Out of curiosity, I took at look at how USA Today’s Sports Weekly has done against the spread, and they’ve gone 28-42-4. Bill Simmons from ESPN.com is 34-36-4. Simmons’ wife is 41-29-4. Proof that sometimes the more you think you know, the worse off you are.
As “Smooth” Jimmy Apollo said on the Simpsons, “When you’re right 52% of the time, you’re wrong 48% of the time”. In my case, it’s more like 46% of the time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun.
Last Week: 5-8-1
Carolina at Baltimore (-3) – Am I the only one who thinks the Steve McNair we’ve seen this year is actually Kyle Boller borrowing an idea from C. Thomas Howell’s character in Soul Man? Pick: Panthers +3
Cincinnati (-5 ½) at Tampa Bay – Congratulations are in order for both teams. Cincinnati managed to get through the bye week without having a player arrested, and the Buccaneers got through a game without their quarterback needing an organ removed. Pick: Bengals –5 ½
Houston at Dallas (-13 ½) – Now that Dom Capers is gone, I can actually pick the Texans when they’re getting a boatload of points from a team that is inches away from brawling on the sidelines. I will say this about the Cowboys: Nobody throws a better punt than Drew Bledsoe. Not even Eli Manning. As for Terrell Owens, doesn’t he know that he has 25 million reasons to be in Dallas ? Pick: Texans +13 ½
Why is Tiki wearing his own jersey? Were the producers concerned everyone would think it was his twin brother, Ronde?
Aside from Chris Henry, who would wear his own jersey in public, or in the case of Tiki Barber, when the Dish Network installer knocks on his door? Isn’t that worse than wearing the t-shirt of the band you’re going to see? Don’t be that guy, Tiki. Don’t be that guy. Pick: Falcons –2 ½Philadelphia (-3 ½) at New Orleans – The resurgent New Orleans Saints are 4-1 and are the “feel good” story of the NFL this year. Over the next month, New Orleans has Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. If they can survive that stretch, they’re a true playoff contender. Pick: Eagles –3 ½
Seattle (-3) at St. Louis – Last year, the Seahawks went in to St. Louis with a 2-2 record, without both of their starting wide receivers, and the belief that although they won the division in 2004, the St. Louis Rams were still the team to beat in the NFC West. As we all know, Seattle won that game, then the 10 that followed it and the NFC Championship, but on October 9 th, 2005, nobody really knew who the Seahawks were heading into that game.
Fast forward one year, and the Seahawks are 3-1 as they head into the Edward Jones Dome. They’re playing without the NFL’s reigning MVP, Shaun Alexander, and after getting blown out on national television by the Chicago Bears, nobody really knows how good this Seahawks team is, either.
This game, much like last year, finds the Seahawks at a crossroads. We know what direction last year’s team went in, and I think that by 4pm this Sunday, we’ll see that the 2006 Seahawks are heading in that very same direction. Pick: Seahawks -3
Tennessee at Washington (-10) – Who knows what Redskins team is going to show up this week. The team they’re playing is terrible, especially when it comes to stopping the run, so I’m guessing that Clinton Portis (or Dolemite Jenkins) will have a monster day on the ground and the Redskins get an easy win at home. Or I could be completely wrong. You just never know with this team. Pick: Redskins -10
Kansas City at Pittsburgh (-7) – I want to pick the Chiefs. Trust me, nothing would make me happier than the Chiefs winning this Sunday. Starting 1-5 would be absolutely disasterous for the Steelers, and since I picked them to miss the playoffs, I’d be looking pretty smart if the Chiefs won this Sunday. Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening.
For starters, the Chiefs weren’t that impressive last week in Arizona. Secondly, Larry Johnson’s neck can’t be 100%. There are already question marks regarding LJ’s toughness, so how will he be a week after nearly having his head ripped off by Antrel Rolle? Finally, Damon Huard is the starting quarterback, in Pittsburgh, against an angry and frustrated team that desperately needs to win. Pick: Steelers –7
Miami at NY Jets (-1) – Who advised Dolphins quarterback Joey Harrington to go by the name “Joey”? Would you trust any adult that went by that name? “Thanks for the heart transplant, Dr. Joey” doesn’t sound like something any reasonable person would ever feel comfortable saying.
If Harrington ever managed to lead a team to the Super Bowl (when pigs fly), he would’ve been right there with the other famous quarterbacks named “Joe” to hoist a Lombardi Trophy. Namath, Montana, Theismann. But no, he chooses to answer to “Joey”, which seals his fate as this decade’s answer to Rick Mirer. Pick: Jets -1San Diego (-10) at San Francisco – Everyone else has said it some point, so I will, too. Why don’t the Chargers use the powder blue uniforms every week? Hands down, they are the best uniforms in the history of the NFL. The same could be said for the New England Patriots, as well. “Pat Patriot” was a very cool logo, but they opted to swap it for this monstrosity. If the Giants and Jets can revert back to old-school style logos and uniforms, what’s stopping the Chargers and Patriots from doing the same? The Chargers have a shot at pitching two shutouts in the Bay Area this year, and that’s about the only interesting thing you can say about this game. Pick: Chargers -10
Oakland at Denver (-15) – The first 5 weeks of the NFL season has produced one undeniable fact: Oakland is, by far, the worst team in the NFL. Al Davis is either senile, insane, or a colorful combination of the two, to have re-hired Art Shell, who hasn’t coached in the NFL for 12 years. Shell tabbed a guy running a bed & breakfast in Idaho and Aaron Brooks to run the offense. If that weren’t enough to make a delicious “Disaster Stew”, Randy Moss, the team’s best player, openly admitted to not being too concerned about football.
As a lifelong Seahawks fan (and Raider Hater), I just wish Seattle was still in the AFC West so I could fully enjoy the train wreck that the Oakland Raiders have become. Pick: Broncos –15
(The quote of the year came courtesy of FOX analyst Troy Aikman. When FOX went to a game-break to show the highlight of Randy Moss catching his 100 th touchdown reception, Aikman quipped, “Randy Moss is still in the league?” Just another example for why Aikman is the best analyst in football.)Chicago (-11) at Arizona – I got an advanced script for the upcoming Bears-Cardinals game on ESPN. And it goes a little something like this:
Joe Theismann: “When we sat down with Matt Leinart last night, I was really impressed with how unflappable this kid is. When I asked him if he was nervous about facing the Bears defense, he just shrugged and continued typing a text message to Nick Lachey.”
Mike Tirico: “3rd and 15 for the Cardinals. Leinart takes the snap and Tommie Harris busts through the line and drops Leinart for an 8-yard loss. The Cardinals go 3-and-out again.”
Theismann: “I know it was an 8-yard loss, and another 3-and-out for the Cardinals, but I want to show you why I’m so impressed with this young man. Look at this, he’s got Tommie Harris barreling down on him and Matt Leinart notices it immediately. Despite visibly soiling himself, he makes the effort to avoid the sack. This kid is going to be special.”
Kornheiser: “Leinart looks like he wishes he had another year of eligibility remaining.”
Pick: My prediction? Pain…and the Bears -11
Brian McIntyre writes about football from all angles, and there appears to be no truth to the rumor that he's going trick-or-treating as Pat Patriot. You can contact Brian here.