Saturday, October 13, 2012

phootball phriday: saturday

49ers will beat the giants because the niners are playing perfect football and the giants are banged up on both sides of the ball and will not be able to contain san fran's rushing attack for more than a quarter or two.

the seahawks will beat the patriots in one of those classic "how the fuck did the patriots lose to that team?" games.  seattle has a pass defense that can cause problems, marshawn lynch can chew up enough clock to keep brady off the field, and new england's still shitty secondary will blow a few coverages for big plays.  the patriots will return home to demolish the jets next week and everyone will forget about this strange loss.

bills will upset the cardinals because fitzpatrick is crazy enough to go right after patrick peterson, and in spite of peterson's obviously superlative athletic ability, like almost every corner he occasionally struggles to find the ball in coverage.  look for stovepipe stevie johnson to have a big day, kolb to throw an interception or two, and cj spiller to break a big play in the second half, tipping the scales in unhappy buffalo's favor.

finally, the texans will beat the packers because the packers have a terrible offensive line that won't at all be able to stop jj watt, who is playing out of his fucking mind.

so far this season i'm 3-5, for those keeping score at home.

Friday, September 28, 2012

phootball phriday: the redemptioning

i took a bye week after going 0 for 5 on my first batch of picks (1-4 against the spread, for the record).  i needed some time to take inventory of what i got wrong and how i might go about not sucking so much.  i then smoked some weed and ordered chinese food, which has no direct relevance to the nfl but was still a pretty good idea.  this week… will be different!

the last time the patriots were under .500 i was worried about finding a date to prom, and justin beiber was, like, 7 years old.  watching them drop two of their first three has been such a joy, it's a little difficult to describe.  there are two big reasons for their record right now: 1) bill bellijerk is transitioning to a more run-oriented offense, as the entire afc has built their defenses around stopping the patriots' spread passing attack, and while stevan ridley is a very very good runner who'll probably finish with over 1,200 yards, the new strategy is taking some time to settle in.  2) aaron hernandez is the most overlooked player in the nfl, and with him on the sidelines it becomes much easier to key in on brady's favorite targets (gronkowski and welker).  the number of roles hernandez can play is really astounding: he's a tight end with wide receiver speed and running back agility, who can even pass protect and block well in the running game.  gronkowski may be the best tight end in football, but hernandez is the best all-around player on the team outside of brady.  he has been missed.  buffalo, meanwhile, has been a little confusing this year.  after being shellacked and embarrassed by the jets, they've put together two fairly impressive wins against two fairly unimpressive teams.  most of that success is owed to c.j. spiller, who won't be playing this week (fred jackson is also quite good, but is listed as questionable for sunday, coming off a knee injury from week 1), so buffalo is probably going to live or die with ryan fitzpatrick going against a still spotty new england secondary.  all this adds up to the patriots being favored by four points, which is a reasonable line, but i think it's one the patriots will beat handily.  the bills are a meager 2-11 within the afc east since the start of 2010, and while one of those victories was an early season win against the patriots last year, i would be very very surprised if new england came out flat against an opponent that's pretty clearly inferior and let themselves drop to 1-3.  patriots by at least 10.

the falcons are seven point favorites over the panthers, who've looked downright miserable so far this year.  the play calling in carolina has many scratching their heads and wondering why you'd go back to a college style read option offense when cam newton set a record for passing as an nfl rookie last year.  add to that d'angelo williams' poor production so far and a defense that can't stop anything (even giving up a ton of points to new orleans in their one win), and you have what looks like a recipe for one of the worst teams in the league.  if cam newton is allowed to run a legitimate offense and if the run blocking improves, carolina could still turn things around this year.  unfortunately for them, the falcons appear at this point to be in the very top tier of the nfc, with an absolutely brutal offense that has been efficient and in sync for the entire season.  atlanta won't lose more than four games this year.  carolina needs to see this one as an opportunity to improve on both sides of the ball, but i don't see the final score being a close one.  take the falcons and the seven points.

tampa bay is favored over washington, but robert griffin III will rebound after two sub-par weeks and demolish a terrible bucs defense.  the biggest story out of tampa so far this season is that they go hard after the opposing quarterback when he's kneeling to run out the clock.  basically, if your team has left its mark with an unusual manner of losing, things aren't going so well.  redskins ftw.

the uticas sleeper in the entire nfl this year is the jacksonville jaguars, who are 1-2, but would have prevailed in week 1 had it not been for a last-second 60 yard field goal from minnesota.  (their other loss was to the very stout texans.)  blaine gabbert is widely considered one of the worst quarterbacks in the league, but i think he's severely underrated, and has shown this year that he can throw the ball with zip and drop it right where it needs to be.  his pocket presence and decision-making have also improved, and he always has the option of handing the ball off to jones-drew, who might be the best running back in the league right now.  the bengals, meanwhile, have a roster full of guys who would struggle to get off the practice squads of nearly any other team.  yes, a.j. green and andy dalton are a very good connection, and yes, they do have a fairly solid run defense.  but i think jacksonville is going to compete for a wild card spot this year, and they'll take this game behind the efficiency of their offense.

Friday, September 14, 2012

phootball phriday: no one reads this blog edition

this blog was once about music journalism, but then j-temperance tempered his ance, while still finding the time to pick up tennis AND get married. as the sole remaining proprietor i swiftly turned it into a football blog and then just as swiftly abandoned the whole fucking thing. a lot's happened in the last bunch of years, but once again i'm unemployed, single and broke -- at times like these, i like to take deep breaths every morning and just reflect on how life itself is pretty much in my wheelhouse.

to top it all off, it's every economically frivolous american man's favorite season: the regular season.

hey there sports fan.

it's unwise to bet on the nfl in week 2. we really don't know anything yet. for instance, how impressive really will the falcons' 40 points against kansas city, or the jets' 48 against buffalo, appear once the full season's played out? one glance at the chiefs schedule shows five or six games in which they could easily give up 40 or more points (saints, chargers twice, ravens, steelers, broncos), so it would maybe be unwise to assume matt ryan will be able to keep up with peyton manning and the broncos in week 2. then again, ryan has a sick pair of receivers in jones and white, and maybe the falcons offense is a powerhouse this season. maybe they finally can be a top tier team.

my point is, who knows?

as it happens, the writemare knows. our loyal readers will see a few predictions every week here at this blog. well, not predictions, really -- more like psychic episodes. we have powers. we can visualize to a frightening degree of accuracy every match-up, every play call, every "fluke" pre-game injury. nothing in time or space can escape our vision, and also jobs are for losers and women, just like body wash, dental floss, and the visual arts.

this week the geniuses in kingston or henderson, nevada or wherever the fuck have decided that the eagles are the favorites over baltimore on sunday. this is craziness. the ravens will not only cover the spread, but will most likely roll in this game. mike vick turned the ball over five times, and mccoy even added a fumble, against an extremely inexperienced defense in cleveland. the odds of the eagles suddenly putting it all together against a veteran ravens D that will once again finish in the top 10 are long, to say the least.
meanwhile, the ravens have a newfangled no-huddle offense that seems to be a pretty finely tuned machine at this point. the eagles D hasn't put up many consistent performances in the last few years, so expect flacco and rice both to have strong games. take the ravens this week in what's apparently an upset. because last week the eagles almost lost to brandon weeden, and he had one of the worst days at quarterback in the history of the league.

the raiders are two and a half point favorites in miami, but lebron james isn't clutch so i'll go with the thunder in this one.
this has the potential to be the worst game on the entire nfl schedule this year. both teams were hilariously awful at holding onto the ball in week 1, there isn't a single quality wide receiver on either roster, one quarterback is a horrible rookie and the other is a horrible wash-up… basically this is a mexican standoff between two moody, over-rated halfbacks who can't stay healthy for a full 16 games.
the uticas key to success (brought to you by kfc's new "chicken little"): ryan tannehill is a fucking terrible football player with an entirely terrible offense around him, so in spite of the fact that the raiders will be lucky to finish with over six wins, i think it's a safe bet that this'll be one of them.

jacksonville will give the texans a tough game (blaine gabbert has improved), and the same goes for the jets in pittsburgh, but i expect both underdogs to fall just short. (are you reading sanchez? that's called the reverse jinx.)

lastly, as firstly, i'll look at the denver-atlanta game. oddsmakers are still underselling peyton manning. while it's possible that, after effortlessly demolishing a far superior steelers defense, manning might suddenly recall that he's hurt and this is supposed to be a rebound year for him, the wise thing to do is to assume the dude's offense is good for at least four touchdowns a game (as it has been for over a decade).
the question, then, is whether or not the falcons can keep pace in a shootout, and here i'm gonna put my money on denver's extremely solid defense. look for von miller to get into the backfield against a still untested falcons o-line. also, the falcons will be forced to throw down the field, which will allow tracey porter and champ bailey to jump routes and maybe turn the game on an interception.

so to review: ravens over eagles, raiders over dolphins, broncos over falcons, jaguars to cover the spread against the texans, and a reverse jinx on my jets.