Pocket Doppler Prognosticators – Week 1
Each Friday last season, the 3 Founding Fathers of Pocket Doppler (Wally, BigSnakeMan & Chris Richards), Senior Angel Colleen and favored stepson Rich 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 going to make another valiant attempt at it this year. Unfortunately Chris has had to bow out for this season (or happily escaped, take your pick) so Angel Kelly will join the team. Like always, we’ll keep a running tally throughout the season.
Welcome to this season’s first edition of the Pocket Doppler Prognosticators. It’s week 1, so we’re all even – as you will see from the opinions below, that will change come week 2.
49ers at Packers – Another football season is upon us, which means for the first few weeks we’ll be trying to decipher the relative strengths of this year’s teams based on little to no evidence. That makes an exercise like this particularly adventuresome. At least that gives me an excuse to be wrong, unlike later in the year when it’ll all be on me. The 49ers came virtually out of nowhere to play (and lose) in last year’s NFC Championship game and are among the early favorites to represent their conference in the next Super Bowl. If last year is any indication, this game should pit strength against strength and weakness against weakness. San Francisco relied largely on its defense to win the NFC West while Green Bay pretty much did everything but. My heart tells me to go with the Pack here, but I have a queasy feeling in my gut that says the Niners will spoil the opener for the Lambeau crowd. And, of course, such an occurrence will quickly be followed by the national media prematurely writing off the Packers as a championship contender.
Steelers at Broncos – Denver fans are asking themselves whether their new (old?) quarterback will be able step out of the long shadows cast by…….Tim Tebow. When these two teams last met, Tebow was doing whatever it is he does to send Pittsburgh to an early playoff exit. Once Broncos honcho John Elway was able to lure future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning out to the Rockies, he was only too happy to ship Tebow’s ass off to New York. But it still remains to be seen whether the ‘paper upgrade’ will actually transfer to more wins on the field. God help them both if they backslide. Pittsburgh is once again suffering a number of injuries to key players and could very well get off to a slow start as they recover. The thin air in Colorado combined with the Steelers current shortcomings should be enough to allow Denver to edge Pittsburgh again.
Chargers at Raiders – After years of being a good soldier in Green Bay, General Manager Reggie McKenzie finally gets the long overdue opportunity to run his own shop. Unfortunately, he got stuck in Oakland. The Raiders spent the better part of the last decade trying to win in spite of the convoluted control of longtime czar Al Davis. Now that Davis has (literally) passed on, it can only be a step in the right direction to have someone calling the shots who’s actually aware of what’s going on. San Diego, under head coach Norv Turner, seemingly begins every season as a playoff contender only to flame out sooner or later along the way. The Chargers went from a 13-3 record 3 years ago to finish 8-8 last year. As a reward for the San Diego faithful, owner Alex Spanos gave Turner and GM A.J. Smith another year to cement their mediocrity. With starting tailback Ryan Matthews once again (still?) out due to injury, San Diego will have to rely on QB Philip Rivers and the passing game to overcome a shaky defense. I predict that McKenzie’s rebuild gets an early boost with a win over the (not so super) Chargers.
BigSnakeMan’s Picks: 49ers, Broncos, & Raiduhs
49ers at Packers – Not unlike last year, this is no easy opener for the Packers to kick off the season. Just a few years ago the very thought of saying the 49ers would be a tough match-up was laughable but sure enough that’s the case these days. There’s been rumblings of concern about Aaron Rodgers this preseason & that he doesn’t seem as switched on thus far but I’m thinking once Sunday rolls around that switch will be flipped. The 49ers defense is stout, no denying that, but I think once the final seconds have ticked down it’ll be the Packers’ offense which will have carried the day, starting the Pack with a win in the 2012 campaign towards The Big Easy.
Steelers at Broncos – It’s weird seeing Manning in orange, right? I don’t think it’s on the level of seeing Jerry Rice in Oakland black or that other QB in Jets green/Vikings purple or anything but it still seems off to me. It’s something we’ll have to get used to though as I’m sure ESPN will be jamming it down our throats when they’re not covering the Broncos’ previous QB. I’m going with the Broncos in this Sunday night affair though, giving Manning his first win as a non-Colt for the simple reason I dislike the Steelers. I know, you can’t get that sort of X’s & O’s insight anywhere, now can you?
Chargers at Raiders – Norv Turner…how does this guy still have a job? It’s almost unfathomable but here he is for another year, which I think should the Chargers again tank will be his last. Oakland, under the leadership of Reggie McKenzie, may actually be turning a corner ever so slowly. Of course, McKenzie has some work to do as he digs out of the mess he was handed so it’ll still be a year or two before the Raiders are actually relevant again. For that reason, as much as I don’t want to, I have to go with the team that is better right now & give the Chargers the win in this one.
Wally’s Picks: Packers, Broncos & Chargers
49ers at Packers – I am so sick of hearing about Rodgers v. Smith. Yes,
Smith was drafted first and Aaron went into free fall. But you know
what? I bought a car once that had great reviews and all that yet it
turned out to be one giant lemon. At this point, I really don’t
care–and it really doesn’t matter–where Smith was in the draft
because he’s mediocre at best. Add a coach I think is a complete turd
waffle and mix in a little Imma Gonna Do What Imma Gonna Do from Randy
Moss and the Niners have the potential for a recipe of Hot Mess. Glad
the drama is there and not in Green Bay.
Winner Green Bay. Expect them to put the pedal to metal early, but for
the love of God, Cobb, take a knee when you get that ball seven yards
deep in the end zone!
Steelers at Broncos -Here’s the deal, I really don’t like either
quarterback, though Peyton is growing on me. The Steelers are my
favorite AFC team. They have been since I was a kid. Sure Skeezy Ben
can pull it out of his rear when their backs are against the wall, but
Mendenhall, though he suited up this week for practice, has a knee I’m
not sure is completely healed. Harrison is on the injury list, and
Mike Wallace? He’s just asking for the sit-out hammy to explode. And
then there’s the fact he’s not in good graces right now with Big Ben.
Oh, Steelers, you’re breaking my heart!
Winner: Broncos because they don’t suck as much as you think they do.
Chargers at Raiders -What is with the quarterbacks that make me twitch
uncomfortably? I guess I’m fickle. Then again, Rivers is whinier than
my drama queen eight-year-old. Oakland may be a rising team, but they
aren’t there yet. But never underestimate the Chargers’ ability to
play down the a lesser team. For the record, the only division I care
less about than the AFC South is, well, the AFC West. So I guess “I
don’t care” isn’t a good enough pick for the PD Prognosticators. But
seriously, this is one game that could get canceled and I really
Kelly’s Picks: Packers, Broncos & Chargers
49ers at Packers – I’ve always hated the 49ers. I hated them when Joe Montana was their quarterback, and I hate them now that Alex Smith is, especially since I’m waiting for Colin Kaepernick to pull something out of ‘All About Eve’ and get that starting job. (Colin…talk to me…I have ideas.) Mostly, though, I hate them because they kept the Packers out of the Super Bowl during the 90s for a while and it drove me nuts. Oh, and the idiots have Randy Moss this year. How dare anyone ever let him into Lambeau ever again?! Anyway, this diatribe is meaningless because the Packers are going to wipe the field with the 49ers. It has to drive Aaron Rodgers nuts that Alex Smith made it to the NFC Championship game last year…and he didn’t. Shades of the draft (and not fifty shades, either). ‘Nuff said.
Steelers at Broncos – Wow, one QB I can’t stand on a team I actually do like and one QB I really like on a team I can’t stand. How I wish Peyton Manning had gone to a decent team, a team run by quality people….but the Packers didn’t need a quarterback, so that was just not going to happen. I think the Broncos are going to be better this year than they were last year, and they made it to the playoffs with
Jesus Tebow, so they have some serious potential. Pittsburgh seems like they’re on the downhill slide, but then again, the Packers failed in the playoffs last year, too. This one’s a somewhat tough call, but given that visitors for some reason can’t breathe in Denver (Being where I’m from, I’ve never gotten that), I’ll say the Broncos are going to win this. I hate Mr. Ed. Hate. him.
Chargers at Raiders – In one of my prognostications last year, I remember theorizing that Philip Rivers was trying to get Norv Turner fired. As usual with Rivers, he performed poorly under pressure and was unable to achieve his goal. I had to think for a moment as to who the Raiders had as their QB, as that position has been something of a revolving door since Rich Gannon left. (Who, by the way, does not bother me on the Packers’ broadcast half as much as he seems to bother all of you.) Then I remembered it was Carson Palmer, and although he should have been an upgrade, he sucked. Or blew. Not sure which. Well, you get the picture. There’s no better place to play football than the Oakland Coliseum *cough* bullshit *cough* and I’m sure this will be a fabulous game to watch. Who am I kidding, this is going to be another one of ‘those’ MNF games. Luckily I don’t think ‘that guy’ is going to be part of this one. Now, where was I? Oh, yes, who’s going to win? Well, for the first time, a new coach is in Oakland that Al Davis can’t mess with, or fire. I’m going to put myself in a hole to start off with and say the Raiders.
Colleen’s Picks: Packers, Broncos & Raiders
49ers at Packers – Like last year, I fully expect Green Bay to come out firing on all cylinders (wondering how many cliched phrases I can fit in here). They initially took it to the Saints on opening night last season before the defense threw up on itself, recovering just in time to stuff the two point conversion. Unfortunately, San Francisco doesn’t have the ability to fully overcome large deficits. If this match up was being played on the West Coast, my thoughts would differ. Rodgers superiority over Smith should suffice.
Steelers at Broncos -Being an asthmatic since birth, I fully understand the reasons for Ryan Clark to sit out this contest. While he’s not a game breaker by any means, his absence will further provide impetus for Manning to let loose on the Steelers secondary. That said, I don’t believe Denver’s offensive live can handle the ferocity of Pittsburgh’s linebackers. The Broncos will be 10-6 good this season, but not until a couple weeks in.
ps. I hope Roethlisberger’s child is as ugly as he is.
Chargers at Raiders – Fool me 37 times, shame on me. The Chargers are fraud and always will be under the current regime. This is the classic, ‘should win but will flop’ scenario for San Diego. Oakland up 14 before the end of the 3rd quarter.
Rich’s picks: Packers, Steelers & Raiders