8:50: Howdy, howdy. Off to an early start today due to a weird sleeping system I was on this weekend (sleep all morning Saturday, most of the afternoon, and all night), so the batteries are recharged, and we are ready for Week 5 to get going!...but there's still four more hours so don't get too excited.
I know last week I said something to the effect that I was going to tidy up the mess I made in concluding the thoughts, but I decided (procrastinated) to come in for some closure right here:
Again, Josh Freeman and LeGarrette Blount...Thank...You...Man oh man, it looked like Tampa was going into an offensive coma for a while, but two and a half straight showings of Freeman being the calm, cool, collected general that is his meal ticket, and Blount literally destroying everything in his path. Tampa is 3-1 after beating the Peyton-less Colts (told you it was going to be close...oh, and I'm probably going to use this space to tell you how nasty I've been with picks lately...I might as well, because I'm pretty sure it won't last).
I was surprised how bad the Jets looked against Baltimore. It's like they showed up to a fight, but forgot to strap the gloves on tight enough, so they wound up just jabbing while the Ravens came out with haymakers. I was secretly hoping the Jets would pull it out so the Pats would slam them today in a let-down game, but clearly, the dynamic of today's game has changed. Now at 2-2, the Jets are being pushed into a corner where if they lose this game, they all of a sudden fall into Buffalo's company of "might make the playoffs, but likely won't."
So, what's going to happen today? Well, I just can't see a blowout. I mean if the Jets had won last week, maybe. Right now though, the Jets have to be motivated to at least make a respectable showing. The two things I'm fearing the most:
- Losing The Run Game: I don't know why, but it seems like we get into a lot of trouble when we face early adversity in the running game. It's like all of a sudden, we decide that because it hasn't worked, it won't work. That simply won't be the case today. Yes, the Jets have a stout defense...clearly one of the best in the league, but they are 27th in the league against the run. Even with the great Danny Woodhead not out there sticking it to Rex today, we have The Firm and America's favorite backup pickup this week, Stevan Ridley. The number is 135. If the Pats gets to 135 on the ground (more than capable), they Jets should have absolutely no chance.
- Plaxico: While Santonio Holmes is a terror, at least Devin McCourty can slow him down a little. We simply have no answer for Plaxico right now. The one chance we have is that the Jets believe they can exploit the middle of the field with no Jerod Mayo. While I agree that Keller will have a decent game because of this, the Pats LB core is very underrated, and that space will not be there all game. If Sanchez is smart, he would work the ball from the outside-in, meaning go to Santonio and Plax early, then work it back to the middle to exploit a defense that will be overcompensating by playing too wide.
9:43: Okay, time for predictions...again, I have been outstanding, and I quite frankly don't care if this jinxes me. Anytime you put up 12+ wins in back-to-back weeks, you should take time out to tell everyone that this is the reason you should tune in every week...I'm the f*cking man, and that's all there is to it. How about that action?...
Daaaaaaaaaaa Pats (-7) vs. The Jets: While I don't think it will be a blowout, that means no 45-3. What I do see happening is the Jets being completely out of place all game long. This Patriots team just put its best game up last week, so there's relatively no film of what Ridley does, what the Fletcher/Spikes combo brings up the middle, and also, we still haven't seen the Ocho in full effect. Playing at home and not having Revis on him should get him back up and running...oh, by the way, did I mention the Pats might be getting Aaron Hernandez back? Him and Gronk? Forget it.
Indy (-2) vs. KC: I think we saw a little glimpse of what Curtis Painter can do last week. This week will be his coming out party. His expanded use of Garcon last week pushed the Bucs to the brink on Monday. Matt Cassel against Freeney and Mathis? Yeah I'll pass.
Minnesota (-3) vs. Arizona: How long can this possibly go on for? Here's yet another mediocre team for Minny, and this team should suit them perfectly. All Day should have his usual strong showing, but I'm more cuP=rious to see what McNabb does against this downright awful secondary.
Philly (-3) vs. Buffalo: I will be stunned if Philly doesn't totally drill Buffalo today. The Bills were exposed for the .500 team that they are. They need at least two weeks to get pumped up for playing anyone good. I know Philly is 1-3, but I think we all get the feeling that they aren't that bad. That loss to the Niners last week had to be a wake up call. I mean if they can't turn it around here, then when? (this is going to be a recurring theme I have a feeling...we've already had two "if not now, when?" games).
Oakland (+5) vs. Houston: I will lose this pick happily if not to just root for the Raiders for one day...just one.
Carolina (+7) vs. New Orleans: What can I say? I thought Chicago would put some kind of hurting on Cam to welcome him to the league properly, and instead, he was outstanding again. So, until otherwise noted, keep putting the money on Cam. This would be a massive win if they could get this one done at home.
Jacksonville (+1.5) vs. Cincy: In a battle of rookie QBs, I'm going with the Jags, who are on the upper cusp of the sucky teams (I assumed this would be the Gus Johnson game, so I looked it up, and he isn't on the schedule again!...what the hell is going on man???).
Tennessee (+3.5) vs. Pittsburgh: This line went from 8 to 2.5 in some places (and yes, I use the most favorable point spreads for my picks...you would too). I mean what is going on with the Steelers? I wouldn't put all the blame on the D, but they certainly have been playing under their level this year. The worst thing for them is going up against a vet QB who can side on his ability to not make mistakes and rely on the running game. I'm going Titans, but I mean really Pittsburgh...really?
The G-MEN (-10.5) vs. Seattle: A lot to a little.
San Fran (-3) vs. Tampa: This was a tough one. You have a great Niners defense (and yes, those words sounded funny thinking and writing them) against one of the best clutch QBs in the game. It will come down to the wire, but I'm going to take my chances with the defense and a heavy dose of the running game and V-Dub from the offense.
San Diego (-3.5) vs. Denver: I finally just decided to go with the better team and the likelihood there will be a mock mutiny at Mile High to get Tebow the starting gig.
Atlanta (+6.5) vs. Green Bay: Probably not the wisest decision to once again go against the best team in football, but Atlanta has looked phenomenal at the Hottie, and that Packer secondary is going to get worn out by Rowdy Roddy and Julio streaking up the sidelines, with Gonzo in the middle, and the Burner crushing it up the middle.
Detroit (-5) vs. Chicago: Hey, why wake up from this dream now?
11:27: Wow, that took a long time. I went back and forth on Denver/San Diego about 40 times, but that's finally over, now, onto more pressing issues...
The Andrew Luck Sweepstakes (oh, by the way Rick Reilly, you're a follower and your shit hasn't been good since you were on the back page of SI...once I saw that article, I knew I was officially done with that issue)
- Minnesota (3/1): Once the Vikings blew yet another lead and lost, they climbed to the top of the board. Now if they lose to 'Zona today, they will have a stranglehold over it come next week. I mean really Minnesota?
- Miami (7/2): You know it's bad when you get more sucky during a bye week. Chad Henne is done for the year...we have our long-term favorites in South Beach.
- Seattle (4/1): If Seattle can somehow pull this game off today, they may get themselves out of this discussion all together...YOU'RE SUBPOSED TO BE TANKING!!!
- KC (9/2): After a loss today, they will be right back in the thick of things.
- St. Louis (5/1): A bye week saves them from moving up the ranks...they are terrible right now though.
12:30: Wow, we almost had a situation there (man it feels good to say that again). Sunday before Columbus Day = closing of liquor stores apparently. Thank God for the 24/7 Tedeschi's (the less sucky 7-11 in the northeast). We're rocking Oktoberfest Narragansetts...you heard me (they actually call it "Fest"...which is wicked freggin' stupid guys). Okay, we're back on the right path.
12:37: I'm thinking Jacoby Jones and Michael Jenkins will be the biggest beneficiaries of injuries on the receiving front. Issac Redman could get the bulk of the carries today vs. the Titans.
12:42: Picks I'm most worried about: Houston, San Fran, San Diego...ummm...basically, stay away from them. Especially that San Fran game...if anything, they'll probably just cover with a field goal win. That game is gonna be real tight.
12:58: Countdown mode!!! Does it get any better than NFL Films music? I put "A New Game" in one of my power hours, and it was amazing!
1:01: Official review on 'Gansett "Fest"...you'll appreciate the value or think it totally sucks.
1:01: Sorry, I know I shouldn't do this...I'm officially changing the pick to the Raiders...see above.
1:05: Haha, Oakland looked horrrrreeennnndous on their first drive. If Oakland loses, I'll feel bad...I won't be crushed though. All I need is a close game and Arian Foster to have over 200 and two scores...I think that's what they've been projecting him to get this week.
1:06: The newest trend in fantasy: The Vulture Tight End Score...what can I say, you gotta have two real good ones to be making it happen now-a-days.
1:10: Vintage MoJoDo. The original bowling ball back.
I have a feeling that by switching my pick, I basically spotted Houston 30 points...so we'll see how that goes.
1:11: Two inside runs to Foster on first and goal from the 7. Am I crazy for thinking that in the first two downs, you should attempt one throw every time?
1:13: From what I'm seeing in Jersey, the G-Men did not wake up for this one. Hmmm...not liking where that's headed (pick-wise...in reality sense, go Pete Carroll).
1:16: Pierre Garcon for six on a screen. The Painter/Pierre combo is on fire baby!
1:19: At least once a day, you have to mention that this game is going to commercial, but Red Zone doesn't do commercials!!!
1:21: Where's Jake Ballard going? A fantasy team near you, that's where.
Adrian Peterson...if ever an appropriate nickname...it's All Day in a game Minny has to win.
1:23: Fred Jackson puts it in for the Bills. Their fans are insane this year. Vick needs a, ya know, Vick performance.
A.J. Green for another score. Again, I like him, but over Julio...ehhh...hey I was wrong about Mario Williams, so I could be wrong again.
1:30: Schaub gets picked. Seriously, one day, go Oakland.
1:31: Antonio Brown with a big kick return and a big catch setting up a TD to HEATH. The walking wounded looking good against the Titans.
1:32: Yeah Minny's not losing this game.
1:33: Janikowski paints it from 54 yards! An arena league field goal kick. Strongest kicker evvvaaaaahhhhh dude.
1:35: Donovan doesn't do the Thriller TD dance anymore...what's with that? He can't do it once? (ohhhh wait, they've blown every lead they've had this year...riiiiggghhhhtttt).
1:38: Ohhhh huge Cam/Steve Smith hookup for 6. Hit in the end zone, Smith is throwing punches...classic "egging him on" move by New Orleans...that's a double-edged sword (he may get thrown out, he may get 250 yards)
1:40: Mario Williams is down in Houston? Can we please just get all the stars through one week unharmed please?
1:42: Marcedes with a drop in the end zone...he's good, but really off to a slow start thus far.
Joseph Addai just got pulled from the Indy game...it's time to see what Delone Carter is all about.
1:43: Marshawn Lynch in for six. Seattle, the lone double-digit underdog this week...is it possible that Tarvaris Jackson is battling Eli in the "who would you absolutely not any sum of money riding on" game?
1:45: Horrendous fumble call in the Philly/BUF game...even so, Philly needs something big to happen soon before this one gets out of hand.
They keep showing the replay, and it looks uglier and uglier every time.
1:49: Huge roughing the passer play on Vick! Man, he is getting pounded this year. Again, the game is better with him in it.
1:52: Vick to Maclin...okay I was wrong about him. He might be in the "nasty" category after all.
1:53: Steelers making a statement. Shitttttt, I should have seen this coming.
Painter/Pierre again! Oh my Dick Emberg!
1:55: Schaub throws a huge TD pass to Joel Dreissen. Raiders!!! Ahhhh...emotional let down was why I picked against you in the first place!
1:58: Woowwwww, Seattle driving again? Unreal. Every time you pick Eli, he loses. It's only when you least expect him when he strikes...
1:59: Huuugggggeeeee pass play to Fred Jackson...okay the picks might totally suck this week.
Dude, Philly's D should be embarrassed. They have looked completely unresponsive in a game that they absolutely need. Buffalo is apparently the toughest place to play in the league now.
2:05: I think perhaps we underestimated the Jonathan Dwyer/Issac Redman combo. It's 2nd and goal with Redman looking unstoppable to this point.
2:10: All systems go for teams who had to win: Minny, Indy, Steelers. Not a good omen going against a Jets team that probably has to win.
2:18: Delone Carter...you know where he's going...
2:21: Gigantic option play to DeAngelo for six in Charlotte. My fantasy bench is lighting it up! (did I mention Dwayne Bowe had his second straight week with "oh no he didn't" TD catches?)
2:23: Big Ben is getting into like Vladimir Guerrero "this is getting painful to watch him do anything" range.
2:27: I'm calling it right now...Philly comes back...I'm sorry, I still just can't see them being this bad. It was the Redskin way to do things this offseason, but they had no QB. Vick with three picks...this won't get any worse right?
2:29: Why chase the points Oakland??? 14-12 in Houston...close.
2:33: G-MEN tie it up. Philly gets the ball down to the 30, Vick waits a second too long, and costs them 3 points. Wow. Elsewhere, Carolina calls an unspeakable timeout with the Saints scrambling to get into their FG formation, allowing the Saints to put 3 on the board before the half.
2:38: Oakland's on their own 30 w/ two seconds left...I was absolutely expecting at least a camera shot of Janikowski there.
2:39: Jacksonville/Cincy is already two minutes into the second half...is it possible this game is commercial free? I would say that would be a nice promotion to do for the NFL...the absolute worst game each week gets finished as fast as is humanly possible.
2:46: Mario Williams is not walking through that door fans, and if he does, he'll be in street clothes...wow.
2:48: Speaking of wow, Jimmy Graham makes another impressive catch. Sucks to play against him in anything most likely.
2:52: Philly gets bailed out of a total overcompensation call by going for the "surprise" onsides kick. Just let the defense do...something.
And as I say that, Buffalo goes over midfield...okay maybe that was a good idea.
2:55: Alright kids, going to take advantage of the Subway any foot long is 5 bucks campaign (yes, advertising does work people, as long as it's cheap/catchy or the rare combo). Back in a bit. While I'm gone, enjoy the Jack Chop video...it's festive man...and wicked freggin' funny.
3:33: And we're back. Just in time to see Blaine Gabbert bomb one to a wide...WIDE open Jason Hill for a monster 6. In Buffalo, a Vick/DeSean combo leads to six...here we go.
3:35 Run DMC and Jammaster Jay...McFadden on the loose in a 17-15 game going into 4th.
T-Jack out for Seattle? Dude no way! This was the one game he had a chance to pull off, now Charlie Whitehurst...I don't like where that's headed.
3:38 Smart timeout by J-Cam...I mean it's stupid that they couldn't get a play off, but they're down by the red zone and they had two...you can't argue with them in a 2 pt. game.
3:40: Ohhhhhhh Victor Cruz with the tip catch! Huuuggggeeeee for the G, G, G, G, G-MEN!
J-Cam to Schillens for the first Oakland lead of the day. THHHEEEE RAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIDDEERRRSSS!!!
3:44: Here comes Philly. Down inside the red zone down 10. Ohhhhh Buffalo. They should just intentionally go down two scores a game. That's the one way you know you're in trouble with Buffalo.
3:46: Philly gets a TD wiped off the board with a block in the back. Cincy keeps the chains moving with a desperation fourth down play. I think there are as many Cincy fans as Jag fans in Jacksonville.
3:52: Fake punt by Oakland! That was genius. You will be reading that one was for Al tonight.
3:54: G-Men fumble. Gabbert just olayed a snap. Cincy ball in deep with the lead. Indy is trying to survive the KC passing game coming out party.
3;56: Indy trusting the defense...interesting. I would probably cover Bowe and Breaston who have torched them all game.
3:58: Janikowski is going to Hawaii...book it Dano (hahaha, I'm priceless).
3:59: Jackie Battle...here he comes.
4:01: Alright, time for some 5 dolla footlong action. Let's Go PATS!!! It's 83 time baby!
4:02: 5 dolla footlong action...gross out of context.
4:16: We are under way in Foxboro. Pats rocking the retro reds! Oh you're done! Haha, it is interesting to note that Mangold is back under center. Despite the egregious coverage of Mangold being out = why they suck, he is a big part of their offense.
4:18: Three and out! Leigh Bodden with the break up. Good pressure on the Sanchize. Here we go D!
4:20: Very spotty on the picks this afternoon...bummer. Well, I set myself up for that one.
4:21: We have a WELKER sighting, but nothing materializes. Richard Seymour is having a monster game for the silver and black.
4:26: Another series that goes nowhere for the Jets. Huge reception for Dub-Dub. Gunning with Wes, running with the Firm...we're all about it baby!
4:31: Seahawks get a 94 yard pick 6...ballgame...man...of course I'll say this now, but I was thinking about going w/ T-Jack...oh well...was not happening early today. The Firm just punched it in though! 7-0 PATS baby!
4:37: Raiders get it done...another pick by Schaub. Great game though.
4:38: A Neon Deion catch is negated by a Gronk facemask call, we have a Brady sack, Hernando gets a false start (still, thank God he's back)...5 receiver on third down and 27...and Hernandez was interfered with!!! First down good guys over midfield!
4:41: False start on Solder (are all our young guys getting called today?). Ridley was in there for a bit, but we're back in business with the Firm.
4:43: Hernandez is beating guys off the line after being out for two weeks with a hamstring injury...you gotta love this guy, but the good guys do punt it into the end zone. First down Jersey.
4:45: Freeman gets pick-6'd. Wow I am not doing so hot picking who to start fantasy-wise so far.
4:49: Pats make another 3rd down stop. Well alright now! Welker on the punt return (Edelman inactive today...no idea why), and Wes is getting a little bit of star treatment with a 15 yard "late hit" (look, I know there are rules and what not...if a guy is close to the sideline, it should be okay to push/deck him).
4:52: Al Davis was born in Brockton? I did not know that.
4:53: Chris Culliver with another pick thrown by Freeman. Sucks for me, but GAMECOCK! First career one too.
4:55: Kyle Wilson yells "all day!" to Gronk after making a tackle...then gets an illegal contact penalty the very next play. I'm telling you, throw it at that guy.
4:57: Ocho misses a block and Deion is stopped short on the bubble screen on third down. Gostkowski nails a 44 yarder. 10-0 Pats. Defense still needs to keep on keeping on. LT seems like he's intent on breaking our will today.
5:05: Heavy, heavy dose of Shonn Greene here. Close to another first down, that's five straight rushes.
5:11: Plaxico w/ another third down reception...this was what I was afraid of.
5:15: Shonn Grenne simply overpowering the line on that drive. 10-7. We gotta get some Firm, and definitely some Aaron Hernandez, who seems to be breaking away on every pass play.
5:55: WES FOR 73 YARDS!!! Then, Neon wide open in the back of the end zone for six. 17-7...and we are out of the gate running!
5:58: McKnight makes a huge return. Shonn Greene is pounding us...gotta hope it comes down to Sanchez trying to win this game.
6:18: Another 3 and out for the good guys. D is stepping up like I hoped they would.
6:19: Kyle Arrington nearly gets to Sanchez, but he gets out of it, and makes a great play to get it out of bounds...okay I admit he's one of the better ones...whatever. 10 yard return from Wes. Ridley gets the carry on first...I dunno...Benjarvus has been dominant today.
6:27: A pass exhibition and a lotta the Firm sets us up inside the 5 with first and goal.
6:29: THHHEEEEE FIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRMMMM BABY!!! Two-time that. 24-14 awesome uniforms.
6:31: V-Dub for another score in 'Frisco...so much for that nail-biter...the count is 41-3. Yikes Bucs.
6:34: The Jets' upcoming schedule is showed with Brady pictured right next to it. Yup, that's how much we're in their heads.
6:35: Plax makes a huge catch, but he steps on the line. Bill throws the challenge flag. Ladies and gentlemen, we're about to be off to the bonus challenge round!
6:50: Short Gostkowski field goal, but the Jets are currently driving with passes to Plax and Santonio and a first down run by Shonn Greene.
By the way. it's Tebow time in Denver.
6:53: Jets continue their methodical drive. Meanwhile, it's most certainly Tebow Time in Denver. Has no passing yards through over a quarter, yet there's no way he doesn't start next game.
6:58: Santonio for six...perfect...everything...damn it. 27-21...and yes, that means we're not covering.
Tuesday: Ooooopps. Haha. You know a game is good when it's at the point where I don't want to type and I just wanna watch every second of the game and not have to worry about missing anything. Really a great game on Sunday. Pats get a win in a game the Jets clearly needed. I have a bad feeling about what could potentially happen south of the border in the Meadowlands...I honestly think they'll be like thirsty for our blood...that doesn't sit well with me as a rational fan. In any event, I'm gonna enjoy this while it lasts. Dallas is up next...I mean Ware has the potential to "Reggie White" us (Super Bowl XXXI, which I'm tired of bringing up, so henceforth, Reggie White = dude who single-handedly destroys teams). I dunno though...Dez Bryant and Miles Austin could sink us if we don't have a decent pass rush. 2 sacks last week...it's something. Mike Anderson was a beast! Where do we get these guys man...Tully Banta-Cain 3.0. As previously noted, Romo is like one game away from losing bones, organs...both? I actually like our chances against Witten. Sanchez tried to get Keller into the equation numerous times, and nothing really transpired...RUN THE BALL!!! Hahaha....it's so simple man!!! The Firm baby!!! He was absolutely amazing. I love what Stevan Ridley is doing, but man, Benjarvus was rolling 7's on every carry it seemed! That was a great performance. Brady over 300, a long freggin' winning streak at Gillette prevails...I'm gonna be surprised if we lose any time before the Jets (not calling the Steelers out or anything, but we're gonna be favored in that game...favored = we should win...that's all).
Okay paragraph break because that looked lengthy...well past any paragraph/# of sentences in one of 'em. Anyway, I'm going to go outside because I know this shit won't last. Catch ya later. Peace.