by Clash Daily’s Pigskin Pundit
Wow … just … wow. I got murdered picking this week. The NFL did what it does best – rivet its fans to the tv screen and provide numerous surprise endings, to the delight of some fans and the dismay of others. My record for the week was a humiliating 5-9, dropping me to 45-31.
Does anyone besides me think the NFC is STILL the cream of the league? The Giants took a wrecking ball to the steely Forty-Niners and laid a beat down on them in their own house. Green Bay relocated their lost pride, and put an old-fashioned bullwhipping on the Texans in their own corral. Perhaps Houston was overdue for a bum game, but they played pretty poorly on both sides of the ball and with penalties. The Patriots took their league-best offense and put it up against Seattle’s league-best defense, and even though the score was close they really got their butts whipped when it mattered. They simply could not generate touchdown points from turnovers, and in settling for field goals and missed opportunities (2 intentional grounding calls, one costing at least 3 pts), they let the Seahawks hang around long enough to win. Props to Russell Wilson, who has a lot of game for a 3rd-rounder. Even though I’ve always hated Pete Carroll’s sideline cheerleading demeanor, he had reason to celebrate this impressive win. Here’s the picks for this week.
Seahawks @ 49ers – Can a “pumped & jacked” Carroll team claim-jump Harbaugh’s humiliated gold prospectors on the road and seize control of the NFC Wild West? This is the game everyone wants to watch, as the winner will have much more than just a one-game lead in the standings. I think the Niners will find ways to get to Russell Wilson, and they certainly won’t give up all the long balls the Patriots secondary was handing out like Halloween candy. Niners by a bloodied nose.
Cardinals @ Vikings – Yet another NFC contest where two surprisingly good teams fight for respectability. I think the edge here will go to Minnesota’s defensive line, and special teams will likely determine a slim victory at home for the Purple People Eaters.
Cowboys @ Panthers – Well, we saw the real Dallas Cowboys last week. They ARE the model of inconsistency, and seemingly will continue to be so. This is a winnable game for Romo & Company, and they will find a way – mistakes and all. Six-guns over Newton’s Law.
Saints @ Buccaneers – I’ve just got to believe New Orleans is going to start putting things together. A win here draws them even with Tampa for second in the division, while a loss cements their cellar position for the foreseeable future. Christians pray while the Pirates fray. Saints.
Packers @ Rams – As with New Orleans, so with Green Bay. The Rams are undoubtedly on the rise, but not ready yet to supplant a deep team like Green Bay. The Meat Packers process mutton this week.
Redskins @ Giants – I’ll keep this simple. The Skins are for real, and the Giants are for realer. NY builds on its big West Coast win this week.
Ravens @ Texans – The Bullheads exact revenge from last week’s embarrassment on the other AFC 5-1 leader, to reclaim their rating as top team.
Titans @ Bills – A pick em game. I give the Bills the home field edge.
Browns @ Colts – Colts in a tight home win.
Jets @ Patriots – Because 3-3 Miami is idle and both teams have beaten the Bills, this game determines the all-tied AFC East leader. Patriots are the better team, and want to reclaim their respect after last week’s debacle in EspressoTown. The Colonials drub the Hessians.
Jaguars @ Raiders – Another who-cares pick ‘em, but Oakland showed some heart this week in Atlanta. Black & Silver FTW.
Steelers @ Bengals – The Bengals are better than the Titans. The Steelers win when I pick them to lose, and lose when I pick them to win. They’re the AFC’s Cowboys, moreso than San Diego. I’m going with the Bengals at home, and expecting Mike Tomlin’s team to make me look stupid … again.
Lions @ Bears – Oh my! (Couldn’t resist the Dorothy reference..) This divisional brawl is going to look like a lion and bear going at it. But everyone knows a bear defends its lair most ferociously. Chicago retains the division lead.
Enjoy the games!
Image: 49ers_in_London; Author: Thomas from London, UK; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.