Well, I started off the season pretty good last week at 13-3, though if I had gone with common sense and picked Pittsburgh and Jacksonville at home, it would have been 15-1. Sometimes you can just think these things through too much. Let's see how Week Two goes...
Carolina at Minnesota
It's clear what Brad Childress is trying to do—he's turning the Vikings into an NFC East team: determined running game that grinds you for four quarters, a possession-smart QB who doesn't make mistakes and a blitzing defense that keeps constant pressure on the opposition. On the flip side, Carolina has too many injuries to win in a Metrodome that should be completely geeked out to have something good to cheer about on the field again.
Vikings 24, Carolina 13
Give lots of credit to that Carolina defense, but the Vikings find a way to get it done at home. Next week's battle with Chicago is actually meaningful!
Vikings 16, Panthers 13 (OT)
Detroit at Chicago
I'm so encouraged to see Detroit players making promises they can't keep when they're only 0-1. This one's gonna get U-G-L-Y. Urlacher might actually decapitate Jon Kitna. Seriously.
Bears 31, Lions 3
Well, I was really close to calling this one on the money, wasn't I?
Bears 34, Lions 7
Houston at Indianapolis
So, let me get this straight. Houston execs say they drafted Mario Williams because it was more important to stop Peyton Manning than to score points? Suddenly the whole "George W. Bush, native of Houston, Texas" makes perfect sense.
Colts 41, Texans 10
This game was over at halftime; CBS cut away coverage in the second quarter when it was 27-3. The only reason Houston scored 24 is that Indy put their cheerleaders in on defense in the fourth quarter.
Colts 43, Texans 24
New Orleans at Green Bay
I'm so old, I remember when Green Bay was the joke of the league, just an awful team that had fond memories of the glorious championship days of the past. Hey, it turns out history does repeat itself, doesn't it?
Saints 24, Packers 14
Reports of the death of Brett Favre have been greatly exaggerated. Reports of the nonexistence of the Packers' defense, however, have not. It's hard to win when you can't stop the other team from scoring.
Saints 34, Packers 27
New York Giants at Philadelphia
Yeah, the Giants looked good at home against Indy, even though they lost, and Philly did play at Houston, but my gut tells me not to pick against Philly at home right now. Any of my readers with gambling problems, however, should avoid this game like the plague.
Eagles 24, Giants 21
The Eagles should be kicking each other in the butt tonight after pissing away a 17 point lead in the fourth quarter at home. Give the Giants credit for coming back, and Eli had a HUGE day, but this collapse was just inexplicable for an Andy Reid defense. Eagles fans: I suggest Jack Daniel's with dinner tonight.
Giants 30, Eagles 24 (OT)
Oakland at Baltimore
To all of my readers with gambling problems: This is your sure thing. (I am NOT advising anyone to gamble, of course, and you should keep in mind my frequent and persistant incorrectness.)
Ravens 48, Raiders 0
Okay, so it wasn't that bad, but Oakland is easily the worst team in the NFL.
Ravens 28, Raiders 6
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
Turns out the heavy traffic in western Florida was me and all the other jumping off the TAMPA bandwagon. Go figure. Betcha wish you had gone ahead and taken Mike Vick when you had the chance to draft him in your fantasy league. Sucker!
Falcons 27, Bucanneers 17
I can't believe I predicted that Tampa would score two touchdowns. So what does Chucky do now, hit the "eject" button on Chris Simms? Did anyone think Tampa would really be this bad? BTW, Vick ran for more than 120 yards, fantasy geeks!
Falcons 14, Bucs 3
Cleveland at Cincinnati
Well, look at it this way...Bill Belicheck will probably give Romeo Crennel his old job back next year.
Bengals 38, Browns 9
So, how many Bengals fans are checking expedia.com for Miami area hotel reservations in early February, hmm?
Bengals 34, Browns 17
Buffalo at Miami
Okay, so Nick Saban's had almost two weeks to plan for his home opener after Culpepper spit up that game against Pittsburgh, and Buffalo just came off a gut-punch loss in an effort to upset the Pats? I smell rout.
Dolphins 35, Bills 13
Okay, the next time I pick Miami to win this year, someone send me an e-mail with these two words: "Daunte Culpepper." Thanks, I appreciate that. Could Buffalo be this year's surprise worst-to-first team? Not in their division, but they are no pushovers, that's for sure. Let's see what happens now that teams start taking them seriously.
Bills 16, Dolphins 6
Arizona at Seattle
I can't do it. I just can't. I'm sorry Kurt, you're my guy, and I'm pulling for you, but you're just not the Vikings or the Rams. No sucker picks for the Cardinals—I wasted too many years as a kid with your team for that.
Seahawks 24, Cardinals 17
This was about what I expected.
Seahawks 21, Cardinals 10
St. Louis at San Francisco
I kept hearing this line in my head last week after the Rams' stellar effort on defense. I can't quote it directly because my mom reads this, but it's in the third act of "Pulp Fiction" after Jules and Vincent clean up the car, and they, along with Jimmy and The Wolf are admiring their handiwork. They're all very excited until The Wolf reminds them, "Let's not start [kissing] each other's [mouths] just yet, gentlemen." I want to see the Rams beat the Niners on the road, especially since they didn't look that bad against Arizona last week. Expect the Rams offense to find their groove this week.
Rams 31, 49ers 13
Let's see, what did we have in this game? A crushing mistake on special teams coverage, wide open opposing receivers running untouched in a clueless Rams secondary, gaping running holes in the defensive line, crappy tackling, no pass rush, spotty play by a makeshift offensive line, inexplicable play calling, infuriatingly stupid penalties and a quarterback who acts like he just joined the club and met his teammates about an hour before gametime. Does that sound about right? It sure sounds like the Rams to me. This was a winnable game, even up until the end, but I don't have any faith whatsoever in Marc Bulger. As a matter of fact, I despise him. The good news is that as long as he can't execute Scott Linehan's offense (which is a good one—it worked great in Minnesota and Miami), this is probably his last year with the Rams. Until this offense gets going—and I have to see it before I'll predict it—I'm considering the Rams underdogs for the rest of the season.
49ers 20, Rams 13
Tennessee at San Diego
Do you think Jeff Fisher actually updates his resume on the sideline in between plays? I mean, because there's no way he can survive this disaster, right? Fisher's great, but he's just screwed with this team. They don't have any offense whatsoever. He might as well play Vince all the time. Hell, institute the option wishbone—it couldn't be any worse. Oh, and it's now about 16-17 weeks until Marty's annual playoff C-H-O-K-E.
Chargers 35, Titans 6
Don't get excited, guys...it's still Marty Schottenheimer, okay?
Chargers 40, Titans 7
Kansas City at Denver
Who's Damon Huard?
Broncos 38, Chiefs 16
Good grief, Jake Plummer has got to be sweating more than Albert Brooks in the anchor chair in "Broadcast News" about now. If I'm Jason Elam, I'm going to dinner tonight with Plummer's AmEx card. Oh, and Kansas City deserves Herm Edwards for the whole 1985 thing. No, I'm not going to get over it.
Broncos 9, Chiefs 6
New England at New York Jets
This is one of those games that I can think myself into circles over. See, Jets coach Eric Mangini was the Pats D-coord for Belicheck, so he knows the defense and knows how to attack it. But Belicheck knows what Mangini knows and that he knows it, so he's likely to do something different. Oh, screw it. Do I think the Jets will beat the Pats? Not bloody likely.
Patriots 23, Jets 17
It looked like the Pats were going to run away with this one, but the Jets made it a bit more interesting at the end. NE's 2-0, and probably 3-0 after getting Denver next week, but I'm certainly not afraid to play them if I'm one of the legit contenders in the AFC (Indy, Cincy, Pitt, Jax, SD).
Patriots 24, Jets 17 (oh, so close to perfect!)
Washington at Dallas
There's just no way on earth that Parcells is going to lose this game. Bledsoe's going to be on a shorter leash than a rabid pit bull. With no Clinton Portis, the 'Skins are bringing a knife to a gunfight.
Cowboys 30, Redskins 20
It should be clear to everyone by now that the NFC East was vastly overrated by most folks in the preseason. I think ten wins probably takes the division, and it looks like the Giants are the early favorite. Washington doesn't even look like an 8-8 team at this point, and Dallas is just average.
Cowboys 27, Redskins 10
Pittsburgh at Jacksonville
I'm just not going to pick against the Pittsburgh defense until I see someone with a legitimate chance to beat them. So far, I can't say that about anyone, especially a Jacksonville team that has serious injury problems on defense. It's close, but it's still the champs.
Steelers 24, Jaguars 21
Big Ben probably came back too early, but Chaz Batch wouldn't have beaten that defense last night, anyway. If Jacksonville can get their offense going, they have a legitimate shot at winning the AFC. Jack Del Rio is my early favorite for Coach of the Year.
Jags 9, Steelers 0
This week: 12-4
Last week: 13-3