Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ken Hawk's Friday Huddle - Week 4

Week 4 of the NFL season is here, and Ken Hawk is on the job to get you through it, with as little stress and as many boobies as possible.
This weekend poses several fierce matchups. The undefeated Seahawks travel to Chicago for a NFC showdown. The Bolts take on the Ravens in a matchup of solid defenses. Carolina hosts the 3-0 Saints. New England heads to Cincinnatti to face the undefeated Bengals. The Colts face the Jets. BND's 'Boys and T.O.D. (get that? T.O.? O.D.? I thought it was clever. OK, nevermind.) head to Tennessee to see if the Tits even show up.
Lets talk Chargers at Ravens. "Something has got to give" is the phrase of the week and rightfully so. San Diego presents a formidable offense and defense, they miss the playoffs last year by a few feet, but the team is here. Maybe we haven't seen enough of Philip Rivers yet, but we've seen plenty of Shawne Merriman to make us thundershit ourselves. Baltimore has a few W's in the belt this year, and anywhere you look people will say yeah, against Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Cleveland. But there's a point there. Let's see what happens when you throw two winning teams at each other. This is going to be a hard hitting, defensive contest, and I think the Chargers will put it away at the end.
The Saints may be the least respected 3-0 team out there. Day of, New Orleans residents on the net were boasting how bad they suck. Day after, the game had to have been fixed. Many still doubt their play and credit the emotion of Monday night. I honestly do not know, I think this is one of those teams that has defied the natural laws, like how Ken Hawk leaves a skid mark on the ceiling, and its just going to take a few more weeks to wait and see. At the same time, I never bought into the whole Carolina thing, it came right after preseason and smelled of overhype. Hey theres plenty of time to turn it around, so prove me wrong. I say the Saints do it again here.
In the Colts/Jets and Patriots/Bengals games, I just don't see enough there to trip up either of the favored teams. I was interested to see what Bill Belichick would mastermind to keep the Cincinnatti offense down, and maybe he will, but that image of Tom Brady looking like a bum on the sidewalk is sticking with me.
A Sunday night battle awaits at Soldier Field when the Seahawks take on the Chicago Bears. Some predict this as an early look at a possible postseason matchup. Hell, why not? The Seahawks haven't lost much since last year, their play has strengthened each week, they knocked NY into a complete tailspin last Sunday with a stiff defense and a four wide receiver offense that seemed to keep everyone open and kept the Giants defense scrambling, and are bucking that trend that follows the Super Bowl loser clubs. The Bears offense has been playing at a higher level than it had all last year, and in three weeks they've done what you'd expect a good club to: blowout the weak teams, and win the close games vs. the strong ones. Are they a contender? It's Week 4, we could sit here and make arguments for half the NFL teams. Here's my thoughts: win or lose, this game is really about finding out how good Seattle and Chicago are. I say this for this game, but it should apply to any: a win is a win, but finding your substance is a real victory. I thought this would be my upset pick as I assumed the Seahawks were favored, but as of Alexander's benching, a critical factor to say the least, I have not seen the odds. Well, I'm going with the Bears on this one, looking for a very close scoring game, and hoping to see the Chicago boys come out on top. Ken Hawk will be back Monday night for the recap after the Packer lose HAHAHAHAHAOMg

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Return of The Saints

Sometimes, it's great to be wrong.

The Saints returned to New Orleans Monday night to defeat what many, including myself, thought a superior Falcons team. Atlanta had racked up over 500 yards rushing in their first two games and looked like a born-again squad with a revitalized Mike Vick and beefed-up defense. But this outcome couldn't be predicted with stats. This game couldn't be won by measure of talent. No, this game was won with heart. Congratulations, New Orleans.

So I went 9-5 this week with my picks, 2-3 with the big games. Are these Bengals for real? A so-so game out of Cincinnatti equals an upset over Pittsburgh. At the same time, that defense put out a ton of yards. I'll be interested to see how they handle San Diego in Week 10 and Indianapolis is Week 15. Sunday night it became very clear that the Patriots are on the down escalator, did you see that bench? Backdoor Sluts 9 didn't have that many heads hanging low. New England has made some choices lately that have heads shaking, but this isn't a team that should be looking like it can't pull out of the spiral.
One bad pick I went on this year was going with something I prophesized two years ago. This is just poor on my part. In 2004 I told a friend in Jersey to give the Giants two years. This is what I went on in giving NY the thumbs up as my NFC contender this year. The past two weeks, they have just. looked. bad. Seattle absolutely crushed them, pay no attention to the 42-30 score, this was 42-3 at one point. Now there are problems, players slamming each other - I don't know how much worse it gets than that - this is a team on very shaky ground. I made an airhead decision. And I thought CNN Headline News' Robin Meade claimed that blue ribbon yesterday with asking the weather guy what the temperature would be like at the SuperDome. Oh boy.

hUhuhboobieswhat was I talking about again. Right so it looks like the Seahawks got all the moving parts going again and looked just awesome on Sunday. Say what you want about the losing team returning to the Super Bowl trend, this is still the team to beat in the NFC. The Bears topped the Vikings in a close match, despite some mistakes on Grossman's part you have to give the guy credit for keeping focus and nailing a touchdown in the closing minutes to seal the game. It's a win, but don't think that Minnesota team won't be back. The Bears face a gargantuan test this week vs. the Seahawks.
Elsewhere, the Colts offense worked on the Jaguars defense patiently and arose at the end with the W. This is an intense team that wants that ring, it will be interesting to see who will be able to keep up with Indianapolis this year, as the Patriots, who have had their number in previous years, are currently reeling in the East.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ken Hawk's Friday Huddle - Week 3

Week Three poses several standoffs between well-matched teams. The Jaguars, fresh off their halting of the Steelers at home, are moving on to Indianapolis for a showdown with the high-powered Colts. This looks to be the match of the week, with an intense Jacksonville squad looking for some recognition. The Bengals-Steelers rivalry continues in Pittsburgh and looks to get bloody what with the Steelers kicking Cincinnatti to the back of the bus in last year's playoffs. The Giants head to the bird cage as they take on the Seahawks, and the NFC North sees the Bears and Vikings battling it out in Minnesota.
I see the Indianapolis offense in high gear beating the Jaguars defense; its a matter of who can get more points on the board. Leftwich plays well, but the Indianapolis offense just gets it done in this fight.
This is a tough one, but I think the Steelers will overcome the Bengals in a heated match. The Bengals are white hot over the Steelers delivering that K.O. last year and quashing what might have been; Cincinnatti could pull off the upset, I would not be suprised, this has been the hardest one to call all week.
I am taking the Giants over the Seahawks as my upset pick. NY I think will take advantage of some early Seattle struggling and capitalize. Expect a close one here.
I would love to pick the Saints as the winner on Monday night, returning to New Orleans to beat the Falcons in what may be one of the most memorable nights in this city's sports history. But Atlanta is playing at a level in the first two weeks that is impossible to ignore. They are tearing through defenses like Ken Hawk through Pepto. Look out for those Falcons.
Bears over Vikings. I think Minnesota has the talent to keep up with Chicago, moreso than GB or Detroit, but the pressure to get Grossman to perform has made his play solid, the offense is connecting, and the defense is actually... wow... unsatisfied with itself. "If you're not getting better, you're getting worse, as the other teams out there are getting better." This defense will look menacing. Go Bears!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Jack'd off

Anyone who was looking for a smashmouth brutal game on Monday night's Pittsburgh vs. Jacksonville game was not let down.

In the past two years the battles between these two teams have been hard-fought, physically punishing, and fairly equally-matched. Two years ago a rookie Ben Roethlisberger led a charge with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter to overcome the Jaguars. A year ago the Steelers fell as substitute quarterback Tommy Maddox, who I could only assume was under the influence of heavy drugs while battling a flu and recovering from a incident involving a fork to the skull, was trampled by the Jags in overtime.
The battle this time was no different, if not more intense. Jaguars defenders were harassing Steelers receivers all night, enough pressure to make the collective ball drop of the Steelers comparable to a New Years Eve in Times Square. When they did manage to get their hands on a catch, they were rocked. Not too much different on the other side, the Steelers kept it close all game, but in the end it was the Jaguars capitalizing off a brick wall defense and the Steelers just not getting it done.
This was an upset for me, aside from my picking Pittsburgh to pull this game off, I was disappointed in seeing this team lose. Taking nothing away from the Jaguars, as they are a high caliber team, but you can't blame the Jaguars for dropped catches, missed tackles, and overthrown passes. That's not the postseason Steelers team that wrecked Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver last year.
As for the Jacksonville, you have to respect the offense cutting into one of the best defenses in the league, as well as shutting out the Pittsburgh attack. A test comes against the Colts this Sunday, which Ken Hawk will be observing while nursing his bachelor party hangover. If he's not busy concealing the dead hooker from the night before.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


The autumn season is upon us, and with it comes the start of the 2006-07 NFL season. As a loving fan of the sport itself, I have made a tradition at studying trends and statistics as well as enjoying the momentum of the season; there is no greater loyalty than the fan who dons the colors and endures weather and wife alike to salute his team every Sunday, but who does not simply enjoy a well-matched game?
In all honesty, this is the first year in the last 4 where I have been unable to picture one team rising above the rest at the forefront of the season; indeed, looking into the horizon it appears one team has just as good a chance as the next. Two years ago I chose the New England Patriots to claim the prize (thank you), and last year the Indianapolis Colts (though as I thought the Steelers had the coolest name since I was kid, in addition to their enormous play in the past two years, loved seeing this franchise win). This year, I am with hesitation at any choice. New England remains a threat in the east. The Bengals and Ravens look to challenge the Steelers in the north. The NFC East looks to AGAIN be the hard-fought title this year, with a revitalized Philadelphia group rejoining the battle. At the commencement of the season, unable to see a clear leader surmounting above the pile, I made these picks:
Super Bowl winner: Indianapolis
Super Bowl loser: New York Giants
Dark horse: Miami
Indianapolis is a storm of offense, a strong defense, a team that many a football fan recognize, but also one that has fallen in the important games. I suggested the New York Giants as the team I prophesized two years ago would find its groove and pose a serious threat. Manning has seen some experience, perhaps not quite enough yet, but New York looks to be a contender in the NFC race. Miami, at the end of last season, I thought to be the team no one would see coming. I'm not buying the whole Cardinals pick as a sleeper yet.

Now, the Chicago Bears, the kings of the north, the monsters of the midway, the sultans of swing. I myself was shaking my head at what I considered a weak draft, seeking a threat to complement Mushain would seem the priority (I'm sorry, Bobby Wade just doesn't cut anything but cheese for me). However, the first two games have raised eyebrows. While one can't but help look at the preseason with measuring stick in hand, Grossman has played good. I've watched Griese in Tampa, I myself sought to see more of him, but Rex has performed, and suddenly we're seeing some action from Berrian, Clark and this guy I love to watch Jason McKie. With Jones and Benson intact, the Bears will almost certainly reign as the NFC North champs. The defense? Numbers don't lie, they are suffocating. Paris Hilton couldn't score on this.
My picks today went great, considering last week I was 9-6, with New Orleans as my upset pick over Cleveland. Today, very good this morning, 8-1, my upset this week was the Giants over the Eagles, and until 5 minutes ago, I spent three hours wondering what the hell I was thinking. BND, watch out for those Giants bud! In the other two big games, I am thinking BND's 'Boys over the Redskins, and the Steelers over the Jaguars. I'll be working harder to getting picks up here each week, looking forward to a great season!