Friday, September 17, 2010

Bolt Notes: Chargers/Chiefs Recap and Week 2 NFL Picks!

I knew there were a lot of question marks regarding the Chargers as well as many other teams around the league, but I made my picks and found out that my answers were not necessarily the correct ones. I started off this season with a very pedestrian 8-8 mark in week 1.

As for my Bolts.....ugh. Yes, I could use the weather as an excuse. Yes, I could brag about how the Chargers honestly beat the Chiefs statistically, with the exception of special teams, all night long. Heck, the Chiefs were a measly 1-11 for third down conversions and only threw for around 86 yards compared to the Chargers 298! All that may be true, but the fact is that the Chiefs out played the Chargers when it counted.

That's right, the Chiefs had to play in that weather too. Did they play well? NO! However, they made three big plays and the Chargers only made one. The Chiefs ran a punt back over 90 yards. The Chiefs had a touchdown run of over 50 yards. Finally, on the best run of the night for Chargers rookie running back, Ryan Matthews, the Chiefs stripped the ball and returned it to the Chargers 13 yard line from which they were able to score with ease on a Chargers missed coverage assignment.

The Chargers only huge play was a long touchdown pass to Legedu Naanee when Kansas City seemed to forget that he was an eligible receiver and allowed him to stroll down field and into the end zone.

Now, if the Chargers want to us to believe that they were hampered by the weather, or that it was just a fluke, they have to play better this week against the Jaguars. The weather will not be an excuse. The Chargers will have to make tackles, protect the ball, and be much more disciplined on special teams.

It would also be nice if Philip Rivers didn't stomp his feet and act like a spoiled brat who didn't get to eat his pudding because he refused to eat his veggies first. I normally defend Rivers and his competitive personality, but Monday night was embarrassing at times. He played fairly well, considering the conditions, but when things didn't go right, he melted down and had a tizzy. He would have spent some time in the naughty spot if the Super Nanny had been there.

Now, on to week 2!!!!!!!

Last Week: 8-8

Season Total: 8-8

Cardinals 13 @ Falcons 24

I was not impressed by the Falcons last week, but I think they are too much for the Cards. Arizona may have enough to beat the lower level teams, but not the big boys.

Ravens 20 @ Bengals 10

This could be a great game. I was a bit surprised how poorly the Bengals started out last week and I wonder if they have figured yet how to use their talented personnel. The Ravens have a beastly defense and their offense should improve as they get used to their new addition TJ Housmanzada.

Chiefs 24 @ Browns 13

I have to pick the Chiefs to show that the Chargers aren't that bad of a team. I was not impressed with KC's offense, but they do have play makers. The Browns are still a work in progress.

Bears 17 @ Cowboys 24

Not a big fan of either quarterback, but I think the Cowboys have to many players to lose to a team that almost lost to Detroit in week 1.

Eagles 31 @ Lions 6

The Lions will be playing like they have something to prove after the controversial loss to the Bears last week. Both the Lions and the Eagles lost their starting QB in week 1. The Eagles will bring back Mike Vick while the Lions will counter with Shawn Hill. Advantage Eagles.

Rams 24 @ Raiders 13

The effort by the Raiders was shocking to say the least last week. I really expected more from them this year. Until they show me that then can stop the run, and protect the QB, I can 't pick them. Look for a lot of Steven Jackson this week.

Bills 17 @ Packers 41

Terrible game. Packers all over the Bills. Even without their starting running back, the Packers will have no problem wiping the turf with the Bills.

Steelers 13 @ Titans 27

This is an interesting game. Can the Steelers defense stop the run well enough to force Vince Young to win the game for the Titans? If they can, I like the Steelers chances. If not, it will be a long day for Pitt.

Dolphins 20 @ Vikings 24

Favre was a bit rusty, to say the least last week. The Dolphins are a decent team and have the ability to pull off the upset. The problem is that I believe that if Favre is struggling this week, there will be a steady diet of Adrian Peterson and the Vikings will prevail.

Bucs 14 @ Panthers 28

I just can't see picking the Bucs at all this year. There are only a few teams who would even have to game plan for them and the Panthers are one of them. But I still don't see the Panthers losing to TB at home. Not to say that the Panthers are world beaters, but they out class Tampa Bay this year.

Seahawks 24 @ Broncos 10

If you tell me that you thought the Seahawks would play like they did last week, I'll tell you that you are a liar. Or that you are actually Pete Caroll. The Seahawks came out like gang busters and the Broncos were just busts. Honestly, the Broncos did move the ball, but they could not muster up enough to stop the Jags on the road.

Patriots 31 @ Jets 17

This could be a great game! I look forward to seeing Tom Brady and Wes Welker destroy Antonio Cromartie who was picked on last week by the Ravens. I will give Cro credit for the one pick and a nice return, but he looked like he was playing "The Weekest Link" and was about to get voted out. I also don't believe in Mark Sanchez as a leader yet. He has a lot of growing up to do. I can't see him out playing Brady, even if Revis shuts down Moss.

Jaguars 20 @ Chargers 31

This looks like the first regular season television blackout for the Chargers in the last 49 games. Its' a shame, but I can't see those last tickets being sold in time. I believe the fans are sending a few messages here. 1. Times are hard s and football is expensive. Why pay to watch the Jaguars when you can watch better teams later? 2. Disappointment from week 1. 3. Tired of the slow starts that the Norv Turner lead Chargers do year after year.

As for the game. It should be fairly close, if the Jaguars can establish a run game. The Chargers will work all week on fixing their special teams play and hope to do better in front of former Pro Bowler Kassim Osgood who they sorely missed last week.

In the long run, the Chargers offense will thrive in the beautiful San Diego weather.

Texans 20 @ Redskins 17

Another tough game to pick. McNabb looks five years younger and the Texans are riding an emotional high after beating rival Indy. I have to go with the upstart Texans in this one. Too much D for the Skins.

Giants 18 @ Colts 31

Ah yes, the Manning brothers face off again. Peyton is older. Peyton is at home. Peyton is pissed about last week. I don't like Eli. 'nuff said.

Saints 38 @ Niners 10

I was really looking forward to thins one until I saw the Niners play. What was that? Saints in a laugher.

Enjoy the games and feel free to comment.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bolt Notes and Week 1 NFL Picks!

2010 may be the best chance the San Diego Chargers have had for winning the Super Bowl in years!

That’s right! You did just read that this year is the best opportunity for the San Diego Chargers to win a championship in several years. I know that doesn’t make sense to most of you and I also understand that I am a “homer” and try very hard to find the silver lining in what could be a very ominous cloud hanging over the Chargers teams. So work with me a minute, read what I have to say, and see if it makes any sense to you, and let me know.

The main basis for my argument for the Chargers success this year is wrapped up in one word…EXPECTATIONS! I know what you’re thinking. The Chargers are expected to win the weak AFC West and then lose again in the first round of the playoffs. Most experts don’t think they have the defense and have gone through too many changes to win it all (See Antonio Cromartie, Kassim Osgood, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jamal Williams, Marcus McNeill, Vincent Jackson etc.)
That argument is exactly what makes me think this could be the Bolt’s year. For each of the past four or five years, many “experts” have picked the Chargers to win it all. “The best team on paper” was often the reasoning. Huge expectations, but each year, the Bolts would win the West and then lose in the playoffs. Some losses were due to injury. Others losses were due to a lack of execution (see Nate Keading).

That being said, I believe the number one reason that none of those years ended with the Chargers driving through the streets of downtown San Diego beneath a shower of confetti was the Chargers believed the hype. You see, the Chargers are very physically talented, but mentally…not the sharpest tools in the shed. Of course that does not include all players, but many players totally bought into the idea that they had the best team and that other teams shouldn’t even bother flying out to San Diego to attempt to beat them. When all you think you need to do is throw your helmet on the field and have the other team give up, you are in for a rude awakening (see the New York Jets).
Yes, Chargers fans, this year there are very few experts picking the Chargers to go all the way. Yes, most say they will win the West, but I have only seen a couple pick them to win the Super Bowl. Maybe this is the year when they take the field with a killer instinct and go out to punish opponents, rather than tickle them into submission. Remember, every team in the NFL has talented players. It’s the teams that can look past their talent, look at the other team as a danger, and play their best every week that wins rings.

Well, every long journey begins with one step and the NFL is no different. Week one is upon us and it is time to look at the matchups and decide who will start the year in first place. Will the Colts get off to one of their unbelievable starts? Will the Chargers get off to yet another poor start? Will the Jets be able to keep all of their egos in check? Will the Saints be able to perform at the incredibly high level that they performed last year? I can’t wait to find out the answers to these and many other questions throughout the year. Enjoy the season everyone!

NFL Week 1 Picks!

Vikings 20 @ Saints 31

I just can’t imagine Favre being ready to play at the level he would need to in order to beat the Super Bowl champs. Brett will do well to make it through this one healthy.
Dolphins 24 @ Bills 13

Even with the distraction of losing “The Tuna”, I think the Dolphins are a much better team than rival Buffalo.

Lions 17 @ Bears 20

The obvious pick is the Bears at home, but I don’t think much of Cutler and I believe the Lions are on the rise. The question is, are the Lions quite there yet?

Raiders 20 @ Titans 27

In Oakland, I may have gone with the Raiders this week. I personally think they will make a nice step forward this year as long as they stay healthy. However, I don’t see it happening on the road against a great ground game in Tennessee.

Bengals 28 @ Patriots 31
Should be a great game, but I see Tom Terrific passing to Welker and keeping the football away from the dangerous receivers on the other side. The Bengals will also have to find a way to keep their two divas happy. That could be a challenge as the year goes on.

Panthers 13 @ Giants 27

Honestly, I’m not that excited about this one. Giants are decent and the Panthers are rebuilding.
Falcons 21 @ Steelers 13

This is tougher than it looks on paper. On one side, you have the Steelers without their top two quarterbacks. On the other side, you may have an overconfident Falcons team going up against a determined Steelers team that doesn’t want to go 0-4 out of the gate.
Browns 20 @ Bucs 10


Broncos 27 @ Jaguars 24

This is a hard one for me due to my obvious bias against the Broncos. Many experts are predicting a horrible year for the Broncos. The Jaguars aren’t expected to do much either. The Jags are at home, and it’s a long trip for Denver. Hmmmmm. Flip a coin here.

Colts 24 @ Texans 20

This could very well be the year that the Texans make the playoffs. Their defense looks very good and their offense racks up a lot of yards. I just don’t like them against Peyton and his Colts in Week 1. Give them a few weeks and then I might pick them for the upset.

49ers 41 @ Seahawks 13

This is Pete Carroll’s first game as head coach of the Seahawks. That could work for them or against them. Getting rid of their number one receiver the week before the first game? That has to be a negative. The Niners are for real this year. Expect some very good things from San Francisco.

Packers 31 @ Eagles 27

Eagles could very well win this game at home but I’m drinking the Packers cheese flavored Kool-Aide until they prove me wrong.

Cardinals 16 @ Rams 20

My upset of the week! I don’t think the Cardinals have a quarterback. Also the Rams are home and playing with nothing to lose.

Cowboys 27 @ Redskins 20

Great week 1 matchup! I’m not sold on the Cowboys are being this year’s champs, as some are. But! I think they get off to a hot start and beat the dysfunctional Redskins on the road.

Ravens 20 @ Jets 13

Love this game for Monday night! Looking for the Ravens to show that their offense is much improved and that their defense can still play with the big boys. The Jets have a lot of talent, but I’m not sold on Mark Sanchez and as a Chargers fan, I think we will see that Antonio Cromartie is more potent off the field than on.

Chargers 31 @ Chiefs 24

This is not the sure thing that many Chargers fans think it is. The Bolts have a lot of question marks that need to be answered. Is the offensive line going to be able to protect Philip Rivers? Can the defense stop the run? Can the defense put any pressure on the quarterback? Can Norv Turner get the Chargers to play in week 1 as if it were week 14?

As for the Chiefs, they seem to lack on defense, but their offense can run the football and given time Matt Cassell will hit open receivers.

Thanks for the read and let me know what you think! Personally, I hate picking week 1, but it’s more fun than not taking a chance.

Enjoy the games!