The Electric Commentary

Friday, November 19, 2004

Fisk Bill, Vol. 2

Since it is almost the weekend I'm taking the easy way out and relying on someone else's hard work for my football column. I think it's a good week for this because there are about 4 games this week that I think are "duh" games with regard to the spread. Bill Simmons picks every game every week, but we can be a bit more selective, so:

Cardinals (+3) over PANTHERS
Bill says - Shhhhhhhhhh ...
Paul says - He's right, let's keep this to ourselves. The Cards have a very nice defense. They have enough on offense to score at least 2 TDs per week. Carolina is horrible and should only be favored against the Dolphins.

(By the way, Stephen Davis is undergoing risky surgery right now that could be career ending. Since we are partially responsible for the injury for drafting him in a fantasy league, we wish him the best of luck. And for those of you who think that my drafting has no impact, I would just like to point out that Fred Taylor has been healthy for almost 2 years now, and I haven't picked him once. What do you have to say to that?)

Take the Cards, who will win outright.

Chargers (-3.5) over RAIDERS
Bill says - Strange line of the week, Part One.
Paul says - The Chargers are good. The Raiders start Kerry Collins and play bad defense. This will be a blow out. Take the Bolts. Obviously.

JAGS (-3) over Tennessee
Bill says - Strange line of the week, Part Two.
Paul says - The Titans just don't have it. Too many injuries including McNair. I know that Leftwich is hurt, but many in Jacksonville wanted Garrard to start, and he has shown why. Jacksonville doesn't have the most explosive offense, but it's only a FG, and I still don't have Fragile Freddy on a fantasy team, so they should be OK.

Falcons (-2.5) over GIANTS
Bill says - An unexpected holiday bonus. Who would have thought that we would get treated to the Eli Manning Face this early in the season? Should we send Tom Coughlin a fruit basket or something?

Paul says - Wow, that Atlanta defense is looking pretty good. Who's their defensive coordinator again? I mean, they were pretty pathetic last year and they've turned it right around (especially with the return of Rod Coleman to the lineup).

The Giants are playing a rookie QB in his first start against one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. This should be fun. Ka-ching.

As for the Pack:

Bill says - TEXANS (+3) over Packers
Let's see ... the Packers have won four in a row ... the Texans have lost their last two games by a combined score of 80-27 ... and this is the strangest gambling season of all-time. Your honor, I think we've reached a verdict.

Paul says - PACKERS (-3) over Texans
What he said, except without the superstitious crap at the end. The one thing that the Texans have going for them is that they pass a lot, and the Pack can't really stop the pass, but their defense is bad. When we play bad defenses we score a lot, and the Texans don't have the horses to keep up with us, so to speak.

A few other football notes. You may have picked up on the fact that I'm critical of punter Brian Barker, as he's the worst player in the NFL and all, but apparently he is good at something:

Even though the Packers have third-round draft choice B.J. Sander available on the 53-man roster, they have no intention of making a switch. They value Barker’s holding for kicker Ryan Longwell at least as much as they do his punting ability and they aren’t willing to take a chance on affecting two positions in the hope of getting a few more yards punting.

“I think it would be difficult to do that now because of the impact it might have on the holding situation,” special teams coach John Bonamego said. “That’s just such a vital job and Ryan is having a great year. It would have to be something catastrophic; Bryan would have to get hurt or fall off and be really bad.”

We keep him because of his holding!!! Henceforth Mr. Barker will be referred to as Packer Punter/Holder Extraordinaire Brian Barker. Because it's tough to hold for field goals, it's not like a WR or backup QB can do it. Oh wait, yes they can.

In other news, the Football Outsiders are now officially affiliated with the Baseball Prospectus. This is a huge success for them, and as a result they will be publishing the first Football Prospectus next year.

If you want to read the best first-half wrap-up out there, take a look at Aaron Schatz's NFC and AFC reviews, including predictions for the second half. The Outsider's model correctly predicted the Chargers' offensive explosion before the season, and it makes for interesting reading.

And they link to this cheerleader blog too, not that you would be interested in such a thing.

Finally, Wisconsin still has a shot at the Rose Bowl if Michigan chokes against the Buckeyes and the Badgers defeat the Hawkeyes in Iowa. This will be tough, I know. And I also realize that the really stupid cartoon last week didn't help, so this week we have a different really stupid cartoon. As it is about soccer, which is, in my opinion, the sports opposite of football, perhaps it will have the reverse effect.

OK, that made no sense. Just watch the cartoon.

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