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Archive for September 2015

4th and Krol Picks: Week 3

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Week Three!

Week Three!

D.T.: Upset City! Holy shit, the Raiders, Buccaneers, Jaguars and Browns all won a game. And wait… the Redskins won, too?

"Yeah, bitches!"

“Yeah, bitches!”

So, that’s five picks right out the gate that Krol and I BOTH got wrong. I’d be upset, but I’m actually happy to see shit hitting the fan, and these teams making things interesting (and not least of all, glad for the Redskins in helping my Cardinals lock in the only NFC West win this week). At this point, I don’t know what’s up, what’s down and I’m convinced the league reads this little blog, and is deliberately fucking with us. So, here we go — WEEK THREE, BEGIN!

BMK: Week Three is interesting.  We’re getting towards the end of the first quarter of the season. Teams start revealing themselves now. In hindsight all those upsets we didn’t see coming will make a lot more sense.

We’ll still have no idea what happened to Andrew Luck though…Jesus Christ, Andy, what did you do? Did you run over a Gypsy’s dog?

On to the picks!

———-

REDSKINS at GIANTS

D.T.: The Giants did exactly what I said they would, and got themselves into a shoot out with the Falcons last week, before shitting the bed with poor game management at the end. This week they host the Redskins and unless they completely underestimate them like the Rams did, they should secure a bounce-back win.

 "Let's see... mentioned poor game management, gave us a half-ass pick to win. Posted a photo of me making a face... yep. This part of the article checks out."


“Let’s see… mentioned poor game management, gave us a half-ass pick to win. Posted a photo of me making a face… yep. This part of the article checks out.”

GIANTS
BMK: After the Eagles self-immolation on Sunday and Romo being knocked out of the game, a lot of people were ready to hand the division to the Redskins because of the way the beat the Rams, who beat the Seahawks. Football people love the transitive property apparently (“The Rams beat the Seahawks who are a good team, and the Redskins beat the Rams which means…TEH REDSKINS ARE AWESOME!!!111!!!”). Slow down there, pickle.  The Redskins beating the Rams says more about the Rams than the quality of the Redskins. They’re not a good team. Something the Giants will make abundantly clear on Thursday. Unless Manning the Lesser blows another 4th quarter lead.

GIANTS
———-

FALCONS at COWBOYS

D.T.: This one would have been an easy pick. But now, the ‘Boys have lost Dez Bryant and Tony Romo. They’re basically done for the season, and if I had to pick a winner for the NFC East at this point… I guess it would have to be the Giants. Yeah, the Cowboys still have a decent offensive line, but when you’ve got no one behind it or coming through it, what’s the point? Vultures will feast on the corpse of the Cowboys. And I don’t mean Jerry Jones.

"Ah'm still alive, ya somesabishes!"

“Ah’m still alive, ya somesabishes!”

FALCONS

BMK: I feel really bad for Tony Romo. He’s a good quarterback, a decent father, and, in this era of Russell Wilsons, he seems like a nice guy. But he plays for the Cowboys, whose fans are human garbage.  So after breaking his clavicle—again!—Bubbas are going to crawl out of the trailer park questioning his toughness and commitment.  These same people would weep like Dick Vermeil if they missed Endless Shrimp at Red Lobster.

Romo is a tough SOB that plays one of the most violent sports in the history of the world. Dallas fans don’t deserve a QB that good.

That said, I think they beat the Falcons this week since all the Falcons have is Julio Jones.  Not a bad player to have, certainly, but if my years of Cardinals fandom has taught me anything, it’s that it’s okay to cry at Football games.  That and one elite wide receiver isn’t enough to win, generally.

COWBOYS

———-

COLTS at TITANS

D.T.: The Colts are officially in trouble. After their terrible loss to the Jets, head coach Chuck Pagano – in his usual, reserved manner – called out both Andrew Luck and General Manager Ryan Grigson in his post-game press conference. Andrew Luck is phenomenally talented, but he’s held back by possibly the worst offensive coordinator in the league, and he’s surrounded by a piecemeal team without any cohesion. Top it all off with a coke-head owner and a long-standing feud between Pagano and Grigson, and you’ve got a recipe for a disastrous season for the Colts. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt in saying they’ll rebound against the Titans (who had a weak showing against the Browns of all teams), and get themselves their first win.

COLTS

BMK: Biggest mystery so far this season: what the hell happened to the Colts? Once they signed Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, I was pretty sure they’d win the AFC South, despite being in the same division as the Houston JJ Watts. Given how the top talent in this division is playing, I have no idea who’s going to win the AFC West.  Maybe Jacksonville?

Anyway, this Sunday, we’ll see the Colts take on the Titans.  Unless Love it or List It is on HGTV.  Then I’m all like see ya!

COLTS

———-

RAIDERS at BROWNS

D.T.: Well, shit. Before last week, I could have written this game off with a single joke and moved on. But after the showing both of these teams put on, it’s actually looking pretty interesting. The Raiders managed to squeeze out a narrow win against a still-decent Ravens offense, and sobriety is apparently agreeing with Johnny Manziel.

"It ain't for everyone, though."

“It ain’t for everyone, though.”

I can see this one being a… holy shit, I’m about to say this… a fun, and exciting football game. If both of these teams come in hungry after their last wins, thinking they’re going to snatch a win from the other, we could be in for a dirty, ugly, fun game.

 

"Did someone say snatch?"

“Did someone say snatch?”

I’m going to give it to the Raiders. Derek Carr is looking sharp, and his chemistry with Amari Cooper is becoming impressive. And Khalil Mack will keep that Cleveland offensive line in check. Fuck it, I’m all in: this is my Game of the Week.

RAIDERS

BMK: I’m seriously starting to worry about DT’s obsession with Jim Irsay. It’s getting creepy.

Did some one say creepy?

Did someone say creepy?

RAIDERS
———-

BENGALS at RAVENS

D.T.: After their humiliating loss to the Raiders, the Ravens will be out for blood, and a home win. The loss of Terrell Suggs is already showing in their defense, and the Bengals are looking sturdy. Still, the Ravens need and really want this one. I’ll bet they force out a win on sheer will alone.

RAVENS

BMK: I don’t see it. Without a strong defense keeping the opposing offense in check, the Ravens are a shell. I think the Bengals take it. If for no reason other than keeping the whole “Is Joe Flacco elite?” question going. For my money, you can never talk enough about Joe Flacco.

BENGALS

———-

JAGUARS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: Confidence, dreams, self-esteem and balls will all be deflated. And the only thing on that list belonging to the Patriots will be the balls.

"Hee hee... he said balls. W-wait a second..."

“Hee hee… he said balls. W-wait a second…”

PATRIOTS

BMK: Jesus Christ.  Just look at that guy.  I’m pretty sure when they’re in the huddle, Gronk asks Tom Brady to tell him about the rabbits.

And Tom Brady looks down and whispers, “No.”

PATRIOTS

By the way, so far in this column, I’ve used the word immolation, and I just referenced Steinbeck and Alan Moore.  When’s the last time a football column did that?  And Draftkings or Fanduel are nowhere to be found! THIS IS A TRUE VICTORY

Crap...Spoke too soon.

Crap…Spoke too soon.

———-

SAINTS at PANTHERS

D.T.: The Panthers have made it tough to count them out, despite the loss of their prized rookie Receiver. Cam Newton had a pretty fantastic showing on Sunday morning, bombing out passes and doing front flips over a defense I was sure would stomp him flat. Divisional games are always the toughest to predict, and I don’t think I see Drew Brees accepting an 0-3 start to his season. I think this is the Saints’ time to step up and get some kind of momentum going, and the chaos of an NFC South match-up is as good a place as any to do it.

SAINTS

BMK: I think this game is a tough one to call. The Panthers are playing better than anyone expect them to, and the Saints are playing worse than anyone expected them to. Normally in a situation like this, I’d go with the best QB in the match-up, which is unquestionably Drew Brees. However, Cam is playing better lately, and seems a bit more mature than at the start of his career.  Maybe he’s getting it?  I don’t know.
I agree with DT that I don’t see Brees going 0-3 to start this season. But I’m not sure he can do anything about it.

PANTHERS

———-

EAGLES at JETS

D.T.: Chip Kelly will be headed back to college. He left under bad circumstances, but his parade of nonsense and quarterbacks hasn’t gotten him anywhere, and with decent players leaving the roster left and right, and the team absolutely floundering on the field, he’s not long for the pros. The Jets defense was fucking incredible against one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and they’ll rip Sam Bradford apart. Against that Eagles offense, you could probably just put Darrelle Revis on the field and call it a day.

JETS

BMK: Dear God, the Jets defense against this Eagles team?  Here’s an animated GIF that expresses how well this matchup will go.

Call me crazy, but this is sorta hot...

Call me crazy, but this is sorta hot…

If even that well.

JETS

———-

BUCCANNERS at TEXANS

D.T.: An interesting match-up. A rookie quarterback who found a bit of confidence in a win, after a humbling week-one loss to his contemporary. A defense looking to capitalize on the lack of experience and force some mistakes. I don’t care how carefree and casual you make yourself out to be, seeing JJ Watt come after your ass at full speed has got to be one of the scariest things on the planet. Scarier than half the monstrous creatures in the Australian Outback.

"Scarier than ALL the monstrous creatures in the Australian Outback."

“Scarier than ALL the monstrous creatures in the Australian Outback.”

I mean, scarier than ALL the monstrous creatures in the Australian Outback. The Texans defense will get what they want out of Jameis Winston, I think.

TEXANS

BMK: DT’s right about the scary monstrous outback creatures. He’s also right about the match-up here.

"Look upon my works, ye mighty and despair!"

“Look upon my works, ye mighty and despair!”

No, not that Outback…

Quick! Of the two, who has the better statistical defense after two games? If you said the Texans, you’d be wrong!  Who has the better offense after two games? If you said the Buccaneers, you’d be wrong!

So, I don’t get it.  I’m going with the safe Pick.

TEXANS

———-

CHARGERS at VIKINGS

D.T.: Did you know that Philip Rivers set the NFL record for the longest run of completed passes after the Chargers’ week one game against the Lions? With 20 consecutive passes?

"I thought everyone knew that."

“I thought everyone knew that.”

It was ended in their loss to the Bengals in week two, but it’s still an impressive stat. And it goes to show how far under the radar the Chargers fly for most everyone in the nation. I think they’re entering their week three game against the Vikings as not an underdog, but a cipher of sorts. Rivers is an excellent quarterback, and we’re still waiting to see what sort of show Melvin Gordon can put on. Against the weak Vikings defense, I say they turn some heads and make the country a little more aware that they exist. And yeah, Adrian Peterson will probably put on a good show and score once or twice, too. Yawn.

CHARGERS

BMK: The child-beater versus the child-breeder?  Pass…

CHARGERS

———-

STEELERS at RAMS

D.T.: Rams, thank you so much for shutting down the Seahawks in week one. That was really fun, but then you shit the bed and lost to the freaking Redskins. You rode high on that early win, then crashed in Icarus-like fashion with your hubris and overconfidence. The Steelers will defeat you again this week, because they’re just a better team and they do their homework.

STEELERS
BMK:  The Rams surprised everyone when they beat Seattle in Week One.  Everyone who wasn’t paying attention to them, that is. I think in the Seattle game, we saw a case of one team’s strength aligning perfectly with one team’s weakness.  I’m not sure how this dynamic will play out with the Steelers.  Center Maurkice Pouncey is out, but the Steelers offensive line held up pretty well against the 49ers, and Roethlisberger is abnormally hard to take down. However, the Rams have a very good front seven, and the only way to keep the Steelers from another Secondary Carve Fest is to pressure Roethlisberger into bad throws. I know it, they know, now you know it.

I think the Steelers take this one. The Rams have improved, but they’re not ready for the big time yet.

STEELERS
———-

NINERS at CARDINALS

D.T.: The Cardinals made some bad mistakes in the first half against the Bears last week, but adjustments made by the defense and the unfortunate shoulder injury Jay Cutler sustained rallied the Cardinals to win 48-23. Larry Fitzgerald caught a career-record-matching three touchdown passes, and rookie Running Back David Johnson’s cleats and jersey were added to the Hall of Fame in Canton, after he made the second-longest opening kick-off return in league history, and also found himself the first rookie to ever score a passing, receiving and kick-off return touchdown in his first two career games.

The Niners also played a game last week, and lost. I’m afraid any hopes that the effects of their awful offseason were an exaggeration were false. When up against a well-structured and run team, they faltered, and I believe the same will happen when they visit Glendale, AZ this week and try to take on a Cardinals team firing on all cylinders on both sides of the line of scrimmage. If the Cardinals maintain focus and don’t underestimate Kaepernick and Carlos Hyde, they’ll secure a win — albeit, I believe a narrow win.

CARDINALS

BMK: This game makes me nervous.  Of course, as my partner DT can attest, every time the Cardinals play it makes me nervous. However, this week I think I’m on to something.

The Cardinals have a hard time stopping mobile quarterbacks and Kaepernick—along with that burgeoning headcase in Seattle—is the prototypical mobile QB of this era.  I think the 49ers are out to avenge their embarrassment from last week and I think the Cards might be ready for a reality check. Screens and passes out in the flat are a good way to slow an aggressive defense, and the Cardinals have a very aggressive defense. I think the 49ers dink and dunk themselves to a victory.

Of course I’m doing all of this to make sure they win. There’s only one last thing for me to do ensure that victory…

49ERS

"Krol picked the Niners? Good...everything's going according to plan..."

“Krol picked the Niners? Good…everything’s going according to plan…”

———-

BILLS at DOLPHINS

D.T.: The Bills failed to defeat the Patriots after much hyperbolic ranting and raving from Rex Ryan. Still, like Leonidas failed to kill the God-King Xerxes, but proved that even a God-King is vulnerable and can bleed, so did the Bills show the world that the Patriots are not invulnerable. This metaphor works better if you imagine Leonidas as being a loud-mouthed asshole, and Xerxes being a little less masculine.

Yeah, I said "less masculine". I stand by it.

Yeah, I said “less masculine”. I stand by it.

The Bills are kind of impressive so far this year. You can’t really fault them for losing to the Patriots, who are the superior team despite their defense being lacking. The Bills are meaner, with a large chip on their shoulder – exactly how Rex Ryan is breeding the team to be – and seeing what they did to the top of their division makes me think they can pull out a win against a Dolphins team that lost to Jacksonville in week two.

BILLS

BMK: The Bills have a good defense, and that should beat the Dolphins…in theory. In theory, New Coke was a good idea. In theory, evolution exists. In theory, I shouldn’t be writing this column. IN THEORY!

The Bills are a tough out, but I like Tannehill over Taylor in this matchup.  Particularly since the fish have a top-ten passing attack.

Kat's mad about that evolution joke.

Kat’s mad about that evolution joke.

DOLPHINS

———-

BEARS at SEAHAWKS

D.T.: The Seahawks begin an incredibly soft stretch of scheduling with this game, against a soft Bears team in a home game. Seattle comes out of this one 1-2, and the next several weeks of wins causes everyone to forget about Kam Chancellor, aside from the few times ESPN and color commentators force him in our faces.

SEAHAWKS
BMK: This pic sums up everything about this game you need to know.

"My kind might be going extinct and my habitat is being destroyed because humans lack the political willpower to end Climate Change, but at least I'm not Jimmy Clausen facing the Seattle defense!"

“My kind might be going extinct and my habitat is being destroyed because humans lack the political willpower to end Climate Change, but at least I’m not Jimmy Clausen facing the Seattle defense!”

The Seahawks are going to win, and it’s going to be ugly.

But hey, what’s the difference between that cute bear and Jay Cutler’s brood of children?  That bear is vaccinated! Hiyo!

SEAHAWKS
———-

BRONCOS at LIONS

D.T.: I’m a Broncos fan, as well as a Cardinals fan, so I’ve spent a lot of time reading and researching what the hell is wrong with Peyton Manning. And discovering some compelling testimonies, I’ve reached agreement with the folks who think it’s the fault of Gary Kubiak’s new offense. Watching their week two game against the Chiefs, it was clear that Manning was so much more comfortable, aggressive and accurate during the rare cases the Broncos went into a Manning-directed hurry up offense. The rest of the time, his footwork suffered and he failed to throw with any kind of confidence. The sooner Elway and Kubiak realize this and let Manning finish out his last year with some dignity, the better it’ll be for Denver’s season.

"Please-just-let-me-fu-cking-plaaaayyyy..."

“Please-just-let-me-fu-cking-plaaaayyyy…”

As for the Lions, they enter the game at 0-2, and face questions about about what’s happening with their offense, as well. Matt Stafford managed to connect with Calvin Johnson for some points, but they still lost – quite terribly, at that – against a Vikings team that fell over themselves losing to the mess that is San Francisco. Against Denver’s stout defense, I don’t think they steady themselves this week, and they suffer a home loss and come out 0-3.

BRONCOS

BMK: This is a must win game for the Lions and they’re going to lose it.

"It's okay bro, China is adopting cap and trade. That polar bear will be okay."

“It’s okay bro, China is adopting cap and trade. That polar bear will be okay.”

BRONCOS

———-

CHIEFS at PACKERS

D.T.: Aaron Rodgers is fucking surgical in Lambeau, and he’ll have an easier time picking apart the Chiefs’ defense than he did Seattle’s. It’s almost unfair for the Packers to even have home games at this point, and the Packers sent the Seahawks home with an 0-2 record to the tune of a ten point differential. Eddie Lacy’s status remains uncertain after an ankle injury in Sunday night’s game, but that offense proved more than capable of succeeding without him, even against a top defense.

"No one throws to Sherman's side? Heh... watch this."

“No one throws to Sherman’s side? Heh… watch this.”

The Packers also showed decent fortitude on defense, managing to fully contain Marshawn Lynch and hold him to a shocking 41 yards rushing. If the Pack can contain Jamaal Charles anywhere near as well, they should hold down the fort and continue the win streak to three.

PACKERS

BMK: The Chiefs are much improved, but Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at Lambeau since Ford was in the Office. The Pack are going to shut down Charles the way they shut down Lynch, and they’ll be sitting pretty at 3-0, marching towards their annual meltdown in the NFC Championship game.

———-

BMK: That’s it for week three. There’s not a lot of drama this week, since we’re getting a good sense of who teams are and several key injuries take a lot of uncertainty out of many games. Anyway, the competition between DT and I continues apace! Who’ll be ahead next week?  Tune in and find out.

Or just keep ignoring us.  Eventually we’ll get you. DT and I are like Morrissey, bitch: the more you ignore us, the closer we get.

When’s the last time a football picks column referenced Morrissey, eh?  When’s the last time anything related to the NFL referenced Morrissey? Besides Terry Bradshaw singing How Soon is Now at his daughter’s wedding, that is.

And now, for your weekly dose of Kat Dennings, the woman I call the Goddess, and the woman the State of California calls the plaintiff in Dennings v. Krol.

Undergrad TAs never looked like this when I was at school.

Undergrad TAs never looked like this when I was at school.

D.T.: Week three is a wrap, and you know what that means: week four is coming up! We’ve got divisional games galore, a few solid non-divisional match-ups and another few throw-away games that will make Krol and once again look like we have no idea what we’re talking about (spoiler alert: we don’t). Pretty soon everyone will stop saying “it’s only the first few games of the season” and fanbases will start panicking and jumping out windows, or touting their team as a lock for Super Bowl 50 Champions. Tune in next week: same Krol time, same Krol channel–er, website.

Cheers!

 

This post was written and complied listening to a lot of crap because it took several days to finish due to lots of stupid shit happening in my life, the latest of which involved a trip to urgent care this morning.
Also, DT never sent me the graphic with our records on it.  So here’s a bonus picture of Kat Dennings.
Resting bitch face never looked so good.

Resting bitch face never looked so good.

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The Debut of 4th and Krol! Week Two Picks!

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Here We Go...

Here We Go…

BMK: Our longtime reader may have noticed a different logo this week.  To him/her I say: you’re right! We’ve changed the name of the column.

There isn’t any exciting reason why we changed the name beyond the fact that the original site where NFL Tackle appeared had no real desire to keep publishing it.  DT and I like writing this column and so we decided to keep working together. However, neither one of us felt comfortable keeping the NFL Tackle name so we decided to change it.  See? Simple story.  If only Brady had taken that approach several months ago…

Anyway, the plan is to slowly ramp up an empire that will result in DT and I being wealthy enough to buy ESPN.  And while we’re executing that plan, we’ll still be writing this column, under this name, for the foreseeable future. We’re also planning a podcast to discuss the NFL week that was and any other silly thing that crosses our domes.  So, if you like what we’re doing here, rest assured there will be more. If you don’t like it, then screw you.

D.T.: Well… that was a hell of a first week of football. Overall, I think we were pretty damned accurate, aside from the crazy shit that no one could have predicted. Like Marcus Mariota absolutely wrecking Tampa with only 16 passes, and Andrew Luck forgetting it was Football Day.

 

"Sorry, dudes... by the way, where's Trent?"

“Sorry, dudes… by the way, where’s Trent?”

So, while Tennessee starts building their Church of Mariota, and San Francisco pretends that Monday night’s hysterical display of ineptitude from both SF and Minnesota is proof that they’re not as bad as we thought they would be, we’re back at it!

———-

BRONCOS AT CHIEFS

D.T.: Alright, I’m officially getting nervous. Peyton played off the Broncos’ poor performance on Sunday with his usual Southern charm and sarcasm, but he’s failed to throw a touchdown pass in his last FIVE regular season games. Alex Smith, however, finally threw a touchdown pass for the first time in over a SEASON and looked pretty good doing it, overcoming Houston’s tough defense and winning by seven points.

Thursday Night Football is going to be rough on the Broncos, who are on the road in a divisional match-up just four days after their season opener. Unless Manning has worked out the kinks, this one will play out for both teams the same way their week one games did: Broncos will attempt to compensate on defense, and the Chiefs will look for ways to keep the passing streak alive. Kansas City is surprisingly hard to play in, and the Broncos always struggle there. I see the Chiefs taking it by a narrow margin.

CHIEFS

BMK: Today I have come to bury Manning, not praise him.  What we’re witnessing is the slow death of one of the great ones. Unfortunately, he was cut down by physical maladies.  If he wasn’t, who knows how many more years Peyton Manning could continue to lose in the post-season.

This stop on the Manning retirement tour will not go well for Denver. The dude is done,and Denver doesn’t have much besides Manning.  And Talib can’t have a pick-six every game…or can he?

He can’t.

CHIEFS

I did a Google search image for Sad Peyton and this came up...

I did a Google search image for Sad Peyton Manning and this came up…

———-

TEXANS at PANTHERS

D.T.: Last week I predicted an upset, and early on, it looked like I might have been right. But, Jaguars will be Jaguars, and the Panthers shut them down with a 20-9 win. However, Cam Newton and his lacking receiving corps are going to find themselves in a very different situation against the Texans defense. J.J. Watt came out of last week with two sacks and nine tackles. His razor-sharp focus will be solely on shutting down Cam Newton…

I mean seriously: he's still trying to maintain eye contact. Talk about focus.

I mean seriously: he’s still trying to maintain eye contact. Talk about focus.

…and even Cam’s dad can’t pay his way out of this one. And with Luke Kuechly likely sidelined on Sunday, the Texans take this one.

TEXANS

BMK: A lot of the national media have picked the Panthers to win.  I don’t get it. The Panthers offense is in the toilet and they’re about to face a very good front seven.  Maybe it’s because the Texan’s offense is just slightly out of the toilet?

I don’t know. All I know is this will be one crappy game to watch.

See what I did there?

See?

TEXANS
———-

NINERS AT STEELERS

D.T.: During Monday night’s travesty and affront to the Football Gods, Carlos Hyde ended up looking like he was in one of those commercials where a pro athlete is goofing off with a bunch of kids. You know how football games have highlights? This one had highlight. Singular. Look at this:

Yeah, it was a sick move, but look how utterly lost everyone else on the field looks

Yeah, it was a sick move, but look how utterly lost everyone else on the field looks.

Niners Fans, after finishing their parking lot fights and dusting themselves off, have declared Monday night a wake-up call for the rest of the league that their funny-at-first-then-painful-to-watch offseason is a thing of the past, and they’ll be just fine. Bullshit. They’re playing an actual, honest to goodness Professional Football Team this week, and if they think Cheeseburger and Antonio Brown aren’t going to eat the SF defense alive, they’re even more delusional than we’ve been led to believe.

STEELERS

BMK: I live in the Bay Area, and my God, you should have heard the 49er fans warbling on about their victory over the Vikings.  You’d think these clowns took down the 85 Bears.

Listen up Sizzle Chest: MN is a mess and had the 49ers faced a vaguely competent team, that game would have been over in the first half.

Face the facts.  Your team’s flirtation with respectability is over. Get used to being in the cellar of the NFC West. Again.

STEELERS

———-

BUCCANEERS AT SAINTS

D.T.: We all thought Jameis Winston – with the slightly better overall team surrounding him – would be the rookie QB to put on the better showing on Sunday. Instead, he looked rattled, ill-at-ease and defeated by the end of the day. This week, he’s visiting the Mercedez-Benz Superdome which, if it were any darker and more green would look like the fucking Matrix.

Winston is going to need night vision goggles just to overthrow his receivers.

Winston is going to need night vision goggles just to overthrow his receivers.

The Saints are a decent home team, and will be looking to bounce back after losing to Arizona in week one. I say they do it.

SAINTS
BMK: Drew Brees had a decent outing last week, despite losing the game. Like DT, I think they come back and win since they’re at home and the Buccaneers aren’t good.

SAINTS
———-

LIONS AT VIKINGS

D.T.: The other half of the Worst Football Game Ever™, the Vikings get to host a divisional rival after a humiliating loss in week one. That’s like accidentally shitting your pants in school and having the only person you run into on your way to the parking lot be the school bully. Things are only going to get more shitty for the Vikings in week 2.

The Lions failed to contain the Chargers as they rallied for a comeback win, and Stafford wasn’t able to connect with an oft-double-covered Megatron. After seeing Minnesota’s display last week, I’d expect them to quadruple cover Megatron, and still allow him to break away and score. Lions get an early boost this week to help them chase the Packers in the NFC North.

LIONS
BMK: Colin Kaepernick picked apart the Vikings. Colin Freakin’ Kaepernick.  Can you imagine what a good quarterback would do to that defense?  Luckily you won’t have to. Just tune into this game on Sunday. Or, be like most of America, and don’t.

LIONS
———-

CARDINALS AT BEARS

D.T.: The Bears didn’t look terribly bad in week one, and actually held their own pretty well against the Green Bay Packers. They ran out of steam in the end however, and let Rodgers close out the game with a nice TD pass to Cobb and let the world know that they’ll be just fine, even without Jordy Nelson.

The Cardinals defense had a hitch in their step in week one against Drew Brees’ offense, but this week… well, we’re talking about Jay Cutler. I’d say that offense needs a real shot in the arm, but Cutler’s a notorious anti-vaxxer, so I guess they’re fucked.

Cutler: "Personal foul on D.T. for roughing the passer" Ref: "Shut the fuck up, Jay."

Cutler: “Personal foul on D.T. for roughing the passer”
Ref: “Shut the fuck up, Jay.”

The Cardinals compensated well for losing Running Back Andre Ellington, and Carson Palmer’s offense looks sharp. Arizona’s real weakness will come from covering Martellus Bennett and while the Bears will likely look to exploit that, Arizona will come out of Chi-Town with a 2-0 record.

CARDINALS

BMK: So I picked the Cardinals and they won. For a while, it didn’t look good. We can apparently add screen passes to the list of things the Cardinals can’t defend against.  That said, the Cardinals shut down the New Orleans rushing attack and did enough to Drew Brees to keep the Saints from winning.  This week, they’re facing Jay Cutler, who’s not a great Quarterback. Even Geno Smith laughs at Jay Cutler (albeit, through his clenched jaw). But, the Bears have a great TE and pretty decent RB. Whether the Cardinals succeed this week will be dependent on doing what no NFL team can do anymore, which is stop a tight-end.  I’m not optimistic.

But I’m not fatalistic either.

CARDINALS
———-

PATRIOTS AT BILLS

D.T.: What the fuck happened in Indy last week? I mean seriously. Are the Bills a legitimate team this year, or was it all a freak occurrence? We’ll see when they host divisional rivals the New England Patriots this Sunday. Nasty-looking defense versus an offense of… well, let’s just say questionable ethics, in a grudge match. One thing’s for sure, this division needs to be flipped upside down, and if the Bills manage to pull a win they’ll shatter the egos of Patriots fans everywhere, but do football fans in general a service by making things more interesting in that part of the country.

"Is he gonna do it? Is D.T. gonna pick us to win...?"

Nah.

"YOU MOTHERF--"

“YOU MOTHERF–“

PATRIOTS

BMK:

Hey...My Man Krol's gonna pick us, right?

Hey! My Man Krol’s gonna pick us, right?

No.

You bastard...

You bastard…

PATRIOTS

———-

CHARGERS AT BENGALS

D.T.: The Chargers rallied against the Lions in what ended up being a pretty decent game, while the Bengals humiliated the Raiders while everyone kind of shrugged and said “Yeah, and?” Still, the Chargers suffered injury to their offensive line, and the Bengals’ defense is looking pretty good. It’s a game that’s hard to get excited about unless you have a vested interest in either team, but I think one might actually turn into a tussle worth paying attention to. Bengals are decent enough at home to stick out a win here.

BENGALS

BMK: Philip Rivers vs Andy Dalton? What a snoozefest.  This is the Ned Flanders of football games. Watching this game means you’re a degenerate football junkie. Betting on this game means you need help. Bad.

BENGALS

 

You're Gonna Get Diddly Yours Krol...

        You just made some powerful enemies, Krol…

———-

TITANS AT BROWNS

D.T.: Marcus Mariota’s eventually going to come up against a worthy opponent in week 3 when he meets the Colts (though if week one for Indy was any indication, maybe not). Kid better be careful, or he’s going to get a big head, winning all these easy games early in his first year.

Johnny Manziel vs. What Cleveland Hoped Manziel Would Be.

 

TITANS

BMK: Before everyone jumps on the Titans bandwagon, let me remind you all that there is a reason they had the second overall draft pick last year.  Football teams don’t change overnight.

So what’s going to win out here?  The Titans who are still pretty bad, Mariota’s excellent game against the Buccaneers notwithstanding, or Cleveland being Cleveland. This is the irresistible suck meeting the immovable sucking.
If the Browns had Josh McCown starting I’d like their chances.  Which is the first time in the history of the human race someone wrote that sentence and was sincere.  Here’s another sentence no one has ever written before: Giant Antarctic penguins think Neil Peart is a pussy.

TITANS
———-

FALCONS AT GIANTS

D.T.: I sense another wacky game on the horizon. This one will play out like both teams’ week one games. A shoot-out till the end where it comes down to clock management .The Falcons succeed when it gets to that point, while Tom Coughlin’s medication starts to wear off, and he forgets where he is.

"What the fuck are you all doing on my lawn?!"

“What the fuck are you all doing on my lawn?!”

FALCONS
BMK: Matt Ryan is the vanilla ice cream of Quarterbacks: sure, it gets the job done, but are you really satisfied?

Yeah, the Falcons won on Monday and the Giants lost but who cares? Week One is almost as bad as the preseason when it comes to determining overall outcomes.

I’m taking the Giants at home.  Mostly because I’ve been sitting here for five minutes trying to decide what to say about this game, and that’s more time than Eli Manning deserves in my beautiful mind.

GIANTS

Jerome Boger is flagging DT for using the obvious Tom Coughlin is old joke...

Jerome Boger is flagging DT for using the obvious Tom Coughlin is old joke…

———-

RAMS AT REDSKINS

D.T.: The Rams and Seahawks ended up being the game I knew it would be, and a bitter fight until the end. The Rams won’t find nearly as much resistance in DC, and with Bradford out in Philly, the Rams don’t have to worry about their QB running in the exhausted quarry Dan Snyder calls a stadium, and ruining his knees again. Rams look fucking tough this year, and the Redskins look… about the same as always.

RAMS

BMK: The Rams are going to be a tough-out for anyone this year, even with Generic White Guy Foles behind center.

His a fun bit of behind the scenes trivia: I was going to Google who the Redskins starting quarterback is since I don’t know it off the top of my head, but then I realized it doesn’t fucking matter.

RAMS

———-

DOLPHINS AT JAGUARS

D.T.: Sorry, Jags. I gave you a shot last week against a team on the ropes, and you dropped the ball. Got no hope for you this week.

DOLPHINS

BMK: Florida is like Texas, only without all the brainiacs.

DOLPHINS

———-

RAVENS AT RAIDERS

D.T.: Fuck me, the 4:05 EST block of games on Sunday is shaping up to be a real pile of shit.

RAVENS

BMK: I picked the Raiders last week because I was seduced by the preseason.  I learned my lesson.

RAVENS

———-

COWBOYS AT EAGLES

D.T.: Now we’re talkin’. The saving grace of the late afternoon Sunday games, and my personal choice for GAME OF THE WEEK. In week one, the Cowboys lost Wide Receiver Dez Bryant to a broken foot, possibly until the last few weeks of the season. Still, Romo showed a clutch display of daring and precision and led the team nearly the entire length of the field in Dallas to close out a tough game against the Giants, who forgot the fundamentals of clock management. Where that Tony Romo was the rest of the game remains a mystery.

"And then I was like, WAIT A SECOND! I KNOW HOW TO FOOTBALL!"

“And then I was like, WAIT A SECOND! I KNOW HOW TO FOOTBALL!”

Sam Bradford looked okay last week against the Falcons, but the Eagles have a lot of problems to try and sort out, not least of all Kicker Cody Parkey, who seems to be struggling with the new kicking rules in the NFL. Take the easiest job in the league and make it a little more difficult, and suddenly it’s actually a challenge. The Eagles made some killer plays though, and I want to point out Kiko Alonso’s spectacular interception, because it was every bit the spectacle as OBJ’s touchdown pass, but I can’t help but think we’ll never hear about it again.

Eagles

As for the outcome of this game, it’s tough to say and that’s the hallmark of a great match-up. If we see Clutch Romo come out of that tunnel and command the game like he did that final drive of week one, then it goes to the Cowboys. If we see him falter, I see the Eagles offense correcting past mistakes and securing a home win. I’ll give the Eagles the edge here.

EAGLES
BMK: To echo my comrade-in-virtual-arms, this is a good matchup.  I’m not on the Eagles bandwagon, especially with Bradford as the QB.

Normally I’d go with the home team, but Romo is a far superior quarterback than Bradford, and he engineered a marvelous drive without Dez Bryant. Romo is going to pick apart the Eagles secondary and their pass rush isn’t getting past one of the best offensive lines in football.

COWBOYS
———-

SEAHAWKS AT PACKERS:

D.T.: Kam Chancellor’s hold-out continues, as Seattle moves on from their narrow divisional loss to the Rams and towards Green Bay. These two teams have had explosive, unpredictable games in recent years, and with the uncertainty surrounding both, this will be no different. With Jordy Nelson out, the Legion of Boom will have some real choices to make on who their backfield will cover, and Aaron Rodgers can use that to his advantage. The man is damn-near unstoppable in Lambeau, having not thrown an interception at home since 2012. With a reduced Seattle defense due to a certain someone’s greediness, A-Rod will look to keep that streak alive.

This is going to be a close game. It might even be a damn good game, with both of these teams coming in fairly fresh, in perfect football weather, and both with something to prove. In the end, I say Rodgers and the Packers prevail by a narrow margin.

PACKERS

 

BMK: This is my game of the week.  I’m very interested to see how the Seahawks bounce back from their loss at St. Louis. I’m not ready to completely write off the Seahawks yet, but I do think they’ll take a step backwards this year, especially with Chancellor holding out (a situation thornier than the Cuban Missile crisis…but with much, much lower stakes).

 

The Rams demonstrated last week what everyone should realize by now, and that is Russell Wilson cannot beat you on his own. He needs help, and when the Rams took away Marshawn Lynch, he didn’t have that help and things got back. Now, the Rams have one of the best defensive front sevens in all of the NFL (maybe even the world!), and the Seahawks are weak up front, especially in the interior of the line. So did they lose because the Rams strength overtook Seattle’s weakness? Or is something more rotten than Soundgarden up in the Pacific Northwest?  Only time—and this game—will tell.

 

I’m picking the Packers this week because Seattle’s secondary isn’t what it used to be and Aaron Rodgers is an amazing QB, especially at home (seriously, you should try his scones!). But I’m less confident about this pick because their defense consists of Clay Mathews and a bunch of guys. But I want to make my friend Dave Bushey happy, so I’m sticking with the Pack.

 

PACKERS

———-

JETS AT COLTS

D.T.: Whereas the Cowboys/Eagles game is hard to predict because both teams are decent and evenly-matched, the Jets and Colts game is hard to predict because who the fuck knows which version of these two teams will show up. The Jets destroyed the Browns last week, but y’know… big deal. I think the Colts severely underestimated the Bills and failed to adjust their gameplan. I bet they’ll spend all of this week studying the Jets’ game film, and will come prepared. If they lose to the Jets in their home opener after that awful display, there will be hell to pay for Chuck Pagano.

And I wouldn't want this fuckin' nutcase pissed at me.

And I wouldn’t want this fuckin’ nutcase pissed at me.

COLTS

BMK: I think Andrew Luck is a beast, but that game last week shook my confidence in the man. That said, they bounce back this week.

COLTS

———-

D.T.: And so ends the NFL TACKLE, and so begins 4TH & KROL. The king is dead, long live the king. I feel like we’re experiencing some growth and progress, and actually getting better at this, as opposed to the Washington Redskins. I’m psyched to see how week to plays out, and where these early-emerging storylines take us in the coming weeks.

BMK: Here endeth the picks. This week has some real snoozer matchups. Next week should be better…right?

Next week, look for the debut of the 4th and Krol Podcast.  DT and I will be recording it on Tuesday and hopefully we’ll have it posted somewhere on Wednesday. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR DETAILS!

Well, maybe not this space specifically, but you get what I mean.

By the way, looks who’s leading.

That's a pretty commanding lead, aint it?

That’s a pretty commanding lead, aint it?

And finally…

No, this isn't a candid shot. I keep those on my special hard drive.

No, this isn’t a candid shot. I keep those on my special hard drive.

 

This post was written and compiled listening to the Violent Femmes discography and the wailing of my teenage soul.

Written by B. Michael Krol

September 18, 2015 at 9:14 pm

NFL TACKLE 2015: Week One Picks

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Week One, let's have some...fun?

Week One, let’s have some…fun?

 

D.T.: Am I crazy, or did this off-season go by very quickly? Maybe the NFL was smart to drag out Deflategate (something I plan on not referring to ever again, this year), and fill up the last six months with endless drama and speculation. All I know is, it certainly wasn’t fuckin’ baseball that made the time go by.

So, we come to the 2015-16 NFL season. The NFL has – in their brilliant, anything-but-subtle manipulation of the media and public at large – scheduled the Patriots to play in the season opener. Let’s just get right into it, rather than talk about the small army of players once again sidelined by knee injuries, that ridiculous bit of bullshit between the Patriots and the Shield (which again, shall henceforth not be mentioned).

BMK: For me, this off-season dragged.  I live in the Bay Area, so I had to put up with the Golden State Warriors winning a title (good Lord, is there a stupider nickname than “The Splash Brothers?”), and then all the goddamn baseball talk up here.  Seriously, the only thing worse than listening to people break down baseball games is watching them, and the only worse than watching baseball games is finding a rabid wombat in your shorts. F baseball.

As far as Deflategate goes (and please, please, please, can we drop the –gate suffix for any generic controversy), I was happy talking about it. A) because it wasn’t baseball, and B) I love it when football guys complain about Goodell. But more on that later this season…

ON TO THE PICKS!
———-

STEELERS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: The Patriots have their golden boy under center, but they come in with a heavily reduced defense. Revis Island went off to chase money in New York (and he probably won’t have to punch anyone on his team to get it). I love the fact that his wikipedia page says “currently plays for the New York Jets”, because who the hell knows where he’ll chase the money next. Vince Wilfork went off to chase barbecue in Houston, leaving a sizeable gap in the New England defensive line.

 

And he's left, er, made no bones about it.

 And he’s left, er, made no bones about it.

Still, they’re up against a weakened Steelers offense. Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown will keep the Patriots’ backfield busy, but with Le’Veon Bell and LeGarette Blount serving their annual early-season suspension (and joined by Martavius Bryant, this year), it’s going to leave them wanting. Gillette Stadium is going to be electric, full of devout Patriots fans elated that their idol has escaped persecution, and the team will have a large chip on their shoulders this season in trying to shed their cheater reputation. I expect them to take a home win.

PATRIOTS
BMK: I’m picking the Patriots. Brady at home, with key players missing from the Steelers, makes the Patriots an obvious pick.

PATRIOTS
———-

PACKERS at BEARS

D.T.: Even without Jordy Nelson, the Packers shouldn’t find any real difficulty in taking a win, here. Randall Cobb is capable of stepping up, and Eddie Lacy is projected to have a massive year. Seriously, playing with him in the new Madden is like using a cheat code.

Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Fuck Your Shit Up

   Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Fuck Your Shit Up

The Bears will continue to be a dumpster fire this year, and even the most devoted of fans have resigned themselves to a quiet year and a high draft pick next April. John Fox is a very conservative choice after firing Marc Tressman, and I expect only the defense will benefit from the shake-up.  Even their one glimmer of hope in freak athlete Kevin White (WR) was dashed when he suffered a shin injury that’ll keep him sidelined for half the season, if not more. Cheeseheads, enjoy your Sunday.

PACKERS

BMK: The Packers – again—are the sexy pick to get to the NFC Title game.  I’m not quite as sold on them as some (see injury to Nelson, Jordy), but they’ll be in the mix at the end.  With Rodgers at QB how can you not be? I’m not sure I’m ready to put them into the Superbowl yet (their defense still leaves a lot to be desired), but there’s more than enough firepower to get by the Midgets of the Midway.

PACKERS

———-

CHIEFS at TEXANS

D.T.: The Texans come into the new season with another new quarterback taking snaps: former Patriots/Steelers/Cardinals/Browns quarterback, Brian Hoyer. Houston saw him in the shelter at a low price and with all his shots, and hopefully the guy has found his forever home. Andre Johnson might argue this, but Houston has got to be a step up from the indecipherable mess that is the Browns organization, and I expect Hoyer to make a strong effort to give them something in return. Jadaveon Clowney is also returning, which should – if he can keep his legs in one piece – make their defense fucking terrifying. And against a Chiefs offense that failed to complete a single passing touchdown last year, I think they’ll have themselves a feast.

TEXANS

BMK: The cult of JJ Watt is starting to really irritate me.  Yeah, he’s a great player. Yeah, we all saw the Hard Knocks where he kept some poor kids at the facility late so he could practice more. He’s got a great work ethic. Hurray.  But, unless JJ Watt is going to throw the ball to JJ Watt while JJ Watt pass protects, I don’t see the Texans getting past the Colts to win the division.   9-7 could get them a Wild Card in the weak AFC, but we’ll see.

That said, they’ll beat the Chiefs.

———-

BROWNS at JETS

D.T.: It’s the Jets here. There’s no two ways about it. Todd Bowles should have waited for a better head coaching job to come along, but he’s a defensive genius and he’s inheriting a decent unit with plenty of room to improve. Darrelle Revis will protect the skies from what little threat the Browns’ passing game offers, and on the flipside, the Jets dominant running game will play well, even without their third wheel runner, Chris Johnson (formerly of 2,000 rushing yards fame).

Ryan Fitzpatrick is probably a step up from Geno Smith (formerly of eating solid foods fame)…

"Grr frrk yrsrrf..."

   “Grr frrk yrsrrf…”

…and he’s got Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker receiving. You could do much worse for wide outs.

JETS
BMK: Um…Jets?

Seriously, no one outside of Cleveland cares about this game. And who cares about Cleveland?  Not me, that’s for sure. F Cleveland.

I'll never pass up a chance to make a sleazy joke...or to oogle late 90s era Rose McGowan

I’ll never pass up a chance to make a sleazy joke…or to ogle late 90s era Rose McGowan

———-

COLTS at BILLS

D.T.: I make no bones about thinking Rex Ryan is a joke, and not a funny one. Okay, sometimes a funny one.

 

Better off just getting that tat removed, rather than changing it each time you get fired.

 Better off just getting that tat removed, rather than changing it each time you get fired.

 

The Bills are in for another season of hurt, and Shady McCoy is going to be hard-pressed to find a way to make something happen on the ground. Because it ain’t happening in the passing game. I couldn’t even tell you who ended up as their starting QB after the preseason ended, and I watched nearly every game. The Colts, on the other hand, are poised to take the AFC South once again. Frank Gore is a huge addition to their offense, and if their running game is able to take some of the stress off Andrew Luck, Indy could be even more of a force this year.

COLTS

BMK: Thanks, DT, for putting a shirtless picture of Rex Ryan into this column.  Excuse me while I go scrub my eyes out with bleach.

And no, it’s not because Rex Ryan is fat.  It’s because he’s a Ryan brother.

Later Krol...even I can't help erase shirtless Rex Ryan.

   Later Krol…even I can’t help erase shirtless Rex Ryan.

COLTS
———-

DOLPHINS at REDSKINS

D.T.: In the bizarre exodus of players from an okay Eagles team to horrible teams in dire straits, DeSean Jackson split and went to Washington. Even if I’m playing for a possible racist and definite social pariah like Chip Kelly, I still wouldn’t leave for fucking Washington. That’s jumping off a sinking boat and into a shark’s mouth. That’s dropping the One Ring down on the ground and jumping into the fires of Mount Doom. It’s like finding out you’re going to lose your foot to diabetes, and deciding to have both arms removed.

DOLPHINS

No, not those Dire Straits

No, not those Dire Straits

BMK: For my money, Dan Synder has to be the least sympathetic owner in professional sports.  And that, my friends, is a high bar to cross. Especially when Jerry Jones and Mark Davis’s hair still walk the Earth.  I think Dan Snyder secretly hates his team. That’s the only explanation that can account for all of his actions since buying the team.  This cat can’t even do the right thing cut RGIII from his squad.  No, he’s going to force Gruden to keep him on and let the poor kid suffer the indignity of sitting on the bench behind Cousins and McCoy. RGIII might be a complete tool, but what happened to him isn’t exactly his fault. He doesn’t deserve what’s happening to him down there.

Of course, if they cut him, he’ll just end up as Derek Carr’s back up in Oakland.  But hey, the weather’s nicer here than in Virginia.  Anyway…

DOLPHINS

———-

PANTHERS at JAGUARS

D.T.: The Panthers’ situation going into 2015 would be precarious and scary for any team outside the NFC South. Wide Receiver and break-out star Kelvin Benjamin is out for the season with an ACL injury. Oft-suspended Defensive End Greg Hardy has gone off to Dallas. Cam Newton has been outed as a sociopath.

Dude's in the middle of a fight and he looks like he's at a job interview. Unnerving.

  Dude’s in the middle of a fight and he looks like he’s at a job interview. Unnerving.

But, unless the Falcons can get their shit together, the Panthers will still be the forerunner in that division. As for the Jaguars, I actually think they’ll improve and turn some heads. I like Bortles for the team, and the addition of Tight End Julius Thomas (without the pressure of operating with Peyton Manning) should be a solid offensive combination. You know what? I’m going to call the first upset of the season.

JAGUARS

 

BMK: Cam Newton is a nutball. But he’s a nutball that’s more talented than Bortles.

PANTHERS

———-

SEAHAWKS at RAMS

D.T.: To say nothing of being haunted by that last play in Super Bowl 49, the Seahawks had a rough offseason. Their quarterback went off the deep end, firing off claims that a sports drink protected his brain for a concussion and decided to abstain from sex before marriage with his new girlfriend.

Because not fucking has definitely helped this guy's playing.

 Because not fucking has definitely helped this guy’s playing.

Safety (and anchor member of their stellar defense) Kam Chancellor continues to hold out and is likely to start missing regular season games. The Seahawks have prepared for him to stupidly and selfishly miss the entire season. So, a Seattle team that’s lost its way is coming up against a Rams squad on the brink of possibly finding themselves. I’m making this my Game of the Week, because it has the potential for the most legitimate drama and ugliness. I’m eager to see how Foles operates behind that Rams offensive line, and I’m eager to see how Russell Wilson’s energy drink will protect his brain from the Rams’ stout defense. I think Seattle walks out of STL with a win, but a difficult and tiring win.

SEAHAWKS

BMK: The Seahawks are the easy pick here, but I’m not taking them.  DT must be drinking Wilson’s recovery water if he thinks they’re going to beat the Rams at home, with both of their starting Safeties either missing or hobbled.  The Rams always play their NFC West rivals tough, and they beat Seattle at home last year.  So, no, Mr. Carel, the Seahawks aint winning.

But this is the game of the week.

RAMS

———-

SAINTS at CARDINALS

D.T.: Two of the Arizona Cardinals’ biggest weaknesses are both defending Tight Ends and finding a good one for their system. It remains to be seen whether the latter is solved, but the Saints have taken the guessing game out of former, shipping Jimmy Graham off to Seattle for a first round draft pick. Brees will continue to throw like a stud this season, and Brandin Cooks will make him look good doing it. But the Cardinals defense won’t have a tough time containing the Saints’ ground game, and with Carson Palmer allegedly back in Heisman shape (and with a receiving corps full of sleepers ready to go off), I see a win for my boys in red in their season opener.

CARDINALS

BMK:  Our long time reader will remember that I never picked the Cardinals last year. I did this because they’re my favorite team and if I pick them I’ll end up jinxing them.

So I’m torn here. It’s a new year, and on-paper the Saints are a winnable game for the Cardinals.  That said, it’s Drew Brees, and the Cardinals don’t really have a good pass rush and their secondary is missing Cromartie, so leaving the corners in single coverage while the defense blitzes the fuck out of the offensive line is probably not a good idea.

Crap.  F it.

CARDINALS.

"Great...Krol picked us..."

“Great…Krol picked us…”

———-

LIONS at CHARGERS

D.T.: A healthy Megatron is some scary shit, even against San Diego’s decent defensive backs. Now that he’s healthy and comfortable again, we can expect him to come off “decoy” status, and be a massively-productive part of the Detroit offense again. The Chargers will be without star tight-end Antonio Gates, and that takes away a strong San Diego advantage, as the Lions struggle against Tight Ends. To compensate for that gap in their offense, I’m eager to see how San Diego uses rookie Running Back Melvin Gordon, and how he performs from behind that San Diego O-line. Call me crazy, but I prefer Gordon over Todd Gurley.

"You're crazy..."

“You’re crazy…”

I see the Lions pulling a win out of their first week match-up, as long as Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford connect.

LIONS

BMK: Normally, I’d take the Chargers here, since the Lions defense sucks and no one in the league can cover a decent Tight End, but Gates aint playing and I looked up who the starting running back is for the Chargers and my first thought was “Who?”

But hey, it’s time for some, hashtag, Real Talk on the Lions. This season, the Lions will be to football what Rocky was to boxing. The only hope these cats have is to pour on the points and hope that opposing teams can’t stop them or keep up.

Crap. I just talked myself into taking the Chargers.  Oh well… c’est la vie.

CHARGERS

———-

TITANS at BUCCANEERS

D.T.: Think the NFL did this on purpose? The two high-profile rookie quarterbacks, taken first and second in this year’s draft, squaring off in the first week of the new season. Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston comes in with an advantage though, with a stronger defense, a veteran pro-bowler wide receiver in Vincent Jackson, and a head coach that doesn’t kill rookie quarterbacks’ careers for sport. I just feel bad for Marcus Mariota — I like the kid, and he did some great things with Oregon. But until his rookie contract is up or a miraculous change occurs in Tennessee, he runs a very high risk of joining the ranks of Matt Leinart and fellow Titan Zach Mettenberger as first-year quarterbacks trampled on by Whisenhunt’s ineptness.

BUCCANEERS

BMK: This is another tough one for me to call.  DT gets all the serious analysis right, and I’m probably taking the Buccaneers, but Winston is such a Grade A Tool I have a hard time wanting to pick them to win.

Maybe when he plays his first regular season game on the road, people will throw fake crab at him or something. That’ll make me sleep better at night.

BUCCANEERS

———-

BENGALS at RAIDERS

D.T.: The Raiders will surprise people this year. They still won’t be a good team, but they won’t be the unmitigated disaster they were last year. Derek Carr looks decent under center, Amari Cooper is explosive, and Khalil Mack is just a fucking beast. Andy Dalton will remember the smell of Mack’s aftershave for the rest of his life, but the Bengals will still pull out a road win against a Raiders squad that’s putting all the pieces together, but are still another couple of years  away from making it all work as a unit.

BENGALS

BMK: I agree with my Phoenician friend above. I think the Raiders will surprise people, especially after adding Aldon Smith to their linebacker corps. Normally, you just pencil in the Raiders at the bottom of the AFC West, but with a clearly waning Peyton Manning, Denver’s stranglehold at the top of the division is not guaranteed.  Now, don’t misread me. I’m not suggesting that the Raiders will win the AFC West, but I think they’re much more in the mix than normal. 9-7 could get a wild card berth in the AFC, and every year some team rockets from the cellar into the playoffs.  Why wouldn’t it be the Raiders this year?

RAIDERS

———-

RAVENS at BRONCOS

D.T.: As a Broncos fan, this season makes me nervous. I’m no fan of John Fox, but bringing in Gary Kubiak, who had himself a heart attack a couple of years ago under the stress of coaching the Texans and got himself fired, doesn’t seem like a smart move. Even less intelligent is the idea of installing a brand new offense, when you have an all-time great quarterback who has already mastered the current scheme. Especially when said quarterback has announced that he can’t feel his fucking fingers.

"I can still feel my foot in your ass, D.T."

“I can still feel my foot in your ass, D.T.”

Still, the one advantage Kubiak brings to the Broncos (this week, anyway) is the fact that he was the offensive coordinator for the Ravens last season. That helps an already tough Denver defense anticipate and adjust. Despite their quarterback being on his farewell tour, and a running game in real question this season, I see the Broncos taking a home win.

BRONCOS

BMK: The Ravens are another sexy pick this season that I’m not sure I buy into. I think they’ll win the AFC North this year, but that’s about it.

BRONCOS

———-

GIANTS at COWBOYS

D.T.: The Giants recently announced that Defensive End and former fireworks enthusiast Jason Pierre-Paul “isn’t quite ready” to return to the field. When asked to elaborate, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin explained that his great, great grandchildren told him about a documentary called The Amazing Spider-Man, where a one-armed scientist uses lizard DNA to regrow his missing limb. Coughlin believes the same medical procedure could work for JPP’s missing finger, but they’re nervous about him possibly mutating and turning into a large reptilian beast.

"We certainly don't want Lizardgate", Coughlin concluded before heading back to the home for a tuna melt, strawberry Jell-o, and of Wheel of Fortune.

“We certainly don’t want Lizardgate”, Coughlin concluded before heading back to the home for a tuna melt, strawberry Jell-o, and of Wheel of Fortune.

Despite themselves, the Giants are in a position for a decent comeback. The offense now has both Odell Beckham, Jr. and a returning Victor Cruz lining up to catch passes, and even Eli can’t fuck that up. The Cowboys have lost last season’s highest rated running back to the Eagles, but even I could run the ball from behind that Dallas offensive line. This… could turn into a really fun game, actually. I think Dallas holds down the home turf, though.
COWBOYS
BMK: The Giants are a mess and the Cowboys are at home.
COWBOYS

———-
EAGLES at FALCONS
D.T.: A bird game kicks off the Monday Night double feature. As you’ll remember, dear readers, Dan Quinn left his post as Seattle’s defensive coordinator to take on head coaching duties for Atlanta. That’s a pretty big step up for the franchise, whose defense in the last few years could be classified as “existing” at best. Matt Ryan is the goods at quarterback, and there’s no reason he can’t excel if that team can find balance.
The Eagles, on the other hand, have mixed things up quite a bit. Chip Kelly managed to scare off several of his star players from last season, but that freed the Eagles up to acquire DeMarco Murray. If Murray returns in top form, that’ll take some of the stress off new Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford, who already suffered a scare this past off-season, after coming back from yet another knee injury. The big question here though, is that Atlanta defense. If Dan Quinn has worked some kind of magic, the Falcons have a shot. If not, that multi-faceted Philly offense will have themselves a day.
EAGLES
BMK: Oh Christ, really? The Bird Bowl? The NFL is trolling us.
Now, who the hell am I supposed to pick here? Again, the Eagles are a sexy pick this year. Why? Because they have Bradford at QB. Does this scream success to you? The only reason Bradford is still in the NFL is because he got the last big rookie contract (and man, how that must Burn Mr. Newton, when he thinks about it…), and cutting bait on this stinky fish would mean some billionaire owner would lose millions, so that aint happening.
But Falcons are a mess too. Yeah, Julio Jones is back, and that’s good for Matt Ryan, but that’s it. So I think I’m going with the Eagles on this game, but don’t you think for one second—NOT ONE GODDAMN SECOND—it’s because I buy into the Grand Wizard’s system.
EAGLES

———-
VIKINGS at NINERS
D.T.: Kaepernick should have taken a pay day, like his contemporary, Russell Wilson. Wilson fought for a huge new contract and set off a chain reaction of greed that’s left Seattle’s defense hurting. Kaep on the other hand, had to be the good guy and take a contract structured to allow the team to pursue talent and improve.

That sure fucking worked out for all parties, didn't it?

That sure fucking worked out for all parties, didn’t it?

It’s gonna be rough for the Niners. Prepare for it. Harbaugh’s left to fail cleaning up the mess that is University of Michigan’s football team. Crabtree swam across the bay to Oakland. Frank Gore went off to improve Indy’s offense. And there’s no way that patchwork defense is going to contain Adrian Peterson in his return to the field.

VIKINGS

BMK:

49ers

That’s what I think of this game.

VIKINGS

———-

D.T.: And that’s week one, in the books! It’s going to be a weird, fun season. There’s a ton of mix-ups across the board, and all kinds of wacky shit is set to start happening in each division (except the NFC South, which will still be a depressing mess). Here’s to fewer injuries on teams, lighter hangovers on Monday mornings, and the Cardinals winning their first Super Bowl. Cheers!

 

BMK: Cardinals in the Superbowl?  I hope so, since it’ll really piss off the Niners fans, but I think DT is a little drunk here.   But hey, another column in the books!  That’s good! Right?

Kat does not approve of this column...or the use of her image therein.

Kat does not approve of this column…or the use of her image therein.

This post was written and compiled while listening to Moby, Huser Du, and millions of voices crying out in terror and suddenly being silenced.

Written by B. Michael Krol

September 11, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Posted in NFL Picks