There's an old saying that states "Nothing good ever happens after 2." It means that if you're still out after 2:00 AM, you're probably going to cause and/or get into trouble. You may not be bothering anyone and simply trying to have a good time, but the potential for trouble seems to exponentially increase right around that ominous time of night. My younger brother often finds himself proving this theory.
Just look at the abundance of NFL players that make headlines for the wrong reasons--most of their mischief is committed after 2:00.
Or you can ask anyone with a DUI, public indecency, or horribly regrettable hookup on their record--nine times out of ten, the bad idea came after that menacing hour of 2:00 AM. (Especially that last example. Er, so I've heard.)
Unfortunately, I feel like Week 2 for the Vikings is their 2:00 AM. All the Vikes are trying to do is head into Detroit, hand the Lions their 19th consecutive loss, rack up another huge day for Purple Jesus & Friends, and get ready for the home opener next week against the 49ers. Just mind their own business and not start any trouble. But just like 2:00 AM, I have this weird feeling that trouble is going to find us on Week 2.
(Notice the shoddy column gimmick tie-in there?! Week 2 and 2:00 AM?? Totally the same digit! How am I not writing for ESPN or Deadspin yet with such genius writing skills?!)
Really though, think about it--can all that much good come out of Sunday's game for Minnesota? If the Vikings blow Detroit out, big whoop. That's what we're supposed to do to a team whose biggest accomplishment in the past 18 months was moving up to 31st in ESPN's power rankings. ("Thanks for sucking harder, Rams!") Or maybe the Vikings win but the Lions keep it close; the Vikings will be ridiculed for barely beating an awful team and letting an inferior squad hang around. Or what if the Lions actually w....wwwii...wwwwwwwwwiiiiiii.....
Sorry. I can't even type that phrase with a straight face. More analysis and my Week 2 picks after the jump.
Do I think the Lions will actually end their skid on Sunday? Of course not. I'm not dense
like Peter King is. But I do feel like this is going to be one of those notoriously close, ugly games that these two teams have become known for the past couple of years.
Do I have statistical or analytical proof that would suggest such a game? Of course not. I just have a weird feeling. The Vikings are the superior team in nearly every aspect. Rookie Lions QB Matthew Stafford has promise, but he's making his only second career start while Brett Favre will steal Jim Marshall's record for consecutive starts on Sunday. (That's right, I said steal. Two hundred seventy consecutive games as a defensive lineman in the 1970's is infinitely more impressive than 271+ by a quarterback in today's age.) Minnesota has The Best Player In The NFL Period along with a nice bunch of other weapons on offense and defense. The Lions have Calvin Johnson and...um...quick, name three players on Detroit's defense! Don't feel bad, I couldn't do it either.
The only obvious threats to an easy Vikings victory are the Calvin Johnson/Cedric Griffin (mis)matchup and the fact that the Vikings allowed Joshua Cribbs the equivalent of pressing left and turbo in Madden for an entire punt return last week. But I have a weird feeling that the guy from "There's Something About Mary" throws his first pick in purple on Sunday and the Lions make it much too uncomfortable for our Beloved Purple.
Or I could be way off and AP will crash fantasy website servers with his stats while the defense punishes Stafford all day. That's fine too.
Prediction: Vikings 23, Lions 17.
The rest of my Week 2 picks (home team in CAPS):
FALCONS over Panthers: It was cute that Bill Simmons' article today made a quasi-convincing case that Jake Delhomme will be better after putting up back-to-back "police horse dumps" in his past two games. But if you think for a second that I'm going to back him on the road against a fiesty Atlanta team out to prove that 2008 wasn't a fluke, I will politely advise you to remove the needle and rubber tourniquet from your arm.
PACKERS over Bengals: Only the Bengals could lose in the heartbreaking fashion they lost to Denver last week. Good thing Cincinnati won't have to worry about losing on a last-second play this week, because they're going to get blown out. Although I really, really hope Ochocinco does a Lambeau Leap just to see how much beer and nacho cheese sauce he can collect on his jersey.
JAGUARS over Cardinals: Remember how awful Arizona was in East Coast games last year? And they're most likely worse this year.
Raiders over CHIEFS: Maybe an AFC Championship Game preview? No, you say? OK fine. I'm going with Oakland because they looked like the better "wow, they didn't lose by as much as I thought they would" team last week.
Saints over EAGLES: I give New Orleans the edge with Donovan McRib most likely out due to broken Nabbs. What, I don't think that came out right. Simply not enough time for Jeff Garssssssssssia to get re-acclimated to Philly.
TITANS over Texans: What will be emptier on Sunday night: Ford Field or the Texans' bandwagon?
REDSKINS over Rams: Last year, I made it to Week 6 in the Eliminator pool until the Rams got their first win of the season at Washington. It can't happen two years in a row, can it? DO NOT SCREW THIS UP FOR ME WASHINGTON!!
BILLS over Buccaneers: It truly amazes me that Buffalo just keeps finding new creative ways to lose games that they should have won. I bet whenever a Bills fan hears a Vikings fan complain about losing, the Bills fan utters in a barely-audible Clint Eastwood voice: "Pain? You don't know the first thing about pain, you sissified little pansy." But hey, cheer up Bills fans, I picked you to get your first win of 2009 on Sunday!
Seahawks over 49ERS: This should be a battle, but in the end I think Matt Hasselbeck will come out ahead. A big, shiny, bald head.
BEARS over Steelers: As Police Chief Grady says to Captain O'Hagan in Super Troopers, "Desperation is a stinky cologne." I think the Bears are just stinky enough to pull out a victory over the Polamalu-less champs.
BRONCOS over Browns: Kyle Orton vs. Brady Quinn! FEEL THE MEDIOCRITY!
Ravens over CHARGERS: Don't look now, the Ravens might actually have an offense. Giving up 24 points to the Chiefs last week makes me a bit wary of this pick, but I'm reassured by the fact that LaDanian already has his annual nagging injury. You know, the one that will suspiciously hamper him the rest of the year while people quietly whisper if the Chargers should just hand the reigns over to Darren Sproles because Tomlinson might be washed up. Sure LT, you're still in the same class as AP. Just keep telling yourself that.
COWBOYS over Giants: Sometimes it's a simple as home screen advantage.
Colts over DOLPHINS: The game will take place in the newly-named Land Shark Stadium, which of course gets its name from Jimmy Buffett's beer. Just like the beer, the Dolphins are rather overrated and just aren't that good.
Last week: 14-2