Monday, December 29, 2008

NFL-Examing My Preseason Prognostication

The NFL Regular Season has ended, and that means I need to re-examine my Preseason Picks. I have a feeling I'll be in for some terrible discoveries, but who knows. Perhaps I did well. Nah...who am I kidding?? My pre-season picks actually weren't bad, outdoing my week-to-week picks. The record was 152-102-1, compared to my week-to-week 147-107-1. Anyway, let's just get into it.

Miami (11-5, projected 7-9, 3rd in East) I predicted a 6 game improvement in Tony Sparano's first season in Miami, and, I'd probably do it about the same way again. There was no way to tell that Chad Pennington would have such a good season or that the Wildcat would become a game breaker for the playoff bound Dolphins. Congrats on a great season.

New England (11-5, 12-4, 1st) If I could have foretold that Tom Brady would go down 7 minutes into the season, I never would have thought they'd go 11-5, let alone 12-4. As is, Matt Cassel had a great season, and it's a shame they won't have a chance to go to the playoffs because I think they are one of the three most impressive teams of the second half of the season.

New York Jets (9-7, 9-7, 2nd) I knew the Jets would improve with Brett Favre at the helm, and after they knocked off the Titans, I thought I underestimated them. Turns out I was just right. Favre reverted to pre-2007 form, and the Jets defense fell to pieces.

Buffalo Bills (7-9, 4-12, 4th) The Bills got off to a rapid start, making me look like a complete fool. Then, just as quickly, they turned into the big joke I thought they would be. Some changes should be in store for the boys of Orchard Park.

Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4, 9-7, 1st) I knew they'd win the North, but it would seem I vastly underestimated the North. Pittsburgh ended up 3 games better than I expected by winning the games they were supposed to all season.

Baltimore Ravens (11-5, 4-12, 3rd) One of my biggest misses of the season. At the beginning of the year, I felt like the Ravens defense was no longer the force it was in previous years. Turns out, I was very very wrong. The defense was dynamite, Joe Flacco was great, and the Ravens will be a team to be feared in the playoffs.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1, 2-14, 4th) I was looking right on the money until the Bengals "caught fire" and won their final 3 games. It may have been just enough for the idiotic Mike Brown to keep things the same and enter 2009 with another pathetic team built to lose.

Cleveland Browns (4-12, 8-8, 2nd) The Browns fooled a large group of people at the beginning of the season, including myself. I didn't forecast them to win the division like some did, but I still gave them 4 more wins than they would earn themselves. It's rebuilding time again in the Land of Cleve.

Tennessee Titans (13-3, 7-9, 4th) When the Titans finished last season, I saw Vince Young as a quarterback who just wasn't getting it, and the Titans as an overachieving bunch that would drop back to earth in 2008. What I didn't see was Chris Johnson rushing for over 1,000 yards as a rookie, LenDale White being a scoring machine and Kerry Collins leading the Titans to the number one seed in the playoffs. I'm still not a believer though. As well as the Titans have played this season, I think they hit their prime too early and won't be able to beat the Colts, Ravens, or Steelers, all of which should make the Divisional Round.

Indianapolis Colts (12-4, 11-5, 2nd) I was close in terms of final record, but I never would have predicted the way it was done. After fumbling out to a 3-4 start, a finally healthy Peyton Manning put his team on his back, and the team that has won 9 straight has suddenly become very dangerous now that the playoffs have arrived.

Houston Texans (8-8, 9-7, 3rd) Well, I felt like this would be the year the Texans became relevant, and, had Matt Schaub stayed healthy all season, I probably would've been right. Some poor late game play on the part of Sage Rosenfels, highlighted by his fumble and interception leading to a 21-point turnaround with under 5 minutes remaining in a 4 point loss to Indy moved Houston to 8-8 instead of the winning record they deserved. Watch out, though. Schaub showed some real potential, Andre Johnson is a Pro Bowl receiver and Steve Slaton had a heck of a rookie year.

Jacksonville Jaguars (12-4, 5-11, 1st) I've been duped. And so was nearly every other sports prognosticator, including my esteemed colleague Matt Barnes. The efficiency of David Garrard and the running of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew foretold great things to come. Unfortunately, the Jags' line fell apart, the running backs stalled, and Garrard became not-so-efficient. This ranks with the Ravens as one of my worst calls of the year, especially because I predicted them to make the Final Four of the NFL season.

San Diego Chargers (15-1, 8-8, 1st) To predict a team to go 15-1 was probably a bad idea, especially because it's a Norv Turner coached team. They were 7 games worse than I predicted, LT was a shell of his former self basically until Week 17 against Denver, and last year's phenomenon cornerback Antonio Cromartie had an historically bad season. Super Bowl Champs still qualified for the Super Bowl Tournament, so not all is lost. Can they really knock off anyone else in the field, let alone Indy in the Wild Card round?? Doubtful.

Denver Broncos (8-8, 10-6, 2nd) I thought Jay Cutler would continue his play of 2007 with an even better season in 2008, and, while he did break the Broncos' mark for passing yardage, he also threw 4 interceptions in the redzone, something he had never done before this season. All in all, the Denver D was a joke, and that was their downfall.

Oakland Raiders (6-10, 5-11, 3rd) I foresaw a great turnaround for the downtrodden Raiders in 2008..."great" being a relative term of course. With a late season surge that happened. Not how I thought though. I thought that Darren McFadden and Michael Bush would form a rushing tandem that could kill opposing defenses. That didn't exactly happen, but JaMarcus Russell seems to have actually developed some toward the end of the year. It will be interesting to see what 2009 holds for Da Raidas.

Kansas City Chiefs (2-14, 5-11, 4th) Well, I predicted the 1-4 finish of the AFC's Western Division, but it would seem I didn't guess any of the records correctly. Oh well. Larry Johnson was even worse than I assumed he would be, and the Chiefs struggled all season to even compete. Tyler Thigpen did an admirable job at quarterback, but I don't see great things in the near future for the Chiefs.

New York Giants (12-4, 9-7, 4th) I was only 3 games off with the G-Men, but, that was last place in what I (and everyone else) assumed would be a completely stacked NFC East. The defending Super Bowl Champs really got things done in the 2007 post-season with a ferocious defensive line. I knew Justin Tuck would be a force, but with Michael Strahan retiring and Osi Umenyiora getting a season-ending injury, I didn't think New York could repeat. Turns out, the d-line is just as good as ever, and the Earth, Wind, and Fire running game was fantastic. They'll be tough to beat.

Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1, 11-5, 2nd) I foresaw great things from the Eagles this season, and they looked like a huge disappointment in a tie with the Bengals and a dismantling at the hands of the Ravens. They put things together, though, after Donovan McNabb got done being benched and Brian Westbrook got back on the field, and they ended up almost as good as I predicted. Anybody want to play this team right now?? I doubt it.

Dallas Cowboys (11-5, 9-7, 1st) They're only two games worse than my prediction, but those two games make this one of the most disappointing teams of 2008, along with the Jags. This team is in need of a total revamp because what they're doing right now just isn't working. Also, how long do we give Tony Romo before we can actually label him as a failure in big games??

Washington Redskins (10-6, 8-8, 3rd) Jason Campbell really impressed me last season, and I felt that he, Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley would wreak havoc on opposing teams in 2008. That happened as they started 6-2, but in losing 6 of the last 8, they showed who they really were, a .500 team.

Minnesota Vikings (10-6, 11-5, 1st) I hated picking them to finish first in the North to start the year, I hated picking them to play in the Super Bowl, and I hate them in general. But...the Vikings won 7-of-9 to finish the season and wrapped up the NFC North title. This team needs two things before it will actually challenge for a championship...a competent quarterback (Hello?? Is this Matt Cassel?? Would you like to play with Adrian Peterson??), and Adrian Peterson to stop fumbling the football. 10 fumbles in one season?? An MVP doesn't do that.

Chicago Bears (9-7, 2-14, 4th) So, I'll take the credit. This was a terrible call on my part. As bad as Da Bears were last season only a year after being in the Super Bowl, could only get worse in my opinion. 2-14 worse?? That was pushing it. Kyle Orton actually played well, the Bears Defense got things back together, and this was a team that was in it until the very end.

Green Bay Packers (6-10, 10-6, 2nd) Being a Packers fan, this team was a huge heartbreak all season. This is all you need to know about the Pack in 2008...They lost 10 games...7 of those losses were by 4 or less points...6 of those 7 losses were lost either in the final 3 minutes of the game or in overtime. That's six games that the Packers couldn't close out. This is a talented team, but 3 things held them back. They couldn't close a game, they couldn't stop the run, and Aaron Rodgers, despite a fantastic season, had a penchant for game-clinching interceptions after the defense lost him the lead. Fix those three things and this team can compete with anyone.

Detroit Lions (0-16, 3-13, 3rd) Well, what can be said about the first 0-16?? Jon Kitna guaranteed 10 wins again this year, and I was smart enough not to believe it, but even I couldn't have foreseen an 0-16 campaign. Motown better hope the new coach can get some work done in 2009. Build around Kevin Smith and Calvin for everyone else...who cares??

Carolina Panthers (12-4, 10-6, 2nd) I predicted Jake Delhomme would make a triumphant return to the big stage and Jon Stewart would be a hoss in his first season in the NFL. Stewart was great, Delhomme was average. Fortunately for the Falcons, there was DeAngelo Williams. The second year man out of Memphis scored 18 touchdowns, and turned it up when the Panthers needed it most. If the rushing duo can keep up what they're currently doing, they may not be able to be stopped.

Atlanta Falcons (11-5, 7-9, 4th) In probably the best division in football top to bottom this season, I predicted they'd improve, just not the drastic way in which they did. My thinking was that Michael Turner would win them more games than they won last season, but I didn't foresee the development of Matt Ryan. This team is a blessing for Atlanta and embattled owner Arthur Blank. I wouldn't be surprised to see them stomp the Cardinals this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7, 9-7 3rd) There were only two teams I picked completely correct in terms of record, and both, coincidentally, went 9-7. The Bucs are another disappointment in 2008. After starting 9-3, they went 0-for-December for the second year in a row, and if Jon Gruden's job isn't on the line, it should be after not winning a playoff game since his Super Bowl Championship 7 years ago.

New Orleans Saints (8-8, 10-6, 1st) They were only 2 games worse than I predicted, yet went from first to last. It wasn't because of Drew Brees. The diminuitive passer came 15 yards short of Dan Marino's seaon passing record, recording over 5,000 yards through the air. The Saints couldn't come up with any running game, though, and their vertical pass defense was atrocious. Get a power rusher and some quick defensive backs, and this is a team to give a second look to.

Arizona Cardinals (9-7, 3-13, 3rd) Every year people say that the Cardinals are going to turn it around, and every year I fall for it. This season, though, I didn't, and wouldn't you know it, I was wrong. Kurt Warner had a renaissance, much-aided by the unbelievable Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. Give those two a real team, and they'd be about unbeatable. This team, on the other hand, packed it in already, and I'd be surprised if they win Sunday against Atlanta.

San Francisco 49ers (7-9, 2-14, 4th) This division just killed me. I couldn't really make an accurate prediction for any team. All I do know is that this team played hard for Mike Singletary, and I hope, for his sake, they continue to do that now that he has a five-year contract to his name.

Seattle Seahawks (4-12, 12-4, 1st) Statistically speaking, this was my biggest miss of the season. I thought, like almost every other season, this would be the only competitive team in the West. Turns out, they were terrible and gave Mike Holmgren a pretty pathetic swan song. The cupboard isn't bare, but I doubt they'll compete next season.

St. Louis Rams (2-14, 4-12, 2nd) It says a lot about what I thought about this division, considering I picked a 4-12 team to finish second. So, I was a little harsh. I wasn't far off on the Rams though. They have fallen hard since "The Greatest Show on Turf", and, while Steven Jackson is an incredible talent, he can't stay healthy long enough to get this team some wins.

Playoff Seeds
1. Tennessee-The Titans jumped out to an 11-0 start, then lost 3-of-5 to finish, though only one of those losses really had meaning. Injuries and fatigue seems to be getting to the Titans, and they had better hope both of those can be fixed with their upcoming two week break.

2. Pittsburgh-The Steelers have one of the most ferocious defenses in NFL history, and teams had better hope to be tough if they want to compete. Big Ben Roethlisberger, like his defense, is tough as nails, but the problem is that he has to prove it repeatedly because he has to get hit all the time. Hopefully he can recover from Sunday's concussion for their Divisional Round.

3. Miami-The Dolphins are one of the two biggest surprises in the NFL this season (along with the Falcons), and many will probably assume they'll fall to the Ravens in the Wild Card Round, because they're "just happy to be there". I, though, think the game will be more competitive than the 27-13 Ravens win in Miami earlier in the year.

4. San Diego-The Chargers have their work cut out for them, but they have picked the perfect time in the season to hit their prime. They're going to need it with Peyton's boys coming to San Diego for a rematch of Indy's 23-20 last second win a few weeks ago. A lot of this game will come down to the status of LT, who strained his groin late against Denver.

5. Indianapolis-Peyton Manning's knee injury was much more serious than anyone let on (Tiger Woods-esque are we??), and he didn't feel fully healthy until Week 8. So what has he done since he finally felt like himself again?? Won every single game.

6. Baltimore-When this is the 6th seed in the playoffs, you know it's a stacked field. I could see any of these six having a shot at the Super Bowl, and even with rookie Joe Flacco at the helm, I would rank Baltimore as the 3rd best shot, behind Indy and Pittsburgh. Flacco has developed nicely, and that defense, led by Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, has been outstanding.

1. New York-The Giants have the icy Meadowlands on their side, which should bode well, since the Eagles are the only other team in the field used to playing in the cold. The biggest thing for the G-Men, though, will be the health of Brandon Jacobs. If they lose their 265 pound running back, they lose a lot of their offensive swagger, even with Derrick Ward rushing for over 1,000 yards.

2. Carolina-Carolina hasn't been to the playoffs since their Super Bowl loss to the Pats, but their running game is built for postseason success. Another matchup between the Giants and Panthers could be something special.

3. Minnesota-The Vikes started off 3-4, but won 7-of-9 to go 10-6 and wrap up the NFC North. Tarvaris Jackson was benched, then reinstated, the Williamses were suspended then re-instated, then Pat Williams broke his scapula, Adrian Peterson looked like an MVP rusher but fumbled 10 times. What I'm trying to say is, this is an unpredictable team, and I have no idea what to expect from them.

4. Arizona-The Cards have "just happy to be here" written all over them, and I expect nothing out of them in the playoffs. Congrats to Boldin and Fitzgerald though for easily being the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL.

5. Atlanta-The Falcons are looking great, and Matt Ryan has passed everyone's expectations. If they want to advance in the playoffs, though, it's going to lie on the legs of Michael "The Burner" Turner.

6. Philadelphia-The Eagles were left for dead, and I think their rise to the playoffs has more to do with the return of Brian Westbrook than the awakening of Donovan McNabb. What it comes down to, though, is that this is a suddenly dangerous team playing with house money, and that's nothing to turn your nose up at.

Playoff Predictions
Wild Card
Indianapolis-38, San Diego-24
Baltimore-24, Miami-14
Atlanta-35, Arizona-17
Minnesota-28, Philadelphia-24
Baltimore-17, Tennessee-14
Indianapolis-21, Pittsburgh-20
New York-28, Minnesota-10
Carolina-35, Atlanta-28
Indianapolis-17, Baltimore-7
Carolina-23, New York-21
Super Bowl
Indianapolis-34, Carolina-24

It looks like my predictions for the year weren't fantastic, considering I guessed only one full division and 10 out of 32 teams correctly in terms of placement, including only 2 teams with the correct record. My playoff teams weren't good either. In the AFC, I was correct with San Diego, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, and in the NFC, Minnesota and Philadelphia. Let's hope my playoff predictions go a little better. It's been fun

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Week 17 Picks-It's All Over

Well, this is the last week of the regular season, and it's been a less than stellar season picking games here at Legends of Friday Night. Alas, we must finish the season. But...for my ATS picks, I did something a little different this week. I've given way to my assistant/girlfriend Kristi to do some celebrity picks this week. The only problem?? I somehow messed up my saved messages folder on Webmail so that it didn't save her email, and the King of Arguments only posted picks, not comments, so all I have for you is her picks, not her comments. Then, in straight up picks, I went a not so good 8-8 last week to bring my season record to 134-104-1. My pre-season picks record is now 145-93-1 after my first losing effort of the year, at 7-9. So, here are Kristi's against the spread picks, and my own straight up picks. Giddy Up!


St. Louis @ Atlanta (-15)
The Pick: St.Louis (ATS) Atlanta (Straight Up)

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (-10.5)
The Pick: Cleveland (ATS) Pittsburgh (Straight Up)

New England (-6.5) @ Buffalo
The Pick: New England

Kansas City @ Cincinnati (-3)
The Pick: Cincinnati

Detroit @ Green Bay (-9)
The Pick: Green Bay

Chicago (-1.5) @ Houston
The Pick: Houston (ATS) Chicago (Straight Up)

Tennessee (-3) @ Indianapolis
The Pick: Tennessee (ATS) Indianapolis (Straight Up)

New York Giants @ Minnesota (-6.5)
The Pick: New York Giants (ATS) Minnesota (Straight Up)

Carolina (-3) @ New Orleans
The Pick: Carolina

Oakland @ Tampa Bay (-13)
The Pick: Tampa Bay

Dallas @ Philadelphia (-1.5)
The Pick: Dallas

Jacksonville @ Baltimore (-12.5)
The Pick: Baltimore

Miami @ New York Jets (-2.5)
The Pick: Miami

Seattle @ Arizona (-6)
The Pick: Arizona

Washington @ San Francisco (-3)
The Pick: Washington (ATS) San Francisco (Straight Up)

Denver @ San Diego (-8.5)
The Pick: San Diego

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Week 16-NFL Picks...Do You Believe in Miracles??

Last week, I took to mindlessly picking games, and it worked!! I went 13-3 against the spread and 10-6 overall. So, we'll keep it going. Here's this week's way of picking the games. I'm going to compare this year's records of the competing coaches' alma maters. Best record wins. Also, to make up for quality of competition, one win will turn into a loss for FCS teams, and for D-2 and below, it will be two wins. If the straight up winner and ATS winner can be different teams, I'll take the longest tenured player on each team, and look at their alma maters. Whoever's alma mater has existed the longest will win the game. So, even if you think I’m nuts, you’ll at least learn something…whether it be where certain coaches are from, who the oldest guys on teams are, or how long certain universities have been around. In terms of straight up picks, I'm now 126-96-1 on the year, and my preseason picks are 12 games better, 138-84-1. I need to go 39-4 and 26-16 the rest of the way to beat last year's record. Here goes!! Giddy up!!


Indianapolis (-6) @ Jacksonville
The Pick: Indianapolis
Starting off, I didn't decide to do this until after this pick was due, so I just went with Indy. Let's see how it would have worked out. Tony Dungy was a star at Minnesota which was a much-improved 7-5 this year, but the Jags' Jack Del Rio went to USC, which is 11-1. Under that, I should have picked the Jags. Great start to the week.


Baltimore @ Dallas (-4.5)
The Pick: Dallas
Baltimore's John Harbaugh starred at Miami of Ohio, where the woeful Redhawks went 2-10. Wade "Don't care what goes on, as long as I get paid" Phillips, meanwhile, played at Houston, which is 7-5 at the time. The Cowboys take the hard fought match-up of playoff hopefuls.


Cincinnati @ Cleveland (-3)
The Pick: Cleveland
Most people probably don't know that "Soon to be Starvin" Marvin Lewis was a Bengal long before taking residence in Cincinnati. Marvin was an Idaho State Bengal in college. Another fact some may not know. The last job of the "Voice of the Bobcats", Russ Eisenstein, was with ISU. Crazy. Anyway, the Bengals were 1-11 this year in FCS action, translating to 0-12 with quality of competition. Can Romeo Crennel find a way to blow it against a defeated team?? I could see it. Alas, he didn't this time. Rome went to Western Kentucky, where the independent Hilltoppers finished a terrible 2-10. Two pitiful college records to go with two pitiful NFL records, but Cleveland wins.

New Orleans (-6.5) @ Detroit
The Pick: Detroit (ATS) New Orleans (Straight Up)
New Orleans' Sean Payton was a 10,000 yard passer at Eastern Illinois (Maybe this should be the "Cradle of Coaches" [more on that later]) who went an adjusted 4-8 this season. Detroit's Rod Marinelli seems to me like an Army man, and it turns out, he did do a tour in Vietnam. He didn't play at West Point, though. He played 2 years at Utah and 2 at California Lutheran, so we'll take the Utes' first six games (6-0) and the Lutes' (actually they're the Kingsmen) second six (1-5) for a total of 7-5. That means Detroit covers. So we go to the other tie breaker. New Orleans' longest tenured player is 16 year man Mark Brunell out of Washington. And this is even better than I thought!! We have an Apple Cup showdown! Detroit has 17 year man, Jason Hanson out of Wazzu, Washington State. These guys played college ball against each other, and now the age of their schools will decide the game. Washington is 147 years old, while State is only 116 years old. Detroit covers, but the Saints win to keep the Lionesses defeated on the year.

Miami (-4) @ Kansas City
The Pick: Kansas City (ATS) Miami (Straight Up)
Herm Edwards played 2 years at Cal, one at Monterey Peninsula JC, and one at San Diego State. Cal’s first six games give you 4-2, but the Lobos didn’t list their results, so they get an 0-3, and the Spartans finished 1 for their last 3, for a total of 5-7. How about Tony Sparano?? He attended the University of New Haven, and it turns out, the Chargers played club ball this year, and didn’t list their results. That gives Sparano an 0-12, meaning KC covers. Who will win, though?? Nose Tackle Jason Ferguson of Miami is in his 12th year out of Georgia, which is a whopping 223 years old. KC has UCLA’s Donnie Edwards. The Bruins have only been around for 91 years. Miami, in its usual way, will squeak out another one.

Pittsburgh (-1) @ Tennessee
The Pick: Tennessee
The Steelers’ Mike Tomlin is a grad of William and Mary, who went an adjusted 6-5. Jeff Fisher, though, is a USC boy, so his 11-1 lifts the Titans to victory, securing the number one seed in the AFC

Arizona @ New England (-8)
The Pick: Arizona (ATS) New England (Straight Up)
Ken Whisenhunt played ball at Georgia Tech, and the Ramblin’ Wreck and triple option led the Jackets to a 9-3 record. Bill Belichick, meanwhile, played at Wesleyan. The Cards went an adjusted 0-9, so the Arizona Cards are looking good against the Pats. Arizona’s longest tenured player is Bryan Robinson, a nose tackle from Fresno State. New England’s oldest is USC’s own Junior Seau. The Pats, like the Fins, will win close because USC has been around 128 years to Fresno’s 97.

San Diego @ Tampa Bay (-3)
The Pick: San Diego
Norv “Not the Burner” Turner went to Oregon, home of the 9-3 Ducks. As for Chucky Gruden?? He was a quarterback for the Dayton Flyers, who, with an adjusted 8-4, falling just short of Norv’s boys in San Diego. Can the Bucs pull out a 1 or 2 point win, though?? Turns out, no, and by the slimmest of margins. Tampa has 3-14 year guys, but Joey Galloway of Ohio State is the oldest. For San Diego, long snapper David Binn went to California. Turns out, the Golden Bears beat out the Bucks 139-138, and the Bucks and Bucs lose out in the end.

San Francisco (-5.5) @ St. Louis
The Pick: St. Louis
Mike Singletary went to Baylor, who had a less-than-banner 3-9 season. Jim Haslett, meanwhile, went to Indiana University…of Pennsylvania. The Crimson Hawks were an adjusted 7-4, a winner in this game. As for the actual game?? St. Louis’ Trent Green went to Indiana University…of Indiana, and Isaac Bruce of the Niners (sounds wrong doesn’t it?) went to Memphis. Well, St. Louis is going to take the win because Indiana beats Memphis 188-96.

Atlanta @ Minnesota (-3)
The Pick: Minnesota
Mike Smith attended East Tennessee State University, the same as my aunt and cousin. Unfortunately, the Bucs no longer have football, so he gets an 0-12. Brad Childress, on the other hand, Brad Childress is our second Eastern Illinois head coach, but unlike Sean Payton, the 4-8 pulls out a win for his team.

Philadelphia (-4.5) @ Washington
The Pick: Philadelphia
Andy Reid is from BYU, who is 10-2, and Jim Zorn went to Cal Poly Pomona. Unfortunately for Zorn, the Broncos don’t field a football team anymore, so Philly takes the win, keeping themselves alive with the Atlanta loss.

Buffalo @ Denver (-7)
The Pick: Buffalo (ATS) Denver (Straight Up)
Dick Jauron is an Ivy League man, attending Yale in his college days. The Bulldogs finished an even 5-5 with adjustment. Mike Shanahan is our third head man from Eastern Illinois, and the 4-8 isn’t enough to win this time. Buffalo makes it close, but can they win?? The Bills’ longest tenured man is Jason Whittle from Missouri State. For the Broncs, it’s not surprise that it’s center Tom Nalen, out of Boston College. BC is 145 years old, and the Bears have been around for only 103. Denver wins a squeaker.

Houston (-7) @ Oakland
The Pick: Houston
Houston native Gary Kubiak won me a big one last week. Let’s see what his 4-8 Aggies of Texas A&M can do for me this week. Answer?? Just enough. Tom Cable went to Idaho, and the Vandals finished a woeful 2-10 in the competitive WAC. Houston takes it comfortably.

New York Jets (-5) @ Seattle
The Pick Seattle
Eric Mangini, like his former mentor Bill Belichick, gets an 0-9 from his alma mater, Wesleyan. Mike Holmgren, meanwhile, was a quarterback at USC, so he gets 11-1 and a comfortable cover. Can the ‘Hawks knock Favre and the Jets out of the AFC East race, though?? Well, Favre has a little to say about it. He’s the longest tenured Jet, and his Southern Miss Golden Eagles have been around for 98 years. For the ‘Hawks, the oldest guy is Chris Gray from Auburn. The Tigers take the win and so does Seattle, 152-98.

Carolina @ New York Giants (-3)
The Pick: Carolina
John Fox was once a teammate of Herm Edwards at San Diego State. He gets the whole season’s worth of games from the Spartans instead of just the last 3, so his record is 2-10. Tom Coughlin, meanwhile, played in the backfield with Larry Csonka at Syracuse. The Orangemen pull out a close Giants’ win with a 3-9 record.


Green Bay @ Chicago (-4)
The Pick: Chicago
Mike McCarthy went to tiny Baker University in Kansas, where the Wildcats finished an adjusted 6-6. Lovie Smith went to Tulsa, though, who was ranked for the first time in about 60 years and finished 9-3. Bears win, guaranteeing the Pack, not only their second losing record since ’92, but also their second double-digit loss season in the same period.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NFL Week 15- The Picks Are Getting Desperate

Alright. Because I suck, we at Legends of Friday Night are going to do something a little different this week. When I played high school football, my number was 84, and it has since been one of my 3 favorite numbers. So...this week, I'm going to look at the number 84's on both teams and pick the team that has the more productive 84. Then, in a case where it could be a different pick between ATS and Straight Up, I'll use the longer tenured of the number 51's, since 51 was my number in Midget Football. goes.
Wait. Also...I have no idea how Barnes and I compare because some games got left out in our running tally. All I know is that I am 116-90-1 right now, and I'm sure he's a good deal better. Last year I finished 165-101, meaning I'd have to go 49-10 the rest of the way in order to better last year's record. That's going to be nearly impossible. The even more depressing part...I picked every game before the season started, and those are 124-82-1, 8 games better than my current clip.
Anyway...on with the picks.


New Orleans @ Chicago (-3)
The Pick: Chicago
Chicago-Brandon Rideau-one game played, no numbers of any kind
New Orleans-No number 84
You've got to be kidding me. The winner in this one is the player who has made one appearance and doesn't have a catch or a run or any yards of any kind. We're off to quite the start.


Tampa Bay @ Atlanta (-3)
The Pick: Atlanta
Tampa Bay-Joey Galloway-7 games, 2 starts, 12 rec, 134 yds, 11.2 ypc, 0 TD
Atlanta-Roddy White-13 games, 12 starts, 78 rec, 1249 yds, 16.0 ypc, 6 TD
Well, I don't think there's any question here. White may be headed for the Pro Bowl, while the former Buckeye, Galloway, is barely in the league.

San Francisco @ Miami (-6.5)
The Pick: San Francisco
San Francisco-Josh Morgan-9 games, 1 start, 15 rec, 214 yds, 14.3 ypc, 2 TD
Miami-No number 84
Another bad number 84 strikes again. And...we go to the number 51 clause. And we have...Miami's Akin Ayodele having 7 years, and San Fran's Takeo Spikes with 11 years. San Fran not only covers, they win!!

Seattle (-3) @ St. Louis
The Pick: Seattle
Seattle-Bobby Engram-10 games, 8 starts, 32 rec, 328 yds, 10.3 ypc, 0 TD
St. Louis-Randy McMichael-4 games, 4 starts, 11 rec, 139 yds, 12.6 ypc, 0 TD
Well, neither guy has really played much this season, but Engram gets the edge and so do the Seahawks

Washington (-6.5) @ Cincinnati
The Pick: Cincinnati (ATS), Washington (Straight Up)
Washington-No number 84
Cincinnati-TJ Whosyourmama, 13 games, 13 starts, 89 rec, 885 yds, 9.9 ypc, 4 TD
The 'Skins have no 84, but it'd be tough for anyone to beat unhappy TJ anyway. And now...heading to the number 51 rule, Alfred Fincher, the Skins Lineback, has 4 years, and Corey Mays, the 'Backer from Notre Dame only has 3. Cinci covers, Skins win.

Tennessee (-3) @ Houston
The Pick: Houston
Tennessee-No Number 84
Houston-No Number 84
My God. Neither team has a number 84?!? What do we do?!? Well, says I, I guess we move on to my second favorite number, and that would be 7.
So, we'll make it, the youngest number 7. Turns out neither team has a number 7 either. Well, this is just getting annoying.
Thought number 3 was to see which team beat the Packers by more, but both were 3 point games.
So, tie breaker number 4 should be...should be...which coach is from closest to Rawson, OH, where I'm from. Jeff Fisher of the Titans is from Culver City, CA, a mere 33 hours and 49 minutes from my house. Gary Kubiak, on the other hand, is from Houston, which is 19 hours and 12 minutes from my place. Therefore, the pick is Houston.
So now, we move on to the number 51 tiebreaker, for the game's winner. Houston's Chaun Thompson has been in the league for 6 years and Tennessee's 51 doesn't exist. Can the Texans pull off the upset?? Well...the numbers, however strange they may be, say yes.

Detroit @ Indianapolis (-17)
The Pick: Detroit
Detroit-Shaun McDonald-12 games, 7 starts, 35 rec, 332 yds, 9.5 ypc, 1 TD
Indianapolis-Jacob Tamme-9 games, 0 starts, 1 rec, 6 yds, 6.0 ypc, 0 TD
The Lions cover the spread. What does the rule of 51 say about the outcome?? Indy has no 51, and Detroit has Dominic Raiola, who has played for 8 years, even though he's a bad, bad dude. Whatever. The numbers say Detroit gets off the schneid this week. Boy do I feel like this numbers game is going a bad direction right now.

Green Bay (-2) @ Jacksonville
The Pick: Green Bay
Green Bay-Tory Humphrey-13 games, 5 starts, 10 rec, 148 yds, 14.8 ypc, 0 TD
Jacksonville-Troy Williamson-5 games, 1 start, 4 rec, 27 yds, 6.8 ypc, 1 TD
Packers win. Hooray!!

San Diego (-5) @ Kansas City
The Pick: San Diego
San Diego-Craig Davis-4 games, 0 starts, 4 rec, 59 yds, 14.8 ypc, 0 TD
Kansas City-No number 84
Wow. This is truly as pathetic as both of these teams have been. Dumb.

Buffalo @ New York Jets (-7)
The Pick: Buffalo
Buffalo-Robert Royal-12 games, 7 starts, 29 rec, 308 yds, 10.6 ypc, 1 TD
New York Jets-No Number 84
Well...I wouldn't have gone this direction, but maybe the number gods know more than I do. What does the rule of 51 have to say?? Buffalo has second year man, Paul Posluszny of Penn State, and the Jet have no one. Damn you Jets. Well...just cause I'm picking them doesn't mean I can't do my weekly, The ship is sinking in Buffalo!!!

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (-2)
The Pick: Baltimore
Pittsburgh-No Number 84
Baltimore-Edgar Jones-5 games, 0 starts, no numbers whatsoever
Just as in the New Orleans-Chicago game, Baltimore wins it with a guy who has no numbers on the year. The AFC North is heating up!!!

Denver @ Carolina (-7.5)
The Pick: Carolina
Denver-No Number 84-damn you Javon Walker
Carolina-Mark Jones-13 games, 0 starts, 2 rec, 32 yds, 16.0 ypc, 0 TD
Looks like the Panthers take it and take control of the NFC South

Minnesota @ Arizona (-3)
The Pick: Minnesota
Minnesota-Aundrae Allison-12 games, 0 starts, 10 rec, 109 yds, 10.9 ypc 0 TD
Arizona-Jerame Tuman-3 games, 2 starts, 3 rec, 41 yds, 13.7 ypc, 0 TD
The Vikings cover to make it 4-for-4 for the NFC Norse. Now, can the rule of 51 give them a win as well?? Pago Togafau of Arizona has 2 years of experience, and Minnesota's Ben Leber has been in the league 7 years. Vikes win.

New England (-7) @ Oakland
The Pick: New England
New England-Ben Watson-11 games, 6 starts, 22 rec, 209 yds, 9.5 ypc, 2 TD
Oakland-Javon Walker-8 games, 7 starts, 15 rec, 196 yds, 13.1 ypc, 1 TD
This is the closest one so far, but Ben Watson and the Pats pull out the win.

New York Giants @ Dallas (-3)
The Pick: Dallas
New York Giants-Darcy Johnson-13 games, 1 start, 2 rec, 2 yds, 1 ypc, 2 TD
Dallas-Patrick Crayton-13 games, 7 starts, 31 rec, 409 yds, 13.2 ypc, 3 TD
I'm impressed that Johnson has 2-1 yd. TD receptions and nothing else, but Crayton has pretty good numbers. Dallas wins.


Cleveland @ Philadelphia (-14)
The Pick: Philadelphia
Cleveland-Joe Jurevicius-Physically Unable to Play
Philadelphia-Hank Baskett-13 games, 5 starts, 30 rec, 425 yds, 14.2 ypc, 3 TD
Well, I think it's obvious who gets the choice in this one.

So...two things. 1. I hope this can give me lots and lots of blind luck and lead me to a good week. 2. Number 84 is a very weak number in the NFL right now. There's TJ Whosyourmama and Roddy White, and then like two mediocre guys. That's it. Go Pack Go

Monday, December 8, 2008

NFL Week 14

Well...the picks are up really late, but they were done before the games started. You'll be able to tell when you see how terrible they are. I'm not sure how Barnes and I are doing against each other, but I think he's ahead of me by 8 or 9 games.


Oakland @ San Diego (-9.5)
The Pick: San Diego
I have no confidence in the Chargers, but lately they seem to be able to handle the Raiders pretty well. I could easily see this going the other way though.


Jacksonville @ Chicago (-6.5)
The Pick; Chicago
The Jags just want this season to end, and the Bears should have a renewed vigor after seeing the Williamses fall for the Vikes.

Minnesota (-8) @ Detroit
The Pick: Minnesota
There's a chance for a letdown, but AD isn't going to let that happen against the Lions I expect.

Houston @ Green Bay (-5.5)
The Pick: Green Bay
Another Packer pick I have very little confidence in. I hate when I have to feel that way, especially against the Texans.

Cincinnati @ Indianapolis (-13.5)
The Pick: Cincinnati (ATS) Indy (Straight Up)
They won't win, but I feel like they'll keep it close.

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-3)
The Pick: Atlanta
Matty Ice and The Burner...that's enough for me

Philadelphia @ New York Giants (-7)
The Pick: New York Giants
I'd be crazy to pick against this team right now.

Cleveland @ Tennessee (-14)
The Pick: Tennessee
If Josh Cribbs come in at quarterback, I say Cleveland covers. With Ken Dorsey, nope.

Miami v. Buffalo (-1) (At Toronto)
The Pick: Miami
Buffalo=the ship is sinking!!!! How many times do I have to say it??

Kansas City @ Denver (-9)
The Pick: Kansas City
I don't trust Denver covering 9

New York Jets (-4) @ San Francisco
The Pick: New York Jets
Brett better get back on track against the Niners after last week's debacle.

St. Louis @ Arizona (-14)
The Pick: Arizona
St. Louis has no chance in my opinion.

Dallas @ Pittsburgh (-3)
The Pick: Pittsburgh
I think the Steelers are a force to be reckoned with

New England (-5) @ Seattle
The Pick: New England
Seattle is just plain bad.

Washington @ Baltimore (-5)
The Pick: Baltimore
They have improved rapidly, and I'm cool with it.


Tampa Bay @ Carolina (-3)
The Pick: Tampa Bay
I just think the Bucs are a better team.