Last week I broke out of the .500 band…..with a 7-5-1 record. Not exactly kicking your man in the teeth, but more wins than losses is all that matters. There are some good matchups this week, and one of the all-time worst matchups in the history of the NFL. With trick-or-treat taking place throughout most of the country this weekend; the games are broken down by categories based on the candy that gets handed out. Five categories, so I left out a decent number of good and bad candy including those nasty peanut butter things in the orange and black wax paper wrappers. Who ever thought that was a good candy to get? Nasty, sticky and strange. Pencils & raisins also are among the worst things that could ever be handed out to kids. Who wants that crap when you’re supposed to be gorging on sweets? You can worry about US obesity 363 days a year, but not on Halloween, and not on Thanksgiving.
And let’s also make a pact – now that my friends and I are at the age where some of us own houses or have kids of our own – no handing out ONE bite or fun size candy bar!! What fun are two bites of candy deliciousness?!? Either give out a couple of the small bars, or just get the full size candy.
On to the week 8 picks starting from the worst possible candy you can hand out working up to the best candy/games………standard disclosures – recreational use only, home team in CAPS, etc.
Who wants an apple on Halloween? Don’t get me wrong, I love apples – my favorite fruit and my favorite line from Matt Damon (“How you like them apples!?!”). But I do not want anything to do with an apple when you should be filling my plastic pumpkin basket with sugar. If you hand out an apple, you deserve to have that kid get to the end of your driveway, turn around and fire that apple off your front door like a CC Sabbathia heater.
LIONS (-3.5) over Rams (Craptastic Game of the Week)
This is an awful excuse for a football game. It will be more entertaining to rewatch a half dozen of the college games from Saturday than to watch this game. The teams have combined to win 3 times in their past 46 games. The Rams have scored the fewest points in the league and given up the most points in the league. They couldn’t score if they were given a leading role opposite Jennifer Anniston. Have to go with the Lions at home to extend the Rams losing streak to 18 games.
Smarties, the self-proclaimed “America’s favorite candy wafer roll,” are not bad tasting, but they go too fast and they make your mouth pucker up and prevent you from eating more candy. These are the football games that have a couple of semi-intriguing storylines, but you don’t want to focus on them, and it might not be compelling for long.
BEARS (-13) over Browns
Lovie Smith is starting to feel the heat, and this is a game that he has to win (and probably win impressively) to slow down the media attack. Maybe the Browns should hire Justin Timberlake as GM, as he has an impressive track record of scoring: Jessica Biel, Cameron Diaz, Alyssa Milano, Scarlett Johansson, and hot Britney.
Jaguars (+3) over TITANS (Lock of the Week)
I’m down on the reinvention of the Vince Young Experience. How do you think the team is going to react to the owner ordering the coach to start his overpaid back up QB to “see what they have” in him? The coach doesn’t want to start him, but an 0-6 record does not provide Jeff Fisher with any leverage. Jags are just hanging around on the outskirts of the playoff picture, and I have a feeling MJD might dress up as an Oompa-Loompa for Halloween.
CHARGERS (-16.5) over Raiders
JaMarcus “Shamu” Russell couldn’t have made it any worse after his pathetic game against the Jets…..until he opened his mouth and proved that there is absolutely no hope at this guy even being an adequate back up in the NFL. Chargers blew out the Chiefs last week, and should be able to do it again. The only thing that could potentially give the Raiders hope is that it’s a divisional game, and that’s not much.
The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
Arguably among the tastiest combinations in the entire candy world: chocolate and peanut butter. Nothing better on Halloween than heading up to a door and seeing that "Take One" sign above a basket of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Jackpot!! When it comes to the "take one" baskets, there were 3 ways to go: (1) the nerdy kids that actually only took one; (2) the kids who didn't want to get in trouble, but had to take advantage of the situation and took a handful (or two); and then (3) the kids that just dumped the entire basket into your bucket. I always went for option 2 - harder to prove that I didn't take one (maybe the last 7 houses were giving out Reese's!!), but I was getting more than my share. These games have a great combos (RomoPyle-Austin, Warner-Fitzgerald, and Schaub-Johnson), but the games could be over quickly.
Texans (-3.5) over BILLS
I have a bad feeling about this game because every time anyone buys into the Texans, they typically throw up on themselves. The Bills record isn’t bad, but their wins have come against the Bucs (horrid), and huge turnover games by the Jets & Panthers. If Schaub can continue to not turn over the ball, the Texans should not have a problem. The biggest concern for the Texans is not whether Andre Johnson plays, but what the weather in Orchard Park is like come Sunday. They shouldn't even need Johnson to put up points on the Bills.
COWBOYS (-9.5) over Seahawks
Dallas seems to have found their mojo, and now welcome the perpetually banged up Seahawks to town. Without Walter Jones the Seattle offense has been impotent. Pretty sure I’m not going to taunt Miles Austin this week, as the guy has 400+ yards and 4 TDs in his past two games. Maybe a little bit of a letdown from those astronomical numbers, but he should be able to light up the ‘Hawks secondary.
CARDINALS (-10) over Panthers
This game opened up as a 7.5 point line, and likely moved to 10 as soon as John Fox announced he was going to stick with Jake Delhomme this week. The Cards have been winning with defense rather than offense lately, and were the team that started the Delhomme death spiral in the playoffs last year. Look for more of the same from a snake-bitten Jake, and the Cards roll at home.
The real key to the Kit-Kat? Toss it in the freezer for a while, then after a couple hours, you have an absolutely outstanding treat. I mean, who doesn’t want to take a break with a Kit Kat? Now you’re singing the jingle – “Gimme a break. Gimme a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!” You're welcome. And the Kit-Kat isn’t the best candy, but it’s solid and reliable, just like these games matching up two competitive teams.
JETS (-3) over Dolphins
Dolphins beat the Jets in Miami with the late wildcat touchdown. Rex Ryan will have his defense ready for the rematch. Mark Sanchez won’t be hot dogging it this week, but he should be able to put up yards against the Dolphins defense. The Dolphins have the QB in Henne capable of throwing it, but they are not happy with Ted Ginn Jr not catching it.
Broncos (-3.5) over RAVENS
Ravens are coming off a bye, so this is a dangerous route to take the Broncos on the road. Yet McDaniels will find a way for Orton and Marshall to light up the pathetic Ravens pass defense. I’m officially on the Broncos bandwagon. Ravens are spiraling downwards after their fast start, despite the very solid season Ray Rice is putting together.
COLTS (-12) over 49ers
Colts are coming off back to back bye weeks (real bye and Rams game), so they are rested and ready at home to welcome the Niners to Lucas Oil Stadium. The Alex Smith resurgence was impressive for one half, but they are going to need to put up more points than that to keep up with Peyton. And while Smith does have VD (that joke doesn’t get old), Peyton has Dallas Clark, and Reggie Wayne, and Joseph Addai, and Pierre Garcon. It’s a lot of points, but the Colts have won their last 4 games by an average of 24 points and they’re 5-1 against the spread this season.
The Milky Way
THE BEST candy out there is the Milky Way candy bar. Milk chocolate, caramel, and creamy nougat – a perfect combination of sweet, smooth and pure deliciousness. Don’t mess up your candy bar with peanuts or coconut – just keep with the good stuff. Did you know the Milky Way was created in 1923 and is known as a Mars Bar everywhere outside the U.S.? These are the best games of the week – all divisional rivalries and all should be extremely entertaining games.
Giants (pick) over EAGLES
Another NY-Philly matchup at Lincoln Field – the Phils & Yanks in the World Series Saturday and Sunday and the 76ers and Knicks play in the MSG home opener Saturday night. Giants are coming off two straight losses and need to rebound to take back command of the division. The Eagles rebounded from an embarrassment in Oakland by beating the I-AA Skins. Giants remember the McNabb phone call from the Giants sideline during the playoffs last year and get revenge as the Eagles miss the explosiveness of Westbrook. Since people keep comparing the WAGs (Wives & Girlfriends) of NY to the WAGs of Philly (Kate Hudson is impressive, but can’t hold a candle to Cole Hamel’s wife, Heidi), I’ll take Eli’s wife over McNabb’s.
Falcons (+10) over SAINTS
This is too many points for a divisional game against a playoff team. Yes, the Falcons have struggled the past few weeks, and yes, the Saints won by 12 last week after spotting the Dolphins a 21-point lead. But the Falcons offense and defense is better than the Dolphins. The Saints are the better team and definitely should win this game at home, but 10 points is a value play to pick the Falcons. I thought that last week when the Falcons were catching 4 from the Cowboys too……..
PACKERS (-3) over Vikings
Aside from my obvious Packer homerism………(and yes, Larry Johnson, I said homerism), the facts are there as well. The Packers will be able to audible in their home stadium, which they couldn’t do in the Metrodome. Ryan Grant has a fire lit under him after the Packers signed Ahman Green to push for carries. The Packers will have their rookie tackle more prepared to slow down Jared Allen (you can’t stop the guy), which should buy Rodgers enough time to find Jennings and Driver flying by the banged up Vikings secondary. And the crowd will affect Brett, and if they can get the cameras to get in close, he’ll probably put on a blubbering show for the television audience. Vikings won’t be able to match the Packers energy throughout the entire game. And if the Packers win, expect this from Brett, "It was fun to come back here but disappointing to lose, and it's just one of 16 and one we wanted to win for the division title." If the Vikings win, expect this accompanied by tears: "It was really great to come back here, the fans are great and I didn't realize how emotional it was going to be." His act will change depending upon the outcome - hopefully the Packers can slow down Peterson and create a couple of Favre turnovers like the Steelers did last week.