The Art of the Oh Fer
BobbyStompy goes 0-4 against the spread in an abysmal -- yet oddly comedic -- weekend of NFL picks
First and foremost, sorry to all those that believed in me. I really, really screwed you over. After not picking any NFL games all year, I thought I'd do a nice thing for the TUP community and write a guest post, and, well, you know what ensued: it blew up in my face.
So, what exactly went wrong? Let's take a look, game by game.
The Game: Seahawks at Packers
The Pick: Seahawks (+7.5)
The Result: Fail
Level of Failure: A half disappointed shoulder shrug
To be fair, the team I thought would win this game was
the eventual winner; it just so happened they won a lot more convincingly than I could have predicted.
The Twist: All of that damn snow in Green Bay ironically created a hellish atmosphere for the visiting Seattle Seahawks.
The Funny: Brett Favre's unarguably* homo-erotic snowball antics.
The X-Factor: On the Green Bay side, it had to be Ryan Grant, who literally destroyed the Seattle defense by breaking the two hundred yard mark and finding his way into the end zone three times.
For the Seahawks, it was probably Shaun Alexander, whose fat antics (fattics) gave Seattle no chance to compete. His 2.2 yards per carry cemented another disappointing season for a player who just hasn't been the same since guard Steve Hutchinson (of the University of Michigan) left via free agency.
* - all Packer fans have argued this claimThe Game: Jaguars at Patriots
The Pick: Patriots (-13)
The Result: Fail
Level of Failure: 1% cared, 99% celebrated advancement to AFC Championship
Again, another game where the team I thought would win actually won. Unfortunately, the overwhelmingly high spread caught up with the Patriots.
The Twist: Gostowski's unexpected second quarter field goal miss was the eventual difference maker in crushing New England's chance to cover the spread.
The Funny: Jacksonville's Reggie Nelson's inexplicable but subtle call-out
of Tom Brady's monster game:
"It was a dump-down game," Jaguars rookie safety Reggie Nelson sniffed. "Anybody can go 26-of-28 in a dump-down game."
Was he serious? More importantly, do I care? I'm going to go with 'probably' and 'no'.
The X-Factor: Laurence Maroney. Lo-Mo, Kool Aid, whatever you want to call him. His 122 yards and 1 touchdown kept the ball on the ground and the clock moving. Had he been ineffective, perhaps the Pats could have leaned more on the pass en route to putting more points on the board. Talk about a blessing and a curse.The Game: Chargers at Colts
The Pick: Colts (-7.5)
The Result: Fail
Level of Failure: Catastrophic
Just an unreal game that few saw coming. You're telling me that San Diego is losing their starting quarterback and running back and its still going to beat Indy on the road? I scoff at that notion. Just like I scoffed at the spread.
Now everybody scoffs at me.
Going into this game, I had a lot of questions. They got answered...
Who is Rivers throwing to?
Vincent Jackson (7 catches, 93 yards, 1 touchdown), apparently. Chris Chambers got in on that action, too.
Is Tomlinson breaking 100 yards against a rested Colts D?
I was right about that, but who cares when you've got Michael "The Burner" Turner backing you up? He had 71 yards on the ground in one of the biggest performances of his career. And all this while the former league MVP stood watching on the sidelines.
Will Manning rebound from one of the worst performances of his career?
Yeah, he did, but it didn't really matter. None of the blame for this loss should fall on his shoulders. P-Mann threw for 402 yards and three touchdowns, and although critics will point to his two interceptions, both were chest passed to the DBs from his wide receivers. The bottom line is Manning is one of the most prepared players the league has ever seen, but today, the whole "it's a team game" philosophy was as evident as ever.
Is Vinatieri gonna choke in playoffs -- in a dome?
Nope, not at all. He hit a season high field goal (47 yards) in the first half and split the uprights on all of his extra point attempts. But, like a smaller version of Manning, his play was not what derailed the Colts.
So, even though my projections that pointed to a Colts victory were -- for the most part -- accurate, they were inconsequential in the big picture. Maybe I was just asking the wrong questions.
The Twist: The injury bug was out in full force, limiting the playing time of assumed superstars LaDainian Tomlinson, Marvin Harrison, and Phillip Rivers.
The Funny: For the Chargers, it was backup QB Billy Volek going three of four and becoming the unlikely playoff hero after his game-winning QB sneak on the goal line.
For the Colts, Marvin Harrison's early fumble comes to mind. I would say Harrison has been notoriously bad in the playoffs, but the problem with that statement is the 'notorious' part. Nobody seems to realize that the guy absolutely disappears in playoff games, and because he's such a sweetheart, the mainstream media never seems to touch on it. I applaud Harrison for doing his best to come in today, but his fumble just destroyed the Colts momentum in the first half. The post-season mediocrity continues for the mustached one.
The X-Factor: The aforementioned Michael Turner simultaneously kept the clock and chains moving. His efforts eased the pressure that would have burdened Billy Volek. Forcing the rusty second stringer to make plays through the air would have been the downfall of the San Diego Super Chargers.The Game: Giants at Cowboys
The Pick: Cowboys (-7.5)
The Result: Fail
Level of Failure: Pretty High
Great game from top to bottom. Killer penalties, heroes, goats, a rabid Texas crowd. I found myself rooting for both teams so many times throughout the course of this heated bout.
The Twist: Eli Manning's second straight playoff road win propels the Giants to an unlikely upset over the Cowboys! Eli's headed to the NFC title game while brother Peyton sits on the couch next week. Un-real.
The Funny: The AP game recap
Tony Romo can go wherever he wants with Jessica Simpson now.
Poor Romo's playoff woes continue. This media firestorm around Simpson in Dallas has got to cool off, but it won't. While Simpson wasn't at the game, she did spend time with Romo during the idle wildcard week. Will crazy Texans turn this into a scapegoat? Of course. Just don't tell Matt Olsen
The X-Factor: Amani Toomer (of the University of Michigan) got the ball rolling for the Giants with a 52-yard touchdown catch. He finished with four receptions, 80 yards, and two touchdowns. No. 1 wide out Plaxico Burress had one catch for five yards.
* * *
So, we had two underdogs win outright while a third underdog was able to cover. Green Bay was the only favorite to actually win. These picks have brought me shame, dishonor, and misery, and my spread cred got thrown out the window like bathwater. What a travesty.
See you next week.