This Week in Sports: I'm addicted to the NFL

In a good way... not a bad way. Although, is any addiction really a good thing? Is being a workaholic bad? What if you're a CEO? So my strategy last week of finally picking against the Chargers for the first time in four years failed miserably. And honestly, it's the Karma that I deserve for picking against the Chargers. So from here on out, I am picking the Chargers ATS (for my pick 'em group where I pick every game...I'm still going to use discretion as to whether I include the Chargers in my FIWK picks). As for my quick thoughts on the other games...

San Francisco feels like a good 0-2. Well, if you ignore their first game against the Seahawks and only focus on their close, 4 turnover showing against the Saints. The Chiefs are 2-0 behind a good defense and fluky special teams (I'm going to say that 90% of special teams TDs are fluky) and despite their QB. But I say Cassel throws fewer interceptions than Alex Smith and the drunk fans at Arrowhead affect the 49ers. Detroit has a good offense. The Vikings have Brett Favre. I kind of like the Lions plus 11 points. Going against the traitor (can't think of a better word) is just icing on the cake. New England is good, Buffalo is really bad. It's more interesting to think in terms of, "How many points would I need to feel comfortable taking the Bills?" If it's 14 or less, have fun. For me the number is much higher. The Atlanta Led-By-Matt-Ryan are going to the Superdome to play a Saints team that has gutted* its way to two wins (every NFL writer is required to use this phrase at some point this week). Something doesn't quite feel right about the Saints right now and I think this game will be close. I think either team could win this game by 3. Luckily, the spread is four. If the Giants had played a normal defense (more than one linebacker) against the Colts, would the score have been closer? After realizing that the Panthers are bad, the Giants impressive win looks quite a bit less impressive. Tennessee looked great against the Raiders (that's like saying I can play basketball pretty well against 8th graders) and had 7 turnovers against an impr-...formidable Steelers defense. This game sums up my overall opinion of the NFL this year. I think there will be very few bad teams, very few good teams and a lot of middle teams that you don't really know about. This will not be the first time I take a team, simply because I am getting points. The Bucs look frisky. I like that word to describe a team getting decent QB play and decent defense, but otherwise I have no confidence in them. While 2-14 doesn't look likely, their defense keeping it close to a Steelers team with a questionable-at-best QB and a great defense? I'm taking the under and the points. (After actually checking the over/under and realizing it is the lowest of the week at 33...I'll just take the points.) Cincinnati has shown that last year's strategy of Cedric Benson+defense hasn't expired and Carolina has looked REALLY bad. How is this only a 3 point game? Is Carolina's home-field advantage really that strong? (Quick quiz: Which Carolina do the Panthers play in? Is there any other team that can legitimately claim more than one state as its home territory? Answers: North Carolina and Yes. The Patriots probably claim Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire...why do you think they changed the name from the Boston Patriots to the New England Patriots? It wasn't for the clam chowder.) The Ravens are 10.5 point favorites, but the game has an over/under of 37? So Vegas is saying the Ravens will win 24-13? I'm going to say there's no way the Ravens and the under both win I'll take the Browns and the points. The Battle of Texas, or more accurately, the Battle for the Most Overhyped Team in Texas. Two great [fantasy] quarterbacks leading great [fantasy] offenses with two of the best receivers in the game, in both real life and fantasy. The Cowboys don't want to fall to 0-3. The Texans don't want to...well as long as no one gets injured they won't be too upset about a loss. But Football Outsiders told me (before the season) the Cowboys O-line is so old they are going to be ineffective and I didn't want to believe them. I have Tony Romo on a couple fantasy teams. As it turns out...they were probably right. The Cowboys just have not looked impr-...inspiring. The Texans will be the underdog until they make the playoffs for the first time...and everyone likes rooting for the underdog.

Man...this is getting long...even for me. We're going from Simmons talking about basketball to TMQ length...Who else writes a ton of words? I need one more joke ready in case this goes even longer? Is there a regular internet writer? Or do I have to go with War and Peace or a fantasy novel series?

I keep liking St. Louis. They have some good young players and a decent offense. They're 1-1 ATS. Washington looked bad against Dallas (but still won) and looked much better against the Texans (and lost). This is another one of those middle of the pack [shortcut] I'll take the Rams and the points. Andy Reid announced Kevin Kolb is the starter...then announced Michael Vick is the starter. Why wouldn't he just practice and prepare with Vick, but force the Jaguars the have to game plan against both QB styles? Oh yeah, the Jaguars aren't very good. The best theory circulating the internet regarding the Kolb-Vick-Kolb-Vick QB situation is that Andy Reid is protecting his own PR ass. If Vick wins, then Andy Reid makes the playoffs and looks good. If Vick turns out to be bad, then the fans in Philly will be a little more patient with Kolb. I really don't feel confident about this game because the Eagles lost to the Packers and couldn't cover against the Lions. The Jaguars beat a middle-of-the-pack Broncos and were embarrassed by the Chargers. You know where I'm going here...but you'd be wrong. I'm leaning towards the Eagles, at an 80% full EverBank Field (yeah, I didn't know the name of the Jaguars stadium either). I think Indianapolis losing in Week 1 was the wake up call they needed...much like the Chargers fluky loss to the Chiefs. While some other team gets attention for trying to go undefeated, the Colts will quietly move into December with only one loss. And I don't like the Broncos. I say the Colts dominate this game. Oakland and Arizona are both bad in a middle-of-the-pack kind of [shortcut] I'll take the Raiders and the points. See what I did there? Instead of sneaking up on you and letting the idea grow and allowing you to predict where I was going, I just came right out and BAM! Prediction! I don't know what the Cardinals plan is with Derek Anderson at QB. I am a little surprised that Larry Fitzgerald doesn't lead the league in targets. I like the Football Outsider's analysis that Jason Campbell is an average NFL QB. He's not good, but he's not bad. But that's boring and no one is willing to accept it. They either want the QB to be good and win or be bad so they can replace average also gets replaced. I do kind of hope Darren McFadden helps a couple of my fantasy teams. I hope San Diego absolutely crushes Seattle. I picked the Chargers to be the highest scoring team of the week. I hope Ryan Mathews doesn't do anything to hurt his long term health because I think the Chargers can win without him so he can rest his high ankle sprain. This is Philip Rivers team anyways. I am not at all conflicted about Pete Carroll. I hope all teams ever affiliated with him lose this week in some horrible fashion. But I would be ok if John Carlson scored a TD. The Miami-Jersey/B game vexes me. I am vexed. The 2.5 spread favoring Miami vexes me. Not so much that the Dolphins are favored, but the 2.5 points. The Henne to Marshall offense and good defense vs. the Dirty Sanchez conundrum and Revis-less, still good Jets defense. Henne and Sanchez both have 0 interceptions, so I can't even fall back on my favorite metric. determined before, when in doubt, [shortcut] I'm taking the Jets and the points. Ok, last one. Don't worry, I'm getting just as tired writing this as you are reading it. I mean, this has probably taken me a couple hours now. This is supposed to be a's supposed to be easy and not take up much of my time. Despite Jay Cutler's well-documented historical track record (like how I combined both of those?) of throwing interceptions like he thinks he can throw the ball farther than their punter can kick, he has been one of the best QBs of this short season. 5 TDs, 1 interception. He leads the league in passer rating and yards per attempt. Top four in yards, completion percentage and passing TDs. The Bears are at home on Monday night. Yet the Bears are middle-of-the-pack on both offense and defense and the Packers are the best balance of explosive offense and shut down defense in the league. Green Bay goes from 2-0 to 3-0, covering easily, and I am picking Green Bay to be the team that goes undefeated deep into the season, has the controversy of resting starters for the playoffs vs. going all out to win, but is ultimately forgettable because they don't win the Super Bowl.


  1. I'm taking Detroit +11, Houston -3 and Indy -5.5

  2. An astoundingly good superduper mega-post. I'm speechless (har har).

    I am going to take Detroit +11, San Diego -5.5, NY Jets +2.5, and Green Bay -3.

    Both of my "lock of the week" choices have been wrong so far... so I'm going to go with Detroit +11 as my obvious cover of the week. Even if I'm wrong, I can just say 'well it's the Lions.'

  3. Scott, did you intentionally go with the MP strategy of not making a pick? I went 10-5 overall, but only 1-2 here at FIWK. I don't know what to make of that.

  4. Sorry - was in The Happiest Place on Earth this past extended weekend.

    Unfortunately, I was 1-2 with my picks this weekend as well. I took the Saints -4 (oops), Bucs +3 (bigger oops), and finally the Chiefs +2.5 (that was easy, even for a Niners fan).

  5. I am 1-2 so far, pending the Green Bay game tonight. And even though I picked GB -3, I'm rooting for the Bears and for Forte to score 30 fantasy points for me.

    As for my lock of the week... hey, it's the Lions, what are you gonna do.

    PS - my Miller Lite "Great Call of the Week" was telling our fantasy leaguemate to start Anquan Boldin, which he was considering not doing. Boldin had 142 yards and 3 TDs.

  6. Updated results. MP could argue that he's in the lead @ 0-0...

  7. Yeah, but Sagarin has my SoS ranked in the quadruple digits.