2008 NFL Football Season: Quarterback Changes and Surprise Starters

November 29, 2008

I can’t remember a season where there were so many surprise starters at quarterback and permanent quarterback changes during the season. There have really only been a few, but it is still unusual to see such significant changes by multiple teams during the season. Here I talk about three of the more intriguing ones.

Tennessee Titans: Kerry Collins Replaces Vince Young

The first game of the season for the Titans saw a very bizarre outing by Vince Young. Based on press accounts, Young was booed by Titans fans and sat on the sideline despondent and sulking. He was so despondent that when the Titans were back on offense Jeff Fisher had to force Young to go back into the game! Later he injured his knee running the ball, but it doesn’t sound like the injury was something that would keep him out the following week, but not much information was provided about the injury.

In an even more bizarre twist, the following evening Young disappeared from his home and the Titans sent police to look for him because he was supposedly emotionally downtrodden about Sunday’s events. It turns out he was at a friend’s house watching the Monday Night Football game. The Titans said the whole situation was blown out of proportion by the press, but you don’t send police to look for someone just because they aren’t at home unless something unusual prompted it. Something is clearly awry in the psyche of Vince Young. Just imagine if he played in New York or Philadelphia where the fans are even less forgiving.

Jeff Fisher made a very gutsy call at this point naming Kerry Collins as the starter and he has remained the starter since. Thus, the highly touted first round draft pick who is supposed to be the future of the franchise was replaced by a 15-year veteran. It was clearly the right call by Fisher as Kerry Collins has played extremely well and the Titans are sitting at 11-1 with the best record in the NFL.

Kerry Collins, now in his 15th season, is clearly not the future of the Titans franchise. But he certainly is the savior of this season, which could have unraveled quickly after such an unusual set of circumstances surrounding the starting quarterback. Collins has had his own demons during his up and down career but he is the steady hand at the wheel for the Titans in 2008.

Will Vince Young get another chance to redeem himself as a starter for the Titans? Undoubtedly he will. Jeff Fisher has already proclaimed that Young is the future of the franchise and he wants him to sit and learn this year. You can’t give up on a promising first round draft pick at quarterback so quickly who you have invested a lot of time and money in.

Will Vince Young ever be an elite quarterback in the NFL? He has all the physical attributes to be one. He is big, has a strong arm, and can run the ball well. What he doesn’t seem to have is the decision making ability and emotional make up it takes to be an elite quarterback. I’ve seen a lot of Vince Young the past few years and I have never been impressed with his play on the field and his decision making. My prediction is that Young, at best, will be an average quarterback in the NFL. I would not be surprised if he washes out in the next few years, and he definitely will if he doesn’t get his head in the right place.

Minnesota Vikings: Gus Frerotte Replaces Tarvaris Jackson

The only ingredient the Vikings are missing in having a Super Bowl contending team is a decent quarterback. That is why they tried to trade for Brett Favre when he came out of retirement, but there was no way the division rival Green Bay Packers were going to let that happen. Tarvaris Jackson was a terrible quarterback last year and he was even more abysmal at the start of this season. Every time I see Jackson play I wonder why he is even in an NFL uniform. He is a terrible decision maker in the pocket and I have seen absolutely nothing to make me believe he is a viable starter in the NFL. Thus, after a few awful performances by Jackson, Brad Childress called on another old quarterback, Gus Frerotte, now in his 16th season. Childress made the move after talking with Jackson, who reportedly said he was playing not to lose.

I have a soft spot for Gus Frerotte. I saw a lot of him his first few years in the league when he started for the Washington Redskins replacing the bust of a first round draft pick Heath Shuler. Here is a late round draft pick that has had a solid, if somewhat unspectacular professional career. After starting for the Redskins for a few years he has bounced around the league as a backup except for a stint as a starter for the woeful Dolphins in 2005.

A lot of people questioned the move to name Gus Frerotte the starter but it was clearly the right decision for this year. With Jackson playing there is no way the Vikings win a shootout with the Saints, or any other team where the game is tight. And in any game where there is a lot of scoring Frerotte gives the Vikings a much better chance to win with his calm demeanor and strong arm. His interceptions this year have been a problem but one the Vikings can live with given what he has been able to do with the offense.

Gus Frerotte is clearly not the future of the Minnesota Vikings at the quarterback position. He is an average NFL starter, at best, who is inconsistent week to week. He can play great on some days, while on others he stinks the joint up. The advantage the Vikings have with Frerotte is twofold. First, he can throw the deep ball very well and as mentioned above, in an offensive shootout he gives the Vikings the best chance to win. Second, and probably more importantly, when the chips are down he has a very even keel and still fights to win. He almost single handedly lost a game against the Green Bay Packers with some really dumb interceptions. But he kept going back into the game and doing his best and not getting down on himself, even when it looked like his teammates were starting to get down on him. Jackson is just the opposite. A few bad plays and he clearly would sulk and start playing even worse. You have to love Gus’s guts. Young and Jackson don’t have any.

Will Tarvaris Jackson get another shot at starting for the Vikings? I suspect he will. But as I said before, I think he will never be a decent starting quarterback in the NFL. He doesn’t seem to have the confidence, the leadership qualities, or the ability to make quick decision on the field, all of which are necessary to be a decent starting quarterback in the NFL. The Vikings really need to find a solution at the quarterback position in the future if they want to move one step closer to contending for a championship.

Arizona Cardinals: Kurt Warner Named Starter Over Matt Leinart

Before the season even started Cardinals’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt
named Kurt Warner the starting quarterback over Matt Leinart. So we have another older, veteran quarterback taking over a team loaded on the offensive side of the ball for an immature, underperforming, young quarterback.

At this point in the season it is definitely clear that this was the right move. Warner is playing extremely well this year. He has the fourth highest quarterback rating in the league and is a front runner for the NFL MVP award. While Warner has days when he turns the ball over too many times, for most of the season he was played exceptionally well. With Warner at the helm the Cardinals have put themselves in position to make the playoffs and possibly, dare we say, get to the Super Bowl? Probably not given they can’t win on the road, but this year has brought a lot of positive attention to the Cardinals and turned a moribund franchise into one that is interesting, entertaining, and competitive.

Like Collins and Frerotte, Warner is not the long term solution at quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. Of the three discussed in this article, if he doesn’t retire, Warner has the better chance to remain a starter for a few more seasons before hanging up the cleats, but that’s about it. Matt Leinart is the future and he will undoubtedly be given a chance to prove that eventually.

Leinart seems to be on the immature side and from what I have read, he has not had the work ethic necessary to improve and become a solid starter in the NFL. It would probably do him good to sit and learn a few years behind a possible Hall of Famer like Kurt Warner.

Will Leinart ever develop into an elite quarterback in the league? I think the jury is out on Leinart but if he puts the work in I think he could be a top tier starter in the NFL. I don’t think he’ll ever be an exceptional quarterback, but I do think he can be good enough to lead a playoff caliber team.


2008 NFL Football Season: Week 13, Eagles Sink Talons into Cardinals in a 48-20 Win

November 28, 2008

Philadelphia Eagles over St. Louis Cardinals, 48-20

The Philadelphia Eagles and Donovan McNabb rebounded from back-to-back abysmal performances to rout the Arizona Cardinals 48-20 at home on Thanksgiving Day. McNabb finally looked like the McNabb of old making plays with his arms and his legs. A healthy Brian Westbrook had a superb game with 110 yards rushing and four touchdowns, two coming via pass receptions. Maybe the short week allowing them to quickly forget their dismal performance and McNabb’s benching against the Ravens , along with having a Cardinals team that can’t seem to win on the East coast, was just what the Eagles needed to get back on track and look like the winning team most people thought they would be this season. It was an all around great performance by the Eagles. At 6-5-1 in the tough NFC East, it’s unlikely the Eagles make the playoffs, despite this win.

Meanwhile the Cardinals put up their second uncompetitive performance against an NFC East team after getting spanked by the Giants last Sunday. The Eagles had a great drive to open the game to put them up 7-0. This was followed by two Kurt Warner interceptions that ultimately resulted in a 21-0 Eagles lead. The Cardinals all but abandoned the running game at this point, which allowed the Eagles to mix up blitz and pass coverage schemes that the Cardinals couldn’t overcome. The great Cardinals receivers didn’t help much either, uncharacteristically dropping well thrown balls. The Cardinals were never in the game.

I am off the Cardinals bandwagon. They were the darlings of the NFL with their 7-4 record, prolific offense, and a resurgent Kurt Warner. Kurt Warner has even been talked about as a leading candidate for NFL MVP. And what a great story it is: a moribund franchise seemingly on the rise behind a likeable, Super Bowl winning, two time NFL MVP veteran quarterback who we never thought we’d see be a full-time starter again. But maybe it was all a chimera. The Cardinals’ recent three game winning streak was against losing teams. They are in the weakest conference in the NFL with the 49’ers, Seahawks, and Rams all having losing records. Now the Cardinals have put up a second poor showing in a row against higher caliber teams from the NFC East. Worse yet, they weren’t even competitive in either game. Their signature win of the season at home against the Dallas Cowboys was followed up with an away loss at a good Carolina team. With this ugly loss to the Eagles the luster is off the Cardinals. They will make the playoffs, but they haven’t proven they are capable of doing anything once they get there.

MVP: Brain Westbrook, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Thanksgiving Day Observations

I wasn’t able to watch the early games this year. Even though I have them taped I don’t plan to either. It’s a shame the Thanksgiving Day games pitted the woeful Detroit Lions against the one loss Tennessee Titans, and the rejuvenated Dallas Cowboys against a depleted and not very good Seattle Seahawks team. As nearly anybody could predict, both games were blowouts. That said, I’ve seen talk of taking the Thanksgiving Day game away from the Detroit Lions, which has been a tradition for that club since the 1930’s. I don’t agree with that either. I like the tradition and the Lions could, some day, be a decent team again.


2008 NFL Football Season: Week 12

November 27, 2008

New England Patriots over Miami Dolphins, 48-28 

Unfortunately I didn’t get to watch this game live because I can’t get DirectTV at my house. I did get to watch it on NFL Replay on the NFL Network.

Thank Matt Cassel and Randy Moss for this important win over the classless Dolphins!  This was essentially a playoff game in the regular season for both teams and it clearly showed.  The loser (Miami!) very likely will miss the playoffs.  Too bad the Titans, Eagles, and Chargers didn’t give the Patriots any help in our bid to get back to the postseason this year.  But a loss against the Dolphins would have been nearly catastrophic to the Patriots’ playoff chances given Miami would have the tiebreaker against us with a sweep of the season series and a better conference record.  Not to mention we would be two games behind the Jets.  As it stands we need to keep winning and hope someone can pick off the Colts and Ravens. 

The Patriots dominated the game offensively but let Miami stay in it because two turnovers lead directly to 14 Miami points. Matt Cassel had his second consecutive 400 yard passing game and is one of only five QBs in NFL history to accomplish this (the others being Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Phil Simms, Billy Volek, and now Matt Cassel).  Meanwhile Randy Moss made some outstanding catches and recorded 8 catches for 125 yards, and 3 touchdowns. 

Joey Porter is a classless loudmouth punk and unfortunately he seems to be rubbing off on his teammates.  He received a couple of personal foul penalties late in the fourth quarter and his coach tried to pull him out of the game but he wouldn’t leave the field.  He’s not only a classless, loudmouth punk but a sore loser too.  Matt Light got into a fight with Dolphin linebacker Channing Crowder on a field goal.  I couldn’t tell from the replay what precipitated the fight but I’ve been watching Matt Light his entire career and he is definitely not a hot headed or dirty player.  The way the Dolphins were playing I’m sure the punk Crowder did something to provoke him then ran away like a sissy when the action got going. It was announced today they both got $15,000 fines but no suspension. 

While the Dolphins had a hard time stopping the New England offense, the New England defense wasn’t anything to get excited about. The Dolphins did not have “give me” touchdown drives on either of the Patriots’ turnovers. If the defense lived up to the offense the Patriots would be hard to beat.

Regardless of whether or not the Patriots make the playoffs, this has once again been a season where Bill Belichick, love him or hate him, has proven what a great coach he is (the debacle in the Colts’ game excepted).  The team didn’t panic after Tom Brady went down and Cassel has steadily improved all season long.  The offense, despite losing its best running back, is performing at a high level.  Ironically it’s the defense that has struggled more this year but they too have overcome significant injuries. 

Oh and one more thing, Wes Welker rules!!!

Next week will be a tough game against Pittsburgh.  I hope Big Ben sends a few of his stupid interceptions our way.

MVP: Randy Moss, WR, New England Patriots 

GAMES I WATCHED

New York Jets over Tennessee Titans, 34-13 

If you could only watch the offensive and defensive lines play and nothing else, barring turnovers you could pretty much tell who won the game.  The team that dominates the line of scrimmage almost always wins.  The Jets offensive line put on one of the most dominating performances I have seen this year, and they did it against a great, highly touted defensive line.  Nick Mangold has been playing extremely well all season but this was an A+++ performance.  The interior line made Albert Haynesworth all but disappear as a factor in the game.  Haynesworth lined up at defensive end a few times and once overpowered the overrated D’Brickashaw Ferguson for a sack on Favre.  But for the most part the Jets handled the Titans tough defense. 

The Jets played a mostly run oriented, short passing game that was highly effective all game long moving the ball and putting points on the board.  Their offensive success kept them in third and short situations and they seemed to make nearly all of them.  The Jets controlled the ball for over 40 minutes compared to only 20 minutes for the Titans and they really started to wear down the defense in the second half.  Even though the game was, to me, already over because the Titans showed no signs of being able to come back, Leon Washington breaking off a 61 yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter was the nail in the coffin. 

Defensively the Jets also played quite well.  They clearly geared up to stop the run and were very successful doing so.  Unlike last week, however, the Titans could not generate offense through the air.  Kerry Collins didn’t play terribly, the Titans were just in third and long frequently and his receivers dropped several balls throughout the game, especially the first half, that could have made it a little more competitive. 

While this is only one game in the regular season, the Jets have served notice that they are going to be a team to be reckoned with down the stretch.  They have a five game winning streak and have knocked off two division rivals and the team most thought was the best in the NFL going into the game.  While all their wins haven’t been quite as impressive as this win over the Titans, if they can duplicate this kind of performance every week, they are going to be hard to beat.

MVP: Brett Favre, QB, New York Jets

Washington Redskins over Seattle Seahawks, 20-17

As far as professional football games go, this one was a bit lethargic by both teams. It took a third quarter interception by Matt Hasselbeck with the game tied at 10, resulting in the Redskins starting in great field position and going up 17-10, to basically seal the game. While the Seahawks played fairly well defensively, Clinton Portis was the star of the show in the second half, grinding out 143 yards in the game. Ironically for these two West Coast, short passing oriented coaches, the game was decided by a power running attack by the Redskins in the second half.

Maybe it’s just me, but the Redskins are not looking like a playoff caliber team. They seem lethargic (I say it again) and without the fire I saw earlier in the season. Maybe it’s just a late season slump. We’ll see.

MVP: Clinton Portis, RB, Washington Redskins

Indianapolis Colts over San Diego Chargers, 23-20

The Colts and Chargers played a pretty even game. The difference in the game, as it is in most games, was one single turnover. Philip Rivers fumbled the ball in the red zone, on the 10 yard line, which the Colts drove to a 17-10 lead. Game over. Well, not quite. San Diego did come back late in the game and tie it at 20-20 but left too much time on the clock. Manning quickly got the Colts into very long field goal range but Adam Vinatieri booted a 51 yarder for the win.

I am frankly shocked that the Chargers, with all their talent, are 4-7. I don’t care if Tomlinson is not playing up to his standards or that they lost Shawn “Juicer” Merriman to injury, there is just no excuse for this team to have a losing record.

And while Peyton doesn’t look like the Peyton we’ve seen in years past, he’s on a roll and the Colts are going to be a tough, scary match-up if they make the playoffs.

MVP: Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Saints over Green Bay Packers, 51-29

Drew Brees put on a show with over 300 yards passing and four touchdown passes against the Packers in one of the best offensive showings I’ve seen this year. Meanwhile Aaron Rodgers did his best Brett Favre imitation, the bad Brett Favre that is, with three interceptions, two of them stupid ones that turned into Saints scores. The Saints offense was simply unstoppable all game long. The Packers put up some crazy numbers on offense as well but the turnovers and the inability of the defense to get a pass rush on Brees and his accurate passes and bombs just blew the game totally open in the second half. This was a phenomenal QB clinic by Brees in this game. He just shredded the defense of the Packers again, and again, and again. I think Green Bay is a good offensive team and will bounce back, but their defense, despite having two of the best corners in the league, were really exposed in this game.

MVP: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Offensive Player: Terrell Owens, WR, Dallas Cowboys, 7 catches, 213 yards, 1 touchdown

Defensive Player: Ed Reed, FS, Baltimore Ravens, 2 interceptions and NFL record 108 yard interception return for a touchdown

Offensive Lineman: Nick Mangold, C, New York Jets

Special Teams: Domenik Hixon, 201 return yards and 68 yard kickoff return for a touchdown

Rookie of the Week:  Leodis McKelvin, CB, Buffalo Bills, 2 interceptions and 64 yard interception return for a touchdown

 

 

 

 


Week 13 NFL Picks

November 25, 2008
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Hi all, I’m gonna be short and sweet this week due to a laptop issue and time constraints for traveling, hope you understand.  That’s why we had no NFL Notes this week either.  Douchetard for last week goes to Matt Hasselbeck for an ill timed pick at the end of the game when they were driving to tie or beat the Skins.  I feel bad since his team sucks but nobody else stood out last week.  Feel free to correct me if you think of something better!  On to the picks:

Tennessee over Detroit

Dallas over Seattle

Arizona over Philly-I am officially off the Eagles bandwagon, they’ve screwed up weekly.

Buffalo over San Fran

Baltimore over Cincy

Indy over Cleveland

Carolina over Green Bay-could be a good one, both coming off bad losses

Miami over St. Louis

Tampa over New Orleans

NY Giants over Washington

Atlanta over San Diego-Good lord, Atlanta is actually a player in the playoff race

New England over Pittsburgh

NY Jets over Denver

Oakland over KC

Minny over Chicago

Jacksonville over Houston-Finally someone Jax should be able to beat

So that’s all I have for this week, I’ll have more detailed remarks next week, rest assured.  Have a great Thanksgiving all!

Last Week:  11-5

Season Record:  112.5-62.5


2008 NFL Football Season: Week 12, Pittsburgh Wins Snoozer against Cincinnati

November 21, 2008

AP
AP

Pittsburgh Steelers over Cincinnati Bengals, 27-10

This was a very sluggish, non-descript game.  Cincinnati started off with a nice drive for a touchdown but the Steelers defense, with their unique pass rushing scheme, pretty much shut the Bengals down the rest of the game.  Of course the Bengals, being a losing team, lost some opportunities on dropped balls and a few poor passes by Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Even though the halftime lead for Pittsburgh was only 10-7, it was pretty clear is was just a matter of time before Pittsburgh would wear down the Bengals for the win.   

What was surprising about this game is the Bengals hung in so well for so long.  The Bengals defense played decently for three quarters, even though they were on the field a lot, and the offense didn’t look completely and totally inept.  They just faced the nastiest, stingiest defense in the league.   

I haven’t seen much of the Bengals this year because I choose other games when they are on television so I have only seen Fitzpatrick play in this game.  But what I saw of Ryan Fitzpatrick makes me think he can develop into a starting QB in the league.  He has good mechanics and threw the short ball mostly well, with a few exceptions.  His statistics in this game are a little worse than they should have been because of a few dropped balls.  And the Steelers defense really put the heat on, especially in the second half, making it hard to evaluate his potential.  He also didn’t throw the long ball much, but the receivers were mostly covered.  But based on just this game, I think the guy can play. 

Of course the big storyline of this game was Chad “Ocho Stinko” Johnson acting out again and being deactivated for the game.  I wish I could sleep at work then yell at my boss and still pocket a fat paycheck while getting a free day off to sit at home watching football.  They should do just what Stinko wants them to do, trade him — to the Oakland Raiders!

 

MVP:  Larry Foote, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers


2008 NFL Football Season: Week 12 Picks

November 21, 2008

I don’t normally post my picks but I was asked to do it for something else so here they are.

Pittsburgh over Cincinnati:  The Bungles are so woeful this year I cannot fathom they have a prayer against the Steelers on Thursday night.  It might be fun to watch just to see how many sacks and turnovers the Steelers’ defense gets.  This is an easy pick.

Baltimore over Philadelphia:  I don’t see Philadelphia bouncing back from last week’s debacle in Cincinnati.  The Eagles seem to be a team on the decline.  Despite having a rough week against the Giants I think the Ravens defense will shut down the Eagles and their offense should do enough to win the game.

Chicago over St. Louis:  The Rams are another miserable, no account team with a ton of injuries.  They had a few surprising moments this year, but the last few weeks have been a disaster.  Chicago hasn’t been exactly impressive of late either, but they should come out with a win here.

Tennessee over New York Jets:  The Jets are a hot team right now with a four game winning streak, including wins over division rivals Buffalo and New England.  Brett Favre and Thomas Jones have been playing well of late, and Kris Jenkins is starting to look like the terror he was when he was with the Panthers.  But the Titans are even hotter and the Jets are not as good as their fans think they are.  I will be the biggest fan the Titans have this weekend and I think they will win a close game.  But wouldn’t it be just our (Patriot’s fans) luck that the Titans choose this week to lose their first game?

New England over Miami:  Miami spanked my New England Patriots in Week 3.  Both of these teams are better than they were then but New England has the better team.   Even though the game is in Miami, given the stakes I think the Patriots will be bring playoff intensity and pull it out.

Cleveland over Houston:  Sage Rosenfels.  Need I say more?  While Cleveland has looked pretty mediocre the past few weeks, their defense is tough (even though it fades in the 4th quarter) and they should be able to put up enough offense to beat Houston.

Tampa Bay over Detroit:  I am picking Detroit to be the first team to go 0-16.  The last team to go winless was the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers who went 0-14.  They need company.

Minnesota over Jacksonville:  This is a tough one to call but Minnesota should win this game if Gus doesn’t chunk up a bunch of interceptions like he did against the Packers.  The Vikings have a solid defense that is hard to run against and Adrian Peterson who is hard to stop.  Meanwhile, Jacksonville continues to implode internally.

Kansas City over Buffalo:  Other than I think Kansas City is bound to win another game I don’t know why I am picking them over Buffalo.  Monday night Trent Edwards looked awful and I think the Chiefs are primed to pull off an upset and what better time to do it against a down team after a tough Monday night loss?

Dallas over San Francisco:  With Romo back the Cowboys are back in the saddle and will ride over the tough, but not good enough, 49′ers on Sunday.

Denver over Oakland:  Denver sometimes actually can play defense when they have a mind to.  Oakland has had a couple of close games but they are a lousy no account team and the Denver offense just may put up 50 points on them.

Carolina over Atlanta:  The last time these two teams played Carolina held Michael Turner and Matt Ryan in check and won the game rather handily.  Even though they are playing in Atlanta I don’t see a different outcome this week.

Arizona over New York Giants:  Yes, I am predicting an upset.  This game is in Arizona and the Giants are ripe for a let down.  Either Kurt Warner will turn the ball over six times and the Giants will blow out the Cardinals, or the Cardinals offensive line will man up against one of the best defensive lines in the league, allowing Kurt Warner just enough time to take advantage of the Giants’ weak secondary to win a close one.  I’m predicting the latter.  (Or I’ve lost my mind).

Washington over Seattle:  Poor Seattle.  This is another team that came into the season with a lot of (empty) promise.  No running game, all their receivers hurt, injured quarterbacks, and a defense that has taken the year.  The Redskins are not as bad as they looked the past few weeks and will want to win this one to keep their playoff hopes alive.  And Jim Zorn should be fired up to beat his old team.

Indianapolis over San Diego:  I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the whiniest team in the NFL get the beat down this year.  Peyton looks to be back in his groove, the Colts running game has come to life, and their defense has an occasional pulse.  I think the Colts pull out another close one in San Diego and bury the Chargers’ season, especially given how the refs LOVE the Colts and seem to HATE the Chargers.

Green Bay over New Orleans:  Even with Reggie Bush supposedly coming back and Drew Brees playing well, I just have a good feeling about the Packers in this game.  I know Green Bay hasn’t looked as good as they did earlier in the season, but their defense is a turnover machine (even if they can’t stop the run).  If Greg Jennings would get his head out of his behind and stop dropping passes Green Bay should be able to pull this one out.


Week 12 NFL Picks

November 20, 2008
Kurt Warner, MVP Candidate, from SI.com

Kurt Warner, MVP Candidate, from SI.com

It doesn’t get much better than this.  I’m coming at you from a 13.5 win week baby!  Yes I said 1/2.  I get some credit for the tie, dammit, don’t mess with me!  Best week yet, for me, not for McNabb and Philly.  But this is all about me, so I don’t care.  He won a Dual Douchetard Award, so he should be happy.  Had I known about his lack of overtime knowledge, he might have been the sole winner.  Ah well, what will be will be!

Pittsburgh over Cincy: Fresh off that scintillating showdown with Philly, Cincy gets to take on Pittsburgh.  Can they take the same state into OT again?  Uh…no.  No, not happening.  This is one game I won’t be upset over the NFL Network showing and me not getting to see.  Lucky for them my Thursday night NFL schedule is loaded anyway.

Tampa Bay over Detroit: I’m not gonna lie, I’m very nervous about this game.  The pressure of not being the team to give Detroit it’s first win.  It’s tough people, it’s tough.  This is the kind of game where Tampa plays down to the competition too.  I’m having the faith that my boys won’t send me into a shame spiral this week.  The news that Graham is out for the year depresses me, but I think we have enough backs to make things happen.

Tennessee over NY Jets: Alright, this is the game that people are hyped over, thinking Favre can deal Tenn their first lost.  And I toyed with it for a brief moment, but no, I don’t think so.  That defensive line will give Favre some headaches and he’ll toss a few picks and the game will be over.  Tenn marches on undefeated.

Buffalo over KC: The Bills freefall has to end sometime right?  And KC is a good place for it to end.  I nearly picked the Chiefs, they’ve been playing fairly well, but I think Buffalo has to get their mojo back at some point, so they’re the pick here.  Not feeling good about this one though, I forewarn you!

Chicago over St. Louis: Oh Rams, you’re so cute.  So pathetically cute.  And you can’t even get the first pick in the draft thanks to winning those two games.  Silly Rams.  This would have been a much better game for the Bears to bring Orton back, it’s like playing the JV squad or something.

New England over Miami: I was tempted to take Miami again, but NE has to go for payback here and they are playing a lot better than they were in game one.  Pride’s on the line for the Pats here so I say they squeak it out.  Should be a good game.

Minnesota over Jacksonville: The Jags played Tenn tough for a half but couldn’t take the game in the second half.  I think Minny’s defense will be able to get some pressure on Gerrard and get a few takeaways.  This game could go either way but I’ll take Minn, they’re still in contention in their division.

Philly over Baltimore: Will the real Baltimore please stand up?  For that matter, will the real Philly?  If Balt had played the Giants tough I would have taken them here, but they didn’t.  Philly’s blitzes will likely give Flacco a hard time and I predict more turnovers. McNabb now knows about OT, so I don’t foresee a problem there.  Poor Donovan.

Cleveland over Houston: I have to admit it, Brady Quinn can throw a nice pass.  And it’s even better when Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow remember how to catch them.  Houston just blows, but with the lack of a decent defense on either side of the field, this could be a high scoring game.  Cleveland is better so they’re my pick.

Dallas over San Fran: Here’s a game for Dallas to get healthier in a hurry.  I wasn’t overly impressed with the Boys last weekend and I won’t be impressed with them when they win here either.  Something is missing from this team and I just don’t think they’re going anywhere.

Denver over Oakland: I still can’t figure out Denver, but even they should be able to beat Oakland.  They took out Atlanta last weekend, which I did not expect, but this is a division game so it could be uglier than I expect.  Still, it’s Oakland.  There’s not much more to say than that.

Washington over Seattle: Are there any good games this week?  Why is nothing exciting me so far on the schedule?  Washington hasn’t played a good game in weeks and Seattle is getting a little healthier, so this could actually be a tight one.  If the Skins want to play in the post season, they need to take this one.

NY Giants over Arizona: AHHHH here’s a good game.  Finally!  Who would ever think I’d say that about a game involving the Cardinals?  Could be a high scoring game, but I have faith that the Giants D will get to Warner now and then and cause a pick or two, plus a fumble.  Warner does fumble, even if he’s having an awesome year.  I hope I get this game, because it should be fun.

Atlanta over Carolina: Self serving pick here, I need Carolina to take a loss and this is the game they need to do it.  Atlanta is tough at home and I think, coming off a loss, they’ll respond well.  Jake Delhomme hasn’t played well in a couple of weeks so I’m hoping that continues.  It’d be a bit of an upset probably, but we’ll go with it.

Indy over San Diego: Let’s face it, the Chargers are done and Indy has come to life.  I am still not enamored with them, their defense is suspect, but the Chargers look old and lost out there.  This would have been a great game a year or two ago.  Sad.  Manning’s rejuvinated lately and I look to him to dominate this one.

Green Bay over New Orleans: This could be a fun game, but I like GB’s defense much better than NO’s and that’s why I’m taking them.  I’ll probably regret it, the Saints play well at home, but they haven’t been impressing me.  GB is coming off a big beatdown of Chicago so I’d say they’re playing at a higher level.

There you have it.  I’m sure I won’t do as well as I did last week and I took a chance or two, but we’ll see how it all plays out!

Last Week:  13.5-2.5

Season Record:  101.5-57.5