Friday, September 21, 2007

Sox September Swoon & Week 3 Picks

The Sox are sputtering, yet nobody seems to take much notice. After all, they're already in the playoffs, right? Yeah, and if you feel good saying that to yourself, then you can't see the dog fight through the trees, my simple minded friend. You can call it the return of the curse if you like, or you can just call it what it is, a complete and epic reversal of fortune. All season long, it was the Sox that avoided injuries, and kept getting big performances from "supporting" players to carry the load. Fast forward to now, and you have Okajima, Ortiz and Ramirez all dinged up, and not to mention minor injuries to both Crisp and Youkilis. The pen is imploding, the bats have gone silent, and thanks to some questionable managerial moves by Tito Francona, the Yanks are knockin' on the AL East door, and the team looks as though even if they do make the "tournament", they're gonna get smacked harder than Matt Clement's face.

No disrespect intended to the Yanks, who have put the pressure on by going 45-21 (.682) compared to the Sox 37-29 (.561) since the All Star break, but this is basically all on the Sox if they collapse and lose the division.
That being said, it's a lot easier to stomach the Sox choke job with the way the Pats have exploded out of the gates. After totally dismantling both the Jets and Chargers to the tune of 38-14, you can virtually lock in the fact that the Pats will win by just as much at home this week against the hapless Bills. If they beat San Diego and New York by 24 each (and one of those was on the road), then what's to say they can't at least do the same against the 0-2 Bills? It may look like a big point spread now, but it won't when the score is 42-3, and Matt Gutierrez is lighting up the Buffalo practice squad. Next up, we have the Chargers, fresh off their spanking in Foxborough, traveling to Green Bay. The Packers have been solid so far this year, but this is simply a case of the AFC being better than the NFC. Ask yourself, do you think we're gonna see the SD that beat the Bears, or the one that lost to the Pats? My answer? Green Bay aint New England, and I'll just leave it at that. The Falcons are quickly becoming the "oh who are they playing this week, cuz I'll take that other team!" squad of '07. It looked like Cleveland, Oakland and KC had potential, but you Atlanta, you're the winner. So naturally, I'm taking the Panthers. I know it's the nutty NFC South, where nothing ever seems to happen as it should, but I'm just hoping this is one week Jake Delhomme and crew burn the opposing secondary, and not me. In the next game, Indy V Houston, I found myself flip flopping quite a bit. I told you before the season that the Texan D would help them win more games than most thought, and that's why I'm going with them here. I know Andre Johnson is out, but I just think 6 points is a lot to be giving a divisional rival at home. I'd feel a lot better if the number were 8+ in case of a blowout, but I think the Texans are gonna run on the smallish Indy defense, the same way Tennessee did, and keep it close. My final game of the week, is one that is sure to determine the front runner for 2007 NFC champion. I like the Cowboys a lot, but I think their suspect secondary is ripe for the picking, even by Not So Sexy Rexy and the Bears. OK, maybe Rex still sucks, but my real conern here is Tony Romo vs the vaunted Bears D. I know Romo has been solid so far this year, but he still hasn't proven he's all that great under pressure. And you better believe there's going to be a plethera of Chicago defenders in the backfield with him all year long. The Boys are prolly better suited for a long run come post season, but for this week, I like the Bears to hold court with some nasty D, and prolly a defensive or special teams touchdown.

Finally, there's the Monday night tilt between the struggling Saints, and the inconsistent Titans. I like how the Titans can run the ball, and I like how Vince Young steps up in big games, so I'm taking the road dogs, and the 4.5 points. Now, just to warn ya, I was burned on Monday night last year by the Saints in their first '07 home game (vs Atlanta), but I just feel a different vibe this time around. The pathetic Saints offense could burt out of the gate, riding high on emotion, but even if that does happen, I like the Titans to keep it close...

Week 3 Picks
San Diego Chargers (-4.5) @ Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots (-16.5) vs Buffalo Bills
Carolina Panthers (-4) @ Atlanta Falcons
Houston Texans (+7) vs Indianapolis Colts
Chicago Bears (-2.5) vs Dallas Cowboys

Monday Night
Tennessee Titans (+4.5) @ New Orleans Saints

Overall: 3-7-2 (.333)

Now, I understand that you're losing faith in my Nostradamus-like abilities after my first two weeks, but I give you this as a ray of hope. In my Top 25 College Pick 'Em pool, I lead the pack with a record of 37-22-1 (.625). So, there is some knowledge in there, somewhere. The goal now is to harness it, and guide my positive energy in the right direction. I feel big things comin' baby, big things. (note: I usually say that, and check my record out. That glass is half as full as a motha fucka!)


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