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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


One-eighth of the 2012 NFL Season is complete. And so far, well, I think Jim Mora can sum it up best:

The record:

WEEK 2:       7-9
TOTAL:    18-14

As shown below,
Monica Roberts had a better week than me. She finished at .500, but she beat me fair and square for the week. She’s bummed out about her performance as I am about mine, but 8-8 was good enough for the Broncos to make the playoffs last season.

Gotta do better next time. There are only 224 games remaining across 15 weeks.

≤ 8 PTS
WK 2

That pretty much sums up the NFL through the 12.5% mark: “You think you know, but you don’t know.”

This week proves that as I started the weekend with the Packers beating their division rivals at home. Green Bay’s defense sacked Jay Cutler 7 times, with linebacker Clay Matthews leading the game with 3.5 sacks. The Packers forced Culter to toss 4 interceptions. NFL Network cameras caught the Bears quarterback yelling at his offensive line.

The turning point of the game was this surprise fake field goal towards the end of the first half. Green Bay never saw their double digit lead threatened for the rest of the game as Chicago’s offense was unable to produce any sustaining drives.

I ended up following Sunday’s games on my phone. I was in Dallas for the annual LGBT Pride parade and helping register voters. It was raining, but it was better than in previous years where it was 100 degrees and hot. Still good times.

Here is what I saw during the highlight shows.

I checked my phone for the scores and this made me jump: Arizona 20, New England 18.

Eli Manning… wow. I have him as my fantasy quarterback and that game sums up what you have with him on your roster. He will either give you a bad game (3 interceptions, one returned for a touchdown) or a really good one (243 yards, 2 touchdowns… in the FOURTH QUARTER!)

Eli Manning threw for 510 yards, 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in the Giants 41-34 victory over the Buccaneers.

Though that wasn’t the story to emerge from the game:

Yeah, you are supposed to play to the whistle and until the clock says all zeroes, but there is gamesmanship. Besides, the Buccaneers let the Giants score to take the lead so that they could get the ball back with some time left.

Expect teams to do this to Tampa the rest of the season.

The Bills was horrible against the Jets in Week 1. In Week 2, they had their home opener against the Chiefs and looked much better. CJ Spiller had 170 total yards and 2 rushing touchdowns to pull Buffalo’s record even at 1-1.

The Saints are a mess.

Back-to-back weeks of giving up 35 points on defense, allowing 186 rushing yards/game, and allowing 4 total rushing touchdowns. Drew Brees has already thrown for 4 interceptions. Last season, Brees threw for 14 interceptions setting the single-season record for passing touchdowns. It is wrong to assume that Brees will throw 32 interceptions over a 16-game regular season. However this highlights how much the Saints miss their head coach Sean Payton as he serves his year-long suspension for his involvement in the Saints bounty scandal.

As expected the Bengals rebounded against the Browns and the Eagles and Ravens battled in a rather entertaining game. Philadelphia in back-to-back weeks was involved in one-point games and quarterback Michael Vick has thrown for 6 interceptions… The Eagles are 2-0 and in first place in the NFC East.

Andrew Luck got his first win as the starting quarterback of Colts. So did Miami’s Ryan Tannehill, mainly with the help of Reggie Bush and the Raiders overall ineptitude.

My AFC pick for the Super Bowl, Houston, is off to a 2-0 start. Houston racked up 216 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. Arian Foster led all rushers with 110 yards and a TD, while Ben Tate picked up 74 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jacksonville set a franchise low for time of possession (16:43) and total yards (117).

In fact, a fan who ran on the field during the game outgained the entire Jaguars team before getting escorted out of the stadium by security personnel.

And now the Cowboys game…

Best to get it out of the way.

Ugh. Ugh. And… more ugh.

I am glad I was doing something productive in registering voters at Dallas Pride and not watching that travesty.

Generally, I think Cowboys fans expected them to be 1-1 at this point in the season. Just in a different manner. Running back Marshawn Lynch went into Beast Mode which allowed rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to manage the game and get his first win in the NFL.

I think the blocked punt was a turning point and it set the tone for the game.

Cowboys and special team problems in Seattle… that hasn’t happened before…

Seattle is one of the loudest places in the NFL and the Cowboys just couldn’t take the crowd out of it. The rout was on from then on.

And the dropped passes. Witten, of all players, had 5 drops.

Simply put, this was a dud of a game. Try to win next week.

The other late afternoon games featured the Redskins against the Rams. Washington had a chance to send the game to overtime, but Redskins Josh Morgan incurred a misconduct penalty that pushed his team out of makeable field goal range.

The Steelers were without Troy Polamalu, but beat the Jets. New York is now 1-10 all-time in Pittsburgh, including going 0-2 in the playoffs. Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 24 passes to 10 different receivers against a Jets secondary that was without cornerback Darrelle Revis. All that talk about new offensive coordinator Todd Haley impacting Roethlisberger’s play seem to be moot now.

Yeah, the Jets beat the Bills in Week 1, but I still don’t think they will make the playoffs. There is way too much drama surrounding that team.

Even though the Chargers beat the Titans, it was an emotional day in San Diego with the retiring of lineback Junior Seau’s number. Seau tragically took his own life during the offseason. He was one of the best linebackers of my generation.

On Sunday Night, the 49ers won with another eight point victory but again the final score does not tell the whole story. I am pretty impressed with San Francisco’s offense with the running of Frank Gore, tight end Vernon Davis, and receiver Mario Manningham. And again, that defense.

Even though Green Bay is my NFC pick for the Super Bowl… nah it’s way too early to make adjustments to my early season prediction. Wait until Week 9 or 10.

Monday Night featured the first quarterback duel between Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan. Honestly, Atlanta should have blown Denver out of the water. In the first half, the Falcons turned 4 Broncos turnovers into 13 points. Credit Denver’s defense for not letting two field goal drives turn into touchdowns.

In the fourth quarter, Peyton Manning led two scoring drives to close the gap to 6 with 3 minutes remaining. It was up to the Denver defense to hold one more time. Julio Jones caught a key pass over the middle on third down and Michael Turner had a huge gain on the next play that essentially ended the game for a 27-21 victory over the Broncos.

And how did Michael Turner celebrate his team’s victory?

Why, he went with his fellow team mates for some pizza and soda pop.

The Falcons running back was pulled over at 5 AM on Tuesday morning for speeding and failed a field sobriety test. He was charged with DUI and speeding. Right now it is unknown if the Falcons will discipline him, but expect the NFL to come down on him.

As I look at the matchups for Week 3, there are some compelling matchups. Thursday night starts the week off with the Panthers hosting the Giants. This could be the coming out game for Cam Newton as this is his first primetime game as a starting NFL quarterback and the first for Carolina since 2010.

On Sunday, Dallas will see the Cowboys home opener against Tampa Bay. The Rams, led by Coach Jeff Fisher, visit a beleaguered Chicago team. Buffalo travels down to Cleveland as the Browns play their third consecutive game in the Buckeye State. San Francisco has contained Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson… how will they do against Adrian Peterson in Minneapolis? The Jets travel to Miami and the Redskins take on the Bengals.

The late games have the Texans traveling to Denver for their first true test of the regular season. Houston has beaten Miami and Jacksonville, and now we’ll see how they do against a team that has a QB that can complete a forward pass to a receiver. Pittsburgh-Oakland is one for those that know the history of the NFL. Oh, and it’s the 40th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.

There are two late Sunday games that feature undefeated teams: Eagles at Cardinals and Falcons at Chargers.

Here is one guarantee pick for those games: I like the team that is 2-0. If they score more points than the other team, then they will be 3-0.

Sunday night is a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game. This time it is in Baltimore. Both the Patriots and Ravens will be looking to avenge losses in Week 2. Could this be a changing of the guard in the AFC or a maintaining of the status quo?

Monday, Green Bay travels to Seattle. Now the last time Green Bay played was on Thursday in Week 2. Dallas had 11 days off in between games before playing Seattle and look what happened… Will the same happen to Green Bay after having 11 days off between games?

Again, the theme of this entry was: “You think you know, but you don’t know.”

Here are your picks for Week 3. Remember, these are strictly for entertainment purposes. I am not responsible for monetary losses, damage and repossession of property, and/or missing body parts to repay gambling debts amassed for this picks.

Kickoff Times are Central Time
Picks Indicated in BOLD
Sunday Day Games for the Dallas-Fort Worth Area are indicated with (DFW)

New York Giants at Carolina Panthers, 7:20 PM NFL


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (DFW)
St. Louis Rams at Chicago Bears
San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (CBS)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals
Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers

New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens, NBC 7:20 PM

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks, 7:30 PM ESPN

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