crazy colored glasses

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Observations & Predictions

The Cowboys ran out to a big lead against the Niners and than held on as the Niners scored 13 points in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys started the game looking flat while the Niners ran out to a 6-0 lead. That all changed in a flash as Romo found Owens for 75 yard score. After that play the Boys were energized and went on to dominate the 2nd and 3rd quarters while letting up a bit in the fourth. Dallas improved their playoff chance by upping their record to 7-4 with a very winnable game against Seattle on Thursday afternoon.

The Jets handed it to the unbeaten Titans. They are a team to be reckoned with in the AFC. All the papers here in NYC are starting to get really excited about the possibility of an all NY Super Bowl (although both teams play in Jersey). Giants beat the Cardinals a little more easily than I thought they would. The Pats pulled away in the fourth against the Dolphins in a high-scoring affair. The death knell sounded on the Eagles season (and possibly Andy Reid's tenure) as the Ravens blew out Philly.

Top Performers of the Week
QB-MattCassel: A second 400+ yard week. Cassel is a free-agent at the end of this season and based off these last two games should have plenty of suitors. This kid can run an offense.
RB-Michael Turner: Turner led the Falcons past the Panthers with 100+ yards and 4 scores. 
WR-Terrel Owens: He lit up his former squad to the tune of 213 yards and a score. Could be the breakout game we've been waiting for all year. I'm sure he's happy to have Romo back.
TE-Tony Gonzalez: Even in a losing effort he put up 117 yards and a TD.
Defense-Baltimore: They shut down a high-powered Eagles defense and even sent McNabb to the bench in favor of Kevin Kolb.
Special Teams-Buffalo Bills: Strong returns helped get Buffalo in great field position all day long against KC. 

This week sees a trio of games on Thanksgiving. None of them seem overly competitive. I think all 3 have the potential to get ugly. The Titans will be looking to take out last weeks loss on the winless Lions. The Cowboys look to continue marching towards the playoffs in dismantling the Seahawks, and the Cardinals should throw all over the Eagles. I'm expecting 3 double digit victories. The Bucs defense should have enough to slow down the high flying Saints attack. The Giants should again blitz Jason Campbell and the Skins into submission. The Jets will continue to roll over the Broncos. While the Pats will eeek one out against Pittsburgh. Bears over Minny in a battle for first place (watch out for Matt Forte, he loves them domes).

The rest of the week looks like this (10-6 last week). Indy over Cleveland. Ravens beating the Bengals. Miami over the Rams. Buffalo over the Niners. Packers at home over the Panthers. Atlanta over the Chargers. Oakland beating KC and Houston over Jacksonville

Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB-Jay Cutler: Even though I think the Broncos will lose, I think this will be a shoot out with Cutler chucking the pigskin all over the field.
RB-Matt Forte: The Bears will stake their claim for first on the legs of their rookie back. 
WR-Anthony Gonzalez: The soft Nickel and Dime packages of the Browns will have their hands full with the Colts slot receiver.
TE-Kevin Boss: I'm a big fan of this TE who has a score in each of the last 3 games. As the season gets longer not only is he leaving his mark with his blocking but also showing he's a complete player as a big target.
Defense-Titans: I see the Lions doing absolutely nothing.
Special Teams-Packers: Panthers on the frozen tundra=good things for the Packs return game.


A very good read

I don't read as many books as I should. I read a ton of comics, magazines and websites, but full on books... not so much. With my monthly (most times bi-weekly) trips to the library with my daughter I've started to check out and read more books. When my wife was on her way to the library last week to pick up a non-fiction story book ("with a beginning a middle and an end, which also had a cause and effect" as Scrappy would explain) she asked "should I get you anything" as she walked out the door. I replied "Sure, take a look and see if they have The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer."

Now, I must admit that the only reason  know of Brad Meltzer is because of his comic writing. He had multiple New York Times best-selling books before jumping into the fray at DC Comics. He had a great story arc in Green Arrow (Archer's Quest), followed by what I consider to be the most important in-continuity comic of the last 20 years Identity Crisis. After that he took some time away from comics to write another novel followed by his relaunching of the Justice League of America (two great arcs in The Tornado's Path and The Lighting Saga). 

While reading about his latest novel (in Wizard) I was heavily intrigued. Meltzer had made his name as a mystery/thriller novelist. For his latest work he was going to marry his love of mysteries with his love of comics. Specifically his love of Superman and the man who created him Jerry Siegel.  

The story centers on Cal Harper and his tragic life who quickly gets embroiled in a deep mystery that starts to unravel when his ex-con father suddenly reappears in his life. What ensues is a mystery so deep and far-reaching that we learn about why a young Jerry Siegel created a Superman (a bullet-proof man because he missed his father who was shot to death) and how this all ties into Cain (who killed his brother Abel) from the bible. 

In essence, this is a story about redemption, the bond between fathers and sons, and the magic of story-telling. A very well crafted thriller.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Observations and Predictions...

Last weekend the Cowboys saved their season. The return of Romo and Terrence Newman were exactly the shot in the arm that this team needed. Although it took the offense a while to get going, once the fourth quarter came, Marion Barber took over. Barber who led the league in fourth quarter rushing last year (this year he ranked 32nd coming into the game) touched the ball on nearly every play in the fourth as the Boys pulled one out against the Redskins. 

The Jets looked good in pulling out to a big lead, and then not so good in letting the Pats back in, they won a close one in New England to grab a hold of first place. The Steelers came back to win a weird one against the Chargers. Giants spanked the Ravens... ran all over them. Denver extended their lead out West in beating the Falcons. Packers beat a very flat Bears squad. The Eagles disappointed in playing to a tie against the Bengals (yes Donovan, a game can end in a tie).

Top Performers of the Week
QB-Peyton Manning: 300+ yards and two scores helped the Colts beat the Texans. Had the Pats found a way to beat the Jets, Cassel would have been an easy pick. I just think Peyton and the Colts have it clicking right now.
RB-Marion Barber: 150+ total yards and a score as well as complete domination of the Redskins top 5 defense in the fourth quarter. 
WR-Anquan Boldin: Has any receiver been better this season. 185 yards in a big game out West.
TE-Dustin Keller: Quickly becoming Favre's go-to-guy. 
Special Teams-New York Jets: Leon Washington ran a score back for TD and a game winning kick in OT sealed the deal.
Defense-Green Bay: Kept the good Bears offense out of the endzone in allowing 3 points.

This week the Cowboys play the Niners which should be a closer game then most expect. The Niners have played tough as of late. I expect a healthier Romo to be the difference. I think the Steelers will beat the Bengals on Thursday night (oh, wait... that game already happened). Titans over the Jets in a very close game. Pats over the Fish in a close one as well (I think this weekend will have lots of close games). Cards upsetting the Giants at home. Warner gets his revenge. Colts over the Chargers on Sunday night.

The rest of the week should play out this way (10-5-1 last week). Browns beating the Texans. Bills over KC. Ravens beat a struggling Eagles team. Bucs over the Lions. In the disappointment bowl, the Vikings over the Jags. Bears over the Rams. Broncos over the Raiders. Panthers over the slipping Falcons. Redskins beat the sorry Seahawks. Packers over the Saints on Monday night. 

Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB-Kerry Collins: Teams have been stacking up to stop the run. Kerry has taken advantage as of late. The Jets have given up a ton of passing yards recently.
RB-Ryan Grant: Looked great last week against the Bears. The Saints defense is a little more welcoming. 
WR-Eddie Royal: Had a field day opening night. Nnamdi will lock up Marshall making Royal a much more inviting target. 
TE-Ben Watson: Starting to round into form after battling all kinds of ailments this year. The Dolphins put a lot of pressure of the QB, I expect Cassel to be checking down to Watson and Welker all day long.
Special Teams-Chicago: This is the weekend we see a big return from Hester.
Defense-Bucs: The Lions are awful. Bucs should tee off.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Detective vs. Batman

Now. let me start out by saying I'm generally a huge fan of Grant Morrison. Plus, I do like what he has done with Batman as a title, but simply put, Paul Dini's Detective Comics (especially this last story arc with Catwoman-a character I love-and Hush) blows Grant Morrison's convoluted R.I.P. storyline away.

Dini has a great grasp on the character from his many years on working on Batman: The Animated Series as well as Justice League. His stories, while multi-layered and riveting, are pretty straight-forward and easy to follow. Grant's stories on the other hand often leave me scratching my head. On top of that, who didn't see Jezebel Jet being revealed as one of the villains... very predictable. Dini on the other hand (and at the same time) has told not only a great and exciting thriller, but a great Bat-universe love story. Batman racing to foil Hush's plan to save his one true love (Selina) is the stuff classic comic stories are made of.

While Grant may be getting all the publicity, Dini has been quietly putting together the best Bat series of the year.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

With the Cowboys on a bye, LEV, who is not a cat person, decided to take this week off, too. Filling in for him is his favorite baby boy, Streaky the wonder cat.

Football Sunday was a much quieter day in our house this week when Dad didn't have to suit up and yell at the Cowboys defense. Because I read last week's blog and knew what was going to happen, I was able to sleep peacefully through most of the games. Luckily, Dad came back from the movies on Monday night in time to turn on the TV so I could see the Niners scramble like there was fresh curling ribbon on the field.

The Detroit defense did prove to be awful, Brandon Marshall did help to make Thursday night interesting, and the Eagles were not able to stop Kevin Boss from receiving (stupid birds), but those other predictions... Hopefully no one took Dad up on that Jake Delhomme pick. (Four interceptions?) Josh Cribbs did return 5 kicks for 135 yards, but the Browns were not as hot my litter box. And the "blow-out" between the Cardinals and Niners? It was about as close as I like to think I am when I stare at the pigeons outside the window. Jets-Rams? That's a blow-out.

Top Performers of the Week
QB-Tony Romo didn't throw any interceptions on TV this week. Yay, Tony! Your continued recovery makes my dad happy.
RB-Thomas Jones might never have another game like this, helping stick it to the Rams with three touchdowns.
WR-Anquan Boldin carries. Anquan Boldin receives. Anquan Boldin scores. Anquan is a Cardinal. Birds are stupid...
TE-Antonio Gates is not allowed to play with my toys. His hands are obviously too good and he would get to them every time before me.
Special Teams-Browns: I guess I'll just stick with my dad's blog last week and just say the Browns special teams were the top performers.
Defense-Panthers couldn't have won that game without their defense. Meow.

So where does that leave us for this week? Tonight I think I will sit on the remote so no one can flip over to the NFL network. Spygate and clips of Belichick and Mangini refusing to shake hands makes me want to tear around the house in crazy circles. Sunday should be more interesting (between my naps) with the Bears at Green Bay and the Cowboys at Washington. Monday, however, I don't know if I'll care when we flip over to ESPN during commercials.

Ooh, Detroit at Carolina. Cat fight!

Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB-Kurt Warner is a Cardinal. I would rather grab hold of a fluffy little red cardinal and introduce it to my back claws than face off with a Seahawk, but I think Kurt will fair better than me in Seattle.
RB-Matt Forte will be the best part of the Bears game.
WR-Marques Colston's knee injury against the Chiefs' growing list of injuries is like me and my midget arms against the jingly ball: No competition.
TE-Tony Gonzalez seems to be getting his act together since my mom threatened to drop him. He should continue to perform well in order to keep his place on the Party Sox.
ST-Panthers are better than Lions. Wait, I have a mane...
Defense-Giants will clean the Ravens clocks (because birds are stupid).


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Observations & Predictions

If you are a die-hard Cowboys fan (like myself), the last few weeks have been pretty difficult to watch. Watching a team that was widely considered to be Super Bowl favorites be decimated by injuries and now sit in last place in the NFC East (outside of the playoffs) has been painful. The loss of Romo isn't the only thing that is holding this team back (although, his play did mask a lot of the teams other weaknesses). The secondary has been awful. The tackling dreadful. And short of DeMarcus Ware, is there anyone else who can rush the passer? Now of course once Romo returns and the defense is on the field less, they will make more plays. Here's hoping that the pinkie is healing well, and Romo will be able to lead this team into the playoffs. The road will be tough, but as the Giants showed last year, being hot at the right time is key.

Week 9 was full of enjoyable close games as contenders started to move a way from the pack (Cards, Giants, Steelers) while pretenders started to fall (Bills, Browns, Jags) as well as providing us with feel good stories to follow for the remainder of the season (Falcons and Titans).

Top Performers of the Week
QB-Kurt Warner: Who would have thought when the season started that Warner would be on the short list of MVP candidates. His play has been great for the Cards this season. Now with Boldin back from injury, he could play even better.
RB-Brandon Jacobs: Brandon set the tone early in the Giants dismantling of the Cowboys. He ran for close to 120 while leading the way for almost 200 rushing yards against my Boys. Tim Hightower was a close second for me. I only mention that because Tim was a late round fantasy draft pick for me in multiple drafts that when selected often had other owners scratching their heads and saying "Who?"
WR-Donald Driver: Driver had his best game of the season in a playoff-like matchup against the Titans tough secondary. 
TE-Owen Daniels: The Vikings defense was once again atrocious in guarding the opposing tightends. Daniels caught 11 for 130+ yards.
Special Teams-Jacksonville: A special teams score (on a fumble recovery) as well as multiple Scobee field goals almost helped the Jags pull off a win.
Defense-Atlanta Falcons: More specifically John Abraham who had three sacks in helping the Falcons blank the Raiders.

My Cowboys have a much needed bye this week. Hopefully when they return both Romo , Felix Jones and Terrence Newman are all healthy. This week we have the first of the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football games. A matchup between Denver and Cleveland. It should be a high-scoring affair as both teams are defensively challenged. I expect the Browns rallying behind Brady Quinn to get the win. With the Boys off, the main event in Casa Vega will be the Titans at Chicago. I think a low-scoring defensive battle will be the order of the day. A late Bironas kick will keep the Titans record spotless. The Pats should be able to hold off the freefalling Bills at home. I like Matt Ryan to light up the Saints defense in an Atlanta victory. I'm hoping the Colts (my fantasy squad needs Peyton to do well) can outlast the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Big Ben's health worries me, even though Byron Leftwich played well. The Giants should also continue their strangle hold on the NFC with a BIG win over Philly.

Here are my picks for the rest of the weekend (10-4 last week). Jags over Detroit (but it will be closer than people think). Houston behind Sage beat the visiting Ravens. Dolphins get over .500 beating the Seahawks. Aaron Rodgers pulls off a victory on the road against Minny. the Jets over the Rams. Panthers huge in Oakland. Chargers big at home over KC. The Cards showing America they are for real in beating San Fran on Monday night. 

Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB-Jake Delhomme: Panthers have a very favorable matchup against Oakland. 200+ yards and 2 scores are a given (if not more) against this hapless squad. The Raiders are also looking at getting rid of DeAngelo Hall, so their secondary will be even worse this weekend. 
RB-Maurice Jones-Drew: Detroit has been awful against the run lately. Forte had a field day last week. MJD should benefit this week.
WR-Brandon Marshall: He was very vocal about his lack of action last week. I expect Cutler to go his way early and often against the awful secondary of the Browns. 
TE-Kevin Boss: He's been a blocking machine for the G-Men who has started to get a lot of looks in the passing game as of late. Plus the Eagles have had problems covering tightends this season. 
ST-Cleveland Browns: Josh Cribbs is scorching hot and the Broncos are not playing well. Look out!
Defense-Cardinals: I expect the Cards to blitz Shaun Hill into submission. The Cards have a very underrated front 4 which should plenty of pressure on the Niners and make this game a blow-out.