Friday, September 16, 2005

Week 2: The rebound 

Exciting times abound. Well, not really. But things are going okay. Can't complain with it being Friday.

- New Battlestar Galactica tonight, that's awesome.

- A brilliant series being cooked up by my Team Lower Gatsby cohorts and myself. I won't mention it any further for irrational fear of a hex, but hopefully there'll be a screening to announce for next weekend. With that in mind, I'll have to remember, later, to share the legend of a man named, "Fudge."

- Keeping busy at the workplace this week. That's new. I like it the change of pace.

- Saw Green Street Hooligans last Friday. I have to say, I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I'll be the first to admit that some parts of the script are very weak and poorly executed. For example, just about every scene between Elijah Wood and Claire Forlani (who, by the way, looks every bit ten years removed from doing Mallrats... still hot, though) flat-lined horribly. It's the film's quieter moments which are it's downfall. With that in mind, GSH can be easily forgiven because it's intent is not to be soft at all. It excels greatly at depicting that football hooligan lifestyle in every aspect. The fighting, the drinking, the camaraderie, the lawlessness, the rush, the rivalry and tactics amongst firms -- everything is spot on. Fortunately, this fills about 85% of the movie. A big thank you to Dougie Brimson for making that happen as I can only assume he was the one primarily responsible for giving GSH it's authenticity. Good performance from Wood in spite of sometimes dodgy dialogue. I didn't care at all for the throughline of the Bover character and the voice over is completely unnecessary, but I dig this movie regardless. Perhaps it's because I brought so much into it beforehand, but worth seeing in my opinion. Some surprisingly accurate and graphic violence, too. I don't think the weight of the fights would've come through as clearly if not for their extreme, yet accurate nature.

- One college football item for the weekend. Lots of big games happening, but keep an eye on Purdue visiting my Arizona Wildcats. I'm not saying it'll definitely happen, but this is underachieving, perhaps overrated Purdue heading to Tucson to face an improved, young, hungry squad lead by an ambitious coach in Mike Stoops. UofA could come away with the surprise win. If it happens, you heard it here first. Also, I like Clemson upsetting Miami, UCLA overcoming Oklahoma in Pasadena, and Florida beating Tennessee.

- Okay, now for the meat of it. This Sunday I get healthy after a dreadful opening weekend. It's shocking how many teams in the NFC that were thought to have aspirations of going far in the playoffs and perhaps to the Superbowl are in danger of getting off to an 0-2 start. Let's list them: Philadelphia, Carolina, Minnesota, St. Louis, Seattle. Yipes! 0-2 should be considered a kiss of death. It's not impossible to overcome, but only three teams in history have ever reached the Superbowl after losing their first two games of the year. The percentage of 0-2 teams that make the playoffs is by no means favorable, either. But the NFC is virtually a free-for-all this season. Who knows what'll happen.

Winners in bold, (BB)= three best bets

Baltimore at Tennessee - Anthony Wright is starting at QB for the Ravens. I like them anyway.

Buffalo at Tampa Bay - Two teams on the rise. Tampa looked good after last week and I like their hot, muggy homefield advantage to slow the Bills down. J.P. Losman isn't ready for Tampa's defense.

Detroit at Chicago - At this point, you should just be picking against Chicago every week. Barring a Joey Harrington meltdown, the Lions walk comfortably in this one.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis - Danger! Danger! Don't sleep on Jacksonville! The Jags came away from Indy with a victory last season. This could be the game of the week. Still, it's tough to pick against Peyton at home. Colts in a close one.

Minnesota at Cincinnati - The Vikings showed me last week that they are nowhere close to pre-season expectations. Their backfield is a mess and they lack a go-to playmaker. If the Bengals get an early lead, this one could get ugly in a hurry. (BB)

New England at Carolina - Two weeks ago, this could've been a preview of the Superbowl. Unfortunately for Carolina, defensive tackle Kris Jenkins is injured for the season. There goes their run defense. Patriots knock a tough, but rattled Panthers team down to 0-2.

Pittsburgh at Houston - Ben Roethlisberger is listed as questionable. Doesn't matter. If third string-turned-starter running back Willie Parker puts up even half the numbers he did against Tennessee last week, the Steelers should win comfortably once again. (BB)

San Francisco at Philadelphia - The 49ers have never lost in Philadelphia ever. Donovan McNabb is playing hurt. Recipe for an upset? Only if you're betting against the spread. Eagles are just better.

Atlanta at Seattle - Vegas has this one listed as a "pick 'em." I tend to think the Falcons should be favored. All they have to do is key in on Shaun Alexander and they're set.

St. Louis at Arizona - A tough game to call, but I'll take the upset. Not because I have faith in the Cardinals, but because this is St. Louis on the road, playing on grass. We'll see if Kurt Warner can show up at least one of his former teams. Expect a shootout in this one.

Cleveland at Green Bay - The Packers are in for a loooooong season now that Javon Walker has been lost for the year. However, they still have enough to beat Cleveland. The Browns are just that bad and Brett Favre just does not have consecutive bad games.

Miami at N.Y. Jets - Both teams surprised last week for different reasons. I expect NY to rebound from last week's whooping they took at Kansas City and win a tight one against a game Miami squad who is feeling very confident after dismantling Denver last Sunday. Speaking of the Broncos...

San Diego at Denver - San Diego hasn't won in Denver in forever, but the Broncos are a team on a serious decline. Chargers look to assert dominance in the running game and monopolize the clock, keeping mistake-prone Jake Plummer and the offense off the field. SD gets Antonio Gates back this week, too.

Kansas City at Oakland - This is actually a really tough game to pick and I feel kind of bad that I'm siding with the enemy on this one. After all, it is a bitter bitter bitter rivarly game and Oakland is home. However, I'm just assuming right now that the Raider defense can't stop anyone until they prove otherwise.

Monday, Sep. 19
N.Y. Giants at New Orleans - Don't forget, the Saints are playing this home game in New York! Yeah! That's fair! I know it's wrong to pick against America's team, but I feel like all the time away from any sort of comfortable environment may catch up to them finally. Seriously, though, neither of these teams are particularly good. Who do you go with? The winner gets a big lift by starting 2-0.

Washington at Dallas - The Cowboys are winning this one by at least two touchdowns. The Redskins have no direction on offense and the defense will only be able to hold out so long. Plus I think Dallas has won the last ten or so in this series. (BB)

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?