Easily and by far my worst week of the year picking winners leaves me in a foul mood, but alas, I won;t be discouraged and a positive week against the number has me fired up for an exciting week 8 in the NFL. In the immortal words of Judge Mills Lane, "Let's Get It On!" --
LAST WEEK - Straight 4-9
OVERALL - Straight 62-38(.620)
Seattle @ Kansas City -5.5 - When I looked at this game I really needed to look no further than where the game was going to be played. The Chiefs are two different teams - the one that plays at Arrowhead, and the J.V. high school team that they send on the road. Look no further than the past two weeks for proof of that. Seattle comes to K.C. all beat up, and though they'll get Shaun Alexander back(the Curse of the Madden Cover continues), they've lost Matt Hasselback for 3 to 4 games. Not good. Give the points, the Chiefs get it done at home.
Chiefs 24 - 13
San Francisco +16.5 @ Chicago - If the Monday Night game proved anything, it's that the Bears offense is still a work in progress, and Rex Grossman ISN'T the second coming of Brett Favre, well, with 6 turnovers, maybe he is. Ok, low blow there, I know, but I had to. The 49'ers are another team that you really don't know what you're going to get week in, week out. If the Colts/Titans game proved anything a few weeks ago, it's that it's tough just to win in this league, let alone by 17 points. The Bears will win, but I'll take the points.
Bears 23 - 10
Baltimore @ New Orleans -2.5 - I was never very high on the Ravens, and after lucking their way to a 4-0 record, my Broncos knocked them back to earth, then a loss to the Panthers forced Brian Billick to fire his offensive coordinator. New Orleans, on the other hand, has proven they are for real, and at 5-1 are poised to really take control of the NFC South. There is just some magic in the Bayou right now, and I like the Ravens even less than I did before. Steve McNair, in a word, is DONE! Give the points, Saints win.
Saints 16 - 13
Houston +3.5 @ Tennessee - No one will be watching this game, unless of course they are taking my suggestion of using games like this as a form of punishment for petty criminals. The Titans have actually played well the past couple of weeks before their BYE, and the Texans are coming off their annual trouncing of the Jags. Stats don;t lie, and David Carr is having a great year, and Gary Kubiak has things heading in the right direction. Vince Young is still trying to figure out how to take the snap from center. Take the points, and the Texans win outright.
Texans 20 - 17
Arizona @ Green Bay -3.5 - Another season, another year of the Arizona Cardinals being the biggest disappointment. Denny Green is gone for sure, and the Cards are quitting by halftime. The Packers offense exploded for 34 in Miami last week, and the weather in Green Bay is more Christmas than Halloween. I like the Packers to win, give the points.
Packers 24 - 20
Tampa Bay @ NY Giants -9.5 - The Giants have to be the most impressive team in the league the past two weeks. After dominating the Falcons in Atlanta, the Giants went to Dallas and essentially ended the career of Drew Bledsoe. The pending retirement of Tiki Barber has seemed to motivate the team and the Giants look ready to take over the NFC East. The Bucs come off two last second home wins, including last week's 62-yard game winner by Matt Bryant. That luck can't continue. I like the G-Men, give the 9.5.
Giants 27 - 14
Atlanta +4.5 @ Cincinnati - After getting roughed up by the Giants, the Falcons protected their home-field with a classic against the Steelers. Their tour through the AFC North continues, this time on the road in Cincinnati. The Bengals are coming off a big win of their own, a 17-14 defeat of the Carolina Panthers. The offense is still struggling, and the defense gives up a ton of yards, but seem to come up with big plays when they need. They still cannot stop the run, and the Falcons run it better than anyone. I could see Vick, Dunn and Co. running for close to 300 yards in this game, and we could be in store for another classic. I'll take the points, and I think the Falcons win outright.
Falcons 31 - 27
Jacksonville @ Philadelphia - Is it me, or do the Jags have a time in every season that they play like they are playing now. Start hot, endure some injuries, fall apart, find a way in the end. We are right in the middle of that "fall-apart" cycle. Byron Leftwich is banged up and unhappy he is sharing snaps with David Garrard. Marcus Stroud is out, and they have already lost Mike Peterson for the season. The Eagles are an even bigger enigma, sitting at 4-3, with 3 losses on the last play. To lose on a 62 yard field goal has to be devastating, but McNabb is too good to let it affect the team long term. I like the Eagles easily, give the points.
Eagles 24 - 13
St. Louis +8.5 @ San Diego - This game actually should be pretty fun to watch. Marc Bulger might be the best quarterback that no one talks about, and Torry Holt is a top 5 receiver. The Chargers are coming off a tough loss a K.C. and are dealing with the whole Shawne Merriman fiasco, which can't help but be a distraction. The Chargers have the better team, but SD has never been a great home field advantage. Take the points, but the Chargers pull on out.
Chargers 27 - 20
Pittsburgh @ Oakland +8.5 - Upset of the week time here on the MHR. Yea, I know, the Raiders have been the butt of jokes all season, but as much as the offense has been a circus, the defense has been tough as nails. The Raiders D is #5 overall in the league, #1 against the pass. The Steelers have had trouble running the ball, and Randy Moss is just the type of receiver to give the Steelers D trouble. After getting torched for 41 in Atlanta, the Steelers have to travel cross-country with a shaky quarterback. Call me crazy, but I'll take the points, and take the Raiders to win outright.
Raiders 24 - 21
Indianapolis @ Denver -2.5 - The game of the week has my Broncos facing the undefeated Colts. Alot has been made of the Colts domination of the Broncos in the playoffs, but the Broncos have won the last two regular season meetings as well as a Week 3 pre-season match up in 2005. Denver's defense is on a historic pace, allowing just over a TD per game. The Colts are #3 in scoring offense, so something has to give. Indy's run defense is once again among the worst in the league, and Denver's ability to run the ball will be the big key. Who ever wins the turnover battle should win, and in those cases I like the better defense. Give the points, Elam wins it in the end.
Broncos 24 - 21
NY Jets +1.5 @ Cleveland - The Browns finally made a change at Offensive Coordinator. Too bad it came about a year too late. Romeo Crennel's loyalty to Maurice Carthon may end up costing him his job, but for now the Browns will try to get back on track. In to town come the surprising Jets, who at 4-3 are in the thick of the playoff picture. The Jets are on the upswing, but teams like that always seem to lose games they should win, and the Jets just aren't good enough to overcome a bad day. The Browns have the talent on defense to give Chadd Pennington, and frankly I think the Browns players are just tired of losing. I like the Browns to win a close one, so I'll have to take the points.
Browns 17 - 16
Dallas @ Carolina -4.5 - The traveling Dallas Cowboy circus heads to Carolina, where Julius Peppers and Co. are awaiting the first career start of new Cowboy Quarterback Tony Romo. Making your first start is hard enough, let alone on the road against an NFC Contender. The Cowboys offensive line is a joke, and the Cowboys defense might be the biggest disappointment this season. Look for Steve Smith to have a big night and the Panthers to continue the spiral downward of the most over-rated coach in the NFL
Panthers 28 - 17
New England -2.5 @ Minnesota - After the whole Deion Branch situation the death bells were ringing for the Patriots, except no one told New England that they weren't any good any more. After losing to the Broncos, the Pats have been dominant, and once again are among the favorites in the AFC. A rare match up in the baggy dome against the Vikings makes for a Monday Night treat, and with the Colts on the horizon the Pats need to avoid a hiccup here. The Vikings have been one of the surprise teams and Brad Johnson is doing just enough to win games. The Pats have an innate ability to make games like this very workman-like, and the Vikings might just be a bit over-matched. If Brad Childress couldn't beat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick with McNabb, he won't do it with Brad Johnson. Give the points, take the Pats.
Patriots 24 - 20