Okay, I think I'm mostly over the trauma I experienced last week. I've taken some deep breaths, sat and contemplated life and what it all means, drank some beer, ate more cheese whiz than any human should, killed a man for mentioning a marine mammal, and finally wrote an very angry letter to John Tesh to tell him his music sucks. And now I feel better.
Been pretty busy this week, so I don't have many thoughts before I get to the picks...but I thought you all might get a kick out of the following...
My daughter is 1 ½, and learning to talk very quickly. One of her favorite things is to put on shoes and socks. She is having problems saying the "s" so in socks, she drops the last "s" and replaces the first one with a "c"...you can tell this leads to many chuckles from her father when she says it. She is also a big fan of saying all animal names...a new one she learned is fox....well she sort of knows it....replace the "ox" with "uck" and that's how my daughter says fox. If you don't find the humor in all of that, I'll leave you with...she loves the Dr. Suess book, "Fox in Socks"...and real life is way better than anything you could imagine.
Onto the picks...
NY Jets at New England
The Pats really pissed me off last week. Part of the reason I picked them is that their running game has been churning out big yards...Maroney has looked like the best rookie back in the league, and now that he's splitting time Dillon looks like his old self...and Indy can't stop the run. So why didn't the Pats just line it up and pound the ball down their throat?
Instead, Belichick looked like a panicked Madden player. You know when you're playing a friend, and the game looks like it's going to be a shootout, so you start making really dumb decisions cause you feel like you have to score on every play and what ends up happening is that you look really stupid. I hate those games. I've been on both ends of those. The frantic, gotta score on every drive or I'm screwed mentality never works. Instead, in those same situations, if you play your game, and wait for the other guy to panic or screw up...you usually end up taking the game.
There are only 2 reasons for this behavior by the Pats...Belichick has gone off his rocker....or he's such a genius, that he's just setting up Dungy for the playoffs. We'll see...
The Jets have been playing very well this season, but as Mangini proved against the Browns, he can be out coached by his mentors. Pats win this one easily.
Washington at Philadelphia
This game is the one game this week that could go any which way. I won't be surprised by whatever the outcome of this game is. It features 2 teams that seem to be really good at playing well enough to win at times, and then others just rearing their heads back and pulling a Frerotte.
I went against my better instinct and picked the Eagles last week, even after McNabb's stupid comments....and they went out and laid down for the Jags. Meanwhile the Redskins are coming off a huge win over the Cowboys, where all looked lost, and they some how survived.
Much to the chagrin of Philly fans, I think the Oldskins take this one. Philly just seems to be down on themselves...something about the comments made last week and then their terrible performance on the field...but the important question here is, "Andy Reid, fatest coach in the NFL?"
Cleveland at Atlanta
Old Municipal Stadium was known as the "Mistake by the Lake"...I'm naming this latest Browns team "Bore by the Shore". Yes, I know, it's witty and clever...but you know in your heart of hearts it's true.
This is a simple game to break down...
Browns run defense is not very good...although it has shown some signs of life...
And the Falcons are the best rushing team in football...
Hmm...as long as Vick and the Falcons stick to what they do best...run, run, run, play action pass...they'll win this one easily. Hey, with Vick involved, it will even be an exciting game. Been awhile since you could say that about a Browns game.
Kansas City at Miami
Have I ever mentioned that I hate the Dolphins? I always have...even before these bastards had the nerve to play hard against the Bears. Don't they understand a 1-6 team is supposed to roll over against a 7-0 team? I mean what the hell is their problem?
But seriously, I have never liked these guys. They wear these metrosexual uniforms, and they've always had a player or coach that I just hated...when it wasn't Dan Marino, Wanny came in to pick up the slack, and I've never liked Culpepper. Plus, they beat my '85 Bears...and I'll never forgive them of that either. Just don't like them.
Okay, I'm over that, I really am...
The Chiefs come in with a big head of steam. LJ is looking like a #1 fantasy pick, and my boy Damon is playing out of his mind. Even the D, usually their weakness, is looking better...not great mind you, but better.
A little LJ goes a long way, and LJ will do plenty of damage to the Dolphins, and put this sad team in it's place.
Green Bay at Minnesota
Ah, the NFC North. Man, what a great division. When the 2nd and 3rd best teams are the Packers and the Vikes, and they are both playing below average football...it's good to be the Bears. And I freely admit that the North is horrible, and it's going to make things easy on the Bears...but look around, there aren't many divisions that are any good. The NFC East and the AFC West are the only 2 divisions where more than 2 teams that are truly competitive. So all this easy division talk can just go out the window...this season in the NFL is a few haves, and a lot of have-nots.
Back to this game...
Has there been a game with more pathetic WRs this season? All the Vikes WRs drop everything thrown their way...and really don't have that much talent to begin with...and then the Pack has just about everyone hurt. So this game is not going to feature a lot of great passing...or at least catching.
On the flip side, the combined age of the QBs is over 70! That's a lot of experience there. This is not going to be a pretty game in any respect.
I'm going to go with the Vikes in this one, for 2 reasons....they're at home...and they have the stronger running game. Favre throws at least 1 ugly INT trying to get another easy TD pass.
San Francisco at Detroit
I have this image of Matt Millen...not that kind of image you sicko...sitting in his office after the stunning win over the Falcons...just beaming from ear to ear. Looking in the mirror, patting himself on the back, and continually mumbling to himself, "I knew I would turn this franchise around..." And then Mr. Ford knocking on the door, and Millen scurrying under the desk, and saying in a falsetto voice, "Matt isn't here."
I have no clue why I have the image...but it makes me smile none the less...and that's all that matters. If you can't laugh as this messed up world we live in...I feel sorry for you.
Meanwhile the Santa Clara 49ers are coming off their own "big" win. I say "big" cause it was a 9-3 sleeper. And they also got back their 1st pick, big Vernon Davis...so things are looking up for the Niners.
All I have to say about this game, I think Matt Millen is going to be smiling an even bigger smile, cause the Lions will be riding a 2 game winning streak. He's still getting canned after this year.
Buffalo at Indianapolis
Here's a simple equation...
Bills + Dick Jauron - Willis McGahee +JP Losman + Colts = ?
You give up on the answer? Bills Loss.
Sorry, the Colts aren't going to lose this week...but that's what I said about the Bears last week. And yes, if you think I'm trying to jinx them...that's exactly what I'm doing.
Baltimore at Tennessee
So if all had been right in the Titans universe, McNair would be starting for them right now, and VY would be learning from him on the sidelines. Instead, they are facing off this week. The bright side of that, at least this game isn't Billy Volek against Kyle Boller...ahhhhhh.
I really like the future for the Titans with VY...I stress the future part of that statement.
The Ravens will roll in this one, just too much D...and besides VY and T-Henry, the Titans don't have anything.
Houston at Jacksonville
Remember when David Carr was the top rated passer in the league? Hahahahhaa, that seems like years ago now. Man, all I know, is that with each day, the Sage Rosenfals era draws closer and closer in Houston.
Meanwhile, we have the case of the mysteriously sprained ankle in Jags-town. Garrard is starting again, and Leftwich isn't all that happy. I mean this is a guy that played with a broken leg in college...he had to be carried down the field to the huddle between plays...and he can't play because of a sprained ankle? Um...yeah, Mr. Del Rio, why don't you just pee on his shoes while you're at it.
That being said, I'm already on record as saying that Garrard gives the Jags a better chance to win. And I think we're seeing the final days of Leftwich in Jacksonville.
Houston puts up a little bit of a fight, until Carr is hit for his 8096 sack in the last 3 seasons, and falls over dead. The Sage era starts...and let's just say it's more of a whimper than a bang. Jags win.
San Diego at Cincinnati
Once again, Cincy is in a game against a team that is set to exploit their weaknesses...they can't stop the run, and they can't pass block. Enter the Chargers...LT best RB in the game...and the Chargers D that likes to get after the QB. Now, Merriman is out, and Philips is too...but the Chargers have a lot of depth at LB, and they'll still be able to get after Punching bag Palmer.
Where is the Cincy season headed? Besides to Jail (sorry, that was an easy one). I can easily see them losing 5 of their last 8 games this season with the way they are playing right now. For the mathematically challenged, that would be a 7-9 season. Not what they were looking for in Cincy. But remember, it is the Bungles. The same team that draft Dave Klingler.
Now, a reminder before we move onto my pick for this game...I reserve the right to not count any game that involves Marty Ball. Because what Marty Ball garuntees is that if you have the more talented team, you'll still lose any close game. So if Cincy can keep it close, they'll win.
But they won't. Chargers win...and people begin to forget about Marty Ball...but don't forget about it, cause it's always lurking there in the shadows...
Denver at Oakland
After finally getting to see Oakland play a game, all I have to say is...wow. I know I already posted this in a comment, but it just is a perfect description of the Raiders...
When did Randy Moss forget how to catch a ball? Did him and TO take a Pass-Dropping 101 workshop over the summer? These are "best WRs in the league"...and they can't catch a ball?
Given the fact that the Raiders can't block...why are all their pass patterns 20 yards deep? And why do they never move Walters from the pocket? And when the right side of their line was just caving in Bryce Fisher, why didn't they jsut run to the right about 20 more times, and then throw play action off of it? Some one needs to take the controller away from Art Shell and Tom Walsh, cause I could coach this team better than they could...and that's a bad thing.
Denver beats the Raiders with a score similar to the Hawks game...not really a blow out, but the Raiders will never be in the game...but not to worry, Art Shell will sleep through it as well.
Dallas at Arizona
After a heart breaking loss to the Skins last week, is it possible that the Boys suffer the same fate as the Cards did after the Bears game?
Nah, this Cards team is dead in the water. Dallas wins, never really looks good, but the Cards crap their pants a few times just to remind the Boys who the real losers are. Oh yeah, and TO continues to talk about how the Boys need to get him the ball more, even though he drops almost everything thrown his way.
St. Louis at Seattle
Well this is a rematch of one of the most fun games of the season. What a fantastic game that was...
But there are some questions for Seattle to answer...will Shaun and Matt play? And can the D stop anyone?
Meanwhile, the Rams have their own issues...mainly stopping opposing offenses. The Chiefs lit them up pretty good last week, and the Chiefs D held them down pretty well...and the Hawks D scored at will against the Chiefs D....
What I'm getting at, is that I think we'll see another shoot out, weather permitting, and it will be another fun finish.
But I gotta give the nod to the Hawks in this one, the Fans will do a lot of good, and the weather will help as well...get these soft dome teams playing out in the wet and the cold...and they crumble like dried dog poop.
New Orleans at Pittsburgh
I'm not going to spend too much time on the Steelers woes...seems a lot of people have already debated them. I will say, they aren't playing very good right now...
And the American Saints are.
Basically, I'm not picking against the Saints anymore, cause anytime I'm convince they are going to lose, they screw me...so screw it, I'm going with the Saints.
Chicago at NY Giants
Ah, here it is...the game of the week. So many questions, so many answers to discover...
Are the Bears overrated? Are the injuries hurting their D? Will Rex continue to melt down at every step of the way? Can the running game get going? Will Urlacher play? Will the Giants D be healthy enough to mount a real pass rush? Will Plax play? Will his comments about the Bears "beatable" CBs come back to haunt him?
I don't have all the answers you seek...I'm looking for them as well. But I'll give you my take on what's going to happen in this one...
Grossman's main problem is that he gets flustered when there is a consistent pass rush. Hit him a few times, and he starts pressing...plus, he's not real good about ball security...which only feeds his jitters. But give him time, and he'll hurt you.
But the Giants have some serious injury issues in this area. Both of their starting DEs are injured and out, and Lavar Arrington is out for the season...their best blitzing LB. So where is the pass rush going to come from?
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball...Plax is calling out the Bears DBs...and might not even play. And Toomer is already out. So he's riling up the DBs...and they might be playing against the 2nd string? Seems like a bad idea. Shockey will draw double coverage, and they can load up against the run.
Plus, add in the fact that the Bears have had to listen all week about how they are overrated, and how they lost to Miami...plus Plax is talking smack about the D...
The Bears win this one. They jump out to an early lead, and don't look back. If Plax does make it onto the field, he will quickly be carted off after Urlacher sticks up for his teammates and knocks the dreads off Plax's head.
Tampa Bay at Carolina
Wow, this is the Monday night game? Boring.
At the beginning of the season this looked to be a crucial division battle...but now it's one team struggling to stay in the playoff race, and another that is all but out of it.
Does anyone know what happened to the Panthers cheerleaders that were making out in the bathroom, and then got in a fight? That story was all the rage, and inspired many a male fantasy...and now nothing. Damn it, we live in America, a story about 2 Cheerleaders making out should not die in a mere year. Man, have we slipped as a country.
So does Gruden realize he's got a Cadillac, and that he can stop driving the Gradkowski so often? I mean seriously, he's got one of the best young backs in the NFL...and he's got a rookie 6th round QB trying to supply all the O...um, Jon, that's not the best strategy. Don't make me take the controller from you.
The Panthers on the other hand are finding that a Defense needs more then 2 people playing well to really make things work. Besides Peppers and Jenkins, theylre D is not playing like one of the best units in football. Not good, when your winning philosophy revolves around said D being a top flight unit.
Carolina gets a much needed division win. Steve Smith starts baiting opposing CBs to talk smack to him, so that he can be more motivated before games.
And that's all she wrote. If the Bears happen to lose again, you'll hear me scream something along the lines of "Foxing Socks suckers"
Remember, I'm a moron, so don't take all these pick too literally...they are merely an approximation of what might happen, with a margin of error of +/- 10.
For a different take, here are Shaun's Week 10 Picks.