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...
- Kansas City (5/2): I have Dwayne Bowe on one of my teams...I am terrified he's next (knock on wood).
- 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.
- Miami (4/1): Anytime the coach is on the hot seat in Week 3, that can't be good for business.
- 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).
- Indy (8/1): They are going to be terrible this year, but they at least have the talent to win 5 games...right?
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 Atlanta...to 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 Cleveland...trust 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!
12:26: 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 die...so 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 too...like he actually is...you 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 down...it 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 passing...5...in 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).
2:02: GRRRRROOOOOONNNNNNKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!! 21-zip bitches!
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 out...so 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 about...wow 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 Charlotte...wow 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 today...now?...not so much!!!
3:36: Rolling with Stefan Ridley now...man 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 week...how 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), and...it did. Bright side: No one got hurt, Gronk right now is a top 4 TE (Jermichael Finley clllleeeeaaarrrrrllllyyyy is #1...wow...then 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?...wow 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"...it'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.