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NFL Week 3 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

 

Thursday September 18th

Buccaneers (0-2) @ Falcons (1-1)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 8:25 (CBS/NFLN)

Favorite Falcons by 6

Last Week Buccaneers lost to Rams 19-17, Falcons lost to Bengals 24-10

Fast Fact Falcons QB Matt Ryan is 5-1 at home against the Falcons has thrown 7 TDs and Zero interceptions

So its barely 3 weeks into the season, this game has the urgency of a playoff eliminator game. The Bucs got zapped by poor clock management late against the Rams and lost after a ten second run off was assessed after having no time outs for an injury occurring with 8 seconds to play. The Falcons went to the Nati and were dominated by the Bengals. So on a short week turnaround the Bucs are in mortal danger of being relegated to irrelavence before the 1st day of autumn and the Falcons having their shootout win over the Saints written off as a fluke. Josh McCown still seems to be struggling to effectively move the Bucs offense which is a shame since their defense is really shining under the tutelage of Lovie Smith. Meanwhile the Falcons defense is looking more and more suspect and while Matty (Ice) Ryan seemed to throw a bushel of passes, his offense can keep up with a porous defense giving up mass yards and points.  As much as I should know better, and think that this will be the game that the Bucs make the breakthrough. The Falcons are always tough at home and the Bucs have struggled in the ATL

Pick-Atlanta

Musings From The Hoodwood 9-16
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL NBA MLB

Kershaw is the odds on favorite to win the Cy Young....and the NL MVP???

 

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where your humble scribe is dodging the mailman trying to deliver AARP cards…but seriously folks.

 

Leading off: Roger Must Go

I’ve been a vociferous and vocal critic of Roger Goodell almost since he became commissioner. I thought him a poor follow up to the legacies left by Pete Rozelle and Paul Taglibue. I think so highly of Rozelle his name shares my fantasy league trophy. I liked Paul Taglibue. He was understated, yet quietly forceful. He took the lead after 9/11 in postponing the NFL’s game for the coming week and the other leagues that were playing followed his lead. I think Goodell is a camera hog, I think he likes to hear himself talk. I think he has an over aggrandized sense of self. Goodell thinks he is the Lawnmower man of pro football. Why can you just hear Der Kommisar bellowing “In pro football…I am God!” he’s a bully, he’s snarky and I don’t like him. My suspicions of Goodell were heightened after the near lockout in 2012, and further exacerbated by the bountygate scandal where he acted with scorn and contempt to the parties involved and a few of his rulings were eventually reduced. He wanted to be the sheriff and the NFL’s  “Big Daddy”, the face of the NFL. The owners who are his collective boss have determined that as long as he’s bringing in the loot, he worth keeping. The NFL makes money hand over fist and can shot call to the point of object arrogance. Think I’m joking, you have to check out the tome of demands that the NFL drops on a prospective city that wants to host a Super Bowl. I read some of this and started thinking “Who the fuck does the NFL think they are?” But then again they are the NFL, and they get what they want when they want and no one says a thing.  After the increasing messes that are the Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald violence scandals, many are questioning his leadership and if he needs to step down. I for one think his attitude and arrogance are highly detrimental to the game. I know it more and more about safety but the game has really gotten to be no fun and Goodell is the cause of it. He’s ruining the game that I love and he really needs to go.

               

B-Squad is A Team and wins FIBA World Cup

The critics knocked the US men’s national basketball that was headed to the World Cup, No Durant, No LeBron, no Kobe no KLove, Paul George falling victim to a horrific injury, et al. The Americans looked ripe for the upset as they head to Spain for the FIBA basketball world cup. But the Americans charged through the round robin and the knockout stage and despite getting tested here and there and falling behind 15-7 in the finale, roared back to whomp the Serbian team 132-96 to clinch their 4th straight international title. The USMNT hasn’t lost a game since they were humiliated by Greece in the 2006 Worlds which were the forerunner of this tournament. That was 86 international games ago. The Americans have won two Olympics tourneys and two worlds, The talk that the US had to send their super-duper stars to win and if they didn’t they ran the risk of getting beaten by the better international teams like Spain and Serbia, but the Spanish squad didn’t even make it to the semis getting ousted in the quarters. I think that hiring of Coach K to run the squad was probably the smartest move that Team USA made. They ran the national team like a pro team and made the players commit to playing on the team for a set period and the star power drove the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Teams, and the 2010  and 2014 World squads had some star power but played more a team oriented format. There were pros and good names to be sure but Kyrie Irving’s 32 points to lead the finale wasn’t LeBron or Kobe. But it was a winning formula.

 

RGIII: Hess down again

Does that really surprise you now? RGIII is fast turning into an NFL version of Derrick Rose, he can’t stay healthy and seems to have an entire city waiting on his performance to be more than just a game or two.  Washington got hammered by the Texans and RGIII played an ineffective game, be came out nicely in the 2nd game against the Jags, but the bad luck of RGIII came up when he badly dislocated his ankle on a rollout and could be out as many a 6-8 weeks. Washington is thanking its lucky stars that he didn’t suffer a season ending injury

 

Can Kershaw pull the daily double?

After the horrific injury to the Marlins Giancarlo Stanton that ended his season, the focus of the NL MVP now returns to the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw, despite being pushed by the Reds Johnny Cueto for the Cy Young, Kershaw should be a lock to win 3rd Cy Young in 4 years, He is fast closing in on 20 wins.  But there are some that think a pitcher should never win the MVP. Unless in rare rare exceptions (it’s happened 10 times since the Cy Young Award was created in 1956) like Bob Gibson and Denny McClain in 1968 when Gibson had a microscopic 1.12 ERA and McClain won 30 games for their respective pennant winning teams. Or be dominant like Roger Clemens was in 1986. I think Kershaw fits into this mold. The Dodgers have rarely lost when he takes the mound. Consider that since June 1 the Dodgers are playing at a .947 pace when Kershaw takes the mound. That’s Koufax numbers if not better.  Kershaw should take both awards home and deserves to.

 

Phat Dap

To the auspicious college debut of Gunner Kiel of my beloved Alma Mater Cincinnati. Kiel, who was the 2011 High School Mr. Football in Indiana was first committed to Indiana then LSU then signed with Notre Dame after a year of being buried on the depth chart of the National runner up, Kiel transferred to Cincinnati at the recommendation of his then coach Brian Kelly who had previously coached at Cincy after having to sit out a year under the archaic NCAA transfer rules, Kiel made his first collegiate start last Friday against Toledo having not have played competitively since January 2012 one would think he would be rusty. He only threw for 418 yards and a school record tying 6 scores. Kiel could rewrite the record books and he’s only a sophomore…

 

Head Slap

To yours truly, it’s not often that I give myself one but Sunday, I decided to listen to the spec on ESPN that said that Brandon Marshall was NOT going to play against the 49ers Sunday Night. I benched him and not only did Marshall start, he scored…3 FUCKING TIMES. Of course his points would have given me a fighting chance to win. The irony here is that the league this team is in 0-2, being victim of Matt Ryan having a monster week 1 meanwhile my other team is 2-0 despite being near the bottom of the league in scoring…

 

Until next post fellow sports fans!

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

Pick-Pittsburgh

 

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…

Pick-Minnesota

 

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.

Pick-Miami

 

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…

Pick-Washington

 

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

Pick-Tennessee

 

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.

Pick-Arizona

 

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

Pick-Cincinnati

 

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…

Pick-Detroit

 

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.

Pick-Seahawks

 

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.

Pick-Houston

 

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.

Pick-49ers

 

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.

Pick-Indianapolis

 

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

Locks: 1-0

Upset: 0-1

 

 

Musings From The Hoodwood 9-9
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL College Football NBA

 

Even Ickey is dancing with football coming back... (Was I the only one that cringed at this commerical)

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where the locals are finally getting their full football fix.

Football is back!

Whether its cheering for your alma mater, high school or college. Or getting dressed up in your favori te pro team colors on Sunday there is a certain special feeling about this time of the year. Football is back, in full force. I could wax nostalgic about the crisp evenings, fight songs combined with the sights and sounds of the game but instead lets look at some of the interesting tidbits of the past weekend which include

Michigan State going to the Autzen Zoo and holding the Ducks at arms length for a couple quarters then having the roof fall in on them. Hey folks, got a tall flash for you Marcus Mariota is the real deal. The school of thought was that he might not be as good as he was hyped up to be, but after taking A

Ohio State looking like chumps against a decent but heretofore nondescript Virginia Tech team. Yeah, the game really has passed Frank Beamer by. Im still wondering why Beamer is not more celebrated as one of the best coaches in the game. If you can take a lunch pail team into one of the more hostile environments in college football in Ohio Stadium and lay the wood like the Hokies did. Ive never seen 107,517 look so sullen, the Bucks struggled to beat Navy and the locals poo-poohed it as having a hard time against that funky offense that the Midshipmen run, now getting housed in their own crib, primetime Saturday night if front of a record crowd and national TV audience, Buck Nation is in full panic. Oh if they could only that bad when my beloved Bearcats go up there in 3 weeks. One could only dream…

Nebraska struggled to beat McNeese State…hold up. Nebraska struggled to beat who??? Nebraska doesn’t get pushed to the final minute by warmup opponents at Memorial. I was in fear that my old roommate, who is a diehard Nebraska fan (and one of two people I know that are actually from Nebraska, his cousin being the other) was going to have a coronary as his beloved Huskers were being taken to task by the D-2 Cowboys…This wasn’t North Dakota State, and had the Cowboys not been such poor tacklers on an electrifying catch and run by… the game would have went OT. Who’da thunk it?

Michigan? Don’t ask… Notre Dame isn’t that good and them running from the series is further proof of how much they have fallen off.

Is it me or had the Big Ten fallen the fuck off or what? I mean Purdue got housed in West Lafayette by Central Michigan for crying out loud.

Damn, Im seeing all this football and my beloved Bearcats have yet to take the field, thanks Whit

 

That was just a classless play here...what was Antonio Brown thinking with this move?

Turning to the pros now, yes Im very happy that my beloved Vikes took the Rams to the woodshed in their season opener. The offense played up and down at times but the defense looked much improved. When AP isn’t the leading rusher and Im not concerned, it’s a good thing.

What a catch by AJ Green to win a thriller against the Ravens, can we now start getting off of Joe Flacco as anything more than a QB that rode a hot streak into a big contract and is playing like he doesn’t care?

The Bills win in Chicago??? Are they a team to take seriously for the first time in better than a decade? Why does Jay Cutler continue to get a pass from the media for his laconic attitude and mediocre play? Why does the Bears defense suddenly look suspect

I thought I was going to have to resuscitate a couple of friends who are Eagles fans (and I was getting pretty heated since they were my lock)  after they fell behind 17-0 to the lowly Jags but that fastbreak offense will wear any defense out and once the Eagles got rolling, they got the rout going.

Is Brady’s era of dominance fading fast? I think the Dolphins “Hit em in the mouth” strategy got to Brady more that he wanted to let on. This is the first time in the Brady/Belichick era the Pats are in last place by themselves…wow.

Peyton Manning is still a beast, but if you sleep on Andrew Luck you sleep on yourself.

My thoughts on Ray Rice:

I was willing to give Ray Rice the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to believe that it was a domestic dispute that went really bad. I then saw the elevator tape and got sick to my stomach. Had Ray Rice been dating or marrying either one of my princesses he would be spitting teeth after he woke up from the lengthy coma he was put in. There is no room for actions like that…ever. Hoodwood never condones violence, and domestic abuse is never ever acceptable. The NFL caught heat for its meager  2 game suspension of Rice for his reprehensible actions. The tape of the incident came out Sunday night and Rice was released by the Ravens and suspended by the league before 6p the next day. Rice went from decent guy to pariah in mere hours. Rice got what he deserved, the boot. Swinging on a female is never ever acceptable, I want to see someone try to defense this.

Why Bruce Levenson isn’t Donald Sterling

Im a casual pro hoops fan, so I couldn’t tell you much about the Atlanta Hawks other than they are a marginally decent team but besides Dominque Wilkins, Spud Webb and Mike Fratello I couldn’t tell you a lot about them. But when I heard and read about their majority owner Bruce Levenson stating that he would divest himself of his team and  offering a mea culpa in regards to an email that he wrote in 2012 in regards to black patrons and why he thought white patrons stayed away. Despite having surprisingly the 2nd current playoff run in the NBA at seven seasons, and longest in the eastern conference they are near the bottom of the NBA in attendance.  Levenson also suggested some changes that he thought would attract more whites to games. Levenson was quoted in an email saying "I think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority" and "I have been open with our executive team about these concerns. I have told them I want some white cheerleaders and while I don't care what the color of the artist is, I want the music to be music familiar to a 40 year old white guy if that's our season [tickets] demo. I have also balked when every fan picked out of crowd to shoot shots in some timeout contest is black. I have even [complained] that the kiss cam is too black."

Now I have been to a number of Indiana Pacers games and my buddy has courtside seats and we a very much in the minority as Ive only seen a handful of black patrons in the lower bowl, I don’t know much about the scenario in Atlanta but I seriously doubt its that much differernt in that arena, besides what does it matter what color patrons are there? Atlanta pro teams have never drawn well, it’s a transient town where people move there from other locales and more often hold fast to the loyalties of that team. The Falcons and Braves have only really drawn well when they are winning big and the Hawks have never really been a big draw win or lose no matter the locale.

But in regards to Levenson, he is an anti-Sterling. Liked by his players and around the league Levenson doesn’t come off a clueless bigoted old man. The Hawks players were reported to be upset by the comments. My feeling are this, would Levenson be asking the same questions in reverse if he were trying to attract “more color” to Philips Arena? I don’t think that Levenson was being racist, he was asking demographical questions. He opined that the reasons that white patrons stayed away was because they might feel uncomfortable with the music choices. Is he right? He could be. Was he wrong for asking the question, hypothesizing or speculating? No. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a thoughtful enlightening piece for Time giving his take on the subject. He thinks like I do that in the rush to be so PC that opinions and real food for thought is being trampled on and that the effort to root the Donald Sterlings out, that people like Levenson might get caught in the backwash based on borderline suspect comments. On his worst day, I don’t think Levenson is anywhere near the stupidity level of Sterling. I think that he will get out quietly and rue the remarks that might have been put more succinctly.

 

Phat Dap

The Bengals have long been a franchise that has been knocked often for its pr gaffes and clueless owner. But they made a move recently  that was pure class. The Bengals cut their roster down as is required by the first game, one of the players cut was lineman Devon Still but the Bengals resigned him to their practice squad so that he would be able to take care of his daughter who has stage 4 pediatric cance.  With Still remaining on the roster, his family remains covered under the NFL’s insurance. And four year old Leah’s treatment will be 100% covered. Bravo to the Bengals for looking out for someone in need. And we here in Hoodwood wish the best for the Still family, we are behind you in your fight.

Head Slap

To Pat Haden the AD of USC, who stormed down from his press box vantage to the sideline during this past Saturday’s game against Stanford to loudly protest a call against the Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian. Now in the grand scheme of things, it was moot the Trojans pulled a mild upset knocking the Cardinal off on The Farm with a late field goal in a tight defensive struggle. But Haden should know his place and his actions were immature and childish not to mention out of place for someone who is on the super heavy college playoff committee. Looks like someone that is trying to curry favor with the refs for a later time. Haden for his part was fined $25k for his actions.

 

Quick thoughts

Penn State get paroled from its near death sentence, had this been say Bama or Florida State and not one of the NCAA’s fair-haired boys do you think this would have happened? But to be fair, the kids at Penn State were being punished for something that happened before they even got there so it was fair for them to be off the hook.

Beatdown in Motown, is Eli Manning really on his last legs

Tell me why did Larry Fitzgerald go deep into the 4th quarter without a catch? He got it but he shouldnt have to have 11 other receivers get grabs before him...

Thats the view from the Hoodwood, until next post fellow sports fans!

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

 

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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

Pick-Seattle

 

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…

Pick-Cincinnati

 

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.

Pick-Chicago

 

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

Pick-Minnesota

 

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Pick-Pittsburgh

 

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…

Pick-Houston

 

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.

Pick-Denver

 

 

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.

Pick-Detroit

 

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

Pick-Arizona

 

Last Year: Overall: 163-90-1

Locks 16-1

Upsets: 10-7

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