03 October 2007

Weekly NFL Related Humiliation (Week FIVE)

What a lousy week of football on TV. This is the best the NFL could do? (looking at the other available games, seems that this is the case, d'oh!) As usual here are my five picks of the five games in the L.A. TV market.

Seattle(3-1) at Pittsburgh(3-1) (Pittsburgh -6.0) BS Picks Seattle
Pittsburgh didn't perform well losing to Arizona last week, that can't be good for a team. Seattle has been winning, but they haven't really made any sort of impression this season. I think Pittsburgh will bounce back from a bad week last week and remember to get the ball in the endzone as well as play some defense. Pittsburgh has more talent than Seattle, and they're at home, so that settles that.

Jacksonville(2-1) at Kansas City(2-2) (Jacksonville -2.0) BS Picks Chiefs
I don't care about either of these franchises, but this is what's on TV, so I'm going to make a pick. KC are home underdogs for a reason, and Jax is coming off of a bye week which should be of some benefit (although if I checked the records since they've gone to the 17 week schedule, I might find that teams coming off of a bye playing teams who played the previous week do worse than normal cause of rust and too much time off, or not). Will be low scoring, whichever team pulls of the victory.

San Diego(1-3) at Denver(2-2) (San Diego +1.0) BS Picks San Diego
In Norv I trust. OK, not really, but San Diego just can't be as bad as they've been. It's not possible. They haven't lost any big players from last year's squad that had 11 players in the Pro Bowl. Are you telling me that Marty was that great of a coach and Norv is that bad of a coach? Don't answer that. Denver's been so-so this year, and even though they are at home, I think the Chargers are capable of digging deep inside themselves and eliminate the mistakes on offense that have cost them three ball games in a row (really 2 of 3, as nothing would have helped against New England). I just believe in San Diego a little more (despite all the evidence) than I do Denver at this point in the season.

Chicago(1-3) at Green Bay(4-0) (Chicago +3.0) BS Picks Green Bay
If Chicago would listen to my all Devin Hester all the time suggestion for their offense they'd be unstoppable, but they aren't ready to do something so radical. They've been terrible and they're going up against an undefeated Green Bay team at Lambeau, and yet I pick the Bears. Why? The Packers have no run game whatsoever, and against the Bears linebacker crew, that's going to be a big problem. Favre has avoided making crazy throws and kept the INTs way down compared to some of his gunslinger years, but he hasn't faced a defense like Chicago's yet this year. Chicago's offense just has to hold on to the football, and they'll be able to win this one. It's simple really, and yet that's proved impossible for them this season so far. But against a division rival, after getting embarrassed by Detroit, I think they'll turn things around.

Dallas(4-0) at Buffalo(1-3) (Dallas -10.0) BS Picks Dallas
It's early enough in the year so that the field in Buffalo won't be covered in ice and snow. Lucky for Dallas, but there is rain in the forecast, which might slowdown the Cowboys high powered offense a touch. Dallas will win this game, Buffalo is overmatched on both sides of the ball, but there's a small chance that Dallas will not score as much as they normally do if conditions are crappy. They may end up going up big early, and then letting Buffalo come back enough to beat the spread but not win the game. I hate it when road teams are favored by better than a TD. Chances are they'll score their usual 30+ and Buffalo won't get more than 13, so this pick should be safe.

Checking in with My Nemesis Bill Simmons™ (I've decided to start the process to register a trademark on the phrase, "My Nemesis Bill Simmons™", that's right, if you want to declare Mr. Simmons as your nemesis as well, I expect some recompense), his picks for week five aren't out yet, I'll update this when he gets around to it. Meanwhile, you can listen to this BS Report focusing on him and Cousin Sal guessing the lines on the Week Five matchups.

(and I may be exaggerating a bit about starting the process for registering the trademark on the phrase, "My Nemesis Bill Simmons™")

(also, didn't realize till I looked it up that it's UNLAWFUL to use ® unless you've officially registered your trademark with the proper agencies)

UPDATE: My Nemesis Bill Simmons™ doesn't make his picks till Friday, and the lines move a little bit between my picks on Wednesday, and his on Friday, I'm adjusting the post to reflect the current lines, and I'm including his picks right next to mine, to make figuring out our respective results easier. For his picks column this week he did an extensive break down of where all the NFL teams stand with respect to each other. It's a good read, I don't agree with all his ratings, but he gives good reasons for his rankings.

And in his breakdown of the Bears he has this, "And why didn't anyone mention the easiest possible fix for the Bears' offense, the one that was e-mailed to me 25 times last weekend ... namely, that they should just stick Devin Hester 20 yards behind the center and snap to him on every down?", I guess my suggestion about making Hester the "QB" wasn't unique.

My Nemesis Bill Simmons™ doesn't seem to follow his own advice when it comes to one pick. He's picking the Chiefs over Jax, even though he has Jacksonville 8th in his rankings and KC 26th. He's really giving that home crowd in KC a lot of credit.

And as a New England born and raised sports fan, his love for the Pats pre-exists their clear dominance so far this season, but I can't help thinking he's got a bit of the typical Boston area sports fan expectation that things are going to turn south at some point. He writes,
However you feel about the Pats, at the very least you have to admit Moss has catapulted them to another level and transformed Brady's career. Even during the three Super Bowl seasons, they never had a closer, a big-play guy who could knock the lead out of reach. Now they do. In all four victories, Moss scored the touchdown that put the game away. He also has given them a swagger that they've never had, an invincibility they desperately needed. If they can keep him on the field for five months, and if they can stay healthy, they're going to be nearly impossible to beat.

I think he's half-expecting Brady and Moss both to get injured this season and watch what would have been a 19-0 season turn into a legendary missed opportunity. It might even make his Levels of Losing with the next revision. The heavy use of "if" in that section suggests he's waiting for the other shoe to drop. When things seem way too good to be true, you know they'll turn to crap, soon enough, that's what it means to be a sports fan in New England (with the exception of the Pats recent success, and the 60s and 80s Celtics, and that one magical World Series run for the Sox).

(I can't talk, though, if I were to do an NBA preview column, I think I'd have to rely pretty heavily on the word "if" to describe my thoughts on the Lakers this season)

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