Hey everyone, back again is the now infamous Shaun’s Friday Blog. I hope everyone had a good week, and is prepped for another week in the NFL. Some interesting matchups highlight an otherwise pedestrian week of games. First off, lets start with some other issues in the sports world.
Great Big East match-up last night in Louisville and West Virginia. I turned on the game right after halftime and it was quite a show. Half of the stadium lights shut down, the offenses ran up and down the field every possession, 3 fumbles in four consecutive plays. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday night watching TV.
The Tour Championship is here, usually a personal favorite event since all the big names are playing. Unfortunatley, there is no Tiger, there is no Phil (FYI I love Tiger and hate Phil). The only guys I’m inclined to watch are Adam Scott, Ernie Els, and Arron Oberholser. I feel bad for the people that don’t watch any golf. Who the hell are people going to watch? Anyway usually this is the last tourney of the year and its nice to have one last round of golf before the snow starts falling. Can’t wait til that FedEx cup next year, should be a wonderful thing for the PGA tour.
Okay, I didn’t want to waste too much time on things that aren’t very important, like the NFL and the Week 9 picks! So without further delay, here are my picks for this weekend. And I’m currently 7-7 on the year, so if you go with me and bet my predictions, 100% of the time you’ll be right 50% of the time.
Bengals at Ravens, Sunday 1pm
Could be a great game, or could be two struggling teams trying desperately to give the game away. Conventional wisdom says that the Bengals should win, considering the fact that they have an opportunistic defense against an offense that frankly, has been awful if it weren’t for countless tipped pass TDs! The Bengals have one of the top 5 best offenses in the league, with one of the best QB’s in the league when Palmer is on. Good QB’s can get enough done against good defenses like the Ravens to win consistently. Because of this, I am picking the Bengals to win in a relatively low scoring affair.
Palmer will throw just enough (200 yards) to win in the end. He just needs to limit the turnovers that he’s uncharacteristically made in the past few weeks.
Final Score: Bengals 17, Ravens 10
Cowboys at Redskins, Sunday 1pm
A great NFC East matchup and one of the best rivalries of all time. I don’t care about this game, which means I’m sure it is going to be on Fox during Sunday afternoon, for which I will be annoyed. Anyway, I still think that Mark Brunell is the oldest-looking 36 year old male I have ever seen. I really hope he doesn’t get seriously hurt, because he looks like such a nice man, and I would hate to see a senior citizen, by NFL standards, be buried by some cocky 25 year old thoroughbred. I just hope he survives through the end of the season and retires, and it is not fun to see an old, brazen man beaten up. Dallas and the emergence of Tony Romo will yet again impress and they can chalk up a 2nd consecutive victory in big D. T.O will have another solid game, but how much longer will he be tolerable for?
Final Score: Dallas 27, Washington 14
Dolphins at Bears, Sunday 1pm
Another week, another blowout win for the Chicago Bears. According to various power rankings that I have read, it appears that the Dolphins are the worst team in the league right now. Plus, they have the biggest loser in the NFL at QB, in Joey Harrington. I feel bad, but I put up with Joey Blue Skies for too many seasons as a Lions fan. After about the 4th losing season in a row, and seeing him at a post game press conference, looking completely drained, and saying “I’m just so sick of losing”, in the most pathetic, desparate voice I’ve ever heard an NFL player produce, I don’t care anymore. He’s just too nice to be in the cutthroat NFL. I strongly doubt that Brian Urlacher is one to feel bad for poor ole Joey, and he will, as will the entire defense, make Joey feel even more lonely. I’m guessing the over/under for Dolphin turnovers is 4. Any less and that would be a slight moral victory. I’m not even starting my first overall pick in my fantasy draft (Ronnie Brown), because I don’t think there’s more than a 20% chance he’ll score a TD. Let’s just hope for my friend Josh’s sake that Rex doesn’t go Arizona on us and give away another six possessions. Who knows, there could be a major surprise, but who are we kidding?
Final Score: Bears 41, Dolphins 3
Falcons at Lions, Sunday 1pm
Everyone knows I love the Lions. The only reason why is because of Barry Sanders. I guess I just have neglected to recognize that he hasn’t been playing since 1998. Can’t believe it has been that long, wow. Anyway, the Lions are like the Cardinals. They have so much talent, but they don’t win. I don’t believe that Michael Vick can produce back to back to back huge Steve Young quality games. I think that the Falcons are going to blow this one, I really do. I love the Lions, and perhaps my love for them is clouding my better judgment, but watch and learn. The Lions offense is going to do what they usually do, and the defense is going to do just enough to stop the Falcons from scoring at will. They don’t have Shaun Rogers, and that hurts since the Falcons are so run heavy, but I think an ill advised throw from a cocky Mike Vick might make the difference here.
Final Score: Lions 37, Falcons 34
Packers at Bills, Sunday 1pm
For some reason, I have decided to bench the great Tom Brady in favor of the rugged, reckless Brett Favre in fantasy football. I just have a feeling he’s going to toy with the Bills Defense and will put up several hundred yards with several TDs. Sure he’ll make some stupid plays too, but fantasy football isn’t about efficiency, it is about excess. Favre is a good pick here in my mind because of his potential excess. He might throw 50 times, and good things are bound to happen when a veteran gunslinger like Favre is tossing up bombs every few plays. The Bills are another team that just don’t excite any part of me. At least for J.P. Losman’s sake, Jim Kelly never won a Super Bowl.
Final Score: Packers 28, Bills 13
Saints at Buccaneers, Sunday 1pm
An intriguing matchup that pits a super-fast defense against a very good offense. And yes, I take back all that Reggie Bush for MVP talk, but he’s better than he looks. Being hobbled by a suspect ankle isn’t going to help Bush’s cause this week, but I think the Saints can win without him. He’ll make a bunch of receptions but probably won’t have a profound impact on the field this week. Deuce on the ground and Brees/Horn/Colston through the air will be enough to win this game for America’s new Team.
Final Score: Saints 24, Bucs 14
Texans at Giants, Sunday 1pm
Could be a showcase of two great QB/WR combos. I’d look for Andre Johnson and Plaxico Burress to both have big games for their respective teams. I don’t think the running game is going to be there as much for the Texans however and that will be the difference. And yes, Tiki is finally going to get his first touchdown, on either a 40 yard screen pass, or a 25 yard run. Perhaps both will happen? Not sure but the crystal ball is predicting a Tiki TD party.
Final Score: Giants 31, Texans 24
Titans at Jaguars, Sunday 1pm
I think this will be a relatively low scoring game, as the Jags D will be tough, and the Jags O will fail to put up any big numbers. Garrard has shown that he is a good QB, but I think Vince Young is better right now than the more experienced Garrard. Look for the Titans to squeak out a victory vs. the shocked Jags with a last second field goal.
Final Score: Titans 13, Jags 10
Cheifs at Rams, Sunday 1pm
Here’s a game worth paying close attention to. What did I say about LJ last week? He pulled through like I expected him to, and he is due for another huge game on Sunday as well. I don’t like agreeing with the so-called “experts” on the more popular sports websites, but with LaDainian Tomlinson’s game against the Rams’ defense, as well as Frank Gore, among others, LJ rushing for over 150 is very realistic. I think that he’ll run for about 165, but will put it on the ground at a critical point in the game, and the Rams will take advantage with their high flying offense. Watch Isaac Bruce have a big game against Ty Law. Pat Surtain will most likely be covering Torry Holt, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marc Bulger look for Bruce more often.
Final Score: Rams 31, Cheifs 21
Vikings at 48 1/2ers
Are the Vikings still going to be contending for a wild card spot after that horrific blowout against the Patriots? I hope that for the 49ers sake that they took notes from last week’s game and will pass pass pass against the Vikes. Alex Smith has the skill to play well, but I think the Vikings defense will be angry and will play very strongly as a result of their pride. Look for the Vikings defense to be very dominant towards the end of the game when Minnesota needs them the most.
Final Score: Vikings 17, San Francisco 7
Broncos at Steelers, Sunday 4:15pm
Bad matchup for the Broncos. I don’t remember the last time any team ran effectively against the Steelers. It seems like that every time a great running back goes up against the Steelers, they are ineffective until garbage times comes along and some steal a 100 yard game in a blowout, or a loss. I can definatley foresee this occurring to the Broncos. As a result, the game will be on Jake Plummer’s shoulders, and I can’t see that equaling a win for the Broncos. Can’t take away anything from the Denver defense, as I believe they are the 2nd best unit in football behind Da Bears. However, I’ve already decided that Pittsburg is winning at least 9 games, somehow, this year. That means that they need to win this one. It’s been a bad, no, horrible first two months of the season for Cowher’s crew. Look for them to change that trend this weekend and start November out fresh.
Final Score: Steelers 20, Broncos 14
Browns at Chargers, Sunday 4:15pm
The Browns showed some life last week, as I watched the game since the Indy/Denver game got bumped from my local viewing area (still not happy about that). Anyway, the poor Brownies have an extremely tough team to go against, even without Shawne Merriman. This is the same team that gave up 295 yards to Jamal Lewis a few years ago. LT is about 1000x better than JLew, so LT should have no problem racking upwards of 200 yards of total offense. Look for him to reach the end zone at least twice as well. I’m picking the Bolts to beat the Browns by a good 3 TDs, as they will probably pull into a big lead and it will slowly dwindle in garbage time. By the way, I hate that, when you are playing a Defensive unit in fantasy football, then their offense goes up by 30 points or so. The Defense never seems to go for the shutout, which is obviously more points for you when that happens. Sorry, I tend to ramble about fantasy football a lot since I’ve always felt like I’ve had a good team but I have failed to win on a consistent basis, which I attribute to bad luck for me and good fortune for them.
Final Score: Chargers 41, Browns 17
Colts at Patriots, Sunday 8:30pm
I can’t wait for this game. My friend is going, that lucky bastard. Anyway I guess I’d rather sit comfortably in the warmth of my place and watch from multiple camera angles. I’ve been to Gillette once and as much fun as it was, I’d never go back there, far too cold at night. Anyway, this matchup is getting to be like the Red Sox and Yankees. The only thing about it is that the Pats are more similar to the hated Yankees than our beloved Sox. You know what happened though, don’t you? Eventually, after a bunch of losses in a row, the Red Sox finally beat the once almighty Yanks on a cold October night and ended up going all the way to win. Obviously, this isn’t the playoffs yet, but it could determine what happens during the playoffs. I’d always take the Colts to win in their Dome. If they win this game, the Colts will have the best chance in recent history to go 16-0, since their schedule following this game is somewhat weak, as matchups against the Bengals and the Eagles linger. Fortunatley for Dungy and Co, those teams have been underperforming all year, and it would be interesting to see what happens. As for the Pats, you can never rule out the Pats. They are the team of the 00’s. They just seemingly always get the job done, and you can’t deny that whoever you are.
I just don’t see the Pats winning again, against Peyton Manning, who is in his absolute prime of his career. He has never been better, much like his receiving corps. Sure the Pats will run all over the Colts, but is that going to be enough to stop the machine? I think not! Peyton might only have the ball for 20 minutes and he’ll still have three scoring drives. And I hate to go up against the home team, but it’s what I believe. If I was a betting man however, I would have to bet the Pats since I’d say it’s actually the “safe” pick as the Pats are favored. You got to think though, that eventually, the Sox beat the Yankees. Its time for Peyton to beat the Pats, and with that, the Colts will lock up home field, and with that, will be the AFC Super Bowl representative. Man, my good friend Bill Simmons is going to murder me! He probably won’t be my good friend anymore actually!
Final Score: Colts 21, Pats 17
Raiders at Seahawks, Monday 8:30pm
All I know is, I’m definatley watching Prison Break next Monday night.
Final Score: Seahawks 6, Raiders 3
For Alternative Picks, see Josh's Blog
Should be yet another good week of the NFL. The thing I like about the NFL season is that the days go by so fast. This helps get winter over with and spring to come up faster, which is especially good for us who need to get out on the links. Unfortunately I live in New England and winter has been known to extend into June sometimes. Lets hope for my blood pressure’s sake that winter is over by New Years. Here’s to that! Have a good weekend and take care of yourselves, I’ll see you Monday Morning.
No funny adult video clip this week because of the problems with YouTube and copyright infringement problems, send me something funny if you find anything good.