Thoughtful Thursday 11.08.12

By: Kevin Cottrell Jr. @SportsVentz

Just a ThoughtFORWARD: If there’s one thing to know about me, I like to think and operate in fours. Just like basketball or football has four quarters, life too has four quarters (in my opinion). When one hits 25, they tend to experience the “quarter life crisis” because the buzzer sounded on the first quarter of their life and they’re assessing their progress not realizing there’s still three quarters remaining. The same can be said with school. We typically progress four years at a time. First through Fourth grade we’re taught the basics of education, that’s when our foundation is laid. Then fifth through eighth grade a curriculum can intensify. When life begins to happen in high school it takes another four years for us to become adults. Although college is planned for four years we often need some extra time. So kids operate in fours as do young adults and professional athletes. Our politicians are no different. This past Tuesday the 44th President was re-elected to serve Four more years as the leader of this free country. The first 4 years were eventful yet the player/coach adjusted well on the fly and was able to win over his fellow Americans to earn another four years in office. That said, as we all do our best to move Forward, keep the quarter system in mind. It tends to make life easier for us all to develop a game plan and act accordingly. So whether it be sports or politics remember that things are often broken up into four quarters, plan accordingly, give it all that you have and leave it all on the field. Just like our 44th President. Congratulations President Obama, let’s continue moving FORWARD.

NFL WEEK 10 PREDICTIONS: Last week was another successful week of picks going 11-3 in Week 9. Week 10 provides a few more difficult games to call. Will the Falcons defeat their rival Saints to remain unbeaten? Who will officially knock the other team into next year in Philly? And who will win the 7-1 bowl in Chicago? Let’s find out!

PICK 6! (Bye Week: Browns, Cardinals, Packers and Redskins)
(5-3) COLTS @ JAGUARS (1-7): The #1 Pick, Andrew Luck, will look to take another step in becoming the first #1 overall QB to have a winning record his rookie season. Ironically the Jaguars are attempting to earn the #1 pick in next April’s draft. So why is this game in my Pick 6 section? Simply because it will be played a lot closer than you think. In these Thursday night match ups the road team tends to struggle at the beginning of games because of the short week of preparation plus travel. Add in the fact that these two are AFC South foes this game should be a great appetizer to this weekend’s action. There has been a lot of fuss about RGIII but something interesting to look at, Andrew Luck has the exact same amount of passing yards as Peyton Manning (2,404) and the same record. Tonight he’ll show the world just how good he’ll be. Prediction: COLTS by 7

(8-0) FALCONS @ SAINTS (3-5): When it comes to true rivalries in the NFL Falcons/Saints is in the top tier of heated rivalries. This game will mean even more as the Falcons attempt to maintain their unblemished record. For the Saints their coming off a win on Monday Night Football against the former Falcons QB. It goes without saying that both teams will be confident and motivated for the win. The Falcons would essentially end the Saints playoff hopes and the Saints can be the first team to hand Atlanta a loss. I find it interesting that the Falcons have won 5 game by 7 points or less matching the Saints number of losses. I expect this game to be the most entertaining 1 pm game of the week and I also expect it to be high scoring. If the Saints can grab an early lead it may be tough for the Falcons to pull off the win. Look for the Saints to add in a trick play or two, expanding the playbook to surprise the team that knows them best. The Falcons are officially on upset alert, although if they lose I’m not sure anyone would consider this an upset. Well,Atlanta you’ve been warned. Prediction: SAINTS by 3

(3-5) COWBOYS @ EAGLES (3-5): While many experts expected the Cowboys and Eagles to compete for the top spot in the NFC, all they’ve done this season is compete for the top spot as the most disappointing team. Both Vick and Romo can’t seem to play for 60 minutes without turning the ball over and now the two are set to see who can play worse once and for all. Romo and Vick can both extend plays. Both must do so because of their leaky offensive lines but Romo seems to have a set of receivers who aren’t always on the same page. When you factor in the dynamic LeSean McCoy in the Eagles backfield and the Cowboys injuries in the front seven the edge has to be given to Philly, to play better. Both teams will come out swinging as their season is on the line as a loss all but officially eliminates them from playoff contention. Look for the Eagles to limit the passing game to 30-35 throws with a balanced run game. This should keep the Cowboys D on the field and Romo and company off it causing them to become one-dimensional, as usual. Both teams will probably miss the postseason. However, the Cowboys will no for sure come Sunday evening. Prediction: EAGLES by 4

(4-4) LIONS @ VIKINGS (5-4): These two teams started the season on opposite ends of the spectrum. Detroit got off to a slow start and many wondered if last sesaon was a fluke. The Vikings got off to a hot start and everyone began to say “Look out for those Vikes!” Now the two collide with a chance of swapping positions by the time the game ends. Minnesota has been carried by Adrian Peterson who leads the league in rushing (957 yards). Problem is QB Christian Ponder has struggled pushing the ball downfield and as a result they’ve lost three of their last four games. As for the Lions they’re attempting to get their swagger back and Stafford and Johnson look to connect for their first TD of the season (hard to believe). I expect for the Lions to move the ball through the air with ease the question is can they contain Peterson, doubt it. Ultimately this game will come down to who can score the most points and who has the ball last. With Ponder at the helm in Minnesota I’d have to give the nod to Stafford and Company. This will be a fantasy owners dream should be a lot of players involved so bench both defenses! Prediction: LIONS by 7

(4-4) CHARGERS @ BUCCANEERS (4-4): At 4-4 midway through the season the Chargers are right where they want to be. November/December is typically when Phillip Rivers and company flips the switch into high gear. As for the Bucs they’ve quietly strung together a few wins to sneak into the playoff picture. Traveling West to East is always tough on those pacific time zone teams, so look for the Chargers to have a slow start. As for the Bucs, RB Doug Martin has become the latest NFL sensation because of his 200 total yard games and love from fantasy owners. The reality is the Bucs will need to pass the ball effectively to knock off the Chargers. Oddly enough Tampa will lean on Vincent Jackson (the former Charger) to do just that. While we’re constantly looking for the Chargers to be the Chargers of old, that thought process has simply gotten old. Look for Tampa to shut down the Chargers early, getting big play from Martin & Jackson. As the game concludes let the Hot Seat chatter for Coach Turner begin. Prediction: BUCCANEERS by 4

 

**GAME OF THE WEEK**
(7-1) TEXANS @ BEARS (7-1): Two top 5 defenses will face off in the Windy City. That’s right two totally different defenses. The Texans thrive off getting up field off the edges and sacking the QB and the Bears thrive off taking the ball away by any means necessary. Offensively both teams have balance but the Texans are seemingly better. Led by the rushing attack of Arian Foster setting up play action for Schaub to Johnson/Daniels has been effective for Houston. As for the Bears the often criticized Jay Cutler has begun to catch his stride with his old pal Brandon Marshall, who has racked up the second most receiving yards in the L. Both Schaub and Cutler have tossed 12 TDs through 8 games so neither has quite lit up the record books in the first half of the season. Many will peg this match up as a Super Bowl preview but that may be a bit premature since Chicago has many obstacles in their way in the NFC (Packers, 49ers, Falcons & Giants). This game won’t be too high scoring but it won’t be a 13-10 stink fest either. Look for Chicago’s defense to stuff the Texans run making it difficult to sustain long drives and look for the Texans front 7 to harass Jay Cutler. The difference will be the fact that the Bears will neutralize their pass rush with the use of Matt Forte underneath and the one thing we haven’t mentioned, takeaways. Chicago leads the league with 28 takeaways and they’ll do their best to get that number to 30 Sunday night. This game will be intense. This game will cause both fan bases to sit on the edge of their seats. Lucky for Chicago fans, the game is in their house where their crowd noise will also be a factor. This game could easily be a push, so the edge goes to the home team. Prediction: BEARS 24 TEXANS 20

 

QUICK PICKS!
GIANTS over Bengals
DOLPHINS over Titans
PATRIOTS over Bills
BRONCOS over Panthers
RAVENS over Raiders
SEAHAWKS over Jets
49ERS over RAMS
STEELERS over Chiefs

 

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