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Author Topic: 2012 - Finny's week 2 rankings and week 3 picks  (Read 1014 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Sep 19, 2012 at 13:26 »

Steelers win, Ravens lose, Patriots lose, back on the winning side ATS: it’s like ordering a pizza and getting free midget hookers – fucking exactly like that.  And if this edition of rankings and predictions is as messy as a bed full of midget hookers with pepperoni bits stuck to naughty bits, it still couldn’t be any sloppier than the replacement ref officiating.  Lemme see if I got this right:  Goodell has no problem suspending players for a handful of games because their personal actions reflect poorly on the image of The Shield… but he’s fine with quibbling over a few mill and letting a bunch of cupstackers manage the game the way Lanny the Stoned Dude manages the local Orange Julius.  The employees are fighting out back and Lanny’s smoking a Marlboro and meanwhile no one’s ringing sales.  Dude… when you guys get done we gotta go on a burrito run…

Seriously, time to write Bud Selig, maybe he can fill in for a bit. 

Giants (-1) at Panthers (52).

The Giants are the better team, but sometimes they need a little Rocky treatment – get punched around a bit, wake up later in the season and start fighting.  You look at the injury report and see Bradshaw is out, their RT Diehl is out, WR Hixon is out, Hakeem Nicks is gimpy, and their secondary has been the walking wounded.  So no wonder they’ve struggled to 1-1, right?  A road trip against a Panthers team that rubbed salt in the wound for the Saints in a shootout could be a difficult draw for Eli.

Both teams faced the Bucs early – the Panthers lost a grinder, 16-10, while Eli had an astounding comeback to win 41-34 – but that doesn’t tell me much.  Cam Newton has a passer rating over 100, and the Giants are allowing an average 103 passer rating, so if the secondary doesn’t get it together this could be another shootout.  Eli’s passer rating is 91, but the Panthers have held Josh Freeman and Drew Brees to a combined rating under 80, so the Giants may want to pace the game by running up the soft middle of this Panthers DL.  They’re allowing about a buck and a half a game so far this season, and the Giants should be able to find room no matter who’s toting the rock.

Newton will be a challenge to corral, and this game looks like it might mean more to the Panthers than the Giants, who face Philly next week.  I see this game as being more of the rope-a-dope with Eli and the Giants falling behind, and then gutting out a late, close win.  Superior talent wins out over a Panthers team that’s on the rise.  Giants 31, Panthers 27.
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 19, 2012 at 13:44 »

Sounds about right.  So, WTF, did penso already get in here and delete the rest of 'em?
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 19, 2012 at 16:44 »

Sounds about right.  So, WTF, did penso already get in here and delete the rest of 'em?

He's sneaky that way.

They're actually being worked up, hope to post them tomorrow.
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 19, 2012 at 17:10 »

Jedermann macht eine kleine dummheit.
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 20, 2012 at 09:56 »

Jedermann macht eine kleine dummheit.

And some bastards never let you forget.

*not pretending I didn't look up that quote*
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 20, 2012 at 12:33 »

1.   San Francisco (2-0, 1 last week).  I had some concerns that the Niners might regress a bit this year.  Instead, they went into Lambeau and kicked the shit out of a very good Packers team.  They forced an explosive Lions team into errors.  And even though the defense is allowing over 20 points a game to those high-powered offenses, the Niners have also been able to put up nearly 30 a game.  2011 they won low-scoring slobberknockers, but this year they can hang with any passing team.  They look like the scariest team to me, complete in every phase.
2.   Houston (2-0, 3).  The Texans have allowed 17 points total in two games.  Granted, that comes against the Dolphins and Jaguars, but like San Francisco, they appear to have great balance.  Broncos in Denver will be a better test, but this Texans squad looks ready to take the next step.
3.   Atlanta (2-0, 6).  The Falcons are a regular season 43-21 in the Mike Smith-Matt Ryan era, but are 0-3 in the postseason.  They’re that perfectly competent team that no one thinks has the juice to win it all.  They’ve got playmakers on offense, but for me the problem has always been that they are a middle-of-the-road defensive team.  Amidst the mess of the MNF game against the Broncos (93 red?  Really?), I saw a Falcons D that looked mean and relentless.
4.   Green Bay (1-1, 11).  The Pack was thoroughly outplayed on their home turf by the Niners, but made amends by dismantling the Bears.  They’ll be better when Jennings is healthy and productive, and some excitement over making Cutler look silly has to be tempered by the Bears’ poor OL play, but the Pack are (again) a team that’s built for the playoffs and possibly a deep run.
5.   Baltimore (1-1, 4).  Ravens have possibly the most balanced attack of any AFC team outside of the Texans, but ran into a bad spot in Philly.  Eagles are like moldy fireworks:  sometimes they go off brilliantly, sometimes they’re gonna go into the crowd and become a hush-tone story on CNN.  Fewer questions surround the Ravens than the Steelers, making them the early AFCN fave and one of very few elite AFC teams.  Much as I’d love to write them off, I can’t.
6.   Pittsburgh (1-1, 12).  Steelers have questions to answer, in their secondary, at LB, at RB – but after a close shave in Denver and a solid rebound against the Jets and ghost PI calls, Steelers should be able to work over a dismal Raiders team and get some guys back healthy.  Meanwhile, the Haley offense continues to come together, and once everyone is on the same page and the defense starts turning it up a notch, Steelers will do their Steeler thing.  Again.
7.   New England (1-1, 6).  Patriots will rebound from jaw-dropping loss to the Cardinals and run their weak schedule, but questions persist over defense, why Welker isn’t more involved, whether the OL is up to par, and whether they will continue to choke like midget hookers once they get to the post-season.  Something seems off with this team, beyond the tells DC Ray Horton was purportedly spotting in their offensive formations.  When that manifests is the question. 
8.   Denver (1-1, 9).  Manning had a horrendous start in Atlanta, but the Broncos have some nice weapons on both sides of the ball, and came within 7 for all the turnovers early.  Steelers couldn’t get on track in Denver, and the Broncos look to have more staying power IMO than the 2-0 Chargers, who are smoke in a bottle.
9.   Chicago (1-1, 5).  I’m feeling sick about dropping AP and retaining Forte… who got 2 TDs vampired by Michael Bush.  FFS.  AP looks healthy as ever and Forte’s on the bench for a few weeks.  Oh, and I could have also kept Marshawn Lynch.  Good call, asshat.  Anyway, same old Bears.  They’ll smack a bitch down one week, the next week Jay Cutler will be doing his whole whiny douchnozzle routine.  Wouldn’t you just love to run up to the guy and deliver and open-handed slap to his face?  A good windup and WHAAAAPPPPP!  Fact is, his teammates would hold him back and beg you to do it again.  Bears have a solid D and Cutler-Marshall will dredge up bad Peaches & Herb references more often than we cue the douchnozzle stuff, but Bears have some question marks for sure.
10.   New York Giants (1-1, 14).  I’m not buying the Eagles, think the Redskins are a year or two off, and the Giants have all the tools to make it back to the Super Bowl.  Kind of sleepwalked through the early games until Manning went befonkingzerk.  Big Blue has to tighten the pass D though.
11.   Philadelphia (1-1, 30).  This team is guaranteed to drive everyone crazy this year.  Eagles fans, fans of teams that play them, bettors, analysts.  They can turn the ball over a bazillion times and eke out a one-point win over a crappy Browns team, or turn the ball over a bazillion times and come back against what I consider a superior Ravens team to eke out a 1-point win.  They’re moldy fireworks.  They’re the brilliant mathematics professor who can’t stop giggling as he burns the bagel in his toaster.  They’re the roller coaster car with the wheels shedding bolts.  There’s plenty of talent here, but where’s it all going?  Mike Vick won’t last the season intact, that’s for sure. 
12.   Arizona (2-0, 19).  I wasn’t necessarily impressed after the week 1 win against a Seahawks team featuring a rookie QB and some bad officiating, but that same team turned around and woodshedded the Cowboys.  And then the Cardinals pull an unimaginable upset against the Patriots, making me wonder How real is this team?  Their defense appears to be for real, and credit Whiz with getting the most out of an atrocious pair of QBs.  Can they motor on relying on defense and a running game?  Will the QB situation ultimately blow up?  Or are the Cards bouncing back to be a playoff contender?  Hard team to read.  Kudos so far.
13.   Detroit (1-1, 16).  Jeff Fisher and the Rams came close to upsetting the Lions week 1, and the Lions were easily in over their head against the Niners.  Matt Stafford has looked inconsistent, with 4 picks to 2 INTs so far on the season.  But the Lions may start to come back as they get Mikel Leshoure back, and starters CB Chris Houston and S Louis Delmas come back from injury.  A lot of teams are dealing with depleted secondaries (Raiders, Giants), and the Lions’ secondary hasn’t been good enough to rely on depth.  It will be difficult for the Lions to recapture their 2011 magic, especially in a division with the Packers and Bears.
14.   Seattle (1-1, 26).  Three NFCW teams in the upper half of the rankings?  Inconceivable!  But Seattle is an intriguing team, and after seeing what the Cardinals were able to do to the Patriots, I’ll cut Seattle some slack for their week 1 loss.  They jumped on the Cowboys and beat the snot out of them.  They have a hungry defense, a beast RB, a rookie QB who is only going to get better, and WR Golden Tate looked like Hines Ward laying out LB Sean Lee.  I mean, I’d fucking move the team up a notch just for that block.  Seahawks will spring some nasty surprises this year.
15.   Dallas (1-1, 10).  Cowboys have the talent to be a playoff team.  They’re also amazing consistent in their inconsistency.  For them to beat the Super Bowl champion Giants in NY and then lose to the Seahawks in Seattle in consecutive weeks?  Par for the course. 
16.   Washington (1-1, 7).  I don’t want to go overboard on the RG3 mania, but he has played a couple error-free games, made a nice read on the 88 to 88 in the opener, and did rack up the second most passing yards in a rookie start since some cat named Cam Newton.  Got a nice surge on the ground from Alfred Morris, who may not allow Shanahan to roll out his usual RB-by-committee.  Probably should be 2-0 right now, but Josh Morgan hasn’t learned the cardinal rule of going up against Cortland Finnegan.  He’ll likely lose his starter job for that.  Worse, the D suffered season-ending injuries to DE Adam Carriker and LB Brian Orakpo, which means a Redskins team that’s definitely back in the NFCE mix will have a tough road ahead.
17.   San Diego (2-0, 15).  They’re 2-0, they’ve only allowed 12 PPG, and I dropped them two spots this week.  What gives?  The Chargers are back, baby, right?  Well, they edged a pretty dreadful Raiders team on the road and beat a foundering Titans team at home, and frankly I’m unimfuckingpressed.  Rivers can have his 110 passer rating, but I’m not real impressed with his receivers – Malcolm Floyd is the go-to guy, FWIW.  Jackie Battle is your leading rusher.  Get back to me after this team plays the Falcons.
18.   NYJ (1-1, Cool.  I think we can throw out week 1 as an anomaly.  The Jets took advantage of the Bills ineptitude in week 1 but the Steelers exposed their lack of offense the very next week.  I’m not impressed with the running game or passing game.  Defense is still solid, but I can see the Jets missing the playoffs.  This team is all yap and no substance, living on the fumes of a couple of AFCC appearances.  Sanchez is not all that good, and don’t even get me started on Choirboy.  Can easily see the Bills leapfrogging the Jets as the season grinds on.
19.   Tampa Bay (1-1, 18).  Greg Schiano is bringing some drill sergeant discipline to the Bucs, which is apparently what they needed.  Well, that, and getting DT Gerald McCoy back healthy.  Josh Freeman has some targets – Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams bouncing back from a bad year, Dallas Clark – and rookie RB Doug “Muscle Hamster” Martin looks as solid as advertised.  Good enough to make LeGarrette Blount’s lazy ass an afterthought.  There’s some talent in the secondary, but its young (S Barron) and not always smart (CBs Talib, Wright).  These guys are going to play to the whistle and, like Seattle, they’ll spring some nasty surprises.  Could be moving up, but will face two more NFCE foes in Dallas and Washington.
20.   St. Louis (1-1, 20).  Rams were close to upsetting the Lions, and close to losing to the Redskins.  Close games could be a season-long trend for Fisher’s team, who will right the ship in St. Louis.  Sam Bradford appears to have his confidence back, and Danny Amendola is becoming a pleasant surprise in the Wes Welker mold.  RB Daryl Richardson (who?) is doing a competent job spelling Steven Jackson, and the fact that Fisher has this defense playing credibly is testament to the power of good coaching.  Rams won’t contend this year, but they’ll be a solid team soon.
21.   New Orleans (0-2, 13).  Shit is falling apart for the Saints, vividly illustrating how important having a good head coach actually is.  With Sean Peyton at the helm, this team is 2-0.  All the talent is there, even if it’s mostly O-heavy, but they’re making too many correctable errors, and it looks to be a long season.  Falcons are primed to win the division, the young teams (Bucs and Panthers) are making strides, and the Saints will miss the playoffs this year. 
22.   Buffalo (1-1, 32).  I had Buffalo ranked DFL after that horrendous week 1 loss to the Jets, but bounce them up after they looked competent winning over the Chiefs.  I expected and still expect a lot more from a defense with Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, and Marcel Dareus up front, with Dave Wannstadt as DC, and an infusion of young talent in the secondary.  Bills seem to sputter when RB Fred Jackson is hurt, which he was against the Jets, but CJ Spiller is taking advantage to shoe he’s not just a COP back.  Buffalo has the talent to take advantage of a division where nothing is as simple as it may seem:  Patriots suddenly have issues, the Jets have no offense, and Miami isn’t going to contend.  Can the Bills put it together?  Finally?
23.   Cincinnati (1-1, 24).  Crushed by the Ravens and won a duel with the Browns.  Something’s not clicking.  The D doesn’t look as tough as it has been the last couple of years under Zimmer, Dalton’s competent but not “wow,” RB Green-Ellis is getting yards but not really dominating, and AJ Green isn’t even the leading receiver (Andrew Hawkins… really).  For a team that was hungry for a playoff appearance last year, something seems off, a timing misfire, dirty plugs, air in the fuel line.  I’m very interested to see how the Bengals fare in Washington this week, but it seems that every time this team has any whiff of success they come back slack the following season.
24.   Carolina (1-1, 27).  After a close loss to a tough-nosed Bucs team, the Panthers bounce back with a big win over the suddenly rudderless Saints.  Newton’s got the passing game going to Smith and Brandon LaFell, the two-pronged ground game of Stewart and Williams is back, and the Panthers are headed in the right direction.  They could certainly move up in the rankings and some would argue they should be higher.  I’m not sold on the defense being much improved over the sad mess it’s been the past few years, though, and let’s face it, as fun as it is to watch Cam Newton, he’s going to have a difficult time winning games if the D can’t hold up its end of things.  Next two games:  the Giants, and a trip to Atlanta.  I’m going to predict the Panthers are 1-3 soon.
25.   Indianapolis (1-1, 29).  The Colts look very average, which is an amazing improvement over last year.  Andrew Luck may not be able to walk on water, but he was much improved after having his cage rattled by the Bears.  As he gets in synch with Reggie Wayne and his other receivers, I can see the Colts returning to competence, but The Glistening Gnome Bruce Arians can’t get a running game established (cue audible gasp) and the Colts are a few years from any kind of meaningful run.  Andrew Luck may be the best thing since chocolate covered bacon, but some photos of him, he kind of has this half-baked look like the quiet guy who never talks to anyone, who smells like he forgot to bathe, probably runs a birther website, and eats nothing but frozen burritos. 
26.   Minnesota (1-1, 17).  So… they beat Jacksonville in OT by 3, lose to the Colts by 3.  The Vikings look very average, which is a v—I’m just going to start recycling reviews if no one minds.  The good news is that Adrian Peterson is the bionic man, Christian Ponder has a 110 passer rating (over 75% completion), and he’s hitting WR Harvin and TE Rudolph consistently.  There’s something to build on, but until the defense gets back to what it was five years ago, there’s an obvious ceiling.  Vikings host the Niners, then travel to Detroit, so I’m going to predict the Panthers Vikings are 1-3 soon.
27.   Miami (1-1, 25).  Dolphins were trounced by the Texans and in turn trounced the Raiders, which tells me… nothing.  The Dolphins have one of those solid but not spectacular defenses, but without help on the S-side they’re mired in the bottom of the rankings.  Ryan Tannehill has a 62 passer rating, which isn’t surprising since the FO traded away his best WR, Brandon Marshall, for three fucking magic beans.  Reggie Bush has been running well, but when Brian Hartline is clearly your best receiver, Jack, you’d better hope the beans lead to some fucking gold.
28.   Cleveland (0-2, 31).  Browns have played hard-nosed, scrappy ball with plenty of gumption and want-to.  Which is all well and good, they have some guys on defense (although CB Haden is out 4 weeks on the Adderall ding), and rookie RB Trent Richardson looks like a potential beast, but like the Dolphins, they have a rookie QB with a shit passer rating (57), and shit for receiving talent.  When Brian Hartline Mohamed Massaquoi is clearly your best receiver, Jack, you’d better hope the beans lead to some fucking gold.
29.   Kansas City (0-2, 21).  Chiefs hung with the Falcons for a bit week 1 but were in over their heads, and getting thrashed by the Bills in a bounce-back week for Buffalo was no fun.  The Glistening Gnome Bruce Arians Romeo Crennel can’t get a running game established defense together, but there is some talent there on both sides of the ball and I can see the Chiefs improving.  They travel to New Orleans and then host the Chargers.  They desperately need a win to stay relevant, even as bad as the AFCW is outside of Denver.  I’m going to predict the PanthersVikings Chiefs are 1-3 soon.  Speaking of weird looking QBs, why is it that Matt Cassell looks like some guy who does puppet shows in the park and spends a lot of time making weird moaning noises while his hands are conveniently out of sight.
30.   Tennessee (0-2, 22).  Chris Johnson is on pace to shatter 160 yards rushing.  On the season.  “We didn’t look like an NFL team,” said Johnson, after the Titans lost to the Chargers.  I agree.
31.   Jacksonville (0-2, 23).  Blaine fucking Gabbert has’s got MJD and some decent receivers.  Against the Texans, the total offense just cleared 100 yards.  Blaine fucking Gabbert, 53 yards passing.  Next 2 games are at Indy and hosting the Bengals.  0-4 is a distinct possibility.
32.   Oakland (0-2, 28.)  The Dolphins suck, yet they outrushed Oakland 263-23.  The secondary is so bad they’re thinking of calling DeWayne Washington out of retirement.  I have no idea why the Vegas line is Oakland (+4), unless that’s a typo and was supposed to be (+40).  The leading receiver is Brandon Myers.  Darren McFadden has 54 yards rushing on the year.  Carson Palmer is their quarterback.  I am reciting facts without inflection.  Here are some more facts.  Dennis Allen is their coach.  He was born when I was 8 years old.  Dennis and his wife, Alisson, have a son, Garrison and a daughter, Layla.  Last year Dennis was Denver’s DC.  The Raiders has no selections in the first two rounds of the 2012 NFL draft due to last year’s trade for Carson Palmer.  Carson Palmer is their quarterback.  I may occasionally repeat facts, or begin to become confused.  Carson Palmer was born when I was 15 years old.  Carson and his wife, Alisson, have a son, Garrison and a daughter, Layla.  Carson Palmer is 11th on the active passing yardage leader (26,117) behind Ben Roethlisberger (27,099).  Carson Palmer is Brandon Myers.  Darren McFadden has no reflection.  I have no idea why DeWayne Washington is in Vegas.  If the Steelers do no win this game 63-0, Carson Palmer is their quarterback.
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 20, 2012 at 13:38 »

Rankings: typed quickly, rife with typos and grammatical errors that I shant correct, nor shall I apologize for using the poncey word shant, nor again shall I apologize for using poncey.

You fuckers get the idea anyway.
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 20, 2012 at 15:43 »

Rams (+7) at Bears (44.5).

People fixating on Cutler being a rebarbative cunt and the Bears getting thrashed by the Packers will lose sight of the larger fact that the Bears are the better team here.  Is there division in the locker room?  Yeah, until they win again and even a clogger of paper and browns smells like roses.  Rams have some OL injuries, allowing the Bears D to tee off and give Cutler the ball plenty of times.  Cutler to Marshall and plenty of Bush.  Say that drunk and it sounds dirty.  Bears 31, Rams 17.


Buccaneers (+7) at Cowboys (46.5).


Talented team gets its ass handed to it week 2, heads home week 3 and is favored by 7 by Vegas.  Sound familiar?  It would be tempting to see this as playing out the same way the Bears game does, sans the Cutler drama, because the Cowboys really shat the bed with drops last week and that’s not likely to happen again.  What will happen again is poor line play with both C Costa and NT Ratliffe out again, and that’s got Bucs DT Gerald McCoy feeling very happy.  Yes, the Bucs allowed 510 yards passing against the Giants, but I can see the Bucs’ passing game working over that Cowboys secondary as well.  Proceed with caution.  Cowboys 27, Bucs 24.


Niners (-7) at Vikings (43).


Lots of 7-point spreads this week, but this smells funny.  Niners are clearly better than the Vikings, so perhaps Vegas sees this as a bit of a let-down game?  Hard to see the Vikings scoring much, and the Niners have shown they can put points on the board this year against the Packers and Lions.  Will the Niners overlook the Vikings somehow?  Not if you consider that Harbaugh’s about as mellow as a rabid stoat and will be getting after his guys with balls afire enthusiasm.  FFS it’s just the Vikings, mellow the fuck out a tad, right?  Niners  30, Vikings 13.


Lions (-3) at Titans (46.5)


I’ve seen a few prediction gurus being clever and taking the Titans here.  There’s a fine line between clever and stupid.  Lions 30, Titans 14.


Bengals (+3.5) at Redskins (49).


Losing Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker will be a big blow to this Redskins D.  But the Bengals are DFL against the rush, so Alfred E. Morris should keep the chains moving for Washington and allow RG3 to do his RG3 shit.  I can see the Bengals jumping out early but as the game settles the Redskins come back and win their home opener.  Redskins 27, Bengals 21.


Jets (-3) at Miami (40).


Bet the under.  Possibility that the defenses score more than the offenses in this one.  Jets 17, Dolphins 10.


Chiefs (+8.5) at Saints (52.5).


Bet the over.  Possibility that both QBs go over 400 yards.  Saints 38, Chiefs 34.


Bills (-3) at Browns (43.5).


Bills may find themselves in some early going that’s stickier than a gummy bear in a glue trap.  Trent Richardson paces the Browns offense, but once CJ Spiller rips off a few runs, Ryan Fitzpatrick will settle in and start to put points on the board.  Brandon Weeden is stoked to be AARP eligible.  Bills 28, Browns 17.


Jaguars (+3) at Colts (42).


The Glistening Gnome Bruce Arians eagerly shoves cheese curls into his greasy maw as he concocts several scenarios for making this game closer than it has to be.  Blaine Gabbert is fucking atrocious and I don’t see much mojo on either side of the ball for the Jags.  Mediocrity trumps atrocity every time.  Colts 24, Jaguars 16.


Eagles (-3.5) at Cardinals (43). 


It’s a fucking miracle that these two teams are both 2-0.  I know both teams have offensive playmakers, but this looks like it should be controlled by the defenses.  Bet the under on the score, the over on turnovers, the over on times Calais Campbell gets pressure.  Upset alert.  Cardinals 20, Eagles 17.


Falcons (+3) at Chargers (47.5).


Willis McGahee got some wiggle room against the Falcons D, but they were able to rattle Peyton Manning.  Manning has better quality targets than Rivers does.  Chargers are getting some pass rush from their young DL, and not yielding much ground yardage.  Expect the game to be defenses, running, punting early on, with Ryan and Rivers duking it out late.  Should go down to the wire.  Falcons 28, Chargers 27.


Texans (-1.5) at Broncos (46).


Very evenly matched game, with two solid defenses dictating.  Houston gets its first real test of the year, and while I think they’re the better team, this is a close call.  Manning gets the upper hand early, but the Texans keep grinding out their Foster-Tate rush attack, get some late passing yardage from Schaub to Owens and Johnson to pull out the win.  Should be a good game.  Texans 27, Broncos 24.


Steelers (-3.5) at Raiders 44.5.


I hate being overconfident with the Steelers because I get burned almost every time.  Key word there, almost.  Raiders aren’t doing anything particularly well, and injuries to their secondary mean Patrick Lee and Joselio Hanson will be covering Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown.  Reggie Bush ran all over the Raiders last week.  Seriously, the Miami Dolphins…  THE MIAMI DOLPHINS, FFS… just beat the Raiders 35-13.  I cannot overstate the fact that if the Steelers do not win this game going away, with Ben clearing something like 1,000 yards of passing, I’ll be calling for us to fire Haley and bring back the Glistening Gnome Bruce Arians.  This should be the lock of the year, so DON’T FUCK IT UP, STEELERS.  We’ll have some guys out, but it shouldn’t matter.  Steelers 41, Raiders 10.


Patriots (+3) at Ravens (49.5).


If Texans-Broncos ain’t the game of the week, this is.  Loser falls to a precarious 1-2.  Normally, you’d expect Brady and Belichick to come back and thump whoever they faced after an upset loss like the one against Arizona.  But going into Baltimore is never an easy draw, and they’re plenty pissed, too.  Ravens aren’t getting as much pass rush as they’re used to with Thuggs sidelined, and the Curious Case of Cam Cameron continues:  why did Ray Rice get only 22 carries against the Eagles?  This becomes a most unpredictable game. 

Then consider this:  Patriots faced the Titans (ugh) and Cards (wha?), while the Ravens faced the Bengals (meh) and the Eagles (ha!), and after all that the passing and rushing stats for both teams’ offenses are nearly identical:  262.5 (7th) for the Patsies, 261.0 (8th) for the Ratsies in passing yards; 126.0 (9th) for the Patsies, 116.5 (10th) for the Ratsies on the ground.  On defense, you can tell the influence of who they played, but the results are still eye-opening:  202.0 pass yards allowed (10th) for the Patsies to 275.0 (25th) for the Ratters; and 62.5 yards rushing allowed (5th) for the Patsies to 129.0 (20th) for the Ratters.  Those D-side stats are opposite Jerry, a world turned upside-down, the Planet of the Apes.  The good news is, somebody gotta lose.  The bad news is, I have no idea who.  I see the early push by the home team, vindication for the AFCC loss and all that, but I have more faith in Brady and Belichick to come back and zing the Ratties in the end than I do in the Ratties to just shut down the Pats completely.  Patriots 31, Ravens 28.


Packers (-3) at Seahawks (46.5).


Seattle does a lot of stuff well – defense is solid all around, Lynch beasts, Russel Wilson runs an error-free game – but with Greg Jennings coming back I think the Packers offense will just be too much to handle, and the Packers should be able to keep the Seahawks’ passing game under wraps.  Have you seen those State Farm commercials with Aaron Rodgers and BJ Raji?  Of course you fucking have, don’t be an ass.  Packers 28, Seahawks 19.
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Out of my mind on Saturday night...
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