I've been wallowing in mediocrity since the Perfect Week, going .500. That's about to change.
There now exists a class of teams in this league which defy reason. Teams which look awesome one week, then crap the bed the next, or vice versa. Teams like Houston, Jacksonville, Atlanta, and my beloved Kansas City. Predicting how these teams will fare each week is an exercise in futility, and know that each time I do so I'm basically flipping a coin. Such is life in the modern NFL.
On to the choices for Week 8, the first week where thoughts aren't distracted by baseball.
KANSAS CITY over Seattle
Huard might not play, but have you seen the starting backfiled for the defending NFC Champs? QB Seneca Wallace, welcome to Arrowhead. Think about it, when the schedule came out, you're looking at this one and thinking.."Hmm, Trent Green/Larry Johnson matching up with Matt Hasselbeck/Shaun Alexander, should be a great matchup". Well, since only LJ is still on the field from that foursome, I'm taking the Chiefs.
Kansas City 22 Seattle 13
CHICAGO over San Francisco
Whatever the spread is here, it isn't high enough. Bears, fresh off bye week, are simply too much for upstart Niners. The Bear offense should even find the end zone once or twice.
Chicago 31 San Francisco 6
NEW ORLEANS over Baltimore
Sticking with what has worked, picking the Saints at home until someone knocks them off. I seriously doubt it will be the Ravens, who, surprise, have offensive problems. Wasn't Brian Billick an "offensive genius" when Modell hired him? Has any one unit on one team been consistently bad for so long?
New Orleans 21 Baltimore 10
Houston over TENNESSEE
Two teams I can't understand, and have stopped trying to. Magic 8 Ball says.......Texans. Whatever.
Houston 27 Tennessee 20
GREEN BAY over Arizona
Eww, another craptacular. Cardinals seem to have gone in the tank following collapse in the Bear game. Packers are a little more fiesty at home, and can grab one here to give more false hope to their fan base.
Green Bay 26 Arizona 17
N.Y. GIANTS over Tampa Bay
G-Men are playing best ball of the season right now, and should be able to contain suddenly frisky Bucs. Swirling winds in Giants Stadium will make sure there are no late 62 yard miracle kicks as well. Mr. Gradkowsi, meet Mr. Strahan.
N.Y. Giants 20 Tampa Bay 6
CINCINNATI over Atlanta
Bengals grabbed huge win at home last week versus Carolina, and I'm picking them here despite the injury woes. Falcons won't be tossing the ball all over the joint this week, but even their stout rushing attack won't be enough here. Hunch says Cincy...
Cincinnati 24 Atlanta 20
PHILADELPHIA over Jacksonville
Eagles glad to be home, and are catching struggling Jags at just the right time. Some think Jacksonville is better off with David Garrard at QB, and that may be true, but Philly is coming off two tough road losses, and will be well served with some home cookin'.
Philadelphia 27 Jacksonville 13
SAN DIEGO over St. Louis
Bolts bounce back after last week's late comeback failed in KC. Rams record is nice, but they haven't faced a team this tough on the road, and the defense will be tested. So long as the Chargers don't commit early, costly turnovers, they should coast.
San Diego 33 St. Louis 17
Pittsburgh over OAKLAND
Steelers, even with Batch at QB, have more than enough weapons to smoke the Raiders, who are playing better of late. Can't see Cowher's team suffering a letdown, coming off last week's defensive disaster in Atlanta.
Pittsburgh 23 Oakland 9
DENVER over Indianapolis
Game of the Week? On paper, certainly. Broncos defense has been lights out all year, and faces it's biggest test with Peyton and Co in town. The key to this game will be what the Denver offense can do, however. If they can grind it out, kill the clock and keep Manning off the field, that will be a recipe for success. I see Shanahan keeping the game plan simple to avoid letting Jake Plummer make foolish mistakes, as is his custom.
Denver 16 Indianapolis 14
N.Y. Jets over CLEVELAND
Jets, keeping up the pace in the AFC based on their soft schedule, should have enough to get by the Brownies in the Dawg Pound. Unlike previous opponents, Cleveland doesn't have the firepower to come back from the defecit the Jets will impose.
N.Y. Jets 23 Cleveland 10
CAROLINA over Dallas
After watching the effort last Monday against the Giants, it's really hard to see why there were folks in Dallas clamoring for Romo to be the starting QB. He looked jittery and indecisive, throwing some very ugly picks. Panthers, back home, will keep the Big D downward slide going. Parcells watch, anyone?
Carolina 24 Dallas 10
New England over MINNESOTA
Ordinarily teams would get trapped here, but Bellichek will not allow that. Pats seem to be hitting their stride now, and though it might not be pretty, will do enough things right to escape the Dome with a W. I'm thinking a close game here, with a late Brady TD to make it...
New England 24 Minnesota 13
Last Week: 6-7
Overall: 66-34 (66%)