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The Heretic

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Everything posted by The Heretic

  1. The Heretic added a topic in Influence   

    Yo! Star Wars!
    By next week, some of us will have succumbed to the hype and attend an overcrowded theater in meatspace. It's expected to break all sorts of records at the box office. Some pundits are going as high as $220 million domestic for opening weekend.  
    I fearlessly predict a 191 million debut, on account of lower-than-expected number of screens (3,900). Too many external factors constraining the maximum potential results. 
    As for the film itself, I hope for something closer to the first three films than the latter three, where Lucas' ambitions exceeded his grasp repeatedly. Of all the films within the next 12 months, this one appeals to the kid in me the most, because I was a Star Wars fan before I got into comic books or video games or mythology. Moreover, I've actively ignored all spoilery material up til now. Here's the trailer, if you haven't had the pleasure. 
     
    What do you expect from this event film? 
    • 6 replies
    • 573 views
  2. The Heretic added a post in a topic NBA 2015-16 Season predictions   

    There's some light over the horizon. Markieff Morris is on the market, and if the Pelicans trade Anderson for him, they'll get a serious upgrade. Morris is a much better athlete and defender, and can help the Pelicans go to small ball successfully without sacrificing rebounding or defense, and unleash the Unibrow from the shackles of the paint, let him run the floor and finish the break. 
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  3. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 14 Picks   

    It is time for the New Orleans Saints to face reality and start rebuilding.
    1. Brees is a franchise QB, but he is near the end of his Hall-of-Fame career, and Father Time is right around the corner. Before it is too late, trade him to a quarterback starved team like the Jets, Texans or Rams.
    2. Their cap situation is absolutely godforsaken. They're 42 million dollars into the hole for 2016. Nothing in the offseason worked (extending Galette, signing Bird, dumping Jenkins and Sproles). Plus Loomis also runs the Pelicans, who are underachieving. So,  Dump Loomis ASAP.
    3. Trade Coach Payton for picks to start the rebuild properly.
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  4. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2015 NFL Week 14 Picks

    NFL Week 14 Picks
     
    10-6? Another tough week demands tough answers. And the tough get pickin'! If this season has been a rollercoasting, yo-yo'ing whiplash between great weeks and mediocre ones, then week 14 promises to be the opposite. Right? Right?
     
    Game of the Week
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
    The Steelers' offense have been nearly unstoppable this season, with QB Rothlisberger and his galaxy of receiving weapons averaging 36 points per game in the last 4 weeks. While QB Dalton hasn't been anything to scoff at, since he's 14-1-1 in 1pm games, I suspect this game will go to the last team with the ball.
    Cincinnati by 3
     
    Thursday Game of the Week
    Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals (-7.5)
    The closer we get to the money season, the stronger the best teams get, and is there anyone playing as well as the Cardinals? Plus the Vikings have been horribly exposed in the last few weeks, a weak 1-3 against teams over .500, and they're banged up on defense. Not a good time to face off a high-powered offense in the desert.
    Arizona by 7
     
     
    Rest of the Week
    Buffalo Bills @ Philadelphia Eagles (even)
    Was the Eagles' victory over the Patriots a fluke, or was it cuz QB Bradford that much better than QB Sanchez? Luckily they're facing a classic consistently inconsistent team in the Bills. Since they won last week, they should lose to the Eagles. Then again, Shady McCoy is coming to town to exact revenge on his old team.
    Buffalo by 3
     
    Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers (-7.5)
    While it is unlikely the Panthers will finish 16-0, it won't happen this weekend at home to a team who never recovered from that beating in the Superdome. Of course it'll be close, like any division game on the road, so take the points. But the Falcons are in complete freefall, mostly from self-sustained injuries.
    Carolina by 7
     
    New England Patriots @ Houston Texans (+3.5)
    While the Patriots are hobbled due to a bevy of injuries, it looks like QB Brady will not let this be a legitimate excuse. Not even against a resurgent Texans defense. But Brady has been hit like 36 times in the last 3 weeks, after being hit for only 4.6 times a game up till that point. Brady was getting off his passes quickly when WR Edelman, Lewis, Amendola, and TE Gronkowski were available. Now only Amendola is left. Plus Coach Belichick just said that J. J. Watt is as good as Lawrence Taylor ever was.
    New England by 3
     
     
    Lame of the Week
    Seattle Seahawks @ Baltimore Ravens (+5.5)
    Are the Seahawks back for good? That won't be answered this weekend cuz the Ravens are having the Season From Hell, and nothing they can do will slow down QB Wilson. Even QB Schaub will be forced to throw a pick-six to help out.
    Seattle by 7
     
    Detroit Lions @ St. Louis Rams (even)
    The Rams have fallen off the face of the earth no thanks to their failure at QB. The Lions OTOH are still treading water, and should eke out a win here. They have suffered some tough losses this year, but they haven't quit yet.
    Detroit by 6
     
    Tennessee Titans @ New Jersey Jets (-7.5)
    That was one hell of a QB run by Mariota last week. But it won't be as easy to run on the Jets defense. Plus QB Fitzpatrick and WR Marshall are overdue for the playoffs.
    New Jersey by 6
     
    Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars (even)
    The Colts don't have a healthy QB and they're facing Jaguars, who can score on anyone, and they'll score easily on the Colts defense. Expect QB Bortles to throw well. But the Colts have been in this situation before this year, and they came through.
    Indianapolis by 1
     
    San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5)
    Both teams were dead in the water a couple of months ago. Only one of them rose from the watery grave with a fierce defense and a QB that refuses to turn the ball over. They might be the dark horse in the AFC playoffs, if they do get in.
    Kansas City by 13
     
    Washington Racial Slur @ Chicago Bears (-2.5)
    The Bears are nothing but an inconsistent team that can look like world beaters one week and a lottery team the next. While the Bears are horrible at home, the Racial Slurs are even worse on the road. Plus they're playing on a VERY short week after that bad loss against the Cowboys.
    Chicago by 3
     
    New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5)
    The Saints have dominated the Bucs in the Payton era. That the Saints showed up last week against the Panthers is proof that they haven't rolled over and played dead yet. But the Buccaneers are still in the playoff hunt and QB Winston is getting better every week.
    Tampa Bay by 3
     
    Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos (-7.5)
    Ever since the Broncos switched to QB Osweiler, they've been unstoppable. Moreover, their bloodthirsty defense will shut down QB Carr like they did in Oakland a few months back. The Raiders have plenty of talent to keep the game close, but they're really playing for next season.
    Denver by 6
     
    Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
    Injuries have decimated the Packers to the point that they're an average team - one that needed a Hail Mary to beat a weak team last week. Since the Cowboys are laughable without QB Romo, they won't even be in the game after halftime.
    Green Bay by 11
     
    New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins (even)
    Both teams are just playing out the string, but at least the Giants are still alive for the NFC Least division title. Whenever pressure is on, every team in the NFC Least rolls over and plays dead.
    New York by 3
     
     
    Shame of the Week
    San Francisco 40 Whiners @ Cleveland Browns (-1.5)
    The 40 Whiners were bad on offense, but the Browns are even shittier on defense (allowing 399 yards a game). And hey, QB Johnny Football is back. That spells another loss for the Browns.
    San Francisco by 3
     
    Last Week: 10-6
    Season to Date: 119-72
    • 8 replies
    • 470 views
  5. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 13 Picks   

    That's what makes the NFL great: it's ingeniously designed to allow for entertaining anarchy: anything can happen in any game. And Bill Simmons coined that Failed Attempt Return Touchdown for 2 points by New Orleans as FART. 
    One hell of a game, and I'm convinced by the Panthers. Every would-be undefeated team has to get over that one game in the schedule where everything goes wrong & the other team is suddenly invincible. The invincible 1985 Bears were tripped up by a red hot Dan Marino in December, preventing them from going 16-0. The 1998 Vikings blew a midseason game vs the Buccaneers. The 2005 Steelers fell early to the Ravens. And everyone knows what happened to those 2007 Patriots.   
     
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  6. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 13 Picks   

     
     
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  7. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 13 Picks   

    I expect a running diary of the game, or at least a live tweet of the monumental event of Hugo watching the Saints re-embarrass themselves. 
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  8. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2015 NFL Week 13 Picks
    With the playoffs right around the corner, the intensity ratchets up a few levels. And in the month of December, trends matter more than ever. The winning teams keep rollin' while the decimated teams keep slippin' and slidin' right out of contention. Yes, that does apply to my picks, having gone 11-5.
     
    Now that's more like it.
     
    Game of the Week
    Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings (even)
    Expect nothing but a classic slobberknocker between two smashmouth football teams – both being top two rushing teams in the league. Last week, All Day Adrian made mincemeat out of the stout run defense of the Falcons. While the Vikings have the superior RB, the Seahawks are superior at every other position. But they're not the same team away from Century Link. After stumbling to a 2-4 start, the Seahawks have won 4 in 5 games, but only one of those was against a good team – Cardinals – and that was the lone loss.
    Minnesota by 3
     
    Thursday Game of the Week
    Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions (+3.5)
    Even though the trends are obvious, it's hard to pick the scintillating hot Lions over a suddenly desperate Packers team. After all, QB Rodgers is easy money when the stakes get high – especially when he's facing an inconsistent QB in Strafford. Even though the Lions beat the Packers at Lambeau a couple weeks ago. It is gut-check time.
    Green Bay by 4
     
    Rest of the Week
    New York Jets @ New York Giants (+2.5)
    The line is screwy, which means something is rotten in Newark. The results from last week shouldn't affect either team. If the Giants can run the ball, then they'll control the game, and QB Manning will make clutch throws. But they can't run on the Jets. And that'll be the end of the Giants.
    Gang Green by 3
     
    Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams (+5.5)
    All of sudden, the Rams and their quarterback problems have turned the team into a laughingstock and Coach Fisher, powerless to stop the free-fall, is on the hot seat. Then again, the Cardinals haven't been blowing out teams lately, so don't lay the points. They lost RB Johnson, the fourth leading rusher in the league. Luckily for the Cards, they've a reliable rookie in David Johnson and last year's starter, Ellington, returning from injury, as well as couple other options.
    Arizona by 3
     
    Houston Texans @ Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
    The Texans have turned it around, even without RB Foster. They have a fantastic WR in Hopkins, and a ferocious defense spearheaded by DE Watt. All of sudden, the Texans are the dreaded Team Nobody Wants to Face in the playoffs. As for the Bills, QB Taylor has developed nicely, but he's facing an indomitable defense that hasn't allowed more than two touchdowns in the last 18 quarters.

    Houston by 6
     
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns (+7.5)
    The Bengals are tied for second in the AFC with the Broncos, and their tilt in week 16 should determine who gets the first round bye. There isn't a shittier NFL team than the Browns. Nobody knows who their QB is, not even themselves. But never take the road favorite in a division game if the line is over 7 points.
    Cincinnati by 7
     
    Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers (+4.5)
    With that clutch victory over the hitherto undefeated Patriots, it looks like the Broncos are better off without the 39 year old QB Manning. And the Chargers are just TERRIBLE. The Broncos' defense will completely shut down the Chargers, no matter who's at QB.
    Denver by 7
     
    Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders (+2.5)
    The Chiefs survived a horrible start, and the loss of their star RB Charles, and keep winning decisively. As for the Raiders, they're still premature – at least another year away from legitimate playoff contention.
    UPSET PICK: Oakland by 3
     
    Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints (+7.5)
    It's almost impossible to pick against the almighty Panthers, the last undefeated team in the league... even in a division game versus the hated Saints. They have been gaining momentum recently, and won the past three games by 21. Plus their bloodthirsty defense will devour QB Brees alive and charge New Orleans for domestic violence for allowing such travesties to happen.
    Carolina by 10
     
    Philadelphia Eagles @ New England Patriots (-9.5)
    Even though QB Brady has run out of targets, he'll still throw for 300 plus and 3 strikes. Moreover, the Eagles don't have anyone on defense that's capable of slowing down the Patriots, who'll be even more fired up after blowing the game Sunday night in overtime.
    New England by 11
     
     
    Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
    Even if QB Roethlisberger wasn't suiting up, the Steelers should handle the Colts. After all, Big Ben has a bevy of excellent receivers to take the ball to the house against the Colts' 27th ranked pass defense. Unless the Colts' offense goes nuclear and gains 500 yards, they're not beating the Steelers.
    Pittsburgh by 5
     
    Lame of the Week
     
    Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5)
    The Buccaneers have turned it around, with 3 wins in their last four, plus an overtime victory over the Dirty Birds in week 8. While the Buccaneers are actually playing decent, the Falcons haven't figured out their slide down the slippery slope towards nowhereville. Pundits are even considering benching QB Ryan, since he has been responsible for the majority of turnovers that kills them. That would be a horrible idea, cuz nobody should allow a guy named Renfree to play quarterback.  
    Atlanta by 3
     
    Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins (-5.5)
    The Ravens proved that they don't need QB Flaccid to win games beyond all doubt, thanks to their coach, John Harbaugh. However, the Dolphins fired their offensive coordinator Lazor, on account of being too pass-happy. The Dolphins lead the league in passing on plays (68%), plus QB Tannehill isn't allowed to audible at the line. But since they're facing one of the worst passing defenses in the league in the Ravens...
    Miami by 4
     
    Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans (-2.5)
    Yes, the Jaguars stubbed their toe last week, but they're still headed in the right direction. The only reason to watch this game is to catch future star QBs in Bortles and Mariota.  
    Jacksonville by 3
     
    San Franciso 40 Whiners @ Chicago Bears (-6.5)
    Credit goes to GM Pace and Coach Fox for turning around the Bears after a horrid 2-5 start. They have the second best pass defense, and held QB Rodgers to a measly 202 yards on Thanksgiving. Just imagine what they'll do to the immortal QB Gabbert. Indeed, this means QB Cutler is for real. Until everybody believes in him – and then he shits the bed in royal fashion. You've been warned.
    Chicago by 9
     
    Shame of the Week
     
    Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Racial Slur (-3.5)
    One of these days, the Racial Slur will figure out how to win on the road. But they'll settle for a badly decimated Cowboys edition at FedEx Field this week.
    Washington by 3
    • 9 replies
    • 632 views
  9. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2015 NFL Week 12 Picks

    With Thanksgiving right around the corner, there's nothing like sitting down with family and amazing food, while an NFL team is on the 70 inch HDTV in the background. After a couple of tough weeks, I hit .500. Slowly but surely, I'm climbing back to respectability.

     
    Game of the Week
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Seattle Seahawks (-4.5)
    Even though RB Lynch might be out for the season, the Seahawks have a great replacement in RB Rawls, who's been the better player so far this year. The Steelers are solid, but they are too decimated on offense to pose a serious problem for the Seahawks' defense.
    Seattle by 3
     
    Thanksgiving Game(s) of the Week
    Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions (even)
    Yes, those hapless Lions are on a rampage, having won two in a row. Also? They usually play well on Thanksgiving, having scored 105 games in the last 3 turkey day games. They're facing who? QB Sanchez?
    Detroit by 6
     
    Carolina Panthers @ Dallas Cowboys (+1.5)
    What seems the easiest pick this week, the Panthers are being severely underestimated by the Vegas oddmakers. Although QB Romo is back and the Cowboys should be better, the Panthers have won 14 regular season games in a row. No reason to suddenly jump ship. Even if QB Romo has won 7 games in a row. Even if his last 16 games is better than the Panthers...
    Carolina by 3
     
    Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers (-9.5)
    The halftime retirement of Brett Favre will get the crowd properly lubricated. But more importantly, the real Packers finally woke up from their mid season swoon last week against the Vikings, and should keep things going against the Bears.
    Green Bay by 7
     
    Rest of the Week
    New Orleans Saints @ Houston Texans (-2.5)
    The Texans are rolling, especially on defense -- allowing 9.7 points a game in the last 5 weeks. Plus the Saints don't have anyone capable of covering WR Hopkins, who destroyed all-world cornerback Revis last week. As long the Saints keep a balanced offensive attack with RB Ingram and quick passing, QB Brees will outscore the Texans. But they won't be able to protect Brees from unholy terror J.J. Watt.
    Houston by 4
     
    St. Louis Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals (-9.5)
    The last two games, both losses for the Bengals, have exposed an old weakness: QB Dalton still does not handle the pass rush well. When he's getting protection, he's the best QB in the league. The Rams do have a fantastic front four, with DE Quinn and DT Donald, who will pose problems. Unfortunately? Nobody knows who's going to suit up at QB for the Rams.
    Cincinnati by 6
     
    Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons (-2.5)
    After opening the year with 5-0, the Falcons are in danger of free-falling out of the playoffs. They've begun their annual choke, having blown 14 point lead in the second half last week. Although the Vikings went belly-up against a fired up division rival, they should easily take this game.
    Minnesota by 4
     
    NY Giants @ Washington Racial Slur (+1.5)
    The Giants are in first place only because someone has to, not because they deserve it. If this game was at New York, QB Cousins would've pulled a Delhomme (throw 5 picks). Since the Skins haven't lost at home since week 1, expect Cousins to throw for 300 yards and 3 strikes. I predict the line will move to +3.5 by Sunday morning.
    New York by 3
     
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts (-3.5)
    The Bucs have looked good recently, but they've beaten exactly who? Sanchez? Cassel? Pssh. The Colts are still decent, thanks to QB Hasselbeck snatching victories out of the jaws of defeat. But there's no margin for error left.
    Indianapolis by 3
     
    Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5)
    All of sudden, the Chiefs look legitimate, and they might even run the table from now on, thanks to the generous number of cupcakes remaining. As for the Bills, they're going with QB Manuel in the loudest stadium in sports. And. That'll. Be. All. She. Wrote.
    Kansas City by 6
     
    Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans (+1.5)
    Yes, the Raiders are improved this year, but they still need some seasoning before they're ready for the playoffs. It doesn't look like the Raiders will catch either the Broncos or the Chiefs. They'll take this game, but the line looks like a trap.
    Oakland by 3
     
    (The Future Former) San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5)
    Yes, the Chargers are getting 4 points versus the lowly Jaguars. That's how bad they've gotten, no thanks to a heavily decimated roster and some chemistry dysfunction on the sidelines.
    Jacksonville by 5
     
    Miami Dolphins @ NY Jets (-4.5)
    Jets have fallen back to the pack after a nice 4-1 start. Coach Bowles lit into the team this past week, hoping to spark a fire under them for the playoff run. The Dolphins are solid, if nothing spectacular under interim coach Campbell. Expect a low scoring affair.
    New York by 3
     
    Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 40 Whiners (+11.5)
    Even though the Cardinals have beaten the Seahawks and the Bengals in the last two weeks, their defense has slipped a bit. Luckily, their offense bails out the team with big plays - the cardinals lead the league with 6.5 yards per play, and 54 plays of 20 plus yards this season. The 40 Whiners are just playing out the string.
    Arizona by 14
     
    New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos (+5.5)
    What was originally slated as Game of the Year has fallen down a few categories once QB Manning was benched, having lost the battle every athlete will face: Father Time. The Patriots will still be fired up regardless, but the Broncos might steal this game on the strength of their defense, taking full advantage of the Patriots' decimated offense.
    New England by 1
     
    Shame of the Week
    Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns (-2.5)
    Welcome to the Season from Hell, Ravens, one that will bleed over to next season. QB Flacco and RB Forsett are not available, making the Browns the clear favorite. Even without Johnny Football. But why is this Shame of the Week on Monday Night?  
    Cleveland by 3
     
    Last Week: 7-7
    Season to Date: 98-61
    • 1 reply
    • 371 views
  10. The Heretic added a post in a topic GOP recent events   

    If I were you I would follow Montgomery Brewster:

    By voting "None of the Above" you start a massive retaliation against the current candidates, forcing a re-election.
    But seriously, I agree with Michael Pearl. None of the candidates should be put in a philosophical box, precisely because they are not classical philosophers who operate from first principles. Moreover, if the labels do not really fit the philosophers, neither can they fit politicians trained in the art of speaking from both sides of their mouths.
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  11. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2015 NFL Week 11 Picks

    Holy Frijolies. Another mediocre week in the books. 11 underdogs won last week, totally submarining my picks to smithereens. Hopefully this mid-season malaise is over, and we all can return to winning ways ASAP.
     
    Game of the Week
    Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (even)
    What have we learned about the Packers in recent weeks? They've lost on the road, at home, their defense is exposed, and they cannot even beat the Lions. Nothing is working, everyone is in doldrums. As for the Vikings, RB Peterson will be licking his chops facing that 24th ranked run defense.
    Minnesota by 6
     
    Thursday Game of the Week
    Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5)
    Break out the Jags! Even the Jaguars can slip back into AFC South division with a win here. With 3 wins in their last 4 games, their playoff prospects are legitimate.
    Jacksonville by 3
     
    Rest of the Week
    Oakland Raiders @ Detroit Lions (+1.5)
    The Raiders are back to their losing ways, having backslid two games in a row. I expect QB Carr to utterly exploit that horrendous Lions secondary. Even though the Lions upset the Packers last week, they're still a bad team.
    Oakland by 4
     
    Indianapolis Colts @ Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)
    Both teams are rested after bye week, and even though QB Luck is out for 2 weeks plus, they have a great replacement in QB Hasselbeck. However, the Colts only have the 28th ranked passing defense to slow down QB Ryan. The Falcons need to prove that they're legitimate, despite a soft schedule.
    Atlanta by 6
     
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Arizona Cardinals (-2.5)
    Blowing last Monday Night's matchup with the Texans, the Bengals do have a few demons left to exorcise, and they might linger in Arizona. After all, the Cardinals do have a dynamic offense, and the ever-elusive "it" factor that makes them the most stacked in the NFC.
    Arizona by 3
     
    Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots (-7.5)
    Even though the Patriots are without WR Edelman, they'll still have the edge over the Bills at every position.
    New England by 4
     
    Lame of the Week
    St. Louis Rams @ Baltimore Ravens (-1.5)
    The Rams are hoping for a jumpstart by benching QB Foles for QB Keenum. But in a matchup with two shitty teams, stick with the home team. After all, the Rams don't have much beyond RB Gurley and the Ravens' run defense is actually solid. Then again, the Ravens are suffering a classic Season from Hell where everything goes wrong.
    St. Louis by 3
     
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5)
    QB Sanchez is starting, and he'll either throw 2 touchdowns or 2 picks, with one pick-six at the worst possible time. Then again? It is too early to start taking the Buccaneers on the road against a playoff-hopeful.
    Philadelphia by 5
     
    Denver Broncos @ Chicago Bears (-1.5)
    Classic trap game. Even though QB Manning is benched for backup Osweiler, that doesn't automatically make the Bears favorites to win this match-up. However, the Bears are 3-0 against the AFC West teams this year, and Coach Fox knows plenty about the 24 year old Osweiler, who has never started a game in his career.
    Chicago by 1
     
    New York Jets @ Houston Texans (+2.5)
    What was a hopeful 4-1 start has stumbled into 5-4, and the Jets must scrap to keep their playoff chances alive. They are solid on the road, and if they limit WR Hopkins, they'll beat the Texans easily. The Texans will not have QB Hoyer available, due to a concussion.
    New York by 6
     
    Washington Ethnic Slurs @ Carolina Panthers (-7.5)
    It's amazing that the Panthers have won 13 in a row during the regular season. Unfortunately for Washington, the Slurs are below average on the road.
    Carolina by 10
     
    Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers (+3.5)
    The Chiefs have managed to pick themselves up from a horrible start, and their defense is playing at a high level now. And the Chargers are heavily decimated on either side of the ball, and have blown the last 5 games, 7 of their last 8.
    Kansas City by 6
     
    San Francisco 40 Whiners @ Seattle Seahawks (-12.5)
    How far have the mighty fallen. Both teams were Super Bowl contenders only two years ago, and now they're stuck in mediocre mud. And yes, that spread is too high, even if it's against the immortal Blaine Gabbert.
    Seattle by 10
     
    Shame of the Week
    Dallas Cowboys @ Miami Dolphins (even)
    Romo is back, and all is right with Jerry World.
    Dallas by 3
     
    Last week: 5-9
    Season to Date: 92-49
    • 1 reply
    • 305 views
  12. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 10 Picks   

    According to prognosticators the Saints will shatter the all time record for most touchdowns allowed in a single season.  The current record is 40 by the Denver Broncos in 1963 when they were an AFL team, but the Saints are on pace to allow 45.   
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  13. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 10 Picks   

    Well, the Jets were 5-3 before yesterday, and Fitzpatrick played with a fucked up thumb, leading to overcompensation and distraction. Now that the Jets are off for 9 days, Fitz has to have surgery on that thumb ASAP so he won't miss any games.
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  14. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2015 NFL Week 10 Picks
    Thanks to a number of upsets last week, my picks are finally regressing to the means after a torrid 65-18 start (78% accuracy) after the first two weeks. And the NFL is also regressing to the means: only 5 teams in the AFC have winning records, and two of them are undefeated.
     
    Game of the Week
    Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks (-3)
    The Cardinals did beat the Seahawks at CenturyLink in 2013, but that was without QB Palmer, who is having an MVP caliber season. Even though the Cardinals are the better team from top to bottom, it's too hard to pick against the Seahawks at home.
    Seattle by 1
     
    Thursday Game of the Week
    Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets (-3)
    Coach Ryan is up to his old antics - he named the knockout artist LB Enemkpali team captain. Regardless of such taunts, the Jets' defense will be too tough for QB Taylor and the Bills' offense. And it doesn't look like RB McCoy will be any factor.
    New York by 6
     
    Rest of the Week
    Minnesota Vikings @ Oakland Raiders (-3)
    If QB Bridgewater does not return from his concussion, the Raiders will steamroll the Vikings with a superior offense. The Purple People Eaters haven't won at Oakland in near two decades.
    Conditional: Oakland by 3 if Bridgewater is benched.
     
    New England Traitors @ New York Giants (+7.5)
    The injury to RB Lewis couldn't have come at a worse time, because the Patriots are facing one of their nemesis in the Giants. However, the Giants are deploying a 31st ranked pass defense against a hypercompetitive QB Brady. After all, they had a true pass rush in those Super Bowl upset victories.
    New England by 9
     
    Lame of the Week
    Carolina Panthers @ Tennessee Titans (+5.5)
    Las Vegas casinos have kept the Panthers line low all year long for unknown reasons. The Panthers' defense is totally legitimate, and they have a great QB just entering his prime, and is now in MVP talks. Expect them to beat the Titans by 10 or more.
    Carolina by 11
     
    Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers (-11.5)
    After two tough opponents, the Packers limp back home to the perfect remedy: a cupcake in the toothless Lions.
    Green Bay by 10
     
    Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5)
    Both teams are loaded with talent, yet both are scraping the bottom of the barrel.
    Tampa Bay by 1
     
    Chicago Bears @ St. Louis Rams (-7.5)
    The Rams have trouble converting third downs lately, but they're a lot tougher at home than on the road. And while the Bears have been in every game lately, 3 points in 5 straight weeks, they won't be able to slow down RB Gurley.
    St. Louis by 3
     
    New Orleans Saints @ Washington Racial Taunt (+2)
    The Saints lead the NFL in total offense, but rank near dead last in total defense. However, they still have the same problems they had during their 1-4 start: crappy pass protection. Luckily for them, the Washington Football Team is destined for another sub- .500 season. Again.
    New Orleans by 3
     
     
    Miami Dolphins @ Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5)
    The Eagles barely snuck by the Cowboys in overtime, but the Dolphins are quickly realizing that they were a bad team before and after Coach Philbin. After the Dolphins got rolled for 256 yards last week, expect RB Murray and Matthews to continue the embarrassment. Best of all, QB Bradford is getting used to the offense, by seeing the field and feeling the pocket better, taking care of the football and improving his accuracy.
    Philadelphia by 6
     
    Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
    QB Johnny Football certainly was electric in the first half last week against the Bengals. Too bad he stunk it up in the second and lost the game. And it won't matter who starts at QB for the Steelers, cuz they have sufficient talent and experience elsewhere to take care of the Browns. Hopefully backup RB Williams' injury won't be too serious.
    Pittsburgh by 4
     
    Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos (-6.5)
    Despite the stumble in Indianapolis, the Broncos still retain the most feared defense in the league. This game will be over early, and QB Manning will take two records from Brett Favre.
    Denver by 6
     
    Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals (-11)
    Even though the Bengals might be looking past the Texans to Week 11, they'll still win. Even though it'll be a night game, QB Dalton will win.
    Cincinnati by 9
     
    Shame of the Week
    Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens (-6)
    Although the schedule turns easy for the Ravens, it might be too late in the year to recover just in time for the playoffs. Coach Harbaugh is claiming that they will be the first 2-6 team to do just that.
    Baltimore by 6
     
    Last week: 6-6
    Season to Date: 87-40
    • 12 replies
    • 683 views
  15. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 9 Picks   

    Don Banks from Sports Illustrated likes the Steelers and the Packers, as well as the Bills. But he's right on my heels with a picking record of 80-39. 
    Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk likes the following teams: the Bills, Steelers, Packers, and the Cowboys. 
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  16. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2015 NFL Week 9 Picks
    For years, the NFL has prided itself on parity. This year, there's a gap between the elite and the rest of the league, and this is most pronounced in the AFC. Three of the remaining undefeated teams are a combined 21-0, while the rest of the conference is a godawful 36-62. Yep, there's no middle class. We shouldn't be surprised even if one of the unbeaten teams finish 14-2 or 13-3 and fail to make a first round bye in the playoffs.



    Game of the Week

    Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers (+2.5)
    The Panthers are smoking hot, having won 11 games in a row. However, they will be facing an angry Packers team, spitting mad after that unceremonious butt-kicking in Denver last Sunday. Plus the last time QB Rodgers lost two games in a row was 5 years ago. Then again, the Panthers' defense is legitimate, spearheaded by that tackling machine known as Keuchly, entirely capable of slowing down the Packers' offense. But the Packers' Achilles heel is their defense, having rolled to the tune of 500 yards twice in the last few weeks.
    Green Bay by 3

    Thursday Game of the Week

    Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals (-10.5)
    Always a physical matchup between these two, but the Bengals are by far the superior team in every category. Despite stumbling a bit last week against the Steelers, the Bengals remained poised long enough to snatch victory from the jaws of Bungling Defeat.  And now here comes the easy stretch of their season, with cupcakes from Cleveland and Houston, before the Bengals travel to Arizona.
    Cincinnati by 7

    Rest of the Week

    St. Louis Rams @ Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
    Both teams are evenly matched: both boast similar ranked defenses (7th and 7th), both have great running backs in Peterson and Gurley. However, the Vikings have the superior QB in Bridgewater.
    Minnesota by 3


    Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
    Even though the Raiders seem to be emerging as a legitimate force, they have yet to find consistency. As for the Steelers, they're still reeling from the loss of all-pro RB Le'Veon Bell, and QB Rothlisberger remains rusty after being 5 weeks on the shelf. Expect an old fashioned no-holds barred shootout straight out of the classic AFL.
    Pittsburgh by 3


    Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts (+3.5)
    Do you think QB Manning has this game circled on his calendar, still stewing over that loss in the divisional playoffs last January? Luckily for Manning, Luck is playing far worse than him,  throwing interceptions like they were going out of style. Since the Colts have the most offensive holding penalties, and they're facing the most ferocious pass rush in the league, it won't be close.
    Denver by 10



    Lame of the Week
     
    Washington Ethnic Slurs @ New England Patriots (-14.5)
    Fun Fact. The last time they faced one another, the Patriots won 52-7 and finished the year undefeated. Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.
    New England by 11

    Tennessee Titans @ New Orleans Saints (-8.5)
    The Saints lucked into playing teams in full meltdown mode in recent weeks. First Colts, now the hapless Titans, trying to adapt to a new head coach in Mularkey. Even though QB Mariota is expected to suit up, it will not make a difference, because the Saints' confidence is sky-high after three straight wins, having found out who they are. At least on offense.
    New Orleans by 10

    Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
    The Bills utterly demolished the Dolphins earlier this season, but the Dolphins have upgraded their head coach for the rematch. And they'll exploit the quarterback-less Bills without a shred of mercy, as long they let RB Lamar Miller run.
    Miami by 4

    Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets (NL)
    The Jets' top quarterbacks are nicked up, and that might force them to go with a rookie in Bruce Petty. Uh. Oh. Luckily they have a fantastic defense that won't let the Jaguars do much of anything.
    New York by 3


    New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5)
    The Giants' defense was godawful against the Saints. They rolled over and played dead to the tune of 614 yards. Whereas, the Buccaneers have engineered a clutch victory over the Falcons, thanks to their top rookie, LB Alexander. Then again, the Giants are the best, most consistently inconsistent team of all time.
    New York by 1
     

    Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 40 Whiners (+4.5)
    The Comedy in Santa Clara continues. They've benched QB Kaepernick for one of the worst quarterbacks in recent history, Gabbert. Even though the Falcons are starting their annual choke a couple of months early, having blown two of the last three games, this pick is easy. As long QB Ryan stops turning the ball over.
    Atlanta by 3

    Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (-2.5)
    The Eagles are coming off a bye, meaning Coach Kelly spent the last 14 days working on a scheme not even the mediocre QB Bradford can screw up. Btw. Despite not having played since Week 2, QB Tony Romo still leads the team in touchdown passes. And that should be all she wrote. Right?   
    Eagles by 6

    Shame of the Week

    Chicago Bears @ San Diego Chargers (-3.5)
    No RB Forte? No WR Allen?   
    San Diego by 3
     
    Last Week: 10-4
    Season to Date: 81-34
    • 4 replies
    • 508 views
  17. The Heretic added a post in a topic NBA 2015-16 Season predictions   

    Will reply at length later, but for now, it is because Anthony Davis is not a creator. He cannot break down defenses by himself, dribble and work his way into a good shot on his own.
    He is the best finisher in the league, meaning he needs players to get him the ball in prime scoring positions. And those players are not available to pass him the ball, on account of being injured.
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  18. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 8 Picks   

    By far easily the worst pick I've made this year. My instincts said "Denver" whereas my narrative-addled brain said "Peyton is done"  
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  19. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 8 Picks   

    I had the game on in the living room while drawing outside, sneaking peeks now and then. It was 42-28 Saints and I turned around for a few minutes, only to see that the Giants surged ahead, 49-42.  
    Thank Zod the Football Gods weren't cruel this week.  
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  20. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 8 Picks   

    The most important matchup in this game is between the Giants' passing offense and the Saints' pass defense. While the Saints are indeed dead last in yards per pass, they're gaining ground on other aspects: sack percentage and completion percentage and yards per attempt. Moreover, they're pretty good at getting off the field on third downs. Which is something the Giants aren't that great. 
    On the other side of the ball, the Giants' pass rush won't be able to get to Brees. Their pass defense is porous, and we are much better off trusting Brees at home than Eli on the road in a big game. 
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  21. The Heretic added a post in a topic Site update problesm   

    I suspect the reason some posts are truncated while others are intact is the "smart characters" in the word programs many use to compose their posts before copying the contents and pasting them in the post. The software update doesn't like those smart characters and blanks the rest of the post after them. 
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  22. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2015 NFL Week 8 Picks

    The Raiders-Chargers was my first NFL game in years, and the Football Gods were cruel - the Raiders were up 37-6 at the end of the third quarter. Forcing me and my buddy to head for the exit. But of course, the Chargers decided to make the score "respectable" by scoring 23 straight points.
     
    Onto Week 8!
     
    Game of the Week
    Green Bay Packers @ Denver Broncos (+3.5)
    Two undefeated teams, led by two Hall of Fame QBs. But only one of them is playing at a high level. Luckily for Manning, he has the best defense in his entire career on his side. Finally. However, will that be enough to offset Manning's own mortality?  
    Green Bay by 3
     
    Thursday Game of the Week
    Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (-7.5)
    Since the Dolphins dumped Coach Philbin for Campbell, they've won two straight, both blowouts. Coach Belichick notes that the Dolphins have simplified their offense and defense, which allows them to play faster and more aggressive. Then again, the Patriots are an entirely different animal than the pathetic Texans or the horrible Texans. Moreover, QB Brady has never lost a Thursday night game in his entire career.  
    New England by 6
     
    Rest of the Week
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons (-7.5)
    After that historic 24 point gag-job last week, the Buccaneers have nowhere else to go but up. They have a shot this Sunday, because the Falcons' offense is struggling, having scored on only 2 out of 10 drives last week. But the crystal ball says WR Jones breaks out of his slump and dominates this Sunday.
    Atlanta by 6
     
    Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns (+5)
    The Cardinals secondary is looking forward to either QB, be it McCown or Johnny Football. They'll cruelly exploit the hopeless Browns, who will self-destruct without the slightest provocation.
    Arizona by 10
     
    New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
    Now that the Saints have picked themselves up and won twice in a row, they're figuring out how to win without forcing Brees to drop back 50 times a game. RB Ingram had a breakout game against the Colts, gaining 143 yards on 14 carries. In the last two weeks, their special teams was excellent, jump-starting them, and their defense has forced 6 turnovers as well. While WR ODB is back, it will not make a difference. Remember the Giants are consistently inconsistent.  
    New Orleans by 4
     
    Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears (+3)
    Believe it or not, the Vikings haven't won in Chicago since the W administration. Luckily, they have a tough rushing defense, physical running game, and ultra-quick receivers. As for the Bears, they're well-coached, but that's about it.  
    Minnesota by 3
     
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Squealers (NL)
    While Vegas can't commit, it looks like QB Rothlisberger will play, making this game a contender for the Game of the Week honors. It will at least determine who really rules the NFC North for a month or so. However, Rothlisberger isn't a quick cure-all, because the Squealers' defense is pretty substandard. They'll need to be much better against a finely tuned Bengals offense.
    Cincinnati by 7
     
    New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders (+2)
    After only 6 games, both teams have surpassed last year's total victories. In last Sunday's humiliation of the Chargers, the Raiders are an impressive team, stocked with young talent. However, they're facing a complete team in the Jets.
    New York by 3
     
    Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys (+6.5)
    Both teams are horribly flawed. The Cowboys' aspirations have completely derailed, having lost 4 in a row. And the Seahawks are crippled by a substandard offensive line. However, the reason Coach Carroll wasn't panicking with 2-4 record is cuz he at least has a legitimate QB.  
    Seattle by 6
     
    Indianapolis Colts @ Carolina Panthers (-7)
    The Panthers are winning games, despite having no serious receivers. That automatically makes QB Newton an MVP favorite. As for QB Luck, he hasn't recovered from his malaise, struggling with a shitty 76.2 passer rating, having thrown 9 picks. The problem is elsewhere, with a shitty offensive line, and underperforming talent (WR Hilton and CB Davis) and veterans showing their age (RB Gore, WR Johnson, DE Cole).
    Carolina by 6
     
    Lame of the Week
    Detroit Lions @ Kansas City Chiefs (-6)
    Yes, that's not a typo. The hobbled Chiefs are 6 points favorites. The Lions are now in freefall, having dumped offensive coordinator Lombardi for some guy named Jim Bob, who unfortunately has zero NFL experience in calling plays. However, the Lions remain more talented than the hopeless Chiefs.
    Detroit by 3
     
    San Francisco 40 Whiners @ St. Louis Rams (-8.5)
    RB Gurley looks like an absolute stud, having run for 433 yards in the last 3 games. Some even claim that he's not completely healthy from that ACL injury. As for the 40 Whiners, QB Kapernick not only has lost confidence, he's also lost the confidence of his teammates. And he's about to face what might be the best defensive line in the entire league.
    St. Louis by 6
     
    San Diego Chargers @ Baltimore Ravens (-3)
    Both teams are vying for the most disappointing team title this season. The Ravens always play hard, but they can't finish games, losing every game by a touchdown or less. And the Chargers are softer than Charmin on defense (allow opposing QBs a 103 efficiency rating & give up 5.3 yards per carry). It's a race to the bottom!
    Baltimore by 4
     
    Shame of the Week
    Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans (NL)
    An AFC South matchup? Even Las Vegas has given up on this match.  
    Tennessee by 1
     
    Last Week: 9-5
    Season to Date: 71-30
    • 10 replies
    • 569 views
  23. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 7 Picks   

    Partner in NFL crime, on the left. Yours truly, on the right:

    Pregame:

    Kickoff:

    Blowout city:

    Once the score went up 37-6 by the end of the third quarter, we left. And the Chargers scored 23 straight points.
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  24. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 7 Picks   

    Good news. I've lucked into free tickets for the Chargers-Raiders game today, and will attend with a friend, and we will be tailgating before kickoff at 1pm local time. 
    Photos to be posted once I return
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  25. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 7 Picks   

    Speaking of contrarian picks, Don Banks agrees:
    Washington Racial Taunt  over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
    Mike Florio from NBC Sports likes Washington as well.
    But he also likes the Cowboys over the Giants.
     
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