THIS SEASON: 35-28*
LAST WEEK: 12-3
COLTS PREDICTIONS: 2-1
Yes... the asterisk remains. Predictificationists don't easily forget when they were hosed on a game. It'll probably remain the rest of the season.
The good news is, after working out some of the early season bugs, the Predictificationer seems to be running smoothly. It was a simple fix, really... I just had to check the specs on the endline for the... rotary...girder... never mind.
A stellar 12-3 record last week moved me over .500 for the season and gave me the best record of the week among Stampede Blue writers. The real test now is to prove that I'm not a one week wonder.
Here's why I'm a genius:
- Seahawks @ Rams - A lot of people jumped on the Seahawks bandwagon after some impressive performances - but they irked the football gods the week before and the Rams have been in every game. I said the Rams would win by 8 - they won by 6.
- Bengals @ Jaguars - I told you the Jaguars wouldn't be competitive in this game - and they weren't. The Bengals handled them all day with no issues.
- Raiders @ Broncos - I told you that Manning would have a great day against the Raiders in the hurry up offense. Manning's stats? 30/38, 338 yards, 3 TDs.
- Patriots @ Bills - The line of this game was only 5 and I thought that was crazy! The Patriots wanted to come out and make a statement - and 52 points made that statement. I said I didn't think it would be close and, after the second half, it wasn't.
Here's why I'm dumb (you will notice this is pretty short this week):
- Vikings @ Lions - I even said in my commentary about the game that I should pick the Vikings, I just couldn't make myself do it... Now, I wish I had.
- Dolphins @ Cardinals - I said I felt good about a Dolphins upset here and I was darn close to nailing this pick. Dolphins led most of the way and lost in OT - figures.
The Colts face off against the Packers this week without their head coach, Chuck Pagano, and perhaps a good portion of their secondary - not exactly an ideal situation. A lot of people are asking me what this will do to the team and, truth is, I don't know. Usually the ripple effect of turmoil goes one of two ways: 1) the team will rally around each other, try to win for their fallen leader and exceed expectations along the way, or 2) the emotional stress, coupled with the loss of a leader, is too much to overcome. I expect the team to come out with a lot of energy early - maybe even the first few games - but it's not sustainable. Losing Pagano will have an effect on this team and it will be more obvious late in the season.
Let's get to the picks....
Green Bay Packers (2-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-2)
The Packers haven't looked like the same team that won the Super Bowl after the 2010 season and walked through the 2011 regular season 15-1. This team is too reliant on quarterback Aaron Rodgers and can't run the ball. Their defense is fast and creates a lot of pressure but have allowed 113 rushing yards a game so far this season (all of this sound familiar, Peyton-Manning-Era Colts fans?). The good news for Colts fans is that this Packers team has been exposed slightly and showing a lot of cracks in the armor. The bad news is the Colts may not have the pieces to take advantage of it. Vontae Davis and Justin King are big question marks and still not healthy, Dwight Freeney and Pat Angerer should return but haven't seen action in weeks and the offensive line will probably still be without Joe Reitz. I want nothing more than to see the Colts win this game, especially with everything that has gone on with Pagano, I just don't think it happens. Colts lose a close one.
On a side note, I hope fans show a lot of appreciation to Jeff Saturday on his return to Indianapolis this Sunday. He was one of the really good guys in a Colts era that broke a lot of records. I assume he has a spot reserved on the Ring of Honor but I'm not sure.
PACKERS WIN 31-27
Arizona Cardinals (4-0) at St. Louis Rams (2-2)
There isn't a lot of respect being shown to the undefeated Cardinals. They've knocked off the Seahawks, Patriots and Dolphins by 4 points or fewer and blew out the Eagles by three touchdowns. The way they've won has been impressive - They came back to beat Miami last week, beat New England on the road, held on at the end to beat the Seahawks and trounced an undefeated Philadelphia team - what more are you looking for? All of that and they are still just a one point favorite this week at St. Louis. The Rams have been better than anticipated and are undefeated at home. Jeff Fisher has turned the team around quickly and remember, they still have a former #1 overall pick at quarterback. This shouldn't be the snoozer it appeared to be early in the season.
CARDINALS WIN 21-17
Miami Dolphins (1-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
The Dolphins aren't as bad as they seemed early on - and Ryan Tannehill looks like he could be the real deal. They lost a heart-breaker last week to Arizona in a game they should have won and now travel to Cincinnati. Two games in a row on the road is a lot to ask of a young team - especially one that gave everything they had last week. This will look like a step back this week for Miami - Cincinnati has been playing well and should handle them easily.
BENGALS WIN 27-13
Baltimore Ravens (3-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)
I'll leave the gambling to the Stampede Blue gambling expert, Christopher Price (@Pricetopher on Twitter), but how are the Ravens only favored by 5 in this game? The Chiefs are being outscored by an average of 12 points over the first four games this season and are allowing 34 points a game - not to mention that one of the best teams in the NFL is dropping by for a visit. This is my lock of the week - Yes, Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe have looked great... but they can't stop anybody - and Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin all count as anybody.
RAVENS WIN 37-24
Cleveland Browns (0-4) at New York Giants (2-2)
Those poor Cleveland Brown fans. The silver lining for them is that their team isn't playing as poorly as their record would indicate. The Browns four losses have come by an average of about 6 points.... not bad considering their opponents have a combined record of 11-5. This game should be closer than a lot of people expect - the Giants are banged up and may look past the Browns a little. Comes down to the wire and everyone will be shocked to see how close it is - but the Giants win the game.
GIANTS WIN 24-17
Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)
The Steelers need to win this game if they want to keep pace with Baltimore and Cincinnati and should receive an added boost with the return of Rashard Mendenhall. The Eagles have been as unimpressive as possible during the first four weeks of the season - and are still 3-1. The Steelers had an extra week to prepare and Michael Vick still turns the ball over too much. Take the Steelers.
STEELERS WIN 26-21
Atlanta Falcons (4-0) at Washington Redskins (2-2)
The Redskins have been in every game they've played this season. The Falcons have won every game they've played this season. I'm putting the Falcons on upset alert. I think the Falcons are too talented and poised to drop this game - but I felt the same way last week against the Panthers. If not for a late fumble by Cam Newton the Falcons would be 3-1... and Robert Griffin III reminds me a lot of Cam Newton. Don't be shocked if Washington beats Atlanta this weekend - but I'm still taking the Falcons.
FALCONS WIN 34-31
Seattle Seahawks (2-2) at Carolina Panthers (1-3)
The Seahawks have been a pleasant surprise in the early part of the season but haven't been very good on the road. They are 0-2 with losses to the Rams and Cardinals. The Panthers nearly upset Atlanta last week and there is a feeling that this team may have finally found it's stride. Take the Panthers at home.
PANTHERS WIN 27-21
Chicago Bears (3-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)
It's funny to me how quickly people can turn on the Bears. They were a preseason favorite to challenge Green Bay, then quickly viewed as a Super Bowl contender after dismantling the Colts, then written off with quarterback issues after a loss to Green Bay and now, after back to back wins, they are back to being considered a serious contender. Then there is the Jaguars who have sucked since the preseason and everyone knows it.
BEARS WIN 27-16
Tennessee Titans (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (3-1)
If you would have told me at the beginning of the season that I'd be picking the Vikings to be 4-1 I would have thought you were crazy - but here we are. The Titans haven't shown much and will probably show less without Jake Locker for the next couple of games... It's a good thing they have Chris Johnson - oh wait. The Vikings have improved every week and Adrian Peterson keeps getting stronger. This should be an easy week for the Vikings.
VIKINGS WIN 24-17
Denver Broncos (2-2) at New England Patriots (2-2)
Raise your hand if you were surprised this game wasn't on NBC's Sunday Night Football... Me too. Raise it even higher if you think NBC regrets it now that they are stuck with the Chargers vs. Saints... Me too. One of these teams is going to have a losing record five games into the season - and it won't be the Patriots. Peyton Manning has some well-documented struggles in New England and this time he has a new offense. I expect Manning to press a little - especially early - and throw some interceptions. The Broncos will find a way to stay close but they won't win the game.
PATRIOTS WIN 31-27
Buffalo Bills (2-2) at San Francisco 49ers (3-1)
The 49ers seem like a team of destiny to me - a team headed for the Super Bowl. The Bills seem to be on an exciting track, too - just not one headed to a Super Bowl anytime soon. I like the Bills... I really do, just not in this matchup.
49ERS WIN 27-17
San Diego Chargers (3-1) at New Orleans Saints
I promised myself I wouldn't pick the Saints anymore... I just can't resist the temptation. I just don't like the Chargers - I think they're extremely overrated. The Saints are playing at home and should finally get a win - at least I hope.
SAINTS WIN 34-27
Houston Texans (4-0) at New York Jets
Would there be a more fitting moment for 'Tebow Time' than on Monday Night Football? I'm all for letting Tebow play - not because I like him... Quite the opposite really. The Jets have been a train wreck this season and I'd love to see them go all in. What do they have to lose? The Texans are undefeated and looking dominant. This should be a walk in the park for one of the NFL's newest elite teams.
TEXANS WIN 34-17
Agree? Disagree? As always, comments are welcome! I will track my picks during the season and brag when I'm right (and pretend I was right when I'm wrong). Pick against me if you dare - remember, I'm a Predictificationist.
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