Ruminations, etc..

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THUD: Week Sixteen Picks

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Week 16 -- your records aren't what they seem.

Week 16 — your records aren’t what they seem.

D.T.: Welcome to the NFL, Johnny. Hope you had fun, because it looks like you won’t be doing that again until next year.

"Yeah, it was a great time."

“Yeah, it was a great time.”

The beginning of the Manziel Era came and went like a wisp of smoke, as the Bengals hazed him in an embarrassing 30-0 shut out. I hope Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine made whatever point he was aiming for, because I’m sure his ass is on the line now, too. The rest of the week was far more interesting. The Panthers continued to befuddle us all by grasping first place in the NFC South… for a day. The Seahawks placed a big fat period at the end of the Harbaugh Story in San Francisco, and the Cowboys revenged the Eagles after the nasty beating they took on Thanksgiving.

We’ve got one last week before all the playoff teams bench their stars to rest them up for the playoffs. Let’s make the most of it!


BMK: The thing that interested me last week was the Seattle game.  As I predicted, the 49ers went run heavy and were winning.  Then everything went kerplooey.  Like Harbaugh’s coaching tenure.

By the way, Harbaugh’s going to Oakland. A man with his ego aint going back to coach college. Plus, his wife submarined the Cleveland trade because she didn’t want to move away from Palo Alto. I live across the Bay from Palo Alto, and it is very nice.  I also live across the Bay from Facebook. Whenever I drive to Ikea to pick up that month’s yuppie provisions, I always see morons getting their pictures taken by the Facebook sign, which is a large Thumbs Up picture.  As Bugs would say, what a bunch of maroons…



D.T. …and we’ll start making the most of it right after this travesty of professional sports is over with.


BMK: Is it too early in the article for Krol Facts? Probably.




D.T.: …okay, maybe we’ll start making the most of it after THIS travesty of professional sports.


BMK: Washington and Philly? Whoever wins, good taste loses.



D.T.: Fuck me. Seriously? We get four days of NFL football this week, and the first two are complete crap?

"Sorry, bro."

“Sorry, bro.”


BMK: Saint Francisco vs. Saint Diego. I like Saint Diego. Actually, not really. Saint Francisco was sort of bad ass. But for this game I like San Diego. Or something.

What do you want? I’m drunk.

Pictured: Krol at the office Christmas party.

Pictured: Krol at the office Christmas party.




D.T.: This game’s still not great, but I’ll take it. Last week, the Vikings held divisional rivals, the Detroit Lions, to a 14-16 game, keeping Matt Stafford to around 153 yards and a single touchdown. It wasn’t a pretty game for either side, but it kept the Lions in competition with the Packers for the division title. The Fins fared far worse, being spanked mercilessly by the Patriots in a textbook definition of a rout. They’ve dropped down below the Bills (more on that in a bit), and they’ll be looking to rebound fast in order to keep up. I think they’ll have an okay time achieving just that.


BMK: I’m getting a feeling in my gut here that the Vikings are going to win. That could be the Mexican food I ate today too. Take my word for it kids, don’t eat cased meat cooked by a vendor on the side of the street in San Francisco’s Mission District. And if you do, don’t get mayo and jalapenos on it either.




D.T.: Last week, the Texans’ quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, busted his leg. They’re going through quarterbacks faster than the Arizona Cardinals, having lost both Fitzpatrick and back-up Tom Savage in the same game. Up next is… holy shit, the Texans tracked down Case Keenum and resigned him?

"Everyone keeps calling me Ryan, and asking how my leg is and why I shaved my beard."

“Everyone keeps calling me Ryan, and asking how my leg is and why I shaved my beard.”

It’s going to be a fun trip to Texas for the Ravens.


BMK: Case Keenum? Holy crap. Baltimore in a rout.

By the way, does Terrell Suggs scare anyone else but me? That dude looks terrifying.




D.T.: There’s a little bit of a shit-storm happening in Chicago, as Bears Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer made some pretty disparaging criticisms about Quarterback Jay Cutler. When asked about how he felt about the situation, Cutler asked “Who’s Aaron Kromer?”

"Does he play on defense, or something?"

“Does he play on defense, or something?”

The continued implosion of the Bears franchise calls into question the future of a lot of jobs, and has left the team deflated and aimless. Their lack of enthusiasm, athleticism and drive against the Saints last week illustrated this, and now with the news that the Bears are planning on benching Cutler? I don’t expect them to pick up the pace against the rival Lions squad. The Lions should have a spectacular week.


BMK: Just like in the wilds of Detroit, lions will eat the bears. Oh my.




D.T.: So, as I mentioned, the Browns decided to start their high-profile rookie quarterback in a fierce rivalry game, when they were only two games behind a tie for first in their division. Manziel getting a start was an inevitability, but doing so this late in the season, in a gamewhere you know your opponents will be firing on all cylinders? It was a fucking stupid choice, and the Cleveland front office got what it deserved.

Again, I... probably wouldn't say this to his face.

Again, I… probably wouldn’t say this to his face.

If they start Manziel again this week, I would expect more of the same, as the Panthers are back in the fight for the NFC South, and will be looking to keep in pace with the rest of their division. And at this point, can the Browns afford to look wishy-washy with their roster choices?


BMK: Manziel’s ignominious start warmed my black heart. It was so gratifying watching that little ne’er-do-well get intercepted and sacked as much as he was. But, between you and me Johnny, you need to hit a weight room. You look like a boy out there.




D.T.: After getting hammered by the Panthers two weeks ago, the Saints rebounded against a flat-lining Bears team. The Falcons, however, didn’t do so well against the Steelers, but they were pretty much outclassed. This week, both of these unpredictable, on-and-off teams are going to have to be on. The race for the playoffs in this division may look like like it’s taking place between retarded blind dogs with no legs, but it’s still a race.

"Retarded blind dogs with no legs? Hmm... pass."

“Retarded blind dogs with no legs? Hmm… pass.”

With these two teams tied for first and the Panthers hot on their heels, I’d like to expect a better game from both squads than we’ve seen of late. And I’d like to think the Saints will pull ahead for a win, because when they’re at their best, they’re a better team overall than Atlanta.


BMK: A question I’ve been asking all year: what the hell happened to the Saints? These guys used to be money at home. This year 3-4 at home. What the H, bro?

Normally, I’d be inclined to take the Falcons in this Powerhouse Division matchup, but Julio Jones is injured. So I’m going with the home team.



D.T.: The NFL must be somehow cashing in on making sure the ratings are all squarely landing on the Saints/Falcons game. I don’t think even Aaron Rodgers will be paying much attention here.


BMK: Can I ask a question? What are they thinking with those stupid Hans and Franz commercials? When was the last time those characters were relevant at all? What demographic are they going after with them? Good god…

Oh, yeah, um…




D.T.: This game has some serious post-season repercussions, as the loser will find it a bit more difficult to reach the Wild Card. With the AFC North in a three-way tie, the Steelers need this win to keep up. The Chiefs find themselves three games behind Denver, but still have a glimmer of a chance. I don’t know if the Chiefs can stand toe-to-toe with Cheesburger, Bell and Brown at home. In fact, I’m willing to go with the Steelers here by a modest margin.


BMK: I don’t trust the Steelers D any more.




D.T.: The Jets become the spoiler, with their entire season in flames, and with nothing left to do but fuck up the last two Sundays for some other team. Wacky shit happens when the Jets play their divisional rivals, and even the Patriots aren’t immune to it. However, I don’t think the Jets’ death rattle will keep the Pats from chalking up one more win in their dominance of the AFC East.



BMK: There’s still football in New York?




D.T.: The Rams have looked good, the last few weeks. They may have lost to the Cardinals by a narrow margin, but they still held the Arizona squad to zero touchdowns, and that’s their third week doing so. It’ll be interesting to see how the St. Louis team will match up against the Giants, and if they’ll have an answer for phenom wide receiver, Odell Beckham, Jr. My guess is the Giants will break the Rams’ defensive streak, but I’m not expecting a high-scoring game.


BMK: The Rams have a strong defensive line nucleus. I’m not sure what they’re going to do at QB next year, but if they keep building on the defensive side of the ball, I could see them challenging the 49ers for the 3rd spot in the division.




D.T.: I’m proud of the Bills for taking on a powerhouse like the Packers and shutting them down. This past season has given Bills fans more hope than they’ve had in the last decade, and one more win this week will be icing on the cake. Enjoy, Buffalo.


BMK: Yeah, the Bills fans have some hope. Which is especially cruel, because most of them live in Buffalo. Which sucks.




D.T.: Does this game come down to DeMarco Murray’s ability to contribute? He just had surgery, and he’s questionable for Dallas’s visit from Luck and the Colts. If he’s unable to contribute, then the Cowboys’ goal of reaching the post-season (which, despite a stellar upturn for them this year) hangs in the balance. If Murray can’t come to play, that effectively cuts Dallas’s offense in half, and leaves the Indy defense with the ability to focus on the pass rush and slow the ‘Boys down. If Murray is in, then the Colts will be hard-pressed to evenly distribute the coverage.

On the flip-side, Indy’s pass offense is lethal. Yes, Luck is likely the overturn the ball early on, as he has a weird cycle of coming into each game cold and warming around halftime, but the alleged return of TY Hilton gives The Neckbeard a nice compliment of weapons, even against the decent Dallas defense (how’s that for some fuckin’ alliteration?). I’m going to be a lame cliche analyst and say that if Murray plays, Dallas will win. If he’s sidelined, then the Colts will have a stronger chance.

COWBOYS (Conditionally)

BMK: Wait? What is this conditionally shit, DT? TAKE A STAND MAN! PICK A SIDE!

I’m going with the Colts here. Dallas’s secondary isn’t great, and a hobbled or absent Murray will mean a greater workload for Romo, who’s not great in December (to say the least).




D.T.: Battle of the Birds, and possibly the game that decides the fate of the NFC West Championship. Also known as the reason why I’ll be drinking on Sunday. The Cardinals are down to third-string quarterback and known-dumpster fire, Ryan Lindley. Ryan Lindley you’ll recall… from nothing, actually. No one remembers Lindley from the mass of rotating Quarterbacks Ken Whisenhunt rolled out in Arizona in 2012.

Pictured: Ryan Lindl--wait. Fuck, that's John Skelton, isn't it?

Pictured: Ryan Lindl–wait. Fuck, that’s John Skelton, isn’t it?

It’s fair to give him the benefit of the doubt, since he has likely-two-time Coach of the Year Bruce Arians guiding him, but the kid is still terrible even with a strong offensive line. The Cardinals are an excellent home team and will find ways to contain Marshawn Lynch. The cypher here is Russell Wilson, and the Cardinals’ ability to hold him into the pocket and allow the Arizona defensive backs to control the game. It’s going to be a defensive, low-scoring game all around. So, between the scrappy team that refuses to give in to injury, and the former champs rediscovering their fire? Fuck it, I’m going to be a homer and go against my gut.


BMK: If Stanton was playing, the Cardinals might have a chance if their resurrected running game continued. With Lindley…I just don’t see it. I don’t think the Seahawks are as unbeatable as everyone else; if you can run against them you can beat them. Last week Gore and Hyde were having their way against the Hawks and it looked like SF could pull the upset. But then Gore went down, as did Hyde, and worse for SF, their starting interiror linebackers went down too. Without those players, Seattle just did what Seattle does: run Lynch, protect against the pass.

Anyway, I’m going with Seattle.




D.T.: The Bengals had themselves a day against the Browns last week, tormenting and terrorizing a rookie quarterback who, let’s face it, needed to be tormented and terrorized at least once, if he has any chance in hell of succeeding at a professional level. But now it’s back to work, and they’re going against one of the top 5 offenses and defenses in the league. I’m going to be frank: the Broncos are going to win this. The one adjective that describes one team and not the other is “consistent”…

"What about handsome?"

“What about handsome?”

…and the Bengals have been shown to often be their own worst enemy. Peyton Manning will be healthy again, and Julius Thomas is likely to return and be hungry to rebound in front of a prime-time audience. Sorry Cincinnati fans, but this one has Denver written all over it.

BMK: If Manning plays, then yeah, this game will be Denver’s. That said, Manning is questionable for the game. If you ask me, he’s questionable for a lot of shit. Really Peyton? Planning that keep-a-way game? That’s iffy, bro.



D.T.: And there we go! Week (Sweet) Sixteen is set to go off, and I can’t wait to watch the fireworks (as soon as Thursday and Saturday are over…). There’s lots of bids for the playoffs on the line, lots of teams throwing gasoline on the fire, and we’re closing in on one of the most dramatic and entertaining endings to a season in some time. Enjoy folks, and come back next week for one last hurrah!

BMK: Last hurrah? LAST HURRAH! We have the playoffs, son!

Well, maybe it’ll be the last hurrah. But cheer up CHUD heads, maybe DT and I will do a Superbowl special column with us checking out the scene in Phoenix. We’ll do it up Fear and Loathing style.

DT, as your attorney, I’d advise you to have another beer…

We're still tied...for last.

We’re still tied…for last.

This post was edited and compiled to the sound of silence. No, not that sound of silence.  Literally, there was no sounds at all.  Except the sound the keyboard makes. But, you know, that should go without saying…


Written by B. Michael Krol

December 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

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