DENVER - DECEMBER 26: Cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson #22 of the Denver Broncos celebrates an interception with teammates late in the fourth quarter agains the Houston Texans at INVESCO Field at Mile High on December 26 2010 in Denver Colorado. The Denver Broncos defeated the Houston Texans 24-23. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
As we roll into the third week of the 2012 season, all eyes are on Peyton Manning to see how he will bounce back from a terrible game on Monday Night. In the same way, the Staffers are trying to bounce back from their second straight defeat at the hands of the Readers. It was a hard fought battle -- especially given the strange way the ball bounced in many of the games in Week 2 -- yet the Readers eventually prevailed 8-7 to 7-8. This gives the Readers an overall lead of 19-11 to 16-14. We'll see if the Staffers can break the Readers' streak, or if the Readers will extend their lead. This week our reader is that MHR member known as SoCalBroncoFan. SoCalBroncoFanwrites:
My name is Jeff and I am a lifelong Broncos fan. When I first knew what football was (at the age of 8) all I knew was the Broncos. This was thanks to my Dad who is a 49ers fan yet grew up playing football with Jim Turner. So when Jim was in Denver my father would follow him and I became a fan that way. Now, living in southern California, I have the daily barrage of Raider and Charger fans all around me, yet still I hold true to being orange and blue. I have been an avid fan of MHR for the last 3 years and think what you all are doing is great. I'm a little nervous about going up against Troy as he seems fairly bright on paper, but we'll see how this all shakes out. . .I'd tell Troy good luck, but I want to win for the readers.
SoCalBroncoFan will be competing with Troy Hufford. Troy writes:
Troy Hufford, here, back for another year of picks. I'm undefeated in these Staffer vs Readers match ups and I don't expect to be challenged this week. If you're not familiar with me, here are a few facts. I met Elvis Dumervil and got him to chuckle. I met Derek Wolfe and got him to chuckle. I met Andre Caldwell and got him to chuckle. What were they laughing at, you ask? I told them that someone on the internet dared to challenge me.
And now, onto the picks.
SoCalBroncoFan: I think the defense will have a strong showing and be able to shut down Newton and Co. The Giants run game should be able to control the game. I think Eli's arm may be a little tired after week 2.
Troy: I look at this matchup and see that Eli Manning is a few days removed from throwing 500 yards. I have to go with Peyton's little brother on this one. I was impressed with Cam Newton last week. He even earned me a fantasy victory. But I HAVE to pick a Manning this week. Since we aren't picking the Broncos, out of tradition, I'm going with the Giants, here.
SoCalBroncoFan: Cutler and Marshall should be able to hook up for a couple of scores this week. The Rams are trying to put something together but it's still too early for Coach Fisher's team.
Troy: The Rams quietly have one of the better defenses in the league. A Bears team without Matt Forte is never a stable one, so I have to go with the Rams, here. Maybe Danny Amendola can actually get the reception record this week with Brandon Marshall watching from the sidelines. How crazy would that be?
SoCalBroncoFan: This is a tough one for me. RG3 is a remarkable player and can do a lot. Dalton will start to get back to form at the Redskins expense. I think this will be another close one.
Troy: The balanced offense of Cincinnati finally got rolling this past week. Meanwhile, the Redskins lost Brian Orakpo, which is going to be a really painful loss for their defense. After an emotional loss last week, I think the Redskins fall for a second straight time.
SoCalBroncoFan: I think this is a fairly straight forward pick. The Titans have too few weapons to do any damage right now.
Troy: The Titans have been a huge disappointment, so far. So have the Lions, actually, but at least they've shown the ability to move the ball. I think Megatron has a big day and Chris Johnson continues to make fantasy owners physically injure themselves.
SoCalBroncoFan: Regardless of what is happening I believe the Saints will take care of the Chiefs. KC may have a lot of weapons but they just don't know how to use them. I think we will start to see the overhyped Chiefs start to take their place at the bottom of the division.
Troy: One of these winless teams has to win and it won't be the Chiefs. Why? Drew Brees.
SoCalBroncoFan: As we know they have a strong defense and should be able to hold the Vikings in check. Patrick Willis is a beast and would look great in orange and blue.
Troy: The niners are just too good in all phases of the game. Their run defense is outstanding. Their pass defense is outstanding. They can run and pass effectively. If you're looking to beat them, all 53 men on your roster better come to play. The Vikings just don't have the talent to compete in this one.
SoCalBroncoFan: The Dolphins luck runs out on them this week when the Jets (likely) get Revis back. It will be closer than NY will like but they will pull it out this weekend in a squeaker.
Troy: I think Reggie Bush is going to run hard, but the Jets defense is more disciplined than the Raiders defense. For that reason, I'm going with the Jets. I don't think the Jets offense is as good as they were in week 1 or as bad as they were in week 2. If they play somewhere in between, I think their defense can stop the Dolphins enough times to get the win.
SoCalBroncoFan: I have to think that the Brownies will finally put it all together and get their first win of the year. The Bills D may be good but ol' man Weeden and Richardson will give the Dawg Pound something to be happy about, at least this week.
Troy: CJ Spiller is running all over everybody and the Browns are still the Browns. Brandon Weeden is alright, but he's not going to save this Cleveland squad in a single year. The Bills take this one.
SoCalBroncoFan: The Bucs are a young and up and coming team but I think this week the 'Boys will be able to hold them off. I have a feeling Romo may have a pretty good day as long as his O-line comes to play.
Troy: I really thought the Bucs would win last week, but they just couldn't pull it out. Against the Cowboys, I think they get the job done and put Romo in his place.
SoCalBroncoFan: Andrew Luck starts to show why he was the #1 overall pick in April. I think the Jags are in a mess right now and Indy takes advantage of it.
Troy: Call me crazy, but I think this Andrew Luck character has potential.
SoCalBroncoFan: Easy: My team mascot in high school was the Falcons; we know they are tough after the Monday night game; and Rivers just needs to have someone pop him a good one in the mouth.
Troy: After jumping on the Broncos, early, and hanging on, late, the Falcons showed they have a pretty tough squad. I don't think the Chargers have a chance in this one.
SoCalBroncoFan: Arizona's defense will be all over Vick. The Eagles have been lucky so far. I'm ready to see the Cardinals roll over Philly with whomever they pick to QB the team.
Troy: Yeah, yeah, yeah... I heard the stat that the Cardinals have the highest win percentage since December 2011, but that doesn't change my opinion of them. Their quarterback woes will finally bite them in the butt against a pretty good Philadelphia defense. Of course, Mike Vick needs to keep the football for this pick to be correct.
SoCalBroncoFan: We saw how good they can be in Week 1. Plus if they get Polamalu and Harrison back, it should make for a long day for Palmer. Last time I checked, hell hasn't frozen over yet so there is no way I'm picking the Raiders.
Troy: The Raiders are the Raiders. The Steelers are the Steelers. This one seems pretty obvious.
SoCalBroncoFan: The Ravens look good. I think NE got caught out of synch with Hernandez going down but they will make adjustments this week. I can't see the Pats losing 2 weeks in a row.
Troy: The New England Patriots just don't feel like a team with teeth. This Wes Welker drama is strange and has me concerned that something is going on in the locker room. Something bad. The Ravens, on the other hand, are a team that can beat you in all kinds of ways. Defense, passing... oh, and they have that guy named Ray Rice. I don't know if you've heard of him.
SoCalBroncoFan: I believe the Packers have a ton of weapons to go deep into the playoffs (the "no duh" statement of the week). It'll be fun to watch but GB will prevail.
Troy: I've got huge respect for the Seattle defense, but the Packers are just too talented to lose this game.
What Denver Must Do to Win
SoCalBroncoFan: The Broncos run defense is doing great so far but they'll have a tough challenge with Houston. If the defense can keep stuffing the run, they should be in good shape. It would also help if the defense can cover a TE once in a while. I think that is the real weak point in the Broncos defense. As for offense, I think getting back home will be very helpful. It'll be interesting to see if the Texans defense goes copy-cat and tries to fool Manning into bad throws. I think overall Manning is the best player on the field from the neck up and that will win the game for the Broncos.
Troy: Winner = Denver Broncos. Obviously... I know we're not picking this one, but I wanted to put them in
Good Luck to both of our Contestants.