Last week was upset central, headlined by the St. Louis Rams running rough, very rough, over the Denver Broncos. That was such a terrible horrible defeat to swallow for me. Not because of the playoff implications, mind you, or even the injuries to the Broncos star players. It was this, Peyton Manning hasn't looked like himself for over 3 weeks now and this game put a punctuation mark on that. Yes, last week Manning threw 4 touchdowns against the Raiders. But even at that, he is overthrowing, underthrowing and just missing what used to be laser tight windows. Nothing he does, from here on out, will change my opinion that he is the best quarterback to have ever played this professional game. But I would be stupid not to be worried that his days as a player might be more shortly numbered than I or anyone had hoped. Tom Brady dramatically said that he will stop playing when he sucks. No one is a stronger critic of Peyton than Peyton, and I will not be surprised if he calls it 'a day' after this season is over. That can't help but make one sad.
The other upsets? Houston wipped Cleveland, Tampa brutalized Washington and the Bengals established relevance again by beating Drew Brees in the Superdome. Though I still have no faith that Cincinnati can win the AFC North, by virtue of their tie they currently sit atop that division. Right now, I still think the schedule favors Pittsburgh or Baltimore.
It was said to me this week that Arizona is a lock to host the NFC championship game and host the Super Bowl. No. Baring injury, no one in the NFC is beating the Green Bay Packers. I'm not at all certain that anyone in the league is beatng them at this point.
So, the Raiders are out. Other than that, nothing is known. So, on with the picks ...
Kansas City (7-3) at Oakland (0-10) - Chiefs (20-24, Raiders. I never imagined typing THAT. It seems the Raiders are more than willing to expunge the ghost of Al Davis as well. PARTY in the East Bay!)
Cleveland (6-4) at Atlanta (4-6) Falcons
Tennessee (2-8) at Philadelphia (7-3) - Eagles
Detroit (7-3) at New England (8-2) - Patriots
Green Bay (7-3) at Minnesota (4-6) - Packers
Jacksonville (1-9) at Indianapolis (6-4) - Colts
Cincinnati (6-3-1) at Houston (5-5) - Bengals
Tampa Bay (2-8) at Chicago (4-6) - Bears
Arizona (9-1) at Seattle (6-4) - Seahawks
St Louis (4-6) at San Diego (6-4) - Rams
Miami (6-4) at Denver (7-3) - Broncos
Washington (3-7) at San Fransisco (6-4) - 49ers
Dallas (7-3) at New York Giants (3-7) - Cowboys
Baltimore (6-4) at New Orleans (4-6) - Saints
New York Jets (2-8) at Buffalo (5-5) in the city of Detroit - Jets
Byes: Pittsburgh and Carolina
Last Week's Score: 9 - 5, 64% Overall: 107 - 54, 66%