Friday, September 25, 2009

Football Friday and Angel Stadium Review

Before my review of Week 2 and Week 3 picks, here's Angel Stadium in a nutshell. When someone says the design of the stadium is similar to Yankee Stadium, their right, though also is a little Dodger Stadium-like in design. I'm glad the crowd wasn't into doing the wave, and only had bouncing beach balls as the distraction. I couldn't stand that Rally Monkey, just annoyed me how they constantly showed it batter after batter. Yankee fans I would say was 25-35% of the crowd Wednesday afternoon; for some reason, I believe if this was the Red Sox, it would be 35-45%. Other than that, it's not really a memorable stadium, in neither good nor bad way. Now let's look back at Week 2:

- I think we are looking at last year's Ravens with this year's Jets. Rex Ryan has them playing defense just like he had Baltimore a year ago, while Mark Sanchez is just playing smart, safe football at QB. Huge win against the Patriots, who for once seem vulnerable (where have we heard that before). Darrelle Revis is proving to be maybe the best CB in football after shuting down Andre Johnson and Randy Moss in back-to-back weeks. All these tools have Mark Sanchez smiling like he's still dating LA girls at USC (though there's very little dropoff in NY, ask Joe Namath). On the other hand, Matt Stafford shouldn't be confused with Matty Ice; the Lions are still bad and it's nice to see a QB struggle in his rookie year again.

- The brothers Manning continue to show their greatness last weekend with dueling game-winning drives to steal games their teams should have lost. Peyton didn't even have the ball for more than 15 minutes, a point hammered home by ESPN afterwards. As for Eli, he bailed out the Giants who couldn't run the football or stop it on the ground. I loved hearing all the praise Eli received last week, the way Eli handles himself in a two-minute drill is just perfect. I knew when there was 3:40 left to go that it was too much time for him and he proved it. Which is more than I can say for his opponent.

- All of a sudden Jake Delhomme has company in the maligned QB group now that Cowboys fans and alumni at leaping off the Tony Romo bandwagon. Romo was absolutely awful against the Giants and was the reason the Cowboys lost in the opener in the House that Jerry built. Apparently, Jerry Jones had a lot to do with Cowboys Stadium since NBC saw it fit to show him every two minutes (as if the network name is Jones Broadcasting Company). JBC cameras even found Jerry with a no-so great moment for him, but maybe the greatest moment for all Cowboy-haters when he went digging for oil after Bruce Johnson's pick six.

- The Dolphins were also on the wrong side of the a game they should of won, but this because of some awful coaching by Tony Sparano. He went for an inside draw on 3rd and 6 with the game tied and Miami in field goal range, taking the three points, even though Peyton Manning is the other QB. Then, they run as poor a two minute drill as Eli runs one good, burning a timeout when they waste the full play clock. The other two bad coaching performances of last week include Norv Turner and Todd Haley. Haley was killed by Jason Whitlock, Mike Lombardi and briefly by Bill Simmons for his overreacting on the sidelines and his bad playcalling. As for Norv, I watch the end of the Ravens-Chargers game and I was appalled by the play selection on 4th and 2 against a team like the Ravens. I don't bail on my picks too early, but if I did, I would immediately switch the Chargers with the Ravens. Baltimore is the best team in football now that Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense is able to put up points and the defense is still there.

- I continue to be impressed by Drew Brees on a week-by-week basis as the Saints are primed to challenge the Pats scoring record and Brady's touchdown record. Their competition in the Falcons has done well to win their first two and Tony Gonzalez seems to have completed that offense, which has seen no sophomore slump by Matt Ryan.

- The rest of the unbeatens in the league include the Vikings, Niners and Broncos. For Minnesota and San Francisco, it's because of Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore, respectively. For Denver, it's because of Brandon Stokely and the Cleveland Browns, respectively. The Browns are awful and I will continue to drive home the point that Eric Mangini is this decade's Rich Kotite; I still can't believe the Browns hired him.

- Kudos to the Texans, Bengals, Cardinals, Bills and Raiders for winning bounce back games after varying degrees of tough Week 1 losses. Houston puts their bandwagon on track, Arizona looked like last year; Cincy allowed Chad Ochocinco do his Lambeau Leap, TO finally did something productive and the Raiders won in spite of JaMarcus Russell's putrid passing because Todd Haley is proving to be a bad coach and the new frontrunner of the first year coach that's fired (for the record, no Raider coach is ever on the board, you can predict crazy/senile)

- The opposite of kudos goes to the Titans, Packers and most especially the Redskins. Anytime your fanbase is angry after a win, you get a negative kudo from me.

Now let's make Week 3 picks, as well as college. I apologize for finishing this late and I'm only going to show my picks for the 3:30 and later games today (Home team in CAPS):

Tennessee (+2.5) over JETS- Let down week for the Jets (Titans); Titans (Oilers) need this one.
HOUSTON (-3.5) over Jacksonville- Jaguars are awful, Texans probably are good.
Kansas City (+7.5) over PHILLY - Can't trust Kevin Kolb yet, reverses if McNabb somehow plays.
BALTIMORE (-13.5) over Cleveland- Ravens haven't had a blowout win yet, it's this week.
Giants (-6.5) over TAMPA BAY- Even hurt, the Giants should easily beat the Bucs.
DETROIT (+6.5) over Washington- Never again give a touchdown with this Redskins team.
Green Bay (-6.5) over ST. LOUIS- The Packers are better than last week; the Rams aren't.
San Fran (+7) over MINNESOTA- Let's just say I think the real Brett Favre will show up.
Atlanta (+4.5) over NEW ENGLAND- The wrong week for the Pats to play the Falcons.
Chicago (-2,5) over SEATTLE- Last week could start good things for the Bears, Seahawks will struggle with Wallace at QB.
New Orleans (-6) over BUFFALO- Don't overreact to the Bills win over Tampa, do with Brees.
SAN DIEGO (-5.5) over Miami- Battle of bad coaches, Norv's team is better than Tony's.
Pittsburgh (-3.5) over CINCINNATI- I just can't pick against Big Ben, not against an inferior team.
Denver (-1.5) over OAKLAND- The fact the Raiders were favored to start this week was laughable.
Indy (+2.5) over ARIZONA- Cards looked too good against a bad team, tougher against Peyton.
DALLAS (-8.5) over Carolina- Romo shouldn't disappoint two weeks in a row, easily should win.

NFL Record: 18-14 (Bears were underdogs last week, not favorites)

California (-5.5) over OREGON
VA TECH (+3.5) over Miami
TCU (+2.5) over CLEMSON
Pittsburgh (Pick'em) over NC STATE
Notre Dame (-6.5) over PURDUE
PENN STATE (-9) over Iowa
HOUSTON (+1.5) over Texas Tech
Washington (+9) over STANFORD

College Record: 13-20-1

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