Week 3 NFL picks

Brady is 1-5 all time vs. the Broncos, but I gotta admit, I still expected the Pats to win. Then again, the Pats have no wide receivers – they had to get Troy Brown out of mothballs even. Gack. I do love seeing those 3 TE sets.

Bill, your boy Alex Smith has played better in his first 3 games this year than he did all of last year combined. Norv Turner is a goddamned genius. Hell, Frank Gore is now a legit starting running back.

Yeah, that was a riot. “Stupid close” to scoring 40 indeed.

The Lions have been like the perfect storm of a not-good team getting every bounce going the other way this year.

The Jones fumble inside their 5 at Chicago was instant points. The 1 Barrien TD was a sketchy catch (at the least it should have been challenged, we never got enough replays to tell). They had a INT returned for a TD called back on a penalty that was ticky-tack AND about 500 yards from the play (call could have gone either way, but it’s inexcuseable for the guy who got flagged to have his hands anywhere near the face that far from the play). Instead of going to 24-14 it ended up with the Bears scoring to make it 31-7.

Then the excellent display of tackling/pursuit and the missed PI call today. I just got to re-watch the long TD. I’d forgotten that even after the 3 Lions Larry, Moe, and Curly themselves out of the play that Dre’ Bly have a good chance to tackle/drive him out of bounds around the 30, and fails miserably. Good jorb!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making any claims that the Lions have gotten screwed or anything. They’re not a good team right now (they have a pretty good Run D but the Pass D is so porous it doesn’t matter). But there’s not good, there’s having the “bounces” go the other way, and there’s the 2006 Lions.

You could see Brady’s frustration in the game, when he scanned the field for an open receiver and saw nothing, and just launched it anyway. He’s not long for New England (by his own accord).

Bill, your boy Alex Smith has played better in his first 3 games this year than he did all of last year combined. Norv Turner is a goddamned genius.

He was perfect for the Niners. No real offensive stars (that feel it is their GODGIVEN INALIENABLE RIGHT TO BE THE A #1 MAN ON THE FIELD) to get offended at the Anybody Gets the Ball approach, two TEs with great hands (Eric Johnson returned to form today), a more than capable running game, and a smart QB who understands what he’s supposed to be doing with that system (make a lot of reads, spread the ball around, limit mistakes). I think it’s working so well it’s taking some pressure off the line, since the guys in motion are legitimate receiving threats (they were often decoys by default).

Hell, Frank Gore is now a legit starting running back.

And Kevan Barlow doesn’t seem to be up to much (I could be mistaken). Gore got about 170+ in rushing and receiving combined in week one (with a TD run that was just pure will), then got around 127 just on the ground in week 2. Nolan says Gore is always calling him at home with ideas on how to use him differently/better. I hope his strained abdomen isn’t a big deal. Similarly, Antonio Bryant, for all his guff, says he loves it in SF and calls his mom to tell her how happy he is there (finally) and that he locker room atmosphere is great, because everyone’s in on the game, win or lose. I also credit Trent Dilfer for playing dad and teching Bryant on how to really get himself heard on the sidelines (Smith says it doesn’t bother him, he says he likes the fact that Bryant wants to win and said something to the effect of “Man, what WR doesn’t want the ball all the time?”).

Wow and to think I was sweating the Giants.

Seahawks to NFC: It’s still our conference.

It was more based on Brady’s performance, rather than the team loss. He had a lot of big misses.

Brady always has one atrocious game per season. Hopefully this was just his one.

Except that his previous games haven’t been good either. I’m thinking there’s a problem, either injury or strife between he and Belichick, or whatever. The Pats are very much dependent on him to win. I wonder which QB will recover sooner; Brady or Roethlisberger?

Well, the QB will always get the blame, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence Brady lost most of his receiving corps and now mysteriously he seems to have no touch on his ball (where before it was as close to impeccable as you can get).

I dunno if Brady’s had a falling out with Belicheck, but he sure has with the Patriots front office. Where’d that money go I gave up, motherfuckers?

NFC to Seahawks: You needed a last second FG to beat the LIONS. A pat on the back is only about 6 inches from a kick in the ass.

In regards to the Brady naysaying, let’s not forget that the Patriots more often than not have a rocky start the first couple of games in the season.

They had to warm up already… :P

I’m a huge Seahawks fan, but I’m wary of them too. I’d like to see them play some of the elite teams and see how that goes before I fully jump on board. Like next week…

My vote is that Gruden should take Simms’ ruptured spleen and put it up on display in the Bucs’ locker room. Maybe that oughta motivate his players.

— Alan

Only if he puts a note next to it that says “It wasn’t an in game hit that did this, it was me AFTER the game.”

I think Belichick has jumped the shark. He’s fallen in love with his mystique (along with the Pioli love) and has taken the “it’s the scheme, not the players!” mentality to its extreme. It was fine losing one or two key players each off-season, that’s expected and something all teams go through. Damien Woody, Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law, Antowain Smith, Ted Johnson, a good chunk of the OL, Ted Washington, etc. Normal churn.

But now he seems to have this “Fuck it, anyone wants to walk, just leave” attitude. How do you expect a QB to do well when he loses BOTH of his starting WRs and has rotated through like a half-dozen starting wide outs in the past 5 years?

Top receivers:

2001 - Brown, Patten
2002 - Brown, Patten
2003 - Branch, Faulk
2004 - Givens, Patten
2005 - Branch, Givens

This year his top receivers are Ben Watson (TE) and Troy “Old Man” Brown. Then Faulk and Caldwell.

They have reasonable cap room, and Brady’s total contract last I checked was less than Peyton Manning’s signing bonus. I mean, seriously, at some point Brady and Bruschi can’t carry the whole goddamn team on their backs.

Or maybe this is just a motivational tactic. Every year they lose some key players so they can play the underdog-can’t-get-respect card.

I’m not wary at all this year. The first game is always tough, on the road, etc… The Giants are supposedly one of the elite teams in the ugly NFC. After we beat Chicago, we only have a few more tests the rest of the year…undefeated, its a possibility.

Wow… more power to you my friend. I’m more of a wait and see sort of guy. Ala, lets see how they do against the Bears and some other elite teams before we declare them that good… shrugs

Especially now that the Madden Curse has struck again.

Not like Alexander has been a huge factor in the past three weeks. However that injury does explain his really subpar performance lately.

Who was it that poo-poo’d my prediction of a Madden Curse injury? In your face, good sir! I look forward to hearing Seahawk fans use this as an excuse after they lose a boring, defensive game to the Bears.

Oh come on, Alexander has been a huge factor - his mere presence opens up the passing game greatly as he forces defenses to guard mightily against the run. Now they’ll have to load up against… Mack Strong?

I realize Seahawks fans have been living in fantasyland for the last year but, please, get your head out of the clouds every once in awhile.

— Alan