Saturday, October 5, 2013

The FGR Week 5 NFL Picks (Part 2)

Let's pick-up where we left-off with last Saturday's timeline. As you may recall, I had just spent the last two hours almost falling asleep on the couch before watching my son's soccer team get blown off the field (that could potentially be the worst opening sentence to a novel ever other than, "as a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he broke wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it" - for more of these, click here). Fortunately, I would have a chance that afternoon to redeem the family name.

4:30 p.m.: After being inspired by my son's team's Jacksonville Jaguar impersonation, I had to play a quarterfinal tennis match in my club's "Men's B Singles Club Championship" which is the tennis equivalent of a gluten free pie eating contest. I don't know what being a "B" tennis player means. All I know is that I won this thing in 2011 when I beat a 73 year old guy in the finals on a day when the heat index was 100+. The match took three long sets and at first, I thought he was going to have a heart attack but then I realized that I was the one doing all of the running and midway through the final set my legs started cramping-up. I held-on to win in what must have looked like the tennis version of the lumbering slugfest at the end of Rocky II only if I had been fighting Mick instead of Apollo Creed.

"Great match buddy.
Sorry you died."
I figured winning the "B" title two years in a row wouldn't be very sporting so last year I paid my dues by getting my ass kicked in the "A" division. With that out of the way, I'm diving back into my gene pool. The match on Saturday was fairly uneventful. I was better than the guy I was playing so I just spent an hour bunting the ball back to him waiting for him to make a mistake.* Words that don't come to mind are "scintillating," "inspiring" and "watchable."

6:30 p.m.: (Editor's Note: I wasn't sure about this entry because it doesn't necessarily represent how I feel about eating dinner with my kids but that doesn't mean it's not fairly accurate so screw it, here goes). Everyone agrees that having dinner as a family is healthy but, in the same way that you don't want to over exercise or eat too many beans, moderation is key. I love hanging-out with my kids but let's face it, there are reasons that kids aren't invited to formal dinner parties. Just to name a couple: (1) the only thing more boring than listening to someone describe what happened to their fantasy football team is listening to someone describe what happened to them while playing a video game and (2) people generally prefer that their guests not intentionally wipe their hands on the curtains, furniture and cats.

We may need to see more of Mrs.
Brody to save this season, and
I don't mean more of her acting.
10:15 p.m.: After telling my kids to go to bed for two straight hours before they finally stopped ignoring me while they toiled away on their Rainbow Looms,** I settled in to watch the most recent episode of The Bridge a/k/a the show that has forced me to fall so far behind on Breaking Bad that, by the time I get to the series finale, I'll have forgotten all of the spoilers.

10:45 p.m.: I fell asleep with 15 minutes left in The Bridge which is hard to do but it's apparently my new move. The next night, I caught-up on The Bridge before falling asleep three quarters of the way through Homeland which currently has its blinker on with every indication that it's about to take a left turn down Unwatchable Road.

Speaking of Unwatchable Road . . .

At St. Louis by 11.5 over Jacksonville: The Pick - Rams

The Jags are averaging less than 8 points per game which means that, even if they "explode" for 14 in this game, the Rams will only need 26 to cover. Of course the Jags are giving-up over 32 points per game so there you go. By the way, Sam Bradford is terrible.***

Kansas City by 2.5 at Tennessee: The Pick - Chiefs

The Chiefs and Broncos coached by formerly fired coaches Andy Reid and John Fox will likely be a combined 16-2 or 17-1 when they meet on November 17th. The teams with very suspect rosters and rocky quarterback situations that they left behind, the Eagles and Panthers, will likely be a combined 5-11 or 6-10. If you were Mike Tomlin, wouldn't the thought periodically cross your mind to walk into the Steelers front office and poop on the carpet just so you can escape the unravelling of the Roethlisberger era?

At Miami by 3 over Baltimore: The Pick - Ravens

I should have known better. The Bills game was the early season road game the Ravens were supposed to win and the Dolphins game is the early season road game they are supposed to lose so they will of course reverse that just to mess with everyone. As a Ravens' fan, I have all the faith in the world in John Harbaugh based on the last five seasons so I hope that at least one point during the second half last week as the Ravens were in the process of calling twenty consecutive passing plays when Joe Flacco clearly did not have his "A" game, he asked offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell the following question: "Jim, can you please tell me exactly what in the fuck are we doing?"

At Cincinnati by 1.5 over New England: The Pick - Patriots

Oh those lovable Bengals. If not for one of the luckiest wins you'll ever see against the Packers, they'd be 1-3 coming-off a 17-6 beatdown at the hands of the Browns who are supposed to be tanking. It's going to be fun watching them come to grips with the fact that Andy Dalton is a poor man's Matt Schaub. Let's hope it takes them a couple more years to figure it out before they trade him to the Raiders for a first round pick.

Seattle by 2.5 at Indianapolis: The Pick - Colts

Merry Christmas Colt fans.
Enjoy your effin' fifteen years
of Super Bowl contention.
We know the Seahawks are going to lose a road game soon because of the way they keep dodging bullets. Meanwhile, the Colts have won their last two games by a combined score of 64-10 (and I know one of those was against the Jags but the other one was at the 49ers to they kind of cancel each other out). If I was a Colts fan, I would feel like I have about the fourth or fifth most reliable quarterback in the league right now behind, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and maybe Tom Brady. (Please don't talk to me about Tony Romo's 105.0 quarterback rating in September which is the football version of A-Rod's regular season batting average).

At Green Bay by 6.5 over Detroit: The Pick - Packers

My son asked me the other night if I thought Aaron Rodgers would win another Super Bowl and I said "yes" before I started to really think about it. Rodgers is 29 and let's say he plays 8 more seasons after this one which is realistic considering his healthy track record and what Peyton Manning is doing these days at the age of 37. That gives him nine more shots to win another ring. I figure Manning, Drew Brees and Andrew Luck are going to combine for at least four titles over that span which leaves Rodgers five chances and I like his odds. (Note: When I started writing about this premise, I was going to conclude that I didn't like his chances and then I got to the end and went the other way . . . just the kind of in-depth analysis you've come to expect from the Fantasy Golf Report).

At Chicago by 6.5 over New Orleans: The Pick - Saints

Now that Jay Cutler has settled-down and has as many turnovers as touchdown passes, can we get past the notion that the Bears are a Super Bowl contender and start dreaming about a Saints-Seahawks NFC Championship Game?

At N.Y. Giants by 2.5 over Philadelphia: The Pick - Giants

I'm going to rip-off D.J. Gallo's line for this one: "Chip Kelly's defense is on pace to revolutionize offense in the NFL." This week, however, Kelly's team may have met their incompetent match as we have the resistable force that is the Giants' turnover machine against the movable object that is the Eagles' defense. I guess I'll take the home team?

San Diego by 4.5 at Oakland: The Pick - Chargers

Believe me, if there's one thing Ravens fans understand, it's that you never want your team quarterbacked by a guy who scored a big contract off a one game performance and was subsequently shopped for a 5th round draft pick and case of Tenactin by the team that foolishly signed him (see Scott Mitchell).

Just butt fumble baby!!!
Here is the list of Raiders starting quarterbacks since former MVP Rich Gannon was taking snaps: Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor, Carson Palmer, Jason Campbell, Kyle Boller (Kyle Boller . . . really!?!), Bruce Gradkowski, JaMarcus Russell, Charlie Frye, Andrew Walter, Josh McCown, Daunte Culpepper, Aaron Brooks, Kerry Collins and of course, Marques Tuiasosopo. Looking at that list, clearly the question is not will Mark Sanchez be a Raider but when?

Carolina by 2 at Arizona: The Pick - Cardinals

I'm sticking with the Cardinals as my dark horse wild card pick despite some very shaky recent play by Carson Palmer. Just to clarify, my dark horse is being quarterbacked by a guy who couldn't cut it with the Bengals and the Raiders. Proceed with caution.

Denver by 7 at Dallas: The Pick - Broncos

The Broncos' average margin of victory this year is 22 points and their closest game was a 16 point win over the Raiders who they understandably had a hard time taking seriously. How can they not be at least double digit favorites in every game until someone stays with them for four quarters?

At San Francisco by 7 over Houston: The Pick - 49ers

On one side you have Matt Schaub who has thrown a pick six in three consecutive games. On the other side, you have frothing Jim Harbaugh who may be feeling that his 1970's Woody Hayes coaching approach is wearing a bit thin with his players so his championship window may not be open as long as he thought. Especially because the quarterback he ditched is 4-0 with 7 touchdowns and 2 turnovers while the guy he kept is 2-2 with 4 touchdowns and 7 turnovers.

At Atlanta by 8.5 over N.Y. Jets: The Pick - Falcons

You have to love Jet fans (well you don't really . . . it's a figure of speech or a saying or something). Their team is coming-off a 38-13 shellacking and their quarterback has 11 turnovers in four games but that doesn't stop them from being chesty and defiant. We wouldn't want them any other way.

Last Week's Record: 8-6-1 . . . Season Record: 35-26-1

Email the FGR here.

Endnotes

* I'm glad that tennis hasn't resorted to a handicap system by awarding the lesser player a two game lead in every set or some other contrived field-leveling concept. I'm frankly surprised that golf's handicap system isn't the subject of more derision as the sporting world's answer to pure communism. Isn't this the perfect description of the handicap system: "From each according to his ability to each according to his need"? You have to love the guy who stands on the range bitching about taxes and welfare before hitting the first tee and saying, "ok I get three a side." (Note that in this scenario, the Tea Partier completely opposes the handicap system as a matter of principal but gladly takes his strokes anyway . . . I think it's time to get back on topic).

Let's go sweetie . . . you're
about to miss your quota
for the second day in a row.
** Are you sure the government shutdown isn't just a diversion so we won't notice that the Rainbow Loom has turned half of the American households into East Asian sweatshops?

*** I'm going to end every Rams' pick this season with that line because it's true. It's time we dispense with the "if he just had some weapons" argument for quarterbacks like Bradford. The Patriots could start three Division I women's volleyball players at wide receiver and Tom Brady would still win 8 games while completing 65% of his passes (God I hate that guy).