New Orleans Saints (14-3) - Previously: #8 - Last week I asked, "Are we sure the Saints should be favored over the Cardinals?"
The Saints are the only team that rested its starters that played well this weekend on both offense and defense. And speaking of which, where did that defensive effort come from? I know Sedrick Ellis was hurt, but New Orleans' defense couldn't even stop Josh Freeman a few weeks ago.
Their defensive play against Arizona was eye-opening, and even though I lost five units betting against them this past weekend, I will remind everyone that I picked them to go to the Super Bowl back in July. Hem, hem. Time's yours.
Indianapolis Colts (15-2) - Previously: #5 - I'm not donating any money to Haiti. Well, let me rephrase that. I'm not donating any MORE money to Haiti.
Believe it or not, I gave $1,100 to Haiti this weekend. Only I'm not talking about the devastated country; I'm referring to my sportsbooks.
Hearing Jonathan Vilma in that public service announcement and then watching Pierre Garcon play his guts out on Saturday night was painful. I wanted those guys to succeed because they were playing for all of those people, but at the same time, my picks were against them. It was a lose-lose for me.
Next time there's a major disaster in an NFL player's native country, I'm betting all of my money on him - and then maybe I'll actually have some cash left over to give to charity.
Minnesota Vikings (13-4) - Previously: #6 - I have no idea how the Vikings are winning. None. And it has nothing at all to do with Brett Favre's late throws across his body over the middle of the field.
Check out this quote from Brad Childress in his post-game press conference:
"The Tasmanian Devils were running through Minnesota like Sherman through the South, which presented the aura..."
I couldn't type the rest of the sentence because my nose began to bleed.
What the hell is Childress talking about? Why does he always talk in riddles like this? If you're one of his players, how do you understand what he's saying? How do they get anything done in practice? As far as I'm concerned, Favre is a miracle worker for getting this far with a nut-job coach.
New York Jets (11-7) - Previously: #10 - Though the Jets played very well at San Diego, they owe their AFC Championship appearance to Nate Kaeding. I conducted an interview with Kaeding after the game:
ME: Hey Nate, thanks for joining me.
KAEDING: "Oh, no problem, Walt! It's awesome to be here. I have a lot of great material planned for this interview. I'm going to break down all of my kicks and tell you exactly why I missed each of them."
ME: Sounds great, Nate.
KAEDING: "Definitely. I also broke down all 32 place kickers in this league and ranked them. I'll have that for you as well."
ME: Nice! Let's get started then.
KAEDING: "So we're starting now?"
ME: Yeah, let's start this interview.
KAEDING: "Umm... OK..."
ME: Nate, what happened on your first missed field goal? Were the snap and hold OK?
KAEDING: "Uhh... uhh..."
ME: Did you plant your foot OK?
ME: Dude, you just puked all over me!
ME: Ugh! You puked all over my notebook!
ME: Stop choking!!!
ME: I'm out of here! Let me know when you don't choke in the clutch.
San Diego Chargers (13-4) - Previously: #2 - Upon missing his third field goal and being responsible for San Diego's loss to the Jets, Nate Kaeding had his Wikipedia page vandalized by hundreds of people. The communist Wikipedia moderators managed to delete them, but I was able to salvage some of the funnier changes.
Here are my top eight Kaeding comments:
8. Fans have given him the nicknames of "Big c**k choking Nate" and "Mr. choke"
7. Nate Kaeding doesn't have a personal life...he's just a pedophile.
6. Nate Kaeding is a total f***ing f****t b***h and I hope he dies in his sleep tonight.
5. The Chokerville, Iowa native and his wife, Samantha, have two sons, Choke (born on May 7th, 2008) and Gag (born on August 17th, 2009).
4. Nate Kaeding has been labled the biggest Pedophile, choke artist, catamite, p***s licking p***y in the history of football.
3. Kaeding has also been known to wear womens lingerie before important games to help him focus on missing critical chip shots. Nate Kaeding is also Norv Turner's lifemate.
2. Kaeding went up against Cincinnati Bengals kicker, Shayne Graham, in a contest to see who can miss the most field goals in increasingly shorter distances. After they both missed even pushing the ball through the goalpost whilst standing on an elevated platform right in front of the very center of the post, the universe subsequently imploded.
1. Nate and his wife, Samantha, have two sons, Jack (born on May 7th, 2008) and Wyatt (born on August 17th, 2009). After seeing that their father's life was crumbling like buildings in Haiti, they filed for emancipation.
Baltimore Ravens (10-8) - Previously: #4 - My picks may have sucked this week - check out my Hate Mail for details - but look at what Chris Mortensen said last week while predicting the Baltimore-New England game:
"I picked the Ravens to go to the Super Bowl, but because Wes Welker got hurt, I'm picking the Patriots."
Wha???? Mort, you do know that Welker is on the Patriots, and not the Ravens, right?
At any rate, watching Baltimore self-destruct and waste away my five units was depressing. The fumbles were horrible; the penalties were killers; and Cam Cameron's awful play-calling made us all remember why the Dolphins were 1-15 in 2007.
If you didn't see the game, here's what Cameron's play sheet looked like (thanks to RoflDogs for having this in his sig):
Dallas Cowboys (12-6) - Previously: #1 - Eric Allen told Chris Berman that this Dallas team reminded him of the 1991 Cowboys. "They got to playoffs but weren't ready yet," Allen said. Meanwhile, Berman agreed: "The sky is the limit for this team going forward."
Correction: The sky would be the limit if it weren't for Wade Phillips. Good old Mr. Turkey Neck was at it again, eschewing a 4th-and-1 to kick a long field goal, and asking a tight end to block one of the top pass-rushers in the league.
After the game, Mr. Turkey Neck had a funny exchange with a reporter at his press conference:
Reporter: "Why did you try a 48-yard field goal on a 4th-and-1 when Shaun Suisham struggled from that distance all year?"
**Wade Phillips looks confused.**
Wade Phillips: "What?"
Reporter: "He struggled from that distance all year."
Wade Phillips: "That's not true..."
**Wade Phillips looks even more confused.**
Wade Phillips: "He made a 44-yarder earlier this year...???"
Wow. Just wow. I can't believe I bet on this moron in a playoff game. Hey Wade, SUISHAM HIT A 48-YARD FIELD GOAL LAST WEEK! THANKS FOR PAYING ATTENTION!
Other gems from Wobbling Wade on Sunday:
"We'll be all right."
"We throw an interception, we miss a field goal, I think we were playing pretty good."
"We went into desperation mode, Tony was running for his life most of the time."
Desperation Mode, eh?
Arizona Cardinals (11-7) - Previously: #3 - Awesome Kelly in Arizona sent me a towel from the Cardinals-Packers game, so I decided to root for Arizona this weekend. Unfortunately for me and my five units, the Cards were debaclized.
To cheer me up, time for Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I read on NFL.com's new crappy GameCenter and my thoughts on them:
1. "Hey der U Phenix Cardinals fans (oops, fergot da "o" agin)...ya had yer chance LAST YEER...but now y'all DREW da BREEzE...and "no way" CARnIvALS R gonna beat a CHARGERS QB (past or present)...ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...Go Drew Breese -and- GO CHARGERS! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !.....};>"
What are the odds that this guy is one of the Nate Kaeding Wikipedia vandals? 1:10,000? 1:50,000?
2. "BUT HEY SAINTS FAN JUS DON HAV NIGHTMAREA ABT WARE TOO MUCH LMAO"
Don't worry, he won't. He'll be having nightmares about your spelling instead.
3. "HERE COME MASON"
HERE COME MAN WHO SPEAKINGED LIKE EMMITT
Run Defenses: Yards per carry (YPC) allowed to running backs is the best way to determine a defense's strength against the run, as opposed to rushing yards per game.
Pass Defenses: Yards Per Attempt (YPA) is the best tool to measure a defense's effectiveness versus the pass: