You can expect big things from Gus this week. Trust me.

Minnesota over Detroit: John Kitna versus Gus Frerotte. FEEL THE POWER. But ol' Gus must be looking forward to Sunday like it's Christmas, International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and California Wild Rice Month all rolled into one! According to an article in today's Chicago Sun Times:
Kyle Orton (121.4) is the fourth consecutive quarterback to have his career-best passer rating against the Lions, following the Falcons' Matt Ryan (137.0), the Packers' Aaron Rodgers (117.0) and the 49ers' J.T. O'Sullivan (123.3).

In fact, the last 12 quarterbacks to face the Lions have had ratings of 100 or higher. The Cardinals' Tim Rattay threw one pass against the Lions last year and hit 118.8.
Surely you see where I'm going with this? Frerotte is likely to go off for 300 yards and a couple touchdowns. At least. Detroit is just that bad. And Jon Kitna knows it, although he can't figure out why. "I wish I could put a finger on that for you. But I think there's too many factors to even really start to talk about one thing. There's been a lot of things that have caused us problems, and continue to cause us problems." Too many factors, eh? Like that your entire teams sucks to the extreme, pretty much from top to bottom? Or that they face a talent deficit at every position, even for doing simple things like chewing gum and playing Candyland with their kids? Those kinds of things, Jon?

Random meaningless stats: Detroit's last win at the Metrodome came in 1997 and the Vikings are 17-3 against them over the past ten seasons. However, the Lions were 0-12 when they beat the Vikings during the 13th game of the 2001 season. So, you know, anything can happen. (But it won't.)

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Ah christ. I'm dying to be contrarian and pick the Lions, but I just checked the team website and it looks like Jon Kitna might not even start on Sunday. Who's worse than the Lions? The Lions with a backup QB. Sigh. Vikes take this one.

Atlanta over Chicago: Kyle Orton versus Matt Ryan. FEEL THE POWER AGAIN. Yowch. Both QBs played extremely well last week, but there's ample evidence to suggest that Orton is due for a big (perhaps even epic) dropoff. From that same Sun Times article:

And a week later, it was back to reality: Ryan dropped to 29.6 against the Bucs; Rodgers to 80.1 against the Cowboys and O'Sulivan to 59.6 against the Saints -- a big reason why teams that play the Lions are 0-3 against the spread the following week.

The decompression from re-entry after torching the Lions is the bigger challenge: Tony Romo (22.2), Brett Favre (8.9), Eli Manning (33.8), Jeff Garcia (45.4) and Donovan McNabb (61.0) are among those who crapped out in their next game.
Surely you see where I'm going with this? Fortunately for fans of non-horrible football, this game will likely be defined by running: Michael Tuner has rushed for 324 yards in his previous two home games, and Matt Forte is pretty good too (and the Falcons have the eighth highest yards per carry allowed at 4.6). But minus their games against the Bizarro Colts and the Surrender Lions, the Bears have one shaky win against the Eagles and two even shakier losses to the Panthers and Bucs. So, uhm, I'm not quite ready to pick Kyle and the Ortonairres on the road against a team that's been pretty explosive at home.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: No one's been able to run the ball against Chicago so far this season -- they've allowed just 74.2 rushing yards per game. And, as we all know, Atlanta has pretty much only one game: it's called Give The Ball To Michael Turner. Much as I like the Falcons offense this season, I don't think this one's in the cards.

Carolina over Tampa Bay: The Panthers have officially become the Ferris Bueller of the NFL. They don't necessarily look that impressive on paper, but everything they do sort of goes right, sometimes inexplicably. They're just kinda good at everything: Solid run defense, fantastic pass defense, rugged running game, cunning passing game. Now, the Bucs aren't bad themselves, especially on the ground: Tampa is averaging 5.3 yards per carry, third best in the NFL. But, again, they keep flip-flopping at the QB spot. Between Jeff Garcia and Brian Griese. And Griese's hurt. This instills me with the same sense of confidence President Bush calls for "confidence" in an "anxious time." Anxious time? The DOW is down almost 40 percent from a year ago, dude. This has gone beyond anxious and into bed-wetting territory. Hell, I wet my bed this morning, and I'm not ashamed to say so. But then again, I am. So very, very ashamed. ANYway...

futuremrsrickankiel sez: PANTHERS BABY PANTHERS!

Washington over St. Louis: Some teams get off the team bus running. The Rams get off the bus losing. If they tried to call a flipped coin, it would probably land on its side. Then explode. Then the shards would travel to the future and murder all their descendents. They are team of misfortune. The question is: Can anything be done? I say we give them some of this:

If that doesn't solve their problems throwing, running, scoring and defending, then nothing will, short of direct intervention from God. [Checks the sky] Yeah, probably not gonna happen.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: St. Louis should really consider changing their name from "The Rams" to just "The Sheep." The Washington Redskins are going 5-1.

Dallas over Arizona: My grandpa, bless his soul, was convinced that his body was the most accurate weather prediction device ever created. Aching elbow? That meant rain. Burning, scratchy feet? Snow was on the way. Eyeballs that glowed bright red? Whirlwind of locusts. Well, I must have inherited something from him, because I have a sixth sense of my own. I know when Kurt Warner is about to have one of his patented multiple-turnover games. You know, the kind where he tosses a couple picks and fumbles the ball away two or three times. I can just feel it, like a violent rash on my sensitive man parts. But not a real one. It's a totally metaphorical rash. Anyway, this is the week that the 'Boys get back on track and where the Cardinals remind us, yet again, that they are who we thought they were.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Dang, you totally didn't mention that it was Awkward Over-share Day on Footbawful! Anyhoodle, yeah, I'm not picking the Cardinals over the Cowboys. No chance.

Philadelphia over San Francisco: I know what you're thinking. The Eagles have dropped two in a row. They're already in a deep hole in their own division, in which the other three teams have already won four games a piece. Brian Westbrook has a sprained ankle and two fractured ribs, and their elderly female fans are mooning the opposition. (Naked old lady butts. Awesome.) Bad news, right? Well, don't worry about the Eagles. I repeat: DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE EAGLES. Donovan McNabb called a team meeting. Problems solved.

Said McNabb: "I tried to let them know that it's easy for us to sit and say we could be undefeated right now or we should be 4-1, whatever it may be, but we're not. So, in order for us to correct that and put these four or five games behind us, we have to do it right now." Now that is the kind of leadership you expect from a guy who once threw up during the Super Bowl. Note to the world's leading cosmologists (not to be confused with the world's leading cosmetologists): I'm willing to bet that the pure inspiration generated by McNabb's stirring team meeting is what actually caused the Big Bang. That energy traveled billions of years into the past and created the universe and ALL LIFE AS WE KNOW IT. Thank you, Donovan. Without you, there would be no kittens. And I love kittens.

Big bang
Artist's rendition of McNabb's motivational speech to the Eagles.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: I don't care if Donovan McNabb stripped naked, doused himself in Campbell's Chunky Soup, lit himself on fire, and hurled himself down the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum in an attempt to inspire his team. No Westbrook means NO OFFENSE. Period. San Francisco takes this one.

Green Bay over Seattle: The Seahawks have to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after what happened to them against the Giants last week. Matt Hasselbeck probably can't sleep without the lights on, and I'd be willing to bet that the defensive linemen still can't summon the courage to use a public restroom without covering the toilet seat with an entire roll of Saran Wrap and several layers of toilet tissue. Fortunately, they face a foe enfeebled by injuries and the complete lack of anything resembling a running game. And this is Mike Holmgren's last chance to win a revenge game against his former team. Although Seattle's D is a mess. Man, this game is going to be like watching two emaciated homeless men fight for a chicken bone. Gah. But I'll take Green Bay.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Yecch. I don't like EITHER of these teams. But I'm taking the Seahawks, because, well, I don't know. SIGH.

Basketbawful's record last week: 8-6

Season record: 29-15

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Blogger DDC said...
Has a team ever had a season long egoectomy like the Rams and the Lions? They each have to be one of the worst NFL teams ever assembled, and they're playing in the same freaking season! Unbelievable.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
ddc -- know, I'm not sure. This may be unprecedented. I'm going to have to do some research...

Blogger D.J. Foster said...
Charlie Frye. Dan Orlovsky. Gus Frerrote. Ladies and gentleman, the NFC!

Anonymous Pistonsgirl4life said...
Jon Kitna vs Gus Frerrote = We're going to party like its Nineteen-Nintey-Eight!

Though for the Lions anything post Barry is all the same year anyways... and a bad one.