Jazz: The good news is that I went 4-2 last week, bringing me nearly back to .500 at 16-17. The bad news is that the two games I lost were on the Jets and the Steelers. The other good news is that I win ties according to our contract, so I get to do the NFL open thread again. (I really need a better lawyer.) The other bad news is that I did not manage a tie in our fantasy league, and Ed has knocked me out of first place. This week I play Doug Mataconis, and after the one game on Thursday night I’m already down by 10 points. (*sigh*)
Ed: All I know is that I’m still ahead of the curve at 22-11, and I actually won another game in the fantasy league, thanks to Jazz, who only invited me because (a) he was desperate, and (b) I promised to lose most of my games. I’m 2-3 there, so I may still fulfill that promise. Last week I turned on the TV to watch some football, though, and all I saw was futbol. At least they weren’t wearing Pepto Bismol pink. Well, mostly, anyway.
Jazz: I need a knockout punch this week, but my prospects are immediately dimmed with the Jets game. Last week, Rex Ryan finally gave up on Geno Smith who once again did essentially nothing for the first half and put in Michael Vick… who proceeded to do the same in the second half. And this week we play Denver. Since my strategy relies heavily on my new hobby of huffing gasoline, I’ll take the Jets 21-19. The Steelers are playing the Browns, and Cleveland has built up an excellent ground game, ranking fourth in the NFL. The Vegas line has this as almost a draw, but I’ll try to steal one from Ed and take the Browns, 28-17. Meanwhile, the Vikings are hosting the Lions. Detroit is still without Calvin Johnson, and since Minnesota is a two point favorite anyway, I think that will be enough for them to get the job done. Vikings win it 24-13.
Ed: The Steelers take the bus ride to Cleveland this week, and they’ve looked pretty good on the road (2-1), while the Browns have split their home games so far. The Steelers usually have the Browns’ number, so I’ll predict a 24-20 win for Pittsburgh. The Vikings were looking pretty good until the Christian Ponder era restarted last week, but Teddy Bridgewater is supposed to be back for his second NFL start today. At home, and Detroit without Megatron, I’ll join Jazz and pick the Vikes, 27-20. Denver lost their first away game, but won’t lose their second. Broncos 35-20 over the Jets.
Jazz: I’ll pick these other four games to fill up the docket today:
- Patriots at Bills (1:00, Fox) – New England and Buffalo are somehow tied for 1st place in the AFC East. The Pats are the favorite, but I’ll be darned if I’ll ever pick THEM to win, so with the home field advantage I’ll take Da Bills 37-31.
- Cowboys at Seahawks (4:25, Fox) – These two teams are also tied for first in their respective divisions in the NFC with one loss each. It’s time to stop making fun of the Cowboys I guess. Everyone is picking Seattle, and they are indeed darned hard to beat at home, but I’ll go for the huge upset here and take Dallas in a defensive struggle, 17-14.
- Giants at Eagles (8:30, NBC) – This one is mostly interesting because it’s such a huge, long time rivalry which frequently winds up with players getting ejected. The birds are in first at 4-1 but New York is only one game behind and have won three in a row. I’ll go with the Giants in a bruiser, 27-13.
- 49ers at Rams (8:30, ESPN) – The Monday night match-up might be a little better than the last couple because of the West division rivalry aspect. But the Rams will need a lot of help the way they’ve been playing. I think the oddsmakers are reading this one correctly, and I’ll go with San Fran in a decisive win, 35-17.
- Patriots at Bills (1:00, Fox) – Brady’s dinged up (ankle), and the Pats aren’t as dominant as they once were. I’ll take the Bills too, but lower-scoring — 27-23.
- Cowboys at Seahawks (4:25, Fox) – Picking the Seahawks to lose at home … to the Cowboys? Pass. Seahawks 31-24.
- Giants at Eagles (8:30, NBC) – This should be a great game (which I’ll miss, since it starts at 2:30 am Monday out here), but I have to go with the home field advantage here too. Eagles over the Giants, 24-21, perhaps on an OT field goal.
- 49ers at Rams (8:30, ESPN) – The 49ers got their feet back under them the last couple of games, while the Rams have … remained the Rams. 49ers will win, 35-20.