This week we have Knute with us. As you may guess, Knute is an alum of Notre Dame. Notre Dame has a great fight song. I wish there were more fights songs and more chanting in America. That is my one criticism of this country. That and the lack of a Southern Hemisphere constellation. Anyway, here are picks.
New England -4.5 @ Cleveland
Phil: The Browns have looked pretty good this year, but only making them 4.5 points underdogs to the only one loss team in the league is pretty crazy. It’s not like the Browns and their much heralded Dawg Pound has a real home field advantage. Since 2008 the Browns are only 5-14 at home. This line is just way too close for me, thus it reminds me of last week’s Lions game. It didn’t make sense to me last week that the Lions were favored, doesn’t make sense to me the Browns are only 1.5 points worse than the Pats on a neutral field. I lost last week and I won’t get fooled again. Browns 24 Pats 21
Knute: Every time I see Tom Brady on TV I think of that line in Varsity Blues where Dawson says: “I don’t want your life!” Except the exact opposite. The man is hated because he is envied. Then I start to think of Gisele with a whipped cream binkini, and Brady starting to lick…..anyway, besides the supermodel, the guy has the hair, the rings, the defense, and the coach, who just got finished pulling off the NFL’s greatest pump and dump scheme since, I don’t know…Jay Cutler to the Bears? By getting rid of clubhouse cancer Moss (apologies to Charlie Villanueva) and bringing back Deion Branch, the Pats are again the team to beat in the AFC. While Peyton Hillis’ awesomeness as a stud white running back (and Arkansas pedigree) can’t be overlooked, (and now that I think about it, which would we expect to have seen first in our lifetimes, a black President or a white stud NFL running back post 1980s? And no, Mike Alstott doesn’t count.) it won’t be near enough to help the Mistake by the Lake this week. Pats big, 35-13.
Kansas City @ Oakland -2.5
Phil: This is a fun game. Two surprise teams. Whichever team wins has the inside track for the AFC West this year. If the Raiders win they’ll be sitting pretty at 3-0 in the division. Amazing. Maybe the Chargers can turn it on in the second half of the season, but even if they do they’ll have to catch one of these two teams. The Raiders are actually scoring 26 points per game. Of course this number was inflated by their drubbing of the Broncos in week 7. I do think that this team has found some rhythm on offense. The Chiefs have won a lot of close games this year and are a grind it out type of team. The Raiders have been playing above their heads of late. KC 20 Oakland 17
Knute: I honestly can’t say I’ve seen a single Kansas City or Oakland game this season. However, I also can’t say I’ve ever seen Alex Flanagan naked, and yet I still know what I’m doing if she ever knocks on my hotel room door, so here comes my KC-OAK analysis. In keeping with awesome Arkansas running backs, Run DMC certainly had himself a couple of games the last two weeks. But then again, that’s Denver and Seattle. The vaunted Charlie Weis offense (don’t act like you’re not impressed by 13 points against Buffalo in overtime) will not be consumed by the Black Hole this week. I’m trying to think of a joke that involves Black Hole, Charlie Weis’s mouth, the fact that Darren’s last name starts with “Mc”, and McDonalds, it’s just not coming together……. Wait, what do Raiders fans and Charlie Weis’ proctologist have in common? Ehh, still a stretch. Much like this analysis. Regardless, KC 24 Oakland 20.
San Diego -3 @ Houston
Phil: The Chargers are another frequent visitor to the libertarian football picks. I love to hate them. Philip Rivers is a punk. Norv Turner is incompetent. Darren Sproles is no longer effective. The Chargers have to pass to win. The Texans give up 299 yards passing a game. My hatred of the Chargers isn’t enough to get me over that hurdle. Rivers should have a field day. Chargers 31 Texans 24
Knute: I was tempted to pull an article from any of about the past 5 year describing San Diego’s terribly slow start, and then how they eventually get their act together and made the playoffs, but that’s the lazy way out. So, I like LT to rush for at least a buck fifty and two TDs, and if David Carr can’t figure out a way to get over his happy feet, Houston will be in for a long day. Really, I don’t see any way the Texans can pull this out. About the only things hotter than the Chargers right now are the job market, residential mortgage securities, and possibly the junior senator from Illinois. (Ok, no more hot tub time machine). In contrast to SD, Houston started the season about as loud as you can with the win over big brother Indy, and since then have done exactly nothing. That’s not true, they beat both of the teams in the game above this, so I’ll say Houston 28, Oakland 20, Kansas City 24. Except it doesn’t work like that. Houston may be the second best team in the AFC West right now, but San Diego is the first best. Gates has stayed hot after a fast start out of the Gates (no?), Sproles is one of the most exciting guys to watch in the league, and Ryan Matthews is on my fantasy team. If those aren’t three reasons to take the Whale Genitalia, I may as well not be making predictions. On that note, good luck this week sports fans. San Diego 35 Texans 21
STANDINGS: Phil 12-10-2 CONTENDERS: 10-12-2