Before I get to the NFL, I have three quick baseeball thoughts.
First, I woke up on Friday night because my fourteen-month-old was crying. After getting the little dude back to sleep, I decided to see who won the Rockie/D’back game. When I turned on TBS, what did I find? The game was still on! That’s right 2-2 in the bottom of the eleventh. Why baseball can’t see that they are starting these playoff games way too late is beyond me? I mean the winning run scores on a bases loaded walk in the eleventh inning and I’m the only sober guy on the East coast that saw it.
Second, with all this talk about instant replay in baseball, everyone says that they should have it for home runs. I agree. My question is this. Why not put it at first base? More calls are missed there than anywhere else, and while they don’t seem that significant at times, many a big inning are started or ruined on calls that replay would easily get right. And isn’t that still the point, to get the call right. After Matt Holiday’s play at the plate against San Diego, I heard suggestions that they should have it on calls at home. I would contend that many more games are severely influenced by blown calls at first than by blown calls at home.
Finally, would Fox and TBS get that pitch tracker off of the screen. If that thing is accurate, then I am making a comeback. I’m never going to swing and I will be the greatest player ever. I’ve watched many playoff games and according to that thing, there haven’t been a dozen strikes. ESPN’s K zone, while not perfect either, is significantly better.
OK, no to football. Two weeks ago I was 13-4. That’s 76%! And no one, NO ONE said as much as thank you. Then I go 0-6 (in what I’m calling market correction Sunday) and the emails pour in. Hey, I’m still 13-10, which is 55% and very much in the profitable category, so I’m not going conservative or taking a week off. I’m coming back with seven gems. Here they are.
CHIEFS/Bengals over 42 ½: Is there a better cure for a struggling offense than the Bengals? Cincinnati finished last week with only two healthy linebackers and lost a corner to injury as well. Larry Johnson should get going this week. Hey, if KC can’t score 24 against these guys they ain’t scoring 24 all year. The Bengals just need to get 20. That’s should be pretty doable as well.
CHICAGO –4 ½ over Minnesota: In four games, the only time the Vikings have scored 20 or more was against the Falcons in week one. Now they are going on the road, outside, to face the Bears. If they get 17 they’ll be lucky. The Bears, on the other hand, may have just found new life. While Griese isn’t Tom Brady, he’s facing a dome team who can’t cover anyone indoors, let alone outside. I think the Bears win big and re-establish themselves.
GREEN BAY –3 over Washington: I said last week that I may have ridden the Green Bay wave too long, and I did. Although nobody told me that they were going to turn the ball over five times. I still think this team is good. On the other side, I’m not sold on the Redskins or Jason Campbell. Sure they riddled the Lions, but so did the Eagles, and they couldn’t score in a women’s prison. I can’t believe that the Skins are anything better than mediocre. Usually mediocre teams don’t go on the road and beat good teams. I don’t think that it’ll happen here.
NY JETS/Phily under 42 ½: Both of these teams recently played the Giants and both of them showed a pretty good defense. At least the Jets did for a half. Offensively both teams have struggled. Don’t be fooled by last week’s score. The Jets ran a kick and a fumble back for touchdowns. There offense did little. Hey, when defenses and special teams score, it’s hard to win unders, and if it happens again, there’s nothing you can do. In my opinion it’s more important to look at quarterbacks, and neither Chad nor Donovan are playing well. And don’t forget, when last we saw the Eagles O-line, they couldn’t block anyone. I know that Westbrook might be back for the Eagles, but they need more than him to become a potent offense. This thing has 16-13 written all over it.
Tennessee +3 over TAMPA: The Bucs have lost their top two running backs. That’s not good. Their two homes wins this year are against St. Louis and New Orleans, who have combined for zero wins. That doesn’t say much either. The Titans however, have won nine of their last eleven including their last five road games. Right now they are like the Rockies. They just win all the time. This team is no longer a young group building around Vince Young. They are a legitimate playoff contender in the AFC. Look at the standings! Who are the wild cards contenders, and are there two of them better than the Titans? I’m not sure there are. I think they will win outright, but if they don’t, we can always push.
SEATTLE – 6 over New Orleans: Seattle can’t be nearly as bad as they looked last week. There offense didn’t do much partly because they were never on the field. I don’t see the Saints having the same clock controlling offense that the Steelers displayed. Also, is it time we just say it? The Saint’s suck! They aren’t too far from paper bag time in the Super Dome. And again, you have a dome team, going outdoors, and now they are going to play better? I don’t see it.
DALLAS + 5 ½ over New England: Before I get into my rationale, let me say two things. Number one, I’m a Cowboy fan. Number two, I have not picked them yet this year. This one is simple. Are the Patriots that good that they are going to beat everyone by two touchdowns? For arguments sake, let’s say no. OK, so if we don’t think they are going to go undefeated, when do you think they’ll lose? If they can go into Dallas, who is probably the third best team in the NFL, and win by ten then the ’72 Dolphins better put the champagne back on ice. Not only is Vegas saying that Cowboys can’t win, but that they can’t even keep it within a touchdown? I don’t buy it.
There you go, seven lovelies. I’ll go 4-3 and creep back up towards 60 %.