Hello fellow Sharks!
From now until Week 17, we’ll be giving our insight as to which games are the games to watch each week. This is a heavy burden, as we know a lot of you have Sunday Ticket, too much free time, and an addiction to premium brews like Natty Lite or Yuengling. A lot of you know us from our other articles, the Betbot, or the Last Row, or our myriad posts in the Tank. We’re just like you, though. We love a good football game, no matter who’s playing.
We saw some great games in our Week One picks – a fun Raiders / Patriots slugfest, a defensive battle in the Georgia Dome with the Eagles / Falcons, and a close Cowboys / Chargers game that had flashes of both great defensive and offensive plays. We’ll try to duplicate our tremendous triple threat of last week by picking a troika of games (and one bonus pick) in Week Two sure to entertain.
Buffalo @ Tampa Bay:
Tampa Bay’s defense was looking like the Bucs of old last week, and when they square off against one of the NFL’s most talented defenses in the Buffalo Bills, sparks (and mouth-guards, and helmets, and forearms, and more than a few expletives) will fly. Willis McGahee ran for 117 yards last week and tries to do it again this week against a tough Tampa run defense that allowed a scant 26 yards last week. Tampa will try to play the Arnold Jackson role from Diff’rent Strokes and attempt to say “What you talkin’ ‘bout Willis?” and keep McGahee from the endzone. Likewise, the NFL’s top statistical defense in week one, the Bills, will try to put the brakes on rookie Cadillac Williams. It’s a defensive battle that should make for good, clean, hard-hitting fun. And with both offenses sporting passing games about as effective as a single antacid after 6 bowls of three-alarm chili, we should see two teams trying to run the ball directly at a tough run defense. About the only thing that could make this match-up better would be if the Bucs went back to their bright orange and white “Gay Bruce the Buccaneer” throwback jerseys for the game. We like Buffalo to win this one, but if you like knock-em-around football, this one is sure to please, regardless.
New England @ Carolina: Carolina started out the season as some experts’ pick to win Super Bowl XXXX, but they end up dropping a close game to the lowly New Orleans Saints. Sure the Saints played inspired football in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but the Panthers had no business losing that football game and they know it. Carolina needs to bounce back and win this game to get back on track, trying to get back to the NFC Championship game for the second time in three years AND to avoid opening the season with two home losses. There’s just one problem with that idea – the New England Patriots. The Pats showed that they can contain an offensive powerhouse like Oakland last week, and will look to show that their tough D and mistake-free approach to offense can be equally as effective against a solid Carolina defense and whose team takes much the same approach to their offense as New England’s favorite sons do. The team that makes the least amount of mistakes will end up the victor in this one, and right now that looks like the Patriots. But don’t count Carolina out as they try to erase that dismal performance against the ‘Aints and keep themselves from falling into the NFC South basement.
Kansas City @ Oakland: Wow – the 3rd game of the week should have been easy to spot, with two Monday night contests this week. But in the first MNF game the Saints and the Giants square-off, where the winner will be decided by who can avoid turning the ball over 5 or 6 times. In the second MNF game the Cowboys / Redskins tangle, pitting one solid team against a team that isn’t likely to win more than half-a-dozen games this year at best. (We’ll let you figure out which team is the inept one. Ok, we’ll give you a hint: It start’s with “W” and ends with “ashington Redskins”.) But fear not night-time football fans! The Sunday night contest comes to the rescue, in a clash of AFC West rivals Oakland and Kansas City. Both teams feature explosive offenses that should see the end-zone more than a few times this game. And while neither team is known for their defensive prowess, both of them have made some improvements on that side of that ball. Oakland gives us the magic of Randy Moss, the grittiness of Lamant Jordan, and the Penn State-ness of Kerry Collins. Kansas City gives us the (now) two headed rushing attack of the Chiefs with Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson running wild coupled with the best TE in football Tony Gonzalez making the TE position look more like slot receiver. Trust us; this one should be a very fun game to watch with either team capable of winding up on top. About the only thing that could make this game “un-fun” is the blather of the Sunday night announcing team. Joe Theismann might possibly be one of the most annoying announcers on the planet – if he takes time out from telling you how much better he was than whatever current player he’s discussing, it’s only so he can use himself as an example of how to run the Quarterback position to perfection. If arrogance was altitude, Theismann be orbiting the planet somewhere between the Van Allen Radiation Belt and the Moon. And Paul McGuire might be one of the dumbest men alive – but it’s hard for us to tell since he won’t spit those marbles out of his mouth long enough for us to understand every word he’s saying, so were forced to make that determination solely on the nonsense that we can understand coming from his mustachioed pie-hole. When Mike Patrick is your team’s best sports announcer, you’re in trouble. Our advice: Turn down the sound and listen to the game on the radio – or turn down the sound and listen to Godsmack’s “Faceless” album; either way you’ll still see a great offensive football game, with flashes of improving defenses, and listen to something a heck of lot more interesting than anything Theismann and McGuire will stutter out.
New York Giants @ New Orleans: Wait a second … this game isn’t taking place in New York OR New Orleans. This game will be played in the swamps of New Jersey. Let me start again…
New Jersey Giants @ New Orleans (sorta) : As we all know this game is taking place at Giants Stadium, and is allegedly a home game for the Saints. I think it’s pretty unfair that this game is in Giants Stadium, there had to be a way to hold this game at a neutral site, with profits going to the Red Cross… But it is what it is. The Saints and Giants both won last week with impressive victories. The popular theory is the Saints played on pure emotion last week, we don’t buy it. They have talent on offense, if their defense can step it up a bit, they may be a wild card team in the NFC. The Giants get an extra home game in one of the bigger screw-ups the NFL has made in recent history. They beat a sorry looking Cardinals team, but they did it with a lot of points and a stout defense, can they beat a better team? This game will be broadcast as an early Monday Night game along with a telethon. Enjoy the game, and be grateful for what you have; and if you have enough – give.
Until next week, keep watchin’, eatin’, and drinkin’. We’ll keep judgin’.