Posts Tagged ‘Doofus’

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



Bartender, I’ll take a Tom errrr Kerry Collins…

October 6, 2009

KerryPlusTomEqualsAnInappropriateJoke

Peter King, self-proclaimed vodka drinker (read his Twitter page) and unofficial monarch of doofusness, had a curiously alcoholic-sounding tidbit in today’s column. In reference to Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins, King writes: “…Collins has been more productive (51 more passing yards per game) and just as accurate as he was a year ago.” Originally the statement said Collins was “more effective,” but it appears to have been edited because…it was a ridiculous statement! Apparently King doesn’t understand how passing statistics work. It goes without saying that Collins would have more passing yards so far this season, not because he is more “effective,” but because his team has been trailing in every game; thus, instead of feeding the ball to running backs Lendale White and Chris Johnson, he’s been throwing the ball downfield. Collins has not been more effective–in fact, his yards-per-attempt average is down from 6.4 to 6.0, his completion percentage is down from 58.3 percent to 56.9 percent, and his touchdown to interception ratio is down from almost 2:1 (12:7) to less than 1:1 (5:6). Clearly Collins is not playing as well as he did last year, and he’s being forced to throw the ball more, leading to inflated passing-yard totals. King, I love how you edit yourself out of your silly statements before I can even get home from work! You’re taking away all of the fun for Benji and I…(Editor’s note: Or just digging yourself a deeper hole…)

King Says, Benji Says (Week 4)

October 3, 2009

ShhhhhFootballPickingGeniusesAtWork

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)

Overall:

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

Royal Words of Wisdom

September 22, 2009

When I logged into my Peter King Challenge Picks page this afternoon, I discovered, to my delight, that His Majesty had left me a personalized message. I found his words of encouragement (those of you who follow our weekly picking battles will note that he recently inched ahead of me in the standings) to be thoughtful and profound, and I could not resist the urge the reprint them and share his motivational message with all of you:

WordsOfWisdomFromHisMajesty

Thank you, Peter King, for inspiring me to reach for future greatness in my football picking…as well as firmly closing the heated debate among bloggers on your coffee creamer of choice.

King Says, Benji Says (Week 2)

September 18, 2009

KingAndIDressedUpInOurSundayBest

One week in the books, and His Majesty and I are both sitting pretty. In fact, Brian, King and myself were all one fluky deflection into the hands of Brandon Stokley away from a 13-3 week. Hopefully we didn’t overdress for Week 2? The NFL has a way of humbling those who act cocky about their fashion sense and/or football knowledge…

Last Week:

Peter King (12-4)

Benji (12-4)

Brian (12-4)

Carolina Panthers (0-1) at Atlanta Falcons (1-0)

King Says:

A.J. Feeley is too nice a guy to ever say this, but there’s a reason why he took the Carolina opportunity to be a backup rather than the Eagles’ job offer — he sees blood in the water. Jake Delhomme is in the most miserable stretch of his NFL career, and he’s got one or two or three games to pull himself out of it before John Fox has to make a change.

Prediction: Atlanta Falcons 27, Carolina Panthers 10

Benji Says:

The Panthers are in serious trouble—A.J. Feeley has always been a competent back-up and nothing more. At this point, though, he probably is a better option than Jake Delhomme. I don’t think Delhomme has three games to prove himself—I think if he turns the ball over multiple times in the first half, John Fox may pull him. Bill Simmons made an inspired effort today to make a case for Delhomme redeeming himself but I’m not buying it for a second. Give me one example of a player who’s come down with the “Chuck Knoblauch disease” (former Yankee infielder who inexplicably forgot how to throw a ball straight) and was able to salvage his career…

Prediction: Atlanta Falcons 30, Carolina Panthers 13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-1)

King Says:

My hope is Leodis McKelvin returns three kickoffs for touchdowns. He’s a good player who doesn’t deserve to be media-slaughtered for doing what a kick-returner is paid to do. Namely, return kicks.

Prediction: Buffalo Bills 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13

Benji Says:

Again, let me invoke history as I justify my pick: Name me one instance in which a “snake-bitten” team overachieved against a superior opponent only to fall apart at the end of the game and lose—and responded by playing well the next week.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28, Buffalo Bills 17

Minnesota Vikings (1-0) at Detroit Lions (0-1)

King Says:

In 2007 at Ford Field, Detroit beat the Vikes on a Jason Hanson field goal in OT, 20-17. In 2008 at Ford Field, the Vikes overcame a 13-10 fourth-quarter deficit to win 20-16; at the Metrodome last year, the Vikes survived 12-10, thanks largely to Lions QB Dan Orlovsky running blindly out of the back of the end zone. This is going to be an emotional game, the Lions returning home and starting yet another new era. Jim Schwartz is going to send the house at Brett Favre, and I think the Lions will get there a few times and force him into some mistakes.

Prediction: Detroit Lions 23, Minnesota Vikings 21

Benji Says:

It’s King’s turn to give the history lesson this time around and he’s certainly done his homework. Maybe he should have spent a little more time paying attention to this year’s Lions team though. These Lions allowed Drew Brees to pass for 358 yards and six touchdowns last week. I’m not too worried about Detroit’s pass rush bothering Favre, especially with one of the strongest offensive lines in the league protecting him.

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 30, Detroit Lions 20

Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-0)

King Says:

Same score as Cincinnati’s last trip to Lambeau, when Carson Palmer was a sophomore in high school and the Green Bay quarterback was Brett Favre in the midst of his first MVP season. It could be another Green Bay quarterback is in the midst of his first MVP season.

Prediction: Green Bay Packers 24, Cincinnati Bengals 10

Benji Says:

I’ll break this one down SAT/GRE prep-style. Without knowing who their opponent is, I know three facts about the Bengals that provide me with enough information to pick against them here:

1. They only scored 7 points against a terrible defense last week.

2. They lost on a really unlucky play and will surely experience an emotional letdown.

3. This game is being played on the road.

Prediction: Any Opponent 30, Cincinnati Bengals 9

Houston Texans (0-1) at Tennessee Titans (0-1)

King Says:

If an offense can’t score a point against the Jets at home in Week 1, how well will it do at a team that’s allowed 13, 14 and 9 in its past three games at LP Field?

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 20, Houston Texans 13

Benji Says:

The Texans have to be better on offense than they showed last week—they have too much talent on that side of the ball. Then again, they haven’t shown me enough yet to justify picking them to win at Tennessee…

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 17, Houston Texans 16

Oakland Raiders (0-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (0-1)

King Says:

I expect Matt Cassel to play, and my prediction goes the other way if he doesn’t. But the big factor in this game, in my opinion, is JaMarcus Russell. These are the games he has to start winning. In 20 career games, he’s completing 53 percent of his throws, and that simply has to get better.

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 21, Oakland Raiders 20

Benji Says:

I’m not sure what to make of either of these teams yet (especially since I haven’t seen Cassel play in a regular season game for the Chiefs) but I do know that the Raiders, like the Bills, blew a game they should have won against a superior opponent (the Chargers) on Monday night. There’s no way they bounce back this week…

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 23, Oakland Raiders 13

New England Patriots (1-0) at New York Jets (1-0)

King Says:

I buy the Rex Ryan kool-aid. I also buy that Leon Washington is going to be a major matchup problem for the New England linebackers, who made Fred Jackson look like Bo Jackson on Monday night.

Prediction: New York Jets 27, New England Patriots 20

Benji Says:

Thank you, Your Majesty, for giving us the first of what I expect will be many botched/mixed expressions and metaphors this season. I’m not sure yet if I’m drinking the Rex Ryan stock or selling the Texans’ kool-aid, but I do know that way too many people have been jumping on the Jets’ bandwagon this week. The Patriots’ offense is going to be really good this year…

Prediction: New England Patriots 30, New York Jets 20

New Orleans Saints (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

King Says:

With or without Donovan McNabb, the Eagles won’t find a way to stop the hottest quarterback on the planet, Drew Brees.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 29, Philadelphia Eagles 20

Benji Says:

Brees has got nothing on the “hot” quarterbacks from other planets—have you seen Venus’s top guy play? That being said, I don’t think the Eagles, minus a healthy McNabb, will be able to score enough points to keep up with the Saints this week.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 28, Philadelphia Eagles 20

St. Louis Rams (0-1) at Washington Redskins (0-1)

King Says:

In the offseason, I wondered why such a talented coach as Steve Spagnuolo would use up his one chance (maybe) at being an NFL coach on such a woebegone franchise, one that’s in the market for a new owner. I haven’t stopped wondering.

Prediction: Washington Redskins 37, St. Louis Rams 12

Benji Says:

How bad are the Rams? Well, they lost 28-0 last week to the third best team in their terrible division. Enough said…

Prediction: Washington Redskins 35, St. Louis Rams 13

Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at San Diego Chargers (1-0)

King Says:

The game of the weekend. Chargers come off a short week, shaken by not playing well in Oakland and the offensive line getting beaten up. Center Nick Hardwick could be as significant an injury for the Chargers with Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg coming to town as Brian Urlacher being out of the lineup for Chicago. In the end, Philip Rivers makes one more play than Joe Flacco.

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 23, Baltimore Ravens 21

Benji Says:

Ironically, after lambasting King for ignoring the Chargers on Monday, I forgot to include this game in the first draft of my picks column. Oops. To be fair, if His Majesty organized his picks in chronological order as opposed to trying to create feng shui with team colors, it would be impossible for me to make such a mistake. But I digress…I’m taking the Chargers here because I was unimpressed by Baltimore’s defensive performance against the Chiefs—the Ravens allowed 24 points to a Brodie Croyle-led offense.

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 30, Baltimore Ravens 22

Arizona Cardinals (0-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

King Says:

The Jags started two rookie tackles in a season-opener in the 14-12 loss to Indianapolis. Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton (Spelling bee: ask a very good NFL fan to spell the name of the Jacksonville right tackle; if he can, tell him he wins a year’s supply of Monday Morning Quarterback columns) allowed only one sack Sunday at Indy. Good sign.

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 23, Arizona Cardinals 21

Benji Says:

Nice contest idea, Your Majesty, but I think I already won by virtue of having a brain and access to an internet browser. As for the game, Jacksonville’s defense looked good against the Colts and the offense should be more successful this week against the Cardinals’ very average defensive unit.

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 23, Arizona Cardinals 20

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) at Chicago Bears (0-1)

King Says:

Jay Cutler wakes up, finds Greg Olsen and Matt Forte, and plays the kind of efficient game offensive coordinator Ron Turner was convinced he’d do before The Nightmare On Oneida Avenue confused everyone last Sunday night.

Prediction: Chicago Bears 19, Pittsburgh Steelers 10

Benji Says:

In a match-up between two teams who are each without their top defensive player (Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher and Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu), I’ll take the defending champs. The Steelers’ offense is proven and the Bears’ is a work in progress…

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 26, Chicago Bears 20

Cleveland Browns (0-1) at Denver Broncos (1-0)

King Says:

Two Belichick disciples meet, and I like the offensive one to win in Denver. Kyle Orton is getting more comfortable by the week.

Prediction: Denver Broncos 17, Cleveland Browns 12

Benji Says:

Last time I checked, Your Majesty, generating six points (the fluky game-winning play aside) on offense against an atrocious pass defense is not indicative of a quarterback “getting more comfortable.” I cannot justify picking the Browns to win though—my New NFL Season’s resolution is not to pick a bad team to win on the road without a very good reason for doing so.

Prediction: Denver Broncos 17, Cleveland Browns 16

Seattle Seahawks (1-0) at San Francisco 49ers (1-0)

King Says:

Weirdest stat line of Week 1: Frank Gore, 22 carries, 30 yards. Yikes. That’s got to get better, and fast, and this won’t be an easy week because Seattle’s run defense is reborn, with 644 pounds of run-stoppers (Brandon Mebane and Colin Cole) there to shut him down. This might be Shaun Hill’s game to win and, based on what I saw in Arizona last week, I think he can do it.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 23, Seattle Seahawks 16

Benji Says:

Last time I checked, weight and the skill set needed to play defensive line are not necessarily synonymous. We’ll see how Mebane and Cole play on Sunday against a real NFL team (the Rams don’t count). I think the 49ers are well-coached and have a more equal spread of talent between their offense and defense than the Seahawks. I’ll withhold judgment until I see what unfolds on Sunday though…anything can happen in the NFC West…

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 23, Seattle Seahawks 16

New York Giants (1-0) at Dallas Cowboys (1-0)

King Says:

Jeff Feagles can’t hit the video board and his Dallas counterpart, Mat McBriar, won’t — if he knows what’s good for his job security. The ascension of Tony Romo continues with a three-TD-pass day.

Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 30, New York Giants 20

Benji Says:

With a healthy Osi Umenyiora back in the fold, the Giants boast the best defensive line in the league. Let’s see how Tony Romo performs against an actual pass rush before we start talking about his “ascension…”

Prediction: New York Giants 20, Dallas Cowboys 13

Indianapolis Colts (1-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-1)

King Says:

My buddy Donnie “Brasco” Banks had a great stat and point about the man who will win this game: Peyton Manning tied Johnny Unitas for career wins as a Colt QB (118) last week. And Manning and Unitas, he wrote, are now officially the best pair of quarterbacks to play for a franchise. Agreed.

Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 27, Miami Dolphins 16

Benji Says:

I’m not exactly sure how Peyton Manning and Johnny Unitas’s matching career win totals explain why the Colts will win this game, but I do agree with the prediction. Until I decide to randomly change my mind because someone reminds me that Dan Marino holds the single season passing yardage record, that is…

Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 23, Miami Dolphins 17

Fair AND Balanced!

September 14, 2009

FairANDbalanced

For a “quick-hitting” lesson on media bias and the people that make it happen, let’s turn to this week’s edition of Monday Morning Quarterback. Peter King, our favorite Starbucks swilling doofus, has decided to cover the opening Monday Night Football games in a manner so “fair and balanced,” it would make Bill O’Reilly blush.

He begins his analysis with the (probably valid) assessment that “[ESPN’s] not going to have good games tonight.” Fair enough. The Patriots and Chargers are both heavily favored against their respective opponents, the Bills and Raiders, who are expected to be among the AFC’s worst teams. One would expect, then, that he would not have much to say about either game, right? Let me pause for a moment and remind you of the following fact: Peter King is a HUGE Patriots fan. Although you probably picked up on that if you read down to the next paragraph. Or the next one. Or the one after that. Or the chart comparing this year’s Patriots’ defense to that of the ’08 team. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoy reading His Majesty’s columns, and much of what he has to say in this section is interesting to me as a fellow Patriots fan. I just feel bad for any of his readers out there who are Chargers fans. Their team only gets two dismissive sentences dedicated to it—one of which states that Richard Seymour, the long-time New England defensive lineman who was recently traded to Oakland, is the only “reason to tune in”!

To be fair, His Majesty does not make the lofty claims of objectivity that certain network news channels do—still, it would be nice if he made a little more of an effort to cover up his biases.

Update: Both Monday Night games came down to the final seconds—and ended with the favored team, led by its star quarterback, putting together a game-winning drive. Not surprisingly, King’s article this morning is all about the Patriots and Tom Brady’s triumphant return. He does not even mention the Chargers or anything to do with the second game. Hmmmm…

King Says, Benji Says (Thursday Kick-Off Edition)

September 10, 2009

KingIsTheWilliamsToMyMiddlebury

All right, the second honeymoon is definitely over—the NFL season has yet to begin and His Majesty is already blowing me off so as to spend more time pontificating to the masses. He’s so confident that he can beat me again in our picking war that he refuses to acknowledge to the media that our rivalry even exists! Well, as some of you may have heard, the season begins tonight in Pittsburgh, which gives King Doofus his first chance to put his money where his mouth is…assuming his mouth is not stuffed full of pork rinds or whatever else they serve at those NBC catered buffets.

Tennessee Titans (0-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0)

King Says:

Good line from Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger to me the other day. “I’ve been watching tape all day, looking for first downs,” Heimerdinger said. “Can’t find any.” Well, here’s your chance: Give the ball to Chris Johnson (2008 per-carry average: 4.9 yards) early and often. Don’t look for the Titans to go soft upfront even with the loss of Albert Haynesworth; I think they’ll still be a good wall. What the Steelers will have to do is rely on Ben Roethlisberger throwing the ball downfield in the second half. Big Ben will do it just enough, in a game befitting the national stage.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 17, Tennessee Titans 13

Benji says:

Your Majesty, how can you possibly expect your quote from the Titans’ offensive coordinator about the futility of the team’s offense, even if it is “tongue-in-cheek,” to instill in your readers the belief that the Titans can generate enough points to make this a game “befitting the national stage?” Tennessee had a great season last year, but, as you called attention to, it lost its best defensive player (Albert Haynseworth) and is relying heavily upon a below average quarterback on the eve of his 37th birthday to lead an offense that only generated 12 passing touchdowns last year. Chris Johnson better be as good or better than he was in his stellar rookie season, because the running game is the best thing this team has going for it. I see Tennessee struggling against the defending Super Bowl champs, because Pittsburgh has the better, more balanced team and consistently gets a pretty big home-field advantage out of the Heinz Field crowd.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Tennessee Titans 9

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).

Lions and Texans and Cowboys, Oh My!

March 2, 2009

lionsandtexansandcowboysohmy

In today’s edition of “Ten Things I Think I Think,” His Majesty made the following polarized statements about the two quarterbacks from last year’s Detroit Lions, Dan Orlovsky and Jon Kitna, who changed teams during the off-season:

a. The Houston Texans signed Dan Orlovsky for $9.15 million over three years. Stunning. They really think of Orlovsky as a solid backup quarterback? On what planet?

g. The Cowboys got better at backup with the deal for Jon Kitna.

Neither of these players is anything to write home about, but The King would like you to believe that one of them is remarkably better than the other, which is simply not true.

Last year, Orlovsky made eight starts and averaged 201 passing yards per game; Kitna made four starts and averaged 208 passing yards per game (I doubled his yardage output in the fourth game to account for the half he missed due to injury). Orlovsky threw eight touchdowns and eight interceptions, an average of one touchdown pass and one pick per contest; Kitna threw five touchdown passes and five interceptions, an average of 1.25 touchdowns and 1.25 picks. As far as completion percentage is concerned, Orlovsky converted 56.1 percent of his passes and Kitna completed 56.7 percent. Orlovsky was sacked 14 times (1.75 times per game), while Kitna was sacked 15 times (3.75 times per game). Neither player won a game.

I suppose one could make the argument that Kitna is a serviceable backup quarterback, but judging by their nearly identical stats from last season, it would be nearly impossible to conclude that he is a substantially better player than Orlovsky. And while Kitna will certainly be an upgrade over the woeful Brad Johnson in Dallas, his age (36) and recent injury history compounded with his propensity for sustaining sacks make him a less reliable option than the younger, healthier but equally mediocre Orlovsky…on any planet. Of course, as The King and The Don (Banks) continue to point out, it is a waste of time to make rational arguments based on statistical evidence and a larger sample size when one could simply use a single play to make the case against the “dim-witted” Orlovsky. He lost his bearings and stepped out of bounds for a safety one time, which clearly proves that he is not only a substantially worse player than the man he replaced in the line-up (Kitna) but one of the worst players ever to play the game. I give up, Your Majesty, you win…

Update: In MMQB Tuesday Edition, an emailer (I swear it wasn’t me using a pseudonym!) called King out on his irrational treatment of Orlovsky. The King’s response: Dan Orlovsky is a nice third quarterback who, given a chance, might be able to play in the NFL at a competent level someday. He has given me no reason to think he deserves to get $3 million a year and be one of the highest-paid backup quarterbacks in football. Okay, Your Majesty, your complaints about Orlovsky’s high salary as a backup make perfect sense…until you take into consideration the salary that Jon Kitna was paid last year to be an older, less healthy and more sack-prone version of Orlovsky: $5 million. Looks like I won Rounds one and two of this Royal jousting match…