During pre-game warm-ups on Opening Day of the NFL season, Vikings Safety Darren Sharper made the following declaration:
"I know one thing," Sharper said, looking down at the TV camera. "Anyone who said I wouldn't look good in purple, look at me now. Look at me now."
In the motif of Sharper’s comments, I would like to offer this:
For those who thought I couldn’t correctly pick NFL games against the point spread, look at me now. Look at me now!
After a blistering 13-3 record last week, I am finally above .500 (34-27-1) in the four scant weeks I’ve been picking games.
Now, an on-the-field observation:
Do you remember how former Vikes coach (and current Cardinals head guy) Denny Green liked to point he had a “quarterback friendly” system in place where any QB could flourish? I’m now waiting to hear that he has a similar fool-proof system for kickers. Gary Anderson was perfect (35-35 FG, 59-59 XP) for the Vikings in 1998. Green’s current placekicker, Neil Rackers, has missed only one kick this entire season (32-33 FG, 14-14 XP). You didn’t by chance collaborate with Al Gore in inventing the internet too, did you Denny?
As always, the following picks against the point spread are not meant to use as insight for placing bets (Although, it is tempting given last week’s success).
Patriots (-4) at Bills: After winning the Super Bowl three of the last four seasons, the Patriots visited the White House each time for a Presidential congrats. This year the best they can hope for is a visit to the set of ABCs “Commander in Chief”.
Rams (+7) at Vikings: The Rams offense in the past couple of seasons has gone from “The Greatest Show on Turf” to carnival freak show.
Bears (+6 ½) at Steelers: Has an NFL game ever ended 2-0? This may be the one!
Raiders (-3) at Jets: Unlike the infamous “Heidi” game, there will be no complaints to the TV network for pulling the plug on this contest.
Colts (-8 ½) at Jaguars: When your club is 12-0, it’s OK for QB Peyton Manning to be overconfident maybe even a little cocky. But not wearing his helmet the first snap of the game?
Texans (+6 ½) at Titans: How much does Texans coach Dom Capers want this season to end? Instead of the holding a play card on the sidelines he now thumbs through the latest edition of “Field and Stream.”
Giants (-9) at Eagles: Due to all the injuries suffered by the Eagles, their home stadium will be renamed Limping Financial Field.
49ers (+16) at Seahawks: As punishment for revealing officiating errors, the Seahawks were threatened with revocation of their instant replay challenges for this week against the Niners. That’s the equivalent of revoking Bill Gates’ coupon privileges.
Dolphins (+13 ½) at Chargers: Since 1999 the Dolphins have used at quarterback Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feely, Brian Griese, Gus Frerotte and Sage Rosenfels. Man, replacing Dan Marino has proven more difficult than finding a replacement for “Friends” on NBC Thursdays.
Ravens (+14 ½) at Broncos: Did I see Deion Sanders in the Ravens defensive huddle last week? Huh. I didn’t know he still played football. Does this mean he will try to catch on with the Baltimore Orioles next baseball season?
Chiefs (+3) at Cowboys: We have a great matchup of old school coaches here, featuring Dick Vermeil and Bill Parcells. I haven’t seen this kind of legendary talent reunite in a profession since Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas got together in the movie “Tough Guys”!
Lions (+6) at Packers: To avoid further confusion with young players, Brett Favre will draw up plays in the dirt.
Buccaneers (+5 ½) at Panthers: Last week against the Falcons, Panthers WR Steve Smith emulated changing a baby’s diaper as part of his TD celebration. This week? He’ll emulate dirtying the diaper.
Redskins (-4) at Cardinals: When Cards players were asked if they were excited for the return of rookie CB Antrel Rolle from injury, the typical response was “Who’s Antrel Rolle?”
Browns (+12 ½) at Bengals: How true-to-life is the Madden 06 NFL video game? Any game featuring the Bengals’ Chad Johnson includes his gold teeth.
Saints (+10 ½) at Falcons: Call it a hunch but I believe Falcons TE Alge Crumpler is the only player to be named after chiefly aquatic, eukaryotic, photosynthetic organisms, ranging in size from single-celled forms to the giant kelp.