It has been a difficult week, and I’m not just talking about the Braves’ exit or the fact that Nancy Graceless apparently had some sort of wardrobe malfunction on Dancing with the Mutants, which brought the world to a standstill, wiped out half the planet’s vegetation and destroyed the good and the innocence that exists inside all of us.
But the really difficult week has been in Flowery Branch, where everybody has been looking at game film and coming to the realization: “Wow. We really stink. Has Nancy ever played left tackle? Because really, she can’t be any worse than Sam Baker, although he might look better in sequins.”
The Falcons are 1-2 so, yeah, they’ve still got 13 games left. But they’ve got problems. When the quarterback seems to call plays better than the offensive coordinator, and too many guys on defense still look at each other with that Scooby Doo, rut-roh gaze in their eyeballs, and linemen aren’t even stopping pass-rushers long enough to collect a 50-cent toll … well, I’m thinking: Last Tango in Playoffs.
Ryan has been sacked 13 times. He has been hit 479 times, I think. He probably has been hit as much as Michael Vick, the only difference being that Ryan isn’t looking to press charges while holding up his paw like some wounded puppy. (Dog analogy was completely accidental. Sorta.)
This week, it’s Seattle. This game would’ve been more fun if Jim Mora were still coaching the Seahawks. But alas, he has been committed.
The Falcons are 0-2 on the road. They have scored one offensive touchdown in eight quarters on the road. Confidence: not oozing. But the line is 4½, and I’m willing to dance. Assuming limited malfunctions: Falcons win and cover.
Other Bulldogs at Trembling Chihuahuas: Georgia is 2-0 since the season ended. One juicy subplot: Mississippi State rang the Mark Richt Job Alarm last season with an upset in Starkville, the Dogs’ first loss to MSU in 36 years. On a related note, Dan Mullen is interviewing realtors at halftime. Wait, who said that? Dogs cover 7.
Georgia Tech at N.C. State: The Jackets are 4-0 for the first time since their 1990 national title season. They’ve averaged over 600 yards and 53 points per game and next plan to conquer Eastern Europe. OK, so they’ve beaten a few Lichtenstein’s. But that doesn’t explain how a triple-option coach like Paul Johnson is getting higher marks for his passing attack than the Falcons? Tech covers 9½.
Alabama at Florida: A young Tampa TV reporter asked Will Muschamp this week if he had “kind of a Master vs Padawan thing going on” in his relationship with his mentor Nick Saban. Muschamp looked at her like she was from Neptune. The rest of the media just figured she had been separated from her middle school group at Dragon*Con. Actually, I’ve got no problem with Star Wars analogies. But stick with the basics: like Charlie Weis and Jabba The Hutt, separated at birth. Tide cover 4.
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M: In a moment of sheer irony that only Bobby Petrino could provide, Beelzebub responded to a question about
SEC expansion this way: “Why don’t we do all this stuff after the football season?” Gee, I dunno. Maybe Texas A&M just couldn’t wait two more games and preferred lying to their bosses and sneaking out of town for a midnight news conference in Pigville. Oh no, wait. That was you. Aggies cover 3.
Auburn at South Carolina: Cam Newton had 11 touchdowns in two games against the Gamecocks last season. Steve Spurrier’s return this season can be tied directly to the NFL draft. Carolina wins, but take Auburn and 10.
Clemson at Virginia Tech: Dabo Swinney has beaten ranked teams (Auburn, Florida State) two straight weeks. Maybe I misjudged him. Naaaaw. Hokies cover 7.
For his comments, Bobby Petrino deserves the, “Fish Slapping Dance.”
NFL Value Meals
(Add fries and a DeAngelo Hall alibi for 99 cents)
49ers at Eagles: Michael Vick is complaining that he gets hit too much. I thought prison was supposed to toughen you up? Philly wins, but take San Fran and 9.
Redskins at Rams: DeAngelo Hall followed bogus threats of hitting Tony Romo in the ribs by not getting near Romo and whiffing several times on wide receiver Dez Bryant, unless you count when he grabbed Bryant’s face mask after allowing a 30-yard reception on third-and-21 to set up the Cowboys’ winning field goal. How many ways can you spell “punk”? Rams win a pick ‘em.
Lions at Cowboys: Matthew Stafford: 9 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 977 yards and 3-0 after three games. Amazing what happens when he stays healthy and doesn’t have to play Florida. Make that 4 straight: Detroit (plus 1) wins in a slight upset.
Patriots at Raiders: The Boston Globe website had eight links on their Internet home page about Tom Brady’s haircut. There was only one story about a Massachusetts man who plotted to blow up the Pentagon and Capitol. Bad hair. Pats cover 4½
In dishonor of Nancy and DeAngelo, “Dancing With Myself” seems appropriate.
Last week (slightly overcast): 7-4 straight up, 6-5 against the spread.
Bottom dollars (four weeks): 36-14 straight up, 33-16-1 against the spread.
“Sack Schultz” update: Ms. Linda Folsom of Cartersville was the local and national winner, going 15-0. Are these folks going 15-0 using a Ouija board or something? Yes, you CAN still enter and win big. Go to ajc.com/go/sack-schultz. Then I shall mock your selections.
By Jeff Schultz