Pocket Doppler Prognosticators – Week 3
Each week 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 had to bow out for this season (or happily escaped, take your pick) so Angel Kelly has joined the team. Like always, 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:
Yes, through a stroke of luck (and picking against the Packers in week 1), BigSnakeMan has jumped out to an early lead. However, he has Kelly, Colleen and Wally nipping at his heels and this week may very well result in a lead change.
Falcons @ Chargers (make up game) – An early matchup between two undefeated division leaders, as if that means anything after only 2 games. Since we’re still early in the regular season, Atlanta QB Matt Ryan hasn’t had time yet to add the ‘cold’ part to his moniker of “Matty Ice”. Fortunately for teammate RB Michael Turner, there’s a chartered flight out to San Diego as he likely won’t be driving himself anywhere for awhile. Atlanta is coming off a Monday night game in which Denver’s (still seems weird to write that) Peyton Manning turned the ball over 3 times in the first quarter and still had them in the game until nearly the end. San Diego seems to be following their usual pattern of looking better than they really are and Atlanta usually isn’t quite as effective on the road as they are in their home dome. Couple those things with the short week for the Falcons and the (Super) Chargers look like a safe bet here.
Patriots @ Ravens – After opening the season with a solid win, Baltimore stumbled in Philly last week with the aid of what QB Joe Flacco considered some questionable officiating. His fine is no doubt forthcoming. Meanwhile, New England is barely recognizable after dropping a decision at home to the Arizona Cardinals. I’m not sure what was more surprising; that the Cardinals defeated the Pats at Gillette Stadium or that they did so without any meaningful contribution from their best player, WR Larry Fitzgerald. Hard to believe that New England can be as bad as they looked last week but it’ll be difficult for them to come out of Baltimore with a win against what one assumes will be a highly motivated Ravens squad.
Packers @ Seahawks – Seahawks quarterback (and former Wisconsin Badger) Russell Wilson can move and is an accurate passer, which means he’ll be twice as hard to deal with as the statue from Chicago that the Packers’ defense victimized last week. Throw in hard-charging Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch and a good-looking head coach and this Monday night match up in front of CenturyLink Field’s notorious “12th man” may end up being tougher than it would appear on the surface. Hopefully, Green Bay’s defense can maintain the aggressive intensity it displayed against the Bears while the offense continues to find its footing. Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers should be able to present enough different looks to the rookie signal caller that the Packers can come away with the road victory.
BigSnakeMan’s Picks: Chargers, Ravens & Packers
Falcons @ Chargers (make up game) – The Falcons looked solid against Denver on Monday night, as did the Chargers the Sunday before against Tennessee. The Chargers also won handily without Antonio Gates, much to my Fantasy Football chagrin. Both teams enter into this contest 2-0 & on top of their respective divisions so who will go home undefeated? Going with the Chargers on this one as it’s too early in the season for them to start their collapse yet. If this game was in November though I’d totally be picking the Falcons.
Patriots @ Ravens – Unless you’re from the New England area, I’m sure you enjoyed seeing the Patriots lose to the Cardinals as much as I did last weekend. I’m not sure why I have this admittedly irrational dislike of the Patriots but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in it. As for the Ravens, they’re coming off a late innings loss vs the Eagles (who I can’t believe keep winning games with the way they’re playing). So two teams coming off of loses, two teams that really should have won the week before. When in doubt go with the home team &/or the one you dislike less, Ravens win.
Packers @ Seahawks – If the Packers can repeat their defensive performance they had against the Bears, or even just come close to it, I’m going to genuinely feel bad for Russell Wilson. While Wilson looked much better in his last game, I do think the Packers D will get pressure on him & be able to rattle the rookie QB. Offensively, I just hope the Packers can get on track quicker than they did in the previous game. I’m OK w/ the Packers offense not necessarily gelling so early on in the season, especially if the defense can keep playing the way they are, but at some point Rodgers & Company need to start putting points on the board earlier in these games, I hope this is the one. Of course I’m picking the Packers here, even with the long trip out West they’re the better team and will play like it.
Wally’s Picks: Chargers, Ravens & Packers
Falcons @ Chargers – Wow, I think I care more about the baseball than either of these two teams. And for the record, I only marginally tolerate MLB. Rivers makes my skin crawl. He’s a smug little weasel who loses his cool (though watching him blow his stack from time to time does have a certain element of tasty schadenfreude.) And then there is Matty Sno-melt. He’s either really good or about as appealing as a plate of left over fish sticks. But the Falcons have looked less hot mess-y lately. And then there’s the fact that Julio is my WR in both of my leagues (Roll Tide) and he with Roddy White form the foundation of a dangerous receiving corps.
Patriots @ Ravens – Oh Belicheat, I used to despise you above all NFL coaches. And then the moral depravity of Sean Payton came along. Here’s the deal, Flacco thinks he’s hot as snot right? Maybe he is, maybe he’s not. But I think we’ve already seen the Pats peak and this is they are on the slow decline from their glory years. Love the fact that losing wipes that smug little smirk of Tommy Bundtcake’s face. Still standing by my season predictions that the Ravens are a rising AFC team and the Patriots need to start planning for the future. Hopefully they remember the summer of 2008 and their eventual transition does not suck dead toads through a straw.
Packers @ Seahawks – I’m conflicted, I mean Russell Wilson repped my alma mater quite wonderfully last year and he really is the real deal, but c’mon FREE MATTY FLYNN! Oh, you want the winner of the game. Believe it or not, it’s going to be a good game. I’m going to feel bad when Clay flattens poor Russell Wilson, but I’m worried that if the Packers don’t put strychnine in Lynch’s Skittles, he could give them quite a lot of grief. Then again, the Pack’s QB is no slouch either. Should be a good game.
Kelly’s picks: Falcons, Ravens & Packers
Falcons @ Chargers (make up game) – The Falcons looked good on MNF this week but I’m not sure how much of that was the refs (awful officiating indeed) or how much of it was Peyton Manning having a letdown as opposed to how good the Falcons are. San Diego has beaten the Raiders and the Titans. Um….that is….not impressive. Falcons take this one and I have to see Roddy White get retweeted for being a smug ass afterwards.
Patriots @ Ravens – Well, Tommy and his Uggs got taken down a peg or two last week (I’m surprised we didn’t have video of Gisele foaming at the mouth after that one) and the Patriots lost to Jon Kolb (snort) and the Cardinals. I think that Patriots will bounce back from that, and be ready for this game. Joe Flacco looked….well, flaccid against the Eagles (but then again, Mike Vick got the holy tar as my grandpa used to say beaten out of him and he deserved it, as always) but somehow the Ravens only lost by one point. I say the Ravens are angry this week, but I really don’t think they’re a match for Belicheat and Co.
Packers @ Seahawks – I sort of like the Seahawks. I mean, they have Matty Flynn. Pete Carroll, while being attractive and a good coach to boot is unaccountably crazy and will not use Flynn, preferring Russell Wilson. As a Badger fan, I also like Wilson but I admit to hoping Matt will end up as the starter, after all the good stuff he showed in Green Bay. However, I think the Packers offense will finally start to click, recent Jermichael Finley drama aside (sigh) and the defense will really dial in on this rookie QB, even if he is good. Packers should be able to handle this well.
Colleen’s Picks: Falcons, Patriots and Packers
Falcons @ Chargers – Apparently the NFL decided not to cooperate this season. I couldn’t have been more wrong about either of these two teams, and now I am stuck pondering which can keep up the facade. As they say (does anyone say this?), when it’s a coin flip take the home team. Naturally, I’m picking the road team.
Knee-jerk reaction #1: Julio Jones is the 2nd best wide receiver in the NFL (to Calvin Johnson).
Patriots @ Ravens – What a mess. Tom Terrific can’t score against the Cardinals (who have won 9 of their last 11, by the way), and the Ravens fold to a team with more turnovers than touchdowns. What the Vince Lombardi is going on around here?! Brandon Lloyd can’t get open, Welker has seemingly lost an entire staircase, Hernandez is hurt, the offensive line is a mess, and Tom Brady is a couch in the backfield. That, and New England is on the road (please ignore Falcons/Chargers pick).
Knee-jerk reaction #2: Joe Flacco is better than Tom Brady, would have beaten the Giants in the Superbowl.
Packers @ Seahawks – What a great game to broadcast on ESPN Monday evening: the battle of the more effective clipboard holder, Harrell v. Flynn. Oh, that’s not the matchup they meant to promote? Hm, well Seattle’s defense against Green Bay’s offense will have to suffice. Seattle is much better than I (or anyone save Grantland’s Bill Simmons) gave them credit for, especially at home. Holy cow are they a solid home team. Still, I don’t think Green Bay, with the long off week will produce a dud. With Jennings and potentially Starks returning, and Finley’s agent in timeout after a spanking, I expect the Packers to eke out a close 20-something to 20-something melee. If Wilson passes for 80 yards and Seattle somehow wins, though, so help me God…
Knee-jerk reaction #3: The West is the best division in the NFC
Rich’s Picks: Falcons, Ravens & Packers