Sunday, December 11, 2005

NFL News, Notes and Week 14 Picks

*That's 12 wins in a row and counting. After going 7-0 the week of Thanksgiving, I followed that up with another perfect 5-0 last week. Coincidence? I think not. I never usually chose the Patriots, but since they did well by me last week, I'm sticking with them again. As for the rest of the games? I won't lie when I say I have trouble justifying my picks. But they are what they are, and that's been working for me lately! Is it possible to stretch my streak to 17 in a row? We will have to wait and watch.*

Week 14 Picks
New England Patriots (-3.5) over Buffalo Bills
Kansas City Cheifs (+3.5) over Dallas Cowboys
Carolina Panthers (-5.5) over Tampa Bay Bucs
Washington Redskins @ Arizona Cardinals under 40
Denver Broncos (-14) over Baltimore Ravens

Monday Night
Atlanta Falcons (-10) over New Orleans Saints

Record: 43-21-3
Monday Night: 8-6-0

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
*Not to say that the Indianapolis Colts have had an easy schedule up until now, but it's only going to get tougher from here on out, starting with this week's tilt with the Jaguars. Indy came out on top earlier in the season 10-3 in a defensive struggle, but now the Jags are riding a 5 game winning streak despite the loss of QB Byron Leftwich a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago I looked at the stretch of games that the Colts have to finish their season. After this game they still have to play Seattle and San Diego. When I looked at these games earlier in the year when the Colts were cruising along and figured they would have to lose one of them. But, much like this week, as each game actually comes up, I find myself chosing Indy. So as much as I would like to think that the Jaguars can pacify the '72 Dolphins and hang a loss on the Colts record, I just don't see it happening this week.

NFL News and Notes
*Eric Moulds has been suspended by the Buffalo Bills for aparently talking back to an assistant coach during the team's come-from-ahead loss last week. Mould's will not receive a check for the game either. Oh wait, aren't the Bills in the AFC East? It seems as though they are. So seeing as nobody besides the Patriots are even going to come close to making the playoffs in the East, I DO NOT CARE.

*Jim Mora made a switch in the secondary for the Falcon's Monday Night game against the New Orleans 'Aints. Bryan Scott, who had started all the games so far this season, is being benched in favor of Ronnie Heard. Atlanta currently is 9th in the NFC with 13 INTs, of which Scott only had 1. More of the problem may be that they also rank in the lower half of the conference in passing yards allowed per game at about 200. The move can't hurt for two reasons. One, it can motivate Scott, and the rest of the defense. After an embarassing loss last week to Carolina, the defense needs to step up if the team has any hope of advancing in the playoffs. Two, Mora could be letting his team know that just because they are playin the hapless Saints, doesn't mean that how they have been playing lately will be good enough to get the job done.

*Coming into week 14, there are 6 teams that have winning streaks of 5 games or more. On top of course are the Colts with 12 and the Bears and Seahawks with 8, and they are joined by Jacksonville, San Diego and the surprising Vikings all with 5. Now I don't have a stat to back this up, but this is the first time I can recall so many teams on such long winning streaks. Conversely, only three teams (Texans, Jets, 49ers) are currently on losing streaks of at least 5 games, the highest of which is the Jets with 7. What does this all mean? I'm not really sure. Everyone always talks about parity being what makes the NFL so great. The ability for any team to go on a run keeps fans all around the country hoping that this season may be the one for their team. So do these winning streaks mean that there are only a frw dominant teams? I don't think so. I think its just a quirky stat that will work itself out once some of these teams start to cool off, and others start to make their push for the playoffs.

*Kerry Collins has officially been demoted as the Radiers QB, and the job has been given (at least for the rest of the season) to Marques Tuiasosopo. Collins has a record of 8-17 as the starter for the Raiders the past two seasons, and the franchise figures its time to call this season a wash and start searching for the right guy for next year. Don't be surprised to see 3rd Rd pick from Arizona St., Andrew Walter start getting some snaps also in maybe a mop-up role, or if Tuiasosopo should get injured. Many view Walter as the QB of the future in Oakland and are anxious to see if his success in college can translate into the pros.

*Ricky Williams, as a former Heisman trophy winner, has the right to vote for the winner of the award every year. Earlier this week he said that instead he gives the vote to his mother. Some people have criticized Sticky Icky Ricky, saying what does his mother know about football? Or that she didn't earn the right to vote and therefore shouldn't be allowed. All I have to say is, Ricky was probably high anyway, so I think he was better off having a sober person cast his vote for him. Note: Ricky thinks his mom voted for Cedric Benson last year (Matt Leinhart won).

College Basketball Top 10
1. Duke (9-0) 1
2. UCONN (7-0) 2
3. Louisville (5-0) 3
4. Villanova (6-0) 5
5. Texas (8-1) 4
6. Memphis (7-1) 8
7. Florida (9-0) 9
8. Oklahoma (5-1) 10
9. Boston College (6-1) 5
10. Illinois (10-0) NR

just missed: Washington, Gonzaga, Indiana, UCLA
dropped: (7) Indiana

**A man in Cranston, RI opted to put a tribute to Paris Hilton on his front lawn this holiday season instead of traditional ornaments. Now, its his right to put a skank wall on his property, as much as its the right of some of his neighbors to complain about its inappropriateness. However, one man, Ron Raffonelli may want to get his facts straight before commenting. After saying he would rather his kids associate Christmas with Santa Claus rather than naked women, he then added in regards to St. Nick: "After all, he's been around longer." Now I don't claim to be a historian, but I'm fairly sure that nude women out date the jolly gift carrier by quite some time. But again, I'm not a historian.**


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