Jim D's Sports Blog

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Jim D’s NFL Picks

Here is the first edition of Jim D’s NFL Picks. My picks will be a combo of statistical analysis, just my gut feeling, and just my feeling towards a certain team. I plan on doing this every week so if you for any reason you want to know my Picks come back every week and check em’ out.

Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills

The Bills have been a story so far this season. They are the classic crappy team turned good. I still think they may not be the amazing team people think they are. I mean they lost to the Bungles last week. They have had one of the best offenses in the league scoring 33.2 PPG (4th) 391.5 YPG (9th). Their defense has not looked as good giving up 24 PPG (16th) and 405YPG (27th). On the other side of this game the Eagles are the exact opposite story a “Dream Team” that has been more of a nightmare. Their offense is not the problem as they are scoring 25.2 PPG (10th) with 434.8 YPG (4th). The defense which was supposed to be a amzing thing to watch with all the free agents the signed has been anything but. They have allowed 25.2 PPG (25th) & 357.2 YPG (16th), and are the 31st-ranked team in turnover margin. I see this happening , the Eagles defense finally clicks and shuts down (sort of) this high powerd Bills offense while the Bills Defense plays like they have all year and lets the Eagles offense score upwards of 30 points.

My Pick: Eagles 31 Bills 21

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet, but Cam Newton looks pretty good. He ranks 3rd in the league with 1386 Yds through the first 4 games, yet only 5 tds along with 5 ints. He has showed he can get it done on his feet too with 133 yds on 33 carries for 4 TDs.  The New Orleans Saints have one of the best offenses in the league averaging 440 YPG (2nd). Their defense has been in the middle giving up 348 YPG (15th). I see this game being a high scoring affair as both teams have looked good on offense and average, at best, on defense. I can see the Cam Newton led panthers upsetting a good team sometime this year just not this week.

My Pick: Saints 28 Panthers 24

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans

This game is going to be all about the ground game. The Raiders have no pass offense while having the best run game in the NFL going for 178.8 RYPG . The Texans mean while have the 4th ranked rushing going for 148.5 RYPG, and will be without their star WR Andre Johnson. This is a tough one to pick, but I’ll throw in a little bit of my pettiness with this one (I’m still mad the Texans beat my Steelers), and I’ll take the Raiders

My Pick: Raiders 24 Texans 20

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts

This is a Crap game of the week. Both teams had alot of aspirations this year until they lost important parts of their team, Colts lost Manning, Melvin Bullitt, and Gary Brackett while the Chiefs have lost Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry. Anyways neither of these teams are going anywhere, but hey one of them has got to win. Lets just go rith the Colts to get their first win as they have scored an average 0f 15.8 PPG to the Chiefs 12.2 PPG.

My Pick: Colts 16 Chiefs 10

Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars

This is the weeks battle of rookie quarterbacks. Blaine Gabbert vs Andy Dalton, while neither of those two has looked great Dalton has been the better of the two. With the Bengals have the top ranked defense giving up only 275.5 YPG, and the Jaguars having the 31st ranked offense on getting 264.2 YPG this pick is easy for me.

My Pick: Bengals 24 Jaguars 10

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings sit at 0-4 while the Cardinals sit at 1-3. However each team still has one superstar player that can take the game under control at a point in the game. I, of course, am talking about Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson, but so far neither of them has been able to keep their teams from sucking single handidly. This game will depend on which former Eagles QB Kolb or McNabb sucks the least. I’ll go with the Cardinals because the Vikings pass defense hasn’t been the best, and like I said Fitzgerald can go Beast mode at any point.

My Pick: Cardinals 31 Vikings 27

Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants

This one is simple the Seahawks are the worst team in the league in my eyes, they’ll lose. Only way they win is a total failure of Eli Manning.

My Pick: Giants 27 Seahawks 13

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers

This is another simple one, for me at least. Its hard for me to ever pick against the Steelers even if it seems like everyone else thinks they’re  done. It will be close as I’m not sure I ever seen a Steelers game where I wasn’t worried the entire game.

My Pick: Steelers 17 Titans 14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers

This game should be a good one to watch as both teams are 3-1, and both have looked good so far. Both of their offenses have looked average at best, but if you compare QBs I think Josh Freeman gives the Bucs a big advantage over the Alex Smith led 49ers. Offenses aren’t the only people on the field even if Goodell is trying to make it that way, and if you compare the defense the 49ers have the edge if only by a little. The 49ers have allowed only 18.8 PPG and 358 YPG, compared to the Bucs 19.2 PPG 368 YPG. These teams are pretty evenly matched, so I’ll go with the team I like more…

My Pick: Buccaneers 21 49ers 20

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

The Broncos aren’t  a very good team, thats a simple analogy right. I don’t think that their QB Kyle Orton has the “it” factor that it takes to be a superstar in the NFL. The Chargers are a good team they have a Great QB in Rivers and just an all around good team.

My Pick: Chargers 24 Broncos 17

New York Jets at New England Patriots

This is the case of a Great offense versus a great defense. The Patriots the best offense in the league scoring 33.8 PPG, averaging 507.5 YPG, and 384.8 Passing YPG. That’s pretty impressive, but the Jets have a pretty good defense allowing only 23.8 ppg, 310.8 YPG, and only 180.2 Passing YPG thats second best in the league. So who will prevail here, the great passing Offense, or the great pass defense. Well I think this’ll be a close one, but since the Patriots are the home team so they should be able to pull this one out.

My Pick: Patriots 24 Jets 17

Green  Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons  

I simply don’t like the Packers, because the stole the Lombardi trophy from my team. I think this could be the first loss of the Packers season. It seems like a perfect storm, The Packers may have one of the best offenses in the league but I think the Falcons have a good enough defense to slow them down. Along with those factors the Falcons have Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Roddy White against the Packers passing defense which as been the second worse in the NFL giving up 335.8 passing YPG. In a Dome I see no other outcome of this game than a shootout.

My Pick: Falcons 42 Packers 38

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions have had 2 pretty emotional games over the last 2 weeks. Having to come from behind by huge margins to win. Every time a Team plays like that you gotta worry if they will be able to come out again and do it. They’ll have to put emotion into this one seeing that it is nationally telivised, and I don’t think they’ll have a problem doing it with the Best WR in the game Calvin Johnson and a great up and coming QB Matt Stafford. The Bears just haven’t looked like the team they did last year so far but hey they were good last year and they’ve got almost the same players so they could turn it around any time.

My Pick: Lions 33 Bears 17


Welcome Back Max Starks.

"From Starks' Twitter Account"

I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I loved this news.  I have always been a fan of Starks, and was a little disappointed to see him go earlier this year. Anyways that’s obsolete now as he is back with the team, and should be an immediate improvement to the Steelers biggest weakness Offensive line. The news from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is that he wont be a starter from the get go, but I have no doubt that he’ll eventually steal the job from one of these Offensive linemen.

First I want to take a look at the career Stats of Max Starks. Over his 7 year career he has started 68 games. In those 68 games he allowed 33 sacks, been called for false starts 10 times, and holding 7 times. Just to put those is a sort of perspective I wan to show the stats of  Joe Thomas of the Browns, because many see him as the best LT in the NFL. Over a 5 year career he has started 68 games the same as Starks, however he has allowed only 19.75 sacks, been called for 17 false starts and 5 holding. As you can see Starks isn’t the best in the league, but I think he is at best a huge improvement over the current O-line.

Now let’s take a look at some of the current starters on the Steelers offensive line. Current starting LT Jonathan Scott has started 26 games over his 5 year career. Now get ready for these stats Because if you didn’t already know that Scott shouldn’t be a starting LT in the NFL you’ll realize it here. Over his career he’s allowed 24.5 sacks, been call on 13 false starts and 11 holding penalties. Those stats can’t come from a starting LT if you plan on having an Alive QB at the end of the season. The next guy I want to check out is starting RT rookie Marcus Gilbert. While he hasn’t looked totally awful on the level of Scott, he is just a rookie and clearly not ready to be a starter. Over his 3 starts he has given up 4 sacks and been called for one false start. One more guy backup T/C/G Trai Essex. He has played in 64 and started 26. In those games he allowed 8 sacks, and ben called on 9 false starts and 4 holding penalties. Those stats shouldn’t fool you though he still isn’t very good. So what should happen with the offensive line? Well here is what I would do. My starting LT would be Max Starks as he is clearly the best option. I would then move Scott to RT, because like I mentioned before Gilbert just doesn’t seem ready to be a starter yet. If Starks fails it looks like were screwed, but if (in my scenario still) Scott doesn’t look good at RT either I wouldn’t mind sticking Gilbert back in there. I also believe with the experience and leadership that Starks will bring to the line will make all the other guys a little better too.

Don’t Count Out the Steelers, Not Yet.

So after the Steelers fell to 2-2 some of the loonies came out to say how they were done. Just check out some of the people (Dummies) that called into The Morning Freak Show. I couldn’t disagree more with people who are Hating on the Steelers right now, then again maybe I’m just an apologist.  Anyways I never count the Steelers out of any situation and here is why.

Look at some of the names currently on the Steelers roster; Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Maurkice Pouncey. So in a nutshell that is a 2 time Super Bowl winning quarterback, a Super Bowl MVP wide receiver, One of the best up and coming WR in the NFL, last years NFL Defensive MVP, 2008’s NFL Defensive MVP, and a Pro Bowl Center. Even though the team will be without Harrison for “Multiple Weeks”, LT should be able to take over his spot and do an excellent job. How can you count out a team that not only has amazing talent, but also has tons of experience? It’s a simple answer you can’t.

2005 Super Bowl Ring

How about a history lesson now, Anyone remember 2005(If you have the Time watch that its amazing) ? Yes they started out 7-2, but they then went on to lose 3 in a row and sat at 7-5. At that point they knew they’d have to win their final 4 games to even make it into the playoffs as the 6th seed. Then being a 6th seed in the NFL playoffs meant nothing they’d probably lose, but they didn’t they defied the odds and won 7 straight games to make it to the Super Bowl which they won. You may be saying that was a different team what do they have to do with this team? Well the main players are still on this team Ben, Troy, Hines, Ike. Anyways the point is they have been in more dire situations than what they are in now and made it out so until they are mathematically out of it I’ll believe in them.

My final reason why I’m not done thinking the Steelers could be Super Bowl Champs this year is, It’s only week 5. Does anyone else realize that IT IS ONLY WEEK 5? It seems no one knows it, but they still have 12 games to play. At this point last year they were 3-1 where is the huge difference, that’s one more win.  They lost 2 games yes, but did anyone expect them to go 16-0. Both the games they lost were to good teams. Would this be as bad if these 4 games were at the end of the season and they were already 9-3, no people are freaking out for no reason.  I have to admit though at the beginning of the Texans game I was like wow they may be done, but then they came back and showed they aren’t a terrible team and almost won. I mean I don’t believe in moral victories a loss is a loss & a win is a win, but hey to only lose by 7 when you should have lost by a ton is good. Obviously they have some holes but what team doesn’t ? There are no super teams in the AFC right now.  I can still see this team going 11-5. Maybe I’m right or maybe I’m wrong,  but if I were you I wouldn’t count out the Steelers.

The Lion Kings?

Are the Lions the real deal this year? Well we don’t exactly know yet, well at least I’m not ready to give them the Lombardi Trophy yet. They are however 4-0 and have looked good.  They are ranked 11th in both Offensive yards per game and 11th in Defensive yards allowed.  I don’t think that they will go 16-0, does anyone, but how will they do? Well their first four games were an easy stretch, I think their Schedule only gets harder from here.  They still have the Superbowl Champion Green Bay Packers twice, the NFC runner-up Bears twice, Falcons, 49ers, Chargers, and even the Cam Newton led Panthers might be a team that gives them a challenge. Even though I don’t fully trust that they are the best team in the world yet, many others do, so when did they turn into this team?

Just look at 2008, the Lions went 0-16. That is unbelievable the lost every game. Even without talent, at least a little luck should be on their sides, but it wasn’t. Lets take a quick look at the terrible players that were on that team. Three different QBs started: Dan Orlovsky, Jon Kitna, and Daunte Culpepper. Collectively, here are some of their awful stats: 18 Touchdowns, 19 Interceptions, a 55.2 Completion %, an a 71.3 Passer Rating. That group of outcast QBs can be attributed to Matt Millen. A few QBs he could have had over his tenure are Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and  Joe Flacco. Next up was their starting running back, Kevin Smith. while he wasn’t totally awful with 238 carries for 976 yards and 8 touchdowns he was still not that great and isn’t with this new 4-0 lions team. Now their Wide Receivers. They did have all world WR Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, and 2008 was actually his best statistical year so far with 1331 yards and 12 TD’s. I don’t think any other WR’s are worth Mentioning as you see the QBs had 18 TDs and 12 of them went to Johnson, no one else had more than 1. Finally, lets take a quick look at how awful the defense was. They gave up a total of 6470 yards, 63 touchdowns, had only 30 sacks, and only 4 interceptions.

So then when did the Turn around of those awful Lions start? Well, as bad as Matt Millen was, this timeline should start with a move he made. 2007 NFL Draft round 1, Pick 2, Calvin Johnson. He has no doubt been the best player so far for this 4-0 Lions team with 24 catches, 321 yards, and 8 Touchdowns. The next big move in the turn around would be made by Millen’s successor, Martin Mayhew. It was trading away Roy Williams to the Cowboys, and boy was it a steal for the Lions who got a first, third, and sixth-round pick in 2009. Jim Schwartz was the next big thing to happen to the Lions, as any good team needs a good coach to steer them in the right direction. Then came the 2009 Draft, which would be huge for the Lions. They got four of their Current starters QB Matthew Stafford, TE Brandon Pettigrew,  S Louis Delmas, and LB DeAndre Levy. Another huge move in their turnaround has been the trades that GM Mayhew have made. A few players he’s added via trade have been DT Corey Williams,  CB Chris Houston, G Rob Sims, and TE Tony Scheffler.  Their next Step to greatness would be their 2010 draft where they added the amazing DT Ndamukong Suh, RB Javid Best, and S Amari Spievey. That’s SEVEN new starters through two drafts. SEVEN! That’s a pretty impressive turnover. I think the final thing that is key to this Lions turnaround is a healthy Matthew Stafford. This is something that really hasn’t been seen yet. In his first year he played only 10 games, last year he played only 3, and so far this year he has played 4 and if they hope to keep up what they have been doing so far this year, they need him.

"They Need Him"

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