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Friday, September 28, 2012

NFL Week 4 Picks: Scabs Leave Scars...


Well, it seems the NFL decided to throw us a bone. The real refs are back in action, and the NFL season can continue on as planned. And while I'm grateful that Roger Goodell finally saw it in his wisdom to settle the deal with the locked out refs, I've also officially put the league and it's power structure on notice. Labor issues are one thing, but arrogance is another. Even in "letting" the regular referees come back to work, this whole situation has shown just what an arrogant bastard the NFL can be. And while it's perfectly fine to be arrogant once in a while, make a habit of it and you're sure to alienate all but the suckers and Teds. Case in point, the currently locked out NHL...

OK, NHL fans, maybe that was a low blow. But seriously. How can you support a league that at any given moment sees it fit to cancel entire seasons and lock out their players? Not to mention a league where everyone with two eyes can tell it's overextended, and where all the top players agree the dimensions of the playing surface aren't where they should be? Sorry, I know I've spewed this all before. It's just that these petty issues really piss me off. Especially when it becomes obvious that a league is no longer out to serve it's fans, but to make as much money as humanly possible. I know it's a business, and making money is great, but when it comes to the business of sport, these leagues need to stop making it their #1 priority. It should be #3. Right behind entertaining the fans and, in the case of individual teams, putting a winning product on the field. Nobody expects you to operate at a loss merely to meet goals # 1 & 2, but there's a happy medium there that most owners and leagues need to do a better job of trying to find. This situation with the NFL refs being the latest example of that lack of effort...

Yeah, that utopia oh which I speak has undoubtedly passed us by. It it ever existed at all. But I can still dream, can't I? And so can you. Dream about making back all that money I lost you last week, that is. Let's get down to picking winners. Because I'll be damned if I'm gonna be the only one not making some money out of this thing...

Enjoy...
 
Week 4 Picks

New England Patriots (-4) @ Buffalo Bills

I never thought I'd see Bill Belichick happy to see an official, but after last week's fiasco, I'm sure even Bill B. Hoodsworth will crack a smile when he takes the field Sunday to see his regular sparring partners. That being said, he'll need his team to show as much improvement from week to week as we'll see from the refs if he plans on walking about of Buffalo with a .500 record...

The Bills aren't pushovers. Whether it's Fred Jackson or CJ Spiller, they have dynamic runners that can help open up the passing game for the mercurial Ryan Fitzpatrick. And he's the key. If he plays well, the Bills should make this a very entertaining game. Hell, even if he's knocked down early, the Patriots have proven time and again that they're more than willing to let teams come back on them. So, really. It's on the Pats. And most pointedly, it's on their offense. They need to a better job of capitalizing on their scoring opportunities, so that when the comeback does come, it's that much steeper a climb and lends itself to a much more predictable Buffalo Bills offensive attack. Their defense is improved, so I'm not saying it's a foregone conclusion that the Pats are gonna run up the score. But the Patriots still posses an elite offense. One that, if it scores more touchdowns when it's "supposed to" should find itself back on the winning end of the ledger more often than not...


Atlanta Falcons (-7) vs Carolina Panthers

I was all set to pick the Panthers in my "the opposite of what you'd think should happen often happens in NFC South games" special, but then I saw that Nazi Bill Simmons (2-0) made the Atlanta Falcons his lock of the week. Enough said...


Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Much like the 49ers, I expected the Bengals to take a step back in 2012. Well, I'm now prepared to admit I was wrong. They may not take any sort of step forward, like many had proposed, but at the very least they'r every bit as good as the team that made the playoffs last year and lost in the first round to the Houston Texans. That team should be good enough to pull of a win against Jacksonville. It is a bit concerning that the one thing the Jags do well (4th in rushing) is the one thing the Bengals do particularly poorly (31st in rush D), but in my opinion that should do more to drive the total higher than it will contribute to the ultimate outcome...


Minnesota Vikings (+4) @ Detroit Lions

I was high on the Vikings before the season began, but even I didn't see that win against the Niners comin'. Is Minnesota that good? Is San Francisco maybe not as good as they looked? Well, the Vikings will do their part to answer that question as they travel to Detroit. Christian Ponder is playing mistake free football, and with a top 10 defense at his disposal, that should be enough for the Vikings to keep this one close. Having recently suspended deep threat and notorious bud trafficker, Jerome Simpson, at their disposal probably won't hurt, either...


New York Giants (+2) @ Philadelphia Eagles

I'm not sure how the Eagles are 2-1, and likely neither are they. They escaped with wins against Cleveland and Baltimore, before last week getting run out the joint by the Arizona Cardinals. A loss that felt like the other shoe beginning to drop. The Eagles need to face it. They're a talented team with an identity problem. A team that should be relying on the run to set up the electric Michael Vick, but are instead attempting to out throw and out "big play" people to very limited success. At best, I think they can hold on to beat the Giants much like they did two weeks ago against the Ravens. At worst, the next week on Philly sports radio will again be spent debating whether or not Andy Reid should be fired. Either way, I like my chances with the Giants and the 2 points...


Made a big fantasy trade this week for Frank Gore, so that's why he gets the photo. If he does what I think he's going to do against the Jets and their porous rush defense, not only will I be at ease with my transaction, but the Niners should also be able to come out with the win...

I'm also sticking with the Cardinals, and betting against the Seahawks because they're not at home. See, that's how it works. Home dog? Bet 'em. Road favorite? Best against 'em. Easy game. It doesn't hurt that they're coming off a short and hectic week either...


Kansas City Chiefs (-1) vs Sand Diego Chargers

St. Louis Rams (+2.5) vs Seattle Seahawks

San Francisco 49ers (-4) @ New York Jets

Tennessee Titans (+12) @ Houston Texans

Denver Broncos (-6.5) vs Oakland Raiders

Arizona Cardinals (-5.5) vs Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints (+7.5) @ Green Bay Packers

Washington Redskins (+2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Monday Night

Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) vs Chicago Bears

Pick Smokin' Jay Cutler on the road? I don't think so. That pig is gonna throw up 3 picks trying to force the ball in to Brandon Marshall, and people are gonna spend the next week talkin' about how the Cowboys are legit. Well, spoiler alert. They're not. But they're good enough to win at home when they're being spotted 3 picks. One that's sure to go the other way for 6...

Oh, did I mention I'm going up against the Cowboys defense this week in fantasy? Yeah, I'm sure that's going to make for a very pleasant Monday Night. Screw you, Cutler. If I knew any funny jokes about diabetics, this is where I'd use 'em. Whatever. Go eat some sugar, you rat bastard...


My Monday/Thursday Twitter picks are bailing me out, but I'll take wins wherever I can get them. I suggest you do the same...

Last Week: 10-10-0

Overall: 30-24-2 (.556)

Twitter Picks: 7-2-0 (.778)


West Virginia screwed me last week when I picked them, and they'll probably screw me when I pick against them. But that's not why they're fans are featured at the top of my picks. Nope. I've featured several Mountaineer boobs and a couple of female chests because it may not be long til the famous traditions of the West Virginia faithful are all but made illegal. No, I'm not talking about the pregame dumpster hump with your 2nd cousin OR the post game bowl of Meth. But with this latest campaign, I fear those could be next. A PSA against couch burning? Come on! Why don't you just rip off their coon skin caps and take away the gun racks on their trucks, while you're at it? I mean, does tradition mean nothing to you people???

And that's why I'm picking Baylor. I want the Mountaineers to lose (which they probably won't) and I want the couches of Morgantown to be lit up like a victory Meth bowl. Or maybe "Christmas tree" is an analogy more to your liking...

NCAA Top 25 Picks
(2) Oregon (-28.5) @ Washington St.

(5) Georgia (-13.5) vs Tennessee

Kentucky (+21.5) vs (6) South Carolina

(25) Baylor (+13.5) @ (9) West Virginia

Oklahoma St. (+2.5) vs (12) Texas

(14) Ohio St. (+3) @ (20) Michigan St.

(22) Nebraska (-11.5) vs Wisconsin


Last Week: 7-4-0

Overall: 18-15-0 (.545)


Good luck, friends. And I'll catch you next week...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

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