First the Raiders win, and then a World Series game is rained out...grab the women and children, the apocalypse is coming!!
In other news, several teams in the NFL have been receiving copies of my predictions, and using them as bulletin board material. I know, I know, sounds silly...but seriously, how else can you explain that I went 7-6 last week? Oh, well, I guess you could go for the obvious "Josh, you're an idiot", and you probably wouldn't be far from the truth. But in my version of the story, 6 teams used my predictions as motivation. Jerks.
But seriously, let's take a quick look back, before we move forward...sort of a like a "On the last episode..." montages at the beginning of Sopranos.
3 teams won games that no one saw coming...the Chiefs, Texans and Raiders. I mean, if anyone out there picked the Raiders, you're either a diehard fan, a psychic, or completely wasted and thought you were ordering pizza.
The Bucs and Bengals defended the home field, proving once again, picking away teams is always risky, even if it's the Panthers and Eagles.
And finally, I didn't know that Hasselbeck was going to go down, and that the Vikes would come in and just destroy the Hawks...sometimes, you're just flat out wrong. Just for the record, it is still correct, no one likes the Vikings.
Onto this week...
San Francisco at Chicago
Ah, all is right with the world again, the Bears are back. Hopefully, Rex has cleaned out his pants, sobered up, and told the ASU coeds he can't see them until Monday. Cedric Benson is also supposed to play more this game, and start working into the offense more and more...which means in about 3 weeks he'll blow out something and be done for the season. The big question for the Bears, how will they play without Mike Brown? They have struggled without him in the past, but do have more depth at safety this year.
Wow, I can barely remember when the 49ers were the class of the NFL. It seems so long ago. There was a rumor that Jerry Rice once played for them...but I haven't had it fact checked yet. Montana, Rice, Craig, Rathman...man, those were good teams. Smith, Battle, Gore...doesn't strike the same fear...although it could be a bad Sci-Fi show. "Smith Battles Gore, an epic of an Englishman that defends his crumpets from onslaught of a world gone made from rancid peanuts. Sunday on the Sci-Fi channel."
Da Bears 35 49ers 7
Houston at Tennessee
See if people actually cared about these 2 teams, this could be a great rivalry game. Former Oilers vs the new kids on the block. Vince Young, owner of Texas, vs David Carr, punching bag. Travis Henry vs Ron Dayne.....man, I can't do Ron Dayne jokes with out laughing. Man, his NFL career has been fan-flippin'-tastic. 2000 yard man in college, career rushing record...after thought in the NFL.
Anyway, really what this game does, is give the Texans fans another chance to see what they could have had in the draft. Imagine Vince Young playing in Houston...I know Carr is playing well this year, but think about this...the Texans trade Carr to the Raiders for a 2nd round pick (totally pulling that out of the rear) and then pick Young 1st overall...the fan base would love it. The conquering hero staying home, and energizing the franchise...but alas...it's Mario's World....
VY shows Houston what it missed out on...the Texens fan become more depressed about Mario.
Jacksonville at Philadelphia
The Jags have to go into Philly, never an easy thing to do...but then I read this...
``There's no reason why we shouldn't be up here sitting 7-0,'' McNabb said.
Uh oh. In today's performance, Donovan McNabb will be played by Denny Green.
Yuck, I hate when I hear anyone say that about their team. Move past it, you can't change the games that have already played. You can however screw with the psyche of the team, and lose more games in the future. Although technically, you can't lose games in the future, only the game in the present...but I digress.
I've picked the Eagles the last 2 weeks, and they've lost close games both times. But they were on the road both times. I think the Home field, and the rudest fans in the league give the edge to them this time...despite McNabb's disgusting quote.
Tampa Bay at NY Giants
So Tampa has been another thorn in my side the last few weeks, but they've been at home, proving that home games give you a big edge. But they go on the road against a team that is starting to pick up steam...
"Remember to catch the next dancing with the stars, featuring Emmitt Smith!"
Damn, MNF is over, and the Giants are still being interrupted with plugs for...
"Joe do you think TO's shouting at Drew for a reason? Or is that just good competitive fire?"
Stop it! MNF is over, and so are the interruptions. The Giants get to focus on football this Sunday, and they'll beat the Bucs. And no Joe, you can't wear my hat.
Baltimore at New Orleans
Man, here's a karma problem...
So the New Orleans Saints have become the American Saints due to the whole Katrina thing, and have used it to get off to an amazing start. They are unbeaten at home...
But then you have the Ravens led by Steve McNair. His hometown was hit hard by Katrina, and he was one of the first Pro athletes to respond with aid for the victims. Even though he is a little woosy...does this give the Ravens enough of a Karma boost to take on the American Saints?
The Ravens D has been awesome. But when McNair got knocked out, we saw their offense for what it was...shaky. With the knee jerk reaction of firing the O-Coordinator, I say the Saints keep on marching at home.
Seattle at Kansas City
Wow...there's trouble in the Hawks Nest...
Well, it's time for the Seneca Wallace show to start airing regularly. And he runs right into the immovable object that is Damon Huard. Never has a QB matchup been this lame. Does Seneca bring the juice that Damon was able to add to the KC O, after Green went down? Or is this the beginning of the post-Super Bowl downward spiral that ends in Hasselbeck getting caught with an Eight ball and an underage Thai hooker?
While part of me thinks the Hawks rally to win this one...I'm going to ride the Huard magic a little longer. Chiefs win, and the Hawk Nest starts really squawking.
Arizona at Green Bay
Wow, so remember how last week it was GB vs Miami in the drunken monkey battle? This game pits a coach that is completely off his rocker, who will probably start screaming angrily at the pre-game conference, and drinking heavily afterward...against a QB that is completely in denial of his eroding skills.
As mush as it pains me to say it, I have always admired Favre. Even when he was just brutalizing the Bears, he was what I would want in a QB. Hard nosed, No fear, rise to the occasion, all the skills, leader...plus, he was in Something about Mary. And now, he's just in this downward spiral ala Marino in his last couple seasons...trying to do the things he once could, and not having the success he did. Elway and Montana grew old gracefully, realizing that they needed to win other ways...Favre is refusing to change his style...which you admire, but hate watching.
Favre rises up, and wins one for the home team...Green goes nuts, beats his new O-Coordinator to death, and screams about how "Favre is who we thought he was!" He's wheeled away by mental health authorities.
Atlanta at Cincinnati
Cincy is having a hard time...crap, I didn't mean to say "hard time" and scare half the Bengals...um, they are having a DIFICULT time this year. Seems all their games are close and they are not dominating in any facet of the game right now.
Meanwhile, Atlanta is succeeding with a simple high school offense...run, run, run, play action on a QB rollout. And Vick even proved me wrong, not hard I know, he threw more than 25 times, and the Falcons still won. He won't have to throw that many times...
Let me let you in on a little secret...the Bengals can't stop the run. Guess what Atlanta does better than anyone? If you said "run the football", you are right...if you said "strip clubs", you're also right but...we'll talk later.
Falcons run all over the Bengals. Chris Henry gets arrested stabbing a man with a spork...the Bengals promptly sign Koren Robinson to fill the void.
St. Louis at San Diego
The Rams have had a week off to think about their last minute loss to the Hawks.
The Chargers might need a week off to figure out how they crapped themselves in KC...but they don't get it...so we'll just chalk it up to "Marty Ball".
The Chargers seem to play awesome against terrible teams (Oak, Ten, SF), have 1 big win against Pitt...which is looking more and more like an anomaly...and then has lost to 2 good teams (Bal, KC).
Well I got news for the Chargers; the Rams are a good team. Even though this is a home game, it's in San Diego...I mean, come on, it's not like marching into the elements of Soldier Field or the noise of Qwest field...it's sunny and 75 everyday, and the people are laid back...because it's sunny and 75 everyday. You can't be hostile fans when your city is so perfect. That's why Philly fans are suck jerks...and I'll just stop there on that one...
The Rams walk in, and stick it to Marty Ball. Chargers scream, "Yeah, but you live in St Louis". Rams players have no comeback.
NY Jets at Cleveland
The Jets seem to beat the teams they should, and lose to the teams they should. Pretty straight forward.
Cleveland is lucky they played the Raiders...or else they would be the punch-line of all the jokes. This is not a very good team right now...plus they are boring.
Is it just me, or do the Browns never have a true superstar on their roster? I mean since Jim Brown, there's been no one. They've had good players and good teams...but they haven't had that transcendent superstar that everyone identifies with the city. I mean I think back, and the only player that comes close is Bernie Kosar...and that's sad. I mean, hold onto your hats I'm going to reference Tecmo Super Bowl again, in Tecmo they were one of the truly boring teams to play with...Kosar at QB, and Byner and Mack at RB...woohoo. The fans are so great, what did they do to deserve such a boring team?
The Jets take another boring game from the Browns. The Dawg Pound starts thinking about the Brady Quinn era.
Indianapolis at Denver
This is a game that will be fun to watch. Let me breakdown the things to pay attention too for those that will get to see this one...
Look for the Peyton face, as he tries to figure out what to do against the Denver D that doesn't blitz very often and is dropping lots of people into coverage.
Watch Plummer as he tries to perform under the pressure of having to keep up with the Colts offense, plus the fact that if they lose Cutler gets his job...and he'll have to return to working in ‘70's Porn.
Can the RB duo on Indy take a little pressure off of Manning against the Denver D...or will the Broncos be able to pin their ears back, and really make the Peyton face shine?
Watch Tatum Bell, as he looks good for the first 15 carries...and then disappears.
I like the Colts in this one. For the simple fact that I think they can score on the Broncos, and I don't think the Broncos could score on Anna Nicole Smith. Cutler is the QB next week; Plummer retires to a life of porn and speed.
Pittsburgh at Oakland
Well, well, well...the Steelers get a big win against the Chiefs...only to get a heart breaking loss to the Falcons...and just when things are starting to look dark in the Steel City...along come the Raiders! Ah, the Raiders, the cure for the common losing streak.
The Steelers are starting to show signs of life though, but is it too late? They are 2-4, and after this week play Denver and the American Saints. A possible 3-6 is an ugly place to be.
Meanwhile, I've beaten on the Raiders enough. I feel bad for Raiders fans, I do. It's not their fault that Al Davis should retire and that he's lost touch with reality. Or that Art Shell seems to be in deep meditation at all times, without ever coming to a conclusion. Or that they have 3 QBs on their roster that would be hard pressed to make it in the CFL. Hey, maybe last weeks win is the start of something exciting...
Nah, Steelers win...and Art Shell sort of winces a little in acknowledgement.
Dallas at Carolina
Man, the Tony Romo era has started!! And thank god, we don't have to listen to Joe T and gang tell lame ribs jokes.
A moment of silence for Drew Bledsoe's career. (Yes, I know, it think this moment of silence is about 3 years too late as well) We'll remember Drew for always throwing the back breaking pick, for his amazing mobility, for his gracefulness in defeat and benching...and for the fact that he was the last sane 1st round QB to come out of Washington St. (Had to work in a rip on Ryan Leaf somewhere).
But what of these Cowboys? Well, they don't seem to be able to block. They couldn't run against the Giants. And the D didn't look to hot either. And now they have a 1st time QB. See ya Tuna!
The Panthers win this one easy. Steve Smith lights up the ‘Boys D, and talk just a wee bit of smack at TO, who screams at Romo for not throwing the ball to him, and letting Smith show him up. Romo gives in and throw 10 straight passes at him...results 5 drops, 3 picks, and 2 catches for 8 yards.
New England at Minnesota
Well the Vikings really stuck it to me last week. The whole, "they can't handle the crowd, Hawks will stomp them"...yeah, that wasn't such a good assessment. But, I really don't think the Vikings are all that good...I know, that's the kiss of death statement. But seriously, I just don't see it.
Brad Johnson is a winner, I like him, just always wins. But Chester Taylor? And not a single WR scares me. And their D has got some bright spots, but just doesn't seem to be a unit yet. Plus, to top it all of, their uniforms are just ugly...like Oregon Duck ugly. And yes, you're now thinking, "So you've pissed off the state of Minnesota and Oregon, what next?" Haven't decided yet, I'll let you know later.
The Pats are just doing what they do every season, win games and get better as the season goes on. If the Madden-Michaels team was doing this game, I would put money on the fact that Madden would be crowning Brady as his wet dream, also known as the Brett Favre award. But instead we have to listen to Joe T, Tony and Mike...the mute button isn't powerful enough for these guys.
Let me explain that. I often get really sick of listening to broadcasters, and so I disgustedly hit mute...but then the evil close captioning kicks in...and the only thing worse then listening to an idiot? Reading that idiot. Save the "I feel the same way right now"...I think you know what I mean. And yes, I can turn off close captioning, or turn the volume al the way down...but those require work, and that's not something I want to do when watching a game.
Sorry, back to the game...
Pats win, Minnesota realizes they are doomed to another year with no championships, and start drinking heavily.
And that's how I see it. I think 3 of these are locks, 6 of them are sure things, and 15 of them are total toss ups. If I were you, I wouldn't put money on anything based on my picks.
For a different take, here are Shaun's picks: