Thursday, November 19, 2009

NFL Week 10 Preview/Concurrent View

It's too late to predict anything in the Dolphins - Panthers game.  I would have, for the record, chosen the Dolphins and said Ricky Williams is going to have a big game.  That didn't happen soon enough, though, so this is what you'll get.  Ricky Williams just totally beasted the Panthers defense and now his yardage looks amazing. Good game, Ricky, you have the greatest birthday of all time. Great announcing, btw. Ricky Williams needs to play like he did in New Orleans?  You mean back when everyone thought he was a bust?  His best years came in Miami.  If you've got him, I'm sure you're fine with it.

I was 10-5 on my game predictions last week, so I'm 50-32 for the year.  That would be a 10-6 average season, which would get some coaches into the HOF.  Even though it looks like two playoff appearances with no wins.  The New Browns would take that.  Purple wins and I'm not even going to take credit for the Dolphins thing so I'll just skip it entirely.

Miami at Carolina - NO PICK

Washington at Dallas - Dallas looked ridiculous against Green Bay.  I wish I could talk to Jerry Jones about his coaching but I'm pretty sure he would just keep pretending that Wade Phillips is the playcaller.  I wold tell Mr. Jones that his team is built to run and he needs to trust the running game for much longer than he did last Sunday.  If you go 3 and out every drive in the first half, keep running the ball.  You will pick it up eventually and you will score.  Your passing offense is a bit of a sham.  Having said all that, I don't think Marion Barber is a very good play this week.  Ladell Betts is a great start and Fred Davis should be a good option if you need a TE.  Neiter QB is a safe play.  I don't know who's healthy enough to trust on the Redskins but Santana Moss has destroyed the Cowboys a few times in his career.

Cleveland at Detroit - I'm going with Detroit.  They're similarly talented to the Ravens on offense and the Browns offense couldn't score consistently against high school teams.  I reject Gregg Easterbrook's valuation of play calling entirely.  Good play calling may not be statistically difficult but it is significant.  Eric Mangini is a bad coach.  If you've got anybody from either of these teams you know what to do with them.  Trade Megatron now before he becomes Braylon Edwards, Pt. II: "Roy Williams, Pt. III" and is untradeable.  That only applies to keeper leagues, obviously.

San Francisco at Green Bay - I don't think that game against the Cowboys was a total mirage but I don't think it's a good representation of what the Packers defense should be expected to do from here on, either.  If you've got Vernon Davis, he's a great play.  If you have Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Grant, Greg Jennings, or even Spence Havner, you'll be fine here.  Frank Gore will get more than 16 carries and that means he will get a good amount of points.  Fuck you, Cowboys.

Pittsburgh at Kansas City - I was really trying to justify picking the Chiefs but I can't do it.  If they win that's awesome but don't pretend it makes sense afterwards.  The Chiefs aren't particularly good at anything.  Chris Chambers looked good last week but is still Chris Chambers.  Bowe is out, though, so if you need a WR for this week, Chambers is as good as you'll find.  Mendenhall, Wallace, Miller, Rapelisbergere, Ward and the Steelers D seem like fantastic plays for this week.

Atlanta at NY Giants - I've never though all that much of Michael Turner and the Giants were terrible before their bye.  The bye week always helps, though, unless your whole team is fucked up.  The Giants only real weak spot is their massively average QB.  Even Kevin Boss might look like a champ this week.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay - The Saints are in that position where they might be trying too hard to stay undefeated.  It's a dumb excuse to say that teams need to lose a game to get it out of their systems.  The Saints should keep winning as much as they can under all circumstances.  But their games will be much closer than they should be from here on out.  Like this game.  Remember that if they win by 100.  They should have won by 200.  KII is the only safe play on the Bucs.  But I'd put in Carnell Williams if I had him.

Buffalo at Jacksonville - This is a perfect game for Buffalo to win.  They aren't a bad team, they just play so conservatively.  They should be running it 35-40 times a game while switching backs almost constantly.  And they should throw deep a lot.  Lee Evans is good.  Make it work, coach whose name I can't remember!  Of course, he's a DC so he will be a terrible offensive coach.  MJD will have the same over-the-top kind of game he seems to have every week.  But Buffalo will get some fake hope this week.

Indianapolis at Baltimore - Yes!  This is the kind of game Indy can lose!  I want a matchup of 18-0 teams in the Super Bowl but the odds are verrrrrry against it.  The Ravens need to win and they will run a lot against the Colts.  I bet this is way more high-scoring than whatever the O/U indicates.  Play Flacco this week.  Seriously.

Seattle at Minnesota - Seattle started off like they were going to win last week.  That was cute.  The Minnesota Vikings will forcibly gay marriage their asses this week, though.  It is going to get really gay in the Target City Metrodome.  Brett Favre is sure to throw lots of passes after the Vikings have the game rolled up and every single member of the Vikings roster and coaching staff will pick a member of the opposing organization and have sex with them.  Gay.  Real Gay.  Adrian Peterson will spurt all over the field and force the Seahawks players to drink it.

Arizona at St. Louis - Arizona should have a better record.  I hope they keep giving it to Beanie Wells because he's good.  And the Rams aren't.  Supposedly, according to an ESPN article I read earlier, Donnie Avery is a good start this week.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Rams have one of their 112 yds total offense style games.

NY Jets at New England - High score of the week.  Belichek was making a decent call when he went for it on 4th & 2 last week.  He called the wrong play, but the underlying theory was sound.  Randy Moss will score 4 of the Patriots 16 TDs this week.  I wouldn't even start Thomas Jones on the Jets this week.  So wait for the Ex-Titans win.

Cincinnati at Oakland - I picked up Larry Johnson hoping he would go to a team with no obvious starter at RB.  Ced Benson might be on his way back to Ced Benson-land now after his injury.  So LJ could be a good pickup for two weeks from now.  I don't trust any of the Raiders RBs because they don't seem to have a team understanding of why any of the three is getting the ball on a given play.  Look for Gradkowski to make Jamarcus Russell look like a legit NFL starter.

San Diego at Denver - The Broncos are fading and the Chargers are pretty OK.  Denver's D is not great but the Chargers will not have great yardage in this game.  Look for Vincent Jackson to suck again this week against Champ Bailey because Vincent Jackson isn't really great.  Antonio Gates is awesome, and he'll be the best player in this game.

Philadelphia at Chicago - Philly is inconsistent but the Bears aren't good enough to make that matter.  McNabb will not be super-awesome this week but he'll be good.  LeSean McCoy is just as good as Brian Westbrook, which is why it's really dumb that Westbrook was playing when he got another concussion last week.  Look for a Flipper Anderson style breakout game from DeSean Jackson.  Fuck the Bears.
Tennessee at Houston - I like the Titans to keep it going.  Especially CJ.  Watch this game if you want to see the all-time record for yds rushing in a game get challenged.  If you play in a league that gives you points for KR yards you have to pick up Jacoby Jones.  He is maybe the 4th option on most plays but he gets some receiving yards and the Texans give up a ton of points, so he gets lots of return yards, with the off chance that he returns one for a TD.  Vince Young needs to be awesome for 7 straight games at least before I'd consider starting him.  Andre Johnson is my favorite WR in the league and he should be more or less healthy this week.  Still, Titans are more legit as a good team than they were as a fluky bad team.

College Football Week 12 Forecast (Sat., Nov 21st)

I was pretty terrible with my picks last week.  32 correct, 27 incorrect (255-118 on the year).  That's a bad record for college football.  I'm white, so it would be good enough to get me through 5 years at Notre Dame but after that?  I wonder if Bob Stoops can really resurrect that program.  It's iffy.  I really hate all the commentators who bring up the stringent academic requirements at Notre Dame being an impediment to recruiting.  What does that mean?  Do Notre Dame players have a higher mean SAT than Stanford players?  Because I could swear that I've seen Stanford beat USC twice in the last 3 years, once as a 41-point underdog.  So did the stringent academic standards keep Notre Dame from going after Jim Harbaugh as their head coach?  It's not like football players on any major programs recruiting list are held to the same standards as regular students.  You might have the few freakish athletes that are also abnormally intelligent (the best I can think of for football is Robert Smith, who starred at Ohio State after The Cure broke up for the first time, but I'm sure there are lots of others) but, for the mostpart, these programs are all recruiting from the same pool of players.  I have never read a feature or rumors page that had a top recruit choosing Florida over Notre Dame because the classes at ND are too hard.  You can say anything you want to about party schools but you know where the party is for the football team?  Anywhere in town when they win.  So Notre Dame is more likely losing recruits to losing than they are too high academic standards.  And if you want to pull graduation rates into this discussion (Texas, Florida and Oklahoma are abysmal in this regard) then, please, have the balls to point out that Miami has a higher grad rate than Notre Dame.  Bet Miami gets back into the Top5 before Notre Dame, too.

I've been watching this stuff all year, I swear.  Last week I wiped out on an overdose of trying to find a spot for Boise State in the National Championship game.  If college football had a real playoff (32 team+ field) I would put BSU in my final 4.  On the other hand, I blew the Stanford USC prediction last week and it seems really obvious in hindsight, doesn't it?  I kind of expected Miami to lot to UNC-Chapel Hill and I said so in the column last week. It still hurts.  My fave Heisman contenders both stumbled last week.  Ryan Mathews got hurt and Case Keenum lost.  No trophies heading their ways after all.  Keenum should take comfort in the fact that he's probably going to end up the top QB in next year's draft.  His game has the least holes of any of the top prospects.  Maybe Mathews proved his worth even more through injury than he would have by playing.  Whatever it was that fucked up my record, TCU ground my whole thesis into dirt to begin with by shattering Utah (most impressive win of the year so far by ANYBODY, by the way).  Enough looking back, lets slap some purple color on my winners and be off!  I'll try to get the NFL thing done before halftime tonight but I make no promises.  I'm trying out highlighting instead of changing the font color but I end up with weird patterns because there is no choice for "no highlight" just a choice to highlight in white.

WEDNESDAY - I totally missed these games.  I'm so used to the Tuesday and Sunday games I forgot all about the silent but present idiocy of Wednesday night football.
Buffalo 42, Miami (OH) 17
Central Michigan 35, Ball State 3

Colorado at No. 12 Oklahoma State - I had considered a Colorado win here but then I thought about it.

Akron at Bowling Green
Eastern Michigan at Toledo
No. 6 Boise State at Utah State

No. 10 Ohio State at Michigan
Minnesota at No. 13 Iowa
Duke at No. 20 Miami (FL) - Miami needs this game, which is embarrassing.
Maryland at Florida State - Whatever shit-sucker bowl FSU gets for winning is beneath the program and the invitation should be rejected.
Louisville at South Florida
North Carolina at Boston College
Chattanooga at No. 2 Alabama
Mississippi State at Arkansas
Florida International at No. 1 Florida
Oklahoma at Texas Tech - At least these two teams are about equal in their relation to each other as they were expected to be in the preseason.  Oklahoma is really weird because they have great players all over the field and they all get hurt semi-regularly.
Memphis at No. 24 Houston - They stunk it up last week against a terrible UCF team but Keenum is still the best QB in college football.
Kent State at Temple - Bernard Pierce!  Takes over for Ryan Mathews as the best RB in college football that nobody cares about.  Temple could end the year in the Top 25.  That should earn the Freshman of the Year a few Heisman votes but people that vote for things like that just watch football coverage, not games.
No. 4 TCU at Wyoming - OK, I get it, TCU, you bunch of assholes.  You're really good.  That's great.
Iowa State at Missouri
Northern Illinois at Ohio
Tulane at UCF - UCF beat Houston last week so they might be on a roll or whatever it is you call it when a bottom-feeder in CUSA beats a good CUSA team and then plays another bottom feeder the next week.
Connecticut at Notre Dame - Just keep doing what you're doing, Coach Weis.
No. 8 LSU at Mississippi - LSU won't get a BCS bowl, anyway, so they might as well lose now.
No. 14 Penn State at Michigan State - I though about it.
North Carolina State at No. 15 Virginia Tech
No. 16 Wisconsin at Northwestern
Air Force at No. 22 Brigham Young
Virginia at No. 23 Clemson  - Clemson should win by 50, which means Spiller won't do anything this week.  He'll play for 1 quarter.
Purdue at Indiana
UAB at East Carolina
Rutgers at Syracuse
UTEP at Rice
Baylor at Texas A&M
San Diego State at No. 21 Utah
Arizona State at UCLA
Army at North Texas - Army just barely beat VMI last week.  North Texas just fired their coach, didn't they?  It's the no-research zone up in this blog so I don't know for sure.
Florida Atlantic at Troy
Southern Methodist at Marshall
Arkansas State at Middle Tennessee State
No. 19 Oregon State at Washington State
Louisiana Tech at Fresno State - No Mathews = No Win.
Colorado State at New Mexico - I'm sure this is a heated rivalry or something.
Louisiana-Monroe at Louisiana-Lafayette - Game of the week!!!!!!!!!!!
Vanderbilt at Tennessee
No. 25 California at No. 17 Stanford - I haven't checked but I hope to God that Jahvid Best is not playing again this year.
Tulsa at Southern Miss
Kentucky at Georgia - If Georgia can beat Ga Tech then all is forgiven.  Mark Richt should still bolt for FSU when the chance arises.
Kansas State at Nebraska
Kansas at No. 3 Texas
No. 11 Oregon at Arizona - Arizona makes me fall asleep when I see them so I might have been missing some things with them.  I think Oregon's got a lot of players who are better than anybody on the Arizona roster.
Hawaii at San Jose State
Nevada at New Mexico State