Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Friday, October 15, 2010

NFL Picks Week 6

First of all, congratulations to Amber Wiley and Ryan Capps for successfully making Greyson William "Thunder" Capps. I visited them in the hospital to meet little Busta, congratulate Amber, and get Ryan's picks for this week. Rick even wrote commentary, which is nice because I just didn't for several games.

Regarding last week: So much for my looking like I know anything about football. And so much for Peter King being an actual expert; SI's writer got killed. Last week was among the craziest I have ever seen in my years of sports fandom:

Peter King: 5-9 (43-33, a .566 win percentage)
Andrew Hamm: 7-7 (41-35, .539)
George Washington: 7-7 (35-41, .461)
Greyson's Dad: 6-8 (44-32, .579)
Rick Olson: 10-4 (39-21, .650)

To the accompaniment of Transatlantic's The Whirlwind:

Atlanta Falcons (4-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
  • Peter: Eagles. We interrupt this game prediction to bring you this gee-whiz reaction to the Mike Bell-for-Jerome Harrison trade: What?!?! Bell's a guy. Harrison's a comet. Harrison's last three games last season for the Browns: 106 carries, 561 yards, five touchdowns. I don't know how he got so ensconced in Eric Mangini's doghouse, but I do know this: That's one heck of a trade for the Eagles.
  • Andrew: Falcons. I'm still just not a Kolb believer. The Falcons are the best team in the NFC, which honestly says very very little.
  • George: Falcons.
  • Greyson's Dad: Falcons. Fal-con pride ever.
  • Rick: Falcons. Bill Simmons' said it best. They are going to be the number 1 seed in the NFC. #1's win this game.

Baltimore Ravens (4-1) at New England Patriots (3-1)
  • ´╗┐Peter: Ravens. Lost in the kerfuffle of the rout of the Dolphins and the Randy Moss trade and the very serious discussion of Tom Brady's hair: New England's defense isn't fixed, and I don't see the Patriots either covering Anquan Boldin or stopping Ray Rice.
  • Andrew: Ravens.
  • George: Patriots.
  • Greyson's Dad: Ravens.
  • Rick: Ravens. New England's D is bad, Baltimore's is good. Big day for Flacco.

Seattle Seahawks (2-2) at Chicago Bears (4-1)
  • Peter: Bears. I'd pick the Bears even with Todd Collins playing -- which he's not -- and that's a pretty good indictment of the Seahawks. Look for Matt Forte to get off to a good start.
  • Andrew: Bears.
  • George: Seahawks.
  • Greyson's Dad: Bears.
  • Rick: Bears. The most over-rated team in football gets another gimme.

Miami Dolphins (2-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-2)
  • Peter: Packers. I make this prediction thinking Aaron Rodgers is going to play. He might, he might not. But he's going to have to make some serious adjustments to his game without Jermichael Finley and Donald Lee in his sights for the foreseeable future.
  • Andrew: Packers.
  • George: Packers.
  • Greyson's Dad: Packers.
  • Rick: Dolphins. Call me a fool, but I don't think GB can hold up with their injury situation against a quality team

Kansas City Chiefs (3-1) at Houston Texans (3-2)
  • Peter: Chiefs. Remember those thrilling days of yesteryear, when the Cleveland Browns were running for more than 300 yards against the Chiefs? Yep, that was all the way back in December. No more. Romeo Crennel's got the run defense fixed, which is bad news for Arian Foster's fantasy football owners.
  • Andrew: Texans. I still think the 3-1 Chiefs are some piece of NFL fan fiction written by some nerd in his mom's basement wearing an unwashed Elvis Grbac jersey.
  • George: Chiefs.
  • Greyson's Dad: Texans.
  • Rick: Texans.  I believe in the Texans this year. and don't think that Cassell is worth anything even against this bad of a pass D.

Detroit Lions (1-4) at New York Giants (3-2)
  • Peter: Giants. I worry about Eli Manning's interceptions, but not much else Giants-related in the past two weeks. Ahmad Bradshaw is emerging as a top NFL back (unless he keeps fumbling), the offensive line has regained its sea legs, Hakeem Nicks is the latter-day Plaxico Burress in terms of big plays, and the defensive front is approaching 2007 form.
  • Andrew: Giants. The Lions don't have this one in them.
  • George: Lions.
  • Greyson's Dad: Giants.
  • Rick: Giants. The Lions are not as bad as people think. but with the injuries and the Giants D, New York pulls through

Cleveland Browns (1-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
  • Peter: Steelers. Can't imagine a tougher career-opener for Colt McCoy, playing the Steelers of 2010 in Ben Roethlisberger's return. Unless it was facing the Steelers of 1976.
  • Andrew: Steelers. Cry for poor Colt McCoy, who is going to have the worst day ever. By the end of this game, I might be playing quarterback for the Browns. If this happens, I want Busta Capps to inherit all my action figures when he comes of age.
  • George: Steelers.
  • Greyson's Dad: Steelers.
  • Rick: Steelers. But let's all hope Ben gets carted off the field.

San Diego Chargers (2-3) at St. Louis Rams (2-3)
  • Peter: Chargers. Philip Rivers will hit Antonio Gates for a touchdown for the 10th straight game Sunday. It sounds crazy, but Rivers-to-Gates has a very good chance to go down in Chargers history as a better QB-to-TE combo than Fouts to Winslow.
  • Andrew: Chargers. The Rams will win a few more this year. Just not this one.
  • George: Chargers.
  • Greyson's Dad: Rams.
  • Rick: Chargers. I think the Chargers are soft. but they will win this game.

New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
  • Peter: Saints. Toughest game of the weekend to call. The Bucs are still playing the aw-shucks-we're-not-very-good card (that's how GM Mark Dominik reacted to me this week about their 3-1 start), but the Saints know better. Tampa Bay is building a dangerous defense with a prize 22-year-old quarterback and a better set of receivers than you think. This game could go either way. I see Drew Brees making two or three plays downfield, and that being the difference.
  • Andrew: Buccaneers. The Saints are kind of a mess, and the Bucs are a smart, efficient team. They will take advantage.
  • George: Saints.
  • Greyson's Dad: Saints.
  • Rick: Buccaneers. New Orleans hasn't looked good, and Tampa surprises them.

New York Jets (4-1) at Denver Broncons (2-3)
  • Peter: Jets. Sit, Darrelle, sit. And not just for this week either. The Jets have to bite the bullet and give Revis a minimum of three weeks off. If not, this hammy will flare up throughout the season and they'll be faced with Kyle Wilson covering Reggie Wayne or Mike Wallace in January. That's a losing proposition.
  • Andrew: Jets. Okay, I'm officially off the "The Jets will be a big disappointment" tip, though beating the Vikings hardly impresses me.
  • George: Jets.
  • Greyson's Dad: Jets.
  • Rick: Jets. I don't like Orton's chances against this D.

Oakland Raiders (2-3) at San Francisco 49ers (0-5)
  • Peter: 49ers. Best coaching decision of the week, surprisingly, was made by a coach having an awful year. Mike Singletary decided to stick it to the baying hounds calling for him to bench Alex Smith, which is wise. Smith has had some disastrous moments, to be sure. But he's the only quarterback on the roster who has a chance to lead the Niners out of the 0-5 morass. And he's shown in spurts the capability to lead some very good drives. I see the Raiders not pressuring Smith much, and the Niners giving him enough help for an efficient passing day.
  • Andrew: 49ers. Dammit, I'm picking them until they win.
  • George: 49ers.
  • Greyson's Dad: 49ers.
  • Rick: Raiders. Because anything is better than picking Alex Smith to win a game.

Dallas Cowboys (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
  • Peter: Vikings. This is a playoff game between two 1-3 lead balloons. Even in a very poor NFC this year, it's hard to imagine a 1-4 team with good division competition rebounding to make the postseason. The Vikings are crippled at cornerback, which could make for a huge Tony Romo day. Minnesota is also disadvantaged at quarterback, with injuries to Brett Favre's elbow and psyche. Randy Moss' emotional return to Minnesota will be enough, I think. Very big day for him, even with Mike Jenkins all over him.
  • Andrew: The Game of the Season so far, and between two 1-win teams. Amazing. This is the Stupor Bowl, and I really don't know how to pick it. Neither of these teams is making the postseason, but the loser is in real trouble, as in wrecking-the-next-two-season-for-the-franchise trouble. This is a loss you don't recover from without a change at head coach, quarterback, or some other massive adjustment. That said, the Cowboys look slightly less dysfunctional than the Vikings, for two reasons: 1) Romo is twice the quarterback Favre is right now (and I think Romo is massively overrated as well), and 2) because Minnesota's secondary is just awful. One week of hope for Dallas, marred by a 160+yard day for Randy Moss. And I predict that Brett Favre will retire mid-season...then string us along again next summer, only to opt anticlimactically to stay retired.
  • George: Vikings.
  • Greyson's Dad: Vikings. (How much is the world upside-down when Ryan is picking against the Cowboys and I am picking for them?)
  • Rick: Vikings. I see Jared Allen having 4 sacks and the home team coming through.

Indianapolis Colts (3-2) at Washington Redskins (3-2)
  • Peter: Colts. When I first saw this game on the NBC Sunday night sked, I said: "Four hundred-yard night for Peyton.'' Now I say: "Competitive game for 60 minutes.'' The way Brian Orakpo and LaRon Landry are attacking the line of scrimmage, I'd be surprised if the Redskins didn't have a shot, some shot, to win this game in the fourth quarter.
  • Andrew: Let me point out here that I was the only one to correctly pick a Redskins upset over the Packers last week, my first accurate pick for Washington all year. That said, the Colts will win this one, but the 'Skins will keep it closer than they have any right to. Indy is down right now, maybe all year, and the Redskins defense is in the unusual position of both giving up the most yards in the NFL while also being one of the most feared in the league. They just hit and hit and hit. I don't care if Washington doesn't win another game this year; the culture change in the organization has me more excited about the team than I have felt since 1991. I still predict an 8-8 finish, but they are going to be a trendy Super Bowl pick for 2011.
  • George: Redskins.
  • Greyson's Dad: Colts.
  • Rick: Colts. Peyton Manning vs. DeAngello Hall. I'll take Manning thanks.

Tennessee Titans (3-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2)
  • Peter: Titans. I'm starting to like Tennessee a lot. What's not to like, as long as Vince Young continues to play efficiently.
  • Andrew: Titans. They aren't exciting, but their workmanlike approach to the game will crush Jacksonville's sloppiness. What an awful Monday Night game.
  • George: Jaguars.
  • Greyson's Dad: Titans.
  • Rick: Titans. This might be a blow out.

Until next time: cheese armor ever!



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