NFL Outlook: Bandit's Blog

Sorry everyone, I am a day late on my posting but better late than never I guess. I've been too busy with other things but I have found the time on this fine Saturday to write my weekly blog.  Well last week I went a meager 8-5, which is pretty pathetic but I guess you can't win them all.  Anyway, a new week for picks and hopefully I will be able to compensate for last week.  This week is one for the ages, as two of the NFL's best square off in what could be called "clash of the titans".  You guys know what game I am talking about.  Anyway, it's the NFL... any team can beat any team on any given day.  One more thing to note, as always..BEWARE OF THE HOME UNDERDOGS!!!  let's begin....

Washington over NY JETS- The Redskins should be out for blood after the shellacking they took last week.  and what do you know, Kellen Clemens as the starter is primed for the beating.  Although you can't expect much from Clemens to boost the offense with Coles being doubtful, he should improve with each ensuing week.  Portis is on track to have a phenomenal day, and maybe just maybe a redskin wideout might have a TD for the first time this season with a feeble Jets secondary. Hmmm, don't hold your breath though.     Redskins   23   JETS 16

KANSAS CITY over Green Bay- Favre has defeated every NFL team but one, and that team is KC.  Unfortunately, I don't believe it'll happen as KC is well rested and the home crowd in Arrowhead will be too tough to overcome.   The Packers are still trying to sort their running game which is now more of a mess with the emergence of Ryan Grant. His splendid MNF performance might be nothing than a flash in the pan, or maybe it was just Denver's generosityagainst the run as he will struggle against KC.  That leaves Favre to utilize the passing game with his core of recievers.  Pressure from KC's frontline led by Jared Allen and Hali will leave Favre struggling to find his rhythm.  As usual, LJ and Gonzalez will carry just enough offense for the Chiefs to prevail.    CHIEFS   23    Packers  20

TAMPA BAY over Arizona- Kurt Warner will have trouble all day trying to solve the buc's excellent pass D.  I can't see the Bucs losing back to back at home, and Jeff Garcia should recover from last week.  Look for Earnest Graham to find room and pile up decent yardage on the Cards.   BUCCANEERS   20      Cardinals  14

TENNESSEE over Carolina- Frankly, I don't see how the Panthers are gonna score some points with the Titans D who is the best against the run and not too shabby against the pass either.  Wether it's Carr or Testaverde passing the ball, I see no difference as they will be ineffective even with Steve Smith on the recieving end.  Titans will run the offense with sustained efficient drives via Lendale White and an occasional bomb from Vince Young who shouldn't do any worse than his 42 yards passing last week.   This game could get ugly by the half.    TITANS    26     Panthers   9

San Francisco over ATLANTA-  The 49ers look inept  last week but I still believe their offense is a little better than that of the Falcons.  With a healthy Darrell Jackson back in the lineup along with Vernon Davis getting on track , Alex Smith will find a way to revitalize the offense.  Add in a healthy dose of Gore, and that should be enough to prevail.  Atlanta's offense is mediocre at best, and Harrington is just not the answer nor is the aging Dunn.  Jerious Norwood, the better back, is still on the on-deck circle.  49ers   20   FALCONS   17

NEW ORLEANS over Jacksonville-  Jags are still debilitated up front with Stroud's suspension despite acquiring Grady Jackson to fill the void.  Jacksonville is always competitive on the defensive side of the ball, but their lack of offense will be their achille's heel as the Saints running attack with Bush and Stecker will be the difference.  Brees and his suddenly potent arm will be put in check by the Jags secondary but the ground game should find enough success to put the Saint's on top.  MoJo and Taylor should help the Jags put up some points, but the passing game will be for the most part non-existent to the chagrin of Quinn Gray.    SAINTS   24    Jaguars  14

Denver over DETROIT-  although Denver has the worst rushing D in the league and that KJ might run all over them in this game, I feel that the Broncos are resilient enough to come out with a victory.  Kitna had not thrown a TD in his last 3 games, and chances are, that  streak might continue with Denver studs Bly and Bailey at the corners.  That pretty much leaves Kevin Jones to torch Denver on the ground and pick up the majority of the offense. Shanahan will have his players prepared and focused, and the Broncos should bounce back from the Monday night loss.  Cutler will look to pick  apart the Lions secondary with his prime target Marshall, along a duo of emerging weapons in Stokley and Scheffler.   Broncos   24    LIONS   20

Cincinnati over BUFFALO- Palmer is due for a big performance , and it's likely that Buffalo's weak secondary will be the victim of his aerial assault.  I look for plenty of offense in this contest.  The Bills secondary is generous and that bodes well for Chad and Houzsh to have a field day.  Not to be outdone, I believe J.P. Losman will also have his best performance this year as he and Evans are finally on the same page, and Marshawn is expected to have a lot of room to run.   I look for a shootout as both defenses are pretty much horrendous.  But in the end, Palmer's arm will have the last laugh.   Bengals   34     BILLS   31 

San Diego over MINNESOTA-  The old Chargers appear to be back and are rolling.  LT is LT and he will do his usual stuff to a degree.  Phillip Rivers now have a new weapon in Chambers. With Gates and Jackson also in the mix, he is primed to have  a prolific day throwing the ball against a feeble Vikings secondary, who has allowed the most pass yardage by far.    Adrian Peterson should  break out and find seams a few times against a decent chargers frontline, but don't expect much more than that.  Tarvaris Jackson will be pressured and hurried frequently, leading to a fruitless Vikes passing game.    Chargers   31     VIKINGS   14

INDIANAPOLIS over New England- what can I say about his game except for that I wouldn't miss it for the world.  All the hype leading up to it, and with it being called 'super bowl 41.5" as well as "the game of the year"'s the most anticipated game so far this year.  Brady vs. Manning, it's beginning to be an awesome rivalry.  The Colts have the #1 passing D and the Pats have the #1 passing O.  I always say something has to give.  The Colts have won the last 3 against the Pats so Peyton has owned Brady recently. How often do you see the Colts become a HOME UNDERDOG and by 5 points for pete's sake.  They are 7-0, are at home, and are the Defending Super Bowl Champs.  I mean, what else, must they have to do.   Even with Brady's unrelenting arm that has scorched so many defenses with ease so far this season, I believe the Colts are no doubt his toughest test.  The secondary won't be able to stop Brady completely, just enough to contain him and make the Pats resort on utilizing their running game which  for the most part this season, have been virtually non-existent.  Maroney has not scored a TD this season, and Morris is questionable. In  turn the lack of a running game will lead to New England's demise.  Their  one dimensional passing game attack led by Brady will for the first time this season will be somewhat emulated by that of Manning and company, who also have their running game functioning at full speed with Addai along with back up Keith.  I believe the versatility of the running game is crucial to winning this game, and the Colts certainly have the advantage.  In addition, I can't expect Brady to torch this Colts secondary (with Sanders, Marlin Jackson, and Bethea) that easily like he did with past opponents.  Expect the secondary to double team Moss a few times, and cover Stallworth and Welker like velcro.  This should be one heck of a high scoring affair and for Manning, this won't be about who will have the better stats between him and Brady, it will be for who has the better, as well as the more complete, team. With this said, I believe the Colts will use the ground game as frequently as they use the passing game to which long sustained drives will lead Manning to use clock management and keep that Patriots offense off the field.  In the end, it will come down to a game winning FG, and what do you know...Adam Vinatieri nails it, just like he did to win the Super Bowl games for the Pats, except this time it's too bury them and give the Colts the victory.  This game warrants a "BEWARE of the HOME 'DOG" warning.  Take that Patriots!!!  Manning to win again .    COLTS     31     Patriots   28

Seattle over CLEVELAND-  Although the Brownies are having a great season so far with studs like Braylon Edwards, Derek Anderson, and Kellen Winslow...I am still not sold on them.  Edwards is a beast having 5 TD's in his last couple of games, but I still can't imagine the Browns being a home favorite against a decent Seattle team.  The Hawks will have DJ Hackett back in the lineup and possibly Deion Branch.  Hasselbeck will more than likely light it up against the shaky Browns secondary.  Along with Engram and Hackett, Hasselbeck with have another weapon in Shaun Alexander who is looking to  break stride.  The Seattle D overall is pretty decent, and that in turn should be enough to slow down that potent offensive trio of the Browns.     Seahawks   26    BROWNS  24

OAKLAND over Houston-  Josh McCown takes over for inefficent Culpepper.  Sage Rosenfels will start for an injured Matt Schaub.  I think McCown will have the better day as Rosenfels will discover how stingy the Raiders secondary is.  On the ground attack, Ron Dayne and Adimchinobe Echemandu is a mouthful, but Oakland might have an easier time pronouncing his name than trying stop him.  Oakland is  gradually becoming generous on the ground, but Lamont Jordan and Fargas should establish some consistency and McCown should be able to rack up some yards through the air especially with Porter.    RAIDERS   20     Texans  17

PHILADELPHIA over Dallas-  T.O. returns to Philly once again, and he'll probably have more success the second time around.   But McNabb has established some rhythm with Reggie Brown and will look to utilize him as well as Curtis.  The Cowboys hasn't had much success lately against Philly and I belive that trend will continue.  Brian Westbrook looks to have a big game against a division rival.   EAGLES    24     Cowboys   20


PITTSBURGH over Baltimore- McNair returns only to find himself harrassed by a swarming Steelers frontline.  maybe he should have waited another week.   I see this game as physically rough and smash mouth.  I think points will actually come more often than people expect, and it'll be in  the form of field goals.   Even with the stingy defenses of both teams, I feel that the Ravens D will be caught sleeping a few times and Big Ben will make them pay.  Willie Parker work have his work cut out for him against a formidable Ravens D, but should make enough plays to break out for a few long scampers.  McGahee on the other hand will struggle all day.   STEELERS   26      Ravens  16


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