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Monday, October 28, 2013

The Informer's NFL Monday Morning Reactionis to Week 8

Calvin Johnson did something on Sunday that hasn't been done since 1989.

What an NFL Sunday.

To be honest The Informer does not even know where to begin. There were career days, record breaking performances, good teams handling business as usual and of course Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos doing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos things.

We will get to all of the amazing moments in a second, but first The Informer wants to start with the days, the years and even this centuries best performance.

“Informer I know Drew Brees’ 331 yards passing and 5 TD in the New Orleans Saints 35-17 dismantling of the Buffalo Bills was impressive; but the performance of the century? That is going a little over board isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong figment of The Informer‘s imagination, Brees was great on Sunday; however The Informer had someone else in mind.

“So you are going to talk about “The Redheaded Gunslinger” Andy Dalton who became the first quarterback since 1988 (Dan Marino) to throw for five touchdowns against the New York Jets?”

Yes Dalton was very good in the Cincinnati Bengals 49-9 victory over the Jets. In fact if it was any other day we would probably be leading with his game. Sadly yesterday Dalton’s career day was just a minor blip on the radar.

“Oh I know, your going to talk about the NFL MVP Tom Brady who was able to lead the New England Patriots to a 27-17 victory despite only throwing for 116 yards. Your right that was an unbelievably historic game.”

NO!!!

“Well the only other person you could be starting with then is Marvin Jones.”

Who? 

“Marvin Jones.”

Who?

“You know the Bengals WR who set a franchise record with 4 TD receptions on the Sunday?”

Sorry The Informer thought you were talking about someone else.

But yes Jones was great yesterday and although becoming the 38th player in NFL history to catch four touchdowns in a single game is impressive; Jones does not beat out a guy who did something yesterday that only four people in the history of the league have done.

On Sunday Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson became the fourth player in NFL history to record 300 yards receiving.

Johnson’s 14 catch 329 yard day helped lead the Lions to a 31-30 victory while becoming the first WR in 24 years to top the 300 yard mark.

Believe it or not, Johnson’s 329 receiving yards is not an NFL record.

Johnson came seven yards short of former Los Angeles Rams WR Flipper Anderson, who set the record of 336 yards back in 1989. Since that time no one has come close to breaking it until Johnson on Sunday.

The Informer could literally talk about Johnson’s performance all day, but why don’t we do five quick hit thoughts and then move on to the rest of the action.

Did you know that there are 16 teams in the NFL this season that have yet to throw for 329 yards in a game?

Did you know that this was Johnson’s fifth career game going over the 200 receiving yard mark? Johnson is currently tied with Lance Alworth for the most 200 yard receiving games in NFL history.

Besides Johnson and Anderson, Kansas City Chiefs WR Stephon Paige (309 yards in 1985) and Rams WR Jim Benton (303 yards in 1945) are the only other WR to top the triple century mark in a single game.

On the day Johnson had 8 catches of over 20 yards. The Informer is going to assume that is some kind of record.

And finally, its scary to think that Johnson’s day could have been even better if “The Megatron” had not been tackled on the one yard line twice.

That sound you are hearing right now is every Johnson fantasy football owner having “Nam-like” flashbacks to last season when Johnson was tackled inside the five yard line eight different times.

Speaking of fantasy; The Informer lost to a guy in one of his leagues yesterday by one point. The guy got a big boost from his wide receivers getting a combined 56 points from his two starters.

Johnson provided 55 points and Ryan Broyles gave him the much needed 1.

You know what they say --fantasy football is a team game.

One last thought before we move on: Until Johnson retires if The Informer tries to mention another WR in the same breath as him please fill free to call me a moron. There is no longer a question of whether Johnson is the best in the league (He is by far) the question is now where is he going to finish as on of the all-time greats.

Honestly if you look at it, his numbers are starting to pile up and the freak of nature that he is don’t expect them to stop anytime soon.

That is enough with the single best WR performance The Informer has seen since Randy Moss had a four TD first half game against the Buffalo Bills in 2007; why don’t we move onto what The Informer liked about Week 8 of the 2013 NFL Season.

Matt Stafford having fun, running around like he was on the playground, while throwing laser rocket side arm passes before diving over the pile to win the game in the final seconds sure reminded The Informer of someone.

The Informer can’t quite put his finger on who it was though.

Does anyone else remember a “Gunslinger” who would throw crazy interceptions yet would always win in the end while having more fun than anyone else?

Maybe if The Informer asks the St. Louis Rams they would be able to help jog my memory.

At any rate, Stafford’s final drive was one of the most exciting minutes of football The Informer has watched this season.

Here is what The Informer scribbled down while trying to catch his breath after Stafford‘s heroics:

“What a ending in Detroit . . . WOW . . . WOW . . . WOW . . . Matt Stafford on his own . . . What a comeback . . . Anadlkjady!!!”

The Informer is pretty sure the last part was supposed to say something about game winning fireworks. 

Moving along, if you turned the game on a second to late (Like The Informer did) then you would have missed Terrelle Pryor setting an Oakland Raiders team record with his 93- yard TD run on the first play of the Raiders 21-18 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Who held the Raiders record for longest run before Pryor broke it on Sunday?

That would be the one and only Bo Jackson.

Jackson ran for a 92 yard TD against the Bengals on November 5th 1989 (1989 is a pretty popular year today).

Pryor’s run also set an NFL record for the longest run ever recorded by an NFL quarterback.

Hey speaking of records, New York Giants QB Eli Manning moved passed Phil Simms on Sunday for the most career passing yards in Giants history.

Peyton’s little brother now has 33,694 yards and counting.

The Informer has a quick question: Has there been a more consistent running back over the past nine seasons than the San Francisco 49ers Frank Gore? The guy who was predicted by many at the beginning of the season to take a step back added 71 yards and 2 TD in the 49ers 42-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

For the year, Gore is now third in the NFL in rushing yards and seventh in total touchdowns.

Ladies and gentlemen The Informer hates to do this to y’all, but we have reached the point where you are not allowed to continue reading unless you can answer the Dora the Explorer “Grumpy Old Troll” riddle of the day (The Informer is only kidding if you don‘t get the riddle right you can continue to read).

What do the numbers 76, 80, 72 and 63 have to do with Sunday?

If you answered the winning numbers for one of The Informer’s” Catch-All Keno games you would be wrong. Now if you said they were the total yards of the 49ers first four drives on Sunday then you may continue over the “Grumpy Old Troll Bridge.”

And yes each of the first four drives, which took all of 32 plays, ended in 49ers touchdowns.

If you are starting to feel bad for the London fans that had to watch the 42-10 shellacking --don’t. The crowd stayed engaged and rowdy throughout the game and at one point the entire stadium even took part in one of the coolest “Waves” The Informer has ever seen. 

Just for fun, here is one more “Grumpy Old Troll” number’s riddle: 14,17,3,1, 15,9,10, 6.

Again if you answered the “Illinois State Lottery” winning numbers you would be wrong.

No these are the total number of plays the Green Bay Packers needed to score on their first eight possessions in their 44-31 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football.

On the evening the Packers scored on eight of their nine drives Sunday night.  They probably would have scored on all nine of their drives, but on the final possession of the game they decided to stop the Vikings bleeding with a knee to run out the clock.

Speaking of scoring at will, the Broncos scored 38 unanswered points in the final 22 minutes of their 45-21 victory over the Washington Redskins.

Now The Informer has no way to prove this, but in my mind Manning was just helping former Broncos great John Elway get some revenge on the team that defeated him in Super Bowl XXII.

If you remember January 31st 1988, the Broncos and Elway took a 10-0 lead after one quarter before Doug Williams and the Redskins exploded for 42 straight points to win the Lombardi Trophy.

So again The Informer can’t prove it, but something tells me Manning let the Redskins take the 21-7 lead just so he could help Elway exact some revenge with a late game scoring spree.

One thing The Informer can prove is on Sunday Manning added 354 yards passing and 4 TD to his season numbers, which now puts him on pace for 5,838 yards and 58 TD passes.

If your scoring at home those would both be NFL records.

Did you all see Vikings rookie Cordarrelle Patterson return the opening kick-off 109-yards for the score. The 109-yards ties Baltimore Ravens return man Jacoby Jones and now Jets CB Antonio Cromartie for the longest TD return in NFL history.

Okay before we wrap this up here why don’t we try and ramble our way through the rest of The Informer’s Sunday notes.

Aaron Rodgers completed 82 percent of his throws against Minnesota. That is a single game career high for the Packers signal caller.

Not many have made better catches then Dez Bryant’s one handed TD catch. Jumping over the defenders for a one handed TD probably had Dallas fans thinking of the Michael Irvin and Terrell Owens golden eras.

Not many have had bigger more public outburst yelling at their coaches, teammates and quarterbacks like the one Dez Bryant had on Sunday. The tantrum probably had Dallas fans thinking of the Michael Irvin and Terrell Owens golden era.

Josh Gordon you continue to be one of the best young WR in the NFL. Because of you the Cleveland Browns were able to hang close in their 23-17 loss in Kansas City. If The Informer were an NFL team and the Brows were  trying to trade the young play-makers, he would be offering up a first round pick.

Gordon has that much talent.

P.S.- The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday and The Informer is anxious to see if Maurice Jones-Drew, Gordon, Hakeem Nicks or Larry Fitzgerald will be traded.

Wasn’t it nice to see Colin Kaepernick running around making plays and looking like a young Randal Cunningham again?   

 Drew Brees to Kenny Stills is starting to become a thing people. Adjust your fantasy rosters accordingly.

On Sunday the Cowboys became the second team ever to loose a game with a +4 turnover advantage.

This type of head scratching historic loss is the exact reason the Cowboys have been a middle of the road mediocre team for the last 16 years.

Don’t believe me, the Cowboys record is 132-132 since 1997. At least they are consistent right?

Despite the historic loss and mediocrity; it was not all bad for the Boys as WR Terrance Williams set a Dallas rookie record with his fourth straight game with a touchdown catch.

Also Sean Lee added two more INTs on Sunday for the Dallas defense. The best ball-hawking middle linebacker in the NFL now has 11 picks in four seasons as the Cowboys defensive playmaker.

Did you all see Jordy Nelson’s 76-yard TD catch Sunday night?

It was the fourth time in his career he has caught a TD that went longer than 75-yards. To put that in perspective, the sixth year pro now has as many touchdowns over 75-yards as the great Randy Moss had in his entire career.

The Informer has seen the refs make some bad calls before, but the penalty on the Miami Dolphins for pushing the ball forward on Sunday was one of the worst. Watching the replay you can clearly see the Dolphins player is trying to recover the fumble and the ball squirted free, yet the refs still called a penalty on Miami.

So instead of Pats ball third and 25, the refs making an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Dolphins (You can’t intentionally fumble the ball forward is what they called) gave the Pats a new set of downs. New England would cash in their free gift with the game clinching touchdown.

The Informer has just one question: Was this a make-up for the bogus call that went against the Pats in their Week 7 loss?

Hey do you all know who is leading the NFL with 9 TD catches? It is the one and only Wes Welker. After watching Brady throw for 116 yards on Sunday this stat has to make New England fans cringe.

Furthermore, this week Welker was one of the main reasons Manning went over the 300 yard passing mark for a NFL record 79th time. Welker is also one of the main reasons the Broncos have an NFL record 336 points through eight games.

Before we go The Informer has to give some credit where credit is do.

People can say what you want about their schedule (And The Informer has), but the Kansas City Chiefs continue to take care of business. 

They are now 8-0 on the season after handling a poor Browns team on Sunday.

With the Chiefs it is never pretty, but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is winning. Next up is a trip to Buffalo before they have an extra week to prepare for Peyton Manning and company.

If the Chiefs do win their next two games they will be 10-0 for the first time in franchise history. The previous best start was in 2003 when they began the season 9-0.

That is it for a historic Week 8 of the NFL season.

Now if you will excuse me, The Informer just saw one of those Blimpie commercials with the talking turkey and cheese sandwich that reminded him he needs to make a sandwich run.

See you all next week.

Tonight The Informer is taking the Seahawks 33-11. The Rams will not keep this close. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Top Players to watch heading into the 2013-14 NBA Season

The NBA Gold Standard

10. Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan

This might be the last time we head into a season saying Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki are Top 10 NBA Players. 

Truth be told, The Informer is probably the only person writing about the NBA who would even make such a claim. Then again, the 14 time All-Star Tim Duncan is coming off his tenth season as a member of the All-NBA  First Team.

As for Dirk Nowitzki, The Informer just read this story on the internet that says "The Big German"  will finish his NBA career as a Top 5 scorer All-Time. The story also goes on to say that one thing is for sure, he is not done just yet.

Well if there is one thing we all know to be a fact it is whatever people put on the internet is one hundred percent truth.

So if this guy says Dirk is not done, who is The Informer to disagree.

9. Carmelo Anthony


Just so we are clear; The Informer does not hate Carmelo Anthony.

He just thinks the guy should maybe try and learn how to pass the ball. Just saying it is pretty bad when you shoot so much that you make Kobe Bryant look like John Stockton.

On the bright side, the New York Knicks ubber-talented scoring machine is entering his eleventh year in the NBA coming off a season when he won his first scoring title (he beat out Kevin Durant by sixth tenths of a point) and after being named to the All-NBA Second Team.

At the end of the day Anthony is a good enough scorer to keep the Knicks regular season relevant, but he is going to have to start doing some of the other things if he wants to get this New York team to the next level --most notably he needs to learn how to pass the ball.

8. Kevin Love

For his career Kevin Love averages 17ppg 12rbg and 2apg. Last season, although injury plagued, Love improved his numbers to 18ppg 14rpb and 2.5asp.

To put those numbers in perspective, last year Dwight Howard averaged 17ppg 12.5rbg and 1.5apg.

Now The Informer is not saying Love is better than Howard, he is just pointing out that the gap between the two is not as big as some people may think.

If Love can keep his health this season, he will have the Minnesota Timberwolves playing postseason basketball.

And if he gets injured again and proves The Informer a moron, he will probably end up being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers to play with Kobe.

So really either way The Informer wins.

7. Stephen Curry

Steph Curry is the most fun and exciting player to watch in the NBA. The great thing about this statement is The Informer doesn't even have to try explaining why --he can just show you.

First there is this:




Then there is this:


And just to be fair there is this:


Oh The Informer almost forgot there is this:



6. Derrick Rose

Chicago Bulls fans right now are swearing at The Informer for not putting Derrick Rose number one on this list. In fact The Informer is pretty sure he will get at least four emails telling him to go have intercourse with himself.

The Informer respects your opinions on Rose Bulls fans; however let me just say Rose has to come back and prove he belongs higher on the list.

It would be a mistake just to hand him a higher ranking because three years ago he was the youngest MVP winner in NBA history.

For now Rose being tabbed the sixth best player in the NBA is the proper ranking.

P.S. - Do you want to see The Informer really upset the Bulls fans?

Watch this . . .

The Informer actually thinks Kobe will win the comeback player of they year award over Rose.

How is that for having carnal relations with myself?

5. Dwight Howard & James Harden

The Houston Rockets have themselves one hell of a inside outside punch.

James Harden proved last year that he is one of the best players in the league and if he can get a happy and motivated Howard to average 15rpg with 3 blocks this Rockets team will be scary.

The only question is how long will Howard remain happy with Harden scoring thirty points every night?

Remember this is the same guy who was upset because Kobe was a gunslinger, now he is going to Houston to play with the games best shooting guard not named "Mamba".

If Howard stays happy the both probably move up this list by seasons ends; until then they are properly ranked.   

4. Chris Paul

Chris Paul is this generations Isiah Thomas. He controls every aspect of the game; from pace, to floor spacing all the way to who is going to score and when.

To call him the ultimate floor general would be an understatement.

The best part of Paul's game is the fourth quarter when he finally decides he has had enough getting his teammates involved and starts scoring at will.

The Informer has watched Paul enough over the years to know that when he gets into killer mode you can't stop him.

Some people will complain that Paul is not high enough on this list, The Informer will counter that argument with until Paul has some kind of playoff success he can't be considered one of the three best players in the NBA.

3B. Tony Parker

The San Antonio Spurs PG is a three time NBA Champion. He has played in the NBA Finals on four separate occasions. Last year he went toe-to-toe with LeBron and was a Ray Allen miracle three away from helping the Spurs knock out the king.

And oh by the way, every time the Spurs play the CP3 led Clippers, the Spurs win.

The Informer is not here to downgrade CP3 --the guy is great-- but at the present time Tony Parker is the gold standard for NBA point guards. 

 3A. The Unknowns: Kobe Bryant & Russell Westbrook

The Informer is only going to say this once: When these two guys come back healthy they will be Top 5 NBA players.

Are they are the same level as Durant and LeBron? Probably not, but they will be better than every other person in the NBA.

Remember you never want to doubt the "Black Mamba" or a guy who the "Black Mamba" said had "Mamba Blood" in him.

Get healthy soon Kobe and Russell Westbrook, the NBA needs you in it.

2. Kevin Durant

Durant is coming off a season where he became the first NBA player since Larry Bird to shoot at least 50% from the field, 40% from the three point line and 90% from the charity stripe while averaging more than 28ppg.

If it was not for the Miami Heats 28 game win streak, when LeBron took over the league, Durant would have been named last year's regular season MVP.

If it were not for a guy named Patrick Beverley trying to make a hustle play, Durant and Westbrook would have led OKC to a Finals rematch with the Heat last season.

And if it were not for his front office stupidly keeping Kendrick Perkins instead of James Harden we would definetely be talking about the new "Thunder Dynasty" instead of "King James Reign."

The Informer is thinking this is the year the 25-year old (Yes Durant is only 25!!!) Durant will over take LeBron as the leagues MVP, but until it officially happens Durant is still the second best player in the NBA.

1. LeBron James


Can he actually improve from last year?

That is the scariest question entering the 2013-14 NBA Season.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

2013-14 NBA Fantasy Draft Stay Aways


For the past two years Wade has saved this for the playoffs so he can't be on "The Informer's" fantasy team.

 The 2013-14 NBA Season is only days away which means one very important thing; it is time for everyone’s NBA Fantasy Basketball drafts.

Now normally “The Informer” would go into a bunch of details about the big time players you need to draft, different strategies and of course the best draft day steals.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that the season starts on Tuesday, which means everyone’s drafts should be this weekend, “The Informer” wasn’t able to put in the much needed preparation time to get one of those articles written.

Never fear “The Informer” will not leave you empty handed headed into your drafts. With that in mind, here are five guys you should not draft if you are planning on winning your fantasy league this season.

5. J.R. Smith

For the price you are going to have to pay to get J.R. Smith to be on your roster he is not worth it. He is a borderline starter, who will score, but does not offer any other fantasy value.

Just saying, in fantasy a guy who scores 18ppg and does nothing else is really not of any value. Give me the big man who averages 14ppg 9rpb and 2bpg over a one trick scoring pony who is not even a starter.

4. Pau Gasol

He has been injured the past two seasons.

Mike D’Antoni benched him four games into his coaching tenure last season (Translation-He does not like him) and once again this year he is relying on Steve Nash to stay healthy in order to have someone pass him the ball.

“The Informer” just thinks the risk is higher than the reward with for the 32-year old Spaniard.

3. The Philadelphia 76ers


Trust me you want to stay completely away from this team. They are going to be very putrid on the offensive side of the ball.

2. Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford is another guy like Smith who is getting drafted high because of his success last season. The problem this year is the Los Angeles Clippers brought in a J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley who will play similar roles as Crawford . . . aka . . . the role of wing scorer. This means there will not be as many shots available for Crawford this season.

Plus once you add in Doc Rivers not liking guys who don’t play much defense, you can start adding up an off year for Mr. Crawford.

1. Dwyane Wade

In the spirit of the words of Will Ferrell, “The Informer will not ever draft Dwyane Wade to another one of his fantasy basketball teams. Not even if there is a fire. “

“The Informer” has been burned the past two years by Wade’s on again off again attitude about trying hard in the regular season and he will not be burnt by it again this year.

Sorry for me Wade is a must stay away.

Just so we are not all negative today, “The Informer” highly recommends drafting Kevin Durant or LeBron James if you get the chance.

Good luck everyone.





NFL Week 8 Must Watch Games


Two of the best in the NFL squaring off in Week 8

It is no secret “The Informer” watches to much NFL football every Sunday afternoon. He literally tries to watch every single snap of every single game (commercials are not welcome in my house) so that he does not miss any of the action.

Inevitably each week four or five games stand out as “The Informer’s” favorite games; so today he thought he would share with y’all his five must watch games for Week 8 of the 2013 NFL Season

5. San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (In London)

“The Informer really enjoys watching Justin Blackmon play football. He also really enjoys watching NFL teams score 40 points.

This game will feature both Blackmon and a NFL team scoring 40 points which means “The Informer” will be watching.

Pick: 49ers 41-6

4. Buffalo Bills @ New Orleans Saints

“The Informer” is not going to lie; “The Cannon” Thad Lewis is must watch football for him.

Now “The Informer” has no idea how it will happen, but somehow someway the Buffalo Bills will keep this game close and may even upset the New Orleans Saints

Pick: Saints 28-26

3. New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals

Everyone say it with me . . . A.J. “The Sickness” Green.

Here is the deal; “The Informer” only has a few rules in life and one of them is anytime “The Sickness” is playing football “The Informer” will be watching. 

Pick: Bengals 23-9

2. Washington Redskins @ Denver Broncos


Peyton Manning is the NFL’s best quarterback. RG3 is arguably the NFL’s most exciting quarterback.

Both of these guys will be playing against horrible defenses this week.

Hmmm . . . Manning and RG3 going against sub-par defense, kind of sounds like offensive fireworks to me.

P.S. - “The Informer” is taking the Denver Donkeys in this game because apparently Manning has not lost a home game after a road loss in 12 years. Honestly “The Informer” has no idea if that stat is true, but it would make sense since Manning barely ever loses two games in a single season, let alone back to back times.

Pick: Donkeys 42-31

1. Dallas Cowboys @ Detroit Lions


My favorite part of this game is the fact that you have Calvin Johnson squaring off against Dez Bryant in a “who is the best WR in football” grudge match.

Should we do a player comparison with these two real quick to see who is better?

Dez Bryant first 50 games: 242rec 33 TDs 3,440yds

Calvin Johnson first 50 games: 217rec 25 TDs 3,362yds

Well isn’t that interesting?

Stats wise Bryant was not wrong when he claimed earlier in the week that he was the best WR in football.

Now in my not so humble opinion, Johnson is still the gold standard at the WR position in the NFL today, but Bryant is quickly making a case to join the argument.

Adding more excitement to this game you also have Tony Romo going against Matthew Stafford in a battle between two of the most prolific passers in the history of the NFL.

No really, Romo has the third most passing yards after 100 career starts in the history of the game and last week Stafford became the second fastest QB to throw for 10,000 yards.

Seriously it is true; only Kurt Warner was faster than the Detroit Lions gunslinger and only Warner and Dan Marino had more passing yards through 100 games than Romo.

Kind of blows your mind huh? 

Oh and “The Informer” has yet to even mention Reggie Bush.

Call me crazy but this has all the makings of an old fashioned shoot-out and for “The Informer” that makes the Lions-Cowboys his must watch game of the week.

Pick: Lions 27-24

Friday, October 25, 2013

"The Informer" vs "The Question" 2013 NFL Picks Challenge: Week 8


Who wants to break the news to London fans that it is the 49ers vs. Jaguars?

Okay everyone; let’s all take a big sigh of relief.

Finally “The Informer” and "The Question” got one right. Thanks to the Carolina Panthers handling business on the road, we are both now 1-0 heading into the Sunday NFL games.

Obviously after starting the first seven weeks of the season 47-57-2 there is not a lot to celebrate after picking one game correctly, but at this point we have to take baby steps.

Remember what "The Informer” always says, “the NFL season is a marathon not a sprint.”

With that in mind why don’t we move on to Week 8 of “The Informer” vs. “The Question’s” 2013 NFL Picks Challenge?

(Editor’s note – As always these picks are to be used for recreational purposes only, or if you live in a state that allows gambling on NFL games. In no way should the information shared in this article be used for illegal wagers with bookies, for illegal “Super-Picks” contest, or to place wagers with off-shore internet websites.)

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (+17.5)

“The Question”

“Top of the Morning to Ya –Ole Chap. Why don’t we head down to the local tavern and grab some fish and chips then maybe later we can go out for some tea and crumpets before throwing another shrimp on the Barbie?”

Wait a second: Is shrimp on the Barbie from England or Australia?

Oh well you see what I am trying to do; since this game is being played in London, England I thought it would be funny to open my first sentence with a British accent.

Okay so maybe it was a bad attempt at humor.

I do apologize and ask that everyone bear with me this week. Due to circumstances surrounding real life I am really only here in body as my mind is completely drained.

That is why this week I will not be over analyzing these games, instead I will be going with my first initial reaction and then giving you the Campbell’s condensed soup version of my thoughts.

Besides my picks have been so atrocious this season that maybe I need to stop over thinking and just get back to the basics.

At any rate, this week the basics say to take the Jacksonville Jaguars as this spread is way too high for two teams that can’t wait to get back to the states.

Pick: Jags +17.5

“The Informer”

"The Question” is really acting like a “Smart Arse.” 

First he starts out by insulting two separate Nations with his terrible British accent and then he advises everyone that he is so "Zonked" he is bascially "Spending a Penny" with his picks this week.

His day really must have went "Balls Up." 

Don’t worry all, just because “The Question” is mentally checking out on Week 8 of the 2013 NFL Season doesn’t mean “The Informer” is.

In fact for some strange reason (Unable to make any fake illegal wagers this week) “The Informer” thinks this is going to be an “Ace” of a week for his NFL picks against the spread.

“The Informer” is not “Porkies” to you; if there were ever a week you wanted to go all in with my advice, this would be it.

Any road” do you realize the first time the NFL went to London this year the game featured the winless Minnesota Vikings and the winless Pittsburgh Steelers?

Now a few short weeks later the NFL returns for a do over by giving the London fans a game involving the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Apparently all the talk about expanding football overseas was a bunch of malarkey. I mean let’s be fair; if you are trying to “Flog” your product to the London folks you most definitely don’t send the Jags to do the marketing.

Seriously there has to be a better way to make them “Fancy” the NFL.

As for the game itself, “The Informer” is “Arse over Elbow” for the San Francisco 49ers. They will come out this week and handle business.

"Upon my soul" there really is no good reason to assume the Jags will score more than six points which means this 49ers team, that has scored over 30 points in the last four games, will only have to muster up 24 to get the cover.

Doesn’t a 24-6 victory sound pretty “Easy Peasy” to you?

Take the “Bloody” 49ers in London as they are a “Cracking” “Flutter” this week and you will walk away really “Chuffed.”

Best of British” with this pick “Mates.”

Pick: 49ers -17.5

P.S. – If you couldn’t tell “The Informer” is one hundred percent “Rat Arsed” right now. Also if you need a link to clarify what the hell "The Informer" just said here it is

DALLAS COWBOYS @ DETROIT LIONS (-3.5)

“The Question”

Did ‘The Informer” just say I was the one who was offending a nation with my terrible British accent and joke about shrimp on the Barbie?

You really are one of a kind Mr. Informer. That is all I have to say after reading your last rant. 

Anyways, getting back to football, I don’t trust the Dallas Cowboys on the road (1-2 on the road) and even though they lost last week the Detroit Lions are still a good home team (They are 2-1 at home on the season).

Pick: Lions -3.5

“The Informer”

The two best WR in the NFL put on a show in Week 7
Do you guys remember when you were a teenager and your body was going through changes and some of those changes would lead to having non-dry dreams?

Well if you take last week, when Calvin Johnson and A.J. “The Sickness” Green combined for over 300 yards receiving with three touchdowns and combine it with this week, when Johnson will be going Mano-y-Mano with Dez Bryant; then you would have “The Informer’s” adult version of a non-dry dream. 

If you all think “The Informer” is joking, let me assure you he is not.

"The Informer” swears to “Tebow” that he spent the first three hours of last Sunday watching football with a “Mike’s friend from Growing Pains” in his sweat pants.

Needless to say, between “The Sickness” catching an 80-yard TD and Johnson catching a Randy Moss-like 50-yard TD catch over three guys "The Informer” was in 7th Heaven.

Honestly the Green-Johnson duel could not have gone any better for “The Informer” if he had scripted it himself.

And now you’re telling me this week he gets to watch Johnson do it again against the third best WR in the NFL –Dez Bryant.

“The Informer” can’t speak for anyone else, but he sure as hell knows what he will be wearing on Sunday #Break out the sweatpants.

Pick: Lions -3.5

The Informer after the pick bonus thought – Since there wasn’t any real football talk in that last sentence, how about "The Informer” shares two bonus stats about this week’s quarterbacks that will blow your mind?

Stat A: Through his first 100 games as a NFL quarterback Tony Romo has the third most passing yards ever. The only guys with more yards through 100 games are Kurt Warner and Dan Marino.

Stat B: Matthew Stafford became the second fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach the 10,000 yard mark behind only Kurt Warner. Stafford accomplished this feat in 37 games.

The one very obvious conclusion from looking at these stats is Kurt Warner was really good at NFL quarterback when he played for the St. Louis Rams.

NEW YORK GIANTS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-5.5)

“The Question”

Wow I say I am taking it easy for one week and "The Informer” loses his mind.

First he uses British-slang to pick the 49ers game; now he is talking about dreams of a sexual nature and then having a “Boner in sweatpants” because of watching two guys play football?

I am not a licensed therapist Mr. Informer, but you may want to seek some kind of medical help.

Anyways, I am taking the Philadelphia Eagles in this game because the New York Giants looked terrible on Monday Night Football, they are coming off a short week and I don’t think the Eagles are really as bad as they played in their 17-3 loss to the Cowboys.

Pick: Eagles -5.5

“The Informer”

“The Informer” really wants to make a joke about having to get a license to be “The Rapist” but that maybe in poor taste after spending 200 words talking about my BISP (Boner in sweat pants).

Just know somewhere the fake Sean Connery inside of me had a joke ready and waiting.

The Informer note - Now seems like a good time to explain that "The Informer” has decided this week to go old school with his picks article.

You see “The Informer” has spent the first seven weeks of this season trying to toe the company line by writing good clean “P.C.” articles and the only thing that has gotten me is my the worst picks record ever.

So from here on out the company line is to be dammed. 

"The Informer” is going to do this picks article the right way.

If ‘The Informer” feels the need to make “BISP” jokes, or talk about his bookie assaulting him in an “all male prison shower” kind of way he is going to do it.

Anyways, which means please stop interrupting "The Informer” when he is taking about “Mike’s friend from Growing Pains in his sweatpants”, “The Informer” has no earthly idea how the Eagles are favored in this game.

Vegas is obviously banking on the return of Michael Vick sparking something in this offense, but if you ask me Philly is starting to look like a team that is worn down and needs a rest.

In their defense, you can only play up-tempo football for so long before the body starts rejecting the notion.

Therefore this week “The Informer” is thinking the Eagles will continue to be sluggish and the Giants will take advantage to get their second win of the season leading to Skip Bayless screaming Monday morning about how the Giants are going to win the NFC East Title.

Pick: Giants +5.5

CLEVELAND BROWNS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-7.5)

“The Question”

The Kansas City Chiefs showed last week versus the Houston Texans that they are not a high powered offense and teams with a good solid defense can keep games close. Well the Cleveland Browns may have some offensive issues, but they are a darn good defensive football team.

In other words take the points.

Pick: Browns +7.5

“The Informer”

So the Kansas City Chiefs are 7-0.

They have beaten; the Blaine Gabbert led Jags, a Cowboys team that is not good on the road, the 1-6 Giants, the Case Keenum led Texans, the Jake Locker-less Tennessee Titans, the still trying to find his way RG3 led Washington Redskins and the mighty Oakland Raiders.

 Just saying if you want to pull a Dennis Green and “Crown their A*ses” then by all means go ahead and do it.

Listen "The Informer” has no issues if that is who you think they are; however, if you want to know the truth then here it is: The Chiefs are a talented team that is not going to beat itself or let inferior teams off the hook, but at the end of the day they are not on the level of the other elite NFL teams.

What does that mean for this week?

It means the Chiefs will get another easy victory over a Jason “I am making my first NFL start since 2010” Campbell led Browns team.

Pick: Chiefs -7.5

(Editor's note-  One of "The Informer's" readers, who is a die hard Chiefs fan, wanted it to be pointed out that the Chiefs have not played the RG3 Redskins yet this year. He also wanted to let "The Informer" know that he can go have intercourse with himself for continuously talking bad about Kansas City. In conclusion the Chiefs have not played the Redskins this season. Glad we got that mistake cleared up.)

BUFFALO BILLS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-11.5)

“The Question”

This game has all the makings of a huge blow out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, nonetheless I just can’t lay this many points in a National Football League game.

I don’t know how it will happen but the Buffalo Bills will somehow cover this game.

Pick: Bills +11.5

“The Informer”

Here are ‘The Informer’s” three favorite “The Cannon” Thad Lewis sayings heading into Week 8.

“Thad Lewis is who he thought he was.”

“Thad Lewis is the greatest NFL quarterback since Brian Hoyer.”

Finally, my personal favorite while channeling ESPN’s Chris Berman: “Nobody circles the wagons like the Thad Lewis led Buffalo Bills.”

Sorry “The Informer” got side tracked, where were we again? Oh yea . . . We were talking about the cover machine that is “The Cannon” Thad Lewis led Bills.

(By the way, from here on out his nickname and full name will be used every time ‘The Informer” mentions “The Cannon” Thad Lewis. He has earned that respect.)

So did you guys know that the Bills are 5-2 against the spread this year?

Furthermore, did you know that “The Cannon” Thad Lewis is undefeated ATS this season?

Doesn’t all of this sound like trends to you?

Well you know what "The Informer” says about a buffalo and trends; ride them till they buck ya.

Pick: Bills +11.5

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ NEW ENGLAND (-6.5)

How good does that look?
“The Question”

I love the Miami Dolphins as underdogs and hate them as favorites.

Well this week they are the underdogs so I love them like "The Informer" loves Blimpies.

Pick: Dolphins +6.5

“The Informer”

Tom Brady season stats: 1,708 yards 8 TD 5 INT 55% completion 5-2 record

Peyton Manning season stats: 2,565 yards 25 TD 3 INT 71% completion 6-1 record

Looking at those numbers "The Informer” has one request: Can we please put to bed the absurd notion that was being thrown around last week that Brady, not Peyton Manning, should be the NFL MVP?

"The Informer” doesn’t want to hear all the excuses about missing wide receivers and one impossible comeback win. The argument is bogus.

Just because Manning takes care of business in the first three quarters instead of relying on his defense so he can make one play in the fourth quarter, doesn’t make him any less valuable.

Yes “The Informer” fully understands Manning had a bad game last week (386 yards passing and 3 TDs but okay it was his fault they lost) and his Denver Broncos lost on the road against one of the best teams in the AFC, so Manning’s MVP haters are now in full force.

Luckily "The Informer” and the rest of the Manning lovers can take solace in the fact that even though Manning was the worst QB ever in the Broncos loss, he was still better than Brady was in the New England Patriots loss to the New York Jets.

Just saying at the end of the day those people who are arguing Brady is the NFL MVP this season because he has terrible stats yet is still winning games –are absolutely absurd.

What would you think would happen if the roles were reversed? Do you think Peyton would be struggling as much as “Tom Terrific” is?

Or do you think Manning would practice his team up until they were ready to succeed?

Before you answer, make sure you keep in mind it was barely a year ago when Manning signed with a Denver team that was coming off a season when they were one of the worst passing offenses in NFL history.

In fact many people were wondering why Manning would choose Denver because they had absolutely no offensive talent.

Well what did Manning do with one of the worst offenses in the NFL? He went out and made Eric Decker, Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas stars while scoring 30 points a game.

So please stop giving me the “Poor Brady” routine. Great quarterbacks make their receivers great, not the other way around. 

As for this week the Patriots have too many injuries on defense and not enough weapons on offense to be a touchdown favorite.

Pick: Dolphins +6.5

NEW YORK JETS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS (-6.5)

“The Question”

I wonder how “The Informer” feels about the Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning MVP arguments people were making last week after the Jets once again made Brady look human.

I really hope he dives into the topic, I would love to get his opinion.

Speaking of the Jets, their defense is legitimate and I personally think the Cincinnati Bengals are a touch overrated.

I know their 5-2 record says otherwise, but I think they are way too inconsistent to be this big of a favorite over a solid defensive team.

Pick: Jets +6.5

“The Informer”

The Jets just won their Super Bowl last week. If you don’t think they are going to have a letdown performance against the Bengals this week then you do not know how the NFL works my friend.

Pick: Bengals -6.5

PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS (+2.5)

“The Question”

Neither of these two teams are very good this season, but at least the Pittsburgh Steelers have a front office and coaching staff people still respect.

So they have that going for them; which is nice. 

Good front office personal aside, I am still not taking them as road favorites.

Pick: Raiders +2.5

“The Informer”

Since no one in America wants to watch this game, “The Informer” is not going to waste your time by writing about it.

Instead how about “The Informer” gives you a link to a video of a 1 ½ year old little girl doing karate?

Would that tickle your fancy?

“The Informer” doesn’t care who you are, baby karate is way more entertaining than the prospect of having to watch this garbage football game.

Pick: Steelers -2.5

WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ DENVER BRONCOS (-12.5)

"The Question”

Finally RG3 is playing like RG3. I for one am excited to see him be dominant once again.

With RG3’s return this Washington Redskins offense can now score points and we know the Denver Broncos defense is prone to give up points, which means this line is way too high.

Pick: Redskins +12.5

“The Informer”

Did you know the Broncos are 1-5 ATS in their past six games? Did you also know “The Informer” has picked them to cover the spread in each of those six games?

It kind of seems like ‘The Informer” has been on the wrong side of this trend.

At the end of the day “The Question” is right, the Broncos give up to many points to be giving almost two touchdowns against an offense that is getting better each week.

“The Informer” is also predicting a touchdown from Roy Helu Jr. that will lead to Chris Berman saying “And Helu means goodbye” on ESPN's Sunday NFL Blitz.

Pick: Skins +12.5

ATLANTA FALCONS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS (-2.5)

“The Question"

This is a really strange line, even for Vegas. I am going against my first reaction and backing the home team here.

Pick: Cards -2.5

“The Informer"

There is no reason on “Tebow’s” green earth that the Arizona Cardinals should ever be favored.

"The Informer” doesn’t care if it is Harry Douglas vs. the world for the Atlanta Falcons; they are still a better team than the Cards.

Of course “The Informer’s” instincts have been wrong all season, but like he said before, this week is going to be the week we turn the ship around.

The Falcons and “Matty Ice” will win this game outright.

Pick: Atlanta

GREEN BAY PACKERS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (+9.5)

“The Question”

Well I guess two weeks for a starting QB to prepare is better than one week, but still not good enough for me to take the QB who didn’t even show up for his previous team’s team picture.

Can you say foreshadowing?

Pick: Packers -9.5

“The Informer”

“The Informer” get’s it, “The Question” was making a play on words saying he didn’t think Josh Freeman would show up for this game; just like he didn’t show up for Buccaneers’ team photo earlier this season.

You are very clever Mr. Question.

You are also very correct, because it turns out Christian “why do they even Ponder passing” is going to be the starting QB for the Minnesota Vikings this week after it was announced Freeman has a concussion.

Which brings “The Informer” to his next two questions: Concussion or no, why in the bluest of hells did the Vikings throw the ball 50+ times on Monday night? They do realize they still have freaking Adrian Peterson on the football team right?

Call "The Informer” crazy, but having the guy you just signed off of waivers throw the ball 50 times in a single game may not the best game plan; especially when you have the best running back of this generation lining up behind him.

“The Informer” is really done trying to figure out why the Vikings do what they do. Instead he is just going to make money off them while watching Ponder try and throw the football.

This should be fun.

Pick: Packers -9.5

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ ST LOUIS RAMS

"The Question”

This is way too many points. Plus could the QB for the Rams be that much worse than Sam Bradford was through the first seven games? Ponder that for a bit.

Pick: Rams +10.5

“The Informer”

Did you guys see the Rams actually called Brett Favre to see if he wanted to come out of retirement?

How awesome is that?

"Any road", the NFL gambling rule clearly states anytime a team is hoping a 44-year old QB will come out of retirement to play Monday Night Football against the best defense in the NFL, you have to lay the points.

Oh yea . . . "The Informer” almost forgot; the picks article wouldn’t be complete without "The Informer” making a double digit road favorite his “Lion King Lock of the Week.”

Therefore Seattle you have been designated this week’s best bet.

Don’t worry Seattle Seahawks' backers it is not like the LKLOTW is 1-6 on the season or anything.

Pick: Seattle -10.5

One final note – Please Brett Favre reconsider coming out of retirement. "The Informer” misses how much fun you had while playing the game and of course your naughty semi-pornographic text messages.

“The Informer” is pretty sure he is speaking for everyone when he says we could all use a little more “Gunslinger” in our lives.

Then again: Do you know who else the Rams are thinking about bringing in to run the team?

Wait for it . . .

Wait for it . . .

Wait for it . . .

TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEBOW!!!!!!!!!!