I mean, how would you feel in my place? My three favorite teams are Minnesota, Indianapolis and St. Louis. 1-15, lost the NFC Championship they should have won, lost the Superbowl they should have won. On top of that, we have the Sword-of-Damocles-like prospect of a work stoppage due to labor strife next season, a pre-season expert consensus of Green Bay vs. New York Jets in the Superbowl (and I won't even watch the commercials for THAT one), and a preseason prediction pileup so baffling that I can't even venture a guess on who will even make the playoffs, much less conference championships or the Superbowl. I suppose after this week I'll pick eight teams from each conference who I think have a chance at the playoffs. Until then, I will continue the weekly Sandlot tradition of game-by-game picks. I'm not excited about the football season, but at least it means that baseball is almost over. As always, these are my official picks entered in the "Pigskin Pick'em" contest at espn.com.
Minnesota at New Orleans
Already picked the Saints to win last night, which they did. Go ahead and kick me when I'm down. I can't believe I have to listen this craptastic Katrina redemption championship story for the next five months.
Saints 14, Vikings 9 (final)
Miami at Buffalo
Buffalo still has a team? Really? Huh...
Dolphins 31, Bills 6 [MIA 15 BUF 10]
I feel sorry for anyone who actually had to watch this game.
Detroit at Chicago
I'm so old, I remember when this was a game to look forward to.
Bears 13, Lions 9 [CHI 19 DET 14]
Don't care what the stupid rules say; Detroit got totally hosed on this one. Oh yeah, and Jay Cutler still sucks.
Oakland at Tennessee
If I owned a football team, I'd pay Jeff Fisher whatever he wanted to be my head coach.
Titans 24, Raiders 14 [TEN 38 OAK 13]
This was just too easy...
Cincinnati at New England
Brady's had a year to rehab his knee, so he should be good to go, which is bad news for everyone else in the league.
Patriots 31, Bengals 27 [NE 38 CIN 24]
Carolina at NY Giants
I hate Carolina. I don't know why, but I just hate everything about this franchise.
Giants 23, Panthers 13 [NYG 31 CAR 18]
Well, at least one of the Mannings won; that's something I guess...
Atlanta at Pittsburgh
Steelers fans, are you really excited about Dennis Dixon? Let me repeat that: Dennis Dixon? I didn't think so.
Falcons 24, Steelers 17 [PIT 15 ATL 9]
Will someone please remind me not to go against the Steelers at home against the NFC again?
Cleveland at Tampa Bay
Yeah, I know it's Jake Delhomigod he just threw another pick, but Tampa is just cover-your-eyes awful, and did they add anyone at all in the offseason?
Browns 13, Bucs 10 [TB 17 CLE 14]
Oh wait, you meant CLEVELAND, didn't you? Ugh...
Denver at Jacksonville
Flip a coin with either of these teams, but I think this whole Tebow thing is going to make good things happen for Denver, even if it's just his enthusiasm rubbing off on the rest of the team. I also have a hard time seeing Jax shake off the malaise of an utterly disinterested fan base.
Broncos 17, Jags 13 [JAX 24 DEN 17]
Why, oh why do I ever believe in Denver?
Indy at Houston
Someday Houston has to be able to hold a three-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter against the Colts, right? Well, I'm counting this as the official Superbowl hangover letdown game...unless all it did was piss off Peyton so much he's determined to take them back again...see why I can't get a handle on this season?
Texans 33, Colts 31 [HOU 34 IND 24]
Sometimes I just hate it when I'm right.
San Francisco at Seattle
Just because I freaking HATE San Fran; always have, always will. I had a hard time cheering for Joe Montana when he came over to KC just because I spent so many years hating him in SF. Did I mention that I HATE SAN FRANCISCO?!?!?!?
Seahawks 49, 49ers 0 [SEA 31 KC 6]
Nelson Muntz: "HAA-HA!!!"
Green Bay at Philadelphia
Aaron Rogers is Jesus Christ and the Packers will win the Superbowl. Happy? Can you just leave me alone now?!?!?!?!?!!!
Packers 38, Eagles 24 [GB 27 PHI 20]
Now we know why Philly didn't trade away Mike Vick.
Arizona at St. Louis
I'm drinking the Sam Bradford Kool-Aid. I'm not just sipping it. I'm not just drinking a big glass of it. I'm sticking my head right down into the cooler and swallowing gigantic gulps of its cold, fruity goodness. Sam Bradford, Boomer Sooner, the savior of St. Louis football. Hey, after 1-15 and watching my big boys fall, I want the Kool-Aid. I need the Kool-Aid. Let me drink my Kool-Aid in peace, my friends.
Rams 28, Cardinals 24 [ARZ 17 STL 13]
For God's sake, Rams, trade for or sign a big-time receiver, right now!
Dallas at Washington
Why the 'Skins? Because of Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan. And because I won't ever jump on the Dallas bandwagon. I wouldn't do it in 1978, and I'm sure not going to do it now.
'Skins 20, Cowboys 17 [WSH 13 DAL 7]
What a boring game—virtually unwatchable
Baltimore at NY Jets
I missed the game in my predictions, but I picked it right in the pool.
Ravens 10, Jets 9
San Diego at Kansas City
Are we still sure that Phillip Rivers is God and Norv Turner really can take a team far into the playoffs? Because I keep hearing the tune but I never get to see the dance. Meh, it's still the Chefs, tho, so I guess this seems like a safe pick.
Chargers 24, Chefs 10 [KC 21 SD 14]
Way to go, KC. I hate the Chargers, too.
This season: 11-5 (.688)
Last season: On suicide watch through the end of March