Saturday, December 31, 2005


OK - so here's the rest of the info - it's all but official - barring an 0-for-16 weekend, the wife will wrap up the regular season title this weekend. She's 125-108-7 overall (8-7-1 last week), I'm looking to get above .500 - at 112-121-7 (8-7-1 last week), and Dave has 106-111-7 (9-6-1 last week).

For this Sunday (see way below for the Saturday games):

Indianapolis is a 6.5-point favorite over Arizona. They're going to want to be going into the playoffs on a winning note - I take Indy. So do the other two.

Baltimore is a 3-point favorite over Cleveland, in Cleveland. I already wrote down my picks, and for some reason I chose the Browns. I don't know why. Looking at this now, I think I'd pick the Ravens. But I can't change a pick once it's written down. Oh well. Browns it is. Dave takes Baltimore, the wife takes Cleveland.

The Jets end the season at home, 1.5-point underdogs to the Bills. I've been brutal at picking the Jets all year, as well as the Bills. I'll just take the Jets. So does the wife. So does Dave, who says he's 1-14 picking the Jets so far this year. Let's just take a look: He's actually 4-9-1. (Winning the Atlanta game, Denver, the second Pats game, the second Miami game, and tying San Diego...he didn't make the week one that's why the total is only 14.)

Carolina is giving 4 to Atlanta. One last time I'll root for Atlanta this season. I take the Falcons, so does Dave, the wife takes Carolina.

Minnesota is a 4.5-point favorite over Chicago. Not sure why...and again, I'm not sure why I picked the Vikings. They'll probably fold with nothing to play for. Oh well, can't change the pick now. I take Minnesota, so does Dave, the wife takes Chicago.

The Bengals are 7.5-point underdogs to the Chiefs. The Chiefs need to win, although San Diego winning on Saturday could eliminate them. I still think the Chiefs will show up and win over a Bengals team that probably won't go full speed Sunday, but not by more than a touchdown. I take the Bengals plus the points, so does Dave and the wife.

Pittsburgh clinches with a win, and they're playing Detroit. The Steelers are a 13-and-a-half-point favorite. I take the Steelers to win and cover easy. Dave also takes the Steelers, the wife takes Detroit.

New England is a 5.5-point favorite over the Dolphins. I take the Pats, still looking for a third seed, to win by more than that. The wife takes the Pats too, Dave takes Miami to cover.

Tampa Bay is giving 13.5 to the Saints. Part of me thinks the Saints will wrap up this miserable season with a big upset win, but the part of me that made the pick thinks Tampa will blow out the Saints. I take the Bucs. So does Dave, the wife takes the Saints.

Houston is giving 2 to San Francisco. It's been a rough season for the 49ers, but they've shown more of an ability to win than the Texans. I'm taking the Niners. Dave also takes the 49ers, the wife takes Houston.

Jacksonville is a 3-point favorite over the Titans. The Jaguars will win, and be the worst 12-4 team ever. I take the Jags, so does Dave and the wife.

Green Bay is a 4.5-point favorite over the Seahawks. Not sure what will happen in this one - I'll just go with the better team - Seattle, plus the points. Dave and the wife also take the Seahawks.

Washington, with a chance to win and get into the playoffs, is at Philly, and is favored by seven-and-a-half. I think Washington wins, but it won't be easy. I take Philly plus the points. The wife and Dave both take the Redskins.

Dallas is home to the Rams, and is favored by 12.5. I think the Rams put up a fight. I take Saint Louis with the points. So does Dave and the wife.

Maybe this continues with a playoff pool next week - I'll let you know. Happy New Year, and here's to more than 3 wins for the Jets in '06.

Friday, December 30, 2005


I'll hopefully get the Sunday picks in before Saturday afternoon, but I wanted to make sure I listed the Saturday picks:

The Chargers are 11-point favorites over Denver, in San Diego. Denver has already clinched, so they don't have anything to play for, and San Diego is eliminated, so they really don't have anything to play for. But the Chargers can have an effect on the Chiefs...still not enough to justify an 11-point spread for me. I take the Broncos plus the points, so does the wife, and so does Dave.

Saturday night, the Giants are 9-point favorites in Oakland. The Giants will win, clinching the NFC East, but they won't win by more than 9. I take Oakland to cover. The wife and Dave both take the Giants.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The wife has followed up a 10-4 week with a 13-3 - pretty much wrapping up a title this year. There's still two weeks left......but I'm not hopeful.

I was 6-10 last week, 104-114-6 overall. Dave went 8-8, 97-105-6 overall. The wife's 13-3 put her at 117-101-6.

For this week - I think Cincinnati beats Buffalo by two touchdowns, covering the 13.5. The wife takes the Bengals, Dave takes Buffalo.

Pittsburgh is a 7-point favorite in Cleveland - all three of us take the Steelers.

Kansas City is a Pick'em against San Diego. They're pretty unbeatable in K.C. in December. I take the Chiefs, so does Dave. The wife takes the Chargers.

Miami is home to Tennessee, and is favored by 5.5. I have no real reasoning, but I take the Dolphins. So does Dave. The wife takes the Titans.

Jacksonville is a 6-point favorite over Houston. Seems like the Jaguars can cover six points...but you never know. We all three take Jacksonville.

New Orleans is a 3-point favorite over Detroit. We all three take the Lions.

Carolina is a 5-point favorite over the Cowboys, in Carolina. We all three take the Panthers.

The Redskins are 3-point favorites over the Giants in Washington. I take the 'Skins - they have more to play for. The wife also takes Washington, Dave takes the Giants.

Tampa Bay is a 3-point favorite over the Falcons. Because I'm rooting for Mike Vick, I take Atlanta. Dave and the wife take Tampa Bay.

Saint Louis gives 9.5 to San Francisco. I take the Rams, so does Dave - the wife takes the 49ers.

Arizona is a 1-point favorite over the Eagles. I don't understand how - it's in Arizona, but that shouldn't matter. We all three take the Eagles.

Seattle is a 9-point favorite over Indianapolis. Indy's either going to be inspired or fold up. All three of us are taking Indy, but Dave says he stands by his pick of Seattle a few weeks back to beat the Colts.

Denver, at home, is giving 13 to the Raiders. We all three take Denver.

Chicago is giving 6.5 to Green Bay. The Bears should win this one, even though it's in Green Bay. I take the Bears, so does Dave, the wife takes the Packers.

The Ravens come off last Monday night's blowout to play the Vikings, and are favored by 3. I think flash in the pan, and the Vikings not only cover but win, despite the game being in Baltimore. Dave takes Minnesota. The wife takes Baltimore.

Monday night, the Patriots are 5.5-point favorites over the Jets. I can't even come close to predicting what the Jets will do anymore. I take them, though, this week, for some reason. Dave and the wife both take the Patriots.

Have a Merry Christmas, and a great weekend!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Way to follow up a 13-3 week - a big ol' 4-10-2. Back to six games behind the wife - she's at 104-98-6, I'm at 98-104-6, and Dave is 89-97-6. (Last week - wife: 10-4-2, Dave: 5-9-2.)

Maybe the Saturday games will bring me better luck.

In the Saturday games, I'm taking Tampa Bay getting four-and-a-half in New England, Kansas City getting 3 in New York, and Denver giving eight-and-a-half in Buffalo. The wife takes the Patriots, Giants, and Broncos, and Dave takes Tampa, Giants, and the Broncos.

On Sunday:

I'm taking Pittsburgh over Minnesota in Minnesota - Pittsburgh is favored by 3. 4 Vikings facing charges for the boat scandal a few months back - this is the final nail in the Minnesota coffin, the one that ends their current run and makes them miss the playoffs. Dave takes Minnesota, the wife takes Pittsburgh.

Indianapolis looks to go to 14-0 against the Chargers - I take the Colts giving 7-and-a-half. The Chargers will miss the playoffs - I thought they would do a lot worse than they did this season, but at least I'll be right about them not making the post-season. (One of the few things I would have been right about all year.) Dave takes Indy, the wife takes San Diego.

Jacksonville is giving 16 to the 49ers in Jacksonville. San Francisco was just awful last week, but I don't know that the Jaguars should ever be 16-point favorites. I take San Fran, so does Dave and the wife.

Seattle is on a roll - they're giving 7 to the Titans in Tennessee. All three of us take Seattle.

Arizona is the latest team to come into Houston and somehow steal a victory from the Texans. I take Arizona by a point-and-a-half, Dave and the wife think Houston will somehow pull out a win, or cover the point-and-a-half spread.

In Miami, the Dolphins are 9-point favorites over the Jets. I think the Dolphins win by 10 - and don't look now, but a Dolphins win coupled with a Patriots' loss leaves Miami only a game back with 2 to go - and a head-to-head matchup still to come. Dave and the wife both take the Jets.

Carolina is an 8-point favorite at New Orleans, where Todd Bouman will start. Carolina easy. Dave and the wife also take the Panthers.

In Washington, it's the Redskins favored by 2-and-a-half over the Cowboys. I think Dallas stays alive, Washington is done after this weekend. I take Dallas. So does Dave. The wife takes the Redskins.

Cincinnati is an 8-point-favorite in Detroit. Detroit doesn't have anything close to a home field advantage - they'd be better off playing on the road. How does Matt Millen still have a job? All three of us take Cincinnati.

Oakland is a 3-point favorite over Cleveland in Oakland. A few factors here - Kerry Collins is back after a one-game benching, Cleveland isn't very good, and the game is in Oakland. Also, Oakland had an embarrassing loss to the Jets last week. I'd make this game my lock of the week - I can't believe Oakland won't win this game. I take the Raiders. Dave does too, the wife takes the Browns.

Saint Louis is a 3-point favorite against Philadelphia. I don't know - I guess I take the Rams, since they're home. Dave takes Saint Louis, the wife takes Philly.

Sunday night is a good one - Atlanta, favored by 3, in Chicago. I'm torn on this one. The Bears have been playing so well...and their defense could shut down Atlanta. I'm taking the Bears +3. Not sure who will win, though. Probably Chicago. Dave takes the Bears, the wife takes the Falcons.

Monday night, Green Bay is a 3-and-a-half point favorite over Baltimore. Green Bay has to win this game. Baltimore's awful. All three of us take Green Bay.

Just two more weeks after this one - Indy's going undefeated.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

My pick for the Jets-Raiders game on Sunday - find something else to do. This is when DirecTV's Sunday Ticket comes in handy - the local offering is Patriots-Bills, which does nothing for me. The Jets-Raiders game will be my permanent switchback, just to keep tabs on what's going on, but I can watch the Colts go for 13-0, and the Steelers-Bears game instead of the other games...without leaving home.

So last week, a pretty good week all around for picks - the wife was 8-8, Dave was 11-5, and I pulled off a 13-3. Dave now stands 4 below .500 at 84-88-4, the wife is 94-94-4, and I pulled exactly even with her last week after the 13 wins. So for this week:

I have Carolina, at home, -5 against the Buccaneers - so does the wife.

I have New England, -4, at Buffalo - so does the wife.

I have Minnesota giving 6 and-a-half against the Rams, in Minnesota, the wife has Saint Louis.

In Pittsburgh, the Steelers are giving 5-and-a-half to Chicago - I take the Bears plus the points. The wife takes the Steelers.

The Raiders are 3-point-favorites over the Jets - I take Oakland, the wife takes the Jets.

Indianapolis is giving 8-and-a-half to the Jaguars - I take Indy, the wife takes Jacksonville.

In Tennessee, it's the Titans minus-6-and-a-half. I take Tennessee, the wife takes Houston...again.

Cincinnati is giving 11-and-half to Cleveland. I take the Bengals, the wife takes Cleveland.

Washington is a 4-point favorite over the Cardinals in Arizona. Both me and the wife take the Redskins.

The Giants are 9-point favorites in Philly. Both me and the wife take New York.

Some big spreads ahead:

I take Seattle giving 16 at home to San Francisco. The wife takes the 49ers.

I take San Diego giving 13 to the Dolphins. The wife takes Miami.

I take Denver giving 14-and-a-half to Baltimore. The wife takes the Ravens.

In Dallas, the Cowboys are three-point-favorites over the Chiefs. The Chiefs should win outright - I take K.C. The wife takes Dallas.

Sunday night, the Packers are 6-point favorites over the Lions, in Green Bay. I take Green Bay, the wife takes the Lions.

Monday night, the Falcons are 10-and-a-half point favorites over the Saints, in Atlanta. I take the Falcons, so does the wife.

Where are Dave's picks this week, you ask? They weren't worth printing - he's taking all favorites. So go back and figure out where his picks differ from the wife and I's. I took a lot of favorites - but I didn't take all of them.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Jets game at the Meadowlands against the Patriots later this month will not mean much - by then, most of the Jets will have their eyes on the off-season, with just one more regular season game left to play in a disastrous season. So I submit to you that today's game in Foxboro against the Patriots is the last game this season the Jets will get up for collectively, and there is a CHANCE...just a chance....that they'll pick up their final win of the season.

I can't really justify this - call it a gut feeling, or a dislike of the Patriots clouding my judgment, or stupidity - but I think the Jets might win today. Brooks Bollinger is coming off a very encouraging start last Sunday night against the Saints (and really, is the Patriots' defense at this point much better than the Saints'?). He wants a win. The Jets don't want a seven-game losing streak. It's their rivals. This is the Jets' Super Bowl this season (although when I wrote about Super Bowl aspirations back in August/September, this is NOT what I meant).

The one bad thing coming into the game for the Jets is the situation the Patriots find themselves in. First of all, Tom Brady is coming off an awful start, so the chances of him throwing something like 4 interceptions again are very slim. Also, a loss would drop the Patriots to 6-6. They'd still be in first place, but with the Bills playing the Dolphins today, someone is going to be 5-7, and a game back, so the Patriots really, really need a win, and must think they can get it against the Jets.

I just hope it keeps snowing through the game - and maybe cancels school tomorrow. And I really hope the Jets win. But I think they'll at least cover. I take the Jets, getting 10. Believe it or not, Dave in Brighton also takes the Jets, and the wife takes the Patriots -10.

Last week I finally had a good week, 10-6, getting back within 10 games of .500. I really need a killer week this week. Dave was 9-7, the wife was 8-8. So overall it's:

Wife - 86-86-4
Me: 81-91-4
Dave: 73-83-4

For this week:
All three of us pick Buffalo plus 4.5 at Miami. I can't figure out these two teams - they are both pretty bad, but I think Buffalo is better. Miami must be favored because they're home. Who knows.

I think Cincinnati will beat Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, after the Steelers beat them earlier this year. I take Cincy plus 3. The wife and Dave both take Pittsburgh.

Baltimore is an 8-and-a-half-point favorite over the Texans. All three of us figure Baltimore probably can't beat the Texans by 8-and-a-half...if they can beat them at all. We all take Houston.

We also all take Indianapolis, at home, by 15 over Tennessee.

Jacksonville is without Byron Leftwich, but David Garrard isn't bad. Especially considering the Jags are playing the Browns. I take Jacksonville, -3. So does Dave, the wife takes Cleveland.

The Giants look to rebound from last week's heartbreak against Seattle against the Cowboys today in New York. I take the Giants -3, the wife and Dave both take the Cowboys getting the points. (This could easily be a push.)

Chicago is a 7-point favorite over Green Bay, in Chicago. We all take the Bears. Dave submits he had a dream that the Bears won 42-7. If that happens, that would be very weird.

Minnesota is a 2-point favorite over the Lions. I guarantee the Vikings will make a run to get to the final week with a chance at winning and getting a playoff spot, then going out and laying an egg with it all on the line. But today I take the Vikings, -2. Dave and the wife both take the Lions.

Carolina is at home, and is favored by 3 over Atlanta. But Atlanta dominates the Panthers. I take Atlanta, getting 3. So does the wife. Dave takes Carolina.

All three of us like Tampa Bay by three-and-a-half over the Saints, in Baton Rouge.

Arizona is a 3-point favorite over the 49ers. Dave and I like the Cardinals. The wife picks San Francisco.

Washington is a 3-point favorite over the Rams. Today we will find out if the Redskins are a true playoff team or not. They should win this game, especially with their defense. If they lose, forget their chances. I take Washington, -3, so does the wife. Dave takes the Rams plus 3.

Denver is a one-point favorite over Kansas City. Two things working for me here - I like the way Kansas City played last week, and I think Denver is far better at home than on the road. This one's in Kansas City. I take the Chiefs, +1. So does Dave. The wife takes the Broncos.

Tonight, San Diego is giving 11, at home, to Oakland. That seems like an awfully big spread. I take the Raiders getting the points. So does the wife. Dave takes the Chargers.

Monday night, it's Seattle giving 4 at Philadelphia. All three of us take Seattle. What I didn't realize is that at halftime the Eagles are retiring Reggie White's number, posthumously. It'll be emotional. But I still think Seattle will win.

Enjoy Week 13!

Monday, November 28, 2005


NEW YORK - The New York Mets made history Monday, winning a World Series championship before their season even started. It's not the first time a World Series has been won in November (the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees in the extended 2001 season in a November World Series), but it is the first time a team has won a World Series before Opening Day.

The Mets accomplished this historic feat by signing 34-year-old fireballing closer Billy Wagner, solidifying a shaky bullpen for the first time in years - even more so than their National League pennant-winning 2000 season (need we mention Armando Benitez?).

The Mets signed Wagner for $43 million over 4 years, with a club option for a fifth, leaving open the possibility of defending their title one year from now. Wagner has 284 career saves, meaning he will become the 20th Major League pitcher to reach 300 saves sometime before the All Star Break.

The Wagner acquisition comes on the same day the Mets introduced their new first baseman, World Series MVP Carlos Delgado. In another dose of good news, Delgado announced that he would join his Mets teammates on the field whenever "God Bless America" is played, rather than hiding in the dugout or in the tunnel to the clubhouse. This eliminates what could have been a big distraction en route to the world championship.

With holdovers Pedro Martinez*, Tom Glavine, Kris Benson, and Steve Trachsel in the starting rotation, along with up-and-comers David Wright and Jose Reyes anchoring the infield, with Delgado at first, and Comeback Player of the Year Carlos Beltran* joined by Cliff Floyd in the outfield, the Mets sport their best lineup and pitching staff in a good five years.
I need to put this disclaimer - the Mets have actually NOT won the 2006 World Series...yet. They're still the Mets, and after what has happened to the Jets this season (Super Bowl aspirations = 2-8), we can't take anything for granted. While Billy Wagner is an exciting acquisition, there's no reason he won't blow out his arm in April, and never reach 300 saves. Carlos Beltran* is not guaranteed to hit above .267. While Wright and Reyes are sure bets, Pedro* could realistically get hurt. And Delgado could drop to 12 home runs at Shea. All that said, I don't think all of those things will happen, and I am very excited about Billy Wagner as the closer, Carlos Delgado as the first baseman, and the Mets' chances in 2006. I just know what the Mets are capable of sometimes, in the negative sense.

One more note - Billy Wagner's agent's name is Bean Stringfellow. That's gotta count for something.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

11:55am on Sunday - I need to post the picks quick - busy Thanksgiving weekend, you know:

KC -3 NE: Me, Kansas City (maybe because they're home), Dave and the wife, New England

CIN -9 Bal: Me, Baltimore, not to win, but to cover, Dave and the wife, Cincinnati

Car -3.5 BUF: Me, Carolina - they have to bounce back against the bad Bills, Dave Buffalo, wife, Carolina

TB -3 Chi: I think Chicago will win outright, Dave and the wife take the Bucs

SD -3 WAS: I don't think the Chargers will beat the Redskins in Washington - I take the 'Skins, Dave takes San Diego, the wife takes Washington

MIN -3.5 Cle: I actually think Minnesota's on a roll, I take the Vikings, Dave and the wife take the Browns

TEN -8.5 SF: In Tennessee, I think the 49ers will cover, maybe even win, Dave takes the Titans, wife takes the 49ers

STL -3 HOU: I take Saint Louis, so does Dave, the wife takes the Texans

Jax -3 ARI: All three of us take Arizona - watch out for the upset

OAK -7 Mia: I take Oakland - it's in Oakland, and Miami laid an egg last week, Dave and the wife both take Miami

SEA -4.5 NYG: I think Seattle wins this because they're home, I take Seattle, Dave and the wife both take the Giants.

PHI -4.5 GB: I think Philly played very well with McMahon last week, I think they can beat the Packers, so do Dave and the wife

NO PK NYJ: Saints. Dave and the wife, ironically, take the Jets

IND -8 Pit: Seems like a lot of points, but I take Indy 30, Pittsburgh 20. So Indy covers. Dave and the wife take Pittsburgh plus the points.

Thanksgiving Day Dave and I were 1-1, and the wife, of course, was 2-0.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

This week's special Thanksgiving picks edition of features the big debate: Will the Indianapolis Colts go undefeated this season? I have enlisted the help of a Patriots fan, and Colts hater, Dave in Brighton, and he will argue against the Colts going 19-0 (or at least 16-0). I will tell you why Indianapolis will finally shut up the '72 Dolphins.

First, me:

The Colts have a much tougher road than the '72 Dolphins, because there are two more regular season games, and they're going to have to go 19-0 instead of 17-0. But they can do it, and here's why.

First, the remaining schedule for the Colts:
Monday night vs. Pittsburgh (7-3)
Sunday, Dec. 4 vs. Tennessee (2-8)
Sunday, Dec. 11 at Jacksonville (7-3)
Sunday, Dec. 18 vs. San Diego (6-4)
Saturday, Dec. 24 at Seattle (8-2)
Sunday, Jan. 1 vs. Arizona (3-7)

It's not the easiest go for the Colts, but they can (and I say they will) win all of those games. Obviously, the games they have to worry about are Seattle, San Diego, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh. Tennessee and Arizona should be blowouts, (even if the backups are going against Arizona, which I don't think will be the case).

Everything is clicking for the Colts right now - they are able to turn it on whenever they need to. The Colts' closest calls so far this season came early on, when they had successive 7-point victories over the Jaguars and the Browns, but they got enough to win. And the defense stepped up, which is something that hasn't happened for them in recent years. Then, last week, when the defense disappeared, the offense reappeared, putting up 45 points in a 45-37 win over the Bengals. They get what they need each week to win, and that will continue.

The top reason, though, why the Colts will win it all, without losing at all, is Peyton Manning. He does it all, and does what it takes to win. He made the decision last week, when the coaches were pulling the offense off the field on a 4th-and-1, to go for the first down, then he proceeded to get the first down. He's a smart player, he runs a great offense, and he is able to win his teams games, and he will continue to do that.

Finally, this is one of those "monkey off your back" seasons for the Colts, and they're doing that in extraordinary fashion. The Colts got the big win they needed against the Patriots, in Foxboro, on a Monday night in front of a national TV audience. That is a huge confidence-builder. The fact that they are wrapping up home field advantage throughout the playoffs is huge too, because they're not going to have to go through another city (including not having to make another trip to New England) in order to advance to the Super Bowl, which is part of the reason they haven't been to the Super Bowl in previous seasons. The other big "monkey" has been the Colts' D, and last week notwithstanding, that monkey is finally off Tony Dungy's back, because this year's Colts D is fierce.

The Colts should make life difficult for whoever is playing quarterback for the Steelers Monday night - even if it is Ben Roethlisberger, and not Tommy Maddox. The Colts should win the rematch with the Jaguars, but that game will not be easy. The one blemish could come Christmas Eve at Seattle, and here's the problem - if things are wrapped up for the Colts by then, Dungy might start resting some starters, and try to take some pressure off the Colts by making that a game they could lose, therefore not having to worry through the playoffs about staying undefeated. But I believe that nothing will keep Peyton Manning from sitting out games down the stretch, and other teammates will follow his example, and the Colts will cruise to their next big test - in the playoffs and Super Bowl, and who knows who'll they'll face then.
"Dear JohnnyJets,

Some old guy came out recently and said thinks the Colts have the right mix to go undefeated. I forget his name. Something Shula. I'm sure I know more about this topic than he does, so I will give you three good reasons the Colts will end the season with at least one loss.

1. Lightning in a bottle. To go undefeated, the Colts need to play six more games without any major breakdowns. That's 24 quarters of focus, something that is nearly impossible in the Any Given Sunday NFL.

2. Look at the schedule. Unlike the parade of creampuffs and prep teams they faced in the first seven weeks before their bye (how convenient -- a bye before facing the Pats. Topic for another email), the Colts must actually face teams with winning records. Pittsburgh, at Jacksonville, San Diego, and at Seattle.

3. Resting their players. The Colts lead their division by three games, and lead in the race for homefield advantage by two. I predict they'll have everything locked up going into week 15, week 16 at the latest, which means they'll have two games to sit their starters, or let them play just a series or two. While the Cardinals are unlikely to take advantage in week 17, I bet the Seahawks will, at home on Christmas Eve.

Dave in Brighton

PS Atl -3, Den +1.5"

One more thing for me to mention - I hate Peyton Manning when he plays the Jets, but I really like him overall. I liked him in college, when I used to read about him delivering pizza to the fans waiting in line for Tennessee tickets. I have also since heard from University of Tennessee alumni that Manning is still god-like to them...that's gotta count for something. But I do believe that he is a truly nice guy, and he's easy for me to root for in seasons like this. Also, I like Tony Dungy, and hear from all corners of the earth what a wonderful guy he is.

Oh, another thing I should mention. This might be tough for others to follow (others being people who root for teams who are consistently good), but since I am a Jets fan, I have gotten into the habit of rooting for other teams down the stretch who I want to follow into the playoffs, since it's rare that the Jets are still playing worthwhile games in December and January. This isn't a frontrunner thing, it's just to have rooting interest. Anyway, in the late 80's, early 90's, that team was the Oilers, and I liked to root for them in the playoffs. In the early-to-mid-90's, the team was the Packers. Now, I find myself torn between the AFC and the NFC, and I'm rooting for the Falcons, because I love watching Michael Vick, and the Colts, because I want them to win in a year the Jets aren't in contention. I will root for the Colts to win it all, and then the Falcons I'll root for in the Super Bowl another year down the road. But I do want an Atlanta-Indianapolis matchup this year. Just FYI.

Lastly, the picks. As you saw, Dave goes with Atlanta and Dallas. So do I (Atlanta is giving three in Detroit, and Dallas is getting two at home versus Denver). The wife takes Atlanta and Denver. That's the Thanksgiving picks - the standings after eleven weeks are pitiful. I was 5-11 last week, the other two were 6-10. Now I'm bringing up the rear at 71-85-4, Dave is 64-76-4, and the wife is 78-78-4. Someone needs to step it up.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Things are happening on the hot stove!

Pending approval (for monetary reasons), the Mets acquired Carlos Delgado from the Florida Marlins today in exchange for Mike Jacobs and Yusmeiro Petit. This is a great deal for the Mets. For so long, third base was the black hole in the Mets organization. Since 1962, something like 130 different people have played third base for the Mets.

That position has been locked up now, with David Wright expected to play third base for the next 20 years at Shea. Since that lock-up, though, first base had become the big question mark. John Olerud helped the Mets win some playoff games in the late 90's, but besides him, first base has been tough for the Mets to fill since the Keith Hernandez days. (Including the failed Doug Mientkiewicz signing last year, and the Mo Vaughn debacle a few years back.) That should no longer be a problem, at least for the next few years, now with Delgado. It's not a question, at least who will play first base, as it has been for a while.

Mike Jacobs showed a lot of promise, and it would have been neat to see him blossom at the major-league level next year. But the Mets really got themselves a shot in the arm with Delgado - there's no need to wait to see him blossom - he's a proven major leaguer. The problem might be that Delgado is 33 years old, and has already blossomed, but he produced last year, and hopefully has a couple of more good years in him. It's tough to get too excited about something like this with the Mets, because there's always the reminders of the failed moves (see Vaughn, Mo; and Carlos Beltran* hasn't lit anything up yet), but this seems like a good move right now.

One thing about Yusmeiro Petit - he could be a really good pitcher, and has received tons of minor league acclaim - but you just don't know how that will translate in the majors. As a matter of fact, you just don't know how his first name translates. It's worth the risk to make the Mets real, real contenders for the next three years.

Here's the way I look at the Mets next year:
Catcher - maybe Paul LoDuca, maybe Ramon Hernandez, with Ramon Castro as a backup - still most likely more production than last year, with Piazza/Castro.
1st Base - Carlos Delgado - huge upgrade
2nd Base - Not sure yet, but there's a possibility it will be Mark Grudzielanek - can't be worse than last year.
Shortstop - Still THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, Jose Reyes - improving every year.
3rd Base - Future Hall of Famer David Wright. Enough said.
Left Field - Cliff Floyd - tough to say he will repeat last year, and how he will respond to the trade of his best friend, Mike Cameron.
Center Field - A lot is going to be expected of Carlos Beltran* next year - hopefully it only takes him a year to adjust to New York, but you have to think it'll be better next year.
Right Field - Who knows? Hopefully it won't be Manny Ramirez out there, but I think the Mets could do better than Xavier Nady, too. We'll see who fills right field - it could be a Nady-Victor Diaz-type platoon.
Bench - just wanted to throw this out there - the bench will be weaker because the Nationals signed Marlon Anderson.

I think the Mets are out of the running for Ramirez, because rumor has it he wants to go west, and Petit was a big cog in the rumored trade...I really don't think he'll bring a good personality to the Mets' mix. (Not that I know what Carlos Delgado brings, but I think he's a good teammate.) Maybe the Mets hold on to Lastings Milledge, and he answers some of the questions in right field.

You know what I would love for the Mets to do? Sign Nomar Garciaparra to a one-year deal, and see what he's got out in right field. I think he is at a point where he's got a lot to prove, and he's willing to switch positions, and he has the arm to play right. I would love for him to come here and play right field for the Mets (well, not here - he'd be worthless in Framingham...but you know what I mean). That's my two cents.

The other impact of the Delgado deal, coupled with the Josh Beckett trade, is that the Marlins are taking themselves out of the running for next year, which is big for the Mets. That leaves the Nationals and Braves, and the Phillies, who, as you know, don't scare me. So that bodes well for the Mets, too, because the Marlins are a big thorn in their side.

Lastly, the Mets offered Billy Wagner a 3-year-deal worth $30 million. There's room for a fourth year as well. I think he's coming to Shea. Another huge upgrade. Next year is going to be exciting! Stay tuned for more hot stove news!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I'm feeling a bit of blog envy. My friends write better blogs than me. See the "Orange Couch" (which seems to be losing a bit of steam, now that I bring it up), and (this should be a link, but I can't even manage to make it a link...exhibit C as to why I'm feeling inferior blog-wise). Anyway, naturalbl0g is the best thing to hit the internet since Or johnnymets/ Check it out.

A little bit of Jets success, though, as I discussed with the author of the naturalbl0g, would go a long way to improving my interest in this writing I guess I'm not totally responsible. On to the Week 11 picks.

I was wrong. I thought, in his spotty appearances, that Brooks Bollinger was capable of leading an NFL team. He's not. Credit the coaches for realizing that and making an effort (albeit it was with Vinny Testaverde) they need to get themselves a capable plan B, in case Chad Pennington's worst case scenario comes through next year.

Also, a note on the Herman Edwards situation...apparently, Edwards is a serious candidate for other head coaching jobs that might open up across the NFL after this season, in particular Kansas City. Edwards insists he'll stay in New York, but the speculation is rampant. Everything I'm reading talks about what a better fit Edwards would be for Kansas City, while Edwards is saying all the right things, that he wants to be in New York for at least 10 more years, etc. I want to believe Herman Edwards, because if nothing else, his credibility has been a big part of his coaching career so far. And I think he'll stay, as long as it's his decision. If he gets fired, I think he would be a lot happier with the lifestyle in Kansas City, where I'm sure there's a lot of passion for football, but let's face it, it's not New York. But from what I'm seeing, Edwards will not be fired, and I'm betting he'll be back in New York next year, with a pretty good crop of rookies after a high draft pick this year. That high draft pick will come after a bad loss to Denver this week, but I think the Jets will somehow manage to pull out a backdoor cover of the 13-and-a-half-point spread in Denver. I think maybe it'll be Broncos 30, Jets 17. With a late Jets' touchdown to get the spread covered. (Dave takes the Broncos, the wife takes the Jets.)

By the way, this is by far turning into my worst football season ever. The Jets suck, my picks suck, and my fantasy team(s) suck. I went 4-10 last week, Dave was 7-7, and the wife took charge with a 9-5 record. She leads at 72-68-4, I'm next at 66-74-4, and then Dave is 58-66-4. Dave is predicting another .500 week for himself. I just want more than 4 wins. By the way - the bye weeks are now over, so there are 16 games per week to pick. Here they are:

A big NFC matchup gets things started - the Bears hosting the Panthers, with the Panthers favored by 2-and-a-half. I know the Bears have been playing well, but they still need to show me they can beat a team like the Panthers. I take Carolina giving the points. (Dave and the wife also take Carolina.)

In Tennessee, Jacksonville is favored by 4 points. That seems about right. Jacksonville will probably win by 6, I take the Jaguars. (Dave and the wife also take Jacksonville.)

In Cincinnati, the Bengals once again host a tough AFC opponent, in the Colts (they lost to Pittsburgh earlier in the year). The Colts are 5-point favorites. I think the Bengals are now better than the Steelers, and could beat them. But I don't think they're better than the Colts. I look for them to go 10-0, and to cover the spread. (Dave and the wife take Cincinnati as well.)

The Patriots host the Saints, and are 9-point favorites. I don't think the Patriots will lose this game, but I think the Saints might keep it to a 7-point game. I take the Saints plus the points. (Dave and the wife both take New England.)

Saint Louis is home to Arizona, and are 9-and-a-half point favorites. It's always emotional when the Cardinals come back to Saint Louis...actually, no it's not. I take the Rams to win by ten. (Dave takes the Rams, the wife takes the Cardinals.)

Atlanta is at home, and is a 6-point favorite over Tampa Bay. This is a tough matchup for the Falcons, but I don't think Tampa is going to keep things rolling with Chris Simms. I think people are overblowing last week's performance a little bit. We'll see. Either way, I take Atlanta minus the points. (Dave and the wife take the Buccaneers.)

Washington hosts Oakland, and is giving 6 points. Washington should beat Oakland easy, unless they're so beat down by last week's disaster against Tampa Bay. I take Washington minus 6. (Dave and the wife also take the Redskins.)

In Dallas, the Cowboys are 8-point favorites over the Lions. The Cowboys should really win this one, as both teams head into their Thanksgiving games. I take Dallas. (Dave takes the Cowboys, the wife takes the Lions.)

The Giants host the McNabb and Owens-less Eagles, with New York favored by seven-and-a-half. I could see this game being the type where the Giants fall asleep against what has become a subpar team (see Minnesota last week), but I don't think it will happen two weeks in a row. I take the Giants. (Dave and the wife take the Giants too.)

Cleveland is a home favorite over the Dolphins, by 2 points. I'm not sure why. The Dolphins should win this game outright. I take Miami. (Dave and the wife take Cleveland.)

In San Francisco, the Seahawks are 12-and-a-half point favorites over the 49ers. Seattle is a crapshoot on the road anywhere, even if it is San Francisco. I'll take them, though, to win by two touchdowns...I'm not sure why I'm doing that. (Dave takes the Seahawks, the wife takes the 49ers.)

In San Diego, the Chargers are 10-and-a-half point favorites over the Bills. These have been two tough teams for me to pick this year - the Chargers because I don't like them at all, and the Bills because I can't figure them out. And it's not made easier by the fact that J.P. Losman is back and starting this week in San Diego. My dislike of the Chargers overshadows the inability to pick the Bills this week. At least for the spread. I think the Bills might win, but I'm definitely taking them plus-10-and-a-half. (Dave and the wife both take the Bills.)

There's No Line on the Steelers and the Ravens, in Baltimore. Tommy Maddox is starting for the Steelers. I'm taking the Ravens. Just a hunch. (Dave and the wife both take Pittsburgh.)

Kansas City is in Houston Sunday night, with the Chiefs favored by 7. I take Kansas City, although they haven't been playing too well lately. (Dave takes the Chiefs, the wife takes the Texans.)

Finally, Monday night it's Green Bay hosting the Vikings, with the Packers favored by five. I take the Packers, because they're home. (Dave takes Green Bay, the wife takes Minnesota.)

Tune in Wednesday for the Thanksgiving picks.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I've managed to tear myself away from internet poker long enough to write the picks.

As we've talked about, the Jets finally wised up and are giving Brooks Bollinger the start this week against the Carolina Panthers. Unfortunately for Bollinger, that's a tough team to start against - worse than the Ravens when he faced them. I do think, though, that the Jets can keep this one close, and cover the 8-and-a-half point spread. (Dave and the wife also take the Jets.)

In Buffalo, the Bills are 2-point favorites over the Chiefs. This game is a tough one to figure, because though the Chiefs are without Priest Holmes, they haven't lost much else, and they're still dangerous. I just don't feel good about the Bills being the favorite, so I'm taking the Chiefs +2. (Dave and the wife both take Buffalo.)

In Tampa Bay, Washington is the road favorite, by a point. Tampa's season is done. I take Washington. (So do Dave and the wife.)

The Patriots look to rebound from the loss to the Colts against Miami, in Miami, with New England favored by 3. They should come back just fine - I take the Patriots, -3. (So do Dave and the wife.)

Chicago is home to the 49ers, and the Bears are giving 13. They should be able to cover - watch Cedric Benson have a big game. I take the Bears. (Dave takes the Bears, the wife takes San Francisco.)

The torrid Giants are home to the Vikings, with New York giving nine-and-a-half. The Giants should win this one easy - I take NYG -9.5. (Dave and the wife also both take New York.)

In Detroit, the Lions are three-and-a-half point favorites over the Cardinals. Maybe it's Joey Harrington (who I believe is starting again), maybe it's stupid...but I'm taking Arizona plus the points. (Dave and the wife both take Detroit.)

In Jacksonville, the Jaguars are six-point favorites over the Ravens. Jacksonville should win by 7. (Dave and the wife also take Jacksonville.)

Big spread in Indianapolis - the Colts are favored by 17 over the Texans. I think Houston might keep it close - a little bit of a letdown by Indy after last week's big win. I take Houston. (Dave takes the Colts, the wife takes Houston.)

In Oakland, it's Denver favored by three. Tough pick here - I like Oakland lately, and Denver definitely plays better at home than on the road. That's the biggest reason I'm taking the Raiders as the home 'dog, getting 3. (Dave and the wife take Denver.)

Another tough call - in Seattle, the Seahawks are six-and-a-half point favorites over the Rams. Saint Louis has been playing well - I think they can surprise Seattle. I take the Rams, plus six-and-a-half. (Dave and the wife both take Seattle.)

In Atlanta, the Falcons are nine point favorites over Green Bay. I don't know how it will happen, but Green Bay WILL find a way to lose. I take Atlanta. (Dave takes Atlanta, the wife takes Green Bay.)

Sunday night, Pittsburgh, without Roethlisberger, is a seven-and-a-half point favorite over Cleveland, in Pittsburgh. That Monday nighter the Steelers played versus the Ravens scared me, and that was with Big Ben. I take the Browns getting the points here. (Dave takes Pittsburgh, the wife takes Cleveland.)

And Monday night, the T.O.-less Eagles are still favored, at home, by 3 over the Cowboys. I take Dallas, despite Drew Bledsoe's idiocy...Philly will begin a tailspin here. (Dave and the wife take Philly.)

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Just a quick update to get some things off my mind:

Terrell Owens missed someone in his apology to the world the other day: Fantasy Football Owners of Terrell Owens. He really screwed up my season. Maybe I was dumb to draft him, but by the time I had my draft, things seemed to be settled with the Eagles, I thought he would play out the season. What a jerk.

Wayne Chrebet is expected to retire after suffering another concussion on Sunday. As soon as his head hit the turf, I knew his career was done. It's a little sad - a big change for the Jets. But it would be even more sad if Chrebet winds up brain damaged. We'll never know, because he kept to himself as a retirement, I doubt we'll ever hear from him again.

Brooks Bollinger will start for the Jets in Carolina on Sunday. About four weeks too late. That's the first mistake I will peg Herman Edwards with in his head coaching tenure - not turning the reins over to Bollinger sooner. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a bunch of jerks for not blowing out the Jets when Vinny returned....I can't believe the Jets won that game. It ruined the season. Bollinger throws a nice-looking ball. His only problem is he's short. He's been able to make runs late in the games where the Jets have trailed and he's replaced Testaverde. If he had started, the Jets might have won a couple. I don't care about a high draft pick...if that's going to happen, fine, it's going to happen. But let Bollinger throw the ball, and anything could have happened a few weeks ago - this division was wide open, a couple of wins could have put the Jets in first place. Now it's too far to climb, and that's not fair to Bollinger. It'll be fun to watch him play a game where he will be free to be a quarterback, not a hander-offer (like he was in the Baltimore game, where the Jets wouldn't let him throw the ball). Tough thing, though, with this start coming against the Carolina defense.

Speaking of Carolina and in defense attorney....the Panthers' cheerleading squad will be short a couple of members. I wonder if Kevin, the JJDBSDC Southern Bureau Chief, got to cover that story. And I also think the blonde cheerleader could have done a little better for herself than the brunette she was with. If there are 33 members of the "Top Cats" (and there are - I counted), I'd rank the girl she was with at about number 30. Shoot higher, blondie.

Picks on Friday.
Today, November 9th, might just live on in my memory as one of the greatest days in Mets fan history. Gary Cohen, voice of the Mets on WFAN radio (and Number 2 man overall next to Bob Murphy for about 15 years prior to becoming #1), will take over as the play-by-play man on Mets telecasts on the Mets' new television network beginning next season. Ted Robinson, to coin one of Cohen's calls, "IS OUTTA HERE!" The Mets wanted someone who was exclusive to the Mets as their voice on the new network, and Ted Robinson (for some reason) is in high demand, what with all the tennis, college football, and other sports he covers elsewhere for other companies. The Mets made a great move. I wonder if Howie Rose will take over the number one spot on the radio, with Ed Coleman moving from pre-and-post-game coverage to the booth. That would be OK...but the radio won't be the same without Cohen. I'll live with listening to others on car rides to NYC, though, having Cohen for the majority of the games when I watch on TV. (There's still no word on a color commentator, but the Mets would be very wise to snatch up Keith Hernandez, who has done fabulous work in a limited role with the Mets until now. I don't mind seeing the harmless but dopey Fran Healy take a hike. And the Mets have to keep Ralph Kiner on in some capacity.)

What will a baseball season be without me complaining about the broadcasters? I can't wait...and there will actually be good baseball to watch!

A Hot Stove Update: Word out of the meetings in California is that the Mets are talking to the Devil Rays about a deal that would get them Aubrey Huff and Danys Baez. The Mets would have to give up some combination of Aaron Heilman, Yesmiro Petit, and others. Both Baez and Huff are entering the final years of their contracts. That would be OK, because Huff would fill a need opposite Mike Jacobs at first base, but I think the Mets would be better off not dealing Heilman. Too many times they've gotten rid of someone who's gone on to star with another team, and I think this might happen with him. He found his niche last year, and I would love to see him become their closer, a la Jason Isringhausen with Oakland. (Unsuccessful young starter, turned successful closer.) Baez has Armando Benitez written all over him - he just hasn't shown he can shut the door in key situations.

I should note here that it doesn't look like Braden Looper will be brought back. Also, Doug Mientkiewicz will not come back. The Mets have brought back Steve Trachsel.

One more thing - apparently, even though he says he doesn't want to come to the Mets, the Mets are still interested in working out a deal for Manny Ramirez (he has veto power). The Mets think if the Angels get Paul Konerko, they won't be interested in Ramirez (nor could they afford him), and they might be able to get back in the picture. Then they would be able to deal Baez and/or Huff to Boston as part of the Ramirez deal. This is BAD news. The best news to come out of Boston in 20 years was that Manny didn't want to go to the Mets. Leave it be.

I owe my fans a final update on the events they followed this whole (second half) of the baseball season.

ELTRAN*'S: The final numbers on Carlos Beltran*'s second half, needless to say, were disappointing. 266 AB, 71 hits - .267 AVG. 45 HR, 6 HR (he hit 8 in the previous postseason!!! - this is the second half of an entire season!!), 34 RBI. 13 SB. It better be a good year next year. For those of you dying to know, over the full season, Beltran* was:
.266, 16 HR, 78 RBI, 83 Runs, 17 SB. Whoopee.

WRIGHT WATCH: It's never too late to run a Wright Watch. David Wright finished the season with 42 doubles, 2 shy of the club record. A shame. But he'll re-write (re-WRIGHT?) the Mets' record books before he's done. FYI - he dwarfed Beltran*'s numbers, catching fire over the final weeks of the season. Here's Wright's final numbers:
.306, 27 HR, 102 RBI, 99 Runs, 17 SB. That's up there in "Greatest Mets seasons ever" territory.

Speaking of which, Cliff Floyd, after that torrid start, slowed waaay down...finishing with 34 HR and 98 RBI and a .273 AVG.

I'll see if I can do periodic Hot Stove Updates throughout the off-season.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Because this is so late, I offer my apologies to those of you who actually look for my picks for anything other than entertainment purposes (and my apologies for not picking well thus far this season). Friday night was busy, and Saturday the website was down...but I'm still posting these picks with three hours to go until we're OK.

I want to start with this e-mail from the Southern Bureau (also mentioned by Dave in Brighton...and heard on ESPNRadio):


Found this stat online....

'Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson has as many touchdown passes (three) as all Jets quarterbacks combined. Three attempts, three TDs for L.T. New York's healthy but ineffective combo of Vinny Testaverde and Brooks Bollinger hasn't found the end zone in 111 attempts.'

Thoughts?? Do the Jets go QB in the offseason?? Do you sit up and night and wonder what Philip Rivers would look like in green?? Matt Shaub perhaps?? Do the Jets - like the Giants - try and make the big splash and trade up to #1 in the draft (for Leinart, I would assume)?? Or...are the problems bigger than just QB position??

And the big question - how much longer does their coach get a free ride?? He's just barely over 500 in his coaching record. And...he hasn't won anything.


Lots to address in there. Let me start off by saying it's good to hear from Kevin again...I know football season isn't the best time of year for you, but I'm glad you're weighing in. As for the Tomlinson stat, it's pretty embarrassing. At least, I hope Testaverde is embarrassed by it. And here's some big news - I think Testaverde gets a couple of touchdown tosses today and the Jets beat the Chargers. Really, I do. The Jets, for some reason, have had the Chargers' number the past few seasons. In 2002, the game at San Diego was the one that propelled the Jets towards .500 when things looked very bleak, and the Jets went on to win the division. Last year, the Jets beat the Chargers in San Diego during the regular season, and then beat them again in that heart-stopping playoff game. Now it's the Chargers who are coming east, and I think the Jets beat them. It'll be mostly due to the defense, but I think Vinny does enough to help the offense get on the board a few times. This is also one of those stars aligning things, for me, because I've been saying how much I don't believe in the Chargers this year, and people are loving them because they've been losing such close games, but maybe this loss to the Jets will make people realize that the Chargers are going nowhere this year.

So there's my pick. To address the other issues in the e-mail - the win today by the Jets will have a negative impact on their chase for the first overall pick in the draft. But they'll still finish the season with a very high draft pick. I would love to see Vince Young as the Jets' quarterback next year, but I don't even think he'll come out this year. I do think quarterback is the biggest thing the Jets need to take care of...I don't think they can count on Chad Pennington being healthy (if it happens, great - but he's really seriously injured). Lots of people are saying Matt Leinart, and that's a real possibility - and it would give the Jets a bona fide QB (until he gets hurt, because the Jets can't get anything easy). Others are saying Brady Quinn...and that would be a typical Jets' move - because he probably won't be a good pro quarterback - he's perfect for Weis' system, and he will probably be a middling NFL QB. I want Leinart or Young...and I think the Jets would need to go quarterback over a guy like Mike Bush....but even an athlete like Bush wouldn't be the worst thing. I doubt they'll make a move for Rivers...if I get a chance this week, maybe I'll take a look at which quarterbacks are likely to be brought in by the Jets.

Lastly, the Herman Edwards situation. You're right. He's only 37-34 in his five years, with a 2-3 postseason record. But here's my argument in his defense (because I think he's a great coach). He went 10-6 in 2001, leading the Jets to the playoffs, losing in the first round. In 2002, the Jets started awfully, he made the QB switch, the team finished 9-7 and won the division. 1-1 in the playoffs. In 2003, injuries hit, 6-10, tough luck. In 2004, 10-6, wild card, 1-1 in the postseason. Now, 2-5, more injuries. He's only played with a full deck in three of his five seasons, and in those three seasons, he's done better than almost every other coach the Jets have had in their history. It's not often that the Jets are playoff contenders, and he has turned around this organization into a team that expects to be there every year. Now there's a big test, and if he doesn't get the chance to take the test, it would be unfair. The Jets are going to have to start from scratch somewhat. He had the pieces in place, for the most part, through his first four seasons (adding or taking away players here and there). Now he needs to build himself a team. If it doesn't happen quickly, fire him. I'll be fine with that. But he should at least get the chance to bring in his type of player, build his type of a team (as much as he's allowed, since he doesn't make all personnel decisions), and do what he does best, motivate, and get his guys to play, and see where the Jets are in a few years. I think he deserves that shot.

So, the picks. The Jets are five-point underdogs. I take them to win outright, Dave in Brighton takes the Chargers -5, and the wife takes the Jets +5.

Last week all three of us were 5-9. The wife is still the overall leader at 56-57-3, I'm next at 55-58-3, and then it's Dave at 43-54-3. A lot of road favorites this week - I'm not crazy about there being that many home 'dogs. This will probably be a crazy week.

In Minnesota, it's the Lions as 1-and-a-half-point favorites over the Vikings. The Vikings are going nowhere fast, and now Brad Johnson is the quarterback, with Daunte Culpepper out for a while. I take Detroit giving the points, despite Joey Harrington starting again in place of Jeff Garcia. (Dave and the wife also both take Detroit.)

Cleveland is a 3-point favorite over Tennessee in Cleveland. What a joke the Browns are - they're insulted last week because they were 2-point underdogs against the winless Texans. Well, guys, when you're that insulted you have to prove why, and go out and beat the winless Texans. Not become their first win of the season. Tennessee isn't bad enough to be an underdog here. I take the Titans, +3. (Dave and the wife both take CLE -3.)

In Kansas City, the Chiefs are four-and-a-half point favorites over the Raiders. The Raiders have started to play like I've been expecting them to all year, but that's been at home. I don't think they go into Kansas City and win. I've been wrong before (and quite often), but I'm taking the Chiefs minus the points here. (Dave and the wife also both take K.C.)

New Orleans is home to Chicago, and they are 2-point underdogs. Besides the Jets, the first of the home 'dogs. I don't know why I keep picking the Saints, since they're awful. But something about the Bears coming off a big win last week, then going on the road....I take New Orleans, +2. (Dave and the wife also take New Orleans.)

Cincinnati is a 3-point favorite in Baltimore. (Another home 'dog.) Baltimore stinks, though. I don't know how they played the Steelers so tight last Monday night. I take Cincy, -3. (Dave and the wife also take Cincinnati.)

Tampa Bay, at home, is a 1-point favorite over Carolina. Carolina is a lot better than Tampa Bay, no matter where this game is. And Tampa is without their quarterback. And they've lost to the Jets and the 49ers. That has to hurt. I take Carolina, +1. (Dave and the wife also both take Carolina.)

At Jacksonville, the Jaguars are 11-point favorites over the Texans. The Texans are coming off that first win, and I just found out they're probably going to be without starting RB Domanick Davis. It still doesn't change my pick. I'm not sure I've ever seen the Jaguars win a game by more than ten points. They just don't blow teams out. The Jaguars will win, but I take the Texans +11. (Dave and the wife also both take Houston.)

Atlanta is a two-and-a-half point favorite in Miami. (Another home 'dog.) Atlanta should have no problems in this one (meaning they will probably lose). I take the Falcons giving the points. (Dave and the wife also both take Atlanta.)

In San Francisco, the Giants are 10-point favorites over the 49ers. The Giants are legit. I might expect a Giants-Colts Super Bowl. They should blow the doors off San Francisco, even out west. I take the doesn't even merit mentioning that the 49ers are a home 'dog. (Dave takes the Giants, the wife couldn't resist the big points, taking San Francisco.)

In Arizona, the Seahawks are four-and-a-half-point favorites over the Cardinals. Kurt Warner, I believe, is back at QB for the Cards. The Seahawks are bad on the road, but they're still road favorites here. I take Seattle, giving the points. (Dave and the wife also take Seattle.)

Big time home 'dog warning here - at Green Bay, the Steelers are 6-point favorites over the Packers. We took this line before it was announced that Roethlisberger wouldn't play (it's down to 3 now). But the Packers have been keeping games close, despite stinking it up. I think they have a shot at winning this one, so I take Green Bay. (Dave and the wife also take Green Bay.)

Sunday night, Philadelphia is a 1-point favorite over the Redskins. I took Philadelphia, and now Terrell Owens is suspended. I would change my pick, but I feel it's almost dishonest to do so without telling the wife or Dave, so I'll keep my pick at Philly. This is another home 'dog situation, by the way. (In the pool that I actually have a financial interest in, I switched my Eagles pick to the Redskins, so don't cry for me.) I take Philly. (Dave and the wife take Washington +1.)

Finally, Monday night, New England is the biggest home 'dog of them all. The Colts are 3-point favorites in Foxboro. I think this is where Peyton Manning finally gets his win at the Patriots. I take the Colts -3. (Dave in Brighton takes the Pats - "NE a home dog? Wow", he says. The wife also takes New England.)

Another week with a lot of similar picks. Should be a crazy week. Enjoy.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The cold reality of a job that I actually enjoy and that keeps me busy is that I have less time in my life for such things as Jets blogs...especially when the Jets are on their way to a sub-.500 record (to put it mildly). But I'm working on getting this thing updated more - whether or not that happens, you'll soon see. But at least I'm getting the Friday picks in. There's no Jets game this week (it's a bye week - back to the old Jets' standby line, back when they weren't any good - "at least they can't lose this week!!!"), so I'll start with an e-mail from an old friend:

"Wow. It is truly bizarre and completely jolting to realize that one of the most mind-bogglingly over-the-top optimistic people in the world has seemingly lost all hope for his team. It is most likely warranted, but still... I feel like I should stock up on bottled water and canned goods because the apocalypse cannot be far behind if John is no longer picking the Jets to win the Super Bowl. *SIGH*

Love Always,

Joe Beningo

P.S. Until I just looked it up, I always thought my name was spelled with a "d" instead of that first "n" (Bedingo). Who knew?"

"Joe Beningo" here is the same guy who used to write as "Al Montoya", and who obviously is too ashamed to admit that he reads my blog to give his real I'll continue to protect his identity. But as I told him earlier this week - I'm pretty sure he's used the Beningo alias before, and I'm pretty sure in that previous e-mail he also mentioned that he wasn't sure how to spell his name. I guess that A-material never gets old.

But yes, I'm not an idiot here. I'm even taking this dismay to the next step, thinking that Chad Pennington's career may very well be over. It's sad. I don't want to talk/write about it. A quick stray from the e-mail/picks, which is very related:

I'm reading a pretty good book about the history of the AFL, told in quotes from players from the AFL and the NFL of that era. It's very good, and pretty informative. Anyway, I just read about when the Bengals started, and they had a great young quarterback out of the University of Cincinnati named Greg Cook. From all accounts, he was a steal how they got him, because he wasn't very highly touted, and he could throw the ball from one end of the field to the other, they say. (I know these things tend to get exaggerated over time, but it seems like this guy was the real deal, and could at least throw the ball 70 or so yards in the air.) Cook (I had never heard of him, by the way) worked with Bill Walsh, then an assistant with the Bengals, and he had an awesome rookie season, winning AFL Rookie of the Year. But during the year, he suffered a shoulder injury, and played through a lot of pain...and of course, medicine not being then what it is now, they couldn't scope the shoulder and see what was wrong. During a pickup basketball game over the off-season, someone touched Cook's shoulder, and he was done. Just like that, done. Turns out it was a rotator cuff. Now, Pennington's got the benefit of modern medicine, but it's a very similar story - and Pennington tried to come back and play football too soon. I just feel like he's in big trouble. That's all I'll say about it for now.

Now the picks - and the standings. Dave from Brighton is the only one who had a week over .500 - going 7-6-1, upping his record to 38-45-3. The wife went 5-8-1, dropping to 51-48-3, and with a 6-7-1 week, I pull to within a game of the lead, at 50-49-3. But I need to pick it up - for crying out loud. This has been pathetic so far - I need a big week. So here it is:

NYG -2 Was: The Giants are playing pretty good football. The Redskins are winning games...but not playing great football. Santana Moss is having a great season, and I'm not sure how, because Mark Brunell is throwing him the football. There must be a lot of yards after the catch going on there. This one's at the Meadowlands, and the Giants should win by 10...let alone 2. I take the Giants. (Dave - Giants, Wife - Redskins +2)

CIN -9 GB: This game's in Cincinnati, and the Bengals should win easy, with all of the injuries the Packers are going through. But the Bengals have had trouble putting teams away, so I think the Packers keep it close enough. I take Green Bay +9. (Dave - Bengals -9, Wife - Bengals -9)

DET -3 Chi: Detroit seems to be better than Chicago, but it's so hard to tell. I take them because they're at home. Det - 3. (Dave - Detroit, Wife - Chicago +3)

CAR -8 Min: Minnesota might not win another game all year. They sure won't win in Carolina -and they won't get within 8 points. I take Carolina -8. (Dave - Carolina, Wife - Carolina)

TEN N/L Oak: Last week I said if Oakland didn't beat the Bills, in Oakland, I wouldn't pick them again the rest of the season. Well, they won, and now they go to Tennessee coming off a confidence-builder. They're good enough, I think, to beat Tennesse. I take Oakland. (Dave - Oakland, Wife - Tennessee)

DAL -9 Ari: Drew Bledsoe is awful. If I had written a recap of last week's games, I would have ripped him apart for throwing that interception, allowing the Seahawks to win that game. But I didn't, so I won't dwell on that now. He's awful, but the Cowboys as a whole should be enough to beat Arizona handily. I take Dallas -9. (Dave - Dallas, Wife - Dallas)

HOU -2 Cle: How bad is Cleveland to be an underdog against the winless Texans?? I don't think they're that bad. I take Cleveland, plus 2. (Dave, Cleveland, Wife - Houston: "They have to get a win sometime.")

NO -2 Mia: This is a Baton Rouge home game for the Saints - it's close enough to being home. I take New Orleans...also, Miami's bad. (Dave - New Orleans, Wife - New Orleans)

STL N/L Jax: The Rams are still going with Jamie Martin. The Jaguars are pretty good. They'll beat the Rams, even in Saint Louis. (Dave - Jacksonville, Wife - Jacksonville)

SD -6 KC: I'm still not getting on the Chargers bandwagon. I know they're better than their 3-4 record indicates, but maybe this is when their season starts to take a dive. They've played better than I've expected, I'll admit that - but I'm picking the Chiefs to beat them this week. I take Kansas City +6. (Dave - San Diego -6, Wife - Kansas City)

TB -11 SF: Tampa Bay has had a bye week to prepare for the 49ers. Sorry, San Fran. TB -11. (Dave - TB, Wife - SF +11)

DEN -3.5 Phi: Dave in Brighton's pick for Game of the Week. Understandably. Denver is a different team at home, and I think they'll beat Philadelphia, who have been playing pretty poorly. But, I think they'll show up for this game, and keep it close. I say it's a 3-point Denver win, so I take Phi +3.5. (Dave - late change to Phi +3.5, Wife - Phi)

NE -9 Buf: Everyone's lauding the Krafts for not putting Tedy Bruschi on IR, instead putting him on the PUP, meaning he could be activated for Sunday night's game. I say (and I said this in August, I wish I had written it here as proof), put him on IR, and probably save his life - don't even give him the option to come back this year. It's just not right that he's coming back so soon. I hope he doesn't get hurt. The Patriots should win this one easy. I take NE -9. (Dave - NE, Wife - NE)

PIT -9.5 Bal: Baltimore flat-out stinks. And on Monday night, they'll be without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Pittsburgh might win by 90.5. Actually, I predict, 27-10. Steelers, -9.5. (Dave - Pittsburgh, Wife - Pittsburgh)

It seems like a lot of similar picks this week, as I wrote that. We'll see. Enjoy the weekend.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I'm on my way out the door for a quick trip to NYC, so I only have time to list the picks - Atlanta 63, Jets 10. No, seriously, one thing the Jets do is show up when they play to a national TV audience...and when they play games like this. So it won't be a blowout, I'm sure. At least the defense will try to keep it close. I say Atlanta 27, Jets 21. Or something to that effect. But the Jets cover the 7-point spread. (Wow. I just picked the Jets to lose. Perhaps the first time on the site. How far we've fallen.) Dave in Brighton picks Atlanta, the wife takes the Jets.

The overall standings in our picks race are tightening up. Dave from Brighton still brings up the rear, but an 8-6 week has him at 31-39-2. I also went 8-6, moving two games over at 44-42-2. The wife had a 6-8 week, dropping to 46-40-2. I'm only two games my wife. Ugh.

Here are the rest of the picks - starting with KC-Miami, kickoff just 40 minutes away this Friday night:

Me: KC +2 Dave: Miami -2 Wife: KC +2

STL - 3 NO - Me, Wife: NO +3 Dave: STL -3

GB -1.5 MIN - Me, Dave: GB - 1.5 Wife: Min +1.5

IND - 15 HOU - Me, Dave: Ind -15 Wife: HOU +15

CIN PK PIT - Me: CIN Dave, Wife: PIT

PHI -4 SD - Me: PHI -4 Dave, Wife: SD +4

CLE -3 DET - Me: Det +3 Dave, Wife: CLE -3

WAS -13 SF - Me, Dave: WAS -13 Wife: SF +13

SEA -3 DAL - Me, Wife: SEA -3 Dave: Dal +3

OAK -3 BUF - Me: OAK -3 (Last time I'll pick Oak if they lose) Dave, Wife: BUF +3

CHI -1 BAL - Me: CHI -1 Dave, Wife: Bal +1

ARI -3 TEN - Me, Wife: TEN +3 Dave: ARI -3

NYG -1.5 DEN - Me, Dave: NYG -1.5 Wife: Den +1.5

Dave says he wonders if this is the week he picks the Jets correctly. The wife was amazed how many underdogs she picked.

Enjoy the week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I never got around to the Mets season summary (perhaps that will come), but I had to put in my two cents about last night's NLCS Game 5 between the Cardinals and the Astros.

Due to my current teaching life, I no longer stay up to all hours of the night playing video games and watching whatever sporting event that is on TV (like the old days of Arena Football, on the crappy ESPN2). Therefore, I went to bed last night with the Cardinals still winning in the seventh inning, 2-1. That's when the Astros came back, on a Lance Berkman homer, I hear, to take a 4-2 lead.

They took that lead into the ninth, with their invincible closer on the hill, Brad Lidge. All we've heard about this post-season is how Lidge didn't blow a lead for the Astros all season until the final Friday of the regular season. He looked a little shaky on Sunday, but got one of the best-turned double plays of all-time to end the game with the tying run on third, so that had to make him feel only more invincible.

So Lidge strikes out the first two batters of the ninth, then goes to 3-2 on David Eckstein. Eckstein rolls a single into left field. Then Lidge walks Jim Edmonds. Then Albert Pujols launches a bomb to left field, the Cardinals take a 5-4 lead, and go on to win. Now the series shifts to Saint Louis Wednesday and Thursday (if necessary), and everyone thinks the Astros are dead and buried.

I hate to promote the guy, but Bill Simmons wrote a very good article about how the Astros and their fans must feel right now on (I don't like Simmons because I'm jealous - there, I've said it, OK. I'm jealous at what he does for a living.) Simmons knows the pain, because he is a Red Sox fan, and his comparisons between this game and Game 6 of the 1986 World Series are dead-on.

I'm not so sure that the Astros will collapse, though. I still am not totally sold on the Cardinals - I don't know that they'll be able to close this out. But they really have a home field working for them - the Cardinals fans are going to be nuts about having at least one more, and possibly two more, home games this post-season, and the Astros are facing a very tough go the next one (or two) nights. I do feel, though, that they're capable of putting Monday night's game behind them and closing out the series on Wednesday. We'll see.

I worry, though, about Brad Lidge. His situation too closely resembles Donnie Moore, and we all know what happened to him. I don't think Lidge will do anything drastic personally, but I wonder how this will affect him professionally. He was so dominant this season (and even last year) - I wonder how he handles this type of adversity, on such a big stage. I don't know anything about him, so I don't know his makeup - but I want to root for him to come back and pitch well.

So I should talk about the way I found out about this, just so I can answer those "Where were you when....?" questions. I was sleeping. We talked about that already. But when I woke up, and turned on ESPNEWS, the bottom right corner didn't say "Astros advance to first ever World Series", so I figured the Cardinals won. I was more surprised when I saw the Indianapolis Colts' score. But I waited for the NL spot on the crawl, and saw the final score was 5-4. Still didn't think much of it, other than the fact that it didn't end 2-1. Then it says, "Pujols GW 3-run HR", and I'm doing the math, and thinking "Wow." Then they show the highlights, and the situation was just - and I'm going to use a word here that is so overused today that it has lost some meaning, but here it is applicable - UNBELIEVABLE. This is unbelievable, people. Other stuff that gets tagged "Unbelievable" is really quite believable. It needs to be used less.

Anyway, I love hearing stuff about the 1986 World Series and how the champagne was all ready to go and the podium for the trophy presentation was all set up for the Red Sox in Game 6, and then it had to be all torn down. I'd like to hear about the stuff that went on at Minute Maid Park on Monday night - at least they had another half-inning to get things done, since the Astros had to hit in the bottom half.

At the very least, this NLCS just went from insignificant to somewhat exciting. I'll try to write about it on Thursday.
Surprise!! A mid-week writing on the page. I'm going to try to be better at this...we'll see how that turns out.

As though it didn't already seem that the Jets were headed in this direction with the whole Vinny Testaverde Kevin Mawae is out for the rest of the season (and the Jets couldn't even make the center-quarterback exchange with the Pro Bowler at center), and Ty Law looks like he might not play in Monday night's game versus the Atlanta. This season is now headed in the same direction as....well, it's easier to list the seasons that this season is NOT headed in the same direction as - 1968, 1998, 2002, and 2004. Yup, such is the sad life of a Jets fan. You could toss 1986 in there too...but it only makes it sound like they're a better franchise than they are.

With all that said, this blog will become more of an NFL recapper, instead of focusing on the depressing, slowly maddening Jets. And this was some weekend for us DirecTV Sunday Ticket subscribers (especially those with TiVo - well, not really, but I had to work TiVo in). I'll start with the Monday nighter, because I didn't stay up to see how the Colts came back - but you just had a feeling the Rams weren't exactly going to blow the doors off of Indy, in Indy. After jumping out to a 17-0 lead, Saint Louis lost Marc Bulger, and things just weren't the same. They also couldn't stop Edgerrin James, apparently, because he ran for 143 yards and 3 TD's. The Colts are 6-0 - the only undefeated team left in the NFL. The way the rest of the "favorites" are playing right now, they should win the Super Bowl. I think the next best team out there is the Falcons, and I don't think the Falcons could beat the Colts in the Super Bowl. I wouldn't mind seeing the Colts win it. I like Peyton Manning a lot - I only hate him when he's playing the Jets. And I only wouldn't want to see the Colts win if they had to go through the Jets in the playoffs - but since that's NOT going to happen, "Go, Indy!"

The Giants blew a great chance to win in Dallas, but that game was still pretty exciting for a Giants game. Actually, only the final minutes were exciting, but that's all I watched, so it's all good. The Giants had a chance to tie late, needing a touchdown. And after Tiki Barber got them to the three, Brandon Jacobs fumbled on the 1, and the Cowboys recover, and it looks like it's over. But remember, the Cowboys' QB is Drew Bledsoe, one of the dumbest men alive, so you always have a chance in this situation. Two handoffs got stuffed by the Giants, then Time Outs, and then Bledsoe threw an incomplete pass out of his own end zone, stopping the clock. The Cowboys punted, and Eli Manning proceeded to throw two great passes and got the Giants into the end zone in the final minute to tie it. Unfortunately for the Giants, they blew a bunch of chances to blow this one open early and lost on a field goal in overtime. The Cowboys had been driving on the Giants all day - they just couldn't get into the end zone - that didn't matter in OT.

Atlanta and New Orleans was sort of an unexciting exciting game. It ended anticlimactically, with a Falcons good field goal after the bad field goal was taken back by a bad Saints penalty. I don't know how Jim Haslett still has a job - he's as bad a coach as Mike Tice.

Pittsburgh was brutal this week, led by Tommy Maddox. Maddox threw three picks, the last coming in overtime, and returned for the game-winning touchdown by the Jaguars. That came after the Steelers took the overtime-opening kickoff (or a punt, I forget), into field goal range, only to fumble it away. Then the pick on their next possession. Is it any wonder that the Steelers will start Roethlisberger next Sunday?

The Jets game I won't dwell on, I will just say that I logged my first-ever correct prediction this week - Curtis Martin ran right through the Bills defense. They stink against the run. And the Jets stink, period. Willis McGahee is the worst thing ever to happen to them in the division. He owns them...every time they play him, he has a big game. He's like Michael Jordan was to the Knicks back when I gave a crap about the NBA.

Here's my favorite game of the weekend - Carolina at Detroit. I don't know, first of all, how Detroit was favored in this game (by a point), and I don't know how they almost won. But they led the Panthers by 6 late, late, late in the game, and Jake Delhomme is driving the Panthers down the field. He takes off on a run, slides feet first, and gets laid out on the field...15-yard penalty, and in comes Chris Weinke. I don't like Weinke, but I enjoyed seeing him lead the Panthers to the win - a touchdown with about a minute left. Maybe it's because I picked the Panthers...I can't say. But it was exciting.

My final thoughts - Dom Capers is going to get fired. The Texans stink, and who else can be more responsible than him?...Shaun Alexander is a touchdown machine - it's ridiculous - but he's still the guy who put himself before the team in last season's final game, and that's just bush league....LaDanian Tomlinson is definitely the best player in the NFL right now...I wonder if my jersey jinx would work on other teams - like if I bought a Tomlinson jersey, would he start to be brutal?...Tampa Bay is done - Chris Simms isn't a winner, and Tim Rattay isn't good...I was actually right on another prediction - the Broncos are a different team at home. They have an almost unfair home-field advantage.

It was a very exciting Sunday in the NFL, and it was a very exciting Saturday in college football - but I won't get into all that. Monday night was also a very exciting night for the NLCS - for more on that, check out

Saturday, October 15, 2005

So, I'm going to hop onto this Vinny Testaverde train for a couple of stops. It helps that the Jets are playing Buffalo Sunday, and week one was a huge aberration for the Bills. I have no idea how they won that game at all - they actually looked OK. Last week, they beat the Dolphins. Even Chad Pennington's one arm beat the Dolphins. I think this is a great opportunity for the Jets to get some confidence back and beat a team soundly.

The game is in Buffalo, so that's a slight drawback - but it's only October - the Jets have struggled in Buffalo in much colder weather - I don't remember the last time they went to Buffalo in the early part of the season - actually, yes I do. Chad Morton returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, and the Jets won in overtime in the first week of the season a few years ago. I think that was one of Vinny's last starts - I think that was the year Pennington took over in Week 4. So the timing here is right for the Jets.

This week will also be a test for the Jets' running game. If they can't run on Sunday, they're not going to run all year. The Bills' run defense is one of the worst in the league. I'm banking on them getting the running game going, because I think Curtis Martin will somehow get to 1,000 yards again this year, and this is where it starts.

I think Vinny will again be OK, but not spectacular. The big difference right now between Vinny and Brooks Bollinger is that last week, receivers caught the ball for Vinny. If they can do that again, the Jets win again. The Jets are also getting three points. I say they win outright. Jets, 27-17. (Dave in Brighton and the wife also both pick the Jets.)

The standings in our picks league here thus far are:
Wife: 40-32-2 (10-3-1 last week)
Me: 36-36-2 (9-4-1 last week)
Dave: 23-33-2 (7-6-1 last week)

We all improved a lot last year (Despite being one game over .500 last week, Dave did improve a lot - it was his first week being over-.500).
The rest of our NFL picks for Week 6:

In Dallas, the Cowboys are three-and-a-half-point favorites over the Giants. I don't know how the Cowboys did what they did to Philadelphia last week, but I think with the extra week to prepare, the Giants come on strong and beat the 'Boys. I take the Giants getting the points. (Dave takes the Cowboys, wife takes the Giants.)

In Detroit, the Lions are one-point favorites over the Panthers. Are you kidding me? Are the Panthers that bad on the road? This is a steal - the Panthers win big. (All three of us take Carolina.)

The Falcons are 5-point favorites over the Saints, at the Saints (which I believe is San Antonio). I take the Falcons to win by at least a do the other two.

The Bears are 3-point favorites over the Vikings in Chicago. It's rough to look at the Bears being a favorite...but the Vikings are in rocky waters - no pun intended. Mike Tice is not a good coach - and I don't think he unites his team in the wake (again no pun intended) of this scandal. I take the Bears giving the points. (Dave takes the Bears, wife takes the Vikes.)

In Kansas City, the Chiefs are five-and-a-half point favorites over the Redskins. I just can't buy into the Redskins being good. It's in Kansas City, too, so despite the fact that Washington has a good run defense, I'm going with the Chiefs...but in the back of my mind I feel like Washington can win this game and prove to all the naysayers (like me) that they are actually good. (The wife is buying into the Redskins - she takes them and the points...Dave takes the Chiefs.)

In Tennessee, it's the Bengals giving 3 to the Titans. I think the Bengals bounce back from their loss last Sunday night to the Jaguars. Another tight loss for the Titans - I say about 24-20 Bengals. Dave and the wife also take Cincinnati.

Tommy Maddox will start for Ben Roethlisberger as Pittsburgh hosts Jacksonville. The Steelers are favored by three. I don't think the quarterback change makes much of a difference. I take the Steelers, as do the other two.

In Baltimore, the Ravens are five-and-a-half point favorites over the Browns. I don't see this one. I'm not sure how the Ravens can be favored, let alone by more than a field goal. They'll probably be lucky to score 5-and-a-half points. I take the Browns, getting the points. (Dave takes Cleveland as well, the wife takes Baltimore.)

Tampa Bay is a four-and-a-half-point favorite over the Dolphins in Tampa. I feel like the Dolphins are going to have a rough go the rest of the year, especially trying to balance their running attack between Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Tampa is going to pounce on them, as revenge for last week's loss to the Jets. I take Tampa giving the points, as do the other two.

Denver is a three-point favorite over the Patriots. It's in Denver, and that's the only reason I'm picking the Broncos. I don't think the Broncos are very good, I don't like picking against the Patriots....but the Broncos have some kind of home field advantage out in Denver, and I have to take them. The other two homers take the Patriots.

In Oakland, it's the Chargers favored by two over the Raiders. Oakland is a home dog against the Chargers. I'm all over the Raiders in this one. The Chargers came close to beating the Steelers last Monday night - I actually didn't see the end of that game. I saw most of the game, though, and found myself not hating the Chargers as much as it seems like I would, based on the fact that I don't think they're going to be very good this year, and they're still playing O.K. But I'm picking the Raiders to beat up on the Chargers and prove me right. (Dave and the wife take the Chargers.)

Seattle, in Seattle, is giving nine-and-a-half to the Texans. The Texans are brutal, but the Seahawks aren't that great. It's tough to take the Seahawks giving nine-and-a-half, but I will, only because they're home. Dave also takes Seattle, not tempted by the big spread, but the wife takes Houston.

On Monday night, Indianapolis is giving 13-and-a-half to the Rams in Indy. The spread is a lot, especially considering who the Colts are playing. I'm taking the Rams, because even without Mike Martz, and probably Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, they're capable of scoring a lot of points. This will be a big test for the Indy Defense, and if I'm wrong, more power to the Colts. But I take the Rams getting the big points. Dave takes Indy, the wife takes the Rams.

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Just a reminder - this is not the place to come for a sensible pick. I'm here to give Jets fans a reason to believe their team might win on Sunday, every Sunday. This task is getting tougher and tougher. The running game looks brutal. The passing game is non-existent. Vinny Testaverde is the quarterback. All signs that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should crush the Jets on Sunday. But no. The Jets will ride the momentum of Vinny's return to a 7-3 victory! (Jets, plus 3-and-a-half at home). (Dave in Brighton takes Tampa Bay, the wife takes the Jets.)

The wife says she will no longer trash talk. This after saying rubbing in her recent success over Dave and myself...then pulling out a 3-11 with her picks last week. Dave was 6-8, I went 7-7 (also my birthday). Overall, it's the wife at 30-29-1, then me, 27-32-1, then Dave, 16-27-1.

The rest of the picks:

Cleveland, at home, is favored by three over the Bears. Across the board, we take Cleveland. They should easily beat the Bears, I say.

Green Bay, 0-4, is a three-point favorite at home against the Saints. Again, this is the Saints. They only show up to play once in a while. I take Green Bay, -3. Dave takes the Saints, wife takes Green Bay.

Saint Louis is at home to the Seahawaks, and the Rams are -3. I take the Rams, because they're home, and the Seahawks lost last week on the road to the friggin' Redskins. Come on. Dave and the wife both take Seattle.

Atlanta is home to New England, and the Pats are 3-point underdogs. You think they'd respond pretty well to last week's drubbing. But I think the Falcons are legitimately very good. I take the Falcons, the other two take the Pats.

Buffalo is a 3-point favorite at home against Miami. Buffalo's in big trouble. J.P. Losman is benched, at 1-3, and Kelly Holcombe is starting. All three of us take the Dolphins, probably thinking like me, that the Bills are that bad.

Detroit hosts Baltimore, and gives a point. Baltimore's not good...Detroit is about a point better. I take Detroit, so does Dave, wife takes Baltimore.

Houston is home to Tennessee, and the Texans are -3. Houston's a tough place to win, but Houston's not good either (despite last week's showing vs. Cincinnati), and Tennessee's playing pretty well this year. All three of us take Tennessee.

The Colts are -14 in San Francisco, for Alex Smith's first NFL start. The Colts' D + NFL debut = more than 14 points win. I take Indy -14. So does the wife. Dave takes San Fran - maybe it's the lure of the big spread.

Carolina is on the road, favored by two-and-a-half in Arizona. I can't believe Arizona beat San Francisco last week...there's no way they'll beat the Panthers. I take Carolina. Dave and the wife seem to agree with my reasoning - they both take Carolina.

Philadelphia is favored by three in Dallas. Tough call here - I actually think Philly wins by 3, so it'll be a push. But I'll take Dallas, plus-3, because they're home. Dave and the wife take Philly.

Denver, in Denver, gives Washington six-and-a-half. A couple of factors at work here - the Broncos have played well at home, and the Redskins are somehow 3-0 despite the fact that they stink. I take Denver, winning big. So does Dave. The wife takes the crappy Redskins.

Jacksonville is home to Cincinnati, giving three. I can't pass up Cincy as an underdog - they're the new New England. They're going undefeated. I take Cincinnati plus the points. So does Dave. The wife takes Jacksonville.

Monday night, San Diego is giving three in San Diego, to Pittsburgh. We all three take Pittsburgh - my reasoning being I don't buy into the Chargers this year - despite back-to-back big wins. Pittsburgh will bring them back to earth. Dave says "it'll be nice to root for Pittsburgh for once."

I must admit - I'm into hockey right now. It helps that the Rangers are off to a 1-0 start, and as my friend Steve in New York says, it's also going to be a long winter - they're all we have. But I still pick the 1-3 Jets over the 4-0 Bucs this weekend.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I know, I's very, very, very unlikely that the Jets will win this weekend. A number of factors are working against them - Baltimore is a very tough place to win, their defense is very tough, and...I feel like there was one more thing...I forget...oh, no wait, that's right: the Jets are starting Brooks Bollinger.

But remember what I've told you - if you want a legit pick, read me, and then go somewhere else to see people pick the Ravens. I pick with my heart, not with my head, and looking at this game with my heart, I can figure out a way the Jets will win (or at the very least, cover the spread).

The backup for Bollinger this weekend will be Vinny Testaverde. I don't think Vinny's appeared on the blog before - I think the blog was born in the post-Testaverde Jets era. He says he wants Herman Edwards to stay with Bollinger the entire game, or something to that effect, so Bollinger's not worried about Testaverde breathing down his back. That's a good thing, because the entire Ravens defense will be breathing down his back - he doesn't need that extra breath. I will say this, though - Testaverde had one of the greatest games in his career against the Ravens. I believe it was in 2000 - and the Jets played the Ravens with a chance to make the playoffs (like their entire December schedule that year - Al Groh's year, when they lost to the crappy Lions, et al., and missed their chance), in Baltimore, and they lost, on Christmas Eve, 34-20. Testaverde passed for 481 yards - and that was the year the Ravens won the Super Bowl, so racking up some yards against the Ravens isn't impossible...especially this year.

However, the key to victory for the Jets this week will be in the running game. Both running games. Curtis Martin versus Jamal Lewis. Lewis has been absolutely awful this year - but the Ravens have had a week to figure things out after a bye. Martin hasn't been good, but the Jets' offensive line has been brutal - I don't know if it's Jamal Lewis, honestly, or if it's the Ravens' O-line...but these two teams have sort of mirrored each other early on. Both teams have had quarterback problems, and running problems, and offensive problems in general. Both teams are supposed to have good defenses, and both haven't played to their potential thus far.

It's going to come down to defenses, I think, on Sunday. Neither team will find the end zone, I predict. The Jets' defense will step up big time for the next couple of weeks, before they get tired from carrying the team. The Ravens defense will keep Bollinger from doing anything big, but I expect him to play smart, to throw short passes that will open up a little room for Curtis Martin to run, and I think the Jets will out-field-goal the Ravens, and win, 9-3. With the Jets 7-point underdogs, I pick them to win outright (here, anyway - in another pool I picked the Ravens to win...and I'm starting to regret that - I just convinced myself the Jets can win).

As for the rest of the NFL - last week was a bad week - the wife was 9-5 - she had a good week, and overall, she is 27-18-1. Dave from Brighton had a brutal week, at one point standing at 1-8, finishing at 4-10, and he's 10-19-1 overall. What's worse? Not only did the Jets lose both of their quarterbacks...but I went 3-11!! Yikes. I'm at 20-25-1 overall. The wife likes to point out she has almost as many wins as Dave and I combined. I need to tell her that Dave didn't play week one. Anyway, for this week, both Dave and the wife also pick the Jets - I'm not sure why. Oh, and Brooks Bollinger sent in an e-mail with his picks - but he only gets to make his pick if both the wife and Dave go down with season-ending injuries.

So, away we go:

The Patriots are five-point favorites over the Chargers at home. All three of us pick the Pats - me, because I'm not buying into the Chargers' hype this year, the other two because they like the Pats.

The Jaguars are three-and-a-half point favorites over the Broncos, in Jacksonville...I think the Jags carry the momentum from last week's overtime win in New York into this week, and bring the Broncos back to earth after their big Monday Night win. Dave and the wife agree.

The Bengals look to go 4-0 as 9-and-a-half point favorites over the Texans, in Cincinnati. I'll pick the Texans when they show up one it's Cincy giving the points for me. Dave also takes Cincy, the wife takes Houston.

The Colts are giving 7 in Tennessee. It's a tough place to win, but the Colts are a well-rounded team now with a good defense, and they can beat the Titans. I take Indy -7. So does Dave. The wife takes the Titans.

The Chiefs are two-point favorites at home against the Eagles. I can't pick against Philly - they should win outright. Both Dave and the wife also take the Eagles.

In Tampa Bay, the Bucs try to go to 4-0 against the Lions. They are favored by six-and-a-half. I take Detroit getting the points. They probably won't win, but I feel like they can keep it close. I don't want Tampa to be maybe that's motivating my pick too. Both Dave and the wife take Tampa.

The Giants are giving three at home against the Rams. I take the Giants, because I've been impressed by them so far (last week notwithstanding). Dave takes the Giants, the wife takes the Rams.

New Orleans hosting Buffalo is a pick-'em. All three of us take Buffalo. The Saints are still the Saints (not to say Buffalo is much better...but they're a little better).

Washington is a 2-point favorite at home against Seattle. Seattle wins outright, ruining the Redskins' hopes of an undefeated season. Dave and the wife agree.

The Falcons host the Vikings, as five-and-a-half point favorites. Back down to earth for Culpepper after crushing the Saints last week - Falcons win, big. The wife and Dave agree.

The Raiders are three-point favorites over Dallas. Another trip out west for the Cowboys? They can't win...and the Raiders are dying for a win - they'll get it this time at home. Dave also takes Oakland...the wife takes Dallas.

In Mexico, it's 49ers versus Cardinals. Arizona's the home team, favored by 3. The 49ers should win this game. All three of us take San Fran.

Monday night, Carolina is at home, 7-and-a-half point favorites over the Packers. I take Green Bay to cover, but not win. I say Carolina, 27-20. Dave takes Green Bay, the wife takes Carolina.

A lot of similar picks for Dave and I. That means we can pick up lots of ground on the wife with a good week....or else hand the season over to her as she runs away with it.