NFL Thoughts…

 

     First: I know that this is a baseball blog.

 

     Second: I have no other place to write this where sports fans will read

 

     Third: I will do this anyway

 

     As some of you may know, I love football.  Baseball may be my passion, but football is right behind it.  I feel like some people that I know, mostly at work, seem to think that I don’t care much about football because I always love to talk baseball.  But that is far from true, false actually.  As a matter of fact, one football game has more intensity than almost any baseball game, and I fully appreciate the emotion that it brings.  It is after all, only a 16 game season.  That doesn’t mean that I enjoy football more so, it means that I understand the numbers.  1/16 is much more valuable than 1/162.  So individually, NFL games do bring more excitement. 

 

     I was also a football fan well before I began Fantasy Football.  My first league was in 2001 and I lost in the championship (won the championship in the other public league I played in with people I didn’t know).  There are things I like about Fantasy, but also very much dislike.  The one good thing it that it attracts more people to the game, but it also brings more “fantasy” fans as well.  I don’t know about you, but when I am sitting at the local sports bar watching the Eagles, I really dislike the two guys next to me when they talk fantasy.  Especially last week, when both had their Steelers jerseys on yet all I kept hearing about all was how their fantasy players were doing, and even worse, how their bench fantasy players were doing.  But only a few observations about the team that they “apparently” were cheering for.  Then at the end one said “How could the Steelers only score 6 points?  The Lions probably could have scored 30, and we scored 6!”  Now, the guy was drinking.  And I am not sure how much he had, but the Lions are one of the 3-5 worst teams in football.  They are awful.  And add in that the Eagles have a pretty good defense, as they have showed in 2 of 3 games this season (Monday Night Shootout with Dallas was an aberration in my opinion, and that goes for the way both Dallas and Philly’s defenses played).  The Eagles can stop the run.  They are capable against the pass, and they can get to the quarterback.  I actually have more concerns with the offense.  When healthy I believe it can be pretty potent, but with McNabb, health is always a question, and with Westbrook to a lesser extent, as he has been fairly healthy the last few years.  But anyway, the Steelers fan made a comment that he did not think about, or know of, either way I guess.

 

     But I do enjoy fantasy, and I keep tabs on my guys during the games.  But I don’t really like to talk fantasy as the games are going on, especially when the Eagles are playing.

 

     Anyway, here are my picks for this week, with the projected scores. 

 

     Tennessee 22 Minnesota 13:  As far as I can tell, I think that the Titans have the best defense in football.  “But if you can run the ball, and stop the run.  Then you can win in this league.”  That is what analysts have been saying for a while, and also in reference to the Vikings the past few years.  The problem with that is that the Viking have had arguably the worst pass defense, and passing offense.  I think Frerotte may help the Vikings slightly over Tavaris Jackson, although going after another QB in the offseason (Pennington, etc) made much more sense.  I just don’t think the Vikings will be able to do much this week.  The Titans will make them pass the ball, by focusing on stopping the run as they do so well.  And Frerotte will have to make some plays.  Of course, on the other side of the ball Kerry Collins isn’t too much better.  So I see a tightly contested defensive battle.  After all, both teams are solid on defense, and neither has a potent offense.  They actually mirror each other pretty well. 

 

     Denver 31 Kansas City 20:  Speaking of the 3-5 worst teams in footbal.  KC is right there.  They however had a good draft and can look toward the future with some hope.  Although they may need to hope a QB falls into their lap.  Denver is red-hot.  Cutler is playing out of his mind, and they should win this game pretty easily.

 

     New Orleans 33 San Francisco 23:  New Orleans really needs to win this game.  The Niners are no pushover, but they aren’t a good team either, at least I don’t think they are yet.  That could change of course.  The Saints have a terrible defense…again.  But they have a good offense…again.  So they should be competitive during the season, but they need some improvements on the defensive side of the ball if they want to make some serious noise.

 

     Jets 31 Cardinals 28:  I am not sold on the Cardinals, but I am sold on their passing game.  The Jets, as long as Favre plays, need to win this game.  Well, I guess they need to win it whether or not he plays.  But if he plays I think they win a squeaker.  If he doesn’t play then I think that the Cardinals win by a touchdown.  As for what I think of about the Jets?  I think the fact that they won against the Dolphins erased some of the belief in Favre needing to learn the playbook.  Not true, they barely won the game against a below average team, in week 1.  Favre needs time.  If healthy the Jets are primed to be better in the second half, but if they do not win games like this, then it may not matter.

 

     Tampa Bay 26 Green Bay 20:  If this game were in Green Bay then I would pick the Packers.  But when the team in the coldest city comes to Florida in September, it doesn’t look promising.  That being said, I think the Packers are solid, but not great.  I think that the Bucs are ok, but they are, like I said, at home.

 

     Carolina 27 Atlanta 17:  Am I the only one that didn’t think Carolina was going to win the Super Bowl this year?  It seems like every season they have plenty of supporters.  I think that they are decent enough on both sides of the ball to stay in the hunt, and even make the playoffs.  I just don’t believe that they can win 12 or 13 games.  More like 10, but I guess that is good enough some times.  Atlanta on the other hand is not as bad as we thought they were, but they will still probably win no more than 7 this season. 

 

     Jacksonville 30 Houston 20:  Houston is not terrible.  Jacksonville is better than they have played.  I just don’t know how good they are.  I think it would be safe to say they have taken a small step back since last season, even if it is only a win or two.  But that may keep them out of the playoffs, at least 9 wins may.

 

     Cincy 31 Cleveland 23:  As bad as the Browns offense has been…I don’t see it getting much better.  They are playing another team that is far from spectacular, but closer to their level then the opponents they have played.  The Bengals should have traded Chad Johnson.  I never like when he speaks, but that is beside the point.  It has been a long time since Cincy has played any defense.  Their offense going in wasn’t going to be anywhere close to its 2005 version, and they needed a solution.  They should have traded Johnson, or whatever they call him these days.  Even if it was just for a pick, because last time I checked defenders can be had in the draft too.  Brady Quinn, Brady Quinn, Brady Quinn.  I was skeptical of Derek Anderson last year, it just did not seem realistic that he was capable of continuing that success.  But he has weapons, so I cannot say that I felt that he would be this inept either.

 

     San Diego 28 Oakland 24:  The Chargers are still capable of being good, and I believe they are.  They just lost two heartbreakers before dismantling the Jets on Sunday night.  If they win fewer than 10, then I will be very surprised.  Oakland on the other hand is flawed, but they have played tough the last two weeks.  Winning one against KC, then losing one at Buffalo on a last second field goal.  I don’t think they are terrible, but not quite decent yet either.

 

     Buffalo 24 St Louis 17:  I think, for the first time this year, the Rams play someone tough.  But the thing is, they are a terrible team.  Sitting Bulger, who was locked up long term, for 38 year old Trent Green, who has had recent health issues, was stupid.  Not that I ever thought Bulger was great, he wasn’t.  He had the distant remains of what Vermeil left behind, and what Martz kept around from Vermeil’s reign.  But still, he had talent around him.  This season however, he had a running back, one receiver, and one offensive lineman that anyone knows.  Oh, and a horrible, horrible defense.  No QB would have much success in that situation.  And I don’t expect Trent Green too either.  Buffalo is solid, but they have work to do.  I like their defense, but I am not too confident in their offense, yet.  Although it is not terrible, so they may have enough to make it to the postseason. 

 

     Dallas 37 Washington 20:  Dallas is good, really good.  And yes, that pains me.  But it isn’t that I think they can dismantle good teams on their way to the playoffs like this.  I just think the Redskins are an average team.  It is in Dallas, and like I said, they are good.  When they play in Washington it should be closer.

 

     Philly 24 Chicago 16:  I know that Philly is my favorite team, but I like what I see.  I do not know how healthy they will be this weekend though (McNabb, Westbrook, already down Curtis and Reggie Brown).  But I don’t think that Chicago is too scary with Kyle Orton at the helm, or with any QB that they have had in the past 20 years for that matter.  But it is in Chicago, and the atmosphere is always wild there.  So I am not overly confident, trust me.

 

     Pittsburgh 20 Baltimore 17:  Prime pouncing time for the Ravens to really make a statement.  But the game is in Pitt, and the Ravens offense hasn’t been all that good.  I know the Ravens D has played very well so far, but so hasn’t Pitt’s.  I think Pitt wins in a slugfest, in a “last minute field goal” type style. 

 

     Don’t expect much from these picks.  I am simply doing it for fun.  And isn’t that what blogging is all about? 

 

      

 

      

 

      

3 Comments

i enjoyed that bit about the scene in the sports bar–

how about some picks for the games on wednesday?

i have a small prediction–i have a feeling that if the dodgers can take one of the games in chicago then they will win that series…i don’t trust zambrano and it seems even rich harden is losing velocity. any thoughts?

I watched Harden’s last start and saw the lack of velocity, if he and Zambrano are ineffective then the Dodgers have a good shot. But the Cubs are better and deeper than the Dodgers. It isn’t as if the Dodgers are throwing three aces at the Cubs.

And picks in baseball aren’t as fun. I may pick the series,’ but not individual games.

Good to stretch my legs over here for the first time in a while. Sorry about that, Joe. Honestly, I’ve not scattered many thoughts too far around blogs in quite a while just from being busy. Funny stuff and right on the money about some fantasy fans in the bar, the ones who are mainly fantasy fans. I too hate that–HATE that. It’s in good part why I never play fantasy sports. For some, the good ones, fantasy sports enhances what they already know about the game. Others are total interlopers.

Good assessment of my Bills, whose defense if healthy will cause problems for opponents. They need to cause more turnovers, but do a decent job of getting to the QB (10 sacks in 4 games). They’re also built how I like defenses–big up the front middle line, fast on the rest. Posluszny’s healthy return does a lot for them, and the secondary has come together nicely. The DBs aren’t big but they’re physical and fast. I too am wondering about the offense. The line has significantly improved and they run the ball fairly well. The key is Edwards–can he be efficient and keep the turnovers down? He’s not great with the deep ball but is at least good with mid-range routes. They can get by with that for it improves upon their recently woeful inability to stretch the field. Edwards doesn’t get rattled easily. The Bills have done well on offense for a few crucial reasons–Edwards has been efficient, he’s been getting protection, they haven’t turned the ball over much, and they’ve had 18 penalties in 4 games. They’re not shooting themselves in the foot much.

They also haven’t had the toughest start to the schedule. Seattle and Jacksonville are at least fairly good, and Jacksonville is very physcial, but both are banged up. The Raiders and Rams stink out loud. Can the Bills beat good opponents? That’s what I’m asking myself, though getting some momentum before the meat of the schedule is fine with me. Arizona will challenge them, certainly with the Cards’ offense. The Chargers loom after the bye week, then the division schedule (AFC East improved overall) with Cleveland, Frisco, Denver, and KC interspersed. It’s not the toughest schedule and that helps, but they need more than a buildup of confidence but actual tests to show they can play with the good teams. We’ll see, but I like what I’ve heard thus far.

Keep up the good work, Stat Man. Good luck with your Sox and Eagles.
Jason
http://heartlandpinstripes.wordpress.com/

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