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Go For two: Week 9 NFL Games To Watch

Week 9! I can't hardly wait! First though, a very small recap of week 8.

Week 8 had entirely too much football on Sunday. Waking up to a Lions game at the brink of dawn on the west coast was a bit daunting. However, it wasn't as daunting as watching the Falcons blow at 21-0 lead at the half. It was mind-numbing to watch a missed field goal by Prater, turn into a delay of game penalty (replay shows time did not, in fact, expire), and ultimately a game winning field goal. I needed the Lions to lose that game. The Lions were graciously complying with my request until the Falcons and the refs decided to actively participate in helping the Lions win. The Lions fan base thanks you.

Atlanta Falcons coach, Mike Smith, it was nice seeing you on the sidelines, but your days are numbered. You deserve to be fired. I'm not even a Falcons fan, but that shit was crazy.

Don't be worried though, you won't be alone. Sexy-Rexy will be your new best bud as you two watch next season from your seats at the bar, and not the sidelines.

Then there is everyone's favorite lost soul. Oh, Jay Cutler. The best thing to happen to the GBP.

Thank you for being you, Jay cutler. Thank you.

Now on to week 9.

What a week it will be. It seems the entire NFC North division (save for the Vikings, but we all know that they don't count) is on hiatus this week. I'm thankful for this as it gives me a bit of a reprieve. I needed a mental rest from the absurdity of some of these Lions wins as of late. Plus Green Bay's offense needs the rest if they are going to have to keep putting up massive amounts of points to counter what our defense keeps giving up.

Saints (3-4) at Panthers (3-4-1): I love that this division is still wide open because they all have shitty, shitty records. All the teams in the NFC South should be better than they are, well, except for the Buccaneers. The Bucs are really just that bad. The Panthers, Saints, and Falcons show glimpses of being good from time-to-time and it makes us want to believe they can be winners -- but they just aren't.

Saints beating up on the Packers? Don't get too excited Saints.

medal

 

We had the second to worst run defense, and now, thanks to you guys, we have the worst. Our defense couldn't stop my 4-year-old niece if she ran the ball toward the end zone -- even when she stops to pick some of the grass. We had some monumental bad play calling. Davante Adams, while getting in the mix, had a bad turnover when he just flat out stopped running his route.

What I'm saying is, while the Saints looked good Sunday night, there is a reason they have a 3-4 record. The Saints have all four losses when they don't play in their dome. Well, welcome to Carolina.

Cardinals (6-1) at Cowboys (6-2):

Ha ha Cowboys! You lost to Washington!

laughing ryan

However, Cowboys will be going to the playoffs because have you seen their schedule! It's so ridiculously easy they would have to seriously fuck up to not go 6-2 for the rest of the season.

I wonder how the Cowboys will play against a legitimate team, like the Cardinals? It will be interesting to watch.

And watch I will. It's time I start checking out this Arizona team.

Broncos (6-1) at Patriots (6-2):

The hype of the Peyton vs Brady game will be overwhelming. Enough already. This game is legitimate on its own merits. Two great coaches in John Fox and Belichick. Two great quarterbacks, no matter what those morons said about Brady in the beginning of the season.

I'm honestly excited for this game.

Ravens (5-3) at Steelers (5-3):

When did the Steelers get a 5-3 record? I feel like the Steelers cheated on some test. There is no way this team has a 5-3 record. Division match. A game from a gone era. Still completely watchable.

On a side note, I think there needs to be a shout-out to my favorite defensive coordinator Dom Capers! Congratulations!

excited barney

You now are in charge of the worst run defense in the league! How does it feel to be the main reason the Packers are losing games! Hats off to you, sir, hats off to you.

NFL Preview: AFC South

afc southWhy is this the last of the Eligible Receiver NFL previews? It's the AFC South. If that isn't explanation enough, all will become clear as you read. In short, finding good things to say about the teams in this division which do not play home games in Indiana is like trying to find a silver lining after a bad first date. "Well, she said she liked the movie." "She said she'll be busy for the next month, but I think she definitely wants to go out after that." Do we know this from personal experience? Let's just move on, in order of our projected finish, shall we?

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (11-5 in 2013)

 

Why They'll Win: They have Andrew Luck. The other starting quarterbacks in this division are Jake Locker (until he gets hurt), Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Chad Henne (until Blake Bortles takes the helm of the sinking Jacksonville ship). Good grief.

The Colts have outscored their opponents by just 25 points in the last two years, but won 22 games in those two regular seasons. Is Luck that good in close games? Maybe. Is that number affected by the incompetence of their division opponents? Yes. A thousand Matt Schaub pick sixes yes.The Colts are not a great team. Their best receiver started his career catching passes from Johnny Unitas in Baltimore, is now 118 years old, and is coming off a torn ACL (Note: only one of those things is confirmed). Their best running back is Trent Richardson. Again, their best running back is Trent Richardson. However, they have Luck, Pagano mania, a good tight end with a great name in Coby Fleener, and the advantage of two games each against the other teams in this awful division.

Why They'll Lose: If Luck gets hurt, say good night. That's not out of the real of possibility since Houston has J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. If they turn Luck into a wishbone, it's all over for Indy. Quick, who's the colts' backup quarterback? Yeah, we had to Google it too.

HOUSTON TEXANS (2-14 in 2013)

Why They'll Win: Jadeveon Clowney is legitimately terrifying. No, he doesn't go hard on every play. Breaking news: most players don't. What Clowney can do is occupy two blockers at all times, and on occasion show off athletic ability shared by few. He can change a game in one play. Oh, and they also have J.J. Watt. Andre Johnson can still play. Arian Foster, when helathy, can still play. Fitzpatrick is an Ivy Leaguer. Brains have to count for something, right? If he can manage games and the defense can bend, mutilate, and fold people, Houston could be a 9-7 team in this division.

Why They'll Lose: They were awful last year because their quarterbacks were horrific. Ryan Fitzpatrick to the rescue? No. Andre Johnson has done everything short of hijack a plane to get out of town. Arian Foster has as much chance of staying healthy as the guys who kidnapped Liam Neeson's daughter in Taken. Clowney could start losing motivation and start hitting buffets hard if the season goes off the track.

TENNESSEE TITANS (7-9 in 2013)

Why They'll Win: They unloaded the dead weight of Chris Johnson, who ran the past two years as if carrying the dead weight of all the fantasy owners whose dreams he trampled into the turf. They brought in Ken Whisenhunt to replace Mike Munchak as coach. Whisenhunt won a Super Bowl as the Steeler's OC, took the CARDINALS (you're damn right we're yelling) to a Super Bowl as head coach, then took the Chargers offense from 31st in the league to 5th as an OC. Munchak's resume consists largely of being a good lineman as a player and an organization guy as a coach. Moving from Munchak to Whisenhunt is like swapping an upper deck seat for a sideline pass. If Whisenhunt can show Jake Locker how to a) stay upright and b) make the football go to his intended target, they'll induct him into the Grand Ole Opry. Bishop Sankey can play, and also has one of the best names in the league.

Why They'll Lose: If (when) Locker gets hurt, they get to choose between Charlie Whitehurst, Zach Mettenberger, and coaxing Dan Pastorini or

The Titans' future starting QB?

The Titans' future starting QB?

Ken Stabler out of retirement (note to fans under 30: the Titans used to be the Houston Oilers). Suffice it to say these are not ideal options. Lots of experts are excited about Sankey, but the Titans have Shonn Greene ahead of him on the depth chart, so how good could he be? Quick, name a guy on the Titans' defense. If you succeeded, chances are you either live in Nashville or in the center of a very lonely existence. The Steel Curtain they are not.

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12 in 2013)

Why They'll Win: A selective outbreak of ebola in the locker rooms of everyone on their schedule could give them a decent shot at going 8-8.

Why They'll Lose: Ah, Jaguars. How do ye suck? Let me count the ways. First, they're pretty openly tanking this year NBA-style. If you purposely play Chad Henne over the guy you drafted third overall, there's a problem. The draft pick in question, Blake Bortles, screams "guy who looks good on paper and in drills but can't play football." At no point in his college career did he do anything mind-blowing. Poor Maurice Jones-Drew was so traumatized by his years in Jacksonville that he voluntarily went to the Oakland Raiders. Rest in peace if you can, MJD. GM David Caldwell seems to have a plan, which is a huge improvement for this team, but the plan does not include winning this year.

 

NFL Preview: AFC East

belichick

Take a quick look at the AFC East over the past ten years. Since 2003, the Patriots have won the title 10 times. The only year they didn't win was the year Tom Brady had season ending knee surgery. That sort of says it all. Basically, the Patriots are the Empire, the Dolphins and Jets comprise the Rebellion, and Buffalo is stuck in the swamp with someone far less insightful then Yoda. Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 7.50.23 PM

Do I get to be done with the preview now? No? Fine. I do like making fun of the Jets.

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NFL Preview: NFC South

nfc-south

Does anyone else feel like football season snuck up on them? Last time I checked, it was the draft, and now the regular season is starting in seven hours. Somewhere in the hot, humid haze that was August in DC, I volunteered to do the NFC South preview, even though I haven’t paid attention to this division since the Saints crushed my playoff dreams in the Wild Card round. Let's see what I can come up with.

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NFL Preview: AFC North

Every year I suffer through the pain of baseball season, knowing that each drunken Nats game brings me a little closer to the beginning of football season. While this summer was no exception, somehow real life got in the way and football snuck up on me. Therefore, no extensive research went into the writing of this article. I basically read Deadspin’s Why Your Team Sucks series and called it a day.

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NFL Preview: AFC West

When the Eligible Receiver writers were choosing which divisions we wanted to cover for these season previews, the AFC West and South were the last two kids on the playground to get picked. I jumped on the AFC West because I’m already sad about summer ending and my rapidly approaching birthday (I’m staying 28 forever, goddammit!!), and I didn’t want to drive myself to suicide thinking about the Jaguars AND the Texans AND the Titans. Jesus. They should just give Indy the division title now. But I’ll leave those judgments for Allen’s recap. Today, we’ll look at the AFC West, also known as the "These teams are pretty good – and then there’s Oakland" division.

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