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Archive for October 24th, 2015

4th and Krol: Week 7 Picks!

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Week Six: It's time for the picks!

Week Seven: I’m not going with the obvious rhyme Heaven!

D.T.: Lots of exciting things happened last week… and most of them not on the field. Monday Night Football saw a huge spike in ratings from the halftime release of the new Star Wars trailer. Ken Whisehunt saw a huge spike in likelihood that he won’t be an NFL coach next season. Fred Jackson saw a huge spike in his insurance premium from crashing his car while drag racing with Marshawn Lynch.

It wasn’t a terribly great week in the NFL, certified in ink by the fact that one of the most interesting games took place between the Lions and Bears. I feel like we’ve spent a lot of time complaining about how weak this season has been, but let’s face it: so far, the NFL has been about as strong as the grip strength in Jason Pierre-Paul’s right hand. But, we’re here to do what we can to make things a little more fun and interesting. Let’s get to it!

BMK: Boy you said it. So far this season has been…I don’t know if weak is the right word for it, but hasn’t been that exciting. I think the NFL’s vaunted parity (which never really existed as advertised) is dragging down the overall play.  Teams seem to either be elite, or they play like drunken baby monkeys at a slapfight level.

Which reminds me…I’d  love to see some drunken monkeys have a slapfight.  Maybe that’s what they’re showing on BRAVO now…

On to the picks!

PS: There is no podcast this week because of technical difficulties. Somehow I killed the audio tracks. I’m an idiot.

What hurts even more is that I know fucking Juggalos manage to get their podcasts off the ground. For some reason, this is beyond my technical ken.



D.T.: Who would have thought that these two teams would be battling for the number three spot in the NFC West? When the mighty fall, they fall hard. Seattle’s meteoric rise has ended, and they’re no longer invincible even at home, as they suffered an upsetting defeat at the hands (paws?) of the Panthers on Sunday. The Niners managed to squeeze out a win from the ailing Ravens, which has sent Baltimore’s fanbase into a spiral of depression.

"Thank Jesus I'm Retired!"

“Thank Jesus I’m Retired!”

So, what happens when two former lords meet in dank catacombs of their kingdom? A duel to the death. Whoever loses this game is in deep shit, and both sides are going to be scrambling to avoid that. Come Thursday night, I think Seattle pulls through. They’re still missing something intangible that no one can quite define, but they’re still the better team here.


BMK: As our long time reader knows, I live in the Bay Area and I consume a lot of sports media. As one would expect, there’s a sense of resignation here across the chattering class of local sportscasters. There’s no way the 49ers are winning this game, and everyone knows it, but they have to talk about something so they’re discussing the slight uptick in Kaepernick’s game. Basically, if you’ve had better things to do than watch the 49ers (read: just about any damn thing you could think of), Kaepernick’s numbers have improved over the last two games.  The two games where they went 1-1.

The Seahawks are on the downward slide, but I don’t expect them to lose this week.  The 49ers suck. Bad.




D.T.: I really thought the Jaguars had a shot against the Texans, but as fans in Jacksonville know, if you expect the Jags to disappoint, you’ll never be disappointed.

"I'm not sure if that made sense... but I'm not sure if that didn't not make sense."

“I’m not sure if that made sense… but I’m not sure if that didn’t not make sense.”

The Bills showed some chinks in the Bengals defense, managing to score 21 points on them, but their own defense failed to keep Cincinnati from scoring 34 points of their own, and securing a 6-0 record. The Bills will take a win, and London will continue wondering why American is so infatuated with the NFL.

BMK: Last week I famously said I have no faith in Tyrod Taylor.  Rex Ryan then replaced him with EJ Emmanuel. That can only mean one thing: Rex Ryan regularly reads 4th and Krol. Who knew?



D.T.: The Redskins were outmatched in every aspect of the game last Sunday. Their top rusher, Alfred Morris, was contained by the Jets for a humiliating 21 yards, and Kirk Cousins was stifled at 196 yards versus Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 253. Coming up against the Buccaneers, what these two teams really have going for them is defense. They’re both currently top-ten ranked secondaries, so we can expect a low-scoring affair, and I’ll take the Bucs to edge out the Skins by a field goal.



Games like this make me regret becoming interested in football.




D.T.: So, the Saints finally managed to win one. And it was quiet the upset, knocking their Atlanta rivals out of the undefeated club. The Titans, however, remain in the oft-defeated club after a devastating loss to the Dolphins last week. I don’t think running Oklahoma drills suddenly make the Fins a better team, though — I think they simply had a nice outing against a Tennessee team coached by a fraud.

This man is 4-29 in his last 33 games as a head coach. This isn't meant to be funny.

This man is 4-29 in his last 33 games as a head coach. This isn’t meant to be funny.

While the Titans are floundering under an abysmal head coach and killer of rookie QB careers, the Falcons have gotten their groove back with former Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn running their show. This game will be ridiculously one-sided, and ESPN could probably fill a whole Sports Center episode with Falcon highlights from it, alone.


BMK: One of the interesting storylines for this season is the number of undefeated teams, and what’s really surprising is that two of them come from the NFC South, which I had written off as a terribly weak division. To be fair, the bottom of that division is really bad, but the Falcons are starting to look “legit”, as the kids say.

Anyway, I don’t expect much of a game here.  It’ll be the Falcons by a mile. And no matter what happens, Matt Ryan will still be as personally compelling as a pair of white tube socks.

This is what you get when you Google Tube Socks.

This is what you get when you Google Tube Socks.



D.T.: So, the Colts didn’t do as badly against the Patriots as I thought. They still lost by seven, but Andrew Luck matched Tom Brady for 312 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. The kid proves that, when he’s healthy, he’s the best thing Indy’s got going. And once they get rid of Chuck Pagano and Pep Hamilton…

The super-geniuses behind whatever the FUCK this was supposed to be.

The super-geniuses behind whatever the FUCK this was supposed to be.

…things will get better. I think this season is Pagano’s swan song. If there’s any sort of reason and logic left in Irsay’s alcohol and coke-addled mind, he’ll make the right move and allow general manager Grigson to clean house. As for their match-up against the Saints, I don’t see the Saints staging a comeback after their win against the Falcons. Divisional games are always impossible to predict and often wildly inconsistent in their outcomes, and opportunities for struggling teams to take a win. The Colts will take the win on Sunday, though.


BMK: Every time I watch a Colts game, I’m reminded of a scene in the Simpsons where Lisa is lecturing Springfield on TV about something, and one of the engineers in the booth turns to the producer and asks if he should cut her off. The producer says, “Not yet. I’m trying to get fired.” I think that’s where Pagano is at.  That’s the only explanation.

Good Lord...can you imagine having a 'You f'd up' meeting with this cat?

Good Lord…can you imagine having a ‘You f’d up’ meeting with this cat?




D.T.: Remember what I said about divisional games being weird, and making certain teams look better than they are? Well, somehow Matt Stafford remember how to throw and found himself with the game of his season at 405 yards passing and a shocking 4 touchdowns. However, it was against the Bears’ defense, while Detroit’s own secondary allowed the Bears a head-scratching 34 points. When neither team can play defense, both offenses look amazing.

Even against that awful defense, the Vikings bottom-of-the-barrel passing game will struggle. This could turn out to be a very nice day for Adrian Peterson, and if he shows up and plays with patience and focus, he could be the key to a Vikings win, here. There’s always the threat of Stafford and Megatron connecting though, which makes this game a toss-up.

I’m leaning towards giving the Lions the benefit of the doubt in a divisional game at home.


BMK: Whenever a good QB is struggling, the refrain you always hear is “Why don’t the coaches let so-and-so BE so-and-so!” On the surface, that’s a seductive idea. If you’re playing in the NFL, you have skills, so it makes sense that the coaches adapt their ideas to your skillsets. Makes sense right? Maximize the potential outcomes. Not all coaches do this, but with some people it doesn’t matter.

Take a guy like Jake Plummer. Had some success in AZ, but when things went south, everyone was saying, “Let Jake be Jake!” (as an aside, this refrain typically metamorphoses into “Give the backup a chance!”), meaning they should run more bootlegs, etc. The Cardinals tried it and it didn’t work.  Mostly because the team they surrounded Plummer with, frankly, stunk.

What does this have to do with the Lions and Vikings?  Well, last week Stafford had success playing more up tempo. It played to his strengths. I’m guessing the Lions will do more of that this week, but I’m not sure it’ll make much of a difference, since the rest of the team is so damn bad.  I’m going with them this week since I have 0 faith in the Vikings, and the Lions are at home, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vikings won.




D.T.: For reasons unknown, the Cardinals simply stopped playing football in the second half of their visit to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. In what ended up being a strange outcome, Michael Vick left the game with an injury and was showed up by the Steelers’ third string QB. Ironically, if Vick had stayed upright, the Cardinals might have secured a win even with the lethargic and lackadaisical way they finished the second half. If Tomlin is smart, he’ll start Landry at QB against the Chiefs, if Cheeseburger is still unavailable.

"But am I smart? The answer might surprise you!"

“But am I smart? The answer might surprise you!”

The Chiefs are struggling big-time after the loss of Jamaal Charles, and even a Steelers team with an uncertain offense shouldn’t have a terrible time securing a win, after seeing what they accomplished against Arizona’s secondary.


BMK: All hail Landry Jones.




D.T.: If someone could explain to me why, after watching the Denver Broncos and the Cleveland Browns struggle back and forth all the way into overtime, Kubiak’s new offense is still a good idea, I’ll buy them lunch.

"I'd love a free Chicken Parm, but... I got nothin'."

“I’d love a free Chicken Parm, but… I got nothin’.”

There’s no discernible reason why the Denver Broncos – even with Manning’s physical limitations and their struggling run game – should have had to fight so hard for wins against teams like Minnesota, Oakland and Cleveland. Each of these wins were due to defensive touchdowns, namely by Aqib Talib. Peyton Manning is now completely out of his element in a role that his career has played a role in defining in modern football. It’s a shame, but the Broncos are 6-0, so they’ll keep plugging away, and barely scraping by on chance…

Anyway, the Brows at Rams. The Rams defense will control this game, and they’ll take the dubya.


BMK: I want to take the Browns just to be a contrarian.  Especially since I think Jeff Fisher doesn’t deserve the accolades and respect he seems to get. His regular season record as a head coach in the NFL is barely over 500, and the Rams have not been anything to write home to Mother about in years.

Pictured: Mark Davis's Notes from the last NFL Owner's Meetings in New York.

Pictured: Mark Davis’s Notes from the last NFL Owner’s Meetings in New York.

But, since this weekly picks column is something of a competition (and we need to actually decide on stakes one of these years), I’m going with the Rams since I don’t feel strong enough to take the Browns and risk falling further behind DT.




D.T.: Another terrible game leaving Sunday Ticket subscribers asking themselves questions like “Why?”, “Huh?” and “What the fuck?”

This one’s going to be a shootout. Both Ryan Tannehill and Brian Hoyer are capable of pumping out yards and touchdowns against weak opposition, and that’s what both of these teams are coming up against. It’s a game even diehards can skip without feeling guilty, unless you’re compulsive and a Sunday completionist.

Or being paid a comical amount of money to physically be there.

Or being paid a comical amount of money to physically be there.

I give this one to the Texans, when it come down to brass tacks. JJ Watt is due for a signature game this season, and it could be this one.


BMK:  They need to offer discounted beer to anyone at this game with a full set of teeth.

I don't have enough guts to Google missing teeth, so here's Kat Dennings.

I don’t have enough guts to Google missing teeth, so here’s Kat Dennings.




D.T.: This one’s my GAME OF THE WEEK! Why? Because even when the Jets were terrible, even when Rex Ryan was the head coach, the Jets have always found ways to make the Patriots’ day difficult. Now that they’ve actually found themselves a great head coach, have a dynamite defense and they’re playing all-around great football, they’ve got a real chance to beat the Patriots, even in Foxborough.

"Yeah, why don't you say that to my face, D.T.?"

“Yeah, why don’t you say that to my face, D.T.?”

"The Jets have a real chance to beat you, Tom."

“The Jets have a real chance to beat you, Tom.”



Revis Island is playing lights-out, Fitzpatrick is playing decent football, and I’m actually going to pick the Jets for the upset this week!


BMK: After last week’s Kat-a-palooza, my mother asked me why DT and I never post pictures of ourselves in our column. I think you know why now.

"DT's so much better looking than you, Krol."

“DT’s so much better looking than you, Krol.”




D.T.: It is utterly staggering how much of San Diego’s successes and failures depend upon Philip Rivers. Love him or hate him, he IS the Chargers. But, one man can’t make an entire team — he threw for an incredible 503 yards and 2 touchdown passes in Lambeau last week, but the San Diego squad as a whole couldn’t pull it together and secure a win. If Rivers was under center in a better team, he’d be terrifying.

"I think I'm pretty scary as it is. RAWR!"

“I think I’m pretty scary as it is. RAWR!”

This week, they play host to divisional… well, not really rivals, but divisional acquaintances, the Oakland Raiders. Let’s face it, this is Rivers’ game to win or lose. If he can pump out passes and points at a higher rate than Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, they can win this. I’m betting on the crazy guy with 12 kids.

"Twelve? Last time I counted, I only counted this many."

“Twelve? Last time I counted, I only counted this many.”


BMK: I’m taking the Raiders this week. Why? BECAUSE I’M FUCKING CRAZY!




D.T.: The ‘Boys are coming off a bye, which would be helpful if all their biggest stars just needed some bed rest and hot tea. And after the way the Giants played last week against the Eagles, I think they believed they were on a bye, too. I drew a chart that I feel illustrates Monday night’s game between the Eagles and Giants.

"The fact that the drop isn't at a 90 degree angle is me being nice."

“The fact that the drop isn’t at a 90 degree angle is me being nice.”

We can expect more of the same, come Sunday afternoon. Nothing about either team currently screams for attention, and I think it’s fair to say that there’s a morbid curiosity to see just how the Giants will manage to defeat themselves this time. Still, what’s left of the Cowboys will be coming in rested, while the Giants are coming off a devastating divisional loss in front of a record-high national audience.


BMK: This is the game that gets all the advertisers all atwitter. Dallas vs. New York? Somewhere a guy that idolizes Don Draper just got the flopsweats.

Unfortunately, Dallas sort of stinks right now. If they were at full strength, Dallas would win handily. But no Romo and no Dez equals no victory for Dallas. Sorry kids. It’s just not your week.




D.T.: The Eagles did a thing and won the thing, and the Panthers did it, too. The Panthers did it in a difficult environment, and made a much bigger splash in the league doing it. They’re also still in the undefeated club, and playing pretty decent football, against all predictions, while the Eagles continue on without a sense of identity or leadership. I give it to the Panthers in this one, and I prematurely credit Riverboat Ron’s willingness to gamble being a factor over Chip Kelly really having no idea what he’s doing, but refusing to admit it.


BMK: The Panthers are playing at a high level right now. I’m not sure where they’re going to lose, but it won’t be to Chip Kelly and Sam “INTERCEPTION MACHINE” Bradford!


Apparently, Kat doesn't like me goofing on Sam Bradford.

Apparently, Kat doesn’t like me goofing on Sam Bradford.



D.T.: This week wraps up with a Bird Bowl between the Ravens and the Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona. Both of these teams are their own worst enemy, and whoever can overcome their internal issues will be the one to win. Arizona’s ballhawking defense needs to settle in with less focus on every playing being massive, and more on containing the offense and forcing punts. Their offense needs to figure out a way to score on red zone opportunities. The yardage is there (in spades) but the failure to close the deal and produce points was one of the keys to their downfall in Pittsburgh last week.

That, and ruining a sure thing by taking this guy out of the equation.

That, and ruining a sure thing by taking this guy out of the equation.

The Ravens’ defense, one of the most feared in the league, is struggling in a big way. They’re allowing more points to offenses – even those with problems scoring – than Flacco and his unit can produce. Red zone production from the Cardinals is the absolute key to an Arizona win, and any failure to take care of business probably can’t be credited too much to Baltimore’s defense. If Carson Palmer can take all those passing yards and put them into the endzone, Arizona can take this in a rout.


BMK: Last week’s game broke my heart.  As DT alluded to, the Cardinals seemed to be trying to get a knockout punch with every play. You just can’t do that with really good teams. And Pittsburgh, despite their issues, is a good team.

The Ravens, however, are not a good team. Flacco is playing like garbage and Steve Smith is a shadow of his former self. I don’t see the Ravens winning this week, but then again, I didn’t see the Steelers winning either. If the Ravens can get some turnovers, the Cardinals are done. Can they? It wouldn’t surprise me.



DT: There’s light at the end of the tunnel, dear reader. This week isn’t great, but next week has some diamonds amid piles of coal. Bengals at Steelers will be a solid match-up, if Cheeseburger is back and in gametime form. The Seahawks and Cowboys should be a delightfully weird game, and Packers at Broncos will be the crown jewel of next week’s schedule. Well, hopefully…

Keep reading and listening, folks! We’ll be back next week!


BMK: Next week we’ll be doing a mid-season report on the podcast. Unless my brain craps out again…

Anyway, thanks for supporting us.  Without you, this column wouldn’t exist.

So, if you think about, this whole mishegoss is your fault.

So there!

So there!

See you next week!

This post was written and compiled while listening to mathcore. Probably.

Written by B. Michael Krol

October 24, 2015 at 1:12 pm