Last week’s Record: Tom 10-5, Jesse 8-7
Overall Record: Jesse 56-36, Tom 56-36
NFL PICKS WEEK SE7EN: ENVY
Seattle at Arizona
Tom: Well, we are almost half way through the season now, but with bye weeks, etc., it’s really more like 42.71%. Arizona wouldn’t go away against the 49ers last week, and Seattle had their hands full again with a team that has a good defense. I won’t say Russell Wilson has regressed, more that teams are onto his (and CK7’s) gameplan now more than last year. This is a divisional game, and Seattle is away. I don’t like the matchup of the Seahawks DB’s vs. Carson Palmer. But dammit, it’s an away game for Seattle and I…I just can’t take them away from home.
Jesse: Seattle does seem to be regressing slightly (at least until their injured/suspended players return), but I simply can’t pick Carson Palmer. Ever.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
Jesse: The Falcons collapse has been stunning, and with Julio Jones and Roddy White (and probably Steven Jackson) out, the situation shows no signs of getting better. But wait! What’s that on the horizon? A lousy team that’s already quitting on their mini-Mussolini of a coach, led by a rookie QB who wasn’t even the best QB in the ACC last year? In that case . . .
Tom: Oy vey…this could have been a huge game for the NFC South, now it’s just the next stop for each team trying to get to .500. The Mike Glennon experience hasn’t paid off yet for the Bucs, but Schiano is determined to keep moving ahead. Atlanta is recruiting coach’s sons to play WR for the team as injuries have gotten so bad. Someone asked me at work about them trading Gonzalez back to KC so he can retire there…I said, “For what? Donnie Avery?” Even though Steven Jackson might still sit, I imagine the Falcons will lean heavily on the run game. Bucs will still give the Falcons problems just because it’s in the division. But the Dome Field Advantage(copyright Atlanta Falcons football) should come through here. And take this for what you will–the Falcons opponents that they’ve lost to have a combined record of 16-7. So they haven’t lost to a bunch of crappy teams, and they’ve lost every one of them in the last few minutes. So that’s something you can hang your hat on, Falcons fans. And the next 3 teams they face have won a combined 5 games. So .500 might not be so far off.
Cincinnati at Detroit
Tom: This is a game of two first(!) place teams in their respective divisions. Each looking sometimes not very impressive, this one is kind of a crap shoot. Stafford has found a new target in TE Joseph Fauria (go hit the waiver wires now, kids), and Megatron is getting healthy. I don’t know if the Bengals defense is better than the Browns, which Detroit burned for 31 points last week, 24 of it in the 2nd half. And being in Detroit, I’ll give the edge to the Lions. Although I’m sure they’ll make me regret it.
Jesse: Both of these teams are a bit schizo, world-beaters one week and chumps the next week. I think Cincy’s D will make Matthew Stafford pay for throwing the ball 800 times a game, and unfortunately for the Lions, Brandon Weeden won’t be there to throw any under-handed scoops for them to intercept. (Fuckin’ Weeden. Sigh….)
GIF by BuzzFeed Sports
Buffalo at Miami
Jesse: I can say with confidence that the Buffalo Bills have no chance this weekend, not because the Dolphins are doing anything exceptional, but rather because I saw this headline a few days ago: “Bills Sign Matt Flynn.” The Bills are screwed.
Tom: Don’t Fleed me now, Miami.
New England at NY Jets
Tom: Guess what…the Pats are the worst 5-1 team out there, but they are 5-1. Their defense is the reason they’re where they are. The current batch of rookie and injury-prone WRs may be wildly inconsistent now…but wait until next year. This offense will be much improved. The Jets…well, the Jets have been contenders, then got man-handled last week by the Steelers for their first win. Honestly, I can see this game going either way, but Brady made me pay for doubting Thomas last week.
Jesse: The Patriots’ wide receiving corps is atrocious. Aaron Dobson plays like he won a “Fan Plays For The Team” contest, dropping 4 passes for every one he catches. Danny Amendola played for about 5 minutes last Sunday, before getting knocked out in Danny Amendol-ian fashion. Austin Collie’s had so many concussions that every sneeze could be fatal, and Julian Edelman continues to be the Not-Good Wes Welker. Somehow, Bill Belichick is both the best coach and the worst GM in the league, but as long as he has Tom Brady, the Patriots will never be out of it. The Jets are so up and down that they will almost certainly be up this week, but against my better judgement, I’m going with New England. I immediately regret this decision.
Dallas at Philadelphia
Jesse: For some reason, I keep thinking that the Cowboys are the class of the NFC East…then I look at their record. I’m stunned that Dallas is tied with Philly for first. Now that the Eagles have handed things over to Nick Foles, their offense is humming right along, while their defense remains a wet fart. I think the Eagles will win a high-scoring game at home, with the loss of DeMarco Murray and DeMarcus Ware too much for the Cowboys to overcome.
Tom: Another battle in the NFC LEast–the Cowboys finally have the chance to prove themselves the best(?) or at least the best of the worst in the division. Philly’s defense doesn’t seem to be able to play with any consistency, pretty much the same as the offense. Losing Murray hurts, but Dallas has enough other weapons to take advantage of Philly’s 31st ranked passing defense…oh, and who’s #30? Dallas. This could be another barn-burner.
Chicago at Washington
Tom: RGIII is improving, but the defense is not. The Bears almost gave up the ghost to the Giants last week before Eli did what he does best. But their defense is much better than the Giants, and I think Jay Cutler and Eli Manning have just passed each other on the QB ladder…one going up and one plummeting down.
Jesse: I can’t shake the feeling that the RGIII Era peaked late last season, and we’ll never see him reach those heights again.
St. Louis at Carolina
Jesse: My condolences to the people of St. Louis and Charlotte without NFL Sunday Ticket, who will be forced to endure this snoozer of a game. Subpar Sam Bradford will live up to the nickname that I gave him, and the Panthers will win handily. By the way, remember when the Rams drafted Tavon Austin and planned on using him as an offensive weapon, but Brian Schottenheimer had no idea how to utilize him as an offensive weapon, rendering the draft pick useless? Good times.
Tom: Another head-scratcher this week…we’ve seen both teams be competitive, but we’ve also seen them both look horrible at times. Sam Bradford is still trying to prove that he was worthy of a first pick, and Cam Newton is trying not to become Sam Bradford. I’ll keep rolling with the Panthers. Sure. Why not. And Stewart may return this week as well.
San Diego at Jacksonville
Tom: The Chargers defense actually held down Andrew Luck and still almost pissed away the victory at the end, were it not for a 51-yard FG made late in the game by Novak. The Jags made it competitive last week vs. the Broncos, and obviously Henne is their best bet to win games. And you know what? It might just be time. Hold my hand, Jesse. I’m scared.
Jesse: You should be.
San Francisco at Tennessee
Jesse: If Jake Locker were healthy, this would be a close, competitive game, which is something I never expected to say. Unfortunately, the Titans are stuck with Ryan “Shitty Favre” Fitzpatrick, an Ivy League-approved fiasco who doesn’t have the ability to cover up Chris Johnson’s horrible, apathetic play.
Tom: Two monster defenses collide and I would be quick to take the 49ers and their QB over Ryan Fitzpat-pick. But let’s not forget that the Niners offense has not looked great either. They’re having to really rely on the running game now and pull the reigns back on Kaepernick a bit. All that being said, I’ll have to side with the guy that is least likely to throw pick-6’s.
Cleveland at Green Bay
Tom: Green Bay needs WRs and Cleveland needs a QB. Rodgers and crew struggled in the red zone again in Baltimore and this Browns defense is no joke. But Brandon Weeden is.
Jesse: Brandon Weeden seems like a nice guy. A nice crappy quarterback of a guy. One sign of being a bad quarterback is when you make your fanbase say things like “God, if only we had Brian Hoyer.”
Houston at Kansas City
Jesse: Speaking of despised quarterbacks, Matt Schaub! Schaub’s situation is so tenuous that coach Gary Kubiak backed him with one of the most tepid endorsements in history: “It was a tough decision. Real tough. But I feel like it was the best thing for our football team this weekend.” Translation = “He sucks but our backup also sucks and I give up.” On the bright side, Houston’s on the road this week, so at least if Schaub gets hurt, it won’t be his own team’s fans doing the cheering.
Tom: Remember how I mentioned the “passing each other on the ladder”? Well, you’ve got that here–the Chiefs are going up, up, up, and the Texans are almost ready to not only fall to the ground, but possibly go through it and end up on the other side in China like a Looney Tunes cartoon. TJ Yates was cheered when he entered the game, and proceed to honor Matt Schaub by throwing a pick-6 almost immediately. And now they get the Chiefs defense? Daffy Duck says it’s Texans season.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh
Tom: So, they finally won one. And after Emmanuel Sanders did a flip into the endzone, Tomlin says no more acrobatics. The Ravens are struggling right now, but did get Torrey Smith back. A once huge matchup in the AFC North is kind of a fart in the wind at this point. The Steelers are not just having issues winning, but winning at home too. But I’m a sucker because I’m a fan.
Jesse: This game promises to be a war of attrition, but I’m dubious of Todd Haley’s playcalling against the Ravens defense. Ravens survive a close, low-scoring game. You think this paragraph is boring? Just wait until you watch this game.
Denver at Indianapolis
Jesse: The Game of the Week promises to be a good one. Denver was exposed a bit by the Jags of all teams, and the Colts are certainly much better than they are. However, will the Colts have a home field advantage? Are Colts fans really going to scream and sound off against Peyton Manning? Would you bet against a motivated Peyton Manning facing off against the team that cut him? Is Jim Irsay mentally challenged? Does he hire children to update his Twitter account for him? These are the questions I ask when I need to write a paragraph about this game.
Tom: Was Indy looking past the Chargers this week? Hard to tell. But that somewhat conservative offense better slap some stickum on the hands of the receivers and get their big plays ready, because Papa Peyton is comin’ home. Is it weird to prepare a big homecoming for a guy that is not only still playing the game, but playing your team? I’ll keep on the Broncos train, but an upset here wouldn’t shock me.
Minnesota at NY Giants
Tom: I know what you’re saying…”But Tom, you forgot the He Hate Me game of the week!” No, I didn’t. Unfortunately for all of us, it’s the Monday night game. Matt Cassel was not the answer vs. the Panthers last week…so will they give Freeman a shot? And will Ponder just stand on the sidelines and think about how his wife will announce it when he gets released by Minnesota? Honestly, I think the shame spiral stops here for the Giants. I took the Jags to win their first game, so why not Eli and company as well.
Jesse: With Josh Freeman reportedly set to start, the Vikings are making a statement: “We don’t care about our QB’s accuracy as long as the guy can throw 10 yards farther than Christian Ponder.” This may be the first game in history where each team scores three pick-sixes. Prediction: this game’s gonna suck.