Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week 4 Preview: Jets at Titans, First of Many Slightly More Bitter, Rambling Articles

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Jets: OL Oday Aboushi (knee), RB Chris Ivory (hamstring), CB Dee Milliner (hamstring)

Titans: RB Shonn Greene (knee), DT Sammie Lee Hill (ankle)

Jets: None

Titans: None

Jets: None

Titans: LB Patrick Bailey (hamstring), WR Kenny Britt (neck/ribs), TE Delanie Walker (toe), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (hamstring)

Jets: It looks like this is going to be a recurring theme as the Jets listed 11 players as probable. I'll just give you the highlights and not waste your time, DT Kenrick Ellis (back). The rest are people who you probably haven't been concerned about this week. Even Geno Smith is on the injury report. Give it up for Rex "Belichick" Ryan.

Titans: LB Moises Fokou (neck), LB Zaviar Gooden (ankle), OT David Stewart (calf)

NFL Picks: Week 4

*Sniff* Photo from

I'm not too happy with the people in this world who bet. When I made my pick for the Monday night game, the line was Broncos -16. By kickoff, the line had crept up to Broncos-16.5. So, naturally, I picked the Raiders to cover the 16 point spread, and they lost by...16. So I really could have used that extra half point. Thanks a lot.

Coming off of a blazing Week 3, and on Thursday night, I continued by run of success . As always, I tweeted my pick (@WilliamBotchway):

49ers (-3) over RAMS.

As you may already know, the Niners got back on track after an awful showing against the Colts by walloping the Rams 35-11. And it wasn't even that close. The Niners are fine, but the Rams look like they're in trouble.

Anyway, I'm now 3-1 on Thursday night games, and 28-19-2 on the year after a great 11-4-1 Week 3. Hopefully my good luck continues.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 3 Preview: Bills at Jets, First of Many Not as Bitter, Rambling Jets Articles

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I did not do a preview for last week's game because I had way too much work, and it would have been impossible for me to write it on a Thursday.

Sue me.

Bills: CB Ron Brooks (foot), CB Stephon Gilmore (wrist), WR Marquise Goodwin (hand), K Dustin Hopkins (groin), G Doug Legursky (knee)

Jets: T Oday Aboushi (knee)

Bills: None

Jets: None

Bills: S Jairus Byrd (foot)

Jets: None

Bills: None

Jets: Once again, the Jets listed a ridiculous amount of people as probable, and I'm not going to bother myself and all of you with all of those names. Here are the important ones: DE Quinton Coples (ankle), DT Kenrick Ellis (back), DT Sheldon Richardson (shoulder), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)

NFL Picks: Week 3

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The Rams almost pulled off one of the most miraculous backdoor covers in history. Down 24-3 at halftime, they ended up losing 31-24 in a game in which the spread was 6 points. 

That was balanced out by the fact that the Ravens, who struggled mightily all day, and were down 6-0 at halftime, somehow covered the 7 point spread that they had no business covering. They played horribly, but then again, they were facing Brandon Weeden. 

As for this week, I'm already off to a roaring start after I tweeted by Thursday Night pick (@WilliamBotchway) just before the game:

Chiefs (+3.5) over EAGLES. 

For the third straight week, I found myself backing the Chiefs, as well as taking the Thursday night underdog for the third straight week. I'm now 2-1 in both cases. This puts me at 17-15-1 on the year. I'm treading water...

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Letter to Matt Harvey

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So this week, Mets star pitcher Matt Harvey decided that he would not have Tommy John surgery and instead try a six to eight week throwing program before revisiting this possibility.

Read the story on, I'll wait.

No, seriously, I don't want to waste too much time re-telling the story.

Okay, you're done?

Welcome back.

Let's get on with it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

NFL Picks: Week 2

That is in fact, Josh Freeman attempting to re-create the cover of "Thriller." Photo from
I'm still quite angry that the Texans failed to cover the spread. I missed that one by half a point. Well, you win some, you lose some.

Speaking of losing some, the Jets opening this week in Foxborough and despite their loss, secured me a victory with my pick. I made my pick on twitter (@WilliamBotchway) before the game:

Jets (+13) over PATRIOTS. 

That one was pretty easy for me. As soon as Danny Amendola was ruled out of the game, I still felt that the Pats would win, but my Jets, despite having a completely inept offense, should cover the spread. I don't know what the spread was on Monday before Vereen and Amendola were listed as out, but I would have hoped that there was a lot of action on the Jets.

Anyway, that puts me at 1-1 on Thursday games and 9-7-1 on the year.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Obnoxiously Early Breakdown of Geno Smith

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We're two games into the New York Jets season, and therefore, we're two games into the career of Geno Smith. Drafted 39th overall and the 7th pick in the second round of this year's draft, the Jets drafted him to be their franchise quarterback. Maybe not immediately, but a few years down the road. At the very least, they wanted to get him some in-game reps throughout the year and see what they have.

He was "competing" for the starting job in training camp, but was officially handed the role when Mark Sanchez got hurt. Personally, I think that in reality, Smith would have gotten the starting role even if Sanchez were healthy. 

After two games, I believe that he certainly is an interesting talent. 

He can move pretty well in the pocket, and he's been great at picking his spots in terms of scrambling for positive yardage when the coverage doesn't allow him to make a play downfield. 

He also has shown pretty nice poise in the pocket. In the preseason game against the Giants, he collapsed under pressure and sometimes he panicked. 

As for throwing, he needs work, but at his best, he can make very strong and accurate throws. However, that isn't the norm for him. Especially on Thursday night against the Patriots, Smith was overthrowing receivers, underthrowing receivers, and occasionally it looked like he was attempting to target the defender. He missed quite a few throws that should have been easy. He played bad. 

So why do I think he's so interesting? Because, he's only a rookie. While a lot "rookie mistakes" become simply mistakes, I still think that he can improve greatly and be much more consistent. That's the key word, consistency. That has always been the biggest issue with rookies in the NFL. They show flashes of brilliance, then follow it up with an "I don't belong here" play. Geno has been doing that. 

I think that he has the potential to be among to the top ten quarterbacks in the league in a few years, which will be good enough to lead a team to glory given that the surrounding parts are good. 

Throughout this season, he will continue to make better decisions, and gradually, his accuracy will improve. 

It will take some time, but this project is probably going to work out well for the Jets.

I think they're onto something. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

NFL Picks: Week 1

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It's that time of year again folks! Time for me to incorrectly predict some football games! I'm already off to a roaring start, because on Thursday Night, as I did last year with all Thursday Night games, I tweeted my pick. (Follow me, @WilliamBotchway, for that and much more.) I picked:
Ravens (+7.5) over BRONCOS. 
Oh you think that was enough? In 140 characters, I not only found a way to call out the oddsmakers for the line being so large in favor of the Broncos. It doesn't stop there, I followed it up with this. Not even the worst of my problems, as Julius Thomas put up 28 points on my fantasy bench.

Not a banner night for me.

But hey, after a pretty bad 125-133-4* record, compounded by the fact that I apparently can't count, seeing as I have 6 more games on my record than there are in an NFL regular season, it can't get that much worse, right? Remember, the Week 3 Fail Mary cost me a game and I'm only going to let go of that grudge now. Mostly because there's no reason for me to ever bring up my 2012 record again.

Onwards and upwards!

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS

Week 1 Preview: Buccaneers at Jets, The Third of Many Bitter, Rambling Jets Articles

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Buccaneers: TE Tom Crabtree (ankle), G Carl Nicks (foot)

Jets: DE/OLB Quinton Coples (ankle), QB Mark Sanchez (right shoulder)

Buccaneers: CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring)

Jets: None

Buccaneers: RB Mike James (eye), RB Erik Lorig (calf)

Jets: DT Kenrick Ellis (back), WR Santonio Holmes (foot)

Buccaneers: T Demar Dotson (back), CB Darrelle Revis (knee)

Jets: No, the Jets listen 17 players as probable. I'm not going to listen them. That's completely ridiculous. Just know, everyone other than the above Jets are definitely active today. I'm already angry at them...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Spreading Them Wings Even Further

I mentioned back in April that I am now a writer for the popular website New York Knicks Memes. Well since I've returned from Ghana, I have accepted roles as a contributor to New York Sports Hub, and as an editor/senior writer at SportsDorks, which was founded by my boy Charlie Fogg. Check out all the other content on both websites, there are a lot of great writers contributing there.

All this means is that pretty much everything I post here will be seen elsewhere. I shan't abandon you all. This will become a little more of an index of my work than my only project.

Anyway, thank you for the support, thank you to Charlie (from SportsDorks) and Ankit Mehra (from New York Sports Hub) for the new positions, and I look forward to big things in the future.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013 NFL Preview Extravaganza, Part 2: The Kitchen Sink

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Read Part 1, the Power Rankings, here.

My second year doing this, after mixed results last year. After pegging the Vikings at 1-15, Adrian Peterson decided to put the team, and especially Christian Ponder's carcas on his back doeee and lead them to the playoffs. If you had listened to me, you would have been completely shocked when the 10-6 Buffalo Bills and (division winning) Kansas City Chiefs were not in the hunt come playoff time. Instead, the Bills finished with the inverse of that record and the Chiefs had the first pick in the draft. Well then...

I also, however, was one of the few people to correctly predict that the Saints would be average without Sean Payton, and I was fairly close with the Steelers. Trust me, I will never stop talking about this one, I correctly referred to Colin Kaepernick as the "best QB on his team" and that "for the sake of the Bay Area, I hope [he takes over as starter] this year." That brings me to the part where I picked the Ravens to be in the Super Bowl. Don't forget me picking my boy Luke Kuechly to win Defensive Rookie of the Year.

But fear not! I have returned to redeem myself and make a few hideously bad picks, a few unnecessarily bold ones that will make me look stupid, and a few great ones. Let's start with the division standings (by the way, because I needed to pick every game in the season with a schedule grid, the tiebreakers aren't completely indicative of my thoughts, it's just used for clarification) :

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013 NFL Preview Extravaganza, Part 1: Power Rankings

I'll have the full division and conference playoff standings tomorrow. Along with the playoff predictions, Super Bowl predictions, and award predictions. All of that will be coming in Part 2.

But for now, I have a list of each and every one of the 32 NFL teams. I'm going to now take that list, and order it from 1 to 32, from the best team in the league, to the worst team. The records that you see tomorrow will not be fully indicative of what I think about each of these teams, because when it came to filling out the schedule grid, factors such as strength of schedule came into play and may have skewed some records.

Anyway, here it is, your preseason Power Rankings!:

2013 New York Jets Season Preview: Second of Many Bitter, Rambling Jets Articles

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2011 Record: 6-10

Key Acquisitions: OL Willie Colon, RB Mike Goodson, RB Chris Ivory, S Dawan Landry, CB Dee Milliner, DL Sheldon Richardson, QB Geno Smith, TE Kellen Winslow, G Brian Winters
Key Departures: DL Mike DeVito, RB Shonn Greene, TE Dustin Keller, S LaRon Landry, G Brandon Moore, DT Sione Pouha, CB Darrelle Revis, LB Bart Scott, G Matt Slauson, "PROFESSIONAL WINNER" Tim Tebow (thank God he's gone), DE/OLB Bryan Thomas

Well, it's that time again, for my damned Jets to take the field again. I've already written once about how it feels to be a Jets fan in 2013, and let's just say it's not fun.This team is not going to be very good, but somehow they're going to stay in the national spotlight for the whole season despite being worthless. I actually think Rex Ryan is a very good coach, because now it seems that Mark Sanchez is putrid, which means that Ryan took a putrid QB to the AFC Championship Game twice. It's not his fault that Mike Tannenbaum did not even try to make it look like he cared about keeping the roster together past the year 2012. And well, look what happened. Anyway, Ryan is going to be fired at the end of this year, and frankly, I don't think he cares. Teams are going to be lining up to lure him to be their head coach in some cases, or if he wants to join a winner, say the Green Bay Packers, he can catch on as their defensive coordinator. It will be a mistake if the Jets let Ryan go, but it's going to happen. Oh well, you can't win every battle. Speaking of which, let's talk about the team that won't win many battles. At all.

The QB situation isn't much to talk about here. Geno Smith should be the starter, and I don't think he's going to be all that great this year. He's a rookie, he's going to go through a lot of struggles, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm interested in seeing how he performs this year, but don't expect too much.  The advanced defensive schemes might be too much for him to handle, and his complete lack of weapons will hinder him. The best hope is that he gradually gets better as the year goes along, and figures out what he needs to improve upon for the next year. If Smith ends up being flat out horrible, or if he gets hurt. I do think that Matt Simms has some potential. As for Mark Sanchez, he's going to be a total non-factor. Even if Smith gets hurt I doubt Sanchez is getting a chance to start. The team knows it's not going to work out with him. He's pretty much going to be the fourth guy on the depth chart. Fourth? What happened to third? Brady Quinn happened.

(Rolling my eyes)

Let's move on.

As for the running backs, nothing here inspires me that much. Chris Ivory has some talent but injuries have been a major issue since he's come into the league. I don't know what to make of him, maybe he won't even be good when healthy. Bilal Powell is nothing special. The most intriguing player here is Mike Goodson. Once he comes back from suspension, he might finally realize his potential that people have been speaking of for years.

Not that I think Kellen Winslow has that much left in the tank, but I think he's going to be a crucial part of this offense. Geno Smith is going to need a security blanket to throw short check down passes to, and the tight end is usually the one to fill that role. Konrad Reuland may develop into a decent guy.

As for the offensive line, the most important player is Brian Winters. As we've seen in the past, most notably Wayne Hunter, one weak link on an offensive line can cause the whole line to look awful. Third round pick Winters looked decent this preseason, so if he can continue this success in the regular season, he will make Geno Smith's life a lot easier.

I really like this defensive line. Mo Wilkerson developed into a really good run defender last year, one of the best at his position. He needs to work a little more on his pass rushing, which would turn him into an elite player, but I like him as it is. That's because Sheldon Richardson will be really good in both pass and run defense this year, no matter where he plays, on the interior or on the edge. Kenrick Ellis is also a pretty good run defender. I've enjoyed Leger Douzable this preseason, he has a high motor and was almost always near the quarterback.

Quinton Coples is going to see some time with his hand on the ground and playing as a rush linebacker, and either way he should do a pretty nice job at getting to the QB. The best part is that all of these guys are pretty young, meaning that at least the front of this defense will be interesting for years to come.

David Harris used to be a great linebacker, but his play has significantly dropped off recently. I don't know what to make of him coming into this year. Demario Davis is a young player who should improve, I guess. There's really nothing else of note here. God this is painful.

With Darrelle Revis gone, the Jets decided to take his heir apparent in the first round in Dee Milliner. I like his tools, and time will tell if he's a good NFL player or not, but I think he will be. Obviously he will not be the historically great Revis, but I think he can be a really good #1 corner. For now, he only has to focus on the second best receiver on each team because Antonio Cromartie has been really good. He stepped up nicely when Revis went down. They will form a pretty nice 1-2 punch.

Other than that, the secondary is completely average. Kyle Wilson is in my doghouse, and this is his last chance. Isaiah Trufant and Darrin Walls have some potential, but I don't know if they're going to do much this year. Safety Antonio Allen is terrible, and he's going to soon lose his job to Jaiquawn Jarrett (I still can't spell his first name). Dawan Landry is a pretty good safety, but again, nothing special.

Special Teams
They stupidly cut Dan Carpenter and allowed Nick Folk to keep swinging his inconsistent leg around New York this year. Whatever. Robert Malone is a punter. Well, that's pretty much all my analysis, he was the definition of average last year. An average punter, could there be a less interesting player in the NFL?

Jeremy Kerley is a pretty nice punt returner, and now that Joe McKnight is gone, it seems that Clyde Gates will be the one returning kicks. He's really fast, so I'll be interesting in seeing what he can do.

Look, the defense is fine. They will be fine at worst, and if everything breaks well, they may creep up into the top 7-10 in the league. That's cool and all, but where are the points coming from? Other than Cromartie pick 6s, Kerley punt returns, and causing safties, I don't understand how this team will score. They face the Raiders at home on December 8, which is the second time in my life they've played the Raiders on the week of my birthday, the first time in 2005. The starters? Brooks Bollinger for the Jets and Marques Tuiasosopo for Oakland. Worst part, I went to that game. Guess what? We're back to that point, they both stink. (To be fair, due to injuries, the Jets played 5 different QBs in that awful 2005 season). That's a win, and Buffalo will hand them a game at home. I see them scrapping out at most four other games throughout the season, but even that is wishful thinking.

4-12, 3rd in the AFC East