GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 PIGSKIN PICKS - 14-7 ATS...67%
NCAA ATS: 6-0 - NFL ATS: 4-6 - Teasers ATS: 4-1
Before we dig into my NFL Picks, since I haven't lost on the college gridiron, I figured you might be intersted in SATURDAY'S PICKS
CAROLINA PANTHERS (+3.5) MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Like no other sport, the balance of power and momentum in the NFL is a year-by-year accomplishment. And considering the Vikings entered 2008 with the double-dip of a lethal rushing attack and possibly the best run defense in the league, as well as huge upgrades for both the passing game (WR Bernard Berrian) and pass-defense (DE Jared Allen), it was amazing the Vikings decided to enter the season with Tarvaris Jackson & Gus Frerotte as their potential playoff QBs. While they grossly overpaid for both Berrian & Allen, those are the types of moves you make when you feel your just a player or two away.
Just like every young swimsuit model should spent time w/ the timeless MARISA MILLER, every young QB needs the same mentorship...& that's not Tarvaris's fault!
Surprisingly, I’m probably in the minority in thinking Jackson could be legit down the line, but considering his collegiate development was at Alabama St. and he’s never had an experienced vet to learn from (ala Aaron Rodgers), I honestly believe Minnesota put the youngster in a lose/lose situation. As for the well-traveled back-up, while Frerotte is a harmless fellow (except when he’s knocking himself out after banging his head on a stadium wall) and a decent emergency option, he’s lost more games than he’s won along his journey, has a lower career comp% than the 25 year-old from Bama St., and at 37…should we really expect to see him improve on a career QB-rating surpassed by Patrick Ramsey, Damon Huard, and only 2-pts higher than Cleo Lemon?
As for the fiery Panthers, weekly NFL match-ups usually comes down to who has more passion, desperation, confidence, & less players dealing with babies from groupies from week-to-week. While Del-spaz-homme’s complaining and chest-thumps are almost comical and extremely annoying when your squad is playing against them, his teammates seem to rally around his fervor and respect how he approaches each game. Especially after missing most of last season and the uncertainty of how is career might end after elbow surgery, Spazhomme seems poised to prove the Panthers still have the magic from a few years back. Throw-in the return of the toughest pound-4-pound player on the gridiron & the intensity he’s built-up from sitting out, and I expect Carolina to take the moxy of both their leaders & head out the Metrodome tunnel with a playoff-type intensity.
While some cats need things supersized, like Jake's favorite WR, I appreciate the smaller things in life...like Miranda Kerr
As for the actual gridiron match-ups, the Vikings secondary has the unfortunate combo of being below average in coverage and slow to make-up ground. Stevie Smith should open things up even more for a Panthers squad already utilizing the skills of Muhsin Muhammad (11 rec, 115 yrds), Dante Rosario (8 rec, 102 yrds), & D.J. Hackett (6 rec, 70 yrds) underneath. Throw-in an extra safety dropping back to shadow the superstar playmaker and the run game should find some room if it can get past the first level of defense.
Quick Side Note, for all the uproar in Bearland regarding Mushin’s comment: “Chicago is where WRs go to die!” , just like a chick entering a Wet T-shirt contest is doomed for the stripper pole, please tell me how Moose's theory is one iota wrong?
While Minny has a stout run defense..(KEEP READING 2 FIND OUT)
While Minny has a stout run D, Carolina’s balanced attack should open things up a little, while the lighting & thunder combo of DeAngelo Williams & Jonathon Stewart has the ability to wear-out a defense by the 4th quarter…so don’t be surprised to see behemoths like 35 year-old Pat “330” Williams & Kevin “320” Williams with arms on their hips late.
As for Childress’s offense, tough to see how the passing game and OL look sharp with the surprising QB-switch…especially since the QB’s name is Grandpa Gus. Considering the Panthers offense has average 23 ppg against two solid defenses without Stevie (San Diego & Chicago), tough to see how they don’t put up a few more as the Vikings fail to keep pace. And if I’m wrong on who wins, at least we have a FG and the hook as some MFin insurance!
Final Score: PANTHERS 27 VIKINGS 20
WEEK THREE SUNDAY FUNDAY TEASER
TAMPA BAY BUCS (teased +9) @ CHICAGO BEARS
HOUSTON TEXANS @ TENNESSEE TITANS (teased +1)
Let’s see here…giving Chucky almost double digits when facing Kyle “Party Pictures” Orton seems more inviting than a cleaning lady willing to work topless & fancying a dude with a unibrow. While the Bears defense is still solid, look for the hard-running Earnest Graham & shifty Warrick Dunn to exploit many of the same areas the Panthers did last week.
As new signal-caller Brian Griese, you think the crafty veteran a former Bear knows a little something about Lovie’s defense? Look for plenty of play-action from the former Wolverine as he keeps things simple underneath with his veteran WRs (Hilliard, Galloway, Bryant). As a result, that offensive recipe combined with the pedestrian offense of the Bears and a Hester-rib injury (questionable) makes a 9-point victory by the Beloved extremely unrealistic.
Final Score: CHUCKY’S BUCS 20 BEARS 16
As for the Titans/Texans, not to punish Houston for dealing with all the drama regarding Hurricane KobeTai, but Gary Kubiak’s squad has being living & practicing in limbo the last two weeks…which is usually not a formula for success for professional athletes. On Pornstache Fisher’s side, for all the drama in Collins past, the former Nittany Lion seems to have gained the respect of his teammates & knows this opportunity to lead a playoff team may be his last. With a balanced rushing attack similar to thunder & lighting in Carolina, the electric Chris Johnson & short-yardage specialist Lendmesomepoundcake White should have a field day against a Texas defense that allowed Willie Parker to run like Willie Mays Hayes in Week One.
Throw-in the quick read & release of Collins to his large targets (Crumpler, Cage, Scaife, & McCareins), and the home-crowd should be pleased with the balanced offense. As always, the Texans will throw a few bombs late in desperate comeback attempt, but in the end, the Titans are just a better team with a coach psyched for a 3-0 start.
Final Score: TEXANS 20 PANTHERS 30