Friday, September 14, 2012

the week two picks

“And there’s nothing wrong with me.
This is how I’m supposed to be!
In a land of make believe,
That don’t believe in me …”

-- “Jesus of Suburbia” by Green Day.  "A land of make believe, that don’t believe in me!!!"  That pretty well perfectly sums up the Chiefs over the last twenty some odd years …


Last Week ATS: 8-8-0.
Season to Date ATS: 8-8-0.

Last Week SU: 11-5-0.
Season to Date ATS: 11-5-0.

Last Week “Screw You Pete King!” Upset of the Week: fire those cannon from the pirate ship!  For one glorious week, my “whoa, you took WHO to win the NFC?!?!” pick doesn’t look completely ridiculous* …

Season to Date Upset / Week: 1-0-0.

(*: the last time I took a NFC South team to do anything meaningful in January, I looked at the 2006 Saints and thought, “you know what?  Bears / Saints NFC Title Game” in early September.  Other than nailing the 2000 Giants coming out of nowhere to reach the Super Bowl, its my luckiest preseason pick ever.)

This Week’s “Screw You Pete King!” Upset of the Week: well, if this Pick of the Week is named in an attempt to screw someone over for perceived bias, there’s only one obvious pick to make in week two.  Hang on, I need to properly prepare for this week’s Upset of the Week Prediction. 

(stevo buying a gallon of gasoline.) 
(stevo buying lighter fluid). 
(stevo buying one of them flame-thrower thingies the Army used to use.) 
(stevo dousing himself with gasoline and lighter fluid.) 
(stevo lighting himself on fire …) 

Give me denver +3 in the Dome Monday night, outright over the Falcons.  A horrendously depleted (and embarrassing poorly coached) Chiefs team was one awful field goal attempt away from being tied with the Falcons midway through the third quarter, and last time I checked, (a) the Chiefs offense isn’t a model of success,  (b) the Chiefs defense hadn’t forced a punt, and (c) neither had the Falcons up to that point.

The Non-Chiefs, Non-Jets Prognostications:

* at Packers 30, Bears (+5 ½) 27.  Smells like a last second game, like contests between these two bitter rivals usually is.

* Redskins (-3 ½) 34, at Rams 30.  I’m not happy having to lay the half point.  At all.  This smells like a field goal contest.

* at Seahawks (+3 ½) 41, Cowboys 20.  This one, on the other hand, reeks of over-reactions across the board.  The Cowboys beat a mediocre Giants team.  The Seahawks lost to an awful Cardinals team on the road.  I like the Hawks, and I like them big.  (stevo ducking rotten tomatoes Seahawks fans are flinging in his direction.)

* at Jaguars (+7) 13, Texans 10.  For three reasons: (a) the Texans aren’t as good as most people think (Gary Kubiak alert!  Gary Kubiak alert!), (b) the Jaguars aren’t as bad as most people think, and (c) for some reason, Jacksonville always beats Houston.  A “we’re here, so what the hell, let’s play” Jags team nearly cost the Texans the division last year by winning at Houston in week 16.  It’s only week 2 this time.

* Vikings (-2) 24, at Colts 20.  My God, I’m laying the points on Christian Ponder on the road.  And yet, this STILL isn’t a designation game, because the last remaining designation games of the week goes to …

* raiders (-2 ½) 3, at Dolphins 0.  “Hide the women and children / Even grown men?  Run with fright! / Because noone would watch this one / Not even Kid (clap!) Dy-No-Mite!!!”  Your “Good Times Game of the Week”!

* Bengals 6, at Browns (+6 ½) 3.  “You take the good / You take the bad / You take them both / And then you have?”  Not this game – there’s no GOOD involved in your “Facts of Life Game of the Week”.

(I swear, it’s time to haul out the Sitcom Theme Song Ratings Gimmick for a gambling week this year.  I haven’t done that in four years.  What’s that, Mr. Davidson?  (john davidson voice) That’s INCREDIBLE!!!)

(And yes, I am fully aware that “That’s Incredible” was not a sitcom … although I’d argue any show starring that Crosby chick, Fran Tarkenton, and John Davidson is certainly laughable.)

* Ravens (+2 ½) 19, at Eagles 14.  Awesome game.  Other than Bears / Pack and donks / Dirty Birds, there isn’t a better game on the board.  And I think this one will be better than the peytons versus the Falcons.

* at Patriots (-13 ½) 66, Cardinals 10.  The NFL record for margin of victory in a game is 73 points.  It might be in jeopardy on Sunday.

* at Giants 31, Bucs (+6) 30.  Not sold on this pick at all.  Bucs can absolutely win this game.

* at Panthers (+2 ½) 31, Saints 20.  Well, I fear I nailed a presumed NFC South contender sucking ass this year.  I just fear I picked the wrong one of the Big Two to take a tumble.

* Lions (+7) 31, at 49ers 27.  Awesome prime time contest between two rising powers.

* at Chargers 24, Titans (+6) 20.  Norv Turner v Mike Munchak.  Even in the hallowed drunken GM / owner days of the early 1980s, when Bobby Freaking Beathard and Chuck Casserly were building Lombardi Trophy rosters, that’s how inept most teams were?  Even in those hallowed days, this is an epically bad coaching matchup.

* broncos (+3) 41, at Falcons 27.  For three reasons: (a) the Falcons cannot stop anyone.  Lost in the whole “the Chiefs didn’t force a punt until the fourth quarter” argument … is that the Falcons didn’t force one either.  As my buddy Pickell would note, “let me put it this way”: if Matt Cassel has no problems moving the ball against the Falcons?  peyton manning is going to be laughing his way to a 33/36, 415 yards, 4 TD / 0 INT evening; (b) gee, you think john fox knows a thing or three about beating a NFC South squad?  and (c) you wagering against peyton manning in prime time?  Cause I’m sure as all hell not about to.

The Jets Best Guess:

I’m still not sure what the most stunning moment of the week has been for me, either (a) coming down with a violent flu bug for the third time in four months*, (b) the stunning “whoa, shock live eviction!” on “Big Brother” last night … or (c) the Jets, who scored exactly one touchdown in the entire preseason (by the third stringers to boot!), became an offensive juggernaut, posting the most points in week one, and blowing out a decent Bills squad to start the season off right.

(*: hey – I’m dog sitting for my brother this weekend!  Gee, if I can’t be in his house for three f*cking hours without vomiting from whatever the hell his kids are passing around all summer long, I wonder what’s gonna happen when I’m living there for three straight days!  On further reflection, I need a “Lock of the Week”, and that’s this week’s – I will be sick by Tuesday morning.  Not “mildly discomforted”, not “it’s all cool, this migraine will pass once the allergy meds kick in” ill, but full on “hey lookie, Stevo’s puking at 1:30pm in the company bathroom again!  We sure he didn’t have a liquid lunch (rimshot!)” level of ill.  Bet the family farm on it.  You know, if you had said proverbial family farm.  Which I don’t.)

Having noted that … the Jets are not winning this game.  Pittsburgh needs this one, desperately.  Here’s their next six weeks: at raiders (never an easy place to play, even if you’re the Chiefs, and you’re 9-1 in your last ten out there) / bye (hate the early bye, although it did save the 2006 Chiefs season) / vs Eagles (legit Super Bowl threat) / at Titans (Thursday nighter, short week) / at Bengals (Sunday nighter, possibly hostile environment) / vs Redskins (intriguing).

And they follow that segment up with a roadie to the Giants, a grudge match on Monday night against Coach Asshat’s former team (hey, that’s us!  Coming off a long week to prepare!), then face the Ravens, before finally drawing a possible breather in the fake dog pound.  That’s a stretch with no breathing room.

Which means you have to beat the team you’re better than, or at least on a level par with.  The Steelers are better than the Jets.  You hate to call week two “must win”, because it’s never “must win” early on until you’re 0-3 (because only one team has ever recovered from worse to reach the playoffs). 

at Steelers (+4 ½) 35, Jets 27.  I’m not looking forward to this.

Finally …

The Chiefs “Fling It And Hope It Sticks” Best Guess:

Can we be realistic here for a moment?

If the Chiefs lose this game, to fall to 0-2 for at least the 8th* time in 12 years?  

Start making mock draft plans, because I honestly think its season over.

(*: 2000 0-2, 2001 0-3, 2004 0-3, 2006 0-2, 2007 0-2, 2008 0-3, 2009 0-5, 2011 0-3).

You can overcome a mediocre quarterback.  The Jets do it on a weekly basis.  Ditto the 49ers.  You can overcome injuries.  The Packers did it all of last season.  You can even overcome a start as awful as 0-4 and still win the division and a wildcard game (1992 Chargers).

What you CAN’T overcome is a combination of “all of the above”, with “shitty head coach” thrown in to boot.  I HATED the Romeo hiring at the time, because it was a stupid all-or-nothing gamble with absolutely no upside to it.  What, pray tell, is Romeo’s ceiling?  9-7 / 10-6 and getting stomped by the Ravens or Colts on Wildcard Sunday?  Even Coach Asshat could manage that.  Hell, even Herm Edwards managed that.

But the floor?  We’ve seen the floor – four years of it with the Cleveland Browns, and now eight games (four that count) with the Chiefs.  And you can legitimately argue the Chiefs have gotten WORSE in every game, save for the preseason opener.

To use the words of the President in his (hopefully unsuccessful) effort to win re-election, this team is not “moving forward”.  At best, they’re stuck in neutral.  At worst, they’re what we’ve seen in the four games that count – moving quickly in reverse.

Either the Chiefs stop the bleeding Sunday, or it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

Prove me wrong Chiefs.  Because right now, I have less faith in you, than I possibly ever have.  This team is an abject trainwreck.  It’s a disaster.  And because we have a genuine ass clown as our head coach, it’s gonna get a whole lot worse, before three years from now*, we start digging out from the rubble of the worst hire in franchise history.

(*: you doubt me?  We lose Sunday, this season is a lost cause, a 4-12 disaster.  Pioli won’t admit he f*cked up another coaching hire, so Romeo returns for year two.  It bombs again.  Romeo’s fired somewhere after midseason, and Pioli is shown the door in mid-December.  Then you have to hire a new GM, new head coach, and start over, meaning year one of the new regime is lost.  This hire is so epically awful, that if my name was Clark Hunt, and my GM walked in and told me “I’m gonna give Romeo Crennel $10 million of your dollars over a couple years to coach your team”, I’d have bitch slapped him and fired him on the spot.  2016 Chiefs fans, 2016 if we lose this game.  20 f*cking 16!  It’s not just an anti-Obama number anymore!)

Prove me wrong Chiefs.  Please -- prove me wrong.  (stevo looking at his program.)  (stevo seeing the worst hire in franchise history is still our head coach).  F*ck! 

at Bills (-3 ½) 41, Chiefs 13.  They can’t make this line high enough.  And no -- this is not reverse psychology.  I'm that down on this team right now.  Again, look at the eight games Romeo has coached, or just the four regular season ones.  The Chiefs have gotten worse every week.  It's a trend that, based on Romeo's history as a head coach, is far more likely to continue, than to be stopped.

Oh, one final item: there might be a live blog Sunday for the game.  I haven't done one of those in three years.  I think I need to make that happen ...

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