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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 3

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DT: It’s getting weird out there, folks, and it’s only going to get more weird. Week two saw several bizarre upsets, many key players injured or deactivated for off-field offenses, and the overall climate of the league is not a positive one. Still, that’s for the suits and sponsors to deal with, while we fans have our own responsibilities: playing it savvy on the fantasy waiver wire, and not drinking ourselves into a coma. Week three should hold even more surprises as many teams’ morale will shift, and teams start taking a concerned look at their records so far.

BMK:  Agreed.  Last week was terrible. It showed you just how unpredictable, scary, and brutal the league and its players can be.

And the games were even worse, amirite? But seriously folks, I gotta tell ya…

Anyway, what’s interesting to me is that, since the new playoff format started, only 12% of the teams that go 0-2 make it to the playoffs. Which means that it’s possible neither the Colts or the Saints will make it to the post-season. Of the current crop of 0-2 teams, I’m thinking the Colts have the easier path to post-season glory, since their division is sort of weak and Andrew Luck is a great QB. Which means the Saints would stay home in January. Considering how many people had the Saints in the Superbowl, that’s amazing. And amusing to me.  Since I hate LA.

And Louisiana aint so great either. Hiyo.

BUCCANEERS at FALCONS

D.T.: Tampa Bay came into the new season with a lot of promise. However, they failed to beat a Panthers team who played without their star quarterback, and let the broken Rams team, led by a third-string quarterback, squeak away with a win in week two. This week, they face the Falcons, who are coming off a high from win against their most-hated divisional rival, and their second week at home. The Bucs will shift into panic mode as they come away 0-3.

FALCONS.

BMK: Roddy White’s an idiot, but he’s part of the number one ranked passing attack in the league. At least, he normally is. He may not be this week. But anyway, I’m taking The Atlanta Matt Ryans for this one. You’d be wise to do the same. Especially if you want to be a winner like me.

Pictured: B. Michael Krol

Pictured: B. Michael Krol

FALCONS

—–

CHARGERS at BILLS

D.T.: Who thought the Bills would be here, coming into week three? They’ve beaten two teams they were favored to lose against, including the Dolphins, who were running on momentum from spanking the Patriots in week one. I’m playing favorites here and personally hoping they beat the Chargers; mostly because I dislike the Chargers, and would like to see the Bills have the championship belt for a week. The Chargers are coming off a win against a Seattle team that doesn’t quite look like the champions we saw last season, but is still a force. I see San Diego doing fairly well going forward (I think I predicted them as having a winning season in my pre-season write-up), but remaining inconsistent, as their first two weeks have illustrated. I’m going with the scrappy, underdog Bills.

BILLS

BMK: San Diego is riding high off their victory against Seattle.  After the refs spotted Seattle 7, San Diego spent the rest of the game dismantling the Seahawks. Which made my black, black, heart happy.

They’re going to win again this week. I like Philip Rivers a lot (but you know, not “like like”), and Gates seems to have found the fountain of middle-age somewhere.  They’ll win easily in the land of tangy chicken wings.

Incidentally, if you’ve never been to Buffalo, keep it that way. I was there for a wedding years ago and it was depressing.  And their famous chicken wings suck.

CHARGERS

—–

COWBOYS at RAMS

D.T.: The Cowboys’ shaky offense and non-existent defense are going to be decimated by each team they play of superior or equal talent. However, they’ll keep their record middling by picking off teams with weaknesses. The Titans were such a team, and the Rams will be, too.

Pictured: 2014 Cowboys

Pictured: 2014 Cowboys

As much as I’d like to see the Rams recover from their dire quarterback situation, I think the Cowboys will capitalize and find a hollow victory in achieving 2-1 in week three.

COWBOYS

BMK: I don’t know what will win here: St. Louis’s incompetence or Dallas’s. I’m picking Dallas because Tony Romo is better than St. Louis’s 3rd string QB. Thus, Dallas’s long march to 8-8 continues apace.

COWBOYS

—–

REDSKINS at EAGLES

D.T.: How freaking weird are the Washington Redskins? They have an injury prone quarterback that can’t be trusted to stay healthy or maintain a consistent quality of play, yet they continue to rally around him. Kirk Cousins stepped in after RGIII suffered yet another lower body injury, and the guy rallied the ‘Skins to a 41-10 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Washington needs to realize that the reality of Cousins being a better fit for their offense and the team’s chemistry with him is a better option that the idea of RGIII. Regardless of all this, the Eagles’ no-huddle offense is absolutely explosive right now, and they’ll run circles around the Redskins.

EAGLES

BMK: This is a tough one to pick, and not just because of my clear incompetence at picking football winners. Philadelphia is a talented team that’s features Darren “Tiny Typhoon” Sproles, but Washington destroyed Jacksonville last week, once Kirk “Tradebait” Cousins got into the game.  Still, as good as “Philadelphia” is I don’t see them going 3-0.  This will be my famous last words, obviously…

Oh, and I’d just like to point out that I was one week off from my prediction of Kirk Cousins having a great week after an RGIII injury.  WHO’S LAUGHING NOW, DT???!!!???

WASHINGTON

—–

TEXANS at GIANTS

D.T.: After their loss in week one, Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz went on record saying that the key to jump-starting the Giants’ offense was to throw the ball to him.

Yeah, not so much, Victor.

Yeah, not so much, Victor.

Of the 40 passes Eli Manning was able to fire off in week two, about a quarter of them went to Victor. He caught half of them, and the Giants went on to suffer another frustrating defeat at the hands of the Cardinals. Coming up against a super-powered defense from Houston, the Giants will continue to disappoint and earn themselves an 0-3 record. The Texans will build on their current 2-0 record with a respectable win, and JJ Watt will consider requesting his designation be changed to “Person Hitter/Ball Catcher” in 2015.

TEXANS

BMK: Houston is currently sitting at 2-0, which was their record last year before completely nose-diving for the rest of the season, nearly killing their coach in the process.  Houston has seemingly improved from last year (how’s THAT for insightful analysis), but I’m concerned about their ability to score points.  I’m taking the Giants here because I think Eli and the boys will want to make up for their defeat last week. So, if you’re a betting man, take Houston.  And then go get help. Since no one should be gambling on sports. And if you are, you should not be using my picks.  What are you, a lunatic?

And DT, respectfully, I’m not sure anyone involved in the NFL should change their title to “Person Hitter.” It sends the wrong message about violence in sports.

GIANTS

—–

VIKINGS at SAINTS

D.T.: Hoo-boy. Both of these teams are sitting in the middle of a shit-storm. Adrian Peterson is deactivated for abusing his children, and half the Saints roster should be deactivated for the abuse they took from Cleveland last week. Cleveland.

This Gatorate jug may contain 2% Manziel urine.

This Gatorate jug may contain 2% Manziel urine.

The Saints really need to examine what’s happening on both sides of the ball. Drew “Knocked Over by a Stiff” Brees was able to bring the offense back from the dead, but their defense still allowed the Browns to best them. In any other season (besides 2011) this would have been a slam dunk, but Cleveland is showing some real fight, and after what they were able to accomplish in a narrow loss to Pittsburgh in week one, it’s not fair to call either of New Orleans’ losses a fluke. Will the Saints dust themselves off and claim their first win, or will Minnesota recover from their loss against New England? Will the revelation of Cordarelle Patterson and Matt Asiata trample all over New Orleans’ defense? I honestly have no idea what will happen with these two teams. But…

SAINTS

BMK: New Orleans is reeling right now, but I can’t believe that they’ll go down 0-3.  They just can’t…can they???

No, not against Minnesota.  In fact, this game should be a total ass whoopin.  The kind you get sent to prison for. Only the Saints won’t get sent to prison, they’ll get sent back to New Orleans, which is worse than prison.  Since it’s hot and filled with drunk people. And poisonous snakes. Don’t forget those.

SAINTS

—–

TITANS at BENGALS

D.T.: The toe injury suffered by Bengals Wide Receiver AJ Green, in their victory over the Falcons last week, leaves the Cincinnati offense in question. It’s been announced the injury isn’t long-term, but the time-table for Green’s return isn’t clear. If he comes back well enough to play, the Bengals should have an easy time snatching a win from Tennessee. If he’s unable to perform… the Bengals should have an easy time snatching a win from Tennessee.

BENGALS

BMK: Prisco over at CBS Sports has Cincy as the number one team in the NFL right now. I think that might be stretching it a bit (and who are you going to believe?  An “analyst” who spends thousands of hours examining game tape and statistics, or some dude with a wordpress blog who makes his picks after drinking?), but Cincy should win easily here. The Ginger of Doom will pass all over Tennessee’s secondary and Cincinnati’s defense should handle the Titan’s adorable attempts at offense. Really guys – it’s cute.  The way you throw and run the ball…

BENGALS
—–

RAVENS at BROWNS
D.T.: There’s seriously no empirical data or evidence to suggest one team will beat the other. Let’s just look at some cheerleaders. Wait… the Browns don’t have cheerleaders? Ohio is home to two NFL teams, the Football Hall of Fame, a history of having very little reason to watch the field, and one of their teams doesn’t have cheerleaders? It’s like the NFL is actively trying to make this part of the column difficult for me to write. I’m rage-quitting this prediction, and picking the Browns.

BROWNS

BMK: The Browns are 1-1 under Brian “THE DESTROYAH” Hoyer. I’m rooting for this kid to succeed.  Because the longer he does well, the less Manziel we’ll have in our lives.  And that’s a good thing.

Relax DT, here's a picture of Kat Dennings...

Relax DT, here’s a picture of Kat Dennings…

BROWNS

—–

PACKERS at LIONS

D.T.: NFC North divisional games are always fun, because each team has a great quarterback and receivers, and none of them have any sort of passing defense. They always turn into exciting, decent-scoring shootouts, and this time around should be no different. However, Detroit has to figure out a way to make Megatron and Tate relevant if they want to keep up with the ridiculous chemistry Green Bay’s enjoying between Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson. If Stafford can snap out of his funk and take full advantage of the dangerous long game he has at his disposal, this could turn into an exciting match-up.

PACKERS

BMK: This is a tough one to call.  I think I’m giving it to Detroit because a) they’re at home, b) and I trust their defense a little more.  Plus they’re the Lions, and Lions used to fight Packers in ancient Rome, who’d always lose.  Even back then the Packers had a crappy defense.

LIONS

—–

COLTS at JAGUARS

D.T.: If the Colts can wake up Andrew Luck (seriously, the guy was already sporting a thousand-yard stare during the National Anthem) keep their dumb-ass offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton (more like Lethargic Hamilton, right?) in check, they should enjoy the first of two bye weeks this season.

"Hello Darkness, my old friend..."

“Hello Darkness, my old friend…”

However, the gross incompetence of last week’s play-calling against the Eagles probably has this team riding on a low level of confidence. The Jags may score themselves some points and put up a decent fight, but if Luck can call his own shots and find a way to upgrade his connection with TY Hilton and Reggie Wayne from dial-up back to cable, they should clean house.

Keeping this fucking guy off the field wouldn't hurt, either.

Keeping this fucking guy off the field wouldn’t hurt, either.

COLTS

BMK: Really?

COLTS
—–

RAIDERS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: Holy shit, the Raiders are playing the Patriots? So much for watching football. I’ll be spending the day keeping my friend James, who’s an Oakland native, from killing himself and everyone in a mile radius.

PATRIOTS

BMK: Good luck with your buddy James, DT.  But I don’t think you have to worry about much. I live in the East Bay and no one out here thinks the Raiders are any good.  Except that dude that dresses like Darth Vadar and goes to the games. But he’s homeless and smells like piss.  In other words, just like every other Raiders fan out there.

Anyway, there is absolutely no way – literally, no way – that Oakland can win this. Which means Oakland will win it in a rout.

NEW ENGLAND

—–

49ERS at CARDINALS

D.T.: The NFC West’s first divisional match-up. The 49ers come into this match-up in Arizona with their pass rushing hindered by Outside Linebacker Aldon Smith’s suspension, and their offense troubled by Tight End Vernon Davis’ questionable eligibility due to an injury. The Cardinals are a great home team, but Quarterback Carson Palmer and star Running Back Andre Ellington are likely to be game-time decisions again. The Cardinals’ strength lies in their defense, and ability to create turnovers — if they can create the same type of atmosphere as we saw in the Chicago/San Francisco game and avoid drawing penalties, we could see the Cards walk out with the first NFC West divisional win, and a 3-0 record. I’ll bank on that.

CARDINALS

BMK: Okay, I watched the 49ers game last week and I have to say, as a resident of the Bay Area, I loved the second half. It was everything I wanted in a football game. Harbaugh’s tears make for a delicious vintage no wine from Napa can match.
That said, I cannot pick Arizona here.  First of all, the 49ers always play Arizona tough.  Back in the day, when SF went 2-12, their lone two victories were against the Cardinals.  Second, the Cardinals do not have much of a pass rush, and SF has one of the best offensive lines going right now, even with its issues on the right side. Third, most importantly, I’ve been picking against them all along here and they’ve been winning. So why change that?

SAN FRANCISCO
—–

BRONCOS at SEAHAWKS

D.T.: Without a doubt, the game of the week and the one that will receive the most attention. The Broncos spent the entire offseason using the anger of their Super Bowl loss to fuel their training and resolve. Sunday night it will all come to a head, they’ll be out for blood. Peyton Manning will demand nothing less than perfection, but will he get it against the Seattle squad who, despite a loss against the Chargers last week, still looks razor sharp and deadly?

I kind of hope so, because no one wants to see this shit again.

I kind of hope so, because no one wants to see this shit again.

Officiating is likely to play a huge factor in this match-up, as both teams will be playing with tons of physicality. Expect lots of yellow flags, including personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct, and possibly an injury or two. In the end, I see a bitter and determined Broncos squad handing the Seahawks their second home loss in Russell Wilson’s tenure.

BRONCOS
BMK: Seattle got embarrassed last week by the Chargers, so normally I’d pick Seattle to win in a rout since they have something to prove. Problem is, Peyton Manning was way more embarrassed in the Superbowl by Seattle.  So who do you pick in a battle between an immovable object vs. irresistible force? I’m picking Mr. Irresistible himself, Peyton Manning, to hand Seattle their first consecutive loss this season.

Oh, by the way, I know that the whole, irresistible force vs an immovable object thing is supposed to illustrate a stalemate between two evenly matched and powerful entities, and, technically, there can be no winner between the two, so don’t bother pointing it out.  But if this does end up in a tie, I’ll owe you a coke.

BRONCOS
—–

CHIEFS at DOLPHINS

D.T.: Miami’s starting Running Back, Knowshon Moreno, is likely not to suit up against the Chiefs after dislocating his elbow on his first run in week two. His energy and drive was instrumental in their week one win against the Patriots, and his absence in week two played an obvious role in their week two loss against the Bills. The Chiefs have been near-decimated with injuries in just the first two weeks, with last week’s match-up adding Jamaal Charles and Safety Eric Berry to the list. Coupled with Alex Smith’s inability to complete half of his intended passes leaves the Kansas City offense in serious jeopardy. I don’t think they’ll pull off a road upset.

DOLPHINS

BMK: I have no idea who to pick here. So I got two cat treats and put them on two separate plates, each plate marked with a Chiefs or a Dolphins logo, and let my cat, Sam, go. Whichever team got their treat eaten, I’d pick.

You know what happened?  That #U%)#_*$_ cat ate both treats.  I need a new cat.

This guy sucks at making football picks almost as much as I do.

This guy sucks at making football picks almost as much as I do.

DOLPHINS

—–

STEELERS at PANTHERS
D.T.: The return of Cam Newton brought with it an impressive win against the Lions, whose offense simply could not get it together. Carolina showed their ability to utilize their own green receiving corps, and rookie Kelvin Benjamin continues to prove himself a stud and a brilliant remedy for what many believed would be Carolina’s weakness this season. They’ll be without half of their Defensive Duo, however, as Greg Hardy has been deactivated while investigations over a domestic abuse case are being carried out.

"Guys, can you stop hitting women and kids? People are realizing I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing."

“Guys, can you stop hitting women and kids? People are realizing I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.”

It’s a real blow to Carolina’s defense, and leaves the Steelers poised to exploit. Ben Rothlisberger is always a threat, and Running Back team Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount have been blazing it up.

Seen here, demonstrating the proper way to line up for a running play.

Seen here, demonstrating the proper way to line up for a running play.

Even so, if Cam Newton’s offense can control the pacing of the game, they’re likely to punch holes in Pittsburgh’s struggling defense and send them home with a 1-2 record.

PANTHERS

BMK: Last week I picked the Steelers.  I was sure – SURE! – that they would beat the Ravens, whom I was sure – SURE! – would be distracted and forlorn over the Ray Rice flap.  These kinds of set-backs are why I have self-confidence issues. Anyway, the Steelers are reeling now, and they’ve almost tied me for defensive take-aways the last couple of weeks, so I’m dropping them this week.  As will the Panthers.

PANTHERS
—–

BEARS at JETS

D.T.: A deceptively-interesting match-up to finish out the week. The Jets currently the sport the best running defense in the league, while Matt Forte has been held at 3.5 yards per carry on average. The Jets have the advantage here with Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson splitting touches to highly effective results. On the other hand, Jay Cutler is throwing incredibly well, and four of his receivers are already above 100 yards passing, each. They proved how much of a force their offense can be against San Francisco. If they can get Forte involved, and avoid any defensive confusion from offensive trick plays, they could really give Geno and the Jets a run for their money.

BEARS

BMK: Last week, the coaches lost it for the Jets.  Rex Ryan needs to put his foot down and stomp out his staff’s incompetence before their season is lost. His coaches need to toe the line.  By the way, did you see Rex Ryan’s post-game conference where he states he has no idea who called the time out that nullified a TD? It was a real foot-in-mouth moment.

Yes, this is being written by a 12 year-old, why?

BEARS

We clearly have no idea what we're doing...

We clearly have no idea what we’re doing…

 

This post was written to Spotify’s Beats To Think To Playlist.  Yeah, so what if I like techno…

Written by B. Michael Krol

September 18, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Week 2 Football Picks for CHUD. Sort of…

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D.T.: Week One of the 2014 NFL season is now in the books. Like Jacksonville’s head-scratching pull head in the first half of their match-up with Philly, or Knowshon Moreno making Tom Brady cry into his towel, parts of the week left us amazed, thrilled and reminded us why we fight to survive the seven months of off-season. Other parts of the first week surprised no one at all, like Roger Goodell revealing yet again how incompetent he is. It’s going to be a weird, exciting, unpredictable season and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

B.Michael: Yeah, pretty much.  The one thing I’ll add is the patented NFL overreaction is happening on schedule.  No one should be surprised that that Seattle beat Green Bay, or that the 49ers beat Dallas.  Defense has never been Green Bay’s strength and what they’re really good at – throwing the ball like crazy – is nullified by Seattle’s lock-down secondary. Seattle winning does not mean they’ll repeat this year.  Same applies to the 49ers.  They beat Dallas, who will likely have one of, if not the, worst defenses in the league.  Everyone needs to calm down.

Except the fans in Pittsburgh.  Apparently they hanged Manziel in effigy before the Browns/Steelers game.   That’s awesome.   I’ve never been prouder to be a former resident of Pittsburgh.


 

STEELERS AT RAVENS

D.T.: The Steelers head out to Baltimore for their second divisional rival game in as many weeks. They nearly blew it last week against Cleveland, letting Hoyer command the Browns towards closing the 24 point gap they created at half time, and quell demands for Manziel’s debut. Rothlisberger looked sharp, and showed he’s still able to put it in the hole from deep. Just keep it consensual and of age, Ben. I see the Steelers coming in hungry for that first win, and the Ravens continuing to be distracted by the controversy plaguing their locker room.

Referring, of course, to Poe's racy leaked selfies.

Referring, of course, to Poe’s racy leaked selfies.

STEELERS
BMK:  I’m not sold on Pittsburgh yet.  That said, I the Ravens are coming off of a short week and, um, a lot of other distractions.  So I’m going with Pittsburgh too.

PS: If any of the Ravens players claim they’re playing this one for Janay, I’m taking a shotgun to the nearest road sign.

STEELERS

—-

DOLPHINS AT BILLS

D.T.: Both teams surprised everyone last week, defeating their favored opponents, and the latter pissing off 80% of survivor pool players. Tom Brady out-threw Ryan Tannehill in every area except the one that counts most, while Knowshon Moreno was a revelation, showing no fear as he marched through enemy territory. In Chicago, Running Back Fred Jackson was the hero as he stomped his way to the one yard line, and allowed for a game-winning field goal that left Bills fans with more hope than they’ve had in ages. I see the Dolphins capitalizing more on their week one victory, and riding high in a second against against the Bills

DOLPHINS

BMK: Finally these two powerhouses from the AFC East square off.  I predict it’ll be bigger than the Rumble in the Jungle, World War 2,  and New Coke combined.  It’ll also be a victory for Buffalo, since I trust the Bills defense more than Miami’s offense.  Sorry DT — YOU’RE GOING DOWN!

BILLS
—–

JAGUARS AT REDSKINS

D.T.: The Redskins came into week one even more of a mess than most expected. Like I predicted, all Houston really needed to do was what they do best, and contain Washington’s failing offense long enough for the clock to tick down. The Jaguars showed a strangely-high level of confidence in the first half of their game against the Eagles, but were quickly stomped in a second-half rally and shut-out. Call me crazy, but if the Jaguars can do what they did in that first half against a team not nearly as capable of rallying, they could take it. I’m taking the risky pick and going with Jax.

JAGUARS

BMK: I’m with you picking the Jaguars here.  I, like most thinking people, was impressed with what they did against the Eagles.   I don’t think Washington has it in them to rally if they get behind.  My guess is that they will, and RGIII’s post-game Subway Sub will be eaten fresh…fresh with his tears.

JAGUARS

—–

COWBOYS AT TITANS

D.T.: Yet another shocker, as the Titans took down an unfocused Alex Smith and strangely absent Jamaal Charles. Was it the Titans’ game to win, or the Chiefs’ to lose? Either way, I expect the Tennessee offense who had little trouble dismantling the highly-favored Kansas City defense holding down the fort and doing the same thing to a nearly non-existent secondary visiting from Dallas. Maybe we’ll get to see another Dez Bryant meltdown.

You kinda feel sorry for them...

You kinda feel sorry for them…

...and then you kinda stop feeling sorry for them.

…and then you kinda stop feeling sorry for them.

TITANS

BMK: Ugh, the Cowboys.  Despite how bad they are, they might actually be the second best team in the NFC East.  Hopefully Romo will get over his desire to throw passes to the other team’s defensive players, but I doubt it. With their defense being a complete mess they’ll get behind early and then Romo will start throwing passes like underwear at a Ted Nugent concert: off-target and reeking of desperation.

Yeah, I don’t get it either, but I you to think of the Nuge and reeking old lady underwear.  So there’s that.

TITANS

CARDINALS AT GIANTS

D.T.: Is it still considered a homer pick if there’s very little chance of your team losing? The Lions had the Giants defeated and discouraged in the 1st quarter of their week one meeting, and I just don’t think New York has an answer for what Arizona will bring. Yes, we got lucky with a one point win on Monday night, but our defense held steady against a Chargers team being called a dark horse for the Super Bowl. Not only that, but Carson Palmer looked creative and inventive (two things we haven’t been able to call Eli Manning in a long time), throwing to 11 different receivers — and all of them on his team!

CARDINALS

BMK: I was at that game and I saw a lot to like about the Cardinals.  But I am very concerned about their defensive front seven and Eli Manning has a habit of winning when he shouldn’t.  Plus this game is on the east coast, where is has been habitually difficult for west coast teams to win.

As we established last week, God hates me.  I want to pick the Cards but this has trap game written all over it.  I’m taking the Giants.

GIANTS

—–

PATRIOTS AT VIKINGS

D.T.: The Patriots are coming to Minnesota with the sting of losing a season opener to a divisional rival. The Vikings invite them in after completely blowing out a broken St. Louis squad. I say the anger of being embarrassed outweighs the satisfaction and drive from stomping out a hurting team. Patriots will double their efforts and secure a 1-1 record in week 2. And I think Gronk will live to fight another day.

PATRIOTS

BMK: Week 1’s result was embarrassing for our heroes Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. I have it on good authority Tom cried himself to sleep last Sunday night…on a bed stuffed with Clevelands and being comforted by a supermodel.  In short, being Tom Brady doesn’t suck, but we knew that.

This week Belichick and Brady will come up with a way to ice the Vikings.  I believe in Belichick.  But I also believed in Harvey Dent, sooo…

PATRIOTS

—–

SAINTS AT BROWNS

D.T.: Both teams came out of the first week with narrow losses in their division, and left both teams with the lowest defense rankings in the league. Both will be looking to prove a point, and one of them has a serious shot of looking absolutely foolish in the process. The Saints offense outranks the Browns in every way (at least until Josh Gordon is probably, maybe, most likely reinstated and can give up his career as a car salesman), and I expect them to dish out the sort of victory we grew accustomed to seeing from them in 2013. The Brows are a scrappy team, and coming from nothing with something big to prove. I kind of hope they do (and I hope Hoyer can keep demands for Manziel at bay), but I don’t think they’ll start to do that until week 3.

They probably keep him benched for fear of any other obscene gestures.

They probably keep him benched for fear of any other obscene gestures.

SAINTS

BMK: The Saints are going to march in (HA HA HA, GET IT???!!!??) to Cleveland and dismantle the Browns.  If Hoyer starts really screwing up, watch for Johnny to come marching in (HA HA HA, GET IT???!!??) and take over.  And promptly be destroyed by Rob Ryan and his lovely silver locks.

SAINTS

—–

FALCONS AT BENGALS

D.T.: The Falcon’s narrow victory over their hated New Orleans rival landed them the top spot in league offensive rankings. Matty Ice reminded us of his reputation for being clutch in tight situations, and out threw Breesus, King of the Drews, 3-1 in touchdowns and by a margin of over 110 passing yards. Their week 2 match-up in Cincinnati might prove to be one of the more intense and interesting, as they take on Andy Dalton and A.J. Green’s pairing, capable of such feats as a 77 yard touchdown pass in fourth quarter situations. It’ll be an offensive shoot out to the end, and I see Matt Ryan out throwing Andy Dalton, even on his home turf.

FALCONS

BMK: Really DT, Breesus, King of the Drews?  Oi vey that’s bad…But I can’t disagree with your analysis.

FALCONS

—–

LIONS AT PANTHERS

D.T.: A cats game! The Panthers have guaranteed the return of Cam Newton in the second week, which should help them build from the momentum of last week’s victory over the Buccaneers. I’m intrigued to see the chemistry between Kelvin Benjamin and his starting quarterback, after looking like a stud in week one with back-up Derek Anderson. Kelvin and TE Greg Olsen both look to be the weapons Cam needs for Carolina’s chance at success this season. The Lions were off to a fantastic start, with Matthew Stafford’s chemistry with unstoppable wide receiver Calvin Johnson setting the tone very quickly against the Giants last week. Will they be able to work that type of magic against the Panthers’ dominant defense? Maybe not to such a dazzling degree, but I think so.

LIONS

BMK: Cam coming back is good news…I guess.  But I expect the Lions to win here. They looked pretty damn good last week against the Giants.  And while the Panthers are a better team than the Giants, I’m not sure it’ll make much of a difference.

And yeah, that bit of analysis came after I couldn’t come up with a pun that involved the word pussy that wasn’t base. You’re welcome.

LIONS

—–

RAMS AT BUCCANEERS

D.T.: It’s tough to view the Rams’ performance last week and maintain any sort of optimism or neutrality about their chances against Tampa Bay. Resorting to a third-string quarterback in the first half of the first game of the season, the Rams just looked lost and confused. Vikings’ rookie Running Back Cordarelle Patterson had himself a day, walking on the backs of the Rams to three touchdowns in his regular season debut, the latter of whom could only meekly answer with a pair of field goals. Tampa had their share of disappointments in week one as well, watching star Running Back (are we still calling him a star at this point?) Doug Martin terrify fans yet again by leaving the field with a quad injury, after earning a barely-worth-mentioning 9 yards rushing. Still the Rams are painfully vulnerable, and the Bucs may be poised to exploit that and earn their first W.

She only looks happy because she's paid very little to do so.

She only looks happy because she’s paid very little to do so.

BUCCANEERS

BMK:  DT goes the extra mile here and actually offers analysis, but c’mon…it’s the Rams behind Shaun Hill.  Possibly behind the dude not good enough to supplant Shaun Hill or for me to Google.

BUCCANEERS

—–

SEAHAWKS AT CHARGERS
D.T.: I really only have two predictions for this game: the Seahawks will win, and Phillip Rivers will have another temper tantrum. Even though it pains me to type this next word in all caps…

SEAHAWKS

BMK: Prediction?

 

Pain…

SEAHAWKS

—–

TEXANS AT RAIDERS

D.T.: The only thing keeping the Raiders’ season interesting this early on is the fact that they’re playing opponents they have an ice cube’s chance in hell of beating.

Get it? Because I said "ice cube" in reference to the Raiders. Damn, that's comedy.

Get it? Because I said “ice cube” in reference to the Raiders. Damn, that’s comedy.

Quarterback Derek Carr showed some promise, despite the Raiders being dominated by the Jets. If he can keep that focus and not be intimidated by the inevitability of J.J. Watt firmly yet tenderly putting him to bed — oh, what am I saying? It’s the Texans. The Texans will win.
TEXANS

BMK: The only hope the Raiders have here is if the Texans players take BART to the Coliseum and are stabbed on their way through the parking lot.  Other than that…

TEXANS

—–

JETS AT PACKERS

D.T.: This one might actually be more interesting than people expect. Chris Johnson is a dangerous addition to the Jets running game, against a team known for their poor rushing defense. If Geno can work some magic in the air while Johnson and Ivory hold the ground game, the Jets could actually have a shot here. Still, the Pack needs to save face after the terrible loss they were handed by the last team to come over for a visit. I think I have to go with the safe choice and call on the Packers to win it. But I still really think this could be one of the more interesting Sunday games.

PACKERS
BMK: I was surprised at how well the Jets ran the ball last week. But the Jets secondary are the Oakland Raiders of secondaries.  Rodgers will carve them up faster than Fat Rex used to carve up a ham.
—–

CHIEFS AT BRONCOS

D.T.: Denver’s first divisional match-up comes up as a home game against a rival that fell apart in week one. The last time these two teams crossed paths was in noisy Arrowhead Stadium against a Kansas City team running at full steam. Playing at home against the Broncos is a very different environment, however — just as the Colts, as they were dealt a defeat as revenge for what happened the last time they hosted Denver. If Alex Smith can get his head on straight and the Chiefs can get Jamaal Charles involved, they’ll become a force yet again. But Denver is looking to secure the comfort of a 2-0 record while they’re at home, and I don’t think Peyton will settle for anything less.

BRONCOS

BMK:  It’s the regular season, so Peyton’s going to win.  It’s just that simple.  This year, he’s a man on a mission.  When the playoffs come around though…

Bryan felt bad about his “analysis” for this game, but she thinks he’s tops.

—–

BEARS at 49ERS

D.T.: The 49ers offense had their way with Dallas last week, while the Bears defense couldn’t quite contain the Bills’ middling offense. In a clear-cut case of offense versus defense, I see the Bears giving it their all, but falling short of stopping a San Francisco offense that’s squirrely and hard to get a lock on. Measuring defense versus defense, the 49ers sacked Romo three times and enjoyed four forced turn-overs, while Chicago’s defense gave up nearly 200 rushing yards against the Bills running game. Advantage going into week two, and a win? It’s the 49ers.

49ERS
BMK: Last week, I expected the 49ers to win.  They’re not a bad team by any stretch and even though I think Kaepernick is a tool, he plays behind a great offensive line and Dallas is a bad team, so he did his normal Kaepernick thing (medium range throws, 200 yards). I’m hoping that Chicago will actually give the 49ers a challenge.   But as I stated before: God hates me.

49e…..ugh…I just can’t.
—–

EAGLES AT COLTS

D.T.: Wrapping up the week is a true Monday night shootout between Nick Foles and Andrew Luck. The Eagles might have an advantage with LeSean McCoy leading their rushing game against an Indy defense that allowed first-time starter Monte Ball over 60 yards and a touchdown. They’ll have significantly higher difficulty in containing Shady, but may get lucky if Nick Foles continues his streak of turnovers. It’ll be an exciting end to the week, seeing both teams try to systematically pick at each others weaknesses. Even though they have a running game that Bryan and I could fill in for and probably gain more yards, I have an inkling that Luck with lead the team to a win in the comfort of Lucas Oil Stadium.

COLTS

BMK: I’m picking the Colts here as well since they’re at home.  Henne dropped nearly 300 yards and 2 TDs on the Eagles in week 1, so I’m pretty sure Luck will have no problem handling the Eagles defense.

COLTS

 

 

Note: This post was assembled listening the the Dandy Warhols’s first record. Bryan was surprised at its quality. Check it out. 

Written by B. Michael Krol

September 11, 2014 at 9:09 pm

I Solved the NFL’s Playoff Problem (WARNING: SPORTS CONTENT!)

with one comment

If you listen to sports talk radio, you’d know the biggest problem this nation faces is that a team from the NFC West will host a playoff game.  In the 90 years the NFL has existed, no team with a losing record has ever hosted a playoff team and this is putting a lot of people’s panties in a bunch.  Apparently, it’s too much to ask of the Saints to travel to Seattle or St. Louis to kick the shit out of the Seahawks or Rams before going on to another playoff game.   Maybe these people are concerned that a 7-9 team might beat a 12-4 team and knock the 12-4 team out of the playoffs.  To them I say if, for instance, the Saints can’t beat the Seahawks, do Saints deserve to be in the playoffs?  This kind of thinking usually ends with me in a bar fight.

Anyway, because the people that write and talk about football are a calm, collected bunch, many are calling for the NFL to change its rules to prevent a team with a losing record from hosting a playoff game.  An event that has not yet occurred, and if it did, would have occurred once in the 90 years of pro football in America.

Eli Manning does not like my plan

There are two popular proposals: 1) to not allow a division winner with a losing record into the playoffs or 2) to allow them in but reseed according to record.  Frankly, both of those proposals suck.  If you’re not going to allow a division winner in with a losing record, or if you’re going to reseed, with the current divisions intact, why have divisions at all?  Just split the league in half, take the six best teams and be done with it.

Now, if the NFL wants to do away with divisions and take the six best in each conference, I’d be fine with that.  It would take some realignment, but that’s totally cool with me.  The current divisions in the NFL are retarded anyway, and they should be abolished.

And how would these new divisions be created?  I’m glad you asked.  Here’s my proposal.

Given where the teams are located, it doesn’t make sense to split the league into East and West divisions like basketball and hockey.  It makes the most sense to divvy them up between the north and south.  As an added benefit, since the best of the North and the best of the South will be fighting again, each year the Superbowl won’t just be another championship game, it will also be a metaphor for the Civil War. And who wouldn’t want to relive that experience through the majesty of sport?

After dividing between the north and south, the two conferences would be further subdivided into meaningless divisions, like in Basketball and Hockey.  It would look something like this:

Northern Conference Southern Conference
North West Division South West Division
Seattle Oakland
Minneapolis San Francisco
Green Bay San Diego
Chicago Arizona
Detroit Denver
Indianapolis Kansas City
Cincinnati Dallas
Cleveland Houston
North East Division South East Division
Pittsburgh St. Louis
Buffalo New Orleans
New York Jets Tennessee
New York Giants Atlanta
New England Carolina
Philadelphia Jacksonville
Baltimore Tampa Bay
Washington D.C. Miami

There will be some objections to the new alignment.  I’m sure there are people who don’t like that I destroyed the whole NFC/ AFC thing.  To them I say: get over it.  The NFL and AFL merged back in the 1970.  That was like, 40 years ago, man.  Back then nobody lived past the age of 15 and the only place with in-door plumbing was New York City (and even then it was just a pipe that came out of your apartment and dumped your crap in the street). The AFL is dead, the NFL killed it, and it’s time we stopped dividing the league in an antiquated fashion.

Of course, this does away with some of the traditional “rivalry” games, like the Giants vs. the Eagles, Dolphins vs. the Jets, or Dallas Fans vs. Personal Hygiene (actually, that one will never go away).  To that I say: who cares.  Really, no one gives a damn.  I know the NFL owners like saying they need these rivalry games for added revenue, that if the Browns don’t come to Cincinnati, the fans won’t show up, and then the owners will lose money.

That is, in a word, bullshit.

Seriously, it’s a dumb argument.  Attendance, while down at some stadiums, is fairly steady across the league.  In fact, it’s only a news event if an NFL team doesn’t have a sell-out game (e.g. Jacksonville), and quite a few teams have a long (in some cases at least a decade) waiting list for season tickets.  So if some relic  who used to watch the Pottsville Maroons play can ‘t handle the fact that the old rivalries are dead, let him leave and give some sad sack on the waiting list a chance to drop ten large for the privilege of watching an NFL game in-person.  Honestly guys — change is good.

So there you have it.  A plan for divisions that makes sense and prevents a division winner with a losing record.  Plus, it reduces travel costs since most of the teams are near each other.  Easy peesy, as they say.

Of course, if you still want meaningless divisions, I have a plan for you too.  And frankly, this plan is long overdue.

As I mentioned above, the current divisions in the NFL are retarded.   Why, for instance, is Dallas in the NFC East when A) Dallas is further west than St. Louis (a member of the NFC West), and B) the other members in the NFC East are, basically, in the North East of the country.  I know, I know, tradition, right?  Well screw tradition, it makes no damn sense.

So, here are the new divisions, as I see them.  And because I think preserving the whole NFL/AFL divide 40 years after the merger is stupid, I did away with the NFC/AFC split.  You now have eight divisions, divided into two arbitrary conferences.

This Conference That Conference
Marxist Division Liberal Elites Division
Seattle Buffalo
Oakland New York Giants
San Francisco New York Jets
San Diego New England
Jesus Land Division Crab Cake Division
Arizona Philadelphia
Denver Baltimore
Dallas Washington D.C.
Houston Carolina
Tundra Division BBQ Division
Green Bay Kansas City
Minneapolis St. Louis
Chicago Tennessee
Indianapolis Atlanta
Rust Belt Division Trailer Park Division
Pittsburgh New Orleans
Detroit Tampa Bay
Cincinnati Jacksonville
Cleveland Miami

That’s much better, isn’t it?  Now I can already hear some of you saying, “Hey, those division names are mean.” To you I say: you’re right.

See?  Problem solved.  Of course, it’s possible just to leave everything the way it is since everyone’s making money hand over fist in the NFL (seriously, even the beer guy pulls down at least a 1.5m a year), but that might be a rational reaction to a one-time event, and who wants that?

It’s Never too Early to go to Doucet

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This morning while driving around, I heard Mike and Mike on ESPN radio dissecting the AZ Cardinals upcoming season.  It was a mostly fair assessment, with both guys agreeing on a 8-8 record for the 2010-2011 season.  I think that’s a reasonable conclusion, considering the amount of questions the Cardinals have going into this season.  In fact, I could see as bad as 4-12. But I digress…

One thing that did stick in my craw was Golic’s assessment of WR Early Doucet. Doucet is expected fill in for Anquan Boldin as a tough receiver that goes across the middle. Golic doesn’t buy that — at least not yet.  He said that Doucet’s 31 receptions his first two years in the league were not a good sign, considering that Boldin had 157 catches his first two years in the league.  However, that is not a fair comparison.

Doucet, after his amazing reception for a touch down in the nutty playoff game against the Packers

When Boldin was drafted by Arizona in 2003, Arizona had the following WRs on its roster:

  • Larry Foster
  • Bryan Gilmore
  • Bryant Johnson
  • Kevin Kasper
  • Jason McAddley
  • Nate Poole

Recognize any of those names?  Me neither.  And I’ve been following the Cardinals since 1993.

In Boldin’s first game against Detroit, he had 187 yards receiving.  That shocked the Cardinals and their fan base.  It became pretty clear over the next few weeks that this guy was something special.  So he became the focus of the passing attack, which is why he had 157 receptions in his first two years.

Now, when Doucet came aboard in 2008, Arizona had the following WRs on its roster:

  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Anquan Boldin
  • Steve Breaston
  • Jerheme Urban
  • Ed Gant
  • Michael Ray Garvin
  • Onrea Jones
  • Lance Long
  • Sean Morey
  • Steve Sanders

You see the difference?  Arizona had two of the best WRs in the league (and Fitzgerald might be one of the best ever), and Steve Breaston was no slouch either.  This was the year that Arizona had three 1000+ yard WRs on its roster.  In that kind of situation, a rookie WR won’t be anywhere near the ball (if memory serves, Doucet was 5th on the depth chart, just after Jerheme Urban).  The year after, Doucet moved up, but Arizona still had Fitz, Boldin and Breaston catching the ball.  It would be hard for anyone new to compete with those three.

It’s not a fair to Doucet to draw a conclusion about his abilities by comparing Boldin’s first two years to Doucet’s.  The situation on the team was wildly different when Boldin came aboard to when Doucet did.  Golic may still be right in his ultimate analysis (that Doucet will not be a suitable replacement for Boldin), but how he got there, I think, is wrong.

Written by B. Michael Krol

August 18, 2010 at 11:12 am