What’s up? Week 8, NFL season 2009. Almost half done L. Although with my Hokies falling to GT and UNC, I will admit my NFL fandom percentage has increased, despite the fact that I’m a Redskin fan. Shhhhhhh. One note: Fire Bryan Stinespring.
[I] 2009 Season Stats
71.13% straight up picks for your office pool (69-28)
60.00% against the spread this year on recommended plays (45-30)
54.90% over-all including the recommended no-actions (56-46)
Last week was the “Really?” edition with strong teams not playing the part against some weaker opponents. This week I pretty much have no complaints.
Thoughts for the past week:
*I went (9-4) in the straight up picks for your office pool. Not for the spread, missed Carolina, Atlanta, Chicago, and NYG to win. Don’t feel bad about Atlanta or Chicago as I had them to outright win as dogs. And I guess the Giants at least played a worthy opponent. But Carolina? Wow, you suck. You and Tennessee are now dead to me, I can’t hang on any longer knowing “you’re better than that, just had a rough schedule to start”.
*I did however make bank this week with the book. Went (8-5) overall but (7-2) against the spread on the recommended picks. For you mathematicians, that’s (1-3) in NO ACTION plays as well.
*This means two things. One, I’ll friggin take a (7-2) (77.78%) week every week on recommended plays. That’s good money. Two, I’m back to at least knowing which games to avoid. Or at least which games I might like a dog in, but it’s a good matchup so I’ll avoid it (chicken out).
*My two losses against the spread on recommended plays were caused by Houston going in cruise control too early against the Niners on a back-up QB, and by the Carolina Punters.
Season 2009, Trains I’m on:
*Peyton Manning (wow)
*Carson Palmer /Tom Brady (rehabilitation wonders)
*Steelers (this spot was the Vikings’ last week. That PITT defense is looking more like last year’s D already. One week with Troy Palomalululoulalaloumalulamool
*Saints (down 24-3 early in Miami. Psssssssssssshhhh.)
*Broncos (I admit it now. Hi, I’m HokieJayBee, and I like the Broncos. Uniforms.)
Season 2009, Trains I’m not on:
*Michael Crabtree (could be your last week on this list, drum rolllllll)
*Braylen Edwards (now the assault charges come out, lovely)
*Clinton Portis, Jason Campbell, Jim Zorn (debacle)
*Matt Forte (no longer watch list, I sold my Forte tickets this weekend.)
*Larry Johnson (now you’re anti-coach tweeting and slinging gay slurs. Classy. Joe Pa must be proud.)
Train Watch List (could be going in either the right or wrong direction):
*Tom Brady/New England (94-7 over their last two games. Of course you can’t move onto the train list for beating two winless teams in that manner, but still….)
*Joe Flacco (we’ll see this week out of the bye with undefeated Denver in town. Beware of one Elvis Dumervil.)
[II] Week 8 Picks/Comments – Enginerd Table
|GAME||LINE||OFFICE POOL WINNER||SPREAD WINNER||FAVE OR DOG?||ACTION?||HEART / COMMENT||PREDICTED SCORE|
|1||SEA @ DAL||DAL -9.5||DAL||DAL||FAVE||YES||I don’t care about Romo and this Miles Austin guy. For Dallas opponents, I’d be more wary to see that Dallas D back and playing well. On top of that Seattle is notoriously horrible on the road, and their best O lineman is out for the year. I’m also seeing a breakout game from Jason Witten with Miles Austin getting all that attention from the safety. I would consider locking this up at -6.5, but not a lock up at -9.5.||DAL 27-16|
|2||HOU @ BUF||HOU -3.5||HOU||HOU||FAVE||YES||Two teams matchup here that are tough to read this year. The Bills have been playing their hearts out to try and save Dick Jauron’s job. Houston is my Jekyll and Hyde team for the year already. I’m just not seeing the Fitzpatrick led Bills scoring enough to keep up with Houston’s passing game. If Slaton doesn’t fumble, the Texans might roll big.||HOU 24-13|
|3||MIN @ GB||GB -3.5||MIN||MIN||DOG||NO||Great game. Favre-fest part II. At Lambeau this time. Don’t really know how I feel about this one, and I wouldn’t bet on it if I were you. I think Favre and company, getting the win in round 1 of this match in Minnesota, have less pressure to win here. I think GB is under the gun here to keep up in the division and will be tighter. I’m taking MINN to outright win on the road because the Packers still have a horrible O Line and the Vikings are still strong up front on D.||MINN 27-24 (Minnesota outright win)|
|4||STL @ DET||DET -3.5||DET||DET||FAVE||YES||Both these teams suck, and they’re both so littered with injuries that Vegas originally didn’t have a line out this week. I assume waiting on the status of Bulger/Stafford/Culpepper – and Calvin Johnson. Unless a solid line comes out before print time, I’m going to take Detroit at home here and take credit for a win if they win and whine about the lack of line if they lose.||DET 13-6|
|5||MIA @ NYJ||NYJ -3.5||MIA||MIA||DOG||NO||Another great divisional game, another chicken out. The Wildcat is in full effect, and the Jets are banged up, up front on D. The Jets have a great secondary, but Miami won’t be throwing much. And Mark Sanchez will be back home here to face a tough divisional game rather than against Oakland like last week. I see the Dolphins slowing this game down and grinding it out on the road. Either way, close game and I’m making it NO ACTION.||MIA 24-23 (Miami outright win)|
|6||SF @ IND||IND -12.5||IND||IND||FAVE||YES||The Colts are good. -12.5 doesn’t scare me here at home, with a West Coast team coming in on a QB switch and a banged up RB. Peyton Manning will throw for 325, 3 TD’s, no picks. Colts win.||IND 31-17|
|7||CLE @ CHI||CHI -13.5||CHI||CHI||FAVE||YES||How can this line be bigger than the Colt’s line? Either way I see Chicago bouncing back at home after getting smoked at Cinci last week. The Bears will be fine at home against a bad Browns team. The -13.5 worries me slightly, but I honestly can’t willingly say aloud, “I think the Browns will cover.” Because I stick to only taking 4 NO ACTION picks per week, I’m sticking action pick here with the Bears at home. This bet says more about the ineptitude of the Browns than it does about the Bears.||CHI 24-6|
|8||DEN @ BAL||BAL -3.5||DEN||DEN||DOG||NO||Another great great game. Despite my recent love for Denver, I can’t take them on an action pick here. With that Baltimore D coming off of a bye week, this game is going to be tight and close either way. I think Denver can win a tight game with their own big time D, but I’m still a little worried to see Kyle Orton on the road here against a tight D.||DEN 20-17 (Denver outright win)|
|9||JAC @ TEN||TEN -2.5||JAC||JAC||DOG||YES||When I first saw this line, I thought it was JAC -2.5, and I still was going to take the Jags. Then I noticed I read it wrong and it was TENN -2.5. Chuckle. I know TENN is coming off of a bye, but they’re in shambles. Do you think Vince Young has a decent game against JAC’s D? I don’t see them stopping Garrard and MJD enough to stay competitive, even if V Young doesn’t cost TENN the game.||JAC 20-17 (Jacksonville outright win)|
|10||OAK @ SD||SD -16.5||SD||SD||FAVE||YES||Wow. A 16-17 point spread in an NFL game? In a divisional game, even if it is the AFC West. And, I shy not away. San Diego rolls at home here. Oakland is bad and San Diego has to keep pace with Denver. San Diego will be focused here.||SD 27-6|
|11||NYG @ PHI||PHI -0.5||NYG||NYG||DOG||NO||Great game = chicken. We’ve proven that. I almost felt like tossing a coin here, but I just see the NYG going back to running, and running, and running. Philly is hurt with the lack of Brian Westbrook, so the Giants can leave an extra LB or SS in pass coverage to try and neutralize Philly’s wideouts.||NYG 24-20 (New York outright win)|
|12||CAR @ ARI||ARI -9.5||ARI||ARI||FAVE||YES |
|Locking up the Cardinals heading back home here after a big win at the NYG last week. Carolina is on the verge of benching Jake Delhomme and I think this loss and 3 more picks will do him in. Arizona’s D is coming into last year’s playoff form and this offense has so many weapons.||ARI 27-7|
|13||ATL @ NO||NO -9.5||NO||NO||FAVE||YES||New Orleans has had some big games this year. This is their first prime time game of the year, and I don’t think they’ll disappoint. Atlanta is coming off getting smoked by Dallas and I think the Saints will try and distance themselves in the division with a statement game. With 2 starters out in the Atlanta secondary as well, I don’t see New Orleans not scoring 40,…..again.||NO 40-26|
--taking 5 dogs this week
-- conveniently, 4 of those 5 dogs are recommended NO-ACTION, making all 4 NO-ACTION picks a dog, again. trend?
[III] 10 or so things I think I think.
- I think these are my top 5 teams right now:
(After 7 weeks I’m able to start claiming there’s an order here.)
- NO – I have nothing more to say than, at no point, even when I saw 24-3 Miami this week in the second quarter, did I think for one millisecond that you would lose.
- INDY – you’re playing better than New Orleans right now, but against lesser opponents.
- DENV – up to #3 in my top 5? Wow. From chicken to Bronco lover. Prove me right this week in Baltimore.
- NEW ENG – I don’t know what to say here. (5-2) going into the bye week, just straight stomping mud holes in people. I’m not claiming anything Super Bowl related yet, but they sure as heck ain’t losing this division to the Jets, ‘phins, or Bills.
- PITT – big win this week against the Vikes. That defense looks back, and looks mean. Straight into a bye week too, to get even more healthy in the secondary.
- I think these are my bottom 5 teams right now:
(After 7 weeks I’m able to start claiming there’s an order here.)
- WASH – you have two more wins than some other teams in the league, but there sure as hell isn’t another organization in as bad of a place as you right now.
- TAMPA – not even competitive in your losses. Quick, NFL fans out there, name the Tampa starting QB.
- DET/STL – you two shitstains play this week. I guess I can move the winner off this list?
- TENN – heading home this week after a bye, to host a divisional foe. Lose this and you’re looking at 0-16 or 1-15, fur reels.
- CAR/OAK – I can’t decide who to put on here……I guess I’ll go with whomever benches their starting QB first. If your coach and organization are benching them and giving up, I guess I can safely list you in my bottom 5.
- I think too much has already been made about Jeff Fisher of the Titans wearing a Peyton Manning jersey to a charity event. First, the charity event was for an organization for Tony Dungy (Peyton’s former coach), so it was at least a relevant player from another NFL team. Second, who cares? It’s a shirt. A friggin shirt. Maybe the Titan’s players offended their coach would wear the shirt of a rival quarterback should go out and earn some respect to get their own shirts worn in tribute, rather than whining about this.
- I think sometimes you should worry less about tricking your opponents and worry more about lining up and running a play you’re good at, or have the personnel for. Bigger, better, stronger, faster. The Vikings had the ball at the Steeler 6 inch line at one point last week, 1st and goal. And they only ran Adrian Peterson one of the three plays before kicking a field goal. Trying to run play action throws on the other two. Umm, if you’ve already conceded that you’ll kick the FG on 4th down, no way you don’t just run the best RB in the league at the goal line three straight plays. Horrible coaching.
- I think I have a new favorite wide receiver. Wes Welker is the definition of steady. 8-10 catches a game, maybe a touchdown here or there. EVERY week. Never hear him talk in the media. Never hear him whine. And my favorite part, he doesn’t try and break every play to the sidelines or risk going backwards to make a move. He makes the catch, finds the defender, finds the first down marker, and dives forward for that extra 3-yards, EVERY time he touches the ball. Solid.
- I think it’s funny that when things are going well for the Bears or Giants, people love how stoic and unwavering Jay Cutler and Eli Manning look, respectively. But, when things are going bad, or more specifically when they’re running for their life with no O-line protection, those same people bitch how flabbergasted, pouty, and out of place those same QB’s look. What?!?!? That’s the same face! That’s Magnum, and Blue Steel. That’s the same face! Both these teams have bigger worries trying to stop the opposing team’s QB ripping their secondary apart than to worry about facial expressions of their QB’s in a loss.
- I think I’d like to welcome back a couple pass catchers to league, or at least to point of their stats being meaningful at all. Welcome back, Chad Johnson (Ocho, Whatever) and Jeremy Shockey. Good to see you back in relevance.
- I think my non-football thought of the week this week is that Major League Baseball couldn’t root for two better line-ups in their World Series. I’m not going to get into TV viewership or fan-bases or general feeling from the nation on NYY vs. PHIL – but for just two great teams with stacked line-ups meeting up – this could be a great series. Hate for either the Yanks or the Phils aside, you have to admit these two teams have a couple murderer’s rows to pitch through.
- This week’s Jerome Bettis Award goes to wide receivers on both teams of the Monday Night Football game this week:
- 2nd year man, 2nd round pick, Devin Thomas catches a touchdown to bring the ‘skins within 2 (or 3?) scores. Super pre-choreographed dance ensues, to include some flying-like-a-bird motion as you run off the field. Now, I almost gave you a pass, as this was your first NFL touchdown. But I can’t. The ‘skins suck, and you’re losing a game, badly, at home, on MNF. Get to the sideline and prepare for your next drive, chump. Celebrate later with your family. 2nd round picks have more than one TD in their 23rd NFL game.
- The second award this week is part Jerome Bettis, part Martin Grammatica award, for celebrating and hurting yourself during said celebration. So I’m not so much saying that Deshaun Jackson didn’t deserve to celebrate his second of two long TD’s last night, as much as laughing at him straining his foot doing his TD dance. He had to leave the game for x-rays/MRI’s from the little diddy. He returned for a couple plays late in the game to test out the foot and appeared to be ok, but still funny as crap. TD dance danger level > playing NFL football danger level.
- This week’s Just Shut Up Award goes to Larry Johnson. I don’t even need to expound on this one. Long story short, frustrated player, anti-coach tweeting, gay slurs at reporters. Grow up, cock bag. Google “Larry Johnson Twitter” if you want to read more. My JSU Award this week is to Larry personally, but in a more broad sense these athletes need to be a little more careful with all the media outlets and technological advances now. Twitter/Facebook/etc. are not your friend.