Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wire Check - 9/30/09


Here's a Michael Crabtree update. [Twitter]

No plans to make any roster moves with Gore on the shelf for a couple weeks. [Sac Bee]

The Raiders bring back a familiar face to return kicks. [CC Times]


Is it good or bad that Bengie Molina could be the best San Francisco Giants catcher of all time? [SFGate]

A's. [SFGate]

Kawakami supports bringing back Sabean-Bochy, but be sure to add fine print. [Merc]


Do you think Bruce Jenkins knows the Warriors SBNation site is called, Golden State of Mind? I say no. [SFGate]

Cam Inman says Ellis and Jackson are brats. [CC Times]

Kawakami says Ellis and Jackson are smarter than management. [Merc]

Marcus Thompson's Camp Notes from Day 1. [CC Times]


For the Sharks' newest #1 fan, RT. Ray Ratto rains on your parade. [SFGate]

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wire Check - 9/29/09


* I said it at the start of the season and I will say it now ... betting against the Raiders this season will earn you a better return than the S&P 500. (Especially, if you bet big after they win). In other news, the Raiders are terrible. [SF Gate]

* I would pay a decent amount of money to be a fly in the interrogation with the Tom Cable and the Napa Police ...

Napa Police: "So if you didn't break his jaw, how did he break it?"

Tom Cable: "He must have fallen down the stairs."

I cannot get enough of this story [CC Times]

* Is a vote of confidence from Tom Cable really a vote of confidence? [CC Times]

* Gore is going to be out three weeks. However, Shaun Hill is perfectly healthy so the Niners are still have a one dimensional offense. [CNNSI]

* To be clear, if you lose by more than 30 in a season, you no longer have any right to be considered a top 10 team. [ESPN]


* What is more ironic? A) The fact that Stephen Jackson's contract is too big to be traded or B) The fact that Stephen Jackson's best chance to win over the life of his contract is probably with the Warriors because none of the win now teams want him. (However, Danny Ferry continues to prove that he is one of the worst GMs in NBA history so there is a chance he would trade for Stephan Jackson) [SJ Merc]


* Keeping Bochy makes sense but Sabaen might just be too gun shy to build a World Series contender. [SJ Merc]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wire Check - 9/28/09


Kawkami's recap of both Bay Area teams' Sundays. [Merc] I agree with TK's assessment of the 49ers game. Brett Favre made a perfect throw that 90% of NFL QB's wouldn't make and Greg Lewis made an amazing catch that 90% of NFL WRs wouldn't make. Don't complain about the last series when the Niners ran three times and punted. Everyone wants the take hindsight and say if they had only gotten a first down by passing, they would have won the game. What would you say if they tried to pass and threw an incomplete pass leaving the Vikings with 40 extra seconds AND a timeout for the final drive? You'd ask why Singletary didn't just run the ball. A gritty performance on the road, losing Frank Gore on the first play and not converting a third down all day, and Minnesota still needed a miracle play to win. I didn't see any of the Raiders game due to black out related reasons, but JaMarcus Russell is getting closer to bust-ville every game.

The final drive through the eyes of Brett Favre. [SFGate]

Cam Inman asks, Is the bloom already off Cal's rose? I answer, Yes. [CC Times]

You know you're bad when even Scott Ostler can tee off on your franchise. [SFGate]

Mark Purdy on what the 49ers should remember from yesterday's loss. [Merc]


In Baggs' post game notes from last night, only three SF Giants have got 200 hits in a season. [Merc]

John Shea checks in on how ex-A's have done since they've left Oakland. [SFGate]

Friday, September 25, 2009

Boomers and Busters: Week 3

In our FGC 2009 NFL Preview, RT and I picked players we projected to have breakout performances and players whose performance would be well under expectations from each division. In the name of accountability and so we can call each other out for terrible, terrible predictions, here is a weekly run down on our predictions. Blue is a Koski pick, Green is a RT pick.


Greg Jennings - Well, he's coming off a zero catch game, but he went 6 for 106 and a TD in week 1. It's all good.

Marques Colston - Leads all receivers in TDs with three and has 11 receptions. Saints' offense should keep rolling.

Felix Jones - Only 13 carries through two weeks, but Jones is averageing 9.1 ypc and should get more touches on MNF with Barber likely out due to injury.

Donnie Avery - Ouch. Not looking good on this one. Seven receptions, fifty yards, no touchdowns and two fumbles. Did I put him on the wron list?

Ray Maualuga - The tackle numbers aren't there yet, but he's got a sack and two forced fumbles so far.

Andre Johnson - Fourteen catches, 184 yards and two touchdowns through two weeks. As long as Darrell revis isn't covering him, he's unstoppable.

Gary Guyton - Jury is still out on Guyton, but Jerod Mayo's injury has opened the door. Boom or bust time for Guyton and RT's pick.

Vincent Jackson - Eleven catches, 197 yards and two touchdowns. Inc ase you missed it, the Chargers aren't a running team anymore.


Brett Favre - He's 31st in passing yards this season. Brady Quinn has 100 more yards passing than Brett.

Derrick Ward - Twenty one carries for 94 yarsd and a score, but much of his touches have been diverted to Cadillac Williams. Unfortunately for me, not Ward, Cadillac is hurting and Ward should see an increased workload thsi week.

Brian Westbrook - Typical Wetbrook. He hasn't practived all week and is listed as questionable. He's got 22 carriew and 116 yards through two games, about half the production you'd expect from him.

Kurt Warner - Just completed an NFL record 92% of his passes last week. Rt, are you sure I didn't mix up my NFC west picks?

Joe Flacco - He's tied for second with five touchdown passes and sixth in passer rating. Will it last?

Anthony Gonzalez - Sprained his PCL in the opener and has yet to get into the stat book.

Terrell Owens - Five receptions, 98 yards and a touchdown for Team Obliterator. He hasn't even begun to implode, yet either.

JaMarcus Russell - Brady Quinn has a better passer rating. JMR is dead last in completion percentage, 15% lower than #31. 15%!!!!

RT and Koski NFL Picks Week 3

Well, the wheels fell off a bit on my undefeated picking season, but RT didn't want to make me look bad so he tossed out a goose egg. Thanks, RT.

  • Texans -3.5 over the Jaguars
    After last week, I am starting to believe the Jets defense is really good on the Texans offense is not that bad. The Jags go down again.
  • Lions +6.5 over the Redskins
    Did anybody see the Redskins last week!? They almost cost me my suicide pool with that pathetic showing against the Rams. The Lions are ready to win and I think this is their week.
  • Bengals +4 v. Steelers
    When you go 0-3 you need to start thinking outside of the box. The Bengals have been pushed around by the Steelers for the last couple years and I think they want pay back. Not to mention, they look a lot better than the Bears at this point.

Koski (4-2)
  • Giants -6.5 @ Buccaneers
    The Giants are really good and with Eli clicking with his WRs TB's stinky defense won't be able to keep the G-Me out of the endzone.
  • Jets -1 v. Titans
    The Jets defense is for real and Darrelle Revis and Dwight Lowery will have no problems in man coverage allowing the Jets to put 8 in the box to stop Chris Johnson.
  • 49ers +6.5 @ Vikings
    The 49ers have proven the can contain All Day once before. All they have to do this game is force Brett Favre to make a couple mistakes and I'll take the six and a half.

Week 1 Results
Koski: 49ers +6.5 @ ARI, Cowboys -6 @ TB, Vikings -4.5 @CLE
RT: Packers -3.5 v. CHI, Patriots -11 v. BUF, Chargers -9 @ OAK
Week 2 Results
Koski: Raiders+3 @KC, Packers-9.5v. CIN, Chargers-3v. Ravens
RT: Titans-6.5 @ Texans, Steelers-1@CHI, Panthers+6.5 @ ATL

Wire Check - 9/25/09


The 49ers were not a preseason sleeper this season. After a 2-0 start, the media is warming up to the team, but Mike Singletary wants his team to be wary of evil. The Evil of Overconfidence. [Yahoo!]

Possible scenarios for Michael Crabtree. [NFP]

Football Outsiders looks at the Top 10 QB contracts in the NFL. [Football Outsiders]

Tough test for Cal this week at UO. [SFGate]

P-Willy stays grounded. [Merc]

Are the Raiders making progress this season? You won't know unless you buy a ticket. [Sac Bee]


Jeff Baker to Giants' playoff hopes, "I crush you!" [SFGate]

Go see the new faces of the A's franchise...before Beane trades them. Sorry A's fans, couldn't resist. [SFGate]

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wire Check - 9/24/09


* I love the concept that a writer can say Freddy Sanchez would not want to test the free agent market after having knee surgery in the off-season and then the writer goes on to say it behooves the Giants to seek a long-term deal. WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?! Any trader worth anything know that it is better to cut your losses than try to double down and HOPE (not a trading strategy) that they will get a better. Can you imagine how good a sports team would be if they had smart people with trading sense running an organization!? Red Sox, Rays ... [SF Gate]

* Giants win and are ready to look towards the off-season. [SJ Merc]

* The second best pitcher in the Bay Area starts for the A's tonight []


* Does anybody think JaMarcus Russell will ever be a top 20 quarterback in the NFL? So why stick with him? [SJ Merc]

* Guess what ... the Niners-Vikings game is going to be pretty good. [SF Gate]

* However, it is not good when the best player in football wants payback. [CC Times]


* I will admit it ... I am on the Sharks bandwagon because they have the only front office in the Bay Area that seems to care about winning a championship. Time to buy my Heatley jersey. [SJ Merc]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wire Check - 9/22/09


Can we all agree that the Giants' season is now over? Please? Kawakami wraps a bow on it. [Merc] Raise your hand if you'd do the Freddy Sanchez trade over again. You disgust me.

That A's, still in Oakland. [CCTimes]

The company behind Pitchf/x, I think they do the first down line in the NFL as well, are working on a Fieldf/x at AT&T park. [SFGate]

More on the Villalona situation in the DR. [SFGate]


Matt Maiocco presents the NFL's anti-tampering policy [Press Democrat]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wire Check - 9/22/09


* If you have bought a ticket to a Giants home game after Sept. 20, you could be going for free. Why you ask? I am sure the class action lawsuit against the team for false advertising. "We are IN this thing?" No matter if thing is defined as the playoffs or the first overall pick in the draft ... the Giants are in fact not IN this thing. [SF Gate]


* At what point does the Crabtree talk stop? Week 5, Week 10 ... [SJ Merc]

* I have to admit that Shaun Hill could be the next Trent Dilfer. [SF Gate]

* Isn't this good news? [CC Times]


* Who wants to go to Delaware this weekend!? [Fan House]

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wire Check - 9/21/09


New news on the Michael Crabtree front. The 49ers have filed tampering charges with the NFL accusing the Jets of malfeasance. [Press Democrat]

This is the most interesting article about the contract issues between Crabtree and the 49ers. [National Football Post]

The Niners are 2-0 and Matt Maiocco breaks down every players performance from yesterday's win against Seattle. [Press Democrat]

We're only two weeks into the NFL season, but the 49ers and Raiders are better than they've been in recent years. [Merc]

As the 49ers gain victories, Crabtree loses leverage. [CC Times]

Scott Ostler, who do you think you are? Writing actual columns? JaMarcus Russ ell was bad, but good enough at the end to steal a win. [SFGate] JaMarcus Russell is a drive killer. he can't complete the short passes consistently and that leads to a lot of three and outs. He's got a great arm and throws a nice deep ball, but the inaccuracy is maddening. Also, was anybody else bothered that the 6'7" QB couldn't throw a screen over a d-lineman?

Frank Gore etched his name in the record books next to Barry Sanders as the only two backs with two touchdown runs over 75 yards in the same game. [Merc]

Darren McFadden beat the Chiefs last season on the same play he beat the Chiefs with this season. [SFGate]


The Giants are almost assuredly not going to make the playoffs and some other terrifying news surfaced yesterday. Top Giants prospect, Angel Villalona, has turned himself in to police in the Dominican Republic where he is suspected of...murder! [SFGate] Wow.

A's fans continue to search for silver linings with a 13-5 record in September. [SFGate]

Friday, September 18, 2009

RT and Koski NFL Pick Challenge: Week 2

Last week was a massacre. Koski goes 3-0. The Packers saved RT on Sunday night, but a double dose of losing was in store for MNF. Can RT turn it around in Week 2? We'll let him try, just for fun.

  • Titans -6.5 v. Texans.
    The Titans are a much better team than people think and they get to play an overrated Texans team at home. I don’t understand how the line in this game isn’t at least 10.
  • Steelers -1 @ Bears
    No Urlacher, No Receivers, No Bears.
  • Panthers + 6.5 @ Falcons
    The Panthers and Delhomme rebound from a terrible loss to cover against the Falcons.

Koski (3-0)
  • Oakland +3 @ Chiefs
    Darren McFadden destroyed the Chiefs at Arrowhead last season, Matt Cassel may play, but is still hurt and Richard Seymour has really improved the Raiders D-line.
  • Packers -9.5 v. Bengals
    The Packers left a lot of points on the field last week and they are going to get them back against the Bengals.
  • Chargers -3 v. Ravens
    The Chargers' offense rebounds in home opener against a Ravens team that gave up 24 points to the Chiefs at home last week.

Week 1 Results
Koski: 49ers +6.5 @ ARI, Cowboys -6 @ TB, Vikings -4.5 @CLE
RT: Packers -3.5 v. CHI, Patriots -11 v. BUF, Chargers -9 @ OAK

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Did Bonds Steal MVPs from Pujols?

Backgroud: I was listening to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports on Fitz and Brooks yesterday talk about Albert Pujols and his incredible career thus far. In his nine seasons, Pujols lowest seasonal batting average is .314, lowest number of homeruns is 32 and lowest OPS is .955. Pujols is defining himself as THE player of this generation. Yet, last year Pujols won only his second MVP award. This got me thinking about the number of MVPs Pujols should have. Albert Pujols finished second in MVP voting in 2002 and 2003 and finihsed third in 2004. All three of those MVPs were won by Barry Lamar Bonds. So, I posed the question to RT, Did Barry Bonds steal MVP awards from Albert Pujols? Take it, RT.

No. Bonds only stole one MVP from Pujols and that came in 2004. The Giants failed to make the playoffs and Pujols led the Cardinals to a central division crown. The Cardinals won the division by 13 games over the Astros who won the wild card that year. I have always believed that the MVP should come from a team that has made the playoffs or a guy that has had a season that is far superior to any other player in the league. In 2001, I would argue that the MVP should have gone to Luis Gonzalez and not Bonds or Pujols.

Of course, the steroid issue is the big elephant in the room and everyone wants to cling to Pujols as the only clean guy in the game during the second or third most tainted era in baseball history. (You tell me what’s worse – A) Throwing the World Series, B) Not letting minorities play the game or C) Having players taking performance enhancing drugs beyond the usual greenies and 6 cups of coffee) As long as “the list” remains sealed and biased congressmen conduct reports about performance enhancing drugs and never set foot in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela or Japan, we cannot say with any kind of certainty that a certain player was clean.

As a result, it can be legitimately argued that Bonds might not have been the most deserving candidate for the 2001 and 2004 MVPs but to say he stole multiple MVPs from Pujols is incorrect.

Here's how the numbers compared:



Wire Check - 9/16/09


The Giants scored some more runs last night and Zito struck out nine Rockies. Believe it. [SFGate]

Don't try and explain it, just enjoy it while it lasts. [Merc]

The A's play spoiler against the Rangers. Still, nobody cares. [SFGate]


Jed York applies some public pressure by offering to meet face to face with Crabtree and his agent. Your move, Crabby. [Press Democrat]


Kawakami points out the hypocrisy that is the NBA. [Merc]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wire Check - 9/15/09


* Can imagine how good the pitching would be in major league baseball if every pitcher pitched like they were in the twilight of their career? Also, Tomko wins again [SF Gate]

* The teaser line for this game on was (is) "Lincecum shakes balky back to stun Rockies". FACT: It is not possible for the defending and soon to be again Cy Young award winner to stun anybody with good pitching. [ESPN]

* We aren't in this thing despite what the Bay Area media is saying. Please remember they get paid by the teams to give you a reason to buy tickets. [SJ Mercury]


* Cam Inman thinks the Raiders aren't hopeless. No word on if he thinks that because JaMarcus Russell can throw the ball hard. [CC Times]

* What is more likely - A) The Raiders are much better than people thought and they have a chance of going .500 this season or B) The Chargers had a bad night, the Raiders had a great night and the Raiders still couldn't beat the Chargers. I will go with B and the rest of the Bay Area media that gets paid by the teams to cover their games will go with A. Feel free to make your own decision. [SF Gate]

* NOTE: If you bet against the Raiders in every game this season and trade it correctly your return will be the S&P 500 for the rest of this year. Game 1: $100 bet - $20 return. We are 20% so far. But don't worry ... the Raiders have hope this season just like the A's have a chance to make the playoffs.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wire Check - 9/14/09


Bruce Jenkins' thoughts on Sunday Week 1 of the 2009 NFL season. [SFGate]

Yes, it was an ugly win for the 49ers. Isn't there another tag line though? [Ratto] [Kawakami]

I think Cam Inman had the best assignment yesterday. Go watch football with Madden and then write about it. [CC Times]

Gwen Knapp reminds us that it wasn't just the offenses that had a rough game yesterday. Ref Don Carey was fumbling all over the place. [SFGate]

Tonight is a big litmus test for JaMarcus Russell. MNF against a strong defense. Can he handle it? [CC Times]


After the first Heatley trade rumors were denied, another Heatley trade happened. Good move, giving up Cheechoo and Michalek and getting a shooting assassin. [Merc]


From Friday, some actual A's writing worth reading. The A's top hitting prospects. [CC Times]

Apparently, Tim Lincecum uses the Magic 8 Ball when responding to whether he pitches tonight: "All signs point to yes." [SFGate]

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wire Check - 9/11/09


* That's right - I am starting off with a hockey story. Everyone knows that I don't bother rooting for the Sharks because the will break your heart more than any other professional franchise in the USA today. Every year they play well and fizzle in the playoffs. Numerous people have asked me why I root for the Giants because they basically do the same thing. My response has always been that besides 2003 I never expected the Giants to go to the World Series. However, I have had a change of heart. (Save me the hypocrite emails). While the Giants continually fail to pull the trigger on a big trade or signing (Vlad, Manny, Holiday, Victor Martinez ...), the Sharks are on the verge of trading their captain because Sharks management knows "we can not win the Stanley Cup with or without you". This trade might blow in their face but at least they are going for it! Is anyone listening on the third floor of the Giants Building!?!?


* Speaking of teams not going for it - the Giants have decided not to play Buster Posey because he might struggle and they would fail to make the playoffs. So why is Edgar Renteria, Kevin Fransen and Travis Ishikawa playing at all?

* Skip down to question #2. I love the concept of someone asking a yes or no question and your answer is ... yes and no. Henry - stick to breaking news and stop writing articles.

* Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person that realizes the Giants playoff run ended on August 24th. What is the point of talking about a playoff rotation? Unless it is September 2010, I really don't this article is relevant. Is his next article is he going to write about how Andy Roddick can still win the 2009 US Open?

* It took me 3 minutes to stop laughing after I read this headline. Why are newspapers going out of business again?


* The Madden cover curse continues.

* I want to know the answer to this question, why should the Niners play Frank Gore in more than 10 games? There is no reason to put miles on his tires in a season where 9-7 is the best they can be. Playing him in all 16 games is like a NASCAR driver driving his race car to each race.

* Today is full of great articles - the headline of this article is "Seymour stays away, likely won't play Monday". Wait a second, the guy that is 50/50 on even showing up is unlikely to play on Monday. Where else can you get this kind of hard hitting news than the Contra Costa Times!?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thoughts and Questions: NFL Season Opener

* Is Jeff Fisher the best coach in the NFL who has not led a team to a Super Bowl Title?

* The Steelers are not going to the Super Bowl if this guy does not play better.

* Al Michaels could make any broadcast team seem world class. Football fans will miss him more when he is gone than they will miss John Madden now.

* What was Vince Young more likely to do after the game? Study the play book or hang out with this guy.

* Does anybody care more than Hines Ward? Answer ... NO

* If you had five questions to ask God at the gates of heaven, isn't question number 4: Why do NFL teams continue to play prevent defense at the end of a game?

FINAL THOUGHT: Don't Sleep on the Titans.

The RT and Koski NFL Preview

The NFL goes live tonight! To get you ready for kickoff, RT and Koski serve up some prediction goodness to feed your ravenous NFL appetite. It is officially, ON! FOOTBALL!!! Okay, I'm getting a little too excited. Let's simmer down now a little by picking RT's mind on something he, a Bears fan, should be familiar with, the NFC North.

RT, how do you see this division playing out? Who can we expect to have a big year and whom can we lob scorn at in times of frustration?

I will rank how they will finish and give you a few things to think about.

1) Green Bay
As much as I don’t like the Packers, you have to love the offense. Rodgers has looked good from the moment he stepped on the field at Texas stadium for an injured Brett Favre. Greg Jennings will have a breakout year.

2) Chicago
Despite what the “experts” say, the Bears stole Cutler from the Broncos. Cutler is the best quarterback in Bears history and he has yet to throw a pass for the Monsters of the Midway in a regular season game. He's brought optimism to not only the fans but also the defense.

3) Minnesota
Childress + Favre = Circus. Enough said.

4) Detroit
The over-under for Lions wins this year is 3.

Koski – talk to me about the NFC West

Whoa, Whoa Whoa. We'll get to the NFC West. You gotta go through the top of the barrel before you get to the bottom. The South shall rise again! Or something. The NFC South didn't have a team with a losing record in 2008 and would have had three playoff teams, but the Buccaneers forgot to show up against the Raiders in week 17. Here's what's in store this season:

New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees passes for 5,000+ yards, again. Reggie Bush performs well enough to maintain his Most Over-hyped in the NFL title. The Saints offense beats up on NFC South rivals as the other teams regress from last season.

Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan is good. Michael Turner is good. Roddy White is good. Tony Gonzalez is good. The Falcons defense is not good. Lack of defense + tougher 2009 schedule = 8-8 record...maybe.

Carolina Panthers - It's true, Jake Delhomme is not as bad as his playoff performance against the Cardinals last year. However, he's still Jake Delhomme. The schedule bug bites the Panthers with trips to Dallas, New York Jets, New England and New York again to play the Giants. And Jake Delhomme's backup is Josh McCown should Delhomme get injured. Prognosis,

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Speaking of Quarterbacks, the Buccaneers are starting Byron Leftwich. And, their 33 year old rookie head coach just fired the offensive coordinator. How does that make you feel? Tampa Bay also has the reverse schedule bite of the Panthers. The Bucs play the Cowboys, Giants, Jets and Patriots at home with an added bonus of the Packers, too.

NFC South Breakout player: Saints WR, Marques Colston. He's cominig off micro-fracture surgery, so he's a somewhat risky pick, but he's Brees' best weapon through the air on all parts of the field. He's big, he's strong, he's going to catch a lot of touchdowns.

NFC South Bust player: Buccaneers RB, Derrick Ward. He's moved from one RBBC(Running Back By Committee) on the Giants to another one on the Buccaneers. He's going to split carries with Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham. Since Sunday, Graham and Williams have swamped places on the depth chart while Ward has remain in the second back.

RT, why don't you tell me about the NFC East?

I knew I forgot something.

NFC North Breakout Player: Packers WR, Greg Jennings. The Packers offense is only getting better as the unit starts to gel and Rodgers confidence seems to know no bounds.

NFC North Bust Player: Vikings QB, Brett Favre. I know, I know. This pick is weak but I
really think the Vikings are going to be a mess because of Favre. He is worth at least two losses just based on age and interceptions.

On to the always over-hyped division … the NFC East

Dallas Cowboys (11-5) - OOOHHH WHAT! The first big surprise of the NFL preview. The Cowboys are being overlooked by everyone and I am really not sure why. Romo is by far the best quarterback in the division (yes, I am feeling ok) and their defense is a lot better than you think. How in the world can you trust Eli Manning or a Brian Dawkins-less Eagles to win this division?

Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) - The Eagles are going to miss the late Jim Johnson and Brian Dawkins' leadership. Their receivers are young and Brian Westbrook is one ugly look from a defender from being on the IR. However, they are loaded with talent and are still on their way to a 9-7 season.

New York Giants (8-8) - I don’t understand how anyone can trust Eli Manning. A couple big throws in a Super Bowl doesn’t mean you are reliable and I really think this is the year that the running game is not good enough to bail him out.

Washington Redskins (6-10) - I actually think the Redskins are going to be better than people think. Of course, they have the best player in football, Antwaan Randel-El – Indiana class of ’02, so how can I not like their chances. However, they play in the best top to bottom division in football and are destined for mediocrity.

NFC East Breakout Player: Cowboys RB, Felix Jones. If the Cowboys are going to win 11 games, they are going to need “lightning” (Jones) to produce. Obviously, I think he is going to do just that.

NFC East Bust Player: Eagles RB, Brian Westbrook. Simply put, I think Westbrook’s best days are behind him. He has been living on borrowed time for too long to have another great season.

Now can we get to the bottom of the barrel … I mean the NFC West.

Oh, so you want to bring projected records into this? The good news is the NFC West will be a better division compared to last season. The bad news is the NFC West is still the weakest division in the NFC.

Seattle Seahawks - (9-7) I wanted to say 10-6, but Seahawks offensive lineman are dropping like flies and I don't have a lot of confidence in Julius Jones and Edgerrin James doing it on their own. Seattle is still in the NFC West and they get Detroit at home so, they win the division by default.

San Francisco 49ers (6-10) No pass rush, questionable at best passing offense combined with a tough, tough schedule will not be nice to the 49ers in 2009. @Minnesota, @Houston, @Indianapois, @Green Bay and @Philadelphia. The 49ers need too many things to go right this year to make the leap to a playoff team.

St. Louis Rams (5-11) The Rams should be a lot better than the 2-14 2008 team, but that probably only means another couple wins. They drafted the best offensive tackle with the #2 pick, have a stud running back and a young defense with a new defensive-minded coach. They still have Marc Bulger at quarterback and lack depth behind their playmakers.

Arizona Cardinals (4-12) The NFC Champions!?!?! 4-12!?!?! Yes. It stinks in Arizona. It stinks like Super Bowl letdown. Virtually no new impact players on either side of the ball, except injury-risk, Beanie Wells. The mediocre-bad defense is the same and the mediocre offensive line is the same. Also, Kurt Warner is one year older and getting more and more brittle by the day. The secret loss is that of offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, who wasn't afraid to get in a player's face and provided a lot of fire. Flame off.

NFC West Breakout player: Rams WR, Donnie Avery. The Rams are going to be losing a lot of games again this year and, thus, will be passing a lot. Torry Holt is gone and the Rams improved the offensive line.

NFC West Bust player: Cardinals QB, Kurt Warner. I took the Favre way out on this one, but for a different reason than RT. Warner is old, and the Cardinals line is not good enough to keep the pass rush away from him. Warner will not start every game this season.

AFC time, you make the call, RT.

Saying the Cowboys are going to win the East is out there … saying the Cardinals are going to win 4 games is ridiculous. I look forward to being proven wrong.

Let’s start with the AFC North and the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3) - I really am not sure how the Steelers can lose more than 3 games. Their schedule is basically a joke - how in the world do did they get a home game against the Raiders!?. It would surprise nobody to see this team in the Super Bowl again.

Baltimore Ravens (9-7) - I am not exactly sold on the Ravens offense and I think their defense is just a year older. Unless Ray Rice turns into a big time running back I think this team might not even make the playoffs.

Cincinnati Bengals (5-11) - I don’t understand why people think the Bengals are going to win more than 5 games. They are going to start the season off 1-4 and the “here we go again” talk will only intensify. Not to mention, they are relying on a drunk boater to be their main threat on the ground! Same old Bungals.

Cleveland Browns (3 -13) – The Browns are doing what is supposed to be impossible – they are over paying not one, but two quarterbacks. Yikes

AFC North Breakout Player: Bengals LB, Rey Maualuga. This guy might have been the steal of the 2009 draft. He did a free fall on most draft boards because he was not as fast as his USC counterparts. As an avid college football fan, I can tell you with full confidence – this guy is really fast when he has pads on. He will have a huge impact on this team.

AFC North Bust Player: Ravens QB, Joe Flacco. Let me be the first one to tell you that the sophomore slump is going to happen for Flacco. His receivers are not great and they are breaking in a new right tackle. The Ravens don’t get the same production out of Flacco that they received last year.

How about the AFC South?

The AFC South brings a lot of talent to the table.

Indianapolis Colts (11-5) NEWSFLASH: The Colts are really, really good. Yes, the defense is suspect, but that hasn't stopped them the regular season. Tony Dungy is gone, but Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are still there to exploit opposing defenses. The Colts will round up all teh NFC West teams before the season is halfway over and could be 8-0 or 7-1 heading into New England in week 10.

Jacksonville Jaguars (9-7) A healthy offensive line will do wonders for David Garrard and the Jaguars offense as a whole. They also added a top 10 tackle in Eugene Monroe and an admitedly old, but reliable, Torry Holt to the receiving corps. They should get off to a nice start with three NFC West teams before their week 7 bye.

Tennessee Titans (9-7) The Titans lost All-World Face-Stomper and defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth, to Washington in free agency, but they should still have a staunch defense. The offense still lacks a big play receiver and Kerry Collins is the quarterback. The biggest threat to the team that had the NFL's best record last season is a tough first six weeks. Starting tomorrow at Pittsburgh, then Texans at home, @Jets, @Jaguars, host the Colts and @Patriots before the bye. The Titans could easily be 2-4 heading into the bye week in a tough division.

Houston Texans (8-8) Three straight years of perfect mediocrity for the Texans. The Texans defense is up and coming with Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans and Dunta Robinson anchoring the playmaker positions and the offense has weapons at each skill position. The problem is quarterback Matt Schaub has trouble staying out of the training room and the backup is, gulp, Rex Grossman. RT, your input? I could see a 10 win season, but too much as to go right for the Texans to make that prediction with any confidence.

AFC South Breakout player: Texans WR, Andre Johnson. Can I say Andre Johnson? I mean, he led the NFL in receptions and yards last season. He has not had a year with double digit touchdowns yet. So this season, I'll say 100+ receptions, 1400+ yards and 10+ touchdowns.

Side note: I drafted Johnson with my first pick in my fantasy draft, so I'm a little biased.

AFC South Bust player: Colts WR, Anthony Gonzalez. Marvin Harrison was a shadow of a corpse of a zombie of himself last season. Anthony Gonzalez is a decent player, but he's not going to leap to the next level. The offense is run through Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark with Gonzalez getting scraps tossed his way to keep defenses honest.

Back to you, RT. Keep it classy for the AFC East.

First, you tell us the Colts are going to be fine and then you bag on Anthony Gonzalez? One cannot be good or bad without the other.

If Tom Brady is involved, you know it is classy.

New England Patriots (14-2) - The Patriots are going to be great and there really is no point going into why. Game of the year in the NFL: Patriots @ Saints November 30th (Watching the Packers beat the Vikings by 20 at Lambeau is not a great game)

(WARNING: The AFC East is a terrible division besides the Patriots)

Miami Dolphins (7-9) - There really is no difference between the Dolphins, Bills and Jets. They all have tough schedules besides the games the play against each other. Pennington will come back to earth and the running game should be nothing more than average. They have the
best defense out of the three so they get to finish second.

Buffalo Bills (6-10) - Trent Edwards is living proof that playing quarterback in the NFL is really difficult because he has no right starting in the NFL. However, he has a couple good receivers and the return of Marshawn Lynch should make the offense respectful. Not good enough to be .500 but respectful none the less.

New York Jets (6-10) - Please explain to me how Mark Sanchez is going to have a good season. They have next to nothing when it comes to talent and he is going to be under the NY media microscope the entire season. I can’t wait to see the defense turn on the offense and then

Rex Ryan is left to convince the defense that the offense is performing at their best. Can I please be a fly on the wall at that meeting!?

AFC East Breakout Player: Patriots LB, Gary Guyton. It is no mystery that Bill Belichick’s defense turns good players into great players. There is no reason to believe he will not work the same magic with Gary Guyton.

AFC East Bust Player: Bills WR, Terrell Owens. I wanted to say Chad Pennington but I could not help but go with Owens. He is now old and has a bad quarterback throwing to him. He may just retire half way through the season.

Last and definitely least … the AFC West.

Don't they say to save the best for last? Maybe, we should have planned this better? The AFC West...the less said, the better. Wait. I thought of something. The AFC West has a couple good offenses, maybe.

San Diego (12-4) Can I interest you in six games against the Chiefs, Raiders and Broncos with a dose of Bengals and Browns? I thought so. A healthy Antonio Gates, LaDanian Tomlinson, Antonio Cromartie and an easy schedule will let the Chargers coast to a first round bye.

Kansas City (5-11) It's going to be a rough first half of the season for Todd Haley's Chiefs. They should come together for a nice winning streak at the end of the season when it won't mean anything.

Oakland Raiders (5-11) The Raiders have a lot of potential. The multiple high draft picks that double digit losing seasons have provided the Raiders could come together like the 2008 Tampa Rays. Unfortunately, the Raiders can't stop the run. At all. Richard Seymour is not the D-Line Jesus. Why do you think Belichick traded him anyways?

Denver Broncos (4-12) The Denver offense can probably do some nice things with McDaniels, Marshall, Royal, et al., but the Denver defense was terrible last season and they chose a running back with their first draft pick. It's possible Denver goes on an 11 game losing streak this season.

AFC West Breakout player: Chargers WR, Vincent Jackson. This one is tough because there are so many good offenses in the AFC West. He had 59 receptions and 1,000+ yards last season and should see his numbers increase with defenses forced to cover all the Chargers other weapons.

AFC West Bust player: Oakland Raiders QB, JaMarcus Russell. JaMarcus Russell does not have "it." The thing that separates the elite quarterbacks from replacement level quarterbacks, "it." He can throw a pretty pass and looks like he should be a really good quarterback, but he's not.

The NFC Playoffs will unfold thusly, and keep in mind, I'm going off your crazy predictions for the NFC North and East.

Seattle hosts Philadelphia and gets overwhelmed by the Eagles defense.

Dallas hosts Da Bears at Jerry Jones Legacy Stadium and gets overwhelmed by the Bears defense.

New Orleans welcomes the Eagles to the Big Sleazy and Drew Brees throws for 400 yards and
the Saints go marching back to the NFC Championship.

Green Bay hosts Da Bears for the second time this season and Green Bay wins the war of attrition in a December ice bowl at Lambeau.

New Orleans is going to have the best record in the NFC this year, and home field advantage is going to carry them to the Super Bowl!

All right, how will the AFC post season shake out RT?

The New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl!? I like it.

Teams with a Bye: New England (best record) and Pittsburgh

Indianapolis smokes Jacksonville as Peyton Manning throws for 400 yards and a couple

San Diego wins a tight one against the Titans which creates one of the best AFC semi-final
weekends in recent memory.

New England gets the revenge they have been looking for against the Indy and wins in a

Pittsburgh beats San Diego again in the dead of winter.

In the battle of the best teams of this century, Tom Brady and the Pats prove too much for the Pittsburgh Steelers and move on to the Super Bowl.

I think it's safe to say, as much as I like the Saints, they will no match for the Patriots in the Super Bowl. If New Orleans was hosting the Super Bowl, I would hold out hope for a miracle, but the Pats wouldn't lose two Super Bowls they were heavily favored to win, would they?

The great quarterbacks and coaches rarely lose Super Bowls and they almost never lose two of them. It looks like the Pats return to form and return to the top of the NFL world in 2009 -2010.

Enjoy the season

Wire Check - 9/10/09


In theory, running the ball 60% of the time would be awesome. In reality, it comes off a little crazy and unrealistic. Kawakami asks if the philosophy could be affecting the 49ers roster? [Merc]

Four hundred useless words from Ratto about Michael Crabtree. [SFGate]

Cam Inman sees a New Orleans-Pittsburgh Super Bowl and the Raiders losing 12 games and the 49ers making the playoffs. [CC Times]

Only the Raiders could inspire sympathy for a multi-millionaire, three-time Super Bowl champ who refuses to show up for work. [SFGate]

Kawakami talks about how 2009 marks a changing of the guard of the elite talent in the NFL and then goes on to pick a New England-New York Giants Super Bowl. Boring. [Merc]

Did the Patriots renege on a deal with Richard Seymour? [Sac Bee]


When should Lincecum start again? Umm, how about ASAP? [SFGate]

The Giants lose two of three to the Padres, at home while the Rockies keep winning. It's ain't over, but it's over. [SFGate]

Speaking of over, the A's are still playing and losing. [SFGate]

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wire Check - 9/9/09


Tim Lincecum was scratched and Messiah prospect, 20 year old Madison Bumgarner, got the start. Bumgarner looked good, not great, and some scouts weren't impressed. Kawakami said MB's start was different. [Merc]

The Giants should sign every available Uribe in the Dominican Republic. As John Shea notes, Juan Uribe is on fire. [SFGate]

Mark Purdy says back issues can be very bad. I'm not listening. I'm not listening. La la la la la la. [Merc]

The A's just can't escape the Giants' shadow. SFGate's header for the the latest A's recap, "Tomko beans Pierzynski in win." [SFGate]


Matt Maiocco with a gloomy forecast for the 49ers-Crabtree situation. Maiocco says the 49ers might have to consider lowering their offer to ensure Crabtree won't sign. If Crabtree doesn't' sign by Nov. 17th he would not be eligible to play this season and the 49ers would have from March 1 through draft day to trade Crabtree's rights. To me, it's just a shame. [Press Democrat]

Kevin Lynch predicts a 8-8 record for the 49ers this year. Matt Maiocco predicted 6-10 earlier this week. What's better? Optimism or realism? Realism. The 49ers have potential, but a lot of important issues need to be resolved to reach that potential, i.e. pass rush/passing offense. [SFGate]

The 49ers also made a practice squad change, but still only have 7 of the 8 positions filled. What possible roster move could be looming? A Crabtastic move? Or just a third TE move? Time will tell. [Sac Bee]

Meanwhile. Across the Bay, another Eugen Parker client fails to show up for work. Richard Seymour is still a no-show after being traded from the Patriots to the Raiders. Jerry Mac runs down what it would likely cost to get Seymour into a Silver and Black uniform. [CC Times]

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wire Check - 9/8/09


- The Brad Penny game against the Dodgers this weekend is must see TV. [SJ Mercury]

- Actually, the real story is the fact the Giants are not going to make the playoffs because they traded for Sanchez instead of Victor Martinez. Don't worry, he is only hitting .323 since the trade in the toughest division in baseball. [SF Gate]

- The A's future does seem bright. They have no real hitting prospects, they could be playing in one of three different cities in 3 years and they have traded away countless your players which they were supposed to be the best at evaluating. Why are newspapers going out of business again? I am sure it has nothing to do with biased writers. [SF Gate]


- What do you think happens first? JaMarcus Russell goes bankrupt or Al Davis dies. Also, Cam Inman said the Magic were going to beat the Lakers because Dwight Howard can dunk hard. What a credible sports source. [CC Times]

- Pointless Niners article ... enjoy. [SJ Mercury]

College Football

- Best game of the college football season may have been played last night. [CNNSI]

- Having a good offensive line is really not that important. [ESPN]

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wire Check - 9/4/09


- Trading one prospect for Freddie Sanchez sure makes a lot more sense than trading 3 for Victor Martinez. The Giants offense is on FIRE! [SF GATE]

- All the national media articles are talking about Pedro out dueling Lincecum and these articles got me thinking. Can you imagine how good Lincecum's numbers would be if he got to face the Giants a couple times a year!?! [CNNSI]

- The Mariners were a lock last night. I wish I would have posted it on Twitter [SJ Mercury]

- The only good sports writer in the Bay Area continues to get it right. [SJ Mercury]

- I love this headline "Posey's rough journey". I have too many sarcastic comments in my head so I decided to let you think of your own. [SF Gate]

Pro Football

- I hate pre-season football [SJ Mercury]

- Seriously, what is the point of the Raiders? [Contra Costa Times]

College Football

- First overrated football team of the season ... the Oregon Ducks. [CNNSI]

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wire Check - 9/3/09


- Sports Illustrated continues their love affair with the Giants. Seriously, they love the Giants. [CNNSI]

- When you strike out 2 batters in 8 innings and you throw 94 mph, your fastball is straight as an arrow. [SF Gate]

- I love that Bengie Molina can be pissed off at the Giants for calling up a catcher when he has not been behind the plate in a week because of injury. When did guys making millions of dollars to play a game become so sensitive!?! [SF Gate]

- The A's are still playing?? [SF Gate]


- The NFL preview from the best football writer on the planet. [CNNSI]

- Is there anything more pointless than who wins the third string quarterback position for the Raiders? I can't wait to read the article on the 5th starter spot for the A's. [Contra Costa Times]


- Never too early for the National media to predict the Warriors are going to be nothing short of terrible. [ESPN]

College Football

- That's right, it is college football time!! [ESPN]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wire Check - 9/2/09


- Sorry to all the Eli Whiteside fans out there, but he's about to lose some playing time. Buster Posey will be put on the San Francisco jersey in Philly sometime today. No Pressure, buddy. [Merc]

- Koski gets his wish ... Penny to start for the Giants tonight. [SF Gate]

- The A's are still playing?? [SF Gate]


- The Raiders are still playing?? [Contra Costa Times]

- Cal Football: we lose to all the good teams and lose to one bad team a year. Who doesn't love the Holiday Bowl!? [Contra Costa Times]


- If Mark Cuban is unwilling to take Stephen Jackson than he will be a Warrior for the next three years. [SJ Mercury]