I’m baaaaaack!!! After a few weeks off the gut is back with some bold predictions and some great games to take a look at for week 12 of the NFL schedule. I apologize to all of my readers, yes that means you mom, for my few weeks off but I had some things to straighten out. But like Eric Bischoff “I’m back and I’m better than ever”
Lets get things started with a quick overview of last week. First off lets address the huge sigh of relief that the 72 Dolphins let out when the Cincinnati Bengals beat the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs so they would remain the only undefeated team ever to this point. Some other scores of note were the next to hopeless Raiders beating a struggling Vikings team and the Jets pulling their best new kids on the block imitation by hangin tough against the colts and only losing by a touchdown.
Now on to this weeks games. We have a few good games on the schedule and a few games that should just be fun to watch because of sheer domination by one side. Lets get to the picks
New England @ Houston
The young upstart Texans certainly surprised a lot of people when they knocked off the Buffalo Bills last week. They held the mighty Bills offense to 10 points and managed to squeak by with 12 points of their own. This week though they play the Patriots who since the week one disaster against the Bills have played pretty well. Tom Brady has been playing hurt for the past few weeks but finally seems like he is 100% and the 3 man wrecking crew of Mike Cloud, Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk has really started to produce as a unit. The Pats lost 3 defensive starters to injury in the 1st 4 weeks but the defense has jelled and they are now 8-2 and poised for another big playoff push after beating the cowboys in the battle of the “Bills”
The Pats are too well coached to suffer the same letdown that the Bills had last weekend. David Carr has become more than the Texans could have asked for in year two and so has the franchise. The Texans are not the pushovers that second year expansion teams are supposed to be, and yes I know neither were the Jaguars or Panthers in their second year.
This very well could be game of the week material here but the Pats will come out rolling and win 27-23.
San Francisco @ Green Bay
The 49ers have out played everyone’s expectations over these last few weeks with backup quarterback Tim Rattay taking over for the injured pro bowler Jeff Garcia. Rattay has energized the Niners and has thrown 6 touchdown passes vs. 1 interception since taking over the huddle. This team looks so different with him in there that superstar wide receiver Terrell Owens has not only quit his whining but was seen last week throwing a lead block on a Kevin Barlow 74 yard touchdown run. Brett Favre and the Packers certainly have their work cut out for them this week but this team isn’t just Favre’s arm anymore. They have work horse Ahman Green in the back field and his NFC leading 1172 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns have kept the packers in quite a few games this year.
Rattay just has this thing about him that makes him not only fun to watch but successful on the field. He reminds me of Jacksonville’s Mark Brunell in the way he came out of no where fast. I’m a huge Jeff Garcia fan but I think his time in San Francisco is past and this is going to be Rattay’s team until he gives them a reason not to. The only way the Niners lose this game is if Ahman Green not only controls the clock with his feet but he also helps Favre out with one of his big pass receptions out of the backfield. All of Greens 4 touchdown receptions this year have been for longer than 20 yards so he has the big play ability that the Packers are going to need to pull this game out. I just don’t see it happening, Niners win a squeaker 34-31.
N.Y. Giants @ Tampa Bay
Well as I’m sure anyone who has read my article before knows I am a diehard Giant fan, and a big time Shockey fan. So what did the G-men look like last week without their all-star tight end? Well they looked just as bad without him as they did with him. They lost to the resurgent Eagles 28-10. The Buccaneers looked a little better than the Giants did but the defending Super Bowl champs lost another one, this time to the Green Bay Packers 20-13. Both teams lost big playmakers over the last few weeks with the Giants losing Shockey and the Bucs placing wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson on the shelf for the rest of the year. There has been much talk about how big of a mistake this was but the Bucs spent two first round draft picks and 4 million dollars to get Coach Jon Gruden from the Raiders and they couldn’t let Johnson disrespect the team or its coach anymore.
These are two of the most disappointing teams not only this year but in recent memory. Both teams were picked before the season to go deep into the playoffs and now neither team will make it there. Tiki Barber’s fumbling problem hasn’t gotten much better this year and the Giant defense has looked like a Tecmo Super Bowl team going up against Bo Jackson. It has just been awful not only as a Giant fan but a football fan in general. The only thing worse would be being a Bucs fan. This team was picked hands down to repeat and now all they are doing is insuring that one of those draft picks they gave up will be a high one to help the bad Raiders get better. This Monday night game will go down as one of the stinkers of the year, my Gut feeling is that both teams will score 3 field goals in regulation and it will go into overtime tied 9-9. Then it will turn into a Sega Genesis game. The team that wins the opening kickoff takes the return in for a touchdown. There will be no winner to this game only the fans will win when it ends. Personally I hope the Giants lose so we have a better shot at Eli Manning. Bucs win 15-9
Well that’s all the games I will highlight for this week. Due to some BP.com scheduling conflicts my article will be now moved to Tuesdays. Thanks for reading and good luck to all of your favorite teams unless you are a Jets fan that is.