NFL Picks

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Week Seventeen Picks

Well, it's late; the first game of week 17 is today, and the rest all take place tomorrow, to leave Monday free for bowl games. My observations on the final week of the season:


All three of our unanimous picks are for the home team this week, and none of them scare me too much. Of course, who saw the Titans smacking down the Colts last week? Vince Young, perhaps, but none of us. We've all picked the Jets, the Colts, and the Cowboys to win this week. I'm most concerned about the Cowboys, because with the makeup of that team, they have the potential to come apart like a cheap suit at any moment.

Solo Acts of Bravery

Richard "Tank" McPheeters has picked the Falcons to win on the road against the Eagles, and Les Puryear has picked the Cardinals to beat the Chargers in San Diego. Les's pick is dependent on a certain running back becoming disoriented on the way to the stadium on game day.

Upset Special Pick of the Week

I'm still enjoying my vacation in Michigan, and I had my step-brother Scott helping me get the picks together this week. In fact, he made all my picks for me, and then we went back and selected the upset special, which had to be the Bills over the Ravens. My heart isn't really in it, but I sure wasn't about to pick the Lions. This probably seals a victory for the Lions at Texas Stadium.

Weekly Trivia

The winner of the Super Bowl is awarded the Vince Lombardi trophy. What trophy is given to the winning team of the AFC and NFC championship games?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Week Sixteen Picks

Christmas week has arrived, and with it, plenty of match-ups that have big playoff implications. My observations on the picks:


There is thankfully precious little of this this week, as only in the Colts-Texans match-up are we agreed on who will win. So the Colts have that to overcome...

Solo Acts of Bravery

Kevin Stilley, who at one time was the overall leader but who went 8-8 last week and may be showing signs of desparation, picked the Carolina Panthers to win in the Georgia Dome. In the other SAoB, Les Puryear picks the Detroit Lions (I wasn't aware that they had actually fielded a team in Detroit this year; apparently they have) to defeat the Chicago Bears. Good luck, men!

Upset Special Pick of the Week

I know it's a longshot, but I need some of those to have a chance in this contest, so I've picked the Oakland Raiders in an upset over the Chiefs on Saturday night. Yeah, I know, probably not...

Weekly Trivia

The National Football League was founded in 1920, but it wasn't called by its current name until 1922. By what name was the National Football League originally known?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Week Fifteen Picks

It's the most wonderful time in the year. Nothing like December in the NFL. Here are this week's observations:

This scares me more and more each week, and it sure burned us last week. This week, we've chosen to curse up to six teams with certain defeat: The Seahawks, Ravens, Packers, Bears, Saints, and Chargers. I hope they'll forgive us.

Solo Acts of Bravery
Only one of these to report, as last week's winner, Joel Bezaire, selects the Raiders in a (yawn, stretch) thrilling upset at home. I was sure he'd pick the Lions...

Upset Special Pick of the Week
As I observed in a comment on last week's wrap-up post, had I not decided to make this a regular feature and simply gone with the majority, I'd be comfortably in first place in this contest. But perhaps this makes up for the fact that I'm the only one who gets to see all the picks before I make mine. This week, I've picked the Houston Texans in what will certainly be an upset win at New England. Especially if it snows.

Weekly Trivia
In 1994, the year of the National Football League's 75th anniversary, a selection committee of media and league personnel named the 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. Multiple players were chosen at each position, with four at the quarterback position. How many of these all-time great quarterbacks can you name? BONUS (not sure how that works with no prize involved): Name the placekicker on this team.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Week Fourteen Picks

And down the stretch they come...

Well, the college season is over, and until the bowls begin, pro football is in the spotlight. By the way, speaking of college football, one of the best comments I've yet heard on the running joke that is the BCS came from political operative James Carville, who co-hosts a sports talk show on XM satellite radio. He said, and this is a loose quote, "The best thing that can be said about the BCS is, as far as I know, they haven't killed anybody." Priceless.

Here are this week's observations.


We are unanimous on four games this week, predicting easy victories for the Jets, Bengals, Seahawks, and Bears. Probably, it won't happen that way at all, but for now, we're convinced. Silly us.

Solo Acts of Bravery

Only one of these to report this week, as Joe Kennedy, hopeless optimist that he is, picked the Denver Broncos to defeat the new LT and the Chargers in San Diego. Just for fun, look back through the picks; I'll give you fifteen dollars for every time Joe has picked the Broncos to lose. Of course, week 3 turned out pretty good for him...

Upset Special Pick of the Week

Fresh off my first ever correct Upset Special pick, I'm feeling good enough to pick the Browns, who jumped up and beat the Chiefs last week, to continue their winning ways by defeating the battered Steelers at the confluence on Sunday. Hey, it could happen.

Weekly Trivia

My trivia questions have apparently been far too easy until now, so I'm trying to make this one a little tougher. Remember, no one will know if you cheat except you and God. Oh, and Santa. Here's this week's question:

Of the fourteen charter franchises in the National Football League, only two remain in existence, neither in their original city and only one with their original name. What are they?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Week Thirteen Picks

Well, we survived Thanksgiving week, and some of us (me, for example) are a bit worse for the wear. Actually, it was really only me that was greatly harmed; everyone else was above .500 for the week. Here's hoping this week is better. Some observations:


There is less of this in week thirteen due to a higher-than-usual rate of Solo Acts of Bravery. We are in one accord on just three games this week, predicting defeat for the Lions, the Browns, and the Vikings. That Vikings pick makes me a bit nervous, being that it involves rivals in what used to be known as the NFC Norris Division, a term rendered meaningless by the NHL's messing with its division names for no good reason.

Solo Acts of Bravery

Tim Sweatman, no doubt counting on a big day from Ocho Cinco (he had one last week) has picked the Bengals to upset the visiting Baltimore Ravens. Maybe if the Ravens bring the Browns' defense instead of their own...

Joe Kennedy picks the Giants over the Cowboys. My heart is with him here, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Geoff Baggett, in what looks like desparation, has picked the Titans to upset the Colts. Joel Bezaire has the 'Niners beating the Saints in the dome, and Richard "Tank" McPheeters has taken the Buccs over the Steelers.

Upset Special Pick of the Week

For the second week in a row, the Cardinals are playing indoors against a mediocre opponent, and they nearly pulled it off against the Vikes. They will have better luck this week against the Rams, and will have senile St. Louis fans cheering them on because they have a red bird on their helmets. Maybe.

Weekly Trivia

Speaking of helmets, the helmet logo of which two NFL teams features a depiction of a helmet within the logo itself? Resist the temptation to look at the pictures above and see if you can figure it out without cheating. I'll reveal the answer next week, unless someone gets it before then.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Week Twelve Picks

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it the great tradition, started by Dallas Cowboys innovative GM Tex Schramm of watching pro football. Schramm saw an opportunity to get the Cowboys in front of the nation every year at Thanksgiving, and this is largely the reason for them becoming "America's Team." Of course, they had to do a little winning as well to claim that title, but the Thanksgiving Day game was a large part of their commercial success.

Here are some observations on this week's picks:


For the most part, these are pretty obvious, and shouldn't produce any surprises, although I always allow for a meltdown by the Cowboys. We all picked the 'Boys, the Colts (at home against the McNabb-less Eagles; duh), the Chargers (powered by the new LT), and the Seahawks (against the hapless Packers).

Solo Acts of Bravery

There are two of these to report this week, as admitted Redskins fan (no word on his "Hogette" status) Tom Bryant picks his beloved 'Skins to beat the Panthers in D.C., and Richard "Tank" McPheeters picks the Texans, inexplicably, to beat the Jets in New Jersey. All I can think of is that his in-laws are from Houston, but even that doesn't justify this pick in my mind. Oh, well.

Upset Special Pick of the Week

The Arizona Cardinals broke their losing streak last week, which has come in spite of some promising play by rookie QB Matt Leinart. In the ideal conditions of the HHH Metrodome, the Cards will put it all together on Sunday and dominate the Vikings. Or, not.

Weekly Trivia

The aforementioned Tex Schramm's first job in football was with the Los Angeles Rams, which he left in 1957 to join CBS Sports before taking the Cowboys job in 1959. Who was the legendary owner and founder of the Cowboys who hired Schramm?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Week Eleven Picks

Well, we've made it to the week before Thanksgiving, the last week without Thursday games (subtle reminder to send in your picks while watching Monday Night Football). Here are my observations on this week's picks.


There is much less of this in evidence this week, and it's curious that both of the teams that we all believe will win this week (Panthers and Eagles) are sporting 5-4 records. Probably, it has something to do with the fact that their opponents (Rams and Titans) are a combined 6-12 on the year.

Solo Acts of Bravery

While there are five matchups where only two contestants picked the underdog, there is only one SAoB to report this week, as Robin Foster, in a game where we should probably be more evenly divided, picked the 3-6 Washington Redskins over the 2-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hopefully, this game won't be televised in my area...

Upset Special Pick of the Week

While my heart isn't really in it, I'm picking the Oakland Raiders (2-7) to upend the Chiefs (5-4) on the Chiefs' home turf at Arrowhead Stadium. There's no good reason for that to actually happen, but that's why they play the games instead of just simulating them, right?

Weekly Trivia

In this new feature, I will pose an NFL trivia question here when I post the picks, then reveal the answer when I post the weekly wrap-up on the main blog on Tuesday, unless someone guesses correctly. Submit your guess in the comment section here. You are on your honor not to use the internet or any other resource to research your answer. Also, there is no incentive to cheat, as there are no prizes involved. So give it your best shot.

This week's question: Among head coaches with at least five full seasons of service, which one has the highest winning percentage in the history of the National Football League?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Week Ten Picks

Well, the season is halfway finished. If you had told me that I would be in the overall lead (tied) at the halfway point, I would have told you I must have cheated. But there was none of that involved; just some lucky picks along the way. Here's hoping for more of the same. My Week 10 observations:


This is a frightening topic, since we were united in our wrongness in three of four unanimous choices last week. In last week's wrap-up post, I expressed the hope that there would be less agreement this week; instead, there is more. We are unanimous on seven games, and while they all look like solid picks, that was the case last week as well, and look where it got us.

Solo Acts of Bravery

Two contestants have stepped out in faith this week. Joel Bezaire has picked the Cleveland Browns to beat the Falcons this week in the Georgia Dome, on the theory that if the Lions can beat them, anyone can. Robin Foster is hoping that the past truly is prologue, remembering that the last time the Texans faced the Jaguars, they beat them like dogs. He picks the Texans in the rematch.

Upset Special Pick of the Week

Speaking of beaten dogs, this one seemed like a no-brainer to me, as I am now convinced that the Cowboys have become like a dog that has beaten so much it has decided to remain under the porch, quivering anytime someone approaches. They'll come out of the locker room in Arizona, but that will be the extent of their achievements on Sunday, as the Cardinals will coast to victory.

At least, that's what I think.

Thanks, as always, for enjoying this diversion with me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Week Nine Picks

Well, the last of the bye weeks is upon us; after Monday, everyone's record will contain the same number of games (8), and we'll be half-way through the season. Here are some observations on this week's picks:


Not even Windsor, Ontario native Joel Bezaire would pick the Lions to win at home against the Falcons. The Lions join the Dolphins, the 49er's, and the Browns as this week's least-respected teams, at least by our contestants. I wonder how many of them will win handily.

Solo Acts of Bravery

Just because he didn't pick the Lions doesn't mean Joel is afraid to go out on a limb, as he has done by picking the Raiders (who have played more on Monday Night than any other team) to prevail on the road against the Seahawks. Joining Joel on similar limbs are Tim Sweatman, who inexplicably picked the Titans (!) to win at Jacksonville, and Robin Foster, who apparently thinks last week's defeat of the Jags by Houston was no fluke, and believes the Texans can beat the New York football Giants on their own turf. Anyone else hear a distinct sawing sound?

Upset Special Pick of the Week

I have no offering in this category this week. All week, I had my eye on the Cowboys/Redskins rivalry, but two of the later contestants picked the 'Skins. While I went ahead and picked them, it doesn't really qualify under the rules I put in place, which is that it must be a pick I have all to my self. And I just couldn't go with any of the other unpicked teams, Tim's brave selection of Tennessee notwithstanding.

Good luck to all. Remember, Thursday action is coming soon.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Week Eight Picks

As the season nears the half-way mark, the games get easier to pick. Or so you would think. But our performance last week would seem to indicate otherwise. Hopefully, week 8 will bring great improvements. Here are some observations:


There are three unanimous picks this week, as the Bears, Chargers, and Steelers are seen by all as easy winners. A frequent past recipient of unanimity, the Indianapolis Colts are in for a battle this week as they head to the Mile High City to face a tough Bronco defense.

Solo Acts of Bravery

While a couple of games are picked by two contestants this week, there is only one that fits in this category, as Dave Samples believes that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can beat the Giants on their home field. I'm afraid that they will need at least twelve points from Ronde Barber to pull this off, and I dont' think they can count on the younger Manning to throw him the ball. And a 62-yard field goal would be a tall order in the swirling winds of the Meadowlands.

Upset Special Pick of the Week

I'm actually surprised that no one else picked the Arizona Cardinals to beat the hapless Packers this week, but I'm confident they can do it. Sure, the Cards have had a tough couple of games, but Matt Leinart has learned some tough lessons, and it should make for a very interesting matchup. It does make me a little nervous, however, that I'm the only one in this contest that seems to think so...

Thanks, as always, for being a part of the fun.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Week Seven Picks

Again, my apologies for not getting this up earlier. I know it's tough to have time to find my mistakes when I don't get it posted until Saturday afternoon. I'll try to do better. Here are some week 7 observations:


Though there are several strong majority picks, unanimity is less prevalent this week. Hopefully, that means we'll do better than we did in the disaster that was week six. As it stands, we are in agreement about the upcoming domination of both the Colts and the Broncos, which means that at least one, and possibly both, will be humiliated, if last week is a predictor.

Solo Acts of Bravery

There are three contestants who find themselves alone on a limb this week. "Tank" McPheeters went where even Tampa-area pastor Tom Bryant refused to tread, picking the lowly Buccaneers to upset Philadelphia.

Geoff Baggett, for reasons known only to himself and to God, picks the Raiders over the Arizona Cardinals. For this to happen, the Raiders will need their defense to emulate the Bears from last week by scoring all the points. Not likely.

And finally, sentimentality again trumps logic as Joel Bezaire picks the Lions to win on the road against the New York Jets.

Upset Special Pick of the Week

I couldn't bring myself to cast a vote for the Redskins or the Browns this week, so I'm sharing this pick with Tim Sweatman and the aforementioned Joel Bezaire and picking the New York football Giants to triumph in Texas Stadium on Monday night, while Tony Kornheiser continues his embarrassing and uncomfortable argumentation with Joe Theismann. Am I the only one weary of the awkwardness Kornheiser brings to the booth? The switch from ABC to ESPN was jarring enough for me, but Kornheiser's presence in the booth is just too much. Kornheiser must go.

Good luck to all, and thanks for taking the time to share in this diversion with me.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Week Six Picks

My wife has abandoned me for a ministers' wives retreat, leaving me with our two preschoolers. Now that they're sleeping, I can get my important work done. Here are some observations on this week's picks:


We are united on four games again this weeks. Our unanimous losers: The Titans, the 'Niners, the Raiders, and the Cardinals.

Solo Acts of Bravery

Dave Samples is alone in his belief that the Dolphins can beat the Jets in the Meadowlands. Tom Bryant thinks the Buccaneers can beat Cincinnati. Actually, I think he knows better, but can't bring himself to pick against Tampa Bay.

Upset Special Pick of the Week

I feel more confident about this one than about any of my previous (and disastrous) upset specials: The Texans will win on Sunday.

I think.

Well, a Texas team will win, witnessed by thousands of Texans, in Texas Stadium.

Many of the Cowboys are, in fact, Texans, in that they've moved their residence to Texas.

Either way, I'll be claiming victory here.

Good luck to everyone. Thanks for being a part of the contest.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Week Five Picks

This has been a busy week, so please accept my apologies for not getting these up before Saturday afternoon. Good thing there weren't any Thursday games this week.

Just a couple of reminders: First, by popular demand I've opened these posts up for comments, so you won't have to wait for the Tuesday wrap-up at the main blog to talk some smack, if you feel so led. Second, remember that you can click on the two pictures to view them full-size, so the names are all legible. Also, in case you're ever wondering, you can look at the list of names on the unanimous picks to see the order I received the picks for the week. Strive for that top spot! This week's observations:


Only once before have we divided our picks, six for the home team and six for the visitors. It happened last week, when we split 6 and 6 in the Miami-Houston game. The final there was 17-15 in favor of the homestanding Texans.

This makes me wonder if we have perhaps predicted not one but two close contests this week, as we divided evenly in picking both the Rams at the Packers and Monday night's contest with the Broncos hosting the Baltimore Ravens.


There were several games this week that seemed obvious to everyone, and probably none more so than the Titans at the Colts. The Titans will probably score in the mid-teens, but they will lose by three touchdowns anyway.

Other obvious losers: The Bills, the Browns, and the Dolphins. Think we'll regret any of these?

Solo Acts of Bravery

Dave Samples believes, alone, that the Buccaneers will prevail against the 'Aints. Robin Foster sees New York jetting past the Jaguars. And, Joel Bezaire thinks, for some reason, that the Lions can handle the Vikings, and the noise in the HHH Metrodome. Possibly, there is no small amount of sentimentality clouding the judgment of the Windsor, Ontario native. We shall see.

Upset Special Pick of the Week

After declining to step out and predict an upset last week, I am comfortable saying that, in perhaps the ugliest matchup of the week, the Raiders can hold off the Forty-Niners in this Bay Area battle. Probably, I'll regret this pick, but it's worth a shot.

Good luck to all, and thanks for joining this little adventure. Look for the wrap-up on Tuesday.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Week Four Picks

I don't know about you, but this weeks games were tough for me to pick, and I'm not optimistic about the outcome. Some observations:


We all agree about the Colts' impending domination of the Jets. And, in a game that not too long ago would have been a marquee matchup, we all picked the Eagles to defeat the aging Brett Favre and his beleaguered Packers. How the mighty have fallen.

Solo Acts of Bravery

Feathers will fly in the Georgia Dome as Arizona visits Atlanta, and only Robin Foster believes the Redbirds will defeat the Blackbirds.

In a SAoB that somewhat surprised me (in that I found myself with the majority), Kevin Bussey is alone in thinking that the Seahawks will beat the Bears in Chicago. More likely, feathers will fly in the Windy City as well.

Upset Special Pick of the Week

I don't have one. When forced to decide between the Jets and the Packers, I'll take neither, thank you.

Good luck, all. Check here for updates, and my main blog on Tuesday for the Week Four Wrap-Up.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Week Three Picks

UPDATE: While I'll still post a wrap-up on my main blog, I've opened up comments here for brotherly encouragement. This was at Joe Kennedy's suggestion, who apparently thought of it during the Bronco's thorough drubbing of the Patriots, which he alone predicted.

Thanks to everyone for getting your picks in. Remember that you can click on the two pictures here to see them full size, making them legible. Items of note for week 3:

We all like the Dolphins at home and the Ravens on the road. Or we just really don't like the Titans or the Browns. Either is possible.

Solo Acts of Bravery
"Tank" McPheeters, and he alone, believes the Vikings will prevail at home against this year's version of the Monsters of the Midway. Home field is often not enough, and that will be the case here. Joe Kennedy is going it alone in picking the Broncos to upset the Patriots in New England. Not likely, but it's good to have hope. Speaking of hope, here's my

Upset Special of the Week
I was thoroughly impressed with the Jaguars' defense against the Steelers last week, and believe they will march into the RCA Dome and shut down Manning and Co. Of course, Manning probably won't have a 104-degree fever at game-time, and there won't be many Jaguar fans in the house, so, um, maybe not. But the Colts have definitively shown that you don't have to worry about them running the football, and with a one-dimensional offense like that, NFL stands for Not For Long.

Good luck to everyone. Check my blog on Tuesday for a wrap-up of week 3.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Week Two Picks

Well, here are the picks for week two. Just a couple of interesting things to note

Solo Acts of Bravery

Dave Samples believes he is smarter than all of us, at least when it comes to the Chiefs and the Bills, whom he alone believes will prevail this weekend.

Tim Sweatman has the Buccs winning in Atlanta, along with precisely no one else.

Tom Bryant has the Titans, on the road, beating the Bolts.


We have all, each and every one of us, picked the Bears, the Colts, and the Ravens, thereby guaranteeing victory to either the Lions, the Texans, or the Raiders (hint: it won't be the Raiders).

Uspet Special Pick of the Week

This week's selection, which I actually have all to myself, is the Ohio State Championship game between the Browns and the Bengals. The Browns will be fired up. The Browns will prevail. Or, you know, not...

Good luck, all...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Week One Picks

Well, here we go. I've been looking forward to this little diversion, and I hope you all enjoy it as well. There are some interesting things to note as we begin the season.

First, you will notice that there are several teams this week that are thought so poorly of as to not even merit one contestant who thinks they will win: the Falcons, Bills, Rams, and 'Niners are in this category.

There would be one more in this category, were it not for my deciding that a weekly feature would be my "Upset of the Week" pick, which this week goes to the New York Jets. I am alone in picking them to upend the Titans in the Titans' own back yard. Yeah, they'll probably get crushed, but if not, that's one for me that nobody else got.

There are two other acts of solo bravery to mention this week. First is Richard "Tank" McPheeters, non-blogging (lame excuse: something about being a husband, father of three, and PhD student at SBTS) pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Cox's Creek, Kentucky. He alone believes that the New York football Giants will prevail on their home turf against Peyton & Co. Not likely.

The other brave soul is Bro. Robin Foster, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Perkins, Oklahoma. Perhaps there is something in the water in Perkins that makes him believe the Raiders can beat the Chargers in Oakland on Monday night. No one else in this contest is drinking that water.

I'll be posting a wrap-up Tuesday, both here and at my actual blog,

THIS JUST IN: Joe Kennedy has entered the contest at the last minute, and with his week one picks he has nullified much of what I wrote above. He has joined me in picking the Jets to beat Tennessee, and has joined Tank McPheeters in the delusion that somehow the Giants will be able to withstand the onslaught that is the Peyton Manning passing attack.

Welcome, Joe. It should be a fun season.

FINAL UPDATE: The season has begun, and we have our final entrant: Tom Bryant from Osprey, Florida. Welcome, Tom. The field is set, and it's kickoff time!

There are two images below, and you can click on them to view them full size so that they are more readable.