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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.

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Written by B. Michael Krol

October 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm

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