ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Week 13 Predictions

34 New Orleans at Atlanta 30
Wouldn't it be funny if Atlanta secures the #1 seed in the NFC and wins a playoff game even though New Orleans bested them twice during the regular season?  That's what I'm feeling here.  Saints fanatics will be able to brag about that, but not much else.  Look for the Saints to key in on stopping Rowdy Roddy White as he talked a bit too much smack after the Falcons loss in southern Louisiana.

33 Jacksonville at Buffalo 37
A Chad Henne/Ryan Fitzpatrick shoot-out in Buffalo!  A fans dream!  Ignoring my sarcastic tone for a minute, I do think both teams will put up some offense in this contest.  However, it will be due to both teams' atrocious defenses rather than juggernaut offenses.  Expect C.J Spiller to receive plenty carries in this one as Chan Gailey was criticized for the absence of a Spiller carry in the last 13 minutes of the Colts game.  Spiller had 107 rush yds on only 14 carries.  Look for Jags under the radar receiver Cecil Shorts will have a big game, as well.

14 Seattle at Chicago 23
I think the Bears get a pick 6; they haven't had a defensive score in 3 weeks (a long time for this squad).  Brandon Browner and Richard Shermon will be bouncing off the walls (see what I did there?) in disappointment in Russell Wilson's inability to move the ball against Chicago's D.  Browner and Sherman will be the corners for the Hawks this week as they appeal their 4 game suspension for taking Adderall.  Two good defenses square off, but Chicago drops Seattle to 500.

27 San Francisco at St. Louis 10
San Francisco is the better team, but the last time these two teams met, the game ended in a draw (stop looking so confused Donovan Mcnabb).  Colin Kaepernick has the "hot hand" as Jim Harbough insists, but is it a mistake to bench the veteran Alex Smith?  The niners insulted him by attempting to acquire Peyton Manning and now Smith has lost his starting job solely because Kaepernick played well when he was injured.  Alex Smith is 19-5 in the Harbough era...  and he has only thrown 10, I repeat, 10 interceptions in that span (less than 1/2 per game).  He also sports a nifty 104.1 passer rating this year.  Back to the issue at hand, Kaepernick will lead San Fran to victory only inspiring more controversy.

35 New England at Miami 17
Not much to say about this one.  The Brady Bunch will prevail.  Jet fans need to cling to the hope that the Pats will embarrass the 'Fins worse than they embarrassed the Jets.  On second thought, that is not possible.  Regardless, Miami will lose by double digits.

29 Arizona at NY Jets 13
Coming off the heels of one of the most embarrassing losses in recent memory, the Jets look to get a bounce-back home win against a reeling (7 straight losses) Arizona team.  However, I predict the Cards get off the snide with a statement win at MetLife Stadium.  The Cards' only have 1 defensive/special teams TD this year.  I foresee the Cards doubling that in this game with a Patrick Peterson punt return for a TD and a Peterson interception return for TD.  This game just has the makings of a classic Arizona D/ST explosion and the Cards haven't had one of those games yet this season.  

20 Indianapolis at Detroit 27
Matthew Stafford played a great game against the stingy Texans D last week throwing for 441 yards and 2 scores.  He's hit his stride recently and I expect the trend to continue home in the motor city against Andrew Luck and the Colts.

13 Minnesota at Green Bay 34
Aaron Rodgers apologized to Packer fans last weekend, a Tebow-esque maneuver, for the shallacking the Giants put on Green Bay.  Rodgers and the Pack will show resilience as they get a win at home vs the Vikes.  What happened to Christian Ponder?  After a pick-free first 4 games (Vikes were 3-1) he has thrown 9 interceptions in Minny's last 7 games (Vikes are 3-4).

31 Houston at Tennessee 19
Houston has played two bad games in a row (both ended in overtime victories) and now go down to Nashville to face a Titans team that just lost to the Jags.  There's definitely trap game potential here.  Houston essentially has the division locked up but they are focused on getting the #1 seed.  The Texans play at New England next week.  Could they trip up in this game because they are focused on the Pats? I say the Titans get off to an early lead but Schaub and Foster get their act together.  The Texans are too good to lose this one.

17 Carolina at Kansas City 20
I am changing this pick upon hearing the news of KC starting LB Jovan Belcher's horrific murder/suicide.  The Chiefs will be playing with a heavy heart in this one and I believe they will form together as a unit and win this game.  They will either be blown out because their heads aren't in the game or they will come together.  I am going with the latter.

24 Tampa Bay at Denver 31
The Bucs are in the running for a wild card berth in the NFC and the Broncos have all but locked up the AFC West division.  I still like Peyton to get this win at Mile High.  Tampa Bay is dead last in the NFL in passing yds given up per game and Peyton is 6th in passing yds per game.  I think Manning leads Denver to victory through the air.

11 Cleveland at Oakland 17
Two 3-8 teams square off in Oakland.  Pretty boring game; both teams are near the bottom of the AFC.  Look for Marcel Reese to be a playmaker in this one even if Darren McFadden plays.  I'm feeling a low-scoring affair with a random two point conversion for Cleveland making it 14-11 Oakland with a six minutes to go.  On the subsequent possession, Sebastian Janikowski will hit a long FG.  With 2 minutes left, Brandon Weeden will lead a drive in an attempt to win the game, but will fail miserably.  I'm trying to make this game a little bit interesting here.  

30 Cincinnati at San Diego 20
Andy Dalton's trying to get his team in the playoffs and the Chargers just continue to find ways to lose.(this converted 4th and 29 by Ray Rice last week paints the picture of San Diego's season).  This team is 25th in total offense and 20th in passing defense.  They just have no heart, no desire, no sense of urgency.  Simply, this game is important for Cincinnati but doesn't mean much for San Diego.  In classic 2012 Chargers fashion, they will crumble.

10 Pittsburgh at Baltimore 24
Charlie Batch

7 Philadelphia at Dallas 24
The Eagles are in disarray and the Cowboys need a win to stay in the playoff hunt.  It's a matter of a desperate Cowboys team opposed by a hopeless Eagles team.  I'm going to go with desperate over hopeless.

23 NY Giants at Washington 20
The last time these teams met, the G-MEN bested the 'Skins in a back-and-forth fourth quarter.  I foresee a close affair once again, picking Eli to come up clutch in crunch time just like he did in Week 7.

I would be in third place among these experts right now (I subtract 1 win from each because they counted the SF/STL game as a win for all; I counted it as a tie)...

Last Week: 13-3
Season: 115-60-1

Chinese word of the day: 盖帽 (gaimao)  definition: block (as in blocking a shot in a game of basketball)
source: Yufei Zhang (Georgey Boy).  Kid's an NBA enthusiast from China.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week 12 Predictions

41 Houston at Detroit 10
Houston will show that their escape-victory home against the Jags was a fluke.  Coming off the heels of  a game in which they were down 2 touchdowns with 6 min to go, the Texans will blow the door off the Lions.  Detroit fans will exit the gates at half-time as Houston will be up 34-3.  Foster will run in for 2 scores, Schaub will throw for 2 TD and the defense will snag a pick 6 to end the first half.  Houston will show that they are an offensive and defensive juggernaut and quiet the critics who opened their mouths after Wade Phillips D gave up 37 points to a Chad Henne led squad last week.

20 Washington at Dallas 16
On the National stage, I foresee Dallas will crumble.  RG3 will showcase his talent to all Thanksgiving day football enthusiasts as Tony Romo will fail to mount a comeback TD drive in the 4th quarter.  I have all 3 home teams on Thanksgiving losing this year.

17 New England at NY Jets 14
On Thanksgiving night, the Jets will raise their fans hopes up by playing a solid 2nd half, tied at 7.  In the 3rd quarter, however, the Patriots will go up 17-7.  At the onset of the 4th quarter, the Jets will score either a fluky special teams TD or a fluky, poor Patriot-secondary driven TD raising fans' hopes once again.  Sanchez will then mount terrible drive after terrible drive as the Pats hold on to win by 3.  Especially coming after a road win, a loss at home in a winnable game that I have described would be disappointing.  Classic Jets.

13 Minnesota at Chicago 28
After an early rush TD by Adrian Peterson, the Bears D will return to form.  Ponder won't throw any TD in this one unless your counting the one I expect him to fling to the Bears D.  Yes, Jason Campbell is absolutely atrocious but all he has to do in this contest is give the ball to Forte and throw quick passes to Marshall in space.  The Vikings D is not the niners D.  Bears improve to 8-3.

27 Oakland at Cincinnati 39
I'm predicting this incredibly odd score because I feel that this is supposed to be an incredibly boring game so therefore it will be an incredibly exciting one.  If you own Andy Dalton or Carson Palmer in fantasy, start them without hesitation for this shoot-out.  AJ Green/BJGE will go off, as well.  Some weird stuff will happen in this one, too.  Maybe a safety.  Maybe 2 punt returns for TD.  Maybe a fan runs onto the field shirtless spewing profanity.  Maybe Carson Palmer doesn't throw a pick (he's thrown one in every game but 2).  Regardless, the Bengals get their 6th victory of the year putting them in the hunt for a wild card berth.  

17 Pittsburgh at Cleveland 23
Byron Leftwich out, Charlie Batch in.  No, this is not a mediocre Arena Football team's QB situation, this is the Pittsburgh Steelers' QB situation. Batch will throw a TD or two, but he will also throw a pick or three.  Trent Richardson will "get his" vs Pitt's staunch D as he has rushed for 95 yds or more in his past 3 contests.  If they want to make the playoffs, the Steelers need to get Big Ben back ASAP (not rocky).      

21 Buffalo at Indianapolis 41
Coming off a blowout lose in New England (Colts gave up an astounding 59 points, although 21 of these points were from defensive/special teams TD), Indy needs to make a statement at home.  Yes, the Bills are on a frisky 1 game winning streak, but they are still a below average NFL team.  Andrew Luck takes care of business here.

24 Denver at Kansas City 14
Kansas City is actually 9th in terms of pass yds/game on defense.  I guess they aren't completely inept.  Since starting Bronco back Willis McGahee is now out 6-8 weeks, will I pick KC to win, keying in on Peyton to stop the pass? Nope. Not a chance.

16 Seattle at Miami 19
A battle of rookies.  Russell Wilson vs Ryan Tannehill.  Wisconsin v. Texas A&M.  12th in passer rating vs. 30th in passer rating.  I'm a big fan of Wilson and the 'Hawks but I like the Dolphins to get the win in Miami.  Seattle will lose on the road, fall out of a wild-card spot in the NFC and will then go on the road to Chicago next week.  Miami will improve to 5-6 and then come home for New England.  I foresee a defensive struggle in South Florida.

17 Atlanta at Tampa Bay 34
The Falcons turned the ball over 6 times last week prompting experts to pat themselves on the back for claiming Atlanta wasn't "that good" when Matt Ryan's team was perfect half-way through the year.  Atlanta is 9-1 though and they're 3 games ahead of the Bucs for the division lead with 6 games to go.  I'm higher on Atlanta than most, but I still think Josh Freeman gets the Bucs within 2 games of 1st the NFC South.  Remember when Tampa Bay was 1-3?  Remember when Tampa Bay was 2-4?  Remember when experts predicted them to crumble after losing stud G Carl Nicks for the year (having lost their other stud G David Joseph for the year in the pre-season).  Remember when Doug Martin scored 51 fantasy points in a week.  I remember all this stuff and I will also remember media members proclaiming Tampa Bay the 2012-2013 NFC South champ after winning this game.  Atlanta will win the division but Tampa will win this game.

20 Tennessee at Jacksonville 21
Both these teams stink.  Yuck.  I'd rather wash the dirty dishes for 56 different families on Thanksgiving night than watch this game in its entirety.  Speaking of the number 56, there is NO WAY I can see Tennessee being 5-6.  They are just too damn awful.  I don't care that they blew out Miami on the road 2 weeks ago, they are going to lose in North Florida sunday.  Let's go Blaine Gabbert! (O wait he's injured)... Let's go Chad Henne! (I may be starting to regret this one)

24 Baltimore at San Diego 36
The Ravens BARELY got the victory against Byron Leftwich.  Dude's motion is more elongated than a set-up relief pitcher who throws submarine style.  Philip Rivers is gonna have a classic "Remember, I'm actually a pretty skilled QB despite the fact that my throwing motion is weird, my team is below 500, my stats stink, and my pants are on too tight."  Rivers has not pulled one of these games all year, so he's definitely due.  These Rivers performances are usually followed by multiple losses, mass disappointment in the greater San Diego area, and angry emails from bitter fantasy owners that end up in the spam section of Philip River's inbox.  The fact that Ed Reed may be suspended for this one only adds to the possibility of one of these Rivers classics.  I can't wait to see Norv's face next week after River's chews out one of his receivers for dropping a poorly thrown pass while the Chargers are down 10 with 2 min to go at home against Cincy.

10 St. Louis at Arizona 6
All 3 of St. Louis's wins this year have come at home in the dome.  2 Sunday's ago in San Francisco, however, the Rams played a good road game that ended in a tie.  They get their first win on the road in Zona thanks to Bradford's game management skills.  He will avoid turnovers which will make it difficult for the Cards to score considering their offense can't move the ball. (70 yards passing last week)

30 San Francisco at New Orleans 21
I refuse to buy into the Saints as a legit playoff team.  Colin Kaepernick (or Alex Smith) will shred this swiss-cheese Saints D.  And San Fran's D will stifle Brees.  Close game, but the niners are gonna prove who the real contender is here.

34 Green Bay at NY Giants 31
Like I predicted a few weeks ago, the Giants lost to Cincy leading to worry and doubt among their fan-base.  Eli has looked dreadful lately but the Giants are now at home off a bye.  I like them to get off to an early lead, but ARodg and crew will bring the Pack back like they did last week in Mo-Town.  Packers win on a FG as time expires leading to even more criticism of Eli among Giant fans.

27 Carolina at Philadelphia 24
I will continue to predict Carolina wins with Cam Newton going off (ie. Dal at Car in week 7and TB at Car last week) until it happens.  I am determined.  Carolina's defense is incredibly mediocre though so I think Philly makes it close.  3-8 after starting 3-1?  Instead of actually firing Andy Reid, Eagles fans may resort to lighting the man on fire.  Boy do I like picking against Philly.

Last Week: 12-2
Season: 102-57-1

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Week 11 Predictions

Last Week, I hit 11 of the 13 games (SF/STL ended in a tie so I'm not counting that as a win or a loss)... my record was better than every record last week from these NFL experts expert picks.  I've hit my stride going 31-9-1 in the last 3 weeks.  To the picks...

21 Miami at Buffalo 30
Miami is coming off a home blowout against Tennessee and Buffalo almost eeked out a victory at Foxborough.  I think Buffalo surprises everyone by winning at home without Fred Jackson.

14 Arizona at Atlanta 27
After a tough loss in New Orleans, Atlanta will get back on track at home against the inept Cards who have not won since week 4.  I'm feeling a late Falcons defensive score capping off a double digit victory.

6 Cleveland at Dallas 34
Brandon Weeden has been awful lately and he will be forced to throw often if Trent can't run on the Cowboys D.  Dallas has played good football the past 4 weeks since their late-game debacle at Baltimore.  Their due for a home blowout and the Browns are the perfect opponent for the job.

37 Green Bay at Detroit 24
Green Bay will continue to take care of business extending their win streak to 5 games.

17 Cincinnati at Kansas City 10
I still don't think Cincy is a good team but Kansas City is just absolutely awful.  The Chiefs had so many chances to beat PIT on MNF and just blew every1 of them.  AJ Green will catch a couple TD at Arrowhead en route to a Bengals win.

21 Philadelphia at Washington 33
The Eagles are in total disarray and the Redskins have not won in 3 weeks.  RG3 will get the Skins back on track and Eagles fans will continue to call for Andy Reid's head.  

17 Tampa Bay at Carolina 20
Everyone is ridin' Tampa Bay right now.  People are a bit too high on this Bucs team that I foresee losing to the Panthers on the road.  This is my latest prediction for the game that Cam is gonna go OFF.

3 Jacksonville at Houston 24
If you are in an elimination pool and have not used Houston yet, use the Texans this week.  That is all.

16 NY Jets at St. Louis 10
The Jets have looked AWFUL lately but I expect a Rams let-down game at home.  This is a classic "Jets win will spark absolutely ridiculous chatter from various Jets players (and possibly Rex Ryan) that they could potentially make the playoffs only to end in a 5 or 6 win season."

27 New Orleans at Oakland 28
Classic trap game in Oakland.  Everyone thinks the Saints are gonna come back and get a wild card spot (which isn't gonna happen).  The Saints may be looking ahead to their home game against he niners and their rematch in Atlanta.  I see a 2 minute drill from Carson Palmer to beat the Saints.  The Raiders have given up 97 points over the past 2 weeks but I think their defense gets it together and holds Brees and crew to under 30.

17 San Diego at Denver 27
Peyton Manning has found his groove in Denver these days.  Peyton is averaging 302 passing yards per game and has a TD/INT ratio of 10/3 in his last 4 contests (all wins) and now he faces the Charger team that got him started on this roll (recall the game when Denver was down 24-0 at half but won 35-24)  Oh yea, and Philip Rivers is an interception machine.

13 Indianapolis at New England 38
Hey I love the Colts and the whole #ChuckStrong thing and the fact that they're 6-3 is awesome.  I think they will get the #6 seed.  However, on the road in New England I think Andrew Luck struggles. Right now, I would give the MVP award to Luck.  But, he did struggle a bit last week in Jacksonville (227 yds, 1 int, 1 fum, 0 td).  Pats blowout in the annual IND/NE showdown that just doesn't have the same feel to it.

26 Baltimore at Pittsburgh 23
I'll take Baltimore over a Byron Leftwich led Steelers team.  Although I don't think Leftwich is as bad as people think.  Ravens get a win at Heinz field extending their AFC North lead to 2 games.

6 Chicago at San Francisco 12
Jason Campbell v. Colin Kaepernick is that matchup here.  Two of the best teams in the league (with the 2 best defenses) both lost their starting QB last week to injury.  This will be a very low scoring affair.  I foresee a zero touchdown game with 6 field goals in total.  I think the niners D will stifle Campbell but Kaepernick is one of the most competent backups in the NFL.  He'll get San Fran down the field enough times to get a dozen points.

Byes: Tennessee, Minnesota, Seattle, NY Giants

Last Week: 11-2-1
Season: 90-55-1

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Week 10 Predictions

24 Indianapolis at Jacksonville 17

20 NY Giants at Cincinnati 27
Eli is 1 bad game away (and a loss bringing his team to 6-4) from complaints of his performance to begin to unravel from Giants fans.  Cincinnati is on a 4 game losing skid but I think they get off the snide at home against the G-Men.  Giants fans will start to worry (6-4 going against GB in week 11) but they will win the division in the end.

13 Tennessee at Miami 33
The titans stink and Miami is 1 game out of the 6th spot in the AFC.  I like a blowout in South FLA.

17 Detroit at Minnesota 21
I'm just not on board with this Lions team.  They are 4-4 but have only played 2 good, complete games (the last 2).  And 1 of those 2 was against the Jags.  Ponder gets his groove back at home as the Vikes stifle Stafford just like they did in week 4.

17 Buffalo at New England 34
Brady's rollin' right now.  The Pats will not trip up against Buffalo (like they did in week 3 last year when Brady threw 4 picks).  Easy call.

38 Atlanta at New Orleans 28
People are not giving Atlanta enough credit.  Those people include me as I picked Dallas (a team that can't finish) to win sunday night in the George Dome against a team that has been winning close games all year. (now 5-0 in games decided by 7 points or less)  That Saints D is really terrible... Ryan will lead the Falcons to a 9-0 start.

24 San Diego at Tampa Bay 31
Both teams are 4-4, but I happen to think 1 team is solid and 1 is awful.  I'll take the solid team at home.    Doug Martin is unstoppable

27 Denver at Carolina 12
Cam's coming off a win in DC but I think reality sets back in for the second year QB against a potent Broncos pass rush.  Peyton is playing at an MVP level right now and there is no way he will let Denver lose against the 2-6 Panthers.

21 Oakland at Baltimore 22
The injury-ridden Ravens squad will pull out another ugly victory.  Ray Rice finally got the ball over 20 times last week and he made the Browns pay, running for 98 yards and a score.  Now Rice is going against a team that allowed 251 rush yards and 4 TD to the muscle hamster last week.  Rice should touch the rock around 30 times in this one.

6 NY Jets at Seattle 16
The Jets have been a mess all year and now they travel up to Seattle to play the Hawks who are 4-0 at home.  That homefield advantage coupled with an elite D will be too much for Rex and crew.

27 Dallas at Philadelphia 24
The loser of this game essentially has their fate settled.  The loser will not be contending for a playoff spot and the winner will be given some sort of life.  I think Dallas is a much better team than Philly; their problem is that they make dumb mistakes at the worst times.  Philly has O-line issues, coach issues, turnover issues; issues that need to be addressed this off-season in order to get the Eagles back to being relevant.  Romo pulls out a close one. (that feels really weird to say)

9 St. Louis at San Francisco 25
San-Fran will have a classic defensive performance against the offensively challenged Rams.  The difference between an elite D and an up and coming, young D will be clearly illustrated.

17 Houston at Chicago 16
This is gonna be an awesome Sunday night game.  Two 7-1 juggernauts going head to head in Chi town will provide a low-scoring, defensive minded affair.  When push comes to shove, I trust Schaub over Cutler.  I am JACKED UP for this one.

13 Kansas City at Pittsburgh 34
Pitt hasn't lost at home yet and the Chiefs are straight up AWFUL.  Matt Cassel on the road against the Steelers D?  Sign me up! I'm excited about my waiver-wire pickup of Steelers D this week in fantasy...

Byes: Cleveland, Washington, Green Bay, Arizona

Last Week: 10-4
Season: 79-53