Gamblers rejoice, here are our Week 12 Sports Debater expert picks against the spread. (We are NOT responsible for any money lost) odds courtesy of 5Dimes.eu
|Game Time||Teams||NYBobby||MatthewToddErich||Scher Thing|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||Minnesota Vikings (+6.5) @ Chicago Bears (-6.5)||Bears||Bears||Bears|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||Oakland Raiders (+8) @
Cincinnati Bengals (-8)
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||Pittsburgh Steelers (-2) @ Cleveland Browns (+2)||Steelers||Steelers||Browns|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||Buffalo Bills (+2.5) @ Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)||Colts||Colts||Colts|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||Denver Broncos (-10) @ Kansas City Chiefs (+10)||Broncos||Broncos||Chiefs|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||Seattle Seahawks (-3) @ Miami Dolphins (+3)||Seahawks||Seahawks||Seahawks|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||Atlanta Falcons (-1.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5)||Buccaneers||Falcons||Falcons|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||Tennessee Titans (-3.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5)||Titans||Titans||Titans|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||Baltimore Ravens (0) @ San Diego Chargers (0)||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||San Francisco 49ers (-2) @ New Orleans Saints (+2)||Saints||Saints||49ers|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||St. Louis Rams (+1.5) @ Arizona Cardinals (-1.5)||Cardinals||Cardinals||Rams|
|Sunday, November 25, 2012:||Green Bay Packers (+2.5) @ New York Giants (-2.5)||Giants||Packers||Giants|
|Monday, November 26, 2012:||Carolina Panthers (-2.5) @
Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5)
The first quarter of the NFL season is out of the way and teams are starting to show their true colors. We have had some great stories in the first part of the season and I for one am extremely excited to see what else we have in store. This week holds a couple of extremely enticing matchups, including Brady vs. Peyton, which every NFL fan is anticipating. As great as some of the games might be this week, the real excitement comes from your fantasy football teams. So here are our week 5 picks to help improve your lineups in the final seconds before the 1 o’clock games.
Andrew Hawkins: Sunday 1:00 PM EST
One of the things that has stayed consistent in the first quarter of the season is the Cincinnati Bengals QB, Andy Dalton, and his love for his #1 receiver, A.J. Green. That love affair is known across the league now so defenses are being designed to shut it down. That means that Dalton will need to find new toys to play with on his receiving core. That’s where the second year man out of Toledo, Andrew Hawkins comes in. While Hawkins has had a pretty quiet start to the season, he has been able to break a couple of big plays that went for touchdowns. He will never be a heavily targeted receiver, but if you are in need of a “flex” position player and are looking for a big play guy, Hawkins is the way to go this week. He has ridiculous speed and always has one-on-one coverage because of the before mentioned Green. While his game won’t be earth-shattering, I do feel he will make a couple of big plays to boost his fantasy numbers against an inconsistent Miami defense.
Predictions for week 5: 4 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown
Randall Cobb: Sunday 1:00 PM EST
The Green Bay Packers have been struggling this season, but the truth of the matter is that if they didn’t get robbed by the worst call in NFL history, than they would be 3-1 right now. That being said, they are 2-2 and have played without a healthy star receiver, Greg Jennings, for most of the early season. NFL M.V.P Aaron Rodgers has had to find other favorite targets to help the pass-happy offense of the Packers move up and down the field. This week Rodgers has the luxury of facing off with the inexperienced Indianapolis Colts where, like Burger King, he should have it his way. Rodgers’ #1 is Nelson and #2 is Jones, but this week I am focusing on the Packers #3 receiver and punt returner, Randall Cobb. Cobb is arguably the fastest wide out the NFL has to offer and he has been targeted by Rodgers way more than anyone would have expected. In a big game against the Saints last week, Cobb pulled in 7 catches. I expect him to have a really good day against a Colts defense with no real stars.
Predictions for week 5: 7 receptions for 110 yards, Punt Return for a touchdown
Jacoby Jones: Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Joe Flacco is having an MVP type start to his 2012-13 season. Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin have both been stellar this year in catching anything that Flacco throws at them. Ray Rice seems to be pushing through any defender that tries to touch him and the Ravens defense is looking as good as the old days. Things seem to be clicking for this AFC powerhouse and I feel that today’s game against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs with be the coming out party for the former Houston Texan, Jacoby Jones. Jones is one of those rare receivers that actually puts his body on the line for his team. While I’m not comparing his skill level to Keyshawn Johnson, Jones does possess a lot of the same receiving attributes that Johnson once dominated the NFL with. While Jones is not a go to target for Flacco too often, whenever Boldin, Smith and Rice need a rest Jones will get a look. I am imagining a huge blowout today in Kansas City where Flacco will be throwing for nearly 400 yards. I expect Jones to be on the receiving end of a large chunk of those.
Predictions for week 5: 6 receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown
Mike Tolbert: Sunday 4:05 PM EST
The original “vulture,” who stole so many touchdowns from my boy Michael Turner for 3 straight years in Atlanta, has moved to the Carolina Panthers. Entering the season, many people were saying that Carolina had the best rushing attack in the NFL with names like Stewart, Williams, Tolbert and of course Cam Newton. While they haven’t performed to the standards that we all predicted, they have shown signs of life and seem to have a breakout game coming in the near future. If you pick Tolbert up in your fantasy league and expect him to get a lot of touches or even be in a lot of plays for that matter, you are sadly mistaken. Tolbert is a “vulture” specialist, and for all you people who don’t watch “The League” and have no clue what a vulture is then here you go. Vulture: Any player who steals a short touchdown after his teammate gets the ball down the whole field to inside the 5 yard line. I’m expecting this to happen at least once for Tolbert this week and I even think he will be on the receiving end of a couple of ugly screens from Newton.
Predictions for week 5: 6 rushes for 5 yards and a touchdown, 3 receptions for 15 yards
Mario Manningham: Sunday 4:25 PM EST
Sorry Bills fans, but you are going to have to suffer through everything the Jets did last week. Maybe not as bad as we did, but it will be painful because the 49ers have a ridiculous team with talent at every position. Alex Smith has been looking good and everyone on the receiving core has seemed to step up in different games. Last week against the Jets, Smith seemed to have targeted Manningham almost every pass; it was laughable. I do feel that the former Giants wide receiver is a very good player that just hasn’t had his moment to shine yet. This week Manningham will have a field day with the terrible secondary that the Bills put out there on a weekly basis. Mario’s stat line has stayed pretty consistent for the first 4 weeks of the season where he seems to pull in roughly 4 catches a game totaling 30-40 yards. The big advantage with Manningham on your fantasy team is that he also gets a couple of carries on San Fran’s trickery end-around’s. He has already gotten nearly 60 yards on the ground and now has the luxury of going up against a defense that gave nearly 1,000 points to the Patriots last week.
Predictions for week 5: 6 receptions for 80 yards and touchdown, 1 rush for 30 yards
Here is our free advice for you to take now and thank us later. We will be posting 5 players every week who we feel will make a significant impact for that week. If you agree or not with our predictions let us know. If you take our advice and are successful because of it, congratulations and tell your friends. Also check out our picks against the spread at: https://sports-debaters.com/2012/10/03/sports-debaters-expert-picks-against-the-spread-week-5/
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, this is Tony Romo’s and the Dallas Cowboys year to win the NFC East and make some moves for that coveted Lombardi trophy. Last night kicked off the much-anticipated 2012-2013 NFL season with a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl Champ New York Giants. This rivalry has provided NFL fans with many fun and entertaining games and this years season opener kept up with that tradition. One half of the game featured premiere defensive play while the second half showed off the two explosive offenses that we all knew were in this game. Dallas ended up winning 24-17 in a back and forth battle throughout the game. In the first game of any NFL season there are always some jitters, but both teams seemed to gain their composure towards the end of the first half and provided the fans with any extremely competitive opener.
Coming into this game, Tony Romo had much more to prove than his counterpart Eli Manning. Eli was coming off of his second Super Bowl Championship and second Super Bowl MVP while Romo was trying to recover from yet another disappointing early exit from the season. The game started with both teams unsuccessful on the offensive end with each team going 3 and out on their first drives. It looked as if we had a defensive matchup on our hands. Neither team could develop a running game and both offensive lines were forcing their Quarterbacks to endure constant pressure while trying to make a throw.
We all know that the Giants have the best D-Line in the NFL with names like JPP, Tuck, Osi and many more, but the Dallas defense is the one who had the big question mark on their head coming into this season. Outside of DeMarcus Ware, their really isn’t a household name on the Cowboys defense. While the Giants D-Line represented the way we all knew they would, the Dallas D-Line, in my opinion, out played them. They sacked Eli 3 times and had him under consistent pressure. Dallas also clogged up the middle and made life extremely tough on Ahmad Bradshaw and the rest of the Giants rushing attack. DeMarcus Ware, who became the second youngest player to record 100 sacks by recording 2 last night, said, “We let them know where we are as a defense, and that we’ll play that way every week.”
Although Rob Ryan had seemed to get the defense in order with some new young players in the secondary, Romo and his offense still had to find ways to put points on the board. During a drive early in the second quarter, Romo had a flash of a ‘Romoesque’ throw when he placed the ball directly in the hands of the Giants linebacker, Michael Boley. Boley brought the pick all the way down to the Cowboys 2 yard line when he was ripped down illegally by the Cowboys Offensive lineman, Tyron Smith. This was without question a prime example of when a penalty is warranted. Instead of the Giants putting 7 points on the board, the Dallas D was able to make a goal line stand and force a field goal for the games first points. With the Giants ahead 3-0 and under 9 minutes left in the first half, Romo looked at the clock and decided it was time to take over.
Outside of the one disastrous pick, Romo looked nearly perfect for the entire game, while the Giants one major weakness, their secondary, seemed to be picked apart with ease. Romo found Dez Bryant and Miles Austin a handful of times but the surprise of the game was the emergence of the relatively unknown Queens native, Kevin Ogletree. With the departure of Laurent Robinson, one of the big questions entering the season was who would be the Cowboys third receiver. Ogletree was named the third option for game 1 and he made a strong enough case to keep that position for the rest of the season. Kevin finished with game highs in receptions (8), receiving yards (114) and touchdowns (2). As a matter of fact, those were his first two touchdowns of his NFL career. Romo also connected with Miles Austin on a 34-yard touchdown catch on a first and 30 that just made the Giants defense look stupid. Tony looked marvelous and finished the game with an impressive 309 yards on 22 of 29 passing and 3 touchdowns with only the one pick.
Once the passing game took off, the playbook for Dallas seemed to expand. Dallas’ young phenom, DeMarco Murray, started to find holes and showed off some of his power running that the Cowboys coach, Jason Garrett has been boasting about. Murray didn’t find a way into the end zone but he did eat up a lot of the game clock and rushed for 131 yards on only 20 carries. His counterpart, Ahmad Bradshaw scored the Giants first touchdown on an impressive 10 yard run to the outside in the waning minutes of the third to bring the G-Men within 4 points, but it always seemed as if they were playing catch-up and they were never able to get there. Bradshaw finished the game with a respectable 78 yards and a touchdown, but the Giants finished the game with a dismal 82 yards rushing.
Both the Cowboys and Giants had struggles throughout the game that can be attributed to fatigue or stupidity. The Giants won the Super Bowl last year with the worst rushing offense in the NFL. They did this because Eli had a career year and proved to have some of the most reliable receivers in the game. Unfortunately for Eli, his usually sure-handed wideouts dropped a multitude of passes that resulted in many undeserved punts and turnovers. Eli looked great and should have had at least another 100 yards added to his 213 if it wasn’t for Victor Cruz and Martellus Bennett dropping a combined 7 passes. The troubles for the Cowboys were completely different. It seemed as if every time that the Cowboys were putting a solid drive together, they would stab themselves in the foot and receive a stupid penalty. Dallas incurred 13 penalties totaling a ridiculous 86 yards. The Dallas of old would have usually folded under their own pressures but they found a way to maintain their cool and finish off the game strong.
So what does this game truly mean about the Giants?…Not much. They are still the Super Bowl champs and one loss won’t change that. They put up a good fight and could have won this game if a couple of more things went their way. Giants fans have nothing to worry about right away but I still think that Dallas is the team to beat in the NFC East this year (https://sports-debaters.com/2012/08/14/the-cowboys-will-win-the-nfc-east/). What does this win mean for the Cowboys?…A lot! Anyone who remembers how last season started against the other New York team would know that this Cowboys team looks significantly different because of their ability to finish the game error-less. Romo made a quick week one statement with an amazing game and I expect him to continue that for the seasons entirety.
Two nights ago, I was driving home from Trader Joe’s on my usual Sunday night errand run when I saw a loud commotion right next to the Croatian soccer bar five blocks from my apartment. I turned to my girlfriend and explained that during the Euro Cup Tournament, police activity near a soccer bar is very commonplace. The thing I didn’t realize until the next day was that the scene was actually due to the irresponsible behavior of New York Giant’s Guard David Diehl. Had I know Diehl was involved I would have also explained to my girlfriend that NFL players getting arrested is also extremely commonplace.
Neighbors outside of the bar called police about a car accident in Astoria, Queens Sunday night. When they arrived they found Diehl’s BMW had hit several parked cars. Diehl failed a breath test, and was arraigned on two counts of impaired driving. His driver’s license has been suspended. When police removed Diehl from the car, it is reported that he was unable to stand up under his own power and needed to lean on an officer to stay upright. Lab results have shown that given Diehl’s weight, for him to be as intoxicated as he was, he would have had to drink 18 drinks in a 3 hour period. If you factor in the good chance the Diehl was probably munching on some wings or other snacks during his day drinking, and he was probably at the bar for longer than 3 hours since the Croatian game was over long before he was arrested, it is safe to say Diehl probably drank between 30 to 40 beverages.
From all accounts, David Diehl is a good citizen. He has been the leader of the Giant’s offensive line for years and this is the first time we have ever heard of him having any run in with the law. He is very present in the Giant’s charitable functions, and was even involved in a philanthropic event earlier Sunday prior to his drunken escapades. However, as far as I’m concerned, Diehl tarnished his entire image when he decided to get behind the wheel of the car Sunday night. I live in Astoria, drive around the streets all the time and I can safely say that at 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday night you will find children playing outside, tons of traffic and many pedestrians roaming the streets. David Diehl is extremely lucky that he only hit a couple of parked cars. He could have just as easily hit a car with a passenger in it or god forbid a small child. If he had gotten on the highway in his intoxicated state, there would be a possibility that we would be talking about his death instead of his arrest.
One aspect I don’t understand about the situation is why the story isn’t getting move coverage? Two years ago, Braylon Edwards was pulled over on the Westside Highway for speeding. He was also taken in on drunk driving, which made the front page of the New York local newspapers. Edwards situation became a national headline and the Jets were scrutinized for the punishment they leveled on Braylon. Diehl was just as dangerous as Edwards and even caused more damage than Braylon did. For whatever reason, Edwards will be viewed as a criminal and David Diehl will be seen much more as a guy who made a mistake. For whatever the reasons might be for the public perception, to view these two cases differently is absolutely wrong and if we are going to vilify one man, than we need to be consistent in our judgment.
Now, I’m not at all trying to defend Edwards. All NFL players have access to a car service, provided by their union. Each player is issued a card on which there is a number to call in case they find themselves in the situation Diehl was in on Sunday night. The problem with these players is they live up to this macho persona, where they feel as if they are untouchable. Diehl wanted to jump into his fancy car and drive home without being bothered. It was extremely irresponsible. “I’m accountable. I take full responsibility,” Diehl said. “This is the last thing I want anyone to do is judge me on one incident in my life.” Too bad David, I’m judging you.
As a life long New York Jets fan, I have always suffered from an inferiority complex inflicted upon me by the New York Giants. My first few years of life took place in the Lawrence Taylor era and my earliest football memory is the Giants winning the Super Bowl in 1991. Since I’ve been alive, the Giants have played in 5 Super Bowls, winning 3 of them. The Jets have made it to three AFC Championship games, losing all of them but taking great pride in the fact that they made it as far as they did. As a result of my jealousy, I have always had a difficult time giving credit to the Giants. However, if there is one individual that is deserving of any accolades that may be thrown his way, it is Head Coach Tom Coughlin, and the Giants stepped up and finally took care of him yesterday.
Even though there has been rumors of Coughlin being fired almost every season he’s been a member of the Giants organization, he has always weathered the New York media storm. As recently as this past December, prior to the game against the Jets, the media was calling for his head if he was unable to lead the G men to the playoffs. Fast forward 6 games, including a Super Bowl victory later and Coach Coughlin is on a short list of the best coaches in the NFL. He has come a long way since being criticized by the likes of Tiki Barber, Jeremy Shockey and Michael Strahan for his militant demeanor. Coughlin has shown he contains the ability to adapt to an ever-changing league, and flat-out coach football players, putting his team in position to succeed year after year.
The Giants rewarded Coughlin with a three-year contract extension worth an additional $20 million on his current contract. Coughlin responded to the deal by saying “It has always been my belief that it is an honor and a privilege to be the head coach of the New York Giants, I’m thankful to John Mara and Steve Tisch and their families for their support and the recognition of what our players and coaches have accomplished. And I’m grateful for the working relationship Jerry Reese and I have. We’ve got a lot of work left to do.” In true Coughlin fashion, he ended the statement by saying that even though he has won 2 championships in the past 5 years, he will not get complacent, as he understands the demand of coaching in New York.
Coughlin is tied for 19th in regular season wins in NFL history. He has a career 142-114 regular season record, coupled with a 12-7 postseason mark. As all football fans know, not only did he win the Super Bowl in both 2007 and 2011, he did so in improbable fashion both years, as the Giants overcame obstacles that practically mirrored one another. If you ask most people who the best head coach in the league is, the answer would most likely be Bill Belichik. However, Coughlin seems to out coach him every time their teams matchup, including twice on the biggest stage. It is rare that any individual deserves 20 million dollars for any given profession, but in this case, I believe Coughlin has earned every penny the Giants are willing to give him.
Though many Jets fans enjoy Rex Ryan for what he is, we all understand that a major part of the attraction is his buffoonery. In every press conference, Ryan does everything he can to make the game about him, not the team. Ryan states that he brings all the attention onto himself to alleviate the pressure from his team, however it appears to me that Coach Ryan just plain loves being in the spotlight. Also, his foul language and propensity of flipping off fans at media sessions allows him to be popular with some sects of NFL fans, though it would be extremely difficult to find anyone willing to label him classy. Tom Coughlin is the polar opposite of Rex Ryan. Coughlin always carries a team first attitude, constantly stating that his team’s play is about the players, not him. Off the field, Coughlin has reached out to help others throughout his career. On May 23rd, Coughlin received the U.S. Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award for all of his work he has done in honoring veterans and active military members, including traveling to Afghanistan in the offseason a few years ago to pay his respects to our troops in person. In 1996, after Coughlin was introduced to a child with leukemia, and touched by his tragic passing, he started the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund to help support families with children who are suffering from leukemia and other types of cancer. Coughlin has helped to raise $5 million, and has touched the lives of over 1,000 families. When was the last feel good story anyone has heard involving Rex Ryan? No, satisfying men with foot fetishes by providing pornographic video of his wife does not count.
Coughlin has reached the pinnacle of his profession while so many others would have folded under the extreme pressure he has faced. He has outlasted all the players that have criticized and attempted to sabotage him in. He has the respect of his players, coaches, ownership and anybody affiliated with the NFL, and is an example of what every head coach should strive to be. With all that said, we all know that if the Giants get out to an 0-3 start this season, the “Fire Coughlin” chants will ring throughout Metlife Stadium. However, as he always does, Coach Coughlin will survive and eventually have the last laugh, even if his classy nature does not allow him to fully enjoy it.