The Fearless Forecast - Week 11
Back to normal service this week having had somewhat of a hiatus the past month. Well there was that little shindig at Wembley to immerse myself in and then the mere matter of a two-week family vacation in Florida that just might have seen a one-day pass wrangled for the throwback game against the Packers.
So whilst my mind is full of potential articles on how bad the Buccaneer defensive tackles are and therefore how good the Buccaneer secondary must be to have made so many big plays with less pressure than a deflated Ford Escort tyre, time to look at the schedule for Week 11 in the NFL and offer some thoughts on this week's match-ups.
Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers
I see this one being a Dolphin victory with Ricky Williams running all over the Panther defense for three touchdowns in the absence of the injured Ronnie Brown. And Jake Delhomme to have a final pass batted down in the endzone ..... OK so you rumbled me on that one.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs
There are six really bad teams in the NFL this week but one of them is guaranteed to win. But it's not the Chiefs who struggled to even beat Bruce Gradkowski and the Raiders this week. Today they face a real NFL team. Pick: Steelers.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
In the mid 1990s, this was the marquee match-up of all with John Madden practically walking to Lambeau to cover Favre v Young. Today he'd be sacked on the way if the Packer offensive line was trying to protect his path. Pick: 49ers.
Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions
As I said, one of the six terrible teams has to win this week and this is it. Pity the two commentators assigned to call this one. Guys, you know you are bottom of the pecking order if you're in the Motor City today. Pick: Lions (because I saw how bad Brady Quinn was on Monday night).
New Orleans Saints at your very own Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Reggie Bush is apparently out hurt. If Brees, Bell, Shockey and Colston all join him overnight, the Bucs might have a chance. Then again, any given Sunday. Pick: Bucs.
Atlanta Falcons at Exit 16W off the Jersey Turnpike Giants
Tom Coughlin is a miserable sod at the best of times. On a four-game losing streak, I just bet the bye week was a ton of fun around the Giants' training complex. If they are serious contenders, then they have to win against a Falcon team that is seeing Matt Ryan go through a sophomore slump.
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars
Jack Del Rio is making a big stand to save his job and has the Jags playing their best football of the season. So naturally they will lose a game they are supposed to win. Upset pick: Bills.
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
In the early days of American Football on British TV, this match-up was always shown twice a year even if it had been a 7-6 bore session. Thankfully we've moved with our coverage since then but this now becomes Ego Bowl as Snyder takes on Jones. Can't they both lose? Pick: Dallas.
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings
And the Purple bandwagon keeps rolling along with the old man leading his two young Turks, Harvin and Peterson to victory after victory. Jim Mora is finding life is no bed of roses in the North-West but I can see this one being a lot closer than people expect. Pick: Vikings.
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
This is the week when one of the undefeated records goes as the Colts come up against the double whammy of an emotional let-down from the New England game and a re-born Raven defense. And a stumble on the way to shake out any complacency sometimes is no bad thing. Second upset pick: Ravens.
Arizona Cardinals at St.Louis Lambs
Bad team number five (yes sorry but the Bucs were the fourth) as the Worst Show on Turf entertains a Cardinal team that has quietly made its way to 6-3. Good Kurt could even be Bad Kurt this week and it will be enough to beat a Ram team that is now desperately hoping for QB Colt McCoy next April. Pick: Cardinals.
New York J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets at New England Videocheats
Come on then, who didn't enjoy Belicheat being made to look a prat last weekend? A few commentators have tried to remain in his good books for future payback purposes by agreeing the call but it was wrong wrong wrong. And today the Jets will be made to suffer. Pick: Patriots.
Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raydurs
No prizes for guessing the sixth bad team and this one really stinks. How bad must JaMarcus Russell be to have the Polish Pop-Gun take his place? The only downside with Cincinnati winning is that Chad Rumpy-Pumpy or whatever he's called gets more air time. Pick: Bengals.
San Diego Super Chargers at Denver Broncos
A game of momentum with two teams going in opposite directions. But Norv Turner wouldn't be himself if he didn't lose a game he was expected to win. Oh but Chris Simms is playing QB for the Broncos so all normal bets are off. Pick: Chargers.
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
Ron Jaworski always tells us that "stats are for losers" so Donovan McNabb's 450 yards last week don't count as the Eagles lost. He will throw for less this week but win because Jay Cutler is doing his best Interceptorsaurus Rex impression in the Windy City. Pick: Eagles.
Tennessee Titans at Houston we have problem Texans
A big night for the Houston franchise as they try to prove they are for real on national TV. Which means another audience for Jon Gruden to crawl up the backside of. Vince Young is not a good QB but the Titans are a good franchise and you never rule out one of the best coaches in NFL history, Jeff Fisher. Pick: Titans.
Paul Stewart, TBO.com, November 2009