Who Am I?

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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 18, 2014



Cowboys at Rams
Colts at Jaguars
Vikings at Saints
Chiefs at Dolphins

Broncos at Seahawks

What did you think?

When the NFL announced in January the teams that would play each other in 2014, this was a possible matchup given who was in the playoffs. When the Broncos won the AFC Title and with the Seahawks and 49ers playing for the NFC Title, it was secured that this season would have a Super Bowl rematch for the first time since October 1997. There have been 5 Super Bowl rematches taking place the following season in NFL history. The defending champion is 3-2 in those games.

In the Super Bowl, the Seahawks were 35 points better than the Broncos on a neutral site.

Even though both teams have seen their fair share of roster turnover in the offseason, many key players from that game remain.

The Broncos have won their last two games not by their superior offensive fire power but with a fourth quarter defensive stand. In Week 1, the Broncos stopped Andrew Luck from a fourth quarter comeback. Last Sunday against the Chiefs it was a knockdown of Alex Smith's last pass to the end zone.

As for the Seahawks, they looked great at home against the Packers but were a different team in San Diego 10 days later. Maybe it was the long time off between games. Maybe it was quarterback Phillip Rivers not being intimidated by the Seahawks secondary and torching them for three touchdown passes to tight end Antonio Gates.

Over their last 19 home regular season and playoff games, Seattle is 18-1.

Denver is 2-0 and Seattle is 1-1. It is worth pointing out that the season is 16 games long. For both teams, there are 14 games remaining.

A Seahawks win will affirm my belief that the Seahawks will likely repeat as NFL champions. While a Broncos win will not bring that Super Bowl to Denver, it will put them on the path towards redemption.


Packers at Lions

Quarterback battle in Detroit.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns. Most of those yards went to wide receiver Jordy Nelson who caught 9 passes for 209 yards and a 80 yard touchdown pass that gave the Packers the win.

The Lions looked less than stellar against the Carolina Panthers. This wasn't the same team that dominated the Giants in Week 1. Not only did the Lions commit three turnovers (2 fumbles, 1 interception) in this game, but also missed two field goals and five of their 12 offensive drives ended in punts.

Chargers at Bills

If it wasn't for blowing an 11-point lead in Arizona in Week 1, we would have had an unexpected battle of undefeated teams in Buffalo. San Diego is good as shown with their win at home over the Seahawks. But the Bills are 2-0?

As mentioned above, San Diego tight end Antonio Gates caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Philip Rivers in the team's upset win over Seattle last Sunday.

The Bills are one of the early season surprises of 2014 getting off to a 2-0 start. It is only September and so far Buffalo's wins have been against 2013 non-playoff teams. This is their first of five games against 2013 playoff teams.

I'm trying to remember the last time I saw the Bills play on television when they were good. A win over the Chargers might bring the Bills more exposure.

Texans at Giants

As I mentioned in my AFC South preview, the Texans' schedule has them set up to win 6 games. Ending the season at .500 would be a success.

Well, two weeks into the season and Houston has matched their win total from 2013. One more win and they will have exceeded their win total and be halfway to my 6 win prediction.

The Giants are off to another 0-2 start like last season. If they don't get a win, Giants fans will have a feeling of déjà vu.

Ravens at Browns

Maybe these aren't the same old sorry Browns of years past.

Before upsetting the Saints last Sunday, the last time the Browns won a home opener: George Bush was president.

Wrong Bush.

It was 12 September 2004. At the time I was 2 years, 1 month in the Navy as a Petty Officer Third Class and was on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) for days before my 6 month point on board. Their opponent: the Ravens.

The Browns did beat the Ravens last season in Cleveland (Yes, it really happened. Here is the proof.) It was their first win over Baltimore since sweeping the regular season series in 2007 when the Browns won 10 games, but missed out on the playoffs that year.

I almost did not include this game in "Must Watch" because I am not sold on the Browns being better, but Cleveland made their Week 1 game at Pittsburgh a contest after trailing 27-3 at the half and only lost by a field goal and they did upset the Saints last Sunday.

This was supposed to be the game that running back Ray Rice was supposed to return to the team after serving a very light 2-game suspension for assaulting his then-fiancée, now wife. Rice has been indefinitely suspended and cut from the team after the full video was revealed. I think the team has accepted the fact that Rice will no longer be playing football for them for the rest of the season and has moved on without him.

Washington at Eagles

The Eagles beat the Colts on Monday 30-27 thanks to running back Darren Sproles catching 7 passes for 152 yards and rushing for a 19 yard touchdown pass (and helping me win my fantasy game). For the second consecutive week the Eagles trailed by double digits and ended up winning the game.

Washington won their game against the Jaguars, but lost quarterback Robert Griffin III to a dislocated left ankle injury. The positive out of this is that it wasn't fractured meaning he could return later in the season and the team has a capable backup in Kurt Cousins.

This game is a homecoming of sorts for Washington receiver DeSean Jackson. Four years ago Jackson was involved in a comeback win at the Giants:

49ers at Cardinals

Unfortunately this game is on at the same time as the Broncos-Seahawks Super Bowl rematch game.

In Week 1, the 49ers defense forced 4 turnovers in their win at Dallas. In their home opener and official opening of their new stadium in Week 2, the 49ers offense was hit with the turnover bug that allowed the Bears to comeback from down 17-0 to win the game by 8.

As the for the Cardinals, playing in the second Monday night game in Week 1 followed by an early Sunday kickoff on the east coast in Week 2 did not have any effect on the team. The Cardinals are seeking their second 3-0 start since moving to Phoenix.

Last time Arizona started 3-0 was in 2012 and then before that 1974 when the franchise was in St. Louis. Starting 3-0 in 1974 had a slightly better ending for the Cardinals than in 2012. Arizona finished that season losing 11 of their last 12 games while the 1974 Cardinals started the season 7-0 and won their first of back-to-back NFC East division championships.

Steelers at Panthers/Bears at Jets

It would have made more sense for the NFL to schedule the Super Bowl rematch in one of these early season primetime slots, but I understand the reasoning.

The Steelers have one of the deepest fan bases in the league while the Panthers were a playoff team in 2013. The Bears are like the Steelers too. They have a deep fan base too.

And the Jets…

Well, they are the Jets which means we will be entertained.

Last week the Jets lost their game at Green Bay in the most Jets way possible. New York built a 21-3 lead over Green Bay only to see it evaporate.

On their last offensive drive it appeared that the Jets had pulled within one on a 4th down pass from quarterback Geno Smith to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley.

That is until one of the sideline coaches called for a timeout. The only sideline coach that can call a timeout is the head coach.

The Jets would go on to lose the game 31-24.

For a period of time on Twitter, "Only The Jets" was trending.

And now the picks.

Kickoff times are mountain time, games airing in Denver are noted by (DEN), and picks are in BOLD.


Buccaneers at Falcons

Raiders at Patriots (DEN)
Colts at Jaguars
Chargers at Bills
Ravens at Browns
Texans at Giants
Titans at Bengals

Packers at Lions (DEN)
Cowboys at Rams
Washington at Eagles
Vikings at Saints

Broncos at Seahawks (DEN)
Chiefs at Dolphins

49ers at Cardinals

Steelers at Panthers

Bears at Jets

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