Scott Feschuk: Last week (8-8) Season (15-17)
Scott Reid: Last week (8-8) Season (15-17)
New York Giants (-1) at Carolina, Thursday, 8:20 p.m.
Scott Reid: Tom Coughlin went totally Gran Torino on Bucs coach Greg Schiano after Sunday’s game – declaring, “You don’t do that in this league.” “You don’t do that at this level” and “YOUR chocolate is in MY peanut butter.” The source of his outrage: The Bucs kept playing football after Coughlin though they should have stopped. Gee, don’t tear your nylons, Mr. OldSchoolSmashMouthFootball. Betting against Eli feels dangerous these days but with Cam Newton at home plus a point, I’m feeling the Panthers in prime time. Pick: Carolina.
Scott Feschuk: I for one really enjoyed Coughlin’s outburst. Why, he took that young whippersnapper of a wiseacre across his knee and was a-fixin’ to give him what-for on accounta his acting up and such! The Giants coach has concealed his true nature for a couple years but every now and then the neck veins start pulsing, the eyes start bulging and Ang Lee and Edward Norton start making two equally terrible movies about him.
Don’t make Tom Coughlin angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. (Frankly, most people don’t even like him when he’s pretending to be nice, but you get my point.) Pick: New York.
Tampa Bay (plus 7) at Dallas
Feschuk: Against the Seahawks last week, the Cowboys put forth such a piss-poor effort that by comparison they made Mitt Romney look as though he’s trying to win. Pick: Tampa.
Reid’s pick: Tampa.
Buffalo (minus 3) at Cleveland
Feschuk: Sure, in Week One they looked as dysfunctional as the Sheen family at Christmas (“Daddy, when can we trim the porn star?”), but my Bills rebounded with a win last week and frankly I haven’t been this excited since McDonald’s scientists figured out a way to keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool. With some tough games coming up, Buffalo is going to be motivated to get this one – and I mean really motivated, not “Tony Robbins motivated” where you drive home all empowered and psyched but then three weeks later you find your complimentary Tony Robbins tote bag in your trunk and you go, “Oh, yeah, I’ve been meaning to get around to unleashing the power within.” Pick: Buffalo.
Reid: Don’t get me wrong. I want the Buffalo Bills to be great. I want to see them rise again. To become once more the team they once were (translation: four-time consecutive Super Bowl losers and pre-Sarah Palin destroyers of the phrase ‘wide right’). But high-quality failure simply isn’t in their immediate future as they continue to lose in mediocre ways to run of the mill bad teams. Happily for Orchard Park fans, Cleveland is several rungs below run of the mill bad. They’re stand-and-balance-precariously-on-the-top-of-the-ladder bad. CJ Spiller will have three or four really good days this year. Last week was one. This week will be another. Then it’s back to the losing. Pick: Buffalo
K.C. (plus 9) at New Orleans
Reid: So here’s what we know about the 2012 New Orleans Saints. First, turns out Sean Payton was up to something worthwhile with all that head coacherizing that no one’s doing now. And, second, in the inevitable TV-movie about BountyGate, Gregg Williams will be played by this guy:
This sudden affidavit from Williams pointing the finger at Vilma stinks to high heavens. Signed only days ago, it was apparently secured for Goodell by Tom Hagen. I have no sympathy for anyone caught up in this bounty scheme. But to make the NFL front office happy Williams would have signed a document claiming to have seen Tim Tebow rubbing tattoos with Kat Von D. K.C. on the road is like Kirstie Alley around cheesecake: weak. Pick: New Orleans.
Feschuk: There have been a number of surprising storylines early this NFL season (the Saints losing their first two games, Jerry Jones failing to notice Smithers’ homosexual advances) but to me nothing’s been more shocking than how awful the Chiefs have looked. They’ve looked really awful! That said, it’s still early in the season and that flock of vultures could be circling persistently overhead for any reason, right? Pick: K.C.
St. Louis (plus 7.5) at Chicago
Feschuk: Can’t wait ’til the inevitable publication of Jay Cutler’s autobiography, Douchey Like Me. When you open it you’ll discover it’s a pop-up book but only for his middle finger. Pick: St. Louis.
Reid’s pick: St. Louis.
Detroit (minus 3) at Tennessee
Feschuk: I’m not saying the Titans are off to a bad start but the team’s official slogan is “Why couldn’t we be having a lockout?” Watching Tennessee try to run an offence is like watching an old person try to use a self-serve checkout scanner at the grocery store. On pretty much every play Chris Johnson is like: “Dangblang it! How am I supposed to find a hole in this here defensive line without my bifocals? And $4.29 for milk?? Why I oughta…” * Slowly lifts and eventually shakes fist * Pick: Detroit.
Reid: At his current clip, Chris Johnson – who in previous seasons spawned comparisons to Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson and forensic police scientist Barry Allen…
… will have compiled 100 rushing yards around mid-November. This makes him the slowest moving black person on American television since Nell Carter. The fix? I can’t be sure but I think it will have to be pharmacological. Certainly it won’t come against Detroit who is highly motivated after a complete schooling at Candlestick from the best team in the NFL (According to Week 2 power rankings at ESPN.COM, SI.COM, NFL.COM and Isayso.com). Pick: Detroit.
Jacksonville (plus 2.5) at Indianapolis
Feschuk: This Jaguars team is a lost cause. It’s time to bring in Mitt Romney to turn things around. Wait until ol’ Mitt gets at ’em – he’ll shake things up! He’ll make the offence play defence! He’ll make the defence play special teams! He’ll make the special teams torment poor people until they cry! Sure, Coach Romney has a few character flaws and a perfect, glistening emerald where most of us keep our soul, but he’s not afraid to tell you that 47% of your football roster is made up of sniveling, teat-sucking layabouts about whom he doesn’t give a shit. U!S!A! U!S!A! Pick: Indianapolis.
Reid: This game is competing with the ‘did John Diefenbaker have a love child?’ story for who really gives a damn sweepstakes of the week. But while we’re on the topic, let’s sort this whole thing out. Fact: John George Dryden has the same two first names, jowly features and sexual magnetism as Canada’s former prime minister. Fact: John George Dryden also has the same two first names, jowly features and sexual appeal as Droopy Dog.
However, DNA tests to date have proven inconclusive, Peter C. Newman has suggested that Dief was always faithful to his wife (cause, he’d know right?) and 11/10 Canadians polled have said that nothing could matter less to them. There is a postscript about this issue that involves ear wax. You’re welcome for me not sharing. Pick: Indianapolis.
Cincinnati (plus 3.5) at Washington
Feschuk: You’ve had a good run, humanity, but it looks like your time as a species upon this earth is drawing to a close: the Washington Redskins are favoured to win a football game by more than a field goal. And then, boom, apocalypse. Pick: Cincinnati.
Reid’s pick: Washington.
Houston (even) at Denver
Reid: Peyton Manning made his MNF debut as a Bronco earlier this week with three interceptions in the first quarter – followed by a Knowshon Moreno fumble (Knowshon? Is that a football player or a spice trader from the Dune novels?) – for a grand total of four turnovers in 15 minutes of play. One more boner and Manning would have fit in at a Romney fundraiser. I simply cannot believe this line is a pick ‘em. Hello? Is this microphone on? Yes? Well, how about the MRI machine? I know everyone is all Viagra for the Broncos this year. But watching Manning in Denver is like watching Johnny Unitas in San Diego. Did no one else notice that lack of arm strength? Like the series finale of Lost, this ends bad. Pick: Houston.
Feschuk: Here’s something I did not know: Ever since an Eagles receiver got paid for posing like Capt. Morgan in the end zone in 2009, the league has banned personnel from engaging in on-field sponsored activity – which means Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips can no longer earn cash for looking like Grimace.
Last week the Broncos played like a bunch of clowns – but not the good kind that make Wade clap and giggle. This week, I bet they bounce back like an Olympics athlete in the face of adversity, challenge, failure, quicksand and laser-beam death rays. Pick: Denver.
Philadelphia (minus 4) at Arizona
Feschuk: I’m fascinated by Andy Reid’s mustache.
I didn’t think it could grow any thicker but he’s totally grown it thicker. And longer and wilder and more unkempt. I think I saw some elves in there making cookies in a tree. But you know what? A thick, sexy mustache will only get you so far. Just ask Tom Selleck or Rosie O’Donnell. You also need talent. And one of those mustache combs to clear out all the crumbs and lemurs in there. The Eagles have won both their games by only a point – but they’ve had nine turnovers. If they hold onto the ball better against the Cardinals, they romp to victory. ROMP I TELL YOU. Pick: Philadelphia.
Reid: Upper case use of the word romp must involve twins and pant-lessness. This is a rule that you well know. Don’t just go acting any way you like in print, Mr. Feschuk. But it’s interesting that you should raise this mustache subject because it has been bothering me a lot. It IS thicker, I agree. But what distracts me is that it also appears to be lopsided. The left end is thicker, hangs down further and stretches longer across his cheek than the right side. It’s like his facial hair has had a stroke. Why isn’t he fixing it? This is the personal grooming equivalent of going to the bookstore in your track pants and slippers. Makes you think: If he can’t be bothered to treat his face appropriately, how committed can he be to fixing Michael Vick? Not very, says the hirsute one. Vick will continue to make many turnovers. It only a matter of time til he stretches – like the left half of Andy Reid’s moustache – in the wrong way and at the wrong time. Presto. Another injury. Pick: Arizona.
Green Bay (minus 3.5) at Seattle
Feschuk: I’m not making excuses for Aaron Rodgers’ relatively slow start, but the Packers’ O-line offers about as much protection as a condom opened by Wolverine. Pick: Green Bay.
Reid’s pick: Seattle.
Atlanta (plus 3) at San Diego
Reid: No one looks more pleased than Norv Turner to find the Chargers off to a 2-0 start.
To date, however, San Diego has faced pipsqueaks in Oakland and Tennessee. Atlanta, also 2-0 and fresh off a prime time slap down of Peyton Manning, will bring three points and a red hot Matt Flynn to town. Plus, they’re not coached by Norv. The real difference-maker in this game will be an overlooked Chargers D that is second to none when it comes to defending the run and looking West Coast casual. Assuming the Falcons will do the right thing and suspend Michael Turner for his DUI, Atlanta will be stuck heaving the ball on every down, opening up room for interceptions. And more Honey Boo Boo!
Pick: San Diego.
Feschuk: Americans just can’t catch a break. First, the economy tanks, costing them millions of jobs. Second, Creed gets back together. And now they have to live in a world in which Norv Turner thinks he can coach. He can’t. The Chargers will regress. This is a fact. It’s as sure as salmon returning to the stream of their birth or Matthew McConaughey returning to the chest waxer. Pick: Atlanta.
San Francisco (minus 7) at Minnesota Feschuk: San Francisco. Reid: San Francisco.
New York Jets (minus 3) at Miami Feschuk: Miami. Reid: Jets.
Pittsburgh (minus 4) at Oakland Feschuk: Oakland. Reid: Pittsburgh.
New England (plus 3) at Baltimore Feschuk: New England. Reid: Baltimore.