NFL Week 13 Picks: Scottie vs. Matt

Matt is running out of time…

Last week Scottie went 10-6 and I posted a 9-7 record.  Overall, Scottie is 118-57-1 and I am pissed off at 113-62-1.  I’m 5 games down at this point, but I’m not rolling over.  Although, that bar tab is becoming more and more of a realization.  But at the end of the day I know one thing to be true, I’m the man and Scottie sucks.  Let’s do it Scottie…

Saints @ Falcons

Scottie: Saints

I am going with the upset pick on Thursday Night Football.  The Saints need this game more than the Falcons do. If they lose tonight, their season is over.  I expect Jimmy Graham to have a huge game after being on the side of a milk carton last week.  I think the Saints have finally bought in to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnolo, and believe they are poised to make a run this last month of the season.

Matt: Falcons

I think Matty Ryan and the Falcons will be using Thursday night’s battle as a statement game.  They know the Saints have their number.  They know the Saints are the only team to beat them in 2012.  They know what they need to do to get the job done.

Jaguars @ Bills

Scottie: Jaguars

The Bills will not be able to cover Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts.  The Bills D has been routinely toasted this season and their offense simply can’t keep up with the whooping the opposition is laying on their defense.  Can’t believe I am going to say this next sentence: Chad Henne is going to have a field day in Buffalo.

Matt: Bills

The Bills at home are not the same team as the Bills away.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Shorts and Blackmon do toast the Bills defense, but I think CJ Spiller will have a monster day and lead the Bills to victory.

Seahawks @ Bears

Scottie: Bears

I cringe whenever I am forced to pick the Bears.  While their record is really impressive at 8-3, I just can’t say they are as good as what their record says they are.  I understand that makes zero sense whatsoever.  It makes even less sense that I feel forced to pick them.  But I believe my theory that rookie quarterbacks don’t win on the road is actually a fact.

Matt: Bears

The Seahawks on the road are not the same as the Seahawks at home.  I am just going to keep repeating myself apparently.  The Bears have an 8-3 record, but I have to agree with Scottie by saying that they really don’t meet the eye test.  With that being said, I think the Bears defense will shut down Seattle’s offense en route to a win.

49ers @ Rams

Scottie: 49ers

My usual reason for picking against the Rams is Sam Bradford being under center.  “I am sure glad we have Sam Bradford and two number one draft picks instead of RGIII” -No one. Ever.  Call me crazy, my disdain for Sam Bradford aside, I am really starting to love the 49ers.  They could be playing the All-Pro team this Sunday and I’d pick the Niners.  Kaepernick gives the 49ers what they have been missing, the big play quarterback.  Watch out NFC.

Matt: Rams

Let’s go Scottie.  My boy Bradford against your new boy Kaepernick.  See who wins.

Cardinals @ Jets

Scottie: Jets

I didn’t know who Ryan Lindey was until last week.  I couldn’t tell you anything about him now other than he is the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.  I don’t care that the Jets have the least talented roster in all of professional sports.  I think they will avenge their Thanksgiving Night embarrassment and beat the Cardinals.

Matt: Jets

If any other team was headed in to play the Jets this week I would probably be going with the road team.  Sadly, I can’t jump on the Ryan Lindey bandwagon.  The Cardinals passing game, or lack thereof, is absolutely killing Larry Fitz’s fantasy value, and is destroying the Cardinals once promising start.  Imagine how dismal the situation in Philly would be if Kolb was still the backup there.  No hope for the future.  Anyways, Fireman Ed misses a win this Sunday.

Colts @ Lions

Scottie: Lions

While I have really liked the Colts this season and the Lions have largely been a disappointment, I am forced to go against conventional wisdom and take the Lions here.  The Colts can’t stop a nose bleed let alone Calvin Johnson.  I also don’t like rookie quarterbacks on the road.

Matt: Colts

The Lions are demoralized after that Thanksgiving day flop against the Texans.  Schwartz just blew his foot off with a shotgun.  By the way, am I the only one that thinks Suh’s kick to Schaub’s nuts wasn’t intentional?  The dude got cut blocked and his leg was just headed in the wrong direction.  I think Luck tears apart a shaky Lions defense and the Colts send the house to cover Calvin Johnson.

Vikings @ Packers

Scottie: Packers

I learned my lesson last week.  Just because my buddy Marc is an intimidating man towering over me, demanding I pick the Vikings in an upset, I don’t have to actually listen to him.  I will not make the same mistake twice. I doubt Percy Harvin will play.  The new Percy Harvin (Randall Cobb) will continue to tear it up.  The Packers will recover from their embarrassing loss to the Giants last week.

Matt: Packers

Great move last week Scottie.  I told you the Vikings weren’t dangerous without Harvin and you just don’t listen.  The Packers are hitting their stride at just the right time (although last weeks game was ugly).  I expect that Packers offense to get back on track against Minnesota’s defense.  The Packs’ lack of healthy defensive stars scares me a bit, but for some reason I’m not scared by Christian Ponder.

Texans @ Titans

Scottie: Texans

I was really hoping the Texans would have a somewhat tougher schedule the last month of the season.  Their defense has been getting picked apart in recent weeks and is cause for concern.  When it comes playoff time, they won’t have the luxury of playing the cupcakes they have had all season long.  While they win this week, they are a quick out in the playoffs.

Matt: Texans

Sorry CV, doesn’t look good for the Titans for the 13th consecutive week.  The Texans won a game they should have lost on Thanksgiving (which hurts pretty bad for all of us Pats fans trying to get that #1 seed) and are lucky enough to have 10 days to prepare for a questionable Titans defense.

Panthers @ Chiefs

Scottie: Panthers

The Chiefs are the worst team in the NFL.  They are in cruise control for the number 1 pick in the draft.  The Panthers showed they can at least beat teams that have given up on the season (see Eagles).  They will do it again this week.

Matt: Panthers

I agree completely with what Scottie said above.  The Panthers can beat bad teams, and the Chiefs are a bad team.

Patriots @ Dolphins

Scottie: Patriots

The Patriots are coming into their own over recent weeks.  They are coming off of 2 absolute laughers.  Vince Wilfork is throwing opposing offensive linemen into their quarterback.  Brady is getting protection that rivals that provided the Queen of England and shredding defenses.  I hate to sound like the overconfident and cocky Patriots fan, but the Dolphins really have no shot in this one.  Belichick orders rookie quarterbacks off the menu at Denny’s.

Matt: Patriots

Tannehill his the rookie wall.  Belichick is undefeated in the 2nd half of the season over the last 3 seasons.  Belichick feasts on rookie quarterbacks.  The Dolphins suck.  Pats win.

Bucs @ Broncos

Scottie: Broncos

I have gone back and forth on this all week.  Anyone who has read this column over the course of the season knows my infatuation with the Bucs.  The problem is I believe in Peyton Manning.  I can’t see him losing at home.  The Broncos are trying to get a first round bye in the playoffs and they won’t let the Bucs get in their way.

Matt: Broncos

Touch matchup here.  The Bucs are pretty hot, but the Broncos are on fire.  The Broncos defense is among the league’s best in a variety of categories.  The Broncos offense is performing wonderfully with Peyton Manning at the helm (although the McGahee injury hurts them badly).  The Bucs have been good, but I’m interested to see how they perform on the road, in a cold hostile environment.  Advantage, Peyton.

Browns @ Raiders

Scottie: Raiders

Who cares? Taking the Raiders because they are the home team.  This will also make Timmy B and Marcos happy.  Shameless shoutout right there.

Matt: Raiders

Awful.  Who cares?  Good question Scottie.  The Raiders are the better of these two questionable teams.

Bengals @ Chargers

Scottie: Bengals

Love Andy Dalton. Hate Phillip Rivers.  The Bengals have gotten hot over recent weeks while the Chargers still employ Norv Turner.  Until the Chargers realize that Norv Turner has had the franchise running in place the last 10 years or so, they will continue to stay right where they are.  Because that is what happens when you run in place, right?

Matt: Chargers

At home, I think the Chargers get this one done.  I haven’t been able to rely on the Chargers all year, however the Bengals haven’t been very reliable either.  I like the Andy Dalton, AJ Green combo, however I think the Chargers are due for a win.

Steelers @ Ravens

Scottie: Ravens

The Steelers couldn’t get by the Browns last week without Big Ben.  Charlie Batch has to be in his late 70’s and guys that old just can’t play quarterback in the NFL.  He reminds me of Abe Vigoda from the 2010 Super Bowl Snickers commercial.  All that being said, everyone knows I am high on the Ravens. What isn’t to love?  Ray Rice converts 4th and 30’s with the ease of a gazelle frolicking through the Great Plains.

Matt: Ravens

The Steelers are coming off of a bad loss against Cleveland, a game they should have won even without Big Ben at the helm.  This week they may get Ben back, but I’m not sure that it matters.  The Ravens offense has sputtered as of late, but the loss of Ray Lewis hasn’t affected the Ravens defense as much as I anticipated.  I think Flacco and Ray Rice do enough to get the job done at home.

Eagles @ Cowboys

Scottie: Cowboys

Mike Vick looks to be out for the season and his Eagles career is likely over.  DeSean Jackson is out for the year with a rib injury.  LeSean McCoy might also be out.  Yes, Bryce Brown was a monster last week, but not monster enough to lead the woeful Eagles to a victory.  The same will ring true this week.  How the Cowboys are still in the playoff conversation baffles me.  The Cowboys are less injured than the Eagles and are actually playing for something.  It’s a travesty this is the Sunday night game.

Matt: Cowboys

If the Cowboys actually played challenging games on a weekly basis, they would have no shot at a playoff spot, because they aren’t a playoff caliber team.  With that being said, the Eagles certainly don’t present a challenge.  As far as I know, Vick looks like he’ll be out again this week, and with McCoy hurting (and not DeSean Jackson down), the Eagles don’t have much of a chance.

Giants @ Redskins

Scottie: Giants

Tom Coughlin’s crew is at it again.  They are going to go on a tear over the last month of the season and into the playoffs.  Eli is an elite quarterback, Victor Cruz is a top 5 receiver, and the defense is stout.  I think they can bottle up RGIII on Monday night.  Wonder if Victor Cruz will show some love to the great alma mater of Matty and I this weekend.  The La Salle Academy takes on Hendricken in the Rhode Island Divison I Super Bowl on Sunday.

Matt: Giants

I don’t think the Giants are the same team this year as they were last year.  Granted, every year they make a Super Bowl run I feel as though I say the same thing.  I believe the Giants win this game because the Redskins secondary can’t stop a Scottie jump shot (why Jim Haslett is still employed is beyond me) and the Giants defensive line is athletic enough to slow RGIII down.

I can be followed on Twitter @ScottieNTCF

Matt played with Barbie as a kid, and still does.

Scottie is funny…or not

5 Things We Know About the Boston Celtics

I admit, I have slacked off the past week and let down the NTCF faithful, with zero Celtics coverage from the last 3 games.  I simp,y don’t have an excuse for this transgression.  But I am ready to move on.

The Celtics were 2-1 in the last three games that I did not provide a recap.  They lost to the Spurs, followed that with their best win of the season against the Thunder, and then beat the Magic in overtime. The Celtics are 14 games into their 2012-2013 campaign with an 8-6 record, good for fourth in their division, and 8th in the Eastern Conference.  In 14 games, I can tell you 10 things about the 2012-2013 Boston Celtics.

1) Rajon Rondo is good for at least 10 assists a game

Forget the streak.  Rondo is getting double-digit assists without any real trepidation because these assists are coming in the flow of the offense.  Thank you to Adam Lowenstein (@StatsAdam), who answered my question via Twitter when I asked who Rondo has found the most during this streak going into last night.  The answer? Paul Pierce with 112.  Kevin Garnett 110. Brandon Bass 79.  Rondo routinely gets guys open looks.  Think about how many wide open shots the Celtics miss.  10 assists a night is Clockwork Rondo.

2) Jeff Green is consistently inconsistent

One night Jeff Green looks like a young Paul Pierce, the next night he looks like Jerome Moiso (if you don’t know who he is, you aren’t a true Celtic fan).  Here are Jeff Green’s point totals in 14 games: 3, 11, 11, 6, 4, 12, 7, 16, 5, 9, 6, 5, 17, and 1.  The Celtics have zero idea what they are going to get from him night in and night out.  The fact that he isn’t rebounding (2.7 a game) makes his inconsistent offensive output all the more glaring.  Anyone who has read me since the season starts knows I love Jeff Green.  But facts must be acknowledged.  My love for him is without reason at the current time.

3) The Celtics perimeter defense does not exist

The Celtics have gotten killed by the 3 ball so far this season.  Here comes more game by game stats: Here is what the opposition shot from 3 and how made 3 pointers were made versus the Celtics:

Heat 50%, 8.     Bucks 44.4%, 8.    Wizards 30%, 6.    Wizards 34.5%, 10.     76ers 53.8%, 7.   Bucks, 15%, 3.    Bulls 33.3%,  3.

Jazz 46.7%, 7.    Nets   36.4%, 8.  Raptors 36.4%, 8.    Pistons 36.4%  4.       Spurs 50%, 8.     Thunder  25%, 6   Magic 42.3% 11.

The Celtics are giving up about 24 points a game from 3.  In my opinion, that is much to high a number.  The return of Avery Bradley will help the Celtics leaps and bounds on the defensive end of the floor.  There have been reports that the Celts are looking to bring back Mickael Pietrus to help defend that perimeter. My hope is the Celtics go after a big man to fill the roster spot left open by Darko’s leaving the team.  But if the Celtics can’t defend opposing guards, Danny might be forced to bring back Air France.

4) Leandro Barbosa is instant offense

I find myself getting excited when I see #12 checking into the game.  He is lightning fast and has the ability to put up points in a hurry.  He isn’t a traditional point guard, but I am starting to think that is working in his favor.  He has been getting to the rack at will, and has the ability to find the glass on all of his shots.  He is averaging only 7 points a game, but has had 3 games where he has put up 15 or more points.  He is an added dimension the Celtics have not had in a long time. It is always nice to have scoring off the bench.

5) The Boston Celtics can’t rebound

What scares me most about the lack of rebounding illustrated by the Celtics 14 games into the season?  This is the same weakness that hurt them in the playoffs last season.  Opposing teams are getting on average 10 second chances a game.  That is simply inexcusable.  Once again, it’ll be interesting to see what Danny does with Darko’s now vacant roster spot.  Do you take a flyer on Kenyon Martin to beef up the front line? Do you put together a trade package for Marcin Gortat?  That package is likely to include Avery Bradley with another roster player.  The Celtics tend to play undersized and their bigs aren’t overly athletic.  There is no easy solution to this problem.  Until it is fixed, the Celtics will not get out of the Eastern Conference come playoff time.

I can be followed on Twitter @ScottieNTCF

NFL Week 12 Picks: Scottie vs. Matt

Well, my attempts to shorten the gap last week were foiled by another solid performance out of this joker Scottie.  Both Scottie and I went 12-2, so Scottie’s overall record is 108-51-1 and I’m at 104-55-1.  I’m 4 games back, but with the way Scottie is picking these games it’s going to be a struggle to close the gap.  With that being said, if Ed Cooley can lure Brandon Austin to PC, I can make this happen.  Let’s do it…

Matty is slowly realizing that I am an NFL games picking guru.  He is running out of time and he knows it.  This Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for having the talents I do to be successful in my picks.  I am also thankful for having a whipping boy like Matty to illustrate just how good I am.

Texans @ Lions

Scottie: Texans

The Texans have the chance to clinch a playoff spot with a win today.  They won’t waste any time in doing so.  The Lions have not been able to put their talent together in a way that would make them a victorious team.  The Texans offense will have its way with the Lions and they will show last week’s nail-biting win over a terrible Jaguars team was just a hiccup.

Matt: Texans

The Texans had a bit of a scare last week when Chad Henne decided to throw for 10,000 yards in one game.  I think this game turns into a shootout, but the Texans D is able to close it out in the end.

Redskins @ Cowboys

Scottie: Redskins

It baffles me the Cowboys are still in the playoff hunt.  They have been saddled with injuries to key players all year.  Maybe I am drunk that RGIII kool-aid but I think he thrives in the national spotlight.  He will lead the Skins to victory over the Boys in Big D.

Matt: Cowboys

RGIII is a good story down there in Washington.  The Redskins have little hope of making a playoff run.  On the other hand, the Cowboys are fully focused on making a playoff run and always tend to put on a good show for the Thanksgiving Day national audience.  Rob Ryan devises a master plan for RGIII and the ‘Boys take it.

Patriots @ Jets

Scottie: Patriots

This is a quick turnaround for both teams.  The talk in New England all week is the loss of Rob Gronkowski.  Yes, it is a loss but not as big as people are making it out to be.  Remember when everyone was making fun of Belichick for all the tight ends he stockpiled in the off season? Who is laughing now?  Patriots have way too much talent.  The Jets have zero talent.  Talent wins.  Matty is an idiot.

Matt: Jets

I feel like every year the Pats and Jets split the season series.  It pisses me off like nothing else because the Pats are always the best team.  With that being said, Gronk is our biggest weapon against the Jets and without him in there, I think the Pats’ offense will struggle.

Titans @ Jaguars

Scottie: Jaguars

Chad Henne is starting a 6 week audition to be the starting quarterback of the Jaguars in 2013.  This will end the Blaine Gabbert experiment.  Justin Blackmon finally arrived last week with a monster game.  Cecil Shorts has been a nice surprise down in Jacksonville.  CV’s birthday present from the Titans? A loss to one of the worst teams in the league.

Matt: Titans

I can’t do it.  I just can’t bring myself to pick the Jaguars.  You could throw Montana in his prime out there and I’m still going with the Titans.

Bills @ Colts

Scottie: Colts

The Colts are fresh off a brutal beating at the hands of the Patriots.  Even with that mind, I am impressed with Andrew Luck.  The Colts will be able to spread the field against the woeful Bills defense and turn the game into flag football. Remember the Colts are still in the playoff hunt as well.

Matt: Colts

As Andrew Luck and the Colts are licking their wounds, they are boosted by a shaky Buffalo squad coming into town.  The Bills snuck out a win last week against the Dolphins, but Tannehill doesn’t play in Indy.  Luck gets the job done.

Steelers @ Browns

Scottie:  Steelers

I want to pick the Browns here.  I really do.  Charlie Batch is starting for Pittsburgh.  Their offense is rather shaky.  The Browns are playing at home.  But the Browns have shown they can’t close out games.  Pittsburgh is still in the playoff hunt.  The game means more to Pitt.  I am trying to talk myself into this decision if you can’t tell.

Matt: Steelers

See above post for the Jaguars.  You could put Scottie under center for the Steelers and I’m still picking Pitt in this one.

Raiders @ Bengals

Scottie: Bengals

Carson Palmer is coming back to his old stomping grounds.  I don’t think it will be a happy return for him.  Andy Dalton knows where his bread is buttered and that’s AJ Green.  Palmer has no such weapons on offense.  I don’t see the Raiders coming into Cincy and getting a win.

Matt: Raiders

The Raiders suck.  The Bengals suck.  Carson Palmer has been having a decent year, as has Andy Dalton.  I have no idea who to pick in this one, so I’m blindly going with Oakland.

Broncos @ Chiefs

Scottie: Broncos

Last week, Matty finally realized the Broncos are an elite team.  I am hoping after his colossal blunder in picking the putrid Chiefs last week that he learned a few things.  C’mon Matty, this is an easy one, don’t mess it up.  The Willis McGahee era looks to be over in Denver.  Remember the name Ronnie Hillman.  The youngest player in the NFL has the potential to be great.

Matt: Broncos

I took a flyer last week on the Chiefs and they disappointed big time against the Bengals.  This week, with Peyton Manning coming to town, the Broncos will get the job done.  The McGahee injury hurts Denver, but Peyton has been plenty successful without a run game in the past.

Seahawks @ Dolphins

Scottie: Seahawks

The Dolphins have been a disappointment the past 2 weeks.  I was high on their defense, but they have been bad lately.  I don’t know why, but I was liking Tannehill, and I was wrong on that one.  My rule of thumb is to pick Seattle when they are at home and against them when they are on the road.  But this week, the Seattle defense will give Tannehill fits.

Matt: Seahawks

The Seahawks are great at home and not so great on the road.  The Dolphins aren’t great at home and they have Tannehill under center.  It looked like the Dolphins’ rookie QB was making some strides earlier in the season, but after that Buffalo game he may be hitting that rookie wall.

Falcons @ Buccaneers

Scottie: Buccaneers

The Bucs have been a very exciting team the past month.  I think they might be the hottest team in football right now.  Matt Ryan killed his MVP hopes last week throwing 5 picks.  I don’t know if I would call this an upset pick, especially with the Bucs being at home, but I really like the Bucs.

Matt: Falcons

Doug Martin and Josh Freeman have become quite the combo in Tampa Bay.  Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Mike Turner help form arguably the best offense in the league.  I think this one is going to be close on Tampa’s home field, but the Falcons are just damn good.

Vikings @ Bears

Scottie: Vikings

The Vikings were able to win without Percy Harvin against the Lions in Week 10.  They even threw up 34 points.  The Bears were awful on Monday night against the Niners.  While Percy Harvin was my early season MVP, the Vikings have shown they are able to win without him.  The Bears just can’t win with Jason Campbell under center.  I have to give credit to my buddy Marc on this pick.  He told me this was his money in the bank upset special.  When he talks, I listen.  After all he is 6’7.

Matt: Bears

The Bears got beaten like Scott Patterson does in life on Monday night against the 49ers, and are missing Jay Cutler more and more every day.  Cutler’s health will be huge factor in this game, but I think the more important injury is Percy Harvin for the Vikings.  Harvin hasn’t practiced this week, and his absence against a stout Bears D will be difficult to overcome.

Ravens @ Chargers

Scottie: Ravens

It may not be pretty, but the Ravens continue to win.  Ray Rice ran for 40 yards on 20 carries last week.  Flacco was just as bad and the Ravens still got the most important stat of them all, the W.  Phillip Rivers has finally found a target in Danario Alexander.  That is all well and good, but that connection, doesn’t help the Chargers get a W this week.

Matt: Ravens

The Chargers are unraveling.  Philip Rivers walked off the field last week before the game was even over.  He’s sick of Norv Turner.  I don’t even like the Chargers and I’m sick of Norv Turner.  God, that man is ugly.  Anyways, Flacco and Ray Ray should have a big day against a mediocre Chargers defense.

Rams @ Cardinals

Scottie: Cardinals

The Rams lost to the Jets last week.  The Jets.  Bradford was 23-44 for 170 yards.  What a sexy line from Sammy!  Bradford might be without his binky, Danny Amendola on Sunday.  I am getting back to my roots and the facts on this one.  The Rams suck.  Bradford sucks more.  Cardinals win.

Matt: Rams

Scottie falls more and more in love with Sam Bradford every day, and I love it.  Bradford is a beast.  Guy gets the job done with Scottie and Me as his two wideouts.  Larry Fitz’s production has hit the shitter.  The Cards would be better off with a punter at quarterback.  Ken Whisenhunt will be fired.  Kevin Kolb makes way too much money.  Larry Fitz gets traded to the Pats.  Oh billy!!

49ers @ Saints

Scottie: Saints

I am going with the upset here.  I don’t think the 49ers stout defense will be able to slow down the high-flying Saints attack.  This will be a shootout.  Colin Kapernick will have a nice game but he is just to raw to keep up with Drew Brees.  Whatever the case may be, I am excited to see what happens in this game.

Matt: 49ers

The 49ers with Kapernick may be better than the 49ers with Alex Smith.  I mean it’s a small sample size, but the kid looked good last week.  He has mobility, and with some experience looks as though he can sling the old pigskin a bit.  I think the 49ers can at least slow the Saints offense and the Saints d won’t be able to contain my man Frank Gore.

Packers @ Giants

Scottie: Giants

This is another game that will be fun to watch.  The Giants have been out of synch the past few weeks but are coming off a bye.  It is always difficult to pick against my fantasy quarterback, but that is what I am doing here.  I think the Giants were able to get their stuff together and are poised to make their run at another Super Bowl.  Plus, Victor Cruz gave my high school, (The La Salle Academy) a shout out on Twitter last week.  I owe it to him.

Matt: Packers

This will be a great game.  These two teams don’t like each other.  They are both battling for the top seed in the NFC.  Aaron Rodgers plays great in the cold.  Eli plays great in big games.  The deciding factor in this game will be the Packers run game.  If the Pack can at least keep the Giants D-Line honest with a few productive runs, they win.  If not, the Giants’ D line will pin their ears back make life miserable for Aaron Rodgers.

Panthers @ Eagles

Scottie: Panthers

I don’t understand how Matty could type a paragraph about the most meaningless game of the week.  This will be Andy Reid’s last game as the head coach of the Eagles.

Matt: Panthers

It’s looking like Vick will be out again, and the previously proclaimed rookie prodigy Nick Foles will be starting for Philly again.  What I don’t understand is how people who are supposedly knowledgeable about football continue to put stock in how players perform in the preseason.  Preseason does not matter!  Nick Foles lit it up this year, and struggled big time last week.  It happens all of the time.  Why people don’t understand that is beyond me.  Anyways, the Eagles are a defeated team that now looks like they are lacking in confidence completely.  On the other hand, the Panthers are just trying to salvage the season week by week.  I think Cam Newton gets it done against a porous Eagles defense.

I can be followed on Twitter @Scottientcf

Matty is a male nurse.

Scottie’s Recap: Celtics Succumb to Trap Game, Pistons

I chalk the Celtics 103-83 loss to the Pistons as the Celtics being nothing more than victims of a trap game on a cold shooting night. There is no other reason why the Celtics would lose to the now 2-9 Detroit Pistons. From the opening tip, the Celtics weren’t into the game and to tell you the truth, as a fan, I wasn’t up for it either.  The game was the last of a 4 games in 5 night stretch.  Fatigue may have been a problem but then again, the Celtics coasted to an easy victory over the Raptors the previous day.  The Celtics do have two tough games ahead in the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. Maybe they got caught up in looking past the Pistons.  Whatever the case may be, the Celtics lost by 20 to the woeful Pistons.

The Celtics shot 45% from the field, 23% and 23% from distance.  The normally consistent Brandon Bass was 3-9 from the field.  It felt a lot worse than that.  I have come to know him as one of the more consistent shooters on the Celtics over the past two seasons.  His 18 foot jumper is usually money in the bank.  Jason Terry was 1-6 from the floor and was 0-4 from deep.  The 4 three pointers he missed all felt like shots that could have changed the game.  He was found in transition, was wide open, but simply couldn’t knock down the shot.

Rajon Rondo barely kept his 10 assist a game streak going.  He got his 10 assists but 3 of them were recorded in garbage time.  This wasn’t his fault.  He continues to get his team wide open shots time and time again.  It is not his fault his teammates can’t knock them down.  He found Chris Wilcox for what looked like a wide open dunk.  Wilcox lost the ball as he was going up in the air.  It was just one of those nights.

Jared Sullinger was the team’s highest scorer with 16 points on 7-12 shooting.  He was also a -20 in the box score.  I felt like he and Chris Wilcox were beaten repeatedly on the glass.  The Celtics bigs lack the fundamentals of boxing out properly.  It is such an elementary part of the game and is frustrating to see guys not able to perform such an easy technique.  The Pistons only had 7 offensive rebounds but it felt like a lot more than that.  They did out rebound the Celtics 39-30. Just a frustrating game.

On my way home from work today, I heard Marc Bertrand say that Darko Milicic was leaving the team for the rest of the season to go back to his country to be with his ill mother.  I got home and looked up available free agents.  It seems the Celtics veterans have already beat me to it.  They are lobbying for the team to sign Kenyon Martin according to report by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.  I would love this move if Danny is able to pull it off.  The Celtics need to bulk up their depth in the front court.  They have all the back court depth a team could ask for.  Bringing in Kenyon Martin, if in shape, will take a heavy burden off of KG’s shoulders.  I am all for bringing Kenyon Martin to Boston.

I can be followed on Twitter @ScottieNTCF

Scottie’s Recap: Gino Makes First Appearance of 2012-2013 Season

From time to time I will hand over the controls to our newest writer, Rob.  He will provide a fresh voice on the state of the Celtics to keep mine from going stale.  He did a great job with the Nets game.  Now I am back to talk about the shellacking the Celtics provided the Raptors.

The beloved Gino made his 2012-2013 season debut yesterday afternoon.  2 weeks ago I didn’t think we would see the dancing fiend at all this season.  The combination of the futile Toronto Raptors and the Celtics playing in a rhythm that provided perfect synergy resulted in Gino time.

Rajon Rondo doled out 20 assists after missing the Brooklyn game with an ankle injury.  Not only have I been arguing he is the best point guard in the game today, I think, at the rate he is playing, deserves strong consideration for NBA MVP.  I understand that I am putting him in a conversation normally reserved for LeBron James and Kevin Durant.  At the time of this writing, Rondo averages 13.3 points per game and 13.4 assists per game.  Based on that he is accountable for at least 39 points a game.  Put him in the conversation.

Jared Sullinger was great on Sunday.  I know our good friend Q is going to love watching Sullinger as a Celtic for the next several years.  He compared Sully to Kevin Love before the NBA draft.  That was a comment I mocked him for time and time again.  Then the Celtics drafted him and my haterade drinking ceased.  Now, after games like yesterday, I will have to hear it from Q.  Sullinger had 12 points and more importantly 11 rebounds.  The Celtics have been atrocious rebounding the basketball this season.  For an undersized guy like Jared Sullinger to grab 11 boards, that is very encouraging.  Kevin Love is 6’10 and one of the best rebounders in the game.  Sullinger is 6’9.  If Sullinger can become a microcosm of Kevin Love, I will be ecstatic.

The last thing I took away from yesterday’s game was Doc’s ability to keep minutes down.  The Celtics are coming into today playing their 4th game in 5 days, and second game of a back to back.  Garnett played just 17 minutes, Pierce 25 minutes, and Terry 29 minutes.  Anyone who has talked to me about the Celtics know that my motto for this season is “82 game audition.”  All I want out of the regular season is for the Celtics to stay healthy and build chemistry so they can make real noise in the real season, the playoffs.  Keeping minutes down when they can will be key.  So far, Doc has done just that.

Tonight, the Celtics travel to Detroit to take on the 2nd worst team in the NBA, the Detroit Pistons.

I can be followed on Twitter @ScottieNTCF

Not Scottie’s Recap: Nets defeat the Celtics

Scottie called out, so you’re stuck with me.

I’d be upset, too.

The Rondo-less Celtics played in Brooklyn against a Nets team that had won three straight going into Thursday night. I have to admit that as many other Celtics fans, I wasn’t too hopeful for a win without Rondo, who is possibly the most key piece of this offense.  Just as the Celtics were starting to find some chemistry and just as Doc seemed to find a few lineups that he liked, the man who is averaging 14.6 assists per game is not available.

For me, the game started out pretty hard to watch with the Nets getting several second chances on offense and it really seemed like it was going to be a rough night for the Celts. Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries seemed to have a lot of space inside to do pretty much anything they pleased as far as scoring and rebounding. When I was reminded by the announcers that Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans were the second string, I felt even worse.  The first quarter ended with the Nets putting up 31 points to the Celtics 26.  Things got a little bit better from here.

After the Celtics settled in and started doing some basic fundamental things like boxing-out, the Celtics kept it close for the most part, hung around, and took a lead by the end of the 3rd quarter.  A game that I didn’t expect to be this competitive, came down to the wire. Paul Pierce (82% FT for the year) missed two free-throws consecutively with 34 seconds remaining which would’ve cut the game to a one point deficit.  He came back, after Joe Johnson hit two free throws of his own, and drained a three to bring the Celts within two (99-97).  Fast forward 20 seconds to Jason Terry (86% FT for the year) missing two consecutive free throws of his own and shortly after, the game ended with a 102-97 final.

If this game took place without Rondo, two weeks ago, I would predict a 15+ point victory at this point. Even as young as this season is, several players on this team have already grown mentally to the point where they are showing more confidence and starting to become as crucial to this team as they eventually will be. Jeff Green, while only putting five points on the scoreboard himself, showed some good work on the boards and hit a crucial three with a minute left in the game to bring the Celtics within one point. Regardless of his numbers, you can tell that he’s starting to gain confidence and believe that he can be a force for this team.  Dunking on Al Jefferson’s head will do that, I suppose (See Right).

Courtney Lee put up 13 points and showed some effective aggression that has been needed from him. Jason Terry contributed 10 points and looked a little bit more like Terry we expected to see from day 1.

Let me just get this out there, I love Leandro Barbosa.  He brings Rondo-like energy to the game and has not been apprehensive to do his thing whatsoever.  He is not a great point guard and he may not always make the best decision but he is always at full throttle and wants to score the basketball. It’s unfair to be too critical of him because I don’t think he knows how to run this offense just yet, anyway.

All things considered, this was not a miserable loss.  This was not the same type of loss as the last 3. To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with the Nets, but they have a bunch of talented players and they’re trying to figure out their own formula’s. They will be better the next time the Celts play them. In general, having another team with that much talent in the Atlantic doesn’t make things any easier either.

The Celtics saw several players who they have been waiting to step up, start to do so. We’re starting to learn more about this team each game and there is honestly not one person on this team that I do not like seeing on the court, save Darko. I think that if the Celtics continue to show the confidence that they did in this game, they’re in great shape.  I can’t wait for Avery Bradley to come back and run the floor with Rondo, Terry, Barbosa and Lee.

Are the Celtics a championship contender in the current form? Absolutely not. Are they moving in the right direction while being incredibly fun to watch? I really think so.

The Atlantic division’s worst, Toronto Raptors (2-6) come into Boston on Saturday November, 17th.

NFL Week 11 Picks: Scottie vs. Matt

After a miserable week last week, Scottie has pulled a little further into the lead.  Scottie went 9-4-1 last week, bringing his overall record to 96-49-1.  I went 6-7-1 last week, bringing my overall record to 92-53-1.  I would love to see some comparisons between Scottie and my record vs. the so call experts on ESPN or any other sports network.  I’d be willing to bet Scottie and I are putting up a damn good fight.  I’m back in the zone this week working towards that free bar tab.  Let’s do it…

The Matty O Show was the Matty No Show last week.  Meanwhile, I just continue to straight kill it.  I am consistently awesome.  The truth is, and I hate to brag (I really do), I get 5-10 of my friends texting me throughout the week asking me who is going to win such and such a game.  Does Matty have that kind of rep? Nope.  Nuff said.

Dolphins @ Bills

Scottie: Dolphins

The Dolphins will recover from an embarrassing loss to the Titans last week.  Cameron Wake will get to Fitzpatrick at will. It seems level of education doesn’t translate in the NFL.  Ryan Fitzpatrick has a Harvard education yet he might be the most mistake prone quarterback in the NFL.  That is a long sentence meaning he is a really dumb quarterback.  I expect the Dolphins to take advantage of that.  Reggie Bush is also due to break out of his horrible season.  Why not do it in the national spotlight?

Matt: Bills

The Bills’ offensive output surprised me last week against the past, that being said I think Scottie and I could throw up 21 points against the Pats.  Scottie seems to have more faith in the Dolphins than I do.  The Bills defense isn’t what Buffalo fans thought it would be, but the recipe against Miami is easy.  Stack the box and make Tannehill beat you.

Packers @ Lions

Scottie: Packers

I admit, I have gone back and forth on this game throughout the week.  I learned Clay Matthews was out and I was leaning toward the Lions to get the upset at home.  Then I heard Jordy Nelson is going to play and I changed my mind again.  At the end of the day, I think Green Bay is the better overall team and Aaron Rodgers is a stud.  Advantage: Packers.

Matt: Packers

I had high hopes for the Lions headed into the 2012 season.  After 10 weeks, I no longer have any hopes for the Detroit Lions.  The Lions will play the Packers tough because it’s a division game, however after 60 minutes I expect the Pack to come out on top.

Cardinals @ Falcons

Scottie: Falcons

I was finally right about the Falcons losing last week.  This week they get a chance to get back in the win column with a lay-up against the Cardinals.  The Cardinals may have a good defense but the Falcons offense is high-powered.  Look for Jacquizz Rodgers to get more action because of Michael Turner’s struggles.

Matt: Falcons

I’ll admit it, Scottie was right and I was wrong.  But let’s get one thing straight, Michael Turner really isn’t struggling.  He’s on pace for nearly 1,000 yards in rushing on a team that embodies the pass first, pass second, and run third philosophy.  Maybe the normal Michael Turner stats aren’t there, but he’s doing what needs to be done to keep defense honest.  This week, I expect the Falcons to win big against Arizona, and I’m looking for a big week out of Michael Turner.

Buccaneers @ Panthers

Scottie: Buccaneers

The Buccaneers are awesome.  Last week it was their special teams and defense that won them the game.  Freeman has all the tools in any quarterback in the NFL could ask for: Superstar wide receiver (Vincent Jackson), solid possession receiver (Mike Williams), great running back (Doug Martin), and consistent tight end (Dallas Clark).  Cam Newton is firmly entrenched in an awful season.

Matt: Buccaneers

Scottie proved me wrong last week picking the Bucs when I went with the Chargers.  Every week that passes, the Bucs are looking better and better.  Every week that passes, the Panthers are looking worse and worse.  Josh Freeman gets the better of Cam Newton in this matchup.

Browns @ Cowboys

Scottie: Cowboys

I actually had to think twice about this game.  My feelings about the Browns are well-known.  But the Cowboys are so beat up that I really think the Browns have a shot in this one.  At the end of the day, I’ll take the home team in a matchup like this.  This is the worst game on Sunday.

Matt: Cowboys

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I’m not picking the Browns once this year.  The Cowboys benefitted from the Vick injury last week, but still managed a victory.  In Dallas on Sunday, the ‘Boys will pick up another victory.

Eagles @ Redskins

Scottie: Redskins

The Redskins have an underrated defense.  I expect them to feast on rookie quarterback Nick Foles to the tune of 3 picks and 5 sacks.  The Eagles offense will obviously struggle because the Redskins will be allowed to zero in on Shady McCoy (who hasn’t gotten as much play as he should this season).  The Eagles defense has been horrid this year as well.  RGIII is going to have a lot of fun on Sunday.  Well played diss by Matty on the Nick Foles comparison that you will read in a few seconds.  I got no response that was priceless.

Matt: Redskins

With Mike Vick, I think the Eagles take this game.  The Redskins are porous against the pass, and I believe Vick would expose them.  With Nick Foles at the helm, I’m going with RGIII on this one.  I know Foles had a good preseason, but I’m not sold.  Got to prove it to me first, kid.  Foles on an NFL field kind of reminds me of Scottie in a bar full of beautiful women…shy, timid, and completely lost.

Jets @ Rams

Scottie: Rams

My feud with Matty over Sam Bradford is well documented.  I think I’d rather go to the dentist then pick the Rams given the choice.  The fact of the matter is the Jets are trash, easily the most dysfunctional team in all of professional sports.  Even Sam Bradford could lead his team to victory over the mess known as the Jets.

Matt: Rams

Scottie knows he’s turning into a Sam Bradford fan right before our eyes.  Kid is basically gushing about how good Bradford is.  I have no sympathy for the Jets.  This whole controversy with Tebow was brought on by themselves.  They had locker room issues last year and then they go and bring back all of the same players and expecting a change.  Bradford kills it as usual.

Bengals @ Chiefs

Scottie: Bengals

The Chiefs remind me a lot of Matty O.  They just suck at every aspect of everything.  It took them 10 weeks to just have a lead in regulation?  The Red Rocket Andy Dalton will use AJ Green to abuse the Chiefs defense in Kansas City.  Matt is so foolish that he will actually probably pick the Chiefs here.

Matt: Chiefs

I can’t figure out the Bengals.  Their confusion is turning me off, and I know have little desire to be in support of Cincinnati. I think that the Chiefs find a way to squeeze out a win at home.  Don’t ask me why, I just have a feeling.

Scottie:  Told ya so.  Idiot.

Jaguars @ Texans

Scottie: Texans

During my fantasy football drafts I made sure I drafted the Texans defense.  I didn’t do this because of the talent of their defense but more so because of the weak schedule they play against.  Here is yet another week, where they play a team that couldn’t move the football if they had a U-Haul truck.  There really is no easy solution to fix the Jaguars.  They look to be in football hell (see Bills, Buffalo) for many years to come.

Matt: Texans

Scottie, you’re so awesome by picking the Texans defense.  Wow man, so smart.  Cut the shit Scottie.  Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.  This game is a no brainer.

Saints @ Raiders

Scottie: Saints

I was right about the Saints last week.  I know y’all are asking yourselves, “Scottie, do you ever get sick of being right all the time?” Nah, not particularly.  The Saints are going to make a push to get into the playoffs.  Drew Brees has his boys playing well.  The easy schedule sure helps too.  Sorry to my boys Marcos and T Baumann, the Raiders are just bad.

Matt: Saints

Drew Brees and the Saints impressed me last week against the Falcons.  Their defense stood strong against one of the most potent offenses in the entire NFL.  Their offense showed up when needed.  Maybe the Saints are back, or maybe they just put it together for one week against the Falcons.  Either way, the Saints find a favorable matchup against the Raiders this week.

Chargers @ Broncos

Scottie: Broncos

Matty is just realizing the Broncos are evolving(?) into a top team in the AFC.  If Matty wasn’t spending his Sundays at Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond he would have known 6 weeks ago the Broncos are legit.  While Rivers is leaps and bounds better than Sam Bradford, he is nowhere near the caliber of Peyton Manning.  Broncos cruise.

Matt: Broncos

The Broncos are evolving into one of the best teams in the AFC.  The Chargers are quickly slipping out of contention and Norv Turner’s days in San Diego are becoming numbered.  Peyton Manning looks like the Peyton Manning of old.  Philip Rivers looks like an old Scott Patterson on the flag football field.  The Broncos win at home.  By the way, what ever happened to Knowshon Moreno?

Colts @ Patriots

Scottie: Patriots

The Patriots secondary defense is bad.  The Colts defense is worse.  This will be the equivalent of a flag football matchup.  I expect it to be high scoring much like the Bills game last week.  I am excited to see what, if anything, Aquib Talib will bring to this team.  I think the Patriots have the better offense and are capable of stopping the Colts at least once on Sunday.  That will be all they need.

Matt: Patriots

What is being built up into a big matchup won’t evolve into much of a contest at all.  Andrew Luck is a very good player, but Belichick and company have a knack of making life very difficult for rookie quarterbacks.  The Colts defense can’t contain the Pats offense, and as all of us New England fans are hoping, the addition of Talib will help solidify the Patriots’ secondary.

Ravens @ Steelers

Scottie: Ravens

Flacco continues to knock on the door of being elite.  G Knott learned that last week as he stabbed me right in the back advising me to start Freeman over Flacco with Rodgers on a bye in fantasy football.  I am more mad at myself.  Why would I ever ask anyone advice on anything sports related when the rest of the world population is inferior to me?  Be that as it may.  I can’t believe Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch are still in the NFL.  The Steelers won’t move the ball without one of the most winningest quarterbacks of this generation in Big Ben.  Flacco will throw up points and win the game because that’s what Flacco does.

Matt: Ravens

Without Roethlisberger at the helm, the Steelers don’t have much of a chance.  Mendenhall is coming back, but Byron Leftwich hasn’t started in a couple of years, and will have a hard time moving the ball against a tough Ravens defense.  Flacco and the Ravens get it done in Pittsburgh.

Bears @ 49ers

Scottie: 49ers

Is Jason Campbell really going to start an NFL game again?  Hope he has put his purple drank away.  Even if the 49ers are without Alex Smith they will beat the Bears.  Don’t expect the scoreboard to be lit up in this one.  I expect a 10-3 game.  The real story will be Forte vs. Gore.  This is going to be an old-fashioned smash mouth battle on the gridiron.

Matt: 49ers

The Bears keep racking up primetime games, and to be honest I can’t stand watching their offense play.  Jay Cutler is a miserable quarterback.  Matt Forte is an absolute force, but doesn’t touch the ball enough.  Michael Bush is one of the league’s best backups, and barely sees the field.  With Cutler possibly out, Forte and Bush will be vital against a stout 49ers defense.  With Alex Smith out, the 49ers will have to rely on Frank Gore and their defense.  49ers win a close one at home.

I can be followed on Twitter @ScottieNTCF

Matty drinks wine coolers.