NFL First Guessing – Week 8

Man, is this guy ever going to post something that’s not about football?  One of these days, I promise.  Things are so busy right now, and this is the only thing I have a weekly deadline for.  I’ve tried setting up weekly deadlines for more creative posts, and they just come out like crap.

So the Bears.  The defense is really really terrible right now.  I know they’re hurting, but the thing that has been frustrating is that it seems like the lack of personnel has made Bob Babich less creative.  The main feature of the defense that impressed me at the start of the season was the creativity, and now that we finally have an offense that is getting created and taking the cuffs off, our defense is going back to the “bend but don’t break” philosophy, which failed miserably in this past game.  Despite how well we’re doing, I continue to grow more and more tired of Lovie’s excuses for everything.  I would love to see him get really mad some press conference and just say “something needs to change as this is unacceptable.”  Instead he almost seems like he’s in denial.

On the other hand, we have an offense!  It’s crazy that we needed to score 48 points to win that game, and we did!  Now one thing I would like to address to all Bears fans in regards to Kyle Orton.  I know that we were saying the same kinds of things about Rex at this point in 2006 (though the Arizona debacle had happened by this time that season).  The key difference between Rex and Kyle is that Kyle has improved every game.  Rex was what he was and once teams figured out how to get to him, Rex and coaching staff could not figure out how to combat that.  Kyle on the other hand does not seem to have a specific weakness.  The things he needed to improve he has, and he’s completed two other tasks on the “good QB to-do list”:

1)  Lead your team to a last second comeback (note that whether or not the team blows it with 11 seconds left doesn’t matter)

2)  Win in a shootout

The other difference is that when they played Philadelphia, the Eagles blitzed Orton all day, and he handled himself with a poise and confidence that Rex never had.

So this is not the same as the excitement we may have had for Rex Grossman.  I’m not ready to say that Orton is a premiere QB in the NFL, but there is plenty to be excited for about him.  And now he has a week off, AND gets to play the Detroit Lions when he comes back.  Talk about a confidence boost (poor Lions).

Now onto the picks.

Last Week Record:  7-7
Season Record:  64-40

Oakland @ Baltimore

Well I called the Oakland upset on NY Jets, but talk about the most boring game ever.  That is until this week.  For McGahee fans, this might be fun.  For the rest of us, it’ll be boring as hell.

Arizona @ Carolina

Everyone is picking Carolina in this game, but there’s something about this that feels like a 34-31 surprising sort of game that Arizona wins.

Tampa Bay @ Dallas

I pick Tampa partially because I hate Dallas and love seeing them in this downward spiral.  At the same time, Tampa is deceptively good this year, and Dallas is falling apart.  Can Brad Johnson get back to form soon enough?  I think this’ll end up being a 16-13 sort of affair.

Washington @ Detroit

I was at a conference this past week in Grand Rapids, MI, so I’ve been in Lions land.  The morale is low to say the least, and for good reason.  However, here was a thought I had.  Thanks to the Roy Williams trade, and the possibility of Dallas’ complete collapse, the Lions will likely have 5 of the first 80 picks in this coming draft.  5!  That’s the most I’ve heard of in a long while.  That’s enough to make any GM’s mouth water.  If the Lions can get a GM who knows how to draft, they could easily establish a quick foundation for a team in this coming draft alone.  Add a couple key free agents, and this team could turn around quick.  The trick is to find a GM who knows what they’re doing.  So thank God Millen is no longer there, however the Lions’ track record is not exactly great either.
Nevertheless this offseason for Detroit could be very interesting, even more so if they lose out and get the first pick.

Buffalo @ Miami

This is an interesting game between one team who seems better than they originally seemed, and one who isn’t as good as they originally seemed.  I’ll let you decide which is which.

St. Louis @ New England

That was awesome watching St. Louis pound Dallas.  I think this game becomes very interesting with the sudden resurgence of St. Louis.

San Diego @ New Orleans

I really don’t know what to think of this game.  Neither team seems reliable at all.

Kansas City @ NY Jets

KC is such a mess which is the only reason I pick them.  The Jets are totally overrated, and no one is more so than Brett Favre.  He had one monster game and that’s been it.  However, I’ll play the fantasy fan and root for Thomas Jones (speaking of which, both of my fantasy teams are horrible.  HORRIBLE.  I’m all but done in both of my leagues).

Atlanta @ Philadelphia

Atlanta is a night and day team.  However, I do think they straighten that up in the next couple years to be a really good team.  All we’re going to see this year is the flashes however, and I can see them laying a total egg this week.

Cleveland @ Jacksonville

Well Cleveland sure takes the award for most disappointing team so far this season.  Yikes.  Just when Derek Anderson gave us a reason to believe, too.  The Brady Quinn era more than likely starts soon, but to the chagrin of the front office people that paid Anderson a whole bunch of money.  On the other side of the ball, Jacksonville hasn’t been nearly as good as I imagined they would be too, so who knows with this game.

Cincinnati @ Houston

Yikes is all I have to say about Cincy.  And Houston is starting to play a little more up to their potential.  I could easily see them going on a little run here, just in time to not make the playoffs.

NY Giants @ Pittsburgh

So once again I owe Jonathan and the Steelers an apology, as I picked against them and they accordingly destroyed their opponent.  And with the allure of Fast Willie still being out, and now Santonio Holmes being gone, I couldn’t help but pick against them again.  So the final score will no doubt be Pittsburgh 63-10, 0 of those points going to my fantasy players.

Seattle @ San Francisco

Seattle takes the award for “Team I Feel the Sorries For.”  What a mess they’re in.  I never thought their fall from grace would happen so suddenly and so terribly.

Indianapolis @ Tennessee

Tennessee is totally the 2006 Bears of this season.  Their defense is fantastic, but I just wonder if a defense can really single handedly win a championship these days.  I know I know it worked for the Ravens with Dilfer, but that’s becoming an analogy that loses it’s importance each passing year that the top defensive teams don’t cut it.  Maybe it’s just the Bears.  I could see this being Tennessee’s big disappointment game this year (the “Miami game” for Tennessee’s 2008 season if you will).

There we go.  No Bears to watch this week, but plenty of other picks to get wrong.


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