Oh boy, Ed Hochuli did it again; or to quote the Britney Spears song, "Oops, I did it again." I know that one's played out, but so is this, the continuous missed calls by Ed Hochuli and his crew of unmerry-makers. So the question I leave you to ponder is, how many more oopsie calls can this crew make before something is done about it, and will something be done about it?
Wow, we are into Week Six of the NFL Regular Season already! We are nine-sixteenths finished with the season, or thereabouts, and my picks are an atrocity. I am almost as bad at making picks that are correct, as the St. Louis Rams are at winning football games...I do pride myself in that I have won more game picks than the Rams have won games though.
Chicago Bears(3-2) at Atlanta Falcons(3-2)
Entering this matchup, both teams are a respectable 3-2. Atlanta and Chicago are also two teams figuring out who they are, and whether or not they can make it into the playoffs.
Both teams are young in a lot of areas, as well as inexperienced in others.
Matt Ryan is looking very good as the Falcons starting quarterback, and the Atlanta offense seems to be clicking fairly well for a team that was torn apart last year.
Chicago made a change at the quarterback position, benching Rex Grossman, and starting Kyle Orton. What a difference maker that has turned out to be.
The Bears are also experimenting with Devin Hester at wide receiver, and he looks to be improving on a weekly basis.
I will take the Falcons in this game—albeit a close one—to win by three points.
Baltimore Ravens(2-2*) at Indianapolis Colts(2-2)
Another game where both teams have an even record, this time at 2-2.
Baltimore is looking much improved than in recent years, with a combination of rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, a veteran defense, a stout running game, and a better-than- average corps of receivers.
What helps the Ravens in this game too, is the Colts are still not quite where they usually are at this time of the season, which in recent years has been an undefeated record—5-0, or no worse than 4-1.
Peyton Manning is still shaking off the rust, but his playmaking abilities should not be overlooked. Having said that, a lot of the Colts key playmakers are pretty close to returning, or have returned.
There are a few players on the Colts defense who are injured, one of whom is a key component in the Colts' defensive secondary.
I'm not quite comfortable with the Colts, and Baltimore is looking a lot healthier coming into this game.
Ravens in a close one by six points.
Detroit Lions(0-4) at Minnesota Vikings(2-3)
Well, the Lions are looking absolutely silly this year. To make matters more challenging, this is a team that has been turned upside down now with the recent firing of Lions GM Matt Millen. Steve Marinelli could be next in the Lions' den.
Minnesota is looking—well—two games better than the Lions, which isn't saying a whole lot at 2-3, but the Vikings are still in the race for the NFC North title, tied with the Packers—both teams one win behind the Bears for the lead.
Minnesota gave the Saints a good game, and came out victoriously on Monday night in New Orleans, no less. That's why I don't give the Lions a chance, and take the Vikings by ten.
Oakland Raiders(1-3) at New Orleans Saints(2-3)
It will be interesting to watch Oakland this week, with Tom Cable as their interim head coach, the Raiders are hoping for at least eight wins on the season. Will their second win be over the Saints?
The Saints are starting to get healthy, and that's news that couldn't come at a better time. Jeremy Shockey is questionable for this weekend, as is Marques Colston. Both players definitely add a spark to this offense, and when you have a consistent quarterback in Drew Brees, and a power running game with Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister, things start to look brighter.
Add to that, the Saints also have CB Randall Gay listed as probable, so he too will most likely be in the starting lineup.
I'll take the Saints, at home, to hand Oakland their fourth loss on the season, by a margin of fourteen points.
Carolina Panthers(4-1)at Tampa Bay Buccaneers(3-2)
The Panthers are a hot team on a winning streak, with an overall record of 4-1, and a division record of 1-0, and a two-game winning streak.
Jake Delhomme is 7-1 all time against the Bucs, and looks to improve his record to 8-1 over Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers are not a team to be discounted.
Tampa Bay is starting Jeff Garcia who is an accurate finesse passer, and knows how to win games with little time left in a game.
Both teams bring impressive receivers, halfbacks, and defenses.
I'll stay on the Panthers train in a close win by two points.
Cincinnati Bengals(0-5) at NY Jets(2-2)
As if things couldn't get any worse for the Bengals and their 0-5 start, it was announced today that quarterback Carson Palmer will miss this Sunday's game with an inflammed elbow. Now the Bengals are banking on a backup quarterback—Ryan Fitzpatrick—whom I have never heard of, much less seen play a down of football.
They Jets are coming off their bye week with two wins—the win over the Cardinals going into the Bye Week, coupled with the fact that Favre didn't retire while being off.
I will take the Jets to win this game by seven.
St. Louis Rams(0-4) at Washington Redskins(4-1)
I can't believe the state of the Rams this season. They have proven everybody wrong, having gone from an 8-8 team at worst to a rambling wreck of just trying to play 60 minutes of football every week and get the season over with.
The Redskins have made an impressive turnaround after their opening week loss to the Giants.
Washington, 4-1 overall, 2-1 in the NFC East, is turning heads all of a sudden and looks to improve on their four game winning streak as they play host to St. Louis.
Quarterback Jason Campbell seems to have really gotten the hang of this new West Coast Offense that first year head coach Jim Zorn has put in front of him.
I'll go with the Redskins to destroy a beleaguered 0-4 St. Louis Rams by a margin of 14 points.
Miami Dolphins(2-2) at Houston Texans(0-4*)
Miami has come to life this season. They added in this Wildcat play; they have doubled their winning record from last season already, and are hoping to add to that this week as they travel to Houston for their first win against the Texans.
Houston is having a terrible start to the season, with an 0-4 record. Questions are rising about just how good of a quarterback Matt Schaub really is.
I'm going with the Wildcat play this week, and taking the Dolphins by a close three points.
Jacksonville Jaguars(2-3) at Denver Broncos(4-1)
Denver is proving itself to be a team vying for a playoff spot this early in the season!
Jacksonville is a hot and cold team so far this year. Look for the Jaguars to loosen the reigns on David Garrard this week to fire some passes down the field, while still mixing in a good dose of the running game.
Look for Denver to win this game by ten points at home.
Dallas Cowboys(4-1) at Arizona Cardinals(3-2)
Dallas is trying to regroup after a close one against the Bengals, an irate T.O., and one Adam "Pacman" Jones putting his name in the limelight yet again. I was about to relieve Pacman of his nickname, but since he can't stay out of trouble—sucker-punching his Cowboys employed body guard—and earn respect, I will not respect his wishes of not be referred to as Pacman.
The Cardinals are coming off a solid and impressive win over the then undefeated Buffalo Bills with a score of 41 to 17.
Anquan Boldin still remains out with a fractured sinus.
Cardinals win a close one over Dallas by three points.
Philadelphia Eagles(2-3)at San Francisco 49ers(2-3)
The Eagles are in the basement of the NFC East, and who would have imagined the Eagles would be having such a difficult time winning a game this season?
Philadelphia only has wins over two weak opponents, one being the Rams and their other win over the Steelers—who were playing poorly at the time.
The Eagles are expecting to play without Brian Westbrook, Reggie Brown, and Shawn Andrews is listed as questionable.
The 49ers are having a less than stellar season so far. With a record of 2-3 however, they are still in the hunt for the NFC West division title.
Don't look for San Fran to do too much in this one, as the Eagles are pretty upset over losing their last two games., as the Eagles take this one by seven.
Green Bay Packers(2-3) at Seattle Seahawks(1-3)
Green Bay will manage to give Seattle their fourth loss of the season by seven points.
New England Patriots(3-1)at San Diego Chargers(2-3)
New England quarterback Matt Cassel just inserted his foot in his mouth today, stating that "...we are a squeaky-clean team..." I guess by squeaky clean, he means they all took a shower, because I do see one blemish on their record—against the Miami Dolphins no less.
The San Diego Chargers are amp'ed for a win this week, and who better to get a win than against the Patriots, whom they have lost two playoff games to in the past two years.
I'll take Philip Rivers and the Chargers in a respectable ten point win over New England.
Monday Night Football
NY Giants(4-0) at Cleveland Browns(1-3)
Apparently Cleveland has lost too many key players on both sides of the ball, and they have forgotten how to play football. Derek Anderson is in the midst of his sophomore slump, and the Giants are coming to town.
Eli Manning and company are still looking really impressive, and Eli's numbers are better than his brother's!
Plaxico Burress is returning from his one-game suspension and will most likely pick up where he left off.
Giants embarrass the Browns by fourteen points.
*Baltimore at Houston game rescheduled to Week 10.
Last week I went 5-9 in my picks, and I am a horrendous 21-33 for the season.
Check back next week, maybe I'll have some surprise picks!