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Welcome to the blog of The Killer Nacho, known to most mortals as Timothy J. Sharpe, a Computer Science graduate of Messiah College and currently a Systems Analyst for Sunoco Logistics. Within this tome of pages, one will find my innermost thoughts about various things concerning things that I enjoy. These subjects include, but are not limited to, roleplaying, gaming, American Football (the NFL), things to do with computers, philosophy, movies that are awesome, TV shows that are awesome, my own writings and creative works, and dangerous Mexican snacks.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 8 NFL Power Rankings and Predictions: More crazy surprises in the NFL

So after a fairly "predictable" Week 6, Week 7 got back to the crazy shenanigans that made this season so full of parity to begin with. Tons of upsets occurred last week that I didn't think was possible - The Browns routing the former Super Bowl champs? The Bills forcing the Ravens into overtime? The Chargers dropping to 2-5? And Oakland scoring 59 points against the Broncos... in Denver...? I will now attempt to sort out all of these odd things in Week 8 of my Power Rankings!

Biggest Winner: Oakland Raiders (+8) 
Biggest Loser: New Orleans Saints (-5) 

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1, +0): A close but solid win against the Dolphins in Miami secures this team's #1 status further. Ben Roethlisberger passed surprisingly well considering it was only his 2nd game of the season, passing for 19 / 27 for 302 yards and two touchdowns. There was some rust, however, as he fumbled three times, all of which questionable decisions by him... I would think, however, these kind of mistakes should become less and less of an issue as the season presses on for him. The defense of the Steelers played well, too. Despite two early turnovers in Pittsburgh territory, they allowed only 6 points and only allowed the Dolphins into the endzone once in the game despite the Fins moving the ball pretty well later in the game. And they continue to be absolutely dominant against the run. It wasn't a pretty victory, but they survived. 

2. New York Jets (5-1, +1): Although their victory at Denver was made a little less impressive yesterday by the Raiders, the Jets remain to be the creme of the crop in the NFL, moving to the #2 slot in their bye week. As I said earlier, the team has very little holes. They hope Darelle Revis can come back after the bye-week at full force, their pass defense could really use his assistance... especially against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. 

3. Indianapolis Colts (4-2, +1): The Colts are also coming off their bye week, and find themselves one spot higher on these rankings due to another team (namely, the Baltimore Ravens). It was rather nice timing for their bye, at least for me, since it meant I did not have to face Peyton Manning in my fantasy game... but that's besides the point. Their next matchup is a crucial Monday-night rematch against the Houston Texans. We'll see how deserving these Colts are of the #3 spot then. 

4. New York Giants (5-2, +1): Solid win at Dallas last week for the New York Football Giants. They were able to overcome some screw-ups early including two interceptions Eli Manning, a fumble by Brandon Jacobs and allowing a punt return touchdown from rookie Cowboys WR Dez Bryant. Throughout all this, the defense alone was able to keep them in it, limiting Dallas to just 49 yards passing and 36 yards rushing in the first half. Then when Tony Romo went out of the game, it was all but over for Dallas.

5. New England Patriots (5-1, +1): This team continues to concern me, but got a hard-earned victory at San Diego last week regardless. The fact of the matter is, though, they were given so many gifts due to stupid mistakes by the Chargers last week but failed to capitalize on them, and almost lost because of it. Their first half offense was nothing short of putrid. And it is becoming apparent that without Randy Moss to act as a deep threat, their short passing game and running game is starting to struggle. Tom Brady only passed for 159 yards on the day while BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead could not get anything going on the ground, rushing for a combined 2.5 YPC on the day. 

6. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, -4): Dropping four ranks in a win may seem harsh, but it was well-earned by the Ravens. At the end of the day, it is true that only the 5-2 record matters, but there was defiantly something wrong about the Ravens last week. I don't know if it is a deep-seeted problem or perhaps they were simply looking over the winless Bills, but something was wrong. The problem was not so much offensive, Joe Flacco passed well and Anquan Boldin had a good day while Ray Rice and Willis McGahee returned to their tandem dominance on the ground. However the defense, who was even getting All-Pro Safety Ed Reed back for the first time this game, allowed 374 passing yards from Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for four touchdowns... they could not stop him all day. If it were not for the epic strip in overtime by Ray Lewis, we could be talking about the upset of the year right now. 

7. Atlanta Falcons (5-2, +1): The Falcons survived the Bengals at home last week after a good offensive showing. Elite WR Roddy White had his best game of the season even after disrespecting the Cincinnati secondary before the game, catching 11 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Turner was able to run the ball well too after a forgettable performance against Philadelphia the week prior, getting back to his high YPC (5.3 against the Bengals) and two touchdowns on the ground. Defense is still a concern, however, as they allowed Carson Palmer to have a career day which almost allowed a Bengal comeback. 

8. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2, +2): Back at home, the Chiefs get back to their winning ways embarrassing the visiting Jaguars. They key was defense... they were able to contain Maurice Jones-Drew and even though the Jaguars starting QB Todd Bouman was a back-up, picked him off twice to end key Jaguars drives. Dwayne Bowe continued to look sensational, breaking tackles and scoring touchdowns. This Chiefs offense is improving at an alarming rate and the Chiefs could be a serious threat this season to any team they play. 

9. Tennessee Titans (5-2, +3): The Titans continue their winning ways but did it in flashy style this time against the visiting Eagles. Even without their starting QB, the Titans were able to get big plays in the air. Just a single look at WR Kenny Britt's numbers in this game is jaw-dropping. 225 yards receiving and three touchdowns?? Ridiculous! And they needed to go to the air, the Eagles were playing dedicated run defense all game to contain Chris Johnson. 

10. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3, -3): After such a poor showing by Kevin Kolb, Andy Reid declared unsurprisingly that Michael Vick would be the starter following the bye... I do not believe this move surprises anyone with the horrible play Kolb showed against the Titans last week. DeSean Jackson should be ready to go after the bye, which will be nice because they need him. Even with the improvement that Jeremy Maclin has shown this season, both of them together gives the Eagles some scary weapons.

11. Houston Texans (4-2, +0): Somewhat of an uneventful week for the Texans as it was their bye, they will be facing an extremely tough matchup next week at Indianapolis. While it is far from a must-win at this point in the season, it would be hard to see them winning the tough AFC South if they do not find a way to sweep the Colts on Monday night. Andre Johnson should be 100% good to go for this game, which is nice for the Texans since he has been dealing with a nagging injury for the majority of the season. 

12. Miami Dolphins (3-3, +1): They did lose against the #1 Pittsburgh Steelers, but they were a questionable call away from victory. Apparently "there was no concrete evidence that the Dolphins recovered the fumble in the endzone" but anyone who thinks that the Steelers may have recovered the ball is kidding themselves. And before anyone tries to argue that the whistle was already blown, it wasn't. Re-watch the play if you need to. Despite likely being robbed, the Dolphins had other factors for their loss. The inability to get into the endzone despite sustaining good drives against the Steelers was a major concern although Dan Carpenter was given another game to show how awesome he is. Despite the bad ruling, they had a chance to win the game at the end but fell short offensively. They also weren't able to stop the passing attack of the Steelers, which hurt them also. Their were also positives, though. The Dolphins offensive line looks like it could be one of the best in the league. Chad Henne had all day to throw the ball and played pretty well, all things considered, completing 63.9% of his passes for 257 yards and Miami's only touchdown. The Dolphins hope to rebound from their third disappointing home loss on the road against the Bengals next week. 

13. Green Bay Packers (4-3, +1): They needed a victory against the Vikings in the worst way, and were able to deliver. Aaron Rodgers still looked like he was getting used to his new receiving corps so he wasn't great but with Clay Matthews back, the defense was able to make big plays when they needed them most including Desmond Bishop's pick six and stopping two last desperation heaves into the endzone from Brett Favre to Randy Moss at the end of the game. Now they are in even more injury trouble as it has been confirmed two more defensive starters will be out for the season. 

14. New Orleans Saints (4-3, -5): So much for the "turnaround" they were on after beating Tampa Bay. They were dropped last week, ... no, not dropped, routed and humiliated by the lowly Browns in Week 7 by a score of 30-17. Defiantly NOT what you would expect to see from the former-World Champions. Drew Brees looks like he is falling victim to the Super Bowl curse this year throwing four interceptions to the Browns. He now has 10 on the season... completely unacceptable. And what were they doing while Punter Reggie Hodges ran for 68 yards against them? I suppose watching in awe about how a Punter could be running through their coverage... A bit of good news for them though... Reggie Bush should be ready to come back after his injury. 

15. Washington Redskins (4-3, +3): Holy DeAngello Hall, Batman! Four interceptions in a single game is absolutely crazy as the Redskins defeat the Bears 17-14. It's funny... Redskins QB Donovan McNabb did everything he could to keep his hometown Bears in that football game but in the end the Redskins were able to overcome their own QB and obtain the win. Their defense may allow big plays, but they can surely create them for themselves, too.

16. San Diego Chargers (2-5, +0): Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. And despite all that and a 2-5 record... I'm sticking with this team at their #16 placing. The injuries to both of their starting WR, Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee was brutal, at least Antonio Gates played. The young players making their first starts of the season made quite a few mistakes. And yet, despite all of the offensive turmoil, their defense was able to give them a chance to win at the end still. Offensively and defensively, this team is good. Maybe even great. However, until they become more disciplined they won't be winning football games. And this falls directly on head coach Norv Turner. 2-5 is not a place you want to be, especially with the Chiefs playing so well and being 0-2 in the division. At least some good news is that Pro Bowl WR Vincent Jackson will finally report, ending his holdout. Even with sitting out half the season, you know he will want do well because he'll be looking to advertise himself for unrestricted free agency in the off-season.

17. Minnesota Vikings (2-4, -2): Brett Favre's Lambeau magic ended at last, as the Vikings dropped a big one to the Packers. Even after his big win against Dallas the week prior, Favre did not play well this time against his former team, throwing three interceptions. Adrian Peterson did, though. He is likely the best RB in the league right now, always making an impact. He runs hard while retaining quickness, agility and speed to create a true threat in the backfield. He also is a good receiver, too. He seemed to solve his biggest problem, too, as he has not fumbled all season. Percy Harvin is looking to be a legit WR in this league. He is absolutely scary anytime he touches the ball and is good in the slot. Despite good play from Harvin and Peterson though, the Vikings fall into a tough-to-recover-from 2-4 hole. There is some news floating around that Favre has fractures in his ancle that might sideline him for a few games, but I don't buy it. I expect him to play, because that's what Favre does.

18. Seattle Seahawks (4-2, +2): 4-2 brings them to a lead in the NFC West. I actually think this team has the potential to be deadly. Marshawn Lynch solves a lot of the problems that plagued them in the running game. His tough, powerful running style was exactly what the Seahawks needed to move the ball consistently down the field. The Seahawks defense continues to play well (even though it was only against an undrafted rookie QB and a reject Browns QB), only allowing 10 points to the visiting Cardinals offense. After this victory, they are the favorites in this division, no doubt. 

19. Chicago Bears (4-3, -2): Man, Bears QB Jay Cutler has formed quite a duo with DeAngello Hall! What's that you say? DeAngello Hall is a Redskin? Oh... nevermind then, someone should go tell Jay Cutler. He probably forgot he was a Bear after being sacked another four times last Sunday. Here's a reminder for you Jay... your guys are the guys in Black and Orange, and the Redskins are in Red and Yellow. DeAngello Hall may seem like a nice fellow, but he's not your teammate. Got it? On a side note, the Bears defense continues to play well... too bad they can't carry their hideous offense. 

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2, +1): I refuse to get high on this team. Yes, they are 4-2 but who have they beaten? The lowly Browns, Panthers, and Bengals and now the lowly Rams? Everytime they play a team even slightly good they don't simply lose, but are destroyed. Still, they are 4-2 and a big part of the game is winning games you are supposed to win. They were able to find something somewhat resembling a running game by benching Cadillac Williams for rookie LeGarrette Blount. The final game-winning drive engineered by QB Josh Freeman was memorable. However, I'm going to hold off calling them a serious contender until they beat someone worthwhile. 

21. Oakland Raiders (3-4, +8): 59 points. Read it again, let it sink in. The Raiders scored... Fifty-Nine points... They made it look like a game of Madden, setting a franchise record for points scored in a game. Darren McFadden ... 165 yards, three touchdowns, 10.3 yards per carry. But that's only three out of eight. EIGHT! EIGHT TOUCHDOWNS! ... IN DENVER! I don't know if the Raiders are for real, probably not, but still... wow. WOW. Maybe this is a sign of the apocalypse... 

22. Denver Broncos (2-5, -3): And... we get the other side of the coin, the team who had 59 points scored on them, courtesy of the Ra... Raid... er... Raiders. And I thought this team was pretty good... Head coach Josh McDaniels said it best, they were simply "out physicaled". Granted, this team probably lost all will after falling to 21-0 within the first 5 minutes due to a pick 6 and a Special Teams fumble... I severely hope that the remainder of the game was simply due to the Broncos being completely demoralized. There was simply no redeeming qualities of this game for the Broncos. They were dominated on offense, defense, and special teams. Kyle Orton may have thrown two touchdowns, but this is the second straight game where he completed less than 50% of his passes. I'm surprised he wasn't benched after the 1st quarter to give rookie Tim Tebow some NFL experience, because the game was honestly lost by then (at the end of the 1st quarter, it was already 24-0).

23. Arizona Cardinals (3-3, -1): This season really has been a roller-coaster ride for these Arizona Cardinals. They'll come out and play great one week, and be complete duds the next week. This was a dud-week apparently, in a game where they had a chance to become the favorites in the NFC West. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt must regret his confidence he showed in undrafted rookie QB Max Hall, who started this game and went 4/16 for 36 yards and a pick. Eventually, they decided to put in the Browns reject QB Derek Anderson, who played better but still wasn't able to throw a touchdown or complete half of his passes. Offensively, the only good thing that can be said is that Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower was able to rush for pretty consistent yardage to help their abysmal pass-attack.

24. Dallas Cowboys (1-5, +0): Bad news regarding starting QB Tony Romo's shoulder injury against the Cowboys last night - it has confirmed to be a left clavicle injury. Clavicle injuries are serious - it could sideline him for up to the entire season. Which would just be insult to injury for the Dallas Cowboys, going now 1-5. How they will proceed moving forward with backup Jon Kitna is anyone's guess, but now this is another team you mine as well stick a fork in. Even having everything going for them in the first half, they still lost to the rival Giants at home on Monday night.

25. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4, +1): Oh, Bungles how I have missed you... it was depressing last season when I didn't have you to ridicule. Even with a ridiculously great game from Carson Palmer, who finally looked like everyone thought he would with both Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, throwing for 412 yards and three touchdowns, they lose. And it really wasn't even as close as the score indicated. The Falcons led early, and was able to avoid the Bengals comeback that they attempted. Cedric Benson once again did not rush very well, which is a requirement for this team's success. And even though I thought the Bengals had a good secondary, they were not able to step up even despite the disrespect Roddy White showed them prior to the game. 

26. Cleveland Browns (2-5, +4): May be one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL right now. They play teams close and put themselves in position to win games, as the Saints found out last week. They have a solid defense that was able to force a lot of turnovers from Drew Brees. Colt McCoy didn't really play well again, but he didn't really need to and they will be getting Seneca Wallace back soon... hopefully. Peyton Hillis is a workhorse. Teams beware- do not sleep on the Browns! They love to play the role of spoiler this season. 

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4, -4): They may be chilling at 3-4, but their division hopes are all but shattered now that they are looking up at three two-loss teams that control their division. Once again, their secondary got exposed against the Chiefs for their poor coverage and tackling skills. They were starting backup QB Todd Bouman, who did not play well. And neither did Maurice Jones-Drew, since teams can simply stack the box against them this season.This season may be the beginning of the end for head coach Jack Del Rio.

28. St. Louis Rams (3-4, -3): They had a chance to continue their surprising season and claim for the playoffs but fell short against Tampa Bay. Was a heart-breaking loss, too, the Rams controlled the game the whole way but were unable to put it away or stop the Buccaneers' late scoring drive that won them the game by 1. The lack of depth at the WR position is starting to show and the defense and RB Steven Jackson can't do everything themselves. 

29. Detroit Lions (1-5, -2): Coming off the bye, they get hopeful news about formerly-injured starting QB Matthew Stafford, who is now unrestricted at practice and should be good to go against the Redskins next week. Also, promising rookie RB Jahvid Best, who was battling a nagging toe injury, no longer appears on their injury report so that is good news. Dangerous team here - they could beat anyone and will look to catch the Redskins napping next week as Stafford hopefully plays his first full game of the season.

30. San Francisco 49ers (1-6, -2): Put a fork in them, they're done. At the end of the season, Singletary will be gone and this team will go into rebuilding mode... again. In the spirit of being fair, though, it wasn't entirely their fault that they gave the winless Panthers their first win of the season last week. Anytime your starting QB goes down and is replaced by David Carr, you are going to have a chance to lose the game.Honestly, they didn't even play too poorly. The 49ers defense was able to stop the Panthers running game and Frank Gore had a great game. Just wasn't enough. They will still win more games this season, but it is now safe to say they won't be sniffing the playoffs.

31. Carolina Panthers (1-5, +0): They got their first win of the season, but I'm still not convinced they are any better than #31. I mean, they still did not play well against the 49ers. And had starting 49ers QB Alex Smith not gone down with injury, I doubt they win this game. Neither DeAngelo Williams nor Jonathan Stewart could get anything going behind this Panthers offensive line. And they were forced to rely in Matt Moore, the only player that really played well for the Panthers. Even after all this, they still only won by a field goal.

32. Buffalo Bills (0-6, +0): I want so bad to rank them higher than last for their epic showdown against Baltimore last week... but alas, I cannot. At the end of the week, the Bills are the only winless team, a completely imperfect 0-6. Don't look now but Ryan Fitzpatrick has a QB rating of 102.0, and has thrown 11 touchdowns in his four starts... Wow. He can thank a lot of his success to Lee Evans, who is also looking better recently. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to ditch Trent Edwards after all.

Formulaic Power Rankings

These Power Rankings are formula-based, the exact formula and explanation on how it is calculated can be found here on my blog.

Formulaic Biggest Winner: Tennessee Titans (+8) 
Formulaic Biggest Loser: Denver Broncos (-10)
  1. Pittsburgh (69.6, +3)
  2. New York Giants (68.8, -1)
  3. New York Jets (65.8, +0)
  4. Indianapolis (64.7, +1)
  5. Baltimore (63.8, -3)
  6. Philadelphia (61.2, +0)
  7. New Orleans (60.8, +0)
  8. Atlanta (58.7, +2)
  9. Tennessee (58.2, +8)
  10. San Diego (57.6, +1)
  11. Houston (57.5, +1)
  12. Miami (56.8, -3)
  13. New England (56.6, -5)
  14. Kansas City (56.3, +4)
  15. Green Bay (52.0, +1)
  16. Dallas (51.5, -2)
  17. Tampa Bay (49.9, +6)
  18. Chicago (49.8, -3)
  19. Cincinnati (47.6, +0)
  20. Seattle (47.2, +5)
  21. Washington (47.0, +1)
  22. Oakland (46.2, +6)
  23. Denver (44.4, -10)
  24. Minnesota (44.4, -4)
  25. St. Louis (44.0, -4)
  26. Arizona (38.3, -2)
  27. Cleveland (36.2, +3)
  28. San Francisco (34.8, -2)
  29. Jacksonville (34.6, -2)
  30. Carolina (32.0, +1)
  31. Detroit (31.9, -2)
  32. Buffalo (21.7, +0)
Predictions for Week 7

Prediction accuracy for Week 6: 7-7 (50%)
Overall prediction accuracy: 23-19 (54.8%)

Ryan Fitzpatrick has a QB rating of 102 this season.
Buffalo (0-6) @ Kansas City (4-2): Kansas City by 7. Ryan Fitzpatrick may be playing well, but so is the Chiefs defense. This isn't an unwinnable game by the Bills, but the improving Chiefs offense should be able to score big against a struggling Bills defense while Ryan Fitzpatrick and a Bills running game led by Fred Jackson and rookie C.J. Spiller should struggle against a Chiefs defense that has played well all season long.

Jacksonville (3-4) @ Dallas (1-5): Dallas by 3. I think the Cowboys will want to rebound in this game, prove at home that they aren't as bad as their record suggests. It is no longer an issue of playoff dreams for the Cowboys, but a matter of pride. For the Jaguars, they must feel in over their heads. While I would find it hard to believe that they sleep over the "poor" Tony Romo-less Cowboys, I do not think they really have the talent to compete with them, let alone win.

Washington (4-3) @ Detroit (1-5): Detroit by 3. Upset alert! The Lions are coming off their bye and will want to win at home with a rejuvenated team, finally healthy. For the Redskins, you can't imagine they will be completely focused on the "bad" Lions when after their bye they have teams like the Eagles, Titans, and Vikings coming up. They key for Detroit will not be giving the Washington defense turnovers, like Jay Cutler and the Bears did.

Miami (3-3) @ Cincinnati (2-4): Miami by 7. This is a game that the Dolphins should win. The largest problem for the Dolphins will likely be Terrell Owens. The Dolphins have struggled to cover the #2 WR this season, with CB Jason Allen likely to cover him. Carson Palmer will have to beat Miami through the air - this doesn't seem to be a likely time for Cedric Benson to get better - Miami did a good job with the Pittsburgh rushing attack last Sunday. The Dolphins offense should be able to overcome a struggling Bengals defense. I like Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall in this matchup. The Bengals do have the offensive firepower to take down Miami, but their chances are not too good.

How will the Broncos respond after being humiliated by Oakland?
Denver (2-5) @ San Francisco (1-6): Denver by 3. The Broncos should win this game but it's hard to be sure of anything about this team anymore after they give up 59 points to the Raiders. San Francisco will have to set up the running game with Frank Gore if they want to give themselves a chance to win. Kyle Orton has to return to his accurate ways, he will not get away with another game under 50% completion.

Green Bay (4-3) @ New York J (5-1): New York J by 7. Nothing would make me happier than to see the Jets fall to the Pack, but I don't see it happening, especially in New York coming off the Jets' bye. Aaron Rodgers has struggled recently, and it will get no easier against the Jets defense. If the Packers are to win this game, they will need to step up on defense (much like the Vikings game last week). Forcing turnovers from Mark Sanchez will be the key to victory. Denver was able to do so Week 6, and that put them into a position to win. That's what the Packers hope to do - put themselves in a position to win at the end of the game.

Carolina (1-5) @ St. Louis (3-4): St. Louis by 7. The Panthers are coming off their first win, but they will now face the Rams at home after they are angry about blowing one against the Buccaneers. I do not expect Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo to allow it to become two losses in a row. The Panthers are the worst of these two teams, and the Rams should be able to shut Carolina's offense down, then give them a strong dose of Steven Jackson rushing.

Tennessee (5-2) @ San Diego (2-5): San Diego by 3. Um... another upset alert, please? I'm not ready to give up on this team I guess, especially at home. I have to believe that eventually the Chargers will stop it with their stupid mistakes and put a complete game together. I do not believe the Titans will be able to run effectively with Chris Johnson (even though he may get over 100 due to them feeding him carries, as with the Jacksonville game), and whoever starts at QB will be facing one of the best pass defenses in the league.

Tampa Bay (4-2) @ Arizona (3-3): Arizona by 3. Upset alert. Arizona can win at home, being 2-0 at home this season. I have to believe they will put together a nice gameplan to bring down the overrated Buccaneers. They should do it the same way they have all season - force turnovers defensively, set up a consistent running game, and make just few enough mistakes passing to win the game.

Favre has thrown 10 interceptions this season, and has 5 fumbles.
Minnesota (2-4) @ New England (5-1): New England by 10. Minnesota's playoff hole looks to get even deeper in Week 8 against the Patriots. Luckily for them, their schedule looks to lighten significantly after this game but if they drop to 2-5, it may be too late. New England's defensive weakness is in the air, so Brett Favre will really need to play like last season if they want a chance to win this game... and for goodness' sake, stop turning the ball over. That's if he even plays at all, but we all know he will. Will be interesting to see Randy Moss's return to New England as an opponent.

Seattle (4-2) @ Oakland (3-4): Seattle by 7. Is it really bad that I don't know who to pick in this game? I chose to pick Seattle because I somewhat doubt that Oakland can lay out that kind of domination as last week two weeks in a row and not against a divisional opponent, but we'll see. Darren McFadden is a dangerous back for the Raiders, and could kill the Seahawks. But the Seahawks have been pretty good after their bye and seem to have finally gotten balanced on offense.

Pittsburgh (5-1) @ New Orleans (4-3): Pittsburgh by 3. It will be a close game, but I think the former-Champion's woes will continue. First of all, Pittsburgh will shut down the Saints run game. Without being able to run, Drew Brees will be forced to pass into a playmaking Steelers secondary. And if he threw four picks to the Browns, who knows what will happen against the Steelers.

Houston (4-2) @ Indianapolis (4-2): Indianapolis by 10. Historically, the Colts have been very good at home and you know they will be looking to put the Texans back in their place after the embarrassment they were handed Week 1 in Houston. The Texans will want to once again rely on Arian Foster. The weakness of the Colts defense is the run, Matt Schaub passing into this secondary would be just asking for a blow out. Peyton Manning will want to win this game, and put the Colts in a position to be the favorites in the AFC South... and he could do it against a Texans defense ranked last against the pass. If the Texans pull this off, though, it would surely shake up the AFC.

Byes: Atlanta (5-2), Baltimore (5-2), Chicago (4-3), Cleveland (2-5), New York G (4-2), Philadelphia (4-3)

Results of Last Week's Poll

Last week, I asked my readers "Which one-win team, if any, will make the playoffs?" between the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers or No one-win team will make the playoffs.

The result of the poll was a three-way tie between the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and No one-win team will make the playoffs, all at 33%. I voted that no one-win team will make the playoffs, and the one-win teams for the most part proved me right last week.

This week's poll is "Which team is most of a surprise this season, for better or worse?" between the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Minnesota Vikings.

Vote on the right-sidebar of my blog!

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