Sunday, December 27, 2009

Using Adjusted Efficiency Numbers to Know Who's Playing Late in March

Over the last four years, teams that have ranked in the top 16 nationally in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency (according to Ken Pomeroy) have been tremendously successful in the month of March. Rather than serve as a poll, AOE and ADE ratings can describe whether a team plays hard and smart for 40 minutes, or makes just enough plays to get victories. As you will see below, the last four national champions have satisfied the ranking requirement, and this year's two frontrunners (Kansas and Texas) make the grade as well.

While the ratings do not guarantee success in March, 12 of the 15 teams in the last four years who have ranked in the top 16 in both categories have made at least the Elite 8. Furthermore, the lowest seed among the teams is a #3 seed.

Florida - National Champion
Texas - Elite Eight
UConn - Elite Eight
Duke - Sweet 16

Florida - National Champion
Ohio State - National Runner-Up
North Carolina - Elite Eight
Texas A&M -Sweet 16

Kansas - National Champion
Memphis - National Runner-Up
UCLA - Final Four
Duke - 2nd Round

North Carolina - National Champion
UConn - Final Four
Missouri - Elite Eight

Looking Forward to March 2010

As of games ending Saturday, the four teams who meet the AOE and ADE requirement are Texas, Duke, Kansas and Syracuse. Does this guarantee that they will all be at the Final Four? Absolutely not. While Duke and Syracuse have performed well to date, Duke peaks too early on a perennial basis, and (because of Jim Boeheim's lean towards a seven-man rotation) Syracuse is always an injury away from Big East obscurity. Additionally, Duke has twice met the AOE and ADE requirement and underachieved twice.

2010 (as of 12/26/09)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

InClement Weather: Season's Greetings

It's been WAAAAAY to long since I've shown my face (so to speak) via this blog...and I'm not making any apologies.

Instead, I'll pretend I never left and leave it at that.

As I type this, I have the Hangover on the TV (via DVD), a Capri Sun (resources are low), and am in the early stages of my 2-week Holiday Break (yes, I do love being a teacher right about now). Doesn't that sound like the perfect opportunity to break radio silence? Doesn't it!?!?!

So here are 5 sports-related thoughts/questions I have as we head into 2010.
And 5 pop-culture(ish) FACTS as well.
Why? Because I'm back bitches!!!!

#1. This is Your NFL Defensive MVP. (Apologies to Charles Woodson, but not Jared Allen or anyone else.)

#2. THIS was the WORST live game I ever attended. In fact, they showed THIS on one of the screens outside the beverage stand. NOT the game.


#3. I liked this move a lot for the Yanks. This one too. This one? Not so much.


#4. I shouldn't have bought this jersey. How long until this one?


#5. Where do you think HE ends up next season? How about him? I have ZERO idea, by the way.


...Pop Culture time...

#6. THIS performance is one of the 5 best of the year. The subtle lines that only you can enjoy on DVD make it even stronger than it was upon first impression.

"Oh, you know what? Next week's no good for me... The Jonas Brothers are in town. But any week after that, it's totally fine."

#7. This is STILL the greatest TV Comedy of all-time. Duh.


#8. Which of these shows was better? Seriously. You tell me. I can't decide! My gut says I should go with...


#9. Is she officially a hottie? I just don't know yet... Of course, there's no debate about HER. (Especially sans Pay-Rod).


#10. Go see this. NOW! NOW! DO IT! NOW! It's far and away the best movie of the year. Maybe of the last 5 years, honestly.


Tigers love pepper... they hate cinnamon.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

PHSports "Pre-Season" Field of 65

So I realize that the season is well underway. Prior to the season starting, I had developed a field of 65, but did not make the time to post it. That time is now (bracket below).

Prior to our next update (late December / early January), we will post early season observations.

1: Kansas, Michigan State, Texas, Kentucky
2: Villanova, Purdue, Duke, West Virginia
3: Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma
4: Butler, UConn, Washington, Syracuse

LAST FOUR IN: Oregon, Florida, Oregon State, Boston College

LAST FOUR OUT: Pittsburgh, Illinois State, Alabama, UNLV

NEXT FOUR OUT: Seton Hall, Nevada, Old Dominion, Houston

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

College Basketball Coverage Coming Soon ...

I have been in blogging hibernation for the better part of the last seven months since the North Carolina Tar Heels reined victorious this past April at the Final Four in Detroit.

In the last couple weeks, I have had an opportunity to peruse the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook - a must for all college basketball fanatics.

As usual, our focus will be the NCAA tournament projections (first one coming soon!). When time allows, I will mention interesting statistics and alert you to trends that the mainstream media and top college basketball bloggers may not be reporting enough or at all. Clement will drop in from time to time a

And, after three years, PHSports has its own dedicated mailbox! You can now show some love, hate, and everything in between to

If you're a regular reader, welcome back. And if you're here for the first time, it's nice to have you along for what will be an amazing season.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Latest Bailout: Week 8 NFL & Fantasy Predictions

I took the week off and pawned off my work on a good friend (aka C-Go).
Okay, I can at least admit I added the pictures and (hilarious) captions.

Trust me, it's someone who has a more adept touch when it comes to the NFL and (especially) fantasy. But ESPECIALLY fantasy.

Even if he is a Redskins fan.
Although admittedly, one of the eight sane ones.

Now THIS is savvy!!!

Here we...go!!!

Read easy, as I’m popping my proverbial blog cherry with a guest spot on PHSports. Luckily we have a lot to talk about heading into Week 8 of the 09’ NFL season, so I’ll dive right in.

Time for the 10 Questions of the Week

One word: BEAST!

1) After back to back victories against the Giants and Dolphins, can the Saints remain undefeated by topping the Falcons on Monday night?
2) Which of the 3 undefeated teams, if any, will fall this week?

3) The Giants… contenders or pretenders?

4) Could the Cowboys actually be the class of the NFC East?
5) How did there come to be so many awful teams in this league?

6) Can the Jets keep pace in the AFC East with a win against the deceivingly decent Miami Dolphins?

7) What’s all the fuss about the Rams/Lions game getting blacked out?

8) Are the Houston Texans a legitimate AFC Wild Card contender, and can they play consistently for 4 quarters? Ever?

9) Can LaDanian Tomlinson prove, at least for one week, that he’s not running on fumes against a pathetic Oakland Raiders rush defense?

10) Will Brett Favre, on his old tundra, prove to the Packers brass that they should have waited just a little longer for the indecisive iron man?

Weekly Picks
Fresh start in Week 8… I like the sound of that.

How have I not seen this picture before?
More on Alex Smith (Niner-prediction & fantasy-wise) below.

St. Louis Rams @ Detroit Lions (Off)
These two teams are in the same realm of awful, so this one isn’t as easy as it looks. It’s actually an intriguing match-up to me, and more may be on the line than you think… the St. Louis Rams are on the clock! I’ll take the Lions at home, even though Stephen Jackson will come close to 150 total yards… and no touchdowns.

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers (-3)
Favre always steps it up in big games, and this as big as they come for Brett Favre in the regular season. Take the Vikings plus the points.

San Francisco @ Indianapolis Colts (-12)
Call me old fashioned, but I just can’t picture Alex Smith (past or present) coming close to Peyton Manning and the Colts in Indy. The line is -12, I have a feeling it’ll be even worse than that… take the Colts.

Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens (-3)
The Broncos are in for a big let down coming off the bye. I’m taking the hungry Ravens minus the 3. The Broncos have proven themselves, undoubtedly, but the Ravens are in desperate need of a win and emerging sophomore Joe Flacco will not let them down.

Wildcat thoughts BELOW!!! Clement shudders.

Upset Special #1
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints (-10)
The Falcons are coming off of an eye opening loss in Dallas, and Matty Ice won’t lay down for the undefeated Saints. I’m not saying Drew Brees won’t lead New Orleans to their first 7-0 start since Jim Mora’s 91’ squad, but it’ll be closer than Vegas thinks. Take the Falcons plus the points.

Upset Special #2
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets (-3)
It’s hard to believe the Dolphins are 2-4; playing as well as they have against quality opponents. The Dolphins will buck the trend this week by beating Mark Sanchez and the Jets on their own turf. The Jets defense will keep it close, but if Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams can continue their recent success, the Dolphins will roll.

Survivor Pick
Damn Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6 losing to the damn Oakland Raiders. Damn. This week’s mock survivor pick…San Diego (hosting Oakland). I bet you haven’t picked them yet!

The Iggles burned a TON of peeps in Week 6 (Clement and Goings, included). Beware the allure of the Green Man. Seriously, you need to be watching THIS SHOW immediately.

All players listed below would be considered 50/50 start/sits for this weekend in most 10-12 team leagues, taking into consideration bye weeks and injuries.

Don't hold it against Goings that he wants you to start a Ram. They are playing the Lions, you know.

Marshawn Lynch
Donnie Avery
Visanthe Shiancoe
Austin Collie
Darren Sproles

Just avoid this altogether.

Reggie Bush
John Carlson
Knowshon Moreno
Braylon Edwards
Alex Smith (either one, honestly)

Fantasy Lock: Steve Slaton
Fantasy Flop: Greg Jennings

Parting Thought…

Oh Danny Boy!!!

One team I have yet to mention during my first PHSports write-up is my beloved Washington Redskins. That’s right, I’m a Redskins fan. I’m sure like most Redskins fans this season, times are tough. During the bye week, I want to stay away from the on-field issues and look off-the-field for the latest debacle… well, technically off the field.

Reports have surfaced, and I can tell you first hand from attending ‘Monday Night BeatDown’ (as I like to call it), that the Redskins front office has banned Redskins signs from bring signs or posters into FedEx Field – anti-management posters in particular. Fans were tossed from the game and banned from the stadium for bringing in their “Vinny Sucks”, “Dumb and Dumber”, and “NFL Save Us!” posters and sentiment. One woman was reportedly forced to turn her “Trade Danny!” t-shirt inside out.

If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t want to stick around for what rock bottom is. Dan Snyder has alienated his fan base with a laundry list of decisions and antics such as these. Since when can you be escorted out by security for calling the owner of the team out on all of his mishaps? Is this Nazi Germany? Is there not something written in that constitution thingy that allows people to speak about something, or something like that? What’s next? “The Star of Danny to be given (Forcibly) to the First 100,000 Fans in Attendance”.

Clement returns next week...unless I can talk Goings into closing out the season.
Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Early Edition: Week 7 NFL Predictions

First off, fantasy gets the weekend off. Two reasons:
1) I stink at it.
2) Thursday is a little earlier than I like to predict and prognosticate.

So why the Early Edition? (Remember that show?) Simple. I'll be in Dallas this weekend with the family.

Yeah, I'll check this place out (Falcons @ Cowboys will be on the games being picked this weekend, btw) along the way.

Time for the 10 Questions of the Week


1) If (when) Sanchez struggles on Sunday in Oakland, does Clemens see any snaps?
2) Anybody outside of New York and Anaheim (aka LA) that has interest in the ALCS over the NFL weekend slate?

3) Is Cedric Benson ready to lead the NFL in rushing?

4) How will Frank Gore's return impact the 49ers?

5) Speaking of those Niners, what's the over/under on 1 reception for rookie wideout Michael Crabtree?

6) Does anyone actually watch Fox's Brothers? Besides Strahan's family, I mean?

7) Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco: who wins a playoff game this season?

8) Is Roddy White becoming a top-5 NFL receiver?

9) Is Marvin Harrison now officially done?

10) Does Jim Zorn survive after Monday night?

Weekly Picks
Last Week: 5-3 (I bet on the Skins and paid the price. As for the Iggles, more on that debacle later.)
Season Total: 20-13 (I made a target of 25-15 at this point. A 5 and 2 week means I need to pick an easy one or two. No dice!)
Upset Special: 2-1 (I went with three road dogs and got 2 out of 3. I would've won big on Arizona and Houston, but the Giants really let me down.)
Survivor Selection: 4-1 (Philly breaks my stranglehold on selecting the "easiest game of the week". Believe me, I wasn't alone. Nevertheless, it still stings.)

Minnesota Vikings @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
I'm taking the Stillers, barely, and the home-field advantage. Minnesota can survive losing this game. In fact, you don't want too too much hype this early in the season. Seriously.

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs (+ 4 1/2)
I think this is the week the Chargers get back on track. But mark my words: they aren't winning the AFC West this season. The playoffs aren't out of the question though...yet.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins (+7)
In a last second change, I'm switching to Philly. I felt like the Skins might be troublesome; however, the reports from practice this week have been flat and uninteresting. No juice left in DC worth mentioning.

Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers (-7)
Why do I believe in Carolina and the awfulness that is Jake Delhomme? Steve Smith pouts and responds with 2 TD receptions.

NY Jets @ Oakland Raiders (+7)
I am a negative negative man. The Jet wideouts are extremely banged up and this team can't travel west. If you find this above 7, take the money and run.

Upset Special #1
Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys (-4)
My mom is a LEGIT die-hard Cowboys fan. I know, hate away. I sympathize with the team for her and for Troy Aikman (always a personal favorite). She bleeds the team colors and has never been to a game in Dallas. She missed out in the final year of Texas Stadium, so she deserves a win in her trip out to Big D. Ain't gonna happen. In fact, I question these odds entirely. Matty Ice on the road is enough to eeek out a W. Sorry mom.

Upset Special #2
Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals (- 2 1/2)
I had a feeling last week with Houston and it would've paid off handsomely. I don't want to sink the Bengals yet, but I think the Bears are a better team and can play well in this envrionment. In fact, I'm picking them to win outright in a rather entertaining matchup (who would've thought that earlier this season?).

I'm dead in the Survivor-pool. I'd love to target the following squad though: Indianapolis. Not the toughest pick in the world, right?

Thanks for the crappy London-matchup Goodell. Thanks.

Parting Thought of the Week


Let's play the "what-if" game. Crabtree may see 12-15 snaps this week and perhaps even double that next week. Some wild rumors have him starting (opposite Ike Bruce), but still not seeing too many snaps. If the 49ers are able to target Crabtree for a big play or perhaps in the redzone, how does Coach Singletary respond to his former holdout rook? I know I'd love to see it.

Enjoy the weekend slate...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fresh off the Bye Week: Week 6 NFL & Fantasy Predictions

After taking a week off, I'm back!
Let's be nice and call it a bye week.
In case you didn't know, it came just at the nick of time. Whew.

Time for the 10 Questions of the Week...

Can the Broncos, fresh off of an impressive win against the Patriots at home, truly ready to step up with the NFL's elite and take down divisional-rival San Diego?

1) Can Dick Jauron save his dignity and upset the Jets?
2) Is there a major trade in the works, which is so unlike a typical NFL trade deadline (outside of the Edwards/Adams deals)?

3) Are people truly realizing the scope the Gaines Adams-deal may have on the Bears defense?

4) Are the Rams going 0-16?

5) If Washington loses to KC, is Zorn out even BEFORE the bye week?

6) The the Bengals truly a 5-1 team?

7) Jay Cutler or Matty Ice: who ya go this Sunday night?

8) Braylon Edwards feeling 2 for 2 with TD catches in his first two games with the Jets?

9) Ray Rice is second in total yards from scrimmage in the NFL. Trend or a telling statistic?

10) Seriously, are the Saints for real?

Weekly Picks
Last Week: 4-4 (Not my strongest weekend; however, I took a lot of risks. After a "bye week", I expect a stronger performance. Although there are way too many HUGE numbers out here to target too many games.)
Season Total: 16-10 (I'm putting a target out there. 25-15. It can happen. It can.)
Upset Special: 4-2 (Lost a little momentum. No sweat, 2 picks this week will help!)
Survivor Selection: 4-0 (It's just too easy right now with some of these horrid teams out there.)

Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Redskins (-6 1/2)
Tricky tricky Vegas. Both teams stink. Skins, somehow, win by a touchdown.

Tennnessee Titans @ New England Patriots (-9)
Number still seems kinda big, even for an 0-5 road Titan team, until you realize two things:
A) New England doesn't lose back-to-back games.
B) Collins isn't long for this starting role, Vince Young or not.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3 1/2)
I thought the Panthers would play better last weekend, although the Skins play everyone (bad and really bad) pretty close. The Panthers win, not big but big enough to cover this somewhat surprisingly tight number.

Upset Special #1
NY Giants @ New Orleans Saints (-3)
I wish I could find this number at -3 1/2, but it doesn't exist. The Giants are worth the risk; especially without putting real money on it.

Upset Special #2
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks (-3 1/2)
I refuse to believe in Seattle, even at home. Maybe I'm giving Arizona WAAAY to much credit. Who cares? I want to. So I will!!!

Upset Special #3
Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals (- 3 1/2)
This prediction is gonna bite me in the ...

Survivor Selection [Gone: New England, Minnesota, Baltimore, & NY Giants]
Philadelphia is going to WAX the Raiders. Not too much brilliance needed to make this pick o' the survivor week.

I'm taking a new route on fantasy. I'm gonna whipe the confusing scoring system OUT and make things very very VERY easy. Start these 5 guys and sit these 5 guys. They're all 50/50 (often FLEX or last-resort) starts. Enjoy the wealth of knowledge!!!

Start (TE-edition)
1) Leon Washington
2) Greg Olsen
3) Mercedes Lewis
4) Devrey Henderson
5) Benjamin Watson
Extra: Josh Johnson (believe it BABY!)

Sit (WR-edition)
1) Lee Evans
2) Jericho Cotchery
3) Vincent Jackson
4) Washington D
5) Bernard Berrian
Extra: Larry Johnson

I know you missed me. See you next week!!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In Case You Missed Me...

After a week without predictions, I could make excuses left and right...but you deserve better. Like this kind of better (below)...

Happy Hour and Yankees beisbol took over Friday night. Time with the wife - mainly drooling over Kristen Bell in Couples Retreat (eh, iffy comedy) - took care of Saturday as well. My badness.

As for Sunday morning...I just plain forgot.

I'll definitely check in next week; especially with far improved matchups on a stronger schedule. I'll also return to dissect picks, prognostications, and some fantasy "advice".

Until then...

Parting Thought
Any day in which the Red Sox are eliminated from the MLB Playoffs AND Tom "Golden Boy" Brady & Belicheat lose...America wins.

Credit: AP

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Your Job's Your Credit!!! Week 4 NFL & Fantasy Predictions

Much like the opening two titles to this weekly column (Lightning in a Bottle, I’d Like To Touch Jennifer’s Body, Falling, Falling, Falling) and we’re sticking with the nonsensical title route. In fact, it's not going ANYWHERE anytime soon.

Time for the 10 Questions of the Week...

Is Cedric Benson truly a must-start in fantasy these days. Absolutely!!!

1) Which fantasy star will be missed most on Sunday rosters: Michael Turner or Larry Fitzgerald?
2) Can the Jets survive their trip to the Superdome down two corners (Sheppard and Strickland)?
3) Will Rashard Mendenhall take advantage of his opportunity this weekend in a primetime game?
4) Is LT going to be an injury nightmare each and every weekend?
5) Are Virginia Tech players naturally undisciplined in the NFL?
Seriously, check out the names and consider it.
6) Which Redskin back should've been traded MOST a few years back: Portis or Betts?
7) Might the Lions have a different type of streak (
winning?) in mind after this weekend?
8) Who's your post-4 Weeks MVP gonna be?
Does his name rhyme with Shmoo Schmees?
9) Which Saints wideout will see the most of Darrelle Revis?
10) How many INTs do you have for Derek Anderson this Sunday?

Weekly Picks
Last Week: 5-2 (Carolina played closer than 14 points - a late pick-6 doomed me - and Miami suffered from a Pennington injury on their trip out West. The game was brutal beforehand, although much closer. Still a solid week.)
Season Total: 12-6 (I'm picking tougher games, with fewer cupcakes than most. I'm gonna set a target of 20-10. It's gonna take a rock solid Week 3 to do so.)
Upset Special: 3-1 (The Phins had won 7 in a row in San Diego and were giving 5.5 points. I bit off more than I could've chewed. Colts big @Zona was an easy call, but far too many people made it.)
Survivor Selection: 3-0 (Picking the Ravens to annihilate the Browns wasn't exactly rocket science.)

Let's make these short and sweet...

Guess who is your NFL touchdown leader after Week 3. Yeah, Mr. McGahee.

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+3)
Jack Del Rio sucks and the Jags have the worst "homefield advantage" in the NFL. Look for the Titan D to wake up and stack the box against MJD. Titans roll.

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots (-1 1/2)
The game is in Foxboro. I want to see Joe Flacco drive his team down the field when they're trailing in a key game. Oh wait, he did that in the Divisional Round last year. Too bad Brady has done it a lot more. Pats win, barely.

Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos (-3)
Denver could win this game and become a quasi-legit 4-0 game. Tashard Choice is the best RB in Dallas. Because he gets carries on Sunday afternoon, Dallas wins a close one.

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears (-10)
Same old Lions. Bears roll as Forte FINALLY gets on track. Although memo to fantasy owners, his rookie season may be his statistically best. Exactly how many Bear RBs have staying power in Chicago since Sweetness. Zippie.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Redskins (-7 1/2)
They're teasing you to take the Bucs. Don't. Who the hell is Josh Johnson anyways? At least we don't have to hear teases about a 3-1 Skins team (which would be a complete fraud).

Upset Special #1
San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-7 1/2)
Not sure about LT, Polamalu, or why this spread is so big. What I do know is Phillip Rivers isn't intimidated by anyone. I like the Stillers, but not at this number to cover.

Upset Special #2
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (-4)
A-Rod typically doesn't win games like this, on the home or on the road. Ironically, it could be Ryan Longwell who walks away with the game-winning points (another former Packer). Notice who's name I'm not mentioning? This number won't be covered, one way or another.

…Survivor Selection… [Gone: New England, Minnesota, and Baltimore]
NY Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs
You can't pick on the Browns and Rams every week. Plus, both have divisional matchups. Give me the Giants, who reved up Jacobs quite a bit last week. Things are gonna continue to stink for Todd Haley and company.

Fantasy Studs and Duds
[Note: Scoring this week was a tricky as it has been in recent memory. Let me explain.]

...Last Week...[4-3-1, 15-11-1 on the year. Iffy iffy]

Boo Ya: Santana Moss was LARGE, Brett Favre was retro-Favrian in a GOOD way, while Watson and Maroney STUNK up the joint.

What the ???: Matt Cassell completed only 9 passes, but two were for TDs. Len Dale White barely got any touches, but in TD-heavy leagues...he did score one.

Meh: Manningham had less than 60 yards, Shockey didn't eclipse 75 but was over 50 as a tight end, and Berrian caught a season-high but was nowhere near 100 yards or a touchdown. White didn't have 10 touches not 30 yards though, so his TD was neutralized in points per touch leagues quite a bit. Tricky tricky to interpret. Gonna call it 1-1-1. for this week...

A big "holla" to all Santana Moss owners this weekend. Expect a back-to-back BLOWUP!!!

1) Earl Bennett will catch one of Jay Cutler's 3 TDs this weekend. A Chicago Bear QB is gonna toss 30+ TDs this season. His name is Jay Cutler.
2) Heath Miller will choose this weekend to catch one of his 3 TDs on the season. If you're in a pinch, waiver-wire the Steeler tight end.

3) Eddie Royal is breaking out of his funk this week with 75+-yards and a TD. Bank on it.
4) The Titans D is out there in a ton of leagues. The Jags will make them look good, with at least 1 pick-6 this weekend.

1) Don't expect much from Cadillac Williams or Derrick Ward this weekend. Not much at all.
2) Lee Evans is going to end up being the biggest loser in the soon-to-be TO melodrama in Buffalo.
3) Glen Coffee isn't going to be the fantasy-beast you expect this weekend.
4) Zach Miller isn't the only Oakland starter you should have in your fantasy lineup. No Raider should earn that honor.

Parting Thought of the Week


A two time winner of the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award, Chad Pennington's career should be appreciated...even if it may be over. The guy has been discarded a few too many times (especially by the team I love) and he's responded with class, dignity, and more than a few wins. A few of my fondest memories...
A) Leading the Jets to a 41-0 dismantling of Peyton Manning and the Colts on Wild Card Weekend.
B) Following a preseason injury, he cheered on his team and worked the playcalling on the sideline (unlike Michael Vick, who was wheeled around in a wheelchair by his team owner).
C) Flexing his gun, with a torn rotater cuff, after a deep TD pass during a road win against San Diego on Wild Card weekend.

Chad...hope to see you back under center next year.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Falling, Falling, Falling, Falling: Week 3 NFL & Fantasy Predictions

No running commentary today. A new column pops up tomorrow, a Monday-edition - each and every week - of InClement Weather. See you then for NFL reactions and a Monday Night predictions (or two)...

Much like the opening two titles to this weekly column (Lightning in a Bottle, I’d Like To Touch Jennifer’s Body), we’re sticking with the nonsensical title route.

You know you like it…or you soon will.

No need to explain. It’s time for 10 Questions of the Week…

Seriously, do I even need to formally address my interest around this topic?

1) Is everyone a little too hysterical over the early success of both Rex Ryan’s defense and Mark Sanchez?
2) Is Joe Flacco really this effective in the Raven offense?
3) How legit are these Mike Singletary-inspired
San Francisco 49ers?
4) Is Frank Gore a legitimate threat to rush for more yards than Adrian Peterson this season?

5) Dustin Keller, Zach Miller, or John Carlson: which young tight end has the brightest future?
6) Which rookie head coach gets a W first: Raheem Morris or Todd Haley?
7) How many catches, no less TDs, do you have TO dropping this week?
8) Will the Skins struggle with the Lions…or lay a beatdown upon the
Motor City’s “finest”?
9) Which backup QB might see non-injury or blowout-related snaps first: Derek Anderson or the field?
10) Is Michael Crabtree doing serious damage to his playing career by sitting out his entire rookie campaign?

Weekly Picks
Last Week: 5-1 (That’s right. I love me some road dogs. Only
Carolina…barely…cost me perfection.)
Season Total: 7-4 (We’re going to make a serious push next week to establish a solid winning mark. As if you care…)
Upset Special: 2-0 (I found 2 I LOVED and this is where the money was to be made last weekend.)

Survivor Selection: 2-0 (Ask me why I idiotically didn’t make the same selection in my actual survivor league. Ask me!)

Green Bay Packers @ St. Louis Rams (+6.5)
I took the Rams last week against the Skins and cashed big. As for this week, the Packer offense is going to wake up and win by at least a TD. Sometimes your picks don’t make much sense…

Chicago Bears @ Seattle Seahawks (+2.5)
Hasselbeck’s injury is serious. Seattle’s homefield advantage isn’t any longer. Look for Matt Forte to be the difference in this game as the Bears move to 2-1.

Atlanta Falcons @ New England Patriots (-4.5)
Vegas knows something. I’m just sayin’. Take the Pats and avoid watching this game if you have money on it. Otherwise…enjoy!!!

Carolina Panthers @ Dallas Cowboys (-8.5)
This number was even bigger at the beginning of the week. Seriously. Dallas is 1-1 and not this many points better – even at home – than the 0-2 Panthers. While I’m taking Dallas for the W, this is waaaay too many points to leave hanging out there in the wind.

Upset Special #1
Miami Dolphins @ San Diego Chargers (-5.5)

If only this game were at 1pm and in Miami…I’d take the Phins in a heartbeat. I don’t know what the Chargers are, but I do know they’re not Super Bowl contenders. I’m taking the Phins to keep it close and potentially even get the outright W. They started 0-2 last year and beat the Patriots on their way to 11-5. I’m not calling 11 wins, but I am calling an avoidance of 0-3.

Upset Special #2
Indianapolis Colts @ Arizona Cardinals (-3)

It’s not as easy as it looks, as Arizona manned up a lot last week. However, it was at Jacksonville and a Jack Del Rio-coached team. While I expect fireworks from both offense, the numbers against Indy’s Pass D are pretty surprising (only 6 passing TDs allowed all of last season). While Warner and Fitz can rock that trend, I’m taking Manning to be magical again in primetime.

…Survivor Selection… [Gone: New England & Minnesota]
is going to WAX Cleveland at home this weekend. If you need an explanation as to why, you don't watch enough football.

Fantasy Studs and Duds

Am I big on Manningham this weekend? Not so much...

…Last Week… [5 out of 8 correct…11 out of 19 this season correct]

Correct = Donald Driver (stud…and I sat him), Darren Sproles (stud…and I started him), Louis Murphy (dud), Josh Morgan (dud), and Patrick Crayton (dud).
Incorrect = Leon Washington (stud), Greg Olsen (stud…so close), and Braylon Edwards (dud).

1) Santana Moss owners won’t get their 100-yard game; however, there TD-catch is on the way this weekend in MoTown.
2) Jeremy Shockey is being targeted early and often by Drew Brees. Expect plenty of Saint points in Buffalo and Shockey to continue his rather surprising fantasy start to the season.
3) Brett Favre is going to air it out against the Niners secondary. They’ll stack the box against AD and force the 39-year old QB to beat them. And he will.

4) Bernard Berrian is catching a 60+-yard TD this week…if he suits up healthy.

1) Matt Cassell may be without Dwayne Bowe and the Eagles D is not going to allow back-to-back eruptions. Sit him NOW.
2) Mario Manningham was a popular pickup this week. Don’t start him though as the Giants will run run run the ball against the Tampa D.
3) Chris Johnson is going to dominate the touches for the Titans, for better or worse. LenDale White isn’t bound to do much of anything this weekend.
4) 2 for 1 SPECIAL!!! It’s a little too wet for me to be excited about Benjamin Watson at QB or Laurence Maroney in any sort of flex start. Oh yeah, Maroney sucks too!

Parting Thought of the Week

Credit: Jessica Simpson

Romo can't leave the fans this upset in primetime again.
Step it up!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

InClement Weather: Frogurt!!!

Buyer beware in any free agent market. With a potentially uncapped 2010 and threats like, "If the players don't have a salary cap, they'll never give it (i.e. accept one) back again", it doesn't take a genius to realize a labor crisis is coming.

Seriously people. We may not have the NFL for an entire season in 2011. It might get that bad. Does Roger Goodell seem like somebody who will "back off" or submit to "peer pressure".

Not so much.

Nevertheless, I want to take an e-e-e-early look at some of the key free agents of the upcoming offseason.

Instead of savvy analysis, I want a hilariously memorable Simpsons clip, a picture of the player, and a simple statement. Okay, truth be told: I want YOU to react. Somebody!?!? Anybody!?!?

Brandon Marshall [WR, Denver]

Any chance the nickname "BM" sticks for #15?

One Liner: BM is more dangerous than a cup of frogurt, there is far more value and a lot less volatile-for-the-buck out there. (See: Vincent Jackson, Steve Breaston, & Kevin Walter)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week 2 Sunday NFL Action: Running Commentary...

Tweet tweet. InClement Speak on Rhodes' comments, too.
Check out how the predictions, NFL and fantasy, are progressing as well.

A few thoughts on the Sunday kickoffs in the NFL...

Meet the best player in the NFL whose name you likely don't know.
Read that carefully, so you realize what I'm saying.

Washington outlasted St. Louis 9-7.
You take wins in the NFL, regardless of the opponent and the score. However, you have to analyze - if only a little - what is wrong with the Redskins. Their diehard fans might be divided 50/50, but it's Jason Campbell. It has a lot to do with the offense, his coaching, his wideouts, and his offensive line. Nevertheless, Campbell isn't the pocket passers and decision-maker necessary to take this team to the heights it anticipates yearly. I've seen plenty of evidence and doubt it's changing, while Campbell's in DC at least.

Atlanta held off Carolina 28-20.
God bless Sunday Ticket. After the euphoria of the Jet victory starts to wear off, I notice this is an 8-point game with 30 ticks to go...and tune in. I don't want to hear about Delhomme not throwing INTs and keeping his team in the game. The Panthers should NOT be 0-2, despite a brutal pair of opening games. Matt Ryan, blossoming more and more into "Matty Ice", tore up the fantasy sheets (is that a saying?) with a 3-TD performance (including targeteting big-time performers Gonzo and White). Homefield advantage in the NFC South remains crucial. Whomever can win 2 games on the road, in-division, will win the NFC South this season.

New York blitzed and blitzed and beat the Patriots 16-9.
Did you ever think the story of this game would be the fans? Rex Ryan left a friendly voicemail for season ticket holders, encouraging them to go bonkers all game long. They complied. Let me make a few observations, please.
1) Don't underestimate OR overestimate Welker's absence. It's too simple a cop-out, one the Patriots won't make.
2) Mark Sanchez isn't leading this team to the Super Bowl; however, he looks more like a franchise QB than any true Jet fan could've anticipated and/or hoped.
3) You can put pressure on a QB all game long and still NOT sack him. But you can also hold him without a TD pass and under 50 yards in the 2nd half passing.
4) Tennessee comes into New York next weekend. Beware of Chris Johnson. BEWARE!!!
5) Rodney Harrison? How does Kerry Rhodes' a** taste?
6) Buffalo lost due to poor coaching, poor execution, and poor defensive strategy...the Jets didn't.
7) Darrelle Revis is the best cornerback in the NFL. Period. PERIOD!

Percy Harvin is being used brilliantly by the Viking offense.
Crap, I just called Brad Childress "brilliant".

Minnesota downed Detroit 27-10.
You had to wonder if the Lions might have something special for their home opener. Truth be told, they did! At least until the second half and Adrian Peterson took over. Favre was extremely efficient (23-27, 155 yds, TD) and is showing evidence that he may be ready to feed off of what AD (All-Day) forces the defense into giving up to the passing game. It will be a long year for Stafford and I'm honestly rooting for he, CJ, and Kevin Smith to get a W sooner than later. Might be very later, though.

Cincinnati (!?!?!) went into Lambeau and defeated the Packers 31-24.
Imagine, the Bengals could be 2-0 if not for a bad-luck deflection last week by Leon Hall. Let's go to the 5 points, so I can more efficiently rant and rave.
1) The Packers are extremely overrated. Anyone who felt they played well against Chicago last weekend is nuts.
2) A Rod is talented QB, but lost a ton of these games last year. When does more of the blame land on him, exactly?
4) I told a good friend to sit Palmer (for Favre, not the end of the world). Whoops. Might Chris Henry be slowly becoming a legitimate threat to play and perform every weekend (even if only 1 catch, it was for a TD)?
5) Charles Woodson was involved in waaaaay too many big plays, for better or worse. Guy's still a beast, though.

Oakland outlasted Kansas City 13-10.
Unless you had a family member in the game or a major fantasy revelation, who the h*ll cares? I'm seriously not commenting any further. These teams suck. Badly.

That's Mike Bell, not Reggis Bush or Pierre Thomas, who has revitilized the Saints' rushing attack. Boy was I wrong about him.

New Orleans stomped Philadelphia 48-22.
You know what's stupid? Playing Drew Brees when you're up 41-20 in the 4th quarter. In fact, it's idiotic beyond belief. As for his performance, Brees is the MVP after 2 weeks (whatever that means). Kolb showed promise in the 1st half, but he wear and tear of the Saints offense on the Iggle D (there was a BRUTAL penalty call on a key drive admitedly) was just too much. Pierre Thomas might not get the starting job back from Mike Bell. Seriously. Don't read too much into the Eagles sans-McNabb. Do read into the lingering affects of that injury and potentially rushing back from it.

Houston "stunned" Tennessee 34-31.
Memo to the Titans: After 10 days off, don't blow 21-7 leads AT HOME. This game will make Jet fans do a double-take for countless reasons. Andre Johnson sure liked getting free from Darrelle Revis, didn't he? The Titans "D" looked putrid - after 10 days off - and both these teams were polar opposites from Week 1. As for the Texans, the rush defense MUST be shored up; however, this is the type of road win that Kubiak needs to deliver for a playoff push. I hope Indianapolis was watching the game closely, all three teams should contend for the AFC South title this season.

Yeah, Jack Del Rio still S-U-C-K-S. Crappy jacket, tool.

Arizona Jack Del Rio'd the Jaguars 31-17.
Did I mention how much I loathe Del Rio, his wardrobe, and the future for this never-proud franchise? Time to kick them while they're down! The Cardinals simplified the gameplan, kept Kurt Warner upright, and fed off of a HUGE special teams TD to keep the Jaguars at bay. Garrard tossed two worthless TDs and MJD let down fantasy owners quite a bit. Meanwhile, Steve Beaston's return can't be overlooked for the Cardinal offense. Ditto for Fitz, who despite a TD catch, surprised more than a few with only 4 catches for 34 yards (meet Rasheen Mathis). In case you didn't see the box score, Warner was 24-26 and didn't turn over the ball. What does that equal? EPIC!

As for the late slate of games...

Chicago upset Pittsburgh 17-14.
1) This is why Bears fans should be happy Jay Cutler is their franchise QB.
2) Matt Forte is starting slow. I don't think he'll have any issues speeding back up, but I do wonder if last season was a bit overrated?
3) Pittsburgh had plenty of chances to put this away...and didn't.
4) Jeff Reed makes those kicks in Pittsburgh.

Patrick Willis is a bad, bad man. Was that a late, dirty hit though?

San Francisco moved to 2-0 with a 23-10 victory over Seattle.
1) Whatever Mike Singletary is doing in San Francisco, is working.
2) Frank Gore would be runner-up to Drew Brees for 2-Week MVP.
3) Patrick Willis may be the best linebacker in the NFC. Seriously.
4) Hasselbeck may never stay healthy again. The guy had no reason to take that type of a hit when he did.

Baltimore held off San Diego 31-26.
1) Sproles getting STUFFED by Lewis was the individual play of the day on defense.
2) The Chargers always start this way and it will cost them down the stretch with road playoff games.
3) Baltimore appears balanced; especially in the backfield. That trio is lethal.
4) The Ravens are currently the team to beat in the AFC, even with Flacco at QB.

Denver, yes the Broncos, moved to 2-0 with an easy 27-6 victory over Cleveland.
1) Josh McDaniels has done his job: win two winable games.
2) Denver will be 3-0. Mark it down.
3) Cleveland is a disaster. Mangini may go 3-13 and lose his job after one season.
4) How long until Derek Anderson gets snaps at QB?

Yeah, he got his TD. His team one, too.
He dropped this pass, by the way.

Buffalo didn't choke this weekend, defeating Tampa Bay 33-20.
1) Fred Jackson nearly blew this game at the end of the 1st half. Ball security!!!
2) Trent Edwards took some BRUTAL hits. Might want to protect yourself a little better, Stanford man.
3) Byron Leftwich isn't a quality starting quarterback in the NFL. In fact, he never has been.
4) Sabby Piscitelli is the best name in the none.

Enjoy the primetime matchups. Fantasy galore for many many of us.
Any chance Kevin Boss wants to outscore Jason Witten? Any at all???

Andre Johnson sure can catch...right Courtland Finnegan?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

InClement Weather: Ranting and Raving

“You go out from the first quarter on, from the first play on, and try to embarrass them,” Rhodes said. “Not just go out there and try to win, try to embarrass them. Try to make them feel bad when they leave here. We don’t want to just beat them. We want to send a message to them, ‘We’re not backing down from you and we expect to win this game, and it’s not going to be luck, it’s not going to be a mistake.’ ”


As for the speculation surrounding Rhodes' comments and the insinutation that it'll only cause Tom Brady to get MAD and inflict pain on the Jets secondary, here is what I have to rant and rave about...

Why shouldn't Kerry Rhodes - or any defensive player in the NFL - feel confident about their chances, regardless of their opponent? When a microphone is put in their face, why shouldn't they honestly express their opinions? Why shouldn't they intend to target QBs, which is in the defensive gameplan for EVERY TEAM, and let their opponent know they aren't intimidated by them?

The Patriots don't need to worry about what Rhodes said, and to their credit largely, they haven't. Ironically, it's not Belichick/Moss/Brady firing's Rodney Harrison and Laurence Maroney (more on those MORONS later).

While I don't believe it's necessarily wise to specifically call out a potent offense, I don't want ANY players on teams I root for worrying about "offending" their opponent. There may be nothing more overrated in sports than supposed "bulletin board" material. Why is "no comment" what is needed to be said, in order to not offend anyone. What happened to the concept of a rivalry? You tell me. Teams don't need to be reminded the importance of games, especially on the road and in your division. They're not infantile enough to need to psyche themselves up in order to try and win a game. Especially a Belichick-coached team.

What should the Jets do? Kiss the ring?
Sorry, Tony Kornheiser and Peter King are fighting over who gets to do it next.

Now of course, the Anthony Smith (former Steeler safety) story of a couple of years ago comes up now whenever anybody says anything about getting after Tom Brady and the Patriot offense. Let me get one thing straight: Tom Brady and the Patriots didn't beat the Steelers JUST because of the safety's comments. Brady might've let Smith hear it after a big-time TD pass, but Smith's comments didn't suddenly give Brady, Belicheat, and the Patsies the "motivation" needed to take out their conference rival. If you think it did, your simpler and more of a frontrunning poser than Tony Kornheiser. (He's become nearly as insufferable as Jack Del Rio's wardrobe in recent years, by the way.)

And if you disagree and feel Tom Brady needs "extra" motivation to beat the Jets...then he's clearly NOT the Tom Brady nearly everyone in the media (hello Phil Simms!) pulls their panties down for weekly.

Tom Brady is a smart guy. Case and point (above). He clearly doesn't need to be told that throwing TDs against the Jets is his objective this weekend.

If you walk into a game feeling like you're going to be beaten, then you're going to get beaten. I don't knock Rhodes for being confident and don't buy hype over bulletin board material. This isn't a rivalry in which the teams are dead even. Far from it. But it's also one the Jets have enjoyed modest success in recently. Even more important, the Patriots and Jets clearly don't like each other, view each other as threats in their division and conference, and each expect to win this game. So if you think it's a mistake to predict victory, take a cue from Plaxico Burress. Why would you NOT predict a victory when that's the object of the game? TO WIN!

Kanye was clearly the moron of the week. Although the pro-Boston media would have you think differently. Am I bitter? YES. Am I sour grapes? YES. Is Taylor Swift slowly becoming quasi-attractive? Yes...

Rodney Harrison is a punk and thug hiding behind his sportscoat on NBC. He also has ZERO credibility.
Who cares what Laurence Maroney thinks about A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G? He's a terrible running back and has wasted a golden opportunity to become one of the NFL's elite players in an offense that could give him 150 rushing yards and 2 TDs for free most games.
Kerry Rhodes needs to wait to win a few more games before he compares himself to the NFL's elite at safety and behind the microphone. I am a fan though.

Now let's hear you react. Come it!