Last week’s Record: Tom 8-7, Jesse 8-7
Overall Record: Jesse 64-43, Tom 64-43
NFL PICKS WEEK EIGHT: LONDON CALLING…AGAIN
Carolina at Tampa Bay
Jesse: The NFL follows up Monday’s barn burner with another epic Thursday night battle. Schiano vs. Rivera! One’s overbearing, the other’s just staring! This game could be close, but I predict it will be called off due to the MRSA Rule. (Yes, that pun is lame, but be glad I didn’t go with “Bucteria.”) Anyway, the Bucs stink, but the Panthers stink a little bit less. In the end, the only drama will be to see if Schiano orders his defense to blitz the Panthers’ victory formation.
Tom: Starting off this week with the “He Hate Me” game…The Panthers have a (somewhat) capable QB. The Bucs don’t. The Falcons would like if both of these teams could somehow lose. And on a side note–guess who plays fantasy football and loves the NFL and college football? Daniel Radcliffe! Ol’ Harry Potter himself! I heard him talk about it on the Nerdist podcast…he mentioned that when he was in New York doing “Equus”, they asked if he wanted to join a FFL, and he agreed and didn’t want to be terrible at it, so he threw himself into research, etc., and said he fell in love with it (much like the horse in said play). And yes, even he thinks Skip Bayless is an ass.
Dallas at Detroit
Tom: Whoa, where did that “D” in “Dallas” come from last week? Of course, Foles leaving the game for Matt “I was once a contender” Barkley didn’t hurt in the 2nd half. Detroit lost to the Bengals in OT after a close one…I don’t know if I’m ready to trust the Cowboys defense full-time, but I am willing to trust in Schwartz screwing something up.
Jesse: Dallas won with their defense last week against Philly, but I think this game will be a shootout. I’m guessing Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson will be out to prove something against each other, but DeMarco Murray’s return will be the deciding factor.
Cleveland at Kansas City
Jesse: Brandon Weeden is being replaced by Jason Campbell, but that may not matter against KC’s defense. This will be one of those 17-6 games, a blowout with a score that makes it seem closer than it actually was. The Browns’ march to next year’s draft begins.
Tom: Remember when we were talking about the Browns and possible playoffs and even leading the AFC North? Yeah, good times.
This amazing GIF was created by @LSUFreek
Miami at New England
Tom: Oh Patriots, you and your lineman pushing helped with my awful week last week. You better not screw me again like that, or I’ll…possibly not pick you in another week.
Jesse: It seems like just last month that Miami was on the fast track, an up and coming team with a chance to win the AFC East during a down year. Now the Dolphins are 3-4 after a heartbreaking last-second loss to the Bills. Miami will be going to Foxboro desperate for a win, but I think the Pats will emerge victorious as the Dolphins’ swoon continues.
Buffalo at New Orleans
Jesse: The Bills have to be feeling good after their win last week. Hopefully they can remember and savor that feeling, because New Orleans is going to crush them.
Tom: I wonder if EJ Manuel is thinking, “Oh shit, if they put this other guy in at QB and still win…I might become the Christian Ponder of this team.” Who dat, indeed.
NY Giants at Philadelphia
Tom: I correctly predicted that the Giants would finally break the winless streak last week (but the stupid Jags didn’t), but I believe they will have to be happy with the one win for now. Vick is back, and it’s in Philly. He will not be missing 30+ passes a la Josh Freeman.
Jesse: The Vikings-Giants Monday night game was a nightmare, Munch’s The Scream in football form. Now the Giants head to Philly, a team who seems destined for a 7-9 record, which the Giants would kill for at this point. Michael Vick is starting this week for the Eagles. I think that will be enough to put the Eagles’ offense over the top, and even Philadelphia’s defense will look good against New York’s terrible offensive line.
Gif created by @CJZERO
San Francisco at Jacksonville
Jesse: Sorry, London.
Tom: Jags, you let me down last week. And for that, you get a trip to London. I am in Las Vegas, and walked past the “Paris” casino last night. So you can see we’re pretty much coming from the same place.
NY Jets at Cincinnati
Tom: Rex Ryan wins another game with a weird field goal ending. How many times can that happen this season for the same team? I fully expect to find out that Tebow is being hidden under some equipment truck affecting the outcome of these games, murmuring and chanting like Snape at a Quidditch game in the first Harry Potter movie.
Jesse: The Jets are a yo-yo, with each week featuring either exhilarating highs or depressing lows. Since they won last week at home, it stands to reason that they’ll lose on the road. Losing Leon Hall hurts, but I think Cincy will win anyway.
Pittsburgh at Oakland
Jesse: 1973′s Game of the Week takes place in Oaktown, where Terrelle Pryor is giving the Raiders a slight ray of hope. This game may be as moribund as the Vikings-Giants game, but I think Pittsburgh is about to make a run, and this game will serve as their third win in a row.
Tom: My Steelers have won 2 in a row!–and earlier in the season I said this just might be their first win of the season. So I’ll stick with that line of thinking.
Washington at Denver
Tom: Here’s what frustrates me about Peyton Manning–if he believes that you believe you’re going to stop him from throwing to a certain guy…he will throw to that guy over and over again, no matter if he’s covered or not. One of the announcers kept commenting that Manning mentioned if they leave Demaryius Thomas guy single-covered, he would throw deep to him. And he did. And it almost never worked. But he kept trying, and suddenly, the Broncos ran out of time. Those two turnovers didn’t help either. The <insert non-offending name here>’s defense has not been good, so Peyton should be back to form, especially if he picks on the hugely egotistical Deangelo Hall and “Aim For the Head” Meriweather is suspended.
Jesse: Last week, I said this: “I can’t shake the feeling that the RGIII Era peaked late last season, and we’ll never see him reach those heights again.” On Sunday, the Redskins scored 48 points, with RGIII accounting for nearly 400 yards of total offense. The lesson? Ignore me. Always.
The Broncos certainly appear vulnerable, with injuries on both sides of the ball starting to take their toll. Thankfully, nothing cures a team’s woes like facing a Jim Haslett-coached defense. Both teams may break 40 again, but I think Denver comes out on top in a shootout.
Atlanta at Arizona
Jesse: The league’s top two teams (in alphabetical order) clash! As I’ve said before, I just can’t pick Carson Palmer, but I do recommend that you read this article on Palmer’s career by Bill Barnwell and reflect on what might have been. I promise that will be more rewarding than watching this game.
Tom: Atlanta is a better team overall than the Cardinals. But dammit, I don’t feel comfortable with this pick for some reason.
Green Bay at Minnesota
Tom: I saw someone say that Frazier may have been trying to prove a point by leaving Freeman in the entire game and allowing him to throw 53 times, when it was obvious he was not ready to start. If that was the truth, this team is worse off than we all thought, and Frazier is done in Minny even more than Ponder is.
Jesse: You’re Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier. You’re starting a quarterback whose crapulence has been established several times over, and who’s only been on the team for 12 days. On the bright side, you have one of the best running backs of all time in your backfield. What do you do? If you said throw the ball 53 times, congratulations, you could be the next coach of the Minnesota Vikings! Send your resume in early, because they’ll be hiring soon.
Seattle at St. Louis
Jesse: The Rams lost Subpar Sam Bradford for the rest of the season, and will now be starting Kellen Clemens, one of the more steadily employed backups in recent memory. Thankfully, devising creative offensive game plans is a staple of Coach Jeff Fisher and OC Brian SchottenheimHAHAHA just kidding they’re screwed.
Tom: I have lost a player every week the past 3 weeks to a season-ending injury in my Dynasty league team. Bradford was the latest. Now I have the enviable task of picking up Kellen Clemens off waivers. *sigh* ..
Sorry, I was just wallowing in my own misery. You wanted a winner, right. Let’s just say Seattle so I can maintain my dead heat with Jesse.