It’s time again for your weekly Patriots fan picks. We have a number of true blue Patriots fans who forecast the results of the weekly games and you’ll see us rotate in and out as the season goes on.
Some of us are statisticians, some of us are loquacious, and some of us are just plain crazy. All of us love our football.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings
GC: The Dolphins are coming off a win last week so you would think confidence would be high. Here's the problem, though: The Fins will have to put up a lot more points against the Vikings to win this one. The Vikings, on the other hand, has a pretty good defense that kept the Saints bottled up for most of the game last week. The Dolphins are not the Saints and they'll be lucky if they don't get shut out. The Vikings will be able to post a W this week.
SF: The Dolphins are supposedly working out Adalius Thomas. Good luck with that. While the Dolphins aren’t a horrible team, they’re not a great team either. The Vikings, on the other hand, are a great team on both sides of the ball. Look for the Vikings to dispatch the Dolphins early in the fourth quarter.
EA: No longer kings of the NFC North, I am at liberty to go back to making "ViQueens" jokes (not that I ever stopped). Brett Favre is a little banged up, and with Percy Harvin still battling migraines, so long as the secondary can keep Shiancoe in check and Miami can stack the box and stop Adrian Peterson and score 18 points, they can walk away from Minnesota with a win.
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons
GC: Derek Anderson did all right as the new starter for the Cardinals, but it was the defense that saved the game last week. If they have four turnovers in this game, forget it. The Falcons forgot how to get into the end zone last week. I suspect Matt Ryan will find a way to get them reacquainted and the Falcons get this home game win.
SF: If the Cardinals win this one, it’ll be because of their defense. If the Falcons win, it’ll be because of Matt Ryan. Both QBs need to lead the team better. Whoever steps up into that leadership role will take the game, but just barely. Falcons win it….barely.
EA: Even with their soft passing defense, I think Atlanta can pull off this W. As long as Matt Ryan doesn't make any dumb mistakes, he should be able to lead his team to a win so long as they can shut down Larry Fitzgerald.
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
GC: Everyone in Philly swears there is no quarterback controversy. Swears it isn't so. I'm betting Kevin Kolb remains the first string QB. What the hell, they are playing the Lions. The Lions actually played like they had a heart last week. Having heart and having talent are two different things. The Eagles win.
SF: I hope the Eagles lose in grand fashion. Why? Because they traded away their franchise QB who has done more for that team than probably any other QB. That organization should be ashamed of themselves. Wait until they play the Redskins. Boy have I got an earful for you. Lions take this one because they need it. They played well last game and desperately need to rally a victory, which they will get one over the Eagles. Of course, if McNabb was still the Eagles QB, then the Eagles would win this one…easily.
EA: I don't care who plays quarterback for the Eagles this week. If they lose, I will be surprised. Not to knock the Lions, as they are definitely better from the 0-16 team from two seasons ago and even their team last year, but they aren't this good yet.
Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
GC: The Bears barely squeaked out a win last week. They put up a lot of yards but turnovers killed them. The Cowboys lost last week, but they will rarely do that two weeks in a row. The 'Boys get the home win.
SF: If the Bears can avoid stupid mistakes and turnovers, they’ll get this one, but just barely. On the flip side, if Romo can avoid choking, the Cowboys will take this one. It will come down to who makes the most mistakes, and I think that the Bears will beat themselves. Cowboys, thanks to their defense.
EA: In Week 1, we learned several things: (1) the NFL hates the Detroit Lions (OK, maybe not really), (2) the Dallas Cowboys are good at ending halves with a bang (though not in a good way), and (3) Devin Aromashodu looks legit. Until the Cowboys show that they can choke the life out of these middling teams, I'm not going to bet for them. Bears, please.
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
GC: The Ravens have kept their defense intact. It appears that they could have an offense too, but it didn't show up last game. The Bengals look like their offense could be the dominant component of the team as their defense didn't show up last week. I like the Ravens for this game.
SF: I’m going with the Bengals. Their offense had their first real game, and their star wide receivers (T.O. and Ochocinco) realized after the fact just how important they are. Look for them to open up the running game by really working the passing game. Bengals win by 14 so and then Ray Lewis can shut up about how great the defense is. Wishful thinking on the points spread, I know.
EA: What do you get when you put together a team with a stout defense, legitimate receiving weapons, explosive running game, and most important of all, a premier quarterback? No, not the “J-E-T-S Jets Jets JETS!!!”, but the Baltimore Ravens. As Rex Ryan learned this week, the Ravens will reign supreme over the AFC this year, not the 9-7 team from 2009 that in the eyes of Ryan went from being the team that was gift wrapped a Wild Card spot to being Super Bowl favorites. If you haven't figured out yet, I'm taking the Ravens.
Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers
GC: The Bills only had 166 total yards last week. If they can't crank those numbers up they will feel like they are having a long season, but they'll be done early. On the other side of the ball, you have the Packers that had a big win last week. Their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, still has a throwing arm but he's going to have to watch out for those interceptions—two in a game is hard to bounce back from. He'll make his corrections for this game and help the Packers to a home win.
SF: The Bills are in a rebuilding year. Hell, they’re in a rebuilding decade. While they aren’t a horrible team, they need some help, and most of it needs to come in the form of confidence. The Packers defense will ensure that Green Bay gets the win.
EA: Home cooking for the Packers.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans
GC: Who would have thought the Steelers could have pulled off a win against a quality team with “What's his name?” at quarterback last week. The defense got it done for them. Now they go up against the Titans, who had a good first win that should give them the confidence to win another one for the home crowd.
SF: Steelers suck. They will continue to suck until further notice. The Titans will exploit whomever their starting at QB this week, and Steelers fans will realize that last week was the only win they’ll get until Big Ben gets done with his suspension (which should’ve lasted six games). Titans take it in a close game.
EA: Well, Vince Young is better than Dennis Dixon. Chris Johnson is better than Rashard Mendenhall. Kenny Britt is pretty good too, and when you throw in their decent defense, Tennessee is good enough to secure the W here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
GC: For me, the jury is still out on the resurgence of the Buccaneers. I think the Panthers have enough going on to be able to win this home game.
SF: I’m with Glenn on this one 100 percent. I should probably just copy and paste what he already said and put it here.
EA: The question isn't if Carolina will win, the question is who will be the star. DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, or maybe their underrated quarterback Matt Moore?
Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns
GC: The Chiefs have a defense, a real defense. That's all they're going to need to take the Browns down.
SF: I was never a Chiefs fan (nor did I ever dislike them) until Matt Cassel went there. I’ve always liked him, and always said that it’ll take two or three years of him being over there to win. Well, he’s started winning, and will continue to win assuming that his receivers can hold onto the flippin' ball! The Browns are said to be working out Jarvis Green. They had better sign him before they play the Chiefs' new-found defense. Chiefs take this one in the fourth quarter.
EA: Chiefs move to 2-0. How long will they last in first place? A 9-7 record may be good enough to win the AFC West this year.
St. Louis Rams at Oakland Raiders
GC: I keep waiting for both these teams to be come competitive again. This is one of those games where the "sad sacks" of the league get to play each other. It's a coin flip. I'll give it to the Raiders as the home team.
SF: Boring game. The Raiders need to step up their offense. So do the Rams. Let’s face it, both teams need to step up both their offense and defense. Raiders take this one at home.
EA: I think I like the Rams for this one.
Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos
GC: The Seahawks looked like they were ready for opening day. The Broncos just got out-played and their turnovers killed them in the end. The Seahawks aren't going to let up on the Broncos, but the Broncos know how to move the ball. Look for the Broncos to bounce back and get the win this week.
SF: The Broncos just traded for Laurence Maroney. Hope he does better there than he did for the Pats. I wish him luck (just not against the Pats). The Seahawks will take this one due to their offense and lack of adjustments made by the Broncos defense. It’ll be close thanks to Coach McDaniels' offensive mind, but they just won’t pull this one out.
EA: I think I like the Broncos for this one.
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers
GC: The Jaguars surprised me last week. OK, Jags QB David Garrard surprised me last week. The question is, can he consistently surprise us? Not this week, not against the Chargers.
SF: Chargers take this one as Garrard gets a nice reminder of what a stout defense looks (and feels) like.
EA: I'm going to go with the upset pick and take Jacksonville. The Chargers just didn't play inspired football on Monday, and morale must be low on the team after getting handled by the Chiefs. Even at home, I think the Jags will give San Diego an uppercut to the chin in Week 2.
Houston Texans at Washington Redskins
GC: Wow, I mean WOW, this is one of the games I want to see this week. Both of these teams rocked their opponents last week. The Texans have taken that final step to be pertinent in the playoff talks. The Redskins are believing in the Shanahan way. It's a tough game to call. I'm going to stick with the Redskins at home.
SF: The Texans beat the Colts last week. No, that’s not a lie or a typo. They did. Really. The Skins won last week, too, no thanks to their new QB. McNabb will have to learn how the receivers work there, and vice versa. It’ll take the Redskins a few weeks (maybe four) to get into a groove on offense. The Texans will win this one, but it’ll be hard fought.
EA: Great upset by the Redskins this past Sunday, but after (finally) beating the Colts, Houston has all the momentum in the world right now. That and they're just the better team. Houston should take this one by a mile and a half.
New England Patriots at New York Jets
GC: What can you say about the Patriots? It's their offense, no it's their defense, or is it their special teams? It's a balance of power that should scare the rest of the league. The Jets, on the other hand, lost in a defensive knockdown, drag out fight last week. In the end all they got was beat up. Don't expect the Patriots to pull any punches in this divisional matchup. This week the Jets don't have the mojo to keep up with the Pats.
SF: I’m with Tom Brady—I hate the Jets. I hate them equally as much as I hate the Steelers. All that hype at the end of last season, this offseason, and leading up to the regular season…..and they lose. Look at me. This is me laughing at the Jets and their fans. HAHAHAHA! The Pats will take this one, and will do so with their defense. They’ll rush Sanchez and force him to make bad decisions and bad throws, and the young Pats defense will make him (and the Jets) pay for that. Also, look for Brady and Moss to embarrass overpaid crybaby Revis by scoring at least two TDs on him when he’s lined up in man-to-man coverage with Moss. Oh, Welker will wreak havoc on the middle defense. Oh, and Gronkowski will power his way into the end zone…hopefully over Revis. Pats take this one in grand fashion. Hey, anyone know what JETS stands for? Just End the Season!
EA: Patriots. Even without a pass rush, the New England secondary seems better (excluding the second half of Week 1). Critics may point to "Revis Island," but I will counterpoint that last year Randy Moss played with a separated shoulder and a Tom Brady coming off of reconstructive knee surgery. As he showed us last week, Brady is back now. Moss is playing for a contract year (and to show that he can still beat elite defensive backs). Do you really think the Brady to Moss will be stopped? And if it is, keep in mind the Pats have two new weapons at TE, Wes Welker, and a Fred Taylor who looked very much like the running back he was in his prime. Their defense might still have plenty of holes, but it is good enough to stop the J-E-T-S, Jets Jets JETS!!!
New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts
GC: Come one, come all to the “Manningpalooza Show.” One of the Mannings got his opening win, the other lost despite putting up some big offensive numbers. Here's the deal: The giants are more balanced and despite Peyton leading the offensive juggernaut of the Colts, the defense is not what it used to be. Eli, on the other hand, just has to be steady and not give up any big turnovers, and then the Giants can count on starting the season 2- .
SF: Manning Bowl II. Who cares. I sure don’t. Eli will lose this one because he sucks even more than his bigger brother, who has less Super Bowl rings that Tom Brady does. I pick the Colts, thanks to Eli choking. Maybe Peyton will give him a noogie after the game, and one of his infamous pep talks.
EA: I learned the hard way last season (I think it was Week 10 or so when they beat NE) not to bet against the Colts. Then the Super Bowl came along and the Colts choked. It was really nice. You know what else will be nice? Seeing Manning making his "I'm angry so now I'm going to get PO'ed at my teammates and throw a temper tantrum" face on the sidelines as the Giants come away from this Sunday Night Football game with the win.
Monday September 20, 2010
New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers
GC: Last week the Saints took step one toward their goal for a repeat. The 49ers looked a bit anemic in their first outing. I don't see the Saints dropping this one against an inferior team.
SF: The Saints looked pretty sharp last week. The 49ers…not so much. I think that the 49ers will be a surprise playoff team by the end of this season, but they won’t be able to hold the Saints offense. Saints by 10.
EA: The 49ers were supposed to be a much improved team this year. Some had them as favorites to win the NFC West. Then they got whipped 31-6 by the lowly Seachickens of Seattle. Playing the Saints won't do any favors for this team, so I'll take the safe bet and go with New Orleans.