Thursday, January 29, 2009

2009 Super Bowl Predictions

Here we are. The Super Bowl.

Can I write that legally? Oh well I just did.

Much like your favorite team bringing in Terrell Owens, the Super Bowl is a day of great joy and sadness in the football fan's heart. It is the biggest game of the year and at the same time the last one.

Try not to cry in your corn chips. You are supposed to share them with everyone after all.

Super Bowl: Pittsburgh Steelers "at" Arizona Cardinals


Why do they use Roman numerals to tell us which super bowl it is? I feel like I'm watching a re-run of Tom and Jerry when they start flashing X's and C's. I'd really like them to start using numbers...even if they want to use the metric system. Duh.

On to the game.

A person would be stupid to bet against the Steelers. They have the defense, toughness, and AFC-ness to win the game. In fact, it could be a blowout.

But I'm not buying it. The Cardinals have played teams every week who are better than them. And what happened? Cardinals win. Cardinals win again...and again. They have something to prove to their fans and the country.

Who cares if nobody in the country can name a single defensive player on their team? They are good, and will make it a long day for the Steeler offense.

Ben double bacon Roethlisberger will have to step up to the plate as I believe the Cardinal defense is going to make it a long day for Willie Parker. I don't see much more than 60 yards for him.

On the other side, I think the Steelers will focus too heavily on Fitzgerald. Warner will break a couple long plays to another receiver who will only see man coverage. In fact, this will be the difference a low-scoring affair.

Cardinals win 17-13, and the Warner-beard becomes the latest craze.

I end up only watching 20 minutes of this boring contest, and wishing I would have ponied up for some pay-per-view lingerie halftime show.

Springstein shows his nipple while singing "Born in the USA" at halftime, and I end up as the most accurate pick-em champion of this blog. Check the results....they don't lie.

Rambler: Well, the final sign of the Apocalypse, The Pennsylvania Super Bowl, didn’t happen, as Chris and I predicted last week, as the Cardinals upset the Eagles…

…and I don’t believe the Rapture will happen this week either, as Kurt Warner, a self-proclaimed born-again Christian, will be unable to lead the Cardinals franchise to NFL Championship Heaven either for its second time (1925) and his second time (first time, Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams).

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well,” reads Matthew 6:33 on Warner’s personal website. To me, that seems pretty cocky, Kurt, and as a Steeler fan flies in the face of at least one of the members of this year’s squad.

To wit:

Troy Polamalu, according to this article at, is a Greek Orthodox Christian and spent four hours in prayer on the eve of last week’s game. Pipe down with your holiness, Rev. Warner. We’ve got your holiness right here (and Greek Orthodox don’t believe in the Rapture, bub). You remember Sampson, don’t you? Well, this dude’s hair is still growing and it’s going to flow all over you. Boo-yaa.

This week, I predict that Polamalu spends even less time in prayer, as he got a good healthy dose of it last week, but his team still wins, 27-17, with much thanks to the partnership of Polamalu & Parker and the tag team tandem of R. Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, Heaven Yeah! In your face, Mr. Warner, respectfully (making the sign of the Cross backwards like the Orthodox do).

Chris: One good thing about the Super Bowl: The ads are not repetitive.

Thank God because every playoff game in any sport these days is an excuse to run 524 ads for the new hit tv show or cut to the cast of some other new hit show in the stands.

Network television, thy name is Rehab. (That's Rehab as in the prostitute from the Bible, not a suggestion that ABC go into rehab)

In the NFL, the best tactic is building a squad to beat the best teams. We saw a great example of this in the 90's when Green Bay, Dallas, and San Francisco were constantly tweaking their lineups to beat each other.

Playing in the AFC, the Steelers build to beat the Patriots. With New England out of the picture it was no surprise they ran up a 12-4 record on a very very tough schedule.

One concern a lot of people have is points. Can Pittsburgh can score enough to win?

All they have to do is keep playing the way they have and hope Big Ben doesn't get hit too much and they should be fine. Unlike most teams, the Steelers have the defense to stop Arizona.

They also are extremely physical. Pittsburgh can wear opponents down on offense and defense. Hell, even the receivers hit really hard.

Playing in the NFC, The Cardinals do not have any opponent that is that "team to beat" so they will need to execute flawlessly.

Another key for Arizona will be Pittsburgh's Cover Two defense. They need to exploit it and the offensive line needs to hold. I wonder if the Cards will pull out the plays where their tight ends run short out patterns.

Arizona's defense will allow them to stick around for awhile but Pittsburgh's experience and physical play will win the game.

Pittsburgh 31
Arizona 17

Well that wraps it up for the 2009 Playoff Predictions. Hope everyone had fun, I know I did. To send us out here are The Happenings with "See You In September"...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2009 NFL Playoff Predictions Conference Championship Round

Here we are a playoff round away from the Super Bowl with two teams in the NFC nobody thought would be playing at this point and two on the AFC side that were expected to a point. No I don’t have a point, thank you every little.

Let’s get to the predictions already…

#6 Philadelphia Eagles at #4 Arizona Cardinals

Matt (6-2 2009 prediction record): With so many big names on the offensive side of the ball for both teams, it will be the defense that dictates the pace of this game. Arizona has been great defensively as of late, and with a beat-up Westbrook, will be looking for the death blow.

Anquan Boldin appears to be playing, and will make a huge difference as Warner looks to unload the ball early to avoid the nasty pass rush of Philly. The home team will win in the desert, and be the most unlikely thing to make it to the top since Al Franken.

Look for Andy Reid to retire, and manage a chain of IHOP's. The Eagles will run McNabb out of town, and then realize that he was pretty good roughly 9 months later as they miss the playoffs.


Rambler (5-3): Metaphorically, the Cardinals are no match for the Eagles, if one compares them bird against bird.

Cardinals are passerine birds, or perching birds; Eagles, predatory birds, birds of prey. Ornithology aside, the Cardinals preyed on the higher-seeded Panthers, 33-13 last week and before that, ornithology back in play, they took down the Falcons, 30-24.

As the sixth seed, the Eagles, meanwhile, true to their mascot, have been preying on the higher seeds for the entire playoffs, first with the Vikings and then the top-seeded Giants.

The two faced each other once this season with the Eagles rolling 48-20. This time, though, I believe the Cardinals will be more ready than they were back on Thanksgiving.

Despite being more ready, I still think the Eagles win, with McNabb and Westbrook leading the charge as usual, but not by as large a margin, 37-27.

To make up for my lack of humor this week, thanks to a stomach flu, which I’m still battling, I’ll throw out videos, for the teams who I think will win their games that…uh…capture each team’s spirit. Yeah, sure.

Chris (4-4):
Will the Cardinals defense be like a woman dating Randy Vanwarmer and leave them just when they needed them most? If they don’t stop Westbrook then yes.

(On a side note I have to say that "Just When I Needed You Most" is the most frigging depressing song ever.)

Warner has been sacked once in the post-season. Once! Warner! This week the Eagles will show him what blitzes are all about. They will be very aggressive at the line of scrimmage, putting the squeeze on Kurt, thus leading to Samuel and Dawkins being fed INT’s like a Gerber baby.

Phili wins 38-14 as Warner finally gets rattled in the postseason and the “Eggles” wait to see if it is a Pennsylvania Super Bowl. Ugh.

#6 Baltimore Ravens at #2 Pittsburgh Steelers

Matt: If I could pick a game to end up 2-0, this would be the one. Is 1-0 possible? Maybe there should be a coin flip.

This game will come down to a battle of the field goal kickers and turnovers. Unfortunately for the Ravens, Pitt will take charge on special teams, and their defense will resemble a tornado through a cheap Texas trailer park. I like Joe Flacco, and I like saying Joe Flacco even more, but this will not be his day. A QB rating of 40 is in his future.

Nobody's buying steel from Pittsburgh, but I'm buying the Steelers.


Rambler: Do I need to say this? Defense is the name of the game here.

The Steelers, the No. 1 defense during the regular season, and the Ravens, the No. 2 defense during the regular season, have matched up twice this year.

The Steelers won the first one 23-20 in overtime on Sept. 29 at Pittsburgh, and then the second one 13-9 at Baltimore on Dec. 14. In the first game, Willie Parker was out; in the second game, he might as well have been with a mere 47 yards. This time again, I don’t think he will be a factor, and the passing game once again will prevail with Ward, Washington and Holmes leading the charge.

The Steelers win another close one to the Ravens 16-14.

Chris: You like lists right? Me neither.

The Top Five reasons why purists will love this game and casual fans will hate it:

5. The Ravens have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 35 consecutive games.
4. The Steelers’ offense is methodical but boring.
3. The #1 defense vs the #2 defense
2. It will be low scoring. I think the over/under is like six.
1. The over/under on the usage of the word “defense” by the announcers is 232.

Steelers beat the Ravens for the third time this season 13-10 and the final sign of the apocalypse, The Pennsylvania Super Bowl manifests itself. The Rapture even.

Don't miss the Super Bowl Round of the Playoff Predictions Friday January 30th.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2009 NFL Playoff Predictions: Divisional Week

Welcome everyone to another week of HBFFL's exclusive 2009 NFL Playoff Predictions. Last week in the wild card round, Matt and Rambler started off 3-1 and I went 2-2.

This weekend it is the Divisional round and four great games are on tap.

#6 Baltimore Ravens at #1 Tennessee Titans

Matt: This will be one ugly game. Both punters will get a lot of playing time in this one.

As both teams like to run the ball, I suggest a lot of alcohol to make things more interesting because "3 and out" will not only refer to your sexual duration on this day.

You're going to see Flacco and Collins combine for 7 sacks,(received)and 3 INT's. I like the Titans to score on a Bo Scaife TD catch with 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Why Bo? Why not?!


Rambler: Remember the Titans? It seems like everybody is forgetting the Titans and they shouldn’t be. I admit when I first heard the Titans were still undefeated earlier in the season, I was like “The Titans?” That’s only in the movie, but they’ve shocked me and I think they will continue to shock despite a tough Baltimore D.

I’m also admittedly playing the homer card here, with Kerry Collins, who played at Penn State.

The Titans might not be remembered after next week, but they get by the Ravens this week, 14-10.

Chris: The Titans seem like a paper tiger to me. Sure they have great defensive numbers and a good running game. But their passing isn't that good and their third down conversion rate sucks as well.

On the other side we have the vaunted Raven defense, and surprise an offense that led the league in time of possession. That is not a good combination to try and overcome, especially with that third down thing not favoring Tennessee's offense.

Baltimore wins 32-14, says buh-bye to the Titans, and the dumbest sports catch-phrase ever "who dat" to their opponent next week.

#4 Arizona Cardinals at #2 Carolina Panthers

Matt:This is the Yang to the Baltimore-Tennesee Yin. What is the over on this game?? 60??

The Cards have 3 receivers that can beat you all over the field. It will be up to the Carolina D-line to put some pressure on Kurt "Oh yeah, I ruined your fantasy season" Warner.

The difference in this game is that Carolina has a running game, and Arizona runs onto the field before the game. Look for Steve Smith to rack up 140 yards, and Williams to punch it in for 2 TD's.


Rambler: Speaking of “In America,”
"Only in America can that happen"
said former Amsterdam Admiral coach Al Luginbill in this interview about former Admiral teammates Kurt Warner and Jake Delhomme playing against each other in this weekend’s playoffs.

All the talk is about Anquan Boldin being questionable for Saturday night’s game. However, I think Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston can hold their own, plus Edgerrin James, whom I had earlier in the fantasy football season, is finally coming alive, thanks, Edge. Nice timing, you nappy-headed jerk. The last time these two teams played, the Panthers won 27-23.

This time I give the edge to the Cardinals, despite a valiant effort by Delhomme, Smith and the defense, 27-24.

Chris: Atlanta's defense blew last week's game. There was no pressure on Warner, and their secondary was making all the tackles. Is it any wonder the Cardinals averaged 6.0 points per play?

This week is a different story. Granted, the Panthers have not put up a ton of stats and in fact have an inferior passing game yet they almost beat the Giants for the #1 seed. There's a lot more determination and dare I say grit in the Carolina locker room.

Panthers win 31-20 and crack their knuckles hoping for a potential re-match with the New York football Giants.

#6 Philadelphia Eagles at #1 New York Giants

Matt: Tis a shame that this game is in the semi's of the NFC round. These are my 2 favorites in the NFC.

The Eagles offense gets the pub, but the real hero is the defense of Philly which is sound and stout. The Giants lost 3 of 4 heading into the post-season, and didn't put much on the scoreboard in those 3 losses.

Throw in the fact that this game is not on the road for the Giants, and that I still can't stand Eli for dissing the Bolts on draft day---and the Giants will take a tumble.


Rambler: As far as where I live, I’m split on this one: I live in Pennsylvania, but near the New York border. You actually find some Giants fans here as well as Yankees fans. But I’m going to be a homer again (I know, by now, you are completely shocked) and go with the Eagles. They are on a roll.

I think the Giants feel the loss of Plaxico Burress here and Donovan and Company win 27-21 keeping up their end of the bargain for a possible Pennsylvania-Pennsylvania matchup in the Super Bowl. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

Chris: Arguably the best rivalry in football but one team has a Cinderella feel...

Or at least my cohorts in these predictions believe. Phili? Really?

The Giants have not played well down the stretch but they have had issues and a season of every game being tough due to being the champs. When you win it all in the NFL everyone wants to beat you next year after all. Heck, that is true in any sport.

The problem is the Eagles are playing on house money but they have one chance to win: exploit Brandon Jacob's excitement. He's been fired up in practice all week and the coaches had to tell him to relax.

Then again Jacobs is like a brick wall running down the field. Giants win 30-17 and get ready for the rematch with the Panthers.

#4 San Diego Chargers at #2 Pittsburgh Steelers

Matt: This one is going to get ugly...and fast. I realize that Dennis "What you talking about Willis" Sproles went hog-wild last week for over 300 all-purpose yards.

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh will shut him down from the outset. Their defense is tough and hits hard. This will put pressure on Rivers to win the game himself....which will lead to 3 INT's and a beat-down in the cold of Pittsburgh.

San Diego--13

Rambler: If you think I’m just going to go with Pittsburgh, just because I’m from Pennsylvania, then you’re wrong. Yes, that’s part of the reason, sure, plus I grew up a Pittsburgh Steeler fan. And you know what Charlie Daniels says about laying a hand on a Pittsburgh Steeler fan…if you don’t, then let Charlie break it down for you:

But the emotion and CD’s great guitar aside, the reason I’m going with the Steelers is their defense and their passing game. Like all four games this weekend, it won’t be an easy one…
…but the Steelers get ready to roll to the Super Bowl with a 21-14 victory over the Chargers at home.

Chris: The key for the Chargers is pressure on Big Ben, something they have not done well at all season. It also doesn't help that LT has a torn groin. I guess that saves on internet porn subscriptions so there's an upside.

I just don't see how San Diego wins unless Pittsburgh screws up big time. The Steelers win 28-20 and have a week to figure out how to score on Baltimore in the AFC Championship game.

Do you have a prediction for the Wild Card round of the 2009 NFL Playoffs? Post it in the comments and join in on the fun.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Now That Fantasy Football Is Over

HBFFL has some ideas to pass the time until NFL training camp opens up in July. One thing not to do is make really lame lol pics like the one above.

Do a Puzzle

Okay, who the hell put this one in? A puzzle? Really? While you are at why don’t you invite Grandma over for some pinochle and remind her to bring extra ribbon candy.

Oh and tell her thanks for the Christmas card with the coins in it. No, really, thanks.

Play Fantasy Hockey

Ha ha ha ha. You might as well play fantasy Soccer.

Taunt Your League in the Off Season

So what if you finished ninth? Send your league mates email taunts and verbal jabs declaring how awesome you will be next season.

They will rue the day they beat you by twenty points twice last year. They will probably also issue a restraining order but don’t let obstacles deter you.

Watch Lost

Man what a show, and it’s coming back in a few weeks. I really want to know how Marshall and Holly got off the island. Will the sleestacks be able to find their former home after it got moved by Ben?

No Cha-ka! Don’t eat Walt!

Read our Postseason Predictions

Sure they are not fantasy but they are football. You could even pretend the analysis and predictions are about your fantasy team. You could even dress up like your favorite team mascot while reading them. We might think this is delusional but we tend to be opinionated.

I could go on all day, so why don't you tell us what you plan on doing in the offseason in the comments section? Someone will read them, promise. Okay I think someone will.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 NFL Playoff Predictions: Wild Card Week

It is playoff time and while people like you and me will be enjoying the postseason, the NFL is wondering where the hell all the major tv market teams are. Good thing the Giants are in right Roger Goodell?

Last season I headed up the predictions on my own blog but sports over there results in the blog version of crickets and tumbleweeds. Much better fit here.

This year I am joined by fellow fantasy league members Unfinished Rambler and Matt a.k.a The Hypocritical One and at some point this post-season Rickey Henderson.

Let's get to the predictions shall we?

#5 Indianapolis Colts at #4 San Diego Chargers

Matt: I honestly think these may be the 2 hottest teams in the AFC. Indy is on a tear, and beat everybody to get to the playoffs. San Diego was written off as dead, but now has new life. Unfortunately, Tomlinson isn't healthy, and Norv Turner likes to lose big games. Indy will continue their role in So Cal this weekend.


Rambler: The Chargers are coming off a huge thrashing of the Broncos that cost Mike Shanahan his job; the Colts, off a not surprising shellacking of the Bengals that will probably see the end of T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s career as a Bengal. Sproles and LT combined for over 200 yards, with surprisingly Sproles stealing the show with 115 yards last week.

As of Wednesday, LT is listed with a sore groin, but he and Sproles will stick kick the Colts, with whom I’m not that impressed, where it hurts—and um, leave an impression.

Prediction: Expect the Chargers to light it up at home, and roll again, 47-21. Sorry, no Manning vs. Manning matchup in the Super Bowl this year.

Chris: Chargers play the Colts? Bad news for San Diego. Sproles has done very well replacing both Turner and LT but they need a 100% Tomlinson, something we have not seen in two postseasons now. Emmitt Smith played with a separated shoulder for crying out loud.

An NFL playoff team has to have a hell of a defense if they do not have a good running game in order to win. With an ailing LT and a pass defense that is shaky at best the Chargers will have a hard time trying to stop Indy's array of offensive weapons. Oh and Bob Sanders is back.

The Colts' playoff experience and their offensive weapons will be too much for the Chargers. Indy wins 35-10 and faces Pittsburgh next week.

#6 Baltimore Ravens at #3 Miami Dolphins

Matt: Miami has the Wildcat offense, Bill Parcells, and a QB who won the "most improved player" for the 2nd time. (so does that mean he won the crappiest player for 2 years also?) Miami has the press on their side, the nation is cheering for the little guy, and it seems like nothing can go wrong for the fins.

Oh...except Baltimore. The Ravens vaunted defense destroyed any Dolphin offensive game plan when these two teams met earlier in the year, and it will be no different this time.


Rambler: The first time these two teams met, the Baltimore defense (here’s a shocker, because really, who’s ever heard of this defense? Wink, wink) shut down the Miami running game en route to a 27-13 win.

The Dolphins naturally will look to capitalize on Flacco’s inexperience, and get their running game going with Williams. Oh, and Chad Pennington was just named AP Comeback Player of the Year for the second time in three years after embarrassing his successor in New York, Brett Favre. However, I still think the Baltimore D is too much and stops the Dolphins from any more comebacks.

Prediction: The Ravens’ D is too much for Pennington and company in a tight one 17-14.

Chris: What do you know, Miami is in the playoffs and true to form, Bill Parcells takes a team to the postseason with one foot out the door. This time he even got to buy the groceries.

Anyways, a key to this game will be third down conversions. Only eight teams have a worse percentage then Miami, who lack a really good offense and face the brick wall that is the Raven defense. The Dolphins do have Joey Porter though but he is one man.

Baltimore takes care of Miami easily, 30-14 and gets ready for another team that doesn't do well on third down, the Titans.

#5 Atlanta Falcons at #4 Arizona Cardinals

Matt: This match up is the battle of the "ugly step-sisters." On one hand you have a story of an over-achieving QB leading his team to the playoffs. On the other hand, you have the story of an over-achieving QB leading his team to the playoffs.

So which over-achieving QB will triumph?? I'll take Kurt "I screwed over all my fantasy owners over the last month of the season" Warner over Matt "just happy to be here" Ryan.

Arizona has no running game, and will be soundly trounced in the next round...but they are at home against a newby QB.

Rambler: Michael Turner vs. Kurt Warner. What? Isn’t that how everybody else is touting this? Well, I am. Sixteen hundred yards and what do you get? Another day to play and deeper into the playoffs, that’s what you get. Kurt Warner’s got the playoff experience, of course, but his team? Plllllllease.

Prediction: Say goodbye, Kurt. 42-10.

Chris: Never mind the Cardinals winning, will the home fans be able to watch the game? The NFL extended the blackout deadline to Friday afternoon but that might not be enough.

This is an interesting matchup because Arizona has a crappy running game and Atlanta doesn't force a lot of turnovers which points to a lot of passing. I forsee a lot of frequent filer miles being racked up.

The Falcons pull out the win 42-37 and keep one of the three top-ten tv markets involved in the NFL playoffs.

#6 Philadelphia Eagles at #3 Minnesota Vikings

Matt: Tarvaris Jackson is the Tecmo Super Bowl equivalent of Bernie Kosar. He is terrible, and will single-handedly lead a good Minnesota team to ruin.
If you're in the NFC, is there any team you want to face less than the Eagles?? They were in shambles a little over a month ago, and now are playing like world-beaters. They made a talented Cowboys team look like the Clippers of the NFL.


Rambler: Adrian Peterson vs. Donovan McNabb/Brian Westbrook? Seventeen hundred yards and what do you get? Unlike Turner, I don’t think you get another day to play. What?!? I know, I must be crazy and a homer because I live in Pennsylvania, but I’m going with the Iggles in this one. McNabb/Westbrook have been too much all season. It doesn’t stop now. I won’t say it’s going to be easy though.

Prediction: 42-39, Eagles continue to soar.

Chris: Andy Reid is a genius. We have never seen a pissed-off Donovan McNabb before and look at the results. A happy Donovan didn't work. The puking version in the 2005 Super Bowl wasn't a success either.

Reid should bench him more often.

Like my partners in the predictions I also find a lack of faith in Jackson not disturbing. He is the Vikings' Achilles heel after all but really is more like a Jekyll and Hyde type player.

Expect Hyde to show up on Minnesota's side, McNabb to stay mad and the Eagles to win 28-14 leading long-time radio announcer Merrill Reese to yell out “Herschel Walker!” while Via Sikahema puts on his boxing gloves.

Do you have a prediction for the Wild Card round of the 2009 NFL Playoffs? Post it in the comments and join in on the fun.