Pocket Doppler Prognosticators – Week 6
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 10 the current standings are:
The pack (yeah, groan) is not really starting to thin yet. The Texans game made the difference last week, so BigSnakeMan and Colleen are currently dueling for first place. Trash talking the likes of which Jermichael Finley has never uttered may ensue soon – let’s see what comes of this week’s picks. (If you picked against the Packers, let’s hope it brings them luck. And I don’t mean Andrew.)
Vikings @ Redskins – I’ll be honest; I have no clue about this game (which foolishly implies that I normally do). Judging from the pre-season expectations for Minnesota, they must have spent the majority of their salary cap on smoke and mirrors. Actually, I have yet to see them play but the national media seems surprisingly enamored with them. Meanwhile, in Washington, heralded rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III left last week’s game with what was characterized as a “minor” concussion. I’m can only guess that the application of ‘minor’ in this instance is defined as one which happens to someone else. Griffin has been cleared to play, but he’ll probably be somewhat less than 100%. The Vikings would seem due for a fall. But since I’d prefer that they lose, it almost guarantees that they’re going to win.
Packers @ Texans – I would opine that this year’s edition of the Green Bay Packers looks to be snakebit, but I think that would be doing a disservice to snakes. Now comes word that starting running back Cedric Benson has been placed on injured reserve with a severe foot injury. This could inspire an update of an old Milwaukee Braves joke (‘Green and Saine and pray for rain’(?). It may be overstating the case to suggest, as many Packers fans did this week, that GB QB Aaron Rodgers is playing poorly. They seem to be holding him to the standard that was set last season, which he may never approach again. But it’s probably fair to say that he isn’t playing as well as the Packers need him to. Of course, he isn’t getting a lot of help on either side of the ball. His receivers are struggling to get open and to consistently catch the ball when they do. The O-line play has been spotty at best and, without Benson, the running game becomes even more of a question mark. And the defense which showed so much promise against the Bears earlier this season, has so far failed to develop. All of this has left the Pack looking up at Chicago and Minnesota in their own division and facing what may be a ‘must win’ on the road against the most complete team in the league in the Houston Texans. The Packers under head coach Mike McCarthy have generally responded well to similar circumstances so I feel confident in thinking that they will play better this week. Unfortunately, I feel just as confident that it won’t be enough against the Texans.
Broncos @ Chargers – These are two teams that look good on paper. Sadly for them, the actual games are played on grass or synthetic turf, where neither has fared nearly as well. I don’t really see much here at the moment to separate one squad from the other so I’ll simply go with the home team. How’s that for cutting edge, insightful analysis? (The betting line forms to the right.)
BigSnakeMan’s Picks: Vikings, Texans & Chargers
Vikings @ Redskins – The Vikings are 4-1 & technically on top of the NFC North Division. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that for the simple fact it’s entirely unbelievable to me. Yet, there it is. Meanwhile the Redskins, RG3 or not, are where everyone thought they’d be at the bottom of the East. Speaking of RG3, he’s supposedly OK after his ‘mild’ concussion last weekend but that still doesn’t mean he’ll play come Sunday. Whether RG3 plays or not, I still have to go with the Vikings here because they’re playing better football right now. Just typing that made bile begin to rise…ugh, I hate the Vikings.
Packers @ Texans – I will never, ever cheer a season ending injury for any player which is what happened to the Texans’ Brian Cushing this past weekend. That being said, Cushing being out does help the Packers’ cause here & frankly I think they need all the help they can get right now. Also, JJ Watt…I really think he’ll end up destroying Bulaga or Newhouse depending on where he lines up so I sure hope there’s a plan in place to provide support for both those guys. I think this game will end up high scoring but the Texans defense, even without Cushing, will end up winning the day allowing the Texans to put more points on the board than the Packers, but not by much.
Broncos @ Chargers – Didn’t we just pick this game? Pretty sure we did like only a couple weeks ago & my boredom with both teams remains the same. Speaking of boredom, how big of a disappointment has Antonio Gates been this year from a Fantasy standpoint? I think it’s my own fault for continuing to pick him because he’s Antonio Gates & I have fond memories of that one game he put up 30+ points for me once. Those were good times. Oh…the pick, I’ll go with the Broncos again, worked the first time this game was on the slate.
Wally’s Picks: Vikings, Texans & Broncos
Vikings @ Redskins – Give me a second, what’s the status of RGIII? Oh, that’s right, he was miraculously cleared to return after having his clock cleaned. Yes, Ponder is pretty decent, but I’ll take a gimping RGIII over a fully capable Ponder any day of the week. And you know what? It completely chafes me that the Vikings have a better record than Green Bay considering two of their victories were Jacksonville and Suh and his band of stupid men. But they don’t have the Humpdome. They don’t have that stupid Viking horn blaring. They don’t have, well, much.
Packers @ Texans – My head hurts. My heart hurts. All is not lost. I’m going to repeat that over and over until I really believe it. This weekend has the perfect storm for a chip on Rodgers’ shoulder the size of Montana. First, you have most of the sports pundits already eulogizing the not even cold–heck, not even dead–2012 Green Bay Packers. You have analysts saying he’s not up to snuff this year. And then you have the obnoxiously petulant child dropping bombs and sowing seeds of doubt in his own locker room about leadership and chemistry regarding “the quarterback.” You don’t think Rodgers is going to come out guns blazing this week? There still is JJ Watt, who is a terrifying opponant that isn’t going away any time soon. But if Sanchez was able to keep the Jets in that game last week, he proved the Texans are not an unconquerable Leviathan. Offense has to be spot on. Alex Green needs to prove that spark (no pun intended, nor directed at any other running back) the Packers saw to draft him. And the defense actually needs to take the ball away.
Broncos @ Chargers – (sung to Don’t Cry for Me Argentina)…Don’t cry for me Peyton Manning. The truth is I never loved you. Since Tennesee, I hated your guts, yeah. Cry to your momma…Sweet schadenfreude. That would normally hold true except for the simple fact that I can’t stand anything regarding Phil Rivers. Manning Face vs. Whinyface. It’s a classic match up of the egos.
Kelly’s Picks: Redskins, Packers & Broncos
Vikings @ Redskins (make up game) – I had to do some extensive research on this game to see if RGIII would play (who I like, despite the fact he plays for Satan’s firstborn aka that bastard that helped Mr. Ed beat the Packers in the Super Bowl) since he got his bell rung last week. He’s been cleared to practice, therefore I suspect he will play. The Vikings are 4-1 and this must not stand, else the ghost of St. Vincent will go and deflate the roof of the Metrodome in all his fury. (That would actually be really cool, but still.) So, really because I like RGIII and I hate the damned Vikings, I’m picking the Redskins. Watch that SOB Mike Shanahan let me down. It’ll serve me right for placing any trust in him. I feel like Dan Reeves.
Packers @ Texans- I was EXTREMELY apprehensive about this game, until I watched the Jets/Texans. I mean, both teams looked competent. One of them should not have looked so, despite having Jesus as a team member. So while I feel a little better about the Packers’ chances, I stand by what I wrote earlier this week. And the loss of Cedric Benson is not insignificant, especially if Mike McCarthy doesn’t give Alex Green and Co. a chance to continue the progress of the running game. I’m going to pick the Packers, because God help me, my Dad will haunt me if I don’t. Packers it is. I have a bad feeling about this though. I hope I’m wrong and Bill Johnson is right.
Broncos @ Chargers – We have already predicted on both these teams far more this season than I would like to. My knee jerk reaction #1 (thanks for the inspiration, Rich, now get on actually posting a Live Twitter Diary) – please let a meteor fall on the stadium. No? All right then. These teams are both messy. They’re playing in San Diego. Luke Rodgers lives in San Diego. I like San Diego (the city). I like Luke Rodgers. So, yeah, Chargers. (throws hands up in disgust and stomps off.)
Colleen’s Picks: Redskins, Packers & Chargers (blech)
Suffice it to say I have no longer have any earthly idea the difference between up and down. More specifically, I can’t pick a game right to save my life. I’m not certain if the core of my frustration falls under the big fat “L” next to Green Bay’s collapse in Indianapolis, my inability to decipher any sort of trend with regard to NFL teams and their performance, or the fact that the HR intern at my place of employment forgot make her week five pool picks and is still ahead me by three games. Whatever the case, this much is clear: never, ever bet on me. I will let you down, and I will lose your money. Santa is not real, the Easter Bunny is a sham, Barry Sanders never was going to make a return, and I can’t pick games worth a darn.
I say Jay Cutler will fail, he throws for 400. I close the book on Indy before McCarthy even selects a colored pen to shove in the back of his cap, and Andrew Luck runs over DJ Williams on 3rd down effectively sealing a 2-3 start. I vow never to pick against Peyton Manning, and the Broncos fall behind 20 in three straight games. There is no serenity when it comes to this profession; Matthew McConaughey was right to run and never look back (terrible movie, by the way).
Ah well, here goes…
Vikings @ Redskins: Heads, Vikings win.
Packers @ Texans: Tails, Packers lose.
Broncos @Chargers: Tails, Chargers win.
Week five knee-jerk reaction: This is the first time since the inception of the PocketDoppler Prognosticators that I have selected Green Bay to lose. The first time! Either I’m an idiot, or we’re all starting to realize the Packers just aren’t a very good football team. If the sacks against Green Bay continue to pile up at this rate, Aaron Rodgers will not see week 10.
Rich’s picks: Vikings, Texans & Chargers