Sep 262013
 

On the MoneySo we are rushing to get the Week Four picks under the wire; busy week fro the Rat this week, folks.

It was a tough week for our writers last week, with DJ Crash and the Ghost Rat taking top honors with 10-6 records, and giving us a shared two game lead in the standings.

Before we share the picks, here is a question… how can the same guy who ranks the Dolphins #1 pick against them in their Monday night match-up against the Saints? Inquiring minds want to know…

Here are the Week Four picks. Editor’s Note: The Widow’s picks are in at press time, but not in the Rat’s physical possession. They will be added late tonight when the Rat finally gets home. :-)

WriterSF @ STLBAL @ BUFCIN @ CLECHI @ DETNYG @ KCAZ @ TBIND @ JACSEA @ HOUPIT @ MIN
Brodrick KincaidSFBUFCLECHIKCAZINDSEAPIT
Country PreacherSFBUFCINDETNYGTBINDSEAMIN
DJ CrashSFBALCINCHIKCAZINDSEAMIN
Fat JesusSFBALCINCHIKCAZINDSEAMIN
Flip StriclandSTLBALCINDETKCTBINDSEAMIN
Ghost RatSTLBALCINDETKCAZINDHOUMIN
LGBTSFBALCINCHIKCAZINDSEAMIN
Rat's WidowSTLBALCINDETKCAZINDHOUPIT
Reyno IslandSFBALCINCHINYGAZINDSEAMIN
SharpeSFBALCINCHIKCAZINDSEAMIN
Guest QuarterSTLBALCINDETKCAZINDSEAMIN
WriterNYJ @ TENWAS @ OAKPHI @ DENDAL @ SDNE @ ATLMIA @ NOWEEKOVERALL
Brodrick KincaidNYJWASDENDALATLNO30-18
Country PreacherTENWASDENSDATLNO26-22
DJ CrashTENWASDENDALATLNO34-14
Fat JesusTENWASDENSDATLNO28-20
Flip StriclandTENWASDENDALNENO28-20
Ghost RatTENWASDENSDNENO34-14
LGBTTENWASPHIDALATLNO28-20
Rat's WidowTENWASDENSDATLNO32-16
Reyno IslandNYJWASDENDALATLMIA30-18
SharpeTENOAKDENDALNENO26-22
Guest QuarterNYJOAKDENSDATLMIA24-24
Sep 252013
 

Rats RankingsHere’s an interesting note from the first three weeks of the NFL season; all of the losses suffered by teams in the AFC East have been delivered by other teams in the AFC East. Of course, Lavonte David helped insure a Jets’ win in Week One, but it is interesting that the much-maligned division has been more than holding its own through three weeks, while the NFC East, often thought to be a competitive and bruising division, is turning out to be anything but. The Giants are falling apart, the Redskins aren’t far behind, the Eagles are in the first year of a two or three year rebuilding cycle, and the mediocre Cowboys appear to be the class of the division early in the season. The AFC east will be tested this week as the Patriots travel to Atlanta and the Dolphins visit New Orleans; both games could offer first out of division defeats for what has become affectionately known as the AFC Least.

On to our Power Rankings, our writers are nearly unanimous on the top two teams, with Denver and Seattle coming in at 1/2 for all of our writers except our Country Preacher. Now I do indeed love our Preacher, but I am really starting to think that his method for ranking teams consists of a dartboard, a blindfold, and a crack pipe. He ranked the Miami Dolphins #1 this week… OVER the Denver Broncos and OVER the Seattle Seahawks. If the Fins don’t beat the Saints this week, he might want to consider a sick day or two to avoid some serious heckling. Anyway, here are the Gridiron Rats Power rankings for Week Four; last week’s ranking is in [brackets].

1. Denver  Broncos (3-0, 5 first place votes) [1] – So far the offensive line woes aren’t coming home to roost; will it last?
2. Seattle Seahawks (3-0) [2] – Road test against Houston serves as an early test
3. Chicago Bears (3-0) [9] – I’m not a Cutler fan, but loved the shoulder move
4. New Orleans Saints (3-0) [8] – Sean Payton’s revenge tour gets Monday night lights
5. New England Patriots (3-0) [7] – That’s right; they’re winning on defense
6. Miami Dolphins (3-0, 1 first place vote) [12] – We’ll start believing IF they beat New Orleans
7. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) [11] – A visit from the Giants offers hope for a 4-0 start
8. San Francisco 49ers (1-2) [3] – Offensive woes now compounded by trouble in the defense
9. Houston Texans (2-1) [4] – Schaub needs to take better care of the ball
10. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) [10] – Dramatic win over the Packers may be useful come January
11. Atlanta Falcons (1-2) [5] – Offense is fine, but walking wounded defense has team off to rough start
12. Indianapolis Colts (2-1) [13] – Richardson may well elevate this team
13. Green Bay Packers (1-2) [6] – Ugly loss to the Bengals with ugly play by Rodgers and a not-so-improved pass defense
14. Detroit Lions (2-1) [14] – Can the offense avoid mistakes against the opportunistic Bears?
15. Dallas Cowboys (2-1) [15] – From famine to feast for DeMarco Murray
16. Tennessee Titans (2-1) [18] – Jake Locker maturing before the eyes of Titans’ fans
17. Baltimore Ravens (2-1) [16] – Defense keeps the Ravens relevant for another week
18. St. Louis Rams (1-2) [17] – Will they continue to give the 49ers fits this season?
19. Carolina Panthers (1-2) [26] – A much needed blowout win for a team that was close to imploding
20. New York Jets (2-1) [29] – Geno Smith isn’t perfect, but a hell of a lot better than Sanchez
21. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) [20] – The excitement lasted one half of one game, but it’s a start
22. San Diego Chargers (1-2) [23] – Rivers was outstanding in Week Three, but needs more from Matthews
23. Arizona Cardinals (1-2) [22] – At least they play the Bucs this week
24. Buffalo Bills (1-2) [25] – EJ Manuel wishes he was Geno Smith this week
25. Minnesota Vikings (0-3) [21] – Ponder is on thin ice in the land of the lakes
26. New York Giants (0-3) [19] – Hard to imagine playing any uglier than they did Sunday
27. Cleveland Browns (1-2) [31] – A spirited win after a disheartening trade; is Hoyer the new answer?
28. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3) [27] – Has Mike Tomlin unleashed hell yet?
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) [28] – The Mike Glennon era begins on the Gulf Coast
30. Oakland Raiders (1-2) [30] – They showed life against the Broncos, but this team is a year away from competing with good teams
31. Washington Redskins (0-3) [24] – For any problems they have with RGIII, that is one bad defense
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) [32] – Let me get this right… the Jags are happy that Gabbert is back this week?

Sep 192013
 

On the MoneyYour very own Ghost Rat had a big week last week, going 13-3 to pull into a four-way tie for first place in the Gridiron Rats pick’em pool. Brodrick, Rat’s Widow and DJ Crash all went 12-4 to share a 24-8 record through two weeks. The Widow means business this season, folks.

For Week Three, we have several unanimous picks, including the Cowboys over the Rams, the Vikings over the Browns, the Saints over the Cardinals, the Texans over the Ravens, the 49ers over the Colts, the Seahawks over the Jaguars, and the Broncos over the Raiders. Look for the Seahawks v. Jaguars game to be a beatdown of epic proportion.

Here is the full slate of picks for Week Three:

WriterKC @ PHITB @ NEGB @ CINSTL @ DALSD @ TENCLE @ MINAZ @ NODET @ WASNYG @ CAR
Brodrick KincaidPHINEGBDALSDMINNODETNYG
Country PreacherKCTBGBDALSDMINNOWASCAR
DJ CrashKCNECINDALTENMINNODETNYG
Fat JesusPHINEGBDALSDMINNOWASNYG
Flip StriclandPHINEGBDALSDMINNOWASCAR
Ghost RatKCNEGBDALTENMINNODETNYG
LGBTKCTBGBDALTENMINNODETCAR
Rat's WidowKCNECINDALTENMINNOWASNYG
Reyno IslandKCNEGBDALSDMINNODETNYG
SharpePHINEGBDALSDMINNODETNYG
Guest QuarterKCTBGBSTLTENCLEAZDETCAR
WriterHOU @ BALATL @ MIABUF @ NYJIND @ SFJAC @ SEACHI @ PITOAK @ DENWeek RecordSeason Record
Brodrick KincaidHOUATLBUFSFSEAPITDEN24-8
Country PreacherHOUATLNYJSFSEAPITDEN19-13
DJ CrashHOUATLBUFSFSEACHIDEN24-8
Fat JesusHOUATLBUFSFSEACHIDEN22-10
Flip StriclandHOUATLBUFSFSEACHIDEN21-11
Ghost RatHOUMIABUFSFSEACHIDEN24-8
LGBTHOUATLBUFSFSEACHIDEN19-13
Rat's WidowHOUATLBUFSFSEAPITDEN24-8
Reyno IslandHOUATLNYJSFSEACHIDEN21-11
SharpeHOUATLBUFSFSEACHIDEN19-13
Guest QuarterBALMIANYJINDJACCHIOAK14-18
Sep 182013
 

Rats RankingsWith two games in the books, the Denver Broncos have looked like an unstoppable force in the NFL; but will their offensive line be their undoing on an expected trip to the Super Bowl? In the NFC, Seattle easily dispatched the 49ers, giving the Seahawks the early leg up in the NFC. Our experts are back at it, offering up their power rankings and commentary as we enter Week Three of the 2013 season. Last week’s rankings are in [brackets]. The Dolphins are the big gainers this week, up eight spots, while the Washington football club tumbled seven spots after a second consecutive loss.

1. Denver Broncos (2-0, 5 first place votes) [2] – Going all the way… or stalled by o-line woes?
2. Seattle Seahawks (2-0, 1 first place vote) [4] – They have the Niners number in the northwest
3. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) [1] – Offensive improvement needed to win games
4. Houston Texans (2-0) [6] – Gotta love the rookies
5. Atlanta Falcons (1-1) [3] – The Falcons need a running game
6. Green Bay Packers (1-1) [7] – Hey Rodgers!
7. New England Patriots (2-0) [5] – The Pats need GRONK!
8. New Orleans Saints (2-0) [8] – Likely 3-0 after Cardinals come to town
9. Chicago Bears (2-0) [9] – Cutler’s not used to being on his feet
10. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) [10] – Giovani’s big outing dooms Steelers
11. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) [16] – Now Andy gets to fly back into Philly
12. Miami Dolphins (2-0) [20] – Falcons offer tougher test
13. Indianapolis Colts (1-1) [11] – Are they running outta Luck?
14. Detroit Lions (1-1) [13] – Once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
15. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) [12] – Tony Oh-No might be back
16. Baltimore Ravens (1-1) [15] – A playoff team if they play the Browns every week
17. St. Louis Rams (1-1) [18] – Bradford finally showing promise
18. Tennessee Titans (1-1) [22] – Climbing their way back to respectability
19. New York Giants (0-2) [14] – Cruz is right; it’s must win time
20. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) [19] – Vick should be getting hurt anytime now
21. Minnesota Vikings (0-2) [21] – Ponder needs to ponder over performance
22. Arizona Cardinals (1-1) [25] – Palmer and Mendenhall net a good comeback win
23. San Diego Chargers (1-1) [27] – Anyone start royal in the FFL league in Week Two?
24. Washington Redskins (0-2) [17] – Defensive front not as solid as believed
25. Buffalo Bills (1-1) [26] – EJ looking mature beyond his years
26. Carolina Panthers (0-2) [24] – Rivera’s seat getting very warm
27. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2) [23] – Still waiting for Tomlin to unleash hell
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) [28] – A loss to the Patriots might send franchise into panic mode
29. New York Jets (1-1) [30] – At least Rexy looks good on the sideline
30. Oakland Raiders (1-1) [31] – Pryor might be the best quarterback in Oakland in a long time
31. Cleveland Browns (0-2) [29] – Chud fires a dud in trading Richardson
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) [32] – New team name is Jacksonville Pussycats

Sep 112013
 

Rats RankingsWeek One is in the books, and we now have a set of power rankings based on performance rather than anticipation. Still, few teams looked exceptionally good on Sunday. While Denver and San Francisco both looked like early contenders, nearly everyone else suffered from inconsistency. Both Philadelphia and Dallas staked  themselves to huge leads and nearly coughed them up, while Houston stormed back and took a game that San Diego did cough up. Our group of experts have considered the efforts, and our top five stayed the same despite one of those teams losing in the first week. Philadelphia is the big winner this week, jumping up eight spots but still sitting in the bottom half of the league. Here are our ratings, with last week’s rankings in [brackets].

1. San Francisco 49ers (1-0, 5 first place votes) [1]
2. Denver Broncos (1-0, 3 first place votes) [2]
3. Atlanta Falcons (0-1) [3]
4. Seattle Seahawks (1-0) [4]
5. New England Patriots (1-0) [5]
6. Houston Texans (1-0) [7]
7. Green Bay Packers (0-1) [6]
8. New Orleans Saints (1-0) [10]
9. Chicago Bears (1-0) [13]
10. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) [8]
11. Indianapolis Colts (1-0) [11]
12. Dallas Cowboys (1-0) [16]
13. Detroit Lions (1-0) [17]
14. New York Giants (0-1) [9]
15. Baltimore Ravens (0-1) [12]
16. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) [20]
17. Washington Redskins (0-1) [14]
18. St. Louis Rams (1-0) [18]
19. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) [27]
20. Miami Dolphins (1-0) [21]
21. Minnesota Vikings (0-1) [19]
22. Tennessee Titans (1-0) [28]
23. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) [15]
24. Carolina Panthers (0-1) [23]
25. Arizona Cardinals (0-1) [25]
26. Buffalo Bills (0-1) [29]
27. San Diego Chargers (0-1) [24]
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) [22]
29. Cleveland Browns (0-1) [26]
30. New York Jets (1-0) [31]
31. Oakland Raiders (0-1) [32]
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) [30]

Sep 112013
 

On the MoneyWell the Week One upset bug didn’t bother our writers last week, as nearly all of our contributors registered a double digit win total. We have an early four way tie for first place at 12-4, as Brodrick, DJ Crash, Rat’s  Widow and Reyno Island all marched out to the lead. Just one game behind are Fat Jesus, Flip Stricland, and your very own Ghost Rat. Country Preacher trailed the field at 8-8, but at least he beat out the quarter by a game.

This week is a bit dangerous, as we have five unanimous picks; this just begs for an upset or two. We have Atlanta over a talented St. Louis club, Indianapolis over an improved Miami, Green Bay over Washington, New Orleans over Tampa Bay on the road, and Cincinnati over the suddenly weak Steelers. We would have had another, but Reyno took his Jets over the Patriots. On tomorrow’s game, I will say if there is ever a time that the Jets could win in Foxboro, this would be it. That being said, look for the Patriots to find a way to win tomorrow night despite a depleted lineup.

Here are the picks for Week Two and our standings:

WriterNYJ @ NESTL @ ATLSD @ PHIDAL @ KCMIA @ INDTEN @ HOUWAS @ GBCLE @ BALCAR @ BUF
Brodrick KincaidNEATLPHIDALINDHOUGBBALBUF
Country PreacherNEATLPHIKCINDHOUGBBALCAR
DJ CrashNEATLPHIDALINDHOUGBBALCAR
Fat JesusNEATLPHIDALINDHOUGBBALCAR
Flip StriclandNEATLPHIKCINDHOUGBCLECAR
Ghost RatNEATLPHIKCINDHOUGBBALBUF
LGBTNEATLSDDALINDHOUGBCLECAR
Rat's WidowNEATLSDKCINDHOUGBBALCAR
Reyno IslandNYJATLPHIDALINDHOUGBBALCAR
SharpeNEATLPHIDALINDTENGBBALBUF
Guest QuarterNYJSTLPHIKCMIATENWASBALBUF
WriterMIN @ CHINO @ TBDET @ AZJAC @ OAKDEN @ NYGSF @ SEAPIT @ CINWeek RecordSeason Record
Brodrick KincaidCHINODETOAKDENSEACIN11-423-8
Country PreacherCHINOAZOAKNYGSFCIN10-518-13
DJ CrashCHINOAZOAKDENSEACIN11-423-8
Fat JesusCHINOAZOAKDENSFCIN10-521-10
Flip StriclandCHINODETOAKDENSFCIN9-620-11
Ghost RatCHINODETOAKDENSEACIN12-323-8
LGBTCHINOAZJACDENSFCIN9-618-13
Rat's WidowCHINODETJACDENSEACIN11-423-8
Reyno IslandCHINODETOAKDENSFCIN8-720-11
SharpeMINNODETOAKDENSFCIN8-718-13
Guest QuarterMINNODETJACDENSFCIN6-913-18
Sep 082013
 

New-York-Jets-550Twas the Night before JETS football
-Reyno Island

Twas the Night before JETS Football
And all through the lands
Fans were all stirring, ready to fill the stands.
The rookies are ready to make their debut
Especially Geno who hopes to start again Week 2

While reporters and critics may write what they write
True fans are excited to watch the Jets take flight

Butt fumbles and dropped passes are a thing of the past
This year we are younger, and stronger, and fast!
Rex is back with Defense but the wildcat lives on
With Powell and Ivory are run game looks strong.

With Marty’s new offense, the end zone we’ll find
2011’s Red zone percentages will surely come to mind.

With Cumberland and Winslow
Holmes, Hill, Kerley and Gates
We know our receivers will be some of the greats!

While Wilkerson shines as a linemen to fear
Richardson might just be Defensive Rookie of the Year

So watch out opponents, Gang Green you should dread.
We have more reasons to cheer than just Fireman Ed.
2013 will bring no more circus no clowns
For the J – E – T – S are coming to town.

Sep 042013
 

Rats RankingsOn the eve of the start of the NFL season, we decided to offer up our Week One power rankings. Most of our writers contributed to this week’s poll, and I think it is a pretty accurate assessment of where teams stand going into the season. Unlike many years, the idea of a defending champion carrying the first week’s poll have evaporated, as none of our seven contributors pegged the Baltimore Ravens first, or even in the top five. I guess none of us are thinking that banking on Joe Flacco, absent the other key parts of last season’s team, was a very good idea. So here is our ranking of the thirty-two teams headed into the new season. First place votes are in parentheses.

WEEK ONE POWER RANKINGS

1. San Francisco 49ers (2)
2. Denver Broncos (3)
3. Atlanta Falcons
4. Seattle Seahawks
5. New England Patriots
6. Green Bay Packers (1)
7. Houston Texans
8. Cincinnati Bengals
9. New York Giants (1)
10. New Orleans Saints
11. Indianapolis Colts
12. Baltimore Ravens
13. Chicago Bears
14. Washington Redskins
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
16. Dallas Cowboys
17. Detroit Lions
18. St. Louis Rams
19. Minnesota Vikings
20. Kansas City Chiefs
21. Miami Dolphins
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
23. Carolina Panthers
24. San Diego Chargers
25. Arizona Cardinals
26. Cleveland Browns
27. Philadelphia Eagles
28. Tennessee Titans
29. Buffalo Bills
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
31. New York Jets
32. Oakland Raiders

Sep 042013
 

On the MoneyIt’s that time of year again!

The season begins Thursday night, and we are back to our weekly picks contest to see who is this year’s King (or Queen) of Prognostication. Last season Fat Jesus and Ghost Rat tied for the title, but the clock is re-set and it’s a brand new game.

This week we have three unanimous picks, which is always a dangerous thing in the first week of the season, when upsets are bound to occur. This week’s sweeps include Denver over Baltimore, New England over Buffalo, and Houston over San Diego. Instead of our Idaho Quarter fro last season, each week a new guest quarter (presumably from Einstein Bros. Bagels (where I get my daily coffee) will be joining our crew for a chance to take home the weekly crown.

Enjoy, and feel free to leave your own picks below.

WriterBAL @ DENNE @ BUFSEA @ CARCIN @ CHIMIA @ CLEMIN @ DETOAK @ INDKC @ JACATL @ NO
Brodrick KincaidDENNESEACINMIADETINDKCNO
Country PreacherDENNECARCINCLEDETINDJACNO
DJ CrashDENNESEACHIMIADETINDKCATL
Fat JesusDENNESEACINCLEDETINDKCNO
Flip StriclandDENNESEACINCLEDETINDKCNO
Ghost RatDENNESEACHICLEDETINDKCNO
LGBTDENNESEACINCLEDETOAKKCATL
Rat's WidowDENNESEACHIMIAMININDKCNO
Reyno IslandDENNESEACINMIADETINDKCATL
SharpeDENNESEACINMIADETINDKCATL
Guest QuarterBALNESEACHICLEDETOAKJACATL
WriterTB @ NYJTEN @ PITAZ @ STLGB @ SFNYG @ DALPHI @ WASHOU @ SDWeek RecordSeason Record
Brodrick KincaidTBPITSTLSFDALWASHOU12-412-4
Country PreacherTBPITSTLGBNYGWASHOU8-88-8
DJ CrashTBPITSTLSFDALWASHOU12-412-4
Fat JesusTBPITSTLSFDALWASHOU11-511-5
Flip StriclandTBPITSTLSFDALWASHOU11-511-5
Ghost RatTBPITAZSFDALWASHOU11-511-5
LGBTTBTENAZSFDALWASHOU9-79-7
Rat's WidowTBPITSTLSFNYGPHIHOU12-412-4
Reyno IslandNYJTENAZSFNYGPHIHOU12-412-4
SharpeTBTENSTLGBNYGWASHOU10-610-6
Guest QuarterTBTENSTLSFNYGWASSD7-97-9
Sep 032013
 

Eli  ManningGhost Rat’s note: So now we have a vote for the other forehead…

Actually, this is another case where I have to ask the Preacher to slowly step away from the crack pipe. Seriously, I understand the romance of rooting for the Giants to win as a home team in the Super Bowl, but the only way this prediction could get any crazier is if he predicted an undrafted rookie free agent linebacker from Iowa State to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. Oh wait…

Seriously, we love our Preacher, because he can always be counted on for fun stuff like this. But predicting Eli Manning to be league MVP? That must be some pipe. :-)

Here are the Preacher’s picks:

AFC EAST
New England106
Miami97
Buffalo511
New York Jets412
AFC NORTH
Cincinnati106
Pittsburgh97
Baltimore88
Cleveland79
AFC SOUTH
Houston115
Indianapolis106
Tennessee610
Jacksonville412
AFC WEST
Denver124
Kansas City88
San Diego79
Oakland412
NFC EAST
New York Giants115
Dallas97
Washington88
Philadelphia511
NFC NORTH
Green Bay115
Chicago106
Detroit97
Minnesota79
NFC SOUTH
Atlanta115
New Orleans106
Carolina97
Tampa Bay88
NFC WEST
Seattle124
San Francisco115
St. Louis97
Arizona511
AFC PLAYOFFS- Wildcard Round
Indianapolis over New England
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
Divisional Round
Denver over Pittsburgh
Cincinnati over Indianapolis
AFC Championship
Cincinnati over Denver
NFC PLAYOFFS- Wildcard Round
San Francisco over New Orleans
Chicago over Green Bay
Divisional Round
Seattle over Chicago
New York Giants over San Francisco
NFC Championship
New York Giants over Seattle
SUPER BOWL
New York Giants over Cincinnati
NFL POST SEASON AWARDS
Most Valuable Player -Eli Manning
Offensive Player of the YearMatt Forte
Defensive Player of the YearLuke Kuechly
Offensive Rookie of the YearTyler Eifert
Defensive Rookie of the YearJake Knott
Comeback Player of the YearMaurice Jones Drew
Coach of the YearMarc Trestman