Oh man, was it great to have football back or what? I ask you on any other day of the week would it take a person 8.5 hours to take out the garbage or vacuum the house? Nope, but that is the case on an NFL Sunday? So, if you happen to have a significant other who loves football as much as you do, then you’re very, very lucky. They understand how hard it is to walk away from a game and accomplish the task. They even share in the procrastination with comments like “we can vacuum tomorrow” and “until the garbage starts to smell, I’m ok with compressing it with a boot”.
But if you’re on the other end of that stick and you have a significant other who is either indifferent to football or completely hates it, well then you have quite a problem on your hands when Sunday rolls around. The easiest choice is send significant other shopping for the day. That works for a single week, but that can become pricey for more than a few weeks. It really adds up when you’re getting tag-teamed by the inept quarterback play of Orton and Hasselbeck, or getting rammed by the St. Louis receivers dropping the ball.
The solution – pick your spots, man. For example, this week offers very few great games, especially early. So, my suggestion would be get up and take your SO out for a late breakfast, with full attention devoted to them, leave your phone at home. By the time the late games roll around SO will be such great mood that they will be willing to sit down and watch the Pats/Chargers with you.
Ugly, ugly start for the “professional” handicapper in the “Super Wynner” contest, as Colin picks up a mere 7.5 wins which puts him in two-way tie for last place (with G-DUB), while Juana had an amazing week at 11.5 and Megan eked out a one win victory over Colin.
SuperContest Week 1 Recap
Easy money calls on Chicago and Washington. A minor sweat on the Pats, when they decided to throw to a copy of a copy of a copy of Mike Vrabel (meaning #50 will have a tough time catching a touchdown pass if he is on the move or in other words he is a three-toed sloth) from the 1. Really, Belichick? Why try that pass in a game that the outcome was not in doubt. Isn’t a bit more important to try to establish that you can get a tough yard by running the football? I know how dare I question the great Belichick, who undoubtedly has forgotten more about football than I have ever known, but come Billy boy, you haven’t won a playoff game since 2007, which is exactly when you decided you didn’t need to worry about running the football between tackles. Coincidence? I think not.
My two losers – Denver and Tennessee. To me both those games were bad beats, not inside straight on “the river” bad beats, but “river” flush draw bad.
The Titans need a field goal to win and they’re roughly 15 yards away from reasonable field goal range, but instead of playing for the field goal Matthew Hasselbeck decides to go for the win by throwing a ball deep that ironically looked at lot most of Survivor’s Semhar’s coconut shots, weak, wobbly and off-target. Off-target is a bit harsh since Hasselbeck’s ball happen to find a target, a Jacksonville DB. Game over on what was a terrible, terrible decision by Hasselbeck. Jake Locker’s going to get his shot sooner than expected.
As for Denver, just a bad call, the Raiders have more talent or maybe the reality is the Broncos are void of talent. I have like to see what would have happened if Kyle Orton didn’t drop the ball, but rather hit the wide open receiver for an easy touchdown.
LHSC: 3-2-0 (Tied for 75th)
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.
Kansas City @ Detroit (-7.5) – Detroit -7.5? Wow, this is an over-reaction perfect storm. The proof – the Chiefs look like they would have a tough time beating Kansas State, the Lions are now the favorite to win the Super Bowl after beating the Bucs on the road (ok, that is an exaggeration), the Stafford to Megatron combo is set to supplant Young to Rice, the Chiefs lost their best defender on a defense that was already leaky. Further, ingrained in the minds of all bettors is the gang-rape the Bills gave Chiefs last week. Believe me that is a tough image wipe from your memory. All signs point to the Lions huge in this game, right?
At this point, everyone is waiting for the resounding WRONG, but when I tried to make a case for the Chiefs keeping the game close, I ended strengthening the argument for the Lions. Here’s a list of reasons to back the Chiefs:
- Point: Play conservatively by running Jamaal Charles – Counter: the Lions run defense is the strength of their defense
- Point: Burn clock and wait for the Lions to make a mistake – Counter: The Chiefs lost their difference maker on defense in Berry, the Lions would utterly have to implode for this strategy to work.
- Point: The Lions will let down and the Chiefs will be hungry – Counter: The Chiefs won the AFC West last season, I can’t see the Lions letting down or coming in overconfident.
Uh, yeah, this has Lions cover all over of it.
Pick: Detroit -7.5
Oakland @ Buffalo (-3.0) – There are several compelling reasons to take the Bills in this game. The most compelling is that the Raiders play the late Monday game and have to travel across the country to an play early Sunday game in a hostile environment. That is reason enough to play this game, but here are three more compelling reasons:
- I whole heartedly believe the Broncos suck, therefore the Raiders narrow win over them is virtually worthless. Granted the Chiefs are horrible as well, but the Bills pounded them. Big difference.
- The Bills run defense is much better than the Broncos; meaning the Raiders will be forced to throw. Not good for a team that relies heavily on the run.
- Jason Campbell is the starting quarterback for the Raiders – see note above about Raiders needing to throw.
Pick: Buffalo -3.0
Juana Wynner’s Week Two Picks
Chicago @ New Orleans (-7.0) – The Bears will win this one because Ditka, when he was coaching, gave them inspiration to win. I think they still have the inspiration even though he retired.
Pick: Chicago +7.0
Oakland @ Buffalo (-3.0) – On Thursdays Bold and the Beautiful soap opera, Bill Spencer got mad at his son because he didn’t have his work done on time. He then fell behind schedule. I think the Bill S will fall behind schedule as well.
Pick: Oakland +3.0
Seattle @ Pittsburgh (-14.0) – It’s so hard to win by more than 15 points unless you just get really lucky.
Pick: Seattle +14.0
San Diego @ New England (-6.5) – I really want to live in California some day! I would also love to go to SDSU so therefore the Chargers will win.
Pick: San Diego +6.5
St. Louis @ New York Giants (-6.0) – Even though I’ve grown up liking the Rams because my dad likes them, I have a feeling that they are going to get crushed like a juice box.
Pick: New York Giants -6.0
Kansas City +8.5, Jacksonville +9.0, Arizona +4.0, Baltimore -5.5, Carolina +10, Minnesota -3.0, Cleveland -2.0, San Francisco +3.0, Houston -3.0, Denver -3.0, Philadelphia -2.0
Chicago @ New Orleans (-7.0) – Despite what they did to the Falcons last week, I still think Bears are headed towards mediocrity-ville. And the Saints have had 10 days to prepare. You just can’t give Sean Payton 10 days to prepare for anyone.
Yeah, that’s a little tongue-in-check poke at Payton, who for some reason I do not consider him to be an upper echelon coach. But the fact remains the Bears caught the attention of the Saints by whipping the Falcons last week. With this the home opener for New Orleans, I see them rolling the Bears.
Pick: New Orleans -7.0
Jacksonville @ NY Jets (-9.0) – Remember in my NFL 2011 Season wins column how I stated that the Jets “good fortune couldn’t possibly continue”, yeah, I was pretty much dead wrong as again the Jets came up from a fresh, steaming pile smelling like roses last week against Dallas. Think back to Sunday night, do the Cowboys win that game if Jason Garret runs Felix Jones into the line three times from the three instead of running the following plays:
1-3-NYJ3; F.Jones right tackle to NYJ 2 for 1 yard (57-B.Scott)
- Solid play call; with the Cowboys needing a field goal to push the lead to two possessions, no need to get cute
2-2-NYJ2; T.Romo pass incomplete short right to 19-M.Austin
- This play was a mess, Austin couldn’t get off the corner, Romo’s throw was almost picked. Again run Jones into the middle and play for a field goal
3-2-NYJ 2; T.Romo sacked at NYJ 3 for -1 yards FUMBLES, RECOVERED by NYJ
- Ugh! Still a one possession game.
It was at that point, I knew the Jets were heading for victory, despite their anemic offense. The Jets offense managed to gain a massive 62 yards after that Romo fumble, but scored 10 points to win the game. A field goal right there was all the Cowboys needed to secure a very big week one win!
And that’s just how it goes for the Jets, to the point that I am starting to believe, somehow, this isn’t about good fortune, it’s about incompetent opposing coaches, who consistently leave the back door open. And when you leave your back door open the next thing you know money is missing, your daughter is knocked up and your son is addicted to meth! In other words, a lot of bad things!
Pick: NY Jets -9.0
Megan Wynner’s Week Two Picks
Chicago @ New Orleans (-7.0)- I think that the Chicago Bears will win because I like the team colors. Also I think they play faster as a team. Therefore, that might affect how the team plays.
Pick: Chicago +7
Kansas @ Detroit (-7.5) – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because I like their colors. Also I think that lions are really strong. Therefore, they will outplay the other team.
Pick: Detroit -7.5
Jacksonville @ N.Y. Jets (-9.0) – I think that the Jacksonville Jaguars will win because I like their team colors. I also like their mascot. Therefore, I think that they can beat the Jets by communicating more.
Pick: Jacksonville +9
Arizona @ Washington – 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 team colors.
Pick: Arizona +3.5
Seattle @ Pittsburgh (-14) – I think that the Pittsburgh Steelers will win because they won the super bowl in 2008. Also because I like their team colors! In addition, I think they will be able to outplay san Francisco.
Pick: Pittsburgh -14
Green Bay @ Carolina (-10) – I think the Green Bay Packers will win because they won the super bowl this past year. Therefore the Packers will be able to out play the Panthers! Also the Packers team colors and uniforms are cool.
Pick: Green Bay -10
Tampa bay @ Minnesota (-3)- I think that the Minnesota Vikings will win I like their colors. Also I think that they can outplay and communicate more than Tampa Bay! Lastly they have cool uniforms.
Pick: Minnesota -3
Buffalo +3, Baltimore -5.5, Indianapolis +2.0, Dallas -3, Miami +3, New England +6.5, Denver -3.5, Philadelphia -2.0, St. Louis +6
Houston (-3.0) @ Miami – Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall called QB Chad Henne the “White Vick” this week, which is surprising since at the end of last season Marshall called out Henne for being unwilling to improvise, essentially throwing him under the bus. Marshall was also quoted as saying, “Tyler Thigpen is a better fit for this offense.” Now, after one game Henne is the “White Vick”. Hmm, something is smells fishy here. Maybe what Marshall was really trying to say is that since white is the opposite of black, that Henne is the opposite of Vick, as in, he really, really sucks.
The Dolphins have lost 10 of their last 11 home games, so they’re due. Ahh, one week in and we have the first “due” theory play.
Pick: Miami +3.0
The NFC WORST:
Arizona @ Washington (-3.5)
Seattle @ Pittsburgh (-14.0)
Dallas (-3.0) @ San Francisco
St. Louis @ NY Giants (-6.0)
OK, last season we had a 7-9 team win a division (NFC West), host and win a playoff game. That was awesome! But this year, we can do better; we can get a 10-10 Super Bowl champion! For that to happen, we first need a division winner to finish 6-10. Sound impossible? Not with the NFC West’s collection of craptastic teams. Here are the pararmeters:
- All teams beat each other once within the division (3 wins for each)
- Each NFC West team is allotted two wins against the NFC East/AFC North opponents (2 wins)
- The max an NFC west team can win against the other NFC opponents is 1 game
Unfortunately, the Cardinals are already pushing the bounds of these parameters by holding on to clip the Panthers. We absolutely need them to rise the occasion this week against the Redskins by getting behind early and mailing in the rest of the game.
If St. Louis or Seattle were to break through on the road this week that would certainly throw a wrench in this tight plan as well. However, the Seahawks are standing on the train tracks with a train quickly approaching (the Steelers). While the Rams are still suffering from the pre-season championship hangover, which is 100% of the reason they lacked focus against the Eagles. Raising the pre-season championship banner in the pre-game ceremony never works out well for the home team.
That leaves us with the 49ers against a very beatable Cowboys team. At this point, we really cannot trust the Cowboys in any game where Romo is taking snaps. Of course, on the other side is Alex Smith, who is not exactly “retirement score” material. The Boys can’t possible go to 0-2, can they?
NY Giants -6.0
Cincinnati @ Denver (-3.5) – Donkey fans are clamoring for a quarterback change, they want Tebow! So much so that eight huge Bronco fans decided to pull together 10K to rent two billboards imploring coach John Fox and the Broncos to bench Kyle Orton in favor of Tim Tebow. I have to admit, I think this will work. When Fox realizes that these guys essentially are giving up a down payment on a tractor with an air conditioned cab, he will be forced to acknowledge their passion, not to mention their obvious high football acumen and give Tebow the starting job.
My guess is 10K for a billboard is just a start, if Tebow doesn’t the start soon, the next step will be one of these guys telling Fox, “that’s a beautiful wife you have there, it be shame for something to happen to her.” If that doesn’t work, we will graduate to full-fledged kidnapping with a ransom demand of Tebow starts ever game from now until he retires.
I will translate for Broncos fan – “We would rather go 4-12 with a Christian quarterback than 8-8 with that devil worshiping, sinner Kyle Orton.”
As for the game, this is week two “pair” games, where we logically place the paired sides of week one opponents. For example, maybe Oakland is really good this season, therefore, the Broncos are maybe a slightly above average team. Of course, I still have very little respect for the Raiders. Meaning the Broncos are terrible.
The is no reason to believe that Cincinnati, who is practically a mirror image of the Raiders, with a slightly better defense, won’t be able to do exactly what the Raiders did to the Broncos, only without the 900 penalties and special teams breakdown.
Pick: Cincinnati +3.5
Green Bay (-10) @ Carolina – Here is a little known fact for you – the defending Super Bowl champion never cover a 10 point spread on the road, against a rookie quarterback with the first name Cam. That trend is 1-0 for the home team underdog, as of Sunday night.
Pick: Carolina +10
Tampa Bay @ Minnesota (-3.0) – Do you think Mike Shanahan watched the replay of the Vikings/Chargers game and simply smiled every time McNabb threw a pass like the rules of the game dictate that the ball has to bounce once? Me too. And by the end of that game he was probably in hysterical laughing, like “damn, I nailed that.”
Tampa Bay has the feel to me of a team that we will keep saying every, “This is the week they get it together” and then at the end of the season they’re 6-10. They’re so young that they can afford a season where they just failed to meet expectations. But watch out for this team in 2012!
Pick: Minnesota -3.0
Cleveland (-2.0) @ Indianapolis – Pre-season line had the Colts favored by 7.5 points but that was under the assumption that the Browns would handle the Bengals, so we can safely adjust that number to 9.0, which means that if Manning is worth 9.5 points (established last week) and Kerry Collins is worth -1.5 points. It’s never a good thing if a starting quarterback is considered a liability.
The Colts can’t be this bad, can they? I believe this is all a pre-planned ploy to be able to draft Andrew Luck and allow with Payton a couple seasons to groom him. But according to Robert Mathis that is not true. Mathis tweeted this week – “Luck is not our quarterback and we’re not tanking to get him”. Quick, someone let Robert in on the plan!
Pick: Indianapolis +2.0
Baltimore (-5.5) @ Tennessee – Chris Johnson told reporters this week that in the Titans playoff loss to the Ravens in 2008 the Ravens tried to hurt him. Wow, really, CJ, they tried to take out the best player on the opposing team in a playoff game. No way! We have to remember, that was CJ2K, not the 2011 version better known as CJ200, so it makes total sense that the Ravens wanted him out of the game. However, after watching film this week, the Ravens allegedly agreed to try to NOT hurt CJ200.
Anyway, I would think CJ would come out pissed off and ready for vengeance in this. We certainly shouldn’t see any of the week one, “Franco Harris”-esque, two yards and fall down crap, right CJ? We shall see. Fantasy owners need to be very cautious of this guy.
Another interesting point on this game is that the Ravens are currently drawing 89% of the side action, with the second highest number of overall bets (numbers courtesy of pregame.com).
Now, I am no advanced mathematician, but my guess is the Book’s might have trouble making their “quota” if they lose too many games where 89% of the money is backing one side. And back in the old days, I would’ve blindly taken the Titans just for that reason alone, ignoring obvious facts like – a. Already established, but I like to harp, CJ is not CJ, and it’s not close; b. Matt Hasselbeck is not 2006 Super Bowl Matt Hasselbeck. That’s true with every one as they age, but generally while the physical skills deteriorate, the mental skills sharpen. Uh, not with hASSelbeck, as evidenced by the decision to throw that game ending wobbly, inaccurate pass. In addition, Hasselbeck spent most of the day doing his best John Lackey impersonation, screaming at his receivers because they couldn’t catch balls thrown at their feet; c. Mike Munchak looks to be a poor-mans, Mike Tice. That’s not a compliment; d. Much to my surprise the Ravens under Harbaugh don’t suffer the post-Steelers week hang-over; e. MJD ran wild against the Titans, imagine what a guy with healthy knees, like Ray Rice will do to them; and f. Flacco is no Luke McCown. And that is a compliment.
Add it all up and this is a no-brainer. Damn be the action. Plus, my theory on the books is they will get theirs, just not this one.
Further, let’s imagine the following scenario; you’re heading the Vegas, with a pre-defined “loss” limit of $500. Once there you sit down a Blackjack table and proceed to lose the entire $500. You’re more likely to stop gambling, because you tasted no success whatsoever.
Now, imagine that instead of losing $500, you win $500. You just doubled your money, your riding high, feeling invincible, ready to go for “the kill”. But then you start to lose, albeit slowly, first a $100, then $200 more, you keep trying to right the ship, but now you’ve given back all of your winnings plus $200. Frustrated you keep going, but to no avail and you lose $300 more. Now you’re down the original $500.
Now, tell me, which scenario is more likely to see the individual described above dig for beyond the $500? I say it’s a no-brainer, the second scenario. Homey had success, so they know it can be done, just a $200 more can get me back to even. Just $200 more, I can limit my losses. Just $200 more, I know I can win.
The odds-makers have no problem giving away a few freebies early in the season, just to lock in people beyond their “limit”. They don’t want the $500, they want the $1500 and they know you have to spend money to make money. Therefore. . .
Pick: Baltimore -5.5
San Diego @ New England (-6.5) – Here’s a meaningless, but coincidental fact – the Patriots blew out the Bengals last year 38-24 in week one, then laid an egg, at the hands of the Jets, in week two. Last week the Pats blew out the Dolphins, 38-24. Coincidence? I think not!
I am not afraid of a mere 6.5 points with Norv Turner coaching. Repeat I am not afraid . . .
Pick: San Diego +6.5
Philadelphia (-2.0) @ Atlanta – This is my five star NFL game of the century! In fact, I am so confident that this game is a winner that if it loses I will give you the rest of the season for free!
Quick hitting facts about this game:
- The Eagles should be 0-1, but thanks to the Rams utter incompetence they escaped with the narrowest 18 point win in NFL history
- The Falcons are much better than what we witnessed last week
- The Eagles are still getting a ton of action from the betting public; we don’t have to look far for proof of this – they’re favored in Atlanta
- The crowd will be wild, there is nothing like rabid Atlanta fans on a Sunday night; hang on scratch that, I just made a point for the Eagles.
- This will be the game where Julio Jones becomes Wholio instead of Jewelio; i.e. this is his breakout game.
- Those playing fantasy football against Michael Turner this week will get a call Monday morning from their opponent, who will state, “Man, I am sorry, but Michael Turner just scored again!”
- Sunday nights are always tough on Andy Reid, who by the middle of the third quarter the is so famished that the play sheet looks like a menu.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t talk my alter ego into making this one of my SuperContest picks of the week.
Pick: Atlanta +2.0
Colin Wynner calls the winners, no really this week, Colin really calls the winners!
Good Luck to all!