Archive | October 2011

Week 8 NFL Picks

Welcome back everyone to another week of picks on this Halloween weekend. For this column there will be many Halloween references in celebration of the holiday. I also like to remember all of my favorite costumes I had back in my trick-or-treat days. My absolute best had to have been my freshman year when I went out in a Cardinals jersey that I decorated with a huge “X” on the numbers and wore a paper bag over my head to hide my identity as a Cardinals fan. This was the first year in their new stadium and was a couple of weeks after their Monday Night Meltdown. They were 1-7 I believe at the time and the laughingstock of football and I don’t think I ever got more compliments on any costume. That is the term I am also going to be using for many of this weeks games. There are many “paper bag” games this week. There is only one game that has both teams over .500 and in the Phoenix area your options of games as of now feature the Dolphins and Giants on CBS or the Cards and Ravens on FOX. If there was ever a Sunday to go out with the girlfriend or spend time with the family this is the Sunday to do it. Now on to the picks…..

Game Seven of the World Series

Texas Rangers 5 at St. Louis Cardinals 8

I have to mention baseball after last nights amazing Game Six. The greatness of a game other than football is measured by my brother. If he is actually watching a baseball, basketball, or hockey game it must be pretty good. So when I got this text while I was at work last night of “Dude your missing the game of the century,” I knew there had to been quite an epicness to what was happening in the World Series. For the Texas Rangers and its fans, that was one sucker punch in the gut that they may never recover from. The game was so close to being theirs that the Fox affiliate in Dallas decided to send this to its followers http://deadspin.com/5854131/. If they can somehow rebound and win tonight last night will just become a footnote. If they lose tonight then we may need to invent a curse for this franchise. They are the oldest team in baseball to never have won a World Series. For the St. Louis Cardinals and their fans, soak up every second of this amazing run to the championship because after tonight its Rams season!!

Arizona Cardinals 10 at Baltimore Ravens 17

Ron Jaworski on a local Phoenix radio station this week said it best when he gave his thoughts on the Cards. He said something close to either the players are stupid or the coaches are stupid and I think he is on to something. A team with this much talent should not be 1-5. A guy with as much talent as Kevin Kolb should not be looking this bad. There are so many issues with this team it is almost comical. Now they get to go face the a ticked of Baltimore Ravens team and their bone-chilling defense in Baltimore the day before Halloween and the outcome of this game could be scary for Cardinals fans.

Minnesota Vikings 14 at Carolina Panthers 28

It was not many years ago that the two Quarterbacks in this game were out trick-or-treating. Cam Newton is treating all of us now (especially Steve Smith fantasy owners) to stellar play. Cam Newton has a combination of both rushing and passing touchdowns of 15. That puts him just behind Rodgers, Brees, Brady, and Stafford in total touchdowns. This week he is facing the first quarterback taken after him in last years draft Christian Ponder. He played surprisingly well in his first start against the Green Bay Packers. All Leslie Frazier can ask of him is to play well enough to give his team a chance to win and this is exactly what he did. Unfortunatly for the Vikings this week they have to face the Cam Newton experience which means they are going to have to score and I don’t think Ponder does that in his first road NFL game.

Jacksonville Jaguars 13 at Houston Texans 21

Both these teams are coming off very impressive wins last week. The Texans put on a beat down of the Titans while the Jags upset the Ravens on Monday Night Football. The Jaguars have a sneaky good defense this year. They almost shutout the Ravens last week, only gave up 17 at Pittsburgh, and only gave up 23 to a Saints team that just put up 62 points. Only if they had a competant offense then this would be a playoff contender. Dont be surprised if they can pull another upset in Houston this week.

Locks of the week

Miami Dolphins 6 at New York Giants 27

New Orleans Saints 35 at St. Louis Rams 10

Indianapolis Colts 17 at Tennessee Titans 27

I am just going to lump all three of these teams together until one of them shows the ability to win a football game. Last week the Dolphins somehow blew a 15 point lead in the final five minutes to Tim Tebow. The Rams gave up 253 rushing yards to a rookie running back and the Colts lost 62-7 on Sunday Night Football. The Saints are like the big kids who smash pumpkins after all the kids are done trick-or-treating. First they smashed pumpkins at home and now they are deciding it will be more fun to go across the street and do it. Can they match their point total of last week against the Colts this week against the Rams???

Washington Redskins 20 at Buffalo Bills 31

The Redskins travel up to Toronto, yes Toronto, to face the Bills in their annual game in Canada with a depleted roster. This is a completely different team than the one that took the field on opening day and started 3-1. The good news at least for fantasy owners is that there is one less running back for Mike Shannahan to use which means more carries for Torain or Helu with Timmy Hightower done for the year.

Upset of the week

Detroit Lions 24 at Tebowmania 27

Ndamukong Suh is messing with fire when he used the word karma when talking about some of the Falcons player’s claims that he is a dirty player. When you are about to face the king of karma and the messiah of football you do not use the word karma to call someone out that is just common sense!! For good karma’s sake I will  not mess with fire and I am taking good karma (Tim Tebow) over bad karma ( Ndamukong Suh).

Game of the Week

New England Patriots 31 at Pittsburgh Steelers 27

You think I was kidding when I said this was an awful week of games?? We finally have a game worth watching and unfortunately for Pittsburgh the Patriots are coming off a bye. I dont think Belichick loses much when he gets an extra week to prepare for an opponent. The key for Pittsburgh to win this game will be their defense. They need a throwback Pittsburgh Steelers performance by this defense to win this game because Big Ben will put up points against the Pats. If the front seven can get to Brady then I really like the Steelers to win, but I can’t go against Belichick getting two weeks to prepare for the ‘burgh.

Cincinnati Bengals 14 at Seattle Seahawks 20

Did you know the Bengals are 4-2?? I am serious look it up!! unfortunately they have a rookie quarterback going up to the 12th man. The Seahawks best chance to win is for their crowd to fluster Andy Dalton and force him into a couple of turnovers that gives Seattle a short field because this team is offensively challenged. Three points against Cleveland??? If this game was in Cincy they would win going away, but you always have to factor in the home crowd up in Seattle and I think they give their S’hawks just enough to squeak out a victory.

Cleveland Browns 9 at San Fransisco 49ers 20

I am now giving my congratulations to Alex Smith and the rest of the 49ers for winning the NFC West Division title. Alex Smith deserves some credit for bringing his interception total waaaaay down this year and making plays to win games. The 49ers have always had a solid defense and a good run game they were just waiting for Smith to not lose games for them and he finally has done that. It is going to be a painful NFL season for me seeing the Niners go 11-5 and win this division.

Sunday Night Football

Dallas Cowboys 26 at Philadelphia Eagles 30

I do not think Dallas sports fans will have the stomach for another Romo choke job after tonight. It will probably be best for everyone in the Dallas area to have a movie night with their families or carve some pumpkins and not even watch this game. A matter of fact if I was a Dallas sports fan I will probably spend the next couple of days watching Dallas Mavericks reruns of their championship season to try to erase the World Series from my mind. If you do end up watching this game, then watch it with low hopes of a win. This is the week the Eagles finally beat a good team and fully renew their hopes for the playoffs. Look for a big game from Mike VIck and a motivated defense to propel the Eagles to the win.

Monday Night Football

Halloween night

San Diego Chargers 20 at Kansas City Chiefs 23

A revved up Arrowhead crowd on Halloween night on a Monday night is good for at least ten points for the Chiefs. Last year these teams opened the year on MNF at Arrowhead and the Chiefs used their home crowd to their advantage and a 21-14 victory and I think the same happens this year. If the Chiefs do win this game do you realize that they will be 4-3 and tied with San Diego and Oakland for first place?? Were they not just 0-3 and looking for a new coach and imagining the looks of Andrew Luck on billboards across Kansas City?? The Chargers after this game will petition the league to stop making them go to K.C. on Monday nights.

Last week: 8-5

Season 22-17

I hope everyone has a great and safe Halloween. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and if you have time please subscribe so you can get all of my updates. I added a link that makes it easier to subscribe and it just takes a few seconds. Thanks again everyone and enjoy your holiday weekend!

 

Rules and Loyalties of a Sports Fan

Yesterday at the Cardinals game I was a part of what makes the city of Phoenix a mediocre sports town at best and why we will never be considered a great sports town even though we have the 5th biggest television market and all four professional sports. The crowd at University of Phoenix stadium yesterday was 60 percent for the Steelers and that is being generous because if I was betting I would say it was more than that for Pittsburgh. According to the U.S. census of 2010, Pittsburgh ranks 59th in population compared to Phoenix which is 6th on that same list. Based on that math alone how is it possible that 60% of a stadium in Glendale, Arizona can turn into Steelers country? The reason for that is people do not know how to be a fan or the meaning of rooting for the hometown team. I am not here to bash on the city of Pittsburgh or any of the Steelers TRUE fans. This is about all the Steelers “fans” that also happen to like the Yankees for baseball and the Lakers for basketball. These fans are called frontrunners and has inspired me to come up with my “Rules and Loyalties for a Sports Fan.”

Rule #1: You must always support the team of the town that you grew up in

There is really not much lee-way around this rule. If you grow up in Phoenix then you are a Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Suns, and Coyotes fan. If you grow up in Dallas then you like the Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers, and Stars. It is as simple as that. In the NFL I would say the five biggest fan bases in no particular order are the Packers, Steelers, Bears, Cowboys, and whoever the “hot” team is in the league. When these teams travel to losing team’s stadiums or frontrunning cities their fans overtake the stadium and turn it into a “home game” for their team. Unless you have lived and grown up in that city then you have no excuses to not wear your cities colors and support the home team. The Arizona Cardinals for example came to Arizona in 1988 which means they don’t have much history here. It also does not help that they were bad for most of the 23 years they have been here save for 3 or 4 seasons. With that being said you hear many of these types of excuses “Well, when I was growing up Arizona I did not have a team so I grew up watching the Cowboys, Steelers, 49ers.” (Teams that all won multiple Super Bowls if you did not already notice that trend.) Ok that is great and there is many people in Los Angeles right now who are saying the same thing. The second your city gets a professional team those allegiances go out the window and you become a fan of that team. You are a part of the city that you live in and to wear the colors of another team is unacceptable and all you are doing is giving your own city a bad reputation. You think the Steelers care about anyone who lives outside of Pittsburgh or the Yankees outside of New York? They care about their own city and fans not the average Joe in Phoenix who thinks he is “gangster” for throwing on a Polamalu jersey and googling the meaning of the Terrible Towel.

The ONLY exception you are given to this rule is if your entire family is from lets say Chicago living in Arizona and they are all Chicago sports fans then of course you will side with your families teams as you grow up. Under that exception you must still support the home team when they are  not playing your team

Rule #2: Once you choose a team you are stuck with that team for life

You must stick with your team through thick and thin. There is no “Well the Cardinals stink now without Kurt Warner so since I have a friend whose best friend happens to be from Green Bay I like the Packers now. It works Vice Versa as well….there is no hopping on a bandwagon as soon as the home team starts winning if you were not there for them in the first place. The Miami Dolphins fan base is about to explode come April when they select Andrew Luck so if you’re not wearing Dolphins colors now you are not allowed to in 20 years when Luck is inducted into Canton either. There are a couple “out” clauses to this rule that I may be experiencing myself here in Phoenix very shortly.

Exception 1: If your team moves cities. The cities of Seattle, Atlanta, Montreal, and Charlotte have experienced this recently and Phoenix is next in line. If your team moves in the way that Seattle lost the Sonics, Atlanta lost the Thrashers, Montreal lost the Expos, or Charlotte lost the Hornets then all bets are off and you become a fan free agent of that sport meaning you can pick any team you would like. As a Phoenix Coyotes fan I am preparing myself with three options should the Coyotes move. Option one is still follow the team wherever they move. Option two follow the team closest to my city which would be the Anaheim Ducks or L.A. Kings. Option three root for the Boston Bruins and that is because I happened to be in Boston at the time they won the Stanley Cup and during the championship parade, so I kind of walked into a rooting interest. I have grown into a big hockey fan with no NBA this season and it would be tough on me and the other 50 people who watch Coyotes hockey should they move. Speaking of the NBA….that leads me into my next exception.

Exception 2: If your team has an owner who is constantly trying to lose over a long period of time and cares more about saving money then winning and after a nice decade long window of winning a championship, the window closes and you are looking at a very bleak future. (Phoenix Suns fans are nodding their heads right now) There have been numerous more owners in sports who have constantly agitated their fan base to the point of no return and Robert Sarver has about done that in Phoenix. If you are looking at this scenario and still want to be a fan of the sport you can choose the root for individual players until the team is sold to a competent owner scenario. More than likely that means root for the 4 different teams that feature all-stars of former players that wore your teams colors. I will now open up a petition to the NBA to oust Robert Sarver of his position as owner of the Suns.

Rule 3: You can not have two favorite teams

I can admit myself I fell victim to this rule myself with the Suns and Cavaliers during the Lebron era. My family is from Cleveland and Lebron James WAS my favorite player so I used that as my excuse to follow the Cavs. Liking two favorite teams though is like choosing red and black on the roulette table. There is no real winning in that. You need to pick a team and stick with that team. No switching bandwagons when one is winning and one is losing that is just cheating the system and your sports fanhood goes out the window.

Wrap-up

You gain nothing by rooting for a team in a city that you have no personal connections to. Yes, by liking the Steelers, Lakers, and Yankees you will win most sports arguments. Yes you are guaranteeing yourself multiple playoff runs and championship appearances every decade but you are losing out on so much more than what you are gaining, You are losing out on the pride and passion of a city when that team is successful and winning. There is nothing like the hometown team being successful and playing for championships and being in that city to witness it all happening. Sports teams that are successful make your city a destination spot and a place where people want to be. The best example of pride and passion came as I was leaving the Cardinals Steelers game yesterday. In the bathroom after the game a Cardinals fan came into the bathroom unprovoked and started shouting “This is my city, my team, my state…go home pittsburgh…go back home this is my city.” With many unprintable words thrown in there. Of course that brought mocking and a “here we go” Steelers chant by people who live in his city of Phoenix making fun of another Phoenician. As this guy was almost in tears from the pride he was letting out I went up to him and gave him a huge high-five and a shout of “GO CARDS!” as loud as I could yell. He was as worn out as I was from people in Phoenix thinking it was OK to root for the PITTSBURGH Steelers. That fan symbolized what is right about sports and the meaning of sports and for every person in that bathroom who laughed or mocked that person should only be laughing at how truly pathetic of a sports fan they really are.

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Week 7 NFL Picks

Welcome back to my 3rd week of my NFL picks. Last week I did a little better improving my seasons mark to 14-12. That’s about as mediocre as Mark Sanchez has been this year. This week there are about four “lock games” and 8 tossup games so this should be a very interesting week of games. Lets get to the picks….

San Diego Chargers 24 at New York Jets 23

Can the Sanchize beat a good team? Yes, He did beat Dallas week one, but only because Tony Romo and the COwboys did their weekly tank job. Yes he has led (Jets defense has led) the team to two straight AFC Championship games. Yes he does GQ covers and is a ladies man, but is he a good quarterback? This year at best he has been a very average quarterback and he is now in year three of his career. If he can’t start dominating games now when will he ever? It is not like guys get seven years worth of chances until he starts winning games for his team (Alex Smith). If you watched that Monday Night game last week you saw a guy who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express (Matt Moore) out play the Sanchize in the first half. The Jets were extremely lucky to get that win as easy as they did. This week I don’t care who is at home the Chargers are the better team on offense and on defense and will beat the Sanchize.

Coin flip game

Seattle Seahawks 13 at Cleveland Browns 16

I don’t know why I am picking the Browns in this one to be honest. The Browns two wins are against the Colts and Dolphins, combined 0 wins. No one knows what is up with Peyton Hillis anymore. Plus the fact that Seattle is coming off a road win at New York. So, why will the Browns win? Because I flipped a coin and the Browns side came up. Thats the best I got for you on this one.

Atlanta Falcons 27 at Detroit Lions 20

I don’t think this would be as big a shock as some people may think. The Falcons were picked by some as Super Bowl contenders coming off a 13-3 season and have struggled to a 3-3 record. The Lions raced out to a 5-0 start before losing a game they should have won last week. The Falcons will win this game by having the better defense and making one more stop than the Lions defense. The Lions also have no running attack and Stafford has shown signs of slowing down from his hot start. The Falcons need this game to springboard them back into their division race and are a little more desperate for this win.

Chicago Bears 17 at Tampa Bay buccaneers 23

I would like to welcome back Josh Freeman after last weeks performance against the Saints. I was ALMOST getting worried about my fantasy Quarterback, but that was just sillyness by me. Freeman will be averaging two touchdowns a game from here on out and lead me to fantasy greatness!!! Unfortunatly he has to go to London to do this for the annual game in London. This is Tampa Bays second game in London thanks to their ownership group (Glazer family) also own the Manchester United. This is Freeman’s second game in London in only his third season, so I hope he likes it over there because he will be playing many more games over there in his career.

Game of the week

Denver Tebow’s 28 at Miami Dolphins 15

The Messiah of football is making his first start of the season on the road against the worst home field advantage in sports. The Miami Dolphins are 1-10 at home since the beginning of last year. What is even funnier is that The Miami Dolphins are honoring the Florida Gators championship team led by Tebow at halftime so I am pretty sure 90 percent of that crowd will be for Tebow. Are the Owners of the Dolphins trying to set some sort of futility mark??? Anyways, The Dolphins offense will hold itself to all field goals so it will be a great idea to pick up Dan Carpenter as your fantasy kicker. TIm Tebow will be cheered from the second he walks on to the field to the second he walks off it. He will go 11-25 for 160 yards with a running touchdown and two interceptions and he will be anointed the next John Elway. Miami, Are you ready for tebowmania?!?

Washington Redskins 24 at Carolina Panthers 31

This game comes down to a simple math equation. Cam Newton > John Beck. It is a pretty simple formula. Cam Newton will eventually start getting wins and just because the Redskins are 3-2 does not mean they are good. They barely beat a bad Cardinals team at home by one and they struggled to beat a winless Rams team. It would not surprise me one bit if Carolina wins this game easily.

Houston Texans 20 at Tennessee Titans 21

This is a very big game in the AFC SOuth Division. The Texans are 3-3 and the Titans are 3-2 and this game could go a long ways in deciding this division. Houston is going into this game without Mario Williams who is done for the year and probably still no Andre Johnson. This will be a very close game with alot on the line and it will come down to who plays better at Quarterback between Hasselback and Schaub and my money is going on Hasselback who has proved to be a big game quarterback.

Upset Special

Pittsburgh Steelers 14 at Arizona Cardinals 23

The Cardinals have always won a game like this since moving into their new stadium in 2006. They always pull out one of these home upsets and coming off their bye with the Steelers looking ahead next week to New England I like the Cards at home. This game also happens to be a Super Bowl rematch and the first time these teams have met since the 2009 Super Bowl. A game the Steelers won on two miraculous plays that day. Yes I still get bitter whenever I think about this game and it is not even over the fact that the Cards lost (my favorite team if you have not of already guessed). It is the fact that the Cardinals were the better team that day. If Harrison doesn’t make that miracle pick six the Cards are winning at the half instead of being down two scores. Even after that play the Cardinals still should have won that game. I am not saying the Cardinals were better than the Steelers that year. All I am saying is that the Cardinals were better than the Steelers on that day and knowing the next chance the Cardinals will have at winning the Super Bowl wont be until 2027, it still does hurt Cardinals fans and the remaining players from that team namely Nine Oh, Fitz, and WIlson will be highly motivated this Sunday.

Kansas City Chiefs 20 at Oakland Raiders 10

Carson palmer is not going to come out of his retirement and be the next Rich Gannon for Raider nation. It does not work that way. Also with that trade for Carson Palmer it leaves the Raiders with only  5th and a 6th round pick in next years draft. The funny thing is they invested 3 of their top 4 picks into quarterbacks. Their 1st round pick went to Cincy for Palmer, their 3rd round pick went to Pryor in the Supplemental draft, and their 4th round pick went to Washington for Jason Campbell. That is ruining your future 101 right there. Very Quietly the Chiefs are starting to make noise after their disastrous 0-3 start. If they can win this one they will be 3-3 and going home for Monday Night Football against the Chargers next week. For this game if you are in doubt then go with the team who does not have a Quarterback who was on his couch last week.

Locks of the week

Green Bay Packers 38 at Minnesota Vikings 10

St. Louis Rams 9 at Dallas Cowboys 28

Indianapolis Colts 13 at New Orleans Saints 34

The Quarterbacks for the Packers Cowboys and Saints are Rodgers, Romo, and Brees. The Quarterbacks for the VIkings, Rams, and Colts are Ponder, Feely, and Painter. Though Bradford could still play with a bad ankle I don’t think it matters. I dont even know what team has the best chance at pulling off the upset out of those three games. I am not even sure if any of those games can even be close. If you have Arod, Romo, or Brees on your fantasy teams you are in pretty good shape this week and lets leave it at that.

Monday Night Football

Baltimore Ravens 24 at Jacksonville Jaguars 3

The Ravens defense vs Blaine Gabbert on Monday Night Football. I think 3 points is giving the Jags too many in this one. The Ravens defense has been on a tear this season and it will continue down in Jacksonville. By the way who made the Monday Night football schedule this year and thought it was a great idea to give Jacksonville 2 monday night games. Yes we get to see these same Jaguars again in late November on Monday night. Can we get some flex scheduling for Monday Night yet??

Thank you to everyone who read my blog this week and if you like it please take a moment to subscribe to my blog. Thank you very much and I will keep working on getting better.

Week 6 NFL Picks

Welcome back everyone to another week of my NFL picks. Last week I limped toward a 5-7 record, but did get some things right. I was one point off from correctly guessing the exact score of the Panthers Saints game, guessed right on my sleeper Jackie Battle, and Tim Tebow. Things I got wrong, and there were many last week, my lock of the week lost which just shows there really are no “locks” in the NFL. I thought the Eagles would win easily last week and that the Cards would at least lose in a competitive game. I must have been in dreamland with that prediction. I’m determined to do better this week and will not settle for less (shouldnt be that hard of a feat). Lets get to the picks.

Carolina Panthers 24 at Atlanta Falcons 28

The Cam Newton hype has not reached the Carolina Panthers defense yet which is the ONLY reason why I am still picking the struggling Atlanta Falcons to win this game. While the Panthers offense has improved it points per game by 11 from last year the defense is still giving up 26 a game and that will not win many games. Even if your QB is putting up ridiculous numbers. For the Falcons this is sort of must win game for them. You can’t lose to the last place team in your division at home if you think you’re a Super Bowl team and those dreams you had at the beginning of the year are slowly dying. They got to win this game and since they are in the Dome they will get it done.

Lock of the week

Jacksonville Jaguars 6 at Pittsburgh Steelers 24

We all saw how Tavaris Jackson did in Pittsburgh this year. Doesn’t give Blaine Gabbert much hope does it? The Steelers have a chance to go on a nice little winning streak with a win here and next week at Arizona to go into their showdowns against New England and Baltimore at 5-2.

Philadelphia Eagles 31 at Washington Redskins 23

I will promise right now that if the “Dream Team” does not win this game I will not pick them again until they put up another dubs. If the Eagles are to get back on track they will win this game which will be extremely tough given the Redskins are coming off a Bye week and they will be highly motivated for what Mike Vick did to them at their place last year on Monday Night Football. The Eagles have too much talent to be 1-5 after this game and I think they find a way to get it done.

St. Louis Rams 17 at Green Bay Packers 42

Is it too early to ask the question of will a-rod and company lose this year? On the flip side will the St. Louis Rams win this year? After this matchup we get another week to discuss those questions. If I were too wager on the two though I am wagering on the Pack not losing for a while.

Coin Flip of the week

Buffalo Bills 31 at New York Giants 28

I’m going to give my man, the Arizona native who went to Gilbert Highland and the Harvard grad, Ryan Fitzpatrick some props. Last year he did go 4-9 as a starter, but the lost by a field goal in overtime on the road to two playoff teams and lost at home in overtime to the Steelers on a dropped pass by Stevie Johnson. He also threw 23 touchdown passes in the 13 games he started with 15 interceptions. This year those breaks are going the Bills way and my man will come through again this week. The New York Giants are so unpredictable that I wouldn’t even be surprised if they came out and shut down the Bills this week. By the way why couldn’t Eli have thrown his game ending pick six against the Cards the week before? He decides to go his brother on the Cards and puts up two touchdown in under three minutes on the road, but against the Seahawks at home he chooses to throw that pick six that I was waiting for the week before. The Cards defense isn’t THAT bad…is it???

San Francisco 49ers 16 at Detroit Lions 27

Like I said last week I will admit that the 49ers are for real and will not pick against them for being the worse team much more this year. Against the Lions in Detroit they will be playing the underdog role again here in the Zone. Question: when was the last time the Lions lost a game? (Hint: Dont get cute and say preseason because they won all four of those too.) Ill give you the answer at the end of this preview. The 49ers beat down of Tampa last week turned out to be costly. Coach Jim Harbaugh was a little too excited and for some reason called a passing play in the red zone when they were up 41 to 3. The football gods did not like that and it cost wide receiver Josh Morgan his season. The Niners are still without Braylon Edwards which leads them very thin at the Wide Receiver position. Alex Smith is also due for an Alex Smith performance and the Lions are on too much of a roll right now, especially at home. Answer: December 5 against the Chicago Bears was the last time the Lions have lost a football game.

Indianapolis Colts 13 at Cincinnati Bengals 17

In the “Who Cares” game of the week I will take the Bengals winning at home. On another note if the Colts lose this game they are staring 0-9 right in the face. Their next good chance to win does not come until November 13th against the Jaguars at home. I know for most Colts fans they are in Suck for Luck mode, but you never want to go winless. You can still get Andrew Luck at 1-15 and the Bengals this week is one of the few remaining games the Colts will have a chance in this year. It will be best to go for that win this week and get that worry of a winless season out of the way.

Dawg pound 13 at Black Hole 27

If there was one game I wish I could have changed last week it would have been the Texans beating the Raiders. Raiders owner Al Davis passed away after my blog was posted and whenever someone of that magnitude passes away it always gives the players an extra something for that game. If you saw the reactions of the players and especially of Head Coach Hue Jackson after Michael Huff made the game winning interception to win in the final seconds is what makes sports so special. Hue Jackson broke down into tears on the field as the players celebrated the upset win and gave one of the best post game speeches you will ever see. The Raiders are 3-2 going home to the Black Hole to honor the passing of their owner. The poor Browns don’t stand a chance Sunday.

Houston Texans 9 at Baltimore Ravens 26

Even if the Texans had Mario Williams and Andre Johnson I still think the Ravens win this game easily. Ray Ray and friends have came to play this year as seen in the beatdowns against the Steelers, Rams, and Jets. The Ravens defense has 11 sacks, 14 forced turnovers, and have scored four touchdowns themselves in four games this year. Compare those four DEFENSIVE touchdowns to the Rams offense and they are tied in that department. The Ravens are also coming off a bye so they are well rested and at home and are ready to go. Tip to Texans from the Jets: Your two best ways to score is on a kickoff OR stay patient on defense and wait for Flacco to hand you a defensive touchdown of our own. Tip from Mark Sanchez to Matt Schaub: Your on your own buddy.

New Orleans Saints 34 at Tampa Bay Buccanears 21

Where is the Josh Freeman of last year? Freeman has as many interceptions, 6 as he had all of last year. He’s also on pace to barely break ten touchdowns, last season he had 25! For his teams sake (and my fantasy teams sake) he better figure it out soon. Especially with the news that LeGarrette Blount has a MCL tear that will probably keep him out awhile. The Saints meanwhile just keep winning and are quietly sitting nice at 4-1 right now. A win in Tampa and they are looking at a nice stretch of Indy, @ STL, and Tampa again at home. They should win all of those which puts them at 8-1 when they travel out to the Georgia Dome before their bye week.

Game of the Week

Dallas Cowboys 28 at New England Patriots 35

The award for the most shocking statistic I may of ever heard goes to Tom Brady. Last week he threw his first EVER red zone interception at home in his career. FIRST EVER!!! In roughly 75 career home games Tom Brady had not thrown an interception in the Red Zone until last week. That just blows my mind. Every quarterback every year has a couple of interceptions a year. Some are off bad throws, some off tipped passes, some off of bad WR routes, whatever the reason no one goes a stretch of 75 games and not make a mistake in the red zone. If anyone ever doubted the greatness of Tom Brady that stat will quiet you down. By the way everyone needs to get off Tony Romo’s back. You have to accept him for what he is and he is a very good Quarterback who can’t always win games by himself. Cowboy fans are ridiculous and if you guys are treating a good player like Tony Romo like that, who will want to play Quarterback and face that kind of pressure for the Dallas Cowboys? If you don’t like Tony Romo you could always go Jake Delhomme for a quick fix this season.

Sunday Night Football

Upset pick of the week

Minnesota Vikings 20 at Chicago Bears 17

Why am I taking a Quarterback who can barely complete ten passes in todays NFL on the road against a solid defense on Sunday Night Football? Jared Allen against whatever folding chair the Bears put out to block him. Jay Cutler has literally 1.5 seconds to throw the football behind that offensive line. For anyone who watched MNF last week and saw Cutler take the snap and just ran backwards knows what I am talking about. Cutler somehow found a way to put up 13 points last week with a remarkable performance given what he was dealing with his offensive line. I hope Cutler has some good medical insurance because he may need it after Jared Allen and the rest of the Vikings D line is done with that offense.

Monday Night football

Miami Dolphins 13 at New York Jets 23

I was tempted to go with the Dolphins in my upset special before I read the comments by Brandon Marshall that he just want to go out and deck some people. I mean seriously have you ever seen quotes as crazy as what B Marsh says here:

“The past four games, it’s been tough for me trying to control some things,” the
27-year-old told the Miami Herald. “I’m just going to let it out. I don’t care
if they have two, three cameras on me, I don’t care if I have penalties. It
doesn’t matter. I’m going to let it all out… I’ll probably get kicked out after
the second quarter.”

I will translate here…What B Marsh is saying is that he wants none of Revis Island with some guy who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night throwing him the football. He figures that if he can get kicked out early enough he can hit up the New York City club scene before the team flight heads back down to Miami. Historically the Dolphins always play the Jets tough in New York, but with guys wanting to not play and with Matt Moore as your Quarterback the Monday Night crew better have some good stories to keep what looks like a boring game to keep viewers interested.

I hope everyone enjoyed this weeks picks and if you did you can subscribe to my blog and get email updates to all of my blog posts. Thank you again for taking the time to read my blog and I will work on getting better.

 

 

Big Arizona sports weekend in review

This weekend was filled with sports for Arizona sports fans. We had the Diamondbacks dramatic and heartbreaking do or die game five on Friday afternoon. Arizona States big road win at Utah along with the Phoenix Coyotes opening the season on Saturday. Then the Cardinals (searching for a nice word…..) pathetic performance (best that I could come up with) on Sunday morning. Lets start in order with my reviews starting with the Diamondbacks.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks amazing season came to an unfortunate halt on Friday when they fell to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 in ten innings. This was a game that could have gone either way and really the Diamondbacks had many more opportunities to score, but it just was not meant to be. The Dbacks left 11 runners on base and hit 2/11 with runners in scoring position compared to the Brewers leaving just seven and hitting 2/7 with RISP. The Dbacks left runners on third base in the 6th, 8th and 9th, but just could not get that last run home. Nonetheless it was a very successful season for the team. Going from 65 to 94 wins is very hard to do and Diamondbacks fans should be extremely proud of their team and excited looking into the future. The loss was heartbreaking for the moment, especially when they tied the game in the 9th and we all believed at that moment that this team would get their 49th come from behind victory of the year, but again it was meant to be more so for the Brewers. With some very promising pitching prospects expected to contribute next year and most of this team expected to remain intact, this team should be contending for division titles for years to come.

Phoenix Coyotes

Coyotes fans biggest fears came true in the Opening game against the San Jose Sharks that our biggest strength the last two years is now their biggest weakness. New goalie Mike Smith gave up six goals in a 6-3 defeat in a game that is hopefully not a preview of this season. Former Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov signed a lucrative contract with the Philadelphia Flyers this offseason after leading the team to two consecutive playoff appearances. The Coyotes decided to go into this season with the backup goalie of the Tampa Lighting last year Mike Smith and their own backup last year Jason LaBarbera. Why did they decide to go into a season with such unproven goaltenders? Because they have no money to spend with no ownership group yet. This team has been at a competitive disadvantage for the last couple years by being owned by the NHL which limits the amount of money GM Don Maloney is allowed to spend on players. The last two years they were lucky with one of the best goalies in the league behind the pipes for them, but this year I think is the year they will struggle since he has left and they did not improve much on the offense. The Coyotes only hope to another successful season is by winning those 2-1 and 3-2 type of games and I don’t know if the Coyotes have the goaltending to do that this year.

Arizona State Football

By beating Utah 35-14 on Saturday it puts them in the lead and speeding away quickly from the rest of the Pac 12 South for the right to play the winner of the Pac 12 North for the right to go to the Rose Bowl in December. Colorado, Utah, and Arizona have yet to win a conference game and with USC still on bowl probation there only worry right now is 2-1 UCLA which still has games at UA, Utah, and USC. Asu does not have to play either Stanford or Washington who are both undefeated meaning after Oregon this week they could easily win out and even if they don’t and have a slipup they are still in great shape. With recent whispers that star senior cornerback Omar Bolden could return this season and the looks of an easy schedule the rest of the way Arizona State could be in the process of a real magical season in the desert.

Arizona Cardinals

I think it is time some fire is put on Ken Whisenhunts seat. What happened Sunday was an embarrassment to this team and its fans and we have been blaming the players for too long. Maybe the fact is that these players that Whisenhunt assembled are just not that good. Quick note: I am not going to bash Kevin Kolb, yes he has been awful, but I am going to give him a couple more weeks to get this system down. There are plays where you do see his potential to be a good Quarterback in this league so let’s let this thing play out some more. Back to Whisenhunt, we can officially say that this is his group of guys being it is his  5th year with the team. Everyone gives him a pass because (Kurt Warner actually) he led us to the brink of a Super Bowl. Fun fact for everyone, but I found 15 of the 22 starters for that Super Bowl team were on the 2006 team which was the last team Dennis Green coached. That means his (Kurt Warners) Super Bowl team were made up of Denny’s guys. As that team disassembled when guys like Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle, Anquan Boldin, Antonio Smith, Kurt Warner, Bertrand Berry, and Gerald Hayes all left or retired it became Whisenhunt’s guys. And his guys have gave us a 6-15 record and it is not looking much better this year. I dont think Whisenhunt will get fired this year, but if this does not change next year then I highly doubt he comes backs in two years. Right now Cardinals fans can only hope that this is just a bad stretch and we will make something of this year, but with the 49ers looking like they finally figured things out a 6-10 season is right around the corner.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this blog and I only hope to get better. Also if you could take a moment to subscribe to my blog I would greatly appreciate it! Remember every Friday I will do my weekly football picks, so make sure to check back around noons on Fridays for my picks.

Week 5 NFL Picks

Welcome back to the Sports Zone everyone. Every Friday for the rest of the NFL season I will be making my weekly picks for every game here in the Zone. If you enjoy my blogs than you can subscribe to my blog and get emails every time I make a post and you will always know when I make my Friday posts plus more.

Lock of the Week

Seattle Seahawks10 @New York Giants 31

How many times have we wrote off a Tom Coughlin/ Eli Manning New York Giants team only for them to show us all wrong and just keep putting up wins? The Giants were suppose to be trying to stay alive with the “Dream Team” and the Cowboys, but instead are 3-1 after already winning (easily) in Philly and with home games vs the Seahawks, Bills, and Dolphins coming up they can easily be 6-1 going into New England for thier 08 Super Bowl Rematch.

New Orleans Saints 30 @ Carolina Panthers 26

The Carolina Panthers might be one of the most exciting 1-3 teams of all time. No rookie Quarterback in the history of the league has been putting up the numbers that Cam Newton has been putting up. The player most enjoying the Jimmy Clausen to Cam Newton upgrade is Wide receiver Steve Smith who has 24 catches for 530 yards in just four games this season and is back to being relevant again. The Saints play much different away from the Dome and this is a division game and will be much closer than people think.

Philadelphia Eagles 35 @ Buffalo Bills 17

Are the Eagles as bad as their 1-3 record indicates? I don’t think so. Are the Buffalo Bills as good as their 3-1 record indicates? I don’t think so on that one either. I say the Eagles score five touchdowns on this one because unless it is fourth and long in field goal territory the eagles have a better chance to score by just going for it instead of sending the field goal unit out. Two misses at home under forty yards that costs your team the game will do that for you Alex Henery.

Arizona Cardinals 20 @ Minnesota Vikings 23

The Arizona Cardinals defense gives you the biggest talkers with the least amount of results in football. The chances of the Cardinals defense blowing a ten point lead at home with only 5 plus minutes remaining was about as high as Alex Rodriguez striking out with the game on the line last night. Since 2008 including the playoffs the Cardinals defense has blown 10 leads of 10 points or more and 14 games where they gave up the lead in the fourth quarter including the Super Bowl. Their defense has already blown two of those this year! Dont get me wrong I love Adrian Wilson and Darnell Dockett, but does anyone remember them making a play to win a game? All I remember is A-Dubs getting beat for the game tying touchdown in Minnesota last year or any and every Quarterback having all day to throw the ball like Eli Manning had in his quick comeback last week. If the Cards can’t stop an aging Donovan Mcnabb this week, and my hopes are not too high, then Ken Whisenhunt’s seat needs to start catching fire because 1-4 will not be getting it done anymore.

Kansas City Chiefs 13 @ Indianapolis Colts 16

The Colts will win a couple of games this year….right??? Anyways two awful teams playing here, but I have a sleeper for all fantasy owners. http://www.kansascity.com/2011/10/05/3190028/chiefs-jackie-battle-starting.html The Chiefs know they are going 4-12 this year and Thomas Jones isn’t doing it for them anymore so why not give an unknown the chance to show what he has? I don’t know if he makes a huge impact now, but later in the year I can see him getting the bulk of the carries so if you have an open spot on your bench for him I would stash him away while you can.

Cincinnati Bengals 17 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 20

We have the rookie quarterback/coach in the hot seat bowl here in Jacksonville. I will give the edge to the home team which is the Jaguars, but really you can flip a coin on this one.

Tennessee Titans 19 @ Pittsburgh Steelers  20

The Steelers two wins are against teams with a combined record of 1-7 and they have two losses against teams with a combined 6-2 record. They have major injury problems. James Harrison and his backup are already ruled out along with Mewelde Moore. Brett Kiesel, Aaron Smith, Rashard Meandenhall, and Ben Roethlisberger are all on the injury report as well. Why am I still picking the Steelers? They still have more weapons than the Titans and I feel the Steelers have too much pride to play another stinker of a game, especially in front of the home fans.

Oakland Raiders 10 @ Houston Texans 20

This will be an ugly and grind it out type of game. Both teams have physical defenses and two Pro Bowl running backs. No Andre Johnson for the Texans, so they will rely heavily on Arian Foster the way the Raiders always rely on Darren McFadden. The defense that can best shut down the run game will win this game.

Tampa Bay buccaneers 27 @ San Francisco 49ers 23

A win here and I will finally come to terms that the niners may actually be good this year, but I am still not buying it. They were only up 2 at home against Tavaris Jackson when Ted Ginn went nutso and broke open that game, beat Cincy 13-8 in a game that brought football back 50 years, and beat Philly in a game that Philly basically handed to them. They now come home and face a Tampa team that shut them out last year at the “Stick” with a huge chance to make another statement win. Will they do it? For the life of me I can’t see my self waking up Monday and seeing San Francisco  4-1.

New York Jets 14 @ New England Patriots 31

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady do not lose twice to anyone. Since their 18-1 season the only time these two have lost twice in a row to the same team was to the Indianapolis Colts, which includes Belichicks famous 4th and 3 game. The Pats are coming off a playoff beat down to the Jets as the Jets are coming off a Ray Ray beat down on Sunday Night football last week. The Jets have more injury issues and the Patriots just don’t lose twice to the same team. Pats will win this one easily.

San Diego Chargers 34 @ Denver Broncos 13

The Chargers are long overdue for a big statement win and they will get it here. For the Broncos, I do not get their thought process in sticking with Kyle Orton. You are NOT making the playoffs this year, so really what is the difference between going 6-10 with Kyle Orton or 4-12 with Tim Tebow? If I am John Fox I am starting Tim Tebow after their bye week next week when they go to Miami in week seven and start him the rest of the year. John Fox knows he will be getting a top ten pick next April in a QB rich draft so you have to know what you have in Tim Tebow to see if you have your QB of the future or if you need to invest in another first round QB next April. Give him half the season and see if he can inject life in the team and fan base and if he can’t do that cut your losses in the offseason and draft Luck, barkley, or Jones in the draft.

Sunday night football

Green Bay Packers 31 @ Atlanta Falcons 24

A divisional round playoff rematch in a game the Falcons have had circled on their calendars since the schedule came out last April. The Falcons had home field advantage throughout the playoffs when the Packers trounced them 48-21 by A-ROd and company. It wont be as big a beat down as January, but the Packers will win this game. The Falcons are not as good as last year and the Packers are already in playoff form averaging 37 points a game. The Packers weakness though has been in the pass defense so if Matt Ryan can get in a rhythm the Falcons could win it, but its going to take a lot to beat the guy with the belt.

Monday Night Football

Upset Alert

Chicago Bears 24 @ Detroit Lions 23

The Lions are 4-0, hosting their first Monday Night Football game in a decade, and have the perfect D line to harass Jay Cutler all night not to mention Megatron and Matt Stafford. So why am I taking the Bears?? Because the Bears have been in this position before and Dennis Green knows who they are. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYKIcnj1MJY

I hope everyone enjoyed my blog and I will always work on getting better.

Sports Zone

Welcome everyone to my blog called the Sports Zone. I will be making multiple posts a week with my opinion on all major sports news both locally here in Phoenix, Arizona and nationally. I love all sports from the NFL to the NHL and I follow all the local teams daily and I am always up to date on all activity in the local sports scene. I have been reading and following sports for as long as I can remember and I will give you the best that my knowledge has to offer. My next post will be my weekly section during football season, which I will give you my NFL picks for the coming week along with a summary for every game. I will publish that post every Friday, so make sure everyone checks back in on Friday with my picks for Week 5 of the NFL. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I will keep working on getting better.