Last week I went 8-8 (and if you discount the homer pick of the Packers, it’s a winning record) and got the lock of the week correct. I’m going to see that as progress from week 1, and we’re rounding into midseason form………or something like that.
This week I decided to break the games into different categories based on the intrigue/quality of the game. I broke the games into 4 tiers and labeled them with the cars from the Mound Street Crew. For those of you that don’t know, that’s the house in Madison that I lived in during my senior year of college with 5 other guys (the crew also includes Hildo, because he was there more than he wasn’t). It was a treat of a house….with 6 bedrooms, only 5 of which received heat (sorry Archie), 2 of the rooms were connected by a thin door (Squirrel & Diggity basically spooned through the door all year), 1 was barely big enough for a bed (sorry Web), and one had a sink and a fire escape/balcony (my room). Oh and who could forget the Blair Witch in the basement with a 5-foot high ceiling?
QUICK UPDATE: This is why the Cubs suck, will always suck and why C.U.B.S means: Completely Useless By September - a slap knocks their "star" 1B out of the game. What a joke.
And one more quick aside before getting to the games……..reason #232 why I don’t do heroin/quaaludes/etc: Mackenzie Phillips.
Same disclaimers every week - see last week for the full explanation......recreational use only, etc.
TOP TIER: Hildo’s BMW
It was the first luxury car for the group, which makes sense considering Hildo was 23 years older than us and finishing grad school while we were finishing undergrad. It was a brand new 2003 3-series BMW and much like the games in this tier, we expected high performance with some star power. Let’s hope that the games produce more scoring than Hildo saw in the car.
Titans (+2.5) over JETS
Titans are desperate and desperate teams with a good coach, a strong running game and strong run defense are dangerous. The Titans have had trouble against the pass the first two weeks (See Santonio Holmes & Andre Johnson), but that shouldn’t matter against Mark Sanchez and the Jets basic passing game. Jets run defense has been stout, and Darrelle Revis has looked like one of the best corners in the league, but I think the Titans can put up enough points to pull out a tough road victory.
PATRIOTS (-4) over Falcons
Tall order for Matty Ryan’s return to Boston – beat a ticked off Patriots team. Maybe Tom Brady should hire his security guards to play offensive line for New England, as they (allegedly) protected Mr. & Mrs. Giselle better than Logan Mankins and company have protected Brady in the first two weeks. Pats need this game more than the Falcons, and home field makes the difference.
Saints (-6) over BILLS
Buffalo has looked impressive in splitting their first two games, but I just don’t see them being able to keep up with the juggernaut Saints offense. Saints benefit from playing in upstate NY before the weather has a chance to be a factor. I think Trent Edwards is getting more comfortable with the offense and the inevitable TO dropped passes and they will be a factor all season long.
Cardinals (-2.5) over Colts
Much like a Thursday night at Brothers with $1 swampwaters, there should be a lot of action in this one, and it shouldn’t take “Living on a Prayer” on the juke box to get it started. It’s a difficult task for the short-handed Colts to win on Monday night on the road in Miami, then travel cross country on a short week and face a talented Cards offense. Strangely, the Cards running game should be the difference in this one, as the Cards get a big win.
TIER 2: Diggity’s Saab
The Saab was a very nice car in very good condition with a strong record of performance. The car had the ability to turn it up a notch with the turbo engine. These games should be entertaining and have intriguing players or story lines, with the ability to turn into the best games of the week. Also, the trunk was exceptionally spacious and relatively comfortable to ride in on the way home from the bar as long as TerBear (our underappreciated DD) was gentle on the brakes…………errrr, not that I would know.
Chiefs (+9.5) over EAGLES
This shouldn’t be a DOG of a game…….I like the underDOG in this game…….It could be a RUFF day for the Eagles……..okay, those are all the dog lines I could come up with for the return of Michael Vick. No one knows how much Vick is going to play or what his role is going to be. Kevin Kolb had enough trouble not turning the ball over without the distraction of Vick coming in and out of the game. I can hear you Philly idiots whining already: “but he threw for 390 yards!!” – that’s because Andy Reid is fundamentally opposed to running the ball and not having seconds at the dinner table. Chiefs keep it close enough to get the cover.
49ers (+7) over VIKINGS
I guess I’m late to the party on the Niners, but they appear to be the real deal and this is the week to prove it in the only matchup of 2-0 teams this week. Their defense can present problems for ODF and potentially slow Peterson (you know, only 100 yards and ONLY 1 TD) - though he's slightly banged up and was a limited participant in practice late in the week. The question is whether their offense can generate enough points against the tough Vikings defense. Hopefully the Frank Gore that gashed the Seahawks last week shows up, and is ready to carry the load again.
Bears (-2) over SEAHAWKS
Time for the bad Cutler to make another appearance. The mobile Seneca Wallace gives the ‘Hawks a better chance behind the banged up o-line, but there’s a reason he’s 5-7 as a starter: he’s not very good. Bad Cutler adds a couple more INTs to his total, and after the game Lovie Smith repeats a familiar phrase: “Rex Cutler is our quarterback.” Gore destroyed the Seahawks last week, so if Forte is going to get going, this is a good week for it to start.
Steelers (-4) over BENGALS
Classic game to not overreact too much to last week’s results. The Steelers coughed one up when the lonesome kicker Jeff Reed missed 2 FGs in the fourth quarter, and the Bengals ran over the Packers in Lambeau. Something tells me the Cedric Benson revival will take a week off – and that something is the Steelers defense. Antwan Odom has to be licking his chops getting ready to go against the weak Steelers o-line, but the Pittsburgh passing game will put up enough points to get the win.
COWBOYS (-9) over PANTHERS
In a battle of who can turn the ball over less, the ‘Boys get their first win in Jerry’s playhouse. Romo is an average QB in the NFL, not a superstar. But that’s multiple levels above where Jake Delhomme is.
TIER 3: The Smurf or The Turd
The Smurf was my 1994 Mercury Topaz (named after the color) and the Turd was Squirrel’s Ford Tempo – the 4DR twin to the Topaz (also named for its color). Reliable, not fancy, but got the job done. These are not the prettiest games on the docket this week, and you don’t want to brag to your friends about watching them, but you need something more than a bike to get to the movies and Indian casinos. (Not the actual Smurf in the picture, but that's basically it)
GIANTS (-6.5) over Buccaneers
Losing Kenny Phillips for the year hurts the Giants secondary, and Justin Tuck is unlikely to play this week after a dirty trip by Flozell Adams last week. Yet, the Bucs don’t have the ability to slow the Giants running game, and the passing game continues to evolve into a multi-pronged weapon. Was Eli calm and collected before the game-winning drive last week or is he too dumb to know it was a big moment? Either way, it seems to work for him.
CHARGERS (-6) over Dolphins
Norv Turner has consistently done less with more than any coach in NFL history. But the Dolphins don’t have the playmakers to keep up after the cross-country travel.
RAIDERS (+1.5) over Broncos
I’m going to go against the Broncos until I’m finally right. They beat the Bengals on a fluke and beat a terrible Browns team. Raiders are actually better than anyone thought and are winning/remaining competitive in spite of JaMarcus Russell. They can run on the Broncos and their defense will cause problems for Denver.
TIER 4: Archie’s 1987 Audi 5000
Just a few of the unique characteristics of the Audi: the speedometer didn’t work, the odometer stopped after about 150,000 miles, the trunk latch was broke, but the trunk was heavy enough to stay closed unless going over a big bump, and the car would randomly slide out of gear on occasion both while driving or idling – and it was an automatic transmission!! Watching these games, like driving in the Audi, may not be the best thing for your health, but it’s still a car/football game, and better than the alternative of watching “Police Women of Broward County” on TLC. (the picture isn't actually Archie's Audi, but it looked pretty close)
Redskins (-6.5) over LIONS
The media is all over this being the week that the Lions break the 19 game losing streak because the Redskins got booed off their home field after winning last week. I’m a firm believer that when all the “experts” are so sure of an upset, go the other way. It’s going to be ugly, but I think the Skins pull it off.
Packers (-6.5) over RAMS
Spagnuolo’s defense poses another threat to Aaron Rodger’s health. And if Cedric Benson tore through the Packer defense, what can Steven Jackson do? Rams offense combined with Packers attacking defense should produce enough turnovers to give Aaron Rodgers some short fields to put points on the board.
TEXANS (-4) over Jaguars (LOCK OF THE WEEK)
In a game that should not be entertaining, the Jags allowed the Cards to light them up last week. Expect another big game from Schaub, Andre Johnson, and maybe the return of Steve Slaton? Jaguars are a mess, son unless the Texans act like the Audi and slip out of gear, they should run away with this game.
RAVENS (-13.5) over Browns
This is a lot of points this early in the season to lay on a divisional game, but then again, it’s the Browns. I think they’re among the worst teams in the league and it’s just a matter of time until the team completely gives up on that idiot Mangini. Flacco continues to put up impressive passing numbers and the Ravens defense eats Brady Quinn’s lunch.