Mac's Picks - Week Eight

In this week's picks, Brian McIntyre tries to unravel a few NFL mysteries - most notably, why the David Letterman axiom, "Please, no wagering" may apply to all seasonal selections. That's just how strange the season's been…

I have a few questions:

#1 – How did the Houston Texans, who were down 25 points at home in the 4th quarter to a Tennessee Titans team that was playing without Vince Young, ride the arm of Sage "Bleepin" Rosenfels to take a 1-point lead in the final minute…before somehow managing to lose the game on a last-second field goal?

#2 – How did the Philadelphia Eagles allow a 97-yard touchdown drive by Brian Griese and the timeout-less Chicago Bears with less than two minutes to go?

#3 – Why did the Washington Redskins secondary give the Cardinals the sidelines during their final touchdown drive on Sunday? Washington won the game, but that game ended up closer than it needed to be.

This is the part of the column where I remind you that these picks are solely for "Entertainment Purposes Only". The last thing you want to do is take gambling advice from someone who doesn't gamble and would confidently pick the Seahawks -10 ½ over the '85 Bears.

Last Week: 6-8

2007 Overall: 48-51-4

Indianapolis (-6 ½) at Carolina – Peyton Manning has never beaten the Carolina Panthers, but since the Panthers are such a terrible home team (0-2 and have lost by 13 points each time), that should change this week. Pick: Colts -6 ½

Detroit at Chicago (-5) – If you don't believe the move the Brian Griese was a smart move, you have to go back and watch that 97-yard scoring drive from last week. Griese will never be confused with Joe Montana, but it was very impressive and saved Chicago's season.

After the game, Griese said the win won't mean anything if they don't win this week against Detroit, which isn't exactly a bold statement. The Lions have lost their last two road games by an average of 33 points. Pick: Bears -5

Pittsburgh (-3 ½) at Cincinnati - This rivalry just isn't the same without Joey Porter, who took it so seriously, he did stuff like this in a Las Vegas casino a few months ago. Without Porter's presence, this game might actually be about football and honestly, who wants to see that?

I mean, besides people like this incredibly sober Steelers fan. Pick: Steelers -3 ½

NY Giants (-9 ½) at Miami – I'm not a big fan of playing any NFL games oversees, but the NFL lucked out with this one. Do you think anyone in Miami wants to watch the Dolphins lose again?

The only the people in Miami care about at this point is that, at some point, they can pop the champagne when both the New England and Indianapolis has a "1" in their loss columns. Pick: Giants -9 ½

Philadelphia (-1) at MinnesotaThe Minnesota Vikings 32nd-ranked pass defense should be the ideal opponent for Donovan McNabb and the Eagles to get their passing game going.

This pick is also aided by Brad Childress continuing to start Chester Taylor over Adrian Peterson. Think about it: If you had a 1970 Chevelle in your garage, would you pick up your date in a Ford Focus? Pick: Eagles -1

Cleveland (-3) at St. Louis – This might be the only chance the Rams have of winning a game before their December 2nd home game against Atlanta. Pick: Rams +3

(Did you know that since the Seattle Seahawks beat the Rams in St. Louis on October 9th, 2005, which also happens to be the last game Mike Martz patrolled the Rams sideline, the St. Louis Rams are 12-23?)

Oakland at Tennessee (-7 ½) – There are plenty of people in Oakland who are bored by Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper, and would like for Lane Kiffin to toss the car keys to JaMarcus Russell already. Having to watch Vince Young this Sunday is only going to exacerbate things in Oaktown. Pick: Titans -7 ½

Buffalo at NY Jets (-3) – Hey, with a win, the New York Jets will only be a ½ game out of 2nd place in the AFC East! With a 2-6 record. Pick: Jets -3

Houston at San Diego (-9 ½) – At times like this, where the game is more of a cathartic exercise for the residents who are struggling to cope with the destruction and devastation that surrounds them, you have to root for the home team. Pick: Chargers -9 ½

Jacksonville at Tampa Bay (-4) – Road games aren't subject to the NFL's strict blackout policy, so the people in Jacksonville will actually be able to see this game. With Quinn Gray starting a quarterback for the injured David Garrard, that's probably not a good thing.

What the Jaguars should do is put this YouTube video on their official team site, because if more Jacksonvillians(?) think this is what goes on at Alltel Stadium, more people buy tickets. Pick: Buccaneers -4

Washington at New England (-16 ½) – I have no doubt the Patriots are going to win, but I think the Redskins secondary is good enough to make it interesting. Safety Sean Taylor is a hard-hitter who already has 5 interceptions this season, so those deep passes to Randy Moss might not be an option this week. Pick: Redskins +16 ½

New Orleans (-2 ½) at San Francisco – Before the season it wouldn't have a stretch to predict that these teams would have identical records heading into Week 8 You just wouldn't have found many people who expected that record to be 2-4.

San Francisco is starting to get healthy, and if they can find an offensive line they could be respectable the rest of the way, which would assuredly fuel another off-season of "Keep an eye on the 49ers" chatter in the NFC West, which is always fun.

The Saints are in the midst of regaining their mojo, and you've got to think that with the Panthers starting Vinny Testaverde and the Buccaneers auditioning running backs outside Ybor City, another NFC South crown for the Saints isn't out of reach. Pick: Saints -2 ½

Green Bay at Denver (-3) – I thought ESPN got abused while negotiating for the rights to broadcast Monday Night Football. After all, they spent over a billion dollars and somehow emerged without access to flex scheduling. Now I think ESPN is just plain unlucky, because it's possible this week's Monday Night Football game will go head-to-head with a World Series game being played less than 2 miles away.

You can blame bad negotiating tactics by an executive for the price tag, the lack of contractual perks and questionable personnel decisions (Why can't I find any of Emmitt Smith's "escape goats" at the local petting zoo?), but given where the Rockies were in the standings when the NFL season started, a higher power had to get involved for the Rockies to possibly overshadow the Broncos, and ESPN, in late October. Pick: Broncos -3

Brian McIntyre is in touch with his inner Papelbon. Feel free to contact him here. Top Stories