Archive for the ‘Prediction’ Category

It’s been a long time since we were here, Nick. Remember the good old days when we used to pick against the spread? Well, let me clarify, I would pick correctly against the spread and Nick would have done better to pick according to whether a Jaguar could take down a Dolphin in the wild. But the NFL’s postseason, unfortunately, is not determined by whose fans are better at gambling. Now I have to watch the Jets’ nemesis play their cross-town rival in the biggest game of the year.

Since this year’s Super Bowl will be an absolutely horrible experience for me regardless of the outcome, and since Nick has an insatiable thirst for sports gambling, he and I have put together a couple of ‘prop’ bets so that I have something to root for and Nick can potentially sweeten the experience of watching the Pats in the Super Bowl by winning some money.

So here they are folks, Roommate Rivals’ Super Bowl XLVI Props:


Mike: Were you happy about that win? Bill Simmons seems to think that there could be no truly positive outcome for the Division Round match-up with the Broncos. Either the Pats handled business at home against a weaker team, or they didn’t do a good enough job, or they lost. Lucky for you and my playoff gambling, the Pats took care of business.

Nick: Are you kidding?

Mike: I’m not kidding.

Nick: I was ecstatic about this win.

Mike: The Pats were supposed to tool on the Broncos. I don’t know how much excitement you can take out of a game like that.

If the Pats beat the Packers with a hickory stick, I would totally understand your excitement. But it was the Broncos — a team that finished 8-8, which was good enough to take the title in the worst division in the league: the AFC West. I know you think that no game in the NFL is a gimme, but this was a game the Pats should have won; you’re just giving them credit for some shit they’re supposed to do.

Nick: We’re talking about the same Broncos team that managed to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, right? As you might recall, the Steelers were supposed to win that game. The Packers were supposed to win, too. How’d those games turn out? Besides, it’s a playoff win. The Patriots are playing for the AFC Championship. Of course I’m excited.

As you kindly haven’t let me forget, it’s been four years since I’ve tasted the sweet nectar of a playoff victory. I even made sure I bought Budweiser because that’s what I was drinking when the Pats took over in the second half of that Sunday night game against the Jets. Budweiser: my anti-jinx. So when the Pats jumped out to a 14-0 lead before the first quarter was half over, I couldn’t have been happier. When Brady had thrown for five touchdowns before the first half ran out? Bud heavy had never tasted so sweet.

This was exactly what we needed. A dominant win in the playoffs, with the offense firing on all cylinders and the defense actually making some stops. With the dread of a continued playoff drought over, it feels like I can breathe again. I can look towards the actual match-ups and rationally consider what the outcome will/should be, rather than assuming the cards are irreversibly stacked against New England as karmic retribution for giving the whole league the finger in 2007.

Mike: I’ll give you the psychic effect for the team — the momentum is a good thing. But… I guess there’s no way to not have momentum going into the championship game… either you’ve won one (or two) or you’re no longer in the playoffs. Whatever.

Nick: I’m not talking about momentum. I’m talking about ending a drought and reestablishing a mindset and culture of winning. I mean exorcising demons and getting monkeys off your back. You don’t think the Patriots are breathing a little easier with that first playoff win since ’07 under their belts?

Mike: Yeah, I guess you’re right. The Patriots always lack for confidence. Poor Brady needs to get that weight of having to prove something off his shoulders. What the hell are you talking about? The man has three Superbowl rings on his hand. He doesn’t have to prove shit. NFL players don’t put as much stock in the dribble of ESPN analysts as you do. Whatever, have it your way:  “Nobody believed in us!” “It was us against the world!” “Everybody thought the tuck rule was bullshit, but we did it!” Just whatever.

Even Tom Brady said last week’s performance doesn’t matter.

Nick: You don’t think they’ll be a little more relaxed and just play their game rather than feeling the pressure to perform? I know I am.

Mike: Please, you’ve been in a relationship for two years now. When was the last time you “performed?”

OK, now championship football begins. The Ravens are traveling up I-95 this weekend for a visit to Foxborough. It’s Brady’s laser-show offense versus one of the best defenses in the league.

So let the jokes about Rocca-Flocca-Flacco’s mustache begin. Can the Patriots overcome a defense as strong as the Ravens? (more…)

Mike: Nick, I’m sure you’re relishing the fact that I have to write this preview with you while my Jets are in utter turmoil. You probably assume that I’m already resigning myself to a Patriots romp through the AFC. But, it’s amazing what a week without Patriots football will do to your memory… it makes me super optimistic about


Wait. That didn’t work last time. Maybe a new rally call will do:


So, let’s hear it, Nick. How are the Pats going to win their first postseason game since before our 21st birthdays?

Nick: Come up with all the lame rally cries you want, but I’m supremely confident that the Pats will handle business this Saturday in Foxboro. Well, maybe supremely confident is a bit of an overstatement, because I’m always pessimistic (particularly when it comes to Boston sports) and there’s a 10% chance that some Supreme Being is pulling some serious strings to make Tebowmania an official religion.

So how will the Pats win this game, you ask? The way they have won every game this year: offense, offense, and more offense. And the possibility that Tebow will complete 6 whole passes this week. (more…)

Nick: As it turns out, last week was probably your team’s Super Bowl. Sure, it was a game to decide who owned Dirty Jersey. But as we well know here at Rivals, bragging rights are bragging rights. You’ll take them any way you can get them, like a homeless man looking for returnables. In your “Super Bowl,” you lost. Badly. It marked the second time this season you couldn’t beat a team whose quarterback completed just 9 passes (Teeeebowwwww!). Anyway, the moral of the story is: your Jets probably won’t make the playoffs. Wah wah!

Mike: I refuse to let this preview be a eulogy for the Jets’ 2011 season. But given my state of disbelief and depression after witnessing last week’s buffoonery, I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stave off the blues in this one. (more…)

Mike: Eight ProBowl selections and one game left to clinch the AFC’s top seed. And you couldn’t have asked for a more fitting opponent: the Buffalo Bills, who left the Patriots scratching their heads after the QB formerly known as Fitzpatrick went toe-to-toe with Tom “Yes, my Under Armour and UGGs sponsorships make sense together” Brady.

The Bills have been outed as a fraud. Their (Frank’s) red-hot start was an aberration as the Bills have managed to fall to 6-9, securing yet another losing year.

Nick: I am positive that the Patriots are going to put the Bills back in their place, which is to say buried neck deep in a dirty, piss-stained snow bank in the middle of Buffalo. I would like to think the Pats defense might decide to show up for this one, but that’s just setting myself up for failure and disappointment. I will never trust this defense, especially now that sack-guru (in all its multiple meanings, I’m sure) Andre Carter is on injured reserve with a busted knee. Mark Anderson filled in ably for Carter after he went down against the Broncos, forcing AND recovering a Tim Tebow fumble and wreaking general havoc behind the line of scrimmage.

Mike: Looks like the Bills and Pats have mastery of the Broncos in common. The Bills are coming off of a drubbing of the Denver Tebows. But feeling good and regaining some confidence is the very least of it. The Bills pulled out the Week 3 playbook and snatched four interceptions from Tim (Timmay!) Tebow. Sound familiar? The Bills nabbed the same number of interceptions from Tom Brady. I’ll give the Patriots’ offense a little credit here though: Denver gave up two pick-six’s, the Pats only allowed one.

The biggest problems last time around for the Patriots were the penalties (8/93) and the interceptions. Tom Brady still tossed for 4 TDs on 387 yards… he might be the first QB to earn an 86.0 QBR despite having four picks in a single game. But something is telling me that Brady will want to play a little cleaner. That something is the all-time single season passing record. Drew Brees, the usurper of Dan Marino’s throne, is current sitting at 5,087 yards this year after a demolition of the Atlanta Falcons. Brady is right behind him at 4,897.

Let’s pause one moment: Drew Brees now has two seasons under his belt in which he’s passed for over 5,000 yards. WHAT?

OK, press play: The question of the week is how the Patriots will lock down C.J. Spiller. He’s no Fred Jackson… because he’s not ProBowl worthy and he still has legs… but he’s been logging some big numbers in his limited appearances. So can the Patriots’ defense wake up this time and put an end to the misery of the walking wounded brigade of Buffalo Bills? Or will sports fans around the country be confused again this week when they see a 17-0 Bills lead at halftime? (more…)

Nick: Sooooo, how about that Jets defense, huh?

Mike: Really? Your first swipe is at the Jets defense?

Nick: Of course my first swipe is at your defense! I expect your offense to stumble around like a drunken high school girl on its way to ineptitude. But your defense is supposed to carry you to wins despite having a mediocre quarterback that can’t even outplay this class of rookies in his third year. Besides, I have to start somewhere, so I might as well go for the jugular. (more…)

Mike: Look at you, sitting pretty. Is that smile on your face because you think you’re finally going to get that vibrator you’ve always wanted for Christmas, or is it because the Pats just had their way with the Denver Tebows?

With an eleventh win, the Patriots finally took the AFC East title. The Jets disaster in Philly wasn’t necessary, but added a little sugar to the victory, I can imagine. And, the Pats are currently in possession of the first seed in the AFC. Not that anything has helped the Patriots in the postseason since 2007, but hey, they must call it home field advantage for some reason.

Nick: I am sitting pretty, but not because of the AFC East title. That’s the ninth set of “Division Champions” gear that the Pats have gotten in the past 11 years. Whoop-de-doo! All I care about is playoff wins. No, I’m feeling good because by my count there are only five teams that truly scare me:

1) The Packers (a lot less frightening, not because of their lone loss, but because their offensive line got hit by the plague)

2) The Saints (please don’t let them play the Pats on turf)

3) The 49ers (whoa, a team with an actual defense!)

4) The Steelers (I hope they have to amputate Big Ben’s left foot and, for the sake of girls everywhere, his penis)

5) The Ravens (I don’t know if that schizophrenic team scares me, actually, it depends on whether Jekyl or Hyde shows up)

As you can see, three of those teams are in the NFC, so I don’t care about them. The Steelers beat us once, but they’re banged up and the Pats offense is running much more smoothly than back in Week 8. As for the Ravens, let me know when Joe Flacco isn’t throwing the ball 40 times, and maybe I’ll be a little more frightened.

Mike: Now, the Patriots have flown home and await a visit from a team that doesn’t truly scare you: the Miami Dolphins. Remember them? That team from Week 1. I can imagine how that reunion will go:

Patriots: Hey, Miami! Gosh, I haven’t seen you in ages! What’s it been? 15 weeks? Damn… well, how ya been?
Dolphins: Been better.
Patriots: So where’s Tony? Bill really wants to say “Hi.”
Dolphins: He… couldn’t make it. Really busy with coaching.
Patriots: Well, good luck today. Good thing this game isn’t another national prime time one, eh? We really gave it to you last time.
Dolphins: You’re going to rack-up another 500-yard game on us aren’t you?
Patriots: Yeah. Just close your eyes, bite your lip… it will all just seem like a bad dream when its over.

But the Dolphins are not the same ones from The Cove that took the field in Week 1. This team might have enough of a bad taste in their mouth from all the beatings they’ve taken from the AFC East to want to screw up the Pats’ run for 1st seed in the AFC. So how’s this one going down? (more…)