King Says, Benji Says (Week 10)



Townspeople rejoice! The Curse of 13 (games played) has finally been lifted. I may not have figured out a way to get a date with any of the actresses from House, but I did break The King’s spell by correctly picking Pittsburgh to win on Monday Night Football. I don’t know about you all, but I am celebrating in style in my new digs. With a Vermonster in hand, and my former enemy (His Majesty) at my side, I am ready to tackle the 14 Sunday/Monday match-ups…

Last Week:

Peter King (8-5)

Benji (9-4)

Brian (7-7)


Peter King (89-40)

Benji (86-43)

Brian (75-55)

Dallas Cowboys (6-2) at Green Bay Packers (4-4)

King Says:

If I were the FOX director doing this game, I’d have a WadeCam (because Wade Phillips is always good for about eight agonized expressions during a game), and I’d dedicate one to Jerry Jones, seething, in the final two minutes. I don’t love Green Bay, but I like them here because they’ve got to look at this game as a last-gasp playoff hope.

Prediction: Green Bay Packers 30, Dallas Cowboys 27

Benji Says:

Since I’m in a good mood (The King and I signed a peace treaty and swore on a pair of Vermonsters), I’ll respectfully agree with His Majesty here. I like the way the Cowboys are playing on offense and defense right now, but if the Packers don’t win here, their season is pretty much over…

Prediction: Green Bay Packers 30, Dallas Cowboys 27

Buffalo Bills (3-5) at Tennessee Titans (2-6)

King Says:

Biggest fallacy on the NFL planet this morning: Vince Young wouldn’t be playing unless Bud Adams did an interview when the Titans were 0-6 and said he thought it was time for Young to play. Every little barb helped, but this is a decision Jeff Fisher was on the verge of making either that week or the next.

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 25, Buffalo Bills 17

Benji Says:

Regardless of who made the decision to start Vince Young and when the decision was made, the Titans are playing infinitely better with Young as the starting quarterback. The Bills’ offense is completely inept, and their defense is allowing a league worst 5.1 yards per carry to opposing running backs. Look for another solid game from Young and a dominant performance from running back Chris Johnson…

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 30, Buffalo Bills 13

Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) at Oakland Raiders (2-6)

King Says:

You’ve got a choice, viewers of Kansas City. Your PBS affiliate is showing “A Walk in the Sun,” a movie about the randomness of war set in WWII, at 3 p.m. local time. In other words, there might be better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Prediction: Oakland Raiders 24, Kansas City Chiefs 11

Benji Says:

I’m not sure who should feel more insulted: PBS viewers or Kansas City and Oakland football fans? We get it, Your Majesty—you want to play up the clichéd storyline that both of these teams are really bad. I guess there isn’t really that much else to talk about here though…

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 20, Oakland Raiders 13

New Orleans Saints (8-0) at St. Louis Rams (1-7)

King Says:

There’s an X factor here. I wonder how Sean Payton keeps his team focused these next two weeks, with Rams and Bucs on the road preceding the big Monday nighter with New England.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 33, St. Louis Rams 10

Benji Says:

The Saints won’t need much “focus” against a team whose only win was a nail-biter against the hapless Lions…

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 35, St. Louis Rams 10

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7) at Miami Dolphins (3-5)

King Says:

I’m not sure whether it was Bill Parcells or Tony Sparano. But I can bet you a Gloria Estefan CD that one of those men, sometime in the past three or four days, said something to Chad Henne along the lines of: “Son, if you’re going to complete 54 percent, like you have over the past three games, and take as many sacks as you’ve been taking, and not get us into the end zone, you’ll never make it in this league.” Lucky for Henne, he’s got the Bucs coming to Fishland on Sunday.

Prediction: Miami Dolphins 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16

Benji Says:

I’ll see your Gloria Estefan CD and raise you a Britney Spears one that neither Bill Parcells or Tony Sparano said anything of the sort to Henne—for a young quarterback who has started fewer than half a season’s worth of games, I think he has done quite well for himself. The Dolphins may be 3-5 but their schedule has been extremely tough thus far and I still think they have an outside shot at a playoff berth if they play at the same level they have shown in their first eight games. Oh, as for this game? Enjoy your lone win, Tampa—you won’t get another one for a long while…

Prediction: Miami Dolphins 28, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13

Detroit Lions (1-7) at Minnesota Vikings (7-1)

King Says:

Brett Favre really needed the bye, and the banged-up Adrian Peterson was pretty happy to have it too. On the other side of the ball, I hear the Lions are battling rumors that the two big stars, Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford, are sniping at each other. Calvin, it’s nothing personal; the kid’s just not all there yet. And he has thrown 49 balls your way in five starts when you’ve been on the field together. What’s the gripe? That’s 2.5 balls per quarter.

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 30, Detroit Lions 14

Benji Says:

As far as obscure stats go…why break down the number of balls thrown to Johnson per quarter? What additional information does that statistic provide for the reader? Maybe you would be better off, say, telling us what percentage of Stafford’s total passes are directed toward Johnson? Ah, what does it matter? The Lions stink…I just wish you wouldn’t waste words in this situation that could be better used to explain your other more noteworthy picks…

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 30, Detroit Lions 16

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4) at New York Jets (4-4)

King Says:

Rex Ryan, getting whiplash watching Maurice Jones-Drew sprint by him a couple of times, will turn to an assistant and say, “You have no idea how much I miss Leon Washington.”

Prediction: New York Jets 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 20

Benji Says:

Correct me if I’m wrong: one would assume that if a high-profile sportswriter spent an entire paragraph of analysis describing the dominance of a player on one team and a notable injury on the other team, that the former would be the team he picked to win, no? Hmmmm…well, I’m taking the Jets (the home team) because I don’t trust the Jaguars, who have shown themselves to be the most inconsistent team in the league at the halfway point of the season…

Prediction: New York Jets 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 17

Seattle Seahawks (3-5) at Arizona Cardinals (5-3)

Arizona 28, Seattle 21. “Hey, hey, come on now,” Kurt Warner said to me when I began a conversation the other day with, “Well, it’s been feast or famine for you.” Five picks, then five touchdowns. He’s right-two of the five picks were fluke jobs. The will of Jim Mora might make this closer, but a month ago, in Seattle, the Cards won by 24.

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 28, Seattle Seahawks 21

Benji Says:

Way to kill the suspense by giving us another copy of your predicted score before your analysis. Also, last time I checked, other than the last two weeks, Warner hasn’t been feast or famine—he’s been consistently a bit above average. I feel like a broken record here, but…it’s all irrelevant, because the Seahawks stink…

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 38, Seattle Seahawks 16

Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)

King Says:

I find it amazing that the Bengals are 4-0 in AFC North games, 3-0 against the Big Two (Ravens, Steelers) and if they lose this game, they’ll be a game out of first in the division. This is a much bigger game for Pittsburgh than Cincinnati, because a loss by the Steelers would put them two games out, in effect (one plus the head-to-head tiebreaker), and the Bengals have Oakland, Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City as four of their final seven games. Sense or urgency, plus playing at home, plus a good shot to stone Cedric Benson ??? that’s why I’m a Steeler man Sunday.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Cincinnati Bengals 13

Benji Says:

I too find it amazing that the Bengals are undefeated in the NFC North, but I’m not nearly as convinced that the Steelers have a “good chance to stone Cedric Benson.” What is your justification for that statement, Your Majesty? Benson has run well against every team he’s faced this season, including the Steelers in Pittsburgh when he rushed for 76 yards on 16 carries. That being said, I do think the Steelers will find a way to pull this one out…the Bengals can’t be this good, can they?

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Cincinnati Bengals 17

Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) at San Diego Chargers (5-3)

King Says:

Philip Rivers has gotten much love for his clutch throw to beat the Giants, and rightfully so. But the San Diego defense is finally well in the team’s three-game win streak, allowing 43 total points and only 13 of 42 third-down conversions. And Shawne Merriman’s awake. He sacked Eli Manning to end the game at the Meadowlands. If I were Donovan McNabb I’d feel better if I got Brian Westbrook back, to help with blitz pickup in this one.

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 26, Philadelphia Eagles 13

Benji Says:

As long as the San Diego Chargers continue to start LaDanian Tomlinson’s reanimated corpse, I can’t pick them to beat two desperate teams in back to back weeks. Philip Rivers is a great quarterback, but he can only do so much when his running game is generating three yards per carry. The Eagles have the better, more balanced team and are getting starting running back Brian Westbrook back for “blitz pick-up” and much more…

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 28, San Diego Chargers 20

Denver Broncos (6-2) at Washington Redskins (2-6)

King Says:

Why is it this close? Because the Redskins are exactly 1.4 total yards per game worse than Pittsburgh on defense. Washington’s going to give Kyle Orton multiple headaches Sunday.

Prediction: Denver Broncos 17, Washington Redskins 15

Benji Says:

Perhaps the “multiple headaches” comment was in poor taste, considering the fact that two top tier players (Washington’s Clinton Portis and Philadelphia’s Brian Westbrook) have left with concussions in Redskins games over the last three weeks? That being said, I agree with your prediction, Your Majesty, if not your analysis. Denver’s offense is suspect and Washington’s defense is surprisingly good. This one will be close…

Prediction: Denver Broncos 17, Washington Redskins 15

Atlanta Falcons (5-3) at Carolina Panthers (3-5)

King Says:

If I’m Jake Delhomme, I think I’d rather be running in the open field with three Falcons bearing down on me that taking my chances running out of bounds into the middle of a bunch of Falcons. That Atlanta sideline is a dangerous place to be.

Prediction: Atlanta Falcons 23, Carolina Panthers 20

Benji Says:

Why explain your prediction for a tight game between divisional foes when you can make silly jokes about a sideline altercation from a week ago? My take (I’m sorry that King doesn’t feel comfortable sharing his) is that the Falcons are in trouble here. The Panthers are running all over everyone right now and Atlanta’s defense is allowing 4.5 yards per carry. Also, quarterback Matt Ryan has been making some curious decisions as of late.

Prediction: Carolina Panthers 28, Atlanta Falcons 20

Baltimore Ravens (4-4) at Cleveland Browns (1-7)

King Says:

Somewhere, Mike Holmgren will be watching.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 33, Cleveland Browns 9

Benji Says:

Somewhere, Benji Thurber will be watching…House.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 30, Cleveland Browns 6


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One Response to “King Says, Benji Says (Week 10)”

  1. the detractor Says:

    PG it will be then.

    Picking a team with Jim Zorn as their head coach and Jason Campbell at QB is inexcusable. I suggest taking the samurai way out with a gutslash and decapitation. Or just post a big post about how bad Zorn is and how disappointing the Redskins are at the team, coaching, and franchise level.

    I guess they did well by not signing Larry Johnson, though…

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