Monday, December 28, 2009

The Mondays: Finally, no more 16-0 talk!

I'll be honest, I was kind of happy to see the Colts lose on Sunday. It had to happen at some point. You can't really be perfect in this day and age. Let's face it, who really wants to be perfect?

I think the idea of perfection is overrated. I say that because in life, as much as we try to strive for it, we can never obtain perfection. The game of football shouldn't be about finishing the season undefeated (unless you live in the freaky world of FBS football).

In the NFL, it should be about winning the Super Bowl. Every team has that goal of hoisting the Lombardi trophy at the end of the season. It shouldn't matter if you finish the season with the best record in the NFL or if you squeaked into the sixth and final wild card spot because every team has the same shot.

The Steelers won the Super Bowl as a wild card team in '05, so did the Giants in '07. They were both far from perfect teams, but they still won the Super Bowl.

The best teams don't win the Super Bowl sometimes. That's how life works. How a team performs in the postseason is what counts. The Cardinals weren't the best team in the NFC last season, but they made it all the way to the Super Bowl. All 12 teams that make the playoffs this season have the same equal opportunity.

Unfortunately, there can never be another undefeated team like the '72 Miami Dolphins. The '72 team was light years ahead of everyone. They had the best offense and defense at the time.

Everything clicked for Miami because the league was different back then. Think about it, there was no salary cap and a lot of the innovations you see today weren't around in '72.

I look forward to the playoffs. It should be a fun and exciting time. However, if an undefeated team should ever come along, the only thing I take solace in is the fact that the '72 Dolphins won't be holding any champagne parties.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Briefs: Seasons Greetings

I went 3-2 this week. I'm 55-23 for the season. Maybe my gift can be another 5-0 week.

CHRISTMAS PICK: San Diego over Tennessee
Cincy over KC
New England over Jacksonville
New Orleans over Tampa
UPSET PICK: Baltimore over Pittsburgh

Have a Happy Holidays and a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hump Day: Loser Rankings for December 23

1. St. Louis Rams- They need a quarterback...Then again, they need a lot of things.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- They own the tiebreaker advantage over Detroit because they've scored only 214 points for the season.

3. Detroit Lions- They did hold their own against Arizona. They have at least one more win in them.

4. Kansas City Chiefs- They did lose to the Browns.

5. Washington Redskins- When you do something stupid like the fake field goal you tried to pull off on Monday Night Football, you end up on this list. Plus, it helps that Cleveland has won two straight games.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Mondays: The Cardinal Conundrum

When the Arizona Cardinals won against Minnesota earlier this month, they looked to be on the right track and good to go for the playoffs. They came off a tough last second loss to the Titans, and the win against a the Vikings helped the Cardinals prove their worth in the NFC.

They had a few key wins earlier in the season, including a win in the Meadowlands against the Giants and a 20-plus point win in Chicago. At 8-4, the Cards looked ready to claim their second straight division title in the NFC West.

By no means was the San Francisco game a clinching game, but a win against the 49ers would have put to rest any hopes of somebody taking the West from the defending NFC champions. That said, they still needed to win, last Monday night. And things were looking well for the Cardinals going into that Monday night game against the 49ers.

Seven turnovers later, the Cardinals left San Francisco with an ugly loss. Kurt Warner threw two picks in the loss and the Cards fumbled seven times (five counted as turnovers). It really was a frustrating game for the Cardinals.

On Sunday, the Cardinals just squeaked out a win against the Detroit Lions, who have been a popular team on our Loser Rankings as of late.

The Cards jumped out to a 17-0 lead at halftime. However, the Lions put on the board 17 points of their own in the third quarter, including a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by Louis Delmas.

Detroit never took the lead, but did tie the game, 24-24, with less than four minutes left. It was a Warner touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin with 1:54 left, that put the Lions away for good. With the 161 yard rushing day by the Lions (126 via Maurice Morris), it marked the second straight week that the Cardinals gave up more than 150 yards rushing on defense.

Now let's make this point that yes, the Cardinals did clinch the NFC West after the 49ers lost to the Eagles on Sunday.

The Cardinals should be happy to be back in the playoffs. But that's not why I'm writing the column.

It was one year ago today that the Cardinals lost their snowy affair to the New England Patriots, 47-7. I didn't really have much to say about that day, but it was definitely a tough one for the Cardinals to take. They lost two of their final three games and found themselves in the wild card game against Atlanta.

Sure enough, those Cards did run the table and made it all the way to the Super Bowl. It was definitely one of the best playoff runs for a team in NFL History (Note: I'm not saying it's the best run, just one of the best).

By no means am I calling the Cardinals a bad team. They've played well this season, better than last season. You can credit the defense for that. Going into Sunday, the Cardinals were the sixth best defense in the NFC. Last season though, the Cards were the third worst in the NFC, behind an 0-16 Lions and the Rams.

With the Saints and Vikings all stumbling this weekend, and Philly winning big over San Francisco, it's safe to say the Cardinals are still in decent shape. They will most likely be playing on wild card weekend though. But this is a team that has the potential to get hot at the right time. The only question I have is, will they or won't they?

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Briefs: Week 15 picks

So my all-upset picks didn't go as well as I hoped. I went 2-2 for the picks. I'm 52-21 for the regular season.

KC over Cleveland
Baltimore over Chicago (This pains me to type)
Tennessee over Miami
San Diego over Cincy
UPSET PICK: Buffalo over New England

See you guys on Monday

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hump Day Loser Rankings: Hey we're freezing here

1. Detroit Lions- When you lose by more than 40 points, you tend to find yourself get to the top of the list a lot faster than usual. The Lions leapfrogged everyone.

2. St. Louis Rams- The Rams got rid of Richie Incognito after his two personal foul calls in Sunday's loss to the Titans. The bad news is that the Rams need to sell 8,000 tickets or they face a tv blackout. Such a shame too, because they're wearing their throwback unis.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs seem to be defying the logic I've set for them. I am a bit embarrassed, but hey I know when I'm wrong.

4. Kansas City Chiefs- Ordinarily they would be at the No. 5 spot, but Cleveland won against Pittsburgh.

5. Cleveland Browns- See No. 4.

See you Friday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Mondays: We still can confirm that it is December

San Diego Chargers 20 - Dallas Cowboys 17- ROMO ALERT: It's still December. But let's at least acknowledge that the Cowboys do have a tough schedule for their final three games (which included the Chargers on Sunday).

They get the undefeated Saints next, who are still fighting for that homefield advantage, Washington, who always gives them a rough time and they get Philly, who will no doubt be gunning for the NFC East. The Cowboys could win one of those two, but a lot of people aren't putting it past them to keep the losing streak going. We'll see what happens on Saturday night.

New England Patriots 20 - Carolina Panthers 10- It seems all the talk is about Randy Moss. Is he done in New England? Some Panther players think Moss"shut it down". It's possible, but with the year the Patriots have had, this could just be one of those years where nothing goes right. It's been a frustrating year for the Patriots.

A lot of people are speculating that the Pats are peaking. I don't know for sure. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pats go out next week and put up 50 against Buffalo. Then again, they could lose by 3 late, as well.

Miami Dolphins 14 - Jacksonville Jaguars 10- With the win on Sunday in Jacksonville, Miami needs to parlay this into three more wins and hope Jacksonville and Baltimore falter to get the sixth spot in the AFC Wild Card. They have Tennessee, Houston and Pittsburgh. A lot hinges on what Baltimore does though. Jacksonville still holds the sixth spot, but they have Indy, New England and Cleveland. I wouldn't be surprised if Jacksonville lost all three games.

Baltimore Ravens 48 - Detroit Lions 3- The Ravens need to win out, but they have a decent shot to get that sixth spot. The Ravens get Chicago (great another loss for my guys), Pittsburgh and Oakland (spoiler alert).

Sunday Night Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 46 - New York Giants 38- The Eagles lead in the East. Meanwhile, the Giants are in danger of falling out of the playoff race for good this season. Philly gets San Francisco, Denver and Dallas.

Two out of three (one of them being a Dallas win) should give the Eagles the NFC East. The Giants need to beat Washington (road), Carolina, and Minnesota (2nd seed). They could potentially win out, but Dallas is the wild card (no pun intended) for the rest of the season.

MONDAY NIGHT PICK: Arizona over San Francisco

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Briefs: Your Week 14 Picks

I went 4-1 last week, completely missing on the Tampa upset. I am now 50-19 for the season. I'll make only four picks this week and they will all be upsets.

Tampa Bay over New York (Jets)- It's Tampa at home and Kellen Clemons starts for the Jets.

Cincinnati over Minnesota- The Bengals will be fighting for the second seed up until the end of the season. The loss to the Cardinals could mean the Vikings are hitting the wall.

Buffalo over Kansas City- Would you believe the Bills have scored three more points this season than the Chiefs?

San Diego Chargers over Dallas Cowboys- It is December, ya know!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hump Day: A Snowy Loser Rankings

1. Cleveland Browns- The Browns have the longest losing streak in the NFL. Who knows, maybe they can knock off the struggling Steelers.

2. St. Louis Rams- They did stick with the Bears, which is kinda sad.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- They didn't really do too well against Carolina. Maybe Jake Delhomme should have played.

4. Detroit Lions- They have one more win in them, I think. I wouldn't be surprised if they beat the Bears.

5. Kansas City Chiefs- Would you believe that they have more wins on the road than at home?

See you Friday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesdays with Romo: Just Grudenized

Last night's game was awful. No recap for today. I'll see you guys on Wednesday. Don't be surprised if I'm buried in snow (not really, but you get the point).

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Mondays: I'm Free Falling (Not really)

Oakland Raiders 27 - Pittsburgh Steelers 24...

Miami Dolphins 22 - New England Patriots 21...

So two of the three gatekeepers in the AFC are on a combined six game losing streak (Steelers-4, Patriots-2). The Patriots have one win on the road (should be technically a neutral site since the game was in London). The Patriots need to win on the road.

The Steelers couldn't beat Bruce Gradkowski. They haven't won since the Monday night game in Denver. Things just look awful for Pittsburgh. The Steelers need to win on Thursday night against Cleveland. No if' and's or but's.

New York Giants 31 - Dallas Cowboys 24- ROMO ALERT: It's December! The namesake threw the ball 55 times on Sunday. He completed 41 passes for 391 yards and three touchdowns. So this loss falls on the Cowboys. Could this be the start of something bad for the Boys.

New Orleans Saints 33 - Washington Redskins 30- The Saints just don't like the idea of losing. They're an unstoppable force. I still think they have a stumble at some point.

Philadelphia Eagles 34 - Atlanta Falcons 7- The Falcons are in desperation mode at this point. They need to win out to even consider a wild card spot.

Seattle Seahawks 20 - San Francisco 17- Alex Smith has a great game. But the Seahawks are tied for second in the West with the win Sunday. The Niners are now three games back of the Cardinals in the NFC West.

SUNDAY NIGHT RECAP: Arizona Cardinals 30 - Minnesota Vikings 17- The Cards need two wins to clinch the NFC West. They get San Francisco, Detroit and St. Louis in the next three games. I think they can do it. They can clinch back-to-back division titles for the first time...ever!

MONDAY NIGHT PREDICTION: Green Bay over Baltimore

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Briefs: Your Snowy Picks

Had the first legit snowfall of the season on Thursday. It's a bit later than usual, but hey no complaints here. Last week, we went 6-2 (Thanksgiving picks included). I'm now 46-18 for the season. Here's the picks:

Philly over Atlanta
Denver over KC
Jacksonville over Houston
UPSET PICK: Miami over New England
UPSET PICK #2: Tampa over Carolina

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hump Day: Some early December Loser Rankings

1. Cleveland Browns- They just keep falling apart. They're the lowest scoring team out of all the 1-10 teams. But the worst news for the Browns has to be the loss of Shaun Rogers for the season. He was probably their only star. Things just look awful for Cleveland. I am still interested in the Browns GM position (hint drop).

2. St. Louis Rams- The Rams actually had a decent shot against the Seahawks, but it didn't work out. The good news for them is that they get a freefalling Chicago Bears team.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- I hate putting this team at #3 because they've been playing great football as of late. Josh Freeman is probably blooming flower for the Bucs. He has 793 yards passing, along with seven TD passes in five games this season. I hope he can keep this up, because Tampa needs something to look forward to.

4. Detroit Lions- Just wasn't meant to be their season. It happens you know!

5. Oakland Raiders- They're the lowest scoring team in the NFL. How can the Raiders not be on this list?

See you guys on Friday!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesdays with Romo: Saints dominate the Patriots

It's true. The Saints didn't beat the Patriots, but they annihilated them. Drew Brees had a marquee game that pretty much propelled him into the MVP discussions. Brees only had five incompletions the entire game.

He had a perfect QB rating, 371 yards passing and five touchdowns. By the way, those five TD passes were to five different receivers.

The Saints are good, but I don't think they can make it to 16-0. They have to stumble at some point. We'll see what happens though.