By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN’s NFL Picks: Week Nine
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Some observations heading into Week Nine’s action.
– Kudos to the new sheriff in Frisco town (And his name isn’t Reggie Hammond!!!). Not only did “Samurai Mike” guarantee himself a permanent place into the “Tirade Hall of Fame”, he also let his listless Niners squad know that training camp has just begun (AGAIN!!) and no B.S. will not be allowed by anyone in a Niner jersey. And just so you know, one of the names of the three books the Baylor graduate has written was entitled, “Calling The Shots”.
– A telling stat from Foxboro last Sunday. During their 23-16 loss, the Rams were flagged 12 times (with three being declined) for 63 yards. Meanwhile, Team Tivo was flagged just once, with St. Louis declining that penalty. While the TV and radio talk heads are listening to a losing team brag about reading a quarterbacks signals (ON ONE PLAY!!), it appears the real damn thieves are being allowed to get away with a real crime. Where’s Oliver Stone when you really need him?
– Monday night, ESPN’s Cris Carter repeated something that yours truly has been saying all season. At some point this season, VY will comeback and make a significant contribution to the Titans’ title run. While Monday night’s win against the Horseheads was big, it also showed that much like many teams this season Tennessee has some serious flaws on offense. Kerry Collins and the team defense has been great, but eventually the team will need VY to take it to another level.
– We all know winning is supposed to cure all wounds, but if you really think Cleveland’s win against Jacksonville will bring an end to the “Family Feud” between Kellen Winslow Jr. and GM Phil Savage, I have an junk stock in Ohio you might be interested in. And guess who will catch most of the hell from this?? Let’s just say that given the present coaching climate in the NFL — Mr. Crennel, you definitely need to watch your damn back!!!
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
With clubs either having played half their games or approaching that benchmark this weekend, history proves that teams at 3-5 still have a chance for the playoffs. Since 1990, five 3-5 teams have advanced to the postseason: 1990 New Orleans , 1994 New England, 1995 Detroit , 1996 Jacksonville and the 2002 New York Jets.
Tennessee’s Chris Johnson currently leads the AFC in rushing and teammate Len Dale White tops the NFL in rushing touchdowns. Which team has had the only pair of running backs to individually lead their conference in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns since 1970?
A. 1972 Dolphins B. 1977 Saints C. 1974 Broncos D. 1989 49ers
(The answer comes at the end of this story).
LAST WEEK: 7-7 (71-45 overall)
The only thing that’s been consistent about my picks this year has been my inconsistency. After having our best week of the season, we get kicked to curb of .500 a week later. Hell, I needed the unbeatens from Music City to just break even. The Bolts let me down in London, Reverend Herm’s squad left No. 4 too much time on the clock, and Buffalo missed their wake up call in Miami. Oh well, we did have Big Blue winning at Pittsburgh and the Ravens beating the Silver and Bleak so it can’t be too bad.
COWBOYS at GIANTS
Welcome to another episode of “As The Pinkie Turns”. This week, we find Baby Bum and his Cowboys headed to the big city of East Rutherford to take on the Big Blue Meanies from Gotham. The Meanies are coming off a long hard street fight with the Boys from the ‘Burgh. On the other side, the Boys struggled but were able to outlast the Pewter Pod Squad from Tampa. The last time these teams met, the Meanies sent Baby Bum’s crew home for the holidays in January. The Boys are now being led by Sir Bradley Johnson, a man whose seen his better days. One gets the feeling that speed and arm strength challenged Mr. Johnson will find it a hard way to survive this battle.
PACKERS at TITANS
After outlasting their division rivals from Indy Monday night, the undefeated Titans host a Packer squad that looks to maintain their lead atop the NFC North. Besides their impressive running game, the Tennessee offensive line has taken care of Kerry Collins in the pocket all season. In fact, K.C. has gone five straight games without being sacked, and has been sacked once in 170 attempts on the season. The Cheeseheads will be a very good test for Tennessee, but I get the feeling that they’ll find a way to pull this one out at home.
JETS at BILLS
While Buffalo was falling apart in the fourth quarter last week against the Fish, Gang Green barely got by their former boss. Many “experts” are starting to whisper that the Bills aren’t quite as good as their record now that they’ve dropped two of their last three games. Buffalo is now tied with Team Tivo for the top spot in the AFC East with the Fighting Manginis right behind them. Keep this in mind: Ol’ No. 4 has thrown seven interceptions in his last three games and is tied for the NFL lead with 11. Given the fact that New York has lost three straight to Buffalo, me thinks this will be number four.
PATRIOTS at COLTS
No marquee match up here this time. In fact, this may wind up being a last stand game for Tony Dungy’s boys. Three is truly a magic number when talking about this game as Team Tivo attempts to win their third straight game while Indy tries to avoid a third straight loss. The Horseshoes have been losing defensive players like missing buttons all season. While the Pats offense isn’t really anything to write home about, I get the feeling they’ll have enough to hand the Colts another loss.
STEELERS at REDSKINS
The Black and Gold come into the Nation’s Capital with a huge chip and some large bandages on their shoulders. For the second time in the last few weeks, they were beaten up by an NFC East opponent. The Redskins are coming off an efficient victory against the Boys from Motown. I get the strong sense that Pittsburgh is a pissed-off bunch coming off the Giants loss. I’ve got a hunch that despite several nagging injuries on both sides of the line, they can go into D.C. and win.
Dolphins over Broncos: My upset special of the week.
Raiders over Falcons: I think JaMarcus will outperform Mr. Ryan Sunday.
Vikings over Texans: I may regret this later, but I doubt it.
Jaguars over Bengals: Jacksonville still hopes to sneak in the playoffs.
Bucs over Chiefs: Note to Tampa — Nine points won’t cut it this week.
Eagles over Seahawks: Birds of a feather my ass. Philly will make this ugly early.
Bears over Lions: If you remember the last game, the sequel will be worse.
Ravens over Browns: I know they won last week, but the Brownies are too inconsistent to repeat their performance.
Cardinals over Rams: Watch only if you dare!!!
Byes: Carolina, New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco.
C. The 1974 Denver Broncos accomplished the feat in with Otis Armstrong leading the AFC in rushing (1,407 yards) and Jon Keyworth topping it in rushing touchdowns (10).