Shaun Fagan's Blog

Hey guys, no monkey here, no need to worry

A few notes before we begin: 

That Ohio St. Michigan game is going to be amazing. You gotta go with big blue since they have that divine intervention Bo Schembechler was loved by the Wolverine community and will be extremely missed. You'd have to think that Schembechler will be helping Henne's passes float over the Ohio Defense and knock Troy Smith's passes down. In reality, I don't care, I don't like college football until the bowl games anyway. And I could care less about the rivarly between both schools. Should be compelling TV nonetheless.

Tiger Woods, another day, another 65, another stroll to the top of the leaderboard. And you know what's funny, I've still never seen the guy in person. I went to the U.S. Open this summer, on Saturday, and of course, El Tigro missed the cut after back to back 76's. He hasn't played badly since. If anyone wants to fund me some money to see him this year, please let me know and I will give you the mailing address.

Big Frank made $500,000 last year. He's what, 38 right now? He had a resurgence last year to a certain extent. But $18 million over two years? I'm stunned. You know what though? Matsuzaka will still strike that Big Hurt out so I'm not worried. Good for Big Frank, I've always liked him as a ball player. By the way, you know in Ferris Bueller's day off, when the two valets take the Ferrari? Doesn't the random black guy that got into the car with the valet look just like Frank Thomas, only not as large? Is this just me who sees this similarity? 

Alright, enough rambling. I do like to ramble. Here are the picks for week 11:

 Bears at Jets, Sunday 1pm

            Not a game I’d be too interested in watching, but I think its pretty clear who should win this game. Of course, with the way things are going, I’m probably better off flipping a coin on this one. I’m picking the Bears, despite the fact that I don’t doubt that the Jets could win this game. Of course, if I was to quantify the chances of the Jets winning, I’d say the over/under is around 7%. You never know though. I think that emotional hangovers in the NFL are nonexistent, so I’m not saying they will lose the game simply because they beat the Pats last week. Bears Defense is just too strong for Chad Pennington and the Jets. I think the Jets are the best bad team in the league, and they might even sneak into the playoffs because they don’t lose games against bad teams. They have a very easy remaining schedule, but they will not win a game against a healthy, good team again this season.

            Final Score: Bears 24, Jets 9

Bengals at Saints, Sunday 1pm

            Still like the Bengals. Yes, Josh, all this talk about Sinners and Saints is about as Joe Buck as any human can possibly get in terms of typical cliché. Joe Buck reminds me of Chad Kroger, the lead singer of the band Nickelback. I think that Kroger is a very talented individual who creates music for the masses. Unfortunatley, Kroger also **** off those more dedicated to music than the typical citizen, including yours truly. His lyrics, his melodies, and his timing is so typical and predictable, you can like the noise you are hearing, but just shake your head in amazement and say to yourself “damn, it must have taken Chad about 15 minutes to write this whole song!”. Ever notice when Nickelback is playing, you always know exactly what the next chord is going to be? I don’t know, my opinion, and no disrespect to the guy, but he follows the same formula in every song he’s ever produced. Same goes for Joe Buck. He says and does what everyone expects him to do, (except the glassy-eyed stare downs of Troy Aikman and Bret Boone. I’ve never been more uncomfortable for anyone ever on TV than I’ve felt at times in the past for Aikman and Boone. Joe Buck sometimes looks like he is undressing his colleague in the booth next to him in front of the entire U.S. TV audience. Not like there is anything wrong with that sort of behavior, it just has a tendency to make the audience feel a little uncomfortable. You know what I’m talking about.) My point is that Joe Buck would say the most clichéd things just because he is expected to, apparently that’s his shtick. Anyway, back to the game. I’m still not getting over yet another loss for the Bengals. I really thought they were going to come through for me last week, but they dropped the ball at the end. I was a little bummed out, but since I love the Chargers more, I didn’t feel very bad for long. Yes Josh, I know Reggie Bush hasn’t exactly lived up to the MVP talks I gave over a month ago. Apparently he’s felt too much pressure from the hype I created about him. Don’t worry, he’ll get there in time, but not right now, not this week. The Bengals are actually going to play for 60 minutes this week, because their lives depend on it. A wounded tiger attacks until it cannot attack anymore. As shown last week, the cats are not mortally wounded, and will come out fighting bigtime.

            Final Score: Bengals 37, Saints 31

Bills at Texans, Sunday 1pm

            I like the Bills in this one simply because my colleague Josh likes the Texans. Actually, not just that, I think that A-Train is going to run all over the Texans and keep the ball out of David Carr’s hands. Of course, that might be all Carr needs to stay off his back out there. Poor bastard has been sacked more times than most Iraqi villages. He was good at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately the sacks take their toll and he has a poor game.

            Final Score: Bills 21, Texans 13

Falcons at Ravens, Sunday 1pm

            There’s no way the Falcons and Jim Mora are dumb enough to lose three in a row by forcing Mike Vick to pass 30 times. For that reason alone, I am picking the Falcons to run constantly on the Ray Lewis-less Ravens. Speaking of, the dude had surgery for getting Ed Reeded in the back, and he had to have blood pumped out of the bruise on his back. I don’t care if you are a feared linebacker or not, I can’t imagine the back pain that would cause. Anyway, the Ravens are still damn good on D, but we’ve seen them play without Ray Lewis before this year, and they were not nearly as dominant. I think the Falcons should be able to pull this out, as long as they stick to their guns and run the ball.

            Final Score: Falcons 27, Ravens 24

Patriots at Packers, Sunday 1pm

            I like the prospect of a shootout between the old dominant QB and the younger dominant QB. I hope that both teams just drop the running game and make both pocket passers throw the ball 50 times. Brady has been in a little mini-slump since blowing out the Vikings, so expect that to change against the porous Packers secondary. Brett Favre has again found a rhythm with his ole friend Donald Driver, and they should continue their chemistry over the middle, especially without Rodney Harrison lurking. Brady is going to have to step up in this one and prove to everyone he is the (dare I say?) 2nd best QB in the league. When the Patriots finally win this one, it will propel them into the final stretch of the season on a wave of momentum and they will be a force come postseason.

            Final Score: Patriots 42, Packers 28

Raiders at Chiefs, Sunday 1pm

            That Raiders Defense is going to be awfully sore once LJ is through with them. As of right now, no one can stop LJ, not even my Chargers franchise in Madden 07. The last two games I’ve had to play LJ, he ran for 228 and 215, respectively. Of course, I still won the games, but LJ is unfairly skilled. Although the Raiders defense has been misleadingly decent this year, they will be no match for LJ in the 2nd half. I think the Raiders are going to try and stack 8 men in the box to force Trent Green’s concussed mind to throw the ball, but he should have no problem early. 8 men in the box isn’t enough for LJ anyway, so I predict another 175 yards and 3, yes, 3 TDs for the Penn St. alum.

            Final Score: Chiefs 35, Raiders 17

Rams at Panthers, Sunday 1pm

            I like the Panthers in this game, because it looks as though the Defense might have finally turned a corner. They have been flat out awful for the talent they have on that team. Last Monday night however, they proved they can still pressure and force fumbles. They aren’t as explosive as they have been in the past, but they are starting to play John Fox football, and when Fox Football is active, the Panthers are going to play well. As a quick side note, what a catch by Keyshawn last week. That should have been one of the catches of the year, but it didn’t count because they reviewed the wrong ruling. I like big wide receivers. Now just keep giving him the damn ball and use Steve Smith as more of a distraction! I’ve been picking the Rams a lot in the past, and they haven’t won anything lately after their fast start. I don’t expect them to break that trend this week against a Panthers team that is contending for an NFC 2nd seed.

            Final Score: Panthers 23, Rams 17

Redskins at Buccaneers, Sunday 1pm

            Clinton Portis is gone for the season. It’s really too bad, I like the guy, and I don’t know many people that don’t like him. He’s only 25 years old, yet he seems so matured, probably because he’s been so beaten up playing RB in the NFL. I’m not counting the crazy multiple personalities that he dabbles with during the offseason and during the week, I’m just commenting on how humble he seems for his skill level. I wish him the best in recovery. Had he stayed in Denver, he might have been capable of challenging Emmit Smith’s all time rushing record. Then again, Denver wouldn’t have been 7-2 this year so far, because no one is better than Champ Bailey at CB. As for the game, I think that the Redskins are going to win this one. I know it goes totally against conventional wisdom, but what game had an outcome that was completely expected? (except for my Colts Broncos pick 2 weeks ago). I think Jason Campbell is what the Skins need for a little extra life, and the timing seems right. Bruce Gradkowski had a great run of a few weeks then he tailed off. Perhaps the magic was just waiting for another young QB to switch to? Campbell might get lucky as hell this game, but I think him and the RB combo of TJ Duckett and Ladell Betts might have enough to win this one. It should be a very ugly game but I like the Skins.

            Final Score: Redskins 20, Bucs 16

Steelers at Browns, Sunday 1pm

            A game in which I have no interest in watching. Troy Polamalu is scheduled to play, despite suffering his 8th career concussion last week. Wait a minute, take that and rewind it back. 8 concussions? Doesn’t that make you literally brain-dead? 8 concussions is about as damaging as I can imagine. In fact, I don’t think you can imagine much after suffering 8 brain injuries in your life. When a point like that is brought up, it makes you wonder why those guys fly out there and sacrifice their lives to play the game. Sure there is money, but its not about injuring yourself temporarily. Polamalu will be lucky if he gets to 55 years old. 8 concussions has got to affect your quality of life down the road. Troy Aikman and Steve Young both retired after several concussions, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t reach that Ocho. The thing that really bothers me is that Polamalu is going to play in this game too. I just hope he doesn’t have another. Anyone ever seen “Not Another Teen Movie”? There is a character called Reggie Ray who has a countdown for concussions left before he dies. Although tragic and based on “Varsity Blues”, you gotta seriously consider how many more Polamalu has before he incurs serious brain damage/aneurysm/stroke. Of course, people are paying to see that hair flow in the wake of his 4.4 speed, so I’m sure I care about that more than most. Steelers win as long as Polamalu doesn’t go down again.

            Final Score: Steelers 28, Browns 23

Titans at Eagles, Sunday 1pm

            Vince Young, I can never pick if you are going to win or not. In this case, I’m going against VY, despite his solid performance last week against a tough Ravens Defense. That little lateral/pass to Bo Scaife was very Favre-esque, so its clear he has the moxy to succeed down the road and win some big games in his career, despite whatever people say about his ugly throwing motion. I’m picking the Eagles to win this game though, because I think they are going to surprise people and quietly sneak into the 3rd spot in the NFC playoffs. How can you not like McNabb as a leader? Okay, sure he throws up on the field and dry heaves in the huddle during the final drive of the Super Bowl. His mom feeds him too much Chunky soup, it’s not Donovan’s fault. The guy plays the NFL like he’s in a videogame. That’s why I like him. That and it seems like he throws the most accurate parabola deepball in the NFL. Watch, he’s going to win this game, then carry the Eagles to a 10-6 record on the year.

            Final Score: Eagles 35, Titans 24

Vikings at Dolphins, Sunday 1pm

            You know that I like the Dolphins. Well, maybe you don’t, and all my Pat-crazy fans don’t understand why I like the hated Dolphins either, but I liked Ricky Williams as a running back up until his 4th suspension. Dude, put down the grass! I can’t wait til he comes back to the NFL and scores a touchdown, and celebrates by hand-gesturing a bong rip. That will be so funny, even more so to hear what Joe Buck says about it. Like I said last week, the Fins are going to cruise through the 2nd half and probably finish 8-8 or 9-7. They will probably miss the playoffs, but they are going to be major spoilers down the road. It helps that the Vikings are in shambles right now, and all their receivers have glass hands.

            Final Score: Dolphins 31, Vikings 16

Seahawks at 49ers, Sunday 4:05pm

            The 49ers are the most inexplicable 4-5 team in the history of the NFL. This team is not good at all, yet they are in the thick of the playoff hunt. It’s unbelievable to say the least. If they win this game, they will be in sole possession of 2nd place in the NFC West (as long as the Rams lose), and they will be in the upper echelon of NFC records. Pretty impressive stuff, as Frank Gore has been as good as advertised recently. I still think the Seahawks are very good though, especially with their core guys coming back this week. I give Mike Holmgren a lot of credit for keeping this team afloat, as most critics gave up on the Seahawks once Hasselbeck went down. Will Shaun Alexander recover from his Madden curse? We shall see in the coming weeks, but I think he will be okay, not great. Another interesting storyline, It appears that the roles of Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl bridesmaid have been reversed. All of a sudden the winner is suffering the hangover and the loser is staying strong. In a quick and sudden turn of events, my feeling for this game has rapidly shifted! Perhaps the 49ers are in fact, as good as a 4-5 team. Perhaps the Seahawks are waiting for that implosion. I want to pick the 49ers to win this game based on all the factors going into this week. So in that case, here goes nothing.

            Final Score: 49ers 17, Seahawks 16

(wow, I can’t believe I just did that)

Lions at Cardinals, Sunday 4:05pm

            Everyone knows I love my Lions. They needed to win last week for me to withhold the faith that they would start to prove the doubters. I don’t want to mention that boffo in the luxury suite at Ford field, so I won’t mention that jamook’s name. Matt Leinart has to have a good game in him at some point. And with Larry Fitz back in the offense, the Cards should be able to put together one week of good football. I never like doing this, but I’m picking against my team due to that completely hapless fool moving the chess pieces. Oops, there goes the Queen. Checkmate. (by the way, does anyone know how to spell the word “Jamook?” It is pronounced like Jam-moak. If anyone can help me, that would be a real help. By the way, I don’t think it’s a real word, but I like it anyway)

            Final Score: Cardinals 31, Lions 29

Colts at Cowboys, Sunday 4:15pm

            The trendy pick is the Cowboys beating the Colts. I however, much like my unofficial opponent Josh can’t see the Colts losing. I don’t think they have the resources and the coaching to beat the Colts. In fact, I think the Colts are going to completely shut down the criticism and dominate this game. It feels like the Colts can win a game even if they don’t care if they win or lose. At this point, the Colts have something to play for since people doubt them in this one. Don’t give Peyton ammunition if you are smart, which is why the Cowboys haven’t said anything. I assume Peyton is going to come out there with his “laser, rocket arm” and throw for 3 touchdowns in the 1st quarter. The Cowboys might try and keep up, but with Bob Sanders back, their Defense is solid enough to halt the Cowboys. I expect to see a smothering performance by the Colts and for them to stay undefeated for at least one more week. (I think that they are going undefeated in the regular season, despite games against the Eagles next week, Bengals December 18th, and the Dolphins fighting for an outside playoff spot on New Years Eve)

            Final Score: Colts 34, Cowboys 10

Chargers at Broncos, Sunday 8:15pm

            I’m glad that the football world has had some really great games on the primetime TV slots. This should be another one, pitting two 7-2 teams together for AFC west supremacy. I think the only team capable of limiting the Chargers Offense is the Broncos. I consider the Chargers the best offense in the league, the Colts a close 2nd. Why do I think that the Broncos can stop the Chargers better than the Colts? Because the Chargers are more run focused, since they have the best RB in football. The Broncos have given up two rushing TDs all year, and if any team can keep LT to under 2 touchdowns, it is the Broncos. I think this is going to be a fairly low scoring game which should be very interesting to watch for a football aficionado. I got the Powder blues winning this one by a slim margin.

            Final Score: Chargers 17, Broncos 14

Giants at Jaguars, Monday 8:30pm

            Okay Arthur Pincus, I’m sorry I went against your boys last week. I must add that I was right though. Clearly, the Giants are the bridesmaids of the NFC at this point, but I will tell you a few affirmative statements. The Giants are the Chargers of the NFC, they have a young QB (with an interesting connected story between them, aka the Draft), a talented do all RB, some reliable WRs, a solid defense with a great corps of linebackers, and an elite TE. They are a good team and exciting to watch. They will also make it to the NFC championship game. Beyond that, I can’t see that far, despite my fighter-pilot eyesight. The Giants should be able to squeak this one out against a desperate Jags team, although I don’t see it happening. Have you ever seen a Jaguar try and tread water? I haven’t either, but I do know that cats tend to hate water. Jags don’t have much left in the tank unfortunately and will fall out of the playoff race in the next 3 weeks.

            Final Score: Giants 27, Jaguars 23

A long post this week, I had a lot on my mind clearly! Take care and have a great weekend. PS, don’t urinate in a parking garage without looking behind you for police first!

Here's Josh's picks, although I'm pretty sure all of my friends are his friends and they read his more than mine! 


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