Jesse: BEST WORST PICK OF LAST WEEK: [The Titans are] bad, and they’re not going to get better.” – Me (The Titans beat the Steelers later that day, 26-23)
As you can see, there’s a reason Clint and Tom do the picking instead of me.
Speaking of ineptitude, Good Grief Norv Turner. The Chargers debacled their way through a brutal loss on Monday to the Broncos, squandering a 24-0 halftime lead in the Norviest way possible. Norv Turner has been head coach of the Raiders, Redskins and Chargers to a sterling career record of 114-119-1. (OF COURSE he has a tie.) Norv’s sustained mediocrity is awe-inspiring. Armed with his playbook from the 90’s and his GM’s hubris, Norv continues to deliver a legacy of seven and eight-win seasons that would make Jeff Fisher jealous. After the mess on Monday, the Chargers are now 3-3, well on their way to giving us the subpar season we’ve come to expect from the man known simply as Norv.
- The Browns are sold to a Tennessee businessman. As a Browns and Vols fan, this intrigues me. Mike Holmgren is out. (USA Today)
- Andy Reid fires the former O-Line coach that he named Defensive Coordinator. Who knew that Michael Vick’s lousy performance was the defense’s fault? (Nashville Football Post)
- Beyonce to perform at the Super Bowl while I go pick up a pizza. (Deadspin)
- Part One of a sad look at the final days of Junior Seau. (U-T San Diego)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18TH
SEAHAWKS(4-2) AT 49ERS(4-2)
Tom: Man, what happened to San Francisco? Once a Super Bowl favorite in the NFC, now third(!) in the NFC West behind Seattle and Arizona. Maybe Alex Smith isn’t who Harbaugh wishes he could be, but one thing is for sure–if the 49ers get too far behind, they can’t depend on Smith (or his WRs) to bring them back. Seattle’s offense makes plays when forced to, but New England and Green Bay have mediocre defenses at best and we all know about San Francisco’s defense. I think the 49ers rest heavily on the run game this week and eke out the victory. If this were in Seattle though, I’d roll with the ‘hawks.
Clint: Tom, I am disappointed in you. Jumping on the Alex Smith can’t play catchup bandwagon? Hasn’t this guy proven himself to be elite yet? The guy is definitely the best QB on the field. And Seattle? They are such a dominate team, and have posted such dominate victories over the Packers and the Patriots that there just cannot be a loser here. And I have to admit I just watched the South Park episode Sarcastaball, and got caught up in their game. Back to reality. I can’t pick the Hawks to win, as most their wins have come due to replacement refs or getting lucky. They have a defense, but their offense is questionable. Even without relying on Smith, the Niners can run.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21ST
SAINTS (1-4) AT BUCCANEERS(2-3)
Clint: A spectacular offense against a great defense. The Saints are coming off their bye week and hoping to strengthen arguably the worst defense in the league. Even though division games are often the hardest to predict, I side with the Saints again.
Tom: Freeman can make plays, and the Saints defense is great at making other QBs look good. I’ll go the opposite way here and roll with the Bucs.
COWBOYS(2-3) AT PANTHERS(1-4)
Tom: Doesn’t it seem like we’ve played this game already? Two teams that can’t seem to get their crap together–one with an egomaniac at the helm, and the other owned by Jerry Jones. Murray is out for the Cowboys, and Romo…well, Romo is Romo. Dallas also lost a key player in the secondary, rookie Maurice Claiborne. If he can’t go, I believe the Panthers will win the game. But as I write this, he is a “go” for the game, so I will go with the Cowboys, since they can’t seem to win in Dallas. Maybe they can away from home.
Clint: Two teams that wear roughly the same colored uniforms. One with an egomaniac at the helm and the other with Cam Newton. I just don’t think the Panthers are that hopeless yet that they can’t break the cycle.
CARDINALS(4-2) AT VIKINGS(4-2)
Clint: Skelton back at the helm in Arizona makes this questionable call harder. The Vikings laying an egg last week didn’t look good either (some mental image of a grunting Hagar the horrible comes to mind). I think the Vikings are a more rounded team, and that the Cardinals are pretty atrocious on the front line.
Tom: Skelton is a statue compared to Kolb back there and the Cardinals offensive line is kinda terrible. The Vikings lost their first game outside this year. But the good news is…they’re inside again!
PACKERS(3-3) AT RAMS(3-3)
Tom: So, is the Green Bay offense back, or was Monday night just an aberration? The Rams defense isn’t terrible, but the Texans’ defense was (supposed to be) pretty good and got torched. With the show on the road and on the turf, I expect the Rodgers good will tour to win back the fans to continue.
Clint: I chose opposite from Tom quite a bit so far to make it a little more fun. I can’t here. Rodgers looked like the second coming on Monday and I expect that to continue. He can’t let Manning or Brees get more press.
REDSKINS(3-3) AT GIANTS(4-2)
Clint: Gut feeling says this is the week the Giants lay down and take it like a champ. They almost let Cleveland get up on them a couple of weeks ago, and then showed they were the real deal by completely bashing San Fran last week. In typical Giants fashion though, I predict them to lay down to a team they should easily beat (contain RGIII and you contain the team). This is my gut call of the week, and completely ridiculous as the Giants should win.
Tom: Last time I lost faith in New York, they made me pay. I believe in Eli (this week).
RAVENS(5-1) AT TEXANS (5-1)
Tom: The Ravens have been somewhat lucky so far this year–they sit at 5-1 after having a lot of close calls where, had the ball bounced the other way or some QBs not fumbled the ball at their own 1, they could be sitting at 3-3 or 2-4. Their luck seemed to run out against Dallas–even though they won, they lost one of their starting DBs for the season, and the heart and soul of the team, Ray Lewis. I am a Steelers fan, but I will say, Ray Lewis may be one of, if not the, greatest LB to play the position in the NFL. Without him and Suggs in the 7 man front, Baltimore will be seriously hurting. And even before this, they were showing signs of weakness to the run. And here come the run-happy Texans with Arian Foster and Ben Tate. A recipe for disaster and I think time catches up with Baltimore (similar to how it’s catching up with the Steeler defense).
Clint: I can honestly say that I don’t wish any player any physical harm, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t orgasm just a little when they announced Lewis was done for the season. The Texans are coming in frustrated at the single handed destruction caused by Aaron Rodgers, and will show Flacco why he’s not considered an elite QB.
TITANS(2-4) AT BILLS(3-3)
Clint: Hey look, it’s garbage ball. I don’t care if they beat my Steelers, I blame the Steelers for that, not give credit to the Titans. They suck. Still. The Bills, not much better. There is no Titan amongst this group, only some lonely guys named Bill who happen to be from Buffalo. Look for Sunday football ratings to drop anywhere this is a mandatory game.
Tom: Did I say yuck at the Raiders/Jags? Well how about odious and cringe-worthy for this game. The Titans took advantage of a depleted Steelers team last week. Hasselbeck looks like he can’t throw it more than about 20 yards. If Locker was in, I’d side with the Titans, but being in Buffalo and the Bills having more on offense and defense than the Titans, let this Buffalo roam.
BROWNS(1-5) AT COLTS(2-3)
Tom: The Browns are on a win streak! But they are the Browns (sorry Jesse). Will they make a good showing for the new owner? Honestly, I’m leaning a little towards them in this game, but they are at Indy, so I’ll go with the home team and the higher drafted rookie QB.
Clint: Tom, you are like a teenage dork dating the Browns. Always leaning their way and hoping they notice but unable to commit to making a move. Bust your nut already. You can’t act like a teenager and keep talking about how close you got, either pick them or break up with them already. I choose the the easier choice and date the one that has gone all the way more times, and am not ashamed to admit it.
JETS(3-3) AT PATRIOTS(3-3)
Clint: Screw the Jets. Screw Tim Tebow. Screw Rex Ryan. They knocked me out of my suicide pool last week by beating Indy and not laying down and playing like the self destructive team they transformed into earlier this year. I look for them to go back to form though, since I don’t have anything more than this pick riding on it, and the Patriots are pissed for losing to the luckiest team in the league last week (Seattle).
Tom: I don’t like either team personally. I thought it was hi-larious last week when Brady’s mouth came back to bite him post-game vs. the Seahawks. If there was a way this game could in a tie, I wish it would so the Dolphins would retain first place in the division.
JAGUARS(1-4) AT RAIDERS(1-4)
Tom: In a word–yuck. The Raiders almost made their season by upsetting the undefeated Falcons in the Georgia Dome. But like the Raiders of the recent past, they found a way to lose, and it was Atlanta’s kicker making the 55 yard FG to win the game, not Oakland’s Polish Powderkeg. The Jags are coming off the bye, so I’m tempted to pick them strictly based on that. But Oakland has more experience, especially at QB, and Jacksonville is still trying to figure out how to get MJD going after his holdout. Just win, baby.
Clint: The Raiders got lucky once this season already, even though that’s more than Dexter Morgan, but I bet that both the Florida based serial killer and the Jaguars wind up getting lucky more.
STEELERS(2-4) AT BENGALS(3-3)
Clint: The Steelers lost to the worst team in the league last week, and lost half their team while doing it. The Bengals lost to a team everyone considered to be a close second for worst team (though I think the Browns are a better team than they appear to be on paper). Both these teams are going to be playing with a vengeance. The Bengals hate the Steelers more than we often give them credit, still holding a grudge from 2005 when we injured Carson Palmer and destroyed their playoff hopes. Look for the Steeler year to get longer and longer (I hate doing this but…..)
Tom: Yeah, I foresee this being a long year for the Steelers. Although since 2001, their pattern has been make the playoffs 2 years in a row, then miss it the third year. This is the third year in that cycle. Big Ben is the only thing, and I mean the ONLY thing keeping these games close. No OL protection, no running game…they should give him hazard pay for this year alone. Plus, Cincy has always played the Steelers tough at home. I hope we’re both wrong about this one. I heard Mike Tomlin tell Adam Schein on NFL Radio this morning that he wasn’t in “panic mode” with the team like Adam was. Well, I’m right there with Adam on this one.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 22ND
LIONS(2-3) AT BEARS(4-1)
Tom: Ironically, the NFC North was expected to be much like the NFC West–4 teams all vying for playoff positions all season long. Now there are 2 teams at the top, one struggling at .500, and one just floundering. Meet your 2012 Lions–they can seem to move the ball between the 20s, but can’t stick it in the end zone unless they play the Titans. They also are playing in Tebow-mode…we don’t score until we absolutely have to and hopefully it’s enough to win the game. The Bears are not the Titans nor the Eagles. As long as Jay Cutler doesn’t pull a Romo, the Bears should cruise.
Clint: Lions are extinct. Bears aren’t, and they love the North (last call I made like this backfired).