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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

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