2012 NFL Predictions – Week 6, “Thursday” Edition

Most years about this time, I start to whisper, “Wow, it’s already week six, this year is going by too fast!” This year, however, it’s more like, “Is it over yet?” Translation – it is getting tougher with each passing year to enjoy the NFL. The several reasons for this, but at the forefront is the reality that the league is watered down with essentially random results week in and week out. That makes it tough to be successful handicapper, fantasy player or pool participant.

Sunday afternoon I texted a buddy this message, “If I go 0-5 this week, I think I’m be done with football.” Turns out, I went 1-4, but the fact remains, I almost called it a career before finding some fire to help me move forward this week. Still, I was close. Someday, I envision myself running a rehab center for addicted fans of football – the name of the center “One Game At A Time.”

And by “calling it a career”, I mean freaking going “cold turkey” without any peripheral football – no Sunday Ticket, no NFL rewind, no football related subscriptions, no picks columns, no picks, no bets, no pools and no fantasy. Well to be honest I have about 278 reasons why fantasy football is gone after this year regardless of whether I retire or not, but you get the idea, I would watch occasionally, but watch for the purity of the game, which would put all the power back in my hands.

I no longer sit through a crappy performance by my team just because they are the final play on a three team teaser. It wouldn’t take me nince hours to vacuum a house that normally takes 1.5 hours (humble brag, right! Yeah, I live in a mansion that normally takes 90 minutes to vacuum), I wouldn’t have to watch an otherwise unwatchable Monday night game because I have fantasy player X going against fantasy player Y. And I wouldn’t have to spend the time I spend on this freaking sport!

Some day very soon, you might show up on this site to see what teams you want to fade for the week and see the following:

I’M OUT THIS BITCH!

OK, enough about me, on to the game:

Pittsburgh (-6.0) @ Tennessee – The NFL changed the Rashard Mendenhall rushing touchdown to a receiving touchdown this week. Real nice, thanks, NFL. The effects of this monumental change will be felt for years to come as all fantasy league commissioners scurry to update the week 5 stat changes. In one of my leagues a two games will be affected where both winning teams will see a win snatched from their helpless hands. Great, I already had to sweat the Sunday and Monday night games, now I have to wait out the NFL until Thursday to make sure I get the win.

The ridiculous part of this change is that it was obvious that it was a touchdown pass in live action and even more apparent on the replay, how did it get by the officials? I thought the “real” refs were back. Honestly, the real ref vs. scab ref is a little like trying to tell the difference between New Coke and Classic Coke. If I am a ardent Classic Coke drinker and you put a can of New Coke in front of me, I would rather go thirsty than drink that crap. But if you blindfold me and give it to me, I couldn’t tell the difference. That’s pretty much how I feel about the scabs and the regular refs, don’t tell me and, for goodness sake, don’t let them speak and I probably couldn’t tell the difference.

  1. Rashard Mendenhall looked fantastic last weekend, so much that I actually might recommend suffering a torn ACL in week 16 of the previous season. Kidding, kidding, but he looks faster and shifter than ever. Of course, that might be the Jonathon Dwyer and Isaac Redman effect as well.
  2. We know the weapons the Steelers have on the outside, but don’t forget about Heath Miller tonight. In fact if you have a chance to play a few props, I would strongly recommend Miller for 1st touchdown, over 45 yards and “Yes” he will score a touchdown. The Titans can’t cover anyone, but they are atrocious against the tight end.

  3. The Titans might be the worst team in the NFL, but their emotionally leader, Chris Johnson, commented this week:

    “We need somebody in this locker room to make plays and give us a spark.”

    Uh, you mean somebody like you? I mean CJ_K the Titans have all that money tied up in you, I think they expect you to make plays and give them a spark. Wow, totally clueless. If I am Titans ownership, I would be willing to give Titans coach Mike Munchak another year sans CJ_K. I have to believe CJ_K is impacting the morale and chemistry of a very young team. In fact, the Titans would be better off just cutting his lousy ass right now.

  4. Matt Hasselbeck has been a solid quarterback to back as the starter for a home team underdog over his career, but this is not the Seattle Hasselbeck, this is the “I am hanging on for a paycheck while trying to mentor a young guy into a great quarterback, so I can someday land a head coaching job and continue to be the favorite son over my d-bag brother who is a self proclaimed fantasy football expert, yet somehow pops is favoring him because he gave him Alfred Morris as a sleeper this year” Hasselbeck. Remember, when Michael Jordan went to the Wizards? Albeit smaller scale, but just as big of a drop-off.
  5. The only way the Steelers don’t cover this number is if they come out flat. I don’t see that happening. Why? Well, while it might be might be thin, I checked out Roethlisberger’s biorhythm chart for 10/12/2012. Here it is:

The above shows Roethlisberger is ready to peak physically, which is good news. He is also very high emotionally, which will allow him to withstand the numerous “you’re a raper” taunts. Unfortunately, Big Ben’s intellect is so far down that if given the Wonderlich test before the game tonight, Vince Young might look like a genius. I have a solution for that – don’t let Ben call the plays or audible. Ben never calls the plays, so that part is a non factor. In terms of audibling, the Titans won’t present anything overly complicated nor present much resistance, therefore, even poor decisions by Big Ben likely won’t cost the Steelers.

Pick: Pittsburgh -6.0

Disclaimer: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week. In cases where I’ve made a contest pick, I will use that line, as opposed to the current line. Yeah, it’s a bit of a cheat and you wouldn’t be able to get that line once you’ve printed out my picks to head to the betting window but in the rare event that I win a contest bet but caught in the middle on a live play, rest assured I will adjust my record.

2012 NFL Predictions – Week 05 Picks, “Soccer Induced Quick Picks” Edition

I have spent the last two days at the soccer fields, so you get quick picks for NFL week #5. Mind you though, I put the same effort into each and every pick. But I must inform you that I feel this is the week where the odds-makers have caught on – very, very tough! Upon making my picks, I just about pulled out the UNO
Reverse card and reversed every one of them.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

The “SuperContest” picks:

Arizona (-1.0) @ St. Louis – I feel like the Cardinals are who I thought they were. Shame me for thinking otherwise and making them a top 5 play this week. Pick: Arizona -1.0

San Diego @ New Orleans (-3.5) – Why are the Saints favored in this game? And by 3.5, no less, wow!! – “Free Money”. Pick: San Diego +3.5

Tennessee @ Minnesota (-5.5) – Game was a pick’em in the pre-season, now it’s 5.5. So this Vikings team is good because they’ve beaten the Jags, a sleep-walking 49ers team and the Lions? Uh, ok. They might win but the line of 5.5 is way, way too many points. Pick: Minnesota -5.5

Seattle @ Carolina (-3.0) – I don’t completely trust Panthers safety Haruki Nakamura and his band of incompetent brothers roaming the defensive backfield, but I trust Russell Wilson on the road less. In fact, Russell might be the only quarterback capable of making Haruki look like a competent NFL safety. The Hawks really, really need to go to Matt Flynn, Wilson will be the guy long term but he is killing an otherwise very good team. Pick: Carolina -3.0

Baltimore (-5.5) @ Kansas City – How is this not a repeat of the 2010 playoff game between these teams? Oh and the Ravens just had their early season “mail it in” game against the Browns last week. It’s going to be a long day for the Chiefs. Pick: Baltimore -5.5

The “Good Bad Team” pick:

Miami @ Cincinnati (-3.0) – The Bengals beat bad teams badly, though Miami is pesky, I wouldn’t consider them good. Pick: Cincinnati -3.0

The “Final Destination” pick:

Atlanta (-3.0) @ Washington – The Falcons should have lost last week. You can only cheat death so long. . . Pick: Washington +3.0


The “Look Ahead” picks:

Green Bay (-6.5) @ Indianapolis – With a showdown against the Texans on deck, look for the Packers to get caught sleeping against the Colts. Pick: Indianapolis +6.5

Cleveland @ NY Giants (-8.5) – Come on, it’s the Giants, they’re giving more than a touchdown at home. I think we’ve seen how this ends multiple times over the last five seasons? And the G-Men have the 49ers on deck. Pick: Cleveland +8.5

The “Livin a lie” pick:

Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh (-3.5) – The Eagles are 3-1, yet have been out-scored by 17 points. Look for the “regression” to begin this week. Also, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t lose back-to-back games. Pick: Pittsburgh -3.5

The “Monday Night Hangover” pick:

Chicago (-5.5) @ Jacksonville – This feels way too easy. And I’ve already taken advantage of the “Free Money” offer from the books with the Chargers. This feels like a late Bears rally to win by a field goal. Pick: Jacksonville +5.5

The “Ass Kickin” picks:

Denver @ New England (-6.5) – Sorry, Peyton, still not buying. . . Pick: New England -6.5

Buffalo @ San Francisco (-9.5) – The 49ers are back home, re-focused and ready to take control of the NFC West. How do the Bills cover this game if the 49ers go up 17-0? Answer: they don’t! Pick: San Francisco -9.5

Houston (-8.0) @ NY Jets – How do the Jets cover this game if the Texans go up 17-0? Same answer from above. Pick: Houston -8.0

Colin Wynner calls the winners. “Rever. . .Revers. . .!”


 

2012 NFL Predictions – Week 02, “I suck at this” edition

After a brutal week one, I came back strong with the Bears on Thursday night. Oh wait, the Bears didn’t cover? Really?  And you say, Cutler looked like a little bitch out there by not only sucking donkey scrotum, but he also pulled a total bitch move by blaming his offensive line, coaches, receivers, defense, clubhouse attendants, God (for his diabetes), equipment managers, uh, I think you get the point. And how the hell do you give up a 4th and 26 fake field goal for a touchdown?

Argh! Seventeen games in to the 2012 season, I am sitting at a welfareesque 6-11. I was this was a singing competition, like X-Factor, Simon Cowell would tell me, “Colin, seriously you should never sing again. You’re just not good at it.” Or translated, while there is a ton of entertainment in reading Colin’s selections, that’s not the point, if Colin isn’t calling winners, then Colin is out of business. It’s that simple. Excluding a nice 7-4 playoff run last year, Colin has been pretty miserable with all picks over the last 13 months. These next couple of weeks will determine whether Colin sent out to stud (actually, what do they do with horses that suck in the first place, oh yeah, the glue factory. Let’s hear it Animal Rights Activists) or whether he is allowed to continue racing.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

The “SuperContest” picks:

Dallas (-3.0) @ Seattle – The pre-season line on this game was Seattle -1.5. So, we have a 4.5 point movement because of the Cowboys impressive win and the Seahawks surprising loss in Arizona. My big question is what would this line be if the Giants VictorCruz hadn’t dropped a bushel full of balls and if Doug Baldwin or Braylon Edwards hang onto a ball in the end zone. I think we the answer – Seattle -1.5. I am still on the “Seahawks are winning the NFC West” bandwagon.

Picks: Seattle +3.0

Cleveland @ Cincinnati (-7.0) – This game is the opposite of the Dallas/Seattle, as the pre-season line was 7 and the actual line is 7, despite the obvious differences in these two teams performances in week one. Cleveland took the Eagles to the wire and if L. J. Fort doesn’t drop a ball that hit him square in the hands, the Browns upset the Eagles. Meanwhile, a day later the Bengals get hammered by the suddenly Super Bowl bound, Ravens. So, following the logic above shouldn’t this line be closer to Bengals -4.5?

Now, I might be in the minority, but I came away from the Bengals/Ravens thinking it was much closer than 31 points. I would have like to see that game played out if the Bengals had a competent head coach. You know the kind of coach that has the balls to go for a 4th and 1 on opponent’s one yard line. Oh, that Marvin Lewis, so in over his head, yet this is his 10th year as the head man in Cincinnati. The reasons go to for it in that situation have been statistically proven but there is also the situation, which would can throw in a very subjective category we will call “common sense”. So, let’s look closer at the situation – the Bengals were down by seven, but had momentum. Kicking a field goal there stops the momentum because you still need a touchdown. Plus, by kicking a field goal there, you send a message to your team that you don’t trust the offense or the defense; the Ravens offense had not seen the field for roughly an hour of real-time, would you rather have their first play on the field from their own 30 or their own 1?

Marvin opted for the field goal, the Ravens promptly marched the length of the field for a touchdown, effectively ending the game.

So, it wasn’t that bad of an effort for the Bengals and the odds-makers know all about Marvin Lewis, so that is already built into the line.

This looks like a rebound, whoop-some-ass game for the Bengals

Picks: Cincinnati -7.0

NY Jets @ Pittsburgh (-5.0) – No Revis, an overly impressive opening week win and a desperate Steelers team. Add it up . . .

Picks: Pittsburgh -5.0

Kansas City @ Buffalo (-3.0) – Both these teams were extremely disappointing in week one. For the Chiefs they simply ran into a buzzsaw with the Falcons, but they also were without key defensive players, Hali and Flowers. They get those guys back this week. The Bills just look bad. Much like the Chiefs, the Bills problems last week are due to missing key players, namely their quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Seriously, if you have seen Ryan Fitzpatrick, please contact the Bills. Actually, I think Ryan Fitzpatrick is pretty much what everyone but the Bills thought he was – a serviceable backup. Unfortunately for the Bills they’re stuck Fitz, at least in the foreseeable future.

Oh, and don’t forget this is a payback game for last year’s season opening 41-7 drubbing the Bills gave the Chiefs in Arrowhead.

Picks: Kansas City +3.0

Washington (-3.5) @ St. Louis – There is way, way too much hype on this Redskins team. The pre-season line was a pick’em in this game and the Rams looked impressive in their loss to the Lions last week, so this is a 3.5 point movement all on the RG III hype.

Picks: St. Louis +3.5

The “Contrarian Hype” picks:

Detroit +7.0, Miami +2.5 and Philadelphia +2.5

The “I just flipped a coin” picks:

Minnesota -3.0, Carolina +2.5, New England -13.5, Atlanta -3.5, Tennessee +6.5, Houston -7.0

Last Week: 6-10-0

This Week: 0-1-0

2012 Season Record: 6-11-0

2012 SuperContest Record: 2-3 (Tied for 279th place)

Colin Wynner calls the winners, picks games, a skill that virtually everyone possesses. Good Luck to all, but mostly to me!


NFL 2012 – Week #1 Predictions

Football is back. My over/under on weeks before I utter the words, “I hate this league” has settled at 2.5. I am leaning toward the under.

Here are week one picks. Remember, the NFL is my specialty.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

The “SuperContest” picks:

Seattle (-2.5) @ Arizona – I find it ironic that immediately after Marshawn Lynch gets a huge contract, he is all of sudden down with “back spasms” so bad that it might prevent him from playing in the opener. Wasn’t that the whole issue with Lynch to begin with? It’s like Marshawn plays in “beast” mode when he needs a contract but once he has a deal he plays in “bitch” mode. Nevertheless, this game won’t be close, as this Cardinals team is complete garbage.

Picks: Seattle -2.5

Atlanta (-2.5) @ Kansas City – Remember last year the week one matchup between the Faclons and Besrs in Chicago? Well, the “sharps” were all over the Falcons in that, so much that the line moved from Bears -1.0 for Falcons -3.0. Well, those crazy “sharps” are back at – all over the Falcons again this year in the opener, in arguable a more difficult place to play, Arrowhead. In five weeks, we will look a back on this game with amazement that Falcons were favored. And that’s more because the Chiefs will be that impressive.

Picks: Kansas City +2.5

Carolina (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay – Have you noticed the pattern here? My first three games are all road favorites of exactly -2.5. In these cases, history tells us that one of those will cover, Seattle, and two will not. . .

Side note – enough is enough, it’s time to stop laughing at the “NFL is my specialty” comment above, focus man, focus!

Picks: Tampa Bay +2.5

Buffalo @ NY Jets (-3.0) – The Bills are getting a little too much love here. Yeah, I like them to win 10 games this season but this line and line movement is disrespectful to the Jets, who were 5 point favorites when the week one lines were released back in August. Look the Jets can still play great defense and they have a secret weapon, the Bills are clueless about the Jets “wildcat” package. This might be is the lock of the week!

Picks: NY Jets -3.0

San Diego @ Oakland (-1.0) – What is there to like about the Charger this season? They look like a mess to me. Their quarterback, Phillip Rivers, was forced to play the final pre-season game because he looked so pathetic in the first three pre-season games. The defense is weak, their receivers are a collection of #2’s (and no I don’t mean turds, though that fits) and their coach is over-matched is just about every game. It seems like they’re depending on an oft-injured Antonio Gates to stay healthy and be the Gates of 2007. That’s pretty risky.

Plus, this Oakland team is for real on offense, at home and hungry!


Pick: Oakland -1.0

The “how many Rams does it take to change a flat tire? Just one, unless it’s a blowout, then they all show up.” picks

Indianapolis @ Chicago (-10.0) – The Bears play the Packers week two on a Thursday night. In other words, they have a short week coming up against their arch-rival and primary competition in the NFC North. Now, I really believe the Bears can go into Lambeau and come away with a win. They’d have the entire offseason to prepare for this game, you have to think they will come up with a few new wrinkles to make Aaron Rodgers uncomfortable, plus the Packers are coming off a physical game with the 49ers on a short week, as well.

You see how I did that? I completely discounted this week’s game against the Colts. Don’t think the Bears aren’t doing the exact same thing.

Pick: Indianapolis +10.0

Philadelphia (-9.5) @ Cleveland – Poor Cleveland! I cannot imagine growing up in a city where perpetual losing is a way of life. There are 9.5 point underdogs, at home on week one! And if you gave the bookies the chance to re-post this line immediately after the final gun, they would post a 13.5. Yeah, it’s going to be that bad.

Pick: Philadelphia -9.5

Washington @ New Orleans (-8.0) – Buyer beware – I hate the Saints, so I cannot make logical decisions with regard to their games. However, even with that I fully expect to hit at least 8 of their games correctly this season. I think New Orleans got their big victory on Friday when some liberal judge ruled in the favor of the Saints players in the bounty-gate case. Therefore, this game is meaningless to them – like “They (Saints) won because Smith and Vilma were able to play.”

Pick: Washington +8.0

Miami @ Houston (-12.5) – I will let you in on a little secret, I bet the Texans at -7.5 way back at the beginning of August. I know what you’re thinking, “where the eff was that inside information, Colin?” There are some things I just have to keep to myself. Look if this game isn’t a 34-7 blowout by the Texans, I will chop off lefty, self stitch my sack and send the teste to the “Center for Research on Abnormally Large Body Parts”. Fair enough?

Pick: Houston -12.5

St. Louis @ Detroit (-8.5) – Am I crazy to think that the Rams actually have a chance in this game? I enter the follow exhibits as to why – 1. The Lions are one dimensional and despite the reality that the Rams have no one that can keep Calvin Johnson from going all “Flipper Anderson v the Saints, circa 1989” on them, I think they find a way to exploit the Lions inability to run the ball; 2. We don’t really know what we have with Sam Bradford, right? I mean this guy was the number one overall pick. He has two years under his belt, meaning the game has to be slowing down for him. He has a coach that wants to and will be able to protect him. Why can’t this guy lead the Rams to an upset?; 3. The lack of a Lions running game means the Rams front four, which believe it or not is a strength, can pin their ears back and attack Stafford; 4, The lions best defender, Ndomakong Suh, is mourning the reality that his mentor and butt buddy, Bo Pelini, is on his out at Nebraska. Don’t get me started!; and 5. Jeff Fisher > Jim Schwartz; remember Schwartz worked under Fisher for quite some time in Tennessee, now it’s time for Obi-Wan to leave Anakin legless in a smoldering pile of lava.

Uh, on second thought, yeah, I am crazy, the Rams have no shot!

Pick: Detroit -8.5

Cincinnati @ Baltimore (-7.0) – I’m down on both teams this season, however, seven points seems a bit too much for a couple of good defensive teams with spotty offenses. Give me the points on Monday night!

Pick: Cincinnati +7.0

The “Toss-up” picks:

New England (-5.5) @ Tennessee – I cannot wait to see Chris Johnson this season, who somehow despite killing a majority of the fantasy teams last season was still highly regarded this season to be taken in the top 10 in most fantasy drafts. My hatred of him is well documented, so it is difficult for me to be objective, but I watched him in the pre-season and I see nothing different from last year. He doesn’t want to get hit, period! He plays a position where one gets hit and hit often, so there is a huge conflict and unless he can find huge chunks of yardage around the end without getting touched he is going to be useless.

As for this game, something tells me the Pats aren’t going to be the Pats for a few weeks.

Pick: Tennessee +5.5

San Francisco @ Green Bay (-5.0) – This will be the first in a series of “payback” games for the 49ers. What’s a 49er “payback” game? A game where the 49ers lose because of either a combination of or one of the following: a. bad turnover; b. missed assignment that leads to a big play; c. a key dropped pass; d. a bad call that goes against the them; e. missed field goal in a big spot; or f. A boneheaded coaching decision that when called out in the post-game causes Harbaugh to blow a gasket and attack the reporter leading to a suspension. Too much went right for that team last season, to not have it turn against them this year.

That aside the 49ers will keep this game close.

Pick: San Francisco +5.0

Jacksonville @ Minnesota (-3.5) – I wish DirecTV would provide subscribers to the NFL Sunday Ticket a count of TV’s tuned to each game. My guess is, if you excluded Minnesota fans and the handful of Jaguars fans, this game might never top out at more than 100. This game won’t be make DirecTV’s “game mix” channel. And even the “Red Zone” channel will likely delay any scoring in this game for maybe a quarter or so – like, “OK, it’s halftime now in Minnesota, but we want to take you back to early first quarter action to show you this score by the Vikings. . . ”

For the pick – it’s simple – the Vikings have some promise, the Jags are garbage.

Pick: Minnesota -3.5

Pittsburgh @ Denver (-1.5) – Dumbest line of the week! Why? Well, the 2011 season ended for the Steelers right there in Denver. Anyone remember what the line was in that game? Steelers by 7.5! So, essentially with everything else being the same, you’re telling me that a 35-year old quarterback, coming off one year layoff due to major neck surgery is worth 9 points? Did I mention that Manning has a fused neck? And one blind-side, whiplash hit could easily un-fuse his neck. I will take the value on Pittsburgh.

Pick: Pittsburgh +1.5

2012 Season Record: 1-0-0

Colin Wynner calls the winners! Good Luck to all!

2012 NFL Season Predictions

The long awaited 2012 NFL season predictions, with one game already in, Colin is pushing the deadline, but no worries fearless fans you can still get down on some of the juicer season wins and future bets.

I follow the “NFL Season Prediction Rules to live by” found here.

Step 1:

Determine the teams with the potential to fall into a +/- 4 victories category. (Greyed cells indicate a team cannot fall into that bucket)

Team

Div

2011 WINS

Plus 4

Minus 4

Team

Div

2011 WINS

Plus 4

Minus 4

Bills AFCE

6

    Bears NFCN

8

   
Dolphins AFCE

6

    Cowboys NFCE

8

   
Jets AFCE

8

    Eagles NFCE

8

   
Patriots AFCE

13

    Giants NFCE

9

   
Bengals AFCN

9

    Lions NFCN

10

   
Browns AFCN

4

    Packers NFCN

15

   
Ravens AFCN

12

    Redskins NFCE

5

   
Steelers AFCN

12

    Vikings NFCN

3

   
Colts AFCS

2

    Buccaneers NFCS

4

   
Jaguars AFCS

5

    Falcons NFCS

10

   
Texans AFCS

10

    Panthers NFCS

6

   
Titans AFCS

9

    Saints NFCS

13

   
Broncos AFCW

8

    49ers NFCW

13

   
Chargers AFCW

8

    Cardinals NFCW

8

   
Chiefs AFCW

7

    Rams NFCW

2

   
Raiders AFCW

8

    Seahawks NFCW

7

   

The above thins the available teams from 64 options to a more reasonable 42. Using the above, we can see that they are eight teams that finished 8-8 last year, so based on that I am going to estimate the number of overall +/- 4 teams will be slightly lower than normal years. The reason, it’s pretty hard to go 4-12 and 12-4, those records seem like the lower and upper boundaries that are difficult to achieve. Now in a year where 6 of those 8 teams were either 7-9 or 9-7, it’s a bit more reasonable to expect 11-5 or 5-11. So, I am settling on 11 teams in this group. And here they are, in order of confidence:

  1. Buffalo – 10-6, up 4 wins; the hype machine is on over-load and I don’t trust their QB, especially late in the year. But the division is easier (NYJ likely down, Dolphins likely horrible), the schedule is easier (NFC West and AFC South) and the defense added a pro bowler in Mario Williams, so you have to figure that the Bills are candidates to post 10 wins and earn a playoff berth.
  2. Indianapolis – 6-10 up 4 wins; Things could not have gone worse last year for the Colts. And just when you thought they were going to screw the entire season by winning their last three, thus avoiding the number 1 overall, they rallied to a resounding defeat in week 17, giving them the rights to Andrew Luck. Imagine the renewed energy Reggie Wayne will have this season; he has to be so thankful to have a moderately competent quarterback that he might put up numbers like it was 2007 again. That should be enough to get the Colts four additional wins.
  3. San Francisco – 8-8, down 5 wins; this is purely based on facts. Fact 1 – the 49ers Pythagorean formula of expected wins last season was a little of 12, so they outperformed their expect by a game. But upon closer examination of their schedule we see they caught the Buccaneers at the beginning of the “mailing it in” tour in a 48-3 win and they also got the Steelers, 20-3, with a very gimpy Big Ben. Normalized those two games and it brings us down to 11 wins. Fact 2 – the 49ers had three ridiculously lucky wins last season, the Eagles, Lions and 2nd Seahawks games. Fact 3 – perhaps the biggest reason I see this taking a step back is the turnover margin from a year ago. Not only the 49ers protect the ball giving up just 10 turnovers, they forced 38 turnovers, for a mind-blowing +28. How much is a turnover worth in points? Well, it obviously varies based upon where the turnover occurs, but in general, turnovers are worth around 4 points. Meaning that if the 49ers post a very nice +12 turnover margin this season, they will lose roughly 64 net points, which translates, in Pythagorean terms, to about 3 wins. Good enough for me!
  4. Kansas City – 11-5, up 4 wins; The Chiefs lost their 2nd best receiver, best defensive player and best offensive player in a three week span, starting with the pre-season finale and ending with the second regular season game. And despite the fact they hated Todd Haley about as much as Red Sox players hate Bobby Valentine and you have to wonder how the Chiefs managed to win 7 games last season. Well, they’re extremely young and talented, that’s how. And as much grief as I have given Romeo Crennel over the years, “clueless, stares at the play-sheet like it’s a menu, deer in the headlights, his dog ate the card listing the times a coach should go for two, etc.”, the last time a former Browns head coach was given a second chance it worked out fairly well. The point? We simply don’t know about Romeo, because all we have to go on is his failure in Cleveland. The moral of the story? Nobody can be held responsible for failing in Cleveland!
  5. Tampa Bay – 8-8, up 4 wins; Honestly, I had to hold back in picking them to win the division with 11 wins. New coach, new Josh Freeman, new receivers, renewed receivers and a focus that generally translates into a positive upswing. The downside? The schedule is rough (NFC East and AFC West), the division is rough, even if the Saints fall back and there are still a ton of questions on defense. But this team won 10 games two years ago. They are closer to that team, than the poster boys for “mailing it in” like last year.
  6. Minnesota – 7-9, up 4 wins; since 1989 they have been 24 teams that won 3 games in a season, the next year 10 of those teams won seven or more games. Yeah, 42% success rate is a recipe to end up on welfare, but consider this subset of three win teams since 2000 – seven of nine have won seven or more games the next year. And one of teams that failed was the Rams, so really it’s like 7/8. Plus, the Vikings started 0-4 last year by a combined 19 points, with each game being decided by a touchdown or less. They also had an excruciating loss to the Broncos, where one of their DBs got red-carded early in the game, forcing the Vikings to play a man down. That had to be the reason they forgot to cover D. Thomas for almost the entire second half, right? So, flip a play or two in those first four, give then the Broncos game and turn one more close loss into a win and viola – a seven win team.
  7. Green Bay – 11-5, down 4 wins; Easy call here. Even coach Mike McCarthy admitted halfway through the 2011 season that the Packers were four plays away from being 4-4 last year, as opposed to 8-0. Let’s add that the Packers have now experienced both ends of capricious nature of the NFL playoffs – in 2010 barely made it in, ran the table; in 2011 dominated the regular season, laid an egg in the playoff opener. Based on their experience last season, my guess is the Pack realize home field advantage is slightly over-rated in the playoffs, and therefore, they will have a few of those games where they’re lackadaisical and flat out bored.
  8. New Orleans – 8-8, down 5 wins; I know my personal bias is getting in the way of making a logical decision on the Saints, but screw it, I hate this Saints team with the white hot intensity of a googol suns. Why? Well, for starters, I am not fond of their, now estranged, head coach Sean Payton. He strikes me as a sissy version of Jim Harbaugh, translation, he invokes the same “I want to plant one right on your kisser” feelings except without the fear that he might fight back. I hate the way the Saints ran up the scores at the end of last season and kept their starters in far too long, just to make sure Brees broke Marino’s passing records. In a similar situation back in 09 with little or nothing to play for, the Saints rested their starters in the final regular season game, last year the Saints kept Brees in virtually the entire game despite the facts that – 1. The 49ers were cruising against the Rams, thus rendering the Saints game meaningless; and 2. The Saints has a comfortable lead late in the game. But they left Brees in to throw, throw, and throw some more. Add in the bounty-gate crap, the reality that the Saints are coached by Gomer Pyle, with Sean Payton out for the year and it feels a lot like it is about to come around on this team. I won’t be a bit surprised if in successive weeks a blitzing safety drives Brees throwing shoulder into the Superdome turf so hard that when Brees gets up it appears as though his arm is attached to his shoulder by a single, thin line of dental floss, then the following Jimmy Graham goes down with an ACL tear and finally Darren Sproles blows out his achilles in week three. “The New Orleans Saints are on the clock. . .”
  9. Chicago – 12-4, up 4 wins; This is where it gets tough. Man, I really wish the Bears didn’t rise up last January 1st, by knocking off the Vikings, thus securing a .500 record. This would have been much more palatable to select the Bears at 11-5, but the “Rules” are the rules and I have to play by them. Look the Bears were 7-3 last season, headed for the playoffs when injuries Forte and Cutler derailed their season. Their defense will be good enough, it always is. But they have significantly upgraded their offense by adding two new toys for Cutler in WR Brandon Marshall and WR Alshon Jeffrey. Plus, I think they sweep the Packers this season. They get them in week two, on a short week and after the Packers play a physical game against the 49ers, the Bears meanwhile have a glorified scrimmage against the Colts in week one. That week two game is the difference in the division!
  10. Detroit – 6-10, down 4 wins; Zero, and I mean zero, running game means that Matthew Stafford and company will have to throw, throw and throw. So what, right? We all know that the NFL has become a passing league, but such a reliance on the passing means the quarterback is vulnerable to injury, as are the receivers. The defense is nothing to get excited about. And the division figures to be better with Chicago and Minnesota improved. And with all that, I still can only slot then in my 10th confidence spot because overall they have more talent than a 6 win team and they also get the worst divisions in each conference as their opponents (NFC West and AFC South). But call it a “Tampa Bay 2011” hunch, I this team catches the wrong end of some breaks early, which leads to the proverbial “circling of the drain” late.
  11. Washington – 9-7 up 4 wins; I love me some of RG III. Isn’t RG III a freakishly great nickname? I mean that just rolls off the tongue, it so natural, hell I wanted to draft him way too high in fantasy just to announce his name. And, yeah, RG III is a rookie, but come on he is certainly better than the bag of diarrhea the ‘Skins were throwing out there last year. I figure they get off to a hot start (4-2) and then play .500 the rest of the way, sneak into the playoffs as the #6 seed and then we all retire after betting against them in the Wildcard round.

Determine 2011 playoff teams that will not return, in order of confidence:

  1. Denver – It doesn’t get much easier than going opposite of the “hype” pick in any given season. Let’s also add the Broncos should’ve been, at best, 6-10 last season and you have the makings for gross under-achievement. Did I mention that the Broncos schedule is brutal the first two months? Odds are 50/50 that Peyton Manning makes it out of that stretch with his neck still fused.
  2. Cincinnati – One very good reason – the Bengals have made the playoffs five times in the last 24 years, the year after they failed to make the playoffs. Head Marvin Lewis has been around for three of those five seasons, meaning Marvin isn’t the perpetual disappointment just when expectations reach anything above the “just don’t embarrass yourself” level.
  3. San Francisco – See above. And throw in this – isn’t Jim Harbaugh due for some bad karma? Think about the piles of crap this guy has left for someone else to clean – whether it’s blatantly running up the score or going all “crazy handshake” on another coach or simply his arrogant approach to his profession. At some point this has to come around, my guess is the stars are aligning for it to come around in a big way this year.
  4. Detroit – See above. And I am much more confident the Lions miss the playoffs than I am that they win 6 or less. So you got that going for you.
  5. New Orleans – See above, but one more thing about the Saints. Their backup quarterback is a known booger eater, yep that’s right Chase Daniel eats boogers. I ask you, football fans, would you trust a team that is one injury away from having a booger eating, butt-plug taking first team snaps at QB? Me neither!
  6. New York Giants – It’s amazing that this team has triumphantly hoisted the Lombardi twice in the past 4 seasons when you consider that they were two plays away from not making the playoffs in either year. The schedule is brutal, the division is brutal and, most importantly, this team won’t be hungry this year. In addition, I get the sense they think they can turn it on whenever they want. This year, as opposed to last year, Romo completes that easy pitch and catch to Miles Austin and viola, the Giants are missing from the 2012 playoffs.

That means the six new teams to the post-season party in 2012 will be: Buffalo, Kansas City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington.

In summary, I followed the “rules” to the letter on selecting six new playoff teams. I limited the +/- 4 games teams to eleven based on the number of returning 8-8 teams. I selected the Kansas City Chiefs as my “worst to first” team for 2012. And finally, I used 145 as my total of home team wins.

Without further ado, here are Colin’s official 2012 NFL Standings complete with record, division/conference/Super Bowl odds, season win total:

2012 AFC Predictions

AFC East
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 NewEngland 14 2 (500) 250 700 12.0 100 (120)
2 Buffalo 10 6 600 2,000 5,000 7.5 (200) 170
3 NY Jets 8 8 550 2,000 2,000 8.5 150 (180)
4 Miami 4 12 3,000 5,000 5,000 6.5 120 (140)
AFC North
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Pittsburgh 11 5 100 600 1,200 10.0 (145) 125
2 Baltimore 9 7 125 700 1,200 10.0 145 (170)
3 Cincinnati 7 9 450 2,300 4,000 8.0 150 (180)
4 Cleveland 4 12 2,500 5,000 10,000 5.0 100 (120)
AFC South
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Houston 10 6 (600) 500 1,200 10.0 (170) 145
2 Tennessee 7 9 500 2,500 5,000 7.5 115 (135)
3 Indianapolis 6 10 1,200 4,500 4,000 5.5 (110) (110)
4 Jacksonville 3 13 1,200 5,000 10,000 6.5 100 (120)
AFC West
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Kansas City 11 5 350 2,000 5,000 8.0 140 (160)
2 Oakland 8 8 450 2,000 5,000 7.5 130 (150)
3 San Diego 7 9 200 1,200 1,500 9.0 140 (160)
4 Denver 6 10 125 450 1,000 8.5 (170) 145

A couple interesting notes on the AFC futures

  • The Colts are 45-1 to win the AFC but 40-1 to win the Super Bowl. I think that is a strong indicator that the book has received too many SB bets on the Colts.
  • There is zero value on the AFC West champion – 4.5-1 on the Raiders. The book is clueless when it comes to this division, so they simply bury the odds so they can’t get burnt. That’s easy to do on future bets where you don’t have to offer the opposite side. Think about it if I had to lay -145 that the Broncos won’t win the West, I would drain a retirement account to make that bet.
  • I love the Bills over 7.5 but not at that -200 number way too heavy.

AFC Future Bets:

  • Kansas City Over 8.0 wins – 2.0 units at +140
  • Jacksonville Under 6.5 wins – 3.0 units at -120
  • Miami Under 6.5 wins – 2.0 units at -140
  • New England to win AFC East – 5.0 units at -500

AFC Playoff predictions:

Wildcard RoundBaltimore over Kansas City and Houston over Buffalo

Divisional RoundNew England over Baltimore and Houston over Pittsburgh

AFC ChampionshipNew England over Houston

2012 NFC Predictions

NFC East
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Philadelphia 10 6 120 600 1,200 10.0 115 (135)
2 Washington 9 7 1,000 4,000 10,000 6.0 (150) 130
3 NY Giants 8 8 180 700 2,000 9.0 (125) 105
4 Dallas 7 9 200 1,200 2,000 8.5 (185) 155
NFC North
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Chicago 12 4 250 700 3,000 9.5 100 (120)
2 Green Bay 11 5 (230) 300 500 11.5 (110) (110)
3 Minnesota 7 9 2,500 5,000 10,000 6.0 100 (120)
4 Detroit 6 10 450 1,200 2,000 9.0 100 (120)
NFC South
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Atlanta 10 6 140 1,200 2,000 9.0 (140) 120
2 New Orleans 8 8 120 1,000 600 9.5 (120) 100
3 Tampa Bay 8 8 1000 5,000 10,000 6.0 (130) 110
4 Carolina 7 9 350 2,000 5,000 7.5 (140) 120
NFC West
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Seattle 10 6 200 1,800 6,000 7.5 (160) 140
2 San Francisco 8 8 (240) 400 2,000 9.5 (160) 140
3 Arizona 6 10 1,200 5,000 3,000 6.5 100 (120)
4 St. Louis 4 12 1,000 5,000 10,000 6.0 (110) (110)

Interesting notes on the NFC futures

  • The Saints are 6-1 to win the Super Bowl, which is a total joke; again books wouldn’t post crap numbers like this if they had to take it on the other side. Give me -1000 on the Saints not to win the Super Bowl and I will put those pricks out of business.
  • I am shocked that the Cardinals are actually the least likely team to win the NFC West; also shocked that I can’t get better than 2-1 on the Seahawks to win the division. At 5-1, I would hammer them, but 2-1 feels a little bit like I would be better waiting for a couple key games and playing a normal money line bet.
  • The 49ers are sitting at 9.5 wins after opening at 10.5, proving that sometimes, especially when you know what to expect from a team, you have to play it early.
  • The best value on the board in terms of division winner is Tampa Bay, who could very well sneak in and surprise in the South.

NFC Future Bets:

  • Seattle Over 7.5 wins – 3.0 units at -160
  • Detroit Under 9.0 wins – 2.0 units at -120
  • Washington Over 6.0 wins – 3.0 units at -150
  • Chicago Over 9.5 wins – 3.0 units at even
  • Chicago to WIN Super Bowl – .5 unit at +3000

NFC Playoff predictions:

Wildcard Round Philadelphia over Washington and Green Bay over Atlanta

Divisional Round Philadelphia over Seattle and Green Bay over Chicago

NFC ChampionshipGreen Bay over Philadelphia

And Colin Wynner calls the Super Bowl XLVII winner: Green Bay over New England

Enjoy the season!

2011 NFL Week Six Fantasy Football – Diamonds and Not So Rough

It’s time for Week 6 edition of my
Diamonds and Not So Rough column. Looking back at Week 5 it was not a good week
for my Diamonds, but a great week for my Not So Rough players. Only one of my
Diamonds hit the 15 point mark, while all five of My Not So Rough players
scored under 20 points.

Week 5 Diamonds (20% wins):

  • Willis McGahee a near miss at 14.50 points
  • Greg Olsen only had 11.10 points
  • Mark Sanchez was my only hit at 18.64 points
  • Julio Jones was injured but before the injury only managed 3.8 points
  • Mario Manningham came in at a lowly and disappointing 8.10 points

Week 5 Not So Rough (100% wins):

  • Cedric Benson was held to 5.30 points so that was an easy pick
  • Stevie Johnson only checked in at 5.40 points so another easy winner
  • Maurice Jones-Drew did score a TD but was held to 14.50 points
  • Brandon Lloyd had a great catch but it was his only one as he had 2.50 points
  • Beanie Wells had a TD, but only 12.00 points

As a reminder, the scoring system I will use to grade my performance is this:

  • All touchdowns 6 points
  • .04 point per yard passing
  • .1 per yard for rushing/receiving,
  • points per receptions > .25 RB/.50 WR/1.00 all others;
  • -1 per interception
  • -3 for interception return for TDs (also known as pick sixes).

Also to remind the readers for the Diamonds I’m looking for a 60% success ratio and I’m looking for the same 60% for the Not So Rough players. A Diamond must score at least 15 points in the scoring system listed above while a Not So Rough player must score under 20 to be considered a success.

So without further adieu here are my Week 6 picks for Diamonds:

James Jones WR Green Bay Packers – He had a breakout game last week against the Falcons defense and this week he has the juicy Rams secondary on
the menu to keep it rolling. 6 catches for 120 yards and a TD or 21 points.

Greg Olsen TE Carolina Panthers – Yes I will give him another chance this week against a Falcons secondary that can be torched by a read hot Cam Newton. 5 catches for 90 yards and a TD or 20 points.

Colt McCoy QB Cleveland Browns – Again, I’m not saying to bench Aaron Rodgers for him but if you have BYE week QB blues start him confidently against a weak Raiders secondary. Sure the Raiders will be fired up for the Al Davis home game tribute but it won’t stop McCoy from throwing for 250 yards and 2 TDs or 22 points plus another 30 yards or 3 points for rushing the ball.

Michael Crabtree WR San Francisco 49ers – A name I even despise typing, but he is matched up with the Lions secondary and fellow WR Josh Morgan is on Injured Reserve. The Lions may blow out the 49ers this week meaning Alex Smith may have to throw, throw and throw again. 5 catches, 88 yards and a garbage time TD or 17.30 points.

Shonn Greene RB New York Jets – Greene showed signs of life last weekagainst New England and I look for him to keep it rolling Monday night against the Dolphins defense. I see another 120 total yards, 3 catches and a rushing TD. In our scoring system that breaks down to 18.75 points.

Now for the Not So Roughs:

Brandon Marshall WR Miami Dolphins – People will rate him highly coming off the BYE week but he has two things going against him this week – he faces Revis Island coverage and he has Matt Moore at QB. Here is a quarter, call Steve Smith of
the Panthers and ask him how well his career took off with Matt Moore at QB. 5 catches for 60 yards and no scores or 8.50 points.

Reggie Wayne WR Indianapolis Colts – Wayneis not going to enjoy his matchup with the Bengals secondary this week plus QB Curtis Painter seems to only have eyes for WR Pierre Garcon. 5 catches for 75 yards with no scores or 10.00 points in our scoring system.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB Jacksonville Jaguars – Not it’s not that I don’t like MJD, it’s just that he is matched against an improving Steelers defense. Look for him to post similar numbers to last week. 100 total yards, but this time without the TD. 10 points puts him on this list.

Arian Foster RB Houston Texans – Yes, Foster has bounced back nicely from the hamstring problems but this week it’s the very tough Ravens defense and not the Raiders. I still see Foster rushing for 70 and catching passes for another 30. Adding in a TD gets him close to 20 but with 4 catches he’s in at 17 which is less that our goal of 20 this week.

DeSean Jackson WR Philadelphia Eagles – Jackson had a very nice Week 5 against the Bills, but the Redskins defense is better against the pass than the Bills. DeSean ripped the Redskins apart last year, but not in this game. The Redskins
have had a week to prepare for Jackson and prepared they will be. 4 catches 80 yards and a TD or 16 points.

NFL 2011 – Week Five Picks

“Super Wynner Contest” Week 4 Recap

  • G-Dub has been quite vocal around the Wynner’s mansion this weekend, taunting all three of the other competitors with weak statements like “I’ m heads and tails above you three.” And he wants me to change his name to Flip Wynner. He’s been unbearable!
  • Yeah, I get it, I have been horrible this season and I am being soundly defeated by random luck. My defense, it takes a few weeks for power rankings to be fully effective. Yeah, that’s it.
  • The good news – I passed Juana and Megan, who are circling the drain worse than A-Rod’s “True Yankee” status.

Contestant

Last Week

Record

G-Dub

10-6

34-27-3 (.555)

Colin Wynner

6-10

29-32-3 (.477)

Juana Wynner

4-12

28-33-3 (.461)

Megan Wynner

7-9

26-35-3 (.430)

 

SuperContest Week 4 Recap

  • Picks: Lions, Vikings, Texans, Cardinals and Jets
  • A quick log of the early games – Lions, Texans and Vikings
    • Great start! All three of my teams get the ball to begin the game, any chance I can be up by a combined 21-0 in about 10 minutes? Maybe not, Houston fumbles the kickoff fortunately the Texans get back on top of it to regain possession; unfortunately a penalty moves them to inside their own 10 to start the opening drive; I am about to text a buddy to let him know the Texans are not covering today.
    • Oh man, I nailed this Texans game, the Steelers are not good at all – 18 play, 11 minute drive for the Texans to go up 7-0, the rout is on!
    • Minnesota leads 7-3, but Detroit is getting crushed, if not for a goal-line stand the Lions would be down 14-0; the Cowboys are trying to one-up the Eagles in the inefficient plays inside the opponents 10 category
    • End of the first quarter in Houston Texans have the ball back and lead 7-0, not worrying about that game at all.
    • Halftime in Houston – 10-0, but it should be much worse, the Texans block a field goal at the end of the half and return it for a touchdown, but some d-bag blocks a Steelers player in the back, behind the play no less, and it gets called back. This game feels so “Texans” to me, you know the kind of game they totally dominate yet find a way to lose.
    • More fun at halftime – Dallas crushing Detroit 20-3, proving that injuries to an opponent can be offset by bringing your “D” game; Minnesota is also flaking on me – down 9-7 at half; I text a buddy to whine about going 0-3 in the early games
    • The Steelers take the opening kickoff, burn 8 minutes and move into cover range; knew it.
    • So, much for the Lions coming back in the second half; now 27-3 in a game that I have written off as a loss.
    • The good news Minesota pulls into a 10-9, uh, now down 12-10; that was fast. Yup, next stop 0-3. Demoralizing! I knew I should have pulled the “REVERSE EM”, where before I send my picks, I reverse all of them.
    • More bad news in Houston, somehow the Steelers have now tied the game at 10-10, here comes the Texans 13-10 win. Good for them, bad for me (-3.5).
    • Detroit can do no right on offense, but their defense picks up a touchdown, which gives me a twinge of hope in that game, just 17 points to tie with about 21 minutes to play.
    • Houston comes right back down the field on that over-rated, old Steeler defense; capped off with a 40 yard TD run by my new favorite player, Arian Foster. They just need to keep the Steelers out of the end zone for the cover. I decide this will be a win.
    • You know what – I might go 3-0, Detroit just returned another interception for a touchdown, now a 10 point game with plenty of time remaining. Hopefully the Lions offense will wake up and start producing
    • Remember that 3-0 thought – what was I thinking, Minnesota is now down 22-10, that’s a loss and Detroit is down 30-17, still a chance but slim
    • Houston wins in a game that ends well before the other two, so I am batting a 1.000 right now; sweet!
    • Megatron makes the Detroit game a lot more interesting as he catches a TD to bring them with 6 points
    • I wish I was getting more than 1 point in the Detroit game, I can see them taking a 31-30 lead, but eventually losing 33-31
    • Now it’s getting crazy, Romo just threw another interception setting the Lions up in Dallas territory trailing 30-27 and the Vikings are down 22-17 but driving

    • Chiefs D-line “Wait, is it the 4th quarter? Protect your balls!”

      Megatron again – Detroit 34-30! One of the luckier covers, if they hang on, I’ve ever had.

    • More good news, I flip to Minnesota and they have a first down at the KC 41 with 2 minutes left. The bad news Donovan McNabb is the quarterback, but they might have enough time to run the ball with AP and Harvin for the winning score.
    • Pretty typical McNabb, two consecutive passes knocked down by the Chiefs defensive line, well I guess if you consider getting hit in the facemask knocking the ball down. 3rd down features the signature McNabb bounce pass. I forgot how bad this guy is at leading a team late in a game; I seriously would have called a draw play to AP on 4th and 10. If it didn’t work, when asked about it in the post-game press-conference I would have defended it with “Did you see the previous three plays? Based on that data, I thought we had better chance running the football.” McNabb’s 4th down pass would have been complete if somehow the Vikings could sneak the NFL Films sound guy onto the field, yeah, the pass air-mailed the intended receiver. 1-1!
    • If I am playing against Jason Witten in fantasy, I am going punt my dog like Baxter in Anchorman. Detroit is allowing the Cowboys to waltz down the field without contesting the middle of the field.
    • Whew, huge sack by the Lions; and on 4 and 20 Romo throws a short pass to Felix Jones for 8 yards!?! The funny thing about the play – Romo runs up to the line like he is going to spike the ball! He is going to get crucified in Dallas this week! 2-1
    • I felt great about going to 2-1, as though the worm was turning for me. I absolutely love the Cardinals this afternoon and I think getting 3.5 points with the Jets is money – 4-1 right around the corner.
  • So, the Cardinals go up 10 late in the fourth, but then they forget to play defense. That’s a little like getting hit with a bag of piss on a cold day – at first you think, “Wow, that’s warm, feels great!” Shortly after, you realize it was piss, now you’re colder than ever and covered in frozen piss.
  • There was a good reason the Jets went from 3.5 to 6 points before kickoff – they suck! I guess the “sharps” knew that the Jets would give up three defensive touchdowns! Damn, why can’t I predict things like that! 2-3 YUCK!
  • I have to keep chopping wood, but I need a 14-6 four week run to catapult me back into the top 100 and give me a chance!

LHSC: 2-3, 8-10-2 (Tied for 320th)

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

 

NFC Worst – “The Quest for 6 Wins”

 

Tampa Bay @ San Francisco (-3.0)

Arizona @ Minnesota (-2.5)

Seattle @ NY Giants (-9.5)

Bye Week (-3.0) @ St. Louis

 

It must have been a full moon last Sunday, because all four NFC Worst teams had a chance to win. Fortunately, only one of the teams was able to disappoint. Unfortunately, it was the one team we couldn’t afford to pull off a victory.

 

Really, 49ers, really? Help me understand what the 49ers are thinking – we have a chance to make history here, and they go win an seemingly unwinnable game in Philadelphia. Even Jim Harbaugh couldn’t believe it, on the sideline after the win he looked like Chick Gandell from Chicago Black Sox after getting the game winning hit in game three and pissing off the gamblers, like “Uh, yeah, I am so excited we won!” But inside he is thinking, “How the hell am I going to win anything of significance with Alex Smith? I need Andrew Luck!”

 

Not all is lost, however, the damage the 49ers have done can easily be undone, they still only have two non-division wins – they’re allowed three. No worries they will get back on track this week, with Josh Freeman, the original king of cover.

 

The Seahawks dug themselves a nice 27-7 hole, but then they did the unthinkable – started to rally. Listen Hawk players, Pete Carroll is a marshmallow; you don’t have to win to have him open his palace for a post-game “kegger.” I don’t need the Hawks attempting a 61 yard field goal to win the game, it’s just too close. In fact with the 49ers exceeding expectations, I need the rest of the NFC West to save what little effort, energy, imaginative play-calling they have for the 49ers.

 

I really thought the Cardinals would notch a win against the Giants, as evidence by my SuperContest pick on them, but at the end of the game the defense realized history was at stake and that was by far more important than a silly $750,000 contest. If in 13 weeks we’re talking about the 6-10 49ers as division champs, we will look back on the Cardinals defense collapse against the Giants as the reason we have the historic 6 win division winner.

 

By far the most clutch team in the division is the Rams. What bad can you say about the Rams? When the chips are down, this team finds ways to lose, and for that members of the “6-10” club are grateful

 

The game against the Skins almost fell their way, but they took care of business when it counted most. Well done! I especially like that they shown some signs of life at the end of the game. Heading into the bye week that will give them something to build on, which won’t help them until week nine, which is exactly when we need this team to start playing like a slightly above mediocre NFL team.

 

Major concerns going forward:

 

  1. Clearly right now the biggest concern is that somehow, some way the 49ers are going to get to seven wins. We need this season to mirror the 2009 when the 49ers started 3-1 and finished 6-10.

 

For this week, we have an above average chance to post a 0-4; and yes, I am predicting a Rams loss to bye-week:

 

Seattle travels to New York to face the Giants. It seems like it never ends well for the West Coast teams traveling East. This will be no exception, although Eli Manning is about six times better on the road than at home.

 

It’s a lot of points to lay, but finish this sentence – “The Giants go up 14-0, the Seahawks respond . . .” Well, if you’re like me, you answer “by packing it in”. Seriously, 9.5 is a lot of points, but its Tavaris Jackson, on the road, in a hostile environment filled with frustrated Yankee fans. It won’t end well for the Seahawks.

 

Pick: NY Giants -9.5

 

Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Road Warriors hit the Bay Area this week to face a team that just won their equivalent of the Super Bowl. How do I know? I talked a friend of mine who is a huge 49er fan and he had a n ear-to-ear grin and he was wearing a “Week four Champs” t-shirt. Yeah, I think the 49ers will have a bit of a hangover this week. It’s back down to earth this week for the 49ers.

 

Pick: Tampa Bay +3.0

 

The Cardinals and Vikings feature a match-up of former Eagle quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb. Remember Kolb was McNabb’s understudy for his first couple of seasons in the NFL. And based on Kolb first handful of starts, Donovan really rubbed off on him.

 

Kolb has been very McNabbian-like with the game on the line this season. In Week three, Kolb threw a terrible interception agasint Seattle, to end the Cardinals best drive of the fourth quarter. Last week, Kolb couldn’t get the job done late either, as evidenced by the following Exhibits, A – needing a first down, Kolb rushes a throw off his back foot to Early Doucet; B – the final drive features a 2nd and short, the play-call is a screen pass, which Kolb eats and takes a sack as opposed to dumping the ball at the intended receivers feet, instead of 3rd and short, the Cardinals now face 3rd and 10; C – One play later, facing a 4th and three, Kolb again rushes a throw off his back foot to a heavily cover Larry Fitzgerald – ball game!

 

Therefore, my prediction is the team leading at the end of the third quarter wins this game.

 

Pick: Minnesota -2.5

 

Kansas City @ Indianapolis (-2.0) – Painter-to-Garcon is going to make Colts fans completely forget about Manning-to-Harrison. Uh, well maybe not, but is it a coincidence that Painter has an above average game on Monday and all of a sudden Peyton is talking about coming back in December. I think not!

Can Chiefs coach Todd Haley get along with anyone? As the offensive coordinator of the Cardinals, Haley got into it with several players, most notably during the NFC Championship, with Anquan Boldin. Haley also ran off Charlie Weis in the off-season. The latest incident was with his quarterback, Matt Cassel. The guy seems like an egotistical prick who can’t coach – that’s a highly unusual pair of traits for an NFL head coach, most just can’t coach!

Pick: Indianapolis -2.0

Juana Wynner’s Week Five Picks

Kansas City @ Indianapolis (-2.0)
– My dad always says the word “chief” or calls us “chief.”

Pick: Kansas City +2.0

Arizona @ Minnesota (-2.5)
– I love Arizona but I’m going to have to go with the Vikings on this one. Go #28!

Pick: Minnesota -2.5

Philadelphia @ Buffalo (-3.0)
– On the Bold and the Beautiful this week Bill Spencer got exactly what he wanted when his son got engaged to someone else. I think that the Bill S will get what they want to.

Pick: Buffalo +3.0

Oakland @ Houston (-5.5)
– My cousin lives in Texas and the Texans have been playing good football so far.

Pick: Houston -5.5

New Orleans @ Carolina (-6.5)
– New Orleans suffered through such rough times and they came back stronger from it. They have what it takes to win this one.

Pick: New Orleans -6.5

The Rest:

Cincinnati +2.0, Pittsburgh -3.5, Seattle +9.5, Tampa Bay +3.0, New England -8.0, San Diego -4.0, Atlanta +6.0, Chicago +5.0


 

 

Philadelphia (-3.0) @ Buffalo – Mike Vick declared “The Dream Team” thing dead this week. No, no, no, it’s not that easy, Mike. This requires more than public admission, you have to go perform an exorcism style ritual to get truly kill this thing off. Luckily I have the ritual for Philly – (a) Lose three of your first four games CHECK; (b) Socks, bars of soap, Vince Young – figure it out; (c) Cover an Eagle helmet in the blood of a baby eagle which every player must touch it with both hands prior to kickoff; Look you want out of this, you might have to risk going to jail and being further ostracized by PETA; (d) Andy Reid must get a tattoo of Rocky on the left butt check. We won’t need visual proof of this, your word is fine; and (e) Score a touchdown when presented with a 1st and goal inside five. There you go, Mike.

Surprisingly “e” will be the toughest challenge for the Eagles. What I don’t understand is why they can’t get Vick on the outside with some sort of run/pass option on the goal-line? I guess it’s all in Andy Reid’s master plan, like the way he calls timeouts with 2:02 left in the game. Does he realize that by calling a timeout so close to the two minute warning he provides the opposing coach free pass to call any play in his playbook? Honestly, a two year old could figure this out, why can’t Reid?

That aside there is no way the Eagles lose this game.

Pick: Philadelphia -3.0

Oakland @ Houston (-5.5) – Mr. Obvious will now tell you that the Texans are not the same team without Andre Johnson. And while we can all agree that is true, it will really have an impact this week against the Raiders. You see the Raiders are a very physical football and without Andre, the Raiders will be able to free up a safety to help in run support against the Texans best offensive weapon, Arian Foster. Mark it down the Texans will struggle to score points this week.

 

Pick: Oakland +5.5

 

New Orleans (-6.5) @ Carolina – Cam Newton has been a sports investor’s worst nightmare so far this season. He’s lead the Panthers to three straight covers, after opening the season with a push. He is destroying betting staples, like bet against a rookie on the road and don’t lay points with a rookie quarterback in any circumstance.

 

But despite the covering-hype, the public still can’t bring themselves to trust the rook, as 68% of the action is on the Saints. Even a “sharp” guy like me is siding with the 68% this week; my reasons – 1. The Saints cannot close out opponents by running the football; therefore, they will need to roll up as many points as possible, which, hopefully, will this put game out of cover reach for even the great Cam Covers; and 2. The Saints defense, while not great, will aggressively come after Newton with an array of blitzes which, I believe, will Newton into a typical rookie like performance for the first time this season.

 

Pick: New Orleans -6.5

 

Cincinnati @ Jacksonville (-2.0) – Why are the Jags favored in this game? Cincinnati’s defense is much better and their offense is at least as good; both have rookie quarterbacks, though Dalton has been far better than Gabbert. Moreover, the running games are similar, as are the special teams. This game should be no worse than a pick’em for the Bengals. But who am I to argue, I will take the free points.

 

Pick: Cincinnati +2.0

 

Megan Wynner’s Week Five Picks

New Orleans (-6.5) @ Carolina- I think that New Orleans will win because they have been doing well! In addition, they have awesome uniforms!

Pick: New Orleans +6.5

Chicago @ Detroit (-5) – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because they are a strong team. Therefore, they probably will the beat the Chicago Bears.

Pick: Detroit +5

Arizona @ Minnesota (-2.5) – I think that Arizona Cardinals will win because they are my states team! Also they made it to the super bowl in 2008. I also like their motto.

Pick: Arizona +2.5

Seattle @ N.Y. Giants (-9.5) – I think that the Seattle Seahawks will win because they have a cool motto! Also they have cool colors!

Pick: Seattle +9.5

Oakland @ Houston (-5.5) – I think that the Houston Texans will win because I think they can outplay the Raiders. I also like their team colors!

Pick: Houston +5.5

Green Bay (-6) @ Atlanta – I think the Green Bay Packers will win because they won the super bowl this past year. Therefore, the Packers will be able to outplay the Falcons!

Pick: Green Bay +6

San Diego (-4) @ Denver- I think that the San Diego Chargers will win because they have awesome team colors! I also think that they can outplay and communicate more than Denver!

Pick: San Diego +4

The Rest:

Indianapolis +2, Buffalo +3.0, Jacksonville +2, Pittsburgh -3.5, San Francisco -3.0, New England -8.0


 

 

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh (-3.5) – Shhh, nobody who matters has it figured out yet, but this Pittsburgh team is atrocious. Here is a list of things the Steelers cannot do: a. run the football; b. protect their quarterback; c. defend the run; d. defend the pass; and e. scare anyone physically. Other than that they’re great. Not even Mike Tomlin’s rah-rah act is getting through. They might be lucky to win six games.

 

And the Titans are the team this year that is the benefactor of the “catching teams at the right time” schedule, like the Chiefs last year. Translation, I can’t wait to bet against them in the playoffs.

 

Pick: Tennessee +3.5

 

NY Jets @ New England (-8.0) – This is way too many points. The Jets will keep it close and have an outside chance at winning outright. Believe me we’ve seen stranger things happen in the NFL than the Jets winning in New England.

 

Pick: NY Jets +8.0

 

San Diego (-4.0) @ Denver – I am not sure I trust the Broncos to keep this game close, but I will admit that the Chargers are nowhere near the same team without Antonio Gates. Plus, Kyle Orton needs a great game to save his job. How can you go against the following: Norv Turner on the opposite sideline, not having to face Antonio Gates and Kyle Orton with his back against the wall? The answer – you can’t!

 

Pick: Denver +4.0

 

Green Bay (-5.5) @ Atlanta – During my preparation for the NFL season wins prediction, I noted this game as a Falcon win based on the payback factor from the 2010 playoffs. And though I felt like the Falcons would under-achieve and the Packers were, well, the Packers, I recalled the Cardinals and Panthers 2008 playoff game, where the Cardinals went to Charlotte and throttled the Panthers much like the Packers pasted the Falcons last year. The next season the Panthers were a mess when they strolled into Phoenix for what seemed to be an easy win for the home town RedBirds. It didn’t quite work out like that, as the Panthers, clearly motivated by the way the previous season ended, crushed the Cardinals. And that was with Pickomottomus, Jake Delhomme at quarterback.

 

Pick: Atlanta +5.5

 

Chicago @ Detroit (-5.0) – Here is an interesting prop bet – Ndamukong Suh personal fouls -.5 over Jay Cutler broken ribs. A word of warning Jay, expect to hear a lot of this on Sunday, “Jay, look out!”

 

Still, the hype on Detroit is out of control; the odds on the Lions to win the Super Bowl have gone from 80-1 to 10-1. I agree that the Lions are good, but that is a severe over-reaction, they’re not that good.

 

Plus we have a trend in this – I had to dig deep into the database for this trend – home teams that have trailed in their previous two games by 16 or more points at halftime but won the game outright are 0-1 ATS since 1990. That is as of Tuesday morning!

 

Pick: Chicago +5.0

 

Colin Wynner calls (48% of) the winners!

 

Good Luck to all!