Pocket Doppler Prognosticators: Week 3
Last year, each Friday the 3 Founding Fathers of Pocket Doppler (yours truly, BigSnakeMan & Chris Richards) would square off in picking the winner of the Packers, Sunday night & MNF games in an attempt to prove their football acumen and entertain. We’re not sure either of those things happened. So this year, the Founding Fathers will be joined by two Pocket Doppler veterans: favored stepson Rich & Senior Angel Colleen. Like last year, we’ll keep a running tally throughout the season.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Pocket Doppler Prognosticators. Entering into Week 3 the current standings are:
Last week BigSnakeMan aced his picks, I only got one (& had difficulty even doing that accurately) & everyone else went 2 for 3. Let’s see what this week holds, shall we?
Packers at Bears – The Monsters of the Midway opened the season by laying a beatdown on a (once) highly regarded Atlanta Falcons team. The next week at New Orleans, they inverted that performance in a game that had the always understanding and insightful Chicago media calling for the head of Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz over his run/pass ratio and quarterback Jay Cutler indirectly criticizing his (truly) offensive line. (Yeah, that ought to inspire his teammates.) Now, they come home to face their arch-rival at Soldier (don’t call it Soldier’s) Field. So, in the grand scheme of things, what does all this mean for the Packers? In reality, probably not much. Whether the Bears are closer to the dynamo of Week 1 or the road kill of Week 2 is beside the point. When the Packers and Bears get together it’s usually an ugly, if intense, contest. The Bears will make some plays against Green Bay and they always seem to give the Packers trouble on defense. But I don’t foresee them doing enough on either side of the ball to come away with a win. Packers win a nailbiter.
Steelers at Colts - Judging by the play of Indianapolis so far this season, we now know that injured quarterback Peyton Manning should have been named the NFL’s MVP every year since he’s been in the league. At this point, Indy fans are probably longing for the golden age of former backup QB (and UW alum) Jim Sorgi. Pittsburgh seems to have righted themselves after their own dismal opening week effort but even if they aren’t all the way back, they should still have enough to get by an offfensively challenged (& pretty much just plain offensive) Colts team.
Redskins at Cowboys – Rivalry weekend concludes with this Monday night matchup; another series in which you can usually throw out the records, which in the case of the Native Americans is surprisingly good. Dallas QB Tony Romo was the talk of the NFL this week with his gritty, gutty comeback last week against the 49ers. Romo scored major points on the toughness (if not the ‘lack of judgment’) scale by returning to the game in San Francisco and playing with what turned out to be fractured ribs and a punctured lung. That means that this week he’ll either miss the game entirely or present an inviting target (despite all protests to the contrary). If that’s not trouble enough for Dallas, starting WR Miles Austin is definitely out (only a week after torching my fantasy team), and WR Dez Bryant and starting RB Felix Jones are also banged up. On the other hand, Washington is playing well enough to almost make it look as if head coach Mike Shanahan suddenly knows what he’s doing. Dallas’ litany of injuries combined with Washington’s current momentum looks to me like the recipe for a closely fought Redskins road victory.
BSM’s Picks: Packers, Steelers & Redskins
Packers at Bears – This one worries me, it’ll be the defense’s first foray to the field without Nick Collins out there and let’s be honest, the pass defense hasn’t necessarily been lights out yet this season. Tramon will be back though so there’s some help there and Jay Cutler is no Drew Brees & based on what I saw the last two weeks, he ain’t even Cam Newton either. The Bears of late though have been getting amped up to play the Packers so I expect a low scoring, slug’em out game. In the end though, the Packers are too talented to have a repeat of last year’s regular season games against the Bears and I see them winning this one by a small margin.
Steelers @ Colts – This would have been a possibly really good game on paper back in August or so. Now it’s just going to be a romp by the Steelers. NBC will be hating Peyton Manning by the end of this lopsided, embarassing affair.
Redskins @ Cowboys – This game however might be interesting. The Redskins actually aren’t as horid as expected and we’ll have all Tony Romo injury storylines if he suits up. I’m thinking the Redskins surprise everyone in this young season, win and advance to 3-0.
Wally’s Picks: Packers, Steelers & Redskins
Packers at Bears – My favorite line making the rounds this week is that the CHI offensive line has taken exception to the suggestion that Jay Cutler is soft, so they have been allowing him to be sacked repeatedly to show everyone just how tough he is. Sadly, Cutler doesn’t see the humor and is already saying that he won’t last the season if he keeps getting drilled as often as a Saudi oil field. Now, that sounds like a situation that will work in the Packers favor, and it will…unless Mike Martz goes decidedly unMartzian and does the smart thing and run the ball early and often to slow down the GB pass rush. If CHI does that the passing game should open up against a Nick Collinsless defensive backfield and the Bears should score enough to beat GB at home. I don’t expect they will have to put too many points on the board as the Packers have routinely struggled v. Lovie Smith’s Cover Two defense. So I’m going with CHI in a close and probably low-scoring game.
Steelers at Colts – Without Peyton Manning, the Colts have been, in a word, pathetic. I doubt playing at home will give them the edge they need to beat last season’s Super Bowl runner-up. While PIT has not been great in the early going this year, I can’t see them stumbling so far as to lose to an IND team that won’t have Manning at the controls.
Redskins at Cowboys – In recent seasons it seems WASH has created some early buzz before tripping on its own headdress and bumbling to the bottom of the NFCE standings. This year is no exception, as the Skins are off to a fast 2-0 start. However, they’ve won both of those games at home, and as good as Rex Grossman has looked, they will face a new challenge on the road against DAL. The Boys might be without Tony Romo, who played with a cracked rib and punctured lung last week. However, as he will have an extra day to heal and, most importantly, because this is the NFL (where testosterone is king), I expect Romo to play and for Sallad to hold serve against WASH at home.
Chris’s Picks: Bears, Steelers & Cowboys
Packers at Bears – I’ve done a fairly unforgivable thing. I’ve agreed to watch the game Sunday with @Da_Grabowski and his friend @sethneal among others. I know. We are meeting on neutral territory. Given the fact that, of course, The Bears Still Suck, and Jay Cutler Wears A Skirt, I am confident of the Packers win.
Then again, we’re missing Nick Collins. Damn it. However, I will not pick against the Packers 99% of the time. Especially Bears week. Coach Lombardi’s ghost roams these weeks.
Steelers at Colts – I could go down the same route I did with the Patriots/Dolphins game, and say this just isn’t fair. Hmmm…that one didn’t work exactly like plans, the Dolphins showed up. They actually looked pretty good and scared me a bit.
Yep, you’re absolutely right, I am out of my head by even contemplating this as a contest. The Colts won’t show up and until Peyton Manning’s neck is on a football field, I doubt they will. Sometimes your team really IS the quarterback.
Steelers all the way.
Redskins at Cowboys – Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tony Romo is a tough ass because he played with a punctured lung, blah freaking blah. Then again, my Bears loving cousin cheered when Rex Grossman hit the road from Chicago. I believe he may have said “Good luck with that, Washington.” Truly, my friends, as Bucky Katt from Get Fuzzy said to Satchel Pooch regarding a fight between Michael Bolton and Kenny G when asked who would win – “We all win, Satchel we all win.”
That said, I absolutely hate Mike Shanahan with every bit of my Packers fan soul since a particular Super Bowl (as well as someone who likes Dan Reeves, you backstabbing bastard Mike).
Gah. Meh. Blech.
I might think Wally is angry with the Prognosticators, were he not one of them.
Colleen’s Picks: Packers, Steelers & Dallas
Fresh out of hand surgery and having pins placed in my knuckle (broken hand, broken pinky and displaced knuckle), I am for the time being forced to type solely with the five fingers on my left. Thus, my explnations will be whittled down to as few words as possible. Now not only is my right arm in pain, but my pride is as well (1-2 last week; Colleen called it). In a few weeks this cast will be coming off, and my stint on the DL will be over…Not to mention the Running Diary / Twitter Reactions is going to make a return.
That paragraph took 2 hours and 37 minutes to type. I blame the jerk who harrassed a close lady-friend of mine / swung at me FIRST.
Packers at Bears – In the famed Greekepic, the Odyssey, Homer crafted a line: “It is not right to glory in the slain.” 1.) Homer may have a point, but not as it applies to Packers v. Bears. Seeing Chicago fall, slain by our beloved in the NFC Championship last season was perhaps the most beautiful site I have ever witnessed outside of the Packers Superbowl victory 2 weeks later. 2.) I am not Homer, but I am A homer.
Bearing that in mind, I refuse to pick against Green Bay until they lose a game. Oh yeah, and Jay Cutler is on pace to get sacked more times than (insert Donald Trump joke here). Packers win late.
Steelers at Colts – Sign Brett Favre! Bus Cook! Bring back the gunslinger! Chris Mortensen! He’s just like a kid out there! Kerry Collins on his backside, Steelers in a landslide.
Redskins at Cowboys – I once played an entire rugby match with a broken little toe. Heroic, sure, but I’m no Tony Romo. Broken rib, ouch. Punctured lung, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I don’t care how many late-game PAT’s Romo botches, the fella deserves major props for not only playing through an injury such as that but for bringing his team back from the brink of 0-2 and hooking up with Michael Irvin’s love child to secure an overtime victory. I can’t bet against those guts…Well, I can. But I don’t want to. Romo dies of internal bleeding before half, but the Cowboys eek this one out at home.
[Special thanks to my 12-year old sister Julia for coming on in relief and typing while a spoke.]
Rich’s Picks: Packers, Steelers & Cowboys