Last week’s Record: Jesse 10-4, Tom 8-6
Overall Record: Jesse 48-29, Tom 46-31
NFL PICKS WEEK 6: LITTLE GIANTS
NY Giants at Chicago
Jesse: The Giants have the same record as the Jaguars. Giants coach Tom Coughlin used to be head coach of the Jaguars. I’ve been struggling to find a connection between these facts for the last three hours, but I can’t. The point is New York sucks, and they’ve looked pathetic at times. How bad are they going to look when they travel to Chicago and play the Bears on a short week? I think it will get ugly. Uglier, that is.
Tom: Dammit Bears, can you give me a friggin’ break? You sucker me in every season with how good you might be, and then turn all Mike Tomczak-like in your ineptness. But luckily you’re facing the…is there another, more violent term for “hapless”?…New York Giants. Congratulations, you get to look invincible again.
Cincinnati at Buffalo
Tom: Didn’t these guys just play? Oh wait, that was the Browns. EJ Manuel nor Brian Hoyer apparently know how to slide, and now both are out with knee injuries and Thad Lewis, former roster QB of about half of the teams in the NFL for the past 18 months, starts for the Bills this Sunday. The Bengals defense is what’s winning them games, and with a new QB in Buffalo, this should be no different. The question is…can Cincy win a game they’re supposed to win? I hope so.
Jesse: Buffalo played hard at home during the first couple of weeks, but that was with Manuel at the helm. As someone who watched Thad Lewis when he started for the Browns last year, I can say with confidence that the Bills are screwed. Cincinnati wins by a billion.
Detroit at Cleveland
Jesse: In thoroughly Brownsian fashion, Cleveland beat Buffalo last week to take over first place in the AFC North, while also losing their quarterback for the season. (So long, Hoyer the Destroyer.) As a result, a stout Browns D and terrific return game, led by supersonic AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Travis Benjamin, will depend on Brandon Weeden to guide them the rest of the season. Brandon’s indecisiveness in the pocket is excruciating to watch, and will almost certainly prove to be the Browns’ downfall. However, I think Jim Schwartz is a douche, so I’m gonna go with Cleveland. Quick reminder: this column should not be used for gambling purposes.
Tom: I’m really torn on this one–the Browns are using the 2000 Ravens approach to winning, and Detroit didn’t get the services of Megatron last week, which didn’t help their cause. This is in Cleveland, so I’ll give them the edge here, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Detroit somehow walk out of this saying, “We may be from Detroit, but at least we’re not from Cleveland”.
Oakland at Kansas City
Tom: Stupid Chargers lost the stupid game to the stupid Raiders last week when the game started at stupid midnight on the east coast. Stupid NFL. Me want stupid Raiders to pay.
Jesse: Terrelle Pryor is giving Raiders fans hope. I think that hope will continue this week, with the Raiders playing the Chiefs surprisingly close, until they are ultimately overpowered by Kansas City’s defense.
By the way, if a team has quarterback needs, they would be wise to sign Matt Flynn and make him the starter. Once the regular season starts, start Flynn’s backup instead. Boom, instant success.
Carolina at Minnesota
Jesse: Carolina is terrible. Ron Rivera is a lousy coach whose primary skill is blankly staring at stuff. It’s like they put headphones on one of those Easter Island heads. Whether Josh Freeman plays or not, it doesn’t matter. The Panthers are toast.
Tom: The “He Hate Me” game of the week. So, in deference to the original “He Hate Me”, Rod Smart, I gotta go with Carolina, the NFL team he played for after the XFL folded.:
Pittsburgh at NY Jets
Tom: The Steelers made the amazing trade for Levi Brown this past week, he of which was fondly waved goodbye to by the Cardinals (who selected Brown over Adrian Peterson in the draft) and their fans. And what’s the deal with players rotating between Arizona and Pittsburgh anyway? Whisenhunt isn’t there anymore. Anyway, until they can show me a consistent running game and a non-craptacular secondary, I will continue to pick against my beloved Steelers. And as bad as the Jets may be, they keep finding ways to win or at least stay in the game until the bitter end.
Jesse: It feels weird to pick against the Steelers, especially when they’re facing the Jets, but until the Steelers can show that their offense is competent and their defense isn’t over the hill, I have no choice.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
Jesse: Michael Vick hurt his hamstring last week, which will give Chip Kelly the opportunity to see if Nick Foles can make the offense better. I’m guessing he’ll look like a superstar, at least compared to Mike Glennon. Eagles win, leading the Bucs to have another one of those players-only meetings that have never solved anything in the history of sports.
Tom: The storyline here is Nick Foles and whether or not he can continue to show enough to warrant the Eagles not re-signing Vick in the post-season. The Bucs is a good start, although their defense isn’t awful. But the Mike Glennon experiment will put Tampa in a bad way too many times for them to make a game of it.
Green Bay at Baltimore
Tom: I don’t know–Green Bay didn’t exactly look impressive on offense against Detroit last week, but they did pretty much dominate the game. The Ravens screwed me over by holding on to beat the Dolphins (FLEEEEEED!), so am I going to pick against them again, at home? Damn right I am.
Jesse: This game could be exciting. Both of these teams know it’s a long season, and the Ravens always get better as the season goes on, those bastards. Throw in the Clay Matthews injury, and I think the Ravens win handily this week.
St. Louis at Houston
Jesse: It’s fitting that St. Louis is coming to Houston, as Matt Schaub has morphed into 2000-era Rick Ankiel the last few weeks, throwing a pick-six in a record four consecutive games, and at least one interception in eight straight games stretching back to last year. His confidence seems totally shot. As commenter “jacklaughing” said last week: “Matt Schaub is always one pass away from reminding you why he’s Matt Schaub.” Making matters worse, the running game is in trouble (Arian Foster and Ben Tate only have one touchdown combined this year), and Andre Johnson has had injury issues. I think a visit from Subpar Sam Bradford is the perfect remedy. J.J. Watt and the rest of the Texas D will lead the Texans to victory, delaying Schaub’s inevitable benching for at least one week.
Tom: When he was the backup to Vick in Atlanta, my friend and I called him “Good Job” Matt Schaub. That nickname applies no more, unless you’re one of the 4 guys that have returned INTs for TDs this season against him. As bad as that has been, the Rams had trouble beating Jacksonville last week, at home. Even their returning star WR, Justin Blackmon, managed to have a good day. And being at Houston, I guess I’ll have to go with the reeling Texans. Bring on TJ Yates!
Jacksonville at Denver
Tom: The Jags are a TWENTY-EIGHT POINT underdog this week. This is an NFL game, folks. My pick, as summed up in a meme:
Jesse: Checking ESPN’s Pigskin Pick ‘Em contest, it appears that 99.46% of respondents are picking the Broncos to win, which means that 0.54% of Pick ‘Em contestants are incorrigible smart-asses.
Tennessee at Seattle
Jesse: We all know this will be a slaughter. Therefore, I want to use this space to encourage all of you to watch the PBS Frontline documentary League of Denial, a stunning look at the NFL’s dishonesty on the concussion issue for the last few decades. It’s riveting stuff, and you can watch it online here. An interviewee compares the NFL to tobacco companies back in the 90s, and it’s a painfully accurate comparison. This sport will be gone in 50 years.
Tom: The Man of Many Picks vs. Seattle’s secondary, at home in Seattle? Get me some Starbucks over here and move on.
Arizona at San Francisco
Tom: So, it appears the Saints are the class of the NFC right now, but who’s next? Is it the 49ers, who got wiped out by both Seattle and Indy, but then dominated the Rams the next week? San Fran needs to just keep winning their divisional games and all will take care of itself for them. They get Seattle at home the next time around, and there is no other competition in the NFC West.
Jesse: Carson Palmer facing San Francisco’s D?
New Orleans at New England
Jesse: All signs are point to Gronk returning, which will be huge. However, the best tight end on the field is with the Saints. Jimmy Graham is a force, and will take this game over. The improved Saints’ defense will ensure that New Orleans wins with ease.
Tom: Well, I said I would pick the Pats until they lost. They lost.
Washington at Dallas
Tom: Dallas scored 48 points last week but still lost. All will be blamed on you-know-who, even though he threw for a Cowboy-record 506 yards and 5 TDs. He can’t go out there and stop Peyton Manning too (unless maybe he snuck to the other sidelines, slipped some GHB into Peyton’s Gatorade, then took the field dressed as him. Hmmm. Note to self–email Jags coaches later). The Redskins defense is horrific. That’s all that should matter this game.
Jesse: After Romo Romo’d all over himself last weekend, how will the Cowboys respond? You have to think that the Dallas defense will be motivated after being humiliated by Peyton Manning. I’m sorely tempted to pick Washington to beat a Cowboys team suffering from a painful hangover, but I still don’t think RGIII is where he needs to be.
Indianapolis at San Diego
Jesse: The Colts are clearly the class of the AFC South right now. Any team that beats up on the Niners and Seahawks is very, very good. Meanwhile, the Chargers’ traditional collapse has begun. Now that we’re past the opening weeks where Philip Rivers is a front-running trash talker, the Chargers are now the same desultory snoozefest they’ve been the last several years. Colts in a beatdown, with Jon Gruden using the second half to talk more about Peyton Manning than any of the players on the field.
Tom: I boldly took the Colts over the Seahawks last week and was rewarded with a win (one of very few–you suck, Jesse). I could boldly predict that the Chargers will rebound after the late night black holing from the Raiders (ugh at that mental picture) and go rollin’ on the Rivers. The Colts are quietly becoming maybe the AFC’s best team behind the Broncos. And boy, I can’t wait for that game next week. Having said that, looking ahead to the Denver game would be the only reason I’d expect Indy to lose here, but I believe Pagano won’t let that happen.