Monthly Archives: September 2014

Week 4 NFL Picks – Who is Alfred Blue?

Panthers had to ruin my good week by losing the Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week. I really aught to come up with a less absolute name than that… Anyway here are my Week 4 Picks, the first week of byes.

Home teams are in CAPS, and as always, here’s an explanation for each of the categories of games:

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Games are worth 5 apples.

Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Games are worth 10 apples.

KFC Double Down Games are worth 20 apples.

Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week is worth 50 apples.

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Game:

Saints (-3) over COWBOYS
R.I.P. Dez Bryant, he died for all of our sins. But mostly the Cowboys’ sins.

Eagles (+5) over NINERS
I may or may not be upset that I left Vernon Davis in my lineup last week while Frank Gore only got 1 points and I lost by 4.6 points.

INJUNS (-3.5) over Giants
Did I ever mention that DeSean Jackson is the best?

CHARGERS (-13) over Jaguars
Here is a running list of things better than the Jaguars:
1. Charlie Manuel’s teeth
2. Phil Hughes’ luck
3. Mario Balotelli’s haircut
4. Nelly’s credit card’s utility
5. Nicki Minaj’s gastrointestinal health
6. Peyton Manning’s ability to deal with kids
7. Peyton Manning’s clutch game
8. Peyton Manning’s patience towards younger players
9. Peyton Manning’s ability to not be a thug
10. Peyton Manning’s face (did you really think I wouldn’t include this on the list?)
Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Game:
RAIDERS (+4) over Dolphins
It’s a good thing the Raiders and Dolphins are coming to London because Europeans should be used to low-scoring, boring football by now.
TEXANS (-3) over Bills
Pop Quiz: Is Alfred Blue A) the Texans’ starting running back last week with Arian Foster out with a hamstring injury B) Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III’s original stage name before choosing Aloe Blacc or C) the author of the science-fiction book The Demolished Man? If you guessed C, you’re close. That’s Alfred Bester. If you guessed B; you’re just wrong.
Lions (-1.5) over JETS
If Eric Decker is out again, do you think you could name any two other Jets receivers? I know I can’t.
Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount's dominating performances last week may have been enough to turn Pennsylvania's opinion on marjiuana.

Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount’s dominating performances last week may have been enough to turn Pennsylvania’s opinion on marjiuana.

STEELERS (-7.5) over Buccaneers

Through three quarters, the Falcons-Bucs game last year looked like a score out of Backyard Football where the Falcons got all the power ups.
KFC Double Down Game:
BEARS (+1.5) over Packers
Here is a list of wide receivers taken before Alshon Jeffery in the 2012 NFL Draft: Michael Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright, A.J. Jenkins, Brian Quick, and Stephen Hill. Floyd and Wright both have far less receiving yardage than Jeffrey, and the rest are essentially cast-offs. Blackmon only played 4 games last year because of injuries and a suspension and likely won’t join the Jaguars this year after getting arrest again this summer for marijuana possession. Jenkins has yet to eclipse 150 career receiving yards and has already been traded, Quick has yet to go reach 20 receptions in a year, and Hill is now on the Panthers’ practice squad.
COLTS (-7.5) over Titans
Sure, the Titans are second in the NFL in pass defense, but that’s because teams they’re playing are so far up they just run the ball for three-quarters of their plays.
Patriots (-3.5) over CHIEFS
*covers ears* la la la I can’t here you la la la Tom Brady isn’t on a clear downward spiral la la la
Panthers (+3.5) over RAVENS
Steve Smith has been waiting six months for this game. And he specifically picked a team that was playing the Panthers this year. There will be blood and guts everywhere.
Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week:
Falcons (-3) over VIKINGS
Took the Vikings long enough to pick Teddy Bridgewater as their starting quarterback (but only because Matt Cassel got hurt). They’ll still need a real running back and upgrades at at least five other positions before competing with middling teams like the Falcons, though.Overall record: 28-19-1Last week: 10-6

Apple Total: 70

Apple Total Last Week: 5

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Week 3 NFL Picks – An All Texans Fantasy

Two weeks in, and I’m in the black. Let’s keep the good luck rolling.

Home teams are in CAPS, and as always, here’s an explanation for each of the categories of games:

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Games are worth 5 apples.

Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Games are worth 10 apples.

KFC Double Down Games are worth 20 apples.

Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week is worth 50 apples.

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Game:

FALCONS (-6.5) over Buccaneers
How is this game primetime and Seahawks-Broncos is not? We have the great matchup of a team that lost to Austin Davis and a team that lost by two touchdowns to the Bengals last week, so I’ll be doing anything but watching this game on Thursday.

SEAHAWKS (-5) over Broncos
Speaking of the Super Bowl XLVIII rematch, the Seahawks won their last matchup by 35, and this line is 5 points. Silly Vegas, you don’t even know how to make a line.

Raiders (+14.5) over PATRIOTS
I hate lines like this. The Raiders are bad but could very easily score a touchdown with a minute left to cut a 21-point deficit to 14 points and cover. Don’t bet on this game.

BROWNS (+1.5) over Ravens
Any game in the AFC North that doesn’t include the Bengals is probably going to be the Who Cares Game of the Week.

EAGLES (-6.5) over Injuns
I’m starting to think the Eagles could go 8-8 and win their division. Now they’re a whole lot more talented than that, but the rest of the division is more bleak than RG3’s future.

Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Game:

Chargers (+2.5) over BILLS
Honestly I’m surprised a team that took down the defending champions isn’t getting more respect. This is the first of four games the rest of the way this week that I pick the underdog but would still take them even if the line was flipped around.

BENGALS (-7) over Titans
I watched the Titans game last week while keeping stats for the FOX Sports broadcast (humblebrag), and the Titans looked impossibly bad. Until further notice, I’ll be picking against them every week, especially when they play playoff teams like the Bengals.

SAINTS (-10.5) over Vikings
Pop Quiz: Is Matt Asiata A) the Vikings’ new starting running back with Adrian Peterson placed on the exempt list B) one of the featured artists on Ne-Yo’s new album Non Fiction or C) my Politics and Mass Media professor? Well since this quiz is under the Vikings game, I really hope you picked A.

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 4.55.00 PM

Jay Cutler got absolutely level by Quinton Dial last week. Also fun fact: he went to Vanderbilt.

Bears (+3) over JETS
Pop Quiz: Is Devonte Hynes A) the Bear’s new nickelback with Charles Tillman out for the season B) one of the featured artists on Tinashe’s upcoming album Aquarius or C) the full name of Keegan-Michael Key’s MADtv character? Trick question he’s a singer!

Texans (-2.5) over GIANTS
Some guy drafted a team of all Texans for his fantasy team and managed to win in Week 1, so colored me shocked he didn’t go 0-16. That got me thinking: what team would make the best fantasy team? It’s got to be Denver, Green Bay, or New Orleans, right?

KFC Double Down Game:

Cowboys (-1) over RAMS
I thought Vegas was supposed to to favor Dallas more because the Cowboy faithful will always bet on their team…

Colts (-7) over JAGUARS
Here is a running list of things better than the Jaguars:
1. Morehead State students’ dunking skills
2. Hardin Valley High School’s screen pass
3. Mr. Met’s new haircut
4. Arkansas State’s trick plays
5. MLB’s Photoshopping skills
6. Andrew Bynum’s hair
7. Andrew Bynum’s hair
8. Andrew Bynum’s hair
9. Andrew Bynum’s hair
10. Andrew Bynum’s hair oh wait he actually wore something normal for once

Chiefs (+4.5) over DOLPHINS
I’m not ready to live in a world where losing to the Bills by 19 leads to you getting favored by a likely playoff team by more than a field goal.

Packers (+2) over LIONS
Among the awful things said this week, Jameis Winston is getting the most press, but Reggie Bush takes the cake (in my opinion) for the straight up dumbest thing to say.

Niners (-3) over CARDINALS
Honestly I thought Drew Stanton was Drew Henson, but it won’t matter who’s under center against the Niners.

Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week

PANTHERS (-3.5) over Steelers
This line makes so little sense to me that I’m worried I’m missing something. Did Cam Newton re-aggravate his back injury? Did Luke Kuechley join a human trafficking ring? What am I missing??!

Overall record: 18-13-1

Last week: 10-6

Apple Total: 65

Apple Total Last Week: 85

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Week 2 NFL Picks – Donkey Kong Suh

After one week of making picks, I got most of them right. Eight out of 15 to be exact. Of course, I missed the inaugural Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week, so I lost 20 apples on the week.

There aren’t even any big lessons to be learned because the games I missed were a good mix of road dogs (2), road favorites (1), home dogs (3), and home favorites (1). Take more underdogs I guess?

Anyway, I’ll be keeping up the key to my picks for the rest of the season to avoid confusion about what my different sections mean.

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Games are worth 5 apples.

Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Games are worth 10 apples.

KFC Double Down Games are worth 20 apples.

Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week is worth 50 apples.

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Game:

Steelers (+2.5) over RAVENS
I said it last week, but I don’t think either team is that good. My usual rule of thumb (when these teams were good) was to take the points every time, so now that they’re both average at best, I think I’ll stick with that strategy.

BILLS (+1) over Dolphins
After watching Kenny Trill Hill play two weeks in row and hearing about Kyle Allen, there’s a really strong possibility that the Dolphins drafted the worst Texas A&M quarterback in a decade to be their franchise QB.

Chiefs (+13.5) over BRONCOS
Before we anoint the Broncos the supreme rulers of the universe, can we let them have one decisive victory? Denver almost blew at 24-0 lead at home.

Jets (+8.5) over PACKERS
Did you see the Jets’ offense look competent last week?? Sure, it was against the Raiders, but they averaged 6.2 yards on the ground and Geno Smith had a very un-New York quarterback game with only one interception.

NINERS (-7) over Bears
I really want to like the Bears with the combination of Jay Cutler (did you know he went to Vanderbilt??) and his big receivers (Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey, and Martellus Bennett) plus Matt Forte, but the team did not look great against the Bills. They got sliced up for 193 yards on the ground and turned it over three times. Once they face a real run game and real defense, they had better show last week was a fluke.

Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Game:

INJUNS (-6) over Jaguars
Here is a running list of things better than the Jaguars:
1. Antonio Brown’s hurdling skills
2. This bear’s ability to play golf
3. Arizona State fraternities’ taste in party themes
4. The Dodgers’ defense
5. Josh McCown’s improvisation skills
6. Chris Bosh’s photobombing
7. Chris Bosh’s photobombing
8. Chris Bosh’s photobombing
9. Chris Bosh’s photobombing
10. Chris Bosh’s photobombing while holding his daughter after a game

Cowboys (+3.5) over TITANS
Jake Locker made it through one regular season without getting hurt, so the Titans are really just in the black for the rest of the way.

Seahawks (-6) over CHARGERS
Seattle and San Diego are two of my favorite cities in the US. I could work with 60-70 year round temperatures. However, I could not live with the Chargers’ defense. They were last in the NFL in defensive DVOA last year, and after Eric Weddle and Brandon Flowers, I’m not sure I’d want another one of their players starting for me.

Eagles (+3) over COLTS
In the first half last week, the Eagles trailed the Jaguars 17-0, and Chip Kelly lost his genius moniker. Then they out-scored Jacksonville 34-0 in the second half, and Chip Kelly was a genius again. For my own sake as a Darren Sproles fantasy owner, I’m banking on him still being a genius.

Saints (-6.5) over BROWNS
Did anyone else know Isaiah Crowell was still playing football? I assumed after he got kicked off of Georgia’s team he’d go the way of Maurice Clarrett.

KFC Double Down Game:

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This picture is too good not to post

Texans (-3) over RAIDERS
With Derek Carr vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick and no Jadeveon Clowney because of potholes in NRG Stadium, this is definitely the Who Cares Game of the Week.

PANTHERS (-3) over Lions
In today’s media session, Cam Newton kept reiterating that he’s “trying to find ways to stay protected by Donkey Kong Suh” and said it with a straight face. That’s some serious shade. I’m taking the Panthers.

BUCCANEERS (-5) over Rams
Pop Quiz: Is Austin Davis A) the newest teen country star B) the lead actor for new Disney Channel show “Girl Meets World” or C) the Rams new starting quarterback.

Falcons (+5) over BENGALS
I’m going to ride out the Falcons to start the year because I think people/Vegas are underrating them coming off an extremely disappointing 4-12 season. (Yes, I know I picked against them last week.)

Cardinals (-2.5) over GIANTS
I’m going to ride out picking against the Giants to start the year because I think people/Vegas are overrating them for winning two stupid Super Bowls with their stupid quarterback. (Yes, I know I picked them last week.)

Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week

Patriots (-3) over VIKINGS
Give me Tim Brady vs. Matt Cassel, I’ll take the older guy every time.

Overall record: 8-7-1

Last week: 8-7-1

Apple Total: -20

Apple Total Last Week: -20

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Week 1 NFL Picks – The Washington Injuns

Welcome back to my weekly NFL picks, the column you mostly come to see which ten awful things that are still better than the Jacksonville Jaguars.

As you (may or) may not remember, I’ve been using a complicated system for my picks the last two years, weighting each game differently. I bet a certain amount of apples on each game because, of course, betting money on sports is illegal in the United States.

We have the Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Games, which are worth 5 apples.

We have the Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Games, which are worth 10 apples.

We have the KFC Double Down Games, which are worth 20 apples.

And finally, we have the Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week, which is worth 50 apples.

(I’m still waiting on my checks from my sponsorship companies. I think they may have gotten lost in the mail.)

The math is tough, but you’ll have to hang in here. Basically, the more confident I am, the more apples I’ll wager. I’m very unclear how I did last year because I didn’t make picks every week but I went 123-113-8 but lost 320 apples. That’s sort of what happens when you go 6-9-1 in the 50 apple games.

Really, one of the main reasons I saved face and was even that good was because friend of the program Cristina Dafonte (AKA @turntuptina) picked for me twice and went 17-11-3 and made me 85 apples. She will undoubtedly be back later this season for a guest appearance.

Without further ado, let’s get this season going strong. Home teams in CAPS.

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Game:

Raiders (+5) over JETS
I’m honestly not too sure how many worse quarterback matchups we’ll get this year than Derek Carr vs. Geno Smith. I honestly feel sorry for anyone watching this game.

SEAHAWKS (-5.5) over Packers
This will always be one of my favorite games because it brings back great memories of the replacement refs. I still like to yell “TOUCHDOWN SEAHAWKS!” and no one seems to remember it. I’m setting the over/under on mentions of that game at 2.5.

Chargers (+3) over CARDINALS
I must have lost at least four Locks o’ the Week last year betting against the Cardinals, so I figured I’d start off the new season picking against them again.

COWBOYS (+5) over Niners
I’m still legitimately upset that the Cowboys didn’t draft Johnny Football. It would have been the best thing to ever happen to sports. ESPN would set up a third headquarters in Dallas and have an entire network devoted to Johnny Football, Tony Romo, and Jerry Jones. Such a shame. And it almost happened, too.

Giants (+6) over LIONS
The line’s a little too high for me to pick the Lions, but the Giants might be a big mess this year. They were 29th in rushing last year, and now their leading rushers are Rashad Jennings and Peyton “Wait how did he ever get on the cover of Madden” Hillis.

Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Game:

Vikings (+3.5) over RAMS
Poor Sam Bradford. Two straight knee injuries to end his seasons. You’d think he could pay someone to give him bionic knees with that $86 million contract he got.

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I’d just like to take this time to re-post one of my favorite Onion articles of all time.

TEXANS (-3) over Injuns
Lots of different publication are protesting the Redskins name in different ways. The Washington Post editorial board and New York Times will no longer print the name. Bill Simmons only writes Washington. I thought about naming different tribes of American Indians for every week in reference to that great commercial that ran during the Super Bowl, but instead I’m going with a slightly less offensive name than the Redskins: the Injuns.

Saints (-3) over FALCONS
The Falcons’ offensive line wasn’t great to start with, and then left tackle Sam Baker suffered a season-ending injury. I still like them, but not that much.

Browns (+6.5) over STEELERS
The Steelers aren’t as good as you’d think, and the Browns aren’t as bad as you’d think. Remember, Cleveland is returning four Pro Bowlers (not including Josh Gordon), signed Karlos Dansby, Donte Whitner, and Ben Tate, and had two first-round picks. This could be a shockingly good team once they finally give Johnny Football the ball.

BRONCOS (-7.5) over Colts
I don’t know if any team will be able to beat the Broncos this year. Did you see everyone they added? They might be unstoppable. This definitely isn’t a reverse jinx. Nope.

KFC Double Down Game:

Panthers (+2.5) over BUCCANEERS
I can’t get behind a team led by Josh McCown being protected by Anthony Collins, Logan Mankins, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Patrick Omameh, and Demar Dotson. Also is it crazy to say that the Panthers may have a better receiving corp with Kelvin Benjamin, Jerricho Cotchery, and Jason Avant compared to Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, and Ted Ginn?

BEARS (-7) over Bills
Did you know that Jay Cutler went to Vanderbilt?

EAGLES (-10.5) over Jaguars
Here is a running list of things better than the Jaguars:
1. The NFL’s suspension policies on drugs and domestic abuse
2. Taylor Swift’s dancing in the Shake It Off music video
3. The Arkansas-Little Rock athletic director’s filter
4. This woman in a Hawaiian shirt’s quintette
5. People who have posters of Django chained up in their room
6. Jacksonville’s divorce rate
7. Jacksonville’s job market
8. Jacksonville’s happiness
9. Jacksonville’s drinking water
10. Jacksonville’s safety for its pedestrians who are walking back after spending three miserable hours watching their train wreck of a team

Bengals (+2) over RAVENS
This line doesn’t make much sense to me. The Ravens weren’t particularly good last year, and the Bengals were. In fact, only three teams (Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco) had better point differentials than Cincy.

Patriots (-5) over DOLPHINS
This reeks of classic Patriots crapping the bed to open the season, eeking out a 1-point win over an underwhelming Dolphins team. So I’m taking the Patriots to win big.

Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week

Chiefs (-4) over TITANS
I’m also legitimately upset that the Titans didn’t draft Johnny Football. Every night I go downtown, there would be a not-insignificant chance I would see Johnny on Broadway, AND NOW THAT DREAM IS RUINED. Well, except for the weekend of October 5th, when, of course, I’ll be in Athens watching Vanderbilt get throttled by Georgia. Thanks, Obama.

Overall record: 0-0

Last week: 0-0

Apple Total: 0

Apple Total Last Week: 0

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