Tagged with "Predictions"
NFL Week 2
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Good start to the season, odds are provided by bodog.net and are provided for comparison and entertainment purposes only. Im so broke I cant pay attention (look squirrel!) So if you bet the lines and lose, its on you.


 Thursday September 11th (We shall never forget…)

Steelers (1-0) @ Ravens (0-1)

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 8:25 (CBS/NFLN)

Favorite Ravens by 3

Last Week Steelers defeated Browns 30-27, Ravens lost to Bengals 23-16

Fast Fact 9 of the last 10 meetings have been decided by three or fewer points

The Steelers lit out to a big lead and nearly gave it all away but hung on to beat the Browns, meanwhile the Ravens are a team in turmoil after the sorry mess that is the whole Ray Rice affair. Their punchless offense which was already hampered by the absence of the now disgraced running back is now trying to figure out how to keep the pressure of an already heavily beleaguered Joe Flacco. Bernard Pierce had a bad case of the dropsies and Justin Forsett really isn’t a long term answer. The Steelers aren’t a juggernaut but they are methodical and a rowdy home crowd might help the Ravens keep it close but they will not be able to keep pace



Sunday September 14

Patriots (0-1) @ Vikings (1-0)

TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Patriots by 3

Last Week Patriots lost to Dolphins 30-23, Vikings defeated

Fast Fact This is the Vikings first outdoor home September game since 1981, as they play the next two seasons at the home stadium of the University Of Minnesota while their new stadium is built on the old Metrodome Site.

The Patriots ran out of gas in the heat of South Florida, with Tom Brady taking an uncharacteristic beating by a withering Dolphins pass rush. Meanwhile the Vikings romped and stomped in St. Louis running roughshod on a Rams defense that was supposed to be a tough. The Patriots need to get their offensive line woes together and fast since keeping Brady upright and hale is paramount to their overall success. The Vikings seem to be developing a decent secondary offense behind the dynamic running of Adrian Peterson. Will another hostile crowd and Vikings pass rush be enough to wear the Pats down? I want badly to pick the Vikings for an upset, but logic tells me different…I just…aww what the heck…



Dolphins (1-0) @ Bills (1-0)

Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Dolphins by 1

Last Week Dolphins defeated Patriots 30-23, Bears

Fast Fact After giving up league high 93 sacks of QB Ryan Tannehill in 2013, the Dolphins offensive allowed only one sack against the Pats last week

Both teams are coming off stunning upset wins in week 1. The Bills and Dolphins utilized strong running games to secure their respective victories and get off to unexpected fast starts. Both teams used strong defensive rushes as well to keep the opposition signal caller on the run, this looks to be a tight taut defensive game, but I just don’t trust EJ Manuel yet as someone that can consistently produce wins, though he had a nice completion percentage in the win over the Bears. But I don’t trust Tannehill either. This is a tough one to pick, I think that the Dolphins run game and defense is slightly better.



Jaguars (0-1) @ Washington (0-1)

Fed Ex Field; Landover, MD 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Washington by 6

Last Week Jaguars lost to Eagles 34-17, Washington lost to Texans 17-6

Fast Fact Washington is mired in its longest losing streak since a 17 game skid covering the 1960 & 1961 seasons but have yet to ever lose to the Jaguars at home

These two teams continue their intraconference sked and both took fairly big losses. The Jags have had at least an offensive spark though their defense was worn down by the Eagles fast breaking offense. Washington is just a mess, their defense was passable but their offense seems to be mired in a bad slump and lack direction.  RGII seems to be regressing badly and the lack of punch in the running game is further hampering the offense. That being said I still think it a stretch to give the Jags the edge here. I’m likely going to regret this but…



Cowboys (0-1) @ Titans (1-0)

LP Field, Nashville 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Titans by 3½

Last Week Cowboys lost to 49ers 28-17, Titans defeated Chiefs 26-10

Fast Fact The Titans held the ball 37:44 against the Chiefs last week their highest time of possession in five years

Everyone was concerned about the Pokes defense, it turned out that was the least of their worries. Tony Romo looked absolutely horrid against the 49ers throwing like he had no clue and forcing the ball like a scared backup. It just seems wrong to pile on Romo at this point, but facing a ball hawking defense like the Titans is a bit unfair right now. The Titans methodically took apart the Chiefs in Arrowhead and if they can dominate time of possession like they did last week, Jason Garrett won’t have to worry about Romo throwing a bevy of picks if they aren’t on the field



Cardinals (1-0) @ Giants (0-1)

MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Cardinals by 1½

Last Week Cardinals defeated the Chargers 18-17, Giants lost to Lions 35-14

Fast Fact Giants have won three of the last four meetings, with the only loss being in Gotham in 2009

The G-Men looked bad on both sides of the ball in Motown last Monday, offensively inept and defensively clueless. Eli Manning looks like he would rather be somewhere other than a football field and when not dodging pass rushers is picking himself off the ground. The Cards rallied smartly to win the late Monday game and finally put their offense together to score twice late. Most of the time I’m not going to pick a western team going east in an early game especially off a Monday game. But the G-Men are a mess and the Cards defense even missing John Abraham will be formidable and give Eli more problems.



Saints (0-1) @ Browns (0-1)

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Saints by 7

Last Week Saints lost to Falcons 37-34 in overtime, Browns lost to Steelers 30-27

Fast Fact The Browns have won 12 of 16 in the series but the Saints have won 2 of the last 3 meetings.

Both teams are coming off 3 point losses but they feel different, the Saints lost a surprising shootout with the Falcons in the ATL while the Browns fought back gamely from 24 down in Pittsburgh but fell late. The Saints will produce the points and offense and against a Browns defense that can be had you should see it. If the Browns fall behind again like they did against the Steelers, the Saints won’t let them off the mat and we might hear the Johnny Football catcalls in force from the home crowd.

Pick-New Orleans


Falcons (1-0) @ Bengals (1-0)

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bengals by 5

Last Week Falcons defeated Saints 37-34 in overtime, Bengals defeated Ravens 23-16

Fast Fact Bengals have won 9 of their last 11 meetings with NFC opponents but have lost their last three meetings with the Falcons

The Falcons were off and winging with a shootout win against the Saints while the Bengals weebled wobbled but didn’t fall down against the Ravens. I still don’t trust the Falcons defense, but their offense has seemed to rebound to their halcyon days. The Bengals offense looks fairly crisp but has had trouble finishing drives off, if they can correct that it could be 28 point per game offense. This game looks like it could be a shootout with a pair of decent offenses but I like the Bengals better balance on both sides of the ball to win another close one



Lions (1-0) @ Panthers (1-0)

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Panthers by 3

Last Week Lions defeated Giants 35-14, Panthers defeated

Fast Fact Panthers have won the last three meetings in Charlotte

The Lions came out smoking on Monday night, and just destroyed the G-Men. The Panthers got a solid performance from Derek Anderson (Is he still in this league?) to beat the Bucs on the road. Though the Lions lit up the scoreboard their lack of a running game is troubling. I’m just not real sold on Carolina without Cam Newton, even as they beat the Bucs on the road. Another toss up game, I should know better than to trust the Lions like I do…



Rams (0-1) @ Buccaneers (0-1)

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 4:05 (FOX)

Favorite Buccaneers by 7

Last Week Rams lost to Vikings 34-6, Buccaneers lost to Panthers 20-14

Fast Fact The Rams have won 5 of the last seven meetings

The Rams got housed by the Vikings and their QB situation got even murkier when Shaun Hill was ineffective in the first half. The Bucs held their own but with lackluster and borderline non-existent running game just couldn’t get it together. I think the Rams are a lot worse off than the wonks want to let on. With no offensive punch at QB they suddenly put their capable defense in for a lot more work

Pick-Tampa Bay


Seahawks (1-0) @ Chargers (0-1)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 6 ½

Last Week Seahawks defeated Packers 36-16, Chargers lost to Cardinals 18-17

Fast Fact Four of the last five meetings were decided by a field goal

The Seahawks looked all the part of the defending champs with an opening night drubbing of the Pack before a deliriously happy home crowd. Meanwhile the Chargers looked decent for three quarters and then came apart in the rainy desert on Monday. Despite being at home I have a hard time trusting the Chargers anywhere past Philip Rivers and facing the Legion of Boom is not a fun task. I do suspect that Richard Sherman will get more work than he did in week 1.



Texans (1-0) @ Raiders (0-1)

O.co Coliseum, Oakland 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Texans by 3

Last Week Texans defeated Washington 17-6, Raiders lost to Jets 19-14

Fast Fact Something has to give, the Texans have lost 7 straight road games and the Raiders have lost their last four home games.

The Texans looked a bit ragged but were finally on the positive side of the scoreboard for the first time in almost a year, meanwhile aint nuttin changed with the Raiders. They look lost and without a clear direction on either side of the ball. I think the Texans are a lot better than they were last year when Matt Schaub’s inept play seemed to drag down the whole team. But I think the Raiders are just hopeless, and until they show any kind of direction I won’t make too many picks for them.



NY Jets (1-0) @ Packers (0-1)

Lambeau Field, Green Bay 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Packers by 9½

Last Week Jets defeated Raiders 19-14, Packers lost to Seahawks 36-16

Fast Fact Is it too early for a must win for the Pack? The last nine times that they lost their opener, the result of their 2nd game ultimately decided if they made the postseason.

The Pack got smashed in the season opener and now need to bounce back, the Jets are feeling froggy after winning a sluggish but effective win over the Raiders in Gotham but this is a bit higher than the pay grade that they are used to. The Pack return to their home confines upset and slightly embarrassed and there is nothing that the grinning jeering Rex Ryan will be able to do about it other than watch the Packers chase his young QB around and Aaron Rodgers abuse their weak secondary.

Pick-Green Bay


Chiefs (0-1) @ Broncos (1-0)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 13

Last Week Chiefs lost to Titans 26-10, Broncos defeated Colts 31-24

Fast Fact Peyton Manning has yet to lose to the Chiefs as Broncos QB

-Blurb This has all the makings of a grave mismatch, the Broncos came out firing on all cylinders as the raced out to a big lead against the Colts and held on tight to secure the win, meanwhile the Chiefs got poleaxed at home by a Titans squad who just didn’t seem intimidated by the Chiefs or their noisy home crowd. Manning is just on another level and seems to have not had any lingering effects from the Super Blowout from last February. I’m just not confident in the Chiefs ability to slow the Broncos offense. This game could get really ugly.

Pick-Denver (lock of the week)


Bears (0-1) @ 49ers (1-0)

Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, CA 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite 49ers by 7

Last Week Bears lost to Bills 23-20, 49ers defeated Cowboys 28-17

Fast Fact Levi’s Stadium the newest NFL venue forty miles south of their old home but right across the street from their team headquarters

The Bears took a stunning loss from the Bills who proved to be less than the pushover that they thought they would be. The Niners were the welcome recipient of the ineptitude of the Pokes and now open their new palatial park before a national primetime stage. The Niners while not looking exceptionally crisp looked better than the Bears who seemed diffident and bored waiting to turn it on and puzzled when it didn’t happen. I’m tired of excusing the lackadaisical play of Jay Cutler who is starting to fall to the scorn level I reserve for Tony Romo. I think the dogged pass rush of the Niners will give Cutler problems and they christen their new home nicely.



Monday September 12


Eagles (1-0) @ Colts (0-1)

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Colts by 3

Last Week Eagles defeated Jaguars 34-17, Colts lost to Broncos 31-24

Fast Fact The Eagles are gunning for only their 3rd 2-0 start in 16 seasons while the Colts are trying to avoid only their 3rd 0-2 start in the same time frame

The weeks final game is a doozy, the Eagles looked ragged in the first half of their game against the Jags, but got off the mat and roared back for the win. The Colts spotted the Broncos a huge lead and nearly got it all back when their last drive fell short. The Eagles are such a headache to prepare for offensively but you have the feeling that the Andrew Luck can pilot the Colts to enough points to keep up. It’s a tough game to call, when in doubt go with the home team.



Last Week & Overall: 11-5 (Lock correct, Upset Incorrect)

Locks: 1-0

Upset: 0-1



NFL Week 1 (The Whole Thing!)
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions



Football nation Represent!!!                         The Hoodwood Citizens weep tears of joy....Bandits football picks are back!!!



Football is back! I know that preseason and college games have been floating around for the last month or so but until the NFL kicks off, it doesn’t feel like football season. The NFL gears up for it 95th season and its 49th journey to the Super Bowl. This time the roads are headed to the desert as the University of Phoenix Stadium is the goal for the 32 teams in the NFL and a shot a hoisting the most treasured trophy in pro football the Vince Lombardi Trophy. But that’s 5 months, 256 regular season and 10 playoff games down the road and is right now a mere speck on the horizon. So for the umpteenth season, I bring you my NFL picks, each game will have the specifics on where and when the game as well as a fast fact and my take on who will win.  Also included is the favorite which will be provided by a variety of sources. These lines are provided strictly for entertainment and comparison purposes, if you bet the lines provided and get hosed that’s your problem to deal with. I don’t pay bookies and don’t provide housing for those that get booted from their domicile because of betting losses. That said in the words of the classic from MC Hammer and echoed by the Black Eyed Peas:  “Let’s Get It Started!”


Week 1 (Final 2013 Regular Season Record)

Thursday September 4th

Packers (8-7-1) @ Seahawks (13-3)

CenturyLink Field, Seattle 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Seahawks by 6

Fast Fact This marks the 11th time that the defending Super Bowl Champion will kick off the season, defending champs are 8-2 in the kickoff game.

The Champs lead the season off, and by and large return the same ball hawking, rough house big play defense that carried them to their first ever Super Bowl title. They get a true opening test with the high powered Pack offense fronted by perennial MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers. The defense and the ear-splitting, brain rattling noise provided by the perpetually delirious Seahawk fan base at CenturyLink Field is worth at least a 4 point swing. I’m seeing a taut tight game that may come down to a late defensive stand by the home team. It’s so hard to bank against the champs in their crib



Sunday September 7

Saints (11-5) @ Falcons (4-12)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Saints by 3

Fast Fact Saints QB Drew Brees is the first QB to have multiple 5000 yard passing seasons

The Saints head into the Dirty Dirty to tangle with a team that has developed a chippy rivalry with. Both teams have the offensive punch to make this a high scoring slugfest, powered by big name QB’s in Drew “Cool” Brees and Matt “Ice” Ryan” but the Saints have the better defense and that should be the difference here. 

Pick-New Orleans


Bengals (11-5) @ Ravens (8-8)

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Ravens by 1½

Fast Fact The Bengals have lost in their last four visits to Baltimore

The Bengals are a team that many think are the chic pick to repeat as divisional champs and make an unprecedented 4th straight playoff berth. The Ravens are not the fearsome bird that they were 2 short years ago. The Bengals have a crisp efficient offense that the aging Ravens defense may have a hard time slowing down if not stopping.  As much as I want to fall back into the easy cliché saying the Bengals will fall flat in the face of high expectations. I can’t see it here, even on the road.  Though I’ll likely regret this but…



Bills (6-10) @ Bears (8-8)

Soldier Field, Chicago 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Bears by 7

Fast Fact The Bills have never won in Chicago (0-5)

The Bears are another team that are facing high expectations. Like the aforementioned Bengals, they have a high powered offense that can score points and have a pair of dynamic receivers in Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. If Jay Cutler can show half a pulse and stay healthy this team will win a bunch of games. The Bills are just so disorganized it’s a shame, since they have a lot of decent pieces. The Bears are the better squad and are a tough draw at home.



Titans (7-9) @ Chiefs (11-5)

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Chiefs by 4

Fast Fact The Chiefs were tied for the fewest points allowed in the AFC in 2013 (305-T1 with Bengals)

The Titans have more than a few question marks on both sides of the ball and that’s not a good prospect heading into madhouse in Arrowhead. The Chiefs have a dynamic running game with Jamaal Charles and a rock solid defense that is stingy on points allowed. Both QB’s have a ton of pressure on them, The Titans Jake Locker need to step up to the high draft status, while Alex Smith of the Chiefs needs to prove his worth in that huge contract he just signed. I have a hard time betting against the Chiefs at their crib. But this game will be closer than many think

Pick-Kansas City


Jaguars (4-12) @ Eagles (10-6)

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Eagles by 10

Fast Fact Eagles RB Shady McCoy set Eagles records with 1607 rushing yards and 2146 yards from scrimmage in 2013

The Jags showed a lot of growth down the stretch and Blake Bortles will push incumbent starter Chad Henne hard from the start. Henne gets no break to start the season heading into Philly and being forced to keep up with the Eagles fast breaking high octane offense. The Jags defense is young and inexperienced, a noxious combo on the road against a veteran team like the Eagles. Add to boot that Henne pilots a young offense himself and this game could get ugly fast.

Pick-Philadelphia (Lock of the Week)


Patriots (12-4) @ Dolphins (8-8)

SunLife Stadium; Miami Gardens, FL 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Patriots by 5½

Fast Fact Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill was sacked an NFL high 58 times in 2013

Long time and often bitter divisional rivals tangle in this matchup; Tom Brady keeps chugging along as a grizzled vet and leads an efficient cagey offense. The Dolphins are a tough team to get a read on, having survived the Martin-Incognito fiasco of a year ago, the Dolphins looked look to break even last year. Bolstered by new RB Knowshon Moreno the Dolphins are trying (again) to present a balanced offense. Though they show lots of promise, I don’t trust the Dolphins inconsistencies on both sides of the ball.

Pick-New England


Vikings (5-10-1) @ Rams (7-9)

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Rams by 4

Fast Fact Vikings defense allowed an NFL worst 37 touchdown passes in 2013

The Vikings look like a team that has more confidence that it should expect, Matt Cassel is simply keeping the starters seat warm for Teddy Bridgewater. The running game is still top notch, but if the passing game doesn’t do its share it’ll be more 8 and 9 man fronts facing the All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson. The Rams have a decent defense but their offense, suspect at best with Sam Bradford is highly questionable under journeyman Shaun Hill. This isn’t an upset in the classic sense but the Rams are the home team and the Vikings are supposed to be a doormat



Raiders (4-12) @ NY Jets (8-8)

MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Jets by 5½

Fast Fact Jets WR Jeremy Kerley led the team in 2013 with 43 catches the fewest for any team leader since 2009

The Raiders are a hot mess; Matt Schaub was brought into be a veteran QB at the helm, but couldn’t even supplant Derek Carr as the starter. The grinning jeering Rex Ryan isn’t full of boasts yet, but he has a defense that is fairly decent. If the offense can hold its own they could win their fair share of games. My theory on west coast teams flying east for early games got disproved a few times last year, but I’m banking that the Raiders will hold to form. The Jets are better on both sides of the ball and will give Carr a rude welcome as an NFL starter.                                                       

Pick-New York Jets


Browns (4-12) @ Steelers (8-8)

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Steelers by 6½

Fast Fact Brian Hoyer is the 11th opening day starter at QB for the Browns since their 1999 return to the NFL

Brian Hoyer is in a bad spot, having earned the starting QB job he will have to look over his shoulder constantly as the media and some of the Browns faithful pine for Johnny Manziel. The Steelers aren’t the scary bunch of yesteryear defensively but they are still better than the Browns. Lacking a home run threat like Josh Gordon, the Browns will struggle on offense and though the Steelers offense is mediocre at best they still have enough to grind over the Browns capable defense that will be too tired late from being on the field too much                                                                                                                                                                                                                 



Washington (3-13) @ Texans (2-14)

Reliant Stadium, Houston 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Texans by 3

Fast Fact The Texans 14 game losing streak is the NFL’s longest current skid

*I will refer to the Washington football club by locale only

A pair of 2012 playoff teams that were mammoth disappointments in 2013 square off in the last of the early games. Washington has so many questions in their offenses game plan and their defense is atrocious. Houston was an offense that could have been so much better but was derailed by the implosion of Matt Schaub. Will Ryan Mallett be the answer? He’ll have a fairly soft start, against Washington butter booty soft defense. I think the Texans may get off to another good start of the season, now after the season turns from summer to fall…



Panthers (12-4) @ Buccaneers (4-12)

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Buccaneers by 2

Fast Fact New Bucs QB Josh McCown posted an impressive QB rating on 108.2 in his 5 starts in 2013

The Panthers were the surprise team last year as Cam Newton had a breakout season, while the Bucs imploded under the inept coaching of Greg Schiano. I see both these teams getting closer to the collective middle, Newton while capable has lost a solid safety blanket in Steve Smith while the Bucs have shown real growth under the guidance of new coach Lovie Smith. While still wildly unsettled at the QB position and the regression of RB Doug Martin, I still like that defense. Something just tells me that this is an upset waiting to happen

Pick-Tampa Bay (Upset of the week)


49ers (12-4) @ Cowboys (8-8)

AT&T Stadium; Arlington, TX 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite 49ers by 5

Fast Fact The Cowboys allowed 415.3 yards per game in 2013, the third worst figure since the 1970 merger

An old school rivalry is the other late afternoon game; the Niners are a team in a spot of turmoil with a couple players facing discipline issues. The Pokes are their usual middling self, a high powered offense weighed down by a porous defense that is further weakened by the loss of Sean Lee and the defection of DeMarcus Ware. While the Niners may not be a 12 win team again this year, I still think that they are better on both sides of the ball. Pokes coach Jason Garrett’s seat gets even warmer with every passing loss.

Pick-San Francisco


Colts (11-5) @ Broncos (13-3)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Broncos by 7½

Fast Fact The Colts have won the last 6 meetings

The initial Sunday nighter is a doozy. The Colts were one of 4 teams last year to handle to high powered Broncos, but the rematch is in the thin air and ear-splitting expanse of Mile High and the Broncos are just about untouchable at home nowadays. In spite of the stunning loss of Wes Welker to a drug suspension, Peyton Manning still has an arsenal of offensive weapons. Andrew Luck is a highly capable signal caller, but I can’t go against the Broncos at home.




Monday September 8


NY Giants (7-9) @ Lions (7-9)

Ford Field, Detroit 7:10 (ESPN)

Favorite Lions by 5

Fast Fact The Giants have yet to lose at Ford Field, beating the Lions in 2007 and 2013, and beating the Vikings there in a rescheduled, relocated game in 2010.

A pair of disappointing teams from last year square off in the Monday opener, the Lions are a highly talented if undisciplined squad who could be so much better if they had their collective minds right. While the G-Men are a quickly aging crew that are creaking and groaning with each step. The Lions have the tools and talent and I just like their overall makeup. The Giants will find a way to stay in this game, but I feel like Eli Manning will find a way to mess it up.



Chargers (9-7) @ Cardinals (10-6)

University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, AZ 10:20 (ESPN)

Favorite Cardinals by 3

Fast Fact The Cardinals are coming off just their 2nd 10 win seasons in their 26 in Arizona (1998)

I’ve long be on the record saying that I love the Monday Night doubleheaders and think that these not the Thursday night games should be the standard. The late Monday game is an intriguing one as the Chargers who were a surprise playoff team take on a Cardinals squad who were left home watching despite a 10 win season. Will Carson Palmer continue to play the role of grizzled mature vet or will he regress to the wounded duck, pick magnet that made him the bane of fan bases in Cincy and Oakland. The Chargers defense is sneaky good and can play the role well. I’m gambling that a rowdy home crowd that doesn’t get the primetime love that they should (they don’t play in primetime again till December) will be the difference here in a tight well-played game



Last Year: Overall: 163-90-1

Locks 16-1

Upsets: 10-7

Musings From The Hoodwood 9-2 NFL Preview Pt.4
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Greetings from the Hoodwood where though football season is getting ready to start, your humble scribe is not ready to let the summer go.

The final part of the NFL preview heads west where the defending conference and Super Bowl Champs reside

AFC West

Denver Broncos

2013: 12-4 AFC Champs lost to Seattle in Super Bowl 48

Coach: John Fox 34-14 in 3 Seasons with Denver, 107-85 in 12 Seasons with Carolina & Denver; 115-91 overall

Man on the Hot Seat: Montee Ball, with the departure of Knowshon Moreno the onus will be on Ball to take more of the offensive load to keep defenses honest and away from Peyton Manning

Fast Facts: Broncos 606 points set an NFL record, no team has scored over 525 points in a season and won a Super Bowl (0-4)

Mile High Football: The Broncos were just about the most feared juggernaut in the NFL until they got hammer locked by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Manning is back as the front man of the prolific offense and the defense is capable at slow opposing offenses enough to make keeping up a nightmare. Though the Broncos are in a division that had three playoff squads, the west is still suspect enough where the Broncos are still head of the class here, a repeat of the 13 win season is not a longshot.

Kansas City Chiefs

2013: 11-5, Lost to Indianapolis in Wild Card Round

Coach: Andy Reid 11-5 in 1 season with Kansas City, 141-98-1 in 15 seasons in Philadelphia and Kansas City, 151-108-1 overall

Man on the Hot Seat: Alex Smith, he now has a big money contract and unquestioned starter status but he needs to win ASAP

Fast Facts: The Chiefs 9 game turnaround was the biggest in the NFL last year

Arrowhead Madness: Reid turned the Chiefs around and fast, the problem is that team 610 miles to the west is still just as tough. With a solid running game and impeccable defense, the Chiefs are still a team to reckon with but I cant put them ahead of the Broncos


San Diego Chargers

2013: 9-7, lost to Denver in Divisional Round

Coach: Mike McCoy 9-7 in 1 Season in San Diego, 10-8 overall

Man on the Hot Seat: Ryan Mathews, he needs to have a better season to keep the full defensive pressure off Philip Rivers

Super Charged Football: A late run and stunning playoff upset was the highlight of this teams 2013 season, but I really cant see the Chargers putting the moves on another playoff run. Im just not really sold on Philip Rivers and that defense is way too skittish to count on.

Oakland Raiders

2013: 4-12 Missed playoffs

Coach: Dennis Allen  8-24 overall in 2 seasons with Oakland

Man on the Hot Seat: Allen, Another 4-12 season won’t fly especially with the Niners dominating the talk just across the Bay

Fast Facts: The Raiders have had 11 straight losing seasons

East Bay Football: The Raiders are a shell of their once formidable selves. Its hard to climb over three tough teams when they have no plan of attack. 5 wins will be a tough task for them.


NFC West

Seattle Seahawks

2013: 13-3, Defeated Denver to win Super Bowl 48

Coach: Pete Carroll 38-26 in 4 seasons with Seattle, 71-57 in 8 seasons in Seattle, New England and New York. 77-61 overall.

Man on the Hot Seat: Russell Wilson, yeah hes a Super Bowl winning QB. The trick now is repeating.

Fast Facts: Seahawks CB Richard Sherman is not only the latest Madden cover boy, he’s also on the Time 100 most influential list.

The Champions defense: The defending champs have all the pieces back including the locqaucious Sherman and the famously laconic Marshawn Lynch. The pieces are there but the schedule is brutal with 3 separate east coast trips, and a November-December run that has both their divisional games with Arizona and San Fran sandwiched around a tough trip to Arrowhead. Can they win 13 again? Maybe not, but they will still be a tough team to deal with

Arizona Cardnials

2013: 10-6 missed playoffs

Coach: Bruce Arians; 10-6 in 1 seasons in Arizona, also 10-3 as interim coach in Indianapolis in 2012

Man on the Hot Seat: Carson Palmer, he needs to have a big season to take the Cards to the next level

Fast Fact: 2013 was the first time that the Cardinals had ever won 10 games and missed the playoffs.

Desert Football: The Cards were the best team in the NFL that stayed home in January, and even though that will be missing a key cog in their defense in losing Darnell Dockett to a devastating knee injury, but the defense is still one of the best that you likely know nothing about. If Palmer can keep from being his usual brain lock self, the Cards could be a real sleeper team.

San Francisco 49ers

2013: 12-4, lost to Seattle in NFC championship

Coach: Jim Harbaugh 36-11-1 in 3 seasons with San Francisco, 41-14-1 overall

Man on the Hot Seat: Frank Gore, the Niners solid RB will be asked to shoulder more of the load of the offense as they try to be more run oriented

Fast Facts: Harbaugh’s 31 wins in his first three seasons are second to George Seifert in the same span 

Football by the bay: The Niners move into new digs but have a litany of problems that have descended on them, they will be missing Aldon Smith for nine games, Navarro Bowman is out and Ray McDonald could be facing a suspension of his own. All this puts more an onus on Patrick Willis and that may be too tough to overcome. I think this is the team that takes the step back.


St. Louis Rams

2013: 7-9, missed playoffs

Coach Jeff Fisher, 14-17-1 in 2 seasons with St. Louis, 156-137-1 in 19 seasons with Houston (Oilers), Tennessee and St. Louis. 161-143-1 overall

Man on the Hot Seat: Kellen Clemens, with the injury to Sam Bradford Clemens will be looked to be the leader of the offense

Fast Fact: Fischer is the most tenured coach in the NFL, having coached 19 seasons (only missing 2011 season)

Football under the arch: The Rams have a solid defense but a hampered offense could spell another bottom finish.

NFL Picks will start being posted on Thursday

Ill add more as the day goes. Until next post fellow sports fans…



OH Thursday with Shorty
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL season predictions


OH Thursday with Shorty


With the NFL pre season games and team joint practices well under way we visit the West today and then sum up Shorty’s season prognostication.


Final standings from 2013

Denver                 13-3                        5-1

Kansas City       11-5                        2-4

San Diego           9-7                         4-2

Oakland                4-12                       1-5

Denver is loaded up for another run at the ring. This may be Peyton’s last best chance to get ring #2 and the Bronco’s are ready to ride him again. Manning set a few passing records last season with the most prolific offense in NFL history. His post season troubles looked like they were behind him until the SB and Seattle’s D shut them down.

Peyton should throw for another 45TD’s and 5000 yards and the Bronco’s should cruise to the AFC West title. The only thing that could derail them is an injury to Peyton.

Kansas City started fast and maintained momentum until the cold weather set in. The playoff loss to the Colts 44-43 showed that this team was just a pretender. They have a journeyman QB in Smith and the best RB, Charles, in the game. Keeping the run going late in each game as well as the season is a must, they need to finish.  Shorty sees the Chiefs taking a step back this season and missing the playoffs.

San Diego made a late run to the last wildcard spot in ’14 and wants to build on that. Rivers wants that ring and knows the clock is ticking.  

RB Danny Woodhead, TE’s Antonio Gates and Ladaris Green and WR’s Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal  should provide a respectable offense.  The addition of 1st round pick speedster CB Jason Verrett should help the secondary. The schedule finds the Chargers starting off with tough games vs Arizona and Seattle before getting a seemingly easy load of Buffalo, NY Jets, Jaguars and Raiders over the next 4 weeks. Another wildcard in not out of the question and an injury to Manning would put them in position to win the division


Oakland is Oakland…simple to say and easy to believe. Matt Shaub isn’t the answer, there really is no answer for this team which will again be the 4th best in the division. How many wins? Shorty is inclined to ask, will they win any? This team is definitely in the running for 1st overall pick in 2015 and they will most likely take the fastest guy at the combines


Denver                   13-3

San Diego               9-7

Kansas City            6-10

Oakland                 2-14


Final standing 2013

Seattle                       13-3                  4-2

San Francisco             12-4                 5-1

Arizona                       10-6                 2-4

St Louis                       7-9                 1-5


Seattle will find defending their title an insurmountable problem. Teams in the NFL just don’t repeat. (NE in SB 38 & 39 was the most recent)

The Seahawks play in a tough division and are hated by all. They have the best loudmouth CB in the game in Richard Sherman. They led the NFL in overall penalties in 2014. The categories they were best at was unnecessary roughness on receivers and late hits. The NFL has instructed the zebras to re emphasize these infractions in particular…that doesn’t bode well for the Champs. They are a talented and deep team and should make the playoffs.

San Francisco is in a quandary. They have a brilliant young QB and a terrific run game.  The TE is one of the games best. Some high quality WR’s.They can light up the scoreboard on anyone.  The 49ers have a tough road ahead with a nightmare schedule. After opening the season on the road in Dallas they face:  Chicago,  @ Arizona, Philadelphia, Kansas City, @ St Louis, @ Denver,  bye,  St Louis, @ New Orleans,  @ Giants, Washington, Seattle, @ Oakland, @ Seattle,  San Diego and Arizona.

Arizona missed the playoffs at 10-6 the last team to manage that was the Bradyless, Matt Cassell led ’08 (11-5) NE Patriots. Arizona, led by the rejuvenated Carson Palmer could put a damper on Seattle’s and San Frans playoff hopes. The talented corps of receivers: Larry Fitzgerald, Ted Ginn and Michael Floyd are as good as any. RB Andre Ellington averaged 5.5 ypg This team went 6-2 over the second half last season with two 3 point losses to the Eagles and San Francisco as the only losses. Watch out for the Cardinals to surprise the powers that be. Arizona can play defense too, they are on the verge of being an NFL power.


StLouis would love to transfer to the NFC East for a season or two; they would be the best team. But fate has it that they play here in the West and have six games that will be tough to compete in let alone win.

Unfortunatly for the Rams the NFC West is home and it's a rough road to becoming respectable here...once again religated to a spoiler...too bad.

Shorty will piss you off with these  predictions:

Arizona         11-5

Seattle         10-6

San Fran     10-6

StLouis        5-11


AFC Playoffs

Division Winners

East                       New England            12-4

North                     Pittsburgh                   10-6

South                    Indianapolis                 11-5

West                      Denver                         13-3


Wildcard #1           Cincinnati                     9-7

Wildcard #2            San Diego                   9-7


Denver and New England get the byes


Indianapolis beats San Diego

Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati


New England beats Indianapolis

Pittsburgh beats Denver


NFC Playoffs


Division winners

East                        Philadelphia              11-5

North                      Green Bay                 11-5

South                     New Orleans               11-5

West                        Arizona                     11-5


Wildcard #1          Seattle                         10-6

Wildcard #2          San Francisco              10-6


Arizona and Green Bay get the byes


New Orleans beats San Francisco

Philadelphia beats Seattle


New Orleans beats Arizona

Green Bay beats Philadelphia


Shorty brings us to his  FINAL FOUR

Pittsburgh at New England

New Orleans at Green Bay

No big surprise here, these teams represent 7 of the last 13 SB winners.

The starting QB’s for those 7 winners are all still here for this one.

Who will win it all...

you just have to watch.

Shorty is heading back to the Tavern to take his rightful place at the end of the bar next to the pickle jar ready for some Fred Lites and some football





















The Big Game Pick
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks and Predictions

OK Chilluns gather round for a story. We go way back to 1959 when the NFL consisted of 12 teams in 11 cities and was just starting to emerge as a force on the sporting landscape.  The Colts (who were playing happily in Baltimore) would defeat the New York Giants for the second time in as many seasons to win the NFL title. The Cardinals franchise played in Chicago, and was the poor south side cousins in Comiskey Park to the more affluent and popular Bears who played in Wrigley Field. But they were owned by Violet Bidwell-Wolfner widow of Charles Bidwell one of the more senior owners in the NFL. She was besieged by suitors for her ball club who was losing money. The Bidwell family decided to spurn all the suitors and not sell, and instead moved to St. Louis where for 27 years they would be the football counterpart to a more famous (and more successful) baseball team of the same name.

One of those spurned suitors was Lamar Hunt, heir to an oil tycoon fortune. Hunt was frustrated in his bid to buy the Cardinals and annoyed that the NFL showed no signs of expanding beyond its 12 team, 12 city base. Hunt contacted another Texas oil tycoon, Bud Adams as well as 6 other owners including Barron Hilton (yeah the hotel owner and Paris’ grandfather) Bob Howsam in Denver, Billy Sullivan in Boston and Detroit insurance magnate Ralph Wilson (who was considering Miami, then chose to go to Buffalo because it had a stadium to join his “foolish club” which would become the American Football League.

Now at first the NFL was helpful, then commissioner Bert Bell gave Hunt a copy of the NFL’s constitution and by-laws to give a framework of a setup. Bell seemed to be at the very least indifferent to the idea of a new league but wasn’t openly hostile at first. Unfortunately Bell passed away during the 1959 season at a game and the NFL took its time about naming a new commissioner. The 12 owners of the NFL in contrast were openly hostile to the thought of a competing league and tried to take steps to kill the league before it got off the ground, creating expansion teams in Dallas and Minneapolis the former was where Hunt was creating a team and the latter awarded to owners who were going to create an AFL in the Twin Cities. They also approved the Cards move to St. Louis to keep them out of that city as well. The AFL had to scramble to find a new owner and market and settled on Oakland whose initial owner the enigmatic Chet Soda who had to be talked out of naming the team the Señors, he settled on Raiders instead (the iconoclastic Al Davis would join the team as a coach a couple years later). In any case the AFL launched with 8 teams and though at times unsteady developed as a pro league with teams in new cities with Boston, Buffalo, Denver and Houston and teams in established NFL cities of New York, Los Angeles. Dallas was a newly created NFL City and Oakland was just across the bay from the 49ers who had been in the NFL a decade.  Though wobbly, with the Chargers having to move downstate to San Diego after one season and the Texans having to relocate Kansas City and rebrand as the Chiefs the league began to establish itself as solid pro league despite the shaky status of the Raiders, the ineptness of the Titans ownership (who would later become the Jets) and the hideousness of the Broncos brown and yellow vertically striped socks. After gaining a TV contract with NBC in 1965 that added a nice cash infusion to the teams, the AFL stepped up its pursuit of the best college players, the problem started when Giants kicker Charlie Gogolak played out his option with the New York Giants and signed with the Buffalo Bills becoming the first NFL player to “jump leagues”  This enraged the NFL who then went about trying to destroy the AFL with a bidding war. But the AFL hung in and the number of players were drafted by teams in both leagues increased dramatically, when Raiders GM Al Davis became commissioner of the AFL in 1966 and openly tried to recruit established NFL stars to jump to the AFL this started a series of negotiations that would end the bidding war and merge the two leagues. Not only did this bring about a merger, both leagues were creating teams that would bring pro football to what was once considered far flung outposts like Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans and Cincinnati. In June 1966 a merger between the AFL and NFL was announced for 1970 and creation of a World Championship game between the two leagues in January, 1967. Initially called the AFL-NFL Championship game, the first matchup between the Packers and Chiefs was a 35-10 rout and to some confirmation that the AFL was still out of their league but what many overlook was that the game was only 14-10 at the half and a Packers interception in the 3rd quarter that set up a score making it 21-10 was the key point in the game.  The game was nicknamed the Super Bowl but NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle hated the name. He wanted to initially call the game the Pro Bowl but that was already in use as the NFL’s All-Star game, with no workable alternatives eventually the name became official with the 3rd game. That game was the historic Jets upset of the seemingly invincible Colts gave the AFL more credibility and with the Chiefs thumping the Vikings in the 4th Super Bowl, the last game for an AFL team as its own league, the game was seen more and more as the crown jewel of the pro game. The NFL went on as a 26 team, 2 conference entity with the Super Bowl as its championship game.  The game has grown in stature being the most watched sporting event every year with the top four most watched broadcasts in US history are Super Bowl game with the broadcast rights and commercial spots being highly coveted as it rotates among the networks. How much food is consumed? Only Thanksgiving ranks higher in consumption. Fast forward back to present day where the Super Bowl is the crown jewel of football and the dream of every football player. The winning team will get a $92K payday but it’s the foot high 7 pound Tiffany Silver Trophy that is the desire. The best quote is from Johnny Davis who was a reserve running back for the Niners in their first Super Bowl win. "The money is nice, but I'll spend that it’s the ring that lasts forever" So now you have a bit of insight on how we have come to know as the defacto sporting holiday as Super Bowl Sunday.


Seattle Seahawks (15-3, #1 NFC Seed) vs Denver Broncos (15-3, #1 AFC Seed)

For the NFL Championship and the Vince Lombardi Trophy

MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, NJ 6:30 (FOX)

Favorite Broncos by 2½

Fast Facts on the Game:

First Super Bowl played in cold weather/outdoor venue

First Super Bowl being played on Groundhog Day

There has yet to be a shutout or overtime in the Super Bowl

Last Meeting Broncos won 34-10 in 2010

Playoff History: Seahawks defeated Broncos 31-7 in 1983 AFC Wild Card game

NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks

Regular Season: 13-3 NFC West Champions

Earned First Round Bye as NFC #1 Seed

Defeated NFC #2 Wild Card New Orleans 23-15 in NFC Divisional Round

Defeated NFC #1 Wild Card San Francisco 23-17 in NFC Championship

Team Leaders Russell Wilson 3357 Yards 26 TDs Marshawn Lynch 1257 Yards 12 TDs Golden Tate 64 Rec 898 Yds 5 TDs NFL #1 Defense by yards and points allowed and have held last 7 opponents to under 20 points

0-1 in the Super Bowl (40)

SEA Fast Fact: First team since 1990 Bills to make a Super Bowl appearance with no players on its roster with Super Bowl game experience.

AFC Champion Denver Broncos

Regular Season 13-3 AFC West Champions

Earned 1st Round Bye as AFC #1 Seed

Defeated AFC #2 Wild Card San Diego 24-17 in AFC Divisional Round

Defeated AFC East Champion New England 26-16 in AFC Championship Game

Team Leaders Peyton Manning 5477 Yds 55 TDS (NFL records) Knowshon Moreno 1038 Yds 10 TDS Demaryius Thomas 92 Rec 1430 YDS 14 TDS (offense NFL record 606 points)

2-4 in the Super Bowl Wins (32, 33) Losses (12, 21, 22, 24)

DEN Fast Fact The Broncos are part of an AFC monopoly over the last 18 Super Bowls, the Steelers, Patriots, Colts and Ravens have all been to multiple Super Bowls 16 of 18 in that span and all the wins have been by these five franchises (Raiders and Titans the only interlopers who both lost) Have scored 20 points or more in all 18 games this season.

When the Seahawks have the ball

The Seahawks are a run to set up the pass type of team. Marshawn Lynch is bruising yet deceptively quick running back that is capable of breaking a long run as well as running through and over tacklers, sometimes on the same play. Russell Wilson has grown into the big time and has the mobility enough to make defenses respect his scrambling. The Broncos defense is much maligned but the emergence of Terrence “Pot Roast” Knighten has become an intriguing angle. The Seahawks don’t have a real go to receiver as Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice have been waylaid with injuries most of the season but if either is healthy, they can stretch a Broncos defense that without Von Miller is fairly thin on the pass rush and whose secondary can be thrown on.


When The Broncos have the ball

Start with Peyton Manning, the Canton bound QB is a virtual coach on the field. Showing no ill effects from 2011 neck surgery Manning riddled defenses at will leading the NFL’s most prolific offense. That’s  not hyperbole, Manning started with a 7 TD performance on opening night against the defending Super Bowl champ Ravens and never let off the gas as the Broncos scored 606 points to set an NFL record. Knowshon Moreno has quietly developed into a dependable running back with a nice receiving touch to complement his skill set. Manning has an embarrassment of riches at wideout with the wily vet Wes Welker leading a squad of receivers that each have 1000 yards, 10 TDs resumes. They face a Seahawk defense ferociously nicknamed the Legion of Boom, led by the ever loquacious Richard Sherman who is fast becoming the standard bearer of shutdown corners in the NFL. Add in the very underrated, lesser heralded Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, the Seahawks secondary is as tough as the Broncos secondary is suspect.  The problem is he can’t cover all the Broncos receivers and the onus will be on the Seahawks defensive line to get a push up front and hit Manning early and often



Pete Carroll is a player’s coach, his unbridled enthusiasm is no act he’s a coach that brings an energy that his player feed off of and mirror. He runs a tight ship but is loose enough where the players play hard for him. John Fox is taking his second different team to the Big Game and is savvy enough to know he’s got a virtual coach on the field in Peyton Manning and runs the team with just enough smarts to not push too hard. This will be an interesting chess match to be sure

The Prediction

This is probably one of the more evenly matched Super Bowls in a long time. High powered offense versus ruggedly stout defense, yet it will be how the opposites fare that will define the game. The Seahawks want to take a page out of the Giants 1990 playbook and limit the possessions the Broncos have. If the Seahawks can set a grinding tempo with Lynch and force Manning to be perfect on every drive they could carry the day. But I see Knighted as a possible x factor to clog the middle and negate the Seahawks decided edge in the run game. While not totally solving the Seahawks defense totally, he is so good on sight reading and adjusting on the fly. If the Broncos start fast and cash in scoring opps first watch out. I think the Seahawks grind out a score, the Broncos parry with a couple quick scores of their own and the Seahawks become too reliant on the pass when they get behind. Three years ago baby brother Eli won a Super Bowl in his backyard in Indy, I think Peyton turns the trick in Eli’s crib and adds a rare jewel to his sparkling resume, first QB to win a Super Bowl with two different teams



Pick Broncos 34 Seahawks 24


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