Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Week 3 Picks: Blogger vs. George Washington

After a 10-6 showing last week (4-5 on 1 p.m. games, 6-1 from 4 p.m. through Monday night), I'm at a mediocre 17-15 for the season (24-8 without a spread).

My head barely above water, I'm going to switch things up a little this week. I'll still be making my picks accompanied with the same old lame one-liners, but as suggested by a friend, I'll be competing against a quarter, flipping a coin twice on each game - once to choose between favorite and underdog, and once to choose between home team and visitor.

Before we do that, it's time for my new favorite segment, "Irony, Humility, and Fantasy Purposes."

First, irony. This section is full of material this week, but some are also well-suited for the "Humility" and "Fantasy Purposes" sections, so I'll save them. Let's go with all the hoopla on ESPN about the Arizona Cardinals, a west coast team, playing a 1 p.m. game on the east coast. I had the Cardinals picked to beat the spread, but after reading a Bill Simmons column and watching NFL experts analyze Sunday's games over and over, I was convinced I should change my pick.

I did, and the Cardinals beat the Jaguars into oblivion. Figures.

Humility? Aside from changing my mind on the Cardinals because of what the experts told me, how about my bashing of UVA graduate, Matt Schaub. He lit up the Tennessee Titans' defense for 357 pass yards and four Tennessee. He's still funny to look at.

And fantasy purposes...a crushing 85-82 loss left me searching for answers this week. Greg Jennings, after I told him I wasn't mad at him (more irony), went off for a whopping ZERO points, putting me in a huge hole. Peyton Manning did all he could to help me pull off a great comeback, but 20 points on MNF left me just a few points short. I blame it on Miami for having the ball for 3/4 of the game. Ridiculous.

Now for Week 3 picks (lines courtesy of

Sunday 1 p.m.

Packers (-7) @ Rams
- Can't help but look at the spread and feel like this one might push. Greg Jennings, don't make me cry.

Coin flip one (heads for favorite, tails for underdog): Rams
Coin flip two (heads for home team, tails for away): Packers

49ers @ Vikings (-7)
- Both teams have a solid offense with a decent defense. Adrian Peterson and home field advantage should outlast Frank Gore and company.

Coin flip one: Vikings
Coin flip two: 49ers

Falcons @ Patriots (-4)
- The oddsmakers aren't dumb dumbs. Though the Falcons have looked great and the Patriots have looked vulnerable, so I'm going with the Pats...even though I'm 0-2 when picking them already this year.

Coin flip one: Falcons
Coin flip two: Falcons (uh oh, I better get this one right).

Titans (+3) @ Jets
- Remember this game last year? The Titans were 10-0 and the Jets waltzed into Tennessee and trounced them, 34-13. Can the Titans right their ship in the Meadowlands? Or will Mark Sanchez and the Jets defense continue walking with that swagger? I'm betting on a hangover from the huge victory against New England.

Coin flip one: Jets
Coin flip two: Jets

Chiefs @ Eagles (PICK)
- Come on, the Eagles aren't THAT bad! You can't blame a team without it's starting quarterback for being unable to keep up with Drew Brees' offensive onslaught. And you can't blame the defense for not being able to stop him with all the weapons he has. The Chiefs? A pick'em? No way...

I can't wait to see Mike Vick back on the field.

Coin flip one: Chiefs (as the away team, I have to consider them the underdog)
Coin flip two: Eagles

Giants (-7) @ Buccaneers
- Tampa has proven it can score some points, but has also proven it can't beat the spread yet. Until then, I pick agains the Bucs.

Coin flip one: Buccaneers
Coin flip two: Giants

Browns @ Ravens (-13)
- Baltimore's defense hasn't blown me away, but they've put 69 points on the board through two games. Cleveland's defense has allowed 61 points through two games. 35-21, Baltimore sounds good. But I won't be surprised when the Browns score a junk touchdown at the end to cover.

Coin flip one: Browns
Coin flip two: Ravens

Jaguars (+4) @ Texans
- No clue what to think of this game. Jags got a wake up call after starting 0-2 while Houston really doesn't have a run game established - 101 yards total through two games isn't going to cut it. If the Jags lose this one, the season could already be gone.

Coin flip one: Texans
Coin flip two: Jaguars

Redskins @ Lions (+7)
- Yes, I'm seriously picking the Lions to cover. That's how mad the inept Washington offense made me last week. Then there's the whole Robert Henson/Twitter drama. Watch the accompanying video. Mike Greenberg chalks up a win in his book.

Coin flip one: Redskins
Coin flip two: Redskins

Sunday 4 p.m.

Bears (-2) @ Seahawks
- Chicago is coming off a huge win. Though it was probably a fluke, the offense is bound to find a rhythm soon.

Coin flip one: Da Bears
Coin flip two: Seahawks

Saints (-6) @ Bills
- I mean...there's no reason anybody should be picking against the Saints right now. New Orleans is averaging 468 yards of total offense per game. That number will eventually come down to earth. But then again, will it? (Sounds like a nice set up for my "irony" section next week!)

Coin flip one: Saints
Coin flip two: Saints (No love for my only loyal reader!)

Steelers (-4) @ Bengals
- What's that? Coming out party for Willie Parker? What's that? 25 fantasy least? Sounds good to me, Willie!

Coin flip one: Bengals
Coin flip two: Bengals...(should I be concerned?)

Dolphins (+6) @ Chargers
- Makes sense to me after Miami's MNF showing. High-scoring game, should at least be close.

Coin flip one: Chargers
Coin flip two: Dolphins

Broncos @ Raiders (-2)
- I'm not the only one who thinks the Raiders have actually looked decent through two games and the Broncos' 2-0 record is the shoddiest 2-0 possible.

Coin flip one: Raiders
Coin flip two: Broncos

Sunday 8:20 p.m.

Colts (+3) @ Cardinals
- Indy isn't favored - all because of the inability to stop Miami's wildcat formation? The Colts still won that game, didn't they? Ah, thought so. Prove me wrong, Arizona. And thanks again for letting me screw myself over last week.

Coin flip one: Cardinals
Coin flip two: Cardinals...

Monday Night FOOTBALL!!!

Panthers @ Cowboys (-9)
- This should be the beatdown we didn't see last week. The Dallas celebration we didn't see last week. Jerry Jones can afford to pretend last week just didn't happen. THIS is the first regular-season game played at his new palace, which is unbelievable, I might add.

Coin flip one: Cowboys
Coin flip two: Panthers

Thursday, September 17, 2009

NFL Week Two PWA (Picks With Attitude)!

Get it?

I'm playing against Drew Brees in fantasy football this week. I'm MAD!

(lines courtesy of

Sunday 1 p.m.

Panthers @ Falcons (-6)
- Hey Michael Turner, feel like scoring me more than six fantasy points this week? Thanks.

Vikings (-10) @ Lions
- Hey Vikings, you know what Tony Siragusa says? "It's okay to squash a mosquito with a sledgehammer."

Bengals @ Packers (-9)
- Hey Greg Jennings, keep up the good work. I'm not mad at you.

Texans @ Titans (-7)
- Hey Jeff Fisher, the Texans lost to the Jets last week. Don't make me look like an idiot by not covering a touchdown. Seriously. Matt Schaub is a UVA graduate. That means we don't like him. Of course just by looking at him, I probably wouldn't like him anyway.

Raiders (+3) @ Chiefs
- Hey Roger Goodell, don't you think we would have been fine with just 15 games this week?

Patriots (-4) @ Jets
- This game already has enough attitude, not just leading up to kickoff, but probably throughout the game. These two teams don't need me to butt in. I just wish Rex Ryan would give me a phone call.

Saints (PICK) @ Eagles
- Hey oddsmakers, I can't even get a spread? I left the Eagles' defense on the bench this week. I'm playing against Drew Brees and Reggie Bush. I have Lance Moore and John Carney playing just in case the Saints should put lots of points on the board. This matchup has serious fantasy implications.

Rams @ Redskins (-10)
- Hey Redskins defense/special teams, something tells me I would have had you in over the Eagles anyway this week, so DON'T SCREW UP!

Cardinals @ Jaguars (-3)
- Hey Cardinals, why don't you start playing like the team that made it to the Super Bowl last season? Actually, why don't you wait another week?

Sunday 4 p.m.

Seahawks @ 49ers (+2)
- Which was a better win? Seattle blanking St. Louis or the 49ers winning in Arizona? I'll get this game wrong whichever way I pick, so I'll take the underdog.

Buccaneers @ Bills (-5)
- Hey John Gruden, you're a really good analyst. Tampa's loss, Monday Night Football's win.

Steelers (-3) @ Bears
- Hey Willie Parker. See what I said to Michael Turner above? Same goes to you. 15 points or you're benched next week.

Just joshin'.

Ravens (+3) @ Chargers
- Hey Chargers, play like you did against the Raiders this week and you're in for a major hurtin'.

Browns @ Broncos (-3)
- Hey Kyle Orton, Brandon Stokely won't be able to bail you out every week. Try a little harder in your home debut, will ya?

Sunday 8 (:20) p.m.

Giants (+3) @ Cowboys
- I like my chances with the Giants at least covering. These are two good teams. Only thing that scares me is it's Dallas' home opener.

I'm 0-6 on games from Sunday at 4 p.m. and after, so I can only improve upon that, right?

Monday Night Football (!!!)

Colts (-3) @ Dolphins
- I'm keeping a spreadsheet on all my picks this year - by team, by underdog/favorite, by time, etc...can't wait to see how many times I'm wrong about the Colts covering.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NFL Week One Reflections

My first pick was incorrect as the Steelers couldn't cover on Thursday, then I went 7-1 to start Sunday, putting myself in prime position for a solid week of picks.

In the final seven games of the weekend, I shot a goose egg. 0-for-7. Gut shot.

Finished 7-9. I'll try to do better next week.

Irony, Humility, and Fantasy Purposes

First, irony. I (jokingly) mentioned potentially trading my No. 4 running back, Jamal Lewis, for Larry Fitzgerald in my fantasy league. Lewis shoved that right back down my throat, scoring nine points against the Vikings. My three other RBs combined to score seven points. Lewis still won't be in my starting lineup next week.

Next, humility. I laughed at the thought of the Chiefs beating a 13-point spread against the Ravens. Baltimore hung on, covering the spread by a point, but I was sweating that game out.

Finally, fantasy purposes. Thank you, Jake Delhomme, for exceeding my expectations. I was half-joking about having a repeat performance of last year's five-interception playoff loss, but the Eagles' defense/special teams scored me 35 points, almost solely responsible for my Week One Fantasy Football victory. Special thanks to Greg Jennings, too, for solidifying the win.

Had Jennings not caught the final touchdown, I would have had to choose between playing Vincent Jackson and Wes Welker on Monday night. And though I would have won with either decision, I contend that if I were on the hot seat to make that decision, something would have backfired and I would have lost.

Final Thoughts

The Bengals had the four points covered before the bizarre Stokely catch to win the game for Denver, so I would have chalked that up in the win column either way, as I previously stated.

The Rams are bad. Very bad.

Mark Sanchez hasn't won my trust yet.

Thanks again, Jake Delhomme.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Football Season! Week One Picks With a Fantasy Twist

I've been waiting for football season since...well, the All-Star break. With Virginia Tech's loss last week to Alabama, college football got off to a rocky start for me. I had an un-blogged 0-3 last Saturday with Maria Sharapova, Virginia Tech, and the Mets all losing.

If my NFL picks go the same way as, it's going to be a long winter as I eagerly await another disappointing New York Mets 2010 campaign.

And no, it doesn't feel good to say that.

Here's a look at this week's games - most of my picks will be impacted by my fantasy roster, which probably isn't a good idea. If I do bad on my picks, it probably means I lost in fantasy football, too.

(lines courtesy of


Titans @ Steelers (-6)
-somehow I ended up with Willie Parker AND Rashard Mendenhall on my fantasy team. I guess it will work out when Parker inevitably gets hurt, but I just hope my bad luck doesn't overpower the defending champs.


Dolphins @ Falcons (-4)
- Michael Turner will also have an impact on my fantasy team this year. Let's start things off right and pray last season wasn't a fluke.

Broncos (+4) @ Bengals
- I actually think the Bengals will win this game since I don't have Carson Palmer on my fantasy team this year. I just don't think they have the fortitude to win it by more than a field goal. Broncos to cover, Bengals to win. Should Denver pull out the win, I'll take the cheapie despite not only knowing I was wrong, but also having it published for all to see.

Remember, Denver doesn't have Jay Cutler anymore. The top two QBs on the depth chart (Kyle Orton, Chris Simms) are both listed as questionable. But why they're even on the depth chart is questionable, too.

Vikings (-3) @ Browns
- There's apparently a conspiracy in the NFL against Brett Favre. He's being fined/investigated/trash talked as if he's on the Bengals. It almost seems that nobody wants him playing anymore. Let's ask Packers and Jets fans, as well as 50 percent of Vikings fans and players.

Regardless, I'll go out on a limb and say even the deepest conspiracies can't stop the Vikings from beating Eric Mangenius and the Browns.

Jaguars @ Colts (-7)
- Peyton Manning is my starting quarterback. Here's to hoping to him not screwing around and getting right to the point, throwing for 350 yards and four TDs.

Lions @ Saints (-12)
- This isn't good. I've taken the favorite all but once so far. We all know it never ends up that way when it's all said and done. I've got John Carney kicking for me, and Lance Moore is one of my wide receivers, but he's riding the bench this week. Carney should get at least four extra points and hopefully a couple of field goals!

Cowboys (-6) @ Buccaneers
- Again, how can I go against the favorite when its opponent is in complete shambles? The team I'm playing against has Marion Barber and Roy E. Williams, but also has Matt Cassel and Marshawn Lynch in the starting lineup (shhhhhhhhhhhhh).

Eagles (+1) @ Panthers
- This seems like a decent opportunity to take the under"dog." Get it? Too soon? Tasteless? I know.

I never took the time to write up a column about how I'm rooting for Mike Vick and the Eagles this year, but in short, Vick is a Hokie at heart and deserves a second chance. The NFL also needs to give him a second chance because if one of the league's ex-convicts can turn into a success story, it's a step in the right direction, cleaning up the NFL's image.

Back to football, the Panthers went 8-0 at home last year in the regular season, but I think a healthy Eagles team can do some serious damage. It will be interesting to see how Jake Delhomme rebounds from the five interception playoff loss to the Cardinals - which was at home. I'm playing the Eagles defense/special teams over the Redskins, in hopes of getting a few more of those INTs!

Chiefs @ Ravens (-13)
- Haha.

Jets @ Texans (-4.5)
-Mark Sanchez needs to show me something before I start picking them to win, or even cover. He conquered L.A. Can he conquer New York (New Jersey)?

Redskins @ Giants (-6.5)
- The Redskins have a great defense, and played the Giants tough last year...wait a second. No they didn't! Eli looks like he's getting pretty good at this quarterback thing.

49ers @ Cardinals (-6.5)
- Now I definitely know I'm taking too many favorites, but it seems absolutely insane to take many of these underdogs. I wish I had Larry Fitzgerald on my team, but I couldn't do that with the No. 2 pick, and by my second round pick at No. 18, he was long gone. Maybe I can trade Jamal Lewis for him.

Rams (+8.5) @ Seahawks
- This is absolutely just for the sake of taking an underdog. Last year both teams scored less than 300 total points, so maybe the Rams can keep it within a touchdown and I sneak away with a victory.

Bears (+3.5) @ Packers
- Jay Cutler was a pretty big steal for the Bears in the offseason. I took Chicago more often than not in my picks last year and I was wrong most of the time. I also drafted Greg Jennings at WR since he schooled me every time I played against him. I'll take 160 yards and 2 TDs from him in a 24-21 Bears victory.

If only we lived in a perfect world...


Bills @ Patriots (-10.5)
- First drive, Tom Brady to Randy Moss for an 80-yard TD? Brady's return is going to be big, much to the dismay of Terrell Owens and Trent Edwards. Makes you wonder...if the Bills had kept J.P. Loss man, would the two clubhouse cancers have canceled each other out?

Chargers (-9) @ Raiders
- Al Davis.