Why only one picture with this week's picks? Well, maybe it's because I feel strongly that we really "brought it" with our collective prosaic efforts this week and I'd rather not detract from it with some sophomoric internet shot of Romeo Crennell eating a banana split. Or maybe it's some long sob story about how "busy" I've been at work turning old socks into little sheep for the children of our nation to play with and giggle about. Or maybe it's because I feel like all of you out there haven't really done your part. That's right...I'm looking at you Chip, Greg, Carter, Aaron, Clark, "Mayhugh", Rezvan, "Dennis", Smint, etc. What have you homos ever done for me? I'll tell you what. A big steaming pile of nothing. Oh I have to hear about Chip's political frustrations and secret desire to wax Tom Brady's nether regions, Greg's drinking exploits and general ribaldry, Carter and Aaron's homoerotic love for each other as they struggle with the thoughts of leaving their wives to move to Vermont together and make both cheese and sweet sweet manlove together, Clark's buying and selling of websites, men and small island nations all for the profit of Scientology, Mayhugh's tales of aggressively bedding the women of Buffalo Wing University and telling unsuspecting co-eds that he's such a classy lawyer they'll contract lobster from his loins as opposed to mere crabs, Rezvan calling me out for my unsubstantiated manlove for Randy Thomas, Dennis whining about his trick knee and endless tales of Swint's fears of dying alone in his apartment with his stable of cats named after characters from Aaron Spelling hour long dramas. I'm sick of it. When will it be about me?
Oh yeah, the above screed can best be summarized by this picture:
Yep...I got into the syrup last night. On to my picks...
Washington (+3.5) @ Green Bay - I may be oversimplifying this, but the Packers match up against the Redskins in very much the same way the Giants do. Their offense is pass heavy and they have a dominant defensive line. I expect a low scoring game with Mason Crosby and Shaun Suisham being the standout fantasy stars. Get excited about that. There's a decent chance Antwaan Randle-El, Marcus Washington and Phillip "the "D" is for Doubtful" Daniels won't go for the Burgundy and Gold and Jason Campbell thought Green Bay was in the Gulf of Mexico. PACK and the UNDER.
Jacksonville (-6.5) @ Houston - Stubbornly, I refuse to believe that David Garrard is any good. Maybe it's because his penis is (allegedly) bigger than mine...or maybe it's because I've never really liked anyone who went to East Carolina. Or maybe it's because he sucks and no one will believe it until the Jags finish 7-9 this year and Jack Del Rio gets fired. This "We have slow receivers but at least our QB is below average" plan he's put together down at the lab isn't really working out. I also think he should be fired for what he's done to Maurice Jones Drew. I mean sure, he didn't force me to draft MJD in the second round of the fantasy draft, but he also didn't warn me not to. Ah yes...now that I've lulled you to sleep, this seems like a good time to tell you that I went 0-3 last week, bringing my season record to 2-12-1. I scoured the ebays and I can't find one professional, semi-pro or amateur prognosticator with a worse record. I tried to pick a zit last night and it lost to Northwestern by 40. I also tried to come up with a new show that could rival America's Next Top Pirate and Are you Stronger than a Dog? What about this: "Dancing with Lavars"? Levar Burton, Lavar Arrington...and some other guys...dancing with...petrified old white women...or something... Maybe not. Texans.
Rams (+9.5/37.5) at Ravens – For the record, I'm starting Brandon Jacobs and Brian Leonard in one of my fantasy leagues this week and I've already got wood. Worst game of the week right here. Ravens might start punting on 3rd down if they get a lead. Take the UNDER.
Bengals (-3) at Chiefs – Two flat-out classy coaches who can flat-out coach in this league. We were talking to Herm Edwards last night and lemme tell ya, this guy is intense and he flat-out wants to win football games. Herm was telling us that we've gotta get back to playing sharp football and the biggest thing was for his Chiefs was to get their mojo back.
And boy was I impressed with Marvin Lewis. This is a guy who knows what he wants to do on a football field. He said the Bengals need to get off to fast start and play with swagger for a full 60 minutes. He's got a tight group of guys who play for each other and lace'em up and bring their lunch pails to work every day. His keys to the game were making explosive plays and cutting down on mistakes. Most of all, he wants his guys to be sharp and play with a snarl on their faces. Both these teams will be giving 110% and we're gonna have a heckuva battle out here. I'm taking the Bengals 'cause they've flat-out got something to prove.
Giants (-3) at Falcons – Same thing I said last week.
Oakland @ San Diego (-10): It’s the battle of the most beautiful city in
Miami (+5) @ Cleveland - I'm trying really hard to convince myself that Miami will sneak into Cleveland and win this one outright, but when it comes down to it, that's just the Vodka and Red Bull talking. Though it is possible the homefield crowd may be a bit distracted by the ALCS - Clevelanders really aren't all that bright. Browns.
New England (-4.5) @ Dallas - Y'all think the 'Boys may have been looking ahead to this one on Monday night? Until someone stays within two time zones of the Patriots, there's no sense betting against them. Pats.
Washington (+3) @ Green Bay (o/u - 41) - This one's like the old "retro" rule in the beer pong games Whit and I used to play with Wiley, Gutschow and the boys way back in the day, when the rest of you were trying to get to second base with little Jenny Rottencrotch. If you didn't validate your game-winning toss with another, the game continued. I think. It was a long time ago. And we were generally drunk. Because that was the point of the game. And, frankly, it was a really stupid rule to begin with. Which brings me all the way around the barn to my point, that the Skins need to back up last week's terrific effort against the Lions if they want to be taken seriously. It says here that they'll beat the 3-point spread and the Washington defense will stand up again and keep the game below the number.
And because I know you're wondering, Buges has spent the entire week frantically scouring his apartment (don't you get the sense Buges lives by himself in a cramped second-floor walkup in Sterling somewhere?) for the betting slips from the first 2 Super Bowls so he can collect from Paul Hornung when the team heads to Wisconsin this week.
SEA -6.5 vs. New Orleans (o/u 42 ½) - Here we have two teams currently proceeding from apex to nadir, but one's a bit further along than the other. The 'hawks are just a couple of years removed from a Super Bowl run, but you get the sense that it's going to get a lot worse before they get anywhere near one again. Shaun Alexander is looking less and less like a premier back, the receiving corps gets more depleted by the day, and each time out there's a little less fire in Mike Holmgren's eyes, and a few more crumbs in his moustache. Propped up by a division of papier-mâché foes, they'll hang around the playoff picture until Thanksgiving, maybe even the first Santa Stumble, then be cast aside like yesterday's cole slaw.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints supplanted the star-wearing felchers from Irving as "America's Team" last year, but the air is out of that balloon. Hurricane Katrina had the country sending money, lending hands, and rooting like all get-out for the plucky Saints last fall. The American bandwagon, however, is not unlike a big-city tour bus; not too long in one place, on to the next overhyped stop, with the previous visits quickly forgotten and not to be remembered until miles down the road. Next stop, SuccessTech Academy. The Crescent City still struggles mightily, but it's no longer en vogue to give a damn about it. The Saints, meanwhile, are in full-ebb now, plummeting back to the laughable losers they've been for most of their existence. It actually suits them a lot more nicely.
Seahawks at home, fired up after last week's smoking, muster just enough in a dog of a game dressed up in an enjoyable match-up's clothing. Seahawks 27, Saints 14 (giving the nod to the under as well).
Washington (+3) @ Green Bay - Well, I used my allotted word count up above, so I'll just go ahead and say what everyone's thinking: The Washington Redskins don't have anyone who was in one of the Top 25 big-screen comedies ever filmed. (No, Fred Smoot was not in "Pootie Tang," as several of you have suggested.) Packers by 6.
Philly -3 @ NYJ (41) - The Jets are 29th in the league in points allowed. AND they score less often than Marty McFly. A dreadful combination, Coy and Vance terrible. As far as I know, Chad Pennington is still starting this week, and I believe Brain Westbrook is back in for the Eagles, so huge personnel advantage
CHI -5 vs. Minny (37 ½) - If this game were in the Metrodome, I might seriously consider taking the Vikings. But it's in the land of SCTV and Perfect Strangers, so I'm taking the Bears, even if Brian Griese is about as confidence-inspiring as Cousin Larry. Even in victory, this might be the week Cedric Benson gets benched for the other Adrian Peterson, which will be fun, since the GOOD version of Adrian Peterson will be standing on the opposite sideline. For some reason people still think the Bears have a good defense...injuries have seen to it that they do not. And the Vikings defense is vastly overrated. Points will be scored gentlemen. With six teams on bye this week, the mediocre prognosticators of this elite group (me and Burr) are only taking two games, but I'll give you two winners here, the Bears and the over.