Friday, April 11, 2014

NCAA needs some changing, but this is a lie

Over the last week the story of Shabazz Napier going starving at UCONN has spread like a wild fire. Napier is quoted as saying, "there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I'm starving" ( This is either extremely poor planning by the athlete/team staff or this is simply a lie coming from a college athlete that feels they should be paid.

Obviously paying college athletes has been a hot topic of late. Northwestern's attempt to unionize the football team is the latest example and we will see many more in the near future as this topic reaches its tipping point. There are a broad range of viewpoints ranging from leaving the system as it is to paying some sports but not all or simply just allowing athletes to make any money they can whether it's from memorabilia or money from boosters, etc. No matter where you stand on these ideas, it can generally be agreed that something must change among NCAA sports as college sports (Football and men's basketball to an extent) has become a huge multi-billion dollar business that, to some extent, exploits its athletes.

However, regardless of what your opinion is on paying college athletes, I believe what Napier has stated about starving nights is a complete lie! Personal experience tells me it's not possible for you to go starving as a college athlete. Athletes on college campuses are taken care of very well. There is a fantastic support structure set up. UCONN basketball, in particular, is a premier program that will never have a lack of money or support simply because of former players that care so much about the program. This means the members of the UCONN basketball team will have their scholarships which cover their educational experience, and they will have meal plans and stipends that cover their necessary food to not only live, but perform at their peak on the court.

The UCONN staff could possibly not schedule correctly to allow their athletes to be at dining halls during normal operating hours. I guess that's not a problem as UCONN has been doing this basketball thing for a while. Perhaps Shabazz Napier is not capable of planning ahead or thinking about how he uses his free time to accommodate normal meal times. If this is the issue, stop blaming others for self-created problems. I guess, again, that is not the actual issue. Max meal plans for cafeterias, money available for other on-campus dining locations, and buffet style meals on the road keep an athlete more than adequately fed. If Napier has ever gone to sleep at night in his dorm room on an empty stomach, it is his own fault. I would like to see some changes for college athletes, but straight BS like this is not how it should be accomplished.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hawks Will Win Game 7 and the NHL Missteps Again

The Chicago Blackhawks will win tonight's game 7 against the Detroit Redwings; and they will win going away.  Detroit has looked spectacular at moments but has generally been made to look better by the outstanding play of goaltender Jimmy Howard.  Now it appears the Hawks have figured out Howard, and have gained a ton of confidence over the last two games.  If you are a Wings fan you try and hold onto the fact that Corey Crawford can give up a soft goal and put his team in a tough spot.

Often times is looks like Chicago is playing at an entirely different level from Detroit.  Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is once again proving his value as the leader of this team.  His toughness and tenacity has created multiple scoring chances and put opposing players on their heels when on offense.  He will once again lead the Hawks and secure a ticket to the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Kings.

Two game 7's in two nights is huge for the NHL.  The creates the question however, why is game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals not starting until Saturday?  Yes there is the Saturday time slot on NBC that the NHL ovviously wants to fill with east coast teams.  THAT COULD BE GAME 2!!!  There is some good momentum being built with such great games being played in the second round.  Coworkers that don't even watch sports were tuning into the Sharks/Kings game.  The Conference Finals needs to ramp up right away and keep the interest maximized!  The Kings and the Hawks/Wings can play Friday night and Sunday.  Those are the breaks when you have to play 7 games to win your series.  It is overly disappointing that the NHL has once again missed the boat on televised games.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Week 7 NFL Picks

Apologies for the week off from the Picks blog.  We are getting closer to winter here in Tahoe and that means work is getting busier.  Week 7 is an interesting week as we near the half way mark and have six teams taking byes this week (Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miamia, Philadelphia, San Diego).  This means one less game than a normal mid season slate, but that much more opportunity to watch some other teams.  My picks the last two weeks have been less than stellar, so let's try and get back on track.

The New York Giants have quietly established themselves as the best team in the NFC behind maybe only the Atlanta Falcons, and if those two teams played today i would be taking the Giants.  Washington is coming to town with a chip on their shoulder as they try to recover from early season injuries and ride the maturation of rookie QB, Robert Griffin III.  T-Money's favorite player, RG3, is legit and will be for years to come, but Sunday will be all about the Giants as they confuse him with different defensive looks and bring constant pressure.  Eli is continuing to play at an elite level regardless of who is catching the ball and the Giants can still run it down your throat.  Giants for the win going away.

St. Louis is a decent team stuck in a tough division this season.  They return home to face a team that is hoping to build off last weeks dismantling of the Houston Texans.  Both the Packers and Rams have records that do not show how much potential each team has.  The Rams have a good pressure defense and an offense that hopes for close games.  The Packers have and explosive offense and a defense that appears to be rounding into form.  Playing indoors always favors the home team, but it also favors a pass happy team like the Packers.  Rodgers should continue to spread the ball around creating tough matchups for the Rams and giving the Packers their fourth win of the season.

A battle of the worst as the Browns head to Indianapolis, or is it?  Cleveland is not making the playoffs this season thanks to a poor start and a tough schedule the rest of the way, but they look like a team that is building well for the future.  There are nice looking, young pieces in RB Trent Richardson and QB Brandon Weeden that have kept the Browns in every game this season.  They are clearly still building, but the future is bright.  The Colts offer a similar situation with Andrew Luck growing in his first year, but with far fewer solid pieces around him.  The Browns will be looking for their first road win of the season and will get it.

The Dallas Cowboys must follow up last week's effort with a win this week on the road in Carolina.  The Panthers have a sophomore slumping Cam Newton and little else.  Tony Romo is a good QB that must improve decision making, but also get consistent play from his receivers.  Dez Bryant had a nice game against the Ravens, but if he hadn't dropped two key passes the Cowboys would have won the game.  The Cowboys must and will destroy the withering Panthers even on the road.

Are the Pittsburgh Steelers a good team?  They are not a playoff team, so by Pittsburgh's standards no they are not.  This week will tell a lot about them as they travel to Cincinnati.  Shutting down AJ Green has proven impossible this season, but the rest of the Bengals offense needs to come along with him to be a consistent threat each week.  Beating the Steelers would give them confidence and push them towards a playoff run the last half of the season.  Big Ben Roethlisberger will have something to say about it as he makes play after play keeping the Steelers afloat, but it will not be enough this week.  Cincy for the win.

Best game of the week goes to the Ravens at Texans.  Baltimore has the test of battling through key injuries while the Texans must put up or shut up about being the best team in the AFC.  The Texans looked mediocre against the Packers giving up a ton of yards in the air and even getting run on by one of the worst running games in the league.  Baltimore is also getting run on a lot lately and is susceptible to big plays.  Great running games on both sides in Arian Foster and Ray Rice will put each team in a tough way and show who can step up when facing adversity.  The Ravens have looked much better this season in the passing game as Joe Flacco has thrown the ball down the field with accuracy.  If he continues that on Sunday, the Ravens will keep this close down to the wire.  Houston for the close win as Baltimore tries to find it's new defensive identity without leader Ray Lewis, just as Houston did last week in the absence of Brian Cushing.

Week 7 picks:
  • Packers -5 at Rams
  • Titans at Bills -3.5
  • Browns +2 at Colts
  • Cardinals +6.5 at Vikings
  • Redskins at Giants -6
  • Saints at Buccaneers +2
  • Cowboys -2 at Panthers
  • Ravens +7 at Texans
  • Jaguars +6 at Raiders
  • Jets at Patriots -10.5
  • Steelers at Bengals +1
  • Lions at Bears -6.5

One less game so be sure to follow some new teams a little more closely.  We are near the half way point at which teams should have an identity, or start looking to 2013.  Enjoy your football!

Season: 44-44-2

Thursday, October 11, 2012

ESPN Hockey

Yes, it is hockey! No, it is not the NHL.  It is the KHL, the premier professional hockey league outside of the US.  ESPN is showing some upcoming games featuring the world's best players (Ovechkin, Chara, Kovalchuk, Malkin, and Gonchar) while the owners continue to lock out the NHL players.  The KHL is receiving press because ESPN is airing games, but there is a mass exodus of NHL players to multiple European leagues from Sweden and Finland to Germany and Switzerland.  This is never a good sign in the midst of a lockout and is really a bummer for hockey fans in North America.  So what do we take from all of this?

Watch the games on ESPN and show the NHL the value of putting games on a TV channel that matters.  Even when the league eventually comes back games will be on NBC Sports, a channel the majority do not receive.  Gary Bettman has done an abysmal job promoting the NHL and has passed up opportunities to grow the sport via the largest cable sports channel in the country.  A lot of marketing is purely about visibility, and Bettman has limited the visibility of the NHL with his terrible choices.  He has treated the product with disrespect and in turn slapped the fans in the face.  So watch the ESPN games to ensure the ratings are solid.  We want to watch hockey and will tune it when it is available to us!  We will not however watch a league that does not do what is right for it's fans that pay the salaries.

Go out and support your minor league hockey teams.  All across the country are guys playing in the AHL, ECHL, and CHL trying to earn their way to the next level while putting on a show for their fans.  These games often feature great young players and teams loaded with talent making games very exciting.  The atmosphere is often more fun as the buildings are smaller with a lot of noise and entertainment going on.  These teams are also all over the place making their games accessible for even more fans.

There is also college hockey for all to enjoy.  Like minor league hockey, you have a lot of young and talented players that are playing hard for their school and for their future career.  These are exciting games with the great atmospheres we all love at college sports events.  The bands are playing and students are all dressed in their school colors.  Between the minors and college, there is no shortage of hockey to enjoy.

So the KHL is on ESPN and there is a lot of live hockey for us to enjoy.  Support these teams!  We as fans do not need to be subject to the whims of owners and a commissioner that have no thought of how their decisions effect workers in arenas, families of these employees, and of course all of us fans.  Get out there and learn some new names, and see that we all can enjoy hockey even without the NHL.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Week 5 Quick Hits

Week 5 has given us good teams proving their worth, questionable teams fading and personnel issues that will affect teams the rest of the season.
  • The Houston Texans remain at the top of the league after a nice road win against the New York Jets who had their backs against the wall and put up a good fight.  The Texans are so solid all the way through their team.  The offense is efficient in it's passing and powerful in it's running.  Matt Schaub is a top flight QB that can make plays when necessary and run their offense to perfection.  He is made even better with the running prowess of Arian Foster.  Foster is staking his claim as the games best RB along with Adrian Peterson, and brings consistent performances each week (532 yards, 5 TD through 5 weeks).  Foster is quick and powerful making him very difficult to take down on first contact, and he always finds the end zone.  The defense has been outstanding but may take hit following the torn ACL to LB Brian Cushing.  Cushing has been a game changer as the leader of the Texans defense.  This will be a big blow to the team, but Houston has shown resilience through injury as any great team does.  I suspect this will hurt them in the next two weeks, but not enough to keep them from winning and definitely not enough to stymie their Super Bowl aspirations.
  • If someone said we would be talking about the Vikings sitting at 4-1 and looking like a legitimate playoff contender, we all would have quit the NFL to watch underwater basket weaving.  This is a team with a second year QB, a RB recovering from ACL surgery, only one good, while undersized, receiver in Percy Harvin, and a defense that lost a step last season.  Instead you have a QB that is a leader and playmaker, a RB who is as strong as ever, Percy Harvin playing like a superstar and a defense that has found themselves and made opposing offenses look amateur.  The Bears and Vikings are clearly the class of the NFC North, but the Vikings have been the surprising team making a statement that they are not rebuilding, but instead ready to contend for the division and make a legitimate playoff run.  QB Christian Ponder is definitely not blowing the top off each week, but he moves the ball effectively with accuracy and few poorly timed turnovers.  Cam Newton was the sophomore QB getting the attention, but Ponder is the one producing.  The Vikings are not smoke and mirrors, certainly primed for a strong 10 win season resulting in a playoff birth, but they must withstand a tough upcoming schedule the rest of the way.
  • What do you take away from the Ravens/Chiefs 9-6 game?  Turnovers impact games.  I believe the Ravens are still a top tier team in the NFL.  Ray Rice is a great running back and Joe Flacco is continuing to improve as the leader of the offense.  The Ravens turned the ball over two times in the game that put a halt to their offensive flow, but it was the Chiefs who absolutely killed themselves with ill-timed turnovers.  3 of their 4 turnovers were in the Ravens half of the field with one fumble coming on the goal line.  I have been saying the Chiefs are not as bad as they appear and this is because of turnovers.  They are near the top of the league in turnovers which is a sure sign that you will not be at the top of the standings.  The Chiefs moved the ball effectively.  Jamaal Charles is as good a runner as any.  The QB situation could certainly be better with Matt Cassel going down and Brady Quinn the backup, but there remains potential with this team.  This leads me back to the Ravens who were on the road, at one of the toughest stadiums to play in against a team that has talent that must improve during the week and clean up the mistakes on the weekend.  This game will give the Ravens plenty to focus on going forward, and make them a better team down the line.
  • There are six teams sitting with a 2-3 record.  Three from the AFC East in Buffalo, Miami, and NY (Jets).  Then there are Green Bay, Denver, and Washington. 
    • I am not a fan of the Jets as I have said before.  They have no talent on offense and a defense that cannot make plays like they used to.  Even Tim Tebow will not save this team from a sub .500 record.  
    • Miami is young and promising.  Ryan Tannehill has impressed all the doubters with steady play and some highlight passes to none other than Brian Hartline...who?  The Dolphins play tough and seem to have found a way to be effective even with a new coach and young team.  
    • The Buffalo Bills are a mediocre team with some nice pieces, but little chance of putting it all together in the same week.  They are inconsistent at best and will hope to hit 8-8.  
    • Green Bay is one dimensional at best with little hope of changing this season.  Many people point to either the defense or the running game.  It is actually both that are terrible.  There are spurts for the defense but no consistency and the running game is nonexistent in both running talent and offensive line blocking.  Aaron Rodgers is still one of the best and will give the Pack opportunities to be in games, but this season's future is not bright for Green Bay.  
    • Denver is a team that is still finding itself.  Peyton Manning must continue to show improvement in his arm and stay healthy for the team to be competitive, but there are pieces on defense that give the Broncos a chance each week and a running game that can be effective.  Denver will be a completely different team come playoff time in which they will be participating.  
    • Washington just has too many injuries and not enough pieces in place to withstand them.  The defense has been shreaded and now RG3 is possibly out with a concussion.  The one bright spot is RB Alfred Morris on an otherwise unimpressive Redskins teams that will certainly not be in the division hunt and may not win another division game the rest of the season.  
Of these 6 teams only the Broncos will likely make the playoffs as there is no strong contender from the AFC West.  The Broncos and Chargers play Monday night and could give us some indication of who will be the division winner.  There is likely one more from this group and odds are it will come out of the AFC East, so I will say the surprising Miami Dolphins will sneak into a Wild Card spot by the end of the season.
Week 5 is gone and thank goodness after a 5-10 picking week for myself.  Atlanta, San Francisco, and New England are very good teams.  They all won solid games on Sunday and will be there until the end this season.  Unfortunately for teams like Tennessee, Cleveland, Carolina, and Jacksonville their seasons are all but over but will show a lot in how their young guys improve in practice and what sort of effort they put forth on Sundays.

Week 6 is already on it's way so be sure to check out my picks later in the week.  Thursday night showcases the Steelers at Titans.  Tennessee is clearly at the bottom of the league, but the Steelers have not shown much promise yet either and continue to battle injuries.  This will be a road win for them, but there is no telling how difficult it may be.

Steelers -6.5 at Titans

Friday, October 5, 2012

Week 5 NFL Picks

We can get the boring stuff out of the way early.  Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, and Tampa Bay have the week off.  Bye weeks are coming at good times so far this season as all four of these teams lost last week and few of them in a bad way.  The Cowboys and Raiders definitely need some time to sort stuff out after very ugly losses.  Detroit must find their identity again as they have lost all firepower on the defensive side of the ball.  Tampa is an average team that will use the extra week to work on some things and try to get better each week as a young team.

Week 5 has a great slate of games with some old rivalries renewed and other floundering teams trying to right the ship.  There are established best teams in the league, but always remember they are one injury away from going down the tank.  Matt Ryan is playing the best football at the QB position this season.  If he goes down, Luke McCown is not going to carry the Falcons to a Super Bowl run.  There is only one divisional game this week (Cardinals/Rams) so it is a great time for teams to flex their muscle against teams they might see come playoff time.  We will also start to see personnel changes on underperforming teams, the first of which will be Tim Tebow starting for the Jets as early as next week.

Baltimore is heading to Kansas City for what seems like an easy win against a struggling Chiefs team.  If the Ravens show up to play from the start it will be a win going away for them.  What must be factored in is the long travel to a hostile environment against a team that has a bad record but potential to put up points.  Arrowhead stadium is notoriously one of the toughest road stadiums.  Joe Flacco will need to be on point to have success on Sunday.  I like the Ravens to win, but this game will be closer than anyone expects.

The Saints are on the edge of the cliff trying to not completely lose their season.  They face a tough test with the Chargers coming to town.  Phillip Rivers will throw the ball around all night against the Saints terrible defense.  This will be the last game the Saints have their home crowd supporting them if they cannot pull off a win.  Drew Brees has a lot of pride and talent, but the pieces around him are not what he needs to get a win. Somehow the Saints are favored in this game, but it will be a surprise to see them get off the schnide this week.

Last week Baltimore was favored by 13 over the Browns, but Cleveland was one hail mary away from tying the game at the end.  This week the Browns have the opportunity to do the same thing at the Giants.  NYG are a solid team but they pick and choose the games they show up for.  There is the chance they feel over confident at home against the winless Browns.  Trent Richardson plays like a machine and Brandon Weeden is making progress which should allow him to throw the ball against an ailing Giants secondary.  This is another game to watch out for the underdog staying in the game early and forcing the opposition to make some plays down the stretch to pull out the win.

Seattle has a great defense at home, but as we saw last week they are not the same on the road just as it was last season.  Cam Newton does not present an easy task this week in Carolina.  Newton should be able to make plays both throwing and with his feet.  The Panthers defense is not solid, but the Seahawks have a dismal offense.  Russell Wilson is a great guy but needs to show more progress in his passing game.  Marshawn Lynch will be the man Seattle relies on to get a win on the road, but in the end Newton will make enough plays to get the win for Carolina.

The battle of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh will be an interesting game to watch.  The Eagles have a nice 3-1 record, but have turned the ball over a lot and squeaked by in every win leaving many doubters as to the legitimacy of that record.  The Steelers have not been impressive, but will hope the bye week gave them a boost of energy and an improvement on the defensive side of the ball.  These kind of in-state rivalry games are exciting to watch and is very important for both sides.  If the Steelers can establish their solid D again and make Mike Vick turn the ball over, the Steelers will win this game easily with Ben Roethlisberger making plays as he always does.  The Eagles have been shaky so I like the Steelers off the bye week.

The best game of the week is the Broncos/Patriots game.  The Patriots are automatically favored because the game is not in Denver.  The Patriots offense looked very impressive in the second half last week against Buffalo, but otherwise has appeared disjointed and lacking in creativity.  Perhaps it just took some time for them to click, and if so they will be tough to beat at home.  If they are not sharp, Peyton Manning will be ready to take advantage.  Manning has improved each week to the point now he looks near his peak.  In the end the Broncos do not have the weapons the Patriots do and will struggle to keep up if it becomes a shootout.  The Broncos D must be ready to attack Tom Brady and shutdown the run game.  This will be a very entertaining game with the Patriots pulling away for the win.

Here are all my picks for Week 5:

  • Falcons -3 at Redskins
  • Eagles +3.5 at Steelers
  • Packers -6.5 at Colts
  • Browns at Giants -8.5
  • Titans +5.5 at Vikings
  • Dolphins at Bengals -3
  • Ravens -6 at Chiefs 
  • Seahawks at Panthers -3
  • Bears -4.5 at Jaguars
  • Broncos +6.5 at Patriots
  • Bills at 49ers -9.5
  • Chargers +3.5 at Saints
  • Texans -8 at Jets

We are entering the meat of the NFL season.  Most teams have their identity or are at least showing signs of it.   I had a great week going 10-5 in Week 4, and I expect to keep a solid pace as we learn more about teams each week.  Even with MLB playoffs starting, football will still take center stage Sunday.  Enjoy your football!

Week 4: 10-5
Season: 32-27-2

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Week 4 Quick Hits

What have we figured out through four weeks of NFL football? Often times when you think you know, there are big changes that bring new and more questions than before. The NFL consumes so much of our attention that we overreact to what we see one week that opposes the previous three.  Over sixteen games you will not see your team play their best each time they hit the field. One quarter of the way through the 2012 season, this is what we know:

  • The top three teams in the NFL are the San Francisco 49'ers, Houston Texans, and Baltimore Ravens are the best teams in the league. You can put them in whatever order you like, but they as a group are the dominant teams through four weeks.  
  • The New York Jets are not a good team and getting worse as the weeks go on.  CB Darrelle Revis went down last week with an ACL injury keeping him out until next season.  Santonio Holmes has now gone down for the season with a foot injury.  These two account for two-thirds of the talent on the Jets with Mark Sanchez being the final piece.   Regardless of the Jets being 2-2 and tied for the division lead, this is a team going in the wrong direction.  Regardless of how good the Niners are, the Jets were shutout by them at home!  Talent is necessary to be successful in the NFL and Jets have very little.  After the Jets get taken to the house again this week, by the Houston Texans, the pressure on Rex Ryan will be too much to play Tim Tebow.  This might give them a boost for a few weeks, but is doomed to turn negative when Tebow's lack of quarterbacking ability shines through.  With the Patriots and Dolphins on the uptick and the Bills still a solid team, the Jets will finish last in the AFC East and near the bottom in the league.
  • There is sure to be a QB controversy brewing in Dallas after the Bears dismantled Tony Romo and the Cowboys on Monday Night Football.  Kyle Orton came in late and looked decent and they are on a bye week allowing the problems to fester rather than getting a quick chance at redemption on Sunday.  I am still sticking with Romo and asking Jerry Jones to step away from football operations so that a real GM and a quality coaching staff can turn the Cowboys potential talent into winning games each week.  The Cowboys have a defense that has shown great moments, but must come with some consistency.  DeMarco Murray is a premier talent at running back, but must get better play from the offensive line that under achieves week in and week out.  Dez Bryant needs a good mentor to help him focus each week and be able to do productive things on the field each and every play.  We will hear calls for Orton, but remember when he came in the Bears had already torched the Cowboys and were in no mood to play more defense that night.
  • The NFL is geared towards offense, but we are seeing a defensive resurgence through new talent and smart coaching on the opposing side of the ball.  The Minnesota Vikings look impressive with a 3-1 start including wins against the Niners and offensive juggernaut Detroit Lions.  Christian Ponder has played with confidence but he is not lighting anyone up.  Adrian Peterson is reliable as always, but he is only one man.  The Vikings have posted impressive defensive efforts worthy of including them in talks about Houston, Seattle, Chicago, and Philadelphia.  Another impressive defense to watch is that of the Atlanta Falcons.  They are generally counted among the top offensive teams and Matt Ryan is the QB right now.  Do not count out their defense, however, which is top ten in points per game against and passing yards per game against.  Their defense is making difference in each game and placing the Falcons in position to make a true run at the Super Bowl.
  • The Denver Broncos are a team to continue watching as Peyton Manning looks stronger each week he takes the field.  They have been battling a tough schedule to start their season and will continue this through much of the season.  That said, if Manning continues his progress that team will go right along with him and become a scary team come playoffs.  The AFC West will certainly have a great shot at two teams in playoffs so even if it's for the Wild Card the Broncos should make the party and enjoy a nice run in January.
  • Question: What team is 1-3 but has the fourth ranked offense in the NFL? The Kansas City Chiefs are the answer.  The Chiefs are a dangerous team with great wideout play in Dwayne Bowe and an excellent running game in Jamaal Charles.  Why are they 1-3 then?  Through 4 games they have forced three turnovers and have only 8 sacks.  This is a defense that is not pressuring opposing quarterbacks or making plays at opportune times.  This is also an offense that, while putting up great looking numbers, is turning the ball over far too much.  They have 12 turnovers which is unacceptable for any good team in the NFL.  If the Chiefs clean up the mistakes and come with a little better defensive effort, watch out for them to make a run as the season progresses.  

Week 4 is in the books.  The NFL is a quarter of the way through the regular season.  We are getting a better feel for what teams look like for the long haul.  Some teams like the Packers, Steelers, and Patriots are traditional strong teams that must establish their true identity to return to the form we are accustomed.  Every team (except for the Saints/Browns/Titans) has a chance for the season to head in a positive direction and end positively.  It should be exciting as we continue through the year.

Week 5 picks on Friday, but for Thursday night:
Cardinals -1 at Rams