I’m not trying to troll for hits. I’m not anti-Green Bay. I’m not pro-Seattle. I’m just a man who watches sports and then writes my opinions for the masses to reflect upon. It’s what I do. So what I saw last night was a Green Bay Packers team who got flat out dominated by a good Seahawks team. Absolutely crushed. I believe the old addage goes something like, “You do not win or lose games based off of one individual play.” If that addage is true, then the last play of the game was merely to ensure the right team got credited for the win. Which I believe is what happened. Blame the refs all you want. Incorrectly blame Roger Goodell all you’d like. That’s not going to change anything. The Green Bay Packers are 1-2 while the Seattle Seahawks are 2-1. Point to the last play all you’d like, but those records accurately refect the teams who possess them. Bill Parcels would be proud. Blaming the officials for anything takes away from everything else that happened last night.
Both of these teams are a pleasant surprise through the first two weeks of 2012. The Falcons have looked liked the team everyone thought they could be in 2011 while you could easily say the same about the Chargers. Oh well. Better late than never I suppose. While both teams come into Week 3 with undefeated 2-0 marks, someone is going to leave San Diego with a blemish on their record. This is the Chargers last game before they face the Broncos in Week 6 so they better enjoy this home cooking while they still have it. The Falcons are coming off of an impressive win at home against the same Broncos while they look to go 3-0 against the AFC West throughout their first three games (kind of strange scheduling, no?). Regardless, this is an interesting matchup between two teams who no one expected to start off this hot. Which team will continue their unbeaten streak while the other tastes bitter defeat for the first time this season? Who knows! Maybe everyone will be happy and they will tie. (What are we? ESPN all of a sudden?)
With the Lions coming off of a tough loss against the 49ers, and the Titans coming off of a drubbing by the San Diego Chargers, this is the definition of a bounceback week for both teams. Only problem is, the Lions already have a win in 2012 while the Titans remain winless heading into Week 3. Does that mean much? No, probably not. I’ll tell you right now, the Lions are winning this football game. Calvin Johnson Madden curse or not, the Lions will beat the Titans. The Titans have looked horrible through the first two weeks of the young season while the Lions have looked bad but not as bad as Tennessee. After two disappointing performances by both teams to start the season, something has to give in this Week 3 matchup, so how will the Lions do it?
Coaching, contrary to popular belief, is important. Don’t believe me? Check the Saints 0-2 record to start 2012. No Sean Payton = No wins. It’s been that simple. Romeo Crennel, as solid of a coach as he may be, is also off to a 0-2 start which has left some scratching their heads. They haven’t had the toughest of starts schedule wise yet they come into Week 3 winless heading into a likely hostile Superdome in New Orleans. Unlike the Jets-Dolphins game I just previewed, I actually believe this has the potential to be a phenomenal game. Why? Two teams fighting for their first win of the season. 0-3 is a death sentence. You enter Week 4 without a win on your resume’ you might as well start watching college games to figure out who you’re drafting in 2013. The writing is on the wall for this to be a high scoring matchup between the NFC South and AFC West basement dwellers. So, which team gets their first victory of 2012?
The Jets are about as unstable as unstable comes. The Dolphins are slightly more stable with worse players. Currently, the AFC East is a four way tie with all four teams currently 1-1. The Bills, however, can take a seat in last place after they were stomped out in Week 1 by these New York Jets. This is a tough game to call. It’s supposed to be raining which you think would be an advantage for the Dolphins because Reggie Bush has been playing like a top two pick ever since he got to Miami but the Jets do still have Shonn Green and Tim Tebow. Neither defense really wows me and neither team’s passing attack is anything to write home about so this game is as hard as possible for me to call. So, let’s wing it. I’m too tired to try to make this game funny. Also, this game won’t be funny. It will likely be sad. Mainly because one of these teams will likely get a win after it is played.
Major markets are the life force of any sport. Their ticket sales, jersey sales, and tv revenue alone are what make the sport flourish. If it weren’t for the Yankees, who are beloved in the Bronx and despised throughout the rest of the nation, the MLB would probably crumble. You can say that about most sports. The major markets are what keep the individual sport afloat. Save football which could have a Browns dynasty carry the league for a decade if necessary. Now that’s not to say the Yankees must win it all each and every year in order for the sport to make money. But there is pressure for the Bombers to stay relevant in order to keep their fan base’s attention throughout 162 game season. With 87 wins, the Yankees find themselves in first place as of September 22 and that is good for the foundation of the MLB. But for a Red Sox fan like myself, what am I to do? I cannot switch teams because that’s what clowns do but I love baseball too much to the point where I must wish success upon someone. Do I want the Yankees to win their 28th World Series? Of course not. What kind of a masochist would I be if that was my desire? This is where small market teams come into play. And in 2012, there are plenty to feel good about nationwide. That is a beautiful thing for baseball.
WHAT THE FUCK IS UP MOTHAFUCKASSSS! That’s right! You know it was a good weekend when the hype man comes out with the cap locks blazing in a curse laden misspelled for affect salutations! It’s your boy Coley Michalik AKA the Aaron Hernandez of TSHQ. No assholes it doesn’t mean that short jackass Bryan Doherty took me out from behind. It means I do everything around here. I’m the human swiss army knife. Basketball, baseball, football, hell, I even wrote a hockey article the other day. You know who writes hockey articles? NO ONE! CAUSE IT’S NOT EVEN A SPORT ANYMORE! But if it was, you bet your ass we’d be making money off of it. That’s what we do. We judge talent across the board and then rake in cash because of it. Any sport. Any time. Anywhere. Any amount. It’s a gift really. But we’re not selfish over here at the Sexy Six. Think about it. Why else would we do what we do? To keep track of our winnings? That’s what our Scrooge McDuck-esque swimming pools filled with green backs are for. We’re here to provide a service to you guys. Sure, we may bust your balls but it’s because you don’t fully trust us for some reason. We’ve never led you astray. Let us help you. Don’t fight it. I know, I know. It seems too good to be true. But it’s time to face facts. We give you six games a week, pick the hell out of them, and then tell you how well we did before we do it again. It’s only a vicious cycle if you’re not listening to us. So without further ado, I proudly present the best in the business K.M. Venne and Bryan Doherty with Week 4s picks. I hope for your sake you open your eyes and pay attention.
(Bryan’s Editorial Note: While I am far from concerned about my abilities to rebound I refuse to link myself with K.M Venne at this moment while my picks against the spread follow the same curve path as my GPA. )
Past Week’s Performance:
I have a 100% serious question that I need an answer to immediately. How long does it take for someone to shake an image of being a bust? A year? Two years? More? How long until people stop being surprised with your output on the field and start taking you seriously in the NFL? Because I know Alex Smith still gets dogged despite a quality 2011 and so far a solid 2012. But how long is Reggie Bush going to be seen as someone who was only good in college? Because that’s about as big of a myth as the whole “icing the kicker” strategy I spoke about in my earlier preview. Since this game sucked about as much as I figured it would (Sadly Terrell Prior did not start like he would have if I played the Raiders in Madden), I’m just going to tell you score then go into full Reggie Bush mode for about 800 words or so. If you hate Reggie Bush, then it’s probably a good idea to stay tuned to see how foolish you have been. The Dolphins won 35-13 for the five of you who cared but not enough to watch the game.
Coaching staffs don’t get nearly enough credit. In fact, neither do referees. In fact, neither do most artists up until they are no longer with us. It’s strange how we don’t appreciate something until it is gone. Luckily for the Saints, Sean Payton will eventually come back and coach again. Sadly, that will not be any time soon and the Saints may end up paying the same price for Bountygate that the New England Patriots ended up paying for Spygate: a lost season. After Spygate, the Patriots missed the playoffs. Sure, that had everything to do with Bernard Pollard and his personal vendetta against the Patriots, but 2008 ended up being a lost season nonetheless for the Pats. 2012, so far, has shapen up to be an absolute debacle for the bountyless Saints as lost to the Panthers in Carolina on Sunday.
I’m going to say some things in this recap that are going to piss Patriots’ fans off. I’m going to say some things in this recap that are going to piss Cardinals’ fans off. I’ll probably say some things that will piss me off at the end of the year, possibly even tomorrow when I re-read myself and think, “What the hell was I talking about?” But I don’t care. It’s been two games since the biggest upset of the weekend and I’m much calmer and level headed than I was Sunday. Believe you me, if I had wrote this Sunday it would be all over the place and barely coherent. I promise this will be slightly more coherent and try to keep as much bias out of this as possible. Because I am a Patriots’ fan. Have been my entire life. I don’t hide behind that and I won’t make excuses. Before the final sentence of this intro, I’ll say this: the New England Patriots didNOTwin the AFC Championship Game last season; the Baltimore RavensLOSTit. In a similar regard, the Arizona Cardinals did not win Sunday’s game. The Patriots lost it.
Let’s get the major excuse out of the way first. Aaron Hernandez got hurt on the Patriots second play from scrimmage and will likely be out til late-October at the earliest with a low ankle sprain. Why Tom Brady led the game off with two passes to Julian Edelmen is beyond the realm of logic, but it happened and ended catastrophically bad both times (Darnell Dockett tip turned into Patrick Peterson interception while the Edelmen screen almost ended the Patriots Super Bowl aspirations). Did Hernandez leaving the game mean the Patriots were done? Absolutely not. Hernandez does a shit ton for this team, I’ll be the first to admit. Since he is considered a tight end, I would say he is the third best tight end in the league. Other than Rob Gronkowski (we’ll get to him later), I’d only put Jimmy Graham ahead of him. You’d rather have Vernon Davis? Cool, take him. You’d rather have Jermichael Finley? Great, have a ball. Even if you want to argue they’re ahead of him on your little list, I’dLOVEto hear your argument as to how they’re significantly better. Because they’re not. There are two top dogs at the position and everyone else comes after. I know who I’d take third, and not having him certainly didn’t help. But, it wasn’t why the Patriots lost.