The Green Bay Packers are the second best team in the NFL right now. How do I know that? Because as I was writing this piece Friday afternoon sitting in bar on Charles Street talking football with Sully (a born and bred Southie) and Mick (from Worcester) they told me so.
“No fawking way does Green Bay come here and beat us. Not fawkin likely.” (direct quote from Sully)
I told them I like the Broncos getting 3 points Sunday night facing the Pack in Denver. They didn’t like it as much as I did, which started us down the path of an updated power ranking list. It should be noted, we’re less than 19 hours removed from Brady and the Pats shredding a resurgent Dolphin team on Thursday night football.
They didn’t have Denver in their top 8. Ehhhh…not so much for me (I detected a noticeable bias against Peyton Manning during these rankings and can only surmise it is left over hate from the Colts-Pats days)
Congenial though it was, we disagreed on virtually everything discussed. Deflategate conspiracies, Gisele’s curious mid-career choices, Brady’s Ugg sponsorship, the Patriots’ love for under-sized white slot receivers, Aaron Hernandez (this one got four other patrons involved), the Hoodie’s career if he didn’t have Tom Brady and Brady’s career if he didn’t have the Hoodie (which then spawned the same treatment for Bill Walsh and Joe Montana), Manhattan clam chowder vs. New England clam chowder (I actually got shouted down by both Sully, Mick and the bartender in that one), the worst song ever recorded by a Boston band (“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” Aerosmith), the best song ever recorded by a Boston band (“Sweet Emotion” Aerosmith – love that guitar riff and maybe the only legitimate use of a voice box with Joe Perry starting this gem off).
Ahh, yet another boisterous afternoon spent in Bawston!
I fly to Chicago a little later today on Saturday. I’m expecting a noticeable downgrade in passion for defending the hometown football team. Don’t really foresee too many “Jay Cutler’s legacy” convos, or the “misunderstood brilliance of Marc Trestman” debates.
I do expect a slice or two of pizza from Pequod’s up in Lincoln Park, a medium rare rib eye at Gibson’s, hopefully with my man Mo as our waiter, a night cap at the Green Mill listening to some of the best jazz in the country and waaaay too little sleep.
Oh, and a full Sunday propped up at my favorite Chicago sports bar (name and location withheld to protect the sanctity that is Schaller’s Pump – damn I blew it). Yes, there will be Bloody Mary’s early and often, a brief Moscow Mule interlude after the early games, then on to beer and finally some Cab Sav later on for the Sunday nighter, when I class things up (and consume more red meat). It will be in the neighborhood of an 11-hour shift.
I agree with Sully when he says Manning wouldn’t get out of the Denver region in a high school “Punt, Pass and Kick” competition right now. But when Mick said he’d rather have Jimmy Garoppolo run his offense than Peyton Manning (this wasn’t said for effect; he meant it) and Sully mumbled something about taking Cooper Manning over Peyton, I had to put the brakes on.
Manning’s arm is shot. Yep. But when Cooper’s little brother is on the sidelines these days, he’s watching the best defense in the league do their thing. It’s that defense that will be the beast. They’ll be tough enough on that O-line and the running game that Rodgers won’t be enough to compensate. Tough sledding is the term I keep hearing when I think of what the Packer O has coming.
Packers vs. Broncos Pick
This one’s for your Sully, “I like the fawkin Broncos +3”
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