Boy, was I wrong about Seattle. I thought San Francisco would hand it to them, but at this point, I’d be really hard pressed to pick against the Seahawks at home. Having once lived in Seattle, I know the joy this is bringing to folks out there. There are latte toasts and sushi feasts in the Seahawks’ name in that fair city! (Seriously. The sushi is fantastic. As is the coffee.)
Miami also looks far stronger than history would suggest, and it seems San Diego has some punch, too. I’m really starting to feel bad for the Jacksonville Jaguars, though. They’re the NFL equivalent of a Star Trek Redshirt — they seem to exist only to be wiped out on a weekly basis. The whole franchise seems hexed.
And Cleveland…oh, Cleveland. The Browns have laid more foundations-for-the-future than the Bricklayer’s Union. So when their starting quarterback goes down with an injury, they put the third-stringer in over the second-stringer — and trade their starting running back. Someone tell me how this is supposed to work without employing a time machine or a sonic screwdriver.
On with the picks! (Predicted winners are in italics.)
Kansas City at Philadelphia: The Blur can be beaten, and Andy Reid knows his former players very, very well.
Green Bay at Cincinnati: The Bengals are rising. Just not this week.
St. Louis at Dallas: This is a tough one, like picking your favorite Firefly episode. (It’s a toss-up between “Jaynestown” and “Trash.”) Going with the home team.
Cleveland at Minnesota: By Odin’s beard, if the Vikes screw this up, the wrath of Asgard itself shall be upon them.
Tampa Bay at New England: The Patriots are fortunate they get to warm up on bad teams while they figure out whether they have a real offense.
Arizona at New Orleans: Laissez le bon temps rouler, y’all. The Saints are marching.
Detroit at Washington: Washington has the pieces. It just needs to get them working together for a complete game.
New York Giants at Carolina: If the Giants can’t win this, they are officially in Serious Trouble.
Houston at Baltimore: The Angry Birds have had bad aim lately.
Atlanta at Miami: Another toss-up. (Tenth or Eleventh Doctor?)
Buffalo at New York Jets: I’m really liking the Bills. They play with all the poise the Jets lack.
Indianapolis at San Francisco: “The odds of winning against an angry 49ers defense at home after an embarrassing loss are –” “Never tell me the odds!”
Jacksonville at Seattle: This really seems utterly unfair.
Chicago at Pittsburgh: Oh, man. The Iron City Beer is way flat these days.
Oakland at Denver: Peyton Manning’s next team will be The Avengers. He’s that good.
Last week’s record: 12-4
Season record: 24-7