The Fearless Forecast
(about to get on the plane to Tampa edition)
I'm leaving on a jet plane ... don't know when I'll be back again ..... This will be my eighth trip to the Bay Area to see my beloved Buccaneers. 1988, 1990, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2006 - can I improve the 7-4 mark I have watching the Bucs play? Well, at least that record is better than the one I posted in this forecast column last week.
Chicago Da Bears at Atlanta Falcons
OK since when did Kyle Orton v Matt Ryan become a match-up worthy of discussion? I still the Falcons are not a good team and are just taking advantage of scheduling breaks. Perhaps they even win this week but they are still fourth best in the NFC South. Pick: Atlanta.
Miami Dolphins at Houston We Have a Problem Texans
And in another throwback development in Miami, the Dolphins will be wearing leather helmets and running out of the Wing-T on every play. Surely the Texans can't blow another winning position. Pick: Houston.
Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colt
Colt Bowl - one of the enduring images of the 1980s was the Mayflower moving trucks driving out of Baltimore in 1984 with the Colts on board. All thanks to one of the worst owners in sports at the time, Robert Irsay. Now in a new dome in Indy, the new Colts are one of the best-run franchises in the NFL. Pick: Indianapolis.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
The Lions are down a GM, a quarterback and quite potentially a coach too. At least former Buc Martin Mayhew is now the acting GM in town. Shame the team completely sucks. Pick: Minnesota.
Cincinnati Bungles at New York J-E-T-S- Jets Jets Jets
No Carson Palmer, no wins and no hopes. Chad Hanky Panky or whatever he calls himself now will disappear even further off the radar after another loss. Pick: NY Jets.
Carolina Panthers at your very own Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I was at the 2006 game in which the Bucs lost the game and Chris Simms lost his spleen. And someone in the stands near me yelled out about Chris being weak and a coward to come off the field. Unbelievable. The Bucs need this one and regular readers of this column know I don't pick against the Bucs. Pick: Tampa Bay.
St. Louis Lambs at Washington Redskins
Can we please do a low round pick trade for Torry Holt? He's no speedster but we need receivers and the Lambs will take anything right now. Even I was impressed with the Skins' win over Philly but only because thanks to the game finishing on time, British TV was able to switch to Denver in time for the kick-off of the Bucs' game. Pick: Washington.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Enver Broncos
Still no D in Denver - sorry guys, but holding Short-Haul Air Gruden to 13 points does not count for entry into the Defensive Hall of Fame. Shut down the Jags and perhaps you get your D back. Pick: Denver.
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
Is that the sound of the Cardinal bandwagon firing up again? Two East coast losses and everyone jumped off. Win this one and perhaps we might all get on as well. And I really hate the Cowboys. Pick: Arizona.
Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers
They are last in the NFC East but would probably walk most other divisions in the NFL. The Eagles need this win badly to stay in contention. This was a marquee match-up at times in the 1990s. Pick: Philadelphia.
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Walrus Bowl to steal a great line from Channel 5's Mike Carlson. The Sehawks are hurting badly right now and please let it continue next week in Tampa. The Packers just have too many offensive weapons against a fast-fading Seattle defense. Pick: Green Bay.
New England Videocheats at San Diego Superchargers
At the start of the season, this looked like the Monday Night game of dreams. Then Tom Brady got hurt, the Chargers all got hurt, and both teams amazingly lost to the Miami Dolphins. And remember, no-one takes a great team and makes them average better than Norv Turner. Pick: New England.
Paul Stewart, TBO.com, 12 October 2008