Posts About ‘Browns’

Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game 2012: Week 13

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

It is week 13 in the NFL which means that we know damn well who the winners and losers are and who has an outside chance of rising up and making the playoffs. There is one team that I’m looking at (even going so far as to backing their players in fantasy football) that is going to rise up and steal a playoff spot. More on that in a second. Speaking about fantasy though, it is week 13 which means for many, it is the last week before playoffs begin.

This year, I have clinched the playoffs in one league on the back of Phil Dawson, Matt Ryan and AJ Green. The other league I have AJ Green and Ryan in is a defense plays league, and I did not make the playoffs there and actually just traded Green for Jimmy Graham and Cecil Shorts. The third league, I’m in fourth at the moment, but really need a win this week to clinch a playoff spot. That team is also led by Matt Ryan (who has not done me so well the last two weeks), with Calvin Johnson as the primary receiver. Not a lot of TD’s, but a lot of yards.

This week though, in the league I’ve already clinched, I’m going with Andy Dalton over Ryan and the Bengals Defense. While the Saints give up the most fantasy points to opposing QB’s, I’m liking the way Cincinnati is playing right now and I suggest that you do what you can to grab any Cincinnati players before the trade deadline. Also, my primary RB in all leagues is Green-Ellis. I’ve found that synching all my teams makes more a better fantasy season all around.

So in real football news, that’s the team that I think is going to rise up and steal a playoff spot – the Bengals. They are playing fast and strong and their schedule over the next few weeks puts their fate strongly in their hands. The playoffs is theirs to lose. As for the losers, the Eagles top that list. What a shit shack. Next on that list are the Jets, also a supreme disappointment. I’d put the Browns, Rams, Cardinals, etc., on that list, but we expected them to lose. So after skipping last week (turkey hangover bitches) lets get to picking some games.

New Orleans at Atlanta -3.0
Big game for the Saints if they hope to make a run for the playoffs. To their advantage, outside of Atlanta, the NFC is wide freaking open. Those wild card spots will be highly contested and probably come down to the last game. Even the Rams have an outside chance. Of course, the Saints are going to have to win out, and I don’t think they do that. Their defense is giving up too many points, and the offense just isn’t keeping up. Defenses are aware of Graham now, and Brees doesn’t seem to have the weapons he used to have, especially in the running game. While Ivory has impressed, it hasn’t been enough. Speaking about running game, the Falcons have made it to 10-1 pretty much without using Turner that much, sticking to more swing routes and pitches to the faster running Rodgers. Keep in mind the Saints handed the Falcons their only loss this season. Regardless, back at home, I’m taking the Falcons.

Jacksonville at Buffalo -7.0 UPSET SPECIAL!!
The AFC picture is a little bit clearer when it comes to the playoffs, and neither of these teams are in it. Henne has been better for the Jags than Gabbert, but it’s too little too late. The highlight here is watching rising stars Sheets and Blackmon make names for themselves, in the hopes they get to play somewhere else next season. The Bills can score points, but they can also turn the ball over a lot. I’m going out on a limb here and taking the Jags to win. Even at 2-9, they still have a shot at not completely looking like jackasses. Jags on the road to upset.

Seattle at Chicago -3.0
One second the Hawks look playoff caliber, the next second they look weak. Doesn’t really matter. Chicago is playing some inspired football. Tough too. Last week was great when Cutler got pushed out of bounds, then flipped the ball at a Vikings player. That’s the chippy Cutler that we all know and love. He got flagged for 15 yards, but it was totally worth it. The Bears aren’t going to lay down at home for a team like the Seahawks, they are going to pummel them. Bears to win.

Indianapolis at Detroit -3.5
I bet you want to pick an upset here don’t you? Well, the Lions are still having trouble closing out games, and with Johnson unable to find open space to run, they are having trouble scoring with the long ball as well. Losing three in a row hasn’t helped them rebound this season at all. Stafford is getting shoved, hurried and sacked way too often. That line has got to protect. The Indy pass rush isn’t much of a threat, but Luck and TY Hilton might be. Close game here, but I think the Lions edge out at home. I could be wrong though, this is one I see could go either way.

Minnesota at Green Bay -9.0
The Vikings are down Harvin, and seem to forget they have the leagues #1 rusher on their team. Field goals from 4th and one against the division leading Bears? Are you shitting me? Peterson averages like four yards a carry and you are taking pussy points? The Vikings have given up, I’d say that makes them dangerous, and against the Packers non-existent rushing defense that’d be even more true, but the Packers have that Rodgers guy. Protect him and win the game. Packers at home.

Houston at Tennessee +5.5
The Titans are 0-3 in the division and welcome division leader Houston to town. Yeah, Arian Foster is gonna be like “hey Chris Johnson, this is how it’s done now.” The Titans are going to get shredded. They’ll put up a valiant fight, but the Houston D-Line will crush Locker. Texans to win.

Carolina at Kansas City +2.5 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
Boy, here’s your who gives a shit game of the week. You’d think this would be on Monday Night Football the way those games have been. After beating the hapless Eagles, now the Panthers get the Chiefs. Too bad the Panthers are 3-8. Panthers to win. But no one will be watching.

San Francisco at St. Louis +6.5
The Niners have a rare QB problem. That is, both of them are winners. Alex Smith is probably the most dogged QB in the history of the franchise. My guess, he’s out at the end of the year, playing in KC or something. Which is a mistake. He’s got the arm and the game smarts to be great. Dunno why he can’t get his due in SF. Fuck ‘em. Kaepernik gives them just as much chance to win, though they could start Randy Moss at QB this week and win. Niners to win. Of course, keep in mind they did tie last time they played the Rams.

New England at Miami +9.0
Miami has an outside chance of getting to the playoffs, but this is the week to make that leap. This is a must win game, against a team that seems to just score and score and score but wait! No Gronk? Out with a broken arm thanks to an idiotic decision to keep him in the game, the Patriots are down their leading scorer. So, I suppose that’s a slight advantage for Miami. Tough game for the Fins, as they’ll fall behind quick and never seem to catch up. Patriots to win, but the Dolphins keep it close. Mostly cause the Pats secondary is non-existent.

Arizona at NY Jets -4.5
The Cardinals have Wells back, which should put some more depth in the running game, something the Jets can’t seem to stop. Sure the rookie QB in Arizona isn’t that great yet, and the Jets home crowd hates the Jets more than the visiting team, but the Cards have a chance here. The Jets are not going to even come close to the playoffs, and they are getting primed to clean house. Watch. Cards to win.

Tampa Bay at Denver -7.0
The Bucs are another NFC team that must win this week in order to make a run for the playoffs. Sadly, they travel to the thin air of Denver to face Peyton and the Broncos. While the Bucs gave the Falcons all they could handle, I don’t think they get that lucky against the Broncos, who are playing tighter and tighter every week. I’m sticking with the Denver Mannings to win this game and to continue into the playoffs.

Cleveland at Oakland -1.5
The Browns forced – get this – eight fucking turnovers against the Steelers. The Steelers! If the defense plays the same, they’ll win again this week easy, because Oakland doesn’t wait for forced turnovers, they just give the fucking ball away. Shurmer might be a shit coach, but even he can see that if he just keeps the pressure on Palmer, he’ll win. Browns to win.

Cincinnati at San Diego +2.0 GAME OF THE WEEK!!
This is it for both these teams. A win here and the Bengals will most likely pass the Steelers in the division, edging closer to a playoff spot. A loss for the Chargers likely means that at least Norv Turner is toast, as his poor decision making and clock management will have finally caught up to him. Additionally, Rivers is playing for his life right now, at 4-7, he’s not looking like the price they paid. Bengals to win.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore -0.0
The Steelers are hurting. Literally. charlie Batch was less than impressive against the Browns, the whole team looked like a mess. Without Big Ben, I’m writing them off. If he doesn’t slap on some Kevlar and come back, they are done. The Ravens are going to win this division, if they can beat the Steelers here and keep the Bengals at bay. The next few weeks should be interesting. Either way, Ravens win at home.

Philadelphia at Dallas -9.0
That sound is the sound of Eagles fans holding back the tears. Nick Foles is quickly cementing his place in the hall of perennial backups and he’s only a rookie. You gotta win son. You had your chance against the Panthers, now you are probably headed back to the bench so that Vick can come in and look just as shitty. Bryce Brown was impressive, but needs to learn how to carry the fucking ball. Did you see him swinging it out there? A good fantasy pick if you don’t get penalized for fumbles. Dallas isn’t that great of a team, but have a strong rushing attack going at times, and other times a coach who can’t seem to read the giant digital clock. Regardless, the Eagles aren’t going to win another game this year. Cowboys at home.

New York at Washington +2.5
And we come to the other half the NFC East. The surprisingly dominant Giants against the not to be underrated Redskins. The Skins keep showing that spark that winning teams have, which can mostly be attributed to RGIII. A win at home, against the Giants would be fucking huge for RGIII and the Redskins, who have won two in a row and have a good shot at the playoffs – if they can continue to win in the division. In consecutive weeks they’ve beaten the Eagles and Cowboys, yet lost to the Giants earlier this year. They have two more against the Eagles and Cowboys, so this game is huge for them. The Giants rolled Green Bay, and coming off that win are hard to discount or pick an upset against. Going with the numbers here and picking the Giants to win.

Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game 2012: AFC North Preview

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

I have an update on a previous column, when I was talking about how Mike Vick is a fragile little flower and the Eagles are stupid for keeping him on the team. Well, since that column (which was last week) he’s suffered a rib injury. Nothing season ending, and they are just bruised, but did you see the hit? The hit was about as hard as Ben Rothlesburger wipes his ass. It was nothing. It was a solid core tackle with nothing dirty and no spearing. And he walked off with a rib injury. Eagles – Mike Vick is fucking garbage! Get rid of him now!

In other news, did you hear that LeBron James shoes may cost upwards of $315. Are you kidding me? Are they magic? Do you suddenly get his swagger and prowess with the ladies if you wear them? Nike, fuck you. This is disgusting. I get it, James is a huge star, but he can wither and die in Miami. Nike is up-ticking a pair of shoes that probably cost what, eight bucks to make, to over 300. The thing is, while they wring their hands and cackle, people will be buying those shoes. I guarantee you. What a joke.

Anyway, today I’m taking a look at my favorite division, the AFC North. The reason this is my favorite division is because of course, sadly, I am a member of the Dawg Pound. A card carrying member in fact. Being a Browns fan has its benefits… wait, no it doesn’t. I’m thinking of becoming a Ravens fan by proxy cause I haven’t seriously been able to root for the Browns since… well, ever. Sigh.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens
I like the addition of Jacoby Jones at WR and Curtis Painter as backup QB. So, that’s all I’m going to say about the Ravens. Ok, seriously, those are good moves but the most important thing for the Ravens is going to be keeping the offensive line going for the whole game. Last year, Flacco had some problems closing games because he was under constant pressure. They still have one of the best secondaries in the league though, with Ed Reed back there still making plays and Ladarius Webb and Jimmy Smith at the corners. Tall, strong secondary players can change the game.

So I guess the Ravens are gonna have to step it up on offense if they expect to win the AFC North. It’s a tough division and frankly, I hate to see them win for obvious reasons. Boldin is probably one of the most explosive receivers in the league, and it was good to see Torrey Smith come alive later in the year. Let’s be clear, this defense wins games. While the Ray Lewis era might be coming to a close, I’m hoping that the Ray Rice era will begin on the other side of the ball. That kid can run.

I’m not going to sugar coat this Ravens fans, Reed and Lewis are getting old. With those two, this year might be the last chance for the Ravens to make it back to the big game. Of course, that was a long, long time ago. So to recap; fix the offensive line problems late in the game, keep the defense healthy, give the ball to Ray Rice.

Projected Finish: 9-7

Pittsburgh Steelers
Hines Ward retired, Wallace is holding out until the season starts and this might be the last year for James Harrison. Add that to Polamalu’s mediocre season last year and you have to wonder if the Steelers losing to the traveling Tebow show last year was the last time we’d see this team in the playoffs for a while. Plus, how much more punishment can Big Ben take before he has to actually take a sick day?

I think the offensive line is looking a lot tougher, so that might help Ben stay healthy. I like the defense, even though it’s getting a little bit on the old side, this is still the cornerstone of this team and has been the mainstay for the Steelers since the 70′s. Here’s the deal with the defense though, the key to it all – Dick LeBeau. No wild defensive pick-ups in the draft, but I guarantee that whomever is waiting in the wings or in the practice squad is a future pro-bowler ready to be made.

Todd Haley comes in at offensive coordinator, which should be interesting. Haley has been around the last couple of years, but he’s one of those guys that is better in a coordinator role. He’s a get in your face kind of coach, and we know that Ben kind of runs the team in a sense, so there might be some conflict there – but in a good way. Since the Steelers are my only real hope for the AFC North, and provided they don’t have to play Tebow again, I’d have to give them the division.

Projected Finish: 10-6

Cincinnati Bengals
So Carson Palmer had a pretty good year last year… just kidding. How’d that work out for you bro? Andy Dalton and A.J. Greene. Fucking put that tandem in your fantasy draft. Wow. They were fun to watch. Who saw that coming? The Bengals made the playoffs, but overall were 0-8 against playoff teams. Andy is not big game Andy just yet, and frankly he’s not going to be this year. He’s still got some time before he’s really leading a winning team.

And, as good as the no-name defense was last year, they still went 0-4 against the Steelers and Ravens, giving up a shit ton of points. They have to win against those two teams, at least once, but I don’t even see them doing that this year. Marvin Lewis is a coach who really doesn’t take chances, and seems to be complacent to just let whatever happen, happen. Carson Palmer, to do what he did at the pinnacle of his career, had to have seen something going on that we didn’t see.

Cedric Benson is gone, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis replaces him and I think he’ll be a great addition to the team. And here’s your hidden gem in the draft – Dan Herron in the 6th round. The RB out of Ohio State is going to have a chance with this team, better than he’d have with another team thanks to Benson leaving. Also in the draft, 5th round pick Marvin Jones, WR out of Cal. I think another young target for Dalton might be just the trick.

Projected Finish: 9-7

Cleveland Browns
So yesterday, Haden, probably the best secondary player on the team, got booted from practice for being a dick. Basically. Apparently he was over an hour late, claimed he was taking a shit or something, then got into it with Shurmur. Whatever. Shurmur brought in Childress as offensive coordinator and boy, does he have his job cut out for him. Let’s see, rookie Brandon Wheedon is the starting QB, yet Colt McCoy still wants his job back and Seneca Wallace is still hanging around. The offense is terrible, was terrible and will be terrible.

CBS Sports has this team projected to win one game this season, and frankly, I can’t see myself disagreeing too much. There is no way Holmgren, who is 9-23 since taking over as GM, can last the year. He’ll step down. For me, there is a fantasy pick if you have a deep league that rewards special teams and that is Josh Cribbs. This guy plays hard no matter what and is that fun, unpredictable player to watch. But he can’t win every game himself. The defense is crap, the offense is crap… ugh.

So Trent Richardson. Ok. He’s in for a treat. By the time he gets the ball in his hands, the offensive line will have collapsed and he’ll be crushed for a loss. It is really hard being a Browns fan right now. How did they not take a WR in the draft? What the hell? This team isn’t great on the run, proving it last year by under utilizing Hillis. They specialize on moving the chains with short passes… you know what – fuck it.

Projected Finish: 2-14

Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game: Week 7

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Can Matt Ryan lead his offense against the Lions to victory?

Another week passes by in this glorious NFL season, and another sub-par selection of winners. I went 8-5 last week, no thanks to the Bills choking. All you had to do was run the fucking ball to kill some clock, then kick the game winning field goal. But no, you are going to pass to the exact same receiver on the same pattern that your last interception came on. That was idiotic. Didn’t Fitzpatrick go to Harvard? Meanwhile, the Bucs are proving me wrong every week, which if you’ve read this column for more than a year is an annual occurrence. I don’t know what it is, I cannot pick that team correctly. Maybe it’s cause I hate them so very very much. Then, the Lions lost in a game full of mistakes on both sides. So those are three picks right there that I really wish would have gone my way. Well, if wishes were turds, I’d have to flush. So that brings me to 61-29 (68%) on the season. In the big picture, that ain’t bad. Here’s what the ESPN guys are doing:

Allen 59 31 66%
Golic 66 24 73%
Hoge 64 26 71%
Jaws 61 23 73%
Mortensen 54 36 60%
Schefter 61 29 68%
Schlereth 63 27 70%
Wichersham 62 28 69%
Accuscore 64 26 71%

Really that math should be recalculated, as some of them haven’t picked all the games. There have been 90 games, yet Jaws has only picked 84. I just want to beat Accuscore by the end of the year. The worst picks by any so-called expert have to belong to this guy. 

It should also be noted, scoring was way down last week, I think that the defensive secondaries of most teams are finally starting to wake the fuck up. A lot less blown coverages and big defensive plays are showing that the lockout hangover might have finally worn off. Now, on with the picks!

Featured Game

Atlanta at Detroit Line: -4.5
Well, I was wrong about the Lions. I said they’d be undefeated come Thanksgiving, but a lack of run defense and some serious red-zone penalties kept them behind San Francisco last week. Even though the Niners gave them plenty of chances to bounce back. The Lions could be in trouble this week (and my fantasy team) as Javid Best might be sidelined after suffering a concussion last week. They shipped in Ronnie Brown from Philly, but he’s yet to pass the physical. So there goes the running game. But Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the tight ends can carry the offense, but not without the play action. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Thankfully, they are at home where the noise is sure to fluster Matt Ryan, who likes to call plays at the line. Might want to start practicing those hand signals now Matt. If the Lions give up the kind of yards on the ground they gave up to the Niners, they will lose this game. I’m torn, but I’m sticking with the Lions just cause I have more fantasy players on that team.

Tailgate City (The Rest)

Seattle at Cleveland Line: -3.0
The Browns. What can be said about my team? Well, Colt looked alright against the Raiders, but it wasn’t until the last five minutes. Whatever they did on their bye week didn’t seem to have worn off. Hillis was a non-factor, leaving with a hamstring injury. Madden Curse anyone? The Browns were pathetic. The Seahawks are just coming off a bye week and have to roll to the east coast again. Though last time, they managed to win the game late with some smart defense. I’ll buy that. Charlie Whitehurst looks to be getting the start over Tavaris Jackson, which could actually be a good thing for the Seahawks, looking to find that magic they lost when Hasselbeck left. I’m going to go against my gut on this one though, and take the Browns to win at home. I’ll probably be wrong (as I usually am when I follow my gut) but I gotta pick my boys every once in while right?

Houston at Tennessee Line: -3.0
The Texans could not get the running game going against the Ravens last week, and that killed them. The Titans aren’t going to make it easy for the Texans this week, as this game may as well be a playoff for the division. Both have massive losses at wide receiver, both teams haven’t been able to really establish a running game. Both teams have defenses that can be up at times, down at others. This is a very evenly matched game. Houston’s defense might be a bit stronger, but they have to find a way to control the bevy of tight ends that the Titans employ. Are they blocking or running slants? No one knows! Titans to win at home.

Denver at Miami Line: -3.0 UPSET SPECIAL!!
How’s this for lame. Before the game, Miami plans on honoring the 2008 Florida Gator National Championship Team – including visiting QB Tim Tebow. Talk about degrading. Not only will this fire up Tebow and the Denver Broncos with false bravado, but it will totally demoralize the Dolphins. Why in the hell are they still going through with this idiotic presentation? The original idea was to sell tickets, but now? It’s just moronic. “We can’t get out of our own way,” said Sparano. Of course, he was referring to the play of his team, rather than the poor decisions by the marketing department. It should also be noted, that after losing to Denver (as Miami will) Sparano is probably going to be out of a job. If he isn’t, I’ll be surprised. That being said, the Miami Dolphins have nothing to give any pundit a reason to pick them. Denver on the road.

Chicago at Tampa Bay Line: +1.5 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
Apologies to both the Bears and the Bucs. The London game is always an automatic crap fest. One team is always tired and plays like shit, it always rains and the crowd is confused and the stadium is never full. These games are a bit depressing to watch sometimes. Either way, it doesn’t matter what happened last week, the Bucs will win this game because they flew over to London on Monday, giving the guys time to adjust and get a proper amount of sleep. Meanwhile, the Bears opted to practice at home this week, then fly over on Saturday. Bone-head move guys. The Bucs already learned that lesson once, and that’s torture on the body with the time change. Fatigue is going to be the enemy of the Bears, which is why the Bucs will win.

Washington at Carolina Line: -3.0
The Redskins found some mystical way to lose against the Eagles, even though their defense smacked around Vick. The problem was pretty clear, as Rex Grossman tossed four picks to the Eagles defense. He was benched, and now John Beck is going to be the starter. That’s good news, because the kid can run. Sure, he’ll make mistakes but like Tebow he’s got a weak defense his first week out. Meanwhile, Cam and the boys almost pulled one out of their asses last week against the Falcons, but three interceptions killed them. Not to mention allowing a comeback. I expect this game to go about the same, though I can see an upset brewing. Though since the Panthers are favored on the line, it wouldn’t be an upset. Anyway, like an awkward virgin on prom night, the Panthers can’t seem to seal the deal. Redskins on the road.

Kansas City at Oakland Line: -3.5
Raiders Offensive coordinator Al Saunders said about Carson Palmer starting; “As long as he’s breathing.” Sorry Boller, you are nothing but pine warmer. Palmer was acquired by Oakland from the Bungles for a draft pick or something. Either way, it’s a good deal for the Raiders, but don’t you think Palmer will be a bit rusty coming back from semi-retirement? Especially with only four days to learn the plays in Oakland? Thankfully, he’s up against the Chiefs. Now, the Chiefs aren’t terrible, but they sure have not been playing lights out defense. What’s that? They are terrible? Oh, yeah, so they are. The Raiders, coming off a win over the hapless Browns are fired up, looking at a serious run for the playoffs. Kansas City will be a minor speed bump. Raiders to win at home.

Pittsburgh at Arizona Line: +4.0
A lot of so-called experts are picking the Cardinals to somehow snap out of their mediocrity and beat the Steelers. While the Steelers defense and run game took a little while to get going, it’s going. The Cardinals defense is also not going to have an answer for the deep threat of Ben to Wallace. Not to mention that Hines Ward guy still plays football – apparently. Either way, Kolb isn’t nearly as sharp as he appeared to be as backup in Philly. The Cardinals are probably looking to enter the Andrew Luck lottery as well. A loss here will help. Steelers to win on the road in this rematch of that one Superbowl where Arizona lost.

St. Louis at Dallas Line: -10.5
I really wanted to make this one my upset special this week, but I just picked up the Dallas defense in fantasy since the Bills have a bye week and I don’t like to bet against myself. The Rams, well, they showed up against Green Bay in the second half on defense, a little bit. They held the Packers after the half, but also didn’t score. They seem to be lagging on that scoring bit a lot lately. Sigh. They just suck. 400 yards of offense and only three points to show for it. The Cowboys, a team that I picked to win their division, still haven’t stepped up to be the team that they are on paper. I think they lay down a whipping this week, but they really have to get their shit together if they hope to compete with the Redskins. Cowboys at home.

Green Bay at Minnesota Line: +9.5
Remember that time that Donovan McNabb turned out to be a bust? Oh wait, that was last week. For all concerned, the Donovan McNabb era in purple should be over. Christian Ponder, the rookie Qb with the quick feet, has been named the starter after relieving McNabb against the Bears last week. While he didn’t score, he moved the team down the field, which was more than McNabb did. The Vikings are hurting on offense, Peterson is their only weapon but even he is stifled by an offensive line that can’t get out of it’s own way and certainly can’t create any pocket protection. Thankfully Ponder knows how to run, and he’ll have to be running against one of the best defensive fronts in the league. There is no upset brewing here, the Vikings are going to get whipped, but it’ll be fun to watch Ponder escape pressure. Packers to win.

Indianapolis at New Orleans Line: -14.0
The Saints are coming off a 2-1 road trip, tired and hungry. Hey, what’s this? A five course meal being delivered right to their door? I’d like my rookie quarterback rare please. Indy, also in the Andrew Luck lottery, clearly has no faith in their young rookie Painter. Or at least the media doesn’t, as Painter has already been replaced by Andrew Luck on paper. So, their season is bonked. Still looking for their first win, they ain’t gonna find it in New Orleans. Saints to win.

Baltimore at Jacksonville Line: +8.5
Last but not least, the Jaguars. Another rookie QB is about to get squashed like a bug. If Gabbart thought the Steelers were tough, wait until he meets Ray Lewis and friends. The Jags have shown some spark lately, but they really are lacking when it comes to pass protection, passing and pass defense. So, there’s that. It should be a nice, rough game with plenty of silly penalties for the Jags. Ravens to win on the road.

In the Sauna (Bye Week Teams)

Bye Week at Buffalo
So was that bad play calling or a terrible decision by Fitzpatrick that lost the game for the Bills against the Giants? Either way, the Bills better take a step back and deflate those heads. After the Patriots win, the Bills are looking a bit normal.

Bye Week at Cincinnati
The Bungles have been the surprise team of the season, led by young ginger Andy Dalton. They enter the bye week at 4-2 and poised to make a run at the division title. Of course, they have to find a way to beat their division foes first.

Bye Week at N.Y. Giants
The Giants defense seemed to wake up late in the game against Buffalo, a week after the offense lost the game the same way Buffalo did. The defense needs to keep it strong if the Giants can hope to hold off the rest of the division and overtake the Redskins.

Bye Week at Philadelphia
The Eagles, are for real? I still don’t think so and won’t be sold. While they won last week, Vick still made a laundry list of mistakes, but coupled them with some good play too. We’ll see if that huge contract pays off. Oh yeah, Vince Young is really that bad.

Bye Week at San Francisco
Huge win for the Niners over the Lions. I didn’t think I’d ever be saying that. But Harbaugh is doing a good job leading this team and turning Alex Smith into a real NFL QB. Now, if he can only get that offensive line to sharpen up a bit.

Bye Week at New England
What needs to be said about the Patriots? They pulled off a Tom Brady-esque comeback against the Cowboys and sustained their home win streak. Brady and Bellichick also tied Shula & Marino for most wins by a coach/QB duo. Slap on the back chaps.

Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game: Week 17

Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Tim Tebow

Teeeeebooooowwwwww!!! (Image: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

This is the final week of the NFL regular season, which means that it’s the last time this year that I’ll be predicting 16 games. Which is good, because my win percentage over the last couple weeks has sucked. Last week I went a terrible 6-10 (138-103 on the season,) which brings me to 58% on the season for win percentage. This past week simply destroyed me. Upsets by the Vikings and Cardinals, the Giants choking and none of my upset picks coming true just buried me. I hope you haven’t been betting on my picks. If it helps, I’ve really done no better or worse than the guys on NFL Countdown on ESPN.

So the big game of Week 17 is the Rams vs. Seahawks, which you’ll see in a moment is the featured game. The reason for this is that it’s the only game, and the last regular season game of the season, that is winner moves on and loser goes home. There are some other games with playoff implications, but mostly seeding issues. It’s been a wild year for sure, and the fact that one of these two teams will make the playoffs with a losing record kind of highlights the weird season it’s been.

In fact, it’s been so weird that now, in week 17 I’d like to change this column from a prediction type column to just a preview column which it really has been all year long. If you took any of my picks really serious, and did the math it’s just nuts. I basically have predicted the Bucs at 0-16 because I refuse to pick them. I think I probably have a couple of teams that would have went 16-0 based on my picks, and I irrationally pick the Browns and Bills when I clearly know better just cause they are my teams. So like the warnings for legal reasons on Poker sites, this column is strictly for entertainment purposes. Heh.

Enough of that pandering bullshit, how about some week 17 picks? Er, previews. Whatever. Let’s get it on.

Featured Game:

St. Louis at Seattle Line: +3.0
The battle for the sub-par NFC West comes down to this. Can the Rams, who have had a remarkable season considering they are holding a losing record and have a rookie QB, beat the Seahawks who seem to be fading into obscurity? If not, then Bradford’s breakout season might be forgotten along with their playoff chances. The Rams have more redeeming qualities than the Hawks, and their wins have been exciting and hard fought, while the Hawks have gotten by. In my opinion, neither of these teams should make the playoffs and another team with a better record should. But since them’s ain’t the rules, I’m taking the Rams to win out and head into the playoffs.

Tailgate City (The Rest:)

Carolina at Atlanta Line: -15.0
Atlanta losing at home to the Saints didn’t exactly state their case for best in the NFC. While the Saints are a good team, a win would have given them home field advantage throughout. Instead, with the Eagles losing, the Bears now have home field advantage throughout as the number one seed. Ok, we can live with that, but is this the week to rest starters? If they do, then that’s two weeks before they play again. That might not be a good idea. I’ve always felt resting starters, at least for the entire game, is a terrible idea. Look at the Colts history with that for an example. Anyway, the Panthers shouldn’t offer much of a threat against the Falcons practice squad. Falcons to win at home.

Pittsburgh at Cleveland Line: +6.5
While the Steelers have secured a playoff spot, they have not locked down the division. A win here does just that, but the Browns are not to be underestimated. They held strong against the Ravens last week, and Colt McCoy would love a chance to prove his mettle against the Steelers. This is always a tough match-up, when the Browns don’t completely suck that is. So I’m sticking with the emotional pick (for me at least) and picking the Browns to win at home and spoil the Steelers fun just a little bit.

Minnesota at Detroit Line: -0.0
Did the Vikings just upset the Eagles? They sure did. Their defense, while it took 15 games, finally woke the fuck up and played Vick pretty tough. This is a little silver lining for this team that has seen some turmoil this year. Biggest storyline was Joe Webb at Quarterback, who appeared as if he could actually play. It’s very possible his performance in that game, and against the Lions could secure him a starting spot with the Vikings next year. So he has to play well and win this week on the road. It’s highly possible and I think the Vikings will do just that. Win.

Oakland at Kansas City Line: -4.0
Wow, what a year for the Chiefs. Their AFC opponents should not be taking this team lightly going into the playoffs. They could very well make it to the AFC Championship game for sure. They have that spark, and they have that offense. An offense that they hopefully will not be resting against the Radiers. While they can accept a loss, they’d probably rather not have one so coming out and winning at home against a hot and cold Raiders squad is paramount. This could be one of the highest scoring games of the day though, or I could be wrong. Chiefs to win.

Miami at New England Line: -2.5
If there is one team who can rest their starters and take a loss and not worry about losing their playoff seeding, it’s the Patriots. However, that’s not their style. At this point, not at the beginning of the season, I’d have to say the Patriots are on their way to another Superbowl. While they won’t rest their starters, Brady will be out by the 3rd quarter even if they are losing. Which, could very well happen. The Dolphins are not a bad team, just confused. They have been inconsistent, but this game comes with no implications other than a win or a loss. I think with that pressure off, and sucking last week against Detroit, the Dolphins can make a game of it. However, Patriots to win.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans Line: -8.0
Here’s the playoff scenario for the Bucs. They have to beat the Saints, Green Bay has to lose to Chicago and the Giants have to lose to Washington. All three of those things must happen for the Bucs to make the playoffs. Do you realize how optimistic this makes the delusional Bucs fans? Sadly, it’s my estimation that none of those things will happen at all. Starting with the Bucs losing to the Saints, which means they would not have beaten a team with a winning record all year. Weak.

Buffalo at NY Jets Line: -0.0
The Jets made the playoffs, but with the way they have been playing in the last few weeks they should be out in the first round. Their offense has been sputtering, putting too much pressure on the defense to keep the game in hand. While they played well against the Bears, and the offense woke up – it wasn’t enough. That was a stinging defeat for this squad. The Bills have had another forgettable season, but would like to go out with a win. This game might be that win, but they are going to have to open up the playbook and just go nuts against a defense that is going to see them coming. For shits and giggles, I’m taking the Bills. Why not?

Cincinnati at Baltimore Line: -9.5
The only team to really play spoiler last week was the Bungles, beating the crap out of the Chargers to keep them from the playoffs. Hilarious, but that sucks for Charger fans. So can the Bungles do it two weeks in a row? While they can’t keep the Ravens from the playoffs, they can mess with their aspirations to win the division. Do I think they will do just that? Hell no. The Bungles still suck balls and will not win in Baltimore. Ravens to win.

San Diego at Denver Line: +3.5
I’ll make this one easy for you. Tebow. Broncos to win.

Chicago at Green Bay Line: -0.0
What a classic match-up. I always love this match-up, no matter who is leading the team. Rodgers leads the Packers, fresh off a win over the Giants, against the top seeded and division winning Bears. But the Packers aren’t out of it yet. A win here puts them ahead of the Giants and into the playoffs. Their destiny is in their hands. They have to win to get in. Well, not really. They already have the tie break against the Giants and Tampa, so they would need both those teams to lose if they lose. Anyway, the Bears aren’t going to make it easy for them, not in the least. But I think the Packers are playing well enough with Rodgers back to make the final push into the last Wild-Card spot.

Tennessee at Indianapolis Line: -10.0
One could say the Colts have overcome a season of unfortunate injuries and set-backs to get this far. The division is theirs to take. All they need is a win here and it’s theirs. Doesn’t matter what the Jags do. They threw the division away with a couple tough losses that they couldn’t afford. Meanwhile, the Colts have done just enough to win. Sure, they won’t get past the Pats in the playoffs, but they’ll make it. They just have to beat the Titans. The Titans got pistol whipped by the Chiefs last week, and playing another road game to finish out the season sucks for them. Colts to win.

Dallas at Philadelphia Line: -0.0
The Eagles laid a serious egg against the Vikings. While they are still in the playoffs, they aren’t going to be top seed. That’s fine, they seem to be more energized on the road anyway. Maybe it’s cause their fans are so damn rowdy. They welcome the Cowboys to town, a team that has struggled to find their balance since losing Romo at the start of the season. Kitna has shown some poise, but the team around him has not. Can they salvage their season with a huge upset in Philly? Vick was limping a bit at the end of the game Tuesday night, we could see Kolb taking snaps. I’m banking on that in picking the Cowboys to upset.

Arizona at San Francisco Line: -6.5
At this point, who cares? They both suck, no playoff implications, just to see who is worse in the division I guess. Battle for last place! Niners to win at home.

New York at Washington Line: +4.0
The Giants are about to get their asses knocked out of the playoffs. A win by Green Bay does that, or if they lose on the road to the Redskins, which is highly possible. The Skins, like the Cowboys, have nothing left to play for this year besides the jobs of most of the coaching staff and the quarterback. Though by all accounts, I’d say McNabb is gone next year anyway. The Giants, while a top ranked team, are very inconsistent on defense. Will this be an off week or on week? This game is a must win for the Giants, which puts a lot of pressure on the defense to keep McNabb and his rocket arm in check. That might be too much pressure for this unstable defense. I’m taking the Skins to upset.

Jacksonville at Houston Line: +1.5
Here’s the breakdown for the Jags. If they win here, and the Colts win at home then they can back into the playoffs. Sadly, they’ll know by kickoff whether that scenario still exists or not. So this game is hard to predict because that could change the whole attitude of this game. The last time these two teams met, the Jags won on a last second play, so the Texans deserve some respect for not getting run over. But with Jones-Drew out, do the Jags really have a great shot at busting through the Texans? I think by the time they kickoff, the Colts will have won, dashing the hopes of the Jags and then the Texans will end it on a real sour note when they win. Texans at home.

So that’s that. The NFL Regular season is now over. I’m sad, but it’s been a good season and frankly it’s time to move on. Now, there better be a collective barganing agreement in place by next year otherwise I’m gonna be pissed. What am I supposed to do if there is no NFL season? Watch the NBA?

The Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game: Week 11

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Giants vs. Eagles. You know you don't want to miss this one. (Image: NFL)

So last week happened, my worst week of picks EVER. 5-9 (79-65 on the season.) And they weren’t just close losses, they were terrible picks based on insane logic. Refusing to pick the Bucs knowing they’d beat the Panthers? Whatever. I’m being irrational I suppose.

So didja get a chance to check out my Power Rankings? For those of you that struggle with the word count in this weekly column, that might be more your speed. I understand the readin’ ain’t for all y’all, jus’ some of y’all. That being said, Week 11 is normally a “prove it or lose it” week, but have you noticed the parity in the NFL this year? There are no zero loss teams, there are no undefeated teams and the field is wide open. Mathematically, the Panthers are still in it. Yeah, it’s that kind of season.

Which makes sense that my picks are consistently getting worse. That adage of “every other Sunday” is really true this season. It’s slamming me every Sunday. Hopefully my picks are entertaining enough, even if they aren’t perfect. But where are the comments? Are you people too lazy to comment? I’ll try to cut down the word count a little bit, for you slow readers. Sheesh. Let’s do this! Week 11 picks!

Featured Game:

New York at Philadelphia Line: -3.5
The 6-3 Giants visit the 6-3 Eagles. The Giants are coming off a humiliating loss to the Cowboys at home, while the Eagles are coming off a superior drubbing of the Redskins. This is the fight for the NFC East, and it starts and ends on Sunday night. Who are we kidding? This game is nothing but Vick vs. the Giants defense. The same Giants defense that allowed the Cowboys to run all over them. Can they hold it together against Vick or do they not stand a chance? This should be a fun one to watch, especially since it’s in Philly. As much as I’d like to go with Eli and the boys, I’m taking Vick and the Eagles speedy receivers to take this one. Eagles at home.

Tailgate City (The Rest):

Chicago at Miami Line: -1.0
The Bears aren’t messing around. The Packers should be watching their backs. The Lions and Vikings are out of this divisional race (though not mathematically of course.) The Bears are a tough team on offense, especially when Cutler is having a good day. Will he have a good day in sunny south Florida against Tyler Thigpen and the Dolphins defensive secondary? I’m guessing Thigpen will start over Henne and the injured Pennington. Either way, I’m taking the Bears on the road.

Buffalo at Cincinnati Line: -6.0 UPSET SPECIAL!!
Buffalo got their first win last week against the Lions – even though they almost gave it up near the end. Buffalo is one of the worst teams in the league, but it’s not for lack of trying. The Bengals are one of the worst teams in the league, for lack of trying. They have three of the best offensive weapons on one single team, and can’t do jack shit with them. They are hopeless. Is it bad coaching? Is it lack of team cohesiveness? Perhaps. Either way, I’m taking the Bills to truly sink the Bungles this week. That’s right, we’re back to the Bungles.

Detroit at Dallas Line: -7.0 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
Who cares? I mean, who really cares? One of my biggest complaints concerning NFL scheduling is the Thanksgiving day games taking place in Dallas and Detroit, and it’s years like this that prove my point. The Cowboys and Lions are both sitting at 2-7 with no hope of improving. The Thanksgiving game should rotate every year, instead of being held in these two stadiums. Well, before those games we get this stinker. I hope Joe Buck is calling this game so I have even less of a reason to watch it. I have to pick a team? Hell, since I swore not to pick the Cowboys anymore – Lions on the road. Why not?

Washington at Tennessee Line: -7.0
The Redskins are what we call ‘hapless.’ While not a terrible team on paper, they still suffer from mismanagement and poor play calling, even with Shanahan at the helm. They just signed McNabb to another long term contract, even though he’s really on his way out. What the hell are they thinking? They got pistol whipped by the Eagles, and I’m looking for their weak defensive front to give up the goods to Chris Johnson and the ground attack of the Titans. The Titans should get back on track this week, they have to otherwise they are just handing the division over to the Colts. Titans to win at home.

Arizona at Kansas City Line: -8.0
Ah, now there are the Cardinals that we’re all used to. They are the kid that just keeps trying and trying, but comes up short again and again. This time, they came up short to the Seahawks, getting worked through the air. It’s like they weren’t even trying to defend against the pass. Andersen is back behind center again, but that won’t make much of a difference against the much better Chiefs. The Chiefs, while losing to the surging Broncos, still threw for over 400 yards. That kind of air attack will destroy the Cardinals weak secondary. I’m taking the Chiefs to win big in this one.

Green Bay at Minnesota Line: +3.0
When will the Vikings management team figure out that having Brett Favre starting is not only a distraction, but is actually losing them games? At the start of the season, he looked like he could be having another banner year. At this point, they need to bench him. Not to mention it appears that he’s forgotten he’s got one of the best running backs ever in the backfield in Adrian Petersen. Childress should be joining Wade Phillips in the unemployment line at this point. Meanwhile, the Packers are my solid pick for the Superbowl, and there is no reason they should falter this week. Packers over the Vikings by a healthy spread.

Houston at NY Jets Line: -7.0
The Jets are one loss away from sinking. Yes, they are 7-2 and have pulled off some amazing wins, but it only takes one emotional loss for a team like this to just self implode. Meanwhile, the Texans have already suffered a couple of those losses, the last second loss to the Jaguars last week was just the nail in the proverbial coffin. The only reason I’m taking the Jets to win this week is because of defense. Their offense is middle of the road and has a lot of problems establishing a strong running game. However, their defense wins games, and this shouldn’t be an exception to that. I’m taking the Jets at home.

Oakland at Pittsburgh Line: -7.5
The Oakland Raiders are one of those teams that are trying to re-establish a winning franchise. They are coming off the last bye week after beating the Chiefs into the ground the week before. They are playing extremely well on offense, only because Jason Campbell learned he can actually scramble when the pocket breaks down, something he didn’t know he could do in Washington. But will he be able to run away from the Steelers defense? Sure, they have some injuries, and suffered a loss to the Patriots, but that shouldn’t matter against the still inferior Raiders. This game should be closer than one would think, but I’m taking the Steelers at home.

Baltimore at Carolina Line: +10.5
While the Bills are bad, the Niners are bad, the Cowboys and Lions are bad – the Panthers are simply the worst. How this team can take the field every week and feel like a team is a mystery to me. They got worked by the only-so-good Bucs last week, and there isn’t a game they’ve played this year – even their one win – where they looked like they were in it to the end. They have no chance against the Ravens. Not a chance. The Ravens, at 6-2 lost to the Falcons (who are unarguably the best in the NFC) in the final seconds. Taking the Ravens to win on the road, easy.

Cleveland at Jacksonville Line: -1.5
The Browns are still the best three win team. They are close, so close. They beat the Saints in the Superdome, they beat the Patriots and nearly beat the Jets. Only a late fumble near field goal territory put the Browns out of it. They had their chances though. Colt McCoy is looking like the future of the team, and a hell of an accurate passer. The Jags got lucky last week on a hail mary, that’s not going to be enough against the Browns who are out for blood. This is the start of a long road trip for the Browns, and it’ll be good to start off with a win. Browns on the road.

Atlanta at St. Louis Line: +3.0
Like I’ve mentioned several times, the Falcons are the best in the NFC and possibly the NFL. Matt Ryan is a future hall of famer, and has no problem picking apart secondaries like they are hot chicks at a bar. They have the best running game in the league, and one of the most accurate and speedy passing attacks. The Rams looked like they were in the race, and technically still are. At 4-5 they aren’t out of it yet, since their division absolutely sucks balls. However, I don’t think this is going to be their week. Even though they are only a three point underdog, I’d expect them to come out swinging but come up short. Falcons on the road.

Seattle at New Orleans Line: -12.0
The Seahawks are not out of it yet. They punked the Cardinals last week, Hasselbeck making a clear statement that yes, he is still here and can still pass the damn ball. But that’s about all they have, a strong passing attack. Their defense is questionable, and their running game is suspect. So the Saints shouldn’t have any problem handing them right? Well, one would think so but the Saints have still not returned to the form that helped them win a Superbowl last year. Eh, it’s tough to repeat, even repeat with just a winning season. Who knew that their division was going to be this tough? I’m taking the Saints to win though, just cause the Superdome can be a tough place to play in. However, I think the Seahawks will keep it close.

Tampa Bay at San Francisco Line: -3.0
Well, as much as I hate the Bucs, they did win last week in a game that I should have been humble enough to pick. I didn’t, and I’m not going to pick them this week. The Niners aren’t that great though, but can come through when they need to – and they need to. Just to keep their heads about them. Alex Smith is out, Troy Smith is playing for all the marbles right now, which means a chance to show other teams (ahem, Vikings – take a look) what he can do. He has to do it this week, which is why I’m taking the Niners at home.

Indianapolis at New England Line: -3.0
This is the game that can break the Colts back and set the stage for the Titans to make a run at the Division. Can the Colts beat the Patriots this year? The Pats are looking good, which some key injuries have slowed down the Colts just enough to allow the Pats that slight edge. Playing outside, in the great northeast, I dunno. This looks like it could be an easy Pats win. Especially considering the way they handled the Steelers last week. I’m taking the Pats at home, just cause Tom Brady’s hair told me to.

Denver at San Diego Line: -9.5
Both these teams on paper are a lot better than they are in the win / loss column. Too bad paper doesn’t make a lick of shit when it comes to the NFL. This always makes for a good Monday night game, and shouldn’t disappoint. It is a Monday night game right? Anyway, without saying too much about who is the better team here, because I really don’t know, I’m taking the Chargers to win at home just cause San Diego has really nice weather this time of year. I like weather.

I’m mailing it in for the close. I’m tired. It’s late on a Wednesday night and I don’t remember eating dinner. Comments people, let’s get the conversation going. There were more comments about shoes the other day than I’ve seen about the NFL all year. Weak.

The Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game: Week 10

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

The Dawg pound is pumped up for their 3-5 team

There were a couple games last week that were so freaking close, but ended up in the loss column for me. The Colts, the Chiefs and the Bills all lost by a couple points. At the same time, there were some clear winners like the Giants and the Packers, and some clear losers like the Dolphins, Cowboys & Panthers. But forget all that, there was only one game that was the pinnacle of Week 9. That game, was the Browns beating the Patriots, and that game – I picked the Browns to upset again.

Not only did my Browns beat the snot out of the Patriots, but they did it with relative ease. At no point in that game were the Patriots in control, at no point in that game did it even look like they would mount a comeback. That was the Week 9 highlight, a week in which I went a respectable 8-5 (74-56 on the season.) A week in which no football player sexted a cheerleader. A week in which Randy Moss wasn’t in the news. A week in which the Browns beat the top team in the AFC. Or did I already mention that?

The losers are looking like winners right now, at least, some of them. The Lions lost, but came real close to knocking off the Jets. The Raiders surprised the Chiefs, and of course – the Browns won. Though it’s clear who the real losers are right now. Dallas, Buffalo & Carolina. They are done. Toast. Wade Phillips (Cowboys) is gone. Will Gruden replace him? Maybe Cowher? Who knows. Know what I know? It’s Week 10 in the NFL, and here’s some picks.

Featured Game:

NY Jets at Cleveland Line: +3.0
No analysis needed. I’m taking the Browns to continue winning against teams that are supposed to be the best in the NFL. The Saints, the Patriots and now the Jets will fall to the Browns. Every week brings a new bag of tricks that their opponents don’t seem to be prepared for. Tricks aside, this team is playing great on defense, Peyton Hillis is running like an out of control train – 184 yards against the Patriots – and Mangini seems to know what he’s doing. I know they are a five loss team at this point, but they remind me a lot of the Saints last year. Doing whatever it takes to win, and completely surprising their opponent. Colt McCoy has shades of Peyton Manning, changing plays at the line, and Steve Young, scrambling for a TD. Meanwhile, the Jets are on a downward spiral. Not sure what has happened to this team in recent weeks. They barely pulled off a win against the Lions, and looked like shit doing it. I don’t think that their run defense will be able to handle Peyton Hillis, and I don’t think that Sanchez and the O-line will be able to slow down the Browns defense. Browns to win at home.

Tailgate City (The Rest:)

Baltimore at Atlanta Line: -1.0
Maybe I underestimated the Ravens last week. They handled the Dolphins with clean efficiency, cutting off most of the running game and the passing game. They picked off Henne three times in the game, which helped keep the score gap big enough to cut off any hope of a comeback. This week though, they play the Falcons in Atlanta. This is going to be a tough match-up as the highlight of both teams is the run defense. I’m looking for the Falcons to make a mark in this game as solidifying themselves as a tough NFC team – tough enough to take down one of the toughest AFC teams. Falcons at home.

Detroit at Buffalo Line: -3.0
The Lions once again came damn close to pulling off an upset against the faltering Jets, taking them to overtime. The Jets needed all four quarters to catch up and take the Lions to overtime. Unfortunately for the Lions, the Jets won and Detroit dropped to 2-6. One could say they are the best 2-6 team but that’s not good enough to salvage a season. This week, they get the 0-8 Bills, who they can surely sympathize with after having a season without a single win. Are the Bills on the same track? They are favored this week against the Lions, and could be playing in the snow. Last week I thought the Bills could pull off an upset against the Bears, they didn’t. They found a way to lose with a late interception. Expect more of the same this week. I’m taking the Lions.

Minnesota at Chicago Line: +1.5
With 27 seconds left, the Vikings scored to bring the game against the Cardinals into overtime, where they got the win. Favre through for a record 446 yards, but they still had to rally from 14 points down to force overtime. Maybe his two interceptions had something to do with that. The Bears, who should be a threat, are no threat. Even if Favre is completely off his game and throwing like shit, expect Adrian Peterson to run all over the Bears. The only plus for the Bears is the cold weather and how it affects Favre’s joints. I still am taking the Vikings though. Makes more sense considering how sloppy the Bears are playing.

Cincinnati at Indianapolis Line: -7.0
The Bengals put up a good fight against the Steelers last week, but couldn’t pull off the upset. They were playing from behind the whole game and were shut down late by the Steelers defense. The Bengals are still having a problem establishing a run game, and all those passes when playing from behind are starting to play against them. The Colts secondary is fast, but they are having inconsistencies at receiver. They looked outmatched and confused against Vick and the Eagles. I think they’ll bounce back this week with a strong win against the Bengals at home, mostly because of the 12th man – the crowd. Have I mentioned how awesome the Indy home crowd is? Yes? Ok. Indy to win at home.

Tennessee at Miami Line: +1.0
The Titans have one of the best defenses in the league, one of the best offenses as well, yet are not favored in this match-up in Miami. Are you kidding me? Did the bookies not watch the Dolphins roll over and get prison raped by the Ravens defense? How in the hell can Miami expect to pull off an upset win against the Titans defense if they couldn’t get past the Ravens defense? Henne has some great targets in Marshall and Hartline, but that won’t be enough to stop the Titans. I’d expect a little back and forth in the first half, but once the Miami D-line gets a little tired in the legs, that’s when Chris Johnson will run all over and through them. Taking the Titans on the road.

Carolina at Tampa Bay Line: -7.0 UPSET SPECIAL!!
I won’t pick the Bucs. You all know that. The Panthers suck, but since I won’t pick the Bucs this has to be the upset special of the week. Who knows? Perhaps this is the week that the Panthers finally get their second win. Either way, not picking the Bucs. They lost to the Falcons, that made me happy. Perhaps they will lose to the Panthers this week, which will also make me happy. Panthers on the road.

Houston at Jacksonville Line: -1.0
Noooooo!! Houston lost to San Diego! For a moment it looked like they could win that game. What happened? Oh, they have the NFL’s worst past defense. That’s what happened. While the Jaguars don’t have the best passing game in the league, they have one that is good enough to take advantage of the horrible secondary of the Texans. This sucks for the Texans, because their season was looking good until that loss to the Colts a couple weeks ago. The only positive here is the Jaguars loose run defense. It’s middle of the pack at best, but the Texans Foster knows how to find the holes. I agree with this line, it’s going to be a close game, but I’m taking the Jags at home.

Kansas City at Denver Line: +1.0
Man, the Chiefs were on quite a roll there for a while weren’t they? Who knew that they’d be derailed by the Raiders last week? This week they travel up to Mile High to face division rivals Denver, who last played in London against the Niners in a game that I went null on. They won, but not convincingly by my standards and I still don’t feel confident picking the Broncos to do anything but win, or lose or whatever. Can I predict a tie? I’m just going to take the Broncos at home, but I’ll probably end up being wrong about them again, but I think my other picks are solid enough to hold me up this week. Denver at home.

Dallas at NY Giants Line: -14.0 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
If you think that the Cowboys got blown out against the Packers last week in their 45-7 loss which was the final straw in Wade Phillips’ back – wait until this week. While the Packers were womanizing the Cowboys, the Giants were smacking around the Seahawks like the sissy kid on the playground getting popped in the head by dodge balls. If the Cowboys want to salvage their season, it’s too late. If they want to salvage their pride, hell, it’s too late for that too. They are toast, and the Giants are going to kill them. This is the crapfest of the week because it’s just going to be painful and watch the Cowboys just get destroyed. If it’s not clear, Giants to win at home.

Seattle at Arizona Line: -3.0
Hasselbeck has been cleared to play against the Cardinals this weekend. Who cares? The Seahawks were on the verge of becoming a great team, then blowouts to the Raiders and the Giants have seriously set them back. Meanwhile, the Cards played a close game against the Vikings, but couldn’t hold the lead. This game could really go either way. It’s one of those middle of the division match-ups that decides which of these teams takes that tumble to the bottom. It think it’s going to be the Hawks. Taking the Cards to win at home, even if they can’t seem to decide which QB to start.

St. Louis at San Francisco Line: -6.0
Sam Bradford is looking like a bona-fide quarterback. Both these teams are coming off a bye-week, only one of these teams has a serious shot at the division. Alex Smith is not looking like a bona-fide QB, and has been replaced by Troy Smith for the moment. The Troy Smith to Ted Ginn connection wasn’t enough against Denver in London, and won’t be enough against the Rams this week. I’m taking the Rams to win in San Fran, if only because they are the underdog and have a serious chance at the division this year.

New England at Pittsburgh Line: -5.0
The Steelers defense won the game against the Bengals, had they faltered they would have easily lost to the Bengals comeback. Playing at home this week against the now confused Patriots, the Steelers defense is even stronger. While the Patriots were outplayed, outcoached and just plain beat by the Browns, they are a bounce back team. Sadly, the Steelers aren’t the team that allows bounce backs. Their defense will hold up, and they aren’t the ones questioning themselves as the best in the AFC, they are the best in the AFC. Steelers to win at home.

Philadelphia at Washington Line: +3.0
The NFC East games make for the best Monday night match-ups. This week, we get the Eagles, who beat the Colts, with Vick getting his legs going for 74 yards, a rushing TD, 218 passing yards and a passing TD. The guy is still the real deal. So can the Redskins defense contain him? It’s possible, the Colts just weren’t prepared for him, and he really was the game changing factor in that game. This game could go either way, but I’m going with the Eagles just because Vick is such a game changer.

Well, that’s it for this week kids. Enjoy the games, I know I will – especially that Browns vs. Jets match-up. I can tell you this much, Week 10 in the NFL means that the college football season is almost over, which means that the NFL season is that much closer to the end. However, do not worry – I will still be here after the season ends. I’m thinking about writing a women’s field hockey column.

The Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game: Week 8

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

The Jets Flight Crew will be cheering this weekend.

This week I have no choice but to lead with gloating about picking the Cleveland Browns to upset the Saints last week. They turned the spread 180 and beat the Saints in the Superdome thanks to great defensive play. The Madden curse is in full effect with Drew Brees, never more evident than moments after last weeks game when he realized he lost at home to the Browns.

That aside, or including that, I went 10-4 on the week (62-42 on the year.) That’s pretty damn sweet. I should have put some money down. While I got my upset pick right, my crapfest right, I was once again wrong about the Broncos. Fuck you Denver. I’m tired of your shit. Do what I say! Also, the Bills were very surprising last week with their almost victory over the Ravens. I predicted them to lose 34-0 in that game, but they scored 34 and nearly won. It came down to a coin toss. I freaking hate that. They need to institute college rules overtime. Each team gets a chance to score.

So that’s last week. This week, there are some fun match-ups and a game on the other side of the Atlantic (featuring the Broncos.) Week 8 marks the halfway point of the season, so you can go ahead and make your mid-season playoff picks now. For now, here’s my Week 8 picks.

Featured Game:

Green Bay at NY Jets Line: -6.0
The Jets are the best team in the AFC, if not the best team in football. They got last week off, while the Packers got to once again beat the Vikings at home. This game will be good for two reasons. One, to see how Rodgers plays against a very aggressive pass defense and pass rush. Two, to see how the Jets play against a tough run defense and tough pass offense. It’s very interesting, because this could very well be the Superbowl this year. The Jets, Titans or Steelers will be playing the Packers in the Superbowl. At this point I’d be looking at the Jets, but later in the column I’ll say the Titans just because I like to contradict myself. This should be a great game, on both sides of the ball. It’s going to come down to the turnover game to determine the outcome of this one. That being said, taking the Jets at home.

Tailgate City (The Rest):

Miami at Cincinnati Line: -2.0
Man the Dolphins almost pulled it off last week against the Steelers. It was close, what with that late game non fumble fumble. I don’t think the Dolphins would have retained possession anyway. Somehow Henne went for over 250 yards against the Steelers defense, which makes sense since they were spending most of their time protecting the run. This week, the Dolphins hit the road to face the Bengals, who fought hard against the Falcons last week. You know, Palmer is one hell of a QB, but he’s faced with scrambling behind an offensive line that routinely falls apart. How will he fare against the Dolphins pass rush? I’m thinking the Bengals will pull off a close one at home.

Jacksonville at Dallas Line: -6.5
Romo is out. Fractured his left clavicle which brought Jon Kitna into the game. Remember Kitna? The Cowboys haven’t been this bad (1-5) since the first year Jerry Jones bought the team. How they are favored this week is beyond me, but the Jags are no shining stars either. 38 year old Todd Bouman is taking the snaps, and it was a mistake that led to a blowout last week against the Chiefs. The Jags are lacking on pass and rush defense, and I wouldn’t count on their offense to dig them out of a hole. Once they fall behind, they’ll stay behind. Taking the Cowboys at home.

Washington at Detroit Line: -2.5
Even though the Redskins handled the Bears last week in a terrible game (nine turnovers between the two teams) they are still the underdog coming into Detroit. The Lions are coming off a bye week which will only help their cause as a future winning team. They won’t have a winning record this year, but they’ll get close if they can start winning. I don’t think that the Redskins are going to be able to contain Best and their special team defense isn’t that great. The Lions have some speed and could very well burn out the Redskins in this game. I’m taking the Lions at home, another home pick.

Buffalo at Kansas City Line: -8.0
Buffalo shocked all us detractors last week with their near win in Baltimore. I’m guessing they must be reading this column, with me extolling how much they absolutely suck. While their defense was very giving, their offense made up the difference. Matt Cassel has been consistently impressive this season, plus, do any of you have Thomas Jones on your fantasy team? He’s been on fire lately. With that tandem, there is no way the Buffalo defense will be able to hold the game close. Look for Buffalo to come out hot, but fizzle in the end. No overtime for them this week, this game should be decided by the third quarter. Chiefs at home.

Carolina at St. Louis Line: -3.0
The Panthers got their first week last week against the struggling Niners. The Rams aren’t struggling. They aren’t doing fantastic either, and losing to the Bucs last week didn’t help their case, but they are getting much better. The defense for the Rams has been improving every week, actually looking impressive. The Panthers, suck. Which is odd for an NFC South team, which usually boasts tough defenses. I’m looking at the Rams to make a statement this week, that they can beat crappy teams at home. Still, any given Sunday, but I’m still taking the Rams.

Denver at San Francisco Line: -0.0 Crapfest of the Week!
This game takes us to the sunny shores of London. Well, the rain filled shores of London. Frankly, I don’t know why we bother. They like soccer, we like football, get over it. The reason this is my crapfest is that the London games are never good. The jet lag shows on the players, and the fact that this is a regular season game out of the country is a joke. This game should not count against or for any records and should be treated as an exhibition game. So I’m taking a null pick. Broncos have made sure they don’t agree with me at all, like a bad taco, and the Niners are iffy week to week. The only thing that would make me pick the Niners at all would be Troy Smith starting and playing with his childhood friend Ted Ginn Jr. However, null pick.

Tennessee at San Diego Line: -3.5
Kenny Britt, 225 yards and 3 TD’s. That’s a freaking career day for sure. All this thanks to the accuracy of Kerry Collins. The Titans defense is stifling right now, their offense is on fire with both the run and the pass. This is your AFC Superbowl team (providing they don’t lose to the Steelers in the playoffs again.) My advice, leave Young on the bench for now until Collins screws up. They have the rhythm going. The Chargers however, don’t. They’ve been a disappointment this year, and their loss to the Pats last week was terribly sad because it came down to a missed field goal. I’m taking the Titans to win on the road.

Seattle at Oakland Line: -3.0
Wow. Did anyone else watch Oakland land 59 points on the hapless Broncos last week? Where the hell did that team come from? Jason Campbell came in as the backup and led his team, along with McFadden’s 4 TD’s, to a major victory. Everyone got a chance at the ball, and the defense – the defense, in Oakland – freaking killed it. A major surprise, so the question is, can they keep it up? They are favored against the Seahawks, who are once again flying under the radar but quietly holding sole first place in the NFC West. I’m taking the Hawks to win, to bring the Raiders back down to Earth. I know, we’d like to think the Oakland Raiders can dominate once again, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Minnesota at New England Line: -4.0
Will Favre start? Word on the street is that his ankle problem is a bit glorified and it’s mostly his feelings that are hurt. Well, he’s not going to be in a good mood tonight if he starts against the Patriots. Feeling good are Tom Brady and company after taking out the trash in San Diego. Ok, that was harsh. The Vikings aren’t living up to expectations this year at all. Adrian Peterson can’t carry the team, and hasn’t been carrying the team. When Favre is on, he’s on but he hasn’t been on this year. Brady has been his normal Brady self, and the Patriots defense has been mediocre, but good enough to give the offense and Belichick time to trick the other team into losing. Pats at home.

Tampa Bay at Arizona Line: -3.0
I still hate the Bucs and they got lucky in that crappy game against the Rams last week. One thing I can say is that the Freeman to Winslow connection is starting to look pretty good. If they can work on that, since their defense is no longer the dominant force it once was, then they can continue their winning ways. The Cardinals, a short time ago the NFC representatives in the Superbowl are sitting in a mediocre division watching the Seahawks pull away. QB trouble is clearly plaguing this team, with Max Hall not too much better than Derek Anderson this year. Those inconsistencies plus the high turnover ratio is killing this team. However, I refuse to pick the Bucs, so taking Arizona at home.

Pittsburgh at New Orleans Line: +1.0
The Saints are the only home team not favored this week. If you think the Saints struggled against the Browns defense, wait until they face the Steelers defense. Brees surely wants a bounce back, but this week ain’t gonna be it. The Steelers are going to destroy the Saints at home. They are vulnerable right now, Brees is clearly not himself and the Saints offense is not surprising anyone with their tricks anymore. They are losing the turnover game, they are just playing like a normal NFC team with normal problems. The things is, they are the defending Superbowl champions and have no major injury issues. The Steelers, are playing just like we expect them to be playing. Easy road win pick for the Steelers.

Houston at Indianapolis Line: -5.5 Upset Special!!
And the final game of the mid-season rampage is this divisional match-up. The Texans are setting their sights on the playoffs. Can they make it? Beating the Colts twice in one season would be a great start to the playoff hunt. Both teams got to relax this past weekend, and a Monday night game means even more time to run plays and get a solid game plan. Look for Manning to come out quick against the Houston defense to try to catch them before they get warmed up. However, in the end I’m thinking the Texans will prevail with the upset.

That’s it. Now I’m all depressed. The season is half over, and that means the college season is even closer to being over. I’m too depressed to write more words. I’m gonna go drink a six pack of PBR and watch NFL Tonight.

The Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game: Week 7

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Romo. How far you have fallen.

All I can say after watching most of last weeks action on the NFL RedZone channel is “ouch.” I think I got a concussion from all the helmet to helmet hits. James Harrison of the Steelers delivered two of them to Browns players, knocking Cribbs out of the game. There were several others around the league, shown over and over on Sportscenter and creating quite a negative buzz. Why all of the sudden is there more spearing? Some are incidental, most are intentional. Is it the Sportscenter mentality that is causing these players to go for the big hits? Knocking someone out of the game gets you on Sportscenter for sure. Perhaps they have just gotten careless, or forgotten how to actually tackle someone. Either way, it has to stop. It’s a thug mentally, and spearing helmet to helmet is a dirty move.

In other news, I’d like to say I did awesome last week with my picks, but the honest truth is that they kind of sucked. I went 8-6 (52-38 on the year) and my upset pick was dead wrong. Not terribly wrong thinking the Lions could beat the Giants in New York, but wrong nonetheless. At least they beat the spread.

In non-football related news, go NOT YANKEES. I swear, the Rangers better beat the Yankees. I really, really hate the Yankees. I’m thinking the Rangers blew Game 5 so they could win at home. They’ve never been to the World Series, so why not get there with a win at home.

Back to football. Week 7 picks! Whoo-hoo! So settle down in the back of the “script” club, order yourself a $12 martini and a lap dance from a questionable looking stripper and let’s get it on.

Featured Game:

New York at Dallas Line: -3.5
This is it for the Cowboys. After losing to the Vikings last week with a massive special teams failure, allowing a 95 yard kickoff return for a TD, the 1-4 are technically not out of contention in what is a weak division this year. The NFC East is usually the strongest division every year, but not so much with the Giants self destructing on defense every other week, and the Cowboys just plain sucking. This is the Giants chance to put the Cowboys away. However, only a late fumble by the Lions enabled the Giants to secure the win, in an overall mediocre performance by Eli. So what makes me think they can beat the Cowboys this week? Easy, the Cowboys are already self destructing. Wade’s job is in question, Romo is shaken every game as his pocket collapses and their special teams aren’t showing up. This game is my featured game because as much as I hate the Bucs, being a Bills fan from the 1990′s I hate the Cowboys just as much. They need to go away. So I’m looking for Eli and the Giants to shove them straight down the well. Giants to win.

Tailgate City (The Rest):

Cincinnati at Atlanta Line: -3.5
The Falcons did a whole lot of nothing against the Eagles last week. They couldn’t stay consistent and were stifled by the Eagles defense, starting a losing streak instead of the winning streak they were on. It’s amazing to think that the Falcons may actually win the NFC South. Actually, it’s exhausting because no team in the NFC South has shown they are any good at this point. This week, they get to play the inconsistent Bengals at home. The Bengals, coming off a bye week could easily become an offensive juggernaut, but it just appears as if Ochocinco and T.O. are just NFL eye candy. I’m taking the Falcons to win at home.

Washington at Chicago Line: -3.0
Both these teams laid over like dead hookers in the middle of the desert… I mean, dead fish, last week. Chicago looked like the Bears of the last couple years and not the team that was dominating the first couple weeks. The Redskins, well, they went up against Manning and the Colts but came up short in the 3 point loss. McNabb looked mediocre with the two key interceptions, and the Colts defense was too much for the Skins in the end. This could be a really good game, or a really shitty one. For that reason, I’m going with the Bears to get back on track and win.

Philadelphia at Tennessee Line: -3.0
Kolb showed why he should be the starter at Philadelphia with a dominating starting performance against the Falcons. He went for 326 yards and three TD’s. Who’s Kevin Kolb? He’s the starter in Philadelphia. If Andy Reid has his head on straight, he won’t think twice about keeping Kolb in there. Especially this week, against the Titans defense. Actually, it doesn’t really matter who starts for the Eagles, the Titans defense is lights out and the offense is killing it right now. Even with backup Kerry Collins in the game (vs. backup Trent Edwards last week) all he had to do was hand off to Johnson who put up another 100+ yard game. I’m taking the Titans to win this game, but the Eagles to put up more of a fight than the Jags did last week.

Jacksonville at Kansas City Line: -0.0
David Garrard got knocked out with a concussion in the first half of the game last week, Trent Edwards was forced back into action to replace him and do pretty much nothing. That’s about what the Jags have been doing this year – besides their surprise win against the Colts. Meanwhile, the Chiefs were in a back and forth battle with the Texans, playing a game of who had the worst defense. The Chiefs won that battle, as, they allowed Houston to rack up 35 points to their 31 in the highest scoring game of the week. I’m confused at the zero line though, as the Chiefs should be favored by a few points at least. Either way, taking them to win cause I don’t like Trent Edwards.

Pittsburgh at Miami Line: +3.0
How about them Dolphins? Coming through in overtime to beat the Packers last week. A week after their special teams coach was fired for terrible special teams play against the Patriots, the Fins special teams stepped it up a notch and kept the Packers in check enough to kick a 44 yard field goal in overtime. But that’s not going to be enough against the Steelers. The Steelers are once again the best in the AFC so there isn’t much more I need to say here. Steelers with the points.

Cleveland at New Orleans Line: -14.0 UPSET SPECIAL!!
Yeah, that’s right. Upset special. What do you think of that? Drew Brees and the Saints beat the crap out of the hapless (yes, they are hapless) Bucs last week. So was that the Saints breaking free of whatever was holding them back and finally showing they are an offensive powerhouse? Or was that the Bucs just sucking? I’m going with the latter. That being said, the Browns got their asses whupped by the Steelers, but they looked good doing it. Ok, they didn’t, but they didn’t look terrible either. Young Colt McCoy threw more interceptions than touchdowns, but that still has to do more with the Steelers D than the Browns O. Hopefully Cribbs returns from his concussion this week, but that’s unknown. He does, I’m going with the Browns in a major upset. If he doesn’t, then the Saints. When it comes down to tallying scores though, I’m taking the Browns.

St. Louis at Tampa Bay Line: -3.0
Rams beat the Chargers. Are the Rams a good team? Bradford got clocked in the head several times, more of that helmet to helmet shit. Thankfully he got right back up. This was a rough game, and the Rams rushed well with Stephen Jackson back at full health. It was a surprise win, and their third in a row at home. I’m taking them this week on the road against the Bucs, who got clocked last week and frankly, I don’t care how they did. Picking against them all season. Statistically, I’ll win out. Rams to win.

San Francisco at Carolina Line: +3.0 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
The 1-5 Niners are now squarely in the suck category. You’ll notice as the season wears on, I’ll be saying less and less about the losing teams. Yeah, they won last week against the Raiders in a 17-9 crapfest. Gore put nearly 150 rushing yards on the Raiders, but the Panthers have a slightly better rush defense. That’s about it though. The Panthers aren’t exactly winners either. Well, they aren’t winners at all. They are 0-5. Steve Smith might return this week, but it’s not going to be enough. The Panthers are this years Lions. Taking the Niners to win on the road. This is the battle of losers.

Buffalo at Baltimore Line: -14.0
Sorry Charles, Buffalo sucks. Ravens don’t. Ravens to win. In fact, the point spread is generous, I’m taking the Ravens to win by 17 at least. In fact, I’m going to go one further and predict a total shut out. I’m going to go even further than that and predict an exact score of 34-0. I also predict Fitzpatrick will cry himself to sleep Sunday night.

Arizona at Seattle Line: -6.0
Finally the Seahawks woke the hell up and convincingly won a game. Matt Hasselbeck went for 242 yards, the defense sacked Cutler six times and only a late punt return for TD by Hester kept the game close. Otherwise, it would have been a two score victory. Either way, this team needed a victory and they got it. I wouldn’t call their division tough, but with the Rams playing moderately well, the Niners not statistically out of it and the Cardinals hanging around, the Hawks need to pull ahead to get into that top spot. Both these teams are 3-2, both will be fighting for the division the rest of the year. This week however, I’m taking the Seahawks to win at home, but this contest will be closer than that six point spread.

Oakland at Denver Line: -8.0
Hey! I was right about Denver finally! I picked them to lose last week and they did! Awesome! Word on the street is that they have the best QB in the league right now. Really? I must have read that in Week 1 or something. Last week Orton went for around 200 yards, but the Jets were able to ground out a win against the Broncos. This week, they welcome the Raiders. The Raiders are a terrible organization from the top down. Rack up another loss for them this week. Let’s see if I can go two weeks in a row with my Broncos pick. Broncos to win, with the points.

New England at San Diego Line: -3.0
The Chargers just aren’t the same team since LT left. Now that Gates is out with an ankle injury, Rivers will have to find a new favorite target. Either way, the defense is shaky at best, especially against the run. While the Patriots can run the ball, they can damn well throw it too. They went back and forth into a long overtime to beat the Ravens last week, showing they have a defense that can keep up with the Ravens. A defense that will be too much for the Chargers. Taking the Patriots on the road.

Minnesota at Green Bay Line: -3.0
Once again Brett Favre returns to Green Bay. This time, no one really gives a shit. I don’t give a shit. Favre and his penis are going to lose to the Packers. They are pissed after that loss to Miami at home. Rodgers should be on point, and even though the Vikings are coming off a monster win against the Cowboys, they are still a team on the decline. Taking the Pack to win. No matter what though, Favre on Monday night is classic and seems to energize the old feller. Still taking the Pack though.

In closing, the best way to engineer a space/time anomaly within the constraints of physical and modern scientifically theory is to just simply pretend that the monkey with the apron is not real. If that doesn’t explain what this NFL season has been like, then I don’t know what does. It’s Week 7 but it feels like Week 34. Hard hits, tons of parity, some teams that suck that shouldn’t, and Favre’s fucking penis. That’s the last time I mention that. Until the next time. PBR time starts Sunday at 1pm.

The Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game: Week 5

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Last week I went 8-6 (36-26 on the season.) That’s because my last two picks, the Bears and Dolphins were emotional and not logical. Remind me never to do that again. Meanwhile, the good news is I picked the Browns to win and they did, and McNabb and the Redskins upset the Eagles. The bad news is that the Colts lost to the Jags, and the Titans lost to the Broncos. I still don’t know about the Broncos.

So what’s the biggest news this week in the NFL? Well, how about Randy Moss heading back to the Vikings? The trade with the Patriots was completed with them getting a third round pick in exchange for him. Fantastic. We know what Bellichick can do with a late round pick. And now, Brett Favre has that deep threat. More on that in a minute.

So it’s Week 5 of the NFL season! That means we’re almost a third of the way through the season already, who have you got for the playoffs? So lean back in your Lazy-Boy (or most likely a tattered lawn chair on your linoleum floor) and get ready for some more superfluous picks. Oh, and good news – the “crapfest of the week” returns this week. Bonus.

Featured Game:

Minnesota at NY Jets Line: -4.0
Moss returns to Minnesota. Not only is that the huge storyline here, with subplots of will Favre throw to him and will that clear up Harvin for more long balls, but the Jets come in as the best in the AFC. I don’t think that’s just my opinion. They are playing superior ball right now, yeah they whipped up on the Bills, but this is going to be the game that sets them apart. Their secondary has proven that they have no problem covering Moss, almost nullifying him in their game against the Patriots. They’ll do the same this week against the Vikings on Monday night. Yeah, Favre will have Moss as a distraction to the secondary, but his pre-requisite two interceptions are going to kill him against the Jets. Not to mention the Vikings haven’t been that great against the run, which the Jets establish early and establish hard. I’m taking the Jets to win, with the points.

Tailgate City (The Rest:)

Jacksonville at Buffalo Line: +1.0
The Jags pulled off a major upset against the Colts, but it’s not too much of a surprise, as they always play the Colts pretty tough. It wasn’t a majorly impressive performance by the Jags, even though Jones-Drew put over a 100 yards against the Colts defense. Which means he’ll probably put 200+ over on the Bills. The Bills, well I’ll say it again – they don’t want to win. They aren’t playing like they feel like winning. Even with the coaching change, this franchise is in trouble. Now at 0-4, they aren’t showing anything except the constant frustration of Fitzpatrick. Do they have the offense that could explode? Sure. Do they have a competent defense? No, they suck. Well, there you have it. They drop to 0-5 when they lose to the Jags.

Tampa Bay at Cincinnati Line: -7.0
I live in Tampa and I am not a Buccaneers fan. I can’t stand them. Never did, and never will be a Bucs fan. That being said, I’m happy for the blackouts. This one won’t be blacked out because it’s an away game. Last week the Bucs sat happy at home with a bye while the Bengals got beat down by the Browns. The game was close, and Palmer did his damnedest to bring the team back, but it wasn’t enough. The bright spot was T.O. ripping off 222 yards and a touchdown. The key is going to be slipping behind the Bucs secondary, who appears to only have Rhonde Barber playing for them. Shouldn’t be a problem. Taking the Bengals to win.

Atlanta at Cleveland Line: +3.0
Cleveland, unlike the Bills, look like a team that wants to win. They are 1-3, but those three losses were close ones. The win was close as well, but it was a win. Seneca Wallace was moderate as the starter, it’s a matter of time before Colt McCoy is starting. The highlight was rookie Peyton Hillis going for 102 yards on 27 carries against a usually tough Bengals front line. The kid can run. The Falcons sure did have a lot of trouble against the Niners last week, ending the win on a 42 yard field goal. This game could really go either way, but the Browns are only improving while the Falcons seem to be having trouble, even at 3-1, finding their stride. I’m taking the Browns to win for the second week in a row.

St. Louis at Detroit Line: -3.0 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
The Rams won last week. Let me say that slower for you – the – Rams – won – last – week. Bradford threw for nearly 300 yards and the Rams defense (did you even realize they had one) sacked Hasselbeck four times, had an interception and forced one fumble. They won the turnover game, and won the game. However, this week they travel to Detroit to play the Lions. The Lions (0-4) put 331 passing yards on the Packers, and almost pulled off a comeback against them. Again. The Lions are right there, right there – almost a winning team. This game is between two sub-par teams, which is why it’s the crapfest of the week, but the Lions will win this week, finally.

Kansas City at Indianapolis Line: -8.5
The Chiefs had a bye week last week, but are showing they are a team not to be underestimated. Their running game is getting better, their special teams are outstanding and Cassell is only getting better as a starter. They travel to Indy to face the Colts, who are still red from their loss to the Jags. The Jags ran all over them, which bodes well for the Chiefs. I almost want to make this my upset special, but I have a better one in mind for that honor this week. The Colts will win at home against the Chiefs, but it’s going to be close. I’d take the Chiefs to beat the spread, but lose the game. Keep in mind, they are the last unbeaten team right now at 3-0.

Green Bay at Washington Line: +3.0
How about them Redskins? McNabb rolls into Philly, gets cheered before the game then jeered during the game. It was a tough win, and brings the Redskins even at 2-2 in what is probably the toughest division in football. Inadvertently taking Vick out of the game may have had something to do with the win, but they pulled off the upset. The Packers, who are an amazing offensive team even without Ryan Grant, roll into town to challenge the Redskins defense. Rodgers is undoubtedly one of the best QB’s in the game, even with his so-so performance against the Lions. I say that because he was held to under 200 yards passing and two interceptions. This game is going to come down to the secondary on both sides and who can win the turnover game. I’m picking the Packers to win this game on the road.

Chicago at Carolina Line: +3.0
The Bears looked like the Bears from last year against the Giants on Sunday night, and not the Bears of the week before. Cutler is playing great ball right now, but couldn’t last against the nine sacks by the Giants in the first half alone – finally knocking him out with a concussion. Then his back-up got knocked out, and the third string guy almost got whacked. This game was all defense, the Bears defense just got tired first. For the Panthers, Clausen is getting better, even leading his team to within a couple points of beating the Saints. But the 0-4 Panthers just have not come together this year as a unit. Their offense, specifically the offensive line, is one of the worst in the leagues. The Bears will roar into town and take down the Cats.

Denver at Baltimore Line: -6.0
Fuck it. I’m taking Denver. I have been wrong about the Broncos all year long so far. I don’t think I’ve picked them right at all yet. They lost when I picked them to win, they won when I picked them to lose. They surprised everyone and took down the Titans last week. The thing was, almost all the yards were through the air. Orton went hog wild, tossing for 341 yards. Rushing yards were a tiny fraction of the total. Tiny. Which means against the Ravens, it’ll be almost nothing. But then, I’ve been wrong about the Broncos every week. So am I picking them because of that or because I think they will win? Mostly because of that. The Ravens, I haven’t been wrong about. Their defense has been keeping the scores close enough for the offense to take control – like against the Steelers last week. Flacco can throw. That being said, I’m still taking the Broncos, which I’ll probably be wrong about.

New York at Houston Line: -3.0
The Giants pulled off a great win against the Bears to stay competitive in their division. They need as many wins as possible. The game for the Giants was all defense. The Giants knocked out two QB’s, ran for over 100 yards, and passed for over 100 yards. They take their defensive show to Houston this week to take on the surging Texans. Even though they had a tough loss to the Cowboys for dominance of Texas, they followed it with a strong win against the Raiders, who showed some defense. I’m taking the Giants to win this one, I hate to do it because I want to see the Texans do well, but I don’t think they are ready for the way the Giants D is finally playing.

New Orleans at Arizona Line: +7.0
Did the Cardinals get their ass handed to them by the Chargers last week? Hell yeah they did. For some reason, I don’t like this team. Not sure why exactly. Derek Andersen got yanked and some kid named Max came in and didn’t do much of anything against the Chargers. Not that the Saints have been impressive at all this year. The wins have been close, where is that explosive offense that we saw last year? The way this team is playing offensively will be enough to lock the division up, but not enough to do it with authority. I think this week they’ll wake up a little bit, but we are still yet to see the high flying Drew Brees offense we saw last year. Could this be the Sports Illustrated curse in action? Saints to win.

Tennessee at Dallas Line: -7.0 UPSET SPECIAL!!
The Titans lost to the unpredictable Broncos last week, while the Cowboys were taking a break from their win over the Texans. Ah, gotta love bye weeks. Which is why I’m thinking that the Titans are going to go strong against the Cowboys this week. Young was shaky late in the game last week, but he didn’t fall apart. The Cowboys defense is pure hot and cold, and I think against Johnson and Young, they are going to be cold. This is going to either be a really close game, or a one sided blow-out. Any given Sunday right? Either way, I’m taking the Titans to win on the road in this weeks upset special.

San Diego at Oakland Line: +6.5
The Chargers smoked the Cardinals last week, so what hope to the Raiders have? The Raiders showed a hint of defense last week against the Texans, holding Foster to 131 yards. Oh wait, he was benched in the first half. Yeah, run against the Raiders and you will gain yards. There isn’t really much more to say here. When Gates and Rivers roll into town, the Raiders aren’t going to be able to compete at that level. Taking the Chargers with that generous point spread.

Philadelphia at San Francisco Line: -3.5
The Eagles lost Vick last week, for who knows how long. Probably 2-4 weeks if it’s the ribs. Which means Kolb finally gets his wish – he gets to start. And he starts off on the West Coast against the struggling Niners. While they have played some close games, they have not become a team to fear. They did fight the Falcons tooth and nail last week, but came up short and gave up a lot of passing yards. Something the Eagles will take advantage of. I’m going against the statistics and taking another road team to win this week, by picking the Eagles – to upset. Seriously? Yeah.

Well, that’s it kids. Another week in the books. Or it will be shortly. As I mentioned earlier, there is only one more undefeated team going in to Week 5, that would be the Chiefs. If they pull off an upset, that’ll just be madness. Meanwhile, a lot of teams just plain suck – the Bills leading the charge in that category. Until next week, crack open a nice ice cold Steel Reserve and enjoy the games.

The Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game: Week 3

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Can Schaub and the Texans continue their winning ways?

Well, I improved to 9-7 last week (17-15 overall on the season.) That’s just considering win/loss. Didn’t do that great considering the lines. Pittsburgh surprised me with their win over the Titans, who were disappointing for a team I picked for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Jets held true to my upset pick, beating the Patriots.

The big storyline this week has been the Cowboys and the Vikings. Both now 0-2, the question is which team will self implode first? I think it’s going to be the Cowboys. There is a lot of pressure in that division to win, and it isn’t easy. That’s not saying the NFC North is easy for the Vikings, but at least this week they have the Lions, who could very well surprise them. Even though they’ve got a defense that would easily give up 300 yards rushing to John Goodman after a sausage & meatball bender, their offense is getting better.

So without further yapping, here are this weeks picks, for your reading enjoyment I have removed any semblance of accuracy. Remember, statistics show if you always bet on the home team, you’ll have about a 70% chance of being 100% right. Or something like that.

Featured Game:

Cowboys at Texans Line: -3.0
The Texans upset the Colts. Then they upset the Redskins in a thrilling overtime victory that easily could have gone the other way. It came to icing the kicker. Really? The Texans are winning, and are looking to open up 3-0 against the struggling Dallas Cowboys. If any team is going to self destruct, it’s going to be the Cowboys. Whitten looked shaken up and went out of the game early, so Romo was lost when looking towards the middle of the field against the Bears. It was a close game, and Dallas blew a chance for a lead when the kicker missed a 44 yard field goal. If Dallas hopes to put anything through the uprights, I think it’s time for a new kicker. I’m taking the Texans to beat the Cowboys under the giant HD TV screens, and get this – the Texans are favored.

Tailgate City (the Rest):

49′ers at Chiefs Line: +3.0
The Niners looked strong against the Saints on Monday night, almost serving the Superbowl champs with an upset. Too bad they put the ball on the ground no less than 4 times, losing 2. You just can’t do that if you want to win games. So was the last second field goal by the Saints to win it good play by the Niners to push it that close, or bad play by the Saints? I’m going bad play by the Saints. The Chiefs have played the Chargers and Browns, beat both, and opened up 2-0 for the first time since 2005. Can they keep it going with another win? I think so. Taking the Chiefs to upset.

Lions at Vikings Line: -10.5
The Lions were down 18 with 6:17 left in the game against the Eagles then came back to within 3, even recovering an onside kick. Was this against a complacent Eagles defense or do the Lions actually have that spark in them? Best ran for 78 yards on 17 carries with 2 TD’s, while backup starter Shaun Hill tossed two TD’s and 335 yards. Not too bad against the generally tight Eagles secondary. The Vikings lost to the Dolphins. Not by much, 14-10, but they lost. And they didn’t look good doing it. Harvin was injured, Favre was tossed to the ground like hamburger. I’m really surprised the 0-2 Vikings are favored in this match-up by 10.5 points. I’m taking the Vikes to win, but the Lions to keep it close. Hell, maybe they’ll upset.

Bills at Patriots Line: -14.5 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
The Patriots lost by 2 touchdowns against the Jets, so what happened? Well, the Jets defense swallowed up the running game and kept Randy Moss under control. They won’t have that problem with the crappy defense of the Buffalo Bills. However, that .5 on the line is tempting. Patriots to win, but Bills to cover.

Falcons at Saints Line: -4.0
The Saints needed a late field goal to bounce the Niners and allowed Frank Gore to push their D-line back for 112 yards and a score. They also lost Reggie Bush, who probably won’t be back for 4-6 weeks. So can their D-line hold back the rushing attack of the Falcons? Even with Norwood and Turner out, Snelling is a very capable back and rolled the Cardinals last week. The Saints are going to have to be careful against the Falcons and even though they are favored, can’t get complacent with their division rivals. However, I’m taking the Saints at home with the points.

Titans at Giants Line: -3.0
Seriously, at the beginning of the season I had the Titans in my head as a Superbowl contender. Now, after opening 1-1 I’m not so sure. Last week, against the Steelers, the Titans offensive line was dominated by the Steelers front. The Giants have a tough front line too, that will be chasing either Young or Collins, it really doesn’t matter. The big question will be, can Chris Johnson run against the Giants? After netting just 34 yards against the Steelers, that’s what he’ll be looking to do. The Giant may have lost to the Colts, but they at least didn’t sustain any injuries. However, Eli was rushed, pressured and lost two fumbles. Not good for fantasy owners. I’m taking the Titans to surprise the Giants on the road, one of the few road wins I’m picking this week.

Steelers at Buccaneers Line: +3.0
I’m still not picking the Bucs. Even at 2-0, forget it. They beat the Browns, which should only count as half a win and they beat the Panthers by a close margin. They aren’t dominating, they are just getting lucky. I’m surrounded by Bucs fans who think otherwise, but they blinded by the billboards. The Steelers are too good of a defensive team to allow newcomer Freeman to surprise them at all. I’m taking the Steelers to win, with the points.

Bengals at Panthers Line: +3.5
What is up with the Panthers? Matt Moore is already sitting with Jimmy Clausen already coming in to replace him. It’s not known if this change is going to stick, or what it means for the team but the Panthers are sitting on a 0-2 start in a very tough division. The Panthers couldn’t move the ball against the Bucs last week, so what chance do they have against a surprisingly tough Bengals defense that managed to handle the Ravens. Though the Ravens offense isn’t that threatening. Plus, do the Panthers secondary have what it takes to keep Ocho and T.O. in check and not give up the long ball? This game could go either way, but I’m sticking with the former Bungles to get the job done with the points.

Browns at Ravens Line: -10.5
The Browns suck. Ravens win. Next.

Redskins at Rams Line: +4.0
The Rams looked… like the Rams against the Raiders last week. There was nothing spectacular about their loss to a crappy Raiders team. There is still nothing to talk about when it comes to the Rams. They haven’t shown anything that would suggest they are a playoff caliber team. No wonder Los Angeles doesn’t want them back. The Redskins, with the addition of McNabb aren’t doing so bad. Their loss to the Texans in overtime was a fluke if you really look at the tape. The kicker actually got iced. That’s on them. At 1-1 they shouldn’t be ruled out as a serious contender in the NFC East. I’m taking the Redskins to win, with the points.

Eagles at Jaguars Line: +3.0
Kolb is out. Vick is in. Named the starter for the first time in 4 years, Michael Vick will need his legs against the pocket creeping Jaguars. While the 1-1 Jaguars might have a bit of a defensive edge, their offense stinks. Garrard threw 4 interceptions against the Chargers, and the Jags turned over the ball a total of six times. Again, if you don’t win the turnover portion of the game, you aren’t going to win the game. The Eagles receivers are looking hot, and Vick took some time to learn how to pass the ball as well as scramble with it. I’d like to take the Jags at home, but I just don’t think they can do it against a revitalized Eagles team that is clearly over Donovan.

Colts at Broncos Line: +6.0 UPSET SPECIAL!!
Last week I erred in taking the Seahawks to beat the Broncos. That was a mistake as the Broncos trounced the Hawks 31-14, with Orton going 300+ yards and a TD. Plus, the Broncos just had a death in the family, as WR McKinley apparently killed himself. As we know in the NFL, teams always play better after a death, because they are dedicating the game to the recently departed. It would suck if they honor his memory with a loss. Too bad they have the Colts though, which could be a hard team to beat – with Peyton and all. However, the advantage for the Colts over the Giants last week was rushing and shoving Eli around. This week, they won’t have that advantage as Orton has better protection. I’m taking the Broncos to upset the Colts in my upset special of the week.

Raiders at Cardinals Line: -4.0
The Raiders beat the Rams. I know, they are sure pumped up about that, but it was the Rams. Nothing special there. They probably would have gotten more resistance from a Pop Warner team. Of course, a Pop Warner team might have beat them. Even against the Rams, Williams was ineffective, making way for perennial backup Gradowski. However, it was Darren McFadden running for 145 yards and three Janikowski field goals that turned the game. The Cardinals meanwhile took a drubbing at the hands of the Falcons. The only bright spot was Tim Hightower’s 80-yard touchdown run. The Cards will bounce back this week, and beat the Raiders with the points.

Chargers at Seahawks Line: +5.5
The Chargers defense came strong against the Jags last week, forcing six turnovers. That’s crazy, and that kind of stat wins games. If they can do it again against the Hawks, then they’ll win this game as well. Considering that the Hawks secondary got smoked by the Broncos, the Chargers might not need any defense. I’m giving this one to the favored Chargers, though I think somehow the Seahawks will keep it close.

Jets at Dolphins Line: -1.5
The Jets beat the Patriots last week with strong defense. The loss of Revis didn’t seem to affect the Jets any, as Cromartie stepped up to make Randy Moss his bitch. I think Randy didn’t know how to play with a defender that is just as tall as him. Braylon Edwards went out and got a DUI in celebration, which means he’ll probably be facing a suspension. The Jets travel to Miami to face a pumped up Dolphin team that just upset the Vikings. The Jets defense will be too strong for the Dolphins, who did manage to put the ball on the ground a couple times against a so-so Vikings run defense. Jets to win.

Packers at Bears Line: +3.0
The Bears. No, DA BEARS beat down the Cowboys in royal fashion. Cutler was all over the Cowboys with 277 yards and 3 TD’s. Of course, this was after getting crushed a few times before his offensive line tightened up a bit. The Packers come into Chicago after a breezy win over the Bills, who are just sad to watch. Rodgers, who isn’t the most mobile QB, actually ran one in. The Bears defense is not that forgiving and this is going to be a violent and awesome football game. Perfect for Monday night, I don’t care who wins but I’m taking the Bears at home.

That’s it. Hopefully I’m looking at a better week than 9-7 by taking more home teams. Sorry about the lack of analysis on the Browns/Ravens game. I’m a Browns fan and just can’t find it in my heart to even look at the box score from the last game, or even talk about them in more than that one sentence. If you are a Ravens fan, then you understand. Because at one time, you may have been a Browns fan. Stay tuned next week for week 4, predictably, and feel free to leave disparaging comments.

The shoe cables a repent reward near the visible.