Football analysts are a brave and studious lot. Every week, these oracles of stats-busters and game winners research everything from personnel match-ups to what the coach had for breakfast in order to lay claim to the correct game pick and have their sports legitimacy rise above their rivals.
I don’t have half the qualifications that those people have in sports commentary. What I do have is a passion for football and sports jokes. With those powers combined, I release my predictions for Week 2 in the NFL to the general public.
Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
LINE: Packers by 6
The Bears and the Packers may have polar opposite records, but don’t let that fool you. Aaron Rodgers and The Pack were stacked up against one of the best defenses in football, while Jay Cutler and the Bears should have scored as many points on defense against Andrew Luck as they did on offense. If the Packers end up doing the unbelievable and losing twice in a row at Lambeau Field, don’t be surprised if Clay Matthews turns green and runs off into the Wisconsin tundra to figure things out.
Sunday, September 16th, 2012
Kansas City Chiefs @ Buffalo Bills
LINE: Bills by 3
The Chiefs, nursing this year’s injured star players, are hoping to show that they are a legitimate playoff contender this week by playing against a Bills team that gave Mario Williams $50 million guaranteed in order to act like a goal post on the defensive line. The Chiefs have an unlikely supporter in this goal: their opponent last week, the Atlanta Falcons. A dominating win by the Chiefs would prove, by 6 degrees of separation, that the Atlanta Falcons have already won the Super Bowl this year and Ryan Fitzpatrick should spray Miracle-Gro on his beard.
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals
LINE: Bengals by 7
The battle for Ohio kicks off once again in a match-up of the Browns against the Bengals, proving that football fans know their geography even when their teams trip out of the gate. While the Bengals continue to work BenJarvus Green-Ellis into an offense that doesn’t only run him when Tom Brady’s arm is tired, the Browns are well on their way to placing their 50 year old(in football years) rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden in their Hall of Shame, which includes anger-inducing players such as Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, and Jake Delhomme.
Minnesota Vikings @ Indianapolis Colts
LINE: Vikings by 2
Let’s be fair, here. So what if the Vikings have Jared Allen banging around quarterbacks, Adrian Peterson gearing up to become Comeback Player of the Year, and a quarterback that everyone except Christian Ponder himself forgets about. This game is all about Colts fans. Now they will be able to see what their “SUCK FOR LUCK” t-shirts got them when Andrew Luck plays his second game of “Let’s Compare My Stats Against Peyton Manning’s Rookie Year”. So far, Luck is in the lead with 3 yards.
Oakland Raiders @ Miami Dolphins
LINE: Raiders by 3
The Oakland Raiders have a lot going for them this year that’s reminiscent of the beginning of the decade when they were making runs at the Super Bowl: they have an angry quarterback with something to prove; they have an angry young coach with something to prove; they have an owner with the last name Davis with something to prove; they have an angry defensive tackle with something to prove. They have all that anger and honor, but they don’t seem to have a receiver, which was prevalent when Darren McFadden had the highest receiving yards. Luckily, they’re playing the Dolphins, who haven’t had any useful anger since Dan Marino found out that the Dolphins couldn’t get Barry Sanders as his running back before he retired.
Arizona Cardinals @ New England Patriots
LINE: Patriots by 14
Sometimes the rotating NFL schedule makes me scratch my head. Normally, the further along you get in the prior season decides your rotating inter-conference games for the next season. The Patriots get to the Super Bowl and end up with the Cardinals at home. Someone must have dropped the ball, or thought that a Brady versus Skelton match-up would be a ratings winner. Well, at least the Patriots aren’t playing the Rams. That game is in week 8.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Giants
LINE: Giants by 9
There were a lot of sad faces in New York when the Cowboys came by and “beat the Giants’ asses”, as Jerry Jones would say, but I think this is good for the Giants. Using vigorous research, I’ve learned that, in the past 5 seasons, the Giants have lost the opening game twice, once in 2007 and again in 2011. Both of those seasons ended in a Super Bowl victory. In the seasons that the Giants did not win the Super Bowl, 2008, 2009, and 2010, they had managed to win their first game. I think one more loss will put the Giants on the right track for the rest of the season, while another win by the Bucs will help dash the hopes of their fans later on in the season.
Baltimore Ravens @ Philadelphia Eagles
LINE: Eagles by 3
Both the Ravens and Eagles are coming into this game with a win, but in entirely different fashions. While Joe Flacco showed that the Ravens could score in the air with the offense and not the defense, Michael Vick and the Eagles couldn’t give a game away to the Cleveland Browns, and were eventually forced to take the win. If things don’t improve, we could be looking at the Ravens scoring double what they did last week. Yeah, 88 points. It could happen. I’ve done it on Madden football.
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
LINE: Saints by 3
Were the Redskins that good last week, or were the Saints that bad? That question should be answered when the Saints visit the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, who have plans to prove their own worth, and prove that Cam Newton’s Cinderella year wasn’t a fluke. In the event that the Saints do lose, don’t be surprised if Sean Peyton does a Bobby Valentine impression and wear a moustachioed disguise in order to sneak onto the sidelines.
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
LINE: Texans by 8
No-one was more relieved when Peyton Manning went to Denver this past off-season than Houston fans. Finally, the Texans can continue to claim the crown of the AFC South for as many years as Matt Schaub stays healthy, and even then some, considering last season. This dream season looks to continue as they face off against the Jaguars, a team that has everyone but one free safety and the water-boy chasing after Maurice Jones-Drew. MJD will get his yardage anyway, but don’t expect much excitement from the rest of the offense unless coach Mike Mularkey suits up to catch some passes.
Washington Redskins @ St. Louis Rams
LINE: Redskins by 3
RG3 had quite a season opener as a rookie, which is more than we can say for the replacement refs in the NFL. The second pick of the NFL draft took MVP of the Week honors, broke some opening game records as a rookie, and looks ready to follow in Cam Newton’s footsteps while winning some more games along the way. The St. Louis Rams wish to make sure that won’t happen, which makes it likely that RG3 will take MVP of the Week for the second week in the row.
Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks
LINE: Cowboys by 3
Remember that guy that played for Aaron Rodgers in the last game of the regular season for the Packers? You know, the guy who threw for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns in a useless win against the Detroit Lions and used that game to score a real contract as something other than a sideline clipboard holder. Remember his name? Because I don’t think the Seahawks remember his name, and they’re the team that signed him. His name is Matt Flynn, and he wants to be your quarterback. If things get rough against the Cowboys, Seattle fans will be asking for him too, in the loudest stadium the NFL has to offer.
New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers
LINE: Steelers by 6
Jets fans had a lot of surprises last week. They were surprised to see Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow run out together during team introductions. They were surprised to see Tim Tebow hardly used in the Wildcat offense. They were even surprised to see that coach Rex Ryan may have lost his standing as the team’s annual Santa Claus. What was most surprising, however, was that most Jets fans didn’t even know the name of their punter until the 4th quarter. His name is Robert Malone, and you may see a bit more of him when the Jets visit the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
Tennessee Titans @ San Diego Chargers
LINE: Chargers by 6
The Chargers are finally on their way to meeting expectations, as they won their first game last week. Sure, it was ugly and lucky, but it’s a lot better than starting off the season slow as usual. Maybe Norv Turner told his team that the first pre-season game was really the first regular season game so that they could get all the losses out of the way early. The winning should continue in some fashion or another, as Matt Hasselbeck’s pee-wee football camp comes to San Diego.
Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers
LINE: 49ers by 7
I’ve been wearing my “Poor Lions” hat ever since I was a young football fan, watching Barry Sanders do his best impersonation of a ghost as he slid through defenses for touchdowns while the rest of his team sat on their collective jock-straps. The Stafford-Johnson Connection was created to nullify those memories with wins, and we’re still waiting. Last week was a win for the Lions, but Stafford aims to wash the taste of that bitter victory out of his mouth. Unfortunately, he has to do it against one of the best defenses in the league in the 49ers and a coach that foams at the mouth in Jim Harbaugh. The sound of the phrase “next week” is already deafening in Detroit.
Monday, September 17th, 2012
Denver Broncos @ Atlanta Falcons
LINE: Falcons by 3
Last Sunday, the unthinkable happened. No, it wasn’t the fact that Peyton Manning played his first live game in almost 2 years, nor was it the fact that he shaped his offense into no-huddle drives after only one quarter. The unthinkable is, Peyton Manning is on a team with a real, legitimate defense. This is a defense that made Tim Tebow into a winner last year, since he really didn’t have to do all that much to score one touchdown a game. If the only trade-off for having a defense like that is not being able to throw an 80-yard laser to his right into a wide receiver’s face mask while rolling out from a blitz, I’d start the surgery myself.
Patrick Emmel is a football fan who began the manly pilgrimage of seeing an NFL game at every stadium two years ago. You can see more of his work at www.theineptowl.com or heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.
Patrick previously used his football knowledge to break down the best, worst and downright horrible draft picks in NFL history. —>