## Friday, September 28, 2007

### NFL Picks: Week 4

Last week as predicted didn't go well for the humans on the pick table. I want to thank tecmo_bowl_bo_jackson of PSaMP once again for his picks and for not dominating, like he usually does, by going 6-7. This week we have TAS, from the blog Sports Fountainhead. It is difficult to classify the fountainhead, but I would call it a Pennsylvania sports blog with a concentration on all of college football. Definitely a worthy read.

Pat continues to dominate, the guy has yet to have a sub-.500 week. Mark Anthony is making a comeback into the middle of the pack, and the Dreamcast made a huge push last week. After the table, the 'stache gives you his explanations for his picks.

The 'Stache Says:

Oakland (+4) over Miami
The cross country flight for Oakland does concern me. It’s never easy to do that and play good football on the road. Nonetheless, I think Daunte Culpepper may have a chip on his shoulder for this game. Oakland is just playing better football right now.

Houston (-3) over Atlanta
All sorts of turmoil in Atlanta, with the DeAngelo Hall saga being the latest. Last week, I thought the Colts would dominate the Texans due to the absence of Andre Johnson. Instead, the Texans hung around and took the Colts best shot. Color me impressed.

Baltimore (-4.5) over Cleveland
My Super Bowl pick has been decimated by injuries. Jonathan Ogden went down. Trevor Pryce went down. Steve McNair is gimpy again (though I should have seen that one coming). Ray Lewis is basically playing with one arm. Derek Anderson doesn’t get to face the Bengals defense every week. He’ll crumble in front of the Ravens D, and the chants for Brady Quinn will begin again.

Chicago (-3) over Detroit
Yes, it’s true. I’m picking against the Lions. It had to happen at some point. In all honesty, I jumped back and forth on this one. I think Grossman is terrible, and with the insertion of Brian Griese, that was one mitigating factor in picking the Bears. I don’t think Griese is all that great, but he’ll provide a spark for the first few weeks. The Bears could be playing without both their starting cornerbacks, which is a recipe for disaster again the Lions. But then again, Calvin Johnson is also supposed to miss the game as well.

Minnesota (+1.5) over Green Bay
I think the Packers come back to earth this week. Minnesota’s defense is very good, and Favre has always struggled at the Metrodome. Adrian Peterson provides just enough offense and Tarvaris Jackson isn’t able to mess things up, as he continues to give way to Kelly Holcomb due to injury.

St. Louis (+13) over Dallas
This is it. I am fucking done picking St. Louis after this week if they don’t give me a win against the spread. I have picked them the last three weeks, and all three weeks I’ve lost. This Dallas team is good, and I know Steven Jackson is out this week, but I don’t like giving away this many points in any NFL game.

New York Jets (-3.5) over Buffalo
Buffalo is hurting. I mean they are really hurting. Can they even field a team anymore? Rookie QB Trent Edwards get the start for the Bills, and I have a feeling Mangini and company will provide him with a rude awakening.

Carolina (-3) over Tampa Bay
Every week, I place a little money on one or two NFL games. Let me tell you point blank, I will NEVER place money on any game involving Carolina. They are the most inconsistent team I’ve ever seen. One week, they’ll play like Super Bowl contenders. The next they’ll play like shit. This week, I don’t think they play like shit. Don’t ask me why. I can’t figure this team out, so I’m just guessing.

San Francisco (+2) over Seattle
I think San Francisco is better than what they showed last week against the Steelers. I love Frank Gore, and I think Alex Smith will actually be a decent quarterback once they get him some competent receivers. Seattle at home is good. Seattle on the road is dicey, and I don’t particularly like their defense. Give me the home dog.

Pittsburgh (-6) over Arizona
The whole “Whisenhunt will know our offensive scheme” thinking is overblown. The offense as a whole has changed too much for Whisenhunt’s knowledge to be effective. Will he have some knowledge about individual players strengths and weaknesses? Yeah. But not enough to close the gap of talent between these two teams. I hope Leinart plays most of the game. Warner is capable of still picking apart a defense, if he has time.

Kansas City (+12) over San Diego
Sorry, I’m never laying 12 points and going with a Norv Turner led football team. I don’t care if that team has Joe Montana at quarterback, Walter Payton at runningback, Jerry Rice at wide receiver, and Lawrence Taylor on defense. No go. Turner has the reverse Midas touch. Every team where he becomes head coach, that team turns to shit. The Chiefs D is playing well enough to keep it close.

Indianapolis (-9.5) over Denver
Indy at home is tough. They’ve always smacked around Denver, and to tell you the truth the Broncos aren’t exactly playing inspired ball right now. As I said, I usually don’t like giving away this many points, and if this game were in Denver I might pick the Broncos to win outright. But Indy is just a much different team at home with the loud crowd and that fast track.

New York Giants (+2.5) over Philadelphia
One of the toughest games on the board. If Plaxico Burress doesn’t play it really restricts what the Giants can do on offense. Philly is coming off a dominating performance against the Lions, but the Giants defense showed a little life at the end of their game last week against the Redskins (with a little help from terrible Redskins clock management). Playing at home, give me the points and the Giants.

New England (-7) over Cincinnati
See Tom Brady. See Randy Moss. See Tom Brady and Randy Moss tear the Bengals defense a new asshole. This could get ugly. If Derek Anderson, Braylon Edwards, and Jamal Lewis can hang 51 on the Bengals, what can Brady, Moss, and Laurence Maroney do?

Steelers vs Cardinals: Just Chillin' Competition
Each week I'll find a picture of a player from each team just chillin'. The one relaxing the best will win, and I will use this as my pick for the game.

This Week: Right Tackle

Levi Brown

VERSUS

Willie Colon

When I found Levi's picture, I thought he had a great chance at winning, then I found Willie's myspace page. The guy likes to chill. The rope and uke make Levi look like a fun guy to hang out with, but you can't beat a guy with cigar smoke emanating from his mouth. Plus, the blue suit pushes it to a new level.

Winner: Steelers

End of Post

Upda

## Thursday, September 27, 2007

### Pirates and Polls

So young, so naive...

I know I've completely neglected the Pirates, and as one half of the unofficial Pirates' apologists around here, I feel kind of bad about it. I mean, we just hired two people for two of the most critical positions in the entire organization, and nary a word was mentioned on the site. I like to think that I only put things up when I have something to add to the discussion, and I didn't think I knew Coonelly or Huntington well enough to really give an informed opinion.

Both new hires are baseball people, an undeniable positive. McClatchy is obviously a great businessman, but his lack of baseball knowledge hurt the team. Don't you think Ken Sawyer/Mario and the Rooneys know a bit more about their respective sports than McClatchy, that the GMs bounced ideas off them and they can give informed opinions? I have been moderately pleased with the message the new brain trust has been broadcasting. We're supposedly going to really focus on the minors and international talent...you know, things successful teams do. I also doubt there will be a free agent signing this winter, which is fine with me. Littlefield never really said anything about the international players, and the results speak for themselves.

## Tuesday, September 11, 2007

### Trust me, Jeff, It's not 'mental'

Today in the Post-Gazette there was a story about the superb kicking performed during Sunday's game. While it mentioned uber-punter Sepulveda, what caught my eye was the analysis by Skip Reed about how he managed to get 3 of his 7 kicks to go for touchbacks. According to him, it was purely a "mental" thing that limited him to only 4 touchbacks all of last year, and he's found the way to break through. BS. Jeff Reed has no mental blocks. His thought process is simple: Kick ball. Beer. Trenni Kusnerik. Take photos for internets. Repeat.

The only reason he's kicking the ball further is due to #2 on his daily schedule. The man has simply gained weight. The merits of having photos of him drunk with his shirt off around the internet certainly can be debated, but in this instance they help prove my point. Take a look at the censored versions of Mr. Reed with his shirt off, the first surfacing at the end of December last year and the second one surfacing almost 6 months later.

While certainly not as scandalous as before and after photos of Bonds, I'd say they accurately tell the story of Jeff's offseason workout plan. I know other people have noticed this during the games. According to AOL Sports, Reed weighs 232 pounds, a 17 pound increase from 2003, which does not seem that significant. The guy is listed at a generous 5'11", though, and the 6'2" Sebastian Janikowski weighs 250. The extra weight behind the ball is probably contributing to the sudden power surge.

Other than it being humorous, why bring this up? First, the Steelers played so well I have nothing else to complain about. Secondly, I worry that a weight gain and subsequent new power kicking motion could cause trouble in terms of accuracy. The top 4 kickers with the most touchbacks last year were Olindo Mare (24), Josh Scobee (21), Paul Ernster (19), and Neil Rackers (17). The next closest guys had 13. Their respective field goal percentages were 72.2%, 81.3%, N/A, and 75.7%. The best of them, Scobee's 81.3%, was good for 19th in the league, and Ernster does not kick field goals. It seems that power may correlate with low accuracy.

Skip kicked at a 72.3% clip last year, which is misleading because he was 100% on the road while only hitting 58.8% of his FGs at home, a lot of which can be attributed to the south end zone winds. The gut and new found power will lead to one of two outcomes. Either Reed becomes one of the premiere kickers in the league as he demonstrates both accuracy and an ability to limit kickoff returns, or he pulls a Vanderjagt and is out of the league by next year. Since he guaranteed the 'stache 50 FGs, I'll go with the premiere kicker outcome, but I don't see it being anywhere in between.

End of Post

### New Name, New Game

Starting this week, after an awful Week 1 showing, PiSoNC will return to the betting scene under a newfound image and name--- John Anthony. No longer will your picks be made by way of coin flip, but by way of a gambling pro.

If you want the sure-fire can't-miss picks, John Anthony has them.

If you're trying to dig yourself out of the hole I put you in from week 1, I'm your man.

You may ask, How confident am I in this upcoming week? Well DAI.com viewers...

I'd bet my mother's house on it................with my mother in it.

Would the other advisor's here at DAI.com make the same guarantee? Not a chance. These other "so-called" writers can't even let go of the coin they flip---- because they need it to cover their bets.

Go PiSoNC. Go John Anthony in Week 2....But only if you like winners.

End of Post

### Week 1: Steelers vs. Browns Postgame Review

Some thoughts from Sunday's game. I'm going to try and write these late Monday night and post them Tuesday morning. I would do them on earlier, but it doesn't work for me schedule-wise. Anyways, I encourage everyone to leave their own impressions of the game in the comments section.

QB: Ben was pretty good most of the day. I liked the checkdowns a lot. He didn’t try to force the ball into spots that weren’t there. It’s clear he’s healthy and ready to go.

RB/FB: Parker started out slow, but got it going in the 2nd half. Still, the propensity to put the ball on the ground worries me. This needs to be corrected, and corrected now. It’s gone on too long. Najeh had a shitty first half but more than made up for it in the second. The “dump off” (pun intended) that he caught and managed to fight for a first down was Verron Haynes-esque, a great effort. Carey Davis got the start but played sparingly. Russell was inactive.

WR/TE: Ward and Holmes shined. Awesome football instincts by Hines on the TD catch, getting both feet in bounds. Holmes absolutely made Brodney Pool his bitch on the 40 yard play-action bomb TD. Even better, Holmes showed he takes his blocking seriously, absolutely destroying a Brown later in the game. Washington chipped in with some good special teams play. Wilson was mediocre, as usual. Reid didn’t dress, which was disappointing to me a bit. And holy crap, the tight ends made an appearance in the passing game! Both Miller and Spaeth hauled in TD catches. Spaeth showed why his size is so hard to guard against. Go back and watch his TD if you can. The defender had no chance once Spaeth got inside of him.

OL: The offensive line was okay. Wimbley was able to get some pressure, but that’s to be expected from a great pass rusher. I think if Max Starks starts at RT, Ben goes down at least three times. That’s not indicative of Willie Colon’s play, it’s more a reflection of Starks piss-poor pass blocking. Mahan had his hands full with Fat Ted Washington. Truth be told, the line is going to have to play better in future games. I know we had over 200 yards rushing, but it was obvious in the first half that the O-line had trouble getting some push. And the Browns D-line isn’t that good to begin with.

DL: Great all-around effort by the starting defensive line. Aaron Smith was absolutely dominant, as evidenced by his absolute manhandling of Browns RT Kevin Shaffer on a 1st quarter sack. Hampton was his usual self, clogging up the middle and allowing Farrior and Foote to roam. Kiesel was active as well. It was an interesting decision by Tomlin to rotate the entire starting D-line out every now and then. Eason, Kirschke, and Hoke don’t make up the best defensive line depth, but it did allow the starters to stay fresh in the humid September weather.

LB: The linebackers were solid as well. Farrior had a great game, but dropped an INT right in his bread-basket. Foote has become steadier and steadier each season. I used to hate the guy, but I realized you can’t have a superstar at every position and you need some steady, if not unspectacular starters to fill the gaps. That’s exactly what Foote has become. Haggans and Harrison provided some nice pressure. Timmons chipped in on special teams, and Woodley played sparingly. With the way Kellen Winslow shredded us, I wonder if that was a factor in the drafting of Timmons. He certainly has the speed and coverage ability to match up with athletic tight ends such as Winslow and Todd Heap. We’ll see later this year and in future seasons if this is the case.

DB: The DB’s were impressive. Now out of Cowher’s doghouse, Ike had a good game and even managed to hold on to a pick. Deshea showed his smarts and instincts on his INT, staying patient in his zone to catch the errant Frye pass. Troy made an absolutely unbelievable tackle on Braylon Edwards that almost prevented a first down. His speed on this play was amazing. Clark played well before exiting, and in his place Anthony Smith showed his playmaking ability, knocking the ball from Edwards on a big hit. Recovering the fumble was Willie Gay, who was everywhere in the preseason. I was glad Gay got the active roster spot instead of Colclough.

Special Teams: Sepulveda showed why the Steelers traded up in the 4th round to draft him, deftly placing 4 of his 6 punts inside the Browns 20. Reed was steady, going 2-2 on his field goals. Coverage teams were excellent, and didn’t allow the Browns excellent return man Josh Cribbs any room to roam.

Coaching: Overall, a great job by the coaching staff. I questioned Tomlin’s decision to go for it on 4th down, because the only way the Browns were getting back in that game was a turnover/turnover on downs. Luckily, it went without a hitch. Also questioned the play call on 3rd and inches early in the game in the Browns red zone. Just pound it there. They got too cute with the play-action. I’m really nitpicking, though. The Steelers were unpredictable on offense, and stout on defense. And they were fired up and ready. Credit goes to Tomlin, Arians, LeBeau and the rest of the coaching staff.

Summary: A dominating win, but remember who it was against. Let’s see if they can keep it rolling against the Bills, who have a litany of injury problems and will come into Heinz Field a wounded team.

End of Post

## Monday, September 10, 2007

### Thanks for nothing, Cleveland

While the 'stache is still trying to get an interview for the GM job at PNC Park, I'll briefly take over the reigns for a quick post-game analysis.

The reality after Sunday's Browns is that we don't know too much about either squad. Well, ok, we know a good deal about the Browns (that they are abominable), but in reality, that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. They are just SO young and SO inexperienced that it is going to take some time for them. Almost everyone realizes that. They're trying to make some signings and bring some people in. And they really aren't all THAT unlikeable of a team minus Brady Quinn, Kellen Winslow, and Jamal Lewis (ok, that is a lot of guys, but I just feel the need to stick up for them after Mondesi insinuated in his recap that they are a bunch of criminals. We do, you know, have Santonio Holmes on our squad and did once gainfully employ one P. Burress).

The point is, I am not sure that they can get any worse, so up is the only way to go for them...or, atleast plateau down at the abyss of football suckitude without getting any worse. They might not win more than three games this year, but I could still somehow see them causing problems for playoff contenders late in the season. Atleast you can say they have lots of motivation to improve after all the shit they have been taking.

The more difficult assessment is that of the Steelers. The scariest part for me about the game yesterday was that it resembled one of the blowout victories from last season, like the one against KC or Carolina. I think we all know that this Steelers team is capable of wiping the floor with subpar teams, which they will have the chance to do the first four weeks of the season. Then comes Seattle, Denver, Cinci, and Baltimore. Yikes. From a scheduling standpoint, this feels like that 2005 Bengals team that played cream puffs early on, racked up a stupid number of INTs, was all over Sportscenter for being undefeated, then ran into a Steelers team that was tired of hearing about how good of a start the Bengals were off to and smoked them.

Am I getting waaaaaay too ahead of the game? You betchya. The Steeler obviously still have to "play to win the game" the next four weeks before they hit the meat of their schedule. And quite honestly, this doesn't seem like the type of team that will forget the fact that it hasnt played anybody good yet - Tomlin appears to be too good of a coach to let that happen. All I know is that I feel as if i dont know anything about the current Steelers squad thanks to the ineptitude of the Browns, though I am more than intrigued to see how high this team's ceiling is.

Man, I wish tomorrow were Sunday.
End of Post

### Steelers Game and a Pirates Related Story (!)

So it appears we're having a much more difficult time adjusting to our fall schedule than previously expected. I'm sure Wannstache will have a very full report coming either today or tomorrow.

While I'm sure everyone was rather pleased with the events, two special teams items particularly stuck out for me. First, Rossum's experience at punt returning was very evident. He was shifty and I felt confident he would catch it every time. Reid may provide an extra return TD compared to Rossum over an entire season, but he could very well give up a couple from botched catches.

The second thing was Sepulveda. Unless Woodley or Timmons really steps up, I think our punter will be our biggest impact rookie. In a game of attrition against the Ravens, he could be the difference.

The defense looked superb, Ben was up and down, and Willie needs to hold on to the ball a bit more. But overall it is tough to complain. I don't have much time for more analysis, but more should be coming.

In terms of the 'expert' picks, Pat is cleaning up right now with a 9-4 record. The others:

PiSoNC: 5-8
Wannstache: 6-7
Sam: 6-7
Simmon: 6-7
Prisco: 10-3
DC: 7-6
PS3: 6-7

I hate Pete Prisco.

Pirates related news: PiSoNC was walking around downtown today during his lunch break and saw a few Brewers outside the Omni William Penn. Two of them, Damian Miller* and Craig Counsell (who according to PiSoNC is about the size of the friend you always used to beat up in middle school), were talking about how they were going to "pound this guy". The guy they were talking about was Tony Armas.

*Corrected by PiSoNC

I know this is becoming a reoccuring phrase on this site, but more content on the way later...

## Friday, September 7, 2007

### He's Gone and We'll Likely Get Nothing in Return: Typical Littlefield Transaction

Pretty much everyone knows this by now, but...

He's gone. In all honesty, I just want to focus on the NFL and Sam's amazing chart he compiled. But you can expect much more on this after the weekend. Oh, and the stache is going to PNC Park today to ask about the job. I'm not even kidding. He is at PNC Park as we speak.

(Thanks to PSAMP for the tip)

End of Post

### NFL Picks - UPDATE

Update: I added Simmons' and the PS3's picks in. Also, now when you scroll over icons not only will their record come up, but also their sure fire and least confident picks, which will then be highlighted in green (money in the bank) and yellow (caution). The only really interesting game, in terms of 'expert' matchups, is the Houston vs KC matchup where all human participants picked the Texans, while the computers picked KC. If KC wins, it may be the first step toward robotic beings ruling the world.

Here are the rest of our picks for Week 1. PiSoNC and I are already starting from behind, but we should have given the 'stache a handicap, anyway.

About the table: If you roll your mouse over the icons of each person their record will pop up. I'll have much more interesting things in there in future weeks, this is more of a test run. Also, The DC and PS3 correspond to NFL 2K2 for Dreamcast and Madden '08 for PS3. I'm running the Dreamcast sim here and I'm borrowing ESPN's Madden picks. We'll see how far technology has truly advanced. Bill Simmons and Prisco are on there right now because I enjoy watching them fail, but I like to think of those as celebrity columns... we'll have some different people in there every week. I'll be updating the table again once Simmons and the PS3 make their picks. Again, all picks are made against the spread.

End of Post

## Thursday, September 6, 2007

### NFL Picks/Random NHL Stuff

The NFL season is actually here. No, for real, there is a game in about 3 hours. This is the official beginning of every single person giving you every single pick for every single week. Now some of these people who are making picks make sense. There are people out there developing complex formulas, like Jeremy Piven in "Two for the Money", or people who just know football. Then there are the guys who work for online sports websites who make their picks and usually average out to about 50% over the course of a few seasons. Does anyone here use Pete Prisco as their guide when you call up your bookie? The hunch here says no. It's the ultimate lazy-look like I'm doing work excuse for an article.

I feel proud to say that I firmly believe that we are 4 of the laziest guys to run a blog. It takes 4 men, handsome men I might add, to do what it takes usually 1 man to do. It seems completely logical, then, that we will give you our guaranteed gold, never been wrong, picks for every game this year against the spread.

Now, I promised the 'stache I would have some fancy table with the picks and everything, but real world duties that involve me showering and putting on pants have restricted me from getting everything together. That will be tomorrow, and trust me, it will be the sweetest NFL picks table ever. Today, I'll give you our picks for tonight's game:

New Orleans Saints (+6) AT Indianapolis Colts

Wannstache: Colts
Pat: Colts
PiSoNC: Saints
Sam: Saints

Like I said, one of our picks is guaranteed to be right. That pick is a mystery for now, but we'll reveal it tomorrow.

Which segways horribly into the next section of the post: Hockey. In case you didn't know, the NHL season starts in less than a month and the hockey blogospehere is beginning to gear up.

First, Penguins Buzz is previewing the Pens' Prospect Camp in Ontario. They already have profiles up of the defensemen and forwards. A worthy read to get you up to speed on the future of the Pens.

Along the same lines, Jesse and his boys over at Faceoff-Factor have an interview with Penguins' prospect Brian Strait. I'll let it slide that he likes Kenny Chesny.

I picked up a copy of the Daily Collegian today, and the front page story was "NHL Wants Trademark White-Out Faded Out". First off, seeing the letters "NHL" printed on the front page of a newspaper in the middle of PA was fairly shocking. I expected to read the article and find out that NHL stood for Nations for Heifer Liberty, or something else cow related. But it was true, the NHL, specifically the Phoenix Coyotes, is considering taking legal action because they coined the term White-Out back when they were in Winnipeg, and now Penn State uses it(effectively, I might add) for big football games. I just wish Penn State was being threatened by a slightly more relevant team.

Enjoy watching the game tonight. I'll have the rest of this weekend's picks up tomorrow.

End of Post

### 2007 NFL Season Preview

(Photo courtesy of Profootballtalk.com)

Now that you’ve seen our sleeper picks, you need to see some predictions, right? So as the regular season begins tonight (Saints-Colts, NBC, 8:30 PM), here are some predictions for the upcoming 2007 NFL season. Check back during the year to see if I look like an idiot or not. (number in parenthesis indicates playoff seeding).

AFC East:

Patriots 13-3 (1)
Jets 7-9
Bills 7-9
Dolphins 5-11

I still have questions about the Patriots, such as can Brady and his wide receivers gel early on, and can their aging linebacking core hold up. Still, they should cruise through this division. The Jets defense is okay, but I don’t really like Pennington. In Buffalo, there are some weapons on offense. But the defense lost Nate Clements, London Fletcher, and Takeo Spikes, and they’ll be hard to replace. The Dolphins could be in big trouble. Trent Green is a marginal starting QB, the offensive line is a mess, and their defense is aging quickly.

AFC North:

Ravens 11-5 (2)
Steelers 10-6 (5)
Bengals 9-7
Browns 5-11

The homer in me wants to pick the Steelers, but I call them like I see it. I still think we sneak into the playoffs via a wildcard, but that Ravens defense is loaded (Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Bart Scott, Ed Reed, Chris McAlister), and they finally seem to have some playmakers at wide receiver with the maturation of Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams. Derrick Mason adds a steady presence to the group. Of course, this is contigent on Steve McNair staying healthy, because if Kyle Boller gets significant playing time, all bets are off. The Ravens should really consider signing Byron Leftwich as a backup quarterback option. The Bengals defense is still terrible, and they did nothing to help it out, except for adding CB Leon Hall through the draft. The Browns are the Browns, but they do have a few rising playmakers on defense so they will be marginally better.

AFC South:

Colts 11-5 (3)
Jaguars 9-7
Texans 6-10
Titans 5-11

Similar to the Bengals, the Colts will struggle on defense. The loss of Booger McFarland hurts, as they now don’t have that run-stuffing presence in the middle. The offense should more than make up for it, though. If the Jaguars had an above average quarterback, they would undoubtedly make the playoffs. They’re defense is that good. I think the Texans could surprise a bit, maybe get close to 7 wins. Schaub is a much better option than Carr and they got huge contributions in the preseason at the 2nd WR spot from rookie Jacoby Jones. The defense boasts reigning defensive rookie of the year DeMeco Ryans. The Titans, I feel, will struggle. They lost their starting running back (Travis Henry), #1 receiver (Drew Bennett), and #1 CB and returner (Pacman Jones) this offseason. And I believe Vince Young will go through a sophomore slump as teams gather more tape to gameplan against him.

AFC West:

Broncos 11-5 (4)
Chargers 10-6 (6)
Raiders 5-11
Chiefs 4-12

While the Chargers have more talent, I like the Broncos to take this division. I love their offseason additions of Travis Henry, Dre Bly, and Daniel Graham. Cutler will be good enough for them. The defense still has Champ Bailey, and they just bolstered their pass rush with the addition of Simeon Rice. The Chargers are loaded as well, but I just don’t like Norv Turner. How many chances is this guy going to get? He’s a mediocre coach, period. The Raiders will be a little better this year. The stout defense remains, and they actually have a competent NFL coaching staff this season. Give em a 3 win improvement. The Chiefs will be bad. The offensive line stinks, the quarterbacks stink, the defense stinks. I have no idea how they made the playoffs last year.

NFC East:

Cowboys 10-6 (2)
Eagles 9-7
Redskins 7-9
Giants 6-10

This is going to be a tight race between the Cowboys and Eagles. You could argue that the Cowboys have the most talent in the NFC, with guys like Romo, Owens, Jones, Barber, Ware, Newman, and Roy Williams. Can Wade Phillips put it all together, though? As long as McNabb and Westbrook stay healthy, the Eagles should stay close to the Cowboys. I’m not the biggest Jason Campbell fan, and with no significant pass rush that spells another mediocre season for the Redskins. The Giants could implode at any moment. Coughlin, Manning, Strahan, Shockey, and Burress? Lot of egos, there.

NFC North:

Lions 9-7 (4)
Bears 9-7 (6)
Packers 7-9
Vikings 5-11

My sleeper pick, the Lions, will take this division via tiebreakers. I’m already talked about them enough. The Bears will regress, but I still think they find a way to make the playoffs. If the Packers get any semblance of a running game, they could be a dangerous team. I don’t think they will, however. The Vikings have quarterback issues with Tarvaris (or as PiSoNC likes to call him, “Tavarious”) Jackson starting for them. Oh, and they lost their defensive coordinator… you might have heard about him. His name is Mike Tomlin, I think?

NFC South:

Saints 12-4 (1)
Panthers 8-8
Buccaneers 6-10
Falcons 5-11

The Saints should steamroll through this division. The offense should be great again, but that defense doesn’t look too promising. The Panthers are wildly inconsistent. They’re a team you look at and think they could go to the Super Bowl, and then you remember that they will have Jake Delhomme or David Carr behind center for most of the season. The Buccaneers have gone out and signed a ton of free agents, apparently an effort by Jon Gruden to make a run this season and save his job. I don’t see it. Seems like a scotch tape job to me. The Falcons have had a ton of distractions to deal with, and the move to Bobby Petrino’s new offense could cause some growing pains.

NFC West:

Rams 10-6 (3)
Seahawks 10-6 (5)
49ers 8-8
Cardinals 7-9

This could be the most competitive division in the league. Honestly, I can see any of these teams winning the division. It’s pretty wide open. I like what the Rams added on offense with the additions of Drew Bennett and Randy McMichael. 1st round pick Adam Carriker should add a run-stopping presence. The Seahawks should still be solid. They’re one of the best teams at home. I think the 49ers are a year away. Frank Gore is outstanding, but Alex Smith needs one more year to mature as a quarterback. They also need to add to a lackluster WR core, where Darrell Jackson is the only player of note. Nate Clements was a pricey addition, but should stabilize the cornerback position. The Cardinals have the firepower on offense. Can the offensive line hold up and can the defense stop anyone, though?

PLAYOFFS:

Wild Card Round:

AFC: Colts over Chargers, Steelers over Broncos
NFC: Bears over Rams, Seahawks over Lions

Divisional Round:

AFC: Patriots over Steelers, Ravens over Colts
NFC: Saints over Bears, Cowboys over Seahawks

Championship Round:

AFC: Ravens over Patriots
NFC: Saints over Cowboys

Super Bowl XLI:

Ravens over Saints

End of Post

## Wednesday, September 5, 2007

### Hit This Shit...and then email it to a friend.

While the boys at DAI get their shit together, Pirate In Search of Nutting's Chest is going to help keep it real.

For every poor soul out there, at work or in school...PiSoNC is here to help you procrastinate, heal, and get your mind back to what it was suppose to be doing.

Here are ...... PiSoNC's favs.

Apparently the Boston Globe isn't a fan of Dan Duquette as the Pirates new CEO.

....and apparently those in Dallas believe Jim Tracy will keep his job.....

Apple has some new shit coming out...and the iPhone is cheaper

Bill Cowher is enjoying retirement....with new fling Kim Russ.

Some tidbits about the Steelers new defensive scheme ....

And last but not least....Michael Vick isn't the only one in the NFL with pit bulls...this blog reminds us of that

End of Post