Pocket Doppler Prognosticators: Week 9
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 9 the current standings are:
Quite the log jam after last week. The former, sole leader BigSnakeMan goose-egg’d his picks, Chris & myself each got 2 correct and Colleen & Rich each got 1…which leaves us with a 4-way tie and Rich in the basement by himself. This week’s slate on paper looks pretty good with the two non-Packers’ games possibly going either way although when I say that I may be thinking the Bears are last year’s team yet. Let’s take a look at the picks and see if we get some seperation for Week 10.
Last week, BSM attempted to invoke logic and reason in making his picks (well…except for picking 3 road teams) and went 0-3 for the effort, relinquishing his stranglehold on the season standings in the process. So, enough of that nonsense. Henceforth, it’s back to gut instinct and wild-ass guessing.
Packers at Chargers – The law of averages suggests that the undefeated Packers are due to lose a game here somewhere along the way and logic dictates that this would be a reasonable game to assume that could happen. On the other hand, I’ve already seen the kind of damage that logic and reason can inflict and I’m not falling for that one again. Green Bay has generally fared pretty well coming out of the bye week, winning 5 out of 6 such games under head coach Mike McCarthy. For whatever reason, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers has been in a season long funk, leading the NFL in turnovers at the position. The bottom line is that I simply can’t envision the Packers losing to the careless Chargers team that was in evidence last Monday night at Kansas City.
Ravens at Steelers – This promises to be a bitter game between two teams that genuinely do not like each other. The Steelers stumbled out of the gate this season when the Ravens put an uncharacterastic beatdown on their division rivals in week 1. Recently though, the Steelers seem to be coming around while the Ravens have gone (somewhat) the other way. Under normal circumstances, Pittsburgh might be in for a letdown after their big win over the Patriots last week but Baltimore’s arrival in the steel city should be more than enough to motivate Pittsburgh for this week. The Steelers get their revenge at home.
Bears at Eagles – Philadelphia is another team that seems to be on the upswing after a disappointing start and Chicago is learning that the page has turned on their charmed season of 2010. If this game were being played in Chicago, it might give the Bears a chance but the fact is they just aren’t as good as they’d like to believe they are. Plus, they’re jacking around their best player; running back Matt Forte who’s looking for a contract extension that doesn’t appear to be forthcoming from Chicago GM Jerry Angelo. That won’t exactly inspire his team. I’m not buying into the Dr-Eagles yet but their margin for error is gone and they should have enough to dispatch the Bears in this one.
BigSnakeMan’s Picks: Packers, Steelers & Eagles
Packers at Chargers – An undefeated, defending Super Bowl Champion returning from a bye week playing a team that is just 4-3 and coming off back-to-back tough losses–sounds like a good match up for GB. But the Packers defense doesn’t make this look like a 7-0 team to me. They are vulnerable against the pass and that should give a boost to Philip Rivers, who will have one of his favorite targets in Antonio Gates back in the lineup. Moreover, GB has to travel across the country will likely be tested by a solid pass defense. I don’t like how this is setting up for the Packers, so in an SI Cover Jinx Upset Special, I think SD ends GB’s perfect season.
Ravens at Steelers – After dispatching the Patriots at home last week, PIT welcomes BAL to Heinz Field. The Ravens administered a hellacious smackdown to the Steelers when these two teams met in Week 1. That clock-cleaning jolted PIT to a 6-1 streak. Meanwhile, the black birds have been 4-2 since the opener, including a too-close-for-comfort three point win over the sad-sack Cardinals last week. I expect this to be a brutal battle of two top-tier defenses (well, at least as much as there really are top-tier defense in the NFL these days). The PIT offense is a notch better than the Ravens, so I will go with the home field advantage and pick the Steelers.
Bears at Eagles – I think the Eagles found something last week in boatracing DAL. With their season all but hanging in the balance, they sacked up and beat down da Boyz. Well done. But that was just the first step in working their way back from a massively disappointing start to the 2011 season. The Bears are coming off a bye and are probably a better team than I want to believe. I just believe PHL is the more desperate team and I think playing at home will be enough to swing the game in their favor.
Chris’s Picks: Chargers, Steelers & Eagles
Packers at Chargers – Yeah, yeah, yeah…the Chargers will be stinging after the MNF OT loss, they’ll have extra motivation and blah, blah, blah. I’m expecting early scoring action from the Packers which should demoralize the Chargers quickly ending in another Packers’ victory. The Packers aren’t playing perfect, but the results are & while I’m not about to jump on the undeafeated season bandwagon yet they’ll remain unbeaten for now.
Ravens at Steelers – Two tough games for the Steelers in a row, but both at home. Last week I backed the Patriots, partially to try and out fox my PDP contemporaries, but mostly because I thought the Patriots were the better team. This week I should go with the Steelers as I don’t think the Ravens have enough to beat the Steelers…but sometimes you have to take chances so I’m going with an upset Sunday night at Heinz Field & the Ravens walking out winners. No guts, no glory…or bragging rights at the end of the year.
Bears at Eagles – I took a flyer on last Monday night’s game and it paid off. I don’t think I can do the same this time around and it has nothing to do with not wanting to pick the Bears to win. I think last weekend’s Eagles’ win will start the momentum they’ve been looking for which translates to two home wins in a row for Vick & company.
Wally’s Picks: Packers, Ravens & Eagles
Packers at Chargers – I was a lot more worried about this game until I saw Philip Rivers play fumblerooski at an extrordinary level last week. What a hot mess that game was. After that, I was sure the Pack had a lock on this game. Then I realized that Philip Rivers is probably the most furious quarterback on the planet right now and is going to be out for blood to redeem himself and the Chargers.
Nah, still not worried. Packers win. And hopefully we find a defense in the warm weather.
Ravens at Steelers – Another game I thought might be a really good game at first glance, then I saw how definitively awful Joe Flacco has been playing. My word, it seems to be a year for quarterbacks to totally lose their abilities. (Except for Aaron Rodgers, of course. BTW dude, I am SO glad to be starting you in my fantasy league this week! Alex Smith is fine and all…but he’s not you.) The Steelers have been playing well, coming off an important win against the Patriots, and I don’t see them letting down after that, it probably just fired them up all the more. Steelers roll over the Ravens.
Bears at Eagles – The Dream Team isn’t dead? You mean with one win the Packers are suddenly on ignore again? Good. I like flying beneath the radar. Both of these teams are on a win streak right now (that’s what NFL.com says, anyway. I swear they’ve both lost every game this year, or it seems like it). The Bears are coming off a bye week that they needed desperately, if only so Jay Cutler could be ready to get pounded again because of his lack of an offensive line. Sorry, but neither of these teams is very good, and the only dreaming either team will be doing in February is snoozing in front of the TV watching the Packers play in the Super Bowl. Since the Bears always and forever suck, I’m picking the Eagles.
Colleen’s Picks: Packers, Steelers & Eagles
Packers at Chargers – Green Bay has to lose eventually, right? West Coast travel, perhaps a bit complacent after the by week, San Diego coming off a loss they should have won. This game has the making of “L” No. 1. But McCarthy’s a better coach, Rodgers is a better quarterback, and the Packers are an all-around better team. Hop on the 16-0 train, peoples. It’s gonna happen.
Ravens at Steelers – After watching Pittsburgh shut down New England last week, I simply can’t pick against them at home. Ben Roethlisberger, you’re still a (bleep).
Bears at Eagles – What should be an intriguing match up doesn’t excite emotion outside of Philly and Chicago in the least. Jay Cutler is single again; Kristin Calavari won’t be in attendance. Vick is back to being the erratic scrambler we grew to love prior to prison. And neither team has much of a shot in the playoffs. But the Eagles are at home and playing better, so the smart money is on them.
Rich’s picks: Packers, Steelers & Eagles