Friday, October 12, 2007

What We Know and What We Don't Know

It’s Week 6 in the NFL so there are some trends out there. For instance, home underdogs are 17-8 against the spread this year and underdogs overall are a whopping 43-28-5. So if you’ve been laying point against the spread you’re a much smarter person than me. And probably a whole lot richer.

Let’s look at the lines this week playing a game of “What We Know and What We Don’t Know” (team listed first is the team that I picked):

Kansas City +3 vs. Cincinnati
What we know: We know that outside of the game against the Chargers, the Chiefs offense has been dreadful this year. And outside of their game against the Ravens, the Bengal defense has been equally dreadful.

What we don’t know: We don’t know if a game against the Bengal’s defense will be enough to get Larry Johnson going. If it isn’t I think we can hold a memorial service for Larry Johnson’s 2007 season. The lesson of course is that it’s never a good idea to have your running back carry the ball over 400 times in a season.

Houston +6.5 at J’ville
What we know: We know Matt Shaub and David Garrard are capable quarterbacks. We know both teams have strong defenses and both teams play close games.

What we don’t know: We don’t know if either team is for real. The Texans have beaten the Dolphins, Panthers and Chiefs and the Jags have beaten the Chiefs, Falcons and Broncos. That’s not exactly a list of powerhouse teams right there. We’ll find out more about J’ville in next week’s Monday night game against the Colts. Until then, stay tuned.

Cleveland -4.5 vs. Miami
What we know: We know Cleveland can score -- especially at home and that they’re a bona fide sleeper team this year. We know the Cleo Lemon (the Dolphins starting QB this week) used to play for the Chargers.

What we don’t know: We don’t know if Ronnie Brown can continue his magical fantasy football season-- which is the only way Miami pulls off the upset. We don’t know if the Browns can win a game they’re supposed to. And we really don’t know why after suffering a severe concussion last year, Trent Green decided to dive head first into a lineman’s knee.

Chicago -5.5 vs. Minnesota
What we know: We know that there’s an Adrian Peterson on both the Bears and the Vikings. We know that the Adrian Peterson on the Vikings will be the only viable offensive player on either team this Sunday. We know that I have Adrian Peterson of the Vikings on my fantasy football team and last week picked up Adrian Peterson of the Bears and tried to trade him to my cousin Timmy hoping that he wouldn’t notice. We know that my fantasy team is sinking faster than Put Up Your Dukes and I’m desperate.

What we don’t know: We don’t know if Brian Griese is actually better than Rex Grossman.

Philly -3 at New York Jets
What we know: We know the Jets are a shell of the team they were last year. We know Chad Pennington can’t throw the ball over 15 yards. We know Thomas Jones is struggling this year. We know Philly always comes out strong after their bye week.

What we don’t know: We don’t know how much more losing Philly fans can take. Between the Phillies getting swept out of the playoffs, the Eagles 1-3 start and the beginning of a hopeless season for the 76ers there should be a mass suicide watch in that city right now.

Baltimore -10 vs. St. Louis
What we know: We know that ESPN columnist Bill Simmons equated this match-up to watching Sharon Stone and Mike Douglas getting it on in Basic Instinct 3.

What we don’t know: We don’t know what the hell happened to these two teams. The Ravens defense and the Ram’s offense used to be really good right? I guess the appropriate response would be so was Enron stock and the dial up internet.

eeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…… bong, bong, errrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…. bong, bong, bong…..

(In case you were wondering, that was my impression of the dial up internet.)

Tennessee +3 at Tampa Bay
What we know: We know that Vince Young wins games.

What we don’t know: We don’t know how he does it.

Washington +3 at Green Bay
What We Know: We know the Redskins have a good defense and we know the Packers can’t run the ball. We know that Brett Farve is officially rejuvenated. And thanks to Brett Farve’s wife and a botoxed-out Andrea Kramer, we know its breast cancer month or something.

What We Don’t Know: We don’t know if Jason Campbell can consistently play well.

Arizona -4 vs. Carolina
What we know: We know the Panthers signed Vinny Testerverde this week and he may start if David Carr can’t go. We know that Matt Leinhart is out for the year and Kurt Warner is starting for the Cardinals. That means this game could potentially feature a QB matchup between Vinny Testerverde and Kurt Warner.

What we don’t know: We don’t know if Kurt Warner’s comeback will include the comeback of his flat-top haired wife, Brenda. And since Christmas is almost just around the corner and since the Kurt Warner or Dough Christie jersey for the friend who’s whipped is almost played out, let me suggest this book by the Christie’s entitled “No Ordinary Love.”

Dallas +6 vs. New England
What we know: We know that this has been the most ridiculously over-hyped game this season.

What we don’t know: We don’t know if Dallas deserves the hype. If they were in the AFC they’d be the fourth or fifth ranked team at best. Would a team like the Jaguars or Titans trade rosters with Dallas right now? I don’t know if they would.

San Diego -10 vs. Oakland
What we know: We know that under Marty Schottenheimer, the Chargers always ran up the score against the Raiders so laying money on the Chargers during Raider Week was an easy play. We know the Raiders haven’t beaten a good team yet this year. We know that during the during the Charger-Bronco game last week sideline reporter Bonnie Bernstein had ridiculously defined arms with veins popping out of them and had she been a baseball player there would be serious questions to how she came to acquire those guns.

What we don’t know: We don’t know where the hell Shawne Merriman has been this season. He only has three sacks two of which were meaningless ones in the Patriot game. Is Merriman hurt? Does he need the number of Bonnie Bernstein’s “personal trainer”? Do we need to start calling him “Lights Out” again? Is Ted Cotrell dumber than a box of rocks?

Note: If “Lights Out” comes through with a 6 sack performance this weekend forget I asked those questions.

Seattle -6.5 at New Orleans
What we know: We know the Saints can’t defend. And if you watch Inside the NFL, you know that Saints coach Sean Payton owns a hideous pair of disgusting purple jeans. What series of scenarios would have to unfold for a grown man to be at a department store and decide to buy a pair of purple jeans? It’s pretty disturbing.

What we don’t know: We don’t know if Shawn Alexander is a ballerina or a running back. Did you see him tiptoe through the line last week against the Steelers? God, I’d be really pissed if I cared about the Seahawks.

Atlanta +3.5 vs. NYG
What we know: We know Eli Manning is just about due for one of those midseason performances where he goes 12-for-36 with one touchdown and three interceptions that leaves everyone wondering how on earth he could be related to Peyton Manning.

What we don’t know: We don’t know how many times ESPN will show a stressed out Archie with his face in his hands. Chill out dude, you’re watching your son play football not getting tortured by terrorists or something. Is he really that stressed out or is he hamming it up for the cameras? My gut tells me it’s the latter.

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