead, Craphonso Thorpe, Bryan Fletcher and Ben Utecht. I'll think the guy will be just fine.

Texans 20 Colts 34 (IND)

Enjoy the Games!!!

McDaniels Rap, pt 1

Back in May, I lyricalized Peyton Manning's brilliance to the soothing words of Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady." Well, I'm back motherfuckers, to steal some more lyrics and get this shit done. Today, children, my subject to fuck with will be good old Josh "McNasty" McDaniels, the 34 year old pile of shit, who decided to go on an all-time powertrip and fuck up one of the more storied franchises in the history of the NFL. Before we start with the ebonic homage to McDaniels work, let's have a quick reminder of what that work is:

Part 1: The Jay Cutler fuck-up.

Jay Cutler is a good quarterback, and he would have thrived in McDaniels offense. McDaniels decided he wanted to bring in Matt Cassel, basically to flaunt his own brilliance, which understandably alienated Cutler. McDaniels ended up trading Jay Cutler to Chicago for the Bears 1st and 3rd round picks in the 2009 draft, and their first round pick in the 2010 draft. This is what McDaniels has gotten from those draft picks:

2009 1st round pick - used to select Robert Ayers, a DE who has 1.5 sacks in 1.5 years.

2009 3rd round pick - traded to Pittsburgh (who used it to select Mike Wallace) along with the Broncos 4th round pick for the Steelers 2nd round pick, which the Broncos used to select Richard Quinn, a tight end who has yet to catch a pass.

2010 1st round pick - was traded to Seattle for Seattle's second round pick in the 2009 draft, which was used to select cornerback Alphonso Smith, who after just one year, was traded to Detroit for a 6th round pick, and in Detroit Smith immediately went on to intercept two passes in his first two games. And that 2010 1st rounder; it ended up being the 14th pick in the draft, which Seattle used to pick Earl Thomas, who already has 4 interceptions.

To Recap, here is what McDaniels got for Jay Cutler: Richard Quinn, a tight end who has done nothing, Robert Ayers, a player who gets one sack a year, and a 6th round pick. Well done, sir, well done.

Part 2: Everything else.

He traded Brandon Marshall for a 2nd round pick in 2010 and 2011. The 2010 pick was packaged with many others to obtain Baltimore's first round pick, which was used to select Tim Tebow. Brandon Marshall, who is just 26, is on pace for 112 catches and 1400 yards, while Tim Tebow has rushed 8 times for 25 yards.

He traded Tony Scheffler, a young good tight end, to Detroit in a three team trade, where he obtained a 5th round pick used to select Perrish Cox, who has played average in a nickel situations.

He fired Mike Nolan, who's defense was primarily responsible for having them near .500, including their surprising 6-0 start. Denver's defense is hellish now, while Mike Nolan is doing yoeman's work in Miami.

McDaniels is 0-4 lifetime at home in the division, losing to San Diego last year 32-3 at home, losing to Kansas City last year 44-20 at home, and the capper, losing last week to Oakland 59-14. It gets worse. He's 4-13 in his last 17 games, and has been outscored 457-331. Oh yeah, that 59-14 loss, that was the worst loss in a home game in Broncos history. He's also 1-7 in his last 8 home games. He's been a disaster, and I really think that someone is going to have to clean up his mess. Pat Bowlen probably curses himself every day for handing the keys to Broncos nation to this arrogant, clown.

That's the intro, now comes the rap. Before I start, here's a preview of the song:

Fuck Wit Dre Day - Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg

Coming up next, the rap!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

McDaniels Rap, pt 2

Fuck Wit McNast-ay

(based off of Fuck Wit Dre Day - Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg)

[McDaniels, circa March 2010]

Yeah, Mista Cutler, where the fuck you at?
I can suck Belichick's dick, and you know well
I can't draft for shit, and I'll be fucking this team up
The Broncos you grew up with, the players I blew it up with
Don't even respect my ass?
That's why me and Xanders gotta check your ass.
Used to be my QB, used to be Denver's face
Now I wanna slap your face out of town
Cutler, bow down to the floor
You loved Shanny, but this team is mine, you ho
Oh, don't think I forgot? You know i'm right
To book your flight, to Chicago's lakeside
Yeah, so what if my drafting's a bomb
Missing on all the picks we got for trading you outta town
So strap on your Broncos hat
And I shouldn't watch my back cause I fucking just win eight games, yo
So trade em all, trade Marshall for me
Brandon, cause you lost all McNasty's love
Now call it what you want to
But when you fuck with McNasty, it's a must that I fuck with you

[Interlude: Pat Bowlen]

McDaniels, what the fuck did we talk about??
We have your motherfucking office surrounded
Put down the phone and stop letting all of our good players go!!
You know what I'm saying, hoodie-wearing bitch
(I want Shanny, I want Shanny!)

[Al Davis - late October, 2010]

Bow, wow, wow, yippee yo, yippee yay,
Al Davis in the motherfucking house!!!
Bow, wow, wow, yippee, yo, yippee, yay
McFadden's taking it to the motherfucking house

Bow, wow, wow, yippee yo, yippee yay
The sound of Invesco shutting up made my day
Shit on McDaniels, would ya McFaddy

It seems that McNasty can only embarrass his daddy
But here's a funny joke about McNasty that he might not like
I heard he can't draft anyone right
But fuck your drafting, I'm talking about you and me
toe-to-toe, Raiders and Broncos on the field
Your bark was loud, but your bight wasn't vicious
And your arrogant trades were just hilarious
Kyle Orton and Knowshown Moreno, are you crazy?
Richard Quinn and Alphonso Smith done anything for you baby?
So just so you know
Your star draft pick wassa crap QB who can't throw

And I ain't even digging for things
I'm hollering what you've done to fuck your team, beeyatch

[interlude: Jay Cutler]

Yeah, bitch, McDaniels and Kyle Orton in that motherfucker
So you wanna admit it know, or get your team blasted again
Step on up, Now that your team is a joke, we'll remember your name
Mighty, Mighty McNasty.
Yeah, Cutler lucky to be outta that motherfucker.

[Bill Belichick Talking to McDaniels - October 2010]

Now understand this, my insane draft dealing can't be touched
But your shit drafting is getting fucked. Cutler?
Cutler trade looked easy
But you draft like you got high with Weezy
Workin with me let you learn, but you don't
And yo, Josh, listen up, stop embarrassing me, yo
You ain't gonna get another job to fuck with
After that loss to the Raiders, you might as well quit
And while I would love to give you counsel
I can't help when you're a draft trade and free agent cancer
An'd you gotta stop living off my backside
Cause I can't handle my name giving you a free ride
Now you might not understand me
But you live off my reputation and your crap is hurting me

When you get yourself fired from Bronco central
You gonna need a knowledge mission, but but don't fucking step in my temple
If I spot you, I got you, I'll pull out my gat
Get Tom Brady to get off Gisele and smack you with a bat
You trying to compare yourself to me? You better change yourself
Cause when you fuck up, you make me look bad for giving you help

[Pat Bowlen - January 2011]

Yeah, twenty-eleven
Pat Bowlen, dropping the axe once again
It doesn't stop, McNasty punishing players real quick, right
Pat Bowlen owns the motherfucking house
McNasty's thrown outta the motherfucking house
Yeah, straight up
Firing that sucka off, real fast and shit

You Know What I'm SAYING
Josh McDaniels can go eat Kyle Orton's dick
Yeah, McNasty can eat a big fat dick
McNasty made my team play like dick

Bowlen Out

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week 8 NFL Power Rankings

It's that time of the week, to unleash my newest power rankings, along with my newest round of discrediting the Patriots and acting as a Colts apologist (although I try not to do either of those things, I obviously fail at them, tremendously). On to the rankings.

32.) San Francisco 49ers (1-5)

This is what happens when you lose to a winless team after trailing by 7 points with two minutes left. They stink. Mike Singletary is just so overmatched in every way. Needless to say, he will be far down on my coach rankings that come out in four weeks, assuming he is even applicable to be on that list. The fact that David Carr vs Alex Smith is even a QB controversy is more sad. If you want a real laugh, go to and look at how amazingly good the 49ers were from 1983-1998. It is scary. What's more, they haven't had a winning season since 2002.

31.) Buffalo Bills (0-6)

That was a really nice performance. I thought they would cover, but I would never have imagined that they would be up 24-10, let alone take the Ravens to overtime after falling down 34-24. Ryan Fitzpatrick might be better than what I thought. His best skill is that he actually uses the guy known as Lee Evans as a target. Trent Edwards avoided Lee Evans like Evans had contracted SARS. The Bills really have to start to use CJ Spiller more. That defense is still as awful as ever, which makes most of this Fitzpatrick buzz meaningless.

30.) Carolina Panthers (1-5)

Nice win, but they beat the 49ers, which doesn't say much. Matt Moore looked confident, which is more than he has before his benching. He definitely seems to be better than Jimmy Clausen, which, again, is not saying much. The Panthers might go on a run a la last year (finishing 8-5 after starting 0-3), but I seriously, seriously doubt it.

29.) Denver Broncos (2-5)

Man, did that performance put a smile to my face. For 15 months I have been crying to the masses about how bad Josh McDaniels is. I'm guessing that coaching the worst loss in team history qualifies as "bad." McDaniels drafting has been ghastly, and the only thing that kept him in the good graces was the fact that he could coach offense. Well then, how's that for offense. McDaniels is now 1-2 against the Raiders, and 1-2 in Denver against the Raiders, as well as a pretty 0-4 in home divisional games. The Broncos used to be one of the best home teams in the league, now they are among the worst, home or away.

28.) Detroit Lions (1-5)

If Stafford comes back, and stays healthy, then they could see a nice rise. Megatron will be happy to see Matt Stafford back in the fold, as will Jahvid Best, who has seen his production dip tremendously without Stafford back there to keep defenses honest. Their defense has to get better, though, which has not happened in the back end, or against the run.

27.) Arizona Cardinals (3-3)

This is probably the worst 3-3 team of all time, despite beating the defending champs (which doesn't seem to be all that hard these days). Max Hall or Derek Anderson, it really doesn't matter, this team is awful. Also, if I were Ken Whisenhunt, I would never allow my team to return a kick, ever again. They fumbled not one, but two of them. If not for their league average defense, this team would be sorry. I realize that Matt Leinart probably was not the long term answer, but he's a better short term answer than either Derek Anderson or Max Hall (although there is a non-zero chance that Max Hall is a better short-term and long-term answer).

26.) Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)

I hate this team with a passion, because they are the worst frauds ever. The essentially serve as a walkthrough for every other team in the NFL save for the Colts (and the horrible Bills and Broncos). Todd Bouman played nice (for a player who has not played since 2005), but what he really exhibited was that he has a hot wife. Even though I was watching on RedZone, every time they cut to the Chiefs/Jags game and Todd Bouman did anything notable, they cut to Bouman's cute wife. Those past 5 football-less years probably weren't all that lonely for Todd, I guess.

25.) Dallas Cowboys (1-5)

Isn't this fun. The Cowboys having two less wins than the Raiders, Cardinals and Rams, and three less than the Seahawks and Buccaneers? That's A Bingo!! The Cowboys honestly aren't this bad, but without Romo they are. I would just put Romo on IR if I were the Cowboys. What is the point of having Tony for max 4 games if the team is 4-8 (best case scenario) when he comes back. Needless to say, I'm guessing they get flexed out of that pretty Week 14 Sunday Night Game against the Eagles, which Jerry will love. I would pay a lot for that phone call by Goodell. "Hey, Jerry. I know you paid billions for that orgasm of a building you play in, but yeah, there is no way we're putting your stank ass 3-9 team on Sunday Night Football. Thanks."

24.) Cleveland Browns (2-4)

That was a nice win, and what I really loved about it is the Mangenius (I think he's earned the nickname again) pulled out all the stops in effort to win the game. Starting with the pitchback on the first punt return, then the fake punt that went for 60 yards, then the going for it on fourth down. Everything was perfectly orchestrated. Against the coach who was deified for his "ballsyness" in the Super Bowl, Mangini uber-balled him in that game. Well done. By the way, Eric Mangini has lost a shit ton of weight. He looks like CC Sabathia ate him to drown his sorrows after losing the ALCS.

23.) St. Louis Rams (3-4)

That was a heartbreaking loss. Thankfully, they covered, which meant I wouldn't have had to relive the Buccaneers screwing up another sporting event for me (there was that Super Bowl. You know, the one where the Raiders center got muy smashed before the game in Mexico, and the Raiders lost when Rich Gannon threw about 700 interceptions). Sam Bradford didn't have his greatest day, and neither did Steven Jackson, but what the hell is up with that defense? The Rams had the second worst scoring defense each of the last three years, and now they are tied for seventh (and that is with Detroit's 44 point explosion skewing things). Steve Spagnuolo, I knew you were a God.

22.) Oakland Raiders (3-4)

Fuck Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fuck the Broncos. Fuck Josh McDaniels and his cumstained sweatshirt, and his way of thinking he's smarter than everyone just because he used to give Belichick lapdances and shit. Fuck his inability to draft anyone who can do anything on the football field, and thank God for his great propensity to trade anyone on his team marginally good so he he can coach with a team bereft of any true talent (which obviously is his whole goal). The guy rode another mans defense to an 6-0 record last year, and since has gone a sprightly 4-13. Of course, Mike Lombardi still thinks McDaniels shits gold tulips and pisses Bud Light, but fuck him too. (and end vulgar, Raider fan rant). Actually, fuck that. A special part 2 of my NFL Raps (part 1: about the Raiders epic rape of the Broncos will come later this week.

21.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)

How nice, the two teams that competed in Super Bowl XXXVII are right next to each other (just because neither team has won a playoff game since doesn't mean it didn't happen). Josh Freeman just wins games!!!! He's like the new Steve McNair (and Rush Limbaugh nods in agreement). Actually, the more I watch Freeman, he reminds me of an Eli Manning/Ben Roethlisberger. He has the escapability and the gun for an arm of Big Ben, and the ability to play like ass for 55 minutes and turn it on in the last 5 of Eli. He's impressive. By the way, as you can see by this rating, I do NOT agree with Raheem Morris that he has the best team in the NFL.

20.) Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)

I'm done with them, but I can't put them any lower. My God, can they just fucking play a full game for once. Either they win ugly, and in which case everyone calls them frauds (for doing the exact same thing the Pats have done for two straight weeks - win ugly), and criticizes Palmer for putting up pedestrian stats. The other option: play like shit on defense, but have Palmer play well, for which everyone will criticize him for only putting up numbers in garbage time (nevermind the fact that it was because Palmer played well that the Bengals were able to, you know, actually take the lead in the 4th quarter). They are uneccesarily reviled for reasons I don't truly understand. Anyway, in the AFC, their season is about done, but they can be big spoilers in deciding the fate of the AFC North.

19.) Seattle Seahawks (4-2)

In Qwest, they are about as safe of a play as any team in the league. Their defense has somehow become great by upgrading just the head coach (Jim Mora Jr. must really suck), and Matt Hasselbeck looks like Jeff Garcia, circa 2003. Not sure if this is a good thing, but luckily for the Seahawks, in the NFC West, that makes him the best QB in the division. The trade for Marshawn Lynch looks like gold, as does the drafting of Earl Thomas, who has finally ended a long string of DBs from Texas to disappoint as rookies in the league. The Hawks will probably be underdogs when they host their playoff game in round 1, but Qwest at least will be rocking.

18.) Kansas City Chiefs (4-2)

Very nice win. If they are serious about winning that division, then they have to take care of business against beatable teams. They did that in spades (although the Jags were in that game for a lot of it), ruining whatever hope the Todd Bouman experience had (probably not that much). Matt Cassel has put together two good games against bad competition, but it will at least give him confidence. The Raiders are really the key to the AFC West. If the Chiefs sweep them, then hand the Chiefs the division. If they split, or get swept, it gets interesting. The Chiefs defense has to play better though. Giving up 20 points at home to Todd Bouman is unacceptable, no matter how hot Mrs. Bouman is.

17.) San Diego Chargers (2-5)

They can't keep losing in excruciating ways forever, right? I won't talk about the two horrendous fumbles, or anything else. This team is talented, and if they sneak into the playoffs, so help me God if they knock off the Colts at 8-8 again, so for that, I hope they don't win that division (or have to play Pittsburgh in the playoffs, since they have no chance of winning in Heinz). Let's talk about the end of the game. After stopping the Pats on 4th down, they had 1:55 left, and all three timeouts from midfield, against a defense they had shredded in the 4th quarter. What was with essentially playing for overtime? Your kicker is Kris Brown, who is shoddy at hitting extra points. The Chargers first play gained 15 yards, and then, just 36 yards away from the end zone, they proceeded to take thirty seconds before running their next play. Urgency? If the QB was Manning in that situation, you just know they would have scored a game winning TD. That's the difference between Manning and Rivers.

16.) Chicago Bears (4-3)

Why do I have them this high after back to back home losses? I'm not quite sure, other than the fact that they really should have won that game. First, they had 1st and Goal from the 1 up 14-10. Jay Cutler should have scored on the sneak he fumbled on, which would have made it 21-10. Instead, they don't score, and Cutler then drives them to the red zone where he throws a pick six, making it 17-14. The Redskins couldn't do anything offensively, and if Lovie just challenges that Cutler QB sneak, then the Bears are sitting here today at 5-2, in first place, and all is well. They are a mediocre team, but in a mediocre division, that might be enough to be in until December.

15.) Miami Dolphins (3-3)

They weren't robbed at all. First of all, the ref's decision on the review was absolutely right. Since they blew the play dead (since they thought it was a referee), the refs pretty much negated the ensuing scrum, as no one had possession at that time, and possession cannot be gained in a scrum after the play is blown dead. Gene Sterratore had no choice. Also, it is not like the game would have ended. This is the biggest myth since the Tyree catch (which if incomplete would have resulted in a 4th and 5 from the Giants 42). The Steelers had 2:30, and all three timeouts, and if they stopped the Dolphins (who would have taken over at the 20), could have gotten the ball back before the 2 minute warning and driven down and scored again. Also, The Dolphins still had 2:20, and two timeouts to score a game winning field goal after that. The Dolphins weren't robbed. You want robbed? How about the fucking Tuck Rule? Is that robbed enough for you, Dolphins' fans?

14.) Philadelphia Eagles (4-3)

Mike Vick will be the starter when Indy comes to town in two weeks. This should make the Eagles fans quite happy, and make Colts fans really happy. I really doubt the Colts are going to lose to Michael Vick, who will not find lanes to throw against a cover-2. Have fun, Michael. Either way, that was a bad loss. They were up 9 with the game seemingly in hand, and then Kerry Collins turned into, well, Kerry Collins of 2000-2002. It is fun when old, aging QBs have these magical games every once in a while. Also, what happened to that defense of Philly's. They were nice against the run, but only three sacks against Kerry Collins, who has the movement of the Lincoln Memorial?? Come on.

13.) Minnesota Vikings (2-4)

They have to win this game (not really, since the NFC is average), and I think they have a chance. First of all, this Favre ankle stuff is a non-story. Neither injury is all that bad, and are generally described as "sprains" as in "things that Favre will definitely play through." If Favre just doesn't try to make throws on the lateral run, and just tunes out that Rick Mirer, Jeff George, Aaron Brooks gene he's developed (but tuned out for 17.75 games last year), the Vikings are a good team. That was a tough loss, especially since the Shiancoe TD that was overturned was an alarmingly bad call, as well as s nice way for the Pack to finally beat Favre. Also, this whole Chilly/Favre feud is ridiculous. They'll be fine if they start winning, and they are good enough to do just that.

12.) Washington Redskins (4-3)

Nice stolen win, there. All of there wins have been unimpressive, but they have beaten three other 4-3 teams, which I am pretty sure gives them the record for most wins over +.500 competition. The Redskins passing game seemed to regress against the Bears after weeks of steady development, and their o-line was harrassed again. What is great is that Ryan Torain has now put up two solid games. Going for 100 yards against the Colts is not that impressive, but doing it to the Bears certainly is. I'll take that production any time for my running backs. Albert Haynesworth also finally did something. I guess Shanahan's little motivational games may have worked after all (or they avoided getting five previous weeks of this type of production from Big Al).

11.) New Orleans Saints (4-3)

That was an abortion of a loss, really. How can you let a punter run for 68 yards? A Punter? Every Saints ridiculous loss is so damn infuriating. They decided to play like worldbeaters in the Super Bowl, but can't beat the fucking Browns at home? In 2009 Drew Brees threw for 10 interceptions. He didn't throw a single pick in the entire postseason. Now he throws two pick-sixes to David Bowens? Fuck him and that team. I'm glad they won a Super Bowl for New Orleans, but at least act like the defending Super Bowl champs, not some 8-8 type team. How the hell could they lose to Max Hall and Colt McCoy, but could beat three hall of famers back-to-back-to-back last postseason. How? Tell me? And fuck yes, I am still bitter.

10.) Tennessee Titans (5-2)

I doubt Kerry Collins to Kenny Britt puts up a game one third that successful the rest of the year. That was amazing. I had Britt on my fantasy team, which made it all the more amazing. Just an astoundingly good performance on all levels for that duo. However, what has gone wrong with Chris Johnson. He's on pace for 1515 yards, which is impressive, on 372 carries, which makes it less impressive. He's easily been the disappointment of the season. I mean, coming into the year, he was all ready to rush for 3,000 yards while wearing Flava Flav's clock on gamedays, and now he can't top 4.1 yards per carry. At that pace, he'll need a easily attainable 610 carries to achieve his goal of 2,500 yards. I think it is time for anyone named Johnson to shut up about attaining stats or success, unless that person is named Andre Johnson.

9.) Green Bay Packers (4-3)

They needed that win, and although they didn't play overly well, it was deserved. Aaron Rodgers seemed totally off most of the night, and threw two horrible interceptions, but such is life. For all the talk about Favre throwing picks, Rodgers has already thrown 9 after throwing just 7 all of last year, which was a totally unmatchable fact (one that I predicted in my mid-offseason 10 predictions - don't go check, since some of those other predictions have come out, how do you say, very wrong). They should get Ryan Pickett and Al Harris back at some point, which should shore up that defense, but they have enough ability to still be dangerous while those two get healthy. I will say that the loss of Jermichael Finley may hurt Rodgers more than we thought.

8.) Houston Texans (4-2)

Time to get your payback for embarrassing the Colts in Week 1, boys, but I still like you guys as a team. Matt Schaub has finally shed that "always gets hurt" label. Sadly, his linebackers can't stay healthy (or off steroids) as now DeMeco Ryans is out for the year. Don't fear, that offense is good enough to get this team to 10-11 wins, which is what they need to get close to a playoff spot. The Texans aren't going to wrestle away that division like everyone and their mother thought they would after their 3-1 start, but they still have a shot to make the playoffs for the first time ever.

7.) New England Patriots (5-1)

I'm sorry, I can't take a team that needed two turnovers handed to them (in Goodman's case, literally) to barely beat a team missing its top two receivers, and rely on Patrick Crayton. I'm sorry, I just can't. What is funny is they might end up with 12 wins (although I am nearly sure they lose to Pittsburgh and Indianapolis). They might make the playoffs (although what is good is this year, they are not a lock to get the division, and strangely, the Belichick-Brady Pats have never qualified for the playoffs as a Wild Card), which ruins my "Patriots won't make the playoffs" preseason prediction, but I guarantee they don't win the Super Bowl. Not with that offense and defense. Their offense is so not that good without Moss. They have no deep threat at all.

6.) Atlanta Falcons (5-2)

Nice win over a desperate team. Roddy White played like the best receiver in the NFL (or at least NFC), and Matt Ryan just continues to grow as a player. Their defense also played well, and more than well against the run. That was one of the more impressive Falcons performances of the year, given the context of the team they are playing. Also, they really should get a bye in the NFC. Other than the one NFC team not yet named, I don't see how any other NFC team gets fewer than 5 wins, which means all they have to do is finish 7-2 to get to 12, which given their schedule, is not impossible. Finally, Fuck Matt Ryan for not throwing one more measly yard. Him finishing at 299 cost me a win in fantasy (I tied a guy 149-149, 300 yards gives me five extra points). Fuck Matt Ryan for his inability to throw one more quick hitch to Roddy White.

5.) Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

At least they held on to the win. How do you blow a 10 point lead with 6 minutes to go to Ryan Ftizpatrick. Here is two positives for the Ravens. With the possible exception of LaDainian Tomlinson, the most impactful offseason signing has to be Anquan Boldin. He's been amazing for the Ravens this year, absolutely shining without Larry Fitzgerald on the other side. Why Flacco couldn't throw it to him once in overtime of the Pats game I'm not sure. Also, it is great to have Ed Reed back. One game, two more interceptions. No wonder why this guy will be a first ballot hall of famer when he retires, which could be all too soon given his proclivity to retiring young. Enjoy every game you get to watch Ed Reed, because we are all witnesses to one of the 10 best safeties ever.

4.) New York Giants (5-2)

I thought about putting them at three, but I can't since the team right above them beat them like a Timpani in Week 2, and they nearly were dumb enough to let a team QBed by Jon Kitna come back in that game. However, their offense looked amazing. Unless DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff and Anthony Spencer all tore clavicles as well, that was one of the best performances I've seen by an offense all year. They could do whatever they wanted. The Brandon Jacobs/Ahmad Bradshaw running game looked like old times. That was vintage 2008 Giants, with the added bonus of the 2009 Giants passing game. They are to me, the best team in the NFC, again. I should caution myself that they were 5-0 last year, but the biggest difference is this Giants team has already overcome adversity after their 1-2 start, as well as there is no 2009 New Orleans Saints or 2009 Minnesota Vikings in the NFC.

3.) Indianapolis Colts (4-2)

Well, well, well. No Dallas Clark, no problem. With Anthony Gonzalez, Gary Brackett and Donald Brown set to come back, the Colts are about as healthy as they were pre-bye, and Austin Collie and Joe Addai should both be back for the stretch run. This will give Manning the ability to go four wide, to play with his receivers more. It's not like Manning hasn't been great without Dallas Clark before. The Colts still are a great team when they need to be, and they have a nice schedule ahead. Plus, their running game is so much improved this year, really one of the most improved units of any team in the league. Conventional stats don't tell the story, but Football Outsiders' stats do. Look them up for the Colts running game, it is pretty good.

2.) New York Jets (5-1)

They've had a quiet bye, which is about the only thing they have done quietly all year. The Jets get to play the Packers first, which is a good test coming out of a bye, and a good test for Sanchez. I really want the Jets to win that division, mainly so the Pats finally know what it is like to get a Wild Card. The Jets also haven't hosted a playoff game since 2002, so it will be nice to have their crazy-hungry fans get a playoff game as well. If you notice that I am talking about random things now, you are right. There is no point about discussing the Jets as a team. They are really good in nearly everything, and are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl (although history says they'll fuck it up, sooner or later).

1.) Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1)

That was a huge win. With two more road games coming up, they get no breaks, so to beat a good team on the road was huge. Ben Roethlisberger looks to be in midseason form. That defense is not quite as good as it was pre-Ben, but that is fine as long as the offense keeps playing at a high level. I would like to see more from the running game, as I think with Ben back there, the Steelers get a little too pass-heavy, which doesn't bode well for them. All in all, there is nothing really bad to say except Aaron Smith is now out. The Steelers can survive, with Ziggy Hood more ready to take his role, and the improvement in other areas of the defense, but losing him is a loss.

Playoff Projections


1.) Pittsburgh Steelers 14-2
2.) Indianapolis Colts 13-3
3.) New York Jets 12-4
4.) Kansas City Chiefs 10-6
5.) Baltimore Ravens 11-5
6.) Houston Texans 10-6/New England Patriots 10-6

- The Colts I think lose the game at Tennessee on a Thursday Night, and that is it.
- The Chiefs get in because their remaining schedule is really, really easy.
- The Texans and Patriots don't play each other, so I am not that crazy to go over other tiebreaker scnearios now.


1.) New York Giants 13-3
2.) Atlanta Falcons 12-4
3.) Green Bay Packers 10-6
4.) Seattle Seahawks 9-7
5.) Minnesota Vikings 10-6
6.) Washington Redskins 10-6

- The Vikings and Packers would be tied, so I gave it to the Packers on some tiebreaker I made up
- The Redskins do play the Vikings, so this assumes the Vikings win that game.
- The NFC is sad, with four teams 10-6 or worse, but before you go crying about some imbalance of power, last year, the NFC had five teams 11-5 or better, and the AFC had four teams 10-6 or worse, including two 9-7 wild card teams. The NFC was the better conference last year, this year it is the AFC. It isn't like 2004, when the 12-4 Chargers were the 4 seed, and the 9-7 Packers the three seed.

Be back tomorrow with my "10 Predictions at the One-Third Pole of the NFL Season".

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Week 7 NFL Picks

Back for another week of action. I went 9-5 last week, which is good. I am not too comfortably under my 60% projection for the year, so I really need to step up my game. No more going with my heart, or at least I'll limit my "go with my heart" to two each week.. I am doing this at 3 in the morning, which probably doesn't bode well for the effectiveness of these picks. Anyway, let's get to them

Last Week: 9-5

Year-to-Date: 52-36-2 (58.9%)

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) @ Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have only struggled defensively against one team in the league this year, the Jets. The Pats dropped 41, but a lot of that was due to special teams TDs. The Jets are actually a good baseline on offense of what the Steelers could be, with their solid running game, and a passing game that relies more on big plays, because of the sometimes off accuracy of their quarterback. The Steelers are better passing than the Jets, which doesn't bode too well with the Dolphins, since they are better against the pass. As for the other side, the Dolphins offensive line has been solid, which could help soften the greatest advantage the Steelers have on defense. The Steelers also struggle to contain big receivers, which bodes well for Brandon Marshall. My head is pointing to Miami, as nearly all of these points I listed above favor the Dolphins.

Steelers 17 Dolphins 16 (MIA)

Cincinnati Bengals @ Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)

Atlanta is not built to win this game, but it is in Atlanta, where Matt Ryan is 15-1 as a starting QB. That is a scary good stat, which also points to them being able to beat any team in Atlanta, even one that does matchup well with them. The Falcons struggle against these more physical teams, but being indoors does negate some of that advantage. If there ever was a week for the Bengals to show up, it is this one, as they had their bye. The Falcons are in a tough position here, playing a team on their bye, after a physical game against the Eagles. The Bengals should be able to run and pass with more effectiveness than before. Also, the Falcons offense is very up and down. My head tells me to go with Cincinnati.

Bengals 24 Falcons 20 (CIN)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs (-10)

Todd Bouman is expected to be the starting QB for the Jaguars on Sunday, which is, to put it mildly, not a good thing. Bouman last threw a pass in the NFL in 2005, when he QBed the post-Katrina Saints team, and his numbers were not any good. What is worse is the Chiefs defensive strength is against the rush, so Maurice Jones Drew and the running game probably won't contribute as much as they usually do. The Jaguars are also horrible on the road against any team not named Buffalo. That is why I really should not have any trouble with this line. The Chiefs are not, in my mind, a great team, but they should be able to beat a team QBd by someone who hasn't thrown a pass in five years at home. This is probably the easiest play on the week.

Jaguars 10 Chiefs 27 (KC)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tennessee Titans (-3)

The Eagles can grab sole possession of the best record in the AFC South with a win here, and at home, they probably are a good play. The Eagles will be without DeSean Jackson, which is great for the Titans, as giving up the big play is a major weakness. The Eagles o-line has been great this year, giving up just one sack per game. The Titans have registered 3.5 sacks per game. Something has to give, and I usually go with the defense on those types of stats. What scares me is that the Titans seem complacent at home. Their two losses have both come at home, including one to Denver, a team that is probably on par with an Eagles team missing DeSean Jackson. The Eagles rush defense, albeit being better each of the last two weeks, has not been good overall, which might signal a big game for CJnot2K. The Eagles are riding a little too high after that win over the Falcons, but the Titans may be doing the same. I will take the points and go with the team I have more week-to-week trust in, the Titans.

Eagles 17 Titans 24 (TEN)

Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears (-2.5)

The Bears are at home, where despite the Seahawks game (which might be their "that game" where nothing goes right, and the team looks about twice as bad as it actually is), they are a solid team. The Redskins have already lost to the Rams on the road, and have the second worst pass defense in the NFL. The Bears can shut down the Redskins run offense easily, which will lead to Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije being able to tee off a slightly injured Chris Williams. I like the Bears here. The amazing public sentiment for the Redskins is amazing, considering all three of their wins were by less than a touchdown. The Redskins do have three nice wins, over the Eagles, Cowboys and Packers. However, the Bears beat the Cowboys and Packers as well, just as unconvincingly.

Redskins 16 Bears 21 (CHI)

Cleveland Browns @ New Orleans Saints (-13)

This is an awfully high line for a team that up until last week had won all its games by 5 points or less, isn't it? The Browns haven't been blown out yet, and they have good numbers against the pass, except for one area: y/a. They are 28th in y/a allowed, which doesn't bode well against a team who has struggled throwing deep. Forcing the Saints to throw short is the easiest way to beat them, or at least stay close, and the Browns will have trouble doing that. Also, it really is about time the Saints put together a full performance in front of their hometown fans. The one thing I keep coming back to is the fact that the Browns have kept every game close. The caveat: the best team they played was the Ravens, who just don't have the offensive power to blow out the Browns when the Browns are moving the ball. The Saints do. I am really afraid of a backdoor cover, but I will say that the Saints pull it out.

Browns 14 Saints 31 (NO)

Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens (-13)

Another huge line. I don't see how the Bills keep this game close, especially since the Ravens will be amped up to get the taste of that horrible loss to New England out of their mouths. The Bills are not a good team, and the Ravens have shown that with this cast of players, they are capable of laying the wood to a team, and crushing them. Basically, covering these high lines. I don't see a way it doesn't happen here. Flacco struggles when he gets pressure in his face (not from the sides) which the Bills really struggle at. This will give Flacco time to step up into his throws. Also, the Ravens will be able to control the clock in this one too with the running game. Taking two -13 lines is pushing it, and here is why I think the Bills cover. The Ravens had to play a physical overtime game, while the Bills had two weeks.

Bills 17 Ravens 27 (BUF)

San Francisco 49ers (-3) @ Carolina Panthers

West Coast teams playing at 10 am PT (the 1 pm game on the East Coast) like what the 49ers are doing have never been good plays at all. The 49ers rush defense has mysteriously fallen off this year, which is good news for DeAngelo Williams who is starting to hit his stride this year. DeAngelo has had back-to0back 5+ypc days, which bodes well in this game. Plus, Steve Smith will be back in the game as well. The 49ers will probably be flat, or overlooking the 0-5 Panthers, or, and this is most likely, both. I like the Panthers here to score their first win against a tired, sleeepy 49er team.

49ers 17 Panthers 20 (CAR)

St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5)

I don't know what world I am ready for more: One where St. Louis is 4-3, or one where Tampa Bay is 4-2. Both are astonishing, and one will happen. I think both these teams, at the end of the year, will be decidedly below average (between 5-11 and 7-9). The Buccaneers have been blown out in each of their past two home games, although both of those games were against pretty good teams (Pittsburgh and New Orleans). The Rams are 0-2 on the road, losing in Oakland and getting smacked 44-6 in Detroit. Neither team is anything better than mediocre in any facet of the game, except that St. Louis' pass rush might have a marked advantage against the Bucs o-line, but even that is marginal at best. I'm going to have to use my gut on this one, and say that the Rams run defense is their weaker unit, which is good since the Bucs running game is not good. I think the Rams will get pressure to Freeman, and do just enough offensively (heavy dose of Steven Jackson) to steal this game.

Rams 21 Buccaneers 16 (STL)

Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks (-6.5)

If this was an eliminator pool, this would be my lock of the week. There is no way the Seahawks lose in Qwest to Max Hall. The Seahawks have registerd 17 sacks, and the Cardinals have allowed 18 which is a recipe for a young QB who won't have great pocket presence. Max Hall is making his first road start in his NFL career, and it just so happens it is in the loudest stadium in the league. Matt Hasselbeck looked invigorated last week against Chicago. The Seahawks 2nd ranked run defense should be able to negate the Cardinals run game, which puts this game in the balance between the Seahawks horrible pass coverage and the Cardinals lousy passing game. I'll go with the defensive side. I really don't see how the Cardinals cover, unless their defense plays with an intensity they haven't come close to showing on the road.

Cardinals 13 Seahawks 24 (SEA)

Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos (-8)

Despite the assortment of average options the Raiders could start here, they should be able to make hay against the Broncos defense. Denver's run defense will not be able to contain the Raiders, especially with news that Darren McFadden should be back for Oakland. They have been gashed all year long. Even on pass defense, the Broncos have allowed 6.7 ypa, which is not great when coupled with their meager 7 sacks in 6 games. The Raider pass defense can be beaten, but the only QB to have a good game against them was Phil Rivers, which isn't saying much, since Rivers has torched every pass defense he's faced. Taking that game out of the equation, and their numbers go from bad to average. The Raiders have one of the worst run defenses, but the Broncos rushing game is abhorrently bad. The Raiders are also a team who's play can wildly change from week to week, and the @Broncos week is usually one of their more consistent weeks, from their epic win in the snow in 2004, their loss at the gun in 2007, and their back to back wins in Invesco Field in 2008 and 2009. I don't think the Raiders win, since the Broncos are tough to beat at home, but eight points seems like too many to give.

Raiders 17 Broncos 20 (OAK)

New England Patriots @ San Diego Chargers (-2.5)

Vegas must know something. Despite the fact that Malcolm Floyd is out, Legedu Nannee is most likely out, and Antonio Gates will be hobbled, it is amazing that the Chargers are favorites. I mean, the Pats defense is horrible, sure, and Phil Rivers is great, sure, and these two always play close games, and Rivers is in that class where he can make the others around him better. This is all true, but I still can't believe the Chargers are favored, given that Vegas has pumped a couple extra points to the Pats in the past couple of years. The Chargers have a great pass rush again, which should be able to help at least contain the Pats offense, and in there lies the key. The Pats offense is not explosive enough to put up more than 31 points, so can they hold the Chargers to under that. Normally, I would say no, but in this case, with all the weapons missing for Rivers, I think they can. I hope to God I am wrong, but I cannot go against a healthy team playing a most unhealthy underachieving team, despite the fact that the Chargers are a completely different animal in Qualcomm.

Patriots 27 Chargers 24 (NE)

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers (-2.5)

Clay Matthews is supposed to be back, but I doubt he is nearing 100% just yet, which helps the Vikings tremendously. The Vikings o-line is the only thing holding them back, but that really was the case last year, and they played well against the Packers each time. The Packers did not get a single sack in either matchup last year, when the Packers pass rush, and Vikings pass protection was about the same as it is now. The Vikings pass rush, on the other hand, dominated the Packers o-line. The Packers o-line, ever since the Ryan Grant injury took away the threat of the run, has been falling back near the level that nearly got Aaron Rodgers killed early last year, giving up 11 sacks in their last three games. This doesn't point to good things against a Vikings d-line that finally showed up against Dallas. Brett Favre also clearly lives for this game, seeing by his performance in each game last season. I can't believe I am saying this, considering how much I was against the Vikings when the season started, and the Packers were my preseason pick as NFC Champions, but I like the Vikings.

Vikings 24 Packers 21 (MIN)

New York Giants (-3) @ Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have given up 7 sacks on the year. Sounds good, right? Well, 6 of those came in one game, against a team whose defensive pass rush formula is very much similar to the New York Giants, in the Tennessee Titans. The Giants pass rush has been on a tear of late, with 15 sacks in their last 3 games. As it does in so many games, and especially when it concerns the Cowboys, it comes down to pass rush. Look at the games where the Cowboys fail? The 2007 playoff loss the the Giants, where the pass rush broke down completely in the 4th quarter, or the playoff loss last year to Minnesota, where Romo basically became a tackling dummy for the Vikings d-line. The Giants probably can't wait for this game. Also, Ever since that Indianapolis game where the Giants played a ridiculous defense and basically asked the Colts to run, their run defense has been great. Really, really great. They will make the Cowboys one dimensional, which will help their cause. The Cowboys defense looks nice on paper, but their rate stats aren't great, with a 6.1 ypa and a 4.2 ypc (contrast this with a 5.0 and 3.5 respectively for the Giants). The Cowboys defense is not as good as the Giants defense, period. Defense wins, especially when the offenses are pretty evenly matched. Take the team that not only "knows how to win games" but is just plain better, especially where it really counts, on defense.

Giants 27 Cowboys 23 (NYG)

Enjoy the Games!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

ALCS Game 6 Running Diary

I'm doing this because I have a 102 fever and I can't really do anything else, so let's go. Here on TBS (Fuck, that's not a good start).

8:06 - Craig Sager is reporting to start us off. He's wearing a purple suit/tie combo. Craig should really go back to those ridiculous multi-colored suits, because his monochromed suits are even worse. He reports that we are starting on time. Thanks, Barney the Dinosaur (because he's wearing purple, not because he's gay and extinct).

8:08 - The Yankees lineup gets introduced. They are starting Brett Gardner, Jorge Posada and Marcus Thames. Why were the Yankees even the favorite in this series?

8:09 - The Ballpark in Arlington is quite nice. It is cramped and intimate, and green, and that is just Hamilton's crack den in the bleachers (just kidding, I love Hamilton to death). The cameramen flash to a beautiful young Rangers fan. I'm pretty sure that that was not a coincidence. Colby Lewis, your Texas starter, used to pitch for the Hiroshima Carp. That's probably not a good sign, although CC loves Carp.

8:11 - Jeter up to bat. Grounds out. One pitch, one out. I running diaried 2 Yankees games last year, and they went 0-2. I probably should have just done this in the Twins series. Curtis Granderson is next up.

8:13 - Granderson walks. Robbie Cano is up. He's an interesting case. If he was on any other moderately successful team, like the White Sox, no one would give two shits about him. Since he's a Yankee, people lactate at the sight of the guys "sweet" swing.

8:15 - That sweet swing just popped out lazily to left field. A-Roid up. He's hitting a nice .176 in the ALCS. 2009 feels like a LOOONG time ago for the roid, who is absolutely fooled by a hanging curveball.

8:16 - The announcer whose name I don't know yet says "A-Roid usually doesn't miss those [the hanging curveball] when he's going good." I'm pretty sure he meant "when his steroid cycles are going good."

8:18 - Granderson is caught stealing after a bullett throw by Bengie Molina, who continues to hurt the Yankees more than steroid testing did.

8:19 - The first ad of the day: Fosters. Thank good that these ads are back. This one wasn't particularly good. Something about a gold digger. Either way, the world is a better place when Fosters is actively advertising on American television.

8:20 - Next up is Tace Bell's XL Chalupa which features Mariano Rivera, who has all the acting chops of Nick Cage on depressents (or as it is also known, Nick Cage on Tuesday).

8:21 - Phil Hughes, the man with the "exploding fastball" (as Ron Darling puts it), is pitching. That fastball was not very exploding-y when he was shelled like a lobster in Game 2. Elvis Andrus is the first batter up for the best offense in the MLB.

8:23 - Andrus starts off with a double, hit off one of Hughes' "exploding fastballs". Ron Darling will have to be our Tim McCarver for the night.

8:25 - Jorge Posada goes out to talk to Phil Hughes. It's been one half inning and the Yankees are already having catcher-pitcher conferences. They cut to Sabathia on the bench, who looks like he wants to eat Phil Hughes, or at least Hughes' leathery-glove.

8:27 - Hamilton, the real MVP of the AL is up. He's honestly the white Pujols at this point. Every pitch seems like it could be a home run. If that guy never touched drugs, he would have probably been the next Mickey Mantle. Of course, if he never took drugs, he wouldn't have been so fun or interesting. Also, he probably would have taken roids. Either way, he lines a base hit to left. 1st and 3rd, one out, Vlad up.

8:29 - Darling tells us that in this exact situation, the Rangers pulled of a double steal to score a run. Leave it to the Yankees to not be able to stop that, as they probably spend too much time kissing George Steinbrenner's monument plaque while getting hundreds shoved up their ass to practice fundamentals. Vlad grounds out, and the Rangers score. Good start for the Rangers.

Rangers 1-0 on Vlad's RBI groundout.

8:32 - It is early, but these TBS commentators just don't say enough dumb shit. Get on it TBS. Don't you know that's how you get ratings. Just look at ESPN. Nellie Cruz flies out, and one inning is done.

8:33 - Lexus' next idea is a car that never has an accident. I'm no consultant, but I would like to tell Lexus that that goal might be unattainable given that 80% of your drivership are Asian drivers.

8:35 - Now there's an ad for some product called "safetouch" which features two talking attic liners. This has to be what people do when they snort cucumber seeds.

8:37 - The Roid is robbed of a single by a leaping catch by Elvis Andrus. Oh, A-Rod, if only you were on roids, that would have cleared Andrus' leap. Fucking shame, ain't it.

8:38 - Lance Berkman is up. As another former Astro, my hope for this game is the Yankees lose 10-8, and Berkman hits two Grand Slams. Berkman flies out to Hamilton. The Yankees are batting with all the urgency of a team who has collective golf reservations for Four PM tomorrow.

8:39 - Swisher is up, and he's hitting .105 in the ALCS. This is the second straight year he has sucked perineum in the postseason. Ron Darling is telling us that Bengie Molina signs pitch and location at the same time. I would say something sarcastic, but for a Molina, that is actually hard. Not because he's Mexican, but because he's so fat that he barely can show more than one finger at the same time when he's crouched. That's a tight squeeze.

8:42 - UPS is advertising their ability by using a song hailing their logistics. I can't belive I am going to say this, but what happened to the white board guy. What, was he too corny? What can Brown do to me? He can bring back the whiteboard guy.

8:43 - The "Language of the Game" segment is brought to us by Foster's. It's nice that an Australian Beer is paying for ad time in a baseball, something they don't watch. That's like if Coors started sponsoring the 3rd umpire in cricket, or if Budweiser sponsored M. Night Shyamalan's next movie.

8:44 - David Murphy is next up. He was the guy who was infamously intentionally walked as the go-ahead run before Bengie Molina homered back in Game 4. On the bad intentional walk scale, that is one step above intentionally walking David Eckstein.

8:46 - Ron Darling offers up our first dumb comment, calling Hughes' change-up "like a Western telegram, you always know it is coming." Fuck, Ron, just because you are on TBS doesn't mean you have to talk like Ted Turner is your only viewer.

8:48 - Some Nissan commercial is backgrounded by Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries." Now, this is appealing to your Asian consumer base. Don't offer a car that doesn't get into accidents. Just play orchestra music.

8:50 - Jorge is up here in the top of the third, and immediately flies out on the first pitch. Maybe that golf reservation is for today at midnight, because the usually patient Yanks seem to be in quite a rush, because they have taken about as many pitches as Ron Washington has taken cocaine breaks. As I say that, Marcus Thames takes one pitch before grounding out. At least that is Marcus Thames. You can't expect him to take pitches.

8:52 - Colby Lewis got 4.62 runs of support per game. Phil Hughes got 7.56. That is why wins as a stat are about as important as "how many Molina's could you bench." Colby Lewis strikes out Brett Gardner. Again, its fucking Brett Gardner. What do you expect? Lewis still has a "0" underneath the "hits" column.

8:56 - Our first mention of "Lopez Tonight." Still no mentions of Conan's show. Does Conan realize that he just pushed Lopez's show to "tomorrow", the exact same offense that he accused NBC of trying to do to him?

8:59 - Mitch Moreland draws a walk from Phil Hughes. The Rangers' #9 hitter is more patient than 8 of 9 Yankees. Again, why were the Yankees such a favorite in this series?? Andrus grounds out, but advances Moreland. Fundamentals, bitches. Fundamentals.

9:01 - The camera pans out to the bullpens, which are draped with ads for JCPenney and Snapple. God, even the fucking bullpens are sponsored. What's next? Are they gonna sponsor the mound, the rosin, each bat. Actually, I cannot believe no player has sold his bat as advertising space.

9:02 - Jorge Posado comes out for another chat with Phil Hughes. They are going to intentional walk Hamilton. Not sure why that required a catcher visit. Phil Hughes throws a wild pitch on an intentional walk. My lord, are the Yankees about to give up this game. Joe Girardi comes out, just to slap Hughes, presumably.

9:05 - Vlad gets fooled by a curveball. Honestly, Vlad just hacks. How the hell is he a lifetime .315 hitter. It makes no sense. He swing is as loose as Bengie Molina is fat.

9:06 - Joe Girardi looks sad and depressed. Maybe he finally realized that this series is making us all realize that he had as much to do about the Yankees 2009 title as Hedeki Matsui's porn stash (callback alert).

9:09 - Conan ad! Conan ad! It was a boring one, with just him saying to watch his show. The Conan show will be great for one reason. His the pitiable kid now. All the big funny stars will flock to his show, kind of like how all the girls fuck the kid who's car was stolen, or some shit.

9:11 - Jeter grounds out to the pitcher, and Joe Girardi continues to look like he's watching Ron Washington do a line of coke off his wife's ass. I have never seen a manager who is only down by one run look as depressed.

9:13 - Granderson walks, again. I love how none of the Yankees who usually have plate discipline haven't taken pitches, but Granderson, who looks like he has a ferret up his ass, he's so energized, has drawn two walks.

9:14 - Cano hits into a double play. The Yankees still haven't gotten a single (word that rymes with "shit" - no way I am going to jinx it). E*Trade ad is on. The white baby and black baby are watching the ad with the wildebeest's mating. Can they go back to shankasaurus? Or the one with the dog and the baby hiding his computer under his blanket. Or something but two babies watching two wildebeests fuck.

9:17 - I shit you not, the next ad was one for "RainX wipers." Windshield wipers. Are normal companies that poor that the a fucking windshield wiper company can afford an NLCS ad?

9:19 - Phil Hughes is having trouble locating his fastball, as he throws four straight balls. He's also having trouble locating his barbershop. Cut your hair, Phil. You're not nearly as good looking as Tom Brady to make long hair semi-acceptable.

9:20 - David Murphy pops out in foul territory. Again: This is a guy who Joe Girardi decided to intentionally walk in order to face known Yankee killer (and patty eater) Bengie Molina. He's hit four home runs in his career against the Yankees. David Murphy has four career hits against the Yankees.

9:23 - Phil Hughes throws over to first base to hold Kinsler three straight times. After seeing his wild pitch on an intentional walk, I would not let Hughes throw the ball any more times than necessary.

9:26 - Phil Hughes is doing this "hold the baserunner" charade on an 0-2 count. How about you just get the batter out, Phil, instead of fucking around with Kinsler. It is for this illegitimate shit that I hate the Yankees.

9:27 - Phil Hughes throws over to first for the sixth time. There is a better chance Aly Hannigan comes charging through my door pulls my clothes off, and takes me to LA to have a threesome with her and....thinking about the second name as Phil Hughes throws to first one more time..... Lyndsy Fonseca (why not?!) than Phil Hughes picking off Ian Kinsler.

9:30 - GEICO brings out another ad that I hadn't seen before. The GEICO ad campaign history probably has a 20,000 word Wiki entry. Honestly, remember how it started? The first ads were just people mispronouncing the name "Gecko". Then it became cavemen, and Billie Jean King, in inflatable dolls and other shit. It is a museum unto itself.

9:31 - TBS cuts to Andy Pettitte and Cliff Lee back to back, the potential Game 7 starters. Lee throws up a mouthful of Sunflower Seeds. Pettitte looks so nervous he's mouthing out "Our Fathers". Even the Rangers' Game 7 starter looks calmer.

9:33 - A-Roid pokes a slider for a double to end Colby Lewis' no-hitter. Fucking A-Roid, breaking up no-hitters. I hope he gets vilified for life and exposed as a cheat for that shit.... Oh wait, I forgot that all of that already happened.

9:36 - The ball bounces on the ground and gets away from Molina, and A-Roid scores. The ball clearly hits Swisher, which is why the ball got away. If it was called like it happened, it would be 1st and 3rd, with one out. Instead A-Fraud scores a run.

Yankees score on a rigged-call 1-1

9:38 - The officiating in this postseason has been great compared to that shitstorm that was last year, but that was awful. That was so obviously a hit batter. Fuck the Yankees. 200 Million Dollar payroll and they need this type of borderline cheap shit to score a run?

9:41 - Colby Lewis has to calm down and get out of this inning. Although if I were the pitcher, I would go batshit that some fucking umpire ruined my shutout, and potentially cost us a chance for the World Series. Marcus Thames strikes out (shocker there), and we go to the bottom of the 5th.

9:42 - Here is an ad for BlizzCon, as in the Blizzard gaming convention. My Lord is that too much. Celebrities are showing up for that. So is Tenacious D. What, they couldn't get Nick Carter? Or RATT?

9:46 - Mitch Moreland is hitting .400 in the ALCS, or twice of what A-Roid is hitting. Now he's hitting more, as he gets on with a single right before the top of the order comes to bat.

9:47 - Phil Hughes is now throwing over to first trying to pick off Mitch Moreland. Good fucking Lord. Phil, your pickoffs are not that good. Ron Darling says' bunt it to Berkman, who is less experienced at first than A-Rod is at third." Yeah, cause Berkman's only played 1st base since 2005. You know, playing first base for the Astros is just like playing first base for the Yankees.

9:49 - Phil Hughes seems intent on trying to pick someone off. Elvis Andrus is going to bunt anyway, which makes Phil Hughes' sheninegans all the more unacceptable in this situation.

9:50 - Moreland is advanced to second, as we have a man in scoring position with one out. Good fundamental baseball, or rather, pretty much the opposite of what Nick Swisher just pulled off.

9:52 - David Robertson is warming up in the bullpen. Or let me rephrase that, the eventual losing pitcher if he comes in is warming up in the bullpen. Darling: "Catchers assume that pitchers will hit their glove." Yeah, I think after he threw a wild pitch on an intentional walk, Posada should not just "assume" that.

Rangers score on Guerrero double 3-1

9:55 - Vlad smacks a double off the wall which scores two runs. Two things: 1.) Ron Washington gets so excited when the Rangers can score a run. He looks like, well, a one-time crack user. 2.) Joe Girardi ends Phil Hughes' night and brings in Dave Robertson. Yeah, that's a brilliant idea, bring in the guy that was beat like Josh Hamilton's old crack dealer in Game 4 in.

9:57 - Craig Sager took his jacket off, to reveal to the world just how purple his shirt really is, in case anyone had any doubts. Nellie Cruz in, Phil Hughes out, David Robertson: terrified to death.

9:59 - Joe Girardi looks absolutely terrified. I can totally see him just retiring right after this game ends just to avoid the grilling he will receive the second he comes back to NYC.

Rangers score on Nellie Cruz homer 5-1

10:00 - That's why you don't fucking bring David Robertson into a game that is in the balance. I have to take a break, while I celebrate me being so prescient about David Robertson sucking ass.

10:09- We're back. Brett Gardner leads off with an attempted bunt. I'm pretty sure George Steinbrenner died again, seeing a Yankee bunt down 5-1 in the 6th game of an elimination game.

10:11 - Gardner grounds out. The Yankees have hit all of four balls past the infield. They have two hits. Jeter swings on the 1st pitch and grounds out (I should just shortcut "grounds out" to ctrl+5 or something - you know, save keystrokes).

10:13 - Granderson up, which means the Yankees might actually see some pitches for once. He sees four pitches, as Granderson flies out. Great urgency by the Yanks, who have nine outs left in their season.

10:15 - TMobile tells us that "kids are free" when starting a family network. My guess is that the kids are really only free for about two weeks, or ten minutes whichever comes first.

10:20 - Kerry Wood comes in, an inning too late. This is evidenced by the fact that Kerry Wood retired the side in less time than it took Phil Hughes to throw over to first. This series has definitely not been Girardi's finest moment.

10:23 - TBS is starting some show called "Glory Daze" about rushing college students. Not sure what demographic they are going for. I mean, do college kids watch TBS? Do mothers want to know what their kids are actually doing in college? this just seems like a bad idea.

10:24 - A-Plod swings at the first pitch, and flies out to left field. The Yankees always take pitches. I don't understand it. They were more patient against Cliff Lee who walks about half a batter per month.

10:26 - Berkman slams a triple. Odd that it is the ex-Astro who is having the best at bats in this game for any Yankee. Hopefully he scores here, just so they don't excoriate the nicest guy ever in NYC. Swisher swings at the first pitch, and flies out to left (becoming the 7th inning version of "grounds out"). Again, the Yanks swing at the first pitch. This is like doing everything they've done all year long, but the exact opposite.

10:31 - The "RainEx" ad is on for the second time. This is ridiculous. How much money is in the windshield wiper business that they could afford two ads during an NLCS game. Either that, or the ads are so cheap that a AirTran ad is next.

10:32 - Michael Young smacks a standup double to left field. The Rangers have hit five balls harder than any Yankee has hit any ball.

10:33 - They are intentionally walking Hamlinton. So far, Girardi has intentionally walked three batters. The result: 3-run home run, ground out, 2-run double. In a sport where an average of .333 is really good, I think the fact that the Rangers are hitting .666 off Intentional walks is probably cause to not intentionally walk anyone.

10:35 - Guerrero moves the runners over inadvertently. Girardi then decides to intentionally walks Nelson Cruz. Girardi has the balls of a goldfish.

Rangers score on Kinsler Sac Fly 6-1

10:37 - This series could have been 100% over. Now it is only 98% over, as Kinsler's sac fly gives the Yankees a shred of life. David Murphy is up. Girardi should intentionally walk him too, you know, just for symmetry.

10:39 - Girardi now looks like he just saw his daughter in a porno as he stares desperately onto the field in disbelief that his 200 million dollar payroll cannot do shit against the immortal Colby Lewis. Another loud out as Kinsler flies to right. This game is still pretty much over, but it could have been, you know, actually OVAH.

10:41 - We get the first Men of a Certain Age ad. That was a fantastic show, and not only becuase Ray Romano's daughter in the show has this kind of a "secretly cute" look going. Hopefully she didn't go dye her hair orange, or get a lip ring over the offseason.

10:43 - The Rangers are now 6 outs away, as Colby Lewis is still pitching. It should be 6-0, if not for that blatant missed call, but now that the Rangers have taken it out on the heads of Phil Hughes and David Robertson, I can begin to forgive the home plate ump. In related news, Lewis strikes out Posada on three pitches.

10:45 - Darren Oliver is up in the bullpen. If your remember, he was the guy who ruined the running diary last year when he blew Lackey's 4-0 lead in Game 5 of the ALCS. In related news, "strikes out on three pitches" has become this innings "flies out to left" which became the previous innings "ground out." Maybe next inning, it will be "caught stolen after hit by pitch" or "eaten by CC Sabathia."

10:47 - Ernie Johnson asks "Do you go automatically to Neftali Feliz in the 9th." Considering that Neftali Feliz has a worse "deer in the headlights" look than Bambi's mother, I think you don't. Brett Gardner is walked. This is the exact situation of Game 1, where Gardner started a rally.

10:50 - The Godfather (Derek Je-tuh) strikes out to end the 8th. Derek Jeter at least gets to go home to Minka Kelly tomorrow. Colby Lewis probably has to go home to Matsui's porn stash. 3 outs away.

10:53 - The first NBA ad!!!! Actually, who gives a shit, since LeDelonteFuckedYourMom and Bosh and Wade conspired to fix the league so they could shit around with other. There is no point of a league where the star players would rather team up to win then try to man up and beat each other.

10:55 - So, Ron Washington admitted to taking cocaine in March, and Josh Hamilton used to do lines all the time from 2002-2005. I'm thankful that both have cleaned up their lives, but I guess the message for America is: Don't take crack, unless you have prodigious baseball skills.

10:58 - Mariano Rivera is pitching in this game for some reason. I may not be that great at math (actually I am damn good at math), but being down 6-1 is NOT a save situation.

11:00 - Mo, shokcingly, gets out of the 8th without giving up a run, setting up the ninth inning. Here's the situation. Neftali Feliz will mooch the last three outs of Colby Lewis' mastery, and the Yankees will return to gotham without the ticker-tape parade this time (except for the ticker tape parade in Jeter's bedroom).

11:02 - American Airlines just had an ad, with their great tagline of "We know why you fly." Unless you think I fly because I like to eat stale food, drink maximum of one coke, sleep under a toilet paper roll knitted together, and not watch the in-flight movie because the tvs aren't working, then no, you don't know why I fly, at all.

11:05 - Feliz strikes out the first batter. TBS cuts to a shot of a glum CC. He's probably only sad because he is pitcuring all the champagne the Rangers are about to spew all over the clubhouse and that he can't mooch some into his belly.

11:07 - The not MVP grounds out to first, and A-Bitch (I couldn't think of another rhyme for "rod"), the guy who once had 50% of the Rangers payroll to himself, is the last out. Poetic that it would end this way.

11:08 - One strike away, as A-Fucker cannot catch up to Feliz's 100 mph heat without the help of clear and cream.

11:09 - A-Dick goes down looking, and the Rangers hogpile it up. So at least one half of the World Series will be fresh. This world series will be great either way. Either Oswalt vs the funnest team in baseball, or the Giants vs the funnest team in baseball.

11:10 - That was fun. Seeing the Yankees crumble was all time. I'm guessing Josh Hamilton, he of the .600 OBP for the series, will be your ALCS MVP. Next postseason, I'm running diarying all Yankees postseason games. See if this can get them to lose to the Twins. Thank you for staying along for the ride (I realize that makes no sense, since you're reading this hours later - but my head isn't totally clear after three hours of diarying while fevering). See y'all later (in the World Series, if Oswalt is pitching).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 Starting QB Rankings

366 days ago, I did this ranking, of the 32 starting QBs in the NFL. I loved it so much, I have decided to do it again (I don't care if you liked it or not.... just kidding (maybe)).

The rankings are not based on what they have done for their careers. The rankings are not based on what some hack on SI says about him while getting hard. The rankings are mostly based on how good they are now (the majority), and their outlook for the future (the minority). Basically, if two guys are about even, I went with the younger guy. Last year, I was dumb and did it with players who were starters but only because of injury and the like, so this year I decided to rank the actual starting QBs (if the team still had two starting QBs, I flipped a coin. Fine, I didn't flip a coin, but who gives a shit - I'm not decided NFC Wild Cards, I don't need ten rounds of tiebreakers). Here is a quick guide to the movers off last years' list.

Kurt Warner retired, so he has an excuse for leaving the list. Everyone else pretty much earned their way off the list by exemplifying their inner Ryan Leaf. Kerry Collins, Derek Anderson, Jake Delhomme, Jason Campbell, Josh Johnson, Shaun Hill, Trent Edwards, and Marc Bulger have all left the building. This comprised 32-26 and 24-23 of the list, so I did my job. I put the guys that didn't last 366 days at the bottom of the list, to be replaced by another 9 guys who might not be there next here. Anyway, here we go:

32.) Max Hall (Not Ranked Last Year) - 25, 1st year

I have a feeling that Whisenhunt stays with him unless he starts really sucking, which is a possibility, given that he is not all that good to begin with. I loved how before his first start, the always jolly and fat Peter King wrote something about how Kurt Warner told him that Max Hall reminded Warner of himself. Undrafted, and playing for the Cardinals. The one difference is that at least Warner was an Arena League and Euro League MVP in his day. Max Hall is not. He won a game against the defending champs, but really did nothing to win that game. The Cardinals one offensive drive came courtesy of a Brees interception out of his own endzone. The other two came via defensive returns. I'm not saying that Max Hall will not become the next Kurt Warner. I am saying that there is a better chance that I become the next Kurt Warner.

31.) Ryan Fitzpatrick (NR) - 28, 6th year

He had a nice start against the Patriots, but every QB has had nice numbers against the Patriots. He doesn't have a great arm at all, and really struggles to make out throws. He is a smart player, and I am saying this not entirely because he went to Harvard. To give him credit, the Bills don't have anything much to offer him as weapons, and can't protect for dick, but his physical skills might be the worst in the league. There is a reason he wasn't even the Bills starter at the beginning of the year, and probably won't be next year.

30.) Matt Moore (NR) - 26, 4th year

I totally had this guy wrong. I admit when I make mistakes, and I made a big mistake reading him. He has some physical tools, and hasn't had much to work with, but he is nowhere near the player that even Jake Delhomme on an average day was. He didn't get much protection, but lacked pocket awareness to escape anyway. He has the physical skills to be a journeyman, much like the two people above him.

29.) Alex Smith (NR) - 26, 6th year

People actually clamored to see David Carr over him after seeing him play. Alex Smith is a player who will have flashes of good-ness, but those just mask his horrible decision making, and awful touch on passes. He wildly overthrows way too many passes, and gets confused on making reads. This is really odd, considering his mental ability was his strongsuit coming into the league back in the 2005 draft. I love how the Bay Area has the three biggest #1 overall draft busts of the decade, and two are on the same team. I will say this, in the right system, he has a chance, but I don't know what that system is, since he has played in so many and failed in so many already.

28.) Colt McCoy (NR) - 24, 1st year

That was a great performance, but I cannot legitimately mark him any higher with only one game in his career. Colt McCoy barely got the ball downfield. He makes quick reads, and good decisions, from what I can see. He seems to be a more check-downy version of Drew Brees, which might not be a terrible thing. However, those last two sentences also described one Mr. Timothy Couch Potato. You need to have at least a good arm to play in the cold, outdoors, so this might not be as good as it looked in Game 1.

27.) Matt Cassel (25 Last Year) - 28, 6th year

Here is my take about Cassel, the first QB to be ranked last year as well: He has not regressed, but he has not progressed. It is painfully obvious that his success was really a product of having Randy Moss on his team, as well as Wes Welker, and a great Offensive Coordinator. Matt should not be ashamed or saddened, since he still has a nice contract to live off of, and is not the first QB to have his career made by Randy Moss. All that does is put him level with Jeff George, Randall Cunningham, Daunte Culpepper and Tom Brad.... (Okay, I couldn't do it).

26.) David Garrard (19) - 32, 9th year

The man who defined "average" is now worse than "average". He might be hurt longterm, which hurts this lists' credibility, but I didn't want to hurt whatever Bill fan may be reading this by listing Trent Edwards here as well. Garrard, when he has time to throw, or when he plays the Colts, can still be effective, but he is not the best decision maker on the field. He has a propensity for critical interceptions. His mobility gives him some upside, but he has already peaked.

25.) Bruce Gradkowski (NR) - 27, 5th year

I think that he is the starter when he gets healthy, so he gets the nod as the Raiders' representative. Gradkowski doesn't have the greatest arm, and is not the most accurate player, but he does one thing at about a top-10 level which makes him better than the seven QBs above: he can play well under pressure. This is extremely important as he plays behind the Raiders o-line. He can change his arm angle and throw with people in his face. Average player, which for the Raiders is better than most of what they've had of late.

24.) Josh Freeman (NR) - 22, 2nd year

He's a player that could jump up this list by next year. Freeman has gotten to the point where he will play effectively against bad to mediocre teams. He still struggles against the better teams, which puts him a level below the other young QBs in the league. Freeman is not your prototypical black QB, in that he is much more willing to stay in the pocket. He reminds me of Roethlisberger. He uses his athletic abilities to avoid rush and stay in the pocket, not to rush for yards. He has one of the best arms, and seems to be getting better, but I would love to see him step up and play good against a good team.

23.) Vince Young (NR) - 27, 5th year

He is really the perfect game manager. Against bad teams, Young will play good. That is fine. All QBs will play good against bad teams, and if they don't they belong in the UFL (Tim Rattay, for instance). Young is the type of player that will throw up a 17-30, for 180 yards, and one TD and one INT against good teams. That is not enough to win the game by itself, but it won't necessarily lose it. He doesn't seem to be near the runner he was in his rookie and sophomore season, which may be by design. He is finally firmly entrenched in that starting spot, though.

22.) Kevin Kolb (NR) - 26, 4th year

I want to see him perform against a good defense on the road before I make any final decision on Kolb. He struggled mightily early in the year against a good Packers defense. He played well against the 49ers (ass) and Falcons (not hard to do at home). He gets his chance this weekend against the Titans. Kolb has a much better arm than I expected, manly since the only thing he did in his performance against the Redskins was throw screens. His accuracy seems to be an issue, but it could get better. Physically, there is not much time for him to grow, as he already is 26.

21.) Matt Hasselbeck (17) - 35, 13th year

What is more shocking: That the Matthew is having a nice bounceback season, or that he is the second oldest starting QB in the league. I find it hilarious that Brett Favre is so old, that the second oldest QB in the league was once Favre's young backup. Hasselbeck had a great game against the Bears because he had time to throw, but there are two problems. First, he's old so his future prospects are whatever is worse than 'bleak', and he is extremely injury prone. On any play, he has about a 40% higher chance of getting injured than the average QB (note: not totally true), so that hurts his rankings. Still love the guy, though.

20.) Matthew Stafford (18) - 22, 2nd year

Hard to really rate him since he hasn't played much this year. His physical tools are off the charts, and in limited action against teams that were average to bad, his accuracy was much better than it translated to be in the NFL. He has great weapons to work with. There is a slight concern that I have that he might be injury prone, since this is the second time he hurt the same shoulder, but neither separation came when he was throwing the ball. He has a bright future, but he has to stay healthy.

19.) Kyle Orton (20) - 27, 6th year

Kyle Orton is having a dream season running Josh McDaniels' offense. If I was Tom Brady I would slap McDaniels. The endless line of QBs putting up huge numbers in McDaniels' offense while sucking elsewhere is really hurting Brady's image (of course it isn't because too many people are milking the goat that Brady held in that photograph to care, but whatever). The problem with Orton is that he kills you at the worst times, like his two failed 4th downs against Indy, or that fumbled snap and fumbled fumble recovery against the Jets. There is a limit to where Orton can take you, and that limit is about 8-8, unless you have the 2005 Bears defense behind him.

18.) Chad Henne (21) - 25, 3rd year

Although Chad Henne has fallen behind a certain other QB from the AFC East, he's still showing promise. His performance against the Patriots was a total nightmare, but in reality, he's not that bad. He still stares down his receivers too much, and relies too much on short routes, but that could change once the Dolphins get any viable deep threat. Brandon Marshall has really helped him to get consistent. What also helps his ranking is that he is still young. There is still room to grow physically, which is key.

17.) Carson Palmer (9) - 30, 8th year

I'm done defending him. He is nowhere near as bad as some people (Bill "I love Mad Men and Jersey Shore so much I would fuck Don Draper wearing Snooki's tan" Simmons, for instance) think he is, but he is clearly not, and probably never get to, where he was even in 2006-2007. I forgot that he decided not to have Tommy John surgery after the 2008 season, instead deciding to let his elbow heal naturally. That might be as big of a factor as that gruesome knee injury back in 2005, but that it more becuase if Kimo von Olhoffen never shredded Palmers' knee (and career), the Colts win the title that year. Fuck You Kimo.

16.) Sam Bradford (NR) - 23, 1st year

Man, I am totally on board with the Bradford Machine. He looks great. He has no weapons at all but random rookies from Missourri. He lost the teams incumbent No. 1 starter and then lost his security blanket and favorite target in Mark Clayton. All he did was beat the Chargers. He is getting a lot better pass protection than most #1 overall picks, but still. The guy is great. He inherited one of the least talented teams of any #1 overall pick ever, and has already TRIPLED his teams' win total from last season. Sign me up.

15.) Mark Sanchez (22) - 23, 2nd year

He has really impressed me this year becuase he is far less of a gunslinger than he was last year. His decision making was not good at all last season, and he has cleaned up that part of his game tremendously. He has a lot better pocket presence than last year as well. Sanchez can throw a beautiful deep ball, but has also improved his short and intermediate game as well. He is the most improved QB from 2009 to 2010. Well done, Sanchize.

14.) Tony Romo (15) - 30, 8th year

Here is the problem with Bromo. He has peaked. He's already 30 years old. There is no real getting better for him. He still has the same problems he always did. He has enough Roethlisberger-esque moments to make himself think that he can elude pressure, which he can't do. He doesn't read zone blitzes well at all (case in point, the Vikings intercepted him on pretty much the same zone blitz in last weeks game and the divisional playoff game last year). Romo has ability to throw a great deep ball, but struggles in the red zone too much. There is just not enough there to grow to go higher.

13.) Donovan McNabb (13) - 33, 12th year

He is getting better in Shanahan's system every week, which gives him nice potential. His strung of serious, but freak, injuries have probably kept him fresh, in the game-worn sense. McNabb still throws one of the best deep balls in the league, and still is maddeningly wildly accurate in short throws. McNabb remains one of the hardest QBs to sack in the NFL, which is amazing. He was able to fend off a serious Colts pass rush and deliver good throws. Obviously, he is up there in age, but still seems to have all the physical skills that he had five year ago, as far as his arm is concerned.

12.) Joe Flacco (6) - 25, 3rd year

I did actually believe that he was the 6th best QB in the league this time last year, but he has regressed. In crunch time, he turns into a shell and starts checking down way too much. He also relies way too much in his arm, failing to step up into a lot of throws. Flacco is still not that great at reading defenses. Flacco is young, and he can improve, but I am just not seeing it. He has good enough physical tools that he is this good without any of the things I mentioned above. Joe Flacco is now the overrated member of the 2008 QB draft class, which is a nice change from last season.

11.) Jay Cutler (8) - 27, 5th year

If he gets protection he is one of the better players, but he has seen so battered the last couple of years that he might turn into Marc Bulger (with better ability). When he did get time, in the Green Bay and Dallas games, he was great. He is not making the same mistakes last year. He seems to have truly learned that his physical ability will not take him everywhere. Cutler is still easily the best QB out of that draft class, and can win games for a team if he gets protection. He has even proved that he doesn't necessarily need good receivers to win games either. The dumbest notion in the league is that he wouldn't have been better than Orton if he was still with Denver.

10.) Brett Favre (16) - 41, 20th year

With Moss, he has started playing like he did in 2009. That Favre was a completely great player. He didn't take many chances. He did not force balls (NFC Championship Game excluded). Favre's arm is fine. If the Favre of the past two weeks was him with a bad elbow, then he would be the best QB in the league with a good elbow. Brett Favre is still one of the best QBs in this league if he gets enough protection, and that is the key. However, he is one of the better QBs in the league under heavy rush, which was showed for 58 minutes of that NFC Title Game.

9.) Matt Ryan (10) - 25, 3rd year

I love Matt Ryan. He is still only 25 so he has a couple years of growing to do physically, but he is a far more mentally progressed QB than Flacco. Matt Ryan was overrated as a rookie, but then became underrated because he was so overrated. He doesn't have the weapons Flacco does. He doesn't have the defense that Flacco does. He's won just as many games as Flacco. Matt Ryan's quick release allows him to get away with not great protection. He goes through his progressions quickly, and makes good decisions. He can get flustered when pressured, but that should get better as he gets more experienced.

8.) Matt Schaub (12) - 29, 7th year

He hasn't been hurt in two years, which is really the only the thing he had to prove. He is just as good as anyone now. He can lead comebacks as good as almost every other QB in the league. He has great rapport with Schaub. The biggest weakness in his game is that he gets flustered under pressure, and doesn't move well around the pocket. What aids this weakness is the fact that he is great on the run, which Kubiak uses a lot. He doesn't seem to have a great arm, but has fantastic accuracy, and touch. He's great.

7.) Aaron Rodgers (7) - 26, 6th year

He's a tad overrated now, as Steve Young already labelled him as a hall-of-famer. His play last year was great, but that Int% was in no way sustainable, and we have seen that this year. He's already matched his interception total from last year in six games. Here are the positives. He is the best thrower on the run in the league. His weird top down release allows him to easily throw running either side. Rodgers also has great touch. The one thing though is that he forces WAY too many balls into tight coverage, which results in quite a few incompletions.

6.) Eli Manning (11) - 29, 7th year

Since the rankings last year, no player has done more to cement his top-10 status more than Eli Manning. Sure, he has thrown 8 interceptions, but six of those were first in the hands of his receivers but bounced off and were picked. His completion percentage has rised four straight years. He doesn't have any more crap games, except for that Indy one where he got no protection at all. The Giants pass offense is now one of the most quietly formidable in the league. He's advanced so much since that 2007 postseason. He will never be his brother, but he's finally entrenched as a player of his own.

5.) Tom Brady (5) - 33, 11th year

He's about where he was last year. One nice quarter won't change anything. Tom is a QB who will do well late in games because defenses usually get conservative late in games. He is one of the best timing passers in the league, and will dominate with short and intermediate routes. Here is the concern. This was the first game since the opener against Buffalo in 2009 where he successfully led a 4th quarter comeback, and that was aided by the Bills fumbling a kickoff. He's nowhere near as consistent as he used to be.

4.) Philip Rivers (4) - 28, 7th year

Rivers' performance without Vincent Jackson has really made him grow up in my eyes. It may not show in the rankings, since the top-3 are all hall-of-fame QBs, but his continues to get better every year. He still has an ungodly throwing motion, but his incredible accuracy is astounding. He is one of the smartest QBs at identifying blitzers and coverages, and his headiness allows him to overcome massive athleticism deficiencies (speed, mainly). I am now at the point where I respect the hell out of him. His GM has done nothing right by him, by feuding with his best weapon, but he has put that team on his back, and if not for ungodly special teams, he would have a 4-2 or 5-1 team.

3.) Drew Brees (2) - 31, 10th year

How do you win a Super Bowl and drop? Not quite sure, but his performance this year has been less than. Brees from 2006-2008 would have been in the top-5. Brees in 2009 might have been a perfect storm of greatness. His numbers in 2010 are much more indicative of the QB from before, one who could put up great numbers, complete a hell of a lot of short passes, but throw untimely interceptions, and not see coverages as well as other great QBs. Having Sean Payton really helps though.

2.) Ben Roethlisberger (3) - 28, 7th year

He was great in his return, and by all accounts has started to become even more of a film-junkie than he was before. Physically, he is one of the best QBs EVER. His numbers have been great throughout his career. Early in his career, the Steelers ran it a lot, and his rate numbers (Y/A, cmp%, passer rating) were amazing. Then, they started to air it out, and his conventional numbers became amazing as well. He has played his whole career behind an average at best o-line, and has excelled. Roethlisberger may not be the greatest citizen in the world, or more accurately, he is nowhere near that, but as a QB, there is only one better in the league.

1.) Peyton Manning (1) - 34, 13th year

This guy. He's the 3rd oldest starting QB in the league, which might be cause for concern, but the all-time greats like Unitas, Elway, Montana, Marino and Favre aged pretty well physically. Mentally, he's as good as ever. Defenses are taking the deep ball away more and more, and he has become more and more cerebral. He rarely forces balls, and reads defenses about as well as anyone in the league. For a long time, the quip was "What would he do with a bad o-line?" The past two years have made it plainly obvious that he has had a bad o-line the whole time, but he's able to read blitzes and get rid of the ball that it doesn't matter. 2010 might be his strongest test, with all his receivers banged up, Dallas Clark potentially missing the rest of the season and Joe Addai injured. I'll be damned if he doesn't do what he always does, play amazingly well.

We'll see what the list looks like in 2011. The top-10 is pretty entrenched, but there is room for newbies. Just ask Eli Manning.

About Me

I am a man who will go by the moniker dmstorm22, or StormyD, but not really StormyD. I'll talk about sports, mainly football, sometimes TV, sometimes other random things, sometimes even bring out some lists (a lot, lot, lot of lists). Enjoy.