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Pudge’s Picks – Thursday Night Week 14

December 5th, 2013 Comments off

It wasn’t a good week for my picks, as I went 6-10 against the spread. After doing better in the month of November, I turned into Tony Romo the minute December was looming. I did better straight up, picking 10 games correctly last week.

But I’m desperately trying to get back to .500 against the spread by year’s end, and with a 92-100 year-to-date record against the spread, that means I’ll have to go at least 9-7 every week for the last month of the season.

I’m doing much better straight up, with a year-to-date record of 121-71. I’m disappointed with that record as well, since it means I’m averaging about 9.3 correct picks per week, and I think that number should be at least 10. But relative to my picks against the spread, I won’t complain too much.

Houston Texans (2-10) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9)
Thursday, December 5 at 8:25 pm ET on NFL Network

Line: Jaguars (+2.5)

When Jacksonville squared off with the Oakland Raiders in Week 2, I think most were expecting that to be this year’s version of the “Toilet Bowl” featuring the two worst teams in the NFL. Well, we were sorely mistaken.

This week’s matchup between the Jaguars and Texans will certainly earn that mantle.

The Jags have won three of their last four, including a win over the Texans in Week 12 in Houston. Now they will be returning home, where they have yet to win a game. The Texans have lost ten straight games and are reeling looking for a win. They did seemingly get a boost from Gary Kubiak’s return to the sideline on Sunday, losing a close one to the Patriots at home. If the Texans play like that again this week, they shouldn’t have too much trouble beating the Jaguars.

Spread Pick: Texans
Straight Pick: Texans

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FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 50 “Dirk Koetter’s Middle Finger to the Podcast”

December 4th, 2013 Comments off

Allen and I are back to discuss the Atlanta Falcons win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 13; discussing some of the positives/negatives we saw in the game, including: Antone Smith, deep passing, Roddy White, Osi Umenyiora and the pass rush, Paul Worrilow and the run defense, as well as the futures of Robert McClain, Thomas DeCoud, and Steven Jackson for the umpteenth time. We then kick over to previewing the Falcons upcoming matchup in Week 13 against the Green Bay Packers, with how each team matches up against one another. We close out with our usual “Around the League” segment discussing some of the more interesting games from Week 13 as well as some of the more promising games coming in Week 14. This episode does contain some minor NSFW language.

Episode 50: Dirk Koetter’s Middle Finger to the Podcast [Download]

Duration: 1 hour, 4 minutes

Allen writes for TJRSports.com as well as the Pro Football Spot. His twitter handle is: @Allen_Strk.

If you have any questions and comments, you can hit us up on Twitter, post in the forums in the podcast thread, or drop an e-mail at: pudge@falcfans.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and be sure to rate us there! You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

Pudge’s Picks – Week 13

December 1st, 2013 Comments off

I only got one of the Thursday games right against the spread, but got all three correct picking straight up.

Atlanta Falcons (2-9) at Buffalo Bills (4-7)
Sunday, December 1 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX

Line: Bills (-3.5)

I don’t like the matchup with the Bills defensive line against the Falcons offensive line. The Falcons have also struggled on the road this year. Now, playing in Toronto won’t be like normal road games, since it’s marginally a home game for the Bills.

Spread Pick: Bills
Straight Pick: Bills

Chicago Bears (6-5) at Minnesota Vikings (2-8-1)
Sunday, December 1 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Vikings (-0.5)

I’m taking the Bears, because Josh McCown manages to find ways to play well enough to win games.

Spread Pick: Bears
Straight Pick: Bears

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Categories: Features Tags: ,

Pudge’s Picks – Thanksgiving Week 13

November 28th, 2013 Comments off

It’s going to be a wondrous Thanksgiving at least for me as I gorge myself on food and football.

It wasn’t quite as good for my picks last week, although I did manage to go 8-6 both against the spread and picking games straight up. While my spread picks have improved over the past few weeks, as I’ve finished above .500 in three of the past five weeks, I’ve also managed to have worse picks on straight picks in two of the past three weeks. There’s really no excuse to not be able to pick games straight up rather easily. I should be getting at least ten of those games right every week.

My year-to-date totals are: 86-90 against the spread, and 111-65 straight up.

Green Bay Packers (5-5-1) at Detroit Lions (6-5)
Thursday, November 26 at 12:30 pm ET on FOX

Line: Lions (-5.5)

The Lions are traditionally bad on Thanksgiving day, as they haven’t won a game since 2003. That is their lone win over their past 13 Thanksgiving day games, happening to come against the Green Bay Packers. But the problem is that they are 1-4 against the Packers on Thanksgiving over those 13 years. So it’s interesting that they are favored, which tells you a lot about the confidence in the Packers, now that Matt Flynn is starting and they are fresh off a tie with the lowly Minnesota Vikings. Matt Flynn has a history of looking competent against the Lions defense, with his famous six-touchdown game at the end of the 2011 season. The key for the Packers is slowing down Megatron, although their pass defense has been atrocious in recent weeks. They also need to get a big day from Eddie Lacy and the boys (doesn’t that sound like a ’50s rock band?) to prevail over the Lions. I don’t see it happening, although I do think these games are traditionally close.

Spread Pick: Packers
Straight Pick: Lions

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Categories: Features Tags: ,

FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 49 “Harry Douglas, the Perfect Trade Bait”

November 27th, 2013 Comments off

On this week’s episode, Allen and I discuss the Atlanta Falcons Week 12 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. This week’s recap topics include: 1-Struggles of William Moore and Sean Weatherspoon; 2-Possible replacements for Asante Samuel; 3-Offensive line and whether it’s stepping up or down; 4-Darius Johnson; 5-Lost confidence in management of the team and Dirk Koetter; 6-Mike Smith’s questionable fourth down call; 7-Concerns about Roddy White; 8-Harry Douglas and his value to the team going forward; Then we look ahead to the Falcons Week 13 contest against the Buffalo Bills and which matchups we don’t like, particularly with a focus on the fearsome Bills pass rush; Later we discuss Osi Umenyiora, Mario Williams, and give our score predictions on the Falcons-Bills game; As usual it’s followed by a detailed “Around the League” discussion in which division battles in the NFC East and NFC North are focused upon. This episode does contain some minor NSFW language!

Episode Ep. 49 Harry Douglas, the Perfect Trade Bait [Download]

Duration: 1 hour, 27 minutes

Allen writes for TJRSports.com as well as the Pro Football Spot. His twitter handle is: @Allen_Strk.

If you have any questions and comments, you can hit us up on Twitter, post in the forums in the podcast thread, or drop an e-mail at: pudge@falcfans.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and be sure to rate us there! You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

Pudge’s Picks – Week 12

November 24th, 2013 2 comments

I changed the way I picked games against the spread this week, which I think more closely mirrors how I picked games successfully in the past. Why it took me this long to do that, who knows? But if it results in a better week, then that’s how I’ll try to pick down the stretch so that I can try and finish this season above .500 against the spread.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I’m expecting a big day for Alshon Jeffery for the Bears and my fantasy team this week

Chicago Bears (6-4) at St. Louis Rams (4-6)
Sunday, November 24 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Rams (-1.5)

It’s rather simple, I have more confidence in Josh McCown than Kellen Clemens. Plus an injury to Cortland Finnegan (who is doubtful) makes me believe that Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are in for big days as they face Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson. The only thing that gives me some pause is the Rams edge pass rush, as I have little confidence that Jermon Bushrod and Jordan Mills will handle themselves well against Robert Quinn and Chris Long, respectively. But I think McCown finds a way in the end.

Spread Pick: Bears
Straight Pick: Bears

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-6)
Sunday, November 24 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Browns (-2.5)

The “real” Jason Campbell showed up last week, with his penchant for checkdowns and not throwing deep. If Campbell continues to play that well, and I expect he will, then I just don’t see how the Browns can be expected to beat a decent Steeler team at home.

Spread Pick: Steelers
Straight Pick: Steelers

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Categories: Features Tags: ,

Pudge’s Picks – Thursday Night Week 12: Falcons vs. Saints

November 21st, 2013 1 comment

Last week, once again I hovered around .500 with my picks. But just slightly below as I went 7-8 against the spread. Thanks once again to the Lions not being a very good road team, the surprisingly competent performance of Matt McGloin, Seattle looking like Seattle again, and Jason Campbell being Jason Campbell.

Straight up, my picks were slightly better at 10-5. Carolina beating New England was a mild surprise, although a controversial call at the end sealed the win. Looked to me like a missed call, but it was compounded by the referees cowardly fleeing the stadium. I hate when that happens, and there’s a call at the end of the game, and the refs appear afraid to go against the home crowd. It’s always evidenced by their desire to get out of the stadium as quickly as possible, which they proceeded to do in Charlotte.

New Orleans Saints (8-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-8)
Thursday, November 21 at 8:25 pm ET on NFL Network

Line: Falcons (+8.5)

Based off how the Falcons have played in recent weeks, this line should be a lot higher. My expectation is that the Falcons get beat by at least three scores in this game, so there’s really no reason to even think about picking the Falcons.

My only hope as a fan of the Falcons is that this is the week they are energized by the rivalry aspect, with the Saints somewhat beat up, they are able to keep it close. But if the Falcons were poised to be that team tonight, I think we would’ve seen some flashes of that in the past few games. The main hope for the Falcons is that Mike Nolan has some schemes up his sleeve that can confuse Drew Brees like he did a year ago, and Roddy White is for the first time this season, the Roddy of old and ready to abuse Corey White and Keenan Lewis.

Stranger things have happened in the NFL, and who knows the Falcons could pull the upset and win. If they do, it will go up on the pantheon of greatest wins ever by this team.

Spread Pick: Saints
Straight Pick: Saints

Categories: Features Tags: ,

FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 48 “Soft Spot for the Jaguars”

November 20th, 2013 1 comment

On this week’s episode, Allen and I are joined by Matt Chambers, a writer for the Falcoholic. We express our condolences over the death of Thomas Howard before getting into the discussion about our favorite team: the Atlanta Falcons. We discuss whether defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is to blame for the defensive troubles seen stemming from Bobby Rainey’s breakout performance in Week 11. We break new ground by mentioning the name Jadeveon Clowney for the first time on the podcast, and begin to look ahead to next spring’s draft, as well as discuss many of the misses from past years’ drafts. We discuss whether Steven Jackson is expendable, and just how much Antone Smith’s performance against the Buccaneers means to his future role with the team. That brings us to a discussion of what the Falcons future plans should be at the running back position. We discuss the “mass benching” that occurred vs. Tampa Bay, and how it could affect things particularly on the offensive line. We close with Matt by discussing the upcoming matchup against the New Orleans Saints in Week 12, and whether or not a blowout is inevitable. Allen and I then have a long discussion about other teams around the league because it’s more interesting than anything going on with the Falcons.

Episode 48: Soft Spot for the Jaguars [Download]

Duration: 1 hour, 19 minutes

Allen writes for TJRSports.com as well as the Pro Football Spot. His twitter handle is: @Allen_Strk.

Matt Chambers can be found on twitter: @FalconsM5, and also writes for The Falcoholic.

If you have any questions and comments, you can hit us up on Twitter, post in the forums in the podcast thread, or drop an e-mail at: pudge@falcfans.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and be sure to rate us there! You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

Pudge’s Picks – Week 11

November 16th, 2013 Comments off
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Sean Weatherspoon returns in Week 11

I’m starting to do a bit better on my picks as of late. I hope that continues this week, shooting to get to 8 or 9 wins against the spread.

Atlanta Falcons (2-7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8)
Sunday, November 17 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Bucs (+1.5)

I’m hopeful that Sean Weatherspoon’s return to the lineup this week will give the Falcons the defensive boost they will need to get stops and turnovers since I have little confidence that the offense will be able to move the ball, given the injury to Tony Gonzalez limiting him. I suspect Revis will be able to put the clamps on Roddy White, and we’ll see another week of bad Falcons offense.

Spread Pick: Bucs
Straight Pick: Bucs

New York Jets (5-4) at Buffalo Bills (3-7)
Sunday, November 17 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Bills (-1.5)

Santonio Holmes will be back for the first time since Week 4, and had a big game against hte Bills in Week 3. But that was a game where the Bills were without Stephon Gilmore and Jairus Byrd. I suspect teh Bills defense will be ready to step up and slow down the Jets offense. The question is whether E.J. Manuel will play well enough to put up enough points make the Bills successful at home.

Spread Pick: Bills
Straight Pick: Bills

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Categories: Features Tags: ,

Pudge’s Picks – Thursday Night Week 11

November 14th, 2013 Comments off

I did better last week with my picks than I have done throughout the year, particularly when it came to picking against the spread. I finished 8-6 last week, which I believe is the best week I’ve had since Week 1. I did not fare quite as well straight up, finishing 7-7.

I’m going to blame injuries to quarterbacks as the main reason my straight picks were so bad. Jay Cutler wasn’t 100-percent, Seneca Wallace got injured, and Jake Locker got hurt. Also Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick both laid complete eggs.

My year-to-date totals are: 71-76 (against the spread) and 93-54 (straight up).

Indianapolis Colts (6-3) at Tennessee Titans (4-5)
Thursday, November 14 at 8:25 pm ET on NFL Network

Line: Titans (+3.5)

The Colts got crushed by the Rams last week, a team the Titans beat the preceding week. But Ryan Fitzpatrick did not play in that game, and that’s the big factor in the favor of the Colts.

I do think similarly to the Rams, the Titans defense will give the Colts offense a lot of trouble. I think Indy’s offense will be better than they were last week, but not by a huge degree. The big concern however is whether the Colts defense, which has been good for the most part this year, is going to be able to keep a lid on Chris Johnson and the Titans offense. I think they will, and when you get crushed by 30 points like they did against the Rams, you should be playing a lot harder this week.

I think I’m going to regret picking the Titans to cover because of the Fitzpatrick factor, but I think the Colts will win a close game.

Spread Pick: Titans
Straight Pick: Colts

Categories: Features Tags: ,