Welcome to the third installment of “The Gut”. This week I will be writing a little bit longer of an article because there is more going on in the world of sports than just the NFL season. This is one of the most exciting times in sports. You have the NFL season in full swing, the baseball playoffs rounding into form, and the NBA and NHL seasons are just about to start. Hope is all over the place in the world of sports, well except in Cincinnati where they don’t have anything to cheer about.
One of the places where the hope is shining the brightest is Boston. The Patriots are looking pretty good, the Celtics are a shoe in for the playoffs and the Bruins are also coming off a really good season. And what about the Red sox? If they win game 2 against the Yankees, or the evil empire as they are referred to in Boston, the Red sox will be up 2-0 with out their ace Pedro Martinez having thrown a pitch. I really feel that if they win game 2 they have the series. If not though it takes all the wind out of their sails and then they become to dependent on Pedro.
Another bit of sporting news I saw today is that the New York Knicks signed aging center Dikembe Mutombo. I hate to say some of what I’m about to say but thank the good lord for the Islanders, Yankees (did I just say that?), and the Giants. The reason I say this is because it seems like the teams that play inside Madison Square Garden are trying to make as many bad moves as they can. Kind of like a game of one-upping each other but in reverse. Dikembe and Keith Van Horn in the same off-season? MSG might implode this year before I get to see Wrestlemania.
Now some of you may have noticed that in the paragraph above I didn’t mention the J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets. The reason for that is they are worse off than the Knicks and Rangers. Both of those teams play over 80 games, they have to win at least 1 game, the Jets only play 16 (17 if you count last weeks 27-6 beat down against the bye week) and very well could lose them all.
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
What is Jets coach Herman Edwards favorite part about this time of year? He can always count on the Yankees to take the spotlight off his horrible team. Now I must say as impressed as I was with the Bills the first 2 weeks, the last few have been not so good. They did win last week again against the Bengals but in overtime. The good news for the Bills is that Travis Henry came back in a limited role last week and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
Gut feeling: Expect Bledsoe to throw for over 300 yards and 3 TD’s. If you have him on your fantasy team thank your stars he’s playing the Jets, and if you’re going up against him good luck. Also expect Henry to get more carries than he did against the Bengals.
The Jets kicker gets a lot of points coming off the bye but its not enough. Bills 32 Jets 12
New York Giants @ New England Patriots
This might be one of the top games on the schedule. It’s always hard for me to predict Giant games. When I think they will win, they lose and vise versa. Tom Brady’s elbow still isn’t 100% and their offensive line isn’t as good it has been in the past. They have lost a starting player on the defensive side of the ball almost every week now. All of this plus the fact that Jeremy Shockey finally woke up last week and remembered that he was one of the top two tight ends in the world don’t have the Pats looking too good this week.
Gut feeling: Shockey had 11 catches for 110 yards against a dominant Miami defense last week and the Giant defense held all-universe back Ricky Williams to under 50 yards rushing. The giants are the worst defense against the pass in the league but that’s all they will be expecting against New England this week so they will look much better. Giants win a better game than the score will indicate 27-17.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
I have a feeling that Randall Cunningham will run all over Tony Tolbert and the Dallas Cowboy defense. Oh wait wrong decade; I guess you can’t blame a Giant/Mets fan for being stuck in the 80’s. This is a battle of two teams headed in oppisite directions. The Cowboys, lead by the amazing breakthrough of former Georgia Bulldog Quincy Carter, look poised to challenge the Giants for the division title. The eagles on the other hand don’t look too good. Their defense is banged up and I know they did win last week against the Redskins but they still didn’t do too much to impress me. I think the Eagles offense needs a major overhaul this off-season. They can’t expect McNabb to carry this team forever. Even John Elway didn’t win till Terrell Davis showed up.
Gut feeling: I don’t see the Eagles Offense being able to score on Dallas’ defense like they did against Washington’s. And the Cowboys do have the top ranked offense in all of football thanks to their stud receiving core. Writing this article has made me look at things from a more realistic point of view when it comes to teams like the Cowboys. I will always root against them but consider me on their preverbal bandwagon. They are better than first thought. I always new that they had the defense and the receiving core to stay close. However I didn’t think that Quincy could play this well. Expect Dallas to embarrass the Eagles 35-17
Kansas City Chiefs @ Green Bay Packers
I would like to open this up by apologizing for doubting the Chiefs last week. A special apology needs to be made to their superstar kick returner Dante Hall. I said last week they wouldn’t beat the Broncos and one of the reasons I listed was that there was no way that Hall could return another one for a touchdown. I was wrong on both accounts as Hall returned a punt 93 yards for the game winning score. That was the second week in a row that he had what turned out to be the game winning score. So now what do I do? Do I say Hall returns another kick and the Chiefs win, In Green Bay of all places? What about Brett Favre, can he muster up some more Lambeau magic?
Gut feeling: I’m going to say a little of both when it comes to KC. They don’t need Hall to return a kick for a touchdown every game. He can be valuable just by the field position he gives them on the ones that don’t get taken to the house. And I see a big game for Priest Holmes, I expect him to return to his usual 180 yards of total offense and 2 touchdowns against the Packers. KC wins 45-29
That’s all I have to say for this week. Good luck to all of your favorite teams unless you’re a Jets fan because I love watching them lose. And lets go Cubbies!