Welcome back, football fans, to our quasi-professional football picks! Each week we will pick game winners based on Vegas over/under lines, and add some the greatest preview commentary in the world! That’s right, ESPN, we said it.
Rob Wheatley is still taking the Americans to the wood-chipper, but it’s only week 2, and like Mark Sanchez’ completion percentage, anything can happen.
Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
LINE: Packers by 6
The Bears came back to win Sunday and the Packers never even led their game being dominated by the Niners. So this means? What it means is there’s a tough game to be had. The Bears match up fairly well against the Packers but it’s hard to imagine the Pack losing two in a row at home to begin the season. Therefore they will win this game, least of all because I will will them to win. See what I did there? I used “will” consecutively and correctly even though Word insisted that I delete the repeated word. Word is therefore a retard. But this time the Bears will not retard the progress of the Packers.
Rob Wheatley: PACKERS-WIN
Darby Shaw: PACKERS-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: PACKERS-WIN
Sunday, September 16th, 2012
Kansas City Chiefs @ Buffalo Bills
LINE: Bills by 3
Fair enough, so I’m known as ‘The Token Brit’ around The Inept Owl, and my complete lack of understanding or empathy with this game you call ‘Football’ is the very reason I was invited to add my commentary, because Americans find it funny that a man of my age could have lived his whole life without ever seeing a whole game or knowing even the first thing about the rules. I take that all on the chin, and yes with probably a bit of British stiff upper lip if you like to think of it that way. My often cantankerous humour, based on the English feeling of inadequacy which is drummed into us from an early age, is something I have accepted and roll with, and even though I don’t get most of the proper football comments from the other writers here which makes me feel somewhat left out, like that cake from MacArthur Park, again, I can accept it, it’s the way things are and have to be. But what I can’t stand is this insinuation that my game picks are somehow based on nothing more than randomness and unicorn piss. This is just so unfair..I’m picking Kansas to win in this game because I have friends that live there !
Darby Shaw: CHIEFS-LOSS
Steve Elle: BILLS-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: CHIEFS-LOSS
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals
LINE: Bengals by 7
Evil Peyton Manning:
The battle for Ohio kicks off once again in a match-up of the Browns against the Bengals, proving that football fans know their geography even when their teams trip out of the gate. While the Bengals continue to work BenJarvus Green-Ellis into an offense that doesn’t only run him when Tom Brady’s arm is tired, the Browns are well on their way to placing their 50 year old(in football years) rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden in their Hall of Shame, which includes anger-inducing players such as Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, and Jake Delhomme.
Rob Wheatley: BENGALS-LOSS
Darby Shaw: BENGALS-LOSS
Steve Elle: BENGALS-LOSS
Minnesota Vikings @ Indianapolis Colts
LINE: Vikings by 1
Blimey, it must be my turn to have all the luck, as for the second week running I’ve been given the chance to comment on the Vikings. For me this is like a double birthday, enabling me to go on and on about how the Vikings eat live sheep and had sex with thunder and drink concentrated magic mushroom juice, and cut their fingernails with axes and would never sleep in a bed unless it was on fire etc etc. Then again, I got to do all that last time and I wouldn’t want to tire you all with the same old stereotypes and metaphors and crude puns week after week, so I guess I’ll tell you something about the Colts. A colt is some sort of horse. Bloody marvelous !
Darby Shaw: VIKINGS-LOSS
Steve Elle: COLTS-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: VIKINGS-LOSS
Oakland Raiders @ Miami Dolphins
LINE: Raiders by 3
Every year, the Oakland Raiders find new and inventive ways to suck. Some years it’s excessive penalties. Other years it’s problems with PEDs or Roofies. Still other years it’s man-on-goat orgies being held in the locker room at halftime. This year appears to be The Year of the Botched Punt. Yes, that’s right. Not content to be awful in the usual ways, the Raiders have decided to focus on screwing up the one play you have to run after you screw everything else up: the punt. Fans blamed the back-up long snapper. The back-up long snapper blamed the dirt. The dirt blamed the city for being too cheap to build a football-only stadium. The city blamed Obama. Obama blamed George W. Bush. On the other hand, the Dolphins have an easier target to point the blame at: the fact that they’re just terrible at every position on the roster. Expect the loser of this game to be in the driver’s seat for the first pick in next year’s draft.
Rob Wheatley: RAIDERS-LOSS
Steve Elle: RAIDERS-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: RAIDERS-LOSS
Arizona Cardinals @ New England Patriots
LINE: Patriots by 14
This week, expect the Patriots to unveil their newest offensive wrinkle from the twisted-ass mind of Coach Belichick: the five-TE set. The Patriots, who have seven tight ends listed on their roster and recently worked out professional motorcyclist Kellen Winslow at the position, obviously feel that you can never have too many guys who are too slow to be receivers, but too small to be linemen. Instead, they will line up with a TE at every eligible position. Quarterback Tom Brady has already expressed excitement at the prospect, saying “I’m very excited at the prospect.” The Arizona Cardinals will counter this strategy by… oh, who are we kidding. The Cardinals have two backup quarterbacks (one of whom got hurt falling off the bench), and their leading rusher so far is a wide receiver who has carried the ball once. Even John McCain has given up on these guys, and he believes he could have won the presidency with Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Rob Wheatley: PATRIOTS-LOSS
Steve Elle: PATRIOTS-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: PATRIOTS-LOSS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Giants
LINE: Giants by 9
Hey, it’s the Buccaneers, those swashbuckling, feather hatted, tights wearing men of the sea, always on the lookout for a swig o’ rum and a good shanty or two and some time alone with one of those fish that looks like a woman’s private area. What’s that you say ? Somali Pirates on the horizon ? Well, it’s screwed then, while the Bucs are busy combing their pointy beards and ruffling the feather in their hat and cleaning the poop off the deck, those Somalis have machine gunned the living crap out of them and stolen their fish. They ain’t going to do much better against the Giants either, for one thing there’s the height advantage. Buccaneers traditionally lived in the 1700’s and people were much shorter back then.
Darby Shaw: GIANTS-LOSS
Steve Elle: BUCCANEERS-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: BUCCANEERS-WIN
Baltimore Ravens @ Philadelphia Eagles
LINE: Eagles by 3
The Eagles were lucky to get away with one on Sunday. They won’t be so lucky this week, being visited by one of the stronger teams in the league. The Ravens looked strong last weekend in all facets of the game. By contrast, the Eagles looked horrific and were very lucky to eke out a win. And of course karma comes into play, too. Michael Vick will be playing a Raven team that was originally owned by recently deceased Art Modell, who of course owned the Cleveland Browns, who begat the famous Dawg Pound contingent of fans. So circuitously, the dawgs get their revenge against Vick. Yeah, so it’s convoluted.
Rob Wheatley: EAGLES-LOSS
Darby Shaw: RAVENS-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: RAVENS-WIN
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
LINE: Saints by 3
I once read a story set in New Orleans and it seemed that most of the book was taken with describing the massive amounts of food that was served up at every opportunity. The book was so well written that by the end of it, I’d gained almost a stone in weight. The writer had also taken a lot of space to describe in minute detail the heat and general swampiness of a hot New Orleans summer’s day: the humidity, the bugs, the things which lay in wait ready to poison you if you so much as touched them. It all reminded me of a laundry basket I’d once encountered in a Student residence. Dammit, why did I remind myself of that? I’m gonna have nightmares for some time to come now. Thanks a bloody load you Saints, I’m now emotionally scarred for life !
Darby Shaw: SAINTS-LOSS
Steve Elle: PANTHERS-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: PANTHERS-WIN
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
LINE: Texans by 8
Does anybody else still wonder how the hell Jacksonville got an NFL team? It’s like the fifth most popular city in the state. It has all the downsides of Florida (humidity, bugs as big as your face, old people) but none of the upsides (happening night scene, rich people, seeing LeBron snort cocaine off a hooker’s ass in a club). But hey, on the bright side, they went from having the worst rookie QB in the league last year to having the worst second-year QB in the league this year, so that’s something. Plus they have Maurice Jones-Drew, and it’s not like everybody in the league knows he’s going to touch the ball on pretty much every play. Unfortunately, after screwing up last week’s game against the Vikings, now they have to face the “No seriously, THIS YEAR is our year, we mean it now, no fooling” Texans. Look for the stingy Texans defense to sit back and let Blaine Gabbert do his Curtis Painter impression.
Rob Wheatley: TEXANS-WIN
Steve Elle: TEXANS-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: TEXANS-WIN
Washington Redskins @ St. Louis Rams
LINE: Redskins by 3
Evil Peyton Manning:
RG3 had quite a season opener as a rookie, which is more than we can say for the replacement refs in the NFL. The second pick of the NFL draft took MVP of the Week honors, broke some opening game records as a rookie, and looks ready to follow in Cam Newton’s footsteps while winning some more games along the way. The St. Louis Rams wish to make sure that won’t happen, which makes it likely that RG3 will take MVP of the Week for the second week in the row.
Rob Wheatley: REDSKINS-LOSS
Darby Shaw: REDSKINS-LOSS
Steve Elle: RAMS-WIN
Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks
LINE: Cowboys by 3
This is Tony Romo’s time of year. You know, no playoffs to worry about. Still feeling swell. Low pressure. Etc. This is when Corky Romo plays his best ball. This is unfortunate for Russell Wilson and the crew from Seattle, though they will have their home field advantage which actually is an advantage in this case. The hope for Seattle then is that the field itself can somehow quickly learn to score points because the rejuvenated Dallas defense will not make it easy. Look for Demarcus Ware and Russell Wilson to get very cozy.
Rob Wheatley: SEAHAWKS-WIN
Darby Shaw: COWBOYS-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: COWBOYS-LOSS
New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers
LINE: Steelers by 6
Wow, this is a game I love because I loathe both teams so much that knowing with near certainty that one of them will lose is a real treat. Oh NY Jets how I loathe thee. The first week mirage you displayed makes your inevitable downfall far sweeter. Either you continue to dominate rendering the pickup of Tebow both stupid and silly or you disintegrate (my preference) immediately creating a controversy of biblical proportions. Ha-ha, get it? As for the Steelers, having Exorcist necked Peyton Manning beating you in prime time was manna from heaven. Icing on the cake is the inevitable controversy with Rothlisberger and the impending babygate storm. So back to the match-up. Ah, ‘nuff said.
Rob Wheatley: STEELERS-WIN
Darby Shaw: STEELERS-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: JETS-LOSS
Tennessee Titans @ San Diego Chargers
LINE: Chargers by 6
Welcome to yet another year of “Let’s under-perform and see if we can move the team to LA” Chargers football! San Diego squeaked out a victory last week, despite the Raiders’ aforementioned three botched punts, four fumbles, a 2.1 yards-per-carry average from their star running back (who was also their leading receiver because, by the way, their receiving corps is horrendous), and the fact that they’re the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers had to kick five field goals to pull off the win, which should be illegal because everyone hates kickers. Phillip Rivers took a break from being the understudy for the lead role in “19 Kids and Counting” to throw one, lousy, half-assed touchdown pass. Way to go, Maynard. Because they should win easily over the hapless, rookie-led Titans, expect this to be a close game.
Rob Wheatley: CHARGERS-WIN
Steve Elle: CHARGERS-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: CHARGERS-WIN
Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers
LINE: 49ers by 7
Evil Peyton Manning:
I’ve been wearing my “Poor Lions” hat ever since I was a young football fan, watching Barry Sanders do his best impersonation of a ghost as he slid through defenses for touchdowns while the rest of his team sat on their collective jock-straps. The Stafford-Johnson Connection was created to nullify those memories with wins, and we’re still waiting. Last week was a win for the Lions, but Stafford aims to wash the taste of that bitter victory out of his mouth. Unfortunately, he has to do it against one of the best defenses in the league in the 49ers and a coach that foams at the mouth in Jim Harbaugh. The sound of the phrase “next week” is already deafening in Detroit.
Rob Wheatley: 49ers-WIN
Darby Shaw: LIONS-LOSS
Steve Elle: 49ers-WIN
Monday, September 17th, 2012
Denver Broncos @ Atlanta Falcons
LINE: Falcons by 3
Evil Peyton Manning:
Last Sunday, the unthinkable happened. No, it wasn’t the fact that Peyton Manning played his first live game in almost 2 years, nor was it the fact that he shaped his offense into no-huddle drives after only one quarter. The unthinkable is, Peyton Manning is on a team with a real, legitimate defense. This is a defense that made Tim Tebow into a winner last year, since he really didn’t have to do all that much to score one touchdown a game. If the only trade-off for having a defense like that is not being able to throw an 80-yard laser to his right into a wide receiver’s face mask while rolling out from a blitz, I’d start the surgery myself.
Rob Wheatley: FALCONS-WIN
Darby Shaw: BRONCOS-LOSS
Steve Elle: BRONCOS-LOSS
Steve Elle: 20-12
Rob Wheatley: 17-15
Evil Peyton Manning: 16-16
Darby Shaw: 9-23