Crystal Ball

WEEK NINE CRYSTAL BALL: GURU Relives Road Trip with THE CHIEF

My friends, THE GURU is fresh off his road trip with THE CHIEF and is ever grateful for the time with the old man. Here’s how it went:

8:04 am: Departure from NYC for West Point, N.Y., and the U.S. Military Academy

8:06 am: THE CHIEF makes first request for a snack stop. It doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

10:01 am: Arrival at West Point for a tour of the grounds.

10:37 am: THE CHIEF, wearing his VMI hat, is approached by a visiting high school student interested in attending the Institute. Pops asks the young man to drop and give him 20.

11:24 am: Tour ends and we embark for Manchester, Vt.

 

The Week Seven record was 7-7 and the season mark is now 54-37 (.591). Let’s move on to the games with Dee-troit (3-3) and Houston (3-3) on the bye and, FYI that next week will be THE GURU’s annual bye as I travel with my pops.

 

THURSDAY

8:25 PM, NFL Network/CBS

Kansas City (5-1) at Oakland (2-4). This is one of the great rivalries in football but those of us in the northeast know as little about it as we do of the culinary greatness of Steak n’ Shake.

When I think of this matchup I imagine the Hatfields and the McCoys. Of Marcus Allen leaving the Raiders for KC after feuding with Al Davis and exacting his revenge for five years running. It’s all a rivalry should be. CHIEFS, 35-22.

SUNDAY

1 PM, CBS

Carolina (4-2) at Chicago (2-4).Don’t look now but this Bears team is NOT bad, beating a second AFC North team by laying waste to a flagging Ravens squad. And that’s without much of a contribution yet from The Big Trubisky. PANTHERS, 22-20…

…Jacksonville (3-3) at Indianapolis (2-3). If the Jags had great quarterbacking…if OBNOXIOUS MIKE had a spotless criminal record…if broccoli tasted like corn dogs…if, if, if. JAGS, 31-24

…Baltimore (3-3) at Minnesota (4-2). It seems crazy to think but Harbaugh, the former Super Bowl champ, could be on the skids. Imagine BATTLESHIP BARTELLE slipping on a banana peel while out for a climb in the Swiss Alps. Has the Flacco contract truly crippled this team, preventing it from adding other quality players? VIKINGS, 23-20

…Tennessee (2-3) at Cleveland (0-6). Ok, I’m losing my admiration for Hue Jackson but even more so for the Browns’ personnel department. Carson Wentz, pass. Deshaun Watson, pass. These guys couldn’t spot greatness if it smacked them in the face. Heck, they might even find chinks in the armor of THE FAIR CLAUDINE. TITANS, 30-27.

 

1 PM, FOX


Tampa Bay (2-3) at Buffalo (3-2).
If Jameis Winston can’t play, the Bucs might cancel the season. But would anyone besides HONG KONG MIKE, who watches games on a 48-hour delay, notice? BILLS, 30-19…

…New Orleans (3-2) at Green Bay (4-2). Aaron Rodgers is done for the year but it says here that the Pack isn’t out of it. Why? Because Mike McCarthy is one heck of a football coach. In fact, he is one of only four head coaches to lead a team to eight consecutive playoff appearances, joining Messrs. Noll, Landry and Belichick. That’s only bad company if you’re at a cocktail party. PACKERS, 27-20…

…Arizona (3-3) at Los Angeles Rams (4-2).Is Adrian Peterson the salve for the Cardinals’ wounds? Sure, which defensive position will he be playing? RAMS, 34-26…

…New York Jets (3-3) at Miami (3-2). Cutler. Came. Through. Say that again, 10 more times. Right it down and then read it to yourself. This one’s a tossup. DOLPHINS, 20-18.

 

4:05 PM, FOX

Dallas (2-3) at San Francisco (0-6). Is Ezekiel Elliot suspended or not? I can’t remember. There have been appeals, stays and stays of appeals and, I believe, appeals of stays. Wake me when it’s over. As for the Niners, losers of a record five straight games by three points or less, their day is coming. NINERS, 33-30

4:25 PM, CBS

Cincinnati (2-3) at Pittsburgh (4-2). The Steelers look like the class of the AFC to me, along with New England. That’s part defense, part Roethlisberger and part Mike Tomlin. Cincy, meanwhile, better win this week or the Marvin Lewis Watch will be in full effect. STEELERS, 27-17…

…Denver (3-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-4).The Chargers, hard luck kids in the first four games, are on a two-game winning streak, playing in a Division III stadium with a red-hot quarterback. Denver, on the other hand, is coming off a tough loss to the Jints last week, a defeat no one saw coming. CHARGERS, 23-20

…Seattle (3-2) at New York Giants (1-5). The Giants are back on the board and, if they play defense like they did last week, it could be tough for the Seahawks in the Meadowlands. Is this the time Pete Carroll & Co. make a move or has their window to win another championship closed tightly, like FATBACK’s lips around a stray kielbasa? GIANTS, 19-17.

8:30 PM, NBC

 

Atlanta (3-2) at New England (4-2). This may be a rematch of Super Bowl LI but neither of these teams is the club they were a year ago. Matt Ryan is playing like Blake Bortles and the Pats are struggling to cover anyone. Heck, last week they let a Jets tight end with a hyphenated last name catch balls at will. PATS, 37-31.

MONDAY


8:30 PM, ESPN


Washington (3-2) at Philadelphia (5-1).
I’ll be watching this one with THE CHIEF which means that, at the very least, some good one-liners – plus the remote control and likely some cutlery – will be thrown around. I like the moxie of my squad. Let’s get a big win on the road. SKINS, 27-24.

That’s it for this week, all. Enjoy the games and God bless!

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