Wow. What a week. Denver wins their fifth game in a row, which also happens to be their fifth road win in a row. The 2011 Broncos continue to defy explanation and a different player seems to step forward each week to make a crucial play. The players seem to be playing with excitement -- almost a giddiness, like little kids who've discovered that football is fun to play. Last week in our picks contest, the Staffers finally eked out a narrow victory -- the predicting came down to the final game of the week. Poky and Sayre were tied at 8-6 while awaiting the results of the San Diego/Jacksonville game. San Diego prevailed and the Staffers finally won a week.
This week our reader is that MHR member known as Blackhillsbronx. Blackhillsbronx writes:
blackhillsbronx here. I'm a diehard, lifelong Broncos fan who lives in the great state of South Dakota. My earliest memories are of Elway leading miraculous comebacks and suffering embarrassing defeats in the big game. Being a Broncos fan is all I've ever known and I love every minute of it!
Now, as a father of two young boys, I see my childhood memories playing out again in the form of Tim Tebow, whom has quickly become a sports hero and admirable role model in my household. The team, as a whole, has been playing inspired ball this year, and I for one don't think it's coincidental that number 15 is at the helm during this amazing stretch. The dude is a leader of men and an example to be put on a pedestal, not torn down and scorned for not fitting some preconceived notion of what an NFL QB should look like. Keep it up, Timmy. But enough of that.
It's been a crazy season so far, and I have a sneaking suspicious we ain't seen nothing yet! Keep the faith, Broncos Country. Things are going to get silly!
Besides being a Broncos homer, I'm also an avid fan of the NFL in general, so Ian has his hands full this week....that swag is mine, Henson! Let the games begin!
Blackhillsbronx will be competing with Ian Henson. Ian writes:
Ian Henson has been writing for or against the Denver Broncos since 1998, his reverse course started in television and ended up in blogging. For the conscious part of 28 years he has been a fan. Finally arriving this month in Denver via New York City, the reaction has been similar to Napolean crossing the Alps or Washington crossing the Delaware. The Broncos have been undefeated and remain unbeaten with Ian in attendance at Mile High. Ian is currently creating an internet based television network and runs a marketing & social media company out of Denver. he lives in Cherry Hills with his wife Gabriela and dog Bailey. You can catch him on game day in his Pat Bowlen uniform.
Let's take a jump and look at their predictions.
|Season to Date||83-44||81-46|
Blackhillsbronx: As much as I despise the black & gold, they just keep chugging along and look poised for another deep run in the playoffs. The Browns are, well, the Browns...enough said. Steelers win.
Ian: Pittsburgh is one of the top three teams in the AFC and Cleveland won't be able to do much to stop that. Peyton Hillis should have a decent game despite the Steelers staunch seventh ranked rush defense (and first ranked overall defense). Cleveland is no slouch in that department either ranking number one overall in rush defense and Joe Haden is one of my top five corners in the NFL, just fun to watch cover. The Browns just don't have a great response to the other weapons on the Steelers offense. Steelers win.
Blackhillsbronx: I've been impressed with the play of Cam this season, and he keeps it up against an overrated Matt Ryan and the Dirty Birds.
Ian: It's a divisional game and it's in Carolina, but the Carolina Panthers defense is near atrocious and the Atlanta Falcons are only getting healthier and healthier. Cam Newton is fun to watch, but with Roddy White and Julio Jones in better shape Newton won't be able to keep up. Atlanta wins.
Blackhillsbronx: Ummm, flip a coin, I guess??? Let's take Tampa Bay in the ugliest game of the week.
Ian: This is the definition of snooze fest, I feel like Jacksonville has been at least a featured game this season several times. Maybe I am wrong, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win, because someone has to.
Blackhillsbronx: Love me some Mike Shanahan, but I'm afraid his coaching days in the NFL are numbered. NE takes care of business and starts preparing for a Mile High beatdown next week.
Ian: I'd like to just make this a one liner and say that the Washington Redskins don't have a chance, but Mike Shanahan seems to consistently have Bill Belichick's number in games. The New England Patriots at this point seem to be just too overwhelming for what the Redskins are equipped to handle though. Patriots win.
Blackhillsbronx: Ponder is a player I like a lot and the Lions are reeling. Still, Detroit prevails in a barn burner at Ford Field.
Ian: I don't know that the Lions have an answer for Percy Harvin, at least not with Christian Ponder at quarterback. Harvin has gone 322 yards on 22 receptions for four touchdowns in the last three weeks. The good news for the Detroit Lions, they won't have to, the Vikings have proven that they can't survive a shoot out, nor can they comprehensively cover a wide receiver. Detroit wins.
Blackhillsbronx: Tennessee has been solid the last couple of weeks and CJ2K is (finally) hitting his stride. Tennessee in my upset special call of the week.
Ian: There are few things more fun to watch than the New Orleans Saints passing game and although the Tennessee Titans had a strong defense at one point this season, that squad is long gone. The Saints will cruise past the Titans and leave Tennessee with only a prayer of making the playoffs.
Blackhillsbronx: Faiders are going to limp into the offseason with yet another disappointing campaign. On the bright side, that second pick to Cincy in 2013 is only going to be a 2nd rounder. Hahahahaha!
Ian: The Green Bay Packers are playing for immortality, the Oakland Raiders are simply just trying to make the playoffs. The Raiders won't make it easy on the Packers, but they won't make it impossible either. Green Bay wins.
Blackhillsbronx: Orlovsky played with spunk last week, but Baltimore will not lose at home to the winless Colts. The race for Luck continues in Indy.
Ian: This could be about as brutal of a beat down as the Indianapolis Colts will see all season, the Baltimore Ravens are jockeying for a higher playoff seed and whooping the winless Colts will make the mountain that the Ravens are screaming from that much more solid. Dan Orlovsky is pretty entertaining to watch in garbage time though; Baltimore wins.
Blackhillsbronx: Gotta hand it to Kyle Orton. Probably the easiest $8 million the dude will ever make. Hope you didn't unpack your suitcases. Jets in a close one.
Ian: You know the only thing more dangerous than Kyle Orton not having a broken finger? Kyle Orton having a broken finger, Denver fans will remember that Orton went 6-0 with a bone sticking out of his hand. Unfortunately Orton won't be playing and the Kansas City Chiefs defense won't be able to keep the New York Jets offense from scoring less points then the Kansas City offense. The Jets win and move close to the playoffs as the Chiefs move farther away.
Blackhillsbronx: Despite my homer pick of John Fox for Coach of the Year, Kubes deserves strong consideration as well. The Texans have held it together, despite the loss of Schaub and Leinart....until Sunday. Cincy wins a shootout. Ginger and A.J. are legit.
Ian: Houston is another top AFC team and their recent injury woes have been well documented, TJ Yates is their third-string quarterback and current starter. Andre Johnson has been out almost the entire season, left last week after injuring his other hamstring, yet the Texans just keep winning. With the only other threat in the AFC South being the Tennessee Titans (who are a bubble playoff team) Houston could likely just cruise into the playoffs of the leg strength of Arian Foster and Ben Tate, they did sign Jeff Garcia as an insurance policy, but I wouldn't expect to see him unless it is an emergency... Now, Cincinnati is fighting for their playoff lives, but still for whatever reason can't sell out this game nor will it be televised in the local market. Andy Dalton is a Rookie of the Year candidate and AJ Green is already a top ten receiver in the league (if not top five), but this year it is Houston that will win.
Blackhillsbronx: Miami is playing lights out and the Dream Team turned into a nightmare for Andy Reid and co. Miami keeps it rolling against the biggest flops of the 2011 season.
Ian: The Miami Dolphins needed only to lose to the Denver Broncos in overtime to stoke the fire in their burner, a team that once had only the hope of Andrew Luck at the end of this abyss will further complicate the Dolphins coaching situation with a loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. Matt Moore will not be able to fight off Mike Vick as he returns to the starting lineup and get this, the NFC East is even more screwed up than the AFC West. Philadelphia is still in it and they will win.
Blackhillsbronx: Arizona has been playing scrappy ball, but San Fran is too good and roll in the desert.
Ian: The San Francisco 49ers aren't as good as some would say, but they are definitely good enough to beat the Arizona Cardinals. This is the definition of a trap game for the 49ers though and the Cardinals have just enough offensive talent to give San Francisco a fit. Regardless, the 49ers win.
Blackhillsbronx: Chargers....I refuse to justify any pick involving Phyllis Rivers and his Merrymen.
Ian: The Buffalo Bills have more to lose than the San Diego Chargers have to win, the Chargers have lost to much worse teams this year than the Bills. Once again, playoff implications are on the line and the Chargers only real hope at making the playoffs is by winning out the rest of the way. They'll start that road here with a win over the Bills.
Blackhillsbronx: Huh, who knows, right? I guess I'll go with the Cowboys. Yeah, the Cowboys, that's it.
Ian: I tried to remember the last time Tony Romo won in December, I think it was when he was at Eastern Illinois University though. The New York Giants deserve the NFC East (if anyone in that division deserves to be in the playoffs that is) and they should be able to take Romo's December/January weakness from mere bad luck into being considered a full on curse. The Giants win and make the NFC East more complicated by closing the gap with the Cowboys.
Blackhillsbronx: The Josh McDaniels era is about officially over in St. Louie....Seattle wins big.
Ian: Games like these, I mean even seeing it in June or July on the schedule, who picks out this one and says, "Monday Night Football, this is our game!" Seriously, I'd love to see the St. Louis Rams come away with a win here, but the just won't. Seattle wins.