Ruminations, etc..

Musings, rantings, and pie.

THUD Picks Week 13

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

Week Thirteen…It’s a total SCREAM!

D.T.: Well, it happened. The Raiders finally won a game. They also very nearly managed to lose it with 30 seconds on the clock by acting like fools and celebrating while Alex Smith hurried the Chiefs offense to the line. How cruel and hysterical it would have been if the Raiders had secured a four point lead, then drawn a penalty or allowed Smith’s offense to bomb a pass through their distracted defense. We’d be talking about it for the rest of the year, rather than having already forgotten that they won.

 

But this 14 year old fan who made it past security will never forget.

But this 14 year old fan who made it past security will never forget.

We have a lot to be thankful for on this, the week in which we thankfully give thanks. We have three – count ’em, three – excellent, meaningful divisional match-ups on Thanksgiving, and a handful of games on Sunday that just might turn out to be great, as well. Let’s get to it, folks!

BMK: The Raiders won a game. LIKE I SAID THEY WOULD! HA!

Anyway, the Holidays got away from me this week kids, so I asked some friends to help out. Hope you enjoy it.

—–

BEARS at LIONS

D.T.: Kicking off Turkey Day (and saying “go fuck yourself, Macy’s Parade” for those of you on the West coast) we have an early NFC grudge match in Detroit. While we feast on Thursday, the Lions feasted last week on humble pie with a side of shame, having been smacked down by the Patriots 34-9. Highlights included LeGarette Blount’s two-touchdown re-arrival to the New England squad, and Gronkowski burying the hatchet with Sergio Brown (credited with busting Gronk’s arm, if you’ll recall) and bonding over showing him how an NBC camera works.

 

"Hey-bro-come-take-a-look-at-this-it'll-be-awesome-I-promise!"

“Hey-bro-come-take-a-look-at-this-it’ll-be-awesome-I-promise!”

It was a devastating loss, while the Bears recovered some semblance of self-respect by not allowing the Buccaneers a victory. It’s hard to say exactly how this one will play out. Detroit’s offense is sinking fast, and their defense couldn’t hold it together against an on-fire New England squad. A Bears win means they’re just one game out from the Lions’ second-place spot in the division, and it keeps them alive for another week. If the Lions want to stay safe, they have GOT to find a way to get their offense going again. If they can sort their shit out and get their excellent receiver corps involved, they’ll take it.

LIONS

BMK: Marshawn, who do you like in this match up?  Bears or Lions?

ML: Yeah.

BEARS

—–

EAGLES at COWBOYS

D.T.: An incredibly meaningful NFC East match-up. Both teams currently sit at 8-3 (tied with Green Bay for first place), and from this game on, we’ll see how the playoff picture comes together for this division. If Green Bay loses against the Patriots, the winner of this game in Dallas could find themselves in 1st place and complicate things for the Pack, who are currently projected as the number two seed. How will the Eagles cause an upset and pull this out?

By calling this guy every five minutes to see if his collarbone is still broken.

By calling this guy every five minutes to see if his collarbone is still broken.

 

 

Really, though… I’m not a believer in Sanchez. I don’t think he’s got what it takes to march into Dallas in a super-high pressure game and go up against the Cowboys defense. I think it’s here that the bubble will burst, and Romo’s unit will control the game. Sorry, Mark.

COWBOYS

BMK: So how about this one, Marshawn?

ML: Yeah.

COWBOYS

—–

SEAHAWKS at 49ERS

D.T.: I don’t know if I agree with the general media saying that the Seahawks’ victory over Arizona last week was a “triumphant” return to last year’s glory. Frankly, both teams looked like shit, but Seattle managed to pull it together in the second half. The Niners, on the other hand, barely managed a win against the woefully-broken Redskins. What I see happening here is desperation mode for both teams. They’re both sitting at 7-4, two games behind the Cardinals, and the loser here probably won’t catch up with the difficult final stretch ahead of them. I think the Seahawks’ win at home last week brought back some of their swagger, and looking at Richard Sherman’s hilarious press conference last week in defense of Marshawn Lynch, I’d say their locker room has been in higher spirits this week than it’s been all season. A stark contrast to the continued doom and gloom coming from the bay. In a battle of morale and heart, I give it to Seattle.

SEAHAWKS

BMK: Okay Marshawn, I know you might be tempted to go with the Niners here, but what are your thoughts on the game?

ML: I don’t know.

BMK: Really?

ML: Yeah.

SEAHAWKS

—–

REDSKINS at COLTS

D.T.: …and here we go, past the glorious Thursday schedule, into the less exciting parts of the Sunday that awaits. The situation in DC continues to worsen, as the ‘Skins are still playing a game of revolving quarterbacks. Colt McCoy is believed to start this week against the Colts, hosting at home in Indy. I wonder how many people are digging for a Dan Snyder scandal so they can mount a Donald Sterling-esque coup and wrest the team from him. Frankly, I don’t think anyone would object. It’s going to be the Colts, in a massive rebound after their bizarre kind-of-win against Jacksonville last week.

COLTS
BMK: For this one I reached out to Drew McWeeney and Harry Knowles. Fellas?

DW: My sources tell me the Colts are going to take this one.

HK:  Nope, sorry. My sources at the NFL tell me the Redskins.

DW: Thanks for telling me I’m wrong.

HK: I never said that you were wrong! Just that your sources are wrong. My 100% confirmed non-denialable sources are right.

DW: Whatever. Thanks for taking a drive-by shit on me.

HK: Listen to me, I MADE you, bitch.

DW: The only thing you made was a crappy YouTube series. And only one season at that.

HK: Yeah, so when’s Post-Human coming out? I keep looking for it at the Alamo Drafthouse, but it’s never there…

BMK: Okay, fellas, relax. Who’s going to win the game?

(Both shrug)

HK: Who knows.

DW: Yeah, sports are icky.

COLTS
—–

TITANS at TEXANS

D.T.: Fun fact about Houston: their defense has scored a touchdown in every home game they’ve played this season. Which is good, because with Ryan Mallett out with injury, Ryan Fitzpatrick back under center…

 

Seen here demonstrating proper chin strap protocol.

Seen here demonstrating proper chin strap protocol.

…and Arian Foster’s status still uncertain, they may not score points otherwise. However… the Texans are still alive in the hunt. Their best (and probably only) chance to get into the post season is to keep winning and try to steal the division from the Colts. It’s probably not going to happen, but they’re playing for a hell of a lot more than the already-eliminated Titans. That, coupled with the fact that it’s a home game, leaves me expecting a Houston win.

TEXANS
BMK: So I emailed Nick Nunziata to make this pick.  He never emailed back.

TEXANS
—–

BROWNS at BILLS

D.T.: One of the absolute travesties of this season was the denial of a ridiculous snow bowl game in Buffalo. Instead, what we got as a consolation prize was an unceremonious pummeling of the Jets and their official (but wholly expected) ejection from anything resembling a post-season. The Bills return to Ralph Wilson stadium and host the 7-4 Browns, who are looking for some way to break the incredible 4-way tie in the AFC North. Browns Quarterback, Brian Hoyer, didn’t fare terribly well last week — he threw for over 300 yards, but failed to connect in the end zone, and tossed three interceptions. Going up against a defense known for creating turnovers in the air, I spell more trouble for Hoyer the Destroyer. I see the Bills continuing on their heroic streak for now… but by a narrow margin.

BILLS
BMK: I then emailed Jeremy Butler about this pick. He said sure, but then never emailed me back.

BROWNS
—–

CHARGERS at RAVENS

D.T.: I’m going to be blunt: the Chargers are doomed. Regardless of the outcome of this game, the last leg of their season is brutal, and they’re going to drown. Sorry, Philip Rivers.

Philip Rivers trying to kill me with his mind. Hasn't worked before; won't work this time.

Philip Rivers trying to kill me with his mind. Hasn’t worked before; won’t work this time. 

 

In that aforementioned 7-game tie in the AFC North, the Ravens have a hell of a lot more to play for. What I see as being a very winnable game for them opens up a very safe finish to their season. The gateway to that is a win against a team that almost lost to the Raiders, and barely beat the Rams. It’s the Ravens at home.

RAVENS
BMK: I had no idea who to pick for this game, so I asked my buddy Film Critic Hulk.  Hulk?

FCH: THANK YOU BRYAN. FOR THIS GAME, HULK HAS TO GO BACK TO THE VERY BEGINNING. FOOTBALL, AS A SPORT, WAS FIRST CONCIEVED OF WHEN PRE-VERBAL MALAYSIAN GOAT HERDERS SAW A VISAGE OF THE IRON SHIEK DANCING AMONGST THE SPARE DROPLETS OF MORNING DEW GLISTENING OFF OF THEIR LOVER’S BUTTOCKS. THIS WAS IN 1993. AFTER THAT VISION, A LEARNED COUNCIL CONSISTING OF OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN, BO DIDDLEY, AND A COMPUTER PROGRAMMED TO IMITATE THE GREAT CONQUISTADOR CORONADO, MET FOR LUNCH A THE FAMOUS RUSSIAN TEA ROOM IN DOWNTOWN COUNCIL BLUFFS IOWA.  THIS WAS WHERE THE TUCK RULE WAS BORN.  HULK DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THAT NAME THOUGH, BECAUSE NOTHING IS EVER TUCKED IN SOCCER, WHICH IS THE SPIRITUAL GUIDING LIGHT OF BOTH THE FAMOUS GAME OF FOOTBALL AND THE TWISTING NARRATIVE OF GENERAL HOSPITAL.

AFTER THAT LEARNED COUNCIL MET, THEY ALL TIED A TURNIP TO THEIR BELTS, WHICH WAS THE STYLE AT THE TIME, AND CONCOCTED THE GREAT COLD FUSION SCAM OF THE EARLY 80S.  HULK WONDERS HOW THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED SINCE THIS LEARNED COUNCIL WAS MEETING IN EARLY 2002. WELL, ACCORDING TO HULK’S UNCLE, TED BANNER, THIS LEARNED COUNCIL RAN INTO STEPHEN HAWKING IN A BAR. HAWKING WAS HUSTLING REDNECKS IN A LINE DANCING CONTEST, AS IS HIS HOBBY.  NOW, AS HULK UNDERSTANDS IT, AND HOW YOU SHOULD INTERPRET THIS, IS THAT HAWKING DIDN’T SO MUCH INVENT A TIME MACHINE AS MUCH AS HE UNCOVERED IT. THAT’S RIGHT. HULK IS SAYING HAWKING UNCOVERED A TIME MACHINE. IT WAS IN THE BACK OF THE BAR. HIS WHEELCHAIR GOT CAUGHT IN THE SHEET COVERING IT.

THIS LEARNED COUNCIL THEN TRAVELED BACK IN TIME AND MET WITH MATT GROENING. BO DIDDLEY THEN SHOT MATT GROENING WITH A .22 CALIBER PISTOL. IT WAS THEN THAT GROENING CAME UP WITH THE IDEA THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY BECOME THE TV SHOW THAT WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE: NIGHTLINE.

OLIVIA NETWON JOHN THEN WENT EVEN FURTHER BACK IN TIME AND STEPPED ON A BUTTERFLY. THIS CAUSED THE GAME OF FOOTBALL TO BE INVENTED IN 1869 AT YALE.  THIS ALSO CAUSED HOLLYWOOD TO FILM A MISUNDERSTOOD FILM NAMED THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, STARING ASHTON KUTCHER

FOOTBALL HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE THE LATE 19TH CENTURY, BUT IT WAS PERFECTED IN THE 90S BY THE DALLAS COWBOYS.

GETTING BACK TO THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT…HULK UNDERSTANDS THAT MOST PEOPLE KNOW THIS TO BE A CRAPPY MOVIE. IT DID POORLY IN THE BOX OFFICE AND FEATURES A MORBIDLY OBESE ETHAN SUPPLEE, FRESH OFF HIS AMAZING PERFORMANCE IN KEVIN SMITH’S MALLRATS. BUT HULK WANTS TO CHALLENGE YOU TO BELIEVE IN HULK’S GREATER PERCEPTION OF FILM THAN YOU POSSESS. RATHER THAN THINKING THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT IS A CRAPPY MOVIE MADE FROM A CRAPPY IDEA AND FEATURING A TERRRIBLE SCRIPT, HULK WANTS YOU TO LOOK BEYOND THE OBVIOUS. NO, NOT THE SUB-TEXT. EVEN FURTHER. HULK WANTS TO LOOK INTO THE SUB-SUB-TEXT. SERIOUSLY, THIS TEXT IS SO SUB THAT IT LIKES TO BE SPANKED BY A WOMAN DRESSED LIKE A SITH LORD.

SEE? HULK HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR.

BUT, GOING BACK TO THE SUB-SUB-TEXT OF THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, HULK SEES THAT ASHTON KUTCHER IS USED AS A CHRIST FIGURE. BUT NOT THE BIBLICAL CHRIST FIGURE. THE CHRIST FIGURE THAT FORMED THE MORMON CHURCH, INSPIRTED SCIENTOLOGY, AND PLAYED GUITAR IN DANZIG’S BAND IN THE EARLY 90S. HULK KNOWS THAT YOU CAN’T SEE THIS YET, SINCE YOU ARE NOT ON HULK’S LEVEL OF UNDERSTAND OF FILM, LIFE, AND THE FINE BARREL AGED WHISKEY THAT SOPHISTICATED ASIAN WOMEN LIKE TO DRINK TO ENHANCE THEIR MYSTERY AND DESIRABILITY, AND WHO LIKE TO RUN AWAY AFTER HULK BUYS THEM A DRINK AT THE BAR.

YOUR FRIEND HAS A FLAT TIRE MY GREEN GAMMA IRRADIATED ASS!

BUT BACK TO THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT. OR, AS I LIKE TO CALL IT, TWO AND A HALF CHRISTS.

SEE, IN HULK’S INTERPETATION, WHICH IS THE ONLY CORRECT INTERPRETATION (AND THIS IS THE ONLY CORRECT WAY TO SPELL INTERPRETATION, AND THAT’S HULK’S WAY), KUTCHER BECOMES A MYTHICAL SPACE CHRIST TO RIGHT THE WRONGS PERPETRATED ON THE FILM INDUSTRY BY METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER, THE HOUSE OF UNAMERICAN ACTIVITIES, AND FRANK MILLER (AND BY THE WAY, DID YOU WATCH ROBOCOP 2 LAST NIGHT ON TCM? ROBOCOP’S METAPHOR OF THE LIMITS OF US POWER CONSTANTLY CRACKED HULK UP). IN THIS REGARD, THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL FILMS EVER PUT TO LENS IN THE HISTORY OF THIS WORLD….OR THE NEXT!

BMK: That’s great, Hulk. Who do you like in this game?

FCH: HULK DOESN’T KNOW. SPORTS ARE ICKY.

CHARGERS
—–

GIANTS at JAGUARS

D.T.: This game has the makings of a real upset, and should scare the shit out of Eli Manning.

 

"Well... every game is kinda scary, D.T."

“Well… every game is kinda scary, D.T.”

 

Despite the fact that they simply can’t win, a lot of Jacksonville’s match-ups have left people looking at them sideways. This is going to be one of those games. The Giants continue to be shaky, despite some miraculous shit…

Stuff like this isn't supposed to happen outside of Disney movies starting Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Stuff like this isn’t supposed to happen outside of Disney movies starting Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

…and it’s difficult to predict if they’re going to be terrible and win or just terrible. I think the Giants will stick it out and come away with a win, but don’t expect this to be a cut-and-dry victory. We’re going to see some sloppy shit, and maybe Jacksonville’s last death rattle.

GIANTS

BMK: Take it away, Duke Fleed…

DF: In this week’s football con…test, the Giants will stride OVER the Jaguars.

BMK: Why do you post like that, anyway?

DF: I had…a stroke…of GOOD LUCK.

BMK: I don’t know who I hate more: me or you.

DF: Probably you. Since I’m beating you in picks.

GIANTS

—–

BENGALS at BUCCANEERS

D.T.: Another fun fact! The Buccaneers are one game away from the first pick in the 2015 NFL draft… and two games away from the playoffs. What the ever-living-fuck, NFC South?

Whatever. At least I don’t have to say much about this game, which I’m thankful for because I’m starting to get carpal tunnel, talking about all the games this week.

BENGALS
BMK: Okay, now, Mr. Richard Dickson, would you like to talk about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week?

Richard?

Oh well…

BENGALS
—–

RAIDERS at RAMS

D.T.: I spoke too soon. Oh, sweet relief for these wrists of mine.

RAMS
BMK: For this pick, I interviewed this guy, who was picking up trash along the side of the road.

 

His name is Perceval.

His name is Perceval.

BMK: So, Perceval, who do you like this week?

P: Perceval sad.

BMK: Aw, why is Perceval sad?

P: Raiders no good.

BMK: Well, they’ll be good again, Perceval. Like when they move to San –

P: DON’T SAY THAT NAME! PERCEVAL DON’T LIKE THAT NAME! ARRGGGHH!

BMK: I’m sorry P, I didn’t mean anything by it.

P: It’s okay, Perceval has anger issues.  It’s why Perceval was kicked out of Ph.D. program at Brown.

RAMS
—–

SAINTS at STEELERS

D.T.: I feel bad for the Saints. The weight of coming into a season with the expectation of being a real contender for the post-season, and putting up a 4-7 season so far must be crushing. And it would be even more crushing if that 4-7 season didn’t still hold some real promise of carrying them into the fucking post season.

"Wait, what? We still got a shot at this fucker?"

“Wait, what? We still got a shot at this fucker?”

Though, I don’t expect them to best the Steelers this week and somehow take advantage of it. Last week, they let Justin Forsett run the ball for over 180 yards, and this week they have to contend with powerhouse Le’Veon Bell. Brees performed admirably against the Ravens, but even three touchdown passes and over 400 yards in the air weren’t enough to put a win together. The Steelers are likely to beat them by air and by land.

STEELERS
BMK: I don’t feel bad for the Saints. I feel bad for my friends who like the Saints.  The Saints have no troubles at all.  Most of them are millionaires and they live in New Orleans. Which is like Tijuana, only with more dysentery and corruption.

STEELERS

—–

PANTHERS at VIKINGS

D.T.: Cam Newton will decide this game. If he plays like a professional quarterback, I see the Panthers taking it. If he plays like 2014 Cam Newton, it’ll be close. Let’s give Cam the benefit of the doubt one more time.

 

Mostly because I hate seeing this kid go to waste.

Mostly because I hate seeing this kid go to waste.

 

 

PANTHERS

BMK: Most people think writing a football column is easy.  And it is, if you half-ass it like me and fill it up with stupid “jokes.”

But sometimes it gets hard.  Case-in-point: this game. Who the hell do you pick in this match-up? It’s like watching two mentally challenged homeless people have a slap-fight.  Or like reading a AICN Talkbacker trying to make a cogent argument. It’s sad, it’s exploitative, and you feel a little bit dirty watching it…but…you can’t look away!

So who’s going to win this monumental suckfest?  Your guess is as good as mine, if not better.  In fact, I’d wager it’s better.

VIKINGS

—–

CARDINALS at FALCONS

D.T.: Battle of the Black and Red Birds. After their defeat in Seattle last week, the Cardinals are hungry to bounce back and keep their projection for the first seed in the NFC alive. Atlanta’s not a bad team to rebound against, either — they’re kind of like that mousy girl who works at the library who never really caught your eye until your girlfriend dumped you.

Shudder

 

The Falcons’ defense is dead last. It’s Drew Stanton’s time to shine and improve the franchise’s playoff outlook. If he can make that happen — even in Larry Fitzgerald’s absence — and Andre Ellington can march through and energize the run game, they can hit 10-2 and further cement that sweet first seed.

CARDINALS
BMK: Last week hurt. I’m hoping that the Cardinals offense stalling for the last seven quarters is an aberration and the result of them facing two very good, if not elite, defenses in a row.  Fitzgerald being out probably had a lot to do with that too, since John and Jaron Brown, while good receivers, are not going to strike the fear into the heart of a secondary like Seattle’s.  Fitz and Floyd create match-up problems when they’re both on the field, but take one away and you get what they got on last Sunday.

Anyway, I’m picking the Falcons here because, hey, why stop a good pattern.  Plus I’m afraid to pick the Cardinals.

FALCONS

PS: I know that I did the last couple as me. Deal with it. Especially with the next we have…
—–

PATRIOTS at PACKERS

GOTW

D.T.: Other games this week hold more meaning in the grand scheme of the 2014 season but let’s be honest: this is by far the flashiest and the most high profile. Two Quarterbacks who help define the term “elite”, both having excellent seasons and quite possibly at least one of them Super Bowl-bound. But we’re also looking at two iffy defenses, so what this’ll come down to is an offensive slug-fest. Tom and his friend Rob are crashing Aaron and Jordy’s party, and then intend to fuck up the carpet, set the drapes on fire and miss the toilet by a foot.

 

Which, let's be honest, is a pretty typical weekend for this guy.

Which, let’s be honest, is a pretty typical weekend for this guy.

 

Here’s how I see this going down: both teams have an excellent first half, and Rodgers will tire out his offensive unit by refusing to make substitutions. Bill Belichick, loving to do things by committee and change rate of play when necessary, will have his Patriots offense much more energetic as the clock ticks down. Eddie Lacy will wind down and be ready for a nap before the fourth quarter, while Vereen, Gray and Blount will still be ready to go. I mean yes, it’s Aaron Rodgers at home… but the Patriots haven’t lost a game in two months. Two months.

Bold prediction: Gronkowski sustains an injury in this game. It’s a terrible thing to say, but he’s due for one.

PATRIOTS

BMK: Take it away, John Gruden…

JG: Hey thanks Bryan. You know, I like this game. A lot. Two absolute Titans at their positions playing that the absolute height of their game, you know Jaws –

BMK: Bryan

JG: Like I was saying Jaws, you just don’t get much better than Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers.  I really like Tom Brady. He’s an amazing football player and all around great human being, why sometimes I call him when my wife’s out of town, did you know that, Jaws?

And Aaron Rodgers? Boy, don’t get me started on Aaron Rodgers, he makes the rest of us look like we’ve been living on Mars for the last ten years or so.

BMK: So who do you like in this game?

JG: I don’t know. Sports are icky.

PACKERS

—–

BRONCOS at CHIEFS

D.T.: A year ago, I was watching this exact same match-up at the exact same point in the season, in a brewery in Downtown Denver. The Broncos struggled, as they always do in pressure, but ended up rallying for a victory in the end (35-28). I expect this game to play out just like that, because these two teams are neck and neck in the AFC West. Peyton Manning doesn’t do well when he’s uncomfortable, and it’s going to be 48 degrees in an open stadium that’s loud as hell. I’m going to be bold, and say the Chiefs take a narrow victory this time around.

CHIEFS
BMK: I think you’re right on the upset, but I need to gain ground on you, so….

BRONCOS
—–

DOLPHINS at JETS

D.T.: Geno Smith is back under center. Rex Ryan is definitely getting shit-canned. They’re going to lose in front of a national audience on prime time, when everyone’s already bummed about being back at work after a four day weekend. All is as it should be in New York.

DOLPHINS
BMK: This is the Monday night game?  It’s like Goddell is trolling us…

DOLPHINS
—–

D.T.: And there it is. Shit gets real from here on out, folks. We’ve got some really bizarre things happening in several divisions, and we’re going to see some serious do-or-die competition for playoff seeding. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. And this week, I didn’t forget about the graphics! In fact, I drove to the office this morning on Thanksgiving to make sure we’d have them. That’s how thankful I am for this article, and my esteemed partner. Cheers man, and have a fantastic holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and be safe in your holiday travels. Goodnight!

 

PS – the office is on my way to a last-minute liquor run for dinner today.

Recap

BMK: I’m just thankful this column is over for this week.  It was hard. :`-(

 

 

 

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Written by B. Michael Krol

November 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm

THUD NFL Picks Week 12

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

Week Twelve…it’s time to delve!

WEEK TWELVE

D.T.: Week 12 is upon us. The Raiders are the very first team officially out of running for the post-season, and they’ve completed a full calendar year since their first win. Happy anniversary!

Week 11 shocked the hell out of a lot of people — especially those with predispositions to wearing orange. The Broncos lost an absolute stunner against the Rams, putting the Chiefs in a key position to actually take the lead in the AFC West. The Texans pulled somewhat of an upset, as former Tom Brady-shadow and clipboard commando, Ryan Mallett, claimed his first starting victory over the Browns with a little help from his new friend JJ Watt. And not least of all, fans of the Bengals received quite a shock when their team marched into New Orleans and left the Saints in shambles.

 

But it's cool. This guy totally got back at them by stealing from a girl.

But it’s cool. This guy totally got back at them by stealing from a girl.

Overall, it was a fine week of football, and week 12 should be interesting, as well!

BMK: So last week was the first week ever where the NFL had multiple matchups of teams that were over .666 in winning percentage.  How did that go?

For the most part, it was sort of meh. So let that be a lesson to you young whippersnappers out there: multiples aren’t always a good thing!

The Green Bay destroyed the Eagles, continuing the trend of Green Bay’s regular season dominance.  I’m still not impressed by them as a whole (gaudy stats aside).  What has Green Bay done in the playoffs (or for me) lately?  Nothing. That’s what.  They’re a team built for regular season dominance.  They’re like a team composed of nothing but Peyton Mannings: build for speed but not to last.  Paging Roy Batty…

I want more playoff wins...father.

I want more playoff wins…father.

The Patriots obliterated the Colts.  Unleashing a serious of dumb Gronk jokes.  That dude is quickly working my last nerve…

And the Cardinals beat the Lions. Which was really cool, if you should ask me.  Although you could’ve turned the game off in the first ten minutes of the first quarter.  Oh well, a win is a win, right?

Off to the picks!

—–

CHIEFS at RAIDERS

D.T.: …but, not so fast. First, we have to slog through yet another shitty Thursday Night Football game, wherein the Oakland Raiders stab hated rivals the Denver Broncos by allowing the Chiefs and easy win and the number one spot in the division, for at least a couple of days.

 

No witty joke here. I just find Raiders owner Mark Davis fucking hilarious.

No witty joke here. I just find Raiders owner Mark Davis fucking hilarious.

CHIEFS
BMK: For those of you that don’t know about the behind the scenes machinations of this column, let me give you a quick n dirty on how this wonderfulness is brought to you ever week…

Usually around Wednesday, DT will send me his picks and pictures.  I spend the rest of the day pissed off because his stuff is so thoughtful and funny. Then, sometime Thursday afternoon, after I’ve been kicked out of Jim’s in Union City, I stumble home drunk and I write my portion. I then post the column, irritated that I’ve added very little value and pissed off at CHUD for their passive aggressive treatment of this here sports column.

Why is any of this important?

Because I want you understand the absolute shock I went through when I saw that picture of Mark Davis.  Imagining opening your email to THAT. The Raiders are “only” worth 787 billlion dollars, which is dead last in the NFL, but even at such Pauper’s wages, can’t this motherfucker afford to hire a stylist?  Pro-tip Marky: bowl cuts look creepy after the age of 6.  I’m bald and even I don’t covet that strawberry mop you have on your head.  Seriously! What the fuck is wrong with you?

Oh, uh, yeah, the Chiefs will win.

CHIEFS
—–

BROWNS at FALCONS

D.T.:

The Browns welcome back star Wide Receiver Josh Gordon this week, as they take on the Falcons. Josh Gordon’s has had quite the season, so far: I hear he almost sold a Ford Focus — then the customer realized he had misheard Gordon and was not being invited to “Go Smoke Dis”. Gordon should find success upon returning to his Cleveland squad: the team was enjoying a three-win streak until being stopped short by the Texans. Atlanta, on the other hand managed to squeak out a win, despite themselves, against an ever-ailing Panthers team. Cam Newton provided very little resistance to Matt Ryan and his Falcons, and has admitted his poor performance has been to due injury. I think there’s more to it, but at least Carolina has a bye week to sort things out. Getting back on track, I see the Browns commanding this game in Atlanta, and sticking another feather in their caps.

Because birds have feathers. GET IT?!

"Damn, D.T., you even higher than me."

“Damn, D.T., you even higher than me.”

BROWNS

BMK: Karlos “Nosferatu” Dansby just announced he’ll be rehabbing his sprained MCL like a vampire.  Meaning he’ll be eating lots of lobster and mashed potatoes. Uh…wot?

"Must have lobster!"

“Must have lobster!”

BROWNS

—–

TITANS at EAGLES

D.T.: I think we’re all impressed with Zach Mettenberger at this point. The kid went from getting wiped out and taunted by JJ Watt the previous week to standing toe-to-toe with Ben Roethelisberger, and out-throwing him by 60 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers would ultimately take a frustrating win over the Titans, however, as they’d claim a 3 point lead and cling to it by running the ball for the entire fourth quarter. Still, the Titans have to be riding high right now, and their secondary put on a fine display Monday night. They sacked Big Ben five times, and held him to just over 200 yards passing, and this week, they’re up against another powerhouse offense in the Eagles. Philly was smacked down pretty hard by the Packers, but it wasn’t the fault of Mark Sanchez, who actually edged out Aaron Rodgers in passing yards. The Eagles defense simply couldn’t contain the Green Bay offensive unit — however, Mettenberger is no Rodgers, and the Titans defense will have a harder time keeping up with Philly’s multi-threat offense. I think Philadelphia will walk away with this one.

EAGLES

BMK: Okay, so maybe last week was the wrong week to declare my love for the Sanchise. But, as DT pointed out above, he didn’t do so bad in last week’s beat down.  This week he should do even better and come away with a ‘W.’ But who cares?  Philadelphia is still Philadelphia and Philadelphia sucks.

EAGLES

—–

LIONS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: The Lions had a tough time of it in Arizona, where the Cardinals defense held them to zero touchdowns in all four quarters, and their next stop on this road trip is the home of yet another solid passing defense. We’ve all be looking for Calvin Johnson to make his fabled comeback, but against top-tier backfields and this late in the season, he’s hard-pressed to make it happen. I read a pretty in-depth report today about how the Lions’ offense is struggling so much because of conservative play-calling, and a focus on short throws. That was all fine and well back when they only had one wide-out of note, and he was pulling coverage. Now that they have two excellent receivers out there, it’s time to make shit happen. Lombardi needs to let Stafford do what Stafford does best, and that’s connect with his receivers on deep balls.

 

Let this guy get balls deep, Lombardi.

Let this guy get balls deep, Lombardi.

Still… it’s the damned Patriots. As good as the Lions’ defense is, nothing seems to contain the continuing saga of the Brady-Gronkowski Bromance. The team is on fire, and they’re going to win.

PATRIOTS

BMK: If this game were in Detroit I’d be more inclined to give it to them, since Detroit’s defense is still pretty badass.  But New England generally doesn’t lose at home, so….

PATRIOTS

—–

PACKERS at VIKINGS

D.T.: The first meeting these two teams had resulted in the first collective “Oh… fuck…” from spectators the country over. It was then that we knew Rodgers was back in top form, and we’d see some special things out of him this season. Last week, he was laughing so hard at the Eagles defense that they’ve since made a public issue of it. Expect Rodgers to just flat out piss himself laughing this week. And expect Teddy to piss himself when he sees Clay Matthews playing inside linebacker again.

 

Maybe more than piss.

Maybe more than piss.

PACKERS
BMK: I think I covered the Packers pretty well in the opening remarks. As for the Vikings?  Feh.  This aint their year.

PACKERS
—–

JAGUARS at COLTS

D.T.: There are two things more shameful than the Jacksonville Jaguars. One is the Oakland Raiders.

 

The other is this guy's denim jacket.

The other is this guy’s denim jacket.

COLTS

BMK: The third thing more shameful than the Jaguars is how I spent my 20s…

What can I say...it paid well.

What can I say…it paid well.

COLTS

—–

BENGALS at TEXANS

D.T.: Oof. After last week’s games, this one’s hard to pick a winner for. Ryan Mallett showed real promise in his first outing, and the Texans are willing to pull out every trick in the book to win. Andy Dalton is inconsistent as hell, the Bengals are playing barely acceptable football, and yet they’re still 6-3-1. I’m inclined to call the Browns a harder team to beat than the Bengals now, and I think if the Texans can keep up that creativity and fearlessness, they can pull out a win.

TEXANS
BMK: Gah! Who do you trust here?  The Ginger of Doom or Ryan “The Hammer” Mallett?

Of course, neither is an appropriate answer too. The Texans still have JJ Watt. So I guess I’ll go with them this week.

TEXANS
—–

JETS at BILLS

D.T.: As of right now, the Bills organization is offering $10 an hour and free tickets to help shovel snow… and Buffalo is expecting seven feet of snow for the game. SEVEN FEET. Watching players run the field is going to be like looking at those little pin things moving around in a freshly-shaken Etch-A-Sketch. The Bills are unable to even practice because they can’t get to the facility. This game is going to be wildly entertaining because there’s a real possibility that no one will even make it to the field. If they do, we’re in for a hysterical mess that we’ll all be talking about clear into next season. I guess… uh… hell, let’s give it to Buffalo. Anything can and will happen here.

BILLS
BMK: Seven feet of snow?  Man…not even God wants to see the Jets play the Bills, and he loves EVERYBODY.

BILLS
—–

BUCCANEERS at BEARS

D.T.: Tampa Bay Head Coach Lovie Smith pays his first visit to the team that fired him, two years ago. This is like running into your ex-girlfriend two years after breaking up, wherein she’s moved on with an average-looking but respectable dude, and you’ve spent your time drinking cheap beer eating chocolate frosting. Sadly, the Bucs actually have more to gain this week, since they’re still in the playoff hunt in such a shitty division. It’s incredible that the Bucs have a 2-8 record, halfway through the season, and they’re only two games under their division’s leaders. The Bears can probably concede to the fact that the Lions and Packers own their division this season, so this win is really just a slap in the face to Lovie. And I believe that slap will be firm.

 

Avoiding eye contact from across the field will be key.

Avoiding eye contact from across the field will be key.

BEARS
BMK: Has any team this year disappointed more than the Bears? I mean, besides Team Krol?

It seems like everyone expected them to be way more competitive than they’ve turned out to be.  Which is a shame, because I think football is better when Chicago is doing well.

BEARS
—–

CARDINALS at SEAHAWKS

D.T.: Okay, what I’m about to say does not come from a place of bias, or being an Arizona local: the Seahawks are a vulnerable, beatable team if the Cardinals have their heads in the game. Bruce Arians’ squad is notorious for having trouble covering Tight Ends, and Seattle has none to speak of. Seattle’s middling receiver corps is going to match up against Arizona’s backfield in the Cardinals favor, as Corners Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie are playing at peak level right now. Richard Sherman has been on the slow side this season, and he’s been getting smoked by receivers quite a bit; Arizona would do well to match him with speedster John Brown. The three biggest opponents Arizona will have to face in this match-up are Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson and their own mental demons. The Arizona run defense has been excellent, and putting pressure on Wilson by blitzing will limit his options. This is a winnable game, even in Seattle, if the Cardinals can keep their heads free of divisional rival and defending champion psyche-outs.

CARDINALS
BMK: DT makes a convincing argument. However, Seattle’s back is against the wall.  And that’s when Seahawks are at their most dangerous. Or something.

Do Seahawks even have backs?  I mean, I guess they do, being three dimensional beings and all. Speaking of Euclidian geometry, can you imagine an extra-dimensional seahawk? A fourth dimensional seahawk would just be a long line of seahawks. And a fifth dimensional Seahawk would be badass.  It could score touchdowns, defend the pass, and tell Matt McConaughey’s daughter how to find NORAD using binary code.

Regardless of DTs sage wisdom, I’m going with the Seahawks this week.

If the Cardinals win I'll eat a burrito like this.

If the Cardinals win I’ll celebrate like this kid…

SEAHAWKS

—–

RAMS at CHARGERS

D.T.: The Rams defeated the Broncos last week, pretty handily. Was it a fluke, or something more? They travel to San Diego to face another offense-heavy AFC West team, but one with a struggling quarterback. The Chargers looked shaky last week against the Raiders, in a surprisingly-low scoring match-up, in which Rivers only threw one touchdown completion. The Rams defense is fired up, and you know what? I think they’ll put the fear in San Diego’s quarterback, who’s desperate for a rebound. Expect a low-scoring affair, with the Rams defense commanding the field.

RAMS
BMK: I have a soft spot in my heart for the Rams.  Of course, after my bypass I have a soft spot in my heart for everyone.  Hiyo.

Anyway, the Rams are a lot closer than I think people give them credit for.  Their defensive line is a goddamn monster at the very least, and I expect that monster to eat Philip Rivers whole, pausing only to spit out his ridiculous bolo tie.

RAMS
—–

DOLPHINS at BRONCOS

D.T.: The Broncos’ offense took a hit last week, while squaring off against the Rams. Running Back Montee Ball, Tight End Julius Thomas and WIde Receiver Emmanuel Sanders are all currently questionable to appear in this week’s game against the Dolphins. If the latter two are out, it could spell trouble for Manning: their absence last week was noticeable, and threw Peyton off his rhythm. He’s a quarterback who loves his comfort zone, and shifting it results in frustration and mistakes. It’s key for the Dolphins to be aware of that, and exploit it: turnovers, dropped passes and trouble maintaining organization could all result in a bounty for the ‘Fins, if they want it. Dolphins Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is still on a roll, but his questionable offensive line is going to be ripped up by Denver’s defense. It’ll be interesting if this match-up ends up being a defensive struggle, with both powerful offenses feeling helpless. I think it’ll be close. For right now, though, until we know the status of Thomas and Sanders, I’ll stick with the Broncos for the home win.

BRONCOS

BMK: Peyton lost last week. To the Rams. Let that sink in a for a second.

Anyway, Peyton is 63-2-1 when facing an animal mascot the week after losing to an animal mascot.  So He’ll beat the Dolphins handily.

BRONCOS
—–

REDSKINS at 49ERS

D.T.: Holy shit, could things be any worse in Washington? Their Quarterback has physically and emotionally buckled under the weight of being a would-be-savior to a doomed franchise. Everyone is pointing the finger at someone else, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the general feeling of the locker room was more doom and gloom than even Oakland’s. The Niners are a bit of a mess too, but at least everyone knows who’s to blame there.

 

 

"ISIS. It's ISIS, right?"

“ISIS. It’s ISIS, right?”

The Niners claimed a narrow victory over the sloppy Giants, and they’ll find themselves easily dominating a Redskins team that’s dominated by their own directionless in-fighting and lack of drive.

49ERS

BMK: So I picked up Grand Theft Auto V for the Xbox One on Tuesday, and I started playing the Franklin storyline. After playing it for a bit, I got bored, so I started driving like an a-hole, shooting up the town, and generally acting like an anti-social arch-criminal. Then it hit me: I’m role playing Aldon Smith!

49ERS.

—–

COWBOYS at GIANTS

D.T.: The Giant’s defense simply won’t be able contain a rested Romo and Murray. They’re in absolute free fall, suffering from a current streak of five losses. There’s not much else to say, here… I’m not even sure the Giants will rebound against the Jaguars next week.

 

"Wait. Do you guys feel that? It feels like someone almost said something halfway-nice about us!"

“Wait. Do you guys feel that? It feels like someone almost said something halfway-nice about us!”

COWBOYS

 

BMK: The Giants are done and I think everyone knows it. I’m not sure they psychologically recovered from losing to Seattle a couple weeks back.

 

Now the speculation can begin: who’s replacing Coughlin next year? My vote? Rex Ryan.

 

COWBOYS

—–

RAVENS at SAINTS

D.T.: It’s getting to be do-or-die mode for both of these teams. The Ravens are one game behind the Steelers for first place in the AFC North, and they’ve no doubt spent their bye week planning a push for a low seed in the playoffs. The Saints are heavily invested as well, being involved in the aforementioned 4-win-tie in the NFC South. The first time to get their shit together in that division will be the one to take it; why it hasn’t been the Saints is beyond even my encyclopedic knowledge of football. The bi-polar season they’re having must be maddening to their fans, and failing last week to contain the Quarterback with the worst passer rating in 50 years is pretty inexcusable. I give it to the Ravens this week: they’ve got more at stake, and there’s actually some drive there, whereas the Saints are just floating along.

RAVENS
BMK:  I’m not sure I’m buying the Saints losing three straight, especially not while playing in the Superdome.  Brees is still Brees and the Ravens defense is not what it’s used to be (especially against the pass), so I’m taking the Saints here.

SAINTS
—–

DT: Next week is Thanksgiving! And what we have to be thankful for, besides our health, families, beer and Kelvin Benjamin? Some decent fucking match-ups while we feast. We’ve got three solid and exciting divisional match-ups that all mean something: Bears at Lions, Eagles at Cowboys and Seahawks at Niners. The rest of the week looks to be a bit of a mess, but at least we’ll all have left-over pie to sweeten things a bit. Thanks folks, and good night!

 

BMK: Next week the only thing I’ll be thankful for is Reddi-Whip.  And Kat Dennings.

 

Even she gets distracted by how heavenly she is...

I just want you all to know that I avoided the obvious boob joke here.

 

 

Written by B. Michael Krol

November 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm

THUD Week 11 Picks

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

Week Eleven…Go to Hell, go to Heaven!

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

—–

BILLS at DOLPHINS

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

DOLPHINS

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

Oh, yeah. The pick. Ummmm… Dolphins.

DOLPHINS.

—–

VIKINGS at BEARS

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

 

Who also happened to score a lot of points.

Who also happened to score a lot of points.

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

 

Possible look at the effectiveness of Chicago's secondary.

Possible look at the effectiveness of Chicago’s secondary.

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

VIKINGS

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

VIKINGS

—–

TEXANS at BROWNS

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

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

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

BROWNS

—–

FALCONS at PANTHERS

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

FALCONS

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

toilet

FALCONS.

—–

BENGALS at SAINTS

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

 

 

"Thanks, I guess!"

“Thanks, I guess!”

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

SAINTS

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

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

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

But the Bengals suck worse, so….

BENGALS

—–

BUCCANEERS at REDSKINS

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

REDSKINS

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

BUCCANEERS

—–

BRONCOS at RAMS

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

 

 

Maybe next year, Rambros.

Maybe next year, Rambros.

BRONCOS

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

BRONCOS

——

NINERS at GIANTS

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

NINERS

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

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

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

49ers

—–

SEAHAWKS at CHIEFS

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

 

 

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

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

SEATTLE

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

I prefer brunettes.

I prefer brunettes.

CHIEFS

—–

RAIDERS at CHARGERS

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

 

 

"Who needs a penis, anyway?!"

“Who needs a penis, anyway?!”

CHARGERS

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

CHARGERS

—–

LIONS at CARDINALS — THUD GAME OF THE WEEK

Thud week 11

 

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

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

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

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

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

CARDINALS

BMK: This game. This fucking game…

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

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

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

Then Palmer goes down. For the year.

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

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

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

LIONS

—–

EAGLES at PACKERS

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

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

PACKERS

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

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

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

EAGLES

—–

PATRIOTS at COLTS

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

COLTS

 

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

 

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

 

COLTS

—–

STEELERS at TITANS

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

STEELERS

 

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

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

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

This is what Whisenhunt sees when he goes to sleep…

 

STEELERS

—–

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

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

 

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

Kat

 

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

 

Written by B. Michael Krol

November 13, 2014 at 7:02 pm

THUD Picks Week 10

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Week Ten -- um...Big Ben?!??

Week Ten — um…Big Ben?!??

D.T.:  Interesting week of football, that week nine was. The Brady/Manning match-up we were all anticipating as setting the world on fire ended up a different kind of stunner than expected. Peyton reminded us how susceptible he is to pressure, and Gronk was a real problem for the Denver defense, like we predicted. There were quite a few other shocks around the league and, with a few exceptions, this week looks to keep that momentum going.

BMK: Another week in the books.  Another loss for Krol.

Look DT, before you start acting all a’fool up in the Pacific Northwest because you’re winning, remember if I pick our home team, they’re going to lose.  So, if you add in all those victories past week 2, I’m only one behind you.  So ease up chief, before I fly down to AZ and TP your house.

Anyway, week 10 is generally when the NFL starts looking to the winter, and thoughts of playoff seeding (and love) start to dominate the minds of the young men who play NFL football.  Soon we’ll know if these teams are who we thought they were. So…on to the picks…
BROWNS at BENGALS

D.T.: Are the Jaguars improving, or are the Bengals experiencing some real difficulties? Last week, the Cincinnati squad allowed Bortles and his ragtag band of future Londoners 23 points. The only team to allow the Jaguars more was the Browns in week 7, which resulted in Jacksonville’s only win so far. Now, these two divisional rivals meet for the first time this year, in what will no doubt be a battle of man vs self, more than man vs man.

If we're counting gingers as men, mind you.

If we’re counting gingers as men, mind you.

I’m going with my gut, and guessing that the Browns find a way to mess up less than the Gio Bernard-less Bengals (even if they do have AJ Green back).

BROWNS

BMK: The Browns have a better record than the 49ers.  Let that sink in for a second. I’ll write it again: the Browns have a better record than the 49ers.  And they did it with Brian Hoyer.

I’m seriously rooting for Hoyer the Destroyer. So long as Hoyer’s succeeding, Johnny “Future Trade Bait to the Cowboys” Football will keep riding the pine.  That’s something which everyone can appreciate.

BROWNS

—–

CHIEFS at BILLS

D.T.: Last week, the Chiefs took the pieces of the already broken Jets team and smashed them a little more. The Bills had their bye week, and I’m sure thought long and hard about how they’re going to beat anyone besides said Jets, without any Running Backs.

 

Don't cry, Fred. At least the Bills have Sammy Watkins.

Don’t cry, Fred. At least the Bills have Sammy Watkins.

The Bills are going to have their work cut out of them, trying to take on a Chiefs team hitting their stride. They still lead the league in interceptions, and it’ll be that secondary that decides the outcome of this game — and Alex Smith is no stranger to interceptions. The way the Chiefs are playing lately, though? I have to give this week to them.

CHIEFS

BMK: I’m going to deviate from the norm here and take the Bills. Looking at the numbers, the Bills aren’t a terrible defensive unit and all the Chiefs have going for them offensively is Jamaal Charles.  Granted, that’s a pretty good person to have on your side, but I think the Bills will find a way to slow him down.

BILLS

—-

DOLPHINS at LIONS

D.T.: The fabled return of Megatron. Or so they say. I have to say that I’m a little more than skeptical about his absence — a high ankle sprain has sidelined players for far less time. There seems to be a trend in the league this year of high-profile players choosing not to play for flimsy reasons, with Calvin Johnson and Jadeveon Clowney being amongst them.

 

 

Lunch? Hell yeah! I'll just tell the Texans I have the sniffles.

Lunch? Hell yeah! I’ll just tell the Texans I have the sniffles.

Then you have other players like Fred Jackson, who I poked fun at above but highly respect, leaving the field in tears, knowing they won’t be back for a while. It’s a strange dichotomy.

Anyway, the Lions have marched right along during Johnson’s absence, with their defense doing much of the heavy lifting. It’ll be interesting to see how Stafford improves with his best receiver lining up again. The two share a similar dynamic to Brady and Gronkowski, where the former is improved overall by the latter. Will we see an explosive display like what took place when the Lions walked over the Giants? How will Golden Tate factor in, being dropped down to WR2 status? Will Megatron simply be a decoy again, with limited reps?

The Dolphins are celebrating success this season, having just completely shut out and embarrassed the San Diego Chargers. Their 5-3 record is well-earned, but they’ve struggled against stout, oft-underestimated defenses. And that’s telling of the possible outcome of this game, as both teams currently sport the two top-ranked defenses in the league. The ‘Fins struggled against both the Bills and Chiefs this year, which have secondaries known for creating turnovers and shutting out the passing game. Ryan Tannehill’s chemistry with his receiver corp will be put to the test in this match-up.

This game could be a fucking shoot out, or these two defenses could hold the game to as much action as Tim Tebow’s prom night.

 

 

It's okay, Tim, you won't be a virgin forever. Jesus will find you a wife, someday.

It’s okay, Tim, you won’t be a virgin forever. Jesus will find you a wife, someday.

However, I’m going to say that the dual threat of Miami’s offense and defense will be more effective than Detroit, with the return of a long-inactive Johnson.

DOLPHINS
BMK: Ryan Tannehill is playing pretty well lately, but I don’t trust them on the road in Detroit.  Here’s why: Dolphins are sea creatures and Lions are land creatures.  I don’t care how badass a sea creature is, if he’s on the land, he sucks.  Unless they’re sharks caught in a tornado.

Oh hell, did I really make a Sharknado reference?  As David Byrne once sang, “My God, what have I done?”

All bullshit aside, I’m going with the Lions because they’re at home.  Safford is a better QB than Tannehill, despite his improvements, and the Lions are 2nd ranked run defense in the league, which I think will negate the Dolphins 4th ranked rushing attack and make them one dimensional.

These guys would like to talk to you about your virginity, Tim...

These guys would like to talk to you about your virginity, Tim…

LIONS
—–

COWBOYS at JAGUARS

D.T. The third and final game of the season played in London. No more fan bases getting a home game ripped away from them. Until next season, when Goodell plans to expand the International Series to five games.

How about this: London keeps the fucking Jaguars. They get a whole season of home games each year, and the rest of the 31 teams don’t get screwed. Hell, let’s throw in the Raiders too.

COWBOYS

BMK: While originally the term powerviolence included stylistically diverse bands, powerviolence generally refers to bands who musically focus on speed, brevity, bizarre timing breakdowns, and constant tempo changes. Powerviolence songs are often very short; it is not uncommon for some to last less than twenty seconds. Some groups, particularly Man Is the Bastard, Plutocracy, and No Le$$ took influence from progressive rock, and jazz fusion.

Powerviolence groups tend to be very raw and underproduced, both sonically and in their packaging. Some groups (Man Is the Bastard and Dystopia) took influence from anarcho-punk and crust punk, emphasizing animal rights and anti-militarism. Groups such as Despise You and Lack of Interest wrote lyrics about misanthropy, drugs, and inner-city issues. Groups such as Spazz or Charles Bronson, on the other hand, wrote lyrics mocking points of interest for hardcore and metal fans, or even used inside jokes for lyrics, referencing specific people many of their listeners would not know.

Other groups associated with powerviolence included Noothgrush, The Locust, Dystopia, Assück, His Hero Is Gone, Black Army Jacket,Hellnation, Charles Bronson, and Rorschach. The doom metal group Burning Witch also released on Slap-A-Ham and played shows with powerviolence groups.

COWBOYS
—–

49ERS at SAINTS

D.T.: The Saints really needed their divisional win against the Panthers last week, boosting them to the top of the NFC South. The Niners really did NOT need their crushing divisional loss to the Rams, which dropped them down to third place in the NFC West. And it’s not like they played a hard-fought game and were robbed. They’re in a really bad way, and played like shit against a team they’re easily superior to. Their spirits are simply broken, and the rumors of Jim Harbaugh being disliked and probably leaving at the end of the season are looming over their heads again. The Saints, on the other hand, look to be in the midst of an up-trend, mirroring the way the Packers turned their season around after a rocky start. Brees is back on point, Ingram is in top form, and the New Orleans team looks poised for a victory on the emotional, physical and scoring fronts.

Kaepernick has a habit of getting tattoos after failed seasons. I have a suggestion for his next trip to the parlor:

Crapernick

 

SAINTS
BMK: Last week the 49ers lost and this loss was squarely on the shoulders of Greg Roman.  Why in the world wasn’t Frank Gore used in a goal line situation?  Can anyone explain to me?

I have a theory about why the 49ers keep blowing it during critical situations. Basically it comes down to hubris. Harbaugh and Kaepernick want to prove that they’re the man, collectively and individually, and so dumb plays like a QB Sneak get called when Frank Gore would’ve scored. Or Kaepernick throwing to Crabtree when he’s not open during the NFC title game.

Seriously, once you view the 49ers though that prism, all the baffling decisions they’ve made make sense.

lucy_charlie_brown1

She helped me with my insights this week…

SAINTS
—–

TITANS at RAVENS

D.T.: Roethlisberger made an absolute mess of the Ravens’ secondary last week, throwing for six touchdowns, and achieving the record for most touchdowns in two consecutive games (with a staggering 12). The Ravens contained the Steelers’ running game, but what sort of accomplishment is that when the other team’s quarterback throws a touchdown every time he gets handed the ball? This week, they take on the Titans who are fresh off a bye after a humiliating loss against the Texans. They’re rolling out with a rookie quarterback in Zack Mettenberger… man, is it just me, or is the list of starting Quarterbacks in the NFL beginning to read like a sports bar menu?

 

I thought this was an ad

Anyway, the Ravens defense should be terrifying for Mettenberger, who will probably find himself on the wrong end of a few turnovers and tackles. It’ll be the Ravens here, folks.

RAVENS

BMK: I’lll have a Mettenberger with a side of ignominious defeat.

RAVENS

—–

STEELERS at JETS

D.T.: Holy shit, Roethelisberger is going to score more than Neil Diamond on tour in 1972.

STEELERS

BMK: Holy shit, Roethelisberger is going to score more than me in 1995!

Seriously, who could've resisted me...besides everyone.

Seriously, who could’ve resisted me…besides everyone.

STEELERS

—–

FALCONS at BUCCANEERS

D.T.: The Bucs are no doubt still smarting after the absolute fucking pounding they took the last time they faced the Falcons. They’re going to play with a huge chip on their shoulder, and they’re probably going to psyche themselves out. The Falcons will want to increase their winning record to an earth-shattering three, and as long as they don’t underestimate Tampa Bay, they’ll probably earn it. They’ll have Running Back Antone Smith and Defensive Lineman Jonathan Babineaux back on the roster — one ready to punch through Tampa’s bottom-feeding defense, and the other ready to ruin Josh McCown’s day (McCown having recently been named starter over the floundering Mke Glennon). The Bucs do have some weapons in their arsenal, though, like… um…

Uh…
BMK: Yeah Lovie, McCown is going to solve your problems…

Can anyone believe how crappy the NFC South is this year? It’s the weakest division in football, which makes no sense to me, given that football is a religion in the south, and a great many current NFL players went to “school” in the SEC.

Anyway, watching this game will be about as pleasant as watching Rosanne Barr sodomize Mitch McConnell while you’re having a colonoscopy.  Avoid at all costs.

FALCONS
—–

BRONCOS at RAIDERS

D.T.: Someone must have sat Peyton Manning down and had a talk with him. He seemed strangely calm and accepting during the Broncos’ nasty loss against the Patriots last week– which is a stark contrast of his angry outbursts in the game against the Chargers, which went entirely his way.

This week, however, he should be all smiles. There won’t be any noise coming from the Oakland crowd, and they probably haven’t paid the electric bill for their scoreboard. Or the salary of their scoreboard operator.

BRONCOS

BMK:  Peyton’s going to tear through the Raider’s secondary like I tear through Endless Shrimp at Red Lobster.  By the way, try the Sirancha grilled shrimp at Red Lobster.  As Kelly LeBrock said in Weird Science, “Hurts so good!”

BRONCOS

—–

RAMS at CARDINALS

D.T.: Both of these teams are having a laugh at the expense of their mutual divisional rivals, the Niners. The Rams are a scrappy, determined team capable of beating the Niners in a low-scoring, low-energy upset, but what they’ll find in Arizona will be anything but. The Cardinals are riding high on somehow achieving a 7-1 record, and beating nearly every challenge placed in front of them. The Rams will be hard-pressed to cover the unpredictable Cardinals passing offense, and the agility of Running Back Andre Ellington. What we’re going to see here is a lot of explosive defensive work on both sides, and the Cardinals offense scoring early and holding the Rams to a low-score into the second half. The Rams will find a way to catch up and put pressure on Arizona, but the Cardinals are a solid home team and will find a way to land another divisional win.

CARDINALS
BMK: This game gives me all sorts of worries. The Rams beat Seattle (though, to be fair, it took some serious heroics that, if they hadn’t worked, would have gotten Fisher run out of town), and they made the 49ers formerly elite offensive line look as about as effective as a dolphin fighting a lion on land.  On paper the Cardinals should handle the Rams easily.  This has all the makings of a trap game.

I’m going with the Rams. Mostly because I’m superstitious.

RAMS
—–

GIANTS at SEAHAWKS

D.T.: Possibly the most even-matched game this week? The Giants have lost their last three games in a row, but each has been against offensive powerhouses — something you couldn’t really call the Seahawks this season. The ‘Hawks are averaging about 25 points per game and though their defense is ranked in the top five, they’re struggling to keep their heads above water, just barely edging out their last three victories over the Rams, Panthers and Raiders (what weird fucking note to end that sentence on). Manning is less questionable than each of these teams’ quarterbacks, even with his shaky receiver corps (and his tendency so far to neglect Odell Beckham, Jr. who appears to have a high ceiling), and the ‘Hawks are holding teams to fewer yards, but failing to keep teams from converting on third downs. If Eli Manning can keep a cool head and spread the ball around instead of wasting opportunities on Ruben Randle, the Giants will have a shot. However, it’s Seattle at home, and that stadium is likely to keep the under-confident Giants from developing any sort of rhythm. I’m giving it to the Seahawks.

 

Pete Carroll informs the team that D.T. is not only going to be at the game, but has picked them to win.

Pete Carroll informs the team that D.T. is not only going to be at the game, but has picked them to win.

SEAHAWKS

BMK: The Seahawks are sliding.  Their offense is pedestrian, and their pass rush isn’t what it used to be. Hell, if Oakland hadn’t Oaklanded these cats would have lost to the Raiders.  I trust them less than I trust DT when my beer is unprotected.

Of course, they’re playing the Giants at home. So while they’re not what they used to be, they don’t suck either.

SEAHAWKS

—–

BEARS at PACKERS

D.T.: These two NFC North rivals meet again for the second time this season. The Bears have found themselves at the very bottom of the NFC North after their loss to the Patriots, and the Packers suffered quite a shocking lost to the Saints. Both teams have had time to lick their wounds and formulate strategies for this divisional match-up. Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers especially should have benefited from the week nine bye, which couldn’t have come at a better time for his week 8 hamstring injury. If he’s back to 100% and willing to make substitutions to keep the team fresh (failure to do so against the Saints left the Packers offense visibly exhausted), they should do just fine against the Chicago secondary. The Bears are in a do or die situation, and despite having started the season as a strong road team, they’re slipping in a big way. I don’t know if a difficult divisional game against a bitter rival is where they’ll right the ship.

PACKERS

BMK: Ugh.  The Bears.  Jay “Neckbeard of the North” is just not getting it done, and this isn’t the game that will right the ship either.

Respectfully, the Bears slipping was always going to happen this season.  They aren’t particularly talented on either side of the ball (some bright spots, like Brandon Marshall not withstanding), and the NFC North has some heavyweight players in it. Basically, whenever you see the Bears you’re watching the physical expression of reverting to the mean. You’re also watching what happens when players try following a recalcitrant guy who’s allergic to razors.

PACKERS

—–

PANTHERS at EAGLES

D.T.: The Panthers’ defense has had a tough time of it. The loss of Greg Hardy took more out of them than most expected, and on the other side of the ball, Cam Newton has been playing with a real lack of confidence. The Eagles are at a precarious crossroads, too. Starting Quarterback Nick Foles has suffered a broken collarbone which has him sidelined for six to eight weeks. The speed of their hurry up offense has already taken a big hit this season, and it’ll slow down even more with notorious chicken tender enthusiast, and offensive lineman ass fetishist, Mark Sanchez at the helm. We’re not going to see the same no-huddle energy out of the Eagles for the remainder of this season, and the Panthers would do well to find ways to exploit that. And if Cam Newton can regain his groove, finding his receivers again, the Panthers could win this.

 

 

I'd be lying if I said I was sorry for this.

I’d be lying if I said I was sorry for this.

 

PANTHERS

BMK: Cam Newton, look upon the Sanchise.  That’s where you’ll be after your rookie contract is up.

EAGLES

—–

And there we have it! Week 10 of terribly-justified picks that would make professional analysts piss themselves. And give Jon Gruden an excuse for this particular case of pissing himself. Next week holds only two games that look exciting on paper, so savor this week for all it’s worth. I’ll be savoring this sweet, sweet lead I have over Krol.

Yeah yeah yeah...

Yeah yeah yeah…

This post was written and compiled to the sound of my flagging manhood.  And the Who.

Written by B. Michael Krol

November 8, 2014 at 4:05 pm

THUD Picks Week 9

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Week 9 -- It's Divine!

Week 9 — It’s Divine!

D.T.: The halfway mark. The point where each team in the NFL should have a fairly clear view of themselves and where they’re headed this year. Barring injuries or other extenuating circumstances, we’ve cut the chaff from the wheat, and we’re developing a picture of what the playoffs will look like. Right? Fuck no — this is football. Anything can happen, and anything will happen! Like Mark Ingram deciding to be a professional athlete on Sunday night, or Gronkowski breaking franchise records instead of his arms, or Ben Roethelisberger trying to punt!

This shit actually happened. Note the ball traveling 90 degrees from his foot.

This shit actually happened. Note the ball traveling 90 degrees from his foot.

 

And that punt wasn't even the weirdest thing a Steeler did that day.

And that punt wasn’t even the weirdest thing a Steeler did that day.

 

What I believed was going to be a dull, uneventful weekend of football ended up being a delightfully bizarre series of events that proved, aside from a few apparent lock-ins, we still have no clue how this season is going to play out. But we’re still going to make wholly uneducated guesses anyway, and have fun doing it!

BMK: Man you nailed it with the “wholly uneducated guesses” line.  What are we anyway? Below .500?  We have a worse record picking games than using a coin flip to make our picks. Maybe we should do that next week…

Part of that, I think, is due to this year being something of a transitional year for the NFL.  The traditional powerhouses of the last few years are fading away and new young teams are coming up.

Or are they?

A few weeks ago, people we leaving the Patriots for dead.  Now they’re going to play Denver in the AFC Championship.  Earlier this year, some prognosticators had the Saints winning the Super Bowl.  Then they were dead. Now they’re back.

Basically no one knows shit. Especially DT. Unlike me, he’s not doing any real homework and analyzing. He’s getting his picks from a bookie.  I just know it…

—–

SAINTS at PANTHERS

D.T.: What the hell is up with the Saints? Are they the team that narrowly beats the Buccaneers, or the team that stomps the Packers in stunning fashion? Their running game, nearly absent this season, was phenomenal, with Mark Ingram in full beast mode, and Drew Brees played like he was back in 2013. Is it a fluke? I think part of it might have been. The Panthers, on the other hand, are at least consistent. They’re a struggling team with small flashes of greatness, but put to the test against potentially superior teams, they lose their way. Last week against the Seahawks (who obviously, as I said last week, have more problems going on than Percy Harvin being a dick), both teams simply couldn’t put it together, and ended up with one touchdown between the two of them, and a handful of field goals. The highlight of the game came when Kelvin Benjamin stunned everyone by beating out both Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas for a 51 yard leaping catch.

 

That's a rookie beating out two Pro Pro Bowlers and Super Bowl Champion defenders.

That’s a rookie beating out two Pro Pro Bowlers and Super Bowl Champion defenders.

 

I’ve been unabashed in my appreciation for the kid, but holy shit. We’re looking at the makings of a real star and a possible candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year, here. He’s somewhat been the Panthers’ saving grace in this tumultuous season, and he’ll play a big role in the no-doubt-bonkers game against the Saints. As to which team will win, the Saints obviously have the higher amount of potential here. If they bring that same intensity, they could control this game. However, all logic and reason go out the window in divisional games, and they could come into Carolina as flat as they have been in previous weeks. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Sunday was their Packers-esque return to form.

SAINTS

BMK: I’m writing this on Saturday night, so I’m not picking this one and counting it as a loss. I would have picked the Saints, but hey, let’s be fair about it, right?

Why am I writing this on a Saturday night?  Well, I went to Disneyland on Thursday (one of the benefits of living in California is the possibility for spontaneous Disney trips; the other is getting fondled by Bears in San Francisco’s Mission District), and I came down with some kind of bug. It’s probably SARS.  Since I’m not cool enough to get Ebola. L

—–

BUCCANEERS at BROWNS

D.T.: Last week, the Buccaneers visited the Vikings, who played down to their level and the two rolled into overtime. Minnesota Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for a fairly respectable 241 yards and a touchdown, but turnovers and frustrating mistakes on both sides made the game a difficult one to watch. Naturally, the game ended with a turnover touchdown in overtime, after the Buccaneers received the ball, then promptly had it stripped after their first pass. In a battle of the bad against the Raiders last week, the Browns found themselves held to just under 40 yards rushing, and squeezed out a win with a pair of touchdowns. We get to look forward to more of the same, as these two lunk-headed teams collide. The Browns will come ahead, by an inch or two. Oh, and there’s a chance Jordan Cameron won’t participate, but that’s par the course.

If I just sit here and refuse to play, will they trade me like Percy Harvin?

If I just sit here and refuse to play, will they trade me like Percy Harvin?

BROWNS

BMK: The Browns are sitting at 4-3, which is the same record as the San Francisco 49ers.  Raise your hand if you saw that coming. What’s even better is these two teams will have the same record after this week since the Browns are going to beat the Bucs and SPOILERS the 49ers will beat the Rams this week.

BROWNS

—–

CARDINALS at COWBOYS

GotW

 

D.T.: For those in the know, the Cardinals and Cowboys share an unusual rivalry, fueled mostly by fans. You see, dear readers, before there was a franchise in Arizona, the Cowboys were largely considered the favorite, and as the Cardinals have become more relevant, the two fanbases have grown to resent each other. Both sides get riled up when these two teams play, and this weekend should be no different, as both teams vie for superior records. Last week, the Cardinals hosted the Eagles in what ended up being a tough-as-nails grudge match made interesting by a freak storm of yellow flags that hindered players’ vision, movement and agility. Arizona weather is certainly not known for being unpredictable, and rarely do such atmospheric conditions effect sporting events.

 

There would have been less mess if they'd made it Penalty Flag Day for the fans.

There would have been less mess if they’d made it Penalty Flag Day for the fans.

 

It was possibly the worst display of officiating we’ve seen this season. The Eagles had a clear touchdown denied, for example, which would have been game-changing. The Cardinals ended up genuinely earning the win with some zero hour defense that would make the Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae nod their heads in approval.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, were locked into an old-timey shoot out with the Redskins last week, lead by third-string quarterback Colt McCoy, who rallied the team to a speedy win in overtime. This’ll be a strange match-up because the Cardinals offense and defense sit firmly in the bottom half of league rankings, and yet… they keep winning. The Cowboys seem to be doing everything right this season, and yet they’re still prone to fluke failures. The biggest question mark on this game is Romo’s status. He left the game against the ‘Skins after taking a knee to his injured back, but returned, albeit visibly shaken and slowed. He’ll have the week to rest and recover, but now he’s got a bullseye on his… well, back, and the Cardinals LOVE their blitzes.

Overall, the ‘Boys have shown they can be beaten by scrappy teams, and there are fewer words better suited to describe the Cardinals right now. I’ll give the win to them. What say you, Krol?

 

CARDINALS

BMK: The Spartans, DT?  Let’s not get out of control here, bro.  And lest we forget, the Spartans lost that battle.  They just held out longer than anyone thought they would. Really, why do we give them any credit at all? So they stymied a larger force for a few days. Big deal. F the Spartans and F Zach Snyder.  That’s what I say.

Oh yeah…Football…

The expert consensus pick here is the Cardinals.  As a Cardinals fan, that makes me nervous.  But I’m an old school Cardinals fan that expects everything to turn to shit at any moment. Ask DT.  Anytime anything remotely positive happens for the other team, I’m texting him that the Cardinals are going to lose.  It’s our special Sunday tradition.  That and him beating me on picks, the fucker…

On paper, there’s a lot to like in this match-up for the Cardinals.  The Cowboy’s strength – running the football – is going up against the 3rd best running defense in the Cardinals. The Cowboys don’t do so well against the blitz and the Cardinals like to blitz.  Yeah, they have Dez Bryant, but the Cardinals Secondary is shaping up pretty good this year. So yeah, if it were my job to make football picks I’d pick the Cardinals too.

But I’m going with the Cowboys.  Arizona’s offense fell completely apart last week against the Eagles (excepting two amazing plays). And at some point the magic pixie dust Arians has been using this season will run out.  It runs out this week,

COWBOYS

—–

Eagles at Texans

D.T.: Eagles Quarterback Nick Foles had a rough time in Arizona. He threw for 411 yards and connected with Jeremy Maclin for two touchdowns, but only completed 36 of his 62 attempts, and Philly maintained their reputation for having trouble in the red zone.

And dramatics.

And dramatics.

 

However, despite the presence of J.J. Watt, the Texans’ defense isn’t as scrappy or tenacious as Arizona’s. The Eagles will have an easier time moving the chains and converting in the red zone, as long as their offensive line can hold Watt long enough for Foles to take action. It feels like the Eagles have slowed down their offense to compensate for Foles’ comfort level, and Foles needs to rediscover the confidence he had in 2013. Their strongest asset (that hurry up offense) needs to get back up to speed, and this is as good a game as any to test those limits. Either way, I see the Eagles winning by a decent margin.

EAGLES

BMK: I like the Eagles in this one too.  Last week, the laundry was all over the field and that affected the Eagles play.  That won’t happen this week.  At least, I don’t think it can. Or maybe it will.  Maybe Chip Kelly’s Eagles will become the new Raiders.

EAGLES

—–

JETS at CHIEFS

D.T.: “I’m getting sick and tired of losing,” said Rex Ryan after their absolute spanking at the hands of the Bills. Well Rex, I’m pretty sure the sentiment is shared by the Jets’ GM and ownership, and you’re most definitely out of a job. Starting Quarterback Geno Smith may have lost his first, as he was yanked after throwing three interceptions in three possessions, in the first quarter. Veteran QB Michael Vick didn’t fare much better, throwing for only 153 yards in the next three quarters, and finishing as the team’s top rusher at a measly 69 yards. The Jets are in an absolutely free fall, and Chiefs, feeling confident after their trouncing of the Rams, are likely to pick them apart. Jamaal Charles marched into the end zone twice, and their defense held the Rams to a meager 7 points. Switching to Vick isn’t an upgrade for the Jets, it’s surrender. And they may as well come out of the tunnel in Kansas City waving white flags.

CHIEFS

BMK: Rex, you’re getting sick and tired of losing and I’m getting sick and tired about finding things to say about your crappy team.

CHIEFS

—–

JAGUARS at BENGALS

D.T.: The Bengals need a week of rest after a stressful victory against the Ravens, and a painful shut-out loss to the Colts before that. I hope they treat the Jags to dinner and drinks as thanks.

BENGALS

BMK: Did you guys hear they might have found out what happened to Amelia Earhart? Beyond the fact that she died, that is…

Anyway, that’s more interesting than any games the Jaguars play…

BENGALS

—–

CHARGERS at DOLPHINS

D.T.: Rivers had a rough week, last week. The Chargers and Broncos were neck and neck in the AFC West, giving that divisional match-up significant meaning. He had himself a great performance though, and matched Manning touchdown for touchdown. Against any other team, it probably would been a victorious effort. Still, the Bolts ride a two-loss wave into sunny Miami.

Rivers demonstrates how close they were to beating Denver.

Rivers demonstrates how close they were to beating Denver.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins surprised no one by defeating Jacksonville, for their second win in a row. Not much needs to be said about the game in detail: the Dolphins arrived, the Jaguars bent over, and what transpired was a display of one-sided, animal-on-animal action that would leave Jeff Corwin feeling uncomfortable.

...on second thought...

…on second thought…

 

Miami has a decent pass defense, which might be able to match the on-fire chemistry Rivers is sharing with Tight End Antonio Gates. The Chargers might, however, find some success in exploiting the Dolphins obvious, singular weakness against Jacksonville: their run defense. The Jaguars squeezed out over 170 yards against them, and the Chargers are no doubt watching game tape to figure out how to do the same thing, and then some. They can beat them on the ground — if they can beat them in the air too, they’ll take the win.

CHARGERS

BMK: The Chargers were paper champions when they went on their winning streak as most of their victories came from substandard teams. That’s not a problem per se.  Good teams beat the teams they should and steal a couple from the ones they shouldn’t.   The Chargers should handle the Dolphins easily, but don’t let that 6-3 record fool you.  This team aint getting past Denver should it make it to the playoffs as a wild card team.

CHARGERS

—–

REDSKINS at VIKINGS

D.T.: The Redskins are reportedly starting Quarterback Robert Griffin III against the Vikings, destroying any sort of morale the team built after a Colt McCoy-lead victory over the then-6-1 Cowboys. The ‘Skins front office continues to show their ineptitude, cutting the tires any time the team seems to build into a steady momentum.

 

He really should just save himself the trouble and take snaps from here.

He really should just save himself the trouble and take snaps from here.

The Vikings have a chance to steal a win, if the Redskins do indeed come onto the field without a developed rhythm and sense of timing. It was a chore for Minnesota, beating Tampa Bay, but I’m giving it to the Vikings this week anyway. Because seriously, who deliberately fucks with a set-up that beats one of the best teams in the league?

VIKINGS

BMK: I was hoping the Redskins would keep who was starting a mystery. Because then I could bust out my “Colt McCoy…more like Colt Decoy, amirite?” joke.

Hey DT, remember when people read this column?  Good times…

VIKINGS

—–

RAMS at 49ERS

D.T.: This should be fun. The last time the Rams and 49ers met, it was a Saint Louis-dominant first half, followed by a rally victory for San Francisco. This time around, they’ll be squaring off on Niners turf. San Francisco is likely to be without pass rusher Aldon Smith this week, as the chances of his suspension being reduced seem slim. That gives Quarterback Austin Davis some wiggle room — and he’ll need it, as the Rams’ Running Back-by-committee method of running the ball doesn’t seem to be very effective at this point. On the flip side, the Niners are coming off a needed bye week, with several injured players looking to return. We’re going to see a refreshed SF squad with something to prove after their last go-round with the Rams, and a Rams team fighting for every opportunity to add a mark to their W column. I think it’s going to be the Niners, though and I think we’ll see a sharper and more even game from them this time around.

49ERS

BMK: Before Jake Long went down again, I was thinking the Rams could be great spoilers all season.  That won’t happen now.  Especially not against the 49ers.  One can dream though…

49ers

—–

BRONCOS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: This game… could be a big deal, folks. While it’s looking incredibly likely that both teams will make it to the post-season, I’m firmly in the camp that Manning will retire at the end of this season. If the post-season doesn’t work out for one or both teams, this could be a possible final chapter in the Brady/Manning rivalry and a last opportunity to see the two best Quarterbacks of their generation go head to head. It’s football history in the making. It’s also going to be a Clash to the Tight Ends (hey, that was sort of clever), where we’ll see how Julius Thomas and Rob Gronkowski — both celebrating a monstrous season — measure up against each others’ respective defenses. Gronk and Brady have been electric, and it’s that combination that will play a key factor in how the Patriots offense performs. Double, sometimes triple coverage doesn’t seem to slow Gronkowski down, so it’ll be fun to see what Denver does to try and counter this threat.

The Patriots will have to contend with Peyton Manning, who’s meaner than ever. So mean, in fact, that his frustrations and outbursts have extended past receivers running incorrect routes, to fans being too enthusiastic, and scoreboard operators… scoreboard operating.

"Is this your first sporting event, people?! You're supposed to be fucking quiet!"

“Is this your first sporting event, people?! You’re supposed to be fucking quiet!”

The intensity of these Manning/Brady meetings might drive Peyton to straight up murder someone. Probably Broncos Center Manny Ramirez, who has already buckled under pressure a few times this season, and botched key snaps. So predictions for this game: Broncos will win by a narrow margin, but not before making a few key errors in an otherwise sharp game for both teams.

BRONCOS

BMK: This is the game I’m looking forward to the most this week. I’m not a fan of either team, but, like the incomparable DT points out, this has been a great rivalry.  I’m hoping we’ll see some serious football pyrotechnics. I’m also hoping we’ll see Peyton go apeshit on the stadium announcer guy, like Paul Newman does in Slap Shot.

BRONCOS

—–

RAIDERS at SEAHAWKS

D.T.: God damn, someone put the Raiders out of their fucking misery already. I swear, whoever structured this year’s season had it out for them. I know it’s not Satan, because Satan is clearly a Raiders’ fan. So, who is responsible?

This man. Howard Katz. Literally worse than Satan.

This man. Howard Katz. Literally worse than Satan.

SEAHAWKS

BMK: Satan is not a Raiders fan.  If he were, they’d win a lot more.  Just look at Bill Bellichick and Mike Ditka. Both of those cats worship Satan.

—–

RAVENS at STEELERS

D.T.: So yeah, Cheeseburger tried to punt. But you know what? The guy also threw for 522 yards and six touchdowns in an absolute stunner against Indianapolis. Big Ben was on fire, and against a team that did pretty damned well that day, too (Luck threw for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns). Coming up against a Ravens squad that just lost to a questionable Bengals team, it’s tough to see how this week’s outcome could be different. However, this is a rivalry game, and rematch from Baltimore’s victory over the Steelers at the beginning of the season. Expect both teams to be preoccupied, and to see a closer match than last week’s Steelers/Colts spectacle.

STEELERS

BMK:  When I lived in Pittsburgh, my neighbor told me a story about how these Raven fans were pulled out of their car and got the shit beaten out of them.  Pittsburgh’s a manly town.  It’s so manly the world’s largest Furry convention is held there every year.

I tend to view my time in Pittsburgh the same way Roy Batty views his life in Blade Runner: “I’ve seen things you people couldn’t imagine…”

RAVENS

—–

COLTS at GIANTS

D.T.: The football week wraps up with Monday Night Football, staring Andrew Luck and Eli Manning. I have to say, I don’t think it looks good for New York, and Peyton won’t be the only Manning Brother in need of an attitude adjustment.

Don't you give me that look, Eli. I will take off my belt.

Don’t you give me that look, Eli. I will take off my belt.

 

The Giants are coming off a bye week, but they don’t have much of a run game to speak of after injury, and expectations from RB2 Andre Williams are mixed. Eli’s passing game will probably rely heavily on rookie Odell Beckham, Jr., who promised he’d step up to fill the shoes of Victor Cruz, actually did a fairly admirable job. He could find himself Manning’s favorite weapon, if he keeps up that pace. Still, the Colts defense outweighs the positives of New York’s offense, and there’s little reason to believe the Giants’ defense can hold back the Colts who are averaging 450 combined yards per game.

That’s not to say Eli won’t put up numbers (and as someone taking a chance on ODB as my receiver this week in fantasy, I wouldn’t mind a touchdown pass or two), but the Colts should have an easy to moderate outing to end the week.

COLTS

BMK: The Giants cannot keep up with Luck and the Colts. This guy is going to pass all over the Giants and stomp them worse than Oliver Pratt looks.

COLTS

—–

D.T.: And that does it! Half the season in the can, and we’re ready to take on the second half. Next week, I’ll be trekking out to Seattle, with field-level tickets to the Seahawks and Giants game, so I get to see Eli lose for the fourth time in a row, in person.

Okay, you're right, Eli. That was just mean.

Okay, you’re right, Eli. That was just mean.

Next week holds the best team in the league versus the absolute worst, round two for the Falcons and Buccaneers, and divisional rival games aplenty. I can’t wait!

Imagine how this would be turning out if I wasn't superstitious about picking the Cardinals.

Imagine how this would be turning out if I wasn’t superstitious about picking the Cardinals.

 

BMK: Enjoy Seattle you magnificent bastard.  Maybe when you get back this column we’re doing for CHUD will actually be on CHUD.

 

This post was written/compiled while listening to the Jesus Lizard.

 

Written by B. Michael Krol

November 1, 2014 at 11:23 pm

THUD Week 8

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Week 8

Week 8

D.T.: We’ve reached Week Eight of regulation. Are you feeling the fatigue yet, Krol? The Seahawks sure are. Completely (and rightfully) dissatisfied with being 3-3 for the season, and third in their division after a huge upset loss against the Rams, they’re growing restless. In perhaps the most dramatic story of last week, they’ve jettisoned problematic Wide Receiver Percy Harvin in an attempt to clear out any negative vibes and try to get the ‘Hawks back on track. Receiving the wayward runner is a desperate Rex Ryan, who’s looking for any way to claw the Jets out of their 1-6 hole, and save himself from receiving something else:

 

An unemployment check.

An unemployment check.

The week saw other significant happenings, including a massive regression for the Bengals, DeMarco Murray achieving his seventh consecutive game with more than 100 yards rushing, and one of the Manning brothers broke the all-time record for career touchdowns. I forget which one. It’ll come to me, I’m sure.

Anyway, we’re looking at another week of pretty terrible football (seriously, who planned out the schedule this year?). Let’s get try to make this a bright spot in a questionable point in the season.

 

BMK: Goddamn, am I feeling the fatigue.  And it’s not this week’s schedule, mate, it’s the teams playing it.

The problem here is there are no clearly elite teams. Every team has some kind of major weakness that can be exploited. And while that can be fun seeing if an average or below-average team can slay a giant (a la last week’s Rams-Seahawks game), it makes for some really mediocre football in most cases.  And to paraphrase Learned Hand, mediocre football teams make for mediocre football columns.

Seriously, which teams have a legitimate shot of making a 13-3 record? The Broncos?  Maybe.  But that’s about it.  We’re looking at a season like 2002.  That season was great for parity, but not good for anything else.

Finally, I’d like to paraphrase something Jerry Jones said: “Enough of this horseshit! Let’s do some blow and make some football picks!!!!”*

—–

CHARGERS at BRONCOS

The Bolo vs The Pizza Shill

The Bolo vs The Pizza Shill

D.T.: Holy shit, a Thursday Night Football game that won’t leave me preferring an hour of XBox and going to bed early? Sorry, dear readers (Hi dad), you’re getting the Broncos for game of the week, twice in a row. It’s not only the most interesting game this week, it’s also one of the most critical in shaping the rest of the season. Both the Broncos and Chargers are sitting on five wins, and if both teams continue on at this pace, it’s these divisional games that will decide their post-season fates.

Both Quarterbacks are pumping out touchdowns like they’re going out of style, both suffer from hindered running games, and both are sporting solid defenses. Denver and San Diego are going to be lobbing passes like they’re locked in a naval battle, and it’ll come down to who can disrupt the other team’s Quarterback. The Chargers have an excellent pass defense, holding opposing offenses to an average of about 210 passing yards per game (Manning is averaging 308 per game), but Peyton’s receiver corps is a bear to try and cover. On the flip side, Felipe Rios is tossing for about 280 yards per game, and the Denver secondary is really tearing it up. I think San Diego will find the end zone more than once, but Denver playing at home two weeks in a row, appearing to let nothing stand in their way this far, will take the win.

BRONCOS

BMK: I like the Broncos in this one too. And I’d also like to extend a greeting to DT’s Dad.  I’d also like to respectfully disagree about San Diego’s defense.  San Diego has good stats, but consider who they’ve played.

Right now San Diego has five wins.  Which is pretty good.  However, four of those victories came from beating the Raiders, Bills, Jaguars, and the Jets.  Not exactly powerhouse teams.  Yes, they beat Seattle.  But they’ve been dining out on that victory for weeks now.  At some point, the Chargers need to move on and beat a worthy opponent and stop living in the past like Uncle Rico, or your older brother who’s been bragging about banging a stripper for the last two decades.

So, end result, I like Denver, and I don’t think it’ll be as competitive as some people (cough, DT, cough) believe.

—–

LIONS at FALCONS

D.T.: The Falcons have the dubious honor of “hosting” the Lions in London this week, which means all the British folks who pretended to like the Raiders in September, because they didn’t know any better, will now have the ability to pretend to like an actual NFL team. Like many Raiders fans here in America!

The Black Hole of Despair

The Black Hole of Despair

 

 

The Lions are still without Megatron, but have regained Reggie Bush to maybe bolster their abysmal run game. So, it’s left to Quarterback Matthew Stafford to lead the offense, and hope the solid Detroit defense can hold up against Matt Ryan as he fights for his life behind a terrible offensive line. A win would really benefit Atlanta right now,  but even with Matt Ryan’s passing offense being in the league’s current top five, I don’t expect them to pull it out.

LIONS

BMK:  Ugh, the Falcons are terrible.  Suh is going to clog up the middle like my arteries after a visit to Philly.  This is going to be a bad, bad game. Or, as our cousins across the pond might say, a right cock-up.  It’ll totally be pants, mate.  Matty Ice will come to grief.

LIONS

—–

VIKINGS at BUCCANEERS

D.T.: You wake up early for the Lions and Falcons game, then wonder how much of the Bears/Patriots game you’ll really be missing if you decide to go back to bed. Sunday football peaks with Thursday night, and this match-up between the Vikes and Bucs (two teams with fantastic branding and stunning cheerleaders, wasted on awful products) marks the first in many terrible games coming our way. You know what, let’s get back to the cheerleaders. We haven’t done cheerleaders in a while, Krol. Let’s just do cheerleaders.

Vike Cheer tex cheer buc cheer 2 Buc Cheer

 

 

 

 

 

BUCCANEERS, I guess.

BMK: I predict the Buccaneers will suck less than the Vikings this week.

BUCCANEERS

—–

BILLS at JETS

D.T.: I’ve been inclined to take the Bills up to this point, but with nothing but third string running backs available after last week, and Kyle Orton directing the passing game to compensate, they’re in for a bumpy ride the next few weeks. This is a real chance for the Jets to actually win a game.

JETS

BMK: The Jets are a complete mess but the Bills are worse, especially without their first two running backs.  So, since someone has to win this game…

JETS

—–

BEARS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: A somewhat decent defense against an offense that’s really coming together. The Bears still have yet to win at home, and last week they were bested by Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins, which sent the locker room into a fit of rage. They’re looking to rebound against New England, who themselves were thrown off-kilter by the Jets in a strange divisional match last week. Like I said before, for whatever reason, the Bears tend to struggle whenever Jay Cutler throws an interception, and the Patriots passing defense is currently the tops in the league.

 

 

No one will get this joke. And I'm okay with that.

No one will get this joke. And I’m okay with that.

The Bears are angry, and it’s going to be easy for the Patriots to get inside their heads. Gronkowski is especially likely to draw some unsportmanlike penalties out of the Bears, to the Pats’ benefit. I expect some physicality in this game, and I expect Cutler to try and get creative to evade any turnovers, but I think the Pats will win out in the end.

PATRIOTS

BMK: DT’s right, these bears are angry, and they’re on the road this week.  Which is where the Chicago bears play their best ball.  I’m going with Chicago in an upset this week.  And you should too.  In fact, you can take this prediction to the bank.

—–

SEAHAWKS at PANTHERS

D.T.: Hoo-boy, do the Seahawks need to turn things around quickly. Football is an emotional game, but if a few injuries and one bad egg are enough to turn your team inside out, there’s some serious work to be done. They’ve dropped from the best defense in the 2013-14 season down to the bottom five. It could be because of the aforementioned problems, or because Seattle’s defense has become an open book: Richard Sherman doesn’t move from his side of the field; it’s dangerous to throw in his direction, so quarterbacks simply don’t. The problem is, offenses are still marching through the other two thirds of the field Sherman doesn’t occupy.

 

 

You just stay over there, and watch us score touchdowns, kay?

You just stay over there, and watch us score touchdowns, kay?

Seattle can still score points though, and that keeps them dangerous. Russell Wilson’s receiver corps will hopefully no longer have a little devil on their shoulders, and Beast Mode is Beast Mode. The Panthers defense will find it difficult to contain, as they vie for points of their own. Cam Newton won’t necessarily find himself under such odds as he did against Green Bay, and if his offensive line can hold, and they line up Kelvin Benjamin on the opposite side of the field from Richard Sherman, the two of them could crank out touchdowns like the Rams did. I think I’m going to go against the grain and actually pick the Panthers for that reason.

PANTHERS

BMK:  I have no idea where you get your stats DT, but the Seahawks are in the top ten defensively.  Sure, they’re having their issues, but their defense is still very good.

The Rams shocked everyone last week by beating Seattle, but they needed a trick play and a very gutsy call on a 4th and 3 to do it. I don’t see the Panthers doing that this week, but I also don’t think Seattle should be in a blind panic either.

Unless they lose this week. In which case they’re done, dude.

—–

DOLPHINS at JAGUARS

D.T.: If the NFL is smart, they’ll change the locks on the doors before the Jags cross back over the Atlantic.

DOLPHINS

BMK: Although Ultron first appears in Avengers #54 (1968), the character is disguised for the majority of the issue as the Crimson Cowl, with his face only revealed on the last page of the issue and no name given to the character. The character leads the Masters of Evil against the Avengers, having hypnotized Edwin Jarvis into working for him. In the following issue, #55 (Aug. 1968), the character is identified as Ultron-5, the living automaton, although his origin is still unknown.[3] In Avengers 57 – 58 (Oct-Nov. 1968) in a flashback sequence it is revealed that Ultron is the creator of the “synthezoid” Vision whom it tries to use as a weapon to destroy the Avengers. The Vision—similar to Wonder Man, whose brain patterns he was given—however, destroys Ultron with the aid of the Avengers.

Further flashbacks reveal that Ultron is the creation of Hank Pym, and based on Pym’s brain patterns. The robot gradually developed its own intelligence and rebelled, and almost immediately develops an Oedipus Complex, whereby it feels irrational hatred for his “father” Hank, and demonstrates an interest in Hank’s lover Janet van Dyne, the Wasp. Rebuilding itself, learning how to turn itself on, and upgrading five times, Ultron then hypnotizes Pym and brainwashes him into forgetting that the robot had ever existed.

DOLPHINS

—–

RAVENS at BENGALS

D.T.: The Bengals are in a real nosedive, and the Ravens will be looking to capitalize. Flacco is on fire, and the Bengals defense has plummeted to the bottom of the ladder. I don’t think Dalton has it in him right now to control the game and squeak out a win.

 

 

Yeah, Joe. Probably many times, at that.

Yeah, Joe. Probably many times, at that.

RAVENS
BMK: The Ginger of Doom is gonna go nuts on the Ravens.  I predict a major victory for the Bengals….

Oh crap, they’re still without AJ Green?  Well…

RAVENS
—–

TEXANS at TITANS

D.T.: The Texans’ defense has been deceptively terrible this season. J.J. Watt may be creating a highlight reet for his Hall of Fame induction, but he really is the only ingredient in the mixture with real potency. Everyone’s completely forgotten about Jadaveon Clowney — be honest — you did too, until you just read that — and believe it or not, they’re actually a really low-ranking defense, week to week. They’re also struggling to score points on the other side of the ball, where teamstraditionally score points. The Titans, however, are on just about the same boat. They’re failing to produce in a meaningful way on either side of the ball, and they’re also lacking in the sheer luck the Texans have enjoyed in several of their match-ups this season. In this case, I think luck actually will play a role here…

 

 

Hold on there, pal. Your game's a little further down.

Hold on there, pal. Your game’s a little further down.

…and based on that gut feeling, I’m giving it to the Texans.

TEXANS
BMK: Whisenhunt just benched Locker. I guess he has a thing against inaccurate quarterbacks whose last names start with the letter L.

Relatedly, when asked who the Titans should draft to fix their problems, Matt Leinart replied: Another coach.  Good stuff.

TEXANS
—–

RAMS at CHIEFS

D.T.: Both of these teams had staggering upsets against presumed-superior divisional rivals. And in divisional games, wacky things happen. Just ask the Pats about the Jets, or the Steelers about the Browns. The Chiefs gave the Chargers their second real challenge of the season, and… well, everyone is pretty shocked over the Rams beating Seattle, still. Anyway, the two Missourah teams (why the hell does Missouri have two NFL teams?) are competing for supremacy in a state most Americans probably couldn’t point out on a map. The Rams bring with them a proven back-up Quarterback and two potential stud Running Backs. The Chiefs bring Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles, who continues to climb back into our hearts. But again, I’m going with the gut feeling here, and choosing the stout Rams to take it.

RAMS
BMK:  The BATTLE OF THE FLY OVER STATES!  WHO WILL WIN??!? WHO WILL LOSE! WHICH TEAMS FANS WILL DROWN THEMSELVES IN BOOZE!

CHIEFS

PS: The Chiefs play on the Kansas side of Kansas City, borham. YOU’RE WELCOME!
—–

EAGLES at CARDINALS

D.T.: Two 5-1 Bird Teams meeting for the first time this year. Let’s cut straight to the most obvious question: will the Cardinals’ injured but hearty defense be able to hold up against the Eagles’ hurry-up offense? Former Wildcat Nick Foles returns to Arizona to try and claim a 6-1 record, but has to go through a Cardinals passing and running defense that has left the league scratching their heads. And the Eagles’ more than iffy defense has to contend with an offense that was the last to give up an interception, and has shown a good amount of effectiveness both on the ground and in the air. I’m going to give it to the Cardinals, but not as a homer pick. I really think the Arizona offense can hold the field and eat the clock enough to keep the Eagles from getting too many chances. And when they do take the field, I think Foles and Company will be put to the test for the first time in a while.

 

 

And these two better step it up, dammit.

And these two better step it up, dammit.

CARDINALS

BMK: This game is certainly for the birds!

Anyway, Chip Kelley has had two weeks to prepare for the Cardinals, and the Cardinals defense is pretty banged up. At some point, that will be an issue. And I’m thinking it’s this week.

EAGLES

—–

COLTS at STEELERS

D.T.: Okay, Neckbeard. You’re up.

Across the board, the Colts are favored to win. And rightfully so, after shredding the Bengals last week and offering them their first shut-out. The Colts are undeniably at the top of the food chain. They’re operating at a high capacity, while the Steelers remain decent, but inconsistent. The Colts have finally loosened Pep Hamilton’s leash on Luck and — just like I said — the results have been pretty incredible. I see the Colts marching through Pittsburgh with time to shop for souvenirs before getting back on the plane.

 

 

Souvenirs like this, I guess? Whatever the fuck this is.

Souvenirs like this, I guess? Whatever the fuck this is.

COLTS

BMK: The Colts have been very impressive lately and the Steelers not so.  When I lived in Pittsburgh five years ago, their defense was getting old.  Now it’s five years later and they’re playing the same guys.  There’s no way the Steelers D is going to keep pace with a player like Hilton or a QB like luck. The Colts are going to roll through this one and leave all the Yinzers crying in their Yuengling.

Be tee dub, to anyone reading this in Pittsburgh: Primati’s sucks.

This isn't made in Pittsburgh anymore, just like a stout defense. Hiyo.

This isn’t made in Pittsburgh anymore, just like a stout defense. Hiyo.

—–

RAIDERS at BROWNS

D.T.:

Red

 

 

 

BROWNS

BMK: I know it’s really popular to dismiss the Raiders (unless you live in the East Bay, like me), but I think they might put up a bit of a fight this week. Carr has shown some signs of competent QB play, so they got that going for them. They’re still years away from anything, but Carr might be the QB to lead them to average status.

I’d be tempted to pick them in an upset here,  but I’ve already done that this week. So I’m going with the same pick.

BROWNS

—–

PACKERS at SAINTS

D.T.: Uh… Packers, I guess. I don’t see the Saints rebounding against the team that just punished the leaders of their division (The Panthers, for those of you not paying attention. Yes, the Panthers are still the best team in the NFC South, despite their mixed efforts), and I don’t see the Packers’ once-believed-to-be-screwed-due-to-injury secondary giving it up to New Orleans, even if it’s Drew Brees lobbing passes. Aaron Rodgers will control this game, like he has been the others.

PACKERS

BMK: The Saints came marching in to Sucktown.  They liked it so much, they stayed.

PACKERS

This was the more appetizing images Google returned when I searched for sucktown...

This was the more appetizing images Google returned when I searched for sucktown…

—–

REDSKINS at COWBOYS

D.T.: We made it, Krol! The last match-up in this godforsaken wasteland of a week. And it’s between the Redskins and Cowboys. The ‘Skins are a fucking mess, having willfully dropped down to their third string Quarterback, Colt McCoy, who proceeded to immediately throw a for almost 130 yards touchdown pass, and help the team edge out a narrow win against the Titans. Quarterback controversies are endlessly frustrating for everyone involved, and I expect the insecure Redskins to falter in their trip to see Romo, who’s really found his footing for the first time in a while. Sorry Skins’ fans — maybe you can wash that bad taste out of your mouth with some expired beer.

COWBOYS

Oh shit, it was Cooper Manning, right? The Manning that landed the touchdown record?

 

"Eat a shit sandwich, D.T. -- like this. This is you eating a shit sandwich."

“Eat a shit sandwich, D.T. — like this. This is you eating a shit sandwich.”

 

 

BMK: Ugh, you’re right man. This week was a complete wasteland. But if you believe in the Power of Romo, you too will see the face of God.

 

Romo equals love...

Romo equals love…

COWBOYS

 

Speaking of shit sandwiches...

Speaking of shit sandwiches…

*Jerry Jones didn’t actually say this…or did he?*

 

*He didn’t.

NOTE: There is no recap graphic because DT’s a big poop head and forgot to send it to me.  Plus he’s winning, so F him.

This post was compiled and written while watching the Avengers and my prime disappear in the rear view mirror of my life.

Written by B. Michael Krol

October 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm

THUD Picks Week Seven

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Week 5

Week 7

 

D.T.: Professional football players are dropping like flies, out there! Week six saw the end of the season for such dynamic players as Victor Cruz (NYG), Knowshon Moreno (MIA), Dee Milliner (NYJ), Alex Mack (CLE)…

 

Wrong Alex Mack. Though, she'd certainly make watching the Browns less of a chore.

Wrong Alex Mack. Though, she’d certainly make watching the Browns less of a chore.

 

…and if Vontaze Burfict had his way, we’d be adding both Greg Olsen and Cam Newton to that list. This week brings far more interesting match-ups than last week, but hopefully fewer injuries to key players. We’re a long way from last season’s threat of a disaster draft from all those ACL/MCL injuries, but it’s still heartbreaking to see these guys go down in unceremonious fashion, and watch teams struggle to pick up the pieces and move forward in the aftermath. But, such is football. Such is life. On to the picks!

 

BMK: It’s week seven and everyone’s buying into the Cowboys. No less than two different commentators have stated that it’s good for football when the Cowboys are playing well.  Really? How is it better?  Does the NFL get bigger when the Cowboys are playing better?  Are there marginal fans outside of Dallas that suddenly start paying attention when the Cowboys are doing better than .500?  Color me skeptical.  In this country, the NFL is king, and if you’re not watching football now, odds are you’re not going to. Regardless how well Romo and the boys are playing.

Anyway, on to this week’s silliness…

—–

JETS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: Don’t be too quick to discount the Jets here. They’re known for inexplicably giving the Patriots a difficult time, and with the Patriots coming into Thursday Night Football without Running Back Stevan Ridley – and with the Jets still sporting the top run defense in the league, despite San Diego’s open defiance in week 5 and the Broncos victory in week 6 – this could be a fun start to the week. Tom Brady and Friends will take to the air, as he and Gronkowksi are explosive right now, and Julian Edelman has found his way back to Tom’s favor, and they’re likely to take the win here. Still, it’d be a fascinating anomaly if the Jets were to come out on top.

PATRIOTS

BMK: The Rex Ryan farewell tour continues.  This week’s stop: Foxboro.  Where Tom Brady will drop Rex Ryan faster than panties at Dr. Who convention featuring David Tennant.

See, I can make football relevant to a geek website.

PATRIOTS

—–

FALCONS at RAVENS

D.T.: The Ravens absolutely pulverized the Buccaneers last week. The fact itself doesn’t surprise, but the manner in which it occurred was quite interesting. In a career high performance, Joe Flacco threw five touchdown passes… all within the first quarter.  That’s the fastest any quarterback has ever thrown five touchdown passes in a game, in NFL history.

 

Yeah Joe, we can read.

Yeah Joe, we can read.

Matt Ryan and Co. are likely to offer a bit more of a challenge, but the Ravens are a solid home team and have a history of beating the Falcons with relative ease. After Atlanta’s poor performance against Chicago in week 6, I’d put money on that history repeating itself. But hey, at least they can all go out for a beer afterwards and laugh about what a shit team Tampa Bay is.

RAVENS

BMK: It’s the battle of the slightly above average quarterbacks! Seriously, how did the NFC South become such a terrible division?  It can’t just be injuries.

Maybe if the Falcons decide to play defense this will be a game. Otherwise…

RAVENS

—–

TITANS at REDSKINS

D.T.: The ‘Skins held their own against Arizona last week, while the Titans embarrassed themselves by barely hanging on against the Jaguars. Nearly allowing Jacksonville their first win of the season is reason enough to discount the Titans from this game. Enjoy your win, Mr. Cousins.

 

"If we lose to the Titans, you're both watching Week 8 from Rob's rehab clinic."

“If we lose to the Titans, you’re both watching Week 8 from Rob’s rehab clinic.”

REDSKINS

BMK: I know Native Americans have beef against the name Redskins.  I wonder if that’s just less about the name and more about the team sucking and Snyder being a Mega Douche. The world may never know.

TITANS

—–

SEAHAWKS at RAMS

D.T.: The Rams get to enjoy their second consecutive home loss this week. On the plus side, they get to sleep in their own beds afterwards. On the downside, they’ll have lost, and they’re in Missouri. Normally, I’d pull for the Rams with their stout defense and scrappy attitude, but after dominating the first half of last week’s game against the 49ers, then forgetting to show up for the second and allowing a seemingly deflated team walk all over them, I don’t have any faith in their ability to keep up with Seattle. The Seahawks will be looking to rebound after their loss to Dallas (and only their second loss at home in three years), and there’s no better place for that than in the house of a weaker divisional rival.

SEAHAWKS

BMK: I think the Rams are going to be more in this than people give them credit for.  And by that I mean they’ll score a touchdown.  Maybe even two.

SEAHAWKS

—–

BROWNS at JAGUARS

D.T.: Fuck it. Let Manziel play, just this once.

 

But if he does this stupid shit again, turn Vontaze Burfict loose on him.

But if he does this stupid shit again, turn Vontaze Burfict loose on him.

 

BROWNS

BMK: Mathcore is a rhythmically complex and dissonant style of metalcore. It has its roots in bands such as Converge, Coalesce, Botch, and The  Dillinger Escape Plan. The term mathcore is suggested by analogy with math rock. Both math rock and mathcore make use of unusual time signatures. Math rock groups such as Slint, Don Caballero, Shellac, and Drive Like Jehu have some influence on mathcore, though mathcore is more closely related to metalcore. Prominent mathcore groups have been associated with grindcore.

An early antecedent to mathcore was practiced by Black Flag, in 1984, with the album My War: “Its seven-minute metal dirges and fusion-style time signatures proved too much for many fans”. Many groups from the mathcore scene paid tribute to Black Flag for the album Black on Black.

In the 1990s, groups now often described as mathcore were grouped together as “noisecore”. Kevin Stewart-Panko of Terrorizer referred to groups such as Neurosis, Deadguy, Cave InToday Is the Day, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Coalesce, CandiriaBotch, and Psyopus as described by this label.[12] Stewart-Panko described the sound of these bands as a “dynamic, violent, discordant, technical, brutal, off-kilter, no rules mixture of hardcore, metal, prog, math rock, grind and jazz.

BROWNS

—–

BENGALS at COLTS

D.T.: Holy Quarterback shootout, Batman. The Bengals rip the Colts apart nearly every time they cross paths, but the Indianapolis offense is really clicking. While Andrew Luck is currently the top passer in the league, Andy Dalton is without both Marvin Jones and probably AJ Green, leaving Mohamed Sanu most likely to pick-up the slack. The Colts’ average passing defense has a real opportunity to hold back the Cincinnati throwing game, and they key to victory from that point will be containing Gio Bernard. On the flipside, the Bengals have a decent pass defense, and will likely double-cover T.Y. Hilton most of the day. The Colts are going to have to get aggressive. Luck will have to maintain razor sharp focus, and Ahmad Bradshaw will have to put forth a stellar performance. I’m placing my pick on the home team.

COLTS

BMK: I like Colts in this one.  After starting 0-2, the Colts have galloped back to life (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) by winning four straight.  The Bengals aren’t a bad team, but Luck is at home, and, more importantly, he has the Power of the Neckbeard. You put him in a Fedora and an anime t-shirt, and he’d be unstoppable with the ladies.

COLTS

—–

VIKINGS at BILLS

D.T.: Teddy Bridgewater heads to Buffalo in his second road game as the starting quarterback for the Vikings. The kid’s had it rough so far: absorbing injury, interceptions and a ridiculous amount of pressure as the newly-crowned figurehead in a flailing franchise. It’s not going to get any easier for him this week though. Kyle Orton might not be much of a quarterback, and he’s a bit of a weird dude…

Grohl

…but the team surrounding him is superior. I predict Fred Jackson will have a nice outing, and the Bills will win by a touchdown or two.

BILLS

BMK: It’s a battle of the below average QBs.  Who will win?!? Who will lose?!?? Will anyone care that doesn’t sound like they walked off the Fargo movie set?  Will I ever write something funny?!?

WATCH THIS SPACE TO FIND OUT!

VIKINGS

—–

DOLPHINS at BEARS

D.T.: Jay Cutler may actually be the deciding factor in this game. The Bears haven’t won at home yet, and both of those home losses are inextricably linked to Cutler throwing interceptions. In fact, the team is 0-3 this season for each game in which Cutler has thrown a pick. Is it a coincidence, or is the team exposed and deflated when their passer throws to the wrong team? That’s a hell of a lot of pressure, even for Cutler who seems pretty oblivious, most of the time.

 

Now, where'd I put that helmet...?

Now, where’d I put that helmet…?

Miami’s better defense could take control of this game, and take the focus off their damaged offense. If that happens (after watching them hold back the Packers’ offense, it’s very possible), the Bears could continue without a win at home. Then again, if Cutler can play lights out with no interceptions, the team could rally. I think I’ll take the latter option, because why not.

BEARS

BMK: Cutler hasn’t been playing great at home – the wind must get caught up in his neckbeard – but Brandon Marshall has something to prove.

BEARS

—–

SAINTS at LIONS

D.T.: Who the fuck knows how this game will go? All season, both of these teams have gone from being on fire to embarrassing themselves at the drop of a hat. However, the Saints are without a reliable running game (though the same can be said of Detroit), and their passing game has taken a serious hit with the temporary loss of Jimmy Graham. Brandin Cooks and Marques Colston are still a pair of serious threats, but this leaves the Lions’ defense plenty of space to shut them down and limit Brees’s ability to spread the targets around. The Lions are currently making small sacrificial offerings and holding prayer circles for the return of Calvin Johnson who’s inclusion is highly unlikely, but would thin the Saints’ defense massively. If Johnson comes back as a semi-healthy, active participant instead of a decoy, we could see a make-good on the promise the Lions offense made to fans in week one. Then again, he’ll probably sit until after the Lions’ week 9 bye. I guess I’ll still go with the Lions.

 

Pictured: Johnson's reaction when asked if he knows what he's doing to my fantasy team.

Pictured: Johnson’s reaction when asked if he knows what he’s doing to my fantasy team.

LIONS

BMK: Remember when a lot of experts picked the Saints to eventually get to the Superbowl this year?  Those were good times. Anyway, Breesus is just not playing like himself this year and Rob Ryan’s defense can’t stop anyone from doing anything.

LIONS

—–

PANTHERS at PACKERS

D.T.: With their secondary questionable (well… more questionable than usual) after the double gut-punch of losing both starting cornerbacks, Sam Shields and Tramon Williams, Green Bay now has some holes that Carolina can exploit with their passing game, if the two end up having to sit out. Cam will become a serious threat and a source of frustration, as he’ll be able to run and have an easier time targeting Greg Olsen and my current man-crush, Kelvin Benjamin — assuming the kid clears his concussion protocol (fuck you, Vontaze).

 

Sigh.

Sigh.

Let’s be realistic, though: no one sees Carolina’s defense shutting down Aaron Rodgers and his receiver corp. The game could turn into a score fest, but I think the Packers will defend the home turf, and come out with the win.

PACKERS

BMK: Panthers at Packers gets my alliterative game of the week (followed only by Chiefs at Chargers).  I’m going with the Packers here because Aaron Rodgers is an amazing QB and the Panthers stink.

PACKERS

—–

CHIEFS at CHARGERS

D.T.: Chargers. NEXT!

 

Alex Smith, come the fuck on. You can't even coordinate your Halloween costume properly.

Alex Smith, come the fuck on. You can’t even coordinate your Halloween costume properly.

CHARGERS

BMK:  Rivers is playing amazing this year and the Chiefs can’t catch any breaks. Of course, they had a chance to steal one in SF a few weeks back, till they screwed up by putting 12 men on the field. Idiots.

CHARGERS

—–

CARDINALS at RAIDERS

D.T.: That’s weird. I thought the Cardinals already had a bye week.

CARDINALS

Proof that no matter how bad things are in life, you can always improve.

Proof that no matter how bad things are in life, you can always improve.

 

BMK: I want to pick the Cardinals.  But I’m not going to.  This is a classic trap game, and Raiders can’t go winless.  Can they?

GIANTS at COWBOYS
D.T.: The loss of Victor Cruz is pretty devastating to the Giants, and they come into Dallas this week against a Cowboys squad with an agenda. They’re a little pissed about Houston’s fans out-cheering theirs, and ousted as America’s favorite team this week. They’ve lost the public’s favor, despite being 5-1 for the season. They did, however, just beat last season’s Super Bowl champs, and they’re the second team to beat Seattle at home during Russell Wilson’s tenure. Things can’t seem to stay good for Eli for very long, and I don’t think his luck will turn around during this trip to the Lone Star state.
COWBOYS

BMK: Everyone’s buying what the Cowboys are selling, but I’m not.  That said, the Giants are a mess and Victor Cruz is gone. Quick – name me another receiver on their roster!  No Googling!

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

COWBOYS

—–

 

GAME OF THE WEEK

GAME OF THE WEEK

 

D.T.: “It’s so easy,” Julius Thomas exclaimed after scoring his second touchdown against the Jets last week. Indeed, the Broncos are making it look easy again this season. It hasn’t hurt that, up until last week, their entire 53 man roster was healthy and practicing — though minor injuries have since popped up, including starting Running Back Montee Ball being sidelined with a groin injury.

 

Thankfully, it wasn't his Montee Balls.

Thankfully, it wasn’t his Montee Balls.

It’s also nice when your entire team has rallied around a singular goal, and everyone shares the same motivation to achieve it: Peyton wants another ring before he’s done, and the rest of the team want another shot at a Super Bowl victory, after being humiliated last year. The San Francisco 49ers, despite being on a three-win streak, still harbor general feeling of uneasiness. Last week, they put on a terrible display in the first half of their contest in Saint Louis, and I don’t think their eventual win was as much a second half rally, as it was the Rams simply losing focus and running out of steam. Still, the Niners are the only team to beat Dallas, and they’re certainly going to stand more of a challenge for Denver than the Jets did.

The 49ers’ defense will be the key here. Kaepernick is always a double threat, but the Denver squad is too smart and educated to not be ready for him. The back of their secondary is flat out dangerous, and they’ll be gunning for him. If they want to be competitive against Denver, SF’s defense will have to attempt to contain Peyton Manning, just as they did Austin Davis, Alex Smith and Nick Foles. Keep the game low-scoring, and hope for the best. But… that’s a tall order. Manning and his receiver corp are a touchdown machine, and the loss of Monte Ball to injury hinders a running game that’s nice to have, but ultimately not a deciding factor for the team.

I see Denver taking the win at home in a game that might be the most meaningful of the week, and will certainly be one of the most entertaining. You’re up, Krol!

DENVER

BMK: Yeah, so the 49ers are on a bit of a winning streak, now but that comes to an end this week in Denver.  The 49ers simply do not have the talent in their secondary to compete with Denver’s receiving corps, and Patrick Willis will most likely not be playing this week, so there won’t be as much pressure on Manning as the 49ers would normally provide.

The problem is Denver’s pass rush. Kaepernick plays behind an elite offensive line, and as douchey as Joe Staley comes off, there’s no denying his ability. If Denver can get pressure on Kaepernick, he’ll make bad throws and that plays right into Denver’s hands.  If Von Miller gets the better of Staley this Sunday, it’ll be a long day for Mr. Beats. Which translates into a good day for me.

DENVER

—–

TEXANS at STEELERS

D.T.: These Monday Night Football games are brutal, aren’t they? Okay, let’s see… Cheeseburger is a superior quarterback with superior receivers and though Running Back Le’Veon Bell has been excellent this season, the Texans have an answer for him in Arian Foster, who has suddenly decided to become relevant again.

The Texans’ real hope is, and always was, J.J. Watt. Watching that mountain of a man chase down the also-large Big Ben is going to be like watching a kaiju movie, except with a soundtrack of “Turn Down for What”, “Thunderstruck” and asinine commentary instead of goofy English dubbing.

Steelers

 

I think the Steelers will take it.

STEELERS

BMK: Steelers are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Browns, and I imagine they’ll take it out on Houston this week.

STEELERS

recap

This was compiled and written while listening to Ire Works by The Dillinger Escape Plan.  Also, the ringing of the phone I used to phone it in this week.

Written by B. Michael Krol

October 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm

THUD Football Picks Week 6

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Week 5

Week 6

 

D.T.: It was a righting of the ship for a lot of teams in Week 5. The league’s top three quarterbacks were in need of making a statement, and they each did in hard-hitting fashion. Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers trounced their rival Vikings in a shockingly one-sided victory (due in part to Christian Ponder’s magnificent return as starting Minnesota Quarterback), the Broncos nearly murdered half of Arizona’s defense in a game that marked Peyton Manning’s 500th career touchdown pass, and Tom Brady’s friends all got together and threw him a party to make him feel better about himself.

The after-party got a little weird.

The after-party got a little weird.

 

 

 

The good times should continue to roll for all three victorious teams, and teams that were left smarting in week five should find themselves a pick-me-up in their week six match-ups.

 

BMK: To be frank, this week’s slate of matchups suck. Even the degenerate gamblers are taking this week off. I mean really, does anyone care about the Jags/Titans matchup? Oh, that Broncos/Jets game ought to be a real barn burner.  The Chargers/Raiders game is on? Sweet. Do you have any yard work that needs to be done?

This Sunday, go outside. Visit a friend. Start that self-portrait you’ve always wanted to paint. There is nothing compelling happening this weekend at all. Seriously kids, take this week off. I know I did.

—–

COLTS at TEXANS

D.T.: The Texans are doing so well that even Tony Romo’s feelings were hurt last week, and you’d think that guy would have developed thicker skin by now. I predicted last week that the Texans would win, and I wasn’t far off. This week, however, they’re going up against a superior Indianapolis team that might even have a better secondary.

 

 

Don't get all defensive, J.J. Heh - defensive. Get it?

Don’t get all defensive, J.J. Heh – defensive. Get it?

Luck needs to keep the turnovers in check, and outrun Watt. If he can do that, it shouldn’t be a terribly difficult trip into Houston.

COLTS

 

BMK: The Colts QB will be Lucky to get past the Texans high Wattage defense. Still, this should be a victory. But if the Colts lose, the head coach might be Pagano!

Seriously Fleed, how do you do this each post?

COLTS

—–

STEELERS  at BROWNS

D.T.: Again? Doesn’t it feel like these two teams have already played each other five times? Frankly, I’m looking forward to week twelve, when I don’t have to work to come up with something interesting to say about Pittsburgh. They’re the better team here — Le’Veon Bell is nigh unstoppable, and Cheeseburger’s chemistry with Antonio Brown has been off the charts.

 

 

Google told me that was the correct spelling for Roethlisberger. Who am I to argue?

Google told me that was the correct spelling for Roethlisberger. Who am I to argue?

I expect the momentum Pittsburgh has going now will make this rematch quite a bit different (and with a larger difference in points) this time around.

STEELERS

 

BMK: There are two things in this life you should never do. The first is go ass-to-mouth, and the second is pick the Browns to beat the Steelers.

STEELERS

—–

PATRIOTS at BILLS

D.T.: The Bills deserved their win in week five more than the Lions deserved their loss. Even with their quarterback woes, the Bills still continue to march and prove themselves distanced and improved from their last few seasons. They play like a team that’s been given a second chance, and none more so than Fred Jackson, who just will not slow down. That said, the Patriots have renewed their determination, and if they can keep a hold of what brought them a huge win over the previously-undefeated Bengals, it might be a painful game to watch for anyone not wearing clothing featuring the Flying Elvis Head.

 

One might even say Tom Brady will get a high five two weeks in a row. But one might be getting ahead of himself.

One might even say Tom Brady will get a high five two weeks in a row. But one might be getting ahead of himself.

 

PATRIOTS

 

BMK: I’m not fully sold on the Patriots, but I like them enough to beat the Bills.

Oh, and anyone who thinks Tom Brady is going to play for any other team than the Patriots is crazy. Brady aint going anywhere.  You can take that shit to the BANK! I know I did, and it went something like this…

Me: Brady’s not going anywhere, lady.

Teller: That might be true, but you’re still over drawn by 1.92

Me: Oh. Gimme all your money!

Teller: Sir, that’s a banana.

 

PATRIOTS
—–

PANTHERS at BENGALS

D.T.: The Panthers bounced back with a victory over the Bears last week, and Cincinnati’s loss to New England was a bad one – but not one that will necessarily throw off their rhythm. They’re very difficult to beat at home, and both their passing and rushing games are superior, which may leave Carolina’s struggling defense at a loss. Cam seems to be coming back into form though, and if they can keep the turnovers in check (and throw for the open receiver and not the playbook), this could turn out to be a fun Cat Game. I see the Bengals defending their home turf, though even without A.J. Green and Marvin Jones. Mohamed Sanu has proved he’s capable of filling in.

BENGALS

 

BMK: The Bengals are missing their playmaking receiver AJ Green, but they should still beat the Panthers at home handily. Especially since the Panthers brass are being careful with Newton. And why wouldn’t they be?  He’s a precious little jewel.

BENGALS

—–

JAGUARS at TITANS

D.T.:

 

Stop me if these jokes get old. Which will be never.

Stop me if these jokes get old. Which will be never.

TITANS

BMK: The Mops-Orden, or Order of the Pug was a para-Masonic society founded by Roman Catholics. It is believed that it was founded in 1740 by Klemens August of Bavaria to bypass the papal bull Eminenti Apostolatus Specula of 1738. The constitution of the Order of the Pug allowed women to become members, as long as they were Catholic. The pug was chosen as a symbol of loyalty, trustworthiness and steadiness.

Members called themselves Mops (the German for Pug), novices were initiated wearing a dog collar and had to scratch at the door to get in. The novices were blindfolded and led around a carpet with symbols on it nine times while the Pugs of the Order barked loudly to test the steadiness of the newcomers. During the initiation, the novices also had to kiss a Pug’s (porcelain) backside under its tail as an expression of total devotion. Members of the Order carried a Pug medallion made of silver. In 1745, the secrets of the order were “exposed” in a book published in Amsterdam with the title L’ordre des Franc-Maçons trahi et le Secret des Mopses révélé which included the ritual and two engravings illustrating their rite.

TITANS

—–

PACKERS at DOLPHINS

D.T.: The Packers set the world on fire last week, and the Dolphins enjoyed a leisurely week after their quiet, uneventful trip to London. In a season where bye weeks are quickly amounting to shit versus advantage due to rest, I expect the Dolphins, with their hindered running game and serviceable passing game to be stomped over by a Green Bay team with a renewed sense of purpose.

 

 

"Holy shit, did you guys know I could do this? I totally forgot!"

“Holy shit, did you guys know I could do this? I totally forgot!”

Aaron Rodgers is bouncing back into the NFC North-dominating force we all expected him to be at the start of the season, and the rest of the team is following suit. I feel bad for the Dolphins, who are likely to come into this game soft after an easy win against Oakland, and a week of drinking shitty beer and eating food that can only be described as “grey”.

PACKERS

BMK: The Packers are going to pack the fish into…

Oh Jesus, I just can’t. Even I have limits.

PACKERS

—–

LIONS at VIKINGS

D.T.: Yet another NFC North match-up. Last week, the Lions were narrowly defeated by the Bills in what many would consider an upset, if you fail to consider that the Lions’ run game is shot, and the team still insists on rolling an injured Calvin Johnson onto the field as a “decoy”. Seriously, the guy only caught one pass last week and he was re-injured doing it. He’s likely be be riding pine against the Vikings this week. Not only that, but Running Back Jike Bell… er, Joy-kay… er…

 

 

Bjor-que Bell?

Bjor-que Bell?

 

Whatever his name is will likely be out, due to a concussion. This is the Vikings chance to bounce back after their embarrassment against the Packers last week. And given that Teddy Bridgewater is very likely to return, and the team seems to rally around him, I’m willing to bet that’s what they do.

VIKINGS

BMK: The Vikings QB situation looks to become a bridge over troubled waters since Bridgewater is playing this week. Still, I like the Lions in this one.

Well what do you know?  I guess I don’t have any limits after all…

LIONS

—–

BRONCOS at JETS

D.T.: As I mentioned, the Broncos could have ended the careers of more than one Cardinals defender last week, and against a Jets secondary that let the Chargers run game (of all terrible, awful run games) walk all over them last week, I expect some flat out deaths to occur on in New Jersey. The only thing saving Rex Ryan from being chased out of the stadium with pitch forks and torches is the fact that no one expects the Jets to win, anyway.

BMK:

Pictured: Jets secondary after the Broncos game.

Pictured: Jets secondary after the Broncos game.

 

BRONCOS

—–

RAVENS at BUCCANEERS

D.T.: This isn’t a good week for football. Torrey Smith is projected to be a fantasy stud against the Buccaneers. Torrey Smith.

 

Not to be confused with Wayne Brady or the Black Power Ranger.

Not to be confused with Wayne Brady or the Black Power Ranger.

RAVENS

BMK: Another yucko match up this week. Maybe the yard needs mowing…

RAVENS

—–

CHARGERS at RAIDERS

D.T.: Holy shit. Last week, I gave the Raiders the benefit of the doubt in unusual circumstances against the Dolphins, and they managed to turn themselves into an international embarrassment, instead of merely the US National Treasure they are. While San Fransisco fans are fighting each other in Levi Stadium bathrooms when their team wins, I can’t imagine Raiders fans can so much as find the enthusiasm to put on their mascara. Felipe Rios will wash over Oakland, effortlessly.

CHARGERS

BMK: There are a few things in this life I’m certain of. One, creamed corn is disgusting. Two, House of Prime Rib in San Francisco will NOT honor your reservations if you’re not wearing pants (no matter how cute your bikini briefs are), and three, that there is no way that the Raiders will beat the Chargers.

PS: If you know you’re coming to San Francisco, get reservations and eat at the House of Prime Rib.  It’s awesome. AND TELL ‘EM BRYAN KROL SENT YA!

How can you resist this?

How can you resist this?

CHARGERS

—–

BEARS at FALCONS

Game of the week...I guess...

Game of the week…I guess…

D.T.: I think this game has real potential, because it has the chance to be the most explosive of the week. Both of these teams have been on a crazy roller coaster ride, and both are due for a ramp-up. If both of these teams end up on the upswing after their recent two-loss streaks, we could be in for a really fun game.

The Bears were starting to look like a revelation in the NFC North: a team with a decent offense and a defense capable of embarrassing the Niners? Unheard of, in their division. Alas, it was too good to be true, and no one really knows where their defense found the fire fire that night, or where it’s gone since. Cutler is quietly having an excellent season, even with the lack of connections with star Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall, and has boosted Martellus Wallace into top TE status. Matt Ryan, on their good nights, is finding Julio Jones with fantastic results, and Devin Hester has made a big splash. But both teams are capable of disappointing losses and sloppy play, however. Neither of these teams have made much sense, and given that they’re both driven by decent offenses and terrible defenses, it could go either way.

A fluke turnover could easily decide the outcome, or the clock could simply run out before the next offense up has a chance to score. The Bears are a good road team, and the Falcons are best at home. The conflicting facts and statistics pile up, and that’s what makes this game interesting. Ultimately, I think the Bears are probably more hungry to turn things around, and I think they’ve got the stronger potential to do so. If plans to give Brandon Marshall more touches comes to fruition, combined with spreading the ball around and protecting Matt Forte on the rush, the Bears can take this. Krol?

BEARS

BMK: This game, DT?  THIS game? I mean, sure, it’s interesting, but is either team going to win their division?  Maybe Atlanta, but they’ll probably win it by default.  The Bears?  Who knows? The NFC North seems to be equally mediocre.  Anyway, this game has some potential for some weird drama (like will Roddy White tweet something exceptionally stupid or just ordinary stupid), but I’m not sure the outcome of this game is of interest to anyone outside of Atlanta or Chicago. And who cares what people in Chicago think.  Have you seen what they put on hot dogs out there?  It’s a goddamn disgrace.

Anyway, I think it’s pretty clear that the Falcons are going to get mauled by the Bears. Oh sure, Matty Ice will try and protect his nest, but then a giant bear will come take a crap in it. And then he’ll have to go play a whole football game.  Wakka wakka.

BEARS

—–

COWBOYS at SEAHAWKS

D.T.: Seattle looked sloppy in Washington, and the Cowboys have looked better in the last couple of games than they have in the last couple of years. DeMarco Murray has been an absolute stud of a Running Back, and Romo has turned things around nicely since the ‘Boys suffered their week one loss to the 49ers. However, Russell Wilson continues to be remarkable, and if I were a Dallas defensive back, I’d simply get the fuck out of Marshawn Lynch’s way. I think the two of them will go to town on the Cowboys’ secondary, and the Dallas offense will struggle in the hostile environment of CenturyLink Stadium. Still, expect the Cowboys to score a few, since all they really need to do is line up Dez Bryant on the other side of the field from Richard Sherman. Can’t wait to see the twitter war those two engage in on Monday.

 

I spent way too long making this.

I spent way too long making this.

SEAHAWKS

 

BMK: A lot of people are coming around on the Cowboys this season.  I think that’s due to the bigotry of soft expectations.  Everyone assumed that they, and the entire NFC East, would suck.   However, there are some good doings a –happenin’ in Dallas (EVERYONE’S talking about a girl named Debbie…).  But I trust Seattle’s defense more than I trust Tony Romo. Despite his sweet sweet ribs.

 

Oh...Tony ROMA's...oops.

Oh…Tony ROMA’s…oops.

SEAHAWKS

—–

REDSKINS at CARDINALS

D.T.: It’s probably still too early to make a call on this one. The Cardinals currently have no idea who their quarterback will be, and their defense is largely in question, due to injuries sustained against the Broncos last week. Logan Thomas showed a flash of greatness with that touchdown pass to Andre Ellington, but he’s nowhere near ready to start as an NFL quarterback, even if it’s against the Redskins. The team has to hope that Drew Stanton clears his concussion protocol, or that by some miracle, Carson Palmer is able to return. The Redskins, on the other hand, are still vulnerable against the still-standing members of the Cardinals secondary, and the Washington defense will have to content with Andre Ellington, who marched against the insane Denver defense, and will likely lead the offense this week. This will be a very low-scoring game, and the Cardinals will be looking to make a statement here at home that they’re down, but not out.

CARDINALS

BMK: Ugh.  What an ugly match-up.  If Carson Palmer plays, then the Cardinals should win. And they’ll have to win in a shoot-out since their front seven on defense are all 2nd string (or worse) guys.  If it’s Logan Thomas, the Cardinals should lose.

I guess I’ll just continue picking against them…

REDSKINS

—–

GIANTS at EAGLES

Call me crazy, I’m picking the Giants. Eli is kinda, sorta, almost maybe getting his offense back on track and averaging 35 points over the last few games. The Eagles defense is currently scoring more points than their own offense. That alone gives me pause and makes me think that maybe the exciting story the Eagles began writing in the beginning of the season is taking a dark turn. And who the hell knows what’s going on with LeSean McCoy right now. The Eagles better be careful, or they could find themselves turning into a hot mess.

GIANTS

BMK: The Eagles will have their wings clipped this week.  Ha! Get it?

Yeah, I hate me too.

GIANTS

—–

49ERS at RAMS

D.T.: It doesn’t seem like anyone really cares about this game, since tickets are going for ten fucking dollars. But, you know what?

I care.

I care.

Anyone not paying enough attention might write off the Rams in this game, but they’ve always given the 49ers trouble. In fact, the 49ers are 1-3 in their last four visits to Saint Louis. If the Rams can play solid defense, not shit the bed should they happen to find themselves in the lead, and put rumors of relocation to LA in the back of their heads, they could turn that statistic into 1-4. And wouldn’t that be a fantastic thing to see in the NFC West? The Niners are vulnerable, but it’s going to take determination and focus to pull a win.

RAMS

BMK: Thug-Lite Kaepernick will keep his Victory train rolling this week with a visit to St. Louis.

49ers

 

Current Record

I liked my picture last week better…

 

This post was edited and compiled while listening to the first two Clash records.  And you know what?  I still don’t like them.

Written by B. Michael Krol

October 10, 2014 at 4:59 pm

THUD NFL Picks Week 5

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Week 5

Week 5

D.T.: The thing we love most about the NFL is often what makes it frustrating: the natural unpredictability of each and every game, in each and every week. Football is arguably one of the most difficult sports to predict (just ask the guy who rage-quit my fantasy league on Monday), but it’s also the reason we keep coming back. For ever bet we lose, every dive we take in fantasy, and every time we swear we’ll find something better to do next Sunday, we come back. It’s the investment in something you think you can guess the outcome of, but know you have a 50/50 chance of getting right. It’s the excitement of believing your team can win the next one, even though they lost the last. Week four of the NFL’s regular season was a shining example of why we love football so much, and why it drives some of us crazy. Week five is likely to follow suit.

BMK: Last week the main storyline was “Is this formerly elite team REALLY this shitty?”  This week, the storyline is: “Are these teams really that good.”  Arizona will have a tough match-up in Denver this week.  If they win, then we’ll all know AZ is for real. If they lose (SPOILER: they will), it all depends on how.  Manning needs nine more touchdowns to tie with Favre’s career record.  If Peyton does this in this game, check the emergency rooms for me and DT.

VIKINGS at PACKERS

D.T.: Last week, the Packers surprised everyone by… well, playing like the Packers for a change. In their first meeting with bitter rival Chicago, the team looked poised and composed, and gave the daunting Bears’ secondary a real run for their money. Rodgers and Nelson showed incredible chemistry and even Eddie Lacy decided to show up and make a few plays. The Vikings, in Teddy Bridgewater’s first outing as a true starting Quarterback, shocked everyone by defeating a Falcons squad high on their historic stomping of Tampa Bay in week three. I’m not sure if the meeting of these two fired up teams will be as explosive as their week four match-ups, however. I think the Packers, if they can hold on to the lessons they’ve learned in prior weeks and keep their momentum going, can overcome the Vikings and get themselves back on track.

What we all HOPE this game will be...

What we all HOPE this game will be…

...and what it'll likely end up being.

…and what it’ll likely end up being.

PACKERS

BMK: Ponder vs. Rodgers!  A Thursday night QB Duel!

Pssh…not at all. This one’s over before it starts. Oh, and by the way, Chavez, I did you a favor last week by picking the Bears to win. This week though…

PACKERS

—–

BEARS at PANTHERS

D.T.: The Bears defense has been killing it, their offense is picking up the pace. Carolina, however, is allowing their weaknesses to show through more with each passing week. The Panthers’ offense is still struggling to click, and their defense is having a difficult time pulling it together without Greg Hardy. There’s still some greatness on the Panthers’ roster, and in a division that’s absolutely bonkers so far, they have a chance to pull it together. Especially if they keep giving it to this beautiful son of a bitch:

This guy is prettier than some of the girls I've dated. And you know the D.T. only dates dimes.

This guy is prettier than some of the girls I’ve dated. And you know the D.T. only dates dimes.

Ultimately, I think the Bears are on too big of a roll, and Carolina’s not going to be able to keep up. Oh, and here’s a photo of the Panthers’ cheerleaders dancing in the rain. Just because.

Panthers Cheerleaders

Panthers Cheerleaders

BEARS

BMK: Here’s the problem: I’m not sure I trust Jay Cutler.  Sometimes he looks great (second half of the 49ers game), other times, he don’t look so good. However, Cutler’s been pretty good on the road (106.3 QB rating) and the Panthers don’t have any real offensive playmakers.  All the Panthers’s playmakers know which fork to use and always remember to send their hostess a thank you note.

See what I did there?

Yeah yeah yeah….

These bears do well away from home too...

These bears do well away from home too…

BEARS
—–

BROWNS at TITANS

D.T.: Raise your hand if you had any idea the Browns were on a bye last week. I tease, but the Browns have been pretty competitive so far this season, and when they’re not trying to pull trick plays that would embarrass a high school coach, they kind of look like a halfway-competent team. The Titans have lost three straight after their surprising win over the Chiefs, leaving many to think it may have been a fluke, and I’m inclined to agree. My prediction? The Browns find themselves at 2-2, and don’t have a terribly difficult time getting there.

BROWNS

BMK: The Browns are probably 3rd best team in the AFC North. But they’ll be more than a match for the Titans.  It’ll be like that time in Return of the Jedi when the Stormtroopers were kicking Ewok ass. Before the shot of the dead Ewok which bummed everyone out.   Except Ken Wisenhunt. He likes dead Ewoks.  He likes them so much he has a picture of one on his play calling sheet. That and a picture of Rita Hayworth.

Ken Wisenhunt is a strange, strange man.

Inside Ken Whisenhunt's mind...

Inside Ken Whisenhunt’s mind…

BROWNS
—–

RAMS at EAGLES

D.T.: The Rams have fought hard to prove themselves more than a broken team with too many holes, and fared better against the Cowboys in week three than the Saints did last week. The Eagles, in their own narrow loss against San Francisco, proved that their hurry up offense needs some work against a determined defense. It’s these two scenarios that make this game more interesting than one would expect. The Rams’ secondary is still formidable, and they’re every bit as capable of slowing up the Eagles as the Niners were. Expect two teams to show up, points to be scored, fantasy owners to continue being nervous about Foles, but an Eagles victory by a narrow margin. Man, imagine what a team would look like if you combined the Rams’ defense and the Eagles’ offense.

I just gave myself chills.

I just gave myself chills.

EAGLES

BMK: Last week the Eagles proved that you can’t count on miracle finishes every week.  At some point your offense needs to score.  At the very least, your offense needs to pick up a first goddamn down. The Eagles’s offense looked so bad against the 49ers, I’m tempted to pick the Rams. And they’ve started slow in all of their games so far.  In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I am going to pick the Rams.  To hell with it – I’m living dangerously!

RAMS
—–

FALCONS at GIANTS

D.T.: Two teams who, thus far, have walked all over others that can’t get their acts together, and fall apart when playing teams that can. The Falcons have had strong victories over the Saints (who are perhaps the most confusing mess in the league right now) and the Buccaneers (a win that will likely live on in infamy for the rest of the season), but were absolutely trounced by the Vikings last week, and couldn’t hold their own against the impressive Bengals. The Giants are just as terribly inconsistent, having beaten the Texans and Redskins but failing miserably against the Cardinals and Lions. If I had to forego all statistical and logical analysis and go with my gut, I’d honestly give it to the Giants. They’re a mess, but at least they’ve lost to teams who deserved to win.

GIANTS
BMK: The Falcons are banged up and their defense is terrible.

And that’s still better analysis you get from Deion Sanders.

GIANTS

—–

BUCCANEERS at SAINTS

D.T.: Back on the topic if unpredictability in the NFL: last week’s outings for the Bucs and Saints were jaw-droppers. After the way they’ve played up to this point, no one expected Tampa Bay to sneak in a win against the Steelers, and the only logical explanation for it is the lack of consistency from Pittsburgh’s defense, and some flat out luck on Mike Glennon’s part. The Saints should have come into this season looking like unstoppable Super Bowl contenders, and last week they looked like the aliens from Space Jam had stolen all their talent.

Yeah, I made a fucking Space Jam reference. That's what this season is doing to me.

Yeah, I made a fucking Space Jam reference. That’s what this season is doing to me.

I honestly have no idea how to predict the outcome of this game, because neither team is predictable at this point. But, going by sheer talent involved, and the fact that New Orleans has to turn this thing around at some point… well, there’s no better time to do that than this week.

SAINTS

BMK: The Bucs beat the Steelers but there’s no way this team beats the Saints.  Not when the Saints are at home and coming off a humiliating performance against the Cowboys.

I think it’s probably safe to pull the Saints out of the elite category, but even if they’re just very good, they’re still better than this Tampa Bay team. Yes, the Saints defense stinks more than Rob Ryan after  getting the meat sweats at Fogo de Chao, but they should be able to handle the 31st ranked passing attack. At least I hope.

Crap. Now I want Fogo de Chao.

SAINTS

—–

TEXANS at COWBOYS

D.T.: A grudge match to move on from 3-1 and claim Texas supremacy (which I know is an oxymoron). I don’t trust the Cowboys’ win over New Orleans as a righting of the ship. It was a wild fluke against a team that has some serious issues to work out, and I think the best thing they have going for them is the running game. The Texans’ defense is too good, and if there’s one thing I can predict about this game with confidence, it’s Romo tossing some turnovers. Maybe even to JJ Watt, who at this point must be neck and neck in touchdowns with Megatron. I think the Texans surprise everyone with an upset and walk out of Dallas the victors.

And I end up killing someone after seeing this commercial twelve times before the half.

And I end up killing someone after seeing this commercial twelve times before the half.

TEXANS

BMK:  I’m giving it to the Cowboys this week. DeMarco Murray is running like crazy and Romo hasn’t been stupid lately.  A great recipe for a win. Plus I hate that stupid JJ Watt commercial.  It fills me with the hatred of a 1000 suns. Or maybe more like 992 suns, but the difference is negligible.  Seriously, when you already got 992 suns, will 8 more make a difference?  I don’t think so, but I’ll let history be the judge.

I need a job.

COWBOYS
—–

BILLS at LIONS

D.T.: The Bills are back in quarterback controversy with the decision to bench E.J. Manuel in favor of Kyle Orton. It’s not the most confidence-instilling decision, but the Bills passing game has been a bit of a joke this far, anyway. The Lions passing game is better, and could be fantastic if Megatron would get healthy, and the franchise would shift him back to relevance instead of decoy status. Overall, the Bills are at a precarious crossroads, and the Lions are the superior team. I expect them to hold down the fort in Detroit.

LIONS

BMK:  I’m going with the Lions here.  I like Stafford and Johnson at home. For those of you that don’t know, I’m referring to Calvin Johnson. I refuse to use that stupid nickname.  Unlike my partner DT, who’ll fall for any nicknamed receiver.

LIONS
—–

RAVENS at COLTS

D.T.: The Colts are riding high at the moment, and as an unabashed Andrew Luck fan, I’m happy to see it. They were off to a terrible start, going 0-2 in the first couple of weeks, but they’ve looked dynamite in their last two outings. However, their defense will be starting an inexperienced safety in Sergio Brown (most known for special teams), with LaRon Landry having been suspended for four games. This leaves a real soft spot for the Ravens’ offense to exploit, and they’re capable of doing so. The Colts have historically walked over the Ravens, however, and I don’t see the Ravens stealing a win in Lucas Oil Stadium. If Luck can keep throwing the way he has, and the ball keeps getting fed to Ahmad Bradshaw over Trent Richardson…

Don't make that face. You know you're terrible.

Don’t make that face. You know you’re terrible.

…the offense should have no trouble securing the victory.

COLTS
BMK:  I’m going with the Colts on this one. The Ravens and Colts, statistically, are fairly similar and Joe Flacco just irritates me. So I’m going with the home team.

COLTS

—–

STEELERS at JAGUARS

D.T.: It’s just a matter of time…

Jax Bear

Jax in London

But, American would like to keep the blond in the front, if that's okay.

But, American would like to keep the blond in the front, if that’s okay.

STEELERS

—–

BMK: A pulsar (portmanteau of pulsating star) is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing toward the Earth, much the way a lighthouse can only be seen when the light is pointed in the direction of an observer, and is responsible for the pulsed appearance of emission. Neutron stars are very dense, and have short, regular rotational periods. This produces a very precise interval between pulses that range from roughly milliseconds to seconds for an individual pulsar.

The precise periods of pulsars make them useful tools. Observations of a pulsar in a binary neutron star system were used to indirectly confirm the existence of gravitational radiation. The first extrasolar planets were discovered around a pulsar, PSR B1257+12. Certain types of pulsars rival atomic clocks in their accuracy in keeping time.

STEELERS

This is the Game of the Week

This is the Game of the Week

Cardinals at Broncos

D.T.: Two teams I know very well, and a match-up I’ve been simultaneously excited for and dreading since the regular season schedule was announced. I’m born and raised in Arizona, so the Cardinals are my team. My family is a bunch of hardcore, Raider-Hater Broncos fans from Colorado. I own an equal number of jerseys from both teams (3), and if not for work deadlines, I’d be attending the game in Denver, getting rowdy with my cousins. I’m hoping for a great game (because the last thing I want to see is one of these teams get crushed), and for both squads to bring their A-games. Both teams are coming in rested from a bye, so we just might see an excellent match-up here, folks.

The Cardinals will be without Quarterback Carson Palmer, as a nerve injury he suffered in week one has suffered a major setback, and he’s unable to throw. Drew Stanton looked good in the two games he’s filled in, however, and he has one of the best receiver corps in the league to lean on. Backing him him on the ground is Andre Ellington, whose toughness in playing through a foot injury has been admirable, and hopefully his week off will have him back at full strength. Arizona’s offensive line should give them both ample time to make decisions, even in the face of Denver’s daunting secondary.

Denver put a lot of thought and money into their defense this past off-season, with the most notable acquisition being DeMarcus Ware, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. They’ve put him to good use alongside Bronco veterans Von Miller and Derek Wolfe, and they’ve created a defensive backfield that’s frankly pretty scary. The Cardinals’ secondary has proven that even without Karlos Dansby, Daryl Washington and recently-injured Darnell Dockett, they’re still a force in the league. They’ve held fast to a 3-0 record, celebrating a win over Colin Kaepernick’s San Francisco offense before taking the week off. But let’s be honest: Kaepernick is no Peyton Manning.

With Wes Welker back in the folk, Manning has a lot of weapons at his disposal. Emmanuel Sanders, believed to be a stopgap of sorts in Welker’s absence, has proven himself much more, and has found himself a spot in regular rotation. The Cardinals defense will find themselves truly challenged in trying to cover Sanders, Deymarius Thomas, Wes Welker and a shining example of Arizona’s biggest weakness: covering Tight End Julius Thomas. Arizona will need all of their faculties, and key players like safety Tyrann Mathieu will need to play at an enhanced level to keep up. On the flip side, the back of the Broncos’ defense, lead by Cornerback Aqib Talib will be pushed to keep up with the quadruple threat of Larry Fitzgerald, speedster John Brown, Michael Floyd and Jaron Brown. Drew Stanton has shown a lot of proficiency in spreading the passes around, and the Arizona offense has become tricky to cover.

Arizona’s defense will be the key to this game, and Denver knows it. Their one big weakness these past couple of seasons has been NFC West defenses, and they’ve likely watched hours of game tape to formulate a plan. If the Arizona defense can maintain focus and fluidity, they have the ability to contain this game and allow the offense to do their part. But… fuck, man. It’s the Broncos.

Can I just have 60 minutes of this, instead?

Can I just have 60 minutes of this, instead?

BRONCOS
BMK: This is the ultimate test for Arizona. As an old time Cardinals fan (I wasn’t born there, but I did grow up there), I fully expect them to lose.  But I want them to lose well.  There would no shame in losing to Peyton Manning by a touchdown, especially considering all the losses Arizona has had on its defensive side this year.  It would be disappointing, but not totally deflating. Anything more than a touchdown though…

Truth be told, this is not the Peyton Manning of yesteryear.  As the Seahawks showed, he is beatable, and the fanboy in me wants to think that Arizona’s combination of guile, luck, and skill in the secondary can cause some havoc for Mr. Manning.  But as my man DT pointed out above, Denver has plenty of weapons.  Throw in the fact that Manning is one of the most cerebral quarterbacks to ever play the game, and it starts looking bad for the Cardinals in a hurry.

Of course, Arizona is not without offensive weapons. Arizona has two very good receivers in Floyd and Fitzgerald, at least two excellent ones after them (the Browns, Ginn).  So if your Denver, who do you cover? Futher, Arizona has a decent tight end in Carlson, and Ellington is no slouch when it comes to catching the ball either.  Stanton will have to get the ball out quickly (the Massie vs. Von Miller match-up doesn’t fill my heart with joy), and if he does, and doesn’t turn the ball over, this game might be more competitive than I’m expecting.

At the end of the day, I’m sure Denver will win. And when have I ever been wrong?

BRONCOS
—–

CHIEFS at 49ERS

D.T.: The Chiefs enjoyed a stunning victory over the Patriots last week, in yet another example of unpredictability in the NFL. However, I think the 49ers are going to bounce back from their loss against the Eagles, and return to form with a victory at home. A no-doubt bitter return for Chiefs Quarterback Alex Smith, he’s likely eager to stick it to the team that let him go in favor of the younger, flashier, tattooier Colin Kaepernick. It was Kaepernick who showed Smith up during a stint on the injured list, and claimed his spot as the team’s starting passer (and subsequently lead the team to a Super Bowl). Smith brings with him star Running Back Jamaal Charles, who finally launched himself back into relevance, and the two of them have the opportunity to do some real damage. But, Kaep is going to want to prove that he’s the big dog to his bosses, even with San Francisco’s questionable atmosphere behind the scenes.

49ERS

BMK: A lot of experts (and DT – zing!) are picking the 49ers in this game. I think they’re right (THIS TIME!).  But I would not be surprised if the Chiefs took it. Jamaal Charles is looking like a beast lately. And by that I mean he’s dressing like a furry.

I’m not sold on the 49ers at all. Now, true, I am a dyed-in-the-wool 49er hater, but how can you watch their first four games and think this team is elite?  They still have a very good defense, but their offensive line is having problems and Vernon Davis is officially listed as Questionable.   I’m going with the Chiefs here.

Incidentally, I read the ESPN profile on Jim Harbaugh.  It says he lacks empathy, has trouble maintaining relationships with people, and needs to hate his opponent in order to beat them. Is it just me, or does that sound like the clinical definition of a sociopath?

CHIEFS
—–

JETS at CHARGERS

D.T.: Here’s the thing about the New York/San Diego game: The Jets have an absolutely stellar rushing defense, and the Chargers have virtually no running game at all. So, the Jets’ one strength and superiority over the Chargers is likely to not even be a factor, because Phillip Rivers is good enough to control this game in the air without having to resort to running the ball, except in first down situations or garbage time. The Chargers come into this with an advantage in nearly every aspect, and I don’t think they’ll have a terribly difficult time adding another mark in their win column.

CHARGERS

BMK: Bolo Tie boy will pass all over the Jets terrible secondary.
—–

BENGALS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: Holy shit, what’s happened to the Patriots? They struggled to hold back the Oakland Raiders, and where absolutely stomped by the Chiefs last week. Brady has said he won’t think about retiring until he starts to suck, but what about switching to another team since the rest of his team sucks so badly? The Pats are going to be grossly outmatched by the Bengals, and this will be the Atlanta/Tampa Bay equivalent of week five. Expect Dalton, AJ Green and Gio Bernard to have themselves a day, and maybe expect Tom Brady to have himself a cry.

"If I played center, would they call them 'ginger snaps'?"

“If I played center, would they call them ‘ginger snaps’?”

—–

BMK: This week, the NFL world spent its collective time burying Tom Brady and the Patriots. It’s not entirely unjustified.  But what I think we’re seeing here is reality crashing in on Belichick’s hubris.  The Patriots have been doing very well for a long time without a roster of superior talent. Brady can usually overcome those problems, but what you’re seeing now is the result of Belichick believing he can win with anyone. That’s not the case, buddy.  Anyway, since I’m a bandwagon guy, I’m going with the Ginger of Doom.

BENGALS

SEAHAWKS at REDSKINS

D.T.: I should be thankful to the NFL for how they’re scheduling these Monday night games, because there’s nothing worse than being hung over on a Tuesday. With these MNF match-ups, there’s been barely enough reason to watch, much less invest money in alcohol. At least the Seahawks are guaranteed to net me some major points in fantasy. Goodnight, everyone!

SEAHAWKS

BMK: The Seattle Seahawks beat Peyton Manning twice.  Kirk Cousins is no Peyton Manning. Hell, he’s not even an Eli Manning at this point.

SEAHAWKS

BMK:  Please note, DT never sent me an updated gif of our scores through week four.  I think it’s because I pulled ahead of him in the standings. So I took the liberty of making my own. Which I think kicks a whole lot of ass.

If you were to open up my mind, this is what you'd see. That and brains. Lots of brains. Cause I'm smart and shit.

If you were to open up my mind, this is what you’d see. That and brains. Lots of brains. Cause I’m smart and shit.

This post was compiled and edited while listening to Spotify’s Deep Focus playlist.  That and my superego telling me that I’m terrible.  😦

THUD NFL Picks Week 4

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NOTE: This column is late this week because I (B.Michael) had to deal with flooding in my dining room. But I assure you, we had it written before Thursday Night Football, and nothing was changed to reflect the results of that game.  Nothing at all. Really.

Week 4!

Week 4!

DT:

Some incredible drama was found in Week 3 of regulation! Many teams we had completely written off showed they had a huge amount of fight in them. Some shocked us with a rally in match-ups many felt they had no business winning (Cardinals versus Niners), some absorbed circumstances beyond their control and became stronger for it (Redskins against the Eagles), and some teams fell short but still impressed us with their tenacity and unwillingness to go quietly (Buccaneers versus Atlanta).

Just kidding about that Buccaneers bit — what a fucking embarrassment that was. I was actually referring to the Oakland Raiders. They’re still the Raiders, but who honestly didn’t think their match-up against the Patriots was going to be a black-and-silver blood bath?

Week Four may prove not to be as exciting or flashy, but that won’t stop us from drinking too much and investing like our lives depend on it. Except for Monday Night Football. Patriots at the Chiefs is not a legitimate reason to be hung over on a Tuesday. Unless you’re a Patriots or Chiefs fan — and you’re likely hungover most other days if you’re the latter.

BMK:

“[M]ay not prove to be as exciting or flashy?” Dear Lord, you can say that again. This week is as exciting as listening to Mannerheim Steamroller. It’s awful.  There are very few “must watch” games and a bunch of pretty mundane match-ups. In fact, this week’s storylines are all variations of “is this previously elite team really this shitty?”  Compelling, that.

Anyway, on to the picks…

—-

Giants at Redskins

D.T.: I don’t think anyone can, at this point, claim the Redskins don’t belong to Kirk Cousins (except for Captain Kirk himself, in his insistent politeness). He turned the team around from a dismal start, to an early contender just by showing up when that other guy got hurt. Cousins threw for three touchdowns and nearly 430 yards in their thriller against Philadelphia, and brought the team within three points of a win. Eli and the Giants may be coming off their first win against the Texans, but I don’t think they can match the excitement and momentum of what’s happening in Landover right now.

Off-camera: Dreams of ever starting in the NFL again, waving from afar.

Off-camera: Dreams of ever starting in the NFL again, waving from afar.

REDSKINS

BMK: This game is interesting to me. I predict Eli Manning will have a great game and just trounce the Redskins.  I also predict there will be four Kirk Cousins turnovers….oh who am I kidding. This was my original entry:

Right now I’m thinking the Giants are the fourth best team in the NFC East, just narrowly beating out Washington.  So I’m going to give it to the home team. The way South Park gave it to Synder a few days ago.  Hiyo. 

REDSKINS

Nostradamus, I aint.

—-

Packers at Bears

D.T.: Last week, the Detroit defense scored more points than the Green Bay offense. That’s simply not supposed to happen in the NFC North, and Green Bay needs to do some real soul-searching. Chicago’s defense is superior to Detroit’s, and riding high right now. Their offense isn’t too bad, either. Green Bay needs to figure out what’s broken on both sides of the ball rectify it, or they’ll be next on the menu for the Bears’ post-hibernation feast. I’m not sure they will.

Berenstein

BEARS

BMK: This is a good example about how hard it is to pick games.  The Bears are doing very well (so far) and the Packers aren’t (so far), so who do you pick?  On one hand, the Bears are at home and are playing great, but do you see the Packers going 1-3?

That said, I’m going with the Bears this week.  I could tell you that it’s because Cutler is leading a passing attack in the top half of the league, and that I don’t trust Green Bay’s defense at all.  Or that it’s because these teams are both evenly matched so I’ll go with the home team.  But, to be honest, Chavez was mean to me in the NFL thread the other day and he likes the Packers.  So I’m taking the Bears. SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS DAVE!

BEARS

—-

Bills at Texans

D.T.: The Bills hit a speed bump in the first leg of their possible comeback tour. Losing against a San Diego team that’s defeated the championship Seahawks team is nothing to be ashamed of, however. This week, they’re up against a Texans squad in a similar position: coming off their first loss of the season at the hands of a nigh unstoppable team. Both teams want to stay at the top of their divisions for as long as possible (did I really just type that about both the Bills AND Texans?), and the only way to do that right now is to go through each other. My prediction? Offense will make the difference in this match-up of decent defenses, and Buffalo will maintain their race against New England for AFC East supremacy.

BILLS

BMK: A lot of people think Ryan Fitzpatrick is smart because he went to Harvard.  Me, I think Fitzpatrick’s smart because he got out of Buffalo, a city that’s fit for neither man nor beast. That said, he landed in Houston.  Which is like living in the Devil’s asshole. The Devil’s humid asshole.

BILLS

—-

Titans at Colts

D.T.: Another promising, future elite quarterback with many weapons at his disposal who can’t seem to get it together just yet. Andrew Luck’s throwing arm is in top shape and this is an ideal year for him to break out — however, his offense has been struggling of late, and that’s mostly due to poor play calling from the booth. For better or worse, The Neckbeard was chosen as Manning’s successor in Indianapolis, and it’s time they had the same realization that Denver Head Coach John Fox had with Peyton: untie the leash and great things are possible. And they better learn it quick, because the Titans are an unassuming force to be reckoned with. They typically fly under most people’s radar, but their defense has been quietly excelling and making some fantastic strides. I think the Colts can pull it together, but not without some faith in their quarterback’s instincts.

COLTS

BMK: This match-up is so compelling that every time I try to write about it I fall asleep.  I’m not even sure fans of these two teams are looking forward to this one.

Anyway, as boring as this game is/will be, it’s still better than baseball.

COLTS

—-

Panthers at Ravens

D.T.: Cam Newton is playing like a quarterback with injured ribs. He’s looking to avoid getting hit, and he’s throwing for the route instead of the receiver. Too many times already we’ve seen him toss the ball away quickly into coverage while his offensive line struggles, when capable receivers like Kelvin Benjamin wait in open field. Against the Ravens defense, that’s a dangerous way of operating. The loss of Greg Hardy was visible in their week three loss to the Steelers, as well. The Panthers are a highly viable team, and the Ravens’ weakness is their pass defense. Putting two and two together, if the Carolina offensive line can hold and Cam can overcome his ailments, the Panthers can take this. If not, their back-up QB is a decent enough option.
PANTHERS

BMK: DTs points are largely correct, but my gut is telling me to take the Ravens, especially at home.  Newton’s not playing like Newton and the Ravens seem to have a chip on their shoulder this season. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because no one knows why they’re named the Ravens.

RAVENS

—-

Lions at Jets

D.T.: It’s a pretty even match-up here, folks. Both teams sport what are, as of week 4, the two best defenses in the league. The Lions’ defense was able to pick apart the Giants and Packers, but stumbled against Cam and the Panthers. The Jets defense has held their own as well, but the New York team has only managed to score a win against the Raiders, so far (who hasn’t, right?). It’s going to come down to which offense wants to more. If Matt Stafford can figure out how to throw the ball to two of the best receivers in the league and Reggie Bush can put one foot in front of the other, the defense can likely do the rest. Let’s just hope they don’t injure themselves during any possible celebrating.

Was this a freak accident, or is Aaron Rodgers a vindictive telekinetic?

Was this a freak accident, or is Aaron Rodgers a vindictive telekinetic?

LIONS

BMK: Ugh. This game has all the watchability and appeal of a Family Guy marathon. Only with more laughs.

 The Giant from Twin Peaks has some advice for anyone thinking about watching this dreck.

The Giant from Twin Peaks has some advice for anyone thinking about watching this dreck.

LIONS

—-

Buccaneers at Steelers

DT:

These lovely ladies were kind enough to demonstrate Lovie Smith's playbook for us.

These lovely ladies were kind enough to demonstrate Lovie Smith’s playbook for us.

 

STEELERS

BMK: Last week I made a joke about San Diego’s Gates finding the Fountain of Middle Age because he’s playing so well.  Last week it looked like the Steelers found the same fountain cause they destroyed the Panthers.  Of course, this week they’re playing the Buccaneers so they won’t need it at all.

On the side note, is it just me, or do you think Big Ben spends a lot of time asking Coach Tomlin to tell him about the rabbits?

STEELERS

—-

Dolphins at Raiders

And here they are again, to demonstrate the Oakland Raiders' strategy. Thanks, ladies!

And here they are again, to demonstrate the Oakland Raiders’ strategy. Thanks, ladies!

D.T.: I actually think the Raiders might, dare I say it, stand a chance against the ‘Fins — if only because this game is being hosted in England. Miami won’t know what to do without sunshine, whereas the Raiders spend their existence in eternal darkness. They don’t experience any advantage in the Oakland stadium they share with the Athletics, but they will feel right at home in the cold, dreary autumn of London. Eh, fuck it.

RAIDERS

BMK: Ah yes, the London game.  With these teams playing, this is the biggest bomb lobbed at London since the Blitz. I’m going with Oakland. I mean, they’re due, right? RIGHT?

RAIDERS

—-

Jaguars at Chargers

D.T.: We’ll let the ladies rest and let the blood rush back out of their heads for this one. The Jaguars should be glad they’re not going off to London this week, because they’d likely not be coming back. The Chargers are fired up after two consecutive wins against decent teams, and while I’m not above expecting an upset… it’s plainly not going to happen here.

CHARGERS

BMK: In lieu of picking against the Jaguars – which is the only rational course of action week after week – I’m going to post fun science facts. This week’s subject is the Snow Monkey.

The Japanese macaque is sexually dimorphic. Males weigh on average 11.3 kg (25 lb), while females average 8.4 kg (19 lb). Macaques from colder areas tend to weigh more than ones from warmer areas. Male average height is 570.1 mm (22.44 in) and female average height is 522.8 mm (20.58 in).  Japanese macaques have short stumps for tails that average 92.51 mm (3.642 in) in males and 79.08 mm (3.113 in) in females. The macaque has a pinkish face and posterior. The rest of its body is covered in brown, greyish, or yellowish hair. The coat of the macaque is well-adapted to the cold and its thickness increases as temperatures decrease. The macaque can cope with temperatures as low as -20 °C (-4 °F).

CHARGERS.

—-

Eagles at 49ers

GAME OF THE WEEK ANALYSIS! COMING SOON!

—-

Falcons at Vikings

D.T.: The Vikings can’t catch a break. They’re moving forward without their star Running Back, and now their Quarterback controversy is finally at an unfortunate end with Matt Cassel’s season-ending foot injury. It’s now up to Teddy Bridgewater to take the reins and lead the team against a surprisingly-intimidating Falcons squad. An inexperienced rookie Quarterback and a struggling running game will leave Atlanta’s defense with ample opportunity to deliver another thrashing.

Looking back, it would have been kinder to give him a youth-sized jersey.

Looking back, it would have been kinder to give him a youth-sized jersey.

FALCONS

BMK: To paraphrase Storm in X-Men 1: You know what happens to a Viking that goes up against the best passing attack in the league, especially when the Viking is starting a rookie QB and has no rushing attack himself?

The Viking loses the football game.

FALCONS

—-

Saints at Cowboys

D.T.: The Saints’ running game isn’t what it should be with starting Running Back Mark Ingram having recently undergone surgery on his broken hand. However, the Cowboys’ defense should prove a good environment for back-ups Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas to hit a comfortable stride and set a tone for the next few weeks. The Dallas defense is just a mess, and last week they were only able to secure a narrow come-from-behind victory against an ailing Rams team. I’m going with the Saints here — and if they can’t right their course and tight up, there’s at least light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a visit from the Buccaneers next week.

SAINTS

BMK: This one has the same problems as the Packers/Bears game. The Cowboys have been playing decently enough to be 2-1 but do you really see the Saints going 1-3? Me neither.

SAINTS

—-

Patriots at Chiefs

D.T.: Finishing out the week with less than a bang but more than a whimper, the Patriots march into Kansas City looking for a 3-1 record. They do so with a hitch in their step, departing from Oakland with a victory not nearly as dramatic and easy as they would have liked. I think we’ll see the ball spend a lot of time on the ground, with the Chiefs’ running game still formidable without Jamaal Charles, but their own rushing defense leaving New England an opening. The Patriots’ improved secondary will put pressure on Smith, and the Chiefs’ will offer Brady the same, knowing full well to keep Gronkowski and the New England receiver corps from lighting any fires. Another likely factor in Brady’s performance will be the noise level in Arrowhead stadium. Their offense is already fighting poor communication and lack of chemistry, and intense outside disruptions will create even more static. I think the Chiefs might be the victors here.

"Don't look at his butt, don't look at his butt, don't look at his butt..."

“Don’t look at his butt, don’t look at his butt, don’t look at his butt…”

CHIEFS

BMK: Picking this game is tougher than I thought, especially when God gives you linguini in your brain instead of Football IQ.  The Patriots are in the toilet offensively and the Chief’s aren’t much better.  But what do you expect when the team is being led by Alex Smith, the NFL’s version of mixing red wine and Ambien? I’m going with the Patriots since they have the number one defense in the league, which should negate the Chief’s strength, which is their running game.  However, nothing the Patriots are doing on offense should scare anyone. Even with the vaunted Tom Brady.

CHIEFS

 

Record through week 3.

Record through week 3.

This post was edited and assembled while watching Doc of the Dead and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the Serpico episode.

Written by B. Michael Krol

September 26, 2014 at 5:45 pm