Have you ever watched a Looney Tunes cartoon where Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam are tossing a bomb to one another to avoid an up-close explosion and somehow Yosemite Sam ends up with the bomb and it explodes in his face? No game was more synonymous to that scenario than the Redskins and Cowboys offense this past Monday night. While I’m the furthest thing from a Washington/Dallas rivalry historian, the first 2011 meeting between the two was the offensively inept game I’ve ever seen. If not for Tim Hightower, this game would’ve went touchdown-less. In no way should the defenses be disregarded as they did their jobs, but the calamity displayed by both offenses was straight out of an NFL Bloopers production. Slippery fields (which Dallas could’ve set up), receivers clueless on assignments, interceptions, horrendous hikes/snaps; you name it, this one had it.
Despite the mishaps, Dallas, behind the foot of rookie kicker Dan Bailey, emerged victorious.
I too stood in the winners’ circle, as I went 12-4 last week. Let’s see if I can avoid calamity for a second consecutive week:
Panthers over Bears– Carolina was a dead team walking according to most NFL analysts. The Cardiac Cats continue to prove the league wrong with its new offensive identity, while giving Chicago more reason to ponder on its offseason oversights.
Bills over Bengals– Cincinnati’s fifth rank pass defense will present a gut-check for Buffalo’s gun slinging offense. If for some reason “The Nati” is able to stifle this passing attack, the Bills can rely on Fred Jackson to carry them to victory.
Browns over Titans– Chris Johnson is still trying to get back into midseason form. Kenny Britt is lost for the season, tearing his ACL and MCL. Not having his most reliable target will cause Matt Hasselbeck to have a long day in the office against a formidable Cleveland pass defense.
Lions over Cowboys– Has Tony Romo turned the corner to become a leader? That question remains to be answered. He’ll face a serious test of will as guys like N’Damukong Suh and Nick Fairley look to terrorize him.
Steelers over Texans– Matt Schaub will no doubt look to test Pittsburgh’s secondary, as it has proven to give up big plays. Somewhere downfield, Troy Polamalu will be lurking, waiting to make an impact.
Saints over Jaguars– New Orleans can put up any amount of points on any given day. Jacksonville averages 9.7 points a game…see where I’m going with this?
Vikings over Chiefs– Adrian Peterson has complained about not getting the ball enough. If Minnesota is listening, this is the game to patronize AP, which in turn will beget win number one for the Twin City.
Eagles over 49ers– Michael Vick declared himself to be 100% and refused to leave the field for the rest of the season unless he is carried off the field. If not for the uncertainty in San Francisco’s quarterback situation, I would’ve went the other way.
Redskins over Rams– In recent years, St. Louis has made a tradition out of beating Washington. Washington as of late, has been a charitable donation when facing winless teams. If the culture change is to be a believable thing, these occurrences must stop here.
Giants over Cardinals– The latest buzz in the league is Eli Manning is trending towards elite status. I’m not ready to crown him just yet, but I do know that he has a prime opportunity to continue his development against and Arizona defense that’s learning a new scheme.
Falcons over Seahawks– Atlanta is proving to be the most feverish team in the NFC South, if not the entire league. Their pattern thus far has gone something like this: loss-win-loss. Based on that alone, they’re due to win again.
Packers over Broncos– Denver is too banged up to compete with the defending Super Bowl champions.
Raiders over Patriots– It is borderline laughable how former Patriots turned analysts are such homers for their former team. All you hear is how they haven’t loss consecutive games since 2006 and how great the “Patriot Way” is and BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. This is a new day, the mystique of New England is fading and Oakland will indeed give them back-to-back losses.
Chargers over Dolphins– The fact that Tony Sparano’s job is in jeopardy this early in season speaks on the shape that the Miami organization is in. Meanwhile, San Diego, who normally stumbles its way out of the first quarter of the season is holding steady. Have the Bolts got over their opening quarter mediocrity?
Ravens over Jets– Instead of jawjacking with Joe Namath, maybe Rex Ryan should figure out why Gang Green isn’t playing up to expectations. Baltimore should fair nicely offensively, especially in the rushing department.
Colts over Buccaneers– Josh Freeman, in three games, has four turnovers. Aside from the season opener, Nap-Town has been competitive in every game. Life without Peyton Manning does not equal 0 wins. Congratulations Colts, you’ll get into the win column.
By Antoine Hoffman