There have been some great football names over the years. I’m not talking about the players, I’m talking about names — the kind of names that sound like they belong to football players. I’m talking Ray Nitschke, Bart Starr, Bronko Nagurski, Red Grange, Archie Manning, Dick Butkus. These are the names that, if you were writing a novel about football players, you’d totally come up with.
Add Brock Osweiler to the list. Dammit, that’s a football name. And he’s off to a great start in place of Peyton Manning. (The “Petyon” takes away from the football-ness of the Manning surname, IMO.) Plus, he’s like nine feet tall and humble as all get out. I like it. I’m rooting for Brock.
Now, I’m not saying that Brock’s name will rise to the level of greatness that other non-football names have, such as Darth Vader, Aragorn, James T. Kirk or Horatio Hornblower. But it might. It might. And that’s why we watch the games.
On with the picks. (Winners in italics.)
Green Bay at Detroit: I did this one on Twitter, and for 60 minutes, I was wrong. Until I was right.
N.Y. Jets at N.Y. Giants: One of many games this week that will make or break the season for both teams. Not quite destroy-the-Death-Star level of existential crisis, but close.
Arizona at St. Louis: The Rams will get fleeced. (I…I’m so sorry for that. Truly.)
Atlanta at Tampa Bay: Here’s another one. Angry Birds or Jack Sparrow? The Birds get the vote, but I don’t feel great about it.
Seattle at Minnesota: While the Seahawks secondary has been surprisingly suspect, you couldn’t get a TARDIS through the line in the run game.
Houston at Buffalo: It’s another win-or-done scenario for these two. Buffaloes are bigger than mere steers.
Baltimore at Miami: Well, the season’s already lost for both teams. This is my Netflix pick of the week. I recommend Marco Polo. I know it got critically panned, but I had fun with it.
Cincinnati at Cleveland: One must admire the Browncoats for finding completely new and innovative ways to self-destruct. It’s awful and beautiful to behold.
Jacksonville at Tennessee: Marcus Mariota isn’t a traditional football name, but I’m totally rooting for him. It’s not his fault the Titans picked him.
San Francisco at Chicago: Why is it that, in all the disaster and alien-invasion movies, nobody bothers to blow up Chicago? I suspect it has something to do with deep-dish pizza, which is unnatural.
Denver at San Diego: BROCK!
Kansas City at Oakland: The Raiders are reverting to the norm. The universe rights itself.
Carolina at New Orleans: The Saints’ season is toast, but they’d sure love to keep the Panthers from going undefeated. Won’t happen.
Philadelphia at New England: Another one where Netflix may be an option. The Fall was riveting.
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh: Two random fans will be chosen to play quarterback for both teams! The concussion waiver is 42 pages long. No, wait…43 pages.
Dallas at Washington: How did this end up on Monday night? And dear Lord, why must I pick the Washington team with the horrible name?
Last week’s record: A middling 9-7. Meh.
Season record: 105-71, and fading toward the back of the pack compared to these guys.