22-10. 34 runs to 29 pass plays. I’ll take it. SOMEONE this year is going to have to get to the playoffs on the ground, and I’ll wear that badge proudly if it happens.
Patriots at Bills – Tempting…sooooo tempting, and they’re at home, too….aaaagh. Fuck it! Let’s go! Buffalo has to jump all over the Patriots secondary, and make their defensive line a non-factor by going downfield and keeping an extra guy in to protect as the crowd becomes a factor. Ralph Wilson stadium is one of the few old cinder blocks that can rattle people left int he NFL. The Pats are putting up 30 regardless. You have to be up to the task, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Put that Harvard degree to good use and don’t let Belichick fool you. Execute every pass play. Get Fred Jackson involved just enough that you have to think about the run, hang in, and score late just like you did last week. It’s your house, you’ve lost the last 16 games against New England. You’re due! Get ’emmmmm! Bills 38, Pats 34.
Lions at Vikings – Some 2-0 teams simply have to show me something with a win. The Lions have to show me a blowout tomorrow. I want McNabb fucking benched by the 3rd quarter. They have a chance to go into a divisional rival’s house and just absolutely bury them tomorrow. The Vikings defense has no chance against the Lions’ outside weapons, and if you line up 8 in the box to stop AP, Donovan will still find a way to throw 2 picks to your 3 guys in coverage. It’s that bad in Minnesota right now, and if you’re a legit team, you should walk in here and lay some wood. Lions 41, Vikings 13.
Texans at Saints – Anyone who thinks the Texans are going to go into the Super Dome as constructed and beat the Saints hasn’t been watching the Texans these past few years (which is understandable). They could have scored 110 points these past two weeks and looked like the best team in the NFL, and I wouldn’t care. I know these Texans. When the heat turns up, they fold. When they face another elite QB, they can’t keep up. I’ve seen these Texans before, and I know how the story ends: Saints 41, Texans 28.
Giants at Eagles – Can the Eagles be had in this game? Absolutely. Their B gaps are wide open all game, and that plays right into the strength of the Giants’ rushing attack (when it’s used). Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Mario Manningham is a go in this game, and that hurts them in this game perhaps more than in any other game on their schedule. Even if Brandon Stokley’s package swells up to game-changing proportions, they can’t make the Eagles defend the whole field. It’s going to take a defensive touchdown and alot of smash mouth that they haven’t shown you out of the Giants to make it out of this one on top. Possible, but highly unlikely. Eagles 28, Giants 17.
Ravens at Rams – The Rams’ admirable march to 0-7 continues as another tested team falls into their laps this Sunday. With Steven Jackson still not at 100%, there’ll be nothing to keep that Raven D preoccupied with anything other than ripping Sam Bradford’s shoulder to pieces. Yet another game you can’t blame him for not being ready for. The Rams starting 0-3 is just as devastating to their season as the Ravens starting 1-2 is to theirs. We might learn something in this game if it doesn’t turn out the way I think it will. Ravens 27, Rams 20.
Packers at Bears – Another game that you hope will be competitive because of the rivalry associated with it, but it just doesn’t seem like it’ll work out that way. I can already see the “well if you give Cutler an entire offseason to gameplan” jokes coming, and the DVD of Roy Williams’ drops is already in pre-pro. The Packers, as explosive as they are, have really yet to disintegrate an opponent in a while. The Bears’ cover 2 scheme with all these talented receivers flying underneath it all day is going to be a bad matchup for the Bears all year long. Packers 37, Bears 20.
Dolphins at Browns – The Dolphins are who I thought they were, and that sets up our Brownies for 2-1. The push for January begins! As long as they control the line of scrimmage with their All-Pro tackle and Madden cover franchise back, and don’t overstrain the accurate arm of Colt McCoy, the Browns will be in every game until December. Stay with me, Colt, stay with me! Browns 24, Dolphins 20.
Cardinals at Seahawks – Still liking the Cardinals. They had the Redskins right where they wanted them and caved at the last minute. I’m chalking that up to a new nucleus not quite gelled. With divisional play starting up for them in the NFC West this week, look for the Cards to appear better than they actually are. Kolb to Fitz will always be there to put up points, and if you can find a way to work Jeff King into the offense, you can find a way for everyone else. Cards 27, Seahawks 17.
Falcons at Buccaneers – Classic emotional let down loss for the loser, momentum building win for the winner. People were bagging all over the Falcons for “getting handed” a win. I’m sure they’ll be gentler with Michael Vick next time >:-/. I think the Falcons stumbled onto something offensively. Julio Jones is better than I thought he’d be so early in his career and as long as they keep the balance in playcalling, they should outplay less experienced teams like the Bucs. Falcons 24, Bucs 20.
Baltimore, Carolina, Jets, Cincinnati, Tennessee, San Diego, Pittsburgh
SF-DAL was pretty exciting last week until the Niners D bit on play action like a pillow in prison at let a reality star run 77 yards behind their safeties. Inexcusable.
Steve dares to dream (or at least that’s what the voices tell him) and passes over a slate of JAC-CAR, SF-CIN, DEN-TEN, MIA-CLE and ARI-SEA to go with PIT-IND as his tie pick.
I’m not so adventurous. SF-CIN does something for me.