“Hello all. Please find your seats quickly, so you can begin your quizzes. I hope you all studied hard. You in the back, get off the cell phone. You can tell your mommy how much you miss her later. Right now it’s quiz time! The following questions will test your knowledge of this Sunday’s games, as well as the current state of the NFL. Pay close attention to detail and feel free to use any and all resources at your disposal. Keep your eyes on your own test. If you have any questions during the quiz, write them on a piece of scratch paper, ball that paper up, and throw it at me. I’ll be asleep at my desk. Do not, I repeat, do not approach me on foot while I’m asleep. I will wake up and drop you like a sack of potatoes faster than you can ‘Hostile learning environment.’ Prison instincts die hard. Good luck to all of you. You may begin.”
- Of the four NFL teams that have a bird mascot, which is the best?
Answer: D. This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer. These four teams have only one loss between them which was the result of some bird-on-bird violence in Week 2. They’re each leading their division, and all four look like legitimate playoff contenders right now. The Cardinals are 2-0 for the first time since they went to the Super Bowl. The Eagles have looked more like Condors, but are 2-0 nonetheless. The Ravens lost a heartbreaker to Philadelphia last week, and now get a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game against the Patriots for their troubles. But it’s the Falcons who have looked the best thus far. They dismantled KC in their opening game, and then put Peyton Manning and the Broncos in their place Monday night. Sure Peyton threatened to bring Denver all the way back in the fourth, but I think that had more to do with the game dragging on until the wee hours of the morning than anything else. The Falcons are once again near the top of the league, but as always, they’ll never get respect like Green Bay or New England until they translate their early season success into playoff success.
- Which player is more bummed out heading into a matchup against their former team?
- Michael Turner
- Matt Flynn
- Randy Moss
Answer: B. I’m just as shocked as you that Matt Flynn is the answer here. I mean Michael Turner just got a DUI! Turner is also showing plenty of signs that he may be done after logging more miles in the last 5 years than any other RB in the NFL. Perhaps he was toasting the demise of his career, or maybe he was playing the Sportscenter drinking game. There’s no way to know for sure.
Just like Turner, Randy Moss has a lot to be disappointed about. He’s still a recognizable star in the NFL. He still has hands. He’s the most experienced WR on his team, but he can’t get on the field for even half the 49ers' snaps. That being said, a part of him has to be happy just be on a team, especially after fellow veterans T.O. and the artist formerly known as Ochocinco were cut before the season. I think Moss’s role will increase as the season wears on, but for now, he’s going to have to stand on the sideline and keep his mouth shut. Jim Harbaugh doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to tolerate Moss being Moss. Any “Straight Cash Homey” situations and Moss will be watching the Sunday games from his couch.
But Flynn is without a doubt the most bummed out. After a fairy tale couple of years that saw him win a Super Bowl ring and sign a $20+ million contract on the back a single good game against a woeful Lions’ defense, Matt Flynn’s lullaby came to a screeching halt when he was beaten out for Seattle's starting QB job by a rookie. Now Flynn looks on as the Seahawks win, and the Russell Wilson hype grows like a frat house beeramid. Barring injury, Flynn might be stuck as a backup for many years to come. You can’t really feel too bad for the guy though. He has a ring and millions of dollars because of his incredible clipboard holding skills.
- True or False: Tom Coughlin will turn a deeper shade of red than the Buccaneers uniforms tonight against the Panthers?
Answer: True. The man is a 60-year old strawberry. The Panthers’ explosive offense is going to tear his secondary to bits. One of his two best weapons, Hakeem Nicks, is too hurt to play. Plus, he has to rely on two unproven backs to carry the rock in Ahmad Bradshaw’s stead. If one of them fumbles like David Wilson did in Week 1, Coughlin might actually turn into a Killer Tomato and go homicidal on the entire Giants’ sideline. If that’s not worth tuning in for, I don’t know what is.
- Tony Romo and Jay Cutler have had Jeckel and Hyde seasons so far. They both looked awesome in Week 1, and crapped the bed in Week 2. Which QB craps the bed again this week?
Answer: D. They don’t call Tony the Romocoaster for nothing. You have to climb the lift tower if you really want to feel those drops. Romo’s collapse against Seattle was a pretty massive, like Goliath at Six Flags. But this week, I think he’ll climb even higher so he can fall farther and faster in weeks to come. The Bucs defense doesn’t scare anyone, and I like the Cowboys’ chances for a big win.
As far as Jay Cutler goes, this game is a real litmus test. He faced a ton of pressure from Green Bay last week and had an awful game. The Rams don’t have any rushers as good as Clay Matthews, but Jeff Fisher is no doubt scheming up all kinds of blitzes for Cutler. If he folds at home, the Bears’ season, which had looked so promising, might be over. On the other hand is Cutler takes care of business like I expect him to, then the whole narrative cycle starts over again. The better question here is which guy will crap the bed when the Bears and 'Boys play each other in Week 4?
- Who is the most surprising player on your fantasy team’s bench this week?
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Chris Johnson
- Matthew Stafford
Answer: A. By this point, nobody should be surprised when Chris Johnson sucks. He’s been this bad for over a year. Sure he topped 100 yards enough times last season to trick some fantasy players into drafting him this year, but it’s still no surprise that he looks completely washed up. As for Stafford, while he’s been atrocious, he’s not the only fantasy QB who has underperformed. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are both outside the Top 10 right now, so Stafford owners aren’t alone in their bummeritude. Fitzgerald's lack of production, however, is really shocking. He’s had terrible quarterbacks throwing him the ball every since Kurt Warner retired, but he’s still been a great fantasy WR. Until this year. Now the Cardinals are somehow 2-0 even though Larry had only one catch in the last game. Fitzy will probably still get close to 1000 yards this year, but the fact of the matter is that there are more reliable fantasy WR’s out there like Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola. Larry is just not worth the strong possibility of utter disappointment.
- Which Coach is most likely to choke one of the replacement officials?
- Jim Harbaugh
- John Harbaugh
- Bill Belichick
- Tom Coughlin
- Andy Reid
Answer: E. The Harbaughs are angry, but not stupid enough to actually harm an official. If the NFL suspended Sean Payton for a year just for presiding over but not participating in Bounty Gate, what would Goodell do to a coach going all Latrell Sprewell on some nice, but overwhelmed insurance salesman from Topeka, Kansas? Belichick would never get his hands this dirty. He’d have one of Rob Gronkowski’s 10 brothers choke the ref in the parking lot after the game. All the blood vessels in Tom Coughlin’s body would spontaneously burst if he attempted to strangle one of these guys, so he’s no threat. But Andy Reid definitely is. He may look like a docile walrus in a sweatsuit, but nobody on an NFL sideline has more stress and is thus more likely to snap than the Eagles’ head coach. What’s more, if he did choke one of these guys after another terrible call, nobody watching in the stands or at home would blame them.
- Which 0-2 team is most likely to get their first win?
Answer: A. Pittsburgh-Oakland will be a closer game than you might think, but there’s no way the Raiders come out on top. As for Detroit-Tennessee, Matthew Stafford and Megatron ought to light up Chris Johnson and the hapless Titans. If I could have picked two teams for this question, I would have gone with Cleveland because they looked like an actual NFL team against their intrastate rivals last weekend, and they could easily top the Bills. But Jacksonville is the team in the cellar most likely to grope around, find the light switch, and make their way out. I like MJD to have big game on the ground and Blaine Gabbert to avoid filling his adult diaper.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the football. My picks are listed below:
Panthers over the Giants
Cowboys over the Buccaneers
Bears over the Rams
Bills over the Brown
Lions over the Titans
Jaguars over the Colts
Jets over the Dolphins
Niners over the Vikings
Saints over the Chiefs
Redskins over the Bengals
Cardinals over the Eagles
Falcons over the Chargers
Broncos over the Texans
Steelers over the Raiders
Ravens over the Patriots
Packers over the Seahawks
-The Football Professor