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THUD Week 8

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Week 8

Week 8

D.T.: We’ve reached Week Eight of regulation. Are you feeling the fatigue yet, Krol? The Seahawks sure are. Completely (and rightfully) dissatisfied with being 3-3 for the season, and third in their division after a huge upset loss against the Rams, they’re growing restless. In perhaps the most dramatic story of last week, they’ve jettisoned problematic Wide Receiver Percy Harvin in an attempt to clear out any negative vibes and try to get the ‘Hawks back on track. Receiving the wayward runner is a desperate Rex Ryan, who’s looking for any way to claw the Jets out of their 1-6 hole, and save himself from receiving something else:

 

An unemployment check.

An unemployment check.

The week saw other significant happenings, including a massive regression for the Bengals, DeMarco Murray achieving his seventh consecutive game with more than 100 yards rushing, and one of the Manning brothers broke the all-time record for career touchdowns. I forget which one. It’ll come to me, I’m sure.

Anyway, we’re looking at another week of pretty terrible football (seriously, who planned out the schedule this year?). Let’s get try to make this a bright spot in a questionable point in the season.

 

BMK: Goddamn, am I feeling the fatigue.  And it’s not this week’s schedule, mate, it’s the teams playing it.

The problem here is there are no clearly elite teams. Every team has some kind of major weakness that can be exploited. And while that can be fun seeing if an average or below-average team can slay a giant (a la last week’s Rams-Seahawks game), it makes for some really mediocre football in most cases.  And to paraphrase Learned Hand, mediocre football teams make for mediocre football columns.

Seriously, which teams have a legitimate shot of making a 13-3 record? The Broncos?  Maybe.  But that’s about it.  We’re looking at a season like 2002.  That season was great for parity, but not good for anything else.

Finally, I’d like to paraphrase something Jerry Jones said: “Enough of this horseshit! Let’s do some blow and make some football picks!!!!”*

—–

CHARGERS at BRONCOS

The Bolo vs The Pizza Shill

The Bolo vs The Pizza Shill

D.T.: Holy shit, a Thursday Night Football game that won’t leave me preferring an hour of XBox and going to bed early? Sorry, dear readers (Hi dad), you’re getting the Broncos for game of the week, twice in a row. It’s not only the most interesting game this week, it’s also one of the most critical in shaping the rest of the season. Both the Broncos and Chargers are sitting on five wins, and if both teams continue on at this pace, it’s these divisional games that will decide their post-season fates.

Both Quarterbacks are pumping out touchdowns like they’re going out of style, both suffer from hindered running games, and both are sporting solid defenses. Denver and San Diego are going to be lobbing passes like they’re locked in a naval battle, and it’ll come down to who can disrupt the other team’s Quarterback. The Chargers have an excellent pass defense, holding opposing offenses to an average of about 210 passing yards per game (Manning is averaging 308 per game), but Peyton’s receiver corps is a bear to try and cover. On the flip side, Felipe Rios is tossing for about 280 yards per game, and the Denver secondary is really tearing it up. I think San Diego will find the end zone more than once, but Denver playing at home two weeks in a row, appearing to let nothing stand in their way this far, will take the win.

BRONCOS

BMK: I like the Broncos in this one too. And I’d also like to extend a greeting to DT’s Dad.  I’d also like to respectfully disagree about San Diego’s defense.  San Diego has good stats, but consider who they’ve played.

Right now San Diego has five wins.  Which is pretty good.  However, four of those victories came from beating the Raiders, Bills, Jaguars, and the Jets.  Not exactly powerhouse teams.  Yes, they beat Seattle.  But they’ve been dining out on that victory for weeks now.  At some point, the Chargers need to move on and beat a worthy opponent and stop living in the past like Uncle Rico, or your older brother who’s been bragging about banging a stripper for the last two decades.

So, end result, I like Denver, and I don’t think it’ll be as competitive as some people (cough, DT, cough) believe.

—–

LIONS at FALCONS

D.T.: The Falcons have the dubious honor of “hosting” the Lions in London this week, which means all the British folks who pretended to like the Raiders in September, because they didn’t know any better, will now have the ability to pretend to like an actual NFL team. Like many Raiders fans here in America!

The Black Hole of Despair

The Black Hole of Despair

 

 

The Lions are still without Megatron, but have regained Reggie Bush to maybe bolster their abysmal run game. So, it’s left to Quarterback Matthew Stafford to lead the offense, and hope the solid Detroit defense can hold up against Matt Ryan as he fights for his life behind a terrible offensive line. A win would really benefit Atlanta right now,  but even with Matt Ryan’s passing offense being in the league’s current top five, I don’t expect them to pull it out.

LIONS

BMK:  Ugh, the Falcons are terrible.  Suh is going to clog up the middle like my arteries after a visit to Philly.  This is going to be a bad, bad game. Or, as our cousins across the pond might say, a right cock-up.  It’ll totally be pants, mate.  Matty Ice will come to grief.

LIONS

—–

VIKINGS at BUCCANEERS

D.T.: You wake up early for the Lions and Falcons game, then wonder how much of the Bears/Patriots game you’ll really be missing if you decide to go back to bed. Sunday football peaks with Thursday night, and this match-up between the Vikes and Bucs (two teams with fantastic branding and stunning cheerleaders, wasted on awful products) marks the first in many terrible games coming our way. You know what, let’s get back to the cheerleaders. We haven’t done cheerleaders in a while, Krol. Let’s just do cheerleaders.

Vike Cheer tex cheer buc cheer 2 Buc Cheer

 

 

 

 

 

BUCCANEERS, I guess.

BMK: I predict the Buccaneers will suck less than the Vikings this week.

BUCCANEERS

—–

BILLS at JETS

D.T.: I’ve been inclined to take the Bills up to this point, but with nothing but third string running backs available after last week, and Kyle Orton directing the passing game to compensate, they’re in for a bumpy ride the next few weeks. This is a real chance for the Jets to actually win a game.

JETS

BMK: The Jets are a complete mess but the Bills are worse, especially without their first two running backs.  So, since someone has to win this game…

JETS

—–

BEARS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: A somewhat decent defense against an offense that’s really coming together. The Bears still have yet to win at home, and last week they were bested by Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins, which sent the locker room into a fit of rage. They’re looking to rebound against New England, who themselves were thrown off-kilter by the Jets in a strange divisional match last week. Like I said before, for whatever reason, the Bears tend to struggle whenever Jay Cutler throws an interception, and the Patriots passing defense is currently the tops in the league.

 

 

No one will get this joke. And I'm okay with that.

No one will get this joke. And I’m okay with that.

The Bears are angry, and it’s going to be easy for the Patriots to get inside their heads. Gronkowski is especially likely to draw some unsportmanlike penalties out of the Bears, to the Pats’ benefit. I expect some physicality in this game, and I expect Cutler to try and get creative to evade any turnovers, but I think the Pats will win out in the end.

PATRIOTS

BMK: DT’s right, these bears are angry, and they’re on the road this week.  Which is where the Chicago bears play their best ball.  I’m going with Chicago in an upset this week.  And you should too.  In fact, you can take this prediction to the bank.

—–

SEAHAWKS at PANTHERS

D.T.: Hoo-boy, do the Seahawks need to turn things around quickly. Football is an emotional game, but if a few injuries and one bad egg are enough to turn your team inside out, there’s some serious work to be done. They’ve dropped from the best defense in the 2013-14 season down to the bottom five. It could be because of the aforementioned problems, or because Seattle’s defense has become an open book: Richard Sherman doesn’t move from his side of the field; it’s dangerous to throw in his direction, so quarterbacks simply don’t. The problem is, offenses are still marching through the other two thirds of the field Sherman doesn’t occupy.

 

 

You just stay over there, and watch us score touchdowns, kay?

You just stay over there, and watch us score touchdowns, kay?

Seattle can still score points though, and that keeps them dangerous. Russell Wilson’s receiver corps will hopefully no longer have a little devil on their shoulders, and Beast Mode is Beast Mode. The Panthers defense will find it difficult to contain, as they vie for points of their own. Cam Newton won’t necessarily find himself under such odds as he did against Green Bay, and if his offensive line can hold, and they line up Kelvin Benjamin on the opposite side of the field from Richard Sherman, the two of them could crank out touchdowns like the Rams did. I think I’m going to go against the grain and actually pick the Panthers for that reason.

PANTHERS

BMK:  I have no idea where you get your stats DT, but the Seahawks are in the top ten defensively.  Sure, they’re having their issues, but their defense is still very good.

The Rams shocked everyone last week by beating Seattle, but they needed a trick play and a very gutsy call on a 4th and 3 to do it. I don’t see the Panthers doing that this week, but I also don’t think Seattle should be in a blind panic either.

Unless they lose this week. In which case they’re done, dude.

—–

DOLPHINS at JAGUARS

D.T.: If the NFL is smart, they’ll change the locks on the doors before the Jags cross back over the Atlantic.

DOLPHINS

BMK: Although Ultron first appears in Avengers #54 (1968), the character is disguised for the majority of the issue as the Crimson Cowl, with his face only revealed on the last page of the issue and no name given to the character. The character leads the Masters of Evil against the Avengers, having hypnotized Edwin Jarvis into working for him. In the following issue, #55 (Aug. 1968), the character is identified as Ultron-5, the living automaton, although his origin is still unknown.[3] In Avengers 57 – 58 (Oct-Nov. 1968) in a flashback sequence it is revealed that Ultron is the creator of the “synthezoid” Vision whom it tries to use as a weapon to destroy the Avengers. The Vision—similar to Wonder Man, whose brain patterns he was given—however, destroys Ultron with the aid of the Avengers.

Further flashbacks reveal that Ultron is the creation of Hank Pym, and based on Pym’s brain patterns. The robot gradually developed its own intelligence and rebelled, and almost immediately develops an Oedipus Complex, whereby it feels irrational hatred for his “father” Hank, and demonstrates an interest in Hank’s lover Janet van Dyne, the Wasp. Rebuilding itself, learning how to turn itself on, and upgrading five times, Ultron then hypnotizes Pym and brainwashes him into forgetting that the robot had ever existed.

DOLPHINS

—–

RAVENS at BENGALS

D.T.: The Bengals are in a real nosedive, and the Ravens will be looking to capitalize. Flacco is on fire, and the Bengals defense has plummeted to the bottom of the ladder. I don’t think Dalton has it in him right now to control the game and squeak out a win.

 

 

Yeah, Joe. Probably many times, at that.

Yeah, Joe. Probably many times, at that.

RAVENS
BMK: The Ginger of Doom is gonna go nuts on the Ravens.  I predict a major victory for the Bengals….

Oh crap, they’re still without AJ Green?  Well…

RAVENS
—–

TEXANS at TITANS

D.T.: The Texans’ defense has been deceptively terrible this season. J.J. Watt may be creating a highlight reet for his Hall of Fame induction, but he really is the only ingredient in the mixture with real potency. Everyone’s completely forgotten about Jadaveon Clowney — be honest — you did too, until you just read that — and believe it or not, they’re actually a really low-ranking defense, week to week. They’re also struggling to score points on the other side of the ball, where teamstraditionally score points. The Titans, however, are on just about the same boat. They’re failing to produce in a meaningful way on either side of the ball, and they’re also lacking in the sheer luck the Texans have enjoyed in several of their match-ups this season. In this case, I think luck actually will play a role here…

 

 

Hold on there, pal. Your game's a little further down.

Hold on there, pal. Your game’s a little further down.

…and based on that gut feeling, I’m giving it to the Texans.

TEXANS
BMK: Whisenhunt just benched Locker. I guess he has a thing against inaccurate quarterbacks whose last names start with the letter L.

Relatedly, when asked who the Titans should draft to fix their problems, Matt Leinart replied: Another coach.  Good stuff.

TEXANS
—–

RAMS at CHIEFS

D.T.: Both of these teams had staggering upsets against presumed-superior divisional rivals. And in divisional games, wacky things happen. Just ask the Pats about the Jets, or the Steelers about the Browns. The Chiefs gave the Chargers their second real challenge of the season, and… well, everyone is pretty shocked over the Rams beating Seattle, still. Anyway, the two Missourah teams (why the hell does Missouri have two NFL teams?) are competing for supremacy in a state most Americans probably couldn’t point out on a map. The Rams bring with them a proven back-up Quarterback and two potential stud Running Backs. The Chiefs bring Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles, who continues to climb back into our hearts. But again, I’m going with the gut feeling here, and choosing the stout Rams to take it.

RAMS
BMK:  The BATTLE OF THE FLY OVER STATES!  WHO WILL WIN??!? WHO WILL LOSE! WHICH TEAMS FANS WILL DROWN THEMSELVES IN BOOZE!

CHIEFS

PS: The Chiefs play on the Kansas side of Kansas City, borham. YOU’RE WELCOME!
—–

EAGLES at CARDINALS

D.T.: Two 5-1 Bird Teams meeting for the first time this year. Let’s cut straight to the most obvious question: will the Cardinals’ injured but hearty defense be able to hold up against the Eagles’ hurry-up offense? Former Wildcat Nick Foles returns to Arizona to try and claim a 6-1 record, but has to go through a Cardinals passing and running defense that has left the league scratching their heads. And the Eagles’ more than iffy defense has to contend with an offense that was the last to give up an interception, and has shown a good amount of effectiveness both on the ground and in the air. I’m going to give it to the Cardinals, but not as a homer pick. I really think the Arizona offense can hold the field and eat the clock enough to keep the Eagles from getting too many chances. And when they do take the field, I think Foles and Company will be put to the test for the first time in a while.

 

 

And these two better step it up, dammit.

And these two better step it up, dammit.

CARDINALS

BMK: This game is certainly for the birds!

Anyway, Chip Kelley has had two weeks to prepare for the Cardinals, and the Cardinals defense is pretty banged up. At some point, that will be an issue. And I’m thinking it’s this week.

EAGLES

—–

COLTS at STEELERS

D.T.: Okay, Neckbeard. You’re up.

Across the board, the Colts are favored to win. And rightfully so, after shredding the Bengals last week and offering them their first shut-out. The Colts are undeniably at the top of the food chain. They’re operating at a high capacity, while the Steelers remain decent, but inconsistent. The Colts have finally loosened Pep Hamilton’s leash on Luck and — just like I said — the results have been pretty incredible. I see the Colts marching through Pittsburgh with time to shop for souvenirs before getting back on the plane.

 

 

Souvenirs like this, I guess? Whatever the fuck this is.

Souvenirs like this, I guess? Whatever the fuck this is.

COLTS

BMK: The Colts have been very impressive lately and the Steelers not so.  When I lived in Pittsburgh five years ago, their defense was getting old.  Now it’s five years later and they’re playing the same guys.  There’s no way the Steelers D is going to keep pace with a player like Hilton or a QB like luck. The Colts are going to roll through this one and leave all the Yinzers crying in their Yuengling.

Be tee dub, to anyone reading this in Pittsburgh: Primati’s sucks.

This isn't made in Pittsburgh anymore, just like a stout defense. Hiyo.

This isn’t made in Pittsburgh anymore, just like a stout defense. Hiyo.

—–

RAIDERS at BROWNS

D.T.:

Red

 

 

 

BROWNS

BMK: I know it’s really popular to dismiss the Raiders (unless you live in the East Bay, like me), but I think they might put up a bit of a fight this week. Carr has shown some signs of competent QB play, so they got that going for them. They’re still years away from anything, but Carr might be the QB to lead them to average status.

I’d be tempted to pick them in an upset here,  but I’ve already done that this week. So I’m going with the same pick.

BROWNS

—–

PACKERS at SAINTS

D.T.: Uh… Packers, I guess. I don’t see the Saints rebounding against the team that just punished the leaders of their division (The Panthers, for those of you not paying attention. Yes, the Panthers are still the best team in the NFC South, despite their mixed efforts), and I don’t see the Packers’ once-believed-to-be-screwed-due-to-injury secondary giving it up to New Orleans, even if it’s Drew Brees lobbing passes. Aaron Rodgers will control this game, like he has been the others.

PACKERS

BMK: The Saints came marching in to Sucktown.  They liked it so much, they stayed.

PACKERS

This was the more appetizing images Google returned when I searched for sucktown...

This was the more appetizing images Google returned when I searched for sucktown…

—–

REDSKINS at COWBOYS

D.T.: We made it, Krol! The last match-up in this godforsaken wasteland of a week. And it’s between the Redskins and Cowboys. The ‘Skins are a fucking mess, having willfully dropped down to their third string Quarterback, Colt McCoy, who proceeded to immediately throw a for almost 130 yards touchdown pass, and help the team edge out a narrow win against the Titans. Quarterback controversies are endlessly frustrating for everyone involved, and I expect the insecure Redskins to falter in their trip to see Romo, who’s really found his footing for the first time in a while. Sorry Skins’ fans — maybe you can wash that bad taste out of your mouth with some expired beer.

COWBOYS

Oh shit, it was Cooper Manning, right? The Manning that landed the touchdown record?

 

"Eat a shit sandwich, D.T. -- like this. This is you eating a shit sandwich."

“Eat a shit sandwich, D.T. — like this. This is you eating a shit sandwich.”

 

 

BMK: Ugh, you’re right man. This week was a complete wasteland. But if you believe in the Power of Romo, you too will see the face of God.

 

Romo equals love...

Romo equals love…

COWBOYS

 

Speaking of shit sandwiches...

Speaking of shit sandwiches…

*Jerry Jones didn’t actually say this…or did he?*

 

*He didn’t.

NOTE: There is no recap graphic because DT’s a big poop head and forgot to send it to me.  Plus he’s winning, so F him.

This post was compiled and written while watching the Avengers and my prime disappear in the rear view mirror of my life.

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Written by B. Michael Krol

October 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm

THUD Picks Week Seven

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Week 5

Week 7

 

D.T.: Professional football players are dropping like flies, out there! Week six saw the end of the season for such dynamic players as Victor Cruz (NYG), Knowshon Moreno (MIA), Dee Milliner (NYJ), Alex Mack (CLE)…

 

Wrong Alex Mack. Though, she'd certainly make watching the Browns less of a chore.

Wrong Alex Mack. Though, she’d certainly make watching the Browns less of a chore.

 

…and if Vontaze Burfict had his way, we’d be adding both Greg Olsen and Cam Newton to that list. This week brings far more interesting match-ups than last week, but hopefully fewer injuries to key players. We’re a long way from last season’s threat of a disaster draft from all those ACL/MCL injuries, but it’s still heartbreaking to see these guys go down in unceremonious fashion, and watch teams struggle to pick up the pieces and move forward in the aftermath. But, such is football. Such is life. On to the picks!

 

BMK: It’s week seven and everyone’s buying into the Cowboys. No less than two different commentators have stated that it’s good for football when the Cowboys are playing well.  Really? How is it better?  Does the NFL get bigger when the Cowboys are playing better?  Are there marginal fans outside of Dallas that suddenly start paying attention when the Cowboys are doing better than .500?  Color me skeptical.  In this country, the NFL is king, and if you’re not watching football now, odds are you’re not going to. Regardless how well Romo and the boys are playing.

Anyway, on to this week’s silliness…

—–

JETS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: Don’t be too quick to discount the Jets here. They’re known for inexplicably giving the Patriots a difficult time, and with the Patriots coming into Thursday Night Football without Running Back Stevan Ridley – and with the Jets still sporting the top run defense in the league, despite San Diego’s open defiance in week 5 and the Broncos victory in week 6 – this could be a fun start to the week. Tom Brady and Friends will take to the air, as he and Gronkowksi are explosive right now, and Julian Edelman has found his way back to Tom’s favor, and they’re likely to take the win here. Still, it’d be a fascinating anomaly if the Jets were to come out on top.

PATRIOTS

BMK: The Rex Ryan farewell tour continues.  This week’s stop: Foxboro.  Where Tom Brady will drop Rex Ryan faster than panties at Dr. Who convention featuring David Tennant.

See, I can make football relevant to a geek website.

PATRIOTS

—–

FALCONS at RAVENS

D.T.: The Ravens absolutely pulverized the Buccaneers last week. The fact itself doesn’t surprise, but the manner in which it occurred was quite interesting. In a career high performance, Joe Flacco threw five touchdown passes… all within the first quarter.  That’s the fastest any quarterback has ever thrown five touchdown passes in a game, in NFL history.

 

Yeah Joe, we can read.

Yeah Joe, we can read.

Matt Ryan and Co. are likely to offer a bit more of a challenge, but the Ravens are a solid home team and have a history of beating the Falcons with relative ease. After Atlanta’s poor performance against Chicago in week 6, I’d put money on that history repeating itself. But hey, at least they can all go out for a beer afterwards and laugh about what a shit team Tampa Bay is.

RAVENS

BMK: It’s the battle of the slightly above average quarterbacks! Seriously, how did the NFC South become such a terrible division?  It can’t just be injuries.

Maybe if the Falcons decide to play defense this will be a game. Otherwise…

RAVENS

—–

TITANS at REDSKINS

D.T.: The ‘Skins held their own against Arizona last week, while the Titans embarrassed themselves by barely hanging on against the Jaguars. Nearly allowing Jacksonville their first win of the season is reason enough to discount the Titans from this game. Enjoy your win, Mr. Cousins.

 

"If we lose to the Titans, you're both watching Week 8 from Rob's rehab clinic."

“If we lose to the Titans, you’re both watching Week 8 from Rob’s rehab clinic.”

REDSKINS

BMK: I know Native Americans have beef against the name Redskins.  I wonder if that’s just less about the name and more about the team sucking and Snyder being a Mega Douche. The world may never know.

TITANS

—–

SEAHAWKS at RAMS

D.T.: The Rams get to enjoy their second consecutive home loss this week. On the plus side, they get to sleep in their own beds afterwards. On the downside, they’ll have lost, and they’re in Missouri. Normally, I’d pull for the Rams with their stout defense and scrappy attitude, but after dominating the first half of last week’s game against the 49ers, then forgetting to show up for the second and allowing a seemingly deflated team walk all over them, I don’t have any faith in their ability to keep up with Seattle. The Seahawks will be looking to rebound after their loss to Dallas (and only their second loss at home in three years), and there’s no better place for that than in the house of a weaker divisional rival.

SEAHAWKS

BMK: I think the Rams are going to be more in this than people give them credit for.  And by that I mean they’ll score a touchdown.  Maybe even two.

SEAHAWKS

—–

BROWNS at JAGUARS

D.T.: Fuck it. Let Manziel play, just this once.

 

But if he does this stupid shit again, turn Vontaze Burfict loose on him.

But if he does this stupid shit again, turn Vontaze Burfict loose on him.

 

BROWNS

BMK: Mathcore is a rhythmically complex and dissonant style of metalcore. It has its roots in bands such as Converge, Coalesce, Botch, and The  Dillinger Escape Plan. The term mathcore is suggested by analogy with math rock. Both math rock and mathcore make use of unusual time signatures. Math rock groups such as Slint, Don Caballero, Shellac, and Drive Like Jehu have some influence on mathcore, though mathcore is more closely related to metalcore. Prominent mathcore groups have been associated with grindcore.

An early antecedent to mathcore was practiced by Black Flag, in 1984, with the album My War: “Its seven-minute metal dirges and fusion-style time signatures proved too much for many fans”. Many groups from the mathcore scene paid tribute to Black Flag for the album Black on Black.

In the 1990s, groups now often described as mathcore were grouped together as “noisecore”. Kevin Stewart-Panko of Terrorizer referred to groups such as Neurosis, Deadguy, Cave InToday Is the Day, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Coalesce, CandiriaBotch, and Psyopus as described by this label.[12] Stewart-Panko described the sound of these bands as a “dynamic, violent, discordant, technical, brutal, off-kilter, no rules mixture of hardcore, metal, prog, math rock, grind and jazz.

BROWNS

—–

BENGALS at COLTS

D.T.: Holy Quarterback shootout, Batman. The Bengals rip the Colts apart nearly every time they cross paths, but the Indianapolis offense is really clicking. While Andrew Luck is currently the top passer in the league, Andy Dalton is without both Marvin Jones and probably AJ Green, leaving Mohamed Sanu most likely to pick-up the slack. The Colts’ average passing defense has a real opportunity to hold back the Cincinnati throwing game, and they key to victory from that point will be containing Gio Bernard. On the flipside, the Bengals have a decent pass defense, and will likely double-cover T.Y. Hilton most of the day. The Colts are going to have to get aggressive. Luck will have to maintain razor sharp focus, and Ahmad Bradshaw will have to put forth a stellar performance. I’m placing my pick on the home team.

COLTS

BMK: I like Colts in this one.  After starting 0-2, the Colts have galloped back to life (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) by winning four straight.  The Bengals aren’t a bad team, but Luck is at home, and, more importantly, he has the Power of the Neckbeard. You put him in a Fedora and an anime t-shirt, and he’d be unstoppable with the ladies.

COLTS

—–

VIKINGS at BILLS

D.T.: Teddy Bridgewater heads to Buffalo in his second road game as the starting quarterback for the Vikings. The kid’s had it rough so far: absorbing injury, interceptions and a ridiculous amount of pressure as the newly-crowned figurehead in a flailing franchise. It’s not going to get any easier for him this week though. Kyle Orton might not be much of a quarterback, and he’s a bit of a weird dude…

Grohl

…but the team surrounding him is superior. I predict Fred Jackson will have a nice outing, and the Bills will win by a touchdown or two.

BILLS

BMK: It’s a battle of the below average QBs.  Who will win?!? Who will lose?!?? Will anyone care that doesn’t sound like they walked off the Fargo movie set?  Will I ever write something funny?!?

WATCH THIS SPACE TO FIND OUT!

VIKINGS

—–

DOLPHINS at BEARS

D.T.: Jay Cutler may actually be the deciding factor in this game. The Bears haven’t won at home yet, and both of those home losses are inextricably linked to Cutler throwing interceptions. In fact, the team is 0-3 this season for each game in which Cutler has thrown a pick. Is it a coincidence, or is the team exposed and deflated when their passer throws to the wrong team? That’s a hell of a lot of pressure, even for Cutler who seems pretty oblivious, most of the time.

 

Now, where'd I put that helmet...?

Now, where’d I put that helmet…?

Miami’s better defense could take control of this game, and take the focus off their damaged offense. If that happens (after watching them hold back the Packers’ offense, it’s very possible), the Bears could continue without a win at home. Then again, if Cutler can play lights out with no interceptions, the team could rally. I think I’ll take the latter option, because why not.

BEARS

BMK: Cutler hasn’t been playing great at home – the wind must get caught up in his neckbeard – but Brandon Marshall has something to prove.

BEARS

—–

SAINTS at LIONS

D.T.: Who the fuck knows how this game will go? All season, both of these teams have gone from being on fire to embarrassing themselves at the drop of a hat. However, the Saints are without a reliable running game (though the same can be said of Detroit), and their passing game has taken a serious hit with the temporary loss of Jimmy Graham. Brandin Cooks and Marques Colston are still a pair of serious threats, but this leaves the Lions’ defense plenty of space to shut them down and limit Brees’s ability to spread the targets around. The Lions are currently making small sacrificial offerings and holding prayer circles for the return of Calvin Johnson who’s inclusion is highly unlikely, but would thin the Saints’ defense massively. If Johnson comes back as a semi-healthy, active participant instead of a decoy, we could see a make-good on the promise the Lions offense made to fans in week one. Then again, he’ll probably sit until after the Lions’ week 9 bye. I guess I’ll still go with the Lions.

 

Pictured: Johnson's reaction when asked if he knows what he's doing to my fantasy team.

Pictured: Johnson’s reaction when asked if he knows what he’s doing to my fantasy team.

LIONS

BMK: Remember when a lot of experts picked the Saints to eventually get to the Superbowl this year?  Those were good times. Anyway, Breesus is just not playing like himself this year and Rob Ryan’s defense can’t stop anyone from doing anything.

LIONS

—–

PANTHERS at PACKERS

D.T.: With their secondary questionable (well… more questionable than usual) after the double gut-punch of losing both starting cornerbacks, Sam Shields and Tramon Williams, Green Bay now has some holes that Carolina can exploit with their passing game, if the two end up having to sit out. Cam will become a serious threat and a source of frustration, as he’ll be able to run and have an easier time targeting Greg Olsen and my current man-crush, Kelvin Benjamin — assuming the kid clears his concussion protocol (fuck you, Vontaze).

 

Sigh.

Sigh.

Let’s be realistic, though: no one sees Carolina’s defense shutting down Aaron Rodgers and his receiver corp. The game could turn into a score fest, but I think the Packers will defend the home turf, and come out with the win.

PACKERS

BMK: Panthers at Packers gets my alliterative game of the week (followed only by Chiefs at Chargers).  I’m going with the Packers here because Aaron Rodgers is an amazing QB and the Panthers stink.

PACKERS

—–

CHIEFS at CHARGERS

D.T.: Chargers. NEXT!

 

Alex Smith, come the fuck on. You can't even coordinate your Halloween costume properly.

Alex Smith, come the fuck on. You can’t even coordinate your Halloween costume properly.

CHARGERS

BMK:  Rivers is playing amazing this year and the Chiefs can’t catch any breaks. Of course, they had a chance to steal one in SF a few weeks back, till they screwed up by putting 12 men on the field. Idiots.

CHARGERS

—–

CARDINALS at RAIDERS

D.T.: That’s weird. I thought the Cardinals already had a bye week.

CARDINALS

Proof that no matter how bad things are in life, you can always improve.

Proof that no matter how bad things are in life, you can always improve.

 

BMK: I want to pick the Cardinals.  But I’m not going to.  This is a classic trap game, and Raiders can’t go winless.  Can they?

GIANTS at COWBOYS
D.T.: The loss of Victor Cruz is pretty devastating to the Giants, and they come into Dallas this week against a Cowboys squad with an agenda. They’re a little pissed about Houston’s fans out-cheering theirs, and ousted as America’s favorite team this week. They’ve lost the public’s favor, despite being 5-1 for the season. They did, however, just beat last season’s Super Bowl champs, and they’re the second team to beat Seattle at home during Russell Wilson’s tenure. Things can’t seem to stay good for Eli for very long, and I don’t think his luck will turn around during this trip to the Lone Star state.
COWBOYS

BMK: Everyone’s buying what the Cowboys are selling, but I’m not.  That said, the Giants are a mess and Victor Cruz is gone. Quick – name me another receiver on their roster!  No Googling!

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

COWBOYS

—–

 

GAME OF THE WEEK

GAME OF THE WEEK

 

D.T.: “It’s so easy,” Julius Thomas exclaimed after scoring his second touchdown against the Jets last week. Indeed, the Broncos are making it look easy again this season. It hasn’t hurt that, up until last week, their entire 53 man roster was healthy and practicing — though minor injuries have since popped up, including starting Running Back Montee Ball being sidelined with a groin injury.

 

Thankfully, it wasn't his Montee Balls.

Thankfully, it wasn’t his Montee Balls.

It’s also nice when your entire team has rallied around a singular goal, and everyone shares the same motivation to achieve it: Peyton wants another ring before he’s done, and the rest of the team want another shot at a Super Bowl victory, after being humiliated last year. The San Francisco 49ers, despite being on a three-win streak, still harbor general feeling of uneasiness. Last week, they put on a terrible display in the first half of their contest in Saint Louis, and I don’t think their eventual win was as much a second half rally, as it was the Rams simply losing focus and running out of steam. Still, the Niners are the only team to beat Dallas, and they’re certainly going to stand more of a challenge for Denver than the Jets did.

The 49ers’ defense will be the key here. Kaepernick is always a double threat, but the Denver squad is too smart and educated to not be ready for him. The back of their secondary is flat out dangerous, and they’ll be gunning for him. If they want to be competitive against Denver, SF’s defense will have to attempt to contain Peyton Manning, just as they did Austin Davis, Alex Smith and Nick Foles. Keep the game low-scoring, and hope for the best. But… that’s a tall order. Manning and his receiver corp are a touchdown machine, and the loss of Monte Ball to injury hinders a running game that’s nice to have, but ultimately not a deciding factor for the team.

I see Denver taking the win at home in a game that might be the most meaningful of the week, and will certainly be one of the most entertaining. You’re up, Krol!

DENVER

BMK: Yeah, so the 49ers are on a bit of a winning streak, now but that comes to an end this week in Denver.  The 49ers simply do not have the talent in their secondary to compete with Denver’s receiving corps, and Patrick Willis will most likely not be playing this week, so there won’t be as much pressure on Manning as the 49ers would normally provide.

The problem is Denver’s pass rush. Kaepernick plays behind an elite offensive line, and as douchey as Joe Staley comes off, there’s no denying his ability. If Denver can get pressure on Kaepernick, he’ll make bad throws and that plays right into Denver’s hands.  If Von Miller gets the better of Staley this Sunday, it’ll be a long day for Mr. Beats. Which translates into a good day for me.

DENVER

—–

TEXANS at STEELERS

D.T.: These Monday Night Football games are brutal, aren’t they? Okay, let’s see… Cheeseburger is a superior quarterback with superior receivers and though Running Back Le’Veon Bell has been excellent this season, the Texans have an answer for him in Arian Foster, who has suddenly decided to become relevant again.

The Texans’ real hope is, and always was, J.J. Watt. Watching that mountain of a man chase down the also-large Big Ben is going to be like watching a kaiju movie, except with a soundtrack of “Turn Down for What”, “Thunderstruck” and asinine commentary instead of goofy English dubbing.

Steelers

 

I think the Steelers will take it.

STEELERS

BMK: Steelers are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Browns, and I imagine they’ll take it out on Houston this week.

STEELERS

recap

This was compiled and written while listening to Ire Works by The Dillinger Escape Plan.  Also, the ringing of the phone I used to phone it in this week.

Written by B. Michael Krol

October 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm

THUD Football Picks Week 6

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Week 5

Week 6

 

D.T.: It was a righting of the ship for a lot of teams in Week 5. The league’s top three quarterbacks were in need of making a statement, and they each did in hard-hitting fashion. Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers trounced their rival Vikings in a shockingly one-sided victory (due in part to Christian Ponder’s magnificent return as starting Minnesota Quarterback), the Broncos nearly murdered half of Arizona’s defense in a game that marked Peyton Manning’s 500th career touchdown pass, and Tom Brady’s friends all got together and threw him a party to make him feel better about himself.

The after-party got a little weird.

The after-party got a little weird.

 

 

 

The good times should continue to roll for all three victorious teams, and teams that were left smarting in week five should find themselves a pick-me-up in their week six match-ups.

 

BMK: To be frank, this week’s slate of matchups suck. Even the degenerate gamblers are taking this week off. I mean really, does anyone care about the Jags/Titans matchup? Oh, that Broncos/Jets game ought to be a real barn burner.  The Chargers/Raiders game is on? Sweet. Do you have any yard work that needs to be done?

This Sunday, go outside. Visit a friend. Start that self-portrait you’ve always wanted to paint. There is nothing compelling happening this weekend at all. Seriously kids, take this week off. I know I did.

—–

COLTS at TEXANS

D.T.: The Texans are doing so well that even Tony Romo’s feelings were hurt last week, and you’d think that guy would have developed thicker skin by now. I predicted last week that the Texans would win, and I wasn’t far off. This week, however, they’re going up against a superior Indianapolis team that might even have a better secondary.

 

 

Don't get all defensive, J.J. Heh - defensive. Get it?

Don’t get all defensive, J.J. Heh – defensive. Get it?

Luck needs to keep the turnovers in check, and outrun Watt. If he can do that, it shouldn’t be a terribly difficult trip into Houston.

COLTS

 

BMK: The Colts QB will be Lucky to get past the Texans high Wattage defense. Still, this should be a victory. But if the Colts lose, the head coach might be Pagano!

Seriously Fleed, how do you do this each post?

COLTS

—–

STEELERS  at BROWNS

D.T.: Again? Doesn’t it feel like these two teams have already played each other five times? Frankly, I’m looking forward to week twelve, when I don’t have to work to come up with something interesting to say about Pittsburgh. They’re the better team here — Le’Veon Bell is nigh unstoppable, and Cheeseburger’s chemistry with Antonio Brown has been off the charts.

 

 

Google told me that was the correct spelling for Roethlisberger. Who am I to argue?

Google told me that was the correct spelling for Roethlisberger. Who am I to argue?

I expect the momentum Pittsburgh has going now will make this rematch quite a bit different (and with a larger difference in points) this time around.

STEELERS

 

BMK: There are two things in this life you should never do. The first is go ass-to-mouth, and the second is pick the Browns to beat the Steelers.

STEELERS

—–

PATRIOTS at BILLS

D.T.: The Bills deserved their win in week five more than the Lions deserved their loss. Even with their quarterback woes, the Bills still continue to march and prove themselves distanced and improved from their last few seasons. They play like a team that’s been given a second chance, and none more so than Fred Jackson, who just will not slow down. That said, the Patriots have renewed their determination, and if they can keep a hold of what brought them a huge win over the previously-undefeated Bengals, it might be a painful game to watch for anyone not wearing clothing featuring the Flying Elvis Head.

 

One might even say Tom Brady will get a high five two weeks in a row. But one might be getting ahead of himself.

One might even say Tom Brady will get a high five two weeks in a row. But one might be getting ahead of himself.

 

PATRIOTS

 

BMK: I’m not fully sold on the Patriots, but I like them enough to beat the Bills.

Oh, and anyone who thinks Tom Brady is going to play for any other team than the Patriots is crazy. Brady aint going anywhere.  You can take that shit to the BANK! I know I did, and it went something like this…

Me: Brady’s not going anywhere, lady.

Teller: That might be true, but you’re still over drawn by 1.92

Me: Oh. Gimme all your money!

Teller: Sir, that’s a banana.

 

PATRIOTS
—–

PANTHERS at BENGALS

D.T.: The Panthers bounced back with a victory over the Bears last week, and Cincinnati’s loss to New England was a bad one – but not one that will necessarily throw off their rhythm. They’re very difficult to beat at home, and both their passing and rushing games are superior, which may leave Carolina’s struggling defense at a loss. Cam seems to be coming back into form though, and if they can keep the turnovers in check (and throw for the open receiver and not the playbook), this could turn out to be a fun Cat Game. I see the Bengals defending their home turf, though even without A.J. Green and Marvin Jones. Mohamed Sanu has proved he’s capable of filling in.

BENGALS

 

BMK: The Bengals are missing their playmaking receiver AJ Green, but they should still beat the Panthers at home handily. Especially since the Panthers brass are being careful with Newton. And why wouldn’t they be?  He’s a precious little jewel.

BENGALS

—–

JAGUARS at TITANS

D.T.:

 

Stop me if these jokes get old. Which will be never.

Stop me if these jokes get old. Which will be never.

TITANS

BMK: The Mops-Orden, or Order of the Pug was a para-Masonic society founded by Roman Catholics. It is believed that it was founded in 1740 by Klemens August of Bavaria to bypass the papal bull Eminenti Apostolatus Specula of 1738. The constitution of the Order of the Pug allowed women to become members, as long as they were Catholic. The pug was chosen as a symbol of loyalty, trustworthiness and steadiness.

Members called themselves Mops (the German for Pug), novices were initiated wearing a dog collar and had to scratch at the door to get in. The novices were blindfolded and led around a carpet with symbols on it nine times while the Pugs of the Order barked loudly to test the steadiness of the newcomers. During the initiation, the novices also had to kiss a Pug’s (porcelain) backside under its tail as an expression of total devotion. Members of the Order carried a Pug medallion made of silver. In 1745, the secrets of the order were “exposed” in a book published in Amsterdam with the title L’ordre des Franc-Maçons trahi et le Secret des Mopses révélé which included the ritual and two engravings illustrating their rite.

TITANS

—–

PACKERS at DOLPHINS

D.T.: The Packers set the world on fire last week, and the Dolphins enjoyed a leisurely week after their quiet, uneventful trip to London. In a season where bye weeks are quickly amounting to shit versus advantage due to rest, I expect the Dolphins, with their hindered running game and serviceable passing game to be stomped over by a Green Bay team with a renewed sense of purpose.

 

 

"Holy shit, did you guys know I could do this? I totally forgot!"

“Holy shit, did you guys know I could do this? I totally forgot!”

Aaron Rodgers is bouncing back into the NFC North-dominating force we all expected him to be at the start of the season, and the rest of the team is following suit. I feel bad for the Dolphins, who are likely to come into this game soft after an easy win against Oakland, and a week of drinking shitty beer and eating food that can only be described as “grey”.

PACKERS

BMK: The Packers are going to pack the fish into…

Oh Jesus, I just can’t. Even I have limits.

PACKERS

—–

LIONS at VIKINGS

D.T.: Yet another NFC North match-up. Last week, the Lions were narrowly defeated by the Bills in what many would consider an upset, if you fail to consider that the Lions’ run game is shot, and the team still insists on rolling an injured Calvin Johnson onto the field as a “decoy”. Seriously, the guy only caught one pass last week and he was re-injured doing it. He’s likely be be riding pine against the Vikings this week. Not only that, but Running Back Jike Bell… er, Joy-kay… er…

 

 

Bjor-que Bell?

Bjor-que Bell?

 

Whatever his name is will likely be out, due to a concussion. This is the Vikings chance to bounce back after their embarrassment against the Packers last week. And given that Teddy Bridgewater is very likely to return, and the team seems to rally around him, I’m willing to bet that’s what they do.

VIKINGS

BMK: The Vikings QB situation looks to become a bridge over troubled waters since Bridgewater is playing this week. Still, I like the Lions in this one.

Well what do you know?  I guess I don’t have any limits after all…

LIONS

—–

BRONCOS at JETS

D.T.: As I mentioned, the Broncos could have ended the careers of more than one Cardinals defender last week, and against a Jets secondary that let the Chargers run game (of all terrible, awful run games) walk all over them last week, I expect some flat out deaths to occur on in New Jersey. The only thing saving Rex Ryan from being chased out of the stadium with pitch forks and torches is the fact that no one expects the Jets to win, anyway.

BMK:

Pictured: Jets secondary after the Broncos game.

Pictured: Jets secondary after the Broncos game.

 

BRONCOS

—–

RAVENS at BUCCANEERS

D.T.: This isn’t a good week for football. Torrey Smith is projected to be a fantasy stud against the Buccaneers. Torrey Smith.

 

Not to be confused with Wayne Brady or the Black Power Ranger.

Not to be confused with Wayne Brady or the Black Power Ranger.

RAVENS

BMK: Another yucko match up this week. Maybe the yard needs mowing…

RAVENS

—–

CHARGERS at RAIDERS

D.T.: Holy shit. Last week, I gave the Raiders the benefit of the doubt in unusual circumstances against the Dolphins, and they managed to turn themselves into an international embarrassment, instead of merely the US National Treasure they are. While San Fransisco fans are fighting each other in Levi Stadium bathrooms when their team wins, I can’t imagine Raiders fans can so much as find the enthusiasm to put on their mascara. Felipe Rios will wash over Oakland, effortlessly.

CHARGERS

BMK: There are a few things in this life I’m certain of. One, creamed corn is disgusting. Two, House of Prime Rib in San Francisco will NOT honor your reservations if you’re not wearing pants (no matter how cute your bikini briefs are), and three, that there is no way that the Raiders will beat the Chargers.

PS: If you know you’re coming to San Francisco, get reservations and eat at the House of Prime Rib.  It’s awesome. AND TELL ‘EM BRYAN KROL SENT YA!

How can you resist this?

How can you resist this?

CHARGERS

—–

BEARS at FALCONS

Game of the week...I guess...

Game of the week…I guess…

D.T.: I think this game has real potential, because it has the chance to be the most explosive of the week. Both of these teams have been on a crazy roller coaster ride, and both are due for a ramp-up. If both of these teams end up on the upswing after their recent two-loss streaks, we could be in for a really fun game.

The Bears were starting to look like a revelation in the NFC North: a team with a decent offense and a defense capable of embarrassing the Niners? Unheard of, in their division. Alas, it was too good to be true, and no one really knows where their defense found the fire fire that night, or where it’s gone since. Cutler is quietly having an excellent season, even with the lack of connections with star Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall, and has boosted Martellus Wallace into top TE status. Matt Ryan, on their good nights, is finding Julio Jones with fantastic results, and Devin Hester has made a big splash. But both teams are capable of disappointing losses and sloppy play, however. Neither of these teams have made much sense, and given that they’re both driven by decent offenses and terrible defenses, it could go either way.

A fluke turnover could easily decide the outcome, or the clock could simply run out before the next offense up has a chance to score. The Bears are a good road team, and the Falcons are best at home. The conflicting facts and statistics pile up, and that’s what makes this game interesting. Ultimately, I think the Bears are probably more hungry to turn things around, and I think they’ve got the stronger potential to do so. If plans to give Brandon Marshall more touches comes to fruition, combined with spreading the ball around and protecting Matt Forte on the rush, the Bears can take this. Krol?

BEARS

BMK: This game, DT?  THIS game? I mean, sure, it’s interesting, but is either team going to win their division?  Maybe Atlanta, but they’ll probably win it by default.  The Bears?  Who knows? The NFC North seems to be equally mediocre.  Anyway, this game has some potential for some weird drama (like will Roddy White tweet something exceptionally stupid or just ordinary stupid), but I’m not sure the outcome of this game is of interest to anyone outside of Atlanta or Chicago. And who cares what people in Chicago think.  Have you seen what they put on hot dogs out there?  It’s a goddamn disgrace.

Anyway, I think it’s pretty clear that the Falcons are going to get mauled by the Bears. Oh sure, Matty Ice will try and protect his nest, but then a giant bear will come take a crap in it. And then he’ll have to go play a whole football game.  Wakka wakka.

BEARS

—–

COWBOYS at SEAHAWKS

D.T.: Seattle looked sloppy in Washington, and the Cowboys have looked better in the last couple of games than they have in the last couple of years. DeMarco Murray has been an absolute stud of a Running Back, and Romo has turned things around nicely since the ‘Boys suffered their week one loss to the 49ers. However, Russell Wilson continues to be remarkable, and if I were a Dallas defensive back, I’d simply get the fuck out of Marshawn Lynch’s way. I think the two of them will go to town on the Cowboys’ secondary, and the Dallas offense will struggle in the hostile environment of CenturyLink Stadium. Still, expect the Cowboys to score a few, since all they really need to do is line up Dez Bryant on the other side of the field from Richard Sherman. Can’t wait to see the twitter war those two engage in on Monday.

 

I spent way too long making this.

I spent way too long making this.

SEAHAWKS

 

BMK: A lot of people are coming around on the Cowboys this season.  I think that’s due to the bigotry of soft expectations.  Everyone assumed that they, and the entire NFC East, would suck.   However, there are some good doings a –happenin’ in Dallas (EVERYONE’S talking about a girl named Debbie…).  But I trust Seattle’s defense more than I trust Tony Romo. Despite his sweet sweet ribs.

 

Oh...Tony ROMA's...oops.

Oh…Tony ROMA’s…oops.

SEAHAWKS

—–

REDSKINS at CARDINALS

D.T.: It’s probably still too early to make a call on this one. The Cardinals currently have no idea who their quarterback will be, and their defense is largely in question, due to injuries sustained against the Broncos last week. Logan Thomas showed a flash of greatness with that touchdown pass to Andre Ellington, but he’s nowhere near ready to start as an NFL quarterback, even if it’s against the Redskins. The team has to hope that Drew Stanton clears his concussion protocol, or that by some miracle, Carson Palmer is able to return. The Redskins, on the other hand, are still vulnerable against the still-standing members of the Cardinals secondary, and the Washington defense will have to content with Andre Ellington, who marched against the insane Denver defense, and will likely lead the offense this week. This will be a very low-scoring game, and the Cardinals will be looking to make a statement here at home that they’re down, but not out.

CARDINALS

BMK: Ugh.  What an ugly match-up.  If Carson Palmer plays, then the Cardinals should win. And they’ll have to win in a shoot-out since their front seven on defense are all 2nd string (or worse) guys.  If it’s Logan Thomas, the Cardinals should lose.

I guess I’ll just continue picking against them…

REDSKINS

—–

GIANTS at EAGLES

Call me crazy, I’m picking the Giants. Eli is kinda, sorta, almost maybe getting his offense back on track and averaging 35 points over the last few games. The Eagles defense is currently scoring more points than their own offense. That alone gives me pause and makes me think that maybe the exciting story the Eagles began writing in the beginning of the season is taking a dark turn. And who the hell knows what’s going on with LeSean McCoy right now. The Eagles better be careful, or they could find themselves turning into a hot mess.

GIANTS

BMK: The Eagles will have their wings clipped this week.  Ha! Get it?

Yeah, I hate me too.

GIANTS

—–

49ERS at RAMS

D.T.: It doesn’t seem like anyone really cares about this game, since tickets are going for ten fucking dollars. But, you know what?

I care.

I care.

Anyone not paying enough attention might write off the Rams in this game, but they’ve always given the 49ers trouble. In fact, the 49ers are 1-3 in their last four visits to Saint Louis. If the Rams can play solid defense, not shit the bed should they happen to find themselves in the lead, and put rumors of relocation to LA in the back of their heads, they could turn that statistic into 1-4. And wouldn’t that be a fantastic thing to see in the NFC West? The Niners are vulnerable, but it’s going to take determination and focus to pull a win.

RAMS

BMK: Thug-Lite Kaepernick will keep his Victory train rolling this week with a visit to St. Louis.

49ers

 

Current Record

I liked my picture last week better…

 

This post was edited and compiled while listening to the first two Clash records.  And you know what?  I still don’t like them.

Written by B. Michael Krol

October 10, 2014 at 4:59 pm

THUD NFL Picks Week 5

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Week 5

Week 5

D.T.: The thing we love most about the NFL is often what makes it frustrating: the natural unpredictability of each and every game, in each and every week. Football is arguably one of the most difficult sports to predict (just ask the guy who rage-quit my fantasy league on Monday), but it’s also the reason we keep coming back. For ever bet we lose, every dive we take in fantasy, and every time we swear we’ll find something better to do next Sunday, we come back. It’s the investment in something you think you can guess the outcome of, but know you have a 50/50 chance of getting right. It’s the excitement of believing your team can win the next one, even though they lost the last. Week four of the NFL’s regular season was a shining example of why we love football so much, and why it drives some of us crazy. Week five is likely to follow suit.

BMK: Last week the main storyline was “Is this formerly elite team REALLY this shitty?”  This week, the storyline is: “Are these teams really that good.”  Arizona will have a tough match-up in Denver this week.  If they win, then we’ll all know AZ is for real. If they lose (SPOILER: they will), it all depends on how.  Manning needs nine more touchdowns to tie with Favre’s career record.  If Peyton does this in this game, check the emergency rooms for me and DT.

VIKINGS at PACKERS

D.T.: Last week, the Packers surprised everyone by… well, playing like the Packers for a change. In their first meeting with bitter rival Chicago, the team looked poised and composed, and gave the daunting Bears’ secondary a real run for their money. Rodgers and Nelson showed incredible chemistry and even Eddie Lacy decided to show up and make a few plays. The Vikings, in Teddy Bridgewater’s first outing as a true starting Quarterback, shocked everyone by defeating a Falcons squad high on their historic stomping of Tampa Bay in week three. I’m not sure if the meeting of these two fired up teams will be as explosive as their week four match-ups, however. I think the Packers, if they can hold on to the lessons they’ve learned in prior weeks and keep their momentum going, can overcome the Vikings and get themselves back on track.

What we all HOPE this game will be...

What we all HOPE this game will be…

...and what it'll likely end up being.

…and what it’ll likely end up being.

PACKERS

BMK: Ponder vs. Rodgers!  A Thursday night QB Duel!

Pssh…not at all. This one’s over before it starts. Oh, and by the way, Chavez, I did you a favor last week by picking the Bears to win. This week though…

PACKERS

—–

BEARS at PANTHERS

D.T.: The Bears defense has been killing it, their offense is picking up the pace. Carolina, however, is allowing their weaknesses to show through more with each passing week. The Panthers’ offense is still struggling to click, and their defense is having a difficult time pulling it together without Greg Hardy. There’s still some greatness on the Panthers’ roster, and in a division that’s absolutely bonkers so far, they have a chance to pull it together. Especially if they keep giving it to this beautiful son of a bitch:

This guy is prettier than some of the girls I've dated. And you know the D.T. only dates dimes.

This guy is prettier than some of the girls I’ve dated. And you know the D.T. only dates dimes.

Ultimately, I think the Bears are on too big of a roll, and Carolina’s not going to be able to keep up. Oh, and here’s a photo of the Panthers’ cheerleaders dancing in the rain. Just because.

Panthers Cheerleaders

Panthers Cheerleaders

BEARS

BMK: Here’s the problem: I’m not sure I trust Jay Cutler.  Sometimes he looks great (second half of the 49ers game), other times, he don’t look so good. However, Cutler’s been pretty good on the road (106.3 QB rating) and the Panthers don’t have any real offensive playmakers.  All the Panthers’s playmakers know which fork to use and always remember to send their hostess a thank you note.

See what I did there?

Yeah yeah yeah….

These bears do well away from home too...

These bears do well away from home too…

BEARS
—–

BROWNS at TITANS

D.T.: Raise your hand if you had any idea the Browns were on a bye last week. I tease, but the Browns have been pretty competitive so far this season, and when they’re not trying to pull trick plays that would embarrass a high school coach, they kind of look like a halfway-competent team. The Titans have lost three straight after their surprising win over the Chiefs, leaving many to think it may have been a fluke, and I’m inclined to agree. My prediction? The Browns find themselves at 2-2, and don’t have a terribly difficult time getting there.

BROWNS

BMK: The Browns are probably 3rd best team in the AFC North. But they’ll be more than a match for the Titans.  It’ll be like that time in Return of the Jedi when the Stormtroopers were kicking Ewok ass. Before the shot of the dead Ewok which bummed everyone out.   Except Ken Wisenhunt. He likes dead Ewoks.  He likes them so much he has a picture of one on his play calling sheet. That and a picture of Rita Hayworth.

Ken Wisenhunt is a strange, strange man.

Inside Ken Whisenhunt's mind...

Inside Ken Whisenhunt’s mind…

BROWNS
—–

RAMS at EAGLES

D.T.: The Rams have fought hard to prove themselves more than a broken team with too many holes, and fared better against the Cowboys in week three than the Saints did last week. The Eagles, in their own narrow loss against San Francisco, proved that their hurry up offense needs some work against a determined defense. It’s these two scenarios that make this game more interesting than one would expect. The Rams’ secondary is still formidable, and they’re every bit as capable of slowing up the Eagles as the Niners were. Expect two teams to show up, points to be scored, fantasy owners to continue being nervous about Foles, but an Eagles victory by a narrow margin. Man, imagine what a team would look like if you combined the Rams’ defense and the Eagles’ offense.

I just gave myself chills.

I just gave myself chills.

EAGLES

BMK: Last week the Eagles proved that you can’t count on miracle finishes every week.  At some point your offense needs to score.  At the very least, your offense needs to pick up a first goddamn down. The Eagles’s offense looked so bad against the 49ers, I’m tempted to pick the Rams. And they’ve started slow in all of their games so far.  In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I am going to pick the Rams.  To hell with it – I’m living dangerously!

RAMS
—–

FALCONS at GIANTS

D.T.: Two teams who, thus far, have walked all over others that can’t get their acts together, and fall apart when playing teams that can. The Falcons have had strong victories over the Saints (who are perhaps the most confusing mess in the league right now) and the Buccaneers (a win that will likely live on in infamy for the rest of the season), but were absolutely trounced by the Vikings last week, and couldn’t hold their own against the impressive Bengals. The Giants are just as terribly inconsistent, having beaten the Texans and Redskins but failing miserably against the Cardinals and Lions. If I had to forego all statistical and logical analysis and go with my gut, I’d honestly give it to the Giants. They’re a mess, but at least they’ve lost to teams who deserved to win.

GIANTS
BMK: The Falcons are banged up and their defense is terrible.

And that’s still better analysis you get from Deion Sanders.

GIANTS

—–

BUCCANEERS at SAINTS

D.T.: Back on the topic if unpredictability in the NFL: last week’s outings for the Bucs and Saints were jaw-droppers. After the way they’ve played up to this point, no one expected Tampa Bay to sneak in a win against the Steelers, and the only logical explanation for it is the lack of consistency from Pittsburgh’s defense, and some flat out luck on Mike Glennon’s part. The Saints should have come into this season looking like unstoppable Super Bowl contenders, and last week they looked like the aliens from Space Jam had stolen all their talent.

Yeah, I made a fucking Space Jam reference. That's what this season is doing to me.

Yeah, I made a fucking Space Jam reference. That’s what this season is doing to me.

I honestly have no idea how to predict the outcome of this game, because neither team is predictable at this point. But, going by sheer talent involved, and the fact that New Orleans has to turn this thing around at some point… well, there’s no better time to do that than this week.

SAINTS

BMK: The Bucs beat the Steelers but there’s no way this team beats the Saints.  Not when the Saints are at home and coming off a humiliating performance against the Cowboys.

I think it’s probably safe to pull the Saints out of the elite category, but even if they’re just very good, they’re still better than this Tampa Bay team. Yes, the Saints defense stinks more than Rob Ryan after  getting the meat sweats at Fogo de Chao, but they should be able to handle the 31st ranked passing attack. At least I hope.

Crap. Now I want Fogo de Chao.

SAINTS

—–

TEXANS at COWBOYS

D.T.: A grudge match to move on from 3-1 and claim Texas supremacy (which I know is an oxymoron). I don’t trust the Cowboys’ win over New Orleans as a righting of the ship. It was a wild fluke against a team that has some serious issues to work out, and I think the best thing they have going for them is the running game. The Texans’ defense is too good, and if there’s one thing I can predict about this game with confidence, it’s Romo tossing some turnovers. Maybe even to JJ Watt, who at this point must be neck and neck in touchdowns with Megatron. I think the Texans surprise everyone with an upset and walk out of Dallas the victors.

And I end up killing someone after seeing this commercial twelve times before the half.

And I end up killing someone after seeing this commercial twelve times before the half.

TEXANS

BMK:  I’m giving it to the Cowboys this week. DeMarco Murray is running like crazy and Romo hasn’t been stupid lately.  A great recipe for a win. Plus I hate that stupid JJ Watt commercial.  It fills me with the hatred of a 1000 suns. Or maybe more like 992 suns, but the difference is negligible.  Seriously, when you already got 992 suns, will 8 more make a difference?  I don’t think so, but I’ll let history be the judge.

I need a job.

COWBOYS
—–

BILLS at LIONS

D.T.: The Bills are back in quarterback controversy with the decision to bench E.J. Manuel in favor of Kyle Orton. It’s not the most confidence-instilling decision, but the Bills passing game has been a bit of a joke this far, anyway. The Lions passing game is better, and could be fantastic if Megatron would get healthy, and the franchise would shift him back to relevance instead of decoy status. Overall, the Bills are at a precarious crossroads, and the Lions are the superior team. I expect them to hold down the fort in Detroit.

LIONS

BMK:  I’m going with the Lions here.  I like Stafford and Johnson at home. For those of you that don’t know, I’m referring to Calvin Johnson. I refuse to use that stupid nickname.  Unlike my partner DT, who’ll fall for any nicknamed receiver.

LIONS
—–

RAVENS at COLTS

D.T.: The Colts are riding high at the moment, and as an unabashed Andrew Luck fan, I’m happy to see it. They were off to a terrible start, going 0-2 in the first couple of weeks, but they’ve looked dynamite in their last two outings. However, their defense will be starting an inexperienced safety in Sergio Brown (most known for special teams), with LaRon Landry having been suspended for four games. This leaves a real soft spot for the Ravens’ offense to exploit, and they’re capable of doing so. The Colts have historically walked over the Ravens, however, and I don’t see the Ravens stealing a win in Lucas Oil Stadium. If Luck can keep throwing the way he has, and the ball keeps getting fed to Ahmad Bradshaw over Trent Richardson…

Don't make that face. You know you're terrible.

Don’t make that face. You know you’re terrible.

…the offense should have no trouble securing the victory.

COLTS
BMK:  I’m going with the Colts on this one. The Ravens and Colts, statistically, are fairly similar and Joe Flacco just irritates me. So I’m going with the home team.

COLTS

—–

STEELERS at JAGUARS

D.T.: It’s just a matter of time…

Jax Bear

Jax in London

But, American would like to keep the blond in the front, if that's okay.

But, American would like to keep the blond in the front, if that’s okay.

STEELERS

—–

BMK: A pulsar (portmanteau of pulsating star) is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing toward the Earth, much the way a lighthouse can only be seen when the light is pointed in the direction of an observer, and is responsible for the pulsed appearance of emission. Neutron stars are very dense, and have short, regular rotational periods. This produces a very precise interval between pulses that range from roughly milliseconds to seconds for an individual pulsar.

The precise periods of pulsars make them useful tools. Observations of a pulsar in a binary neutron star system were used to indirectly confirm the existence of gravitational radiation. The first extrasolar planets were discovered around a pulsar, PSR B1257+12. Certain types of pulsars rival atomic clocks in their accuracy in keeping time.

STEELERS

This is the Game of the Week

This is the Game of the Week

Cardinals at Broncos

D.T.: Two teams I know very well, and a match-up I’ve been simultaneously excited for and dreading since the regular season schedule was announced. I’m born and raised in Arizona, so the Cardinals are my team. My family is a bunch of hardcore, Raider-Hater Broncos fans from Colorado. I own an equal number of jerseys from both teams (3), and if not for work deadlines, I’d be attending the game in Denver, getting rowdy with my cousins. I’m hoping for a great game (because the last thing I want to see is one of these teams get crushed), and for both squads to bring their A-games. Both teams are coming in rested from a bye, so we just might see an excellent match-up here, folks.

The Cardinals will be without Quarterback Carson Palmer, as a nerve injury he suffered in week one has suffered a major setback, and he’s unable to throw. Drew Stanton looked good in the two games he’s filled in, however, and he has one of the best receiver corps in the league to lean on. Backing him him on the ground is Andre Ellington, whose toughness in playing through a foot injury has been admirable, and hopefully his week off will have him back at full strength. Arizona’s offensive line should give them both ample time to make decisions, even in the face of Denver’s daunting secondary.

Denver put a lot of thought and money into their defense this past off-season, with the most notable acquisition being DeMarcus Ware, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. They’ve put him to good use alongside Bronco veterans Von Miller and Derek Wolfe, and they’ve created a defensive backfield that’s frankly pretty scary. The Cardinals’ secondary has proven that even without Karlos Dansby, Daryl Washington and recently-injured Darnell Dockett, they’re still a force in the league. They’ve held fast to a 3-0 record, celebrating a win over Colin Kaepernick’s San Francisco offense before taking the week off. But let’s be honest: Kaepernick is no Peyton Manning.

With Wes Welker back in the folk, Manning has a lot of weapons at his disposal. Emmanuel Sanders, believed to be a stopgap of sorts in Welker’s absence, has proven himself much more, and has found himself a spot in regular rotation. The Cardinals defense will find themselves truly challenged in trying to cover Sanders, Deymarius Thomas, Wes Welker and a shining example of Arizona’s biggest weakness: covering Tight End Julius Thomas. Arizona will need all of their faculties, and key players like safety Tyrann Mathieu will need to play at an enhanced level to keep up. On the flip side, the back of the Broncos’ defense, lead by Cornerback Aqib Talib will be pushed to keep up with the quadruple threat of Larry Fitzgerald, speedster John Brown, Michael Floyd and Jaron Brown. Drew Stanton has shown a lot of proficiency in spreading the passes around, and the Arizona offense has become tricky to cover.

Arizona’s defense will be the key to this game, and Denver knows it. Their one big weakness these past couple of seasons has been NFC West defenses, and they’ve likely watched hours of game tape to formulate a plan. If the Arizona defense can maintain focus and fluidity, they have the ability to contain this game and allow the offense to do their part. But… fuck, man. It’s the Broncos.

Can I just have 60 minutes of this, instead?

Can I just have 60 minutes of this, instead?

BRONCOS
BMK: This is the ultimate test for Arizona. As an old time Cardinals fan (I wasn’t born there, but I did grow up there), I fully expect them to lose.  But I want them to lose well.  There would no shame in losing to Peyton Manning by a touchdown, especially considering all the losses Arizona has had on its defensive side this year.  It would be disappointing, but not totally deflating. Anything more than a touchdown though…

Truth be told, this is not the Peyton Manning of yesteryear.  As the Seahawks showed, he is beatable, and the fanboy in me wants to think that Arizona’s combination of guile, luck, and skill in the secondary can cause some havoc for Mr. Manning.  But as my man DT pointed out above, Denver has plenty of weapons.  Throw in the fact that Manning is one of the most cerebral quarterbacks to ever play the game, and it starts looking bad for the Cardinals in a hurry.

Of course, Arizona is not without offensive weapons. Arizona has two very good receivers in Floyd and Fitzgerald, at least two excellent ones after them (the Browns, Ginn).  So if your Denver, who do you cover? Futher, Arizona has a decent tight end in Carlson, and Ellington is no slouch when it comes to catching the ball either.  Stanton will have to get the ball out quickly (the Massie vs. Von Miller match-up doesn’t fill my heart with joy), and if he does, and doesn’t turn the ball over, this game might be more competitive than I’m expecting.

At the end of the day, I’m sure Denver will win. And when have I ever been wrong?

BRONCOS
—–

CHIEFS at 49ERS

D.T.: The Chiefs enjoyed a stunning victory over the Patriots last week, in yet another example of unpredictability in the NFL. However, I think the 49ers are going to bounce back from their loss against the Eagles, and return to form with a victory at home. A no-doubt bitter return for Chiefs Quarterback Alex Smith, he’s likely eager to stick it to the team that let him go in favor of the younger, flashier, tattooier Colin Kaepernick. It was Kaepernick who showed Smith up during a stint on the injured list, and claimed his spot as the team’s starting passer (and subsequently lead the team to a Super Bowl). Smith brings with him star Running Back Jamaal Charles, who finally launched himself back into relevance, and the two of them have the opportunity to do some real damage. But, Kaep is going to want to prove that he’s the big dog to his bosses, even with San Francisco’s questionable atmosphere behind the scenes.

49ERS

BMK: A lot of experts (and DT – zing!) are picking the 49ers in this game. I think they’re right (THIS TIME!).  But I would not be surprised if the Chiefs took it. Jamaal Charles is looking like a beast lately. And by that I mean he’s dressing like a furry.

I’m not sold on the 49ers at all. Now, true, I am a dyed-in-the-wool 49er hater, but how can you watch their first four games and think this team is elite?  They still have a very good defense, but their offensive line is having problems and Vernon Davis is officially listed as Questionable.   I’m going with the Chiefs here.

Incidentally, I read the ESPN profile on Jim Harbaugh.  It says he lacks empathy, has trouble maintaining relationships with people, and needs to hate his opponent in order to beat them. Is it just me, or does that sound like the clinical definition of a sociopath?

CHIEFS
—–

JETS at CHARGERS

D.T.: Here’s the thing about the New York/San Diego game: The Jets have an absolutely stellar rushing defense, and the Chargers have virtually no running game at all. So, the Jets’ one strength and superiority over the Chargers is likely to not even be a factor, because Phillip Rivers is good enough to control this game in the air without having to resort to running the ball, except in first down situations or garbage time. The Chargers come into this with an advantage in nearly every aspect, and I don’t think they’ll have a terribly difficult time adding another mark in their win column.

CHARGERS

BMK: Bolo Tie boy will pass all over the Jets terrible secondary.
—–

BENGALS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: Holy shit, what’s happened to the Patriots? They struggled to hold back the Oakland Raiders, and where absolutely stomped by the Chiefs last week. Brady has said he won’t think about retiring until he starts to suck, but what about switching to another team since the rest of his team sucks so badly? The Pats are going to be grossly outmatched by the Bengals, and this will be the Atlanta/Tampa Bay equivalent of week five. Expect Dalton, AJ Green and Gio Bernard to have themselves a day, and maybe expect Tom Brady to have himself a cry.

"If I played center, would they call them 'ginger snaps'?"

“If I played center, would they call them ‘ginger snaps’?”

—–

BMK: This week, the NFL world spent its collective time burying Tom Brady and the Patriots. It’s not entirely unjustified.  But what I think we’re seeing here is reality crashing in on Belichick’s hubris.  The Patriots have been doing very well for a long time without a roster of superior talent. Brady can usually overcome those problems, but what you’re seeing now is the result of Belichick believing he can win with anyone. That’s not the case, buddy.  Anyway, since I’m a bandwagon guy, I’m going with the Ginger of Doom.

BENGALS

SEAHAWKS at REDSKINS

D.T.: I should be thankful to the NFL for how they’re scheduling these Monday night games, because there’s nothing worse than being hung over on a Tuesday. With these MNF match-ups, there’s been barely enough reason to watch, much less invest money in alcohol. At least the Seahawks are guaranteed to net me some major points in fantasy. Goodnight, everyone!

SEAHAWKS

BMK: The Seattle Seahawks beat Peyton Manning twice.  Kirk Cousins is no Peyton Manning. Hell, he’s not even an Eli Manning at this point.

SEAHAWKS

BMK:  Please note, DT never sent me an updated gif of our scores through week four.  I think it’s because I pulled ahead of him in the standings. So I took the liberty of making my own. Which I think kicks a whole lot of ass.

If you were to open up my mind, this is what you'd see. That and brains. Lots of brains. Cause I'm smart and shit.

If you were to open up my mind, this is what you’d see. That and brains. Lots of brains. Cause I’m smart and shit.

This post was compiled and edited while listening to Spotify’s Deep Focus playlist.  That and my superego telling me that I’m terrible.  😦