The opening weekend proved to be a tough week for most home teams and for this Hognosticator! Congratulations to TincoSkin for being the first weekly winner of the official THN Hognostication Pool. Week 1 displayed a great job of hognosticating by the majority of the poolmeisters. Way to go! What's amazing is how one week can completely turn around the perception of teams by the media. Does anyone really believe that Atlanta, Baltimore and Philadelphia are really that good or that Tampa, (Wouldn't it have been cool to hear Gruden speak to his club after Sunday's loss?) Carolina, Denver and Washington are really that bad? Its one week folks, in a league where ‘on any given Sunday’ bad things can happen - like not being able to convert on multiple trips in the red zone, losing another valuable player in an already thin secondary for the season to a non-impact injury (on the regular season opening kickoff!) and missing a makable game tying field goal at home, under good conditions in the final seconds of the game.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta The Bucs aren’t that bad and are better than last week’s debacle. Gruden will have them prepared and make this one close and hard fought. However, the Falcons with their improved rush defense will pull this one out in the end at home.
Pick – Falcons
Oakland at Baltimore The Faiders are that bad. Will Davis fire Shell a second time before the end of the season?
Pick – Ravens
Detroit at Chicago The Lions played the NFC Champs tough at home last week. They won’t be as tough this week at Soldier Field, despite the Roy Williams ‘guarantee’ of a victory.
Pick – Bears
Cleveland at Cincinnati The Bengals continue to improve, the Browns don’t.
Pick – Bengals
New Orleans at Green Bay The Pack is also that bad. Could Favre get benched in his swan song season? Look for Bush to have another big day and get yet another endorsement deal.
Pick – Saints
Houston at Indianapolis The Texans are improving but have a brutal schedule and won’t see any relief until week 8 against the Titans. Unless they can pull off a major upset before then, look for the Texans to be 0-7.
Pick – Colts
Buffalo at Miami Both teams played well in opening week losses to good teams. Culpepper won’t make as many mistakes in his debut home opener.
Pick – Dolphins
Carolina at Minnesota The Panthers are being forced to sign and shuffle their offensive line after an injury to OT Travelle Wharton. Steve Smith’s return should help make this a close game, but look for the Vikings ball control running game to continue to roll and their defense, and in particular, their secondary continue to shine. (Dang it)
Pick – Vikings
New York Giants at Philadelphia This ought to be a good game and fun to watch for those of us in the NFC East. The signing of the anti-T.O., Donte Stallworth paid huge dividends already and will continue to do so. The guy is talented and the Saints made a mistake in letting him get away.
Pick – Eagles
St. Louis at San Francisco Haslett seems to have worked wonders with the Ram defense. Look for Alex Smith to have a long day.
Pick - Rams
Arizona at Seattle Wow, Deion Branch is $39 million dollar stupid. Things couldn’t have worked out better for him and the Hawks.
Pick – Seahawks
Kansas City at Denver The hit on Trent Green was vicious but not malicious or illegal. Damon Huard will be in over his head at Mile High, and the Broncos make up for getting embarrassed by the Rams.
Pick – Broncos
New England at New York Jets The Jets played well last week, but this week they won’t be playing the Titans.
Pick – Patriots
Tennessee at San Diego LT is going to have a special year – can you say 2000 yards? The Chargers have an easy schedule and should take the West.
Pick – Chargers
Washington at Dallas With both teams coming off disappointing losses, this ought to be a battle, not that anything else would ever be expected with this rivalry. Hopefully Taylor isn’t relied on as heavily in rush defense, otherwise Bledsoe, Glenn and T.O. will have a huge day. Williams cannot allow the secondary any excuse to let puke receivers get deep and give up big plays. Rogers must step up and have a much better game than he did last week. He’ll be facing a much better receiving corp and passing attack. This one could be painful to watch if the Skins can’t do a better job of establishing a potent running game, controlling the clock and on the other side of the ball, generating a decent pass rush and providing adequate pass coverage.
Pick – Redskins
Pittsburgh at Jacksonville Tough pick considering Roethlisberger is questionable. If he were not, the Steelers would be a much more confident pick. The Steeler defense will prevail regardless.
Pick – Steelers
Last Week’s Results: 8-8
Season To Date: 8-8
Hognostications Counterpoint NFL Week 2
Not sharp; Inaccurate; Too many errors; Bad timing; Not able to deliver to full potential; The Washington Redskins? Hey NO! My Hognostications for NFL Week 1
Yeah, yeah, I can probably draw some sympathy from the fact that I predicted that this would be the toughest week to Hognosticate throughout the season in the previous Counterpoint.
Yeah, yeah, I am in good company with most of the Vegas bookies, Texas Hog and some otherwise very good Hognosticators at the lower end of the rankings. Still, just like the Redskins, this result for NFL week one is simply UNACCEPTABLE!
You, my dear fans, deserve better from me. I did let you down. To add insult to injury, even the "Sleazy" one got a better score than me, by one point but still… I surely know how John Hall feels now.
As Joe Gibbs said in the press conference at the end of the game, "We are going to be put to the test this week."
No kidding. I have to do a better job for all of you this week.
So, here we go again and, as the Saturday Night actor impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger used to say: Listen to me now and believe me tomorrow (with a strong Austrian accent).
Sunday, September 17 Time (ET)
Buccaneers at Falcons 1:00 PM Buccaneers will improve, just not enough to win against Vick, Dunn and Co in Atlanta.
Pick - Atlanta.
Browns at Bengals 1:00 PM Crennel, I did believe in you. You broke my heart. You must pay and pay big for the pain you inflicted on me last week.
Pick - Cincinnati.
Raiders at Ravens 1:00 PM This is going to be painful. There is a REAL possibility that the Raiders may be shut down -twice- in a row. I tried to dig out the statistics about the last time this happened to them and I could not find them.
Pick - Baltimore.
Lions at Bears 1:00 PM Roy Williams said something about those forty (40) points Lions could have scored against Seattle. Yeah Roy, sure. Too bad you are going to have a chance to make that same statement again against a better defense this week.
Pick - Chicago.
Giants at Eagles 1:00 PM Is this an NFC heavyweight street fight? Hey, with three teams with losing records, the NFC East does not look like big bad wolf it was purported to be. I wish they would end up in a scoreless tie. They will not.
Pick - Philadelphia.
Saints at Packers 1:00 PM Reggie Bush and company are for REAL. Packers are for REAL BAD. I Hognosticate that Brett will not finish this season wearing a Cheese helmet on his head.
Pick - New Orleans.
Bills at Dolphins 1:00 PM Nick Saban will bring back things in order. Culpepper is not playing against the Steelers defense this Sunday.
Pick - Miami.
Panthers at Vikings 1:00 PM This is perhaps the most even game of this week. Minnesota's OL and DL are good but Julius Peppers and Co will not allow Brad Johnson to do the same again and Mr. Smith is back.
Pick - Carolina.
Texans at Colts 1:00 PM Carr looked impressive for a few minutes against Philthy. Their number 1 pick in the draft may break all sack records a few years from now. The Texans may be coming around … eventually. You do not believe I would call this game as an upset, do you? Neither do I.
Pick - Indianapolis.
Cardinals at Seahawks 4:05 PM We still remember what it means to play at -that- Stadium don't we? Sure, they scored only 9 points against the Lions in Detroit but this is Seattle in Seattle next Sunday.
Pick - Seattle.
Rams at 49ers 4:05 PM Bulger is playing better than I thought but so is Smith. Rams defense will make the difference. Put another mark in the L column Mr. Nolan.
Pick - St Louis.
Titans at Chargers 4:15 PM Who is willing to predict a loss for a team with the incomparable LaDainian Tomlinson? Forget about Rivers, LT can carry the chargers -alone- all the way to the playoffs.
Pick - San Diego.
Patriots at Jets 4:15 PM Chad played with true grit against the Titans last week. He is going to need a lot more than that against the Patriots.
Pick - New England.
Chiefs at Broncos 4:15 PM Rod Gardner is playing for the Chiefs. Enough said.
Pick - Denver.
Redskins at Cowboys 8:15 PM Do I need to explain myself every week? All of us will forget all about any bad memories in relation to that first week by Sunday night. How sweet it is! Hail to the Redskins!
Pick - Washington!
Monday, September 18 TIME (ET)
Steelers at Jaguars 8:30 PM This game will be a test of character for both teams. They will play hard in a very physical game. Steelers will play smarter though. Their defense is still number one in my book.
Pick - Pittsburgh.