It’s been a real tough week here at the sports desk. Last Thursday I found out that one of my best friends, who goes by the name Ace on these pages, was in the hospital and had to have his Gall Bladder out. He pulled through okay, but it was still jarring to see his Facebook profile photo with tubes in his nose and a paper gown on.
On Tuesday I found out that another lifelong friend, Wayne Rose, was diagnosed with cancer. It’s just the tip of the iceberg of crap that he’s had to deal with over the last few years. To read more about what Team Rose has had to deal with I ask you to check out www.teamrosey.org and if you’re so inclined, come to his fundraiser at The Beach House next month. That actually sounds like it is going to be a good time, and he and his family are good people … they’re like family to me. I spent more time in their living room than my own as a teenager, so much so that they lovingly started calling me “Bob,” as in the movie “What About Bob.”
Then this morning, less than a half-mile from my house, former FHS quarterback AJ Fernandes died. He reportedly leaped from a moving vehicle while having an argument with a family member. It’s way too sad, and tragic. He was an excellent kid and had a disposition that made everyone around him smile.
Like I said, it’s been a tough week.
Which brings us to the land of fun and games, and the distraction is a welcome one to say the least. The NFL is my favorite time-waster every week and this is certainly a week where it will come in handy. Both Eagle One and I had solid weeks last week, as we both posted records of 11-4.
Rich: 41-22 overall (.651)
Matt: 36-27 (.571)
Arizona at St. Louis: At first glance I wanted to run with the undefeated Cards. Then I thought about it a little and changed my mind (which is rarely a good thing, going against your gut is usually frowned upon around here). The Rams have been very good at home, have a solid home crowd and are a good home team. They beat a pretty decent Seattle team last weekend at home. The Cardinals have been winning games, but their offense has been mediocre. With a short week to prepare, I like the home team.
- Rich’s Pick: Rams
- Matt’s Pick: Cardinals
Miami at Cincinnati: Here’s another one that looks like it should be obvious, only it isn’t. The Dolphins are just 1-3, but they’ve played better than that. The Bengals really aren’t all that good. Again I’m going against the grain here, but I just feel like the Dolphins find a way to pull off an upset at home.
- Rich’s Pick: Dolphins
- Matt’s Pick: Bengals
Green Bay at Indianapolis: Finally, a lay-up. The Packers on the turf are going to have a fun time running and gunning. The Colts will keep it close for a little while, but in the end they don’t have enough firepower to keep up with the Pack, who are due to go on a run.
- Rich’s Pick: Packers
- Matt’s Pick: Packers
Baltimore at Kansas City: Seriously, just how bad are the Chiefs. I gave them the home field credit last week — which was stupid — and they got trounced. Matt Cassell better have put away that money he made from his signing bonus because there’s a good chance he’ll be looking for work next season, and at a discounted rate. On an aside, if you haven’t seen “Broke” yet on ESPN’s 30 For 30 series, you really need to. It was enthralling, and the ultimate in schadenfreude.
- Rich’s Pick: Ravens
- Matt’s Pick: Ravens
Cleveland at NY Giants: If the Browns go winless this year, would you be surprised? Me neither. They’ll win a game at some point, and destroy two-thirds of the remaining suicide pools in America in the process. Even without Hakim Nicks — again — the Giants will bounce back from last week’s disappointing loss to the Eagles.
- Rich’s Pick: Giants
- Matt’s Pick: Giants
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh: Holy Moly the Eagles have been doing it with mirrors. They could easily be 1-3, but somehow they’re 3-1. The Steelers are coming off of a bye and I think they’ll win this one in lopsided fashion, which is why I’ll be starting Big Ben over Mike Vick on my fantasy team this week.
- Rich’s Pick: Steelers
- Matt’s Pick: Steelers
Atlanta at Washington: Matt Ryan really showed up big time when it mattered most last weekend against the Panthers, pulling one out that his team should have lost. They’re red hot, and I’ll ride the streak, even if my son’s favorite non-Patriot is clearly RG3. It’s gotten to the point where we’ve considered changing our nicknames to RM3 and RM4.
- Rich’s Pick: Falcons
- Matt’s Pick: Redskins
Seattle at Carolina: Holy Ugly Game Batman. This one is the ultimate coin toss. The Panthers are due to win a game, and the Seahawks have not been very good away from home. It pains me to do it, but I’m going to roll with SuperCam and the Panthers. They played very well last weekend in Atlanta (they should have won) and that’s definitely something they can build on.
- Rich’s Pick: Panthers
- Matt’s Pick: Panthers
Chicago at Jacksonville: I’m sorry Blaine Gabbert, but you just are not ready for the Bears defense.
- Rich’s Pick: Bears
- Matt’s Pick: Bears
Tennessee at Minnesota: Yes, it usually comes down to fantasy football for me. Of course I benched Chris Johnson last week, and of course he broke through with his first big game since he had his grill done. He’s in my starting lineup this weekend, which means the Vikings will kill the Titans, and I will continue to bang my head slowly against the wall.
- Rich’s Pick: Vikings
- Matt’s Pick: Vikings
Denver at New England: Hello Peyton my old friend, you’re here to take a beating again. Manning does not have his fastball anymore, and I don’t care that Dan Koppen signed with the Pats and is giving away all of the secrets he knows. The Patriots look like they’ve kicked things into Us Against The World mode, and that cannot mean good things for their opponents.
- Rich’s Pick: Patriots
- Matt’s Pick: Patriots
Buffalo at San Francisco: Ryan Fitzpatrick, shave the beard. Seriously, what are you trying to prove? You look like a poor man’s Brawny paper towels mascot, and you’ve been throwing the football like a your arm is made of the store brand.
- Rich’s Pick: 49ers
- Matt’s Pick: 49ers
San Diego at New Orleans: I’m a sucker for the Saints. I can’t believe that they’re really this bad. Sean Payton will be in the house, as a spectator, and Drew Brees is going to surpass Johnny U’s record for consecutive games with a TD pass. Norv Turner teams don’t spoil big nights for other clubs, they fade in that spotlight.
- Rich’s Pick: Saints
- Matt’s Pick: Saints
Houston at NY Jets: Okay, we all know that this game is going to stink. The Texans win by a ton, but this could be the re-emergence of Tim Tebow. That right there is enough to keep me somewhat interested, at least until something cool happens on Monday Night Raw.
- Rich’s Pick: Texans
- Matt’s Pick: Texans
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.