Posts Tagged ‘Brian’

King Says, Benji Says (Wildcard Weekend)

January 9, 2010

Not only did I not make a last-second comeback in the final week of the picking regular season, His Majesty actually added to his lead. Despite successfully predicting the outcome of 12 out of the 16 games, His Majesty did me three better, with his lone incorrect pick being Denver over Kansas City. Believe me, as you can see above, The King is feeling pretty good about himself at the moment. Well, he can talk as much smack as he wants–he defeated me handily in the regular season last year too, only to lose in the playoffs. As the old saying goes: those who do not remember past pigskin picking mistakes are doomed to repeat them…

Final Regular Season Standings:

Peter King (179-77)

Benji (170-86)

Brian (150-106) (Editor’s Note: Brian inexplicably forgot to make his picks last week)

Wild Card Round:

New York Jets (9-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)

King Says: Jets

Benji Says: Bengals

Brian Says: Bengals

Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) at Dallas Cowboys (11-5)

King Says: Cowboys

Benji Says: Eagles

Brian Says: Eagles

Green Bay Packers (11-5) at Arizona Cardinals (10-6)

King Says: Packers

Benji Says: Cardinals

Brian Says: Packers

Baltimore Ravens (9-7) at New England Patriots (10-6)

King Says: Patriots

Benji Says: Patriots

Brian Says: Ravens



Brian Makes His Picks and Vegas Looks on…

September 8, 2009

AContestToSeeWhoCanLookLikeMoreOfATool

Well, as promised, here goes with my predictions for this year. Before I begin, let me give you my three rules (more like guidelines really) for predicting an NFL season.

1) Every year, there are a handful of teams that make the playoffs that didn’t make it the year before.

2) One of those teams will come out of nowhere (i.e. the Falcons last year)

3) Some teams that looked like they were emerging last year will drop off this season because they have a tougher schedule.

NFC Predictions:

NFC West:

Seattle (Division Winner) lost a bunch of games to injuries, which is unlikely to happen again. The Seahawks also acquired T.J. Who’syourmama to give Hasselbeck a decent target. I think they take the division.

Arizona is a streaky team that got lucky right in time for the playoffs. I watched the 49ers hang with the Cards in two games, so I was never that impressed with them.

I believe San Francisco is still a few years away. The 49ers didn’t do much to help their offense—they still have Shaun Hill at QB and Crabtree is going to be “T.O.-lite.”

St. Louis is still another year or two away from putting it all together.

NFC East:

I think this could be Washington’s (Division Winner) year—no science behind it, I just like the Redskins here.

I always think Philadelphia’s (Wildcard) going to do well.

I think the New York Giants will struggle while they try to figure out what to do. For some reason I think Manning will be okay—it’ll be the defense that holds them back.

As for Dallas, Romo can’t quite get it done, no matter who his new girlfriend is.

NFC North:

In King’s pick for the best division in the NFL, I think Green Bay (Division Winner), led by Rodgers, will have a great year.

Chicago (Wildcard) will have a very good year, but will only make the wildcard.

Minnesota will start off hot and fail down the stretch.

As for Detroit? I think the Lions will be bad…

NFC South:

I think Carolina (Division Winner) takes the division. The Panthers always seem to bounce back.

Atlanta will not make the playoffs

New Orleans will not make the playoffs either.

And Tampa Bay will finish last. I mean the Buccaneers don’t even have a quarterback.

AFC Predictions:

AFC West:

I’ll also go with the trendy pick, San Diego (Division Winner), but I’m a little concerned about Merriman doing his “Lights Out” after a night of Tequila.

Denver will be the second best team. I am just throwing it out there…

Kansas City will be third.

Oakland will be 10,535th.

AFC East:

New England (Division Winner) will win the division. I hate writing that…

Miami will place second.

The New York Jets will be third, but Sanchez will be dirty.

As for Buffalo— the T.O. Show will be the only exciting thing to come out of this team.

AFC South:

I’m taking Indianapolis (Division Winner), because the Colts will always be better than everyone else.

Houston (Wildcard) will have a good year, finally, because that’s what every other pundit says. I do not disagree.

Jacksonville will begin to recover from injuries and crappy wide receiver syndrome.

Tennessee will…start Vince Young this year.

AFC North:

Pittsburgh (Division Winner) will win the division.

Baltimore (Wildcard) will sneak into the playoffs. The Ravens seem like a team that could put it all together if they can make it in…

Cincinnati will have a decent year, but wont break .500.

Cleveland will stink.

Playoff Predictions:

NFC:

Wildcard:

Philadelphia over Chicago

Washington over Seattle

Divisional Round:

Washington over Philadelphia

Green Bay over Chicago

Championship Round:

Green Bay over Washington

AFC:

Wildcard:

Houston over New England

Baltimore over Miami

Divisional Round:

Baltimore over Pittsburgh

San Diego over Houston

Championship Round:

Baltimore over San Diego

Super Bowl Pick:

Baltimore over Green Bay

Welcome BAAAACK!

September 4, 2009

WhenKingPicksHeMeansBusiness

Before we jump right into it with Benji’s and my predictions for the upcoming season, let’s first tackle a question posted by one of our readers in regard to King’s preseason Super Bowl picks.

Eric writes:

After just hearing on PTI King’s absurd prediction that the Chicago Bears will be in the Super Bowl this year, I was wondering, just what is his record of preseason predictions for the Super Bowl? I wouldn’t be surprised if he had never correctly predicted a team.

I headed to the vault and tracked down King’s preseason picks for the past five seasons: (Note that the year marks when King made his picks. Thus, his 2008 prediction was for the 2009 Super Bowl and so on…)

2008

King: Patriots over Cowboys

Actual: Steelers over Cardinals

2007

King: Colts over Saints

Actual: Giants over Patriots

2006

King: Cowboys over Colts

Actual: Colts over Bears

2005

King: Patriots over Vikings

Actual: Steelers over Seahawks

2004

King: Broncos over Seahawks

Actual: Patriots over Eagles

During this time span, King picked one Super Bowl entrant correctly out of ten (Indy in 2006) but he did not predict that the Colts would win. That’s actually better than I thought he would do, but then again, I picked the Eagles and Steelers to make the Super Bowl last year and almost nailed it on the head, so there… *sticks tongue out*

Editor’s Note: To be fair, His Majesty and I (Benji) picked equally poorly last year—I had Green Bay and Indianapolis making it to the Super Bowl. Out of our four projected championship entrants, only the Colts even made the playoffs (and they lost in the first round).

King Says, Benji Says (Super Bowl Edition)

January 31, 2009

benjiguardsthesuperbowlwhilehismajestyplotstowinitbackinawingeatingcontest

The outcome of the “real” Super Bowl has yet to be decided, but the winner of the King/Benji/Brian picking title has already been crowned. So what if I went 0-2 last week…the Super Bowl was already mine! Did you hear that, Your Majesty? The Super Bowl is ALL MINE! Unless you ask really nicely, in which case I might offer you and Brian some popcorn too…

Last Week:

Peter King (1-1)
Benji (0-2)
Brian (1-1)


Playoffs:

Peter King (5-5)
Benji (7-3)
Brian (5-5)

Regular Season:

Peter King (162-93-1)
Benji (155-100-1)
Brian (166-89-1)

Pittsburgh Steelers (14-4) at Arizona Cardinals (12-7) (Neutral Site)

The King Says:

Why the Steelers will win: I see the Steelers not doing anything revolutionary on defense, just playing their base defense more than anyone does against the Cardinals. They’ll keep safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark back in two-deep coverage on most snaps and make the Cards take 12 or 13 plays to score. If Arizona can do that and win, then God bless ’em.

Don’t take it to the bank, but…I think Kurt Warner will play well, not give the ball away, and will have a chance to win it in the last 10 minutes. I just think Pittsburgh will make more plays on defense than any other team Arizona has seen in the playoffs.
The Super Bowl MVP will be… Willie Parker


Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Arizona Cardinals 21

Benji Says:

The Steelers may win this game, Your Majesty, but there is no way in hell that Pittsburgh running back Willie Parker will be the MVP. Parker played well against the Chargers (a team with a terrible defense) but was awful (24 carries for 47 yards and a lost fumble) against the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game. I’m not sure if the Arizona pass defense is for real, but I know that the Cardinals can stop the run. The Pittsburgh offense will be almost solely in the (shaky) hands of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The real story in this game will be the match-up between Arizona’s passing game and Pittsburgh’s top-rated defense. If someone from Pittsburgh wins the Super Bowl MVP, it will likely be a defensive player. Otherwise, I expect it will be an offensive player from the Cardinals. My pick is wide receiver Anquan Boldin. The Steelers’ defense will focus on top wide-out Larry Fitzgerald (who has been brilliant in the first three rounds), leaving Boldin with a chance to perform on the big stage and earn a new contract in the off-season. As good as the Steelers’ defense is, much of its success is based on its perpetually changing pass-rushing schemes. The Cardinals have had two weeks to break down film and their coach, Ken Wisenhunt, was Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator during its recent Super Bowl run and thus knows the ins and outs of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s defense as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the Pittsburgh offense. The last time that these two teams met, back at the beginning of Wisenhunt’s tenure as the Arizona head coach, the result was a stunning victory for the then lowly Cardinals. Willie Parker’s stats in that game? 19 carries for 37 yards. I believe that history will repeat itself on Sunday night…

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 23, Pittsburgh Steelers 16

brianissocool

Brian’s Turn:

I’m going with the Steelers, with Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu as Super Bowl MVP. I really don’t think the Cards are on the same level as the Steelers. Maybe the Cards will stay hot; maybe they’ll finally come crashing down. I will honestly root for the Cards though. I liked it when the 9ers were the first team to five Super Bowl victories and I don’t want the Steelers to be the first to six. Then again, the 9ers have never lost a Super Bowl, so they have that going for them. I wonder if I have to become a Giants fan now. . .

King Says, Benji Says (Divisional Round)

January 10, 2009

kingregroupswhilebenjigiveshimselfavitaminwaterbath

I know, I know, I should probably act like I’ve been here before. The truth of the matter, though, is that I haven’t been here before. Like the Arizona Cardinals, I’ve decided to over-celebrate my first round victory while I still can. In the spirit of good-natured trash talking, I ask you, King and Brian, do you like apples? Four and Oh. How do you like them apples?

Last Week:

Peter King (2-2)
Benji (4-0)
Brian (2-2)

Regular Season:

Peter King (162-93-1)
Benji (155-100-1)
Brian (166-89-1)

Baltimore Ravens (12-5) at Tennessee Titans (13-3)

The King says:

If these teams played 10 times, I guarantee each would win five. Then again, if these teams played 10 times, the equipment guys would have to suit up because about 33 guys per team would be on IR by game nine. I really like that Kerry Collins, the last time these teams met, had the gumption to take the Titans on scoring drives of 80 and 81 yards after doing nothing for 40 minutes; Tennessee won, 13-10.


I’m going with the Ravens because I think their defense will make a couple more plays than they did last time, and because of Flacco. I loved what his college coach at Delaware, K.C. Keeler, told Damon Hack in this week’s Sports Illustrated: “Ice water in his veins. Nothing bothers him. To him, he was just wearing a blue uniform last year and he’s wearing a purple uniform this year.”

At first glance, Flacco didn’t do much to help the Ravens win in Miami the other day, but look deeper. He did play mistake-free — no sacks, interceptions or fumbles. The Titans will have to force him into some uncharacteristic errors to win.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 16, Tennessee Titans 12

Benji says:

Your Majesty, if you really believe that these two teams are equal (as implied by your “guarantee” that each team would win five games if they played ten times), then why would you pick the road team to win, especially after you sing the praises of Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins? I mean, I agree with your pick, but all season long you have been right for the wrong (or nonsensical) reasons. I’m taking the Ravens because I do not believe these two teams are equal—I believe that Baltimore does everything that Tennessee does and more (The Ravens finished second in total defense while the Titans were seventh). Both defenses can pressure the quarterback and shut down the run but are somewhat susceptible to the deep pass play. A team with a good quarterback and a true deep threat can beat the Ravens but the Titans are not that team. Joe Flacco may be a rookie, but his mobility and his ability to throw the deep ball give Baltimore a clear advantage at the quarterback position. Unless Flacco has a terrible game, I do not see the Titans advancing.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 20, Tennessee Titans 13

Arizona Cardinals (10-7) at Carolina Panthers (12-4)

The King says:

Go back to draft day. Remember the deal Panthers GM Marty Hurney made in the middle of round one? He dealt second- and fourth-round picks in the 2008 draft, and a first-rounder in 2009, for the Eagles’ first-round choice (19th overall). Was right tackle Jeff Otah really worth that kind of quarterback-ish ransom? Apparently he was because the Panthers rushed for 30 touchdowns this year. Thirty! John Fox wanted an offense that was more slug-it-out than throw-it-deep. Luckily for him, the Panthers are blessed with the ability to do both, and I don’t trust Arizona’s running game to be as good this week as it was last week against Atlanta, when Edgerrin James swam in the Ponce de Leon pool. I think Carolina controls the clock and the game.


Prediction: Carolina Panthers 26, Arizona Cardinals 17

Benji says:

Say what you will about The King’s anecdotes, but it kind of seems like he has a point here. The Panthers’ successful shift in offensive identity has made them a formidable opponent for any team they might face in the playoffs, let alone an upstart team with a terrible defense. Despite playing six games against teams from the NFC West, Arizona allowed 26.6 points per contest (good for 28th in the league) during the regular season. I went with the Cardinals last week, because I (correctly) thought that their offense would lead the way at home against another team with a mediocre defense. The Panthers, though, are better offensively and defensively than the Falcons and have the home field advantage (they are 8-0 at home this season). Enjoy the lingering odor of your Gatorade bath while you still can, Ken Wisenhunt…

Prediction: Carolina Panthers 30, Arizona Cardinals 23

Philadelphia Eagles (10-6-1) at New York Giants (12-4)

The King says:

The reason the Eagles are major-league dangerous Sunday at 1 is what Brian Westbrook told me the other day: “We feel like it’s our goal to right the wrongs of the whole season.”

I’m hearing things like that more and more out of these Eagles — that they’re determined to prove the ups and downs of the season are out of their system, and they may not be a great offense, but they’re good enough to win any game they play, and they have the kind of veteran presence and experience that will allow them to win a big game. Look at Westbrook’s game last week, for instance — held to nothing for 53 minutes, he takes a screen pass 71 yards to the end zone to turn a nail-biting, two-point lead into a busted-open game.

But the difference here, I believe, will be Brandon Jacobs. Even if Eli Manning can’t go deep two or three times in this game — which he couldn’t do in the Eagles’ 20-14 win over the Giants five weeks ago — I think Jacobs will be the kind of physical presence the Giants need to make it to the NFC title game. I am hedging my bets because of the Westbrook factor. He could win this game by himself. But I think Jacobs and ball-control will win it for New York.

Prediction: New York Giants 27, Philadelphia Eagles 20

Benji says:

I find it interesting, Your Majesty, that you place so much faith in New York running back Brandon Jacobs, a player whose health is uncertain and who, even if he is healthy, will likely be rusty after not playing for the past month. The way you seem to see it, the game will come down to the two starting running backs, Brian Westbrook and Brandon Jacobs, and thus, you have chosen uncertainty (Jacobs) over certainty (Westbrook, who as you pointed out, was the difference against the Vikings). You may get this pick right, but you sure as hell will not get it right for the reasons stated above. The reason that I am picking against the Giants is because, as you mentioned earlier, Eli Manning does not have a deep threat at wide receiver. I believe that defensive coordinators have figured the Plaxico-less Giants out and are loading up the box in order to stop the run, knowing that they will not get burned long. I still believe New York can win this game, though, on the strength of its defense and the inconsistency of the Eagles’ passing game. It’s about time I won a toss-up pick…

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 23, New York Giants 20

San Diego Chargers (9-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)

The King says:

I still can’t believe if the Chargers and Ravens win, a team that was 4-8 just 33 days ago would host the AFC Championship Game. That’s not just a great story, it’s an all-time story. But I can’t predict it. Michael Bennett and Darren Sproles won’t be able to dent this version of the Steel Curtain for more than 100 yards; if you wonder why I don’t include LaDainian Tomlinson in the San Diego rushing attack, it’s because he won’t be there — and if he is, he’ll last about three runs.

On the other side of the ball, doesn’t it seem like about three months since the Steelers have played a football game? Time enough to get Willie Parker closer to good health and to get Ben Roethlisberger’s head cleared. But I don’t see this as a big game for Roethlisberger. I think Mike Tomlin wants to play January football in the northeast, and he wants offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to try to pummel the Chargers into submission. This game is going to be won by ball-control and by Parker and Mewelde Moore.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 19, San Diego Chargers 13

Benji says:

Stop the presses: Peter King says that LaDanian Tomlinson will not be a factor in this game. Thanks for breaking that story, Your Majesty, I should have a much easier time making my pick now. Seriously, though, the Chargers’ running game will struggle to gain positive yardage against the Steelers. In an NFL season filled with uncertainty and inconsistent play, the Pittsburgh defense has been constant. The Steelers allowed the fewest yards and the fewest points in the NFL during the regular season and only allowed a team to score more than 21 point in a game once (a Week 10 loss to the Colts). If the Chargers were matched up against any of the other remaining AFC teams, I would give them a fighting chance—against the Steelers, though, I will pick against them without hesitation.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 20, San Diego Chargers 13

Brian’s turn:

Well, I can’t make excuses because Benji did out-pick me last week. I will only say this: How impressive is it that Benji went 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs? Don Banks did it too. So there you have it, I picked the same as Peter King, and Benji picked the same as Don Banks. I’m embarrassed for both of us.

Titans over Ravens

I just feel like too many people like the Ravens. Not the best reason to go against them (I really like the Ravens too) but I feel like I need to pick an upset. I really like Jeff Fisher. I think both teams have great defenses, but the Titans have two good runners. But then again, I thought the Falcons had a good running game and they came out flat last week, so who knows.

Panthers over Cardinals

Just like the Ravens in the last game, everyone is picking the Panthers to win. But I will forgo my analysis from my previous prediction and go with the flow of consensus.

Eagles over Giants

I’m picking the Eagles because I picked a Steelers/Eagles Super Bowl. Philly made it this far, so why would I abandon it now?

Steelers murder the Chargers

I hate Philip Rivers because he makes too many faces and looks like a frat boy. Benji and I have discussed this topic in depth (editor’s note: Jagerbomb!). I can’t root for him and I don’t want him to win. Therefore, the Steelers will crush him. Big Ben’s due for a big day.

Brady: GOAT (Greatest Of All Time?)

September 17, 2008

I really hate using my “Ace in the hole” right away like this, but Mr. Doofus said something that cannot be ignored. In this week’s MMQB Tuesday Edition, King responds to an emailer’s question about Tom Brady’s legacy with the following quote:

“Not sure I’ve heard anyone call Brady the greatest of all-time.”

Knowing King’s work as well as I do, I knew it wouldn’t be very hard to find a quote contradicting this statement from one of King’s own articles. And, lo and behold, I did:

“Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are already among the alltime greats.” Nov. 6th 2007

I love it when he makes declarative sentences because that is usually when he gets himself into trouble later on. But as this second quote from Oct 27th 2007 reveals, he can also be done in by what he “thinks:”

Tony Kornheiser asked Ron Jaworski Monday night on ESPN who he thought is better right now — Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. Jaworski looked like he’d rather answer this question: “Which of your daughters is your favorite?” The answer is simple. We’re living in an era with three of the best 10 quarterbacks (Manning, Brady, Brett Favre) ever to play. We’ll have years to debate what order you’d put them in, and more great ones will be added as time passes. But I go back to point one: To pick one is not to discredit another.

Two years ago, I’d have picked Brady, based on his tradition of winning and being able to win a game when the whole thing was put on his shoulders. After 2006, I’d have picked the monkey-off-his-back Manning — and I did pick him as the best player in football in that list of 500 players you all loved so much.

Now? I’d probably sway back to Brady, because he has shown how dominant he can be with a big-league receiving stable. I wish we’d have heard what Jaws really thought last night, because he watches each guy on game tape every week, but he ended up flipping a coin to make his choice. I think these two quarterbacks will rank in the top five of all time. Maybe 1-2, in some order. To say 15 years ago you liked Marino over Elway wasn’t a knock on Elway. Same thing now.

These two quotes from King’s archives serve to reveal that not only did SOMEONE suggest that Brady might be the best quarterback of all-time, but that King himself has been an active participant in this line of discussion on more than one occasion, which completely contradicts his statement from this Tuesday.

Favre Favre Favre Patriots!

September 11, 2008

In this week’s MMQB Tuesday Edition, King wrote the following with regards to Brett Favre’s retirement status and the Patriots’ quarterback situation in the aftermath of Tom Brady’s season-ending knee injury:

But my very, very strong opinion is that had Favre stayed retired, and if Brady got hurt, and if the Patriots came calling (which they most certainly would have), Favre would be in Foxboro today.

Only in the world of Peter King do three “if” statements make something a certainty [note: Benji actually pointed this out to me, but I’ll take the credit for it]. What bothers me more than just the sheer speculation and absurdity of this assertion (remember, King originally thought that Favre would stay retired, as he wrote at the bottom of the page) is that King dubbed the reader who contributed the idea “Emailer of the year” for his suggestion. I mean, Favre on the Patriots? That would combine King’s two favorite things in the world. I suppose one can hardly be surprised that he devoted two paragraphs of analysis to entertaining the idea of this fictional marriage.

Peter King

August 25, 2008

Peter King is the lead NFL writer for Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately, he is a bit of a doofus. We like King, but he makes a lot of false and misleading claims, and we are determined to uncover and comment upon as many of them as we can. We will use the SI.com archives to critique and compare past and present articles written by Mr. King, and will include quotations and links so you can follow along. Enjoy!