Tag Archive | "Jaguars"

The Degenerate: Week 15 Preview and Thursday Pick; Ice, Ice Baby

OK, let’s get this out of the way… the Eagles are still alive for the NFC East division title.

They need to sweep their last three games (v. NY Jets, @Dallas, v. Washington) and the Giants and Dallas both have to go 1-2. Dallas and the Giants play each other in Week 17, so this thing could go down to the final weekend. Which would be a fitting way to end the season, Andy and the boys will drag us all back in for Week 17 after we’ve already cashed out three times already (maybe more) and then force us to cheer for either the Cowboys or Giants in order for the Eagles to win the division. Yeah, I could totally see it happening.

Of course, if the Cowboys and Giants both win this weekend then it’s all over for 2011. Again. But for real this time. Mathematically eliminated. DOA.

But let’s hope we can live to dream another week about sneaking into the postseason against all odds. This season won’t be complete until we all get sucked back in for one last heartbreak.


Week 14 Revisited

2-1? Duh, winning. (except that Steelers pick)

We did ok last week. 2-1, I’ll take it. Thursday night was a bad loss. Steelers had the better team, and they looked pretty good on defense, holding Cleveland to only three points. But the Pittsburgh offense couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. They had the ball 1st and goal on the one, going against the Browns’ 30th ranked rushing defense, and the Steelers got stuffed on four straight run plays. Pittsburgh got out a 14-3 win, but they didn’t cover the 13 point number.

On Sunday, the Eagles got us our first winner. After a slow start they turned it around and opened up a 24-7 lead at halftime and never looked back. The defense played pretty good, Vick played well, Shady scored on two short runs and the Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive, winning 26-10, and they didn’t even need the three points Vegas was giving them.

We closed out the week with a winner on Monday night. Honestly, it was a crappy game that made even other crappy games look good. Seattle hosted St Louis. Sam Bradford was playing on an injured ankle and it showed. We said “How about Marshawn Lynch leads the Seattle offense, the Rams continue to struggle on offense and the Seahawks win 24-10”. We were almost spot on, Seattle won it 30-13, Lynch had 115 yard rushing and a TD. Rams got 281 yards of total offense, and Sam Bradfrod looked like he shouldn’t have even suited up. Anyway, it’s nice to watch a game play out pretty much just like you handicapped it.

Let’s hope we can do it again in Week 15.

We’ll take a first look at the Eagles/Jets game and break down the Falcons/Jaguars Thursday night game. So keep reading…

Week 15 Hometown Preview: Eagles vs. New York Jets

Opening Line: Eagles -1, O/U 37
Current Line: Eagles -2.5, O/U 37.5
Game Trends (via Covers.com): Eagles: 1-8 ATS in last nine home games; Jets: 13-3-1 OVER when they are an underdog.

This line is right about where I expected. Eagles laying 2.5 points at home to the Jets.

Rex, don't talk crap about their offense. They burned me for 34 points.

Eagles are 5-8 on the season, and a disappointing 1-5 at home. Jets are 8-5 and 2-4 on the road.

The Eagles have an interesting trend happening this season, when they win game outright, they cover. When they lose games, they don’t cover. They have been favorites in all but 3 games this season. Last week they were getting 3 points from Miami and ended up winning 26-10.

The Jets have had back-to-back 34+ point outings, winning 37-10 over Kansas City last week as a 10.5 point favorite at home. The Jets have only been held to under 21 points three times this season, so they can score.

No real injuries to speak of for the Eagles. Mike Vick is still banged up a little, but should be playing this week. Jeremy Maclin seems to be healthy again after missing 3 games with a hamstring injury.

The Jets also come in pretty healthy, with no big players expected to miss the game.

New York is still in the mix for both the division title (a longshot) and a wildcard spot. They are holding on the last wildcard spot, so they really need this win and should come in plenty motivated.

The Eagles are playing with house money at this point, no pressure, and no one expects much from them. And that is what makes them dangerous.

At first glance I’m liking the Eagles and UNDER, but we’ll break this game down further in tomorrows post.

Thursday Night Football

TNF Bet #1: (a.k.a the “Hey look, it’s the Jaguars again” pick): Falcons -12 over Jaguars

The Jaguars are on national TV again! Good for us, we don’t see enough of Blaine Gabbert and his 65.3 passer rating (yeah, that’s the worst rating for starters in the NFL this season).

How do the Jags manage that many national TV games? I don’t know, but please make this the last time.

The Falcons could use another 2 TD's from Julio tonight

When you first look at this line it looks like a trap. You have the Jaguars coming in with the #4 rated defense (#3 vs. pass, #9 vs. run) and they just whupped up the Buccaneers 41-14 last week. They are playing for pride and nothing more. They really have nothing to lose. At this point they are rallying for the new head coach, who is also the defensive coordinator. They just got a new owner, too. So the coaches and players are all pretty much playing for their jobs (every game is a ‘playing for your job’ situation in the NFL but with a new regime coming in, these guys know changes are coming to Jacksonville next season). All these points make you think that they are a live dog, and not to be messed with. Getting 12 points? A team that only scores 14 points per game and only gives up 19 points per game is getting 12 points? Sounds like a low scoring game. Gotta take the points, right?

But you know what, I’m going with the Falcons -12 in this one. Here’s my theory, the Jaguars will not score (at least not much). When you think Falcons you think offense, Matty Ice, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Michael Turner. Yup, Atlanta does have the 11th ranked offense (9th passing, 26th rushing) but they are also pretty good on defense and they should be able to shut down the weak Jaguars offense.

I know the Jags put up 41 points last week but that was just the 2nd time all season that they’ve scored over 17 points in a game. They’re averaging a paltry 14.8 points per game, their QB is terrible and the Falcons come in with a pretty good defense. The only way the Jags will have a chance is if Maurice Jones-Drew gets it done on the ground. Good luck with that, Atlanta has the #2 rush defense this season.

The Falcons are fighting for the last NFC wildcard spot (and they’re still mathematically alive for the NFC South division title) and will be plenty motivated to get it done in front of the home crowd. I think the combination of Matt Ryan ‘s passing and Michael Turner’s running will give the Falcons all they need to win this comfortably.

How about Jacksonville can’t find the end zone, the Falcons mix up the run and pass, the home crowd becomes the X factor, and Falcons win 27-10.

Injuries: Jacksonville WR Mike Thomas is OUT, he leads the team with 40 catches for 391 yards. Atlanta RB Michael Turner is PROBABLE with a groin injury, Turner hasn’t missed a game all season and word is that he is expected to play.

The Line: Falcons -12, O/U 42.5
The Pick: Falcons -12
Game trends (via Covers.com): Falcons: 20-8-1 ATS last 29 vs. teams with losing record. Jaguars: 4-11-1 ATS vs. teams with winning records






Season Record: 18-16. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
Email me: fantasource@gmail.com
Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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The Degenerate: Week 13, Monday Night – Let’s This Try Again

Rough loss on Sunday with the Bears. Matt Forte went down early in the game and the Bears never seemed to get their bearings. I said the Bears would win 24-10, well I got the ten points part right. Bears lose 10-3. The Bears D did what they needed to but the offense was invisible. 181 total yards? Ouch. Add that loss to the Thursday night Eagles loss and we’re looking at 0-2 going into Monday Night. But I’m riding a nice Monday Night streak this season, 7-3 so far, and three straight MNF winners. But the NFL didn’t do me any favors with this matchup.

San Diego visits Jacksonville. The Chargers are three point favorites on the road, the total is 39.

This could be a rough night for Rivers

This matchup is very hard to break down. The Chargers are basically the Eagles of the AFC. They came into the season with high expectations, and then totally crapped the bed. They were 10-1 to win the Super Bowl and -1000 to win the AFC West. Now they’re 4-7, in last place in the AFC West and in the grips of a six game losing streak. Not a good run for Norv Turner and the boys. And to top it all off, reports are circulating that Norv is going to be fired at the end of the season, and guess who is going to replace him? Andy Reid. Yeah, it’s gotta be true. The internet never lies.

Firing your coach? ‘Been there, done that’, says Jacksonville. Not only was HC Jack DelRio fired last week, the Jaguars were sold. Beat that, Chargers.

So here we are. One team in the midst of it’s longest losing streak in 10 years, and another with a new coach, and a new owner. Both teams are well under .500, and the home team is having trouble selling out the game. Nice. Can’t wait for this one.

I don’t know who is watching this game tonight. Maybe some Chargers fans, some Jags fans, gamblers and anyone with any of these guys in fantasy football. But here I am, trying to handicap this game and give you a winner. Fun job, isn’t it? But you know what, I do have a pick, but first let’s break down the combatants.

MJD will be the key for the Jags tonight

Like I said earlier, San Diego is a hot mess. 4-7 record, six game losing streak, under-performing all season and a coach on the hot seat. But they are actually still alive for the AFC West title if they can get a win. They’d only be two games back of the leaders if they can pull this out. So they still have some motivation to get this done.

Jacksonville has a new (interim) head coach, DC Mel Tucker takes over for the rest of the season. He got the job for good reason, his Jags defense is #2 in defensive efficiency, behind only the Ravens. So, how can a team with such a great defense be 3-8? The problem with the Jaguars is offense, or lack of it. The Jags come into this game averaging a league-low 12.5 points per game, and they have only scored over 17 points once this season. They’re ranked last (32nd) in passing, and 22nd in rushing. Going up against a Charger defense that is 30th overall.

So we have a terrible offense going up against a terrible defense. Not sure who wins that matchup, but it’s not the TV viewers.

The one bright spot on the Jags offense is RB Maurice Jones-Drew. He is tied for first with Shady McCoy averaging 95.4 rushing yards per game. And if the Jaguars want to win this one, they’re going to stick to the ground game with MJD.

It's been a rough year for Norv

When the Chargers have the ball they’ll have their work cut out for them. Jacksonville defense is good. Very good. Coming into the game they have the 2nd overall defense (5th against the pass, 3rd against the rush). And they are allowing only allowing 18.2 points per game.

San Diego has had trouble scoring lately, only once in their last 6 games have they scored over 21 points. QB Phillip Rivers has not been playing up to his past stats. Only once this season has he thrown for more than two touchdowns in a game. I don’t see him doing too much against this tough Jaguars defense. He should play ok, but not light up the scoreboard.

The Jaguars defense should shut down the Chargers, or at least limit their scoring ability. The Jags on offense should be able to move the ball with MJD and kill some clock in the process. I don’t see QB Blaine Gabbert being be much of a factor but he won’t really need to be. It’s all MJD and the Jags defense.

Add all that together and I’m going with UNDER 39 in this one.

Some trends I found on Covers.com point to the UNDER also:

  • Jags 10-1 UNDER this season
  • Chargers: 10-4 UNDER in their last 14 games on grass
  • Chargers: 20-2 in their last 22 games in December

I think that the Jaguars defense will be playing extra fired up now that their guy is in the top seat. MJD made a comment that practices this week were extra intense, and the new coach has the team focused and practicing sharp. But on the other hand, the Chargers continue to struggle. I’ve learned my lesson from the Eagles, sometimes a team is just not as good as you want them to be.

San Diego has to travel east to play against a great defense. It’s going to be a sluggish game. I think the Jaguars defense is the difference. I’ll still give San Diego the win, since the Chargers dominate in December, I think Phillip Rivers will find a way to pull it out and snap the six game losing streak, but it’s not going to be easy.

How about Chargers win 20-14.

The Line: San Diego Chargers -3, O/U 39
Ths Pick: UNDER 39

Let’s recover from a bad weekend and get this one.





Season Record: 16-14. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
Email me: fantasource@gmail.com
Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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The Degenerate: Week 7 MNF Pick: Bodymore, Murdaland

We had another winner this weekend with the Steelers -4 over Arizona. I’m pretty happy that we’ve been running on all cylinders lately, 7-2 in our last nine picks here at SpikeEskin.com. Hope everyone made some money along the way (but don’t forget, it’s for amusement purposes only).

So here we are again, another Monday Night is upon us. I wanted to write a 5000 word post comparing the Ravens players to characters from The Wire, but then I remembered that I’m not Bill Simmons, plus someone already did that shtick with the 2011 Phillies players last week (it’s good, go read it). So I guess I’ll just handicap the game without any fluff.

I'm hot, now Roger Goodell is trying to shut me down

We hit the Steelers game yesterday and also have run off three straight Monday Night winners, and just when I’m right in the middle of a hot streak the NFL sends in The Cooler to shut me down. Baltimore at Jacksonville? Seriously? This game has me very inspired to watch something else.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love the Ravens defense, it’s the best in the league (maybe the best ever?). That, plus the fact that the Jaguars are horrible on offense means it could get ugly for Blaine “Yo Gabbert” Gabbert and friends tonight in J-ville (is that what they call it?). By the way, here’s your ‘No shit, Sherlock’ headline of the week from the Boston Globe: “Ravens’ defense has been tough on young quarterbacks”. Oh, you don’t say. You’re telling me that rookie Blaine Gabbert might be in for a rough night against Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and company? Thanks for the newsflash.

The Jaguars are having a rough season, they are 1-5 this year and Gabbert is 0-4 since taking over as the starter. Yes, they played the Steelers tight last week in Pittsburgh, but they could only muster 209 yards of total offense. Blaine Gabbert got a whopping 109 yards passing. And now he has to face the #1 Ravens defense? Does anyone really expect the Jaguars to get any points? Maybe MJD can break one at some point, but I’m not expecting much.

But the Ravens offense isn’t that exciting either. Joe Flacco? He’s decent but I wouldn’t put the ball in his hands and ask him to win a game for me. It’s really Ray Rice or nothing as far as I’m concerned, and tonight that just might be all the Ravens need.

Let’s quickly run through the stats for this Ravens Defense:

  • 1st – Points per game (14.2 points)
  • 1st – Total yards allowed per game (270 yards)
  • 3rd – Rush yards allowed per game (76 yards)
  • 7th – Passing yards allowed per game (209 yards)

Yo Blaine, We're Coming for You!

If you’ve read this column all season you know I have a hard-on for the DVOA stats from FootballOutsiders.com. And according to the FO Defensive Efficiency rankings the Ravens D is the best, by far. They’re #1 at -29.5 (the lower, the better). #2 is the Jets at -15.3. So they are almost double the Jets’ efficiency. That 14 point gap from #1 to #2 is the same as the gap from #2 to #12. In short, the Ravens are a machine on defense.

Take the Ravens defense stats and also include that the Jags are only scoring 12 points per game (only St Louis is worse) and they have the lowest passing yards per game (137 yards) so you have to wonder if they’ll even score at all.

But the Jaguars defense is decent in their own right. Near the top 10 in points per game allowed, yards per game allowed and pass yards per game allowed and they’re 12th in defensive efficiency at Football Outsiders. But their rush defense is not great (115 yards per game, #20) which is why I think we’ll be seeing alot of Ray Rice (probably not a surprise).

And as for Offensive efficiency, the Ravens are 20th, the Jaguars are 32nd (last). So I think you know where this is going.

I like the UNDER 39 points. I truly don’t know how the Jaguars will score points. I really don’t. I guess MJD will see alot of touches? I wouldn’t think Blaine Gabbert will be able to have much time to set up and make decent throws. So since it looks to me like it will be Ray Rice all night for Baltimore and MJD all night for Jacksonville, I’m thinking Ground and Pound and a low scoring game.

Unders have hit in five of six games for Jacksonville, but the Ravens games have gone over in four of five weeks. I think both defenses will play well enough to keep this under the number. I can realistically see the Ravens pitching a shutout, and I don’t think they can put up over 27 points on the Jaguars tonight.

MJD is the key for the Jags tonight.

I really hate betting Unders, I think everyone does, it’s like betting the Don’t Pass line in Craps. You’re hoping for nothing fun to happen. I’d much rather bet the Over, sit back, and watch a 42-38 shooting match. But I don’t see that happening on Monday Night. So I’ll have to suck it up and cheer for a defensive chess match.

I’m thinking that the Ravens D shuts ‘em down and both offenses keep the ball on the ground. We’ll see Baltimore get out of Jacksonville with a hard fought win.

But let’s get back to the Ravens as characters from The Wire… don’t fall for the easy choice and make Ray Lewis to be Omar. No way. Ed Reed is Omar. Ray Lewis is Slim Charles. The cool, calm assassin. Always does his job, loyal to the end and never complains. And I’ve never seen Ray Rice in person, but I can’t help but think he would look and act just like Cutty. And Flacco is Prez, no doubt. Ok, I’m done.

How about we say Ray Lewis puts Blaine Gabbert in a vacant (trademark Jason Whitlock) and Baltimore gets out of there with a W. Ravens 24 Jaguars 10?  Sounds good to me.

I would have loved to laid the 10 points with the Ravens, but the Jags defense plus homefield plus Monday Night makes me nervous that it could be a tight game, or at least one susceptible to a backdoor cover.

The Line: Ravens -10, O/U 39
The Pick: UNDER 39

I know it was an Eagles bye week but don’t fret, Dallas comes to the Linc next Sunday Night, I can’t wait. Early line has the Birds as three point favorites. Chew on that for a few days and we’ll break it all down on Thursday and Friday.

Let’s keep this train moving with another win.





Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

  • Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
  • Email me fantasource@gmail.com
  • Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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The Degenerate: Week 4, Remembering ‘The Gold Sheet’ and the Friday Picks

The Friday picks. It’s time to rebound from last week. This week I’m looking at the Saints (again), and the Eagles (again). Read on to see why I’m leaning to those sides, and I also do a little reminiscing about The Gold Sheet…

Read the full story

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