Fun times on Sunday in two of the few competitive games of the day. Both New Orleans and Pittsburgh clinched miracle covers in the final two minutes of their games by returning an interception for a score. Pittsburgh’s cover was thanks to Minnesota’s Chester Taylor and Brett Favre.
Favre didn’t look like he was having much fun out there when he slid at Keyaron Fox’s feet on the return without actually making contact with him. Admittedly, it was only the second worst “tackle” of the game.
Miami’s failing was even more special. Not only were the Fins (+7) winning by 10 real points to start the 4th quarter, New Orleans was kind enough to miss an extra point on their go-ahead touchdown AND kick a field goal from Miami’s 3 on their next drive to make the score 40-34 with 3:20 to play. Then Chad Henne stepped in (skip to 5:00 minute mark).
Stats of the Week
1) Sunday was only the second time in Alex Smith‘s career he has thrown 3 touchdown passes in a game, the other in 2006 versus Oakland. He replaced Shaun Hill at halftime for the 49ers and has been named the starter for next week’s game at Indy.
2) The Carolina Panthers have 21 turnovers in six games.
3) Miami’s 34 points were the most by a losing team in over a year (35 by the Cardinals losing in week 4 last season to the Jets).
4) Despite having only three penalties for 22 yards against Carolina Sunday, the Bills are still the most penalized team in the league averaging 71.57 penalty yards per game. #2? The Saints at 71.1.
5) The Arizona Cardinals have the league’s #1 run defense, allowing 3 yards/carry and 67.5 yards/game.
6) Redskins QB Jason Campbell has 10 fumbles already this season.
7) New Orleans has scored 45 points or more in four of their six games this season.
8) The Atlanta Falcons have never won a game under Mike Smith when trailing at halftime.
9) Derek Anderson’s first quarter against the Packers – 5/6 for 69 yards. His line for the day – 12/29 for 99 and an INT.
10) Road favorites were 7-1 this weekend. The one loser was Chicago (-1) at Cincy.
Week 8 Early Leans
I went 0-2-1 last week thanks to Shaun Hill and the Saints miracle cover. I sincerely hope no one is following my picks at this point. These are leans which may or may not be worse than what I end up going with on Friday/Saturday.
Houston @ Buffalo +3.5
Minnesota @ Green Bay -3
Short on time this weekend…UFC picks that you should follow if you can get a comparable price are here.
San Francisco @ Houston -3
NY Jets @ Oakland +6
New Orleans @ Miami +7
Didn’t get a chance to catch many games last week thanks to me and my buddy Greg going to that abortion of an effort the Titans put on Sunday in a 59-0 rout by my Pats. The game, by far, had to be the worst weather I have ever seen a game in. It, however, was an enjoyable experience. The highlights included:
Checking out the 3 story Pro Bass and Hunting Shop in Patriot Place before the tailgate was open. It featured a arcade shooting gallery, a 10 foot fish tank filled with cool looking trout, stripers and bass, sections for both boats AND grills/smokers, as well as a section (in the back, ironically) that sold guns. I got a chance to hold a 9mm Smith and Wesson Gloc, which weighed as much as my head, which enabled me to live out my dream, even for 5 minutes, to feel like Plaxico Burress. Except I didn’t shoot myself in the leg; I left that task to LenDale White later in the ballgame (not only did he fumble two handoffs, but also had to be carried off the field with a knee Maybe its time to get back on the Cuervo train, LenDale).
Our tailgate efforts became an epic fail after about a half hour when the rain started to pick up. Before then, however, we were talking about how cool it was the constituents of Massachusetts voted on decriminalizing marijuana, and how that could lead to it being legal completely in California. The guys next to us overheard, and just handed us a free gram of their homegrown to try!
Then we had to get in the car because the hail started to come. Then the 40 mph winds. Then it became snow, and the temperature dipped about 20 degrees in 45.9 seconds. It was like the weather in the Adrian Peterson Nike commercial. Thank god for satellite radio, beer, and weed to keep us entertained before we got inside.
Then, around 3:30, we headed in. This was also when the storm was at its worst. Winds up to 60 mph. Snow AND sleet pounding our face, as if they were sharp knives thrown by flying ninja monkeys. Walking into the stadium was an adventure, I got blown down from the wind a few times. I saw a girl slip and fall on her ass, and watched a couple of under dressed dudes (one with a hole in his shoe) stave off hypothermia by chugging a flask of whiskey on their way into Gillette. It was awesome and intimidating at the same time. The only thing left missing in our short adventure of a walk to our seats was a labyrinth, guarded by a Minotaur wearing a John Hannah jersey on throwback day, on the way into the stadium.
Once in the stadium, we felt the best thing to do in this winter wonderland was to get a beverage; nothing says, “freeze my nuts off” more like Margaritas, baby! Nine bucks a pop is steep, but they were actually quite delicious. Also delicious were the cheerleaders, dressed up in slutty outfits for Halloween day at the stadium in this horrid weather. Somewhere, feminists were angry, but seeing a 20-something, with a forced smile, getting paid 46 bucks to wear a Wonder Woman thong-outfit dancing to AC/DC’s, “Thunderstuck” while losing the nerves in her feet, makes me proud as an American. We both cheered, “Hooray, America!” and happily agreed (at this point, the smiles were frozen on our face) that this is what our fore fathers fought for.
That song is also the exact point of the game the Titans decided to mentally get back on the bus. I was happy, because this also provided a fantasy freeroll as I have Chris Johnson (who had 104 yds rushing) in my 14-man league, and didn’t have to worry about my selfish monetary conflicts affecting my fandom. This is why I don’t have Yankees on my fantasy baseball team; and also why I have never cashed in any of my fantasy baseball leagues.
There was one play where the Pats where on their 15th consecutive TD drive (they got 33 first downs!), Keith Bullock had to call timeout at the Titans 5 yard line. He just put his hands up in the air towards the Titans bench, placed his hands on his hips, and slowly tilted his head down in epic failure. And it was awesome.
Although on the way home (we left with about 10 minutes left in the 4th), I was listening to the radio call by the Pats play-by-play guys, and have never heard the following from Gil Santos: “Titans on their own 15 yard line, 1st and 10. Snap, Young hands off to Javon Ringer, and he is……oh my, the poor thing……..just swallowed up at the 13 by 7 Patriots defenders. This is awful, just horrible. They really just need to kneel on the ball and pack it in. The kid doesn’t deserve this, he’s just a rookie. Sums just the game right there, Geno.” Geno: “Yup, time for Jeff Fisher to start a drinking habit!” (OK, I made that up, but pretty much implied in that statement).
Although when I got home to thaw out my balls, I had the pleasure of catching NFL Gameday, my new favorite show. I was pleased to hear Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, and Coach Mariucci snicker not once, but twice, when Eisen was describing Vikings’ TE Visanthe Shiancoe, “popping out on a valve route” or “dangling around the back of the end zone”. It also featured thehighlight 3-block play of Louis Murphy on Zach Miller’s TD catch, which pretty much should be shown to every want-to-be football player in America. Just awesome.
The DeSean Jackson Award of the week goes to Alabama Safety Mark Barron (video around 2:23), who (thanks to going up again inept at times Gamecocks’ coach Steve Spurrier, who should have challenged) threw the ball backwards on one of only 2 TDs in the game (hit the under!). The video doesn’t show it real well, but on ESPN’s reverse wire camera angle, it is clear he throws the ball backwards at around the 1 yard line. Why do kids do this? Is it because the SEC is so nitty on celebrations, that instead of doing a dance, they throw the ball backwards near the goalline? I’d rather take the penalty and the points!
Roger Goodell wants to not only have the Super Bowl in London, but also a team. No, no, and no. Just stupid. The Brits don’t care, they have commie roundball in form of the Barclay’s Premier League to watch. No player would want to play there, the road trips would be brutal (imagine a 10-12 hour road trip to San Diego? What would the line be for the London Tallywhackers, +20?), and the weather is shitty. If they ever have the Super Bowl in London, just call it the Super Bowel, because that is what it would be. How about the rotation of New Orleans/San Diego/Miami/Vegas? So much better destinations!
Onto the picks:
College 6pt Teaser:
LSU -2 vs Auburn
USC -14.5 vs Oregon State
Oakland +6.5 vs NY Jets
Oakland, I guess, IS a professional football team! I have to bet on Louis Murphy’s boys here getting the job done. The Jets are 1-10 in Oakland, their only win coming in the AFL era under Namath in the 1960’s. Not only that, they may start to hate their coach, who seems more and more shaky as they lose each week. Maybe if he didn’t call a team’s gameplan (one that beat him) a “gimmick”, and maybe had a sense of humor like Jeff Fisher, his players wouldn’t be so down on themselves when things start going bad in games. Plus they have no Kris Jenkins, big day for Fargas and Bush, methinks. Plus, Sanchez and J.Russell’s combined QB rating will be at around 19.5…..the under is 34.5 (lol).
Indianapolis -13.5 @ St.Louis
It’s in a dome, off a bye week with Freeney getting healthy, and Bob Sanders is back. And the Colts, unlike the Jaguars, are actually a good football team. I wonder if Mark Bulger says to Kyle Boller, “Hey, you want a few snaps? I have to check up on how Peyton is doing on my fantasy team.”
GB -7/-9 @ Cleveland
I got this at -7 before the flu hit Cleveland’s locker room. Their best player, DT Shawn Rogers, is questionable. I’d still take the 9….. Green Bay knows it needs to beat up on the creampuffs on its schedule to have any shot of making the division close with Minny, who they play in a few weeks in Lambeau.
6pt teaser of the Week:
KC +11 vs San Diego
NYG -1 vs Arizona
I think you have to like any situation right now where Minnesota is getting points, especially more than three. On the other side, before the season started I would have said there was no way the Vikings would win over 11 games (in fact I bet on that) and there was hardly a chance the Steelers would win less than 10. In fact, looking at their schedule right now, it is mind-blowing how many games the Steelers may lose this year. They have the softest schedule possible for a team defending. If Minnesota wins, though, both of those could happen.
You pretty much have to like any team getting more than a field goal against the Jets right now, and all jokes aside, Oakland is just such a team. I apparently have jumped the Oakland bandwagon. They are the only team of the group I picked last week that covered, let’s follow this ride and see what happens.
In the same vein, you have to like any team getting more than 5 against the Panthers this year, cue Buffalo. Buffalo has a solid defense, Terrell Owens, and Jake Delhomme.
And you have to like the Saints when they are anything less than a touchdown favorite, see minus six at Miami. I know Miami will probably hold the ball for 42 minutes, but the Saints look like world beaters at the moment.
So, for Week 7, Minnesota – Oakland – Buffalo – New Orleans
Extra note MNF – Have to like Philly, even at minus 7.
And a thought, why do the Chiefs always have 1 o’clock kick offs? They are in the AFC West you know? I am pretty sure looking at their schedule they have ZERO home games this year starting after 1:15 eastern.
0-4 on NFL again last week and I’m definitely blaming commie roundball, which was profitable. I’m pretty sure minor league mascots could do a better job picking games at this point.
1) Why certain teams are winning (via Lombardi). Last night was the fourth consecutive game the Denver Broncos defense has held an opponent to zero third-down conversions in the second half (23 attempts). The Broncos have allowed only two second-half third-down conversions this season.
2) After giving up over 600 yards rushing in their first three games, the Texans have allowed only 45 yards/game in their last three outings.
3) Sunday was the first time in two years the Chiefs and Raiders won on the same day.
4) Browns quarterbacks since 2004: Jeff Garcia, Kelly Holcomb, Luke McCown, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Ken Dorsey and Bruce Gradkowski.
5) Derek Anderson’s career completion percentage is 53.5. Chad Pennington is the all-time leader at 66.1%. Jamarcus Russell for his career is at 51.8.
6) The New England Patriots are 11-0 at home in snow games.
7) The Minnesota Vikings were outgained by their opponents for the 3rd straight week (448-426). Their offense (2nd in the league in scoring) has been remarkably consistent. They have had no fewer than 18 first downs and 27 points in every game this season, and have only turned the ball over four times.
8) Adrian Peterson is the only running back averaging over 100 yards/game (104). Big, bright shining star Visanthe Shiancoe is tied with Larry Fitzgerald for the league lead in receiving touchdowns with 5.
9) Aaron Rogers was sacked 5 times versus the Lions. He’s now been sacked 25 times in 5 games, 6 more than any other QB.
10) (Via TMQ) New Orleans has scored on their opening drive in every game this season.
Week 7 leans
Arizona @ New York Giants -7
San Francisco @ Houston -3
Few thoughts on last week:
I went 1-4 on SEC plays last week (ended up taking the under 44 in LSU/FLA as I was on tilt after near misses early in the day). I ended up breaking even on Saturday thanks to that and the Dodgers sweeping St. Louis, who I had @ +125 WITH home field advantage (Don’t the bookies have ESPN? Where every night/morning SportsCenter would lead off with highlights of Andre Either celebrating with his teammates at home plate with weekly walk-offs at Dodger Stadium? Am I missing something here?).
I however KILLED it on NFL this Sunday, going 5-0 and hitting all of my teasers, mostly thanks to Cincy (now known by Gus Johnson as the “Cardiac Cats!”, and yes, with the exclamation point) helping me complete not only the teasers I mentioned last week, but I also gambled it up with a 4 team teaser at +350 and hit that too. Hopefully I can keep the roll going. Here are some random thoughts on the week:
The Browns winning a game with only 2 completions has to now place the Bills as a lead nominee for “The Darwin Awards”. How can you only score 3 points, at home (granted with some of that swirling, crazy wind in Northern NY) against a team who not only is lacking in talent, but also smarts. Just take a look at this quote from Defensive Captain D’Qwell Jackson:
Browns linebacker and co-captain D’Qwell Jackson was among the most stunned by the Browns 0-3 start. “Every year I think we’re going to go 16-0, so I’m shocked that we’re 0-3.”
I’m not, D’Qwell. Granted maybe you have more faith in your teammates than I do, but seriously, 16-0? At least say something somewhat attainable, like 10-6 or something. The fact you can’t recognize your team blows maybe proves that the dementia that esteemed journalist Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in The New Yorker this week maybe is more of a problem than we thought. I certainly can, and plan to profit off of it!
Dre, this is how it is done (or maybe not….maybe this is where the “Hunter Smith: whitest player” beef came from?).
Poor form, Donnie Avery. Not only do you celebrate with a gay-ish dance after scoring a TD late in the 4th (which is OK I guess, the Rams will be lucky to score 10 TDs this year), down 31-3….you then push away your teammate (former Cowboys Hard Knocker) Danny Amendola, which can’t look good to your teammates, coaches, and the fans of the Rams. And Yes, I will blatantly admit I was giddy to type in the phrase, “Hard Knocker”, all week. Avery gets the Double Facepalm Player of the Week award.
Onto the picks:
Alabama/South Carolina Under 45
Big game in the SEC between two really good defensive teams, and two very vanilla offenses. Only offensive scare will be outstanding Alabama return man Javier Arenas versus a piss poor South Carolina special teams unit.
Jackonsville, -9.5, vs St. Louis.
Mo-Jones-Drew is pissed, St.Louis blows, is 0-5, and has no road TDs, they have the bad karma of Donnie Avery working against them, and Jacksonville is coming off a 41-0 loss @ Seattle. I always remember my dad saying, “Beware of the team that gets blown out a week before and is playing at home. They will play harder the week after, not only for pride, but if anything, to shut the coaches up from yelling at them in the meetings”.
Philly -14 @ Oakland
The aforementioned quote from my dad applies to professional, and even college, teams. Oakland is neither.
Bears @ Atlanta Over 46
This probably gets smashed around the 3rd quarter.
Teasers of the Week (6 point):
KC @ WAS +12
GB -7.5 vs DET
HOU +11 @ CIN
NYJ -4 vs BUF
I’m tempted to start blaming Commie Roundball for everything that’s broken. It sounds like a bad comic book villain and probably looks something like this. The Bills suck? Well if it wasn’t for Commie Roundball things would be a lot better. Lost money gambling? That’s what you get for betting on Commie Roundball.
Taking a couple of home underdogs to win over in England tomorrow. Liverpool travels to Sunderland minus their two best players and Sunderland is still getting +280 to win and +220 to draw. Both are solid plays as Sunderland have played well at home, have a decent team and were a miracle cover away from beating Manchester United away two weeks ago. Tottenham visits Portsmouth for the second bettable game of the day. Portsmouth are +350 to win and despite being bottom of the league, they have not yet a) quit on their coach or b) played particularly terribly. The players are saying the right things. GK David James:
At the start of the season there was a strong feeling of negativity at Portsmouth, and I know I contributed to that with my own comments. I was just being honest about how I felt. There was a lot of stuff going on that didn’t fill me with confidence and it was fertile soil for disillusionment.
But the new players that came in helped clear the air. They missed all of the uncertainty that had been building up over the summer; they were here to work out where their careers were going and they weren’t embroiled in club politics. They came in fresh and uncontaminated – visitors to planet Portsmouth.
Since then, a harmony in the team has been developing. Everybody appreciates what needs to be done, the feeling is good and best of all there’s a sense of equality around the place. Where last season our dressing room felt frantic and anarchic, this season it feels calm.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was previously in charge of Portsmouth, and several Portsmouth players transferred away from Spurs this offseason. Key Tottenham defensive midfielder Wilson Palacios will miss out as he was ordered to celebrate with Honduras after helping them clinch a World Cup place on Wednesday.
Actually following some of my early leans this week, we’ll see if Commie Roundball does me in or not:
Carolina @ Tampa +3
Two bad teams, one a home underdog being ignored.
Houston @ Cincinnati -4.5
Up to 5.5 now. Not thrilled about this bet, but Cincy seems to be exactly the type of opponent Houston fails against.
Philadelphia -14 @ Oakland
Fully expecting McNabb to pull a Delhomme here. There should be lots of disposals.
Kansas City @ Washington -6
This line hasn’t moved despite heavy action on the Chiefs and I don’t know why other than people smarted than me betting on the Skins.
Good luck out there this week.
Chances are if you’re reading this you’re already aware that Derek Anderson of the Cleveland Browns “led” his team to victory on the back of a 2 for 17 performance at Buffalo. The Football Outsiders guys have some things to say about that here. In short, there have been some equally bad performances by winning QBs in the recent past. Not much time this week, so jumping right in…
1) Cedric Benson leads the NFL in rushing.
2) Philadelphia is 11-0 coming off of a bye week under Andy Reid.
3) Peyton Manning has 300+ yards passing and at least one touchdown pass in every game this season. He leads the NFL with 1645 passing yards.
4) 34 year old Redskins linebacker London Fletcher leads the NFL in tackles with 59. No other player besides Browns LB D’Qwell Jackson has more than 50.
5) The Oakland Raiders are the first team since at least 1960 to have under 200 yards of total offense in four straight games.
6) 49ers punter Andy Lee has 35 punts through 5 games putting him on pace for 112 on the season. The NFL record for punts in a season is 114.
7) Carolina has a -9 turnover margin this season.
8) New England is 18th in average scoring (20.8 pts/game) despite having run the most plays from scrimmage of any team in the NFL (351).
9) The Rams outgained the Vikings 400 yards to 377 but still managed to lose by 28 points. They have only scored three touchdowns all season.
10) Denver is 5-0 in real life, but also 5-0 versus the spread this season. Their under has also hit in every game this year. New England was the first team to score two touchdowns in a game versus the Broncos this season.
11) The Buffalo Bills have had 31 different players flagged for penalties this season.
12) This week will be the sixth straight week the Washington Redskins play a winless team.
San Diego/Denver over 44. Clearly I don’t read my own blog. San Diego showed last week versus Pittsburgh they can’t stop the run without Jamaal Williams and that Philip Rivers guy is pretty good.
Houston @ Cincinnati -4.5 Texans can’t run the ball and I don’t see how they’re going to be particularly effective throwing it against Joseph and Hall.
Atlanta/Chicago over 46. Do you think Atlanta’s offense has to run laps or do pushups whenever they don’t score against their defense in practice?
Carolina @ Tampa +3 Not sure if I’m the only person that thinks these two teams are equally horrible. If it’s even close, Tampa is a home underdog being shunned by the public, which should be good enough on its own.