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The Profit

Alright, so I guess I know more about the games I feel I don't know as much about, and I know less about the games that I feel I'm all over.

For the third consecutive week, my best bets performed poorly. Ok, I'll rephrase that. I performed poorly; the teams merely played football. A 1-3 week, on the heels of a 1-2-1 week, on the heels of a 2-2 opener, is hardly the way I hoped to open the year. Not to mention misfiring on my pick of the week the past two weeks.

That said, I wanted to wade through last week and just survive and live to tell about it. Having endured a 7-7 week in which several teams who are proving themselves to be nothing but poseurs (I'm talking to you, Carolina), I feel pretty good about getting back on track this week. Prior to seeing the lines on each game, I accurately predicted within a half-point of each game, what the lines would be. So it's at least a good feeling to know that at the starting block for the week I'm where I need to be. Where I'll be at the finish is another matter entirely.

I should also let you know that my goals have shifted. Whereas before I wanted to come through with another .500+ season, and demonstrate that I have solid pick skills, I now have a new focus. I don't want to become Bronson Pinchot.

He had it all. He was on top of the world. Here we have one of America's greatest living actors, bringing us such lines as "Get out of the city", "Don't be a bump on a frog", and who could forget, ". Some of you may remember the episode where Larry and Balki played a weekly football pool, and Balki's seemingly boneheaded "system" kept picking winners every week. You may remember the system. Pure genius at that, with such gems as this line...

Balki: "Chargers versus Bills? Well, no matter how many times you keep charging, eventually you're going to have to pay your bills." BRILLIANT!

Cousin Larry tried insulting this "cute little system", but in true Balki fashion, he responded with, "I'd rather have a 'cute little system' than an 'empty little pocket'." Talk about OWNED!

So anyway, there I was last week, watching The Surreal Life, seeing this legendary TV performer bawling his eyes out to console stuck-up former supermodel Janice Dickinson while living in a house with Jose Canseco and the chick from Salt N Pepa. You know, the one that used to be a man? And I realized just how far Balki has fallen. Perhaps his "cute little system" failed him one too many times. Perhaps the world didn't want Balki without Cousin Larry. Whatever the reason, this one-time football picking genius has been reduced to this? No, that won't be me. I've got to get back on track, and fast. Lest you see me in twenty years comforting a 67-pound Kate Moss on VH1 about her addiction to laxatives. And with THAT thought…

On to the picks…


Word on the street is that this game is being shown to all of the detained suspected terrorists, in the hope that it'll force them to start talking. I can't even imagine the horror. Though I had Arizona to win the division, and the 49ers are far from a decent team, I have this funny feeling about Kevan Barlow this week. It might just be gas, but in any case I'm going with my gut. PICK: 49ers

Unless you're a big believer that the Vikings' offensive woes were cured last week by playing the New Orleans Saints, you almost have to take Atlanta here. The Falcons have got a much better ground game, far superior defense, several playmakers on offense, a solid head coach, an owner who looks like he used to moonlight as a porn star…I mean, what more do you want? PICK: Falcons

I read somewhere that the Bollingers have picked out some nice flowers, a strong mahogany casket, and a bagpiper for what is certain to be his impending demise at the hands of the Ravens Sunday. PICK: Ravens

I know the Buffalo players aren't really solidly behind J.P. Losman. Lucky for them, this weekend when they line up against the Saints, they'll get a firsthand look at what a REAL quarterback looks like. That's right, Aaron Brooks, leader and….you know what, I can't…I can't do this with a straight face, I'm sorry. It was all supposed to be a joke, but I, I can't even finish. Listen, the Saints will ride some more emotion to a win, if only because they are home. I know the possibility of Joe Horn missing the game is a concern for some, but when you've got two teams that have looked like these two thus far, you don't base things so much on the quality of the players as you do on a hunch. PICK: Saints

Jacksonville is the type of team that can shut Denver down. They can pound at you with the running game, and go over the top through the air when they need (especially with a hobbled Champ Bailey). Defensively, they stack up well with Denver. Who can forget last year, when Barry San- I mean, Quentin Griffin was utterly shut down by the Jags. This is a defense that can do some damage, and anytime a defense can stifle Peyton Manning and the Colts, I take notice. Especially when they are met with the charge of simply stifling Jake Plummer. I know, you're probably wondering why this game contains actual thoughtful analysis. Well, I figured you sat through that early Balki bit so I may as well try at some point. PICK: Jaguars

Considering how banged-up Donovan McNabb currently is, I can't bring myself to put much faith in him in a hostile environment like Kansas City. The Chiefs are smarting (what am I, 60, using the word 'smarting'?) after getting annihilated by Denver last Monday night, and while I generally try to stay away from teams coming off a Monday Night appearance, the Chiefs are at least home and really just have to win the game to cover (as it's unlikely that it'll be a one-point win). Both teams should move the ball fairly well, with Kansas City doing it a little bit better. PICK: Chiefs

I know this kind of talk isn't really welcome around here or anywhere else, but the Pats may be in a little bit of trouble here. Don't get me wrong, they were and still are my Super Bowl winner for this season, and Belichik is a genius along the levels of Einstein, Edison, and Bartokomous. But at some point, losing this many key guys is going to pose a problem, right? The Chargers proved last week that they aren't just going to roll over and die on the season, no matter how impossible the upcoming stretch of games may be. This is an opportunity to prove to the rest of the NFL that they are still legitimate, and Drew Brees can make himself a bundle of money if he can pick apart the Patriots as he's done to just about everyone else the past few years. I think the Chargers defense can do just enough to keep the Pats from dominating offensively, and the Pats' normally stiff defense will bend a bit too much. It may come down to a late-game field goal, but in that case I'll have covered my bet anyway by going with the Bolts. PICK: Chargers

I saved this game for last when I was doing these write-ups. I'd just as soon let Kerry Collins and Drew Bledsoe race to see who wins. Or maybe have Al Davis and Jerry Jones compete in a "creepiest face that's not a Halloween mask" competition. The teams couldn't be much different from one another, yet both are very similar in that they each have the talent to go out and beat anyone…yet are just unreliable enough that they can go out and get dropped by anyone at the same time. Due to the unpredictability of both teams, my only recourse is to go with the home team, the one that is aching for a W. PICK: Raiders

One of the most amazing things about this week is the following true statement. As long as this game doesn't end up tied, one of the two following scenarios will be true by Sunday night: Either the Redskins will be 3-0, or the Seahawks will have won a tough road game. Which sounds more ridiculous? Whichever one sounds like something you'd never hear, go with the other. PICK: Seahawks

If you can't trust Green Bay at home against Tampa Bay, then when CAN you trust them? I'd be shocked if the Panthers didn't respond large after yet another humbling loss, this time to Miami. Someone needs to tell them; you're allowed one of those, and then you need to start winning the winnable games. I don't expect the same costly mistakes late in the game this time around - not against this disgrace of a defense. PICK: Panthers


This is officially the final week of the "Take Indy and lay the points" until further notice. This upcoming week will tell us a lot about what we should do in the future with them. After all, we've come to expect a certain level of offensive supremacy from this squad, and they haven't performed yet. There have been reasons, such as facing strong defenses in Weeks 1 and 2, and then facing a Crennel-ized defense in Week 3. But if they can't lay seven against mustache man's defense, then it'll be time to pull the plug on considering this group an offensive machine. If they can, game on. PICK: Colts

There are a couple of reasons to take Houston here. For one, it's nearly a double-digit spread. Two, the Texans were off last week so they have had ample time to prepare for this opponent. Three, the philosophical offensive change could mean the start of better things in Houston. Four, Bengals' OT Willie Anderson is banged-up, and when he went out of the game last week the Cincinnati offense struggled to move the ball consistently. Still, all of those reasons don't change the fact that the Bengals are awesome and the Texans are incredibly sucky. PICK: Bengals

Eli Manning is playing a lot better - that much is obvious. The run game was stifled last week by the Chargers, but the team was sort of selling out on the run and giving up passing yardage, forcing Manning to beat them. Expect the Rams to employ a similar approach, as they have no problem getting into a shoot-out type of situation. The Rams haven't exactly been reliable yet, while the Giants are a bit easier to project because amazingly they are LESS schizophrenic than Saint Louis. Still, I think the Ram offense will do major damage against the Giants this week. Look at what San Diego did. Then realize that San Diego, while they do have Tomlinson, don't feature the weapons that the Rams bring on a weekly basis. I think Saint Louis wins the game outright. PICK: Rams

Detroit's offense = Britney Spears' current sex appeal. That is to say, non-existent. PICK: Bucs (but give her about 6 weeks with a personal trainer)



  • OVERALL: 7-7
  • BEST BETS: 1-3
  • PICK OF WEEK: 0-1


  • OVERALL: 22-23-1 (48.9%)
  • BEST BETS: 4-7-1 (36.4%)
  • PICK OF WEEK: 1-2 (33.3%)
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