Sunday, September 28, 2008
Week Four NFL
Before we get to Week 4, first have to touch on another big upset in College Football last night. With USC going down on Thursday, Georgia was next in line to the throne. If and only if they could win at home against Alabama. That didn't happen. Bama raced out to a 31-0 lead then held on for a 41-30 victory.
Florida could have benefited from Georgia's loss and leapfrogged from #4 to #1, but they also dropped one at home earlier in the day. Houston Nutt, the auteur of the Wild Hog formation that the Dolphins used to destroy the Patriots air of invincibility last week, continued his run by knocking off the Gators 31-30. The Rebels won despite completing only 9 passes, and having a leading rusher who rushed for only 60 yards. Florida lost 3 fumbles though, and they all hurt.
With those 2 SEC powers losing, Oklahoma will be the #1 team in the land this week. They beat #24 TCU 34-10, and will probably thump Baylor this coming weekend as well before a showdown with Texas on Oct. 11.
So now that we've cleared up our Boola Boola business, on to the pros.
(0-3) BROWNS AT (0-3) BENGALS
As if this game didn't suck enough, Carson Palmer shows up on the injury report as a gameday scratch. His arm hurts. My eyes will hurt watching this. Former Ram and Harvard QB Ryan Fitzpatrick starts in his place.
MY PICK- BROWNS 20, BENGALS 17
One of these teams is winning 6-3. I'm not sure which one. Does it matter? I just saw Braylon Edwards screaming at Derek Anderson though so I'm guessing it's the Bengals.
Holy geez Braylon Edwards finally scored a touchdown. And he did a sweet little Guitar Hero solo dance to boot. Let the healing begin. The Browns win this grotesque farce, and Derek Anderson lives to suck another day. The Bengals better hope Carson Palmer comes back, because Ryan Fitzpatrick was throwing so many ducks out there I expected the Chicken Dance song to come over the loudspeakers. Duh duh duh duh duh duh..quack quack quack. Why is it called the Chicken Dance anyway? It's clearly a song about a duck.
FINAL- BROWNS 20, BENGALS 12
Fantasy Hero- Jamal Lewis RB CLE 14 pts
(0-2) TEXANS AT (1-2) JAGUARS
Jacksonville appeared to get their heads out of their asses last week, capitalizing on a critical defensive penalty late in the game to beat the Colts on a last second field goal. Fred Taylor and MJD finally did something, anything. Was it a mirage created by the lousy Colts run defense, or are the Jags getting it going? Houston's 22nd in yards against per rushing attempt, so they should have another big day.
MY PICK- JAGUARS 30, TEXANS 17
Matt Schaub looks almost competent, but David Garrard has been better, completing 13 of 16, including a TD pass to Matt Jones that has just put the Jags ahead 17-10. Rookie RB Steve Slaton has a TD reception for Houston. The Jags scored on a fake punt direct snap early in the game.
The Jaguars make this one a lot harder than it needed to be because they refuse to run the ball despite having 2 fantabulous running backs. They ran only 17 running plays vs. 39 passing plays. Somebody find out for me who Jacksonville's offensive coordinator is, because he's an idiot. Jacksonville wins but they played absolutely awful. The defense was especially bad, getting no pass rush and making Matt Schaub look like Sage Rosenfels.
FINAL- JAGUARS 30, TEXANS 27 OT
Fantasy Heroes- Matt Schaub QB HOU 34 pts, Steve Slaton RB HOU 17 pts, Kevin Walter WR HOU 19 pts, Dave Garrard QB JAX 24 pts
(2-1) FALCONS AT (2-1) PANTHERS
For the second week in a row, the Panthers face a team that can ram it right down your throat. The Falcons have been reborn as the best running team in the league, and the Panthers lost to a very similar Vikings team last week. Atlanta is going to give Carolina all it can handle, but I don't think they are ready to get a huge road win yet.
MY PICK- PANTHERS 20, FALCONS 17
Delhomme is shredding the Falcons' defense, but the Falcons offense is working the Turner/Norwood/Roddy White gameplan the way they should and it's keeping them in the game. They trail 14-9. TDs for Jonathan Stewart and Steve Smith.
Muhsin Muhammad takes advantage of a matchup withundrafted rookie corner Brent Grimes and goes off for 147 yards and a TD. Great job, Grimey. Steve Smith also has a nice game, and the Panthers enjoy a perfunctory thumping of the Falcons to move into sole possession of first place in the NFC South. Both of their starting offensive tackles left the game with injuries though, so let's hold off on the parade for now.
FINAL- PANTHERS 24, FALCONS 9
Fantasy Heroes- Jake Delhomme QB CAR 23 pts; Muhsin Muhammad WR CAR 22 pts; Steve Smith WR CAR, 15 pts
(3-0) BRONCOS AT (0-3) CHIEFS
NFL Network kept replaying a Broncos/Chiefs game from that year that Joe Montana played for the Chiefs. You forget sometimes what a friggin stud he was. I think he's probably still better than Damon Huard right now. High blood pressure and all.
MY PICK- BRONCOS 37, CHIEFS 17
Upset Alert! Warning! Warning! The Broncos defense is at Larry Johnson's mercy, the offense is turning it over, and the Chiefs lead it 14-10. Matt Prater drilled a 56 yard FG just before half to pull Denver within 4.
Larry Johnson makes the Broncos defense look like they all have Type 1 Diabetes. The bloom comes off the Broncos' rose big time as LJ racks up 198 yards and 2 TDs, exposing a terrible defense and giving the Chiefs their first win a long, long time.
FINAL- CHIEFS 33, BRONCOS 19
Fantasy Heroes- Larry Johnson RB KC 33 pts; Matt Prater K DEN 16 pts
(2-1) 49ers AT (1-2) SAINTS
The Niners have an opportunity to show they are for real. The offense has been good, but it's the defense that will have to win this for them. The Saints are a one-dimensional team. All they can do is throw the ball, and they do it really well. SF can beat you with Frank Gore, and they can beat you with their passing offense. Their defense also ranks 9th in the league in fewest yards/pass attempt. I think the Niners get the upset.
MY PICK- 49ers 27, SAINTS 24
SF's defensive improvement was apparently a mirage brought on by playing crappy teams. Drew Brees has disemboweled them for 3 TD passes, 2 to Lance Moore, and the Saints lead 21-6.
You knew this was coming, and the Niners looked for the first time this year like the San Francisco Lions. JT O'Sullivan got dumped 6 times and Frank Gore got only 16 carries in an absolutely Martz-velous performance. SF's defense got exposed by Drew Brees, who made friends with backup WR Lance Moore and found him 7 times for 101 yards and 2 TD.
FINAL- SAINTS 31, NINERS 17
Fantasy Heroes- Drew Brees QB Saints 33 pts; Lance Moore WR Saints 24 pts; Robert Meachem WR Saints 15 pts; Saints DST 14 pts; Deuce McAllister RB Saints 13 pts; Arnaz Battle WR Niners 14 pts
(2-1) CARDINALS AT (1-2) JETS
The Cards spent the week on the east coast after playing in DC last week. The Jets "played", if you want to call it that, in San Diego on Monday Night. Their season so far has been a great chance for me to gloat at all the people who were beating their meat over them after they acquired Favre. We're all finding out what I said many times, the Jets still suck.
MY PICK- CARDINALS 30, JETS 20
That week in DC has done wonders for the Cards. They trail 34-0. Kurt Warner is a turnover machine today, he's been picked off twice and lost 3 fumbles. Favre has thrown 3 TDs to Lav Coles.
Ken Whisenhunt wins the Cameron Cameron Award for Coaching Idiocy by almost getting Anquan Boldin killed on a meaningless play in a game that was over. Kurt Warner throws for just under 500 yards and 3 Cardinal receivers have 100+ yard games, but Kurt Warner also turns it over an incomprehensible 7 times. Brett Favre reveals that yellow pants are the secret of his powers as he puts them back on and throws 6 TD passes. This game is in the top five of Greatest Fantasy Football Games Ever Played.
FINAL- JETS 56, CARDINALS 35
Fantasy Heroes- Brett Favre QB NYJ 34 pts; Laveranues Coles WR NYJ 30 pts; Jerricho Cotchery WR NYJ 24 pts; NYJ DST 27 pts; Kurt Warner QB AZ 26 pts; Steve Breaston WR AZ 14 pts; Larry Fitzgerald WR AZ 14 pts; Anquan Boldin WR AZ 19 pts, Edgerrin James RB AZ 14 pts
(2-1) PACKERS AT (2-1) BUCS
Two teams with two different types of mojo right now. The Packers were depantsed at home on national TV by the Cowboys last week. The Bucs came back in the last five minutes from a double digit deficit to win in Chicago. The Bucs won despite having their running game completely shut down by the Bears thanks to Brian Griese throwing it over 60 times with reasonable success. They won't have to do that against the Pack, who ranks 32nd in yards against per rushing attempt.
MY PICK- BUCS 27, PACKERS 24
The Pack got on the board early with a Rodgers to Jennings TD, but it's been a lot of frustration since for them. Rodgers has been picked off twice and the Bucs lead 13-7.
Aaron Rodgers had a horrible day. He was battered, injured, and picked off 3 times, and the Packers lost their second game in a row. I think it is clear that since Brett Favre threw 6 TDs against a bad defense and a team that is on a 15 day road trip, and Rodgers struggled so mightily on the road against one of the best defenses in the league, that the Packers have made a horrible choice in letting go of Favre. They may as well just forfeit the rest of their games. For the next 5 years. There, I just saved you a week's worth of watching any and all discussion of the NFL on your television machine.
FINAL- BUCS 30, PACKERS 21
Fantasy Heroes- Earnest Graham RB TB 19 pts; Greg Jennings WR GB 24 pts, TB DST 17 pts, Matt Bryant K TB 12 pts
We send our sincere love to Matt Bryant and Family.
(1-2) VIKINGS AT (3-0) TITANS
The Vikings saved their season last week by grinding out a 20-10 win at home against Carolina. Tennessee has played better this year than any team that doesn't have a big blue star on their helmets. Both teams rely heavily on their running game, but both teams also stop the run pretty well. These offenses will have to get out of their respective comfort zones, and I think Kerry Collins is better equipped to do that than Gus Frerotte.
MY PICK- TITANS 17, VIKINGS 13
The Titans are really, really good. Kerry Collins is on pace for 300 yards, LenDale White and Chris Johnson are converting in the red zone, and the Titans lead 20-10.
Always in motion the NFL is. If you'd have told me last year, when Tom Brady and Randy Moss were setting records that may never be broken for a few years at least, that in 2008 the best team in the league would be a team that had an offense led by Kerry Collins, Justin Gage, a rookie RB from East Carolina, and LenDale White, I would have laughed. Guffawed even. Nobody's laughing now. The Titans are the best team in the league.
FINAL- TITANS 30, VIKINGS 17
Fantasy Heroes- Chris Johnson RB TEN 25 pts; Adrian Peterson RB MIN 22 pts
(2-1) REDSKINS AT (3-0) COWBOYS
The Cowboys are coming off a huge win in Green Bay last week, but this is a divisional game in the NFC East, and there aren't any breathers to be had in this division. Washington has been impressive since coming out flat in their opener against the Giants, and would luuuuv to knock the Cowboys off their pedestal. I like the way the Redskins are playing, but I think Dallas is the best team in the league, and I will pick them every week until someone beats them.
I know Jason Garrett will probably be the Cowboys head coach someday, and may remain so until I am long dead, but he had a horrible game here. You have a nightmare of a running back in Marion Barber, and the perfect complement in Felix Jones, and you call 8 running plays. Eight. VIII. Don't blame this on Tony Romo, he threw for 300 yards, and 3 TD. Don't blame this on TO. Blame it a little on the defense, which got shredded by Clinton Portis and Santana Moss, and seems to be getting exposed on a weekly basis, but blame it mostly on the stupid, stupid playcalling.
FINAL- REDSKINS 26, COWBOYS 24
Fantasy Heroes- Tony Romo QB DAL 31 pts; Clinton Portis RB WSH 15 pts; Santana Moss WR WSH 16 pts; Jason Witten TE DAL 15 pts
(3-0) BILLS AT (0-3) RAMS
The feel good story of the year meets the feel bad story of the year. The Rams have made a curious decision to bench Marc Bulger in favor of Trent Green. Instead of doing this, I think Scott Linehan should have just stood up at the podium this week with a cup full of straws just out of his reach, and grasp at them.
The Scott Linehan Epoch has reached its merciful conclusion. With it goes the Trent Green Restoration. The keys to the Rams crapmobile are now turned over to Jim Haslett, who was last photographed speaking to a talking pie on the sidelines in Baton Rouge during the Saints' nightmare Katrina Season. Bills owner Ralph Wilson says after the game, "It's not easy being 4-0." It ain't easy being 0-4 either. I think he meant to say, "It's not easy to get to 4-0." Apparently he did not make his fortune due to his ability to articulate his thoughts.
FINAL- BILLS 31, RAMS 14
Fantasy Heroes- Stephen Jackson RB STL 26 pts; Lee Evans WR BUF 14 pts
(1-2) CHARGERS AT (1-2) RAIDERS
This week watch as Lane Kiffin attempts to avoid the boardroom by filming a commercial for an animal shelter. Will his commercial be more tear jerking than Norv Turner's? I played this game on Madden 09 last night. I'd love to tell you how it turned out, but as happens in 80% of my Madden 09 games my 360 froze before the game ended. Friggin lousy EA software.
Well, I'm sure you all know by now that Lane Kiffin has been fired. Al Davis held a press conference saying that he didn't hire the man he thought he hired, and that he has had enough of the "propaganda and lying". I kind of agree. I think all the posters I've been seeing of a giant Lane Kiffin wearing a pith helmet and marching on top of a tiny little globe are a bit much. The shortwave radio broadcasts breaking down my resistance and telling me how Lane Kiffin is going to take over the world have been getting on my nerves too. I agree, I have had enough of the propaganda.
Al also says that the coaching staff has been "fractionalized", and I give him credit for not only using a word that does not exist but a word from which I can discern no meaning whatsoever.
The bizarre, video goes on to show Al reading a letter he himself wrote to Lane Kiffin saying, "I know that you didn't want to draft JaMarcus Russell. He's a great player. Get over it." Then he rambles on about "Death to America" and such and such for about another 20 minutes.
FINAL- CHARGERS 28, RAIDERS 18
Fantasy Heroes- LaDanian Tomlinson RB SD 24 pts; Zach Miller TE OAK 15 pts
"When 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not"
(2-1) EAGLES AT (1-2) BEARS
It's a weird fall in Chicago, as everyone is here is crazy for baseball and the Bears have been put on the back burner. Still, with the Packers loss and Vikings losing, the Bears can move into a tie for first place in the NFC North with a win here, provided their bullpen can hold a lead for once. The Eagles played Whack-a-Ben last week in a dominating win over the Steelers, but this week they will be missing Brian Westbrook, which usually spells doom for them.
An aside on this Blogger thing, I spend 80% of my time trying to get things formatted and 10% actually writing. The other 10% I spend coughing lately. Violently coughing and wheezing. The Bears win this game on a stirring goal line stand late in the 4th quarter. I'm sure Westbrook probably would have got in if he were playing, but well, he wasn't, so too bad.
Donovan McNabb spent a lot of time pointing and yelling at his receivers. Captain Wonderful's passer rating gets lower and lower every week. From 131.0 in week 1, to 99.0, to 80.2, to 77.5. I give it until Halloween until the Philly misanthropes start screaming for Kevin Kolb.
FINAL- BEARS 24, EAGLES 20
Fantasy Heroes- Kyle Orton??? QB? CHI?? 21 pts; Correll Buckhalter RB PHI 14pts; DeSean Jackson WR PHI 12 pts
(2-0) RAVENS AT (2-1) STEELERS
The Ravens are rocking shit like it's 2000 again, using the same formula of a dominating defense (with a lot of the same personnel even) and barely competent offense to win games. It is almost enough to make me want to blast some Eiffel 65 on my speakers here. I say that because I distinctly remember that the first song I heard of the new millennium on the radio was "I'm Blue", and I remember thinking to myself, "Wow if this is any indication, this millennium is going to suck." And boy was I right. As for the Steelers, they are missing Willie Parker and Ben Roethlisberger got his brains beat in against the Eagles last week. A loss here puts them 1 1/2 games behind the Ravens in the AFC North, and the Steelers don't want that. No they don't.
Disaster seemed to be looming when the Steelers were down 13-3 at the half, and Rashard Mendenhall went down for the season with a cracked collarbone, but the Steelers managed to harness the awesome power of their Tecmo Bowl uniforms to come back and nip the Ravens in OT. Now all they's gotta do is get the Bus out of retirement and I think they are back on the road to the playoffs.
FINAL- STEELERS 23, RAVENS 20 OT
Fantasy Heroes- PIT DST 15 pts; LeRon McClain RB BAL 14 pts; Derrick Mason WR BAL 15 pts; Santonio Holmes WR PIT 12 pts
Posted by GRRM Jr. at 8:58 AM