We’re into Week 4 in the NFL and, with a 21-27 record, I have jumped on the bandwagon of blaming replacement referees for my game picks.
Unfortunately, I can’t grab an official by the shirt and yell at him. Television hasn’t quite gotten there yet, unless you count John Ritter’s adventures in Stay Tuned. Instead, I will carry on and crack a few jokes about your favorite football teams along the way. You’re welcome.
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
The rivalry between the Browns and Ravens will be taking an odd turn this week, the oddest since Cleveland was left without a football team for 3 years after the Browns were moved to Baltimore and renamed the Ravens. Usually, seeing your rival team wearing a patch honoring the passing of the city-slighting owner Art Modell would act as fuel for a football team to tackle that player as hard and as painful as possible, but these are the Browns. The closest we’ll see to bloodthirsty is Ray Lewis chewing his own arm off if the Browns win.
LINE: Ravens by 13
Sunday, September 30th, 2012
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Fine. You win, Falcons. All my skepticism about your defense started to be chipped away after intercepting Peyton Manning three times. Now it is completely gone after making Phillip Rivers’ stats look like activity of an option quarterback. You are the most complete team in the NFL, and have once again earned your place as the team to beat this season. This, of course, means you are now challenged with not screwing this up like the last 8 times you were in this position.
LINE: Falcons by 8
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
It’s no surprise that this game features one of the elite AFC East teams against an AFC East dud. On paper, these two teams are light years from each other: a steady quarterback armed with speedy receivers and a “bend but don’t break” defense versus an inconsistent quarterback struggling to find his way and an old, slow defense that gives up games at the last possible moment. That’s right, the Bills are once again the team to beat atop the AFC East, while teams are circling games against the Patriots as already won! Wait…
LINE: Patriots by 5
Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions
A Detroit Lions game has lately gone the way of many Division I college games: lackluster defense supported by a run and gun offense that hasn’t translated all that well this season. With Shaun Hill replacing Matt Stafford at the end of the game and doing almost as much as Stafford in close to 3 whole minutes of playing time, it’s possible that Stafford should put his leg up and remember that this isn’t college football. It’s just the Vikings.
LINE: Lions by 5
San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
It took three weeks, but the Chiefs have shown once again that, yes, there is a professional football team in Kansas City, Missouri. It may only have a running back and a defense, but it put a “1″ in the win column. The Chargers, on the other hand, are coming off a game where they looked like the Chiefs last year when Tyler Palko was under center. Yes, that was the guy who threw his first touchdown pass in the NFL…during his 5-year career.
LINE: Chargers by 1
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams
Let me be the first to say that I completely agree with the Hail Mary call at the end of the Seahawks/Packers game. Golden Tate did nothing wrong, and had full possession of the football for the winning touchdown. I say this because it gives me hope that, one day in the near future, I too can somehow be the recipient of a game-winning touchdown by merely sitting on my couch and calling to an official that “I caught that ball.”
LINE: Seahawks by 3
San Francisco 49ers @ New York Jets
In spite of themselves, the Jets are exactly where they were supposed to be coming into Week 4: 2-1. They were expected to beat the Bills and Dolphins. They were expected to lose to the Steelers no matter how old they are. Now they are expected to lose to the 49ers, even more so now that half of their secondary is out, aka Darrelle Revis. Then again, the 49ers just lost to the Vikings.
LINE: 49ers by 5
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
I want to see Matt Schaub’s blood work. A normal season for Schaub usually ends with him getting a hangnail and being out for the season. This year, he gets torpedoed in the jaw by Joe Mays, loses part of his ear, but comes back out after sitting for one snap like Evander Holyfield to put the finishing score on the Broncos. I think it’s obvious: Matt Schaub has been cybernetically enhanced. More proof of that probably won’t be apparent in this game, as the ex-Houston Oilers come by for their yearly hazing.
LINE: Texans by 12
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
The formula of “best quarterback in the league + best defense in the league = WIN” doesn’t seem to be catching on in Denver, as the Broncos defense decided that their job is done after they get a safety. Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders got their first win of the season in the only way they know how: off the foot of 90-year-old Sebastian Janikowski.
LINE: Broncos by 7
Miami Dolphins @ Arizona Cardinals
A game like this can only spell doom for the Arizona Cardinals. They are 3-0 right now. If you asked 1000 random football fans what record the Cardinals would have after three games, 95% of them would have said 0-3. Before this season even started, this Miami game was circled as a bye week. So now I’m conflicted about expecting the unexpected, or giving the Cardinals their due.
LINE: Cardinals by 7
Cincinnati Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars
In my attempt to provide commentary for this game, I couldn’t get over the fact that a game ticker showed that Blaine Gabbert’s injury was to his “buttocks.” I’ve bruised my tailbone at an ice rink, but your buttocks? I don’t get it, so instead of focusing on game highlights and stats, I have been picking out words that could have to do with buttocks. The list so far includes: stunning; wipe; pounced; jogged; whizzed; Paul Kuharsky; behind. The Bengals, surprisingly, have no comic relief or jail time leading into Week 4, as the Sarah Jones jury trial will have to wait until October 10th.
LINE: Bengals by 3
New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers
If the Saints are faring this badly against teams that they should have been dominating, there’s no telling when their first win will come. At the very least, they will be able to tie in Week 6, their bye week, but if this season has shown me anything, it is that anything is possible. An example? The Packers game last week that is sure to fuel Clay Matthews’ Hulk-Rage.
LINE: Packers by 8
Washington Redskins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I am slowly learning that, above anything else, don’t pick against the Buccaneers. They have replaced the Patriots as a sure thing. True, they rarely win their games, but they lose them in such a close fashion as to make any sports analyst’s head spin. The arrival of RG3 will be a true test for the Bucs, who must actually win the game as the favorites.
LINE: Buccaneers by 3
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Normally a game like this on Sunday night is what football dreams are made of: divisional rivals, tied for first place, battling on the field with such balanced teams that it becomes a pick-em situation. Unfortunately, neither of these teams seem to know how to finish a game off properly, which means that the replacement officials will be on call to decide the game. Look for Eli Manning to lose another 10 years of his age while trying to hide from TV cameras behind his helmet.
LINE: Eagles by 1
Monday, October 1st, 2012
Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys
The Bears and Cowboys share many of the same characteristics: annoyingly inconsistent quarterbacks; underachieving staff; 2-1 records; a really deep shade of blue. Unfortunately, Rob Ryan is not the mascot for the Cowboys, or else the teams would have one more similarity going for them. Over/Under on who has higher blood pressure at the end of this game, Jay Cutler or Rob Ryan?
LINE: Cowboys by 4
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.
If you haven’t had enough NFL jokes, you can check out last week’s Asinine Analysis! —>