## Thursday, November 1, 2007

### Weekend Post

I was standing in line at Panda Express, anticipating a mound of gooey Orange chicken, when I overheard the two guys in front of me talking about the NHL. I was elated. They were ripping on Sid, saying he wouldn't have lasted in the old NHL when "you could still play physical." Even after this, I was still happy. At least the NHL is being talked about, no matter how ill-informed the discussion may be. On top of this, the one kid was wearing a Yankee hat cocked to the side with the sticker still on the bill. Doesn't sound like hockey's typical fan, but I can't complain. Some random people were talking about hockey while waiting in line for their lunch...has to be a good sign, right?

The Dreamcast is 1 game away from taking the lead and becoming self aware. I thought about making a new guarantee about the Dreamcast not winning, but I thought better of it.

On to the picks:

The 'Stache Says:

Home team in caps

Washington (-3.5) over NEW YORK JETS

The Jets finally made the move to bench Pennington. In comes Kellen Clemens,but he’ll have to face a tough defense right off the bat. Never mind the 45 points the defense gave up last week. That was to New England, which makes it the exception rather than the rule. I thought the Jets would be a middle of the road team that might be able to make it to .500. In reality, they’ve been even worse. Redskins dominate.

Green Bay (+2) over KANSAS CITY

This is a tough one. If this game were at Lambeau the line would be something like Packers -6. It’s a testament to how good of a team the Chiefs are at the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium. Still, I think the Packers are a better team and are good enough to go on the road and win at a hostile environment, as they did last Monday against the Broncos.

TAMPA BAY (-3.5) over Arizona

The Cardinals are coming off a bye and should be well rested. I can’t shake the feeling that Warner might go down again, and I sure as hell don’t want this pick riding on Tim Rattay. I’ll take the steady QB in Jeff Garcia at home.

TENNESSEE (-4) over Carolina

David Carr looks like he’ll be getting the nod at QB for the Panthers. It’s pretty sad when many of your fans prefer the alternative, and the alternative is Vinny Testaverde. The Titans aren’t getting good QB play from Vince Young, but their defense is playing outstanding and will be the difference in this game.

San Francisco (+3) over ATLANTA

What a miserable game. I feel bad for anyone who has to watch this piece of crap. It’s so bad I don’t feel like writing about it anymore.

Jacksonville (+3.5) over NEW ORLEANS

I bet on the Jags-Bucs game last week (I won’t tell you who I bet on, but if you have been following my gambling exploits this season you can probably guess). The Jaguars protected Quinn Gray early on in the game by running the ball on something like the first twelve of their offensive plays. I think they follow a similar game plan this week with Jones-Drew and Taylor, and the Saints can be run on. On the other side of the ball look for the Jaguars defense and Marcus Steroid (er… I mean Stroud) to shut down the Saints reinvigorated offense.

DETROIT (-3) over Denver

Wait, what is this? The Lions are 5-2 and threatening for a playoff spot? I could have sworn someone was singing their praises before the season. The Lions defense showed signs of life last week. If they can play like that when the offense is clicking, watch out. Denver is reeling from Monday night, where Favre and his WR corps beat both Champ Bailey and Dre Bly for long TDs. Kitna, Williams, and Johnson do the same this week. Looking for an interesting matchup down the line? How about Packers at Lions on Thanksgiving Day.

Cincinnati (PK) over BUFFALO

The Bengals defense is awful, but honestly, if they can’t stop the Bills offense than they should be relegated to the Arena League. I like the matchup of the Bengals offense against the Bills defense more than the Bills offense against the Bengals defense. Then again, this game is in Buffalo where the Bills play much better. I really don’t have much faith in the Bengals, but I’m going with them anyways.

San Diego (-7) over MINNESOTA

Usually, this is the spot where I tell you how bad of a coach Norv Turner is. And he still is. But maybe he can’t even mess up the talent that the Chargers have. The addition of Chris Chambers made a huge difference last week. It’s why Antonio Gates was open all day against the Texans. Back to Norv. He’s a terrible coach, but he may have met his match in coaching shittiness in the form of Brad Childress. You have an awesome offensive weapon in Adrian Peterson, and yet you are using him as a kick returner and having him split carries with Chester Taylor. On that stupidity alone I’m taking the Chargers.

CLEVELAND (-1) over Seattle

It’s the game everyone has been waiting for. Charlie Frye’s return to the city of Cleveland! I don’t think I’ve picked the Browns all year, so what better time than now. Braylon Edwards is becoming one of the top WR’s in the league, and Derek Anderson has come out of nowhere to provide quality QB play. Meanwhile, the Seahawks seem like a team that just doesn’t care anymore. I think Holmgren’s message has gotten stale there, much like Cowher’s did here in Pittsburgh.

New England (-5.5) over INDIANAPOLIS

The Indianapolis Colts. 7-0. Playing at home. Underdogs. The Colts are home underdogs. How often does that happen? And I’m still going with New England. One guy who always seems to kill the Patriots is Dallas Clark. But New England’s offseason signing of Adalius Thomas should come in handy here. He has the range and coverage ability to hang with Clark. As if the Patriots needed further additions to the defense, Richard Seymour should be close to full speed this week after getting his feet wet last week. I like the matchup of Moss, Stallworth/Welker against Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden. I think Belichick is pissed off that the Colts have gotten the better of his team the past three meetings, and he’ll pull out all the stops to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Follow the golden rule this season. Never bet against the Patriots.

OAKLAND (-3) over Houston

See description for San Francisco vs. Atlanta

No, Philly’s win last week against the Vikings did not persuade me. I still don’t like the Eagles. They might get up for this game though, seeing that it’s Sunday Night against one of their main rivals. Brian Dawkins coming back also helps. But I think Marion Barber and Julius Jones will be big in this game. The Eagles will be focused on stopping Owens, Crayton and Witten, so I think some running room should be there. The recent distractions facing Andy Reid don’t help the cause.

Baltimore (+9) over PITTSBURGH

I don’t get this line. I really don’t. In fact, I think it’s the most surprising line of the season. Look, the Ravens dominated us twice last year. They’re 4-3 this year. Not great, but not chopped liver either. Their defense matches up well against us. I don’t even want to think about Kendall Simmons going up against Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg in the middle. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Ravens win this game. I’d love to be wrong. I’d love a 21 point Steelers win. But I really see a close, hard fought game. Am I missing something?

Just Chillin Competition: Kickers

Rhys Lloyd

VS

Who is Rhys Lloyd? He's been released by the Ravens a few times, but just keeps coming back. Why am I using him? Because he may be the only kicker that had a shot at Mr. Reed. He's a former soccer player originally from England, so a hand down his pants is not that big of a deal. However, his facebook page delves further into the complexity that is Rhys Lloyd.

For the first time ever, I'm picking the opposing teams' player. Skip may be inappropriate, but until he claims he's pulled an R. Kelly, I can't give him the W.

Winner: Ravens

Pittsburgh Related Item That You Would Never Think About Buying Until You See It at Gabe's for $5 and Think "Why The Hell Not": "Jaromie Jagr Pittsburgh Penguins 8 x 10 Lithograph" -$15.99

Yes, that's right, Jaromie. I can't decide, is the 68 supposed to be an extension of his hair or is it supposed to have some sort of symbolic meaning that only the artist can ever tell us about? The slightly raised left eyebrow endows a sense of mystery, while the stare contains the fire that was only rekindled by Ivan Hlinka. It's moving, quite frankly. A couple days ago I'd only pay $3.39, but any image of Jagr with teeth has increased in value recently. Let's go with$5.17.

One last picture Item:

Friend of the site blueline1925 sends us this dead on comparison of the cuddly Mark Madden and former Wrestler/Manager Captain Lou:

Says Blueline: "Just add some rubberband-piercings to his face and put Cyndi Lauper under his arm, and the Slovenly One could be the progeny of good ole Captain Lou."

Post of the Week:

Blog 'N Gold's "Top 10 headlines that would scare the bejeezus out of a Steeler fan"

Didn't come across too many Halloween themed posts this week, let alone any as witty and well done.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, enjoy the extra hour of sleep.

End of Post

Anonymous said...

What would happen if this Rhys Lloyd ever met Reed. The internet may explode.

Wieters said...

Jeff Reed is a legend. The man is an animal. Speaking of Mark Madden, he reported the rumor that Reed was banging the wife of one of his special teams coaches. Does anyone know anything about that? I wouldn't put much stock in the rumor, considering that Mark "Harrah's is getting the slots license" Madden is hardly the most credible source.

Regarding the Ravens game, I don't think anyone who witnessed the massacre last year can be too confident about this one. At least the Steelers are playing a lot better this year, and the Ravens are playing a lot worse. But much like the Browns and Bengals are afraid of the Steelers, I really think the Steelers are afraid of the Ravens.

I think it all begins and ends with our offensive line. If they let Ben and Willie "do they thing", we should win. If it's a clusterfuck like last year, we'll lose. Homestead Charlie had better be ready in case Ben leaves the field in a body bag. I think our defense should be able to handle their offense.

Josh said...

Going back to the last third of the 06 season, the Steelheads have won games by an average margin of 20 points (11 vs CIN, 21 vs SEA, 21 vs SF, 23 vs BUF, 27 vs CLE, 6 vs CIN, 34 vs CAR, 20 vs CLE). If they win, they'll win big.

Pittsburgh's biggest problems are always with third receivers and especially with good receiving TEs coming across the middle against a LB or DE. With Heap likely out I don't see the Ravens having any threat to get open for short yardage on 2nd and 3rd downs. Billick knows everyone in Baltimore's gonna be watching his every playcall like a hawk, and he's going to be too aggressive, especially with an aging QB who hasn't played in three weeks. And don't forget that Baltimore's wins this year have been over the Jets, Cardinals, 49ers, and Rams by a combined margin of 31 points (12 discounting the Rams). This Baltimore team isn't like the Steelers last year (a good team with bad luck and poor QB decisionmaking). The Ravens are across the board worse than they were a year ago.

Actually, the only picks I'm with you are Jacksonville, Cleveland, and New England, although I think you might be right on Washington and Green Bay. They both have some strong trends favoring them, but I'll take an AFC home dog against the NFC almost every time. I'm big on betting against consensus picks, and John Q. Public is throwing money at WAS and GB. Good luck and go Steelers!

Sam said...

wieters- I have not heard anything about Reed and someone's wife, although it wouldn't surprise me.

Josh- you make a good point about who the Ravens have played. They are overrated, and I don't think they can score more than 26 points on anybody.

I still think the Steelers are going to win this game, but 9 seems like a lot considering history. Ben is 2-3 against the Ravens in his career, not counting the loss where he came in for Maddux. The wins were by 1 point and 13 points, the three losses were by 3, 27, and 24 points.

With Heap out, we should have a much easier time defending, and as you say, the Ravens are worse across the board. But considering they destroyed us last year, I'm not sure if their drop off and our improvement is enough to justify the 9 point spread. Considering my picks this year and what I want to happen, I hope I'm wrong.