Hognostications Week 12
Week 11 was a record-setting weekend. Never before have there been 11 straight weeks of sell outs and no TV blackouts, and sadly for those of us who bleed burgundy and gold, for the first time since ’83, three rookie QBs won on the same weekend Gradkowski, Leinart and Young (’83 – Eason, Marino and Elway). Some of the other various records and accomplishments will be discussed briefly in this week’s guesses ... that’s right, they are no longer picks; after 11 weeks of just plain ugly Hognosticating, if you’re taking anything from these supposed picks you’re backing up.
This Hognosticator has had worse luck than our beloved Skins this season. Even though it seems like months ago, we can still be thankful for the Week 9 victory over the Pukes and the optimistic promising future of Jason Campbell. As for our defense, there’s nowhere to go but up.
Miami at Detroit
After just two more losses this season (and there will be at least that many), the Lions will become only the second team ever to post six straight seasons with 10+ defeats (Tampa, 1983-1994). Last week Jason Taylor tied a record for linemen with his seventh career TD on a 51-yard interception return. This will be Joey Harrington’s return to Detroit, where he played four tough-to-stomach seasons; leading the Fish to wins in their last three games (his first three-game win streak) over Chicago, Kansas City and Minnesota is an exceptional feat and more extraordinary than anything he ever did while playing for the Lions. He’ll add a fourth straight over his old team. Don’t you know this Thanksgiving he’s much happier as a Dolphin, rather than the sacrificial turkey starting at QB for the Lions?
Pick – Dolphins
Tampa Bay at Dallas
Jessica Simpson dating Romo? I always knew that chick had a screw loose. Hopefully, she’ll take his mind off of football – he’s completed 20/21 second-half passes over the past two games. Maybe she will convince him he should join a boy band instead of risking his neck every weekend. The Pukes shouldn’t have a lapse and should win this one easily. However, it sure would be nice to see Vanderjagt miss a few more important kicks. Don’t look now but the Pukes’ remaining schedule sure appears soft, with only the hot and cold Saints posing a serious threat, since the Gnats have begun to struggle. As predicted, this will just continue to fuel the drinking of cowpoke Kool-Aid by every one of the talking heads.
Pick – Pukes
Denver at Kansas City
This NFL Network nonsense ought to piss off quite a few fans. But does the NFL care? I think not. How cool would it have been to show this game on network television so we could all have something to watch on Thursday night? Arrowhead will be rocking. The Broncos needed overtime to beat the Chiefs in week 3 (9-6) in a battle of field goals, as Plummer struggled and got booed, and Damon Huard made his first start.
Pick – Chiefs
New Orleans at Atlanta
Last week against the Bengals, Drew Brees passed for a whopping 510 yards – a team record, breaking a record held by Aaron Brooks of 441 yards (12/00). He’s on pace for 4,982 passing yards, which would be the second highest total of all time behind Marino’s sophomore ’84 season of 5,084. Been burned by the Saints the past two weeks, it can’t happen again, can it?
Pick – Saints
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
This will be the first meeting of these divisional rivals this season. They’ll meet again in week 16, but that game won’t mean much if the Steelers can’t leave it all on the field and figure out a way to beat the Raisins on Sunday. We’ll all see just how important this game is to the Raisins, who are playing for their fifth straight victory. Being their first meeting against a division foe and the defending World Champs, look for the Raisins to get it done. Hines Ward being listed as questionable with a hyper-extended knee can’t help the Steeler cause.
Pick – Raisins
Jacksonville at Buffalo
Bills’ WR, Lee Evans, set a club record with a total of 265 receiving yards and an amazing 205 receiving yards in the first quarter (including two 83 yard TDs) last week against the Texans. He became only the 3rd player in the history of the league to have two 80-plus yard TDs in a game (John Taylor 12/89 and Torry Holt 09/00). J.P. Losman tied a record held by Sonny Jurgensen by throwing the two 80-plus yard TD passes (although Sonny hit two different receivers 11/64). This week, the Bills could miss McGahee and Reed – both listed as questionable, as they face the tough Jaguars defense. The loss of one of the Jags’ defensive leaders, safety, Donovin Darius, for the season could have a significant impact on the Jags secondary.
Pick - Jaguars
Cincinnati at Cleveland
Chad Johnson’s two-game total of 450 receiving yards is the best ever for two games back to back, breaking John Taylor’s 1989 record. The Brownies will face the same dilemma they faced in their last four losses to the Bengals. Do they focus on stopping Chad or Rudi Johnson? What ever they decide to do with their safeties will determine which Johnson has a big day.
Pick – Bengals
Arizona at Minnesota
The Vikings are coming off of a franchise best / team record rushing defensive game, holding the Dolphins to –3 yards rushing last week, and they still lost. Their defense remains the league #1 at stopping the run at 60 yards/game, but opposing offenses have figured out how to spread them out and take advantage of their pass defense that ranks 26th in the league, surrendering 227 yards/game. This is a surprise considering the talent in their secondary. They won’t have to worry about stopping the non-existent running game of the Cards and should be able to generate some pressure on Leinart and his receivers.
Pick – Vikings
Houston at New York Jets
Interesting word out of New York this week is that Patrick Ramsey is not expected to be with the Jets next season, regardless of Pennington’s status. This game should be close, and the Texans just can’t find a way to win close games. Last week, despite a season team high of 188 yards rushing and Carr’s tie of the NFL record (set earlier this year, also at Reliant Stadium, against the Texans by Brunell) with 22 consecutive completions, the Texans were overshadowed by the Bills’ record-setting WR, Lee Evans, giving up a 15-yard TD reception with 9 seconds left and losing to the Bills.
Pick – Jets
San Francisco at St. Louis
Believe it or not, the 49ers are a game ahead of the Rams and only one game behind the Seahawks in the NFC West, thanks in large part to the play of Frank Gore. Gore’s 212 rushing yards last week was a franchise record, breaking the previous record of 201 yards held by Charlie Garner (09/00). The previous week against the Lions, Gore set a team first-half rushing record. The 49ers beat the Seahawks last week despite Joe Nedney missing two makeable field goals (27 and 30 yards). Prior to last week, Nedney hadn’t missed a field goal of 30 yards or less in his 10 seasons in the league. The Rams are struggling, while the 49ers seem to be improving and need this win to stay a game back of the Seahawks, who should win Monday night at home against the Packers.
Pick – 49ers
Carolina at Washington
Unfortunately, the Panthers have a top drawer pass rush. Last week in a shutout victory (their first in 9 seasons) against the Rams, the Panthers recorded seven sacks, which tied their franchise record. The NFL sack leader, Julius Peppers had none of the seven. On top of that, the Panthers finally found their running game, setting a team record with 244 yards rushing. Protecting Campbell, stopping the run, and not giving up the big plays to Steve Smith and (please not) MeShawn have to be huge concerns for our staff. Santana, please get well soon.
Pick – Redskins
Oakland at San Diego
I won’t even bother going into all of LT’s records and other accomplishments last week and over this season. That guy is amazing, the best back in the league by far, and barring injury, destined to be one of, if not the, all-time greatest. I’d personally like to see him break Emmitt’s all-time rushing record. If anyone has a shot, it’s LT. Thanks in large part to his play, the Chargers are the first team in league history (12,329 games) to win back-to-back games when trailing by 17 or more points. Philip Rivers is having a phenomenal year; just think if the Chargers had some talent at WR. And ... they get Shawne Merriman back next week to strengthen the chances down the last quarter stretch and run for a championship. Expect LT to continue to roll this week against the Faiders.
Pick - Chargers
Chicago at New England
This is going to be a great game matching two fantastic defenses on the Pat’s new FieldTurf. The Pats have played better on the road this season than at home (5-0 road, 2-3 at home). If the Bears pressure Brady, as they are more than capable of doing, the Bears defense should make some big plays, create turnovers and good field position for their offense, and possibly score themselves. The losing-at-home trend continues this week for the Pats. The Bears’ PK, Robbie Gould, tied a Bears’ record last week for consecutive field goals without a miss at 24.
Pick – Bears
New York Giants at Tennessee
The struggling Gnats and their banged-up defense face a Titan running attack that is leading the league over the last six weeks with 166 yards/game. The Titans ran all over Philthy last week with 209 yards. Travis Henry, who is playing well, had 143 of those yards. Tiki is upset, but won’t have to complain about not getting enough carries this week, as he’ll be used to taking advantage of the Titans’ poor rush defense and keeping the Titans offense off the field. It’ll be Tiki vs. Travis, and I’ll take Tiki.
Pick - Giants
Philadelphia at Indianapolis
Jeff Garcia is back. He’ll need some time to shake off the rust. Peyton, on the other hand, will make Philthy pay for his disappointment of losing his undefeated season.
Pick – Colts
Green Bay at Seattle
The Patriots crushed the Packers last week, 35-0. In week one the Bears beat the Pack 26-0. You have to go back to 1928 for the last time the Pack was shut out twice in one season. Hasselbeck should return this week to join Alexander, who played tentatively last week but says he feels good about the progress of his foot injury.
Pick - Seahawks
Last Week’s Results: 9-7
Season to Date: 89-70
This article was released on 2006-11-23.
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