Friday, October 27, 2006

Week Eight: The Picks

Houston at Tennessee (-3.0)
Houston. Little Davey Carr is growing up right in front of our eyes!

Mr. Em: Houston. If this game was played at Houston, the line would be reversed, which really goes to show you how much oddsmakers think of home field in the NFL. Carr will be looking for Andre Johnson all day long, and both will have a big day against a pass defense that, well, can't defend the pass.
Tennessee. I'm so sure of this game that I typed Tennessee, deleted it. Typed Houston deleted it. Typed Tennessee, deleted it. Then typed Tennessee again. I think Henry is and always has been a good back and he's making things a lot easier on Vince.
Zero: Tennessee.
Take me to another place, Take me to another land, Make me forget all that hurts me, Let me understand your plan.

Jacksonville at Philadelphia (-7.0)
Point23: Philly. Can everyone get the hell off Donovan's back, please? Seriously. Shut the hell up. I sound like an obsessive girlfriend, but I don't care. Everyone shut the hell up.
Mr. Em: Jacksonville. The Jags performance last week pushed this line up higher than it should be. Their defense isn't as dominant as prognosticators thought in the early weeks, but it's not as bad as how they played in Houston last week.
Jacksonville. They're definitely better than they played last week, right? And Philly did just lose to Tampa.
Zero: Illadelph. Donovan F. is gonna have a huuuge day.

Atlanta at Cincinnati (-4.5)
Point23: Atlanta. I give up, Ron Mexico. I have no idea if you are good or not. You got me. I quit.
Mr. Em: Cincinnati. Chad Johnson's literally turning into a Bengal - THAT is Crazy!
Cincy. I absolutely believe in Ocho-Cinco, and watching Cincy, they really are close to clicking, like everyone thought they were. Palmer is just missing throws to open receivers and 85's guaranteeing big things (
Ocho Cinco) and Thug Henry will be back and Atl's defense may be gashed.
Zero: Dirty Birds. I think that Stees win may have pushed them over the top.

Tampa Bay at NY Giants (-9.0)
Point23: Tampa Bay. Tiki is a quitter! Yea, Michael Irvin's right! Freakin quitter, you are Tiki.
Mr. Em: Tampa Bay. Two teams that rely heavily on defense and running the football. Tick tock goes the clock, I 'll take the points.
Giants. Giants are on quite the roll.
Zero: Giants. I never thought I would ever see Jay-Z and Dale Earnhardt Junyah in the same care. What is this world turning into.

San Francisco at Chicago (-16.5)
Point23: San Fran. Gimme a break, Vegas.
Mr. Em: Chicago. Bears are rested after their hibernation and will be out to prove the Cardinals game was a fluke. Buonoconti and the '72 Dolphins must wait another week.
Chicago. They haven't allowed more than 13 points at home in like two years i think. I don't think they let up more than 10 and I think Rex brings Sexy back.
Zero: Bears. I'm making this pick just so my confidence in SexyBack8 is up for this week.

Arizona at Green Bay (-3.5)
Point23: Arizona. Last week was a fluke. Leinart will scorch that Ahmad Carroll-less Pack secondary.
Mr. Em: Arizona. I'm glad I don't live in the Arizona or Green Bay area, I don't know what I'd do if this was the regional TV game I had to watch.
Green Bay. They're one of the better bad teams, I think.
Zero: Emerald Bay. They'll show up. Edge's head is somewhere in the north pacific I think.

Seattle at Kansas City (-6.5)
Point23: Kansas City. If San Diego can't win in KC, then I don't think the Seattle JV team is gonna be able to pull it off either.
Mr. Em: Kansas City. Seattle has had problems running the ball all season, now they're not going to be able to run or throw.
Kansas City. Who would have predicted this line a month ago, but this is about right whne Seattle's playing with Mercury Morris' illegitimate son @ RB and Seneca Wallace at QB. He played WR last year in the playoffs. And KC just beat San Diego, a legit good team with all their stars, 'roids and all. (With all that logic though, it seems like there's too many reasons to pick KC and they won't cover, but I'm picking them anyways.)
Zero: KC, and the sunshine band. Seneca who?

Baltimore at New Orleans (-2.0)
Point23: New Orleans. In the Dome? Only 2? Cripes, the Dome is worth at least a touchdown and a field goal. And maybe even a safety. Speaking of safeties, did anyone see Jeff Fisher last week when the Titans got a safety? I don't think he knows what the hand sign for safety is. He was making the "Big Vagina" sign from Curb Your Enthusiasm. It wasn't even close to the safety sign, and it was awesome.
Mr. Em: New Orleans. And who doesn't know the reason?
New Orleans. @ New Orleans. 'Nuff said.
Zero: NO. Baltimore couldn't get a first down against the Cash Money Millionaires Point23 says: as I read this, the CMM were playing in the background, and I hadn't heard them in years. That's creepy).

St. Louis at San Diego (-8.5)
Point23: San Diego. Merriman only has two games left before the NFL says "lights out." He'll play like it. Run for your life, Marc. And spell your name with a 'k,' too, you pompous ass.
Mr. Em: Saint Louis. 8.5 points + Rams offense = Cover.
St. Louis. Torry Holt continues his great season. Way better than Tiki so far. SD wins though.
Zero: Um, Chargers. I have a feeling there is gonna be a safety in this game. Shawne Merriman and his roided ass will be involved.

Pittsburgh (-9.0) at Oakland
Point23: Pittsburgh. Troy Palamalu will outscore the Raiders offense. Mark it down.
Mr. Em: Pittsburgh. A must win for the defending champs.
Pittsburgh. Batch/Roethlisberger/Anyone not named Tommy Maddox and Pittsburgh covers this, easily. Another must win game for a talented team against a garbage team.
Zero: Steel City. Large Benjamin or not, they still roll tide, roll.

NY Jets at Cleveland (-2.0)
Point23: Jets. That's crazy Cleveland is favored.
Mr. Em: Cleveland. This is the beginning of the Jets coming back to reality.
Jets. Cleveland's offense is anemic. Jets offense is not so anemic.
Zero: Ohio State. I mean the Jets.

Indianapolis at Denver (-3.0)
Point23: Indy. Denver was getting away with hiding Jake Plumer all year. He's gonna have to make some plays this week. in other words, Denver loses. Plus, Indy is so trendy this year.
Mr. Em: Denver. The Broncos have exactly what it takes to beat the Colts: a running game to control the clock (Indy is ranked 31st against the run) and a defense that can limit Peyton Manning.
Indy. Denver's real good this year, on defense at least. But every time these teams meet in the playoffs, the Colts win by 30. I think they should be able to not lose by more than 3. And obviously, Peyton isn't very easy to rattle, I think the Colts are still undefeated after this week.
Zero: Indy. Why is Denver favored? Payton Chessning still plays for them right?

Dallas at Carolina (-5.5)
Point23: Carolina. Tony Romo is hyper like Joey Harrington and releases the ball funnier than Philip Rivers.
Mr. Em: Carolina. I still don't understand why Parcells didn't try using Bledsoe out of the shotgun. The Panthers defense will take full advantage of an inexperienced Tony Romo.
Carolina. I'll pick them every week, they're real good against the number. Tony Romo, welcome to the NFL, courtesy of Julius Peppers. This game's a slam dunk! (Ha, get it Peppers, dunk?)
Zero: Carolina. Steve Smith, Steve Smith.

New England (-3.0) at Minnesota
Point23: New Englad. I hate Minnesota. They'll probably do something chintzy like get a safety with 23 seconds left to cover.
Mr. Em: Minnesota. The Vikings will run behind Hutchinson all night long. Should be a back and forth game with a ton of fantasy points scored by Taylor and Brady (yes!).
New England. It seems too easy? I think New England wins by two scores.
Zero: NE. Just so you know, I don't like seeing everyone elses picks and some week I'm going to F this document so hard that you will hate me. Just for a little though.

Read the Rest After the Jump...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Joe Theisman is a Gold Fish.

I have the MNF game on right now. Tirico, Theisman and Kornheiser (that sounds like a deli) with the call. But you knew what.

Theisman is pissing me off to no end. He is completely exonerating Drew Bledsoe of any wrong doing. The reason the Cowboys can't pass, says Joey T, is because the offensive line can't block. Yea, the offensive line. It has nothing to do with Bledsoe being as "mobile as the actual Statue of Liberty" (thank you, Tony) or the fact that he hangs onto the ball like it's his only friend in the world.

The Giants are just teeing off on Bledsoe. He's getting the hell beat out of him. But Joe will not blame Bledsoe for any of it.

The offensive line, Joe? Seriously? You sure, buddy? Last week, you praised the Cardinals o-line over and over and over again. The same line that allowed Edge James to rush for the lowest total ever (ever! EVER!) in a single game. A professional offensive line should be able to get you 2.0 yards per pop, I don't care if you have Wilbon running the ball. There are no set of circumstances under which a running back averages 1.2 yards per pop and the o-line can be praised. None exist.

How can he blame Dallas' o-line for this? This is the same line that is paving the way for three straight Julius Jones 100 yard games. They have to be doing something right.

Thiesman goes so far out of his way to make excuses for quarterbacks that he loses all his credibility. I don't even think he genuinely believes some of the stuff he says. He knows damn well the reason the Cowboys can't pass is because the whole National Football League knows that Bledsoe can't move so they blitz the hell out of them.

Maybe Theisman is really a gold fish. You know how gold fish forget everything 10 seconds after it happens? I think that's Joe. No short term memory whatsoever.

(Full disclosure: ESPN now has Hank Williams in the booth. And Theisman stole his cowboy hat and is now wearing it and saying things like "howdy." Blow my head off. You want people to go check the fridge, ESPN? This is how you do it.)

Mormally, I don't mind Theisman. He's condescending as hell, sure, but he's at least knowledgable. If someone is going to suck, at least present me with with some info that I wasn't previously aware of, and then let me make my own decision. I think Theisman does that. If the price I have to pay for that is Joey T inserting his own dubious opinions, well...I can live with that. Certiainly, there are worse things.

And Kornheiser...well, he's been a little dissapointing, no? He was supposed to call Theisman out at every little instance, wasn't he? At least make it interesting. Through six weeks, he hasn't done that.

I think he's getting the hang of things though. I think he decided before the game to disagree with everything Theisman said, no matter what. Which is freaking great. If he keeps this up, ratings will go through the roof.

People don't tune in because of the announcers, but they certainly do tune ou because of them

Ha! The Cowboys just put in Tony Romo, and he throws a pick on his very first pass. Let's see you defend this one, Theisman.

Read the Rest After the Jump...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Week Seven Picks

Before we get started, a little apology. Pick Em was quite furious that I misposted his record. I forget what I said it was earlier, but it was off by a win. So: my apologies, Mr. 'Em.

Here's the correct records heading into Week Seven. I think:

Kilcs............. 13-11-3
Point23........ 12-12-3
Zero.............. 11-13-3
Pick 'Em....... 10-14-3

Wow. Inching towards respectability there. Onto the picks...

San Diego (-5.5) at Kansas City
Zero: Zero: San Diego...Suuuupa Chaghas. God, I hate Berman. LT and Phil say Your With Me, Herman.
Kilcs: San Diego. Last week teams I was sold on were 0-2. I don't think it'll be 0-3. Chargers D led by Lights Out will shut down LJ and any time you put a game on Brock Huard (or is it Damon's?) shoulders, that's no good. Rivers is becoming as dangerous as LT, no more 8 in the box.
Pick Em: Kansas City. Chiefs split the series with the Chargers last season, but only allowed 7 points in the game at Arrowhead. Tomlinson only rushed for 118 yards in those two games, and didn't find the end zone. When LT struggles, the Chargers struggle. Give me the points!!!
Point23: San Diego. Larry Johnson keeps up his as-predicted bust as a fantasy running back. And I hope Marty leaved LT in when the Bolts are up 21 again and he gets hurt, just because Marty is an idiot for doing that last week. (Jus' playin', LT - we love your work.)

Jacksonville (-10) at Houston
Zero: This is a hard game. Jacksonville is coming off the bye week. Houston's season is basically a roller coaster ride where you have to be a DE from N.C. State to ride. They are the Texans though. Jacksonville, 21-10
Kilcs: Houston. Jacksonville will be without Matt Jones, I'm not sure why that matters, but they will be. I think Houston's due for another close loss. They probably are wishing they woulda taken # 25 though.
Pick Em: Houston. Jaguars will win this game, I expect them to get to jump on the Texans early and then rely on their defense and running game. I still think a TD and FG is too much, so I'll take THE POINTS!!!
Point23: Houston. C'mon now...Jacksonville isn't that good. I know Houston's record sucks, but I think they are semi-respectable. Certainly not 10 point dogs.

New England (-6) at Buffalo
Zero: The first game this year was a fluke. Brady and Co. disassemble the Bills. I say and company because no one other than the two RBs are really all that marektable. Brady and Gabriel. No. Brady and Brown. Sounds too much like Brown and Bubbly. Pats by 2 scores.
Kilcs: Buffalo. New England will win straight up, but Buffalo plays these guys tough all the time. And every week there are games where the better team will definitely win, but they won't definitely cover, this is one of those games for me this week.
Pick Em: New England. Brady struggled mightily in his week 1 matchup against the Bills. Here's to betting that doesn't happen twice.
Point23: New England. Chad Jackson: remember the name. And Laurence Maroney's stiff arm is illegal in 21 states.

Pittsburgh (-3) at Atlanta
Zero: Steelers. Have you seen Big Ted in that FatHead commercial. He really doesn have a fat head, the perfect spokesperson for those FatHead's, which are actually whole bodies, so its kinda false advertising.
Kilcs: Pittsburgh. Nobody runs on the Steelers. Polamalu and the fast linebackers will be able to keep Vick in check running around and I think that Najeh Davenport is a helluva complement to Parker. Steelers roll.
Pick Em: Pittsburgh. This line opened at 1.5, so it looks like a lot of people are taking the Steelers, either that or Tommy's fudgin' lines. Vick proclaims he's a pure passer, and he'll have to be in this game because you do not run against Pittsburgh. I don't believe in Vick's arm.
Point23: Pittsburgh. When a top-notch D takes on an incredibly one dimensional offense, bad things happen for that offense. ATL's WR's can't catch; Vick can't throw: not a recipe for success. Vick is so good at one-hopping 10 yard passes; he should throw ground ball practice for the Braves.

Philadelphia (-6) at Tampa Bay
Zero: Eagles in a tight game. Go Bruce.
Kilcs: Philly. Eagles D puts tons of pressure on QBs. The youngster Gradkowski has handled things well so far in his first two starts, but he can't keep up with the points that McNabb, the MVP leader, will put up.
Pick Em: Tampa Bay. After getting off to a rough start this year, Tampa has been in position to win each of their last 3 games. They lost two of them by a total of 5 points, so expect a close one at Raymond James Stadium. I want the points!
Point23: Philly. In a route, too. Bruce Gradkowski will be seeing Jim Johnson's vaunted blitz package in his dreams for weeks. Random prediction: Lito Sheppard: Two picks, one score.

Detroit at NY Jets (-3.5)

Zero: Still going against Simmons, Go LIONS.
Kilcs: Detroit. I think this makes 3 weeks in a row that I've picked against the Jets and I'm not sure I've won either of the other 2, but I think they're terrible for some reason. I also think that Detroit's gonna end up with a respectable 5-6 wins. I think they win this straight up.
Pick Em: Jets. This should be an entertaining game considering these two teams don't realistically have a shot at the playoffs. Lions have had trouble winning period, but they have really struggled on the road. They're off to another great start this year, posting an 0-3 record on the road this year, gotta take those Jets.
Point23: Jets. I have no confidence in that pick whatsoever. I can't believe they even scheduled this game. This is like the hypothetical who would win between a shark or a lion. Well, maybe a poodle or a prairie dog.

Green Bay at Miami (-5)
Zero: Wow. As long as Greg Jennings and Ronnie Brown have 2 TDs a piece then I dont care who wins, but that really defeats this whole purpose. Green Bay.
Kilcs: Miami. Running game stepped up for Miami last week and Favre's due for a Favre (2003-present) game with about 4 turnovers.
Pick Em: Miami. The Dolphins are really killing me this year. Not only are they my favorite team, but they are 0-5-1 against the spread. If your not gonna win, please cover in a game or two. They're due.
Point23: Green Bay. There's been some insane lines this year: Indy's NCAA-like -19; SF bouncing back from a 30 point only to be a 3 point favorite the next week; now we have an atrocious Miami team as a 5 point favorite. You can have Joey Harrington, thanks. No really. He's all yours.

Carolina at Cincinnati (-3.5)
Zero: This should be a pick 'em game. Panthers defense is too much. Chad Johnson and Hoosh get arrested at half time for doing blow, Omar Gooding-Playmakers style.
Kilcs: Carolina. See last week. See Stevon Smith.
Pick Em: Carolina. Cincy has two starting offensive lineman out this week, and Carolina has one of the best front four's in the league. We'll take the points!
Point23: How the hell is Cincy favored in this game? Carolina wins this thing outright, because Mr. Turnover Machine Carson Palmer fumbled about nine times, eight of which are caused by the completely unblockable and wildly inarticulate Julius Peppers.

Denver (-5.5) at Cleveland
Zero: Melo v. Bron. I got the Cavs.
Kilcs: Cleveland. Denver only beat Oakland by 10 at home. I think Cleveland will play an inspired game, maybe they'll actually score a TD on Denver, something only the Pats have accomplished so far and will keep it close, but lose.
Pick Em: Denver. Denver's allowed one touchdown in five games, and they only give up 7.4 points per game. That's amazing stuff.
Point23: Cleveland. Denever will win by a field goal because they only do enough to win. And I said this before Simmons, you can ask Patty - I told him exactly this in my 11 am Essay Writing class.

Washington at Indianapolis (-9.5)
Zero: Indy. Mark Brunell is old, real old. And the Colts have some guy named Booger right now.
Kilcs: Indy. Their offense is due for a breakout day. And seeing as the Psychos play Peyton this week, well sure enough he'll throw 5 touchdowns in the first half. Although Travis Henry ran all over them a few weeks ago, maybe Portis can lead a ball control attack for the Skins? Na. Psychos badness continues, Manning, Manning and Manning.
Pick Em: Indianapolis. I have too much $ on this game to pick otherwise.
Point23: Indy. Let the Jason Campbell era begin. And while we're here: I don't get head coaches giving up the play calling duties. Isn't that what they are paid to do? I guess - I guess - I can see it if he's a defensive guy and he's calling the defenses...but I don't think Gibbs falls into that category, either. So what the hell is he doing? Why is he getting paid? Certainly not motivation. I jsut don't get it.

Minnesoata at Seattle (-6.5)
Zero: The Sex Boat goes down to the Poison Pill Phifers. Does that even make sense?
Kilcs: Seattle. Branch continues to fit in well with the offense and the performance of the offense without Alexander, makes people wonder why they don't pass like this all the time. Plus Lofa Tatupu. I think he is one of the best players in the league. If this game's on, watch him, he's crazy.
Pick Em: Seattle. See above. Crazy teaser!!!
Point23: Seattle. Holmgren is so pissed about Steve Hutchinson's poison pill contract that he runs up the score. I wish I had Mass Hasslebeck on my fantasy team this week. Wait, no I don't: I have Donovan McNabb.

Arizona (-3) at Oakland
Zero: Cardinals, even after last week's debacle. Are the Raiders who we THOUGHT they are?
Kilcs: Arizona. Matt the LionHearted will lead Zona to a win. Oakland's not gonna win for a long time. I'm not gonna pick them till they win one.
Pick Em: Arizona. Let's see, I have 203 reasons to pick against Denny Green and the Cardinals this week, with number one being they took me out of 203 dollars on Monday night. And I only have 1 reason to pick them, they play theRaidas.
Point23: Arizona. Yep, pretty comfy ridin' shotgon on the Matt Leinart bandwagon. Preeeeeeeetty comfy.

1. NY Giants at Dallas (-3.5)
Zero: Tiki is supposed to retire. Running Man. Dallas.
Kilcs: Dallas. TO gets the double coverage, Terry gets a score or 2 and Julius Jones continues his streak of 100 yard games.
Pick Em: NY Giants. This will be a very close, low scoring football game. 3.5 points is too much to pass up in this type of game. Gimme the points!!!
Point23: Giants. You don't have to double Terrell Owens if you can't pressure Bledsoe (preferably up the middle, but any pressure will do). The Giants have the d-line to do it. Eli plays well on the big stage and a national audience sees Roy Williams exposed as maybe the most wildly overrated player in the NFL.

Let's hand out some awards for these picks, shall we?
The Scoop Jackson Tiny Sentence Award: Zero. Short sentences are his favorite. He loves them. Alot. Loves. Him. Zero. Loves.
The Hip Hip Hooray! Award: Mr. 'Em!!!!!!!!
The Fantasy Football Directly Influences My Picks Award: Kilcs. Somehow knowing that his fantasy team is unluckier than a black cat walking under a ladder and ontop of a broken mirror has helped him get off to the best start of the four of us.
The I Get Off the Hook Award Because I Wrote This: Point23.

Read the Rest After the Jump...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Scoop Jackson Thinks Donovan McNabb is No Good; I Disagree.

I usually don't read Scoop Jackson, and the following is the reason why. His columns are so infuriating that I can't even rationally talk about them. Well, here's that attempt, since Scoop took it upon himself to go after Donovan McNabb, who aside from playing the best football out of anyone this season, had been the absolute steal of my fantasy draft (you're damn right I knew he was gonna go off). I just couldn't let Scoop get away with it.

(Sidenote: I'd never thoroughly gone through a Scoop column before, and this will be the last time. Frankly, the energy and time it takes is just not worth it. Scoops columns are like a sewer - it looks awful from far away, and climbing down the manhole and wading through the sewage only confirms your initial suspicions. Plus, you gag a lot. Oh - and they both stink! Man, what an analogy.)

Scoops words (from his latest article) are in bold, mine follow.

He came to the game dressed in black. Not funeral black, not Eldridge Cleaver or Johnny Cash black, not evil black. Brim tilted, glasses, toes squared and shined. He came in like Neo. Like he was The One.

Here we go, right off the bat: the number one thing that bothers me about Scoop. He has this habit of trying to frame the most mundane events and the most trivial details in the most significant light possible, as if he and he alone is able to see a deeper, more insightful truth than the average observer. Donnie Mac wore some black to the game - conscious decision? Maybe, but to Scoop this is the irrefutable truth that Donovan is The One, or is at least claiming to be, I'm not sure which. This drive me nuts. Absolutely bat-shit crazy.

Everything has changed. The braids are gone, along with the drama. Injuries and excuses evaporated. The sideburns that run down his face, linear; the fade crisp as iceberg lettuce. The black cloud is no longer destroying the team. This ain't last season.

Thanks for showing up six weeks too late, Scoop. Donovan got a haircut and TO's gone. Yay.

But once Donovan McNabb stepped on the field to face a team that was an afterthought last season -- just like his -- last season came back.

Scoop words his sentences so that you have to read them at least twice before you understand what the hell he is really talking about. This isn't advanced writing, Scoop, and you aren't being clever or witty. If it confuses the reader, its just bad writing. Bottom line. Does he mean that his team is an afterthought this season or last season? You honestly can't tell from the way he's written that.

From the opening kickoff, it was like his MVP season stayed in Philly, stayed on the bus outside the Superdome -- like it made its point in the Dallas game.

Just so we're on the same page here, Scoop is now criticizing Donovan, right? He's calling Donnie Mac's performance against the Saints a "let down," basically, correct? I think he is, anyways. We'll get back to this.

McNabb was sacked twice. He threw his first interception since the season's opening quarter when his Hail Mary pass was picked off right before halftime. His Eagles were down by 14 at the half. His command of the No. 1 offense in the league, the unit that is third in the NFL in points per game behind only the Bears and Chargers, had generated only three points. It was last season all over again.

Could Scoop have picked some more arbitrary, meaningless stats here to cover up for the fact that he has no idea what the fuck he is talking about? Donnie Mac was sacked twice? He was sacked three times last week at Dallas, which, according to Scoop, made him the front runner for NFL MVP. His first INT was, as Scoop says, a Hail Mary to end the pass, which has a success rate of, oh, negative 12, so that should count for a lot. The Eagles put up 3 points at the Super Dome, which given the way the Saints are playing at home, isn't all that bad - there's still a half to play. And they would have been down by a touchdown less if the Eagles punt return team didn't look like Angels in the Outfield right before the half.

But then, in the third quarter, he returned. He returned to being the Donovan McNabb whose play through the first five games had writers on "Around the Horn" last week acknowledging him as the best quarterback in the game -- better than Peyton Manning.

First of all, when you are relying on the panel of Around the Horn to make your case, well...I mean, that speaks for itself, doesn't it? Around the Horn?!?! Really, Scoop? That's the best you can do?

And second of all, now he's praising McNabb for rallying his team, right? So now after bashing him, he's praising him...what is the point of this story right now? Are we disappointed in Donovan? Think he's choking? Showing how resilient he is? What is the point? Does anyone know? I'm genuinely baffled. I'm sure Scoop will clear it up shortly, though. I have faith.

He completed 10-of-12 for 169 yards and two TDs in the third quarter. He put his team back in the game, on his back. The smile returned to his face on the sideline. But then the smile left.

Hey man, even Hines Ward doesn't smile when he does 14. I know the old saying "Your face should look the same whether you're up or down 20," but, I mean...whatever.

And as Donovan McNabb sat there on the bench for the last eight and a half minutes, watching the game against New Orleans slip away -- partially because of a poorly called final timeout with 2:22 left allowed the Saints to run out the clock (which was partially his fault because of two earlier ill-advised timeouts he had called) -- you had to wonder why the Superman impression he had been doing all season suddenly disappeared in the Saints' 27-24 victory.

Scoop is blaming Donovan for the Saints 8-minute drive to end the game? Maybe he should have suited up at safety, too. As to why Donovan's "Superman impression suddenly disappeared," I would wager that it had something to do with Donovan being on the sideline because, you know, he doesn't play defense.

Why didn't he come back and save this day? Of all days?

Asked and answered: after scoring 21 points, he was forced to sit on the bench for the last 8+ minutes of the game because he plays quarterback. You know what a quarterback is, don't you Scoopie? Please, don't go down that road again. Please.

The "after the fact" game, the game to shut up those who might say McNabb played so well to open the season only because he had something personal to prove in those first five games.

Is scoop even vaguely familiar with Donovan's career? How many straight AFC title games did he play in? His career winning percentage is second only to Tom Brady's among active QBs. Going 5-1 to start a season is nothing new to Donovan or the Eagles. He's the consummate winner and has been for much of his career.

McNabb needed this game to stop that conversation before it started.

The only one saying anything remotely similar to this Scoop, is you. So stop the conversation you're having with yourself and we can end this all right now.

But now it's too late.


Even if the Eagles had come back and won, the question would have been lingering.

Really? You don't think a dramatic, fourth-quarter come-back win over the new America's team would have furthered the McNabb-for-MVP discussions? This still would have hurt him, pulling out a huge win on the road in the toughest place to play in the NFL?

And because of the way McNabb outplayed Brett Favre two weeks ago,

Let me interrupt you briefly here, Scoop. Can you name a quarterback in the last few years who hasn't outplayed Favre? The dude s a human turnover machine stuck on a terrible, terrible team. Cripes...what year is this? Is this column five years old?

...and because of the way he made damn sure his team did not lose to Terrell Owens' Cowboys last week, the fact that he got outplayed by Drew Brees -- a QB who shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as him -- gave the question life.

Again, Donovan makes damn sure his team doesn't lose any games, period. What was so different about his effort against the Cowboys as compared to his effort against the Saints? The difference in the two games was Philly's D - down the stretch in a close game, the D got some huge stops and forced a couple key turnovers. They failed to do this against New Orleans - thus, the Saints 8 minute drive to seal the win.

Really...why did he make damn sure last week, but not this week? Because off his Hail Mary INT? Or his "ill-advised" time outs? Or because he didn't wear the requisite black? C'mon Scoop...gimme something.

And why are we hating on Brees here? Certainly, he's better than Favre. He was a Pro Bowler two year ago and threw 27 TDs last year, and now he's the catalyst for one of the greatest turn arounds in NFL history (so far). Dude can ball. While I agree McNabb is better, Brees ain't no slouch.

And this is when the skepticism about Donovan McNabb will begin to take its toll and affect him for the rest of the season.

Who - WHO?!?! - is skeptical of Donovan McNabb right now? I want a name. Besides Scoops. I demand one.

Easily the most unfairly scrutinized player in the NFL over the past half-decade,

...maybe because talentless hacks who are only vaguely familiar with football call him out for his first bad half of football all season and eight minutes in which he wasn't even on the field...

McNabb now has to worry that people -- Eagles fans in particular -- will worry, analyze and pick apart every little step he takes, to the degree that he might start calling himself Bobby Brown. They will wonder, in the backs of their minds, whether what they saw before the New Orleans game was the truth, or what they saw in the Saints game is going to be how the rest of their season plays out.

Listen, Scoop. Eagle fans are worried about a lot of things. Can Brian Westbrook hold up for an entire season? Will the secondary ever get healthy? How will the defense keep it up with Javon Kearse on crutches? Will newly-acquired playmaker Donte Stallworth ever get back on the field? But Donovan McNabb is not one of them. He's been the rock of this franchise for years now. He plays mistake free football - one pick, and on a Hail Mary to boot so far this season - and is the calmest, most cool leader in the NFL. The entire Eagle's team is one huge question mark the rest of the season, except Donovan McNabb.

And if you people worrying about McNabb - even outright booing him - will effect him, well...remember Draft Day? He got hammered before he even played a down. That worked out alright, didn't it?

The emotion he had pent up inside since T.O. first called him out after the Super Bowl loss will now be held against him as evidence.

Evidence of what?

To many it will seem like the motivating factor to get him to this point.

Who is this "many"? You, Scoop?

They -- the McNabb lovers and haters -- will concede that his drive will now go into cruise control because he's proven the point he wanted to make, that he is a better quarterback than Favre and that his team can win without Owens. This game, this loss, will generate the thought that in Donovan McNabb's mind, right now, nothing else even matters.

Hey jackass - this line of thought is absurd. As a McNabb "lover" (Scoop's term, not mine), I absolutely will NOT concede that his drive will now go into cruise control. The dude was a winner before TO, with TO and after TO. Its only the media who define his career around TO.

And even if this line of thought is accurate, that McNabb is only on a mission to prove to the world he can win post-TO, its still doesn't hold up. You do know that the Eagles play Dallas again, don't you? You do know that part of his "unfair" criticism was that TO got him to the Super Bowl? So would a pair of regular season wins be enough, in his mind, to quash these criticism? Don't you think a second win and a trip to the Super Bowl might be a little bit more of a motivating factor?

And all of that will be untrue. But not unarguable.

What the hell does that mean? If something is untrue, then it is unarguable. The sky is blue. True. The sky is Orange. Untrue. This is unarguable.

Look, we can do it again: Scoop Jackson is a thoughtful, insightful writer who makes solid points and backs them up with facts and not made up words and italics for emphasis. Again, untrue and again, unarguable.

Will anyone take into consideration the fact McNabb spent the day before the New Orleans game getting a tour of the city with the president of Xavier University, and the effect that seeing the city outside of the French Quarter can have on you, even after you give $100,000 to two universities devastated by Katrina? Or will anyone take into consideration that ever since coach Andy Reid took over this team, the Eagles' record is 5-6 in games immediately after they've played the Cowboys?

I don't get it - is Scoop defending McNabb here? Sounds like it...sounds like he's now blaming Katrina and Andy Reid.

You know what I think happened? This is how I think Scoop came up with the idea for this story: he heard somewhere that the Eagles are 5-6 under Andy Reid after playing the 'Boys. He wanted to turn that into a column, and this is what his over-dramatic mind came up with. I really believe that, because I really don't think Scoop is capable of coming up with that kind of anecdotal evidence. Its just not possible.

No sir. Most will point out that even in a game in which McNabb's line was respectable (19-of-32, 247 yards, two TDs, one INT), his line was twisted because 89 of those yards came on runs after catches by L.J. Smith (29 yards on one) and Reggie Brown (60 yards on the other).

Donovan McNabb is overrated because his receivers came up with 89 YACs. This is like saying a basketball player can't score because he shoots alot of free throws. Scoop is just trying to make people think he has no idea what he's talking about, right?

And why doesn't it bother Scoop that McNabb hit Hank Baskett on an 87 yard bomb against Dallas? What, you think McNabb actually chucked it 87 yards to a stationary Baskett in the endzone?

They'll say the fact that he didn't panic in the fourth quarter was a sign of him not showing the passion needed to win, to be the team that went to four consecutive NFC championship games.

I've really been trying not to swear too much on these posts, but...WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN?!?! Now not panicking is a bad thing? Staying cool under pressure is now an undesirable trait? Why don't we hammer Brady for not panicking in all those Super Bowls then, too? And lets rip those guys on Flight 93 for not losing their heads either! (I know, I compared sports to a life and death situation...just trying to illustrate a point here.)

Really, Scoop...hammering a QB for staying cool under pressure. That can't be topped. Hopefully next column he calls out Adam Vinatieri for being so clutch, the asshole.

And who is "they" again? Has anyone figured this out yet? Scoop is just making up critics of McNabb, since none really exist at this point.

They'll say, "It's just like last season."

And they might be right.

No, they won't. Last season, a destructive force unprecedented in professional sports ripped apart one of the most successful team of the decade. Last season is a complete outlier. It has no bearing on anything. At all.

So which Donovan McNabb will they -- we -- see for the rest of the season? The one who had the MVP on lock coming into this game -- 11 end zones, one wrong jersey, a passer rating of 107.2? The one playing like a man possessed, like he had something to prove to the world? Or the one whose passer rating outside of the third quarter yesterday was 35.0, a rating that could get ESPN analyst Sean Salisbury called out of retirement?

I love how he carefully throws out McNabbs third quarter, like it didnt count. And since he was only on the field for three minutes and change in the fourth quarter, he bashes him for a half of play. What a jackass.

So, finally, I think, we get to the point of the column: What's more likely - the dominance we saw for 5 and a half games, or the subpar performance we saw for half a game? You got me, Scoop, you got me. Guess we'll just have to wait and see, huh?

And what does he mean by "one wrong jersey"? Anyone?

The one who comes to practice Wednesday, when he slides that red mesh jersey over his head to begin preparation for the next most important game of his career, has to decide which Donovan McNabb is going to be taking the snaps -- Games 1-5 Donovan, or the new anti-hero that emerged Sunday?

Good God, Scoop: Man has one bad half and now he's the anti-hero? If Donovan is the anti-hero, I'd love to get your thoughts on Terrell Owens or Mo Clarett...

And yet, he has a week to control not only the destiny of his team but also his very own future. McNabb has until Sunday against the Bucs to prove that the New Orleans game was a fluke,

He has much more than a week to control his destiny - he has the rest of the damn season, you moron. That beating a team that just picked up its first win of the season will somehow reaffirm to Scoop that Donovan is again dominant should tell you all you need to know about this argument.

that Rex Grossman is not the new front-runner for MVP,

I know he wrote this before the MNF game, but he's wrong again, and that's always fun.

that Peyton is no longer the best QB in the business.

Oh, the Around the Horn argument. We're still talking about this? Well, if you and Mariotti agree...

That the build up, the emotion, the win over Dallas, did have an effect on him, and that a letdown is inevitable and only human.

I guess we'll just have to agree to define "let down" differently. Losing at the buzzer to the hottest team in football on their home turf = let down. So noted.

That God may have a different plan for the New Orleans Saints that he might not be able to outplay.

Yes, God is actively rooting for the Saints. The region is in tatters, and this is how The Man Upstairs has decided to allieviate all that suffering. Clothes and shelter be damned; let's get the Saints on a winnings streak! Think before you type you mindless idiot.

Which forces McNabb to go through the rest of this season trying to confirm that those first five games had nothing to do with anything, that he's so "bigger picture" than that. That he shall not be judged by us on one game, and that every game for the rest of this season is a "statement game," his statement game -- not just the ones secretly circled on his calender.

Why does he have to make any more statement? He's been killing teams for years. I don't get this!

But if he doesn't do this, the Eagles can kiss another season goodbye. Just like last season.

Yes, because of the identical circumstances. Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

So who's going to be cold as ice? Who's going to walk the line? Who's the man in black going to be, the one from last season or The One?

That was really neat, Scoop, how you casually referenced the people you had talked about at the beginning of your article. It all kinda came full circle there, didn't it? I'm sure only a writer of your immense skill and caliber could ever dare to pull of such a literary trick.

You suck.

We all have one week before we find out. So does Donovan McNabb.

Thank God this is over.

Read the Rest After the Jump...

Zeke is Losing His Mind...and the Public Reaps All The Benefits.

I think Isiah Thomas might be growing himself a pair of rabbit ears (and those always work out well; nod your head, Tim Couch).

Zeke seems just a little to in tune with what the media have to say about him. Although if you are opening up a sports page in NY, you're gonna see the name Isiah (usually with little helper words attached, like "unmitigated disaster" and "atrocious decision making" and "suicide would be preferable"). And really...he hasn't done too much praisworthy lastely. Seriously, I'm trying to think of something...well, he did bring in Eddy Curry, who no one would touch because he might die at anytime and become this generations Hank Gathers (only medically), so I guess he is charitable. Yea, Isiah ; you're charitable!

Reading the media might not be Zeke's chief concern; repsonding to them might be. Last year, he got into it with Bill Simmons, and now he is calling out Greg Anthony.

Here's a little background.

After Simmons' ripped him - probably more than once; not that you can blame him, really - in his column:

"I'm gonna tell ya ... if I see this guy Bill Simmons, oh, it's gonna be a problem with me and him ..."
Ah, Isiah: proclaiming you're gonna fight members of the press usually turns out well, doesn't it? Lots and lots of upside to that type of declaration, isn't there? But Simmons is kind of an asshole - Isiah isn't the first person to want to punch him in the face - so I guess I can see that.

(For what its worth, Simmons ends his column with this gem: "So either you can e-mail me, have one of your PR people call me to explain it, or tell me as while you're making trouble for me on the street." Ha! Simmons - in the street! I'd love to see Simmons rolling down Rodeo Drive, rocking a mock turtleneck, with a posse of J-Bug and that guy who wore short shorts to Lambeau as Isiah and his posse of Starbury and James Dolan march towards them. Kind of like the worst remake of West Side Story ever.)

But the other day, Isiah just lost his mind over Greg Anthony. Here's some highlights from Marty Burns' article on
"This so-called former Knick, on draft night with millions of people watching, had the audacity to take me to task on a player that I'm pretty sure he had never seen before in his life," Thomas said. "But he stands on national television and talks about a kid he has absolutely no idea about. I'm just glad that all of New York doesn't think like Greg Anthony."

Thomas went on to question Anthony's credentials as a TV commentator, and even took a slap at his 12-year NBA playing career.

"Greg Anthony should never ever be in a position to question myself on anything about basketball," Thomas said. "I do remember the kind of player he was. I'll leave it at that."

Damn, Zeke - you want to try to be a little bit more of an arrogant, condescending prick? Anthony had the audacity to take you to task? Why not just sit on your throne and bellow "How dare you! How dare you speak before me?!?!" Who the hell are you, sir, to even use the word audacity? I'm pretty sure you are the man who had the audacity to run the CBA into the ground. Yea, AN ENTIRE FLIPPIN' LEAGUE. You had the audacity to take a proud Pacers franchise and barely keep them above .500 for three seasons, only to have them nearly go to the NBA Finals the year after you left. And aren't you the same guy, again, with the audacity to take arguably the poster-franchise of the NBA and make them a national punchline?

I just wanna know what Anthony ever did to Isiah, because he certainly wasn't the only one panning him for the Renaldo pick. If there is someone out there who thinks Balkman was the right pick in that spot, I've yet to hear from him. The Balkman picked even reduced Spike Lee to just throw up his hands and giggle, kind of like how serial killers laugh when you throw a straight jacket on them.

And as far as Zeke's announcement that Anthony should never be in a position to question him because "you remember what type of player he was," well...what the hell does that have to do with anything? Its so well documented that being a good player really has little effect on coaching and front office skills that its not even worth discussing at this point. (Although just for fun: MJ drafted Kwame Brown. We cool? Oh and you assembled this current Knicks team, Zeke. Jus sayin.)

If Isiah thinks Balkman's stat line in his last three preseason games justify the pick, he's out of his mind. The point wasn't that Balkman couldn't play - although that is still up in the air - the point is that he took Balkman way, way too high. No one was gonna take him in the first round, and you could argue no one was gonna take him in the second, either. Isiah spent a first round pick - 20th overall - on a likely undrafted free agent rookie. That's where the confusion came form, Zeke.

Amazingly, though, Isiah just couldn't let poor Greg alone. Here's some more from Marty. (And um, Marty? Might wanna watch your back. You could be next. Just lettin' ya know.)
When asked whether he could see Balkman someday defending LeBron James or Tracy McGrady, Thomas replied, "Wait a minute, hold on now ... you can run him out there but he'll probably get stepped on a little bit ... Unlike Greg Anthony, I do have respect for others."

When asked about the Knicks' dismal season a year ago, and what role all the injuries played, Thomas said, "We all were in a funk last year ... Greg Anthony was in a funk."

Later, when talking about Balkman's ability to handle the ball, a reporter jokingly asked if he had a better handle than Greg Anthony. "Most definitely," Thomas said. "Greg could only go left."

Yikes, Zeke. Calm down, buddy. We get it. You were a better player than Greg Anthony. Everyone knows; everyone remembers. Post retirement, though, and Greg has avoided reference's to the Titanic, the Hindenberg, and a moron. (OK, maybe not the moron part. But the other two, definetly.)

And what the hell does Balkman being able to guard Bron Bron have to do with Isiah having repsect for people? Not only is Isiah starting to ramble, he's going senile, too.

(Yes. Pump fist.)

Before this, fued (?), I was starting to think the Knicks were going to be OK this year - I mean, they do have a ton of talent on that roster, and from all accounts, Isiah is just going to let them run wild. Pushing the ball relentlessly is really the only way to get any kind of results from that roster. Isiah will probably do better than Larry Brown a year ago, and will feel justified. But the Knicks will never reach the levels of success they could have under Larry with Zeke at the helm. Isiah will be like throwing a cheap band aid on a cut that is just gushing blood - might work today, but ultimately a costly decision.

Isiah's hypersensitivity to the media - and his need to go public with it - are going to be his downfall (well, that and the completely incompatible roster he put together). Every press conference is going to be a bombardment of questions with no real answer and every column is going to skewer him (the "sleeping in the bed you made" reference may be made once or twice, methinks). By the All Star break, he's going to have some kind of public meltdown.

And I'm openly rooting for it.

Read the Rest After the Jump...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Two Greatest Quotes of the Week

There's a couple of recent quotes that I think we need to discuss.

The first is about the Miami/FIU brawl. In case you were living under a rock last week, here it is.

Now, here's the quote:

"Now that's what I'm talking about. You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don't come into the OB playing that stuff. You're across the ocean over there. You're across the city. You can't come over to our place talking noise like that. You'll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing. I say, why don't they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don't come into the OB, baby. We've had a down couple years, but you don't come in here talking smack. Not in our house."
That's former Miami player turned announcer Lamar Thomas during the Miami-FIU on-field brawl. He actually said this. During the fight (er, game). Live on air. He was watching the players kick eachother and throw punches and hit eachother with helmets and generally just forget that they were in the Orange Bowl in front of millions of people and not a Dade County bowling alley at 2 am.

First of all, I couldn't be less shocked that that's a Miami players take on the fight. And I'm not sure I totally disagree with it. He probably assumed FIU started it, and Miami was just defending themselves. While incredibly misguided, I can at least see where he's coming from. And you know what? That's fine - if you're sitting in your living room, alone. Or in a Dade County bowling alley at 2 am. But when you are live on-air? C'mon now Lamar. You just gotta know you are gettin fired if you say something like that, regardless of whether its right or wrong. Now would be the time to insert a joke about the typical intelligence level of your average graduate from The U, but I think we all get it.

I just want to see the reaction of Lamar's announcing partner. In the audio clip, you can hear him nervously laughing. Wonder if he's thinking if there is a way to stop him, or he was thinking, "You know what? This jackass is more annoying than Michael Irvin. I'm just letting him go."

And here's quote No. 2, as John Clayton reported it, because it sounds even funnier the way he words it. Also, I'm adding more "!'s" where I see fit:
"The Bears are what we thought they were," Green said, his voice beginning to rise. "They are what we thought they were. We played them in the preseason. Who the hell plays the third game in the preseason like it's bullshit?!?!?! Bullshit!!!! We played them in the third game. Everybody played three quarters.

"The Bears are who we thought they were!!!!!!!!!!" he continued, yelling at the top of his lungs while pounding on the podium. "That's why we took the damn field. If you want to crown them, just crown their ass!!!!!!! They are who we thought they were and we let them off the hook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Um, what the hell is Denny Green talking about? "They are who we thought they were?" What does that even mean?

Weren't the Bears the exact opposite of who you thought they were? Did you expect to pass all over them? Did you expect to have a 20 point lead at any point? Did you expect Sexy Rexy to have six turnovers, zero of which you were able to meaningfully take advantage of?

And this whole "we let them off the hook" business? What is he referring to. I really hope he doesn't mean missing that field goal at the end of the game. Because if the Cardinals would have really, really tried to score touchdowns after jumping out 14-0, they might have hung 35 points on the Bears. I'm not even kidding; Leinart was killing them.

Dennis Green has me so pissed off about this game, and I don't even know why. I can't believe the conservative shell he went into. They might as well have taken three kneels and punted; at least more time would have run off the clock. Even Marty Schottenhiemer was embarrassed.

Damnit, Denny: you have me pissed off about a Cardinals/Bears game. What the hell.

Read the Rest After the Jump...

The Week That Was: Week VI

First of all, I would just like to say how happy I am I jumped on the Matt Leinart bandwagon before his coming out party last night. I'm not saying I'm the driver, but I did call shotgun. Should be a fun ride.

I know its way, way, WAY too early to make these kind of comparisons, but there's some Tom Brady in Matt Leinart, I think. I'm certainly not saying he will have the success or the career Brady has had - that's pretty improbable, obviously- but he seems so unfazed by anything. I mean, everyone all but wrote his funeral before facing the new Monsters of the Midway on Monday Night. (Wow, look at that alliteration. Bonus points for me.) Steve Young's advice for Leinart before the game was "be careful and don't get hurt." If there was ever a regular season game in which a rookie would panic, this was it.

And he cooly marches them down the field for a pair of first quarter TDs, patiently picking apart the league's most vaunted defense. Then, after the Cardinals blow a 20-point lead because Denny Green made him sit on the football for nearly three quarters (we'll get to this in a minute), he strolls the Cardinals into field goal range, working the two minute drill without even changing his facial expression.

Believe me, I fully understand he isn't Tom Brady and it's his second game of the season and Brady is the greatest QB of my generation - I get that, I really do. All I'm saying is, Leinart shares his demeanor. That's all I'm saying.

Leinart has this paparazzi image - the whole Paris Hilton thing - and the "Hollywood Jack" nickname and those pics of him partying it up after losing the Heisman and hanging out with Nick Lachey (which I think should actually count against him in the "cool" category), but I think he's a genuinely good guy. I think he's a regular guy that got thrown into the Hollywood limelight by going to USC and did what anyone would do - took advantage of it. But in every interview I've ever seen with him, he comes off as a humble, down to earth guy who can't believe his good fortune and just wants to win. And that's a good thing.

I mean, maybe he is this huge Hollywood prick and he's completely fooling me, but I don't think so. I hope not, anyways. And until proven otherwise, I'm sitting shotgun on his bandwagon.

But back to the game - you can hang this L squarely on the shoulders off Denny Green. Which is a shame, because it looks like he devised a hell of a game plan against the NFL's top offense and defense. His defensive scheme had Sexy Rexy Grossman absolutely baffled, and his offense was having its way with Chicago's D.

So here's my question: after having so much success passing on the Bears in the first quarter, why sit on the ball until you blew the lead with 2:53 left in the game? The Bears had at least two, arguably three chances in the second and third quarters to put sevens on the board after Chicago TO's deep in the Bears territory, and they settled for field goals every time. I mean, they didn't even try to score a touchdown. They ran the ball twice, then dropped Leinart back on third and long when the Chicago D could just tee off on him. And once they blew the lead, they finally took the cuffs off Leinart, and what did he do? Got them to the Chicago 24 yard-line with 1:04 left in the game. All through the air. I understand settling for the field goal, but wouldn't you want something a littler better for your kicker, who missed one attempt already this game and had missed the game-winner in an identical situation the week before?

I really don't get Dennis Green sitting on that lead. You are the freakin Arizona Cardinals for God's sake. If something is working, against the best team in football, I'd say you exploit it, wouldn't you? I really don't think any lead is safe against the Bears.

And that running game he was in love with was atrocious. Absolutely horrific. Edge had 36 carries for 55 yards. Throw out that 12 yard run he had when he broke roughly seven tackles, and that's an average of less than 1.2 yard per pop. He got freakin drilled as soon as he touched it. He got hit before he broke the line of scrimmage 14 times. 14! Hell, I coulda done that. Take a hand off, get tackled. Not too challenging. (And while we are here, Joe Thiesman's inexplicable praise of the Arizona offensive line was the most absurd running theme I've heard in a while. That o-line got absolutely owned. They couldn't possibly have done any worse. What fucking game was Theisman watching? And no one could call him on this? Edge got drilled as soon as he took the hand off, and I'll be damned if Leinart took more than a handful of seven-step drops. They were so, so bad.)

I really don't know why this has me so worked up - I couldn't really care less about either team. I guess it was just infuriating watching a team dominate, then lose because they went into a shell. Ya dance with who brung ya, ya know?

(Final thought: ESPN had Leinart mic'ed up for the game. After a three-and-out, Leinart comes over to the sidelines to talk to Warner about the third down incompletion he threw, and Leinart dropped this gem: "What were they doin' on that play? Yea, I dunno what coverage they were in either." Ah, Kurt. Might wanna keep that one to yourself there, buddy. That and your baby hands might be the reason you are currently riding pine.)

Still, the game was exciting as hell, even more so because of Mike Tirico's call of Devin Hester's punt return. When something exciting is happening live, I'll take Gus Johnson first, and Tirico second. And it's too bad he couldn't have called all the games on Sunday, because there were some of the most exciting finishes of the season.

Here's some thoughts on Week 6, bullet-style:

- The NFL is turning this league into a league of freakin' skirts. Each week they outdo themselves with their roughing the passer calls and their "unnecessary roughness" calls in the secondary. Every week, it gets worse. Marvin Lewis has it right: "I guess you have to cuddle them to the ground." I understand protecting the QB - he is just standing back there, after all, and the NFL is a better business with its poster boys not on crutches - but they are officially tampering with the competitiveness of the game. And it needs to end.

If a defensive end has to pull up before tackling the QB, that gives the QB an extra split second to deliver the ball. Advantage, offense. If a safety has to change the way he tries to hit a wide receiver, now the receiver is able to maybe hang on to the ball for the catch or break the tackle all together. Again: advantage offense. This is football, for god's sake. We might as well put flags on the quarterbacks. Kickers, too. They barely get touched and its a 15-yard penalty. They are all football players, right? Then let them hit. No one in the NFL can tackle, anyways - its a big hit or its nothing - so at least give us that. Please.

- While we're talking about rules, can someone explain the 10 second run off rule to me? When does it apply? When doesn't it? Why doesn't anyone know except for Ed "Guns" Hochuli (who actually rolls the sleeves up on his uniform to show off his biceps)? I don't even get why you have to run 10 seconds off after a penalty. So if someone could just clear that whole thing up for me, it would be much appreciated.

- Who's better: Steve Smith or Torry Holt? Put a gun to my head, and I'll take Steve Smith. The Panthers are just so different with him. Holt might be more physically ideal and technically superior - best route runner in the League, if you ask me - and that catch he had with two minutes left against Seattle was unreal; the concentration that took is something else. But its not like Smith is a slouch in those departments. Smith is just a completely unique weapon in the NFL. Throw him a 2-yard hitch, he'll break the cornerbacks ankles and take it 80 yards. No one can keep up with him on a go route and even though he's on the shorter side, he's so athletic he wins 50/50 balls. Throw in the fact that Delhomme has a gigantic man crush on him, and you've got the league's most prolific wide out.

- Larry Johnson is crazy. A week after a facemask/horse collar tackle on the sideline nearly ends his career, he goes and does the exact same thing to Troy Polamalu. I mean, you'd think if anyone would know...whatever. But I think the thing that has me the most confused is how Troy doesn't have a huge bald spot on the back of his head. I mean, LJ pulled that shit hard. The kids in that United Way commercials should use his mane to climb that wall instead of that flimsy ladder they have.

- I think players who have to wear their entire name on the back of their jersey are pitiable. I just feel bad for them. How bad does BRYANT JOHNSON look stretched from shoulder to shoulder in about size 8 font? Just call him Johnson, and since we can see the friggin' huge 80 on his jersey, we'll know who it is. Cool?

- The term "PUP list" makes me happy.

- Denver is going to end up with a good record, but they can't win the Super Bowl. Not with Jake Plummer at the helm. Shannahan is so scared to let Jake throw the ball, he took about, oh, one shot down field against the Raiders. The Raiders for God's sake. They can ride that stellar D and the Mile High advantage for a good while, but eventually, a good defense and a capable will expose them for what they are.

- Speaking of Oakland, the winless streak is now at 0-6 - 10 more weeks! - and our boy Million Dollar Porter got himself suspended for four weeks. In a related story, I kicked a fire hydrant in my bare feet and it really hurt.

- I'm not sure how good New Orleans is. What if Katrina never happened, but they still had this same roster? Their home field advantage wouldn't be half of what it is now, and they wouldn't be playing such inspired football. But they would still have a very capable and potentially explosive offense - Drew Brees has four playmakers around him that he takes advantage of very well - and the defense is playing better than expected. Can they keep it up? I dunno...after their Week 7 bye, they start a brutal five game stretch: Baltimore, @ Tampa, @ Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, @ Atlanta. I say they go 10-5 heading into a Week 17 showdown with Carolina that will decide the division.

- I can't believe how good Philip Rivers is. I really missed the boat there, even though him and Vince Young have the weirdest throwing motions in the NFL. And Byron Leftwich. Those three won't be on any of Bill Parcell's "Backyard Instructional Videos" any time soon, will they? Rivers kind of pushes the ball - it looks so akward. Works, though. He can't even pitch it correctly - he threw a knuckle ball to LT on that "fake the hand off one way, flick it to the tailback going the other way" play that I think the Steelers invented. I think he needs Rev to teach him the veer. (Who got that reference? Anyone? I'm doubtin it.)

- The teams that will be in the playoff hunt next year has been expanded from Buffalo and now includes Arizona. Just letting you know.

- I hope Dallas and TO enjoy that three TD hugfest. Cuz it ain't lasting. They aren't finishing over .500 this year. Nope. Oh! I just had an idea! Jerry Porter vs. TO: who can do the craziest shit this year? TO is in the lead with an attempted suicide (alleged, I know). But Porter has an all-star cast around him; he couldn't be in a more ideal situation. Maybe Sports Center can do those little graphics they do, like the "Chasing Aaron" one for Bonds or the "Chasing Sisler" one for Ichiro. They can call it "Chasing Reality" or something.

- The Best Five Teams in the League After Six Weeks, In Order: Bears, Colts, Chargers, Patriots, Saints.

- The Worst Five Teams in the League After Six Weeks, In Order: Raiders, Miami, Green Bay, Cleveland, Tennessee.

Read the Rest After the Jump...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Week Six Picks

Yes, I am aware I am posting these picks well after most of the NFL's games for Week 6 have been completed. I realize its kinda pointless, but I want to make sure they are posted for posterity's sake.

I was away from a computer all day Saturday and have been sick as hell most of today. For what it's worth, all of this was written by Friday, I was just unable to compile it until now. So no one is cheating here - although after last week's disastrous effort, it wouldn't hurt - and if you don't believe me, well...I don't really care. I mean really: who would gothrough the trouble to cheat on one of these things anyways?

Here's the standings after Week 5:
Zero: 5-6-3
Kilcs: 5-6-3
Point23: 4-7-3
Pick em: 3-8-3

Ouch. Onto the picks...

Cincinnati (-5.5) at Tampa Bay
Zero: Bengals. No Reggie Bush punt returns will be needed this week.
Pick Em Page: Buccaneers. They are terrible, but they're getting 5.5 at home and the Bengals rush defense will have trouble with the Cadillac, which is going to result in a time of possession advantage for the Bucs.
Kilcs: Tampa Bay. I always pick the team that's better and obviously, Cincy's better than Tampa, but a lot of good teams beat a lot of mediocre teams by less than 6. That'll happen and Carson Palmer will start out on fire then remember he plays for me and fumble/throw picks for the entire 4th quarter to make it close.
Point23: Bengals. Rudi Johnson is the forgotten man in the Bengals' alleged high-powerd offense. He gets back on track today against Tampa's suspect run defense.

Tennessee at Washington (-10.5)
Zero: Titans. And I hate Vince Young.
Pick Em Page: Redskins. The Tennessee Titans offense is terrible. When a team is getting 10 points, and you don't know if they're going to score 10, how can you pick them?
Kilcs: Tennessee. Tennessee covered 19.5 against Indy, they're covering again. Running game got it going and Mark Brunell's 54 years old and you can't count on a 54 year old quarterback.
Point23: Tennessee. The Titans were able to keep it close last week against Indy and Washington's offense is so enigmatic, you can't possibly back it. Washington could very, very easily win by four touchdowns, but I have no idea what offense will show up. No one does. They are either scoring three points or 45, though.

Houston at Dallas (-13.0)
Zero: Rockets. Yao drops 30 and 14 to trump Diggler’s 28-12-7. I love this game.
Pick Em Page: Texans. 13 is too many points to work with for the league's leading passer.
Kilcs: Dallas. 13's a lotta points. Houston's been covering (i think?). But TO's due for a breakout game and David Carr's due for a stinker as Janis would say.
Point23: Dallas. Here's the classic bounce back game for Bledsoe and the Cowboys that will make things look like they are very, very OK when in fact they are very, very not.

Buffalo (-1.5) at Detroit
Zero: Buffalo. Buffalo lost 4 Super Bowls in a row. Has Detroit ever been to a Super Bowl?
Pick Em Page: Lions. Detroit's due for a win. If they don't get one, they're all gonna have on one of those weird ass faces Kenny Rogers always makes on the mound. He should be a Halloween costume.
Kilcs: Detroit. Detroit's not going winless this season and I think that this is as good a game as any to get off the schneid. The Bill's defense has some injury concerns and Martz is starting to get that offense going just a little bit, meaning Kevin Jones is getting 6 carries and the the 4th WR is catching 2 TDs a game. Martz is the devil.
Point23: Detroit. Roy Williams' 40 points are this week! I really believe this! Really!

Seattle (-3.0) at St. Louis
Zero: Rams go to 5-1 for the first time since, well, it’s been a while.
Pick Em Page: Rams. Alexander's out, Bulger's been protecting the ball (hasn't thrown an INT in has past 214 attempts), and the Rams are a different team at home (2-0 this season).
Kilcs: Seattle. St. Louis is kind of winning with smoke and mirrors I think, Green Bay and the Lions the last 2 weeks with the game still in doubt in the last minutes. Seahawks got torched their last game, had a week off to bounce back and fix mistakes.
Point23: Seattle. This game is a turning point in the season for St. Louis. Actually, its a drop off point, because STL's playoff hopes go up in smoke starting this week.

New York Giants at Atlanta (-3.0)
Zero: Atlanta. Mexico, Ron.
Pick Em Page: Falcons. The Giants cannot defend on the road. Their giving up 33 points a game away from home, and the fast track at the Georgia dome isn't going to help things out. Dunn and Vick will be too much for the Giants rush defense to handle.
Kilcs: Atlanta. Vick, Dunn and Norwood. They need a nickname. So does the defense.
Point23: Atlanta. I don't know why and I really don't care. The Giants piss me off.

Philadelphia (-3.5) at New Orleans
Zero: Saints. This is gonna be a shootout at the Superdome. I didn’t have sex with that woman, I wanted to. BAM!
Pick Em Page: Saints. Can't pass up getting 3.5 in the Superdome. Look for the Saints to connect on a few big plays down the field as they will be ready for the the Eagles middle blitz scheme.
Kilcs: Philly. I'm sold on the Eagles and D.F. McNabb until proven otherwise.
Point23: New Orleans. As much as I love Philly and Donnie Mac, I will never, ever, ever bet against the Saints in the Superdome. Like Reggie says, "That's just dumb."

Carolina at Baltimore (-3.0)

Zero: Panthers. I agree with Derek Mason, I don’t think Baltimore’s offense can score more than six points. Hey McNair, your not playing Alcorn St.’s schedule, this isn’t 14 years ago.
Pick Em Page: Ravens. Deangelo Williams is out and the Ravens hold their opponents to 2.9 yards per game against the run. Can't beat them at their house without running the football.
Kilcs: Carolina. I want to pick Carolina every time I see them for some reason, maybe dating back to the all-time season turned in by Muhsin a few years back. Not sure, but I'll probably pick them every week.
Point23: Carolina. I can't believe Baltimore is favored. Yea, the D is tight, but that O isn't doing anything against Carolina. Panthers win this one striaght up.

Miami at New York Jets (-2.5)
Zero: Miami. Only for the reason that they looked better last week and I think Isiah Thomas is coaching the Jets this week.
Pick Em Page: Dolphins. Saban's head's just gonna spontaneous combust on the field if they lose this game.
Kilcs: Miami. I don't think the Jets should be 2.5 point favorites against anyone. Except Oakland.
Point23: New York. If always betting with the Superdome is rule number one, then rule number two is always bet against the Dolphins. I can't believe Miami fans were actually clammoring for Joey Freakin' Harrington. They might be crazier than Steeler fans.

San Diego (-10.0) at San Francisco
Zero: SD. The Rivers is Wild.
Pick Em Page: 49ers. Coming off a HUGE win against the Raidas, and I'm not picking the Chargers until they wear those powder blues every Sunday.
Kilcs: San Diego. Great front 7 there in San Diego. They dominated the Steelers, why won't they dominate the Niners?
Point23: San Fran. That Frisco offense is surprisingly frisky. Garbage points get the Niners the cover.

Kansas City at Pittsburgh (-7.0)
Zero: Burgh. Although I can’t wait until Big Ted is throwin’ to Randy Moss and/or Jerry “Million Dollar Man” Porter. Let the insanity begin.
Pick Em Page: Steelers. Ben's due for a big game, Huard's due for a bad one.
Kilcs: Pittsburgh. Refer to last week. Desperate SuperBowl team needing a win. Won't lay an egg. Right?
Point23: Pittsburgh. Damon Huard: Exposed.

Oakland at Denever (-15.0)
Zero: Denver. See above.
Pick Em Page: Broncos. Raiders get "shelled" again.
Kilcs: Oakland. I can't believe I just typed that. But 15's too much in the NFL.
Point23: Denver. Mike Shannahan has had a boner since last Sunday. He'll have to emply the Boner Tuck on the sidelines all Sunday night while reveling in dismantling a pathetic Raiders team. How much do you think he'll enjoy decimating Oakland by 45? Too much, methinks.

Chicago (-11.0) at Arizona
Zero: Da Bears. Matt Leinart might not make it out of this game alive. He better give Lachey a goodbye kiss (no homo) before the game.
Pick Em Page: Cardinals. Flipped a coin on this one...isn't that like the perfect line for this game? How do they do that?
Kilcs: Chicago. Like Philly, I'm sold on Chicago. No reason to think they can't keep it up except for the law of averages. They haven't just been winning and dominating teams, they've been winning and dominating the lines.
Point23: Arizona. I'm hopping on the Matt Leinart bandwagon. I really believe him when he says "I don't know how to lose," but I'll settle for "I know how to cover."

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