I’ve been talking about the Packers on this blog for a while now, though there were a few years where I skipped out on it, or weeks where I missed a post. Last year, the Packers’ official site started creating the infographics that I then started posting when I would talk about football. They didn’t do it each week however, and this year it appears that they are more committed to the idea, as I’ve already posted (or linked on Twitter) a few of those.
This year I had fully intended on playing Fantasy Football. I tried to get into it once in the past due to the urging of a friend, but we didn’t end up in the same league as he had a pre-arranged deal, so I ended up losing interest rather quickly. Last year my old roommate was playing in his girlfriend’s family’s league, and continuously asked me for help with his line up each week. He’d also ask people from work, and nearly every time my advice would have won him the game, regardless of if he followed it or not. So I figured I was pretty good at Fantasy, and should play myself, after all. I ended up spacing it by the time the season started, and looking at all of the hobbies I already have, I felt like maybe it was too much. As a result I’m sitting out of Fantasy Football this season, but I think I might actually do it next year.
Since I’m not playing Fantasy and I usually only talk about my team, the Green Bay Packers, these sorts of posts are probably boring to those of you who don’t give two shits about the sport. I think that the infographics help, because at least they provide interesting facts that I wouldn’t necessarily know off the cuff, but it still remains that a passion of mine probably isn’t a passion of yours. I have seen a few other bloggers like Isey and Rambling Redshirt talking about Fantasy football, so I know there are some of you who appreciate the sport, but that’s definitely not the majority. Still, I have no plans to stop with these posts, but I do have a change of course in mind.
I’m taking a page out of Cortical Scrub’s book, and I’m going to lay out my predictions for the week. I’ve missed the first 3 weeks, but there’s a good chance I would have had some bad predictions, as this season has been a bit wonky. So I’m starting this week, week number five of the 2014 season. I’ll be starting with the Packers (of course) because they play on Thursday night (in just a couple of hours, actually) for the second time this season. That seems unusual to me, but we have seen the expansion to having Thursday games go from once in a while to every week, though I think one TNF game per team is plenty. It’s usually a detriment to the teams, with a short rest/work week, but I digress. Without further ado, here’s the infographic, and my predictions to follow:
Week 5, 2014 predictions:
Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings
Thursday night football games have been largely blowouts so far this year, including week 1 where the Seahawks decimated my beloved team. It was to be expected though, and it appears that the latter end of our season is a lot easier than the beginning, so I imagine fewer losses as the year trudges on. This week shouldn’t be an exception to the rule, as the Packers have trounced the Vikings for years and they are without their star running back Adrian Petersen. Teddy Bridgewater, their rookie QB who led the offense to a nice win against the Falcons last week is out with injury, so good ol’ Christian Ponder will be back on the field, which means stopping the run should be our first priority. The running back tandem used in AP’s place has been effective thus far, and the Packers’ suspect run defense will probably allow for more yards than it should. I just don’t see their defense slowing down the no-huddle high-octane offense the Packers bring, especially at Lambeau field.
Verdict: Packers 31, Vikings 14
Chicago Bears vs Carolina Panthers
This game feels like a snoozer. Jay Cutler is a joke, though the Bears defense usually gets it done. The Panthers have hot years and then they have not years. This feels like a not year. Time will tell, but I think the Bears will take the win here, as long as Cutler can keep from throwing to the open (defense)man.
Verdict: Bears 27, Panthers 13
Houston Texans vs Dallas Cowboys
As much as I make fun of people “throwing picks like Romo,” I was impressed by his performance last week. The Texans are still a team without a real QB threat, and I don’t care how awesome J.J. Watt is, I don’t see the defense winning all of their games for them. If Romo can keep the ball secure and Murray can put up some good numbers, they’ll take it to Houston. I don’t see the Texans losing out like they did last year, but I don’t have high hopes for them either.
Verdict: Cowboys 21, Texans 7
Buffalo Bills vs Detroit Lions
The Lions have had so many high draft picks for so long that they finally resemble a good team. They managed to hold back our offense the week before last, and though they don’t always produce huge numbers on offense, they still manage to win games for the last couple of seasons. They are in first place in the North, so seeing them lose would be great, but I don’t see it happening to the Bills. Benching EJ Manuel (who wasn’t fantastic, but still needs time to find his stride) for Kyle Orton seems like a mistake. He’s been a crappy starter and a backup in too many systems. Lions take it.
Verdict Lions 24, Bills 10
Baltimore Ravens vs Indianapolis Colts
The Ravens are my AFC team. I’ve liked them basically since Flacco took over at QB. He’s not flashy, but he’s fairly consistent. He’s got a ring, that’s more than a lot of QBs can say. Yeah, Ray Rice is a piece of shit and there have been other questionable players on the team, but overall I like them. However, Andrew Luck has been on fire for most of his short career, and the Colts have been doing well. I can see this one going either way, but I’m going to lean in the direction of the Ravens, because favortism, and they have won more games.
Verdict: Ravens 21, Colts 17
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Another snooze fest. The Steelers are a good team some days, and horrible the next. People are praising Blake Bortles, but the Jags have been shit save for maybe one season since their induction into the league. I don’t see the Steelers losing here.
Verdict: Steelers 24, Jaguars 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints
Even though they’re really being the ‘Aints this year, I can’t see the team falling to 1-4. I just don’t see it. Brees is still one of the better QBs in the league, and the Buccaneers have been a mostly failing team for too long. Yeah the beat the Steelers last week, but meh. I just don’t like them in this matchup.
Verdict: Saints 31, Bucs 14
Atlanta Falcons vs New York Giants
Eli Manning has looked pretty good the last week or two, and the Giants are known for being powerful in October. I still can’t count the Falcons out though. Matt Ryan is a good QB, but not as much when he’s not at home. This one is hard to call, but I’d say Atlanta is the underdog and I dislike the Giants so that’s where this is going.
Verdict: Falcons 21, Giants 17
St. Louis Rams vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Rams are a joke. The Eagles have been too high powered to let this game slip.
Verdict: Eagles 38, Rams 7
Cleveland Browns vs Tennessee Titans
What a joke of a game. I don’t even have interest in calling this one. I guess I’ll pick the Browns.
Verdict: Browns 10, Titans 7
Arizona Cardinals vs Denver Broncos
This one is tough to call because the Cardinals are one of the two last teams with an undefeated record. But the Broncos have Manning, and they don’t lose too often (unless it’s against Seattle). If Arizona can find the same formula their NFC West counterparts have, they’ll roll on Denver. I think they’ll stay undefeated one more week at least.
Verdict: Cardinals 27, Broncos 24
New York Jets vs San Diego Chargers
I’m from Southern California, but I can’t stand the Chargers. They have their moments, sure. They beat Seattle when my team couldn’t. But then they turn around and lose to teams like Cleveland or Jacksonville, so I can’t take them seriously. They’re doing well so far this year, but they usually implode by the end of the season, or 1 and done it in the playoffs. They do have the superbowl year but so what? However, the Jets are an even bigger joke. Geno Smith is meh. Mark Sanchez was even more meh. Their run game is ok, defense is lame. Chargers take it.
Verdict: Chargers 21, Jets 13
Kansas City Chiefs vs San Francisco 49ers
Ah, another California team I can’t stand, especially with all the bandwagon fans who only know two or three player’s names (I’m looking at you, most of my friends who are fans of the team). I think Alex Smith is a pretty good QB in the game manager sense. Just look at how much better he has been with a coach who has been able to train him right. Kansas city is definitely the underdog here, but I want Smith to be able to get revenge on his former team for ditching him. Fuck the 9ers.
Verdict: Chiefs 27, 49ers 21
Cincinnati Bengals vs New England Patriots
As much as I don’t like the Patriots or Tom Brady, I know he’s not going to let the meltdown of their last game affect his performance here. The Bengals may be undefeated, but that doesn’t stop them from being mediocre. They’ll be the first of the last two undefeated teams to fall, to a raging Brady no less.
Verdict: Patriots 27, Bengals 17
Seattle Seahawks vs Washington Redskins
Washington wasn’t doing all that great with RGIII, so I know Kirk Cousins isn’t the answer. Really, I don’t know what the answer is because every time they get the “solution” to make them a champion caliber team, it ends up failing. Seahawks do their thing, Washington is sad.
Verdict: Seahawks 31, Skins 7
Teams on a Bye: Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders
So there you have it. We’ll grade how I did in my next football related post. If you think I’m full of shit, feel free to let me know in the comments.