Now that I’ve accepted Kyle Boller as the Raiders’ starting QB in Week 7, it’s a bit easier for me to take a less hasty look at the search for a replacement for Jason Campbell. I, for one, am not sold on Kyle Boller as a long-term solution. Fortunately, the Raiders face a 2-3 Kansas City team that’s scoring just 15 points a game this season. After that, the Bye week. So, it looks like if we can just survive one “should-win” game at home with Boller, we can focus more of our attention on getting the best possible guy for the job, instead of just whoever we can get now. If I’m Al Davis, I go straight to the best guy available. Though Carson Palmer and available aren’t words that have been mentioned together all year, my gut says Al would MAKE him available. The main arguments against it are that Bengals ownership is stubbornly set on not rewarding a player’s demands, and the Raiders don’t have any attractive draft picks next year anyway. But they do still have their number one pick. Trading a first round pick is probably foolish, but the Raiders are winning now, and they’re built for the future as well. I don’t see anyone on the roster who’ll need to be replaced in the next three years. I’ve got to believe it’s worth it to get a bonafide starting NFL quarterback. Most owners wouldn’t pull the trigger merely on the prospect of the criticism they’d receive, but Al Davis never cared about that. He’d just say something like, “We wanted Carson Palmer so we GOT Carson Palmer,” and that’d be the end of it. And ultimately, if he was unable to succesfully pry Palmer from the Bengals, he’d at least leak the offer to the media so Cincinnati owner, Paul Brown, would have to face criticism from his fans for turning down a first round pick on stubborn principle.
Tag Archives: Cincinnati Bengals
It’s no secret who my teams are. I’m pretty much a homer when it comes to sports. If you’re wondering who my team is in any given sport, just find the team located in Northern California and you’ve got it. Oakland A’s, Golden State Warriors, Oakland Raiders, Sacramento Kings, San Francisco 49ers, and if you have to find a hockey team, the San Jose Sharks. Every once in a while, though, there’s an out of market team that captures my attention. Often times it’s because of a player I like. Other times it’s because I’m a habitual underdog supporter, and there’s actually a team out there worse than mine. Here’s who they are, how they fared, why I liked them, and who I liked on the team….
Season Outcome: 4-12, 5th in AFC Central
Who I Liked: Corey Dillon, Peter Warrick, Takeo Spikes
Why I Liked Them: This team sort of tricked me. I had flirted with Bengals fandom for a few seasons, mainly on the strength of receivers, Carl Pickens and Darnay Scott. 2000, however, was the year I finally traveled down striped road and jump on the Bengal bandwagon, if there is such a thing. The problem was, Pickens and Scott were gone, and Akili Smith had assumed full time QB duties. What was left was 1,400 rushing yards for Corey Dillon, and Peter Warrick leading the receiving core with an underwhelming 52 catches and 4 TDs. I almost bought a Peter Warrick jersey one day at the San Francisco City Center early that season. Good thing I didn’t, that’d be the second worst jersey in my closet right now.
Last week was a nice winning week of 4-3 and finishing the regular season vs. the spread at 49-45-3. I’m happier than Scott Boras every time a client of his signs a long deal that my predictions led to a winning season! The playoffs are a completely different story though. I usually struggle in predicting the outcomes in recent years. You really don’t know how these games are going to turn out, but I’ll do my best to steer you in the right direction. As always the home teams are in bold.
New York Jets (+2.5) Over Cincinnati
The Bengals have shown one thing since Chris Henry’s untimely death, which is, they aren’t past it. The gloom of losing a teammate has put them in the losing column in three of their last four games. The Jets meanwhile got two straight teams on bye weeks, and are amazingly in the playoffs. Indy and Cinncinati laid down for them, Tampa wasn’t hard to keep under 10 points, Atlanta WAS a tough opponent to hold to ten, but I’m tired of this double fist pump fetish on the Jets D. Sure they have Revis, who will shut down Ochocinco, but I don’t see them winning more than this wild card game. Sorry Cincy, but you’re injured at the wrong time, and playing your worst when it counts most. At least you were the most successful Hard Knocks team so far! The Jets will win, but I’ll be rooting for Cincy. Who knows Sanchez could choke on a pepper and throw a few interceptions and give this one away.
Call me crazy, but I still think the Eagles are the better team. In the playoffs, they will pick up their game. They have been there, and will step up. McNabb is a perfect 3-0 in the wild card round over his career, and has 8 more playoff wins than Romo, who hasn’t won A playoff game. I can’t take anything away from Romo at this point as he has played some very good football lately. My lingering hope is that since he has played so damn well lately, he is bound to come crashing down to the Romo that looked so bad earlier in the season. Or even the Romo we saw four weeks ago will do. I know there’s a lot of doubters on the Eagles side after last week’s shellacking, but about this time a week ago, the experts were putting them in the Super Bowl. I guess everybody likes to jump ship every now and then.
New England (-3.5) Over Baltimore
Wes Welker this, Wes Welker that, is pretty much all you hear about this game. Although Brady hasn’t thrown many other receivers this year, that doesn’t make me believe he can’t throw to the other guys. Sure his completion percentage is going to go down with Welker out of the game, because Welker is that good. I’ve seen Tom be that good too without big names, and everytime I doubt the guy he proves me wrong. Plus his opposition is Mr. Flacco, and honestly I’m still not sold on him. He’s successful enough to keep his job, but I’ve rarely been impressed when watching him. Maybe it’s his weak receiving group. There’s also the Foxboro factor too, that seems to win them games somehow. I see Brady exposing Baltimore’s weak secondary in ways that the Raiders couldn’t last week.
I’m kind of surprised I’m picking three road teams, but you have to go with your gut on playoff picks. Green Bay opened up a can of offense last week, destroying Arizona’s 2nd team everything. It won’t be quite as easy this time around. Arizona will surely play all of it’s playmakers, and they aren’t short on those. Their main question going into the game has to be their defnese’s inability to contain teams. Green Bay has proved they can put up points in bunches, and seem to be rolling as good as anytime I can remember this season. Rodgers has turned into the anti-first round flop pick, and been the leader that they hoped he would be! They also have a defensive leader in Charles Woodson. He has been all over the field and deserves to be the defensive player of the year. Woodson should be all over the field trying to confuse old man Warner and his receivers. If he’s a major factor in this game ie. picks, tackles, or sacks I like the Packers chances. I’d love to see a Minnesota Green Bay matchup next round, and that would mean that Philly also won!
Last week left much to be desired from my picks. Going (2-3-1) is like watching the Raiders or 49ers play, they look good for a few plays, but by the end we usually met with disappointment because of our overpaid 1st round quarterbacks. I’m still happy that I’ve stayed over .500 on the year, because I’ve never kept track for a full season, and am now starting to know why I never really win or lose much on betting on sports. I’m (42-40-2) on the year, so hopefully I can finish out this season strong! As always the home teams are in bold.
San Diego (-3) Over Tennessee
Could Santa bring me two presents this year? A Lakers loss coupled with a Chargers loss would make my sporting Christmas! Probably not. I think the Titans are a solid squad, but the Chargers don’t do a whole lot of charitable work this time of year. They are an amazing 17-0 in December with Rivers at the helm. Man, that was tough to write, since there might not be another guy in the league I sports-hate more. I guess I’m still completely shocked that Norv hasn’t blown a late game decision. When will it come!?! I doubt it will this week, since they would like to give themselves a Merry Christmas by earning that first round bye as the #2 seed. I hope I’m wrong and Chris Johnson puts up 270 rushing yards to get him to 2,000 on the year, and helps Vince go to 8-1 as a starter on the season. Either way this should be a fun game to watch, and hopefully Santa will bring the Bolts a lump of coal!
Green Bay (-14) Over Seattle
Last week was a fluke at least I think it was. The Pack lost a tough road game to the Steelers in a game that Big Ben set career game records that I don’t see him beating anytime soon. I think after being thoroughly outplayed the Packers D will step it up this weekend against a Seahawks team that has regressed, even with very low expectations going into the season. I know that they are waiting to get out there and re-establish everything that was going right before their meeting with Pittsburgh. Why do the Seahawks keep giving the ball to a uninspiring Julies Jones over a budding star in the wings in Justin Forsett is beyond me. I guess Jim Mora Jr. is as clueless as we all thought he was. If Green Bay can’t roll up the score on this terrible Seattle team at home, then they don’t deserve to make the playoffs.
Cincinnati (-13.5) Over Kansas City
I guess I was wrong last week. Cincy wasn’t overly emotional to hang with SD. I think I make the outside factors out to be more than they really were. Thinking back to the worst times in my life, I guess it didn’t really affect my work all that much. Maybe I might not have wanted to be there, but I still did what I needed to do just like the Bengals performance. I think KC officially gave up on this year about week 12. They decided to start just letting teams score at will. Three of their last four opponents have hit the 40+ point mark, and the only game that was remotely close was against the lowly Bills where they still lost by 6 at home. I can proudly say that the Raiders aren’t the worst team in the division for once! I was happy to see the NFL didn’t fine any of the players that paid tribute to the fallen Chris Henry. If they had, the NFL would get three lumps of coal in their stocking from Chad himself! Continue reading
Last week wasn’t phenomenal, but it was a winning week nonetheless. I went 4-3, which keeps me above .500 overall (40-37-1). I have to say, this past weekend was probably the least football I’ve watched in awhile. It’s weird how earlier in the season everybody was saying there is no parody in the league. Sure looks like it has evened out a bit since then! As always the home teams are in bold.
New Orleans (-7) Over Dallas
I haven’t picked the Saints for a couple of weeks, so I guess I’m due. I’ve been weary since they went on their non spread covering ways for a few weeks, but last week I think they collected themselves and are ready to dominate again. They can pretty much sew up home field advantage through the playoffs with a win over Dallas. Plus, every home game they’ve played they have won by more than 10 points, which makes this a safe pick in my mind. Dallas on the other hand is dealing with waaay too much pressure, since they never win in December, and this game won’t make anyone feel better about the Cowboys’ chances. I hope they miss the playoffs. I’d love to see it at the expense of Romo as well whether he is engaged or not, it’s just fun to see him struggle! One of my favorite sports hate guys!
Green Bay (+2) Over Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is just like many defending champs, kinda bad on the title defense. I’m sure they’ll be back as contenders next year, but for now those terrible towels will only get used to wipe tears away after piling up five straight losses. If they can’t beat the Raiders or Browns, I don’t see how they could beat a good Packers squad. It should be an air it out game, Rodgers has been playing much better than Big Ben lately, so you have to take the Pack even on the road. These are the two top rushing defenses (Steelers are #1), so Grant and Mendenhall probably won’t get going. Without the Steelers main man Troy in there, I like Rodgers chances much more, that is, if they can keep him upright. It seems like they’ve made some adjustments to keep him from being sacked as much. They’ve moved the pocket, rolled him out, and are throwing more quick outs. Big Ben will have to deal with Charles Woodson, the consensus for defensive player of the year, and one of my favorite former Raiders. Maybe I’m a little bias in this one as Rodgers is starting for my fantasy team for the first round of the playoffs, but oh well.
Tennessee (-3) Over Miami
This should be a pretty good game. Henne is doing much better than I ever expected. Miami has been doing pretty good since their best player, Ronnie Brown, was knocked out for the season. If they want to have any hopes of making the playoffs, they need to win this game. The Titans winning streak was broken against the Colts last week, but I see them bouncing back, and getting back on track. Some had them as one of the best teams in the league going into the Colts game, and losing to the best shouldn’t make you jump off their bandwagon. I think Vince and Chris Johnson should be enough to beat the Fins. I do like Rickey Williams comeback story this year, but I think these past few weeks are going to take a toll on how he finishes the season, because he is old for a running back.
Usain Bolt Over Chris Johnson over and over again
For some reason there’s tons of people wanting to race Chris Johnson or see if he’s faster than so and so. It started with Rajon Rondo requesting a one on one race, and moved to Joey Porter saying his teammate Ted Ginn Jr. could beat him in a running race. Then having Ted Ginn Jr. be a no show for the race! What’s up with that!?! I wouldn’t mind having this happen pregame this weekend, it wouldn’t take too long. I’m not sure what the infatuation is with racing CJ is. CJ thought talked some trash saying that Rondo was just trying to get his name on Sportscenter, but he did say that he would race Usain Bolt, which I find pretty ridiculous! Usain will make him look slow! Continue reading
I can’t say I know a lot about the guy, except he was suspended numerous times by the NFL for his off field conduct. It’s sad that Chris Henry didn’t make it through the pick up truck accident. I guess I’m curious what led to him being shirtless and banging on the back of the Ford F150’s windows. Here are the 911 calls on Henry last moments before and after the accident. It sounds like there’s a lot more to this story that hasn’t come out, so we’ll see how it develops. Doin Work wishes the best for your family and friends Chris!
I was pretty pumped on Saturday, as I hit both the predictions I made for the Civil War and SEC Championship game. I didn’t do quite as well when it came to Sunday, but I still went 5-3 on the week bringing the season record to 36-34-1. It’s nice to see I’m not losing money as fast as Tiger is with all these mini settlements or the big one with his wife. One thought on the game I didn’t actually see tonight. How bad is this Steelers team that lost back to back games to the Raiders then the Browns? I’ll let you answer that one, but it’s not a playoff contender that’s for sure. As always the home teams are in bold.
Denver (+7) Over Indianapolis
Indy easily handled one of the hottest team in the league taking the Titans down in blowout fashion, but in the end the Colts love to play in close games. I think this week will be close as Denver seems to have regained some of their early season form and won their last two games. With Orton looking healthy again their offense is back on track, and can keep up with the Colts on the scoreboard. I’m not predicting that the undefeated streak is going to end here, especially the way the breaks are going for them. I know that the Broncos sure have a lot more at stake with this game, and I could see them possibly winning outright.
Cincinnati (+7) Over Minnesota
I guess this is bold picking two teams in a row to upset two of the top three teams in the league, but last week was the Vikings first real test since they played Green Bay six weeks ago. Minnesota showed that they aren’t unstoppable when they play a GOOD team, and Cincy is a GOOD team this year. I also think Cincy will come out a little more pumped than normal as they play the game with a chance to clinch their division. Aside from the game fell asleep on against Oakland they have been great this year. I’m sure they picked up a few pointers from Arizona last week, so maybe we will see Favre turn into Farva! This should be one of the best games of the week!
Green Bay (-3) Over Chicago
Uh oh, last week I picked all road teams, and now I’ve already picked three! I really like this line though! It might be the easiest pick of the week! I think I like Charles Woodson more than the Monday Night Crew. He’s always been a favorite former Raider of mine. I still can’t figure out why teams would throw to his side of the field. If only we still had him and Asomugha, nobody would throw on us… Anyways, Green Bay is rolling right now, and the Packers have finally been keeping Rodgers upright. He’s currently tied for third in the NFL in passing TD’s and I don’t see any reason for him not to continue putting up big happy fantasy owner numbers against a suspect Bears D. I know this is a rivalry and all, but one team just isn’t that good, and the Bears fall off was worse than Tara Reid’s fall from fame.
The Media (-1,250 articles) on Tiger Woods OVER
I have to admit that I am surprised I ended up doing two posts on Tiger’s troubles, but since it’s all we hear about I had to add to the 30,000 articles already out there. Anyways, I’m taking the over 1,250 articles coming out this weekend that are Tiger related. This is slowly turning into a bigger fiasco than Michael Jackson’s death! Hopefully A&E doesn’t make a show about it like they did with the Jackson 5.
Houston (-6) Over Seattle
Yeah, I know the Texans have sucked lately, and the Seahawks have been playing decent, but just looking at Seattle’s 1-5 road record and haveonly score 16.7 points per road contest. Those numbers alone make me a believer in the Texans. Matt Schaub should be able to put up a solid fantasy day with a TD connection or two with Andre against a banged up 25th ranked passing defense. The Seahawks DON’T have a good offense, especially their supposed big play-maker TJ Houshmanzadeh who is averaging a stellar 3 catches for 7.9 yards per game with no touchdowns. One thing I do like about Seattle is that they are giving a chunk of carries to Forsett as he gets his shot to be the next big thing out of Cal. Funny note from Yahoo on Forsett about Jim Mora’s awesome job as coach!
Dec 7 Forsett scored a touchdown but got only eight touches Sunday as the Seahawks stubbornly stuck with the less dynamic Julius Jones.
Recommendation: Jones got 25 touches and did little with them, totaling 64 yards. Forsett totaled 34 yards, almost all of it coming on a 25-yard reception. It seems obvious to everyone but coach Jim Mora that Forsett should see more action. Perhaps that will happen, but don’t count on it until there’s official word. Forsett’s “tweaked” quadriceps was not a factor.
Tennessee (-13) Over St. Louis
The Titans hit a speed bump last week on their march to an improbable playoff berth. I doubt they can do it, but you never know. I see them winning convincingly after a tough game against Indy. Going home is always a boost, but playing the Rams might be even more of a boost. The biggest hype for the Lambs is Todd Mcshay and Mel Kiper Jr. arguing over whether they should pick Jimmy Claussen at the top of next year’s draft. I’m already sick of their big boards and projections, we don’t even know if the Rams will have the honor to pick that high! They might even improve their pick by pulling out a win in Tennessee! Ok, just kidding, I think if that happened, the Nets will make the NBA playoffs! Which by the way you can get a good discount on this site by buying them now!
Oakland (+1) Over Washington
Yes, I finally get my chance to gush on Gradkowski, and yes, I’m going to go right ahead and jinx him right now by picking the Raiders to win at home. Sure he throws some ugly looking passes, but didn’t Jeff Garcia do that his whole career!?! Bruce has given us a true leader in the huddle. I haven’t been this proud/excited with anything Raiders related in quite some time, and now that the offense looks like it actually has some confidence with the play-makers after FINALLY getting them some touches! Louis Murphy has been a fan favorite since they drafted him, and it’s good to see him being able to showcase his skills by having a QB that can get the ball to him. Washington does everything they can to lose each week, and that was on full showcase against the Saints. They are about as healthy as Al Davis, so I wouldn’t expect much of a showing on the road. If their spirits weren’t broken last week, then maybe Zorn isn’t that bad. Maybe they’ll come out fired up, but more than likely after that rough loss they might just pack it in for the rest of their games this season.
San Diego (+3) Over Dallas
This match up features the hottest team in the league versus the luckiest. Is it just me or do teams like to give games away when they play the Cowboys. I hate that their game is always televised, and I hate even more I have to watch some dumbass move by the other team that gives Dallas a win. It’s getting ridiculous. I keep thinking that it can’t happen again right!?! Well, I’m sure it could, but the Chargers look as focused as they’ve ever been. I think even Norv Turner has made me think that he can actually coach a little. I guess those Turner theories only work in the playoffs. I see Romo making one too many mistakes this week against an improving San Diego defense. We all know that Dallas likes to crumble in December, so lets just hope it’s fun to watch!
Since I was unable to make my gambling picks for the weekend being away for Turkey Day, I’ll have to settle with putting out my Power Rankings through Week 12. Without having the advantage of seeing how the big MNF matchup plays out I’ll just assume that the Saints win. Since everybody might be in the mood to slim down, after all that turkey I’m only doing the top 16 teams. No need to write about all the other teams that would just rather have an autograph from the guys lining up across from them.
#1 Indianapolis Colts (11-0)
It’s tough to not pick the Saints, but I think the resilience of this Colts team puts them over the top. They’ve now won five straight trailing going into the 4th quarter. If you aren’t convinced by that, they have won an amazing 19 in a row, and is the most behind the Patriots 21 straight.
#2 New Orleans Saints (10-0)
Drew Brees blah blah blah, he’s amazing blah blah blah. We’ve all heard it. The impressive part of this team is that they are the 5th ranked rushing team, and it’s not all because teams are playing the pass, it’s because they are actually very good at running the football. People always say how the Vikings are so balanced, this team is just as balanced as them!
#3 Minnesota Vikings (10-1)
Unfortunately I was completely wrong about Favre signing with the Vikings. I guess the season isn’t over yet, so there’s still hope he could suck it up still, but I’m not holding my breathe. The Silver Fox, as Jared Allen calls Favre, looks to keep it rolling all the way to a first round bye.
#4 New England Patriots (7-3)
Yes, Brady is as flaming as ever, but damn it I respect him… He’s got a better rhythm with his receivers than Bostonian sports fans have with being completely annoying. Their young defense has been a lot better recently, and they will need them to keep up the good play when it matters. Should be a good one Monday Night, and they will be tested every play with the Saints!
#5 San Diego Chargers (8-3)
Who would’ve thought the Chargers would be this good? Not me, and not most of their fans until recently. I thought they were the best in the AFC West, but not the kind of team that could win six straight. Somehow Norv has this team rolling, and they still don’t run that often, but it doesn’t seem to matter with Rivers throwing the ball 40 times a game. They might be the hottest team in the league.
#6 Cincinnati Bengals (8-3)
They didn’t dominate Cleveland like I thought they would, but at least they won which is better than they could say for playing against Oakland. The Cardiac Cats have proven they can come from behind, they can win ugly, and they play surprisingly good defense. They look to be a lock for the division title with the Steelers loss.
#7 Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
I don’t know why, but I just don’t think they as good worthy of their record. Of course there’s always a little extra drama with them, and Romo feels about as reliable as betting on or against the Raiders each week. I hope Dallas stumbles along the way, it always makes it more fun when they go into panic mode!
#8 Arizona Cardinals(7-4)
I can’t say I’ve been a big supporter or had any confidence in them against the spread this year, but they DO pull out wins, and look as explosive as ever with another new gadget in Beanie Wells. Even though they lost to the Titans they are still the division leaders, and should wrap up the west sooner than later. As long as they get old man Warner back in there, and Leinart doesn’t have to face Vince Young anymore, they will be fine.
#9 Philadelphia Eagles (7-4)
Mcnabb has won two close ones in a row! Maybe we can put to rest those talks of him being the worst closer in Philly and slide him to the #2 slot behind Lidge. They’ve had tons of injuries, but I think they’ll be able to pull through when everybody gets healthy. Let’s just hope for their sake that DeSean isn’t out for long after his concussion he suffered today.
#10 Green Bay Packers (7-4)
Rodgers IS having an amazing season. If it weren’t for him, their defense would probably outscore their offense! If they didn’t have to play Minnesota twice, they could probably be 9-2. Even missing key guys in their D they destroyed Detroit on Thanksgiving. They finally look like what everyone expected when the season opened, a playoff team.
#11 Denver Broncos (7-4)
They had a nice bounce back game against the Giants, but once again they will have to prove themselves after those four straight bad weeks. If they can somehow beat Indy in week 14, I’ll buy them as “for real” again. At the moment I don’t see them winning a wild card spot.
#12 Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)
They’ve been up and down as all title defenders usually are. I think Polamalu was a bigger loss than Big Ben. I’ve always been a big Dixon fan, so I was glad to see him get a chance to showcase his abilities in the NFL. Baltimore barely beat them tonight, and with a third string QB starting and Troy out this should have been much more lopsided, so even though the Ravens won the Steelers are still the better team.
#13 Baltimore Ravens (6-5)
I don’t really think the Ravens D is all that great anymore. Thankfully they have Ray Rice to help Flacco put up some points, which haven’t been as plentiful as they once were. It was a big win for them tonight, but I don’t see that translating into a wild card berth…
#14 Atlanta Falcons (6-5)
With Matt Ryan hurt, I’m not sure this team is really going to go anywhere. Even if they get back Turner, I still don’t see them turning it around. It’s been a disappointing season for them, and I don’t expect to see them in the playoffs.
#15 Tennessee Titans (5-6)
I actually think the Titans are better than the two above teams, but since they are under .500 it’s hard for me to justify putting them at 13. Vince has made me a believer, and also may have cemented himself with Mario Williams as the best players from that 2006 draft.
#16 Miami Dolphins (5-6)
They haven’t missed a beat since losing Ronnie Brown, and I for one thought they would. The Wildcat has been as effective as ever with Rickey looking like the dominant back we remember from his prime! I like this team, because they show up every week whether they have a good chance to win or not.
The Oakland Raiders have done it again. Coming in as huge underdogs to a Cincinnati team that finally had NFL experts convinced they were for real, the Raiders trailed for 59 minutes but managed to score twice in the last 33 seconds to record an improbable, come from behind, 20-17 win over the AFC North division leaders. Don’t have much of a recap, since the game was blacked out, as usual, here in Northern California, but this win just goes to show the team has the talent to compete with anyone. Well, almost anyone. But with Jamarcus Russell on the bench, Oakland obviously has a little extra confidence. The running game wasn’t much of a factor, totaling just 92 yards, but they did manage to gain a respectable 3.8 yds per carry. But it was the passing game that led them to victory. What’s funny is Bruce Gradkowski’s line of 17-34 for 183 yards is hardly an eye opener, nonetheless it was a performance that Raider fans would be happy to have, based on what Russell usually brings to the table. Moving forward, this is exactly what the Raiders need. With their remaining schedule, which includes 4 of their last 6 on the road, they’re not likely to make a playoff push of any kind, but they can use these last 6 games to build some confidence for next season. It’s conceivable they can win half of the games left on the schedule, and a six win season, sorry to say, would be a step in the right direction. The Raiders go to Dallas next on a short week to take on the Cowboys on Thanksgiving day. Although the Cowboys have been inconsistent this season, including a close call against Washington today, there probably isn’t much hope for a win. One can only hope the team carries the momentum from today into this Thursday’s showdown and at least competes.
Great news, Raider fans! Coach Tom Cable announced today that Bruce Gradkowski will start this weekend against Cincinnati, and likely for the remainder of the season. This isn’t great news in the sense that Gradkowski will make the team that much better, rather it likely signals the beginning of the end of the Jamarcus Russell era in Oakland. No one can say he wasn’t given plenty of chances, he just simply couldn’t get the job done. Now, I’m not going to sit hear and say when they drafted him, I knew it’d be a bust. But, when they drafted him, I knew it’d be a bust.
Anyway, this gives Raider fans more of what they’ve come to know as the top of the mountain lately, which is hope. With the team looking primed for a high pick, it’s looking probable that they’ll go for Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy. That will the give the team and its fans plenty of, well, hope going into next season. Ah, what a great day to be a Raider fan.
Last week was good to get out of the way! The teams that had been covering all season (Indy and New Orleans) finally let me down. Oh well, I’m sure they could care less that their undefeated streak vs. the spread was broken. I had a really hard time last week flip flopping on my choices all the way up to game day, and this week looks like I might be having more tough decisions again. I went 2-4 and now am 20-22-1 on the year. You know how there are people that smell so bad that you can almost taste their awfulness? That tasty smell are the teams that have a week 9 bye; Oakland, Cleveland, Buffalo and St. Louis. What makes this week even more interesting is that there are a lot of 10+ point spreads with the mentioned teams sitting it out! I guess that shows you the parity in the league this season. As usual the home teams are in bold.
Cincinnati (+3) Over Baltimore
The cardiac cats always seem to be in very tight games whether they end up pulling out the W or having a heartbreaker. Baltimore played an inspired game last week blowing out the Broncos and showed that they are still the force that many people put as the best team in the league early on. Baltimore seems to have a hard time putting in efforts like that in back to back weeks, so I see this being a close one. Cincy showed some promising flashbacks from that very explosive offense they had a couple of years ago. I don’t see Palmer and Benson having that same kind of success they had against the Bears, because this Ravens unit is better. It does look like their offense is rejuvenated, and with the presence of a running game they can move the ball late to tire out the elders on the Baltimore D. Since the Bengals are at home it’s tough for me not to take the points, especially since I could see them winning outright!
Atlanta (-10) Over Washington
Washington is arguably the worst team in the league, and I doubt they have enough in them to pull out any kind of upset on the road or even have enough defense to keep this one close. Atlanta is coming off a short week, but who cares when you get to play a team that can’t seem to do anything right. Matt Ryan and Gonzo should shred the middle of this defense all day long. If Zorn was a brand, he should probably start looking for a bailout plan. It’s been so bad in DC that the fans aren’t even allowed to bring in signs that make fun of this pathetic team. If I wasted my money to go watch my team lose games, I would demand the right to bring whatever sign I want into the stadium! I forecast Atlanta going up big early, and heavy doses of Turner throughout the second half.
Announcers talking about Brett Favre on Minnesota’s Bye Week (-50) Over the amount of coverage the Rams receive for the rest of the season.
I mean this line is self explanatory, but I would seriously bet on this! This would be exclude plays and mentions of the Rams defense getting shredded against a good team!
Green Bay (-10) Over Tampa Bay
Ah, we move onto the only team left that still could match the Lions amazing winless record. The Bucs haven’t really shown that they even want to be out there on Sundays, and especially don’t show up against any team that is deemed competent. I wonder if you’ll be able to hear Packers fans in the stands since there’s no way this one will be sold out. Tampa does have an amazing crop of cheerleaders though, so fortunately Rachel won’t be the only one we see this season! It could very well be a fantasy firework show from Aaron Rodgers who has put up big numbers against some of the best of defenses in the league, and going up against one of the worst I foresee a 5 TD day. I bet the Packers D might even out score the Bucs in this one.
New Orleans (-13) Over Carolina
I was disappointed to see the Saints not cover last weekend. I guess it was the opposite of the week before where Sharper snagged a pick 6 to cover with two minutes to go. This weekend, Atlanta scored in the last two minutes to cut the lead to 8 which killed the beating the spread hope, oh those Vegas guys always get you back (shaking fist in the air)! It was easily the Miller Lite disappointing moment of my Monday. New Orleans has proved they are good at two things. Scoring points, and putting pressure on opposing offense and making them make mistakes. Carolina’s offense just happens to have Jake Delhomme, who is turning the ball over like Matsui getting RBI’s. NOT a good thing going on anytime they are trailing, so I see no reason to doubt that the Saints will have neutralized the Panthers running game by being up by 21 at the half and forcing them to put it in Delhomme’s hands.
San Francisco (-4) Over Tennessee
I don’t really like this pick that much, but since the Niners held Indy in check I don’t see any reason that they can’t take the Titans down during their miserable season. The SF offense has looked a little better as of late with Alex Smith taking over. The emergence of Crabtree last weekend coupled with Vernon Davis’s breakout year it has to mean only better things are in store for them! Having some threats will even open up some more room for Frank Gore to run, and maybe give him a little less wear and tear so he can stay in the lineup. Tennessee has officially fallen into the crappy team section, which confirmed my preseason thought that they were a fluke last year. A Kerry Collins led team is never the way to go! They finally figured that out and threw Vince in there, but it doesn’t seem to matter at this point. The only thing exciting about them is Chris Johnson.
Philadelphia (-3) Over Dallas
This should be a good one. I think it all comes down to Romosexual and whether he shows up or not. The Cowboys are so reliant on him, it’s pathetic. Any game he plays bad in they never win. In the always unfriendly City of Brotherly Love, I have my doubts of him settling down in this one. Frank Drebin, I mean Wade Phillips is lucky anytime they are successful. He doesn’t put them in good positions to succeed, but just gets plain lucky. On the other side Philly looks about as good as they ever have. Team chunky soup was supposed to be explosive because of Westbrook and Vick, and Brian has been in and out and Vick is ineffective thus far. The good news is they haven’t needed them as they have weapons all over the field, in Desean, Maclin, and McCoy. Mcnabb is always on the verge of Romo type stinker game too, but it usually comes on the heals of an injury opposed to randomly popping up, except that Oakland one he got a pass since the offensive line forgot they were blocking that day.
Throughout the season I will be try to predict the outcomes of the NFL spreads. I used to gamble quite a bit, and had good and bad times with it. I think I would’ve done better if I hadn’t gone for so many parlays, but that makes it more exciting. Anyways, I’ve never kept track over a whole season, so this should be interesting. The home teams are in bold, and the first team listed is the favorite. I will also be giving a confidence rating on my picks with a scale of 1-5. A one would be “I like me betting on the Raiders, because they’re my favorite team”, and a 5 would be “Parlay this one with any other 5 on the board” Without further ado here is the predictions.
Pittsburgh (-6) Tennessee
3, It’s going to be tough for everyone going to Pittsburgh, but Tennessee proved last season that they are for real with their 12-4 mark, but are a fairly big underdog against the Steelers. The Titans have pretty much the same look as last year minus Haynesworth. They should be ready to at least cover in this one, since I feel like this line should be around -3. Plus, I have a feeling the Titans will want to pull out everything they have to get a win off the newly crowned champs.
Atlanta (-4) Miami
4, I felt like the Dolphins were huge overachievers last season. They would probably do fine in the AFC West, but in their division I think it’ll be a long tough road for them. Their first game is going to be in hostile territory against a team looking to see improvement through acquisitions and growth from their young QB. The Falcons should cover this spread with all the offensive firepower they have.
Baltimore (-13) Kansas City
2, It’s always hard to tell how crappy a team is going to be. I doubt that KC will win this, but can you really give a guy named Flacco enough confidence in covering a two TD spread? I didn’t think so. KC will kill a few bettors at the end of this game scoring some points in garbage time. They seemed to do that well last year even with Thigpen.
Philadelphia (-1.5) Carolina
2, this is a tough one. I don’t like it when the home team isn’t favored, but in this one I can’t argue. Carolina’s often stalling offense is always a roller coaster that I wouldn’t bet a replica ring on. McNabb has two weeks to prove he is the undisputed starter, so I like Philly taking this one either by a good offensive effort or Jake Delhomme choking it away.
Cincinnati (-4.5) Denver
3, With all the drama in Denver this off-season it’s hard to tell what is going to come out of the once proud franchise. Saying they are dysfunctional is an understatement, but saying Cincinatti hasn’t had it’s problems isn’t fair either. I don’t like any team coming off as many problems and changes as Denver had this off-season, and they won’t figure it out until it’s too late.
Minnesota (-4) Cleveland
5, Like I said before I don’t like road teams being favored, but I really can’t bet on a franchise that just named it’s starter today, Quinn. Cleveland didn’t make any upgrades and sorely needed to over the off-season. Minnesota should run away with this one. We could even see a chunk of playing time for Tavaris or a tryout from Anderson if Quinn struggles…
Houston (-4.5) NY Jets
4, it’s Mark Sanchez’s first start as a pro, and I have a feeling that he’s going to get acquainted with Mario Williams early and often. If the Jets had a solid running game or receivers that didn’t disappear, I’d give them a chance. Schaub is expected to go today, so as long as that stays the same I’m taking the Texans.
Indianapolis (-7) Jacksonville
3, I think it would be impossible to pick anyone but Indy at home. Jacksonville usually gives them a good fight, but in a home opener it’s going to be hard for the Jaguars to pull it out especially with their disappointing 5 win campaign last season. I think the Colts will start the season as they usually do undefeated with a convincing win.
New Orleans (-13) Detroit
5, The question is when will the Saints be up by 13? First half? First quarter? Watch the bottom line or your stat tracker to see just how many they can put up. I don’t see the Lions 20 game losing streak ending in week 1 especially in a tough environment.
Dallas (-6) Tampa Bay
4, Tampa Bay is in shambles after barely missing the playoffs last year. They are doing an overhaul with minimal talent, so it’s pretty hard not to like the Cowboys in this one. Dallas will probably run a little more smoothly with TO out of the way. Look for the Buccaneers fans to be one of the blackout teams soon.
Arizona (-6.5) San Francisco
2, I really don’t know what to expect from this one. I’ll loosely pick the Niners to cover. Arizona had an incredible season last year, but I don’t see lightning striking twice. It was kind of funny watching Kurt Warner fall to late rounds in nearly all my fantasy drafts. That has to say something about their chances.
NY Giants (-6.5) Washington
2, it seems like the Giants start off strong and slowly fade away as the season wears on. If Eli had one good receiver, I’d probably bump up my confidence rating, but in this rivalry game it’s always tough to give a team nearly a TD. Washington just ends up being disappointing every season, and this year doesn’t look much brighter, as I see the Giants taking this one.
Seattle (-8.5) St. Louis
3, One rule I have is never to bet on crappy teams, because you never know what you’ll get. Seattle vs. St. Louis definitely fits that mold, and I can’t really give more than a TD to any team I deem crappy. St. Louis should make this competitive while they cover the spread.
Green Bay (-3.5) Chicago
4, I like the way the Packers look this year. Rodgers has a lot of guys to throw to, and proved that he is going to be a good starter for years to come. The Bears have issues on defense especially against the passing game. I like the Pack to set the division tone with a convincing win.
New England (-11) Buffalo
4, If Brady is indeed back to 07′ form, we could see the stats that only a QB on Madden puts up. I don’t really see the impact of TO on the field overshadowing the gaping hole left by Lynch in the backfield. I think Buffalo is a decent team, but they are no match for the Pats in Foxboro on opening night. There could be two Monday night blowouts.
San Diego (-9.5) Oakland
2, it’s never easy picking against your team especially when they are giving a TD plus, but the Raiders are starting to mirror the Timberwolves as their franchise spirals out of control. They have talent, but no direction. On a side note, I hope Gruden calls this game on ESPN, it would be nice to hear what he has to say about his former employer! Plus I caught him during a pre-season game and he was pretty funny.