After a monumental 14-0 record in week five, I came back by missing five games before the 3:15 p.m. CDT games even kicked off. Here at The Sandlot, that's just unacceptable. Let's see if the ever-unpredictable NFL decides to realign itself with universal laws of cause and effect.
San Diego at Kansas City
Up-and-coming QB, dominating defense, NFL's best player at RB, meet...the Chefs (no, still not a typo).
Chargers 42, Chefs 9
Jacksonville at Houston
Hey, have I already mentioned how Houston should have drafted Reggie Bush? Somewhere in the world, Sam Bowie is breathing a sigh of relief that he is no longer the stupidest first-round pick in professional sports history (selected over Michael Jordan!). By the way, Chris Berman and the rest of America's pronunciation-challenged announcers: It's "JAG-wahrs," NOT "JAG-wires." (I'm not even going to discuss the pretentious faux-British car commercial announcer who says "JAG-you-are." Ugh!)
JAG-wahrs 31, "Didn't draft Reggie Bush"es, 13
Carolina at Cincinnati
As much as I criticize the Eastcoast Sports Promotion Network for their s0-laughably-obvious-it's-pointless-to-deny East Coast bias in baseball, they also know their stuff rock solid in football (which is less subject to regional bias because of the NFL's competitive balance). The point was made that Cincy's O-line is beat up, which allows defenses to shut down Rudy Johnson in the running game and get pressure on Carson Palmer to disrupt their passing game. They also pointed out the Carolina often starts slow and comes on strong later. In the battle of the big cats, I'll take blue over orange.
Panthers 27, Bengals 17
Detroit at New York Jets
Man, I feel sorry for the regional TV audiences who get stuck watching this dead dog of a game.
Jets 21, Lions 17
Green Bay at Miami
ESPN's "Sports Guy" Bill Simmons writes, "If Brett Favre can't cover a five-point spread against a 1-5 team with Joey Harrington at QB, he needs to retire immediately. And I mean, immediately. Within 10 seconds of the final whistle." I couldn't agree more.
Packers 24, Dolphins 10
New England at Buffalo
Buffalo always does the opposite of what I think they will do, so if I predict them to lose a game they should lose, they usually win. But since I think this is an upset special for Buffalo, then I should pick them to lose. But if I think they will lose, does this mean they will win? I freaking HATE Buffalo for picking purposes!
Patriots 23, Bills 16
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
I'm just not picking a 1-4 team with an unknown QB to beat the Eagles, who are coming off a tough road loss. If I'm wrong, so be it, but I'm sticking with Philly until they give me another reason not to.
Eagles 17, Bucs 13
Pittsburgh at Atlanta
Since no one can run effectively on Pittsburgh's defense, and Atlanta can't do anything offensively other than run, I'm taking the team that's rising upward over the one who's falling back to the pack.
Steelers 23, Falcons 16
Denver at Cleveland
Denver's winning again because they're letting their defense dominate while keeping it simple on offense so Plummer's not put in the position to make his characteristic killer mistakes. This formula will continue to work against a terminally mediocre team like Cleveland.
Broncos 24, Browns 6
Arizona at Oakland
Denny Green's probably threatened to kill and eat raw the entire team if they lose this game. Expect Matt Leinart to have a huge day against the putrid Oakland secondary.
Deadbirds 31, Dead Pirates 21
Minnesota at Seattle
No, I'm not picking against Hasselbeck at home. It doesn't even matter how well the Vikings' defense plays, because this team is incapable of scoring offensive touchdowns. I like Brad Johnson as a backup, but he's not taking this team anywhere except next year's draft.
Seahawks 28, Vikings 9
Washington at Indianapolis
Peyton Manning, haters. Washington is starting TWO backups at cornerback. That ought to be good for at least 4-5 TD passes.
Colts 41, Redskins 17
New York Giants at Dallas
I don't even know what to make of this one. Heads, Dallas; Tails, Giants. (flipping coin) Okay, it was tails.
Giants 24, Dallas 21