This Hognosticator thought he had seen a good game in Houston? It may have been, but it was nothing like the thriller last week against the Jags. Without question, an all-time classic. The biggest play of that game (other than Moss’s walk-off TD, of course) may not have been a football play at all, but the Jags losing of the coin toss in OT. The opposite result would have almost certainly resulted in a loss, and instead of discussing the Redskin’s new found Saunders offense, this week’s discussion would have been focused on a heartbreaking hard fought loss and our defensive short comings. Special thanks to Charlie Frye and the Browns for erasing an 18-point deficit in a comeback victory in Oakland - helping out in another week of poor picks on a Sunday where 8 of 12 games were decided by a TD or less, and 5 of those 8 were decided by 3 or fewer points. Congratulations and good work to all the Hognosticators who have consistently out-picked this amateur throughout the first quarter of the season.
Cleveland at Carolina Sorry, Charlie Frye meet Julius Peppers. The Panthers can’t seem to play anything other than a close game. They’ll take this close one at home. They better, as their next three games are at Baltimore, at Cincy and hosting Dallas.
Pick – Panthers
Buffalo at Chicago The Bears have won their last eight regular-season home games, allowing just two touchdowns in the process. J.P. Losman has already been sacked 11 times. Look for the Bears to add to that total. The Bears impressive defense is giving up a measly 7.3 points per game through four weeks, and the Bears already hold a comfortable two game lead over their only divisional threat, Minnesota. Unfortunately, the NFC playoff race will more than likely require a visit to Soldier field.
Pick – Bears
St. Louis at Green Bay Obviously Seattle and Vikings knew what they were doing when they unloaded Koren Robinson. On Wednesday he was sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating his probation in a drunken driving case. Fortunately, he will be able to finish the season with the Packers. Playing for the Pack these days could drink anyone to driving…sorry, drive anyone to drinking.
Pick - Rams
Tennessee at Indianapolis The Titans are a sick 19-point dog. What has happened to this franchise? Tennessee is off to their worst start since 1984 when they were in Houston and have lost seven straight since last December. Vince Young looked horrible last week and his development will take years. Fisher needs to find himself a new home. He’s a good coach and could win now with the proper support from his owner and front office.
Pick – Colts
Detroit at Minnesota The Lions can’t run the ball and are giving up nearly 29 points a game. The Lions have beaten the Vikes just once this decade; the Vikes have won eight in a row and 14 of the last 16. Minnesota gets back on track this weekend after dropping two straight to the Bears and Bills.
Pick – Vikings
Miami at New England The Patriots seem to match up well against everyone except the Broncos. That was an impressive victory over Cincy last week. The opposite can be said of the Dolphin performance in Houston last weekend and so far this season. Mike Mularkey, the Dolphin O-Coordinator will deservedly be the fall guy for the Dolphins’ so far disastrous season, unless Culpepper and that offense can quickly show some signs of improvement and cement some victories. Anyone else getting pleasure out of the sophomore, Saban’s struggles after so much early success and praise last season?
Pick – Patriots
Tampa Bay at New Orleans This win will give the Saints their first consecutive home win against divisional opponents since they won 3 straight in the 2000 season. Unbelievably, the Bucs have rushed for a mere and league’s worst 130 yards in their three loses. Consequently, the Bucs rank dead last in rushing with 43.3 yards/game and their offense ranks 31st in the league in total yards. Even more surprisingly, their rushing defense is as lousy, ranked 31st in the league, giving up 170 yards/game. All this translates into unnecessary pressure on a rookie QB, Bruce Gradkowski making his first start and a big day for McAllister and Bush.
Pick – Saints
Washington at New York Giants Coming off bye-weeks, the Giants have lost five straight and are just 3-14 overall. They are also a Philthy collapse away from a 0-3 start to the season. It’s time to erase the bad memory of last season’s debacle at New York with Tiki putting up 206 rushing yards in a 36-0 blowout and show Shockey a true example of what being out coached is all about.
Pick – Redskins
Kansas City at Arizona Warner’s done in Arizona and likely for his career. Leinart will be a quality pro QB (probably in another uniform), but it’ll take some time and an absence of the abuse he’ll take behind a perpetually poor Cardinal OL. The Cardinals rank 31st in the league in rushing even with the addition of James - that won’t help the pressure Leinart will receive. One thing both these teams have in common is their only victory has come against the worthless 49ers.
Pick - Chiefs
New York Jets at Jacksonville The Jets have won their first two road games and the Jags have won their first two home games. Something’s got to give. The risk-taking rookie Head Coach Eric Mangini and the Jets have started stronger than expected this season, but are struggling defensively, ranking 29th overall, allowing 378 yards/game (140 rush and 238 pass). This match up of former Marshall teammates (Leftwich and Pennington) ought to be fun to watch - look for the Jags to get back on track.
Pick - Jaguars
Oakland at San Francisco The 2007 draft bowl. These two teams will give the Titans, Lions and possibly the Bucs a run for the 1st pick of the ’07 draft. As bad as the 49ers are, the Raiders are worse and a mess from the top to bottom of their roster. Discontent, lack of overall talent and injuries are just a few of the many issues Faider fans get to look forward to each week.
Pick – 49ers
Dallas at Philadelphia This will be an interesting match up of Philthy’s supposedly number 1 ranked offense against the Puke’s supposedly solid defense. This pick is a win-win for Redskin fans. Whichever team loses we’ll be happy. Personally, a Puke loss would be more enjoyable and hopefully this pick will jinx their performance. Brian Westbrook’s status is a huge factor in this game. Buckhalter can’t hold onto the ball and that has to be a concern for Man Boobs II and Philthy fans. Philthy has lost 7 consecutive division games, make it 8.
Pick – Pukes
Pittsburgh at San Diego This will be a great match up of two great defenses and is a tough pick. Pittsburgh is coming in off two straight losses, while San Diego is coming in after a close 4th quarter game winning drive loss to Baltimore last week. The Steelers have won their last 5 against the Chargers. The Chargers will end that streak and generate enough offense to win at home.
Pick – Chargers
Baltimore at Denver The Ravens will be up for this nationally televised contest and wanting to make a statement, will show they’re for real. Other than his former team the Titans, the Broncos are the only team McNair hasn’t faced. He’ll be 1-0 against them Tuesday morning.
Pick – Ravens
Bye Week: Falcons, Bengals, Seahawks, Texans
Last Week’s Results: 9-5
Season to Date: 34-26
- Frank Hastings
Hognostications Counterpoint NFL Week 5
This is one week when my expectations have been truly surpassed on several fronts. First, the Washington Redskins finally showed what they are made of and won with true grit. Our QB finally removed all doubts from the minds of those who had any reservations about his ability to lead our team. The Offensive Line showed up ready to play against one of the top defensive lines in the NFL. And Al Saunders' system is beginning to produce dividends in an average of over 30 points lately. A healthy Clinton Portis always makes a big difference. What a game against the Jags. What a win!
But a special word must go to Santana Moss. Not only for the STELLAR way in which he played, but also for his demeanor after each score and the way he handles himself under all circumstances. I am one dedicated fan of Art Monk for his work on and off the field. I imagine Art feels happy looking at this kid starting to fill his shoes. So am I. That is how much I think of him.
Second, the THN community members have, by far, the best Hognostication scores this week that we have had as an entire group in a long while. I started a Poll thread on THN's message board asking if a perfect score was possible. Well that question -almost- got answered this week. Not one but two members had final scores of 13 - 1. And to top it up, three others followed them with 12 - 2. Amazing!
I can not really tell you how excited I am about this Hognostications season. On the one hand, I hope that the top scorers keep their good scores up and improve upon our performance obtained at the end of the last season. On the other hand, everybody is doing their best to reach the top and some interesting movements are already taking place. I would not be surprised if some dark horses from last season come to challenge the leaders in a few weeks. I know they are very capable and, like the Redskins, they are beginning to show their true form.
It is remarkable how competitive the THN hognosticators have become. The difference in the standings is really coming down to a field goal or a late score in the last seconds of just a couple of close games!
Explore and have a look at the different links available in this Hognostications section: