Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Awards

Photo courtesy of Yahoo

2014 has been a very interesting year in sports, and before we turn the page, it's time to reflect and review the best and worst of the past 365 days. In addition to the four major sports, it also happened to be a World Cup year, which brought an added excitement to that normally dead moment immediately after the end of the NHL and NBA seasons. As usual there were emotional moments, great plays, and of course, scandals. So many scandals.

Here's to 2014.

Worst Team
  • Arizona Diamondbacks. The DBacks looked before the season to be just about average, but injuries and the lackluster roster put together by Kevin Towers led to them having the worst record in the MLB.  
  • Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo finished as far and away the worst team in hockey last season, and haven't improved that much. But at least they're appear later on in this column, but in a good way. 
  • Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers had a tanktastic 2013-14 season that led to them drafting an injured Joel Embiid and setting themselves up for yet another season of tanking. In the long run, this strategy makes sense, but just because they're purposely terrible doesn't mean they can avoid this category. 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I, and many others predicted that the Bucs would make the playoffs this season. I fell for the trap once again. I wasn't just wrong, I was dead wrong. They were an absolute dumpster fire that couldn't move the ball offensively and once again underperformed on defense. There must be something in the water in Tampa because in terms of talent this was not the worst team in the NFL. 
And the winner is...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Week 17 Preview: Jets at Dolphins

Photo courtesy of the NY Post

Jets: WR Percy Harvin (ankle/ribs), DB Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulder), C Nick Mangold (ankle/finger), S Rontez Miles (shin)

Dolphins: G Nate Garner (illness), CB Jamar Taylor (shoulder)

Jets: None

Dolphins:  CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle)

Jets: DL Damon Harrison (illness), S Dawan Landry (illness), CB Darrin Walls (shoulder), DL Muhammad Wilkerson (illness/toe)

Dolphins: LB Jelani Jenkins (foot), DE Derrick Shelby (ankle), T Dallas Thomas (foot)

Jets: DB Antonio Allen (hand), G Willie Colon (knee), K Nick Folk (hip), RB Chris Ivory (hamstring), RB Chris Johnson (knee)

Dolphins: TE Charles Clay (hamstring/knee), CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle), LB Johnathan Freeny (hamstring), S Don Jones (shoulder), LB Koa Misi (hamstring/knee), DT Earl Mitchell (back), DL Jared Odrick (ankle), RB Daniel Thomas (knee), WR Mike Wallace (back)

NFL Picks: Week 17

Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons
Finally this terrible season is coming to a close. My picks have been an absolute dumpster fire and the only way I have a chance to finish at .500 overall is if I go 11-5 this week, which doesn't look like it's happening. After a great season in 2013, I fell apart this time around. Oh well, better luck next time. Whether it was to laugh at how stupid I am, or you actually enjoy these picks, thanks for coming back every week.

Without further ado: what I will be wrong about in Week 17!

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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week 16 Preview: Patriots at Jets

Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports
Patriots: CB Kyle Arrington (hamstring), RB LeGarrette Blount (shoulder), OL Dan Conolly (knee), WR Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion) 

Jets: DB Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulder), S Rontez Miles (shin)

Patriots: None

Jets: None

Patriots: LS Danny Aiken (finger), OL Cameron Fleming (ankle), LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder), DE Chandler Jones (hip), WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder), LB Rob Ninkovich (heel), RB Shane Vereen (ankle), LB Chris White (ankle)

Jets: None

Patriots: QB Tom Brady (ankle)

Jets: DB Antonio Allen (hand), G Willie Colon (knee), K Nick Folk (hip), WR Percy Harvin (ankle), RB Chris Johnson (knee), C Nick Mangold (finger), S Calvin Pryor (shoulder), DL Muhammad Wilkerson (toe)

NFL Picks: Week 16

Photo courtesy of Pro Football Talk
I'm back with an actual picks article for the first time this month, and as this year winds to a close, my record keeps getting worse. At this point, it's looking like I have no chance to finish the year at .500, including the playoffs. But I keep on trucking.

This week started off with a mockery of a prime time game on Thursday. As always, I made my pick on Twitter (@WilliamBotchway):
Somehow, the Jags didn't lose to Charlie Whitehurst and his powerful locks.

But wait! There were two more Thursday night games this week. Yes, NFL Network pulled out Thursday Night Football: Saturday Edition and gave us two very entertaining games.
I got the first one right as Washington won outright and Jay Gruden had to watch in pain as Robert Griffin III played very well.

The second game, however...
Colin Kaepernick played a great game for the first time in what feels like eighteen years, and the Niners still blew a 21 point lead to lose to the Chargers.

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

Sunday, December 14, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 15

Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports
As we head to the final week of school before Winter Break, with schoolwork and college apps controlling my universe at this moment, it's time for quick picks again. I'll return next week with a full picks column.

It all began Thursday, when I made my pick on Twitter a few minutes after the game began, after just getting out of seeing an amazing Broadway show (everybody go see Disgraced. Seriously. This is a can't miss). I correctly picked:

Cardinals (+4) over RAMS. 

Yay for me.

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

Steelers (-3) over FALCONS.

Jaguars (+14) over RAVENS.

Packers (-3.5) over BILLS. 

DEREK ANDERSON (-3) over Buccaneers.

JAMBOOGIE (-2.5) over Bengals. 

COLTS (-7) over J.J. Watt.

Raiders (+11) over CHIEFS.

Dolphins (+9.5) over PATRIOTS.

Washington Professional Football Team (+7) over GIANTS.

CHARGERS (+4.5) over Broncos. UPSET ALERT.

TITANS (+3) over Jets. UPSET ALERT. 

Vikings (+7.5) over LIONS.

SEAHAWKS (-9.5) over 49ers.

Cowboys (+3.5) over EAGLES.

BEARS (+3) over Saints. UPSET ALERT.

Last Week: 8-8

This Week: 1-0

Season: 96-110-2

Sunday, December 7, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 14

Quick picks again. I was at a 3 day conference, so I have a lot of work to catch up on. And because of that conference, it wasn't until the fourth quarter that I realized that the Cowboys and Bears were playing football. So, clearly, I hadn't made my pick. This happened once earlier this year, and I resolved the situation by honestly, retroactively making my pick. I will do the same year. I would have picked the Cowboys -4 in a heartbeat. Yes, that looks like the easy way out because the Cowboys covered, but that's what I would have expected.

BENGALS (-3) over Steelers.

BROWNS (+3) over Colts.

LIONS (-10) over Buccaneers.

JAGUARS (+6.5) over Texans.

DOLPHINS (-3) over Ravens.

VIKINGS (-3.5) over Jets.

SAINTS (-9) over Panthers.

TITANS (+2.5) over Giants. 


CARDINALS (+2.5) over Chiefs. 

BRONCOS (-10) over Bills.

RAIDERS (+8.5) over 49ers. 

EAGLES (-1) over Seahawks.

Patriots (-3.5) over CHARGERS.

PACKERS (-13) over Falcons. 

Last Week: 6-10

This Week: 1-0

Season: 88-102-2

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 13 Preview: Dolphins at Jets

Photo courtesy of the NY Post

Dolphins: LB Johnathan Freeny (hamstring), G Nate Garner (illness), CB Jamar Taylor (shoulder)

Jets: TE Jace Amaro (concussion), DL Muhammad Wilkerson (toe)

Dolphins: TE Charles Clay (hamstring/knee), CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle)

Jets: None

Dolphins: T Ja'wuan James (neck)

Jets: None

Dolphins: G Daryn Colledge (back), WR Rishard Matthews (groin), RB Lamar Miller (knee), C Samson Satele (foot), WR Mike Wallace (chest)

Jets: DL Sheldon Richardson (lower back). Everyone else is healthy. 

Dolphins: WR Jarvis Landry (shoulder), LB Koa Misi (ankle/knee), DT Jared Odrick (neck), QB Ryan Tannehill (shoulder), S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring)

Jets: None