Well, it’s week five which means it’s time to start the bye weeks. That doesn’t mean any less writing for me though, as I’m introducing a new concept to the column for this year, talking about the bye week teams and what they need to do to get better (if anything.) That’s at the bottom. I had another week at 12-4, which puts me at 46-18 (72%) on the year. Suck on that shit so-called experts. Why haven’t I been hired by CBSSports or ESPN.com yet? I have no idea. I’ve been doing this for years. Maybe cause it’s because I say fuck, and vagina slobber. Enough! On with the picks!
Oakland at Houston Line: -7.0
Looking at the schedule at the beginning of the season, did you think this would ever be one of my featured games? I ain’t messing around with this one. This is going to be a crazy good game. The Raiders may have just lost to the Patriots, but they put up a good fight. Penalties killed them in the second half, and they were playing against the best offense in the league. Campbell needs to be a bit more protective of his passes. The Raiders run defense is suspect, allowing plenty of yards on the ground, while Arian Foster ran for 155 against the Steelers. What do you think he’s going to do against the Raiders? But wait, the Raiders have the leagues highest rated rusher in Darren McFadden! While the Texans don’t have the best run defense, they have a better one. There should be a lot of running going on in this one. I’m taking the Texans to win, and Hue Jackson to predict that the Raiders will win the Stanley Cup after they win the division.
Tailgate City (The Rest)
Philadelphia at Buffalo Line: +3.0
Ok, maybe I’ve been a bit too sold on the Bills. They do have one of the leagues worst run defenses after all. But still, it’s offense that wins games and last week – they didn’t have it. Thankfully, neither do the Eagles. What’s that you say? But they have Vick – he makes plays happen! Sure, every once in a while for a first down or something, but he’s not getting the scoring plays and the Eagles run game is terrible. They couldn’t get it done against the Niners at all. The Eagles have no red zone offense. If the Bills can get their offense back like it was the first three weeks, this is their game to lose. Bills at home.
Kansas City at Indianapolis Line: -1.0 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK #1!!
The Colts netted a whole 62 yards on the ground against the Bucs. I’m sorry, but if you have a rookie QB and at least 3 top flight receivers, you’ve got to establish a run game so that when he (Painter) does throw the ball – he’s got time and he’s on target. Instead, he was all over the place. Peyton ain’t coming back. Collins was a bust. Carson Palmer is still couch surfing. Just saying. The Chiefs fared a bit better this week, actually getting a passing game going and remembering that Thomas Jones ain’t retired yet. They took advantage of some situations and pulled out a win. This one is tough for me, but I think with weapons like Piere Garcon and Reggie Wayne, you shouldn’t lose. This game is going to come down to defense, specifically run defense. Shit. I have no idea. I’m winging this one and running with the home team. Colts at home.
Arizona at Minnesota Line: -3.0 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK #2!!
You know the Vikings are playing bad when they rely on Peterson the whole game and he gets bottled up by the Kansas City defense. The Vikings sure do need a win, but their schedule doesn’t really have one penciled in for a while. McNabb used to be able to engineer a nice comeback, and I expect he’ll need one against the Cardinals. The Cards are struggling to stay afloat. Beanie Wells had a career rushing game against the Giants, but the Cards defense managed to blow the lead and waste that effort. Good job guys. Whose defense is worse? Like the above game, this one is a shit fest too. Home team wins just cause. The fact is, there are a lot of terrible teams in the NFL this season (compared to other teams in the NFL.) Perhaps this had to do with the lack of an offseason, who knows? Either way, this week kind of highlights the turds.
Seattle at NY Giants Line: -10.0
The Seahawks could not part the defensive line of the Falcons last week, so how are they going to fare against the Giants? Not so good. As the game goes on, Eli and the men around him get better. So the Hawks better jump out to a huge lead, and I mean huge, because just last week Eli showed he can mount a comeback. The Hawks offense, while showing a little spark against the Falcons, needs to focus on the run because the Giants gave up a ton on the ground to Wells last week, and will probably do it again. Pound, pound, pound. Won’t matter though in the end. Giants at home.
Tennessee at Pittsburgh Line: -6.5 UPSET SPECIAL!!
So Hasselbeck is no slouch. We knew that. He saw holes in the Cleveland defense last week and went to town. Even without Kenny Britt, Hasselbeck found his very able tight ends slipping out of coverage. The key against Pittsburgh is taking advantage of the aging defense with some tomfoolery. Play action, passes to Johnson in the flat, flea flickers, tight ends lining up as blockers and slipping out into the slant – whatever. The Titans need to go into their bag of tricks. Hasselbeck can pull it off. The Steelers are reeling. Big Ben is hurt, but not out. Mendenhall is hurt and out. The offensive line is like a quilt in a retirement home, on fire. The Steelers are in trouble, and I think this is the week the Titans step out of the Colts long shadow. Titans to win on the road, upsetting the Steelers. Yeah, I said it.
New Orleans at Carolina Line: +7.0
Why are you kicking to Hester? The Panthers have a coach whose job it is to make sure special teams doesn’t fuck up like that. They fucked up. Cam Newton made some rookie mistakes as well, go figure. Finally he gets to face the Saints, who are going to make the Carolina defense look like confetti draped around a topless drunk girls boobs. Sproles is gonna motorboat that front line like the same. Brees is going to pick them apart like picking said confetti out of said drunk girls pubes. Cam isn’t going to have an answer on offense. Expect to see him get seriously flustered. Where he looked poised against the Packers, the Saints are better at getting under their oppositions skin. Saints to win on the road.
Cincinnati at Jacksonville Line: -1.5 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK #3!!
The turds keep sliding out of this schedule. Like I said, a lot less parity to go around this year. These two teams play sub-par football at best. Yet, they’ve both beaten a top team. The Jags beat the Titans in week one, while the Bungles just knocked the Bills down a notch. So what happens when they meet up in Jacksonville? The Bengals defense isn’t playing half bad, holding the high scoring Buffalo offense to one TD. The Jags struggle on offense just to score that. Gabbert might turn into a franchise QB for the Jags, but he can’t rely on his defense this week. He’s got to score points. It’s rookie QB vs. rookie QB. Defense vs. Defense. Who you got? Home team. Jags to win by like one point on a late FG or something.
Tampa Bay at San Francisco Line: -2.5
Good thing Philly kickers still suck. Oh wait, was that David Akers missing a FG for the Niners? The Niners were still able to grind out another win. They are a scrappy little team, but scrapping isn’t going to be much against the defensive and growing offensive prowess of the Bucs. The Bucs are slowly gaining some serious klout. They pushed around the Colts on Monday night, slapping them around for a nice 24-17 win. It took a little bit of a comeback, but as much as I hate them, they are playing good football. The man-love affair between coach Rahim Morris & QB Josh Freeman is paying off. Bucs to win on the road.
San Diego at Denver Line: +6.0
Seriously. TEBOW! TEBOW! TEBOW! Denver sucks. The defense gave up 507 yards & 5 TD’s to the Packers. Not to mention the offense turning over the ball four fucking times. The whole team save for McGahee looked like a bunch of half drunk idiots. Can Tebow save this team? At least net them a win? Not this week, as the Chargers roll into town ready to lay the smack down. Rivers is charged up after shredding the hapless Dolphins, but that was helped by four nice field goals. The offense will have to start doing better than that. Thankfully against the Broncos defense, all they’ll need is a safety to win. Chargers on the road.
NY Jets at New England Line: -8.0
There was a point in the game against the Ravens where Sanchez fumbled the ball, then simply watched as it was scooped up and ran in for a touchdown. That was some lazy ass shit GQ poster boy. That kind of exemplifies how the Jets are playing right now on offense. While the defense is still stepping up and keeping them in the game (three turnovers and a TD against the Ravens,) the offense is blowing chunks. Maybe they’ll be a bit better when Mangold gets back. So needless to say, the Patriots are playing killer offense. Yeah, their defense is so-so, but who cares? Brady to Welker, touchdown x 4. Patriots win.
Green Bay at Atlanta Line: +4.5
I swear I can hear Matt Ryan sigh when he gets back into the dome. He does not play well outside. The Falcons nearly blew it against the Seahawks, but good offensive line play saved them. Plus, no turnovers. The defense allowed over 300 yards to the Seahawks low rated offense, which spells trouble with a capital cheese head against the high flying Packers. The only answer is going to be more touchdowns by the Falcons offense. It’s the only way as the defense will be struggling to keep Green Bay from scoring. The Green Bay defense has weaknesses, like giving up 384 yards to Denver. This should be a nice back and forth for a while. An offensive firestorm. I’m waffling on this one, but sticking with the Packers and taking them to win on the road. I better bench the Falcons defense this week in fantasy.
Chicago at Detroit Line: -6.0
Yeah, the Lions are for real. Deal with it. Undefeated. On a roll. Defense and offense both playing strong. You are looking at a sure fire playoff team, if not a Superbowl team. Crazy huh? Some twilight zone shit for sure. So they welcome their division foes da Bears to town. The Bears, well, their pass defense is terrible. Which is good for me since Calvin Johnson anchors my fantasy team. The dude has had two TD’s in every game thus far. He should get 4 in this match-up. Lions to win. Easy.
In the Sauna (Bye Week Teams)
Bye Week at Cleveland
The Browns, once again, are probably the best worst team. A complete breakdown on defense and offensive lines last week cost them dearly. Colt McCoy has got to spend the bye week working on his fucking accuracy and the back shoulder pass. Figure it out Colt, stop over throwing your wide open receivers.
Bye Week at Dallas
It might seem like the Cowboys blew a second half lead against the Lions, but it wasn’t them – it was the Lions stepping up and being the better team. Games aren’t lost, they are won. And the Lions won. And pretty much everyone who has played the Cowboys. Romo, vacation is over buddy. Step your game up.
Bye Week at St. Louis
What can we say about the Rams? On paper they seem to have all the tools needed to win. Josh McDaniels is clearing up any detractors as to his firing in Denver, by sucking in St. Louis. An offensive line overhaul might help Bradford actually find a receiver. Shake it up Rams, what do you have to lose?
Bye Week at Miami Line: -14.0
This is how bad Miami is this season. You can bet against them on a bye week. The Dolphins need to get their offense straightened out. Moore was almost as terrible as Henne has been lately, shoulder issues withstanding. Fans are already calling for Tony Sporano to get the axe. I don’t think that’s going to be enough to salvage this season.
Bye Week at Washington
The Redskins have been riding a bit of luck up to this point. Rex Grossman isn’t really that good, but a good run defense and a strong(er – than opponents) rushing attack have helped them pull off some close wins. Could they take the division? Maybe.
Bye Week at Baltimore
The Ravens are playing outstanding defensive football. For all the mistakes Flacco made last week, the defense made up for in touchdowns. If this team loses to the Patriots in the playoffs I’ll be surprised.