Welcome to your week’s FOOTBALLDAY Preview. Besides the above picture of ultimate dejection, I’ve got some fun shit that will hopefully cheer you up. Click on and don’t be a melvin.
To keep you company while you read this week is “Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine” by Modest Mouse. Expect a lot more of their music coming at you during this football season, but I’ll do my best so that you listen to something different every week.
Fun Shit To Do When You’re Not Watching Football
First of all, if you’re not watching football on a Sunday, it better be before 1:00 or after the last game ends. Anything non-football related during that time is unacceptable. Here’s a fun quiz from Sporcle asking you to name the 1st round quarterbacks in the NFL Draft since 1983. I’ll give you a hint: the guy in the picture above is in the quiz. I got 39, I think. Pretty tricky when you try to get the one’s before 1999 for me.
Let’s get to the game predictions now. Times are all in EST, for any West Coast readers. Who am I kidding, if you’re from the West Coast and you read this, I will give you your own post.
To keep a record of how well (or poorly) I do each week, I’m going to start a record for it. Week 1 was pretty damn good for me, but there were a lot of predictable matches. This week’s a little more, with more evenly matched teams.
Past Week Predictions
Week 1: 12-4
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 PM
I was accurate with my prediction that Jake Delhomme would throw interceptions, but I didn’t expect four of them. Damn, Jake, you’re too kind. Atlanta did a good job of stifling Ronnie Brown against Miami last week, and I don’t know how DeAngelo Williams will fare, because I have a hunch that Jake Delhomme will get minimal chances this game, which sucks for fantasy owners of Steve Smith. The dude was targeted 13 times against Philadelphia, and only caught three of them for something like 30 yards. Two of the times he got a look, the ball was picked off. I give this game to Atlanta, and laugh at the people who predicted the Panthers would win the NFC South again.
Atlanta over Carolina
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions, 1:00 PM
One of these weeks, Detroit will have a game that they win, and it will probably be a game that no one will predict correctly. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that this is the game. You’ve keep the regular-season losing streak alive, Detroit, let’s keep it going for one more week! Adrian Peterson is in prime shape, completely embarrassing the Browns last week, so if Brett Favre gets tired, Minnesota will be fine.
Minnesota over Detroit
Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers, 1:00 PM
Ugh. If it wasn’t for that incredibly stupid Brandon Stokley catch, I would’ve been 13-3 in my predictions, and ESPN would be yelling about how terrible Josh McDaniels is and there would be talks of firing him. Instead, a Cincinnati cornerback made a stupid decision by swatting the ball up instead of down, which leads to exciting shenanigans and futility for Cincinnati fans. Lambeau Field won’t be kind to Carson Palmer and the Bengals, but that’s not to say Aaron Rodgers won’t have a struggle against the secondary, even with that incredibly stupid play. The Bengals are strong, but the Packers are more skilled.
Green Bay over Cincinnati
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, 1:00 PM
All that talk of the Texans possibly winning the AFC South? I’ll stand by it until I make an ass of myself, mainly because I’m stubborn and don’t panic after one game. The reason for Matt Schaub and Steve Slaton being incredibly ineffective offensively? The fucking offensive line. Schaub can’t throw in 0.5 seconds, and it’d be nice if he didn’t have to pry himself from the ground after every snap. Slaton won’t find holes and be explosive like he was last year if you can’t set a block. Gary Kubiak should work on run and pass blocking this week, or somehow get that message across to the offensive linemen, or else it’s going to be a long season. I’d look for the Texans to draft an OT next year, but that’s thinking way too far ahead.
Alright, enough talking about the Texans. The Titans looked fine defending the rush in their awkward Thursday game against the Steelers, and although they themselves couldn’t rush well, it was the Pittsburgh defense, which gives up almost nothing on the ground. The main concern was pass defense, as Ben Roethlisberger threw for 363 yards all over them. If the Texans offensive line can give Schaub more time, he is very capable of throwing to Andre Johnson, arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL (I said arguably), and Kevin Walter if he’s not still hurting. Realistically, however, they probably won’t, and the Titans will hit Schaub about 15 times as he throws.
Tennessee over Houston
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 PM
These teams are perfectly matched in an adorable game no one will take seriously. Both teams put up great fights in Week 1, but ended up losing. It was an improvement, however, as they showed they’re both capable of having a strong offense. Michael Bush might start popping up on a lot of fantasy football waiver wires if he continues his success. Look for an evenly matched game, and I have a conditional prediction here. Yes, I can do that, it’s my preview, fuck off. The Chiefs aren’t exactly sure whether or not Matt Cassel will play this week, so we’ll split this up. If Cassel plays, I give the game to the Chiefs, as he destroyed them last year and has some idea of what kind of defense they’ll have, regardless if he’s on a different team now. If he doesn’t play, I give the game to the Raiders.
(Cassel plays) Kansas City over Oakland
(Cassel doesn’t play) Oakland over Kansas City
New England Patriots at New York Jets, 1:00 PM
So, I was totally wrong about Mark Sanchez fucking up his first game against the Texans. He looked confident and calm under pressure, and made me look like a dickhead. Thanks for giving me another reason not to like the Jets, you Hilary Rhoda-fucker. That’s not an insult, I’m just envious. Google her yourself and fuel your hate for him, too.
I like the resurgence of the rivalry between the two teams, however, and Rex Ryan half-seriously (is that a word?) trash-talking the Patriots, and telling the press that he’s not going to “kiss Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl rings.” I’m hoping for an incredibly heated game with the Patriots coming on top. Seriously, who in the New York Jets secondary is going to cover Randy Moss? Double up on him and there’s Wes Welker. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if the Jets want to win, they need to deflect enough passes and scare Tom Brady so that the Patriots get a little more run-heavy, the place where they’re weaker. Alright, enough about this.
New England over New York
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 PM
Drew Brees looked like the best quarterback in the NFL last week, didn’t he? Six touchdowns will do that. Against the Lions, of course he would, but the Eagles don’t have a secondary made up of fifth-graders. Asante Samuel and company got 5 interceptions last week, and they’re hungry for more. Although Drew Brees is incredibly accurate, but he will throw a pick or two. Last year he threw 17 interceptions, or an average of a little more than one per game. Pierre Thomas says he’ll be ready, but I’m exaggerating Brees having any problems. The Saints defense is what I’m worried about, and I don’t know if they can preserve a lead. If Donovan McNabb doesn’t play, then this game definitely goes the to Saints. Fuck, I’m not doing another conditional pick. It seems like cheating. I’ll just go with the Saints.
New Orleans over Philadelphia
St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins, 1:00 PM
Jason Campbell last week had an almost identical line to Eli Manning when the Redskins played the Giants last week, and they might have had a chance of winning if it wasn’t for that fumble return for a touchdown. Campbell and Clinton Portis should be fine against the Rams, who didn’t score a point in their first game against the Seahawks.
Washington over St. Louis
Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 PM
Remember that prop bet I told you to take about the Cardinals not losing a division game? Well, the 49ers weren’t who Arizona thought they were. Hey, at least I didn’t make as brazen of a decision as Drew. That dude is fuuuuuucked.
Arizona takes it because I say so.
Arizona over Jacksonville
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 PM
The 49ers were surprising against the Cardinals, and the Seahawks were impressive against the Rams. Beating the Cardinals gives me more confidence as of right now. Mike Singletary’s giving an identity to a once-lost team, and it’s pretty sweet.
San Francisco over Seattle
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills, 4:05 PM
The Buccaneers looked lost against the Cowboys, except for Cadillac Williams, who looked like he was in prime form. The Bills and their damn no-huddle offense freaked the hell out of the Patriots, and winded the large defensive line. I can see them using their no-huddle a lot (and maybe not blowing another game on a stupid kickoff return) for a while, but by the end of the season, teams will have caught up on their plays and read them easily. Enjoy it for right now, Dick Jauron. And keep wearing that sweet varsity jacket.
Buffalo over Tampa Bay
Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears, 4:15 PM
The Steelers pass defense looked the weakest when they played the Titans, and honestly, it wasn’t that weak. Running against Pittsburgh is almost a lost cause right now, but Lovie Smith will try anything, and I mean anything. Even if it’s fake punts on 3rd and short. I don’t know, the man’s almost as crazy as Andy Reid. Jay Cutler better step his fucking game up, but it would help a lot if he had someone capable to throw to. You can’t just throw streaks to Devin Hester every time. It doesn’t work like that. Losing Brian Urlacher for the season probably isn’t a good thing, either.
Pittsburgh over Chicago
Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers, 4:15 PM
A bunch of injuries happened to the Chargers against the Raiders, including (surprise) LaDainian Tomlinson. I’m glad I didn’t pick him now, but I wouldn’t have picked him before anyway. Darren Sproles showed that he isn’t a flash in the pan, but he did it against the Raiders, so right now, he’s a dim glow in the pan? I don’t know. I’m tired and my analogies and stupid cliches are getting weaker.
Baltimore over San Diego
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos, 4:15 PM
Last year, this was a game that the Browns let slip away in the final minutes, and that was against the Broncos who had Jay Cutler and looked like they were headed straight for the playoffs. Now, the Broncos have Kyle Orton and struggled mightily against the Bengals, while the Browns have a slightly improved defense. Goshdarnit, it’s good enough for me to make a wild pick and go with the Browns on this one.
Cleveland over Denver
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 PM
Both teams don’t have reliable wide receivers, overpaid quarterbacks, and decent defenses. I RULE A TIE!
Just kidding, I’m tired and it’s the final stretch of the predictions. Cowboys win but I say only because they’re at home.
Dallas over New York
Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins, 7:00 PM
Now that the Dolphins aren’t playing the West divisions, they’re not going to have games and the AFC East handed to them. The Colts looked a little lost against the Jaguars last week, and I don’t think it’s because of the Jaguars being better. Tony Dungy leaving the Colts had an impact on the team, but it’s not catastrophic. You will see some effect, however. I think Peyton Manning will be fine this Monday night. No, I didn’t mean it like that. Don’t go around spreading rumors that I got the hots for Peyton Manning. That’s gross.
Indianapolis over Miami