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Thursday, November 06, 2003

Pro Picks, Week 10: A Good Bad Week

First the bad news: I was 5-9 last week, just slightly worse than an ape would have done picking games. None of that mattered Monday Night, however, as I watched the Patriots come from behind to give me that ninth loss on the week. I have so far not shown too much partiality toward New England in this space, so humor me this time around.

It's been quite a week for Patriots watchers. The team has been decimated by injuries and yet they somehow find ways to win, including games at Miami and Denver and versus Tennessee, which puts them in great playoff position. Now Bill Belichick is being hailed as a genius for intentionally taking a safety on MNF that eventually led to the team getting the winning touchdown minutes later. This has to be the most hailed intentional safety of all time.

If you're not from New England, you may not comprehend how pathologically obsessed this region is with sports. Monday night after the game not one but two radio stations had call in shows discussing the win until the middle of the night (~3am). And as I said, Belichick is being deified. Tuesday's Globe column by Dan Shaugnessy declared Belichick the "anti-Grady" and Tom Brady the "anti-Pedro." I must admit that it was nice to be up past midnight watching a local team come back to win for once.

Especially with all of the strange penalties called on the Patriots, the bad early turnovers and the punt return by Denver, it looked like everything was going against them, yet they pulled through. Maybe the Pats really are our Red Sox antidote. Now we have a bye week before some guy named Parcells comes to town next Sunday night. Do you think we may hear a little bit in the press about his visit? Consider this your warning of the coming onslaught of "Tuna" references.

As always, the following picks are for recreational purposes only.

Atlanta at NY Giants

Go read this SportsFilter post for a laugh. "Shula. Halas. Landry. Lambeau. Noll. The only coaches who've won 200 NFL games." That was the ad the Falcons owner mistakenly placed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after week two, anticipating a victory for the team. Instead, Atlanta has now lost seven straight and is risking leaving Head Coach Dan Reeves one win short of the 200 milestone (he's in the last year of his contract, the team sucks and it's remaining schedule looks tough). To quote TMQ, the football gods must have been angry. (By the way, there's still no news on a new home for TMQ.)

Pick: NY Giants

Seattle at Washington

Some people watching the Redskins-Cowboys game last week on Fox were a little confused about whether the broadcasters approved or disapproved of the decisions made by Steve Spurrier and Daniel Snyder. To clarify their stance, Fox will be burning both men in effigy in the braodcast booth during the game this Sunday. The announcers also plan on wearing "We HATE Spurrier and Snyder" t-shirts. I think Patrick Ramsey just got blindsided again.

Pick: Seahawks

Arizona at Pittsburgh

Quick: Which team has the better record? Answer: Arizona, 3-5 versus 2-6 for the Steelers. How can Pittsburgh be this bad? They have to beat the Cardinals at home at least, right?

Pick: Steelers

Cleveland at Kansas City

Browns running back William Green is suspended after being arrested for marijuana. In related news, John Kerry, John Edwards and Howard Dean have been suspended from the next Democratic presidential debate. For those of you wondering whether KC can go undefeated somehow, here are the remaining games after this one: at Cincy, Oakland, at San Diego, at Denver, Detroit, at Minnesota, Chicago. They will lose to someone, but I'll just be picking them until that occurs.

Pick: Chiefs

Philadelphia at Green Bay

What's the over-under on the number of times Michaels and Madden will praise Brett Favre? We know he's a great player and all, but even Pack fans must get sick of the constant adulation he receives, right? He's not the only QB who's ever blocked on a reverse, you know.

Pick: Packers

Miami at Tennessee

Miami plays Tennessee in college football Saturday. Miami plays Tennessee in pro football on Sunday. Spooky.

Pick: Titans

Other Games

Carolina over Tampa Bay, Indianapolis over Jacksonville, Cincinnati over Houston, Chicago over Detroit, Minnesota over San Diego, NY Jets over Oakland, Dallas over Buffalo, St. Louis over Baltimore

Last Week: 5-9
Season Record: 79-51