Thursday, September 30, 2010

NFL Week 4 Bettor's Guide

(For the record, I asked Snyder to sign Vick. We'd be much better off, and we'd probably also have Brandon Marshall. Just sayin...)

Bad week last week. Well, the numbers say average, but I'm too good for average. Average doesn't make MONEY.

W/L: 8-8 (25-23)
ATS: 7-9 (21-25-2)
O/U: 7-9 (25-22-1)

(+235) Denver Broncos
O/U 43
I'm taking the Titans because they're a lot better, I think, though Denver could easily make this close. Just don't see an answer for Chris Johnson. Broncos 17 Titans 31

(+110) Baltimore Ravens
O/U 34.5
Baltimore is reeling, whether it looks it to you or not. Mendenhall is in beast mode and Flacco might turn the ball over 5 times. Ravens 13 Steelers 27

(-165) Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

O/U 37.5
The Cleveland Browns are a weird team. Maybe it's that their offensive line is too good for them to lose control of any game? (It doesn't hurt that their schedule hasn't featured any particularly potent offenses.) I still say Cincy wins but it'll be a tough game. Bengals 21 Browns 17

(OFF) Detroit Lions
O/U 45.5
MASSACRE. Lions 13 Packers 44

(OFF) Carolina Panthers
O/U 44
Another beatdown, though I think the Panthers might turn a turnover into a few more points than they otherwise would get. Panthers 17 Saints 38

(+250) San Francisco 49ers
O/U 42.5
I still think the 9ers are too talented to be THIS bad. They have a new offensive coordinator, and they're saying Alex Smith will be playing from the gun a lot more... man, I dunno. Gimme the points. 49ers 24 Falcons 27

(-120) Seattle Seahawks (-1)
O/U 40
Seahawks are back on the road. Look for Steven Jackson to have a big impact in the passing game. Seahawks 17 Rams 24

(-250) New York Jets (-5)
O/U 36.5
I mean, Buffalo sucks, and the Jets don't. Jets 24 Bills 10

(-380) Indianapolis Colts (-7.5)
O/U 46
.............................. Colts 45 Jaguars 13

(-175) Houston Texans (-3.5)

O/U 43.5
I guess Houston will win this one because they can actually run the ball consistently now, but this'll be a strange game. Reluctantly taking the 3.5... Texans 29 Raiders 26

(+325) Arizona Cardinals
O/U 45.5
Bolts will take out their frustrations about last week on 'Zona. Cardinals 17 Chargers 34

(+205) Washington Redskins
O/U 42.5

McNabb vs Vick. That's ultimately what it comes down to. Call me crazy - because you definitely can't call me a homer - but against my better judgement I like my 'Skins here. Ryan Torain introduces himself to the rest of the league. Redskins 24 Eagles 20

(+170) Chicago Bears
(-200) NEW YORK GIANTS (-3.5)
O/U 43.5
??? Bears 27 Giants 17

(I kinda have a feeling that Eli and Mr. Hakeem Nicks will have huge games, but whatever.)

(-120) New England Patriots (-1)
O/U 46.5
I looked it up: Randy Moss has caught 10 TDs in his 9 career games against the 'Phins. A ratio only bested by his 10 scores in 6 games vs Dallas. Means next to nothing, but it's interesting. Miami SHOULD win this game but they just don't seem to add up to the sum of their parts. Patriots 27 Dolphins 24

NFL Week 3 Review

Had a tough week in fantasy, losing 138-130, though I was without two of my top 5 picks. Vick is a BEAST.

Tennessee Titans 29
New York Giants 10
Yikes. The Giants are BAD.

Buffalo Bills 30
New England Patriots 38
The Bills suck and the Pats ain't all that good. Next.

Cleveland Browns 17
Baltimore Ravens 24
Baltimore isn't all that great either. Giving up 173 rushing yards? 144 of which to PEYTON HILLIS? Shameful.

Pittsburgh Steelers 38
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13

Cincinnati Bengals 20
Carolina Panthers 7
Cedric Benson is a beast. Numbers weren't great, but he's legit. Glad to see him doing well. I hope Steve Smith gets out of Carolina before his career is over...

Atlanta Falcons 27
New Orleans Saints 24 (OT)
Wow. The Saints lost a close game, and in OT no less? Falcons must've played pretty well. Oh? What's that? They won the turnover battle (1-3) AND dominated time of possession (46-27)? And it was only a three point decision?

I didn't see the game, and there are certainly plenty of reasons for the above to be true. It's interesting, though.

San Francisco 49ers 10
Kansas City Chiefs 31
The 9ers are by FAR the biggest trainwreck of the young season. Frank Gore has managed to remain relevant as far as my fantasy team is concerned (a testament to his elite ability), but good LORD. Meanwhile, Jamaal Charles continues to outshine Thomas Jones and continues to take a back seat. TJ had a great game this week, but it's still quite perplexing. Maybe they're saving him for the 2nd half. I hope.

Detroit Lions 10
Minnesota Vikings 24
Defense stepped up for Minny. Adrian Peterson was a monster. Meaning, nothing of particular interest.

Dallas Cowboys 27
Houston Texans 13
Roy Williams had a huge game. Of course. Give one of those touchdowns to Dez and I get a win. Fuck.

Washington Redskins 16
St Louis Rams 30
BY FAR weakest position on the team: cornerback. eAngelo Fall and Carlos Rogers are both HORSESHIT. Portis looks like Edge at the end of his career, which sucks, but finally Ryan Torain gets his chance to prove me right. CP is still the best blocking back OF ALL TIME ha.

Philadelphia Eagles 28
Jacksonville Jaguars 3
VICK. To be fair he's played a Packers defense that prepared for Kevin Kolb and then the Lions and Jaguars; not exactly much of a challenge. But he looks amazing. He's the MVP of the league so far, for whatever that's worth.

Indianapolis Colts 27
Denver Broncos 13
Three receivers in this game had at least 140 yards. Denver's Brandon Lloyd (169) and Jabar Gaffney (140), and Indy's Austin Collie (171). WHO AGAIN??? I thought that was interesting.

San Diego Chargers 20
Seattle Seahawks 27
I took the points in this game but I wish had went all the way with my gut and taken the 'Hawks straight up. Nice to see Leon Washington do well.

Oakland Raiders 23
Arizona Cardinals 24
So Oakland just sucks. Or Arizona is a little better than I thought. Or both. I don't know if anyone's saying anything about it but Darren McFadden is looking VERY good so far...

New York Jets 31
Miami Dolphins 23
This WOULD be a shootout. Go Mark Sanchez.

Green Bay Packers 17
Chicago Bears 20
So the Bears are for real, huh?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day One of The Rest of Gilbert's Life


So last night the Bullets held a midnight madness event, signifying the official start to the NBA season. By all accounts, when Arenas was on the court he was joking, smiling, and even had devised a special handshake with his point guard-duty-usurper, John Wall. And of course he was back to his buzzer-beating ways. But that shit is depressing. You know I've been a die-hard Gil supporter since the instant he came to DC, and he was something of a hero because he made a point to have fun in a business that seems as if it's doing everything to prevent it. And of course he went out and tore the league to shreds. I'm not here to say we should forget about what happened in the last 12 months (and for the record, I attacked him for it - even went as far as to say he had to go), and I'm also not here to talk about the big, mean corporation that is the NBA because that's exactly how it'd come off. Honestly, I dunno what I'm writing this for. Other than to say it sucks. All they had to do was let him be and check him when he actually goes over the line; in that way he'd learn how to properly control himself. Instead you take an expressive individual and force him into a box, so of course he's gonna buck. Remember he was on his way to being one of the most marketable players in the NBA, despite his perceived craziness, because his spirit was undeniable. Or so it seemed.

Now we have shitheads talking about this demeanor being "another act." Another? First he's persecuted for being an individual, for not being a company man. Now he's untrustworthy for putting up this "act." Fuck off. Regardless of whether or not this is an act, or his happiness on the court is an act, the situation is shit. Though I still think he can be a great player, because his game relied much more on instinct and wherewithal than it ever did on traditional athletic ability.

Which leads me to my final word, which is actually Gil's: "fans just wanna see good basketball." Think about that. Are you a fan? Or are you someone who demands more than good basketball, or good football, or good acting or whatever-the-fuck-ever you choose for entertainment. I'm not saying you should endorse rapists. Just think about that for a second, and think about whether or not you contributed to killing this:

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Trade Value of Carmelo Anthony

So word is the Nets, Nuggets, Bobcats and Jazz are about to complete some form of the following trade:

Nets get: Carmelo Anthony
Nuggets get: Derrick Favors, Andre Kirilenko, "multiple first round picks"
Bobcats get: Devin Harris
Jazz get: Boris Diaw

It apparently hinges on 'Melo's willingness to sign an extension, which makes sense, because I certainly wouldn't give up an all star point guard and a top-3 draft pick for a one-year rental towards anything short of a 100% guarantee of a championship. And if I were in 'Melo's Js, I wouldn't sign an extension with a Nets team minus BOTH Favors and Harris.

But here's the thing. Would you really give up Devin Harris and Derrick Favors for 5-6+ years of Carmelo Anthony's services? I've been a major supporter of Anthony since saying that HE, and NOT LeBron, deserved ROY honors, but I still see his limitations. He CAN guard anyone, but it doesn't mean he does. As great and versatile a scorer as he is, he's still a one-dimensional offensive player. And maybe most importantly, he hasn't shown he can lead a team on his own. When you're trading away arguably your two most marquee names, you need to get more than a "mere" elite scorer in return (though 'Melo HAS improved the consistency of his rebounding). I thought it was a reasonable deal with three teams, where Denver gets a large expiring deal and Favors (and picks) and the Nets get Anthony. For me, this would be too much.

With all that said, this deal has "a long way to go" before it gets done. I'm guessing both the Nets and 'Melo's camp share my concerns. DJ Augustin could sweeten the pot for everyone; Larry Brown ain't DJ's biggest fan (and they recently signed SHAUN LIVINGSTON) and I'd think both Avery Johnson and 'Melo would prefer someone like Augustin to run the offense over Jordan Farmer. Yeesh. Just a thought.

Look. Carmelo Anthony is a beast. And I'd argue that his on-court contributions are underrated. But I wouldn't bet the farm on him leading my team to a championship. Maybe that's wrong, maybe he's learned from Chauncey, I don't know. But as big a fan of his as I am, I just couldn't do it. I wouldn't jump at the chance, at least.

(One more thought, more of an absurd fantasy: Denver getting rid of 'Melo basically puts them in full-on rebuild mode. So why not send Chauncey to Jersey as well? Just take Troy Murphy and his expiring deal. Or something like that. Getting Billups would put that team towards the top of the East, I see no reason why not to take that opportunity.)

(Another epiphany: maybe go after Ty Lawson instead of Augustin. Denver doesn't seem to be as fond of him as they should be. THAT would be ideal: Lawson, Terrence Williams, Melo, Murphy('s expiring deal), Brook Lopez. That ain't bad. And considering Billups wouldn't actually put 'em ahead of the Heat, might as well take the younger clone in Lawson.)

As for the rest of the deal:

Simple salary dump. Both Diaw's and Kirilenko's deals expire at the end of the year, but AK47 is owed twice the money. Similar players, including similar weak mindsets. Nothing of real on-court significance to see here. Though the Jazz lose another defender to guard Kobe. Hopefully for them Raja Bell can rise to that occasion.

I guess this is the best they can do. They('d) have a slew of 4s (Favors, Nene, Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington) and no swingmen. But I'm a big fan of Favors so it's not too bad. Now that I've thought about it I do think Lawson could at least get talked about here, though looking at it I'm not sure how it'd work (wouldn't give Terrence Williams up for Lawson, I don't think).

Love the trade for 'em. Giving up Diaw to get a more efficient Ray Felton? Now, I was never as high on Devin Harris as damn near everyone else was a couple years ago, but he's a player. I don't like Shaun Livingston getting shoved down the depth chart, but I wouldn't feel bad 'cause dude can't catch a break anyway. Ha. Really though, trade Augustin to make sure this happens, and they're gold.

Ooohh, another epiphany, give Augustin to Denver and they give Lawson to New Jersey. Hmmm...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

NFL Week 3 Bettor's Guide

Not perfect, but much better in week 2.

W/L: 10-6 (17-15)
ATS: 10-6 (14-16-2)
O/U: 11-5 (18-13-1)

I used a different sportsbook this week for the odds. Not that it really matters.

(+135) Tennessee Titans
O/U 42.5
This one is tough to handicap. On one hand, the Giants' offensive line is in shambles, and the Titans have been stellar up front on defense. On the other, Vince Young still hasn't talked to Jeff Fisher about last week's benching, which isn't good for a psychologically fragile QB. Especially when he's playing a defense with the potential to get in a QB's face like the Giants. I'll go Titans 20 Giants 24, cautiously taking the G-Men to cover and the points to go over.

(+650) Buffalo Bills
O/U 42.5
Buffalo made me look kinda stupid last week. I had the Packers covering, but I stuck up for 'em. Not this time. Bills 16 Patriots 44

(+425) Cleveland Browns
(-550) BALTIMORE RAVENS (-10.5)
O/U 36.5
Yikes. Browns 6 Ravens 31

(-140) Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)
O/U 33
Pittsburgh will bring Josh Freeman back down to earth. Still a nice story, this Bucs team. Steelers 23 Bucs 9

(-190) Cincinnati Bengals (-3)
O/U 37.5
I can't imagine this being a close game. Bengals 27 Panthers 13

(+165) Atlanta Falcons
(-200) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3.5)
O/U 49
I wish I could take Atlanta but there's no way I'm betting against the Saints to lose a game with all the help they get, unless they're playing an elite team. I'll take Atlanta to cover, though. And while the scoreboard in these types of games often don't blow up like expected, I just don't see any other way. Falcons 31 Saints 34

(-140) San Francisco 49ers (-3)
O/U 37
The 49ers match up too perfectly with KC. They can stop the run and they take advantage of turnover opportunities. But this team, man... especially traveling... still, 49ers 20 Chiefs 16

(+450) Detroit Lions
(-600) MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-11.5)
O/U 43
The Vikings haven't been as stout as usual against the run (because Favre keeps cutting into their rest time) and Jahvid Best is trying his damnedest to convince me that he is, in fact, not dead. Still like AD in that matchup, but 11.5 points is crazy considering how badly Favre's been playing. Lions 17 Vikings 24

(+115) Dallas Cowboys
(-135) HOUSTON TEXANS (-3)
O/U 47
Houston's been firing on all cylinders so far. Dallas, well, has not. Still, Houston's been torn to shreds by opposing QBs, and I can't see Dallas starting off 0-3. Also don't know how this could be anything but a shootout. Probably one of the best games of the week. Expect big things from Dez Bryant, who practiced in full pads today (Thursday). Cowboys 38 Texans 35

(-190) Washington Redskins (-3.5)
O/U 39
Always the skeptic, I can't help but remember how we've fared against the Lambs in the recent past. There's no way we lose this game, though. Not this year. Redskins 27 Rams 13

(-145) Philadelphia Eagles (-3)
O/U 45
VICK VICK VICK. I think my fantasy QBs might combine for 75 points (Vick and Brady). Eagles 30 Jaguars 21

(-250) Indianapolis Colts (-5)
O/U 48
Jesus this Broncos franchise is cursed. Here's to Kenny McKinley's family and friends finding peace. Colts 30 Broncos 24 (Huge 'don't forget about me' game from Knowshon.)

(-250) San Diego Chargers (-5)
O/U 44.5
I wonder if these Seahawks will have a Jeckyll-and-Hyde type home-and-away year. I think the 12th man gives 'em a huge boost this week... not so much so that I'm confident they'll pull off the upset, but fuck it I'll take the points. Chargers 28 Seahawks 24

(+180) Oakland Raiders
O/U 39.5
Darren McFadden could be the player of the week. Raiders 27 Cardinals 16

(+105) New York Jets
(-125) MIAMI DOLPHINS (-2)
O/U 35.5
No clue. Genuinely no clue. It's going under either way, so I'll cover myself here. Jets 14 Dolphins 16

(-150) Green Bay Packers (-3)
O/U 46
Craziness. (should be a) Great MNF game. Wish Madden was calling it ha. Packers 31 Bears 28

NFL Week 2 Review

My first fantasy squad is a beast. Frank Gore finally showed up, just in time too. Other team, ain't so hot (Romo, Shonn Greene, Ray Rice, Calvin Johnson, Crabtree...). But yea, real football:

Kansas City Chiefs 16
Cleveland Browns 14
The Chiefs' defense was on the field way too long in week 1, and since they were coming off a Monday Nighter it was probably foolish of me to pick a blowout win. Why they refuse to give Jamaal Charles the rock, I have no clue. But they gave him a little draw on 3rd and 2 once in a situation where all they needed was a first down... Thomas Jones coulda been a good look for that. Ah well. Charles is too good to be held down.

Buffalo Bills 7
Green Bay Packers 34

Baltimore Ravens 10
Cincinnati Bengals 15
Sooooo... Joe Flacco... yikes. Good to see Pacma- er, Adam Jones in the highlights again.

Pittsburgh Steelers 19
Tennessee Titans 11
Skip Bayless made a great point on Vince Young's benching: has Fisher ever believed in Vince? He made a couple disastrous throws on Sunday but what franchise QB with the winning resume VY has gets treated like this? Boggles the mind.

Philadelphia Eagles 35
Detroit Lions 32
Vick certainly didn't disappoint. The spin away from pressure DEAR GOD (0:52 in that video), that's a display of incomparable ability. Yes he misses open receivers, but you have to understand he more than makes up for it with his inhuman ability to simply make plays. Comeback player of the year is in the bag. MVP would have to be talked about if the Eagles had any chance of consistently stopping anyone on defense.

(Vick and Randy Moss are the two most impactful athletes I've ever seen on the football field. Maybe in any sport, due to the nature of things. Sean Taylor was, too, especially towards the end. Deion would be the last one I can even say I remember, but only barely.)

Chicago Bears 27
Dallas Cowboys 20
Dallas is in serious trouble. Chicago seriously looks good. Dunno what else to say. Dez Bryant is going to be a star once he gets his conditioning in order. I just hope he doesn't blow out his knee before that happens.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20
Carolina Panthers 7
Neither of these teams are really any good, but Josh Freeman is looking like the real deal. He only completed 50% of his passes, reminding us that he's still very much a work in progress, but Tampa is headed in the right direction.

Arizona Cardinals 7
Atlanta Falcons 41
'Zona better go after Kevin Kolb ASAP.

Miami Dolphins 14
Minnesota Vikings 10
Minnesota dominated time of possession, which means Miami very well should have lost. Old Man Favre is just that bad right now.

St. Louis Rams 14
Oakland Raiders 16
Well it wasn't quite the statement game I expected, but it'll do the job I guess. Jason Campbell definitely isn't doing what I expected... good to see Run DMC in full effect, though.

Seattle Seahawks 14
Denver Broncos 31
Orton steamrolled. Seattle's run D is legit. Knowshon is a beast. Demaryius Thomas could put the Denver offense right where it needs to be.

Houston Texans 30
Washington Redskins 27 (OT)
Is Houston's pass D that bad? Is the Redskins' running game that bad? The answer to both is probably yes. I'm still a little shocked McNabb threw for over 400 yards. With all that said, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOUR NFC EAST LEADERS: WASHINGTON REDSKINS!!!


Jacksonville Jaguars 13
San Diego Chargers 38

New England Patriots 14
New York Jets 28
Well my prediction wasn't too far off. At least on the Jets scoring. That was a thorough massacre in the second half. I'm sure Rex tore those guys apart after week 1. And I'm sure Braylon Edwards had a nice little celebration drink afterwards. What a jackass.

New York Football Giants 14
Indianapolis Colts 38
Yikes. One of the most convincing victories I've ever seen. Dwight Freeney was an ANIMAL.

New Orleans Saints 25
San Francisco 49ers 22
I don't know how you can't watch football and not see the disparity in how the whistles are blown and flags are thrown in Saints games. I just can't. Obviously the 9ers have nobody to blame but themselves for this one, but it's really annoying. Frank Gore is a beast, though. Top 5 RBs EASY. And finally that statement won't have to be met with all the 'you're insane's.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NFL Week 2 Bettor's Guide

(I'm REALLY excited to see Vick start again. Sucks that it's gotta be the damn Eagles of all teams, but whaddyagonnado.)

Last week was bad. Real bad.

W/L: 7-9
ATS: 4-10-2
O/U: 7-8-1

(+115) Kansas City Chiefs
O/U 39
KC can run the ball, Cleveland can't stop the run. Simple as that. That Chiefs defense will stop whatever Cleveland can muster on offense. I've decided I'm rooting for KC this year, so I hope Matt Cassel doesn't throw any of these easy games away. Chiefs 34 Browns 13

(+460) Buffalo Bills
(-650) GREEN BAY PACKERS (13.5)
O/U 43
I'd consider taking those points in Buffalo. Actually now that I look at it, I think it'll be closer than I originally thought. To the 14 points, I mean. Bills 10 Packers 27

(-140) Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)
O/U 40
I'm probably insane for this, but Ravens 17 Bengals 20. Not giving up on these guys yet. Just get to Flacco and keep Carson on his feet.

(+195) Pittsburgh Steelers
O/U 36.5
Trouncing the Raiders was impressive, but the Steel Curtain is a whole other animal. I still think Tennessee wins, but it won't be pretty. Steelers 17 Titans 20. I actually had a dream a couple nights ago in which I checked the score of this game and Chris Johnson had 30 carries for 330 yards and Vince was 2/3 and (I can only assume) got hurt. For what it's worth.

(-270) Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5)
O/U 41
I've seen a lot of people saying Vick was only great because Green Bay didn't have time to prepare for him. Since when has anyone been able to really prepare for Michael Vick? Good luck, Coach Schwartz. Eagles 27 Lions 13

(+265) Chicago Bears
(-330) DALLAS COWBOYS (-7)
O/U 40.5
I wish I could coach this Cowboys team, just for a game, to show how miserable a job is being done. Not even coach, just call the offensive plays. Bears 17 Cowboys 31

(+170) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
O/U 39
Matt Moore vs Josh Freeman. Oohh! Panthers 17 Buccaneers 16

(+235) Arizona Cardinals
O/U 43
Part of me wants to take Arizona here, because I still like (some of) their defense. But I've stated my feelings on Atlanta this year. And DEREK ANDERSON. Cardinals 14 Falcons 27

(+215) Miami Dolphins
O/U 39
The Vikes offense looked very pedestrian playing against the Saints and Stripes. The Dolphins looked a bit worse against the Bills... Dolphins 13 Vikings 17

(+165) St. Louis Rams
(-190) OAKLAND RAIDERS (-3.5)
O/U 37.5
I know the Raiders got shellacked by VY and CJ2(.5)K but this is a whole other ballgame, so to speak. They make a (minor) statement here, Rams 7 Raiders 27

(+165) Seattle Seahawks
(-190) DENVER BRONCOS (-3.5)
O/U 40
Seattle? What? No real clue what to make of this game. I'll take Denver because they're at home and Orton did a lot more than I expected him to last week (Jags or not), tho who knows? Seahawks 24 Broncos 27

(-140) Houston Texans (-3)
O/U 43.5
I can only assume that O/U means Vegas knows Vincent Jackson is gonna be traded between now and Sunday and then somehow be able to suit up for us by game time. I really want to take my Skins... Texans 21 Redskins 17

(+265) Jacksonville Jaguars
O/U 45.5
MJD should have a nice game Jaguars 20 Chargers 38

(-155) New England Patriots (-3)
O/U 38.5
This is probably my dumbest pick of the weekend. Mark Sanchez is a joke of a quarterback, but I think Shonn Greene will come back something fierce. Moss will get lost on Revis Island, but Patriots 24 Jets 23. Yep, dumbest of the weekend, easy.

(+205) New York Football Giants
O/U 48.5
Initially I figured it was foolish to bet against Peyton Manning in prime time. Then I remembered how badly last week went, and how much better the G-Men match up than does Houston. Giants 38 Colts 34. I still like Peyton to work some magic.

(-255) New Orleans Saints (-6)
O/U 44
San Fran really shit the bed last week. I mean REALLY shit the bed. I'm gonna cautiously go Saints 31 49ers 16 but the 9ers are much better than that on paper.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NFL Week 1 Review

I guess I'll go game-by-game here.

Minnesota Vikings 9
New Orleans Saints 14
Peterson looks motivated. Vikings really miss Sydney Rice. The Saints continue to routinely get away with offensive holds and defensive interferences that their opponents get flagged for. Other than that, boring game.

Carolina Panthers 18
New York Football Giants 31
HAKEEM NICKS. But I saw that coming four years ago. The Football Giants are back, people. Kenny Phillips is a beast, btw... imagine if we had him (like I asked for at pick #21 in '08) instead of Devin Thomas and Fred Davis (the picks we traded #21 for in '08)...

Miami Dolphins 15
Buffalo Bills 10
I definitely didn't expect it to be this close, but as I said, I like a few players they have on defense. And Miami did dominate everywhere but the scoreboard. Watch Brandon Marshall catch 130 passes for 1200 yards.

Atlanta Falcons 9
Pittsburgh Steelers 15
About as evenly matched as it can get. If they played next week I'd still take Atlanta. Letting Dennis Dixon complete 69.2% of his passes is bad tho...

Detroit Lions 14
Chicago Bears 19
I still don't see how this wasn't a catch. If that's the case I've seen players lose possession hundreds of times, when spiking the ball in celebration. Detroit won this game. The NFL should officially make that change ASAP. In other news, I'm not ready to call Matt Forte the next Marshall Faulk. But if you are, the proof of this is at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. All you have to do is jump down and find it.

Cincinnati Bengals 24
New England Patriots 38
This was a massacre, but it was good to see Carson putting up a fight, and especially good to see Chad and TO playing well. And it was hilarious to see TO drop the first pass of the year ha. Brady is going to destroy the league again, I still think the Bengals will be really good, and I'm glad Randy Moss is as outspoken as he is (more on that later).

Cleveland Browns 14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Cleveland should've won this game easily, their running game was on point, but nobody had more than 9 carries. Instead they opted to let Jake Delhomme throw 37 times. WHAT? Not that it matters, neither team is relevant. PS Go Josh Freeman.

Denver Broncos 17
Jacksonville Jaguars 24
David Garrard was at his absolute best, even though Champ Bailey (must've) shut Mike Sims-Walker DOWN. Knowshon Moreno had a few nice runs.

Indianapolis Colts 24
Houston Texans 34
Arian Foster had a nice little game there. Shock of the century Bob Sanders tore a biceps tendon... a DIFFERENT one than he tore previously. I wish him the best, but I also wish he'd get a little sense and retire.

Oakland Raiders 13
Tennessee Titans 38
Holy shit what a beat down. Obviously I didn't see this coming. I still think Oakland is a good team, which makes the Titans' performance that much more impressive. Nice game by Darren McFadden, by the way...

Green Bay Packers 27
Philadelphia Eagles 20
Obviously the game changed when Vick got in the game. Obviously he better be starting in Detroit (as it looks like he will be). Had he been given the reigns from the start, who knows how this turns out.

San Francisco 49ers 6
Seattle Seahawks 31
Not gonna deal with either of these teams. Not yet.

Arizona Cardinals 17
St Louis Rams 13

Dallas Cowboys 7
Washington Redskins 13
All Dallas fans and Redskins detractors can say is, "Dallas gave the game away, Washington didn't win." Child please. As if coaching hasn't been an issue since Wade took over. As if Alex Barron's 17 holds on Orakpo didn't prevent AT LEAST one Romo turnover. But McNabb looked terrible and the defense was on the field way too long; won't fly later in the season.

Baltimore Ravens 10
New York Jets 9
Mark Sanchez is as big a bust as Vernon Gholston. Yep. Maybe bigger. Shonn Greene is not, however, I don't expect him to be down - especially like this - for long.

San Diego Chargers 14
Kansas City Chiefs 21
Yeaaaaa buddy. Ha. Charles is a stud, McCluster is a stud, JAVIER ARENAS is a stud. I don't think I've ever seen someone make as many people miss as he did in one night. (And look at him destroy the kicker in preseason ha.) Matt Cassel is TRASH, however. It's really a shame that they have so much money invested in him.

Couple extra thoughts. First, MICHAEL VICK NEEDS TO BE STARTING. I said it before the season started. Reid's saying it now, but there shouldn't have ever been a question. As for Randy Moss, would you rather he waits til the Pats lose before he voices his contract issues? It's all good though, he can't win. I know it. He knows it. And you know it, whether you're willing to admit it or not. I hope he breaks Rice's records. YEA I SAID IT.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

NFL Week 1 Bettor's Guide

Home teams in CAPS, for those too dumb to figure it out on their own. Fuck a intro


(+200) Minnesota Vikings
O/U 49

The Vikes will put a lot of pressure on Brees. They should've won their playoff matchup... but bygones. Brees will tear that secondary to shreds, but Peterson is fresh, and will do similar to the Saints. It's tough to call, but I'm going Vikings 34 Saints 31


(+240) Carolina Panthers
O/U 41

The Giants are a lot better than the Panthers. I mean, a LOT better. But they don't have the best run defense, and the Panthers are better equipped to take advantage than anyone. Giants will win this, but I have a feeling it'll be close. Giants 24 Panthers 20

(-170) Miami Dolphins (-3)
O/U 38.5

Am I missing something? Three points? Take Miami and run. PUN INTENDED. Dolphins 27 Buffalo 6

(-125) Atlanta Falcons (-2)
O/U 37.5

This is an interesting game. Good test of my confidence in Atlanta for this year. I'm hesitant. I'm sure Pittsburgh will turn the ball over, not entirely positive that Atlanta will. So I'll cover myself and say Falcons 23 Steelers 20

(+245) Detroit Lions
(-290) CHICAGO BEARS (-6.5)
O/U 44

For the first couple weeks, if the matchups abide, look at the Lions getting points and the Bears giving points very seriously. Because both will be great to take advantage of. Lions 27 Bears 21

(+175) Cincinnati Bengals
O/U 45

Another early test of faith with another one of my teams. The Bengals defense is great, but they won't stop Brady-Moss. I'm hoping Carson Palmer can return to form this year (form being where he was at in '05-'06). If Benson runs effectively, it's a wrap. Either way I'm going Bengals 34 Patriots 28

(+130) Cleveland Browns
O/U 37

I stay away from these shitfest games, but for the sake of this I'll say (WhoWantsToSexAlbert's own) Kellen Winslow catches three touchdowns and leads his Buccaneers 24 Browns 21 but don't mess with that O/U either.

(+115) Denver Broncos
O/U 39.5

Another shitfest. I'm lookin for a good game from Knowshon Moreno, who is reportedly nearing 100% after partially tearing his hamstring. Interested to see how he does. On a baseless hunch, Broncos 27 Jaguars 34 but again, stay away.

(-140) Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)
O/U 47

This WILL go over. And Peyton WILL NOT lose. Colts 38 Texans 34

(+225) Oakland Raiders
(-265) TENNESSEE TITANS (-6.5)
O/U 40.5

Oakland is another team to jump on early while Vegas is still giving 'em points. Had the Titans been able to pull off a Haynesworth trade I'd give 'em the win. But with the news that Michael Bush may indeed be good to go Sunday, they're officially taking this one, Raiders 28 Titans 20

(-155) Green Bay Packers (-3)
O/U 48

Child please. Rodgers begins his MVP quest. Packers 45 Eagles 27

(-150) San Francisco 49ers (-2.5)
O/U 37

Frank Gore begins an MVP quest of his own. 49ers 31 Seahawks 10

(-210) Arizona Cardinals (-4)
O/U 39

The NFC West is a bad joke. But I like AZ's defense a little, so Cardinals 16 Rams 6

(-200) Dallas Cowboys (-3.5)
O/U 40

Sucks that our home Cowgirls game is week one. In all honesty, I don't see this being close at all. I wish I had better things to say about my Skins. Cowboys 27 Redskins 16

**EDIT** Dallas won't have two starting o-linemen, which gives the Skins a much better shot. I won't go back and change my pick, just sayin..


(+110) Baltimore Ravens
(-130) NEW YORK JETS (-2)
O/U 35.5

I know Flacco put up some numbers last year, but I still have reservations. Sanchez is in for a hellish night, but I still like the Jets' D in this one. Jets 16 Ravens 13. I'm not sure about this game at all, and if the Ravens put up yardage on Monday, they're winning the AFC, barring injury.

(-220) San Diego Chargers (-4.5)
O/U 45

I love what KC is doing, on both sides of the ball (other than the whole Matt Cassel thing). I love Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones is a good change of pace, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Dexter McCluster performs (though I probably should contain expectations, especially early on in the season). The Chargers will put up points, but I like KC here. Chiefs 34 Chargers 31

Get some.

Child's Play: A Field Day For Adults (9/11)

I'm promoting this because this is something I DEFINITELY believe in (for clear reasons); this is the first time I've really felt I'm missing out by not being in DC. But while I'm stuck here taking care of business in North Carolina, if you're in DC you really should check this out. Just read the damn flyer: MOONBOUNCE! Get on this shit immediately. Seriously.

P.S. Made possible by DCtoBC and The Great Progression. Click here for the Facebook event, containing all necessary info.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

2010 NFL Predictions - Postseason

Seeding (based on the last two sets of predictions), playoffs, then individual awards.

1. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
2. San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
3. Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
4. Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
5. New York Giants (10-6)
6. New Orleans Saints (10-6)

(Five teams with exactly ten wins. I wonder what the odds are.)

New Orleans Saints vs Minnesota Vikings
If Sidney Rice is back strong this won't be a contest. Either way, I don't see much of a game. Vikings 34 Saints 20

New York Giants vs Atlanta Falcons
The Giants' lines are too good for Atlanta. Simple as that. It'll be closer though since it's in Atlanta and the Falcons have a few playmakers. Giants 37 Falcons 31

New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys
If the game were in the Meadowlands I'd give it to the Giants and be done with it, but as I type I can't decide on a winner. Romo will continue to make mistakes as he always does, but not at the rate he has been (he was a little better last year). And Dez Bryant is a BEAST. Their defense isn't great but they have some playmakers, and the offense is downright scary. Also think they'd have a little help.... Against my better judgement, Cowboys 35 Giants 31

Minnesota Vikings vs San Francisco 49ers
Alex Smith will get eaten alive by the Vikings defense, and the game won't be close. Vikings 27 49ers 13

Minnesota Vikings vs Dallas Cowboys
Favre is making this Super Bowl. That's all I'm saying. Vikings 37 Cowboys 34

1. Indianapolis Colts (12-4)
2. New York Jets (12-4)
3. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
4. Oakland Raiders (10-6)
5. Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
6. Houston Texans (10-6)

(I put Houston in over New England because they have a tougher NFC schedule. So more AFC wins, blah blah blah... might be a mistake when Brady-Moss tear the league to shreds again.)

Houston Texans vs Cincinnati Bengals
This is all based on the assumption that the Bengals' offense does indeed work out, so with that in mind, I got the Bengals here. Pretty handily, too. Bengals 30 Texans 20

Baltimore Ravens vs Oakland Raiders
I'm not actually sure why I have Baltimore winning so many games. The offense appears to be fearsome, but the defense is a shell of its former self. Except now I've finally looked it up and they were still the 3rd ranked D last year. Oh. Ravens 27 Raiders 16

Baltimore Ravens vs Indianapolis Colts
Baltimore had a lead in the fourth quarter in their matchup last year, played at M&T Bank Stadium. I wanna give 'em this win because their offense is just so much better now. How about this, whichever team has their safety playing will win the game. Nah, scratch that; if Bob Sanders plays, Colts win. Otherwise, Ravens 34 Colts 27, though betting against Peyton is suicidal.

Cincinnati Bengals vs New York Jets
This is tough. No way does Cincy run on that defense. No chance at all. But I don't trust Mark Sanchez against the Bengals' D, either. I dunno, Bengals 17 Jets 16 maybe? This - and any of the Jets' title chances - hinges entirely on the Franchez's ability to limit his turnovers.

Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals
Fuck it, I'm driving the Bengals' bandwagon. TEAM OF DESTINY. Ha. Bengals 20 Ravens 16

Cincinnati Bengals vs Minnesota Vikings
Favre ain't losing. If he makes it this far, everyone knows what's gonna happen. Then again, the Bengals' pass rush would give him fits. Still, Vikings 34 Bengals 28

MVP - Tony Romo - I have borderline record-setting seasons marked down for Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, yet neither one in the playoffs. I'm not sure how unlikely that really is, but for now I'm gonna have to go with Romo, who should have a monster year himself.
Offensive POY - Randy Moss - Brady might key on Moss a little more this year than he did in '07 since A) Welker is hurt and B) maybe they'll battle the (Pats') system together. Whatever. Didn't want to give this to Romo as well, and I don't know how another QB could take this when they didn't win MVP. Moss deserves some type of award like this before he retires.
Defensive POY - DeMarcus Ware - I thought about Antwan Odom and Jared Allen but opted for Ware because he has yet to win one (despite TWENTY sacks in 2008). Odom could do it, though, if he reverts back to his 8 sacks in 6 games pace. That defense will be nasty.
Offensive ROY - Ryan Matthews - There aren't many rookie offensive skill players in prominent roles this year. Really only Matthews, and possibly Dez Bryant. Oh, and CJ Spiller, who is sure to get lost in Buffalo. Dez could steal this pretty easily, but there are a lot of hands to feed in Dallas. Dark horse: Dexter McCluster. Remember I said that. (Btw McCluster, Dez and Matthews, all on the squad.)
Defensive ROY - Eric Berry - CERTIFIABLE STAR. Can't stress it enough. Plus, he's a playmaking safety; he could have a high school front-7 and still cause 10+ turnovers in the secondary.
Comeback POY - Mike Williams - I hope this pans out, and it's not merely Pete Carroll trying to make one of his guys look good. That's definitely part of it. (A trade for Vincent Jackson would throw a wrench in all this.)
Super Bowl MVP - Chad Ochocinco - HA. No it's Favre. Come on.

If you put a gun to my head there's no way I take the Bengals to get to the Super Bowl. I like 'em a lot, but they're not a great bet. I just kinda got "pot committed" as they say, ridiculous as that phrase really is. It's all fun. But seriously, if Carson can get the stick out his ass and have fun with Chad, TO and the rest, he'll have a great season and this scenario has a much better chance of becoming reality.

I'll put up a bettor's guide of my own by Wednesday. I paid rent with my winnings back in '08 but stopped in '09 when I couldn't really toy with finances. I might also switch to WordPress soon, cooler features and works better with my phone, if ever I were to use it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

2010 NFL Predictions - AFC

Continued from yesterday's half.

New York Jets (12-4)
This team is absolutely stacked. The offense is set, outside of the hole left by the release of Alan Faneca, and the Franchez. I think they'll be fine, though. Shonn Greene is legit, LaDainian (please.stop.calling.him.LT) Tomlinson looks young again (for now), and once Santonio Holmes gets back they have the best receiving corps in the NFL. The defense is the defense. Though I can't help but be a little concerned by their lack of depth, something they haven't even tried to hide on Hard Knocks.

New England Patriots (10-6)
Tom Brady and Randy Moss are both in contract years. Long story short, I'm looking for a HUGE year from both, along the same lines as '07. Problem is (well, besides the high unlikelihood of the last statement) the defense is going to hemorrhage points. Jerod Mayo is legit, and Brandon Spikes was a steal for them. But they're gonna have problems. Then again, maybe not. Could be this dynasty's last hurrah.

Miami Dolphins (9-7)
I'm not sold on their defense yet. Losing Joey Porter won't hurt as much this year as his dip in production did last year, when he went from 17.5 sacks and the 'Phins going 11-5 to 9 and 7-9. But it'll hurt. Karlos Dansby is a better football player, but they need to get to the QB; maybe he'll help bring the unit together. Vontae Davis will take his place amongst the elite corners of the league (unless the pass rush is awful, not to beat a dead horse).

Buffalo Bills (4-12)
Common sense tried to tell me they won't win more than two games. But I dunno. They have more than a few interesting names on defense. And CJ Spiller is legit, if he doesn't get brutalized by week 4.

Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
This is probably crazy. I know. Not as crazy as the thought that the BENGALS would have the best defense in the division. But it's true. The Ravens are OLD, and the Steelers are getting there. If Antwan Odom comes picks up where he left off, LOOK OUT. I'm also hoping the whole Batman & Robin thing works out. If Carson Palmer can stop playing like a little girl...

Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
That Monday Night game against the Jets is gonna be awesome. But I have reservations about that defense. The secondary is a joke, especially with Ed Reed now on the PUP list and ineligible for the first six games. Ray Lewis is old. Haloti Nhata might be their best defensive player. These are all things that are bad, in case you're wondering. The offense could be scary, though. Joe Flacco has a cannon, Ray Rice is a beast, Anquan Boldin as well (when he's on the field). But even Donte' Stallworth is injured (out for two months). I like this team a lot, but I'm a little worried.

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
Sue me. The o-line keeps getting worse. Santonio Holmes is gone and Hines Ward isn't getting any younger. I like Rashard Mendenhall a lot, but he needs help. More than the Rapist can give him. The defense will still be strong, but not like in the past. James Harrison has quickly become one of the most overrated players in football, though LaMarr Woodley is a monster.

Cleveland Browns (1-15)

Indianapolis Colts (12-4)
I decided to look at Bob Sanders' career stats, to see if I could find some loose pattern in the years in which he misses more or less time. What I saw was 15- and 14-game seasons sprinkled in his 6 years. How many games did he play in the other four years, you ask? 18. Yep. Anyway, it's Peyton Manning. He's winning 12 on his own. And if Sanders plays double-digit games? Definite Super Bowl run.

Houston Texans (10-6)
Their front-7 is great. But I feel like I've been saying that for a while now. The offense will be a juggernaut, however. Matt Schaub has gotten hurt a lot, but they've all been unique injuries. If it was karma that kept him on the sidelines, last year would lead us to believe that he paid off his debt. I will forever gloat about Andre Johnson.

Tennessee Titans (8-8)
Unless Derrick Morgan is Javon Kearse 2.0 I don't see how the defense will be a positive factor at all. Chris Johnson is Chris Johnson, and Vince Young will silence a few doubters. But I can't see anything better than .500 without a miracle.

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
The defense is bad. MJD is great and Garrard is as unspectacular as they come. Mike Sims-Walker is a stud but he's perpetually injured. Five wins might be too generous, especially if MJD's knee gives him problems.

Oakland Raiders (10-6)
As I said before, Jason Campbell will have a better year than Donovan McNabb. I strongly believe it. He's got a talented, albeit unheralded, group of receivers to throw to, and a decent line in front of him (something he's never seen before in the NFL). There's one issue: Michael Bush's broken thumb. He's missing the first game, and could miss up to half the season. If he's out Campbell will really need to step up. The defense is better than most realize. I'll leave it at that and wait for you to check out the roster; it's surprisingly impressive.

San Diego Chargers (9-7)
I hate Phillip Rivers, but he's incredible. Maybe the best arm (strength/accuracy) in football. But he's gonna miss Vincent Jackson. People keep saying Malcom Floyd will step right in and everything will be fine because he's similar height and weight (6'5" 225), but that's a little ridiculous. Jackson is a great player. What's even worse, Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeil is holding out as well, though the front office seems a bit more motivated to get him back on board (I hope so, for Ryan Matthews' sake...). The defense is a nightmare. Shawne Merriman is just above average, Shaun Phillips is overrated trash... the front-7 is really bad. Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason are good, but corners aren't shit when there's no pass rush.

Kansas City Chiefs (8-8)
They have a very easy schedule, and they've done a lot on both sides of the ball. Eric Berry will be a superstar, and fast. Brandon Flowers is also a stud. And the front-7 is surprisingly good. On offense, I don't particularly like Matt Cassell, but Dwayne Bowe is talented, and crazy as it sounds, Chris Chambers is still good. He played pretty well in his 9 games in KC. The o-line is getting better, and they have a three-headed-monster at RB: Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster. Thomas Jones is at the wrong end of 30 and coming off his heaviest workload of his career, so while he'll be valuable in the red zone, he won't put much of a dent in Charles' production. McCluster is like a tough Reggie Bush sans the hype; he might catch 60 passes. Watch out for him.

Denver Broncos (5-11)
I'm really high on Knowshon Moreno. I'm hoping he can stay healthy (partially torn hamstring kept him out of the entire preseason). But after him, there's not much on offense. The line is solid at least. The defense lost Elvis Dumerville, and I don't know what they're gonna do without him. Champ Bailey is ageless, but without a pass rush...

There you have it. I might do playoffs and awards later, not sure yet.

Friday, September 3, 2010

2010 NFL Predictions - NFC

Making preseason predictions for the NFL is as almost as foolish as it is fun. So here goes. (Win-loss totals are guesstimated. So they won't actually match up properly.)

If it weren't fuckin Tony Romo I'd definitely put money on him to win NFL MVP at 12-1 odds. I wouldn't take Dez Bryant at 2-1 (only because I tend to put big money down if I'm doing single bets, and 2-1 on a future bet ain't worth it), but he'll have supplanted Roy Williams by week 4; if not on the depth chart then certainly in Romo's eyes. DeMarcus Ware is DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff is starting to (deservedly) become a household name, and Mike Jenkins will be soon enough. But that's really all they got on the defensive side of the ball. Plus, Wade Phillips is a clown. But that offense is far too good for this team to not make the playoffs at the very least, if not take the division.

New York Football Giants (10-6)
I'm trying to keep my expectations in check on this team, but it's tough. I'm not Eli Manning's biggest fan by any stretch, but if you pay attention at all you'll know he's damn good. And there's a ton of talent around him, too. Hakeem Nicks is in line for a breakout year, and Steve Smith-12 has proven himself reliable in the truest sense of the word. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs are both healthy (not the case for either one last year), and should combine for around 2,000 and 20. And as far as I'm concerned last year's defensive output was an aberration, for a number of reasons, and they'll be back this year.

Washington Redskins (8-8)
Since the McNabb trade I've said anything less than 8-8 would be a disappointment, while too much more would be a shock. The more I've thought about it, the more I've realized how optimistic that viewpoint actually is. Donovan McNabb is one of the most underrated players of the last decade, if not all time, but he just isn't that good any more. To go further, Jason Campbell is a better quarterback RIGHT NOW. I'm a huge fan of McNabb, but for every great play he makes, he'll leave you scratching your head twice. I hope I'm wrong.

(Give Jason Campbell this o-line and see how he produces on the field and progresses as a player. In his four years in DC I can think of one or two linemen he played behind who made it a full 16 games in a single season.)

I'm overly optimistic about the running game. I hope a younger, more athletic o-line will work well with Shanahan's run schemes. I hope Portis is healthy enough to stay healthy for 16 games, considering he'll actually have help behind him now. I hope Ryan Torain steps up like I've foreseen in him since he was a senior in college. Odds are all of these things come true, but to a degree much lesser than they need to in order to be a playoff team. Again, I hope I'm wrong.

The defense is as deep as I remember having in quite some time. Haynesworth is happy (enough to keep his mouth relatively shut), the pass rush will be very good (minimizing the negative impact of DeAngelo Fall's gambling)... but no matter how good a defense is, it can't be effective if it's constantly on the field.

Here's to hope and optimism. Oh, and GRAHAM GANO!!!

Philadelphia Eagles (5-11)
I see three wins on their schedule. Three. I gave 'em five 'cause I figure they'll steal one here and there, but I just don't think this team is that good. The defense is a shell of what it used to be. Kolb put up some nice numbers in a couple games last year, but once in a win against the lowly Chiefs, and once in a bad loss to the Saints, and he threw three picks in the game. DeSean Jackson is as great a playmaker as he is a jackass, and he is world class in both. LeSean McCoy is a stud, and will be for the 12 touches/game Andy Reid gives him. Bad news all around.

Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
I have them in first because of their defense, but I won't be surprised in the slightest if the Pack finish ahead of 'em. I feel like Favre is the type of guy who will hang on a year too long, and this might be that year. Even if he's as good as he was last year, who's he throwing to? Harvin is having his migraine issues and does anyone really trust newly acquired Javon Walker? (Well, I do, enough to sign him to the fantasy squad -and possibly start him week 1 - at least.) As for Peterson... last year left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth; I won my championship, but his production declined for the 2nd straight year. Don't let the TDs fool you. This may be due to a negative bias I have, but I don't trust him this year. Not at all.

Green Bay Packers (9-7)
I have them in second because of their defense, I won't be surprised in the slightest if it costs them every single game they lose. Aaron Rodgers is the most physically gifted QB in the NFL (to this day I can't understand how the 9ers passed on him. Someone needs to answer this), Donald Driver is ageless, Greg Jennings is a stud, James Jones and Jordy Nelson might be the best #3/#4 combo there is, and Jermichael Finley is a sweet name (pretty good player, too). I'm not a huge Ryan Grant fan but he's good enough. That defense is just too easy to hang points on.

Detroit Lions (6-10)
They have a few nice pieces on both sides of the ball. Really nice pieces. Doubters of Matt Stafford, you're fools. He's the real deal. Megatron is a BEAST, and Kevin Smith and Jahvid Best will be a really good duo, even though I refuse to believe Best is alive right now. I WATCHED HIM DIE. Anywho... Louis Delmas is a stud. Suh (can't spell his first name from memory yet), is gonna be great immediately. I don't think they'll put it all together until 2011, but they'll scare a bunch of teams - and could steal a game or two and finish with 7-8 wins.

Chicago Bears (4-12)
If you believe in Mike Martz then you might think this is way too low. Of course, Martz was successful with Kurt Warner, who could piss through a Cheerio. Jay Cutler? Not so much. I don't think he throws 26 picks again. I mean, he can't... right? As for the defense, Tommie Harris won't play, Brian Urlacher can't, and Julius Peppers will refuse to. Not good.

Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
I'm really high on Atlanta this year. I wanted to give 'em 12 wins, but I couldn't find all of them. It won't surprise me, though. Michael Turner is healthy, and Matt Ryan is going to have his best year yet. Roddy White will be in Pro-Bowl contention, as will Gonzo of course. Their defense has been really small in recent years, but they've mostly been together for a few years now. Add in Dunta Robinson... I like 'em a lot.

New Orleans Saints (10-6)
I can't help but wonder if 10 wins is too much. Last years title run was a joke - sorry Saints fans, but it's a fact. If Trent Dilfer is the butt of every Super Bowl QB joke, the Saints' defense has to be similarly considered. Giving a defense the 'opportunistic' tag is almost exactly like the 'great personality' tag. The Saints' defense was VERY opportunistic last year. The offense is still a juggernaut so they'll be in contention again... for the division and not much more.

Carolina Panthers (8-8)
They won eight games with JAKE DELHOMME at QB. Matt Moore ain't much, Jimmy Clausen ain't much more, but THEY AIN'T JAKE DELHOMME DEAR GOD. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are easily the best RB duo in the NFL, and Steve Smith-89 is still the real Steve Smith, at least for this year. The defense is kinda sad though, outside of Jon Beason and Chris Gamble. If all goes well they won't have to be on the field for too long.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13)
Josh Freeman is like a motivated JaMarcus Russell, which makes him a pretty good prospect. But he's very much a prospect. Kellen Winslow should have a big year as his safety blanket (for my fantasy squad). Their two best receivers are Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams, both rookies. And while Cadillac Williams is a serviceable player, he's not much more than that, if he makes it through the season. The defense has a looooooong way to go. One thing they have going for them is possibly the best name in football, Stylez G White.

San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
If Alex Smith can somehow build on his play from last year, I wouldn't be shocked by 13 wins. Their schedule is that easy. Frank Gore is a stud, and I'm hoping he has a monster year (again, for the fantasy squad). I'll settle for a full 16 games (which probably would translate into a huge year).

Arizona Cardinals (7-9)
This is extremely generous, but I like the defense a lot. DRC is a top 5 corner in the league (maybe top 3), they added Joey Porter to bolster their pass rush, Calais Campbell will continue his upward trend in production. Too bad they didn't keep Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle, they could've been an elite unit. No QB could cause some issues, but the o-line could be pretty good, and while I hate him, Beanie Wells is very talented (albeit Charmin soft).

Seattle Seahawks (4-12)
Until I see them play well, I'm not getting anywhere near that bandwagon. I am excited to see if Mike Williams - THAT Mike Williams - can redeem himself. Definitely pulling for that to happen (even if he weren't on the fantasy team).

St Louis Rams (1-15)
I just don't see who they can beat. I like Sam Bradford but he has no protection and nobody to throw to. I don't know what Steven Jackson did to deserve this fate, but it must've been AWFUL.

AFC to come later.

Chris Cooley x Orisue x Major DC In-Store!

I normally don't do this because few are likely to read it, but exceptions are always made, why not here. Especially for Chris Cooley, who is a certified G. If I were in DC I'd probably be there, just 'cause. Also figured I'd plug Modi's more-than-a-blog, and encourage you to follow @TheGeePee as well if you're on twitter. Those of you who know me know that while I refer to a lot of things as some variation of "the best ever," my real stamp of approval doesn't get applied to much of anything. Ever. I'm not even entirely sure what The Great Progression is yet, but I know you'll definitely want to be on board.