Lost in the Sunday sports shuffle I forgot fall was upon us. I was as excited about seeing the new “Eastbound and Down” series premiere as I was about the football games. There were a lot of shows just getting started, but this one was like watching the Raiders game for me. It didn’t disappoint, opening up with a messy cock fight, and ending with Kenny being left by his new Mexican homies, and returning to the mound. I’d recommend Eastbound and Down to any sportsfan, especially the ones that liked the movie Major League. Kenny Powers is basically a washed up Ricky Vaughn trying to remake himself into a star again. His mission is to convince himself, and everyone around him that he is still the best. There are classic lines every 2 minutes. Before we get to the real reason for the post, I’m wondering why didn’t I bet against every team that clinched a playoff spot yesterday, sans the Twins. They all lost, and hopefully typing this out will be a mental note to bet on those games after a team clinches a playoff spot in baseball. On to football, last week neither of us did well. I can’t get to .500, and By is going to have to have a helluva week to make up for this past one. Our results have me questioning if we can right the ship faster than the Raiders and 49ers!?! Hopefully so, or we could be in for a loooong season.
Well, I was absolutely destroyed last week. I know I hit on 1/3 of my picks, but I don’t even want to look back at the two teams that came through for me. Metaphorically speaking, last week was like eating a bad burrito that gave me the runs, now that it’s out of my system, I just want to forget about it. I know it isn’t poetic, but it describes exactly how I feel. But, as Jay-Z would say, “On To The Next One.”
Results for week 3 (Chap 3-3-0, By 2-4-0) Overall (Chap 8-9-1, By 5-8-2)
Denver @ Tennessee (-7)
By picks Tennessee (-7) Josh McDaniels was looking like a genius around this time last season, as his Broncos were undefeated and all the buzz. Unfortunately they haven’t replicated the fast start in 2010, and heading into Week 4, things just got worse with the announcement of Knowshon Moreno missing his second straight game with a hamstring injury. Kyle Orton has done a great job as the interim QB, but it hasn’t translated to wins. Ultimately, Denver doesn’t have enough threats to compete with Tennessee. For the Titans, Chris Johnson is a beast, we don’t have to get into it about him, what it all comes down to Vince Young. If you throw away the Pittsburgh game, he’s done a good job directing the ship, and after dismantling the Giants in New York last week, I’ve seen enough from the Titans to feel confident in having them cover.
@ Pittsburgh (-1.5) vs. Baltimore
Chappy picks Pittsburgh -1.5, I said I’d ride the Steelers until they lost, last weekend didn’t really give me any reason to think that they won’t keep that trend up. Maybe I’m making too much of the 3-0 start, and the fact that they’ve been my only gravy train this year, but taking down the Titans, Falcons, and an undefeated Bucs team convincingly, should have opposing teams worried that they haven’t even hit their stride yet. Charlie Batch is 4-1 as Pittsburgh’s starter in his eight seasons with the team, and I think he will notch another “W” Sunday if he can limit his mistakes. Joe Flacco had his first good game of the season and looked comfortable throwing three TD’s to Boldin. The biggest question mark in this game has to be Ray Rice. I see this being a grind it out game with both of these teams having great defenses, and to get any kind of offense done it will need to be somewhat balanced. If Ray Rice is playing I might second guess betting on this one a little bit, but I’m sticking with the gravy train. The Steelers are ranked third in rushing, so if Mendenall goes off, I see them winning this one handily.
By picks Baltimore (+1.5) What tremendous respect the odd makers are giving Pittsburgh, and I don’t blame them. Even though the Steelers are at home this week, to consider them the favorites with a third string QB as their starter goes to show you exactly how dominant their defense is. This will be another brutal contest between these two division rivals, where every inch is earned. What it boils down to is this, will Charlie Batch duplicate his performance in Tampa last week against the Ravens and their defense? I think not, but at this point, I’m not confident in that statement. With what Mike Tomlin is doing in Pittsburgh this year, I have him as the front runner for Coach of the Year, and so I don’t doubt he’ll find a way to exploit match ups, etc. But, with all that said, I don’t think Pittsburgh is putting up big numbers against Ray Lewis and company, and Flacco has just enough to get it done. I’m going with Baltimore to end Pittsburgh undefeated streak.
@ New Orleans -13.5 vs. Carolina
Chappy picks New Orleans -13.5, There are very few sure things in the NFL, but when the Saints are at home on their turf in front of that crowd, they light up that scoreboard. Brees seems to find new options when he loses one. They lost a tough game in Atlanta last week, and didn’t really do much in that game until the last couple possessions. I don’t see them laying down the week after a loss, so they will be ready to pour it on against Carolina. Jimmy Claussen and Matt Moore were supposed to limit the turnovers after Mr. turnover himself (Delhomme) left last year, but through three games they’ve already thrown a combined 10 picks. Claussen has a lot of growing to do. One thing that does worry me about picking the Saints is that we saw the Niners and Falcons pound them in the running game. Carolina has the backs to pound them too, but will there be too many mistakes in the passing game to make up for that? I’m thinking so…
By picks Atlanta (-7) The 49ers suck.
@ Jacksonville (+7.5) vs. Indianapolis
Chappy picks Indianapolis -7.5, Indy gave us the running game in week 2, the passing game in week 3, and week 4 they will do whatever they want on offense. The Jags defense isn’t bad, but it isn’t going to stop Indy. I’d be a little weary of this spread if the Jags offense wasn’t so bad. MJD hasn’t even scored a TD this year, and is looking stuck in neutral behind a terrible O-Line. Garrard hasn’t hit any of his receivers regularly enough to make me think they have a shot at covering this spread. I’m still agreeing with By’s prediction that the Colts lost that first game on purpose just so they could win 10 straight without people noticing as much. Plus who wants to have that undefeated tag on your team. It seems like more of a burden than a blessing. If the season gets expanded to 18 games will we ever see an undefeated team? Shaking, shaking… The magic 8-ball says “My sources tell me no”.
@ Philadelphia (-6.5) vs. Washington
By picks Philadelphia (-6.5) It’s hard not to go with Washington and Donovan McNabb here, after all, it’s this year’s version of Favre coming back to Lambeau Field, and we all remember what happened with that. But this seems a little bit different, because as good as Aaron Rodgers was and is, Michael Vick has been out of this world. I actually have Vick as my MVP for the 2010 season, with Rodgers a distant second. Obviously we’re only 1/4 of the way home, but can’t I get a little excited and ahead of myself!? I haven’t been this enthusiastic about a QB like Mike Vick since Mike Vick. He’s like Vick 2.0 though, because all of a sudden, he’s an accurate passer who fits picture perfect darts into tight windows. Oh and by the way, he’ll still turn on the after burners in the open field. You add big play threat DeSean Jackson into the mix, as well as Jeremy Maclin, and LeSean McCoy, suddenly the Eagles are looking like the Soviets with all their weapons of mass destruction. Washington couldn’t even beat St. Louis last week. Eagles smash.
@ Oakland (+3) vs. Houston
Chappy picks Oakland +3, Not so sure on this pick, and for the record, I won’t be betting on it. As depressing as it was watching Janikowski’s chip shot shank wide in a Ray Finkle moment, I was somewhat happy they covered, sort of. I don’t want that feeling this week, so I won’t put money on them. They will cover though. Seabass blew the game missing out on 9 points. Seabass only missed three field goals all of last year, so missing three in one game was a surprise to say the least. I was very happy with the way Bruce led this team in his first start of the year, they have a different kind of confidence when he’s out there with the offensive unit. It’s also great to see Darren McFadden third in the league in rushing through three games. The reason I’m taking the Raiders with this pick is more because of what the Texans are lacking. They looked terrible against the Cowboys, and with Andre Johnson’s bum ankle maybe we shouldn’t even waste Nnamdi on him. I’m thinking this offense won’t nearly as explosive without him. Arian Foster might have some room to work, but without big play dre out there, I have a feeling the Raiders can contain him. Even if Andre does make it on the field, he won’t be the dominating receiver he usually is going up against Nnamdi. Just ask Fitzgerald how matching up with Nnamdi went last week.
@ New York Giants (-4) vs. Chicago
Chappy picks Chicago +4, I’m far from a Bears supporter, but this line was impossible not to take. The Bears got lucky in Green Bay more than they won that game. I don’t see the Giants committing 50 penalties this week, but there’s a chance that they could hit the over for personal foul penalties. Jay Cutler found his new insulin with Kristin Cavallari, and he’s also re-found some of his football skills that he was seriously lacking last season.
The Giants have been terrible this year. Not sure what happened to that team that beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and I actually had some high expectations for them this year, but this team doesn’t even look a shadow of their former selves. Is it the new stadium? Maybe they shouldn’t have moved, and stuck with their old stadium that they really could call theirs over the Jets. If Strahan is making more news than this New York team, maybe they really are missing a leader. This is a team with no direction, kinda reminds me of my Raiders for the past 7 years, which is a VERY bad sign…
By picks Chicago +4, So Chicago beats NFC favorites Green Bay last Monday, while the Giants look dismal in their performance against Tennessee at home … and the result … the Bears are four point dogs going into the New Giants Stadium? Some things I just don’t understand. I guess it’s because the Giants are fired up, they’ll be at home, and they’re motivated to turn their season around right? That’s not what I see. I see a team that has no leader, that has issues with their individual roles, and that might have already packed it in. The Giants just don’t seem like they’re playing inspired football right now, and I don’t think there’s anything Tom Coughlin can do to reverse that. Like Chappy said, I’m not a big fan of the Bears, but they’re playing winning football, and if you’re giving winning football four points, I’m taking winning football +4.
@ Miami (+1) vs. New England
Chappy picks Miami +1, you might think I just pick against the Patriots because I hate them, and I do, but I did pick them to win twice in the first two weeks, so there! I’m basing this pick more on how bad the Patriots defense is. They made Sanchez look like a stud. Carson Palmer had his best game against them. The Pats D made Trent Edwards successor, Ryan Fitzpatrick look great at times. If you are a Brandon Marshall owner in a fantasy league this weekend, you have to be happy with your match up. Marshall is going to embarrass some of those guys with his in your face physical play. Henne isn’t the best QB in the world, but it’s hard for me to see him being less successful than Fitzpatrick and Sanchez. If the Patriots defense can get some stops, they have a shot, because Brady can put some points up. I’m skeptical though, since Miami has a ton of ways to burn a defense running and now passing. Probably should just play it safe and take the home team.