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4th and Krol: Week 17! The Final Picks Column for the ’15-’16 Season!

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Week 17:  Would this be better if I were Ben Vereen?

Week 17: Would this be better if I were Ben Vereen?

D.T.: Some how, someway, we survived all the way to this, the last and final week of the season. However, there are those of us who were not so lucky. Let us pay respects in memorial of those who did not make it to the end…

Pagano

Chuck Pagano
2012 – 2016

Kelly

Chip Kelly
2013 – 2015

Whis

Ken Whisenhunt
2014 – 2015

Pettine

Mike Pettine
2014 – 2016

Philbin

Joe Philbin
2012 – 2015

Ryan

Rob Ryan
2013 – 2015

Alright, this is already exhausting, and the joke has come and gone. The list of coaches fired this year would rival the montage of dead people at the Oscars, and rightfully so: this season sucked. But it’s almost over, and we’re looking at a solid post-season. A slice of warm pumpkin pie after a meal of burnt turkey and green bean casserole. But before we get there, we gotta choke down some more bad football. HERE WE GO!

BMK: Yeah, this season wasn’t great. Like we mentioned on the podcast, there just wasn’t a middle-class of football teams this year. Most divisions had favorites that just ran away with them, and there wasn’t any real drama. Except in dumpster fire divisions like the NFC East and the AFC South. And watching those division races were like watching a Dubai skyscraper blaze next to a fireworks display: haunting, beautiful, and ultimately destructive and awful.
That said, this regular season was awful but the post-season is promising. Especially in the NFC, where you can make a good argument that any of the teams in that field could make the Superbowl. Some might need a bounce or two to go their way, but hey, that’s football.
Also, DT, it is in real poor taste to use that date format with a guy that was fighting cancer a few years back. SHAME!

Shame

———-
JETS at BILLS
D.T.: The Jets have the chance to clinch a playoff berth for the first time in five years, and to do so, they have to go through Rex Ryan (who will likely be added to the list above, as soon as we hit the off season). I say they do it, and what’s more? I say they go further in the playoffs than the dreaded Patriots!

Yep, that's honestly about as far as I think the Pats go.

Yep, that’s honestly about as far as I think the Pats go.

JETS
BMK: Jets are taking this one and are going to the playoffs. I hope they make a deep run.
Here’s a fun game though: watch this game and take a drink every time they call Fitzpatrick smart since he went to Harvard. You’ll die of alcohol poisoning before the end of the first half.

———-
PATRIOTS at DOLPHINS
D.T.: But, before they get snubbed in the post-season, they’ll add another mark in the W column this week.
DOLPHINS
BMK: Really DT? Patriots losing on the road to the fish? It aint happening.
PATRIOTS

———-
SAINTS at FALCONS
D.T.: All of these bastards have a choice between playing for pride or a draft pick. I don’t really care, and if either of these teams cared, they’d have played better. BOOM!
Uh… Falcons.
BMK: The Falcons did their job last week and beat the Panthers, who are quickly becoming one of the NFL’s most irritating teams. This week…I don’t know. I’ll go with the Saints to be contradictory.
SAINTS

———-
LIONS at BEARS
D.T.: More pointless football between teams who should tank.
LIONS
BMK: These teams don’t care and neither do I.
BEARS

———-
EAGLES at GIANTS
D.T.: We’re really batting a thousand here, with these meaningful games… I am curious to see if the Eagles have some kind of renewed short-term enthusiasm after Kelly’s firing, much like the Titans enjoyed after Whisenhunt was canned. I think the Giants will win, but I don’t think that prevents Tom Coughlin from being fired, once and for all. And really, that’s two wins in one for the Giants.

"I was never the biggest fan of coaching baseball, anyway."

“I was never the biggest fan of coaching baseball, anyway.”

I’ll miss the easy target that was this man.

GIANTS
BMK: I’m going to check out this game because I want to see what happens to the Eagles. Coughlin’s playing for his job, but Bradford’s playing for another huge contract. Which will win! The resistible force or the moveable object! Tune in and find out!

"That's it DT, you're being ejected for making obvious jokes."

“That’s it DT, you’re being ejected for making obvious jokes.”

GIANTS

———-
REDSKINS at COWBOYS
D.T.: The Skins have already clinched the division, and the Cowboys are post-mortem. Who cares.
REDSKINS
BMK: Who cares? I think we all know the answer to that…

He cares.

REDSKINS

———-
TITANS at COLTS
D.T.: I don’t even know who the Colts are rolling out as QB this week, and I know they’ve hired Ryan Lindley (likely to be cut at the end of the day tomorrow) as an extra body just in case said mystery quarterback goes down like the rest. I give to the Titans this week, simply because I can actually name more than two starters still active on their roster.

"...shit, the only person I can name on our roster is T.Y."

“…shit, the only person I can name on our roster is T.Y.”

Andrew Luck, I love you dude. You deserve better. Explore free agency – there are plenty of teams that would move money around to have you. And if you come to Arizona, you can hang with your favorite coach again, win Super Bowls, and we know you look good in red. Whadda you say?

TITANS
BMK: Ah..the Colts. People were picking them to be in the Superbowl this year and now look at them. They’re a mess. Technically they’re still alive for the Playoffs, but 13 things have to happen before they’re in. One of which is George RR Martin finishing the Winds of Winter, and we all know that isn’t happening.

"Every night I sleep in a bed filled with cocaine and Asian hookers, Krol..."

“Every night I sleep in a bed filled with cocaine and Asian hookers, Krol…”

Like DT said, Luck, go to AZ. You’ll love it there.
TITANS

———-
RAVENS at BENGALS
D.T.: AJ McCarron continues to impress and nearly beat the Broncos last week, save a lucky fumble that went in Denver’s favor in overtime. The Ravens have enjoyed playing the upsetters since their elimination from the post-season, but I don’t their luck will continue on against the Bengals at home.
BENGALS
BMK: Okay, so I was wrong about AJ McCarron last week. SUE ME! I’m not wrong that 1) McCarron is a career backup, 2) Some QB desperate team will sign him (HELLO BROWNS!) and 3) Jon Snow is coming back in season 6 of Game of Thrones. You can take that shit to the bank!

 

"You know nothing, Bryan Krol."

“You know nothing, Bryan Krol.”

"Really? Crap, I just bought a house..."

“Really? Crap, I just bought a house…”

BENGALS

———-
STEELERS at BROWNS
D.T.: Again, I have no idea who’s starting under center for the Browns this week. This sad chapter in their history of many sad chapters comes to a close with a home defeat against their bitter Pittsburgh rivals, and will herald the end of Mike Pettine’s time in Cleveland.
STEELERS
BMK: I’m writing this in a hot frenzy on Sunday morning (right now it’s 8:53 am), and reports are coming in that Manziel was in Vegas on Saturday night. Manziel, you might recall, is out this week due to a concussion. Let that sink in. Homeboy is out in Vegas, the night before a game that he cannot play in because he has a brain injury.
Someone needs to check the Brown’s owner for a brain injury.

"Where's the craps table?"

“Where’s the craps table? I’m feeling lucky!”

STEELERS

———-
JAGUARS at TEXANS
D.T.: If the Texans beat the Jaguars, they clinch the AFC South. Yeah, I actually typed that sentence. A true example of how messed up this season has been. And I think they’ll do it. This year, we welcome both the Texans and the Redskins to the post-season. God help us all.
TEXANS
BMK: The Houston JJ Watts are going to win this game and flame out in a spectacular fashion during the post-season.
TEXANS

———-
RAIDERS at CHIEFS
D.T.: The Raiders are eliminated, and the Chiefs have already secured their spot in the playoffs. The Raiders didn’t go quietly though, and I maintain that Krol’s prediction that the Raiders could have made it to the wild card was not unfounded. We’d be looking at a very different situation in the AFC West this year, if not for some serious luck on the part of the Denver defense. Had they not enjoyed as many game-changing plays to save their drowning offense, we might have been looking at the Raiders and Chiefs heading towards playoff berths. Anyway, the Chiefs take this one.
CHIEFS
BMK: The Raiders are heading in a good direction. Will they take the next step? Who knows. But they have good pieces at QB, WR, and LB. If they get a good CB and LT they could make some noise next year in the AFC West and start winning a lot of games. The LA fans will love that, since LA only supports a winner, right M. Night?

"...and the twist is my career becomes a flaming pile of shit!"

“…and the twist is my career becomes a flaming pile of shit!”

———-
CHARGERS at BRONCOS
D.T.: The Chargers have played their last game at Qualcomm Stadium, and their final game under the San Diego banner will come as a loss to the Broncos at home. The Chargers have simply fallen apart on every level, and even the unbalanced Denver team will have no trouble picking them apart.

"Hey, out of all the teams that'll be looking for a QB this year, which one loves Jesus the most?"

“Hey, out of all the teams that’ll be looking for a QB this year, which one loves Jesus the most?

BRONCOS
BMK: Broncos are going to kill the Chargers. This is going to get ugly. An ignominious end the Chargers time in San Diego.

BRONCOS

———-
BUCCANEERS at PANTHERS
D.T.: As an unabashed Cardinals fan and sympathizer of children with terrible names, I’d love to see the Bucs knock Cam Newton down a few pegs. But that shit probably isn’t going to happen because, as Chosen Newton will soon learn, there is no justice in this world.
PANTHERS
BMK: I can’t even be snarky here. The Panthers will get the number one seed and we’ll have to deal with Newton for a few more weeks.
PANTHER

———-
SEAHAWKS at CARDINALS
D.T.: Lots of people, my partner included, think the Cardinals should take a hit and let the Seahawks slide past them. I say fuck off to that. Bring in your starters and play them to the best of their abilities. Not only because the Arizona Cardinals are still working their way out from Seattle’s shadow and a sweep would do wonders for that, but also because the Cardinals have secured a first round bye in the post-season, and they need to stay hot.

You don't do this shit to Aaron Rodgers EIGHT TIMES, then take a break.

You don’t do this shit to Aaron Rodgers EIGHT TIMES, then take a break.

I’d like to see a convincing Cardinals win here. Russell Wilson is still dangerous as hell, but that offensive line is in shambles, and the Cardinals can solidify their identity once and for all. And I think Bruce Arians is the type of guy to play at full steam and insist on making that statement.
CARDINALS
BMK: *pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries pleasenoinjuries….*
SEAHAWKS

———-
RAMS at NINERS
D.T.: Who the fuck cares. Both of these teams are in for fuckin’ brutal off-seasons.
RAMS
BMK: Later Tomsula. You were in an impossible situation with difficult people. There was no way you’d make it another year. You were a patsy from the beginning.
Jeff Fisher, why are you still employed?

"Why? I'll tell you why! Because of my AWESOME facial hair, ya dweeb!"

“Why? I’ll tell you why! Because of my AWESOME facial hair, ya dweeb!”

RAMS
———-
VIKINGS at PACKERS
D.T.: If you had told me that the Vikings and Packers would be tied for first and their week 17 match-up would declare the winner of the NFC North, I probably would have told you “Fuck off, good sir.” But that’s exactly what’s happening, and as such, it’s my GAME OF THE WEEK. The Pack is a mess right now, and Teddy Bridgewater is on fire — that alone would be reason enough to give the Vikings the win outright. However, Lambeau is a cold, hostile place to play, especially with pride and the division on the line. We’re in for a hell of a game, I think, and ultimately a narrow Vikings win.
VIKINGS
BMK: This is a tougher matchup to call than one would think. The Packers are pretty good at home, and this is a divisional matchup, so players will be paying attention. Normally, I’d go with the Packers for those reasons and because of Rodgers, but the Vikings are doing very well and the Packer’s offensive line is a mess. So I’m giving this the Vikings.
VIKINGS

———-
D.T.: And I think that should do it for the 2015-16 edition of 4th & Krol, at least in column form. Expect the podcast to continue on into the off-season, as we shift more towards pop culture, some off-season NFL news, and absolutely fuck all to do with baseball or basketball. I’d like to thank our reader for taking time out of each week to read our nonsense, and I hope we’ve entertained, informed and made the world a better, more marmy and sarcastic place. Cheers to you, dear reader, and may you never find a better use of your time.

BMK: With all sincerity, thanks for reading each week. If it wasn’t for you, this would be a whole lot less fun. But knowing that you’re suffering through a crappy regular NFL season with us makes this all worthwhile.

Next week, we transition to podcasts solely and we’ll be doing a post-mortem on the season plus talking about Star Wars.

The column will return next year and I’m hoping to have a permanent home for all this nonsense in the coming weeks.

Anyway, thanks again, and never change. You’re beautiful.

Unless you’re a Cowboys fan. Then you should rethink your life.

And now…your final weekly Kat Dennings….Let’s make it a good one.

ed5e0302da32664085b6c5ee0cde8c86 Kat

I had dreams like this during puberty.

Kat Dennings 02

One of the best pictures of Kat Dennings ever...

My life is gonna suck when that restraining order kicks in...

full-kat-dennings-4400af1757fa4d19e6b546338944204d-smaller-109284

"Really? He took the Browns? Over the Broncos?"

"Nanobubbles, you say?"

"I CARE about Philip Rivers!"

"No you're not Kat...Nobody likes Tomsula."

15a4fd07421a476a706cc6a48de25bf9e9e985cd59084cb7c91374499446aae7

"I told you that once Eli got used to three-step drops that he would excel in Macadoo's system, but you wouldn't stop staring and drooling."

"Whatever..."

"No, you wouldn't."

Kat Realizing that I was in LA and didn't call her...

"Seriously, no one cares about your weird personal life."

"Wait...Krol's actually using analysis?"

This post was written in white hot frenzy on Sunday morning while listening to techno...

 

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4th Krol: Week Fifteen Picks!

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Week 15:  I've done this column so many times, I'm no longer green.

Week 15: I’ve done this column so many times, I’m no longer green.

D.T.: Three weeks left to go, and teams are dropping faster than people in Tom Coughlin’s high school yearbook.

"Actually, I'm the last surviving alum for the past 20 years."

“Actually, I’m the last surviving alum for the past 20 years.”

Each division in the AFC has dropped dead weight, with the North down to 50% of teams still in the hunt. The NFC has fared better, with tight races still taking place in multiple divisions. Unless you’re a fan of the Chargers, Titans, Browns, Ravens, Dolphins, Lions or Niners, we’re coming down to some truly important games. Let’s get into it!

BMK: After a few weeks of garbage games, we’re finally getting some meaningful games. I feel like Hawkeye in MASH, in the Adam’s Ribs episode, standing on top of the heater in the mess tent, refusing to “eat this dreck” anymore, and chanting “We want something else!”  Now we’re getting something else.

One of the best episodes ever...and now I want ribs.

One of the best episodes ever…and now I want ribs.

From the NFL at least. 4th and Krol is still giving you cheap shots, bad puns, and obscure pop culture references.

And Ms. Dennings, of course…

One of the best pictures of Kat Dennings ever...

One of the best pictures of Kat Dennings ever…

———-

BUCCANEERS at RAMS

D.T.: Last week, the Bucs fell victim to a desperate attempt by the Saints to stay in the running, while the Rams added insult to a very injured Lions squad, already eliminated from the playoffs. It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that the Rams won’t make the post-season, but the Bucs still have a slight chance, being tied for second in the NFC South. I think Winston and his squad come out swinging, and put the (soon to be formerly) St. Louis Rams down for good.

BUCS
BMK: The Rams don’t get put down. The Rams put YOU down. There’s no way the Bucccanneers win this game.  Not with 8-8 in the Ram’s sight!

Yeah, this trade worked out like gangbusters...

Yeah, this trade worked out like gangbusters…

RAMS

———-

JETS at COWBOYS

D.T.: The Cowboys are finished. There’s a three-way tie for first between losing teams in the NFC East, and the Cowboys aren’t even in the conversation anymore. The Jets, however, are still nipping at the heels of a wounded Patriots team, and a win against Dallas this week will help to try and close the gap.

 

Can't wait for a looooong off-season of everyone talking about this fuckface.

Can’t wait for a looooong off-season of everyone talking about this fuckface.

 

JETS
BMK: Watching the Cowboys without Romo is like watching a beloved character in a Joss Whedon movie. We all know he/she is going to die so we’re just waiting for the inevitable. The Cowboys are done, have been done, and now we’re just waiting for the 3rd act, so they can get killed and we can go on to the exciting conclusion.

Alan Tudyk thinks I made a great point here...

Alan Tudyk thinks I made a great point here…

———-

PANTHERS at GIANTS

D.T.: The Dolphins made Eli Manning look like the greatest quarterback in the league on Monday night, failing on every level to contain the QB on his monstrous march over their defense.

"First time ever being called 'monstrous' - alright!"

“First time ever being called ‘monstrous’ – alright!”

 
Even the layman knows that if you pressure Eli, he’s prone to mistakes. Even so, the ‘Fins only pressured twice, and let Eli have his way. But that Panthers defense… that’s going to make for a very different narrative. Expect Eli to take some heavy hits, make some magic happen with ODB, but ultimately lose at home to a Panthers team en fuego.

PANTHERS

BMK: A couple of experts that I usually trust are picking the Giants this week.  Typically, I go all Gandalf on them, yelling, “Pete Prisco – STAY THIS MADNESS!” But fuck it.  I’m picking the Giants this week.

SIC SEMPER TYRANIS, DT!

Eli aint even buying this pick...

Eli aint even buying this pick…

GIANTS

———-

TITANS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: Fuck off.

PATRIOTS

BMK: I wanted to write a full break down of this game, just to troll DT a bit. But then I realized (as I often do) that DT’s approach was the correct one.

PATRIOTS

"I've killed THIS many Asian hookers today..."

“I’ve killed THIS many Asian hookers today…”

———-

BILLS at REDSKINS

D.T.: It’s funny that the Redskins have something to play for this Sunday. I’m going to be a total dick and pick the Bills, because (and I know my partner agrees) that head office does not need any sort of validation by making the post-season. ‘Skins fans would love to see their team go into the playoffs, no doubt, but the cost of doing so would mean sticking with that same coaching staff and general manager. It’d be better for everyone to wash the season and let the firings begin.

 

"Our market research actually proves that fans LIKE terrible QB controversies, expired beer and a revolving door for our coaching staff."

“Our market research actually proves that fans LIKE terrible QB controversies, expired beer and a revolving door for our coaching staff.”

 

BILLS

BMK: The NFC East still has a three-way tie for first. As much as I’d love that logjam to continue till the end, someone is going to stumble away from the pack. I hope it’s not the Redskins though. As DT alluded to above, there’s no reason to encourage Dan Synder. He’s loathsome.

I’m picking the Bills. More for hope than anything else. There has to be justice in the world. There just has to be!

BILLS

———-

CHIEFS at RAVENS

The Chiefs really want a shot at the wildcard, though it may not have been evident in their sleepy game against San Diego last week. They are right in the running with the Broncos, who showed just how vulnerable they’ve become with a loss to the Raiders. They’ve got a hell of a lot more to play for than the Ravens do, and that makes them dangerous. I see the Chiefs taking a narrow win this week.

CHIEFS

BMK: The jury might still be out on whether or not Joe Flacco is elite (spoiler alert: he aint), but whatever sad sack the Ravens just signed off the street certainly isn’t elite, and without a decent QB, there is no way the Ravens will win this game. Or any other games, for that matter.

This meme makes me laugh.

CHIEFS

———-

TEXANS at COLTS

D.T.: The second I told Krol last week that Brian Hoyer looked really good, the Texans immediately stopped scoring points and began to shit the bed. But holy fuck – against an Indy squad that gave up 51 points to the motherfucking Jaguars, Christmas is coming early for Houston as they step over their divisional rivals and walk into first place in the AFC South.

 

"Something funny about Santa and sacks, bros!"

“Something funny about Santa and sacks, bros!”

 

TEXANS
BMK: As inept as the Texans are offensively, the Colts are even worse.  How, I don’t know.

TEXANS
———-

FALCONS at JAGUARS

D.T.: Falcons gonna Falcons. Shut outs in the NFL are surprisingly rare, but Atlanta made it look like an every day occurrence for Carolina, who had no problems at all keeping them out of the endzone and scoring 38 points themselves. Fuck it, I’m calling this my upset of the week, and predicting we see the Jags win two in a row and beat a truly humbled and downtrodden Atlanta.

JAGUARS

BMK: As a long-time Cardinals fan, I always root for horrible franchises to get their acts together and actually put a winning product on the field.  Except for the Rams, since the Rams are in St. Louis and owned by a complete douche.

Anyway, the Jaguars had a great game last week, and odds are good this week that they’ll have another good game against a reeling Falcons squad. Which makes me happy, since Arthur Blank owns Home Depot as well as the Falcons, and Home Depot sucks butt.

This came up when I Googled "Home Depot Sucks." I like it. It adds a bit of class.

This came up when I Googled “Home Depot Sucks.” I like it. It adds a bit of class.

JAGUARS

———-

BEARS at VIKINGS

D.T.: Doesn’t really matter, does it? At this point, the Bears’ only hope is winning the next three games and tying the Vikings, but with tie-breakers and outside forces influencing teams’ ability to make the playoffs, the Bears are done. The Vikings will finish them off.

VIKINGS

BMK: This is probably the cutest match-up of the whole week. Seriously?  Bears AND Vikings playing with each other?  That makes my black heart grow three sizes.

The Vikings will win.  Mostly because they’ll have swords.

I had dreams like this during puberty.

I had dreams like this during puberty.

VIKINGS

———-

PACKERS at RAIDERS

D.T.: Last week’s game between Oakland and Denver was a bit of a head-scratcher. Denver’s offensive line, which isn’t great but not terribly awful either, allowed Khalil Mack alone five sacks on Brock Osweiler. Denver’s failure at nearly every level led to small quarterback controversy, but more on that later. The Packers have also become inconsistent and hard to predict in the second half of this season, and that makes them vulnerable to a team like Oakland that has a lot of good pieces in place, but not the connective tissue just yet to make it all work. We’ve seen some impressive displays from Oakland, and some reminiscent of recent seasons gone by.

 

Here's Darnell Dockett with a friendly reminder of such things.

Here’s Darnell Dockett with a friendly reminder of such things.

This’ll be an interesting match-up, seeing how Oakland’s defense handles Aaron Rodgers, and how their own offense takes on that middling Green Bay defense. In the end, I give it to the Packers, but I think we’re in for a fun game here.

PACKERS

BMK: What you just read above, gentle reader, is the awful taste of sour grapes. I was there when DT saw his Broncos get handled by the Raiders, and it was not a fun sight.

Anyway, this may end up being the last home game for the Raiders in Oakland. For that reason, I think I’m going with Oakland this week. It feels like Green Bay is running out of gas.

RAIDERS

———-

BROWNS at SEAHAWKS

D.T.: Meh. I’d love to see Cleveland get a crazy, unlikely win here, even if it means a feather in Manziel’s booze and shame-drenched cap. But that shit ain’t happening.

SEAHAWKS

BMK: This won’t even be close. And then we’ll have to endure another week of Hot Takers extoling Russell Wilson’s virtues at QB, ignoring the fact that he’s been playing shitty teams with shitty secondaries.

SEAHAWKS

———-

BENGALS at NINERS

D.T.: Poor Cincinnati… coming into the first half of the season undefeated, looking like real contenders up to this point, and Andy Dalton busts the thumb on his throwing hand. Now he won’t even get a chance to lose that game in the first round of the tournament, and Bengals fans will be left wondering what could have been.

 

He'd cry, if he had a soul... but, y'know, that whole unfortunately thing with Gingers.

He’d cry, if he had a soul… but, y’know, that whole unfortunately thing with Gingers.

And we have no idea what to expect with AJ McCarron – coming into his first start against a soft opponent, but in a high-stakes situation is going to be nerve-wracking. The kid showed grace under pressure in Alabama… but this ain’t college ball. I think we might see another crazy upset here, and the late and tragic downfall of the Bengals, starting with an embarrassing win in Santa Clara.

NINERS

BMK: The Ginger of Doom is done for the year. And so are the Bengals.

NINERS

———-

DOLPHINS at CHARGERS

Once teams get eliminated from the post-season, they should just be given the remaining weeks off, so we don’t have to suffer through shit like this.

Cha…Dol… fuck, I can’t decide. I’ll go with whatever Krol picks, and we’ll call this one a wash.

BMK: So DT fobbed this one off on me, huh?  Fine.

CHICAGO BULLS

“Crap. Now I have to suffer a season ending injury in another sport!”

———-

BRONCOS at STEELERS

D.T.: As a Broncos fan and an enthusiastic disliker of all things Steelers, this shit is going to be difficult to watch. Denver’s offensive line forgot how to offensive line, and fans were calling for Peyton Manning – who’s back on his feet and taking snaps with the practice squad this week – to return and take his place under center.

 

"I have to play with the practice squad? With the kid who wears his helmet backwards, and the other guy who thinks my name is Papa John?"

“I have to play with the practice squad? With the kid who wears his helmet backwards, and the other guy who thinks my name is Papa John?”

Neither quarterback choice honestly inspires much confidence against the Steelers, who are very hungry to a shot at #1 in their division, with Dalton out of the picture. It’s up the Broncos defense to try and keep the team in the game.

Ugh… STEELERS

BMK: This is a hard game to pick. Both teams have very good components and glaring weaknesses.  I think the Bronco’s secondary is better than the Steelers, but the Steelers very clearly have a superior QB.

I’m going with the Steelers. There’s no way a team that lost to the Raiders can beat the Steelers this week, is there, DT?

STEELERs

———-

CARDINALS at EAGLES

D.T.: What seems like an easy game to call on the surface, things are actually always explosive when these two Bird Teams get together. And give the Eagles desperation to break that three tie in the NFC East, and the Cardinals to do one better than their secured playoff berth and land a first round bye and home field advantage, the feathers are going to fly in Philly.

 

And likely the Gatorade, too.

And likely the Gatorade, too.

Shit’s gonna get rough, and we can expect to see just as much yellow on that field as red and green. Still, the Cardinals sport the far superior offense, and their defense (when they’re actually fucking awake) is more than capable of containing that hit and miss Eagles offense. I give it to the Cardinals.

CARDINALS

BMK: The Cardinals are starting this maddening trend of playing down to their competition. I expect that to continue this week.  Despite being the better team, the Eagles will keep it close. Sam Bradford is not good enough to beat the AZ defense, but that won’t stop him from getting some good plays in.

CARDINALS

———-

LIONS at SAINTS

D.T.: The poor bastards on both these teams deserve a break. But sadly, only one will feel the sting on their season lessened with a win on Monday night. As the world looks for something more interesting to watch, I see the Saints getting a win this week because it’s draft pick time for Detroit. That team has a lot to think about this off-season, and fresh off an early elimination from the post-season is as good a time as any to start. Show up, make it look like something of an effort, and eat the next three losses.

SAINTS

BMK: Forget it.

SAINTS

———-

D.T.: Some of these games are still exciting, but we’re reaching the close of a season that had many a foregone conclusion right around the halfway mark. It’s been a season with many high points, but one with a very clear line between the haves and have-nots. Now, we see the teams who made their claims to the post-season very early on fight for byes and rights to home field advantage.

Anyway, here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas, dear readers. May all of your holiday dreams come true (unless you’re a Browns or Lions fan… in which case, may you at least get some bitchin’ presents or something).

 

BMK: Who else is ready for the post-season? As always, thanks for reading. The podcast will return once we figure out hosting issues.

And now…your weekly dose of Kat Dennings…

Kat

 

4th and Krol: Week 12 Picks!

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Week Twelve: This column, we should shelve.

Week Twelve: This column, we should shelve.

D.T.: It’s Thanksgiving, and this week two things happen: gorging yourself on food and drink while watching peak-conditioned athletes perform at a world-class level, and also… no teams on bye, which means a hell of a lot of games to talk about. Or make snide jokes about before quickly moving on.

BMK: It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so I’m option to take cheap shots and move on. Honestly, did you expect anything else?

———-

EAGLES at LIONS

D.T.: Everyone involved with both these teams are pretty unhappy. The Philadelphia press is pulling no punches asking Chip Kelly if he has any fucking idea what he’s doing. The Lions fired everyone. Both of these teams come into this Thanksgiving match-up with fuck all to be thankful for… aside from the millions of dollars, loyal fans and women throwing themselves at them.

"Wait... I thought we were supposed to throw the women."

“Wait… I thought we were supposed to throw the women.”

Sam Bradford should come back, and that Detroit defense is a joke. The Eagles should get a decent win. And I feel bad about that pretty terrible Greg Hardy joke, so for the rest of this column, I’m going to simultaneously show my appreciation and respect for women, and also express what I’m thankful for in this special holiday week: I’m posting nothing but photos of cheerleaders from my winning teams this week.

Charnei from Philly, I'm thankful for you.

Charnei from Philly, I’m thankful for you.

EAGLES
BMK: Since I already admitted that I’m writing this on Saturday, I’ll just go ahead and admit I was planning on taking Philadelphia.  This was obviously a mistake, as the Eagles lost to Detroit 1350 – 3.

I never, ever bought into the Eagles. During the pre-season, we were inundated with nonsense about Chip Kelly and his vaunted “system.” We’ll, we’re seeing the results of that system. In college, you can win with a system, but in the pros, you need talent. Especially at QB. The Eagles got rid of some of their most talented players and traded for Sam Bradford (though, to be fair, Foles aint exactly setting the world on fire in St. Louis). This team is a mess from the top down.

Eagles dog, I'm thankful for you!

Rather than objectify women, I’m going to post a cute picture of a dog wearing a jersey. Unless I can find a good picture of Kat Dennings.

EAGLES
———-

PANTHERS at COWBOYS

D.T. The Return of Romo brought with it a win last week, and an end to the Cowboys’ seven game losing streak. Even so, it was against Miami and that doesn’t command much confidence. The Panthers are on fucking fire, and that defense will knock around a Dallas offense that’s still shaking off the dust. I predict a Panthers win, and at least one Romo re-injury scare.

Kloi from Carolina, I'm thankful for you.

Kloi from Carolina, I’m thankful for you.

PANTHERS

BMK: More post-mortems. I was going to pick the Cowboys here. I assumed that, with Romo back, and the NFC Least still wide open, that the Cowboys would show some backbone and try to win. Like the Eagles, I’m not entirely sold on the now 10-0 Panthers. Their schedule aint exactly a murderer’s row. So I figured they could lose here.

This dude's adorable...

This dude’s adorable…

Nope. Jerry Jones fucked me again. And Cam Newton, one of the worst dressers since Uncle Leo in Seinfeld, is now at the top of the NFC. Awesome.

In lieu of a funny Uncle Leo picture, here's this...

In lieu of a funny Uncle Leo picture, here’s this…

COWBOYS

———-

BEARS at PACKERS

D.T.: It finally came out that Aaron Rodgers has been playing hurt. I don’t know if that accounts fully for that three game Green Bay losing streak, but it’s a good place to start. And getting a nice 30-13 win against the Vikings last week was a good place to start for a recovery. The top Turkey Day game this year will result in a Packers in at home, and Cheesus and Feast Mode feasting on Turkey on the 50 yard line.

The Packers don't have cheerleaders, so here's Kloi again. I'm very thankful for her.

The Packers don’t have cheerleaders, so here’s Kloi again. I’m very thankful for her.

PACKERS

BMK: This. This one hurt. I felt sure that the Packers would beat Chicago.

To paraphrase Jack Burton, can someone, I don’t care who, tell me what the hell is happening in Green Bay?  Seriously. This team is falling apart faster than that 3rd act of Batman Begins.

Man when things fall apart, that centre sure don’t hold very long.

PACKERS
By the way, if you’re keeping score at home, I just referenced Big Trouble in Little China, Devin Faraci’s infamous Batman review, and William Butler Yeats.  I feel like Dennis Miller in his prime. When he was funny and not a right-wing douchebag.

Who needs cheerleaders? This little guy will raise your spirits!

Who needs cheerleaders? This little guy will raise your spirits!

———-

SAINTS at TEXANS

D.T.: Who the FUCK knows what’ll happen here. There’s simply no predicting what will happen in any given Saints game. What I thought was a no-brainer in week 10 ended up being a blood bath, and the Texans are pretty decent at home this year. They’re also looking for a spot in the post-season, and a win against a completely fucked New Orleans team will give them that much more momentum.

Identical Twin Cheerleaders Jordan and Randi from Houston, I'm thankful for you. And you.

Identical Twin Cheerleaders Jordan and Randi from Houston, I’m thankful for you. And you.

TEXANS

BMK: Yeah, this is a hard one to call. Neither team is setting the world on fire, though JJ Watt is close, since some men just want to watch the world burn and he’s one of them. Drew Brees is obviously a better QB that whatever future practice squader that the Texans are going to throw in the lineup.

I’m going to go with the Texans. Brees is still capable of playing at a high-level, but the Texans front-seven is very impressive and should harass him all day.  Brees will make it clear to JJ Watt that his attention is not welcome but Watt don’t give a fuck.

Of COURSE I went for the pug.

Of COURSE I went for the pug.

TEXANS

———-

RAMS at BENGALS

D.T.: The Bengals lost to the Cardinals, but played very well against an Arizona squad that’s hit its true stride on both sides of the ball. As for St. Louis, well, who the fuck would have thought that starting Case Keenum as your quarterback would have been a step back from Nick Foles? He might even the start AGAIN if he clears concussion protocol. The Rams looked to be upsetters in the NFC West this season, but now the only ones upset are the four or five remaining Rams fans.

Bengals will recover from their two game losing streak with a nice win here.

Rachael from Cincinnati, I'm thankful for you!

Rachael from Cincinnati, I’m thankful for you!

BENGALS

BMK: Keenum aint playing and the Rams aint winning. The Ginger of Doom will have a nice game, and then go home and settle in with his wife to watch Bum Fight videos.

Seriously...this dude looks like Dexter.

Seriously…this dude looks like Dexter.

BENGALS

Dalton might be a secret serial killer, but this dog is cute!

Dalton might be a secret serial killer, but this dog is cute!

———-

VIKINGS at FALCONS

D.T.: The NFC South should really just hang it up. It’s the year of the Panther, and none of the other three teams can put up any sort of contest against them. And the Falcons might get a few scores in this week, but expect the Vikings to take the win.

Nao from Minnesota, I'm thankful for you!

Nao from Minnesota, I’m thankful for you!

VIKINGS

BMK: The Falcons came on strong and just sputtered out. Like a Bro on the Jersey Shore who drank too much Hypnotiq and couldn’t maintain his erection.

Remember this clown?

Remember this clown?

The Vikings will take care of business this week. Considering how Green Bay is playing, I’m sure the Vikings are going to take that division.

VIKINGS

I'm fierce! Like Bridgewater!

I’m fierce! Like Bridgewater!

———-

GIANTS at REDSKINS

D.T.: Even with Victor Cruz out, the Giants managed to very nearly knock off the Patriots’ perfect season. That in and of itself tells me they’ve got it in them to put the Redskins right back where they belong in the NFL social standings. Seriously, two high profile wins, and suddenly the Redskins think they’re the World Fucking Champions. When you guys get a field that people can walk on without signing a waiver, when you start selling beer that doesn’t have Super Bowl logos of yester-years, and when you’re more than one game ahead of a rival that just lost seven games in a ROW, then we’ll take you seriously.

The Giants don't have cheerleaders either, so here's Kloi again. Did I mention how thankful I am?

The Giants don’t have cheerleaders either, so here’s Kloi again. Did I mention how thankful I am?

GIANTS

BMK: Who gives a shit?

This guy is much cooler than you.

This guy is much cooler than you.

GIANTS

———-

BUCCANEERS at COLTS

D.T.: Kind of an interesting match-up, here. But not really. Andrew Luck has improved since Pep Hamilton was fired, but that Colts defense isn’t much competition for the weapons Tampa has at the ready. If they could put them to use in any sort of consistent fashion, they’d be a dangerous team.

Brooke from Tampa Bay, I am thankful for you!

Brooke from Tampa Bay, I am thankful for you!

BUCCANEERS

BMK: This could be an interesting game if Andrew Luck were playing. But Father Time Matt Hassleback is playing.

Actually, Brooke is super cute.

Actually, Brooke is super cute.

BUCCANEERS

———-

BILLS at CHIEFS

D.T.: Don’t let that close loss against the Patriots on Monday night fool you: this Bills team is still a joke, and the Chiefs are poised to make a comeback in the AFC West with Peyton Manning officially out of the picture. They’ll knock off the Bills this week in their first step towards that goal.

Nicole from Kansas City, I am thankful for you!

Nicole from Kansas City, I am thankful for you!

CHIEFS

BMK: I was going to dispute DT’s claim that the Chiefs are going to make a play for the AFC West, but then I realized that the other teams in that division are garbage. So it’s possible Andy Reid and his molester-stache will take the division from the Broncos.  But then again, it’s also possible that I’d get this column published before the Thursday night game.

CHIEFS

———-

RAIDERS at TITANS

D.T.: Fuck it, who cares. Raiders.

Amanda from Oakland, I am thankful for you!

Amanda from Oakland, I am thankful for you!

RAIDERS

BMK: Who cares?  Well, we all know who cares…

He cares.

He cares.

RAIDERS

This guy, however, does NOT care.

This guy, however, does NOT care.


———-

CHARGERS at JAGUARS

D.T.: Look, no one is going to read this part of the column except for the one Jags fan on the Chud forum. So for that, I’ll pick the Jaguars (in all honesty, I think they’ll win) and we’ll get right to the cheerleader.

Taylor from Jacksonville, I'm thankful for YOU!

Taylor from Jacksonville, I’m thankful for YOU!

JAGUARS

BMK: I’m not even sure he’ll read this, DT. I know I wouldn’t if I were him. Anyway, there’s no way the Chargers win this week. Incidentally,  Rivers is four kids short of having an entire side of a football team. LET’S GET GOING PHIL!

I feel so bad for this dog.

I feel so bad for this dog.

JAGUARS

———-

DOLPHINS at JETS

D.T.: I’ll say one thing for the assholes behind the NFL schedule: They sure made this week easy, for Thanksgiving.

Emma from New York, I am thankful for you!

Emma from New York, I am thankful for you!

JETS

BMK: I’ve been burned taking the Jets this year, so I’m picking the Dolphins out of spite. Which is really irritating because a) I hate Florida, b) Dantallica irritates me, and c) I actually sort of like the Jets. But I can’t let feelings come into play when I’m picking teams. I use science and geometric logic. DT, on the other hand, uses goat intestines and advice from the deranged.

Which is why he’s winning.

Double your fun!

Double your fun!

DOLPHINS
———-

CARDINALS at NINERS

D.T.: The Arizona Cardinals are celebrating their second bye week this season by scouting out where they’ll be staying for Super Bowl 50. With Patrick Peterson cleared for play, Blaine (I held a press conference and no one came) Gabbert doesn’t stand a chance. And since I don’t believe in trap games, it’s easy to call this a quick win for Arizona.

Rachael from Arizona, I'm VERY thankful for you!

Rachael from Arizona, I’m VERY thankful for you!

CARDINALS

BMK: Unlike my partner behind the Saguaro Curtain, I do believe in trap games, and I think this game could be one.

First of all, the Cardinals are without a few key players on the defensive side of things, including Safety Deone Buchannan, which will really affect their run defense. Also, the Cardinals tend to get the yips against certain teams, and the 49ers are one of those teams. Of course, on the other hand, they’re playing against the QB that was so shitty get got let go from the Jaguars. You know who I’m talking about, right…

Yep...Blaine Gabbert.

Yep…Blaine Gabbert.

Anyway, I hope BA has his team focused and ready. They’re in contention for a first round bye, something that has never happened in the very long history of this franchise.

CARDINALS

Draw me like your French girls...

Draw me like your French girls…

———-

STEELERS at SEAHAWKS

D.T.: Perhaps the one interesting game this week. Both have struggled to maintain some sort of identity, and with Roethlisberger back under center, the Steelers are once again a team to fear. However, that Seattle defense is still dangerous – especially when the offense can’t hear themselves think under that CenturyLink crowd. The absence of Marshawn Lynch in Seattle’s backfield won’t be as big a factor as many would believe, as rookie Thomas Rawls has been filling that void nicely. I expect a shoot out, and Pittsburgh’s defense will be the deciding factor here. Still, I give Seattle a win at home. Mostly because one of their cheerleaders is my favorite in the entire league.

Zoe from Seattle, I'm... I just... damn, girl.

Zoe from Seattle, I’m… I just… damn, girl.

SEATTLE

BMK: Again, I concur with DT. This is the most intriguing matchup this week. Seattle’s typical dominance at home is under some serious fire this year, and the Steelers have an excellent passing attack.  Normally I’d go with the home team, but I’m taking the Steelers here in an upset.  Big Ben is a better QB than Wilson, and while the Steelers D isn’t what it used to be, there’s still enough firepower to harass Wilson and get him to make bad decisions. Of course, since I sort of hate the Seahawks, this could all be wishful thinking, but we’ll see…

I can never hate on a dog, especially a pug. However, Stewie's people need to get with it...

I can never hate on a dog, especially a pug. However, Stewie’s people need to get with it…

STEELERS

———-

PATRIOTS at BRONCOS

D.T.: Sadly, we’ve been denied what might have been the final Manning/Brady rematch. And honestly, at this point, it wouldn’t have been much of a competition. Brock “Pockalypse” Osweiler showed competence in both his showings against Kansas City and Chicago, but we’re talking about the big leagues, now. A Patriots/Broncos game is going to put him to the test and while I don’t think he’ll flounder, I think the Patriots will take full advantage of the situation, and continue their ill-begotten undefeated streak.

Kristen from New England, I am thankful for you!

Kristen from New England, I am thankful for you!

PATRIOTS

BMK: This is my second most intriguing match of the week. Like DT, I’m not entirely sold on the Patriots. Their schedule doesn’t feature a lot of impressive teams so I think they’re coasting on the mystique of the Belichick/Brady partnership a bit. That said, 10-0 is 10-0.

But I’m a believer in Denver’s offense, and they’re at home this week. Obviously, Brady is better than Osweiler, but Brady needs someone to throw the ball to. Injuries are piling up for New England and at some point, that will catch up to the Patriots. I mean, it just has to. Right?

Right?

Finally getting along...

Finally getting along…

BRONCOS

Incidentally, I went to law school with a former Patriots cheerleader.  I have no idea what she’s doing now, but she was a very popular Torts TA.

That’s teaching assistant, you pervs.

———-

RAVENS at BROWNS

D.T.: Well, the Johnny Football saga may have come to an end in Cleveland. He was asked to take it easy and keep quiet during the bye week and little Johnny – fresh out of rehab – went straight to the nearest party and grabbed a bottle of champagne. No one’s surprised, and I don’t think anyone really cares anymore. Except for Josh McCown, who will be getting the start against Baltimore this week. If he can keep from getting injured, he’ll have an okay day against that Ravens defense. I don’t know if it’s really fair to call this an upset, but I think the Browns have a legitimate shot at tying the Ravens at 3rd in the division. But really, this is anyone’s game.

…and apparently, Cleveland doesn’t have cheerleaders (which accounts for much of their fans’ unrest, I’m sure) so here’s my girl Zoe again.

I am so thankful.

I am so thankful.

BMK: Oh my dear sweet Lord…This is the Monday night matchup.  Is there a channel we can watch some tape-delayed curling from Canada or some shit?  This is just embarrassing, NFL.

You'd think a team that calls its stadium the dog pound would have lots of dog photos...

You’d think a team that calls its stadium the dog pound would have lots of dog photos...

And speaking of embarrassing, DT’s slavish devotion to a cheerleader that he’ll never, ever interact with is getting a bit much. Ease up, killer.

"Really, Krol?"

“Really, Krol?”

—————–

 

D.T.: And that does it for this week! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and a safe holiday weekend! I’m thankful for all of you (though not as thankful as I am for Zoe).

 

BMK: Another week in the books. Enjoy your friends, family, and most of all, enjoy football. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next week.

See? I can be sincere. Sometimes.

Oh, and since DT never sends me the standings anymore, here’s your weekly dose of Kat Dennings.

Smart AND sexy

Smart AND sexy

This post was written and compiled to the Spotify Dark Techno playlist and the voice in my head telling me to start smelling what the Rock is cooking.

 

4th and Krol: Week Nine Picks!

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Week Nine: Is this the week we go over the line?

Week Nine: Is this the week we go over the line?

D.T.: Hell of a week eight, folks. Certainly more interesting on and off the field than I expected, at least. We saw some record-setting nail-biter games, the return of Peyton Manning, the utter incompetence of Carolina’s stadium security, and more! And as of writing this on Tuesday morning, we’re seeing the completion of San Francisco’s implosion and the firing of Ken Whisenhunt from head coach of the Tennessee Titans. It may only be 9am where I am, but as an unabashed Cardinals’ fan…

Good day

And Week 8 looks halfway decent. Well, not really, but let’s ride this wave of euphoria for as long as it lasts!

BMK: Yeah, the games were mostly interesting, but there is a significant lack of off-field salaciousness and lunacy, something we here at 4th and Krol are very interested in.  Frankly, it was a boring week eight. Except for PETA going after Dez Bryant for having a monkey. Hearing about that story warmed the cockles of my black heart.

On to the picks!

———-

BROWNS at BENGALS

D.T.: The Browns gave the Cardinals quite the scare in the first half of last week’s game, until Arizona remembered how to play football and returned from the locker room to dominate with more than 20 unanswered points. As a Browns fan, I imagine that felt like the clouds parting during a torrential rain, the sun shining down on you, and then realizing the clouds were pierced by a meteor headed right for your face. Now imagine first responders picking up your remains, then delivering them to your enemy’s house so they can pee on them.

BENGALS

BMK: I’m late with column again. But I was taking the Bengals anyway, for all the reasons that DT delineates above.  But for one more: the Ginger of Doom is one sexy, sexy man.

"You're just mad cause I got Kat Dennings's phone number..."

“You’re just mad cause I got Kat Dennings’s phone number…”

BENGALS

———-

PACKERS at PANTHERS

D.T.: The Panthers, too, had quite a scare on Monday Night against the Colts. That game was in the proverbial bag before Indy rallied and came from behind in the fourth quarter to force a overtime showdown and ultimately a very narrow Carolina win. They’re hosting Green Bay next — a squad that just had their asses handed to them by Denver. Rodgers was held to only 77 yards passing in a dominant show of force by the Broncos secondary, and made room for a startling return to form for Peyton Manning.

"About to make a startling return to his hotel room to cry."

About to make a startling return to his hotel room to cry.

I think just about everyone had Green Bay pegged to win on Sunday, it’ll be interesting to see how the Packers bounce back from their first loss, and how Carolina’s secondary uses the game tape to attack Rodgers’ offense. When it came down to it, Carolina’s defense is great, but they were exhausted in the end by Andrew Luck’s weapons… and Aaron Rodgers has a lot more weapons at his disposal.

PACKERS

BMK: That Monday night game was interesting.  It was good seeing Andrew Luck going off the way we know he can. And it got Pep Hamilton fired, so everything worked out great!

Except, like, for the Colts, I guesss.

"Yeah? Least I got a job Krol...wait, hold on, Irsay's on the phone..."

“Yeah? Least I got a job Krol…wait, hold on, Irsay’s on the phone…”

Anyway, I expect Aaron Rodgers to take out his misery on Cam Newton and the Panthers.

PACKERS

———-

REDSKINS at PATRIOTS

D.T.: Well, this just isn’t fair.

PATRIOTS

BMK: This is my UPSE—Ugh. I can’t even kid around about this anymore. This game is going to be ugly. Ugly like that baby alien from V.

This thing looked fake as hell, but I still get choked up when it dies. Oh. Spoilers.

This thing looked fake as hell, but I still get choked up when it dies. Oh. Yeah. Spoilers.

You guys remember V?  That was a great show. Story goes, V’s showrunner Kenneth Johnson originally pitched a WWII story, and being that this was in the 80s and before Speilberg showed us how cool WWII could be, the network passed. Johnson, undeterred said, “Well, fuck it.  What if the Nazis were aliens.”

And on that day, V was born.

Oh, yeah. The pick…

PATRIOTS

———-

TITANS at SAINTS

D.T.: Tennessee has suffered their final loss in the clusterfuck that was the Whisenhunt Era. With ol’ Ken being fired, now Mariota and Mettenberger have a real chance at becoming NFL-caliber quarterbacks. The Titans probably don’t have a real chance at taking on an opponent like the Saints just yet, though. Especially after that ridiculous, record-setting performance from Drew Brees and his offense. In case you missed it, Breesus, King of the Drews, tied the all-time record for touchdown passes in a single game. The Saints are going to be fired the fuck up after that win against the Giants, and the Titans are going to be in full transition mode. I wouldn’t expect a Miami-esque reinvigoration for a win. It’ll be the Saints.

SAINTS

BMK: Whisenhunt is gone, but like Newt said in Aliens, it won’t make any difference.

Hey, whaddaya know? Newt's aged pretty well. Mostly.

Hey, whaddaya know? Newt’s aged pretty well. Mostly.

"Take it easy Sigourney. I was making a reference to her famous line in Aliens about the aliens coming out at night."

“Take it easy Sigourney. I was making a reference to her famous line in Aliens about the aliens coming out at night.”

SAINTS

———-

DOLPHINS at BILLS

D.T.: Speaking of Miami (remember that segue thing we talked about, Krol? How nice was that one?), they’re paying a visit to Buffalo this week. The Bills are fresh off a bye, and it’s very likely that Tyrod Taylor will return as their starting QB. Rookie Sammy Watkins, however, may take another week off while all of us little people work our little jobs in our little lives.

"Oooh, shit. Look at this catch. This one catch just made more money than everyone reading this will make in a month. And it's only practice."

“Oooh, shit. Look at this catch. This one catch just made more money than everyone reading this will make in a month. And it’s only practice.”

I’m going with the Dolphins on this one, just because.

DOLPHINS
BMK: I’m going with the Buffalo Bills.  Just to spite DT.

BILLS
———-

RAMS at VIKINGS

D.T.: A deceptively interesting match-up. Two fucking terrible passing offenses, and two great defenses. Neither of these teams’ QBs are having much luck this season, but both boast incredible talent at running back. Even the Vikings have conceded that Todd Gurley is the next best thing running, and even though he’s young enough to pull a switch off a tree for Adrian Peterson…

"Come on, man. Like you've never brutally beaten a child before."

“Come on, man. Like you’ve never brutally beaten a child before.”

…he’s likely going to host another running back clinic on Sunday. Whether or not the rest of the Rams show up will be another story. This is a tough game to call, honestly. These two teams seem to be pretty evenly matched, though I’ll give it to the slight edge the Rams have defensively.

RAMS

BMK: Good God, Adrian Peterson is a vile human being.

Anyway…

The Rams are becoming a trendy pick for an NFC Wild Card berth. DT and I differ on that (and if you listened to last week’s podcast, you’d know why…), but DT is wrong. So very, very wrong.

The Rams are for real. If they had a decent QB, they’d win the NFC West. Luckily, they don’t. But it won’t matter here.

RAMS

———-

JAGUARS at JETS

D.T.: I don’t get you, New York. You hold your own against the Patriots, then lose to Oakland? Sure, I think Krol is right on the money in thinking that the Raiders could play the upsetter and vie for a wild card spot. But are Carr and Cooper really good enough to punch through a defense like what the Jets have going? Let’s see what happens when that defense comes up against another underdog team trying hard to put something together before it’s too late. I think New York bounces back, but I think the Jags get a few body shots in.

JETS

BMK: This is one of those matchups I can’t get excited about enough to even write a pithy dismissal. So here’s Fireman Ed.

Ed...take a break, broham.

Ed…take a break, broham.

JETS

———-

RAIDERS at STEELERS

D.T.: So, the Steelers lost to the Bengals, despite having Big Ben back under center. The game turned out to be one of the better showings on Sunday, with both teams giving it their all, and playing hard. Perhaps a little too hard for star Pittsburgh runner, Le’Veon Bell, who suffered his second consecutive season-ending knee injury. It wasn’t an ACL injury, though, which gives him plenty of time to recover and be ready for the 2016 season. And just enough time to figure out away to get busted for weed again, and miss the first couple of games despite being healthy.

"...yeah, probably."

“…yeah, probably.”

Pittsburgh is lucky they have Williams backing him up. Just for fun, I’m picking the Raiders to take a narrow win from the vulnerable Steelers.

RAIDERS

BMK: This is my game of the week. As a resident of the East Bay, I’ve adopted the Raiders as my AFC team, and I’m interested to see what they can do against the Steelers. Oakland looked good against the Jets and the Chargers, but let’s not forget that Rivers has no support and Oakland was playing against Geno in the Jets game.  Unlike Bill Romanowski (who, by the way, is an insane person), I don’t think the Raiders are going to win. Winning in Pittsburgh is tough (I should know; when I moved there it started a personal four year losing streak) and the Raiders don’t have enough of a ground game to keep the Steelers honest in the secondary.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if they did win.

And no, Bay Area Radio People, David Carr is not a top five QB. Jesus Christ, people…

STEELERS

———-

GIANTS at BUCCANEERS

D.T.: The Bucs stole a win from the Falcons after a bizarre showing of Atlanta turnovers, a 17 point lead thrown away, and a final interception of Matt Ryan in overtime to close the deal. Atlanta is a weird freaking team, especially in divisional games.

"Yeah, well, you're a weird freaking guy, especially in your FACE!"

“Yeah, well, you’re a weird freaking guy, especially in your FACE!”

The Giants are a weird freaking team as well, which I think poises Tampa Bay to take a home win. Jameis Winston with his good friends Evans and V-Jax, coupled with the resurgence of Doug “Don’t Call Me Muscle Hamster” Martin) are more than enough for the Giants’ dead-last defense to handle.

BUCS

BMK: The Giants exploded offensively last week. I don’t expect that to happen again, but I like Eli Manning more than I like Winston right now. Manning has a QBR of 99, compared to Winston’s 85.6, and the only thing Manning’s ever stolen was New Yoker’s hearts.

Isn't he dreamy?

Awww…

GIANTS

———-

FALCONS at NINERS

D.T.: So, the Niners have shipped off Vernon Davis to the Broncos for a couple of late round picks, and now the team has made the decision to bench Colin Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert. All that’s left now is for Levi Stadium to implode upon itself like the house in Poltergeist. I can’t think of another instance where a team has been so mishandled and has fallen into such disarray in such a short amount of time. I honestly hope Kaepernick gets traded by the deadline today (Tuesday), and he gets a fresh start on a team that knows what do with him, and doesn’t attempt to crucify him at every turn. All that said, the Falcons are going to fucking dominate the Niners in such fashion that the ink in their fans’ neck tattoos will fall out.

"Oh, hey... uh... sorry about that thing I said about your face."

“Oh, hey… uh… sorry about that thing I said about your face.”

FALCONS

BMK: Ugh. This is going to be a bloodbath. The Niners are in the toilet and will be for the foreseeable future. They can’t run, they can’t pass, and they can’t defend either. They’re a mess from top to bottom, and the Falcons will come in to Levi’s Stadium and just clean their clocks. It’ll be borderline ugly. Too much, even for me.

I’ll still watch it though, and laugh my fool head off. Because I’m a terrible person.

FALCONS

———-

BRONCOS at COLTS

D.T.: Kubiak, you see what happens when you let Peyton Manning run the offense again? The clocks turn back five years, he throws long balls with perfect spirals, and leads the team to a stunning victory against an undefeated Super Bowl favorite with another all-time great QB. And everyone watching was happy, because we got to see Happy Manning instead of Grumpy Manning, and even heard some Omaha’s.

"Operation Papa John is now in effect. We must kill the Manning... hey, have you been working out?"

“Operation Papa John is now in effect. We must kill the Manning… hey, have you been working out?”

This week, Manning makes what may be his final return to Indianapolis to take on an ailing Colts team. Last time, Jim Irsay managed to play the psychological edge and threw Manning off his game with a backhanded thank you ceremony for Peyton (and by playing with the stadium open to fuck with his weakness to the cold). But even such underhanded plays won’t be enough when Andrew Luck is on Pagano and Hamilton’s leash, and that Denver Defense is staring him down. The Broncos will go 8-0 and Pagano will definitely be fired during Indy’s bye week.

BRONCOS

BMK: Is Peyton Manning done?  Despite last week’s outing, I’d say that he is.

Physical skills don’t deteriorate on a 90 degree curve.  Unless, like, Peyton losses a leg or something. Maybe not even then. (see Leppard, Def). That said, there’s plenty of evidence in the past nine weeks that he’s lost a lot of his physical skills and it’s because of that, I don’t like them to go deep in the playoffs this year, despite the fact they could go 12-4 or higher. The window is closed.

That said, they’re going to kill the Colts.

BRONCOS

———-

EAGLES at COWBOYS

D.T.: Well, this should be a cluster fuck, and fun to watch just for the sheer spectacle of it all. Cassel and Weeden being fucking terrible, Greg Hardy already acting as poison on the sidelines, and playing a divisional rival will show the Cowboys unravel even further. But don’t expect a dominant showing from the Eagles, either. They’ll win, but they’re not all that.

EAGLES

BMK: When the Niners bum me out too much this weekend, I’m turning to this game. As my esteemed partner from behind the Saguaro curtain pointed out, this should be a complete clusterfuck. With any luck, Loki will appear in the middle of the field and take Greg Hardy away to service Frost Giants in Hel. But that probably won’t happen.

It’ll be Niffleheim.

EAGLES

———-

BEARS at CHARGERS

D.T.: This week ends with an utter non-event of a prime time game. Both of these teams are spent, with no hope of for the playoffs. Under different circumstances, this might have been an interesting game, with both teams no longer giving a shit, and playing for pride. But neither team has any. The Chargers are moving to LA and will lose Rivers in the process (he refused to sign a contract extension for fear of having to move there), the Bears are going nowhere (geographically and otherwise).

"Well, D.T.'s definitely goin' somewhere. H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks."

“Well, D.T.’s definitely goin’ somewhere. H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks.”

I don’t even know… Chargers, I guess? It’s a home game, and Rivers is still fucking ridiculous under center.

CHARGERS
BMK: This is the kind of Monday night match that just gets everyone excited. Who’ll suck least and win?  Tune in and find out!

BEARS
———-

D.T.: And that’s it for Week Nine! Week Ten comes right after this week, and also has football games scheduled to take place there-in! Divisional match-ups abound with the Bills and Jets kicking off on Thursday night, followed by the Lions and Packers, Browns and Steelers, Chiefs and Broncos and the much-awaited NFC West showdown between the Cardinals and Seahawks.

Ain't gonna see any of this shit, Seattle Fans.

Ain’t gonna see any of this shit, Seattle Fans.

I’ll be spending next weekend in Denver, attending the Broncos and Chiefs game from bitchin’ (and expensive) lower-bowl seats, then high-tailing it to the nearest pub to catch the Cardinals game on Sunday Night Football, and sampling as any unique and delicious Colorado microbrews as time and constitution will allow. Fear not though, dear reader, for there shall still be an article for you in week 10, as long as there is alcohol in my stomach and football in my heart!

 

BMK: Week nine is in the books! While DT is off sampling microbrews and other…recreational delicacies in Colorado, I’ll be here, fighting the good fight against oppression, tyranny, and good aesthetic taste.

And remember kids: your mother may disown you, your spouse will leave you, everything you’ve ever believed in will let you down…except us here at 4th and Krol.

Thanks for reading and listening.

And now…your weekly dose of Kat Dennings…

 

My life is gonna suck when that restraining order kicks in...

My life is gonna suck when that restraining order kicks in…

 

This was written and compiled listening to the 80s Music that Doesn’t Suck Playlist on Spotify and that nagging voice in my head wondering if left the iron on. Spoilers: I didn’t.

4th and Krol Picks: Week 3

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Week Three!

Week Three!

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

"Yeah, bitches!"

“Yeah, bitches!”

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

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

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

On to the picks!

———-

REDSKINS at GIANTS

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

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


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

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

GIANTS
———-

FALCONS at COWBOYS

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

"Ah'm still alive, ya somesabishes!"

“Ah’m still alive, ya somesabishes!”

FALCONS

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

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

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

COWBOYS

———-

COLTS at TITANS

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

COLTS

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

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

COLTS

———-

RAIDERS at BROWNS

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

"It ain't for everyone, though."

“It ain’t for everyone, though.”

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

 

"Did someone say snatch?"

“Did someone say snatch?”

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

RAIDERS

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

Did some one say creepy?

Did someone say creepy?

RAIDERS
———-

BENGALS at RAVENS

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

RAVENS

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

BENGALS

———-

JAGUARS at PATRIOTS

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

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

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

PATRIOTS

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

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

PATRIOTS

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

Crap...Spoke too soon.

Crap…Spoke too soon.

———-

SAINTS at PANTHERS

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

SAINTS

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

PANTHERS

———-

EAGLES at JETS

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

JETS

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

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

Call me crazy, but this is sorta hot…

If even that well.

JETS

———-

BUCCANNERS at TEXANS

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

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

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

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

TEXANS

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

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

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

No, not that Outback…

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

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

TEXANS

———-

CHARGERS at VIKINGS

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

"I thought everyone knew that."

“I thought everyone knew that.”

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

CHARGERS

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

CHARGERS

———-

STEELERS at RAMS

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

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

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

STEELERS
———-

NINERS at CARDINALS

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

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

CARDINALS

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

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

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

49ERS

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

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

———-

BILLS at DOLPHINS

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

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

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

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

BILLS

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

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

Kat's mad about that evolution joke.

Kat’s mad about that evolution joke.

DOLPHINS

———-

BEARS at SEAHAWKS

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEAHAWKS
———-

BRONCOS at LIONS

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

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

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

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

BRONCOS

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

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

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

BRONCOS

———-

CHIEFS at PACKERS

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

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

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

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

PACKERS

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

———-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

 

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

Resting bitch face never looked so good.

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