Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tuesday Morning Quarterback

As promised, here's the recap of my picks from week 1 in the NFL. I didn't exactly make anyone forget Jimmy the Greek, but it could have been worse.
Here's the breakdown:
Denver -4 St. Louis
Denver doesn't play nearly as well away from home. Take the points. I like Denver by a field goal.
St. Louis actually won this game. 1-0 and feeling really good at this point

Tennessee -2.5 Jets
Tennessee is at home, but they have a mess at QB right now. The Jets don't have a running back and have Pennington coming off his 200th injury. I'll take Tennessee to cover, but I don't have much confidence in the pick.
Jets won this game. I guess I didn't have enough faith in Pennington. It looks like he's all the way back. 1-1, oh well, it was nice to have a perfect record.

New England -9.5 Buffalo
Buffalo doesn't have a NFL QB or great receivers, that means their entire offensive load has to be carried by McGahee. 9.5 is a lot of points, but NE at home should have enough to win this game by a couple of touchdowns.
NE inexplicably fumbled and bumbled their way to a ten point first half deficit. I really can't take the blame for this one. Buffalo shouldn't have been within 10 points of them. 1-2, it's starting to look pretty bad.

Tampa Bay -3 Baltimore
Even though I've been hearing a lot about how improved Chris Simms is, I have absolutely no faith in him. Baltimore brings in the always battered and bruised Steve McNair at QB. It may be the only start this year where he is actually healthy. This game really comes down to the running game. Is Jamal Lewis back to his 2,000 yard form of a couple of seasons ago? Probably not. I'm going with Carnell Williams and the Bucs to win by a touchdown.
I knew Chris Simms sucked, but I guess I was counting on the running game to make up for that. I should have gone with McNair in his only healthy game of the season. My fault completely on this one. Chris Simms couldn't beat out Major Applewhite at Texas even though they tried to give him the job repeatedly. Why did I think that he was going to be good enough to win this game? I don't know. I'm an idiot. 1-3, Okay, I'm starting to think that I should stick to baseball.

Kansas City -2.5 Cincinnati
Is Carson Palmer fully healed from his off season surgery? He certainly looked good in the pre-season. Larry Johnson will run for 150 yards, but the KC defense has been very generous in giving up yards themselves. I think that Palmer will lead the Bengals to an upset victory in this one.
The Bengals completely dominated KC in this game. Larry Johnson rushed for under a 100 yards for the first time in ten games (bad for my fantasy team) and trent Green literally got knocked out of the game. 2-3, hey the suns shines on a dogs ass sometimes.

Seattle -6 Detroit
Let's face it, Detroit hasn't been any good for a while. They have finally given up on Joey Harrington and brought in Jon Kitna, which is definitely an upgrade. Roy Williams is due to have a breakout season, but even with home field advantage, I don't see them holding up against the defending NFC champions. This one might be ugly. Seattle in a blowout.
Let me see. What exactly happened here? 9-6 final? What the f? Seattle apparently thought that they could just show up and the Lions would run in fear. Well I guess there's egg on my face on this one. I thought this would be the biggest spread of any game of the weekend. 2-4, I think I should start looking into those special education classes. Short bus anyone?

Carolina -5.5 Atlanta
Carolina is a trendy Superbowl pick this year. However, their best player (Steve Smith) is nursing a couple of sore hamstrings at this point and his status for the game is up in the air. Atlanta is always a mystery. Their success in any game starts and ends with Michael Vick. He's promised to run more this year and with Carolina's d-line and linebackers, he's going to have to. Even without Smith, I see Carolina winning by a touchdown.
I didn't realize how much Steve Smith meant to the Panthers offense. Without him, they were completely lost. Vick played under control and Dunn had a huge day. 2-5, Sometimes you just get them wrong, like the time I tried to make a mountain out of a mole hill. What a colossal waste of time.

Philadelphia -5 Houston
Donovan McNabb is going to be out to prove that last year is just a memory. He will come out strong and if the D-line can pressure David Carr, this game will be an easy win for Philly.
Wow, this almost sounds like I know what I'm talking about. I'm going to have to check on this one, but I'm sure someone else wrote this. 3-5.

Cleveland -3.5 New Orleans
Week 1 of the Reggie Bush show. New Orleans has a new QB, A new RB and a new coach. Not exactly a recipe for success. Good thing for them that they are playing Cleveland. I'll take the points in this one.
I'm glad some things never change. Cleveland still sucks. 4-5. Almost respectable. Almost.

Jacksonville -2 Dallas
Can T.O. make a big difference in Dallas? We are about to find out. This one should be close, but I'm going to take the Cowboys by field goal.
I picked this one with my heart instead of my head. Stupid heart. T.O. was fine, but Bledsoe apparently forgot what team he was playing for and decided to throw to the Jacksonville defense three times. 4-6, and just when I thought I was getting out of the special ed classes, Dallas pulls me back in.

Chicago -3.5 Green Bay
This may be Brett Favre last home opener. And based on his performance last year, it certainly should be. Chicago's defense was the best in the league last year. Unfortunately their offense isn't very good. They won a lot of low scoring games last year because of their defense. Look for more of the same. Chicago will win and cover on a late turnover by Favre.
The Packers looked pathetic at home and were dominated by the Bears. The Bears who last year struggled to score 10 points a game if you spotted them 9, found their offense in Green Bay. This could be a long year for Favre. He might end up wishing that he had retired this past offseason. I should probably retire from making these picks, but just like the plucky Brett Favre, I'm in it for the long haul. 5-6, that's almost respectable.

Arizona -8 San Francisco
This is a big spread, but San Francisco was truly awful last year and they didn't make any moves in the offseason that would lead you to believe that they have gotten any better. Arizona has a couple of good receivers and they've added Edgerrin James to bolster the running attack. This should be a cake walk for the birds. The should win by 2 touchdowns.
This game is just another example of organized crime in sports today. SF kicks a field goal with 36 seconds left to cover the spread by a point. This is a travesty. I have a mind to go to window, open it up and scream, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore". But then I remembered that the windows in this office building don't open. People already think I'm stupid, I don't want them to think I'm crazy too. 5-7, and just when I was thinking that I would break even.

Indianapolis -3.5 NY Giants
The Manning bowl is on. The Colts come in to Giants stadium with their usual passing attack, but they have lost Edgerrin James. The biggest question mark for the Giants is whether or not Eli Manning is ready to the next step in his development. I say that for one night he steps up his game in front of his big brother. I'll take the points in this one.
Another last minute field goal to cover the spread. What the hell is going on here? I don't think God loves me. Maybe he just has a sick sense of humor. Anyway, a bad call and a worse throw by Eli Manning, doomed me here. 5-8, so much for breaking even. I only have the Monday night games to bring our nation's long nightmare to an end.

Washington -4.5 Minnesota
I think both teams will problems scoring in this one. The Washington attack will be grounded by the absence of Clinton Portis. Minnesota? I don't know who's starting at RB or WR. They are a mess offensively as well. This game should be decided either way by a field goal. I'll take the points.
Hey, check this out. The game went exactly according to my plan. Even a surprise appearance by Clinton Portis couldn't ruin this pick as Minnesota won by a late field goal. It's only fair that if the Cowboys lose then Washington should lose as well. 6-8. I can't finish above .500 for the week, and I'm not really very handsome or smart either. All I need is for someone to come over here and kick me in the nuts and my life will be complete.

San Diego -3 Oakland
Bitter rivals get together in game one. Is Phillip Rivers ready to be an NFL QB? We'll find out in this game. Fortunately he's got the best TE and the best all purpose back to lean on. It should make his transition easier. He may not complete many long passes, but given his weapons, it should be enough to win by a touchdown. Look for Aaron Brooks to throw at least a couple of ill-advised passes in key moments.
I didn't realize just how much the Raiders suck. Rivers didn't throw very much, but he did have a TD pass to Gates late in the game. The Chargers ran early and often and LT carried the load for them. The Raiders showed up to play, but apparently they weren't sure exactly what sport they would be playing. The fact that the baseball diamond is still on the field must have confused them. 7-8.

That's it for this week. One game under .500. I should have gone with my friend Bruce Spiegler's strategy of just picking all the underdogs. I would have gone 11-4 with that strategy. So what have I learned from week 1? The Browns still suck, the Raiders may not win a game, Brett Favre should have retired and never bet on a spread of more than 7 points. Oh well, see you all next week. Same bat time, same bat channel. I have to run, the short bus is beeping it's horn.



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