NFL Picks Week 9 - Thursday

Kansas City @ San Diego

I've been skeptical as to the need for so many Thursday night games this season, but when a match-up like this arises the only word that comes to mind is validation. Personally, I'm not even sure if I'll watch any games on Sunday seeing as how they can't possibly match what this contest will offer in terms of high quality of play and sheer drama. So much drama, in fact, that this game should be aired on TNT, because let's face it, they know drama. But enough extolling, I mean, you don't need me to convince you to watch, you and every other American already will; now it's time for me to make a prediction. The Chiefs are unsure if they'll have Brady Quinn available to start at QB and I'm unsure if that's to their detriment.

Chargers 24-10


NFL Picks - Week 8

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Detroit

The Hawks will come into this game with an extra 4 days of rest on the Lions. That might seem unfair until you consider the fact that Seattle has scored less than 13 points per game on the road this year, and the franchise has only scored 19 points in two games at Ford Field. In other words, they've performed worse than a Ford (Burn! Actually I don't know anything about cars, Fords are lame right?). But if there were ever a time for the Hawks to break out of their offensive funk it's right now. Why? Because I'm tired of watching it.

Seahawks 24-16

Carolina @ Chicago

These two teams are heading in opposite directions, which is a good thing for this game, because if they were heading in the same direction the kickoffs would be very confusing (that's the second directional joke in two weeks, clearly I'm already losing steam here). One thing these squads do have in common is the poor body language of their quarterbacks, meaning there will most likely be more frowny faces in this game than a gChat with this girl. I expect this one to be surprisingly close, but ultimately the Bears will move to 6-1.

Bears 20-17

San Diego @ Cleveland

The Chargers have had a full two weeks to think about how they blew a 24-0 halftime lead to the Broncos on Monday Night Football. They've also had two full weeks to think about their families, because the Chargers are more than just football players, they're human beings, and shame on you for insinuating otherwise. Meanwhile there's only one thing on the Browns' mind: football. Which makes it all the more disappointing that they've only managed one win so far. However, they haven't been downright terrible as of late, and I think it's high time that they spring the trap the Chargers, who are clearly looking forward to their game against Kansas City next week.

Browns 30-27

New England @ St. Louis

The Patriots have clearly had trouble closing out games lately, being outscored 34-6 in their last three 4th quarters. But could they really drop a game to the Rams? I say yes! These are not the lowly Rams we're used to, and they've played pretty well in St. Louis so far .... What's that? London? Oh, well they're fucked.

Patriots 27-17

Miami @ New York Jets

After a copious amount of research into this game that involved going to the Dolphins clubhouse page on ESPN.com I unearthed some fairly enlightening stats. For instance, Miami is 3-3 with two of their losses coming in overtime after they blew 4th quarter leads. They're also fourth against the run, which was news to me. And while they happen to be 28th against the pass it probably won't matter much considering they're playing the Jets this week, who still refuse to start Tim Tebow, the greatest offensive weapon since Tommy Vardell.

Dolphins 21-16

Atlanta @ Philadelphia

The Eagles have had five of their six games decided by three points or less, meaning that they've been in pretty much every game so far, even their losses. The Falcons have also been in all of their games this year, winning all of them. So this one figures to be close. How close? This close. Get it? Little over your head huh? But I know you come to this site for definitive picks and mild nonsense, so I'll say that Philly hands Atlanta their first loss, but not without trying to blow it a few times first.

Eagles 20-19

Washington @ Pittsburgh

The Steelers are wearing throwback uniforms for this game that look like this. A couple of things jump out from that picture. First, the design is so outrageous that it borders on hubris. Second, was that picture taken in a bathroom? RG3 nearly engineered an impressive road victory against the Giants last week and unless he's afraid of bees I think he has a good shot at getting the win in Pittsburgh.

Redskins 24-21

Jacksonville @ Green Bay

You're probably assuming that a game against the ever popular Packers would be one of the only things that could save the Jaguars from the Corner Screen at the Shack. Well, you're right, they won't on the CSATS, but that's only because there are 9 early games and only 8 screens available, which means it won't be on any screen at all! Ouch! Sorry Jags fans, I'd feel bad for you if you existed. With Maurice Jones-Drew inactive for this game Jacksonville doesn't stand a chance. They wouldn't stand a chance with him healthy, but at least this way they'll have a decent excuse.

Packers 38-13

Indianapolis @ Tennessee

After I wondered aloud a few weeks back if the Titans were the worst team in the league they've won two in a row. While their defense has shown little improvement they've naturally made great strides on offense behind the intrepid leadership of Matthew Hasselbeck. With the Colts coming to town I wouldn't be surprised if Tennessee wins their third in a row and gets to .500. Then again, in today's NFL nothing surprises me; except for play-action fakes, those catch me off guard every time.

Titans 27-23

Sunday Afternoon

Oakland @ Kansas City

Once again we're left with only two afternoon games and one of them involves the Raiders. Most cowards out there would just sit back and let atrocities like this keep happening, but not me, I'm taking action. How so? This so: fire Howard Katz! Katz is the man that, with the aide of a "super" computer, created the 2012 NFL schedule. Full disclosure: I don't know if he chose the actual time that games would be played, but there just wasn't enough time for me to look into that, these barren afternoons have sent me into a reckless rage. Explain yourself Mr. Katz! And while you're at it, show us your tax return.

Chiefs 23-16

New York Giants @ Dallas

Stop the presses! It's a Giants/Cowboys game and it's not being played in prime time. This is the first time in their last four meetings that that's been true. Ok, go ahead and start the presses again (Is one of you in charge of the presses?). The fact that this game is being played in Dallas makes me more confident that New York will win. And now that I've abandoned the Costanza Theorem and embraced the Giants as just being flat out good I'll quote many an opposing DB when facing Tony Romo and say that I'll have no problem making this pick. 

Giants 31-26

Sunday Night

New Orleans @ Denver

Do you like points? Obviously you do, because you're reading this post, which is full of tremendous points. But if you like football games with lots of points this should be the game for you. The Saints have been unable to stop anyone this season, giving up an average of 465 yards of offense per game. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning has been on a tear of late and figures to put up big numbers. Mean-meanwhile, Drew Brees has been no slouch himself. Denver will inevitably dig themselves a hole and then come stampeding out of it to make this game into a wild 4th quarter shootout. Who will win? The fans! And the Broncos. 

Broncos 38-35

Monday Night

San Francisco @ Arizona

It seems like a long time has passed since the Cardinals started the season 4-0, but in fact it was just three weeks ago. Now, if you're only a six week old child, that would account for half your life, so it would be a relatively long time. However, that would raise other questions, the most pertinent of which being how did you learn to read at such a young age? Baby geniuses aside, Arizona is certainly a far cry from their hot start and things don't look to get any easier for them this Monday. In fact, I expect their losing streak to reach 6 before they get another win. Mark it down wherever you mark things.

49ers 20-12


NFL Picks Week 8 - Thursday

Tampa Bay @ Minnesota

This season the Vikings have been hotter than a Viking D3 30" gas self-clean range. However, their schedule thus far has been rather easy. Starting next week the heat starts to get cranked up, and if the Vikings can't stand it they should probably get out of the kitchen. Sidenote: if you need to get a Viking out of your kitchen the department store delivering your new range will most likely remove it for a nominal fee. This week, though, the Bucs come to town which should mean that Minnesota will end the first half of their season at 6-2 and four games over .500, a mark they will not top for the rest of season.

Vikings 23-13


NFL Picks - Week 7

Sunday Morning

Tennessee @ Buffalo

Here are a couple of teams coming off of surprise victories in Week 6 looking to keep going in the right direction. Not literally the "right" direction of course, if they did that they'd run out of bounds. While that might help with clock management, it's simply too early in the game to employ such a strategy, seeing as how it hasn't even started yet. While I have all the confidence in the world in Matthew Hasselbeck, I attribute their win over Pittsburgh in large part to the fact that it was a home game being played on a Thursday. Plus their defense is still garbanzo beans (I'm saying that instead of garbage now; please let me know how much you hate it in the comments section below).

Bills 30-22

Washington @ New York Giants

The Giants unexpectedly beat the 49ers in San Francisco last week. However, it was only unexpected if you haven't learned to expect the unexpected without exception when it comes to New York. Clearly this has been my M.O. for the last few weeks, but if the Giants win in convincing fashion again it might be time to just consider them good and not unpredictable. While the Redskins did beat the Giants twice last year it would still be a surprise if they got a W here. And for that very reason I have to go with Washington.

Redskins 28-25

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay

With their win last week the Bucs have taken a stranglehold over 2nd place in the NFC South at 2-3. But not so fast, nipping at their heels are the 1-4 Saints coming off their bye week, and you do NOT want to face an Aaron Kromer coached team when he has an extra seven days to prepare. Though there's no track record to back that statement up I think Krome Dawg is going to have New Orleans ready to play, and when I say "New Orleans" I'm only referring to their offense, because their D is non-existent.

Saints 27-20

Dallas @ Carolina

Last week the Cowboys found yet another way to lose a game. It's always interesting with these guys, you have to hand it to Jason Garrett and co.; unless you're the other team, because in that case Jason Garrett and co. have to hand it to you (and by 'it' I mean the game). However, the Panthers have been just as bad, if not worse, with the game on the line in their last two contests. Which makes me wonder if the 4th quarter will look a lot like this. So who will blow it worse? I'll go with the home team, it'll be more painful that way.

Cowboys 30-28

Baltimore @ Houston

There are only two teams in the AFC that are above .500 and they're playing each other in this game. Both teams come into this playoff rematch at 5-1 looking to take an inside track in the race for the conference's top seed. The Ravens are coming off demoralizing losses to their defense while Houston is coming off of the demoralizing realization that their defense may be lost. So as you can see the match-up between these two teams is like looking into a mirror, a very large mirror that 53 people can look into at the same time. To my knowledge this mirror does not actually exist, so it shouldn't be a factor come Sunday. I'll give the edge to the Texans at home.

Texans 24-20

Cleveland @ Indianapolis

When I say "Corner" you say "Screen!" Corner _______ Corner _______ When I say "At the" you say "Shack!" At the ______  At the ______  While this game features a plethora of young talent the chances are high that things could get sloppy. In fact, when I was researching this game I went to youngsloppytalent. com and found a lot of interesting material, none of which I could use to help me in my analysis of this game but interesting nonetheless. Ok where was I? (full disclosure: I just took a 2 hour break from writing this post for a return visit to youngsloppytalent .com) I say the Colts get back on track after a disappointing effort against the Jets while the Browns get back to what they know best, losing.

Colts 31-24

Green Bay @ St. Louis

Last week Aaron Rodgers went off to the tune of 6 touchdown passes. What does the tune of 6 touchdown passes sound like? This. Does this mean Rodgers is officially back? Yes. Are hypothetical questions pointless if the answer is a simple yes? Well, the answer to that is pretty complicated. While the Rams are 3-0 at home this year and their D has held their own I think the Packers will be harder to handle than a 10 hour sax solo.

Packers 31-17

Arizona @ Minnesota

Similarities abide among these two teams. Both are an unexpected 4-2 even after stumbling as of late. Both are in the NFC. Trust me there are more similarities than just those but if I listed them all off here you'd be bored and I would have had to have looked into it further. This game figures to feature conservative offenses and aggressive defenses, which means that field position and ball control will be paramount. In other words this game will be boring as shit unless you have a rooting interest in either team. Minnesota is at home so I'll give them the edge.

Vikings 19-13

Sunday Afternoon

New York Jets @ New England

It would be considered a surprise if the Patriots even showed up for this game after their devastating loss in Seattle last week. If New England does make it to the field Sunday expect them to be angry and play with a sense of purpose (again, that's only if they show up, which is probably less than a 50/50 shot at this point). The Pats' opponent will be the mercurial Jets whose average margin of victory is over 16 points, while their average margin of defeat is 19. So it stands to reason that this one won't be close on way or another. I'll go with another.

Patriots 35-17

Jacksonville @ Oakland

There are only two afternoon games this week and this is one of them. In other news, the NFL schedule maker has released the following statement to fans: "Fuck you." Both teams are coming off their bye week which begs the question: why can't they be on their bye every week? Alas, here we are, left with only this game to distract us during commercials. I'm thinking about just watching the commercials.

Raiders 27-20

Sunday Night

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati

Last week these teams lost to the Titans and Browns, respectively. Were they aware they had a Sunday Night game coming up? Don't they know that Faith Hill's been waiting all week for this? It just demonstrates a blatant lack of respect for the National Football League, NBC, and Ms. Hill that I, quite frankly, won't stand for.

Steelers 23-16

Monday Night

Detroit @ Chicago

The Bears moved into 2nd place in the NFC last week simply by not playing. It just goes to show that in today's NFL, not playing is the key to success. Hey, it's an ever-changing league, learn to evolve. I can just see all those stodgy old pundits sitting around their newsroom and opining through a thick plume of cigar smoke, "You gotta play to win." Not anymore JD Off Your Rocker-feller! Unfortunately, Chicago has a game on the schedule this week, so they are subject to a loss. Fortunately, they are playing the Lions who haven't put together a consistent effort all season.

Bears 28-18


NFL Picks Week 7 - Thursday

Seattle @ San Francisco

Last week Giants' offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride remarked that 49ers DT Justin Smith, "gets away with murder" in terms of defensive holding, after which Jim "Jaw Sweatshirt" Harbaugh overreacted and made it clear that he's unfamiliar with how metaphors work. To me Sweatshirt's overboard response implicates Justin Smith even further. Why would Jaw feel the need to get so upset if Gilbride hadn't touched on something that is actually happening? To quote Doc Holliday, "I'm afraid (Jaw Sweatshirt) is just too high strung." Maybe Russell Wilson could teach him a few things about keeping it cool. The Hawks' rookie QB comes into this match-up after displaying late game poise while throwing for two fourth quarter touchdowns to beat the New England Patriots 24-23 (I'm sure you're all aware of this, but why not bring it up as much as possible?). It will be a tough task for Wilson and co. to keep the momentum going on the road on short rest; though it was also a tough task for Doc Holliday to get out of his death bed out duel Johnny Ringo, and I think if we've established anything here today it's that Jim Harbaugh is Johnny Ringo.

Seahawks 20-16


NFL Picks - Week 6

Sunday Morning

Oakland @ Atlanta

Uh oh, this could get ugly. How ugly? This ugly (I'll bet you're looking for the link aren't you? Shame on you, I would never point out someone being ugly merely for amusement, I'd only do it if I really thought they should know, so that they could do something about it and then the rest of us wouldn't be forced to deal with it).

Falcons 38-14

Cincinnati @ Cleveland

Hmmm, where have I seen this one before? Oh, that's right, Week 2! The Bengals and the Browns are playing each other for the second time already in this young season. The first time around Cincinnati got a 34-27 win in a wild game. Since then things have gotten pretty scary for the Browns, but it's getting to be that time of year when scary reigns. Not to mention the fact that Brandon Weeden runs a haunted house in his neighborhood on weekdays, so scary is his specialty. In other words he's not phased by the frightening events surrounding Cleveland's season so far. Last week I picked the Browns to win because I had no choice, but this week I'll stick with them because I think they've got what it takes ... to get a win.

Browns 27-24

St. Louis @ Miami

What do you say about a game like this? Seriously, they're not giving me much to work with here. Both teams are coming off of surprise wins last week, but now that they've each shown some fight no one should be surprised if either of them get a W here. Though, it stands to reason that at least one of these teams will be victorious. Which one you ask? Ha, well you'll just have to wait and see. I already know however, so SPOILER ALERT!

Dolphins 22-20

Indianapolis @ New York Jets

As one fresh faced quarterback arrives on the scene, another fades into oblivion. Like sands through the hour glass, the yin to the yang, or one of those drawings where a hand is drawing a hand which is drawing the first hand. This is the storyline as Andrew Luck, coming off of the best game of his young career, travels to New York to take on a struggling Mark Sanchez, who can't escape the powerful, sultry breath of Tim Tebow perpetually heating the nape of his neck. If Luck pulls off another win expect to see Sanch on the bench sooner rather than not so soon. But I think he'll get the win, and a stay of execution. (Fun fact that isn't true: One of the previous sentences was lifted directly from a romance novel, can you guess which one?)

Jets 24-17

Detroit @ Philadelphia

This season Michael Vick has been a turnover machine. Don't believe me? He's already given the ball away nine times on his own. Now, if the issue you had with my original statement was that I referred to him as a machine well then I'll admit that no, I do not believe that Michael Vick is literally some sort of cyborg designed by scientists to turn the ball over. What would be the logic in engineering such a robot? Who is that helping? Certainly not the Eagles, for whom the Turnover Machine is the starting quarterback. Are we supposed to think that an NFL franchise would agree to make such a self-destructive decision as to turn over the reigns of their offense to a mechanical being whose sole purpose is to present the opposition with the football? Of course not, so I'll take Philadelphia.

Eagles 24-23

Kansas City @ Tampa Bay

Let's not beat around the bush with this game. Ah one, and ah two, and ah three .... Corner Screen at the Shack! I think it's safe to say that outside Kansas City this one will be in the same spot at sports bars across the nation. Let's call it the anti-Jennifer Grey, because everybody's putting it in the corner. Of course, the one city in which this game won't be relegated to the fringes is Tampa, because I'm guessing we're headed towards another non-sellout (Stinger for all the old school fans out there) meaning that they won't even have the option of watching the game on TV. Though, I can't say that I blame the Bucs' fans for not showing up to this one; I mean the only thing to possibly cheer would be a Matt Cassel injury, and odds are he won't even be playing, so what's the point?

Buccaneers 28-14

Dallas @ Baltimore

The Ravens' last three wins have all been close games that could have gone either way, while both of the Cowboys' losses this season have been blowouts in which Dallas was dominated physically, emotionally, and sexually (or so I've heard). So if the Ravens are going to win this game then something has to give; either they'll get to breath easy for once, or the Cowboys will finally look respectable in a loss. Or, Dallas could completely flip the script and get an upset victory, which would be a definite possibility if I thought they were any good. I say the Ravens get their 14th straight home win in classic Ravens fashion.

Ravens 21-20

Sunday Afternoon

New England @ Seattle

If it seems like you haven't seen this match-up much in the past couple decades it's because you haven't (learn to trust your instincts). This will be only the third time these teams have met in the last 19 seasons. Moreover, it will be the the first time Tom Brady has ever played in Seattle, meaning that he probably thinks "Bring in da Noise Bring in da Funk" is merely the title of a fantastic movie. Think again Tom. Brady and co. do bring the league's top offense (yardage-wise) with them to the CLink this Sunday, but they'll be met by the league's top D, and as they always say, a good defense beats a good offense. But they also always say that the best defense is a good offense, and New England has the league's best offense, so does that mean they have the best defense? And if the best defense is a good offense does that mean that the best offense is a good defense? In that case, the Seahawks would have the league's best offense. Any way you slice it, this figures to be a highly competitive clash. I'll give the edge to the Hawks because they have the only player whose jersey has been retired but still suits up every week.

Seahawks 23-20

Buffalo @ Arizona

The Bills' defense was so bad last week that it was offensive. And no, not in the sense that the best offense is a bad defense, rather in the sense that it's a delicious play on words. In their blowout loss to the 49ers, Buffalo became the only team in NFL history to give up 300 yards passing AND 300 yards rushing in one game. Their defense has been so porous this season that fantasy owners across the nation are scrambling to pick up Kevin Kolb off of waivers. If the Bills' D hasn't had a wake-up call yet, then that's it. But even if they do wake up they might not manage to do much. Meanwhile, Cardinals running back Ryan Williams will miss the remainder of the year due to injury, meaning that by the end of the season he'll have played in only 5 of the 32 games he's been a pro for. To put it another way, he'll have played in about 16% of games. That's still higher than the Bills' tackling percentage though, so it shouldn't matter who's toting it for Arizona.

Cardinals 27-15

New York Giants @ San Francisco

It's a rematch of the NFC Championship Game from 1991! These teams also happened to have played for the NFC crown last season (NOTE: the NFC crown is not an actual thing). As we all know, a couple of bad bounces spelled doom for the 49ers in the previous match-up. To safeguard against the same thing happening this time around San Francisco is putting a spy on Kyle Williams in much the same way that you would to defend a running quarterback. The spy will mirror Williams' every move and if Kyle comes within 5 yards of the ball during any punt the spy will pounce on him. The Giants' win over Cleveland last week put a dent in my Costanza Theorem which states that when it comes to New York I should pick against my instincts. While a Browns win would have solidified my findings I'm not sure that their loss proved me wrong; if anything, it proved that they suck. So I'll stick with the Theorem one more time and take the Giants on the road. Why? Because I don't think they'll win.

Giants 19-16

Minnesota @ Washington

As I mentioned earlier, and in many weeks past, the lack of ticket sales in Tampa makes that fan base a strong candidate for the worst in the NFL. However, were you aware that Redskins have lost their last eight at home? Yes, eight (as in 8). It's a shocking statistic that raises the question, does Washington D.C. have the worst fans in the NFL? It seems clear that they aren't generating any home field advantage whatsoever. In fact, they're having a negative effect. With the red hot Minnesota Vikings coming to town expect this troubling trend to continue

Vikings 24-21

Sunday Night

Green Bay @ Houston

It's safe to say that in terms of the start of the 2012 season, this is not how Aaron Rodgers and the Packers drew it up. In fact, I managed to obtain a copy of how Rodgers actually drew it up. On the flip side, the Texans couldn't have imagined a much better start to the year; they're 5-0 for the first time in their storied 11 year history. Even though Green Bay comes into this game at 2-3 beating them would be a benchmark victory for a Houston team that has feasted on a somewhat easy schedule to this point. And it's for that very reason that I think the Packers will pull off an upset. Green Bay needs this one, and while it would be a big win for the Texans, the desperation might not be there.

Packers 27-24

Monday Night

Denver @ San Diego

It's a Monday night battle for first place in the AFC West. "Groan," said the country.

Broncos 30-23


NFL Picks Week 6 - Thursday

Pittsburgh @ Tennessee

Could the Titans be the worst team in the league? You could make a strong case for yes, and if you have made that case please send it to me and I'll read it; but since we're here now let's hear mine. They're giving up a league worst 36.2 points per game. They've scored 88 total points this season with 44 coming in their one win, meaning they are averaging 11 points per game in their losses. They rank 28th in total defense and 26th in total offense. This team looks so far gone that even Matthew Hasselbeck might not be able to save them. Tennessee can at least take solace in the fact that everybody plays poorly on Thursdays so at least this week they'll have an excuse. But when will you stop making excuses Tennessee? I'm talking to the whole state now.

Steelers 26-13


NFL Picks - Week 5

Sunday Morning

Miami @ Cincinnati

The Bengals' defense finally put a up a solid effort last week against the Jaguars. Go back and read the previous sentence, but pay extra attention to the last word. That's right, they were playing the Jaguars so their defense still has much to prove. This Sunday they'll be tasked with containing Brian Hartline who had more targets last week than Culver City. Just to be clear, there are 3 Targets in Culver City, which is 2 more than most cities but still nowhere near the amount of targets that Hartline, or many other receivers for that matter, had a week ago. I think the Cincy D will hold their own and keep the Dolphins' point total low, just like the low low prices at your nearest Target.

Bengals 27-19

Green Bay @ Indianapolis

Coming into last week at 1-2 the Packers were faced with something of a judgment day and Aaron Rodgers experienced a return to form reminiscent of the T1000 against New Orleans. As for Andrew Luck, he's turning heads as a rookie and making everyone say, "Have you seen this boy!?" Unfortunately for Luck the rest of this Colts team is making him understand why Indy fans cry. Expect Rodgers to have another big week.

Packers 35-20

Baltimore @ Kansas City

After getting their token win against the Saints in Week 3 the Chiefs returned to a losing form in a San Diegan thrashing, that is to say a thrashing by San Diego. With the Ravens coming to town don't expect much better from Kansas City, at least not until Kansas City starts expecting better from themselves. It's like, you're beautiful Kansas City, but no one's going to realize it until you do. I'm sorry you guys, it's just so damn frustrating.

Ravens 31-13

Atlanta @ Washington

In Week 4 the Falcons pulled an escape act that Harry Houdini himself would have been proud of. Of course, if Houdini had actually been watching the game he most likely would have said, "They're allowed to throw the ball!?" (Fun fact that isn't true: Houdini died in 1926, before the advent of the forward pass in American football) If we learned anything from that comeback it's that Atlanta is a hard team to beat; in fact, since they haven't lost yet this season it's fair to say that they're impossible to beat. But do you know what Robert Griffin's favorite movie is? Neither do I, though I think we can all agree if it were Mission: Impossible that would wrap this up pretty nicely wouldn't it.

Falcons 28-24

Cleveland @ New York Giants

As I watched Lawrence Tynes' 54 yard field goal attempt fall painfully short of the cross bar in the Giants' 19-17 loss to Philadelphia I thought one thing, "Costanza Theorem." So far, picking against my initial inclination in regards to the Giants has proven correct two straight weeks, but now comes its biggest test, the Cleveland Browns. That's the first time in years that the Browns have been the biggest test for anything or anybody, and that includes when they scrimmage against themselves, which shouldn't make sense but somehow it does (just trust me ... please?). Clearly the Giants should win, so as dictated by the Costanza Theorem I will pick Cleveland.

Browns 28-27

Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh

It's the rare Pennsylvanian intrastate game. This one reminds me of the Ryder Cup because it comes around only once every few years and it's filled with people that make me ashamed to be an American. Speaking of which, the Steelers expect to have James Harrison in the line-up for the first time this season. That just may make the difference in this one considering the difference for the Eagles has been razor thin so far this year. They've won 3 games by a combined total of 4 points. They're playing with fire, and they're libel to get burned, like the crotch of so many a Ben Roethlisberger sexual partner.

Steelers 24-20

Sunday Afternoon

Seattle @ Carolina

It's become clear that Seahawks are well aware of recent NFL history. They know that the last two Super Bowl champions were 10-6 and 9-7, respectively. So why bother racking up a bunch of wins during the regular season, right? Yeah that must be it. That being said I think the Hawks should go ahead and try to win this one. The NFL made that an easier task by scheduling this game for the afternoon. The extra time should help Pete Carroll cool down as he was clearly too jacked up last week, forcing him to make multiple coaching errors. With PC's jacked levels stabilized the Hawks should take this one.

Seahawks 22-13  

Chicago @ Jacksonville

The Bears looked very impressive in their Monday Night Football victory over Dallas and they may, in fact, be headed to the top of the NFC. But this week they're playing the Jaguars which means the only place they're headed is ... The Corner Screen at the Shack!

Bears 23-16

Tennessee @ Minnesota

The Vikings are 3-1 and atop the NFC North. If you had told me that before the season I would have told you to go back to your time, you don't belong in the past anymore, take your knowledge of the first month of the 2012 NFL season and be gone. Or I might have simply shouted, "Spoiler alert!" Whichever way you slice it, it's definitely a surprise, but as the young season wears on it appears less and less like a fluke. With the woeful Titans coming to town there's no reason to think that Minnesota will take a step back. Well, there's one reason, but that might be asking too much of him at this point.

Vikings 28-17

Denver @ New England

The Manning/Brady rivalry is back! Yet, in a surprising turn of events, Eli has become Brady's biggest nemesis in Peyton's absence. It's like that part in Rudy when Rudy comes home to find that his scumbag older brother has taken up with his girlfriend. Yep, that's exactly what it's like. Last week the Patriots became the first team this season to top 50 points and the Broncos blew Oakland out by 31, unfortunately for these teams you don't get to carry over extra points into the next game (the NFL did away with that rule back in 1957). Of course, a home game against the Raiders and a trip to New England are two entirely different things, and while I'm confident that the Broncos are aware of that I'm not sure that there's much they'll be able to about it.

Patriots 30-20

Buffalo @ San Francisco

It's the Chris Berman Special! The Schwam picked this as his Super Bowl match-up every preseason from 1992-99, and it was funny every single time. It shouldn't be overlooked that the Bills run a West Coast offense and this game is being played on the West Coast. On second thought, yes, that should be overlooked as it will most likely make no difference.

49ers 27-13

Sunday Night

San Diego @ New Orleans

The NFL has ruled that Sean Payton can now attend Saints games. I'm guessing that we'll see improved play from a New Orleans team that will be trying to impress their coach. Although this also may lead to frustration when, for example, Payton is buying a hot dog and Drew Brees looks into the stands mid-play and shouts, "Coach you're not watching!" Odds are that won't happen more than a few times because Brees is a pro, and honestly, I mean how many hot dogs could Payton possibly eat during a game? I think the extra incentive will help get the Saints the win; they deal well with incentives.

Saints 34-27

Monday Night

Houston @ New York Jets

After Mark Sanchez led the Jets to zero points in their last outing many fans are crying out for Tim Tebow to get in the game more, their argument being how could he do worse than zero points? Obviously they haven't heard about the best kept secret in the NFL: negative points. Speaking of well kept secrets it's time for the Texans' undrafted running back Arian Foster to introduce himself to the league and the nation on this primetime stage. I'm telling you, keep an eye on this guy, he's got the potential to lead the league in rushing one day.

Texans 24-10

NFL Picks Week 5 - Thursday

Arizona @ St. Louis

With the exception of last week the Cardinals have proven quite capable of shutting down opposing offenses. There's just one problem, the Rams don't need an offense, as evidenced in their 19-13 "win" last week in which they relied special teams sorcery; once on a fake field goal touchdown and then on two separate field goals of 58 and 60 yards during which the leg of Greg Zuerlein was surely enhanced by some sort other worldly spell. Either that or Ram Rule #6 is "Crank the AC to help the home team's kicker." I think these crafty machinations will be enough to help them upset the Cardinals on a short week.

Rams 15-14