I dedicate this new and continuing series of NFL predictions to my buddy Anthony. He looked over my "10 Predictions For The NFL Season" and I swear his first question to me was:
He's right. I'm an idiot. But actually, I prefer to be called "idiot savant" because it makes me sound like I'm a French fashion designer!
Anyway, I've always wanted to see how good I was at testing theories, predicting who will win, and what the scores might look like.
And don't worry about my bad predictions from before. I just got off the phone with AT&T. Apparently, they had canceled the wireless Internet service on my crystal ball!
So glad I got that fixed! But before we get started, here's a disclaimer:
These predictions are for entertainment purposes only. Keith Smooth will not be held liable in the event that you decide to wager your mortgage, child-support payments, IRA, 401K, Social Security, Medicare payments, or the money you were going to use to bail your 14-year-old son out of jail. And please be advised that if you wager and fail to pay, a couple of 300-pound Samoans will show up at your door with a Louisville Slugger and a box of razors.
Let's get started, shall we?
Washington (-6.5) at Detroit: The Redskins didn't deserve to win last week's game against the Rams. That was embarrassing! If you consider yourself a "playoff" caliber team but all you can muster is nine points at home against a team with a rookie quarterback that hasn't won a game since 2007, then guess what? YOU STINK!
And is Jim Zorn the worst at calling plays in the red zone? He needed a fake field goal to score a touchdown in the first game of the season against the Giants in Week One. Think about that for a second. If you're calling fake field goals in the second quarter of the first game that's a sign of desperation. That's some crap Western Michigan would pull if they were playing at Michigan in September. But in the first week of the NFL season?
Last week, on 4th-and-1, Zorn called some corny halfback pass that Clinton Portis promptly sailed right over Chris Cooley's head. You can't get one yard against the St. Louis Rams? Really Jim Zorn? I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Detroit won this game. God, I hate the Redskins!
AND THEY ARE MY FAVORITE TEAM!!
Washington 19, Detroit 17
San Francisco vs. Minnesota (-7): I really don't know what to expect from either of these teams. They're both 2-0 but they've played four cream puffs, or as Dick Vitale would say "cupcake city baby!" I LOVE the contrasts in coaches. Mike Singletary is steely and intense on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Brad Childress looks about as comfortable as a driver's ed teacher.
The 49ers are kinda frisky, and I love how they are winning games without Michael Crabtree. What a doofus! He should be playing right now, earning millions and eating at a fancy steakhouse. Instead, he's stuck on his mama's couch eating takeout from the Waffle House!
His decision to sit out for a big contract makes him about as dumb as Peter Griffin from Family Guy.
Nope, I take that back. Peter is smarter.
As for the Vikings, they're in for a tough one. But they've got Adrian Peterson, or as I like to call him "Purple Jesus!" As long as his back injury isn't too bad, I gotta go with them.
Minnesota 23, San Francisco 17
Tennessee vs. New York Jets (-2.5) I LOVE the Jets' defense! LOVE IT! Kudos to Rex Ryan who, as architect of the league's most exciting defense, has shown that he has an appetite for destruction—and for pizza, and for ice cream, and for cheeseburgers, and for . . .
And if your name is Darrelle Revis and you totally shut down Andre Johnson and Randy Moss in back-to-back weeks, guess what? You get my vote as the best cornerback in the NFL. However, Tennessee is a desperate team. They are 0-2 after losing a game last week to the Texans that they had no business losing. If they lose this game, their season is over and they will be forced to watch from the sidelines as their rivals seek the fame and the glory.
You know, the same way Jon Gosselin watches Kate!
I fully expect the Titans, last year's landlord of the division to evict the J.E.T.S. JETS, JETS, JETS from the home of the undefeated!
Tennessee 17, New York Jets 10
New York Giants (-6.5) vs. Tampa Bay: Gotta give Tampa Bay Quarterback Byron Leftwich credit. No other quarterback in the league has perfected the art of throwing a deep ball like Leftwich. And when I say perfected, I mean he releases the ball like he's a javelin thrower in the Summer Olympics. The big difference is that the javelin thrower is more accurate (zing!).
You know who is accurate? Eli Manning. When the game is on the line there's only three QBs I would want more than Eli: Big Bro Peyton, Brady, and Roethlisberger. That's it! Giants fans won't have to worry about any late game heroics this week.
New York Giants 27, Tampa Bay 17
Jacksonville vs. Houston (-4): In one of my many awful preseason picks, I confidently predicted that the Houston Texans would break out of their shell and assume the title as the best team in the AFC South. After the Jets pimp-slapped them in Week One, the air came out of that balloon faster than you can say "Matt Schaub!"
But how did they respond in Week Two? They went to the home of the Grand Ole Opry and dropped a grand ole 34 points on the defending AFC champs in the wildest game of the week. After watching Kurt Warner light up the Jaguars, let's just say I'm expecting Houston to take this one.
Poor Jacksonville. What can be said about the Jags that hasn't already been said about Arena Football, the WNBA, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Washington Nationals, Lindsay Lohan's career . . .
Houston 30, Jacksonville 17
Green Bay (-6.5) vs. St. Louis: Is it me, or does 6.5 points seem awfully low? Maybe Vegas is not quite sure what to make of this Packer team. After losing last week at home to the Bengals, I just feel like they're going to explode in this one. And the Rams are terrible. I can't even be bothered to come up with a joke about them.
What do the St. Louis Rams and my six month-old niece have in common?
They both crap in their pants on Sunday afternoons (zing)!
Green Bay 30, St. Louis 14
Atlanta vs. New England (-4): This is another head-scratcher. Exactly why are the Pats favored here? Is this because of past accomplishments? The Pats look old and moldy. Tom Brady is still finding his way back. They have no running game. Joey Galloway was a terrible signing. Their defense is suspect.
Now, let's look at the Dirty Birds. They have elite players at quarterback (Matt Ryan), tight end (Tony Gonzalez), running back (Michael "the burner" Turner), and wide receiver (Roddy White). This is one of the most dynamic offenses in football, and I'm not going to wager on the Pats' defense.
Sorry Vegas, I'm not taking the bait.
Atlanta 24, New England 20
Kansas City vs. Philadelphia (-9): Sorry Chief fans. Your team will be totally overshadowed by the return of Michael Vick. Gotta give Philly sports reporter Phil Sheridan credit. I think he perfectly nailed the real reason why Andy Reid brought in Michael Vick. It's a damn good article. You guys can read it here.
Speaking of Vick, this is a totally inappropriate joke I told onstage last month:
"When Michael Vick was asked how it felt to be back, he said it felt good. He said being a quarterback in the NFL is easy. He said it's like shooting fish in a barrel."
"What he neglected to mention was that Fish was the name of a pit bull he used to own . . ."
Eagles 24, Kansas City 16
Cleveland vs. Baltimore (-13.5): Cleveland is a basketcase and Baltimore might just be the best team in the NFL. Here are some amazing stats: Baltimore is averaging a staggering 406 yards per game in total offense, and they're second in the league in scoring behind New Orleans. Joe Flacco has made the leap from a good rookie to an elite quarterback. And Willis McGahee has scored a league-high four touchdowns. In other words, they're going to score A LOT of points this week.
Since the Browns are too dreadful to even talk about, the only amusing thing I can mention about them is the fact that Eric Mangini, according to Wikipedia, named his three sons after Rodney Harrison, Bill Belichick, and Brett Favre. Boy, I cannot wait for Belichick to have a son so he can name him after Mangini.
Baltimore 40, Cleveland 10
Chicago (-2.5) vs. Seattle: Here's a sampling of the Chicago fans after Week One: "JAY CUTLER IS AWFUL! TRADE HIM! CUT HIM! WATERBOARD HIM! GET HIM OUTTA HERE!"
And here's a sampling of the Chicago fans after Week Two: "WHAT A GREAT PICKUP! JAY IS THE MAN! KYLE ORTON AND REX GROSSMAN WISH THEY WERE THIS GOOD!"
Sports fans are crazy, irrational people. I should know. I'm one of them.
Peter King said that the dropoff from Matt Hasselbeck (who will miss this game because of a rib injury) to Seneca Wallace is as severe as the dropoff from Peyton Manning to Jim Sorgi. I personally would've said it was as severe as the dropoff from the old Melrose Place to the "new" Melrose Place.
I MEAN FOR GOD'S SAKE! ASHLEE SIMPSON-WENTZ CAN'T ACT HER WAY INTO A PAPER BAG!
New Orleans (-6) vs. Buffalo: Why do I get this feeling that this game is going to be a bigger shootout than the gunfight at the O.K. Corral? Both teams can score, but neither team has a good defense.
Even though the Saints' D leads the league in interceptions, it has more to do with the fact that Detroit and Philadelphia were forced to throw the ball because their defense was shredded early and often by Drew Brees and company. Through two games, Brees has been the the best player in the league, throwing nine TDs, completing 75 percent of his passes, and leading the league with a QB rating of 132.
The Saints might be without the services of Mike Bell (229 yards rushing). The New Orleans Times Picayune reported that Bell didn't practice on Thursday and is doubtful to play on Sunday.
As for the Bills, I was critical of their attempt to bring back the '90s by bringing back the No Huddle Offense. If I was Rick Pitino, I would've said, "Marv Levy, Jim Kelly, and Thurman Thomas ain't walking through that door!"
I remember cracking a joke saying that since Buffalo is turning the page back to the '90s, why don't they bring back the Goo Goo Dolls while they're at it! But of course, I'm an idiot. So far, so good. Trent Edwards looks confident, Fred Jackson looks explosive, and Terrell Owens looks insane.
BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT, DIDN'T YOU?
New Orleans 34, Buffalo 30
Miami vs. San Diego (-5.5): Have you ever spent months trying to hook up with a girl? You liked her, she kinda liked you. You spent money taking her out on dates, and to the movies. You would pick her up when she had car trouble. You would spend hours on the phone talking to her. You were always there for her when she needed you. But she didn't want you as a "boyfriend." She wanted you as a "friend." And then, without warning, the next thing you know she's hooked up with some other guy whom she has known for all of 15 minutes! And now he's her "boyfriend!"
And when you ask her why she wasted three months of your life if she was going to hook up with the first dolt she met, she just shrugs her shoulders and wants to know if you could still be her "friend."
Well, that's exactly how Miami felt Monday night when they held the ball for 75 percent of the game, and Peyton Manning and the Colts calmly took the game right away from them. The reality is that they should've won that game. The Dolphins didn't just control the time of possession, they brought the time of possession home and cooked dinner for it and watched Netflix movies with it.
Four days later and I still don't know how they lost that damn game! And I agree with color commentator Jon Gruden, who basically said that for all the buzz over the Dolphins and their Wildcat offense, it's really too gimmicky to work consistently in the NFL (are you listening Andy Reid?).
As far as the Chargers are concerned, something about them feels off. They have an abundance of talent and yet it feels as if something is missing, something intangible. But then again, I'm not surprised. Norv "I Can't Believe He Is Coaching His Third Team" Turner is the likely culprit.
San Diego 31, Miami 13
Pittsburgh (-4) vs. Cincinnati: The main reason why I'm a little late in writing my NFL picks this week is because I've been working on Willie Parker's obituary. And then his mama and daddy wanted me to help with the funeral arrangements! It's been more than I could handle!
And Steeler fans, can you explain the look on Jeff Reed's face after he missed that field goal that should've won the game last week against the Bears? Was he crying? If I was Mike Tomlin and I saw my kicker crying I would've turned into Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) in A League Of Their Own:
"ARE YOU CRYING? THERE'S NO CRYING? THERE'S NO CRYING IN FOOTBALL!"
Mucho respect goes out to The Nati for beating the Packers in Lambeau last week. Now that the Bengals have a running game and what looks to be a half-decent defense, is Carson Palmer the team's biggest question mark?
I kinda think he is. This game is HUGE for him. It's definitely the biggest game he's played in since that infamous playoff game against the Steelers four years ago. Everybody's picking Pittsburgh, but I'm thinking upset.
Cincinnati 25, Pittsburgh 24
Denver (-1.5) vs. Oakland: This is my favorite line of the week. This is basically Vegas throwing their hands up and saying, "I have no freaking idea!" I agree. Denver is 2-0 and they lead the league in fewest points allowed, but they won on one of the flukiest plays of all-time in Week One, and last week, they beat a horrid team.
It's impossible to know if Denver's really any good based on their first two games. As for Oakland, they aren't good. JaMarcus Russell is a bigger disaster than the Hindenburg. If I was Darrius Heyward-Bey and I wanted to see someone make an accurate pass, I would go to a hip-hop club and wait for a groupie to hit on me!
Denver 13, Oakland 10
Indianapolis vs. Arizona (-2.5) Vegas is giving these two teams a combined point total of 48, so they're expecting a shootout. It's definitely a fun Sunday night matchup featuring two hall-of-fame quarterbacks (Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner). I really don't have too much to say except that NBC is on quite a roll with these exciting night games. So far, they're 3-for-3. If only their regular programming was half as good. The only nights worth watching NBC are Thursdays and Sundays.
Arizona 31, Indianapolis 28
Carolina vs. Dallas (-8.5) HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS? I can't remember the last time a stadium opened to such hoopla. It was like the circus had come to town, which is probably a good analogy, considering Jerry Jones is a modern day P.T. Barnum. And boy does he have a big-top on his hands!
And the thought of some punter nailing that scoreboard makes me giddy with excitement. It's going to happen, and the fallout from it should be a lot of fun! And Al Michaels could barely control himself Sunday night. If you had your eyes closed as Michaels was describing the new Cowboys Stadium, you would've thought that he was talking about Megan Fox!
But a new stadium can't hide the fact that the Cowboys are stuck with the same Tony Romo. I'm a New York Yankee fan and believe me, there's a little too much Alex Rodriguez in Tony Romo. He's great in the first three quarters, but when the pressure is on in the fourth quarter, I would not want Romo as my quarterback.
As far as the Panthers are concerned, their season hinges on this game. If they lose this, they're down 0-3 and they can forget about the playoffs. John Fox, the clock is ticking on your coaching career. And speaking of the Panthers head coach, I have a morbid fascination with seeing him lose.
And you know why?
Because I want to see what it looks like when vultures pick the meat off a dead Fox!
Cowboys 27, Panthers 21
This was too much fun! See ya next week!