Friday, September 08, 2006

my weekly football pool picks

I'm in a football pool where we have to pick teams against the spread. I won last year, and what comes with winning is an inflated ego and sense of self. To that extent I am making my picks publicly with some thoughts thrown in. Our tie-breaker is total number of points scored on Monday night, and not only am I going to list the points, I'm going to list the score.

I know this means that I'm most likely going to finish out of the money, but the odds of repeating were slim anyways.



@ St. Louis

Quite frankly, when Mike Martz threw the coach’s challenge flag last year on the opening kickoff of the opening game, I busted a gut. I’m going to miss his avant-garde coaching. Maybe Detroit will let him throw one for old time’s sake. St. Louis probably won’t be better off without him, even with the coach’s challenges. St. Louis, welcome to 5-11 country. My pick: Denver



NY Jets

The must see match up of the week. To paraphrase Sir Elton, T-t-t-tenny and the Jets. Seriously though, if you have any players from any of these teams in your fantasy pool, you probably still should have this game as the last on your Sunday Ticket rotation. Also, if any of those players are starting on your fantasy team and your league is not 20 teams deep, you should consider following the NFL before entering a league and throwing your money away. That being said, I drafted both Curtis Martin and Cedric Houston on my fantasy team, without the knowledge that Kevan Barlow was signed by the Jets. I hate my fantasy team; it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Tennessee might win a couple of games this year, but by this time next year Brady Quinn should be starting for the Jets. My pick: Tennessee.

New England



Did I say the Jets were getting Quinn? Buffalo might, but they’ll pull a Detroit/Houston on him and take a defensive player. You see, they have this weird infatuation with J.P. Losman in Buffalo. They find this scrambling quarterback, give him the number 7, and watch their team defense improve and offense regress. Quick name game to prove my point; of Peyton Manning, Kelly Holcomb, Mark Bulger, Matt Hasselbeck, Tom Brady, Ben Rothlisberger, who had the best completion rating last year?

That’s right, second in the league (behind Carson Palmer) was Kelly Holcomb. And J.P. Losman is the starter this year.

That being said, I’m tired of picking favourites, and 9.5 points is quite a lot to give a team with a great quarterback and no wide receivers. My pick: Buffalo.

@ Tampa Bay



McNair-Mason, it’s the early 21st century Tennessee Titans. This remake sounds more along the lines of an Indiana Jones sequel than a Wild Things sequel (I think they’re up to Wild Things 3 now, really pushing the creative limits of a murder-plot-twist-with-a-token-lesbian-scene movie, which coincidently, always seems to have water involved. They should just name the whole series Attack of the Wet Lesbian Killers). Anyways, back to Mason and McNair, these guys have something cerebral going on. Just like Andrew Cassels and Geoff Sanderson did in Columbus, Mason and McNair they’re going to get together for one last good stats season. FYI, Geoff Sanderson without Andrew Cassels, goals per game (career) 0.25. With Cassels, Sanderson scored at a 0.40 clip (translated into a season, he was a 20 goal scorer without Cassels and a 35 goal scorer with). What does that mean for this game? AFC is better than NFC. No connection to what I’ve said at all whatsoever. My pick: Baltimore.

@ Kansas City



Did you know Trent Green is 36? Did you know that Carson Palmer is 26? The question I have, is can Cincinnati stop Larry Johnson? Their secondary is great, but if Johnson is being tackled by Cincinnati’s secondary, it’s going to be a long day for the Bengals. I’m going to go with the home team here, and say that Larry Johnson has the kind of fantasy day that a first overall selection would. My pick: Kansas City.



@ Detroit

Curse bowl 2006. I hate Matt Millen. As my friend Whiting has stated on numerous occasions, and a thought echoed by lots of people, perhaps the Lions, who probably aren’t going to contend for the playoffs this year, could have used their first round selection on something they haven’t had in ages, and something that sorta helps a playoff cause, like a franchise quarterback. No, they decided that a linebacker was due. All due respect to Mr. Sims, but Matt Leinart could be the next Carson Palmer. The curse of Millen will overcome the curse of Madden/Super Bowl losers/official blamers. Someone has to do some investigative research and find out what pictures Millen has, specifically the kind that would grant him a 5 year extension. I hate Millen so much that I’ve now re-written history in my mind and decided the reason Barry Sanders quit was Matt Millen. My pick: Seattle.

@ Carolina


Oh Carolina, ba baa, ba ba baaa. Oh Carolina ba baa, ba ba baa. Oh Carolina something something, you make me lose my something, ba ba baa. Wouldn’t it be something, if Michael Vick finally got comfortable with the west coast offense, if Ashlie Lelie came in and added some quality presence in the locker room and a viable 2nd target, if Atlanta, in their first series, saw nothing but three-step drops from Vick and then him using his blessed arm to fire rockets to Crumpler? It would spread out the Carolina secondary, allowing Dunn to run free past the Carolina linebackers? Alas, Carolina will probably have a linebacker spying on Vick and waiting to meet him 2 yards from the line of scrimmage. Although 5.5 is a lot of points. I’m thinking this game is coming down to a field goal. My pick: Atlanta.



@ Houston

Philadelphia is going to kill Houston. Absolutely destroy them. As my football prospectus says “Imagine you were a Texans fan and were thinking you could get Reggie Bush as your starting running back and you ended up with Wali Lundy. That would be like dreaming of getting an Xbox 360 for Christmas and waking up with a broken Atari in your stocking.” That being said, defensive ends have a longer career lifespan than running backs, even if Reggie Bush might not only have been Houston’s best running back, but possibly challenged Andre Johnson for top receiver status. Does anyone else see Houston’s move of putting Dominick Davis on the IR as simply a way of preventing him from getting seriously injured because they’ve already thrown in the towel for 2006? My pick: Philadelphia.

@ Cleveland


New Orleans

Torture-Bowl 2006. Even if they lose at least Cleveland fans can say they’ve seen Reggie Bush before anyone else. Again, going with the fact that AFC is better than the NFC and taking the Browns, but not betting on this game. I hate first week games, I should point that out. Because anybody can win, and it doesn’t dictate what is going to happen at all. Did I say Cleveland was going to win? Because I think New Orleans could surprise people this year, just like they could last year, pulling together as a team for the City of New Orleans and playing over their heads (they should have been 2-14 last year and gotten Reggie Bush fair and square). My pick: New Cleveland.

@ Jacksonville



TO always has one good season (usually his first) with a team. Dallas should win, Jacksonville is home. I hate the first week. Speaking of Texas, Chris Bosh (who is from Texas I believe) was in the latest issue of ESPN the magazine, and I was afraid. I thought the article was about how Chris Bosh is the best unknown player from that 2003 draft, and how he’s about to get known by moving to another team. But then the facts kicked in, he was just signed to an extension, even thought the Raptors didn’t pick up Aldridge, they did grab his buddy T.J. Ford, and Nesterovic allows Bosh to stop playing the 5, and go to the 4. Things look good for the Raptors. Maybe not playoffs good, but maybe. My pick: Dallas.



@ Green Bay

Seriously? Only 3.5 points? Screw it; I’m going to use this space to officially state that the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp starts in less than a week (September 14th) and that I’m officially excited about the upcoming hockey season. Leafs are going to win their division. Everyone who isn’t a Leaf fan is going to hate the Leaf fans (and I won’t be proud of the parades after winning one playoff round). The Leafs fans are like the Yankees fans. There are tons of us everywhere, and that means there are more stupid ones. We’re back baby, and more obnoxious than ever. Suck it. I’m going to Constanza this pick, and go against my instinct. My pick: Green Bay.

@ Arizona


San Francisco

Doing analysis for all the games is a lot more work than I previously thought. I’m probably going to keep the commentary to a minimum. Quick fact, Kurt Warner only started 10 games last year (missing all of October), and lead NFL qb’s in 300 yard games with 5 (he had a 6th with 285) and averaged 271 yards thrown per start. He also averaged 37.5 pass attempts a game. I think the addition of a running back might bring those numbers back down to earth a bit. My pick: Arizona.



@ NY Giants

Manning Bowl. Blah blah blah. Did you know that the Manning bowl is on this Sunday night on NBC? Who will Mrs. Manning cheer for? Who cares? If the Giants win, Peyton won’t speak to Eli until next year, at the earliest. That being said, Indy might win their first 13 games again this year, and this will be the smallest spread they get. My pick: Indianapolis.

Monday Night



If this was the Nationals versus the Twins, who would you take? If this was the Timberwolves versus the Wizards, who would you take? If this was the Capitals versus the Wild, who would you take? Twins and Wild make it 2-1 for Minnesota for me. My pick: Minnesota, 24-17.

San Diego


@ Oakland

This game starts past 10 pm eastern standard time. It might not end until past 1:30. And yet, I’ll be in bed, dozing off until San Diego puts up a two touchdown lead with under 2 minutes to play. And then, and only when they start taking knees because Art Shell used all his timeouts in the third quarter, will I fall asleep. Because a few years ago I missed the Colts comeback against the Buccaneers, and will sacrifice Tuesday morning productivity in order to never again miss a great late comeback. My pick: San Diego, 35-21.

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