I knew I was playing with fire last week. It all started on Thursday night when my friend, Lisandra, graciously offered me tickets to the Raider/Charger game. The seats were fantastic- 50 yard line, 12 rows from the Charger bench. Thanks again, Lisandra!! The only problem was I had San Diego in a 3-team parlay and I was surrounded by a raucous Raider mob. I was relegated to watching the 4th quarter (after missing most of the game due to horrible traffic) in silence. Thank God San Diego didn’t win that game. I probably wouldn’t be able to write this post. Did I learn my lesson? No!!
I lost $50 at a friend’s poker game on Friday night. I was feeling down and then the other foot dropped. My beloved Eagles lost to Arizona prompting me to dress in black and take a long walk along the highway. Who loses to Arizona? Who is John Skelton? WTF, Eagles?!!! I took me 3 days to get over that lost all with the help of a hilarious Doritos commercial, directing by none other than Ricky Herrera. Nice job, Ricky!! Check it out
Last week, I went 2-2 further cementing residence at the Mendoza line. This week is a bit unpredictable, so beware.
Before we get to the picks, l’d like to take a moment to address Ms. Demi Moore.
Ms. Demi Moore, I know you’re heart-broken due to your recent divorce. It’s hard, I know. You know what you need right now? A hug! Have you met my cousin, Alex? He can give you that hug. He’s had a crush on you since Indecent Proposal.
Last week: 2-2
BUFFALO at MIAMI (2.5): Well, well, well, look who has decided to win some games. Andy Goldenberg’s Dolphins have seemingly played themselves out of the Luck sweepstakes, which befuddles Andy. Sure he proudly wears his crisp Dolphins jacket, but he silently wishes for this 2-game winning streak to end. The Dolphins have looked impressive the last couple of weeks and are playing complete games. Matt Moore has held the reigns at QB while, Reggie Bush is finally establishing himself as the featured back for the ‘Fins. In the last 3 games, he is averaging 104.3 overall yards, keeping opposing defenses honest against the run.
Buffalo is on a tailspin and their playoff hopes may crash this week in Miami. Since Ryan Fitzpatrick contract extension, the Bills are playing more like the Bills of old than the 2011 Bills. Maybe Defenses have caught up to them? Eric Wood, their most dominant OL, is out for the year with a torn ACL and Stevie Johnson has been limited the past 3 weeks with injuries. Last week’s crushing defeat at the hands of Dallas, put them in 3rd place in the tight AFC East. Kudos to Buffalo WR, David Nelson, for his TD celebration of hugging his girlfriend, a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, last Sunday. Well played, sir! You took that one out of the ole TSS playbook. The onus is on Buffalo to win this game and mount another push towards the playoffs. TSS PICKS: BUFFALO
OAKLAND (-1) at MINNESOTA: If I didn’t know who was in first place in the AFC West, I knew after attending the Raider/Chargers game in San Diego. The Raiders have been an up-and-down team and following their last game, they might be on the rise again. Carson Palmer has ignited the Raider offense with breath-taking passes to Denarius Moore. Michael Bush has clearly filled in for an injured Darren McFadden and Richard Seymour continues to anchor the vaulted Raider D.
On offense, the Vikings lone bright star is Adrian Peterson, who like Larry Fitzgerald, wishes he hadn’t sign his contract extension before the start of the season. Don’t get me wrong, AP has delivered day in and day out. It’s a shame the Vikings receiving corps is not talented enough to help AP. Jared Allen, quietly making a push for the single season sack record, should have a field day with the Raider O-line. At the end, the Raider attack of feeding Bush will soften the Vikings Defense, which will allow Carson Palmer to score on the air. TSS PICKS: OAKLAND
CAROLINA @ DETROIT (-7): Most people think this week’s SF/AZ game will be this week’s trap game. I beg to differ. The Carolina/Detroit game has the makings of the trap game. I see my ugly ducklings of 2010, the Lions, thinking ahead to next week’s Thanksgiving Day game against Green Bay. After their old-school beat down by the Bears last week, the Lions need to be patient when running the ball. The run opens up the pass and Stafford is relying heavily on Calvin Johnson. No bueno, Matthew!
Carolina is coming off a beat down last week as well from the Paul Giamatti’s (Tennessee Titans). Defenses are definitely catching up to Cam Newton as he has played less than stellar the last couple of weeks. Cam, whenever you’re in trouble, look towards Steve Smith or run (in that particular order, please). TRAP GAME!!!! TSS UPSET PICK OF THE WEEK: CAROLINA
Side note: Whatever the line is on the GB/Detroit game, I’m taking Detroit next week.
DALLAS (-8) at WASHINGTON: Look who’s suddenly contending for the NFC East title!! The Cowboys are on a little 2-game winning streak and head to Washington for what’s seems like Washington’s swan song. Both Dallas and the NY Giants can eliminate Washington and Philadelphia’s respective push towards playoff contention with a win this week; I fully expect DeMarco Murray, the pride of Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas) and the University of Oklahoma, to have another 100-yard game. DeMarcus Ware, like Minnesota’s Allen, will continue to chase the single-season sack record against a lackluster Redskins’ line. He should add to his sack total since over the past 5 games, Washington’s Offensive Coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, has called been calling pass plays an astounding 75% of the time!! Who does this?! Who does he think is under center- Aaron Rodgers?! Have a little faith in Roy Helu, bud! It looks like Rex Grossman, Jimmy Guidish’s least favorite Bear of all-time, will be under center. Tony Romo and the Cowboys will march all over the Redskins comfortably this week. TSS PICKS: DALLAS
SAN DIEGO at CHICAGO (-4): As previously mentioned, yours truly attended the Raiders/Chargers game last Thursday night. I saw something that many ESPN analysts saw after the game. San Diego WR, Vincent Jackson, quit on a long pass play to him during the 4th quarter. I was flabbergasted as to why some of his caliber would quit while his team was making a comeback in a pivotal divisional game!! You know what I think? I think the team has quit on Phillip Rivers and Norv Turner. I saw it with my own 2 eyes! The body language says it all!
Oh man, Jimmy Guidish is on cloud nine right now! His Bears are riding a season high 4 game winning streak. Is it coincidental that the winning streak started after I mocked the Bears O-line?! If Michael Bush ran at will against the Chargers last week, then expect Matt Forte, the Bears’ MVP, to run wild all over that weak Charger line. The pride of Vanderbilt, Jay Cutler and Earl Bennett, are finally re-building their rapport from their playing days at Vandy. Look for the Bears D to create a handful of turnovers and at some point, the San Diego special team will foolishly kick to Devin Hester. TSS PICKS: CHICAGO
PHILADELPHIA at NY GIANTS (-3.5): My good friend, Kara Cahill, and Paul Barajas, I wish both of you best of luck this week. Your NY Giants have the opportunity to put a stake through all of Philadelphia with a win on Sunday night. To say that I’m extremely nervous about this game is an understatement. Let’s hope the game is competitive and no one gets injured. Let’s show the world what the NFC EAST is about!!!!
To my fellow Eagles fan, what can Andy Reid say to this team that I’m sure he has tried? I’ve never publicly second-guessed Andy, but after last week’s defeat, I would’ve used Coach Harris’ speech to the Alpha Betas. You know the one I’m talking about. In the movie, Revenge of the Nerds, Coach Harris, played by John Goodman, gives this speech after his football team, comprised of the Alpha Beta fraternity, loses the Carnival Games and Skit Competition to everyone’s lovable fraternity, Lambda Lamda Lamda (the Nerds). Best line (at the 20-second mark): “You just got your asses whipped, by a bunch of God damn nerds! NEEERRRDDS!!
Going back to the game, if the ship is going down, then I’m going down with it. Disclaimer: I’m making this pick as a homer and I don’t blame anyone who picks the Giants. Here’s my case for the Giants. Eli Manning is playing extraordinarily well. He’s making Victor Cruz and the rest of the previously unknown WRs into viable fantasy football players. The Giants’ D is stellar yet again. This team is a complete package.
The only arguments I have for picking the Eagles are they play to their competition and they always seem to bounce back from a head-scratching loss. That’s all of got. TSS PICKS: PHILADELPHIA
In closing, it’s very apparent there will be no NBA season. Fellow sports lovers, I urge to support your local park and rec teams. Boston readers, support FC Tufts’ Level II Trauma as they make their annual run towards the indoor soccer playoffs. Texas readers, support your local high school football teams. Los Angeles readers, support your LA Galaxy as they try to win the MLS Cup this weekend. For all you basketball lovers, I shall ask for your continuous support as soon as the NBA hires replacement players.
You can call me a scab all you want; I’ll do it for the love of the game. What’s on my basketball resume, you ask? I’m the 1994-1995 Mr. 100% Award Winner of the Frosh basketball team at Daniel Murphy High School! BAM!!!
Stepping down my soapbox…