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Author Topic: Finny's week 5 picks:  (Read 469 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Oct 06, 2011 at 14:46 »

In a season overstuffed with surprises, I have come to the conclusion that prognostication is no place for sober analysis.  Unfortunately, my employer is apparently no fan of allowing me to drink on the job, so that explains why these picks flail about week to week like a dinosaur in a tar pit.  At 7-9 ATS last week, I managed to beat the coin toss, at 6-10 ATS, but was not better than Mrs. Finny’s 9-7.  I read her the teams, spread, and with no hesitation to deliberate, she fired back her winners in Gatling gun fashion.  

So why even bother trying to offer reasoned choices?  I went on at length about how San Diego and Miami were, in essence, teams of equal value, and that the Chargers line was out of whack.  Then Chad Henne’s shoulder gets separated, and a 3-point halftime differential that would have proven my point went down the proverbial Denny’s toilet.  The Falcons were supposed to gut the Seahawks, and in the third quarter they were indeed up 27-7… before allowing the idiot Seahawks to make it a 2-point final.  Weeks I say a team will show up, they turtle; weeks I say a team will wither, they stride out like marauding Visigoths.  

So fuck it.  I don’t have the time for sorting stats, peeling back matchups, and playing armchair psychologist.  This week, I’m just winging it.  Starting this week, I also have my power rankings, but for now it’s all subjective, as previous mathematical models have about as satisfying as lite beer.

Chiefs (+1) at Colts.

Two teams, eight games, one win.  On average, the Chiefs have scored 12 and allowed 32, while the Colts have scored 16 and allowed 27.  That ‘splains a lot.  Looking at that differential, home field advantage, and the fact that the Colts played improved ball in their last two games leads me to my final verdict.  Finny says:  Behold the power of Curtis Painter!  Colts finally get a win, 24-17.

Cardinals (+3) at Vikings.

Two teams, eight games, one win… where have I heard that before?  Remember when the talking heads were talking about how Kolb would revive this Cards team and lead them to a division title?  He’s struggled.  But so has McNabb.  Cards are allowing 282.8 passing yards per game, and the Vikings are allowing 286.2, so both guys could put up reasonable numbers.  Finny says:  Edge to Peterson and HFA, but I wouldn’t bet my nuts on it.  Vikings 28-21.

Eagles (-2.5) at Bills.

The 3-1 home team is an almost 3-point dog to the 1-3 visitor?  So what Vegas is saying is that if this game were in Philly, the Eagles would be -8.5.  Fun stat:  Eagles averaging 25.2 points per game while allowing 25.2 points per game.  Of course, they’re giving every game away.  Philly’s coaches and FO are under the microscope:  their OL is every bit as shitty as the Steelers, plus they ignored linebackers and safeties in the draft and free agency; they moved their OL coach to DC, and it shows; oh, and the absolutely lead-footed King Dunlap may start for Jason Peters at LT due to Peters’s hammy.  Eagles are giving up 6.0 YPC, making the Steelers run D seem like an immovable object by comparison.  Eagles can put up a lot of points in a hurry and give up a lot of points in a hurry. Finny says:  Whatever happened to CJ Spiller?  Fred Jackson should key a Bills offense that can outpace the Eagles.  Bills win 31-27.

Raiders (+5.5) at Texans.

Improved Texans D still giving up rushing yards at 5.1 YPC, gets Darren McFadden, while Oakland rush D gives it up at 6.2 YPC and gets Foster.  If Andre Johnson was in, I’d like this line a lot more, but in a game where both teams will be grinding it out on the ground, final score should be a lot closer.  Finny says:  Texans 23-20.

Saints (-7) at Panthers.

Carolina’s been a lot more competitive this year, and even at 1-3 they could upset a few teams this year.  The Saints aren’t one of them.  Saints are averaging almost 32 points a game, the Panthers 22.  That margin seems about right for this matchup.  Finny says:  Newton throws for more yardage than Brees, but the Panthers have no answer for the many Saints weapons.  Big day for Darren Sproles, Saints win 34-24.

Bengals (+1) at Jaguars.

How the Jaguars beat the Titans in their opener is a complete mystery.  Jags averaging less than 10 points of offense per game.  Blaine Gabbert, punch him in the face.  Del Rio, dumb as a deer tick.  Jags make the Bengals look better than they are.  Finny says:  Red Dalton and the boys win 24-9.

Titans (+3) at Steelers.

Let me get this straight.  The 3-1 Titans are 3-point dogs at the 2-2 Steelers, who have played incredibly soft, sloppy ball, who have an OL that’s as sturdy as wet toilet paper, who have a QB in a boot, who have their best front 7 player out 4-6 weeks, and who have averaged 2 points less per game than they allow?  What the fuck?  Yeah, it’s swell that Starks is back and all, but why the fuck didn’t Colbert figure that gambit out in the off-season?  Also nice that some of the vets are practicing on “vets day off” and there’s an extra day’s practice in pads.  I expect a much more solid performance from the Steelers.  But can they overcome their inconsistencies, their OL, and the worst turnover margin in the league?  FFS, Vince Wilfork has two INTs this season.  The Steelers D has NONE.  Finny says:  Bad feeling about this game, where the Steelers play better and it’s still not enough, sort of like the 5-game losing stretch in that soggy twilight nightmare of 2009, where we lost to good teams and bad.  Titans win 21-17.

Seahawks (+10) at Giants.

Pete Carroll is a nitwit.  But his team did come back against a Falcons team with an indescribable malaise.  Carroll will be gobbling and hooting and high-fiving everyone in sight every time his guys make a tackle.  Finny says:  Giants 28-17.

Buccaneers (+3) at 49ers.

Two 3-1 teams, but are they legit contenders?  I’m not buying either just yet, but this week the 49ers might be the team fighting off a comeback.  The mighty Curtis Painter was going in for the kill shot when I fell asleep and LeGarretet Blount ruined his chances, as well as my perfect FF season, the dick.  Finny says:  49ers force some early turnovers, hold off a speedy Bucs attack late, win 23-21.

Jets (+10) at Patriots.

Ravens made the Jets look absolutely silly.  Golden Boy and Curtis Painter both part hair in middle.  A lot of points in a divisional game, even with the Patriots out to embarrass the Jets and the Jets playing like dick dribble.  Jets tack on too little too late to make a meaningful difference, but take away the Patriots cover in the waning minutes.  Patriots 30-24.

Chargers (-4) at Broncos.

Broncos are bad, Chargers are highly over-rated.  Really think the Dolphins would have pulled the upset in San Diego were it not for some bad breaks, and Chargers take their sloppy play on the road in a divisional match.  Don’t be fooled by the Chargers.  Finny says:  Chargers can’t pressure Orton, meaning the Broncos pass attack keeps trying to find a foothold until late in the game.  Chargers win 24-21.

Packers (+6) at Falcons.

Been saying the Falcons just don’t look right.  Same can’t be said about the Packers.  Aaron Rodgers’s passer rating is 124.6, 13 points higher than fuckhead Brady’s.  He scored 4 passing TDs and 2 rushing TDs last week.  Some week I expect him to notch a receiving TD, kick a FG, and take a few reps at safety.  Finny says: Not a blowout, but Packers are clearly rolling, win 31-24.

Bears (+5) at Lions.

Bears beat the Panthers by 5 at home last week; Lions are a better team and draw HFA.  Lions have had to mount big comebacks successive weeks.  Not this week.  Cutler threw for 102 yards against the Panthers, what’s he going to do with the Lions DL getting after him?  Bears keep the score low for a while, but Lions bust out a big win.  Finny says:  Think we’ll see Stafford to Johnson for a TD at all this week?  Lions win big divisional match, 31-21, marching towards Thanksgiving day tilt against Packers.

And after 4 weeks of action, the first annual power rankings are out.  With little fanfare or need for explanation.

1   GB
2   NE
3   NO
4   BAL
5   DET
6   HOU
7   TEN
8   BUF
9   NYG
10   NYJ
11   SD
12   PIT
13   TB
14   CHI
15   WAS
16   DAL
17   OAK
18   SF
19   ATL
20   PHI
21   CIN
22   ARI
23   CAR
24   DEN
25   CLE
26   MIN
27   JAC
28   MIA
29   IND
30   SEA
31   KC
32   STL

« Last Edit: Oct 07, 2011 at 10:26 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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pensodyssey
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 06, 2011 at 17:23 »

Looking at your power rankings, I don't get to a team I think the Steelers would beat 3 out of 5 until #21 CIN.
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 06, 2011 at 21:09 »

Looking at your power rankings, I don't get to a team I think the Steelers would beat 3 out of 5 until #21 CIN.

Sadly, I agree with  penso. 
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 07, 2011 at 10:24 »

The Jets and Chargers at 10 and 11 are very shaky teams.  I see them as very likely playoff teams with serious flaws, but are they more solid across the board than we are right now?  That's a hard sell.

The difference between the Steelers at 12 and Falcons at 19 is pretty slight, too.  Both teams were high seeds in last year's playoffs (2 seed and 1 seed, resp.), and both are foundering now.  I think the teams below us and down to 19 have their own issues.  Bucs have some serious issues defending the pass, and it takes their offense a while to get going.  They grind out wins but aren't potent.  A young team, and probably on the upward, but could we take them 3 out of 5?  Probably.  Bears are swinging wildly between beating up teams with their defense and getting killed because they, like us, have no OL.  We're actually very similar to the Bears.  You can argue that their run D is stronger, but they also have no WR of the quality the Steelers do.  (And keep in mind that Ben is still getting in synch with Sanders and Brown to some extent.)  Washington I'm not sold on.  Good solid team, but Grossman?  Seriously?  Sort of in the mold of TB.  Some good fundamentals, but they're not explosive.  LOC?  Dallas has also been very self-destructive this year.  Team has a very high ceiling but also a very low floor, like us.  So, we're in a cluster of similarity with Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas, but slightly different levels of current and projected competence and division/conference competitiveness.  Oakland is showing some nice flashes, good on the lines, but like TB they don't have a ton of weapons to rely on as yet.  SF?  Some limitations at DB, QB, WR for sure, and LOC is a big question.  They looked pretty evenly matched to Cinci.  Meh.  Philly at 20 is a nightmare.  Huge talent, huge holes in talent (OL, the entire LB/S cluster).
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 07, 2011 at 10:35 »

Teams 1-9 are solid teams, even with some possible caveats: they're the early front-runners. 

Teams 10-15 have the ability to straighten things out and be serious contenders as well, IMO.  Their flaws are a little more serious, but can be fixed.  Teams 16-20 are teams that are perhaps a little more worrisome than the 10-15 cluster, but have superior talent to the bottom echelon teams.  21-26 are teams that have some remnants, but that's about it.  Minnesota is a perfect example, with some vestiges of their former defense, a great RB, but a lot of mess around them.  These are teams that are not going anywhere this year.  27-32 are teams that are just lacking sufficient talent or are self-destructing massively.  Carolina was the worst team in the league this year:  the addition of Newton has sparked some offense, but there just isn't enough there besides Cam, Steve Smith, and the RBs, for one example.  I would give Carolina an upward pointing arrow out of that last echelon, but none of the others. 

WRT the Steelers, with Max apparently taking over LT now or soon, and Gilbert picking things up more and more each week, we may actually have a decent set of tackles.  Not great, but Gilbert is far more mobile than Colon was (did a great job of walking rushers around the pocket, tho' did give up some sacks).  Kemo looks like he might miss some time, so Legs at LG and Foster at RG may actually be a smart combo:  Legs is not as strong at the POA as Kemo, but smarter and more mobile, while Foster is much better suited at the traditional RG role of mauler than Legs was.  And Jon Scott and Trai Essex are backups, as well they should be.  Set the line, get the offense settled, work on the defensive front 7, things can change for the better. 
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 07, 2011 at 11:29 »

Looking at your power rankings, I don't get to a team I think the Steelers would beat 3 out of 5 until #21 CIN.

I was gonna say, until further notice or until they actually, you know, showed signs of motherfucking life, Pittsburgh should be at #23, not #13.

IMO.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 07, 2011 at 11:40 »

Looking at your power rankings, I don't get to a team I think the Steelers would beat 3 out of 5 until #21 CIN.

I was gonna say, until further notice or until they actually, you know, showed signs of motherfucking life, Pittsburgh should be at #23, not #13.

IMO.

At the quarter turn, I'm still allowing a lot of last year's performance to color my rankings.  As the season progresses, less so.  Sometimes teams drift away from their mean, but usually towards it.  I understand the idea of Steeler Cycles (esp. post-SB slumps), but considering that we've had injuries to 80% of the OL starters, some of that is explanable.  The fr7, dunno.  Age does not explain.  Scheme, maybe, to a point.  I think Smith has declined and it's had a domino with Woodley, the left side is just not there right now.
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 07, 2011 at 12:01 »

Looking at your power rankings, I don't get to a team I think the Steelers would beat 3 out of 5 until #21 CIN.

I was gonna say, until further notice or until they actually, you know, showed signs of motherfucking life, Pittsburgh should be at #23, not #13.

IMO.

At the quarter turn, I'm still allowing a lot of last year's performance to color my rankings.  As the season progresses, less so.  Sometimes teams drift away from their mean, but usually towards it. 

I guess it just depends on how you look at Power Rankings.  To me, it's about the right now only.  It's not about last year or where I think they'll end up or even how they played in Week 1.

Of the 10 or 11 teams immediately behind Pittsburgh, I would only consider putting them ahead of 1 or 2 of those squads, possibly 3...depending on how I feel about Carolina at a given moment.

That's just my cynical $0.02 worth, tho.
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