Congratulations to HOOKBASSGA for being our weekly winner with a 9-5 mark last week, during a dismal week of picks. HOOKBASSGA once again proved that he/she is by far the top Hognosticator and maintains a significant lead in our season standings.
Keep the faith Redskin fans! Despite numerous injuries, heartbreaking losses and some just plain bad luck this season, our club is better off today than in many years past. An unanticipated win in Dallas this weekend would certainly make this Hognosticator's season. I'll be there personally, on my first trip to that dump they call Texas Stadium, to cheer for our beloved Washington Redskins and Joe Gibbs, whom I'll personally never lose faith in. H T T R!
Arizona at Cincinnati Surprisingly, with a win and a Seattle loss (unlikely), the Cardinals could slip into a first place tie for their division. In fact, Arizona has the easiest remaining strength of schedule, facing just two teams, Cleveland and Seattle, with winning records, and could be our stiffest competition for a wildcard spot. Cincy, meanwhile is four games behind the Steelers for their division lead and is just plain lousy defensively.
Pick - Cardinals
Carolina at Green Bay The Panthers, losers of three straight, have now lost six straight at home. And we thought we had it bad. Brett Favre is having one hell of a year, leading the Pack to the league's top-ranked passing offense. Favre has never started a season 9-1 (8-1, twice before) and if Vinny Testaverde (44 years old) starts, he and Favre (38 years old) will combine for the oldest starting quarterback combination in the history of the league.
Pick - Packers
Cleveland at Baltimore These two teams are the antithesis of one another. The Browns have no defense. The Ravens have no offense. Made the mistake before this season of picking the Ravens for their defense, but it takes points to win. What is the deal with Steve McNair? Have his age and injuries caught up with him that quickly?
Pick - Browns
Kansas City at Indianapolis Both of these clubs have dropped two straight. Peyton Manning's first six-interception game last week (a franchise record) was a fluke, and amazing they still had a number of chances to win that game. The loss of Dwight Freeney for the season is huge, but one the Colts should overcome, at least until they play the Patriots again.
Pick - Colts
Miami at Philadelphia Why couldn't we have pulled the Dolphins this late in the season, instead of out the gate, when healthy? Ricky 'Mota' Williams is back – are you freakin' me? Miami plans on starting John Beck, a rookie (Rd 2, 40th overall, Brigham Young) to see if he's their future at quarterback. He'll be tested this week against the Eagles' blitz-happy defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson.
Pick - Eagles
New England at Buffalo The Bills have won four straight, but unfortunately will face the Pats coming off their bye week, rested and two weeks prepared to finish what could be the first perfect season most of us have witnessed. New England will make it nine straight wins against the Bills.
Pick - Patriots
New Orleans at Houston The Texans will be pleased to have stud wide receiver Andre Johnson back in the line up, after missing the last seven games with a sprained knee. Also returning this week for Houston is quarterback Matt Schaub, after missing a game with a concussion. Houston will, however, greatly miss their excellent cornerback, Dunta Robinson, who tore his ACL and hamstring and is done for the season. He was an integral part of an already decimated secondary, and for that reason taking the unpredictable Saints on the road.
Pick - Saints
Oakland at Minnesota Talk about a fall from grace, the Faiders are now 17-56 since losing Super Bowl 37 to the Bucs, the worst record in the league since. The Vikings, meanwhile, were shut-out last week for the first time in 16 seasons (34-0 the worst in franchise history) and are without rookie sensation Adrian Peterson (sprained LCL) for at least another week. Chester Taylor and an improved offensive line should provide enough offense for the Vikings to win at home.
Pick - Vikings
Pittsburgh at New York Jets Willie Parker, the AFC's leading rusher, against the league's worst rush defense – enough said; but will mention that Pittsburgh's defense is tops in the league statistically in all yardage categories, and will do nothing but improve its standing this week.
Pick - Steelers
San Diego at Jacksonville After three weeks, quarterback David Garrard is projected to return for the Jags. Shawne Merriman didn't practice on Wednesday, but is expected to play on Sunday. Jacksonville at home with their rushing attack should be the difference in this one.
Pick - Jags
Tampa Bay at Atlanta The Falcons have won two straight, but in their three wins haven't beaten a team with a winning record. The Bucs are coming off their bye week and will get revenge for the two losses against Atlanta last season.
Pick - Bucs
Washington at Dallas A well-coached and balanced attack of Portis and the cowpuke killer, Cooley, and a momentous defensive effort will be required to pull this one out. But it can and will be done. This will be Jason Campbell's first shot at the cowpukes. Shock the world, JC!
Pick - Redskins
New York Giants at Detroit The Lions, amazingly, had an embarrassing -18 yards rushing last week against Arizona (an all-time NFL record low). Think the Giants' front four will have their ears pinned back and have a sack party at the expense of Jon Kitna this week? Count on it.
Pick - Giants
St. Louis at San Francisco Winner of the 'who cares' pick of the week! It shows how bad things really are in San Francisco when they're a 3-point dog at home against the 1-8 Rams. Many are speculating Schottenheimer in Minnesota next season. What about him replacing Mike Nolan in San Francisco?
Pick - Rams
Chicago at Seattle The Seahawks remember all to well last season's two losses to the Bears, including a divisional playoff loss (24-27 in OT) at Soldier Field. Seattle is a good home team and will face a Bear defense that isn't near what it was last season.
Pick - Seahawks
Tennessee at Denver The Titans will be pleased to see the return of run-stopper Albert Haynesworth, after giving up a season-high 166 rushing yards to Jacksonville last week. They'll need him to return to one of the league's top rush defenses and stop the running back tandem of Travis Henry (if he's healthy enough to play and not suspended) and Selvin Young. Denver, on the other hand, defensively is giving up over 150 yards/game rushing and will face a potentially more potent tandem of Chris Brown and LenDale White.
Pick - Titans