Now, I have a few questions before we start talking about the games. What is with all of these ugly retro uniforms this year? My God, some of them are horrendous. Let’s take a look for a moment. Here are some of the teams weve seen so far this season. The Eagles, The Jets, The Redskins, The Steelers, The 49ers, and The Bills. Now, some of the uniforms are nice, some are okay, but then theres a few that look like the uniforms were made by Rainbow Brite or they belong to a state penitentiary. Either way there should be a league rule that states that any team that has an ugly retro uniform should not be allowed to play. You want to keep your fans watching the game, not have them changing the channel because they might go blind or get sick from looking at all of those ugly jerseys.
Also, whats with all of the originals squaring off against the others? We had the original Adrian Peterson on the Bears against the other Adrian Peterson on the Vikes. And then there was the original #81, Terrell Owens, against the other #81, Randy Moss in the Battle of the Undefeated. Well with the outcome from last Sundays games, it looks like Bizarro finally beats Superman and the others had a better day than the originals.
Location: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY
Ravens RB Willis McGehee will face off against his old team this weekend. That shouldnt be a problem. The Bills are ranked 25th in the league against the run. The
The Bills are coming off their bye week. A much-needed bye week for a team thats been plagued by injury for the majority of the season. Bills QB Trent Edwards will start this Sunday instead of J.P. Losman. Look for the Bills to try to go to the air against the Ravens. The Ravens have the 3rd best rushing defense in the league and the 11th best pass defense. Theyre better off passing than running. Also, the Bills need to pressure the QB and try to throw him off of his game.
With Steve McNair out of this Sundays game with a bad back, Kyle Boller will get the start. Boller didnt have the greatest stats last week in the Ravens win against the Rams. He was 18 for 30 for 184 yards and 1 interception. Those numbers should be higher against weaker teams like the Rams. Ironically, Boller and McNair are tied in both the touchdown and interception category for the Ravens. Both players have 2 TDs and 2 INTs for the season. So on paper, it really doesnt matter which QB is in the game. A sub-par Boller is just as good as a broke-down McNair. The Ravens defense will throw everything plus the kitchen sink at the Bills O-line. Dont look for the Bills to circle the wagons this weekend.
My Pick: Bills
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
With a little help from the Madden Curse, the Bucs beat the Titans last Sunday. The Lions had a bye last week, so they didnt beat anyone. Actually, the Lions are probably still trying to figure out how in the hell they let the Skins squash them like they did in their Week 5 match-up.
The Bucs are the better team in this match-up. They have the better QB and the better O-line. Jeff Garcia is light on his feet and he can move around in the pocket. Hell, if you were married to his wife, you would be light on you feet and have movement in your pocket too. Hell be able to make plays with his feet and get receivers open while hes scrambling. Garcia is the key for the Bucs to win this game.
Since the Bucs are now down to RB by committee, the Bucs gave up two draft picks, undisclosed 2008 and 2009 picks, to the Chiefs for RB Michael Bennett. It still wont help the run game. The Lions are ranked 17th in the league against the rush and lately, running the ball is not one of the main factors that have contributed to the 19th in rushing ranked Bucs winning ways.
Its going to be hard for the Lions to throw the ball against the Bucs secondary. The Lions are reporting that RB Kevin Jones is healthy and will play this Sunday. Hopefully the Lions will be able to run the ball against a decent Bucs defense. That 10 win promise that Lions QB, Jon Kitna, made earlier in the season is starting to be in jeopardy.
My Pick: Buccaneers
Location: Dolphin Stadium, Miami, FL
Its bad enough starting QB, Trent Green, is contemplating his future after suffering a Grade III concussion in the Phins Week 5 loss against the Texans. Now the Phins trade their best WR, Chris Chambers, to the Chargers for a 2nd round pick in the 2008 draft. We understand that your season is pretty much done, but you dont have to make it that obvious. And the Phins are facing the Pats this weekend. The Phins lose.
Ronnie Brown is the only consistent piece for the Phins. Brown had 19 carries for 101 yards and 1 touchdown in last Sundays loss against the Browns. For the season, Brown has 102 carries for 526 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. He also has 5 catches for 356 yards and 1 touchdown receiving for the season. Hes the key piece for the Phins offense.
What bad can you say about the Pats this year? The 3rd quarter of last Sundays game was the first time the Pats were actually behind in a game after the 1st half this season. And that lasted all of 5 minutes. The Phins are out-coached and out-manned in this game
This is the type of game when a team with the lowest chance of winning could and has pulled out the win. Do I expect the Pats to win, yes I do. Would I be surprised if the Phins won, no I wouldnt. It all comes down to what type of mental preparation the Phins have in Sundays game. If they come into the game with the attitude to play to win, they have a chance. If they have the attitude to play trying not to lose, this game is over by the 1st quarter.
My Pick: Patriots
Location: Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Left is right for the Falcons. The Falcons have had enough of Joey Harringtons tomfoolery and has decided to go with Byron Leftwich in Sundays game. Leftwich is an improvement at the QB position for the Falcons, but not a big improvement. Hes a statue in the pocket. He doesnt move at all. But he does have a rocket of an arm and if any of those Falcon WRs can get open for a big play, hell find them. He really has no choice but to throw the ball; the Falcons are ranked 21st in the league in rushing.
The Saints were alive last Sunday with their win against the Seahawks. Reggie Bush ran the ball well and Drew Brees threw the ball well also. Brees finished the night with 246 yards on 25 of 26 passes and he had 2 TDs. Bush had 19 carries for 97 yards. Although he didnt score a touchdown, he still had a good performance. If the Saints want to win, theyre going to have the do the same things they did against the Seahawks in this Sundays game. Run the ball and make big plays on defense against a weak Falcons O-line.
My Pick: Saints
Location: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
For another week, I have to go against my Niners. The Niners lost a close game to the Ravens before they had their bye week. Hopefully they used that bye wisely and figured out how they can get Frank Gore involved in the offense more. Gore has 84 carries for 306 yards and 3 TDs and hasnt scored a touchdown since Week 2. The Niners need to protect Trent Dilfer this Sunday and buy him some time in the pocket so he can make some plays. Thats going to be hard for the Niners O-line to do because the Giants defense is playing well.
The Giants have done a complete 180°. After starting the season 0-2, the Giants have won 4 straight games and are 1 game behind the Cowboys. Credit that to the Giants defense. The Giants defense is ranked 9th in the league. They attack the ball well and will find ways to get in the backfield. Offensively, the Giants are still a little off. The WRs still wont make the simple catches, but they will make the big catches. Apparently it works. Heres a little fact, Plaxico Burress and Randy Moss are tied for the most receiving TDs (8) for the season. Look for the G-men to put a stomping on my Niners.
My Pick: Giants
Location: FedEx Field, Landover, MD
With Matt Leinart out for the year, the Cards signed 8-yer veteran Tim Rattay last week and named Kurt Warner the starter. Then Warner dislocates his non-throwing elbow in last Sundays game against Carolina and the Cards signed Tim Hasselbeck. Now, if Warner is not ready to play, Rattay will get the start. The Cards will have to put Edggerin James to work on Sunday and run the hell out of him. They have to wear out the Skins defense if theyre going to win on Sunday.
On that note, Im taking the Skins. The Skins have a better QB; better O-line, and better defense. They just missed beating the Packers due to a fumble. The Skins have to have minimal mistakes this Sunday if the want to win.
My Pick: Redskins
Location: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
Most sport fans are superstitious. Most athletes are superstitious. Superstition is part of culture. When you spill salt on the table, you throw some over you left shoulder. When you see a black cat, you change your direction so it doesnt cross your path. And when Sports Illustrated or if EA Sports calls and ask you to be on the cover, you tell them that youre dead.
Vince Young looks to be a game time decesion. If he doesnt play, then 13-year veteran, Kerry Collins will get the start. If Collins starts, then the Titans will have to run the ball with LenDale White and Chris Brown. The Titans are ranked 6th in the league rushing while the Texans are ranked 19th in the league defending the rush.
The Titans are ranked 1st in rush defense and the Texans do not have the RBs to wear down the Titans defense. Unfortunately, the only thing the Texans can do is run the ball because their passing game is missing WR Andre Johnson. It looks like the clock just struck midnight for the Texans.
My Pick: Titans
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
This is not the same Bengals team of years past. RB Rudi Johnson is still limited due to his injury, so the Bengals have to rely on their passing game. Carson Palmer was 26 for 43 with 320 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs in last Sundays game. Not bad, but not great either. Palmer threw both of his touchdown passes to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Houshmandzadeh leads the team in touchdown receptions with 7 TDs for the season. If the Bengals defense can wake up and put pressure on Jets offense, they have this game won.
The Jets are just as much a mess as the Bengals. Both of these teams were in the playoffs last season and are now in a position to miss the playoffs this season. The Jets did realize one thing last week, let RB Thomas Jones loose. Jones ran for 130 yards on 24 carries. The Jets secondary also has to play like this is their last game. The Bengals are 2nd in the league in passing averaging 248.8 passing yards on the season. The story from this game is the poor play of Chad Pennington for the season. Chad finished the last Sundays game 11 for 21 with 128 yards, no touchdowns and 1 interception. IMO, Chads job is on the line in this game. He really has to step it up.
Personally, I dont believe in a team making changes in the middle of the season. You dance with whoever got you to the prom and Chad has been the QB for the Jets since forever. But sometimes that person who got you to the prom turns out to be terrible and you have to ditch them. Well its time to ditch Chad and bring in Kellen Clemens. If the Man-genius doesnt make that move soon, then he may have to sit in the corner of the classroom with a dunce cap.
My Pick: Bengals
Location: McAfee Coliseum, Oakland, CA
The Chiefs had a big week last Sunday. RB Larry Johnson ran for 100+ yards in his 2nd game in a row. TE Tony Gonzalez broke Shannon Sharpes record for Most Career TDs by a TE. And the Chiefs won their 2nd game in a row to reach .500 this season.
If they want to win this Sunday, they need to do the same thing. Keep running LJ and Damon Huard needs to hit Gonzalez as much as possible on offense. On defense, put a ton of pressure on Daunte Culpepper and throw off that game plan. The Chiefs also have to stop the Raiders run game. The Raiders are ranked 3rd in rushing in the league.
The Raiders needs to let their LBs pressure the Chiefs. Have them everywhere you could possibly put them on the field defensively. The Chiefs are ranked 17th in passing and 30th in running the ball. The Raiders LBs are too much of a match for the Chiefs.
My Pick: Raiders
Location: Texas Stadium, Irving, TX
The Vikings won a close game against the Bears last week while the Boys put up a good fight but lost to the Pats. The Vikes are ranked 25th in the league in total defense and the Boys are ranked 2nd in the league for total offense. The Vikes have Adrian Peterson which is good for them considering he was beastin last week. Peterson had 20 carries for 224 yards and 3 TDs. Ladies and gentlemen, here is your Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Vikes need to force Tony Romo to make mistakes and benefit from them if they are going to win the game.
The Boys need to do everything they have been doing until the 3rd quarter of last Sundays game. For the exception of Peterson, the Vikes are weak. Tavaris Jackson is weak and their WRs are weak. The defense barely beat the Bears last weak and now the Vikes are going into Texas Stadium after a Boys loss. Good Luck.
My Pick: Cowboys
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
The Bears lost a heart breaker against the Eagles did all of the little things right against the Jets. The Bears defense is just a shadow of itself from a year ago. What was once a Top 5 defense has now been reduced to the 27th ranked defense in the league. Actually, ouch is right with the Bears considering all of the injuries they have suffered on defense. This is why the Eagles have the edge.
Donovan McNabb has numerous weapons to go to against the weak Bears defense. It was evident in last weeks game against the Jets. McNabb was 22 for 35 with 278 yards and 1 touchdown in last Sundays game. Although he had 1 touchdown, it was a big touchdown for 75 yards to one of his newest targets, WR Kevin Curtis. Curtis had 5 catches for 121 yards and that 1 touchdown.
Also, when you have a Brian Westbrook in your backfield, you can make things happen because you have a versatile player who can contribute in rushing and receiving. Westbrook had 20 carries for 120 yards rushing and 6 catches for 36 yards in receiving in last Sundays game. That versatility allows McNabb to use the whole field when moving the ball for the score. Look for the Eagles to give the Bears a stomach ache when their offense is on the field and tire out an already depleted defense.
My Pick: Eagles
Location: Qwest Field, Seattle, WA
This is my Who cares? game of the week. The Seahawks stunk up the joint last Sunday against the Saints while the Rams have been stinking up the joint all season long. The Seahawks look good against bad teams and look bad against good teams. Thats it. It aint rocket science. I just cant explain what happened last week against the Saints. They should have had that game won.
On paper, the Seahawks are the better team across the board. Their only disadvantage is that they do not have the WRs the Rams have. The Rams may have the WRs, but they dont have the QB, O-line, or RB. Youre not winning with ¼ of the puzzle.
My Pick: Seahawks
Sunday Night Game:
Location: Invesco Field, Denver, CO
The Steelers have the #1 ranked defense in the league. The Broncos are the 5th ranked offense in the league. It all comes down to which Jay Cutler shows up. Composed, mistake-free Jay or Nervous, freaked-out, accident prone Jay. Thats what it really boils down to.
Since the Broncos running game is a hurting unit with injuries, dont look for a lot of running from them. They have to go to the air. Despite what the numbers say, the Steelers have the better secondary than the Broncos. Look for the Steelers to shut down the Broncos WRs and their rushing attack.
My Pick: Steelers
Monday Night Game:
Location: ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
The Colts are the 3rd ranked offense and the 5th ranked defense in the league. The Jags are ranked 7th in offense and 8th in defense in the league. If you think the Sunday Night Game will be a barn burner, the Monday Night Game will be a nuclear explosion. Im going with the Colts in this game because of past performances against the Jags. The Colts are 9-3 all-time against the Jags and QB David Gerad is going against the 5th ranked defense in the league. He doesnt have a chance.
The Jags have a good RB duo of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor. And defensively, they Jags have the edge on the Colts with their LBs and DBs. Then again, were talking about the Peyton Manning and the Colts. Manning will call so many audibles; hell leave the Jags heads spinning on defense. Colts WR Marvin Harrisons status is still up in the air. Hell most likely be a game time decision. RB Joseph Addai and Safety Bob Saunders did practice this week and are ready to go. The Colts are the 2nd best team in the league and will do whatever it takes to prove why they are the defending champs.
My Pick: Colts