Has it really been eight weeks already? The NFL season powers on into Halloween weekend with parity still running rampant. Can anyone use this weekend to separate themselves into elite status?
For the second consecutive Sunday, the NFL is going to try and survive without a game that involves your beloved Houston Texans. However, the Texans jump back to action on Monday Night Football, so don't fret too much.
You know the drill by this point. Jump to see preview of those Sunday NFL games; after that, you'll see how the BRB Pickers fared last week. There's some intriguing match-ups as the calendar page flips while the Pick 'Em League continues to tighten up.
Buffalo Bills (0-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) (Sunday 10/31 at Noon CDT)
Buffalo has been in costume for a while now as they masquerade as a professional football team. Kansas City should win with relative ease. Chiefs win 27-13.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) @ Dallas Cowboys (1-5)
Tony Romo is out with a broken left clavicle while the bewildered Cowboys have a short week to prepare. They are all but ready for the knockout punch. The only good thing about Dallas? Dez Bryant is doing his best Tim Brown impersonation as a receiver/returner. Jaguars win 31-30.
Miami Dolphins (3-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)
The Bengals aren't playing good defense, and their lack of pass rush is a big part of their woes. It's a big game for both teams in terms of the playoff chase, but I just don't trust the Bengals. Dolphins win 23-17.
Green Bay Packers (4-3) @ New York Jets (5-1)
The Jets' secondary has shown that it can be spread apart and picked apart this season - with or without Darrelle Revis. The Packers (read: Clay Matthews) should force Mark Sanchez into mistakes, but they can be easily worn down by LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. Aaron Rodgers will keep it close, but I think the lack of depth hurts Green Bay late. Jets win 26-24.
Washington Redskins (4-3) @ Detroit Lions (1-5)
Matthew Stafford is back under center, and he'll get to face a point-stingy Redskins defense. Stafford back, with a healthier Jahvid Best, makes Detroit a much better team. However, the Lions defense still has holes for Ryan Torain and Donovan McNabb to exploit. Redskins win 19-17.
Denver Broncos (2-5) vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-6) in London, England
Yet again, the London game is a complete snoozer. The Broncos defense is struggling to stop anyone, and the 49ers have a top-15 defense. However, the Broncos can pass, whereas the secondary is the weak point of the San Francisco D. Frank Gore is the key here, especially with Troy Smith starting at quarterback...49ers win 30-27.
Carolina Panthers (1-5) @ St. Louis Rams (3-4)
The Panthers got their sole win because they beat a David Carr-led 49ers team. The Rams have been a much better team at home in the dome. Rams win 20-13.
Tennessee Titans (5-2) @ San Diego Chargers (2-5) (Sunday 10/31 at 3:05 PM CDT)
A season ago, San Diego pasted the Titans. Now? Tennessee can finish the Bolts off. The Chargers are playing at home, are desperate, and get the Titans after a cross-country flight. However, would you trust a team that is so mistake-prone? I know I can't. Titans win 27-20.
Seattle Seahawks (4-2) @ Oakland Raiders (3-4) (Sunday 10/31 at 3:15 CDT)
The Raiders are coming off absolute destruction of the Denver Broncos. The Seahawks are a different team on the road away from the Qwest Rowdies. Seattle's strong against the run, but the Raiders will test that with Darren McFadden, who has finally come into his own. Raiders win 20-16.
Minnesota Vikings (2-4) @ New England Patriots (5-1)
The Vikings need this win to keep any playoff hopes alive. Recently-acquired Randy Moss should help give insight into New England's brainthink. The Patriots defense is susceptible, so Adrian Peterson could run wild. Yes, I know Brett Favre is hurt, but how often has he won games when people counted him out? Vikings win 27-23.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) @ Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
Tampa Bay continues to surprise by winning. The team should have no problems with an Arizona team led by a rookie quarterback and defense with holes. Buccaneers win 31-20.
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1) @ New Orleans Saints (4-3) (Sunday 10/31 at 7:20 PM CDT)
The Saints just aren't right without Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush. The offense looks lame while the defense hasn't gotten the takeaways from a season ago. The Steelers defense should take advantage of the offensive woes plus the AFC is better than the NFC is right now. Steelers win 30-17.
Houston Texans (4-2) @ Indianapolis Colts (4-2) (Monday 11/1 at 7:30 PM CDT)
Last time these two teams met, the Texans defense allowed over 440 yards and won in strong fashion behind Arian Foster. I doubt Foster runs for 231 again, but the Colts are missing some significant players - including Austin Collie and Dallas Clark. Texans win 31-27.
Bye Week Teams
Atlanta Falcons (5-2)
They're leading the NFC South by a game and a half over the Saints. Roddy White is having a great season, and the defense is improved. This may be the best team in the NFC, and they can prove that with a strong November.
Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
Buffalo gave them more trouble than they should've - especially the defense. Baltimore continues to win, but will they put everything together?
Chicago Bears (4-3)
The hot start seems to be a bit of a mirage right now. The poor offensive line is getting Jay Cutler battered, and he's starting to make bad decisions because he has no time to throw. Can the Bears figure something out over the bye?
Cleveland Browns (2-5)
Another bad Browns season yields another surprising win. That's three straight years they've beaten the defending Super Bowl champions. The rest of the season should be about answering one question: Is Colt McCoy their quarterback of the future?
New York Giants (5-2)
The Giants? So hot right now. Four straight wins will do that for you. They're coming off a big win where they racked up nearly 500 offensive yards and won despite five turnovers. New York appears to be the class of the NFC, but can the Giants maintain this dominance?
Philadelphia Eagles (4-3)
The Eagles could use this bye week to get Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson healthy. They are a much more dynamic team with those two in the starting lineups. Without them, the Eagles can't challenge the Giants for the NFC East title.
BRB Pick 'Em League Update
The seventh week is in the books for the BRB Pick 'Em League. Six members missed the deadline for pick submission, but perhaps it was for the best after another wild, wacky weekend of NFL action. We had ties for the Charley Casserly award and for best record of the week. Despite 11-3 weeks from bigfatdrunk, killtacular, and Shake, the Week Seven winner of the Andre Johnson Award for Ass-Kicking and Excellence is...Texanmaniac.
When the BRB Pick 'Em League was in its nascent stages, future ass-kicker Texanmaniac proclaimed that when he figured out the confidence points that he would improve slightly. Apparently, that improvement took place this week as the self-proclaimed beer snob used the points to get away from bigfatdrunk, Shake, and killtacular.
In fact, Texanmaniac was a fourth heading into Monday Night's game. However, like any true Texans fan, it was his extreme hatred of the Dallas Cowboys that propelled him to victory. His 14-points against the Cowboys paid off and catapulted him to the top...while Dallas fell into the basement. We knew Texanmaniac was smart, as he has raised his daughter to talk trash to bandwagon fans, but this is more proof in a Battle Red Pudding. Let Texanmaniac's knowledge pour forth here: Great things come from hating the Dallas Cowboys. As his favorite booth man, Gus Johnson, would say: THERE COULD BE NOTHING GREATER THAN WINNING AN AWARD NAMED FOR THE GREAT ONE! GIVE IT UP FOR A MAN WHO JUST SCORES BUCKETS...TEXAAAAAAAAAAAAANMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANIAC - Week Seven BRB Pick 'Em Winner of the Andre Johnson Award for Ass-Kicking and Excellence.
"Should've Put Money On It" Game of the Week: 44 out of 44 BRB Pickers selected the Chiefs beating the Jaguars. I'm surprised that this was so cleanly chosen.
"We Know Nothing" Game of the Week: 44 out of 44 BRB Pickers were angry when the Browns upended the Saints. For many, it was a double-digit point game as well. Just a monumental upset for the 13-point underdog Browns.
Sippin' on Battle Red Drank: Everyone put 14 points on the Texans in their hearts.
Hidin' Out In the Back of the Meeting Hall: Everyone is cautiously walking around the meeting hall this week.
The Rex Grossman "F**k It, I'm Goin' Deep" Award: No one picked Cleveland, so the next biggest upset was eight-point underdog Oakland beating Denver by 45 points. Texanmaniac put 10 points down on Oakland, who throttled the Broncos.
The David Carr Misguided Faith Award: Close, but no cigar for SouthernLion as the Bills, his 13 confidence point selection, lost in overtime to 13-point favored Baltimore. He was so close to being Rex Grossman, but now must settle for a David Carr comparison...such is life, I suppose.
The Charley Casserly Decision Making Award: NoSafetiesNeeded, CFHTim, txknight, pvavocalist, HoustonTransplant, and krkenney all missed picks, so they were technically ineligible to win this. Of the 44 who submitted full weeks, the Charlie is shared by two men: peytonsurdaddy and AllenOU. Between the mass outbreak of Indianapolis injuries and Oklahoma dropping their first-ever game to Missouri, these two fellows have had a rough week. Therefore, I will not add any more to their rough week after their last-place 5-9, 43 point effort this week.
For Comparison's Sake...strictly straight up:
John McClain: 9-5 (64-40).
ESPN Average: 8-6 (59-45).
BRB Pickers: 8-6 (58-46).
TexansDC: 7-7 (57-47).
Jerome Solomon: 7-7 (56-48).
BRBers with the best weekly record: bigfatdrunk (feces flingers), killtacular (BP Oilers), Shake (Black Salaami), and Texanmaniac (texanmaniac) 11-3.
BRBer with the most weekly points: Texanmaniac (texanmaniac) 86 points.
Overall best record: CowboyH8ter (AJ Open Downfield) 68-36 leads by 1 game over bigfatdrunk (feces flingers).
Overall points leader: SATexan (Cake) 599 points leads by 36 points over CowboyH8ter (AJ Open Downfield).
Don't forget to submit your picks by Sunday, BRB Pickers. Congrats once again to Texanmaniac! Enjoy this weekend's slate of football and GO TEXANS!