NFL Tips: Week 11

Week 11 is the final week for byes, and after this week it’ll be 16 game goodness for the following 6 weeks. My tipping was horrible last week, only getting 9 right. The teams I missed on were. Oakland (Knew I should’ve tipped ’em!), Seattle, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Denver, Arizona, Tennessee & Seattle. Onto the tips!

New York at Denver: After the excitement (or lack thereof) of Thursday Night Football last week, it’s back again to whet our appetites for the upcoming weekend of games. This is the worst game scheduling I’ve seen since 3 or 4 weeks back, when both Primetime games (for two consecutive weeks) were just awful. This week it pits the Jets and the Broncos. Or as they’re now called, the Rushcos (My jokes are consistently horrible). The Jets got their arse handed to them by the Patriots (thankfully), while the Broncos ran the ball a ridiculous 55 times in their new look spread-option type hybrid thing, which did actually get them the victory over the Chiefs. New York’s run D isn’t what it was a couple of years ago, and the Broncos really do have some quality rushers, including their QB. Seeing as the Jets offense is pretty stagnant and their Run D isn’t far behind, I’m going with a bit of an upset and taking the Broncos. I despise both these teams (Especially their bullshit over-hyped QB’s), so I just hope there’s a lot of pain.

Prediction: Denver 20, New York 14

Jacksonville at Cleveland: I honestly can’t fathom why the Browns are mildly favoured in this game. They’re at home, sure, but who cares? They’re close to the worst team in the league at the moment. Jacksonville pulled out the victory against the Colts last week (Suck for Luck is almost a guarantee now), but they’re still a weak team. This will be one of the worst games of the weekend (at least popularity wise), with a possibly shitty scoreline. I just have no hope for Cleveland at this point in the season, though.

Prediction: Jacksonville 19, Cleveland 6

Carolina at Detroit: I don’t think many would have thought that both these teams would get rolled last week, but that’s exactly what happened. The Panthers fell to the Titans (consistency, dammit!) 30 to 3, while the Lions got roughed up 37 to 13. I’m not sure what to make out of this game. The Lions are definitely better than the score shows, throwing two pick6’s isn’t going to help that cause, but I believe Carolina are better than their score shows, too. If the Lions can stop Steve Smith, then they should do a good job of bottling up Newton and making their offense struggle. Megatron has had success against every #1 CB this year, and I don’t expect Gamble to be the guy to beat the streak.

Prediction: Detroit 27, Carolina 20

Tampa Bay at Green Bay: I’m not sure what to put for these any more. The result is always as close to a forgone conclusion that I can remember. Chalk up another easy Packers win.

Prediction: Green Bay 35, Tampa Bay 17

Buffalo at Miami: I wish the Dolphins didn’t win last week, and I also wish the Bills didn’t lose so badly. If neither of these scenarios happened, I’d have a much better idea of who I should pick in this game. Miami really have played some great football the past two weeks, with Matt Moore putting up nice numbers, to go with their run game. The Bills seem to have stopped circling the wagon, and have put up back to back losses. I’m going to tentatively tip the Bills, but the Dolphins could easily take the victory.

Prediction: Buffalo 30, Miami 27

Oakland at Minnesota: The Raiders beat the absolutely atrocious Chargers last week, on Thursday Night Football. While the Vikings got a pounding at the hands of the Packers. Minnesota can’t seem to get much going for them, although the Raiders have been ridiculously inconsistent. With mild confidence, I’ll take the Raiders.

Prediction: Oakland 29, Minnesota 13

Dallas at Washington: Wow, the Redskins are just HORRIBLE! The Cowboys put a hiding on the Bills, and this week could be an exact recreation. I’m assuming it will.

Prediction: Dallas 41, Washington 18

Cincinnati at Baltimore: Baltimore are SO inconsistent. Beating good teams, and losing to bad ones. I don’t think the Bengals are bad, at all, and they stayed in it with Pittsburgh, but this is a real tough one to call. I’m definitely leaning towards Cincinnati. If B-More win, no surprise, but I’m going with the upset.

Prediction: Cincinnati 21, Baltimore 16

Seattle at St. Louis: Ah, the Seahawks. They show up when the game really counts, but are lost somewhere else when it doesn’t. St. Louis are just…well…lucky? Not against the Cardinals, but against the Browns they were. 13 to 12 doesn’t scream anything but lucky, to me. Still, Seattle doesn’t show up to the lowly game, would be surprised if they did for this one.

Prediction: St. Louis 16, Seattle 9

Arizona at San Francisco: The Cardinals pulled the wool over the eyes of the Eagles and their supporters, while the 49ers continued on their merry way to an 8-1 record on the season. San Fran really has been unstoppable, and John Skelton will have a real tough task against them this week. I’d be shocked if the upset occurred, but it’s pretty common lately.

Prediction: San Francisco 28, Arizona 15

Tennessee at Atlanta: The Titans aren’t getting much credit coming into this game. A 30 to 3 win shouldn’t be a laughing matter, and the Falcons have been really bad at some points of this season. I’d be surprised if the Titans win, but if Mike Smith goes for it again on 4th and 1 on their own 29, maybe they will.

Prediction: Atlanta 31, Tennessee 28

San Diego at Chicago: Where in the world is (Chargers) San Diego? I told you they were shitty. Regardless of the correct answer, they aren’t showing up to play football on Sundays, or Thursdays. Chicago sure are showing up of late, though. They’ve been on a tear and the Chargers are just another obstacle in their way. Perhaps they should move?

Prediction: Chicago 28, San Diego 10

And then there were two…

Philadelphia at New York: Stupid (H)Eagles! Why can’t you do anything right? Like make a “Dream Team” win Football games? Or at least seem like a good team each week? They should’ve stuck to the players they already had, because the new ones clearly aren’t helping. The Giants were hit by the illness know as 49eritis, copping a 7 point loss last week. The Giants seem to be the better team in this one, but they did lose to the Seahawks…

Prediction: New York 23, Philadelphia 12

Kansas City at New England: Welp, good luck Palko, you’re gonna need it! Not because the Patriots D is good, cause they’re not…at all…But because this horrible Kansas City D has to face Tom Brady. A match-up they’ve already lost. Patriots win it easily.

Prediction: New England 53, Kansas City 23

Have a good weekend, folks!

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NFL Week 8: The Big Guy’s Week to Shine

Football is a great game. It entertains us every Sunday, whether our team wins or loses (for the most part.)

There are some things during a game that just make you smile. A kickoff return for a TD, a big catch or a big hit – the electrifying & the mesmerizing. But sometimes it’s the small things that are just as great. One of those is the fat guy touchdown; or any football play that involves a big ugly rumbling down the field, following blocks and shedding tackles like Barry Sanders.

(See here for more of the great fat guy TDs in years past.)

Football, we thank you. We thank you for giving us this one, fantastic delight.

This 2011-12 NFL season has been good to those of us that love to see the big guys in action. They rarely get a chance to shine outside of their role as the warriors of the trenches. Most of the time if they end up anywhere past the 2nd level, we ask, “What are they doing there?!” But when they get a chance to dive on a loose ball or to show off their high school running back skills, it makes everyone in the stadium stand up and applaud the effort that these 300 pound monsters give. And you know they savor the moment of appreciation.

At the start of the year, New England’s Vince Wilfork gave us some 2 fantastic highlights full of big, round glory when he turned into a shutdown corner, picking off a Philip Rivers pass in week 2 before picking off another pass vs. the Raiders in week 4. Both times he returned it for a big gain. Head down, protecting the ball, trying to truck whoever got in the big man’s way. No TDs, but it was a beautiful sight; a big, beautiful sight that made the earth tremor.

Pick #1:

Pick # 2:

Then there was Wade Smith scoring the first touchdown by an offensive lineman in Texans history, which created a buzz on social networking sites like Twitter. Facing the Ravens D on the 6 yard line, Texans RB Ben Tate rushed to the 1 before Ravens DB Lardarius Webb knocked the ball from Tate. Tate tried to get to the ball, which had rolled into the endzone, but he was out of reach. An alert Smith, dived on the ball and recovered the fumble, allowing the Texans to score and for the fat guy touchdown spike to happen..

Then week 8 happened. Enter Joe Staley and Clint Session/the Jaguar’s defense.

Everyone loves a nose tackle in at the goal line as a FB, blocking or taking the handoff for a FB run. But nothing quite compares to San Francisco offensive tackle Joe Staley, hauling in a pass from QB Alex Smith and taking it upfield.

First off, outside of Kyle Turley, how often do you see a big guy/offensive tackle catch a football? (Or have a designated play for the eligible tackle?)

Everything about this play is epic. From the balls to call such a play, to the execution, the perfect route running from Staley, to the reception of the pass, to the turning and rumbling up field, to trying to stick the head down, take on contact and truck a few defenders for a couple of extra yards.

And then there’s the first down celebration! Have you ever seen a guy happier to make a play? Probably not. Staley is like a kid at Christmas time.

No doubt, look for coach Jim Harbaugh to look Staley’s way more often for a big play. 4th down, down by 3, ball on the 40 yard line, 30 seconds left.. Smith drops back, Staley wide open.. boom, plucks the ball out of the air; sprints it in for 6. (And by sprint, I mean drags all 11 defenders into the endzone while the clock hits 0:00.)

If that wasn’t enough excitement for the week, there was the Jags defense stepping up against the Texans.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d823991ba/Session-sack-fumble

Late in the 2nd quarter, with the Texans up by 7 and with the ball on their own 45 yard, Texans QB Matt Schaub dropped back to pass. Jaguar’s defender Clint Session sacked Schaub, popping the ball loose and in rumbled DE Matt Roth. Roth then proceeded to do what everyone in the stadium didn’t expect. Like a kid in a schoolyard just playing ball, he played hot potato with his team mates, lateralling the ball to defensive tackle Terrance Knighton who flipped it back to Session who gained another 10 yards before Texans RB Arian Foster got him down at the 10. No TD, but the glorious running of the mound was more than enough to satisfy even the Texans fans.

That one play brought back everything that is great about this game. Just a group of big kids, getting paid to play a game that only most of us would ever dream about. And they’re having fun doing it.

Bonus points to Roth for not having eyes only for the endzone and sharing the turnover with his team mates. Sure, Roth could’ve tried to hog the glory and churned those chubby legs for maybe at best, an extra few more yards but unselfishly, he flipped it back to his other fat friends to see if they could pick up a few extra yards, maybe even 6 on the play. Not quite a TD, which may have resulted in a group of big guys with an even more memorable TD dance, but hey.. it’s week 9 and the season is still young. And if that happens, I’ll add it to the collection and make it worthy of a blog post.

Rumble on you big, beautiful sons of bitches. America and the world salutes you.