King Says, Benji Says (Week 15)

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What do I have to do impress His Majesty? Finish tied or ahead of him in six consecutive weeks? Beat him by one pick last week to pull within one game in the overall standings? Defeat him in a super hot wing-eating contest? Actually, I might have just defeated myself in that last one. Regardless, all I get from King is condescension! Don’t worry, King, I don’t get mad—I get even…by going emo! Cue the Morrissey songs and toss me a tight, black outfit with chain accessories. Be on guard, you so-called football guru—eyeliner is the new eye black…

Last Week:

Peter King (11-5)

Benji (12-4)

Brian (12-4)

Overall:

Peter King (143-65)

Benji (142-66)

Brian (134-75)


Dallas Cowboys (8-5) at New Orleans Saints (13-0)

King Says:

Tony Romo, the choker who goes catatonic once the calendar turns to January, is a 68-percent passer with 950 yards, seven touchdown and no picks in his last three games. Unfortunately, he’ll need to be even better — and play tackle — for Dallas to win in the ‘Dome.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 30, Dallas Cowboys 26

Benji Says:

Maybe Romo can play some running back while he’s at it—top back Marion Barber has averaged only 3.3 yards a carry the last three weeks against three of the league’s weakest run defenses (the Giants, Chargers and Raiders). That being said, the Saints’ defense seems extremely suspect to me at this point in the season. Points will abound in this game, but as usual, that will work to New Orleans’ benefit.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 40, Dallas Cowboys 33

Atlanta Falcons (6-7) at New York Jets (7-6)

King Says:

I’m no prude, and I don’t mind the occasional sideline tirade. It’s natural. But its happening a little too much for my liking with Mike Smith. If I knew Smith better, I’d tell him, “Mike, you’re obviously a bright coach and a good teacher of men. But the sideline tantrums have to stop. And many of the thousands of kids who watch the replays of you unglued on the sidelines can read lips. Is that the message you want to be sending to kids?”

Prediction: New York Jets 23, Atlanta Falcons 14

Benji Says:

For someone who isn’t a “prude,” you’ve spent way too much time over the last few weeks complaining about Atlanta coach Mike Smith and too little time actually analyzing Atlanta’s match-ups. All I ask is that you make a single mention of the catastrophic injuries to this team’s top two players (quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner) that have knocked them out of the playoff race. Is that too much to ask? Why have I had to ask you for the same thing three weeks running?

Prediction: New York Jets 20, Atlanta Falcons 13

Arizona Cardinals (8-5) at Detroit Lions (2-11)

King Says:

All I can say about the turnover-happy Cards is this: The next back to fumble again (Tim Hightower or Beanie Wells) will be sitting on the bench for a long, long time. Perhaps until August.

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 33, Detroit Lions 13

Benji Says:

All I can say about your analysis of the Cardinals is this: a team is allowed to have a bad game once in awhile. Arizona played terrible all across the board on Monday, and Hightower and Wells have both been productive backs all season long. As for this game, look out, Detroit…

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 35, Detroit Lions 10

Houston Texans (6-7) at St. Louis Rams (1-12)

King Says:

I love how the NFL can make the horrendous sound just fine. In the league’s game-preview capsules this week, discussing Rams-Texans, there’s this about the nightmare five-interception starting debut from Keith Null last week: “Keith Null made NFL debut last week & threw 1st career TD.” Tiger Woods should hire the NFL writers. In the description of the wee hours of Nov. 27, the capsule would read: “Tiger wore seat belt effectively — Adjusted rear-view mirror well — Family healthy and enjoyed a tasty Thanksgiving meal.”

Prediction: Houston Texans 27, St. Louis Rams 6

Benji Says:

Let me give credit where credit is due: the paragraph above represents King’s best and most humorous analysis of the year. A cheap shot at Tiger, maybe, but the man kind of deserves it—even Santa Claus knows enough to stop after three hos…

Prediction: Houston Texans 30, St. Louis Rams 6

New England Patriots (8-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-8)

King Says:

Wind chill around 10 degrees at kickoff, with 15-mph winds coming off the lake. It’s a day for the short pass and the power running game. So while everyone will have their binocs on Randy Moss’ effort in Orchard Park, they’d be smarter to focus on Sammy Morris.

Prediction: New England Patriots 20, Buffalo Bills 16

Benji Says:

All very true, Your Majesty—but don’t the Patriots thrive on beating the Bills in these sorts of conditions? They play one of these windy, wintry games every year and the score is always ugly but never very close…

Prediction: New England Patriots 17, Buffalo Bills 6

Cleveland Browns (2-11) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-10)

King Says:

How about Brady Quinn (seven TDs, no picks in his past four games) outplaying Matt Cassel recently? The Chiefs are starting to get worried about Cassel.

Prediction: Cleveland Browns 17, Kansas City Chiefs 12

Benji Says:

It certainly has not helped Cassel’s chances to have only Chris Chambers (one of the most inconsistent receivers in recent memory) to throw to—he’ll be much better off now that Dwayne Bowe is back in uniform…

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 20, Cleveland Browns 13

Chicago Bears (5-8) at Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

King Says:

I use this score for old time’s sake. The last time these two teams met in the Land of the Crabcake, this was the score, and the game was the first in defense of the Super Bowl title. I could see Ray Lewis and his mates doing the same thing to the Jay Cutler version of the Bears.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 17, Chicago Bears 6

Benji Says:

For old time’s sake? This Ravens team is hardly Super Bowl caliber. Then again, they are still significantly better than the Bears…

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 20, Chicago Bears 10

San Francisco 49ers (6-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-4)

King Says:

The Eagles are starting to be must-see TV. This is the first time in Andy Reid’s 11 years that, offensively, you just can’t look away because they’re so exciting.

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 34, San Francisco 49ers 24

Benji Says:

Unfortunately, you also can’t look away when their opponent is on offense. The Eagles’ defense looked horrendous last week against a Giants team that has struggled to score points for the entire second half of the season.

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 28, San Francisco 49ers 24

Miami Dolphins (7-6) at Tennessee Titans (6-7)

King Says:

What you don’t know about this game is how hamstring-hampered Vince Young will be — if he plays at all. If adrenalin can make him the real Vince Young, I like Tennessee. But I picked Miami because I don’t think he can move around the way he’ll need to against the Dolphins front.

Prediction: Miami Dolphins 24, Tennessee Titans 20

Benji Says:

If Vince Young is not healthy enough to play, Kerry Collins will be in the game. And with either quarterback at the helm, I think that the Titans will be able to make enough plays downfield to win the game. Miami’s cornerbacks are terrible, and with the way that Chris Johnson is running right now, the Dolphins will have to stack the line and expose them. Any way you look at it, I see this as a bad match-up for Miami…

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 24, Miami Dolphins 17

Oakland Raiders (4-9) at Denver Broncos (8-5)

King Says:

You get the feeling that if Charlie Frye weren’t on the roster, Tom Cable would have tried to get David Humm to come out of retirement to start this game. Anyone but JaMarcus Russell.

Prediction: Denver Broncos 31, Oakland Raiders 10

Benji Says:

Why don’t the Raiders get it over with and just cut Russell. They clearly want nothing to do with him at this point. Could he really be worse than Charlie Frye?

Prediction: Denver Broncos 30, Oakland Raiders 13

Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) at San Diego Chargers (10-3)

King Says:

Heavy-hearted Bengals fly west, sick about the death of their teammate, Chris Henry. Tough, tough day.

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 27, Cincinnati Bengals 13

Benji Says:

R.I.P. Chris Henry.

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 30, Cincinnati Bengals 13

Green Bay Packers (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-7)

King Says:

My last-gasp Steelers pride, Steelers-are-better-than-this pick of the season. Time for Ben Roethlisberger the leader to take the offensive huddle by the throat and get it done. Almost went the other way because of the absence of guard Chris Kemoeatu. Maybe I should have, but I think James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley could bust up the Packers pocket.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Green Bay Packers 20

Benji Says:

The Steelers should be “better than this,” but after losing to Oakland, Kansas City and Cleveland, they’ve done enough to prove to me that they’re not. Stick a fork in them already, King—they’re done.

Prediction: Green Bay Packers 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-12) at Seattle Seahawks (5-8)

King Says:

Not saying Matt Hasselbeck’s job in danger, but I am saying he’s 34, he hasn’t had a franchise-quarterback year since 2007, and has to show Jim Mora and the brass in the next three weeks reasons why they shouldn’t take a quarterback in the first two rounds.

Prediction: Seattle Seahawks 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16

Benji Says:

I’m not saying I agree with your assessment of Matt Hasselbeck, Your Majesty, but I am saying that everything you said is factually correct—and that I’ve also been saying it since the beginning of the season. Yay for deliberately (and unnecessarily) deceptive sentences!

Prediction: Seattle Seahawks 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16

Minnesota Vikings (11-2) at Carolina Panthers (5-8)

King Says:

They won’t need it this weekend, but the Vikings need to find a way to treat these Percy Harvin migraines. That’s trouble for January football, Favre minus Havre.

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 23, Carolina Panthers 9

Benji Says:

Is it just me or does King have a really phun time with silly puns/homonyms? As for this game, the Panthers’ only strength is their ability to run the ball and the Vikings’ defense is built to stop the run. What a terrible match-up for Carolina…

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 28, Carolina Panthers 10

New York Giants (7-6) at Washington Redskins (4-9)

King Says:

Somehow I doubt the Redskins will put all hands in the middle before taking the field at FedEx and say in unison, “Win it for Vinny!”

Prediction: New York Giants 27, Washington Redskins 26

Benji Says:

How do the Redskins’ players’ feelings about their recently resigned general manager have any affect on the outcome of this game? Also, can they really hate him that much? After all, he’s the one who signed all of them to play on the team! As for this game, I also expect the Redskins to again keep things close but somehow (method TBD) blow it in the fourth quarter. This team blows games it should win more “successfully” than any team in recent memory…

Prediction: New York Giants 20, Washington Redskins 17

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