Thursday, September 21, 2006

so far i'm even steven

Two weeks in, and my record is 16-16 at this, so lets go for round three, this time on a Thursday.

I was watching Two and a Half Men (the west coast broadcast that starts at midnight Eastern) on Monday before I switched to the Dodgers-Padres game. I don’t care much for the show, but gosh darn it; that intro song has some of the best lyrics to any television theme song, like, ever. So, today I’m going do my manly football predictions for NFL week 3.

@ Buffalo -6 NY Jets
Man, was I wrong about J.P. Losman. Man, was I wrong about Chad Pennington. Buffalo’s home opener should be a good one for the Bills faithful. Bills defense might be better than New England’s, and considering what the Jets could muster at home last week against the Patriots, this one could be a shutout for the Bills. Now that I’ve dropped all the Jets’ running backs on my fantasy team (Cedric Houston, who’s been inactive on the Jets even though he’s healthy this season) (my fantasy team really, really sucks) I’m thinking the Jets really, really suck. Eli Manning, you may have to battle Brady Quinn for King QB in New York Status pretty soon.
My pick: Buffalo.

@ Pittsburgh -2 Cincinnati
Man can that Jacksonville team play some defense. Pittsburgh, for some reason unbeknownst to me, decided to go with an air attack, thinking possibly, that Jacksonville would expect Pittsburgh to run. But as the game went on, a few things became evident;

  1. Pittsburgh was going to continue to pass thinking that Jacksonville was thinking that Pittsburgh would run, because heck, that’s what the Steelers have always done.
  2. Jacksonville was going to continue to play their fast defense focusing on the run and Hines Ward.
  3. Ben Rothlesberger may not have been 100% healthy.
  4. I was not going to win QB1 because Pittsburgh was choosing not to run.

Jacksonville only came up with 9 points at home. No touchdowns. Last time a team beat a good team without scoring a touchdown this season was St. Louis versus Denver in week one (thanks to Mike for pointing that one out). Week two, on the road in San Francisco, St. Louis lost. Basically, the only thing that can salvage not scoring a touchdown at home is shutting the other team out.

Here are some fun facts about the Pittsburgh Steelers and why they should run even though everyone knows they are going to run.


Rushing Attempts (NFL rank)

Passing Attempts (NFL Rank)



549 (1)

379 (32)

11-5 Super bowl win


618 (1)

358 (32)



446 (17)

532 (10)


Yes, Ben Rothlesberger has been their quarterback savior the last two seasons, but really, it’s their running game that has taken them to such great heights. On Monday, the Steelers ran 14 times, passed 32 times. In the first week against Miami they ran 38 times and passed 25. I’m not saying they should run the ball or anything. But they should really run the ball.
My pick: Pittsburgh.

@ Indianapolis -7 Jacksonville
Imagine you’re the Jaguars. You’ve just shutout the defending Super Bowl Champs on Monday night. Now you’re facing the Colts. As much prime time attentions as New England-Denver and Atlanta-New Orleans are getting this is the game of the week. Are the Jag’s for real? Last year, the Jags would have won their home match against the Colts except the Colts had the refs in their back pockets. 7 points is a lot, but if Indy wins, it will be by a touchdown. Jacksonville might be 3-0, but they play up to their opponents, and will lose to a sub-500 team somewhere down the line after beating up some of the big boys. It’s a push.
My pick: Indianapolis.

@ Miami -11 Tennessee
Tennessee. Tennessee
T-T-Tennessee Tennessee
Tennessee. Tennessee
T-T-Tennessee Tennessee
Lord I've really been real stressed
Down and out, losin ground
Although I am oh and two
Problems got me pessimistic
QB’s and defense keep messin up
Why does it have to be so damn tuff?
I don't know where I can go
To let these ghosts out of my skull
My McNair’s past, my Marino’s gone
I never at once felt so alone
I know you're supposed to be my steering wheel
Not just my spare tire (home)
But Nick I ask you (home)
To be my guiding force and truth (home)
For some strange reason it had to be (home)
He guided me to Tennessee (home)

Take me to another place
Take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me
Let me understand your plan
My pick: Miami.

Washington -4 @ Houston
This is what happens when teams like Indianapolis and Jacksonville square off, we’re left with the Redskins and the Texans. So, um….yeah. Is Portis healthy? I think so. Even though odds dictate that someone will be a winner, I can guarantee that the fans in Washington and Houston aren’t going to be the ones.
My pick: Washington.

Chicago -3.5 @ Minnesota
Holy smokes is Chicago getting no respect or what? I think I’m going to have to bet on this game on the side. Put me down for a 5-spot on the Norris Division champs.
My pick: Da Bears.

Carolina -3 @ Tampa Bay
Holy smokes. I just put another 5 spot on Carolina. Simply because Tampa has scored only 3 points so far this year and Carolina can’t go 0-3, can they? Seriously? Well, it’s not called gambling because it’s safe now is it?
My pick: Carolina.

@ Detroit -6.5 Green Bay
Speaking of men, did you know that they might also have a reason to have children at a younger age? Brett Favre has probably read this (because all sports figures read my insightful insights into life) and has now impregnated half of Wisconsin. Due to his exhaustion, he will be inactive this week, making the job a little easier for the Lions.
My pick: Detroit.

Baltimore -6.5 @ Cleveland
I hate this. Cleveland might totally win this game, although they have no reason to do so. Football does that, they present these totally unfair match ups, you bet your mortgage on them, and then Cleveland comes out and wins. In case you’re wondering, I think this game should be a cakewalk for Baltimore, which means Cleveland will win.
My pick: Baltimore.

@ Arizona -4.5 St. Louis
If Arizona is going to be an 8-8 team, they’re going to win home games against mediocre teams like St. Louis. If St. Louis is going to be an 8-8 team, they’re going to win games on the road against mediocre teams like Arizona. As you can see, this analysis creates quite a dilemma. Dilemma in football betting terms = take the points.
My pick: St. Louis.

@ Seattle -3.5 NY Giants
Giants should be 0-2. Seattle should play a full 60 minute game (unlike some other NFC team last week). Eli Manning should come back down to earth. In 5 years we should see Shaun Alexander on Dancing with the Stars.
My pick: Seattle.

Philadelphia -6 @ San Francisco
I saw this TV show last night on CBS called Jericho. It was about this town that sees a mushroom cloud off in the distance. In the show, this is explained by the fact that either a nuclear bomb went off or America was under attack (ten years ago it would have been aliens, now it’s terrorists). I watched because they started the show off with a song by the Killers called All these things that I’ve done. This tangent relates to this game in two ways.

First, I actually watched a one hour non-sports television show that wasn’t named back-to back episodes of South Park.

Secondly, I think we were witness to a unique events this past week (the fact that I was on the loosing betting end of both of them doesn’t matter; I’m pretty numb to emotions these days). On Sunday, the Eagles fans suffered a medium grade stomach punch (according to Bill Simmons levels of loosing). Not only did they blow a 17 point lead in the fourth quarter at home to a division rival, but they also lost their best defensive end in Jevon Kearse, a guy who was on pace to have one hell of a sack season (3 and a half in almost 2 games). On Monday, Padre fans also suffered a level two grade stomach punch game after loosing the division lead in the very improbable fashion of giving up four home runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and then loosing in the bottom of the tenth by giving up a home run. But the Padres will go on easier than the Eagles, because baseball is an everyday sport.

The Eagles, well, they are on some really thin ice right now. If they lose this game to a crappy San Francisco team, they’re done for the season. Done like dinner. However, San Francisco’s only chance of making the playoffs this year is if San Francisco turns into Jericho and every other city in America is blown up by a mushroom cloud (was it Aliens, was it Terrorists? Will we ever find out? No we won’t. Just like the television show Lost, we’ll never know, but people will keep watching because they are starved for drama). So far the Eagles schedule has looked mighty light this season.
My pick: Philadelphia.

@ New England -6.5 Denver
Let us just go ahead and say that both of these teams won’t make the playoffs this year. Wait... I read a book this summer about Bill Belichik, and sorry people, I’m convinced. Bill Belichick is a genius. He is really, really smart. He’s not infallible or anything, but he is really, really smart. Denver could only score 9 points last week. Things do not look good for Stan, Eric, Kenny and Kyle's favourite team, even two games hath not a season make.
My pick: New England.

Atlanta -4 @ New Orleans
It’s nice to see the NFL back in New Orleans. The winners, no matter the outcome, are the New Orleans Saints fans. Hey, I got an idea! How about the Saints run off a magical season and make the playoffs on the backs of some emotional fan support? Sound good? Then they have to win this week.
My heartwarming pick: New Orleans 24-21.

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