Posts Tagged ‘no sex in the champagne room’

King Says, Benji Says (2010 Garbage Time Edition)

January 3, 2010

Hey there, everyone. As you can probably guess from the photo, His Majesty and I had an interesting time ringing in the new decade. It finally occurred to us this morning that we still needed to make our picks for the final week of the NFL regular season…

Last Week:

Peter King (11-5)

Benji (7-9)

Brian (9-7)

Overall:

Peter King (164-76)

Benji (158-82)

Brian (150-90)

Games we agree on:

49ers over Rams

Steelers over Dolphins

Bills over Colts

Texans over Patriots

Jets over Bengals

Bears over Lions

Vikings over Giants

Falcons over Buccaneers

Ravens over Raiders

Titans over Seahawks

Games we disagree on:

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8) at Cleveland Browns (4-11)

King Says:

In the past three weeks, Cleveland has won three games; Minnesota and New Orleans have combined to win two. And I still think the odds are against Eric Mangini keeping his job when he pow-wows with Mike Holmgren early next week.

Prediction: Cleveland Browns 26, Jacksonville Jaguars 20

Benji Says:

No team with Derek Anderson as its starting quarterback can possibly be good enough to win four games in a row…

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 24, Cleveland Browns 16

Philadelphia Eagles (11-4) at Dallas Cowboys (10-5)

King Says:

Game-of-the-year type game, and somehow I see a Miles Austin-DeSean Jackson duel in Arlington. I love this game. Both teams will enter the postseason playing better than the Vikes and Saints.

Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 24, Philadelphia Eagles 23

Benji Says:

While the Cowboys are definitely an above average team, I think that the Eagles are in a class above them. Of course, Philly also lost to Oakland earlier this year, so what do I know?

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 30, Dallas Cowboys 23

New Orleans Saints (13-2) at Carolina Panthers (7-8)

King Says:

I want to see the Saints turn it around. I really do. It’d be good for football, good for the postseason. But did you see the Panthers last week? No matter who runs the ball for this team, they’re a powerhouse right now, and they’ll play that way even though they’ve got nothing on the line. That’s the way they’ve been brought up in the John Fox system.

Prediction: Carolina Panthers 23, New Orleans Saints 20

Benji Says:

I don’t have a whole lot of logic to back this pick up with except for this fact: with Steve Smith out, the Panthers have no one to throw the ball to down the field. Maybe it won’t matter against backup quarterback Mark Brunell and with the way that Jonathan Stewart has been running the ball the past few weeks, but I’m skeptical…

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 20, Carolina Panthers 16

Kansas City Chiefs (3-12) at Denver Broncos (8-7)

King Says:

I think the football world is being a little too harsh on the Broncos. If they win this game, they finish 9-7. Think of it if you’re a Broncos fan: You’d have taken a 7-9 season and been delirious. So be happy with 9-7 and playoffless.

Prediction: Denver Broncos 23, Kansas City Chiefs 13

Benji Says:

The Broncos are missing their top three receivers for this game. The Chiefs have also played much better down the stretch.

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 17, Denver Broncos 13

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

King Says:

Packers are in with a win or loss, but they’d better do something about the penalties for the playoffs: They’re first in the league in accepted penalties (114, for 1,038 yards).

Prediction: Green Bay Packers 31, Arizona Cardinals 23

Benji Says:

I trust this Packers team about as far as I could throw the whole lot of them–which is not very far, because that would be a lot of combined weight. My reasoning for this pick, however, has nothing to do with my thoughts on either team’s starting string players–I just think that the Cardinals have better backups.

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 26, Green Bay Packers 19

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

King Says, Benji Says (Week 10)

November 7, 2008

week101

After much pomp and debauchery and several cases of champagne during our joint party celebrating Obama’s electoral victory, His Majesty and I have again gone our separate ways. I apologize for the censored version of our celebration photo, but I found out this morning that Elizabeth Dole is on the WordPress board of directors—thus, all “godless” content is subject to censorship. If you wait a couple of days, I imagine that my Lindsay Lohan body shot photo will leak out and get posted on Deadspin. The old adage “What happens on election night stays on election night” went the way of the dodo when Al Gore invented the internet, despite Mrs. Dole’s best attempts at recreating the Victorian age.

Change is indeed in the air—and I’m not just referring to our next president. After a convincing win by the Steelers over the Redskins on Monday Night Football, I ended the week with a two pick advantage over His Majesty. And as of Friday morning, after the Broncos defeated the Browns in a shootout, I have cut The King’s overall lead down to single digits. The football world desperately needs a leader who can inspire and bring hope to millions of fantasy football and pick ‘em players and erase the memory of a fallen King who has led them astray. Can I be that leader? Only time will tell…

Last Week:

Peter King (7-7)
Benji (9-5)
Brian (9-5)

Overall (not including the Thursday game):

Peter King (85-45)
Benji (75-55)
Brian (81-49)

New Orleans Saints (4-4) at Atlanta Falcons (5-3)

The King says:

All those who thought the Falcons would be 6-3 after nine games, raise your hands. Hmmmmm. Only one? No, Mr. Blank! Your vote doesn’t count.


Prediction: Atlanta Falcons 22, New Orleans Saints 16

Benji says:

While the home team’s dominance in NFC South divisional games this year has been well documented around these parts, all streaks were made to be broken. The New Orleans Saints, although they have scored the most points of any team in the division, are just now finding their offensive identity. A now healthy Deuce McAlister is giving New Orleans the hard running balance that its offense desperately needed, and top receiver Marques Colston is finally back and healthy. It all seemed to come together for the Saints’ offense two weeks ago in the team’s London victory over the Chargers and I expect that success to carry over to this game. Could this turn into a shootout? Absolutely. And I’ll take Drew Brees over rookie Matt Ryan in that situation every time until I am proven wrong.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 34, Atlanta Falcons 27

Tennessee Titans (8-0) at Chicago Bears (5-3)

The King says:

Curses! Now we don’t get to see 0-11 Detroit host 11-0 Tennessee on Thanksgiving Day. I’m picking Chicago here because at some point Tennessee is going to lose one of these narrow donnybrooks it’s been winning.

Prediction: Chicago Bears 17, Tennessee Titans 13

Benji says:

Your Majesty, while I agree that the Titans are due to lose a game, this will not be the week it happens. Last week, I detailed Tennessee’s success in forcing turnovers and limiting giveaways. Not surprisingly, against a Green Bay team that generated enough offense to beat it, turnover differential was the difference in the game. The Titans’ defense forced two turnovers, an Aaron Rodgers interception in the end zone that took points off the board for the Packers and a sack/fumble recovery that gave the Titans a short field, while the Titans’ offense took what the defense gave it and did not turn the ball over. This week, unless Kyle Orton’s ankle miraculously heals over the next few days, the Titans’ defense will likely face off against Chicago backup quarterback Rex Grossman, a five-turnover game waiting to happen against a good defense.

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 27, Chicago Bears 12

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5) at Detroit Lions (0-8)

The King says:

I could easily pick no one here. Jacksonville can’t run. Detroit can’t get out of bed. And how bad must Drew Stanton be if the Lions are talking about playing Daunte Culpepper when he’s been in camp two days and Stanton’s been on the team for two years?

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 19, Detroit Lions 10

Benji says:

Jacksonville has struggled to run, but its offense depends on running the ball successfully; the Lions’ run defense is tied for 26th best in the league. Dante Culpepper still has the field vision to be a good quarterback but does not know the Lions’ offense and has lost the mobility that once made him so dangerous; The Jaguars struggle to generate a pass rush and allow opposing passers to sit in the pocket and read the field. The Lions have looked really frisky as of late, are due to win a game and are playing at home; the Jaguars do not appear to be playing with any sense of purpose, are fighting amongst themselves and are on the road. If I were a betting man, I would want no part of this game.

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 20, Detroit Lions 17

Seattle Seahawks (2-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-4)

The King says:

Two things: After Sunday, every team in the AFC East will have either five or six wins — if Miami wins. It’s the lock of this week’s sked. Number two: I feel for Mike Holmgren. Listen to what swan-singing Holmgren told his beaten-up team the other day: “I told them a little story about my first job in construction. I’ll tell you, it was just awful. I mean, the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I probably wanted to quit about 25 times. But I didn’t. I was 15 and my hands were bleeding and no one cared. And I wasn’t going to let my dad down, so I didn’t quit. Everybody in the room has to make choices when it gets hard. You have to make decisions. What decision you make says a lot about you and really says a lot about your future. We have a good group of guys in there. They’re professional and they’ll work.” But they won’t win.

Prediction: Miami Dolphins 30, Seattle Seahawks 9

Benji says:

Holmgren had his day. Now he has Seneca Wallace. Whatever happened to Matt Hasselbeck? Have the Seahawks just decided to hold him out for the rest of the season since they are already out of the running?

Prediction: Miami Dolphins 30, Seattle Seahawks 9

Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Minnesota Vikings (4-4)

The King says:

Through nine weeks, Minnesota has given up more points than Cleveland. More than Atlanta. More than Miami. And the Packers don’t have that ridiculous Metrodome jinx anymore. Then again, they don’t have Brett Favre either.

Prediction: Green Bay Packers 26, Minnesota Vikings 17

Benji says:

The Vikings’ defense, has been a huge disappointment this season, particularly against the pass (23rd in the league in passing yards allowed). If Aaron Rodgers can throw for over 300 yards against the Titans, one can only imagine the possibilities in store for him in the Metrodome on Sunday.

Prediction: Green Bay Packers 30, Minnesota Vikings 20

Buffalo Bills (5-3) at New England Patriots (5-3)

The King says:

Remember the Bills’ mid-October optimism, when San Diego left Orchard Park like a beaten dog? Buffalo was 5-1 and in control of the AFC East headed into a three-game stretch of AFC East games. They’ve started 0-2. They’ll add another loss here because two vital defensive pieces, Aaron Schobel and Donte’ Whitner, will be MIA with injuries.

Prediction: New England Patriots 23, Buffalo Bills 15

Benji says:

Buffalo’s defense has not been awful the last two weeks, Your Majesty. The root of the Bills’ problems is their sudden inability to take care of the football on offense (four turnovers in the last two games plus four offensive fumbles that they managed to recover). Losing Schobel and Whitner certainly does not help matters any, though. Can Buffalo get back on track on the road against the Patriots? Anything is possible, but New England looks like the better team at the moment…

Prediction: New England Patriots 20, Buffalo Bills 17

St. Louis Rams (2-6) at New York Jets (5-3)

The King says:

In no city, and with no fan base, does a single game lead to a feeling in the following days of either euphoria or disaster the way it does with Don Maynard’s old team. Speaking of Maynard, he told me something Wednesday on Sirius NFL Radio that I shan’t soon forget. He said he’s been a plumber in Texas in his first four offseasons because he could make $8,500. “I learned two things,” Maynard said. “Them pipes don’t bend. And manure don’t go uphill.”

Prediction: New York Jets 16, St. Louis Rams 14

Benji says:

Your Majesty, perhaps it would make more sense to explain the reasoning behind your pick in a game that you expect to be close rather than discussing pipes and septic systems. I believe that the Rams are in serious trouble in this game, because Steven Jackson is probably not going to play. Marc Bulger can probably have success through the air against a suspect New York secondary but only if his team can get something going in the ground game. The Jets’ passing game is nothing to write home about, but then again, the Rams’ pass defense is not exactly stellar. I believe that the Jets will win this one and become the worst 6-3 team in recent memory.

Prediction: New York Jets 27, St. Louis Rams 20

Baltimore Ravens (5-3) at Houston Texans (3-5)

The King says:

This is the hurricane makeup game from Week 2, and the only benefit to Houston is that the Ravens have most of their secondary blown away with injuries now. But the temporarily hot Matt Schaub will miss a couple of weeks with a sprained knee, so the Ravens will try to knock backup Sage Rosenfels into next week. And succeed.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 29, Houston Texans 13

Benji says:

Maybe I am still the only one on his bandwagon, but I really like Sage Rosenfels much more than Matt Schaub. Rosenfels (who threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns) gave the Texans a shot to win the game against the Vikings last week after Schaub laid an egg (turning the ball over twice in limited action before leaving with an injury). Schaub would have been a sitting duck against the Ravens’ pressure based defense, but I believe that Rosenfels, who has much better pocket presence, will be able to find the openings that are sure to be there in the banged up Baltimore secondary. Also, I am convinced that Joe Flacco’s offensive surge late in the game against the Browns was a rare Cleveland mirage.

Prediction: Houston Texans 24, Baltimore Ravens 17

Carolina Panthers (6-2) at Oakland Raiders (2-6)

The King says:

Now don’t quote me on this, but I hear Al Davis is going to walk into the locker room at halftime, when the Raiders will have minus-47 total yards, and he’s going to fire JaMarcus Russell, sign Jeff George on the spot, and tell Tom Cable that George is starting the second half.

Prediction: Carolina Panthers 16, Oakland Raiders 2

Benji says:

I have nothing good or interesting to say about this game, so let me fill this space by commenting on your predicted score-line. Two total points for the Raiders? I cannot even imagine this defense making a third down stop, let alone force a safety…

Prediction: Carolina Panthers 28, Oakland Raiders 6

Indianapolis Colts (4-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)

The King says:

Have you seen a pass rush come in waves like Pittsburgh’s did the other night in Washington? First James Harrison, then LaMarr Woodley, then James Farrior … it got dizzying after a while. I’m not sure of much in Week 10 of the NFL, but I can promise you that Peyton Manning will walk out of the ketchup bottle with more black-and-blues than when he walked in.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Indianapolis Colts 13

Benji says:

Pittsburgh’s defense is pretty stingy (allowing the fewest yards per game in the NFL) and I just do not trust the Colts’ offense. Peyton Manning won a tough game at home against the Patriots in a much-win situation—I cannot see him replicating that performance here, unless he starts getting some help from the running game and his defense does a better job of stopping the run. Willie Parker is out, Roethlisberger is likely out and my prediction remains unaffected, because I know that their backups (Mwelde Moore and Byron Leftwich) are very capable and that this Pittsburgh defense is truly dominant.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Indianapolis Colts 16

Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) at San Diego Chargers (3-5)

The King says:

I repeat my note of 10 days ago: San Diego will win the AFC West. And Norv Turner’s career bio someday will not have an asterisk by the 2008 season, with a notation below of “by default.”

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 23, Kansas City Chiefs 6

Benji says:

I am not quite ready to award the Chargers the AFC West title—they have to beat the Broncos and show some week-to-week consistency before I start taking them seriously again. If they cannot beat the Chiefs, though, they might as well pack it in.

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 34, Kansas City Chiefs 24

New York Giants (7-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-3)

The King says:

You mean the Eagles are favored in this game? Like the Jints are somehow diminished on the road, or cowed by playing at the big, bad Linc? They’ve won 13 of the past 14 on the road. I say they make it 14 of 15, because Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward will put a 143-yard combo platter on the JimJohnsons.

Prediction: New York Giants 20, Philadelphia Eagles 13

Benji says:

Vegas handicapping aside, you should consider favoring the Eagles in this game, Your Majesty. The Giants have been playing sloppily the last few weeks and it has to come back to haunt them eventually. The Eagles’ offense is just coming into its own now—Donovan McNabb finally has a full set of capable receivers (Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis are back and in game shape now) and his most potent offensive weapon, Brian Westbrook (who suffered a ribcage injury a few weeks back), has finally healed up. If you are looking for the Giants’ pass-rushers to repeat their decisive onslaught from the last two games, you will be sorely disappointed. The Eagles do a very good job of pass blocking and McNabb will be much more successful in this game than you are implying, Your Majesty. After all, this game means much more to the Eagles than it does to the Giants…

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 27, New York Giants 20

San Francisco 49ers (2-6) at Arizona Cardinals (5-3)

The King says:

Before the game, Ken Whisenhunt sidles up to Kurt Warner and says, “Hey, wipe that drool off your facemask.”

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 31, San Francisco 49ers 13

Benji says:

This might very well be the worst Monday Night match-up of the season. Look for the Cardinals’ offense to rack up some serious yardage against a very mediocre 49ers defense.

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 35, San Francisco 49ers 16