WHY THE TEXANS SHOULDN’T SELECT JADEVEON CLOWNEY #1 OVERALL

Let’s go down memory lane for a moment. The Texans had this very pick in 2006 and it came with a ton of pressure, as it usually does. Everyone was aware that Vince Young was the most versatile quarterback in the draft and fans wanted to see an actual Texan lead the, still relatively new, franchise with the hopes of the next Michael Vick. Pre-Draft mock experts had Reggie Bush going number one to the Texans, pretty much all across the board. To everyone’s surprise, the Texans talked with Mario Williams and signed him on the night before the draft making him, not Bush, the number one overall pick. Going into the 2006 draft, the Texans needed a ton of help on both sides of the ball which they balanced out with the use of the rest of their picks. They used their first two picks on defense picking up Williams and DeMeco Ryans (2nd round, 33rd overall) and their next five picks on offense (OT – Charles Spenser 3/65, OT – Eric Winston 3/66, TE – Owen Daniels 4/98, RB – Wali Lundy 6/170, and WR – David Anderson 7/251).

Combine Results

40 Yd Dash

3 Cone Drill

225 Bench Press

Broad Jump

Vertical Jump

Mario Williams – 6’7” 295 lbs

4.66

7.21

35 Reps

10’

40 ½”

 

One reason Vince Young wasn’t really on their radar was due to the fact that they still saw major potential with David Carr whom they drafted number one overall back in 2002 but had struggled staying upright being the highest sacked quarterback three of his first four pro years. However, he showed the Texans enough to get another full year of starts before not being resigned in favor of the Texans getting Matt Schaub. The Texans even drafted two offensive tackles to help protect Carr, but he eventually played horribly in other areas. Needless to say, the 2006 Texans had four different rookies start eight games and lead their respected position, while finishing 6-10. Williams had a great start and produced solid numbers over his time with the Texans (averaging 40.16 tackles and 8.83 sacks each year and could’ve been more if he didn’t miss 14 games his final 2 years). The point is, he was also a can’t miss pick, at defensive end, but it didn’t help them win a Super Bowl. Even though Vince Young isn’t employed by the NFL at this point, it doesn’t mean he couldn’t have flourished with Andre Johnson either.

Fast forward eight years and the Texans find themselves in a similar spot come May 8th. This draft seems similar, however on different circumstances this time around, the Texans have the distinct opportunity to select the top college prospect (in their eyes) of this year’s draft. It is an exciting time for any team that holds this pick each and every year but with this pick comes ultimate scrutiny from the beloved owner(s), writers and fans. At the forefront of this year’s draft is Jadeveon Clowney, who after his pro-day, is the can’t miss number one pick for any team in the Texans position, according to mock draft experts. There is just one thing, this year is also packed of NFL talent at the quarterback position as well, which the Texans also need. After the Schaub/Keenum experiment last year, the Texans could really use a new franchise quarterback more than another defensive end that could have the same impact as JJ Watt has on the other end. On the forefront of the needs board, the Texans have three quarterbacks, to which no one really is considers as a true franchise quarterback, and five defensive ends.

The one thing that every team needs to win and on a consistent level, is a consistent quarterback with good size. Bill O’Brien has had that in his coaching career since 2006 (Tom Brady in New England, Matt McGloin and Christian Hackenberg at Penn State). Having Bortles could continue that trend and allow O’Brien to keep the style of offense that has helped make him one of the top offensive minds in football. Taking on Clowney would mean that they would have to scheme defensive plays to make him effective since they also have Watt rushing hard on the other end as well. Their Romeo Crennel defense is a make-up of mostly 3-4 mixed with some 4-3. In his 3-4, the lineman are to draw double teams so that blitzing linebackers don’t get tangled up with offensive lineman. Does that type of defense sound good for a light on his feet, quick and explosive defensive end like Clowney? I think not. In fact, game films show Clowney against double teams all throughout his senior year and he was tossed around and not very effective.

The video below is of the Missouri game in which Clowney played poorly throughout only having 4 solo and 1 assisted tackles as well as a deflection in a two overtime game. Props to whom ever made this montage highlighting every play he was on the field for. You can visibly see some good things but on most plays he isn’t putting much effort in, peeling off of chasing the backs, going 10 yards deep in the back field and if he doesn’t get the edge he lets up. In fact he was mostly blown off of the line of scrimmage where as his other team mates took on double teams as well and were more effective in staying on the line.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb-8ePTyOnQ

Top Quarterback Prospects Combine or Pro Day workouts:

 

40 Yd Dash

3 Cone Drill

Broad Jump

Vertical Jump

Blake Bortles – 6’5” 232 lbs

4.93

7.08

9’7”

32 ½”

Tajh Boyd – 6’1” 222 lbs

4.84

7.33

8’10”

30 ½”

Teddy Bridgewater – 6’2” 214 lbs

**4.79

7.17

9’5”

30”

Derek Carr – 6’2” 214 lbs

4.69

9’2”

34 ½”

Johnny Manziel – 6’0” 207 lbs

4.68

6.75

9’5”

31 ½”

**Denotes 40 yd dash was a result from pro day

The Texans are faced with a tough issue at hand with the number one pick overall. Need one, get Clowney and fill a pass rushing need on one of the leagues worse defenses. Need two, improve on the quarterback position which is also a huge need and pick up a defensive end later in the draft with either picks acquired in a trade down or with their second round pick. Huge issues stand in the way of Clowney and the Texans. Numerous experts and former pro athletes who all study the tapes say that the commitment isn’t there. Warren Sapp was recently quoted as saying, “My grandfather taught me something a long time ago. He said ‘You will never get more money by doing less work,’” Sapp said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I look at Jadeveon Clowney’s [game] tape and I don’t see a guy that is playing the game with his hair on fire, making plays, running up and down the field sideline to sideline, doing all of the things.”  That’s not something you want to hear as a team with that number one pick looking to possibly draft Clowney.  Merrill Hodge recently was picking apart his game as recent as his senior year, stating that his technique is flawed, looks like he lacks desire and has limited moves as a defensive end with really only having a good swim move.

Tedy Bruschi has stated that he loves Clowney and sees no reason as to why he shouldn’t be number one.  That was mere moments after Clowney finished his pro day.  First off, pro days are over-rated in some ways and this is due to the fact that it is all schedule and rehearsed.  These players spend weeks and months working out, getting stronger and faster for the combine, doing the same combine drills over and over to get the technique down and to improve for the combine.  After the combine, it’s off to working on areas of your game that you need to improve on to show NFL scouts on your pro day and individual private workouts afterwards, that you are ready to be “their guy”.  Players hook up with a training coach and come up with 50-70 drills/plays to best show off their talents.  Let me reiterate, it’s planned, rehearsed, practiced over and over and over against bags, against no defenses really pressuring them, against upright bags not blocking or applying pressure on them.  Not to knock Tedy Bruschi and his knowledge and experience but why get excited about that?  I would want to see this guy blow by actual players and avoid blockers and pass rushers by moving around in the pocket in that moment and see how they all deal with the similar pressures they will face in a game.  Don’t put too many eggs in the basket of someone’s awesome pro day, put your eggs in the decision on not wanting to pick a guy who was rattled in his pro day like Teddy Bridgewater.  How do you mess up a planned workout?  They say nerves; his nervousness of his pro day and he got rattled?  What happens when you select him and he chokes under NFL pressure?

Enough of that rant, let’s look at scenarios for the Texans.

The Texans have a huge advantage by hanging that first pick over the heads of the rest of the league. A very possible scenario is that the Texans don’t want to play against Clowney if they do pass on him and choose either Khalil Mack or Bortles with the first pick. A team just out of the top five, sitting at number six is the Atlanta Falcons who could use a pass rusher in the worse way. The Browns have been heard to like a wide receiver or quarterback at the number four spot which it’s predicted that Manziel or Sammy Watson will go there, so the Browns will not want to trade up to select either of those players first since they will be there by pick four anyways. Oakland at number five is not in need of a quarterback since they had picked up Matt Schaub and will be looking to bring him pieces to the aerial attack like Sammy Watkins or go defense to go along with newly added Lamarr Woodley and Justin Tuck, if Mack is available. If the Texans can trade down out of the top five and still be in front of the Vikings at eight, they would take Bortles and force the Vikings to take Bridgewater, whose stock has been tarnished with his so-so pro day.

The Texans have a high demand pick for a high demand player in Clowney which they could easily scoop up a ton of early round picks in a trade down scenario to which they could also scoop up Bortles, who experts say is a Bill O’Brien type of guy. If they take Bortles first overall or are able to trade out of the top five with Atlanta, to hope he is there at six, he will more than likely sit behind Ryan Fitzpatrick and either take over later in the season if there are struggles or sit pretty much the whole year and develop to take over in 2015. With their second round pick or if they trade for other picks, they can easily find a decent defensive end in this draft to help on the other side of the line with JJ Watt. That defensive end could be Dee Ford who posted a better 3 cone drill, 225 bench and similar 40 yard dash, broad jump and vertical jump as Clowney. I see the next two years going the same way, if not better for O’Brien, like his two years at Penn State, if Bortles is picked. O’Brien had to deal with a previously under-performing team with an inadequate armed quarterback in McGloin (who doesn’t have great zip on the ball) and had his ideal quarterback (Hackenberg) arrive a year later playing very well as a freshman. Bortles has the NFL frame and arm to get the job done especially with the revamped receiving core and the still dangerous backfield.

Top Defensive End Prospects Combine or Pro Day workouts:

 

40 Yd Dash

3 Cone Drill

225 Bench Press

Broad Jump

Vertical Jump

Jadeveon Clowney – 6’5” 266 lbs

4.53

7.27

21 Reps

10’4”

37 ½”

*Dee Ford – 6’2” 244 lbs

4.59

7.07

29 Reps

10’4”

35 ½”

Kony Ealy – 6’4” 273 lbs

4.92

6.83

22 Reps

9’6”

31”

Scott Crichton – 6’3” 273 lbs

4.84

7.19

24 Reps

9’

31 ½”

Kareem Martin – 6’6” 272 lbs

4.72

7.20

22 Reps

10’9”

35 ½”

*Denotes Pro Day workout (did not attend combine)

Can you name more dominant defensive players that are attributed to winning their teams multiple Super Bowls than quarterbacks? What you may realize is really what the Texans should do with that first pick. Mark my words, the Texans will be contending for a Super Bowl in the coming years and could quite possibly be the next New England Patriots with Blake Bortles as “their guy”.

Week 15 Recap

Well last week ATS I had a losing record, but if you took all of my picks, you more than likely lost just the juice depending on the bets you made, 7-8-1. Some real surprises were obviously the Eagles against the Vikings and the Cowboys against the Packers. The. Eagles just kept giving the Vikings great field position all game long off the kick offs.  How many times did they think Patterson was going to return a kick for a score in the snow?  The fact that they kept doing it and only making the Vikings play on a 60-70 yard field was crazy.  2 completions could easily put them in the red zone.

I was torn on the Bengals and Lions because they are young teams and aren’t mentally focused enough to finish the season strong. Obviously the Lions have never been in the lead of the NFC North, they’ve never been there, they don’t know how to start applying pressure to the necks of the other teams and solidify the top spot. Who would’ve thought that the Vikings offense would show up like that, let alone the 3rd string RB Matt Asiata for 3 scores.

The other games that sort of caught me off guard was the Seahawks and Giants, I definitely didn’t expect the Giants to get shutout. The Redskins and Falcons game, I knew Kirk Cousins would play well but never thought he would keep them that close in the game. Even though they covered and hit the over, I didn’t think the Raiders would score 31 but when you score on huge plays and often, when you get the ball back that many times, you’re bound to score that many points. Obviously I thought the Broncos were going to go perfect at home as they have been all year, Rivers and the Bolts showed up to play which was a fear of mine. The Jets played better than I expected on the road but the game luckily/unfortunately ended in a push.  Lastly, the Ravens/Lions game.  You mean to tell me that you hold a team to only field goals and still can’t win?  That in itself is enough said!  Congrats to Tucker on being the only kicker in NFL history to hit from 20, 30, 40, 50 & 60 yards in a game.

However, call me a genius on these beauties, Dolphins over the Pats, Bills over the Jags, Colts over the Texans, and the Rams over the Saints. Listen, I have bet against the Dolphins at home too many times this year and got burnt. They’ve played well after opening the season on a horrible losing skid and the Pats were without Gronk. The Jags were without some top offensive players and even though put up ok numbers for this game, but the Jags play terribly at home usually. The Colts were due for a win and it couldn’t have come at a better time than the worst team in the NFL than the Texans. And lastly, the Saints are not the same on the road and the Rams have played very well against good teams at home.

It just goes to show you how hard it is to bet on the NFL, especially with the sort of odds the Sharks put on the games. It’s almost as if they set you up by making some games “must bet on games” and then the outcome is completely the other way. Then you have those games that are a point off, super close, comes down to the last play in the 4th quarter.

You have to watch the trends and ride them because more often than not, they pay out more than you pay in. Some of those trends include, Patriots at home, Broncos at home, Broncos in the over, Ravens home games in the under, against the Patriots on the road. Things like that. Most websites have the most recent trend information like that available for you to use for free.

Look out for my next blog, hopefully tomorrow, with my Thursday game picks and the rest of week 16 analysis and picks.

Cheers!

Week 15 Sunday and Monday Spread, Totals, Picks, Scores and Analysis

Welcome back for the rest of my week 15 predictions.  Sorry it’s a little late for I was making my way back from Camden, NJ yesterday in the snow storm, took a few hours to drive back.  Anyways, enough with the excuses, here are my pick s and quick analysis.

Bills @ Jaguars (Jags +3, O/U 42.5) – Both teams are sitting at 4-9 however the Jags have turned it around in the last few weeks.  The Jags are terrible at home and seem to can’t really score in front of their own fans, 1-5 ATS.  The Jags are dealing with numerous offensive weapons out for Sunday (Shorts III, Blackmon, Forsett, Jones-Drew).  Considering the fact that Shorts didn’t really have much to do with last week’s win and it was MJD’s show, and now he most likely will be out, Take the BILLS and the UNDER, Bills 21 – Jags 9.

Patriots @ Dolphins (Fins -1.5, O/U 46) – The Fins are 3-3 ATS at home and the Pats are 3-3 ATS on the road.  After starting the season 0-4 ATS, the Fins are 5-1 ATS since and 4-0 ATS in the last 4 games.  Look for the Fins to continue that trend and cover by winning at home against the Pats.  The passing game for the Fins is starting to come along.  Thannehill will have Mike Wallace most likely matched up on Aqib Talib who is dealing with a hip injury and the Pats are missing their top receiver from the past 5 week, Rob Gronkowski.  Brady and the Pats usually find a way to win without top players but look for the Fins to put up a fight.  Take the DOLPHINS in the UNDER, Pats 20 – Fins 24.

Texans @ Colts (Colts -4, O/U 47) – Both of these teams starting the season with higher hopes than where they are at right now.  The Colts have been up and down all season, not really putting together a good string of games or show consistency since losing Reggie Wayne early in the season.  The Texans couldn’t shake a bad start and have ended up with an abysmal 2-11 record but in 8 of the 11 loses, they have been within a touchdown or less of their opponent.  Keenum is under center for the rest of the year but after looking shaky against the Jags defense last week, I don’t see an improvement this week.  Take the COLTS in the UNDER, Texans 17 – Colts 27.

Eagles @ Vikings (Vikings +6.5, O/U 53) – The Eagles come into this game on a nice win out in what seemed to be a blizzard last week.  The more amazing stat from last week was not the win but the point total.  Virtually abandoning the passing game in the second half, the run game led by Shady McCoy, rushed for 217 yards in that blizzard.  The Vikings are coming off a tough loss to the Ravens last week and a close one even without Peterson for much of the game.  Vikings are a little banged up on the defensive side of the ball and the Eagles defense seems to get better every week.  Take the EAGLES in the OVER, Eagles 42 – Vikings 17.

Redskins @ Falcons (Falcons -6, O/U 50) – Without RGIII, look for the Redskins offense to resurge under the helm of Cousins, but don’t expect them to win.  While the fresh blood of Cousins will spark some points, the team is torn with all of the uncertainty their franchise QB has for their coach Shanahan.  The team seems to have lost some faith in their coach and only will put up some limited sparks with a 100% healthy QB in Cousins.  The Falcons have been inconsistent all season however the offense has shown flashes of what it used to be the past few years and against a down and out Redskins and being at home, look for the Falcons to play well.  Take the FALCONS and the UNDER, Redskins 17 – Falcons 31.

49ers @ Buccaneers (Buccs +5, O/U 41) – The Buccs have been under-rated with Glennon as their QB and has really matured as the season has come along.  Even though their playoff hopes are gone, they would love to play spoiler to a team who is on the verge of locking up a spot and make it tougher for the 49ers to secure a wild card spot.  The Buccs defense hasn’t been what it used to be in the early 90’s but has promise.  Kaepernick has shown to be shaky when under pressure at times this year and his play directly affects how the 49ers play.  Look for a lower scoring game if the Buccs can pressure Kaepernick but look for the 49ers to squeak away with a win.  Take the BUCCS and the UNDER, 49ers 20 – Buccs 17.

Bears @ Browns (Browns +1, O/U 44) – This one should be a gimme figuring the Bears giving just a point.  Cutler will be back under center and will look refreshed.  The Bears under McCown have played well and have kept themselves alive being 7-6 with the Lions who have the tie breaker with the Bears.  The Browns have been in a tail spin on offense after losing Hoyer but played really well in New England and even came away with a win, thanks mostly to their defense.  The surging Bears will be too much on offense and defense to deal with.  Take the BEARS and the UNDER, Bears 27 – Browns 13.

Seahawks @ Giants (Giants +7.5, O/U 42) – This one will shock people.  The Seahawks seem to struggle at times, on the road especially going from West Coast to East Coast.  The Giants are tired of being called pushovers and have played better as of late going 5-2 in their last 7 games after starting the season 0-6.  With Jason Pierre-Paul being out, Justin Tuck has stepped up getting 7 sacks over the past 3 games.  Tuck has stated this week that they don’t want to be embarrassed by the Seahawks and so will be clawing all game long to keep the Seahawks offense grounded.  The Seahawks have shown that even with some key highlights out on defense, they have the depth to make up for it.  They have 28 takeaways, tied for 1st in the NFL while the Giants have the NFL’s most turnovers with 34, much of that from the 0-6 start.  This game is important for the Seahawks to wrap up the NFC West so it is a must win for them for the road to the Super Bowl to come through Seattle.  Take the GIANTS and the UNDER, Seahawks 20 – Giants 17.

Jets @ Panthers (Panthers -10, O/U 41) – Where do you start on this one?  The Jets have played much better at home than on the road and that usually is the given for a rookie QB but on the road, it hasn’t really even been close for the Jets.  The Jets are just 1-5 on the road and 1-5 ATS on the road.  The Panthers have been covering machines lately, going 8-2 in the last 10 games with covering 7 of those 8 wins and missing the win against the Fins by just .5.  Watch for the Panthers to pour more gasonline on the dumpster fire that is the Jets on the road.  Take the PANTHERS and the UNDER, Jets 13 – Panthers 24.

Chiefs @ Raiders (Raiders +5, O/U 41) – Hello Chiefs offense.  The last 3 games have been fun to watch but the Chiefs are only 1-2 in those 3 games.  Their offense has kept them in the games and look for them to keep rolling on top of the Raiders this week.  Alex Smith has come to life and the offense looks on point and in mid-season form, getting ready for a nice playoff run.  The Raiders have been reeling since losing Terrelle Pryor and a little of that spark in the offense has gone with it. Matt McGloin has done a nice job as a fill in and not bad as an undrafted free agent rookie but he’s no super star but has put up respectable numbers (88.7 QB Rating, 957 Yards, 6 TD’s, 3 INT’s).  Take the Chiefs and the OVER, Chiefs 38 – Raiders 17.

Cardinals @ Titans (Titans +2.5, O/U 43) – The cards have shown up these last few weeks and their ATS record shows it, 9-4 (4-0 in the last 4 games).  However, the Cards have to travel cross country to face the Titans and road teams usually struggle to put up enough points to have a big win.  The Titans defense has seen some tough offenses in the last few weeks, having to deal with the Broncos last week.  The Titans offense still hasn’t really had any consistency and even in the running game, the Cards get the edge.  Take the CARDS and the UNDER, Cards 20 – Titans 17.

Packers @ Cowboys (Cowboys -6.5, O/U 49.5) – The Cowboys at home are 5-1 and are 4-2 ATS.  The Packers are 1-3-1 without Rodgers under center and have looked terrible in the passing game.  Eddie Lacy is the reason they are not 0-5-0 in those games and once Rodgers comes back, this offense will look explosive.  Until then, stay away from the Packers.  Flynn had a decent game last week which they actually won but against the Falcons who have proven to be disappointing and had not lived up to their preseason hype, and the Pack barely won that game.  The Cowboys and Romo are looking to shake the December story lines and how they can’t win.  This is a must win for the Boys and will need a win to build momentum towards next week and the playoffs later on.  Take the COWBOYS in the UNDER, Packers, 20 – Cowboys 28.

Saints @ Rams (Rams +6, O/U 47.5)People still get excited about the Saints even when they are on the road but the numbers don’t lie.  Saints are 1-5 ATS on the road.  The Rams are only 3-3 ATS at home but have shown some fight against some really good teams in their dome especially the amazing week 8 win against the Seahawks.  Even without Bradford, Clemmens has shined for the Rams.  Expect the Rams defense to show up and keep this one as the Saints flounder on the road again.  Take the RAMS in the OVER.  Saints 24 – Rams 28.

Bengals @ Steelers (Steelers +1.5, O/U 43) – Bengals may be perfect at home but are only 3-4 on the road.  With the last road game of the year, they are looking to take a series sweep against the Steelers.  The Steelers can’t seem to put things together this year being 5-8 overall.  ATS the Bengals are 8-4-1 while the Steelers are just 6-7.  I would expect the Bengals defense to pressure Big Ben all game long and the Bengals offense to put up some decent yards through the air.  Take the BENGALS in the OVER.  Bengals 31 – Steelers 24.

Ravens @ Lions (Lions -6.5, O/U 50)The Lions are at home this week, thawed off and ready to battle.  Expect the Lions defense to dominate with their huge defensive front led by Ndamuhong Suh.  Both teams enter the contest 6-7 ATS, but 7-6 overall.  Ravens are 1-5 on the road while the Lions are 4-2 at home, however the Lions are 3-3 ATS at home and the Ravens are 2-4 ATS on the road.  The Ravens offense won’t keep up with the Lions high powered Offense, especially with explosive Reggie Bush expected to be back in action.  Take the LIONS in the OVER but barely, Ravens 23 – Lions 30.

Sorry almost all of these picks are in late, been dealing with the snow/ice storm that hit.  These are my honest to God picks and as you can see, some are incorrect with the scores.  I will make sure to get them in by Friday.  You still have the Bengals and Lions to take, so good luck!

Look for my recap on Tuesday.

For Those Only Looking For My NFL Thoughts…

For now, here are my thoughts on the Thursday game:

Thursday 12/12/13

Chargers @ Broncos

Covers.com

Covers.com is a site I use to check lines and trends since they do polls of the users of the site as well as 12 “expert” odds makers and how they feel the game will go with the given lines.  They also have a little write up and prediction at the end of every games preview.  Also included on this site for every game is individual and team stats, as well as injuries and previous 10 games of each team and previous 10 meetings of the two teams.  This site gives you a lot of information to use and it’s all free!

Covers.com says: Broncos 37 – Chargers 27 in the Over

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report shows the Odds Shark computer prediction for every game which runs thousands of simulation models to come up with an estimated guess based on facts and factors for the game.  Bleacher Report gives you the computers scores and then gives you their predictions against or with the computers outcome, so you’re really getting two predictions.

Odds Shark says:  38.2 – 27.9 Broncos Victory in the Over

Bleacher Report says:  San Diego will have to play one of its best games of the year to hang with the Broncos. Rivers has been absolutely great, and Chargers head coach Mike McCoy might have some insight as to how to slow down Manning and Co. But Denver has proven it can cover big numbers. Give the points with the Broncos, and pay attention to the OVER trends below as well.

My Predictions

Listen, I lost out on this game the first time around, I won’t do that again!  I took the BRONCOS on the points and the OVER back in early November and lost out because they scored under 56 only totaling 48 points.  Out of the Broncos 13 games so far this year, 2 games have scored under the point total, back to back weeks but first being against the Chargers.  They were the first real test for Peyton and his Broncos, making the highlight reels feature the other team as well and actually keeping the game within reach for the Chargers.  Broncos still covered but barely.  This week it’s Denver, in the cold again, but Manning put to rest the accusations that he doesn’t play well in the cold and wouldn’t play well in Denver come crunch time, late in the season and through the playoffs. Broncos are -10 with an over/under of 55.5. 

I say stay away from the spread as I think it could go either way but definitely take the OVER 55.5 as the Broncos have this unreal offense and listen, Denver has covered the points or came within 7 of the total by themselves alone in 3 of 7 home games this year, and 4 of 13 overall.  In the NFL, that means you are scary good!  I want to say, with the Broncos being at home, they will want to end the last regular season home game for its fans on a high scoring note, not to mention the excitement of having their coach John Fox back on the sidelines.  He missed his first game after open heart surgery in week 10 when they played the Chargers and makes his first game return against them…coincidence?

Broncos 45 – Chargers 31

Trends:

  • Broncos cover or come within 7 of the points total by themselves in 3 of 7 home games
  • Broncos have beaten the Chargers four straight overall
  • Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS past seven games at Denver
  • Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS in the past seven games as road underdogs
  • OVER is 12-2-1 past 15 games when Chargers are road underdogs
  • OVER is 10-1-1 past 12 Broncos home games
  • OVER is 8-0-1 past nine times Broncos home as double-digit favorites
  • Chargers Pass/Overall Defense entering this week are both 28th in the NFL
  • Broncos Pass/Overall Defense entering this week are 29th/25th in the NFL
  • Chargers Pass/Overall Offense and Points entering this week are 4th/4th/11th in the NFL
  • Broncos Pass/Overall Offense and Points entering this week are all 1st in the NFL
  • Manning has recorded 11 games with 300+ passing yards this season, tying Tom Brady for the 2nd most in NFL history
  • Chargers WR Keenan Allen has 61 catches (a franchise record for a rookie) for 902 yards, 5 TD’s
  • The Broncos need to score 75 points in their final 3 games to break the NFL record of 589 total season points set by the Patriots in 2007.  They average 39.6 points per game so far this year

The rest of the NFL games (lines only), spreads are for the home team.

Redskins @ Falcons -6.5   O/U 51

49ers @ Buccaneers +5   O/U 41

Seahawks @ Giants +7   O/U 41

Bears @ Browns -1   O/U 45

Texans @ Colts -5.5   O/U 45.5

Bills @ Jaguars +2   O/U 43

Patriots @ Dolphins +2.5   O/U 45.5

Eagles @ Vikings +4.5   O/U 51

Chiefs @ Raiders +4   O/U 41

Jets @ Panthers -11   O/U 40.5

Packers @ Cowboys -7   O/U 48.5

Saints @ Rams +5.5   O/U 47

Cardinals @ Titans +2.5   O/U 41.5

Bengals @ Steelers +3   O/U 40.5

Ravens @ Lions -6   O/U 48

Check back before Sunday for the rest of My NFL week 15 write ups, I will have updated Lines, picks, analysis using all of the up to date injury information.

Musings & Week 15 Thursday Game

Welcome back readers!  Today I will be discussing how my fantasy football teams did this past week and who I have starting this week, and a quick preview of all week 15 NFL action as well as spread, over/under analysis and predictions using the lines from Covers.com.  I will also give my reaction Bleacher Report’s week 15 predictions.  I cut out the Fan Duel conversation and saved that for a topic for next week.

I run in just in 2 leagues, only because more would be too much work to have to update constantly on my type of schedule.  One is in one of my buddies’ league with a gentlemen’s wager of $20 per team.  This past week was the start of the playoffs for this league.  I came into the playoffs like Seattle a few years back, I was 6-7 but on a current 2 game slide.  I had to face a team with Peyton Manning (31 points), Antonio Brown (19 points), Andre Johnson (15 points), and the Chiefs Defense (27 points).  To say the least, it was a tough game.  However, I had a team worthy of being competitive but just couldn’t match up with the stats of my opponent, Drew Brees (28 points), Desean Jackson (11 points), Chris Johnson (8 points), and Jason Witten (7 points).  Now those players mentioned as the highlights on my team were actually outscored by my kicker (all but Brees), Phil Dawson (16 points), who was signed Sunday, around 3 pm, as a last minute acquisition because I forgot to start my actual kicker Mason Crosby.  Nevertheless, my team ultimately lost 118-80 and was booted from the playoffs.

My other league, I am the commissioner of.  This league consists of a few newbies to fantasy football or guys who only have a season or two under their belts.  Again, gentlemen’s wager of just $10.  I have dominated this league, going 8-0 to open the season but limped to my first week bye going 2-3 in the last 5 weeks.  This week is my bye but heading in to my first playoff matchup, this will be my starting lineup for next week:

QB Drew Brees/WR Vincent Jackson/WR Demarius Thomas/RB Pierre Thomas/RB Jamaal Charles/TE Tony Gonzalez/WR-TE-RB Dwayne Bowe/K Garrett Hartley/DEF Seattle Seahawks

Now here is when I’m just supposed to brag about how I picked some of these guys up in lopsided trade with a newbie or picked a couple of these guys up off the free agents waiver wire and hit big.  No.  I drafted every one of my starters and this is why having a strong draft will carry you through your season and the playoffs.  From what I’ve noticed in fantasy football, not many people are willing to trade because you play just about everyone at some point in the season.  I must applaud my good buddy Josh in the $20 league he runs, he traded me Drew Brees and Chris Johnson for Marcus Colston and Adrian Peterson (trade happened around week 4 or so).  I saw that as a fair trade and one that I thought would benefit me in the long run since Brees puts up crazy numbers and the Vikings offense has been hot and cold through the first couple of weeks this season.  Nevertheless, he made it past the first round (and picked up McCown just before the week started to which he scored him 38 points, Peterson got hurt and only scored him 1 point but had Shady McCoy which scored him 33 points to which McCown/McCoy accounted for 71 of his winning 104 points this past week against a team that only scored 78 points, so yeah…) and I didn’t.

I didn’t have as strong of a draft as my other league but was also playing against some smarter fantasy players who all drafted well.  Through the season I was in that waiver wires hunt every week, trying to catch the next couple week starter that busts out for 20-30 quick points.  Live by the draft, die by the draft.  Do your homework, have a strong draft and make smart moves/trades.

Now, on to my week 15 analysis and picks.  I will be going into depth on Sunday’s and Monday’s games later this week for analysis.  I will put the lines up now so you know where they are at least starting Wednesday.

For now, here are my thoughts on the Thursday game:

Thursday 12/12/13

Chargers @ Broncos

Covers.com

Covers.com is a site I use to check lines and trends since they do polls of the users of the site as well as 12 “expert” odds makers and how they feel the game will go with the given lines.  They also have a little write up and prediction at the end of every games preview.  Also included on this site for every game is individual and team stats, as well as injuries and previous 10 games of each team and previous 10 meetings of the two teams.  This site gives you a lot of information to use and it’s all free!

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report shows the Odds Shark computer prediction for every game which runs thousands of simulation models to come up with an estimated guess based on facts and factors for the game.  Bleacher Report gives you the computers scores and then gives you their predictions against or with the computers outcome, so you’re really getting two predictions.

Odds Shark says:  38.2 – 27.9 Broncos Victory in the Over

Bleacher Report says:  San Diego will have to play one of its best games of the year to hang with the Broncos. Rivers has been absolutely great, and Chargers head coach Mike McCoy might have some insight as to how to slow down Manning and Co. But Denver has proven it can cover big numbers. Give the points with the Broncos, and pay attention to the OVER trends below as well.

Covers.com says: Broncos 37 – Chargers 27 in the Over

My Predictions

Listen, I lost out on this game the first time around, I won’t do that again!  I took the BRONCOS on the points and the OVER back in early November and lost out because they scored under 56 only totaling 48 points.  Out of the Broncos 13 games so far this year, 2 games have scored under the point total, back to back weeks but first being against the Chargers.  They were the first real test for Peyton and his Broncos, making the highlight reels feature the other team as well and actually keeping the game within reach for the Chargers.  Broncos still covered but barely.  This week it’s Denver, in the cold again, but Manning put to rest the accusations that he doesn’t play well in the cold and wouldn’t play well in Denver come crunch time, late in the season and through the playoffs. Broncos are -10 with an over/under of 55.5. 

I say stay away from the spread as I think it could go either way but definitely take the OVER 55.5 as the Broncos have this unreal offense and listen, Denver has covered the points or came within 7 of the total by themselves alone in 3 of 7 home games this year, and 4 of 13 overall.  In the NFL, that means you are scary good!  I want to say, with the Broncos being at home, they will want to end the last regular season home game for its fans on a high scoring note, not to mention the excitement of having their coach John Fox back on the sidelines.  He missed his first game after open heart surgery in week 10 when they played the Chargers and makes his first game return against them…coincidence?

Broncos 45 – Chargers 31

Trends:

  • Broncos cover or come within 7 of the points total by themselves in 3 of 7 home games
  • Broncos have beaten the Chargers four straight overall
  • Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS past seven games at Denver
  • Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS in the past seven games as road underdogs
  • OVER is 12-2-1 past 15 games when Chargers are road underdogs
  • OVER is 10-1-1 past 12 Broncos home games
  • OVER is 8-0-1 past nine times Broncos home as double-digit favorites
  • Chargers Pass/Overall Defense entering this week are both 28th in the NFL
  • Broncos Pass/Overall Defense entering this week are 29th/25th in the NFL
  • Chargers Pass/Overall Offense and Points entering this week are 4th/4th/11th in the NFL
  • Broncos Pass/Overall Offense and Points entering this week are all 1st in the NFL
  • Manning has recorded 11 games with 300+ passing yards this season, tying Tom Brady for the 2nd most in NFL history
  • Chargers WR Keenan Allen has 61 catches (a franchise record for a rookie) for 902 yards, 5 TD’s
  • The Broncos need to score 75 points in their final 3 games to break the NFL record of 589 total season points set by the Patriots in 2007.  They average 39.6 points per game so far this year

The rest of the NFL games (lines only), spreads are for the home team.

Redskins @ Falcons -6.5   O/U 51

49ers @ Buccaneers +5   O/U 41

Seahawks @ Giants +7   O/U 41

Bears @ Browns -1   O/U 45

Texans @ Colts -5.5   O/U 45.5

Bills @ Jaguars +2   O/U 43

Patriots @ Dolphins +2.5   O/U 45.5

Eagles @ Vikings +4.5   O/U 51

Chiefs @ Raiders +4   O/U 41

Jets @ Panthers -11   O/U 40.5

Packers @ Cowboys -7   O/U 48.5

Saints @ Rams +5.5   O/U 47

Cardinals @ Titans +2.5   O/U 41.5

Bengals @ Steelers +3   O/U 40.5

Ravens @ Lions -6   O/U 48

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Night…My First Blog

Hey folks, jjkohl here and welcome to my blog.  Bear with me here; this IS my first rodeo in the blogosphere, well other than my days using MySpace and any other social media that we have at our disposal. 

This first blog I just wanted to lay out a description of this blog and what my main objectives are for my entries which I will hope to get more than just one a week in depending on the topics of conversation from week to week.

First, a little about myself, I hail from Reading, Pennsylvania.  I am very much into sports, food, financials, and just living life to the fullest with my beautiful wife and our 2 dogs.  I played high school football, some little league baseball but always have been a fan of all sports and competition.  I try to join recreational dek hockey leagues when I can, playing mostly defense or goalie.

Second, my blog.  My blog will mostly be about sports and whatever other hot news hits the waves, if I feel an outside topic deserves some discussion.  My recent topic of conversation the last few months has been football in the NFL.  My promise in this blog is to not act like a homer, more or less like the rationale sports conversationalist, playing devil’s advocate from time to time.  I don’t care if I’m right or wrong, I really don’t.  I like to follow ESPN’s Colin Cowherds motto, “love your family, like your sports”.  I like a good conversation about sports in general and the more heated the conversation, the better.  Not that I love arguing, but I love the passion on the topic and any great points made for either side.  It adds perspective, which I think lacks in conversations about sports (and many other things in life for that matter) amongst most “homer” fans.  By the way, if you have time to listen, Colin Cowherd is on from 10am-1pm daily on ESPN Radio/ESPN U (tv), always an awesome listen.

I hope this blog is fun for everyone to read.  I’m still trying to figure out the wordpress.com blog site, to which I give thanks for having a free blog site to start up a new hobby of mine.  Comments are always welcome, so a Twitter account will be created to field quick conversation points and to respond back to any readers throughout the day where time permits, since I do have a 8-5 job and a life outside of work.  I will create that Twitter handle for the next blog, where the good stuff will start to be written.

Look out for my next blog, Wednesday, which will cover the upcoming week 15 in NFL action, Fan Duel, my fantasy football team’s outlooks, and spread/predictions using Covers.com as well as my reaction to Bleacher Report’s predictions.