It's not appropriate for me to have this blog and take a week off, but that's what I've done.
In my defense, it was a tough week (first anniversary of dad's death - more on that later today (promise)), mom was visiting, sis had the new kid, etc., etc.
Anyway, Three posts today - first up NFL picks. Disgusting week last week - 5-8-3, which just further proves to me that I should never bet on sports, ever. Hopefully this week will be better.
Second post will be baseball and football related with a little tax news thrown in.
Third and last post of the day will be my recollections of the day dad died.
On to the picks. As always, home teams are in ALLCAPS and I don't know what the &%$# I am doing...
BILLS (+3.5) over Jets. Again, I don't pick against the Bills. They actually could do well against the Jets. They've shown, at least against Denver and NE and in the first half against Pitts, an ability to bend but not break on defense. Given the Jets' lack of a solid running game (I don't count Thomas Jones's day against the banged up Fins last week), they hopefully should be able to limit Pennington to underneath stuff. Key will be third downs. I see a low scoring affair 13-10 Jets. Also, Deadspin.com's Will Leitch will be in attendance, so the Bills have that going for them.
Raiders (+4) over DOLPHINS. The whole "it's hot in Miami and Oakland will be wearing black" card is ridiculous. Miami's O-face is less competent than Lunberg and Oakland's D is staunch as advertised. Combine that with Daunte getting the start and Miami's D being banged up and I see an Oakland win outright.
Ravens (-4.5) over BROWNS. Jamal Lewis looks good so far, although I don't think anyone has really run on the Ravens yet this year (nope - 62 ypg). Everyone is awfully down on the Ravens, but this team still went 13-3 last year, has basically the same team back (plus McGahee) and a stout offense as well. Derek Anderson is going to have a good day? I don't think so.
FALCONS (+2.5) over Texans. Joey Harrington is turning into a decent QB. Matt Schaub already is a decent QB. This one should be close.
Bears (-3) over LIONS. Brian Griese is better, statistically, than people remember. He went 16-12 as a starter in '01-'02 with a very good TD/INT ratio in '01. The reason why he got kicked out is that he didn't have the confidence of his teammates - lacked the leader instinct. Maybe that was just youth. Seems like Manning had those problems early in his career (Eli too, Chris Simms too - wonder if it is a son of a QB thing). Anyway, the Lions certainly are high-powered and the Bears are missing a ton of guys on D, but this seems like one the Bears will gut out.
Packers (-2) over VIKINGS. I am picking against a lot of home dogs this week, which will probably come back to bite me. Anyway, Packers look like the much better team and that line is within a FG, so I can't imagine not picking them.
Rams (+13) over COWBOYS. I hate these 2 TD lines. In a lot of cases, they've been covered (including a couple last week). And I know that Bulger is hurt and S-Jak may not play, but still. 13 is a lot of points. Rams are capable of putting up garbage time points, so I'll take them.
Bucs (+3) over PANTHERS. David Carr against a Bucs D that has been in shutdown mode so far this season? (12 ppg so far). And they're a dog? Sounds good to me. LOCK OF THE WEEK.
Seahawks (-2) over the NINERS. The Niners are proving to be what people said they would be. A little bit smoke. A little bit mirrors. They are 2-1, but they have been outscored on the season (granted the Steelers game was lopsided). I still stand by Seattle as my SB pick from the NFC and say they win this one in a laugher.
BUZZSAW (+6) over Steelers. I hate the !@*&! Steelers.
CHARGERS (-12) over Chiefs . This is the only +10 line I am taking this week. The Chargers must be pissed and are much better than how they have been playing. The Chiefs are awful, last week's win notwithstanding.
Broncos (+9.5) over COLTS. Another high line, although I can see a 27-17 win. The Colts have played teams close thus far and the Broncos haven't been that impressive; however, again, I think the Colts are due for a gashing 150 yard rushing performance against them, and this is the team to do it.
Eagles (-3) over GIANTS. Again, I hate the Giants as well. I also cannot go against the Eagles after the display last week and going up against the Giants weak D. If McNabb gets time, they should light the Giants up.
Patriots (-7.5) over BENGALS. As usual, I use the SG's lines which he prints on Friday. It opened a 7 and now you can find (-9) on some websites. I was leaning toward laying the points anyway (only thing that worried me was Bengals ability to keep the score close with their weapons), and with the movement of the line, my decision is solidified.
A few links to kick off this great Sunday:
Indispensible for fans of Buffalo sports is Bflo Blog. Many of the stories are now transitioning to the Sabres (thank God), but this link will take you to the "tailgate" summary for today's Jets-Bills matchup. Excellent work by these guys, including an open thread during the game.
Here is the open thread for today's game on Buffalorumblings.com, and here is the excellent summary of "what to watch for".
Unfortunately, many of the other Buffalo-themed sportsblogs (such as the funny Goose's Roost) have transitioned to Sabres coverage.
That's all for now. I'll be firmly planted on the couch today watching the Jets-Bills game. Unfortunately, we're stuck with Ian Eagle and Crazy-Eyez Solomon Wilcots. To wit:
Why can't we get Gus Johnson.