Friday, October 23, 2009

It's Week 7 in the NFL

Halloween is next week - I have never cared less. I need a copy of a police report and I can't afford it. $23 and I can't afford it. Good lord I'm lame. I'm coming up on 7 months of no steady income. I'm dying inside and being propped up by my mom and my girlfriend, neither of whom can afford what they give me. So, uh, go see Paranormal Activity!

The last time the Comedy Corporation checked in with the NFL I made the absolute worst prediction in the history of picking games. I picked the Titans to pull off a huge upset and then they went out and lost 59-0. I've never seen a team lose 59-0 in the NFL. So, I missed that one. I got the Chiefs game correct, didn't I? Isn't that enough for you fans of entirely biased, uninformed and unresearched game predictions? I went 8-6 last week, which is surprising because I felt like I got every game wrong. I predicted the Eagles to smash the Raiders but forgot that Andy Reid refuses to run the football under any conditions. I don't feel too badly about that one because nobody really saw it coming. I mean, c'mon!, Jamarcus Russell completed more than half his passes. That is a statistial improbability that few people are willing to accout for. Wisdom of crowds, my dick. Ced Benson did finally look terrible and he's back to sniping with the Bears in the media, so maybe he is finally ready to get back to drunk driving his boat. Expunge this, Benson, I still remember it. Overly aggressive cops or not, you're still a dick. 8-6 is my comfort zone. In two weeks of this silly shit I'm 16-12. Goddamned awful. Purple wins, comments are encouraged (site tracker tells me somebody reads these things):

Green Bay at Cleveland - Derek Anderson got a lot of publicity for his 2 completion win a couple of weeks ago but, hot damn, he is terrible this year. Romeo Crennel is an offensive genius for getting this guy to the Pro Bowl two years ago. There is no way DA is better than Brady Quinn. I understand the need to save as much money as you can on your terrible QB's but it would probably help the Browns fan-base to know Anderson only starts because it's less expensive in the long run if they do it this way. Both of these guys will be 3rd string or worse in a different city next year. If you need to start any Browns on your fantasy team, I feel sorry for you. Green Bay has some safe starts this week. Donald Driver, Ryan Grant, Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings all have a shot at 300 yds this week depending on how the touches are divvied up.

San Diego at Kansas City - Norv Turner hasn't gotten enough credit lately for ruining a perfectly good title contender. The Chargers will never win a Super Bowl with Norv as the head coach. I do't mean this ironically - they probably would have won one with Marty if he hadn't been fired following a 14-2 record. Sports owners and GMs are very bad at looking at the outcomes of their personnel decisions. It's fine that they would fire Schottenheimer if they had, say, Bill Cowher to replace him. But the Chargers fired Marty knowing full well that Nov Turner would be the next guy. Is it worse to go to the AFC championship regularly with a good chance of choking or would you rather go 9-7 until things get really bad and you go 4-12? I'll take Marty Ball, thank you very much. Vincent Jackson is a good play here and so is Phillip Rivers. Ladainian and Darren Sproles should be at least decent. Antonio Gates is an auto-start and the Chargers D might be decent this week. Matt Cassell is an emergency option and Dwayne Bowe should be his normal productive self, with some potential for a massive game.

Indianapolis at St. Louis - Something crazy will happen this week. Maybe the Rams will injure every Colt and win by forfeit despite trailing 48-0 in the 1st quarter. Everything about fantasy football is based on guessing, though, and I'm guessing that every Colts starter comes out with at least respectable production. I wonder if Bulger is finally healthy for the first time in about 40 games. Maybe he and Donnie Avery can expose an overrated Colts D. I'm not counting on it, fwiw.

Minnesota at Pittsburgh - I think this game is going to be underwhelming in its fantasy world implications. Adrian Peterson will have blah numbers, Rashard Mendenhall will lose some carries and dilute his value,Willie Parker will be terrible but get carries, Brett Favre and Ben Rapelisberger will each throw over 40 passes for less than 300 yds and the final score will be something like 17-13. Boring as hell. Bernard Berrian is worth a start this week with Percy Harvin potentially sitting. I thought about writing up the Steelers #2 WR but I can't remember his name. He's my sleeper for the week, though. He's got a really bland name if you're going to go looking for him.

New England at Tampa Bay - Road warriors spctacular this week. Might be just as bad a game as the Pats game last week. I keep wanting Josh Johnsons to become good but he might need another year and a consistent O-line. KII is an automatic start and has probably earned some kind of cutesy Bill Simmons title like "most hated athlete that actually plays his sport incredibly well while being called over-rated but simultaneously actually being under-rated." KII is one of the top 5 TE's in the league, at least as a pass catcher, and if he's on the field he will be productive. He has an injury history but it is mostly of the non-football related variety and I will defend him on the staph battle with the Browns until the day I forget it happened. What do you do with the Pats? Start Brady, Moss and Welker (is he hurt or anything?) and forget everything else because there is no way to predict who the 3rd WR or the feature RB will be from week to week. Someone other than the big names will be great this week but you could pick from any of about 12 guys and it's just a matter of dumb luck whether you will get it right or not. Pats defense should be a great play this week - lots of sacks and turnovers.

San Francisco at Houston - I might just be picking Houston because I haven't picked a home team yet and these two are pretty close in talent level. Frank Gore might have his best game of the year and Michael Crabtree will have a fluky good game in his debut. Vernon Davis should be a great play and Shawn Hill will be a good emergency start this week. Texans players? Tougher to say because the 49ers are coming off the bye week. Stick with Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels, start Steve Slaton because if you have 3 RBs that are better than him you are in a league full of dummies who need a break or they will quit. Matt Schaub? I don't trust him. Play him if you must. I don't seem very convinced by my pick of Houston to win.

Buffalo at Carolina - If DIck Jauron doesn't get fired in the next few weeks, bet on the Bills to be in City of Industry within 4 years. Nobody in this game is worthy of name dropping except for the two Panthers RB's. Start both of them.

NY Jets at Oakland - Dirty Sanchez is no better at QB than Jamarcus Russell. He might deserve to start for the Browns. The Raiders have a decent line, Russell needs to throw the ball more quickly. Thomas Jones will be a good play in this game and one of the Raiders TE's or WR's will get a ton of yds, mostly on one or two huge plays against the idiotic blitz schemes that the Jets employ. One good CB and one good FS is not enough talent on a defense to pretend that the DL and LB's are even average. The Jets suck just as bad as the Raiders. You won't hear that anywhere else until after the season when the Jets are 5-11 and the Raiders are 6-10 (and maybe not even then) but you should know it this week before the Jets turn it over 3 times and lose 24-16.

Atlanta at Dallas - The Falcons are a rarity among NFL teams in that they are well-coached. That will be enough to win against the bozos in silver & blue. The Cowboys are more talented than the Falcons but Matt Ryan is the better QB and Mike Smith is the better head coach. Rody White will go berserk in this game. Tony Romo will lock onto Miles Austin even before the snap and will ruin every chance the Cowboys have to win. Tony Gonzalez will wreck shit this week. Michael Turner, Marion Barber, Tashard Choice and (depending if he plays or not) Felix Jones are all a little bit iffy in this game. They all might do OK but you're facing a bad matchup if you have to count on any of them.

Chicago at Cincinnati - Antwan Odom's injury is just the convenient excuse the Bengals need to go on a 6 or 7 game losing streak. Look, if their own fans don't believe in them who should we who will never watch them? On the fantasy side, Carson Palmer should be better than he is and so should the #85. Ced Benson is going to remain a fluke in my mind if he runs for 150+ yds every game until 2046. Johnny Knox looks like the best pickup on the Bears and Kyle Orton's ghost should be OK at QB with the lessened pressure from the Bengals D-line. Matt Forte is killing me and I don't expect anything from him anymore. Let that be a lesson to me: If I didn't think anything of a player last year but he gets an offseason of hype in the offseason, I should just stick with my original assessment and draft a great WR when I have the chance. Reggie Wayne for Matt Forte sounds like a steal on my end.

New Orleans at Miami - This should be the most fun game of the year. I'm not saying it will be the most fun, just that it should be the most fun. Nothing ever works right in the NFL. If you've got any Saints on your team other than Reggie Bush you should probably play them every week until further notice. Ronnie Brown could be a great play and is probably an auto-start anyway but I'd stay away from Ricky this week. The Saints defense should get some turnovers from the Dolphins and might even sack Henne a few times. Who else plays for the Dolphins?

Arizona at NY Giants - I guess Sunday night is the bigger game now but this definitely seems like it should have been a MNF game. The Cards D is not that good and the Giants always seem overrated to me. Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston should be safe plays. I don't count out Anquan Boldin because he's a tough motherfucker but he might not even play so don't count on him either. Eli Manning should put up some yards but has the potential to suck just as badly as he did last week. Brandon Jacobs should be fine but I wouldn't start a Cardinals RB this week. Kurt Warner might throw it 60 times if he can get it off without getting hit too much. The Giants should win no matter what because they are at home and the Cardinals are just a little sloppier, it seems.

Philadelphia at Washington - Woohoo. How could anyone look forward to this? The Redskins have been totally sold out by their owner and might as well just quit right now. The Eagles ran the most stubborn, idiotic offensive gameplan of the year last week. If Philly throws 46 times this week they will keep this terrible 'Skins team in the game just like they did last week for the Raiders. The wild card here is that I don't know how much the Redskins are going to care. They might roll over and make everyone on Philly look like a star. They might try to win and make Andy Reid look like a buffoon again. I'm not going to watch this dreck and I don't trust a single player in the game. Chris Cooley should be good for 150 yds and 2 TDs this week but there is no way to have solid info on what Sherm Lewis is going to do with the play calls. I'm not counting on anything here.

Late Heisman Update

This is a day late and I don't have a good reason. I made up my mind on who would be #1 last Sunday and haven't been convinced otherwise or even really questioned the thought. I just didn't feel inspired to write it yesterday and now I'm falling behind. I'm going to do my NFL column today. I'm in the no-research auto-pilot phase and I have to look back and make sure I'm actually doing these columns right. Is the Heisman column on the wrong day? Is the NFL column on the wrong day? I don't think the Heisman column is actually research free but I am trying as hard as I might to base these opinions on what I've seen this year. Doesn't mean Christian Ponder is closing in on consideration even the announcers last week said he's "been playing as well as any of those guys." No, he really hasn't or FSU wouldn't have collapsed into the pile of shit that they've been. Ponder has had 3 good games this year and FSU is 2-1 in those games. Yeah, yeah, they've got 3 losses and so does the other "FSU" (Fresno State, who I've noted before is actually CSUF) but, guess what? The QB's big job in football is to make everybody on the team (at least on offense) elevate their game. Florida State's line has been wretched and their receivers have been inconsistent. That falls on Christian Ponder a lot more than Ryan Mathews has to account for the shitty defense at Fresno State. Ponder is also off the hook for Florida State's shitty defense, btw.

Big tumblers this week? Mt. Cody didn't eat up much space last Saturday and I'm not even going to write him up this week. Nice for me to preach about consistency, huh? Rolando McLain was okay but didn't have a great game last week. Because, you know, Cody and the line were merely decent laast week instead of dominating. Jimmy Clausen looked great bringing Notre Dame back, and definitely solidified his candidacy in my mind, but he also rushed his last three passes when he had a chance to tie the game. They should have gotten it to overtime and if Clausen is the best player in the country, he should have made a play in that situation. So he's not even second this week. I admit I'm giving Tim Tebow a huge pass in this whole process. No way has he looked like the best player in the country. Soft tosser McCoy still doesn't look that good to me. I thought he was legit when I watched him last year. This year he looks like Doug Flutie's body and athleticism with Bernie Kosar's arm. Bernie Kosar was once in a televised QB competition where the longest throw he could make was 19 yards. That's as far as he could throw it. Colt McCoy remids me of that. Except that Bernie also couldn't run to save his life and he was 6'5" or so. McCoy is about 6' and can run.

I have been on record as being a lover of defensive candidates. I might have to bite the bullet and drop all my non-Suh contenders. Nobody else looked like a great player last week and Suh is only a consideration for me because he gets a ton of hype. He's good, don't get me wrong, but I always hate the Heisman candidates that don't really strike me as future All-Pro's in the NFL. Suh strikes me as overrated in college and the pros. That doesn't mean all pospects are Heisman candidates, though. Jimmy Graham looks like the surest bet of any pass-catcher in college ball right now but he doesn't make a lot of plays because he is in his first year of football in 4 years. Suh and Cody might be back on the list next week, or even some other new defensive discovery. Also absent this week is Brandon Spikes. Is he seriously hurt? UF is a little fucked if he's out. Maybe moreso than if Tebow misses a game or two. I don't waste time writing about injured guys as Heisman candidates until the end of the season. So Spikes is off the list until further review.

Who is on the list? This is it:

1) Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State - My favorite new show of the fall leads the country in rushing. I was surprised to find out he doesn't lead the nation in 20+ yd rushes because it seems like he's good for at least 10 on every play. He averaged over 10 yards per carry last week and went over 200 yds again but nobody cared about it because A) he's supposed to do that every week and B) he plays after everyone, including West Coasters, has bgone to sleep. Also, the game wasn't available anywhere that I could find. I've seen plenty of Mathews this year, though, so don't worry. I have a pretty good idea of what I missed.

2) Case Keenum, QB, Houston - I was watching Houston play last week and something occurred to me that I don't think I'd realized before. Case Keenum might be the best pro prospect of any QB in the country. Seriously. Tony Pike is brittle. Jimmy Clausen is a hot-head. Tim Tebow has the worst footwork this side of Jamarcus Russell (no more capitalized "M" for the time being). Ryan Mallett needs to play another year and Sam Bradford is an over-rated product of Oklahoma's system. Case Keenum makes throws through zone coverage in perfect time with his receivers and with real force. He's a prototype size and he's quick with his release. He also plays against generally lousy teams but I think I like what I've seen. This might be my new Andre Ware. I spent 6 years hoping Ware could get in the right situation to become a star and now I'll hope the same for Keenum. I don't know how teams in the league feel about him. He might be a top 10-kind of guy already. I think Dallas might be a good situation for him. He can take over for Romo in the 2011 season and have a solid supporting cast while whatever new coaching staff is in Dallas by then puts together the next generation of over-hyped Cowboys players.

3) Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame - I can't be bothered to go back and look this up but I think this might actually be the same spot I had him in lasat week. So much for falling. I've written enough about this guy.

4) Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia - If for some reason the NFL decided to have a skills competition between Devine and Mathews at next year's scouting combine I would DVR that shit. I like Devine a little better from an entertainment standpoint and he's definitely playing against tougher opponents most weeks and yeat, still, I rate Mathews as a better player. Devine didn't have a great game last week but I think I've figured out why the story arc has lead me to where I am: West Virginia doesn't rely on Noel Devine nearly as much as they should. He doesn't get the ball enough to be the real heart of the team the way he should be. It's too bad because he is the most enjoyable player in college football since... um, Percy Harvin. Last year. So not that long ago. But Devine has totally lived up to his high school-days YouTube hype as far as I'm concerned.

5) Tim Tebow, QB, Florida - The power of Christ compels you! Since I just mentioned Percy above let me point this out: two years ago, before I realized how much work Tebow needs to do to become a legit NFL passer, I argued (lightly) with my friend Jackson that Percy Harvin was the real reason Florida was so good on offense. It occurred to me last week, as Florida slogged out an unimpressive and officially questionable win, that I was absolutely correct. I have Tebow on here out of habit. I though he should have won last year because I had taken the same pills as everyone else and Percy missed time in a few games. Tebow should have won his second Heisman last year and it's starting to look like he will win it this year instead. But he should get credited as a fullback this year because he barely ever throws the goddamned fucking ball. And it annoys me no end. Percy Harvin was the reason Florida's offense looked so good the last three years. And Tim Tebow doesn't trust his receivers nearly enough. Seriously, he has no obvious rapport with any of the guys on the field this year except for the white guy and the tight end. That's another reason Tebow will not be very good in the league. Unless he gets drafted by Minnesota and gets to throw to Percy Harvin all the time. So why is Tebow on my list? I feel compelled to put him on here. And I would honestly still give him a vote. I think you get five votes when you vote for Heisman, don't you?

The rest of the bests:

Jacory Harris, QB, Miami - I feel traitorous putting him this low. He had a really great game last week, too. Against UCF, though. And he did throw 2 INTs against FAMU. He is legitimately the "franchise" in Miami right now and if Miami wins out there's a good chance I'll be screaming for Jacory by the end of the year.

Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech - Love the player, hate the game. Virginia Tech choked to death against Georgia Tech last week. It was entirely a defensive letdown and Williams shouldn't be penalized for that. Still, I'm disappointed in all the Hokies right now. For shame, Hokies, for shame.

Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama - I'm fine with the growing sentiment that an Alabama player has to be in the running for the Heisman because look at how fucking good that team is, would ya? But Mark Ingram is getting carried away on overstated hype. 'Bama's O-Line play has been spectacular and I don't get the feeling The Tide would lose any steam if Ingram goes out. Trent Richardson is just as good. Ingram gets most of the carries so he gets most of the yards. I'm not even arguing that Ingram isn't a great player. He is a great player. He just isn't the best player on his team, in his conference, or in the country.

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State - Here's another beneficiary of a team needing a Heisman rep. Good quarterback, great situation, doesn't ever make me think, "I am watching the best player in the country."

Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame - This guy's name is a joke, right? I like the numbers he puts up and he does make some pretty good plays every week but I'm pretty sure Notre Dame would be fucked in the asshole very roughly if for some reasone Jimmy Clausen has to miss any time at all. On the other hand, if Michael Floyd hadn't gotten injured he would have probably made the Top 5.

Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford - The next Joe Cribbs!

Dion Lewis, RB, Pitt - I don't watch Pitt very closely when they're on and I never see this kid do much when I'm watching but he's got a run-away freight train of hype around him and he puts up some really good numbers. So I'll have to pay closer attention to boost him up by much.

Ricky Dobbs, QB, Navy - Best option QB since Tommy Frazier. No bullshitting either. I really believe it. Go Middies!

Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford & Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State - Let me clarify here on Jacquizz: I haven't actually watched him at all this year. I will, alright? I just haven't gotten around to it. I will see him this week, hopefully tearing up the USC defense again, but in the interest of journalistic integrity I have to give full disclosure. I've seen him before but not this year. Toby Fucking Gerhart is on here for the same reason Jacquizz is on here. They both score tons of TDs. That is all.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech - He looks like the second coming of Calvin Johnson but I wonder if it's just because nobody bothers to cover him. How can you ever expect a pass play from Georgia Tech? He deserves a mention, though, because he is like a nightmare presence lurking for anybody playing against Georgia Tech.

This list expanded this week. And I'm just cutting myself off now because I don't want to include any more admissions that I haven't seen some people play (like that WR from Bowling Green - your numbers suck in a really intertesting way) and I am going out of my way not to include and defensive players this week. I don't mind all the oddball candidates but I don't want Tebow to win it this year unless he does some really awesome stuff from now on.