It's 888 Miles to Chicago...
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Editor's Note:  Due to a cross country move, new job, and raising a toddler...this is the first NFL predictions post the author could publish.  That, and he's a lazy sack of crap.

Here we are, week 3...fall is truly upon us...pumpkins have been sited throughout the New England area, and leaves are starting to change color.  Man, where did the summer go?  Feel like the summer got fast forwarded this year...got cheated out of a proper summer...ah, well, the NFL is here to soften that blow.  A couple of thoughts before the picks...

The Monday night crew is a lot better this year...replacing Joey T with Jaws was a great move, and Kornhiser is a lot more interesting so far this year...but man, what a breath of fresh air Barkley was Monday night.  Yeah, he's a basketball guy, and it would probably get old after a week or two...but his comments were insightful, he wasn't afraid to say what was on his mind, and he's just fun to listen too.  It was the only time that the TV volume was above a murmur the whole game.

Thanks to the wonders of Sunday Night football, it's a lock that the Bears will be visible in the Northeast...very exciting...now, hopefully they bring their A game.

Raise your hand if your already tired of the "Bowl Subdivision" and "Championship Subdivision" renaming of Division 1A and 1AA?  What was the point of this?  To make it harder to talk about the distinction?  As a Illinois State Redbird, I'm proud to cheer on a team in 1AA.  It's easy to say, clear what it means, and doesn't smack of a bunch of marketing morons in a room out thinking themselves.  It's just totally ridiculous...and when you overhear a broadcaster saying it, you can't help but snicker.  Can the names just be shortened to BS and CS? That's much more fitting...

On with the picks!

Miami at NY Jets

In Fantasy, there were 2 RBs that were completely off the board for me...Larry Johnson and Ronnie Brown.  LJ had the whole holdout, the deteriorating O-line and the 400+ carries last year...all signs point to a down season.  Brown on the other hand...just isn't good.  Yeah, he's stuck on the Phins, how haven't had a line to speak of...but there hasn't been any plays, or moments from his career thus far that indicate he's a great back stuck on a bad team...he just seems to be a mediocre back with a bad line...not what you want in the first round of the draft.

The Jets have something working...assuming that the Kellen-Jericho Connection (Okay, doesn't that sound like a wrestling tag team?  I need to trademark that right now...damn, WWE is too fast!) will be in full affect at home...this could be a watchable Jets game.  Miami does still have a stout D, but their O is sort of missing any excitement...look for the Jets to grind one out at home.

Indianapolis at Houston

Raise your hand if you thought this would be a meeting of 2-0 teams?  Okay, all the Texans fans can put their hands down...yes, all 10 of you.  That's more like it.

If Houston continues to win...finishing with a winning record for the first time in memory...how much of the blame does David Carr get?  Seems like the O-line hasn't changed much, but yet Matt "Why was I backing up Vick for so long?" Schuab seems to be doing just fine.  Seems like the real problem is that Carr insisted on counting to "5-One-Thousand" before starting his reads.

The Colts have too much fire power in this one, but the Texans won't be down long...they've got their bye...excuse me, Atlanta next week.

Arizona at Baltimore

The NFC West has solidified its claim as the Hot Potato division...it seems no one wants to win this thing.  The Niners-Cards game was just ugly...showcasing 2 teams that didn't want to seize victory.  With the Rams also laying an egg, it appeared the Seahawks would waltz through the division...then last week happened...and the Hawks threw up all over themselves.  I have a feeling the West is going to be whacky all year...

The Ravens managed to pull one out against the Jets...WITH KYLE BOLLER AT QB!!!  Of course, they managed to win thanks to the Jets WRs dropping a few gimme TDs at the end there...how in the world were they that open?  The Ravens D is as good as they come...but you've got to worry when the game is on the line and the only thing stopping the other team is their ineptitude.

Ravens take this one, but word of warning...the Cards WRs won't drop the balls that the Jets did...if the Ravens don't tighten up on D this could go the other way quick...but the Ravens have too much pride in their D to let that happen.

St. Louis at Tampa Bay

The Big 3 have been a bust so far this year...LT, LJ and SJ...which one is the most frustrating?  LT has faced 2 of the Best Defenses in the league...LJ's slow start was predictable with the holdout...but Steven Jackson is the one that wasn't apparent before the season.  But you try to be an all world back when you lose your all world Left Tackle.

This might be the week that S-Jack gets on track...isn't it great how you can do that with just about anyone's name and make it sound cool?  Deuce Mcallister averaged 4.9 yards a carry against the Bucs last week...of course he only got 10 carries...but Jackson will get his touches, and he should be able to get his yards.  Which will make things even easier for Bulger...the Rams get rid of the Donut this week.

San Francisco at Pittsburgh

Winning Ugly is the perfect way to describe the Niners right now...but as everyone knows...Just Win, Baby.  The Niners have been doing that so far against teams in the NFC West...let's see what happens when they play teams from a...how do you say...um...good division?  Is that how you Americans say it?

Meanwhile, in the Steeler Nation...when does the campaign to strike last year from the records start?  Let me speak hypothetically for a second...if the Steelers win the Division...does Tomlin get the Coach of the Year?  Yeah they weren't any good last year, but really he's coaching a team that is a season removed from a Championship, and everyone is healthy.  It appears Tomlin is doing a great job, but seems to me he's playing with the House's money right now...

The Niners find that it's a little harder to go into Pittsburgh and steal a win...than say..oh, St. Louis.  Steelers roll on.

Detroit at Philadelphia

A little over a year ago, my wife and I changed our eating habits...we both needed to lose weight...and we cut all fast food out of our diet.  We ate really healthy, lost a bunch of weight, and felt great.  Then the cross country move came up, and we got lazy...KFC has always been a weakness of mine...it smells so delicious...but since it was cut out of my diet...every time I talk myself into eating it...man, do I regret it.  All that grease hits my system...and let's just say, don't be near me...or between me and the bathroom.

The Eagles are KFC.  When ever I start believing they are going to be good...they go out and lay and egg on national television....and then you think they are bad...and you start picking against them...and they go on a run like they did last year...they just always give me gas.

The Eagles slide continues, the frickin' Lions keep winning...man, I think Millen talked to Kurt Warner and got the Devils number.

Buffalo at New England

Here's all that needs to be said about this game...

Great Coaching + Great Talent + Chip on Shoulder = Rest of the league playing for second place.

Sorry, it's true...everyone else is just playing for 2nd best right now.  The Pats machine rolls on.

San Diego at Green Bay

Chargers fans...if the Bolts can't manage over 14 points in this one...ignore the Super Bowl post I made.  And don't take this game lightly.  The Pack is on a roll, and Favre is starting to believe this season is about more than his personal glory...

Several years ago, at a past job, a couple co-workers and I started a joke about how our boss was addicted to Cheetos.  It started in a meeting...when asked why a task wasn't done, I blurted out, "Well, if it wasn't for Dan and his nasty Cheeto addiction, we wouldn't be having this discussion."  It became a running joke, and finally Dan went on vacation.  Well, he returned to an office that have about 200 bags of Cheetos...of all sizes, from snack size to party size.  After a month, Dan confided in me, "You know, I'm now addicted to Cheetos...I keep finding bags...and I keep eating them...what have you done to me?"  One of the best practical jokes of all time...

You're saying, "Um, Josh, what the heck are you talking about?"  Wait for it...

The Chargers fell for their phantom Cheeto addiction by believing that the source of their problems was Marty-Ball...but by bungling that firing and then hiring Norv...they went ahead and created their own Cheeto addiction...and it might get a whole lot uglier before this season is over.

The Pack pull off the upset in this one, Norv's boys aren't prepared, and the Pack are on a roll.

Minnesota at Kansas City

Herm "Hands always around the Throat" Edwards is a terrible coach.  The defense is terrible, the offense is horrible...he mishandled the QB situation, underused Tony Gonzalez, and overused LJ.  It's hard to find a more mismanaged team these days.

Fantasy Football note: Is there a worse thing then having your first round pick just stink up the place?  For all those people that rolled the dice and took LJ...how much longer before their season is toast?  A normal fantasy season is 14 weeks...in 12 team league (the norm) with best 4 making the playoffs...if you start off 0-4, you're toast.  With LJ as your first pick...that 0-4 is right there for the taking...

And no, I didn't draft LJ...he was on my Black list.

Vikings D eats up the predictable KC Offense...and trust me, Herm makes a few "What was he thinking" decisions.  Vikes win.

Cleveland at Oakland

The question on everyone's mind...are the Bengals that bad on Defense?  Or are the Browns starting to figure stuff out on O?

Unfortunately, for Browns and Bengals fans...the Bengals D is that bad.

And for those that aren't aware...the Raiders D is pretty Gosh darn good....had to channel my inner Bobby Bowden.

Bench your Browns players this week, and watch the Raiders get a win.

Cincinnati at Seattle

The Bengals let the Browns get 51...and now they face an offense that actually has playmakers...how do you say "Not good" in Cincinatian?

The good news is...man, it's great to have Chad Johnson on your fantasy team...the guy is a total beast.  Plus, due to the fact that Cincy has no defense...they are going to be involved in a LOT of shootouts.  Chad could be putting up some amazing numbers.  Just exciting stuff....I'm hoping the defense stays this terrible all year.

Despite the Hawks giving one away last week, they should have more than enough offensive firepower and enough defense to get this one done.  Plus, the home crowd in Seattle is something to behold.  Great fans when it comes to cheering...maybe it's all the coffee they drink...but I was always impressed by it at games.

Hawks get the win, but Ocho Cinco has another great game...propelling me to Fantasy victory...please?

Jacksonville at Denver

Man, outside of Broncos fans and Jags Fans...this is one boring contest.  Nothing really exciting here...

My daughter is on this Mary Poppins kick right now...she loves it, wants to watch it all the time.   Most days she doesn't watch any TV, but she's always asking...and for a special treat she'll get to watch it.  This one particular Saturday, she had gotten to watch Mary Poppins that morning...but had been continually asking all day to watch it again...driving my wife nuts.  When I got home, she started in on me...I distracted her by saying, "Let's play a game....chase!"...which is where we chase each other around the house...yes, I'm still a child myself.  So we play that for about 20 minutes, and then my daughter says, "I have idea for a game!"  Excited, I follow her directions...she tells me to follow her to the family room...then tells me to stand next to the couch...she then climbs up on the couch...and she instructs me to get on the couch as well...I figure at this point that we're going to play "Couch Wars" which is just me throwing her around the couch...she turns to me and goes...

"Watch Mary Poppins!"

All I could do was laugh.  She had totally tricked me...a sneaky little trick...but it had worked...and all I could do was laugh...and then say, "Nope, but nice try".

That was the each feeling I had after the watching the whole Time Out-FG at the end of the Raiders-Broncos game.  What a sneaky, underhanded trick...but it worked, and all I could do was laugh.

But the football gods have a way of exacting revenge for things like this...I see Jacksonville slugging out a ugly one...with the football gods doing their part.

NY Giants at Washington

This is a classic matchup...great rivalry...a team that is winning ugly vs a team that is losing ugly...should be a great game.

If you're a Skins fan.

Look at the bright side Giants fans, with the coaching job that Coughlin is doing, you've got a great shot at the #1 pick...you could get Brian Brohm...fix the Eli mistake...or you could get a new RB to fill the hole left by, man, I forget his name...right, Rhonde Barber....or you could go ahead and draft a whole new defense, I'd recommend the Bears D...unfortunately, the NFL draft doesn't work by Fantasy rules...so you're out of luck there.  Just hope that there isn't some late season surge that gets the Giants back to mediocrity...and they decide to keep Coughlin again...no fan deserves that that.

Skins win...making a few active members of the Nation very happy...you know who you are...

Carolina at Atlanta

So much for the Joey Harrington Experiment...at least it will make for a great band name...it will soon be the Byron Leftwich Project!

Too bad the results will be the same...Falcons lose.

Dallas at Chicago

So Dallas has hung 45 on the G-men...and 37 on the Phins...but has also allowed 55 points to those same teams.  Teams which only managed 26 total in their other games.  This much is clear...as it stands now, the Boys D is horrible.  And the jury is out on the offense, as they didn't exactly play 2 stellar Defenses...yes, Miami is a good D, but they are not top 10.  So this week is going to be a big game for their offense...

Meanwhile, the Bears offense...um...you guys know you have to run out a team for offense right?  Just checking, cause you've been god awful.  After the Defense and Special teams covered for the offense all last year...to the point that I believe they had a bet running with the offense trying to give the D a higher degree of difficulty all the time...did they go double or nothing on for this season? 

"This year, we're not even going to put up any meaningful yards on offense, let's see if you guys can win then!"

The defense has let up a total of 24 points in 2 games...and the offense has scored 23!!  Yay!  I love being a Bears fan!!  Here's what I have to say to the Bears...

Cedric, shut up, stop dancing, and initiate some contact...make those tacklers afraid to hit you...run with a frickin' attitude...and hit the damn hole hard!

Hey Offensive line...BLOCK SOMEONE...ANYONE!!!

Rex...man, where do I start...calm down...hold onto the ball...and when you throw it, make sure there is an Orange C on the helmet.

That all being said, can't pick against the Bears...especially at home...and they'll bring it for this game...Bears win.

Tennessee at New Orleans

There has already been too much written about "what's wrong with the Saints?"  Let's see...

"Stretching back to last season, New Orleans has lost five of seven. In its past three games, New Orleans has been outscored 38-113"

They have also decided to cut Deuce out of the offense...even though they were most successful when he was getting the bulk of the carries, and Bush was a change of pace.  And their Defense is just as bad as it was last year.  So why is this such a surprise?

On the other hand, this is their home opener...and coming home can cure all that ails a person...but they're 2-4 and in their last 6 home games!!!  They were supposed to have this great home field advantage...the dome...the whole miracle...the rockin' crowd...what gives?

The gut is saying Tennessee...but the head is saying New Orleans...sometimes you've gotta go with the gut...Titans add to the Saints misery.

And with that, the first picks post of the year is done...man, it's all coming back...the long hours to do these...but it's worth it...as long as just one person enjoys them....

For those that don't agree...or want a second opinion...try these on for size!

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