Friday, September 27, 2013

NFL: Three Hail Marys - Week 4

by Seán Coffey

My name is Seán Coffey and I am a drug addict. It just happens to be that my drug of choice is being a die hard 49ers fan.

Aside from ripping off Steve Austin promos, at times I can live or die based on the result of Niners' games. Last weekend in the NFL was one of the worst, for both the Niners and myself, in recent memory.

San Francisco made all the wrong calls except the obvious bread and butter choice in giving the ball to Frank Gore on one drive for our only score of the game.

Seán Coffey (Ed's Note: Oooh, third person wanker) made all the wrong calls except the obvious bread and butter choice of Peyton Manning against the Raiders, my only correct prediction of the weekend. Like Jim Harbaugh being unable to take much satisfaction from the one drive that went well, I can’t say a whole lot for predicting an obvious Raiders loss. 

With nothing clicking against the Colts on Sunday, it’s back to the drawing board and tape for the Niners... and that’s exactly what I’m going to do to to find out where the hell it all went wrong!

Prediction: Packers (-3.0) over Bengals

Actual score: Packers 30 - Bengals 34

Not only did Green Bay not cover, they blew a 16 point lead and lost the game! I correctly predicted a good running game for the Packers and they had a 100 yard rusher in Johnathon Franklin, but he had to leave the game with an injury along with starting running back James Stark (not to mention rookie RB Eddie Lacy, who was injured last week) AND tight end Jermichael Finley. Clay Matthews also had a hamstring injury, so I’m willing to put this one down to injuries, but that is taking away from the fact that this Bengals team (one collapse away from 3-0) may actually be a very good team. If you’re a Packer, you have to be worried that the offense only converted 4-13 on third downs thus forcing their D to keep them in the game. If those drives were extended, Green Bay would've won the game. The Packers may not be the offensive juggernaut that they once were. 

Even though it was on the road, I forgive myself for this. 

New Rule: Never go against a good team at home, take the points advantage.

Prediction: Vikings (-6.5) over Browns

Neither can we bro, neither can we.

Actual Score: Browns 31 - Vikings 27

What in the flying fuck happened here?! Seriously! A Browns team, hell bent on tanking, on the road, not only cover but win?! This really takes a Big Show-like dump on the London game this Sunday when the Vikings meet another 0-3 team in the Steelers.  (Interesting/depressing note: Of the 4 teams playing in London this year, they have one victory between them. ONE!) AP only had 88 yards on 25 carries... against Cleveland!

Peterson’s longest run was 9 yards... Christian Ponder had 14. Ponder ran the ball 5 times for 46 yards. He is the only QB in the league to have two rushing TDs in the same game. We’re getting closer to AP questions being raised... but we all think that big game is coming. The difference? The Browns were fearless Sunday. They scored a TD off a fake field goal attempt. They got a 34 yard run out of a fake punt. They're finally playing like the rest of the world sees them: that they simply don’t matter. 

New Rule: This game defied all rules! If there had to be one, never take a 6.5 favorite with only one star player... a running back who is yet to run for 100 yards. But never back Cleveland on the basis that it’s Cleveland.

Prediction: Falcons (+1.0) over Dolphins

Actual Score: Falcons 23 - Dolphins 27

As you can see, I’ve done pretty poorly thus far, and here's yet another comeback killing my bet and credibility! (Ed's Note: it's all good, if you were credible and won bets you'd be a terrible fit for this website) This time Ryan Tannenhill is the hero, putting the Dolphins ahead with 38 seconds left. And it’s now that we realize that this 3-0 Dolphins could be the real deal. Could be. Tannenhill had a slightly better game than Ryan, going 24/35 for 235 yards compared to Ryan’s 23/28 for 231 yards. The Dolphins are putting points on the board, scoring at least 20 in each game thus far. Atlanta are 1-2, it's too early to say they are collapsing. But they are typical Falcons, blowing late games, like they did against the Saints in Week 1. They were up 20-10 at one stage. Like the Bengals, it may be time to step up and notice the Dolphins. I made the mistake of going with Atlanta, even though I acknowledge their lack of running game due to Steven Jackson getting injured.

New Rule: Never go against a team with a better record that are practically even in the bookies.

Prediction: Bucs (+7.0) over Patriots

Actual Score: Bucs 3 - Patriots 23

Fuck off Seán

If Mini Me was a Patriots receiver, the Golden Boy could still find the pass to him

New Rule: Never go against the Pats at home, especially against a winless team. Never go against Belichick who always manages to cover up the Pats flaws, especially after they had 10 days to prepare!! Never go against Mr. Brady. Never refer to him again as Mr. Brady. And never go with a QB who has been as piss poor as Josh Freeman has this season! He has now been benched for this Sunday’s game.

There’s the overused saying in football that anything can happen on ‘Any Given Sunday’. I’ve gotten greedy with the 5 Picks, so I’m narrowing it down to just three picks a week for now.

This Weekend's 3 Hail Marys

Note: You bet I’m going with the Niners (-3.0) over the Rams tonight!


After last week’s game, the QB jogs on to the pitch, fresh with a new game plan an in good field position. He looks over at the sideline for advice from his coach before heading into the huddle. Clear eyes...

Bears (+3.0) over LIONS

I like this Bears team. They are showing something that the Chicago teams of recent years have not: an ability to get it done on offense. They are still a powerhouse on defense, creating multiple turnovers against the lowly Steelers last week. Nate Burleson is out for the Lions, he's had more receptions this year so far than Megatron. To soften the blow, though, Reggie Bush is back after missing last week due to a knee injury. It’ll be interesting to see his number of carries against this D. With Burleson out, Stafford is going to hope other WRs step up as you have to believe the Bears will have a game plan in place for Calvin Johnson. Any miscommunication at all between Stafford and his receivers could turn into a pick 6. The Bears have won 9-10 previous match ups. It could be close, that’s why I’m taking the points.

Seahawks (-2.5) over TEXANS

This is a huge game for both teams in my opinion. Texans were hammered by the Ravens 30-9, lucky against the Chargers and beat the Titans in OT. The Seahawks meet their first big road challenge. It’s games like this that will go a long way in trying to get home field advantage to the Superbowl, if Seattle can win them that is. Seahawks' D have forced 10 turnovers this year and have stepped up big time! Russell Wilson has 6 TDS with only 2 INTs thus far. While in Houston, Arian Foster is arguably not even their best running back anymore. He's had 49 carries for 190 yards while Ben Tate is on 184 yards with just 27 carries. Andre Johnson is yet to get a TD this year and is day-to-day after getting a concussion in Titans game. While Schaub has 6 TDs, he also has 4 INTs which is not good going against this Seattle defense.

CHIEFS (-4.0) over Giants

Kansas City have the best turnover differential and sacks in the league. Eli Manning has 8 INTs in 3 games. The Chiefs are 3-0. The Giants are 0-3. The Chiefs are at home. The Giants were shut out by the Panthers. The Chiefs have had 10 days to prepare. Giants have had 6 days to get over the Panthers game. One Chiefs weakness is that Alex Smith has taken 10 sacks thus far this year. Giants are joint worst in the league, recording only 3 sacks this year. However, the Giants have this:

As for last week’s record, ahem, 1-4, damn you everyone!

Happy Football People... Hopefully!

Sean Coffey (formerly Angry Andy) is a former pro-wrestler, turned radio host/podcaster, turned sports gambling addict. He's a die-hard San Francisco 49ers and Miami Heat fan, is dying hard being a Villa fan this season and his favourite film is also, unsurprisingly, Die Hard. Follow him on Twitter @Coffey_23.

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