For the third straight week, the Chargers let another winnable game slip through their hands. I have no need to recap the Chargers game as I have already vented my frustrations in an earlier post. In case you missed it, I have declared that it is time for the Chargers to clean house. They need to boot Turner, A.J. Smith and several players who cannot handle their job in a professional manner. So, before I get all worked up again, let's go straight into my picks for Week 8!
Last Week: 10-4
Season Total: 56 - 48
Enjoy the games!
As is the norm for this season, last week I suggested that Carson Palmer is not the player he once was and may not be able to lead the Bengals offense effectively enough to win many games this year. Of course, Palmer throws for 412 yards and three touchdowns. Now, he did lose, but it was pretty impressive that he could hang 32 on the Falcons defense.
This week he faces the Dolphins defense which gave up over 300 passing yards to Big Ben last week, but barely lost to the Steelers. The Dolphins offense is okay, but not a potent as the Falcons. Add the fact that he Bengals are at home, and I'll have to give Carson and company a chance to win this one.
Dolphins 27, Bengals 32
The shot heard 'round the world happened in the Cowboys/Giants game Monday night. Yep, you guessed it, Tony Romo goes down in a heap and breaks his clavicle (that's a collarbone to you and me). That means he is out for the next six to eight weeks and quite possibly will not even bother coming back this year. After all, it's not like they were winning with him.
Step in former starting quarterback John Kitna. Kitna is a very nice backup, but he has never given his fans hope that he will lead their team to the promised land.
That being said, the Jaguars are lousy. Last week they went to KC and hung in for about a half. Then the Chiefs blew their doors off and tallied 42 points. The way I see it is that Kitna will have a week to practice with the number ones and will be fired up to win his first start in Jerry World.
Jaguars 24, Cowboys 31
With the return of Matt Stafford, the Lions have hope that they will be able to move the ball and score against anyone. However, the Skins have a pretty stout defense, and this is his first game back in some time. I don't know that the Lions defense is ready for the likes of McNabb or Torain as well.
Redskins 25, Lions 13
As a Chargers fan, I want sooooo badly to pick the Bills in this game. I could even justify it to a point by talking about how the Bills took the Ravens into overtime and actually scored 34 points against Ray Lewis and his friends.
I could go with that angle, but I think I am going with the angle that the very tough loss will break their spirit and take away the Bills will to win. Not to mention that the Chiefs have one serious ground game that the Bills will not be able to stop.
Bills 20, Chiefs 34
The Rams did not look impressive last week against the Bucs and lost a tough one. The Panthers sucked it up and found a way to get their first win of the season against the Niners.
My guess is that the Panthers will be a little hung over from celebrating their big win last week and will not be able to handle the dome in St. Louis. Look for the Sam Bradford and the Rams to win a fairly close game.
Panthers 20, Rams 24
Yes, Rex Ryan is an arrogant coach who loves to talk smack and give his opponent a lot of bulletin board material. But, Ryan is also a master motivator and a very good NFL head coach. Ryan had a bye week to study and plan for the Packers. Also, his players got to heal and old legs like those on LT got to freshen up a little bit.
The Packers, on the other hand, had a real barn burner against Brett and his Vikings. The Packers did look better than they have of late, and they finally got the Favre hex off of them.
I feel that given the fact that the Jets had an extra week to plan, and they are at home, I have to give the edge to the Jets in a close one.
Packers 24, Jets 27
I don't figure this will be a widely watched game, even in San Fran and Denver. Both teams had embarrassing losses in Week 7. The Niners lost to the previously winless Panthers and the Broncos lost at home to the improving Oakland Raiders.
Yes, the Raiders are improving, but give me a break! We're talking about a team that gained over 500 yards of total offense! Over 320 yards on the ground!!! The Raiders scored 59 points.....IN THREE QUARTERS!!!!
I can not in good conscience pick the Broncos in this matchup. Niners are nothing to write home about but the question is, can McDaniels find a way to inspire his beaten team to even care anymore?
Broncos 21, Niners 30
Here we go again. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, I will not pick against my Bolts! That motto has really hurt my picks this year. I made it clear last week that I thought the Chargers would lose to the Patriots, but I picked the Chargers....and lost. I must admit that I was not impressed by the Pats in the least, but they won so let's move on.
This week, what is left of the Chargers will host Vince Young and his Titans. The Chargers have played the Titans five times and are currently 5-0. They have played some epic battles, and the Chargers have always found a way to win.
This week may be the exception. The Titans come into town after scoring 37 against the Eagles in Week 7. Now, that was with Kerry Collins at the helm, but let's face it, the Titans are dangerous. They have the league's best running back in Chris Johnson and lead the league in sacks.
On the Chargers side of the ball, it's injury after injury. The Chargers added their 65th man on the roster for this year alone. Last year, the Bolts finished the year with a total of 61 players having seen the field.
The Chargers are dropping like first down passes and have not shown the maturity to come through in the clutch. Even with all of the injuries, the Chargers have had the ball late in four of their losses with a chance to win or tie the game.....and failed to come through.
Currently, the Chargers have the No. 1-rated offense and the No. 1-rated defense and are 2-5 on the year. You tell me.
As for this game, I am picking the Bolts because that is what I do. I'm talking myself into believing it because I think that Rivers can throw all day against the Titans secondary, if he has time to throw.
Maybe I'm just a biased idiot, but I do hold out hope that the Chargers can upset the Titans. By the way, I don't care who is favored. Right now if the Chargers win a game, it is an upset. To be honest, the news that Young will start actually gives me more hope. Young has always struggled against the Charger defense.
Titans 20, Chargers 35
I was ready to pick the Cardinals at home this week, and then I remembered something.....They have not quarterback!
The Bucs do have to travel and they are coming off of a hard-fought win, but they simply have a better team than the Cards.
Bucs 20, Cards 18
The Patriots are coming home after an ugly win against my Bolts. I saw nothing about the Patriots that would lead me to think of them as an elite team. EXCEPT they play a very disciplined football game. The Bill Belichick influence on them keeps them from making the stupid mistakes that the Chargers made against them. You don't see a Patriot stop playing before the whistle, for instance.
The Vikings, on the other hand, are going to be handicapped in a couple of different ways. First, they are going to feel obligated to let Favre decide if he can play. Yes, gone are the days when a coach had final say. Now, it is the diva who decides who plays and who sits.
You can bet that Brett Favre will not stand for sitting this one out. After all, if he starts every game from here until the end of the season, he will have reached 300 in his consecutive game streak. That would be really great, wouldn't it?
My guess is that Favre will start and play poorly on his fractured ankle. The Vikings will fall behind and then Childress will be forced to take Favre out, promising it is because of injury and he is still the starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings. The story will repeat itself until Brett is hurt too bad to walk or the end of the season, whichever comes first.
Vikings 13, Patriots 28
Alright, this is most likely a biased pick, but it's my post so too bad.
I know the Raiders kicked the living !#@$!#@ out of the Broncos last week.
I know that Darren McFadden came back with a vengance, and the Raiders, as a team, rushed for 328.
I know the Raiders are at home.
I know that the Seahawks have a much better run defense than the Broncos.
I know that Pete Carroll has his team believing in themselves.
I know that I am biased against the Raiders and I am willing to get this one wrong just to avoid picking the Raiders to win again (sorry Autumn).
Seahawks 27, Raiders 20
Let's face it, the Steelers are not a perfect team, but they may be the best team in the NFL this year. The Saints have not shown that they can handle the loss of Bush and Thomas in their backfield. This is further proof that you at least have to pretend to have offensive balance to keep defenses honest.
I would like to pick Drew and Co., but I just can't see them out scoring the Steelers until their backs come back. Let's face it, they got smoked by the Cleveland Browns. Enough said.
Steelers 31, Saints 17
The Colts have lost their Pro Bowl tight end Dallas Clark to injury. They have not lost Peyton Manning or Reggie Wayne. That is bad news for the Texans. More bad news is that the Colts have had an extra week to study the Texans and develop a game plan.
The Texans also had the week off, but they have not shown the ability to go into a game like a doctor goes into surgery.
The Texans are a good team, with a solid offense. What they don't have is a secondary. That is not a good way to enter a game against Peyton Manning.
Texans 24, Colts 38
I would love to read and reply to your comments. Enjoy the games!