How’s it going folks?
First, an apology. I am sorry that there wasn’t a week 7 post. I had a few reasons for this. One, I had stuff to do. Two, I really wanted to spare my readers from the Jets/Patriots preview. This would have been absurdly biased, no one else in the league would have gotten covered, it would have been horrendous. So, lets get right into it….
Pats 29, Jets 26
So here’s your bias. The Jets looked so damn good (relatively). The Patriots got a few extremely favorable calls (and non-calls, like the BRADY RULE YOU&#(&(F(W) and the Jets had a huge drop by Stephen Hill on the potential game winning drive (which I would tear his ass apart for, but he had a really solid game leading up to that). The patriots, on the other hand, looked horrendous. Look, the defense made Mark Sanchez look really competent and the offense couldn’t do anything even though we didn’t have Darrelle Revis. This Pats team is not that good, the AFC is wide open.
San Francisco 13, Seattle 9
This was a defensive battle. Both of these teams looked really good too. The Seattle front four are really quick, hard hitting. I don’t think that you are disappointed coming off this game as a Seahawks fan. I also really don’t know that I feel quite as excited as I was if I’m a 49ers fan. They are good, but I’m still a bit uncertain about Alex Smith, I don’t like how he can’t seem to utilize Randy Moss or Mario Manningham. I still think this is a great team, but in the stacked NFC, I’m just not feeling quite as great about my super bowl pick (especially after they got man handled by the Giants).
A quick note about the Carolina Panthers
I don’t have a lot of commentary about the Panthers game against Dallas in this post because I didn’t watch it and, reading recaps and stats, I don’t really feel like we learned anything new about the Panthers. This is a poorly put together roster that lacks depth on defense and doesn’t really have an offensive identity. Now, with Ryan Kalil, Jon Beason, and Chris Gamble out for the year, the Panthers are really not in a good position going forward. This week, Carolina fired their GM, Marty Hurney, in a move that probably should have happened when he overpaid DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart at the RB position. A good rule of thumb for GMs is to never overpay at RB because they break down so easily. Stewart is hurt every year and DeAngelo has really lacked production. If I’m GM of the Panthers (a job I would take in a heartbeat by the way), here’s what I do:
1) See if I can trade Williams or Stewart. One of them is a feature back with Tolbert as a nice 3rd down/goal line guy. This triple threat thing is unnecessary especially when you have a battering ram as a QB (i’ll get to him in a second).
2) Since you have to think this team is going to draft high, You draft a blue chip CB or safety. The secondary is atrocious on this team, it’s really the hallmark of a defense. They have needs at linebacker (although Luke Kuechly has been phenomenal, he needs help!) and on the defensive line. So I take back what I said, really take the best defensive player available with your pick.
3) Spend money on your defense and a solid 2 receiver (although I like LeFell and I think that if the situation is a receiver or defensive players, you can go defense and play with LeFell).
4) I’d sit with Cam Newton and just show him game after game of Ben Rothlesberger. In the news this week, people were comparing Cam to Vince Young and then people said that was a racist comparison. It is. They’re nothing alike, the comparison is because they are black and mobile. But Cam is a HUGE QB, the proper comparison is Rothlesberger. He’s so hard to sack and unbelievable on the run. I think he’s still going to be amazing, but he needs to work on his decision making and the panthers need to give him some weapons (see point 3)
So, Jerry Richardson, I come pretty cheap and I’d be a better GM than you’ve had since Bill Pollian.
One more quick point: The verdict on Ron Rivera is still to come. You want to see if he can right the ship this season and part of keeping him would depend on who else I could get. If I thought I could get Rob Ryan, Rex Ryan, or some dream coach like Bill Cowher, then i’d probably fire Rivera. But, as it is, people won’t be clamoring to come to Carolina and I really don’t think Rivera has been awful.
Philadelphia (-2.5) vs Falcons
holy crap. I had to check this line seventeen times before I believed it. Las Vegas is favoring Dog the Bounty Hunter and his lovable group of terrible football players against the 6-0 Falcons? Look, there is no amount of money that is inappropriate to bet on this game as long as it is against the Eagles. I’d bet every dollar I have in the bank if I didn’t think my girlfriend would break up with me (surprisingly, probably less for the gambling than betting on the hated Falcons—although gambling is not distinguished). In any case, I predict that this is FINALLY the game where, after his multiple fumbles and interceptions, Michael Vick is benched, destined for his role starting in 2013 for a strong upstart UFL franchise. Arena league? Is that still a thing? See ya Vick, I really will miss rooting against you for your entire career.
Pick: Falcons 35, Eagles 10
Giants (-1.5) vs Cowboys
So when the odds in Vegas opened for this game, the Cowboys were favored by 2. But, for those of you who don’t really care or understand betting, lines change depending on how people bet. So, there were so many people betting on an underdog Giants team that they eventually shifted to a favorite. Look, I don’t feel as strongly about this as I do about the Falcons/Eagles game, because the Cowboys always pull big games out of their asses against the Giants and we’re about due for the Giants midseason collapse that makes ESPN write them off so the Giants can sneak into the playoffs and knock the Falcons out in the first round. It’s so common now, I almost feel like you can print the t-shirts. However, all of that being said, I’m not gonna pick against the Giants because they have still been so good this year it’s scary. I will say this: If the Giants do what they should do against Dallas, then tell me who is more deserving of the MVP than Eli. The answer is no one, this is a team that most people didn’t think would win the division and now they are the best team in the NFL. Once you vanquish your rivals twice in one season and your team is winning the way this Giants team is, you are in the MVP conversation.
Pick Giants 28, Cowboys 17
(additional over/under bet: 4.5 Jason Garrett coaching decisions that make cowboys fans want to throw shoes at their TV. I’ll take the over)
Bottom 3 teams
I finally feel like I’m starting to get a handle on this league. The Jaguars are a bad team. They are so bad that I think they might legitimately be in Tim Tebow trade discussions, because when my starting quarterback options are Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne, I’m willing to try anything. That was just said by a diehard fan of a team who’s starting quarterback is Mark Sanchez. The Bills are shockingly inept, I really thought they’d be a wild card team this year. The defense is overpaid and alright at best (and that’s a stretch, they really aren’t good) and I think, besides the exciting Spiller weeks, the offense is legitimately bad. They have pieces, Spiller/Jackson are nice players (by the by, I’d be trading Fred Jackson if I were the GM of the Bills), I like Stevie Johnson and I’ve always really really enjoyed Brad Smith. I think Buffalo needs to make amends with the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick is not an NFL caliber starting quarterback. He just makes terrible decisions on a semi regular basis. If I’m a Buffalo fan, I’m petrified, not because my GM doesn’t know this about Fitzpatrick, but because he does. There’s a shockingly high possibility that Michael Vick is in Buffalo next year. While i’d love that because I’d get to laugh and enjoy Darrelle Revis intercepting him 12 times a year, this is terrible for the Bills.
*Note*: A friend of mine suggested to me that this offseason the Jets blow up the QB position and go for an available vet, maybe one by the name of Michael Vick. The chances of this are approximately 0.5% but, given that we traded for Tim Tebow, I feel I need to put this in writing. If the Jets starting QB in 2013 is Michael Vick, I’m officially out as a Jets fan. Finished. I’m buying a Cam Newton jersey and full time supporting the Panthers, because the Jets are officially the worst run team in professional sports if that happens*
Back to regular programming: Tennessee had a great game last week, but I’m not buying the “Chris Johnson resurgence” quite yet. I made fun of my best friend for picking him up in fantasy and I still feel this to be true. Tennessee has Indy next, if CJ can do something against that defense then I’m willing to give them a shot.
Best 3 Teams
I’m enamored with this Giants team. I feel as if I’ve fallen in love (not quite, Eli will never make me feel quite the same way as Sonya does). This Giants team is really good. Scarily, they are only going to get better. As Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw recover from injury, that will free Victor Cruz up as a slot receiver. This team is really really scary. The defense is so solid as well, although there are a few questions in the secondary. SF has been a solid team although they got spanked by the Giants. Atlanta is undefeated and probably should be the top of this list, but they won 2 games to Carolina and Dallas that they really should have lost. They didn’t look impressive and I don’t think they could stay on the field with the Giants.
Thanks for reading, enjoy the games this week!