11.05.2005
 
Coin Flip Challenge - November

DISCLAIMER: I don't do basketball
History of the CFC: Here and here.
ARCHIVE: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October


All games, $10.00. Ties and pushes removed from record.
BEACH $10 WIN LOSE MONEY    COIN
BASEBALL 261 213 +93.78    229-225
BASKETBALL 128 121 -46.36    125-124
NCAA HOCKEY 1 1 -1.67    1-1
FUTBOL 0 1 -10.00    0-1
CFL FOOTBALL 8 7 -0.71    11-4
NFL PRESEASON 12 10 +7.71    10-12
NFL 38 32 +0.15    31-39
NCAA FOOTBALL 31 33 -52.38*    35-28
Hockey Picks


DATE LEAGUE MATCH LINE PAY BEACH W/L CFC Pick CFC W/L
11.05.05 NCAA USF at Rutgers ML +135 USF W USF W
- NCAA Houston at UCF ML +120 UCF W UCF W
- NCAA Tulsa at UTEP +8.5 -110 Tulsa W Tulsa W
- NCAA BYU at UNLV +12 -110 UNLV L BYU W
11.06.05 NFL OAK at KC -4 -110 KC push OAK push
- NFL CAR at TB -1 -110 CAR W TB L
- NFL CHI at NO +3 -110 NO push CHI push
- NFL ATL at MIA -2 -110 ATL W ATL W
- NFL SEA at ARZ -4.5 -110 SEA W ARZ L
- NFL PIT at GB -3 -120 PIT W GB L
11.07.05 NFL IND at NE ML -200 IND W NE L
- NFL IND at NE -4 -110 IND W NE L
11.12.05 NCAA Northwestern at Ohio State -19 -110 OSU W NW L
- NCAA Colorado at Iowa State +1.5 -110 ISU W ISU W
- NCAA LSU at Bama ML -155 LSU W LSU W
11.13.05 NFL WAS at TB +1 -110 WAS TB
- NFL NE at MIA -3 -110 NE NE
- NFL KC at BUF ML -135 BUF BUF
- NFL STL at SEA -7 -110 SEA STL
- NFL DEN at OAK -3 -110 DEN OAK
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-
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Hockey Picks

11.04.2005
 
Friday Football
    Reminder that the Week 9 picks are up. It looks like people are still in the habit of taking the opponents of SF and HOU as their best bets. Not here will you find such cowardly acts. I'm taking the Colts!

    Also, a friend of the Beach, Mr. Keg, is 39-12 now in college football picks on the season.
    This week he's on:
    NCST (+14) FSU
    UW (+3.5) OSU
    MINNY (-13) Indiana

    Below are two more game reviews from Week 8.

    Philadelphia Eagles:
    This was basically a game you could have played online with Madden. When you know the guy you're playing is going to pass every down, you can bring those eight and nine man blitzes all the time. Sure you'll give up a few big plays, as the Eagles hit in this game, but there's no way they can maintain any rhythm or pace against that kind of pressure.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Owens- 14(3)
    Westbrook- 5(4)
    Smith- 5(1)
    Lewis- 4(1)
    Brown- 4(2)
    Gordon- 1(1)

    Denver Broncos:
    I picked Denver to win as my best bet last week because of three things: 1) Broncos back home coming off a tough road loss against a very good Giants team, 2) The success the Eagles have had versus the run this year has been largely do to the styles of offenses they have faced (and they struggled against the zone blocking scheme of Atlanta in week one), and 3) Philly's one dimensional offense versus a very aggressive and very fast Broncos defense (Gold, Mobley, Wilson, Bailey and those young talented DBs Foxworth and Williams).

    So what Denver's defense did in this game is stack the line of scrimmage not with run stuffers, but with corners and safeties with the intent to rush the quarterback. And more often than not, they got to McNabb. With no threat of the run, or a big tackle-breaking running back, that will continue to be the weakness of this Eagles' offense. The thing is, Philly's style of offense will work against some teams, but against others, like Denver, it is doomed to fail. They're separating coaching from playing that much.

    The Broncos outgained the Eagles 200-4 in the first quarter. They had 12 first downs, compared to none by Philly. And the time of possession was 12:22 to 2:38 to start the game.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Lelie- 6(3)
    Devoe- 6(5)
    Smith- 5(5)
    Adams- 5(3)
    Putzier- 5(2)
    Johnson- 5(1)
    Alexander- 2(2)
    Anderson- 1(1)


    Miami Dolphins:
    Despite the win, Gus Ferotte's accuracy hasn't gotten any better. The score was 11-6 at the end of the third quarter, and the Saints left at least 14 points on the field prior to that.

    The Dolphins are indeed designing ways to get the ball into Wes Welker's hands. His role continues to increase, and deservingly so.

    Ricky Williams showed a good burst and a willingness to deliver a hit in his 17 carries against the Saints. Then again, it was against the Saints.
    TARGETS(catches):
    McMichael- 6(3)
    Chambers- 5(4)
    Welker- 5(3)
    Booker- 4(3)
    Brown- 3(2)
    Boston- 1(1)
    Diamond- 1(0)

    New Orleans Saints:
    Another week, another bad break for the Saints. Dwight Smith's fumble in the first quarter was caused by the ground, but only after he had tripped over a teammate. So the play was live and Miami got the ball back.

    Aaron Brooks held on to the ball too long in this game, something he hasn't done too much of this year. That leads me to believe he had a hard time reading the mixed coverages the Dolphins threw at him. I didn't see many plays where Brooks had anticipated his throws.

    The Saints weren't ready to face the Dolphins' pass rush. Whenever Miami needed a play on defense, they'd just call one of those blitzes from anywhere plays and defenders would be in Brooks' face before he hit his back step.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Horn- 12(7)
    Stallworth- 7(3)
    Henderson- 5(3)
    Stecker- 4(1)
    Meier- 1(0)
    Smith- 1(0)

11.03.2005
 
Thursday Picks
    The Mirl will have the Week Nine picks up sometime tonight or tomorrow morning.

    As mentioned on Tuesday, we stumbled a bit last week but are still within shot of first place.

    This week:
    ATL - CAR - NO - CIN - MIN - JAX - KC - SD - CLE - NYG - SEA - PIT - PHI - IND
    Best Bet: Colts

    Also, for daily updates and news, I've long recommended the news feeds at:
    Yahoo Football and Football Guys, but here's another nice site that has a good assortment of daily info: Sunday Story

 
Thursday Football
    Kansas City Chiefs:
    This game surprised me. KC either came in with no specific plan to cover Antonio Gates, or their plan was terrible. But form what I saw, there was no effort made on the part of the Chiefs to do anything special for Gates. Why no get one of the top linebacker athletes in the league (Johnson) on Gates? Why would you not do that? Why would you leave the task of covering him to whomever San Diego happened to line him up against? And how could you still be caught off guard when LT has a chance to throw for a touchdown? What were the Chiefs' coaches doing all week? They had, in fact, an extra two days to prepare. Did they just think they could come out and cover these guys with Wesley and Mitchell?

    Back on offense, San Diego exposed KC's tendancy to run to the edge. The Chargers did a good job of pushing everything inside and KC was not able to make them pay for it by running up the middle (thanks to big Jamal Williams). Larry Johnson needs to be used more in order to counter this if defenses are going to mimic this philosophy. Johnson is a strong between the tackles runner who can bring good balance to this offense. It looks as if teams are anticipating the outside runs more when Holmes is in the backfield. But San Diego is just one of those teams that matches up well against the Chiefs.

    Dante Hall had a big game returning kicks.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Gonzalez- 10(7)
    Kennison- 9(7)
    Horn- 8(7)
    Johnson- 5(3)
    Holmes- 4(3)
    Hall- 3(2)
    Boerigter- 1(1)
    Dunn- 1(0)
    Richardson- 1(1)

    San Diego Chargers:
    Not much really to say here. The Chargers were up 21-3 at halftime because they were well-prepared on both offense and defense. The Chiefs defense basically let San Diego do whatever they wanted to do and the Chargers' defense just outplayed KC. Shawn Merriman really has strung together a some excellent games recently and this front seven is very strong at attacking the run. TARGETS(catches):
    Gates- 16(10)
    McCardell- 8(5)
    Parker- 7(4)
    LT- 5(3)
    Caldwell- 3(1)
    Neal- 2(2)
    Osgood- 1(0)
    Peelle- 1(1)
    Turner- 1(0)


    Washington Redskins:
    The Redskins' defense came to play, for a little while at least, but they certainly left their offense in San Francisco. The Giants were getting to Burnnel with just a 4 man rush, and as the Redskins kept backs and tight ends to help block, the Giants would just send the linebackers that were assigned to cover them.

    Also, I'd be worried about what Chris Cooley will be able to do over the next couple of weeks.

    Washington has to face the Eagles this Sunday, and they're going to have to do something about their pass protection Philly is going to shut them out too.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Moss- 9(4)
    Patten- 5(1)
    Cooley- 4(3)
    Royal- 4(0)
    Portis- 4(3)
    Sellers- 3(1)
    Betts- 1(0)
    Thrash- 1(1)
    Jacobs- 1(1)

    New York Giants:
    The growing trend (and a troubling one) of Eli Manning throwing off his back foot as he bails out of the pocket hurt the Giants in the first quarter of this game. Fortunately, they didn't need the 11 points they left on the field on their first two drives.

    The Giants were again very productive when running to their left. Tiki Barber had 200 yards by the end of the third quarter.

    I've been saying for a while that this Giants' defense is playing better than the stats may indicate. They get good pressure on the QB and they cause turnovers. Against Washington, there were five blue jerseys around ball at all times. And in the second half, New York never let up. They came after the Redskins all game.

    New York also did a good job keeping Toomer involved in the game. His role has to be increased.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Burress- 9(4)
    Toomer- 6(2)
    Shockey- 6(3)
    Barber- 2(1)
    Ward- 2(1)
    Carter- 1(1)

11.02.2005
 
Wednesday Football
    Arizona Cardinals:
    The Cards are trying to use more I-back, two WR sets in order to get more production from their running game, but the results just aren't there. I guess we'll see how Kurt Warner does this week. I still don't understand why Warner was brought in. Josh McCown isn't great, but you can count on him giving his best. How many games has Warner won this year?

    Speaking of McCown, Dallas got good results by getting early pressure on the Cardinals QB. In the second quarter there were two key drives where Arizona could have stayed even with the Cowboys going into halftime. But because of the pressure, and more importantly the fear of pressure, McCown unloaded about six straight passes that were forced or thrown too soon. And so as a result, after a relatively good first quarter, McCown was off target with most of his throws for the rest of the afternoon.

    J.J. Arrington continues to show that he has very little understanding on how to run behind blockers. He's up there on the list of backs that needs to be traded to Denver.

    Larry Fitzgerald had a number of jump ball chances in this game, but the Cowboys did a good job of keeping multiple defenders around him at all times.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Fitzgerald- 11(4)
    Boldin- 8(3)
    Johnson- 5(2)
    Shipp- 5(4)
    Bergen- 1(1)
    Ayanbedejo- 1(1)
    Arrington- 1(1)


    Dallas Cowboys:
    Bill Parcells loves to face a team who uses plenty of blitzes and so getting ready to face Arizona must have been a fun week for him and his offensive staff.

    Marion Barber is a good back, but he really had a ton of room to run on Sunday against Arizona. Dallas ran especially well behind the left side of their line, but the right end struggled to keep defenders back. Most of the profitable runs to the right were as a result of cut backs of plays starting left.

    Keyshaun Johnson has been a very consistent performer this season. He's been thrown no less than 6 passes in any one week, he's scored in four different games and added a 120 yard effort in one game he didn't score in.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Johnson- 7(6)
    Witten- 5(5)
    Glenn- 4(3)
    Price- 2(1)
    Barber- 2(2)
    Pierce- 1(1)
    Polite- 1(1)


    Chicago Bears:
    The Bears ended the first quarter having held the ball for just 3:29 and with only 10 total yards of offense. This is just not a good road team and for them to take this one from Detroit is just huge for their season. (They did end up with 216 yards of offense for the first half.)

    Losing Mark Bradley is just an awful break for Chicago. Not only was he becoming a protege of Muhammad, but Bradley was beginning to show that great run after catch ability he flashed at Oklahoma. I don't know if it was a coincidence, but the Bears' offense did nothing after Bradley went down with his knee injury (which, by the way, was another 100% turf casualty).

    Chicago hit a lot of skinny posts in this game. Orton has such a great arm, that when he makes that throw it's almost impossivle to defend.

    The Bears' defense is probably the fastest in the league. And they just pounded Jeff Garcia in this game.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Muhammad- 9(4)
    Bradley- 5(5)
    Jones- 5(3)
    Gage- 4(2)
    Clark- 4(1)
    Wade- 2(0)
    Edwards- 1(1)
    Peterson- 1(1)

    Detroit Lions:
    Kevin Jones' game is really picking up. He turned it on late last year and it looks like he's about to do something big real soon. Jones looks as quick, as fast, and as strong as ever. And that was obvious before his third quarter TD run where he beat a very good linebacker (Briggs) around the right corner for the score.

    Charles Rogers is back this week, but the Lions have good depth at WR even with Kevin Johnson out. Scottie Vines is a good athlete at that position and he's a quality fourth option.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Vines- 8(5)
    MWilliams- 7(3)
    Jones- 6(5)
    Pollard- 5(3)
    Bryson- 5(5)
    Pinner- 1(1)
    Martinez- 1(1)


    Minnesota Vikings:
    How will Minnesota's offense run with Brad Johnson behind center? Johnson will certainly bring more efficiency, but he doesn't have Culpepper's arm strength. That may actually be a good thing because it will force the Vikings to use more controlled pass plays, something they should have done from the beginning of the season. Minnesota also has to do something about the awful routes their receivers run. On almost every play they will run straight ahead for seven yards, stutter step about six times to try to sell the myth that they're breaking their route short (which they never do), and then they will go deep. No one's buying it.

    There is just no aggresiveness on defense here. What happened to the attacking style they said they were going to play? Pat Williams continues to be the team's best defender.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Williams- 7(3)
    Taylor- 5(2)
    MRobinson- 5(4)
    Wiggins- 5(3)
    Williamson- 4(1)
    Burleson- 3(1)
    Kleinsasser- 2(1)
    Moore- 1(1)

    Carolina Panthers:
    Shame on the Vikings for thinking they could cover Steve Smith with just Fred Smoot. 11 catches for 201.

    Smith did his damage with the smoothest, most subtle moves you'll see out of a receiver. He absolutely had Smoot's number.

    There's been a lot of flea flickers in the league over the last few weeks, but I yet to see one work. The big thing about these plays is that the wide receivers really have to sell it, and just by judging the results, they are not getting anyone to bite.

    The Panthers' run game has struggled, but with DeShaun Foster back in the lineup they looked improved. He definitely adds something to their attack that Carolina needs to succeed.

    Keep an eye on TE Michael Gaines. He had two big catches in this game and I like how comfortable he looks as a receiver (he's 280 pounds).
    TARGETS(catches):
    Smith- 11(11)
    Foster- 5(1)
    Colbert- 4(2)
    Proehl- 3(2)
    Gardner- 2(1)
    Gaines- 2(2)
    Davis- 2(1)
    Goings- 1(0)


    Green Bay Packers:
    This was a game where Brett Favre really could have used Javon Walker. Favre's throws were anything but careful, and 4 of his 5 INTs were passes that the Bengals DBs made better plays on the ball than the Packers' receivers. Lots of miscommunication out there and not a lot of determination on Green Bay's part.

    The Packers have an underrated defense. They are well-coached and they stop the run better than expected.

    I was anxious to see Samkon Gado run, and he did once for 8 yards. Early comparisons to Willie Parker look to be close. Gado is fast, and he has a good, powerful, and low base.

    Bubba Franks is a player you might be able to get cheap (or free) right now. Considering there are very few players on this team that Favre has played with, I expect Franks to have a busy second half to the season.

    The play to end this game (Favre's fake spike gallop) is probably one of the ugliest plays to occur in football this year.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Chatman- 11(8)
    Franks- 10(7)
    Driver- 9(5)
    Lee- 4(3)
    Fisher- 4(2)
    Henderson- 1(1)

    Cincinnati Bengals:
    It looked like the Packers in this game borrowed a lot from what the Steelers did on Monday night; bringing pressure by overloading one side and playing a two deep shell behind.

    Cincinnati did a poor job at finishing drives, and with Green Bay not allowing them any big plays, the Bengals offense was only able to put together two good drives all game. Their execution is lacking right now, as teams have adjusted a bit to what the Bengals are doing on offense.

    Chris Perry's chances continue to rise.
    TARGETS(catches):
    CJ- 13(5)
    Perry-7(6)
    TJ- 6(5)
    Henry- 4(2)
    Walter- 1(1)
    Schobel- 1(1)
    RJ- 1(1)
    JJ- 1(1)


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
    You can't really ask more of your defense than what they got, but still the Bucs couldn't pull out a victory against SF. Coming in with a record of 5-1 against teams who were a combined 13-23, this game really proved just how fragile the Bucs' success is.

    Third downs have been one of Tampa's top strengths this season, but with Simms at QB and without any production from the running game, Tampa Bay wen 3 of 14 on third downs. Starting a game on the road is just a very difficult thing for a young quarterback to do.

    I can't believe that with an extra week to prepare, Coach Gruden would hand Chris Simms the same offense to run. But that's what seems to have happened here. There didn't appear to be many half-field reads, or designed rollouts (ala Ben Burger, 2004) to slow things down for Simms. And in turn the Bucs were as undisciplined as ever, racking up 8 penalties for the game and also forgetting to tackle Kevan Barlow on the second to last play of the first half (leading to a Nedney field goal).
    TARGETS(catches):
    Galloway- 13(8)
    Clayton- 7(4)
    Smith- 3(2)
    Alstott- 3(3)
    Hillard- 2(1)
    Pittman- 2(1)
    Williams- 2(1)
    Sheppard- 1(1)

    San Francisco 49ers:
    Mike Nolan won this game for the Niners. He and his staff outcoached Tampa Bay by such a wide margin, the 49ers actually won. Were it not for a great individual play by Joey Galloway, Tampa probably gets blown out 15-3 in this game. San Fran gave up zero turnovers, they ran the ball 39 times for 158 yards, and quite simply they made plays when they needed to. This Cody Pickett is an interesting player, but he's not really a legitimate quarterback yet. And he's probably starting this week.
    TARGETS(catches):
    Lloyd- 6(2)
    Morton- 3(1)
    Barlow- 3(2)
    Jackson- 2(1)
    Smith- 2(0)
    Bajema- 1(1)
    Gore- 1(1)
    Beasley- 1(0)

11.01.2005
 
Puck Periodic
  • The Penguins are:
    Starting a five-game, nine-day road trip, longest of the season
    Are 0-2 against the Devils, having been outscored 4-11
    Despite the scoring discrepancy, the Devils hold just a 73-70 advantage in shots in the teams' first two games

  • Pittsburgh has recalled a couple of rookies who are among the top 10 in AHL scoring.

  • Sean Burke's injury isn't serious but he won't dress tonight. John Grahame should be in net for Tampa. The Lightning have won three games in a row now, and they are 5-1-1 against division opponents this year.

  • The Panthers threw 15 shots on goal in the third period of last night's loss to the Leafs. Florida is 3-1 this season when following a loss, but 0-2 in the second of back to back games. They'll face a Canadiens team who improved to 5-0-1 on the road last night and who is 2-0 in the second of back to back games.

  • Montreal rookie goalie Yann Danis was supposed to start last night's game against NYR, but Theodore got the nod. Chances are Danis will go tonight.

  • It's suspected that Rick Nash will be back tonight for Columbus. The Blue Jackets are 1-5 on the road this year.

  • Garth Snow will start tonight, as DiPietro is out with a bruised knee.

  • Good thoughts from David at Hockey Analysis for tonight's games.

  • Picks will be up around 6pm eastern.

 
Tuesday Football
    Well, the best prediction I made this week was that I'd lose 5 or 6 of my picks. So that means we're back to 13-1 this week.

    Also, Tuesday nights are usually when I get to watch a majority of the week's games (tivo), but I'll be at the Lightning game tonight so the game write ups will be late this week.

  • Interesting words from Antoine Winfeld. The Vikings defense is definitely not playing like they talk.

  • The Jags are saying that Ernest Wilford will finally get more looks.

  • Not too much in this week's PFW's The Way We Hear It, making up I guess for a busy slate last week.

    NYJ- We hear that Doug Jolley has dropped below rookie Joel Dreessen on the Jets’ TE depth chart because of his deficiencies as a blocker, a major reason why he fell out of favor with Norv Turner in Oakland.

    SD- There is some growing concern in San Diego in regard to the health of the offensive line... The unit has been playing well from Week Three on, and despite RB LaDainian Tomlinson getting shut down by the Eagles in Week Seven, sources say the fault should fall more on the team’s coaches, who failed to make the proper adjustments to a stacked line of scrimmage, than on the O-line.

    DAL- Though the Cowboys are probably one of the best-equipped teams to handle an injury to their starting running back, with Marion Barber, Tyson Thompson and Anthony Thomas in reserve, the lingering high ankle sprain of Julius Jones concerns the Cowboys. “I think he’s a good kid who works hard. He trains hard. I think he’s a good running back. But part of it is durability. That’s the second critical factor for that position.

    PHI- Another byproduct of the lack of a running game has been that the Eagles have gotten off to slow starts, being outscored 62-0 in first quarters other than the blowout win over the hapless 49ers. With the running game stalling, QB Donovan McNabb has been asked to throw a lot early, and it’s clear that his sports hernia injury is limiting him and that it takes him awhile to get into the flow of a game.

    SEA- Much is being made of the Seahawks’ greatly improved chemistry this season — head coach Mike Holmgren gave his troops their entire bye week off. Team insiders believe the biggest reason, aside from the fact team president Tim Ruskell wasted relatively little time removing bad apples such as LB Anthony Simmons, OT Chris Terry and WR Koren Robinson, is the positive contributions, week in and week out, that have been turned in by reserve players thrust into emergency duty.

  • And PFW's Whispers:
  • A source close to the Browns says if and when the team decides to give Charlie Frye the starting QB job, it will be on general manager Phil Savage’s timetable.
  • Raiders WR Doug Gabriel is emerging as a go-to guy for QB Kerry Collins, much like Ronald Curry did last season. Gabriel and Collins have shown a nice rapport since training camp in 2004, when they played together on Oakland’s second-team offense.
  • We hear the Jets may be entertaining thoughts of making Chad Pennington their No. 3 quarterback next season in order to allow his ailing right shoulder to return to full health.
  • While Seahawks WR Bobby Engram, who has been out with a rib injury, is expected to be good to go this Sunday vs. Arizona, we hear fellow WR Darrell Jackson (knee) probably won’t be back in action until mid-to-late November.
  • Down to their third-string running back, Tony Fisher, the Packers plan to rotate multiple runners based on the personnel grouping. We hear ReShard Lee, described by his coach at the time as the most intriguing player on Bill Parcells’ roster in Dallas last year, continues to impress. At 5-9, 228, Lee might prove to be a dynamite inside runner if the blocking improves. The blessing for the Packers is that Lee won't have to be on the field in critical passing situations. Fisher has served as third-down back for three years and is a superior blocker and receiver and has the trust of QB Brett Favre in the screen game.
  • The Cowboys, for now, are keeping WR Patrick Crayton on the roster, despite the report that he might be out up to eight weeks with his ankle injury. Bill Parcells thinks Crayton could return in as few as four more games.


ON THE BEACH
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Coin Flip Challenge - November

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