Team TST had a big, big week in week 4, propelling them right back into contention. Here to try to keep up the momentum is FletcherIsland. Let's hear a bit about him, in his own words:
TST Username: fletcherisland (originating about a year ago). It appears I'm due for an update in username, perhaps to something like CortnorischerIsland? I've been a longtime spectator and took the plunge at the end of last year and decided to contribute to the madness.
Real name: Jawaad Hasan
About me: St. Louis is where I've called home for all 23 years of my life. Deeply entrenched in Rams and Cardinals lore, I began to have sports memories dating back to the mid to late 90s. The Rams entered my conscience during the 1999 season at the ripe age of 10, but it's not what you think. Since birth, I've been a fan of the underdog. I hated the Yankees and the Bulls in the 90s, because dynasties didn't mean anything to me. In my mind, these teams all skipped the whole "sucking stage of development" and jumped right into a Madden-style dynasty mode while keeping the game on the Rookie difficulty setting. There was nothing fair about that to me. That being said, in 1999, I thought the Rams had done the same thing knowing nothing of their history. Therefore, I developed an allegiance to a team in the 1999 season that pulled off the underdog motif and dazzled with a certain trick play in the playoffs that year (Hey! Trick plays tickled a 10-year-old's fancy back in the day!): The Music City Miracle. So for the 1999 season, I unfortunately pledged allegiance to the Tennessee Titans. Before you throw your dust-collecting '99 Trent Green Rams jerseys at me, don't worry, I am fully a Rams fan now and was slightly confused as a prepubescent youngster. As twisted as this sounds, I appreciated the mediocrity following the 1999 Superbowl and understood the difficulty to getting the the Big game that I couldn't appreciate before. And after an 82-114 record since becoming a full-fledged Rams fan, I am more ready than anyone to leave the "sucking stage of development" behind us.
Unrelated Note that may or may not count as a bragging right:My third grade teacher was a Rams Cheerleader. Does that count as a claim to fame?
Your favorite football food I'm a wings guy, but I'm preferential toward a variety pack of both BBQ and Buffalo at the same time with a definite Ranch dipping sauce.
Your favorite personal sports story (participating, spectator, television, whatever) I'm going to have to go with my first live Rams home game. We became season ticket holders after the Superbowl and the Rams were on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos. They won that game in typical rout fashion and the play that remains deeply ingrained in my mind is Az Hakim's touchdown catch that he ran side-by-side Torry Holt all the way to the endzone. It was awesome. It was a happier time.
He's right, those were happier times. But the team is 3-2 now, and maybe those happy times are prime for a return. Also, am I the only one that thinks of Az Hakim as more of a liability as a fumbler than a benefit as a receiver?
Alright, let's get to the picks!
3K: Carolina. So much of this Cam Newton garbage comes from the ESPN manufacturing machine. The Panthers had no prepared secondary offensive plan in week one, and took them a week to develop. After being embarrassed by the Giants on Thursday night football in week 3, the Panthers could have moved to 2-2 with a win over the Falcons, a likely outcome when the Panthers held a lead with just 59 seconds to go (to say nothing of a 3rd & 2/4th & 1 sequence beforehand that plays to the Panthers' strength). Put frankly, the Falcons are one of the best teams in the NFL, and the Panthers nearly beat them in Atlanta. Don't buy the nonsense, whether or not Carolina wins this one.
DCRamFan: Seattle, though on the road, will look to rebound from last weeks loss to the Rams - who also just beat the undefeated Cardinals with their spectacular defensive play, and now find themselves at 3-2 on the season, undefeated in their division, and with the first winning record since - oh...sorry. Seattle wins on the road because Carolina is terrible. The Rams, however, are not!
Douglas M: Seattle is reeling from the loss to the Rams last week. Traveling to Carolina as Cam Newton ends his sulking is just bad timing for the Seahawks. The Panthers are about to go on a small win streak, and they start by beating Seattle after barely losing to Atlanta last week. I just don't think Seattle can score enough to win this game. Carolina Wins.
Mike Dietrich: The Rams and Packers exposed Russel Wilson, I expect even the awful Panther defense can keep him in check and Newton is due for a major breakout. Panthers win by 7
Rick Siegel: The Seahawks certainly looked pretty pitiful last week against the Rams. Three picks by Wilson, disastrous special teams, nowhere near the pressure we all expected them to get...and still had a chance to win at the end. The Rams beat the Seahawks because of Greg Zeurlein and because Fisher and his staff called a great game. Ron Rivera, on the other hand, may be the worst coach in the league. I'll take the Seahawks.
FletcherIsland: This is a matchup of (should-be) 1-3 teams with the lone win coming against seemingly unimpressive teams: Dallas Cowboys (2-2) and New Orleans Saints (0-4). What? You say the Seahawks have two wins? Erroneous! Regardless, the Panthers' offense is trying to find it's footing and just came off a heartbreaking road loss where they did enough to win against arguably the best team in the NFC and maybe the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons. I look for them to build off that game, therefore I'll take Cam Newton over Diet Cam Newton. Panthers
3K: Philadelphia. These might be the two weirdest teams in the NFL. Philly has won three games by a total of four points, including a one-point win over the Browns. They lost to the Cardinals by 21. Pittsburgh lost by 12 to Denver and by 3 to frigging Oakland. I don't bet on sports, and games like this are why.
DCRamFan: Philly has been winning a lot of games late. Inconsistency 'at the most important position in football' (haters, where you at?) will be the downfall of the Eagles in Week 5. If you plan on winning a game in Pittsburgh, it won't be because you drive down the field on that defense at the end of the game. They just don't allow it.
Douglas M: The Eagle don't win this one. A rickety Steelers team is going to show them why they are going to contend for the AFC North. Big Ben throws for season high totals as they win the battle of Pennsylvania for 2012. Michael Vick sees the bench in this game for the first time this year. Steelers win.
Rick Siegel: Somehow people are penalizing the Eagles more for winning close games than they are penalizing Pittsburgh for just plain LOSING games. Philadelphia has the 5th ranked offense in the league. The Steelers have the 18th. Normally this would be overcome by Pittsburgh's great defense, but Philadelphia has one of the most underrated defenses in the league. The Eagles are 6th to the Steelers 5th. As much as the inconsistency of the Eagles (and Vick) has been driving me crazy, I just don't think the Steelers are good. Give me Philly.
FletcherIsland: The Battle of Pennsylvania should be an interesting matchup. Although sporting a 1-2 record and coming off a weird and devastating loss to the Raiders prior to the bye week, Big Ben Roethlisberger has 8 touchdowns to 1 interception in three games and is having arguably the best individual start to a season of his career. Meanwhile, on the other sideline, Michael Vick needs to have Brinks on speed dial, because he's having security issues: job security, ball security, and even body part security. The Iggles have won their three games by a combined 4 points, and they are clearly living on the edge. Big Ben and the Steelers get the nod.
3K: Denver. This one was tough, like the Eagles-Steelers game. Unlike that game, this one is between two really solid teams. The problem for the Pats is that while they have a strong offense and a decent run defense, that secondary's getting picked apart. Denver, on the other hand, can play defense and upgraded from Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning. See you in the playoffs, Broncos.
DCRamFan: New England wins, and it's a simple explanation. Champ Bailey says that Brandon Lloyd is the best athlete in the NFL. Josh McDaniels is a genius. Tom Brady is excellent. It's a home game for NE. And Peyton Manning isn't Tim Tebow. You do the math...
Douglas M: Sorry Broncos, but New England is finally starting to roll, and they won't lose another one at home after Arizona ruined their home opener. Manning won't handle the ghosts of rivalries past, and he'll throw a few INTs. Tom Brady works his weapons for another stellar passing day. Patriots walk away with this one...
Mike Dietrich: The Mannings are traveling way across the country playing in a spot where Peyton has struggled with better teams in the past, Pats win by 14
Rick Siegel: I am a huge fan of the Broncos this year. I think they are probably one of the 6 or 8 best teams in the league. But I remember what Brady did to them last year in the playoffs, and I just don't think that defense has improved enough to give Manning a chance. Pats win.
|DCRamFan||DouglasM||Mike Dietrich||Rick Siegel||
Week 5: FletcherIsland
33 - 26
|36 - 23||
34 - 25
|33 - 26||32 - 27||32 - 27||200 - 154|
|Win % YTD||56%||61%||58%||56||54%||54%||56%|
|Last Week||11 - 3||11 - 3||8 - 6||7 - 7||9 - 5||12 - 2||58 - 26|
|Miami @ Cincinnati||
|Green Bay @ Indianapolis|
|Baltimore @ Kansas City|
|Atlanta @ Washington||
|Cleveland @ New York Giants|
|Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh|
|Seattle @ Carolina|
|Chicago @ Jacksonville|
|Tennessee @ Minnesota|
|Denver @ New England|
|Buffalo @ San Francisco|
|San Diego @ New Orleans|
|Houston @ New York Jets|