Pocket Doppler Prognosticators: Week 14
Each Friday during the football season the 3 founding fathers of Pocket Doppler (yours truly, BigSnakeMan & Chris Richards) will pick the winners of the Packer, Sunday night & MNF games with a running tally through out the season.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Pocket Doppler Prognosticators. Entering Week 14 the current standings are:
Not too much movement here with both BigSnakeMan & Chris notching 2 correct and then myself with all 3 picks correct. As for this week, looks like we have a lot of chalk talk going on here so while the numbers may change the standings won’t.
BigSnakeMan needs to pick his game up this week. If I fall any further behind Wally, they’ll be sending me to spend some time with Urban Meyer’s family. And now, the picks…
Packers over Lions – While this one isn’t a ‘gimme’, neither will it be the titanic struggle some people seem to be anticipating. The Lions are playing better but are still in the process of learning how to win, a task made tougher by the continuing absence of preferred starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. Given the rest of the Packers schedule it is pretty much a ‘must-win’, though, if the Packers figure to keep their division title (if not playoff) hopes intact. I fully expect this one to go similar to last week’s game against the 49ers. The Lions may be able to hang with the Pack for awhile before Green Bay eventually wears them down. Those looking for style points might be disappointed but Pack will do what they need to do.
Eagles over Cowboys – I’m having a hard time getting a handle on the Eagles. For a week or two they look like a juggernaut and the next minute they’re struggling to get by the Lions or getting their ass kicked by the likes of the Tennessee Titans. The Cowboys seem to have been mildly rejuvenated by the firing of somnambulant head coach Wade Phillips. Both teams have squeaked by the Indianapolis Colts (a feat not as impressive as in years past) so there’s no insight to be gleaned there. Dallas should have the edge at home, while the Eagles have the better defense. I think Philly QB Michael Vick should be able to make enough plays to put his team over the top.
Ravens over Texans – Another game that’s tough for me to get a read on. Both teams were prominently cited as Super Bowl challengers early in the season yet have underachieved. Normally under such circumstances I would go with the home team, but the Texans are only 3-3 in Houston this year. Houston running back Arian Foster is an emerging star but figures to struggle against Baltimore’s stingy rushing defense, especially with WR Andre Johnson battling an injured ankle (plus, his hand probably still hurts from hammering on Cortland Finnegan). The Ravens totally gagged one up at home against the Steelers last week so they should be focused for this one. Since Houston’s defense basically sucks, the Ravens should be able to move the ball against them and let their defense take care of the rest. I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea of taking 3 road teams this week but I gotta call ‘em as I see ‘em.
Packers over Lions – If Stafford was playing I would give the Lions a punchers chance here, with Drew Stanton at the helm I expect the Lions to get punched around. There’s also that little thing about how the Lions came very close to upsetting the Packers back in October at Lambeau, something which I am guessing the Packers will want to avenge and put the Lions down hard this week. One thing I will be focused on is the play of Detroit rookie of the year candidate Ndamukong Suh as no matter the state of the Lions, this is a player who can create some havoc & we’ll be seeing him twice a year for quite some time.
Eagles over Cowboys – Have to say I’m surprised with how the Cowboys have bounced back since the firing of Wade Phillips and promotion of Jason Garett. It’s basically still the same team here, so did the players have that much of a disdain for Phillips that they really weren’t playing at all? The evidence would point to it. No matter, I expect the Eagles to come in and handle their business, beating the Cowboys at home and handing Jason Garett the second loss of his young head coaching career.
Ravens over Texans – The first week of the season when the Texans beat the Colts, I really thought they may be on to something here this season. Yeah, not so much. The Ravens are still in the thick of things here as we hit the home stretch so have something to play for, which they will getting the win on the road.
Packers over Lions – Here’s a shout out to The Finest 2-10 team in NFL history, the 2010 Detroit Lions. Wonderful, fellas: you are greatly improved and on the right track — better days are coming at Ford Field. But DET is still 2-10 this season and playing with their third string QB. So even on the road in a dome where they’ve struggled at times I am liking the Packers, but would not be surprised if this game is more uncomfortable than the prospect of a pending colonoscopy.
Eagles over Cowboys – Three weeks ago I would have dismissed this game with a wave of my hand and a sarcastic “Child, please!” But DAL has pulled itself out of the septic tank since elevating Boy Coach Jason Garrett to the top job, winning three of the last four. However, PHL has won four of five and is flying high behind MVP-in-Waiting and Dog Fighting Impresario Ron Mexico. The ‘Boys are in their Billion Dollar Crib, but will be without Dez Bryant, and – sadly for them – will still be trying to win behind Jon Kitna. I expect Sallad to make it a game, but give me Vick and the Eagles to win in Irving.
Ravens over Texans – I don’t think I’ve ever gone with three road teams in a single week, but that changes this time around. After satisfying my Blood Lust with a exquisitely brutal throw-down with PIT last week, BAL will be looking to get the playoff bus back on the highway. HOU appears to be an excellent candidate for road kill. While they are not a horrible team–they have a decent offense–they’ve lost five of six and appear to be entering a death spiral. I don’t see that trend reversing itself this week against the Ravens.