Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NFL Week 3 Predictions / Record

49ers at Chiefs - 49ers build on solid MNF effort.  X
Lions at Vikings - Adrian Peterson leads team to first win.
Bills at Patriots - Trent Edwards benched after 2 games.  It doesn't matter.
Falcons at Saints - Falcons introduces self as contender with this big win.
Titans at Giants - CJ has great bounceback game, but Eli wins it.  X
Steelers at Buccaneers - Steelers D manages to win another game on its own.
Bengals at Panthers - Clausen gets destroyed in first start.
Browns at Ravens - Ray Rice bowls 'em over.
Cowboys at Texans - Just when you think everything's going so well, the 'Boys get a win.
Redskins at Rams - Bradford airs it out but falls short.  X
Eagles at Jaguars - Vick's numbers are mediocre but its enough to win.
Colts at Broncos - Broncos can't keep up when it comes to horsepower.
Raiders at Cardinals - Cards pound out win on the ground.
Chargers at Seahawks - Chargers air attack too potent.  X
Jets at Dolphins - Jets are too distracted to find a way through tough Miami D.  X
Packers at Bears - Time to separate the contenders from the pretenders, Aaron.  X

Week 3 Record: 10-6

Season Record: 30-18

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Messed with Texas

A 2 touchdown dog to #7 Texas away in Austin, UCLA shocked the country by absolutely manhandling the supposed #1 ranked run defense, winning 34-12.  Its one thing to beat #23 Houston at home and rush for 266 yards last week, quite another to do it on primetime national TV against a powerhouse, finishing with 264 rushing yards in Austin.  Who cares if our passing game is completely inept with 27 total yards?  At least for this week, not Bruin fans.  Though we've had offenses with prolific passing attacks (Cade McNown, Drew Olson - 1 season), we've never been a ground n pound team, at least not while I've been a fan.  I'm not quite sure what to do with myself.

Johnathan Franklin rushed for 158 yards and 3 TDs last week vs the Cougars and this time hung another 118 yards, 1 TD on the Longhorns.  (Derrick Coleman and Kevin Prince also combined for 144 yards, 2 TDs.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

49ers go marching in. almost.

So I don't get to see that many 49er games down here so to see them recover from that debacle up in Seattle and show some fight on national TV gave me the warm fuzzies.  Losing though was maddening.

Key Moments Of The Game 1: Our backup center hiked the ball 10 feet above Alex Smith into the endzone, resulting in an early 2 point hole.  The subsequent punt, short field and TD essentially gave the Saints a 9 point lead.  Wonderful, lets post the Saints a 9 point lead to start the game, as if we were the ones who had just won the Superbowl.

KMOTG2: Down 9-7 with a minute left in the half with an assured halftime lead (after at least a short FG) pretty much in the bag, Walker fumbles it away inside their 10 yard line!  BENCH HIM!  UGH.

KMOTG3: 3rd Quarter, Alex Smith completes 2 successive passes of 30 yards and 40 yards to Crabtree and Vernon Davis.  For a dink and dunk guy, it was shocking to say the least.  Drive results in 14-9 lead.

KMOTG4: Down 19-14, Smith drives the 49ers down the field to the Saints 10.  Pass is tipped and intercepted.  Ugh.  We literally turned the ball over 3 times when in scoring position.

KMOTG5: Late in the 4th, Niners force a Saints punt which is completely and embarrassingly muffed by a rookie returner.  It literally goes in the space between his hands and chest and sticks to the turf like a Mickelson 9 iron.  CUT HIM!  Saints recover in scoring position.

KMOTG6: Saints are inside 49ers 5 yard line.  Stout Niner D stuffs them 3 times, including Patrick Willis' near-play-of-the-game stonewall tackle on 3rd and 1, to force a field goal and keeps the score within reach (8 points), 2 minutes left.

KMOTG7: Alex Smith's near legendary 2 minute drive - they go down the field and score a TD and a 2 point conversion.  Brought back memories of Joe Montana. Yes, I just said Montana, haha.  The only problem is that with 1:20 left and already inside their 10, I knew we had to use some clock.  You cannot give the SB MVP a minute to score a game-winning FG.  Brees is too good.  We had to score with no time left.  We didn't, then they did.

So the 49ers lost last night to a partially tipped FG in the last second.  Frustrating yes, but honestly, our valiant performance salvaged our season.  This whole deal could've gone up in flames after the Seahawks travesty but Singletary managed to regroup the troops and show some fight.  Hopefully they're worked out the OC communication issues.  Personally I think its not a communication issue, its probably a we-have-a-dumb-offensive-coordinator issue.  But, hey, we adequately solved the problem last night.  If you noticed, Alex Smith was wearing a QB playbook on his sleeve so he can be his own OC when necessary.  Anyway, we're only 1 game back in a terrible division so we just need to win most of the division games.  Twice vs Rams, at home vs Seahawks, twice vs Cardinals?  Very doable.  Also, we broke reggie bushleague's leg.  I love the niners.

Alex played one of the better games of his career.  Of the 4 turnovers, only one was his fault - a swing pass that was too high for Gore and intercepted.  Otherwise, he showed poise and mastery of the offense.  If we can move the ball this well vs the Saints, maybe he can still be the QB of the future.

These 4 Alex Smith (and Frank Gore) drives game me a lot of hope:
2nd Quarter: 12 plays, 82 yards, near 6 minutes, TD.
2nd Quarter: 9 plays, 76 yards, near 6 minutes, fumbled away inside 10.
3rd Quarter: 6 plays, 86 yards, near 4 minutes, TD.
2 Min left: 8 plays, 82 yards, 1 minute, (only 1 timeout used), TD.

NFL Week 2 Predictions / Record

Steelers at Titans - Vince Young > Dennis Dixon X
Ravens at Bengals - Bengals in upset.  Ocho and TO have big games. 
Eagles at Lions - Tough call but Eagles D is better.
Cardinals at Falcons - Falcons won't be 0-2.
Dolphins at Vikings - Favre gets back into flow.  X
Chiefs at Browns - Young playmakers win it.
Buccaneers at Panthers - Only because they're at home. X
Bills at Packers - Easiest pick of the year.
Bears at Cowboys - As long as that O-line settles down. X
Seahawks at Broncos - Pete's win was a fluke.
Rams at Raiders - Bradford's a turnover machine.
Jaguars at Chargers - SD settles down. 
Patriots at Jets - Jets O is terrible, losing Jenkins shakes up D.  X
Texans at Redskins - Houston proves themselves as contender.
Giants at Colts - Peyton won't lose Manning bowl. 
Saints at 49ers - Sad to say, 49ers will put up valiant effort but start 0-2.

Week 2 record: 11-5

Season record: 20-12

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NFL Week 1 Predictions / Record

For fun, I'm gonna predict all the games this year and update my record after each week.

Vikings at Saints - Saints win in high scoring affair.
Raiders at Titans- The side with CJ wins at home.
Panthers at Giants - Giants in easy game.
Colts at Texans - Manning's dominance continues.  X
Broncos at Jaguars - MJD is best player on the field.
Falcons at Steelers - Matt Ryan > Dennis Dixon.  X
Dolphins at Bills - Dolphins win unwatchable match.
Lions at Bears - Mike Martz's offense overpowers Lions.
Bengals at Patriots - Brady and Moss show they're back.
Browns at Buccaneers - Browns win even more unwatchable match.   X
49ers at Seahawks - Niners give petey a harsh welcome.  X
Packers at Eagles - Home field keeps Eagles in the game for a half.
Cardinals at Rams - Cards are mediocre, but Rams are terrible.
Cowboys at Redskins - Romo's offense outshines McNabb.  X
Chargers at Chiefs - Chiefs can't hang with Rivers.  X
Ravens at Jets - Jets' O might be bad, but they edge out Ravens at home.  X

Week 1 Record:  9-7    Okay, that's a bad start.

Monday, September 13, 2010

USA Basketball FIBA Gold Medalists

Congrats to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love for their big roles in the US' gold medal in the FIBA World Championship.  Westbrook emerged as an international revelation this tournament as his smothering defense and lightning fast forays into the lane were major contributors to the squad's success.  Kevin Love was a tireless worker in the lane and Coach K called his number off the bench more often than even 7 footer Tyson Chandler.

Overall, it was exciting to see our B team, the supposedly same group of "2nd tier" players who had failed in '98, '02 and '06 (- I don't understand why everyone was saying that it was a 16 year drought, as if the tournament was every year), play together and play hard to bring home the gold.  While other countries didn't bring in many of their NBA stars this time, we didn't have a single player from the '08 Olympic team and we suffered the loss of our top 3 big men pre-tournament (Amare, David Lee, B Lopez).  Heck, Odom was our starting center.

So Coach K did a great job of finding the right players (instead of the Iversons and Marburys) and persuading them to buy into his plan.  Kevin Durant obviously cemented his name as a bonafide world class superstar in the caliber of Kobe, Wade and Lebron this summer and he should be starting by 2012.  Who else will be going?

USA 2012 Olympic 12 Man Roster Prediction

Chris Paul
Derrick Rose

Dwayne Wade
Kobe Bryant

Deron Williams
Russell Westbrook

Kevin Durant

Lebron James
Carmelo Anthony

Chris Bosh
Carlos Boozer

Dwight Howard

Likely Starters: Paul, Kobe, Lebron, Durant, Howard

If it were me, I'd leave an aging Kobe and wannabe-thug Carmelo Anthony behind and bring in some specialized role players.  Kobe might not even want to spend his summer playing when he's 34.  Instead, I'd bring in a specialized 3 point shooter, like Eric Gordon, to be a zone buster.  By 2012, Durant will be a better scorer than Kobe or Carmelo anyway (if he isn't already).
Instead of Carmelo, I'd rather call in Iguodala.  His focus on lockdown defense and rebounding made his game (minus his truly atrocious outside shooting) invaluable to our '10 international success.

Friday, September 10, 2010

2010 NFL Season Predictions

Those were dark days indeed, the sports gap between the World Cup and the NFL.  Don't even bring up MLB and college football - the two most corrupt sports we have.  NFL?  Easily the reigning champion of sport.  Regular season isn't tedious and boring (nba, and especially mlb), there's a playoff (cfb), there's enough playoff spots to reward the deserving (4 division winners plus 2 wild cards - hear that mlb?), but not too many that under .500 teams could qualify (nba).  It is a true team sport in just about every way and the most American of all sports (- get that baseball is america's pasttime crap out of here.) 

With New Orleans beating Minnesota to kick off the season last night, I figured I might as well try my hand at postseason predictions, even though the NFL is as unpredictable as any sport out there.

NFC West Champ: 49ers.  Rams are league's worst team, Cardinals are replacing Warner with Anderson (and not Leinart, hahahaha), Carroll is imploding Seattle in an effort to rebuild.  Its time for Singletary's defense and run offense to finally get us back.

NFC North Champ: Packers.  Lions and Bears should improve from last year but won't have enough to challenge the Pack or Vikings.  I'm taking the Pack over the Vikes this time only because Rodgers is a year better and Favre can't possibly be better than his astounding '09 season.

NFC South Champ: Saints.  I know the Saints have a tough sched but Drew Brees is in his prime.  Panthers and Bucs are the pushovers while the Falcons should be contending for a playoff spot at the end.

NFC East Champ: Giants.  In an upset, I'm taking the improved NY Def to barely snag the division title from Dallas.  Eagles and Redskins should be decent but won't have enough to make the playoffs.

NFC Wildcards: Cowboys and Vikings.  Matt Ryan's Falcons just miss out.

AFC West Champ: Chargers.  Raiders and Chiefs should be much better this year.  Broncos?  Losing Marshall can't help, but even if they play well, they won't challenge SD.  Rivers is the best QB in division.

AFC North Champ: Ravens.  Because Big Ben is out for 4 games, I'm taking the Flacco/Rice/Boldin combo to edge out the Steelers and Bengals, who won't be as dysfunctional as most think.  Browns are, well, the Browns.

AFC South Champ: Colts.  Peyton Manning has won 12 games each of the last 5 years, I think.  I'm betting the Texans will be pretty respectable this year, while Titans and Jags will fall short again though they have the division's best 2 RBs in Mojo and Chris Johnson.  Its a quarterback league now and they're still living in Peyton's world.

AFC East Champ: Patriots.  Everyone loves the Jets including the Jets themselves, a little too much for my taste.  Brady, now the league's highest paid player and a year removed from knee surgery will be back with a vengeance and swoop to the divison crown under the radar.  Dolphins and Bills are sidenotes here.

AFC Wildcards: Steelers and Texans.  Jets shock the world with their poor offense and miss the postseason.

NFC Championship Game: Packers over Saints.

AFC Championship Game: Colts over Ravens.

Superbowl: Colts over the Pack.