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Friday, December 31, 2010

NFL Week 17 Picks: Time to Tackle A Whole New Year...


Happy New Year, friends, and welcome to the final abbreviated Rooch Nation of 2010...

Now, originally, I had planned to open this week's post with the question, "When is a sack NOT a sack?", to give you all a glimpse at the latest fantasy injustice tossed my way. (HINT: It involves a tie, a stat correction, and the misuse of an NFL rule BY the NFL)  But then I figured, hey, it's the New Year, man.  Time to let old grudges go, and go head first into yet another fresh start.  So instead of boring you with news that would probably make you swear of fantasy sports for life and question whether or not I may be some sort of evil wizard, I'll hit with some good news instead.  Good for me, good for you, just flat out good news all the way around...

Sebastian Vollmer: BEAST
That news is, that on Monday January 3rd, from 6-7 pm, I'll be interviewing New England Patriots offensive tackle, Sebastian Vollmer, LIVE from Cardi's Furniture in S. Attleboro.  A broadcast that can be heard in and around the Providence area on 790 AM, and all over this great world of ours on www.790business.com.  SO come on down, tune in, or if you can, hit me with some 'dirt' on Sebastian to help make the interview even that much more interesting.  Pretty much, any support of any kind would be much appreciated, and I know the good fans of Rooch Nation won't let me down...

But before we get to the New Year, there's still one small piece of business to take care of.  The final picks of the 2010 NFL regular season.  I had a particularly strong week last week, and you best believe I plan on bringing that positive momentum with me into 2011...

So good luck to you all, my damies.  And here's to wishing you all a safe New Year's Eve, and a happy and healthy 2011...    


Week 17 Picks
New England Patriots (-3.5) vs Miami Dolphins

Atlanta Falcons (-14.5) vs Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions (-3.5) vs Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers (-5) @ Cleveland Browns

Oakland Raiders (+4) @ Kansas City Chiefs + UNDER 44

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+8) @ New Orleans Saints

New York Jets (-1) vs Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals (+10) @ Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos (+3.5) vs San Diego Chargers + OVER 46.5

Green Bay Packers (-10) vs Chicago Bears

Arizona Cardinals (+6.5) @ San Fransisco 49ers

Indianapolis Colts (-9) vs Tennessee Titans

Philadelphia Eagles (-3) vs Dallas Cowboys + UNDER 43.5

New York Giants (-3.5) @ Washington Redskins

Houston Texans (-1) vs Jacksonville Jaguars + OVER 48.5

St. Louis Rams (-3) @ Seattle Seahawks + UNDER 43.5



Last Week: 14-7-0

Top Picks: 73-61-3 (.544)

Overall: 143-106-5 (.561)

LOCK OF THE WEEK: 10-10-0


Catch you in the "Once", kids.  And that's NOT the word once.  That's Espanol for "the eleven".  Cuz, yeah.  That's what we're gonna be callin' it.  Now let's get down to the bottle poppin' and ball droppin'!...

Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

Friday, December 24, 2010

NFL Week 16 Picks: Rex Ryan & The 'Feets' of Strength


Whether it's Christmas, Kwanzaa or a Festivus for the rest of us, chances are right about now your cup is about to runneth over with holiday cheer.  But before you start to "rain blows" upon your fellow shoppers as you frantically search for that one final item, or maybe after you've opened all of Santa's delicious treats and you've begun to unwind, kick back and enjoy the 1st of two abbreviated holiday versions of Rooch Nation.  They may not have the bells, whistles, and trannys that you've come to expect, but they'll still keep you up to snuff on my picks of the week, and hopefully help in my own way to make your holiday season all the more merry...or happy...or whatever is considered acceptable or politically correct these days...

So sit back, relax and kick up your feet...then take off your socks, grab your video camera, toss in a few sexually suggestive phrases, and then it's off to the Internet!  No no no, wait.  That's only for Christmas at the Ryan household.  What I'm offering, is a light snack as you head off on undoubtedly many a journey over the river and through the proverbial woods.  Ya know, because we're all short on time, but we all still need to feed that need.  Hell, I don't even have time today to properly air my grievances, which is an integral part of celebrating Festivus!  That's probably a good thing, cuz "I got a lot of problems with you people!"...

Nah, I'm only foolin'.  Merry Christmas, everyone.  And here's to you all having a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season...

Good luck, friends.  And God speed...  


Week 16 Picks
Buffalo Bills (+8.5) vs New England Patriots

Dallas Cowboys (-6.5) @ Arizona Cardinals + OVER 44.5

Chicago Bears (-1) vs New York Jets

Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) @ Cleveland Browns + UNDER 39

Kansas City Chiefs (-5) vs Tennessee Titans

San Fransisco 49ers (+3) @ St. Louis Rams

Detroit Lions (+3.5) @ Miami Dolphins

Washington Redskins (+7.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Cincinnati Bengals (+8) vs San Diego Chargers + OVER 44

Denver Broncos (+2.5) vs Houston Texans + OVER 47

Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) @ Oakland Raiders

Green Bay Packers (-3) vs New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks (+6.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers + UNDER 44.5

Philadelphia Eagles (-14) vs Minnesota Vikings + UNDER 44

Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) vs New Orleans Saints


Last Week: 8-9-0 (Top Picks: 4-5-0)

Top Picks: 59-54-3 (.522)

Overall: 129-99-5 (.568)

LOCK OF THE WEEK: 10-10-0

"Hey Cougar, you wanna see the pole?"

I'll be back in the new year with the debut of my College Hoops Top 25, and I'll be back next week with another edition of picks, but until then feel free to follow my holiday journey live on Twitter at @RoochNation.  It's gonna be a wild one, but as long as I don't get cut off by a Plymouth, I figure I should be good to go...

Ho Ho Ho, my damies!  And a final Merry Christmas to you and yours...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

Friday, December 17, 2010

NFL Week 15 Picks: It's Christmas on Crack...


IT's late December, and it's more or less more of the same.  It's bitter cold out, a Nor Easter is on it's way, and with the shopping days quickly dwindling, the roadways and retail outlets have been turned into what I'd imagine Bloodsport on Ice would look like...

It's the holiday season, kids, and all that comes with it.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Well, that is unless you're a Boston fan, in which you've only been experiencing the "good".  In New York, however, they seemed to have skipped right by the "bad", and steamrolled their way right on into the "ugly".  And while I'm usually one that revels in my own team's success rather than in my opposition's demise, even I can't help but take a smarmy satisfaction in the way the holiday season has been panning out...
Frank Dukes!...on ice?!?!?

While the Patriots have been world beaters on their ascent to the top of the NFL, and the Red Sox have signed 2 of the most coveted free agents on the market, the Jets have been busy embarrassing themselves at every turn while the Yankees have had to publicly lick their wounds after striking out with Cliff Lee.  HELL, even the Celtics beat the Knicks in agonizing fashion!  Ahhh yes.  It's the way the holidays always should be.  A gentle, picturesque Winter for New England, full of magic and wonder, and a season full of brown slush and busted candy canes for the good people of New York.  Pretty much, we get presents, and they get coal.  Well, at least the few in that city that actually celebrate Christmas.  For those that don't, feel free to substitute "coal" with "undercooked Chinese food", and you'll start to understand what I'm talking out...

IT may not be a Christmas miracle, the way the last month has gone so lopsidedly in favor of those from the Original 6, but make no mistake.  It's like Christmas on Crack, around here.  All the magic of Christmas, but with that extra little rush that you would get after smoking a big fat bowl of crack....or so I've been told...

But crackhead or not, I'm here to ride that merry wave of good tidings to not only a holiday worthy performance with this week's picks, but also hopefully put my fantasy team in position to leave me a little extra somethin' under this year's tree.  That's right, you're gonna hear about my fantasy team again.  But hey, it's freakin' Christmas time, man.  So cut me some yuletide slack already...

So to recap.  Everyone in New York is going to have a crappy Christmas, everyone in Boston is going to have a great Christmas, and my fantasy team is going to do more work than a bunch of elves on meth.  OR crack.  Yeah, at this point we might as well just stick to the theme...

Ho Ho Ho, my damies, and I wish you all nothing but the best as we hit the holiday home stretch.  Enjoy...        

Week 15 Picks
New England Patriots (-11) vs Green Bay Packers

The source of all my joy, while at the same time, being the source of all my indecision.  Mostly because Aaron Rodgers is my starting fantasy quarterback, but we'll get to that later on...

At this point, with the Patriots, they've just become one of those team's that you don't DARE bet against.  No matter what the spread.  Not only have they won 5 in a row for the 2nd time this year (much like my fantasy team) but in winning by an average of more than 21 points in those 5 games, they've taken all the mystery out of whether or not to pick them to cover the spread.  The only mystery here, is whether or not Rodgers is going to play, and even if he does, I feel safe enough with that 11 points to again take the Patriots as my LOCK OF THE WEEK.  They're just playing too good right now...

And while I'm at it, I have to props to my good buddy, Josh Astin, who almost one month ago to the day told me "Hey, tell people in your blog that it's gonna be a Pats/Saints Super Bowl, and the Pats are gonna win.  Ya know, so they won't have to worry about that anymore".  Amazing, right?  And prophetic in more ways than 1.  Not only do I now agree right now with his prediction, but I think it's prudent to point out that the style of play that has the Pats cruising right now is eerily reminiscent of the way the Saints played last year on their way to winning the Super Bowl.  A high powered offense that's as well balanced as it is efficient, and an opportunistic defense that almost seems to come up with game changing plays as if they were scripted out.  It's a dangerous combination, to say the least, and the reason why everyone and there brother is goin gaga over the Pats right now.  And rightly so...

I won't even give a "with Rodgers" and "without Rodgers" score.  The Pats are gonna cover, plain and simple.  But just for posterity's sake, how about Pats 41 Packers 17.  There...




Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) vs New York Jets

I remember reading somewhere that when it goes bad for coach's with Rex Ryan's "ra-ra" style, it goes REAL bad REAL fast.  That place, was right here at RoochNation.com...or possibly @RoochNation on Twitter, I can't remember.  And while my thoughts may not have been totally original on that topic, it seems that those of us who prescribed to that theory are beginning to see what we thought all along would most likely happen.  The team is playin' like crap, they're coachin' like crap, and more or less they're just flat out embarrassing themselves...

WE KNOW THAT EVERYONE ELSE DOES SHADY SHIT, BUT YOU GOT CAUGHT!!  And when you get caught, you have to deal with the consequences, and move on.  Or in the immortal words of Don Corleone you need to "ACT LIKE A MAN!"  You don't bitch and moan about how you got screwed because (whiny voice) "Ehhhhh well everyone else is doing it!"...

It all comes down to adversity eventually showing one's true colors, and while I don't think the Jets have reached the point of no return, they're definitely teetering on the brink.  I'm not in love with the size of the point spread (feel a lot better at 3-4), but just like with the Pats, I'm choosing to ride the momentum.  Just so happens in this case, that Polar Rex-press is headed in the opposite direction as Bill B. Hoodsworth and his band of merry men...

Now let's go have a God damned candy cane...


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6) vs Detroit Lions

The photo above not only embodies the focal point of my fantasy football agony, but it also serves as a good reason to take the Bucs over the Lions as one of my Top Picks...

Detroit was at home, hyped up for a division rival, and even after they knocked their QB from the game, they still could only win by 4...and only score 7 points, to boot.  Now granted, I know that Tampa has one of the worst run defenses in the league, and that can always keep an opponent in the game, but Detroit's running game is so banged up (as is most of it's offense) I don't even see that happening.  It's also important to note that, at 8-5, the Bucs really need this win to keep pace in the NFC playoff race. Incentive, always a good thing...

So even though they're only a modest 3-3 at home this season, I see no reason why they should have any trouble beating the hapless Lions, who are basically Ndamukong Suh an a bunch of Teds.  Oh, and Detroit being winless on the road this year doesn't exactly hurt either...


Atlanta Falcons (-6) @ Seattle Seahawks

OK, if the Falcons cover this week, then I'll officially be sold on them as a legit contender.  They're only 2 losses this year have come on the road, and they're playing against a notoriously (and shadily) good home team that's (shadily) fighting for their playoff lives.  So despite being 11-2, they still have something to prove, at least to me, and they can go a long way towards doing that with a convincing win in Seattle.  Then you'll really start to hear the Matt Ryan for MVP and the Mike Smith for Coach of the Year talk start to heat up.  There's no way Matty Ice takes home the hardware (paging Tom Terrific), but I'd give Smith a 1 in 3 shot up against Raheem the Dream and Steve Spagnuolo.  Yeah, no Belichick.  It's one of those awards that doesn't like to continually reward excellence.  No real beef on my part, it's just the way it is...and why those awards mean SHIT and should almost never be considered when talking Hall of Fame or stuff like that...  


New Orleans Saints (+2.5) @ Baltimore Ravens

From a team I'm still waiting to convince me, to one that I feel certain is headed for glory.  That team, of course, is the Josh Astin approved New Orleans Saints...

They've won 6 straight, 2nd only to Atlanta's 7, and with players starting to come back healthy and getting into rhythm, it's a frightening probability that they're only going to continue to gel and get better.  That's probably what Josh saw happening all along, so we'd be wise to take advantage of his predictional prowess while we still can...

Baltimore still hasn't proven to me that they're elite, and coming off the short week the Saints are the smart play.  Ya know, if the whole "Josh said so" logic didn't have you swayed...


Oakland Raiders (-6.5) vs Denver Broncos

The AFC West has been this year's NFC South for me.  Just when I think I have the power structure figured out, the team's go out and play the exact OPPOSITE of what I predicTED.  Nevertheless, I'm not deterred.  And despite having been burned by the Raiders as favorites nearly EVERY time I've picked them this year, it's a little piece of Fantasy intrigue that has me riding so high on the Silver & Black...

See, when Aaron Rodgers went down, and it was clear I would need to make other plans at QB, I scoured the waiver wire looking for viable options.  Then, I took that information to my most trusted advisers (yes, even I ask for help on occasions such as these), with the outcome of those discussions being that I replace Mr. Rodgers with Oakland QB, Jason Campbell.  Seemed like a sound enough plan considering, so I gladly made the move.  Then, as is want to happen in situations such as these, new information became available.  Not only were there reports that Campbell may be experiencing pain due to "stingers", but news emerged that a certain defense would be without their best player this week.  And it just so happened, that defense has the worst numbers against the pass in the entire NFL, and the QB they were set to face, was coming off a game in which he threw 3...count 'em...3 touchdown passes.  Oh, and it just so happens that particular QB was sitting right there on the waiver wire.  One peg down from Alex "the PIG" Smith...



Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans OVER 46

...That man's name, is Kerry freaking Collins.  With Houston DE Mario Williams being ruled out, and the Texans giving up BY FAR the most passing yards in the league, passing on Collins (puns everywhere) just became too hard to do.  Campbell is a solid option, too, but with all that's at stake, I figured it was a better play to go with the grizzled veteran.  Sure, he might be good for 2 picks, but I'm also bankin' that he's good for 2-3 TDs.  Wishful thinking, perhaps, and doubly so since I'm taking the OVER here, but it's the type of move that seems just crazy enough to work...

Then again, the last time I picked the OVER of a game my fantasy QB was in, he got concussed and the game total fell more than 30 points short. I also joked after making the pick that I had just doomed the game to be 13-10, so needless to say I won't be making any of those flippant remarks here today...

Kerry Collins.  I remembered when you were drafted, and now you have a grizzled beard and can barely move.  LET'S DO THIS, BUDDY!  Let's do it for OJ McDuffie and Kijana Carter, all your Penn St. brethern that never had the shot at unlikely fantasy glory.  And most of all, let's do it for Rooch.  God knows he's earned it, that crazy bastard...     


Jacksonville Jaguars (+5) @ Indianapolis Colts + OVER 48

Two things seem to happen every year in the AFC South.  Peyton Manning leads the Colts to 10+ wins, and Jack Del Rio somehow overcomes a sloppy start to not only keep his job, but look like a genius.  This season, only one of those things is gonna happen.  Which one, you ask?  Well you're smart, aren't ya?  Take a look at the pick and see if you can figure it out...

And if you can't, here's a hint. "CUT THOSE WINS! CUT THOSE WINS!"  



Here's a look at the rest of the slate, or "sleight" for those that are Christmas-ly inclined.  Should the Dolphins win, they could be well on their way towards doing their part towards the most hilarious conspiracy this side of the grassy knoll, but I'll get to that next week as the story continues to unfold.  And this week, in lieu of my usual smattering of scantily clad coeds, I give you a special holiday treat.  A bunch of half naked chicks doing their best to give Christmas that little somethin' extra.  Oh, and if you can spot the tranny, you might just get a little somethin' extra from me under your tree this year!...

..../I ain't givin' any of you shit, but one of those chicks is totally a dude.  Happy hunting!...


Cleveland Browns (+3.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins UNDER 47.5

New York Giants (-2.5) vs Philadelphia Eagles + OVER 48

Carolina Panthers (-2.5) vs Arizona Cardinals

Miami Dolphins (-5.5) vs Buffalo Bills

Kansas City Chiefs (-1) @ St. Louis Rams


Monday Night




Minnesota Vikings (+6) vs Chicago Bears

Speaking of shady QBs.  If you thought Kerry Collins would be the weirdest QB I might be starting in my Fantasy lineup this week, then you my friend would have been sadly mistaken.  That's right, like many other fantasy junkies, I've taken advantage of a Yahoo! loophole, and added likely Viking starter, Joe Webb, to my team as a WR/QB.  Meaning even if he starts and plays at quarterback, which it appears as though he will, I can still start and play him at wide receiver on my Fantasy team.  Quite the coups, if it actually pans out, with surprisingly very little risk.  At least in terms of my league's scoring.  But I won't bore you with that...

That being said, I'm not picking the Vikings to cover on Monday because I think Joe Webb is going to light the world on fire, and in doing so, lead my fantasy team to the title game for the 3rd time in 4 years.  Nope, what's got me siding with Minny in this spot are the crappy conditions these teams are set to play in.  With the Metrodome still...well, collapsed, this game's been moved to Gopher Stadium.  And lemme tell ya, the scene there ain't pretty. IT's frozen tundra like you read about, and very reminiscent of Veteran's Stadium from the not too distant past.  To put it simply, the playing conditions are gonna be awful.  And we all saw how the Bears played in crappy conditions, even when they were at home.  I trace it back to their head coach, Lovie Smith, and how he doesn't do well preparing his teams.  It's cost them in the past, and it will cost them again here against the Vikings.  It might not cost them the win, but in my mind it's going to make it mighty tough for them to cover that 6 points...

Now, I just need to decide it it's Webb, or Danny Woodhead, that I choose to lead my team to glory.  A decision I'm hoping I won't have to make until I have my place in the finals all wrapped up...


Last Week: 10-6-1 (Top Picks: 3-5-0)

Top Picks: 55-49-3 (.528)

Overall: 121-90-5 (.572)

LOCK OF THE WEEK: 10-9-0


So here's to you, my fellow Christmas Crackheads.  And here's to hopin' that Saint Nick puts down the pipe just long enough to make all your Christmas dreams come true...or at least long enough to slang a few presents down the chimney without breaking into cold sweats...

Happy Holidays, everyone!


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

Friday, December 10, 2010

NFL Week 14 Picks: Here Comes Theo Claus...


If I didn't know any better (and I don't), I'd be pretty freakin' sure that Theo Epstein was a regular visitor to RoochNation.com.  I mean, how else can you explain the sudden influx of top tier, free agent talent?  I call him out for his perceived lack of movement, and BAM!, he up and signs Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.  And sure , I guess you could point to the fact that it was because he was "at the Winter Meetings" OR that "this is the time of year that this stuff happens", but I'm choosing, per usual, to believe that I somehow had some sort of karmic and/or cosmic influence on the Red Sox latest signings...

But that's me, and I'm selfishly delusional when it comes to sports.  It's something I've been trying to work on as I advance in age, but believe me when I tell you it hasn't been easy.  Especially when I'm constantly bombarded with positive reinforcement such as this.  But like I said, that's my problem, and there's nothing about the latest news coming out of Boston that should prove even remotely problematic...

Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, baby.  It's been one Hell of a week...

And while I don't want to dwell on this news, and pick it apart right away, I will tell you that I'm officially beyond excited for the 2011 Major League Baseball season to start.  I mean, I would have been, anyway, but now I'm really pumped and more or less anxious.  IT's like a 1st day of school type deal, with Adrian and Carl serving as my new backpack and trapper keeper respectively.  These two players improve the Red Sox as much as any players possibly could, and believe me when I tell you their impact is going to go well beyond their numbers, and even beyond their play on the field...

Let me just put it this way.  I heard a fan say, in the wake of the Crawford signing, that "these moves make at least one of the Sox top pitchers a favorite for the Cy Young".  And you know what?  Not only do I agree with that statement, but I'm searching the Interweb as we speak to see if I can find pitching staff Cy Young odds so I can throw every penny I have on the Boston Red Sox.  That's the type of powerful and wide ranging impact I expect these two guys to have...

Yeah, it's gonna be epic.  SO epic, in fact, that I'm not even upset that these moves will throw a serious wrench in my Fantasy Baseball plans.  Then again, I'm sure I'll be able to say or do something in the meantime that could throw the cosmos back in my favor...

So good work, Mr. Epstein.  OR should I say, 'Theo Claus', and keep on keepin' on.  You make a lot of moves that I don't quite understand, but it's moves like these that serve as a constant reminder that there is indeed a method to your madness.  Which is always a good thing.  Even if sometimes your madness includes a gorilla suit and a guy named David Jonathan Drew...

Speaking of madness, it's getting down to it in the NFL, and with only a quarter of the season left to go, every play and every point becomes more and more magnified, and more and more significant.  So in an attempt to sort out the madness, and give you fine folks some extra holiday spending money, here are my picks for Week 14.  Enjoy...      

Week 14 Picks


New England Patriots (-3) @ Chicago Bears

I haven't yet had a chance to publicly react to the Pats thrashing of the Jets (unless you read my piece on WPRO.com), but let me tell you right off the bat that the win didn't excite me nearly as much as it seems it did everyone else...

Don't get me wrong, it was a huge win and an impressive performance, and during the game I was hootin' and hollerin' right along with everyone else.  But in it's aftermath, what did we really learn?  Well, we learned that when the Pats play a perfect game at home, and their visiting opponent plays like absolute ASS, then they're going to light it up like...well...like it's dyn-a-mite.  Nothing wrong with that, it's just I'd like to see something more.  As I've been saying all week, I know it sounds dumb, but I would have rather the Jets played great and the Pats only beat them by 3-10.  At least then I'd have a good idea of how they're going to play in a playoff type atmosphere.  This week, they should get that chance...

On the road, against the 9-3 Bears, should prove every bit the test that the game against the Jets was supposed to be.  I know fans around here are to prone to chuckling when the names "Jay Cutler" and "Mike Martz" enter a conversation, but that doesn't make this team any less dangerous.  Add in the fact that the Pats are coming off a short week after playing on Monday Night, and that's all the more reason that this team and this game should not be overlooked...

Lucky for we Patriot fans, I don't think any of that is going to end up being an issue.  I know Bill Belichick has  spent all week, as is his want, polishing Martz's knob and making the Bears sound like the best team ever, but that still shouldn't take away from the fact that not only is New England the better team in this match up, but they're the ones that come in playing the better brand of football.  Even if they're only one game better than the Bears at 10-2...

Expect Tom Brady to continue his trend toward the Patriot offense of old, where he compliments the run game with short passes and spreads the ball around to his cache of weapons.  (Something, I might add, that he's been able to do so effectively this year due to the stellar play from the offensive line.)  That should keep the Bears off balance, and hopefully playing catch up right from the word go.  And we all know that's exactly the position you want Jay Cutler and the Chicago offense to be in.  You want them to have to pass the ball to beat you...

Problem for the Bears is, they most likely won't be able to.  Not because the Patriot defense is so prolific (though it has drastically improved), but because unlike Mike Martz offenses of the past, this Chicago team just isn't built that way.  This one should follow more to the script I provided last week, I just wouldn't expect quite as much scoring.  Pats run out to a big lead, then hold on in the 2nd half to win comfortably enough  that while you may fear them not covering the spread, you'll never be questioning whether or not they're going to win the game...

Patriots 30 Bears 24.  Bears get a late TD, but can't get the onsides kick, and the Pats become the 1st team in the NFL to nail down a playoff spot.  Matter of fact, I'm so confident in this one that I'm gonna return to form here and once again name the Patriots as my LOCK OF THE WEEK.  It's been the kiss of death around here, this season, but hopefully a playoff clinching road win will be just what the good doctor ordered...    


Green Bay Packers (-6.5) @ Detroit Lions + OVER 46.5

Much like the Patriots, the Packers are another team that's playing well at the right time of year.  Something I figure they'll continue doing this week when they visit Detroit.  And since I figure this one to be more or less a blowout, taking the OVER seems to be a good play here as well.  I figure either Green Bay runs out to a big lead, and Detroit scores enough there to get the back door cover, or it's a shady shootout where in the end Aaron Rodgers and the Packer offense prove too much for Detroit to handle.  That's why I like both the 6.5 and the OVER so much.  Any time you can picture a certain result coming for a number of different reasons, it's usually a good thing...

Then again, I probably just guaranteed that this thing will end 13-10, or some shit.  And if it does, maybe you'll be drinkin' the "Rooch unintentionally runs the sports world" Kool Aid, too.  Hopefully it won't come to that, but if it does, I have to warn you.  That Kool Aid may be delicious, but I'm fairly confident it's laced with something.  And by "laced", I mean the main ingredient is drain cleaner.  Hey, I figured if it works for Meth cooks, who am I to question it, right?  Right...


St. Louis Rams (+9) @ New Orleans Saints

The Saints offense does seem to be clicking right now, but that hasn't exactly equaled blow out wins as it did a year ago.  Combine that with the fact that I've had great luck picking the Rams as underdogs this year, and that more or less made up my mind to take ST. Louis and the healthy 9 point spread.  And while they're both probably going to win the awards respectively anyway,  an upset win here would all but nail down Coach and Offensive Rookie of the Year for Spagnuolo and Bradford...


New York Jets (-5.5) vs Miami Dolphins

Much like the Patriots, we'll know more what to make of that 45-3 outcome on Monday Night after the Jets and Dolphins do battle this week @ the new Meadowlands...

If the Jets bounce back, and I suspect they will, the Pats came may come to serve as a reference to a turning point of sorts in New York's season.  If they don't bounce back, and by that I mean they don't convincingly beat Miami, then the MNF game will still serve as a reference point, just not one that will ever be looked upon with joyous reflection.  Matter of fact, it's quite possible that we'll one day point to that game as the beginning of the end for Rex Ryan.  Where his 'ra-ra' style finally ran it's course.  I don't think we're quite there yet, hence why I'm not picking the Dolphins, but I'd be lying to you if I didn't say I still expect that to happen.  Just not this year, and definitely not this week...


Cleveland Browns (+1) @ Buffalo Bills (AKA the 'Remember When People in Our Town Had Jobs Bowl')

Maybe it's because they killed the Patriots, or because Peyton Hillis has been such a source of Fantasy intrigue, but it seems that week after week the odds makers give the Browns much less respect than they deserve.  I mean, I know they're only 5-7 and 2-4 on the road, but to list a team that's in seemingly EVERY game and riding a 2 game winning streak as a 1 point underdog against the 2-10 Buffalo Bills just doesn't seem to make a ton of sense to me.  And while I've taught you all in the past that a good secret to picking games is to always pick the opposite of what you think when you think the line looks a little weird, I'm choosing to throw caution to the wind and go with Hillis and the Browns...

The real question here should be; Whose fans are more miserable?  That would probably be a straight up "pick 'em", and I'm tellin' you right now I'd have to think long and hard before coming out with a winner in that Tedfest...


Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) vs Philadelphia Eagles + OVER 50.5

While I wouldn't go so far as to peg me as a guy who thought Jason Garrett would fail as head coach in Dallas, I've still be pleasantly surprised at his success.  Then again, I'm not going to go nuts over the performance of a guy that's essentially got nothing to lose...

That all being said, the fact that this team hasn't given up on it's season, despite all the issues they've had, has been pretty damn impressive.  I know they're professionals and whatnot, but it's still refreshing to see when so often it's not the case.  That's why I like their chances this weekend at home and on Sunday night against Mike Vick and division rival Eagles.  With Tashard Choice and Felix Jones finally providing a viable running game, and Jon Kitna proving to be a pretty effective game manager, they might not be playing at the Super Bowl level that many had them at before the season, but they've definitely been in the top 1/4 of the league since they cut ties with Wade Phillipps...

That's why I'm choosing to roll with them against the Eagles.  Neither team is "great" right now, so with the Cowboys at home and in prime time, I'm giving them the edge in what I predict will be more or less a shootout.  And while I know that "shootout in prime time" strategy has exactly been fruitful for me in the past, I see a real track meet in this one that could have that OVER/UNDER being tested at halftime...

"Let Dandy Don take the throw, Hank"
Oh, and you also have to love Dallas at home for the 1st time since the passing of former QB and Monday Night Football icon, "Dandy" Don Meredith.  The guy was on King of the Hill, for Christ's sake.  He was a Texas institution!  IF they don't win this sucker for him, well then that would just be downright un-Texas of them.  And we all know there's no motivation better than team pride, no matter how intangible, to but an underdog over the top in a big game...

Then again, Mike Vick's all about puttin' dogs "under", so this one could get real tricky if you read to much into it.  Which I'll conveniently avoid doing by moving on to the rest of this week's picks...


No college games on the slate this week, so instead of saucy coeds dressed in their Saturday sexiest, you'll have to settle for the silicon laden professionals.  Not that I don't like implants.  Hey, boobs are boobs.  It's just that when it's the college girls wearing the barely there team gear, it just seems to be a lot sexier.  Maybe it's the statutory-esque taboo attached, I'm not sure.../I'm sure, and that's exactly what it is...

Enjoy, my damies...

New York Giants (-1.5) @ Minnesota Vikings

Cincinnati Bengals (+9.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) @ Washington Redskins

Atlanta Falcons (-7) @ Carolina Panthers

San Diego Chargers (-7) vs Kansas City Chiefs

Jacksonville Jaguars (-4) vs Oakland Raiders

San Fransisco 49ers (-4.5) vs Seattle Seahawks

Arizona Cardinals (+5.5) vs Denver Broncos


Monday Night


Baltimore Ravens (-3) @ Houston Texans

Rounding out the action on Monday Night, we have the Baltimore Ravens.  Or as I like to call them, the AFC's Atlanta Falcons.  I say that, because all I hear about is how complete and dangerous these teams are, yet I've never really seen it on the field.  And trust me, it's not due to not having seen them play...

So, while I'm leery of the fact that the (5-7) Texans might be treating this as their "last chance" to salvage their season, I'm more inclined to believe that this will be the showcase Baltimore's been waiting for to show the rest of the league just how good they are.  Besides, Houston's been a mess lately, losing 5 of their last 6, so there's no reason to think that just because it's Monday Night Football they'll be able to turn it all around.  Granted, stranger things have happened; like 340 pound Haloti Ngata (above) somehow getting in position to run with the bean.  I just don't see them happening this Monday Night in Houston...



Last Week: 10-8-0 (Top Picks: 4-4-0)

Top Picks: 52-44-3 (.540)

Overall: 111-84-4 (.568)

LOCK OF THE WEEK: 9-9-0 (.500)


There you have it, friends.  Christmas came early for Red Sox fans this week, and I hope that by heeding my advice, you too will get a little somethin' extra in your stocking this week just for good measure...

Ho Ho Ho, my pimply wimplys.  And have a great weekend...


Teddy Williams...
100...
@RoochNation

#$>

Friday, December 03, 2010

NFL Week 13 Picks: Welcome to The Red Zone...


The Red Zone.

We hear that, as sports fans, and we immediately think of two things.  The area between the 20 yard line and the end zone, and that delicious channel that keeps us up to the second on everything going on in the NFL on game day.  Two very good things.  But may I suggest adding a 3rd meaning?..

I say "the Red Zone" should be added to the lexicon to represent the area we all find ourselves in right now.  The precious few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas that have come to define the holiday season.  I mean, for all intents and purposes, this is "the Red Zone", isn't it?  Pressure is at a yearly high, the color read is everywhere, and the much like on the football field, this is a time where risk and reward tend to go hand in tinsel draped hand...

So in the midst of all this Red Zone madness, allow me to yet again offer you respite by taking a few items off of your already piled high holiday plate.  And while I won't pick up that gift you meant to get for your 3rd cousin with the weird eye, or throw together a fruit cake that you can take to your Christmas party, I will set you up with all the picks you'll need to get your holiday season started off right, and to make sure your "Red Zone" doesn't quickly turn into a "Ted Zone"...

Also, I know I've made promises in week's past to keep you up to snuff on the MLB off season and the latest in college hoops, and while I won't be coming with it this week, I still advise you keep on eye open.  It seems Theo Epstein and the Sox are still "kicking the tires" on a lot of free agents out there, and when he finally pulls the trigger I'll be there to throw in my 2-5 cents.  And as for the college hoops scene?  Well as I've said before, I think pre season and pre conference rankings are asinine, so while I've got my eyes keenly centered on the NCAA hardwood more nights than not, you won't be getting any of my pearls of wisdom on the topic for another 2-3 weeks.  If you're still hungry in the meantime, just check out what ESPN's Jay Bilas has to say.  He eerily echoes my thoughts, more often than not, and seeing as they pay him handsomely on a regular basis he actually has to provide thoughts and analysis in early December regardless of whether or not he thinks it makes sense (I'm betting he doesn't)...

So stay vigilent, my damies, and rest assured.  When Theo makes a move (and signing Varitek doesn't count!) and when Fab Melo actually starts to become...well...Fab, I'll be here to answer all your questions and to keep you in the know.  Until then, I guess we're just going to have to make dues with football.  And lucky for us, there happen to be a few decent games on this week...


Welcome, my friends, to the Ted Zone...I mean "Red Zone".  Enjoy...          


Week 13 Picks


Monday Night
New England Patriots (-3.5) vs New York Jets

Before I give you logic behind this one (as if I need any to pick against the Jets!), let's just get 2 things straight:

1) IS this the biggest game of the 2010 season to date? Of course it is.

2) Will this become the highest rated football game in TV history? Of course it will.

3) Does this game represent a "must win" for either the Pats or the Jets? Of course it doesn't.

Yeah, that's right.  If the Patriots lose, they can still get the #1 seed in the AFC, and same goes for the Jets.  Will it be harder for whoever loses?  Of course it will.  But with each team having 4 games left after this one, and this being, I don't know, the freaking NFL where everything can AND tends to freaking happen, tagging this game as some sort of "end all be all" is just adding more hype to an event that definitely doesn't need it...

Look.  Both teams are 9-2.  They're in the same Conference, and they're in the same Division.  Oh, and they happen to be fierce geographical rivals.  Shouldn't that be enough?  And hey, I'm not stupid, I get that this is partly a media creation that feeds into the most passionate part of the fan mentality.  I'm just more or less warning you against thinking this game means more than it does.  Again, will the winner have a big leg up?  Of course they will, that's obvious.  But will they be handed the AFC East crown and a #1 seed?  No, no they most definitely won't.  So let's make sure to recognize this thing for what it really is.  Which, by the way, should be freakin' plenty...

As for the game itself, these two teams fit so well into potentially exciting formula that it has me moist in the midsection just thinking about it...

Against good teams, as was evidenced as most recently as against the Colts, New England has shown that their defense has the ability to make stops, just not really in the 2nd half.  Well, not until really, really late in the 2nd half.  The Jets, on the other hand, they've been making a living lately on 4th quarter comebacks.  You see where that's taking us?  Huh?  Do ya?..



New England will jump out to a 10-14 point lead fairly early on, until the Jets claw back.  The game will then turn into a bona fide shootout in the 2nd half, with Tom Brady will eventually walking off the field victorious after a game winning 4th quarter drive.  Complete with a game winning touchdown screen pass to the man in the middle of it all, Mr. Dan E. Woodhead.  FINAL SCORE: Patriots 34 Jets 30    

I figure I might as well put my prediction right on the #, since Vegas is always right, and might as well make it a Top 5 MNF game of ALL TIME while I was at it.  Mission accomplished, if you ask me, now let's go beat the GOD DAMN JETS!


St. Louis Rams (-3) @ Arizona Cardinals

Quick note to Arizona QB Derek Anderson:

If they have you on camera laughing, telling the press you weren't laughing isn't really such a hot idea.  But whatever, man, your team is so gross your meltdown was only news for about 14 seconds.  Matter of fact, I bet the Derek Anderson that used to play for Kentucky and in the NBA is still more popular on Google than you are.  Lord knows you're both thousands of hits behind Matt Leinhart, but last time I checked it's not a good thing that you're a well known man-whore...

Oh, and is anyone else shadily rooting for the Rams to make the Super Bowl?  I know I am (LOCK IT UP), and when I figure out exactly why, I'll be sure to let you know...


New Orleans Saints (-6.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals

I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that whenever the Saints play, and I pick their game, I'm going to visualize their match up by providing my audience with a picture of the curvacious Ms. Kimberly Kardashian. Mostly because the Reggie Bush connection, and mostly just because..well...why the Hell not?  I know there are hotter chicks out there, but she actually represents a spec of relevance when it comes to any game the Saints are playing in (at least to me), and I like to utilize what I deem as "sexy relevance" any and EVERY time I possibly can.  And Hell, in this picture she's even playing with a freaking football!  For her to have any more "sexy relevance"  she'd have to be licking Drew Brees' mole while getting tickling the Ivory and getting a Meach Around.  Now there's a sex tape!  Take that Brandy's son!...

Again, that's more about the picture than the game, but I do love the Saints in this one.  Lock 'em up, actually, as my 2nd LOCK OF THE WEEK.  That thing is strugg-fest 2K10, but I still have a few weeks to get it back in the realm of respectability.  This smokeshow should be helpful in that department.  That's right, I said smokeshow...


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) vs Atlanta Falcons

You know how I know I'm not racist?  I don't think Tampa Bay coach, Raheem Morris, looks like he should be trying to stop me while I'm shopping at the mall and sell me a Virgin Mobile telephone plan.  I always though that about Pittsburgh head coach, Mike Tomlin, that he looked like a mall cell phone slanger.  But now that I've seen Morris, who more or less has the same physical make up and sideline demeanor (note: they don't ALL look alike), and I don't think that he looks like he should be cutting me off before I go into CVS to try and buy some pink 2 way texting phone, well, that's how I know I'm not racist.  And that, my friends, helps me sleep at night.  Not sure what it is about Tomlin, either.  I think it's that he always looks like he's checking a beeper, just like those fools at the mall.  Which is weird, because why would they be checking a beeper if they were working at a cell phone kiosk?  Yeah, that's probably why nobody ever stops to buy anything...

Another big game here, though, and with these two having met so recently, I'll give the edge to the non cell phone slanger and the home team.  I don't buy that Atlanta is elite, and while a loss here wouldn't prove that, it wouldn't exactly hurt my case, either...


Kansas City Chiefs (-8.5) vs Denver Broncos

Is there anything more pimp in the NFL these days than watching Dwayne Bowe take "a bow" after each touchdown? It's the coolest thing going.  And sure, I might be a little biased because my trading for him has helped propel my fantasy team to 9-3 and a playoff spot, but I still think in the age of the No Fun League, it's gotta be the best celebration there is.  I mean, think about it.  There are sports handicappers and radio personalities that would kill for a signature like that!  Why do you think they all change their names to "Steele" and "Locke"?  A guy whose name just so happens to go hand in hand with a signature move that's a perfect combination of brash and class?  Again, it just doesn't get any better than that...

As for the big spread in this one, just like the ATL/TB game, this one's all about revenge.  And in this case, the team seeking it, KC, has even more than the necessary motivation.  Yeah, because when division rivals run up the score on you, it doesn't tend to go over all that well.  This just in...


San Diego Chargers (-13) vs Oakland Raiders

To be honest, the Charges owe he here.  They'd covered in 12 straight @ Oakland before I picked them earlier this year, so gaudy spread or not they freakin' owe me.  You want a revenge game?  I'm gettin' my revenge right here, baby...

And on a side note, you can officially label me as a guy that's come around on Philip Rivers.  Granted it took him getting a lot of the "punk bitch" out of his system, but he seems to have done that and has now taken his place as one of the top QB's in the game.  And not just statistically, either.  Like I said, since he's stopped doing all those things that made him look like a whiny bitch, he's seemingly focused his passion, and been able to take his game to the next level.  We're talking "elite" here kids.  Like side by side with Aaron Rodgers, ready to take his place amongst the greats...

...and you know what, at the rate San Diego is going, he might not have to wait that long...



Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) @ Baltimore Ravens + UNDER 36.5

I read an article this week in which two columnists argued which was the bigger rivalry.  Ravens/Steelers OR Patriots/Jets?  I happen to think Pats/Steelers trumps them all, but as divisional rivalries go, those are undoubtedly the best the AFC has to offer.  Maybe even the entire NFL.  And while Jets fans might not agree, the savvy New England fan would tell you that when it comes to the last 10 years, there's no better divisional rivalry than the Steelers and the Ravens.  This year should be no exception...

Many people are looking at this game as a prime time for the Ravens, being at home with a chance to sweep the Steelers on the year, but I disagree, mainly for the reason I just discussed.  It's a rivalry.  Jets beat the Pats earlier this year, now the Pats are gonna get even.  Same thing here.  Sure, The Steelers might be on the road,  but in games like this that shouldn't even matter.  I know home field is important, but when the familiarity is so high, it almost seems to become less of a component...

Also, much like the Falcons, I'm having trouble believing that the Ravens are actually as good as a lot of people think they are.  OR heck, even as good as their record suggests.  This should serve as a good test to that, but I just like Pittsburgh, and their 5-1 road mark, to come out on top...

...and don't worry.  I'll page Mike Tomlin, let him know I picked his boys to win...      


Now feast your eyes on the rest of this week's slate, including shady covers by the 49ers +Tedskins, and a shootout in Indy, as the Colts try to salvage their season.  Oh and even though you only got 5 picks from me on Thanksgiving, you're just gonna have to go ahead and trust me that I went 9-5 the rest of the way.  Because, ya know, I did.  Sorry you couldn't benefit, but dems da breaks!...



Minnesota Vikings (-6) vs Buffalo Bills + OVER 44.5

Jacksonville Jaguars (pick) @ Tennessee Titans

Chicago Bears (-3.5) @ Detroit Lions

San Fransisco 49ers (+10) @ Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins (-4.5) vs Cleveland Browns

Washington Redskins (+7) @ New York Giants

Indianapolis Colts (-5.5) vs Dallas Cowboys + OVER 47

Seattle Seahawks (-6) vs Carolina Panthers



Last Week: 13-6-0 (Top Picks: 4-1-0)

Top Picks: 47-40-3 (.529)

Overall: 99-76-4 (.564)

LOCK OF THE WEEK: 7-8-0 (.467)



It's a big weekend on the college gridiron, with Conference Championships abound and BC bids at stake.  And seeing as the slate is so limited, I took the liberty of throwing in a few extra games for your gambling pleasure, as well.  Just be forewarned.  Give the Ole Ball Coach enough time to prepare, and he can be tough to beat.  I don't think he ends Cam Newton's Wild Ride, but I say he makes it close enough to make 'em all sweat and cover that #.  Let's just say the words "yee" and "haw" will be frequently used in succession before all things are said and done in that one, but that Big Fig and the Boys will live to fight another day...


NCAA Top 25 Picks
(1) Oregon (-16.5) @ Oregon St.

(18) South Carolina (+4.5) vs (2) Auburn (Atlanta, GA)

(10) Oklahoma (-3.5) vs (13) Nebraska  (Arlington, TX)


Utah St. (+39.5) vs (11) Boise St.

(20) Florida St. (+4) vs (12) Virginia Tech (Charlotte, NC)

Miami (OH) (+17.5) vs (25) Northern Illinois (Detroit, MI)

UCLA (+6.5) vs USC

Fresno St. (+5.5) vs Illinois

Washington St. (+7.5) vs Washington

South Florida (-1.5) vs UCONN

Pittsburgh (+2) @ Cincinnati


Last Week: 5-7-0

Overall: 82-64-4 (.560)



So there you have it, my friends.  I've given you what it takes to get you movin' through the Red Zone, and now the rest is up to you.  Try not to hurt yourselves out there this weekend in the holiday rush so you can actually make it to Monday night, and then make sure to survive that, too.  Oh and I'll be giving a good hard look at the atmosphere @ Gillette on Monday Night.  People talk about the mettle and temperament of Patriot fans?  Well it'll get it's best test on Monday Night.  Here's to hopin' that Razor's A Rockin' when the Jets come a knockin'...

Be good, friends...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>