9.17.2014

NFL Picks - Week 3 Thursday

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

Well it's been a staggeringly mediocre beginning to the season for me as I now stand at 16-16 after two weeks. But hey, it could be worse, I could be the Bucs, who have now lost to two different backup QBs at home to fall to 0-2. Of course, it would be weird if I were the Bucs. How would that even work? Would it just be me against an entire other team, or would there be 53 different versions of me somehow operating independently of each other. Even if that were the case I have to admit I don't think I'd stand much of a chance; more so than that first scenario, but still not good. As for this particular game, Tampa has shown me nothing to make me believe that they can outscore Atlanta, which is a key aspect to winning.

Falcons 24-13

9.11.2014

NFL Picks - Week 2

Sunday Morning

Miami @ Buffalo

These squads are each 1-0!? Crazy kids. Unexpected? Yes. But hey, "Never underestimate the heart of a champion." That's a Rudy Tomjanovich quote that doesn't really apply in this case since neither of the teams in question are champions; not even close. Yikes, how am I gonna get out of this one ... Hey look over there! It's Rudy Tomjanovich and he's reciting his famous quote: "Never underestimate the heart of a champion." Damn it! Of all the things I could have made up for you to look at I chose the very thing that I was trying to make you forget about. Clearly I'm rusty, as evidenced by my 8-8 opening week record. Time to get back on track with an old stand-by: Miami away from Miami.

Dolphins 27-23


Jacksonville @ Washington

The Jaguars jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead last week in Philadelphia. Of course, they promptly surrendered that lead in spectacular fashion en route to a 34-17 loss. But the good news is that Jacksonville never even had a 17 point lead all of last season. They're getting closer. As for Washington, it's hard to say. Maybe they just got overwhelmed by a re-energized Houston defense in Week 1, or maybe they just blow. Then again, it could be both. I'm going to go ahead and take Jacksonville because I'm a dreamer.

Jaguars 17-14


Dallas @ Tennessee

Oh Romo. Oh no no no no no. It um, it's ... it's not good Tony. I know he was playing a good defense, but still you gotta show us something. Speaking of showing people stuff ... hey where are you going? That's not what I meant. I was referring to the Titans' dominant victory in Kansas City last Sunday. It's possible that I greatly underestimated Tennessee, which would be surprising because I'm normally excellent at estimating. For example, see that jar of jelly beans over there? If I had to guess I'd say there are 6 in there. I was right, wasn't I? Granted it wasn't very full which made things a lot easier on me, but the fact remains that I was correct, give or take a few.

Titans 30-21


Arizona @ New York Giants

Speaking of NFC East teams that already seem doomed, here are the Giants! It should have been obvious which team I was talking about since the Cardinals haven't been in the NFC East since 2001. You're not from 2001 are you? Still watching Laserdiscs and listening to your record albums? Haha, get a life ya renob (that's boner spelled backwards, which is something that everybody said back in 2001, so obviously you should get it). My guess is that the Arizona defense will cause lots of problems for Eli, because they're in the NFL and will be allowed to put a full 11 men on the field.

Cardinals 23-16


New England @ Minnesota

Ok Vikings, I see ya. Unfortunately I also see that you're playing the Patriots this week, and I can't see them starting off 0-2. And if they do? It may mean the end of the world as we know it. That world being the world in which Tom Brady has a beard. No way he keeps it if they lose again. (NOTE: I wrote that on Tuesday only to see on Wednesday that he's already shaved his beard. Brady, always one step ahead.)

Patriots 26-23


New Orleans @ Cleveland

Both of these teams are coming off wild and wacky Week 1 washouts. If you weren't able to see them let me just paint you a picture. These games had it all: double-digit comebacks, back flip catches, banana peels on the field, players on stilts, a Bane attack. And if you did see the games then SHUT UP! Why are you trying to ruin this for me?

Saints 34-25


Atlanta @ Cincinnati

Impressive and important would be the adjectives I'd use to describe these teams' divisional wins in Week 1. Those are also the adjectives that I often recommend/request people use to describe me. It's yet to happen, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop. Can't stop won't stop. The Falcons will most likely meet more resistance from the Bengals' D than they did last week against New Orleans. That resistance will frighten and confuse them because they're used to always getting their way, those spoiled little brats.

Bengals 24-19 


Detroit @ Carolina

The match-up between the Lions' offense and the Panthers' D promises to be entertaining. But can we really trust these men to keep their promises? Not after last time. I was left stranded at the amusement park all day. This is a bit of a tricky one, but I think Detroit being away from home will be their downfall; which is weird because you'd think they'd be thrilled to get out of Detroit.

Panthers 20-17


Sunday Afternoon

Seattle @ San Diego

So we're officially at the point where the Hawks should run Harvin on the jet sweep every single play until someone shows they can stop it right? You're probably thinking that the very reason it works so well is because of the moderation with which it's used and that overuse would render it ineffective. Fair enough. You kind of sound like an asshole, but whatever. Regardless, it's exciting stuff and I can't wait to watch this team again. And I won't. I'm drinking a pitcher of Zzzquil, wake me up Sunday.

Seahawks 31-13


St. Louis @ Tampa Bay

Disappointing performances from each of these teams last week. Well ok, the Rams' performance wasn't disappointing because it was the Rams, so it was hilarious. But Tampa, what was that? Were you aware that Josh McCown fumbled AND threw an interception on the same play? It was one of the more sad, pitiful things I've ever seen. Like watching a turtle on its back struggling for its life. Hopefully a good samaritan has happened upon poor McCown, picked him up and plopped him back on his feet again.

Buccaneers 24-12 


Houston @ Oakland

"Hello, my name is Derek Carr. You killed my brother. Prepare to AAAAHHHHH ..." (Gets sacked by J.J. Watt). Unfortunately for the younger Carr, this may not be the best opportunity for him to take vengeance against his brother's former team. Even without JaDaveon Clowney on the field the Houston pass rush should be enough to fluster the rookie QB.

Texans 22-14


New York Jets @ Green Bay

It would be unfair to judge the Packers based on their opening game in Seattle. Then again there's no such thing as fair in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE and Green Bay should be well aware of that by now. They catch a bit of a break this week though as the winless Jets come to town. Yes, I know that they actually won their first game, but it was at home against the Raiders, so it's basically a no win situation.

Packers 27-9


Kansas City @ Denver

The Chiefs suffered the worst defeat of Week 1; getting embarrassed by the Titans at home and losing two key defensive players for the season. BUT ... nope, I got nothing, they're screwed. To make matters worse they have to travel to Denver this week, and the airport there is super weird, like Illuminati type biz.

Broncos 38-20


Sunday Night

Chicago @ San Francisco

It's the grand opening of Levi's Stadium, and from what I hear the WiFi is supposed to be great! And good for them. Some teams need great WiFi as a selling point for their in-stadium experience. Other fan bases just show up, scream their heads off and create the best homefield advantage in all of sport. But hey, there's no one right way to do things. Good luck to you Santa Clara!

49ers 27-17


Monday Night

Philadelphia @ Indianapolis

Very intriguing match-up here. With these offenses as volatile as they are anything could happen. I say "volatile," not explosive, because the Eagles caused just as many catastrophes in the first half as they did big plays in the second. Meanwhile, it took the Colts too long to finally get moving consistently in their first contest. But that's what makes these teams exciting, you never know what you're gonna get. It reminds me of that famous Forrest Gump quote. Ya know, "You ain't got no legs Lieutenant Dan."

Colts 38-35

9.10.2014

NFL Picks - Week 2 Thursday

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore

What did we learn from Week 1? At this point it's hard to say anything definitively. However, one thing we can now say for sure is that you can't perform a jumping kick to an opponent's chest/face. Even if you have the ball. And even even if the other guy is a punter. But is it actually in the rule book, or did it just look so crazy that the refs felt obligated to throw a flag? I'm going to guess it's the latter. But who knows, I'm not a ref, I've never claimed to be. The closest I came would have to be when I went to a costume party as Denis Leary's character from the movie The Ref. And in case you're wondering, no, most people did not get it. Anyway, as impressive as the jump-kick was, the Steelers' 2nd half collapse was equally unimpressive. Meanwhile, the Ravens had an opposite experience; running out of time before they could complete a double digit comeback. Clearly Baltimore is the one trending upward here and it would be hard to imagine them losing two straight at home to open the season.

Ravens 24-20

9.05.2014

Award Winning NFL Picks - Week 1

Sunday Morning

New Orleans @ Atlanta

I spent countless hours (ok, 5) researching the Falcons on Hard Knocks. Here's what I can predict from what I've learned: Roddy White won't play a single down because he'll be too consumed with antagonizing William Moore. This will lead to at least one blown coverage touchdown. Pretty foolish Rod. Then again, we already knew he was an idiot.


Saints 30-22


Minnesota @ St. Louis

Poor Sam Bradford, that guy just can't catch a break. Plenty of tears, just no breaks. And so the Rams will now rally behind Shaun Hill. This is familiar territory for the Rams as a franchise, and who knows, maybe Shaun Hill will be the second coming of Kurt Warner. Then again, he could also be the second coming of Shaun Hill. Whoever he is it should be good enough at home against the Vikings. Or at least they'd better hope it is. And isn't hope the most powerful thing we have in this life anyhow?

Rams 16-13


Cleveland @ Pittsburgh

It's Johnny Football time baby! What's that? Brian Hoyer? Well what's his nickname? Doesn't have one!? What's his signature hand gesture? Nothing!? Then what's the point? This drip probably doesn't even have an instagram account. I'm already snoozing just writing about it. In today's NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE it's more about Q rating than QB rating. That's something Brian Hoyer still has to learn.

Steelers 19-10


Jacksonville @ Philadelphia

It's Gus Bradley vs. Chip Kelly in a battle of second year coaches at the opposite end of the gameplan. Bradley's D vs. Kelly's O will be the marquee match-up. Of course, whenever the other option involves Chad Henne the former is most likely more desirable. While I see the Jags improving overall this season, Week 1 will have a familiar result for them. And a familiar stench. That's more locker room related than anything though.

Eagles 28-17


Oakland @ New York Jets

I'd have a huge amount of respect and admiration for Derek Carr if after it was announced that he was going to be the Raiders' starting QB he tweeted "Vroom vroom." In all honesty I haven't checked, he may very well have done that, but I seriously doubt it. And it's that lack of moxie and wit that will result in him ultimately being a failure. Sorry bra, just gotta call it like I see it, it's how I was raised, don't know no other way.

Jets 26-16


Cincinnati @ Baltimore

This early season match-up could end up deciding the AFC North championship. Then again, with 16 weeks still remaining after this game there are truly infinite possibilities making it virtually impossible to say something like that with any confidence. Yet at the same time it's equally as plausible as any other given permutation. But hey isn't that what makes this game so great!? Literally that last paragraph (or something close to it) is on a plaque in Canton. Pretty sure.

Ravens 24-21


Buffalo @ Chicago

All of Canada will be glued to this one. Their favorite son Marc Trestman takes on the Bills, their de facto national team. Hmm, ok so upon further research I discovered that while Trestman coached for years in the CFL he's actually from Minnesota; and the Bills one game per season in Toronto is played in front of mostly tepid crowds trying to figure out why there are no sticks. So it appears that FOX's boffo ratings in the Canadian demo for this contest are quickly slipping away. Their only chance to salvage this is to tab Alan Thicke to perform at halftime.

Bears 31-20 


Washington @ Houston

There's plenty of buzz surrounding the Texans as this year's version of the Chiefs, a team that will vault themselves from 2-14 straight into the playoffs. I just have one problem with that, Ryan Fitzpatrick. There was a time when I believed in Ryan Fitzpatrick. It was a simpler time and I was a simpler man. I've evolved. Ryan Fitzpatrick's football skills have devolved. I can't in good conscience predict Houston to be a winning team with him as the starter. Can they beat Washington at home though? Sure, why not? I mean, besides the Ryan Fitzpatrick element we just discussed.

Texans 20-16


Tennessee @ Kansas City

I'm not too sure what the Titans have to offer, other than a UW fan's fantasy backfield of Locker and Sankey. In a cruelly ironic twist, I don't see that leading to a lot of Ws.  Meanwhile, the Chiefs have been written off by many as a painfully obvious candidate for regression and I predict no different. Mainly because the type of obvious I like most is painful. I'm a real creep like that.

Chiefs  23-9


New England @ Miami

Is this the season that Tom Brady finally proves he can play in this league? I say yes, Don't give up on this guy just yet, he's gonna surprise some folks.

Patriots 27-20


Sunday Afternoon

Carolina @ Tampa Bay

Only two afternoon games? Thanks a pantload Goodell. First the Ray Rice decision and now this? Are you trying to get impeached bro? Anyway, most pundits are concerned about the Panthers' chances this season because they don't have any wide receivers. A quick perusal of their roster will reveal that those "experts" don't know so much after all; in fact, Carolina has multiple players listed at WR. Sometimes you can't believe the hype. That being said I expect the Bucs to actually finish above the Panthers when all is said and done, and this will be the first step. And the first step is the deepest.

Buccaneers 13-10


San Francisco @ Dallas

The 49ers' defense comes into the 2014 season depleted due to a rash of injuries and scumbags. That's good news for Tony Romo and you know I'm not lying, because Tony Romo is no place for fibs (that really took me 5 years?). On the flip side though the Cowboys' D is woeful even when fully healthy so the Niners should prevail. Well, in a just world I'd never claim that they "should," but they probably will.

49ers 31-24


Sunday Night

Indianapolis @ Denver

In 2013 the Broncos had a record setting offense, apparently. Peyton Manning put up the greatest statistical season ever for a quarterback, so I'm told. All in all, Denver was an unstoppable juggernaut, according to reports. From what I've seen though they'll be hard-pressed to put up double digits. But hey I'll take your word for it.

Broncos 34-24


Monday Night

New York Giants @ Detroit

I've heard that Eli Manning is going to be "let loose" in the Giants' new West Coast offense. Does that mean there were reins on him when he threw 27 interceptions last season? Imagine how many he's going to throw now that he's unshackled. This is going to be great! He's gonna have more embarrassing pics than Jennifer Lawrence.

Lions 30-22


San Diego @ Arizona

Let's all hope and pray that ESPN lets Chris Berman announce this game. Before the first quarter is through he'll reference "standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona" and going "from Phoenix, Arizona all the way to Tacoma." Then we'll all take a minute to appreciate the national treasure that we are fortunate enough to hear once a year in the MNF booth.

Chargers 20-17


9.03.2014

Award Winning NFL Picks - Week 1 Thursday

Green Bay @ Seattle

One of the many fantastic elements that come with the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl is that now every time the crowd at the CLink chants "De-fense" they'll not only be encouraging the D but also describing the Hawks process on a more macro level of defending their championship. In fact, they could chant it when the the team's offense and it would technically still make sense. I wouldn't recommend it though, due to the inevitable confusion and feelings of betrayal from Russell and co. Speaking of that offense, while it was above average last season (scoring the 8th most points per game in the league) the potential for it to explode is there; they just need to dial it up to 11.

Seahawks 27-10

8.28.2014

2014 NFL Preview

In the movie Groundhog Day, reliving February 2nd over and over again is Phil Connors' nightmare. For me it's a fantasy. You see it was on that very day that the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII. To some it was a surprise, but to all(?) of you who read my 2013 preseason predictions it was a mere formality. The time has come again for me to ruin another NFL season for you with shockingly accurate picks both for the final standings in the text to follow and for each game on a weekly basis. Don't believe me? Believe this:

That's right, I'm officially a world champion football prognosticator. What you knew in your heart all along has finally been validated with a comically oversized trophy. But hey, that was last time, this is this time. And with that in mind, let's get started on this time.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

AFC East
New England   12-4
Miami   8-8
Buffalo   7-9
New York Jets   7-9

AFC South
Indianapolis   10-6
Jacksonville   7-9
Houston   6-10
Tennessee   4-12

AFC North
Baltimore   9-7
Pittsburgh   9-7
Cincinnati   8-8
Cleveland   6-10
 
AFC West
Denver   12-4
San Diego   10-6
Kansas City   7-9
Oakland   3-13


NFC East
Philadelphia   11-5
Washington   6-10
New York Giants   6-10
Dallas   5-11
 
NFC South
New Orleans   12-4
Atlanta   7-9
Tampa Bay   7-9
Carolina   6-10
 
NFC North
Green Bay   11-5
Chicago   9-7
Detroit   7-9
Minnesota   4-12

NFC West
Seattle   16-0
San Francisco   11-5
Arizona   7-9
St. Louis   6-10


As you may or may not have surmised I've predicted 9 of the 12 playoff teams from last year to return to the postseason. That would be an unusually high number in today's NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (feel free to do your best Ron Jaworski impression every time you read NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE in these posts from now own). But I'm just courageous enough to thumb my nose at logic. So which three teams don't make it back, and why not?

Bengals - There will be too much pressure on Andy Dalton; from opposing defenses, because of his contract extension, and on his lower intestine (all the nerves will lead to constipation). He'll take some time to reevaluate things in the offseason and return for 2015 finally sporting black stripes in his hair.

Chiefs - Their soft schedule was a major factor in their 9 game improvement last season. They had one victory over a winning team. A tougher slate in 2014 will force them back under .500 and leave them with no choice but to recognize what cowards they are.

Panthers - A top notch defense can get you far in this league. Then again sometimes it can't.

Now let's take a look at the playoffs, or as I like to call them the "payoffs" cause that's where the money's made. Did I decide to call them that because of what now seems like a fortuitous typo? It would be foolish for any of us to hazard a guess. Anyway, here we go:

Wild Card Round
Baltimore over San Diego
Indianapolis over Pittsburgh

San Francisco over Philadelphia
Green Bay over Chicago

Divisional Round
Denver over Indianapolis
New England over Baltimore

Green Bay over New Orleans
Seattle over San Francisco

Championship Round
New England over Denver

Seattle over Green Bay

Super Bowl XLIX
Seattle over New England

So there you have it. A repeat. My sincerest apologies to Phil Connors.

5.07.2014

Mock of Ages

Well, draft coverage has been non-existent this year on HCM.  I haven't really had any time to watch anything but Super Bowl highlights so my insight into this year's class is severely lacking.  That being said, I know everyone would be extremely disappointed without seeing my mock draft for 2014.  Here it is in all it's glory.  After reading it and agreeing with all of it, do yourself a favor and read the next post down the page and relive Erik's Super Bowl breakdown.  But hey, enough of my yakin'.  Whattaya say, let's boogie!

1. Houston – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
2. St Louis – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
3. Jacksonville – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
4. Cleveland – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
5. Oakland – Khalil Mack, DE/LB, Buffalo
6.  Atlanta – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
7. Tampa Bay – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
8. Minnesota – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St
9. Buffalo – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
10. Detroit – Eric Ebron, TE, UNC
11. Tennessee – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
12. NYG – Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
13. St Louis – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St
14. Chicago – Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt
15. Pittsburgh – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio St
16. Dallas – Zach Martin, OT, Notre Dame
17. Baltimore – HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
18. NYJ – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
19. Miami – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon St
20. Arizona – Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio St
21. Green Bay – CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
22. Philadelphia – Kyle Fuller, CB, Va Tech
23. Kansas City – Marqise Lee, WR, USC
24. Cincinnati -  Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
25. San Diego – Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA
26. Cleveland – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
27. New Orleans – Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
28. Carolina – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
29. New England – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
30. San Francisco – Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU
31. Denver – Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
32. Seattle – Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA.