Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Predictions: Jolly old loss for Falcons


According to Thursday's London Mirror ("The Intelligent Tabloid"), under "Football" news, Tottenham was looking for a win over Asteras Tripolis, a Spanish goalie may rehab with Manchester United, and Balotelli threatened a woman who took pictures of his Ferrari.

According to the London Sun (the more interesting paper), there is still time for women to enter the "Curvy Cover Girl" contest and win 1,000 pounds and a modeling contract with Milk Management (I'm not making that up). Also, Natasha tells her heartbreaking story, "I hid under fella's bed... as rat romped with another."

British tabloids know their audience.

I've come to this conclusion: The Falcons left the country and they're still not remotely interesting to the locals.

They're 2-5. They've lost four straight. They're 0-4 on the road. I think London qualifies as the road, even though their game against Detroit technically is a home game. Unless they turn things around, I'm sure there would be no objection to owner Arthur Blank auctioning off the next four home games, as well. Bolivia, anyone?

It's the battle of the punctured Matts: Ryan vs. Stafford. Ryan has been sacked 15 times, Stafford 24. But Detroit has the NFL's No. 1 defense and the Falcons ... I'm not even going to look.

Kickoff is 9:30 a.m. Atlanta Misery Time. Breakfast with the Falcons? Perhaps not. Lions win and cover 4.

This game might get more attention in London

  SCHOOL DAZE

Hey look: Dogs in a prayer circle for Todd Gurley! Get it? (via michellelabelle36 on tumblr.com)

Georgia: Off. Please bring candles and herbal incense to official Todd Gurley prayer circle Saturday in Athens.

Georgia Tech at Pitt: The Jackets are 0-2 vs. schools from North Carolina, which wouldn’t be so bad if we were talking about basketball. I would expect the Jackets’ slide to continue but their opponent  lost at home to … Akron? Take Tech and 3½ and in a mild upset.

Ga.Southern at Ga.State: It’s the first meeting between the two Sun Belt newbies. One day, this may be a cool little rivalry. But that day ain’t Saturday. Eagles cover 16.

South Carolina at Auburn: Steve Spurrier addressed rumors he’s going back to Florida: “My next move is going to be to Crescent Beach, Florida.” Should’ve done it before the season. Tigers cover 18.

The Alabama brain trust, kinda sorta. (via @nick_pants and gamedayr.com)

Alabama at Tennessee: Lane Kiffin left Knoxville for the USC job, and he returns as Alabama's assistant in charge of unwrapping Nick Saban’s Little Debbie Snack treats. Kiffin’s mother says she’s worried for her son’s safety. She had better hope Alabama wins or Saban will duct-tape little Lane to a goal post and distribute 100,000 eggs in Neyland Stadium. Tide wins but take Tennessee and 17.

North Carolina at Virginia: Chapel Hill is actually Morally Reprehensible Mountain, according to a new report showing North Carolina athletes were steered to sham classes over an 18-year period.  The Tar Heels would be hit with sanctions if the NCAA was alive today. Cavs cover 7.

Miss. State at Kentucky: Imagine if this turns out to be the game that steps on Starkville’s dream. Hey, I’ve seen weirder things happen. Like Mississippi State being ranked No. 1. Dogs win but take Cats and 13½.

Mississippi at LSU: When these teams met in 1959, the Tigers were ranked No. 1 and Billy Cannon returned a punt 89 yards for the winning touchdown over Ole Miss. Les Miles wishes it was 55 years ago about now. Feeling nostalgic. Take the 3½ and LSU in a mild upset.

Billy Cannon, All-American (not in HD)

PROS AND EX-CONS

Seahawks at Panthers: There are reports of dissension in the Seattle locker room and the bottom is falling out of the defending Super Bowl champs. Sorry, the bottom doesn't officially fall out until you lose to an NFC South team. Seattle covers 5.

Packers at Saints: Sean Payton became incensed when the media dared to question his expertise after another loss. Imagine how much fun Falcons’ fans would be having with this if, well, you know. Take the gift 1½ points, but Packers win straight up.

Sean Payton is losing it

Eagles at Cardinals: Some national radio dude "broke news" that Chip Kelly would “take the phone call” if Florida calls. Now that’s brilliant reporting. How’s he going to be wrong? Kelly: “The phone's ringing! It’s Florida! Don’t answer it!” Take the 2½ but Eagles win this straight up.

Bills at Jets: Seattle was so fed up with Percy Harvin that it shipped the team’s best receiver to the Jets. The Jets would take anybody’s discard, short of nuclear waste (but the day’s not over yet.) Jets cover 3.

What happens if Jerry Jones, the general manager, wins. (via countdowntozerotime.org)

Native Americans at Cowboys: The Cowboys have won six straight. I still have faith something will go wrong in September because they can’t be this good and just the thought of Jerry Jones gloating over his personnel expertise would make seas boil. However: Dallas covers 9.

Texans at Titans: An actual lead from Yahoo Sports: “The Tennessee Titans, with nothing to lose in a season headed south in a hurry, plan to start rookie Zach Mettenberger at quarterback. Now there’s a confidence booster for excommunicated Bulldog. Here’s another shot: Texans cover 1½.

Accounting dept.

I've got nickels, not stacks.

Last week: 11-2 straight up, 7-6 ATS.

Bottom Dollars: 69-27 straight up, 43-53 ATS.

Sack Schultz update: Hat tip to Neil Conley of Dalton, the only contestant to go 15-0 last week. Five are tied for the overall lead at 92 wins but about 50 folks within two. I’m seven back at 85. You can still win weekly prizes at AJC.com/go/sackschultz2014.

Lilly’s pick: She blew the Falcons' pick last week to fall to 5-3. This week, she had a choice of Matt's -- Ryan or Stafford. Her pick: Stafford.

Stafford's head is under there somewhere.


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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.