Tuesday Morning Self-Esteem Check.

The Siren That Lured the Ravens.

The Siren That Lured the Ravens.

One of these days professional athletes are going to learn to avoid the party _______________(Fill in mode of transportation).  It’s just not a good idea.  Boats, buses, stretch Chrysler 300s–when athletes and strippers get together it’s heaven for the gossip blogs.  This latest entanglement, the one with Jacoby Jones getting brained by a champagne bottle wielding stripper named Sweet Pea is one of personal favorites.  I always like hearing the coaches react to this kind of news.  “Well, it wasn’t a real proud moment…”

To the on-field action.  My opinions and theories on the NFL completely change every week, so here’s the latest installment.  

1.  Don’t Overlook Protection.  Maybe a QB like Peyton Manning can play behind a makeshift offensive line and get away with it by not holding the ball, but most QBs need time to throw.  Even established veterans like Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers.  Eli was getting sacked almost every time he dropped back early Sunday and that sets a tone.  It can set a tone for a whole season.  Michael Vick running for his life was the theme of 2012 for the Eagles.  Now Vick isn’t a Super Bowl winning QB, but he’s a great example for this point.  The difference in his games when he has time to throw vs. when he doesn’t is astounding.  

2. Why do some NFL teams stick with veteran running backs so long?  What is Ben-Jarvis Green Ellis giving Cincy right now? The Bills took forever to put CJ Spiller on the field as the primary back.  The Broncos are going with veterans over Montee Ball.  I know some of it is familiarity with the offense.  The BLOCKING SCHEMES, but at some point, 11 carries for 29 just isn’t going to cut it.  This doesn’t happen with every team, but it happens fairly often for a position with such a short shelf-life.  

3. Has the offense gotten out of hand for anyone?  I was up unusually early for work this morning and at that hour they were just playing radio replay of the post-game from Monday Night Football.  So, while I certainly wasn’t awake for the post-game, I still got to hear Ray Lewis talking about Peyton Manning.  You could hear the frustration in his voice, and finally he came out and said, the rules are skewed in favor of the offense.  We know this, but it seems like each season the impact a defense can make on a game is lessened.  The Seahawks have a great D, but can they get past 3 or 4 blazing offenses in the post-season?

4.  The Browns got a lot of heat for trading Trent Richardson and essentially waving a white flag after two weeks this season, but then they came out and beat the Vikings.  The Vikes said, “Our starter is worse than your 3rd string.”  I don’t think the Browns could tank if they tried.  There is a stunning number of bad teams in the league.  You can start with the entire NFC East and then trudge through Jacksonville, Oakland, Tampa–someone has to beat these teams.  This week it was the Browns.  

r***

NFL Pick ‘EM Standings:  

  1. Big Dub 11-4
  2. Grossy, 9-5-1
  3. Kraft, 9-5-1
  4. Nichols, 7-8
  5. DC, 5-9-1
  6. JCK, 4-11

The “Bring Back the MEGA STUF Oreo,” Pick of the Week:  Nichols (Seattle -19)

It should be noted that Big Dub is off to one of the best starts we’ve ever seen around here.  He’d currently be T-2 (!) in the Vegas Hilton Super Contest, but let’s take a moment to peer back into the pack at Nichols, who is a solid 7-3 in his last two weeks.  The moral being there is plenty of time to turn this around.  I really liked this pick, though, because it was so straightforward.  The best home team in the NFL playing the worst team in the entire league.  Sure, 19 points is incredibly high for a professional game, but you needed a college betting mentality for this one.  Nineteen points was value.  It’s Ohio State laying 40 when they win 76-0.  Sure, it takes three drives to get to coverville, but once you’re there–you aren’t leaving.  

The “Um, Yeah, Mediocre Teams on the Road,” Awful Pick of the Week: Grossy (St. Louis +4)

This one was not close.  The funny thing is I heard a tout on Saturday after I made this pick talking about all the trends working in my favor.  Apparently the Cowboys are awful as home favorites in the Romo/Princeton era.  I had no idea, but boy, was I patting myself on the back after hearing that.  YOU SENSED IT!  Or not.  The Rams got demolished.  They probably got demolished because they aren’t very good–especially on the road.  Should you bet on two teams with almost no week-to-week consistency?  NO.  A lot of my “feels,” wrong this week.  St. Louis, WSH, Atlanta…could be a sign of tough times ahead.  At least we all still know the Texans are free money as road favorites.  

***

3PT D.A. of the Week:  Michael Vick

Special shout-out to Kaepernick for keeping it up, and to Big-Ben for hitting the pick-6/fumble-6 daily double, but Vick sent the Eagles into a tailspin Thursday night with some hideous stats.  Read more about it and the D.A. week in general by clicking tab at the top of the page.  

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The Definitive, Yet Arbitrary Top-10:

  1. Seattle, 3-0–Free one last week.
  2. Denver, 3-0–They’re calling Eagles game a “scrimmage” in Denver.
  3. Cincinnati, 2-1–Bengals could be 2nd best team in AFC.
  4. New England, 3-0–Getting better.
  5. Chicago, 3-0–Other Jay Cutler teams lose in Pittsburgh.
  6. Kansas City, 3-0–Riding defense and turnover differential.
  7. New Orleans, 3-0–No points for killing Arizona
  8. Tennessee, 2-1–Another defense on the rise.
  9. Indianapolis, 2-1–How impressive is beating SF right now?
  10. Dallas, 2-1–The poor, poor NFC.  
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