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.
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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?
Credit: SportsJonez.com

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]
Baltimore
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...
Credit: SBNation.com

…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).

STUDS
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.

DUDS
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?
Credit: NFLBlitzNews.com

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)


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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.
Credit: ESPN.go.com


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".
Credit: ESPN.go.com


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.
Credit: ESPN.go.com


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.
Credit: BostonHerald.com


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?
Credit: ESPN.go.com

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.
Credit: ESPN.go.com

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 NFL...bar 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?

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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.’ ”
Credit: NYDailyNews.com


Credit: Courier-Journal.com

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 back...it'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.
Credit: StudentsoftheWorld.info

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.
Credit: PantyLinePress.com

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...
Credit: Blog.NJ.com


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 on...do it!

I'd Like to Touch Jennifer's Body: Week 2 NFL & Fantasy Predictions

Tweet tweet.
Check out running commentary tomorrow TOO for plenty o' NFL commentary and analysis!


Much like last week (Lightning in a Bottle), there's no need to explain this week's title.

Or is there!?!?!

Megan Fox's latest movie could be about just about anything...and I'll be checking it out.
Credit: JennifersBody.com

Before I begin dissecting the weekend that was - and of course, the weekend that will be - it's only fair to keep with last week's momentum and throw out 10 Questions I have for the upcoming weekend slate of NFL-action.

Now for the questions...


Whoops, wrong LT. Wait, what is HE doing!?!?!
Credit: AceShowBiz.com

1) Did I ruin LT's season by drafting him in BOTH of my fantasy football leagues?
2) How many fantasy football nuts will overrate last week's performance by Julius Jones?
3) Could the Rams legitimately challenge the Lions of last season for overall suckiness?
4) Which bet are you more likely to take this weekend: Cutler throws for 4 TDs and 1 INT or Cutler throws for 1 TD and 4 INTs?
5) Is Louis Murphy the most talented receiver in Oakland? Is that saying much?
6) After how many pass attempts will Iggle fans be chanting for Jeff Garcia to replace Kevin Kolb?
7) Has Jeremy Shockey found an identity in the Saints offense?
8) Is Mark Sanchez anywhere near prepared enough to deal with Belichick's scheming?
9) Will the banged up Giants' secondary be able to clamp down on Romo and the sans-TO Cowboy passing attack?
10) How tight might the leash get for Jason Campbell if he struggles against the Rams "D"?

Last Week: 2-3 (Not my finest work, although it shouldn't be a surprise considering I targeting such big numbers and my favorite...road dogs.)
Upset Special: 0-0 (Didn't find one I liked last week. I will this week...)
Survivor Selection: 1-0 (I had New England over Buffalo and WISHED UPON WISHES I was wrong. I hope Leodis McKelvin never finds true love. Bastard.)

9 INTs in his last two games. Over/under for this weekend is 2. You can't push. What do you do???
TotalProSports.com

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons (-6)
I'm picking the Falcons to win the game, as homefield in the NFC is HUGE. Nevertheless, I'm taking John Fox and the Panthers to bust this large number. Despite how putrid Jake Delhomme as last week, the duo of Williams/Stewart will see far more carries. That Steve Smith guy is pretty good too. This should be an entertaining game, with Jason Elam clinching it in the final minutes.

Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos (-3)
This screams for a push, which makes me happy it's not a 3 1/2-point line. The Broncos may start 3-0, due to an incredibly crappy schedule. Neither team was impressive last week; however, I feel like Mangini already has built a sinking ship in Cleveland. It's not sour grapes, because Denver stinks too.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Chicago Bears (+3)
It'd be a mistake to completely write off the Bears at this point. Despite a putrid performance from Cutler, shabby wideout route running, and plenty of missed opportunities, the Bears nearly won a road opener at Green Bay. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh - as championship teams do - squeaked past Tennessee (in the weekend's only OT game), largely without Troy Polamalu. Look for the Bears to target Greg Olsen in the redzone far more and keep it very very close, yet it won't be enough as the Steelers push Bear fans closer to the ledge...and 0-2.

Upset Special #1

Arizona Cardinals @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-3)
I know the Cardinals have a LOT of issues. More than Star Jones. Okay, maybe not that many. Nevertheless, I don't buy Jacksonville. I don't buy Jack Del Rio. Look for the Cardinals - not the savviest of road teams - to keep a back in the backfield to protect Turner and to spread the ball around. The game will be close, in large part due to MJD; however, last season's Super Bowl runner-up will not start 0-2.

Upset Special #2
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (-3)
I love how the Cowboy-hating media (i.e. Skip Bayless & Bob Ryan) are rooting for the scoreboard to get hit three-dozen times, rather than analyzing this stellar Sunday Night Football matchup (take that MNF!!!). As for the game, if Tampa had a credible QB...they might've beaten the Cowboys last week. Despite the home crowd and ridiculously ridiculous stadium, I'm taking the road Giants to squeak by in a potential shootout. Brandon Jacobs will feat on the Dallas D this weekend.

...Survivor Selection... [Gone: New England]
I won't take the Redskins at home against the lowly Rams for a variety of reasons. Mainly because I don't see them as a dominant team and I will always take one in my survivor selection. Instead, I'm going to target to take AD (aka Adrian Peterson) and the Minnesota Vikings- even with that Favre guy - against the Lions. While I don't typically like going for a road team, I also don't mind picking against a team who's lost 18 straight games.

Fantasy Studs and Duds:

...Last Week...
[6 out of 11 CORRECT)
Right = Dustin Keller (stud), NY Jets D (stud), Justin Gage (stud), Nate Washington (dud), LenDale White (dud), Joey Galloway (dud)
Wrong = Bernard Berrian (stud), Reggie Bush (stud), Mike Bell (dud...whoops), Patrick Crayton (dud), Heath Miller (dud)

...This Week...

Both Jet RBs are worth a start this weekend.
Credit: MySportsRumors.com

STUDS
1) Leon Washington played well in Foxboro last season and could see 20+ touches this weekend, despite the score. Start him in a flex position with a smile on your face.
2) Greg Olsen was whisper quiet last weekend. So what? It won't be that way this weekend. Mark him down for 70+-yards and a TD.
3) Donald Driver is a nice #2 wideout this week for those lacking wideout depth. Rasheen Mathis will follow Greg Jennings around the field, opening things up for the veteran down field.
4) Darren Sproles is sitting on more benches than you might expect. LT is out and if you drafted him as a handcuff or for depth, it doesn't matter. What does matter is STARTING him and enjoy 25+ touches.

DUDS

Don't start an Oakland wideout this week. Especially Louis Murphy, but ESPECIALLY Jacon Walker.
Maricpoa360.com

1) Louis Murphy isn't ready to be in your starting lineup, even if it's against the Chiefs. That being said, sign him if he's available.
2) Braylon Edwards won't reward that "risk" you took by drafting him this weekend. In fact, he might do that this entire month.
3) Josh Morgan people need to quiet down. It isn't going to happen.
4) Patrick Crayton won't see the endzone this weekend. He won't see the ball inside the 20, actually.

Parting Thought

Darren Sproles is going to have his best chance to showcase his talent, in a franchise-contract season, with the Chargers. Despite last season's playoff breakout against the Colts, this game - against the Baltimore Raven D - may show GM AJ Smith exactly what a future based on Sproles in the backfield may look like. Should be fun.
Ex: EveryJoe.com

Okay, you've earned it...
Credit: Flickr.com

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

InClement Weather: Video Daily Double

A few highlights you might've missed from the weekend that was (no, none involve tennis or Kanye West) in the NFL.

Apparently John Abraham isolated Jake Long's major weakness...

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Apparently Kris Jenkins is one bad mother (shut your mouth)...hey, I'm just talking about Kris Jenkins.


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Monday, September 14, 2009

InClement Weather: Just In Case...

Just in case you thought tennis wasn't a sport, didn't involve skill, or wasn't for "athletes"...check out this shot from the best I've ever seen at the game...Roger Federer.

The guy has always bugged me, probably because he's too damned good.
Although that jacket after Wimbledon was pretty lame.
Nevertheless...DAMN. I mean, DAMN!!!

video

On a side note, props to Kim Clijsters on her majestic US Open win. Yeah, I said majestic. In reference to women's tennis. Why? Out of tennis for 2/12 years, 3rd tournament back, beats the unbeatable (and life-threatening MORON) Serena Williams, and still won't get the credit...check that...get any credit when all the talk goes to Serena's ignorant antics (despite the crappy crappy call by the line judge).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday NFL Action: Running Commentary

Don't forget...Tweet Tweet.
New poll, too. Check the right!!!

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



You know I'm gonna discuss this one...
Credit: JetsBlog.com

Atlanta defeats Miami 19-7.

1) Miami fans better have enjoyed last season because this year won't be nearly as much fun.
2) Still waiting for the Pat White "Wildcat" love.
3) Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are both in contract years. Rivalry in the backfield?
4) Tony Gonzalez was made for a developing-Matt Ryan.
5) Chad Pennington doesn't have solid back-to-back seasons. When will the cries for Chad Henne begin?

Denver stunned Cincinnati 12-7.
1) Denver's schedule appears to have them potentially at 3-0. Seriously.
2) Brandon Stokley shouldn't be leaving interviews with the CBS crew early. THIS might be his one moment this season deserving of a post-game interview.
3) Cedric Benson had the only Cincy TD. Dissapointing at home.
4) Is Coles going to become irrelevant in this offense?
5) The Eddie Royal "injury" has been under reported. Plenty of fantasy owners are worried.

Minnesota defeated Cleveland 34-20.
1) I don't believe Tarvaris Jackson wouldn't have won this game as the starting QB.
2) Percy Harvin is going to be a nightmare all over the field for opposing defenses.
3) Eric Mangini is a dumb stupid bastard for the way he handled the QB situation.
4) Braylon Edwards can't catch 1 pass and the Browns win.
5) Oh yeah...Adrian Peterson is a fantasy mammoth. Anyone who didn't take him #1 (even if you took Brees) is a mega-moron!

Indianapolis defeated Jacksonville 14-12.
1) I still don't like Jim Caldwell as the Colts' head coach.
2) I felt like a Scobee field goal was coming for 15-14...WRONG!
3) The Anthony Gonzalez injury is critical for the Colts. Might Harrison resurface?
4) MJD got plenty of touches and should keep fantasy owners appeased after Week 1.
5) Both Jack Del Rio and David Garrard are not worthy of their positions on that team. I said it before and I'll say it again!

Dallas defeated Tampa Bay 34-20.
1) Mike Jenkins at CB would terrify me if I were a Dallas fan (which I'm not).
2) One week down...good work Romo and Roy Williams.
3) Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton had fanastic week 1s.
4) Ronde Barber probably doesn't recognize many faces on his roster.
5) Byron Leftwich is the type of QB who loses these exact games, home or away.

Philadelphia annihilated Carolina 38-10.
1) Nobody has looked better thus far than Philadelphia.
2) Nobody has looked worse thus far than Jake Delhomme.
3) DeSean Jackson doesn't need to catch passes to give opponents nightmares.
4) It's hard to not mention Assante Samuel among the best defenders in all of football.
5) The McNabb injury remains an unknown. Westbrook's ankles can't carry this team without F. McNabb.



Might be time to scour the waiver wire of your fantasy league for Shockey.
Credit: ESPN.go.com

New Orleans "Drew Breesed" the Lions 45-27.
1) Drew Brees may approach 50 TDs and 5,000 yards (if healthy).
2) Robert Meachum may be the most talented wide receiver on this team. Ditto for Mike Bell as a pure running back (boy was I wrong about that one).
3) Is Jeremy Shockey finally at peace with his offensive system?
4) Kevin Smith is going to be a decent fantasy #2 back, despite being on a bad team.
5) Calvin Johnson owners may not get as many garbage TDs late in games that they once expected.

Baltimore defeated Kansas City 38-24.
1) Nobody had the Ravens scoring 38...even against the Chiefs "D".
2) This game was tied at 24 with less than 6 minutes to go. Did you know that?
3) Who watched this game that isn't a Raven or KC fan? Seriously?
4) Might Mark Clayton and Todd Heap be viable fantasy starts?
5) Brodie Croyle didn't win this game, neither would've Matt Cassell. But what about Tyler Thigpen!?!?!

Darrelle Revis continued his climb up the pantheon of NFL's top cornerbacks by completely shutting down Randy Moss. What's up next? Randy Moss. Keep on keeping on, son.
Credit: Zimbio.com

NY Jets stomped the Houston Texans 24-7.
..this might get a few extra...
1) Call me crazy…but did the Texans have an offensive play inside OUR 50? Or at least the 45. (Outside of the HUGE Slaton fumble-play.)
2) David Harris shouldn’t have been traded for Brandon Marshall…there’s why.
3) Sanchez looks great on playaction. Enter Clowney downfield in a few weeks? His postgame interview was incredibly savvy. Very anti-Favre.
4) Jenkins clubbing the Texan center was the moment of the game.
5) Better commentary from CBS than I expected. However, not nearly enough mentionings (is that a word?) of Revis. The camera showed him time and time again…but no love. (ESPN's Tom Jackson did though, immediately.)
6) How good did Lito look? The exact opposite of preseason good.
7) I'm gonnna enjoy this as much as I can. Won’t worry about Week 2 until kickoff next week. Live in the moment.
8) J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!

4 pm kickoff has come and past...


Anquan owners = not happy.
He and Fitz didn't have more than 10 combined yards in the 1st half.
Scary. Although Fitx did sneak in a TD and end up with 70 yards.

Credit: 17wks.com

Seattle spanked St. Louis 28-0.
1) Seattle isn't this good. But they are the favorites in the NFC West...right now.
2) St. Louis might be even worse than this. Will they score next week (@Washington)?
3) Julius Jones won't be nervous about Edgerrin James being behind him. He's done.
4) John Carlson is going to be a very good tight end in the NFL.
5) Good luck managing starting any of these Seattle wideouts week by week.

New York held on against Washington 23-17.
1) I don't want to hear about the "silver linning" from Skins' apologists. This was an ugly performance.
2) Why didn't the Skins trade Betts (aka Bettis) a few years back when he had high value? He stinks.
3) DeAngelo Hall worries me...a lot.
4) Brandon Jacobs didn't wow me today. Neither did Ahmad Bradshaw.
5) Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are going to be a migraine headache all season long for opposing offensive coordinators.

San Francisco "upset" Arizona 20-16.
1) Don't be surprised if Arizona doesn't go over .500.
2) Hightower might've caught a dozen balls, but why not keep him in the backfield to BLOCK the 49ers pass rush?
3) Frank Gore had a fantasy day....under 50 total yards and still 2 TDs.
4) Singletary is going to will this team to victories just like this.
5) Todd Haley is already missed. Warner looked a year older and 3 years slower.
Note: Was Singletary really wearing a stopwatch around his neck? Good timing???

Sunday night thoughts (Chicago @ Green Bay) aren't likely.
Hope you enjoyed your opening Sunday NFL action.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lightning in a Bottle: Week 1 NFL & Fantasy Predictions

No need to explain the title, because it doesn't make any sense.

Nevertheless, here is your quick-fix for what to do and what not to do, betting and fantasy-wise (of course), this upcoming NFL Kickoff Weekend.

"Are you excited for opening weekend?"
The dumbest question since, "Have you seen The Hangover?"
Come on people.
Credit: Filmstage.com

Before I begin with the picks and prognostications, let's go over the 10 Questions (I have) for the weekend at hand.

Bonus question: How does Jack Del Rio still have his job? Seriously?
Look at that jacket...

Credit: SunTimes.com

1) Could anyone care less about the Black Eyed Pea and Tim McGraw "opening" for the Tennessee/Pittsburgh game? I didn't think so.
2) Tony Romo and Roy Williams have GIGANTIC media targets on their backs. How do they handle them against a (seemingly) weakly Tampa Bay squad.
3) Can it get worse for fans in Motown and their (beloved?) Lions?
4) Are a few too many analysts drinking the Kool-Aid about the playoff hopes for the Houston Texans?
5) If you could re-do your fantasy draft, which pick would you switch first?
6) Is that Washington Redskin offensive line ready for the mammoth challenge that the Giants have in store for them?
7) Which (now) absent coordinator-turned-head coach will be most severely missed by his team: Haley, Spags, Rex Ryan, or the field?
8) Is Seattle the safest pick for a team drafting in the top ten to return to playoff-related relevance?
9) What is playoff-related relevance, Clement?
10) Is Tom Brady going to seemlessly guide the Patriots back to the Super Bowl, past the likes of Big Ben/Rivers/Peyton/etc?

As for the picks...here we go. 5 games only this week. Sorry for the short stack.

Don't worry, I'm not a chicken. I pick the tough ones! Cocka cocka cocka caw!
Best show EVER. Not even close either. Seriously. SERIOUSLY!!!!
Credit: ClemsLansing.com

Season Total: 0-0 (Hey, it might be one of my better marks this campaign.)
Upset Special: 0-0 (Last year was NOT a positive showing.)
Survivor Selection: 0-0 (Well lookey lookey...something new.)

Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6 1/2)

I don't make it a habit of picking against defending Super Bowl champs at home in Week 1. However, that lingering 1/2 is just teasing me. Vegas knows something many others don't. Kerry Collins is 37 and the Titans have been miserable in recent years without Alby in the middle. I expect the Titans to be a playoff contender, but not guilty of knocking of the Stillers in the Ketchup Bottle. Polamalu can clinch it for me with a late Pick-6.

Miami Dolphins @ Atlanta Falcons (-4 1/2)
Unlike most "experts", I don't mind picking road dogs. However, this is just a taste of what the Dolphins can expect this season: a BRUTAL schedule. While I like Ronnie Brown being as healthy as possible, I'll take Ryan/Turner/White and the newly acquired Gonzalez to cover the 4 1/2. Big question is: can John Abraham give former teammate Chad Pennington nightmares. Me thinks so.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers (+1)
Is this my road dog upset? Nope. The Eagles are slight favorites not only over the Panthers but perhaps in the NFC. While we know Carolina is going to run five times more than it'll pass, I'm wondering how committed Andy Reid is towards his shaky-ankled RB (Westbrook) and his (could he be a phenom) rookie RB (McCoy)? I'll give the edge to the Iggles based on my preference of F. McNabb over Delhomme.

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals (-6 1/2)
The 49ers are a sleeper pick to snag a wild card and to perhaps move to the top of the AFC West. Not so fast. Arizona isn't returning to the Super Bowl; however, the offense is extremely talented and as long as Warner is upright, I like his chances against the NFC West. I'd feel better if it was under 6, but I also don't like betting against Larry Fitzgerald. Frank Gore might run wild, but the Cardinals will control this game due to the QB matchup: Warner versus Shaun Hill.

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots (-10 1/2)
Terrell Owens' first game against New England ends with a dynamic drive down the field by Trent Edwards with a game winning pass to...Lee Evans. Sorry, Buffalo newspapers can only dream of such a title. The Patsies own the Bills more convincingly than any sporting analogy I can think of. The Monday Night Football doubleheader STINKS (why always Oakland exactly?) and this game will be an absolute laugher. Get ready for an angry TO early and often. At least Andrea Kramer won't be able to make googily eyes at Tom Brady. [This is also YOUR Survivor League best pick. Don't overthink these leagues and "save" your top teams. Pick the safest bet each week, for as long as you last.]

Fantasy Studs and Duds
Note: I'm not going to be an ESPN-ite and tell you to start guys high on your draft board like Anquan Boldin or Thomas Jones in a flex-spot. That's idiotic. Here are five guys to avoid and five to embrace.

...5 Studs...
1) Bernard Berrian is going to catch a long TD from Favre in Week 1. He might not catch another one, but you can bank on at least one this weekend for the Vikings' speediest receiver.
2) Dustin Keller is going to see a lot of targets from Mark Sanchez. I won't guarantee a touchdown; however, if you neglected the position or hate your matchup...you could do much much worse than Keller.
3) There's no guarantee Reggie Bush is your #2 running back. If he is your #3, unless you're stacked at the position...start him. I see 50+ rushing yards, 75+ receiving, and a touchdown from Bush.
4) The New York Jet Defense earned a lot more fantasy points last season than you expected. Enter Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Lito Sheppard, and plenty of hype. Exit, via suspension, Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace. Combine that with a STACKED fantasy offense, playing at home, in Houston...(deep breath) don't start the Jet D in Week 1.
5) Nate Washington is the next dud who will be exposed in Tennessee as a free agent B-U-S-T. Good luck to those who sorely overrated this #1-receiver (it's Justin Gage by the way).

...5 Duds...
1) I'm not buying the recent Internet-fueled hype for Mike Bell. No way, no how.
2) Every year Heath Miller has 3 good games and 13 duds. Don't try it this week. He may catch a TD even, but only for 7 yards (on his only catch). Don't do it...
3) LenDale White isn't going to see the endzone. Chris Johnson may, but "Tequilla" won't. Look for the Titans to throw in the redzone when the Stillers clamp down. Good luck, Kerry Collins.
4) Don't put any money on Patrick Crayton being the possession receiver in Dallas. When the ball isn't being thrown to Witten and Roy Williams, it's being carried by Marion Barber III, Felix Jones, and (maybe even) Tashard Choice.
5) Joey Galloway is nowhere near worthy of a roster spot until two weeks of consistent performance. He's not as healthy as some people want to believe, nor will the targets be often enough in that offense (for now).

Parting Thought

I guarantee you don't realize how FAST Chris Johnson truly is.
Credit: UnlockedSports.com

See you in the funny pages...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

InClement Weather: NFL Predictions???

Go into every season assuming nothing, for the only certainty in the modern-day NFL is year-to-year volatility.

Rather sound, yet sensible words from Yahoo! Sports' Michael Silver.

Consider that only two division winners from 2007 repeated in ’08, and seven of the 12 playoff teams (including five of six in the NFC) were flushed. That wasn’t an aberration, either – the average annual postseason turnover rate over the past decade is 6.4 out of 12, with a minimum of five and a high of eight (in 2003).

With that in mind, predicting NFL playoff teams - with less than week until the opener - seems nearly impossible.

Here are three "experts". I'll throw out my own selections later this week, but I doubt I'll have the gall Silver (apparently) has.

Mario Williams and the Texans are a popular playoff pick.
Not so fast.
Credit: SportsUnion.com

Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports
AFC East = New England
AFC Central = Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC South = Tennessee Titans
AFC West = Kansas City Chiefs (that isn't a typo)
AFC Wild Cards = Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals

NFC East = Dallas Cowboys
NFC Central = Green Bay Packers
NFC South = New Orleans Saints
NFC West = Arizona Cardinals
NFC Wild Cards = Washington Redskins & San Francisco 49ers

Notable Notes: Indianapolis, New York (Giants), Minnesota, Carolina, Philly, Chicago, San Diego, and Baltimore are MISSING from the playoff picture.

Is Sanchez the next rookie QB to make a run into the playoffs?
I am not predicting it...
Credit: NJ.com

Don Banks, CNNSI.com

AFC East = New England
AFC Central = Baltimore Ravens
AFC South = Tennessee Titans
AFC West = San Diego Chargers
AFC Wild Cards = New York Jets & Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC East = NY Giants
NFC Central = Green Bay Packers
NFC South = New Orleans Saints
NFC West = Seattle Seahawks
NFC Wild Cards = Dallas Cowboys & Chicago Bears

Notable Notes: Indianapolis, Philly, Chicago, Carolina, and Minnesota are MISSING from the playoff picture.

Romo or Tuck: who is more likely to be playoff bound?
Or is neither???

Credit: FoxSports.com

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com
AFC East = New England
AFC Central = Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC South = Jacksonville Jaguars
AFC West = San Diego Chargers
AFC Wild Cards = Baltimore Ravens & Indianapolis Colts

NFC East = NY Giants
NFC Central = Minnesota Vikings
NFC South = New Orleans Saints
NFC West = Seattle Seahawks
NFC Wild Cards = Philadelphia Eagles & Chicago Bears

Notable Notes: Arizona, Dallas, Carolina are only minor surprises...as we see a LOT of chalk.

See you later in the week with my own predictions.
I expect a Redskin-related comment or two...