Pocket Doppler Prognosticators: Week 7
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 7 the current standings are:
Looks like everyone was looking over everyone else’s shoulders when making picks as we all had the same winners and we all aced the picks. Looking at the games for this week, it may be some of the same but only one way to find that out so here are everyone’s picks.
Packers at Vikings – Too bad for the Vikings that last week was the trap game for the Packers. Sure, there could be some potential pitfalls as Green Bay approaches this game against their divisional “rival” to the west. The Packers are playing with a backup at left tackle against one of the league’s premier pass rushers in Minnesota’s Jared Allen. But if Chicago’s (truly) offensive line was able to handle the Vikes as they did last week, I have no doubt that the Packers will find a way to deal with them. Minnesota wasted 2 years of QB development in being the enablers for Brett Favre’s desire for retribution against Green Bay. What they got for their trouble was a heartbreaking NFCCG loss followed by a season in which the caving in of the Metrodome roof served as a metaphor. Proving that they’re slow learners, the Vikings turned to another stopgap measure at the game’s most important position, even though there was little in Donovan McNabb’s recent performance to suggest that he had anything left in his tank. Now, a 1-5 start to this season has Minnesota retrenching yet again, forcing rookie QB Christian Ponder into his first NFL start. The history for such things is not entirely positive. It’s possible the Packers could fall prey to some more Metrodome hijinks but, short of another roof cave-in, nothing in this scenario points to a Viking victory in my mind.
Colts at Saints – It’s amazing how one man’s injury can screw up a season’s worth of TV ratings. This is the 3rd Colts game already this season to be shown in prime time. Before Peyton Manning’s injury, this contest looked like a pretty juicy pairing. Now it’s been reduced to jokes by Dan Patrick comparing replacement Curtis Painter to former Indy (& Packers) QB Don Majkowski because they both have (had?) long hair and wore number 7. So far, Painter’s had about the same impact on the won-loss column as the “Majik-man” although the Colts do seem to be improving. Unfortunately for them, they won’t get better fast enough to compete with a Saints team that figures to be in the hunt for the NFC Championship.
Ravens at Jaguars – While NBC has Manning’s absence to blame for their Sunday night game, ESPN has no such excuse for their lame Monday night slate. Apparently, there was no “compelling matchup clause” in their contract with the NFL. To paraphrase Roy Williams, last week’s game set football back 50 years (no, we will never forget). Jon Gruden’s Sparky Anderson-like pronunciations ring hollow in good games; they sound absolutely ridiculous in dogs like these. (So, where was I going with all this? Oh yeah….the game.) Offensively challenged Jacksonville is starting rookie Blaine Gabbert at QB against a Baltimore team with a Super Bowl-calibre defense….you do the math. The Ravens will pick over the carcass of the Jaguar(s).
BigSnakeMan’s Picks: Packers, Saints & Ravens
Packers at Vikings: There was a time when GB playing inside the dome in MSP would have freaked me out, causing unspeakable angst. But this version of the Packers is actually better in climate-controlled conditions. The wild card this time is that MN is going with a rookie QB making his first NFL start. While that sounds juicy when combined with GB’s recent success playing inside, it gives me pause. I get a little bit more nervous considering the Allen v. Newhouse matchup, but I am hoping the rookie can marshal his resources and keep QB1 upright. Still, I expect a Packers win, although probably not as comfortably as might be expected given the disparity in W-L records.
Colts at Saints: NO is home. They have Drew Brees at QB. IND is on the road. They don’t have Peyton Manning at QB. That should be enough for the Saints to win.
Ravens at Jaguars: I know JAX is at home and everything, but does anyone really expect the 4-1 Ravens to stumble against the 1-5 Jags? Yeah, me neither.
Chris’s Picks: Packers, Saints, Ravens
Packers at Vikings – I’ve gone on record stating that I dislike the Vikings more than any other team in the NFL. I always say this is due to my football awareness really coming into it’s own while at UW-Eau Claire, an hour and a half away from the Twin Cities, which meant UW-EC had more than its share of Minnesota students & Vikings fans, including a roommate of mine. Because I dislike the Vikings so much, playing them always makes me nervous as a loss would be simply unbearable. I’m thinking I won’t have to worry about that though this weekend as the Packers will come out on top, ruining the debut of Christian Ponder & hastening the relocation process to Los Angeles for the Vikings.
Colts at Saints – Another game NBC execs are angry with Peyton Manning for. With Manning this would have been a potentially exciting game. Without him it’s going to be a snoozer watching the Saints win by 20+.
Ravens at Jaguars – Is it just me of have all of these primetime games so far this season been really lopsided matchup wise? 1-5 Jacksonville against 4-1 Baltimore…hmmm, well I’m just looking to keep pace right now until there’s actually a game that could go either way & maybe get a leg up there…Ravens all the way.
Wally’s Picks: Packers, Saints & Ravens
Packers at Vikings – After the drama surrounding this matchup, this year it seems a little…dull. No, I DO not miss Brett. But it’s undeniable him turning purple put a little extra flash into this rivalry, especially last season as we all enjoyed the Packers beating the holy hell out of the Vikes. (Monday, I enjoyed wearing my Throwback Weekend shirt and newly acquired Packers jacket through the MSP airport and the Mall of America, smirking the whole time.) This week, the benching of Donovan McNabb in favor of Christian Ponder smacks of…well…desperation. McNabb hasn’t set the world on fire, but in his defense that team has TONS of problems. While I enjoy the stench of Minnesota desperation as much as the next Packer fan, I also remember a certain rookie in the first part of the Carolina game who made me a bit, shall I say, nervous. The Vikings really aren’t very good unless they have some super secret recipe that the whole team will ingest this weekend, and Ponder never set the world on fire for me. Even though the Packers have a few injuries from the (non) game against the Rams, they will go to the Humpty Dump and take care of business. Packers win.
Colts at Saints – The Colts are actually getting slightly better. Curtis Painter is going through the very epitome of trial by fire, and I admire him for his poise and sheer stubborness in trying to replace a very, very good MVP quarterback. He’s the little engine that could and the Colts seem to be rallying around that, struggle though they do. However, unfortunately for him this week, the Saints are coming off a surprising loss to the Bucs and Drew Brees uncharacteristically resembled a guy who likes to throw to the opposite team. That will not happen this week or Who Dat nation will rise up and destroy the Superdome. Saints win.
Ravens at Jaguars – The Ravens seemingly beat the Texans fairly decisively last week. (I wouldn’t know, really. I was having the time of my life watching one particular football team and hanging with new friends and didn’t even scan much of the highlights.) The Jaguars lost their last game, as the Jaguars are wont to do and have done for lo these many years now. My husband was a pretty big Jags fan back when Tom Coughlin was their coach and took them to the AFC Championship. It’s diminished somewhat, and as he finally acknowledged this week, he liked the Jags because he liked the character of the team which was truly due to Coach and people like Mark Brunell and Tony Boselli and not to the team itself. All of that character is long gone. My husband made a point of buying a Clay Matthews jersey on Monday when I helped some Shopko manager on Oneida meet his/her monthly sales goal. (Where were you Throwback Weekend people, letting me spend all that money? You don’t want me to afford to come to the playoffs?) Therefore, I feel not even a twinge when I say the Ravens win this game.
Colleen’s Picks: Packers, Saints & Ravens
Packers at Vikings – Hip-Hop/Pop singer Rihanna recently released a song titled “We Found Love in a Hopeless Place.” It’s auto-tuney, repetitive, and thus one of the most popular songs in America. Rihanna may have found love in a hopeless situation, but the Vikings are and their 2011 season is, utterly hopeless. They are less-than-loved, even within their own city — new stadium anyone? — and not even (one of) the best all around tailbacks in the NFL can reverse their fortunes.
The one win Minnesota does have this season came in a blowout, at home, over the Arizona Cardinals. The Vikings were up by 21 points late in the game, and yet “boo’s” still resounded throughout the Metrodome. All for? Donovan McNabb. Brilliant. Terrible fans, terrible team, chances of franchise relocating, and a visiting Green Bay Packers team who will show no mercy. (Insert “Ponder” pun here) For the 2nd week in a row, over before it begins.
Sound that war horn, Minnesota, and mourn the death of an already lifeless franchise.
Colts at Saints – Picking the Colts to win this game is the equivalent to saying Skip Bayless doesn’t spew nonsense for the sole purpose of garnering viewer interest and, simultaneously, justified outrage.
Ravens at Jaguars – Even Cade McNown thinks Blaine Gabbert has a funny name. And as we all know, you can judge a quarterback’s potential by his first and last name. I mean, right? Ravens absolutely abuse the Jaguars, Del Rio finally takes advantage of the “For Sale”
signs in his front yard and dials up a Realtor, a la David Garrard.
Rich’s picks: Packers, Saints & Ravens