ACo is the Sports Chump’s first ever contributing writer. As a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, ACo has resorted to blogging to help dull the pain of going from frat life to corporate monotony. His allegiances belong to the aforementioned Wolverines, as well as the New York Jets, Yankees and Knicks. So if at any point his biases get out of line feel free to rip him a new one in the comments section.
So I’m completely in football mode. I’ve stopped visiting baseball blogs, I’m completely entrenched in my brother’s Madden ’11 and reading about the NBA makes me want to take my talents nausea to south beach the toilet bowl. So the large majority of my posts in the upcoming weeks are going to be football related. I’ll do something in regards to the MLB playoffs and maybe a post about the AL East if something dramatic happens, but don’t expect me to crank out 1000 words on the NL wildcard race.
First up, my reflections from the Week 1 games. Don’t worry folks, your team isn’t doomed if they lose the opener. There’s plenty of time for disappointment the rest of the season. In addition, although I’m a week late, I’ve decided (assuming it’s okay with Chris) to do weekly NFL picks against the spread. Because I’m good at gambling at the NFL and want to make all the Chumpsters some money??? If only! I’m actually notoriously terrible at NFL gambling but usually it’s because I select a small sample size of games. So since I actually have a platform where I can broadcast stupidity to all of you lucky readers, I figured I’d keep track for a season and see once and for all if I’m actually any good. Then if/when my percentage is like .900 I’ll get scooped up by some sweet handicapping agency or whatever they’re called and make some serious $$$.
Week 1 Reflections
Only big surprise was that it was a pretty boring game. Favre looked like Brett Favre without a number 1 WR or a real third down running back. Should be a rough 6 weeks for Vikings until Sidney Rice comes back.
Meh? Tim Tebow played…kinda?
Called it! Not to you guys, but I’m in a confidence pool where me and 2 of my friends split a $75 entry. One of the guys is a die hard Colts fan and I was insistent they’d lose this game. Didn’t expect Arian Foster to explode like he did, but with the way this game played out and the solid performance by the Titans, it’s going to be a very interesting division race.
Some combination of the Dolphins being overrated and the Bills being slightly underrated made this one close. Watching the Bills get the ball with the chance to run the 2 minute drill and Trent Edwards not even throwing to a WR (sacks and check downs) was absolutely hilarious…until I watched Mark Sanchez do the exact same thing.
The proverbial dead horse has already been beaten in regards to the overturned TD catch. My thoughts? It was a catch, but the rule, regardless how dumb it is, is the rule. Original, I know. But like I said, the Bears really aren’t very good and this showed it.
Hard to tell how good the Titans really are because the Raiders are, well, the Raiders. But like I said, Vince young can make these guys 10-6 or 6-10. He played a really efficient game though. And Chris Johnson is STUPID fast.
This one was televised for me, so I watched a good deal. Regardless of what the stats show, this one was over very quickly. Carson Palmer has got nothing left. He put up the numbers when the game was over, but before it was, he was missing a lot of easy throws. Things are going to get ugly quickly with the Bengals.
The G-Men were really my only surprising division winner selection from my NFL Preview post (Part 1, Part 2) so as much as I usually hate them, I’m sort of rooting for them. As expected, their secondary looked great and as long as they’re healthy it means good things for the Giants.
Big win for the Steelers. The AFC playoff race is going to be crazy. Five spots for the Ravens, Bengals, Steelers Colts, Titans, Texans, Jets, Patriots and Dolphins. It’s got to be frustrating for the bottom four to watch the Chargers coast through the West (if they can even do that).
The winner of this division might actually be 7-9. When Hasselbeck goes down with a back injury (I mean the odds must be at like -750 for that right?) will this division have the worst 4 starting quarterbacks in NFL history? Alex Smith, Rookie Sam Bradford, Derek Anderson and Hasselbeck/Whitehurst. What a disgrace.
Although the Packers won, losing Ryan Grant for the season makes it bittersweet. Simply bitter for the Eagles who lose Leonard Weaver to a nasty knee injury, Kolb to a concussion and their center who’s name I don’t feel like looking up to a torn bicep.
How many people suffered broken limbs after jumping off San Fran’s bandwagon. And talk about Pete Carroll! Has any coach done a better job of avoiding controversy than him. Here’s a simulated conversation between Pete and his PR rep.
Pete: “Hey, Joe the PR guy, I’m totally screwed!”
Joe the PR Guy: “How come?
Pete: “I totally knew for years that my players were being paid, yadda yadda yadda cheating in college football”
Joe the PR Guy: “Damn. That’s not good. Luckily I’m a PR genius and have the perfect plan. You’re going to make it look like you’ve decided to go back to the NFL. We’ll make it look like you’ve accomplished everything you wanted to in college and that you wanted to jump into a good NFL situation. Although in reality it will be with a slightly below average team hidden away in the upper northwest corner of the United States. Then we’ll get the biggest d-bag in college football to take his dream job at USC. He’ll become an even a bigger d-bag for screwing over his current team and all the focus will be on him. Throw in avoiding drafting or signing former players and you’ll be set. You’ll be totally off the hook!”
Pete: “Can we get Reggie Bush to give back his Heisman Trophy?”
Joe the PR Guy: “Sure!”
Week one of my Giants pick looking pretty good! Redskins had nothing on offense and had no business winning this game. But…Wade Phillips is a terrible coach and the Cowboys love losing in terrible ways. Neither team is elite but both have a shot at making the playoffs because the NFC is bad.
Matt Cassel is terrible and it is hilarious to watch a frustrated Phillip Rivers. The Chargers will win the division because the competition is awful, so I’m not going to say much more about it.
Ugh. Throw in a trip to the game as well as a 3 hour commute home on poorly ran public transportation and this one stung. Of course there is a big backlash on the Jets for losing (which is kind of dumb, because they obviously weren’t going undefeated), but really this was theirs for the taking. They lost by one even though they had 14 penalties (at least 4 of which were awful calls by an officiating crew known for making awful calls in the secondary) as well as 6 first downs by the offense. Yea the offense was bad, but let’s not jump to categorize a team by a week one performance. If they get anything, and I mean anything, from the offense they’re going to make the playoffs. The defense is disgustingly good with or without Jenkins. It just happens that the Ravens are a very good team that match up very well.
PICKS!!!!! (Home teams are in Bold)
My Pick: Bills
Conventional wisdom says this one is a blow out, but I like the Bills secondary and the Packers just lost Ryan Grant for the season.
My Pick: Titans
This was a tough one. The Steelers defense is back and they’re going to give the Titans trouble running the ball. But when it comes down to it, their O-line is banged up and they’re still missing Big Ben.
My Pick: Ravens
It was hard to tell against the Jets, but the Ravens offense is one of the best in the League. They are a seriously dangerous team and I don’t see this game being close
My Pick: Vikings
Vikings can stop the run, which is the one way you beat the Dolphins
My Pick: Cowboys
They better hope they don’t start 0-2 and allow Jay Cutler to beat them in their own house
My Pick: Falcons
Michael Turner has a big game making up for last week. Larry Fitzgerald realizes that Boldin was a smart man leaving a Kurt Warner-less Cardinals
My Pick: Eagles
Whenever a line looks too obvious I usually get it wrong. So the Lions will probably win this game outright. But seriously. How do the Eagles not cover 4.5 against a Stafford-less Lions team, even with Michael Vick starting?
My Pick: Rams
Another crappy game. I think Bradford get’s his first career win
My Pick: Patriots
Moss won’t do anything, Welker will torment a rookie, but I think the big issue is going to be the Patriots athletic tight ends that cause the Jets D problems
My Pick: Texans
Skins wont be able to score enough points to match the Texans offense
My Pick: Jaguars
Watch MJD run all over them. This Chargers team just isn’t that good.
My Pick: Giants
The Manning Bowl! I don’t necessarily think the Giants win it, but it will be close. I’m taking the points
My Pick: Saints
Five points? That’s it? Yes, please.