Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday 09/06 A.M. Quickie:
NFL Opening! Playoff Picks! NFL! NFL!

Update: Shoot, I forgot to mention Louisville beating Middle Tennessee tonight, just for the record. Last week, I correctly stuck a "7" in front of my prediction of a double-digit point total for the Cardinals. I'm less bullish this week: They'll put up a number in the 60s. Full CFB preview/picks tomorrow.

The new NFL season is here. Two words: Thank god. (This KSK post just about sums it up.)

How can you not love the Opening Night matchup: Colts-Saints. The "finally" team coming off a championship season against a franchise considered the NFL's most historically hapless, but now finds itself as the hot pick to win the NFC and get to the Super Bowl.

For those of you who were paying attention a year ago (or heard me mention it 100 times in January and February), last season I made my Greatest Pick Ever: Predicting the Colts would beat the Bears in the Super Bowl... back in August 2006.

Now, that qualifies me to have one year – the immediate following year – when what I have to say has some credibility (even though we all know that if I got it exactly right a year ago, I won't come close this year).

Still, I wish I could be inspired about this as I was taking the Bears a year ago, but instead I'm sadly rather conventional. Here is my prediction for how the season will play out, through the Super Bowl:

NFC
East: Eagles
North: Bears
South: Saints
West: Seahawks
Wild Cards: Vikings, 49ers (Eh, yes: I dis the Cowboys. Probably stupidly.)
NFC Champ: Saints

AFC
East: Patriots
North: Steelers
South: Colts
West: Chargers
Wild Cards: Ravens, Broncos
AFC Champ: Patriots

Super Bowl: Pats over Saints

PSA: Don't forget to set your fantasy rosters.

Tonight: Colts-Saints. Chance to see my preseason pick for NFL MVP, Drew Brees, against the NFL's gold standard for QBs. One of the best Opening Games ever, based on a combination of team backstories and potential. I'll have my entire slate of NFL picks tomorrow (sign up for the Daily Quickie Readers Pick 'Em using the link on the right). For now, the pick is:

Saints over Colts.
(Other picks coming Friday.)

More NFL: So who, exactly, is the starting QB in Oakland: Daunte Culpepper or Josh McCown? Those few people with fantasy backup-QB slots to fill kind of want/need to know. (Apparently, it's McCown.)

MLB Steroids: Investigators want to talk to 45 current and former players. Good luck with that, but that's a big number. (h/t: NY Times)

MLB Stud: A-Rod, who seemed like a candidate for a DNP-Injury, but once he was in the lineup, ended up hitting 2 HR... in the same inning.

MLB Stud Team: Braves, who rallied for 3 runs in the 9th to beat/stun the Phillies, in the type of loss that can crush a team with just a month to go in the season and every win mattering.

MLB Dud: Jake Peavy (rarity as a Dud!), who gave up 8 runs to the D'backs. Arizona takes 2 of 3 from the Padres in their head-to-head series – and a one-game lead over the Padres in the NL West, in their final head-to-head showdown of the season.

The Indians swept the Twins... again.

Vernon Wells' HR means that the Red Sox are 6 games up on the Yankees with 22 games to play. Not that the Yankees should be concerned with the division, as opposed to the Wild Card.

As the AL races stand, the divisions seem pretty locked up. The Wild Card is in play, between the Yankees, Tigers and Mariners.

In the NL playoff race, the "good" Brewers are back. They clubbed a ton of home runs, have won 2 in a row and are a half-game behind the Cubs in the Central. The NL West might be underrated as a dramatic September storyline, but the NL Central is where the glamour action is.

Which AP pollsters put Michigan in their Top 25 this week? They deserve our scorn, and thankfully, Fan IQ has them listed by name. You have done inspired work here, friends.

U.S. Open: Federer beats Roddick. Of course he did. And sign me up for a pair of those tuxedo shorts. Venus advances to the semis.

NBA: Interesting rule tweak. The league will let refs use instant replay to review flagrant fouls and altercations. Smart.

PGA Playoffs Dud, Cont'd: Tiger and Ernie are joining Phil in dissing the Playoffs. Quite the success story for the PGA!

-- D.S.

60 comments:

pv845 said...

I think that NBA using replays will lead to more people being suspended for leaving the bench. It used to be in the middle of something like that, the refs tried to get it right and might have missed some people. Now they have cameras and can eject EVERYONE that they see.

I like the Saints to win tonight, but not enough to put my survival team on the line with that pick.

roboninja said...

lol, the Vikings as the Wild Card? I think they will be lucky to get to 6 wins.

PatriotsNation said...

Pats over Bears in Super Bowl 42!!

jhawkjjm said...

Those highlights of the Braves-Phillies game were amazing. It seems that every hit the Braves had was a little bloop or some high-chopper. The only hard hit ball I saw from the highlights was the one the right fielder had go off his glove to win it.

Natsfan74 said...

I like the optimism, but the Bears will not win the NFC this year. Best thing the Bears fans can hope for is an early season Grossman injury (very probable) and some quality back-up play by Griese (less probable).

My best fantasy receiver is in Denver this week-end... looks like I'll take my back-ups against Cleveland and Indianapolis.

Nationals got their 63rd win last night, eliminating the possibility of 100 losses. I am very excited for that. 71 wins matches last year's team with Soriano's 40/40, minus the extra $30M in payroll. New Stadium and some young stars makes this a perfect time to jump on the bandwagon...

A.P. Boynton said...

Patriots
Ravens
Colts
Chargers
WC: Bengals, Broncos

Eagles
Bears
Saints
Rams
WC: Seahawks, Cowboys

Chargers over Saints in Super Bowl

Gangsta D said...

Wait a minute. You don't have the Cowboys going to the playoffs? You have the Vikings and 49'ers in the playoffs but not the Cowboys? I know you said that your predictions would probably be way off this year, but you don't have to take an active role in it.

GuyInTheCorner said...

pv845-

I think you meant that the NBA using replays will lead to more people being tossed for leaving the bench.

Suspensions for leaving the bench aren't determined by the refs during the game. That is up to Stu Jackson and the Disciplinary Committee in the days after the game, and they already use all the cameras to make their decisions.

fall west mike said...

Eagles, Bears, Saints, Seahawks
Cowboys, Rams

Patriots, Ravens, Colts, Chargers
Jets, Steelers

I'm pulling for the Saints this year.

Also, have you seen these Colts fans I've never heard of before now who have made their predictions using Star Wars?
link

CMFost said...

AFC East - New England
AFC South - Jacksonville
AFC North - Cincinnati
AFC West - Denver
Wild Cards - Baltimore & Indianapolis

AFC Championship Game
New England - Cincinnati

AFC Champion - New England

NFC East - Philadelphia
NFC South - Tampa Bay
NFC North - Detroit
NFC West - San Francisco
Wild Card - Dallas, Arizona

NFC Championship Game
Philadelphia - Dallas

NFC Champion - Philadelphia

SUPER BOWL CHAMPION - NEW ENGLAND

Brian in Oxford said...

The problem with picking SD and Dallas is simple. Norv Turner and Wade Phillips.

ToddTheJackass said...

MLB Studs and Duds from yesterday:

Studs:
1. Carlos Pena - 2/3, 2HR, 7RBI, 4R, 2BB
2. Yovani Gallardo - W, 7.0IP, 0ER, 6H, 5K, 2BB
3. A-Rod - 2/3, 2HR, 3RBI, BB
4. Tom Shearn - W, 6.0IP, 0ER, 3H, 3K, 3BB
5. Joe Blanton - W, 8.0IP, 2ER, 6H, 3K, BB

Duds:
1. Tom Gordon - 0.1IP, 4ER, 4H
2. Brett Myers - L, BS, 1.1IP, 3ER, 4H, K, 3BB
3. Jake Peavy - L, 4.0IP, 8ER, 7H, 4K, 3BB
4. Radhames Liz - L, 1.2IP, 4ER, 6H, K, 2BB
5. Hideki Okajima - L, 1.0IP, 2ER, H, HBP

Matt T said...

Dan believes in Purple Jesus.

About time the Braves got one of those wins.

BLT said...

I put money on the Saints to win it all in Vegas (12-1), and feel good that people put them in the SB, which at least gives me a chance.

AFC pick is Balitmore Ravens

BLT

CMFost said...

I do not believe in the Saints this year, let's remember last years resurgance was helped by the fact they had a fourth place schedule and this year they have to play a 1st place schedule which is going to be a far tougher road for them,

PatriotsNation said...

Saints will make it to the NFC Championship games again, their offence is incredible and Bush will really breakout this season!!

ToddTheJackass said...

I'll take the Colts to repeat... and I say that as a Pats fan. I know they lost some key players on defense, but I really think on offense Addai is going to have a ridiculous borderline MVP season... if only I'd been able to draft him in fantasy...

Colts over Saints sounds about right to me.

jhawkjjm said...

People do realize that Norv Turner is the coach of the Chargers right?

Boomhauertjs said...

And that Tavaris Jackson is the Vikings QB?

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

NE, IND, CIN, SD...BAL, PIT
PHI, NO, CHI, SEA...DAL, CAR

SD vs. PHI

Sorry for shameless self promotion...but I think you all might enjoy it. Or making fun/bashing me. Either or works!

Top 15 Awesomely Bad Sports Movies

Big D said...

No mention of This insanity?

Seriously - is there any doubt he jumps on the Celtics' bandwagon too?

GuyInTheCorner said...

revscott-

I dispute the fact that "Little Big League" is bad in any way at all. Come on man! Such great lines as...
Friend #1: "Why don't you manage the team Billy?"
Friend #2: "Yeah. That would be awesome!"
Billy Haywood: "I can't manage the Twins!"
Friend #1: "Why not? It's the American League. They have the DH."
Friend #2: "How hard can it be?"

... will never be topped. Also the genious behind the team losing is off the scale. They don't win the game? It's a kids movie!

Also don't forget the lines by the announcer in the movie, Wally Holland:

"Last year though, he was 6th in the American League in hitting right-handers he was facing for the first time, after the seventh innning, at home. So that's something to keep in mind."

"An interesting side note: that's the 14th one-run game for the Tigers already this season. Tops for any team north of the Mason-Dixon Line, whose home games are not played in a dome."

"So with two down here in the 7th, Royals pitching continues to handcuff the Twins, Lou Collins to the plate and he can certainly attest to that. Lou is 0-11 the last 3 games, all Twin losses. He hit two bullets yesterday, but came up empty. Today, more of the same. Hanley looks in for the sign. Lou, by the way, has hit .416 lifetime versus Hanley in the month of September in even years. So that certainly bodes well for this at bat."

Big D said...

By the way - if any of you are degenerate gamblers like me, I've been pretty good at picking NFL against the spread the last three years (though I barely broke .500 last year - I think a lot of gamblers can say that)

Anyway, the first pick is up, with the weekend coming tomorrow night.

As for the football season itself...

NFL Preview Part I
NFL Preview Part II
NFL Preview Part III

Now off to do actual work.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Also, the kids movies (Angels in the Outfield, Little Big League, etc.) aren't bad. They are for kids.

Note: This does not apply to D3 beacuse they are teenagers and not kids.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

@guyinthecorner

haha...i'm saying these movies are bad...they are "awesomely bad." i LOVE little giants, but it is mega-cheesy. there were so many other movies to choose from too. like angus...remember that one?

if i was to do a bad sports movie list, then caddyshack II would top it.

The heroin sheik said...

Dan you could have mentioned that asskicking the Rays put on the O's last night. I watched the game and it was about as brutal as what happens to a pretty boy serving a ten year prison sentence. All in all the rays had 2 one run, a two run, a three run and a grand slam. I can't wait to play the sox and the yankees. We really are firing on all cylinders right now.

As for the NFL I really have no clue who is going to make the playoffs but I am pretty sure the Bucs won't be.

CMFost said...

sheik, unless someone throws a no hitter or they beat a team in the playoff hunt no one but you cares about the rays.

Natsfan74 said...

Guy -- I don't know which is scarier, that you can quote that movie so well, or that I'm pretty sure you did all of that from memory. But, at least you have that going for you.

Sparty said...

"Not that the Yankees should be concerned with the division, as opposed to the Wild Card."

What does that mean? I am not saying they are catching the Sox. But again, what the hell does it mean?

Anyone imagine sitting in the clubhouse and here Captain Jeter say "ok guys, forget about Boston, and the division, lets just get the Wild Card and play without homefield advantage for any of the playoffs."

ToddTheJackass said...

As a baseball fan, I care about the Rays. They're actually a pretty fun team to watch. If only they'd have ANY pitching other than Kazmir (and occassionally Shields and Sonnanstine), they could actually be decent.

I'm surprised that none of the Karate Kid sequels made your 'Awesomely Bad' list Rev. Certainly 2, the one in Okinawa (which looked an awful lot like Hawaii), was awesomely bad. Arguably the first one was even awesomely bad, since it was made in the 80s, and there were few movies in the 80s that weren't awesomely bad...

Sparty said...

and yes i just used here instead of hear, DOH!

ToddTheJackass said...

By the way, did anyone else stay up to watch Federer/Roddick last night?

It's just unbelievable how Federer makes everything look so easy. It's like, okay, I'll just deflect Roddick's serve back to him, then make him hit 6 consecutive groundstrokes in a row before he hits into the net. And sure enough, Federer was able to do that when it mattered. You'd think everyone would just play Roddick the same way, except then you realize no one else has the versatility in their game necessary to pull something like that off.

Sparty said...

@rev

In regards to the Madden Cruiser. I run an RV Repair shop in NJ and the Cruiser stopped in for service last season. Tons of PB&J on that bus, Madden loves his JIF.

roboninja said...

I watched the first set, and knew it was over after that. Roddick played about as well as he could, made almost no mistakes, and Federer still beat him in the tie-break. You could see Roddick thinking to himself "WTF do I have to do to beat this guy?" Federer is unbelievably good, I say the best ever. Like you said, he just makes the phenomenal look routine, which is the mark of true greatness.

Eric said...

I kind of felt bad for Roddick after the 2nd set. He played so well, 0 double faults, few unforced errors, just Federer returned everything Roddick gave him. I would say the first 2 sets were some of the best tennis I've seen in years.

He looked so demoralized after the match. I think Federer broke his will on the court.

The heroin sheik said...

Cmfost, you might be right, hell I don't think the orioles even give a shit anymore they way they have just laid down the last few times we played them.

I own a copy of RAD on dvd my buddy burned. I had to have it just so I could piss myself laughing every time I watched that dance scene.

Ladybugs is awful because Rodney was tame. He is absolutely hilarious in Natural Born Killers.

Brian in Oxford said...

Guy in the Corner has Little Big League memorized....and he goes to the LLWS each year?

Dude, we may have to just assume you quote this stuff as pickup lines on the players there. zounds!

ToddTheJackass said...

Come on Brian, Guy could be a pedophile, but he's also an Orioles fan, so you should feel sorry for him...

CMFost said...

My Pick for Tonights Game -

Colts 42
Saints 17

C.West said...

Where did you ee that Tiger and Ernie are skipping this weekends PGA playoff event? I just looked at the leaderboard and they are playing this event. I think you need to check your sources my friend.

Johnathan said...

I agree about Roddick; for the first two sets he played the best tennis that I have ever seen him play and he was still losing. It was demoralizing to watch that.

Federer is just better than everybody else. It's that simple

Lawdog1214 said...

Did you write this Dan?


http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=rules/070905&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1

GuyInTheCorner said...

I actually copy and pasted the "Little Big League" quotes. I don't know them by heart although I often try to blend them and come out with "He's first in the AL in batting after the month of July on the road in domes.

And yes, I am an O's fan. And yes, they have stopped caring. We all know that they are better than how they've played recently. They have a history of this though. I think it was two years ago that they won 3 games in September.

Natsfan74 said...

Let's not forget the year that the Orioles won 1 game in April.

I like looking at Orioles scores and seeing their opposition is playing football to their baseball. 17 last night, 39 in a double header 2 weeks ago... That's got to be great for the old Team ERA. So, can they trade Tejada and/or Roberts this year and get anything in return?

And the Nationals, who are only slightly better than the O's, are going to draw almost as many fans as the O's in crappy RFK (take out the Yankees and Red Sox series, and the Nats outdraw them). Next year, with the new stadium in DC, if the Orioles make a sound -- will anyone care?

PatriotsNation said...

ARod looks to have locked up the MVP with that 2 homer inning last night and the Yankees heading to the playoffs again!!

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

@lawdog

i actually read that last night and thought of the exact same thing. especially the part about switching teams if you marry someone whose team is a lot better than yours.

CMFost said...

the only way A-Rod will not be the MVP is if he struggles down the stretch and the yankees miss the playoffs and Mags or Ichiro get on fire and lead there team into the playoffs

GuyInTheCorner said...

Danielle-

Wow. I am extremely dissapointed in your lack of smacktalkage (new word). You gotta be trash talking Dan for week 1. Seriously. Even though Duece McCallister is your only player tonight and he's riding your pine pony, this is still a major error.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Oh, come to think of it I'm not sure someone who drafted 2 kickers is allowed any smacktalkage.

(There's some quailty smacktalkage for you)

CycleDan said...

Sunday Sept 9th.
Versus Network starts showing the Rugby World Cup at 3PM EST. Of course that is followed by coverage of the US Pro Cycling championship. Screw football, I will be in sports heaven!

PatriotsNation said...

Simmons' NFL preview!

Preview

Jen said...

I'm for Ishiro getting on fire and passing the Yankees for the wild card race win.

Lawdog1214 said...

@ Rev:

When I got to the switching to your wife's team, I actually went to the top of the article to see who wrote it. It of course says, ESPN archive.

CycleDan said...

Jen, the problem with Ichiro is that he hits singles. He can't get that much hotter, he is having another great year. However unless Seattle turns around their pitching, Seattle won't get the WC. I think Detroit is more likely to pass the Yankees now that a couple of their pitchers are back from injuries.

Yanks pitching is not in great shape. After Wang (back hurt last game) and Pettite, who do they have? Clemens missing a start, Hughes is not bad but inconsistent, Ian Kennedy, one MLB start is not exactly a solid rotation.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Ichiro, it should be mentioned, is only 9 hits from 3000 career.

Brian in Oxford said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see Seattle honor him on their homestand when he gets it, too....the obvious Pacific connection/respect there...

Cody said...

I don't agree with the Vikings over Cowboys assessment, but I'm glad you have something in the man region. A pick like that takes some serious balls.

chitown italian said...

Bears may win the North but they will not be making it out of the first round of the playoffs.

SB Picks: Pats vs. Saints

Winner: Pats

They just look too good this year. As long as Brady's arm doesn't fall off and he doesn't get any man crushes on his receivers the Pats should cruise to the SB.

Mikepcfl said...

This is late, but do you know what the saddest thing about the Orioles' pathetic season? Losing 17-2 to the Devil Rays is NOT the lowest point! It could be worse (like anyone could forget 30-3). Thank God for the NFL!

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.