Saturday, December 27, 2014

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Golden State Edition

So, old dude, in less than 24 hours we won't be in snowy Minnesota.

Right. Where are we going again?

I think that Metamucil is starting to eat away at your cerebral cortex, there, Geritol Fan! Lay off the over-the-counter meds and start paying attention. You know where we'll be! Here's a picture as a reminder:

The end of Route 66, baby!
Yes, that's right. We've made up our minds, we've made a new start. We're going to California with an achin' in our hearts.

Stop with the Led Zeppelin references! Seriously! You know Mrs. D doesn't approve of such things!

Sure, but if we play our cards right we'll see Gino.

Yes. But before we get on the plane, we need to make a few picks. Watch me work!

Bear Down Chicago da Bearz (+6) vs. Minnesota Vikings. So Jimmy Clausen lasted less than a week as the Bears starting quarterback. Rather than going with third stringer, the aptly named David Fales -- I mean, seriously, is there a better name for a Bears quarterback than Fales? -- the Bears have decided to go back to Smokin' Jay Cutler, who has not been the answer this season. Meanwhile, the Vikings are trying to finish strong with Teddy Bridgewater at the helm. Teddy has had his moments this year, and this game will be a good test, because it's going to be cold and snowy at TCF Bank Stadium. If Teddy is going to succeed in this division, he needs to win cold weather games, even if the Vikings are headed back indoors in 2016. Vikings 32, da Bearz 7.

So this game marks the return of Jared Allen to Minnesota. If you recall, the Bears let Julius Peppers go to Green Bay and used the money to sign Allen. How'd that turn out? Here's a screen shot of Allen's year:

Not much production, but a handsome beard
Now, here's a screen shot of Peppers's year:

We should mention that the two interceptions were pick sixes
You hear plenty of blame for Marc Trestman and the stumbling of the Bears offense, but the real problem in Chicago is defense. And that's what the Vikings are going to exploit tomorrow. Vikings 28, Bears 17.

Detroit Motor City Kitties (+7.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. Here you go. It's the big one? How big?

That's right. It's the big one. This couldn't be simpler. Winner gets a bye, loser goes to Dallas, most likely. The Packers struggled in Week 3 against the Lions, but this time some things have changed. The big issue for the Lions is on the lines, both offensive and defensive. On offense, the Lions will be without Dominic Raiola, who was last seen doing this:

He won't be playing on Sunday. Neither will Nick Fairley, the nasty defensive lineman who has been battling injuries all year long. The Packers do need to worry about this guy, though:

When you play the Lions, you'd best keep your head on a swivel. The Lions do have another problem beyond their questionable tactics. That problem is they have not won a game in Wisconsin since 1991. What do I know about 1991? Not much, because I was not even born! Have you seen how the Packers have destroyed everyone who has come into Lambeau this year? It's gonna take more than spearing and foot-stomping to win. Packers 56, Lions 49.

Bet the over, then? No, it's not going to be a scoring festival, but I'm pretty confident that the Packers will score this time. The Lions are a good, if nasty, team, but at Lambeau the Packers will get it done. Packers 34, Lions 24.

Since we're going on vacation, I'm not certain we'll have a chance to do many bowl game picks, but we are going to do a lightning round on a few. Here goes!

Citrus Bowl -- Mizzou Tigers (-5) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Gophers are playing on New Year's Day! Good for them. Unfortunately, they are taking on R. A. Crankbait's Mizzou Tigers, a very capable squad. Will Goldy prevail? Gophers 31, Mizzou 0.

Uh, no. Mizzou 28, Gophers 24.

Outback Bowl -- Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (+6.5) vs. Au-barn Tiger/War Eagle/Plainsmen/Whatever the heck they call themselves these days. That title was so long I barely have room for a pick. Sorry, Au-barn. Bucky 21, Au-barn 13.

Auburn is explosive. That's the challenge. Auburn 38, Wisconsin 31.

Rose Bowl -- Oregon Ducks (-9) vs. Florida State Seminoles. The Old Dude and I will be looking live at this game! We are pumped! Too bad it's the annoying Seminoles. But hey, what a thrill for us and never again will the Rose Bowl have this much HYYYYYYPPPPPPE!!! Green-clad National Champions 45, Criminals 7.

I hope it's a better game than that. Ducks 38, Seminoles 28.

Sugar Bowl -- Alabama Roll Tide (-9) vs. The Ohio State University Buckeyes. We shall never again discuss the Big Ten Championship game. As for this game, I expect a repeat. Ohio State 35, Alabama 31.

Wait, did you just pick the Buckeyes? Dang. Alabama 34, Ohio State 28.

See, I'm reasonable. I can pick the Buckeyes if I really want to. Not that I ever do, but I have my reasons. Meanwhile, we'll be seeing this:

So I observe
And this:

When you wish upon a star, your wallet will be cleared by far
 And even this:

I don't get to use the DeLorean, though
Ben out!

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