Thursday, December 26, 2013

Moose's Weekly Picks

Merry Christmas all of you scalawags!  Moose was out of the office last week and couldn't provide a full update of all the goings on in the NFL.  This week, we will do a full debrief.  8-8 two weeks in a row.  For you sticklers out there, I forgot to pick the Seahawks/Giants game two weeks ago, but would have picked the Seahawks.  Cut me some slack.  That leaves us week 17 to get back to even.  Gotta go 11-5.  Let's give it a shot.  I didn't get all dressed up for nothing.

Carolina (-6.5) at Atlanta: Atlanta gave San Francisco a run for their money last week, and have been playing better lately.  Carolina however can clinch a first round bye with a win.  I think Carolina wins, but Atlanta makes a game of it.  PICK: Atlanta

Chicago (pick 'em) at Green Bay: Golly, what a game.  Crybaby Cutler versus Rodger Dodger (or more likely Matt Flynn) for the NFC North crown.  Either way, the NFL fan loses.  I'll take the Bears to rebound from the beat down the Eagles put on them last week.  PICK: Chicago

Houston (+7) at Tennessee: Houston doesn't want to screw up that #1 pick.  It would also be pretty funny to see L14 next to Houston in the standings.  They started out 2-0 LOL.  PICK: Tennessee

Cleveland (+7) at Pittsburgh: Big Ben is fighting for a playoff spot.  I'm not betting against that man.  That would be like picking against Drederick Tatum in his fight against Homer.  PICK: Pittsburgh

Washington (+3.5) at NYG: I don't think Koey even wants to watch this game.  Washington has given teams a run for their money the past few weeks.  I'll take my chances on them again.  PICK: Washington

Baltimore (+6) at Cincinnati: Huge game for Baltimore.  They need a win to make the playoffs.  The Bengals say they are going to play their starters and try for the first round bye, and they are also undefeated at home.  Tough call, but I think if the Bengals win, they don't win by much.  PICK: Baltimore

Jacksonville (+11.5) at Indianapolis: The Colts have an outside shot at a first round bye, but New England and Cincy would have to lose.  The Jaguars are playing hard and will not roll over.  PICK: Jacksonville

Philadelphia (-6.5) at Dallas: I don't know what kind of parlor games Dallas is playing, but even if Romo is out I don't think the Eagles win by 7 or more.  This game will have me more nervous than Bart was when he re-entered the Try-N-Save after getting banned for trying to steal Bonestorm.  PICK: Dallas

NYJ (+5.5) at Miami: Miami needs a win and will get after Geno Smith.  I don't know what my record is with Jets games this year, but I think its pretty bad.  PICK: Miami

Detroit (+3) at Minnesota: Earlier this year in my predictions I penned; "Detroit Lions (8-8) - The Lions quickly fell apart after a great season two years ago.  They look unstoppable at times, and then follow it up with a stupid penalty or turnover.  They underwhelm this year and head coach Jeff Schwartz finally gets the axe for a lack of discipline." A little on the nose don't you think?  Except I think his name is Jim Schwartz. PICK: Detroit

Buffalo (+9) at NEP: The NEP's demolition of the Ravens last week was a complete anomaly.  They have played every team close all year until last week.  They win this week and get the first round bye, but 9 is too many to cover.  PICK: Buffalo

Tampa Bay (+12.5) at New Orleans: The Saints have played a few stinkers lately, and could still lose out on a playoff spot.  I think they win, but legbreaker keeps it close.  PICK: Tampa Bay

Denver (-12) at Oakland: Yes, Denver can clinch home field advantage this week.  Yes, the Peyton can pad his touchdown pass record for the annals of history.  But the real story here is, who is the better qb: Foles or Manning?  7 touchdowns against Oakland or GTFO, Manning.  PICK: Denver

San Francisco (-1) at Arizona: The only thing I have learned this year is that crazy things happen in the desert.  PICK: Arizona

Kansas City (+9.5) at San Diego: Heh?  Had to double check and make sure I read that right.  PICK: Kansas City (No Doubter)

St. Louis (+10.5) at Seattle: St. Louis is another team that can go screw.  They should play the Jets for all eternity.  PICK: Seattle

OVERALL: 114-119-6

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Moose's Weekly Picks

Live from Swingbelly's

Miami (-2.5) No Doubter
Indy (+6.5)
Cincy (-7.5)
Denver (-10.5)
Carolina (-3.5)
Jacksonville (+5.5)
Washington (+3.5)
Cleveland (+2.5)
Tampa Bay (+5.5)
NYG (+9.5)
Seattle (-10.5)
Pittsburgh (+2.5)
Oakland (+10.5)
Baltimore (-2.5)
Chicago (+3.5)
San Francisco (-12.5)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rodger Dodger

Submitted for the approval of the TPLIYP readers, I would like to get the pulse of the nation (Northeast) on Aaron Rodgers.  What do we think of this guy?  He is a Super Bowl champion, former NFL MVP, and has had multiple Pro Bowl seasons.  He is also the star of State Farm's nation-wide ad campaign (although it could be argued that the fat guy is the real star) and inventor of the discount double check.  With all those accolades, I still can't help but think that Aaron Rodgers is a huge asshole.  His smugness and general lack of enthusiasm during his collarbone injury has only strengthened my opinion of this.

In his 15 years in Green Bay, Brett Favre came to be a symbol of the Packers and of Green Bay as a whole.  He espoused toughness, simplicity, heart and a competitive fire that was unmatched.  Say what you will about his propensity to huck the ball into triple coverage, but you couldn't fault Favre for his effort on the field.  He was, and continues to be, Green Bay's hero.  They even named a street after him by the stadium, and continue to flock to Brett Favre's Steakhouse in droves on game days.  No light praise in a town where some other guy named Lombardi also coached a football game or two.  Favre's exit however was made a little ugly due to the emergence of a plucky young qb named Aaron Rodgers.  A quarterback who doesn't seem to espouse any of the characteristics that Favre and Lombardi personified in Green Bay.

Having delivered a Super Bowl championship, I'm sure Rodgers is liked just fine in Green Bay.  However, I don't think he will ever be on a Favre level there; and from an outsiders perspective, he just seems like a cocky wimp.  I first started to think this about Rodgers a few years ago, when I found out that he is really sensitive about his height.  He gets offended when people say that he is not that tall.  He is 6'2".  Who would honestly care at 6'2"?  Maybe the rough and tough qb is more sensitive than we think.

My opinion of Rodgers has really been swayed the last few weeks by his continuing recovery from a broken collarbone.  He has always carried with himself a sort of air of cockiness when he answers media questions, but lately it has been insufferable.  Since his injury in week nine, we've been getting interviews like this one.  Totally wishy-washy.  Cracking a smile throughout the interview.  Sounding like he wants to get out there, but not really.  Just thinking that he is better than the media it seems to me.  Now, I know nothing about collarbone injuries but after seven weeks it would seem Rodgers would be dying to get back out there.  Do you think Favre would have let this injury sideline him for more than a week or two?  Especially with the Packers in the thick of the NFC North  playoff race.  I'm not saying that Favre was smart, but that is what Green Bay loved about him.  His toughness and determination.  It would seem that Rodgers doesn't have any of that.

Maybe I am totally wrong about this.  Maybe Rodgers is a nice guy and a die-hard competitor.  You certainly can't fault a guy for winning a Super Bowl and re-writing the NFL record books for passing.  Maybe the Packers are just playing it super cautious with him because he is their franchise player.  It seems to me though, that Rodgers is over all of this.  He's reached the top, and now he thinks he is better than everybody else.  He has no urgency and doesn't want to get back out there with his teammates.  He is just enjoying his life.  Nothing wrong with that.  It just doesn't seem to me like that is what the town of Green Bay stands for, and certainly comes off as disingenuous to the average NFL fan.  All I'm saying is, don't look for Aaron Rodgers way any time soon in Green Bay.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

No Direction Home

There is a reason why Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is known as "Ruin Tomorrow Jr." in many circles, and it is on display this off-season in Philadelphia.  A man who has recklessly spent money signing free-agents, traded away the farm system for mid-season help, and failed to develop any young players in the name of being competitive in the past has the Phillies going absolutely nowhere for the foreseeable future.  This off-season more than any other, he has proven that he has no idea what he is doing as a GM and ought to be sent out of town on a rail.

For five years in a row, the Phillies were the class of the National League East.  First it was hitting that carried the team, then superior pitching.  Over the years though, it became clear that the team was past its expiration date.  Ruben Amaro seemed to realize this a few years ago when he traded away players like Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, et al in an attempt to restock a dwindling farm system.  It seemed likely that Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and company were the next pieces of the former puzzle to go in an effort to start over.  However, somewhere along the way Ruben Amaro decided that this was still a championship caliber team, and re-signed both Utley and Rollins, gave a huge extension to Cole Hamels, and threw way too much money at Jonathan Papelbon.  Now we have a real mess on our hands.

Instead of having just one untouchable contract (the abortion that is Ryan Howard's contract (which was given to him as an extension while he was still under contract for at least two more years)) Rube now has about 5 or 6 (Rollins, Utley, Howard, Papelbon, Hamels, Lee) and is receiving a declining product.  This is nearly impossible to navigate around, and Phillies fans are basically waiting for these contracts to expire while we hopefully can stock up on high draft picks.  But just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, Rube is trying his best to make it so.

Convinced that this is still a contending team, Ruben Amaro is now reportedly trying to trade away are two best building blocks (Cole Hamels, Domonic Brown) in an attempt, I'm not sure.  But if we are rebuilding, why was veteran outfield Marlon Byrd signed for $16 million this off-season?  Not only that, it has also been reported that he is actively trying to move Jimmy Rollins and Jonathan Papelbon.  Wait.  So, we are trying to win now because we are a contender, but we are also trading away our veterans to rebuild?  I wish Tex was around so he could tell me what the hell is going on.

What we have here is a general manager that has no idea what he is doing.  He has no plan, and is too stubborn to admit that his core of World Series champions is over the hill.  Ruben Amaro is delusional if he thinks that the Phillies can still win with this squad, and has wasted money on veteran players that should have gone towards rebuilding.  The worst part is, all we can do as fans is wait for these contracts to expire and hope that Ruben gets fired as well.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Moose's Weekly Picks

Big week last week.  10-6 and right back in the thick of things. If Moose has proven nothing else, it's that you can count on the No Doubter picks.  I probably just jinxed myself good.  One more good week can get me back to even in the overall category as well.  Moose will channel his inner Cramer this week. 

San Diego (+10.5) at Denver: Wow.  Tough one right out of the gate.  Big Phil Rivers has looked sharp as of late, but Peyton has got his eyes on bigger things.  I don't think he will be stopped in this game.  PICK: Denver

Washington (+6.5) at Atlanta: Shanahan has given up on this team.  Even Atlanta could beat them at this point.  Plus RG3-13 has a nice ring to it.  PICK: Atlanta

San Francisco (-5.5) at Tampa Bay: Schiano and the legbreakers have quietly won four out of five.  San Francisco is riding high after a big win against Seattle.  Trap game?  Nah.  PICK: San Francisco

Arizona (-2.5) at Tennessee: What was I thinking picking against the Cards in the desert last week?  Big time no-no.  I'll make up for it by believing in them on the road this week.  PICK: Arizona

New Orleans (-5.5) at St. Louis: I will admit, I was low on the Saints going into last week.  Crazy to pick against them at home though.  St. Louis is basically a home game for them as well.  PICK: New Orleans

Chicago (pick em) at Cleveland: From section 316 last week, Cleveland looked like Flanders house from the outside after it was rebuilt following the hurricane.  In the fourth quarter they crumbled faster than the wall after Rod took down the load bearing poster.  Chicago is in the thick of the playoff hunt, they would be wise to stick with McCown here.  If they do, they win.  PICK: Chicago

Houston (+5.5) at Indianapolis: Indy the first team to clinch their division despite a -3 points differential.  Kubiak axed down in Houston.  This game has the potential to be wacky.  PICK: Indy

Buffalo (-2) at Jacksonville: The Jaguars are getting more respectable by the week.  Meanwhile Buffalo continues to disappoint.  Jags owners Shahid Khan is no doubt hoping for a big win at home this week so he can unleash his trademark middle eastern ululations.  PICK: Jacksonville

NEP (-2.5) at Miami: Another Pyrrhic victory for the NEP last week.  Amazing comeback, but Gronk out for the season.  TB12 often has some shaky games in Miami, and his offense just got shaken up worse than a Duff beer can on April fools day.  That said, the NEP have been finding a way to win the close ones all year long.  The Pats clinch their 11th division in 14 years this week.  All hail BB.  PICK: NEP

Philadelphia (-4.5) at Minnesota: Trap game?  SI cover jinx? Neither of those are worse than good old-fashioned Philadelphia pessimism, and that has been waning every week.  This Eagles team is defying expectations, starting with the defense, and the fans are starting to believe.  No way they lose this week.  That's right, tack the TPLIYP curse right on there as well.  It doesn't matter.  PICK:  Philadelphia

NYJ (+11) at Carolina: I bet the Jets are the team I have picked most incorrectly all season long.  Fuck them.  They aren't worth Moose's time.  PICK: Carolina

Kansas City (-4.5) at Oakland: Kansas City loses two games to Denver and is all of a sudden dogshit in the spreads.  Smart money is here.  PICK: KC (No Doubter)

Green Bay (+7) at Dallas: Picked Chicago against Dallas with my heart last week and it paid off.  Is there any chance A-Rod comes back just to troll Dallas?  Hope so.  PICK: Green Bay

Cincinnati (-2.5) at Pittsburgh: This sounds like a game that would be painful to play in.  PICK: Cincy

Baltimore (+6) at Detroit: Flacco isn't ready to cede the division to the Red Rocket yet. Side note: I was a big Reggie Bush fan until last week when he pussied out of playing five minutes before the game.  You poisoned my team, son.  PICK: Baltimore

OVERALL: 98-103-6

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Moose's Weekly Picks

 Get it?  Moose.  Pick.  My genius is unparalleled.  My football knowledge however is very ordinary after another down week at 6-9-1.  It seems after every good week, I have one just as shitty to follow.  I need a monster week.  Time is running out.

Houston (-3) at Jacksonville: Who's pumped up for Thursday Night Football?  Not Moose.  PICK: Jacksonville

Kansas City (-3) at Washington: Fat Andy had another tough loss to Denver last week.  He needs this one to stay alive in the AFC West picture.  PICK: Kansas City (NO DOUBTER)

Minnesota (+6.5) at Baltimore: Baltimore continues its postseason push at home.  PICK: Baltimore

Cleveland (+12) at NEP: No word on who the starting QB will be for Chudzinski and Co.  But I'll take Tocuhdown Tommy at home.  Side Note: Moose will be in attendance at this game.  I hope to catch a glimpse of the man, the myth, the legend: THE CHUD.  PICK: NEP

 Oakland (+3) at NYJ: These are the Jets that I thought we would see all season long.  PICK: Oakland

Indianapolis (+6) at Cincinnati: Tough call here.  I think Cincy's defense puts the clamps down on Luck at home though.  PICK: Cincy

Carolina (+3) at New Orleans: New Orleans is tough at home, but I think they are fading.  Carolina keeps winning games, despite having an offense more boring than Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge.  PICK: Carolina
Detroit (+3) at Philadelphia: Talk about the game of the week!  Two 7-5 teams with their playoff hopes on the line.  I picked against the Iggs last week, and was pleasantly surprised.  We will see if they can slow down Megatron, but the real question is; can the Lions slow down Foles?  PICK: Philadelphia

Miami (+3) at Pittsburgh: Mike Wallace returns to Pittsburgh.  I know that is not a great teaser, but it's all I got.  PICK: Pittsburgh

Buffalo (+2.5) at Tampa Bay: Buffalo has been a bigger mystery this year than the spot which bears that name in Springfield.  No idea what to make of them on any given week.  PICK: Tampa Bay
Tennessee (+12) at Denver: Manning is out to set the record for most TD passes this week.  Not to mention clinch the AFC West and move closer to the #1 seed in the AFC.  PICK: Denver

St. Louis (+6.5) at Arizona: The Iggs dinged up Carson Palmer last week and provided a blueprint against a good defense.  For the first time seemingly all season, I will choose the away team knowing full well that crazy things happen in the desert.  PICK: St. Louis

NYG (+3) at San Diego: San Diego beat the Iggs and 'Boys, but lost to the 'Skins.  Big Phil Rivers needs a bounce back week.  PICK: San Diego

Seattle (+2.5) at San Francisco: Seattle is looking like a juggernaut.  I don't see San Francisco giving them much of a fight.  PICK: Seattle

Atlanta (pick em) at Green Bay: Rodgers might be back, and the game is at Lambeau.  PICK: Green Bay

Dallas (+1) at Chicago: Need a loss by Dallas here.  Hopefully Jeffery and Marshall can have huge games.  PICK: Chicago

OVERALL: 88-97-6