Last week: 7-9
Last week: 7-9
SF: Let us pause and pay tribute to Matt Millen, the CEO who transformed the Detroit Lions into the Lehman Brothers of the NFL. I’m sure it stings right now, Matt, but look on the bright side: You’re still relatively young. There are so many other fields out there in which you can be awful.
The best part is that news of Millen’s turfing was confirmed by Matt’s wife, Patty, who reportedly soothed her husband by saying: “You’re out of football prison now.” Interesting description. Fairly accurate, too, at least from the point of view of all the Lions’ fans who’ve been taking it from behind for six years.
SR: I love it when you talk prison butch. Let’s get tattoos!
I, for one, am deeply alarmed by the news of Matt Millen’s passing. What hope remains, what inspiration linger, for those of us clearly lousy at our jobs? Millen was our god. He made everyone around him worse, yet lived on apparently unscathed. For a time it seemed as though he was invulnerable. Losses would come, losses would go, and Millen remained. Like a stoic symbol of gloriously unaccountable incompetence.
What now? What of the rest of us? His departure, only a few months before George W. Bush leaves office, makes me wonder if we might be witnessing the passing of the Useless Era. Thank God we’re still placing football picks. However, we’re not both writing. I’m sick so instead of two doses of incompetent potty humour this week, our zero readers will have to suffer with only one dose.
Denver (minus 9.5) at K.C.
SF: Damon Huard will start for the Chiefs because Tyler Thigpen has a QB rating of 38.3, the worst in league. If there was a Coach’s Rating, what would Herm Edwards’ be? 25? Minus-3? The square root of diddly-squat times jack-all? On one hand you’ve got to figure the Chiefs will win some time, the Broncos will lose sometime, and maybe this will be a trap game for Denver. But then you look into Herm’s eyes on the sideline and you turn away with the feeling that the only thing coming through on his headset is the local FM station’s smooth jazz. Pick: Denver.
SR’s pick: K.C.
Buffalo (minus 8) at St. Louis
SF: The Rams, who’ve gone 0-3 this year and 3-16 since a certain S. Reid picked them to go to the Super Bowl, have benched starting quarterback Marc Bulger and replaced him with Trent Green. Because taking an offensive line that’s given up 11 sacks and putting behind it a 38-year-old quarterback with all the mobility of a fence post will definitely solve all their problems. Right now it’s even money on whether Green will leave the game due to concussion or girlish fleeing. Pick: Buffalo.
SR’s pick: Buffalo.
San Francisco (plus 6) at New Orleans
SF: This just in: Journeyman quarterback JT O’Sullivan has a QB rating above 100 and looks like a legitimate starter who could give 49ers fans good reason to think a playoff berth is within the realm of possibility. And this just in from the near future: Former journeyman quarterback JT O’Sullivan wants to know if you’d like fries with that. Pick: New Orleans.
SR’s pick: San Fran.
Baltimore (plus 5.5) at Pittsburgh
SF: The 2-0 Ravens look decent on paper, but they’ve beaten only the Browns and the Bengals (aka Ohio’s Axis of Futility). That said, Willie Parker is out with a knee sprain and Ben Roethlisberger, after suffering eight sacks against the Eagles, is still scouring Lincoln Financial Field for a contact lens, two molars and his pancreas. Pick: Baltimore.
SR’s pick: Pittsburgh.
Green Bay (plus 1.5) at Tampa Bay
SF: Always a good rivalry. The only way this game could be more violent and explosive would be if it were Green Bay against Michael Bay. (Thank you – I’m here all week. Enjoy Boz Scaggs.) Pick: Green Bay.
SR’s pick: Green Bay.
Arizona (plus 1.5) at New York Jets
SF: The ESPN pre-game show before the Jets/Chargers Monday nighter basically consisted of 14 different guys using 14 different euphemisms to give us the impression that Brett Favre is about as smart as a sack of buckwheat. They kept talking about how he’s been slow to learn the offence, how the team had to change most of its terminology to make it easier for Favre to understand, how it’s going to take him two more months to fully comprehend what the Jets are doing. Two months?! What exactly are the Jets doing – pursuing peace in the Middle East? If so, expect Favre to find a way to get Jerusalem picked off by the Cardinals. Pick: Arizona.
SR’s pick: Arizona.
Houston (plus 7.5) at Jacksonville
SF: The Texans just might be the best worst team in football. This would make the Ravens the worst best team in football, the Chiefs the worst worst team in football and the Rams the most adorable kitty-cats in the entire pet store. Pick Houston.
SR’s pick: Jacksonville.
San Diego (minus 7) at Oakland
SF: It’s been sad enough to witness the decline into old age of George Steinbrenner – but seeing Al Davis robbed of his God-given talent at being a grade-A douchebag? That’s tough. For two straight Sundays, word has come that the Raiders owner is poised to fire coach Lane Kiffin. And then… nothing. He goes home cranky, falls asleep at 7 o’clock watching Murder She Wrote and by the morning he’s completely forgotten what he wanted to do. It’s like he’s been reduced to a doddering old grandpa or a Republican nominee for president. Pick: San Diego.
SR’s pick: San Diego.
Washington (plus 11) at Dallas
SF: Speaking of John McCain, he’s secretly hoping the Redskins get blown out in this one so he can rush back to the Capitol again to orchestrate a crowd-pleasing emergency bailout package – two 350-pound linemen and someone to cram an ottoman down Dan Snyder’s noise hole. Pick: Dallas.
SR’s pick: Dallas.
Cleveland (plus 3.5) at Cincinnati
SF: True story – Browns QB Derek Anderson spent part of his off day this week at an adoption centre for dogs and cats. One family almost took him home until they found out he keeps crapping the bed week after week. Pick: Cincinnati.
SR’s pick: Cinci.
Philadelphia (minus 3) at Chicago
SF: Think your job sucks? Imagine being Kyle Orton and having to watch tape of the relentless Eagles D wrapping up Ben Roethlisberger and landing on top of him enough times to qualify as a typical Tuesday night for Tara Reid. Pick: Philly.
SR’s pick: Philly.
Atlanta (plus 7) at Carolina
SF: Atlanta and Carolina are both 2-1 – but that’s kind of like saying Scarlett Johansson and Bea Arthur are both made up of lady parts. Pick: Carolina.
SR’s pick: Carolina.
Minnesota (plus 3) at Tennessee
SF: Kerry Collins is throwing for a measly 126 yards per game, worst in the league, yet the Titans are unbeaten thanks largely to an intimidating defence. They kind of remind me of my ailing colleague: stout, fierce and attired exclusively in snug shiny pants. Pick: Tennessee.
SR’s pick: Tennessee.