Friday, October 16, 2009

Degenerate Friday!! Week 6

Before getting to the games, a couple of quick links, hits, and rambles…..

Happy 99th Birthday to John Wooden!! (a few days late) Pretty amazing, and the stories about this guy are incredible, though I always find it strange to hear Bill Walton tell the stories because I feel pretty confident that due to the psychedelic drugs, Bill doesn’t remember much of the late 60’s or early 70’s. But Walton can tell great stories, and he loves to tell stories about the lessons Wooden taught him. The Seven Point Creed that Wooden’s father gave him when he graduated from grammar school and Wooden’s own Pyramid of Success and quotes are awesome. He also has numerous great quotes that apply to life and to basketball. A few of my personal favorites:

“Never mistake activity for achievement.”
”If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
“Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
“Be quick but don’t hurry”

Going from a story of the ultimate winner to the story about the losers in the NFL this year. It raises the question of can any team duplicate the Lions 0-16 season from last year. Of the winless teams, Tennessee, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and St. Louis, there is a pretty good chance considering these are terrible football teams and 3 rookie coaches among them. I like the odds of St. Louis to go 0-16 because they can’t score any points, and their only game against terrible competition is at Detroit, a vastly improving team. I also think Tampa has a pretty good shot to go winless, as their schedule does not provide many opportunities to win. Yet, what might hold them back is that Josh Johnson could cause a team problems with his legs and get a win. Kansas City still gets to play Oakland again, who seems to be getting worse by the week. And they get to play Cleveland, so that’s too many chances to squeak one out.

Now let’s get on to the games for this week. Last week was another 7-7 record, putting me 2 games over .500 for the 4 weeks I’ve put picks up on the site, never being under .500, but only being over .500 once. While I obviously would like to break out of the .500 band, I want it to be on the upside. This week’s games are categorized by actresses from the 90’s and according to this site, these were my options. So starting from the bottom………

The Sharon Stone Category
Yes, she’s pretty good looking, and with the help of some good surgeons has aged pretty well over time. But these games are like her movies in that they are heavy mismatches and you don’t really want to tell your friends you were slumming it by watching these games. Yet, you just might continue to sit through them and maybe catch that one flash of the goods from an otherwise unwatchable football game.

Chiefs (+6) over REDSKINS
Ladies and gentlemen, your Craptastic Game of the Week!! Another game for the Redskins against a winless team, and this is their sixth straight game against teams who have not won. A win here and they will be the worst 3-3 team in the history of the league. And it still probably won’t be enough to keep Zorn’s job. Redskins can’t beat anyone in the league by more than 6 points, and as bad as the Chiefs are, they should be able to keep this close enough for the cover.

JAGUARS (-10) over Rams
No one has any idea what to expect from the Jags after they look good one week and then get smoked by the Seahawks the next because Mike Sims-Walker is out on booty calls past bed-check time and gets suspended. But hopefully a return to a quarter-full stadium in Jacksonville and a lashing from their coach will be enough to lead Team Hyphen to the win. Rams are awful. Here’s where you might get that flash of the goods if MJD can expose the Rams.

Panthers (-3.5) over BUCCANEERS
Panthers stage a solid comeback against a bad Redskins team last week to squeak out a victory. Buccaneers continue to get hammered every week like Jon Gosselin on the club scene. Not that it matters, John Fox is still getting fired, and Coach Chin should plan how he wants to decorate his office at Bank of America Stadium.

The Drew Barrymore Category
I never know what to think of her. She goes from looking good in some movies and walking around to looking like a freak and someone that might be legitimately crazy the next day. You really never know what you’re going to get from her. In the 90’s, she was involved in quite a few movies that were entertaining, but they were entertaining to see other people in the movies. For example, you didn’t watch Wayne’s World 2, Batman Forever, Scream or The Wedding Singer to see Drew Barrymore. Same thing with these games – you’re not watching to see what the Lions are going to do without Matthew Stafford or Megatron.

JETS (-10) over Bills
Great game for team Rex to bounce back from 2 tough defeats, and I have to believe that he will have his defense breathing fire. Bills are trying to figure out who’s going to be the coach next season, are they going to be in Buffalo past their current stadium lease and whether they should trade T.O. And if you’re the Bills, why wouldn’t you trade Owens? You’re going nowhere and he’s on a 1-year deal. I think the problem is that no one that could use him (the Bears) is interested.

Browns (+14) over STEELERS
The Browns have been the ATM most of the season, but have played close with the Bengals and beaten the Bills in the past two weeks. Have they turned the corner without Braylon Edwards? Definitely not. And you have to swallow hard before taking any amount of points with a QB that went 2-17 last week. Yet the forecast calls for a mix of snow and rain with temperatures in the high 30’s. And we’ve all seen that Heinz field in Pittsburgh does not stand up well to weather. Sounds like a basement club at 2:00 am game – a grindfest with some tough sledding for all involved. Low scoring gets the cover.

PACKERS (-13.5) over Lions (LOCK OF THE WEEK)
Lions likely without Stafford or Megatron. Packers at home coming off a bye week and ticked off after getting embarrassed by Favre. Lay the points, this one’s over before halftime.

Eagles (-14) over RAIDERS
Let’s see, Eagles offense has been churning in spite of the distractions from the Mike Vick experiment, and the Raiders are the biggest cluster-F in the league. There are so many terrible teams in this league, the points can’t scare you. Eagles fly high.

Titans (+9.5) over PATRIOTS
Tough to back an 0-5 team on the road against the mighty Bill Belichick and Tommy Brady. Yet the Patriots have just not been themselves and the Titans have a gamebreaker on offense in Chris Johnson that could keep it interesting. The Pats couldn’t stop Brandon Marshall, and Knowshon Moreno looked impressive on the ground, so the Titans will put up some points. Patriots are the better team, but will not be able to blow out the Titans.

The Meg Ryan Category
Meg Ryan is always solid. You know what you’re going to get – a likely sappy movie, where she’s going to look cute, and your girlfriend/wife is going to walk out of the theatre wondering why you can’t be like Tom Hanks or Nic Cage. Solid track record of movies like The Doors, Sleepless in Seattle, Courage Under Fire, City of Angels and You’ve Got Mail. Again, some are pretty cheesey, but if you know what you’re in for, they can work towards your goal. Same thing with these two games – not the most exciting games, but should make for compelling football and will play a role in the hunt for the playoffs.

BENGALS (-5) over Texans
This looks to be a shoot-out with plenty of “When Harry Met Sally” Meg Ryan moments (I know, that was 1989, but cut me some slack, it was close enough). The Bengals defense is underrated and playing extremely well. In front of a non-sell out in Cincy, the Texans continue their up and down season by getting lit up by Ochocinco.

SEAHAWKS (-3) over Cardinals
Healthy Hasselbeck seems to make the difference and the Cards were lucky to steal last week’s game with the Texans. Cards stink on the road and Seattle likes to play at home. Look for one of Julius Jones’ big home games this week.

The Julia Roberts Category
While Julia Roberts may not be everyone’s cup of tea for talent, she’s had a pretty long and impressive track record. And during the 90’s that includes Pretty Woman, Sleeping With the Enemy, The Pelican Brief and Conspiracy Theory. Like Julia, these are the games you would stand next to and brag about watching to your friends.

SAINTS (-3) over Giants
This is the best game of the week by far and could go a long way to determining home field advantage in the NFC. It pits the most potent offense of the Saints against the most potent defense of the Giants. And the Giants are getting healthier each week, having completed the 5 week JV schedule to start the season. The Saints defense proved they can be a difference maker and I expect them to slow the Giants just enough in the rocking Superdome. Home field and the Jeremy Shockey revenge will be just enough to get the Saints past the G-men.

Ravens (+3) over VIKINGS
Another game that should be outstanding. The Ravens have something to prove after dropping their last two games, and the Vikings want to stay on a roll. Ray Lewis and the defense should be able to contain Adrian Peterson, and while the Ravens secondary has not been as good as it has in the past, they will complicate things for Brett Favre. Ravens catch the Vikings due for a pedestrian game and come into the game angrier than Uncle Leo with painted on eyebrows.

FALCONS (-3) over Bears
Falcons proved last week they are among the elite in the league by giving Singletary and the Niners a bare-ass spanking in SF. The Bears are coming off a bye, but will struggle on the road with a very stingy Falcons defense, and they will not be able to stop the aerial attack of the Falcons.

Broncos (+4) over CHARGERS
Yes, I’m finally a believer in the Broncos. I’ve bought into Josh McDaniels and believe that he has this team playing like no one believes in them and every game is them against the world. Meanwhile, Norv Turner continues to snooze through another Chargers season, wasting a solid amount of talent. The Broncos slowed down Tom Terrific last week and will stifle Phillip Rivers this week in their Monday night coming-out party.

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