Couple items to clear off before the predicitions...
How do you strikeout looking with the bases loaded, down by 2, with 2 outs, in game 7? That was just a terrible at bat by Beltran. First off, he watches a first pitch fastball go by for the first strike...it looked like the most hittable pitch of the at bat. Then swings and misses at the next pitch, and then just watches a curve for strike 3. Just a terrible at bat. He barely took the bat off his shoulder. He is the guy the Mets want up there, has been their guy all year, and he goes down like that? 0-2, anything within reason, you're swinging in that situation. Maybe he got post season hitting tips from A-Rod.
So in preparing to make my picks this week, I looked over last weeks picks...I went 7-5, not great, not terrible. For my sanity, I want to review the ones I got wrong...
Giants over the Falcons - The Giants D finally showed up...this was against all evidence of the season so far....and when the Falcons got down, they panicked and had Vick start passing...run the ball!
Tampa over the Bengals - Man, if replay wasn't invented, I would of gotten this one right...you gotta be wrong sometimes.
Saints over the Eagles - This one was really close, both teams played tough...but the American Saints Karma won out...should of known better that to go against that.
Lions over the Bills - I was very weary of this pick, and Dick Jauron proved me wrong...again.
Carolina over the Ravens - With the McNair injury, all bets are off...the words Kyle Boeller...should scare the bejesus out of all Ravens fans.
Now this weeks picks....
Pittsburgh at Atlanta
Are the Champs really back? Or did they just get to beat up on a very average Chiefs team?
Can the Falcons recover from letting one slip away against the Giants?
The Steelers have not looked good on the road, and the Falcons actually play defense, unlike the Chiefs. The Falcons running machine should roll over the Steelers, putting the Steeler nation back into Panic mode.
Steelers fans, take heart, if the Steelers can force Vick to throw more than 25 times, their odds go up.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
Philly lost a hard fought game last week, and Tampa squeaked one out. McNabb has looked great, now that he's passed the Chunky soup curse onto others. But don't under estimate the magic of Bruce Gradkowski...my new favorite QB. Man, that's the greatest QB name of all time.
Tampa's D is looking old, and worse they just made a semi "white flag" deal, sending Booger MacFarland to Indy for a 2nd round pick. I think that takes a little wind out of the sails, and Gradkowski magic, got tapped out last week. Philly wins a close one.
Detroit at NY Jets
Wow, win #1 for the Maranelli era!! Matt Millen's ego must be growing, since one of the 3 WRs he drafted had a great game...while one is presently out of football, and the other dropped the only pass thrown to him...awesome.
Unfortunately, the Lions don't have the ace up their sleeves of going against a terrible head coach. Instead they are playing a Jets team that seems to come to play every week. Jets fans will need something to cheer about, and get over the Mets and Yanks getting bounced...Jets win.
Green Bay at Miami
Who cares? I mean seriously, can this game be blacked out everywhere?
Since I have to make a pick...even though this is like 2 drunk monkeys fighting over a cork screw...you have no clue how's it's turning out, but someone's losing an eye. In this case, the person losing the eye would be whoever is watching....
I'll go with the team that is actually blocking for it's QB and RBs...the Pack. It won't be pretty, or exciting, but the Favre will get a win.
San Diego at Kansas City
I would say the Chiefs are in for their second beating in 2 weeks, but then I remembered Marty Ball. Still, I don't think this will be a close game, just closer than it should be.
Good news, the Damon Huard era continues!! Do you think somewhere Brock is pissed? Pouting to mom and dad, "Why does Damon get to start? I want to be on the Chiefs...can't I be on the Chiefs? I hate this family, I want to be a Manning!" Man, the Huards vs the Mannings in QB skills competition...I would pay to watch that.
Chargers win easily.
Jacksonville at Houston
Man, it must suck to be a Texans fan. First, your team sucks...then they blow the draft in horrible fashion...then they start the year 1-4. You know what that means? Their in prime position to blow next years draft as well!!! Or they could try..."With the 1st pick of the 2007 NFL draft, the Houston Texans pick Reggie Bush from...hey wait a minute you morons...."
The Jags aren't playing the prettiest football, but they are winning, and considering that the Texans can't do that, the Jags will take this one. But the Fred Taylor Groin watch is on high alert.
Carolina at Cincinnati
Here's what I have learned about the Panthers...when Steve Smith plays, they are 4-0 this year. When he doesn't, they are 0-2...so don't trash talk Smith, just knee cap the man.
Also of note, Julius Peppers has raised his game up to meet his physical abilities...and that's scary. And, unfortunately for Carson Palmer, Peppers will be facing a rookie LT this week. Carson, make sure that knee brace is on extra tight...cause Mr Peppers will be back there to check on you often.
Panthers win this one, and the Bengals feel so distraught, that several of the players just turn themselves into police to save time.
New England at Buffalo
Remember when the Bills were the class of the AFC? When Kelly, Thomas, Reed and Company were no-huddling their way to 4 Super Bowls? They were always one of the hardest teams to beat in Super Tecmo bowl...except for some reason they had the Flea Flicker in their play book...that's the all time easiest play to blow up in Tecmo...and they would run it at least 3 times a game...the secret was, don't fall for the run, just hit the QB...the pitch will still be made...you should be able to pick it up and score a quick TD. What does this say? Super Tecmo Bowl predicted their crappy coaching.
A lot of people are ready to pack in the Pats, as if their run is over. They've given away too much of their talent, no way to recover...but yet, here they are 4-1 and getting better every week. They have a great running game, and their passing game is getting better every week, as Doug Gabriel becomes more and more involved. If they happen to get home field advantage...look out.
Pats win this one.
Denver at Cleveland
Okay, so Miami-Green Bay is a stinker, 2 bad teams slugging it out, but this might be the "Boring game of the Week". Just boring, boring teams here...neither has any flash...nothing that makes Grandpa's pace maker skip a beat.
Denver's D is pretty impressive, they're not blitzing as much, still getting pressure, and allowing the secondary to do it's thing. But their offense scored 13 points against the Raiders...13!! My god, is Plummer that bad? Are the Bell boys just not cut out for their roles? Do they miss Ron Dayne...okay, couldn't say that one with a straight face.
One of the stats that cracks me up is that Tatum Bell, after he hits 15 carries, his yards per carry bottoms out. It's this amazking dropoff...he has the most talent of the Broncos backs, but they won't just feed him the ball, cause they don't want to tire wittle Tatum out, he's had a big day. I think that's the biggest problem with the Broncos O, they don't have the workman back...TD, Anderson, Portis...those guys got better as the game went on.
Denver wins, in the most boring fashion.
Washington at Indianapolis
Okay, I'm really getting sick of all the Peyton commercials. I used to really find them funny, he's such a dorky, self effacing guy, now they're everywhere. I mean when you watch a game, it's beer, truck and Peyton during the commercial breaks. Is it worse in Indy? Someone in Indy let me know, is it Peyton 24-7 there? Or does Stephen Jackson steal a lot of endorsements there?
Washington meanwhile looked like it had a really old QB against the Titans...and their run D was really sad. No, we won't see the Colts run for over 200 yards, we'll just see Manning audible about 800 times a snap...per usual. Colts take this one, and Brunell is replaced in the 4th Quarter with Jason Campbell.
Arizona at Oakland
Man, Arizona, you go from a heartbreaking, miracle lose, to a game against the Raiders. It's like going on a date with Jessica Biel, and being totally in...she invites you back to her place, puts "Let's get it on" on the stereo, you're totally in...and then you start talking about your ex-girlfriend. It starts slow, and she shrugs it off...but then you start talking about how jealous she would be if she knew where you were...and how it will be great to get back at here by sleeping with the sexiest woman in the world...the night ends with Jessica throwing you out of her apartment, and you crying, getting really liquored up, and booty calling your ex like 300 times.
This game is like waking up the next morning, feeling sore all over, your head pounding, and there is something that sort of resembles a woman lying next to you...I stress "sort of". Yep, that describes the Raiders to a T, they're easy to score on, but you really don't want to tell anyone you did.
Cards get a mercy win.
Minnesota at Seattle
Everyone is talking about how this game will be charged with emotion because it's Steve Hutchinson's return to Seattle...yep, a LG return is huge...I just don't buy it. The Hawks miss him, but I don't think there is any bad blood. I don't even think there is really any bad blood towards Hutch in general...the Vikes, yeah...but no one likes the Vikings.
For the Hawks, 2 things need to happen for them to return to the Super Bowl...the O-line needs to jell, and they need home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Without those, there is no way they are making it. Their home field advantage is so great, no team would stand a chance coming into Seattle in the playoffs...it's not like the advantage the Bears, or Pats enjoy because of the elements...it's just pure crowd noise. Quite amazing how load the fans get. The Vikes will get a taste of how hard it is to play in Qwest field...and Hawks will wipe the floor with them.
NY Giants at Dallas
I thought I requested the TO free zone? Damn, there is none?
I'm going to say my piece about TO, and then I'm done. 2 years ago he was the Best WR in football. He was amazing. No one could cover the guy, he was too strong to press or bump, and would just run past you if he got an inch, and once he caught the ball, he could make you miss or bowl you over. But since then, not only has he gone completely off the deep end, he's let his own hype get to him. He's a shell of his former self. He doesn't fight for any balls, he's running sloppy routes, he's not catching balls that are thrown to him, he's a No. 2 WR on his team...and he's a massive distraction. He was an amazing WR at one time...and could still be one...but he's going to have to stop yammering about how good he is, and actually work hard and prove that he's as great as he says he is.
Giants win this one, as TO and Bledsoe implode due to Bledsoe throwing another ugly pick in the 4th quarter, and TO just screaming at him. Oh yeah, and Theisman will say something really stupid...multiple times.
Remember, I'm only positive on half of these, and I'm not sure which half.