I am really excited about the return of Randy Moss. Like, Nintendo 64 Kid excited. I think he's going to help the Vikings' sputtering offense in all sorts of ways. He'll open up underneath routes for Brett Favre to find Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe more often. He'll get some bodies out of the box for Adrian Peterson to run even more wild. Perhaps most importantly, he'll ensure that we don't have to depend on Bernard Berrian for big plays. (Because, you know, it's worked out as well as Lindsay Lohan's rehab through the first three games.)
[Insert obnoxious Stephen A. Smith voice here] HOW-EVAH, I'm not sure if we're going to reap the benefits of the Moss trade right out of the gate. Don't get me wrong--I think bringing Moss back will make an immediate impact. But the Jets, already a very trendy Super Bowl pick, are returning three crucial players of their own:
Darrelle Revis. Revis Island is returning to the NFL landscape after going missing from the map for a couple weeks. Although he may not be 100% and Moss has already beaten him deep once this year, it never hurts to return arguably the best CB in the league. Look for Revis and professional procreator Antonio Cromartie to share the Moss duties.
- Calvin Pace. The Jets defense has already proven to be one of the best in the league--now they get to add a solid veteran linebacker to the mix. Hopefully it will take Pace a game or two to get back up to speed, because he can do some damage.
- Santonio Holmes. The Vikings aren't the only team adding a wide receiver this week. Holmes gets to return from suspension to add another weapon to a passing attack that has performed surprisingly well through the first quarter of the year. (Take a drink every time the MNF announcers mention the words "Mark Sanchez" and "poise" in the same sentence!)
So while The Freak is a huge addition to the Minnesota weaponry, it's not like the Jets are coming to the fight empty handed. New York also happens to be playing at home on Monday Night Football with the whole world watching. I'm not sure if you've noticed this about the 2010 Jets, but they sort of like attention. Or as Rex Ryan might put it: "We really f***in' welcome the f***in' attention. Bring on all the attention you got motherf***ers. Sh*t, we even got former employees putting d*ck photos out all over the f***in' internet. We f***in' EAT attention. Speaking of EAT, let's go get a goddamn snack."
I think the Moss trade will pay huge dividends throughout the rest of this season, but I'm not sure how much we can expect on Monday. Favre threw his first pass to Moss three days ago in practice. Can we really think that there will be some sort of mystical deep ball connection right out of the gate? We can definitely hope for it, but we can't plan on it after less than a week of working together.
While most of the headlines are going to the offensive side of the ball this week (or was that headlines about offensive pictures of balls?), I see a low-scoring defensive battle taking place in the new Meadowlands tomorrow night. Remember, the Vikes haven't allowed more than 14 points in a game yet and the strength of any Rex Ryan team will always be the defense. I really want to believe that simply adding Moss will cure all that ails our offense right away. Unfortunately, I don't think our offense will do quite enough to get Minnesota's very tough October schedule off to a good start.
Prediction: Jets 20, Vikings 17
Go ahead and ridicule my pick in the comments section accordingly. But before you get too upset with me about not having enough faith in my team, let me tell you about my powerful jinxing powers. My friend Ryan and I are in the same fantasy league, and like most guys we talk about our upcoming matchups every week. Every time I tell him I think his team will win, he inevitably loses. Even when he's up 15 points going into the Monday night game and the other guy only has the kicker left, I'll give him the "you should be fine" kiss of death. Bam, loss. So hopefully the Thompson Curse transfers over to real football this week. I'd love nothing more than to be proven wrong!
And now my Week 5 NFL picks, even though the games are already underway (believe me, you'll realize I stuck with my original picks after most of them are wrong):
Jaguars over BILLS: "No, you win!" "No, YOU win! I don't want to!"
BENGALS over Buccaneers: Because the Bengals already filled their "loss to a crappy team that wears a lot of orange" quota last week.
Falcons over BROWNS: Jake Delhomme is back, and he might even play. Translation: congratulations Atlanta defense!
LIONS over Rams: You think that I'm going to pick the Rams to win their third game in a row? When they're on the road? If that happens, make sure you have plenty of bottled water and canned goods in your pantry, because the Apocalypse is surely upon us.
COLTS over Chiefs: My suicide pool pick of the week--just because I want to say I was ballsy enough to put my suicide pool pick against the last undefeated team in the NFL. (It sounds good, but c'mon--I'm not going out on a limb too much here.)
Packers over REDSKINS: Another rough one for the Pack--playing a mediocre Washington team that blew their wad on the McNabb Bowl last week. (Psst--that was sarcastic.)
PANTHERS over Bears: Todd Collins! Jimmy Clausen! I'd rather watch 48 hours straight of WNBA games!
RAVENS over Broncos: Denver, the team most famous for churning out year after year of 1,000 yard rushers, now has the #1 passing attack in the NFL? Maybe that's our sign of the Apocalypse. Good thing the Ravens' #1 pass defense should bring them back to reality.
Giants over TEXANS: I do NOT trust that Houston defense yet. And for some reason, I still think the G-Men are half-decent. If you can't tell, I'm not incredibly confident about this upset pick.
Saints over CARDINALS: Can Arizona just forfeit the remainder of their away games this year? They obviously don't show up during the games anyway--I think it would probably save the team a ton of money so they can buy a better QB for next year.
Chargers over RAIDERS: Well, September's over--this is the time of year when Norv Turner finally pulls his head out of his ass and San Diego finally starts playing up to their potential.
COWBOYS over Titans: I really hope the 'Boys annihilate Tennessee and the media slurps up their performance all week leading up to the game against the Vikings. Then right in the middle of all the patting on the back, POW! This happens all over again:
49ERS over Eagles: The Niners have looked like a dumpster fire and are 0-4, and I still like them to win the NFC West. Watch for them to finally get on track over the Fightin' Kolbs.
Last week: 10-4
Season so far: 39-23