Weekend Predictions: Falcons over Packers, karma over power weasels

Before getting into the third meeting in 11 months between the Falcons and Packers — none in Green Bay in the winter, because it turns out there is a sportswriter travel god after all, and I can make only so many jokes about tubby fans stuffed into orange and camouflage hunting jumpsuits; actually maybe there’s no limit — let’s go to the news.

It was not a proud week for Georgia residents with a conscience. First, Atlanta-based Equifax, part owner of America whether we like it or not, suffered a “security breach” that exposed 143 million social security numbers, give or take everybody who has ever spent more than a nickel. It turns out Equifax’s security was so flimsy that, and I’m not making this up, any online employee in the Argentina office could log in by typing “admin” as both the logon and the password.

It’s believed this was a security upgrade from “logon” for logon and “password” for password.

Don’t worry. A Labrador will guard the open safe.

Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) knew when to buy and sell. He also worked for Equifax.

It gets worse. Three Equifax executives dumped their stock after learning of the breach. Because nobody would pick up on that, right? Quoth the wise old “Lou” in the movie Wall Street to the insider-trading “Bud”: “You’re on a roll, kid. Enjoy it while it lasts. Because it never does.”

At least there’s no record of Equifax executives escaping town after the breach to attend the Georgia-Notre Dame game. Savannah congressman Buddy Carter had the monopoly on that. He left for South Bend as Hurricane Irma was hitting his district.

Hey, I’m not suggesting Carter could’ve stopped the hurricane. I just think there’s something to be said for an elected official not tailgating and woofing and stuffing his pie hole with hot dogs 900 miles away when his city might be leveled.

Then again, it was a big game.

So now that we can all be comforted in knowing somebody in Argentina is putting a boat on our Visa and a Georgia congressman was safe and sound in Indiana, which is at least wired for cable, let’s get on with this week’s investments.

Karma is a huge favorite. But give the points.

Also, the Falcons are favored by three over Green Bay. This is a rematch of the NFC Championship game. The Falcons didn’t look great in their first game but won. The Packers looked better against Seattle.

But Sunday could be a big day. The Hypothetically Retractable Roof may be open in Mercedes Benz Stadium, if the weather cooperates. It would be the first time the Falcons breathe non-recirculated air in a home game since 1991.

The Falcons won their last five games at Fulton County Stadium. I’m all about trends.

Trust me. I’ll watch your wallet. Several states away.

Falcons win and cover 3.

The Tao of Lou

Higher Learning

I like the juxtaposition in this photo with the sign and the fire hydrant.

Samford at Georgia: The Bulldogs play their third consecutive home game if you count last week in South Bend, when half of the Notre Dame fans sold their tickets and the other half crawled into a fetal position and prayed for the coming of “Rudy.” Samford is also the Bulldogs, but there will be no confusion. Defense gives home Dogs a short field:  The 35 is covered.

Clemson at Louisville: Some view this game as a potential flash point for Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson’s NFL draft stock. Nothing against Jackson. I prefer looking at the list of pro quarterbacks Bobby Petrino has developed. It’s over there, crumpled up, on the ground, where the dog is … oops. Tigers cover 3½.

Tennessee at Florida: Tennessee coach Butch Jones said he won’t rule out using two kickers this season. On a related note, the school hasn’t ruled out using two head coaches. Gators win, but take Tennessee and 4½.

Post-hurricane picture sets up easy joke: Gators lost their “O” and their “D.” (Twitter/LDolengowski)

Mississippi at Cal: Ole Miss and the remains of Hugh Freeze’s career appeared before the NCAA this week to plead for one last time that they’re not nearly the two-faced liars they’ve been made out to be. Also, the potential recruit who was paid $13,000 by a booster was actually below market value. Also, the woman on Freeze’s cellphone came on to him first. Cal covers 3½.

LSU at Mississippi State: Mississippi State has scored 106 points in two wins over Charleston Southern and Louisiana Tech. Welcome to the SEC vs. Doggy Rawhide School of scheduling.  LSU wins, but take Missy State and 7½.

Kentucky at South Carolina: The Gamecocks have a chance to go to 2-0 in the SEC. These celebrations in Columbia generally are reserved for September. Poultry covers 6½.

Georgia State at Penn State: GSU booked this game for the $1.2 million paycheck. But you won’t hear that amid the, “It will be a great experience for kids,” talking points. Talking points are easy when you’re eating chicken wings from a comfortable distance in a skybox. Look away, suits. Nittany Lions cover 37.

(Nittany) Lion swallows Sun Belt man

Higher Income

Vikings at Steelers: Sam Bradford completed 84.4 percent of his passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns last week. Unfortunately, he was going against New Orleans, and the Vikings play an NFL team this week. Steelers win, but take Minnesota 5.

Patriots at Saints: New England enjoyed having “28-3” on the scoreboard before their opener against the Chiefs. Wonder how long they kept “42-27” up there after the loss? Tom Brady probably is the last quarterback the Saints’ defense wants to face this week. Duck. Patriots cover 6½.

Line of recent Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterbacks

Browns at Ravens: DeShone Kizer is Cleveland’s 27th starting quarterback since 1999. The good news is, he looked pretty good last week, and he’s the first one to not seeing 7-feet tall pink bunnies going into his second game. Baltimore wins, but take Cleveland and 9.

Bills at Panthers: Sean McDermott seems to have it far more together in Buffalo than Rex Ryan did. Way to a kill a good joke, dude. Panthers win, but take Buffalo and 7.

Cowboys at Broncos: Dallas wanted Paxton Lynch (Denver) in the first round of the 2016 draft. They ended up with Dak Prescott in the fourth. Yeah, that worked out OK. Dallas covers 2½.

Sack Schultz Update

I went 13-2 in contest picks last week for a two-week score of 24-6. There are 12 contestants with 26 wins, including three AJC readers. I’m confident they will ultimately fall to the superior being. It’s not too late to enter for weekly prizes and the grand prize of a $2,500 vacation. Go to AJC.com/sackschultz2017.

Scorecard and Lilly’s pick

“I spent half my money on gambling, alcohol and wild women. The other half I wasted.” — W.C. Fields

Last week: 12-1 straight up, 8-5 against the line

Toteboard: 19-4 straight up, 14-8-1 against the line.

Lilly’s pick: Lilly rebounded from her Week 1 loss by picking the Georgia upset. This week, I cheese’d two pictures: a cheesehead (Green Bay) on the left and mac ‘n cheese (Atlanta) on the right. Lilly went right. Mac ‘n cheese/Falcons win.

Subscribe to the,We Never Played The Game” podcast with the AJC’s Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein on iTunes. Episodes also can be downloaded from on-demand link on WSBRadio.com.

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Reader Comments 0

133 comments
OH:IO
OH:IO

TN FL 6-2 at half 23 v 24 SEC! SEC! LEAST

OH:IO
OH:IO

dog is A hole seems to forget the dogs struggle vs. Nichols last year....at home. Yet makes fun of a Service Academy of America's best and brightest and toughest. Good on you. Go protest something. You might see Schultz. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

Can some dog check in with dog is A hole. He seems to loosing it. 

Grant1296
Grant1296

Loosing it...Dawgnole is gonna love that Techeye..

Grant1296
Grant1296

Have they run savior Barrett out of Columbus yet???

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Grant1296


JT did not arrive in Columbus a Savior unlike countless dogs. He was, if I recall, the 5th rated dual threat coming out of Texas. 

Grant1296
Grant1296

Answer the question Wallower..

Have they run his sorry a** out of Columbus yet???

Grant1296
Grant1296

Usually refrain from talking negatively about kids , but savior Barrett is 22 years old...

You've been all over Jacob Eason since he was a junior in high school...

OH:IO
OH:IO

UCLA/Memphis playing in dog's Liberty Bowl - home of the loss to CONF USA! CONF USA! 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

How's "da big 10" doing these days, lying hypocrite? Let's see, Mich struggled at home with Air Farce, Illinois got blown out by an AAC team, and Nebraska lost at home to powerhouse N Illinois.

But hey, that motherlode Indiana won't lose--their game was canceled--and maybe Penn St can squeak out a win over--ready for this now--Georgia St. What a conference!

Speaking of conferences, how has your team performed in bowl games vs the SEC, lying hypocrite? Go ahead and tell us, gutless. Don't just hide there trembling behind your keyboard.

OH:IO
OH:IO

SaMMMMMMMford on the alternate! 


woof woof

OH:IO
OH:IO

Funny, Army won a NC before the dogs ever did:


Ohio State and Army have never played each other, but they did “compete” for a national championship in 1944, when both teams finished 9-0. Army topped the final AP Poll with 95 of 121 first-place votes to claim the national title. (Here’s a curiosity: Finishing third was Randolph Air Force Base, one of several military bases to field football teams during World War II. Playing as the Randolph Field Ramblers, they were undefeated that year with nine NFL players on their roster.)

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

Living in the past again, lying hypocrite?

You remember how you used to take potshots at anyone on these blogs who mentioned past accomplishments (UGA) and/or failures (ohio st)? Don't you?

Sure you do. After all, it's who you are, lying hypocrite.

You made that bed; now waller in it, pig--and stop deflecting from the fact that you and your team are irrelevant.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@DawgNole @OH:IO


My team is in the Top 10. dogs are not. THE voters disagree with you. So do I, dog is A hole. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

You mean the voters who sent your team to the most undeserved playoff berth in history???

Where they responded by going belly up 0-31???

Those voters, who clearly have zero credibility--just like your irrelevant a*s???

Stop deflecting again, lying hypocrite, and tell the blog how you remember all those hypocrisies.

Waller in it, pig.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@DawgNole @OH:IO


You seem to have worked up quite a lather, tough guy dog is A hole. Relax. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

Wake up, dogs. It's SaMMMMMMMford Day! 

HotDawg
HotDawg

Damn. I couldn't make it to the picks. The multiple paragraph, equifax rants almost put me to sleep.

Jeff, take it to the Op-Ed page.

I went straight to comments.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Shame on South Florida scheduling these patsy Big 10 teams. Talk about easy wins.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

Hypocrite???

Coming from your lying, hypocritical brain, that's pretty sick. Just keep thanking your lucky stars that you can hide behind that keyboard; you wouldn't last a minute exposed on the street. Not. One. Minute.

See weakkkkkkkkkkk10, lying hypocrite.

Alyssa__
Alyssa__

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Grant1296
Grant1296

What happened to you Techeye?? You're really slipping...Ya got nothing... Very, Very disappointing, just like your Jackets...

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

AJC needs new IT people. And OHIO. That game was great last weekend. Loser.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@JeffreyEav

AJC needs IT people period.

A shame what this paper has become.

And yeah, that game was a goodie--albeit not quite down to the lowly standards they displayed against Clemson in history's most undeserved playoff berth.

OH:IO
OH:IO

I see the dogs rate the regional interest channel "alternate" channel. I guess SaMMMMMFord doe rate the main regional interest channel. 


Who does Bama have? Chattanooga? Charleston Southern? 


SEC! SEC! 

Grant1296
Grant1296

You Wallowing again Techeye???

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

Samford "doe" rate???

STILL waiting, lying hypocrite.

And how has your team performed against the SEC! SEC! in bowl games, lying hypocrite?

TideDawg
TideDawg

@OH:IO  Is that the best you have to offer. Man! You need to change channels.

HotDawg
HotDawg

You mean NBC, last week?

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

In reference to the grand opening of Mercedes Benz. Is it true Mister Blank will enter the venue through the open roof - on a bungee cord perhaps?  


If so, then I expect Dimitroff and McKay will be stationed on the logo at midfield with strict instructions to catch and contain the old man before recoil launches him back out the hole and lands him someplace on the AU campus.

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goxehof

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Big Wally
Big Wally

Let's see if Urban Crier runs up the score against Army.  Wouldn't shock me as the man has no class at all.

As Army doesn't pass the ball, at least that Ohio State secondary won't get burned this week.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Big Wally


it's the Army defense's job to stop the OSU offense. Duh.

Grant1296
Grant1296

Oklahoma didn't have much of a problem...

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

They're outmanned, lying hypocrite, which is exactly why your team of overrated blowhards and its no-class coach are playing them.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO @DawgNole

We're not talking about the Dawgs, lying hypocrite. Your team's playing yet another weak sister. Stop deflecting.

Big Wally
Big Wally

It's Friday, that means it is time for some Big 10 football.  Oh the excitement.  Big 10 representative Illinois is only a 17 pt. underdog to a AAC team.


Proud times for the Big 10.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO @Big Wally South Florida is in the American Athletic Conf.  (AAC) as opposed to the ACC.  Their conference is UConn, Temple, Cinn., Central Florida, etc. Which isn't a horrible conf. but not a Power 5, which is even more humiliating for Illinois.  For a Power 5 team like Illinois to be such a huge underdog to an AAC team is not a good reflection at all for the conference.  Illinois should never be that bad in any sport.  It's not like they have the population of Montana or Wyoming to recruit from.

Covfefe22
Covfefe22

@Big Wally The bettors are pounding USF in that matchup too; not even Vegas respects the lolBigTen.