Mwahaha. I got back in to OliveSatire. To be fair, I was only trying for like 20 minutes, the hiatus can’t be blamed on me missing the password for the blog. It can be blamed on Sonya moving to NY, my general lack of content worth blogging about, laziness, Mitt Romney, the declining dollar. In any case, I’m not here to make excuses (although they were pretty awesome), I’m here to talk football. NFL football to be specific. Although, I did catch a clip of the lingerie league and it was….interesting. I really didn’t expect them to hit each other so hard, but I digress.
So the purpose of this (hopefully, but I mean my track record would suggest otherwise) weekly post is to save my twitter followers, my girlfriend, my best friend, and everyone else my continuous ranting about the NFL. I may even live blog a game or two. You know, once I figure out what a live blog is, how to do it, and decide that it’s something I should do with my time. Although it probably won’t be this week, because I’m going to be weeping most of it (i’ll get there later on). So i figure the format for these blogs will be to talk a little about last weeks games, maybe hit a few headlines of the week (gee I wonder where I’ll go this week…cough monday night football cough), preview a few games of the coming week complete with the spread for any gambling readers (Yes Steve, maybe you’ll listen to me next time and not put money against Randy Russell Wilson and the Seahawks Defense!). I also want to include every week a discussion of top 3 and bottom 3 teams in the league as I think this will be interesting to look back on (for me at least) as the season goes on. Since I think at most 3 people will read this, feel free to comment, especially about the top 3/bottom 3 thing, because I think it’s interesting to see where other people see the state of the league.
Games of last week
Carolina 7, Giants 36 AND Jets 23, Dolphins 20
So I wanted to lump these two together for two reasons. 1) There isn’t so much to say about either game, they were both messy, but the Giants are better than the Dolphins, hence the difference in results. 2) 3 of the 4 teams in these games (not the Giants) share a common problem, the one that will be the Panthers undoing this year. They cannot play from behind. All of these teams are designed to be able to set the pace of the game. When you are trailing, you are forced to alter your pass/run ratio in the favor of pass, your operating leverage increases thus increasing your chance for failure. whoa i blacked out and started talking accounting there. What I mean is, you go for higher risk/higher reward plays that don’t pan out. Running the ball is safer. The Panthers especially, but to a lesser extent the Jets and the Dolphins, are designed to run the ball, then when appropriate have Cam Newton roll out of the pocket, throw to his tight end, or complete a play action pass. This is not an offense that is designed to run the ball only 20 out of 55 plays. That’s not the Cam Newton (or Mark Sanchez, or Ryan Tannehill) blueprint to success. Unfortunately, Carolina is the only team in the league who has given up a TD on all three of the opening drives against them. Additionally, they play Atlanta next week, the only team that has scored on all three opening drives. You know another team that can’t play from behind…..
Minnesota 24, San Francisco 13
The Niners may be designed in the same way as the Panthers. Alex Smith can’t be asked to win you a game. He can play short passes, screens, he’s brilliant at that. Thankfully, and this isn’t the case with the Panthers, the 49ers defense is going to provide him with what he needs much more often than it does not. What happened in Minnesota on Sunday is that we found out that Adrian Peterson can still go and Christian Ponder is not to be trifled with. Like I said before the season, the NFC North is the best division in Football, followed (surprisingly) closely by the NFC West.
Let’s talk quickly about the refs because I really don’t want to rehash my twitter feed or ESPN, but the games I watched were so atrociously called that I really was tired of watching. The patriots ravens game on sunday night seemed like the worst reffed game ever until I saw the Monday night debacle. Look, Jennings from the Packers caught that interception, any way you cut it, but Russell Wilson should never have gotten to throw the pass. There was a bogus roughing the passer call a few plays before that negated a great packer interception. I like the seahawks a lot, i picked them to win a wild card, but they should have lost this game. I think the media has run with this ad nauseum, I just hope it gets the officials and the NFL to the bargaining table. The fact that this is about 50 million dollars, the NFL wanted to take away the pension of the referees, it’s all just disgusting. Roger Goodell is the worst commissioner in sports. We go from bounties—a debacle where the NFL far overreacted, then overturned its player suspensions, didn’t touch the coaches, ruined the Saints this year, looked weak and powerless. Then he preaches player safety while having the replacement refs and asking for an 18 game schedule. Goodell is just really really bad. Who woulda thought Bud Selig would be the best commissioner, and he’s always seemed bumbling and clueless. Actually, the more shocking thing is that Gary Bettman is still better than Roger, which is also amazing cause the NHL is locked out for the second time in 10 years.
San Fran (+3.5) at NY Jets
Oh boy this could be really ugly. Or, it could not. This really goes one of two ways. Either everyone (myself included, I picked a 49ers/Texans SB) is right about SF and they come in and mop the floor with the Revis-less Jets. Or, we saw the real SF last week in Minnesota, with a scared Alex Smith and receivers that really had trouble getting open. Unfortunately, they still have Frank Gore, the Jets couldn’t stop a nosebleed if it knew how to run between the tackles.
The one positive I’ll say about the Jets (since I bleed green and white, I need to say something): 6 teams need to make the playoffs from the AFC. Name me 6 quality AFC teams right now. Houston then who? New England, Baltimore, maybe Oakland or Denver (someone has to come out of the AFC West and right now, I really think they should just lose their playoff bid out of mediocrity). Name me wild cards then? Buffalo? Come on now, that’s pushing it. My point is, the Jets could sneak in because the AFC is garbage this year. I wish I had realized this before the Revis injury, i’d have been much more stoked about the season.
Pick: SF 21 Jets 10
Minnesota (-6) at Detroit
I’m all in on Minnesota. Ponder looked special and the Lions look more unimpressive than ever. Tennessee looked competent against them and that’s saying a lot. I like the Vikings to ride the SF momentum and slaughter Detroit. The only concern is the D-line of Detroit getting serious pressure on Ponder. He doesn’t seem to do great when pressured.
Minnesota 35 Detroit 28
NY Giants (+2) at Philly
Ah Philly. Who isn’t enjoying this right now? When I made my bet that Michael Vick would start less than 12 games this year, I figured it was because he’d be Michael Vick and get hurt. However, after the Giants defensive line makes him fumble twice (over/under on Michael Vick turnovers, 3.5, you gotta take the over), he may lose his starting job to the rookie Nick Foles (which, who the hell is this guy? ESPN did 2000 years of draft coverage and I didn’t hear his name once. Now he’s the guy who tore up the preseason and will be starting for the Eagles by the end of the season? Come on now ESPN, that’s just sloppy). The Giants proved that no matter who is hurt, they have a team. It was kind of awe-inspiring to watch random bodies off the street continually do well. Andre Brown was cut by like 12 other teams and then had over 100 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns against Carolina. These division rivalry games are always intense, but I think the Giants win by at least 2 TD’s here and maybe (hopefully) Vick is pulled by the end of the game. To be clear, that is why I’m watching it!
Giants 35 Eagles 14
Top 3 Teams
2. San Fran
Atlanta isn’t perfect. They have no running game, they really don’t cover well. But their defense is tough, the line is strong, and Matt Ryan after 3 games is the MVP. SF had a setback against Minnesota but they are still amazing, that Defense is still going to win them a super bowl and I still think they’d beat Atlanta in a game. Houston is really good, but they benefit from an easy schedule. I love Peyton Manning, but the Denver defense is garbage, they have no run game, and Peyton can’t throw it more than 20 yards well. In short, McKayla is not impressed. Show me Houston beating someone who is really good and I’ll be a believer again. (although, they are in the AFC, see my Jets wishful thinking above)
Bottom 3 teams
I really really wanted 3 to be New Orleans. But the Colts defense is just so terrible, it’s really laughable. Additionally, the offensive line of Andrew Luck is going to kill him. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t miss at least a game this year. Cleveland also has no defense and Brandon Weeden just looks scared and confused. If they do what they did last week and run the ball well with Richardson, they will not be on this list again. The likelihood of this, obviously, is low. Finally, the poor Redskins. RGIII looked so good in week 1 but the truth is that he has no team around him. No one. Alfred Morris is barely capable. The line is terrible. His best receiver is out and even when he’s back, when your 1 is Pierre Garcon, you’ve got problems. Defensively, they weren’t great to start with and then have been just decimated by injury. RGIII is exciting to watch, he still may win rookie of the year and they may win games by his sheer force of will, but this is a bad football team. New Orleans is awful too, but they just may not be quite as bad as these 3, I’m hoping to include the Saints next week (you can tell I’m a bit biased, no?)
So that’s it, I hope you enjoyed and have a nice week of football and such.