On to the picks..........FO's 'locks of the week' are now 7-10 with 1 'lock' this week, their 'reasonable' picks are 27-32, and their 'stay away' picks are 68-61. Please note that differences in total games picked is a result of us using slightly different spreads.
The standings (with pushes excluded):
Sports Guy: 7-8 last week 108-96 overall (52.9%)
FO: 9-7 last week, 102-103 overall (49.8%)
DCLS: 9-7 last week, 99-106 overall (48.3%)
As usual, the FO picks are listed in order of confidence, and I have bolded a team wherever I differ (home teams in CAPS).
- Cincinnati +7 over SAN DIEGO - I know 7 points is a lot, but not sure how you pick against the Bolts right now. Norv Turner having success is hard to stomach, let alone understand, but it is not hard to seem him screwing this up somehow, although maybe some Redskin karma is in play.
- KANSAS CITY -2 over Cleveland - KC is FO's #4 straight-up pick, which is baffling for the Browns when you consider that the Chiefs are a pathetic 3-10 and FO's #28 ranked team. The Browns are 2-11 and the #27, so either way, I'd rather drink pure gasoline than watch this game. KC bothers me because Scott Pioli, aka GMing Jesus, was available and Snyder didn't pull out all the stops for him. As much as Bruce Allen has a solid track record and I see no definitively better candidates, Pioli is the one guy who looks like a sure thing great hire. Snyder always gets his man, so why wasn't Pioli his guy?
- BUFFALO +7 over New England - Get this, FO has Buffalo as their pick straight-up.......wow, and the system doesn't take into account locker room problems. 7 points is a lot, but I like the Pats to bounce back. I also envy the Pats because they are the model any NFL team needs to follow. They are consistently competitive, and unlike the Colts, built to withstand the loss of any 1 player.
- Dallas +7 over NEW ORLEANS - Demarcus Ware being out is enough to tip me towards the seemingly 'touchable' Saints. But this game is about the arch-enemy against man-boobs. I hate them both, and hate seeing both have success. Once again, one has to wonder what happens if man-boobs took the reins instead of Zorn, maybe the continuity is enough to keep this team from imploding.
- SEATTLE -7 over Tampa Bay - The Bucs are in a tight race with the Lions for the first pick. The sad thing is I'm not sure anyone wants that pick anymore. The relation to the Skins here is the past team of Bruce Allen and likely next head coach, John Gruden. The problem with that link is that they left an absolute wreck after they were fired, which is a major cause for concern. Such is my anxiety but I am trying to push this aside....
- San Francisco +8.5 over PHILADELPHIA - And here is the game with Coaching Jesus, the man who the Skins should have hired. Other than 1 early season slipup, the 49ers have played everyone close, so I like the points and can only wonder what would have happened with Singletary as our coach....maybe the mis-hire was for the best, as we get Cerrato out....
- Minnesota -9 over CAROLINA - It's a lot of points, and likely too much for a team with Laron Landry's double-move kryptonite likely to yield at least 2 touchdowns. Oh wait, we drafted him instead of Adrian Peterson, and the Vikings now have an excellent defense anchored by good drafting, free-agent signings, and a trade in addition to an absurd running back.
- DENVER -14 over Oakland - Call me crazy, but I like this matchup a little bit for the Raiders. The first reason is Asomugha covering Marshall. I realize Asomugha's questionable, but he should play and take away the biggest part of the offense. The 2nd reason is that this team isn't a complete embarrassment with Gradkowski running the offense. Denver always pisses me off because Josh McDaniels instantly turned them around, and partly with the help of former Skin Champ Bailey. If they can turn it around, how come the Skins haven't been able to do that for about 10 years?!? On the bright side, Oakland's steaming pile of shit always reminds me that things could be worse.
- Green Bay +1 over PITTSBURGH - I can't understand how this isn't a homerun pick and much higher on FO's list. The Steelers are not good right now, and unless last week lights a fire under their collective ass, I like the Packers and their now #2 ranked defense. I hate the Steelers as much as I respect them because they are the type of organization the Skins should be, always competitive with amazing fans. On that note, Bill Cowher is my first choice for Skins head coach; maybe I should be happy with what we've got at this point.
- NEW YORK JETS -5 over ATLANTA - The team with the #1 D and a potential disaster at QB should probably not be favored if Matt Ryan plays, but he is 50/50 at best. All I can think of here is the Sanchize, and how the Skins almost had him 'leading' the offense. He is a reminder of how stupid this regime has been and the type of thinking that has plagued this franchise.
- WASHINGTON +3 over New York Giants - Hell yes, we are back in business and may even have a little jump in our step. The Giants are FO's straight-up pick, but their 2nd worst one......time to play spoiler! I also can't help but mention how awkward it will be for Gruden to call this game. The G-girls are bad enough being from NY, but their fresh approach and sudden rise to success gives me endless anger, let alone the historic win over the Pats - why can't we just have a little bit of that?
- Chicago +11 over BALTIMORE - That is a lot of points, but the douchebag needs more than that. The Ravens suck because they showed up just up I-95 a few years ago, with an awful team, and have since been turned around by Ozzie Newsome to the point that they are another consistently competitive team. Just another example of a team passing us by. Da Bears remind me of Cutler, who we almost moronically traded for and gave a huge contract, just a reminder of how idiotic this regime has been.
- DETROIT +12 over Arizona - The Lions get routinely smashed by 10+ points, and the Cards just had an unlucky week with 7 turnovers. The Lions are still the worst team in the league by the metrics. The obvious Skins pain is Russ Grimm being part of a staff that quickly turned around a terrible franchise. I doubt it, but Maybe Russ has a role in team Gruden?
- Miami +3 over TENNESSEE - The Dolphins play a lot of close games, so the points are tempting, but I still like the Titans here. Random crazy QB fact of the week, VY is the #7 QB on a per-play basis by FO's metrics. The Dolphins piss me off because their coaching staff and FO has managed to maximize their talent by employing this crazy offense that keeps them more competitive than they should be. For all the plaudits of the Skins current staff, they have never seemed to do anything particularly inspirational to win games since Gibbs was here. Why can't we out-coach anyone?!? I'm looking at you Greg Blatche....
- ST. LOUIS +10 over Houston - The Texans have been hot, and the Rams have just been the same joke. The pain here is Charley Casserly's work with the Texans, which is depressing because he did a mediocore job with the Skins, but seems to have put the Texans on the cusp of being pretty good for awhile (and yes, I know he isn't there anymore).
- Indianapolis -3 over JACKSONVILLE - 1-0 for FO, Sports Guy and me with this pick. It was a close game, but fortunately Peyton and co. played the entire game. Indy represents the type of team we want to build, with a self-sustaining system of bringing coaches and players from within. This is entirely frustrating to watch when the Skins constantly change direction and generally stink. I do question whether the entire system crumbles without Peyton, but the basic formula they have is right.
(Image courtesy of farm4.static.flickr.com)