(Warning: If half-insane political rants on sports web sites annoy you, please feel free to skip down to the picks below. I apologize in advance for mixing real-life with sports.)
I’m trying a new tactic.
Even though I finished a terrible 4-11 last week picking against the spread, I’m going to constantly claim that I did better than that.
Even though you can easily go back and look at my picks column from last week, I’m going to look you in the eye and tell you that I picked every game correctly.
Hey, if McCain can get away with lying about things the American public can easily find the truth about, then so can I. It’s a tactic that works. Just keep saying it over and over again and the people will believe you.
Since McCain started lying about Obama raising middle-class taxes, his VP's stance on the Bridge to Nowhere, and that stupid lipstick on a pig comment, he’s gained in the polls across the board. He’s proven that people will listen to what you say without making any effort to determine whether or not it’s the truth.
They’ll just take your word for it.
So, take my word for it. I went undefeated in my picks last week. I’m looking forward to keeping that undefeated record intact this weekend.
Sorry about the political rant, but I’m greatly annoyed with the American public right now (and some of you, presumably, are reading this column).
Not because McCain is winning. There are some valid reasons to vote for him. I’m annoyed because he WAS losing until he started feeding us a bunch of insanely brazen lies that everyone’s apparently bought, even though the average 13-year old could find the truth in less than 30 seconds with nothing more than a computer and an Internet connection.
Or a newspaper, if you’re not a big fan of the Inter-Web.
If McCain gets elected because Obama is a Muslim who’s going to tax the middle class and plans to teach sex education to kindergartners, McCain is a maverick, and Palin doesn’t like earmarks and killed the bridge to nowhere, then the voting rights of about half this country should be taken away.
And I’m moving to Canada with the Buffalo Bills…
(Home team in CAPS)
KANSAS CITY (-3.5) over Oakland
I’m open to the possibility that I’m overreacting a bit after Oakland was completely demolished by the Broncos last week, but they look really, really bad right now.
I wonder if Raider Nation is still happy about giving $70 million over six years to DeAngelo Hall? It must be hard playing cornerback with third degree burns all over your back.
Damon Huard makes the Kansas City offense better and helps give the Chiefs a commanding one-game lead in the race for third place in the AFC West.
Tennessee (+1) over CINCINNATI
I’m not sure what’s worse, the overall situation in Cincinnati or the quarterback situation in Tennessee.
I’m not sure if the Vince Young situation is scary or entertaining. What I do know is that there is no way he can be taken seriously as a quarterback or a team leader if getting booed causes him to fly into a depressed haze and threaten suicide.
The only thing missing from the Vince Young story is him changing his last name to Uno Cero.
MINNESOTA (+1.5) over Indianapolis
I still like the Colts as one of the favorites to come out of the AFC, but I’m not sure their offense (or their offensive line) is clicking on all cylinders yet. They’ve always had trouble with physical teams that can run the ball. The Vikings certainly fit that mold.
And as the Bears proved last week, you can beat the Colts without a legit NFL quarterback on your roster.
New Orleans (even) over WASHINGTON
I had to check this line in three different places, because I didn’t believe it. Even? Seriously? How much money am I allowed to put on this one??
I mean, if gambling were legal. This column is just for fun. I do not endorse gambling.
But seriously, how much?
Green Bay (-3) over DETROIT
I came away from last week’s Green Bay game with some respect for Aaron Rodgers. I thought he played a fantastic game and took a huge step towards making everyone forget about the old guy in New York.
That said, their defense was equally impressive, as was pointed out by Aren Dow.
On the flip side, there was absolutely nothing impressive about Detroit last week.
CAROLINA (-3) over Chicago
Admittedly, I was surprised that either of these teams won last week. I was slightly less surprised that Carolina won.
If Jake Delhomme is healthy, this is a team that can do some damage. Say what you want about Delhomme, but if I need a drive in the final two minutes of a game, he’s on my short list of guys I want quarterbacking it.
The winner of this game might be the most surprising 2-0 team in the NFL...assuming Atlanta loses.
New York Giants (-8.5) over ST. LOUIS
The Giants start the season with a second-straight layup. I don’t really have much to say about this one except that the Rams might be the second-worst team in the NFC.
Buffalo (+5) over JACKSONVILLE
The Jaguars have health problems on their offensive line. The Bills have a defensive lineman bent on getting revenge on his old team. Not a good combination.
I see this as a field-goal game that could go either way. I just don’t see either team winning by a touchdown.
TAMPA BAY (-7) over Atlanta
Matt Ryan just wins ballgames. Of course, when you’re playing BC’s schedule or the Detroit Lions, it becomes infinitely easier to just win ballgames.
If Atlanta beats the Bucs, I’ll reassess how I feel about them. But even after the whooping they put on the pathetic Lions, I’m still seeing them at about four wins when the season ends.
Brian Griese gets the start at quarterback for Tampa, which makes the task a little easier for Matt Ryan and company.
SEATTLE (-6.5) over San Francisco
I’m banking on the fact that Seattle is a terrible road team, especially when playing on the other side of the country, and they will be a completely different team at home.
I’m also banking on the fact that the 49ers are a pathetic team no matter where they play, and they will be that same pathetic team when they show up in Seattle this weekend.
ARIZONA (-6.5) over Miami
I seriously considered picking Miami here, but I just can’t bring myself to pick a team who’s won one out of their last 17 games. Plus, I like the Arizona offense with Kurt Warner at the helm—especially against the Miami defense.
New England (+1.5) over NEW YORK JETS
Here’s the thing about this game: The Jets aren’t very good.
They have scored more than 17 points against the Patriots once since 2003. Granted, that was before Brett Favre, but the last time Favre played the Patriots’ defense, he didn’t get into the end zone once.
The Jets’ defense can be run on. The Patriots’ offense, despite what you may have heard on ESPN, can run the ball extremely well when they want to. My guess is that they’ll want to.
And don’t forget, they still have a guy named Randy Moss on their team. Stack the line to stop the run and you make Matt Cassel’s life easier as he’ll be able to throw to ball to a single-covered Randy Moss.
I hate the Jets in this game.
DENVER (even) over San Diego
Denver is a better team than Carolina, they’re playing at home, and L.T. may not be completely healthy. The head-coaching matchup is a mismatch of epic proportions, though not the biggest mismatch of the week (more on this later).
Jay Cutler was impressive last week. He may be the next “elite” quarterback in the NFL. He certainly looks better than any of the other young NFL quarterbacks.
CLEVELAND (+6.5) over Pittsburgh
This is one of those picks I had to make. If I’m going to pick the Browns to beat the Steelers in the AFC North, I can’t let one week of football change my mind. I have to stick with my pick, so I’m sticking with the Browns.
Am I confident? Not at all.
Am I stubbornly sticking with my pick? Absolutely.
Philadelphia (+6.5) over DALLAS
If I ran the sports media, and we’re at least a few more years away from this happening, nobody would ask T.O. or Donovan McNabb what they think about the other one. It was a soap opera. T.O. proved he was a moron. Donovan McNabb threw up in the huddle in the final moments of the Super Bowl. So what? Nobody cares.
What I would ask Donovan is whether or not he’s going to pick on Pacman Jones this week. What I would ask T.O. is how he feels about going up against Asante Samuel.
You know, things that actually have something to do with the football game that’s going to take place Monday night.
This game comes down to coaching (biggest mismatch of the week...possibly the season) versus talent. The NFL is all about the coaching, and the talent discrepancy isn’t big enough to overcome Wade Phillips and a six-and-a-half point spread.
Last Week: 4-11
Season Record: 4-11
Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.