Week 9 Picks

 Posted by
Oct 312012

It’s “Revenge of the Widow” this week, folks. Rat’s Widow, using the attractiveness of team uniforms as her criteria for making picks, scored a whopping 10-4 this week and tied with Brodrick Kincaid for the week’s best showing. Reyno Island and Flip Stricland both picked up 9 wins, meaning that Reyno is holding a narrow one game lead over both Brodrick and Flip. Our (Idaho) quarter had another difficult week, falling well behind the field, while Danny Boy remains a conscientious objector. We would think the chance to do picks would be a welcome reprieve from changing diapers, but in the meantime he will simply serve as the GiR whipping boy (see what I did there, Danny?) and rack up losses to make the rest of us look good.

Here are the current standings:

Ghost Rat17590.660X
Fat Jesus17590.660X
Brodrick Kincaid16897.6347
Reyno Island165100.62310
Flip Stricland164101.61911
Country Preacher159106.60016
Rat's Widow146119.55129
Idaho Quarter128137.48347
Danny Boy35230.132140
updated 2/2/13

For Week Nine, there is far more agreement than disagreement among our contributors this week. Our unanimous picks for the week are the Packers (over the Cardinals) and the Broncos (over the Bengals).  As always, you can see our individual picks here.

Week 9 Consensus Picks

Chargers over Chiefs
Redskins over Panthers
Packers over Cardinals
Lions over Jaguars
Bears over Titans
Broncos over Bengals
Ravens over Browns
Texans over Bills
Colts over Dolphins
Seahawks over Vikings
Buccaneers over Raiders
Giants over Steelers
Falcons over Cowboys
Saints over Eagles

Oct 312012

Please indulge me for a moment, Widows! I had a VERY good week last week, going 10 and 4 on my picks for last week’s game winners. I tied Brodrick Kincaid for the lead position among our regular contributors and, in fact, surpassed my lovely husband’s record for the week. Does gloating make my butt look big?

Our new term for the week is (drum roll please…) BYE WEEK!!

Bye week: One week during the regular NFL season, each team gets a week off without a game. Please look for signs of grief, depression and withdrawal in your fan as he tries to cope with a week without his beloved team during their bye week. Your fan may attempt to cope through watching other games or console himself with talk of the schedule that his team faces “coming out of the bye week”. His hope will likely be that the team will emerge well rested, healed from injury, with corrections made to any difficulties that they are experiencing and ready to continue with the season.

A well timed bye week can have advantages to you as a football widow. Depending upon where you live, there may be leaves to be raked. Regardless of where you live, there is a honey do list that has been gathering dust and holiday lights to be hung. If your fan’s team has already had their bye week, perhaps you have already taken advantage of his availability. If your fan’s bye week is yet to come, he may be able to accompany you to the mall to act as Sherpa for your holiday shopping bags.

Some of you will be less fortunate. This is the bye week for the Jets, 49ers, Rams, and The New England Patriots, which is a pretty big deal at my house. I excitedly informed Ghost Rat that I was happy to have “total custody” of him this Sunday. He responded in the form of a question: “do you think there aren’t other games on?” Some of you will still lose your husband to the man cave for blocks of time since his team isn’t the only team he watches. Yet, I submit that his resolve will be weak and you have a better chance of luring him out from in front of the television during the bye week.

Prior to the start of the season, I decided week by week how I would choose my winning teams. I wanted to do “Opposite Week” at some point during the season, choosing completely opposite of Ghost Rat. I selected the Patriots bye week to do it in order to avoid having to choose another team over them since a Patriots win is always what I want since it is cause for much rejoicing. He presented me with his picks this morning and I cringed when I saw some of them. My intuition tells me that he is probably right about many of his choices, so I am actually not going to do very well this week. Since I am riding the wave of a great week last week I decided to generally choose opposite of him, while invoking the Woman’s Prerogative Clause: the right to change my mind! I will note those games with an asterisk so that my 3 readers will know where I deviated from my usual scientific method of choosing winners and losers. My goal is simply to tie Ghost Rat in my record for this week. Cross your fingers for me, Widows!

Week 9 Picks

Chiefs over Chargers
Panthers over Redskins
Packers over Cardinals*
Jaguars over Lions
Bears over Titans*
Broncos over Bengals*
Ravens over Browns
Bills over Texans
Dolphins over Colts
Seahawks over Vikings
Buccaneers over Raiders*
Steelers over Giants
Falcons over Cowboys*
Eagles over Saints

Oct 312012

After eight weeks we are finally seeing the top teams start to pull away from the pack. Some of the early surprises are starting to fall back, while the bottom dwellers (with the exception of Carolina) are pretty much who we thought they would be. Atlanta remains at the top of our rankings, and in fact our entire top five remains the same, while we have a new basement dweller this week in spite of another Jacksonville loss. Yes, the Chiefs are that bad. As always, feel free to heckle in the “Comments” section below.

Week 8 Power Rankings

1. Atlanta Falcons (7-0, U) – It might be a little while before they get knocked out of the #1 spot

2. New York Giants (6-2, U) – We saw how good the Giants can be and how bad they can be all in the same game

3. Houston Texans (6-1, U) – Will the second half of the season be kind for the Texans, or will they fall back into the pack?

4. San Francisco 49ers (6-2, U) – Dismantling of Arizona was men separating themselves from the boys

5. Chicago Bears (6-1, U) – Bears strongly considering playing their defense for the entire game

6. New England Patriots (5-3, +1) – Bad news for the rest of the AFC; the Patriots seem poised for a run

7. Green Bay Packers (5-3, -1) – Just when they looked to be on a roll, they under performed against the Jaguars

8. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, U) – Talk about a bye week coming at the right time

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3, +2) – They made quick work of Washington; can they compete for the division title?

10. Minnesota Vikings (5-3, -1) – After a strong start, the Vikings are falling back; games against the Seahawks and Lions may have a huge impact on their playoff hopes

11. Denver Broncos (4-3, +3) – Peyton is a lock for the Comeback Player of the Year; a few more wins like that and he might be competing with Rodgers and Ryan for the MVP

12. Seattle Seahawks (4-4, -2) – Pete Carroll can muse all he wants about how close the Seahawks are to being 8-0; it doesn’t wipe out two straight losses to playoff competitors

13. Washington Redskins (3-5, U) – At least they get the Panthers before the bye week

14. Arizona Cardinals (4-4, -2) – You can’t win in the NFL without a good quarterback

15. Detroit Lions (3-4, +3) – Matthew Stafford may have just saved the Lions’ season

16. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4, -1) – You think Vince Young is kicking himself now?

17. Dallas Cowboys (3-4, +2) – Tony Romo may have just ended the Cowboys’ season; they only went up because others needed to go further down

18. Indianapolis Colts (4-3, +5) – It’s becoming entirely conceivable that this team could win 9 games and make the playoffs in the weak AFC

19. San Diego Chargers (3-4, -3) – Norv Turner’s latest book? “How I turned one million dollars in real estate into $25 in cash”

20. Miami Dolphins (4-3, +5) – Winners of three in a row, this team is dangerous with either Matt Moore or Ryan Tannehill at the helm

21. New York Jets (3-5, -4) – Talking that much trash + Playing that bad = Shut the hell up

22. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4, U) – Playing the Broncos and the Giants out of the bye week will tell us if this team is a serious playoff threat

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4, +3) – The Bucs are the team that no one wants to play right now; they now have a string of three winnable games in front of them

24. New Orleans Saints (2-5, -3) – Stick a fork in the defense

25. St. Louis Rams (3-5, -5) – On the bright side, the Rams were able to stock up on crumpets at the duty free store

26. Buffalo Bills (3-4, -2) – The Bills come off the bye to play the Texans and then the Patriots; Buffalo contemplating asking the league for another two weeks off

27. Cleveland Browns (2-6, +3) – The Browns are now exploring seeding clouds before each of their games

28. Tennessee Titans (3-5, -1) – Two games against the Jaguars are the only thing keeping the Titans out of the cellar

29. Oakland Raiders (3-4, U) – After wins against two cupcakes, the Buccaneers offer a tougher test

30. Carolina Panthers (1-6, -2) – It’s hard to find positives in the heartbreaking loss to the Bears; adding to the string of five losses may signal the end of Ron Rivera

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6, +1) – Gritty performance against the Packers doesn’t count in the win column, but is enough to get them out of our basement

32. Kansas City Chiefs (1-6, -1) – How bad are the Chiefs? This team still has not led at any point this season (sole win came in overtime)

Oct 302012

The most recent Cowboys loss, a heartbreaking affair suffered at the hands of the hated Giants was at sometimes painful and at other times exhilarating to watch. And though it dropped the Boys to 3-4 and 78 games behind the Giants in the NFC East race, it also perfectly encapsulated why I’m a Cowboys fan. More specifically it stood as a shining example of why I love Tony Romo. Full disclosure, I am at Eastern Illinois alum (Go Panthers!!) but that’s not why I’m a Romo fan, it’s not the rags to riches story of undrafted player making good either. The reason I am such a huge supporter of #9 is that he is an electrifying, maddening, exciting, nerve-racking football player who single handedly can win or lose a game in the blink of an eye. Much like the hot girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who’s just as likely to stab you as kiss you. With Romo you never know and I find the thrill of discovery fun to watch.

Last Sunday’s game was a beautiful illustration of this. Bad throws, picks, pick 6’s and poor clock management. But just as I am about to lose hope; laser precise throws, sack-saving scrambles and that wonderful improvisation that turns a loss into a first down. Romo embodies the team he quarterbacks; undeniable talent, a bit too much hype and very little production when it counts. That being said, the potential is what makes them so compelling. At this moment sitting at 3-4, the Cowboys have the ability to either run off five straight wins or lose the next five, there’s just no way to know. I believe that Rob Ryan has vastly improved the defense, the special teams are solid and there is a good mix of veterans and young players on the squad. The X factor in all of this remains Romo. When he is on the offense hums in a way that makes me believe we can beat anybody. He smiles, has a bit of swagger and his energy seems to flow through the whole team. At these times, the ceiling for the team seems to be the Super Bowl. Its these times that I obviously enjoy the most. As a fan I want to watch my team do well and it’s a nice feeling to listen to the folks on ESPN and NFL Network wax poetic about the great win. But just having the opportunity to watch Romo ply his trade to me is worth the ride because you truly never know what will happen. Sports is entertainment and the Cowboys are without a doubt entertaining.

Many fans might be irritated or maddened by this startling inconsistency, but when you put it in the context of who the Boys are it makes sense. Considering the team has an egomaniacal, money hungry owner, a crappy o-line, has had glorified coordinators as head coaches for the last several years and plays in a sterile, noiseless mega-mall, the current situation ain’t all that bad. Perhaps I’ve just been battered into accepting mediocrity after watching Romo quarterback for the last five years or maybe I’ve just settled into a zen phase of my life. Whatever the reason, I’m taking the Cowboys regardless of who they’re playing and I’m still anticipating Romo starting in the Super Bowl in New Orleans this year.

Oct 292012

The UK Patriots signs were in abundance at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday, despite the designation of the St. Louis Rams as the home team. At the end of the game, 80,004 fans saw the short-handed New England Patriots thrash the Rams 45-7 to go into their bye week on a positive note, and with a 5-3 record.

The highlight of the game for the Rams (3-5) came early. On the very first drive Sam Bradford connected with Chris Givens on a 50 yard touchdown pass to put the Rams up 7-0. Safety Tavon Wilson bit on a double move from Givens and the pass was an easy one for Bradford. After that the Rams would only connect for two passing plays of more than 20 yards as the Patriots’s defense shut down the vaunted St. Louis running attack and forced Rams’ mistakes for the rest of the afternoon.

On the Patriots’ first offensive drive, they tied the game at 7 after Tom Brady connected on a 19 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd, capping an 8-play, 78 yard drive. After the Rams punted, the Patriots then drove 83 yards on 9 plays, with Shane Vereen taking the ball the final yard for his second touchdown of the season. The Rams then gave the ball back on another punt, and the Patriots drove another 78 yards on 9 plays, resulting in a 7 yard Brady pass to Rob Gronkowski for a touchdown and one of the better touchdown celebrations in recent memory. After the game, Gronk described the dance and spike as both a “palace guard” and as “the little Nutcracker dude, guarding the house.” In any event, the salute delighted the London fans, especially after spiking the mike in a pre-game rally.

The Rams then went on a 9 play drive that only resulted in 27 yards before a 54 yard field goal attempt was muffed and the Patriots started at their own 44 yard line. The Pats needed 9 plays to cover the remaining 56 yards, ending with a one yard by Stevan Ridley to close the half at 28-7 and effectively end the game by halftime.

The Patriots came out in the second hald determined to close the game, and exhibited some of the offensive swagger of previous seasons, going for the kill rather than playing conservatively on a big lead. The Patriots needed only six plays to drive 80 yards to open the second half, with Ridley gaining 30 yards on a long run before Brandon Lloyd caught his second touchdown pass of the day, upping the lead to 35-7. Chandler Jones ended the next Rams’ drive with a huge 17 yard sack of Bradford, and the Patriots drove 58 yards again before the Rams finally forced New England to settle for a Stephen Gostkowski field goal to end the third quarter with a 38-7 lead.

Brady played the first series of the fourth quarter, driving 55 yards on 6 plays and ending with a 14 yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski to close the scoring before Ryan Mallett came in for the final two drives. The Rams twice drove deep into Patriots’ territory in the game’s final minutes, and both drives ended with Patriots’ interceptions by Alfonzo Dennard and Tavon Wilson.

How the game broke down:

When the Patriots ran
The Patriots had no problem exploiting the Ram’s defensive line to spring outside runs. The Patriots hit their season average with 152 yards on the ground, and they were able to run for chunks almost at will. Stevan Ridley led the way with 127 yards and a touchdown while Shane Vereen added 22 yards and a touchdown. Advantage: Patriots

When the Patriots passed
The Patriot’ offensive line (even without Logan Mankins) was masterful against the Rams’ outstanding pass rushers, stopping the Rams from getting to Brady. There were no official quarterback hits and no sacks as Brady was able to patiently and consistently take advantage of mismatches, often involving Rob Gronkowski, who caught eight passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Brady routinely picked on cornerback Bradley Fletcher, who racked up three legitimate defensive pass interference calls, all on third downs. Wes Welker caught six passes and Danny Woodhead added five receptions as Brady used eight different receivers to rack up 304 passing yards and four touchdowns. The Rams’ defense had no answers for the Patriots’ spread attack, and Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer both did terrific jobs of negating the pass rush of Robert Quinn and Chris Long. Advantage: Patriots

When the Rams ran
As noted in the preview of this contest, the Patriots set out to shut down the Rams’ running game and did so convincingly. Daryl Richardson led the way for the Rams with 53 yards, but much of that was in “garbage time” in the fourth quarter. Steven Jackson was held to a paltry 23 yards while Isaiah Pead added 32 yards on three late carries. The Rams managed to squeeze out 107 yards on the ground, but they were meaningless stats in a blowout loss. Advantage: Patriots

When the Rams passed
For the first time since Week One, the Patriots actually notch a victory in this category. Sam Bradford was held to 205 yards, with 69 of those yards coming on the first drive of the game. After that, it was all Patriots. Lance Kendrick had four catches, and Chris Givens, Brandon Gibson, and Austin Pettis each had three for the Rams. Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones each had keys sacks for the Patriots, who were able to deliver some timely pressure on Bradford. Sterling Moore had six tackles and one pass defensed, while Marquise Cole and Brandon Spikes each broke up two passes. Advantage: Patriots

Special Teams
Make it a clean sweep, though special teams did not factor significantly into the outcome. The Patriots’ Zoltan Mesko was effective in his limited opportunities and Ghost added two field goals on two tries while the Patriots’ limited the Rams’ return game and kept field position in favor of the Patriots throughout the game. Advantage: Patriots

Key Moment: Pass interference call on Bradley Fletcher when the Patriots were already up 21-7. The Rams had botched a field goal attempt that would have made the score 21-10 and the Patriots’ drive appeared to come up short on a third down pass to Brandon Lloyd, but officials caught an obvious grab that put the ball on the Rams’ 20 yard line, setting up a one yard Stevan Ridley touchdown and effectively ending the game by the half.

Game Ball: Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder, who negated the Rams’ pass rush and gave Brady enough time to shred the Rams’ pass defense. Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels deserves an honorable mention for an exceptional game plan on offense that built an early lead and helped take the pressure off of a secondary that has been under siege.

Note: The Patriots set an NFL record on Sunday for offensive productivity, recording their 17th consecutive game with at least 350 yards of offense, totaling 473 yards against the Rams. This surpasses the record set by the 1999-2000 St. Louis Rams, then dubbed the “greatest show on turf.” The streak dates back to November 6, 2011 and includes the following totals:

11/6/2011 vs. Giants – 438 yards (332 passing, 106 rushing)
11/13/2011 at Jets – 389 yards (329 passing, 60 rushing)
11/21/2011 vs. Kansas City – 380 yards (223 passing, 157 rushing)
11/27/2011 at Philadelphia – 457 yards (353 passing, 104 rushing)
12/4/2011 vs. Indianapolis – 362 yards (289 passing, 73 rushing)
12/11/2011 at Washington – 431 yards (352 passing, 79 rushing)
12/18/2011 at Denver – 451 yards (310 passing, 141 rushing)
12/24/2011 vs. Miami – 400 yards (281 passing, 119 rushing)
1/1/2012 vs. Buffalo – 480 yards (360 passing, 120 rushing)
9/9/2012 at Tennessee – 390 yards (228 passing, 162 rushing)
9/16/2012 vs. Arizona – 387 yards (297 passing, 90 rushing)
9/23/2012 at Baltimore – 396 yards (319 passing, 77 rushing)
9/30/2012 at Buffalo – 580 yards (333 passing, 247 rushing)
10/7/2012 vs. Denver – 444 yards (193 passing, 251 rushing)
10/14/2012 at Seattle – 475 yards (388 passing, 87 rushing)
10/21/2012 vs. Jets – 381 yards (250 passing, 131 rushing)
10/28/2012 at St. Louis – 473 yards (321 passing, 152 rushing)

Both teams now go into their bye week. The Rams will visit the 49ers on November 11th while the Patriots will be at home against the Buffalo Bills.

Week 8 Recap

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Oct 292012

Another Sunday, another wild slate of games in the NFL. The theme of this week’s outcome is job security, or in some cases the lack of job security for key coaches and players. There’s still half a season left to play, but some themes are beginning to take shape.

Here are your results from Week 8:

  • The Buccaneers whip the Vikings 36-17 and show that they may not yet be a serious playoff threat, but are a dangerous team to play; Doug Martin has a huge game with 135 yards rushing while Josh Freeman is effective in throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns
  • Da Bears edge the Panthers 23-22 with late rally in ugly win on a game-winning field goal by Robbie Gould; Ron Rivera edges closer to the door depite a game effort from Carolina
  • Yes, it was played in the slop, but Norv Turner’s job security hangs by a thread after the Browns upset the Chargers 7-6; Trent Richardson runs for 122 yards in a solid outing
  • Matthew Stafford finally looks like Matthew Stafford for a week as the Lions edge the Seahawks 28-24 behind 352 yards and three touchdown passes by the Lions’ quarterback; Jim Schwartz moves off of the hot seat while Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch look good in last minute loss
  • The Packers struggle against the Jaguars’ defense but emerge with a 24-15 win; Blaine Gabbert outduels Aaron Rodgers but Rodgers earns the win
  • The Dolphins help edge Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez closer to finding a new color with a convincing 30-9 win; Reggie Bush wins the war of words and the game; perhaps the Jets should be apologizing to their fans
  • Andy Reid and Michael Vick updating their resumes after Matt Ryan and Julio Jones team up to whip the Eagles 30-17; Falcons now 7-0
  • Ben Roethlisberger, Jonathan Dwyer, and swarming Steelers defense halt RG3 and the Redskins 27-12
  • Patriots light up the Rams 45-7 as Brady is sharp and Ridley surpasses 100 rushing yards again; defense improved as both teams head into bye week
  • Andrew Luck and Vick Ballard connect for beautiful game winning touchdown in overtime as the Colts beat the Titans 19-13; so much for thinking that Matt Hasselbeck would claim the starting job back from Jake Locker
  • Raiders top the Chiefs 26-16; Brady Quinn’s reign lasts twelve and a half minutes while Darren McFadden rushes for 112 yards
  • Giants win a wild one as the Cowboys commit six turnovers in a 29-24 loss; Jason Garrett and Tony Romo now 3-4 and will no doubt evoke some reactions from Jerry this week
  • Broncos crush Saints 34-14 behind big performances from Peyton Manning, Willis McGahee, and DeMaryius Thomas; worst defense in the league just gets worse for the Saints
  • still to come: San Francisco – Arizona
Oct 292012

Now that was a close vote…

We had a record number turn out for this week’s poll, and we thank all of the folks who took the time to cast their ballots for their early season choice for MVP. It was a spirited contest that was decided at the last minute by one vote (that’s you, GoF). Matt Ryan narrowly edged out Aaron Rodgers. The two were followed by Percy Harvin, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning and JJ Watt. Fifteen of the twenty players included in the poll received votes.

Here are the results:

Poll #11: If the season ended today, who would you vote for as the Most Valuable Player?

Matt Ryan, Atlanta (19%, 22 Votes)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (18%, 21 Votes)
Percy Harvin, Minnesota (10%, 11 Votes)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (9%, 10 Votes)
Eli Manning, New York Giants (8%, 9 Votes)
JJ Watt, Houston (8%, 9 Votes)
Robert Griffin III, Washington (6%, 7 Votes)
Peyton Manning, Denver (5%, 6 Votes)
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis (5%, 6 Votes)
Arian Foster, Houston (4%, 5 Votes)
AJ Green, Cincinnati (3%, 3 Votes)
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota (2%, 2 Votes)
Tom Brady, New England (2%, 2 Votes)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (1%, 1 Votes)
Wes Welker, New England (1%, 1 Votes)
Alfred Morris, Washington (0%, 0 Votes)
Marshawn Lynch, Seattlle (0%, 0 Votes)
Frank Gore, San Francisco (0%, 0 Votes)
Victor Cruz, New York Giants (0%, 0 Votes)
Clay Matthews, Green Bay (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 115

For our next poll, we are going to focus on the 7-0 Atlanta Falcons, who have been the last remaining undefeated team for a couple of weeks now. Our question is when will their first loss come?

Poll #12: When will the Falcons finally lose a game?

Week 9 versus Dallas
Week 10 @ New Orleans
Week 11 versus Arizona
Week 12 @ Tampa Bay
Week 13 versus New Orleans
Week 14 @ Carolina
Week 15 versus New York Giants
Week 16 @ Detroit
Week 17 versus Tampa Bay
In the playoffs
No losses; 19-0, Baby!

Atlanta is off to a terrific start and was far more convincing in its win over the Eagles than it had been since Week 3. Of course, the big monkey on the back of the franchise is winning in the post-season, but it looks like a pretty sure bet that Matt Ryan and the rest of the Falcons will get the opportunity to exorcise that particular demon in January, and maybe February.

Oct 252012

No I in Lapdance and Lawdawg04 continue to dominate the Gridiron Rats Fantasy Football League, as Lapdance beat the Bruisers 155.38-120.10 and Lawdawh disposed of It’s Complicated 131.72-123.62. The East and South continue to be sub-par divisions with JUSTmyLUCK and Lambda Chi Guy holding momentary advantage in their respective divisions.

Here are your results from Week 7:

Team Dan Mocci 200.04 – Ghost Rats 95.54

Boy… talk about getting pounded this week! Team Dan Mocci destroyed Ghost Rats 200.04 – 95.54 while also putting up the second-highest score of the season. While Ghost Rats (3-4) is only a game back of Team Dan Mocci (4-3), they’re quite a bit farther behind in points, 1,070.61 – 813.48. This was a beatdown for the record books, with the 104.50-point margin of victory being the highest recorded in the league this season. On top of the loss, Ghost Rats had a starter score zero points (Brandon Bolden).

WD Forte 113.88 – Madden All-Stars 112.50

WD Forte (5-2, 970.95 points) edged Madden All-Stars (4-3, 963.67 points) 113.88 – 112.50 in a matchup with four lead changes. Their top player was Drew Brees, who had the highest point total in the league this week. Madden All-Stars was the first to put up points and by Sunday was already out in front 15.60 – 0. That advantage disappeared by the end of the early Sunday games and they trailed by 27.48. By the end of the Sunday night game, the lead flipped yet again and Madden All-Stars went up 106.10 – 94.18. WD Forte closed it out with a comeback on Monday night, thanks to 7.00 points from Robbie Gould.

Lambda Chi Guy 141.70 – SG-1 87.14

Lambda Chi Guy picked up 25.80 points from Rob Gronkowski and 25.00 from Matt Hasselbeck to thump SG-1, 141.70 – 87.14. SG-1 has had some misfortune and is on a three-game losing streak. Andrew Luck led SG-1 with 26.64 points while Sebastian Janikowski racked up 14.00. Adding insult to injury, SG-1 got zero points from Isaac Redman. Lambda Chi Guy (4-3, 925.44 points) remains in fourth place while SG-1 (3-4, 799.80 points) stays in 11th place.

No I in Lapdance 155.38 – Bruisers 120.10

No I in Lapdance got past Bruisers 155.38 – 120.10 and logged the second-highest point total in the league this week. No I in Lapdance has proven they are for real and remains undefeated. Bruisers was led by Jay Cutler with 23.40 points and Brandon Marshall who scored 20.10. Bruisers (2-5, 818.65 points) crawls into 13th place while No I in Lapdance (7-0, 1,090.18 points) remains in first place.

InNae 150.40 – Brownie Bites 81.53

InNae registered the highest score they’ve earned all season, pummeling Brownie Bites 150.00 – 81.53. It was a monumental rout, and the 68.47-point margin of victory was the seventh-highest recorded in the league this season. Brownie Bites, coming off a 118.56 – 100.81 win against Lambda Chi Guy, saw their scoring drop substantially this week. Brownie Bites (2-5, 795.30 points) sinks into 14th place while InNae (1-6, 757.35 points) remains mired in the cellar.

Reyno Island 118.75 – nylifers 48.50

Reyno Island got 38.80 points from Ryan Fitzpatrick and 26.20 from Frank Gore, dismantling nylifers, 118.75 – 48.50. Even though these teams have matching 2-5 records, Reyno Island has a distinct advantage in points, 901.08 – 793.36. It was a beating to remember, and the 70.25-point margin of victory was the sixth-highest recorded in the league this season. To make matters worse, nylifers got goose eggs from both Peyton Manning and Kevin Smith.

Lawdawg04 131.72 – It’s Complicated 123.62

Down 27.42 on Sunday night, Lawdawg04 came back to beat It’s Complicated 131.72 – 123.62. Lawdawg04 got 35.80 points from Chris Johnson and 28.52 from Ben Roethlisberger. Lawdawg04 met their projections and scored 5.8% more than their projected 124.55 points, while It’s Complicated fell just short of hitting their projections and got 98.0% of a projected 126.16. It’s Complicated was led by Robert Griffin III with 37.22 points and Victor Cruz who scored 29.10. It’s Complicated (4-3, 888.57 points) drops to eighth place and Lawdawg04 (6-1, 935.74 points) remains in second place.

JUSTmyLUCK 136.01 – Chump Change 89.68

JUSTmyLUCK (4-3, 958.77 points) trashed Chump Change (3-4, 834.82 points) 136.01 – 89.68, led by Tom Brady with 35.36 points and Randall Cobb who scored 32.70. JUSTmyLUCK scored first and went into Sunday in front 7.00 – 0. They lost the handle after the early Sunday games and trailed 75.58 – 59.05. JUSTmyLUCK took the lead back during the late Sunday games and held on for the victory.

Current league standings can be found here.

Week 8 Match-ups include

Ghost Rats @ Lawdawg04
WD Forte @ Lambda Chi Guy
No I in Lapdance @ Brownie Bites
Team Dan Mocci @ It’s Complicated
InNae @ Reyno Island
Madden All-Stars @ Chump Change
nylifers @ Bruisers

Oct 252012

12-1. That was the record of our consensus picks in Week Seven. Nothing like a really good week to make up for some of the struggles we have had to date this year.

Overall, Week Seven was a good week for our staff. Brodrick Kincaid topped out our individual performers with a 12-1 record, followed by Flip Stricland with 11 wins, Fat Jesus with 10, and Ghost Rat and Reyno Island followed with 9. Rat’s Widow finally got her head above chance, going 8-5 for the week while our Idaho Quarter crashed and burned at 4-9.

Here are the standings through seven weeks:

Ghost Rat17590.660X
Fat Jesus17590.660X
Brodrick Kincaid16897.6347
Reyno Island165100.62310
Flip Stricland164101.61911
Country Preacher159106.60016
Rat's Widow146119.55129
Idaho Quarter128137.48347
Danny Boy35230.132140
updated 2/2/13

For Week Eight, we welcome back LGBT and long for the return of Danny Boy. Hello… hello…  :-)

Anyway, here are our consensus picks (individual picks here):

Week 8 Consensus Picks
Vikings over Buccaneers
Packers over Jaguars (unanimous)
Jets over Dolphins
Chargers over Browns
Titans over Colts
Patriots over Ramms (unanimous)
Falcons over Eagles
Bears over Panthers (unanimous)
Seahawks over Lions
Steelers over Redskins
Raiders over Chiefs
Giants over Cowboys
Saints over Broncos
49ers over Cardinals

Oct 242012

It’s that time of the week again. We have unanimous picks at both the top and bottom of the order, as the Falcons enjoyed the bye week with their perfect 6-0 record and the Jaguars… well, they just continued to be the Jaguars. Feel free to heckle our rankings in the “Comments” section at the bottom of the page.

Week 7 Power Rankings

1. Atlanta Falcons (6-0, U) – We’re not sure how much longer they can live on the edge, but the Falcons are the class of the division; not if they can just clear that playoff win hurdle

2. New York Giants (5-2, +1) – Eli saves the day again and defuse the Redskins’ upset bid

3. Houston Texans (6-1, +1) – Right now the Texans are the undisputed class of the depleted AFC, but the loss of Cushing is still a cause for alarm

4. San Francisco 49ers (5-2, +1) – Tough divisional win is exactly the kind of thing that will help the Niners secure home field advantage

5. Chicago Bears (5-1, +1) – Give Cutler props for staying in the game on Monday, but he still won’t win any popularity contests

6. Green Bay Packers (4-3, +2) – Rodgers is getting on a roll and has the added plus of playing the Jaguars this week

7. New England Patriots (4-3, U) – Why do we get the feeling that the early season struggles are are the product of a mad genius named Bill who is already focused on how to win in January and February? Just remember to make the playoffs, Bill

8. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, -6) – The thorough destruction of the Ravens’ defense at the hands of the Texans does not bode well; they may still win the division and find an early exit in the playoffs

9. Minnesota Vikings (5-2, +5) – More and more the Vikings give the look of a team that will be in contention at the end of the season

10. Seattle Seahawks (4-3, -1) – Is this the beginning of the end of the Cinderella run?

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3, +1) – If they hang around long enough, they just catch the wounded Ravens

12. Arizona Cardinals (4-3, -2) – Losing to the Vikings is a quality loss, but that makes three losses in a row

13. Washington Redskins (3-4, U) – RG3 did all he could to engineer a win over the Giants; apparently he now needs to learn how to play Cover-2

14. Denver Broncos (3-3, -3) – The Saints are a huge test for the Broncos’ defense; look for a slugfest Sunday night

15. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3, +1) – From Dream Team to nightmare, part two

16. San Diego Chargers (3-3, +1) – The Chargers have a chance to grab the division lead again with a match-up against the Browns

17. New York Jets (3-4, +1) – The Jets may not have been scared of the Patriots, but they did catch the Patriots’ inability to close out a game

18. Detroit Lions (2-4, -3) – The defense played well on Monday, but the offense was just hideous; what is going on in Detroit… did Matt Millen come back?

19. Dallas Cowboys (3-3, +3) – Good Romo showed up this week; can he do it again against the Giants?

20. St. Louis Rams (3-4, -1) – Jeff Fisher has his team believing, but they still have too many holes to be considered a playoff threat

21. New Orleans Saints (2-4, +4) – Is two wins in a row cause for excitement? Sunday night’s game might well answer this question

22.  Cincinnati Bengals (3-4, -2) – If they ever start beating good teams they just might find their way to the playoffs two years in a row

23. Indianapolis Colts (3-3, U) – Colts’ fans can be happy that the predictions of years of football irrelevance seem to be way off the mark

24. Buffalo Bills (3-4, U) – After a one week reprieve, the Bills’ defense is back to its dreadful ways

25. Miami Dolphins (3-3, -4) – Falling four spots in a bye week is tough, but it probably is an accurate reflection of where they stand

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4, U) – One heady defensive play prevented the Bucs from forcing overtime against the Saints; the Buca are capable of pulling off a quality upset or two

27. Tennessee Titans (3-4, +1) – If Hasselbeck keeps winning, will they really give Locker the ball back?

28. Carolina Panthers (1-5, -1) – Cam’s post-game meltdown isn’t helpful for an under-achieving team

29. Oakland Raiders (2-4, +1) – A win is a win, but it was the Jags; thankfully for the Raiders, now they get to play the Chiefs

30. Cleveland Browns (1-6, -1) – You can just tell they are not used to winning, can’t you?

31. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5, U) – You know it’s bad when you have to CHOOSE Brady Quinn over Matt Cassel

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5, U) – With MJD out, it’s not going to get better anytime soon