Sunday, September 25, 2011

So I Talk To My NFL Diary (Week 3, 2011)

"But he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you."

10:03: Well hello there. Glad you could stop by for some ramblings in this, the third week of what has been a truly wild NFL season. I think we have to start off with the absolute rash of injuries around the league. Say what you will, but I'm thinking not having those mini-camps and that extended time that teams could get together that they were slighted from due to the lockout are creeping up on teams. KC and STL could potentially be done already and they've only played two games.

Having said that, I think we're going to add a new segment today. Here are the favorites in the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes...
  1. Kansas City (5/2): I have Dwayne Bowe on one of my teams...I am terrified he's next (knock on wood).
  2. Seattle (3/1): I put the 'Hawks at a slight advantage over the Chiefs considering they have not had any season-ending injuries and we still haven't seen the re-unitization of Tarvaris and Sidney Rice, which should be great for two or three games.
  3. Miami (4/1): Anytime the coach is on the hot seat in Week 3, that can't be good for business.
  4. Carolina (6/1): I don't think anyone has talked about the fact that the Panthers may go back to back #1 picks, and could have potentially gotten Patrick Peterson or Von Miller this year and got Luck the next. That would have been a huge gamble considering there was a franchise QB out there this year (not saying Cam Newton is going to be a star, but he's got all the tools to do it).
  5. Indy (8/1): They are going to be terrible this year, but they at least have the talent to win 5 games...right?
10:34: NFL Network is live in Buffalo...I think this is the most the Patriots Nation has been rattled by Buffalo...ever?...maybe the '03 season opener when Lawyer wound up on the Bills and Drew was all pissed off that TFB unseated him as the face of the Patriots. Man, the Bills have to be playing this game like it's the biggest game ever. I think one thing that has gone overlooked is the fact that the Bills' secondary totally blows. J-Camp tore them apart last week and made Denarius Moore the hottest fantasy pickup of the week.

The key to this game will be stopping Fred Jackson. Sure, Fitzy is a good QB, he has some weapons in Steve Johnson, the emerging David Nelson, and everyone's favorite Gronk clone, Scott Chandler (don't give it to the big guy!), but his success falls squarely on how well Jackson does at wearing down the front seven. The Pats' secondary is ravaged with injuries, but we're still going to have enough to at least slow the Bills' passing attack down. However, I do have my concerns about Jackson vs. the line, especially now that the hybrid 4-3 run D scheme we run is out the window with Haynesworth not going today. Look for the Bills to attack us all day long with Jackson and perhaps some C.J. Spiller out of the backfield.

10:47: The injury report for the Pats took like a minute and a half to run through the bottom line. Jerod is questionable too? Ugggggggghhhhhhhh....

10:49: Alright, let's get into the predictions, and get the Pats pick over with because I'm sick to my stomach and you'll see why...
  • Buffalo (+8) vs. Da Pats: Ugggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Cincy (-2.5) vs. San Fran: A game that could go either way, so rather than bore you with details, I'm going Cincy.
  • Houston (+4) vs. New Orleans: I originally had the Saints here, but the Texans have been probably waiting on this game forever, and now with a new defense in line that seems to be stopping the pass well (first in the league). Ben Tate is carrying the load literally in place of Arian Foster (who is inactive again today). Plus, gotta keep hoping the Saints lose so we can get into the Alshon Jeffrey sweepstakes.
  • Philly (-8.5) vs. The G-MEN: If Kafka was starting, I would take the Eagles up to like -10...everyone knows that Eli Manning is starting for the Giants right? And they're going up against like the best secondary in the league right?...How could you possibly like the Giants in this one? I mean they are going to need the most amazing set of circumstances to fall into place to win this game. Plus, Philly is coming off a tough loss, G-Men coming off an easy win. This has the makings of a 30-point game (I know I said something to that effect last week when Philly was playing put it simply, with Vick involved, every game is a potential blowout).
  • Miami (+3) vs. Cleveland: Simply put, a must win game for Miami. Their season is basically finished at 0-3 (I mean their season was finished before it started, but don't tell them that). Sparano probably won't survive much longer if they keep losing, and nothing will push a GM or owner over the edge like losing to me, we did it last year, and it was incredibly embarrassing (we avenged this by not losing the rest of the regular season).
  • Tennessee (-7) vs. Denver: Get those Tim Tebow billboards out Bronco fans.
  • Minnesota (+3.5) vs. Detroit: For some reason, I forsee bad things happening here for the Lions. They have been running white-hot this year, which is surprising because everyone thought they would be really good, and Detroit...yes, Detroit is exceeding expectations. Minny is the doormat up the division right now, and let one slip last week against the Bucs. I'm thinking this is close at the very least. Donovan is playing for his job in this one.
  • Carolina (-3.5) vs. Jacksonville: Blaine Gabbert will do okay today (if you can pick up Marcedes Lewis, that would probably be a wise decision), but Cam is going to crush the Jags vertically, and the way he has been able to handle himself so far, I still can't bet against him.
  • San Diego (-15) vs. Kansas City: Until proven otherwise, all money goes against KC.
  • Oakland (+3.5) vs. The Jets: I think the Jets are one of the top 5 or 6 teams in the league, but I see the Sanchize struggling due to the fact that the Jets have yet to establish a ground game. Oakland gets healthier this week with Heyward-Bey and Kevin Boss back in the fold.
  • Baltimore (-5) vs. St. Louis: The Ravens once again are in a trap game, but St. Louis is probably going to be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes column pretty soon. Steven Jackson and the Cadillac are both wildly questionable for today.
  • The Bucs (-1.5) vs. the ATL: This game screams "Josh Freeman two-minute drill for the win."
  • Seattle (+3) vs. 'Zona: Sidney Rice is back, Zona's defense is terrible, Seattle is playing at home...these are the three things you absolutely need when you are thinking about picking Seattle at any time.
  • The Pack (-4.5) vs. Chicago: I see this game, and I want a reason to pick the Bears due to the trap spread, but I see Cutler against a healthy Packers defense...I don't see that going well.
  • Pittsburgh (-10.5) vs. Indy: Yeah it's not happening Indy.
  • Dallas (Even) vs. Washington: This isn't so much me liking Dallas as it is me not believing the 'Skins could go 3-0...I just don't see it happening. Here comes DeMarco Murray. Let's see what ya got young fella!
12:22: Notable inactives today: Nick Mangold, Champ Bailey, Peyton Hillis...and I'm picking against all of them. What is Denver going to do about Kenny Britt? Yikes. Also, first time ever the Sanchize goes under center without Mangold, arguably the best center in the game. Oh I'm liking it.

12:26: Time for a bodega trip. I'm going to go ahead and name-drop here. The Goya brands of fruit juice (weather it be passion fruit, guava, mango...even the pear one) are amazing. Here's the thing: I've had a few that have this random kinda pulp/non-great tasting shit in them. I really hope I get lucky today...seriously could be a fore-telling experience here...Buffalo is officially in my head.

12:45: No shit in my passion fruit. YES!!!

So we're gonna be heavy on the Pats games for obvious reasons today, but I'll keep you in tune on the rest of the proceedings as well.

12:48: No pulp in the passion, but my Pats mug is leaking...MY PATS MUG IS LEAKING....WHAT THE F%$K!!!!!! I swear if Captain Planet breaks (you really have to know me to know what that means), we're all going to you better hope I'm careful.

12:53: Marv Albert on the call today. I'm liking it from an announcing perspective, but he's like Mr. New York, and Rich Gannon on the color, who is famously known for having two amazing seasons and having both end in spectacular fashion (we were responsible for one of them). Man oh man, they are stacking the deck today.

12:55: I'm convinced there's no way to get around saying Ryan Fitzpatrick and not throwing some kind of intelligence comment in there. When people are asked to tell you how good Fitzy is at QB, do they not every time come back with something like "he's a smart player," or "has a lot of QB IQ"...he does throw darts he actually know, a good quarterback.

1:02: RedZone's audio is totally f**ked...WHAT IS HAPPENING TODAY??? hahaha.

1:03: And the opening kickoff goes out of the end zone.....whoopidy doo!

1:04: If you hear Wes Welker's name, you should be obligated to extend the arm and make the first down sign...all day, every day baby! Dub-Dub!

1:07: Dub-Dub for 33!!! Oh baby!

1:08: Another to Welker! Oh man, three catches for 55 yards already!

1:09: Gronk gets a false start, I'm still feeling great about things though

And just as I say it...another pass to Welker for 6!!! So, this is what happens when Hernando goes just means 83 all day long baby!!!

1:15: And the rest of the league...ahhhh, nothing's happening. Texans are up 7-0 though.

1:16: Steve Johnson strikes again! That might be a recurring theme.

1:17: But a tipped ball, and Kyle Arrington brings it in. First down good guys in FG territory already!

Oh man, Welker again!!! Oh my God dude. Welker's having a game in the first like 12 mins. of this game. Five catches, 91 yards. So glad I benched him this week!!!

1:22: No luck with the firm on the first play from the goal line, but when in doubt, GIVE IT TO THE BIG GUY!!!!!!!! Gronk for 6...we're talking 14-0 baby!

1:26: The Texans' O is just dominating the Saints. Already in the red zone and looking like they're about to punch another one in. Big time effort from them. It looks like Ben Tate may have a stranglehold on the starting job even with a healthy Arian Foster.

1:28: David Nelson and Scott Chandler both get their first catches, both for first downs. Need to keep an eye on these two...and about six to eight on Steve Johnson.

1:29: Fitzpatrick throws so hard, he's going to have those tough-luck tip INTs like he had earlier a lot if he keeps doing that...but he did just totally hum one into Stevie Johnson (apparently it's Stevie...who knew?)

1:32: Huge chop block penalty negates a near first down by Nelson. After a small gain on 3rd down, they're going on 4th...and Kyle Arrington makes another pick!!! Oh my!!! Pats with the ball, the 1st quarter is about over...14-nada kid!

1:39: 3-and-out for the Pats. Elsewhere, Matthew Stafford has 5 yards the entire first quarter. The G-Men have a surprising 14-0 lead due to the fact that no one on Philly seems ready or perhaps more importantly willing to tackle anyone.

1:43: As was noted constantly in the pre-game coverage, Bill is going to make Fitzy beat us through the air, which he has done on occasion, but Fred Jackson is not making it happen thus far, which makes me optimistic...that and a 14 point lead helps.

1:52: Man, Darren Sproles is en fuego this year. Saints keep it at 10-7. Also, there has to be a serious positive correlation between shitty teams and amazing kickers. Carpenter is amazing, but he of course just missed a 50+ yarder, and as I say that, Scobee knocks one through from 52.

1:55: Every week the Bills have someone else that you've never heard of step in for them. Helllloooo Donald Jones (I know he had a big catch last week, but come on).

1:58: The Bungles have now played in three consecutive "Clockwork Orange" games (these would be games where you would have to strap me to a chair and keep my eyes open with that weird device they had to have me watch the entire game).


2:07: If David Nelson is available in your league, and you're playing with at least 9 other teams involved, I would strongly suggest picking him up. 15 yard reception, then a head-to-head 15 yarded on Niklovich, then a 23 yarder for Nelson again. 5 catches, 68 yards in the first half.

2:12: Stevie Johnson for 6...well that was inevitable...oh well. 21-7 Pats...I am worried because it seems like the Bills like to spot themselves like 20 point holes just so they can do the underdog thing and crawl there way out of it.

2:14: Shady McCoy is playing at a different level than perhaps we were ever aware of. 14-10 G-Men...again, someone should tell the Eagles that they are playing against Eli Manning and Umenyiora is beat the shit out of them is what I'm saying.

2:19: Brady gets picked because of Favre-itis (throwing the ball way too f***ing hard when you don't have too)...if they had scored there, it's over...that's what makes me nervous about this game...they had a chance to end it, and they didn't...ohhhhhhh boy.

2:23: Carolina vs. Jacksonville is currently in monsoon conditions. Haha, Cam just had a 60 yard screen pass to Jon Stewart. First and goal Panthers (they're reviewing it, but I think the ruling will be that that was some kind of wonderful and it will stand).

2:24: I keep wanting to call Kyle Arrington Jonathan Wilhite...damn you number changes!

2:25: Huge screen pass to Fred Jackson...again, you feel it kind of slipping...I just hope the Pats don't feel it too.

2:31: Lindell hits a FG to make it 21-10 Pats.......ugh.....and I was feeling so good, and now, not so much. Elsewhere, Blaine Gabbert had the most ridiculous TD at the end of the half, throwing the ball 10 yards short of the line to Mike Thomas, who proceeded to swerve through an apparent unknowing defense for 6...and that Cam Newton screen pass apparently got taken off the board (not completely off the board, but 55 of the 65 yards were)

Kenny Britt's knee got messed up...that's one way to cover him.

2:40: Montario Hardesty is definitely showing something today. Looking good running the ball, perhaps even better in blocking situations.

2:41: If San Fran doesn't get the #1 pick, what are the odds they try and trade their entire draft a la Herschel/Ricky Williams for Luck?...I mean unless they play Kaepernick, the Niners are going to be looking at themselves saying "is this really our QB still?"

2:46: Andre Carter man...I mean he's been good obviously, but seeing him on a team I give a shit can he play...fooled on an end-around, he still came back to make the tackle. What an athlete...and Bill likes him too...can't go wrong with that action. 3-and-out, here we go Pats!

2:48: Another 3-and-out for Detroit. Newsflash: You're not the Patriots.

2:50: Leodis McKelvin picks off Brady...dude really?

2:51: Totally sunny in Carolina now after it looked like Irene made another pass through I'm freggin' bummed about Brady right now.

2:58: After a huge run by Fred Jackson, guess who shows up in the end zone? America's favorite Gronk clone Scott Chandler, who literally had a 15 yard radius of open field. 21-17 Pats....sinking...sinking...sinking feeling. I dunno where the Firm is. He's had 10 yards on the ground...seriously Bill?

3:02: Straight hand-off to Julian Edelman. If there was a prop bet for Julian Edelman getting a straight handoff from Brady on a non-end around play, and you put 5 bucks on it, you would have been a millionaire.

3:03: Huge play to Gronk (100 yards, 2 TDS = fantasy money shot), but they fall short of scoring, settle for a field goal...again...what the hell are we doing? Where is Benjarvus man?

3:12: Leigh Bodden...heeeeeeeeeeeee's baaaaaaaaaaacccccckkkkkk! I mean it was only a break up of a pass, but that guy is so dirty when he's out there.

3:25: Detroit is fighting their way back into it. Philly has taken the lead with the G-Men "threatening" (in parentheses because Eli Manning is still the QB). Gronk and Dub-Dub are totally murdering the Bills' defense.

3:28: Another Pats punt (I honestly thought Zoltan was done for the year, and he's kicking this week)...but their only down 7! Come on D!!!

3:35: Pats come through with a stop. End-around to Welker for the first down. He has to have like 200 all-purpose by now. Incredible game. He didn't have a TD against Buffalo prior to so much!!!

3:36: Rolling with Stefan Ridley do we have some great backs.

3:37: Yet another pick by Brady. He tried to go to Gronk, but under-threw him big time. TFB should not have just flashes of brilliance like he's been having today, it should just be full-time brilliance.

3:39: Roughing the passer, and a giant pass play later, and Buffalo is in business. Again, there's a reason for the nervousness.

3:42: Yeah you can check out SportsCenter for what just happened...I'm not even going to relive it. All you have to know is that we're tied and I'm pissed.

3:54: After a 10 minute catatonic state where I'm not even going to embellish what just happened, Dub-Dub gets yet another first. We're in business, let's keep it going Pats! (by the way, where has the Firm been? Man! Ridley's making it happen, but the Firm is not getting used at all today)

3:56: WEELLLKKKKEEEERRRR!!! One time baby! The meter reads 200!!!

3:59: Another Welker catch! This is absolutely out of control. Two carries by the Firm lead to nothing. 3rd and goal. Brady with the TO...let's get it done Pats!

4:03: Oh man, let's do it one more time: WEEEEEELLLLLLLKKKKKKEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! It's Dub-Dub's world, and I'm just happy to be involved in it: 214 yards, 2 TD's...again, destroying shit on my fantasy bench!

4:54: Sorry, I needed about, what, close to an hour to just take in, you know, whatever just happened there that I'm immediately blanking out of my memory. Only thing about the game: Wes Welker: possibly the greatest single performance in a game by a receiver from this team in their entire history. He's my favorite Patriot ever, and damn it, he was freggin' extraordinary today.

5:22: Where did Torrey Smith come from besides Maryland? Oh man! He's having a Moss game! 3 receptions, 3 TDs!

5:23: Ray Rice is just amazing to watch. Him and McFadden going back and forth here in the 4:00 games. Absolutely mesmerizing.

5:28: Okay, a thing to hang the hat on: The picks are going well. I mean I'm just so distraught about the Pats game (which I swore to my roommate we shouldn't talk about until they win/play again, and we ended up talking about it graphic detail) and fantasy...but we got something going today.

5:42: I swear I love every player under 5'9 playing in the NFL (RB, wide-out...kicker, anyone). The Quiz Show has arrived in the Hottie (everyone calls it Hotlanta...even me last about the Hottie?...not bad).

5:48: Man, Kenny Britt out for the year? The shortened offseason strikes again perhaps. Him and Calvin Johnson were probably the top 2 receivers going this year.

6:15: Amazing Bradford/Gibson hookup to break the doughnut for STL. Also, flash to KC: Please don't use McCluster so much out of the backfield. I swear he went in between the tackles and I thought he was going to be dismembered.

Wednesday, 7:39: So seriously, I just stopped because I felt like I was going to write down was going to be Pats rants...and I couldn't really get by that, and didn't feel like subjecting everyone to it like my roommate, my head chef, and coming this weekend when I make the "weekend call," my Dad. So, let's look ahead shall we?...

So Oakland is coming up at their place. Of course you have to be kind of terrified by Run DMC at this point. He was Tecmo Bo last week. That long run he had was sublime...that's really the only word I could come up with there. There seems to be talk about a potential "groin injury" scenario would have him questionable for the game...I think even at 50%, he's probably going to be a rich man's Willis McGahee (can totally go for like 75-80 yards with a score). I have to say I wouldn't mind seeing Albert Haynesworth. I'm feeling a lot better if McFadden doesn't have the chance to make that real quick burst he gets off the handoff.

Could J-Cam potentially beat us? Man that wouldn't look good...wouldn't that be the pep talk going into this week? How to potentially avoid anything close to that? I am actually fine with the Buffalo loss because I braced myself that it could potentially get ugly (I think we all did), did. Bright side: No one got hurt, Gronk right now is a top 4 TE (Jermichael Finley clllleeeeaaarrrrrllllyyyy is Gates, Vernon Davis...I would say right here is Gronk or Jimmy Graham)...and Wes F'ing Welker.

Speaking of which, I would suggest just continually fielding him the ball while going around Rolando McClain (okay, him and Seymour...I'm hoping for "extremely passive" games from both). Welker and Gronk, and, again, I know I love the guy, but I let Chad recover this week. He had a big drop, and he's been a little late getting to the party, the party is still totally rocking (Brady will have >375 yards...again), and if you get the Ocho involved, and we sprinkle in a little more Firm, Woodie, and the talented Mr. Ridley (I swear that's the last time I'll ever call him that), this offense is unstoppable...Bill's gotta feel like right now, he has the both the keys to a nuclear warhead that could destroy anything ever seen in this league...I say give the other key to Brady and blow this shit up!

I'd now like to give credit to Indy's defense, who were phenomenal in a game where even when they played as good as they did, they have no chance without Peyton Manning...I mean this is what happens when you don't have the B Plan in order. Curtis Painter will probably get the start vs. TB this weekend...I don't know man. If that D puts up another big one (which will be tough because Blount is back baby!)...they're still in the "doubtful" range.

Mike Vick is becoming the running Operation board...he has to be like "okay, apparently everyone knows I'm great, and they all seem like they want to murder me because they want to be who lays me out." In terms of just all-around talent, it's him, Brady, and A-Rod clearly over the (healthy, or at least playing) QBs. However, defensive guys do seem like they want to take his head off. I really think diving needs to be brought into the repertoire. I know he's not a diver, but he doesn't have to be like 100% of the time diving like half the QBs in the league absolutely have to do. By all means keep pulling off gigantic runs, but still have that QB clock in your head to know "okay, right about now would be a good place to at least think about it." He's great because it seems like when he runs, he cannot be stopped by anyone, but I think he has to be aware of some of the hits that might be coming...ducking for cover so a guy doesn't posterize you (I think maybe "SportsCenter" you might be a better phrase now considering you can't get the really good poster of gigantic freggin' hits because the NFL is now both the "No Fun League" and, what I'm deeming, the "No Ferocity League"...but it's still totally cool on TV...they need to bring "Jacked Up" back). Anyway, I just wanna see the guy play...that's all.

Haha, well hopefully that tied Week 3 together. We got Pats at 4 this week, so I'm guaranteeing no tapering off this week...unless we're totally getting smashed and DMC just ran for his 300th yard, then yes (unless it's close or we're somehow winning). Right now, got to get back to the most meaningful Red Sox/Orioles game perhaps of all time (I'm sure way back when, there was a biggie, but I can't think of it). Quick note about the Sox: They're showing me at least something ya know? Hopefully tonight goes well (currently tied at 2 in the 4th...and scored the tying run on a balk of all things...5-0 Skanks, top of 5...Don Orsillo said "Red Sox fans are thanking Mark Teixeira for hitting a grand slam."...NO WE'RE NOT!!!...dude, I don't like anything helping them...unless we lose and they win...then okay, thanks buddy). I mean I look at this team, and we could potentially be "slow dancing" into the playoffs like it's 7th grade all over again, and you've been waiting for just the right moment to ask a girl you hardly know but would like to send the message that yes, you have interest in her, and you dance (hopefully she says yes...ever get a no? does that suck...but I guess she's being honest unlike the girls that tell you to call them and they never call back, or say they'll be right back, and then...their definition of right back means "hopefully never seeing you again"'s a bit unnecessary, be honest), but then right after that, the DJ goes un-seamlessly into "California Love," and you go back to your friends, sing every word that you know ("soon as I step on the scene, I'm hearing hoochies screaming" and "Dre putting it down for Califor-ni-a" were go-tos), but you're back into party mode you know? I guess that's what I'm at least hoping for.

Take care everyone. Love topped with a little Peace.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

So I Talk To My NFL Diary (Week 2, 2011)

"I'm a peacock! You gotta let me fly!"

9:31: Ayyyyyyyy-ohhhhhhh! Good morning, good morning (good underrated Beatles song by the way). Gearing up for Week 2 at world headquarters in the people's republic. First item on the agenda today: Re-watch the Belichick special I DVR'd off of NFL Network. A guy at work is referring to this show as "Patriots porn"...which really it you have any idea how many times I've watched the Rams/Pats Super Bowl off NFL Network or ESPN, and I own all the "Three Games To Glory?" The moral of the story is that we can't get enough Pats coverage, and we certainly can't get enough of "behind-the-scenes" Belichick (how great was it when he cusses out Derrick Mason?).

9:41: Okay a few quick things before we get into pre-game coverage (again, this is for the NFL addicts who simply can't get enough, for people who can't wait any longer to hear about football, and the people who got up early because they're hungover, vanquishing their Saturday night hookups (some perhaps vanquishing at a faster pace than others), and were on Facebook, and decided to stop by, and to them, I say "heeeeeyyyyy buddddddddyyyyy!").
  • The "Chalk" Best Game of the 1:00'ers: Chicago vs. New Orleans: Two of arguably the top 8 or 9 teams in the league, which by definition makes it the highlight game of the early session, but the game I'm looking forward to is...
  • The Best Game of the 1:00'ers: Oakland vs. Buffalo: This game has me written all over it. Two teams that no one outside of their fan bases a.) care about, b.) before the season gave absolutely no chance to do anything, c.) will care what happens today, and d.) two teams who were the laughing stocks of the NFL like two years ago, but now suddenly have become two teams looking at perhaps .500, with Oakland having an outside chance of winning the division (San Diego did look really good last week though). Orton had over 300 yards passing on the Raiders last week, look for Fitzy and Co. to exploit the hell out of that (give it to the big guy! (Scott Chandler)). Buffalo brings a more balanced attack, but Oakland counters with the ground game that can control time of possession. RUN DMC looked like an elite's just nice to be able to watch him now, and not think "when is he going down," much like I think about Steven Jackson (and it took exactly one week for that prophecy to come true).
  • The "Chalk" and "Best" Game of the 4:00'ers: Da Bolts vs. Daaaaaaaaaaaa Pats: Okay, so I do have my reservations about this one. I think everyone in Patriot Nation does to, but whether they admit to it or not is another story. Philip Rivers keeps losing and losing to the Pats, and it seems like the margin of the difference is getting slimmer and slimmer with every passing year...remind you of anyone? For me, this is like Peyton Manning and the Colts 2.0...the guy keeps coming and coming, and I think eventually he's gonna beat us once right? I mean I hope not...but I'm real. Plus, a seven point spread? Also, you have Tom Brady coming out and saying we need to be drunk because we have to make a lot of noise? I mean I appreciate the suggestion, but I mean we're already going to be drunk anyway...we probably didn't need the push right there. He knows the Chargers are going to need something completely out of their control (drunken fan noise, tipped passes, wind gusts) to totally have control over this game.
  • Biggest Story of the 4:00'ers: The Return of Arian Foster: I think this is probably more of a bigger fantasy story than real story...I gotta tell you, if the Texans can't win the AFC South this season, they have literally no hope for the future. The other QBs in the division are Matt Hasselbeck, Kerry Collins, and the Luke McCown/Blaine Gabbert two-headed attack...if not now, when? Foster is nasty. At his peak, he is at least on the Adrian Peterson level...he can own opposing defenses...and yet, the Texans don't really even need him this week. Against the 'Fins, all they need is a passing offense and a decent running attack (which they have with Ben Tate). Foster is starting today, but Kubiak says he's not going to get the "normal" workload...has Bill Belichick taught you anything? NEVER SAY HOW MUCH A GUY IS GONNA PLAY!!! Watch the Belichick show man!!! Anyway, it will be good to see if this guy remains at his current level, or the injury plagues him off the bat.
10:33: Might as well do predictions as well (which are subject to change up until kickoff, so sorry if it ends up costing anyone the way, what the hell are you listening to me for for gambling advice?...listen to the little man inside of you!)...
  • Chargers (+7) vs. Da Pats: These are the games when the offense will for some reason become constricted, and we're probably going to be too cute about everything, and if we know anything, cute doesn't work in football (just ask Latimer from The Program). If we have the same offensive attack as we did against Miami, we'd never lose...even if the other guy throws for 400 yards. Our passing game almost doubles as a run game, just picking away at the defense, controlling the clock, and wearing out the defense. Tolbert is going to have a big game as well...was there any more overlooked RB than Tolbert in fantasy? Pretty sure not.
  • Saints (-6.5) vs. Da Bears: The Saints have a weak secondary, but call me skeptical for believing that the Devin Hester/Roy Williams combo will be enough to outscore the Saints at the Dome (by the way, the Superdome will now be referred to as "The Dome," and the Metrodome will go by "The Bubble," "The Trash Bag," or "The Baggie"...we'll go with Baggie in reference to the old right field wall the Twins had). If the Bears win, it will be entirely due to either Matt Forte having 300 all-purpose yards, or the Bears D/ST scoring 80 points in fantasy.
  • Chiefs (+9) vs. Lions: Everyone is completely dismissing the Chiefs and anointing the Lions as the hottest team alive right now. Losing Eric Berry is a tremendous loss for them, but you still have a decent defense despite that, and Matt Cassell will look better this week...he has to right? Also, Dexter McCluster, not Jammal Charles, was the leading rusher for KC last week. Barring injury, that should never, ever...ever happen again! Having said that, if you told me one defensive player totally changed the outcome of a game, my first guess would be Ndomukung Suh...and it's his second year! The Lions' pass attack will be great, but so will KC''s just really tough for me to say with 100% likelihood the Lions are covering 9 right now...they might, but it's tough.
  • Jets (-9.5) vs. Jags: This spread would be 14 if the Jags lost last week. It would be probably 9 or 10 if the Jets lost, which makes me feel like we're giving the Jags just a little bit too much credit considering they don't really have a good defense, they have one healthy running back (who I admit is nasty but he is one man), and Luke McCown going against that D? Okie-dokie artichokie.
  • Bills (-4) vs. Raiders: The game of the day! No, but again, I really am looking forward to this one. I can't get over the Rob Gronkowski cyborg the Bills have otherwise known as Scott Chandler.
  • Redskins (-3.5) vs. Cards: Here's my pick for the surprise 2-0 team in the NFL. Hey, look what happens when you get rid of all the overpriced free agent signings...a good team! Hoooooooraaaayyyy! The 'Skins finally figured it out (this isn't baseball, you can't buy rings). Rex Grossman could be the leading passer in the NFL by the end of this game.
  • Ravens (-5.5) vs. Titans: The spread screams "trap," but the Titans scream "shitty," so I hear that over the trap yells.
  • Steelers (-14) vs. Seahawks: Still no Sidney...I'm completely bummed out for him outside of the fact that he's making a ton of bank to rehab. So long as the QB1 remains Tarvaris Jackson, I continue to have little to no faith in the Seahawks (I would look at Bruce Gradkowski, who is backing up Andy Dalton in Cincy...he actually wins big's proven!!!...seriously, I would absolutely take the 'Hawks if he were there, or someone else that was breathing at the time).
  • Panthers (+10) vs. Packers: This could be a mistake, but rooting for Cam Newton on a team like the Panthers feels's tough to really hate the Panthers (unless you're from Baltimore and they inexplicably got an NFL franchise before you). The Panthers, Bills, Bucs, and Lions...I would find it tough for anyone to have legit beef with them (these things happen when the group has won a combined one Super Bowl).
  • Bucs (+2.5) vs. Vikings: The Vikes for some reason decided to not open things up with Harvin, Berrian, and Jenkins, and decided to use the "Marcus Lattimore Strategy" with Adrian Peterson (I will call this the "Lattimore" from now on...Spurrier may run this kid into the ground before he even gets into the pros). I refuse to accept the fact that LeGarrette Blount is going to rush five times today (it should be at least in double figures), and Freeman right now is a waaaaaayyyyy better QB than McNabb. Minny could use the home turf to their advantage, but the Bucs should have a much better attack on both sides of the ball.
  • Browns (-1) vs. Indy: Did you ever think it could come to this? Indy is a 'dog at home to Cleveland??? Well, far be it for me to slow down the apocalypse.
  • 49ers (+3) vs. Cowboys: This game is either going to be a blowout for the Cowboys or a grind it out, let Dallas choke again game...I'm pulling for the latter. Is there a line on if Ted Ginn has another return TD? I'll set it at +450 and take it.
  • Dolphins (+3) vs. Texans: Either the Cowboys or Dolphins are winning, and I couldn't really decide who. If Arian Foster is actually healthy, this game should be a laugher. However, I feel like the Dolphins know they are totally screwed at 0-2 (welcome to the AFC East), and get back-to-backers at home. The Texans have to know they're the better team (and with good reason because they are), but I feel a little Chad Henne magic today (that could mean 4 TDs or 4 picks...either way, it's magic!).
  • Bungles (+3.5) vs. Broncos: In the weekly edition of "this game does not deserve to be on TV anywhere but within five miles of each city's limits," I'm taking the Bungles expecting that this is going to be a down-to-the-wire game, which is why whenever you see the "this game does not deserve to be on TV," Gus Johnson should be calling it, because then, it does (by the way, looking through the announcer mention of Gus? Vince Lombardi would say: "hey what the hell is going on out there?!?!")
  • Philly (-1.5) vs. Hotlanta: This is by far the most intriguing game of the week in Mike Vick's return to where it all started...and ended (the first time). Ummm...this is a close spread I think just due to the fact that people may suspect that the Falcons are good and that Vick may get the shakes upon his return...while I know very little of prison outside of what I hear through rap and the allusions that people make towards the show "Oz" (which I never personally watched because the premise alone really freaked me out), I'm going to go ahead an bank that entering prison for the first time is likely a little bit more nerve-rattling than entering a stadium you used to play in. I would not be surprised if Philly wins by 30 here.
  • The G-MEN (-6.5) vs. Rams: Who at ESPN is allowing this continuous tipped see-saw effect to happen between the Sunday and Monday night games? I've been noticing this for two years now, and it seems that every week, the Sunday night game is good-to-amazing, while the Monday night ones are totally shitty-to-absolutely boring outside of about five minutes. Why would ESPN pay billions of dollars ($1.9 billion a year allegedly) to broadcast such awful games? You would think they would have top billing on what games to show, so either they don't or the people who run the NFL broadcasting department in Bristol are total morons. In any event, the Rams have a chance to keep it close so long as Sam Bradford is up against Eli always have a chance if the Eli factor is in play.
12:00: High noon. Still haven't watched any pre-game coverage because I lost my remote in my room and the box is tuned onto ESPN, and you know how I feel about that. Out for my Sunday booze run. See you very shortly, and enjoy your Sunday everyone!

12:40: Just got back. Watching ManU/Chelsea, and Torres missed a literal empty-netter (I say "literal" because sometimes the net is kind of empty, and sometimes it's completely vacant, like today). He's been J.D. Drew/John Lackey-esque upon his arrival to the Blues. And after watching that, I'm officially switching over to football.

12:46: Roy Williams is out for Chicago...big money on New Orleans now.

12:47: Poll question on CBS: "Who would be better/is better in Atlanta, Vick or Matty Ice"...I mean I love me some Matt Ryan, but he has absolutely no chance in a better QB race against Vick. The only loophole to all of it would be if you thought Vick would have a bunch of haters, but to that I say that if he started winning games in Atlanta, the haters would slowly be removed from that situation. All about winning.

12:57: Jeff Otah, Carolina's starting left tackle, is out today...still going Panthers.

1:05: Jeremy Shockey's getting mad looks early on. Already w/ two receptions (should have been three but he dropped one right in his hands). Steve Smith gets two quick receptions. It's early, but the Carolina Panthers are in business!

1:08: Cam runs the option for five...has any option play after the year 1965 gone for more than 10 yards? You could say the wildcat was kind of an option package, but we're talking about a QB running down the line and pitching...needless to say it's tough to do

1:11: The Jets are wearing the "Titans" throwbacks, which combine the perfect look of "ugly as shit" and the feeling that they haven't lost a game in those yet (have they?...I don't remember it happening).

1:12: Despite two ridiculous stupid penalties nullifying a TD, the Panthers are first and goal from the 2. Cam lobbed a great ball to Brandon LaFell for a TD (for now, it's under looked good though)

1:18: Jets score a safety off the Jags. This is like the foreword for a blowout.

1:29: Jammal Charles just totally did something terrible to his leg. Wow, the luck I have with a Charles/Steven Jackson fantasy combo.

1:30: Minny's offense looks improved, or Tampa's defense totally sucks...Adrian Peterson literally bull-rushed the entire D almost into the end zone. Third and goal for Minny, and at last check, Josh Freeman's mouth stopped bleeding (did I mention that before?...oh yeah, by the way, Josh Freeman was QBing with a mouth full of blood. Is this the end of my fantasy relevance this year already? Shit like the last two posts make ya wonder.

1:40: Official verdict on the Bills' home uni's: Love 'em. 3rd and goal Oakland at the 1 though...and they just had a neutral zone infraction, but if you're gonna do it, ya might as well do it when it's only going to cost a half a yard.

1:46: Nick Mangold is the next victim of "nasty players who are getting hurt way too early" list. Charles' has a knee injury they're saying. No word on the severity, but one of my teams is totally f***ed.

2:10: Wow, Roethlisberger barely walking off the field. A rash of injuries to stars. At least one person in this world is thinking about a who's year is going to end office pool...hopefully for somewhat my conscience's sake, at least two.

Ray Rice: #2 RB in the league...I'm pretty sure if the first two weeks haven't done it for ya, dunno what's gonna.

2:11: Tampa's offense has been horrifyingly anemic. It's getting to the point where I question if I know what I'm talking about...and then really, I say it's everyone hits 100%?

2:19: Brownies take the lead in Indy off a Peyton Hillis TD. Again, this is a landmark moment for the Browns being favored in a meaningful game on the road vs. Indy.

J-Camp makes it 21-3 Oakland has the line and the RBs to make it happen. Basically no starting receivers today. Quite impressive. WHERE IS SCOTT CHANDLER??? Haha, give it to the big guy!

2:27: I would like to use this as a podium to take back everything I've ever said negatively about Matthew Stafford. Wow can he just burn throws in there. I dunno what happened during the last rehab stint, but he's made some serious adjustments. Detroit up big, Matt Cassel has entered the "I want to kill all my teammates" phase of this game. That can't be good for them.

2:36: Defining screwed up fantasy moment of the day: I am now pseudo rooting against Matt Schaub tonight to at least attempt to justify starting Josh Freeman this week (who, again, I'm convinced in nasty). After the first half, Freeman is 7-11 for 52 yards....reeeeaaaaaalllllyyyyyyy??? 52 yards man? Shouldn't that be how much Mike Williams has by now?

2:45: Yes LeGarette Blount! FINALLY!!!! He's broken through!!!

2:47: Sorry to abruptly cut this short, but a friend is in need at the airport, and drinking alone is just not acceptable when you're a guest in Titletown, so I'll be back later for ramblings about how awesome the Pats are...or how shitty it all went. Fred Jackson just scored. Circle the wagons!

Tuesday (obviously time not really an is 7:33...there ya go): So due to my love of airport bars and kickball, I haven't really been able to throw...anything up about anything, so this will kind of be long-but-not-annoying-long winded summation and what the dilly yo is and could be yo...

Okay, the Pats were great, but first, THANK YOU TAMPA! JOSH FREEMAN AND LEGARRETTE BLOUNT ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE! Oh man was that Detroit game so tough to watch (more on Detroit in a Detroit, I say hey why not?), but the Bucs responded in a big way at the Baggie. Blount was ruining guys, Freeman was sharp (his mouth not bleeding profusely like earlier in the game may have helped)...haha, I mean I have to tell you, I benched Blount for Wes this week (I was envisioning a Welker bonanza again because for some reason I think he has found a nose for the end zone...or the Miami game totally suckered me in, either way). So it's good to see Tampa back to pulling off the comebacks.

Sooooo, the Pats are a machine, but man, the injuries just seemed to keep piling up. This is up-and-down clearly a solid team (even with the Brandon Meriweather getting released, which could have got bad but Sergio Brown is really playing well for them and got a pick Sunday), but Aaron Hernandez, Patrick Chung, Ras-I, the other big Z (Zoltan Mesko, who had a look like his own lineman falling on his leg while punting was not in his intentions)?...Man, how fun is the Gronkowski/Hernando combo to watch? Two tight ends literally have dominated the opposing defense in the first two games being critical to equal 14 point wins (did you see how many passing yards Henne and Rivers threw up?...I don't even want to know...haha, >700 for sure, wow).

Ocho may have not had his defining game as a Patriot, but I really love watching him play, and whatever it is that he does when he's on, just go for it. Everyone, EVERYONE loves Chad in New England. Seriously, Randy are you not coming out of retirement to play with these guys?...Deion Branch is like the fifth passing option, and he's still pretty great. He could be like how he was in the Cunningham-Vikings era...just bring him out for like 15-20 plays, and when he's open, throw him the ball...and that's pretty much it. There is a reason that when you say the phrase "Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time," you absolutely have to at least think about it. I think Moss is now fully aware, and I think he could be like the bizarro Favre/Jordan and be amazing coming back from retirement (the second time for both of them) and could benefit him getting his first ring (as of right now, he's the greatest player to EVER play the game and not win a ring...but I do love Earl Campbell, Steve Largent and Eric Dickerson...I'm totally getting a Dickerson Rams throwback in blue...already have the white!).

Oh well.

So the injuries are mounting...I have to say Buffalo is absolutely gonna play this week completely out of their minds (if you're a Pats fan, and you've always wanted to go up to Buffalo to see them destroy the Bills like they have in the past, I would not suggest this game). The crowd is going to be totally nuts, at least until we hopefully take them out of it. I know those secondary injuries are going to be apparent, but right now, if you are a fan of this team, you must believe that Tom Brady and his accompaniment will show you the promised land. That's not supposed to be a knock on the D in any way (the Vince Wilfork pick?...I love this man), but I really do think he at least spends some of his time in the Fortress of Solitude that was organically made for Tom Brady to go to, and when he emerges, When he gets the Tom Brady "you're mine, bitch!" look, it is over. It's like the alley-oop through the legs Vince Carter dunk (I'm pretty sure 1,000,000 people have linked this up, make it 1,000,001...the reactions are almost as good as the dunks...Dikembe was literally thanking God).

Elsewhere, Jamaal Charles going down for the season? Wow did they not need for that to go down in KC (I just re-read what I wrote earlier and I mentioned something about Jamaal should be the #1 back on KC always "barring injury"...sorry buddy). Getting blown out once, it's like "okay, shit happens, we just weren't there...that happens...twice?...not to good teams at least. Thomas Jones is going to make some things happen, but KC just lost everyone, and it's going to take them at least a few weeks just to get back to somewhat even-kilter (just need an easy team...okay, I think they have two winnable games...annnnnndddd for now, that's about it...why couldn't we have gotten KC's first round pick instead of New Orleans?!?!


The Saints handled the Bears, moving them to 1-1. In picking that game, I didn't even let my biasedness of hoping the Saints don't do anything too terrific this year block me on that one. As of right now, the highest the Pats would be picking 9th, but I'm sure with tiebreakers and however they determine draft order, they would be lower (hopefully something a bit higher than 24th, the other end of the spectrum currently).

The Bills and the Lions were the spotlight-stealers this week, with a surprising Titan performance being the runner-up (Baltimore looked so good and Tennessee looked so bad in Week 1, I guess that's why I went with the Ravens despite knowing the -5.5 spread was a trap). The Bills came all the way back from a double score deficit late to go to 2-0 with a huge win over Oakland, another upstart coming off a big win last week. Again, Ryan Fitzpatrick...the guy can play. Steve Johnson has left off right where he left us at Week 7 or 8 last year when he basically became a non-factor due to constant double-teaming. Once again, I'm not 100% like I was against Miami. If anything, I'm probably about the same as I was against San 70-75% confident. Without looking, I'm going to go ahead and say the spread is 5.5 (and now the look-up...9.5???...really???...thank God I'm not playing Cousin Sal in "Pick The Spread). I just don't like any of the circumstances with Buffalo perhaps bringing their best possible game, and again, they probably have a 25-30% chance of winning...that makes me a little nervous.

Detroit has looked amazing. Again, Matthew Stafford went through some kind of awakening during his injury (he basically has only played one year, and that first year he was not anything like he is now). Him and MegaTron are absolutely killing it, and there's no sign of that letting up.

Last thought: HUUUUGGGGGGEEEEE win for Atlanta against Philly. Sure Vick got hurt (no word yet on if and when he's coming's looking like "questionable" for the G-Ment this week), but when you're trying to win division titles, you get them how you can, and when they give you the hats and the shirts, they don't come with asterisks. Falcons had a great day from Gonzo and the Burner when they absolutely needed them considering Nnamdi and Asante were heads-up vs. Rowdy Roddy and Double J (that could have actually been a tag-team partnership in WCW). The two combined for 52 yards receiving on the night. Kafka played well in Vick's absence, but this would be a devastation if he had to miss any extended amount of time. I would say by Week 7 or 8, he has to come back or all of a sudden you're competing against a combo of New Orleans, Atlanta, Tampa (2 of those 3) and Detroit for the remaining two playoff spots. The way things are looking in the NFC East, you have a suddenly hobbling Cowboy team sneaking out a victory in San Fran due to a giant pass reception by a guy I've never heard of (and still don't know), a suddenly hot Redskins team coming off another big win vs. two teams that were completely outmatched due to different reasons (the G-Men with their injuries, the Cards with their defense), and the aforementioned Jersey Giants who looked bad against half of the Rams. If Philly can stay the course with a Kafka/Vince Young combo (VY is still inactive mind you), and stay like 5-2, or 4-3, they should get to 11 W's and take that division.

Alright, well, sorry the live diary didn't go as according to plan, but there's always next week right? We'll see how it all goes down. Take care until then though huh. CAN WE GET SOME WINS RED SOX! COME ON!!!...haha, take it easy. Peace.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

So I Talk To My NFL Diary (Week 1, 2011)...

"You can run, you can hide, but there's no escape."

11:25: I'm so pumped for the season to start I can't even stand myself. It's like the normal "why don't they freggin' kick off now" feeling you get right around 11:30, when you've already watched three hours of pregame and it's enough already, but this year, it's like times 50...seriously, I think the NFL lockout could have been a conspiracy because now I care about football even more, and like three months ago, there was really no definitive answer as to if they would play at all.

In any event, doing a live diary, which I admit is stolen from Bill Simmons...but I give him full credit for that, continue to love everything he does (dude, a bad QB draft? great is that?)...but I feel like real time articulation mixed with Parrot Bay and mango juice (I loooovvvveeee bodegas)...there's room for more of it. So away we go...

11:47: JFK is outstanding, but it's so close to non-fiction that you go away thinking "they still really don't know?" I have to say, Bin Laden, Whitey...Obama has three big moves left...JFK, 2Pac, and Biggie...if he figures that out, you have to have him go four more years. I'm telling you, they need to kick the games off at 12:00...dude, church is out right? Sorry, been awhile.

11:54: NFL Network in my opinion just murders ESPN in terms of the pre pre-game coverage. Here's the thing: when you put on NFL Network, you pretty much know what you're getting yourself into. Anything even somewhat non-football related (even the commercials) is the most unexpected thing you will find's football...all...the...time, which is great, because sometimes, I just wanna watch NFL replay real-time, or just watch football because it freggin' great. With ESPN, you have options...making NFL Countdown an hour's enough already. Seriously, throw me some Premier League, or the German soccer league that's supposed to be nasty that I've never seen (I know it's on FOX Soccer, but it's not in HD...and I know that's no excuse, but I'm gonna go ahead and use it anyway). I know, Sunday is supposed to be all about football, but I need an hour...maybe an hour and a half of pregame, one sad/inspirational story, and I'm good to go. Also, I gotta tell seems like Berman is going through the motions, and really, his wheelhouse right now is the "Fastest Three Minutes"...he's got a solid three minutes...the bookends of your sex life basically, and the Home Run least the first "back, back, back, back," and then it gets incredibly annoying. Hiring Rich Eisen to be the face of the network was brilliant...I mean how do you not love him running the 40 in dress shirt-pants-shoes at the Combine?

12:12: Okay, we're inside an hour, here's what I'm thinking today: Clearly Steelers/Ravens is top billing, but of course, I can't help but want to see Michael Vick...I'll be the first to admit that I can't stand another story about him or the Eagles because honestly, it's kind of been overdone this offseason. However, if you objectionably have to pay money to see anyone play, Vick is either #1 or #2 to whoever you love that you can't even look at objectionably (in my case, Tom F'ing Brady...I still don't want to say the F word here ("the big one, the F dash-dash-dash word"), but I'll say shit every now and again...think of this as taking the career timeline of FX or Comedy Central). Lots of talk about the Rams making a game of it. I can't help but think that they do. Call me crazy but I'm completely sold on Sam Bradford being a franchise QB. He just came out of the box and was at a higher progression than he probably had no business being at as a rookie. Also, he's using like the all-underrated team...even Steven Jackson is underrated and he's a star!

Philly's expectations are actually reachable, but the dream team stuff sometimes doesn't work unless you absolutely have total locker room control. Andy Reid is a fantastic coach, but this team will lose at some point, and when the playoffs roll around, Vick is not going to be able to win games on his own like he'll be able to in the regular season (yes, he's that good...I know I know, I'm one of them).

Love Amendola, love Bradford, love Jackson, love Lauranitis, and it looks like they have something in Lance Kendricks...the Rams are no joke, and if Kevin Kolb can be just "good," it will be a Cards/Rams two-horse race of "these teams would win anywhere from 5 to 12 games in another division, but will win at least 8 by playing in their division."

12:26: Okay, so that's pretty much all the pregame material I got...that was fairly painless right? Okay, going to get food because I don't wanna stray too too far from my house today...FOOTBALL IS BAAAAACCCCCCKKKKKKK (I know they played on Thursday, but it's really back when you got seven games going on at the same time, FantasyCast blasting out ever-changing colors and numbers (I'm definitely going to gush about my fantasy teams today, just a heads up...and you're pretty much gonna sit there and take it...sooooo...yeah)...seriously, it may be said like 10 trillion times knowing what today is, but GOD BLESS AMERICA BABY!!!

12:55: Absolutely perfect timing coming back. We're in countdown mode on RedZone (cable's F-You to Sunday Ticket), I've walked about an eighth of a mile today roughly, so there's the exercise (seriously, I'm no John Basedow, but I'm doing okay, and it's not brain surgery on how to get in shape...move and don't eat bad where's my fitness millions?...where are my infomercials?..."Have you heard about the don't eat bad shit and moving plan? Here's how to order"). One more thing before we actually get know, football...having a frozen pizza on hand at all times is a really good idea...they're cheap, the quality isn't as bad as it once was when D'giorno's was by far and away the best you could get...also, you can kind of get an asshole barometer in terms of the reaction to frozen if someone scoffs, it's like "well, you're kind of a douche huh?"

1:09: The 9/11 tributes have been great today, but they are such a downer. I mean we will always remember...especially today, but I can't watch too much of it. Having said that, the anthem singer in Chicago was amazing.

1:14: Matt Schaub got kind of screwed on an Andre Johnson tip of all people. This is worth noting because I'm starting him this week. You know what, rather than just elude to it and saying this guy's on my team, here's the two fantasy teams I have:

Breeze By Ya Like Tecmo Bo:

RB: Arian Foster, LeGarrette Blount, The Firm (Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and Associates), Woodhead, Tim Hightower
WR: Roddy White, Larry Fitzgerald, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, Julio Jones
TE: Vernon Davis, Marcedes Lewis
D/ST: Jets (who I'll be dropping when they play the Pats...and if I don't get 'em again...oh well?)
K: Gostkowski

You Should Return Your Heisman Too Leinart:

QB: JAAAASSSSSHHHH Freeman, Kyle Orton (who I just picked up and I'm starting him this Freeman obviously, but the Lions are gonna be a of those game where you scrape and do anything to win, which may mean not doing well in fantasy basically)
RB: Jamaal Charles, Steven Jackson, LeGarrette Blount, Woodie, Daniel Thomas
WR: Mike Wallace, Mike Williams, Julio Jones, Danny Amendola, Jacoby Ford
TE: Marcedes Lewis, Jared Cook (Gamecock!)
D/ST: Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Pats
K: Woooooooooo Succop (Game-F'ing-Cocks baby!!!)

So there's that...I know, nasty.

1:29: Indy has absolutely no idea what they're in for. They are gonna get someone nasty in the draft next year. Oh, and Texan receivers, feel free to not tip the ball every time Schaubie throws one in there...I mean I'm confident, but it's a little much.

1:31: How is it conscionable to start Luke McCown in Jacksonville...they trade up to get a QB in the first round, they cut Garrard...but Luke McCown is beating out a top 10 pick? Jeeeeessssssshhhhh...another team who is going to get someone nasty next year (at from what I've learned in recent history, probably will be a reach "with huge upside").

1:36: Cincy is starting Dalton...see Jacksonville, it can work...and he went in the second!

1:38: Wow Indy.

1:38: Ray Rice just scored. He actually was close to getting in before, but they reviewed it and spotted him at the 2. Oh, so apparently they're reviewing every TD? I guess this is kinda like the home run replay rule in baseball. I dunno takes a little of the guess-work away from the coaches and their staffs right? Don't they have like replay consultants? Isn't that what Tressel is doing in Indy once he comes back from suspension because of that whole thing at Ohio State?

1:54: I feel like Baltimore is going to fall asleep at the wheel with the lead against the Steelers. They're clearly outplaying them, but that's not a team to take your foot off the pedal with.

1:55: Not getting a lot of updates from Philly/STL...pretty sure it's still 14-7...that's a matchup that if played like 10 weeks from now, it's probably getting flexed in on Sunday night...oh I'm big on the Rams.

2:05: JAAASSSHHHHH just threw a pick. I have to tell you though, he is going to be nasty this year...but I totally sat him on both teams because I kinda knew what was coming...and I totally saw the Texans just destroying Indy today. So, a quick little pat on the back for that action.

2:09: Detroit was just in "no man's land" and managed to pull off a miracle TD throw to MegaTron (two guys I wish I had on one of my teams: Brady and Calvin Johnson). Is there any stat out there that shows any correlation for going for it on 4th down between the opponents 35-45 and having more success than punting? Besides the fact that you'll be labelled with having no balls and if you have just the shittiest defense ever, I'm not so sure punting isn't the best move at that point. Also, what happened to the emphasis on the coffin corner? That's a practicable maneuver that could potentially get your defense started inside the 5 without having to worry about cover men doing acrobatics to save the ball from entering the end zone.

2:36: Stafford is going simply bananas against the Tampa secondary. The Bucs have an improving pass rush, but they're going to have to become amazing quickly because if this is a sign of things to come, they are going to have a tough time with Drew Brees twice and Matty Ice twice.

2:40: Detroit just got called for mimicking a snap count on a field goal, giving Tampa a first down right at the end of the half. Two things: First, if the field goal is normally a silent count with the holder basically just yelling whenever he's ready, why try a snap count to throw them off? Second, how far can this penalty go? Can you imagine if they botched a call accusing the defense of that and it ended up costing them the game?

2:44: Baltimore just went up 29-7...I can feel the NyQuill about to set in...I'm not even a Steelers fan, but I would be so pissed if a team ran a fake extra point when they were up three TDs. They're having a little too much fun with the lead. Also, shouldn't every Baltimore/Pittsburgh game be played at night? I feel like that kind of adds another element to what is already most likely going to be a classic game.

3:06: Steven Jackson is out with apparently a pulled quad...2 rushes, 58 yards...I guess these are the prices you pay for going with someone with some questionable health issues.

3:08: The Chiefs are getting bombed at home with Buffalo on the doorstep again. The break-up of the Charlie Weis/Romeo Crennel duo kind of went under the radar in terms of significant offseason stories.

3:10: Scott Chandler...coming to a fantasy team near you.

3:35: So the Ravens eased off, but the Steelers seem to have taken it past the boiling point and are going ballistic like a robot whose CPU goes haywire, and the eyes turn red, and it just starts destroying everything in its path. They seem to be focused on being as chippy as is humanly possible instead of trying to win.

3:41: Despite Mike Vick doing a dance on them, the Rams are still in it as we get into the 4th. Unfortunately, everyone is dropping Bradford's passes, so they kinda have it in neutral.

3:41: Josh Freeman has returned after a bit of a scary situation involving his throwing shoulder being the middle of a ground/wicked big guy sandwich.

3:52: Six turnovers for Pittsburgh you know how that story ends.

3:54: It's totally pouring in Cleveland. I hate watching the impending doom that is bound to hit us either today or tomorrow. If I see that like the Phillies or the Indians are on, I usually tune over just to see what it's doing there so I know what I'm gonna be waking up to. I mean I could probably watch the news, but what's the point of that?

3:58: Seven turnovers.

3:58: Bradford just left the game holding his hand, Jackson and Amendola are out (Amendola has a dislocated elbow...that sounds horrifyingly painful, like somewhere in between a shoulder injury and being shot with a harpoon gun like at the end of Face/Off). Wow, the Rams are ravaged and it's Week 1.

4:03: 15 yards for LeGarette Blount today? Did he get hurt too? I mean my teams are still bad ass, but seriously, what's with that shit?

4:07: Tennessee was just driving in search of a winning field goal (which was abruptly put to rest just now with a JAX pick), but I mention this because Hasselbeck was going for a spike, and Tyson Alualu attempted to pick off the spike attempt by diving under the O-Line...I'm not sure what's more surprising: Seeing that, or the fact that I've never seen that before...I mean don't you think someone would have thought of that before the year 2011?

4:14: Cleveland/Cincinnati is under two minutes and sports a field goal spread, making it watchable for the first time today (actually, Peyton Hillis is really fun to watch).

4:15: Colt McCoy looks like a rookie against Cincy, this is not good because a.) it's Cincy, and b.) he's not a rookie (you could technically consider him one because he hasn't started for a full season, but he's played enough that he shouldn't be throwing the ball to his offensive lineman on 4th down because he's facing pressure.

4:19: Bold prediction: Carolina beats Arizona in the debut of Cam Newton (or at the very least do not get their asses totally kicked). I think 'Zona's just not that great, and the Cam effect will carry over for at least one game in the NFL.

4:21: Josh Freeman running the two-minute drill makes me remember why I like him so much. He does the classic sidearmed toss a la Favre for a first down. The Bucs just went over the 50 down a touch w/ 16 seconds left...dial up Mike Williams baby!

4:22: Second bold prediction (actually it's not too bold): The 'Skins take the G-Men out today. No Tuck, no Umenyiora (I just spelled that right without looking it up for the first time in my life)...I think Hightower will be alright too. Don't mess it up Rex!

4:27: Amazingly the Chargers continue to be the best team with the shittiest special teams unit in the history of the league. Percy Harvin goes 103 yards on the opening kickoff. No headaches for him means more headaches for anyone playing against him.

4:30: Trying to figure out who's going to replace Donovan McNabb after his time in Minny's up on their carousel of QBs who could conceivably have retired, then have one more good year, then become completely washed up...this of course assuming that I'm right about Christian Ponder really not doing all that well as a starter when his time comes.

4:55: Chad Pennington has resurfaced as a color man for FOX. One of the larger "what-ifs" of the past decade. He was the all-time leader in accuracy for a while (and just looked it up, and he's still #1)...if he doesn't get hurt, he could have been on a Matt Ryan/Matt Schaub/Joe Flacco level, which, while not sounding all that great, would have been a mega upgrade from where his career ended up at.

5:00: I unfortunately am coming to grips with the fact that I may lose at least one, probably both of my both cases, I had the better team on paper, and I know, the games aren't played on paper...but this one actually is, so I did my job...hopefully things work out better next week. Even Schaub didn't really have a great game and the Texans dominated Indy.

5:06: Tim Hightower may have found something here in DC. He seems like he's playing with a renewed vigor. Also, it's have to like being a runner in a system where seemingly everyone, no matter how big or not so big their name is, is getting 1,000 yards.

5:13: I've been really disappointed in the coverage of the games from a technical standpoint. This league makes billions of dollars, and four games so far have cut in and out, and I'm pretty sure you can't put that on RedZone because that channel is clear as a bell. Tighten it up FOX and CBS!

5:17: Thomas Davis just got a fumble recovery for the Panthers...I think the most interesting stat of the day is that Davis had missed 22 straight games before today with two ACL surgeries. That's impressive. This guy is a beast. Remember when he was at UGA? I know I do (nothing specific, just him being nasty really).

5:20: Joe Buck clearly is in the Jim Nantz "these guys are going to call the big games even though there's way more talented and more enthusiastic announcers out there" level, although at least Nantz is tolerable...Joe Buck? Not so much.

5:31: While it's only Week 1, Percy Harvin and Beanie Wells seem hellbent on making up for lost time. Really keep an eye on Harvin. The migraine thing killed his first two seasons, but he has looked just amazing when he's been healthy.

5:48: Haha, I'm calling for Alex Smith to go play action, which he does. Of course he doesn't go to Vernon Davis (yes fantasy, and yes, I know I'm losing), but rather, attempts to shorten his career by diving into two Seahawks in the end zone. It may not happen today, but Colin Kapernick is probably going to have a say in who starts for this team in the present and future. Really like him.

5:51: Cam Newton has like 200 yards and has figured out Steve Smith, while perhaps being completely insane, is still an absolute burner off of the line, esp. against a weak Card secondary.

6:00: Again, it's early, but the Mike Tolbert/Ryan Mathews combo has to be the best 1-2 in the league right now. Mathews can absolutely turn it on in open field, and Tolbert is like Bettis Lite.

6:03: While Newton continues to just bomb it to Steve Smith (the last catch is about to be overturned, and would have been for 42 yards, but I mean he's out of bounds by a half a step...and he's burned them for two deep TDs already...this could get record breaking), DeAngelo Williams? 5 yards.

6:07: I know the impending doom Giants fans are feeling right now.

6:12: It's really late to be bringing this one up, but SC/UGA was an epic slugfest (Isaiah Crowell was so good it was just frustrating we had no answer on how to stop him). If you were wondering when Jadevion Clowney was going to make an impact, that period of thought is over. He's a large man amongst grown kids. Melvin Ingram? Have you ever heard of a D-Tackle on the hands team? Unbelievable. Antonio Allen, I'm telling you...double A in the double A (All-American). ND/Michigan? Anytime the next day, when you hear "one of the greatest finishes of all time," and cannot in any way dismiss that fact...amazing.

6:23: The Newton passing meter reads 288 right now, 14 off the rookie Week 1 record by the unheard from Peyton Manning (again, dude today, wow Indy). The crowd in Zona, which is usually hyped, is totally silent. This is an interesting story that's developing (also I like when bold predictions work out...who wants to predict shit and not be right?)

6:33: Rex Grossman on the heels of 300 yards is almost as big as Newton. He's know...good. Ah good for dem! Ah good for dem!

6:35: Finally checked the Sox score. 9-1? Really? I didn't think it would get to the point where I thought I would get nervous...and I don't even know if I am nervous, but you can't help but be a little concerned. I mean five losses in a row and getting swept by a team that was so far in our rear view that I could care less what Tampa was doing like a month ago, now I'm hanging on every Devil Rays score...not an ideal situation I would say.

6:40: Greg Olsen all day.

6:40: I dunno if I'm going to keep this going through the Sunday night game...I think at some point, I might run out of semi-cleaver shit to say...I hope not, but I do want to throw that possibility out there. I've been googling (or is it googleing...googleing is okay I guess...kinda looks weird) LeGarrette Blount, and all we know is that he had five carries today, and in his previous starts, his low carry amount was gives Raheem?

6:47: Penalties that are stupid: 15 yards for going to the ground to celebrate (called on Cam Newton...and that's it...even though dudes have been doing it all day long), 15 yards for hitting anyone remotely hard...I'm telling you, penalties are not going to stop hard hits, and most of them are a part of the game (the absolute malicious like I want to literally knock your head off of your body hits...those are penalties). It sucks when guys get knocked out, and I understand the severity of post-concussion syndromes, but I feel like once you step in between those lines, you have to be aware of the fact that things could go south at any point. You're affecting games because of the things that naturally happen in said games, thus making it less of a game...ya dig?

6:54: Cam Newton: 331

6:55: Okay, Antrel Rolle just led with his head and went helmet to helmet on Fred Davis while he was on the ground...that's 15...that's the literal definition of unnecessary roughness...when you can touch a guy to get him down, and you lay into his head...probably a little unnecessary.

6:58: Fred Davis is finally breaking through. I love Chris Cooley, but Davis has to be #1 on that depth chart (I swear Troy Aikman literally just said the same thing...I dunno if he said "I love Chris Cooley" though.

6:59: In case I'm not here tonight, I do want to comment on Cowboys/Jets. First, I'm picking the Cowboys because I think they need this one to showcase that they are not the ugly stepsister to Philly in the East. Felix Jones has a monster first week. I still remain skeptical about him being an every down guy. I really want to see how much exposure they give DeMarco Murray in his first week. If they use the Jones/Murray combo correctly, Dallas could have a juggernaut on offenese.

7:05: Patrick Peterson is having a tremendous game. He just made a really slick move eluding a tackle on a punt return, then turned on the jets, then high-stepped, then realized he was about to get hit, then turned the jets on again for the score. Brandon LaFell, while not being the most marquee guy in the league, is still decent, and only got three catches.

7:10: The Vikes just lost on an offsides forced by a Philip Rivers hard count...ouch...then comes the new leader for stat of the day...Donovan McNabb: 39 yards passing...I swear I got all the numbers in there.

7:13: I love Rex Ryan, but if he thinks this game tonight is the most pressure-packed game he's had because of 9/11 and perhaps from facing his brother, you can see why he's lost two AFC Championship games. Again, I love Rex Ryan, and I'm sort of jealous that the Jets have him because he fits in there so well and I honestly didn't mind when the Jets totally sucked (and their fans couldn't be found unless they were at the draft booing), but this is just a regular season game. Yes, it will be emotional with all that's going on, but pressure-wise? You want to win them all, but you get to play next week win, lose, or draw, but the playoffs? Now that's some pressure there.

7:19: Okay now RedZone is shorting out...a message to you NFL: Get your shit together dog!

7:21: Carolina/Zona is enthralling...fourth down at the 6 for Carolina!

7:22: 'Zona with the time out, that lets me talk about Entourage, which is coming to a finale...finally. Seriously that show had the same formula for four consecutive years and I wouldn't watch it until I had absolutely exercised literally every other option I had for TV. The show had some great moments, but wow, it really got old. This is the show's shot to at least go out well...they can make that happen right? Oh, but before, a new Curb...that show and Louie have had possibly the best single seasons of comedy since the Seinfeld era. Outstanding.

7:27: Ted Ginn takes it to the house! Then, he runs by the cheerleaders who should be going nuts, and they're going through the motions...that was disappointing I have to say. This game continues to be close for some reason. The Niners have dominated...and they're playing against Tarvaris Jackson...this should be like a 20-point spread at least right now.

7:28: The 'Skins win, and the Panthers make it respectable (although they prob should have won that game...Mike Goodson ran a four yard pattern when they needed five). Hate him or love him, Cam Newton is the leading passer in the NFL for at least today (Brady might be up in those numbers...hopefully Orton for me in the league that I actually might have a chance to lose by less than 50)...Four, Hundred, Twenty, Freggin' Two Yards today.

7:31: Oh my God Ted Ginn!!! This is what we've been waiting for him to do since he busted out his rookie season. Wow, two consecutive returns (one kick, one punt) for touchdowns!

7:36: Finally gonna talk about the Pats for a little bit. Honestly, I'll be stunned if we win by less than 20. Unless Cameron Wake is able to be like Shang Tsung and just morph into different people's bodies, their D sucks for the most part (Vontae Davis and Karlos Dansby being exceptions). Let me lay it down like this: Anytime when by far the best offensive player you have is a tackle, and after Brandon Marshall, average at best? We should just smash them. I think orange jerseys are the only way Miami has a chance. It seems like when they rock those, they just play better for some reason.

7:41: T-Jack with another fumble. I think him and Donovan are 1-2 in bad QB draft rankings...where is JaMarcus Russell when you need him?

7:42: Well, I'm gonna eat, and after that, I dunno...I'll throw out some thoughts about the Boys/Jets and Curb and Entourage. See ya in a bit.

8:52: Ahhhhh, rising crust pizza. So good! Tellin' ya, frozen pizza is no joke. Speaking of no jokes, Dez Bryant is just an animal. And he's the punt returner? He's gotta be the biggest return man I've ever seen. Sad thing is, like Clay Matthews, I'll always associate him with a team who traded with the Pats to get him. There have been Kyle Bollers in that situation, but there have been Dez Bryants in that situation as well (speaking of the draft, without taking tiebreakers and common sense into account, the Pats would be drafting #1 overall with the Saints' pick...I'm just saying).

9:28: Splitting time between the game and Fletch and Fletch Lives. I see Dez has been shipped off to Revis Island. I guess that was bound to happen. The best of Hard Knocks was on today, and I couldn't help but continue to be spellbound as Antonio Cromartie attempted to name all his kids' names. He was solid through the first four, but you could see the gears turning right around the sixth one...I think he was just saying "my son" and "my daughter" instead of their actual names. Seriously, after like three, does it not dawn on you that you can have sex and not potentially be looking down the barrel of a paternity suit every time.

9:33: Cowboys are on the move. Clearly they are picking on Cromartie tonight, first with Dez, now with Miles Austin. The Cowboys are a nightmare to try and cover. The run attack has been good with Felix. We just had our first DeMarco sighting. Very surprised Choice is still the #2 back.

9:43: Defensive Player of The Year Nominees:
  1. DeMarcus Ware
  2. Ndamukong Suh
  3. Patrick Willis
  4. Jerod Mayo
  5. Lawrence Timmons
I can't see basically anyone else having a chance...maybe Mario Williams, a different Steeler perhaps? I don't know if Revis or Nnamdi will ever win one because the award is based purely on numbers, which they don't get because no one throws to them, so no numbers.

11:18: Tired and heavily distracted at this point. Just watched the last Entourage...again, bits and pieces were great (Johnny Drama's last line after Turtle says he's getting emotional: "Yeah me too...I hope I find something in Paris to f___"...classic), but overall, the show always felt rushed and things would just happen just so they could conveniently happen. How does the girl go from not really liking Vince to marrying him after one night...I mean I've had good nights, and I've thought "hmmm, we might have an interesting future together," but marriage? Haha, anyway it's finally over, we can all move on.

Curb was mostly brilliant, as it has been all year. I would say however that the finale and the invention episodes were the weakest, but even the weak ones were can't miss.

11:25: The Jets are in the middle of the two minute drill finding themselves tied up after a miraculous blocked punt that was returned for a TD. The Jets need to work on methods to help protect the Sanchize. He is getting harassed on every play, and it's only a matter of time before something bad happens.

11:28: Anthony Spencer just sacked Sanchez on 3rd down with a minute left. So, like I was saying, protection...

11:29: Watched the promo for next week's Sunday night game: Philly at Falcons need to rebound from today, where they didn't play terribly, but did manage to get their asses kicked by the Bears, and Philly?...well, if one week means anything, they'll be okay.

11:31: Romo gives the ball right back to the Jets...really? Dez didn't look like he was 100%...perhaps something happened? (I'm reading around...cramps maybe?). In any event, why even chance it throwing it anywhere near Revis? Also, if you for some reason do try it, don't throw a half-ass duck like that.

11:34: Nick Folk, former Cowboy (which was only mentioned by Al Michaels five times in the last 30, 40 seconds), nails a 50 yarder to put the Jets up for the first time.

11:36: Witten got called for a questionable pick on the defender, which sprung Miles Austin wide open across the middle...the worst I could say about that play was that it was "craftily done," but I wouldn't say illegal.

11:37: And now...the best stat of the day: Dallas has never...ever lost a game when leading by 2 TDs going into the 4th quarter...not once...never ever ever in the history of the franchise...that's amazing.

11:39: The wheels have come off the wagon for Dallas yet again in Week 1. Romo just botched the snap, has to throw it away w/ 3 seconds left. Rob Ryan looks like he's about to kill numerous amounts of, what a difference a few shows on HBO made when coming back to this game. Jets take it 27-24.

11:42: Alright, well, there's Week 1...that was actually fun...less grueling than it perhaps could have been...I just had to remember to actually write down what I was thinking...that was new, and kind of an adjustment (you'll see just giant blocks of time in between posts where I was just entranced...and then I looked down at my open computer, and it's like "ohhhhh, I should have probably noted some of the things I was saying for the last half hour huh?"). I have to say though, it's not like I was doing a whole lot else. Actually, it was a way to be somewhat productive when I would have been drinking and watching football anyway. Might as well write something too ya know? We'll see what happens next week (I dunno if I'll be around, we'll see), but I can almost assure you that this will not be the last NFL diary (otherwise, dating it in the title would have been kinda pointless). So, from world headquarters above a Haitian market, have a good night everyone. GO PATS! Later. Peace.