It’s time to make another spate of inaccurate predictions about what’s going to happen this weekend. Remember, gambling morons, that this is the weekend to go put all your money down. It’s early enough in the season that the “experts” still have no idea what the hell is going to happen, and the lines are still screwy.
As an added twist, I’m going to compare my incompetent predictions with Yahoo! experts, and we’ll see how they do on Monday. The number in parenthesis after each team is the number of Yahoo experts who picked them.
Remember that I haven’t seen a single play of a single football game this year, so I have a built-in excuse for anything I get wrong.
San Diego(5) at Green Bay(0): What advantages does Green Bay bring? A 2-0 record, an almost 2:1 ratio of points scored versus points against, and a big Peter King woody up in the press box for his main squeeze Brett Favre. What does San Diego bring? Lots of preseason hype, an anemic offense, and Norv “Lazarus” Turner. Why does everybody favor San Diego again? My pick: Green Bay 45, San Diego 3 (bonus pick: LT gets only 25 yards rushing and pundits declare that “he’s due to break out any game now” like they have the last two games).
Minnesota(2) at Kansas City(3): Kansas City, a poor team with an awful coach, goes up against Minnesota, a so-so team with a bald coach. For some reason I’m supposed to believe their AFC affiliation makes this a walkover for the Chiefs? Don’t count on it. They’d have trouble competing against a KFC, never mind the NFC. Minnesota 20, Kansas City 10.
Indianapolis(5) at Houston (0): Never bet on the bull in a bullfight. Never take the under in a Globetrotters game. And never, ever, bet that a Texan can’t handle an unruly horse. After the game, the wailing and gnashing of teeth in Atlanta will be heard from coast to coast. Houston 31, Indianapolis 30.
Buffalo(0) at New England(5): A mysterious stealth aircraft circles the stadium for the duration of the game, a distraction for everyone but Bill Bellicheck, who afterwards says he was “so focused on the game I didn’t notice it.” Buffalo cries foul, but the NFL says they’ve “heard enough bitching from coaches this week.” New England 66.6, Buffalo 4.
Miami(1) at NY Jets(4): Eric Mangini cries his little eyes out because media pundits are calling him a rat and a cheat, but feels better after seeing how little people respect the Dolphins. Then he cries his little eyes out after the game because the Dolphins beat the Jets, who it turns out suck. Despite the win, angry Miami fans still drive ten hours to pelt Alabama coach Nick Saban with rotten eggs on Monday morning. Miami 17, Jets 14.
Detroit(1) at Philadelphia(4): Before the game Matt Millen shocks the world by retiring while the Lions are undefeated, saying that he’s “accomplished everything I ever wanted to do as a GM, so it's time to go out on a high note." Philadelphia players insist that Donovan McNabb’s foray into race-baiting isn’t a distraction, despite the fact that 90% of the questions this week were “Do you agree about Donovan McNabb’s statements about black quarterbacks?” Detroit 23, Philadelphia 14.
San Francisco(0) at Pittsburgh(5): Pittsburgh changes their name to the “Mirages” just before the game to capitalize on the fact that playing two nobody teams has made them look far, far better than they really are. If you can name 5 San Francisco players without looking at their web site, then you can probably do better than their coach, whose name I can’t seem to remember. San Francisco 20, Pittsburgh 17.
St. Louis(3) at Tampa Bay(2): Tampa Bay, suffering from a condition that will soon be known as “Saints Hangover”, struggles to find its rhythm in the first quarter of the game as they adjust to playing against a team whose players actually move after the ball is snapped. St. Louis capitalizes, rushing out to their largest lead all season, only to fall apart in the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay 6, St. Louis 3.
Arizona(0) at Baltimore(5): On paper, these two teams are exactly the same, except the team captain for Arizona was never on trial for murder and the Baltimore quarterback’s not on his way to being washed up. He’s already washed up. Arizona 20, Baltimore 20.
Cleveland(2) at Oakland(3): A classic “trap” game, in that if you have to watch it you feel trapped and want to gnaw your foot off. Cleveland 81, Oakland 20.
Cincinnati(1) at Seattle(4): After a 2-yard catch at midfield Chad Johnson goes into histrionics and pulls down the goal post, forcing a two-hour game delay and bringing a $1,647,328 fine from the NFL. Dan Wetzel calls him a “childish doody face.” The Cincinnati defense uses last week’s collapse as inspiration to hold Seattle to only four touchdowns and two field goals, thus claiming a “moral victory.” Unfortunately, Cincinnati will have to get used to moral victories. Cincinnati 28, Seattle 34.
Jacksonville(0) at Denver(5): Two faceless mediocre teams face off in a mediocre game in a faceless venue played in a mediocre state. One team’s faces will glow with victory. Which one? The one that’s less mediocre. Jacksonville 10, Denver 14.
Carolina(5) at Atlanta(0): Did you know that an anagram of Carolina is Clanoria? Doesn’t that sound like some horrible STD? “Jake Delhomme just hasn’t been the same since he came down with Clanoria last year.” In other news, if you watch this game you have my sympathies. Clanoriads 24, Atlanta 10.
NY Giants(0) at Washington(5): This game features the management half of my “dream team” for the worst NFL franchise: Tom Coughlin, coach, and Darth Snyder, owner. You throw in Chicago’s offense and Cincinnati’s defense and you’ve got a team that eventually descends into fistfights mid-game while losing 100-0. Now that I think about it, that might describe the 2007 NY Giants. Giants 21, Washington 27.
Dallas(4) at Chicago(1): Did anybody else love how Nick Saban defended Bill Bellicheck’s honor this week during the whole “SpyGate” thing? That’s like having your lesbian ex-girlfriend testify about what a demon you were in the sack. If I were Bill Bellicheck, I’d try to get other famous former football players and coaches to testify about my integrity also, like Jerry Tarkanian and OJ Simpson. Couldn’t hurt, right? Oh, and as far as Dallas goes: call me when they play a real team. Dallas 14, Chicago 7.
Tennessee(2) at New Orleans(3): It’s fitting that the picks are bookended by San Diego and New Orleans, the two teams that are still getting way too much respect for last season’s performance and preseason opinions. This isn’t college football, people: judge by results on the field, not the preseason polls. We all know it's possible to go from 3-13 to 13-3; shouldn't we realize the reverse is just as possible? Tennessee 35, New Orleans 12.