Monday, September 29, 2003
Last week I heard John Madden make a comment about the Raiders. He described them as either a good team playing bad football or a bad team playing bad football. The same statement can also be made about the 49ers.
When the 49ers whalloped the Bears in the opening week, it was open debate whether the 49ers were that good or the Bears were that bad. It is clear now that the Bears were just that bad. The 49ers have collapsed since that week 1 win. The offense has been in shambles since the start of the year, and what seemed to be a quality defense suddenly had more holes than Swiss cheese when they played Minnesota. Like last year, the 49ers seem incapable of beating any playoff caliber team. Unlike last year, there seems to be questions about the quality of talent on offense, on defense, in coaching, and in the front office. Regardless of how the season ends, there are serious issues which must be addressed in the offseason.
I am going to pay the Raiders a rare compliment. They made a great comback against the Chargers. A comeback like that defines a quality team. Even if they don't make the playoffs this year, the Raiders will be a team to be reckoned with. That being said, their two wins have come against the Chargers and the Bengals, not exactly the NFL elite. They've got to show they can do it against a quality team.
In summary, the 49ers appear to be a bad team playing badly, and the Raiders look like they are a good team that has been playing badly. That is no guarantee that we will see either of these teams come January.
Junior Bro 11:10:00 PM
A Gehlke Bros Update
The two or three other people who follow our website may be wondering, "Where are you Bros? Why didn't this week's games get posted?" Well, both bros happend to be on separate vacations this weekend, so the posting isn't done yet. We did make our picks, however, so here's a recap:
Both the Junior and Senior Bro finished with identical 11-3 records, all the losses coming on splits. Ben's bad luck continued with a 6-8 Week 4 record. The Senior Bro correctly picked an improbable win by Houston, as well as road victories by Tennessee and the surprising Dallas Cowboys. I guess the lesson is, don't mess with any team that has played or currently plays in Texas.
Junior Bro (ME!) correctly predicted a road win for the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, as well as the first wins of the season for Philadelphia and Cincinnati. The Bengal prediction was a last minute change. One more win and they'll equal last year's total!
The only correct predictions from all three of us were wins by Washington, Oakland, Denver, and Green Bay.
Junior Bro 10:49:00 PM
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Who Were The Real Dogs at the Stick???
Complain as much as you want about the Mariucci era being too conservative, but I have not seen such a pathetic 49ers offensive performance since perhaps the 40-8 pasting at the hands of the Eagles in 1994. The Browns had no business winning that game, looking every bit like an 0-2 team, but the 49ers offense laid down like dogs in the fourth quarter, allowing the Browns to finally wear down the 49ers defense.
Once again, the 49ers found a way to lose to a seemingly overmatched, albeit playoff caliber team. It seems like last year is repeating itself. One play could have made the difference, a blown call on a fourth down and goal from the one, in which Fred Beasley was ruled not to have broken the plane of the goal line. Replays showed the ball to have made it to the white line, signifying a touchdown, but the officials review upheld the ruling on the field. Despite this, Cleveland should have been beaten handily and decisively. The 49ers failed to run the ball all day against a team that game up nearly 300 yards the week before, and couldn't pass in the fourth quarter.
The one bright spot of the day is that the Niners may have finally found a kicker. Owen Pochman was 4 for 4 in field goals on a day the 49ers needed five.
I said it last year, I'll say it again this year, the 49ers are at best a one win and out playoff team, and at worst may not make the playoffs at all. They say defense wins championships, but not when the offense can't score a touchdown!
Junior Bro 5:13:00 PM
Week 2 Thoughts
Looks like my Niners vs. Rams instincts were pretty accurate... unfortunately. It was a much closer game than I originally would have thought. The Niners basically gave the game away. They dominated the first half defensively, but looked equally as bad in the second half. All they had to do was put three additional points on the board, but a missed kick here, a failure to fall on the ball there, and a lost coin toss ended the Niners hopes.
Both Bay Area teams were at opposite ends of closely played games, but a similar question can be asked for both teams: Has the losing team progressed so far that they were able to make it close or has the winning team fallen back to the rest of the pack?
In both the Niners and Raiders cases, I'd have to say that the later answer must be true. The Rams are simply not the team they once were, but the Niners, especially on the offensive side of the ball, look no different than teams of the last couple of years. As for the Raiders, the Bengals are still the Bengals. They shouldn't have posed a challenge for more than a quarter for a team that was in the Superbowl last year.
Early Superbowl Contenders (Note: This is why they play a 16 game season):
Kansas City, Denver, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Seattle, Minnesota, Carolina, and Washington.
Junior Bro 9:37:00 AM
Sunday, September 14, 2003
Talk about boneheaded plays! The Niners rallied to tie up the game with 19 seconds left, recovered an onside kick, then got a great pass from Jeff Garcia to Cedric Wilson deep in Rams territory that would have put the Niners in field goal range. But somebody forgot to tell Wilson to FALL ON THE BALL instead of scrambling away from tacklers. That move wasted the four seconds left on the clock, costing them a shot at the win in regulation. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Glenn 8-D 6:10:00 PM
Niners vs. Rams
The Bros. have agreed -- Sean has given permission, actually -- that the Niners should beat the Rams today. This is despite the fact that the Junior Bro picked against his favorite red-and-gold team as they venture into tornado alley. It's always tough when we split on games involving the Bay Area teams. The natural inclination is to root for the Niners or the Raiders. And we do, even on those occasions when we have to pick their opponent.
No disagreements in our Raiders prediction, however; we all think they should dispatch the Bungles handily, a team that is 6-26 lifetime in the Golden State.
Glenn 8-D 10:10:00 AM
The Bros. are getting ready for the weekly conference call.
Glenn 8-D 9:46:00 AM
Saturday, September 13, 2003
A LOOK BACK AT WEEK ONE
* Whatever happend to Kurt Warner? He still hasn't won a game since the NFC championship game in January 2002, a twenty month drought. On Sunday, he looked like he was trying out for a role with the Keystone Cops.
* The 49ers scored their number against pitiful Chicago (yet another thing to have disappeared in January 2002). I bet they wish they were facing Warner this week.
* Who would have guessed that both Mooch's former and current teams would score more than 40 points in the same week. Right now it's looking like a win-win situation for both the Niners and the Lions.
* The Raiders continued their dreadful preseason with a dreadful opening day loss. They get to face the dreadful Bengals this week.
* You can take any one of three things away from the Raiders loss to the Titans:
a) The Raiders beat themselves, shooting themselves in the foot with countless penalties.
b) The refs continue to have it in for the Raiders, conspiring against them at every turn.
c) The Titans last touchdown, where the receiver was clearly out of bounds, will most likely stand out as the worst officiating blunder this season, and may result in changes over what is considered a reviewable play.
* The injury bug is already biting the Raiders, but it's not affecting only the old guys. The loss of Jerry Porter at wide receiver hurts tramendously if he is absent for very long.
* The Bucs (especially their defense) show no signs of slowing down. After one week, they look like they could win the Super Bowl again, but that's why they play a sixteen game season.
* The Packers are 0-2 in their last two games at Lambeau Field. What's going on???
* The Bills shut out the Patsies. I guess that shows you what happens when you release a team leader only a few days before opening day.
* Even without Michael Vick, the Falcons are better than the hapless Cowboys.
* The Houston Texans are still the best team in Texas (and they still have the worst nickname in football).
* Miami appears to be beginning their December collapse a few months early.
* Seattle, Kansas City, and Buffalo appear to be improving rapidly.
* AND FINALLY... JUST AS A REMINDER... THE BENGALS ARE STILL THE BENGALS.
Junior Bro 10:15:00 PM
Sunday, September 07, 2003
ODDS AND ENDS
I hate Thursday games too! Not only is it bad having games in the middle of the week, it also makes more work for the bros!!!
I love the idea of adding two more regular season games if it means removing two of the BORING preseason games.
It's nice to know that the bros still know how to disagree with their picks.
Can you believe I've lost track of how many NawFuL championships I've won in a row? I think I'm on "one for the thumb" (if we gave rings to the winners). It'll be really tough to hold off my competitors this year by the sheer law of averages alone!
Junior Bro 12:06:00 PM
IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED -- PREDICT AGAIN
I intended to post my 2003 NawFuL season predictions on Thursday, but was prevented by technical difficulties. Namely, as my finished typing my many paragraphs of commentary and attempted to post, I discovered that Blogger had logged me off and I lost everything. Lets try it again.
Note: Playoff teams in CAPS!
NFC WEST - Still a two team race!
1) ST. LOUIS (11-5) - They're still the class of the division when healthy. I picked them last year, and it was the only division winner I got wrong.
2) SAN FRANCISCO (10-6) - Coaching is the great unknown. In terms of players, this is largely the same team that suffered an end of the year colllapse last year, and seemingly couldn't beat teams with winning records.
3) Seattle (7-9) - Same old Seahawks.
4) Arizona (4-12) - Need a lot more than a new QB.
NFC NORTH - Green Bay and the also rans.
1) GREEN BAY (10-6) - On top as long as they have Bret Favre.
2) Minnesota (8-8) - They've got the offensive talent and momentum from last year.
3) Chicago (7-9) - Will return to Soldier Field bring a return to the playoffs??? NO!!!
4) Detroit (5-11) - Mooch can't rebuild the Lions in one year.
NFC SOUTH - Arguably the best division in the league.
1) NEW ORLEANS (10-6) - They were ever so close last year.
2) TAMPA BAY (9-7) - Like Baltimore before them, a one hit wonder.
3) Atlanta (8-8) - Would have picked them first, but not without Vick.
4) Carolina (7-9) - Improving, but do they have a QB?
NFC EAST - No team to challenge Philly
1) PHILADELPHIA (12-4) - May be the class of the league.
2) Washington (8-8) - Still putting the pieces together.
3) N.Y. Giants (7-9) - Let's see... losing record, Superbowl, losing record, playoffs... The Giants take this season off.
4) Dallas (3-13) - Still falling to pieces.
AFC WEST - The young and the ancient
1) SAN DIEGO (11-5) - They're young, have good coaching, and hopefully won't collapse like last year.
2) KANSAS CITY (10-6) - Similar to San Diego, but they didn't do well enough last year to have a collapse.
3) Denver (8-8) - Is Plummer really the answer???
4) Oakland (7-9) - Last years division standings turned upside down. Age tends to creep up suddenly (the 49ers of the late 90's are my prime example). The Raiders looked REALLY OLD during the Superbowl and preseason, so I am expecting the same type of year this year as the Rams did last year.
AFC NORTH - The changing of the guard
1) CLEVELAND (10-6) - Looked good last year, now they've settled on a QB.
2) Pittsburgh (8-8) - With Kordell gone, they no longer have a safety valve.
3) Baltimore (6-10) - Starting rookie Kyle Boller at QB. That usually doesn't bode well.
4) Cincinnati (2-14) - Three certainties in life: death, taxes, and the Bengals in the cellar.
AFC SOUTH - The winner is... the team that isn't from the South!
1) INDIANAPOLIS (11-5) - Defense should improve in Dungy's second year.
2) TENNESSEE (10-6) - Last year may have been their best chance.
3) Jacksonville (8-8) - Will new coach make a difference?
4) Houston (5-11) - Already the best team in Texas.
AFC EAST - The battle of the mediocre
1) NEW ENGLAND (10-6) - Defensive upgrades will make a difference.
2) Miami (9-7) - Ready for their annual December collapse.
3) Buffalo (9-7) - They're on the right track.
4) N. Y. Jets (6-10) - Injury to Pennington makes all the difference.
NFC - St. Louis, Green Bay, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa Bay
AFC - San Diego, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New England, Kansas City, Tennessee
SUPERBOWL MATCHUP: Philadelphia vs. Kansas City
Junior Bro 11:56:00 AM
What is it about odd numbers? Three split games in progress at the moment, and so far things are not looking good for the Senior Bro.
But it's early...
Glenn 8-D 10:54:00 AM
2 more weeks?
The football gods want to add two more games to the regular NawFuL season. So, would that mean 19 weeks of pain and torture as opposed to the 17 we endure now?
You can bet that if the season gets extended that the Bros. will follow. Where do I stand? I like the idea if that extra two weeks is enough for Glenn to catch Sean in the Gehlke Bros. Football picks, but I'm not crazy about it if it just means two more weeks for Sean to pad his lead at the end of the season.
Glenn 8-D 9:38:00 AM
Making our list, checking it thrice
In looking over today's matchups, it is always tough picking the first week's games. I hate to admit this, but I paid about thismuch attention to the NawFuL preseason. I am relying on luck as much as skill to make my Week 1 selections.
Ben sort of took the same approach, except that he is a Raiders faithful, so we know where his pick goes vs. Tennessee.
Waiting on Sean, then we'll post our selections.
Glenn 8-D 9:34:00 AM
Friday, September 05, 2003
Just now had a chance to update the Gehlke Bros. site. Sorry about the posting delay. In all the excitement of seeing Vinny Testaverde in action we just plum forgot. Seriously, ran into a snag called "work" -- as in too much of it and not enough time to play on the Web before it started. We can just all complain to the football gods about these gawdawful Thursday games.
Who ever came up with the idea that America needed to get its football fix on the Thursday night after Labor Day? I can understand Thanksgiving, because then we are all too bloated to move from the couch anyhow, but the week after Labor Day is the first week of summer withdrawl. We need time to adjust. There's the end of vacation and the start of work, or school. We still haven't rinsed all the barbecue smoke out of our clothes. Football can wait till the weekend.
And when you have stellar matchups the likes of the Jets-Deadskins... well, let's just say it takes a little more to get this football fan's blood pumping on a Thursday night.
TGFS (Thank God For Sunday) and the real cream of the Week 1 NawFuL crop.
Glenn 8-D 12:41:00 AM
Thursday, September 04, 2003
Woo-hoo! 16-13. The Bros. are batting a thousand...
Glenn 8-D 9:00:00 PM
And they're off!
Yet another reason to hate Thursday games... None of the Bros. have access to the FTP site, so we'll have to post our first picks here. (Yes, we'll update the FTP properly tonight.)
No splits for game one. Sean and Glenn are both taking Washington, while Ben plays the contrarian and takes the Jets. We'll watch the action unfold this evening.
Glenn 8-D 3:46:00 PM
Monday, September 01, 2003
Now that all that preseason nonsense is over with it's time for the serious prognostications to begin. Let's see... First up is the Jets at Washington on (ugh!) Thursday. I know Sean is probably counting on the fact that I have been absorbed by NASCAR for the past six months and can't tell my penalty flags from the caution flags. To a degree that's probably a good assessment.
I will be studying the depth charts this week in preparation for the season opener.
Glenn 8-D 2:08:00 AM