Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Week 9 in the NFL

Alex and Chris pick the weekend's NFL games and offer insight on their differences.

Alex: First difference of the week, Cincy at Jacksonville. Cincy, C-bass? Really?

Chris: I think Cincinnati is FINALLY due. FINALLY. They are an NFL team, they need this, and sooner or later they'll get it.

Alex: Yes, but you're forgetting one thing: they're an NFL team with a highschool quarterback. If they played the Lions, then I'd give them a W. Besides, even though the Jags are underachieving, they were a paper-contender at the beginning of the season. They're just too strong to fall to Cincy.

Alex: Baltimore at Cleveland. I'm thinking I might regret going no to Flacco again.

Chris: It's Cleveland's turn to be a yo-yo team this week.

Alex: I'm just hoping with Stallworth back they have identity now. Like I said earlier, I'm glad we played them week 1.

Chris: Yes. I think this is another close game, and big for the 1000 fans who still hate the Ravens.

Alex: Haha.

Alex: KC over Tampa C-Bass? You're really trying to make that win last week look bad, huh?

Chris: KC is another NFL team I just have a hard time saying is pure dirt. I think a strong showing at home against a confused Tampa team might be enough for a very narrow win. Or maybe I'm just picking KC because Tampa lost to a 40-year old quarterback last week. Defense aside.

Alex: I never thought I'd say this, but, but, BIG GIANT BUT, Tyler Thigpen outplayed Brett Favre last week.

Chris: Wow.

Alex: I bet I never say that again.

Chris: His family will enjoy it as long as they can.

Alex: Yeah, no kidding. In any case, I see that as a flash-in-the-pan type deal, and Tampa is a good team. A safe pick? Maybe, but I'm behind.

Chris: This is a wild week for picks.

Alex: Yes sir.

Chris: Seven differences.

Alex: Wow.

Alex: Next up, Arizona for you, STL for me. I'm sorry, but even though they lost to NE last week, STL is hot.

Chris: Too much offense and too much talent on one side of the ball.

Alex: That's what we said 2 weeks ago. Even with Brad Johnson.

Chris: Unfortunately for STL, Arizona is neither AFC nor NFC East.

Alex: And they only lost to NE by 6 points. I'm just saying. It'll be an interesting game.

Chris: So you think they've turned the corner?

Alex: At least 75% of that corner. Maybe more if Chris Long continues to improve.

Alex: Next up, TEN for you, GB for me. I think this is the week they lose.

Chris: I'm taking Tennessee at home against an underachieving road team— I've learned this week. Packers fans will remember how much they miss Brett Favre this week.

Alex: Maybe, but I don't know how good the depth is in the TEN secondary. This game I think all depends on Albert "My stomp is the reason Gurode can't snap" Haynesworth, and how well he disrupts the backfield.

Chris: haha

Alex: If the Pack holds him, game over, GB wins.

Chris: Close or big?

Alex: BIG if Haynesworth is stopped. If he isn't, it's a close win for Tenn.

Chris: No faith in Tenn's run game?

Alex: I just think they'll get behind too quick. I mean, GB doesn't have a great run D, but if they get down 14-0 real fast, they'll have to let the run go a little.

Alex: Ok Chris, two straight weeks of Cowboy heresy... if they win this week, I might mandate you pick against them every week.

Chris: I say it's realism. I don't think we've seen enough from Brad Johnson and the Cowboys offense to justify a pick for a win against the Giants, on the road, in front of 60,000+ screaming, drunk, single, mustache-clad men. Every offensive play is a desperation toss to Marion! The defense may keep us close but the offense will determine how much of a game this really is.

Alex: I hear you, man. Garrett needs to run the West Coast this week. Short slants, the whole game. It's the farthest throw he can complete.

Chris: He can throw the ball deep, but it sails past the receiver and ends up 10 yards deep past the end zone. Placement is everything. I don't know if he can float it down perfectly anymore.

Alex: Not a chance. Plus, if I remember correctly the last successful long bomb he threw was in 1998, when he was the starting QB for one game in Randy Moss' rookie year.

Chris: Ouch.

Alex: I'm just saying. I could throw Randy the Rookie a touchdown.

Chris: So your justification for picking Dallas? Hope?

Alex: Hope mixed with intense defense and maybe a little bit more Roy Williams 11.

Chris: I see this game like game 16 before you enter the playoffs. Dallas is still in this, but the goal of the Giants game will be: don't get hurt, don't get murdered. Just... hold on until Romo comes back in 2 weeks.

Alex: Thank God for that bye.

Alex: Ok, final difference, and the rivalry of the decade showing up again, you take Matt Cassel, I take Manning.

Chris: I wish the Colts showed more last week, but I think they'll go down to a very quiet Patriots team. A Patriots team that is slowly building toward a run when the league thinks they're dead. They aren't the '07 Pats but they're good enough.

Alex: Just so long as they aren't the '01 Pats again. Like I said week 2, if Matt Cassel turns out to be Tom Brady II, then we KNOW Belichick still cheats.

Chris: Do you think Manning is back? Does he shake off all this rust?

Alex: He should. I think the whole Colts team comes up for the NE game.

Alex: Ok, finale time, and since we both picked Pitt, let's go Roethlis-ratings.

Chris: I'll say Roethlis-Deluxe Lunchables. Better than last week, and it comes with two crackers, two meats, and two cheeses. He'll look like a genius but it'll mostly be to the defense's credit.

Alex: Interesting. I think I might go Roethlis-Baby back ribs. Cheap, delicious, and comes with a catchy theme song. So, statistically, a better-than-average day.

Alex: And lastly, the Bobby-effect this week?

Chris: Eh. One good special teams hit, then non-existent. He'll bring the iPod this week and the coaching staff might just put a green dot on his helmet so they can put wireless speakers for said iPod.

Alex: I say, 3 attempts to show up Sam "Bam" Paulescu, 1 arm tackle, and 3 listens to "Africa" by ToTo.

Chris: Nice. He and every other college student.

Alex: It's not his fault he wishes he were still in the prime of his career.

And the rest of our picks this week:

Buffalo over New York Jets
Chicago over Detroit
Minnesota over Houston
Denver over Miami
Atlanta over Oakland
Philadelphia over Seattle
Pittsburgh over Washington

Season records to this week
Alex: 69-47
Chris: 72-44

Week 8 Postmortem

A look back at the week, our picks, and our blunders.

Alex: For starters, Baltimore did it to me again. They just love to go the opposite way of me. Then again, Oakland was never a safe choice.

Chris: I don't think Oakland has proved enough in an overtime win over the Jets to warrant trust this year at all. Let me know when Snake Stabler comes back. Or Rich Gannon.

Alex: And Chris, you realize you committed Cowboy heresy this past week?

Chris: Yes, but with the best of intentions. I didn't have faith in what the Cowboys could put on the field after the STL disaster— a game I thought they should have won. Maybe not blowout, but a two point win. And then you take a Tampa team with a defense + our impotent offense... it had all the makings for a disappointing loss. Unfortunately for Tampa, they have no offense.

Alex: You know, I actually can agree with you on that, with the exception of the Tampa offense. Up until last week, they had averaged 23 pts per game. They had an O. Our D just really stepped up big.

Chris: Fair enough. I hope our D has their biggest game yet next week.

Alex: That would be perfect, but... two perfect storms for a wholly inconsistant D? Unlikely.

Chris: Brad Johnson has done little to make me think the offense will be anything other than a 2 yard pass to Marion or a missed throw in Witten's direction.

Alex: Well, actually, Witten out may be a good thing. Hear me out. The leading receiver on the team since Romo went down ... Martellus Bennett.

Chris: Ouch.

Alex: They practice on the second team together.

Chris: Ahh, I see where you're going with this.

Alex: They have the best rhythm out of any other receiver on the field. It's a stretch, but, it may be a good thing.

Chris: Maybe so.

Alex: So Matt Ryan disappointed you this week, huh? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Matt, but Philly is still too strong a team, and they had Westbrook. I can't pick against them with Westbrook.

Chris: I didn't think Philly would show up this week, but good for them. They're still dangerously alive in the NFC East race, plus they know how to turn it on later in the season. Until the NFC Championship Game.

Alex: Haha.

Alex: You got me with the NYG PIT game. I was really hoping for a PIT win. I don't know how I thought they could win with that horrible porous o-line. But, hey, it was a close game, right?

Chris: Yeah, close. The Giants confuse me— sometimes they look great, sometimes they look like crap, and more often than not they win. And so they look like they'll be vulnerable in each of their next games, but they somehow pull it out.

Alex: Well, honestly, looking back on it, they won because Pittsburgh made it painfully obviously how important a deep snapper is. To be frank, NYG got lucky. Maybe they are hitting a road block, huh?

Chris: Maybe. I think good teams make their own luck, and the Giants put themselves in a decent enough position to win. Plus PIT's O is kind of nasty.

Alex: Yeah

Alex: C-Bass, I don't care if I lose this game every week for the rest of the season, but I'm picking SF. I just love Mike Singletary. I don't care that they got blown out by your pick Seattle this week.

Chris: The reason I picked against him was i didn't think he was ready to be a coach. I think he's ready, but now it's just dealing with that team of his. I have zero opinion on the Seahawks. They've sunk back into obscurity.

Alex: It wasn't a very far fall, either. Question: Wade Phillips or Mike Singletary as your coach of the Dallas Cowboys, if you had to choose right now.

Chris: Strictly on pep I'll take Singletary. I still value Phillips' knowledge. But note— I don't think you have to be a yeller or screamer to win. When you have a quiet coach, you want a screamer. When you have Parcells, you want a players coach.

Alex: This is true. But don't you think Singletary rides that line? I mean, look at the Vernon situation. He kicked him out during the game. Talked to him, explained the situation, and him and Vernon are friends.

Chris: Yeah, friends. I bet.

Alex: At the very least, there's communication and mutual respect.

Chris: I'll still be pro-Singletary, but I want to see how the situation goes.

Alex: Better than the Parcells cold shoulder.

Chris: It can either work great or explode. Time will be his friend or enemy. If he doesn't get his players and enough time for his system to work, it'll look like a disaster.

Alex: Final game, IND TEN.

Chris: I didn't respect Tennessee enough. I thought they had a weak schedule.

Alex: You know, I really just picked them 'cause they're hot.

Chris: They looked something fierce. I still wish they were called the Oilers, though.

Alex: Aren't they going to wear those uniforms next year?

Chris: I think once. I really wish it were permanent. Either them or the Texans.

Alex: And I think the win for TEN was really more of a loss for IND. Manning just hasn't played well.

Chris: Is Manning done?

Alex: Is it some unspoken rule that only one Manning can be good at a time?

Chris: Maybe they're linked as Romo and Favre are.

Alex: It's possible. They share the same bloodline.

Chris: And maybe Colton has a great week at Home Depot when both brothers stink.

Alex: Roethlis-summary? I think you were dead on with Roethlis-lunchables this week. Not much to say here.

Chris: It's going to be a rough season for a 2-loss team. He may well be Roethlis-vienna sausages before we're done with the year.

Alex: Marinated in beer, or just thrown on the grill?

Chris: Fresh from the can, onto the dinner plate. No frills.

Mutual slips:

Records this week
Alex: 9-5
Chris: 9-5

Overall records

Alex: 69-47
Chris: 72-44

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Barbie Watch, Week 8

Every week, Alex and Chris scour the NFL for Bobby Carpenter sightings and log each with time and location. This week our focus comes home to Dallas. The watch will tentatively begin at noon, CT.

All locations Dallas unless stated otherwise.

11:55 am - Bobby runs out of the giant, inflatable Cowboys helmet. He is not first, he is not last— just comfortably in the middle, free from blame

12:03 pm - Bobby pushes a nameless Tampa defender out of the way, but misses crucial Bucs running in his general direction, eventually tackling the kickoff returner.

12:05 pm - Bobby runs parallel to the Tampa punt returner, but provides a shot for the punter, Paulescu, to light up the returner. Nice hit.

Adendum: on that last punt return, the kicker made a bigger hit than Bobby has his whole career.

12:06 pm
- Realizing the spotlight has shifted, Bobby stands directly in front of Paulescu to get some valuable facetime.

12:08 pm - Bobby has no effect on the FG block. His presence only noted by two Cowboys fans in a dark corner of the internet.

12:15 pm - Cowboys are forced to punt again. Bobby's mind is elsewhere; part of him wants to make the tackle, but the other part wants to keep an eye on Paulescu just in case. His mind short-circuiting, he runs up to the spot of tackle and just stands there.

12:27 pm - Flozell false starts as a shout-out to his girl back home.

12:28 pm - Bobby actually tried to hit the returner on this third punt, but as he went for the tackle, he realized the returned was already wrapped up by three cowboys. Bobby goes back to the sidelines in tears, almost throws a hissy.

12:40 pm - End of the first quarter. Score, Tampa-6, Dallas-0. Bobbystats - 0 tackles, 1 Hissy, 8 tears.

12:55 pm - Dallas kicks off to the Buccaneers. Bobby is quick to run to the play, but then makes sure his arm is preoccupied with a Buc defender, rendering him helpless and unable to make a tackle. That is the NFL's version of the "Ds are degrees" mentality at its finest.

1:15 pm - Ronde Barber horsecollars Marion, marking the first time it has ever worked in favor of the Dallas Cowboys.

1:25 pm - Halftime Statline- Cowboys 10, Tampa - 6. Bobbystats - 0 tackles, 1 Hissy, 8 tears.


1:40 pm - Shot of Bobby looking pissed/intense with his helmet resting on top of his noggin. Probably walking with his arms 3 feet apart like the football players in high school.

1:46 pm - The cowboys go 3 and out following the kickoff-fumble, just to spite Bobby and make sure he has no real effect on the game. Bobby lays on the ground, crosses his arms, and refuses to do anything until Wade acknowledges that he's important to the team.

1:57 pm - Wade never acknowledged Bobby, and, realizing he was getting no attention, gave up, and was seen sitting on the bench sulking behind Brad Johnson's head.

2:01 pm - Bobby makes the kickoff tackle and throws both arms up in the air in celebration. After a period of soul-searching and sulking, coupled with some Bright Eyes on his iPod, Bobby realizes he has to work twice as hard as any other sentient being to get the recognition he deserves.

2:10 pm - Bobby in again on the FG Block, lackadaisically acting like he's in on the play, and the FG is good. He is seen whispering behind Wade, "see what happens when I don't try, they get points."

2:13 pm - End of third quarter - Dallas - 13, Tampa - 9. Bobbystats - 1 tackle, 1 useless celebration, 1 fumble recovery, 2 Hissys, 10 tears, 1 instance of lobbying for recognition.

2:18 pm - Bobby in on punt formation, throws his arm out to high five the returner as he runs by. Says to Wade, "At least I got a hand on him."

2:23 pm - Dallas forces a Tampa punt. Bobby didn't make it on-screen, but I'm sure he was putting great football technique on full display for the Texas Stadium fans.

2:28 pm - Bobby made another tackle on punt coverage. Wade apparently has motivated someone on the team to play better.

2:43 pm - Fair catch called for, though Bobby continued to run hard. Most likely for facetime.

3:06 pm - Game over - Dallas -13, Tampa - 9. Bobby stats - 2 tackles, 1 useless celebration, 1 fumble recovery, 2 Hissys, 10 tears, 1 snarky comment, 1 lobbying for recognition.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week 8 in the NFL

Alex and Chris pick the weekend's NFL games and offer insight on their differences.

Chris: Let me go ahead and not vote Dallas.

Alex: I'm giving them one more chance this week. I think Brad might be a little different this week. They're changing the offense. And precedent in the preseason says if he stinks the first time he plays, he's good the second.

Chris: We'll see.

Alex: And New Roy will be full speed this week. I mean, last week was like the takeover of Scar. This week is either the Hakuna Matata song or the return of Simba. If we follow the movie chronologically. We have to be careful, too, 'cause after the Hakuna Matata song is the "Can you feel the love tonight" song.

Chris: Oh no.

Alex: So watch for a Romo-Jessica wedding this week.

Chris: So soon. Elope? Mexico?

Alex: Who knows.

Alex: Second difference, I'm picking Oakland over Baltimore. I figure Joe Flacco can't pull it on me twice in 2 weeks.

Chris: Did Oakland discover something last week? PS, is Kiffin still coaching? I've lost touch with them.

Alex: No, it's Tom Cable. Unfortunatly, he looks nothing like Jim Carrey. But, I think JaMarcus might be finding a rhythm. He did complete over 15 passes this past week. Granted, it took him 5 quarters...

Chris: And how many picks?

Alex: 0, and 1 TD.

Chris: Wow, that's a good ratio. Robust by JaMarcus standards.

Alex: Next, Matt Ryan versus the City of Philadelphia, hot over the Phillies' entrance into the World Series. You really think he can pull it off? That's a mean place to play.

Chris: Yeah, but Philly will be distracted by a potential chance for a title. I say potential because karma should rob them of the title. I say should because karma should be fair.

Alex: I somehow see the title chance making them meaner. Just to get it all in before they win, and can't be mean anymore.

Chris: Interesting. I think Donovan will lead a comeback in the fourth quarter, but by that point, Atlanta will be too far ahead and he'll be booed off the field.

Alex: So the next on is NYG and PIT. I choose PIT solely on hope and prayer. Maybe the Roethlis-gods will hear them.

Chris: I take the Giants because I can't predict what the Giants will do, and Eli is shaky, but somehow they win, and I think they still put pressure on Roethlisberger. I would love a PIT win.

Alex: Next game, this one's tough: two perrenial losers, SEA and SF, but SEA is down a starting QB, and you still take them?

Chris: I have no reason for taking them here. I just think somehow something crazy happens. Or Singletary is entirely unprepared for his first week in the NFL.

Alex: See, I like the Singletary factor. God, Singletary on Defense, and Martz on Offense? Sounds unstoppable on paper.

Chris: Just like the Cowboys.

Alex: Oooh... too soon.

Chris: My question is if Singletary will wear a suit.

Alex: God I hope so. Have we seen a suit this year?

Chris: Right now it's just Del Rio. And the fact he's the only coach in the league looking sharp will cost him the Cleveland game.

Alex: Final game, the Titans are still undefeated C-bass, both in NY and Tennessee. And you pick IND?

Chris: I heard something about the Titans opponents' combined record of 11-28 (ballpark?). The Colts are not the Super Bowl Colts, but i think they pull a fast one over on Tennessee.

Alex: Well, you have to remember that 20 of the 28 losses belong to KC last week. So, I don't know how valid that argument is.

Chris: True. First 20 game loser in a single season in NFL history.

Alex: And we're only halfway through.

Chris: So at least they're making history...

Alex: God only knows how far they'll sink.

Chris: Such a shame. I used to respect KC— never the best, but always interesting.

Alex: To close things out, Roethlis-rating this week?

Chris: Roethlis-lunchables; pretty good, but you can't live off it, no matter how much you'd like.

Alex: I think I'm going to go Roethlis-ballpark franks; have enough of them, and you're satisfied.

Alex: And Bobby's effect on this week's game?

Chris: Bobby ... hmm ... I think this week he gets more playing time and misses a key tackle— and then sits on the bench again.

Alex: I think we might see him play some safety this week with Roy Williams-38 on IR and having potentially played his last down with the Cowboys. Roy's a former linebacker, so it might be a fit.

And the rest of our picks this week:

Arizona over Carolina
Washington over Detroit
Buffalo over Miami
New England over St. Louis
New Orleans over San Diego
New York Jets over Kansas City
Cleveland over Jacksonville
Houston over Cincinnati

Season records to this week
Alex: 60-42
Chris: 63-39

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week 7 Postmortem

A look back at the week, our picks, and our blunders.

Alex: Out of the gates, I pulled one on you with the Bills.

Chris: Yeah, I've given up on San Diego. No more faith. No expectations, no disappointment.

Alex: Question: Who would you rather have as a coach this week, Norv Turner or Wade Phillips?

Chris: San Diego looks like they need Mr. Fix It. I'd rather have Wade. I don't think he's some impotent simpleton at the helm, I think he's a respectable, intelligent coach who doesn't want to deal with riff raff.

Alex: I agree with you. See, I think this season he figured he could be the fan. But this week he's taking some of the reins back for defensive calls. So I think he was disappointed about it, but he's starting to coach again.

Alex: Next, you creamed me with that Carolina pick.

Chris: Your thoughts on the Saints?

Alex: I think we had this discussion last week, and apparently the yo-yo was up on Carolina this week. I think the Saints are fine, Carolina is just a streaky team.

Chris: And shame on them. I think they could be the wild card team that takes Dallas out of the playoffs. At least one of the teams in the NFC South needs to tank for Dallas to make the playoffs as a 3rd place NFC Easter.

Alex: Yeah.

Chris: I would have no problem if the NFC South took a lesson from the NFC West and only put one winning team out there.

Alex: Too bad I doubt it'll happen. And you know what? If the Cowboys miss the playoffs this year, and hopefully if that happens, we're last in the East— say hello to the 19-0 Super Bowl champions of 2010. While it's not good this year, it's kind of a win-win. Either we pull it together this year, and everyone's happy. Or we pull it together in a BIG WAY next year, and everyone's happy. Either way, everyone's happy.

Alex: Next game, Baltimore and Miami. You took Baltimore, and it's becoming obvious that Joe Flacco just doesn't want me to win.

Chris: I didn't see any of the highlights, save for Terrell Suggs' pick-six, but is the wildcat dead?

Alex: Jury's out. I think it might be more of the Ray Ray fire. And the Baltimore defense just being the Baltimore defense.

Alex: Can we skip talking about my upset special this week? I need to learn that sometimes my gut is just wrong. Either that, or hope rarely transcends reality.

Chris: Maybe it was an upset stomach resulting in stress from Romo and the injury.

Alex: I think that's a safe bet.

Alex: Man, and why on earth did I trust Cleveland?

Chris: I really don't know.

Alex: You took the safe route this week and kinda killed me.

Chris: So the Browns— what is the rule and what is the exception? Browns-Giants, Browns-Redskins (close), Browns-Cowboys.

Alex: I think the common factor is Kellen Winslow. He didn't play v. Giants: won. Played v. Redskins: lost. Lost all other games he played. So, I guess we'll find out this week— Kellen is suspended.

Chris: Could be a win?

Alex: If I'm right, expect a win for the Dogpound.

Unfortunate mutual gaffes. Moral of the story: Pick the home team.

Records this week
Alex: 6-8
Chris: 9-5

Overall records

Alex: 60-42
Chris: 63-39

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Barbie Watch, Week 7

Every week, Alex and Chris scour the NFL for Bobby Carpenter sightings and log each with time and location. This week our focus turns to St. Louis. The watch will tentatively begin at noon, CT.

All locations St. Louis unless stated otherwise.

12:03 pm - The Rams decide to wear white, forcing the Cowboys to wear Bad Luck Blue. The Cowboys receive the opening kickoff and have a decent return. Bobby arrives at the scene of the tackle late, no doubt blocking the other half of the field... just in case.

12:10 pm - Touchdown, Cowboys. No sight of Bobby on the extra point attempt. Is he off the unit? Was he on to begin with?

12:13 pm - The Rams return the ball 32 yards on the kickoff. Bobby runs parallel to the return until finally closing on the tackle. Well, Orlando Scandrick tackled the Ram, but Bobby touched him as he was going out of bounds. It's a contact sport.

12:24 pm - Bobby legitimately helps out on the block as the Cowboys return the Rams' kickoff. By the way, that was only the 5th offensive touchdown by the Rams this season. Glad we could help.

12:26 pm - Cowboys center Andre Gurode not only snaps the ball far too early, but he misfires to the left. Bobby petitions the coaches for playing time on the o-line for the second week in a row.

12:32 pm - Cowboys have allowed the Rams to score their 2nd touchdown of the day. Before today, they had scored 4 offensive touchdowns in 5 games. Bobby now petitions for playing time on defense, anywhere.

12:34 pm - Cowboys get a touchback on their kickoff return. No runback means no contact for Bobby.

12:36 pm - Rams intercept the Cowboys on a tipped pass. Convenience blames the offensive line.

12:37 pm - LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOBBY CARPENTER RUNS ONTO THE FIELD, he's in on defense! Bobby is in on the tackle to boot.

12:38 pm - Bobby is blocked on 2nd and goal.

12:38 pm - Holding, 1st and goal again. Bobby has great penetration into the offense.

12:39 pm - Touchdown, Rams. Bobby is too far into the end zone to even attempt a tackle. Cowboys are down 21-7.

12:41 pm - Touchback, Cowboys, on the kickoff return. No action for Bobby.

End of first quarter.

12:53 pm - Bobby Carpenter is in on the Rams' 54 yard field goal attempt. Bobby does not flinch and the kick goes wide right.

1:03 pm - Bobby in on defense again. Makes the tackle, gain of two. Also mentally forces a holding call on the Rams.

1:04 pm - Bulger passes to the other side of the field. Bobby has locked down 50% of the field. 3rd down coming.

1:05 pm - Bulger again passes away from Bobby's half of the field. Incomplete pass. Punt time, baby.

1:06 pm - Bobby blocks the Ram on the punt return, but unfortunately sends the Ram in the general direction of the returning Cowboy. Unsure if Bobby's block led to the tackle on the return.

1:13 pm - Upon consulting the play-by-play and box score for the game, Bobby Carpenter has not officially registered a tackle. Bobby is either in the right place at the right time or a master illusionist.

1:18 pm - Cowboys punt the ball. Bobby remains stationary on the 20-yard line.

1:19 pm - No sight of Bobby on the defense.

1:20 pm - Correction, Bobby IS on the field. On 3rd down.

1:21 pm - Bulger completes to Dante Hall, tackled by Hamlin, who is in turn wrapped up by Bobby. Carpenter is called off the field. That's enough, Bobby.

1:28 pm - Bobby's back in and gets a front row seat at DeMarcus Ware's sack of Bulger.

1:29 pm - Bobby hangs out in the back of the field goal block unit. The Rams make a 52-yarder and go up 24 - 7.

1:31 pm - Kickoff goes out of bounds, Bobby can't be asked to hit or block anyone.

1:35 pm - Cowboys punt. Rams kneel the ball and end the longest first half in history.

End of first half.

1:50 pm - Cowboys kickoff to start the 3rd quarter. Bobby is late on the tackle, but really, what's new?

1:53 pm - Bobby makes a few blocks on the punt return. Slows down near the end. Or maybe Crayton is just that fast.

2:08 pm - estimated time of death of the 2008 Cowboys. Stephen Jackson runs for a 56-yd touchdown. This is the Rams' 4th offensive touchdown of the day, matching the season output from their first 5 games.

2:09 pm - Bobby watches the point after sail through the uprights. Rams lead 31-7.

2:11 pm - Kickoff return by the Cowboys, Bobby never entered the TV frame.

2:14 pm - Cowboys punt. Bobby is again absent from the TV frame. He's either tired of getting facetime or tired of running.

2:20 pm - Bobby races downfield next to his block assignment. Fair catch is called. If not, Bobby's man could light it up.

End of third quarter

2:38 pm - Field goal, Bobby present, kick is good, surprise surprise.

2:39 pm - Bobby opens his lunchbox and pulls out the 7-book Narnia set. He starts reading the first book in the series, The Magician's Nephew. If he reads for 300 hours, he'll win a free trip to Six Flags and a personal pan pizza.

2:40 pm - Bobby asks Zach Thomas if he's seen the Saturday Night Live "Chronicles of Narnia" skit. Before Thomas can answer, Bobby begins rapping. Thomas, annoyed, saunters over to the backup offensive linemen and talks hunting.

2:45 pm - Another interception by the Rams. Bobby puts his helmet on just in case he's needed after the TV timeout. But not before he finishes the first chapter of The Magician's Nephew.

2:48 pm - Bobby is back in the game. Stephen Jackson looks hurt. Bobby had no direct impact on the play. Or did he? Maybe the magic is rubbing off...

2:50 pm - Bobby is late to the play, but I'm sure he was held.

2:52 pm - Stephen Jackson limps off the field from the sideline. That's what happens when you get greedy, St. Louis.

2:54 pm - Rams pooch punt the ball. Carpenter thinks it's just a bad shank on a field goal attempt, crediting C.S. Lewis for his newfound magical talent.

3:06 pm - Rams kneel the time out. Game over.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week 7 in the NFL

Every Friday, Alex and Chris pick the weekend's NFL games and offer insight on their differences.

Alex: Week 7 starts off with SD and BUF. You've got SD. Looking at it on paper, I agree with you, I think. But, Buffalo is just Buffalo at home, you know?

Chris: I think it's momentum and mojo. SD is hot and they'll ride that wave.

Alex: They've got some grit and luck, I feel.

Chris: Small town values.

Alex: Exactly. But, we'll see. I'm a fencerider here.

Alex: Right next door, CAR and NO, You took CAR. This is another close one. New Orleans, I feel, can just put up more points.

Chris: I think Carolina is yo-yo enough to either tank today or show up big. They have a decent defense and I love me some defense. My question is if they can hold Bush to 2 return TDs.

Alex: Who knows. Bush is very yo-yo as well. It's yo-yo matchup.

Alex: Baltimore and Miami.....Baltimore C-bass? I learned after last week.

Chris: Flacco and the Ravens rebound here. And by now I figure teams will be ready for the daunted Wildcat offense. They might not completely shut it down, but I think they're familiar now.
Alex: Yeah. Ray Ray will murder someone if they go big with the 'cat.

Chris: And then deny any involvement.

Alex: Yeah. Of course.

Alex: This one...I might regret....NYG and SF. I'm taking the HUGE underdog— SF... I figure Martz is good for one big upset a year, and I'd rather it not be us.

Chris: Yeah, I'm banking on Eli getting his head straight. For the picks, I hope he pulls it out. But for the season, I hope our old Eli is back.

Alex: It sure looked it on Monday night.

Chris: I've grown tired of this unstoppable Eli from the past few months

Alex: Question: isn't it interesting that he has his worst games when his big stars come back? And his best when they aren't present?

Chris: Why is that? Does no one respect him but the scrubs?

Alex: Think about it, he just got better and better the less he had. Tiki goes, they get better. Shockey goes, Super Bowl. Plax goes for a game, they score 44. I don't know what the reason is... it's interesting, though.

Chris: Very interesting

Alex: And the final difference....Washington and Cleveland. I got Cleveland. This is another tough one.

Chris: I think Cleveland got lucky, and the Rams got lucky last week.

Alex: And by the way, I'm glad we got Cleveland out of the way.

Chris: Yes, and in grand fashion.

Alex: Well, see, here's the thing with Cleveland. They looked awful when we played 'em. But it seemed like they get some guys back and boom. So, jury's out, I think.

Chris: It's the 1950s all over again. I think I'll take the Redskins based on embarrassment after losing to a winless Rams squad. But I won't be too upset if i miss on the pick.

Alex: Yeah. I'd like to see Zorn tank, too.

Chris: And in closing, the Roethlis-ratings. Give me Roethlis-doublecheeseburger this week against the Bengals. A little extra, but still economical. Gets the job done without too much fanciness.

Alex: Against the Bengals? Man... Roethlis-... Roethlis... Roethlis-rack of ribs. He's HUGE against the Bengals.

Chris: And the rest of our picks this week:

Chicago over Minnesota
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
Tennessee over Kansas City
Dallas over St. Louis
Houston over Detroit
Indianapolis over Green Bay
New York Jets over Oakland
Tampa Bay over Seattle
Denver over New England

Season records to this week
Alex: 54-34
Chris: 54-34

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Week 6 Bonus: Favre, Romo, & The Lion King

In this post, Alex and Chris examine some interesting coincidences...

Alex: So Romo might play this week. Favre texted him and said, "Test it out, if you can deal with the pain and throw well, you should play." So Romo tested it and thinks he can. It's 50-50.

Chris: I'm against Romo playing if he's a detriment to the team's performance. Plus if he is exposing himself to future and longer-term injury, I think he needs to sit on the bench. I'd rather have him against our division opponents than the Rams, win or lose.

Alex: Favre is cedeing his magic, C-bass. Favre-magic. Ceded. To Romo.

Chris: Completely?

Alex: It looks that way.

Alex: Obviously we'll have to wait until he plays, but Favre is trying.

Chris: Damn, if Favre is rooting for him... what can stop him?

Alex: Only Favre.

Chris: Favre is sacrificing himself to give eternal life to Romo.

Alex: Yeah, it's like Mufasa and Simba. With Mike McCarthy/Ted Thompson as Scar. "Killing" Favre by sending him to NY. Where he only exists as a voice, or big talking cloud.

Alex: Sometimes Favre resembles a god (6 td passes), but overall, a non-factor (he plays for the Jets). Can we go ahead and call the bumbling hyenas the Pats?

Chris: It was between the Eagles and Pats for me, I was stuck.

Alex: Well see, in the Lion King, the hyenas and Scar held pride rock captive. But without their leader (Tom Brady), the hyenas struggled to maintain control and eventually lost.

Chris: I'm sold.

Alex: So, this year = the year of the Lion King. Too bad Detroit sucks.

Chris: ...Roy Williams?

Alex: HEY! We have a Lion. Wow....

Chris: Fate.

Alex: It must be. Who are Timon and Pumba? Pumba is cleary Wade Phillips.

Chris: I think Timon could be Jerry Jones.

Alex: You know... Billy Crystal... I can't understand him sometimes. And I never understand Jerry. I think Jerry for sure.

Alex: And Zazu? The little blue bird?

Chris: Was he a major player at all? I can't remember.

Alex: Well, he was Mufasa's adviser and tried to tell Simba what to do, but Simba just said, "Okay sure, to make you happy I'll say yes, but really I'm going to do what I want." I feel like Zazu could be T.O. "GIVE ME THE BALL, TONY!" "Ok, sure, TO."

Chris: I think in this case, Favre represents pops, and Favre willingly jumps off the cliff into the stampede.

Alex: Yes, Favre = Mufasa.

Chris: Rafiki?

Alex: Crazy. Guru.

Chris: Jason Garrett?

Alex: Jason possibly. If it were Pac in question, then I'd go with Deion.

Chris: We'll include it as an option for Tyler Perry's Lion King.

Alex: [laughs] Oh God. Leonard Davis must have a role.

Chris: We could have Deion and Michael Irvin play the other characters.

Alex: So I think Romo sits this week, but next week onward he plays. Johnson can beat the Rams.

Chris: Also, does Andre Gurode fall asleep before the snap anymore this season?

Alex: He does it once a game. It's like he's a narcoleptic. If he weren't such a damn good blocker....

Chris: Choices.

Alex: It's like he's subscribing to the Mark Stepnoski "How to Play Center" rulebook—
Rule 1. Smoke weed every day.
Rule 2. Try to hide it.
Rule 3. If you forget the snap count, act like you didn't see Romo.

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