This week in sports: Not so bold predictions

The Chargers have had a guaranteed two wins against the Raiders every year since 2004. The Chargers have beaten the Raiders 13 straight times, and if I had a research department like TV broadcasts do, I'm sure I could give you exactly what the record for one team's dominance over another is. In fact, I'm putting the odds at -500 that the broadcasters mention the Chargers over Raiders streak and what the record is, at least once during the game. This is actually the easiest time for me to pick the Chargers minus 'it-doesn't-matter-how-many-points'. And to appease Scott, here is my new format...

Jacksonville @ Buffalo (PK) - The Jaguars are 2-2 with wins against the Colts and the Broncos. The Bills are 0-4 with wins against "No One" and "The Practice Squad". While I understand the Bills have played some pretty tough teams and the Jaguars looked REALLY bad against Philly and San Diego, I'm not going to put too much though in this one and just take the Jacksonville MJD's. With a not so bold prediction, MJD runs wild against the Bills. With a bold prediction, Ryan Fitzpatrick throws for over 280 yards. I like that, I'm going to add a not-so-bold and a Bold prediction for every game...let's see how this goes.

Tampa Bay @ Cincinnati (-6.5) - Josh Freeman has been an average QB so far and has thrown 2 intercpetions. Carson Palmer is averaging an average QB between his great plays and his horrible plays, including 3 interceptions. I will gladly take the points and move on.
Not so bold prediction: Cedric Benson rushes for 100 yards.
Bold prediction: Tampa bay wins outright.

Atlanta (-3) @ Cleveland - As I wrote last week, "The Falcons have looked good against the Saints and the Cardinals and took the Steelers to overtime." While they did not dominate the 49ers as I thought they would, they did pull out the victory. In fact, the Falcons were one Nate Clements boneheaded play* away from losing. I still think the Falcons cover against a Cleveland team that isn't as bad as you think they are just because they are the Browns, but is still kind of bad in a 1-3 kind of way.
Not so bold prediction: Michael Turner scores a touchdown.
Bold prediction: Would have been about Peyton Hillis, but it looks like he's banged up, so I'll, I got nothing...took a long time and couldn't really come up with about...there will be a special teams or defensive touchdown in this game. Is that bold enough?

St. Louis @ Detroit (-3) - So the 0-4 Lions are at home hosting the 2-2 Rams and giving three points? The Lions haven't shown the mettle to beat anyone, while the Rams already have two upsets to their name. This feels like the Jags-Bills game, but I'm getting an extra three point to take the Rams. Thank you very much.
Not so bold prediction: Steven Jackson has more rushing yards than Jahvid Best.
Bold prediction: Mark Clayton has more receiving yards than Calvin Johnson.

Kansas City @ Indianapolis (-8.5) - What happened Peyton? You let the Jaguars score 31 points last week? David Garrard had a higher passer rating than you? Oh. What's that? You weren't on the field to stop the Jaguars from running for 174 yards? You weren't in coverage allowing Garrard to go 17/22? You had to throw over twice as many passes? It's ok, I'm sure your defense will be able to handle Matt Cassell this week. And you're at home, so I'm sure that instead of the other team kicking the field goal as time expires, you'll have the ball in your hands with a narrow lead and the clock winding down. Because I still think you're the best player on the planet, I don't trust your defense to carry their half of the effort needed for a blowout. You'll win, but not by eight points.
Not so bold prediction: Dallas Clark goes over 100 yards receiving.
Bold prediction: Jamaal Charles scores on a play of at least 50 yards.

Green Bay (-2.5) @ Washington - Man...Brandon Jackson sucks. I loved Ryan Grant from a fantasy perspective and when he went down, I thought Brandon Jackson was the guy who was going to step in and be the lone back on a great offense. Just trudge along and finish the season with 1,200 yards and 10 TD's. I blew half my Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) on a BJ and I've already dropped him. Aaron Rodgers is playing above average (but below expectations) and Jermichael Finley is third in the NFL in catches over 20 yards with 7 (behind Brandon Lloyd and Antonio Gates, tied with Hakeem's that for an interesting list). Washington probably would have lost if Michael Vick wasn't injured so early, but that's the way Vick plays, he got injured and the Redskins are now in first place in the NFC East. I guess I can kind of understand the close spread, but I still think Green Bay is the better team and they win by at least a field goal.
Not so bold prediction: Jermichael Finley leads both teams in receiving yards.
Bold prediction: Ryan Torain rushes for 100 yards.

Chicago @ Carolina (-1) - Chicago was 3-0 last week and was being consider as one of the best teams in the NFC. Carolina was 0-4 and lost. But with Jay Cutler being out with a concussion and Matt Forte averaging 2.7 yards per carry, I can see how the Panthers are favored. And you know what, I think this is a low scoring game with a lot of defense and running the football and home field advantage actually making a 1 point difference. I was looking forward to gladly taking the Panther and the points, but even with them favored, I still pick them to cover.
Not so bold prediction: This game goes under the listed 33 points.
Bold prediction: This game is boring.

Denver @ Baltimore (-7) - Kyle Orton leads the league in passing yards. He also needs to lead the league in attempts to get to that spot, but still. Baltimore has allowed the fewest passing yards of any team in the NFL, including the four teams who had a bye last week. Mostly because they have faced the fewest passes among teams that have played four games. Are their opponents really that scared to throw against the Ravens? Maybe, but they are also much happier running against them as they have allowed opponent to rush for 4.3 yards per carry. So how will this play out? Will the Broncos keep throwing the ball where other teams have chosen not to? Or will the Ravens shut down the pass and the run and take this game easily. I think it's somewhere in the middle. I picked up Kyle Orton as a bye week replacement for Tom Brady and I think his stats will look just fine...something like 250-300 yards and 2 TDs, but Baltimore still ends up winning by double digits.
Not so bold prediction: Ray Rice gets over 100 total yards and a score.
Bold prediction: At least 5 players in this game score over 15 fantasy points.

New York Giants @ Houston (-3) - The Giants beat the Panthers...they're good. The Giants get creamed by Indy and the Panthers lose convincingly to the Bucs... the Giants must be bad, but the Panthers are worse, that explains week 1. The Giants lose to the Titans...see, told you they were bad. The Giants beat the undefeated Bears 17-3. Ahmad Bradshaw runs for 129 yards...they're good again! I don't believe it. I think the Giants are middle of the pack, but I think the Texans are also middle of the pack and this year, I'm taking the Giants and the points.
Not so bold prediction: Ahmad Bradshaw runs for over 100 yards...if he's healthy and plays.
Bold prediction: Hakeem Nicks has more receiving yards than Andre Johnson.

New Orleans (-7) @ Arizona - The Saints still don't look right. Brees is completing 73% of his passes, but they are only scoring 19 points per game. But that's ok, Arizona has been really bad. New Orleans wins easily.
Not so bold prediction: Drew Brees throws for over 300 yards.
Bold prediction: Tim Hightower has more total yards than Beanie Wells.

Tennessee @ Dallas (-7) - So which Dallas game gives you the confidence to give seven points? The loss to Washington, the loss to Chicago or the desperation win against the happy-to-be-2-0 Texans? I don't necessarily think Dallas is bad and they might win at home against an up (against the Raiders and the Giants) and down (vs. Steelers and Broncos) Titans team. Between two middle of the pack teams, I'll take all the extra points I can get.
Not so bold prediction: Miles Austin scores a touchdown
Bold prediction: Chris Johnson gets less than 125 total yards.

Philadelphia @ San Francisco (-3) - Is the 49er's 0-4 start just bad luck or lack of fortitude? How will Philly look with Kevin Kolb back in at starter. Will the new offensive coordinator make a difference? How drunk will San Francisco fans be if the Giants beat the Braves earlier in the day? Crazy and strange things happen in the night games, but I think both teams are middle of the pack and it will be kind of close. As such, I'll take the Eagles and the points.
Not so bold prediction: Frank Gore leads both teams in rushing.
Bold prediction: The Eagles have four guys with more catches than Michael Crabtree.

Minnesota @ New York Jets (-4) - With Randy Moss back in purple, Brett Favre will still be able to throw multiple interceptions, but they will be farther down the field and much more entertaining. One of the missed interceptions will end up giving Randy Moss a touchdown. But they will be so focused on getting the ball to Randy Moss that they aren't paying attention when the Jets score three times. This game is made for Monday Night with all kinds of drama and plot lines and stories. Everything will be interesting except the game, which will be determined mostly by two decent defenses. I think Brett Favre throws more interceptions than Mark Sanchez and the Vikings lose.
Not so bold prediction: Adrian Peterson scores a touchdown.
Bold prediction: Dustin Keller leads both teams in catches.


  1. I'm taking Tampa Bay +6.5, Atlanta -3, St. Louis +3, Green Bay -2.5, Tennessee +7, Baltimore -7, Kansas City +8.5.

  2. I went 4-3 and gained a game on everyone except Royce, who I gained 4 games against when he went 1-4 this week.

  3. You gained 4 games on me. Here were my 3 predictions (on vacation, couldn't submit on time):

    Packers -3
    Saints -7
    Chargers -6.5

    I not only managed to pick 3 losers, ATS, I managed to pick 3 favorites who lost as well. I'm special.

  4. Aaron - I LOVED the format. I even enjoyed your bold/not-so-bold predictions. Can we keep a running tab on our spreadsheet of how those turn out for you?

    I'm not sure how I feel about you turning FIWK into a porn site. :D

  5. I'm going to say that I nailed 6 Not-so-bold predictions, got 6 way wrong and 2 were technically wrong, but it was the right sentiment to help you understand my thoughts on the game.

    I got 5 Bold predictions correct (which I'm saying is pretty good considering the boldness), 6 way wrong (again, Bold, not easy, predictions) and 2 fall under the 'technically wrong, but correct way of thinking'.

    You can see my thoughts where we keep track of everything

  6. A few of my favorite predictions that I got correct:

    -Tampa Bay winning outright, despite being 6.5 point underdogs.
    -A special teams or defensive TD in the Atlanta-Cleveland game.
    -5 players in the Baltimore-Denver game getting over 15 fantasy points. (Yes, I counted Jabar Gaffney's 9 catches in a PPR league.)
    -Hakeem Nicks had more receiving yards than Andre Johnson.

  7. Just in case I don't make my picks for this coming week:

    Detroit +10
    New Orleans -4
    Indy -3

    I am beside myself after the Chargers lost to the Raiders. Ugh.

  8. Royce is alive! Hope Turkey treated you well!

    If you're upset about the Chargers, I'd blame Aaron and all his pregame "streak" talk.

  9. I thought Royce was in Greece?

    Scott, on what do you blame the 49er's 0-5 start?

  10. He did Turkey and Greece.

    The homer in me says it was a relatively difficult schedule. The realist in me has no clue, but wants to blame Coach.

    - He's too excitable. How can you come out that flat for the Sea/KC games, but play well enough against the Saints, Falcons, and Philly to look like a legitimate team? Then, when you play that well, how do you not close out the game? Don't they always pin that on the coach?