Hey all, I’m riding high after last week’s heretofore unprecedented 14-0 week. That’s right, dear readers, your boy went undefeated in Week 5. I’m not going to gloat (too much), but that was pretty darned impressive, don’t you think? Admittedly, some of the analysis was way off the mark, and I needed some late miracles (thanks for screwing it up late, Lions, Titans, Cardinals and Cowboys!), but hey, 14-0 is 14-0, and I won’t argue with the bottom line.
A little background into the process I use when making my selections. I look at the ESPN Pigskin Pick ‘Em pool of which I am a member, the Deadspin Pants Party, each Thursday. I then look at the matchup, and go with my first instinct, despite conventional wisdom, and play those choices. The only exception is if a significant injury occurs at some point before game time, where I adjust accordingly. This week, I will take the foolish step of throwing in a final score prediction, just for the hell of it. If you play the spreads, adjust accordingly.
Obviously it’s been working pretty well so far, so let’s move on to the picks for Week 6:
DALLAS over Houston
Cowboys still reeling after late collapse in Philly last week. Texan QB David Carr can put up decent numbers if he stays upright, but Dallas has a big talent edge and should coast. Maybe they’ll even throw a ball or two to He Who Shall Not Be Named, but deep down I hope not. Seeing this team in turmoil is immensely entertaining, and the countdown for Parcells strangling a reporter is now underway. HWSNBN (now known in this space as “Me-O”) is doing a great job screaming at coaches and dissing his QB in the media, but maybe it would behoove both him and the team if he didn’t stand there like a statue when a pass isn’t aimed directly at his numbers. Even St. Troy (Aikman) called his act “tired” during the broadcast last week. When you’ve lost St. Troy, you’ve lost Dallas.
Dallas 31 Houston 16
NEW ORLEANS over Philadelphia
Despite big press clippings, Eagle D sure seems to allow lots of points. There is some serious mojo in the Superdome this year, and I’m reluctant to pick against the Saints at home until someone steps up and beats them. Besdides, Philly is due to have a slight letdown after the Dallas game last week, and each week of success brings more confidence to Drew Brees and Co. This could be the real coming out party for Reggie Bush, and I look to see him deployed all over the place to keep the Iggles off balance.
New Orleans 27 Philadelphia 23
ST. LOUIS over Seattle
Just a hunch, but this is my Upset of the Week. Rams dying to prove they’re for real despite 4-1 record, and there is no better way to prove it then by knocking off the defending conference champs. Hawks are still a bit banged up and just might struggle enough in this dome to take an L.
St. Louis 21 Seattle 19
ATLANTA over N.Y. Giants
Falcs tough at home, and I’m still not sold on the G-Men defense despite last week’s domination of Washington. John Abraham is back, and Giants have shown a severe vulnerability to a solid pass rush. Atlanta ground game gets back on track in front of home crowd, and paces the way to victory.
Atlanta 24 NY Giants 16
WASHINGTON over Tennessee
Titans should have won last week in Indy, but couldn’t hang on for sixty minutes and finish the job. Ground game looked strong, but Skins D is tougher, despite some nagging injuries. Washington was thoroughly dominated on offense last week, and should be able to take out any lingering frustrations against Tennessee.
Washington 34 Tennessee 13
Buffalo over DETROIT
Lions have to win one of these weeks, right? They were in total control last week before coughing it up twice late, leading to two defensive TD’s by the Vikings in a 26-17 loss. Bills were obliterated in Chicago, and aren’t that bad. I look for J.P. Losman to bounce back this week. Detroit fans are so preoccupied with the success of the Tigers they won’t even realize how bad their football team is until November. For goodness sake, can we just Fire Millen already?
Buffalo 30 Detroit 20
Carolina over BALTIMORE
Ravens still don’t impress, though the defense remains solid. It’s basically the same as it ever was in Baltimore, despite all the pre-season hype surrounding the arrival of Steve McNair, which was supposed to rejuvenate the offense. Panthers aren’t winning pretty either, but they’re winning, and should be able to escape with a road win.
Carolina 19 Baltimore 9
Cincinnati over TAMPA BAY
Many are picking the Bucs this week, and I just do not understand why. This is a seriously flawed and bruised team, and with the Bengals coming off a bye week after being smoked at home by the Pats, this smells like a blowout. Carson Palmer has had an extra week to study the defense, and Marvin Lewis has had an extra week to prepare for Bruce Gradowski. ‘Nuff said.
Cincinnati 34 Tampa Bay 13
San Diego over SAN FRANCISCO
Bolts are very tough on both sides of the ball, and should be able to dominate the Niners. Philip Rivers seems to be gaining confidence each week, and Schottenheimer will make sure his team isn’t caught looking ahead to division matchup with KC next week. Niners are much improved, and Alex Smith looks like the real deal, but the Chargers have just too much firepower. San Fran makes it respectable with a few late scores, so….
San Diego 37 San Francisco 20
Kansas City over PITTSBURGH
Conventional Wisdom says this is the week the Stillers finally get it together and display the form exhibited during the amazing late season run last year. Reality tells me that Ben Roethlisberger is simply not the same QB he was then, whether from the multiple injuries he’s sustained or the fact that the rest of the league has figured him out. Apparently the loss of Jerome Bettis looms larger than most people thought. KC QB Damon Huard has done nothing but manage games effectively, not turn the ball over, and put the Chiefs in position to win each week, going 2-1 in his three starts. My boys can steal one in Steeltown, and Cowher’s jaw juts out just a little more.
Kansas City 23 Pittsburgh 17
N.Y. JETS over Miami
Speaking of overrated teams, how about the Dolphins? Picked by more than one national pundit to reach the Super Bowl, they’ve looked like a team is disarray all year. The offensive line has been very offensive, and now coach Nick Saban has alienated his high priced free agent signing, Daunte Culpepper, and has put the ship in the hands of Joey Harrington. Yikes. J-E-T-S are not nearly as bad as they looked in Jacksonville last week, and have enough to keep Miami reeling.
N.Y. Jets 22 Miami 14
DENVER over Oakland
Are you kidding? I know Oakland traditionally plays the Broncos tough in the Mile High City, but this is probably one of the worst teams they’ve ever fielded. Denver offense has not been good, but the defense has been dominating, especially at home, and all signs point to this one getting really ugly, really quickly. Al Davis must be spinning in his grave over this. Wait, what?
Denver 31 Oakland 0
Chicago over ARIZONA
Bear train shows no signs of derailing yet, and can make another statement on national TV this week. Chicago has been scary dominant all year, and the Cards are no match. Matt Leinart had better have his scrambling shoes on, because he’s going to see some serious pressure. By the way, what the heck has gotten into Rex Grossman? Somebody needs to check his urine, stat.
Chicago 38 Arizona 10
Last week: 14-0 (100%, as you may have heard)
Season: 53-21 (71.6%)