Well, another 4 and 2 week makes me 20 and 16 for the year. Not awful but hardly awesome. Happily for viewers, but less happily for me in prognosticating, this week features several competitive games between good teams.
Vikings at Steelers:
Unlike the last few weeks when I start with an easy game to pick, I'll start with what is considered the game of the week. It's a match up between the reigning Super Bowl Champion and the perennial chokers -- my team -- the Minnesota Vikings. But that's all the whining I can be allowed to get away with because the Vikes are undefeated and have more than their share of breaks in getting there. One reason I was especially delighted that the Vikes managed to eek out a win against the Ravens last week (thanks for missing that field goal Ravens' kicker) was I figured this game as a loss all year. Still do. Though the Steelers are about as banged up as the Vikings. But the Vikings are missing Antoine Winfeild, say hello to your 350 yards passing Mr. Rothles...oh fuck it...Big Ben. Should be a good game, but the Steelers pull it out.Buffalo at Carolina
: This is one of those games that only the fans in those areas give a shit about -- and frankly given their respective records I have a feeling they don't give much of a shit either. The Bills beat a good team last week, they intercepted Mark Sanchez 5 times and grabbed another during a field goal fake (or busted play I can't remember). Now they come up against Jake "the Interception Machine" Delhomme. This cannot end well, right? Well, that's where my counter-intuition comes in. In a game that will be remembered all of, well, not at all, the Panthers win though nobody will remember the score, they just will.Patriots vs. Buccaneers
(in London): If we want to build up the NFL brand in England (and why exactly is the question) shouldn't we give them a quality game? This is like having Manchester United play a match at say Yankee Stadium against the Hartlepool Monkey Hangers
. Sure Tom Brady is quite a bit more handsome than Wayne Rooney but that's not really the point is it? The Patriots just got done throttling the Titans (dressed as Oilers) 59 to Zip. This will be a rout for the Patriots.
Packers at Browns:
The Packers play the Vikings next week, I suppose if they were playing a good team but not a real power (like the Vikings) this might be a trap-game. But this is the Browns. The biggest danger they'll face in this one is that some of the Browns still have the flu and are contagious. Now that the Raiders managed to win again (and thanks so much Eagles, more on that later) the Browns, Redskins, and the winless lot of Rams, Titans, and Buccaneers are the jokes of the league. The Packers should win easily -- even though Aaron Rogers gets sacked another five or six times.Bears at Bengals:
You know the rules, well maybe you don't, but here they are. It isn't rational, it's stupid, etc. But in any competitive game I will pick against the Bears for no other reason than Jay Cutler looks just like the 3/4ths of a man-child in Two and a Half Men. On the basis of talent they should probably beat the Bengals though they are hardly a bad team. But Jay Cutler should be hanging out and whining with Charlie Sheen over who picks up the hooker this time. So I'm picking the Bengals.
If this bothers you, dammit people, this is SCIENCE!
Eagles at Redskins:
There is no more talented team that emits an annual complete clusterfuck of a brainfart than the Eagles. Every year they hit a stretch when Andy Reid completely fucks up a game or two. It's just fucking weird. Last week against national joke Oakland, one of the worst rushing defenses in the league Reid decides (oh they'll never expect us to pass) and hardly runs the whole game. Well, end of the day comes and they lost 13 to 9 to the fucking Raiders. What the hell?
Now the Eagles come against the leagues new champions in organizational dysfunction. Andy Reid calling plays versus a man for the last five years worked in a bingo hall calling plays. Hmmmm, slight edge, but only slight, to Andy Reid. Somehow the Eagles don't fuck it up and they win.