Week 5 Picks – Part One

Due to time constraints, I’ll be posting my picks for the early games separately from the rest of the week. If this is truly an issue, well, find a more professional site.

Any way, I’m going to have to start pretending every game is played on Thursday nights. If I can convince myself of this, it will drastically improve my win percentage. So, without further ado:

CINCINNATI (-4.5) over Miami

This is a tough game, but the Bengals’ offense has been nothing short of explosive. With the help of AJ Green, Andy Dalton seems to be more than the game manager he was for the better part of last year. The Dolphins run D has been the best in the league so far, but that shouldn’t matter too much; their pass D has been atrocious. Against a sharp Bengals passing attack, I have to imagine the Bengals put up 30+, which will be too much to allow the Phins to hang around. 10 point W for the Bengals.

Green Bay (-7.5) over INDIANAPOLIS

Aaron Rodgers and co. are still due for a major offensive outburst. The Colts D shouldn’t give them too many problems, and conversely, the Packers D should be able to create enough pressure to stay in Andrew Luck’s face for much of the day. Have to imagine the Pack come up hot and put up points today. The Colts are a team on the rise, but they haven’t risen enough to take down the Packers just yet.

Baltimore (-4.5) over KANSAS CITY

There’s no way around it; the Chiefs are just a bad football team. There are a lot of games the Chiefs can stay in because of the brilliance of their O-Line and Jamaal Charles, but this will not be one of them. The Ravens will stack the box, and trust their secondary to handle 1 on 1 matchups when they’re presented. Simply put, the Ravens are going to make Matt Cassel beat them, which is something I don’t believe he can do.

NEW YORK GIANTS (-9.5) over Cleveland

Yes, this is a typical stumble for the Giants. An emotional loss on the road against a division rival, coming home to play a game they SHOULD control throughout. I’m not the only one who’s said that this week. In fact, it’s been said so much, that even the Giants have commented on the measures they’re taking not to overlook their week opponents. I think Eli Manning, even without Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, will still have a big afternoon against a putrid Browns secondary that is missing their best piece in Joe Haden.

Philadelphia (+3.5) over PITTSBURGH

This should be a defensive struggle throughout. Whoever wins the turnover battle will probably win the game. I like this to come down to a field goal. Not terribly confident in this pick, but I think the battle of Pennsylvania will be a hard fought, nail-biter.

Atlanta (-3.5) over WASHINGTON

One of, if not the toughest game of the week for me. I like RG3, Alfred Morris, and the rest of the Redskins young, fast offense. Their defense just does not strike me as tough enough to contain an Atlanta team that looks as strong as any team in the league. Bottom line, it’s hard to pick against Atlanta the way they’ve looked so far.

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Week 5 – Thursday Night Football Pick

Well, Week 4 was certainly nothing to write home about, but I did manage to keep pace with my nemesis, the Little Coin. But now we’re at the quarter pole of the 2012 NFL season, and as the season marches on, I have fewer excuses for performances like Week 3. This is not to say I expect perfection, just gradual improvement. We’re learning more about the landscape of the NFL. We know Sean Payton and Gregg Williams were extremely valuable to the Saints. We know the NFC East is, per usual, going to be a dog fight. We know Matt Ryan has taken a major step in his development as a quarterback. We know Peyton Manning may not be the Peyton Manning of old, but he’s damn sure better than Tim Tebow, who managed himself a playoff W in 2011. We know to stop and think before we scoff at the idea of the Arizona Cardinals winning the NFC West….

 

…which is a convenient place to segue into my Thursday Night Pick.

 

ST. LOUIS (+1.5) over Arizona

 

Yes, I know I just discouraged dismissing the Cardinals as contenders in the NFC West. I’m not. Their defense has been other-worldly. Patrick Peterson has taken a major leap, and is no longer just a tremendous athlete playing corner, but a legitimate Pro-Bowl candidate at CB. The Cardinals have had some good fortune and won some tight games to be where they are, but I’m not sure their offense is reliable enough to continue to win tight contests. I like the Rams to pound the ball on the ground tonight and to keep Sam Bradford’s drop backs short and his release quick. Short slants, bubble screens, curls. The Ram D will also benefit from a home crowd in the Edward Jones Dome, which should generate enough noise to rattle Kevin Kolb. Put me down for an upset special and a one game edge on the Little Coin.

Little Coin vs Big Hurt Round 2

So Last week we had Little Coin vs Big Hurt Round 1. We both put up an identical 8-7 record for the week*.

I, Little Coin, did the following:

won the Thursday Night game, lost the next 7 (by scheduled time), won the final 7 for an 8-7 record (and hence I get to mock for another week).

What we learned: Boy did I rally, standing at 1-7 looking to redeem Ryan, the luck of me bounced right 7 straight times. (This happens 1/128 times.)

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Triple Crowns and MVPs

by Michael Scully

As we all know last night Miguel Cabrera right after Granderson was pulled from the Yankee game, the first player to do so since Carl Yazstremski in 1967. So with this achievement he’s made the AL MVP water even murkier than before.

The Consensus is pretty much clear on whom the AL MVP is; if you’re a new aged stats nerd, then Trout is your clear winner. However, if you’re an oldie, then you’re probably leaning towards Cabrera. The debate is moot at this point as the sides are more divided than political parties in America are. What really saddens us here is that this debate may linger through the postseason and that’s the last thing we’d want to happen. Therefore, we’ve decided to write a reconciliation piece now, which will run when the announcement of AL MVP occurs. We will explain to the stats guys why Cabrera won, and to the oldies why Trout won.
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Week 4 Picks

By Ryan Faherty

 

That time of the week again. The road to redemption starts here. 

 

ATLANTA (-7) over Carolina

 

So far this season, Cam has been mediocre at best, and the Falcons look like the class of the NFL. Matt Ryan has emerged as one of the best passers in the NFL and I don’t see a weak Panthers pass D slowing him down today. Falcons cover in a laugher.

 

New England (-4.5) over BUFFALO

 

There might not be a legitimate contender more in need of a win than the Pats this week. I expect Tom Brady to have himself a day, and the battered Buffalo RB core to struggle. New England will come out fired up and in desperation mode, and the Bills won’t be able to withstand their hunger.

 

KANSAS CITY (+1) over San Diego

 

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but I just can’t believe in Norv Turner and the Chargers. Jamaal Charles seems to have recovered exceptionally from the devastating knee injury that ended his 2011 campaign. The Chiefs will rely heavily on their running back and control the clock in this one. Chiefs by a field goal.

 

Seattle (-3) over ST. LOUIS

 

This Seattle D is the real deal. If not for the surprising Cardinals D, this unit may be the best story of 2012 to date. Sam Bradford will find himself on his backside through the majority of this one. Russell Wilson won’t need too big of a day to take down the weak Rams.

 

Minnesota (+4.5) over DETROIT

 

This Lions defense looks horrific so far and despite their proficient offense, any respectable team in the league can hang enough points on them to stay in the game. I expect both teams to put up close to 30 and this one to come down to a field goal.

 

San Francisco (-4.5) over NY JETS

 

The Niners should shut down the Jets run game, which will demand a big game from Mark Sanchez. I don’t think he has it in him against this 49ers defense. I think the hangover from losing their most important piece in Darrelle Revis will be apparent today. Jets go quietly in this one.

 

Tennessee (+12) over HOUSTON

 

Lot of points on the board. I know Houston is a legit contender, but the Titans proved respectable in their high octane shootout with the Lions. I like Houston in this one, but don’t expect this to be a blow out.

 

Oakland (+7) over DENVER

 

As much as it pains me to say this, Peyton Manning is just not the same guy he used to be. His struggles throwing the deep ball this year has allowed defenses to creep up a couple steps, which should limit the run game. Oakland will look to the screen game to open some holes against a fast Denver front 7.

 

ARIZONA (-6) over Miami

 

I still don’t believe this offense has enough fire power to sustain this great start, but when the D and special teams provide good field position all day, it certainly makes life easier for Kevin Kolb & co. Ryan Tannehill is in for a long day against this fierce Cards D. Lots of turnovers this afternoon. Cards win comfortably.

 

Cincinnati (-2.5) over JACKSONVILLE

 

Lest we forget, Blaine Gabbert is a starting NFL QB.

 

Washington (+2.5) over TAMPA BAY

 

This should be a high scoring affair. Redskins D is falling apart and RG3 will present problems for the Bucs.  Pierre Garcon could be back for Washington which will stretch the field and open up the ground game. I like Washington to move to .500

 

New Orleans (+7.5) over GREEN BAY

 

The 2012 Underachiever Bowl. Yes, Green Bay undoubtedly was dealt a tough hand Monday night, but when you have arguably the best passer in the NFL, you need to put up more than 12 points if you realistically expect to win. I wouldn’t put a dime on this game, but imagine it will be close.

 

New York Giants (+1) over PHILADELPHIA

 

The G-Men are always a safer bet on the road. The pass rush will be a problem for Michael Vick, and if Andy Reid doesn’t give the football to LeSean McCoy, the Eagles offense will continue to struggle.

 

DALLAS (-3.5) over Chicago

 

The battle over whose offensive line can get their QB killed first. Dallas has more weapons, and their D is going to be hard to throw on.

 

 

 

 

Playoff Recap:

Brandon Morrow throws seven shutout innings as the Jays blank the Yankees 6-0. Rangers out clobber the A’s 9-7 putting them 4 up in the division. Also, Hamilton went 1-4 with 2Ks, someone take the caffeine away! He’s not seeing the ball again!!

The Rays beat the now on life support White Sox 3-2 for their 8th straight. They only sit 2 back in the Wild card, 3 from Baltimore, and 4 from the Yankees. All of a sudden the Yankees-O’s-A’s race party has an open invitation.

The Angels also sit two back and need to win games to reach the postseason. Mike Trout (0-4 2Ks) and the Angels don’t seem to realize this.

We covered this one on twitter yesterday, but Dickey wins his 20th for the Mets. The Pirates now are 2 losses away from their 21st straight losing season. Ike Davis now has 31 homeruns on the year, and still nowhere to start next year, you have to love Mets management.

Doug Fister didn’t get the win but he did strike out nine straight royals from the 4th to 7th innings. When asked about it after the game, Francouer said, “Our Moustakas, we’re gonna Lough about this later.” Okay maybe he didn’t say that, but he definitely should’ve!

Phillies and Diamondbacks lose 7-3 and are now six back of the Cardinals with six to play. So mathematically they’re not eliminated as I think the Phillies own the If-Jupiter-is-three-degrees-in-the-night-sky-from-Saturn-but-seven-degrees-from-Venus-whose-passing-the-moon-during-a-waining-gibbous.