Two weeks ago, you nearly lost your job when you punted the ball to Reggie Bush after the coaches asked you not to. Bush returned two of your punts for touchdowns, your team nearly lost the game, and while I know that may seem unfair to you, NFL head coaches are a bit sensitive about players not doing what they're asked to do.
I don't want to alarm you or anything, but word on the street is that this Devin Hester guy you'll be kicking to on Sunday is pretty good at returning kicks. Apparently, he set an NFL record for the number of kicks returned for touchdowns in a season or something, and in August, he signed a contract worth nearly $40 million dollars.
So when you're called on to punt this week, do yourself, Brad Childress and that Vikings fan from the Samsung commercial a favor and aim for the concession stands.
P.S. – Pick: Bears -3 ½
San Diego (-1) at Buffalo – With the way the Chargers played against Miami two weeks ago, I shouldn't trust them in this 1pm ET game. However, they're starting to get their swagger back and will be primed to start their ten-day, two games on two continents road trip with a win. Pick: Chargers -1
New Orleans at Carolina (-3) – New Orleans' 2nd-ranked offense against Carolina's 3rd-ranked defense is a game that makes the NFL Sunday Ticket worth the price. Pick: Panthers -3
Pittsburgh (-10) at Cincinnati – Since entering the NFL in 2004, and including post-season games, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is a perfect 10-0 in his home state of Ohio. Pittsburgh's dominating defense suffocates Ryan Fitzpatrick, who'll once again get the start for an injured Carson Palmer. Pick: Steelers -10
Tennessee (-8) at Kansas City – Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle may get the start, which immediately brings up an important question: Who finishes the game: Damon Huard or Tyler Thigpen? Titans will remain the NFL's lone unbeaten team heading into Week 8. Pick: Titans -8
Baltimore at Miami (-2 ½) – Neither offense is capable of lighting up a scoreboard. In fact, you'd get more fireworks from biting into a Wintergreen Life Saver, so be on the lookout for a defensive struggle with a final score of 5-2 or something like that. If you can, take the under (36)Pick: Dolphins -2 ½
San Francisco at NY Giants (-11) – If the 49ers continue down their current path, when 2009 begins the longest tenured head coach in the NFC West will be Ken Whisenhunt. Pick: Giants -11
Dallas (-7) at St. Louis – After some encouragement, Tony Romo is going to go ahead and try to play against the Rams with a broken pinky finger. Was that due to the phone call he got from Brett Favre, or was it because Dallas acquired Roy Williams and St. Louis has the 25th-ranked pass defense? Pick: Cowboys -7
Detroit at Houston (-9 ½) – Speaking of Williams, now that he's been traded and Jon Kitna is on injured reserve, the Lions can now set their sights on the #1 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Pick: Texans -9 ½
Indianapolis (-1 ½) at Green Bay – Indianapolis appears to have re-discovered it's high-powered passing attack, which is bad news for Green Bay's ailing secondary. Pick: Colts -1 ½
NY Jets (-3) at Oakland – Brett Favre has never lost to Oakland and will be returning to the site of the most emotional game of his career. There's no way I'd go against him this week. Pick: Jets -3
Cleveland at Washington (-7 ½) – Vegas is either unimpressed with the way the Browns dismantled the defending champs on national television, or aren't concerned about the Redskins handing last week's game to the lowly St. Louis Rams. I'm not ready to buy back into the Browns hype, but I will take the points. Pick: Browns +7 ½
Seattle at Tampa Bay (-11) – Since I began doing this in 2001, I've never picked against the Seahawks and that's not going to change this week. I'm going to take the Seahawks, mainly because they're getting 11 points. Seattle has a very slim chance of beating the Buccaneers and I'm saddened that Mike Holmgren's final season in Seattle is going to end with them missing the playoffs. This wasn't supposed to happen. Pick: Seahawks +11
Denver at New England (-3) – In the last 7+ seasons, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have lost just 32 games. 5 of them have been to the Denver Broncos. Here's a scary thought: If the Patriots couldn't stop Vincent Jackson, what is Brandon Marshall going to do to that secondary? Pick: Broncos +3
Last week: 5-9
2008 Season: 42-45-1
Brian McIntyre lives in the Boston area. In addition to writing for Seahawks.Net, Brian maintains his own blog (www.macsfootballblog.com) and charts games for Football Outsiders. If you'd like to e-mail Brian, you may do so here.