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Oct. 28, 2004

NFL: Week Eight predictions

by Isamu Bae, Page Editor and Pratik Bhandari, Page Editor
The biggest news this week has been, yes, you guessed it, the Red Sox winning. But wait, this is the NFL, what does that have to do with anything? Well, the equilibrium in the world has been destroyed. No one knows what will happen now. For all we know, the Patriots could go ahead and rattle off 21 straight losses now. Who knows what can happen in this crazy alternate dimension.

Izzy 66-36-0
Nick 64-38-0
Pratik 62-40-0
Mike 60-42-0

Sunday October 10, 2004 Arizona at Buffalo - 1 p.m. (Buffalo -3)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Arizona Arizona Buffalo Arizona

Izzy says: Arizona pulled a stunner by defeating the Seahawks. As Dennis Green promised, Josh McCown is becoming a solid quarterback, Larry Fitzgerald is finally beginning to settle down, and Emmitt Smith looks like he still has some has left in his tank. The old man still rumbles. If the Bills are looking for good news, here’s one for the other team: Anquan Boldin is set to return this week. Buffalo’s offense is just pathetic, while the Cardinals are heating up fast. Could this be the beginning of a winning streak for the Cardinals!?

Pratik says: So. Arizona won, which is surprising in and of itself, but they won against Seattle. Emmitt Smith gained 106 yards and a touchdown, proving that he’s still got some gas left in the tank. Larry Fitzgerald hauled in a 25-yard floater from Josh McCown for a touchdown. Buffalo played Baltimore and Bledsoe was made to look like a third string quarterback as he threw four picks, two of them to Primetime who returned one for a touchdown. Anyway, if Arizona can beat Seattle, they can surely beat Buffalo, especially since Anquan Boldin is coming back into the lineup from his knee surgery.

Baltimore at Philadelphia - 1 p.m. (Philadelphia -7.5)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Baltimore Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia

Izzy says: The Ravens emerged victorious again last week on the heroics of a Prime Time performance by Deion Sanders, while the Eagles stayed unbeaten with a David Akers 50-yard boom in overtime. The Eagles now face off one of their biggest threats. Terrell Owens burned the Ravens for two catches (and two touchdowns), but that was against Gary Baxter, not Chris McAllister. They also did not have Deion Sanders. I see this being a rather one-sided beat-down by the Ravens against the Eagles. It’ll be physical, it’ll be rough, and Terrell Owens won’t want to cut through the middle.

Pratik says: It’s the T.O. Bowl! In a great matchup between the Eagles and the Ravens, the outspoken wide receiver will once again be at the center of all the hubbub. Over the offseason, T.O. was embroiled in a bitter dispute with the 49ers after he missed a deadline to fill out paperwork that would have made him a free agent. Since he wasn’t a free agent, the 49ers traded T.O. to the Ravens for a 2nd round pick. However, T.O. filed a grievance and was allowed to become a free agent. He signed with the Eagles and the rest, as they say, is history. The two teams meet for the first time this season and expect Ray Lewis to pound on T.O. if he dares to come over the middle. Baltimore, however, is missing a lot of key starters including left tackle Jonathan Ogden as well as running back Jamal Lewis. Philadelphia will have practiced extra hard over the break as Cleveland almost beat them in overtime last week. Andy Reid will make sure that Philadelphia is prepared to face the Ravens and their suffocating defense so expect the Eagles to go to 7-0.

Cincinnati at Tennessee - 1 p.m. (Tennessee -3.5)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Cincinnati Cincinnati Tennessee Tennessee

Izzy says: The Bengals put on an impressive display last Monday Night by routing the Denver Broncos, but the Titans, having been shamed by the Vikings, will be out for blood. Even without Steve McNair (questionable), the Titans can potentially drag out a win on the merits of its revitalized running game. Too bad Chris Brown is injured, too. The Titans no longer have a defense to carry them through games, while the Bengals just dragged their pride out of the iron safe in the dark corner in the attic. They'll look to continue their winning ways and get out of this funk, and Marvin Lewis will make it happen.

Pratik says: With Chad Johnson proving that he can beat just about any corner any team puts on him, the Bengals are getting better and better on offense with Carson Palmer growing into his role. Something that was overlooked in Monday Night’s win against the Broncos was also the great production the Bengals got from Rudi Johnson. Johnson had119 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown on a career day (or night in this case). Anyway, Tennessee is reeling after getting only three points against a pretty weak Minnesota defense and at this point, they have got to do something big to keep the playoffs in their grasp. If they lose here, they will go to 2-6 in a tough conference, essentially eliminating them from the playoffs. The Bengals have a bit of leeway in their schedule, but this is a pretty important game for them too. Expect Chad Johnson and Carson Palmer to keep the passing attack going and shock the dwindling Titans.

Detroit at Dallas - 1 p.m. (Dallas -3)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Detroit Detroit Detroit Detroit

Izzy says: The Lions are back. In fact, they’re almost doing better than the good old days of Barry Sanders. Roy Williams is back to making highlight--reel catches every week (how did he fall to seventh in the draft?) and Kevin Jones returned to the lineup to give the Lions a ground attack. What this adds up to? A Dallas Cowboys team that was absolutely flattened by the Green Bay Packers will find itself with its hand full trying to stop Steve Mariucci’s West Coast Offense at almost full strength. Good luck Parcells, you’ll need it.

Pratik says: The Lions are a totally different team when Roy Williams is on the field. Just imagine how good he's gonna be after his rookie season…Already we've seen him single-handedly take the game into his hands and just will his team to a win. They've had great wins over Houston and Atlanta and now they play a Dallas team that has totally fallen off the radar. Without the once dominant defense, the Cowboys are, at best, an average team. They need a good defense to keep the game close because they cannot put up points consistently on offense. Besides, the Cowboys got rung up for 41 points last week against the Packers. I shudder to think of what Harrington and Williams can do to the Cowboys. Anyway, expect Detroit to win big on the road, where they are 3-0 this season.

Green Bay at Washington - 1 p.m. (Green Bay -2)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay

Izzy says: This may very well be Brett Favres’ last game ever at FedEx field and it’ll likely be very memorable. Brett Favre has absolutely exploded the past two weeks after offensive play calling was handed over to coach Mike Sherman. I don’t see this changing. For as good as Gregg Williams’ defensive play calling is, the offensive liability will make this tight game in the favor of the Pack. Gibbs will need to get his offense straightened out and fast.

Pratik says: You just have to feel sorry for Brett Favre. About two weeks ago, he was told that his wife had breast cancer. Ever since then he's been tearing it up, leading his team to a 38-10 win over Detroit and a 41-20 win over Dallas. The Redskins have a great defense, granted, but their offense is atrocious. I mean it's painful to watch them go out there. I've always liked watching a well-executed offense, like the Colts or the Patriots, but even an offense that didn't go three and out every other possession would be great to me after watching the Redskins struggle up and down the field. Who knew that Mark Brunell would be this bad? I hate to say it, but could this actually be because Joe Gibbs is out of touch with the offense? The Redskins are starting to remind me of the Spurrier era. All kidding aside though, the Redskins really need to figure out how to move the ball downfield. Another troubling fact is the recent DUI arrest of Sean Taylor. Taylor was finally starting to play well last week, and I hope that he can get his act together for this week's game. Also, this game is supposedly a great prediction for the next President. If the Redskins win, the incumbent, George Bush, stays President. Otherwise, the challenger, John Kerry, wins. On that note, Go Pack Go!

Indianapolis at Kansas City - 1 p.m. (Indianapolis -1.5)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Indianapolis Kansas City Indianapolis Indianapolis

Izzy says: Flying football versus running football. I will pick the Colts for this game solely because Holmes has a sprained ankle (even if it’s minor, it will affect him a bit) and aside from Byron Leftwich and Tom Brady, Peyton Manning may be the most clutch quarterback in the regular season. If the Colts ever do fall behind in the last second, Manning has the uncanny ability to bring the Colts back in the league pronto. The Chiefs? Nah, they can’t do that.

Pratik says: Wow. This game has a legitimate chance to go over 100 points total. Kansas City rushed for eight touchdowns last week. To put that in perspective, 26 out of the 32 NFL teams don't have eight rushing touchdowns all season. Indy is suffering from internal squabbles between Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne as TV cameras caught Wayne lightly shoving Manning on the sidelines. This does not bode well for the Colts offense, as it relies on Wayne as a foil to Marvin Harrison and it especially does not bode well for me. I, unfortunately, have Wayne on my fantasy team and I will be surprised if Wayne gets any passes thrown his way by Manning this week. Anyway, I hope you wonderful football fanatics out there who have DirecTV or something can tape this game for me. It's gonna be a classic. Two great offenses just slugging it out against mediocre defenses. There really is nothing better. Izzy's reasoning for picking the Colts was that they score through the air so they take less time to score. At least, that's what it was on Monday…you never know with Izzy, he tries tricking me a lot. Anyway, my reasoning for picking the Chiefs is simple: The Priest.

Jacksonville at Houston - 1 p.m. (Houston -1)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Houston

Izzy says: Byron Leftwich versus David Carr. That may be one of the most amazing young quarterback match-ups we will see for a long time. Byron Leftwich, in his second year, is already cementing himself as a tough, dedicated warrior of a quarterback and is filling up a resume of clutch plays. Need an example? Just look at the win versus the Colts last week… or every week they’ve won. David Carr, on the other hand, is carrying the Texans on his back and bringing this expansion team into respectability. While both quarterbacks have a bright future and their match-ups-to-come may be extremely exciting, for this game, Leftwich’s Jaguars have the advantage. The Jaguars have a revived defense and the supporting cast around Leftwich is just plain better, for now.

Pratik says: This game will be great. David Carr and the Texans face off against Byron Leftwich and the Jaguars. The Jaguars are, improbably, the number one team in the AFC South and everyone is gunning for them now. How will the Jags deal with the pressure of being number one? It'll all be up to Leftwich to make sure that his team doesn't falter. Expect Leftwich to keep the team on the right track and for the Texans to fall in front of their fans.

New York Giants at Minnesota – 1 p.m. (Minnesota -7)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota

Izzy says: Will Randy Moss play? That question no longer seems very important, as Daunte Culpepper lit up the Tennessee Titans last week in solid (though unspectacular) effort to win. Culpepper has proven his ability to win games, and the game against the Giants will be no different. The Giants were dominated by a dedicated Lions team and showed that, despite their recent success, they still are not an elite team. The Vikings are, with their four 100 yard rushers.

Pratik says: So, as soon as the Giants start losing, all that mutiny talk against Tom Coughlin comes back with a vengeance. In the second episode of this ongoing soap opera, Coughlin debunked veteran linebacker Barrett Green after he was 90 minutes late to practice. That's bad enough as it is, but according to Coughlin time, that's 100 minutes late to practice. Anyway, Green was benched for all of last week's loss to the Lions and will only play in running situations this week. This is not good news for Giants fans as signs of tension are beginning to mount. Minnesota, however, is on a roll, especially with the ridiculous numbers that Daunte Culpepper and company have been putting up against opposing defenses. Expect Culpepper to light up the Giants in Minnesota and give the Giants something else to fight about.

Atlanta at Denver – 4:05 p.m. (Denver -6.5)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Denver Denver Denver Atlanta

Izzy says: If there is anything the Falcons can take solace in, it’s this: they won’t be giving up eight rushing touchdowns this game. En route to a record setting game, the Falcons’ daunted number one rushing defense kind of… died. Sort of an understatement. Now they get to face… the Denver Broncos. This will be a make-or-break game for the Falcons. If they get steamrolled by the Broncos, they may fall into an absolute slump. If they stop the Broncos, well, all the momentum to them. If there’s anything that’s true, the Falcons are going to have a tough time scoring against the number two overall defense. Jake Plummer and the Broncos to victory.

Pratik says: Wow. Eight rushing touchdowns. Wow. How do you come back, as a defense, from that horrible outing? That’s disrespect taken to the utmost. As in you know what we’re going to run, but we’re still going to run and run well. So, what have we learned boys and girls? Never underestimate a good offensive line, as I did. Anyway, Atlanta gets a whole lotta help as they get to play…Denver. Even though Denver looked idiotic against the Bengals, especially when Chad Johnson burned Champ Bailey twice for 50+ yard gains in the first half, Denver really isn't that bad. And they have a guy named Reuben Droughns in the backfield. Good luck Atlanta.

Carolina and Seattle – 4:05 p.m. (Seattle -8)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Seattle Seattle Seattle Seattle

Izzy says: If there was a new low for both of these teams, it was Carolina breaking apart against the Chargers and the Seahawks being smothered by the Cardinals. Both teams are looking to break out of their slump this week. Unfortunately for the Panthers, it won’t be them. The Seahawks have way too much talent and too much ambition to keep up their slide, and this game is as good as any in turning the season back around. The Panthers, on the other hand, have been decimated by injuries. It’s no tough guess.

Pratik says: Both teams underperformed last week, with Carolina losing out to San Diego and Seattle losing out to, this is not a misprint, Arizona. Simply based on the fact that Seattle lost to Arizona, the Seahawks should be ashamed of themselves, but actually, both San Diego and Arizona are playing pretty good ball right about now, so I'll cut both of these teams some slack. Anyway, expect Seattle to run up the points on a woeful Carolina team that is just begging to be put out of its misery. The only thing I don't understand is how a team that went to the Super Bowl a season ago could fall so far, so fast.

New England at Pittsburgh - 4:15 p.m. (New England -3)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
New England New England New England Pittsburgh

Izzy says: As much as I would love to see Ben Roethlisberger starting 5-0, I just don’t see the Patriots losing at any point in the near future. Hey, I’ll probably be wrong at some point this season, but I will not be picking against them for a while. Bad draw, Ben.

Pratik says: New England is just rolling on, where most of the populace is probably still rioting over the BoSox crazy World Series win. The Patriots, who are seemingly invincible now seem to be like the Yankees of football; it's like they have ghosts or something leading them to victory every game. The poor '72 Dolphins are just waiting until they can pop open that bottle of champagne, but the Patriots keep denying them. I remember back when Elway was playing for the Broncos and they won something like 13 in a row before they finally faltered; those old fish must be making voodoo dolls of Tom Brady or something. Anyway, with all of this going against them, what are the Steelers going to do? Have no fear, Big Ben is here! The kid is playing amazing ball right now and even if Tommy Maddox can recuperate quickly enough from that elbow injury to be healthy soon, he will be out of a starting job. Roethlisberger is doing a great job making smart decisions while still relying on his innate athleticism to make some spectacular plays. Maybe the Steelers have a chance to beat the unbeaten Patriots, but I'm going to stick with the boys from New England, this week at least. I mean, with all of that crazy luck surrounding the Red Sox, don't you think maybe a little bit has rubbed off on the Patriots as well?

Oakland at San Diego - 4:15 p.m. (San Diego -6)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
San Diego San Diego San Diego San Diego

Izzy says: So the Chargers have been struggling to run the ball this year, and the Raiders have been struggling to do anything this year – that includes stopping the run. The Chargers want to revive their running game, but may opt to rest LaDainian Tomlinson (groin) as much as possible. Look for quick strikes by the Chargers towards a rout of the Raiders as Keenan McCardell gets used to the Chargers offensive system.

Pratik says: Ha! Oakland is a funny team. For some reason, they're actually doing better now that Jerry Rice is no longer in their employ. But they still don't have a good enough defense to stop the Chargers. Expect Brees and the boys from Southern Cal to win this one quickly. While we're on the topic of southern California, who's going to see the O.C. season premiere on Thursday?

San Francisco at Chicago - 8:30 p.m.(Chicago -1.5)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
San Francisco Chicago San Francisco San Francisco

Izzy says: The NFL is really trying to outdo themselves now. First they give us Miami vs. Buffalo. Now they give us San Fran and Chicago. Both Sunday Night games. Ugh. This is going to be ugly. I’m gonna give it to the Niners on the sole merit that they have, gasp, a quarterback.

Pratik says: This has got to be the worst Sunday Night game ever. ESPN must feel like they got ripped off or something. Man, if there was a choice between watching this or counting votes down at some polling center, I'd count votes (Hey, at least I'd get some community service hours or something, right?). Anyway, I really don't care who wins this game, but I'll just say Chicago, because they're finally not starting Jonathan Quinn (according to Izzy, anyway).

Monday October 11, 2004 Miami at New York Jets - 9 p.m. (New York Jets -7)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
New York Jets New York Jets New York Jets New York Jets

Izzy says: Continuing the run of horrible games is the Monday Night Football Game. New York Jets versus the Miami Dolphins! The Just-Barely-Lost-To-The-Patriots vs. the Oh-My-Gosh-They-Actually-Won. This is sad. New York Jets. Don’t bother to ask why.

Pratik says: Wow. 1-5 team vs. 5-1 team. Good luck Dolphins, you're going to need it. Maybe the Dolphins should bring back those players from '72. It would draw bigger crowds and they might actually play a little better than they are right now.

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  • Pratik Bhandari on October 31, 2004
    Wow. The Patriots lost. Kudos to Big Ben.
  • yeeeeaaaahhh on November 3, 2004
    steelers crushed the pats
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