2017 Week 4 Game Picks

It was another rough week for picks last week.  Many games were “upsets” according to Vegas, and equally, some star players struggled for some reason.  Some have attributed the craziness to possibly the protests that occurred, but who really knows?  Regardless, I’m not sure anyone quite knows which teams are good or bad so far this season.

Week 4 sees quite a few games that could easily go either way, so picking them has been a tough job this week.  Hopefully, I can rebound from the lackluster 9-7 of last week.

Here we go!

Thursday, September 28th:

Chicago Bears(1-2) at Green Bay Packers(2-1)

Sunday, October 1st:

New Orleans Saints(1-2) at Miami Dolphins(1-1)

Tennessee Titans(2-1) at Houston Texans(1-2)

Jacksonville Jaguars(2-1) at New York Jets(1-2)

Carolina Panthers(2-1) at New England Patriots(2-1)

Detroit Lions(2-1) at Minnesota Vikings(2-1)

Buffalo Bills(1-2) at Atlanta Falcons(3-0)

Pittsburgh Steelers(2-1) at Baltimore Ravens(2-1)

Cincinnati Bengals(0-3) at Cleveland Browns(0-3)

Los Angeles Rams(2-1) at Dallas Cowboys(2-1)

Philadelphia Eagles(2-1) at Los Angeles Chargers(0-3)

New York Giants(0-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers(1-1)

San Francisco 49ers(0-3) at Arizona Cardinals(1-2)

Oakland Raiders(2-1) at Denver Broncos(2-1)

Indianapolis Colts(1-2) at Seattle Seahawks(1-2)

Monday, October 2nd:

Washington Redskins(2-1) at Kansas City Chiefs(3-0)

To recap, My picks:

  • Green Bay
  • New Orleans
  • Tennessee
  • Jacksonville
  • New England
  • Detroit
  • Atlanta
  • Pittsburgh
  • Cincinnati
  • Dallas
  • Philadelphia
  • Tamp Bay
  • Arizona
  • Oakland
  • Seattle
  • Kansas City

My Record: 31-16 (.6596)

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2017 Week 3 Game Picks

Well, after going an upsetting 9-6 in Week 1, we turned it around in Week 2, going 13-3 in my picks.  That’s more like it!  The first month of the NFL season sets up teams for how the rest of the season could possibly go.  For some teams, the Playoffs already seem to be out of the question.  For others, now is the time that they want to continue their hot start, to further solidify their standing and chances to get into the Playoffs.

This week sees mostly matchups that appear to be one-sided on paper, however it is only Week 3.  Plenty of time for the struggling teams to turn it around, and for the hot-starters to falter.

Here we go!

Thursday, September 21st:

Los Angeles Rams(1-1) at San Francisco 49ers(0-2)

Sunday, September 24th:

Baltimore Ravens(2-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars(1-1)

Cleveland Browns(0-2) at Indianapolis Colts(0-2)

New York Giants(0-2) at Philadelphia Eagles(1-1)

Miami Dolphins(1-0) at New York Jets(0-2)

Denver Broncos(2-0) at Buffalo Bills(1-1)

New Orleans Saints(0-2) at Carolina Panthers(2-0)

Pittsburgh Steelers(2-0) at Chicago Bears(0-2)

Atlanta Falcons(2-0) at Detroit Lions(2-0)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers(1-0) at Minnesota Vikings(1-1)

Houston Texans(1-1) at New England Patriots(1-1)

Seattle Seahawks(1-1) at Tennessee Titans(1-1)

Cincinnati Bengals(0-2) at Green Bay Packers(1-1)

Kansas City Chiefs(2-0) at Los Angeles Chargers(0-2)

Oakland Raiders(2-0) at Washington Redskins(1-1)

Monday, September 25th:

Dallas Cowboys(1-1) at Arizona Cardinals(1-1)

To recap, My winners:

  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Baltimore
  • Indianapolis
  • Philadelphia
  • Miami
  • Denver
  • Carolina
  • Pittsburgh
  • Atlanta
  • Tampa Bay
  • New England
  • Tennessee
  • Green Bay
  • Kansas City
  • Oakland
  • Dallas

My Record: 22-9 (.710)

What To Expect Sunday (w/ Raymond Wright)

**A few days ago, I had someone on Twitter approach me about possibly trying to do a collaboration post.  Sort of a point/counter-point post.  I really liked the idea, so I had him write up something, and we’re going to see how this turns out.  I do request that you comment either on Facebook or Twitter, and let me know how you like this.  If it turns out really positive, I may make this a weekly thing.**

It’s another NFL Sunday.  Week 2.  Week 1 was rough for the Indianapolis Colts.  Actually, it was worse than rough.  No one, not a single fan, player, coach, or executive, could have predicted how bad the Colts would play against the Rams.  Now the Cardinals are coming into town.  What do we expect to happen today?  Here’s my take, and a special guest take from Raymond Wright, or @RizayW on Twitter.

Raymond:

You never want to be the team that others look at and say “at least we didn’t lose THAT bad”.  The Rams domination of the Colts was easily the biggest beat down of the week and that makes predicting how they’ll respond a difficult task.

Or does it?

In a drubbing, such as the Colts received last Sunday, there’s always plenty of blame to be passed around.  It appears that most of that blame was taken by poor Scott Tolzien.  Tolzien, the hapless career back-up, became a starter and was thrust into the starting role behind an offensive line that was declared “fixed” by the omniscient Jim Irsay. Scott “Touchdown” Tolzien has been benched in favor of 12-day Colt Jacoby Brissett.  It was all his fault.  Right?

Looking forward to this Sunday.  We have to think it’ll be a better product on the field than last week.  It couldn’t possibly be any worse.  I think it could be.  I don’t expect much out of Jacoby Brissett.  He’s proven he has talent, but he still doesn’t know the playbook.  Some fans write that off and say, “He’d still be better than Tolzien”, but I don’t think many people realize what not knowing the playbook entails.  He drops back to pass and he doesn’t know where the receivers will be.  He doesn’t know which side to hand the ball off on.  He doesn’t even know how to call the plays.  It’s possible he’s learned quite a bit this week, but we shouldn’t expect much offense this Sunday. “But he led the Colts only TD drive last week!”  Listen, he heaved the ball in the air and it was so overthrown that Donte Moncrief had to bail him out, making a great catch while fighting off a defender.  Jeff George could have done that.

So, if we won’t expect much offense we’ll have to rely on the defense right?  That idea makes every Colts fan cringe.  I was impressed with the defense for a few plays last week.  Don’t pay attention to the numbers.  The Rams had bad rushing numbers, but it was because they were running out the clock the entire second half.  What I was impressed with was that they showed up in difficult situations.  T.Y. Hilton fumbled on the Colts OWN 25 and they end up forcing the Rams to punt.  They did get a sack, and newcomer John Simon did a great job setting the edge on rush plays.

What will we see this week?

The Cardinals like to throw.  They like to throw deep and if it’s not there they like to dump it off to their running backs.  Can anyone name the Arizona Cardinals tight end?  With David Johnson out, expect Carson Palmer to have to drive the offense.  That’s an advantage for the Colts.  Palmer has become a statue.  If the Colts secondary can cover the short routes, the rush will get there.  Even if the rush doesn’t get there, Palmer will have to dump it off to someone not named David Johnson.  I’m okay with that.

I expect the Colts offense to struggle.  The playbook will be severely limited for Brissett. Expect a lot of run plays and plays designed to get him out of the pocket and look downfield.  It’s hard to imagine the Colts’ line being able to give him time to stand back there making reads.  It’ll be 3-step drops or rolling out on most pass plays.  We’ll see a lot of draw plays, and if the offense really struggles, they may even bring Tolzien(GASP!) in for a series or two.

Predictions:

Daniel:

I looked at last Sunday as an indictment on this organization.  For several years now, Jim Irsay hasn’t done what has been apparent to the fans.  The leadership with this team is atrocious.  Sure, the players like their coach, but who cares?  This is the NFL.  If the players are so fragile that they need a coach that is nice to them, takes it easy on them, and congratulates them on something as small as a preseason win, then I don’t want them on my football team.

This week, Brissett should be starting.  He better be starting.  However, again showing the ineptness of this coaching staff, Chuck Pagano has not officially announced the starter.  The Colts cannot afford to try to trot Scott Tolzien back out there, when they take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium at 1pm.  Unless, the goal is to get booed before kickoff.

The Colts caught a huge break this week when the Cardinals moved David Johnson to the Injured Reserve.  Had David Johnson been healthy for this game, this game wouldn’t be close.  He would easily put up almost 200 yards on the ground, and multiple TDs.  Fortunately, the Colts instead get a rapidly aging Carson Palmer, a rapidly aging Larry Fitzgerald, and virtually unknowns in the running game.

In order for the Colts to have a shot at winning this game, Brissett has to shine.  He has to come out commanding this team, leading from the first kickoff.  He can’t turn the ball over, as any sort of mistake might give Pagano a stupid idea, and result in Tolzien coming into the game.

The defense has to take advantage of the Cardinals age.  They can’t give Palmer time to find his receivers.  They need to be rushing the QB from the on-set.  The Cardinals running backs are capable, but I don’t believe that they are something that the Colts should really stress about.  If the Cardinals win this game, it’s going to be by taking advantage of the Colts awful defensive backs.

The Colts offense will be better than last week.  The defense needs to be stronger than last week.  The struggle is going to be overcoming the awful gameplan and playcalling, something that the Colts have had to try and overcome since Chuck Pagano came to town.  The Colts cannot afford to get down by two scores before they start to play, because Brissett is not Andrew Luck.  All in all though, the Colts will lose.  Chuck Pagano doesn’t win within the first two weeks of the season.

Predictions:

  • Brissett contributes 2 TDs
  • Marlon Mack shines
  • Palmer looks young again
  • Cardinals win 27-21

Danica Patrick Out At SHR: Is This It?

Yesterday, Danica Patrick made it public that her time at Stewart-Haas Racing would be coming to an end following the 2017 season.  The move didn’t really come as much of a surprise, as many have felt that this season was “do or die” for the 35-year old female driver.  She has had sponsorship trouble really ever since GoDaddy ceased their partnership with Patrick in 2016.  Also, despite being on one of NASCAR’s top teams, her performance has yet to improve, with her best season being 2016, where she averaged a measly 22nd place finish.  The highest that Patrick ever finished in points standings was 24th in both 2015 and 2016.

Patrick showed a lot of potential when she made the jump from IndyCar to NASCAR full-time in 2012.  In her only full-time season in NASCAR’s junior series, Patrick was able to finish 10th in points and put together several runs that had a lot of promise.  Unfortunately, her fortune in the then Nationwide Series never transferred to the Cup Series.  Her greatest achievement in Cup will seemingly forever be her earning the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500.  In that race, Patrick showed that she could hang with the big boys, eventually finishing in 8th place.  However, that race would be the only race that she would finish in the Top 10 all season.

The question now is where does Danica Patrick go from here?  Does she move to another team within NASCAR?  Try to go back into the IndyCar circuit?  Or potentially even calling it quits on a career that, even though it lacks some statistics, is still the most successful of any woman in racing (with exception to drag racing).

I hope that in time, Danica Patrick will be appreciated and honored for what she has meant to both IndyCar and NASCAR.  There were women before her that broke the barrier into the “boys club”, but what Danica did was show the world that women could be competitive in motor racing.  She has inspired little girls to dream big.  Thanks to Danica, we may see more women grow up and fight to get into motor sports.

Sadly, I say in time, because I know that in the moment there are still fans that never liked the idea of a woman on track.  I still see comments on social media on a daily basis from fans of NASCAR that have never liked Danica.  They like to claim that it has something to do with her hype, and her getting all the attention.  Stop lying to yourselves.  You truly never wanted a woman to be able to stand next to Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty, etc. and be seen as equals.  There are still MANY men in the world that sadly cannot deal with women being successful.  To those men, I say learn how to be a man yourself, before you have standards for what women can do.

Danica can drive.  This is the same woman who rightfully could, and probably should, have won the Indianapolis 500 in her first attempt in 2005.  In 7 Indy 500s, she finished in the top 10 6 times.  The one time that she didn’t finish in the top 10?  She was involved in a pit lane crash.  Even in stock cars, she had races where her driving ability was highlighted.  The notion that Danica only got her job because of how she looks, is asinine and laughable.  She earned her rides in both IndyCar and NASCAR.

Danica Patrick was a storm when she burst on the scene in Indianapolis in 2005, and the storm rolled all the way into NASCAR.  While the storm may be dying off, her contribution to women in motorsports will be felt for years to come.  Instead of bashing her, try to spend potentially her final 10 races of her life appreciating what she has done.

Danica Patrick, if your curtain call is in November in Miami, I just want to say that it’s been a privilege.

Thank you for setting an example for little girls everywhere.

You won’t be forgotten.

NFL RUMOR: Andrew Luck Wants Out Of Indy?

This morning on ESPN’s Mike Greenberg(Greeny) of Mike & Mike reported a rumor that Andrew Luck is not happy with the Indianapolis Colts, and even went so far as to suggest that he may ask the team to be traded.  Greenberg stated that this rumor was “common knowledge” among NFL writers, and that while he wasn’t saying it’s true, it’s basically true.

Luck’s agent later said Wednesday that the claim is completely untrue, and that Luck is committed to the Indianapolis Colts.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, since Luck just signed a 5-year extension, making him the highest paid player in the NFL at the time, last year.

While these claims are completely unfounded, I can’t help but question just how possible this is.  The Colts are going nowhere fast.  The offensive line is still a dumpster fire despite the front office repeatedly stating that they have “fixed the line”.  The defense still has seen very little improvement despite Pagano being a “defensive minded” coach.  In what should be the prime of Andrew Luck’s career in the NFL, he is dealing with a surgically repaired shoulder, an O-line that is seemingly trying to get him killed, a coach that is going to be fired at some point this season or off-season, a brand new GM, and an owner that seems to be more interested in his own profile, rather than the team’s.

I can’t say I would blame Luck at all if he did decide that he wanted out of Indianapolis.

That being said, Luck is a fantastic man.  He has never struck me as someone who would speak ill of his teammates, coaches, or organization.  Does he get frustrated?  Who wouldn’t?  However, he appears to be committed to the mission that the Colts laid out for him when they drafted him 1st overall in 2012.  He wants to win championships here, and I truly believe that once he gets healthy, and Chris Ballard has an opportunity to really rebuild this team, they can threaten for championships like we saw in the mid 2000s.

Which brings me back to this rumor.  When I first heard it this morning, I was immediately frustrated.  I personally am not a fan of Mike & Mike, and this kind of “reporting” didn’t do them any favors.  Many people already feel that the show is just there to stir the pot, and not actually provide any sort of facts or insight.  Coming out and saying something like this on a nationally broadcast radio show is just irresponsible.

Mike Greenberg simply wanted to make a huge story (which he could have been trying to divert attention away from the Jemele Hill story, but I’m not touching that).  It worked for him.  The story consumed Indianapolis sports media today.  A story that never should have been.  Greenberg simply wanted to get clicks.  Well done.  He sacrificed credibility, for fame.

Andrew Luck isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  Don’t burn the jersey.  Don’t panic.  He’ll be back eventually, and we can hopefully forget this ever happened.

2017 Week 2 Game Picks

As is customary of the NFL, Week 1 of the season had everything.  Close games, blowouts, and upsets.  As teams start to really come into mid-season form, we will see the cream rise to the top, as usual.

I had a sub-par Week 1, only going 9-6 in my official picks.  I’m looking forward to a possible big bounce back this week.

Let’s do it!

Thursday, September 14th:

Houston Texans(1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals(0-1)

Sunday, September 17th:

Cleveland Browns(0-1) at Baltimore Ravens(1-0)

Chicago Bears(0-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers(0-0)

Minnesota Vikings(1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers(1-0)

New England Patriots(0-1) at New Orleans Saints(0-1)

Philadelphia Eagles(1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs(1-0)

Tennessee Titans(0-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars(1-0)

Arizona Cardinals(0-1) at Indianapolis Colts(0-1)

Buffalo Bills(1-0) at Carolina Panthers(1-0)

New York Jets(0-1) at Oakland Raiders(1-0)

Miami Dolphins(0-0) at Los Angeles Chargers(0-1)

San Francisco 49ers(0-1) at Seattle Seahawks(0-1)

Washington Redskins(1-0) at Los Angeles Rams(1-0)

Dallas Cowboys(1-0) at Denver Broncos(1-0)

Green Bay Packers(1-0) at Atlanta Falcons(1-0)

Monday, September 18th:

Detroit Lions(1-0) at New York Giants(0-1)

To recap, My winners:

  • Cincinnati
  • Baltimore
  • Tampa Bay
  • Pittsburgh
  • New England
  • Kansas City
  • Tennessee
  • Arizona
  • Carolina
  • Oakland
  • Miami
  • Seattle
  • Washington
  • Dallas
  • Green Bay
  • Detroit

My Record: 9-6 (.600)

2017 Week 1 Game Picks

It’s finally here!  Week 1 of the NFL Regular season!  No more backups playing most of the game, these games matter!  This season is sure to be full of surprises, like every season.  One team will come out of nowhere, while several teams will likely take steps backwards.  Thus is the life of an NFL season.

I thought about changing it up this season, and picking games against the spread set by Vegas, but I’ve decided to start the season with just straight up picks.  I may change it up at some point this season, but that is yet to be decided.

So without further ado, here we go!

Thursday, September 7th:

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots

Sunday, September 10th:

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins  **Game Postponed to Week 11 due to Hurricane Irma

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions

Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

 

Monday, September 11th:

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

To recap, My winners:

  • New England
  • Buffalo
  • Philadelphia
  • Oakland
  • Houston
  • Arizona
  • Atlanta
  • Cincinnati
  • Pittsburgh
  • Indianapolis
  • Green Bay
  • Carolina
  • Dallas
  • Minnesota
  • San Diego

My 2016 Final Record: 173-92-2 (.6554)