Armchair Quarterback: I’m just about ready to give up on my team, the Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions fans might miss me, or they might just want to say “Good riddance!” but I really feel like making the big jump off their bandwagon.
It’s too bad, because just like the comfortable seat that is the Armchair Quarterback Barcalounger, the bandwagon has some plush seating and even a resident manicurist when I want to paint my toenails pink (OK, just kidding!).
But I’m just about at the breaking point like I was twice before in the past.
Wait — this is 2020, and the last time was 2008, and the time before that was 1996. That was 12 years ago and another 12 years before that.
So is this really a dozen-year itch? Kind of like the cicadas, though I think their cycle is 17 years, isn’t it?
In these other watershed years, I felt like I had to swallow my pride (or whatever that lump in my throat represented) and root AGAINST the Lions.
The reason? The need to get management of the team cleared out of there that only an 0-16 season or some similarly bad record would “achieve.”
Detroit did pull off the 0-16 mark in ’08, making general manager Matt Millen’s regime come tumbling down. Before that, it was Wayne Fontes, who was head coach but also de facto GM as the team didn’t have that position in those days. No wonder that team was bad!
They went 5-11 in ’96, “good” enough to get Fontes canned.
OK, so I haven’t jumped off just yet this time around. But one or two more losses like these first two, with a pathetic fourth quarter, then a pathetic last three quarters, and I’ll be downing sour milk just to regurgitate (a nice term) from my stomach of this team.
OK, now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s turn to the picks:
Today, 8:20 p.m.
Miami at Jacksonville — If it’s any consolation and I was a Jags’ fan, I would’ve probably been rooting for the them to also go 0-16 after watching management dismantle their team in the last year. However, they’re 1-1 while Miami’s 0-2. Hmm … Dolphins, 23-22.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Chicago at Atlanta — The Falcons are another team hard to root for, as they find new ways to lose all the time. Last weekend, it was not knowing the rules about onside kicks when you’re receiving said boot. Falcons, 30-24.
Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo — 2-0 facing 2-0, though their opponents are a combined 1-7, the only win being Atlanta’s gift of the onside kick to Dallas on Sunday. But you’ve got to notice, the Rams and Bills have given their opponents four of those seven losses. Another big hmmm … Rams, 33-27.
Washington at Cleveland — The Browns could give Washington an idea for a new helmet design — the Cleveland football team wears what is usually just solid orange protective headgear with a stripe down the middle.
But unlike the Browns, who are named after beloved state of Ohio coach Paul Brown, please Dan Snyder, don’t start calling them the Washington Snyders. Or the Washington Dans. I wouldn’t put it past him, though. Browns, 27-20.
Tennessee at Minnesota — The Titans are showing their unlikely playoff run in January wasn’t a fluke with a 2-0 start. They even showed they could make a field goal to beat the Jags after their kicking game almost lost it for them in Week 1. Titans, 28-24.
Las Vegas at New England — Aren’t the Raiders the perfect representative for Las Vegas? Loose and high-risk is their reputation, even though Jon Gruden was running the ball when he had a late lead Monday night. Still, this seems the perfect foil for New England’s Bill Belichick. Patriots, 31-20.
San Francisco at New York Giants — All the injuries San Fran has had still shouldn’t bring them down to the level of either New York team. 49ers, 29-19.
Cincinnati at Philadelphia — So if there is any semblance of recent Philly teams left in eastern Pennsylvania, this should be a mighty angry bunch of Eagles. This might be the litmus test, though, if these raptors fall to 0-3 against a rookie quarterback, albeit the No. 1 overall pick in Joe Burrow. Eagles, 27-16.
Houston at Pittsburgh — Is it a consolation that the Texans’ schedule is actually getting easier by having to go to Pittsburgh? It certainly is after tangling with Kansas City and Baltimore to open the season. Texans, 22-16.
Sunday, 4 p.m.
New York Jets at Indianapolis — Just the tonic the Colts ordered. The Jets are tied for the second-worst point differential in the league — the only team worse is Houston, but look at who they’ve played — and not one person in football is surprised by it, I surmise. Colts, 31-14.
Carolina at Los Angeles Chargers — The Panthers might be OK for the second half of the season, but we’re not even halfway through the first half yet. Chargers, 20-10.
Detroit at Arizona — Last week, I said I’d keeping taking KC until they lose. I’m pretty much looking at the same with the Lions — except for the picking will be against them. Cardinals, 36-26.
Tampa Bay at Denver — After two games in his new NFC South Division, Bucs QB Tom Brady will feel right at home going against longtime AFC rival Denver. But he probably won’t recognize the team Peyton Manning took to the Super Bowl a couple of times at Brady’s expense. Buccaneers, 40-23.
Dallas at Seattle — Even if the Cowboys try an onside kick, and even if Seattle coach Pete Carroll tells his players not to touch the ball until it goes 10 yards, Dallas shouldn’t stand a chance. Seahawks, 37-24.
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
Green Bay at New Orleans — Maybe some thought the Saints beating the “New Buccaneers starring Tom Brady” in Week 1 was an achievement, but with all the adjustments, I didn’t see how New Orleans could’ve lost that game. And they did on the offensive side of the ball. So what will Green Bay do to ’em? How about this: Packers, 48-30.
Monday, 8:15 p.m.
Kansas City at Baltimore — Could this game break the 105-point Monday Night Football record the Chiefs and Rams set in 2018 in their crazy 54-51 game? Sure, it’s a possibility, but probably not, not with the Ravens actually understanding that defense begins with “D” and ends with “fence.”
KC seems to think that word begins with “Z” (as in sleep) and ends with “Ole!” (like what the matador says as he lets the bull run through his cape). But I still like the inventors of the “touchdown-a-minute” offense that they can rev up seemingly whenever they need to. Chiefs, 38-31.
Last week — 11-5, 69 percent. Season — 21-11, 66 percent.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is email@example.com.