The 2009 NFL Picks
Week seven


We have a few things to mention as we get going on this week’s games. And we’ll start with our friendly competition, which includes a tip of the cap to Dad.

After posting a losing record in week one… 2 games below even… Dad’s been at even once and had winning records 4 times. All of that consistency, especially avoiding the bad, has moved him to the top spot of our charts. So… congrats to him.

Also… let’s note where Molly stands. She went 5-2 last week and on her own has contributed a 24-21 effort for the Dogs. Gus shook a bit of his recent troubles off last week, with the pair leading everyone in week 6 by scoring a 9-5 record. They’re still not great on the year, but suddenly they can see the lights of an even mark in the distance. Stay tuned on them.

Terry showed some signs of returning to her 2008 form. She was on a ridiculous slump of 4 losing weeks in a row after going even to open the campaign. Maybe an even record in week 6 doesn’t gain any ground for her, but it could be a sign of things to come, with the sleeping dragon ready to wake.

Now… that said… last week I shared two observations with you.

Number one – That large favorites… 8-points or more… were doing amazingly well on the year and were on the verge of covering in 80-percent of the games when they were at home. Naturally, large favorites stunk the joint up overall in week 6. But… you should still keep this in mind since on the whole they continue to impress for the season. On top of being the safest way to bet on a favorite, they are not just winning… they’re covering about two-thirds of the time when at home.

Number two – That the underdogs are doing quite well. And, when you take out the large favorites, in any game with a spread under 8-points the underdogs have a better record. Well… some things don’t change. After last week it doesn’t matter if the large spread is included or not. Favorites went 4-10 last week. Yup… 4-10. So the underdogs are now 46-43-1 on the year. (And in those contests with spreads under-8, they are 36-27-1.) Worth noting… especially since Oakland and Buffalo won their contests outright, meaning that Philadelphia and New York (Jets) have some explaining to do.

Beyond those general observations I don’t have alot to add. Only 13 games on the schedule this week… for some incredibly strange reason there are 6 byes. And… we have the London game, with Tampa Bay supposedly the home team for that one. (Molly is picking up the extra game for the dogs this week… Gus will get that honor next week.)

Anyway… underdogs on a roll… three straight weeks. Consider yourself warned. (And judging by early returns from our crack staff, it looks like none of us are paying attention.)

In honor of a game in London… more Monty Python. The amazing Life of Brian for the quotes this week.

San Diego (4½) at Kansas City “He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!” Norv Turner… how does this guy keep his job? Yeah… Marty… I know. Can’t coach when the chips are on the table. Put him in the playoffs and he tightens up, changing everything that worked for him during the regular season. But here’s the thing about Marty… there is no way… none… zero… ain’t happening… that this San Diego roster doesn’t win between 11 and 13 games every year under his leadership. I understand greatness is determined in part by the rings… or at least some showing in the playoffs. And I do believe that’s fair and Marty flopped in this regard. But if Marty isn’t the best regular season head coach of the past twenty to thirty years, he’s in the top five. Give Marty a team and two years and you’ll be selling playoff tickets. Norv Turner on the other hand is a joke. And yet… amazingly enough… I do believe that when December arrives the Chargers will have an outside shot to win this division. I think the Broncos will stumble in the final eight games. I don’t think they’ll stumble enough to fall out of the playoffs… and I’m actually just about convinced they will win this division… but Denver has in their history had fast starts or divisional leads that looked good and then eroded quickly. This season feels different in a way, and that’s why I think they’ll still go at least 5-5, get to 11 wins, and take the division. But my point for this game… finally… is simple… San Diego can’t give away another game they should win if they think the playoffs are possible. Too many other teams are not only ahead of them, but will finish with better records than them in the wild card hunt. They lost to Pittsburgh… and may need that tie-breaker. They beat Miami… a team that looks like they are showing signs of becoming a threat, but need wins because their losses so far hurt in several ways. And if San Diego isn’t going to catch Denver, then last year’s good fortune of a divisional spot in the playoffs is erased. 8-8 won’t do it. They need 10… 11 wins… and this is one of them. I’m expecting a big show out of them this week as they arrive and take Kansas City’s lunch money. And if they don’t deliver, then pack their bags for January vacations now, because the playoffs aren’t happening for San Diego without the AFC West crown.
Bob: San Diego
Terry: Kansas City
Dad: San Diego
Mike: San Diego
Molly: Kansas City

Indianapolis (13) at St. Louis“If you want to join the People’s Front of Judea, you have to really hate the Romans.” “I do!” “Oh yeah. How much?” “A lot!” “Right, you’re in.” Last week the Rams really kicked things into gear… scoring a whopping 20 points in a loss to Jacksonville. I repeat… a whopping 20 points. This is a team that has been shut out in a third of their games, and failed to clear 10-points in two-thirds of their games. So yeah… you could say I’m not feeling it. I’d launch an investigation for you into how they do at home or in domes… but let’s face it: (1) They got blown out at home by another dome team, Minnesota, just two weeks ago. And, (2) Indianapolis is this week’s opponent. So, you do the easy math. I don’t think we need much more. (Ok… fine… a little bit more. They’ve actually only played 2 home games so far. Minnesota beat them by 28 points and Green Bay… yes, Green Bay… beat them by 21. You’ll have a hard time earning any support for the Rams with those results.) Indy comes into this game fresh and rested after their bye week… bringing along a 5-0 record and the past 3 games they’ve won by a minimum of 17-points. Do you really want more research? St. Louis is scoring under 10 points a game on average while giving up just under 30 (roughly 27 to be more exact).
Bob: Indianapolis
Terry: Indianapolis
Dad: St. Louis
Mike: Indianapolis
Gus: Indianapolis

Chicago at Cincinnati (1½)“Oh, it’s blessed are the meek! Oh, I’m glad they’re getting something, they have a hell of a time.” I’ll grant you, the Bears leveled the Lions. But other than that, they might be the least impressive 3-2 team of any with that record. Allow me to expand on that a bit. Did you see last week’s game against Atlanta? They had troubles with their offense that defy description. I mean, they couldn’t even execute the classic “couldn’t score the touchdown from in close, so settle for the field goal, take the points and look for the next possession” playbook. Last week I asked you to remind me to explain how Cutler is the worst match for his team in the division. Well… here we go. I honestly believe you could argue that right now, Cutler isn’t any better than the third best quarterback in the NFC North. Not all of football… not in the entire NFC… the third best in the NFC North division. Brett Favre is the obvious choice as being the top performer this season so far. And, Matthew Stafford is holding on to fourth place. Easy enough. No room for arguments there. That leaves Cutler and Aaron Rodgers. And with both clubs tied at 3-2, and with similar point totals (Green Bay is scoring 26 points a game overall, with Chicago at 24), you don’t have to dig deep to at least acknowledge that differentiating between the two is like picking a favorite popsicle flavor. Grape is good. Cherry is good. You don’t really win or lose either way. So even if the deeper stats or career numbers or whatever measure you want to use do favor Cutler (more on this concept in a second)… the general reality is you could at least successfully create the argument that he’s the third best in his division. (Rodgers beat him head-to-head. A week one Green Bay victory. See? Easy. Right?) Well, debate it all you wish, it’s the concept that Cutler isn’t an automatic selection for awesomeness that’s important… because I honestly believe that there are only four elite NFL quarterbacks right now… Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger. Any of the 28 other clubs would gladly take one of these 4 over what they have without hesitation. (Argue about Roethlisberger if you wish… two titles… he’s worthy of the conversation.) So by positioning Cutler as… at best… second in his division, and… in my opinion… arguably third in his division, what is evident is that Jay Cutler isn’t an obviously in demand item. And that matters when matching him up properly with his team. Can you argue with what Brett Favre has done in Minnesota? Nope. 6-0 and looking pretty good. Some dominating play, some late game heroics, and so far all the markings of a playoff season in progress. They obviously have the guy they want. Green Bay? Well… the Packers let Favre go in order to play Rodgers. So, question whether or not the Packers have fulfilled their potential this season or last (they haven’t), but you’ll find they believe they have the right guy at quarterback. And, I would allow them that. So… that means we have two clubs that are more comfortable and set on the quarterbacks they have than Chicago is with Cutler. Detroit? So far I like what this team is doing with Matthew Stafford. I don’t think Cutler would work there… because even though Stafford isn’t as good right now as Cutler, this is a building process that is going to take some time. And what I saw just a few months ago, while shooting his way out of Denver, is that Cutler is really impatient and immature. Now… other than the Lions… the Bears have a 3-point win over Pittsburgh and a 6-point win over Seattle. They lost a game to Atlanta that, honestly, if the league was made up of 8-year olds and parents weren’t keeping score, the play on the field would have said the Bears were the better team. And, they lost the season opener to Green Bay. So go talking about Chicago and Cutler all you want… I haven’t seen it. (7 interceptions on the year… 10 touchdowns passes… an average under 240-yards per game… hardly the stuff of legend. Although over the past 20-years of Chicago history, it must look pretty darn impressive for fans of the team.) In fact, all I have seen is that Denver is a far superior team without him than they ever were with him. And… oh, wait… the Bengals and this game… right… ok. Enough on Cutler being a perfect fit is a media creation and not the truth. Last week Houston came into Paul Brown Stadium and accomplished 2 things. First, they need to be looked at with an arched eyebrow and a bit more respect in the AFC debate. Second, they swatted the Bengals in the nose and cooled off all of the “could have been undefeated except” talk. Check out the records… the Bengals score right around 20 points a game… week after week after week. (98 points in the past 5 games.) Only the Denver defense… and Denver is doing this to everyone… kept them decidedly below that. So I think it’s safe to put Cincy down for 4 scores in this contest… let’s say 2 touchdowns and 2 field goals, but any spot in the range of 16 points to 24 points wouldn’t stun me. The Bears can top that. What really concerns me about Chicago is the amazing struggles with the running game. After showing signs of life against Detroit… 121-yards on the ground… Forte delivered his worst performance of the year against Atlanta… 23-yards and 2 fumbles. (And calling that one the worst was difficult, since he had to beat his 29-yard total, 2.2 a carry with a fumble stinker against Pittsburgh to set the mark as the worst of the year.) At his current rate, Forte will average 3.4 a carry and won’t clear 1,000-yards for the year. I’m going to take Chicago… but I guarantee you… if I’m wrong you can look at Forte to be rushing for less than 60-yards and Cutler to have the most turnovers of any player on the field.
Bob: Chicago
Terry: Chicago
Dad: Chicago
Mike: Cincinnati
Molly: Chicago

Green Bay (7) at Cleveland“The Messiah! The Messiah! Show us the Messiah!” “The who?” “The Messiah!” “There’s no Messiah in here. There’s a mess all right, but no Messiah. Now go away!” Let’s review a few concepts here. Number one, last week Green Bay finally showed us the team we had been hearing about for months. They shut out Detroit, 26-0, and had 23 of those points in place by halftime. A couple of injured players are back. All in all… solid effort and good feelings all around. In Cleveland we have multiple issues. They haven’t managed to clear 20 points yet this season… while the only opponent of theirs that hasn’t cleared that mark was Buffalo in that brutal event some are referring to as a football game. In their losses, only Cincinnati has failed to beat them by 13 or more points. And, word is out that at least 6 active members of the roster, and possibly 12 as of a mid-week report, are home with the flu. (Apparently the league has a plan in place that allows for roster exemptions for a team facing multiple personnel losses due to certain flu situations. Hmm… maybe replacing like 5 to 8 guys on the roster would help their chances.) Now… credit where credit is due. Despite my hesitations for saying they will finally get things going and begin matching the hype about them (because I’ve thought it before), the Packers have a winning record, have been outscoring their opponents by roughly 10-points a game, and against St. Louis and Detroit (the two games on the schedule so far featuring obviously non-playoff level opponents) they won convincingly. This is a game they should win, against an opponent facing several problems.
Bob: Green Bay
Terry: Cleveland
Dad: Green Bay
Mike: Green Bay
Gus: Green Bay

Minnesota at Pittsburgh (4)“I am not the Messiah!” “I say you are Lord, and I should know. I’ve followed a few.” The big thing to me about this game is that it’s being played in Pittsburgh. The undefeated Vikings have played 3 at home and 3 on the road. The road games? Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis. I’m just saying… we might as well toss out those results from consideration. Because against quality opponents… all playoff possibilities… and all played in the Metrodome… the Vikings needed a miracle, a prayer, and every inch of the end zone to defeat San Francisco… thumped Green Bay for most of the game, but still had to hold on at the end… and Baltimore was about 2 minutes of game time, take your pick of 2 minutes less or 2 minutes more, away from beating them when they lost to the Vikings, 33-31. In short… quality opposition has been defeated, but we can’t call that convincing either. Since losing to the Bengals 4 games ago, the Steelers have defeated the Chargers, Lions and Browns by no less the 8-points. While struggling early on to find their footing (1-2 out of the gate, scoring a total of just 27 points combined in the first 2 contests), they are scoring 27+ per game in recent weeks and seem to have found a running back in Rashard Mendenhall. Last year the Steelers had the toughest schedule in the NFL. They turned in a great effort during the regular season, and finished it off with a title. Slow start in 2009? I can excuse that. I have a feeling they are beginning to roll again, and with the division lead in their sights this game has all the markings of a victory. (Oh yeah… almost forgot… the Percey Harvin factor. Harvin has been good, some flashes of brilliance, but not great this season. So far though, the one thing he has been is on the field. Any of you watch the game against Baltimore? Because the Minnesota offense has been good, but is beginning to show some signs of wear, tear and injury… as exemplified by Harvin.)
Bob: Pittsburgh
Terry: Minnesota
Dad: Minnesota
Mike: Pittsburgh
Molly: Pittsburgh

New England (14½) at Tampa Bay (In London)“Crucifixion?” “Er, no, freedom actually.” “What?” “Yeah, they said I hadn’t done anything and I could go and live on an island somewhere.” “Oh I say, that’s very nice. Well, off you go then.” “No, I’m just pulling your leg, it’s crucifixion really.” “Oh yes, very good. Well…” “Yes I know, out of the door, one cross each, line on the left.” Sure… yeah… this is a Tampa home game. I admit that some of what the Patriots accomplished against the Titans is because of the weather conditions. And I admit that I’m not sold on Laurence Maroney just yet… although everything I saw and heard from the game indicates he was finally attacking the line of scrimmage instead of impersonating Gene Kelly. In fact, to sum up my view of it… I saw a couple of plays that looked like Brady and Moss were playing at lunch time in a schoolyard instead of on an NFL field. But… the Brady we saw working with Welker… let’s face it, that’s the first time we’ve seen it this year. And if Tom Brady is waking up… that spells bad news for alot of teams. And when the Patriots offense is clicking, they don’t lose games to teams they are supposed to beat. On the other side of the field… ok… get this one. Last week I picked Tampa because I expected them to play Carolina close, and honestly thought they could get a win. I was outside with the dogs around 3:30pm or so, came in and checked the scores, and watched as the Tampa – Carolina score went from 21-14 to a 21-21 tie. I was thrilled. The spread was 3½, and since it had to be getting late in the game at that point, even if Carolina drove the ball I figured it was likely they would be concentrating on a field goal and victory. Well... apparently as that score was updated, there was a bit more time left than I thought, and Carolina used a ton of it. The next thing that happened was a 16-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Took up more than half of the fourth quarter. First down, second down… first down, second down… slow march down the field, 5-yards at a time. It was so bad that in a drive beginning with roughly 9-minutes left in the game, the Tampa defense had to start using their time outs in the hope of saving some of the clock for their offense when it got within 2-minutes to go. The Bucs looked like pushovers. Against Carolina. How do you think they’ll do against a real team?
Bob: New England
Terry: New England
Dad: New England
Mike: New England
Gus: New England

San Francisco at Houston (3)“Okay, sir, my final offer: half a shekel for an old ex-leper?” “Did you say ex-leper?” “That’s right, sir, 16 years behind a veil and proud of it, sir.” “Well, what happened?” “Oh, cured, sir.” “Cured?” “Yes sir, bloody miracle, sir. Bless you!” “Who cured you?” “Jesus did, sir. I was hopping along, minding my own business, all of a sudden, up he comes, cures me! One minute I’m a leper with a trade, next minute my livelihood’s gone. Not so much as a by-your-leave! ‘You’re cured, mate.’ Bloody do-gooder.” My how the mighty have fallen… I think… no… maybe that doesn’t sum it up perfectly at all. In weeks 2 and 3 we seemed to know what San Francisco was… a team turning things around and improving. In fact, we knew it through week 4. They had 3 divisional wins and a road loss to Minnesota that took a last-minute miracle from the Vikings to steal a victory. Things were looking good. Until… until Atlanta showed up and thrashed them in their own stadium. Ahh… but let’s face it… 3-2, Michael Crabtree on the roster, and still winning the division. Not quite as impressive as it looked when October began, but still good. On the other end of this trying to make the best out of good but really not knowing how to deal with prosperity battle, we have Houston. 3-3 on the year. No one wants to think of them as having the potential to get to 10 wins… but last week they went on the road and brought Cincinnati back to reality. Their offense has been impressive, and they somehow managed to survive an amazing game from Chris Johnson when they defeated Tennessee. Funny thing though… and I know you’re going to laugh too. Take out that Atlanta game and opponents are averaging about 12-points per game against the 49ers. And… remove that game and the 49ers are outscoring their opponents 2:1. Include that game… which, you may recall, was a 35-point loss… and they are still outscoring opponents. The Texans alternate wins and losses, and on the year are just about lockstep in scoring per game with their opponents. This game is either going to be close… or a 49er win.
Bob: San Francisco
Terry: Houston
Dad: Houston
Mike: San Francisco
Molly: Houston

New York (Jets) (6½) at Oakland“Well, I think I should point out first, Brian, in all fairness, we are not, in fact, the rescue committee. However, I have been asked to read the following prepared statement on behalf of the movement. ‘We the People’s Front of Judea, brackets, officials, end brackets, do hereby convey our sincere fraternal and sisterly greetings to you, Brian, on this, the occasion of your martyrdom.’” “What?” “‘Your death will stand as a landmark in the continuing struggle to liberate the parent land from the hands of the Roman imperialist aggressors, excluding those concerned with drainage, medicine, roads, housing, education, viniculture and any other Romans contributing to the welfare of Jews of both sexes and hermaphrodites. Signed, on behalf of the P. F. J. , etc.’ And I’d just like to add, on a personal note, my own admiration, for what you’re doing for us, Brian, on what must be, after all, for you a very difficult time.” Three weeks ago, the Jets would have been favored here by 10 or more. Easy. But… a victory over Philadelphia for the Raiders and a slide from the Jets… presto… down to about a touchdown. And it is still just about a touchdown because, let’s face it, the Jets have come back to reality a bit… but this is still the Oakland Raiders with no passing game, no running game, and a questionable coaching staff. The scary thing for me is the franchise… the New York quarterback. Against the Saints and Bills, he didn’t look so hot. Looked like a rookie. (And last week, looked like he was convinced his teammates were wearing Buffalo uniforms.) But I have been impressed by some things I’ve seen from the kid this year. At least for the long term. He hasn’t been winning games… strong defense combined with simply scoring enough points while not making too many mistakes has… but if you check out how he played late against Miami, or at least how he led the team, you’ll see the Jets responded with multiple scoring drives. In summary, Sanchez reminds me a bit of early Eli Manning… he’s making some mistakes, and they have been getting alot of play, but he’s also showing some good qualities. The mistakes seem correctable, and the good qualities… well… time may prove me wrong, but I don’t think you can teach composure and I think he has it. How will that help this week? Well… honestly… it won’t. The question here is simple… one thing and one thing only… can the Jets defense show up? Oakland hasn’t scored more than 13 points since the first game of the year. (In week one they set the season-high at 20 points.) The past 5 games… 13 points (a win… go figure), 3 points, 6, 7, and 13 again (another win). That averages out to a mind-boggling total of just over 8-points per game. To be fair… not that they deserve it… the Broncos, Giants and Eagles were involved… so we aren’t talking about the weakest of defenses against the Raiders. Heck, the Jets have scored more points in the past 3 weeks than the Raiders have in the last 5. (And that involves 3 losses for the Jets, and 2 wins for the Raiders.) But the Jets are only averaging 19 points a game… hardly scary. It’s really a tough call. This is a very important game for New York. Next week they face Miami again. A trip to New England is sitting there soon after the bye week. Atlanta, Indianapolis and Cincinnati finish off the year… with the Cincy game quite possibly holding a playoff berth in it. Look, we could research things Braylon Edwards and Thomas Jones, or how the defense continues to slow opposing offenses down. Whatever. The end result is simple… in the past few weeks, the Jets are becoming the 2009 scrappy team. They’re not great in any particular way, but they keep playing and make good teams look silly. New England and New Orleans? Neither played particularly well against them. But they’re not designed to destroy teams. As we saw against Miami and Buffalo, they can be beaten and cannot overcome mistakes. (That’s the mark of a good team… not just playing perfect, but overcoming mistakes. Against Houston, New England and Tennessee, they really made no mistakes.) I do not expect a big game from Sanchez, and believe this will be a close, ugly contest. Plus, I think the Jets are going to struggle to cover on defense with Kris Jenkins out.
Bob: Oakland
Terry: Oakland
Dad: New York
Mike: Oakland
Gus: New York

Buffalo at Carolina (1)“So, yaw fatha was a Woman? Who was he?” “He was a Centurion, in the Jerusalem Garrisons.” “Weally? What was his name?” “Naughtius Maximus.” “Centuwion, do we have anyone of that name in the gawwison?” “Well, no, sir.” “Well, you sound vewy sure. Have you checked?” “Well, no, sir. Umm, I think it’s a joke, sir. Like, uh, Sillius Soddus or Biggus Dickus, sir.” “What’s so funny about Biggus Dickus?” “Well, it’s a joke name, sir.” “I have a vewy gweat fwiend in Wome called Biggus Dickus.” With exception of the Tampa Bay game, the Buffalo offense has looked positively dreadful all season long. Heck… the Browns beat them, in Buffalo, because they couldn’t score 2 field goals to at least get a tie. If it weren’t for a running game that contributed to the offense scoring 17-points against New England (the other 7 for the Bills in that contest were from the defense), you could look over their season with a cardiologist next to you and find no signs of a heartbeat. (Notice I said heartbeat and not heart. It’s other clubs that are having troubles with the heart issue. This is just a signs of life issue. Although… it is pretty amazing that after having the first 0-16 team last year, so many of them seem capable this year. Tampa Bay… St. Louis… Tennessee… I could see any of them going beginning to end without a victory. Side note though… Tennessee plays St. Louis on December 13th. One of those clubs should get a win, but will at least tie. Anyway…) It’s so bad in Buffalo that even our buddy Terrell Owens isn’t complaining… because there’s nothing interesting enough to complain about and no media to listen if he did. (Is it just me, or does Terrell in Buffalo make sense? What a great season it’s been without him. Again… anyway…) It’s all bad for the Bills. So yeah… I get it… Carolina isn’t exactly a great team. But there is zero way I can pick an offense like Buffalo’s.
Bob: Carolina
Terry: Buffalo
Dad: Carolina
Mike: Buffalo
Molly: Carolina

New Orleans (6½) at Miami“Please, please listen! I’ve got one or two things to say.” “Tell us! Tell us both of them!” “Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me, You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for your selves! You’re all individuals!” “Yes! We’re all individuals!” “You’re all different!” “Yes, we are all different!” I’ve been kicking this around a million different ways. Is the Miami offense capable of controlling the game the way they did against Indy? No… I think that was a one-shot deal. I do think Miami is the second best team in the AFC East right now… and if they can defeat New York next week they could set themselves up for 8 to 10 wins on the year. But that ball control game against Indianapolis, with the Miami offense scoring enough points to win if Manning wasn’t ridiculously good with every opportunity he had, just doesn’t work as a game-after-game plan. Any team that has cleared 10 points against the Saints this year has given up over 40. They pounded the defense of the Eagles and the Giants. So while Miami may very well get 25-30 points, I can’t go against New Orleans in this one.
Bob: New Orleans
Terry: Miami
Dad: New Orleans
Mike: New Orleans
Gus: New Orleans

Atlanta at Dallas (4) “Er, well, um, if you’re dropping by again, do pop in. Heh. And thanks a lot for the gold and frankincense, er, but don’t worry too much about the myrrh next time. All right? Heh. Thank you. Good-bye.” Last week the Chicago Bears thought it would be a nice idea to play hot potato with Atlanta. It wasn’t. Falcons win, 21-14. In getting to 4 wins, the Falcons have defeated each opponent by 7 or more. Their loss was on the road, in New England, against a club that suddenly seems to be hitting a stride. In short… Atlanta is a good team. The Cowboys needed overtime to beat Kansas City, looked horrendous at Denver, and honestly you could argue they’ve been hideous all season, in every game, including the opener when they pounded Tampa… Dallas is not a good team. Marion Barber hasn’t looked like Marion Barber yet this year, and has looked like even less since his injury a few weeks back. In fact, the Cowboys only have victories over clubs with losing records. Let’s make the pick and move on.
Bob: Atlanta
Terry: Dallas
Dad: Dallas
Mike: Atlanta
Molly: Atlanta

Arizona at New York (Giants) (7)“All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?” Some people want you to believe that Arizona is starting to come to life. That after a loss to San Francisco to start the year, and a defeat against Indianapolis that could be attributed to losing to a better club, they have found their rhythm in the past two weeks against Houston and Seattle. Really? Is that really what were judging them on? Because their victories have come over inconsistent clubs… and their losses have come to division leaders. They win over bad and lose to good. That seems more reasonable to me. Point number one… I’m not expecting Arizona to win this game. New York got pasted by New Orleans last week in a game that MVP candidate Drew Brees controlled with a dazzling display of how to run a strong offense. Point number two… I think New York is looking to hit someone, and hit them hard, and I don’t think the Cardinals are as good as the Saints. So the real question in this contest becomes the point spread and how we think the New York offense will do against the Arizona defense. Ahh… and that is a good question. Because except for Indianapolis, Arizona has been fairly good at keeping the score down. The problem is, the Giants have scored a minimum of 23-points in every game this year. And I expect that they’ll win and win comfortably here.
Bob: New York
Terry: New York
Dad: New York
Mike: New York
Gus: Arizona

Philadelphia (7) at Washington“You know what they say: some things in life are bad. They can really make you mad. Other things just make you swear and curse. When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble; give a whistle, and this’ll help things turn out for the best. And… always look on the bright side of life…” Finally… someone seems to have the spread against the Redskins figured out. (Of course, imagine what the spread would have been if Philly did to Oakland what we all expected them to do to Oakland.) This is the first game Washington has played against a team with a win. That is not a misprint. No team has had so much as a single victory this season when it took the field to play Washington until this week. And the Redskins have responded with a 2-4 record against that group. Their high total for points scored is 17… and one of the wins was a 9-7 victory over St. Louis. Does anyone think Philly is going to arrive in Washington with a casual, take-them-for-granted approach after what happened last week? Well… then we need to go no further. If we expect Philly to score over 20-points while playing incredibly mad… and we expect that the Washington cheerleaders could probably outscore the Washington offense, while at the same time the Washington coaching staff is in a freefall… then picking this contest can only involve one decision.
Bob: Philadelphia
Terry: Washington
Dad: Philadelphia
Mike: Philadelphia
Molly: Philadelphia

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dad – Last week 8-6, season 48-41-1
Bob – Last week 6-8, season 47-42-1
Mike – Last week 5-9, season 44-45-1
The Dogs – Last week 9-5, season 40-49-1
Terry – Last week 7-7, season 37-52-1

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at