Almost back to .500. It took me about 10 or 12 weeks to get this close to .500 last season. I went 9-7 last week and am 22-23-3. Two winning weeks in a row? I'm as shocked as you are.
Before we get to the picks, let's just take a moment to recognize how ridiculous passing has become in the NFL. Throwing for 400 yards in a game used to be rare for even the best quarterbacks in the league. Now guys like Chad Henne are doing it. It's absolutely crazy.
So what's the cause of this offensive explosion? Were defenses more affected by the lockout than offenses? Probably. I also think the league has made it easier to pass. A lot of cornerbacks seem to be afraid of making a big hit because they fear getting flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver. I'm glad if helmet-to-helmet hits get wiped out, but I've seen a few penalties where the receiver has caught the ball, landed, started to move forward and then get tackled hard and the defensive player is hit with a 15-yard penalty. Let them play football, refs!
OK, rant over. The miss of the Week 4 was saying the Green Bay Packers wouldn't cover against the Denver Broncos. I really don't know what I was thinking. Don't ask me to explain myself.
Home teams are in caps.
Kansas City (+2) over INDIANAPOLIS: The Chiefs burned me pretty bad I took them, but I believe in second chances. Except when it comes to mustard. When I was at the beach at age 3, my dad had a pretzel and what looked to be a cheese sauce. So I had some of the pretzel and sauce. It was mustard. Have you ever thought you were eating cheese and it turned out to be mustard? There is quite a difference. So I have never eaten mustard again. I can't do it.
Arizona (+3) over MINNESOTA: It's kind of ridiculous how much the city of Philadelphia hates Donovan McNabb. They want to see him fail in every aspect of life. He took them to he only Super Bowl they've been to that most can remember (Have they been to another? Somebody do some research, damnit!). He led them to multiple NFC title games and was a great player for them. Yet they dwell on the negative. It's weird.
Philadelphia (-3) over BUFFALO: Fred Jackson is going to have a fun day for the Bills, but it won't be enough. The Eagles have so much talent and just haven't been able to find any consistency on offense. I think they find it Sunday.
Oakland (+5) over HOUSTON: Do you believe in the idea that the Raiders will be motivated to win for their late owner, Al Davis? Or do you believe that heart and motivation means nothing in sports (I'm looking at all you sabremeticians.)? I believe in the former.
New Orleans (-6.5) over CAROLINA: R.J., do you still think Cam Newton was the wrong choice? By the way, I apologize for not responding to comments. Every time I try to comment it tells me I'm not signed in. And if you're not signed in, you can't comment. It sucks and I'm sorry.
Cincinnati (-1) over JACKSONVILLE: It's so sad no one in the country will be able to watch this awesome game on TV. So sad.
PITTSBURGH (-3) over Tennessee: I love how ESPN analysts and Mike Golic (Not the same thing.) keep saying the Steelers' defense is showing their age. It wasn't the defense that cost them the game last week. The offense only put up 10 points and the offensive line nearly got Ben Roethlisberger killed. The defense is still strong. It's the offense that is screwing this team up.
NEW YORK GIANTS (-9.5) over Seattle: The Seahawks are terrible in 1 p.m. games on the east coast.
Tampa Bay (+3) over SAN FRANCISCO: The Bucsdon't win pretty, but they win.
NEW ENGLAND (-7.5) over New York Jets: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady don't like to lose. So when they lose to a team, especially in the playoffs the year before, they tend to seek to embarrass said team. That's what's going to happen in this one. Look for Brady to throw for 450 yards (411 of them going to Wes Welker) and the Pats to win by at least two scores.
San Diego (-3.5) over DENVER: The Chargers haven't been hyped much this year. Maybe that's what they need to actually do something come January.
Green Bay (-5.5) over ATLANTA: Aaron Rodgers' touchdown celebration is so annoying. Mostly because I wish I had come up with it during my flag football days.
Chicago (+5) over DETROIT: The Lions have barely escaped two horrible starts the last two weeks. Their comebacks have been insane. I think they pull this one out, but it's by another field goal.
Jackson Browne - Doctor My Eyes