Monday, October 1, 2007

Week 4: All Bets Are Off

There are very good reasons why I don't bet on sporting events. I don't like putting money on human beings, because there's no way to really know how they are going to respond to certain situations. It either comes down to educational guessing or throwing knives at logos. Regardless of your philosophies, it is all a crap shoot. This somewhat explains my 7-6 record against the lines this week (minus tonight's game). However, there were some highlights. For example, the Indy/Denver score, and my stranglehold on the NFC North.

*Real scores in are italics, my predictions in bold*

Oakland at Miami, 35-17, 17-14
If not for the horrid last second field goal timeout fiasco, Oakland would be the team to beat in the AFC West. Yeah, feel free to read that again. I loved it when Dante Culpepper taunted the Miami fans, and then loathed it when he downplayed it afterwards. At least be consistent. By the way, after the Nick Saban backhand, and now Culpepper's, it really sucks being a Dolphins fan right now. I had Oakland covering the +4, even if I had them losing.

Houston at Atlanta, 16-26, 24-10
Note to self: do not pick Houston as road favorites ever again, especially when their best player isn't playing. Ok, now that I cleared that up, congratulations to Joey Harrington. His completion percentage was nearly 80%, with two touchdowns and zero picks. This was also the opposite of a "revenge game" (see: Pittsburgh at Arizona). Matt Schaub was lucky to have the chance to get out of Atlanta, so there was nothing to be upset about. I had Houston covering the -3, they got thumped.

Baltimore at Cleveland, 13-27, 20-3
Is it time to add Derek Anderson to your fantasy squad? Let's wait on that for another week. But any game that you have Steve McNair throw 53 times, you're in trouble. While the Browns might not be this year's Saints (see: Tampa Bay), they are definitely better than most people realized. This might be a good learning year for Brady Quinn. I had Baltimore covering the -4 1/2, and I will never do that again.

Chicago at Detroit, 27-37, 20-24
Chicago is no good. This seemed relatively obvious to me before the year started, especially since no "expert" seemed to think so. Rex Grossman had to be smiling inside, since Detroit's record 34-point fourth quarter shows the world that Chicago's woes weren't the byproduct of who was behind center. Still, they had to make the move. I had Detroit covering the +3 1/2, and they were kind.

Green Bay at Minnesota, 23-16, 28-13
Brett Favre is on steroids. Well, probably not, but is there any other explanation? He is a freak. Favre currently has a four to one touchdown/interception ratio, and a 97.3 quarterback rating. Now, he is taking away everything from Dan Marino. Dan even had the rights to Best Cameo (Ace Ventura) and got upstaged by Favre (There's Something About Mary). With my two best fantasy starters being Kitna and AP, no wonder I'm paying attention to the North so much. I had Green Bay covering the -2, and Favre carries his receiver off the field.

St. Louis at Dallas, 7-35, 27-30
I completely overestimated the Rams. They are done. St. Louis has scored 39 points this year, and given up 103. And seeing as their whole offense, who used to be referred to as "The Greatest Show On Turf", are as old as P.T. Barnum, expect some down years for the Rams. Luckily, it's a baseball town. I had St. Louis covering the +13, and am shamed.

New York Jets at Buffalo, 14-17, 27-10
I don't even care that I was way off in this one. What I do care about is this: while the Oakland/Miami game was late due to lighting, CBS was showing this game in the meantime. I live in Kansas. Why would I want to see that garbage? Time Warner Cable, you're dead to me. Oh, and farewell, J.P. Losman. Trent Edwards is now the man in Buffalo. I had the J-E-T-S covering the -3 1/2, and then I dropped Pennington for Culpepper.

Tampa Bay at Carolina, 20-7, 17-10
David Carr's 19-41 preformace shows you that it just wasn't Houston's fault for his demise. Then again, Carolina has consistently been the most disappointing team since their Super Bowl appearance in 2003. I believe John Fox is done. On the other end, Coach Gruden has revived the defense down in Tampa. They might be this year's where-did-they-come-from team. I had Tampa covering the +3, and they swashbuckled Carr.

Seattle at San Francisco, 23-3, 14-21
While San Fran might not have won even if Alex Smith didn't get injured on the third play, I would like to believe it wouldn't had been this bad. Once again, the country dubs one team as "the sleeper", then something like this always happens. As predictable as the Madden curse, or SI picking the NCAA basketball champion, it is set in stone. I had the Niners covering the +2, and they only scored 3.

Pittsburgh at Arizona, 14-21, 17-13
The only way this game could have been better is if Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt would have slapped Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin after the game - or if it were in Pittsburgh. I can only describe Whisenhunt's approach to Leinart as "fascinating". It actually might be working to use Kurt Warner, which goes against all common logic of professional football. The Steelers might regret not getting this guy when they could. I had Arizona covering the +6, and Ken made the Steelers look like Barbie.

Kansas City at San Diego, 30-16, 24-14
With the clock ticking down, Chargers fans were heard chanting "Marty! Marty!" while GM A.J. Smith was cleaning his office and clicking the refresh button on Let's see, you fired a coach after a 14-2 season, and hired a coach with a 40% winning percentage, all of this after you watch your good in-house coaches go to other teams. Fantastic. Also, if Herm Edwards let's the Chiefs open up their offense now that Dwayne Bowe is going off, then they very well could win a weak AFC West. I had my hometown team covering the +12 1/2 (!), and I shall say they did so.

Denver at Indianapolis, 20-38, 21-38
Oh, so close. Look at the above game's line, now look at the 9 1/2 on this one. It makes no sense to me. What's scary is that the Colts look even better than last year's championship team. However, the field is also better. The Nov. 4 game against New England will be very interesting. I had Indianapolis covering.

Speaking of the Patriots, since they don't play until tonight, I'll mention this here. An unnamed host on ESPN radio last night said that Dallas isn't an elite team because they haven't played anybody. The Patriots have played the Jets, Chargers and Bills, who have a combined record of 3-9. The Cowboys have played the Giants, Dolphins, Bears and Rams, who have a combined record of 3-13. So, using that logic, the Patriots aren't an elite team either, even if they beat the one-win Bengals. And these guys get paid to talk about sports...

Philadelphia at New York Giants, 3-16, 35-21
Once again, this is the reason I don't bet on humans. The Giants had a record-tying 12 sacks Sunday night, half of which came from DE Osi Umenyiora. Philly fans will no doubt be blaming McNabb because of his immobility, but this is all on the Eagles' offensive line and Andy Reid's inability to adjust. Umenyiora completely dominated LT William Justice, but the Philly coaching staff still had them one-on-one in the fourth quarter. Thank goodness for the Mets. I had Philadelphia covering the -2 1/2, and to say the least, I was wrong.

*Missed observation from Saturday: I forgot to give a shout out to Texas DE Aaron Lewis, who is the only white guy I have ever seen wear a skullcap. No wonder they lost.


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