I got back on track last week, pulling out a 10-5 score, putting the season record at 27-20 (remember, I missed week 1). So far, I'm achieving my goal of being better than a weighty coin at picking winners. Week 5, go!
Nope, you're not taking crazy pills, this is a powerhouse matchup between two teams in arguably (is it still arguable?) the best division in football. Whaaaaaaaat? I think what's most impressive is that the turnaround from worst to first wasn't accomplished by landing premier quarterbacks with well deserved high draft picks (think NFC South - Freeman, Newton and Ryan), but rather through bruising, old school defense and the cunning of their head coaches. This game will come down to Sam Bradford, and whether he can beat the heat brought by Arizona's defense. As we saw last week, a good passing attack can rack up yards against the Cardinals. But did the Rams blow their trickeration wad against the Seahawks? A fake field goal won't work this week, and the Rams will have to get it in the endzone the normal way. On the other hand, Greg "The Leg" Zuerlein can shut down a lot of the return game and the dude's range starts when he enters the stadium, so.......PICK: CARDINALS, in another close game.
Seahawks @ Panthers:
This is a very interesting team for the Seahawks to play at this point in the season, as they must rebound from a stinker of a game last week and face the most dynamic player in pads, Cam Newton. It's going to take a high level of discipline and execution by the defense to slow down Newton's multifaceted attack. Offensively, the Hawks match up well with a team that is giving up a lot of rushing yards, as well as getting hurt though the air. This is a great opportunity for Seattle to continue opening up the playbook against a lesser defense. I see a Seattle victory, but I would also like to see them keep their streak of 20 or less points given up. PICK: SEATTLE
After making numerous dolphins-as-food jokes, I owe a major apology. This team is, well, pretty decent. Their 1-3, but that's a loss to Houston, and two overtime losses to the Cardinals and Jets. In the meantime, they've allowed fewer rushing yards than anyone, and have taken some pressure off their rookie quarterback by running the ball exceptionally well. In the meantime, Cincy has wins over Jax, Cleveland and Washington; not exactly a trio of powerhouses. The Bengals have homefield advantage, which will keep this close, but Miami gets win #2. PICK: DOLPHINS
Against all expectations, Andrew Luck has not yet solidified his HOF bust. Indy fans to be further disappointed by the result of this game I'm afraid. PICK: PACKERS
In the Chiefs favor, Baltimore has become an offensively oriented team, while the quality of their defense has slipped. it's easier for crowd noise to impact teams liek that, and KC has one of the best. Uncharacteristically, the Ravens have at times struggled stopping the pass. Brady and Vick went off for a ton of yards, in close games. Weeden threw for a lot of yards, but it took a ton of attempts during a comeback effort. Andy Dalton was unremarkable in a week one blowout. Fortunately, Cassell and Co are more Daltony then Vicky. Home crowd nuttiness makes it interesting, briefly. PICK: RAVENS.
So far I've picked 5 road teams; I must be onto, or on, something. PICK: EAGLES
ON THE ROAD AGAIN, JUST CAN'T WAIT TO GET ON THE ROAD AGAIN.....PICK: EAGLES
This is starting to feel like an episode of Lost. There's a smoke monster, hyperdimensionality, Matthew Fox's heavy breathing and another road team is going to win. PICK: BEARS.
Vikings win, Vikings win. Thaaaaaaa-uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh VIKINGS WIN! Ok, i'm jumping off the road team bandwagon here. Minnesota is doing some good things, by running the ball effectively and playing steadily, if slowly, improving defense. As for Tennessee, they can't stop anything. Matt Hasselbeck will guide them with a steady hand, but they can't run the ball and his protection must be excellent. It won't be. PICK: VIKINGS
This game should prove to be a boondoggle, a hornswoggle, a mulcted bodge and a flimflam snooker. I also don't think any of those words mean that I think they mean. Expect a lot of offense, and an equal amount of disgusted-looking quarterbacks, grimacingcavalierly (nailed it!) at their teammates. The Patriots seems to get the best of Manning more often than not, but I expect the Broncos to hit on some explosive plays in this game, enough to win. PICK: BRONCOS
Buffalo plays wet paper towel to San Francisco's heavy bunch of grapes. But this time, there is no Brawny. PICK: 49ers
In this game, Eli Manning will throw for roughly a gazillion yards, but people will still wonder why he looks like another driver flipped him off and he has no idea why. PICK: GIANTS
I have a feeling about this one. I can't really explain why, but it seems like the universe would want Philip Rivers to be on the losing end when the Saints finally dipsy-doo-dunkaroo their voodoo. PICK: SAINTS
Texans @ Jets:
Bold Prediction of the Year of the Week - Houston keeps winning until they lose. PICK: TEXANS