Friday, November 02, 2012
Chad Johnson, Albert Haynesworth? Meet the next risk taken by Bill Belichick at the expense of the 2013 draft. His name, is Aqib Talib. Former cabbie puncher, Adderall eater, domestic disputer, and of course, defensive back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He's as talented as he is mentally unstable, and he's here to save New England's season by helping to improve what might just be the league's worst secondary...
Now, the question immediately becomes: Is this nut case worth the risk? 4th round picks aren't exactly chump change, and with Talib in the final year of his contract, it's optimistic to think that this is any more than a rental. He plays well? He'll likely get a better deal somewhere else as a free agent. He sucks, or worse yet he further proves that he's an immature malcontent? He'll likely be out of the league faster than you can say Maurice Clarett. Either way, you get the picture. He's not long for this uniform...
So what will deem this trade a "success"? It's simple. Talib will need to play well enough to be the difference in the Patriots advancing past the first round of the playoffs. That's a rather high bar, I know. But what are we talking about here? This is a playoff team, right? Even with their porous secondary, I still think everyone believes they're making it to the playoffs. But they're secondary sucks, and most people believe that in order for them to be any more than just another playoff team, that will need to improve. That's where Talib comes in. He puts them over the top, helps to at least give them a fighting chance in the AFC Championship game? The trade was a success. He does anything less than that? Well let's just say it will make it a lot more obvious come the 2013 draft that the Patriots are a little short when it comes to picks. Granted, Belichick will probably just trade back a bunch of time and the Pats will still end up with the most picks in the league, but you see my point...
It's a risky gambit by Bill Belichick and the Patriots. But I like it. His actions are telling me he thinks this team is close enough to take this type of risk on, and that he feels he can make it up on the back end with his ability to manipulate the draft. That's good enough for me. Sure, these scenarios haven't exactly worked out for Bill in the recent past, but that doesn't mean they're chances that aren't worth taking. 0 for 2 isn't exactly a trend. Talib flames out like OchoStinko and Haynesworth? Then we can start to question if ole Mr. Hoodsworth might be starting to lose is mind...
OK, now that we've covered that, let's get to some picks. You know, before Belichick trades them away for a potential All Pro safety who happens to have been indicted for murder. Oh, and he might have a Meth problem...
Week 9 Picks
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) @ Cleveland Browns
You know a game's good when it's randomly presented by Arby's, right? OK, maybe that's not the best indicator. And Baltimore's play before their bye probably isn't the best indicator of what type of team they are, either. The Browns don't suck...at least not as badly as we'd probably all like them to. But they probably shouldn't be able to hang with a well rested Ravens team that's had plenty of time to think about their recent woes. Look for them to right the ship here, and continue to put the needle to the city that their franchise used to call home...
Washington Redskins (-3.5) vs Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton doesn't wanna be compared to Vince Young. Which is good, because this week he's about to get a heavy dose of being compared to Robert Griffin III. And just a shot in the dark, but I'm guessing the overly media concerned "Big Fig" hasn't exactly been enjoying the reviews. He probably won't enjoy the outcome of Sunday's game, either. Neither Washington nor Carolina sports a particularly competent defense, so this could easily turn into a shootout. Which would be great. But whether it's a shootout or not, I'll take my chances with the team and offense led by the QB that actually has his head on straight. You know, the one that's not playing like the second coming of Ryan Leaf. He's white, so that comparison should sit well with Warren Moon. Don't wanna get him all riled up again...
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5) @ Oakland Raiders
Aqib Talib may be gone, but he wasn't playing anyway. And the guys actually on the team have been doing jut fine without him. OK, that's not entirely true. Tampa's pass defense is pretty pathetic. But that shouldn't keep them from staying in a close game with the Raiders. And since it should be close, I'll take my chances with Josh Freeman over Carson Palmer. Even though this one will probably end up being decided by the leg of Sebastian Janikowski when all is said and done. I say that fat bastard misses, or only gives the Raiders a one point win. What say you?...
Atlanta Falcons (-4) vs Dallas Cowboys
The Falcons have been walking a fine line on their way to 7-0. OK, they haven't at all. But that would have been a good picture to use to visualize that point if it were true, wouldn't it? Yeah, it would. Truth is, they've only had 2 wins of fewer than 6 points. Both at home, oddly enough. Hmmm. Does that mean they're shadily poised to lose their first game at home this weekend against the mercurial Cowboys? Nah. Unless of course they do, in which case I even more shadily called it. And yes, I'll be expecting credit if that happens to be the way things work out. Win freakin' win, baby. Win freakin' win!..
Pittsburgh Steelers (+4) @ New York Giants
Look at those two Teds. Dressed in their draft day best, with nothing but their future to look forward to. Three Super Bowls, an alleged rape and a bunch of Oreo commercials later, and here we are. And that's to say nothing of the hurricane that's made this Sunday afternoon match up a logistical nightmare...
In which lies part of the reason as to why I'm taking the Steelers. With Hurricane Sandy forcing them to drive into New York on the day of the game, many have jumped on the Giants and jacked up the spread. That being the case, I'll take Pittsburgh and the additional point. In my experience, the public tends to overreact to things like travel and weather, and I've found it quite profitable to bet against them in those opportunities when I feel as if that's the case. IT's the case here, so I'll roll the the black and gold...
New Orleans Saints (-3) vs Philadelphia Eagles
Last week I said that the Eagles, 13-0 when coming off their bye week under Andy Reid, would lose. They did. This week, I'm telling you that for the first time ALL year, a favorite will win and cover in an Eagles game. Don't get me wrong, I'm not thrilled about giving the defensively helpless New Orleans Saints any points. But I figure if I'm calling for Philadelphia to completely fall apart, which I am, I might as well go all the way with it...
There's some decent value in the rest of the slate, with the Broncos and Lions being particularly intriguing plays. But for the most part, I'd steer clear. Especially when it comes to those double digit spreads. Those can be tricky bastards to navigate. But, since you're asking anyway. I like the Packers but not the Texans, to cover their big numbers this week. Proceed with caution, but both Buffalo and Arizona are there to be beaten. And beaten badly...
Denver Broncos (-3.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals
Green Bay Packers (-11) vs Arizona Cardinals
Tennessee Titans (+3.5) vs Chicago Bears
Indianapolis Colts (+2.5) vs Miami Dolphins
Detroit Lions (-4) vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Buffalo Bills (+11) @ Houston Texans
Minnesota Vikings (+5) @ Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 7-7-1
Overall: 71-64-6 (.525)
Twitter Picks: 14-7-1 (.660)
OK, so I know I promised you a scantily clad collegian to go along with this week's college picks. But in searching the Interweb for such a picture, all I could really find were pictures of Paulina Gretzky in a variety of tastefully hooker-ish Halloween costumes. And you know what? That was good enough for me. I mean, look at her. She's like Kate Upton's slutty little sister. And if there's something that's not to like about that, I've yet to discover it...
Oh yeah, and I expect Alabama to roll over LSU. Mostly because I feel they're far and away the best team in college football, but mostly because I feel that's what Paulina Gretzky would want me to do. What? She's got handcuffs. I don't want to upset her...
NCAA Top 25 Picks
(1) Alabama (-9) @ (5) LSU
(2) Oregon (-8) @ (18) USC
(3) Kansas St. (-9.5) vs Oklahoma St.
Pittsburgh (+17) @ (5) Notre Dame
(9) Louisville (-15) vs Temple
(10) Clemson (-12.5) @ Duke
(13) Oregon St. (-4.5) vs Arizona St.
Iowa St. (+15) vs (14) Oklahoma
(17) Mississippi St. (+7) vs (16) Texas A&M
(19) Boise St. (-14) vs San Diego St.
Texas (+7.5) @ (20) Texas Tech
Michigan St. (+2) vs (21) Nebraska
(23) West Virginia (-6.5) vs TCU
(24) Arizona (+3.5) @ (25) UCLA
Last Week: 6-6-0
Overall: 51-34-2 (.598)
Posted by Brett Ferruccio at 11:45 AM