|(Everything is Thumbs Up in KC.............so far. Photo via buisnessinsider.com)|
It's been a weird season personally.
Of course Peyton Manning is still Peyton Manning. And there haven't been that many surprises with the incredibly talented Seahawks still rolling. The Saints are back to form with Sean Payton back and even look a bit tougher using a Rob Ryan defense. And I've been impressed by the Colts as they've beaten so really tough teams early on this season.
What's been so weird is how some really good teams have dropped off drastically in less than a year's time. Atlanta, Houston, NY (Giants), Baltimore, Pittsburgh just to name a few teams that have gone from great to pathetic. Although the Patriots find ways to win, Tom Brady looks below average. Granted, there are reasons for all of this but this season just hasn't felt right.
It doesn't feel right with the NFC East either. Dallas is the division leader and they're 4-4. What you have to remember about the current Cowboys is that they're hot in early months and then fade in November/December. Meanwhile the two teams I saw fighting for the NFCE- The Giants (2-6) and the Redskins (2-5) are cellar dwellers hoping to still be able to talk playoffs by the end of this week.
Speaking of the Redskins, it's been a bad year to be a fan of the team. National and local media has done nothing but bash the team and its fans for supporting the name "Redskins". Of course Bob " social justice" Costas and Peter "Mr. Coffee" King have no problems mentioning Indians or Chiefs in their diatribes about the world. Same goes for the KC Star, the local Kansas City newspaper that refuses to use the name Redskins but has no problems with their local team (or the fact their fans dress up in head dress and use the same "tomahawk chop" song that Florida St. and the Atlanta Braves use) the Chiefs. I love media hypocrisy.
This has been a big enough thorn in my side but then add the inconsistent play of RGIII, the fact that Kyle Shanahan isn't willing to run the ball and that our defense is still pretty sorry has made my 2013 crap so far.
So what's going to happen with the rest of the season? I don't know, but here's a few predictions:
1. Reality Check: I expect the Chiefs in particular to get a bit of a rude awakening in the 2nd half of the year. They still have to face the Chargers twice, the Colts once and the Broncos twice. Plus, the Raiders have become a much better team with Terrelle Pryor. If the Chiefs go 3-3 or better in those games, I will be impressed. I also feel that unless Tom Brady can turn it around, the same thing will happen with the Patriots.
2. Resurgence: 49ers, Ravens, Giants. Three teams to keep an eye on down the stretch. Now the 49ers are playing good (6-2) but I think we'll see them blow by the Seahawks for the NFCW title. The Ravens will get their heads straight and figure out how to get the ball more to Ray Rice. The Giants, you can't count them out. I would love to include my 'Skins here but they are so hard to predict and even harder to see the good team play for an entire game.
3. Staying the Course: I really like Miami and Cincinnati as two teams that will be on the bubble to be playoff contenders and be in a position to win their division if certain things happen.
4. Two 0-16 teams?: Yeah, that looks like the reality. At this point both Jacksonville and Tampa Bay are just putrid. Maybe the Jags pull an upset on Houston or Arizona and maybe the Bucs can beat arch rival Atlanta, but the odds are slim.
5. Awards: Coach of the Year- Andy Reid, MVP- Peyton Manning
Finally time for this week's picks:
1PM Games (EST)
(2-5) Atlanta @ (4-3) Carolina (-7.5)
I haven't seen anything from the Falcons that indicates to me that they'll be able to stop Cam Newton or his passing game. The Falcons O has too many injuries to keep up and they face a pretty strong Carolina D that likes to generate turnovers.
(1-6) Minnesota @ (4-4) Dallas (-9.5)
Is this another crappy week of football or what? I don't think the NFL schedulers thought the season would be the way it is either. On paper this should have been a good game, but with the Vikings having no real QB, the Cowboys will stack the box. Cowboys will easily outscore the Vikings at home.
(6-1) New Orleans @ (4-4) New York Jets (+6.0)
Okay, this is a better game than the two above. That said, I think the Saints will do enough to put points on the board and find ways to confuse Geno Smith here. Might be closer than you think though. Also another Ryan vs. Ryan matchup.
(3-4) Tennessee @ (3-5) St. Louis (+3.0)
Going to make some crazy picks in the next few predictions. I think the Rams win here. Motivated by the tough loss against Seattle, the Rams pressure Jake Locker and slow down Chris Johnson. Zac Stacy will run the ball early and often against a questionable Titans defense. Yes, the Titans should win this game on paper but somethings tells me to go with the Rams this week.
(8-0) Kansas City @ (3-5) Buffalo (+3.5)
The point spread is awfully low for an undefeated team facing a below .500 team don't you think? Here's what I think: This matchup reeks of a trap game and we've seen Buffalo already snap the trap down on teams like the Ravens and the Dolphins. This is my upset special of the week, so don't be surprised if it happens.
(4-3) San Diego @ (2-5) Washington (+1.0)
Here's where the Redskins need go make their stand if they are going to have one. The Chargers have a strong Phillip Rivers led offense that can run the ball well. However, they have similar issues to the Redskins when it comes to defense. The Redskins need to run the ball. If they do it here, it should give RGIII opportunities to throw to wide open players.
I think the 'Skins should win here. Yes, I have a good feeling about this game.
Pick: Redskins 31-27
4PM Games (EST)
(3-5) Philadelphia @ (3-4) Oakland (-2.5)
I like Oakland here at home. I'm just not convinced that Nick Foles is the quarterback who can run Kelly's system the way he wants it.
(0-7) Tampa Bay @ (7-1) Seattle (-15.0)
Easy pick here.
(3-4) Baltimore @ (3-5) Cleveland (+2.5)
The Factory of Sadness hosts the Ravens with Jason Campbell again to lead the charge for the Browns. Look, Campbell was lousy with the Redskins, but I like the guy. He still can't slide and likes to check down a bunch. But you never know he can on occasion light a team up with some good passing. He did this against the Chiefs last week and he might do it against the Ravens. But, I kind of doubt it.
(2-5) Pittsburgh @ (6-2) New England (-7.0)
Man, this will be a boring game. I benched Tom Brady in my fantasy league. Right now he's my #3 QB behind Phillip Rivers and Terrelle Pryor. I'm really tempted to cut his sorry ass and sign another RB. I may just do this.... Brady sucks this year. That said, they'll probably beat the Steelers.
Sunday Night Football
(5-2) Indianapolis @ (2-5) Houston (+2.0)
Houston looks like they are on the verge of collapse. Here's a silver lining: If Gary Kubiak gets fired, maybe he can come to DC and take over the role of Kyle Shanahan. Maybe the Redskins will finally run the ball if that happens.
Monday Night Football
(4-3) Chicago @ (5-2) Green Bay (-10.5)
Another team, another back up quarterback. Not good odds for the Bears, especially since Josh McCown is not facing the Redskins this week.