Call me Nostrajoshus. Not because of my record last week, but because I predicted, in last week's picks column, that my overconfidence in the Washington Redskins would cost me my Eliminator pick.
One of the tenants of The Lodge informed me, while I was enjoying a Sunday afternoon swim, that the Rams had come back to beat the Redskins. I knew it was coming and I was too stupid to change my Eliminator team. So now I'm out.
Let's get to the picks.
Buffalo (4-1) over San Diego (3-3) - For reasons I can't understand, the Chargers are a different team on the road. Another road loss makes a successful 2008 season tough but that's exactly what they'll get. A returning Trent Edwards pairs with Buffalo's strong defense to hold down the mysterious Bolts.
Chicago (3-3) over Minnesota (3-3) - I lost all confidence in the Vikings in their 12-10 victory over the Lions last week. The Bears will make Gus Frerotte beat them as the focus on running back Adrian Peterson and the Vikings running game. Expect another low-scoring affair as the Bears take control of the NFC North. And no Mike, I don't hate you.
Pittsburgh (4-1) over Cincinnati (0-6) - I've said it before, but the Steelers may be the favorite in the wide open AFC. It kills me to say it, but truth is truth. Another truth: The Bengals are a mess. Offense, defense, special teams and coaching are all screwed up in Cincinnati. The league's No. 2 defense rolls over a struggling Bengals offense.
Tennessee (5-0) over Kansas City (1-4) - This is simple. Kansas City can't score against a decent defense and Tennessee's D is as stout as they come. The Chiefs may not find the scoreboard all day as the Titans remain the league's lone undefeated team.
Dallas (4-2) over St. Louis (1-4) - For the record, Tony Romo is a complete moron. Did a call from the incomparably selfish Brett Favre motivate him to take the field with a broken pinkie? We may never know, but whether its Romo, Brad Johnson or Brooks Bollinger taking the snaps, Big D's offense is too much for the Rams to overcome.
(A message to the Rams and all of their fans: Thanks for last week. I was on fire in my Eliminator league and now I'm out. Stupid Rams.)
Baltimore (2-3) over Miami (2-3) - Baltimore has the No. 1 defense in the NFL - even after last week's decimation by the Colts - and the Dolphins cannot stop the pass. Rookie Joe Flacco might finally have a decent game, which should be enough to lead the Ravens out of Miami with a victory.
New York Giants (4-1) over San Francisco (2-4) - The Giants crapped the bed big time last week, getting mauled by a sub-par Browns team but returs to the Meadowlands to face a reeling Niners team. Mike Nolan is getting dangerously close to losing his job. This loss won't gain him any job safety.
Carolina (4-2) over New Orleans (3-3) - This will be a classic battle of strength versus strength. The Saints offense ranks second in the league while the Panthers defense ranks seventh in the NFL. New Orleans gets Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey back this week but won't have the chemistry needed to pull out the victory.
Houston (1-4) over Detroit (0-5) - I didn't think it was possible but the Lions actually got worse this week, trading Roy Williams to the Cowboys. Dan Orlovsky gets the start this week for Detroit in place of the injured (or benched) Jon Kitna. A road loss in Houston is the proverbial salt in the wounds of an abysmal 2008 season in Detroit.
New York Jets (3-2) over Oakland (1-4) - The John Madden Game of the Week ought to get ugly. The Raiders just got thrashed by the Saints last week and welcome a Jets offense which scored 56 points against the Cardinals in Week 4. Favre's idiotic "child-like enthusiasm" should have a lot of fun in Oakland Sunday afternoon.
Indianapolis (3-2) over Green Bay (3-3) - The Colts offense is finally clicking and Green Bay's defense should be terrified. Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Anthony Gonzalez should all have productive days as Indianapolis remains undefeated on the road this year.
Cleveland (2-3) over Washington (4-2) - I'm looking to nail the upset special three weeks in a row. Not sure if this is making up for last week's Redskins-related blunder but it seems the Browns are getting confidence and I have a feeling the Browns leave FedEx Field with a last-second victory.
(If Washington wins by 20, I'm officially declaring my attempt to figure out the 2008 Washington Redskins a lost cause. Stay tuned.)
Tampa Bay (4-2) over Seattle (1-4) - There is no polite way to say this: Seattle is awful. Their offense is sputtering and their defense has vanished. Confidence is high in Tampa, where the Bucs are 3-0 this season. Another ugly loss for the Seahawks.
New England (3-2) over Denver (4-2) - Any guess as to which team has the worst defense in the NFL? You got it: the Denver Broncos. The Patriots as dogs on a Monday night game seems way too weird to me. I have a feeling it'll feel pretty uncomfortable for Bill Belichick and company. Important win for the Pats.
Last week: 11-3
Overall record: 54-34