Saturday, January 21, 2012

So I Talk To My NFL Diary (Championship Round)

"Bobbin' and weavin' and let the good get even
C'mon down and welcome to the terrordome."

Saturday, 11:18: Man I thought I was pumped up last week. Haha, it's time to get back to that Super Bowl boys! Seriously, we are feeling it up here for two reasons. 1.) There are few teams left that we have not got vengeance on, and those would be the Ravens and the G-Men...that alone is enough right there, but then there's the fact that 2.) this team, despite having bad D stats and all that good stuff, has been on fire for the past wo months, and it could be argued that the current offense is even better than the one we had in 2007.

The Ravens have shown that they have a formidable defense. That's pretty much the most obvious observation you can make about this team, but let's face it, they are the only chance for the Ravens tomorrow. They are going to need all on them to stop the offensive freight train that we have been pummeling opponents with for the last three months. Clearly the focus will continue to be up the middle of the field for the offense. Ed Reed, who is one of the best safeties in the history of the game (Bill refers to him as "the greatest free safety in the history of the league"), but his game is really based on deflecting/catching the deep ball, something the Pats do not nearly as much as they did in the last playoff encounter, or really for the entire decade of dominance. Instead, short passes have burned opposing D's, and if one or two of the members of WHONK is getting doubled, you're going to get burned by the others.

I was watching "AFC Playbook" on NFL Network this morning, because I was pretty sure the Pats game was going to be focused on big time being as it's the only AFC game left this year. Anyway, they ran an interesting piece about the effect that Ray Rice could potentially have. It's no secret that he is their biggest weapon, and in the last two meetings, he's had over 100 yards on the ground. Knowing our "bend, don't break" defensive philosophy, Rice could be close to that in this game, but what was shown was the Pats' ability to limit his yards catching balls out of the backfield. By having Brandon Spikes and Patrick Chung back, we have means for stopping the flow over the middle. They aren't all-pros (yet), but it cannot be emphasized how much they both mean to this D.

I understand Baltimore's got a great team, but I'm taking my chances making Joe Flacco try and beat us, because ultimately, he's going to have to try and keep pace with the Pats' scoring. We likely won't get 45 like last week, but I'll be stunned if we're not right around 25-30 at least, even against such a good defense. What tends to get overlooked when people talk about the divisional playoff game when we got blown out was that Wes got hurt in the final game of the year, and the starting receivers that day were Moss, Edelman, and Sam Aiken. Nothing against those guys, but the lineup of Welker, Gronk, Hernandez, Branch, and the Ocho (yes, that guy) puts them to absolute shame. All I see is an offense that is firing on all cylinders and a defense that is looking to prove themselves, mostly in terms of shutting Rice down.

New England (-7) vs. Baltimore: I will say this: Flacco has a tremendous record in road playoff games (4-1 in non-Pittsburgh games, who he's lost to twice at Heinz), but played fairly shitty in basically all of them (with their blowout of the Chiefs being the exception). He's going to need a monster game ti pull this off, but again, the Ravens have never played against all these weapons,mand while they will put pressure on Tom, he has too many checkdowns up the middlenfor that to work like it has in the past.

The G-MEN (+3) vs. San Fran: I'm not even getting into the stats of it, but more like attempting to reach back to the past to find the answers to this game. So the Niners are coming off a game that was eerily similar to the T.O. catch game (i.e. The Catch II), right down to the crying part. In '98 when that happened, the Niners lost their next game. The G-Men are looking like the road warriors that they were in '07, where they of course won the whole thing. I'll give the Niners all the credit in the world if they can somehow pull this one out because I don't know how they would have anything left after that game last week (in all honesty, the Niners/Saints game is up there with The Music City Miracle and Pats/Panthers in terms of the greatest playoff game I've ever seen).

Alright guys, time to get this party started! Haha, I'm actually finishing this up on Sunday morning (sorry about not time-stamping's 11:00 if you must know), so the excitement is really at a fever pitch right now. I'm pumped. Let's do this. GO PATS!!! Peace.


Friday, January 13, 2012

So I Talk To My NFL Diary (Divisional Round)

"Freak to the funk that no one else is bringing."

Friday, 2:31: So pumped about tomorrow that I couldn't even wait to get this one in. You're probably aware that Tim Tebow will be playing tomorrow night, but it seems like the rest is completely irrelevant. I just want to say thanks to every media outlet for playing the Tebow angle up...again. That really helped the first time around, and I'm hoping for similar results tomorrow.

As for what to expect: Tim Tebow is a gifted athlete, a captivating figure, and a spark plug for football in Denver and the league en general...however, that is not going to matter a whole lot tomorrow in Foxboro. Let me set the mood for you.

The past two seasons, the Pats have been knocked out of the playoffs in their first game. This season, Brady has been playing with that "pissed off, I'm going to light you up" look in his eye more often than not. Expect similar results tomorrow night. As much as Tebow has the desire to win, no one has it more than Tom when he's in the zone. That alone should be a terrifying warning to Denver and Tebow jumkies, but it gets worse (for them...really great for us).

The game is also going to showcase a lot of personalities not present at the last meeting. You may recall Andre Carter actually got injured early on in the first Pats/Denver game, but let's also not forget that Patrick Chung, Brandon Spikes, and Sebastian Vollmer were also not involved. With all three, they will have a big effect on the things Denver loves to do: Rush the ball and rush the passer. While Dane Fletcher had a great season, Spikes is a presence. Comboing him and Mayo will solidify the middle, right where Tebow and Co. do their damage.

Patrick Chung is one of the best hitters in the game. He really is cut from a Rodney Harrison-like cloth. The Pats were playing their safeties way back in their first encounter. While they will likely show the same look this week (the 80 yard TD at the end of the Steelers game was a nice reminder that this team has big play making abilities), Chung has shown the ability to get up to the line as quick as anyone in the league at the free safety position.

Vollmer adds more depth to a line that actually did quite well this season. Him and Matty Light will likely be the starting tackles with Nate Solder serving in spot duty. Denver will be coming with Dumervil and Von Miller all night long. Not saying they won't be able to get a few shots in, but it's great to finally be playing with a full deck on the exterior to at least attempt to stop the pass rush.

The Josh McDaniels angle is really not being played up at all, which I find to be a bit surprising, but in any event, he's back in the fold, which just makes our offense that much better. Not saying that he is going to somehow be able to blueprint everything that Denver will do (he coached there two years ago and drafted Tebow and DeMaryius're welcome for that Denver by the way), but his presence adds another element that we probably didn't even need, but gladly accept.

Denver has one chance, and that's if the Pats just don't show up. Otherwise, there is no way this game will not get really ugly. The Tebow phenomenon could not have picked up at a better time. The Pats are poised to piggyback off of this again and jump start the playoffs much like it did the regular season for us. I think Denver has a solid team, a great running game, and obviously a QB whose future potential is limitless...but I just don't see me biased (I am), but I see domination coming.

New England (-13.5) vs. Denver: Apparently Vegas feels likewise.

San Fran (+4) vs. New Orleans: The splits are loaded in the Niners favor, plus it seems like you can't find anyone even willing to entertain the possibility of San Fran winning this game. We're about to find out what this defense is made of tomorrow.

Baltimore (-7.5) vs. Houston: Andre Johnson was not in the first matchup when the Ravens won handily. He's back, but I don't see that being able to compensate for T.J. Yates' inexperience in playoff conditions. The running attack was held in check the last time around for Houston, and while the Texans have had a good attack against the opposing ground game, Ray Rice should carve this team up yet again (over 160 yards from srimmage last outing).

The G-MEN (+7.5) vs. The Pack: I can't help but think the G-Men will at the very least keep it close on Sunday. They have been the hottest team on the NFL leading into the playoffs. The Pack may get a huge boost from the returns of both Greg Jennings and A.J. Hawk, but look for the Giants to expose that secondary that was 31st in the league against the pass. Green Bay is more than capable of running it up on anyone, but they have shown the affinity for outlasting the good teams instead of blowing them out.

Can't wait for tomorrow! LET'S GO PATS!!!



Saturday, January 07, 2012

So I Talk To My NFL Diary (Wild Card Weekend...You Know, The One The Pats Aren't Playing 'Cause We're Nasty And What Not)

"Get the duck boats ready, the Cup is coming home."

10:48: It's the start of the NFL playoffs, and yet all I really care about is the defending Stanley Cup champs. Huge game today not only because it's a rematch of the finals from last year, but Vancouver, as much as we do not like them (just watched Game 7 looped to the radio those cheap shots at the end of the game are fueling the fire), are one of the best teams in the game, so a nice barometer, and an even better excuse to stumble down memory lane today. I love afternoon hockey! Okay, so to keep appearances, the picks...

Houston (-4) vs. Cincy: So the line and the over/under (38), are exactly what I would predict the final score to be (Houston 21, Cincy 17). Basically, it would be wise to not bet on this game, and you're gonna have to hope there is something good on TV elsewhere because I'm getting bored just thinking about this game. Houston has two premiere backs (Ben Tate is a backup, and rushed for 100 yards twice coming off the bench while Arian Foster also ran for 100...that is a joke!), and while the QB play of T.J. Yates may be brought into question, you can't deny the importance of a player like Andre Johnson being back in the fold. The Texans also feature Jonathan Joseph (all-pro Gamecock!), who shut down A.J. Green, Cincy's lone equalizer, the first time around. Tough team to beat at home, and also Foster had a week to rest. He might be tearing shit up from the jump.

New Orleans (-10) vs. Detroit: "New Orleans, at home, at night" has been the mantra all year long, and it is no different today. If I had to say anything betting wise, I would say bet the under. Sounds insane considering who is playing, but I see an epic beatdown by the Saints here based on the Lions being too tight, and the Saints, coming off of "The Run" and the apparent game that subsequently went with it in Seattle last year. If you think like 42-10 or even a more conservative 35-21, it's still under.


10:37: I'm again trying to use my iPad to type this, and again, it erased everything I just wrote (apparently I underestimated the "undo" button in this scenario). So while I restrain myself from throwing this increasingly evil machine on the ground, let's get to Sunday's picks...

By the way, went through every week and tabulated my win % at about 55 for the year. While that may not sound like much, consider that if you go 60% for a season, you are a god. So, five ticks away from being a fake gambling god?...I'll take it!

THE G-MEN (-3) vs. The ATL: The lone bright spot going into this game for the Falcons would be that their corners are good enough to slow down at least two of the Giants' receivers...but therein lies the problem. With Nicks, Cruz, and Manningham, someone is going to be open. If that isn't bad enough, the Giants also have a big-time running game that has only been getting better lately. The Falcons have a great passing attack and one of the best runners in the league in Michael Turner, but they are simply outmatched in basically every facet of the game.

Denver (+9) vs. Pittsburgh: While Isaac Redman has certainly proved his worth when called upon this year, the loss of Rashard Mendenhall cannot be overlooked. It is absolutely huge for them. In addition, no Ryan Clark, and Big Ben on one leg...this sounds like a team that can be taken advantage of by an agressive, athletic team. Enter Denver, with you know who at QB, a fantastic running game, and a super-aggressive defense that should be all over Ben (also, no Maurkice Pouncey today either, another huge blow). Tebow has been horrendous in the cold weather, but quite frankly, he needs to do just enough today to win. I'm thinking around a 13-10 game, so if Tebow can limit mistakes and they stick to keeping the ball on the ground, they may have enough to actually take this.

Whoever wins is going to get smashed in Foxboro next week anyway, so good luck with all that. Have a good rest of you weekend everyone. Peace.


Sunday, January 01, 2012

So I Talk To My NFL Diary (Week 17, 2011)

"We can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one."

9:30: Happy New Years everyone! What is happening? I just spent a half an hour typing on my iPad, and it erased everything I warning, nothing. You know I got it for Christmas, and honestly, I keep wondering if I should have just asked for a new laptop (currently using the one I had in college, which was now, unfortunately, kind of a long time ago, and the one I bought last year has a busted hinge and is totally infected with viruses because my roommate does not understand the power of softcore Cinemax porn and chooses to go on XXX sites on my laptop, then does a horrendous job trying to cover it's like dude, at least erase the history...or not have it on the site when I open up the lid!). I mean I think the technology is great, and the apps and the potential it has is big, but right now, all I wanna do is type, download illegal music, and bootleg movies and TV shows, and I guess I can't do any of those things on there.

Anyway, the jist of what I was saying is that the Pats are probably going to rope-a-dope Ryan Fitzpatrick today, much like they did against Matt Moore last week, and really, any non-elite QB that we play. Lots of soft zone to start the game to identify the targets, routes, and tendencies, and then once the 2nd quarter, or perhaps maybe even later into the 2nd half, the adjustments come in...and nobody adjusts better than the Pats. Spiller has been huge for them (111 yards and a score in the Tim Tebow beatdown of last week), and expect him to have an equally big game today. Remember though, Reggie Bush was torching us last week, but ultimately, he did not win the game for them...and why? We just didn't allow the big play to happen on the ground. Credit the D-Line and our MLBs (Jerod and Dane Fletcher) for containing Bush.

At risking the chance of repeating myself, here's how it is: The Pats are not losing this game because we just don't lose to the same team twice, and furthermore, that #1 seed is looking real shiny, especially because there is a very good chance we would avoid having to play Baltimore or Pittsburgh until the AFC Championship game, which, God-willing, would be at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady is going to play probably more than he should today (at least 3 1/2 quarters) and, as we keep seeing over and over again, no one can stop this offense right now. Some teams have multiple weapons, and then there are teams like the Pats, Green Bay, and New Orleans who have three or four elite playmakers, making it impossible to double one or two without leaving someone really, really good open.

Ohhhhhh man is it going to be Welker time today. 217 yards on 16 receptions in the first meeting, which of course was a loss, but even so...217 yards! Lots of Wes, and I would be shocked if Gronk was not brought back in as the focal point of the offense, especially down by paydirt (do I owe James Brown any money for saying "paydirt" by the way?). I in the world are they going to stop us?

Alright, so let's dive right into it. No diary today. SBS (Social Boston Sports for those of you not in the know) is having some kind of brunch shindig for the game, so I'll be hitting that up. I'm not going to lie, I didn't even go out last night. I watched Lethal Weapon 3, passed out because I was really tired (drunk...well really a combination of the two...I was getting trunked up!), and I woke up at 11:45, went to my roof to watch the fireworks, and that was pretty much it...not bad, but anyway, I have energy and I'm feeling way better than I probably should, so I'm predicting rowdiness today.

It's about to get Rowdy Roddy Piper in this bitch!

Your New England Patriots (-10.5) vs. Buffalo: Thank you Miami for backdoor covering last week and making this spread lower than the 20 it probably would have been had we kept our 10 point lead. Also, with concerns about Brady, that also can explain why this is not a 2-TD spread. Anyway, you know we're winning, so now it becomes by how much? I would think we want to get this one over with real quick so the starters can rest for a least a portion of the 4th quarter.

Philadelphia (-8) vs. Washington: The Skins are stumbling to the finish, and the Eagles are playing like they actually have something to play for, which they do not. The only real noteworthy event is Shady McCoy's attempt to track down MoJoDo for the rushing title (although down over 100 yards already, it's going to take a miracle).

Atlanta (-10) vs. Tampa: Atlanta's got really nothing left to play for than seeding, but Tampa has been just so abysmal, especially on defense this year, that I think even a 60% effort from the Falcons could result in a two TD spread here.

San Fran (-10) vs. St. Louis: The #2 seed on the line against probably the worst team in football (I wish I could say Indy, but they're running hot on a two-game winning streak putting their total wins to...2)...even if the Rams do cover this, could you really see it coming?

Minnesota (-2) vs. Chicago: No Cutler/Forte > no Adrian Peterson.

Green Bay (+6) vs. Detroit: When else are you going to be able to bet on the Pack as 'dogs? Also, I was at Foxboro when Matt Flynn took the reigns last year for this Packer offense (this game will affectionately be known forever as the "Dan Connolly run-back" game), and he's not too bad. Plus, you have to figure that even though everything is locked up, they're not going to allow Detroit to just waltz into Lambeau and steal one here right?...


Carolina (+8) vs. New Orleans: I just love how basically all year, I've been able to pick Cam Newton as an underdog and having that come through over and over again. The Saints are at home, but it's an early start, meaning the Panthers should be able to jump out to a pretty decent start. New Orleans is also playing for that first round bye, but once that Niners score gets out of hand (which I have a feeling it will), the Saints will be locked into that #3 spot regardless of what happens.

Houston (+3) vs. Tennessee: Andre Johnson is back...hopefully to stay this time. Yes, Matt Hasselbeck was brilliant last week, but Houston's defense has been near the top of the league all season, so this should speak volumes in terms of how good he really is right now.

Cincinnati (+3) vs. Baltimore: The fact that this spread hasn't wavered very much since it opened (if anything it's shading towards Cincy) tells me that I'm not the only one who thinks Cincy is feeling that playoff push right now (currently 6th, win and they're in).

Pittsburgh (-6) vs. Cleveland: Can anyone name something besides Peyton Hillis as a reason to not think the Steelers are pulling this off?

Indy (+4) vs. Jacksonville: See this is painful for me because I slammed the door on the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes a bit prematurely as the Rams continue to get smoked in basically every game they play, and Indy, who has had over a week of rest going into this game, has won two in a row. It seems like they don't want to be known as the worst team in the NFL.

Miami (-2.5) vs. Jersey: J-E-T-S suck suck suck! Hahaha, hey it's true.

Oakland (-3) vs. San Diego: The AFC West is on the line, and if that wasn't enough, it's San Diego on the yeah.

Kansas City (+3) vs. Denver: Yes, I'm betting against Tebow. However, I am betting on the poetic justice that Kyle Orton, who was benched and then released by Denver so they could start said Tebow, can go back into Denver and stop their season in its tracks...that would be amazing.

Arizona (-2.5) vs. Seattle: It's okay...Kevin Kolb is not playing, so you can feel free to once again bet on the Cards.

The G-MEN (-3) vs. Dallas: I actually had Dallas at first, and I changed it not because of how bad they play in December/games that mean anything, but because of how impressed I am with the Giants' offense and their pass rush. You could argue that the two biggest breakout stars of this year play on the same (Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul).

Alright, let's get drunk...again. Yeah-ya! Hopefully 2012 treats us well. Have a great day everyone. Remember, USC/Nebraska tomorrow at 1:00.

GO COCKS!!!!...

and of course...


Bass in the face means peace see ya later!