Sunday, October 15, 2006


Some challenging matchups highlight this week in the NFL. Will the Bengals put up half a hundy on the porous Buccaneer defense? Who will win the Saints/Eagles battle of the Titans? Ans most importantly, will any of T.O.D.'s teammmates try to take him out while he's on the field because none of the Texans will be able to?

These are the questions we ponder as we head into week 6. Let's take a look at the games:

Bengals (3-1) @ Bucs (0-4)
The Bengals are coming off their bye week, and before that they played like they were on a bye against the Pats. Cincy lost that game at home to New England 38-13 in what was a humiliating, humbling and horrible defeat. Now the Bucs are going to pay the price for all that inabilty and inactivity. The same reason I though the Bengals were going to get over on t=my Pats applies here: Carson Palmer & his merry band of receivers, Chad Johnson & TJ Whosyourmama especially, should make the airspace over Ray Jay look like MacDill is holding one of their Air Shows. With the Bucs secondary getting burned more than often than leaves in New England at this time of year, the Bengals should be able to put on an aerial display envied by the Blue Angels. Plus they can run the ball with Rudi Johnson. Meanwhile the Bucs will trot out new QB/emerging folk hero Bruce the Rocket Gradkowski for his 2nd pro game. Too bad it looks like most of the rest of the team are playing their 2nd game as well. This could get ugly, early & often, unless the Rocket adds to his already crowded bandwagon with another outstanding performance. Chad Johnson's longest catch this season is 18 yards: I guarantee that will change today.
MY PICK: Bengals 34-24

Giants (2-2) @ Falcons (3-1)
A very interesting matchup of 2 exciting, potent offenses with star QBs that run a completely different kind of attack Mike Vick like to run- I know, I'm always chock full of knowledge early Sunday morning- to the tune of 333 yards, 3rd in the NFC. Yes, a QB is the 3rd leading rusher in the conference; sick, isn't it? But Peyton's Brother Manning (name's Eli- see, chock full) would much rather sling the ball (as all the Mannings do) to the tune of 8th in the NFL in yds & 3rd in TD(9). The Falcons like to run, Giants like to pass, Falcons have a better D & are at home.
MY PICK: Falcons 33-28

Panthers (3-2) @ Ravens (4-1) GAME OF THE DAY
The panthers are on the road to recovery: after looking awful in losing their 1st 2 games they have reeled off 3 straight and appear to be rounding into that pre-season SB fave form. Meanwhile the bloom came off the Raven hopes when they were exposed in Denver. Exposed as a team with a terrific D, but an O that is still a work in progress. This one should be a low-scoring, ugly NFL smackdown befitting the just-turned-Autumn weather.
MY PICK: Panthers 17-13

Texans (1-3) @ Cowboys (3-3)
Fresh off their humiliating loss to arch rival Philly, in which the Eagles held their former mouthy malcontent teammate to a mere 3 catches for 49 yds, a game in which T.O.D. had a verbal confrontation with his position coach (wow-shocker!) and Drew Bledsoe threw 3 horrible picks, to say the Cowboys need a feel-good win is an understatement. Well whaddaya know, look who comes to Irving-none other than in-state-patsy Houston. Although the Texans got a W 2 weeks ago against Miami, don't look for a repeat of the same. The Boys will get some attitude adjustments today, placating the Clubhouse Cancer for at least 1 week.
MY PICK: Cowboys 37-12

Bills (2-3) @ Lions (0-5)
Buffalo was totaly annihilated by the Bears (a common thread in the league this year) last week, 40-7 and they actually have a good defense. meanwhile the hapless Lions blew a 17 pt 4th quarter lead against the Vikes and fell to 0-for-Marinelli's career. But this game has all the makings of an upset- Detroit returns to their dome hungry and confident after taking it to Minny for 3+ quarters, and Buffalo is still shell shocked from the Chitown debacle.
MY PICK: Detroit19-17

Eagles (4-1) @ Saints (4-1)
This tilt could also be the game of the day, but something tells me that it's not going to live up to the hype. Philly is feelin' fine after that Cowboy beatdown and are riding the wave of the best passer in the NFL, Don McNabb. The Saints got back on the winning track last week against the Bucs on Reggie's winning TD and will be looking forward to their first BIG game in the Superdome since Katrina (not including the emotional homecoming game.) I just think the Saints have more weapons than the Eagles, and if perennially injured RB Brian Westbrook is hurtin' again, and McNabb has to be the whole offense again, Philly is in trouble in this one.
MY PICK: Saints 25-21

Seahawks (3-1) @ Rams (4-1)
What Scott Linehan has done with this Rams squad is nothing short of remarkable- trhat is to remove all the thoughts, tendencies and deficiencies of the Madman Martz regime and install a quality, controlled attack and a decent defense without acting like a prima dona dictator; it's a classic case of 'addition-by- subtraction.' The Hawks are traditionally terrible on the road, but coming off of that spanking at the hands of the Bears (wow, deja-vu) they will be out for blood. I'm still not sold on the Rams yet. Look for Deion Branch to have his 1st big game for Seattle.
MY PICK: Seahawks 24-20

Titans (0-5) @ Redskins
Not even worth giving a long soliloquy on this one. The Titans are horrible, the Redskins hungry after losing 13-9 at the Giants. Bad combo for VY & Co.
MY PICK: Skins 31-10

Dolphins (1-4) @ J-E-T-S (2-3)
Two teams in desperate need of a confidence boosting win. Trouble is the warm weather Fins have to travel to chilly New Jersey to get it. Miami is a total mess, with the 2 QBs fighting, not not fighting, over who should be the starter and all of South Florida already growing tired of Nick Saban's nasty act. The Jets were looking good until they got steamrolled by the Jags last week, 41-0. can you say "bounce back game?"
MY PICK: Jets 19-9

Chiefs (2-2) @ Steelers (1-3)
The Super Bowl hangover has enveloped the Steel City and rendered the once mythical Big Ben Roethlisberger to the butt of jokes and talks of benching in favor of Charlie Batch. Wow, things are getting ugly in Steeltown. Although the Chiefs are coming off a thrilling last-minute win at Arizona, this is no time or place to continue those good vibrations. Put it this way, if A-Ben-dicitis & the Steelers lose this one, there WILL be a QB change in Pittsburgh.
MY PICK: Steelers 21-10

Chargers (3-1) @ 49ers (2-3)
Both teams are coming off of feel-good victories: the Chargers came back in the 2nd half to knock off the Steelers 23-13 on SNF, and San Fran scored 27 2nd half points to defeat the lowly Raiders. Okay, so one win was more impressive than the other. But things are looking up in the Bay area, as RB Frank Gore (465 yds, 3TDs but 4 fumbles lost) and QB Alex Smith (remember him, the No.1 pick in 2005- 58% completion, 6 TDs) have the Niners on the track back to success. I look for a close game that could swing in favor of San Fran, but logic tells me that the Chargers are just too good to lose this one.
MY PICK: Chargers 28-16

Raiders(0-4) @ Broncos(3-1) Sunday Night Football, 8PM, NBC
Haaahaaahaaaahaaahaaaahahaaaaaaaaa! That's my reaction to the Raiders, the laughingstock of the league, going up against the best defense in the NFL. After this game disgruntled recievers Joey Porter and Randy Moss may be shipped to the Toronto Argonauts for future considerations. Welcome to your fist bona-fide stinker, NBC!
MY PICK: Broncos 37-3


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