NFL 2006 Weekly Predictions

This went right down to the wire. Missed the Thursday game, but I’m ok with that since I’d have probably picked the Dolphins once I heard Chaz Batch would be starting, but at least we’ll get the main stale of games posted before the kickoff tomorrow.

A couple of notes:

I’m going to try a suggestion I received last year and keep each weeks predictions and banter confined to one thread instead of posting a new one each week. There are a couple good reasons for this. It allows all the fans to bookmark this thread and/or subscribe to updates instead of having to scour the forum for the new thread each week. It also hopefully will act and one stop shopping for all your 2006 NFL football needs. I’m going to include links to the annual threads other have begin as well as the groups fantasy football threads.

For those of you new to this, here’s how it works. Each week a member will post the point spreads for each game and predict the outcomes of each. Usually it’ll be me doing it, but by no means do I want to stop anyone else from jumping the gun and doing it sooner. Lord knows I get distracted and let it go to the last minute more often that I care to admit. Please post any and all predictions to this thread. I encourage as many people to join in and predict as many games as they’d like. I will keep an ongoing tally of my success rate for my own enjoyment. I expect, nay demand, that you all heckle and tease me for my missteps as often as possible. What fun is it if someone’s feelings aren’t being trampled! I also heartily encourage homerism and impassioned defenses of your favorite team when I belittle their chances week in and week out.

Here’s the specifics, each game is listed with the point spread and the over/under. These odds are pulled from the USA Today’s Sheridan Odds each Thursday (or whatever day I get to it) and they are each explained here. Additionally I like to do what I call my OMNI picks, basically I pick 5 games against the spread each week. Those will be the 5 games I feel most confident in. The goal is to pick all 5 right and was inspired by a big money football pool I used to participate in.

Before I start, here are some of the ongoing NFL threads on the board here.

SDMB NFL Pick ‘Em and Survival Leagues
The First Annual Steelers Defend The Lombardi Trophy Thread (AKA, The Fourth Annual Steelers March To The Super Bowl Thread)
He Hate Me FF Keeper League
SDMB Fantasy Football version 2.0
2006 NFL Predictions – Overall season predictions
NFC East 2006 – 2007 (NFL)

Sunday, Sept. 10
Denver 3½ ST. LOUIS 46
Fantasy owners every will be watching this game to determine what Shanahan will be doing with their running back situation. It’s becoming an annual tradition. I’m going out on a limb and predicting that it finally comes home to roost this season. The Denver running game will struggle all season and the Plummer experiment falls apart under the burden of carrying the offense. Their defense is still formidable and they’ll stay in enough games and have enough talent to be a constant threat each week, but they aren’t a lock for 9 wins this season. The Rams have been pretty quiet this preseason and that’s not something you’ve been able to say about them in many years. The loss of Martz will cost them some of their dynamics, he’s no doubt a good offensive coach, but I think they’ll make up for it in team chemistry and general comfort. I like their chances this season and I think they’ll be tough at home to start the season. Additions to the defense and a health Steven Jackson get them off to a positive start.

The Pick: Rams, Under

TENNESSEE 2½ N.Y. Jets 35½
Wow, this games a real pig, ain’t it? Which QB situation is uglier? The awful Titans trio of Young, Volek and Collins or the noodle armed Pennington. Which teams RB situation is more muddled, the Brown, Henry, White or Barlow, Blaylock and Houston? Both teams have major holes on defense and iffy offensive lines. Let’s see who the league tallest midget is! On the back of a slightly better RB group and homefield advantage I’m taking the Titans, though the Jets at least having experience at QB counts for something.

The Pick: Titans, Over

NEW ENGLAND 9½ Buffalo 41
Almost ten points for a team who’s #1 WR is holding out? They are at home and the Bills are fielding a Losman at QB, but that still feels like to many points for the first game of the season. Jauron isn’t much of a coach and he’s not going to rejuvenate this team overnight, and likely not ever, but he will keep them in games with his conservative style. A healthy McGahee will move the chains and keep the clock rolling against that Pats defense missing a few of last years big names, though Brady will still get them the win.

The Pick: Bills, Over

TAMPA BAY 3 Baltimore 34½
I’ve gone back and forth on this game a few times already. First, I really like the Bucs chances this year. Caddy will be strong to start the season even if he did wear down last year and I really like what I’ve seen of Chris Simms recently, I think that the Bucs offense will be very tough to contain this year. The Ravens all hinge on how well McNair integrates into the system. They’ve got a few worthy targets and I’m not convinced he’s washed up yet. Still, I’m cautious since I haven’t seen a single snap in a Raven uni yet. The Ravens running game was awful last season and I don’t know that I expect it to be that much better this year, Lewis was slow and didn’t have much room to move and Anderson isn’t exactly a huge change of pace back there. They’ll be dedicated to the run and those two guys are strong enough to make positive yards but I’m not sure it’ll be dynamic enough to scare defenses into crowding the line. The Bucs feel like a more known quantity and I like home teams to open the season.

The Pick: Bucs, Over

KANSAS CITY 2 Cincinnati 46
This one is simple really. You’ve got Carson Palmer looking like a stud in every preseason snap surrounded by every bit as much talent as last season. On the other side you have Larry Johnson hoping to pick up where he left off against a soft run defense. On paper that probably favors the Chiefs, a steady running game is gold, but people forget that for all the shortcomings on Cincy’s D, Kansas City’s issues are just as profound. And finally, the trump card, the Chiefs are featuring none other than Herm Edwards. Book it!

The Pick: Bengals, Over

Seattle 6 DETROIT 45
Everyone is killing the Seahawks. Between the post-Super Bowl hangover and the Madden cover jinx people are talking about the Seahawks barely winning 7 games. Loads of experts are picking the revamped Lions to tie one on them here in the opener. These people are simply insane. Yes, I like the changes the Lions made but there’s simply no way Martz works his magic immediately with journeyman QB Kitna and a bunch of young, unprofessional skill players. They will improve and come Thanksgiving they’ll be downright dangerous, but not week one at home.

The Pick: Seahawks, Under

CAROLINA 5 Atlanta 39½
This Steve Smith injury worries me. He’s the kind of guy who’ll want to play with it, but WRs and hamstrings are a bad situation. Plus, he’s on my fantasy team so I want him to get healthy. If he sits it totally changes the landscape here. Keyshawn is downright glacial these days and cannot possibly pick up the slack against a competent Atlanta defense. You can’t deny that the Panthers defense at home against a shaky Vick at QB could probably win this game with the members of the SDMB running Fox’s offense though. Let’s not over think this one.

The Pick: Panthers, Under

Philadelphia 5 HOUSTON 37½
I really like what I saw of McNabb this preseason. I took him as my He Hate Me QB with confidence in the 4th round under the presumption that he’ll be healthy and jovial on a TO-less offense. He’s carrying himself with confidence and was throwing the ball with purpose, so well that he even made Reggie Brown look like a threat. The late addition of Stallworth can’t hurt matters and his speed has to keep defenses honest. The lack of a between the tackles running game could be an issue but not against the doughy Texans defense. I think the Kubiak/Carr marriage will pay dividends eventually but not just yet, and for all the hype Wali Lundy has gotten in FFL circles, remember that he got the starting job by default. It’s not as if he blew Davis off the map.

The Pick: Eagles, Under

CLEVELAND 3 New Orleans 37
I’ve said it over and over again that the Saints aren’t a bottom tier team from a talent stand point. For years they were mediocre but I blame that on the incompetence of Haslett and Aaron Brooks. The addition of Payton and Brees, complimented by the insanely fun Reggie Bush, will do more to improve this team than people expect. It’s not that they are Hall of Famers or anything, but when measured against the previous futilities they’ll provide a sizable boost. The Brownies have been getting some great pub this season and I suspect they’ll play tons of close games all season. The addition of some veterans on D and the return of Edwards and Winslow on O should make this team much better than it was last season. The real question is who’s more progress this offseason, the Saints or the Browns? As great as Bush and Deuce will be with Brees keeping defenses honest this season, I’m going to play it safe and take the Browns at home. I think they’ve got a one year head start on the rebuilding process and it’ll show.

The Pick: Browns, Over

The Jags are my sleeper this year. Before you get all huffy and point out that they made the playoffs last year, I know, cool your jets. I haven’t heard anyone talking about them as a threat to make the Super Bowl and they should be. I realize they share a division with everyone’s favorite, but they also played that team really tough last season and added some major talent since then. They’ve gotten older on offense and the defense was one of the best last season. The Colts lost Edge and that might be the thing that shifts the balance of power in this division. Speaking of this defense, they are going to be huge this year, mark my words. The D-Line is probably one of the 3 best on all the league and they’ll terrorize the statuesque Drew Bledsoe this week. The Dallas offense is going to be suffocated, and while the Jags offense might struggle at times, Leftwich’s mobility and the trio of up and coming WRs will make the difference. Expect the TO drama to begin first thing Monday.

The Pick: Jags, Under

Chicago 3½ GREEN BAY 35
My Bears look to improve upon last season and I think well get a good impression of how successful they’ll be here this week. I know the Packers suck and Favre has looked like he’s back on the Vicodin in his starts this preseason, but I still see this as a good measuring stick for the Bears for a couple reasons. One, it’s a road game in Lambeau. There’s no more hostile environment and it’s a place we’ve not played well recently. If this team can remain business-like and channel that emotion into killing Favre we’ll know the defense is going to pick up where it left off. Second, we’ll get a idea of how the offense is going to play. This is a bad defense and it’ll be important to see how the first team does with a full 4 quarters to work together. In the preseason I never got the impression they found a comfort level. I want to watch Rex take 50 snaps with the first team and Thomas Jones get a solid 25 carries. I have a hunch they’ll find their form in the second half. If the offense struggle against this lineup we’re in for a long season.

The Pick: Bears, Under

ARIZONA 7½ San Francisco 42½
Everyone’s darling here. The Cards have insane talent and an underrated defense combined with a crummy division. Great recipe for a playoff trip. We’ve seen it before however and they always seem to disappoint. The Niners on the other hand have slowly been improving and Alex Smith showed signs of becoming a serviceable NFL QB. The tandem of Gore and Hicks have moved the ball all preseason and Antonio Bryant was the most popular fantasy sleeper candidate. Now, the Cards have too much talent and are healthy for the time being. I’m not sure I expect them to fold in the home opener in the Pink Taco, but it might be closer than a TD.

The Pick: Niners, Under

Indianapolis 3 N.Y. GIANTS 48
Manning Bowl. Both teams have Super Bowl aspirations. I like the Colts here mainly because Peyton is simply a better QB. Eli struggled under pressure last season and there’s going to be an awful lot here. The build up in NYC makes the media in Indy look like my high school newspaper and that’ll have him pressing too much. The Indy defense led by Freeney is too good to let that happen without taking advantage, and I expect some sacks and turnovers. The questionable Indy running back situation gives me pause, but the Giants defense will be on its heels opening things up just enough for it to be productive.

The Pick: Colts, Over

Monday, Sept. 11
WASHINGTON 4 Minnesota 35
Both teams are expected to be good and I’m not sure I agree. I think the Vikings have fewer question marks than the Redskins though. That QB situation in Washington is downright sad. So much talent with no one to distribute the ball. The situation in Minny isn’t a whole lot better, but at least Brad Johnson can get the job done when healthy. Not so sure I can say the same about Brunell. The Vikes also have a rookie back-up who looks like he might be the real deal. The Vikings made some really effective changes on defense and should slow down opponents passing games, at the same time they have questions in the middle and may give up big number rushing. The Portis injury gives me a little reassurance that it won’t be the deciding factor this week. The Redskins have been atrocious in the preseason and a bad loss in a home opener is going to have the critics circling the water in DC and the Danny will be choking on his own bile. That image alone is too fun to ignore, so I’m crossing my fingers and homing the football gods have their vengeance.

The Pick: Vikings, Under

San Diego 2½ OAKLAND 43
Why in gods name is this spread only 2 and a half? Gimme a break! LDT and a really good San Diego defense going to the clueless Raiders helmed by Aaron Brooks? The Aaron Brooks Glitch’s namesake? Art Shell and his staff of former restaurant managers and accountants? I suppose they figure LaMont Jordan will be putting this squad on his back to dominate play……they must have forgotten the guy on the other team doesn’t exactly suck. I realize Phillip Rivers is essentially a rookie QB, but that Raider defense is so poor that Stan Humphries could go for 450 yards. Having LDT and Gates as security blankets will make that learning curve pretty smooth.

The Pick: Chargers, Under

OMNI Picks: Chargers, Eagles, Seahawks, Browns, Bears


.1:00pm…**Broncos…3½…RAMS…46…**Home dog on opening day, take Rams and under
.1:00pm…**TITANS…2½…Jets…35½…**I love love love the Jets here; D bad enough for over
.1:00pm…**PATRIOTS…9½…Bills…41…**I’d like to give Billies credit, but Pats and over.
.1:00pm…**BUCS…3…Ravens…34½…**Bucs too much for McNair, but he makes it over.
.1:00pm…**CHIEFS…2…Bengals…46…**Tough to beat Chiefs at Arrowhead. Way over.
.1:00pm…**Seahawks…6…LIONS…45…**Seahawks coast through cakewalk schedule. Under.
.1:00pm…**PANTHERS…5…Falcons…39½…**Panthers talking smack already with reason. Over.
.1:00pm…**Eagles…5…TEXANS…37½…**Ha! Home dog Texans out of spite. Under.
.1:00pm…**BROWNS…3…Saints…37…**Charlie Frye? No thanks. Saints and over.

.4:15pm…**JAGUARS…2…Cowboys…36½…**Tough call. Jags because AFC is better. Under.
.4:15pm…**Bears…3½…PACKERS…35…**Packers win outright. Over.
.4:15pm…**CARDS…7½…49ers…42½…**49ers keep it close enough to cover. Under.

.8:15pm…**Colts…3…GIANTS…48…**Big Blue wins outright, naturally. Under, just barely.
.7:00pm…**REDSKINS…4…Vikings…35…**Skins not showing enough. Vikings and the under.
10:15pm…**Chargers…2½…RAIDERS…43…**Raiders until Rivers shows something. Way Under.

Early Games
Risk 55 to win 120 on Jets & the Over

Late Games
Risk 30 to win 25 on 3-team tease: Cowboys getting 10, Packers getting 11½, 49ers getting 15½

Sunday Night
If up, risk 55 to win 50 on the Giants
If down, risk 30 to win 25 on the Giants

Monday Night
Risk 30 to win 60 on Vikings & the Under

Note: I’m picking the Pack to win outright over the much better Bears as the same kind of opening day divisional headscratcher we saw last year when the Saints beat the Panthers.

Don’t write off the Jets just yet. I think that not only will picking up two OL in the first round pay off major dividends in the years to come, it will also provide adequate talent this year. Mangold is no Mawae, or even Trey Teague for that matter, but I expect him to be halfway decent. The Chad is back, but even if not the QB squad is two former 1st round picks plus a high 2nd rounder. That’s a lot of draft pick value.

I expect the Jets to throttle the Titans; we’re talking curb-job level abuse. I expect a closer match but still a win over the Billies in week 2. Get out to a fast 2-0 start and people will have to at least pay lip service to the fact that Gang Green isn’t the worst team in the league. I also expect Blaylock to be about a hundred times better than anyone expected. Kevan Barlow is insurance in case something goes terribly wrong. Blaylock has the speed, the moves, and the lack of fumbling to win the feature back role uncontested midway through this first game.

Leon Washington is a perfect fit for a 3rd down back; not durable, so you wouldn’t want to start him, but by all accounts he is excellent at pass blocking and also receiving out of the backfield. He really is a perfect role player for this team.

The Chad loves him some Laveranues COles, and also has great chemistry with McCarreins. Chris Baker is good enough to allow the FO to cut loose Doug Jolley, who they traded away a first rounder for last year. Baker was an animal every game he was in last year; he outperformed Shockey the few weeks before he went on IR. With him back and healthy, Pennington should have no trouble maintaining his perfect 0 career interceptions in the red zone.

He looked every bit in his MVP form during the one series I saw him play against the Giants, lighting up Big Blue fairly easily. It actually looked like he and Heap were running the passing tree without a defense on the field.

Well, home team underdogs always scare bettors – with good reason – which keeps the spread lower. Also Rivers is as inexperienced a third year QB as you can get.

I’ve had involved debates about Rivers with a Chargers fan over on the Giants boards. He is confident that Rivers will do well, and I agree that he should, but that only puts all the more pressure on him. I point out the Pennington example, who was drafted in the first round and then spent two years riding pine. When he finally got the nod in his third year, he lit up the league, turning around his 1-4 team to win the division while posting the highest passer rating for a season in franchise history.

I only did very cursory research on the question, so looking at other QBs drafted the same year as Pennington I came across Bulger, who also rode the bench for two years before starting, and when he finally came in he showed no sign of rookie mistakes.

Yes, Rivers does have a lot to prove. If he struggles early, I would almost be ready to write him off as a bust, seeing as how it’s generally pretty rare to ride the bench for two years and then struggle.

Even still, I like the Raiders.

Ellis, out of curiosity, where do you pull you spreads from?

I believe he said he has a program, or a text file, or something that he can just plug the data into and have it properly formatted for the SDMB. Or do you mean where does he pull the spread data itself?

Where do you pull your spreads, Omniscient? I know of a few online sportsbooks and I’m looking at one right now, just to get some idea of what they’re saying. For instance, this one is saying Broncos 4 Rams 46 (so a slight difference in the spread, but what’s the difference really between 3.5 and 4?), has the Bengals-Chiefs game as a pick, and has tightened the spread of the Jaguars-Cowboys game to 1.

As noted, I use the Sheridan Odds from USA Today. I’m pretty sure they are posted on Thursday and aren’t updated after that.

I am biased, but I really think the Raiders are gonig to be a solid team this year. Yes, last year we only won 4 games, but we were close in a lot of other games too. A play here or there and we could have easily been .500 knocking on the playoff door. With better talent, a new coach, and a new Commitment to Excellence we are going to contend for a playoff spot this year.

I use yours, but when you don’t list one – as in a missed Thursday game or a No Line at time of posting – I pull them from the New York Post, because that’s the paper I always used to base my betting on. It has a nicer layout of the spreads than the Daily News, which leaves almost no room to write in the final results. (To get to the lines, along the left in the red area under Bettor’s Guide select The Post Line.)

Generally speaking, I like the Post for spread and betting information over any other publication, even without the nicer presentation. Sports handicapping seems to be their mission statement.

Good memory. I set up an Excel spreadsheet where I plug in the data, and then wrote a little VB macro to format each line for my posts here. Works like a charm, though the double-digit (10) start time of the second MNF game this week messed with it a little.

I surely didn’t expect a nailbiter of a finish, but I’m glad I was wrong on that. I’ll take the excitement of a close finish over a blowout every day of the week and twice on Sundays. I would point out that it would have been a blowout if not for Mike “The Momentum Killer” Nugent playing for the other team. He gave them hope repeatedly.

The Chad is most definitely back, and thanks to a bad call managed to preserve his perfect red zone interception rate. It was nice to see Baker catch the game-winning TD.

Looks like I was dead wrong abouyt Blaylock and Barlow, but I’m still unsure. Mangini kept Blaylock in as the feature back through the final plays of the game, long after I would have yanked him for Barlow.

McCarreins is like the lost man in this offense, despite having a couple nice catches. Good thing he’s my least important fantasy player. On the flip side, Laveranues Coles was an animal with 8 catches for 153 yards, so it’s nice to see Chad have a #1 threat he’s comfortable with.

I don’t have much to add other than I’m glad to see the predictions thread return. I think keeping it one big thread should work just fine.

I did want to mention that I’m a DirecTV NFL Sunday ticket guy for the first time, so life is good.

I did pick the Bears over the Pack, but that game was just sad to watch.

Happy Football, everyone!

My God! It’s like you watched the game using a time machine! You were completely accurate in every way! Amazing!


That, or the refs could have themselves a lovely little tea party where they decide it might be worth a chuckle to completely fuck the Giants over as hard as they possibly could…
What? Bitter? Me?

Posted this in the wrong thread originally.

Wasn’t in time for predictions, but we’re doing post-game analysis, too, right?

The Giants really got jobbed by the refs on that offensive PI call. There was nothing there to call whatsoever, and it was a huge momentum turner.

Tiki Barber really is an elite back - he may be the second best in the league (behind LDT). They run all over the place with an average offensive line.

The Colts’ running game on the other hand really sucked. I wonder why that is - is it possible that they have a finesse, pass blocking o-line that’s no good at run blocking, but Edgerrin James made them look better than they were? It’s hard to believe that the Giants were selling out against the run - it was the big Manning Vs Manning match, you had to expect the big passing game to come.
In other thoughts, Tampa Bay sucks donkey balls.

A Ravens loss is the second best thing that can happen on Sunday following a Browns win, so I paid attention to this game.

I’m amazed that that offense somehow got them to the playoffs last year, it was so inept. The Raven’s D is good, but not THAT good. Tampa Bay’s offense was just more limp than Bob Dole’s junk. And their D couldn’t pressure McNair behind a swiss cheese line. McNair + Ravens o-line = broken sternum waiting to happen, yet the ferocious Tampa Bay D-line barely laid a hand on him.

The media was already already tripping over themselves to give that sad sack 6-10 team predictions to win the super bowl (as they do every year) - now after a game like that, ESPN is not only going to get on their knees for the ratbirds, but they’ll do it with a huge grin.

They’re not that good. They’ll be lucky to make it a break-even season. They’re not going to the playoffs. You heard it here first.

The Browns vs Saints game was simply sad. Maurice Carthon is the worst offensive coordinator in the league. His ‘unpredictable’ play calling is so laughably bad. His philosophy is - “when it’s third and inches, they don’t expect you to run the toss sweep to your fullback! So that’s what I’ll do! Every damn time!”. Basically, he tries to do the exact opposite of what a competant OC would do on any given play. Third and 15? It’s time for play action! Third and 1? Time for a toss sweep to your slowest runner, or maybe go 5 wides. Third and 6? Have everyone run 4 yard out routes!

And it’s sad because he tries to do the opposite/unpredictable every damn time, so it becomes predictable. It’s a good thing when you mix it up sometimes to keep the defense guessing, but when you try to do the deceptive thing every single time, then they expect you to do exactly that. So you start out with a play less likely to suceed and they’re prepared for it.

We’re more talented on offense than defense (2 legitimate stars in the making, what should be an average offensive line, and good skill positions all around), yet the defense always shows itself to be far more competant. Why? We have good defensive coaching, and high-school level offensive coaching.

The defense made a competant showing - our offense couldn’t keep them off the field, and kept giving the Saints the ball in our territory, and the defense made two stops from first and goal from inside the 5 anyway. We could’ve, and should’ve, won that game decisively. But the O-line was pathetic - we couldn’t run up the gut on a bad run D partly because of bad calling, and partly bad execution, and there were at least 10 passing plays where someone ran unblocked at our QB. He takes too many sacks, but he makes plays with his feet. Overall, given the level of support he had - constant jailbreaks on passing plays, receivers dropping balls, he made a good showing.

I was at a bar and didn’t hear the game, but from what I’ve been told, apparently the announcers jerked off below the camera while saying “OH MY GOD… REGGIE BUSH… OH THAT HUNK OF MAGICAL MAN MEAT” for the entire game.

Been really pressed for time lately, so wasn’t able to get in before the games, and can’t really post now as much as I’d like either. A few observations on the games I saw:

  • Home teams got absolutely eaten up this week, with nine of fifteen losing straight up and ten of fifteen losing against the spread.

  • The Bills looked a little better than they should have, the Pats looked a little worse than they should have, and the opening turnover-touchdown both set the pace of the game as well as made the score closer than the game probably was. That one just as easily could have been 34-14 if the Pats had come out and scored right away instead of giving up the quick TD and then scoring, so I’m not that worried about the close win. If anything it’s the terrible late pick thrown by Brady that would bug me.

  • I picked the Giants (and lost) in all of my pick’ems, but I remain firmly convinced they’d have won that game if it wasn’t for the terrible offensive pass interference call at the end (even ignoring any other potential ref-hatred, of which I’m sure Giants fans have tons this morning). Indy looks ripe for another 13-3 season with blowout wins galore over bad teams, and then an early playoff loss against just this sort of opponent.

  • Culpepper looked exactly like, well, Daunte Culpepper circa 2005. Bledose looked exactly like, well, Drew Bledsoe circa ever. Both of their teams struggled defensively more than really expected, and will be dependant on very un-dependable quantities at QB to live up to the hype.

That’s all for now, except to note again how much I wish I’d taken McNabb when I could have instead of settling for Plummer later on in the SDMB league. Mmmmm, negative points from my QB, delicious!

Also, and sorry for the second post, but this just in: Branch traded to Seattle for a first-rounder, according to this Pats blog post from about 20 minutes ago (not up on the major sites yet, but this is extremely reliable).

The Seahawks are retarded.

Couple early Monday Night observations.

First, having 2 games is kind of fun. I really really love watching LaDanian Tomlinson play football. ESPN second string line-up of announcers is far superior to the regular guys. I never realized how much I hated Theisman until you take him out of the glare of my searing hatred for Paul McGuire.

LaDainian Tomlinson is amazing. Not only is he simply the best, but Marty Chickenshit Schottenheimer gives him 150 touches per game and he’s held up fine for the beating.

Of course, in this instance, he comes out looking like a genius - but I suspect he’d have done the same thing even if it wasn’t working all that well. I understand wanting to ease your rookie in - but 11 passes? Against the Raiders?

I just hate Marty Schottenheimer and Herm Edwards (is there anyone else in that tree?) because of the super conservative coaching. There’s a saying I’ve grown to like - Marty Schottenheimer will make a bad team good. And he’ll make a great team good.

The Jets-Chargers playoff game of a few years ago was pathetic. Each coach was desperately trying to let the other win, and yet neither would take that offer.

If anyone is interested, the division rankings are up.


Kickoff Thursday
28 **STEELERS…1…**17 **Dolphins.45 34½…
Early Games
10 **Broncos…3½.**18 **RAMS…**28 **46…**Home dog on opening day, take Rams and under
16 **TITANS…2½.**23 **Jets…**39 **35½…**I love love love the Jets here; D bad enough for over
19 **PATRIOTS…9½.**17 **Bills…**36 **41…**I’d like to give Billies credit, but Pats and over.
.0 **BUCS…3…**27 **Ravens…**27 **34½…**Bucs too much for McNair, but he makes it over.
10 **CHIEFS…2…**23 **Bengals…**33 **46…**Tough to beat Chiefs at Arrowhead. Way over.
.9 **Seahawks…6…**6 **LIONS…**15 **45…**Seahawks coast through cakewalk schedule. Under.
.6 **PANTHERS…5…**20 **Falcons…**26 **39½…**Panthers talking smack already with reason. Over.
24 **Eagles…5…**10 **TEXANS…**34 **37½…**Ha! Home dog Texans out of spite. Under.
14 **BROWNS…3…**19 **Saints…**33 **37…**Charlie Frye? No thanks. Saints and over.
Late Games
24 **JAGUARS…2…**17 **Cowboys…**41 **36½…**Tough call. Jags because AFC is better. Under.
26 **Bears…3½…**0 **PACKERS…**26 **35…**Packers win outright. Over.
34 **CARDS…7½.**27 **49ers…**61 **42½…**49ers keep it close enough to cover. Under.
Night Games
26 **Colts…3…**21 **GIANTS…**47 **48…**Big Blue wins outright, naturally. Under, just barely.
16 **REDSKINS…4…**19 **Vikings…**35 **35…**Skins not showing enough. Vikings and the under.
27 **Chargers…2½…**0 **RAIDERS…**27 **43…**Raiders until Rivers shows something. Way Under.

That’s a whole lotta red to start off the season. Went 7-11 in the early games, 2-4 in the afternoon, then 3-3 in the night games. I would have put action on the Raiders game had I known it was being broadcast on ESPN. For some reason I thought it was an NFL Network game. Good thing I was confused, eh?

Early Games
Risk 55 to win 120 on Jets & the Over

Woohoo! Always nice to be guaranteed up money for the week. Especially when you sneak a parlay out of a 7-11 performance at 1:00. Up 120 after the early games.

Late Games
Risk 30 to win 25 on 3-team tease: Cowboys getting 10, Packers getting 11½, 49ers getting 15½

Goddamn the Packers suck. No biggee, only risked 30 while basking in the glow of the earlier win. Still up 90.

Sunday Night
If up, risk 55 to win 50 on the Giants

Fuckin’ refs! Gah! Al Michaels knew exactly what I was thinking when he summarized that final FG. This one hurt, taking me down to +35.

Monday Night
Risk 30 to win 60 on Vikings & the Under

It’s annoying to push an over/under, because there is no such thing as a push on an over/under. It means that you couldn’t win for trying. That “guaranteed up” turned into a paltry +5. Hey, it’s better than minus at least.

This week: 12-18, +5
Season: 12-18, +5 (+5 per week)
Spread Picker: N/A; Best Bets: N/A

(This could be the one and only time there’s a plus in my Season net total.)

Against the Spread
1-0 Bears
1-0 Bengals
1-0 Bills
1-0 Chargers
1-0 Colts
1-0 Eagles
1-0 Falcons
1-0 49ers
1-0 Jaguars
1-0 Jets
1-0 Lions
1-0 Rams
1-0 Ravens
1-0 Saints
1-0 Steelers
1-0 Vikings

0-1 Broncos
0-1 Browns
0-1 Bucs
0-1 Cardinals
0-1 Chiefs
0-1 Cowboys
0-1 Dophins
0-1 Giants
0-1 Packers
0-1 Panthers
0-1 Patriots
0-1 Raiders
0-1 Redskins
0-1 Seahawks
0-1 Texans
0-1 Titans

Okay, I want to see some effort outta you people. Surely one of us intelligent, savvy football fans will be able to pick games better than the spread picker this year, no? Checking last year’s threads, it looks like Jay Feely’s Seattle meltdown killed my appetite for the NFL in general, so I stopped tallying the spread picker after week 11.

At that point, the spread picker was 10 games over .500. That’s quite the high watermark to beat, but I’m confident somebody can do it. (Remember, you don’t have to pick every game, since it doesn’t. It also skipped the first week just like you, late-comer to the thread. So get it in gear!)

Omni, I’d suggest you start each week on Wednesdays, since there’s several Thursday games this year. I looked at the USA Today page you linked, and I have to tell you; that layout is atrocious. If I start a week, I’ll use The Post Line.

BWHAHAHA. How’s that working out for you so far, Raider Boy?

My Bolts are looking pretty good. I think that Marty was right to limit the kid to only a few passes in his first start. They’ll put in more pass plays as the season progresses.

Yeah, the Chargers are going to make the playoffs this year.

And then they’re going to give away the first round to a team they’re better than because of inept coaching.