NFL Week 2 Picks & Predictions

This week was the first time I’ve gotten to experience NFL Red Zone on a Sunday afternoon. I must say, when there’s not a particular game you want to watch, it’s amazing. Over these first days in Florida, I really understand why we pasty Northeasterners buy real estate down here. See, I’ve always stuck to the fact I hate beaches and hotel pools. As it turns out, I only hate being around other tourists at beaches and hotel pools. If I, in fact, have my own pool, totally wrapped in its own screen house where I can walk outside and jump in the pool and float at my leisure, it’s pretty awesome.

That said, if there’s any one state where the broken US real estate market is still on display, it’s Florida. The community we’re staying in is pretty nice. It’s about 15 minutes from the Fort Myers’ Airport, has two golf courses, a spa, a gym, and is designed pretty much to be people’s vacation homes. Not condos — actual detached houses with their own pools and yards. The community’s homeowners association ($800/month) handles the pool upkeep, yards, and cleaning so the owners can fly in to a clean home, stay however long, fly out, and someone comes in and cleans up for them. Out of curiosity, I looked up one of the homes I happened to see for sale. The neighborhood was built, according to the public records available on the awesome Trulia.com, in 2002. The house — which is on the corner so I’ll assume it was a model — was initially purchased from the developer in November 2005 for $150,000. In May of 2007, it was sold for $820,000. It has been listed on Trulia for over four months at $779,000. So, a set of hosed owners are maintaining hope they’ll get the balance of their insane $800,000 mortgage on a $150,000 property. It’s awesome that mortgage companies have ruined destroyed vacation homes for normal people for the next 30 years. Don’t get me wrong — this place is gorgeous…. for $200k… not for a million. But to the guy who managed to sell his $150k house for $800k…. tip of the cap to you.

L/L – Chiefs +3 over Browns, 16-14, Browns cover: Manginiwatch 2010 is, in fact, on.

W/W – Packers -13 over Bills, 34-7, Packers cover: Not a whole lot to say here. The Bills are as bad as advertised. The Pack are as good as advertised.

W/W – Bengals (pk) over Ravens, 15-10, Bengals: Quite possibly the worst game of football that will be played this season. The Bengals won with 5 field goals off 4 Joe Flacco interceptions. So far the Ochocinco/TO combination has been almost as overrated as the Cowboys.

L/W – Steelers +5.5 over Titans, 19-11, Steelers +5.5: I think we’ve learned that the Steelers can absolutely stuff great running backs. You’re simply not going to put up hundreds of rushing yards against them. They used exactly the same formula this year — stuff Chris Johnson and force the Titans’ QB to beat them. Only this time, instead of just making Kerry Collins fail, they made both Vince Young AND Kerry Collins fail.

W/L – Eagles -3.5 over Lions, 35-32, Eagles cover: Full disclosure, I ended up watching most of this game even on Sunday Ticket. I really couldn’t process Red Zone and the constant swapping in between games, so I just decided to watch Michael Vick. Any one single drive was enough to remember all the good and bad with Michael Vick. On one play, he’d escape a dead-to-rights sack and dump a pass in the flat for a gain. Then he’d run for a first down by himself. Then he’d gun an inexplicable pass in to triple coverage. Garbage time cover ruined a lot of sheets this week.

L/W – Bears +9 over Cowboys, 27-20, Bears +9: And thus, my knockout pool ends in week two. Why I ever pick for or against the Cowboys remains one of life’s great mysteries. The Cowboys look really, really bad. Like, even gloriously worse than I expected… and I expected them to be bad.

L/L – Bucs +3.5 over Panthers, 20-7, Panthers cover: Are we living in a world where the Bucs are good… or just a world where the Bucs are better than other bad teams?

W/W – Falcons -7 over Cardinals, 41-7, Falcons cover: Didn’t watch much here… it was a blowout early and we never looked back. Really, the Cards should have thrown a giant pile of cash to get Warner to play one more season… because it’s over.

L/W – Dolphins +5.5 over Vikings, 14-10, Dolphins +5.5: I only watched a few plays in this game, but maybe it’s not the best strategy to let a super old quarterback just step in to the offense when everyone else has been playing for six weeks and expect him to be right up to speed. Even Favre apologists are starting to use the “o” word in regards to how Brett’s playing.

W/L – Raiders -4 over Rams, 16-14, Raiders cover: I forgot Bruce Gradkowski was still in the league. That poor guy had to spend a whole year backing up JaMarcus Russel and barely got a look? And it only takes six quarters for him to punt Jason Campbell out of the starting line-up. This never would have happened if Al Davis was still………… too easy.

L/L – Broncos -3.5 over Seahawks, 31-14, Seahawks outright: Insane but meaningless stat — the Broncos have won 11 straight home openers. Sadly didn’t see much of this due to watching the Pats/Jets stunner, but this seems like one to throw out under the “home opener” rule.

L/L – Texans -3 over Redskins, 30-27, Redskins outright: True story, I was watching this game and shut it off to watch something more interesting when the score was 27-10. I patted myself on the back for both calling this upset and playing against Matt Schaub in fantasy football. Imagine my surprise to find out I both lost the game and that Matt Schaub had gone from 11 to 29 points in less than an hour. The Battery Park Plainsmen’s fortunes were riding on Drew Brees and 19 points.

W/W – Chargers -7.5 at Jaguars, 38-13, Chargers cover: A blacked out game, 38 points, 3 touchdown passess and my Legedu Naanne can’t get more than one touch. My silent feud with Philip Rivers continues.

L/L – Jets -1 over Patriots, 28-14, Patriots outright: Between this win and the Giants loss, Jets’ fans will be insufferable tomorrow. You’d think I’d be insulated from it being in Florida, but you forget that 3/4ths Florida’s population is old New Yorkers. The other quarter are drunks and babies.

L/L – Colts -5.5 over Giants, 38-14, Giants outright: Setting aside the garbage time over/under that saved my gambling week, there are a couple of things I would like to shake out of Tom Coughlin. Note: most of these points were made by Cris Collinsworth because he’s awesome but I repeat them here. Starting from the beginning, why in the world would you defer to the Colts when their entire team is built to play with a lead, not play from behind. Second, what on Earth were you doing with a game plan in which Eli was forced to throw against a Colts defense that’s 100% designed to prevent you from passing. This is what a team that’s designed to play with a lead does. They stop you from passing. That’s why a moderately competent back can have a 200 yard day against their defense. I will never understand why after Ahmad Bradshaw opens a drive with an 8-yard run, the next two plays are defended pass, defended pass. It’s maddening. On top of that, I’m done with Brandon Jacobs. He spent five years as one of my favorite players, but if the dude refuses to hit linebacker, he’s worthless. Jacobs outweighs EVERY LINEBACKER ON THE COLTS by 30 pounds, and he tries to dance around him. I’m done with him. If Tom Coughlin & Co. can’t convince him to start taking a f*cking hit once in a while, leave him on the bench and let someone else play. Also, is it possible that we could have gotten Dave Diehl a -little- help against Dwight Freeney? Maybe, I dunno, a fullback? The whole game sucked save for a garbage time over/under cover and 6 fantasy points from Hakeem Nicks. Awful.

W/L – Saints -4.5 over Niners, 25-22, Saints cover: Is there anything a gambler hates more than a soft prevent defense in the waning minutes of a game?

Straight Up: 7-9 (17-15)
Against The Spread: 7-9 (17-15)

Gambling

Giants +197 over Colts — L

Redskins +119 over Texans — L
Saints -5.5 over Niners — L
Colts/Giants over 48.5 — W (+$420)

Current Pool: $967 + $420 = $1387

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