30 September 2010
2010 Week 4 Picks
"McNabb residence, this is Donovan speaking."
"Happy Easter, Coach Reid! Mormons do celebrate Easter, right?"
"Yes, Don. Listen, I've got some bad news for you."
"You re-signed TO?"
"No - we traded you to the Redskins 5 minutes ago. Your stuff is in a box outside the NovaCare complex. You can pick it up whenever you like. We changed the locks. And gave your parking space to Kevin Kolb."
"Well, at least I don't have to play with that self-centered douchebag Terrell Owens again."
Although I was concerned that I'd be conflicted about this game, I find that I'm not. I definitely want the Eagles to win. I'm just not sure we can.
I know - we're atop the division (for all that means in week 4) and the Skins have been abysmal the past two weeks. But McNabb knows everything about our O and D inside out. You better believe he's shared that ALL with the Skins coaches in the scouting sessions.
Of course, the Eagles have the offensive player of the month in Michael Vick and the defensive rookie of the month in Nate Allen. Towards whom Big5 will be throwing. To two wideouts who are, collectively, older than the rapidly-melting glaciers.
And, of course, divisional games are always wacky. As I explained to someone recently, "any given Sunday" is quadrupley true when it's an in division game.
On the other hand, is the "new" Mike Vick permanent? We've beat two pretty bad teams (the Lions and the Jags), and although he played well in the second half against the Packers, he couldn't bring us back. In other words, he's looking brilliant against scrubs. On the other hand, he's been great in the red zone. And many would argue that the Skins are scrubs this year, of course, but again, "any given Sunday."
Of course, the Redskins have been terrible in the red zone. The fact that they've almost universally chosen run plays (and they have NO ground game this year) hasn't stopped the Philly sportswriters from blaming it on McNabb.
And now we're back to that whole "chip on the shoulder" thing - last season's two end games against the Cowboys aside, McNabb generally plays better when he's playing with a chip on his shoulder. Seems to help him focus. But that lack of a ground game means our D will pretty much be safe blitzing (which we love to do) and blanketing the wideouts and jumping routes to come up with picks.
Verdict: I'm a mess about this game, I can't wait until Sunday, and I hope the Eagles can pull off a win, which I don't think is nearly the sure thing lots of people seem to think it is.
For the other games:
Jets at Bills: J-E-T-S- JETS JETS JETS! The Bills, while better than last year, are still not that great. And after a shaky start, Sanchez is looking more comfortable and confident the last two weeks. I'd feel pretty good, too, if I managed to spank the Patriots.
Bengals at Browns: What is wrong with Carson Palmer? Batman and Robin are unrelenting trouble, but they're also really, really talented. And they've barely smelled the endzone this year. That can't last - either they'll start hitting, Palmer will be replaced, or one or both of their heads will explode. Bengals.
Ravens at Steelers: The Steelers are 3-0, but they've beat the Falcons, the Titans, and the Bucs. Who actually, now that I look at it, are all 2-1. Hm. I did call the Ravens to win the division, so I think that means I have to go with the Purple Menace. But I'm far from convinced.
Broncos at Titans: Hm - Broncos are 6th against the run in the AFC, and the Titans bread and butter is RB Chris Johnson. I'm going out on a limb and calling Broncos.
Lions at Packers: The Lions are better this year, but not that much better. Packers.
49ers at Falcons: The 49ers better f-ing pull it together this week, or it's game over. Literally. I think this is the week. 49ers.
Panthers at Saints: Watch the Saints bounce back big against the hapless Panthers. Is it too early to talk about John Fox losing his job?
Seahawks at Rams: The Seahawks are surprising in a big way this year, and the Rams win last week was a fluke. Seahawks.
Colts at Jaguars: Colts. The Jags suck. You heard it here first.
Texans at Raiders: Hogs Haven, the Redskins SB Nation blog, had a really funny feature about a week ago: Graph Jam style joke pictures. One was a pie chart of what Redskins fans thought of Jason Campbell in 2009 versus 2010. 2009? Divided between things like: too many system changes, bad coaching, no wideouts, nice guy, etc. 2010? 100% "He stinks." Of course, Bruce Gradkowski is now under center, and he does seem to be an upgrade. But he's like upgrading from a Yugo to Taurus. And you need a BMW to beat the Texans these days.
Cardinals at Chargers: Can you believe the Chargers game is going to be blacked out AGAIN? Based on that alone, they HAVE to lose. Cardinals.
Bears at Giants: Bears. Who are looking way, way better this year. And the Giants are WAY worse. Maybe bad enough that they should have their NFC East membership cards yanked. And (and I know you'll be SHOCKED to hear this) the players don't like Tom Coughlin very much. Because he seems
like such a sweetheart, you know?
Patriots at Dolphins: Dolphins. Go Fins!
On bye: Cowboys, Chiefs Vikings, Buccaneers.