The Office Pool: Week Eight

by Rick Rockwell

Whenever the prognostication average looks like a baseball batting average, you know something is amiss. Someone polluted the office pool's picks last week: for the worst week ever. Now, for an attempt at a comeback.

Last Week: .385
This Season: .620

Game of the Week: Falcons at Bengals

Last week, in a surprise, the Falcons found their passing game and won a shootout with the World Champs. Can they do it again? The Bengals haven't looked like the offensive titans that they were last year. Not yet. This may be a track meet but quarterback Carson Palmer and his mates finally regain their rhythm to eke out a victory.

Cardinals at Packers

This week's Loser Bowl puts the struggling Cardinals on the road to Legendary Lambeau Field where Legendary Brett Favre awaits them. This will actually be a close, but sloppy game. The Cheeseheads have the advantage at home.

Colts at Broncos

Likely everyone else will have this game designated as their best match-up of the week: the undefeated Colts with their dazzling offense against the stingy Bronco's defense playing at mile high altitudes. I'm thinking this is where the Colts finally collapse.

Jaguars at Eagles

Will the Eagles let another game slip away in the final seconds? Have the Jaguars really tumbled out of the pantheon of the league's best teams this year? This game should answer those questions and more. This week, quarterback Byron Leftwich has more of the answers and the Jaguars win, but it will again be one of those last-minute field goal affairs.

Cowboys at Panthers

The Cowboys are imploding. What is Coach Bill Parcells' thinking? Benching quarterback Drew Bledsoe for inexperienced Tony Romo is not the answer. A better offensive line is the answer. The Panthers defense should feast and Carolina should resume its winning ways.

Texans at Titans

Both of these young teams look to have some mid-season spark. This game might be a marker for which team is headed upward. The Texans have the edge, but by less than a touchdown.

Ravens at Saints

Everyone loves the Saints this year, including the odds makers. But coming off a bye week, the Ravens are poised to claim an upset. If not, Coach Brian Billick may be packing soon.

Jets at Browns

Las Vegas and others think the Browns are due. But Coach Eric Mangini is quietly leading a rebuilding rejuvenation for Gang Green. Green over Brown, any day.

Buccaneers at Giants

The Buccaneers may not go quietly into the dustbin after two major upsets. The Giants should quiet them, as Big Blue look to be the best team in the National Football Conference (NFC).

Monday Night: Patriots at Vikings

The Vikings proved last week that they truly are the Upset Kings, just as I lost faith in them. Can they do it again? No. The Patriots are one of the most complete teams in the league and are in the winning groove. Don't mess with quarterback Tom Brady when he is on a roll.

Seahawks at Chiefs

The Seahawk's roster has turned into a hospital listing. And the Chiefs may have turned the corner on the season by beating the Chargers last week. If the Vikings can run on Seattle, the Chiefs will flatten them. Look for a big day from Chiefs' running back Larry Johnson.

Rams at Chargers

Some folks think the Rams are among the best in the league. Wrong. They are pretenders. An angry Chargers team should expose that as they attempt to keep pace in the very competitive American Football Conference (AFC) West.

49ers at Bears

Can a weak team upset the Bears? Well, the Cardinals almost proved that's possible but the 49ers won't catch the Bears dozing after a bye week. The Bears should roar loudly.

Steelers at Raiders

The main reason to watch this game will be to see if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can recover from his latest calamity, another concussion. The World Champs should crush the lowly Raiders.

As the season approaches the midway point, this column is limping as much as some of the players. Enjoy the viewing this weekend!

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Gun-Toting Liberal said...

What??? Brian Billick gone after the loss? No way! The Ravens are 5-1, will be 5-2 after the Saints spank them in a close one, bro...

Rick Rockwell said...

Oh GTL... the key words here are "may" and "soon."

As this will be the beginning of the unraveling of the Ravens if they lose. But I don't think that will happen.

I do think Billick has run out of folks to blame though. He has fired his good friend and offensive coordinator. He may be losing some of this team emotionally, which seemingly rallies around various key players rather than Billick.

Personally, even if the Steelers and Bengals edge them out in the division race, I think it would be a mistake to fire Billick, but the new owner put him on the griddle at the end of last season, so he and the team must produce.

Oh, and just one slight correction: the Ravens are 4-2 headed into the weekend. I hope they are 5-2 when it is all said and done.

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