Friday, October 16, 2009

Week 6 Picks: Why Does Vegas Think the Skins Don't Suck?

After weeks of awful play, false hope, failed expectations, anger, and depression, I thought the world had finally accepted the fact that the Skins suck. I wasn't even all that angry last week, just accepting that this team isn't going anywhere. Well, some awful fan I feel like, because Vegas is still riding the Skins bandwagon. Yeah, the Chiefs also stink, but we are favored by 6.5 points!?! We are averaging 14.6 points a game, and that is even after 3 of our 5 games have come against the worst defenses in football. Amazing, just amazing. That line is the most absurd I've seen this season for any game. Not only have we sucked, but we are now more banged up than we have been in any other game, so the Redskins team going into this weekend's game will be our weakest thusfar. I understand that Vegas sets the line to even out betting, and is not a reflection of what they think the final score will be. Are there armies of Skins fans who think the Skins are winning this game comfortably? Maybe this is some plot by the NFL to get people to watch the game, by making a stupid line so that everyone will bet KC and then watch this pillow fight.

On to the picks...............the Football Outsiders (FO) picking system continues its turnaround, going 8-6 last week and creeping towards .500 for the season. As I've said before, the FO system should improve as the season goes on, because it has more actual data upon which to base its picks, and this statement looks better and better. I swear, a spreadsheet of their picking is coming at some point. FO's 'locks of the week' are now 2-2 with no 'locks' this week, their 'reasonable' picks are 8-13, and their 'stay away' picks are 25-24.

The standings:
Sports Guy: 10-4 last week, 49-27 overall (64.5%)
DCLS: 9-5 last week, 41-35 overall (53.9%)
Random monkey throwing shit at a dartboard: 38-38 overall (50.0%)
Football Outsiders: 8-6 last week, 36-40 overall (47.4%)

As usual, the FO picks are listed in order of confidence, and I have bolded a team wherever I differ (home teams in CAPS).
  1. OAKLAND +14.5 over Philadelphia - Lost in last week's shellacking at the hands of the Giants was Jamarcus Russell not having an embarassingly bad game. He is sooooo bad, I can't take it. If there was ever a need for a fan to snipe someone, this is it.....this would never happen if Al Davis was still alive.......

  2. Chicago +3.5 over ATLANTA - I am not sold on Chicago, but these teams are pretty even and I'll take the points. I think I just want to hate Cutler, and not just because he was kind of almost a Redskin; he just looks like a douchebag.

  3. Cleveland +14 over PITTSBURGH - Derek Anderson won, but he was 2-17! That wasn't even against a good team. Anderson had 1 INT (and probably would have had more if he could throw it anywhere near his intended receiver), which means he completed only 1 more pass to his own team than the opposition. Does he have embarrassing photos of Mangini somewhere? I know the Steelers haven't been great, but how can you pick the Browns? And now without Braylon Edwards! FO has this as their #3 straight-up pick.

  4. NEW ORLEANS -3 over New York Giants - Oooh weee! These have to be the best 2 teams so far, and this will likely be the best matchup of the entire regular season. You wanna know the kicker? This is a 1pm game, which is the same time I will be watching the Skins and Chiefs take giant dumps on FedEx Field. FO actually has the Saints as their #4 straight-up pick.

  5. SEATTLE -3 over Arizona - The Hawks are 2-0 with Hasselbeck playing the whole game, and have not given up a point in either of those games. Maybe they are the team that FO predicted would be the class of their division.

  6. Buffalo +10 over NEW YORK JETS - As much as I hate picking Senor Sanchez, the Bills are horrible. 6-3 to a QB who was 2-17?!?

  7. Kansas City +6.5 over WASHINGTON - If I ever wanted to pick against the Skins, this would be the time. We are the 11th of 14 straight-up picks by FO, meaning they view this game as just about even. This should be another one of those games the NFL blacks out to hmaintain its overall quality for fans.

  8. Tennessee +9.5 over NEW ENGLAND - I kind of want the Titans to suck, because I predicted that they would be significantly worse without Fat Albert. But now that the Skins D isn't quite carrying us to the Super Bowl, I am not sure what I think. Fat Albert is the real deal, and the Titans dropoff supports that, but why can't the Skins make a similar leap defensively? Maybe Jesus hates DC, in which case we should look into obtaining Kurt Warner next year.......

  9. GREEN BAY -14 over Detroit - Not surprising that this is FO's #1 straight-up pick this week. The Packer o-line isn't a problem when it doesn't have to face a pass rush.

  10. TAMPA BAY +3 over Carolina - I think Carolina can back to not being absolutely awful. FO sees this game as almost dead-even, taking Tampa as its worst straight-up pick this week.

  11. Houston +4.5 over CINCINNATI - FO metrics actually point to the Bungles being worse than their record, and has these teams as pretty even. All I know is other than a dud in Cleveland, Cincy is a fluky bounce from being 5-0 with wins over 4 good teams.

  12. Baltimore +3 over MINNESOTA - Great game, but AD will get nothing, and that is bad news for the Vikes.

  13. JACKSONVILLE -10 over St. Louis - So much for FO thinking the Rams were a prime candidate for a bounce-back season. I am still not sold on the Jags, but I know the Rams lost to the Redskins, which puts them in select company.

  14. Denver +4 over SAN DIEGO - I am off the Charger bandwagon, think I'll chalk it up to LDT and Jamal Williams being hurt. Great matchup of a defensive force against a great passing offense.

To recap, it looks like going with the FO picks is a smart move and a lot of idiots in this world think the Skins are significantly better than the Chiefs.

(Image courtesy of

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Prettiest Goal You Will Ever See

Remember the name Oliver Wahlstrom. Kid's only 9 years old. And he can do this (please have buffering patience, because I promise it's worth it):

I'm speechless. Forget the poor little keeper who was equally stunned and confused by Wahlstrom's move - this shot would have gone in against any NHL goalie.

Memo to George McPhee: Draft this kid! Like, now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 5: Panthers 20, Redskins 17 - Knee Jerk Reactions

Football season is in full swing! The hair pulling, TV-screaming, remote control throwing and furious cigarette smoking is in full force. Before I let rationality cloud my judgment, here are my knee-jerk reactions from the fifth game of the season:

-Up 17-2 in the 2nd half on a winless team Football Outsiders says is the worst in the NFL, and we blew the lead. What else can the Skins do to kick their fans in the balls? Scratch that, this was more like giving us blue balls, specifically blue balls from an ugly chick.

-DeAngelo Hall had what, maybe 6 yards to tackle an immobile QB and couldn't make it happen?

-Buying is seeming like a smarter and smarter purchase by the day.

-After a week of hearing how D******* Hall has a rivalry with Steve Smith, it was Carlos Rogers who was matched-up on Smith most of the day. I don't want to type his full name anymore, not worth my time and anger, because I am finally almost at peace with the Redskin suck-fest, except for that all talk, no walk salary cap black hole.

-Rogers had a great game. By my count, the Panthers threw at Rogers 2 times, with one of those being a near-INT in the endzone. Hall, meanwhile, was picked-on all day, with success. I even noticed one play where Landry's guy caught the ball, but it was because Hall got smoked deep, so Landry left his man to help and then came back to make the tackle.

-Did anyone else notice that on the interception, the reason Hall was in position to make the play was that he was so badly beaten on the route that he was 5 yards behind the receiver? If he had been in tight coverage, that ball would have been tipped over his head. Knowing the DC media, Hall will get credit for that play, while Rogers will get criticized because he 'dropped' what would have been a spectacular INT in the endzone.

-Orakpo had a 0.5 sack, and another called back because of a penalty that did not appear to give him any advantage. That gives him 2.5 sacks this season, with 2 called back on penalties, and all while playing DE. This is for a guy the WaPo said today plays only 25% of the time at DE. Granted, those are all passing plays, but is it hard to imagine he has at least 5 sacks now if he plays DE full-time? Meanwhile, he looked completely lost on that TD pass to Jeff King and was beaten on another play in coverage. Is there something I am missing here?

-Brian Billick had a thought on Orakpo's position, but it has to be the dumb announcing comment of the day. Billick said Orakpo is a great pass rusher (okay, I'm good with that), and that he struggles in coverage (okay, so far so good and now waiting for him to state the obvious here...), but that the Skins moved Orakpo to LB to make him a complete football player (yeah comple...wai, wha?!?). That is like saying, ohhhh, I have a great idea, I think Albert Haynesworth is a great defensive tackle, but maybe we should move him to WR to make him a more complete football player. Jason Campbell, doing okay at QB, but how about trying him at kicker to round-out his game.

-Landry and Haynesworth had good games.

-Our defense was great, giving up a TD on a 12-yard drive is not their fault, and the other scoring drives were 40 and 38 yards. On the flip side, the D gave our offense the ball on the 13 and 1 yard lines, which you have to think is worth 14 points. That math gives me that the D is responsible for 11 points, but basically scored 14. My only complaint is that this performance came against maybe the worst offense in the NFL.

-After playing at the same mediocre level of our D for 4 weeks, the offense was awful. The D gave them 14 points, which means the offense really scored 3, but gave up 2 for the safety. Did I say awful? That's beyond awful.

-Another set of eyes?!? There are gazillions of eyes around the world that can see we need more shotgun and to throw deep occasionally, even with an o-line comprised of tackling dummies.

-Good to confirm that Chris Samuels is indeed the most irreplaceable player on our team. The line crumbled without him last year, and D'Anthony Batiste was like a turnstile. I was almost excited to see what Peppers would have done to him.

-Stephen Heyer against Peppers was a no-contest.

-Campbell definitely missed some guys wide-open on a few plays. The most notable was Santana on a double-move deep to Campbell's right in the 2nd half, and his first reads were left, so he never saw him. JC played okay, but the lack of deep throws looks like 3/4 the offensive line and play calling, and 1/4 JC just not seeing open guys or deciding the deeper throws are too risky.

-Did anyone else notice that Cooley, after recovering the fumble by Moss, did the Santana first down dance? That made me laugh.

-I feel a little bad for Byron Westbrook being blocked into ARE and then having the ball hit his leg, but I guess that's within the rules. The worst part was seeing about 9 Panthers chase that ball against 1 Redskin.

-I think I am comfortably numb. Even if we beat KC next week, that's 3-3 going into an impossible schedule. The only bad team we play after KC is the Raiders, so I think our over/under on wins right now is about 4.5. Yeah, comfortably numb.

(Image courtesy of the AP via