Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Week 3 NFL Picks - Part 2

As I write this, my wife and I are continuing our efforts to win some kind of fictitious parenting award by hosting about a dozen nine year old boys who are currently watching one of the unwatchable Might Ducks sequels for my son's birthday.* This thing was supposed to happen outside with a movie on the lawn followed by backyard camping. (Because like most avid golfers, I love me some camping). The good news is that the weather negated that overblown effort. The bad news is that we now have that powder keg getting jacked-up on smores in our basement and I fully expect them to burst into defiant laughter when I shut the lights off in half an hour and tell them it's time to simmer down. At least that's what I would have done.

Feels like a great writing opportunity so let's crank-out some picks between bursts of me saying things I never thought I'd hear myself say (DON'T MAKE ME COME DOWN THERE!!!).

Chicago by 7 over St. Louis: The Pick - Rams

"Seriously . . . who farted? That's
why I hate playing in a dome."
I can't give 7 points with a team on the verge of a stellar implosion. No offensive line, no Matt Forte and no concept of stoicism from it's starting quarterback have to eventually catch-up with the Bears. Meanwhile, Jeff Fisher seems to have his team headed for a pick outside of the top five in the 2013 draft which is going to ruin what has become the annual high point for Rams' fans.

Dallas by 8 over Tampa Bay: The Pick - Bucs

Well I said I was going to ride the Cowboys until they inevitably proved me wrong and that was last week. Super Bowl "contenders" don't lay down against rookie quarterbacks. This Bucs teams seems kind of plucky and I love the fact that Greg Schiano didn't get the coach's memo that you're supposed to tell your team to stop trying to win before the game is over.

San Francisco by 7 over Minnesota: The Pick - Niners

I'm sorry, is Christian Ponder going to be the guy who figures out the defense that has already stymied Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford? Well is he? Right . . . I didn't think so.

Detroit by 3 over Tennessee: The Pick - Lions

Kind of hard to pick the Titans getting a measly three points when they lost their first two games by an average of 24.5. If anyone has information on where the "I Picked Chris Johnson in the First Round" support group is meeting, please let me know.

It's good to see the Skins get a
little of their attitude back.
Washington by 3 over Cincinnati: The Pick - Redskins

This is the first home game of RG, III's career and I can tell you firsthand that the fans are giddy. They haven't been this excited since Joe Gibbs agreed to come back and coach the team part time. I expect to see their savior put on a show.

N.Y. Jets by 3 over Miami: The Pick - Jets

The Jets blew out the Bills and then got hammered by the Steelers while the Dolphins reversed that formula against the Texans and the Raiders. I'm going to bet on the Jets D not letting Reggie Bush run all over them for 172 yards like he did last week. And can we please get Tebow some touches? I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm starting to miss him.

"I WILL SPLIT YOU TWO UP IF YOU CAN'T CALM DOWN!!!"

New Orleans by 8.5 over Kansas City: The Pick - Saints

These two teams have each given-up 75 points through two weeks so this is going to look like a flag football game. I'm throwing the spread out the window and banking on someone winning this thing by at least ten points. And that someone is not Matt Cassel.

Buffalo by 3 over Cleveland: The Pick - Bills

Joe Flacco shredded the Bengals defense in week 1 and was very shaky against the Eagles defense in week 2. Brandon Weeden had the same results against the same teams. That's just a coincidence right?

Indianapolis by 3 over Jacksonville: The Pick - Colts

Don't you get the feeling that the Jags are already vying for the #1 pick in next year's draft and getting a firsthand look at Andrew Luck is only going to strengthen their resolve?

"Just inputting the words
'Kolb' and 'undefeated'
crashed the server."
Philadelphia by 4 over Arizona: The Pick - Cardinals

The Eagles have turned the ball over like 20 times and are undefeated. The Cardinals are undefeated with Kevin Kolb at quarterback. The mathematical probability of those two simultaneous occurrences is so unlikely, I need a Peter Brand algorithm to pick this game. Oh yeah, if anyone knows the number for the "I Picked Larry Fitzgerald in the Second Round" hotline, please let me know.

San Diego by 3 over Atlanta: The Pick - Chargers

This game comes to down to which you believe more: (a) the Chargers are ready to put in a full 16 game season or (b) Matt Ryan is ready to start backing-up the hype. Until I see Matty Ice do it against a defense that brings more to the table than the Chiefs and the Broncos, I'm leaning towards (a). (And if you think that this has anything to do with him constantly being rated above Joe Flacco despite the fact that Joe has won five playoff games to Matty's zero . . . then you're very perceptive).

"DON'T MAKE ME CALL YOUR PARENTS TO COME GET YOU RIGHT NOW!!!"

Houston by 2 over Denver: The Pick - Houston

It sure looked like the Falcons laid-out the blueprint for beating the current version of Peyton Manning. Bring a ton of pressure, cut-off the short routes and test his ability to still throw darts down the field. The Texans not only have better personnel to do that but they also have the running game to keep him on the sideline. In a related note - Arian Foster tweet of the week: "R.I.P. to the frog I ran over in my driveway. I didn't even see the little guy. Forgive me, frog gods." Don't count on it Arian. I hear the frog gods are some particularly vengeful mutherfuckers.

Oh I'm sorry, were you saying
something about a frog?
Pittsburgh by 4.5 over Oakland: The Pick - Steelers

So it would appear that last year's 8-8 record and signs of improvement were a smoke screen because the Raiders are terrible again. They never should've cut Kyle Boller. When your offensive line is that bad, you can't underestimate the value of having a quarterback who can throw it 60 yards from this knees.

Baltimore by 3 over New England: The Pick - Patriots (Ravens - 26 . . . . Pats - 24)

The Ravens' new fangled hurry-up offense was all fun and games until Joe Flacco went 6 for 20 in the second half while trying to protect a lead against the Eagles. To make matters worse, when they really needed the hurry-up to work (down by 1 inside of two minutes with two timeouts left), it failed them. Ravens fans were left scratching their heads trying to understand why the only attempt to get Ray Rice the ball on 3rd and 4th down with two yards to go was a bad angle out pattern that required Flacco to loft the ball over a linebacker who was nearly a foot taller then Rice. Then again, it's tough to criticize Cam Cameron for not calling a running play at any point during that drive when Rice is only averaging 6.4 yards per carry this year. (That was sarcasm).

Green Bay by 3 over Seattle: The Pick - Seahawks

Something ain't right about Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense and the deafening noise in Seattle is only going to compound whatever it is. (Takes a lot of film study to come up with that kind of analysis).

"THAT'S IT . . . IF I HAVE TO COME DOWN THERE ONE MORE TIME, EVERYONE'S GOING HOME!!!" (My God, what have I become?).

Last Week's Record: 6-9-1 . . . Season Record: 13-18-1. (Ouch).

Email the FGR

Endnotes

"Yes, in hindsight maybe a game of duck
duck goose would have been more prudent."
* Our greatest undertaking to date was my elder son's 9th birthday party where we staged the Olympic games in our backyard right down to the march-on of the competitors to the theme song. Everything went smoothly until we decided to close the games with a tug-o-war. When it was over, our backyard looked like a scene from 300 with bodies scattered everywhere writhing in pain from rope burn. Some of the losers were still in tears when they received their silver medals. It was quite moving. Here's some home movie footage - Tug-O-War.