Shaun Fagan's Blog
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Hello again ladies and gentlemen! The weather here is so damned cold that I almost had to jump on a one way ticket to San Diego and hang out with my Super Bowl favorites. So it seems like people are starting to catch onto the Chargers bandwagon that I started back in Week 10 or so. In his latest blog, Bill Simmons has blatantly plagiarized my hefty expectations for the Bolts. How he figured that I wouldn’t find out still baffles my simple mind. Now since we are both native Bostonians, I appreciate his influence on the sports writing world and I look at him as the go-to guy in terms of all things sports, but wow, that was a new low for the Sports Guy. I’d like to take over the title of the Nation’s Sports Guy so we no longer have to mention Simmons again on this network. That being said, lets move onto some lingering issues around the sports world!

Theo, do not trade Manny Ramirez. Without him, our Sox are going 85-77 next year. Don’t be a tool, keep that fool!

Happy Birthday Larry Bird! (I refuse to call him Larry Legend, because I was far too young during his heyday to remember all his great moments. My favorite Larry Bird moment was that old DOS computer game called Bird vs Jordan, in which two players could play as either MJ or Bird. MJ couldn’t shoot, but could dunk the ball every time with Bird unable to stop him, and Bird could shoot a 3 pointer every time, and Jordan couldn’t get up high enough to block it. What was the point? I don’t have a clue to this day.)

I wonder how good the Bears would be if Tom Brady was the QB for them. Brady would be the perfect match for the Bears, as they have a very solid team that doesn’t focus on glitz and glamour to put points up on the board. Brady is more suited to play for a team like that, and Peyton Manning needs a circa 2000 Rams-like team to win. His Colts just aren’t quite up to snuff this year, and it could be an interesting last four games before playoffs this year for the Colts. Brady on the Bears equals a team going at least 15-1. It’s an interesting proposition, think about it.

What's up with JD Drew getting $70 million over 5 years? How about Gil Meche getting $55 million? Barry Bonds $16 million plus $4 million in potential achievement bonuses in one year? You are lucky to be a free agent this year in MLB.

And finally, I don’t understand the Heisman trophy. I know that conventional wisdom suggests that it go to the best college football player in the country, but c’mon. I think that a hugely important criteria in the choosing of the Heisman should be the potential success at the next level. I am sick of watching these players win Heisman trophies (ahem, Troy Smith) that are inevitably going to suck at the NFL level. I mean, let’s run down some Heisman trophy winners in the past, and the impact they’ve had in the NFL. Gino Torretta. Andre Ware, Charlie Ward, Danny Wuerffel, the list goes on. The simple facts prove that any undersized QB with a weak arm can’t make it in the NFL. A superfast RB in college isn’t superfast in the NFL unless they are overly superfast, which only allows for the likes of Reggie Bush, Barry Sanders, etc. Any college QB who can run fast and is in a high powered, nationally ranked offense can put up gaudy numbers, especially in the right system. Ohio State is an ideal situation for Troy Smith, but there is no way he’s going to succeed in the NFL. Taking into account who has the brightest potential for NFL success, there should be no debate as to who should hoist the 20 lb trophy on Saturday, December 9th.

Even though he probably won’t win, Brady Quinn is the only player out of the top 3 finalists who has a chance at being a top player in the NFL. He’s got brains, an arm, size, and poise. Troy Smith has a fair arm, fair speed (pointless in the NFL unless it’s Vick-like), and not too much more to bring to the table. CFB traditionalists might argue that the Heisman is for the best college player in the nation. I understand what that means, and why Smith will probably walk away with it on Saturday, but any NFL would be completely foolish to draft him in the top 10. In fact, I think a team would be foolish to draft him at all. I would never draft a running QB from college, ever. And also, I probably would never draft anyone without massive size, speed, or smarts. It’s all about the fit for the team, but GM’s seem to throw common sense out the window and draft according to Mel Kiper Jr’s. draft board. Gimme a break, and pass on anyone not capable of succeeding in the NFL. Use common sense and pick from your heart, not the Heisman. 

Now onto the Week 14 games!

Colts @ Jaguars, Sunday 1pm

            The Jaguars, and seemingly everyone else out of the AFC South, play the Colts very tough and limit their chances for running up the score. The Jaguars have been a horrible team on the road all year (2-4), but have been decent at home. Peyton Manning is undoubtedly going to enjoy the nice weather in Jacksonville Sunday, which will lead to a solid performance by Manning and the Colts. Those Jags are going to be a tricky team to tame, but they’ll somehow lose in the end. The Colts win begs the question, “how much more can we take before we let an important game slip away?” Colts have probably one more loss on their schedule against the Bengals next Monday night. Other than that, they need to pray San Diego doesn’t go 14-2 and grab home field advantage, or this team has little chance of making that Super Bowl everyone predicted for them earlier in the season.

Final Score: Colts 24, Jaguars 19

Eagles @ Redskins, Sunday 1pm

            Jeff Garcia might be married to a playboy bunny, but that won’t distract him this week as the Eagles run over the hapless Redskins. Garcia is playing for a job next year, so he sees his time to shine for now. Unfortunately, after this week, the Eagles will probably lose their next 3 games against the Giants, Cowboys, and Falcons. Better make the best of your one shining moment this year, Jeffrey.

            Final Score: Eagles 27, Redskins 13

Falcons @ Buccaneers, Sunday 1pm

            Can the Bucs do anything at all? They can’t play offense or defense anymore. It’s an interesting thing to watch the worst team in NFL history turn themselves into a contender with some good draft picks, then win the Super Bowl, promptly fall apart, and become one of the worst franchises again. It’s just like the big yellow slide at the Eastern States Exposition, or Big E from those of you who don’t hail from the Northeast. The Falcons, sensing instant death with a loss, prolong the inevitable for one more week and win this one outright.

            Final Score: Falcons 31, Bucs 10

Giants @ Panthers, Sunday 1pm

            Joe Buck fans, this will be a fun game to listen to. He’ll just start reeling nonstop about the state of the union of Giantdom, and as the game turns into a snore-fest, he’ll just continually plug how Tom Coughlin is handling things, Tiki’s off-field aspirations, and Plaxico Burress dropping Mike Minter 12 seconds after a play. Who knows, this game is going to be so boring til the end, when Eli manages to pull out a great drive in the 4th quarter, capping a 76 yard drive with a TD to Shockey in the back of the end zone with less than 1 minute left.

            Final Score: Giants 24, Panthers 19

Patriots @ Dolphins, Sunday 1pm

            Everyone was picking this game to be a big hurtle for the Pats as the season comes to a close. Trust me, all the sports reporters around Boston were afraid of the Dolphins. The fact is however, that without Ronnie Brown, and Joey Harrington, they are essentially the Bears right now. No offense, all defense. Funny little tidbit though. Usually, Brady has little problems dissecting a good defense, he just seems to make bad throws during those games. So, he’ll probably have an off game which will keep it close. Belichick however, will develop some crazy defensive scheme to shell Joey Blue Skies back to the piano bench. I would be shocked if the Dolphins managed more than 14 points in this one, and the Patriots will do them one better. It will be ugly, but Pats fans need not worry, this Dolphins team is no longer the team it was 2 weeks ago.

            Final Score: Patriots 21, Dolphins 14 

Raiders @ Bengals, Sunday 1pm

            Oh come on, NFL schedule makers. This game just doesn’t seem fair for the AFC playoff contenders. The Bengals should plow the Raiders back into that Black Hole they spawned from. As a result, the Bengals will be lined up for a wild card spot again, and it will depend on if they beat Indy next week if they make it or not. All of a sudden, their remaining schedule doesn’t look so tough. The Bengals are going at least 10-6, and most likely 11-5.

            Final Score: Bengals 38, Raiders 24

Ravens @ Chiefs, Sunday 1pm

            Arrowhead Stadium is the only home field advantage left in the NFL. Everyone has a new stadium, a new field turf surface, or a laid back city. Kansas City’s home is essentially a Roman Coliseum with cold weather and crazy, savage fans. Not like Ray Lewis and company will back down, but the Ravens offense isn’t going to move the chains very much especially if it’s real cold. LJ might have to run 40 times to get to 120 yards, but will do so and score twice. Chiefs take a surprising, yet convincing one at home to avenge their loss last week, but will it be enough to stay in it? It doesn’t look too good with games against San Diego and Jacksonville as both games have major playoff implications. They could sneak in with a 10-6 record as long as Denver continues their downward trend. Stay tuned.

            Final Score: Chiefs 17, Ravens 16

Titans @ Texans, Sunday 1pm

            Okay, my unicorn is finally getting the chance to spite his once thought to be suitor. He’s proven that he should have probably been taken #1 in the draft last April, especially by the Texans who needed a rebirth of their franchise. Funny how I say rebirth only a few years after their inception. It was perhaps a birth that should have been aborted. Meanwhile, VY should win this game and I should finally get that elusive prediction for VY that I’ve yet to taste. A major irony would be if Mario Williams takes VY out on a vicious sack in the 1st quarter and knocks him out of the game. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate rebuttal, or what?       

            Final Score: Titans 24, Texans 14

Vikings @ Lions, Sunday 1pm

            Aww I love the Lions. Those poor hapless souls led to wander a battlefield with inferior armament and no technology. It’s kind of like sending a group of horny middle schoolers to fend for themselves at a bar full of beautiful college women. They just have no chance, and when they think they are getting somewhere, the boyfriend comes over and punches one of them in the face. And they bleed and cry to themselves. What the hell was the person directing them thinking, sending them into a bar in the first place? Frikken the guy who I cannot mention due to my utter anger, that’s who. What a great role model, you jackass.

            Final Score: Vikings 19, Lions 17

Seahawks @ Cardinals, Sunday 4:05pm

            The Seahawks are rolling on all cylinders once again, with their stars back they are one of the top 3 teams in the NFC by default. Everyone apparently thinks that Matt Leinart is going to have a big game here, and I see it happening, but only because they are going to be behind for most of it. Alexander runs wild, Hasselbeck has an off game, but Josh Brown nets his 5th game winning field goal of the year. When it’s all said and done, there will be much rejoicing for the Hawks from Starbucks town, and the Cardinals finally realize that they need a defense and some more offensive line.

            Final Score: Seahawks 28, Cardinals 27

Packers @ 49ers, Sunday 4:05pm

            Brett Favre has got to have something left, some magic in him to pull off an improbable victory. The problem is that this is not a good matchup for the Packers. Perhaps Favre will have a good game, but there’s no way that Frank Gore is going to run for under 150 yards. One 70 yard run will prove that, in the middle of the 3rd quarter. Behind Gore’s impressive yardage, the 49ers will win this one.

            Final Score: 49ers 27, Packers 21
 

Bills @ Jets, Sunday 4:15pm

            What did I say about the Jets? They aren’t going to lose to any teams worse than them this year. The Bills ain’t that bad this year actually, as Losman seems to play up and down all game. If he can turn those rollercoaster rides into more consistency, the Bills might have a chance to compete for the playoffs next year. That being said, they are at least a year away from being a decent team. This week, Eric Mangenius will pull out another win and keep up with the Chiefs for the final playoff spot.

            Final Score: Jets 22, Bills 17

Broncos @ Chargers, Sunday 4:15pm

            Two teams going in completely opposite directions. As I’ve stated, the Chargers have the most weapons, the best combination of talent, youth, and skill, and they have a coach who’s finally understanding how to cope with all the ability around him. Marty Ball is done, and Super Ball is coming. Jay Cutler needs to find Javon Walker for a few TD’s over the next few weeks in order to provide me with the chance to win my fantasy football league. LT will run over the Broncos, Merriman will stomp on Cutler, and Shanahan will see the season fall apart in a blowout.

            Final Score: Chargers 36, Broncos 17

Saints @ Cowboys, Sunday 8:15pm

            This looks like a wonderful game to watch. It also has very important playoff implication, as the winner will most likely win the 2nd home field advantage in the NFC. I’d like to go with the Saints, but the Cowboys clearly have the most momentum with their golden boy Tony Romo, and they have a vastly better defense. That being said, I still think it has shootout potential, and I am hanging my hat on that. The Saints will probably come up short in this one because of the defensive presence of Roy Williams and Demarcus Ware. Quick note, thank you Reggie Bush for scoring those 4 TDs last week. I needed that badly, and I wouldn’t mind if you could score 4 TDs for the next 4 games too, that would be very generous of you. What would happen if he scored 4 TDs for the next 4 games, and ended up with 21 TDs? Would he be looked at as the bar none rookie of the year after only performing in like 5 games all year? Is that feasible?

            Final Score: Cowboys 35, Saints 31

Bears @ Rams, Monday 8:30pm

            The loss of Orlando Pace just goes to show all you haters that the O-Line is the most important aspect of any football team. Without it, you can be the worst team in the league despite having a highly talented skill position heavy roster. Wow, how is that for a phrase, highly talented skill position heavy roster? Anyway, the Rams stink, and the Bears aren’t good if it wasn’t for their defense. What happens? Marc Bulger gets hurt because he’ll be sacked 11 times. The Rams pack it in, and Rex Grossman doesn’t have to do a damn thing because the Rams run D is plowed by Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones.

            Final Score: Bears 27, Rams 9, Rex Grossman’s QB Rating 57.3

That’s it for this week, and yes I forgot to add the Steelers/Browns game to my picks this week. But come on, who do you think I was going to pick? Obviously I had the Steelers the whole way, so for those scoring at home, gimme credit for starting the week 1-0. Thanks, and enjoy the weekend and the start of the holiday season!

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