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 (1-2) @ Chicago Bears (1-2)
Cam Newton is the X factor in this game. Chicago can bring pressure and confuse the young signal caller. Newton has been protected by some great blocking this year and he’ll need that for the Panthers to have chance this week. Jay Cutler would love some of the protection that Newton has been receiving. He also needs a rushing attack to get going to keep the defenses honest. Julius Peppers is the player to keep an eye on in this game. He knows this offensive line and is quick and big enough to chase Cam Newton down.
Comfort Level: Waking up with a lipstick stain on your neck…………in prison
Buffalo Bills (3-0) @ Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)
This is one of those games that you have to dig deeper then the stats. While Buffalo has the top scoring offense, the Bengals have one of the top defenses. It appears that by looking at the stats that Cincy should be able to slow down the Buffalo offense but then you look at the opponents the Bengals have played and realize that they haven’t faced this potent of an attack. It’ll be closer than you think.
Comfort Level: Being at a bukked naked (strip club) with Tim Tebow.
Washington Redskins (2-1) @ St. Louis Rams (0-3)
The Redskins will pound the ground in this game. They have a good blend with Roy Helu and Tim Hightower but Mike Shanahan doesn’t seem to be ready to turn the bulk of the carries over to Helu yet. He needs to shake that off because Helu could be a force with 20+ carries a game and make Hightower the power / goal line back. The Rams have the weapons for an explosive offensive but it hasn’t clicked yet. I don’t believe this will be the week. The Redskins have been causing problems with their pass rush and Sam Bradford will have his hands full.
Comfort Level: Stranded on a dessert island with Ellen Degeneres and one hot chick that only does menage trois.
San Francisco 49ers (2-1) @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
This isn’t a gimme game for the Eagles. The 49ers can shut down the run and pressure Mike Vick. But, Vick has a point to prove this week and if he can avoid the sacks, he can pick apart this secondary. Kendall Hunter is the name to watch for the 49ers. He’s the best rookie running back in pass protection in the NFL. They have no problem leaving him in there on any down. With Frank Gore banged up and facing a poorish rush defense in Philly, I expect a big game out of Hunter. Close game and I don’t trust Alex Smith in close games, especially with the Eagles corners.
Comfort Level: Needing to find plutonium in 1955 for my DeLorean or I’ll be stuck with my mother who’s the same age and keeps sexually assaulting me.
Minnesota Vikings (0-3) @ Kansas City Chiefs (0-3)
This should be about as exciting of a game as playing Scrabble with a couple of 5 year old kids…that are blind…and mentally retarded…and a sleep. Ok, so I guess you can tell that I’m not too excited about this one. Expect a huge day from Adrian Peterson, insanely huge! The Vikings first 30 minutes should be better then a full 60 minutes of football from KC.
Comfort Level: Being as bad as one of these two teams and know that you won’t get Andrew Luck because the other one is worst.
New Orleans Saints (2-1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
Jacksonville’s top 5 defense will take some lumps in this game. Playing a game in a monsoon vs Carolina helped the Jags defensive stats look better then they actually are. New Orleans is averaging over 34 points a game. That’s against defenses like Green Bay, Chicago, and Houston. I would be amazed if they don’t hit 40+ in this game. You could spot the Jags 20 points in this game and I would sitll take the Saints without batting an eye. Expect Gregg Williams to throw some confusing packages at the rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Comfort Level: Picking the Saints over the Jags. No way to describe how at ease I am with this pick other then reminding you the teams.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) @ Houston Texans (2-1)
Which is worse, the Steelers’ offensive line or the Texans’ secondary? Pittsburgh hasn’t done anything this season to demand confidence in this team. Houston is saying that Kareem Jackson is still injured and may not play. This is a bigger plus for the Texans then Pittsburgh. Also, this game has the tale of two running games. Rashard Mendenhall has struggled, while Houston gets back the NFL’s reigning rushing champ, Arian Foster. The deciding factors will be if the Texans can get Ben Roethlisberger down, and if the Steelers can get Mike Wallace over the top of this secondary.
Comfort Level: The same aforementioned stripper filing an assault case at some point in her life…this may or may not have to do with the NFLer(s) she meets.
Detroit Lions (3-0) @ Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Is Rob Ryan trying to be more of a voice like his brother Rex? If so, he’s going about it all wrong. Calvin Johnson has passed Andre Johnson as the NFL’s best wide receiver in the NFL…in my opinion. I think Dez Bryant is great but why would you take a shot at the NFL’s best receiver, especially when you don’t have a premier pass defense. I smell a NFL Rage piece coming off of this but we’ll let it play out. It’s not just Calvin Johnson that will have his way with the Cowboys. The Lions can’t allow Matt Stafford to get beat up by DeMarcus Ware, like they let the Vikings do last week. The Lions’ O-line vs Cowboys’ pass rush will be key in this game.
Comfort Level: Chances that a stripper in Dallas or Atlanta achieve their dream of meeting a professional football player.
Tennessee Titans (2-1) @ Cleveland Browns (2-1)
The Browns have been one of the worst teams against the run this season. The Titans have been the worst rushing offense. One of these will give in this game. Matt Hasselbeck has been impressive with Kenny Britt. With Britt out they’ll need Chris Johnson to finally get going and also expect a big game out of tight end Jared Cook. The Browns defense has been stingy against the pass and could force Hasselbeck into bad decisions if CJ doesn’t get it going and without a go to receiver. Colt McCoy makes plays when the games matter the most and he has an 1-2 punch in the backfield for the first time in his NFL career.
Comfort Level: Wagering money on Keanu Reeves making a different face in any acting role.
Atlanta Falcons (1-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
Who would have guessed that the Falcons and Seahawks would have the same record after three weeks. The worst thing that could have happened to Seattle last week was a win. Now, they’ll continue to stick with Tarvaris Jackson. That’s good news for Atlanta. The Falcons need a bye week to get their chemistry going, so they lucked out to get one this early in the season. Matt Ryan needs to get everyone going early and not zero in on one target.
Comfort Level: Betting on the heterosexual announcers to comment more on Clay Matthews & Troy Polamalu hair then the cheerleaders.
New York Giants (2-1) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Arizona needs Beanie Wells to be full go. We saw how bad they were last week when they were one-dimensional. This Cardinals team should be more competitive then what they have shown. Only victory is squeaker over Carolina. The Giants had every reason to be bad but they find ways to win. With a less than healthy Wells, the Giants front four should be able to just tee off on Kevin Kolb. Hakeem Nicks will provide matchup problems on the offensive side of the ball.
Comfort Level: Being cast in True Blood and finding out that you didn’t get the role of Lafayette.
Miami Dolphins (0-3) @ San Diego Chargers (2-1)
This has been the sexy upset pick of the week in most places. This is why I don’t see it. The Chargers always start the season slow. This year they are still finding a way to win, despite starting slow as usual. Miami has played decent but that’s who they are. They’ve been annihilated in the passing game and now they face Philip Rivers. While the Chargers are banged up, the Dolphins are without Daniel Thomas. San Diego has a top 10 pass defense and don’t have to worry about a true running back with Thomas out. The Dolphins should keep it within reach but I don’t see them pulling it out.
Comfort Level: Going through security at an airport with your false bottom mug with weed in it and forgetting to take of the “False Bottom Mug” label.
New England Patriots (2-1) @ Oakland Raiders (2-1)
I’ve been battling myself back and forth all week on this pick. I’ve finally decided to quit second guessing myself. New England has the worst pass D in the NFL and they won’t have Leigh Bodden or Ras-I Dowling for this game. That means Antwaun Molden may get the start. Yes, the same Antwaun Molden that got cut by the Texans. If you get cut from that secondary, you shouldn’t get a job in the CFL. The Raiders aren’t much better with the 28th ranked pass D. Normally I would take Tom Brady when the pass defenses are this bad. But, Oakland is at home and they have a game changer in Darren McFadden. They’ll be wise to control the pace of the game with Run DMC and then allow Jason Campbell to make passes when needed. I may look like a fool but I have to go with the matchups I like.
Comfort Level: Having anybody say on the phone that “we need to talk” and when you say ok, they say it would be better if it was in person.
Denver Broncos (1-2) @ Green Bay Packers (2-0)
The Packers are the best team in football. The Broncos weren’t that good to start the year and they’ve been fighting off injuries on top of that. James Starks will get the bulk of the work with Ryan Grant out and his style will be effective against this Denver D. I would like to see the rookie, Alex Green get some reps as well. Kyle Orton isn’t the same quarterback that fans have seen the last two seasons. The Josh McDaniels’ offense made him appear better then what he really was. They have weapons but Orton holds them back.
Comfort Level: Being on the side with the cowboys when the Indians attacked with arrows and we have a Gatling gun.
New York Jets (2-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
I know everyone is on this Mark Sanchez love affair and WOWed by his two 300 yard games this season. I’m not here to tell you it’s going to stop. On the contrary, he’ll have more. It speaks more to the pass defenses that he’s facing. Out of the first 3 teams he’s faced and the next three up, tell me which strikes fear into the heart of quarterbacks. Cowboys, Jags, Raiders, Ravens, Patriots, & Dolphins…oh scary pass defenses. The Jets don’t have a premier running back now and they’ll continue to go pass heavy. While the Ravens are weak against the pass, they can pressure Sanchez into bad decisions. On the offensive side, Ray Rice will be the do everything back. He’ll get his rushing yards and cause problems receiving out of the backfield. Both teams will make plays on defense and Sanchez will take advantage of the openings but in a close game, I think the Ravens pass rush forces one too many errors.
Comfort Level: Growing up as Antonio Cromartie’s kid and hoping I’m one of the ones he remembers.
Indianapolis Colts (0-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)
Comfort Level: About the same chances as the Colts next franchise quarterback being Andrew Luck.