by Pigskin Pundit
Week Five affirmed Rozelle’s dream of parity for most teams, fulfilling his vision that the league would never be boring on account of high predictability. With two exceptions, we still haven’t sifted out which teams besides Houston and Atlanta are even likely to win their contests on a weekly basis yet. As a prognosticator I hate being wrong, but more than that I hate being bored. Not a problem yet this season. I went 9-5 last week, and stand at 49-27 for the season.
Steelers @ Titans – Pittsburgh showed some life this past week, although I think Vick’s poor showing and fumbles cost me my prediction that Andy Reed’s birds would soar in Steel City. Pittsburgh is about as good as I think they are, and probably have just enough to go into Tennessee and outlast the Titans.
Chiefs @ Buccaneers – What does it mean when the hometown fans boo their QB as he is hurt in a game? It means the Bucs win at home. I don’t know what’s wrong with Kansas City as a whole, but the rot has been there a long time and doesn’t appear soon to leave.
Colts @ Jets – Indy rallied around their ailing staffer last week to grind out a pride win over the fainting Packers. That’s a one-game phenomenon, and Ryan’s Gothamites should prevail as the Horseshoes bring their Luck to NYC. Jets at home, ugly.
Bengals @ Browns – Cincy got beat at home by the Dolphins and their newbie QB last week. The Browns made a first-half showing against the Giants before they wilted during the back half. The Bengals want to get back to winning before the familiar failure trend has a chance to set in, so I have Cincinnati winning the Battle of Ohio.
Lions @ Eagles - Until last week, this would have been an easier pick. The Lions are underachieving this year, but so did the Eagles last week. Vick is mercurial more so in his consistency than his on-field mobility. If he shows up this week, the Eagles have the talons to beat the Pontiac Pussycats. If…… Eagles in a close one.
Raiders @ Falcons – Odds are that Atlanta is going to drop one bad trap game to a lesser opponent at some point this season. The Raiders probably aren’t that opponent. Falcons soar to their sixth win. Based on what I’ve seen so far from the entirety of this team, they are my NFC pick for the big dance. They have all the tools, and will play even better as the season goes, barring serious injuries.
Rams @ Dolphins – Both of these rebuilding teams are looking for win streaks. The Rams are a little bit ahead of the Dolphins developmentally, and they have Sam Bradford. I’ll take the Rams’ Road Show over Miami’s Homestand this week.
Cowboys @ Ravens – Dallas is the most talented team that can’t put three wins together regularly. If their quality control was like McDonald’s Restaurants, they’d be in the NFC Championship every year. I don’t know whom to blame, as one week Romo looks like Joe Montana and the next game he looks like Hannah Montana. Every other week the Cowboy receivers either have hands like Venus fly traps or Venus de Milo. Whom do you blame when your star players forget their skill sets twice a month? I think Dallas is more talented than aging Baltimore, but John Harbaugh puts a consistent product on the field each week. You have to beat the Ravens, because they won’t beat themselves. Baltimore shows the dime-store cowboys the door.
Bills @ Cardinals – Bills lose on the road as the House of Cards withstands their slings and arrows.
Patriots @ Seahawks – Pete Carroll was a terrible pro coach when he helmed the Patriots. His ceaseless waving of the pom-poms couldn’t hide the fact that one of the better college coaches lacked a grasp of the different mentality at the pro level. Other college greats have tried and failed also, so he’s in good company. He’s had more success since his return to the pro ranks in Seattle, and honestly his underestimated SeaSquawks surprise a lot of fans and teams each season. That said, they’re still an intramural team next to Belichick’s seasoned Patriots, as will be shown this week.
Giants @ 49ers - Do you think the Niners realize the importance of this game? They dropped one at home to Christian Ponder’s Vikings a couple weeks ago, and these are the same Giants that tend to peak at the right time each December and punish the other NFC contenders in the post-season. Oh yeah, they’re also defending Superbowl champs. Harbaugh The Younger knows what this game means to his team’s psyche, more so than even to their W/L record. Look for his prospectors to find gold … repeatedly. Niners.
Vikings @ Redskins – It matters whether RGIII is cleared to play this one, but the Norsemen from the Twin Cities have found ways to scratch out wins they aren’t supposed to get. Vikes win in the Capitol, Griffin or no Griffin.
Packers @ Texans – Every time I see Aaron Rodgers doing another “discount double-check” insurance commercial, I wince. I like him a lot, think he’s a terrific QB and classy player, and I bet he’d trade all the cash those ads made for him for a pair of wins. Why the Packers cannot win is still a mystery. At least the Saints lost their coaching staff. This week Green Bay is going to face the high Wattage of Wade Phillips’ defense, as one-man wrecking crew JJ Watt spends the entire afternoon making the league forget about Clay Matthews. Watt is a phenomenon who reminds me not of one great Hall of Fame defensive end, but rather of a compilation of several of the best ever. There’s nothing he doesn’t do better than most of the guys who played the position memorably. To escape his insatiable grasp, Green Bay will have to roll out or run into the waiting arms of … Connor Barwin. Have fun! Texans shoot the lights out at home.
Broncos @ Chargers – Peyton and the Ponies rewire the Generators.
Enjoy the week!!
Image: Lombardi Trophy; courtesy of JL1Row; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license