Tag Archives: NFL

Straight Cash Homie: NFL Playoff Picks for Saturday

As Wes Welker would say, it is time to put your best foot forward.  This is arguably one of the best weekends in sports: Week 2 of the NFL Playoffs.  You still get four games in two days, you don’t have any shitty wildcard teams left, and you have fantastic matchups where teams are playing as hard as possible because a win means a conference championship game.  I suggest just sitting back and enjoying the 48 hours of football.  However, if you’d like to make things a little more interesting, risking some of your hard earned dollars on the outcomes of these games can be fun too.  For those of you doing the latter, here is how you should play it for Saturday, we’ll do Sunday tomorrow.

Saturday, 4:30pm – STEELERS (-3) over Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger has never lost to Joe Flacco

Ben Roethlisberger has not lost to the Ravens in six games.

Ben Roethlisberger is 8-2 in his career against the Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger is going to take the Ravens into a bar bathroom and have his way with them.

Why do I begin with three legitimate sentences and one other sentence about Big Ben?  Because Big Ben does not lose these kinds of games.  He doesn’t lose many games in general, but especially not second-round home playoff games against the Ravens.  You may not like him, his face may look like a Salvador Dali painting at this point, and he may not make the best off-the-field decisions, but the guy wins football games.  Herm Edwards texted me something interesting the other day: “You PLAY to WIN the GAME.”

I can’t explain it.  I can’t quantify it.  I can’t even give you a score because it does not matter.  Ben will find a way to win this game and you can take that to the bank.  The only way this thing goes south for Pittsburgh is if Troy gets hurt.  In case you forgot the last time these two teams played, Polamalu literally single-handedly won the game with his absurd blitz off the edge resulting in a Flacco fumble and a Steeler touchdown.  I am confident he will be on the field and effective.  So confident in fact, I have dust off Punxsutawney Polamalu.

Gun to my head, I say take the Steelers and lay the three points.  I’m not excited about it, but you can’t not bet on NFL playoff football.  I won’t be mad at you if you take Baltimore, but know Big Ben wins this game somehow.  Trend right now is 62% of the public is on Baltimore (+3).  This is the highest of any of the games this weekend.  Like I said, I’m not mad at you, but how can you all be betting against Big Ben?  You’re not betting on the Ravens unless you think they can win.  You NEVER bet on an away dog in the playoffs unless you think they can win.  At least I hope you aren’t doing that.


Saturday, 8:30 – FALCONS (-2) over Packers

Another game that is a complete coin flip.  So why am I still doing the Dirty Bird?  Why the hell not?  Matty Ice wins games at home.  I’m not going to get cute here, I like what Green Bay has going on.  Rodgers is a stud, that defense is solid, and they should have run up on the Eagles.  On the other side, I don’t like the running back situation, Donald Driver is 80 years old, and they don’t have anyone to cover Rowdy Roddy White.

My only worry…Are these Falcons the same exact team as the 2006 Schottenheimer Chargers? Let’s analyze:

Regular Season Record: 2010 Falcons 13-3, 2006 Chargers 14-2

Stud Young Quarterback: Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers

Top 5 Running Back: Michael Turner, LaDanian Tomlinson

Go-To Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates

Big-Play Wide Receiver: Rowdy Roddy White, Vincent Jackson

Good Regular Season Coach Unproven in the Playoffs: Mike Smith, Marty Schottenheimer

It was a little too quiet of a 13-3 season in my opinion.  If they didn’t have that big game against the Saints this would have been the most under the radar 13+ season since the 2006 Chargers.  The parallels are all over the place for me.  This team is built to win at home and in the regular season.  The Chargers ended that season with 10 straight wins, went on bye, then lost to the Pats at home 24-21.  This Falcons team has come in winning 9 of their last 10, went on bye, and now face the Packers at home.

This scares the hell out of me.  However, I believe in Mike Smith more than Schottenheimer.  I HATE Philip Rivers with a fervent passion and I like Matty Ice – especially at home.  I think it’s a good game, but that crowd should be into it and I think Green Bay got beat up a little bit last week and won’t be able to run the ball.  Atlanta has the second best run defense in the league and THE BEST RUN DEFENSE AT HOME IN THE LEAGUE.  That’s enough for me to say they aren’t the 2006 Chargers…I hope.

Steelers and Falcons are the picks today.  Good luck!


Cromartie v. Brady: Behind the Numbers

I'd bet Brady's "mothers" may be slightly more attractive than Cromartie's as well. And less coked-out.

Saw this screenshot from a Comcast broadcast on Barstool.  One of the better graphics I’ve ever seen.  Nine kids by 26?  This is rivaling some of the greats like Travis Henry and Shawn Kemp.  Funny enough, the most ridiculous stat on that page is the four interceptions by Brady this year.


What is the over/under on the number of kids Cromartie finishes with here?  I’d put it at 12.  He has to slow down at some point, right?  If he continues at this pace (a kid every 2.8 years or 1,054 days), and we conservatively estimate he will live to be 62 (the average of 69.7 years average life expectancy for african-american males and 55 years for NFL players), he should end up with about 22 kids.  I say we bump the over/under to 15.  How this isn’t a prop bet somewhere is beyond me.  Speaking of good props that could come out of this, how bout this one: More likely to be a professional athlete, a kid of Brady’s or a kid of Cromarties?  Odds are JET Brady or Ben Brady, with perhaps the genealogy of the next step in the evolution of the human race (Brady+Bridget Moynihan or Brady+Gisele), turns out to be a stud quarterback.  However, Cromartie has at least nine shots at this thing, and odds are he can get an NFL or NBA guy out of there somewhere, especially with the family already having multiple guys in the NFL (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie).  These are the kind of debates that should be on SportsNation by the way.  I’d say odds are Future Cromartie +400, Future Brady +1250, Neither -110.

In relation, here is the clip from Hard Knocks this year where Cromartie tries to remember all of his kids and their names.  Give the guy a break it’s hard to keep this stuff straight.  I’m sure he does fine with a playbook.

What does SportsNation think?


WTF Wojo?

Gene Wojo's Column on ESPN.com

Really, Wojo? Sphincter? How is that necessary?

Gene Wojciechowski had an interesting choice in his new NFL playoff article on ESPN.com.  He used the term “Sphincter muscle factor” as one of the categories to analyze each team. I’m dumbfounded here.

Sphincter muscle factor? Really Gene? I hardly think that’s on par with “stat that will amaze and astound your friends.”  Let’s just get past the fact that it is incredibly too graphic and no one is really sure what you were going for here; how exactly is “Falcons are ranked 22nd against the pass. Is that a good thing when you’re facing the Packers?” a sphincter muscle factor?

Why not just take the next step and say “Jay Cutler will shit the bed this week against Seattle.” Wojo, you aren’t funny on Around the Horn, you aren’t funny when you write.  Leave the funny stuff to Simmons and Easterbrook and give me analysis sans the rectal anatomy lesson.

Here is the link to the article for reference sake: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&page=wojciechowski/110112&sportCat=nfl.

The White Mamba Mock Draft 2010

Since no one really tries to predict how the draft will turn out, I figured I would take a stab at shaping up the first round how I think it will go.  A couple of disclaimers:  Tim Tebow is not an NFL quarterback.  He will fail.  He has to fail at something, and this is the time.  He will especially not be picked by the Steelers, as my blogging compadre Josh posits. Also, this is a draft where you should expect a lot of fireworks.  People are very polarized on many of these players, and with the late-night start, Drunk Jerry Jones is prone to have a couple more gin and tonics in him than previous drafts.  Don’t rule out the fact that war rooms will now be stocked with Scotch instead of Donuts when considering how many trades and crazy picks we see tonight.  I’m excited.  As you should be.  Now read the mock draft.

1. St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma: Don’t think that the Rams will do anything other than take Bradford here.  They desperately need a franchise face underneath the ram’s horns.  It doesn’t matter if he works out or not they have to make this pick.
2. Detroit Lions
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska: The Lions get the most immediate impact player in the draft.  Suh will come in right away and be effective.  There is no better player for a young team with no defensive identity.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma:  McCoy should be the pick here but something tells me the Bucs might have other plans.  This is a spot that could prove to be a big surprise come tonight.  If the Bucs aren’t sold on McCoy, or they don’t want to pay him No. 3 money, watch for a trade down here.  I’m going to say McCoy, but I’m not 100% sold.
4. Washington Redskins
Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma: Word is that the Redskins are sold that Williams has a higher ceiling than Okung.  I would disagree but I’m not Chainsaw Snyder.  Either way, after the Haynesworth debacle and the McNabb risk, it’s time to make the safe pick here.
5. Cleveland Browns (via trade with Kansas City)
Eric Berry, FS, Tennessee: Holmgren has been decisive so far, and Berry is the best available and fills a big hole.  I’m convinced there are two players The Walrus wants: Berry and Colt McCoy.  He gives up a 4th rounder to jump two spots, but with the Seahawks at six he doesn’t want to take the risk.  The Browns aren’t done in the first round either.
6. Seattle Seahawks
Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State : Alex Gibbs is going to get a brand new toy to help his legendary offensive line schemes.  Okung falls here, and even though Pete Carroll wants to make a sexy splash, the staff he has built around him will make sure he knows this is the pick.  Walter Jones made Seattle relevant for years and Okung should do the same. Carroll will get to have his draft fun later.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (via trade with Cleveland Browns)
Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama: Pioli loves trading down, and knows McClain, the guy they want and love, will still be there at 7.  No reason not to do this on the Chiefs part.  They don’t have to pay McClain as much and they pick up 4th rounder in the process.
8. Oakland Raiders
Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee : They can’t pick Dez Bryant after Heyward-Bey, right?  They can’t pick Jimmy Clausen after Jamarcus Russell, right?  Expect the unexpected from Al Davis, and expect it to most likely be a terrible pick.  Even when they went safe with Robert Gallery in 2004 it didn’t work.  If Big Ben is going anywhere, it’s here or Arizona (more on this later), so this could belong to the Steelers.  They go with Williams here when they probably should take Bulaga.
9. Buffalo Bills
Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa: They are not taking Clausen.  Even though it would make sense, this team is in no position to have a young quarterback, even if he doesn’t play.  Too many things that need to be addressed before they can draft the franchise QB.  They shouldn’t worry though because they may not win a game in their division this year and they will surely be drafting in the top five again next year.  They could have used Williams, but with him going to the Raiders they take a safe pick with Bulaga to sure up the o-line.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (via trade with Jacksonville Jaguars
Earl Thomas, CB, Texas: E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!  The separation anxiety from the loss of Brian Dawkins causes the Eagles to panic and trade up to snag Thomas.  I think they are going to trade up, and this is the first possible spot.  They could also try the 12 slot with Miami or one of the 49ers two picks.  With the Dolphins and Seahawks needing a safety as well, though, the Eagles make sure they get their man.  They give up the 23rd pick in the second round to move up 14 spots.  They can do this because the Eagles stockpiled ten picks this year with the McNabb and Tapp trades.  They still have the fifth pick in the second round and sixth in the third.
11. Denver Broncos (from Chicago)
Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas: They are not taking Dez Bryant!  They did not get rid of Brandon Marshall just to draft an unproven version of him.  Quick story on Dez Bryant: he forgot to bring shoes to his pro day, so he performed the first half of his workout in bare feet.  I’m going to repeat this sentence one more time just so we are all on the same page here: HE FORGOT HIS SHOES ON HIS OWN PRO DAY.  He might be an incredible talent, but if I’m a GM I’m not touching him until at least the 20s.  They take Kindle too high, but he can play rush linebacker and support/succeed Elvis Dumervil.
12. Miami Dolphins
Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech : They could have taken Williams if he was still available.  They could trade down and try to get back the second round pick they lost for Marshall.  However, I think they go with Morgan.  Another overrated pass-rusher because of a weak class, but he is the best of the mediocre bunch.  He will fit their 3-4 scheme nicely and should be able to contribute this year.
13. San Francisco 49ers
Joe Haden, CB, Florida: The Niners have two goals with these two picks: Offensive Tackle and Cornerback.  Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a QB or Spiller.  They are fatally dedicated to Alex Smith and with Gore and Coffee and now Ted Ginn, Spiller would make no sense.  With three tackles off the board I say they grab Haden and wait to draft their tackle at 17.
14. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)
C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson: It was risky that he lasted this long, but he really doesn’t make sense anywhere once you get past Cleveland.  The Seahawks patience pays off and they get there man.  Trust me, Carrol wants the Bugatti of the 2010 draft class and he will get him.  Spiller is not Chris Johnson, but he very well could end up taking over the playmaking duties on a squad with zero explosion.  Okung and Spiller is the ideal scenario for Seahawks fans (trust me I would know).  Next best case would be Berry and Bulaga if they miss out on Williams or Okung at No. 6.
15. NY Giants
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida: If there is anyone who loves athletic rush ends it’s the Giants.  I think JP2 could be sufficiently awkward and unnecessary in a Subway commercial, which is the only requirement for Giants’ defensive linemen.
16. Tennessee Titans
Brandon Graham, OLB, Michigan : A bit of a jump here, but Graham can play standing up or from the three-point stance and would fit well with the Titans.  If Haden is here, they could pick him, or if they like Kareem Jackson of Alabama more, but I think they go pass-rusher here.
17. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina)
Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers : The Niners’ draft goes just as planned, and they would be happy with any of the next two or three tackles here at 17.  Good value for a talented player who can contribute right away.  Unfortunately he still has to block for Alex Smith, who will once again cause the Niners to win less than ten games.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers
Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida : This is one of the easier picks in the draft.  The Rooneys don’t like cheerleaders or fireworks or drama, and they miss Dermonti Dawson.  If Big Ben doesn’t move, Pouncey is the obvious pick here.  They get the best center in the draft, and they get him at good value at 18, too.  Teams seam to shun away from picking centers early, but this guy is a guaranteed ten-year starter on your team and would be a good pick anywhere outside the top five.
19. Atlanta Falcons
Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho: Matty Ice is priority numero uno in the ATL.  Protecting him is the most important thing and the Falcons won’t mess around here, even though the Jamaal Anderson pick needs to be remedied.
20. Houston Texans
Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama : You just can’t give up on Slaton yet.  If the Texans think he is a lost cause, Ryan Mathews could be the pick here, but the Texans have more needs.  There is also six foot four inch guy with a laser-rocket arm on the Colts that effects all decisions in the AFC South.  You can never have too many cornerbacks.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State: Why the hell not?  Cincinatti is where background checks go to die.  Bryant, who once again forgot his shoes on pro day, fits in absolutely perfectly with the Bungals.  They do need another big play guy to either go along with Ocho or completely replace him, depending on which Ocho shows up this year.  I’ll be interested to see if Bryant can get five touchdowns or misdemeanors first.
22. New England Patriots
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma: In my opinion, the perfect pick for the Belicheck.  I can just see him in a Pats jersey for some reason.  Brady gets another big weapon and red-zone target, and old-school Pats fans get perhaps the second coming of Ben Coates.  Gresham will be a factor this year, and should blossom in New England.
23. Green Bay Packers
Charles Brown, OT, Southern California: GM Ted Thompson loves to build through the lines and hasn’t been able to do so in a while.  The Packers have expended a lot of picks on defense the last couple years and will now address the aging o-line.  Like in Atlanta with Matty Ice, Aaron Rodgers is the Packers biggest investment and protecting him is key.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars (via trade with Philadelphia Eagles)
Tim T….Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU: Tim Tebow is not going in the first round!  As god as my witness…check that, that’s an biased witness…as the intelligence of NFL scouts as my witness, Tebow does not go in the first round.  Sorry I’m not sorry.  Drunk Jerry Jones was right, Tebow is not going to see the field, so why pick him?  If you remember from the trade I made up with the Eagles, the Jags got the 23rd pick in the second round and they will either trade up from there or stay there and get Tebow in the second round.  Tebow WILL be a Jaguar.  Write that down.
25. Baltimore Ravens
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech: The Ravens are in “surround Flacco mode” and they continue to do so by adding Thomas here.  Don’t think the addition of Boldin will shy the Ravens away from taking a wide out here.  Taylor Mays could also be an option, but I think the Ravens are officially shifting to an offensive team.
26. Arizona Cardinals
Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri : An athletic guy that some think could go a lot higher than this if a team falls in love.  The Cardinals could use help at wide receiver, and if Thomas is still on the board, or Bryant somehow, that could be the pick.  Possible scenario:  I see Arizona as a logical destination for Big Ben.  Whisenhunt knows and loves Ben, and the two have had success together.  Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson are both backups at best, and bringing in Big Ben would immediately make the Cardinals a threat again.  Ben to Fitz = dangerous.  They could give up this pick and a first rounder next year to make this happen.  Keep an eye on this situation.  It’s either Oakland, Arizona, or nowhere for Big Ben.
27. Dallas Cowboys
Taylor Mays, FS, Southern California : Drunk Jerry Jones wants a big-hitting safety to put up on his 1 billion foot jumbotron.  The smart pick here is a tackle, but the sexy pick is Mays.  The Drunk Jerry Jones pick is Mays.  Wade Phillips is at some buffet in Cabo right now and won’t be allowed back in the United States until after the draft.  Drunk Jerry Jones won’t allow it.  Drunk Jerry Jones.
28. San Diego Chargers
Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama: An absolute monster in college and should be the same in the pros.  Replaces Jamaal Williams and gives the Chargers a key piece on defense.  Nothing much to add here so I will take an unprovoked shot at Phillip Rivers.  Dear Phil, I hate you.  You are annoying and I’m not sure how you are so good.  I am extremely glad you continue to not win anything and I hope that continues throughout your career.
29. NY Jets
Everson Griffen, DE, Southern California : Apparently he has “questionable character,” but I don’t even know what that means for a college kid coming out of USC.  If you don’t have questionable character as a football player in Southern California with no rules then I’m not sure I want to draft you.  If there was a linebacker from USC that had “unquestionable character” I would be worried.
30. Minnesota Vikings
Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame: I hate to say it, but really good pick here.  Favre comes back for one more year, tutors the kid (who is way ahead of Favre in arrogance at his age), and the Vikes have their next guy.  Another slap in the face to Tarvaris Jackson.
31. Indianapolis Colts
Tyson Alualu, DE, California: The Freeney injury was too scary to deal with Super Bowl week.  Alualu will probably play defensive tackle, but he will help somewhere on the line and the Colts could use the help.  For some reason I could see a Golden Tate pick here, but it may be a little too early.
32. Cleveland Browns (via trade with the New Orleans Saints)
Colt McCoy, QB, Texas: The Browns are in love with Colt McCoy.  They want to take him out to a nice seafood dinner and actually call him again.  The most proactive team in the draft this year, they take the initiative once again and trade up eight spots to make sure they get McCoy.  Berry and McCoy sounds like a nice first round to me.  In the trade, the Saints get the Browns second round pick (38) and the teams swap third rounders, essentially giving the Super Bowl champs three second round picks.