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THUD Week Fifteen

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Week 15 -- here comes the regression to the mean!

Week 15 — here comes the regression to the mean!


D.T.: Cam Newton finally gets his shit together, and then injures his back in a car accident. The Rams put up historic, back-to-back shut outs right as they’re being pushed out of playoff contention. The Raiders beat the shit out of the Niners. Krol finally caught up to me in picks. Ain’t football a bitch?




We were ragging pretty hard on week 14 for being a series of shitty games and, for the first time this season and maybe in our whole lives, ever, there’s a slight, miniscule chance that Krol and I were wrong. I mean, who expected the Packers/Falcons game to be as high-scoring as it was? Who expected Andrew Luck’s mistakes to turn the Colts/Browns game into a nail-biter? Well, if you were pleasantly surprised like us, you better hold on to your ass, this week.

BMK: Yeah, this last week turned out to be better than I thought it would be.  Especially since the Raiders beat the 49ers.  As an avowed Harbaugh hater, that was just delicious.  This week we got some hot Division on Division action. Let’s get biz-zay!



D.T.: Somehow, the Cardinals managed to squeeze out a win against the Chiefs. Many would argue that poor officiating helped, and to them I say… yeah, probably. The Rams defense is looking pretty incredible, and they’ve developed a knack for picking off hurting teams. The injury-plagued Arizona team will have to really step it up on offense to survive. They’ve certainly got more on the line, and if they can keep clear heads and utilize the tools they’ve got left, they just might squeak out another W. Maybe. I hope.


BMK: A lot of hay is being made out of the Rams blanking the Redskins and the Raiders. It’s an impressive feat, but I think the media is overplaying the Rams abilities.  Don’t get me wrong, their pass-rush is scary, but who do they have on their secondary? Who’s their offensive playmaker?

That said, I’m picking them this week. Thursday night games this year have been insane. I’m going with the home team.




D.T.: I’m as shocked as anyone that the Falcons managed to score as much as they did against the Packers. Julio Jones had himself a freaking day, and topped out at 260 yards and a touchdown, and Matty Ice tossed for 375 yards and four TDs. Maybe something has awakened in the Falcons and they just realized that someone from their division MUST go to the playoffs, and it might as well be them. But, their visit from the Steelers won’t help that cause — their defense is far too weak to stop Cheeseburger and LeVeon Bell. Sorry, Dirty Birds.


BMK: I’m picking the Steelers here too. Mostly cause I can’t figure out why I shouldn’t.




D.T.: At this point, both the Redskins players and fans must be eagerly awaiting the sweet relief of the off-season. Giants fans are more than likely indifferent, and placing all of their attention and enthusiasm on the incredible season Odell Beckham, Jr. is having. This wasn’t a great season for them, but next year they get to look forward to seeing that kid line up across from Victor Cruz. That’s a scary thought, indeed. Oh, and they’ll win this week.


BMK: Ugh, the Redskins.  They’re like the Jets, but without the excellent football.

I feel sorry for the fans of that team, since most of the problems with the Redskins come from a bad owner.  Before Michael Bidwell took over, the Cardinals were in a similar situation, just constant dysfunction and mediocrity or worse.  This off-season will be interesting down in Virginia, that’s for sure.




D.T.: Divisional match-up, ahoy! Wacky shit happens when these two teams face off, and the last time they did, the ‘Fins put the Pats away with a two-possession lead. That, however, was before the Patriots began enjoying their revitalization on both sides of the ball. The Miami defense has been struggling of late, and I expect to see Brady, Gronk and Blount capitalize.


And, sadly, we'll probably see less of this.

And, sadly, we’ll probably see less of this.




BMK: The Patriots do not lose at Foxboro.  They just don’t.




D.T.: I’m sure Alex Smith enjoyed watching his former team struggle against the worst team in the league.



"Colin-what? Kaeper-who?"

“Colin-what? Kaeper-who?”

But, will he be able to avoid the same thing happening to him? All signs point to yes. The Chiefs will be fortunate to finish the season in second place in the AFC West, but at least Smith isn’t still on that sinking ship. And he’s got easier divisional rivals to beat up on.


BMK: I think the Raiders got a decent QB in Derek Carr. Or, at the very least, they have a decent prospect to develop further.  Other than that, there’s not much to like about Oakland.  Despite their sweet, sweet, victory last week, they’re still a two win football team.  They’re not beating the Chiefs at home.




D.T.: A tricky divisional match-up. The Texans’ playoff dreams are still alive, but they have to go through the 9-4 Colts to get there. This week, literally. Indy Quarterback Andrew Luck has been struggling with turnovers lately, and the loss of Reggie Wayne to a tricep injury stings a little bit, but the Neckbeard has historically played great against this divisional rival squad. I expect the same to occur here, as they host JJ Watt and professional spectator Jadaveon Clowney at home in Lucas Oil.



I spend $40 a month for RedZone. He gets $22 million to watch from the sideline. Fuck this guy.

I spend $40 a month for RedZone. He gets $22 million to watch from the sideline. Fuck this guy.


BMK: The Colts are soft on defense and JJ Watt is a wrecking machine. However, Andrew Luck is at home and he’s an amazing QB.




D.T.: And so begins the Manziel Era. Both the Bengals and Browns have been prone to unpredictability this season, and tossing in a hot-headed, untested Quarterback into the mix makes things all the more interesting. I have to say, I don’t think it’s wise of Pettine to gamble on Johnny Football/Foot-Tall/Eight-Ball at this point in the season.


Though, I probably wouldn't say it to his face.

Though, I probably wouldn’t say it to his face.

It seems like a real risk to put a divisional game on the line, when you’re only a win behind a three-way tie for the championship. I’m not sure what statement the Browns franchise is trying to make, and I wonder if they’re banking on a fresh QB being able to best a team that nearly lost to the Buccaneers, and lost quite badly to the Steelers in week 14. Should be an interesting experiment, and I suppose I can see it working out for them, if the Bengals are in Shitstorm-Mode this week.


BMK: A rookie QB in a divisional game?  With holes in the offensive line? Hard pass….




D.T.: Right now, Marcus Mariota is thanking the Football Gods that the Jaguars drafted Blake Bortles last year.


"Heh. No shit."

“Heh. No shit.”





BMK: The Misfits are an American punk rock band often recognized as the progenitors of the horror punk subgenre, blending punk rock and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery.

Founded in 1977 in Lodi, New Jersey by singer and songwriter Glenn Danzig, the group had a fluctuating lineup during its first six years with Danzig and bassist Jerry Only as the only consistent members. During this time they released several EPs and singles, and with Only’s brother Doyle as guitarist, the albums Walk Among Us (1982) and Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood (1983), both considered touchstones of the early-1980s hardcore punk movement.

After a series of legal battles with Danzig, Only and Doyle regained the rights to record and perform as the Misfits. They formed a new version of the band in 1995 with singer Michale Graves and drummer Dr. Chud. This incarnation of the Misfits had a sound much more rooted in heavy metal, and released the albums American Psycho (1997) and Famous Monsters (1999) before dissolving in 2000. Jerry Only then took over lead vocals and recruited former Black Flag guitarist Dez Cadena and former Ramones drummer Marky Ramone for a Misfits 25th Anniversary tour.



D.T.: The Buffalo Turnover Machine vs. Aaron “Only Three Interceptions in 2014” Rodgers. The Bills continue to play solid defense, and Green Bay’s continues to be their weakness. If Orton, Watkins and Jackson can hold it down, they might give the Packers a sizable challenge. In the end, however I see the Packers chalking up their sixth win in a row. But I hope the Bills cause some turnovers and knock that Green Bay homer out of my fantasy playoffs.


BMK: Conventional wisdom says the Packers win this game, and why wouldn’t it? Aaron Rodgers is playing lights out and putting up all sorts of gaudy stats.

But I don’t trust Green Bay’s defense. At all.

Of course, I don’t not trust it enough to buck conventional wisdom. Just saying, we’ve seen this movie before: Gaudy Green Bay lights up the regular season but goes home early in the playoffs.




D.T.: Cam Newton picked a good week to get his truck knocked over, and fracture his back. If Carolina decides to rest him this week, their back-up Derek Anderson is capable of taking on the Tampa team. Anderson had a fun time back in week one against the Bucs, throwing for 240 yards and a couple of touchdowns. I’m sure they’re working on building up his chemistry with the receiver corp right now, and I expect Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin to be his safe, dependable targets for a fairly easy victory.






D.T.: Whoever wins, some poor son of a bitch draft pick loses.


BMK: I’m going with the Jets.  Why the fuck not?




D.T.: As predicted, the Chargers suffered defeat at the hands of the Patriots, but not before making Brady plop himself on the field and throw a temper tantrum like a baby. The Chargers are less likely to elicit that type of reaction from Peyton Manning, who is currently enjoying three-win streak, and a cakewalk of a final stretch. Sorry, Phillip, it’s Manning’s year. At least he has other things to fill his heart, like collecting bolo ties. And small children.


"I keep them all in the same closet!"

“I keep them all in the same closet!”


BMK: I sort of feel sorry for Philip Rivers. Mostly for his fashion sense, but also for the fact that is one great QB that had the misfortune of playing in the same era and conference as Brady and Manning.  He’ll never make it to the big dance. However, he’s photogenic, and has 207 kids, so he’ll be an on-air “personality” enough. Maybe FOX can retire Terry Bradshaw the way Deckard retires Replicants and plug Rivers in there.  That way, I can avoid everything that annoys me on Sunday.



D.T.: The Lions enjoyed a leisurely victory against Tampa Bay last week, with Matt Stafford and Friends continuing on the up-trend. Stafford tossed for 311 yards and a hat-trick, while Megatron chalked up 158 yards and a TD. Joique Bell picked up over 80 yards rushing, 50 receiving, and a couple of touchdowns. Bell shows no signs of slowing, even with the return of Reggie Bush, and this trio should have themselves an excellent day against their oft-struggling rivals.


BMK:  I don’t foresee an upset here. The Lions have a stout defense and a pretty good offense.  More than enough to handle Bridgewater and the boys.




D.T.: The Niners are done. Colin Kaepernick’s success as a mobile quarterback was only destined to last as long as the small window of opportunity would allow. Which is sad, because the kid has a decent arm and I don’t think he’s the horrible douchebag people* want to believe he is. At any rate, the Niners are in for a massive overhaul in the offseason, and lots of changes – some expected, and likely some painful and unexpected – will occur. This week’s game in Seattle will be the final nail in the coffin for the Harbaugh Era. A team this defeated and dysfunctional doesn’t stand a chance in CenturyLink.


* Bryan

BMK:  I’m going with the Niners here.

Seattle is great against the pass but they’re vulnerable against the run. The 40000ft view reason the Seahawks are killing everyone is because most NFL teams have abandoned the concept of power running. Think about it: who, amongst the “elite” teams this season, has a great ground game?  No one.  Now, the Cowboys and Chiefs both have very good rushing attacks, and guess what? They both beat the Seahawks.

If the Niners can run Frank Gore effectively – and I’m betting they can – they’re going to win the game.




D.T.: Another Thanksgiving Day rematch that didn’t go so well for one of these teams. The ‘Boys may have rebounded with a solid win against the Bears the following week, but they’ll still have the taste of stale turkey and dry stuffing in their mouths. Will they pull off a revenge on the Eagles’ home turf? Tough call. Dallas claims that Romo is in better health and they’ve got the advantage of more time to prepare. While he took pain medication to bolster himself against the Bears, it was decided against shooting Romo up when they played the Eagles on Turkey Day. So, will a drugged up Romo make a world of difference this time around?


"Hey, you guys see them pink elephants? What are those pink elephants doin' at football?"

“Hey, you guys see them pink elephants? What are those pink elephants doin’ at football?”

Is it smoke and mirrors to excuse themselves from an embarrassing loss? I have trouble thinking the Philly’s earlier win was a fluke, but at the same time, I think Dallas will come out swinging. It might be the most interesting game this week. I’ll go with Philly at home.


BMK: I’m inclined to agree with the Gentleman from Maricopa County.  The Cowboys’s main weakness – besides an insane GM – is their defense.  I’m pretty sure the Sanchise will rebound from the Seattle loss by beating up on the Boys.



D.T.: How will the bizarre story of the NFC South end? The Saints and Falcons duke it out for the dubious honor of first place in the worst division in football, and both come into this week “boasting” 5-8 records. I have serious doubts that the Falcons will best the Steelers, which opens the door for the Saints to secure the lead — at least for this week. But, after their shocking loss against the Panthers last week, who’s to say? In a division as (horribly) competitive as the NFC South right now, I have doubts that New Orleans purposefully took it easy last week in preparation for their final stretch. Any loss, especially in their own division, is dire for their post-season chances, and a possible two-win lead is far preferable than a possible one-win lead.

I’m honestly at a bit of a loss here. Both of these teams are a mess, but the Saint’s upside outweighs the Bears’, so I guess I’ll put my fictional money on Brees.


BMK: The Bears are a complete mess.  Their best receiver is out, their QB is a wreck, and their defense puts up about as much fight as Lindsay Lohan does when someone offers her cocaine for sex.



D.T.: And there you have it. Next week, we have football on fuckin’ Saturday, which means four days of waking up hungover and regretful, instead of three. It also means Krol and I have to work harder and faster, since we’ll have less time to crank this bad boy out. A fair trade off!

May the wind always be at your backs, dear readers. And may you always be upwind of Oakland.

BMK: Harder and faster? What are you, my wife, amirite?



This post was written and edited to the Sons of Anarchy and the sounds of men all around me losing their heads…while I was keeping mine…


Written by B. Michael Krol

December 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm

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