NFL 14: Week 7 Matchup Predictions

Is this the year the Browns finally make it to the playoffs, and make some noise when they get there? Are the Eagles a lock to win Super Bowl 49? Are the Rams better than their 1-4 record?  Can the Colts make Peyton Manning a distant memory? Do the Patriots deserve the “Grandfathered” treatment because of their past success?  All this and more, is sure to be answered as the 2014 season unfolds, but one thing is for certain- my matchup predictions.

Jets @ Patriots: Boy oh boy, the Jets are a complete mess right now, and Rex Ryan looks to be the Browns number one choice (I hope) for defensive coordinator next season; division matchup aside, Pats have this one on lock. PICK: Patriots

Falcons @ Ravens: “Matty Ice” can’t- unfortunately- play both offense and defense, which is too bad for the Falcons. Ravens are my choice to represent the AFC in this year’s bowl. PICK: Ravens

Titans @ Redskins: Titans got away with another close one, and Redskins have a quarterback controversy by default. PICK: Whoever has the ball last

Seahawks @ Rams: Hawks got it handed to them by the Boys in such a fashion that they will most definitely be looking to take it out on the Rams. Rams would look like an entirely different squad with a better QB. PICK: Seahawks

Browns @ Jaguars: Browns can ill afford to fall asleep against the Jags. Take the the Jags lightly, and fans in Cleveland will most assuredly go back to cryin for Johnny. PICK: Browns

Bengals @ Colts: This is the contest I look forward to seeing more than any other. Bengals are starting to look typical under Marvin Lewis, and the Colts minimal attention from the national media seems to be just fine by them. PICK: Colts

Vikings @ Bills: The Bills are playin’ as if though they’d rather be in L.A.; Vikes are not really playin’ at all. PICK: EENIE MEENIE… you get the idea.

Dolphins @ Bears: Phins had the Pack on the ropes and couldn’t put em away. Bears are who I thought they were (an enigma), and I can’t let em off the hook. PICK: Bears

Saints @ Lions: Something is amiss with these Saints, and despite the Lions 4-2 record, no MEGATRON could end up being the diff. PICK: Saints

Panthers @ Packers: Aaron Rodgers; need I say more? PICK: Packers

Chiefs @ Chargers: Chargers don’t look as invincible as I once thought. On the other hand, Chiefs have a way of showin’ up when you least expect. PICK: Chargers-only because they’re at home.

Cardinals @ Raiders: Derek Carr looks to be far better than his brother (David) ever could. Arians, the coach folks in Cleveland said was too old, has the Cards playin some good ole fashion football. Did I mention Fitzgerald is startin’ to come alive? PICK: Cardinals

Giants @ Cowboys: Giants had me fooled; shame on me. Anybody who thinks the Boys are not for real is foolish! PICK: Cowboys

49ers @ Broncos: Manning is hard to beat at home. Maybe not so for the Niners. PICK: 49ers

Texans @ Steelers: If the Browns can make “Big Ben” look like one of his namesake sandwiches, just imagine what Watt will do. If you didn’t know now you do, J.J. IS DY-NO-MITE!!

For all you gamblers out there, I hope this weeks picks help you fair better. Let us know what you think at: http://www.theshopreport.com

NFL 14: Week 6 Matchup Predictions

Wow, wow, and wow again. I can’t quite get over the fact the Cleveland Browns are actually relevant after 5 weeks (4 due to the bye week) of an NFL season; and were on the right side of history in the process.  Can they keep it going, and -for the first time in what seems like forever- finish the season above .500?  After an improbable come from behind win against the Titans, I say this season has just become a lot more interesting than what many folks would’ve ever imagined. That being said, here are my predictions (picks) for week 6; not that they make any sense.

Colts @ Texans: Texans are formidable even without a “franchise type” QB; Luck is shaping up to be arguably the best QB to come out in any of the last 5 draft classes.  PICK: Colts

Jaguars @ Titans: Bortles is no doubt the future is Florida; Whisenhunt’s game plan against the Browns seemed to resemble the Browns, when Mangini, Davis, Crennel, and Chudzinski were coaching.  PICK: Titans

Ravens @ Buccaneers: Flacco  & co. will not struggle against the Bucs like they did against the Colts. How Lovie gets his guys prepared to play each week is beyond me.  PICK: Ravens

Broncos @ Jets: Peyton  rarely takes a loss in the regular season. It’s the playoffs that give him fits. Rex will wind up being some team’s D-Coordinator; I hope it’s with the Browns!  PICK: Broncos

Lions @ Vikings: Although this is a game we should EXPECT the Lions to win, they probably won’t; especially with Megatron most likely out. Asiata and Bridgewater could be enough. PICK: Vikings

Patriots @ Bills: This is a battle for AFC East supremacy- I guess. Pats are no longer invincible away from the razor blade. PICK: Bills

Panthers @ Bengals: Bengals are good at home, but not when it matters most. Cam with no running game is one dimensional. PICK: Bengals

Steelers @ Browns: Okay, no more messin round with these bums. If Browns are to be taken serious this season, beating the Steelers is beyond mandatory. 0-3 in the AFC North is never good. Steelers may once again see this as a rivalry after this one. PICK: Browns

Packers @ Dolphins: Phins are in disarray; Rodgers says R-E-L-A-X when you’re in the neighborhood. PICK: Packers

Chargers @ Raiders: The only thing that could possibly save what used to be the “commitment to excellence” is Mike Holmgren. Too bad he won’t be there in time to save the Raiders from Phillip Rivers. PICK: Chargers

Bears @ Falcons: If the Falcons had any kind of D, they would be legit SB contenders. Bears with Cutler are better on paper than they are on the field. PICK: Do you really care?

Cowboys @ Seahawks: This is the game that will determine if the boys are for real, and if the Hawks chances on a repeat are etched in stone. The 12th man is no joke. PICK: Seahawks (begrudgingly)

Redskins @ Cardinals: There is no shame in losing at Peyton’s place; it is a shame that no one can seem to figure out just what exactly is wrong with Carson’s shoulder. Carson is looking more like a bust than Barkevious Mingo. PICK: Cardinals

Giants @ Eagles: Coughlin knows how to win. All of a sudden, Chip’s Eagles don’t look so Herculean. PICK: Giants

49ers @ Rams: Despite all the turmoil in the frisco, Niners keep on pluggin away. Rams would be a much tougher out if they had a Hoyer- at least. PICK: Rams

Still here?  I ‘m not sure why, but since you are, let us know what you think!   http://www.theshopreport.com

NFL 14: Week 3 Matchup Predictions

As I said in the not to distant past,  when it comes to predicting the outcome of an NFL game, expect the unexpected. How else do you explain the Browns victory over the Saints? An experience not seen in this town since 2004; a win in the home opener that is. That being said, here are my picks for week 3:

Buccaneers @ Falcons: Lovie is good for the Bucs’, but still many pieces need before fruition takes place. Matty Ice has a new weapon in Devin Hester, and at home is the best place to show it off. PICK:  Falcons

Chargers @ Bills:  Prior to this season, I would’ve looked at this game and told you the Bills have no chance. Sittin’ at 2-0 in the ” Patriot East”,  I tell you the Bills’ will see your chance, and raise you another. PICK: Bills

Cowboys @ Rams: Boys’ seemed to have righted the ship, but let me point out that it was against the Titans. Rams are in for a tough season without a viable option at QB. PICK: Cowboys

Redskins @ Eagles: Cousins’ may be serviceable for the time being, but Eagles will be a disservice to many teams this season, including the Skins, division game or otherwise. PICK: Eagles

Texans @ Giants: Can the G-Men win at home? Will they win at all this season?  Not if J.J. Watt has anything to say about it. PICK: Texans

Vikings @ Saints:  Vikings can’t afford to play this one without AP; Saints won’t lose at home after losing to Browns. PICK: Saints

Titans @ Bengals: Titans are a headscratcher and Bengals are scratchin’ folks out the picture already. With, or without  A.J. Green. PICK: Bengals

Ravens @ Browns: I still think Ravens will win the North, but Browns showed a moxy in beating Saints not seen in this town since the days of Bernie Kosar. That alone is good enough to garner my vote this week. PICK:  Browns

Packers @ Lions:  Lions couldn’t win the North when it was handed on a silver platter, and they won’t beat the Packers when it counts ever; sorry Mr.Caldwell.  PICK: Packers

Colts @ Jaguars:  Man, oh man, was I wrong about the Jags; until they put in Bortles anyway. Andrew doesn’t need any luck to beat these guys. PICK:  Colts

Raiders @ Patriots:  Silver and Black are a far cry from what they used to be under Al Davis. Patriots won’t get caught napping in this one. PICK:  Patriots

49ers @ Cardinals:  Carson Palmer has to suit up in this one for the Cards to even have a chance. Niners will still have the taste of the 17-point comeback by the Bears in their mouth. PICK: 49ers

Broncos @ Seahawks: Peyton’s regular season performances outweigh his post-season performances, which makes absolutely no sense. The Hawks have what it takes to beat him; if not, the 12th Man sure as he#$ does!!  PICK: Seahawks

Chiefs @ Dolphins:  Niles Davis (Chiefs) is a beast filling in for Charles. Is he and Alex Smith enough to beat the Phins down in the Sunshine state? Not sure. PICK: Pick em’

Steelers @ Panthers: Steelers physical style of football seems to have taken it’s toll…ON THE STEELERS!  Panthers like playing smash mouth too. PICK:  Panthers

Bears @ Jets:  Jets let one get away against the Pack, and Bears took one away from the Niners. Whoever has the advantage in takeaways takes this one. PICK: Pick em’

I’m not even sure I should be doing this anymore. If somebody out there is using my picks to make their own, I apologize for not winning you any money. If your’s are any better, please let us know. http://www.theshopreport.com

Up Next: Week 4

NFL 14: Week 2 Matchup Predictions

Boy oh boy, week 1 of the 2014 NFL season -as usual- did not disappoint. Nobody in their right mind would’ve thought the Dolphins could beat the Patriots no matter how improved the Phins’ are. Or, the Bills to beat Chicago, in Chicago!!  So, I make my matchup predictions this week, keeping in mind to expect the unexpected.

Steelers @ Ravens: Without going on some long drawn out rant about the Ray Rice fiasco, Imake this pick strictly based on football. Steelers barely got by the Browns (surprisingly), and Ravens uncharacteristically couldn’t finish the deal after getting the lead against the Bengals. PICK: Ravens

Dolphins @ Bills: Both of these squads have put the league on notice that they’re tired of being everybody else’s fodder. That’s why this game is a: PICK EM’

Jaguars @ Redskins: I have the Jags as one of my sleepers, and they did exactly that after getting a lead against the dynamic Eagles-fell asleep! Skins’ fared no better scoring only 6-pts against the Texans. Not sure if I should pick a winner, or see who gets first pick in next year’s draft. PICK: Redskins

Cowboys @ Titans: Romo and co. looked downright abysmal against Niners; PICK: Titans

Cardinals @ Giants: No way the Giants are 14-pts bad. On the other hand, Cards have to be better than 18! PICK: Cardinals

Patriots @ Vikings: Pats’ still have the aura and mystique, but like the NFL shield, it’s starting to show severe cracks. Vikings look solid. PICK: Vikings

Saints @ Browns: Although most fans’ in Cleveland feel think there is reason for hope after the second half showing against the Burg, I say Saints are more than pissed at how they lost to the Falcons. PICK: Saints

Falcons @ Bengals: Falcons offense is better than decent; Defense is not. Bengals D will do what Saints couldn’t, and the offense is more than what Falcons D can handle. PICK: Bengals

Lions @ Panthers: Lions played against the Giants with the mindset that they won’t give away the North this time. Panthers better hurry up and get Cam back. PICK: Lions

Rams @ Buccaneers: Rams are hurting without a legit starting QB; Bucs will win this one with their D. PICK: Buccaneers

Seahawks @ Chargers: Hawks can beat anybody anywhere, anytime. Chargers slow start this season will be due to what opponents are doing to them, not what the usually do to themselves. PICK: Sehawks

Texans @ Raiders: Even without Clowney, Texans are more than Raiders can handle. PICK: Texans

Jets @ Packers: Jets are pretty well coached all around under Ryan, but the Pack wants some get back after what happend in Seattle. PICK: Packers

Chiefs @ Broncos: Chiefs won’t have enough left in the tank after making the “Mile High” climb. Peyton may end up not even playing the second half. PICK: Broncos

Bears @ 49ers: What the Niners did to the Cowboys was downright disrespectful; can’t say the boys didn’t deserve it. Cutler trys to often to make THE PLAY, instead of THE RIGHT PLAY, which ends being to the detriment of the Bears offense. PICK: 49ers

Eagles @ Colts: I like the Colts, but not in this one. Eagles haven’t reached their full potential. PICK: Eagles

 

Those are my week 2 picks… Name yours.  www.theshopreport.com

 

NFL 2014 Teams to watch: NFC

Now that we’ve told you who to watch for from the AFC side of thing’s, let us take a look at the NFC’s representatives.

Packers: Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers are joined at the hip like nobody’s business. The Pack’s infrastructure is built from adamantium, and is usually the case with the “always mentioned” squads in the NFL who just seem to get it right year in and year out. These cats’ don’t rebuild, they reload!! If you’ve got your money on this bunch to be the NFC rep in this year’s Super Bowl, I’d say that ‘s about as safe a bet as you can make.

Eagles: I know D Jack is no longer in the mix, but that won’t slow down Chip and co. not one bit. As it stands, I seem to have been DEAD WRONG about Chip and his brand of offense. This guy has already shown that he understands how to use, and get most out of whoever is on the roster; something the Browns – 15 yrs and counting- have yet to figure out. His offensive philosophy can be downright scary at times. Again, D Jack is a big loss, but I believe Chip will find a way to compensate for the loss.

Saints: There seems to be a common thread amongst teams that figure to consistently be in the mix. A good head coach (Payton), and a franchise QB (Brees), and what you get is a greater than 75% chance your team will be in post season conversation each and every go round. Nothing says that more than how the Saints fared during the 1- year suspension of Payton; Brees, and the rest of Benson’s Saints had an ok year, but not like the Super Bowl year when Payton was on the sidelines. As long as those two (Payton/Brees) are together, Saints are a playoff foregone conclusion.

Seahawks: We all know the Russell Wilson story by now. It’s a high crime that “Wilson Mania” falls far below “Manznia”, and Wilson has down far more in the way of production on the field as Manziel has in filming TV commercials; blame it on the basanova. This squad was a Marshawn Lynch fumble (on the 2-yd line) in 2012 against the Falcons from going to the Bowl that year. As long as the mantra in Hawks camp- “every week is championship week!”- remains the same, I see know reason why they shouldn’t repeat.

Cowboys: The boys’ have an absolute dawg in Dez Braynt; the question is, can Romo finally get over the regular season phenom, playoff putrid player he is now known for? I could give a crap less about QBR and any other stat people use to try and justify a players performance. What Romo lacks is unquantifiable. There is enough talent on this squad to make some noise, but it all starts with Tony.

Sleepers:

Rams: I’m not so sure I clearly understand all the concern surrounding the loss of Bradford. He was slightly above average in my estimation, and not nearly worth the 13-16 million he is supposed to make next season. That doesn’t mean Shaun Hill will thrill, but Jeff Fisher is solid enough as an NFL head coach that I think the Rams will figure it out. Bradford going down does not hurt this squad like it would the Browns were Bradford in Cleveland. Because of Fisher, Rams will be a tough out for just about any team this season.

Cardinals: Arians, “Honey Badger”, Palmer, Peterson, and Fitzgerald. If the Cards are going to make any noise this season it’ll be up to these five to anchor a playoff push this season. I think it can be done, simply because Arians’ will give the oppositions DB’s a severe workout night in and night out, and a healthy Peterson/Honey Badger combo will make it a whole lot less stressful on the Cards’ pass rush. Not to mention Fitzgerald came very close to an 1,000 yrd season (952) in 2013 playing with what seemed like a myriad of qb’s.

Vikings: All Day Peterson should flourish under Norv Turner, who I think was prematurely ousted in Cleveland. If Vikes could get to a Wild Card (2012) against the Pack on “ALL DAYS”  back, with Norv, they may just win a round this time.

Bears: Their version of ” The Big 3″ with Jeffery, Cutler, and Marshall, poses an offensive explosion that could be downright offensive once the lights come on. The question is, can the D bring something to the party? Anything? If so, Houston, the entire NFL will have a problem.

Well, that’ll do it for my teams to watch in 2014. As always, let us know what you think at: http://www.theshopreport.com.

Up Next: Week 1 matchup predictions

NFL 2014 Teams to watch: AFC

With the 2014 NFL season just around the corner, here’s my take on which teams (by conf) to watch this upcoming season. I’ll throw in a “sleeper pick” for fun.  Up first, the AFC:

Patriots: We all know the Pats start and end with Bill, Brady, and Kraft. While the lore surrounding this team is most deserving, for all of who the Patriots are supposed to be, this squad having won 3 out of 7 Super Bowl appearances is paltry according to the ” Patriot way.” With Brady, Pats’ are a sure bet to get back to the playoffs, but I can’t honestly say the Pats’ are the sure bet they once were in winning it all.

Ravens:  Putting the unfortunate Ray Rice situation aside, Ravens are, and will always be a force in the (AFC) North. They don’t rebuild, they reload! A down year for the Ravens would be a season ticket sellout for the Cleveland Browns- unfortunately. The Ravens “infrastructre” is a rarity  shared by only a few teams in the NFL, which is why they seem to always be- without fail- in the post-season conversation. Although I’m still a Browns fan (for entertainment purposes only),  I believe the Ravens will come out of the allways tough AFC North. Even with the much maligned Flacco, Ravens are more than a solid pick to represent the AFC in this year’s Super Bowl.

Broncos: No doubt Peyton deserves the adulation for all his ” statistical accomplishments”, but it’s very alarming that said stats don’t measure up come post-season time. Twice during his tenure has he put up phenominal regular season numbers, only to have it all disappear when it it matters most. His lone Super Bowl victory is undeniable, but his 8-point offensive output against the Seahawks was deplorable! If he truly is as good as advertised. I don’t dislike Peyton, but too often have I seen him make gradeschool mistakes (throwing back across his body) that a palyer of his caliber just should not do. Can the Broncos’ get to another SB?  Yes.  Am I  thoroughly convinced because they have Peyton that they will? Absolutely not; Broncos’ title hopes for this season goes as Peyton goes.

Colts: Luck, Luck, Luck, AND MORE LUCK!  With Andrew, Colts’ have a legit shot if nothing else, on making the playoffs. This cat is a pro’s pro simply because of his work ethic and understanding of what it takes to play quarterback at the NFL level. With some quiet talent at the skill positions (Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw, T.Y. Hilton), and possible return of the ” more often than not” reliable Reggie Wayne, this Colts squad is solid and durable. Besides, one can’t find a villanous reason to root against them. Don’t know har this team will go, but watching them this season will be worth the price of addmission.

Chiefs: It’s now, or never for the Andy Reid express down in the K.C.; There’s enough talent on this squad on both sides of the ball that last year’s playoff exit should’ve not only left a bad taste, but an eagerness to make amends. Time for Alex Smith to take the next step, and Anthony Fasano could end up being one of the top fantasy picks of the season.

Sleepers:

Jets: If Rex and co. can figure out the qb situation, Jets will be a tough out for just about anybody they play.

Dolphins: Now that the Incognito/Martin fiasco is in the rearview, Phins’ can get back to the business of developing the likes of Tannehill, Wallace, and Lamar Miller.

Jags: My favorite of the sleepers, I’m biased when it comes to Bortles; I feel the Browns (my team) should have found a way to get this guy instead.  Nonetheless, if Jags some how manage to come out on the plus side of their early season contests against Eagles, Skins, Colts, and Chargers, fans beware!

 

Those are my teams’ to watch, who are yours?  Let us know at http://www.theshopreport.com

UP NEXT: The NFC

 

Week 4 NFL Predictions

What’s up sports’ fan? It’s ya’ main man Barbershop J here to give you my “winners” for week 4 of the 2013 NFL season. Why do I wait until the fourth week you ask? Because unlike most pundits, I don’t think one can make accurate predictions without having a big enough sampling size. Making predictions at the beginning of a season may work for some, but not for those who pride themselves on getting it right the first time! Thursday night’s match up between the 49ers and Rams was already a done deal at the time these predictions were made. So, without further ado, here they are.

(1) Ravens @ Bills: While I think E.J.Manuel has the poise and moxy to be an NFL starting QB, he is still a rookie. And like all rookies that make their way to the NFL, Manuel must take his lumps before before blossoming into a bona fide QB. Ravens in a close one.

(2) Bengals @ Browns: Dalton & Co. are no slouches by any stretch. I get the feeling though that the Browns may have found their starting QB in Hoyer. Regardless, it’s high time the Browns start winning heir home games, and doing so against division opponents; Browns are 21-60 vs. the division since 99′. That has to change if fans are to stop with skepticism and start taking them seriously. Home cookin’ prevails, Browns by 3

(3) Bears @ Lions: We know what to expect from Stafford/Megatron, but Lions running game is paltry without Bush. On the other hand, I didn’t expect the Bears to be this good so early after losing Lovie and Urlacher. Bears’ D is still Super Bowl caliber, and Cutler to Marshall just may be enough to see them through. Bears by 7

(4) Seahawks @ Texans: Tate wants out Foster had choice words for the NCAA, and Schaub looks ordinary. Seahawks can beat anybody, anywhere, anytime; Lynch’s fumble inside the 5-yd line of the Divisional rd against Falcons cost them — I believe– a Super Bowl appearance last year. Seahawks won’t make the same mistake twice. Seahawks by 10

(5) Colts @ Jaguars: On the Jags side of thing’s, where’s Tim Tebow when you need him? Jones-Drew has got to be boiling in his own stew. Luck and Co. beat Frisco in Frisco. Who the he!@ ya’ think I’m pickin! Colts’ in a yawner.

(6) Giants @ Chiefs: Still hard to imagine the Giants being 0-3; nt so much when you see them play. Chiefs’ are probably one of the most underrated teams’ in the league this season. Don’t be surprised if Andy’s boys get to the dance this year. Chiefs’ by 6

(7) Steelers @ Vikings: Boy oh boy, this battle between 0-3’s is a hard one to call. How often do you hear o-fer with either of the two? Especially the Steel Curtain! I’ll let you decide… Pick em’.

(8) Cardinals @ Buccaneers: Josh Freeman is starting to look like a bust, and a brat; not a good combination for a guy who wants out and another NFL QB job. Dissention and Dysfunction are the Bucs’; Arians’ will have Cardinals’ more focused and fed up with losing. Cardinals’ by 3 (or more).

(9) Jets @ Titans: Say what you will about the Jets, but New Yorkers’ (in general) seem to have a resiliency when ever someone tells them that they can’t. Jets’ embody that so far this season. Titans’ play good ole’ fashion football from the both sides of the trenches. Whoever wins this matchup could very well end up with an AFC Wildcard. Jets or Titans by…

(10) Eagles @ Broncos: Welcome to the NFL Chip! no matter how many plays you run, or how fast you are, NFL defensive players hit hard enough to slow down any type of gimmick; so my friend, you’re gonna have to try again. Peyton is playing this season like he’s mad about what happened to the Broncos’ in their lose to the Ravens last year;- AT HOME! Where I’m from we call that man on a mission. This version of the Broncos’ is darn good. Super Bowl good. Broncos by a spanking!

(11) Redskins @ Raiders: No need to be RGIII drama redundant; Skins’ finally get of the snide. Raiders’ are an accident waiting to happen. Although at home, I’d be surprised if Raiders pulled this one out. Redskins’ by 7

(12) Cowboys @ Chargers: Jerry might finally have a team to validate the cost of building “Jerry’s World.” Dez Bryant is the real deal, and Romo doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to mess it up like usual. Redgular season is not the Boys’ problem; it’s the playoffs I’m waiting to see. Rivers is overrated; can’t blame Norv for what is starting to feel like yet again, another season down the drain. Boys’ get r’ done– by 7

(Pats @ Falcons: Despite throwing the ball to Larry, Curly, and Moe, Brady continues to prove why he is one of the best (ever?) and a passing surgeon to boot. Falcons lost a tough one to Dolphins late, and their defense is susceptible on the edges. That being said, Matty Ice may have just enough to beat Tom in the dome. Falcons by 3

(13) Dlphins @ Saints: Cameron Wake’s absence could be a key in this duel at the dome. Phins young talent is playing well and could challenge Patriots for division crown, but Brees and Payton are hard to over come down in the Bayou. Who Would’ve thought that Rob Ryan could actually coach a top ten defense? Doplhins in a stunner… by 3

Well, those are my week 4 winners. If you disagree or think you can do better, e-mail theshopreport@yahoo.com and voice your displeasure!! Until next time…