as advertised… I hope you didn’t take week one to heart when picking
week two. Filled with upsets, clubs like New England, San Diego,
and Atlanta played Jekyll and Hyde with us. Chicago looked good
on the road. Green Bay is 2-0… Minnesota is not 2-0. Lots of stories
to look at… some expected… so unexpected… and lots of changes
from week one to week two.
Molly destroyed us all. She turned in a 10-5-1 week, moved to
18-10-4 overall, and has a 2-game pad over the field.
little update for you… these picks are going to be posted pretty
much as soon as the lines are available. And next week’s will
be up right around kickoff. Got some plans that are going to keep
me moving over the next few days. So… let’s get going.
week’s movie finds us staying with Bill Murray… and a surprisingly
funny movie most people overlook from him… Quick Change.
at New York (Giants) (3)
– “The man is an animal! Ripping
out phones, urinating on desks... you see what he did to Ms. Cochran's
shirt? There's a scratch here, I mean, it's not deep, but... it’s
there.” “It’s okay.” “Did he hurt anybody else? Is the strain
beginning to show on him?” “‘If I could sleep ten days and nights
in a rice paddy, I could certainly last in this lousy bank.’ This
is what the animal said to us! He says to Ms. Cochran here: ‘Baby!
Up your butt with a coconut!’ I think he was prepared to do it!
Except I saw no coconut. He, uh, he had no coconut to my knowledge.”
Two very interesting positions for these teams. Chris Johnson
was shut down last week. No one is taking off in the NFC East.
In short… while every team may have something to prove (just ask
Minnesota about both team concerns and individual performance
levels)… this particular game has just a bit more going on. And
it’s difficult to say that the Colts were able to run on the Giants,
since they were so in control the running stats really are an
afterthought. What I can tell you is this… Eli Manning played
good, the Giants put the Panthers away… Eli played bad, the Colts
won big. Maybe it isn’t fair pointing the finger at Eli, but it’s
the easiest place to look. He’s already thrown 4 interceptions
this year, and the Giants have 7 turnovers in their first 2 games.
So… simple analysis. Number one, can two straight teams hold Johnson
down. Number two, can the Giants stop turning the ball over. I
say no and maybe. And that’s enough to take the underdog.
Terry: New York
Mike Jr: Tennessee
Molly: New York
Gus: New York
Sam: New York
at New England (13)
– “Can it, here comes Clarabelle.”
Some things worth pondering: (1) New England just doesn’t lose
to Buffalo over the past years. (2) You have to go back to 2007
for New England to cover this spread. In other words… 13 is alot
of points. But then there’s this… Ryan Fitzpatrick is staring.
With 29 games and 3 teams on his resume, we aren’t talking about
a rookie. But for his career he gets picked off more than he throws
touchdowns (27 to 21) and he completes 57.8% of his passes. He
also averages roughly 150 passing yards per game played. This
is a very good game for New England to right the ship. (Speaking
of righting the ship… yeah, I am sort of worried about the Patriots
and what is becoming a standard fade in the second half of games.
But this isn’t Indianapolis, Miami or even last week against New
York. That type of consideration belongs in the conversation next
week when they face Miami.)
Bob: New England
Terry: New England
Mike: New England
Mike Jr: New England
Molly: New England
Gus: New England
Sam: New England
at Baltimore (10½)
– “Listen, I’ve had just about enough
of your comedy, clown. We’re coming in through the plate glass.”
“Alright, I gotta hang-up now, because I gotta go kill everybody.”
In 2007, the Browns won both games against the Ravens. Since then,
they’ve lost all four games… and they haven’t been close. If you
look over their history, you’ll see that in the past couple of
years the Ravens bury weaker opponents.
Mike Jr: Baltimore
(2½) at Tampa Bay
– “Oh sir! You forgot your map!
And our millions of dollars!” I thought we’d see
some inconsistencies from Pittsburgh early on… but after what
they did to the Titans last week, I just can’t go against that
defense here, with a young offense on the other side.
Terry: Tampa Bay
Mike Jr: Tampa Bay
Molly: Tampa Bay
Gus: Tampa Bay
(3) at Carolina
– “What’s your name pal? What should
I call ya?” “Well, I’ve always liked the name chip. Would you
call me chip?” “Alright. What was that shooting just now, Chip?”
“Oh wait! Call me Skip.” “Okay, Skip, what was that shooting?”
“The cameras, I was shooting the cameras. They were looking at
me. Quit looking at me!” Carolina has been buried
two straight weeks, looks lost, and really doesn’t have much success
to speak of. I’d like to give you something, but Tampa handled
them with ease last week, and in 2009 they started out with three
miserable performances before using the bye week to regroup. In
comes a Bengals club that wants to believe they got their swagger
back last week… they didn’t, the Jets got their swagger back,
they just won a tough divisional game… but Cincy has enough swagger
for me in this contest.
Mike Jr: Cincinnati
at New Orleans (4)
– “You aren’t going to hit me again
are you?” “I haven’t hit anybody since I was nine.” “Yeah, but
it was me you hit!” I’m taking the dog here. I
don’t want to do it… I want the Saints to win. But we have yet
to see the New Orleans offense in 2010, and… it appears that their
opponents may not have been in a true position to test the New
Orleans defense yet. Two huge wins… but once in a while there
is something to be said about timing and when you face your opponents.
Arriving in New Orleans is an Atlanta team that lost both games
in 2009 to New Orleans, but honestly had some moments where they
looked very good. The Falcons looked great against Arizona last
week, and we now may be able to say that the overtime game against
Pittsburgh is a credit to them rather than an embarrassing loss.
Terry: New Orleans
Mike: New Orleans
Mike Jr: New Orleans
Sam: New Orleans
Francisco (2½) at Kansas City
– “Is that our plane?” “No, if it
were our plane, it would be crashing.” In the
middle of writing this column, having added this and the next
two games with wonderful insight, the computer crashed and burned.
In sort of a half-victory, it did manage to save the information
on this game, the Detroit against Minnesota one, and most of Dallas
at Houston. But, once I polished it up and bit, saved it and walked
away… I returned to find it was all gone. I suppose the lesson
you can take from this… other than computers suck… is that some
times overanalyzing these games is worthless. So let’s see if
I can share some information that you might not get with a casual
glance. Did you know Kansas City is incredibly lucky to be 2-0?
It’s true. But, do you know why? The Chiefs fell behind by 7 to
San Diego and then put up 21 unanswered points. One of the touchdowns
involved a massive 12-yard scoring drive and another was a 94-yard
punt return. Matt Cassel threw for a simply breathtaking 68-yards
in the game. (No turnovers for Kansas City though.) A week later
the Chiefs defeated the Browns… which, you know, is the Browns.
But, there’s more. 3 Kansas City field goals and a defensive interception
returned for a score accounted for the points. No touchdown from
the offense. Now, sure the 49ers have lost two straight… but was
anyone surprised by New Orleans winning last week? So it’s one
embarrassing loss, and then a slightly better effort. Right? Good.
We can move on.
Bob: San Francisco
Terry: Kansas City
Mike: San Francisco
Mike Jr: San Francisco
Molly: Kansas City
Gus: San Francisco
Sam: San Francisco
at Minnesota (10½)
– “At least give me the women.”
“Get your own women!” Nothing that I’ve seen from
the Vikings tells me to trust them to win this game, and you can
forget about winning big. (Which… of course… is exactly why Peterson
on his own will probably put up 200-yards rushing and 3 touchdowns.)
I think the Lions could win this game. I like what I’m seeing
from Jahvid Best. Calvin Johnson is the most talent receiver playing
in this game. Do I expect them to win? No. I guess not. However…
Brett Favre has been picked off 4 times this year. And there is
just nothing to back up the argument they’ve solved their problems.
Mike Jr: Minnesota
at Houston (3)
– “What the hell kind of clown are
you?” “The crying on the inside kind, I guess.”
Everything about this game… everything, everything, everything…
says to pick Houston. Which is why I’m going with Dallas. Yup…
the Cowboys have looked awful. There has been absolutely no running
game at all from them yet. And while Romo to Austin is working…
Schaub to Johnson has been good as well. I just can’t shake the
feeling that Houston never wins when I think of them as a certainty.
The Texans won a huge game over Indy to start the year, and then
fought for a victory in overtime on the road against Washington.
In both games, part of what Houston did was impressive, and some
of it wasn’t. Still… two wins… doing the big things just fine.
It just seems too easy to give up on the Cowboys here. They’ve
got an early bye week (next week), a brutal upcoming schedule
(Tennessee, at Minnesota, New York (Giants) twice, Jacksonville
and at Green Bay… not one easy game to be seen), and need this
game for a ton of reasons beyond avoiding 0-3. Yeah… desperation
may not be measured in statistics, but it can count.
Mike Jr: Houston
(3½) at St. Louis
– “Are you gonna hit me now?” “No,
but if your leg is broken, we’ll have to destroy you.”
Tricky, tricky game. Washington did defeat Dallas and very easily
could have beaten Houston. Do we count the fact that both of those
games were at home? In a way, I think you have to. Still… it’s
becoming obvious how to play the Rams. You concentrate on Steven
Jackson and force them to beat you some other way. (At some point
in his career, he should sue the club for non-support.) I like
Washington in this game. It’s exactly the kind of unheralded contest
McNabb has made defined his career by winning.
Mike Jr: St. Louis
Molly: St. Louis
Gus: St. Louis
Sam: St. Louis
(3) at Jacksonville
– “Nothing’s your fault... except
you honked the f**king horn.” Guess how Jacksonville
did at home last year? Overall, 4-4… a yawn. But after getting
decked by Arizona in a loss and then spanking Tennessee in a win,
the next 6 games were all decided by 5 or less. Quality of the
opponent didn’t matter… Miami, Indianapolis, Buffalo… all between
3-5 points in the decision. In 2008 though, they went 2-6 and
the results were all over the board. I think your best argument
is to say they actually are, at best, yawn inducing at home. What
we haven’t really seen yet from the Jaguars is a Jones-Drew sighting.
And that’s where this gets interesting. Because in splitting the
first two games, both times the opposition had more net yardage
on offense. And of all the game changers in the league, I think
Jones-Drew is the most potent single player they’ve faced.
Mike Jr: Philadelphia
(5½) at Denver
– “I said we’re closed, Bozo.” “I
wouldn’t. And that’s Mr. Bozo, okay?” Here’s the
thing… Orton and the Denver passing game has been quite impressive
this year. I know a 1-1 record doesn’t speak volumes for them…
but hidden in there is Orton playing well and distributing the
ball. (Now if only the Broncos could find someone to run the ball.)
Well… guess what… the Colts will let you run. In a game where
they couldn’t pass, and were so far down they had to pass, Ahmad
Bradshaw averaged just over 5-yards a carry for the Giants while
racking up 89 rushing yards. For Houston in the opener, Foster
went nuts for 231-yards on the ground. I’m picking the upset here.
Mike Jr: Indianapolis
Diego (5½) at Seattle
– “I booked the eleven o’clock to
Martinique.” “Martinique?” “Martinique? But I don’t know anything
about Martinique.” “What did you know about Fiji?” “Well... nothing.”
Great against the 49ers… horrible against the Broncos… and no
signs of consistency with the Chargers arriving. Wonderful. I
can’t point at either of these teams and say I know what to expect.
San Diego generally doesn’t get fazed playing on the road, and
actually handles inferior teams better on the road. I just have
to pick the better team here.
Bob: San Diego
Terry: San Diego
Mike: San Diego
Mike Jr: San Diego
Sam: San Diego
at Arizona (4)
– “What’s that smell?” “Used wine.”
McFadden and then alot of crossed fingers. That’s about it when
it comes to the Raiders and their approach to the game. And before
we go all crazy about Gradkowski… geez… this is the same guy that
racked up a 2.8 rating in minimal action for Cleveland. Is that
a fair observation? Probably not. But he’s going to toss a touchdown
pass for every interception, and for the most part does either
less than once per game over his career. We’re back at McFadden
folks. Arizona got trampled last week by Atlanta. I think 2 of
the cheerleaders rushed for 100+ against the Cardinals in that
game. Heck, the Falcons had pretty much a 2 to 1 time of possession
edge. But I think alot of that has to be credited to a balanced
attack. We shouldn’t be confusing Atlanta’s offense with Oakland’s.
Mike Jr: Arizona
York (Jets) at Miami (1½)
– “A real man? Who has to use a
gun and hold people prisoner? You’re not a man. You’re a coward.”
“She does not speak for the rest of us Mr. Clown. We think that
you are quite brave and manly.” I can’t stand
picking this game. After last week, the Jets are back and feeling
pretty good. But… again… is that reality or perception?
Terry: New York
Mike: New York
Mike Jr: Miami
Sam: New York
Bay at Chicago (3) –
“Thank you Roy. God! Alright, Roy’s
going to get us the duffle bag, a wheelchair and some skis out
of lost luggage to cover your limp.” “Did you give him a couple
of bucks?” “Yeah, try $1200. Scary but Roy’s sixth sense told
him we were in some kind of jam.” “ESP exists, Grimm. They’ve
proved it.” “Yeah, you picking up anything from me right now,
pal?” Last year the packers swept the Bears, with
Cutler throwing 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. While I’m willing
to concede that Cutler has played better so far this year, and
looked very good against Dallas… the fact is Green Bay is playing
like the best team in the NFC right now.
Bob: Green Bay
Mike: Green Bay
Mike Jr: Green Bay
Sam: Green Bay
~ ~ ~
Last week 10-5-1, currently 18-10-4
Bob: Last week 8-7-1, currently 16-12-4
Sam: Last week 8-7-1, currently 15-13-4
Terry: Last week 6-9-1, currently 14-14-4
Mike Jr: Last week 5-10-1, currently 14-14-4
Mike: Last week 5-10-1, currently 12-16-4
Gus: Last week 5-10-1, currently 12-16-4