Nov 19, 2017

NFL Week 11: Kevin Harlan

Our NFL Announcer in focus this week: Kevin Harlan!

Kevin is a native Wisconsiner, and his first job in broadcasting was being the play-by-play voice of the Kansas City Kings in the early 80s. He did not make the move to Sacramento, however. He stayed in the Midwest and did Jayhawks game, Chiefs radio, and then the T-wolves. Kevin started doing national TV NFL games in 1991 for NBC - where I'm sure he did his share of Browns games - and then Fox in the mid 90s.

Kevin then moved to Turner sports in 1996 and has been with Turner/CBS ever since. Most people know him for his NBA work - he has a few classic catch lines that we all know:
"Right between the eyes"
"With no regard for Human life!"

Here's a sample of his best NBA lines....yes, I could listen to the LeBron one all day....

He then got into NFL, doing some games for CBS as the 4th or 5th announcing team. His current responsibilities now are focused on radio, as he is the lead radio announcer for MNF and has done a few Super Bowls on radio for Westwood One. The most famous moment on radio for Kevin in the NFL has to be the fan on the field during a forgettable Rams/49ers game - the opener last year in the late Monday night game. Here's the radio call of the idiot on the field. How does it take them so long to corral this person?

"Somebody stop him! That's the most exciting thing that happened tonight!"

Of course, since he is with CBS, and he loves basketball, Kevin is a new staple presence on NCAA Tournament broadcasts. I think he is now the #3 team behind Jimmy N and Uncle Verne; he is in the top 4 as he does the regional semis and finals for CBS. His best moment must have been painful for him personally - 2010, Northern Iowa vs. Kansas. Kansas, the #1 overall seed playing #9 seed Northern Iowa. I remember exactly where I was watching this; I was just outside the poker room at the Mirage watching the TVs trying to stop Northern Iowa from choking this away...... and then Ali Farokmanesh took things into his own hands.

This - and TJ Sorretine's shot - are the 2 most ballsy shots I have even seen in an NCAA tourney....

(Go to the 1:20 mark for the sequence and the shot)

(wow ... and now I just find out that Harlan called the Weber State - N Carolina game back in 1998 with Harold "The Show" Arceneaux leading Weber....)

Somehow, two of the best fakes I have seen the Browns execute over the last 10 years came with Kevin on the call. First - here's the best rushing attempt by the Browns this decade, by, not Johnny Manziel - it's Reggie Hodges!

(How does he not score here? How many so-called "blockers" are downfield doing nothing?)

And how about the quote " How about that game plan by Eric Mangini!" .... my God....

And - in 2013, we played the Vikings right after the Richardson trade. No one gave us a chance...and then this fake field goal to Jordan Cameron. Remember when he was going to be a star?

(Go to the 6:15 mark)

Anyway - today's game; Tashaun Gibson says the Jaguars will beat us 40-0. Who am I to argue otherwise? Will I watch any of this game?

On to the games:

Chi 24, Det 16. Det showed nothing against the Browns' run last week; I think this is a perfect matchup for the Lions.

Bal 20, GB 17 . Who in the world can I trust here? Huntley, going against the Ravens D? Or the Ravens absolutely abysmal O? I'll pass.

Hou 20, Az 16.  I think Houston still has some strength on D; their weakness in the secondary won't be exposed by Blaine Gabbert....will it?

Min 26, LAR 23. Should be a fun game to watch. Not sure how well the Rams will play against a quality opponent.

NO 27, Was 16. Boy, this looks too easy on paper. I just like the Saints D too much and believe they will contain the Redskins O.

KC 27, NYG 20. KC is not good defensively and the Giants should score some points. Are they motivated at all on defense to show up and hold the Chiefs to less than 30? I hope so....

TB 30, Mia 26. I'm done waiting for Cutler to play well....

LAC 23, Buf 16. Curious move to bench Taylor by the Bills. But I can't back the Chargers as this big of a favorite.

Den 20, Cin 10. Third road game in a row for the Bengals. I think they are ready to pack it in. The Bengals main offensive weapons are in the running game - and that's what Denver excels at stopping.

NE 31, Oak 23. I'd be worried about the backdoor if I were Patriots backers. Still think a team with a good passing attack can score on this team.

Phi 30, Dal 24. A desperate Cowbys team usually means lots of points....

Sea 27, Atl 16. I know Seattle has lost a lot in their secondary. But I've seen Atlanta enough to know I can't trust them on the road and Seattle's home magic (and Wilson) will find a way.

Best bets: 12 of them. Last week: 6-8; overall: 74-59-3
Chi +3
Hou -2
LAR/Min over 45.5
NO -7.5
Was/NO under 52
NYG +10
TB pk
TB/Mia over 42.5
Den -2.5
Cin/Den under 38.5
Phi/Dal over 48
Sea -2

Supercontest picks: Last week: 3-2; overall: 31-18-1
Chi +2.5
Hou pk
NYG +10.5
Den -2.5
Sea -2.5


Nov 18, 2017

Week 11 Anagram

Here's your week 11 anagram:

Hark! Vine! LAN!

This may be what a Napa Valley visitor would exclaim upon seeing that his wireless isn't working and he has to get bets in for the 4 pm College Basketball games * - but rearrange these letters to form what NFLannouncer?

Your Browns related clue: Fakes!

Nov 12, 2017

NFL Week 10: Greg Gumbel

Your week 10 announcer in focus: Greg Gumbel!

I know of no one out there that dislikes Greg. He is a perfect lead broadcaster for a network - affable, knowledgeable, clear, and a somewhat vanilla personality. That makes him the ultimate combo for a studio host for big events or play by play announcer for key games. You know what you are getting - professionalism and no controversy.

Gumbel is from Louisiana and somehow went to college at Loras college in Dubuque, Iowa. I can't tell you how much of culture shock that had to be for a Cajun.

(Fun Fact: there is an indoor waterpark in Dubuque; I was in Dubuque when Don called me at the end of the 04 season to say that Phil Savage - our last good GM - was fired. Random note).

Gumbel started at a Chicago TV station in the 70s, and then got into the New York/Northeast scene with MSG and ESPN. He is one of the first few anchors of SportsCenter. There is that smarmy clip out there of he and Berman doing a song on air and then cracking up - I won't link to that since our readers have probably seen that 1,000 times.

Gumbel then moved to CBS in the late 80s, and then started hosting the NFL Today (I guess Musberger moved to ABC by then). Here he is in late 1993 hosting NFL Today with some idiot ex-jock that probably will go nowhere in broadcasting....

(watch for Gumbel, stay for the best NFL opening song in history and the open to the Game of the Week by Mr. Smarmy himself....)

Not many of you young 'uns remember, but CBS had the Winter Olympics for a while in the 90s; Gumbel became the studio host for the most-watched Winter Olympics ever in Lillehammer, Norway. Here's the opening - Gumbel co-hosted with Andrea Joyce; love the theme song; however, Joyce's comments around the 1:00 mark are a little creepy given today's environment.....

Oh hell, because I can't help myself - this link is labeled "part 2". What's part 1? My Smarmy himself has a breaknews update. Put on a tie, for God's sake!

Most casual fans now know Gumbel as the host for the NCAA Basketball tournament. How many of us count down the minutes/hours until 6:00 pm on the second Sunday in March, when Gumbel announces the 64 (or 65, or 68) teams for the tourney..... I think he started this in the early 2000s.....remember when these were 30 minutes? That's all you needed to announce a bracket...

There's a limited amount of connection between Gumbel and the Browns - usually because Gumbel does good games and the Browns are the Browns...however, he was te announcer for our last playoff game - January 5, 2003, against the evil Steelers. Boy, it's still hard to watch this clip. I can't make it through. Up 14-0, 17-7...then up 33-28 with 1:30 left; we need to convert a third down. Butch Davis correctly calls for a pass; it's executed perfectly, and Northcutt drops it. Needless to say, The Steelers get the punt and go down for the winning TD.

If I had to rank Browns' coaches in my life, Butch is 3rd behind only Marty and Bill.

1. Bill - what he did in the early 90s was amazing. He built a solid team out of absolute crap.
2. Marty. Nothing else to say.
3. Butch - he took an expansion team that went 5-27 and went 7-9 in his first year.

Let's end on a good note; in 2014, our last decent year, Greg was on the call for a home game vs. the Steelers. Ben Tate - yes, he was our RB! - had 2 TDs. I watched a little bit of this live as we were house hunting in the US in my 90 hour trip from China with no sleep.....

That was 3 years ago --- we were beating the Steelers 31-3....How??????

On to the games:

NO 23, Buf 20. I just don't see the Bills having enough firepower here. The Saints D is good.

Chi 24, GB 13. This is an odd game. Don't see the Pack scoring much - but how will the Bears move? Will the bye week help Mitch?

Pit 23, Ind 17. Pit has not scored more than 21 points on the road this year. Something still is a little off with them - and the Colts are slowly improving.

Jax 24, LAC 16. Not sure how the Rivers and the Chargers O line will stand up to the #1 pass defense in the league.

NYJ 30, TB 27. I see a shootout here, especially with Fitzpatrick. He will fire the ball all over the place - let's see how that offense does without Jameis.

Cin 24, Ten 20. Who says the Titans are good? Cinci should stop the run, and I'm not sold on Mariotta yet. The only question - have the Bengals given up

Was 20, Min 17. Not really sure about this. Was last week's game against Seattle an aberration?

LAR 30, Hou 16. Hou still has some sort of defense, and now Savage will have a week under his belt. But boy, that Rams O looks unstoppable.

Atl 31, Dal 24. This is the last stand for the Falcons. Off a 3 game road trip, they have to come out ready for this one - against a team that can't stop anyone.

SF 23, NYG 20. I know, I keep picking the Niners to win. Is this it?

NE 24, Den 13. How exactly will Denver move the ball in this game? Brock is still the starting QB, right?

Car 23, Mia 20. I don't see the Panthers getting much past 24 points here - they just don't have the weapons. Cutler and Miami have some weapons to move the ball.

Best bets: 14 of them. Last week: 6-4-1; overall: 68-51-3
NO/Buf under 48
Chi -4.5
Ind +10
Pit/Ind under 45
Jax -5
NYJ/TB over 43.5
Cin +5.5
Was +2
Atl -3.5
Dal/Atl over 48.5
SF +2.5
NE -7.5
NE/Den under 44.5
Mia +9.5

Supercontest picks: Last week: 3-1-1; overall: 28-16-1
Ind +10
Jax -3.5
Cin +4.5
Atl -3
Mia +9

Nov 11, 2017

NFL Week 10 Anagram

Your anagram for week 10:

"Ggg! Bum Reel!"

This could be what David Niven said when he visited Alabama for the first time in the 70s and went on a fishing trip - only to find that his fishing rod was broken - but rearrange these letters to form the name of what famous NFL announcer?

Your Browns clue: Dennis Northcutt

Nov 5, 2017

NFL Week 9: Dick Enberg

This week's announcer in focus: Dick Enberg!

Everyone knows Dick Enberg - Oh My! is his traditional catch phrase. His early career before sports is extremely interesting and probably best forgotten. He grew up in Michigan, then went to Indiana and became an announcer there. His first really big gig - and the first college basketball game he ever announced - was the 1961 NCAA championship game between Cincinnati and Ohio State. Not bad - however, at that time, college basketball was as popular as, say, NCAA soccer is now. So not the biggest deal.

He moved to Southern California in the 60s, and became a professor at Cal State Northridge. He started doing Angels games in the late 60s and was their main play by play announcer. He also did UCLA basketball games in the 60s and 70s. This led to Dick singing "Raindrops keep falling on my head" on center court at the end of the 1970 season. Take a look at this video explaining why - just tells you how wacko college basketball was back then. Minutes upon minutes of players just holding the ball on their hips....

While in SoCal, Dick started getting involved in the entertainment industry, being a host for forgettable game shows and a voice-over for the many animated cartoons of that time. Now - as you all know, I am a game show fanatic, so if I have never heard of some of these shows, then you know they are obscure. Here are two of them from the 70s:


Three for the Money!

Gah! The clothes! My eyes!

Hanna Barbera dominated the 1970-80s TV landscape, making so many animated shows like "The Jetsons", "Laff A Lympics", "Scooby Doo and Scrappy Too" and other forgetful shows. They wanted to take advantage of the growing popularity of the NFL - and created a show abot a family that played football -lots of it. Their neighbor was a cranky old guy voiced by Paul Lynde.

They needed an announcer to voice the "action" on the field during games. Who else, but Dick!
Here's the opening to that wonderful show. It lasted 14 epsiodes.

We all know what Dick did from there - he was the star of NBC sports from the late 70s on into the 90s. So many NFL game highlights; he did the 2 painful AFC championships games in 86 and 87 that I won't link to here. He also was the lead for the bowl games that NBC did - remember, in the 80s, NBC had the Rose Bowl (kick off around 5 pm) and then the Orange Bowl (around 8); ABC had the Sugar that ran opposite the Orange. Charlie Jones always did the Orange Bowl, and Dick Enberg had the Rose. It warmed the whole East Coast on Jan 1 when Dick opened with a scene from Southern California, showing a sunny day in the 70s while it was freezing in the Midwest/east:

Let's focus on some good Dick Enberg Browns moments - both from the 1994 season. We had a tense regular season game at Dallas (defending super bowl champions); Browns led by 5 with :10 left. Dallas has the ball at the 9 yard line, no timeouts. What a play.....

That led to the playoffs - Janice and I were there, last row of the old stadium, January 1, 1995. I wanted these puffy coats....

Thank God it's a bye this week for the Browns! On to the games:

Car 24, Atl 17. I still don't trust Atl's offense. Home game for Carolina, 3 in a row on the road for Atlanta....I like the spot here for the Panthers.

Cin 19, Jax 16.  Jacksonville giving 6? That's too much! I think the Bengals have the run game to stay with the Jags.

LAR 20, NYG 16. This is the type of game where I can't fully trust the Rams - yet. Both off a bye.

Phi 24, Den 13. I give up. I keep hoping for any spark out of the Broncos....No spark is coming. What a great, balanced team the Eagles are.

Hou 20, Ind 17. Too bad about Watson. Seriously! Houston's D line should keep Ind in check while I don't trust Savage.

NO 31, TB 17. I have Tampa as the 30th rated team in the league; going on the road to a hot Saints team?

Ten 24, Bal 21. I have no clue here. Ten could win 37-3, and Baltimore could shut them out. No idea.

Sea 23, Was 16. This is not a layup as one might think. I still don't trust Seattle's offense.

SF 20, Az 16. This is the week for the Niners! I know the Cardinals are off a bye, but Stanton? I don't see the Cards moving the ball much. Cmon Shanahan!

Dal 31, KC 30. Should be a great game. Chiefs can't stop the run - so it will be Zeke, Zeke, Zeke - and Dallas can't stop anyone.

Mia 24, Oak 20. The Raiders are all out of sorts. I think Miami will stop Lynch and the running game with ease - and can focus on the pass defense.

Det 24, GB 20. I have no idea how the Lions will react after that last game.

Best bets: 11 of them. Last week: 5-8; overall: 62-47-2
Car +2.5
Cin +6
LAR/NYG under 42
Phi -7
Ind +7
Ind/Hou under 45.5
NO -7
Was/Sea under 45
SF +2.5
KC/Dal over 53.5
Mia +3

Supercontest picks: Last week: 4-1; overall: 25-15
Car -1
Ind +13 (line was set Wednesday evening)
NO -7
SF +2
Mia +3


Nov 4, 2017

NFL Week 9 Anagram

This week's anagram:

"Brick Degen"

That could have been my nickname as a small forward for the 1988-89 SCDS Cavaliers, as I constantly put up missed shots (but I was helping my teammate's offensive rebounding numbers in the process) - but rearrange those letters to form the name of what famous NFL announcer?

One hint this week - and you may have to do research on this - "Where's Huddles?"

Oct 29, 2017

NFL Week 8: Al Michaels

Our announcer in focus this week is: Al Michaels!

I don't have the space or the time here to detail Al's entire career here. Any sort of casual sports fan knows he is currently the #1, premier announcer in all of sports broadcasting right now - yes, even over Jim Nantz. I think Al was at his best about 5-10 years ago, and is starting to slip ever so slowly on broadcasts - but still, when he is doing an event, you stand up and take notice.

Al started at ABC in 1977; before that, he bounced around doing local broadcast in Hawaii, San Francisco, and yes, Cincinnati. He was the Reds play by play announcer with Joe Nuxhall for the early days of the Big Red machine. His first year was 1972 - which was the first year the Reds made the World Series. Here's the deciding game 5 at Old Riverfront,  9th inning, with the Pirates leading 3-2. Bench homers to tie it up; after a couple more singles, the winning run for the Reds comes in....

It's amazing how similar Michaels is to Vin Scully on some of those calls.

He then went to ABC sports in 1977 where he became an instant superstar in 1980 with the Winter Olympics and the call of the US-USSR hockey game. Legend has it that the ABC Olympics team had no one who did Hockey play by play regularly; they asked for volunteers and Michaels said he had done 1 game in the past - so voila! He's doing hockey!

I am just amazed at how Michaels can keep getting the Russian names correct during that last minute. How do you maintain the professionalism and call the play with 5 and 6 syllable foreign names during that? Amazing.

In the 80s, ABC seemed to be the premier network for sporting events - they had baseball, boxing, and the Olympics, and Monday Night Football. Michaels was on the call for the 1989 series - the Quake - and then the 1985 Series. Going back and watching game 6 of the 1985 series, I underestimated how tense this was. A team (Royals) trying to win their first series against their cross-state rival that clearly made them feel inferior.

And I don't know how I would have reacted if I was a Cardinal fan and seeing this happen to my team....this is worth a watch if you have a free 15 minutes.

(Fun fact: When I played in the 2005 Iowa Mid-Am at a country club in Waterloo, IA, we had a rain delay; we all went into the locker room to wait out the storm; I was changing into dry clothes next to Don Denkinger's locker. Didn't have a camera phone at the time)

Al's gambling references are now legendary. Here's the best one I could fine, from 2013; the over/under on this game was around 50.

As for the Browns, not too many highlights on Michaels doing Browns games. I do remember this Monday Night game from 1990; this is a Browns-Broncos game in Denver in early October; this is after we had lost the AFC Champ to Denver in 3 of the past 4 years. We were 1-3 are really needed a win...... we cut Matt Bahr in training camp for a CFL kicker, Jerry Kauric....down 29-27, we'll let Al take it from here.

I remember watching that as a sophomore and getting excited. OK! We're back! 2-3! Now we will rally and win the weak AFC Central!

We won one more game that year; finished 3-13 and hired a new coach next year..... whose name we all know.

More recently, the last time the Browns were on Sunday Night football was in 2008 for week 2, at home against the Steelers. I know, many of you can't believe this - but Michaels and Madden were in Cleveland for a Sunday Night Game! In our lifetime!

I was so ready for this game - we were going to kick their ass! Do I remember watching this game? No. Hurricane Ike came through Cincinnati that afternoon, knocking out power for 300,000 people in Cincinnati (including us), and causing ~$15,000 of damage to our roof. Power was out at our place for 4-5 days, and that was fun with a 2 week old Martin in the house.

Of course, we lost.

Vegas has put up odds:
Will Michaels be the play by play announcer for another Cleveland Browns game in his career?

Yes +300
No -450

I assume we will lose 30-10 this morning, by the way.

On to the games:
Buf 27, Oak 16. I can't see the Raiders putting up the same emotion on the road as they did last week. Their defense also has issues.

Cin 23, Ind 13. Don't like either of these two teams. Look for a low scoring game in the rain/cold.

NE 26, LAC 13. Not sold on the Chargers' O. They should have scored more against Oakland and Denver. The Pats' D is getting better. I don't see how they stay close here.

NO 31, Chi 17. Maybe I'm even being generous with the 17. How will the Bears score if the other team doesn't give them points?

Atl 27, NYJ 16.  Betting that the Falcons are trying to save their season with this game. If the Browns could outgain the Jets by 200 yards, I have to believe the Falcons will find something.

Phi 24, SF 20. The inevitable letdown by Philly. And I still like Kyle Shanahan.

Car 30, TB 23. The Bucs' D is awful. Carolina has to be pissed after last week. And is Winston hurt?

Sea 24, Hou 22. Sea's W last week masks their problems they still have on O. They can't reliably move the ball. Everyone is focusing on Watson vs the Seahawks D, but what about Sea O vs Hou D?

Dal 23, Was 20. Something about this game tells me both teams will try to run the ball. And what the heck happened to Terrelle Pryor?

Pit 27, Det 24. I see a high scoring game here, lots of passing, and a patented 4th quarter Detroit comeback/flurry before a last second Steeler field goal.

KC 23, Den 20. KC is vulnerable against the run, and I expect Denver to run run run the ball to keep it close. They have no other choice.

Best bets: 13 of them. Last week: 6-6-2; overall: 57-39-2
NO -9.5
Atl -6.5
Car +1.5
Car/TB over 46
SF +12.5
Buf -2.5
Ind/Cin under 42.5
NE -7
LAC/NE under 48
Hou +6.5
Dal/Was under 46.5
Pit/Det over 45.5
Den +7

Supercontest picks: Last week: 2-3; overall: 21-14
Buf -2.5
Atl -4.5
Car +2
Hou +5.5
Den +7

Oct 28, 2017

NFL Week 8 Anagram

OK, I have to do better than get the anagram out on the Saturday night before a morning Browns game.

This week's anagram:

"Each is mall!"

That could be what Chinese real estate investors say to each other when flying over America and wondering what those large, empty buildings are dotting the landscape with huge parking lots..... but rearrange these letters to form what NFL announcer?

Your Browns hint:
Hurricane Ike

Oct 22, 2017

NFL Week 7: Ian Eagle

This week's announcer in focus: Ian Eagle!

Ian is following a typical announcer's path to national prominence; he started at Syracuse while a student, doing play by play, and upon graduation got a job in New York at WFAN. From there, he got gigs with the Jets and then the Nets, before CBS pulled him to do games for the NFL in 1998. He has worked steadily upward on the CBS ladder since then, going from the #7 announcing team (where he did a record 9 Browns broadcasts in 2004*) to now being part of the #2 broadcast team for CBS with Dan Fouts.

*- OK, that was an exaggeration. But only slightly.

I love his voice and his professionalism, while at the same time being able to have fun when needed. He can pull stories out in boring 3rd quarters of Browns games when we are down 17 to actually make the telecast a bit enjoyable. His nickname is the "bird" and , with his current partner being Dan Fouts with his beard, the team is now known as "the Bird and the Beard". I think the nickname was born during a horrible Browns-49ers game in San Fran back in 2011.

Here's a sample of some levity they bring to a typical broadcast, including a Doug Henning reference!

Ian is the play by play announcer for the Nets - which has to be a curse in its own right; there should be a special recognition for play-by-play announcers of teams that are horrid; lifetime honorees would include Herb Score, Jim Donovan, Ian Eagle and Van Miller. Ian also does plenty of CBS work during the year, such as being the host of Amen corner coverage and doing NCAA tournament games. He did the famous Pittsnogle game in 2005 where hometown boy Mike Gansey got hot:

He is also one of the main radio play by play guys for the tournament; Westwood One provides the coverage (and is probably another international shadow company like Jefferson Pilot). Here's his radio call from last year's Wisconsin Florida classic:

As far as the Browns, I found two main highlights for Ian; the first has to do with this week's opponent - Tennessee . Another miracle comeback by the Browns in 2002 in the playoff season- down 14 with 3 minutes left to win. You have to watch at the 1:40 mark for the greatest onside kick I have even seen.

This last highlight is a favorite around these parts; this is a famous 2007 game at the Ravens with the controversial field goal by Dawson that took 5-10 minutes to rule as good. I still hate the ref under the right goalpost - why are you signaling it no good? Talk with your partner!

And this is when all Browns fans learned of the word "stanchion" - the curved support bar of the goalpost....

Notre Dame 49 points last night...I'm sure that will rub off on Kizer today.... I'm so apathetic about this team. On to other games:

Buf 23, TB 17. I don't like what I see from TB; lack of discipline and Winston is getting loose with the ball. The Bills are solid and should take advtanage of Tampa's mistakes.

Car 27, Chi 17. I know Luke is out- but Car can take away the run game for the Bears - then what of they have left? Carolina should have enough offense to win.

NO 24, GB 23. Not completely sold on the Saints' D yet, and Hundley has a week to prepare. But a lot of questions for the Packers' D too!

Jax 23, Ind 17. Jax's pass defense should stop Brissett, meaning Grandpa Gore or Turbin willhave to win the game for the Colts? I don't think so.

LAR 30, Az 19. Boy, Arizona's pass D is awful. I was nervous all last week taking the Cards even when they were up 31-0. I will trust Goff and the short passing of the Rams in London.

NYJ 19, Mia 16. Who knows? I think Mia won games due to incompetence of opponents rather than anything good they did.

Bal 20, Min 17. I know the Ravens look awful on O - but their D is still stellar; how will Minnesota score, without Diggs? Low scoring game - meaning the Ravens can pull out one of their special miracles.

Dal 30, SF 27. Impressed with Beatherd last week in relief. I don't see Dallas fixing their defensive issues anytime soon.

Pit 23, Cin 20. Should be closer than most think; Pit still struggles to move the ball but will somehow get a win here due to their hex over the Bengals.

Den 27, LAC 13. First, who thinks the Chargers are any good? They beat the Giants in that injury game and they only scored 17 against the awful Oakland D. I give Denver a mulligan.

Sea 26, NYG 16. Explain to me how the Giants will score. Sea has a top pass D; they are weak in the run D but the Giants can't run. And Wilson won't make mistakes.

NE 27, Atl 24. This is one of those games that will go against all conventional wisdom. Somehow, one or both defenses will play well.

Phi 24, Was 20. So impressed with the Eagles. Their ball control offense with Wentz doing enough will take them far in the weak NFC.

Best bets: 14 of them. Last week: 8-4; overall: 51-33
Buf -3
Car -3
Jax -3
LAR -3
LAR/Az over 46
NYJ +3
Bal +4.5
SF +6
Dal/SF over 49
Pit/Cin over 40.5
Den -1
Sea -3.5
Atl/NE under 56.5
Phi/Was under 49

Supercontest picks: Last week: 4-1; overall: 19-11
Car -3
Bal +5.5
LAR -3.5
Den +1.5
Sea -5.5

Oct 21, 2017

NFL Week 7 Anagram

Your anagram for Week 7:

"Eel, again?"

This may have been what Eric said after his third business dinner in Suzhou, China, where seafood is the main cuisine .... but rearrange these letters to form the name of what NFL announcer?

I'll make the clues easy for you. Your Browns related clue:

a Stanchion

Your non-Browns related clue: Bird and Beard