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.
Last week began the demise of millions of knockout pools, fantasy football teams, and Rob Wheatley’s commanding lead with upsets ranging from the New England Patriots to Peyton Manning’s forehead. Let’s see what this week will bring!
Thursday, September 20th, 2012
New York Giants @ Carolina Panthers
LINE: Giants by 2
Dear NFL: thank you for Thursday Night Football. Thanks for one game a week that I can’t see, because I’m a Time Warner customer. Thanks for making me sit around watching Golden Girl reruns while everyone else is enjoying football. And most importantly, thanks for making me get my damn picks in three days earlier than I might otherwise have to. I am totally blaming my shitty record on you forcing my hand; I’m sure with all the late-week research I’d be doing, I’d be whipping these other guys’ asses. As far as the game itself? Hell if I know. Is this the one where Tebow is going against Robert Griffin III? I pick the Giants to win by a free throw.
Rob Wheatley: Giants-WIN
Steve Elle: Giants-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Giants-WIN
Sunday, September 23th, 2012
St. Louis Rams @ Chicago Bears
LINE: Bears by 7
Evil Peyton Manning:
People give Jay Cutler a lot of grief about his attitude on the field and how that translates into mediocre game-play, but consider this: How would you feel if you went to a team whose 2nd most talented quarterback in its 93-year history was a punter in college (Jim McMahon) and who spends more time with the offensive line practicing running plays for Matt Forte than protecting their quarterback? Personally, I would feel like Sam Bradford, because I’d still be doing what I love for money.
Rob Wheatley: Bears-WIN
Darby Shaw: Rams-LOSS
Steve Elle: Bears-WIN
Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns
LINE: Bills by 3
Well, what can I say. After last weeks utterly disgraceful showing on my part, making almost no correct picks at all, I decided to really stoke up my knowledge of the game. To that end, I turned to the world of computers for my answers. Somebody had told me that computers were the key to all information, and that information was power without great responsibility. I liked the sound of that, so I went and visited a friend, and threatened to throw his computer out of the window unless he told me everything he knew about American Football. Here’s what I learned ; A bunch of men run up and down in the middle of a field, throwing a large egg at each other. When they stop, an old man in a baseball cap comes on with a clipboard and draws a picture and everyone has to guess what it is. The pictures aren’t even very good, just a load of circles and arrows. They remind me of a diagram from an old biology textbook at school and something to do with sperm. I can’t remember what the diagram was of though.
Darby Shaw: Bills-WIN
Steve Elle: Browns-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Bills-WIN
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys
LINE: Cowboys by 7
The Bucs have proven thus far to be an entertaining team to watch. They have even been criticized for playing an ENTIRE game of football instead of opting for a partial game culminating in them lying down at the end like passive little puppies. Oh those pesky Buccaneers, playing till the end of the game. Hopefully they can induce the Cowboys to lie down like passive puppies at the end of their game. Corky Romo has been predictably unpredictable but of late he’s had the Bucs number (867-5309 – an easy one to remember). Since the Bucs have changed their number with the hiring of Coach Greg Schiano the hope is that this will lead to a victory for the Bucs.
Rob Wheatley: Cowboys-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Buccaneers-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Cowboys-LOSS
Detroit Lions @ Tennessee Titans
LINE: Lions by 4
I once met a man who had his face ripped off by a lion. I asked him about it in great depth as I was generally fascinated by his experience. All he said was “get this effin lion off my face”, over and over again. It got a little hard to understand him after a while, especially as he’d bored me with his repetitive conversation and I’d walked off to look at some penguins by then anyway. I’ve never met anybody that had their face ripped off by a Titan though, maybe if they had zoos for Titans it would be more commonplace. Maybe that’s why they don’t. It’s a tough game to call. Lions certainly have the teeth advantage, but a Titan is some sort of God thing.
Darby Shaw: Lions-LOSS
Steve Elle: Lions-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Lions-LOSS
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
LINE: Colts by 3
Evil Peyton Manning:
Not only did rookie Colts quarterback Andrew Luck win a game last week, but his statistics surpassed his predecessor, Peyton Manning, and not just in rookie season match-ups. Luck had more touchdowns, less interceptions, a higher QB rating, and probably a lot more commercial offers than The Great Manning last week. With the Jaguars coming to town, look for “Luck’s Luck” and other abysmal catchphrases like it to continue.
Rob Wheatley: Jaguars-WIN
Darby Shaw: Colts-LOSS
Steve Elle: Colts-LOSS
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
LINE: Jets by 3
Well, the Jets took a predictable step back last week while the Dolphins took a surprising step forward. More significantly, in a surprising Florida connection it was just revealed in the NY newspapers and gossip rags that QB Mark Sanchez is now dating Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. And not surprising it’s been confirmed that Sanchez has indeed gotten to third base with Longoria! Both Mark and Evan are said to be pleased to be out of that nasty closet. Back to the game, if Bush can penetrate that hairy Jets defensive line he should, well, come out smelling like a rose. Or something like that.
Rob Wheatley: Jets-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Dolphins-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Jets-LOSS
San Francisco 49ers @ Minnesota Vikings
LINE: 49ers by 8
Yaaaarrrrrgggghhh Taag and Hagen Daas, it’s me old pals, The Vikings. Yes, I know Hagan Daas is probably Dutch or German and I probably haven’t spelled it right anyway, but you get the general Vikey vibe. Think of it like a Pirates “Yaarr-haaaarr Jim lad etc.” I’m just setting the mood here for a short tale of Vikage. Now, Viking Dentists were very skilled and respected men, held in high esteem among their fellow psychotic mass murdering brethren. According to Viking law and tradition, any man who let another enter his mouth would have to spend a month sucking off a Donkey, and a pretty darn ugly Donkey at that. To get around this, the teeth would be removed rectally using the Viking equivalent of precision keyhole surgery equipment..a long pole with a hook, and a guy at the other end with a torch and a megaphone. This was generally irrelevant anyway, because unless he was drunk, asleep, or just a bit lonely sometimes, the only way a Viking would let another near his bum (some law, something to do with a marrow and 100 days ?) was if he was dead. With this in mind, the patient was routinely decapitated prior to surgery, it worked and kept everyone’s marrows as fresh as a daisy !
Darby Shaw: 49ers-LOSS
Steve Elle: 49ers-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: 49ers-LOSS
Kansas City Chiefs @ New Orleans Saints
LINE: Saints by 9
Chiefs fans have a real reason to be excited. Last season, they had been outscored 89-10 after two games. This season, they’ve only been outscored 75-41. Technically, they’ve made huge strides on both sides of the ball. This is a testament to both their glaring lack of injured players, and the relatively minor ineptitude of their coach, Romeo Crennel. Thankfully, the poor performance of Peyton Hillis, which was TOTALLY unexpected following his poor performance in Cleveland and the inevitable Madden Curse, has kept them grounded. Meanwhile, the Saints are coming off their worst season opening in years. It’s obvious that their bounty scandal has affected the team; without pools of money to be paid out for dirty hits, the players are feeling the economic strain and don’t appear to be able to focus on the games. What sort of motivation can they possibly have to go out and win, now?
Rob Wheatley: Chiefs-WIN
Steve Elle: Saints-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Saints-LOSS
Cincinnati Bengals @ Washington Redskins
LINE: Redskins by 4
RGIII is all the rage in Washington. Andy Dalton is all the rage at his former high school. Despite their countless dissimilarities (RGII is black, Dalton is nearly transparent, RGIII is a fine athlete, Dalton is…white, etc) it’s startling just how alike these two QB’s are. The Bengals are starting out this season trying to get their feet under them. The Redskins are revitalized due to a certain player who goes by his initials and roman numerals. But the Redskins are already nursing many injuries. The Bengals are healthier and could parlay that into an upset.
Rob Wheatley: Redskins-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Redskins-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Bengals-WIN
Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals
LINE: Eagles by 4
Evil Peyton Manning:
There are very few football teams this year with a perfect record going into Week 3 of the NFL, but the Philadelphia Eagles are one of them at 2-0. Two is also the magic number for the combined points that the Eagles have won by, which is also the amount of fumbles that Eagles running back LeSean McCoy has lost. Coincidentally, two is also the record of the Arizona Cardinals which, if you haven’t been paying attention, is the number they have in the win column, which is also the number of touchdowns Kevin Kolb has and the number of turnovers John Skelton had. Now don’t you feel smarter?
Rob Wheatley: Eagles-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Cardinals-WIN
Steve Elle: Cardinals-WIN
Atlanta Falcons @ San Diego Chargers
LINE: Chargers by 3
You can refill the battery in your cellphone by plugging it into a charger overnight. I once mislaid my charger and had to plug in a falcon instead. The next morning there was a terrible mess of singed feathers, a smoldering beak, and I hadn’t slept a wink because of all the squawking. As a result, I was late for work and couldn’t even phone in because quite apart from exploding on contact with vast amounts of electricity, it seems the falcon can’t actually charge a phone anyway ! Well, if that’s the amount of thought they put into their football team, they can shove it.
Darby Shaw: Falcons-WIN
Steve Elle: Chargers-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Chargers-LOSS
Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos
LINE: Texans by 2
The best part about all of the “instant Super Bowl contenders” hype surrounding the Broncos is watching them come crashing back to reality. After lofting a trio of horrendous interceptions in the first quarter of last week’s game, quarterback Peyton Manning has people asking, “What’s wrong with Peyton’s head? I mean, other than the fact that his forehead is unnaturally large.” Their opponents, however, are simply cackling with glee. The Texans have perennially been Manning’s bitch, and this season may be their opportunity for payback. Don’t be surprised if, at some point, you see a scene vaguely reminiscent of Ralphie beating the crap out of Scut Farkus in “A Christmas Story.”
Rob Wheatley: Broncos-LOSS
Steve Elle: Broncos-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Broncos-LOSS
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Oakland Raiders
LINE: Steelers by 5
Oh Pittsburgh Steelers how I loathe thee, though I did enjoy you beating the Jets – thanks! But even though you’re playing arguably the worst team in the league this week, you’re also travelling across the country to do so. Which can be discombobulating. I recommend travelling early to optimize the recovery time and eliminate the jet lag experience. I would normally be inclined to take the Raiders in an upset here, and it’s still a possibility due to the Steelers defense being banged up (what’s the average age on the Steelers defense anyway, 47?), but I don’t feel it. I think the Steelers will strap up, take their Geritol, don their Depends and whip the Raiders.
Rob Wheatley: Steelers-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Steelers-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Steelers-LOSS
New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens
LINE: Ravens by 3
Evil Peyton Manning:
Knockout pools and fantasy football leagues were turned upside down last week when Tom Brady’s dismal performance led to the Patriots loss to the Cardinals. No, that’s not a typo. The New England Patriots lost to the Arizona Cardinals, at Gillette Stadium’s opening day. Yes, the NFL teams. No, a wormhole did not open up in the sky, but it does make this whole Mayan calendar thing seem a bit more realistic.
Rob Wheatley: Patriots-WIN
Darby Shaw: Patriots-WIN
Steve Elle: Patriots-WIN
Monday, September 17th, 2012
Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks
LINE: Packers by 4
Aaron Rodger and Russel Wilson are… dammit, why do I always wind up talking about quarterbacks? There are other stories in these games! Like Cedric Benson of the Packers, who has something to prove and… oh, wait, he sucks. Nevermind. Or the highly regarded Seahawks receiving corp, made up entirely of under-performing castoffs from other teams, who are now… oh, still terrible. Shoot. Well, the defenses are… completely identical, looking at the statistics, so… Yeah. How about that Lambeau Leap thing they’ve got going? That’s pretty cool. And Seattle’s got grunge music, right? Right. So… quarterbacks. They’re good, I guess.
Rob Wheatley: Packers-LOSS
Steve Elle: Packers-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Packers-LOSS
Steve Elle: 27-21
Rob Wheatley: 23-25
Evil Peyton Manning: 21-27
Darby Shaw: 18-30