King Says, Benji Says (Week 9)



Bad news, folks—not only has His Majesty used his magical powers (and infinite football wisdom) to extend the Halloween scheduling (13 games) another week, he also took advantage of a costume partying-induced lapse in security to break into my football studio and steal my picks. Technically there’s no proof, as King cleverly disguised himself as a creepy character from a competing fast food chain to throw the police off his trail, but the evidence can be found here on the picking page. All of his picks are the same as mine! Luckily, I had yet to prepare my Monday Night Football analysis before the break-in, so we do differ on the final game. I’ll spare myself the indignity of having to agree with His Majesty’s picks 12 times while bemoaning his flawed reasoning and simply give you our predicted winners and our thoughts on the Monday night game. If any of you have any additional information about the suspect pictured above, please call the America’s Most Wanted hotline at 1-800-CRIME-88…in the meantime, I will continue the packing/moving process to my new apartment in an understandably undisclosed location…


Last Week:

Peter King (11-2)

Benji (9-4)

Brian (11-2)


Peter King (81-35)

Benji (77-39)

Brian (68-48)

Washington Redskins (2-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-3)

Pick: Falcons

Arizona Cardinals (4-3) at Chicago Bears (4-3)

Pick: Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)

Pick: Ravens

Houston Texans (5-3) at Indianapolis Colts (7-0)

Pick: Colts

Miami Dolphins (3-4) at New England Patriots (5-2)

Pick: Patriots

Green Bay Packers (4-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7)

Pick: Packers

Kansas City Chiefs (1-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)

Pick: Jaguars

Carolina Panthers (3-4) at New Orleans Saints (7-0)

Pick: Saints

San Diego Chargers (4-3) at New York Giants (5-3)

Pick: Chargers

Tennessee Titans (1-6) at San Francisco 49ers (3-4)

Pick: 49ers

Detroit Lions (1-6) at Seattle Seahawks (2-5)

Pick: Seahawks

Dallas Cowboys (5-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-2)

Pick: Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) at Denver Broncos (6-1)

King Says:

Anyone notice last week, in the Denver-Baltimore game, how defensive coordinator Mike Nolan calls blitzes that allow his defenders to come unblocked? Happened at least three times that I saw, once with Brian Dawkins coming from the right that was one of those fear-for-Joe-Flacco’s-safety moments. I mention that because if I’m Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, I’m thinking I’ve got to keep a back or tight end, or both, in or around the backfield consistently on pass plays, with heads on a swivel. That could make the Steelers screen game more effective, but it could also limit what Ben Roethlisberger can do downfield too.

Prediction: Denver Broncos 20, Pittsburgh Steelers 13

Benji Says:

Come on, Your Majesty, you stole my notes for the other games—all you had to do was come up with semi-intelligent analysis for a single pick! Why should the Steelers be concerned with the Broncos’ blitz-happy tendencies on defense last week? The Ravens scored 30 points on Denver last week and quarterback Joe Flacco completed 20 of 25 passes. Flacco did take two sacks but clearly Denver’s defensive strategy was not working—what makes you think a 6-1 team would carry over its game plan from its lone blowout loss? Even with the adjustments that the Broncos will assuredly make in defensive strategy, I think the Steelers pose a difficult match-up for a good but not great team that feasted on an easy opening schedule. The emergence of running back Rashard Mendenhall has restored balance to the offense and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is playing better than ever. Furthermore, Denver’s offense looked terrible last week and now faces a much better Pittsburgh defense.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 28, Denver Broncos 17


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