King Says, Benji Says (Week 4)



Yeah, we get it—we’re kind of a big deal. After three weeks (which most experts would conclude is a definitive sample size), His Majesty and I are both averaging more than 10 correct picks per week. Brian, on the other hand, came up short again last week—and that’s all that matters? I suddenly feel like I’ve lost sight of the true objective: defeating King at all costs. Despite my strong performance last week, His Majesty still managed to gain another point on me, and instead of cursing his name and plotting my revenge, I’ve been wasting my time popping collars, drinking Don Perignon and reveling in Brian’s misery. Time to stop sleeping…errr…sipping Starbucks lattes with the enemy and return to battle…

Last Week:

Peter King (13-3)

Benji (12-4)

Brian (9-7)


Peter King (34-14)

Benji (32-16)

Brian (27-21)

Detroit Lions (1-2) at Chicago Bears (2-1)

King Says:

Matt Forte’s yards-per-rush in his three starts so far: 2.2, 2.2, 3.1. Just plain weird. But I wouldn’t be overly concerned, fantasy players of the world. Teams can’t crunch the box forever with Jay Cutler winging it back there.

Prediction: Chicago Bears 20, Detroit Lions 10

Benji Says:

Here’s another “weird” stat for you, Your Majesty: Forte’s yard-per-carry average last season was 3.9. I would be concerned as he has yet to prove that he can gain four yards per carry over 16 games. Against the awful Detroit defense, though, he should be able to outperform his numbers to-date. We’ll see…

Prediction: Chicago Bears 20, Detroit Lions 17

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-3)

King Says:

I can’t for the life of me come up with one scenario that has the Browns winning this game.

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals 33, Cleveland Browns 16

Benji Says:

Have the Bengals really reached the point where no possible scenario exists for them to lose to a bad team? I believe I already saw it happen once this year—Week One against Denver. Just saying…

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals 26, Cleveland Browns 20

Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-0)

King Says:

Last week, Aaron Curry looked like the force Tim Ruskell drafted him to be. The only chance Seattle has at Indy, with or without Matt Hasselbeck, is Curry turnstiling left tackle Charley Johnson two or three times and strip-sacking Peyton Manning the way he did Jay Cutler last week.

Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 27, Seattle Seahawks 20

Benji Says:

His Majesty got so caught up in trying to describe a pass rush in strip club terms that he neglected to point out that the Colts’ star defensive end Dwight Freeney, who dominated the line of scrimmage against the Cardinals last week, will not play on Sunday. If the Colts are unable to pressure the quarterback, their defense is in trouble. Whenever Kurt Warner had time to sit in the pocket and read the field, he had open receivers all over the place. The Indianapolis defensive backs are pretty shaky…

Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 27, Seattle Seahawks 24

New York Giants (3-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (0-3)

King Says:

Now, we don’t normally write about gambling in this column, which I fully support. But I did sneak a peek at the odds for this week’s ballgames, and I did notice the Giants were nine-point favorites here. I think someone in Las Vegas made a mistake. Is that a nine-point spread for the first quarter? If so, it’s a credible line.

Prediction: New York Giants 33, Kansas City Chiefs 10

Benji Says:

There’s no one quite as a gifted as His Majesty at dismissing a particular topic and then spending an entire paragraph analyzing said topic immediately afterwards. That being said, if I were a gambling man, I’d definitely take the over on this game too…

Prediction: New York Giants 30, Kansas City Chiefs 13

Baltimore Ravens (3-0) at New England Patriots (2-1)

King Says:

How about New England facing a young gun (Trent Edwards, Mark Sanchez, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco) for the fourth straight week? I debated this game with myself for a long time — the arguments were not very intelligent — and came up with the thought that The Most Complete Team in Football won’t see many blitzes from New England. It’s going to come down to whether Flacco, who will have time, can strafe the Patriots secondary. I say the New England defensive backfield, which frustrated Ryan last week, will make it two good Sundays in a row.

Prediction: New England Patriots 20, Baltimore Ravens 16

Benji Says:

So, Your Majesty, in your effort to convince your readers that the Patriots will win this game, you make it clear that your analysis was conceived in a debate you had with yourself in which you made “arguments [that] were not very intelligent.” Forgive me if I’m not jumping with joy to be on the same side as you for this one…

Prediction: New England Patriots 23, Baltimore Ravens 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) at Washington Redskins (1-2)

King Says:

Jim Zorn walks into FedEx Field on Sunday morning. Turns to his trusted PR man, Zack Bolno. “Funny thing happened the other night,” Zorn says. “You know I live out in the country a little bit, and I woke up about 2 in the morning to what sounded like howling outside. I went to the front door, and there was, oh, I don’t know, maybe 10 or 12 wolves. Just howling. Right on the doorstep. I shooed them away, but it was, well, just weird. Zack, tell me something: What do you make of that?”

Prediction: Washington Redskins 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12

Benji Says:

King thinks he made a funny? Get it, the “wolves” are all of the fans/media members calling for Washington head coach Jim Zorn to be fired. He forgot about one thing—the Redskins are not capable of scoring 30 points. This game, a match-up between two bad teams, is going to be much closer than his Majesty implies…

Prediction: Washington Redskins 20, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17

Tennessee Titans (0-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

King Says:

To: The 31 other teams of the NFL.

From: Jeff Fisher.

Re: The 2009 season.

It ain’t over till we say it’s over.

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 30, Jacksonville Jaguars 23

Benji Says:

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a preset email list for the rest of the league’s front offices titled “The 31 other teams of the NFL” but hey, what do I know, I’m not an NFL executive…or an overly confident sportswriter getting paid to pick the outcomes of football games. That being said, I agree with His Majesty’s sentiments here.

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 20

Oakland Raiders (1-2) at Houston Texans (1-2)

King Says:

JaMarcus Russell played the best game of his pro life against Houston last year (18-25, 236 yards, two TDs, no interceptions). The Raiders must be wondering: “Where’d that guy go?”

Prediction: Houston Texans 27, Oakland Raiders 9

Benji Says:

I’m not a JaMarcus Russell fan, but surely the Raiders will score more than nine points against a Houston defense that has yet to allow fewer than 24. They can run the ball after all…

Prediction: Houston Texans 20, Oakland Raiders 17

Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at Denver Broncos (3-0)

King Says:

I don’t care that the Broncos have played two totally inept offenses the past two weeks (Raiders, Browns). The fact they’ve allowed 16 points in their 3-0 start is the most impressive single statistic of September.

Prediction: Denver Broncos 20, Dallas Cowboys 13

Benji Says:

I’m a bit confused, Your Majesty. I really want to make a counterargument to your glorification of the Denver defense, but it seems you already did in the first sentence of your paragraph. One usually waits until after presenting a viewpoint before disproving it?

Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 30, Denver Broncos 13

Buffalo Bills (1-2) at Miami Dolphins (0-3)

King Says:

Trent Edwards is always good (92.0 career rating) against the Dolphins, who will be feeling their way with first-time starter Chad Henne. On a side note: Now that’s real mature, T.O.

Prediction: Buffalo Bills 23, Miami Dolphins 13

Benji Says:

Maybe I am in the minority here, but I just don’t think that Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards is any good. He was unable to lead a single offensive scoring drive last week against the Saints’ defense, which is improved but hardly impregnable. As for the Dolphins, I think that no matter who is at quarterback, their offense will rely on the running game and wildcat formations. What Chad Henne lacks in accuracy and experience, he makes up for with the ability to throw the deep ball out of a trick play.

Prediction: Miami Dolphins 23, Buffalo Bills 20

New York Jets (3-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-0)

King Says:

The last time Drew Brees faced a Rex Ryan defense, it was the seventh game of his New Orleans career, at the Superdome. Ravens won by 13. Brees, for the only time in his NFL career, threw two pick-sixes. That’s why I think this’ll be a game that could go either way. Not because Brees will have ugly flashbacks, but because when you face a Ryan defense, you don’t know where the pressure’s coming from, and you don’t know when it’s coming.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 23, New York Jets 20

Benji Says:

The Jets’ defense has looked really good so far this year, but rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has not as of yet been involved in a game in which he had to lead the team down the field to win. If New York is going to win this game, Sanchez will have to play better than he has in the first three games of the season, because Drew Brees is going to challenge the Jets’ defense…

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 27, New York Jets 17

St. Louis Rams (0-3) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1)

King Says:

“How do you like your coffee, Mr. Spagnuolo?” He doesn’t. Not this week, anyway. Glen Coffee: 28 carries, 141 yards, one TD, in relief of Frank (Don’t Call Me Tipper) Gore.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 23, St. Louis Rams 6

Benji Says:

Two jokes in two lines of writing, while still including a predicted stat-line? That must be some kind of record, Your Majesty. As for this game, one piece of news that is worth considering: Kyle Boller is starting at quarterback for the Rams. I say that not because he is a good player, but because he is a significant upgrade over the injured Marc Bulger. The Rams will put up some points in the passing game this week…

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 26, St. Louis Rams 23

San Diego Chargers (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)

King Says:

The Chargers and Steelers have been playing intermittently since 1971, and never has San Diego won a regular-season game in Pittsburgh. They’re 0-13 at the confluence of the three rivers. It ends here, I say, because Philip Rivers is playing out of his mind. I’ll get some arguments, deservedly, for this statement, but no one in the NFL right now is throwing the deep ball better than Rivers, and he’ll get a couple more of those floated into Vincent Jackson’s arms this week.

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 24

Benji Says:

The Steelers are a flawed team right now. They cannot run the ball effectively and are without the services of top back Willie Parker this week. Furthermore, their defense has been shaky since safety Troy Polamalu went out a couple weeks ago. Philip Rivers can throw the deep ball with the best of them (we actually agree on something!) and I think that Pittsburgh is vulnerable at the moment…

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 24

Green Bay Packers (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-0)

King Says:

Forget the post-game handshake between Brad Childress and Mike McCarthy. I’m looking for the pregame handshakes between Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, McCarthy and Ted Thompson. Re the game, I see a shootout, with 600 passing yards, and Favre making one more play than Rodgers.

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 26, Green Bay Packers 23

Benji Says:

This is going to be an exciting game, possibly one that comes close to living up to all of the hype. I also see a shootout, but I see Favre taking a backseat to teammate Adrian Peterson, and Rodgers making some plays at the end of the game to pull off the upset. Neither of these teams is as good as advertised in the preseason but I still think the Packers are more talented up and down the roster. Guess we’ll see…

Prediction: Green Bay Packers 26, Minnesota Vikings 23


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