Last week was my first sub .500 set of picks this season, so I hope I can get back on track this week. I'll have some final World Series thoughts posted in the next few days, followed by a look ahead at what the Cardinals might do next year. In the meantime, with humility and trepidation, here are this week's picks.
Seattle at Kansas City
Larry Johnson and the Arrowhead crowd tips things in favor of the home team.
Chiefs 26, Seahawks 16
Not as much defense as I would have expected.
KC 35, Seattle 28
San Francisco at Chicago
This one oughta get everyone talking about "undefeated season" again, even though it's not going to happen.
Bears 38, 49ers 9
Just brutal. They should have ended this game at halftime for mercy's sake.
Chicago 41, SF 10
Baltimore at New Orleans
Can we compare Sean Payton, Drew Brees and Reggie Bush to Mike Martz, Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk? Are the 2006 Saints following in the footsteps of the 1999 Rams? This game will test their ability to beat a good defense. On the other hand, the Ravens have no offense at all.
Saints 20, Ravens 13
Can someone please tell me who Baltimore is? I can't figure this team out. I'm still not convinced they're for real, but they just keep winning.
Baltimore 35, NO 22
Houston at Tennessee
I'm going with Jeff Fisher over Gary Kubiak.
Titans 28, Texans 20
And that was a good decision.
Tennessee 28, Houston 22
Arizona at Green Bay
I wonder if Brett Favre is who Denny Green thought he was?
Packers 31, Deadbirds 21
Yes, he was.
GB 31, Arizona 14
Tampa Bay at NY Giants
I'm taking Eli and Tiki at home for the rest of the season. These guys are about to emerge as the best team in the NFC East.
Giants 27, Bucanneers 14
The Giants are now listed as the #4 favorite to win the Superbowl by the Vegas Sports Book. Go figure.
NYG 17, TB 3
Atlanta at Cincinnati
Cincy showed me something last week against Carolina, and I think Carolina's better than Atlanta. The Falcons' offense has also proved inconsistent, so I doubt they'll light it up two weeks in a row.
Bengals 20, Falcons 17
The Bengals are like Buffalo for me this year--I never know what they're going to do, but it's always the opposite of what I expect.
Atlanta 29, Cincy 27
Jacksonville at Philadelphia
The Jags are falling to pieces, while I look for the Eagles to put it back together this week at home.
Eagles 24, Jag-wahrs 13
Wrong, wrong, WRONG!!! THE EAGLES SUCK!!!!!
Jax 13, Philly 6
St. Louis at San Diego
The Rams on the road, outside on the West Coast. See the SF game, suckers.
Chargers 31, Rams 17
You'd have to be stupid not to pick this one right.
SD 38, STL 24
Pittsburgh at Oakland
I don't care if Tommy Maddox is recalled to play QB, Cowher's not losing this game.
Steelers 27, Raiders 7
Just shoot me. But shoot Tuck first, 'cause he can't believe how crappy the Steelers have looked this year.
Oakland 20, Pittsburgh 13
Indianapolis at Denver
I don't feel good about this, but I'm sticking with Peyton as long as I can just to piss off the haters. A Denver win won't surprise me, though.
Colts 24, Broncos 23
I can't mock the haters this week, because Superman's about to meet his kryptonite in Foxboro this Sunday.
Indy 34, Denver 31
New York Jets at Cleveland
Why did the NFL give Cleveland another team? Tradition is one thing, but a sucky team is still a sucky team.
Jets 26, Browns 10
Games like this make picking NFL winners such a frustrating enterprise. I'm just grateful the only thing I'm gambling is my credibility.
Cleveland 20, NYJ 13
Dallas at Carolina
I love watching the Dallas franchise fall apart at the seams. It's the most exquisite schadenfreude.
Panthers 30, Cowboys 7
Carolina has reached Buffalo/Cincinnati proportions for me. They're completely unpredictable--or maybe just not that good.
Dallas 35, Carolina 14
New England at Minnesota
Brad Childress has convinced this Vikings team that they are winners. I'm picking them to take an inconsistent and (so far) untested Pats team down on Monday night.
Vikings 24, Patriots 21
Usually somebody calls the cops when they see a beatdown like the one Bradychick put on the Purple last Monday. I felt like puking by the end of the first quarter. Now we have to face the reality of another @%#$^&*@#%$&! Patriots Superbowl win. To quote Bill Simmons, "I will now light myself on fire."
NE 31, Minnesota 7
This week: 7-7
Last week: 6-7
This season: 70-30 (.700)