In a repeat of last year, it has taken me until Week 8 to commit to this blogging thing. Work... family... sleep... more work. There's always something else that demands immediate attention. I had decided to forego the FanNation experience this year, and made a deliberate effort to avoid it. But just as with the devil cigarettes, I picked it back up in a moment of boredom and can't put it down again. Not yet anyway. Because just as with the devil cigarettes... I enjoy it too much to quit. In my opinion, we should all be allowed one or two things that we enjoy doing, just for ourselves, without having to be bothered with how our time, money, and health could be better spent.
So... I'm back to publicly share my skewed perspectives on the weekly NFL schedule. I'm no expert and my methodology usually makes sense only to me. The only thing that I'm exceptionally qualified to do is express my opinions, and demonstrate the twisted logic I use to form them. Since that's the point of a blog, as I understand it, I think that I've returned with the right intentions. Feedback is always welcome and highly encouraged, so leave comments if the mood strikes you.
For those of you who are new to my Pix format, I'll try to explain. Sometime before the first game of the week is played, I will post my Weekly Pix in normal text. I try to pick the winners straight up, ala the weekly football pool. I don't have the time or patience to handicap this mess. After the games are played, I will update the results in italics text... and offer criticism, comments, etc. From your perspective, it will be like observing a schizophrenic conversation. If you're into that kind of thing, enjoy the show!
Normal Text - Pre-game Pix : Italics Text - Post-game Recap (just a formatting reminder, folks. Don't get excited.)
Week 8 Pix: (9-5) (After the games, I lead off my recap with my tally for the week)
Buccaneers at Cowboys : THIS is my official first pick of the year? I'm starting to remember why I gave this up. The Bucs still remind me of my neighbor's dog. If you go in the yard uninvited, that dog will rip you to pieces. If you find the dog outside its own yard, it immediately rolls over and pees on itself. I've never understood that particular Bucs dynamic, but I've seen it too many times to dismiss it. The Cowboys are feeling some serious mid-season pain. Romo could play... might play... won't play. Whatever. They laid a big ugly egg at St. Louis last week and transformed from the fearsome Dallas Cowboys to the "Any Given Sunday" Posterboys. They're flirting with .500 at mid-season. That's unacceptable in Jonestown. Y'all can put away the Kool-Aid for at least one more week. Anyone remember who the QB was, when the Bucs won their Superbowl? That's right... Brad Johnson, the Cowboys interim QB. Familiarity breeds contempt. Cowboys win.
(An aside - My cocky 16-yr-old stepson is a rabid Cowboys fan. He's originally from that area, so I can't hold it against him. Anyway, I have been having THE BEST time at his expense the past two weeks! Me: "Dude... in the past two weeks you lost to the CARDINALS, then got owned by the RAMS!" Him: "Shut up! You played the Bengals... oooh... like they're so tough!" Me: "Yeah, but the Steelers BEAT the Bengals. We didn't get owned by them.")
I love football!
Final Score : Cowboys 13 - Buccaneers 9 : I actually forgot to check what time MY game was on this week, and ended up sitting through this game with my stepson at the base Club. On the up side, I nailed my "First Official Pick of the Year." Despite the Cowboys best efforts to give this game away, the Bucs just kept rolling over and wetting on themselves. Like I said, I don't pretend to understand it but I refuse to dismiss it. I guess the Kool-Aid stays in the fridge for one more week, in Jonestown. On the down side, I'll have to spend the week listening to the aforementioned stepson talking smack about how his Cowboys won, and... well.. I'll get the rest later. That's okay, Skippy. There's plenty of yardwork for you to do, when I get tired of hearing it. (Pix: 1-0)
Redskins at Lions : This is more like it. I can't think of a single thing to say to explain this pick. I shouldn't have to. If you can look at this game and not know without reservation who will win, you should probably stick to soccer... or field hockey... or the Eukanuba Dog Show. NFL football cannot possibly your sport of choice. Ironically, I got so frustrated trying to pick Lions games last year that I made a blanket prediction for all remaining Lions games in Week 11... and didn't deviate from it. The blanket prediction went 6-0. If I could do that with the other 31 teams, I would be a legend. Another blanket prediction might hold up again this year. Lions lose. I'm not quite ready to commit to that yet, but I like it this week. Redskins win.
Final Score : Redskins 25 - Lions 17 : It was closer than I would have liked, but I can live with the end result. I'd like to feel a little more confident in the Skins... but I'm just not quite there yet. It really is a week to week thing with them. I wonder if their fans, deep down, feel the same way. We all know how the Lions fans feel. Well... younger Patriots fans might not... but since most of them are also Red Sox, Celtics, and/or Bruins fans, I'm betting they're familiar. I'm a lifelong Pirates fan. I understand it completely. (Pix: 2-0)
Bills at Dolphins : The Bills got Trent Edwards back and are a force to be reckoned with again, after handily dispatching the Chargers. Find me one Bills fan that even considered the idea that Trent could be THE GUY when he was drafted. Heck, I'd settle for a Bills fan that even committed the guy's name to memory when he was drafted. Just goes to show you that talent extends far beyond the annual Heisman race. The Dolphins are less painful to watch than they were last year. That Patriots game was unreal. They've added some wrinkles and employed some new tricks. The problem is... the Bills have seen the tapes of the Ravens blowing those Wildcat plays apart. High school formations might surprise for a week or two... but these NFL guys are pros. Surprise has a brief shelf life at this level. That's about all the Dolphins had going for them. Bills win.
Final Score: Bills 16 - Dolphins 25 : I ignored one of the ironclad Pix rules, and will pay the price. There are only a few such rules. One of them is: Records are irrelevant when picking games between AFC East rivals. Home team gets a 7-point advantage. Visiting team gets a 7-point penalty. It's not a perfect system, but it's pretty reliable. The Patriots have been the notable exception the past few years... but that has only been the past few years... and the Dolphins already got THEM this year. It's a simple, vital adjustment that must be considered before naming the winner of any AFC East matchup. I got Bills lust and completely disregarded it. Thanks for the humble pie, Dolphins. (Pix: 2-1)
Rams at Patriots : The Rams humbled the mighty Cowboys last week, and a fair number of arrogant NFL analysts. HA! That was good stuff. Could Jim Haslett have changed Rams culture that fast? Sure looks that way, doesn't it? The reality is: the talent was there the whole time. There was no reason for the Rams to be as bad as their record. Whatever was going on in that locker room, it seems resolved... or at least in some state of quasi-recovery. The Patriots have done remarkable things this decade. They lose key starters and seemingly suit up random homeless drifters to fill the roster spots... then go win Super Bowls. This year has been different. They are still a talented and determined team. Matt Cassel has been adequate. But replacing Tom Brady and Rodney Harrison in the locker room... you can't just spot-fill those positions. Yes, they obliterated the Broncos last Sunday. But that doesn't negate losing to the Dolphins and the Chargers. I'm becoming convinced that they will spend this year flirting with .500 and miss the playoffs. Every team that enjoys prolonged success comes to this point eventually. At 4-2, they're due for an equalizer performance. The logical part of my brain is screaming PATRIOTS, YOU IDIOT! NO WAY do they lose to the Rams at home! But I've got a strong subliminal vibe about this game. Over the years I've learned to trust this feeling implicitly. It's not always right, but it's right too often to ignore. Rams win.
Final Score: Rams 16 - Patriots 23 : Sometimes it's hard to discern that subliminal vibe from the voice that whispers "jump!" when you look over the edge of a cliff. Sometimes they collaborate, I think, just to keep me from getting too full of myself. The logical pick in this game was the logical pick for a reason. Because they were more likely to win the game. But hey... I bet you Patriots fans were sweating for most of that game! Didn't expect that against the Rams, did you? I know... I still blew the pick. Moving on... (Pix: 2-2)
Chargers at Saints : Talk about jet lag... the Chargers have to fly to London for a Saints home game. I've crossed the pond a few times, and it always sucks. Not the being new places part... that's always awesome. But the jet lag... it's no joke. It takes a couple days to get back to feeling normal. It especially sucks when you have to step off the plane and immediately go to work. You don't want to work. You want to go explore the new place... find the clubs... see the people... take a nap. Anything but go straight to work. In that regard, I know how these guys feel this week. "Aw, hell... curfew? Practice? I know we have a game to play... but dude... how many chances will we get to hang out in England?" Remember folks, there are a lot more guys being paid league-minimum than there are millionaires. And the poor Saints fans are denied a home game. What a gyp! If I'm a Saints season ticket holder, I'm calling their front office daily asking where to pick up my airline tickets. Anyway... about the game: both teams are coming off an ugly loss. Both teams are at 3-4 and trying to get back to .500. Both teams are underachieving spectacularly. I'm tempted to go with a tie here. It's a good thing this game is being held in London, because I suspect a field goal battle royale. At least the Brits will appreciate all the kicking. The Chargers kicker is 7 of 12 this year. I wonder if the Chargers are courting anyone from Manchester United... you know... since they're in the neighborhood. I think I trust the shiny new Saints kicker a bit more. Saints win.
Final Score: Saints 37 - Chargers 32 : Field goal battle royale, huh? Good thing I'm not being graded for accuracy on these. There was, however, plenty of kicking to keep the Brits engaged in the game. Overall, a much better presentation of NFL football than last year's attempt. One thing I failed to consider in my Pix analysis... F-U factor. This game had BIG F-U factor. Brew Brees was the Chargers QB a few years ago. He took them to the playoffs, then became an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. The Chargers made no effort to keep him, opting to give his job to Phillip Rivers. Brees got snatched up the Saints, where he seems to have been welcomed with open arms by the organization, fans, and community. Good for Drew. He deserves a team that appreciates him. This was the first meeting between the Saints and Chargers since that all went down. This game was oozing F-U factor for both Brees and Rivers. I should have anticipated a shootout, regardless of the venue. I still would have favored the Saints, but it might have made for a more interesting analysis. (And if I have to explain what F-U factor means... you're probably better off not knowing.) (Pix: 3-2)
Chiefs at Jets : Larry Johnson doesn't need bodyguards. Whatever clowns had that job would already be looking for work, in my world. He needs one offensive lineman with a shock collar and a 5-foot leash. Every time he fixates on a woman and wanders to the end of the leash, the lineman jerks him off his feet and zaps him, all the while screaming NO! BAD! It's like deprogramming a cult member. Sometimes you have to start over from scratch and completely retrain a person. It's for their own good. Seriously... how long is this debacle in KC going to continue? Look, I know Herm Edwards is a good and decent guy... but this team is a disaster... AGAIN! Patriots fans... you think your season took a hit when you lost your quarterback? The Chiefs have lost two for the season... and didn't have one to start with. Tyler Thigpen (QB#3) starts this weekend ahead of Ingle Martin (who? - QB#4). Former Jaguar Quinn Gray (QB#5) was just signed. Anyone see a QB among that list? Are the Chiefs reluctant to sign someone with credentials? Or are experienced QBs screening their caller IDs? I have to wonder.
Phone rings. Unemployed QB: "The Chiefs? Oh, HELL no! If I wanted to risk my life for a small paycheck, I'd join the military."
And it's not like poor Tyler has anyone to hand off to now. I understand sending a message to your team, but a little humanity is in order. Given the condition of the Chiefs offense... and 31st ranked defense... I have a proposal. On the first play of every offensive possession... punt. Play only defense and special teams this week. Use the WRs as DBs, use the RBs as LBs, and the O-line as D-line. Plenty of rotating and everyone stays fresh. Could they really do any worse? If you manage to intercept, recover a fumble, or a return a punt within range... immediately kick a field goal. Otherwise, hope the defense can score. Give the QBs the day off... or let them hold for field goals if it makes them feel useful. Whatever. Just don't field an offense this week. No good can come of it, and some poor QB will probably get hurt. Remember the beating the Jets put on the Cardinals? This could be even worse. Jets win.
Final Score: Jets 28 - Chiefs 24 : Another one that was a bit too close for comfort. Despite all logical arguments against it, the Chiefs fielded an offense. More surprisingly, the offense was reasaonably efficient and Tyler Thigpen survived the game. The defense still failed to hold up its end of the deal though, despite picking off Favre 3 times. So... does this mean that I'll take my Chiefs pick more seriously next week? Well... they do host the Bucs. And you know how I feel about them when they're on the road. Guess you'll have to come back later in the week to find out. As for the Jets... they're still week to week. Here's my non-football thing with them: I'm getting sick of hearing about Favre. When I finally had my fill of the Patriots lovefest last year, I stopped referring to them by name. They became "The Team Who Shall Remain Nameless" in my blog. This I promise, whatever the national press is falling all overthemselves to talk about will be conspicuously absent here. I will, in fact, go to extreme lengths not to mention it. Brett Favre is edging into that area with me. (Pix: 4-2)
Falcons at Eagles : Intriguing. The Falcons endured one of most discouraging seasons in recent memory last year. The superstar hope of the franchise... gone without warning. The new college coach makes a mess of the team, and then slinks off in the night before the season is over. Who would have guessed that a rookie QB and a rookie head coach would have this team 4-2 after 6 games? It's a good story... worthy of Disney. And from what I've seen, they're no joke. I watched some of their season opener against the Lions. Michael Turner was a BEAST! Very impressive. The Eagles have been alternately explosive and implosive. Either they blow up their opponents, or themselves. Either way, it's a mess. Logic dictates that the dome team travels to Philly and takes a beating. These Falcons, though... it's hard to count them out. In the end, I think the Eagles defensive schemes will be too much for the rookie QB... this time around. Eagles win.
Final Score: Eagles 27 - Falcons 14 : Another game that was better than the names of the teams involved. We have more and more of those each week. The "good" teams aren't as good as they seem, and the "bad" teams aren't as bad as they seem. I love it. I'm all for a certain competitive parity in the NFL. You "awful" teams are still awful, though. You know who you are. I talked with a Falcons fan at the Club today. You know what I saw? Someone genuinely excited about his team. Maybe they don't win every game, but the looming dark cloud from last year has passed. That's good for everyone. The Eagles blew up in the right direction this week, giving worse than they got. At 4-3 they're dead last in the NFC East. That's just madness. (Pix: 5-2)
Giants at Steelers : Now this is football. Forget the Wildcat formations, West Coast offense, and anything remotely pretty about NFL football. This will be 60 minutes of battering and bludgeoning. The Giants don't seem like much of a threat on the surface... but they keep winning. The only exception was that **** game against the Browns. I suppose you're expecting the linear logic next, right? Steelers beat Browns... Browns beat Giants... so Steelers beat Giants. Maybe they do, but I don't subscribe that way of thinking. Eli had a bad game. It happens. I no more expect a repeat of that performance than I would expect a Lions-Bengals Superbowl this year. The Steelers will come after him... hard. We all know that. They will hit him, but he's not the easiest guy to bring down. Like his counterpart, Big Ben, Eli can shake loose and turn a busted play into a backbreaker. And the Giants will pound the ball into the D-line as long as they can afford to do it. The Steelers have the much celebrated "toughest schedule in NFL history" this year. Whatever. That's based on last year's records. What is relevant about their schedule is the Eagles, Ravens, and Jaguars in consecutive weeks. That was seriously brutal and their injury report proves it. But as the Patriots have done so often in this decade, the Steelers have managed to fill the gaps and continue without missing a step. This will be the first serious test of the suspect O-line since Jacksonville. Will it hold, or will Big Ben spend more time on his back than the corner working girl? Will the wounded secondary be able to keep the Giants receivers locked down? Will Polamalu be able to play havoc at the line, or will he have to hang back in coverage? So many questions... only one answer. The Steelers batter out home wins during the regular season... against anyone not named the Jaguars. Steelers win.
Final Score: Steelers 14 - Giants 21 : Quick, what's your long-snapper's name? Now, who is his backup? What happens if your punter pulls a hamstring in the middle of a game? Not the kinds of question you ask before a big game, right? I'll bet Mike Tomlin has an answer for all of those questions, every day, for the rest of his NFL coaching career. He's that kind of guy. Big Ben got flattened when it counted most. The defense did spectacular work, until the secondary took more damage. To borrow from former Vikings/Cardinals coach Dennis Green: The Giants were, "who we thought the were." They were tough. They were physical. They were resilient. The Steelers gave them an opportunity, and they took it. Good on them. And now I have to listen to Skippy's BS for a week. That reminds me, I need to track down my weed puller. His Cowboys are the Giants next victim. Turnabout is fair play. (Pix: 5-3)
Seahawks at 49ers : In stark contrast to the previous matchup... we have this. Two teams struggling in futility to run the West Coast offense, while lacking the skill players necessary to do so effectively. Porous and uninspired defenses. If this was my only option for TV viewing, I'd be rifling through DVDs before the pregame show... or playing internet poker. A Golden Girls rerun would be more riveting. If there's any watchability here, it would be to see what effect the Awesome Mike Singletary has on the 49ers. Look at what Jim Haslett did with the Rams in a week. Something exciting could come out of this game, after all. But you still couldn't afford my price to sit through it. There's nothing new about the Seahawks this week. New head coaches have been getting remarkable results overnight. I don't think Mr. Singletary gives his team a pregame pep talk. I think he just gives them THE STARE and instills in them the fear of disappointing him by losing. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you really need to check out some NFL Films compilations of the 85 Bears. Wear Depends. 49ers win.
Final Score: 49ers 13 - Seahawks 34 : Wow. The 49ers are a LOT worse than I thought. I guess I should have researched them a bit, before making that pick. If the Awesome Mike Singletary didn't get their attention before the game, he definitely got it afterward. He's not playing. These guys had better find some serious football motivation in a big hurry. I see Mr. Singletary as the type to drag guys into the locker room and knock the snot out of them, before pushing them out the front door. You'll WISH you could just get cut. Oh... he'll cut you, alright. Seriously... if he can't get this team motivated. It can't be motivated. As for the Seahawks... what do you want me to say? You got handed a game by a team that hands over games professionally. Thanks for showing up, and you're welcome. (Pix: 5-4)
Cardinals at Panthers : Another interesting game. Seriously! The Cardinals are not a team to be overlooked or taken lightly. Ask the Cowboys. Yes, I remember the Jets game. I put that in the same category as Eli's fiasco vs. the Browns. Kurt Warner may do that periodically, but he can also recall the Greatest Show on Turf days occasionally. The problem is that you just can't predict which incarnation of Kurt Warner you'll see on Sunday. Fitzgerald and Bouldin are an offensive coordinator's wet dream. The defense is sometimes hit-and-miss, but when the hit... they hit hard. The potential for huge success is there. Quit laughing! I'm being serious here. Anyone besides me remember when the Colts were a joke and the Irsays were idiots? The Patriots were once as perpetually dismal as the Lions are now. So were the Cowboys. It happens in the NFL. A dismal team quietly builds some talent through the draft, brings in a few select hungry veterans, finds the right head coach... and suddenly they're taking over a division. I can see the potential for that in Arizona. If Leinart ever becomes the QB he was supposed to be... or they dump him for someone that actually wants to be an NFL QB... this Cardinals team could be the new Colts. They're close. The Panthers have been close for a decade. Defense has been a hallmark for Carolina since day 1. With Jake Delhomme back as their QB this year, the Cats are rejuvenated. It's a funny dynamic about a QB like Jake. He's not the most talented guy in the NFL. It's hard to imagine that he would even be starting on another team. But when he's there, the Panthers believe they have a chance for the full 60 minutes. And they never lose faith in that, no matter how he plays. GMs and owners take note, you don't need a highly-paid Heisman winner as your QB to make your team successful. You just need a guy that your team can believe in. It works miracles. As for this Sunday's game... I recall my neighbor's dog. Panthers win.
Final Score: Panthers 27 - Cardinals 23 : This is the only game I could have picked wrong, and been okay with.Kurt Warner did well. Jake Delhomme did well. The Panthers fought hard against a tough opponent and preserved a win at home. It pretty much went as expected, in the overall. But the game was more competitive than people might have guessed, wasn't it? I'm telling you... the Cards are closer than people think. (Pix: 6-4)
Browns at Jaguars : This should be a more intriguing game. Unfortunately, all of the dysfunction in Cleveland this week about Kellen Winslow, Staph infections and team conspiracies have distracted from the business of a football game. You don't really believe that the Browns have spent the week in a bubble and are oblivious to what's going on in their own locker room, do you? I don't. The Jags, on the other hand, have spent the week carefully planning ways to annihilate a former division rival. Nothing about this matchup makes me doubt the outcome... at least not this week. Jaguars win.
Final Score: Jaguars 17 - Browns 23 : I keep wanting this year's Jags to be last year's Jags... but they're just not. I'm going to have to accept that eventually. I also keep NOT wanting this year's Browns to be last years Browns... but despite the anemic start to the year, they are still capable of winning tough games. It's all very frustrating. (Pix: 6-5)
Raiders at Ravens : And the three-ring circus come to Baltimore. Al Davis should be committed... or arrested for crimes against the Raider legacy. I don't care if it's his team and he can run it any way he chooses. I don't want to hear it. There are more important issues at play here. Not to advertise my age, but I remember a time when the Raiders were the bad boys of the NFL... and they backed it up every Sunday. You didn't have to like them, and no one but Raiders fans did, but you had to respect them. They were going to rip a win away from your team by any means necessary. Now... not so much. Enter the Ravens. They thrive on negative press the way that the Raiders once did. Bounties? Yeah... we have bounties. So what? You gonna stop us from taking the field and hitting people? Didn't think so. Now shut up... wimp! As it once was with the Raiders... you don't have to like the Ravens, but you have to respect them. Win or lose, they are going to knock the tar out of your team and feel plenty good about it afterwards. The Raiders aren't up to this right now. Frankly, they haven't been in years. It's criminal. Ravens win.
Final Score: Ravens 29 - Raiders 10 : Not really much to discuss here, either. The Ravens aren't really this good, but the Raiders really are this bad. Good job, Al. What's your next brilliant management decision? Try firing yourself. (Pix: 7-5)
Bengals at Texans : Who dey? Everybody dey. Who cares? The numbers dwindle by the minute. This Bengals franchise makes no sense. Losing Carson Palmer isn't the determining factor, but it certainly isn't helping the situation. Letting Rudi Johnson walk wasn't a brilliant idea. This mess starts at the top. The very top. Simply stated, there is no commitment to winning from the guy signing the paychecks. Marvin Lewis knows it. The players know it. The fans know it. How do you get up for games in that environment? You don't. You show up at meetings. You sleepwalk through practices. You try to get through Sunday without getting hurt. You take your paycheck and go home. And there you dream of a day when you wind up on the roster of a team that at least acts like it cares about winning. At least the Texans show some semblance of interest in the game's outcome. On the surface, I thought that THIS would finally be the Bengals first win. I was really prepared to make that call. Until I thought about it for 5 minutes, and considered the true state of their team. Texans win.
Final Score: Texans 35 - Bengals 6 : Umm... yeah. Didn't even find the endzone this weekend, huh Bengals? Were you all paying attention to the clinic that the Texans "who-dat" WRs put on for you? No? Nah... I didn't figure anything going on out on the field was of interest to you guys. I'm starting to wonder... if the Bengals and Lions both finish the season 0-16... will the NFL let them play a game against each other at a neutral site? We should all campaign for it. The loser gets the #1 draft pick next year. The winner gets to NOT be the worst team in modern NFL history. Don't even start with me about the Buccaneers, either. They were an expansion team, before measures were taken to help expansion franchises start off competitive. They had an excuse to be that bad. (Pix: 8-5)
Colts at Titans : Like I said earlier, all dominant teams eventually spend a season flirting with .500. It's a combination of factors, really, and it's hard to see coming in advance. But by this time in the season, whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, you realize it. They're just not that good this year. Too many mistakes during the course of the game. Too many plays that used to be automatic are now forced. Things you used to count on start failing you. Who knows why it happens. Each situation is a little different, but the eventual outcome is the same. And there's always some division rival lying in wait to punctuate it for you. The Colts are struggling this year. The causes are less obvious than with the Patriots, but it's becoming as clear. This isn't rust from the offseason. This isn't a slow start. This is how it's going to be all year in Indy. The Titans... perpetual victims of the Colts success... are finally poised to shift the balance of power. For one year, at least. The Titans are this year's version of last year's Giants. Nothing obvious. Nothing remarkable. Some potentially distracting player problems that don't end up overturning the apple cart. Ultimately, a team of nobodies and has-beens that take doing their jobs very seriously and trust each other to do the same. This magic may only last in Tennessee for this one season, but it's there. Jeff Fisher deserves it. Titans win.
Final Score: Titans 31 - Colts 21 : There shouldn't be much doubt now. I'm not going to sit here and proclaim a permanent shift in the AFC South balance of power. I don't really see it that way. What I do see is an opportunity that hasn't existed in that division for a few years, and a team that's in position to capitalize. The Colts aren't themselves this year. It's harder to dispute that every week. Maybe this will be an off year... or maybe they're entering a period of decline. It's way too early to tell. But this isn't going to be their year, and they will likely miss the playoffs. The Titans found an essential missing component in Kerry Collins. They found a veteran game manager, with enough talent left for a solid run. What's happening in Tennessee likely won't last beyond this season. To the Titans credit, they are playing like they know it. They're approaching every game like it's the Super Bowl. If they can stay healthy, and especially keep Collins intact, this will be one magical season. I still say Jeff Fisher deserves it. (Pix: 9-5)
Last Week's Pix: (0-0)
Last 9 Weeks of 2007: (101-50)