This Sunday, the Houston Texans will not play a football game.
Oddly enough, the rest of the league will attempt to soldier on without the cardiac Texans. I suppose if a boring game between two small market NFL teams can outdraw the American League Championship Series, then the NFL can survive a Sunday without your Houston Texans. The question is: Can you survive a Sunday without them? Why am I asking? Of course you can, because your hearts won't deal with the stress, nor will you be drinking the bleach.
If you want to watch other games, here's your 506 map showing what the networks will offer you this Sunday. Sadly, Steve Tasker still has a job and some central Texas folks will hear him on TV if they're watching. Tragic.
Texans or not, the BRB Pick 'Em League will soldier on after a topsy-turvy week that tightened the standings. The league update is after the NFL weekly preview which you'll read when you.....JUMP.
After last Monday's abysmal performance, I wouldn't pick the Jaguars if you paid me. However, you can pay me and see if I sellout. I think the Chiefs defense should be enough here, but I am constantly wrong in picking Jacksonville games, so take this with a grain of salt... Chiefs win 24-10.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) @ Miami Dolphins (3-2)
The Steelers have an impressive defense and balanced offense. I honestly can't think of a better team than Pittsburgh. The Dolphins will keep it close, but Chad Henne will probably turn over the ball at a critical time to an opportunistic Steeler D. Steelers win 20-13.
Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
The Falcons secondary is suspect, especially if their number one cornerback cannot play, and their offense hasn't really generated much this season. The Bengals are coming off the bye with two weeks to gameplan. I'm going to take the bye team over a team coming off a bad loss to a passing team. Bengals win 24-16.
Washington Redskins (3-3) @ Chicago Bears (4-2)
The Bears are a pass-happy team that is struggling in pass-protection, while Washington can bring the blitz-pain. Donovan McNabb may struggle against the Bear defense, but I think he can manage more yards than Jay Cutler, who will be seeing a lot of Brian Orakpo, Andre Carter, and LaRon Landry. Redskins win 17-13.
Cleveland Browns (1-5) @ New Orleans Saints (4-2)
What more can I say? The Saints are playing the Browns in New Orleans. The young Browns secondary will try to stop Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees. Saints win 34-17.
Buffalo Bills (0-5) @ Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
The Ravens? Well, I guess I won't be breaking my "Don't pick the Bills" rule. Ravens win 30-6.
St. Louis Rams (3-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)
The Rams are putting it together slowly but surely. Sam Bradford is having a very respectable rookie season while their defense has come alive. The Buccaneers are also a young up-and-comer behind Josh Freeman and an improved defense. This will be a fun game to watch. I think the Rams have the edge here because of Steven Jackson. Rams win 27-24.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) @ Tennessee Titans (4-2)
Both are sack-happy teams to mask weaker secondaries. Who will have to start at quarterback for either team: Kerry Collins or Vince Young and Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick? I really like the Eagles receivers more than the Tennessee corps. I also like their front seven more than Tennessee's. This could be an entertaining game to watch. Eagles win 31-23.
San Francisco 49ers (1-5) @ Carolina Panthers (0-5)
This game will be ugly, as both defenses are the strong point of their teams. Games with the 49ers are guaranteed to be close, as they mostly have been this season. It's a cross-country game, but the Panthers offense is just too inept to score enough points. 49ers win 16-9.
Arizona Cardinals (3-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (3-2) (Sunday 10/24 at 3:05 PM CDT)
Seattle's Qwest Field provides unparalled home field advantage. Rookie Max Hall should be rattled in his first road start. The Seahawks should also hit beast mode and manage points against a weak Arizona defense. Seahawks 24-13.
Oakland Raiders (2-4) @ Denver Broncos (2-4) (Sunday 10/24 at 3:15 PM CDT)
The Broncos like to pass while the Raiders best defend the pass. The Raiders like to run while the Broncos can't slow down the run. Raiders win 20-17.
New England Patriots (4-1) @ San Diego Chargers (2-4)
How does a team statistically dominate yet struggle like San Diego does? The Chargers make mistakes and play terrible special teams, while Bill Belichick coached teams don't. Even though they're at home, I think this game will just be a stake in the Chargers' heart. Patriots win 37-24.
Minnesota Vikings (2-3) @ Green Bay Packers (3-3) (Sunday 10/24 at 7:20 PM CDT)
The Vikings are beginning to turn their season around, and the Packers' 53 man roster gets depleted by the week. Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre should sling the ball around, but no running back is going to hurt Green Bay in close games. Vikings win 27-24.
New York Giants (4-2) @ Dallas Cowboys (1-4) (Monday 10/25 at 7:30 PM CDT)
Can the Cowboys be flexed out of this now? They are a mistake-prone football team that doesn't run the ball as much as they should. The fast, physical Giants should make quick work with them. Giants win 31-17.
Bye Week Teams
Detroit Lions (1-5)
It has to be a frustrating season for Detroit fans. Their team has improved by leaps and bounds, but their record is the same. Here's hoping for Detroit to pick up some wins because those fans deserve a winner. Can Jahvid Best and Ndamukong Suh make history by taking home both Rookie of the Year awards?
Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
Aside from a whipping of New York, these aren't your slightly older brother's Colts. Peyton Manning is still the quarterback, but they appear beatable and are in a dogfight in the AFC South. Will the cream rise to the top?
New York Jets (5-1)
I'm not entirely sold on the Jets. They're taking care of business, but I still remember that Baltimore game. As their schedule picks up, can Mark Sanchez continue to avoid the mistakes? Will LaDainian Tomlinson continue to drink from the Fountain of Youth?
Houston Texans (4-2)
Offense? Great. Defense? Trash. This team won't go anywhere if they can't, at least, muscle up in the red zone. Those touchdowns have to become field goals, and the defensive line needs to get some pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Can the young defense improve to make the offense's job a bit easier?
BRB Pick 'Em League Update
The sixth week is in the books for the BRB Pick 'Em League. We had a few players miss pick submission on all or part of the games. We had some who missed confidence point submission but managed to salvage some decent points on the late games. The front-runners stumbled a bit, which caused things to tighten up in the overall standings, and there were some new names up at the top of the weekly leaderboard. Speaking of new, the Week Six winner of the Andre Johnson Award for Ass-Kicking and Excellence is a newer member of the BRB Pick 'Em League...
Four weeks ago, BrownCrayon jumped at the open spot in the BRB Pick 'Em League. Now, he's celebrating a Week Six victory. Like two-time week winner SATexan, BrownCrayon calls San Antonio his stomping ground - although he considers himself very much a Houstonian "because San Antonio is about as much fun as being struck in the face by lightning." The lightning must've turned BrownCrayon into the brighest crayon in the box [rimshot sound here] because his 12-2 record is the second-best weekly record in the illustrious six week history of the BRB Pick 'Em League.
Like Tim Duncan, legend of the Week Six Winner's favorite NBA team, and Andre Johnson, BrownCrayon silently put together a week that was flat-out dominant. Two missed picks is an all-around impressive outing that really speaks for itself, dear reader. During this week, BrownCrayon just knew more about the NFL than anyone else and made every picker look silly in his brown wake. For serving the BRB Pickers as any great bartender would, let's all give a big congratulations to BrownCrayon - Week Six BRB Pick 'Em Winner of the Andre Johnson Award for Ass-Kicking and Excellence.
"Should've Put Money On It" Game of the Week: Of the 48 BRB Pickers who submitted this game, 47 correctly picked the Texans to beat the Chiefs. Of course, if you actually put money on the spread then you'd lose money, but betting straight-up on the Texans would have worked.
"We Know Nothing" Game of the Week: Only three people - .Bonzo, chrisd21, and RED56 - were part of the 5% of Yahoo users who correctly picked the Seahawks upsetting the Bears.
Sippin' on Battle Red Drank: Distant_Texans_Fan, Remember The Alamo, txknight, NoSafetiesNeeded, rrtx, DilloTex, PapaBear, Taco Joe, SoutherLion, tehGrindCrusher, Jordann, Shake, texanmaniac, HoustonTransplant, and RED56 all drank the Drank by placing 14 confidence points on the Texans.
Hidin' Out In the Back of the Meeting Hall: riversmccown is the lone man who put points down on the Chiefs. If the NFL were a 58 minute game, he would've been correct. Call it a moral victory for him.
The Rex Grossman "F**k It, I'm Goin' Deep" Award: Jaws threw down 12 points on 8 point underdog St. Louis to beat San Diego. Six percent of Yahoo users called this pick. Twelve BRB Pickers called the game, but Jaws went all Rexy on us and unleashed the dragon.
The David Carr Misguided Faith Award: .Bonzo put 14 max points on 13.5 point underdog Cleveland to beat Pittsburgh. The only logical explanations are excessive drinking, mind-altering drugs, and/or Colt McCoy superfan. Regardless, it was very misguided.
The Charley Casserly Decision Making Award: It's a weird, weird week when the low man on the points totem pole (35 points) had a better record (7-7) than five people (pvavocalist, riversmccown, RED56, killtacular, and HoustonTransplant who ranged from 6-8 to 3-11). However, it happened this week when USMC Texan ended up missing 6 of his 7 highest point games. I can't call him Casserly though because A) .500 is more of a Rick Smith thing and B) you shouldn't insult a Marine by comparing him to Charley Casserly - that's just un-American. I'll just let the 7-7 last place record speak for itself. What a weird, weird week...
For comparison's sake...strictly straight up:
John McClain: 10-4 (55-35).
ESPN Average: 9-5 (51-39).
BRB Pickers: 8-6 (50-40) 32 of 50 finished at or above average.
TexansDC: 10-4 (50-40).
Jerome Solomon: 10-4 (49-41).
BRBer with the best weekly record: BrownCrayon (Matt Schaub's Bald Spot) 12-2.
BRBer with the most weekly points: BrownCrayon (Matt Schaub's Bald Spot) 92 Points.
Overall best record: CowboyH8ter (AJ Open Downfield) 60-30 leads by 1 game over SATexan (Cake).
Overall points leader: SATexan (Cake) 529 points leads by 35 points over CowboyH8ter (AJ Open Downfield).
Don't forget to submit your picks by Sunday, BRB Pickers. Congrats once again to BrownCrayon! Enjoy this weekend's slate of football and get some rest Texans!
Let the comments have your league-wide observations or BRB Pick 'Em trash talk.