Shaun Fagan's Blog
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What a great weekend of football for the NFL. Some things remained the same, while other things made us look confused and surprised. Can the Bears AND Colts go undefeated? Can Oakland still make the playoffs? Did anyone else on the Bengals get arrested? This was my first weekend of making NFL picks and let me tell you what I learned. I am not clairvoyant (other than my Colts/Broncos pick), if my life depended on being 100% accurate I would be long since dead, and this is harder than I ever thought it was. That old cliché of any team can beat any team on any given Sunday was reinforced this weekend. The Raiders beating the Steelers despite allowing less than 100 yards of offense by the silver and black. The magic suddenly disappearing for Reggie Bush and the Saints. Arizona being impossibly bad. It all seems to leave me at a loss for words.

 

Let’s review the picks!

 

So me and Josh are now going at it for prediction supremacy for the upcoming future. I will take this into account for next weekend so we don’t pick such similar outcomes to the games. Fact is, he beat me by 1 game this weekend, and I look to reverse that for this weekend.

 

Chicago/San Francisco- Sad, sad blowout for the once proud 49ers. I thought Chicago would be easy on the hapless 49ers, but apparently they were still mad about the Arizona close call. And I’m so glad that I decided to pass on the Bears Defense to take the Panthers D for my fantasy league. Thank you very much.

 

Jax/Philadelphia- I mentioned that the Jags D is either feast or famine. They either show up or they send out the Broward County flag football state champions to play for them. I haven’t seen the stats, but it seems like Jacksonville either holds their opponents to under 10 points, or they give up over 30. Confusing. I’m starting to have my doubts, although subtle, about Donovan McNabb. Did anyone see him vomit during last week’s game vs. the Bucs? He seems to be very inconsistent, and I think he might be a headcase. Of course, that’s what happens when T.O. enters your life. It’s akin to a divorce in which that ex-wife takes your house, your kids, and your dog. You can never forget about it. Seemed to me like he didn’t even want to play that game. Josh was right about that comment he quoted McNabb as saying last week. He is dwelling on too much and thinking too much. He should just be the gunslinger that he is and put up huge numbers like he is capable of. Of course, that is easier said than done, but he needs to get out of the funk he’s currently in if the Eagles want to compete in that division.

 

New York Giants/Tampa Bay- Giants offense struggled, but still did enough to get the W. What a catch by Plax. It’s almost like he’s playing against a bunch of middle schoolers with a NERF football. When he tries he is as talented as anyone in the league. I think Tiki Barber is telling Coach Coughlin to put in Jacobs around the goal line just so Tiki can save that face for the Today Show. Did anyone else hear that Tiki wants to be a news anchor for one of the major TV stations after his playing career? I just don’t see how America can take a guy named Tiki seriously on the Today Show. I am very impressed with his class and eloquence that he exhibits off the field though. It’s too bad more players aren’t like Tiki, one of the few true role-models in the NFL.

 

Baltimore/New Orleans- The Saints are no longer marching in the Superdome. Their divine intervention came to an end in the most traumatic way yesterday. Everything that could have gone wrong did for the Saints, who now at 5-2, show that they are still within reach for the teams in the NFC South. Fact is, the Saints are a decent football team, they are not an elite team. They need to fight hard to finish the season at 10-6, with some tough games against Cincy, Pittsburg, and Atlanta in the next month. Anyway, Mr. Colston is one hell of a wide receiver, and that pass that Reggie Bush threw really wasn’t that bad. Upon looking at the replay, the WR who should have caught it, completely mistimed his leap and was on the ground when the pass sailed right over his head. I think that the pass should have been caught, and it was just an unlucky break for the Saints. I was happy to see that I was matched up against the Ravens Defense in Fantasy Football this week, as they racked up almost 30 points in my league. They performed the way I expected the Panthers D to play… well, more on that later.

 

Seattle/Kansas City- Finally, the return of LJ to reality. 4 TD’s, 155 rushing yards, 40 carries. That’s the way he played last year. Expect more of it in the coming weeks. This guy is flat out nasty. I’ve always known it since he was wearing a Penn St. uniform. He’s the Jim Brown of our generation. I’d still say that LT is the best running back in the game, but for purely rushing, LJ is the guy. I should give props to Seneca Wallace and the Seattle offense though. They surprised me with their aggressiveness and success. The Chiefs have had a decent defense all year long, and I think that Seattle’s B-team did well against them and made the game closer than I originally anticipated. Good performances by both teams.

 

Houston/Tennessee- This game was one of three games that me and my friendly rival Josh disagreed on. I picked Houston because I really didn’t think that David Carr could all of a sudden begin to play like it was 2003. I also made the assumption of Vince Young getting injured. Rule #1, never anticipate a player becoming injured. It is bad karma, and as a firm believer of karma, I think that the Titans won the game because I claimed that VY was going to be knocked out of the game. Young is one hell of a player. I remember during the National Championship against USC, they showed Young on camera before the game standing there by himself, and I quote myself as saying “Vince Young, you are about to be completely humiliated. You are going to have the worst game of your life.” Yes, well I’m sure we all remember how that turned out. This kid is a damn good player. Never count him out at this stage. And props to Josh for calling this outcome correctly.

 

Arizona/Green Bay- Here’s the 2nd game that I was completely wrong about, while Josh was completely correct. I really don’t see how Arizona can possibly be this bad at football. They have a very talented set of offensive skill players. Anquan Boldin (my favorite receiver), Larry Fitzgerald (injured), Matt Leinart (young but composed), Edgerrin James (really this overrated?). This team proves that the offensive line is arguable the most important factor to offensive success. The Cowboys of the 1990s in particular, proved this. To this day I don’t think Emmitt Smith was that good (I was a Barry Sanders guy anyway). By having an offensive line that doesn’t work like a sieve, skill players can improve and look better than they are. Case in point, the Cowboys of the 90s. Counterpoint, the Arizona Cardinals of 2006. Give Brett Farve all the credit in the world. That Prilosec OTC is working wonders for his winning percentage. Rule #2, never count out the crafty veteran against a very bad team.

 

Cincinnati/Atlanta- What the hell has Michael Vick been snorting over the past two weeks? I almost feel like my first blog post ever should be removed for claiming that Michael Vick is “the worst QB in the NFL”. I’m completely shocked at his magical transformation from Sammy Baugh to Steve Young with a better arm. First of all, with an absolute cannon like his, I’d expect him to be able to throw multiple TD’s and hook up the big plays. He could probably throw a football 75 yards, so why not get a superfast receiver who can field punts and have him run a fly route every play and try and catch one? Sorry that was a random though. Anyway, fact is that Vick should have been this good a few years ago. He’s been a starting QB for six years. Just now he finally can complete a series of passes? It’s pathetic, but its about time. I predicted that he would fight to a victory vs. the Bengals, and low and behold, I was correct! The Bengals are playing like crap right now. Carson Palmer is not playing to his skill, perhaps there are lingering mental affects from his knee injury, but he is not looking like the future hall of famer that he looked like last year.

 

St. Louis/San Diego- Really wished that I had gotten a top 3 pick in the fantasy draft so I could have taken LT. Instead, my buddy Alex got him, and he’s winning the cumulative points in our league by a margin over 100 after 8 weeks. Unbelievable. I love LT as a back, and I’ve always thought of him as the best offensive weapon in the NFL. Surprisingly, he’s only recently been given the recognition as such. Remember in 2003, when he ran for 1,645 yards, AND caught 100 passes, AND didn’t make the Pro Bowl?? Well, he’s just answering the haters with another unbelievable performance. 240 yards, 3 TDs, ridiculous. I thought this would be some kind of shootout, and it didn’t quite live up to expectations, but nontheless, the Chargers proved again that their offense is one of the top 3 units in the game, if not the best (yes, including the Colts).

 

New York Jets/Cleveland- I disrespected this game in the predictions. And why shouldn’t have I? These are two of the most uninteresting teams in the game from my perspective. And what was my reward? A little more karma. Rule #3, never disrespect any game in the NFL. I had to head home for the weekend out near Springfield, MA, to see my sister’s theater production of “Fame”. Anyway, so I am home Sunday afternoon watching the Giants/Bucs game, and the Eagles/Jags game. What the hell kind of games were this on such a wonderful weekend of football??? Made me wish I still had NFL Sunday Ticket like those good ole days with the DirecTV dish when I was in high school. Anyway, I could find solace in the fact that at 4pm, the Colts and Broncos were going to come on. So I put up with the subpar games on CBS and FOX and finally, 4pm rolled along. As I turned to the CBS HD station, the Browns were running onto the field. I looked at the TV in exasperation. They seriously weren’t shunning the Broncos/Colts for the Jets/Browns, were they? This was the one game I could care less about! NO, this cannot be happening. I went immediately to the phone to call my buddy at home in Boston, and he said that the Colts were on. I immediately debated skipping the family dinner to drive to Boston to catch the 2nd half of the game. Instead, I just turned off football for the remainder of the day until I got back to Boston during the evening. The moral of the story is to care for every game equally so the similar situation doesn’t happen to you in the future.

 

Indy/Denver- See last prediction post. Enough said.

 

Pittsburg/Oakland- I told them to not start Big Ben. He looked like he was still unconscious. How the hell Oakland could beat the Steelers is beyond me. That’s just sad.

 

Dallas/Carolina- So happy I picked the Panthers Defense over the Bears. I will never live that down. Tony Romo was a freakin hero last night too. He looked like the 2nd coming of Troy Aikman. Rule # 4, remember Murphy’s Law… anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Never assume your fantasy football defense is going to eat up a team. If you do, they will give up 35 unanswered points and get humiliated on Sunday night football.

 

My Record Last week: 6-7

Josh’s Record:              7-6

 

 

Farewell to Red Auerbach. Have a Cigar.

And now for the bi-weekly adult video humor- in the spirit of Halloween, its the Girl's Costume Warehouse commercial

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