Saw this on Facebook and couldn't resist sharing, especially since I stayed up to watch that MNF abomination.
I tied the 1st place team in week one of the playoffs. Bastard won due to more points throughout the season.
Oh well. Turns out that it was bad for Aaron Rodgers to finally have a sub-par week.
I had a good year picking football games this year, straight up or against the spread. I finished first overall in the Ace moron pool (spread) and first in another league (straight up). Unfortunately, I finished second in a third league which used confidence points. In any event, some years are better than others for me picking NFL games. This year was pretty good to me.
No money was won, of course. This was strictly for ::cough-cough:: fun.
In any event, I'll recap my picks from last week and then do a little prognostication for this week's contests. On we go.
Last week: I don't have the point spreads, so I'll go with the head-to-head.
Arizona over Atlanta. At home with a hot Warner and those receivers against an inexperienced, albeit talented team? Go Cardinals! And they did.
Miami over Baltimore. More of heart over head pick and it showed. Loser.
San Diego over Indy. A talented team who has managed to beat another team consistently in recent years against a team that consistently flames out in the first round. The ultimate Duh! pick.
Philadelphia over Minnesota. Have you seen the Viking QB?
Anyway, 3-1 last week. Now for this week's picks:
Titans favored by 3 over the Ravens. Flacco finally looks like a rookie. Titans to win and cover.
Carolina by 10 over Arizona. I think that it's going to be a close contest, but Carolina will eventually wear down the Cardinals. Carolina to win, but not cover.
Giants by 4 over the Eagles. This one is peculiar. Both road teams won this year and both are playing well now. However, I think that NY is just too good. Giants to win and cover.
Pittsburgh by 6 over SD. I know that LT is out, but Rivers has been just about the best QB in the league this year. Also, Pittsburgh can be run on, if you stick with it. Not sure if Sproles is the answer to that question. Anyway, Pittsburgh to win, but not to cover. And it wouldn't surprise me if San Diego won straight up. However, I'm not putting my money that way.
There you have it. And if you're foolish enough to bet money using my picks, you deserve what you get.
Watching Pittsburgh manhandle Jacksonville in the first half, while managing to gain only a 6 point advantage, I remembered many other Steelers' games that looked like this. Pittsburgh more than dominated, but failed to capitalize, keeping the Jaguars one touchdown and an extra point away from victory. Just now, Jacksonville scored and took the lead. If you're Steelers' fan (I'm not), this should look eerily familiar.
In other NFL news, Miami one their second game in a row. And the Cardinals are in first place. The end times must surely be nigh.
The NFL season kicks off tonight. I'm tempted to watch the game rather than McCain's speech. However, since I sat through Obama's speech, I'll probably keep sharp objects away and watch McCain who, as apparent to anyone who reads this blog, I am not a fan of.
Related note: One of my favorite sports shows of all time, Inside the NFL, was finally canceled last year after airing for 30 years or so on HBO. I watched it off and on (more off when a newborn was around) for the entire time. However, it appears that Showtime picked up the series. Chris Collingsworth will be back and they've added James Brown and Warren Sapp. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out.
Speaking of Collingsworth, let me go back to when HBO added him to the host list, joining two Hall of Famers. That first year, Chris was somewhat soft spoken and deferential to the two elder statesmen. He really hit his stride the following year and has continued to improve as a football analyst since then. Anyone who watches him on TV now would never think to call him un-opinionated. Quite the opposite in fact. Kudos to Showtime for keeping him on. Whatever they're paying him, it will be worth it.
Signing 3 big free agent wide receivers in the offseason: $15 million
Being touted as the greatest team of all time: $0
Not knowing what to do when taking an undefeated team into the Superbowl: priceless
Since I was away from a computer for a while, feel free to believe or not believe the following predictions for games already completed:
Tampa Bay over Washington: Gah. I knew that Tampa's defense would dominate, but I did not anticipate Washington actually being able to score points anyway. Loss.
Carolina over NY Giants: The Panthers were my preseason pick to win the NFC, so I wasn't surprised by this result. I do expect the Giants to be pretty good next year, though. Win.
New England over Jacksonville: Really, was anyone outside of Florida surprised by this result? Win.
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati: Sure, Cincy won the division. I thought that Pittsburgh was the better team. Looks like I was right this time. Win.
Indy over Pittsburgh in a squeaker: Pittsburgh played well down the stretch and the Colts struggled with some serious adversity, which is why I thought it would be close. Great game, but tell me the truth: had anyone ever heard of the "his knee was still down so it wasn't a fumble" rule before? Does anyone besides me think that the NFL entered this piece of crap into the rulebook last night to cover its ass today? It was the "tuck rule" part deux. Make up shit and then pretend it had always been there. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but something really stunk about that call. Steelers managed to win in spite of everything. Kudos to Bill Cowher for for not coaching like a pussy this year. He went for on 4th down at midfield nursing a small lead instead of wimping out and punting. It was the correct call. And now Pittsburgh heads to their 6th AFC championship game in 12 years. Sure, they've only won one so far, but there are a lot of AFC teams that would gladly trade places with them. I happen to root for one such team. Loss.
One other benefit of a Steelers' win is that John Cole came in off of the ledge on his own. Until next week, of course.
Denver over New England: Plummer finally sheds the undeserved label as a choke artist and the Broncos win their first playoff game since a guy named Elway was QB. And with Indy out of the way, Denver probably likes their chances for going to the Superbowl. Denver, by the way, was my preseason AFC champ/Superbowl champ pick. Which means that they'll probably lose next week to Pittsburgh, giving Steeler fans some redemption for last year's meltdown against the Patriots. Win.
Seattle over Washington: The better team won. And they were still the better team even without the services of Shaun Alexander. Win.
Carolina over Chicago: Two strong defenses, but only one decent offense. Bears' fans should be optimistic about next year. Win.
Playoff record so far: 6-2.
Predictions for next week: I picked Carolina and Denver before the season began, so I'll stick with them, which probably means they'll both lose. We shall see.
And what could be simpler than the NFL's quarterback rating formula? I give you the following:
- Complete passes divided by pass attempts. Subtract 0.3 and divide by 0.2
- Passing yards divided by pass attempts. Subtract 3 and divide by 4.
- Touchdown passes divided by pass attempts and divide by .05.
- Start with .095 and subtract interceptions divided by pass attempts. Divide that product by .04.
- Add the sum of steps 1-4, multiply by 100 and divide by 6. Sum of each step cannot be greater than 2.375 or less than zero.
Here goes the first installment of Beat the Geek. Here are my picks for this week. Leave your picks in the comments if you think that you can do better than me. I welcome the challenge.
Detroit over Arizona - Detroit is at home and Arizone sucks.
Jacksonville over Baltimore- Ditto
Indy over Houston- Double ditto
KC over Buffalo- Buffalo is at home, but their defense has been ragged this year
NY Giants over Minnesota- Triple ditto pick #1
Chicago over San Francisco- Actually, both teams might lose in this game
Denver over Oakland- A road win for Denver puts them on track for a home playoff game
Carolina over NY Jets- Carolina is my preseason NFC champion and I don't see any reason to change now
Tampa Bay over Washington- This cruddy contest will be forced fed to me via my local Fox affiliate this weekend, which means I'm headed to a sports bar
Atlanta over Green Bay(sorry, Harvey)- Atlanta is pretty good. Green Bay has outgained their opponents and outscored them and somehow they're losing. A lot. Call it a trend and move on. I sure would like to see Favre play for a better team this late in his career, though.
St. Louis over Seattle- Seattle wins this game and I'll believe that they're for real. I don't believe it yet.
Pittsburgh over Cleveland- Pittsburgh is better than the Browns. Much better.
Philadelphia over Dallas- Against all rhyme and reason, I'm picking the Eagles. The TO distraction is gone and the team will pull together, I believe. Remember: Philly won 2 playoff games without Owens last year.
My last 3 weeks I've gone 10-4, 12-2 and 11-3. I won't be surprised if I lose 10 games this week. I don't like these matchups.
Time to forget politics for a while and get back to what's really important: football.
A couple of years ago, I instituted the Beat The Geek football picks. I think that it's time to pick up where I left off. Mid-season my seem like a funny time to get started, but it's better than never.
Last week: 11-3
Season record: 91-39
Picks for last week
wrong Atlanta 17 10 Miami
correct Carolina 34 14 Tampa Bay
correct Cincinnati 21 9 Baltimore
correct Detroit 14 27 Minnesota
correct Houston 14 21 Jacksonville
correct Oakland 23 27 Kansas City
correct San Diego 31 26 NY Jets
wrong Tennessee 14 20 Cleveland
correct Chicago 20 17 New Orleans
correct NY Giants 24 6 San Francisco
correct Seattle 33 19 Arizona
correct Pittsburgh 20 10 Green Bay
correct Philadelphia 10 17 Washington
wrong Indianapolis 40 21 New England
I'll have my picks in sometime on Friday. Feel free to try and beat me. No prizes for winning, just that warm sense of satisfaction that comes from a skill that's useless outside of Vegas.
I've long wondered at the inability of NFL coaches to grasp the following concept: when it's late in the game and you're down by multiples of 7 points, a field goal, even a successful one, is pointless because-surprise!- you still need a touchdown. Invariably, teams that kick this less than useless field goal to shrink the margin to the you-still-need-a-touchdown-jagoff point end up losing. Take last year's playoff game between the Patriots and the Steelers. New England had jumped out to a buge lead, but Pittsburgh had closed to within 14 points and had the ball at the New England 2 yard line. Almost an entire quarter remained to played and the crowd is going beserk. Going for it is the only intelligent decision, since you're two scores behind and a field goal leaves you, uh, still two scores behind. Besides, if they'd failed, New England would have been pinned at their own 2-yard line, meaning that you're defense would be in a great position to make a play. Instead, Pittsburgh wussed out and kicked, at which point I turned off the television; the outcome had already been decided.
On to the recent past, where... oh heck, I'll let TMQ fill you in:
Buck-Buck-Brawckkkkkkk: Trailing 17-10, the Minnesota Vikings faced fourth-and-goal on the Tampa 4 with 6:17 remaining and the Metrodome crowd roaring at experimental refrigerator decibel levels. ( What's that?) A touchdown ties the game; a missed fourth-and-goal try leaves the visitors pinned against their end zone amidst deafening noise; a field goal means you've still got to score a touchdown. Go for it! TMQ's immutable law: Kick Early, Go For It Late. Now it's late, go for it! In trots the field-goal unit, and the Vikings end up losing. (Note: when it's still early, kick. In the third quarter, Washington faced fourth-and-goal on the Chicago 1, trailing 7-6. Joe Gibbs sent in the field-goal unit as the hometown crowd booed, and the figgie proved the winning points.)
Tuesday Morning Quarterback returns the first week of August.