Reid’s Week Ten NFL Picks: Things I Was Wrong About

By Reid Kerr
PSDC Offensive Coordinator

People are always curious about my background, and for a change, I’m not just talking about creditors. I worked in television and radio for twenty-something years, which seems to make me an expert to some people. However, unlike the vast majority of people I’ve worked with in the media, there’s something unique about me.

I’m wrong sometimes.

Yes, I know, no one in the media is ever wrong. The ESPN crowd certainly never goes back and admits when they’ve been completely off the mark, even though they have hours worth of inventory to fill every day.

Remember when Ron Jaworski said “I truly believe Colin Kaepernick could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever?” When I have a bad day, I just cue up that sound bite and listen to it on repeat for about four hours.

Then I realize we’re all just throwing darts in the dark sometimes.

People online love to point out when I miss a game, like last week when I took Washington to cover the spread against New England. In my defense, I had fourteen points, high expectations, and a magnum of NyQuil in me but still, yes, I lost that one.

Eh, it happens. I’m still winning 65% against the spread, but you take chances sometimes. Now that we’re through with half the regular season, I can freely admit I was wrong about some things.

The Patriots. I felt certain the long offseason and the bad secondary would at least give other teams a chance. My bad, New England will remain a relentless, emotionless killing machine as long as Brady and Belichick are there.

Atlanta. They looked great early, and every bit of that good will is gone after losing to Blaine Gabbert. Every. Single. Bit.

The Bengals. I didn’t believe. And I still won’t when the playoffs roll around, but for now, their 8-0 record has won me over just in time for the toughest part of their season. And by the way, they should really only be 7-0, wins over the Browns should just count for half a game.

Eddie Lacy. I’m speaking mostly in terms of fantasy football here, although Packers fans will agree with me in all realms. He’s not running strong, and he can’t hold on to the ball. He’s turning into Peyton Hillis.

Kansas City. Hoo-BOY, was I wrong here. Remember when I picked them to win the AFC? I wish you wouldn’t. Injuries have closed the door, and just slammed it on Jamaal Charles’ knee.

The Lions. Every year there’s one good team that just falls apart like the final season of “Revenge.” Looks like the Lions reached their “Sell By” date last January.

Back to my regularly scheduled picks. I was 4-2 again in week nine, although I had to go to overtime to win two of those. There’s nothing like adding stress to a regular season game by factoring in overtime and point spreads, but it worked out for me after about a half hour and a bottle of Tums. I’m now 36-19-2 on the year.

Here’s my picks for week ten. Remember, these are for the purposes of discussion only. As always, no wagering.

Detroit (+11) at Green Bay – Microsoft Surface is the official tablet of the NFL. According to Aaron Rodgers, it’s also the official Frisbee.
Pick: Packers

Dallas (+1) at Tampa Bay – Dez Bryant got angry at the media this week, presumably because they can’t throw him the ball, either.
Pick: Buccaneers

New Orleans (NL) at Washington – It wouldn’t surprise me to see Washington using Robert Griffin III to run the First Down marker for home games, just to get some kind of value out of him.
Pick: Saints

Miami (+6) at Philadelphia – It’s been a long road for Chip Kelly, but he’s finally got his Eagles all the way to mediocre.
Pick: Dolphins

New England (-7.5) at NY Giants – These games are famous Super Bowl matchups when the Patriots are at the top of the league, and the Giants are average and lucky to be a playoff team. So this could be a dress rehearsal for SB50, that’s all I’m saying.
Pick: Patriots

Minnesota (+3) at Oakland – That play on Teddy Bridgewater? I’ve seen cleaner hits delivered at Wrestlemania with a steel chair while the ref was distracted.
Pick: Vikings

I’ll also take the Cardinals to end the Seahawk Dynasty, Landry Jones to win again, and the NFL’s “Color Rush” initiative to be a huge failure, because it reminds me of the Tudor Electric Football set with the generic teams I got when I was a kid.

– Reid Kerr talks a lot, as his wife always reminds him. Reid’s novel “The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape” is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. You can always tweet questions, comments, and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.

Reid’s Week Twelve NFL Picks: The Romo Problem

By Reid Kerr
PSDC Offensive Coordinator

The old saying goes that every fighter has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.

It’s credited in some places to Mike Tyson, but I doubt Iron Mike was as original and quotable as we like to pretend these days, so we’ll just call it an “old saying.”

We all saw round two of that proverbial punch to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Tony Romo was the plan for Dallas, and now with the collarbone injury, the Cowboys have to fall back on Plan B, which is actually Plan C at this point. Plan D is next year’s draft, for those of you who doubt this season has a happy ending.

I’ve defended Jerry Jones before. I’ve long said I don’t think he gets enough credit for some things, but stocking this roster is not one of them. In the NFL, you don’t just build a championship team with stars, you assemble quality players all over the roster. Seattle won with a defense full of play-makers. New England’s biggest play of the Super Bowl came from a well-coached unsigned free agent.

The Cowboys have several stars who sell a lot of jerseys, but Dallas went into the season content with a backup quarterback who was a thirty-year-old minor league pitcher with a quarterback rating right around room temperature, and this season is doomed. Dumping him for a guy who couldn’t win the starting job in Buffalo is a minor upgrade, perhaps, but still not exactly a switch that’s going to set FanDuel on fire.

Good teams draft young quarterbacks before they need one so they can evaluate them without having to burn a season playing them. Since Troy Aikman was dragged off the field for the final time in 2000, the Cowboys have drafted two quarterbacks. Can you name them?

And if you can, why? Why would you want to name them, dear reader?

In 2001 they blew a second-round pick on Quincy Carter. Stephen McGee came in the fourth round of 2009.

That’s it.

Quarterback is the most important position in team sports, and the Cowboys have drafted as many kickers as QB’s in the last fifteen years.

Let’s put that in perspective. Since the Patriots took Tom Brady in 2000, they’ve drafted seven more quarterbacks. That’s seven young talented players who have a chance to turn into something, whether it’s a current Cowboys backup, Texas Tech’s head coach, or a guy who’s missed enough alarm clocks to sleep his way out of the league.

Despite what some of you would yell at me when you called my radio show, Tony Romo’s been an unquestioned starter in the NFL for a decade. In that time, Dallas hasn’t made a move to provide him with a backup that wasn’t already washed up. Having Brad Johnson or Jon Kitna in the locker room is great if you want to talk about bands from the 80’s, but as quarterbacks, their time was done.

Matt Cassel isn’t a starting quarterback in the league anymore, and Brandon Weeden never was, but those were the emergency plans the Cowboys made. We’ll see how that goes with Cassel over the next five weeks.

On to the picks. On Thanksgiving, I went 2-1 because just like Philadelphia’s management, I overestimated Chip Kelly’s ability to field a team. I’m 42-29-2 on the year, still in the positive money, and still with no idea what I’m doing.

Here’s my picks for week twelve. Remember, these are for the purposes of discussion only. As always, no wagering.

New Orleans (+3) at Houston – Rob Ryan’s business cards say “Rob Ryan, Defensive Coordinator & Scapegoat.”
Pick: Texans

San Diego (+4.5) at Jacksonville – The Jags got two wins in five days. Last season it took them six weeks to do that.
Pick: Jaguars

NY Giants (-3) at Washington – A team from this game will make the playoffs, which is about as fair as letting one of the actors from “Dumb and Dumber To” win an Oscar.
Pick: Giants

Minnesota (+1) at Atlanta – Minnesota Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner is running the same game plan as the 2003 Palestine Wildcats. It’s all Adrian Peterson, all the time.
Pick: Vikings

New England (-3) at Denver – Trust me, in ten years we won’t remember this season for Peyton Manning at all. It’ll be just like the last Vikings season for Bret Favre, Joe Montana with the Chiefs, or Sean Connery in “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”
Pick: Patriots

Baltimore (-3) at Cleveland – Joe Flacco shreds his knee and finishes the game. Johnny Manziel somehow loses his starting job in a bye week.
Pick: Browns

I’ll also take a sunny day in the park over Black Friday, flying home for Christmas over driving, and gift cards over cash.

– Reid Kerr talks a lot, as his wife always reminds him. Reid’s novel “The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape” is available on Biting Dog Press from Amazon.com. You can always tweet questions, comments, and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.

Reid’s Week Nine NFL Picks: The Hardy Situation

By Reid Kerr
PSDC Offensive Coordinator

I am not defending Greg Hardy, nor would I ever.

That’s something I feel like I should say right up front because judging from my Twitter feed, some people only read about ten words of my articles before they start tweeting me 140 characters of pure anger.

So for the purposes of discussion, I’ll say it again. I’m not defending Greg Hardy. I read the reports when his domestic violence arrest happened. Once you do that, you realize the guy is, for lack of a better term, cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Here’s what I wrote about Hardy for Project Shanks.com last year.

“It’s a great deal for the Cowboys. Except, of course, for the fact that Hardy is by all accounts a despicable human being. Just Google him some day when you’ve got time, then read up and go home and start building that defensive-end-proof panic room in your house. The only way anyone would ever root for Greg Hardy is if he faces off in a dark alleyway with Darren Sharper.”

Still true. Hardy’s got more issues than National Geographic, and this week Deadspin released the previously-sealed pictures of his former girlfriend and the injuries she suffered at his hands.

Let’s be clear here, Hardy’s not a good guy, and domestic violence is a crime that should be taken much more seriously.

But why is this such an issue now?

Honestly, this second round of outrage frustrates me. If you’re telling me that what he did is somehow worse because now you’ve seen pictures of it, that’s your problem. Admitting you want more punishment now just indicates you didn’t take the assault charges seriously enough the first time, and we shouldn’t need TMZ or Deadspin to show us actual bruises before we get angry.

Here’s the problem, and it’s a simple one. He’s already been punished. He was suspended for almost an entire season last year, and then for four games this season. He can’t be re-punished by the NFL, and the charges have been expunged from his record.

Legally speaking, Hardy is in the clear. Why? Because domestic violence is a crime we don’t take seriously enough as a society. Even if Hardy was found guilty in North Carolina, he was only looking at the standard punishment of eighteen months of probation.

You can be angry at the Dallas Cowboys, but it’s North Carolina that ignored clear evidence and didn’t impose any punishment at all on a guy who beat up his girlfriend. And North Carolina would have done more in this case than New Jersey did to Ray Rice, in spite of Rice being shown on video knocking his wife out and dragging her like a bag of dirty laundry. Rice got anger management and $125 fine.

Unlike sportswriters who have afternoon shows on ESPN, I’ll freely admit I don’t have all the answers here. If you say that someone should be banned for life from the NFL for domestic assault, I can certainly understand your point. If that’s where you draw the line, it’s admirable, but don’t stop there. Volunteer or donate to a women’s shelter so battered wives have a place to go. Write your representatives and let them know how you feel about the punishment for domestic violence not being strict enough. Stop being amused by Charlie Sheen, Bobby Brown, or Mike Tyson.

Do you enjoy movies with Sean Penn or Josh Brolin in them? Do you watch “Empire?” Be consistent, that’s all I’m saying.

Because if you’re adamant that Greg Hardy doesn’t deserve his high-paying job, but you’re riding around listening to Chris Brown, that makes you a hypocrite.

Time for an awkward segue, as I get back to my regularly scheduled picks. I was 4-2 in week eight, thanks to Dallas being bad without being awful. I somehow overestimated the Lions and Browns, which is a lot like looking forward to an Adam Sandler movie. There’s no point.

I’m now 32-17-2 on the year, still floating right along. Here’s my picks for week nine. Remember, these are for the purposes of discussion only. As always, no wagering.

Tennessee (+8) at New Orleans – Ken Whisenhunt was fired this week by the Titans. He won his first game in both seasons as head coach, then went 1-20 in the rest, thus making him the M. Night Shyamalan of the NFL. Big splash, horrible follow up.
Pick: Titans

Washington (+14) at New England – Just saying, but Redskins and Patriots seems like an odd matchup to schedule so close to Thanksgiving.
Pick: Washington

Green Bay (-3) at Carolina – Everyone loves the Panthers this year because Cam Newton plays for them, and Greg Hardy does not.
Pick: Panthers

Atlanta (-7.5) at San Francisco – Even Colin Kaepernick has dropped Colin Kaepernick from his fantasy football team at this point.
Pick: Falcons

NY Giants (-2.5) at Tampa Bay – Orleans Darkwa is either the name of a Giants running back, or a Bon Temps festival on True Blood. Not sure which, I’ll have to get back to you.
Pick: Giants

Philadelphia (-3) at Dallas – Remember Cowboys fans, trading for a quarterback who couldn’t win the starting job in Buffalo is like buying a used lottery ticket. Yes, it doesn’t cost you very much, but the odds of it being successful ain’t too good.
Pick: Eagles

I’ll also take Houston to lose on their bye week, the Colts to have a new coach after the season ends, and the Jaguars to come back and win the division.

– Reid Kerr talks a lot, as his wife always reminds him. Reid’s novel “The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape” is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. You can always tweet questions, comments, and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.

Reid’s Week Five NFL Picks: Make The Right Call

By Reid Kerr
PSDC Offensive Coordinator

The Cowboys have a much-needed bye week, which gives them time to switch from the older backup quarterback who only throws short passes to the younger one who couldn’t stay on the roster in Buffalo. At this point, it’s like changing the oil in a car with four flat tires, but whatever works, I suppose.

With no Cowboys game to dread, that gives me a moment to catch up on the big story of the year so far. Deflategate? Quarterback injuries? Coaches getting fired after London trips?

Nope. Let’s talk about the refs, kids.

Ideally, sports officials should be perfect and invisible, but that’s not the world we live in. So far this season, officials have cost all of us wins, money, and fantasy football glory, so we’re clearly furious. Mondays on sports-talk radio seem to be an every-week feature of rants against the previous day’s bad calls.

And I don’t understand why the NFL isn’t just as angry. We’re seeing clearly blown calls at the end of games in primetime now. The NFL will take eleven minutes to review an obvious Dez Bryant catch, so finding out that the league hasn’t thought far enough in advance to make an easily-verified call challengeable just because no one ever thought of it before is…well, a bit frustrating.

It seems a shame that the NFL is still having this problem in high-profile games, although I do find it fairly hilarious that the NFL removed a ref who blew a call on a Monday night game, and reassigned him to Sunday afternoon games. You screw up on Sunday or Monday night, the world is watching. You bag a call in a Jaguars game, no one may ever notice.

Good luck with your protests, bottom third of the league.

My solution? Go through the rule book in the offseason and see what’s out there that could one day conceivably cause you to look like a doofus, and make that call reviewable. Do it now for the simple calls before you have the occasion to fail at a critical time. Again.

Remember, officials couldn’t even use replay to count the number of men on the field until an angry Bill Cowher stuffed a picture into a ref’s pocket. Some forward thinking would really help get the focus back on the field.

On to the picks. The Thursday night game was Falcons by 3.5, which seemed like such a sucker’s bet I doubled down on it. And of course, I lost because Atlanta turned the ball over like it was buttered, and suffered their first loss of the season.

Thanks, Falcons, for reminding me who you were the last two years. Duly noted.

When something seems to good to be true, it is. That’s true in all realms, folks. Gambling, advertising, mating, whatever. Always be skeptical. I’m now 23-8-2 on the year, still well above the water line but a bit more cautious.

Here’s my picks for week six. Remember, these are for the purposes of discussion only. As always, no wagering.

Denver (-4.5) at Cleveland – We were all hoping a Texas-born quarterback would have a career year for the Browns, I just don’t think too many of us thought it would be Josh McCown.
Pick: Broncos

Cincinnati (-3.5) at Buffalo – If you were drawing up all of the ingredients for a trap game, this would have them. Coming off an emotional win against a Super Bowl team? Check. Opponent reeling with injuries? Check. One of these teams being the Bengals? Oh, you betcha.
Pick: Bengals

Kansas City (+4) at Minnesota – When I heard about the injury to Jamaal Charles, I immediately logged on to my fantasy team to drop him and pick up another running back. Then I paused for a moment to realize what a horrible person that makes me. Then I picked up Todd Gurley, and I came to grips with myself.
Pick: Vikings

Houston (+1.5) at Jacksonville – The media is trying to make a big deal out of the fact J.J. Watt is frustrated. Of course he is, he’s a Texans fan.
Pick: Jaguars

Baltimore (-2) at San Francisco – For all those of you who don’t get how fleeting success can be in the NFL, let me point out this tepid battle of 1-4 teams was a Super Bowl matchup just three seasons ago. Fans in this one might be begging the NFL to turn off the lights again.
Pick: Ravens

New England (-9.5) at Indianapolis – My good friend and gambling oracle Chris Stuckey taught me to always take a home team getting double digits, but I can’t take that advice when the Patriots are running up the score on people like they’re still trying to improve their BCS rankings.
Pick: Patriots

I’ll also take the Royals to win the AL, the Cubs to win the NL, and the new Steve Jobs movie to do better than the last one, but still not that good.

– Reid Kerr talks a lot, as his wife always reminds him. Reid’s novel “The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape” is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. You can always tweet questions, comments, and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.

The Power of NFL Power Rankings

By Reid Kerr
PSDC Offensive Coordinator

People ask me a lot about “Power Rankings,” which is something the sports media came up with to give the NFL the feel of the most frustrating part of college football.

Yeah, I hate those.

Every media outlet has them. I actually get updates on my phone when ESPN’s power rankings come out every week, telling me where certain teams have gained ground or lost steam.

Even more important newsflash: No one cares. [Read more…]