Here's my analysis on the Redskins/Giants game...all of my picks are free at www.blackboxsports.net ... I might post my Denver play later as well, but it's up on the site if you're interested. Good luck to all the gamblohrs in here!
The Giants have put up quite a few points this season, but have had a relatively easy schedule thus far, at least in terms of defenses they’ve played. In fact, the highest ranked defense they’ve played recently was the Patriots (7th), who held them to 26 pts. That said, the Redskins don’t qualify as having a good, or even average defense themselves, as they currently rank 31st in our Power Rankings, with a pitiful power rating of 20 (out of a 100). They can’t stop the run at all, allowing 4.8 YPC this season (t-2nd last), and also have a hard time against the pass, allowing 7.7 YPA this season. They also can’t get to the QB, and are allowing a 109 QBR and a whopping 6.4 YPP (yards per play) over the last 6 weeks….they’re just pitiful. While the Giants probably won’t be able to take advantage on the ground, Eli and company will certainly take advantage aerially.
On the other side, the Redskins do have some hope. The Giants rank in the middle of the pack at stopping the run, which will be important in this game as the Redskins try to control the clock with Matt Jones and Alfred Morris. If they can keep Cousins in manageable down and distances, I like their chances of putting up a ton of points themselves. The Giants D, despite being ranked 23rd in our Power Rankings, are allowing 6.6 YPP over the last 6 weeks (worse than the Redskins) and, despite JPP playing a lot better than expected off an amputated finger, still struggle to get any pressure on the QB (I’m not buying the Patriots game – Brady has been under duress all season).
This game is shaping up to be a back and forth affair, so I like taking the home team with the free FG. I also like the situational angles here, as the Redskins are coming off a blow-out defeat to the Panthers, while the Giants are coming off a very tight loss to the undefeated Pats, and are also off a bye, which explains why this spread is moving in the direction of the Giants. The whole point of the Model is to cut thru all the noise, public bias, media hype and other crap that can move a line, so I’m not surprised it’s saying the Redskins are undervalued right now. The standard method for recommending units likes the Skins for 2 units (see above in the Statistical Model section), and so does the new method. I’m sticking with 2 units on the Redskins.
LINE MOVEMENT: This line has dropped to 2.5, indicating the professional bettors are all over the Redskins. I still like the skins for 2 units, even at 2.5, but I'm going to hold out and see if 3 pops back up again. We're not risking much by doing this, since the worst case scenario is the line moves down to 2, which isn't a big deal.
OVER-UNDER: I don't normally play over-unders, but for whatever reason I'm trying it this week for a few games. This total doesn't make sense to me - 47? Both teams can put up 30+, and a 28-24 final would actually be on the low side to me. I'm going with 1 unit on the Over.
FINAL BET: This line has dropped to +2..I'm locking this in for 2 units.
INJURY UPDATES: I don't normally post all the injuries, but considering a lot of people are scared to take the Redskins, I decided to give an update. The Giants have 2 key injuries on their Offensive Line - G Justin Pugh and C Weston Richburg (who is having a stellar season). Center is so important, so the latter is really going to hurt.
Two weeks ago, I discussed a crazy Chinese professor in my Jerks with Awesome Girl Who Loves Football Part II entry. My girlfriend is unfortunate to have Chinese class four days per week with this loony tune. You'll sympathize after reading this conversation I had with her last Monday:
Me: How'd your Chinese test go?
Awesome Girl Who Loves Football: I know I missed one question, but I think I got the rest right.
Awesome Girl Who Loves Football: Yeah, except we have another test Wednesday.
Me: That's so stupid. Who gives two tests in three days?
Awesome Girl Who Loves Football: Three tests in five days. We have another test on Friday!
I was thinking about it, and I wonder if this is just how they do things in China. Did Mao force all of the country's teachers to give their students tests every other day of the entire school year? Or perhaps this professor is Mao's long-lost granddaughter. Either way, it must suck to be in that class - but for Awesome Girl Who Loves Football, there's no escaping the weirdos wherever she goes.
There's a guy in her dorm room whom she refers to as "Blonde Kid." She met him earlier in the school year and would later recount the story to me in an e-mail. Here's what she wrote:
I first met Blonde Kid on Saturday, Sept. 1 on the way to see our football team get blown out. He seemed normal and friendly on the bus, and we exchanged numbers so we could maybe hang out later. Since it was the beginning of the year and I was meeting many new people, I had been exchanging numbers with many other students, so I thought nothing of it.
During the game, we were having a casual conversation. I thought he was just someone who wanted to chill and be friendly until the following part of the conversation. I'm copying exactly what he wrote, so the spelling errors are his; not mine:
Blonde Kid: Mabye we could chill tonight where r u feeling like going?
Me: Yeah that would be good. Idk my roommate and I and some other people were talking about going out but we don't know what's going on and what's open
Blonde Kid: True true if I don't see u out then we could alway chill later
Me: Yeah for sure! It is the beginning of the year haha we've got so much time
Blonde Kid: Yea exactly haha but I meannt like later tonight too haha
Blonde Kid: Yea sorry to be forward or what ever lol where r y'all sitting?
He would go on to send me many more texts during the game, but I didn't respond.
What a creepy dude. Who texts a girl he just met and implies that he wants to have sex later that night? It's like this guy has never interacted with a female before. Luckily for him, I'm sure he was able to chill later that night with his hand, so at least he wasn't alone. The best part is, he didn't have to apologize for being forward "or what ever" with it.
Here's Awesome Girl Who Loves Football's recollection of the next time she saw him:
I encountered Blonde Kid again at a party the following Friday. Blonde Kid, being a Cowboys fan, said, "HA f*** the Giants yeahhh Cowboys killed them!" My memory is blurry, but I remember getting creeped out and texting you panicked texts because he was being touchy. Since I was drunk, I didn't have an immediate response to his insult of the Giants. However, I drunkenly decided to text him.
Me: Haha I don think you got me at the right time cause normally I'd have a response but now it's just like ahhh haha idk never Ind
I didn't know it at the time, but sending him that text was the worst decision ever because it made him think that I wanted to talk to him again. After I got back to my dorm, I was drunkenly sitting in the Floor 5 hallway. My friend George was sexiled by his roommate, so he didn't have anything to do and asked me to keep him company. After a little bit, he had to get up to go to the bathroom and throw up (he was very drunk).
I was left in the hallway alone, and the alcohol I had drank made it so that I didn't mind. Soon, though, Blonde Kid walked down the hallway. Until this point, I hadn't realized that he lived on Floor 5. When he saw me, he started tormenting me about the Giants' season-opening loss to the Cowboys again. Somehow, we started texting each other even though we were talking in person:
Blonde Kid: Cowboys!!!!
Me: Nooo giants!!! Go giants f*** the Coeboys the are gonna choke yet again
Blonde Kid: Cowboys r the s***!!q
Me: Heh always choke
Blonde Kid: F*** the gaint cowboys r the stuff!!!
During this conversation about football, I became uneasy. I was drunk, but not so drunk to not feel threatened because I was in a hallway with him alone. I was right to feel uncomfortable, because he then said, "Yeah, I have so much Cowboys stuff in my room. Come on, I'll show you!" My response was, "Noo can't go to a room with Cowboys stuff in it ew! I have a photo of the Mannings in my room and that's sooo much better." Taking this the wrong way, he said, "Okay we can go to your room instead!"
I was really getting scared now. I said "I'm really tired I need to go sleep in my room. Bye!" However, he followed me upstairs to my room.
I didn't know what to do at this point. I sat down and pretended to be too drunk to go into my room. He said, "Come on, I'll help you!" He started to get really touchy and creepy. When I wouldn't get up, he finally just leaned in and kissed me. I pulled away and was like "Nooo I'm too drunk" and put my head down. He asked, "Are you just gonna go to sleep?" I didn't respond, and he finally left.
Awesome Girl Who Loves Football didn't mention this in her e-mail to me about this loser, but she constantly saw him in her dorm lobby when she went down to either watch football or do homework. The Blonde Kid would always be there and creepily leer at her. She tried not to make eye contact with him, but he would continuously stare at her.
It's unfortunate for me that I'm so away from her campus that I can't do anything about it. I'd either kick his a** or ask the Russian mob to make him disappear, but the only thing I can do is ridicule him in Jerks of the Week.
On the bright side, the Blonde Kid is not trying to contact Awesome Girl Who Loves Football anymore because one of her friends intervened.
A few days later, my friend Austin saw Blonde Kid and thought it would be funny to ask him "Hey do you know that girl?" when he pointed to me across the room. The Blonde Kid felt awkward and said, "Yeah, the Giants fan...." and Austin just walked away. Because of this exchange, things are way more awkward between the Blonde Kid and me because the Blonde Kid now knows that I tell everyone about him. The real reason I tell everyone is because I'm creeped out by him and avoid him, but he probably thinks that it's because I'm in love with him or something.
The only bright side of this is that he hasn't texted me at all since then. I was embarrassed that Austin said that to the Blonde Kid, but I guess I should thank him because it weirded the Blonde Kid out enough to make him not text me anymore.
A few weeks later, my roommate and Austin were sitting on a picnic table outside of my dorm. I had drunkenly gotten separated from them and they didn't know where I was, but they thought that I might be coming back to the dorm.
While they were waiting for me, Blonde Kid walked down the sidewalk toward the dorm. Austin and my roommate took note of this because they know about the awkwardness between Blonde Kid and me. My roommate was slightly drunk, so she laughed at him.
Blonde Kid went inside of the dorm, and Austin and my roommate thought nothing of it. However, Blonde Kid walked outside again three minutes later and went up to my roommate and Austin. "I like jokes too!" he shouted, before slapping Austin twice in the face, turning around, and walking back inside of the dorm. Taken completely by surprise, Austin didn't even react; all he could do was stand there and try to figure out what had just happened.
I'd be scared if I were Austin. No, getting slapped is not much of a threat, but this is a guy who stares at girls, sends people creepy texts and stews for three minutes before retaliating. That means he does a lot of thinking - and that could mean that he spends his lonely nights smearing lipstick on his face and devising a plan to get revenge on all those who do him wrong.
Ah, crap. I just realized that my name will be added to the list if he reads this. I guess it's a good thing that I live so far away from him.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: Gay Tea Time James
Even if the Blonde Kid is a homicidal lunatic, Awesome Girl Who Loves Football's friend Austin has much more dire things to worry about. His main concern is someone else who lives in the building, a guy my girlfriend refers to as Gay Tea Time James.
Gay Tea Time James is very heterosexually challenged. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but he's way out there in terms of being out of the closet. For instance, when he says bye to people, he'll say, "If you'll excuse me, I'm going to have tea time." Who leaves just to have tea, and who says "tea time?" Only the most heterosexually challenged people on the planet, apparently.
Gay Tea Time James also does many other heterosexually challenged things. Instead of "hi," he says, "greetings." And instead of spelling the word "girl" the normal way in texts, he types "qurl."
Again, not that there's anything wrong with any of this, so why does Austin have to fear him so much? Well, I'll let Awesome Girl Who Loves Football explain:
Gay Tea Time James asked Austin to make out with him. I'm serious. I sometimes text Gay Tea Time James from Austin's phone as a prank when I'm drunk and mess around with him that way. Sometimes Austin lets other people do it too. One night he let a girl named Allison send a text, and she called Gay Tea Time James "f*** buddy" in the text she sent.
Gay Tea Time James thought Austin seriously considered him a f*** buddy, so that's what made him ask him to make out. He said something like, "I really want to make out right now. Does your proclamation of me as your f*** buddy still apply? Because I desperately need a snog."
How could Austin possibly resist that offer? A chance to have tea time and snog with a pseudo man who types "qurl" on his phone sounds like the evening of a lifetime.
I do have to wonder what sort of heterosexually challenged antics transpire during Gay Tea Time James' tea time. I can only imagine what goes on in his dorm room...
Gay Tea Time James: Jeeezth Chritthh is it really like 10 o'clock already, like OMG, it's tea time you guyth!
Polly Prissy Pants: OK James, you are such a cool guy and you have such cool tea parties!
Gay Tea Time James: I know, qurl. OMG these tea partieth are like tho amazing and thtuff!
Clyde Frog: So, James, you sexy, sexy man, did you end up snogging that dashing Austin fellow?
Gay Tea Time James: Ohh... no... it turnth out that thomeome elth wath texting me from his phone... Jeezzzth Chritthh...
Clyde Frog: It's OK, James, you can bang me up the butthole if you want tonight if that'll make you feel better. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Polly Prissy Pants: Or if you suddenly become homosexually challenged, you can do the same to me!
Blonde Kid: Speaking of which, do you want to chill later, Polly Prissy Pants? And by later, I mean tonight, haha. Yea sorry to be forward or what ever lol.
Polly Prissy Pants: Eww... get away from me, creep!
I guess we can assume that Polly Prissy Pants is now on the Blonde Kid's revenge list.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: Lisa Turtle
While I'm on the subject of the mentally insane, I feel as though I need to address Lisa Turtle. Yes, THE Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell, one of the best and cheesiest shows of all time. I'm proud to say that I have all of the DVDs - even the crappy college years season.
Anyway, Lisa Turtle was one of the students on the show. She was played by Lark Voorhies, but since Lark hasn't done anything with the rest of her acting career, I'll continue to call her Lisa Turtle.
So, why is Lisa Turtle grouped with Blonde Kid and Gay Tea Time James? Because she's just as nuts as them. My senior editor recently alerted me that Lisa Turtle published a book. I thought nothing of it until he showed me an excerpt:
For, ages, we have learned, to, search, for, the, truth, about, life. The, truth, in, regard, to, the, opolous, insight. Facts, ascertained, according, to, the, willing, advance, of, theme, and, time. Fames, tolled, apart, from, steads. Standards, patrolled, in, union, with, the, ever, held, age, perfection, within, the, stales, of, solution. New, boarders, of, parental, discovery, taled, to, the, wind, of, true, shelter, and, destine. At, harmony's length, we, trivial, the, chiefs, of, known, ability, to, prevail, the, pronounce, of, hartmanship.
Wow. What the hell does any of this mean? And what sort of literary company would think it would be a good idea to publish such crazy rants?
Let's break this down - first of all, I think the telltale sign of any mentally insane person is that they use commas after almost every single word. I'm pretty sure some serial killers have done this in their memoires. Second, what's with the made-up words? Hartmanship? What the hell is that? Opolous? What planet is that word from? And taled? What? Third, none of this makes any sense. It's like she typed up random words, banded them together with commas and created a paragraph in her book.
If Lisa Turtle can do this, why can't I? In fact, I think anyone could do this. It's like Mad Libs. The template for a Lisa Turtle book would look like this:
For, (time period), (noun) have (verb, past tense), to, (verb), for, the, (noun), about, (noun). The, (noun), in, regard, to, the, (adjective), (noun). (Plural noun), (verb), according, to, the, (adjective), (noun), of, (noun), and, (noun). (Noun), (verb), (adverb), from, (noun). (Noun), (verb), in, (noun), with, the, (adjective), (adjective), (noun), (noun), with, the, (noun), of, (noun). (Adjective), (noun), of, (adjective), (noun), (verb, past tense), to, the, (noun), of, (adjective), (noun) and (noun). At (noun, possessive), (noun), we, (noun that makes no sense), the, (noun), of, (adjective), (noun), to, (verb), the, (noun), of, (made-up noun).
Did you give this a try? I have. I logged onto RandomWordGenerator.net to fill in the blanks. So, here's an excerpt from my upcoming book, the Crazy Rants of an Internet Football Writer...
For, months, sacrifices have stocked, to, reform, for, the, termination, about, injustice. The, generation, in, regard, to, the, fancy, vessels. Women, scanning, according, to, the, responsible, genius, of, redundancy. Ceremony, distribute, tightly, from, administration. Theory, continued, in, water, with, the, calculated, narrow, bubble, initiative, with, the, root, of intention. Useful, screen, of, countless, command, blocked, to, the, excess, of, sorrowful, check and mankind. At night's, frequency, we, thanking, the, profit, of, delighted, dread, to, wash, the, sector, of, bortunoww.
I actually think what I wrote makes much more sense than Lisa Turtle's rant. Why can't I get this published? Ah, if only I were a pretty black actress... I could release an awesome book AND get invited to James' tea parties.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 4: Howard Eskin
I usually list three jerks every week, but this is a late addition to this week's entry. If you're Facebook friends with me, you know exactly what this is about. If not, our own Charlie Campbell broke a story about Jon Gruden coming back to coaching. We posted this at 2:40 Thursday morning, as you can see by this tweet:
When I made the arduous 10-second walk to my office the following morning, I quickly discovered that NFL.com and several radio stations, including the two local Philadelphia ones, picked this story up. Pretty cool, I thought. I was hoping that ProFootballTalk.com and Rotoworld.com would have linked to us as well, but they didn't mention anything. Oh well. They either didn't hear about it or deem it worthy enough to write about. I got dressed and walked to Bottom Dollar to pick up some essential food items like milk, orange juice and Cocoa Pebbles.
I came back to my house about 20 minutes later. I reloaded my computer and began working on Jerks of the Week when I received a text from a friend who told me that ProFootballTalk.com finally mentioned the Gruden story - except that they gave credit to someone else.
Apparently, Howard Eskin of WIP and FOX 29 broke the story himself 11 hours later, as seen here:
Here's what ProFootballTalk.com's page look like:
This really pissed me off. I mean, I figured ProFootballTalk didn't see it from me, and it's my fault for not e-mailing them about it beforehand, but my anger focused on Eskin. Did he really just hijack our story like that? It's ridiculous. Charlie put a lot of work into breaking it, so it was unfair that he wasn't getting the proper credit for it. Imagine if you worked hard on something and then someone else reaped the rewards. How would you feel?
Now, I won't dismiss the possibility that Eskin came across this story on his own, but how would he possibly avoid listening to either of the two Philadelphia sports-talk stations - one of which he works for - or seeing the story on NFL.com for 11 hours? Perhaps his "sources" were WalterFootball.com.
I called my lawyer to see if anything could be done about this. I also contacted a highly trafficked journalism ethics Web site. I then e-mailed my college journalism professors, and I even spoke with a prominent Philadelphia sports analyst via e-mail, asking him for some advice, and he had this to say about Eskin:
So, that's essentially what I'm doing here. I considered trolling Eskin relentlessly - perhaps tweeting at him and congratulating him for breaking every single major story in every sport - but ProFootballTalk.com and Rotoworld.com have now both given Charlie the proper credit, so I'm not nearly as pissed as I was on Thursday and Friday.
I still may troll Eskin though. It sounds like fun. And maybe he'll go to another Web site for his "sources" next time.