Saturday, September 08, 2018

PIGSKIN 2018: Week One


My Trolley stats indicate PIGSKIN is one of my more popular features.  But there would be no PIGSKIN, nor a Brooklyn Trolley for that matter were it not for you.  So beyond merely welcoming you back, I want also to express my heart felt thanks, and extend to you my deepest appreciation for your valuable time spent visiting my blog.

For those new to this, here's how PIGSKIN works:  I usually post my selections each Friday according to that day's (NYDN or NYP) spread.  I stick to Sunday games unless the Giants/Jets play alternative days (I'll have a separate post for Monday's upcoming Jets game).  My preferred unit of value is the delicious Brooklyn deli fresh BAGEL.  Each game is worth one BAGEL.  I post a SCHMEAR of the WEEK worth three BAGELS.  A Push is as good as a loss.

Results: 2017 Regular Season
  • Overall Record:  93-113-6
  • Schmear of the Week:  8-8
  • BAGELS in the Basket:  -26

Obviously a bad season, if not my worst, down two baker's dozens.  That said, what I do here is strictly for entertainment purposes only.  If by following my picks you should do something ponderously stupid causing you to lose your home/job/family/etc., it means you have much deeper issues and the problem is all yours.  I'm just a dumb blogger.

  • Since Daniel Snyder refuses to re-brand his team, PIGSKIN for the last several seasons refers to his organization as the D.C. Hogs.
  • I am a Giants fan since the mid-1970s; I'm not a New York Jets hater.  The Oakland Raiders used to be my second favorite team, dating back to John Madden's days as head coach.  But that's been long purged from my system (...kinda).  Can't decide who I hate more: Eagles or Cowboys.  Just depends which team Giants play that day.

The NFL is in big freaking trouble, with a capital EF!  Over the next few years, the game may become even more unrecognizable than ever before, if not on the verge of extinction.  Between ongoing brain injury discovery and subsequent litigation, Roger Goodell's utter lack of command and control, and a wholly ineffective player's union, the game may lose its ability to remain "collectively bargained" if for no other reason than government inclination to interceded in the name of promoting the general welfare.  As a mega-billion dollar industry, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to justify their lack of responsible compensation, treatment, and aftercare.  Remember, the 20th century died 18-years ago.  Baby Boomer sensibilities are being beat down around every turn.  For better or worse(!), Time is proving their worst enemy.  The game itself is proof.  During any given possession, intolerable amounts of penalties and time consuming replay are killing the on screen product.  If that's not good enough, there's always a beer or razor commercial to save us.  All of it screams ratings killers.  That changes negotiations between the leagues and networks.  Fans do not necessarily need to watch the game in order to follow the action.  And there's the rub.  Alas, football's new saving grace is gambling, and that somewhat negates any potential losses in future TV deals.  But the moment two, three, and four owners begin losing considerable bucks and put up for sale signs, the greater potential for creating a domino effect looms over the game.  That's just the nature of business.  Players have no leverage.  But, a majority of owners are flaky and skittish.  The stronger owners drag them along.  So, why this doomsday scenario?  The answer lies in a question: what happens when the alpha owners of the game (NYG/PIT/DAL/N.E./etc.) are gone?  Because the NFL's greatest asset has always been stability.  And they're losing it faster than it's taking to clear the Amazon rain forest ... with the same effect.

1st and Ten:
  • NFL debuts of NYJ Sam Darnold and NYG Saquon Barkley; NIKE shows-up the NFL.
2nd and Long:
  • John "Chuckie Good Guy" Gruden is back, back again. Chuckie's back, Chuckie's back.
No Gain:
  • CTE and concussion protocol; anthem protests and Trump's revenge for not letting him into the NFL back in 1980s; Le'Veon Bell holdout; will the Bengals ever fire Marvin Lewis?
  • Los Angeles stadium situation; Jerry Jones will never fire himself as general manager; integrity fees my ass!

Friday Line ~ NYDN

Jaguars -3 (GIANTS)
A new Giants offensive line needs to prove its worth against a stout Jacksonville defense.  Sure the Giants have offensive weapons.  One of them, Saquon Barkley, had an ineffective camp (hamstring).  But can the Giants maintain possession and manage the clock?  Defensively, the Giants will be without Olivier Vernon, which means they'll have no pass rush to speak of, which means Eli Apple and the rest of the secondary will be busy.  I smell toast.

Steelers -4 (BROWNS)
As strange as it seems, the Steelers are a unified team ... in their resentment of Le'Veon Bell, that is.  The Browns haven't won a game in a long time.  They'll have to wait another week before they win another.  Big Ben knows time is of the essence, and that the Browns won't be down much longer.

VIKINGS -6 1/2 (49ers)
I like what Jimmy G brings to the Niners.  That's what helped me decide this pick.  Any more points I was going Niners.  But the Vikings this year will prove to be one of the more complete teams in the league.

Bengals +2 1/2 (COLTS)
Andrew Luck is back, but the Colts still won't be able to protect him.  The Bengals have many familiar faces and a measure of continuity that should get them through the day.

RAVENS -7 1/2 (Bills)
I gave up on the Ravens last season, perhaps prematurely.  They start the season with my respect.  The Bills on the other hand are going to be one of the worst teams in football.

SAINTS -9 1/2 (Bucs)
Meanwhile, the Saints will be one of the best teams in football this season.  Close your eyes and envision Ryan Fitzpatrick getting into a shoot-out with Drew Brees.  Exactly ... lay the points!

Texans +6 (PATRIOTS)
The Texans have their quarterback and J.J. Watt back in the fold.  They're chomping at the bit to get back on the field.  Last thing they want is getting off to a poor start.  Besides, the Patriots are due for a good kick in the shins.  The Foxboro crowd sits in stunned silence.

Titans -1 (DOLPHINS)
If Vegas isn't giving the Miami Ocean Mammals any home team respect, why should I?  The Titans are an emerging playoff contender with a new head coach guiding quarterback Marcus Mariota.  Nuf ced.

Chiefs +3 (CHARGERS)
Toughest game of the week.  I'm hearing good things about the Chargers.  However, they've been so Jekyll and Hyde these last few seasons.  I still don't trust them.  I do trust Andy Reid and the Chiefs, though.  I'm sure they've been seething all off-season.

Seahawks +3 (BRONCOS)
Who cares!  Russell Wilson will be the best player on the field.  Bad match up for Denver.  That's worth three points alone.

PANTHERS -2 1/2 (Cowboys)
Do not understand why this spread is so tight.  I like the Panthers by double-digits.

CARDINALS -1 (D. C. Hogs)
Here we have two veteran quarterbacks making fresh starts with new teams.  The Cardinals defense should make them more than just a one point favorite.

Bears +7 1/2 (PACKERS)
I thought this spread would tighten up.  I'm more than happy taking that half-point point.

RAVENS -7 1/2 (Bills)

Good luck, and have a great Football Sunday, everyone!

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