The MHR Staffer vs Reader Contest has been every bit as wacky this season as the NFL games have been. Who would have expected the entire AFC East to have 3-3-0 records? Or the Steelers to be 2-3-0 at this point? How about the entire NFC West to be at .500 or above (St. Louis 3-3-0, Seattle 4-3-0, Arizona 4-2-0, San Francisco 5-2-0)? Our contest each week has reflected the rather different way that the NFL games have played out thus far. Let's recap the contest to date:
|Week||Reader||Rec||OA Rec||Staffer||Rec||OA Rec||Winner|
|2||Fabio Brazil||8-7||19-11||Sayre Bedinger||7-8||16-14||Fabio Brazil|
|4||Tomeboy58801||8-6||34-25||Topher Doll||12-2||33-26||Topher Doll|
|6||March20||5-8||49-36||Jess Place||6-7||49-36||Jess Place|
Now, due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, the anticipated reader for this week's contest was not able to participate. For that reason, a "mystery" predictor has been chosen. His willingness to participate is based upon two things: (1)that he be allowed to remain anonymous, and (2)Should he win, the prize for winning will go to the reader who would have picked on this date. So, there is no bio from our mystery prognosticator this week. He will, however, be competing with Colby Mueller. Colby writes:
Hello Broncos Country. I am Colby Mueller. We call it Broncos Country but it really could be Broncos Continent because there are plenty of Bronco fans up here in Canada! I am 21 years old, I enjoy candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach. I just finished university in April and currently work at a television station in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. Outside of the Broncos, I am huge hockey fan and I love the Calgary Flames. My favorite hockey player ever is Joe Sakic. I also really enjoy the Canadian Football League and major supporter of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. That's all you need to know. Go Broncos.
And now, onto the picks.
Byes: Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego
Mystery Guest: I have to go with the 49ers here for just one reason -- I have a co-worker who is a big 49ers fan and he'll be a total grump on Friday if San Francisco loses on Thursday.
Colby: I am really looking forward to this game. Both defenses are two of the best in the NFL. The X Factor for this game is San Francisco at home. If this game was in Seattle, I take Seattle by 10. But Seattle is bi-polar depending on where they play.
Mystery Guest: Easy pick -- Buffalo is 3-3-0, Tennessee is 2-4-0. Buffalo is 1-1 at home, Tennessee is 0-3 on the road.
Colby: This is a game I will not be tuning into on the weekend. Buffalo has had trouble stopping any type of average offense and has not been able to score much themselves. Tennessee has a good defense and is a much better team than their record. I like the Titans by 10+.
Mystery Guest: I'm tempted to predict a tie in this one. Two teams, both spiraling rapidly downward, yet someone has to lose, don't they? I'll go with Carolina, largely because I've got Cam Newton on one of my fantasy football teams.
Colby: I like Dallas big time in this game. Despite as much as I make fun of them, they have a lot of talent to win games. They are due for a big win against a team that struggles to know its identity.
Mystery Guest: The two best AFC teams are squaring off. Baltimore is hurting physically, Houston is likely to play with a chip on its shoulder after that loss. Look for Houston to get it done.
Colby: This is a matchup of teams who are losing key players. Houston is coming off a big loss to Green Bay and will want to answer back at home. Baltimore will take a game to figure out how to handle not having a couple key defenders.
Mystery Guest: The Browns are riding high after a win. The Colts are smarting from a loss. Cleveland is 0-3 on the road and that will prove their undoing.
Colby: The Colts disappointed me last week against the Jets. I thought they had a great chance in that game but did nothing. The Browns will be without Richardson and it will hurt. It could be a shootout through the air.
Mystery Guest: Both teams are 4-2-0. Minnesota is on a one-game losing streak while Arizona has dropped two in a row. The Vikings are undefeated at home and will be again after this week.
Colby: This is a battle of two teams who have surprised. Arizona will be starting Skelton again. Their QB rotation is like a ping-pong match. I like Minnesota because they have been consistently good and Arizona will again be off them with Skelton.
Mystery Guest: These are two teams which are struggling to find an identity. Neither has looked particularly impressive so far -- Washington is 1-2 against teams at/above .500, the Giants are 1-1 against teams at/above .500. New York, however, is 0-2 within the NFC East and cannot afford to drop a third divisional game. The Giants will win a close one.
Colby: This game could be really close and would not surprise me if the Redskins upset them. The Giants will not allow a 75 yard run to a QB though I can promise you that. I like the G-Men.
Mystery Guest: This is a potential upset game. Both teams are 3-3-0. The Rams are 3-0 at home while the Packers are 1-2 on the road. Those two road losses were the controversial loss to Seattle and a loss to the 2-3 Colts. The Packers are coming off a major win over the Texans last week and could find themselves in a let-down game. I vote for an upset here.
Colby: This game won't even be close. The Packers hit their stride last Sunday and as good as Bradford has been, will not be able to out shoot Discount Double Check.
Mystery Guest: I don't see an upside for Tampa Bay here, they beat two teams with losing records and lost to three NFC East teams. The Saints appear to have righted their ship -- having lost by 8, 8, 3, 1 and most recently winning by 7. New Orleans romps in this one.
Colby: We all know the Saints are not as bad as 1-4. There offense is clicking and Tampa Bay has been pretty average. Tampa will be able to move the ball but that comeback win against the Chargers may have sparked this team.
Mystery Guest: Let's see, a PO'd Tom Brady versus Mark Sanchez and his newest running back Tim Tebow. Is there really anything to discuss? New England in a rout.
Colby: Blowout of the week. Patriots will be very unhappy after losing to Seattle. They are at home against a Jets offense that only succeeded last week because of a great run game. Won't do that on the Pats. Maybe the Jets have some Tebow package in store.
Mystery Guest: This one will be close. Two 1-4-0 teams, Jacksonville 1-1 on the road, Oakland 1-1 at home, both teams have lost 2-in-a-row. This one will come down to whoever has the ball last. Have to go with the Jaguars since I can't bring myself to pick the Raiders.
Colby: Gross. What an ugly game. I like Oakland in this. Palmer has been able to put up yards this season and DMC has to have a big game soon right? Plus the Jags are terrible.
Mystery Guest: Pittsburgh's dinged up and 0-3 on the road this year. The Bengals have already dropped two games in the division and cannot afford to lose another. Cincinnati ekes out a win.
Colby: I like the Steelers here. Pittsburgh can score points in big games and had a week and a half to prepare. The Bengals have no defense so far and won't against the mighty Steelers.
Mystery Guest: The smart money picks the 4-2 (2-0 at home) Bears over the 2-3 (1-2) on the road Lions. Both teams are 0-1 in their division and need a win. Since I cannot bring myself to pick Cutler and Marshall, I'll have to go with Detroit in an upset.
Colby: Jay Cutz on the national stage again. Hard game to pick but I really like the Bears here. The Lions have been average and only came back last week because the Eagles have turnover problems. Cutler seems to have it together, especially after 2 weeks off.
Thoughts on Denver During A Bye Week
Mystery Guest: The Broncos are right about where I expected them to be at this point in the season. Their come backs (even though they lost ) against Atlanta, Houston and New England shows that this is a team which is not going to simply roll over and die once they get far behind. The big issue facing Denver is finding a way to stop digging themselves a deep hole that they have to climb out of -- in four out of six games, they've fallen behind by 20 or more points before coming to life. I think the expression on Manning's face after the Pick-6 in the San Diego games showed what is going to be coming the rest of the season -- a total refusal to let this be the norm.
Colby: The Broncos bye week came at the perfect time. They had a huge win but arn't without problems. They can try to address those things. The coaches won't be having naps. I said weeks ago Id be happy with 3-3 at the bye. We got that. Like Adam Schefter said. Monday night will be remember as the night the Broncos won the AFC West. Go Broncos Go.
Good Luck to both of our Contestants.