Intro from our guest: The "Year of the Interim" continues with my replacement grade prognostication and not ready for prime time takes. For the record, I had Arizona on Thursday night. A few weeks ago, they could have shown the NFL Replay of the game and have had my pick stand. So in true "Goodellian" form, I'm retroactively confirming that as the correct call and apologizing for it, in a round about way, in the same statement.
Jess: I like the Bengals in this game too. That's seriously Tannehill's wife? Whoa.
Packers @ Colts
Back to back interims for the Pack! Just what the doctor ordered. If this season has taught us anything, it's that the interim label (see: referees, Saints) is a stench that can only be dealt with by burning clothes and taking a tomato juice bath. Even with the Pink Ribbon Mojo in the building and the "Let's win one for the coach!" sugar rush of emotion, the prognosis for this game does not bode well for Indy. They will, however, get a questionable review go their way, because the forces that be are determined to give Coach McCarthy an aneurysm. Luck makes some plays, but Green Bay wins.
Jess: Unfortunately for Luck & Co. I think this is Green Bay's breakout game, refs or not.
Ravens @ Chiefs
There are already a number of Facebook groups and message board campaigns to get Cassel benched. Par for the course for the overweight lover Romeo C. Clearly, lingering effects of having an interim label last year. The Ravens are just going to exacerbate the whole situation. If you're starting Ray Rice in your fantasy league this week, you can go ahead and start gloating and taunting your opponent too. This is the game you stop paying attention to midway through the 3rd quarter. The Ravens in a yawner.
Jess: I think the Chiefs might take this one. My upset special...
Browns @ Giants
The Giants got 'got' in Philly, so the usual home letdown game may not be in play this week. Actually it won't be in play. At. All. The only reason we aren't talking about the hapless Browns is because the Saints are stealing their smelly thunder. Weeden? Really? Meh. The Browns' leading receiver after 4 games has 11 - ELEVEN! - receptions. Richardson is having a decent-ish year (3.4 avg/rush) considering all 11 defenders are in the box every play. This feels like a 'turn the season around' game for Big Blue. Take the over.
Jess: Giants. That is all.
Eagles @ Steelers
Andy Reid can not handle the last two minutes of halves and games any worse! He's my odds-on favorite to ice a punter and somehow have it blow up in his face. Then challenge the play without having any timeouts left. Bank it. How is this team 3-1 with a negative, double digit point differential?!? The Steelers are getting a little healthier this week and do not want to drop 1-3. Somehow this game stays close, but Big Ben comes through down the stretch (using his own sandlot plays to antagonize Todd Haley) and their D seals it with a "WTF is Vick doing!?" pick.
Jess: The Eagles are easily the worst 3-1 team in the league. Steelers.
Falcons @ Redskins
Matty Ice is finally living up to his name. It's not just an easy punchline anymore. He's been great. Their defense has been even better. This is the kind of away game they may have struggled with in the past, but the Dirty Birds seem to be able to rise up and take their show on the road for wins this year. I think the Redskins oblige. Washington's D is banged up (keystone cop style) and their offense is only intermittently effective. I like RGIII, but this isn't a game he will shine in. Expect Atlanta to keep forcing turnovers and for Julio Jones to finally have a 'game'.
Jess: I'm excited for this one; I think it will be a good game. Falcons win though.
Seahawks @ Panthers
The wheels may be coming off both of these QB's bandwagons. Actually, if I were Matt Flynn I'd be extra ready to go in this one. The Seahawks can't keep hoping to win games with Russell Wilson throwing the ball out of bounds or to the other team. He has elite intangibles and well, yeah. That. Cam on the other hand may sulk a little and try to play a little too much hero ball, but he does have elite talent...right? We aren't sure. What we are pretty sure about is that he won't be able to show it against that rabid Seahawk D. I think Seattle pulls out a win via a QB change at halftime. Flynn comes ynn for the wynn. (Cheesy. I know, I know.)
Bears @ Jaguars
Speaking of elite talent with questionable intangibles, Jay Cutler everyone! When he's clicking with another notorious head case in Brandon Marshall and a healthy Forte is at full stride, they are tough to handle. I also like their D to absolutely smother the Jags' Yo Gabba Gabbert offense. Their top receiver has 9 receptions in four games. That makes Cleveland look like Air Coryell. If I were MJD, I'd go back to holding out until the team moves to L.A. Verdict: Dah Bairz!
Jess: Jags might surprise us here. I'm calling this my 2nd upset of the day.
Titans @ Vikings
Are the Vikings actually good? It doesn't really matter, because the Titans aren't. And now they're going with their own version of "interim stink" with the return of "Matthew" Hasselbeck and a Walking Dead version of Chris Johnson. Check that, it's just his corpse because zombies still have a little semblance of life in them [Rim shot!] This could be a beast mode game for AD opening things up for some Ponder to Harvin fireworks. I'm going with Minny as my highest scoring team in Week 5.
Jess: Vikings. *sigh* Hass should have just retired a couple of years ago. And "Beast Mode"? Wrong game, sir.
Broncos @ Patriots
I'm still not sold on Manning's ramen noodle arm or New England's Kraft mac & cheese defense. They're both kind of getting the job done when they have to without any real satisfaction. This may be the most interesting QB match-up of the season so far, but I don't see Denver keeping pace with New England coming off that "Eff U" game in Buffalo. Throw in a stadium full of drunk Pats Truthers who absolutely despise Manning and this doesn't look good for Denver. It's still a mile-high work in progress, but New England is working toward something even bigger at this point. This is just another step for them. I like the Pats and the over.
Jess: I love Peyton Manning, but I think the Pats take this at home too.
Bills @ 49ers
The Bills can't throw the ball downfield or stop anybody from throwing the ball downfield. The Fitzpatrick and Williams's contracts are looking worse and worse every week. Circled wagons or not, the Niners can probably already smell the blood in The Bay. Coming off a loss to a 'maybe' good Vikings team, San Fran unleashed their version of the Wild Kaep(ernick) in the Meadowlands last week and I expect them to do their collective 'foot on the throat' of Buffalo's 'Million Dollar Baby' defense. This won't end well either, but it won't come as a shock to anyone. I look for Moss to factor in this week's manhandling as well.
Jess: Please, for the love of all that is decent and holy, let the Bills win this game. (SF takes it. Blech.)
Chargers @ Saints
I sense a shoot out. Fantasy owners rejoice! Typically this would be an early season Norv-ocalypse game for the Chargers. Not this year though, because the interim-interim filth on the Bayou is like getting sprayed by a skunk in a port-a-potty, then falling head first into the receptacle below. Norv keeps the Saints in the game, then Brees throws them out of it in the 4th trying as hard as he humanly can to keep his own D off the field. Side Note: Brees is on pace to go 0-16 with 5,400 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, and 20 picks - a quadruple crown in my books. Let's see Miggy Cabrera do that!
Jess: I think the Saints are primed to win this game. Is there something about the Chargers just screams "impending implosion" to you, or is it just my imagination?
MNF Bonus Pick:
Texans @ Jets
Can you smell that? It's not a landfill in New Jersey; it's the interim tag being slapped on the front of The Sanchise's helmet. Fireman Ed is unleashing a YMCA style, spell-it-out T-E-B-O-W chant after the first one-hopper Sanchez throws to a wideout we've never heard of. Just like in Denver's 5th game last year, it's officially Tebow time again! Basically it's like an annual NFL version of Indian summer. I know this is a HUGE primetime statement game for the Texans, but I can't go 'chalk' with all my picks. I have to go out on a limb with at least one of these. So why not take the MNF home dog points and divine intervention? That's right baby, the eventual 15-1 Texans' only loss of the season comes via some Tebow Magic! I'm already excited for #Timsanity to start trending around 10pm Monday night. That was your totally irrational, Skip-Bayless-fever-dream-induced, Upset of the Week.
Jess: Uhm yea I'm gonna have to disagree with you here. Unless the Texans just don't show up, they'll go 5-0 this week.
Thank you SO much for joining us, Marcus! I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say this pre-game chat has been a very fun read. Good luck to your Saints this week!
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