1-0 in Week 5 with a bullet.
I’m formatting my picks this way because I’m hungover, but this might be a good idea anyway. Let’s roll.
New Rule: Christian Ponder never gets to start a game in the NFL again.
If anyone wants to complain about Thursday night blowouts, they have to show me how Kirk Cousins, Josh McCown, and Christian Ponder would have played better on Sunday, because that’s 3/4 of any one argument either way. How Ponder ever became a high draft pick in this league astonishes me. He has no arm, no brains, and no toughness, and he looks like Pete Yorn. Anyone you could substitute Pete Yorn in for at QB and not notice much of a difference doesn’t belong.
With the Packers having their early struggles, and the Bears seemingly appearing to have 4-5 games this year where their defense doesn’t show up, this division is kinda laid out for the Lions, isn’t it? I mean, when you’re given 4 shots at the division with the talent they have, winning it once isn’t too much to ask. This is a great matchup for Detroit, as their crummy secondary won’t be tested and the handful of big plays they get on offense will pull them away. Lions 34, Bills 16.
Oh, and new rule: If you’ve never been to a college football game before, and didn’t go to college, you DON’T get to be part of the on-campus rally-style college football coverage.
Katy Perry showing up at the Ole Miss game today to spread her attention-grubbing antics (these were followed up by a stage dive at a local bar when Ole Miss won) is an exemplar for how much attractive people who suck at the rest of life seem to be able to get away with. This nauseated me. ESPN shouldn’t do it again. Find another celebrity. There had to have been an actual graduate form Ole Miss that would have given you better television.
After a great first half in Lambeau 3 weeks ago that looked like it would stamp the Jets as something to be reckoned with, the fireworks have fizzled over the last ten quarters and desperation has set in as they go on the road in San Diego. I love Rex, and I love his philosophy, but they simply drafted the wrong guy. In today’s game, you have to understand how taking a guy that the entire QB-starved league passed on sets you up to look awful if he’s anything less than great. Vick has his flaws, but he’s better than Geno Smith, and his failing just sets you up to draft someone in a more structured way. Drafting Geno in the 2nd round with Mark Sanchez healing up was a resounding “Ehhh, maybe” in response to the question “Do you want to give up on this guy and get a new QB?”. Eh, maybes don’t work at the QB position. Chargers 30, Jets 20.
From the border to the bay, I love the Chiefs coming into San Francisco and getting a win, especially if Vernon Davis is out. San Fran has been outscored collectively in their 4 games so far, and somehow had their whole week scathed by the press despite the fact that they WON last week against the Eagles. I expect Andy Reid to develop the screen game here, and cool off the Justin Smiths and Patrick Willis aggression, and I expect the Chiefs to be able to leave Sean Smith 1 on 1 with Crabtree. People don’t take Smith’s size into account when he matches up, thusly he can handle 3rd down guys who don’t burn you like Crabtree. The Harbaugh talk heats up as Alex Smith gets some delicious revenge. Chiefs 27, Niners 24.
New Rule: If you’re facing a dome team in your building with forecasted 17mph winds, four of their five starting offensive linemen out, and a defense that has generated absolutely no pass rush while giving up over 550 yards to a rookie QB, backup RB and Jarius Wright, YOU BETTER F$%&$ING WIN BY 48, YOU BUMS
Ahem, seriously though, no excuses. The Giants are lucky that Arizona game hasn’t come back to haunt them yet, so they just have to keep rolling. I don’t care how good their receivers are. If you’re facing scrubs off the street and potentially a tight end playing right tackle (Levine Toilolo had to sub in with all the injuries last week vs. Minnesota) if the injuries pile up further, you HAVE to get in Matt Ryan’s grill. He caves under A-gap pressure, and New York’s secondary is designed to man up across the field and jam receivers (See: Eagles, Week 7). Even the strength of the Falcons defense, their good young corner tandem, won’t be able to do what they do against this offense that targets the middle of the field primarily. Julio might get 1-2 big ones, but I don’t see how the rest of the offense holds up. Giants 33, Falcons 24.
New Rule: If a team is 1-2 and has scored 56 points total, stop picking them to win IN Philadelphia
Even with their offense getting shut out last week in San Francisco, the Eagles were the 2nd highest scoring team through four games behind the Colts (who have been abusing bad teams to pad their number up). I can’t believe people are thinking the St. Louis D-line matters in this matchup. They’ll just bubble screen right around it, score the 20-odd points they need and move on to next week. Foolish to think Austin Davis putting up numbers against their bad defense will matter. Eagles 31, Rams 20.
New Rule: No more expired beer and food at Foreskins games
This is real, by the way…
…when are we as a society going to wake up, take the sensitivity of the American people into account, and change the owner of the Washington Redskins? How is he not fined for this? How is he allowed to be an owner when all he does is hurt people? Changing the name won’t do anything if this shit is allowed to go on, and there’s an entire fucking catalog of it since Snyder’s bought the team. Being a Foreskins fan has got to be the most depressing state in the league. I don’t think any fan base, even the Browns, has the stark contrast of great history with current futility.
Oh, and let’s save ourselves the Monday column while we’re at it Seahawks 44, Redskins 6. Take note of how absolutely awful the field looks Monday night before the game starts as Snyder thinks it’s cool to level the playing field with his shitty team by making the turf injurious to both teams.
New Rule: If you’re playing the Jaguars, just came off of a bad loss, and I’m starting your backup running back in fantasy, I’d better be seeing alot of him in the second half
Yes, I will be rooting for a Steeler blowout in Jacksonville today, and hoping I get some points for starting LeGarbagetime Blount in a desperation move. If the Steelers don’t come out mad and throwing and ready to kill, you have to have serious questions about where they’re headed this year. Even the best Steeler teams had a habit of dropping a bad one at home occasionally, but they always fired back the following week. Steelers 44, Jaguars 10.
New Rule: If you’re starved for wide receivers, and you’re outscored by 10 across your first four games, stop making them healthy scratches.
Seriously? What the fuck are you doing, New England? Oh, I know, you have Josh McBrat running your offense for you and someone said something meeeannn to himmm awwwwwwww. You’re right, it’s just what Tom Brady needs: the guy who ran Jay Cutler out of Denver, then failed miserably, then failed in St. Louis, and now is failing again in New England now that he doesn’t have Randy Moss stretching everything for him. God, is there any coordinator in the NFL besides Rob Ryan who’s living on reputation alone like Josh McDaniels is? Can you at least CREATE THE PERCEPTION that you have control of your team? Can you at least CREATE THE PERCEPTION that there will be some throws outside the numbers? I suppose as long as your feelings aren’t hurt and everyone respects your childish brat persona (which totally works in the grown man’s NFL, by the way, since y’know nobody yells or screams), then getting blown out by the Bengals is ok. Bengals 28, Patriots 17. That Cincy defense is no joke, Josh. Get your weapons ready.
New Rule: Someone tackle DeMarco Murray
This can’t be real. The guy who would trip over the furniture if he ran through my apartment is leading the league in rushing? Hey JJ. Fill the hole and make him move left or ri-oh-yeah he can’t. Behind the admittedly well-built offensive line, Murray has been allowed to have a “breakout” season, when this is really all he’s ever done: run in a straight line until he gets hurt. He’s not the force in the passing game people say he is, he possesses no lateral agility whatsoever (which is why he fell in the draft) and his horrific pad level has been disguised by good blocking. Hit this guy JJ. Texans 23, Cowboys 17.
and finally, New Rule: If Darrin Reaves and Fozzy Whitaker run all over your defense, you can go ahead and stop calling yourself a contender right now
Ah, the Bears. One week, masters of the air. Next week, leaky run defense sinks the whole cause. Shouldn’t be the case here guys. While the rookie matchup of Kyle Fuller on Kelvin Benjamin should be a dandy, this is really a “how bad does Chicago’s lines want it?” game. There is nothing Carolina presents on offense that an average Chicago team shouldn’t be able to take away. I expect to see the contender side of the Bears, and a message to be sent. Bears 37, Panthers 13. If not, we have to seriously question the Bears.
Other Winners – Cleveland, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Denver
Steve wants to say the Browns, but he just can’t resist a Texas-sized Tie Watch: HOU-DAL
I’m taking CLE-TEN, and not overthinking it. I have the whole column to do that.