Tag Archives: Detroit Lions

The Few Things I Remember From This New Year’s Weekend

My body came back yesterday, but I think my head just finally returned from Tahoe this evening. It was a blurry three days up at the cabin, but I managed to sprinkle in some sports here and there. The majority of it came on Saturday morning/afternoon, as it was do or die for not only the Oakland Raiders, but also the West Sac Narwhals (you guessed it, my fantasy team). Here’s the recap of my weekend in sports…

Boring Morning Games – The scores may look close, but the 49ers-Rams and Jets-Dolphins definitely didn’t feel as close as your average 34-27 or 19-17 games. Neither had much meaning, other than the Jets being able to make a small claim toward a playoff berth. The Niners were also able to sew up a bye in the first round. The fantasy relevance was limited, with only Steven Jackson struggling to muster up 9 points. The Rams did a good job of wiping points away from my opponent though, putting up 17 against his 49ers Defense. I’d have much rather been watching the Lions-Packers. I opted to start Matthew Stafford for just the second time this season. The only other time was during Tom Brady’s bye week, and he turned in a dismal 12 point performance. Who would’ve thought, though, that it’d be the other Matt throwing for 6 TDs. But, when you’re in Northern California, you can’t expect to see any other NFC games while the 49ers are playing. Maybe I was just bored waiting for the game of the year….

Oakland Raiders Can End 9 Year Playoff Drought – The scenarios were many, but one was simple. Beat the Chargers, and get a Denver loss at the hands of Kyle Orton and the Kansas City Chiefs, and they’re in. Beating the Chargers isn’t usually a doable task, but Oakland beat them in pretty convincing fashion in front of a national Thursday night NFL Network stage IN San Diego. Throw in Orton’s return to Denver (he HAS to light it up against his old team, right?), and I was feeling like the chances were good. The Chiefs took care of business, even if Orton didn’t light it up. A 7-3 ballgame seemed like the perfect setup for the Raiders to get in. Ultimately, though, a porous defense and untimely turnovers – both Raiders staples this season – squandered away a golden opportunity. Oakland will miss the playoffs yet again, and Denver backs into the playoffs, riding a 6-22, 60 yard, 1 interception, and a fumble lost game by Tim Tebow. Sounds to me like a perfect script for a Denver upset against Pittsburgh next weekend. Too bad I wasn’t still 10 minutes from Nevada anymore!

Demarcus Cousins Demanded Trade From Sacramento Kings – This one caught me way off guard. I read the news on my phone, and quite frankly, I was many sheets to the wind at this point. The headlines, though, were crystal clear….

“Demarcus Cousins DEMANDS Trade”

“Demarcus Cousins SENT HOME For Good”

“Demarcus Cousins Has Played His LAST GAME In Sacramento”

By the time I got caught up on all the news, it was over. I just watched the Kings lose to the Grizzlies, but Cousins was back out there as if nothing ever happened. Albeit he came off the bench and played just 22 minutes, it’s amazing enough that he saw the floor at all. He struggled offensively, just 4 points on 1-5 shooting; but he grabbed 8 rebounds, including a game-high 6 offensive boards. I’m hoping it gets more back to normal in the next few games. Here’s a BIG reason why… Tonight, I was officially SOLD on Jimmer Fredette as an effective NBA player. He CAN get his shot off. He CAN create off the dribble. He CAN shoot 3’s from NBA range. OK, I suppose no one ever doubted the last one. Well to make up for that one, I’ll add that he CAN pass. Like Tyreke Evans, no one will ever be sold on him being an NBA point guard, but he can find the open man like one. So maybe two of those guys in the backcourt can equal one point guard. They’ve got another guy who can light it up with the best of them too in Marcus Thornton. If only they had a tall, quick, athletic, passing big man to round it out. Oh wait, they DO. It appears they’re on the brink of trading him though. If they end up shipping Cousins away, we’ll know it had to have been bad, because he’s a once in a decade talent, like a second coming of Chris Webber. Unfortunately, it took Webber a trade or two to really find his groove. Cousins has lasted longer in Sac than C-Webb did in Golden State, but it feels eerily similar. Who knows, maybe Demarcus gets reunited with John Wall in Washington for a few years, then he spends his prime in Oakland for the Warriors.

One Last Thought – Were there ANY College Football Bowl Games on New Year’s Day? I thought New Year’s Day was supposed to be about Bowl Games…? I swear, when I was a kid, roughly 6 of the best 7 of all 15 bowl games were on New Year’s Day. If I remember my weekend correctly (which I certainly don’t), NONE of the 35 Bowls were played on Sunday. What the HELL?! Oh well, Sunday was for BBQing. I broke out my new smoker and probably served up the best trio of Tri-Tip, Pork Loin, and Smoked Salmon this side of the Rocky Mountains. Yeah, I said smoked Tri-Tip… It’s California. I can’t find a brisket to save my life out here. One day, smoked Tri-Tip is gonna be a nationwide phenomenon though. It’s gonna be the Tim Tebow of barbeque… no one thinks it can be that good, but all it does it WIN.

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If At First You Don’t Succeed

The old adage is, if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

Perhaps we need to apply this saying towards the Detroit Lions draft methods of the early to late 2000’s.  It wasn’t long ago when Detroit was the laughing-stock of the NFL in terms of their draft decisions.  To put a long story short, they went receiver happy.  For three consecutive years starting in 2003, the Lions used their very first pick to pluck out supposedly, the best wide out that year’s draft had to offer.  None of those pics panned out for them.

2003 Carlos Rogers #2 overall

2004 Roy Williams #7 overall

2005 Mike Williams #10 overall

To their defense, all three of these wide outs were absolute beasts in college, and would have passed any eye test by an average football fan’s standards.  And to his credit, Roy Williams had his moments with the Lions albeit a short stint with them.

After taking a year off, in which they selected a line backer in Ernie Sims with the ninth overall pick in 2006, they hopped right back on that bike after falling several times, and tried again.  This time selecting Calvin Johnson with the second overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.  Bingo.  Boy did they ever get it right.  I won’t mention Calvin Johnson’s accomplishments in the NFL, we all know he’s a monster, but when you’re given the nick name “MEGATRON“, and rightfully so, it speaks volume to the type of player you are.  When Detroit finally got it right at receiver, it allowed them to sew up the other sexy positions on the roster.  Matthew Stafford in 2009, and Ndamukong Suh in 2010.  And while Stafford and Suh get all the jersey sales and glory out in the Motor City, I can’t help but think they wouldn’t be there had it not been for Detroit finally getting the proverbial monkey off their back with the Calvin Johnson pick.

I guess the moral of the story is, we shouldn’t laugh at David Kahn and his point guard infatuation just yet … he may have a Optimus Prime in the making.


Doin Lines Week 5

That football is doing some serious lines!

Looks like we both need to re-evaluate how we are making these picks. We got one right out of ten last week, setting the lowest week total of wins since I’ve started doing this. Just like New Orleans picked itself up after Hurricane Katrina, we will have to do the same. We just need to hope that this turnaround happens a little faster than the real life one. This losing streak is showing me that no matter how much you think you know going into a game, you don’t really know crap compared to those lines makers. Just like the Geek and Sammy we have proven that we are good a pickin losers so far. It can’t be this bad for the rest of the year can it!?! I doubt it, so on to the picks.

What is the writing equivalent to being so ashamed, that you can’t even show your face in public?  Would it be, being so ashamed that you wouldn’t want to let anyone read your words?  Because that is how I feel after three consecutive, embarrassing weeks of football picks.  If you fancy my words, or my humor, or perhaps lack there of, I appreciate your loyalty to me.  But please, I beg of you, please do not read my picks for … *gasp* my picks.  After going 1/5 last week, it absolutely dawned on me.  I suck at this.  I suck at this bad.  Do I give up?  No.  But I am not cruel enough to wish bad upon our readers, so I hope you all either run as far away as you can from my picks, or simply pick the opposite.  My picks should have yellow caution tape surrounding them.  With that said, here are this week’s losers …

Last Week (Chappy 0-5, By 1-4) Overall (Chappy 8-14-1, By 6-12-2)

Denver (+7) @ Baltimore Continue reading


Doin Lines Week 2

Week one didn’t go bad, but it didn’t go all that well either. I went a less than impressive (2-3-1), while By kept it mediocre with a 2-2 start. Now that we’ve seen a whole week of football action, we are experts and shouldn’t miss another pick for the rest of the year, right!?! I’m still shocked that By called that Texans game. I actually could see the Colts winning the next nine games without anyone noticing. I don’t buy TMQ’s argument that this is Armageddon because the Texans won, but do agree it would be hilarious if Houston ended up playing in the Super Bowl in Jerry Jones billion dollar stadium. Anyways, this should be another fun week, and I’m excited to win the money back that I lost in week one, so here are our picks for week 2!

What a roller coaster opening week for me.  I hit the ground running like a Chris Johnson breakaway, after my prediction of the Texans upsetting the Colts came true.  I began imagining myself hoisting up the “I Told You So” trophy after that one.  Unfortunately that image shattered immediately, as the Houston/Indy game didn’t equate to the biggest upset of the day.  The biggest upset of the day went to me.  Because I was so damn upset at my 49ers!  What a waste of one and a half hours of a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  As you can guess, I stopped watching midway through.  Anyway, to brighten up my mediocre week, let me just say, “How about ‘dem Cowboys, huh!?” I wanted to stay away from the Jets/Ravens game, but ultimately couldn’t resist.  I originally wanted to take KC over SD, but couldn’t pull the trigger on another significant upset.  Lesson learned, always go with the gut.  But like Chappy said, we learned everything I needed to know about all the teams after the first week, and ala Vernon Davis, I predict we win on all of our picks the rest of the way! Continue reading


Doin Lines Week 17

I made it through my first published season here on Doin Work (minus one week when I was gone). I have to say that I’m pretty happy with the results considering I made myself pick a few here and there just because I knew they’d be on TV and interesting. I found that when I was a more avid gambler, I never really won or lost much, which probably wasn’t a bad thing! This season pretty much reflected that. I went (3-2-1) last week bringing my season record to (45-42-3). Unless this week goes terribly wrong, I should end the regular season above .500. I’m extra scared of this last week of the season, because you never know which playoff teams will rest guys. It’s almost like betting on pre-season games… Obviously the teams that need to win to get in are full throttle, but the teams that are already in and have a limited need to win this week are kind of scary. Kind of like wondering what the new year will bring tomorrow scary. As always the home teams are in bold.

Buffalo (+8) Over Indianapolis

Will Peyton pout on the sideline this week too?

Will Peyton be pouting on the sideline again this week?

With headliners at the franchise quarterback spot, we have a hall of fame duo of Fitzpatrick versus Painter. If you aren’t already extra excited about this one, you might be the type of person that needs to cancel their Antiques Roadshow on the DVR, so you can re-watch this epic battle over and over for weeks to come. I forsee this being a battle for which QB can keep his rating over 50! I know that the Bills have locked up last place in the AFC East, and the Colts have locked up the 1st seed in all of the AFC which might make some think it’s a meaningless game. I guess I’ll agree, but it DOES look like a good game to bet on. The Colts laid down for the Jets last week with a pissed off Peyton strolling the sidelines, so I think the Bills can cover this one. Speaking of the Jets, if they make it in the playoffs, they are the luckiest potential playoff team out there. They play the best team in the league (Colts), who rest guys, and then another playoff team (Bengals), that will likely rest up for their first round match up. Talk about a cake walk schedule at the end of the year against playoff teams! The Bills will be playing all their starters, and whether they play good or not it shouldn’t matter too much since they should easily beat the Colts 2nd team.

Texans (-8) Over New England

The Texans have a shot at making the playoffs for the first time in their franchise history (8 years). I figure they are going to give it everything they have, and pull out victory. They’ve been playing very well as of late, and have given themselves an opportunity to make some history for themselves. Andre Johnson has been nothing short of unstoppable, and pulling in over 450+ yards in the last three games has him atop the league leader board in receiving yards. The Patriots on the other hand, will be a guessing game on what Bellichick will do. He’s been very evasive on what his plan is with his players and their playing time. My guess is he doesn’t  play his starters for that long, and that would mean the Texans could put up huge points on a very weak 2nd defensive unit from New England. I see the Pats going into pre-season mode. If they rest Brady, Moss, and Welker for most of the game, this one shouldn’t be all that close as the Texans run the score up in their home finale.

San Francisco (-7) Over St. Louis

There is no game on the slate I feel more comfortable picking. The Niners desperately want to end the season 8-8. They had a few unlucky breaks this season that kept them from being within reach of a playoff spot, but Singletary won’t let them lay down for the final game of the year. He’s instilled a strong sense of pride, that this organization was lacking since Mariucci left. The Rams desperately want to lock up the #1 overall pick. Tanking this game would give them just that. It’s hard to pick the Rams in any situation, but here it would be plain ridiculous as they seemed to have taken the last seven weeks off after nabbing their sole win of the season. The only buzz in St. Louis is: What’s up with Holliday? Did the Cards sign him yet? The 49ers do have a lot of weapons aside from Frank Gore now. Crabtree and Davis are good complements to Gore, and have shown that they can efficiently work within the passing game. Problem for them is Alex Smith isn’t the answer at QB. I think even if they still only had Gore and Patrick Willis, they could cover the spread without breaking a sweat. Mark this as a lock on your gambling slate!

Chicago (-3) Detroit

Speaking of not messing with draft pick chances, why wouldn’t the Lions lay down for one more game to secure the #2 pick in next years’ draft? I tried to answer this question, and figured that since there isn’t one reasonable answer, this has to be a safe pick. The Bears pretty much sucked for most of the year, whether it was Cutler, injuries, or bad coaching they looked like cubs not bears more often than not. Cutler has a chance to hit 30 interceptions for the season if he can throw four this week, but I think they’ll end this year on a high note as much as I don’t want to see it. A two game winning streak might give them a little confidence going into next year. I’ve tried to look at any possible bright side for them to this season, and there aren’t many. Last week, when they looked pretty good against the Vikings most likely was, their brightest moment of the year. It also gave me hope that the Vikings could get knocked out of the playoffs sooner than later, and end all of the Favre talks for a few months, until he decides if he wants to keep playing! I could never see Detroit beating the Vikes, so the Bears must be halfway decent. This is my 2nd favorite pick of the week!

Oakland (+10.5) Over Baltimore

The Charlie Frye era in Oakland hasn’t been anything to write home about. I hope this era will mercifully end at the conclusion of this season. He played bad last week including 3 interceptions against a pretty bad Cleveland Browns team, but the Raiders play surprisingly better at home, and keep it close. Last season they ended Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes with an upset victory that had people hoping that Jamarcus had finally taken the next step. Sadly Raider Nation was given some false hope, and he regressed into oblivion. Frye did have a bright spot last week as he threw for 333 yards. If he can keep from throwing picks in the redzone, they should at least cover the spread. Hopefully they’ll come back with a heavy dose of Michael Bush, since he looks like their best running back. Baltimore’s playoff hopes hinge on a few things happening, but they need this win to get in. I think they might be watching what is happening in the other games more than the one they are in, and get upset. I’m not sure why, but I just don’t see why everybody likes Flacco so much. He’s more hot and cold than a bi-polar Texan without his gun. There’s always at least one WTF kind of upset game each week, and I’m predicting it will be this one!

Tennessee (-4.5) Over Seattle

The Titans played really bad against SD, or it could be that the Chargers ARE that good. I’m thinking that was the case, so there’s no reason not to pick them this week. I’m sure they’d love to end the year at 8-8 giving them plenty of hope for next season in the rejuvenated Vince Young era. Not relying on old man Collins to lead the way can only do wonders for this team. I see Chris Johnson getting his 128 rushing yards this week to get to 2,000 rushing yards on the season. I’m betting he will break a couple 50+ yard runs, that is unless, the endzone is too close when he breaks them! The Seahawks are a team that regresses each week, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that they’ll get blown out. Forsett still isn’t getting enough touches! When will this change? I guess not for this season, since they’ve all but mailed it in. Watching them play it’s amazing that they’ve even won 5 games this year. Julius Jones is not as good a play maker as Justin Forsett, get it right over there Jim Mora Jr.

Philadelphia (+3) Over Dallas

I’m not sure why, but lately I’ve become somewhat of an Eagles fan. Maybe it’s because they are on Fox every week or it might have something to do with one of my favorite college players (Desean Jackson) coming into his own in Philly. He’s been making a huge difference every time he gets the ball. Mcnabb looks like he’s moving into the been there done that mode, which he has, and has to be pretty comfortable playing that role by now. He also looks like he loves his latest crop of offensive weapons that he’s been given. Celek has even been making huge strides, and even though Mcnabb couldn’t quite make good on his promise of getting him into the pro bowl, Celek still had a great season either way. I keep waiting for Dallas to fall apart at the hinges, but it keeps not happening! It’s that empty feeling of hoping that your getting something for Xmas, but in the end you don’t get it. That’s how I feel every time I watch the Cowboys hoping for a loss. Maybe it’s more rooting for Romo to fail. Maybe it’s disliking Jerry Jones. It’s just fun to them fail I guess. I’m sure both these teams will be playing everybody, so if they happen to meet in the playoffs they will have home field over the other team. Let’s hope Romo fumbles another field goal attempt!


Thanksgiving Games of the Day

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions, 9:30am PST

Sentiment for dropping the Lions from the annual Thursday docket has reached an all-time high this year, but personally, I think the Lions are a Thanksgiving Day tradition. They are the tryptophan to my NFL turkey. It’s just too bad they always play the FIRST game. At any rate, today’s game should be somewhat interesting, as Matthew Stafford will take to a national stage against a division rival. Today we’ll see if the Lions are headed in the right direction, or simply mired in another aimless so-called rebuilding phase. If only they had Mel Gray!

Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys, 1:15pm PST

Many are predicting this game to be an equally bad trouncing as the first game. However, the Raiders placed a little bit of hope in NFL fans’ minds with last weekend’s upset over the Bengals. Oakland is out to prove they are a new team with Bruce Gradkowski at the helm. Meanwhile, Dallas is out to prove, yet again, that they are a legitimate contender this season. Either way, today we’ll find out exactly who these two teams are.

New York Giants @ Denver Broncos, 5:20pm PST

About a month ago, it looked like we’d have a rare big game on Thanksgiving Day. Thanks to the Broncos, losers of four straight, this is no longer true. Instead, the Giants and Broncos will play with a large part of their season on the line. The winner will remain in the playoff hunt, while the loser, presumably Denver, will suffer a devastating loss that would likely kill any hopes for momentum down the stretch run of the season.

Orlando Magic @ Atlanta Hawks, 5pm PST

Atlanta owns the best record in the East, thanks to the spectacular play of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Jamal Crawford. Orlando has had an equally impressive start while adjusting to the reinsertion of Rashard Lewis into the lineup. Three of the five best teams in the East reside in this Southeast Division, so tonight’s game will be a key step forward for the winner of this game in controlling the division – for the time being.

Chicago Bulls @ Utah Jazz, 7:30pm PST

Chicago and Utah are two teams sort of teetering on the balance between good teams and contenders. They both feature superstar point guards in Derrick Rose and Deron Williams, along with rising stars down low in Joakim Noah and Paul Millsap. With the Bulls sitting at 6-7 and the Jazz an even .500 at 7-7, both teams will be fighting hard to pull this win out and stay above the .500 mark.

Portland University @ UCLA, 7:30pm PST

There’s plenty of college hoops action today, but given our West Coast bias, this is the game of the day. Portland has become an unlikely threat to challenge Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference. On the other side, UCLA is unranked, due in part to a season opening loss to Cal State Fullerton. They rebounded with wins over Cal State Bakersfield and Pepperdine. Tonight will be UCLA’s final tuneup before a showdown with #1 Kansas two Sundays from now.


Doin Lines Week 4

Chalk LinesThis season has been great so far! I had a good Sunday last week going 5-1, and my sole misstep was betting on my own team. I guess my new rule should be to never bet on JaMarcus especially at home, where the crowd might be more hostile than any away game as seen on this youtube clip after the Denver game! My season record is now 14-4 from my picks last week, and my high confidence picks from the first two weeks. It’s scary how confident I feel picking games right now, I think I might be in for a big let down soon. Not like .500 let down, we’re talking Brad Lidge meltdown, but hopefully that won’t be next week! Since the bye weeks are starting up, I only really like five of the games on the board, so without further ado, here are my LOCKS of the week. Once again the home teams are in bold.

Detroit (+10) Over Chicago

Calvin Johnson Megatron

I can’t really believe that I’m going to pick the Lions two weeks in a row, but when you get ten points for a team playing against a team that only shows up half the time, I’ll take those points. For some reason I think if Detroit tries hard in any game for the rest of this season it will be this one. If you win your first game out of the last 20, wouldn’t you be fired up to do it again? I’m pretty sure I would, especially going against a long time rival. I don’t see them winning on the road, but I look for them to put up a good fight to cover two scores.

On the Chicago side, it seems like even though they injected some insulin into their offense they still don’t seem to be clicking. Sure they beat Seattle, but it was lucky at the end of the game on some blown coverage. If a suspect Seahawks team can hang around with them, so can the Lions.

Indianapolis (-10) Over Seattle

Peyton Manning funny Speaking of those Seahawks, they get to play against the princess of the NFL, Peyton Manning. In any betting format can anyone really talk themselves into taking Seneca Wallace over Manning on the road? Didn’t think so. Who cares if Freeney is out this game, Seneca probably couldn’t even start for the Browns. Seattle has six starters missing from the lineup including their QB. When you already have your 8th starting lineman in the lineup it’s not a good sign for Seattle’s offensive continuity. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 74% of their passes against the Seattle D, and although they get Lofa Tatupu back, I think Peyton should have this one finished off by halftime. Look for Joseph Addai and Donald Brown killing some clock in the second half. Like Fabulous says “Put it in the bag”.

Buffalo (-1.5) Over Miami

Pennington’s absence is obviously going to hurt the Dolphins. They can only run the wildcat so many times before they need to throw the ball, at least a little. For some reason I can’t see Chad Henne having the same type of success as Mark Sanchez or even Matthew Stafford has had in their young careers. Hell, he could barely manage Michigan’s offense. With Porter, their defensive leader, still questionable for the game I have to go with the Bills.

Are you ready for BEAST MODE!?!

Are you ready for BEAST MODE!?!

It’s really hard to be confident in the Bills offense, as they somehow got shut down by a Saints team that seems to give up a lot of points even if it happens to be garbage time. TO didn’t record one catch last week, which was the first time in 185 games. I’m sure this news is as relevant as his show is, but they do need to find ways to get him and Lee Evans the ball. They will get a huge boost as Marshawn Lynch is coming back fresh off his suspension.

San Francisco (-9.5) Over St. Louis

Last weekend was a heart breaker for the 49ers as they were the better team through much of the game. Despite losing Gore they proved that Singletary has turned them into a full on team – that doesn’t quit. They seemed to receive contributions from everyone. Now that they’re in the confines of their own home, I see them dominating a weak St. Louis team.

The Lambs are racking up injuries and losses like they’re going out of style. They have dropped 13 straight which is making me a believer that they could be this year’s Lions. The lambs must be scared that there are wolves in the end zone, because they’re averaging a league low 8.0 points per game. Kyle Boller is supposed to start this weekend, so it looks like he’ll be Patrick Willis’s lamb chop.

Green Bay (+3.5) Over Minnesota

I have as much confidence in this pick as I believe Jordan can make a comeback at 50, but only picking four games is weak! I know we’ve all heard that this isn’t personal for Favre, and that he’s not taking it as anything more than a game. Screw what he says, I think it will be more emotional than he anticipates, and in a spiteful rage he’s going to force some throws maybe getting a little too greedy. This is a very bad idea against a ball hawking defense like the Packers. Their D already has 7 picks on the season, and I see Favre forcing one at some point for a pick 6. The Minnesota defense is currently ranked 4th in the league, but their first two weeks were against the Browns and the Lions (not exactly powerhouse offenses). Although the Packers lost to the Bengals, and haven’t showed much consistency this year, I feel like they are due for a all around well played game. I think Rodgers will benefit from overload of media surrounding Favre, so hopefully we’ll see relaxed Rodgers out there. Plus, in the wishy washy state I’m in with this game I’ll take the points, because many of these divisional battles come down to a last second field goal.


Doin Lines Week 3

50 yard line moneyAnother week down in the NFL season, and I have little to show for it. This week didn’t even start off promising like last week did as I went 7-9 vs. the spread, and now am 15-17 on the year. I think there’s a chance I could be entering a Lamar Odom type state as he slowly realizes he’s tying the knot with Khloe. Whatever state of self doubt it is, I may have to reconsider continuing to post these picks publicly throughout the rest of the season. On a brighter note, I once again did good in my confidence games, and am now 9-3 on the season with picks that had a confidence rating of 4 or 5 on! This gives me hope, and has made me realize that I shouldn’t be picking every game out there. I have reconsidered, and will go a different route. Say goodbye to confidence ratings, and get ready for the six LOCKS of the week. I’m guessing there’s as good a chance I’ll have a few $$ on these games come Sunday.

San Francisco (+7) Over Minnesota

Patrick Willis Adrian Peterson 49ers Vikings

Cmon AP, I just want to give you a hug!

I like taking the points here. Minnesota has looked really good this season, but on the other hand who have they played? Cleveland and Detroit to jog your memory. This will be their first real test against what I deem a good team, and most likely the only team that’s remotely worth preparing for in the NFC West. The 49ers had a win against last year’s Super Bowl loser, and I thought they showed a lot winning that game on the road. I think they’ll do just fine in Minnesota, keeping it within a touchdown. I have a feeling that Patrick Willis will be spelling Peterson all day long, which could be fun to watch. Same goes for the other featured back (Gore) in his quest for a resurrection year!

New York Jets (-2.5) Over Tennessee

I’m not sure if the Jets are “Super Bowl” good as many media outlets seem to claim on the east coast, but their defense “the Rexecutioners” has shown that they are going to be tough to score on. I didn’t think I’d pick the Jeff Fischer lead Titans to go 0-3 on the season, but in a very hostile and fired up crowd, it’s going to be tough to convince me to bet otherwise. Although Tennessee has a great running game, I think they can be tamed the way the Jets did with Steve Slaton was in Week 1. The Titans are also in the midst of a four game losing streak dating back to last season. Mark Sanchez has impressed everyone so far, and put to rest Pete Carroll’s doubts about him being ready enough to enter the draft. I guess we now know why he wanted Sanchez to stay so bad, because USC doesn’t seem to trust anyone they have to be in there!

Detroit (+6.5) Over Washington

I don't think the coyote e-mailed Jessica with any tips...

Whoa settle down! I didn’t pick Detroit to win or anything, I just picked them to cover! This game has the same excitement level as Jessica Simpson losing her dog to a coyote. Washington went against St. Louis last weekend, and pulled out two point victory. I couldn’t believe they weren’t blowing out the Rams. The Rams are dysfunctional at best, and just showed that Washington has no identity and no offense. I think Detroit will put up a good fight at home to try and put an end to their losing streak. I don’t think they will, but I see this one being close enough to take the points.

New York Giants (-6.5) Over Tampa Bay

I’ve never given Eli much credit even though he’s won a Super Bowl, and going into this season I still viewed him as mediocre. This season everyone was to saying how he’s going to have a bad season, because he has no recievers. I’ve been very impressed with how well Manningham and Smith have played for him. If you look at it more closely is it really the recievers or is Eli really that good? As for the Buccaneers, they are the worst they’ve been since before the Tony Dungy era.  They are in the midst of a six game losing streak dating back to last year. I don’t see the bleeding stopping this weekend, and forsee TV blackouts for Bucs fans in the near future!

Chicago (-2.5) Over Seattle

Jay Cutler Bears hit

Cutler getting the insulin knocked out of him.

Seeing this line raise a point over the last day and a half has me convinced that the Bears are the right pick. With Hasselbeck hurting his ribs for a second straight season, I have a hard time picking them especially after getting pounded by San Francisco last weekend. The Seahawks just aren’t a good team, and I don’t see how changing to the Jim Mora Jr. Era will make things better. It seems like Cutler is getting some fluidity with his receivers as he showed the Bears faithful the kind of a Pro Bowl QB they traded for pulling out a win from the defending champs last week!

Oakland (+1.5) Over Denver

I don’t really like picking this game, because I’m not a fan of betting on my own team and jinxing them. Seriously though, how can I curse the Raiders any more than they already are. They already lost a game to the catch or no catch rule that was analyzed by David Flemming as a catch when other catches this season weren’t ruled incomplete. The Broncos got lucky against the Bengals in week 1, and followed that up with a strong performance at home against Cleveland. I think on the road it’ll be another nail biter. The Raiders looked good in their first game and lost, looked bad in their second game and won. I don’t know what to expect from their offense, but I have a feeling that their recievers that torched them last year, won’t have that same success this time around!


Doin Lines Week 2

Chalk Lines FootballOne week of the NFL season is in the books, and I could have sworn going into Monday Nights games with an 8-6 record vs. the spread I would come out with a winning week. Low and behold neither were blowouts, and I’m 8-8. I’ve always believed that the NFL is nearly impossible to win bets on a consistent basis. I guess it’s that way for pretty much any other sport too, unless you count the NBA in a Donaghy officiated game. As our blog mate (cali4dre) eloquently put on his post “Even the biggest underdog can rise up and play inspired football on any given week”. I felt good come out of the week going 5-2 on my confidence picks of 4 or 5. I’m glad to see the NFL back, and hopefully this is a good season! Anyways, here are my picks for week 2. It’s the same rules from last week as I will pick the winner, the home teams are in CAPS, and I will also give a confidence rating from 1-5 on how I feel about the pick.

Oakland (+3) Over KANSAS CITY

4, we live blogged the Raiders Monday Night game, and as a fan of the Raiders I have to say I was extremely satisfied with their efforts.Jamarcus Russell over throw There were so many question marks coming into the game, and unlike last year they showed up! Jamarcus will need to get past the, I hope this pass goes close to that wide open receiver, phase if they are going to ever get better. Kansas City played Baltimore tough, but if McGahee ran all over them, and I think McFadden and Bush will surely break off some big runs. Hopefully this can give Russell fewer opportunities to make mistakes aka wild throws. Oakland won in KC Week 2 last year, so I’m taking the points!

TENNESSEE Over (-6.5) Houston

2, this is a tough one for me, as I have a very hard time believing in Kerry Collins. I remember watching the post game interview after they lost Thursday, and he looked more dazed that Chong. He continually kept saying uhhh over and over in the interview. Pretty classic Collins. On the same notion I’ve always liked Jeff Fischer. Houston was disappointing at home against the Jets, and their offense will probably struggle more as they face a defense that brings even more pressure than New York. I’ll take my chances with the Titans at home!

New England (-3.5) Over NEW YORK JETS

5, Brady looked really rusty in the first half, but found a way to shake it off. I think this might be the game he breaks out in putting up the numbers that made him an MVP. Even last week in true lame Patriot form the ball rolled their way with a fumble, and all of a sudden they turned into 2007 Patriot mode. Is there any luckier franchise over the last decade getting those breaks?

The Jets, Mark Sanchez, looked very good in his debut. It had to have helped that Thomas Jones had a big day on the ground keeping some of that rookie QB pressure off Sanchez’s shoulders.Mark Sanchez Mexican Flag Mouthpiece I think Sanchez is going to need more than a running game and his Mexican Flag mouthpiece to take this one.

GREEN BAY Over (-9) Cincinnati

3, I don’t have much on this one, except I’m pretty confident that this will be won by the Packers in a major way at Lambeau Field. I’m always a believer that a team that is supposed to be a dynamic offense won’t struggle two weeks in a row, buy you can always count on the Bengals for the unexpected! If the Bengals can’t put up points against one of the worst defenses in the NFL (Denver) then how are they going to do against a pretty good looking defense? That’s what I thought…

Minnesota Over (-9.5) Over DETROIT

5, As much as I hate to take a road team at over two scores I have to do it. Detroit is the worst franchise in professional sports, and even a divisional rivalry game isn’t enough to sway me on this one.Adrian Peterson Stiff Arm The way the Saints marched all over the Lions should show signs that the Vikings should be doing the same. I would go back to the Monday Night games to re-think this one, but Detroit doesn’t have nearly enough talented players in this underdog story. On a side note, AP is on pace for 2,880 yards rushing with 48 TDs! I think he might even increase those projected numbers this weekend.

New Orleans (+1.5) Over PHILADELPHIA

3, With McNabb’s injury sounding like he’s probably going to be out, I’m forced to take New Orleans at this point in the week, even if it is in Philly. I actually think I might have picked the Saints either way with or without McNabb. The Saints weren’t all that consistent last year, but I think having a healthy roster is already making a difference.Drew Brees throwing And seriously if you had to pick between Kolb vs. Brees you have to put your money on Drew!

Carolina (+6.5) Over ATLANTA

2, I really don’t know what to expect with this one. Carolina played about as bad as you can last weekend, but they are a pretty good team. Atlanta on the other hand played okay, but showed some weak spots as they only had one drive longer than 50 yards. I think this one will be tight, so I’ll take the points.

WASHINGTON Over (-9.5) St. Louis

3, I was watching the Skins and Giants game when the Santanna Moss and Corey Webster scuffle broke out, and it made me smile. I think that was the moment I really felt like football was back! I can’t say I really liked the way the Redskins played, but they are going to play a terrible team in the Rams. The Rams seem to go backwards on offense, as they’ve racked up more penalties than the Raiders lately. Ten points is a lot to ask from the Redskins, especially since I think they might not take the Rams seriously enough, but in the end probably their second squad could probably cover ten…

JACKSONVILLE (-3) Over Arizona.

1, This game feels like a trap. I think Arizona might be pissed after their loss to SF, but do Jesus freaks like Kurt Warner even get pissed? I didn’t think so either, so I’ll have to take the Jaguars at home in this one. As you can see this is the first 1 confidence rating I’ve ever given, so to sum it up I really don’t care about this game.

SAN FRANCISCO (-1.5) Over Seattle

5, I really like this game. Seattle turned it over three times in the first quarter against the RAMS, with no consequence. They were at home, and failed to put up 50 which they could have against their horrendous D. I don’t think they can turn the ball over that much against anyone as good as the 49ers or a team at home. I’m not sold on everyone liking Seattle, because beating up the Rams is like giving up your spot in the drink line at the bar to a dude, it just doesn’t happen. I still wonder how much Crabtree could have helped SF out…

Tampa Bay (+4.5) Over BUFFALO

3, Can a team survive when their teammates house is being vandalized for losing the game? Can a team that blew a double digit lead on a short week come in fired up?Marshawn Lynch Stiff Arm My prognosis is, doubtful. They need a healthy Marshawn to soften up those coverages to get Evans and Owens some more looks. Tampa played decent against a good Cowboys squad. I think they could take this one from a flat Buffalo team. It’s my bold pick of the week.

DENVER (-3) Over Cleveland

2, This game has boring written all over it, and I don’t like to bet on bad teams. Even though the Broncos squeaked out a win, I feel like Josh McDaniels is coaching for his job already, and we’re only in week 2! I think he will deliver a win in their friendly confides of Mile High. Cleveland can’t even decide who they should have at QB as it took them until just before the season to pick between Anderson and Quinn. I almost thought they were going to change at the end of their game last week.

SAN DIEGO (-3) Over Baltimore

2, Not that I thought SD looked good last weekend against the Raiders. They seemed to sleep walk the same way the Patriots did through most of their game.Philip Rivers Crying pissed I think their home opener will be a win especially with the Ravens not taking it to Kansas City more. With Rivers temper is hotter than Derrick Jeter’s press coverage in New York, I hope we see Ray Lewis get into his head in this one!

Pittsburgh (-3) Over CHICAGO

1, Giving Da Bears three points in a home game. If there’s one thing we saw in their game against the Packers is that they still have a good defense. Another thing we saw was that Cutler might be missing something, like his receivers! One plus is Cutler won’t be having to scan the field with Polomalu roaming. I wouldn’t pick this game if I didn’t have to!

New York Giants (+3) Over DALLAS

3, New York wasn’t flashy last weekend, but they did show they could be very efficient. Their defense looks great with Osi in there again. I didn’t see any of Dallas and Tampa game, so that’s all I’ll say…

Indianapolis (-3) Over MIAMI

4, I don’t mind that Indy’s not the home team. They usually don’t let bettors down two weeks in a row. They will correct those drive ending problems they ran into last week, and put Flipper into submission. Has anyone else noticed there aren’t as many Peyton Manning commercials lately? I’m so happy that the networks got the hint! I mean he had a couple good ones, but how much does anyone want to see his face that much.


Can the NFL Survive a Blow From the Recession?

Roy Williams Cowboys

I wrote my plea for the NFL to change the Blackout rule, because it’s robbing the fans of seeing the home teams play, and further detaches the fair weather fans and people that happen to move to a new area that features a franchise. The NFL is holding it’s cards close as they insist they aren’t in bad shape financially, and are recession proof. A report from Forbes came out today that showed the NFL was telling a half truth, as they are okay, but the future is fairly uncertain. Their $1 billion in equity plus debt average among the teams has not changed. The bad part of the report was that eight franchises declined in value for the first time in 10 years! Not surprisingly my Raiders were the worst on the list decreasing 7% from last season, and as of now the Lions are even worth more than them. There were good playoff teams on the list that declined as well including the Colts(-5%), Dolphins(-3%), and Falcons (-2%). The factors that the findings were derived from were; the decline in people who could afford to purchase or invest a franchise, lowered revenues and lower revenue expectations, and the tightened credit markets.

The all powerful NFL isn’t too worried that a quarter of their franchises that have dropped in value as they get huge revenues in the $7 ½ billion range for all their assets. Their TV deals with ESPN, NBC, CBS, FOX, and Sunday Ticket on DirecTV alone give teams a whopping $116 million per year. Facing obvious challenges in the near future the NFL extended their TV contracts recently for two more years through 2013. The drawback to the agreement was that there was a very low 2% increase per season. The real problem for the NFL looks to be the new collective bargaining agreement that was supposed to go through 2012, but the owners voted unanimously to opt out at the conclusion of the 2010 season. Many owners have complained that they’ve had to spend over half their revenues to pay the players, and when there are jackass’s like Michael Crabtree out there squabbling over his contract it all becomes clear why their gripes are justified. Who knows by the time Crabtree gets a contract there could be a lockout, one more bad reason for players to holdout. I still can’t fathom how players are worth millions before they take one snap as a pro. Next year for the first time since 1993, the NFL will play without a salary cap.funny money This sounds like an instant lockout by the owners, if this is allowed to happen. I doubt too many owners will be thrilled to compete for players against teams that turn the most profit like the Redskins ($90 million), Patriots ($70 million), and Buccaneers ($68 million). I guess Tampa might fall off this list as they are due to be one of the teams this season that could not sell a home game out, and fall under the retarded blackout rule. They once had a 100,000 person waiting list to get season tickets, but those days are long gone as they hope to fill up the stadium for eight weeks out of the year.

We will see what happens, but you can bet that the NFL isn’t ready for what is coming. I have a feeling that they are under estimating their worst case scenario, and shouldn’t be telling the public that everything is all good and happy times. Goodell is good at doing the PR through as his sleazy car salesman act has fooled me from time to time. I hope it doesn’t stoop to the NBA’s depths, which I wrote about a couple months back. If teams are close to bankruptcy, and are having to borrow money I’ll be the first to say I told you so. I know with the recession comes cutbacks by everyone feeling the wrath of the mighty economy, and that translates to a lot more empty seats, which keeps snowballing as a lot less concessions are being bought. I’m sure that in these unforgiving times less people are willing to pony up the money for that ridiculous DirecTV Sunday Ticket package. If people can’t afford tickets, then we can’t even watch our favorite teams on TV from the blackouts. Looks like we’ll have to suffer as we watch the Giants, Jets, Patriots, Redskins, and Cowboys during our blacked out games. I’m already depressed thinking about having to watch Romo and Eli more than they were regularly scheduled!