Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ancestral Blood

Often do we embark on sojourns within,
dwelling thoughts upon those ne'er met,
where the blood refrain is identical to
what floe's haunt the veins in you.

Thoughtful essays prayed internal, traverse
history's tapestried veils, forging connections
you never new existed there…

Here we remember what we never could, dream in
memories never owned, hearing sounds-the whispers,
the elations and the moans-resonating as if was your drums
these initials melodies made aware

Staring intently upon a solitary object, perhaps a cracked tile or
a chipping of the ceiling's paint, comatose in nature you invoke the
hopes and dreams to which you and your ancestors shared…forging
a connection that no skeptic could dare understand, yet, freely you do beg your sires past, how the sacrifices they bestowed, today honor your purveyance, to each these relatives a kinship is born, to each, a thankful melody is hummed both calm and free, but it is the passion of remembrance that is owed, and in such gravities, your true inheritance here is shown….

Here, before the trance returns, you welcome the future, to eat upon your misery, to learn from each mistake you've made, to profit from your wisdom, a wisdom you let waste in grave, and pray, it is your smile they hold dearest through their most detrimental of days….

Stop on over to New World Creative Union, where, on this Halloween, they ask us to look back upon our ancestry and to pay credence to what their lives to you, this day, mean.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pastel Afterglow

The pastel afterglow
inhibits recognition;
distorting memory
of which caste of
town your flesh
currently walks

Shades of Identity

This piece I had done the other day.  I was going to use as a companion image to the poem I had composed for Poetics, which I hosted tonight over at D'Verse.  But forgot to include it with that poem, and thought it still should be shown, so I'm putting it up here, where it'll get along just fine with the rest of my paintings.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Outlets for Angst

“I’m a gangster,” Vito claims
just to douse that extra hope
away from his parents dream

“I set fires,” Dory does, watching
the flames build to voluminous peaks,
as the waters rage their violent breath,
to comfort the bystanders seek, yet never
move, not here, not now, loving the warmth
when the air’s far too cool

“I pick fights with strangers,” an unknown teen
says, “usually their much bigger than me, but it
makes no difference, as I don’t fight back, I won’t push back, it’s never been about none of that….instead, I want
to see, how bad they’ll beat me down, before they realize who
they are, in that moment, when kickback stands still.”

“I cut myself,” Oliver reveals, if only to regain the sense to feel.

Crows muster above the heads, like vultures do, but not as patient, hovering the carrion as it still walks, entrails and all…for it’s in their eyes…the future knows.

"Why so bleak, why so down, why so embarrassed, what's with that frown…how'd you expect to…do you even care…are you aware," YES.

Stop on over to the NewWorldCreativeUnion for their Weekly Wednesday Wake Up Call.  It's always a fun prompt and almost always exhilarates the creative sense.  This week Leslie Moon has offered a really atmospheric video, accompanied with the Haunting Violin of Max Ablitzer for our consumption.  She then goes on to tease us with thoughts of Poe.  Wasn't sure what direction this piece would manifest itself, but I simply let it go where the melody and scenery took me.  And then since I put this up on this blog, I accompanied it with a darker painting I'd yet to post.  Definitely check out all the NWCU does for the artistic community, not just poetry and Art, but all of it, literally.  And hey, join in, your more than welcome. 

2012 NFL Game Predictions Week 8

Pretty good week picking last week.  I went 11-2 but really I came even closer to the first perfect week of the year.  I didn't of course, but all week I'd been flip flopping my Indianapolis/Cleveland pick, and I do a couple pick em leagues and didn't change from Indy like I did here, but I did, so that's fine, it's a loss.  And my Bills, what can I say, they had the win in the bag and yet again found a way to lose the lead.  They did the same garbage last week but Arizona found a way to lose, here, they paid for dumb play calling.  I don't know, call me what you will, but if you've got a six point lead with 3:55 on the clock, wouldn't you run the ball.  Just makes too much sense, but in any case I wouldn't  be calling screen passes five yards deep or going with a ball you hadn't made in weeks, as Ryan did attempt to Jones on the McCourty pick. Pretty disgusting as he didn't need to go there, there were other options.  Anyhow, enough of that soapbox, but in reality they are brutal on defense and have a substandard QB, so I guess I shouldn't expect much, and yet I still find myself expecting beyond their  limitations…oh well.  

The 11-2 mark brings me up to 68-36 for the year.  Almost up to the .760 barometer I'm trying to get to and beat this year.  That said, I'm really not confident about this weeks calls.  I think they'll go the way I'm going to pick em' in a minute or so, but just have weird feelings this week, where outside of 4 games, I don't have a great deal of confidence I got em' right.  So, that said, I'll start with those four games, I'll call em' my locks of the week, which will probably mean they'll go 0-4, but I'll be shocked if that happens.  And so:

Week 8.

Monday Night Football

San Francisco 49'ers @ Arizona Cardinals

SF let Seattle hang around last week, but the Seahawks can be snaky like that.  one could make the argument that the Cardinals can be the same, but I think this is a different Arizona team that started so hot.  I mean, they did lose to my Bills didn't they.  Man, it's gotten to that point again and we're only at week 8.  Anyhow, Arizona can be thrown on and I look for Vernon Davis to have a solid game this week.  I like Gore who's getting it done virtually every week in a real resurgence this year.  And what's not to like about this defense against that OL.  I do think it'll somehow wind up being closer in score than in reality, so I'll temper the pick to a SF win 19-9.

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs

Things must be pretty bad when a healthy Matt Cassel is benched for Brady Quinn.  But that's the situation in KC.  They've got issues all over the place and make Oakland's dysfunction look like nothing at all.  I like the vertical game this week for Oakland with a nice game from QB Palmer, where he's got WR's Moore and DHB over the middle and deep, a nice TE in Myers and McFadden excels coming out of the backfield.  The Raiders defense isn't great though, so I can see a shootout if Quinn gets going to Bowe, hah, just made my self laugh…no, I can't keep a straight face with that one.  Charles might have a good game, but I like the Raiders defense scoring this week.  Yep, Brady Quinn is that bad.  Oakland 31-10

Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears

Cutler's hurt with bruised ribs, but he'll play and that's not a concern, as Forte can run all day against the panthers.  We might, and probably will get a good dose of Bush as well here.  Newton's in a sophomore slump of sorts, doesn't have a big target for when they're in the red zone and is simply struggling getting any ground production from his backs.  The on field disarray is also seen in how the team gave the axe to their GM this week.  I love Chicago's bloodthirsty defense this year and they're just fun to watch wrecking havoc all over the field.  They'll do that again this week.  Chicago 34-15

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Green Bay Packers

Ok, I'll try to be short here.  GB has struggled this year.  This is evident in their record, but that was early.  They have no true running game going, but that doesn't matter that much for this team.  Rodgers is back and if not this week they'll get their best weapon outside of the QB back in Jennings.  They are down CB Woodson who won't play, not sure of his year long status but either case, it could be the type of thing to hurt a team.  That is if their opponent had an NFL QB on the roster.  Gabbert's brutal and Henne showed in relief last week he's no better.  And oh yeah, no more MJD, at least not this week.  Won't be a contest. GB huge. 42-7

Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles

This is an interesting game.  Eagles are not a terrible team; they have talent, but getting them to perform is and has been Andy Reid's problem.  Vick is on his last legs right now and rumor's are floating if he plays poorly again, Nick Foles could be seeing his first NFL start really soon.  But in this situation, you could get a great game, even against a quality Atlanta team.  And one has to think Atlanta will lose eventually, so things could align for this week to be that week.  I sometimes like to get cute in situations like this, but I won't here.  I think Atlanta's defense is maligned a bit more than they should be.  I see it as the media's way to find faults where there are few to go around.  They're undefeated for a reason, not just because of Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez.  Just think of the preseason hype with Julio Jones and how he really hasn't lived up to it yet.  This team is very good. And I easily can see Vick folding under pressure here and therefore, you have my reasons for the pick.  Atlanta 21-13

Washington Redskins @ Pittsburgh Steelers

I love watching RGIII play, but they've been a bit erratic overall.  Pittsburgh is pretty much in the same boat, especially when it comes to defensive injuries and RB play.  Here's the silver lining for Steeler fans, they have an excellent QB that can go downfield.  And I heard a stat that said that Washington is giving up over 32 points a week to opponent's fantasy WR's.  That's a lot for those that don't play fantasy football.  That said, I see a huge game out of Pittsburgh's passing game, where I love TE Heath Miller and WR Antonio Brown here. Yet with a guy like RGIII and a nice RB like Morris, I won't be shocked if this game they take advantage of a less than stellar Steeler defense. But I'm going Pittsburgh here.  24-19

Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions

Tough, tough game to call. You have a near great defense in Seattle and a potential powerhouse offense in the Lions.  Potential is key though as they've been pretty anemic so far this year, and it all stems from erratic play from QB Matt Stafford.  But hey, this guy has the greatest WR in the game in Calvin Johnson, who also shares blames with the number of drops this year, but Stafford threw for 41 scores last year and 5000 yards.  Perhaps I'm living in the recent past, but I think they'll straighten things out.  Seattle should be able to run the ball against them, so good news for their RB's.  Russell Wilson is prone to making mistakes and to be honest, his receivers don't strike much fear into anyone.  As good as Seattle's defense has been, I think the way to beat this team is to throw quick on them, with the occasional deep pass in their to keep things honest.  Even with WR Burleson out for they year, Stafford has some nice guys in Young and Broyles to move up the ranks.  In what some might call an upset, I'm going to go with Detroit in a close, if not boring game, where a single big play can be the difference.  Detroit 20-17

New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos

Saints get their Interim Coach back this week.  Sounds kind of funny writing it, but it is what it is. They also should get TE Jimmy Graham back and he's a huge part of their offense, one that really didn't skip a beat from when he got hurt until now though.  Denver is playing good ball, and Manning is getting better as each week goes by.  I liken this game as a high scoring offense heavy game, where the home field will be the eventual deciding factor.  Denver 37-31

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

I really think the Giants will own the Cowboys big time this week.  Yet, I'll temper expectations to the point where I feel something strange will break for the boys late here.  I see a big lead for NY early, only to find Romo apparently win the game late.  Yet with a trifling amount of time remaining Eli will hit a deep pass, putting them into field goal range and the kick sending this into OT.  Here the Giants will win the coin toss, elect to receive and rookie CB Claiborne will get toasted on a long touchdown by Victor Cruz to suck the life out of Texas.  and that all said, if this takes place in exactly this fashion, I'm going to the casino immediately afterward.  Giants 23-17 OT

New England Patriots @ St. Louis Rams

I'm a big time Rams fan this weekend.  They've played solid defense this year and have been good at home.  Offensively they're still finding themselves, but this Bradford to Chris Givens connection has been working for them the past few weeks and NE gets toasted deep pretty much at least once per game, just look at the Seattle loss for a reference.  I just don't see the Rams pulling this upset off though.  Pretty much the way to beat the Rams is to run effectively, where you can set up the play action.  While I'm not in awe of the Pat's RB's individually, I really can't argue with their production as a group.  So I think they'll be able to run decently in this game, allowing Brady to take an occasional deep shot to Lloyd or Hernandez.  I also see a lot of short slants in this game, to Gronk, or the slot guys.  Pats should win this one, and I'll follow suit in picking them.  30-20

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans

I haven't checked but I'm assuming the Colts are road dogs this week.  Which wouldn't technically be surprising.  After all they have a pretty weak defense and while luck's been mighty impressive, he is still a rookie.  That said, don't be surprised to see Chris Johnson somehow turn invisible again.  He shouldn't against this defense, but just have a gut feeling he'll come up small this week.  I like a higher scoring game though, but Tennessee's defense is so bad, I think the smart young QB will outscore the smart old QB here.  Indianapolis. 28-24

San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns

How bad must the Chargers feel, coming off that loss and having to sit on it.  If I somehow missed the games and found out Cleveland won because Rivers imploded again, I won't be surprised.  Yet, I can't pick that way.  I have to take the more talented team, and that team is SD.  SD 27-19

Miami Dolphins @ NY Jets

Stinker of a game.  Jets have issues but have hung in games since their big pair of injuries hit a few weeks ago.  Dolphins have been a surprise for a number of reasons, QB play being one of them.  You really can't run on Miami, so I'm pretty much ruling out any production out of Shonn Greene.  I like the Jets this week because A.) I think they're better than Miami as a team and B.) Dustin Keller looked awesome last week and I think he'll thrive again this week.  Jets win. 14-10

Thursday Night Football

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings

I think both these teams have surprised us this year, Minnesota more so.  This could be a fun game to watch.  I like how TB's offense is rounding into form with some awesome play out of Vincent Jackson, and hey, Josh Freeman's getting him the ball.  RB Martin's cooled off somewhat but he's still a nice talent there.  AP or AD, whatever you want to call him, Adrian Peterson is playing great. Christian Ponder's played well and he's had a stinker like last week.  Along with AP, Ponder and K Walsh, The Vikings defense is the real story this year.  I think they'll get it done at home once more.  Minnesota 23-20

Bills, Texans, Bengals and Ravens are on bye this week.  At least I know we won't get embarrassed this week.  (Cue the Bills lose to the BYE week jokes now)

See you in Week 9.

The Union of Vine to Earth

The earth
met the
and arms
were joined
together, where
they hid each
other within the

Secrets grew
aligned, inseparable
they became, setting
future's only able
to singularly coincide

Paths begin where
trails end.  Arms extend
when the body needs
a friend.  Warmth of growth
extending past nature's bark,
commingling forever,
for in the other
exists the others life

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Elixir (For Creative Tuesdays)

In just a short couple of days from now, The latest Creative Tuesdays will be upon us.  So, if you've been thinking about taking part in the festivities, please hop on over to Mr. Toast's creative co-op and read the guidelines and share your art based on the current theme, which, for this edition of Creative Tuesdays, it's Bottle.

For my piece this week I was going to draw a a bottle with a ship inside of it, but when I tried, I remembered it was a little above my current skill level.  I think the bottle looked ok, but the brown blurb inside looked nothing like a ship.  So, I thought, hmmm…and came up with an idea for some kind of ad campaign.  I started with an empty bottle on a white screen (didn't include it here), then I painted inside the bottle, was going to go with the lightning in a bottle theme, but I liked the way the aquamarine/teal blend looked too much to stray from it.  Then, as is seen in the first painting, I added a ferocious seascape to surround the bottle.  The next couple pieces I simply changed the color of the sea, layered them up together and used the old knife and went abstract on it, adding a variety of colors and found the ad I liked best. 

Looking forward to see how many bottles are on the CT wall this week.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

An Intimate Demise

NFL Game Predictions Week 7

While posting an impressive 10-4 record predicting last weeks games, I'm kind of kicking myself over two of the losses.  The Minnesota loss is just one of those go-figure cases.  I was pretty hot on the Redskins early this year, probably because I really like what RGIII has been doing, but after getting burnt by them a couple times I went away with them and they won.  The other game I'm a bit miffed about is the Cleveland game.  I mentioned it last week, but again, I had this game marked down as Cleveland's first win for weeks now, but because I overvalued the resolve of the Bengal players, I didn't take Cleveland and they won the game.  I really thought they would've taken the Miami loss a lot harder than they did, and to think they lost despite Trent Richardson sitting out most of the second half.  

Anyhow, that aside, 10-4 is pretty good and that brings my record for the season up to 57-34 now.  Slowly but surely, if I continue at this pace I may actually oust last years percentage. But, that said, the season is far from over, and with the parity in the league, anything can happen any week, so predicting is pretty tough.  This week is no exception.

That being, week 7, where Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on byes.  That's actually a lot of star power not playing this week, yet next week is even worse in that regards.  That's the nature of the bye week beast however.  But there are games this week, and we'll look at them now:

Thursday Night's Game

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49'ers

Niners let a lot of people down last week.  I had the feeling they'd lose and they did, but the manner they lost was a bit head-scratching, as was Seattle's win over New England, which they pulled out in the last few minutes in the 4th quarter.  Niners are at home though, where Seattle is not nearly as strong.  In fact, Seattle's almost unbeatable at home the past few years and so far this year they have not strayed the path at home either.  Seattle's flaws reside on offense and actually so do SF's, which makes me think this will be a close game, but one I feel relatively comfortable in picking San Francisco at home.  SF 19-13

Sunday's Games

Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings

Arizona's offensive line is a mess.  That's the worst kept secret in football.  John Skelton takes over QB for the injured Kevin Kolb.  Minnesota's solid on defense and I think Jared Allen is drooling over this matchup.  That said, I just don't see Arizona doing much here.  Good thing their defense is pretty good, otherwise this would have blowout written all over it.  I think they're best case scenario is to play stout defense all game and hopefully they'll be in position to either win late or tie and test their fate in overtime, which, outside of last week, has been very kind to the Cards the past few seasons.  But I'm taking Minnesota and would've done the same if they were on the road, but they're not, they're at home, which makes the call that much easier for me.  Minnesota 14-10

Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers

I kind of want to take Carolina this week and I may wind up talking myself into it before Sunday.  Unfortunately I make the picks prior to the first game and as of right now, I think Dallas is the better team, despite their poor offensive line play and the injured RB's.  This should be a Romo to Bryant, Witten game.  I do like Cam this week though for Fantasy owners, but, if you have him you probably play him anyway, so no great insight there.  I'll go Dallas 24-17

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Orleans got their win and Tampa isn't anything special.  Sure they took advantage of the hapless Chiefs but Drew Brees is not Brady Quinn by any drunken stretch of the imagination.  I like NO and big.  38-23

Green Bay Packers @ St. Louis Rams

While St. Louis is getting some seriously respectable play from their defense and Bradford's been decent, there is a world of difference, talent-wise, between these two teams.  Is it possible St. Louis wins, sure, they're at home and maybe some of the Cardinal postseason magic will rub off on them, but not likely.  I think with what GB did to Houston, it shows they're back into contending mode, and that doesn't spell good news for Bradford and Co.  GB 37-18

Washington Redskins @ NY Giants

After writing about my regret not taking Washington in the intro here, you might have assumed I'd take them this week.  But, uh, NO.  With what the Giants did to the Niners last week and the way Bradshaw's been running the ball, I think they are quickly showing everyone what a SB champion looks like.  Giants big.  40-24

Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans

Baltimore was dealt two deadly blows this week, losing CB Webb and LB Ray Lewis.  While Lewis could potentially return later in the year, it doesn't help them this week.  But they might be getting LB Suggs back, which is pretty huge.  Yet, I just think Houston has to be in a nasty mood after getting handled by GB last week and I think you can run on Baltimore, which, unfortunately for them, is something Houston does extremely well.  Houston 32-20

Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills

Huge game for both of these teams.  Each team is benefitting from a weak AFC this year, otherwise this game could've spelled the future for the loser.  Titans will still be without QB Locker, which they could've used.  But they did beat Pittsburgh last week and realistically Pittsburgh is better than my Bills.  However, Buffalo came together and fate intervened on their behalf, giving them the gift INT in overtime to set up the game winning FG, and I think that should give them some confidence.  But what will probably give them more, is how poorly Tennessee's scoring defense is.  So I look for big games out of both Jackson and Spiller and one of the WR's should have a nice game as well, which I'm hoping it'll be Stevie Johnson, as we really need to get him going.  For the Titans, I think, if you are a Chris Johnson owner, this could be the week he comes up big, but then again, the Bills have played quality run defense against bad teams.  In any case, I think Britt, Cook and Washington will put up decent games, unless the pressure is delivered by Mario Williams and Co.  Heck, we might even get to see Merriman get a sack in his return as a Bill.  I probably shouldn't be as confident as I am this week, but I see a good game with Buffalo pulling away midway through the third and getting a double digit win when it's all said and done.  Buffalo 37-27

Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts

Browns got their first win and Indianapolis got a drubbing from the Jets.  For those surprised about the latter, remember Andrew Luck is great, but he's still a rookie on a bad team, these types of things will happen.  I want to throw a caveat in here, that I'll take Cleveland if Richardson plays and I'll take Indy if he doesn't.  But, that's not really up to par, at least as how I've been doing the picks, so I'll stick to the pick here.  I have to think Trent will play, therefore, I'll take the Browns for their second win.  Luck should do much better this week but Cleveland's defense is decent and very underrated, so I do think they'll be able to keep Weeden and Richardson in the game until Richardson can wear out a not that great of a Colts defense.  Cleveland 19-14

NY Jets @ New England Patriots

I don't know, these teams play each other well and something's just a bit off about the Patriots this year so far.  Ryan did his prediction thing this week, guess he couldn't stay out of the spotlight any longer.  I think he should've kept quiet.  NE is more talented and are at home, I really don't think this will be close at all.  Could be brutal if you're a Jets fan, or, at least that's how I think it'll go.  NE 28-7

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders

Neither team is very good.  Oakland is much more prolific offensively than Blaine Gabbert and the Jags are.  While MJD can do and does quite a bit each week, he can't play QB and WR too.  I can see the Jags pulling the upset, but I won't consider the pick as It's kind of a far fetched scenario, hinged upon numerous turnovers by the Raiders.  Oakland wins at home. 27-14

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Steelers should get Mendenhall suited up, and that's a big deal for the Steeler offense.  Cincinnati's a decent team, and I do like the match up for the Bengal passing game, especially if Polamalu is out, but I think Big Ben gets this done.  Steelers 31-28

Monday Night Game

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears

The Lions pulled off the win over the Eagles and got their DC fired in the process.  But, the Lions have been sputtering all year and their record shows it.  Chicago's defense may be tops in the league and I think they'll bring the heat and be in Stafford's face all game long.  I don't particularly love the Bears offense, not with rookie receiver Jeffrey still out, yeah, I know, he's a rookie that only plays in about half the snaps, but I think you can go deep against the Lions, and if he were here this week, could've been a nice game for him.  That said, Hester can get deep, and so can Marshall and I think he will.  Forte and Bush will handle the rest.  I'm hoping for a good game, but I just think it'll be more one-sided than some might even think.  Chicago big. 42-23

See you in Week 8

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Invocation Of Angels

The Devil will have his day
some, may argue he's had
quite a few

The harp strings shall pluck
once more, lest, it will be
the demons that we answer for

Many mythologies speak of such a
final act…the Norse call it Ragnarok
where the wolf devours Odin, the
leader of their Gods

For Catholics, as the beasts walk the streets,
the devout should keep their windows closed
until the howling stops, and a light breaks out,
filling the sky with a blinding warmth, where,
once sight's regained, Mary will be, standing tall
above this brilliant day, as the serpent's skull
is crushed beneath the might of our Mother's foot

These are but two, of the many, possibilities,
all illustrating the same thing, an ending that begets
a beginning new

But until such time
our world produces
scars quite deep,
purging hell unto our
streets, devouring the
innocent and raising the

Demons crawl the horizon line,
blocking out the sun and sky,
today…I've invoked
the Angels to fly, to
soar fierce and stave
out these devils, until
it's time for the
end of games

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Beneath The Rainbow's Veil

Was going to name this
pastel interpretations of
a covert identity
but chose to
think of
and how occasionally
you'll see them
in cartoons and/or fiction
as being vehicles, like
escalators, stairways or

Thursday, October 11, 2012

2012 NFL Game predictions-Week 6

As a Bills fan I just want to redact last weekend from my mind.  But, on the prediction front, I did a nice job, going 10-4, making it two consecutive weeks picking impressively.  At 47-30, I'm making up the so-so start.  That said though, just want to take a minute or two and say wow, who would've thought Indianapolis would've pulled that one out.  The 3 other losses didn't shock me as much.  But this game, having that big lead, only to lose on the missed kick, wow, is all I can say.  If I seem shocked, well yeah, I am, out of all the games last week, this was my lock and my survivor pick.  This, the Vikings win over SF and the Cardinals victory over NE in weeks past, just go to show you, there's no such thing as a guaranteed win in the NFL, as strange things aren't just possible, they do happen, and for this season, 3 out of 5 weeks has a shocker in there, pretty high odds.  Anyhow, just something to keep in mind as things move forward.  And on that note, we'll do just that.

It's on to week 6, where New Orleans, Jacksonville, Chicago and Carolina have their byes, leaving 14 games to try and get a handle on.

I'm not making any excuses, no, I try not to do that, especially before the games are played, but this week's games, I have to say were the toughest to call so far this season.  While I have a feeling of how things should pan out, or at least how I think they will, my confidence is pretty low for a few of them, as there are an easy 4 games this week I think could realistically go either way.  So, onto the picks.

Thursday Night

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans

Tennessee is still without their talented 2nd year QB Jake Locker for this one.  Star WR Kenny Britt is still getting back into game shape and RB Chris Johnson has barely showed up since signing his big contract after his holdout last year.  To make matters worse, there defense has been scored upon more than any other team.  This is extremely hard to believe, that anyone could have a poorer defense than my Bills in any respect this year, but it's true, not by much, but it is in fact true.  On the other side of the ball, we have a Steeler offense that isn't quite gelling yet.  Big Ben's having some issues with his new play caller Todd Haley and the line's been struggling a bit, mainly due to injuries, but still, struggling.  They got a shot in the arm last week with RB Mendenhall's return, looking great in the process.  But going against the Titans defense shouldn't be hard.  On defense, they'll be without LB Woodley and S Polamalu, who just returned last week, only to get hurt again.  Pittsburgh should have this one.  27-13

Sunday Games

Oakland Raiders @ Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta is rolling right now and unless Oakland devised some foolproof scheme during their bye week, they'll be in trouble against Ryan and company this week.  For fantasy purposes I love the Raiders passing game though, as if Atlanta's defense does have a problem, it would have to be defending the pass, and having to play behind most of the game, I like the Raiders QB and WR's this week.  But in reality, not much of a game the way I see it.  Atlanta 34-14

Dallas Cowboys @ Baltimore Ravens

Everyone's ripping on the Cowboys right now, pointing out this flaw and that flaw, when it's really only one flaw, and unfortunately it's one I don't see them overcoming this year, the Offensive Line.  Romo's not getting much time to throw and when he does it seems like highly drafter WR Dez Bryant can't hang on to the ball.  You'd think a shaky o-line would have it easier run blocking, but their not really opening extended holes for RB Murray either.  All this said, it creates a major dosage of pressure upon the defense, one that's played pretty well so far, which is kind of as advertised before the season started.  Baltimore is winning, but their identity isn't truly known yet, one week they win it on Flacco's arm, the next off Ray Rice's legs, or then, like last week, you get the familiar Raven theme of winning off your defense.  This, inconsistency is actually good in my mind though, as each aspect of the team has proven they can do their jobs extremely well, it's just getting all facets to come together in a single game that's been the problem.  Kind of scary to think of when they actually do, seeing their winning now anyhow.  To this game, I'd love to pick the Cowboy's here, as I do think it's not a bad matchup for Romo and his WR's against the Raven secondary, but I'm just not convinced the line will give him much time to get Torrie Smith open deep, which will completely alter their ability to diversify their attack.  I'm taking the Ravens.  21-17

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns

Funny how things work out.  I was actually planning on taking the Browns this week.  I thought they'd been playing better each week, which they have been, and with this rivalry, teams typically play each other tough, so I thought they had a real shot to pull off the upset.  But, and a big but, after their poor play and loss against Miami last weekend, I have to think they'll get their ship aright and pull this one off.  But, as has been the theme with Cleveland so far, it'll be close throughout.  Cinci's too talented offensively not to pull this out now with the added reality check they had last week.  Bengals 28-16

St. Louis Rams @ Miami Dolphins

Rams are not flashy on offense and they just lost arguably their best weapon in WR Amendola.  Their defense is playing great though.  As a result, their better than what most thought before the season started. Almost a mirror image is the Dolphins, who are getting it done by strong defense and a spattering of offense.  This is a toss up in my book, but being at home and having a few more weapons to work with on offense, I'll take the fish in an ugly one. 18-13

Indianapolis Colts @ New York Jets

Another toss up in my book.  Jets are in free-fall while the Colts are actually looking deadly offensively.  I actually have gone back and forth several times here, seeing it easily play out either way, but I'll fall back on the level of defense, which I have to give a good-sized edge to the Jets, and then being at home as well, I've settled on NY.  24-20

Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles

Third toss up in a row for me.  I'm looking at my notes right now, and it reads 23-20 Philadelphia, but I'm switching that right now, to 21-17 Lions.  The reason, I just have a hunch that this explosive offense will have corrected things during their bye week and will come out flying, while the Eagles have been pedestrian at times on offense and should be able to be beaten, despite having a very good defense.  So yeah, I'll take a shot on the Lions. 21-17

Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

How about a fourth toss up in a row?  Well, since you asked for it.  I have no idea, Buc's aren't looking great lately, Josh Freeman is looking awful and I'm just not scared of them.  That said, KC is forced to start Brady Quinn, which I have to start in my fantasy league btw, which is not a good thing.  I think TB should handle this one, unless of course the fantasy gods shine down on my and Quinn has a career game, which, in my opinion is highly doubtful though.  TB 31-20

Buffalo Bills @ Arizona Cardinals

Ok.  Won't spend long on this one. Arizona is 4-1, but they are down to their 3rd string RB.  Ok, but buffalo's the worst run defense in the league. Somethings gotta give.  Buffalo's defense, which was lauded before playing a snap as one of the dominant lines in football this year is embarrassing this year.  Ok. But, Arizona's offensive line is the absolute worst line in football.  Correct.  Something's gotta give.  Arizona's defense is pretty good, not great, but pretty darned good.  Buffalo's offense can be explosive, but they haven't been and their down to a 3rd string RG, not ideal.  But, perhaps it's the homer in me, perhaps it's that I just can't see this gross product acting as it has for a third consecutive week, getting shredded by William Powell and Kevin Kolb, or perhaps it's just that I think Stevie Johnson can beat Patrick Peterson, which they'll feel otherwise and won't double him, something he'll make them pay for early or, finally, perhaps it's the belief that Arizona won't be able to stop CJ Spiller in space, which I have to believe that Chan Gailey will make every attempt to bring to fruition.  Yes, I know, that's a lot of if's and beliefs but it's sitting their in my gut right now, doesn't feel great, but it's what it is.  Buffalo big 38-14

New England Patriots @ Seattle Seahawks

Nobody plays well against Seattle in Seattle.  I don't think that will change this week.  It'll be a down week for Brady and company but it'll still be enough to beat Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, (who I do like for fantasy this week for what it's worth).  Too bad the replacement refs aren't still going, perhaps this one would've had a chance to go differently.  NE 23-10

New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers

79-3.  That's SF's point differential the past two weeks, ironically against Buffalo and NY Jets.  I'm sure the Giants will be quick to point out, in this instance, their from NJ.  I think this will be a great game actually.  Another toss up, but I'm going to take the offense over the defense here and go with Big Blue.  I think Eli is creative enough in spreading the ball around, even without Nicks, if he doesn't go, I just think that's how you beat the niners, which will be another close one, but don't think it'll be won or lost on special teams like last year.  30-29

Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins

Another Toss up.  But I have enough confidence to take Minnesota, even on the road.  Washington can be thrown on, especially up the seam.  Look for big games out of Kyle Rudolph and Harvin.  RGIII, if he goes, will have his looks, but I just don't see the big play against this defense.  Close one though.  24-21 Vikings

Green Bay Packers @ Houston Texans
Big toss up.  Coin toss actually.  Will GB recovery from a very disappointing season so far or will Houston continue it's dominance over everyone.  I'm taking the Packers, just because I think the loss of Cushing will be bigger than people are leading it on to be, and I think Aaron Rodgers is the best QB out there right now.  Will I be surprised if Houston rolls the Pack, nope.  Just think it'll come down to some late game heroics, which Rodgers will hit whoever's lining up at WR, perhaps it'll be Jordy Nelson's welcome to 2012 party.  GB 34-31

Monday Night Game

Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers

Yep, you guessed it, another Toss Up.  But I'll roll with Peyton Manning, even on the road.  I'd like to see Ryan Matthews continue from his performance last week, in which case I think I may be wrong, but I don't trust their coach in using him properly, and I do trust Peyton Manning.  So, Broncos it is. 30-23

See you in week 7.

Love, Abandoned to the Heaviness Inside

Monday, October 8, 2012

Clash of the Sciences (For Creative Tuesdays)

When I think of breaking new ground, a few images instantly come to mind.  First is the ceremonially aspect, where people gather around a roped off area, typically upon an open lot, and inside the roped off area, you have some sort of speech that is normally followed by a smashing of a bottle of some kind.  Well, seeing I'm not really good with people, I chose to use the second image that came to mind.

Life and Death are the ground in the very sense of the word.  It is through life we get to death and where without death, life would be diminished in valuation.  Science I believe depicts life and death extremely well.  Here I think of chaos, the utter form of pure energy running amok, clashing into whatever comes near.  In this state of uncertainty, not only does Death change the existing course-lines, but through death new life springs.

Without going much further into what could quickly veer into a scientific-philosophical-psychological discussion, I'll just  say, Breaking ground is always, the end of one state and the start of a new state.  In some way or another, this has to be the case for the metaphor to mean anything at all.

Stop on over to Creative Tuesdays, were we're back up and running on a bi-weekly schedule.  The current theme is, but of course, Breaking New Ground.  Stop on by and check out all the other wonderful contributions linked up.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2012 NFL Weekly Game Predictions Week 5

It took 4 weeks to get it right, but finally in Week 4, I had my first solid week of predictions.  I went 11-4 last week, which brings my season record up to 37-26.  I'm expecting similar results this week as there seems to be some lopsided contests.

Week 5.

Thursday Night

Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams

Outside of divisional importance, the games played between Arizona and St. Louis hasn't been anything close to marquis in relevance over the past few years.  However, things seem to be heading in a different direction this year.  Arizona's, fueled by a defense playing at an all world level, and an offense that's been able to do enough for the win, is sitting, alongside Atlanta, atop the NFC, with an impressive 4-0 start to the season.  St. Louis is .500 after two weeks, which actually can be considered a surprise in and of itself.  While the Rams still seem to be struggling on offense, they do have a pretty underrated defensive unit themselves. They're philosophy seems to be right on par with with what Arizona's doing, play sound on defense, try to minimize mistakes, and hope you can win it late.  Thursday games are tough for both teams. And that said, I can honestly see this going in either direction.  But, I've got a hunch that tells me it'll be a low scoring game and will be won by St.Louis' impressive kicker.  StL 16-13

Sunday's Games

Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Dolphins

Miami's defense is for real, well, actually it's their run defense that's for real, they do have some trouble against the pass.  Fortunately for the Bengals, they are pretty good airing it out.  Cincinnati 23-16

Green Bay Packers @ Indianapolis Colts

While Andrew Luck has been impressive and while GB hasn't performed up to expectations so far, I feel there is much too far of a gap between these two teams and can't imagine a close game at all.  GB big. 38-17

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs

I can't see KC being alive after half time.  Baltimore 28-7

Cleveland Browns @ NY Giants

Another blowout, but I think Trent Richardson will be able to move the ball against the champs.  NYG 35-19

Philadelphia Eagles @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Eagles have been winning and that's despite erratic QB play, injuries to the receiving corp and with their star RB being unspectacular so far.  Pittsburgh has not been the Steelers we've come to know either, exemplified by the loss to the Raiders.  But, Pittsburgh's at home and is coming off a bye, so in what I consider one of 3 toss up games this week, I'll go with the Steelers.  24-21

Atlanta Falcons @ Washington Redskins

While Washington's been explosive and fun to watch, I can't see them staying with the Falcons for an entire game.  Atlanta 31-20

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers

I like the Seahawks defense.  But I am not impressed at all with their offense.  That said, I'm not impressed by the Panthers either.  I think this game comes down to, as obvious as it sounds, the team that scores the most.  And for that, I like Cam Newton vs. Seattle's defense much more than Russell Wilson vs. Carolina's Defense.  Panthers 20-17

Chicago Bears @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Home dogs, that's what Jacksonville is, and there's so many reasons for the designation. Chicago is light years better in my opinion and it should show as such on Sunday.  Chicago 33-13

Tennessee Titans @ Minnesota Vikings

Locker's hurt, but Hasselbeck's no slouch, especially if CJ2K can string two quality starts together.  Vikings are a shocker so far this year, and I love what Ponder is doing and what Frazier's got his defense believing in.  Just think how good they could be if AP ever really get's rolling.  This could be that week.  Vikings 27-17

Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots

Probably the best game of the week, and another coin toss game.  Again, I think it could go either way, but I'll take the Patriots for two reasons, neither very scientific.  1.) They're at home 2.) I hate the Patriots and want them to lose.  Therefore, they'll probably pull off a 45 point 4th quarter and win the game 55-54 as time runs out.  Lol.  But seriously, should be a fun game to watch.  Pats 38-34

Buffalo Bills @ San Francisco 49'ers

I know you can't really do this type of math, but:  Buffalo lost by 20 points to the NY Jets in week one.  The Jets lost 34-0 to SF last week, so therefore, SF 54-0 ?  But, as painful it is to say this, I just can't see this game being close.  SF 28-14

San Diego Chargers @ New Orleans Saints

Is this the week NO gets a win?  Probably not, but the NFL's granted Coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis attendance privileges, so they can be in the stands to watch Drew Brees make history.  However, I think Ryan Matthews is going to shred this pathetic excuse for a run defense.  SD 37-24

Monday Night Game

Houston Texans @ NY Jets

Might have been a good game if things were different.  Houston hasn't lost yet and is rolling on all cylinders.  The Jets look hopeless at times.  Sanchez has no weapons now that Holmes is done for the year, and the defense can't stop anyone. But, perhaps this week will get to see a dose of Tebow time, one can hope right?  Houston big. 32-9

Enjoy Week 5, see you next week.