Saturday, October 29, 2005

NFL News, Notes and Week 8 Picks

**This may be my last week before I take a bye in week 9 due to my trip to California, but that's still To Be Determined. Meanwhile, while I was able to push my Monday Night winning streak forward, I could not pull off another winning week overall. There were many exciting finishes last week, and luckily none of them cost me any of my picks, which would have really driven me crazy. As opposed to last week, where I chose all underdogs, this week I am actually going to ride some favorites. Here is to hoping I can end the first half on a positive note**

Week 8 Picks
Tampa Bay Bucs (-10) over San Francisco 49ers
Miami Dolphins (+2.5) over New Orleans Saints
Oakland Raiders (PK) over Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) over St. Louis Rams
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions under 33

Monday Night
Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) over Baltimore Ravens

Record: 19-14-2
Monday Night: 5-3-0

San Diego Chargers (-6) over Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 1-2-0

Washington Redskins @ New York Giants
*I certainly would not have thought that this would be the biggest game in the NFC East, and one of the biggest in the NFC period, at this point of the season. While I did predict the return of the Redskins this year, I did not think either team would be this good this early. But The Giant offense has looked good so far this year, and Clinton Portis has finally kicked it into high gear to help support Mark Brunell and the very sketchy Redskin passing game. I say sketchy only because Brunell has pretty much only been able to connect on big plays. Manning cemented the fact that he has arrived, leading last week's come-from-behind victory and looking impressive in doing so. Whichever defense can control the pace of the game will have the best shot in this one. Don't expect too much offense, unless it's from the Giants. The Giants are the only team in this game capable of blowing the other one out (yea I saw what Washington did last week but that was the 49ers who would lose to Syracuse), but I expect it to be a rather low scoring defensive struggle.

NFL News and Notes
*Tedy Bruschi is going to play, and may even start for the New England Patriots this Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills. There has been a lot of talk that maybe Tedy is coming back for selfish reasons, namely the fact that the defending champs are 3-3 and their defense has looked awful at times. But rest assured, Bruschi has said he would be making the same decision whether the Patriots were 0-6 or 6-0. He doesn't owe anyone anything, he just loves to play football. After all, it's his job, and he has been cleared by four independent specialists to play so why not? All I have to say is welcome back Tedy, we missed you and its going to be great to see you on the field again doing what you love.

*Word out of Rams camp is that Mike Martz is done in St. Louis. Apparently Martz tried to call in a play from his hospital bed last week, and management would not let him. Does this sound like a good relationship? I don't think so. Martz time is all but up in St. Louis, and the team has even adapted a new, run-first scheme under interim coach Joe Vitt. But Martz is a mad genius, so expect him to land on his feet next year with either a co-ordinator job or as head coach in any number of places including Minnesota, Houston or maybe even Detroit. Imagine Martz in Motown with all of those WRs at his disposal? Could get V interesting.

*T.O. put his Morristown, NJ house on the market this week for $4.4 million. A lot of people in Philly see this as a sign that after this season Owens will definitely try to bolt from the city of brotherly love. Ever since McNabb came out out and backed RB Bryan Westbrook in his contract talks with ownership, people have assumed that Owens has been pissed off. And with good reason. After all the trouble he went through with his contract, and now to have McNabb speaking out for another teammate, Owens can not be pleased. Combine all of this with the "struggles" that the Eagles have experienced so far this year, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see another T.O. offseason like we did this year. Expect more sit-ups in his driveway, and plenty of that whiny brat Drew Rosenfag.

*This week saw the passing of one the greatest men in NFL history, Giants co-owner Wellington Mara. Mara helped found the NFL, guide it through the merger with the AFL, and watched it continue to thrive in the new age of Monday Night and Fantasy Football. He was a true pioneer, and he will be missed.

*The Packers have now lost Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport and Robert Ferguson this year. In order for things to get any worse for the (1-5) Packers, Brett Favre would have to be involved in an incident in which he was fatally hurt while saying he never liked cheese and hated cold weather.

Other News
*So it seems that Texas has hopped over USC in the BCS standings to #1. Why you ask? Well the computers saw that Texas beat up on then #7 Texas Tech, a previously undefeated team. See, I thought the computers were supposed to know, better than the humans. That before the Red Raiders were crushed 52-17 by the Longhorns, their "biggest" win (and I use that term very lightly) was a 34-31 win over Nebraska. Not to say that beating Sam Houston St., Florida International, and Inidana St. weren't big wins, oh wait that's exactly what I'm saying. While USC will probably go back to #1 after they beat UCLA, it's still a little weird to see Texas on top. Hopefully the BCS will be gone soon, but obviously not soon enough.

*Air Force reprimanded head football coach Fisher DeBerry after he was quoted as saying "African American kids can run very well...It's very obvious they run very well". He also commented that TCU, who had just beaten Air Force "had a lot more African-American players than we did and they ran a lot faster than we did". I really don't know how to comment on this because its such a stupid comment. Reprimanded? He should be fired. Not because he's a racist, because that may not even be the case. Fisher should be fired because he was dumb enough to make those comments to the press. The man is obviously an idiot. We all know they do things their own way in the armed forces, but this is just unreal. Fisher DeBerry, you are a moron, plain and simple. And PS, maybe you can't get black players because you talk like this! Ever think of that?

*So Sheryl Swoopes came out this week and announced that she is a lesbian. Conspiracy theorists will tell you that this is just the best player of all time trying to gain exposure for her struggling league. What I will tell you is, she's not hot, so nobody cares. But, on the plus side, now the WNBA stands for "What? No Boys Anymore?"

*The White Sox won the World Series. Allow me to insert a steel toe boot right to the crotch of every Cubs fan in America. Now you are the biggest losers in the MLB, if not all of sports fandom. Your team sucks, your ownership sucks, your fans are by FAR the dumbest and most apathetic in all of sport, and right now your "window" to win a championship (or at least the one Cubs fans thought they had with Prior and Wood) seems to be shutting faster and faster with every annual trip to the DL. Now that the Red Sox and White Sox have their titles, is it only a matter of time before the Cubs end their curse? No way. And since their fans don't even pay attention to the games, I don't think they will care.

*Red Sox Nation have no fear. It appears as though the Sox and GM Theo Epstein will come to a new contract agreement this Monday. There was a lot of speculation these past weeks that Theo wanted too much money, or that he needed to wrestle for control from current managing partner Larry Lucchino. Ironically it was Larry who basically got Theo this job, but there are many in the game that feel Theo is held back by having to run all of his deals through Larry. There are even some who believe that Larry and the ownership group have used the Boston Globe as an outlet to smear Theo in an attempt to either get him to leave town or to take less money to stay. I mean when you look at the type of organization the new group has tried to run, they treat the GM and the head coaching positions as pawns, guys there just to hold down the fort and run things their way (they being John Henry, Tom Werner and Lucchino) for a small sum of money. After all, its all about making money isn't it?

*Bobby Valentine also won the World Series this week, the Japan World Series. And he says that his Chiba Lotte Marines would win "at least a couple games" against the Chicago White Sox. Hey Bobby, shut up and stay in Japan. We don't need you in the REAL baseball league, and we don't even really want you on ESPN anymore. So stay in Japan and keep wishing that you had another shot in the bigs. Let's all just hope you don't get that shot. Not because you're a bad manager, because you're not, but because we can't stand listening to all of your nonsense all the time.


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