Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 2 NFL Picks

Alright, I was 10-5 last week. There were 16 games, but I forgot there were 2 Monday night games last week, so I didn't pick a winner for the Kansas City/San Diego game. Oops. Anyways, on to the picks!

Pittsburgh @ Tennessee - Dennis Dixon won his first NFL start, but I like Tennessee this week as Pittsburgh is playing without both starting tackles on offense. Tennessee should be able to get decent pressure on Dixon to force some mistakes. Rashard Mendenhaal needs to have a big game for the Steelers to compete in this one.

Miami @ Minnesota - Brett Favre and the Vikings should get things back on track after a difficult week one game against the Saints. Miami could surprise some people this week though.

Arizona @ Atlanta - I just don't like Derek Anderson as a starting quarterback. He does have a few more weapons than he did in Cleveland, but he just doesn't scream "STARTING QUARTERBACK!!!" to me. I like Matt Ryan and the Falcons in this one at home.

Baltimore @ Cincinnati - I don't see me picking against the Ravens too many times this year. I think they're great on offense and defense, even though they have some questions in the secondary.

Kansas City @ Cleveland - The Chiefs are coming off a great win last week against San Diego, and the Browns are just abysmal. Before the season, this looked like one of the games the Browns could win, but if Kansas City plays as well as they did last week, this won't be close. If the Browns want to compete, they need to get the ball to Jerome Harrison, who has the ability to put up monster numbers. He has plenty of big play ability, the coaches just need to do a better job of calling his number. However, it is looking more and more like Seneca Wallace will get the start in place of Jake Delhomme, who has missed 3 days of practice this week.

Chicago @ Dallas - Chicago is improved on the defensive line from last season with the addition of Julius Peppers, and Dallas has a questionable offensive line, so the Bears could very well take this one. I think Dallas is too good of a team to start out 0-2 though.

Philadelphia @ Detroit - Both teams will be starting their #2 QBs. Michael Vick will make his first NFL start since 2006, and Shaun Hill will make the start for Detroit. I like Michael Vick to run all over Detroit's defense in this one.

Buffalo @ Green Bay - Too much firepower for Green Bay on offense and defense. Watching the Green Bay/Philadelphia game last week, I couldn't help but notice how much of a beast Clay Matthews is. He was all over the place. He is the reason that Michael Vick is getting his first start this week for the Eagles. Also note that Ryan Grant is out for the season, but the Packers think Brandon Jackson is a very capable replacement. This will probably be a blowout.

Tampa Bay @ Carolina - I picked Carolina last week to upset the Giants, and it didn't pan out. I think they will win this one though.

Seattle @ Denver - Seattle surprised me last week by upsetting the 49ers. I don't think they can do it again against the Broncos.

St. Louis @ Oakland - It is difficult picking Oakland to win. I really don't want to pick a winner in this game to be honest. Sam Bradford did look decent in his first start last week against Arizona. However, this will be his first road game in the NFL. I think Oakland will do enough on defense to keep St. Louis in check. Darren McFadden also is finally looking good as a running back, so Oakland does have some playmaking ability.

Houston @ Washington - Houston was great last week against the Colts. However, Washington also looked pretty good against the Cowboys. I like Washington at home in this one.

New England @ NY Jets - The Jets are all talk. I'm just not convinced that they are a playoff contender. Their defense is great, but their offense just can't move the ball with Mark Sanchez at quarterback. They only had 6 first downs last week, that simply won't cut it against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Look for Wes Welker to have a big game, as Randy Moss typically gets shut down by Darrell Revis.

Jacksonville @ San Diego - The Chargers were shocked by the Chiefs last week, but I think they get back on track this week at home. I think this will be a close game though.

NY Giants @ Indianapolis - The Colts have a lot of question marks on defense and on the offensive line. They got smothered by Arian Foster and the Texans last week, but I think they will make the necessary adjustments this week against the Giants. I don't see them going 0-2 to start the season.

New Orleans @ San Francisco - The Saints have too much stuff. The 49ers didn't look good last week against the Seahawks. Their defense can keep them in any game, it is just a matter of Alex Smith and the offense making plays to put up some points. Drew Brees and the Saints are just too good though.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Playoff Predictions

So I decided to wait until after the first week of the NFL season was finished before I make any kind of playoff predictions. While it is still difficult to know who the true contenders will be after one week, I think I can get a much better feel for how things are going to pan out.

So here are my predictions of the playoffs for the coming season:

AFC East Winner: New England (12-4)
AFC North Winner: Baltimore (14-2)
AFC South Winner: Indianapolis (12-4)
AFC West Winner: San Diego (10-6)
Wild Card: Houston (11-5)
Wild Card: Cincinnati (11-5)

AFC Champions: Baltimore Ravens

NFC East Winner: Washington (11-5)
NFC North Winner: Green Bay (13-3)
NFC South Winner: New Orleans (14-2)
NFC West Winner: Seattle (9-7)
Wild Card: Minnesota (12-4)
Wild Card: Dallas (11-5)

NFC Champions: New Orleans Saints

Super Bowl Champions: Baltimore Ravens

Unless the Colts get their defense and offensive line to improve, there is no way they get back to the Superbowl. If they both improve dramatically, then they will have a good shot of getting back to the big game. After one game though, I don't see it happening. Baltimore has a solid defense and the makings of a really good offense. I think they get pretty far if they can get past the Colts.

The Saints are the best team in the NFC, with the best quarterback in the NFC. I'm looking forward to the NFC Championship between the Saints and Packers, but I think the Saints will be able to put too much pressure on Aaron Rodgers, similar to how they handled Brett Favre last season.

Thoughts on Colts vs Texans

Indianapolis 24 - Houston 34

Well, Houston finally learned how to finish the Colts off. I knew Houston would likely take at least one of the games in this series, so this one isn't a huge surprise to me. They've got a ton of playmakers on that team, and should be very competitive this year. They may even compete for the AFC South title.

I really hope that this first game isn't the initial sign of a Superbowl slump for the Colts. I'm not sure how well I will be able to handle them not making the playoffs. I would probably have a nervous breakdown.

What Impressed Me:
Arian Foster: What an animal! I noted in an earlier blog entry that I thought Foster would be a stud this year, but I didn't expect him to rush for 230 yards in just the first game! He showed a good combination of speed and power as he really just blew up the Colts' run defense. He should have a good year this year.

Austin Collie: Collie made a lot of really good plays in this game. He ended up being the top target for Peyton Manning, as he ended up with 11 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown. He did a great job of getting open and catching it when it was thrown to him, unlike teammate Pierre Garcon who was plagued with a case of the drops on Sunday.

What Didn't Impress Me:
The Colts' Defense: After everyone in the preseason talking about how this would be the best Colts defense in the Peyton Manning era, they go an let Arian Foster run for 230 yards and allow the Houston Texans to put up 34 points on them. Now, Houston does have a very good offense, but 230 yards and 34 points are big numbers. They need to drastically improve if they expect to contend for a playoff spot.

Bob Sanders: News on Bob Sanders is that he has a torn bicep muscle. This isn't the same bicep muscle he tore last time, but apparently his other one. There is a good chance that his season is finished. I don't know why, but after seeing Bob so healthy all preseason, I had hope that he would return to the same form of his Defensive MVP year. Instead, it will be another year of Melvin Bullitt. While Melvin Bullitt is a solid playmaker in Bob's place, he is nowhere near the impact player. I for one am getting pretty frustrated paying all this money to Mr. Sanders while he sits out every year with injuries. I'm thinking it is about time to cut ties with Bob. We can play with Melvin Bullitt or draft someone as the replacement, either way, I think Bob's career with the Colts is close to over.

The Colts' Offensive Line: This was the biggest question mark coming into this game. They didn't really dismiss the concerns at all. They gave up 2 sacks and allowed Peyton Manning to receive essentially a constant flow of pressure throughout the game. Not a lot can be said for the run game, because they were forced to abandon the run early. While Peyton Manning can make up for some sub-par offensive line play with his quick release, the offensive line woes could cause a problem down the road.

Pierre Garcon: Too many drops. He was targeted 10 times by Peyton Manning and only caught 3 of those passes. He did have a pretty spectacular one handed catch for a nice gain down the right sideline, but he has got to be able to make the catch when Peyton throws him a catchable ball.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thoughts on Notre Dame vs Michigan

Notre Dame 24 - Michigan 28

Congratulations goes out to Michigan on another win I guess. Denard Robinson is definitely a playmaker who is a mismatch for any team in college football. He's got a bright college career in front of him.

The main reason Notre Dame lost is obvious... Dayne Crist was out for almost two full quarters. It isn't making excuses for them, its a fact. Even Michigan fans must admit it. When Crist was in the game, Notre Dame outscored Michigan 24-7. When he wasn't in the game, Michigan outscored Notre Dame 21-0. Watching Kyle Rees and Nate Montana play gave me the same feeling I got when I witnessed Curtis Painter destroy the Colts' perfect season last year. Absolutely gut wrenching seeing an offense so ineffective when Dayne's offense essentially scored at will.

I saw a comment on facebook saying, "It wouldn't matter if Crist was in the game or not, he can't help the defense tackle better." Quotes like this are fairly silly and reveal that the person who said it doesn't really know how football works. A good offense can help the defense out tremendously, just like a bad offense can hinder it. When an offense sputters and doesn't produce long drives, the defense is on the field longer, wearing them out. Also, there is this thing called leadership and momentum which Crist brings to the game. Dayne Crist clearly inspires his team as the leader. When he was in the game, the defense simply played better football. They had a hop in their step and a little extra punch in their hits. You have to acknowledge this. I'll say it again... 24-7 when Crist was in the game.

Overall it was an entertaining game. I wish Dayne could have played the full game, so there would at least be no "what ifs" to think about all year. I'm left with the feeling that Notre Dame is still the superior team. If Crist would have been in the game the whole time and we still would have lost, I would at least be able to say we lost to the better team. But unfortunately I don't really believe Michigan is the better team.

What Impressed Me

Armando Allen: How much of a stud is Armando Allen? The dude is lightning quick and has good power as well. My mind keeps coming back to the play when he dropped the pitch behind the line of scrimmage, picked it up, and gained 5 yards on the play by plowing through a Michigan defender. He was lightning every time he touched the ball. He has definitely come a long way since his earlier years when he was constantly going down on the first hit. He's developed into a very balanced running back.

What I Found Unimpressive

Dayne Crist: I know, after I just got done pumping him up, he is the player that I was unimpressed with? Yep. He is deadly when throwing from 10-15 yards. He is absolutely dreadful throwing the deep ball though. That is one thing that Jimmy Clausen excelled at when he was at Notre Dame. He always gave his playmakers a shot at catching the ball. Crist needs to learn how to keep the ball in play, instead of constantly launching the ball over his target's head. That last play of the game, for example, was just awful. There was no reason to not give his players a chance to catch it, but he overthrew them by a mile. He needs to learn how to get some more touch on his deep balls if he wants to become an elite quarterback.

That's all I got on college football for now. I'm definitely looking forward to a full slate of NFL games tomorrow though.

My next posts will be:
1. Thoughts on the Colts/Texans game
2. My playoff predictions after seeing teams play their first games

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Week 1 Predictions!

I gotta say, it feels like Christmas! The first NFL game is tonight, with a rematch of the NFC Championship game. So here is a list of what you can expect from this weekend's games:


Minnesota 17 @ New Orleans 31 (Not enough firepower for the Vikings to keep up with the Saints.)


Carolina 24 @ NY Giants 20 (Upset Pick)

Atlanta 27 @ Pittsburgh 13 (Dennis Dixon's first start won't be a good one)

Cleveland 10 @ Tampa Bay 13 (Gave the advantage to the home team. If it were at Cleveland I would have taken the Browns.)

Denver 14 @ Jacksonville 16 (Upset Pick. Jacksonville probably won't win a ton of games this year, but I like them against Denver.)

Indianapolis 31 @ Houston 23 (Houston could very well win this game. I think they will probably win one of the two meetings this year.)

Miami 21 @ Buffalo 10 (Buffalo needs to get an elite quarterback instead of stockpiling elite running backs.)

Detroit 9 @ Chicago 17 (I think Detroit will win one of the games this year in the series, but not this one. I think it will take a few games for Matt Stafford to get the offense running somewhat smoothly.)

Oakland 10 @ Tennessee 17 (I hear a lot of rumors about Jason Campbell being Oakland's savior. He did pretty well in Washington, so that is a reasonable conclusion... not. He will be an improvement over Jamarcus Russell though.)

Cincinnati 31 @ New England 24 (Upset Pick - I think Cincinnati is overhyped, but I like them in this one.)

Arizona 17 @ St. Louis 6 (Going to be a long game for Sam Bradford in his first NFL start.)

San Francisco 24 @ Seattle 17 (San Francisco has the team in place to make a decent playoff run this year.)

Green Bay 42 @ Philadelphia 28 (Too much firepower for Green Bay. Kevin Kolb will have an ok game as he takes over the reigns of the offense in Philly.)

Dallas 24 @ Washington 31 (Upset Pick - I think Donavan is going to give the 'Skins some leadership that they have been missing in years past from Jason Campbell. I think they will do well this year.)


Baltimore 24 @ NY Jets 10 (I am hearing too many things about the Jets being the team to beat in the NFL this year. The Jets are awful, they barely made the playoffs last year. They did make a big splash in the free agent market, but I don't see it paying off. I think Baltimore has a good chance to win a Superbowl this year, and they will get off to a good start in Week 1.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My NFL Fantasy Targets

Alright, so with my first official football related post, I think I will give some fantasy football advice for your draft. Maybe this helps you in the off chance that you haven't drafted yet, or maybe you are in one of my leagues and you're wondering why I made the moves that I did. You can disagree with my choices all you want. However, just know that I was in 4 fantasy football leagues last year (3 NFL and 1 NCAA), and I won the championship in all 4 leagues. I've been the commissioner of a league for 11 years running. So lets just assume that I know what I'm talking about.

Here is a list of some players to keep your eye on. I will try not to go with obvious choices like Chris Johnson at RB, but will instead go on who may surprise some people this year.


Joe Flacco - Was decent last year (3613 yds, 21 tds), but will be much improved I believe this year with the addition of Anquan Boldin in the offseason, as well as the recent acquisition of TJ Houshmandzadeh (championship).

Donavan McNabb - If he can stay healthy, I think he'll have a great year this year. Washington has a lot of untapped talent that was relatively unproductive in years past because of the lack of a top-tier quarterback. Donavan is a proven winner and will bring a lot to his new team. Look for Santana Moss to also have a solid year.

Kevin Kolb - While I'm still not convinced of this pick, I do like him because he reminds me a lot of Matt Schaub. Kolb doesn't have the monster that is Andre Johnson to throw to, but he does have a pretty good array of weapons at his disposal in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek (who was an awesome sleeper TE for me last year), and LeSean McCoy (though the jury is still out on McCoy). I could see him being a solid QB this year that would be available in the later rounds of your draft.

QB to stay away from: Carson Palmer
While it may be tempting to pick up Carson Palmer because of the off season acquisition of TO, I do not believe he is someone who can be a #1 QB for your team. If you are desperate, he may be an option, but I am just not convinced that Carson is an elite quarterback. Who knows though, maybe he disproves me this year.


Arian Foster - I almost regret putting his name here, because he isn't much of a sleeper anymore. Everyone knows about him, it is time you did too. Earlier on in training camp, he was in a battle for the starting RB spot in Houston with rookie Ben Tate. But since Tate is out for the year, it looks like Foster is the guy. He should have a pretty productive year, especially since it looks like Houston has lost pretty much all faith in Steve Slaton, who can't seem to hold on to the ball.

Jerome Harrison - I drafted Harrison in 2 of my 3 NFL fantasy teams this year. The last three weeks of the season last year, he ran 106 times for 561 yds and 5 tds. In the era of the RB by committee approach, a workhorse is something you always want to keep your eyes out for. An average of 35 carries a game over the final 3 weeks of the season is certainly a workhorse-like statistic. Another reason to draft Harrison: Montario Hardesty, Harrison's main competition for carries this year recently got put on IR with a season ending injury.

Felix Jones - I think Felix is now the guy in Dallas. I've heard rumors of him putting on about 15 lbs in the off-season, making him much more of an every down back. Look for him to take the majority of the carries, while Marion Barber sits on the sidelines.

Clinton Portis - He seems to be forgotten after a few years spent on the sidelines with injury, but he could be in line for a bounce back year under Mike Shanahan, who coaches him for two years in Denver. In those two years, Portis ran for 1508 yds with 15 tds and 1591 with 14 tds. Keep an eye out for him, because he will likely be available for a pretty reasonable draft pick.

Stay Away From: Buffalo Running Backs
While it may be tempting to take the electric CJ Spiller, I'd stay away from him unless it is a super late round pick. That backfield is way too crowded for my liking, with Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson also deserving of some carries. Now, Buffalo could very well make Spiller the go-to-guy this year, but I just don't think they will.


Anquan Boldin - He's on a new team, with an emerging young QB in Joe Flacco. He is now the #1 receiver, and should thrive as he comes out of the shadow of Larry Fitzgerald. I like him this year.

Miles Austin - Miles was an awesome sleeper pick for me last year, as I got him in the final round in all of my leagues. He didn't pan out until Week 5, but he was one of the guys that helped me be so successful last year. I don't know if people forgot how good he was last year or what, but I am consistently seeing people like Calvin Johnson and Roddy White being drafted ahead of him. He didn't start until Week 5 of last year and still put up numbers comparable to the top receivers being taken. Yahoo has him ranked as the number 7 receiver on their list, I rank him 3rd (behind Andre Johnson and Randy Moss).

Wes Welker - His Yahoo! ranking is super low. I think some people may be concerned as he is coming of a knee injury, but he looks to be fully healed coming into this season. Yahoo! ranks him as the #24 receiver, which is pretty absurd considering he 123 catches for 1348 yds last season.

Malcom Floyd - With Vincent Jackson on the outs in San Diego, Floyd becomes the new #1. He should have solid numbers.

Mike Wallace - With Santana Moss off to the Jets, Wallace becomes new new #2 and a very good deep threat for the Steelers. Although Ben Roethlisberger will be out for the first four weeks of the season because of suspension, I think Wallace will be able to put up pretty good numbers this year, especially once Big Ben comes back.

Stay Away From: Larry Fitzgerald
There will be a temptation to draft him in the 2nd round, but I urge you to fight that desire. While I am slightly more confident in Derek Anderson than I was in Matt Leinart, I don't see Fitz being a top 3 receiver this year. Heck, I'm not even sure I see him as a top 10 WR talent this year. Try and stay away from him if you can.


Brent Celek - I had him as a sleeper last year, and I'm gonna have him as a sleeper this year. He had an awesome year last year and should put up good numbers again this year.

Jermichael Finley - He's been awesome in the preseason and looks to be a solid target for Aaron Rodgers this year. He's someone I could see growing into the #1 TE spot in all of the NFL. Keep your eye out for him!

I'm not going to get into the Kickers or Defenses. Draft whoever you want for those spots. I typically went with Adam Vinatieri (because he was available late) and the Indianapolis Defense (because I think they'll be crazy good this year, and they're usually available in the later rounds). Hopefully this helps, let me know what you think.

The One-Eyed King

Football can be a truly amazing time of the year. College football just started up last weekend and the first NFL game is tomorrow night. It feels like Christmas! However, along with football season comes a whole slew of people who claim to be football experts. Everyone has an opinion, and so often their opinion is uninformed or ridiculous. I'm not saying that all of my opinions are the right ones (though, I of course believe they're right at the time), but I think I'm right more than most people.

When I was trying to think of a sweet, catchy name for my blog, I couldn't help but remember that old saying... "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." I often get frustrated with football "experts" who make all these ridiculous predictions and then think that they are brilliant analysts. In reality they are blind. And as we know, in the theoretical land of football blindness, the one-eyed analyst is king.... or something like that. Whatever... hope you like the blog. In this blog, I will focus mainly on the NFL. I will also throw in some college football wisdom. Very rarely I may even bless you with a local high school blog as well. Who knows.