Albeit different forums, I have been in the business of picking games since 2002. Although I’m far from an expert when it comes to the “Xs” and “Os” of the game, game fundamentals and football logic have always been vital factors in my decisions on weekly winners.
Then along comes the 2012 season; what I thought I knew gets a “big froopin’ whoop”. It means absolutely nothing! The most insurmountable happenings have come in bunches early this season. Just to name a few:
-The Redskins did the unthinkable and beat the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.
-The Arizona Cardinals, despite uncertainty at the quarterback position, beat the Patriots in New England.
These, along with other upsets have only strengthen the beauty of the NFL, its parity. My record over the last two weeks, 11-21, has been anything but beautiful.
I’m taking a direction I’ve never gone before. Logic goes out the window and caution is being thrown to the wind. I’ll play the game. Fueled by reckless abandon, here we go:
Browns over Ravens- Did you not read the intro? Conventional thinking has no place here. How often is Cleveland on national television? Even though it would’ve been sweeter for this one to be in the Dawg Pound, the Browns take full advantage of its nationally televised spot and shock Charm City.
Redskins over Buccaneers- Both teams are desperate for a win and keep a losing streak at two. I’m picking Washington to take one form the Sunshine state. Yeah, I’m biased…sue me!
Falcons over Panthers- It took me awhile to buy into Atlanta. I’ll shut down my resistance towards them this week.
Vikings over Lions- Even if Matthew Stafford plays, he’s been making some questionable decisions under center in this young season. Meanwhile, Christian Ponder’s stock as a dependable quarterback is gradually rising.
Chiefs over Chargers- I don’t’ care what Kansas City’s status is, they are always stellar at home. If Jamaal Charles can continue on the momentum from last week, San Diego’s in for an inhospitable visit.
Rams over Seahawks- The new attitude that Jeff Fisher has instilled in his team breeds of a team that should be no longer referred to as the Lambs. Sorry Golden Tate, no blatant pass interferences and inaccurate touchdown calls this week.
49ers over Jets- The early dismissal of Darrelle Revis as a result of a ACL tear will only heighten the pile of woes Gang Green has.
Texans over Titans- Losing a chunk of your ear and you’re suiting up a week later? Matt Schaub’s grit will cause him to show out at Tennessee’s expense.
Raiders over Broncos- The success of Oakland’ offense hinge primarily on the health of Darren McFadden and Carson Palmer. On a more short term note, I’m looking for Oakland to ride the offensive wave it started in its comeback against Pittsburgh last week.
Jaguars over Bengals- Because this one is too close to call, Jacksonville gets the edge in this catfight on the strength of home field advantage.
Packers over Saints- Is Sean Payton as valuable to New Orleans this season as Peyton Manning was in 2011?
Cowboys over Bears- In a battle of quarterbacks who come with their good and bad, Dallas gets the nod since Tony Romo isn’t as cancerous to his locker room as Jay Cutler is to his.
In other news, the NFL and the NFL Referees Association finally reached an agreement. It’ll be unreal to expect total perfection, but at least the officiating of the original referees will be far removed from the anarchy we’ve seen over the last three weeks. One thing’s for sure, the replacement referees won’t be missed.
As always, enjoy the games everybody.
By Antoine Hoffman