Category Archives: NFL

All NFL related talk

5 good bets

 

Every year prior to the season Vegas sets lines on how many games each team will win.  Now you can never predict injuries obviously, but in the NFL you can look at certain things like strength of schedule and get a better feel for how a team may perform.  So I have done a bit of research, and by bit I mean none at all.  I’m flat out winging this and telling you in the process to bet big money on these bets.  These lines are from sportsinteraction.com.  I wish I got money for that plug, I get nothing.  But if you like these and like to bet a bit of money on sports then head over there and don’t bet what you don’t have, do it to have some fun.

 

Denver Broncos over 9.5 wins

Timmy is gone, and an ACTUAL QUARTERBACK is running the show now.  And in case nobody noticed it’s not just a new QB, it’s one of the greatest of all time.  I thought Manning looked real good in his 1st pre season game.  I realize he was picked but if you watched the game it was because the pass was deflected right off Brandon Stokley.  He hit his man, his man didn’t make the catch.  So I believe that Peyton will be some what back to start this season.  Now it’s not an easy schedule by any means.  But that offense led by Peyton will be great, that defense proved last season just how good it was, they play in a weak division, and they have a great coach in John Fox.  This is at least a 10 win team despite the difficult schedule.

 

Dallas Cowboys over 8.5 wins

Everyone always looks at the Cowboys and says they’re overrated.  They don’t like Romo, they don’t like the o-line, they don’t like the defense, they don’t like Jerry Jones.  If you don’t love the Cowboys you HATE the Cowboys.  But I’m here to tell you they will get 9 wins this season.  That secondary is VASTLY improved which was disgusting last season.  To me the 0-line will be better this season simply because Tyron Smith has a year under his belt, he has apparently been great so far in camp.  Dez Bryant has the talent to be the best WR in football, but his off field issues are beyond ridiculous.  Jerry has now laid down the law for him and while I don’t think it will last, Bryant will step up for the majority of the season.  Also keep in mind all the tight loses this team suffered last season.  This team EASILY could have been…check that, should have been 11-5 and NFC East champs.  I don’t see where this team has downgraded so that means at least 9 wins.

 

Miami Dolphins under 7.5 wins

Are they serious?!  7.5 for the Dolphins?  It’s one of the most disfunctional franchises in football right now! (sorry Robb)  They have no clue what they’re doing this season at QB, just released Chad Johnson who hasn’t been good for 3 seasons yet was their top guy, the defense is only ok and the running game should be good but if Reggie Bush has injury issues again then it all of a sudden doesn’t look that good.  I loved the hire of Joe Philbin as head coach, and while the QB situation is a mess Ryan Tannehill has looked great so far in camp.  But it won’t be enough to over come all the issues that face this team.  Remember, the AFC East will be one of the toughest divisions in the NFL this season.  No way the Dolphins go over 7 wins.

 

Indianapolis Colts over 5.5 wins

For the record I was going to say this before Sunday, but Sunday didn’t hurt my strong feeling about the Colts surprising this season.  They have 3 big hold over’s from what will now be known as the “Manning era” that will help greatly with such a young team.  I love what they did in the draft, obviously Luck at 1 but taking the 2 TE’s Fleener and Allen in rounds 2 and 3 could be very much like when the Pats took Gronk and Hernandez in the 2010 draft.  Andrew Luck is one of the best QB’s to come along in a very long time and with the way rookie QB’s are able to step right in and produce these days I wouldn’t be shocked if he broke some of the records that Dan Marino set in 1983, he is that good.  Add to this, it’s not a very difficult division to deal with.  Colts will win 6 for sure, and I wouldn’t be shocked at all by 8 or 9.  Little side note for this bet, it is currently paying out better than double.

 

Chicago Bears over 8.5 wins

The Bears were looking like big time Super Bowl contenders last year after a win vs the Chargers.  Then everything came crashing down.  Cutler got hurt for the season, Forte went down for the season, and their offense went from good to horrific in no time.  Cutler is back, Forte is back, Brandon Marshall is in at WR, they drafted Alshon Jeffrey in the 2nd round who apparently looks great so far in training camp, the offense should be greatly improved.  They do have a new OC in former Vikings head coach Mike Tice, but I wouldn’t expect a lot to change.  They may run the ball more seeing as how Tice is a former o-lineman and may prefer a ball control offense, but there is no way with Cutler’s arm and those weapons on the outside that they won’t throw it around.  The defense is getting long in the tooth, but they’re still going to be one of the better D’s in the NFL.  The big question is how healthy will Brian Urlacher be.  As long as he stays healthy, they’ll be fine.  9 wins should be a lock for this team as long as they don’t have they health problems they encoured last season.

 

Big Brother has nothing on these guys

 

Some people have asked me lately why I haven’t talked about the summer games as of yet.  Well the fact of the matter is I believe it’s unfair of me to run my mouth about sports and athletes that I literally know nothing about.  I likely will do a summary piece on them next Monday, but for now I’m going to stick to my Jets….

See what I did there?  You see the saying is stick to my guns, but I said stick to my Jets because I’m talking about the Jets.  Pretty incredible writing yet again wouldn’t you say?  But then again that is what you’ve come to expect from your 47th favorite blog.  Ahhhh the NY Jets, the greatest circus on the planet right now.  The latest?  A brawl during a scrimmage at training camp.  PERFECT.  So add that to Rex Ryan and his antics, the heat between Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes, Tim Tebow and his own side circus, Antonio Cromartie running his mouth about being the 2nd best WR on the team, and the spotlight that will be on controversial 1st round pick Quinton Coples.

DAMN!  The Cowboys of the 90’s don’t have a thing on this team!  It’s hard to believe that just 18 months ago this team was in the AFC title game for the 2nd straight year with a 2nd year QB.  Now here we are and that QB might not have a job by seasons end.  In fact on May 7th I predicted on twitter that Tebow would be the starter by week 7.  Their schedule to start the season is flat out brutal and there for could make Sanchez look brutal. 

I can’t help but think some of what is going on here isn’t to steal the back pages on the NY newspapers from the Giants.  I don’t get that line of thinking at all, they had a good thing going.  But when it comes to ownership Woody Johnson is a guy that obviously loves getting the attention.  Sure he would like to win, but he is more about the spotlight.  This is the owner that went out and got Brett Favre when he first left Green Bay.  Then he hired Rex Ryan who was an attention getter right from the start.  Bart Scott, LT, Plaxico, going on “Hard Knocks”, Woody Johnson likes the sexy names and he likes the spotlight.

The amazing thing out of all this is that as much as they are a circus, they have the pieces to contend in the AFC.  As much as Ryan runs his mouth and can be more of a distraction than anything, nobody has ever said he can’t coach.  The company line with Tebow is that he isn’t there to challenge Sanchez for his starting job but to run the wildcat which we all know new OC Tony Sparano loves to use.  Nobody used the wildcat better than the Dolphins did, and Tebow should be the perfect guy to run it. 

Meanwhile Sanchez and Holmes have been playing nice with Holmes recently putting the blame on the late season problems all on himself.  If they can keep that up, they’re potentially a great duo.  Dustin Keller is a solid TE, 2nd round pick Stephen Hill will need time to develop but could have some impact towards the end of the season, so the offense has some good potential.

As for Quinton Coples, it’s not like anyone is saying the kid doesn’t have great talent.  He was expected to be a top 5 pick at this time last year.  But he had a horrific 2011 season, some of that was because he was playing out of position.  If Coples can play up to his potential then the pick will be more than justifiable.  They need it too.  While the D is still very good, they’re getting old in a hurry and could really use the young blood.

If I was a betting man….which I very much so am it’s just that I can’t really bet on this…I would say the Jets are more likely to implode than to play up to their potential this season.  But man, either way it is DAMN fun to watch play out!

So many storylines!

Well it’s now set, the Super Bowl 42 (looks weird to have normal numbers next to the word Superbowl) rematch.  That will be the main story for the next 2 weeks.  The Giant underdogs (see what I did there?) upset the 18-0 Patriots to win Super Bowl XLII (ahhh, that’s better).  That’s mostly what you will hear for the next 2 weeks.

Another storyline that will be beaten to death is that Eli said prior to the season that he believed he was an elite QB before the season…and since then he has more than proved it.  Victor Cruz has been an amazing find for the G-men this season but make no mistake, if Alex Smith, Tavaris Jackson or Kevin Kolb is throwing him the ball you likely have yet to discover who the kid is.  Eli has been money all season long and he will without a doubt be considered elite if he wins in 2 weeks from now…if he isn’t considered elite already.

But the one interesting storyline for me personally will be how pro NY the Indianapolis crowd will be.  Now I don’t know how many locals on average attend the Super Bowl.  50%?  40%?  That would be my guess, and maybe it’s more, maybe it’s less I honestly don’t know.  What I do know is that there will be more locals there than fans from anywhere else.  And who do you think the Colt fans will pull for?  The brother of there hometown QB, or there biggest rival?

09 was more less a home field advantage for the Steelers vs the Cardinals.  It seemed like it was about 70-30 Steeler fans, maybe 80-20.  This is a total guess right now but I’m guessing it tops that.  Like 85-15/90-10.  It will be interesting to see, but the thing to remember of course is that the Super Bowl is over run by coperate America.  So it’s not like there is a lot of “Joe Colts fan” at the Super Bowl, even in Indy.

But this has the makings of a classic.  I believe pundits will be split on this game.  Can the Pats O line give Tom Brady enough time?  If they can, they will win.  Whenever he has time, no QB in the league can pick apart a secondary like Tom Brady.  And he will have a crazy chip on his shoulder from 07.  Don’t forget this is a guy that has never forgot that he was a 6th round pick (did you know that he was a 6th round pick by the way?)

However if the Giants front 4 can get to Brady like they did the last Super Bowl then Brady will obviously have trouble and Manning could have his way with the Pats defense.  Give them credit though, they have been ok thus far in the playoffs although I’m hesistant to give them too much credit since they have yet to face a QB or offense like the Giants have.

It’s going to be a hell of a great game though.  Ravens vs 49ers would have gave us the Harbaugh brothers storyline that would have been beaten to death and it likely would have been a boring game.  Ravens vs Giants would have also likely been a boring game with very few storylines, although Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs at media day would have been a must watch.  49ers vs the Pats you would have heard once or twice that Brady was a Niner fan growing up.  This has the potential to be the best matchup and how ironic that it will be played in Peyton’s house!

It was the coach, not the Quarterback

Heartbreaking loss tonight for the 49ers.  A dream season comes to an end essentially on a fumble.  But they are setup for the long haul.  Get used to the Niners being back in the elite of the NFC for a long time boys and girls.  And the reason will be Jim Harbough.  And the reason they were in this game tonight was Jim Harbough…not Alex Smith.

After last weekend the media made such a big deal about how great Alex Smith was against the Saints.  “He went toe to toe with Drew Brees and won” they said.  No.  Look at the facts.  Saints have a high risk/high reward defense that lives and die’s by the blitz.  The 49ers have one of the best O lines in football.  Smith got protection in that game and when that happens against the Saints defense just about any NFL QB can pick them apart.

It’s similar to Tebow.  San Fran has a great TEAM.  That gets lost on a lot of fans these days.  So many fans (especially the ones 20-30 who have grown up hearing the same things preached) think it’s literally all about wins and loses and if a QB wins then it’s the end all be all.  We’ve gone too far the other way now.

Back in 01, 02, 03 when Tom Brady was first emerging a lot of the media would say he wasn’t a good QB and it was all about there system.  No…it was that Brady made all the right decision’s with the football.  He wouldn’t turn it over, he was great in the red zone, etc, etc.  Those teams didn’t win solely because Tom Brady was good, but he likely didn’t get as much credit as he deserved (as crazy as that now sounds).

So you started hearing Brady apologists say to the Manning apologists “he wins and that’s all that matters”.  Which in large part was true.  For years a lot of guys that put up huge stats didn’t win.  Wasn’t just Manning vs Brady it was Montana vs Marino/Elway, it was Aikman vs Young, and on and on and on.

But fast forward to today, and it seems like as soon as a QB wins a game some people (not all) want to ignore EVERYTHING and say “yep, you see this guy is a winner.  His teams win”.  Well in some cases yes, but more often than not anymore, no.  2 perfect examples this season were the Urban Meyer desciples: Tim Tebow and Alex Smith.

The 49ers are so close to winning a Super Bowl.  That defense is amazing.  There coach is elite.  They have some great weapons on offense with Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree.  I doubt they move on a QB this offseason, but they should.  If they get the right QB, this group will win a Super Bowl soon.

Don’t blame Flacco

All week I couldn’t figure out why EVERYONE was picking New England to not only win but run away and hide in the AFC Championship game.  It was basically as if 16 games didn’t mean anything, the only thing that mattered was what happened last week.  The Ravens went up against a great defense at home, and the Pats went up against a banged up, 8-8 Broncos squad.  And of course Joe Flacco is terrible, it has nothing to do with the Texans defense…

Yes the Pats won, yes Flacco failed in the AFC Championship game for the 2nd time in 4 years.  But Flacco did his job today.  There are 2 guys if you want to point the fingers: Lee Evans and Billy Cundiff.

It always amazes me when people point to Marty Shottenheimer’s postseason record.  When Marty was in Cleveland he went to 2 AFC Championship games.  The first one was the drive.  I don’t hear anyone put that on Marty, they praise John Elway (rightfully so).  The next year they went back and Ernest Bynar fumbled on the 2 yard line.  The Browns were about to take the lead late in the 87 game and Bynar fumbled.  How is that on Marty?!

Then in Kansas City he went back with Joe Montana at 38 years old and pretty much nothing else.  In 04 he turned the Chargers around and lost to the Jets at home.  Kicker Nate Kading missed a FG to win it in OT…a makeable FG.  Then in 06 he lost to the Pats at home…with a rookie QB.

Anyways, I’ve gone on and on about Marty Shottenheimer.  The point is this guy continuously got his teams to overachieve.  The reason he kept losing in the playoffs was because his teams realistically were rarely good enough to be where they were.  What does all this have to do with Flacco?

Well I’m not saying Flacco has nothing to work with or has bad coaching, complete opposite actually.  But you watch that game today, Flacco had that team in position to win.  Lee Evans got careless with a TD pass that had the Ravens going to the Super Bowl.  Then Billy Cundiff missed a kick to put the game into OT.  I’m not saying it will happen tomorrow.  Tomorrow people will remember the Cundiff miss and Evans being careless.

But in 11 months if the Ravens are back in a playoff spot, people will start asking yet again if Joe Flacco (only going into his 5th year and is 5-4 in the playoffs, only 1 of those games at home) can take the Ravens all the way?  He proved it today, he can.  Don’t forget that when the question comes up again.

Well…that’s humiliating!

The plan isn’t to write blogs about my picks, but in this case I have to.  I know that’s its highly unlikely that anyone uses these, they’ve been pretty sub par all season.  But this weekend was a new low.  I really hope on some level that someone did use these, because I would enjoy knowing that someone lost money while I lost my dignity!

Wow!  You can’t lose that much if you TRIED!  Seriously, that’s incredible.  Some of these I deserve blame for not thinking the picks through, some I don’t.  Start with the Bengals, I deserve blame on this one.  I thought a lot of things would cancel each other out and it would come down to rookie QB vs rookie QB.  No, the Texans got a much better defense than the Bengals and a much better run game.  Add in that they were at home and I should have known better.

The Saints and Lions was just the way it sometimes goes.  I was right, the Lions stayed in the game.  But once the Saints got up 10 the Lions starting trying to play catch up and that’s when the Saints blitzing/ball hawk defense gets you.

The Falcons and Giants game was humiliating not just for what I picked (Falcons +3), but for the Falcons in general.  That was pathetic.  Horrific coaching by Mike Smith, who along with Matt Ryan is now 0-3 in the playoffs.  The Giants are good, and have a knack to play up to there competition.  But they aren’t THAT good.  Just an awful game for the Falcons who have a lot of holes that they will need to address in the draf…oh that’s right, they don’t have a 1st because Julio Jones was going to turn them into the 1989 49ers.

And finally Timmy and the Broncos vs the Pittsburgh M.A.S.H.  “Oh that’s an excuse, Tebow is god!!!”  No, it’s a fact.  Just like the Broncos started to decline once they started playing better teams and there defense started getting dinged up.  Tebow played great, credit where credit is due.  I still don’t budge off my opinion that he isn’t a long term answer.  Totally get why everyone pulls for him, I pull for him, but the majority of people that say he will be great have no clue what they’re talking about.  But back to the Steelers, say what you want about Roethlisberger, he was a warrior out there today.  No Mendenhall, no Pouncy, and only 1 good ankle and he still led them back.

As for next week, I will say the Ravens easily dispose of the Texans, the Pats handle the Broncos, the Packers win a tight one against the Giants, and the Saints win a tight one over the Niners.  Steelers vs Pats would have given us 3 VERY intriguing games.  But it’s not like “Tebow v Brady: the rematch” lacks sizzle, I just think it will be very similar to the last game a month ago.

NFL Picks – Wildcard Weekend

 

Better late than never, although since I’m still in the process getting this website finished beyond what it is and getting the podcast going it really doesn’t make a difference.  If people are actually out there using these I apologize…although it’s likely saving you money.  I was 2-3 the last 2 weeks I made my picks, only 3-2 the other week.  If you are actually using these once again I ask that you don’t bet what you don’t have.  Also, Tebow is about as real as the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny.

 

Cincinnati vs Houston

Soups pick: Cincinnati +4

I’m stunned the Bengals are 4 point dogs.  This might end up being a decent game, but make no mistake that the teams that will take the field are not worthy of the playoffs.  Houston would be but for just about the entire 2nd half of the season they played without there 3 top players.  T.J. Yates has come back down to earth the last few weeks, and the word is that Jake Delhomme is going to be very ready to step in.  The Bengals are young, and the Houston defense might give Andy Dalton fits, but at worse I see the Bengals keeping this within 3 points.  I think the Bengals will win outright, but you just play it smart and take the points.

 

Detroit vs New Orleans

Soups pick: Detroit +11

It’s just too many points.  Could I see the Saints blowing out the Lions?  Yes.  The Lions are inexperienced, while the Saints are dominant at home.  But the Lions have gone under the radar the last few weeks with how good they’ve been playing.  They will come into New Orleans with absolutely nothing to lose, a swager, they played ok down there a month ago, they SHOULD keep this close.  Like I say, it’s just too many points to give up.

 

 

Atlanta vs NY Giants

Soups pick: Atlanta +3

Everyone seems to be leaning towards the G men.  I was leaning that way earlier in the week and believe they have the home field, better pass rush, and better QB.  But Atlanta has a better run game which could be huge in this game.  Supposed to be brutal weather for this game, and in bad weather games we all know the game plan is to run the ball.  Turner could torch the Giants defense.  Also, the Giants more than any team in the league let you down just when you think they’re going to turn it on.  The Falcons have been building towards the playoffs all season.  They’ve done 13-3 and the #1 seed before.  This group is 0-2 in playoff games.  They got something to prove.

 

Pittsburgh vs Denver

Soups pick: If you don’t know what it will be you don’t read my blogs…

I guess I should point out that the Steelers are 9 point favorite’s and will win this game by more than that.  I heard some analysts say today they think the Steelers could shut them out.  They COULD, but they won’t.  Timmy will do something significant.  He won’t be as bad as he’s been in the last few weeks.  But make no mistake, he will get eaten alive by the Steelers.  And I would bet good money Tomlin and the Steelers coaching staff has been looking at Broncos film for quite a few weeks now because the Broncos were really the only team they could be playing on THIS weekend.  It was going to be the Broncos or a bye (although the Broncos did all they could to make sure the Steelers played the Raiders).  I see this being about a 27-10 game.  Roethlisberger isn’t 100% but he plays his best this time of year and with no Brian Dawkins, Von Miller not at 100%, it won’t be as difficult for Big Ben as some might think.  Take the 9 points.

 

Looking at it Rationally

 

Maybe I’m just the guy that pisses on everyone’s parade.  I don’t mean to be, but that is what this feels like.  But it’s what I believe.  And what I believe is that Tim Tebow just isn’t a good QB.  Might he become one?  He might, I don’t think he will ever be elite.  Nobody will kill himself more than Tebow to become as good as he possibly can be.  But right now he isn’t a good QB.

Look at who he has beaten.  Chumps.  The top 3 teams he has started against this season, he is 1-2 against them.  He got crushed by the Lions at home, and just today was only able to put up 23 on one of the league’s worst defenses.  I haven’t checked this (I should, but I haven’t) but I would guess this Pats D was the worst one he has seen.  I heard Phil Simms say late in the game “Tim Tebow sure has answered a lot of questions today.”  Ummm, I know Phil has forgot 5 times as much about football than I’ll ever know, but Tebow only put up 23 against a BAD defense.  That answers nothing.

The 1 win (I promise you I’m not making this up to support my argument), he beat the Jets on a short week when experts all said previous to the game it would be very difficult for the Jets to game plan for such a unique offense on a short week (it was a Thursday night game).

Another part of this is that the Denver defense has come together.  “Well why didn’t they with Orton at QB?”  Some of it is playing hard for Tebow and buying into him being the guy no doubt.  But Denver had been running a 3-4 defense and John Fox uses a 4-3.  Its going to take some time for 3-4 guys to get used to playing a 4-3, especially with no OTA’s this year and a shortened training camp.

This especially hurt a kid like Von Miller who not only is trying to figure out the ways of the league as a rookie but was a 3-4 guy (rush end).  Very different being an outside LB in a 4-3 than being a outside LB in a 3-4.

Denver has to run an option offense to get the most out of Tebow’s abilities.  Gimmick offenses have a shelf life in the NFL.  Remember the 08 Dolphins running the wild cat?  They went 11-5 and won the AFC East that season running the wild cat which the NFL had not seen in a very long time.

But the next season it didn’t work, and it was completely scrapped by most teams come the 2010 season.  Coaches get film on things, study it a ton during the offseason, and figure out how to stop them.  The option offense isn’t exactly new…in fact it’s as old as the sport.  These coaches aren’t stupid, if the option had a shelf life more of them would be using it.

Then on top of this you add in running QB’s have a history of success until coaches get film on them.  Take Vince Young.  VY has a terrific win/loss record in his NFL career.  Out of the gate he was outstanding, led Titans back from the dead in 06, to the playoffs in 07.  Yet by 08 he was benched for Kerry Collins.  Came back in 09 to once again lead the Titans back from the bottom of the league, and was benched once again in the 2010 season, cut in the offseason.

Tebow isn’t Vince Young.  He will improve as a thrower.  But if he needs to play in this kind of offense the rest of his career to just be ok, then I doubt he starts for very long in the NFL.  You have to completely overhaul your roster to find guys to fit this system, not to mention find backup QB’s that fit it which isn’t easy to do.

Soon it Will Be Decision Time For the Colts

Some Colt fans have already been gearing up for “the next one”

In my opinion today sealed it.  The Indianapolis Colts will pick first overall in the 2012 NFL draft.  They have sucked for Luck the best, a 19-3 beat down at the hands of the mighty Jags at home more than says that.  The Rams have 2 wins now and look good, should have 3.  The Dolphins now have 2 wins and look OK.  The Colts look like they have it.  Sure they could maybe win 1, but they still will have a 1 game lead and no other team looks like they’ll have less than 3 wins.  So it’s going to be decision time in Indy….

Here is what I believe will happen.  Indy will all but declare they will pick Luck, they have to.  Peyton is coming off 3 neck surgeries in 15 months, the rehab from this one hasn’t gone very smoothly just like the others, he’s 35 so he might have 3 good years left…and that might be stretching it.  You HAVE to pick Luck.

So with that in mind, one of 2 things will happen.  Either Luck will go public by stating he doesn’t want to sit behind Peyton Manning and force the Colts hand (similar to what Eli Manning did and John Elway did), or Manning will tell the Colts that if they pick the kid they need to either trade or release him.

I hear some analysts say “Luck can sit behind Manning for 2 or 3 years like Aaron Rodgers did”…no.  Luck is too good to sit behind anyone.  Rodgers wasn’t ready in 05, Luck is.  He will want to play now, and his camp will fully understand that if they want they can force the Colts hand.

If the Colts pick with there heads it’s no contest.  They will trade/release Manning, select Andrew Luck and rebuild around him.  My guess is that despite Manning’s injury issues and steep contract, someone will pony up for him (Dolphins, Redskins, Broncos).  But if the Colts pick with there hearts, they will trade that pick for the world and take a 3-4 year run at a few more Super Bowls with Manning under center.

It will be a very difficult decision for the Colts to make, but it’s one that I believe they will have to make come April 2012.