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THUD Week 11 Picks

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Week Eleven...Go to Hell, go to Heaven!

Week Eleven…Go to Hell, go to Heaven!

 

D.T.: I think we’re getting better at this, Krol. We were 69% on picks in week 10, and only under bizarre, unforeseen circumstances were we wrong! The Saints and 49ers found themselves in an overtime nail-biter, so we can’t be blamed for getting that one wrong. And who the hell saw the Jets beating the Steelers after the last two games Roethlisberger orchestrated?

 

 

Well, this guy, allegedly. But I don't put much stock in his foresight.

Well, this guy, allegedly. But I don’t put much stock in his foresight.

I hope this week holds more surprises, because it looks pretty flat on paper (goddamn, I get funnier every week). Let’s get into it, and see if we can’t break 70%, Krol!

BMK: I’m not sure if we’re getting better at this or we’re finally getting a feel for this weird NFL season. As you wrote above DT, who saw the Jets beating the Steelers?  No one. Except one guy on CBS Sports who picked them.  Boy howdy, did I have a laugh at his expense.  I held his pick up to contemptuous ridicule, I did.  When he was right though, I had egg on my face. And I started writing like an 19th Century British Cockney, what!
Oh, and just for the record, I scored more in 1995 than Ben Roethlisburger in the Jets game.  SIC SEMPER TYRANIS Rex Ryan!

 

This guy doesn't care if your jokes fall flat...and yeah, I just made a joke that references a 19th Century geometry book.

This guy doesn’t care if your jokes fall flat…and yeah, I just made a joke that references a 19th Century geometry book.

—–

BILLS at DOLPHINS

D.T.: The only consistency in the AFC East is that the Patriots will win — and even that was questionable a few weeks ago.  It’s easy to want to pick the Dolphins because of how they’ve been performing, and how they held their own against a Detroit squad with a stellar defense and their star receiver back on the field. However, this could easily turn into a surprising game, and either team could walk away with a 6-4 record. It’s encouraging for Bills fans that the team’s first injury report for this week lists Sammy Watkins as a full participant and Fred Jackson has been bumped up to limited. Even so, I’m going to stick with the Dolphins to take this, and lift themselves to second place in the division.

DOLPHINS

BMK: This column is a lot like the AFC East. Like the Patriots, DT always came to play and played at a high level, winning and going on to great things. Over the years, the rest of the division pulled the Patriots down with them.  That’s what I do to DT every week.  I’m bringing him down to my level. I’d feel bad about it, but I have so little in my life I love diminishing others. It’s a problem I’ve been working on, to very little success.  I’m thinking about trying heroin next week and wearing nothing but a loincloth on public transportation. That might help.

Oh, yeah. The pick. Ummmm… Dolphins.

DOLPHINS.

—–

VIKINGS at BEARS

D.T.: In week 9, the Vikings earned a narrow victory over the Redskins, and the right to relax during their week 10 bye. The Bears, on the other hand, spent week 10 in football hell, being pummeled mercilessly by a red-hot Packers offense.

 

Who also happened to score a lot of points.

Who also happened to score a lot of points.

You can’t help but just feel bad for Chicago. The Packers and Lions were cruel enough to let the Bears and Vikings think they had a real shot at a wide-open division, before slamming the door shut and giving them the finger through the window. Now, the Bears have dropped to four games beneath the Lions, and the Vikes aren’t fairing much better. The Bears compete to tie for last place, and the Vikings compete just to keep a step ahead of those poor bastards in blue and orange.

 

Possible look at the effectiveness of Chicago's secondary.

Possible look at the effectiveness of Chicago’s secondary.

I’m going to have to give it to the Vikings. In a battle of the bad, I’ll give it to the rested team over the brutally downtrodden team.

VIKINGS

BMK: Besides the AFC South, is there a less compelling division in the NFL besides the NFC North? The Bears stink, the Vikings are more interesting off the field than on, and the Lions are above Green Bay only by a game.  Seriously, the Brown Bunny is more interesting than this game.

VIKINGS

—–

TEXANS at BROWNS

D.T.: Was two weeks off enough time for Jadeveon Clowney to get over his mysterious illness? Who knows. We know that Arian Foster has been fighting through a groin injury, and is eager to make a week 11 return. He and JJ Watt have become to the two bright points on the team’s roster amidst problems including a shuffling of QBs, and the two will likely continue to impress in week 11 against the Browns, and carry their respective units. Speaking of the Browns: they enjoyed a nice, leisurely week 10 and an effortless victory over the Bengals. They’re likely to be playing on a high, and will most likely win this one, too.

Hey, remember when Manziel was relevant enough to make jokes about?
BROWNS

BMK: Manziel will always be relevant to make fun of. That kid is a douche. While I was hoping to see him play so I could watch him fall flat on his over-privileged face, knowing that he’s riding the pine is good enough for me.

BROWNS

—–

FALCONS at PANTHERS

D.T.: Well, Cam Newton certainly didn’t rediscover his confidence and abilities last week, did he? Carolina fans are becoming restless, having come into the season knowing their defense would be hindered but hoping for energy from their offense. The most exciting thing to come from Carolina this year has been Kelvin Benjamin, but I’m sure people are tired of hearing me talk about him. But come on — how many bad set ups has Cam given him, and he still pulls through? Cam’s porous offensive line demands a healthy share of the blame, though.  I really want to say that the Panthers will pull a win out from this match-up against the Falcons’ bottom-of-the-barrel defense, but this is fundamentally a team sport and the Carolina squad needs to go back to working on fundamentals.

FALCONS

BMK: Ugh.  This gif reflects what I think about this game.

toilet

FALCONS.

—–

BENGALS at SAINTS

D.T.: My, how the ginger has fallen. Last week, Andy Dalton earned the lowest passer rating in game in over 50 years. Let’s think about this: Philip Rivers was completely shut out by the Dolphins, and received the fifth highest passer rating in that game — somehow even behind the opposing team’s number one Wide Receiver. Dalton managed to make that performance look good.

 

 

"Thanks, I guess!"

“Thanks, I guess!”

Meanwhile, the Saints would have beaten the 49ers in overtime, if Jimmy Graham hadn’t pushed off a defender and reversed the team’s last touchdown score with a pass interference call. Brees is finding himself prone to turnovers, but he’s still operating his offense with more composure and leadership than Dalton is. Their defense should have an okay time containing the Bengal’s Gio Bernard-less offense and allowing Brees and his receiver corps to control the game.

SAINTS

BMK: Goddamn it Saints, you had one job last week. ONE JOB! And you couldn’t even do that right.  All I wanted was to be able to drive around the Bay this week listening to the wailing and gnashing of teeth from 49er fans and guess what?  You blew it on a 4th and 10. You’re dead to me.

You should feel bad, Drew.  Very, very bad...

You should feel bad, Drew. Very, very bad…

But the Bengals suck worse, so….

BENGALS

—–

BUCCANEERS at REDSKINS

D.T.: It’s pretty clear that Lovie Smith doesn’t belong as a coach in the NFL. He was given the boot by Chicago in 2012, after achieving four winning records out of nine seasons, and narrowly missing the playoffs in 2012. It took him a year and the firing of Greg Schiano before he’d find his unhappy, unstable home in Florida — and he’ll likely be looking for another job by 2015. The Buccaneers defense is such a mess that they’re likely not to contain even the rusty Robert Griffin III, who’s lost both games he started in this season. Neither of these teams deserve a win right now — the Bucs for playing like shit, and the Redskins for shafting Kirk Cousins. But, being forced to make a choice before moving on, I’ll go with the ‘Skins.

REDSKINS

BMK: The only thing I know for sure about this game is that it’s completely meaningless.

BUCCANEERS

—–

BRONCOS at RAMS

D.T.: Ah, Rams. As a Cardinals fan, I’m happy you landed that win against the 49ers. However, Arizona had to thank you themselves by taking you to task, and now the Broncos will put you down, hard. Your coach can’t even decide which Quarterback to start, and you’re definitely looking at a 3-7 record at the end of this week. Maybe next year, we’ll join forces and dominate the Lynch-less Seahawks and Harbaugh-free Niners.

 

 

Maybe next year, Rambros.

Maybe next year, Rambros.

BRONCOS

BMK: The Broncos are going to stomp the Rams harder than Devin Faraci stomped on the 3rd act of Batman Begins.

BRONCOS

——

NINERS at GIANTS

D.T.: San Francisco squeaked out a win against the Saints last week, thanks to a poor move by Jimmy Graham in the zero hour. The week before, they lost a really lack-luster match-up against the Rams. They’re not in good shape, and though their defense is stout as hell, this might be an ample opportunity for the Giants to bounce back. In the first half of their week 10 visit to Seattle, Eli and Company looked decent enough, but the Seattle team rallied in the second half, scoring three touchdowns and setting a franchise record for rushing yards in a game (shared mostly by Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch). New York’s rush defense is exposed, and while San Francisco continues to misuse Frank Gore, you can expect Kaepernick to capitalize on space to run it himself, just like Wilson did. And Aldon Smith will be back in active duty, which will give Manning trouble. It’s a toss-up, but I’ll go with a San Francisco win.

NINERS

BMK: DT, you’re giving the Giants too much credit. The 49ers are going to win this game handily. If for no other reason than the fact that God hates me.

Pictured: God, when asked what he thinks of me.

Pictured: God, when asked what he thinks of me.

49ers

—–

SEAHAWKS at CHIEFS

D.T.: Battle of the Wildly Unpredictable Teams with Powerful Running Games. And damn, are these two teams evenly matched. Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch edges out both Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis in terms of rushing yardage and touchdowns, while Russell Wilson and Alex Smith are having nearly identical seasons on paper. And both are prone to interception. The Chiefs’ defense will likely have a more difficult time containing Lynch than the Hawks’ secondary will with Charles and Davis, but most of this battle will take place on the ground. The team that mans up and makes plays in the air will likely be the one to win, and my guess is that’ll be Seattle.

 

 

Here's a stupidly-hot member of the Sea Gals squad. Just because.

Here’s a stupidly-hot member of the Sea Gals squad. Just because.

SEATTLE

BMK: You know, I got an intuition here. I’m going to go with my gut.

I prefer brunettes.

I prefer brunettes.

CHIEFS

—–

RAIDERS at CHARGERS

D.T.: I read today that it’s been over 365 days since the Raiders have won a regular season game. Holy shit. Yes, they’ve gotten better since Tony Sparano took over as head coach, but that’s like saying “Hey, you beat cancer but you lost both arms, legs and your penis.”

 

 

"Who needs a penis, anyway?!"

“Who needs a penis, anyway?!”

CHARGERS

BMK: Every time I see the name Tony Sparano, I read it as Tony Soprano. Which makes think of Big Pussy.  Which makes me giggle like school girl.

CHARGERS

—–

LIONS at CARDINALS — THUD GAME OF THE WEEK

Thud week 11

 

 
D.T.: Two of the most interesting story lines in this league this year, converging. The Lions have been without their star wide receiver for over a month, their star Running Back and Tight End have been in and out, and yet they keep on winning. The Cardinals’ defense has suffered several blows, their starting Quarterback missing games due to a nerve injury, and they’ve kept winning. Things are different now though, as said Quarterback, Carson Palmer, has suffered a career-ending injury to his left ACL.

To those not directly familiar with the team (like apparently 90% of the sports media) this looks like a devastating blow to the Arizona offense, and a season-destroying turn of events. However, back-up Drew Stanton took over when Palmer was sidelined with the shoulder issue, and went on to lead the team to a victory against divisional rivals, the 49ers. He’s one of the best back-up Quarterbacks in the league and he’s very familiar with Head Coach Bruce Arians’ tricky schemes, which have driven the team to an 8-1 record. The loss of Palmer is a big one, but there are few QB’s better suited to step into his role than Stanton. Plus, the Cardinals still have a heavy defense, solid running game anchored by Andre Ellington, and a stellar receiver corps.

The return of Detroit’s star Running Back, Calvin Johnson, was heralded with a touchdown and 113 passing yards in their week 10 victory over the Dolphins. Johnson’s usage as a decoy is apparently no more, as he looked fast and sharp, despite good coverage from Miami’s Brent Grimes. It’ll be interesting to see how Cardinals Cornerback Patrick Peterson (who’s currently tied for most penalties this season) handles the 6’5″ Megatron, with the physical style of coverage he’s known for using. It’ll take some muscle and focus to overtake Johnson without filling University of Phoenix Stadium with yellow flags.

This will be a tough match for the 8-1 Cardinals; perhaps their most difficult since Denver. Their defense is spirited and capable, and their offense won’t take too much of a hit with Palmer sidelined. Where it’s going to count is containing Detroit’s passing game, and making sure they don’t give the Lions’ secondary any opportunities to turn the ball over. If they can do that — and we’ve seen that they can — they can win this.

Watching this game, my knuckles are going to be whiter than Larry Fitzgerald’s teeth.

CARDINALS

BMK: This game. This fucking game…

I’m an old school Cardinals fan. I had season tickets in 1998 and 1999, when they played in Sun Devil.  September home games were hell. You don’t know misery until you’ve sat and watched your team lose to the Seattle Seahawks 37-7 when it it’s 107 degrees in the shade.  And cousin, my seats weren’t in the shade.

But after all those years of misery and losing, it’s still surreal to me that the Cardinals are 8-1 and playing one of the most significant games in their long history. Even the year they went to the Superbowl they sort of backed into the playoffs.  No one gave them a chance of winning at all (they were 3 point dogs at home against Atlanta).  To put it mildly, this team has never gotten a lot of respect.

That’s all changed now. Perceptions are changing.  Last week, Vegas pegged their odds of winning the Superbowl at 10-1. Not bad, considering where they were prior to that. National media is talking about them in a complimentary way. Bruce Arians is up for coach of the year. Things are good.

Then Palmer goes down. For the year.

Now, I think Drew Stanton is a serviceable QB. There will be some drop-off, but I’m not sure how much (one magazine wag compared the change to when Van Halen replaced Roth with Hagar, and not so much when Cherone replaced Hagar. I can buy that.). But I think Stanton can win.

Still…the old Cardinals fan in me is expecting a seven game losing streak and them missing the playoffs with a record of 8-8.

The Old Cardinals Fan in me is a jealous and bitter God from the elder days that must be appeased.  And appease him I shall.

LIONS

—–

EAGLES at PACKERS

D.T.: Mark Sanchez is enjoying success so far, in his return to the position of starting Quarterback in the NFL. Last week, instead of shoving his head up someone else’s ass, he watched as Cam Newton shoved his up his own ass. Sanchez would go on to throw two touchdowns, and best Newton’s passing yards by over 30. It’s too early to compare him to Foles, but so far, Sanchez has been getting passes out faster and Chip Kelly’s offense has been moving at a snap at every 15 seconds. The last thing this team needs is another Quarterback controversy, but Sanchez appears to be a solid stopgap, and we’ll see how this plays out once Foles is healthy again.

Matt Flynn, on the other hand, is in no immediate danger of ever having to start for the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers threw for a near-effortless six touchdowns and 315 yards in their demolishing of Chicago’s spirit. The Packers are nigh unstoppable at the moment, and the Eagles will be hard-pressed to maintain coverage and keep up. This could turn out to be an okay game, but I’ll put my chips on the Pack.

PACKERS

BMK: Count me as a backer of the Sanchise.  Yeah, when he was a Jet we teased him a lot cause we had him on the spot, but I think he was good QB caught in a bad system.  A lot of people tend to forget Sanchez played in a few AFC Championship games (I’m too lazy to Google, so I’m going to say he played in at least ten).  Now that he’s with the Eagles and Chip Kelly, this team could get scary.  By which I mean they might wear Halloween masks to their games.  And some of those masks are downright frightening.

Can you imagine how scary the O-Line would be if they were all wearing these?

Can you imagine how scary the O-Line would be if they were all wearing these?

EAGLES

—–

PATRIOTS at COLTS

D.T.: If there’s one game you shouldn’t bet a single cent on this week, this is it. Unless you’re Lovie Smith, and you know you’ll be in desperate need of money soon.

 

 

Smith shows us just how deep in the shit he is.

Smith shows us just how deep in the shit he is.

No one knows what to make of this game. The bloggers, analysts, stats nerds and couch commandos (all of which Krol and I somehow embody) have come up with such ridiculous facts to decide who will in this, such as Tom Brady’s record on the road against teams with winning records. Really? People out there are justifying declaring the Patriots as early victors because Tom Brady has won more times than lost while visiting teams with winning records. It makes the Football Baby look like fucking Nostradamus.

 

 

This is an actual thing. Dude puts a baby in a football costume, and it picks the winners by falling down.

This is an actual thing. Dude puts a baby in a football costume, and it picks the winners by falling down.

If getting sleepy and falling down is a socially acceptable form of telling the future, then give me and Krol a keg. We’ll predict the next four Presidential elections, the titles of the new Star Wars movies, and the next eruption of Mount Kilimanjaro. Oh, right. Patriots at Colts. Let’s see… it’s going to be Tom and Andrew’s day, as everyone knows. Luck has the better receiver corps, but Brady has Gronkowski, who is a wild card every time he’s on the field. The Colts also have the edge in rushing, as long as the Patriots play their fumble machine, Shane Vereen, and the Colts limit playtime for theirs, Trent Richardson. It’s going to be close and I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams find themselves scoring in the 30s. However, on a purely gut feeling, I’m going with the Colts holding down the fort at home.

COLTS

 

BMK: For me, this is the game I’m most interested in seeing this week.  The Cardinals/Lions one will give me heart burn and be totally unpleasant experience (unless the Cards win in a rout…not bloody likely…crap! There’s that damn cockney again..).

 

Anyway, I consulted a witch and we took a look at some goat entrails.  It told us Colts.  It also told us to get some Indian food. Which we did.

 

COLTS

—–

STEELERS at TITANS

D.T.: After the schizophrenic month Roethlisberger has had, I wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole in fantasy football. However, I will be playing their defense against Tennessee, this weekend. Titans Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt has continued his blatant war against the sport of Football, running yet another team into the ground with reckless abandon. The man couldn’t coach a Quarterback to save his life, and poor Mettenberger doesn’t stand a chance. He was humbled and humiliated by JJ Watt, was held to a single touchdown pass by the Ravens, and he’s not going to fare any better against Pittsburgh. The Steelers are far and away a favorite to rebound here, and take an easy win.

STEELERS

 

BMK: The funny thing about DTs screed against Wisenhunt – excepting the fact that every word of it is true – prior to Bruce Arians coaching the Cardinals, the people of AZ were deifying Wisenhunt for getting the Cardinals to a Super Bowl. Ah, how the mighty have fallen…

Of course that was before the Max Hall, Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Ryan Lindely, Brian Hoyer, Richard Bartel debacles…

This is what Whisenhunt sees when he goes to sleep...

This is what Whisenhunt sees when he goes to sleep…

 

STEELERS

—–

DT: Hot damn, I just realized we were fortunate enough to go a week without having to slog through talk about the Jaguars. Next week, they make their triumphant return as fodder for the Colts, while the Raiders end up going 0-11 against the Chiefs. And I didn’t even need to dress up like a football and fall down. Goodnight, folks!

BMK: No we didn’t talk about the Jaguars.  However, we’re Jaguars of comedy writing.

 

Note: There is no recap graphic because DT forgot to send it to me and I was too busy mutilating Depeche Mode songs to create one. But I’m sure I’m winning. Anyway, here’s a picture of Kat Dennings. Cool it.

Kat

 

This post was written and compiled while listening to Depeche Mode’s Music for the Masses and the nagging voice in my head telling me that I should do more with my life.

 

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Written by B. Michael Krol

November 13, 2014 at 7:02 pm

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