Tuesday Morning Self-Esteem Check.

Backdoor Cover?

That was one of the worst backdoor covers I’ve ever seen.  These Monday night games–good lord.  The Lions were so thoroughly dominated, but the Bears cussed around and blew the cover.  It makes me want to yell and scream, but I guess I’ll just get over it, live to pick another day.  There really is a solid, one, two hundred more words of rant left inside me, but how about a topic change?  What happened to the era of the dominant QB?

As hideous as the NFL product can be at times, and really, thank god for fantasy and gambling–there does appear to be a definitive hierarchy forming in the NFL.  The power is shifted toward the NFC.  Atlanta, San Francisco, New York, Chicago look a step above the rest.  In the AFC, it looks right now that Houston has a cake walk to the Super Bowl.  The Ravens?  Laughable.  So, if these are the best teams, the question is:  Where is Brady?  Brees?  Peyton?  Rodgers?  Big Ben? As recently as last season you thought you needed an elite QB to make a playoff run.  A stout defense was cute, but you’d eventually get picked apart.  

Not the case so far this season.  Sure, Eli is still there and Matt Ryan could be taking a big step this year, but the rest of the QBs atop the league are a mixed bag.  Alex Smith, Cutler-Face, Matt Schaub.  Talented for sure, but 2nd tier.  The teams at the top aren’t relying on QB play, for the most part they are shutting teams down.  The Bears put on a defensive clinic Monday night and they are absolutely the last team I’d want to play in the post-season.  Can the golden arm boys make some headway in the 2nd half?  We’ll see.  

NFL Pick ‘Em Standings:

  1. Grossy, 19-14-2
  2. JCK, 19-15-1
  3. Nichols, 19-16
  4. Big Dub, 18-15-2
  5. Kraft, 18-16-1
  6. DC, 17-18

As you can see, on the whole, we’re doing all right.  Pretty average stuff.  At this point last year the standings were fairly similar, though the leader, JCK was 10 games over .500 and had a nice lead.  Things got progressively more difficult, which I can’t even imagine considering some of the games I’ve already lost this year.  

The “Comfort In Numbers,” Pick of the Week:  Multiple Pickers (NYJ +10.5)

I don’t see a singular, stand-out pick this week.  Correct me if I’m wrong.  And, I don’t see any real penetrating analysis.  I think it was a tough lineup this week so there was a lot of, “just because,” or “I hope and wish.”  Not that there is anything wrong with that type of analysis, but no one was out on a limb.  Nichols did have the Lions, but I don’t care what you say, that was an awful pick.  So, why the Jets?  Well, I think conventional wisdom would be to think the Pats were going to come out on fire as revenge for what happened in Seattle last week.  “I wouldn’t want to be the Jets this week.”–2008.  But, this version of the Pats seems to play worse in the 4th quarter.  They show flashes, but give up too much through the air to cover big spreads.  A nod to everyone who recognized that.

The “LaRussa Would Have Made More Pitching Changes,” Awful Pick of the Week:  (Cleveland +2.5)

I imagine there is some type of rule about taking the Browns on the road?  Or taking the Browns?  Or picking a game in either direction involving the Browns?  Again, I don’t see a real stand-out piece of idiocy here.  Let’s try to distinguish ourselves a little better next week, gentlemen.  I wanted to highlight Oakland/Jacksonville, but what’s my argument going to be?  How can you not take Jacksonville?  It’d be halfhearted at best.  Too many horrible teams in this league, too many teams on bye this week.  

The Arbitrary, Yet Definitive Top-10

1.  Atlanta, 6-0.  Eagles should provide necessary springboard into the 2nd half this Sunday.

2.  Chicago, 5-1.  Suffocating defense, if healthy could steamroll the NFC.

3.  New York Giants, 5-2.  I imagine right where they want to be.  

4.  Houston, 6-1.  The AFC is so incredibly bad that Houston is the Vegas favorite to win the Super Bowl.  Think about that.

5.  San Francisco, 5-2.  Probably better than Houston, but trying for some AFC/NFC balance.

6.  Minnesota, 5-2.  If they can win with Ponder playing like that?  Why not #6?

7.  Baltimore, 5-2.  Still falling.  Cripled with injuries and Flacco was scary bad against Houston.  

8.  Green Bay, 4-3.  Two game winning streak?  Welcome to the top-10.  

9.  New England, 4-3.  AFC Nostalgia Division Part I.

10. Pittsburgh, 3-3.  AFC Nostalgia Division Part II.

3-PT D.A. of the Week:  Christian Ponder.

Check out the D.A. Tab at the top of the page for a rundown of Ponder’s week and a photo of his newsy significant other.  We’ve got cumulative totals as well, see how poorly you stand in the tie-breaker race.  You’re probably slightly better off than this guy.  

 

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14 thoughts on “Tuesday Morning Self-Esteem Check.

  1. Eli is a total beast. How’s Steve Smith doing since he left Eli? Oh, you mean he’s not a “number one in waiting”? You mean he’s not elite? Ok…..ok……

  2. Oh boy, your favorite argument. Putting aside the fact that no one ever thought Steve Smith was a #1 in waiting, has the guy been healthy a day since he left NY?

  3. Plenty of teams thought he was a potential number one. Besides, let’s look at Boss, and what he’s done. Eli is pure, straight man…..best QB in the league.

  4. Why is my Lions pick awful? It is because everyone else here took the Bears? It doesn’t matter that the Lions suck and the Bears look good – that game is always close and 6.5 was too much. And the Jets +10.5? The Pats couldn’t beat anyone halfway decent by more than 3 at this point so why is that such a strong pick?

  5. Haha, did you watch the game?

    Detroit was totally dominated from the jump. Relying on prevent defense TDs with 40 seconds left to cover by 1/2 a point is a tough way to make a living.

    At the end, a cover is a cover, but that’s not a pick I’d be real proud of.

    It wasn’t a real dynamic week either week, like I said. The Pats was a quasi blowout line in a quasi blowout spot, if you are going to say the Lions/Bears is “always close” (love to see some numbers on that by the way) than I could say, the Pats “always tend to cover those big spreads”

    • You make a good point, but I didn’t know that picking spreads was about picking good games. I’ll bet on Cleveland and KC all year long if the line is right but all their games will be painful to watch (unless I have a DA interest).

      “Always close” was a poor choice of words. I’ll rephrase with “always hard fought” which in my eyes means closer than 6.5. Truth be told, I expected Chicago to win by a FG. Their skill against a team like Detroit should have them winning by 2 TDs but that obviously wasn’t the case. The #s you asked for were from scoresandodds.com. Only 53.4% of the betting public had Chicago, and some may say that 3.4% is a lot, but it’s not enough to override my gut (which is pretty big) and pick Detroit. As for the Pats, conventional wisdom may say they were coming out swinging, but their performance against real teams this year is another story.

      • I’ll take Hard Fought as a more reasonable conclusion.

        The numbers I meant were in regard to the game always being close. And, to that end, with the exception of 2010, this matchup has featured at least one blowout for the last several years. Their last meeting prior to yesterday was Chicago 37-13.

        It wasn’t about the quality of the game, it was just Detroit wasn’t really in that game. It was close on the scoreboard, which is all that matters for the pick ’em standings, at the end of the game, but it wasn’t a close game. That’s the bare minimum number of points Chicago could have won by and it had Detroit covering by a 1/2 point.

        It’s like last week I had Denver and they ended up covering, but they were down 24 points and it took Philip Rivers completely imploding in the end to let Denver come back. I took the win, but it wasn’t a good pick in the sense of really being onto something, or having any keen insight.

      • I guess I need to figure out how you qualify keen insight, b/c I would say the Denver pick was pretty solid. Would you say picking the Eagles this weekend requires a keen insight?

      • Well, unless you predict exactly how the game is going to play out like, “Rivers will self-destruct at the end and Denver will pull away,” I think you have to avoid being lucky. No matter how bad you think SD is, they shouldn’t be blowing 24 point leads. That was a lucky cover in the end for me.

        And, that was just backdoor extraordinaire last night. And not like a shootout backdoor, but Detroit looked like they had no chance to score all night. They skank out a 2nd or 3rd and a mile after a sack there when the Bears have clearly stopped trying….and then score that meaningless TD with 40 seconds left.

        Part of it might be that you don’t explain yourself. So, if you had said something like the Bears are the better team, but won’t get out of their own way then it looks like a lot better pick. Just taking Detroit and having them cover in that way feels like good fortune to me.

        The Eagles? I’d have to see how it plays out. If you take them and they win because Matt Ryan gets hurt and Luke McCown comes in and throws 2 pick6s, then no, that wouldn’t be good insight. But if you predict that the Eagles will win with ease and that’s how it plays out, I think you’d probably be onto something, because there isn’t much there to make you think the Birds are the better team.

      • You say you expected Chicago to win by a FG, but it was never a FG game. Chicago scored with 11 minutes left in the 1st quarter and Detroit wasn’t covering again until there were 30 seconds left. They were never within a FG after the first score. So you really weren’t right about the game. Just like I wasn’t right about Denver last week, but they both still ended up covering in the end.

        awful (in regard to the pick) may be a bit harsh, but it’s my favorite adjective.

      • I concede. Guess I’ll have to hit 65% or start explaining myself. Kraft sets the bar high though so I may go for the numbers.

      • Please don’t feel obligated to write out explanations, I agree that Kraft’s special brand of Jacksonville Jaguar themed humor is tough to compete with.

        But it does impact the “awards” as it were. The good news is, it’s 50/50. If Detroit had blown out Chicago you probably would have gotten the nod, even though you expected Chicago to win the game.

        Double-edged sword.

        At the end of the year, all anyone cares about is the standings.

  6. No love for those who saw Baltimore being in a bad spot this weekend? (Even though we didn’t necessarily predict just HOW BAD of a spot it would be.)

  7. Well, the good news is, people actually read this post.

    But perhaps I should institute the “Wahhhhh” Wednesdays, Why Didn’t I Win Pick of the Week in the future.

    Texans were a fine call. But, l stand by what I said, no one really blew me away this week.

    If someone hits 60-65%, maybe I’ll start taking some of these critiques to heart.

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