Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Nov. 6, 2004

NFL: Week Nine predictions

by Isamu Bae, Page Editor and Pratik Bhandari, Page Editor
The New England Patriots fell last week to the Pittsburgh Steelers, effectively ending a 21-game winning streak and immediately raising the Steelers to the rank of the elite, if they were not already there. Now the Steelers look to topple the Philadelphia Eagles, the last undefeated team. Juicy stories about the game? Not really, only that Duce Staley and his 4.7 yards per carry was not exactly very popular among the Eagle-folk to the point of them not giving him a contract he wanted. We'll see if he pays the Eagles back here.

Nick 74-42-0
Izzy 71-45-0
Pratik 70-46-0
Mike 68-48-0

Sunday November 7, 2004 Arizona at Miami - 1 p.m. (Miami -3)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Arizona Arizona - Miami

Izzy says: The Cardinals have been struggling on the road, but Miami is just the foe to beat- despite Emmitt Smith's age, he'll be able to bruise a beat-up defense that surrendered 100 yards on the ground the LaMont Jordan… after giving up 100 to Curtis Martin. The rushing attack will help Josh McCown hook up with Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, as the corners will have to help contain Smith in the second half.
Pratik says: You know something's wrong when Arizona is the favorite. Against the lowly Dolphins, however, this is the case. Last week, Arizona was upset by the 1-5, now 2-5, Bills but at least it was closer than the shellacking that the 'Fins received from the Jets, 41-14. The Dolphins vaunted defense, which came into the game ranked fourth in the league, gave up 115 yards and a score to both Curtis Martin and his backup LaMont Jordan. Now Emmitt Smith is no Curtis Martin, but Arizona can do well enough if he does enough to keep the defense from bearing down on Josh McCown, allowing him to play catch with his talented group of wide receivers downfield. Expect a big day from McCown and the Cardinals passing game as they stretch the Dolphins with their multiple receiver sets.
Dallas at Cincinnati - 1 p.m. (Dallas -1)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Cincinnati Cincinnati - Dallas

Izzy says: Both teams continue to show up with two different teams. One that is absolutely dominating and one that keels over and dies. The Bengals will win this game because of the existence of a rushing game. Rudi Johnson is much, much better than the Cowboys' Eddie George. Of course, Carson Palmer will have to display better decision making at crucial times.
Pratik says: Smashmouth football at its coarsest takes place in the battleground state of Ohio as the 3-4 Cowboys battle the 2-5 Bengals. This is really a story of Chad Johnson and Carson Palmer vs. Roy Williams and the Cowboys defense. Another Johnson may make an appearance here, Keyshawn Johnson. Keyshawn is much like T.O. in that if you don't wrap him up after he catches the ball, he'll burn you for a long gain. Deltha O'Neal and Tory James are pretty good tacklers, however, so expect Keyshawn to get bottled up this week. If Chad Johnson and Carson Palmer can hook up enough to be a factor in the game, expect the Bengals to pull one out.
Kansas City at Tampa Bay - 1 p.m. (Kansas City -3)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Kansas City Kansas City - Kansas City

Izzy says: Tampa Bay, meet Shoot-out City. Kansas City, meet floundering offense. The Bucs have stabilized their offensive woes by turning to Michael Pittman, Brian Griese and Mike Clayton, but their defense will not be able to hold off the resurgent offense of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have racked up 13 touchdowns in the past two games. That is almost more than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all season long. For all the credit given out, Gunther Cunningham deserves to be mentioned for turning around a defense that does not dominate but does not roll over and give up points anymore.
Pratik says: As I said, the Priest is a beast. In the offensive blowout that ensued last week, Holmes had three rushing touchdowns leading the Chiefs and the Germantown Grim Reapers, my fantasy league, to victory. Do the Buccaneers have a chance at stopping Holmes and Tony Gonzalez? Not really, especially when the Chiefs offensive line can bulldoze over the defensive line, tie up the linebackers and let Holmes wreak havoc all over the secondary. I have great respect for Ronde Barber for his pass coverage and his willingness to come up from the corner and put a hit on the running back, but I don't think he or Derrick Brooks or any of the other marquee players on the Buccaneers defense will be able to stop the Chiefs from rolling all over Tampa Bay.
N.Y. Jets at Buffalo - 1 p.m. (New York Jets -3)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
New York Jets New York Jets - New York Jets
Izzy says: Willis McGahee has shown the NFL he has become a legitimate ground threat, but the New York Jets also showed the NFL that their offense is one giant scare. Racking up more than 200 yards on the ground against a good Miami defense on Monday Night is one way to gain momentum and they are 6-1 for a good reason. The Bills defense has been underwhelming all season and there is no reason to believe it will come together against the Jets.
Pratik says: Last week, the Jets owned Miami with their rushing game as both LaMont Jordan and Curtis Martin gained 115 yards and a touchdown. Also, Chad Pennington threw for 186 yards and three touchdowns. The Jets defense isn't that great, but if the offense keeps putting up numbers like these, they won't have to be. Buffalo won against the lowly Cardinals last week, but they'll be easy pickings for Pennington and Company.
Oakland at Carolina - 1 p.m. (Green Bay -2)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Carolina Carolina - -
Izzy says: This would be such a no-brainer for the Carolina Panthers. As it is, losing half their linebacking corps makes the decision a lot harder. Still, the Panthers lost by six to a very good Seattle Seahawks team while the Raiders lost by a whopping 28 to a good Chargers team. Six is not even close to 28. Panthers winning this one.
Pratik says: Both of these teams are struggling mightily, with Oakland failing to do anything against San Diego last week, getting clobbered 42-14 and Carolina losing to Seattle. Oakland is really playing horrible this year as they can't play defense or offense well enough to stay in a game with even moderately good teams. Carolina, at least, is making things close so I have to give this one to Carolina down in Ericsson Field.
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh - 1 p.m. (Philadelphia -1)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Pittsburgh Philadelphia - Pittsburgh

Izzy says: One undefeated team down, one more to go. The Steelers, coming off of a fresh victory against the Patriots, now look to funnel their energy against the Eagles. The Steelers have done a good job shutting down receivers, but whether they can stand the test against Terrell Owens will be interesting to see. On the other side of the spectrum, the Eagles will have to shore up their rushing defense and fast in order to prevent former-Eagle Duce Staley from running all over the field and their defensive backs have never faced a dynamic duo such as Plaxico Burress and Hines Ward. Steelers run away with this one.
Pratik says: Oooh! The Game of the Week! Big Ben vs. the only undefeated team in the NFL. Can Big Ben pull out another win like he did last week against the Patriots? I think he won't because there are two things that most everybody forgets when they talk about the Patriots losing last week. First, they didn't have Corey Dillon, who has turned into a big part of their offense and secondly, Ty Law was out for most of the game with an injury. When two of your best players are gone, any team is going to suffer, just ask the Baltimore Ravens. Anyway, Pittsburgh now faces a healthy Eagles team with a great offensive line. I don't think the Steelers defense can pressure Donovan McNabb like they pressured Tom Brady. Also, McNabb has another trump card that Brady never had: the ability to run downfield if plays break down. Also, I don't think that the Steelers secondary is a match for T.O., Todd Pinkston, Freddie Mitchell and L.J. Smith. Either way, this is going to be a great game, but expect the Eagles to soar to 8-0 at home.
Washington at Detroit - 1 p.m. (Detroit -3.5)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Detroit Washington - Detroit

Izzy says: I really think Joe Gibbs needs to give up his max-protection schemes. With the talent of today's defensive linemen, even three blockers may not be enough to stop the premier pass rushers. It certainly is not enough to stop the Panthers' Julius Peppers. While the Lions do not have a Julius Peppers or anything like it, they do have big-play cornerback Dre' Bly. This game will come down to whose offense will be able to move against whose defense, and for all the greatness of the Redskins' defense, I like the chances of the Lions' relatively potent offense moving against a great defense than a horrible offense moving against a fairly good defense.
Pratik says: Great defense meets great offense. This game is as simple as that. I think that Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot have the ability to shut down Roy Williams and Az-Zahir Hakim. Joey Harrington will be rattled by having to face the number one ranked defense in the league, so expect him to throw a couple of picks as well. If Portis can navigate around Boss Bailey and Dre Bly, he should have a great run every time. Expect Sean Taylor to have a great game this week as he tries to prove to the coaches that he can be a responsible member of the team and expect the Redskins to finally win a game to go to 3-5.
Chicago at N.Y. Giants – 4:05 p.m. (New York Giants -9)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
New York Giants New York Giants - New York Giants

Izzy says: One team has regressed and one team has progressed. The Giants absolutely mauled the Vikings before Halloween again, and while the Bears did manage to win against the hapless San Francisco 49ers, I really do not see the Bears improving much. Sure, they did record an offensive passing touchdown for the first time since Rex Grossman got injured, but their team just doesn't look very overwhelming. The Giants, on the other hand, are on a charge towards the playoffs behind the play of old veterans such as Kurt Warner. Look for the G-Men to win this one behind the solid running of Tiki Barber.
Pratik says: Ugh. Ew. Yuck. Blah. I'm guessing you guys get the point. Giants win in this week's most horrible game.
New Orleans at San Diego – 4:05 p.m. (San Diego -6)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
San Diego San Diego - San Diego

Izzy says: They're the trendy pick now, the Chargers. Their offense is wowing people, with Drew Brees coming into his own in his third year (like all quarterbacks), receiving weapons Keenan McCardell and Eric Parker making catches that the Chargers could not seem to make last year, Antonio Gates providing a big target up the middle and LaDainian Tomlinson (and Jesse Chatman) providing the one-two punch up the gut. The Saints? Well, they've been disappointing, what with their dropped-balls contest with the Seahawks. I see the Chargers winning another game en route to a playoff worthy season as the Saints continue to flounder.
Pratik says: Wow. This is going to be a shootout! I expect somewhere around sixty points for this game, so the game is basically going to come down to which defense can play moderately well. Just because Deuce is back does not mean that the Saints are a force to be reckoned with. Especially when you can counter with LT. Down in the hot southern California sun, expect the Chargers to light up the scoreboard one more time than the Saints can march into the endzone to pull out the win.
Seattle at San Francisco – 4:05 p.m. (Seattle -7)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Seattle Seattle - Seattle

Izzy says: The Niners lost to the Bears last week. Oof. Even the struggling Seahawks can't lose this one.
Pratik says: Seattle played so-so in last week's win over the Panthers and playing somewhere close to that level should just bout guarantee them a win. Unless something crazy happens, like Tim Rattay breaking the 49ers all-time passes completed record again, Seattle should win easy.
Houston at Denver - 4:15 p.m. (Denver -6.5)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Houston Denver - Houston

Izzy says: Ask me before the season and I would have laughed off any possibility of this game being close. Ask me now? Ooh, this game is gonna be tough to call. Houston, behind the solid play of their defense and Randy Moss-esque Andre Johnson, has been an absolute gut-wrencher. They're over .500 now and for good reason- their team is solid. But so are the Denver Broncos, behind their 9,999 tailbacks and their supposed good defense. Well, that defense better show up now, and Champ Bailey should hope he doesn't embarrass himself like he did two weeks ago. If this is the same team that showed up to give up 41 points to the Falcons, and they probably will be, the Texans are going to run away with this one and come away with a legitimate chance to get a wild card spot with how they've been playing.
Pratik says: Okay, Houston is finally getting really good. I mean; it was only a matter of time until David Carr started to drive the Texans into victory lane. Oh, sorry, this isn't NASCAR…Anyway, Houston has a great offense. So does Denver. But Denver has a great pass defense, which the Texans don't. I hate to say it, but Champ Bailey and John Lynch are going to make it tough for Carr to steer clear of trouble in Mile High Stadium. Also, expect the Denver running game, led by Reuben Droughns to get back on track after being held to only 68 total yards rushing, as a team, by the Falcons last week. Denver should win this one over the Texans.
New England at St. Louis - 4:15 p.m. (New England -2)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
New England New England - New England

Izzy says: Now that the monkey is off their back, it is time for the Patriots to return to their winning ways, even without Corey Dillon and Ty Law. Mike Martz' playcalling has been iffy at best again and the Rams have likewise faltered. It will require top-notch efforts by the players and the coaches for the Rams to beat the Patriots, and I do not see that happening. Not against Belichick. The Patriots are here to win and they will do so.
Pratik says: So now the New England Patriots are not undefeated. But don't expect them to roll over and play dead as Bill Belichick will inspire them to perhaps start another streak and to reach even higher grounds than last time. St. Louis hasn't played since their embarrassing loss to Miami two weeks ago, so expect them to be fired up and rested coming into this game. The invincible aura that New England had projected before losing to the Steelers may have taken a hit, but expect the Patriots to regain their swagger by befuddling Marc Bulger and attacking the ball on defense to create turnovers, which is their formula for winning games.
Cleveland at Baltimore - 8:30 p.m.(Baltimore -6)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Baltimore Baltimore - Baltimore

Izzy says: Now that Jamal Lewis is back, it is not out of the question to see him vent his frustrations by getting 200 yards and two scores against the Browns, even without Jonathan Ogden. He's got everything going for him in terms of anger. Being shut down by the Browns week one, being suspended for two games by the NFL, dang, I'm glad I'm not the Browns' linebackers.
Pratik says: Jamal Lewis comes back this week and you should expect him to be refreshed and ready to go against the Browns, a team he tore up for more than 500 yards rushing in the two games he played against them. In week one, it seemed as if Butch Davis had spent the whole offseason trying to determine how to stop Lewis and his team succeeded in allowing a scant 57 yards rushing to the bruising tailback. Now, he comes off a two-week rest period, essentially and is ready to go all out. Also, with the possible return of both Jonathan Ogden and Todd heap, the Baltimore Ravens should do just fine against the inconsistent Browns.
Monday November 8, 2004 Minnesota at Indianapolis - 9 p.m. (Indianapolis -6)
Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
Indianapolis Minnesota - Indianapolis

Izzy says: If the Vikings had their two best receivers, I would pick the Vikings. However, without Randy Moss and Marcus Robinson, this game is given a serious damper. The Colts are pretty healthy and even their horrible defense will be able to give them a chance to eek out a win against the wounded Vikings.
Pratik says: The Football Gods that be have blessed us with this wonderful showcase of aerial fireworks on Monday Night football. I will be disappointed if less than 70 total points are put up on the scoreboard because, if I know these teams half as well as I think I do, they will air it out often and most of the time, their long pass plays will work because these teams both have a great quarterback (Peyton Manning for the Colts and Daunte Culpepper for the Vikings) as well as a talented wide receiving corps. On the strength that the Vikings have a better secondary, I'll take the Vikings over the Colts in a Monday Night shootout.

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  • blazer on November 7, 2004
    i understand you all like football but why has silver chips become your own with a prediction each week for every game. i just dont understand why the nfl is the most covered item on sc sports when we are a high school news paper. and why do you need to continously tell us the scores between everyone who is making the predictions. if you are doing some fantasy football game or prediction game, that should be private. it has no relevance to blazers or any readers of sc
  • chips staffer on November 9, 2004
    Research conducted by Chips print has revealed that Blazers would like to see more stories about professional sports in the print version of Silver Chips. Interestingly enough, many readers are turned off by the wealth of professional sports stories that appear on Chips Online.

    Is there a way to reconcile this? More professional stories in print? Fewer professional stories online? Do YOU have any ideas?
  • not a chips staffer on November 10, 2004
    Print is a different story, because it doesn't come out every week so the professional sports stories wouldn't be weekly predictions
  • Curtis (View Email) on October 29, 2006 at 4:19 PM
    Pittsburgh all the way!
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