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Author Topic: Finny's week 4 picks:  (Read 343 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Sep 30, 2011 at 15:14 »

So, perhaps you’re wondering how Finny’s week 3 picks panned out.  Sometimes the ride is more important than the destination, if you know what I’m sayin’.  You learn valuable life lessons courtesy of fascinating metaphors.  You gain an understanding of certain dynamics of the NFL that were heretofore hidden.  You avoid Denny’s bathrooms at all costs.

If you’re using these write-ups as the basis for betting, well, first of all you owe me the standard weekly fee of $37, and second, you’re probably not going to do any damned better than a coin flip anyway.  So pull up a NyQuiltini, get your ass in that comfy spot, and scratch ‘em if you got ‘em.  Here’s this week’s picks.  

Lions (+1) at Cowboys.

The Lions are sexy, baby, sexy as hell.  They upset a solid Bucs defense on the road in the opener, then dispatched the Chiefs with all the breeziness of Jason Statham snapping some dude’s neck in whatever new movie Jason Statham is snapping necks in, and then they clawed their ass out of a 20-point deficit in Minnesota like Uma Thurman punching her way out of that grave scene in Kill Bill.  Matt Stafford wears an ascot on gameday and mixes up martinis in the huddle.  Calvin Johnson is bionic.  And Ndamukong Suh literally eats human brains for breakfast.  Literally.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys are scrabbling their way along, dumbassing the opener to the Jets, luckin’ and pluckin’ their way to an overtime win in San Fran, and wheezing out an unwatchable game against the Redskins.  They’re they Hollywood stars whose careers faded, who did too much blow, who live in a trailer on the outskirts of town, and when they say they’re gonna get some pussy you half wonder if they mean they’ll be throwing a cat on the grill for dinner.

Still, the Cowboys are slight faves, and lots of key stats show parity between these teams.  Both teams can get after the opposing QB, Dallas having 13 sacks, Detroit with 8.  Detroit only allows 188.0 yards passing per game, while Dallas gives up a middlin’ 226.7.  But Dallas is near the top of the league in rush defense (3.0 YPC) while Detroit is in the gutter (5.0).  Doesn’t matter:  we know this is all about the pass attack for both teams, and Stafford (110.7 passer rating, 9 TD, 2 INT) and Romo (95.8, 5 TD, 4 INT) will be the trigger men, as neither team rushes particularly well (Detroit, an abysmal 2.8 YPC, Dallas 3.2).

Dallas is looking at a bye week, whereas Detroit hosts Chicago next week.  I think this game sets up well for Dallas early on, with homefield advantage and the Lions on a second straight road trip.  But something tells me the Lions have more weapons against a Cowboys secondary that hasn’t seen a pass attack this good.  Dallas has Austin, Witten, and Dez, but Detroit has Megatron, Best, Burleson, Pettigrew, and Young.  That’s quite a nice stable of young receiving talent.  Finny says:  Lions come back, though not from 20 down, win 27-21.

Saints (-7) at Jaguars.

Blaine fucking Gabbert.  Jack Del fucking Rio.  Tell me again why I thought the Jags ground game would be enough to beat the Panthers?  I dunno, man, this line seems low.  Saints should hang a hundred million bazillion points on these fools, and the line’s 7?  Hell, opened and 9 and went down.

I’ve been going over my FF draft picks, sort of bummed that I spent an early pick on Antonio Gates, who stepped into a bear trap or something, because his foot is all gnawed the fuck off, and I was really counting on Gates bringing papa a reliable flow of points.  But what I didn’t over-draft on was team defenses.  Shit is so fluky from year to year, and frankly sometimes you can just wait the shit out and get some leftovers that ain’t half bad.  I took the Niners and the Saints pretty late, and wouldn’t you know it?  The Niners are on top of the league in FF points.  Fuckin’ sweet.  But this week, my play has to be the Saints.  The Jags may get some running room against the Saints, but I can’t see them putting up many points.  And Blaine fucking Gabbert, I hope you throw many picks that are returned for sweet, sweet touchdowns.  

Some Jack Del Rio notes.  Del Rio was drafted in the third round in 1985 by, you guessed it, the New Orleans Saints.  His career record is 65 wins and 63 losses, so the Saints will bring that closer to 0.500 exactly.  Del Rio was an assistant coach under Brian Billick in Baltimore from 1999-2001, so eff the motherfucker.  Del Rio’s favorite hobbies are fucking up Sudoku puzzles, eating peanuts, and sharting.  Finny says:  Saints, bitches!  33-10.

49ers (+9) at Eagles.

Apparently about two thirds of Vegas money is going towards the 49ers in this one.  People see a 2-1 49ers team facing a 1-2 Eagles team that was just beaten by Chump Manning, who suddenly and mys-fucking-steriously awoke from his fog of bewitchment to put up career motherfucking numbers against the Eagles.  People see Michael Vick leaving the last two games after being put through the chipper, like in fucking Fargo.  People see a point spread that looks as big and bloated as a beached whale.

I see a West Coast team that’s got to buck a strong trend of going cross-country to play at 10 a.m. PST.  I see a 49ers team that has an offense that beat Seattle and Cincinnati.  I see an Eagles team that has two wideouts in Jackson and Maclin who could have very big games.  I see a pissed off Eagles team looking to take out some frustrations on a team led by Alex Smith.  Suddenly, the fact that the middle of the Eagles defense is a gaping lacuna makes no difference to me.  Now I see that the point spread is a joke.

The Eagles are feast or famine, and they’re due for a feast.  Finny says:  If I were a betting man, I’d bet this shit but hard.  Eagles 27-10.

Redskins (-1) at Rams.  This game opened as a pick ‘em, but now has the Skins as a 1-2 point fave.

Before the season, I had Washington pegged as a shitty team and the Rams as the team that would win the NFC West.  Well fuck me in the earhole.  Blah blah blah, Grossman playing much better than expected, blah blah, Washington is legit, blah blah fucking blah Shanahan blah blah.  Here’s the thing.  They beat the Giants in their home opener, no question.  But the Giants looked shaky early on and are only now starting to put it together.  They beat a Cardinals team that just lost to the Seahawks, for fuck’s sake.  And they lost a division road game to a Cowboys team that played like a bunch of fourth graders.  Rex Grossman, the bell’s struck midnight, you’re a wormy calabash again.

Meanwhile, the Rams got blown out by a very pissed off Ravens team, and lost two otherwise winnable games against the Giants and the Eagles by committing stupid errors.  The Rams are motivated to notch a win before their early bye week, and they’ll rely on getting their pass rushers after the Wormy Calabash.  Steven Jackson is coming back, which will help Sam Bradford find time to zip passes to his young receivers, Brandon Gibson, Danario Alexander, and Mike Sims-Walker.

I also have to confess that I find the names of WRs Danario Alexander and Denarius Moore to be confusing.  I understand that the NFL is populated with all sorts of weird-named motherfuckers, whose dear mothers apparently spent a lot of time taking the Weird Name Theory very fucking seriously and dug up the craziest-assed names on the planet.  Come to think of it, I may use that too, in case anyone comes after me with a shiv in an alleyway and says DAMMIT, Finny, I put actual hard-earned coin into losing bets on the basis of your extraordinarily eloquent yet regrettably injudicious recommendations!  I will now puncture your enormous liver and watch you bleed until the rats come lapping!  And then I can point out, Alas, my dear, financially wronged acquaintance, I understand the nature of your quarrel with Mr. Wake, given your succinct recounting of said grievance, but you see, his name is Phinnio Wake, and unfortunately you have located Phinnius Wake, an unrelated and innocent victim of happenstance!

At which point I’ll probably get my liver shucked anyway.  Finny says: When two teams are close in overall talent, take the team that needs it more, and the team that’s at home.  That’s the Rams, 23-20.

Titans (Pick ‘em) at Browns.

Here’s another time to buck the trend, and swim downstream against the salmon, use your jazz hands in the flash mob when everyone else is doing a slide-step, and bet the team your gut tells you won’t win.  That would be the Browns, and about 70% of Vegas money is moving away from the Dawg Pound.  

It makes sense:  Matt Hasselbeck didn’t get the memo that he was being put out to pasture, and is playing like he means it.  Titans slapped down the cocky bastard Ravens.  And their defensive stats look pretty good.  That is, until you consider that two of the teams they played are lukewarm vomit: Jacksonville, whom they lost to (how, motherfuckers, HOW?!), and Denver.  Oh, and the Titans just lost model citizen Kenny Britt with a torn ACL and MCL.  So that leaves Nate Washington as the prime target.  

Nothing against Nate, but he’s about to draw a pretty solid corner by the name of Joe Haden.  And no other receiver is over 100 yards.  Chris Johnson has 91 yards receiving, which is almost as much as he has rushing in three games (98).  Three games.  Ninety-eight yards.  Dude has that twitchy head-shake thing that makes him feel all special when his dreads rattle around, and frankly I think he shook some shit loose.  Oh look, some of my brain wiring flooped the fuck outta my ear, how do I get that shit back in?  Browns DB Dick Jauron will concentrate on stopping the run and making the passing game zero dimensional.  Titans need to find a guy who can catch the ball in a fucking hurry.  

BTW, Peyton Hillis is back this week, and Colt McCoy has three guys over 100 yards receiving (Massaquoi – 148, Ben Watson – 125, Cribbs – 103), so he’s got receiving options and he’s spreading it around.  Plus he has a couple of up-and-comers (Greg Little – 74, Evan Moore – 70) who are bubbling under.  Finny says:  upset alert, Browns 24-20.

Bills (-3) at Bengals.

If 90% of the money this week is going to the Bills, why has the line not budged from 3?  We all know the Bills put up 41 points against the Patriots, 38 points against the Raiders, and 34 against the Patriots.  Maybe it’s that alarming decline week by week, and the Bills may only get 31 this week, and the Bengals, by golly, this is their week to break 30 points, seeing as they fucked up that 49ers defense to the tune of 8 whole motherfucking points.  But clearly this is a trap game!, you gasp incredulously, with the Bills going on the road after that huge win over Bellichick’s fuckwadious Patriots.

I dunno, I got Stevie Johnson and Ryan Fitzpatrick for absolute chump change in FF, and Stevie gets me a TD every week, and Ryan fucking FitzPATRICK is rolling up more FF points than Aaron Rodgers, I just can’t swing my onions that far that I’m actually benching Rodgers, you know, for Fitzpatrick, but fuck, if this fucking shit keeps up, I’m gonna have a FF backup by the name of Aaron.  Mother.  Fucking.  Rodgers.

Scene in the movie Hesher where Hesher is sitting talking to grandma, who’s babbling about some dessert mishap with some marshmallowy shit called Fluffo, and how the Fluffo stuck to the roof of everyone’s mouths, and Hesher’s just sitting there in rapt attention, not burning anything or blowing shit up, and Hesher just shakes his head and chuckles fucking Fluffo…  I have a feeling when the Bills gut the Bengals, the Vegas sharps who held the line down to get all that money flowing to the Bills are going to be shaking their heads and saying fucking Fluffo Bungholes…  Only not with Hesher’s comic bemusement.  More like, we just lost a trenchload of doolies because of the fucking Fluffo Bungholes…  Finny says:  Still not convinced the Bills are some powerhouse, but Gailey’s got the boys good enough to beat these losers, 34-24.

Vikings (-2) at Chiefs.  Line started as a pick ‘em, and has moved to Vikings as 1.5 to 2 point road fave, or -5 on a neutral field.

Battle of the 0-fers?  Visions of sugarplums, stranded atop a sodden shit-streaked raft of Denny’s finest one-ply, swirling in a fetid stew of bowel expulsions that is burping up gases from the faulty sewage line and slopping brownish broth onto the cracked terra cotta tiles!  

Some bright points:  the Chiefs D was able to pester Philip Rivers, who, like a limp-dick motherfucker couldn’t blow these patsies out; also, the Vikings got back Kevin Williams from suspension and played much better on defense; in fact, the Vikings looked like they were ready to pull the motherfucking upset over the Lions until, you know, whoops!

Quick, think of good skill players for both teams.  OK, Adrian Peterson, that was easy.  Matt Cassell?  Donny McNabb?  Remember, I said they have to be good.  Extra points if you remember Percy Harvin, since apparently the coaching staff of the Vikings has forgotten to use him.  And big-assed ups if you can name anyone else at the skill spots, good or bad.  Seriously.  Don’t hurt yourself.  Finny says:  start the Todd Haley death watch; Vikings claw one out, 24-13.

Panthers (+6.5) at Bears.

Mark November 20 on your calendar, kids.  Since the Steelers have a bye that week, the marquee game has to be the Chargers at Bears.  It will be the Ultimate Pout-Off.  The Bears front seven forces Philip Rivers into making a bad throw, and he’s all red-faced and spittin’ hayseeds like a country bumpkin.  Next possession, the Bears O-line forgets to block anyone (again) and Cutler coughs the ball up to the blitzers.  He goes to his sideline and slams his helmet on the ground, picks it up, and slams it again, as if his helmet had anything to do with the motherfucker, and then he sits on the bench looking like he just remembered his fucking testicles were removed before the game and are in a jar in some lab.  Repeat, with variations, for several hours of hilarity.

Expect the idiot Mike Martz to feature a heavy dose of Matt Forte against a Panthers run defense that toward the bottom of the league.  Forte is the leading rusher (only 119 yards), but also receiver (287 yards), eclipsing the second best receiver, Johnny Knoxville (189).  Devin Hester is getting some targets (139), but he and Knox are speed guys, not lunchpail guys, so Cutler and the offense predictably struggle.  Dane Sanzenbacher (66) and Roy Williams (55) aren’t making enough of a difference as the depth guys.  Gee, hard to believe Roy Williams isn’t the answer.  (Matt Spaeth has 2 catches for 7 yards!)

Meanwhile, the Panthers offense rests on Cam Newton’s shoulders.  Neither Jonathan Stewart (90) nor Deangelo Williams (61) has broken 100 yards rushing yet.  (By comparison, the Steelers miserable rushing offense has Mendenhall at 148 yards and Redman at 67.)  In fact, Jonathan Stewart has been more effective in RAC yardage (140), but I suspect the Bears defense will key on the RBs and TEs effectively.  That neutralizes the contributions of Greg Olsen (169) and Jeremy Shockey (137), meaning the passing game comes down to how well the Bears secondary can cover Steve Smith (349) and Brandon LaFell (119).  

As effective as Newton has been in distributing the ball, and even granted his going over 400 yards passing against a stout Packers defense, this game looks like it will be a good matchup for the Bears.  Forte keys the offense and the defense makes Steve Smith carry the load; Newton will have to watch turnovers, and he’ll get to meet ex-Panther Julius Peppers along the way.  Finny says:  Bears team at home will be motivated to stay relevant in an NFC North that has two 3-0 teams; defense wins the day, as Bears win but do not cover, 23-17.
« Last Edit: Sep 30, 2011 at 15:35 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

Out of my mind on Saturday night...
Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 30, 2011 at 15:16 »

Steelers (+4) at Texans.

Sigh.

OK, the Steelers have looked good in exactly one game, against the Seahawks, and they blow broncorrhagic chunks.  I was nearly as disgusted with the win over the Colts as I was the blowout loss in the opener.  But the Steelers have always matched up well against the Texans, punching them in the mouth like a 400-pound gorilla clouting a tutu-wearing Capuchin monkey.  

But suddenly, the Steelers have forgotten how to get pressure on opposing QBs.  They seem soggy in run defense.  And the well-worn litany of secondary and offensive line issues keeps screaming back in Groundhog Day fashion.  Oh, and fucking cue the surprised gasp, the Offensive Coordinator Who Shall Remain Nameless can’t seem to figure out that we need quick-strike plays that counter relentless pressure on the pocket.  Give him a few more years, maybe he’ll figure that shit out.

Steelers had better wake the motherfuck up.

The Texans have punished opponents on the ground with he healthy legs of Ben Tate, a guy I really loved in last year’s draft.  His 301 yards rushing are fourth best in the league, and he’s supposably the backup to Arian Foster.  (OK, I just had to put that in there, because sometimes I’m a real picky douche for proper grammar, and I can’t tell you how grating it is to hear people say “supposably” for “supposedly.”  Wait, belay that; I can tell you.  It’s pretty much, without even a hint of exaggeration, the equivalent of someone sticking a metal garden rake into a bonfire and then ripping the white-hot tines along my spine.)  Steelers rush defense is “only” allowing 99.3 yards per game (*shudder*), but doing so at a 4.6 YPC clip.  That’s simply unacceptable.  If that doesn’t come down, and quickly, we are in for a long and not particularly pleasant season.  By comparison, Houston is allowing 105.7 at 4.8 a tote, so both running games could figure, if the Steelers OL can, you know, block more effectively than a passel of moist kittens.

The passing game matchup features Ben at his most, uh, Ben-ish, but he is sixth in the league with 942 yards through the air, albeit with a passer rating of 85.5 (Cam Newton’s is 85.1).  Schaub, somewhat surprisingly, lags in total yardage (16th in the league with 823 yards), but he’s gotten their with an efficient 101.5 passer rating.  Both are rocking the YPA (8.72 for Benjamin and 8.95 for Matty).  Ike Taylor will have his hands full with Andre Johnson, but the mismatch is likely to come from the Texans attacking the soft middle of the Steelers defense with their two TEs, James Casey (155-1) and Owen Daniels (113-2).  Speedster Jacoby Jones is still nursing a knee problem and is questionable for the game.  Even if the Texans amputate, he should still be able to blow past whatever CB lines up across from Ike.  Wade Phillips’s revamped 3-4 will test the Steelers mettle in the trenches all day long, but if Ben and his receivers can get in synch, he’s got a nice batch to choose from:  Wallace (377-2), Brown (156-0), Miller (129-0), Ward (117-0), and Sanders (85-1).  

Steelers tend to play down to or up to the level of their opponents, and I think the Texans are legit this year, so expect a decent showing from the Black and Gold.  Improved defensive hustle, better running, some more sustained drives and fewer stupid throws.  I just don’t have an ounce of confidence this OL can get the job done, however, against a DL of JJ Watt, Shaun Cody, and Antonio Smith, and LBs Connor Barwin, Brian Cushing, DeMeco Ryans, and Mario Williams.  Pray that Ben does not die.  Finny says:  is it better to have an ugly win (Colts) or a pretty loss (Texans)?  Softer stretch follows with Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Arizona on the slate, which is good as the Steelers drop to 2-2 in a thriller, Texans edging them 24-21, but Steelers the team to bet ATS.

Giants (-1) at Cardinals.  

Cards at 1-2 trying to stay relevant in the irrelevant NFC West, behind San Fran (2-1), tied with Seattle (1-2), and just ahead of St. Lou (0-3).  Seriously, a turgid miasma of a division of ever there was one.  The fact that Seattle just beat the Cards 13-10 tells you all you need to know here.  Cards are middle of the pack in all offensive stats and near the bottom of the pack in defensive ones, while the Giants have gotten some of their swagger back after puttin’ a beat-down on the Iggles.  Expect the Giants front seven to spend the entire game in the Cardinals backfield making Kevin Kolb urinate uncontrollably.  

The Pale White Toe gets back Mario Manningham to join monstrous receiver Hakeem Nicks and unheralded slot receiver Victor Cruz, and the two-pronged rushing attack of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs should have no problems in the desert.  The Toe, by the way, has a passer rating of 104.3, so anyone who thinks this guy is a chump must be drunk on NyQuiltinis.  After losing their opener to the Redskins, the Giants dispatched a fairly sloppy Rams team, but the win over the Eagles was cathartic, and puts the Giants in a three-way tie with Dallas and Washington.  A win here will go a long way to staking a divisional lead.

Expect the Toe to have a nice day airing the ball out.  A sidebar on pass defense stats here, since the Steelers defense is allowing a league-best 164.0 yards per game.  Is the Steelers secondary really that good?  Well, two mitigating factors would be QBs faced (Tarvaris Jackson, the Kerry Collins-Curtis Painter juggernaut) and field position.  The Steelers offense has given the ball up 10 times, a feat that only the miserable Kansas City Chiefs have managed to equal this year, and when you consider the short fields opponents have had to drive, that would tend to lower overall passing yardage.  So don’t shit yourself just yet thinking the secondary is somehow the tits all of a sudden.  And while the Steelers are second best in completion percentage allowed (56.1%), the league leader at 54.5% is the St. Louis Rams, so I would suggest there are other mitigating factors there as well.

Anyway.  Finny says:  Giants all the way, 28-13.

Falcons (-4.5) at Seahawks.

Atlanta, having lost to the Bears 30-12, came back to eke out a comeback against the Eagles 35-31, only to lose a tough divisional matchup against the Bucs 16-13.  Matt Ryan’s passer rating is 81.5.  The entire team just doesn’t seem right, somehow, a stunning reversal from 2010, when the coolly efficient Falcons were the one seed in the playoffs thanks to a 13-3 record.  

Much like the Steelers, the Falcons seem off their mark due to some mysterious malaise.  It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of the team will.  Now, perhaps the answer to this malaise is to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever possible, to park the car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set the thermostats to save fuel.  Or better yet, just go to Seattle and cook up some Seachicken!

I didn’t see any of the Cardinals-Seahawks abomination last week, but I can only imagine the girandole of idiocy Pete Carroll displayed.  The guy found a dime in the parking lot and did cartwheels all the way to his office.  His Facebook updates include Best bologna sandwich EVER! and Why doesn’t Facebook let me click “like” a thousand times if I want to?  Because I WANT TO!  If I saw Carroll running towards me high-fiving everyone in sight, I’d quick look around for some undessicated dogshit, smear it on my hand, and let the fucker slap the shit outta that shit.  But you know what?  Carroll is such a fucking fruitcake that he’d slap the shit, look at his hand, say Goooood one!, and high-five me again.  Get the fuck out of my face, Pete Carroll, with your asinine exuberance and your paw of dogshit!  Finny says:  one of the best ways to get healthy is to tee off on this Seahawks team, which Atlanta will do, 34-9.

Dolphins (+7) at Chargers.  Line opened at 10 but is down to 7 or 8 now.

Here’s what we know about the Chargers:  they’re lucky to be in a weak-assed division.  They start every season like a glue factory horse.  Dumbass goober QB.  Coach has neck that looks like roadkill pemmican, or possibly spoiled cottage cheese.  Should have beaten the Chiefs team by about 10 TDs last week but was lucky to escape with meager 3-point win.

Part of this is due to Antonio Gates being missing from my fantasy football team the lineup due to a nasty and prolonged case of plantar fasciitis.  Also missing have been both DEs, Luis Castillo and Jacques Cesaire, meaning rookie Corey Liuget and undrafted workout phenom Vaugh Martin are taking those duties, without a lot of success.  On a brighter note, in my draft notes this year I wrote this about Liuget:

…Comes up short against Ziggy Hood in every measurable, although that’s who NFLDS compares him to… I see Liuget as a poor man’s Ziggy, and his squattier frame indicates a player better suited inside in the 4-3.  I could see the Saints or Rams taking him.  

Ha!  I was right, motherfuckers, Liuget looks like a bad fit in the 3-4!  

I’ve said before that if you have two teams of approximately equal talent, but one team is playing at home and needs the win more, you go with the home team.  The Chargers are knotted for the division lead with 2-1 Oakland, and they certainly might want to show they can lay a hurtin’ on a motherfucker.  But whether they can actually lay a hurtin’ on a motherfucker is a whole other issue.  Philip Rivers is a goober, and he can dress all natty, but that doesn’t make him gubernatorial.  In fact, Rivers has a fairly mundane, Roethlisberger-esque passer rating of 82.1, while opposing QBs have chomped through the Chargers secondary notching up a 108.5 rating.  Now, it’s the nature of averages to, well, average, like when Donovan McNabb has a 47.9 rating against the Chargers, and the next week Tom Brady has a 135.7.  But Matt Cassel, 102.1?  Don’t cup a fart in my face and tell me it’s the dog tootin’.

In fact, I’ve been saying for years that the Chargers’ statistically wowsers defenses have been shams, cardboard cutouts propped up by a weak divisional slate, numbers that show how stupid numbers can be sometimes.  I’d go so far as to say Miami and San Diego are pretty darned close in overall talent, although people over-value the Chargers wildly and under-value the Dolphins for the exact same reason:  level of competition within the division.  The Dolphins are screwed to be in the same division with Golden Boy, the Jets, and for fuck’s sake, the Bills of all teams.  

Still not buying?  Chad Henne’s passer rating is 82.4, and the Dolphins’ opponents have an average passer rating of 104.0.  Eerie symmetry, no?  Want more, motherfuckers?  You know you do!  Leading rushers are Ryan Matthews for the Bolts (207 yards rushing, 4.6 YPC) and rookie Daniel Thomas for the Fins (202, 4.9).  Still not jumping up and down like Pete Carroll yet?  Leading receivers, Vincent Jackson (266, 15.6 average), and Brandon Marshall (261, 15.4).  The second receiver?  The versatile Ryan Matthews (186, 13.3), and Davone Bess (186, 15.5).  The depth guys?  RB Mike Tolbert and WR Malcolm Floyd chip in 287 yards receiving for the Chargers, while Brian Hartline and Anthony Fasano do the same for the Fins to the tune of 278 yards.  

That’s why I think this line is stupid.  Give the Chargers a home field edge, and a slight edge to the Dolphins in the running game, and that adds up to a line more like Dolphins (+2).  Finny says:  Chargers are 19-7 at home during the regular season dating back to 2008, but this game feels like it has upset potential.  If the Chargers win, it won’t cover, and I’ll go bold and say the Dolphins running game keeps Goober off the field enough to seal the deal.  Dolphins surprise, 21-17.

Broncos (+13) at Packers.  

There’s so much parity in the NFL, I will now rustle up stats to prove my contention that the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers are, in fact, mirror images of each other.

All right, that’s pretty motherfucking ridiculous, and so is the fact that this line opened at Green Bay (-14.5) and has now settled to -12.5 to -13.  I don’t see any way the Broncos can really slow the Pack down, which means two things:  big heap o’ FF points from Aaron Rodgers for yours truly this week, and more Tebow billboards in Denver!  Finny says:  Come on, it’s a blowout, Packers 38-13.

Patriots (-4.5) at Raiders.  

On one hand, it’s pretty bloody obvious that the week after the Bills embarrass the Patriots, you don’t want to be the team to play the Patriots.  Belichick and Golden Girl won’t just be content to win, they’ll want to run it up, because that’s the kind of classy fucking franchise the New England motherfucking Patriots are.  

Then there’s the other hand.

The Raiders are still suffering from years of neglect due to Al the Revenant exerting his ineluctable influence on everything from choice of coach to selection of draft picks.  But lo and be-fucking-hold!  After barely squeaking out a win over Denver in the opener, the Raiders staked a 21-3 lead over the Bills and pushed the motherfucker to 38-35, and then came back last week and  beat the Jets in Oakland 34-24.  So it’s not like they can’t hang with the AFC East.  

Their success is largely due to Darren McFadden (393-3 rushing, 6.4 YPC, plus 84-1 receiving), and that reliance on one guy is something Belichick can likely find a way to stop via scheme.  But the Raiders have a wildcard in WR Denarius Moore.  I recall liking Moore as a late-round draft pick, but somehow my motherfucking write-up seems to have been deleted, most mysteriously and all motherfuckers, and I didn’t save the final draft of my WR thoughts.  Motherfucker!  

Still, it’s going to be hard to slow down a pissed-off Patriots team, so unless McFadden and Moore break out huge, I can’t see the upset here.  Finny says:  Raiders have a respectable showing, considering, but Patriots win 42-27.

Jets (+3.5) at Ravens.  

Should be a grunter, a slobberknocker, everything you’d expect of, say, a Ravens-Steelers matchup.  When the Steelers actually, you know, show the fuck up.  I don’t expect Torrey Smith to have a 3-TD day with Revis and Cromartie covering him, but the Jets have a well-chronicled problem running and defending the run this year, so expect Ray Rice to have another huge day.  Rex Ryan will undoubtedly be preparing for him, but the Jets have given up 410 yards on the ground at an astounding 4.8 clip.

The Ravens have some issues in their secondary, but they defend TEs and RBs catching the ball extremely well.  The Jets’ two top receivers are Dustin Keller (249-2) and LaDainian Tomlinsion (196-1).  That means it’s up to Mark Sanchez to find a bunch of ex-Steelers and –Ravens (Holmes, Burress, Mason).  I’m not really confident he can do that.  On the other side of the ball, with Revis and Cromartie taking out Boldin and Smith, Flacco still gets mileage in the passing game with Rice, and he’s working up some rapport with TE Ed Dickson.  The Jets can also defend TEs and receiving RBs, so to my mind the game comes down to three things:  home field advantage, Jets pissed after losing to Oakland, and Ray motherfucking Rice.  Finny says:  bet on Ray motherfucking Rice. Ravens 24-20.

Colts (+10) at Buccaneers.  

Let the Curtis Painter Era begin!

Tampa Bay’s front seven shook Matt Ryan badly last week, so I see Tampa Bay doing the same here.  If the Bucs can stake an early lead and force Indy to become one-dimensional, it’s all over:  Freeney and Mathis can’t do their thing when Tampa’s grinding out nasty yardage behind LeGarrette Blount.  The Colts were able to keep it close against Pittsburgh and keep the pass rush relevant, but I expect a heavy dose of Blount early to soften things up.

Know who the Bucs leading receiver is, motherfuckers?  Mike Williams, the 2010 phenomenon?  Nope, good guess, but wrong as shit, Williams is only fourth best (89-1).  Uhhh, Arrelious Benn, because a motherfucker with a crazy name like that has to be getting’ mad pwnage?  Not a chance, bitch!  Benn’s only fifth on the list (71-1), motherfucking Mike Wallace puts that shit up each and every week!  And then some!  OK, one of the RBs?  No, motherfucker, de-fucking-nied!  Earnest Graham (116-0) is only third, so suck it!  Oh, how about Helen Winslow, I forgot that bitch was with the Bucs, he the top dog?  Muh-thuh-FUCKER!  NO!  Winslow (130-0) is merely dogsbody to the top dog.  The motherfucking leading receiver for the motherfucking Tampa Bay Buccaneers is…  Preston Parker!  Preston Parker, motherfuckers, and no, I never heard of the bitch either!  I think the fact that Preston Parker – Preston motherfucking Parker! – is the leading receiver on the team is interesting as hell, though.  Am I about to pick him up in FF?  Fuck no, motherfuckers!  You come back at the end of the year and see if Preston Parker is still the leading motherfucker for the motherfucking Bucs, because if he is, that will be interesting, interesting as hell, motherfuckers!

Meanwhile, on the Colts side, you know all those motherfuckers:  Wayne, Garcon, Addai, Clark, Collie, all them motherfuckers.  We don’t even need to get into it.  If that motherfucker Painter can get them the ball, well, maybe, but if not?  Motherfucker!  If he’s all lyin’ on the ground and shit every play, motherfucker could get ugly.  Do you know who will have to play if Painter gets his ass hurt?  Because I motherfucking did not.  You got Manning sent out to the stable for the whole motherfucking year; you got Kerry Collins, who got his ass a concussion, so he is motherfucking out; you got motherfucking Painter; and then, surprise!  You got Dan motherfucking Orlovsky, who got cut and re-signed by the Colts because their quarterback situation is a motherfucking mess.  Finny says:  Motherfucker!  Bucs 27-13.

And now for picks by flip of the coin, just for some motherfucking comparison:

Cowboys (-1).
Saints (-7).
Eagles (-9).
Rams (+1).
Cleveland (0).
Bills (-3).
Chiefs (+2).
Panthers (+6.5).
Texans (-4).
Cardinals (+1).
Seahawks (+4.5).
Dolphins (+7).
Broncos (+13).
Patriots (-4.5).
Jets (+3.5).
Bucs (-10).

If the flip of a coin does better than my well-considered ruminations, motherfuckers, then I will find that to be interesting as hell.  I won’t quite put it in the same category as Preston motherfucking Parker, if Preston Parker winds up the leading receiver at the end of the year, because that would be some shit, some really funky motherfuckin’ shit.  But still, coin flips as advanced prognostication tool, I would still consider that motherfucking interesting.  If it were to happen.
« Last Edit: Sep 30, 2011 at 15:49 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

Out of my mind on Saturday night...
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