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.
New England Patriots (2-0) - Previously: #1 - Tom Brady is on pace to throw for 7,520 yards and 56 touchdowns this year. I've discovered the secret to his success, and I'll reveal it in my Week 3 NFL Picks section.
For now, an exchange between Jim Nantz and Phil Simms during the Patriots-Chargers telecast (thanks to Facebook friend Steve L. for this):
Nantz: There's Rob Gronkowski, what do they call him?
Simms: I don't know.
No wonder Chris Simms sucked.
Green Bay Packers (2-0) - Previously: #2 - The Packers surrendered the all-time rookie passing yardage mark to Cam Newton on Sunday. I think there are issues with this defense - especially with Nick Collins out for the year - but Aaron Rodgers doesn't seem to believe so. In the post-game press conference, he admitted that he was relieved to play Carolina this early, since it'll be scary once Cam Newton figures things out. He also said he was impressed with Newton about a billion times.
Remember when every single NFL Draft analyst thought Newton really didn't deserve the No. 1 pick? I'd make fun of Mel Kiper, Mike Mayock and the Sun Tan Man, but I wrote this gem of Carolina's selection of Newton:
[Newton] is not pro-ready at all either, which is a concern. Running a Looney Tunes offense at Auburn for one year did not prepare him for the NFL whatsoever.
Whoops. Looks like everyone was wrong. More evidence that the NFL Draft is a complete crapshoot.
New Orleans Saints (1-1) - Previously: #4 - That stupid yard the Saints couldn't get last week could decide homefield advantage in the playoffs. If so, that's terrible news for New Orleans because I don't see them winning at Lambeau in January.
At any rate, let's go to Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I read on NFL.com's GameCenter and my thoughts on them:
1. "YOU GUYS BETTER PREY AND HOPE WE DONT SEE YOU GUYS AGAIN IN THE PLAYOFFS"
You better "prey" and hope that your English teacher doesn't give you a pop quiz this week.
2. "the ravens are too ham told people that flacco was holdin back for week1 but chuck has not boy he is lettin them fly go Raven! "
So "ham" means "good" in GameCenter slang. Can I presume that "green egg" means "bad?"
3. "steelers stoel the todd heep thing when ben throws to the tight end"
Forget Tony Gonzalez, Shannon Sharpe and Mark Bavaro. Throwing the ball originated when Kyle Boller and Joe Flacco threw to Todd "Heep" - and the damn Steelers stoel their idea!
New York Jets (2-0) - Previously: #6 - Poor Luke McCown. Thirty years from now, he'll still be having nightmares about his team's 32-3 loss against the Jets.
I feel sorry for his wife too. She'll have to hear Luke mumble the following in his sleep for the next 50 or so years, "No... NO... No Darrelle Revis... don't intercept... don't intercept... my passes... my passes too weak... and inaccurate... REVIS!!! AHHH!!! REVIS!!! NOOOOO!!! SHUT UP JASON HILL!!! DON'T PROVOKE... DON'T PROVOKE REVIS!!!"
Baltimore Ravens (1-1) - Previously: #3 - I'm beginning to notice a pattern. Last year, the Ravens upset an AFC Championship participant in Week 1 and went on to suffer an upset on the road against the crappy Bengals the following game. This year, the Ravens essentially upset an AFC Championship participant in Week 1 and went on to suffer an upset on the road against the crappy Titans the following game.
Note to Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and the rest of the Ravens: Don't celebrate a Week 1 shocking victory by drinking heavily, having sex with hookers and snorting coke. Focus on your Week 2 game next time.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) - Previously: #8 - Here's something interesting I discovered after Facebook friend Kyle A. told me that he bet the Titans because the Ravens were coming off a victory against the Steelers. Kyle believed that Baltimore had an abysmal record after defeating Pittsburgh.
I looked it up, and it's not entirely true. The Ravens' spread record in this situation is 3-5, though they are 1-4 if they have to play on the road. The intriguing part is a similar trend that applies to all teams:
All teams are 17-35 against the spread after beating the Steelers since 2001.
Isn't that nuts? I'd make a joke about Ben Roethlisberger raping his opponents into submission, but that's silly. He wasn't around before 2004.
First of all, I've always hated these commercials. I despise the song, and the theme is stupid. I don't know many women who like football enough to wear football gear to begin with, and those who do are proud to simply own several jerseys. They're not going to wear that crap, even if Milano models it well.
Second, where the hell did Milano go? This ad was at least somewhat bearable because we got to see her at the end. Now, they've replaced her with some short black woman with a lesbian haircut. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) - Previously: #7 - QB Dog Killer has now made 14 starts with the Eagles. In his first seven starts, he had only one turnover. In the next seven starts, he's had 12 turnovers (seven interceptions, five fumbles).
Atlanta Falcons (1-1) - Previously: #9 - Speaking of Philadelphia's quarterback, Facebook friend Dave P. brought up a great point:
I'm baffled by the fact that Falcons fans are celebrating Mike Vick with signs like "we miss you." All he did in Atlanta was not earn his contract by not working hard, then he disgraced them with the dogfighting scandal. He also lied about dogfighting to the Falcons owner and Roger Goodell.
I have a strong feeling that things will end poorly in Philadelphia as well.
Detroit Lions (2-0) - Previously: #10 - I'll move up the Lions soon. Beating the crappy Chiefs doesn't count.
By the way, I really think Jamaal Charles' injury really epitomized how much Detroit has improved. The team is so tough that even the mascot is taking out the opponent's best player.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3 - Bottom 10
32. Seattle Seahawks (0-2) - Previously: #32 - The score may not show it, but the Seahawks were oh, so close to pulling the upset over the Steelers. They would have done so if Tarvaris Jackson didn't suck, and if the offensive line could actually block, and if Marshawn Lynch had running lanes, and if the defensive line could pressure the quarterback, and if the secondary could stop Mike Wallace. Seattle was THIS close.
31. Indianapolis Colts (0-2) - Previously: #30 - Beloved GameCenter poster Taton, an avid Colts fan, hasn't posted anything in three weeks. Here was the last thing he wrote on GameCenter:
coach Cadwell never learn from his mistake oh well Colts wont be good if Colts keep Cadwell
Perhaps Taton should coach the Colts instead of "Cadwell." Against the Browns, Indianapolis challenged a stupid 2-yard completion on 2nd-and-9. They won the review to put Cleveland in a 3rd-and-9 instead of a 3rd-and-7. Unfortunately, "Cadwell's" strategy failed, as Colt McCoy converted the first down on the next play anyway.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) - Previously: #29 - Through two games, the Chiefs have 10 points and nine turnovers. Thank you @kranzicans for that stat.
By the way, for any Kansas City fan angry that Detroit ran up the score Sunday, please forgive Matthew Stafford and company. The Lions simply have never maintained a huge lead in the fourth quarter before, and they had no idea that it's frowned upon to keep throwing the ball.
29. Cleveland Browns (1-1) - Previously: #31 - I'm going to b**** and moan about the Browns covering the 2.5 at Indianapolis in my Week 3 NFL Picks, so here are more Notes from NFL.com GameCenter:
1. "I'M WORRIED ABOUT TOO MANY TACKLES MISS THE DEFENSE"
If ESPN hired Yoda, I'm pretty sure he would say something like this.
2. "2 bad teams going at it ... unfortinitly for NFC West I bet the only games that matters is the games vs Devision and eveything eles is so-so OVer-all"
I bet your parents wish your spelling was "so-so Over-all." That would be a huge improvement.
3. "be honest Packers and Panthers fans would i be better with Driver or Steve Smith at my line up"
You want honesty? You're a complete dumba** to go to NFL.com GameCenter for fantasy advice.
28. Minnesota Vikings (0-2) - Previously: #21 - I can't believe the Buccaneers came back and won. I gave up on my Tampa +2.5 zero-unit play.
It was really dreadful for the Bucs in the first half. They couldn't do anything. During the early games, forum member Hyperborean and I had a brief exchange:
Hyperborean: What's happening in Minnesota, other than the Bucs sucking?
Me: Bucs really sucking.
27. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) - Previously: #26 - E-mailer Harris M. alerted me that Rotoworld had the following blurb on Tony Romo following Dallas' victory over San Francisco:
Anyone questioning Romo's ability in late game situations needs to rethink their stance after tonight's comeback.
Ah, yes. Because a game against the crappy 49ers in which the Cowboys were favored should define someone's ability to perform in the clutch.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) - Previously: #20 - Idiot Jags receiver Jason Hill talked trash this past week, calling the Jets and Darrelle Revis "overhyped." The kicker is that Hill didn't even play against New York on Sunday. Since he didn't get to back up his words on the field, I called him up for an interview:
ME: Hey Jason, thanks for joining me. You know I have to ask. Do you still feel like the Jets are overhyped?
HILL: Yes! The Jets are f***ing trash. Darrelle Revis is f***ing trash. New York is overhyped!
ME: Really? After that 32-3 drilling?
HILL: That's only because I didn't play. The Jets are f***ing trash.
ME: I just don't get how you can talk trash and not play. Have you no shame?
HILL: I don't need shame because Revis is overhyped and f***ing trash.
ME: Well, I have a surprise for you, Jason. I have Darrelle Revis here with me!
REVIS: What's up, Jason?
HILL: Is that really you, Darrelle?
REVIS: Yes, it is. I hear you've been calling me and my team overhyped.
HILL: No! No... No! I swear, Darrelle! I haven't said anything of the sort! All lies!
REVIS: I just heard you say that I'm "f***ing trash!"
HILL: Please, Darrelle! Please, oh God! I didn't mean it! I was joking!
REVIS: It didn't sound like you were joking to me.
HILL: Darrelle, I beg you! I didn't mean to say it! I yield! Yield, I say! Yield! Please have mercy!
REVIS: Fine, fine. Whatever.
HILL: Oh, thank you, Darrelle! You are too kind! Too kind!
REVIS: Whatever, man. I'm going out to lunch. Thanks for having me on, Walt.
ME: No problem, Darrelle. See ya later. All right, Jason. Darrelle's gone, so we can end this interview.
HILL: Good! Because Darrelle Revis overhyped and f***ing trash!
ME: How'd I know you were going to say that?
25. Miami Dolphins (0-2) - Previously: #23 - One of the announcers on the CBS broadcast team had the following to say about the crowd at the Dolphins-Texans game:
It's so hot on the field that there are more fans on the sidelines than there are in the seats!
Guess all of this B-list celebs aren't selling tickets, eh? Somewhere out there, Celebrity Man just had a stroke reading that comment.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) - Previously: #24 - Andy Dalton was really impressive at Denver. Sure, he was playing a crappy Bronco defense missing Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil, but he looks like he could be really good in a year or two.
At any rate, here's a recap of the Giants-Rams game:
1. Despite losing 28-16, the Rams outgained the Giants by 61 yards. Sometimes yardage stats are misleading, but this one is not. St. Louis should have had the lead against New York, particularly in the first half. The problem was that the Rams kept making costly errors:
- Greg Salas muffed a punt in the first quarter, which led to a Hakeem Nicks touchdown.
- Sam Bradford threw a backward pass to Cadillac Williams, who dropped the ball. Cadillac didn't recognize that it was a lateral, opting to just stand around while New York linebacker Michael Boley scooped the ball up and ran 65 yards for a touchdown. As this happened, I posted the following in the forum:
What the ****, same ****ing bull**** as last week.
- The Rams had three possessions inside the Giants' 7-yard line in the first half, including a first-and-goal at the 1, yet they couldn't score a single touchdown. No one was able to get open.
- The second half of this contest featured countless drops by the St. Louis wideouts. Everyone had a hand in it, but Billy Bajema and Greg Salas were guilty of key drops in the fourth quarter that could have moved the chains on third down. Danario Amexander (3-122, TD) and Mike Sims-Walker (6-92) put together nice statistical games, but had issues getting open all night.
2. Bradford (22-46, 331 yards, TD) looked really comfortable in the up-tempo no-huddle offense in the first half. It was so effective that on one play, two New York defenders faked injuries to stop the action. I don't know why the Giants weren't penalized or a charged a timeout. This was one of many botched calls by the refs in what was a horribly officiated game.
The purpose of bringing up the no-huddle offense is that the Rams inexplicably went away from it. I have no idea why they did that. They had the Giants on their heels. It's like Josh McDaniels outsmarted himself.
3. The Giants were able to run the ball at will against the Rams, as Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs and D.J. Ware totaled 131 rushing yards on 34 carries. On the first drive, I posted the following on the forum, "Just run the ball, Giants." It was working so well there was no need to air it out. Coincidentally, Eli Manning tossed a pick on the next play. I replied to my own post:
Way to not listen to me, a**holes.
4. As for Manning, he was definitely better than last week, going 18-of-29 for 200 yards, two touchdowns and that pick. He still didn't look comfortable with his receivers though. This will be an issue against the Eagles and their elite cornerbacks, especially if Mario Manningham can't play coming off a concussion.
5. Facebook friend Steve T. posted the following on my wall:
For all you fantasy buffs out there: be sure to add Greg Salas in your points-per-dropped-receptions leagues!
23. Denver Broncos (1-1) - Previously: #27 - Of all the teams in these power rankings, I had the toughest time placing the Broncos. Their 24-22 victory over the Bengals was obviously unimpressive, but Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumervil and Brandon Lloyd were all out, and John Fox had to use Tim Tebow at receiver because he ran out of wideouts. At least that kept the fans from booing.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. San Diego Chargers (1-1). Previously: #11
12. Dallas Cowboys (1-1). Previously: #12
13. Houston Texans (2-0). Previously: #13
14. Washington Redskins (2-0). Previously: #14
15. New York Giants (1-1). Previously: #15
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1). Previously: #16
17. Buffalo Bills (2-0). Previously: #19
18. Oakland Raiders (1-1). Previously: #17
19. Arizona Cardinals (1-1). Previously: #18
20. Tennessee Titans (1-1). Previously: #28
21. Carolina Panthers (0-2). Previously: #25
22. St. Louis Rams (0-2). Previously: #22
Run Defenses, Pass Defense, Pass Protection:
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links: