Easy Like Sunday Morning is a quick hit post that looks at the games to be played later in the day where I give you a little insight on each matchup and what I’m watching for. It’s a light hearted way to blend comedy with America’s true, favorite pastime. So crack you a cold one, fire up the computer and let me guide your way to the day’s games ahead. Six days a week you may dread, but today I give you football knowledge that’s easy like Sunday morning.
I’ll also give my pick for each game with my “comfort level”. Usually when I give people my picks, they ask me how comfortable should they be with them and I always reply with a real life situation. For instance, if I was to say “riding in a car with Kenny Britt and the cops pull us over,” then I’m not too confident in the pick. But if I tell you that I’m “lying in the hammock with one sock on, wearing boxers and a pair of Blu Blockers,” then it’s a safe bet.
Carolina Panthers (1-4) @ Atlanta Falcons (2-3)
The Panthers finally have the running game to go along with their high power passing attack. I keep giving the Falcons an extra week to finally get their chemistry together but without Julio Jones I don’t see them all of a sudden meshing. The Panthers have been in every game and it’s a team that can win any week.
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- Pick: (Upset) Panthers
- Comfort Level: Trusting Cam Newton to watch my laptop.
Indianapolis Colts (0-5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)
The Colts have nothing to play for and the Bengals should actually be 4-2 after this game. Cincy is better than they are getting credit for. Curtis Painter has been finding Pierre Garcon on wide open passes but against the 3rd rank passing attack, he shouldn’t fare as well. The Bengals need to allow Andy Dalton to do more and as the season goes along he will.
- Pick: Bengals
- Comfort Level: Being the owner of a team that has made the playoffs every year of this millennium and finally having a horrible season and my punishment is Andrew Luck.
San Francisco 49ers (4-1) @ Detroit Lions (5-0)
Has the 49ers vs the Lions ever been the can’t miss game of the week? Well, it is now! Detroit demonstrates to Philly how the wide-9 is suppose to be run and the 49ers show the whole NFL how defense can still win games. Alex Smith is playing far better then any point in his career but he’s no Matt Stafford and also lacks a Calvin Johnson. The Lions struggled to keep Stafford upright against the Vikings and that’s an area of concern for Detroit.
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- Pick: Lions
- Comfort Level: Having to move to Detroit if I’m wrong on this pick.
St. Louis Rams (0-4) @ Green Bay Packers (5-0)
The nicest thing I can say about this game is that combined these teams have a record that’s 1 game above .500. I know that this season has been crazy and each week lives up to the saying of “any given Sunday” but C’mon Man! If the Rams win this in Green Bay then I would have to quit making predictions on these games. There’s no way that this game is close. Every facet of the game belongs to the Packers…period.
- Pick: Packers
- Comfort Level: T.O. after getting a new bottle of prescriptions pills. No worries.
Buffalo Bills (4-1) @ New York Giants (3-2)
For the most part the Bills are finding out ways to win games and overcome injuries. They have been able to control the game on the ground and make the passes when they count. Injuries have thinned the Buffalo receiving group and this could be a factor. The Bills defense has given up a ton of yards and it could be the remedy for a non-existent Giants rushing attack. The home field, emergence of a running game, the pass rush, and the New York passing attack should be enough to pull out a squeaker.
- Pick: Giants
- Comfort Level: Being Tony Siragusa doing this interview instead of Suzy Kolber with Joe Namath.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2)
The Jags bring their worst passing offense to face the NFL’s best passing defense in Pittsburgh. Jacksonville can only hope that Maurice Jones-Drew can single handily shred the Steelers defense. While the Steelers have faced their own struggles this year and the Jags statistically are playing well as a defense, I can’t see Pittsburgh not moving the ball well at home.
- Pick: Steelers
- Comfort Level: Being Ben Roethlisberger doing this interview with Suzy Kolber instead of Joe Namath. See what I did there? I flipped it on you, because Big Ben would be completely comfortable doing this to Suzy or any other female.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-4) @ Washington Redskins (3-1)
The Eagles will start winning eventually and will find a way to get into the playoff race but the Redskins match up well against them, just like Buffalo did. The Redskins will be able to control time of possession with their rushing attack and they have a much better defense then Buffalo. With an offense like the Eagles, they can always outscore opponents but with the blueprint being laid on how to beat them, I don’t know how they defeat teams. Washington can feed the running backs and let the defense get Vick & company off the field.
- Pick: (Upset) Redskins
- Comfort Level: Being reincarnated as a piece a cheese around Mike Shanahan’s teeth. (I’m saying he reminds me of a rat. You could also exchange cheese with hay because they look like horse teeth. Try to keep up.)
Houston Texans (3-2) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
What role will Derrick Mason play? The Ravens have looked like completely different teams at times this year. Their defense can destroy teams like the Steelers but showed holes versus the Titans. Baltimore’s defense should be able to keep Arian Foster from running wild and force Matt Schaub to defeat them. If they keep the pressure on Schaub, without Andre Johnson he should struggle. The Texans defense is improved and the offense showed last year that they can move the ball on the Ravens defense. Home field should make the difference.
- Pick: Ravens
- Comfort Level: Walking through any street in Baltimore at any time of day. Ok, I confess that I’ve never been to B-more but if it’s like “The Wire” I don’t think I’m missing much.
Cleveland Browns (2-2) @ Oakland Raiders (3-2)
The Raiders are motivated and have something special planned for their first home game since the passing of Al Davis. The Black Hole is always a tough place to play but it’ll be unbearable for the Browns on Sunday. I’m excited to see Greg Little finally get some reps as a starter for the Browns. Cleveland should be smart and feed Peyton Hillis the ball but I doubt it’ll be enough to beat the ghost of Al Davis.
- Pick: Raiders
- Comfort Level: Stuck in Steelers’ locker room with Big Ben, Troy Polamalu, and Hines Ward. One keeps trying to dance with me, the other is shampooing my hair, and finally the other is trying to assault me. I guess all are interested in Head & Shoulders in a round about way.
Dallas Cowboys (2-2) @ New England Patriots (4-1)
The first team to 50 points win! Neither offense fears either defense. The Cowboys should fly up and down the field if Dez Bryant and Miles Austin can both play. The only problem is that I trust Tom Brady with Wes Welker more and the Patriots have a better rushing attack.
- Pick: Patriots
- Comfort Level: Need Tony Romo to perform the Heimlich on me or referred to as the anti-choking.
New Orleans Saints (4-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)
On a side note, I would love to see what Brandon Lloyd and Drew Brees could do together. But back to reality, the Saints are an elite team while the Bucs seem to be all out of whack. Now LeGarrette Blount is out and Josh Freeman doesn’t seem to have the same mojo with his young teammates as he did in 2010. These teams aren’t as close as they were last season.
- Pick: Saints
- Comfort Level: Having all of the NFL coaches separated in two rooms (American Idol style), and looking around my room I see Jack Del Rio, Tony Sparano, and Todd Haley.
Minnesota Vikings (1-4) @ Chicago Bears (2-3)
Jared Allen and the Vikings defensive line have been licking their lips all week in anticipation of facing this Bears’ offensive line. Jay Cutler probably isn’t sleeping too well these days. He’s doing everything in his power to keep plays alive but he can’t fix Chicago’s problems. Donovan McNabb is becoming more comfortable but all Minnesota has to do is give Adrian Peterson the ball.
- Pick: (Upset) Vikings
- Comfort Level: Wearing a new brand of Trojan condoms called Bears’ offensive line protection.
Bye Week Teams
Arizona Cardinals (1-4)
Denver Broncos (1-4)
Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
San Diego Chargers (4-1)
Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
Tennessee Titans (3-2)