Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Scientific Method, Week 13

Well, I don't quite know how to beat last week, where science raced out to an astounding 12-4 record behind teams like the Seahawks, Broncos, and Vikings.

I figure that science will decide to go back to the mean, so I don't even know if you should read my predictions for this week.

Plus all my luck is gone after the Seahawks win on Sunday. That was one of the most unbelievable moments I will ever witness in my sports life.

Fortunately the NFL is still around for five more weeks, because Lord knows I'm not into the Mariners offseason or the Sonics season right now.

Last Week: 12-4
Overall record: 101-75

Sunday:
Green Bay at Chicago
Hypothesis: Every week there is at least one upset
Here's the thing. The media has officially reached a level of uber-hype with the Bears, who have scored 2 touchdowns in the last two weeks, both taking less than 10 yards. Yes, they have a great defense. I get it. But the '85 Bears and even the '00 Ravens had offenses that could move the football. Think about it. Trent Dilfer, Jamal Lewis, and Shannon Sharpe massively outduel Kyle Orton, Thomas Jones, and Muhsin Muhammed. I just feel like they are setting themselves up for a fall. Of course, Green Bay, and Brett Favre, have been playing atrocious football recently, but this should be a close game, if only because the Bears' offense can't score 21.
Scientific Pick: Green Bay

Jacksonville at Cleveland
Hypothesis: Teams with quarterback controversies rarely succeed
The Trent Dilfer era lasted all of 11 games before Romeo Crennel seemed to be turning more and more to rookie Charlie Frye, though I don't completely understand that. Dilfer is a semi-quality quarterback, and the offense's problems don't seem to lie on him. There is the small matter of a terrible offensive line and no wide receiving weapons outside of Braylon Edwards. Meanwhile, David Garrard will be fine in limited service, as the Jags running game keeps gathering steam no matter who is running, and the defense is enveloping people week after week.
Scientific Pick: Jacksonville

Minnesota at Detroit
Hypothesis: Go with the team with less turmoil
Steve Mariucci was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He seems to be the type of coach that works well with a veteran team, keeping them fresh and letting the leadership onus fall on their shoulders. However, this was not a veteran team. Joey Harrington has massively underperformed, but who hasn't on that offense? Roy Williams celebrated a touchdown in ridiculous fashion down 27-7. Kevin Jones, the supposed savior of the offense, has been constantly stymied. The offensive line is horrendous. This team isn't going anywhere, and Matt Millen SHOULD be on a short leash from now on. Minnesota is heading in the right direction under the calm and steady hand of Brad Johnson and an improving defense. I like them more and more in the NFC, but they need to win this game. They will.
Scientific Pick: Minnesota.

Tennessee at Indianapolis
Hypothesis: Dominant teams win these games at home
Wow. Peyton Manning and Co. look almost unstoppable this season; to the point where we are already hearing the "controversy" about whether Dungy should sit some players to rest up for the postseason instead of going for a perfect season. My take? The Super Bowl is WAY more important then 16-0. Those are the teams that go down in history. There is no trophy that goes with a perfect season. Dungy is with me, at least for right now. Tennessee is ready for the season to end, though Steve McNair has had a nice season with absolutely no talent surrounding him, and Chris Brown, if he can stay healthy, could be a feature back in upcoming seasons. Still, this game shouldn't be close.
Scientific Pick: Indianapolis

Buffalo at Miami

Hypothesis: When only one team shows any sort of consistency in any facet of the game, go with that
Let's see. Buffalo's defense can't stop the run and is so-so against the pass. Miami's defense, while better, puts together performances like giving up 22 points against Cleveland. Buffalo's offense is led by J.P. Losman and the best running back in the league, Willis McGahee, who is terrible in the red zone and gave my fantasy team a whopping five points last week. Miami's offense is led by a terrible quarterback. But. The Dolphins running game is legit, if Saban actually decides to use it. Ricky Williams is running hard, and Ronnie Brown is ready to take his 10-15 carries as well. That running attack should be the difference, as these two teams are going in the opposite direction.
Scientific Pick: Miami

Tampa Bay at New Orleans
Hypothesis: If Aaron Brooks has had a few good games in a row, he is due for a poor game
Well, Tampa Bay has the second best defense, while Aaron Brooks has no running game and a hindered Joe Horn. The Cadillac is back and revved up at full speed, while Joey Galloway is giving Chris Simms the game-breaking weapon he has never had at quarterback. Throw in the fact that Tampa Bay HAS to win this game to continue having postseason hopes, and this game should be dominated by the Bucs. Of course, these are the Saints, who usually throw toghether a few "What the...?" games a season, but I just can't see it here.
Scientific Pick: Tampa Bay

Dallas at NY Giants
Hypothesis: When both offenses have life to them, go with the better defense
Now, I even write that, and I understand that Dallas' offense seems to be in a bit of a downward spiral. Terry Glenn isn't a big factor, the running game has been less than outstanding, and the redzone offense consists of Bledsoe throwing a jumpball for Keyshawn that opposing teams are finally beginning to guard. However, Eli Manning still seems like he's a mediocre quarterback for three quarters and an All-Pro quarterback for the 4th, and Dallas' cornerbacks are physical enough to take Amani Toomer out of it, while slowing down Shockey and Burress. I'm giving Dallas' defense the benefit of the doubt here, and predicting a low-scoring win. Bonus Prediction: Michael Irvin takes his week off to relax and spend more time with "his brother".
Scientific Pick: Dallas

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Hypothesis: Third time is the charm for growing teams
A hard loss to Pittsburgh at home. A close loss to the Colts at home. The Bengals have experienced life on the big stage, and they are ready to step up and take control of the division. Saying that the Steelers have been unimpressive recently is like saying that John Levesque is a terrible sportswriter. It's just plain as day. Big Ben is hurt and can't throw the football anywhere, the offensive line is jacked up, and Jerome Bettis seems like he DID retire last season. Carson Palmer is kicking serious butt, by the way. I am liking him more and more and more.
Scientific Pick: Cincinnati

Atlanta at Carolina
Hypothesis: Go with the team that can actually run the football
Where has Stephen Davis gone? The Carolina team that went to the Super Bowl ran through Stephen Davis, a hard nosed offensive line, and timely passing from Jake Delhomme. This..... is not that Carolina team. The Falcons had a great win on Thanksgiving Day. The weather might be bad, but I still think that favors the power running game of Duckett and even Dunn, while Vick should spring free at least a few times since he has absolutely owned the Panthers. Again, this is another game where a team is fighting for their playoff lives, and, once again, I think that the team will win.
Scientific Pick: Atlanta

Houston at Baltimore
Hypothesis: Ugh. Go with the team that sucks
David Carr and Andre Johnson woke up last week, albeit against the Rams dastardly passing defense, while the offensive line doesn't absolutely suck. Jamal Lewis ALSO woke up last week, as he might finally realize that he won't get that big contract from anyone if he doesn't show some capability to run the football. One of those trends will continue. Hint. It doesn't involve David Carr.
Scientific Pick: Baltimore

Washington at St. Louis

Hypothesis: Fill-in quarterbacks struggle in the second week
Everyone is now singing the praises of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Sound familiar? Can you say.... Jeff Garcia? He was going to lead the Lions to the promised land after a close win over the Browns. He proceeded to suck while aggravating his injury. Can you say..... Josh McCown? Great win over the 49ers, nothing since then. Can you say.... Anthony Wright? Vinny Testeverde? Are you getting the picture here? I expect a huge game from Santana Moss, dicing up that same Rams defense.
Scientific Pick: Washington

Arizona at San Francisco

Hypothesis: Never trust a quarterback shuffle
Back to Alex Smith for the Niners. It's the correct move, since you wasted a #1 pick on the guy, but it lessens their chances of actually winning any more games this season. Ken Dorsey was (gasp) actually playing decently, with Brandon Lloyd starting to play like a true #1 wide receiver. As for Arizona, what hasn't been said? Maybe that Kurt Warner is guaranteed to throw for 300 yards a game since one pundit prediction was true: Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin might be the best wide receiver combo outside of Harrison/Wayne, and might actually be better..... Of course, the defense is still underperforming, but, hey, it's Arizona, so noone actually cares. Here's something nice. At least one of these teams will lose.
Scientific Pick: Arizona

Denver at Kansas City

Hypothesis: Go with the team with the most to lose
I picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West at the beginning of the season behind the running of Priest Holmes and a revamped defense. Well, Priest is out, but Larry Johnson has stepped in, and he is just being awesome right now. The revamped defense is actually improving. However, is it too late? That schedule is awful, and starts with a visit from the Denver Broncos and their fantastic running game. I don't expect the Chiefs to stop them, but I do expect the Chiefs to actually take advantage of some of the Broncos all-out blitzes by running some screens for Johnson and throwing it deep to Dante Hall. This might turn out to be the game of the week. What a division the AFC West is!
Scientific Pick: Kansas City

NY Jets at New England

Hypothesis: Never pick the Jets again this season
Man, the Jets suck. I hate picking New England, because you just KNOW that, if the Pats win a few games, a few columnists are going to start writing about how "they are back" and "a threat to win it all." No, they are not. They have no running game and their defense is terrible. Shut up, columnists, prematurely. I know you're out there (Peter King, put down your espresso. I'm looking straight at you, big boy). I have to pick them here, however. The Jets can't do anything well except make other teams look good.
Scientific Pick: New England

Oakland at San Diego
Hypothesis: When both teams have good running attacks, go with the team that actually uses it
If Lamont Jordan had been the focal point from Day One, I guarantee they would not be 4-7 right now. But there you are. Goodbye, Norv Turner, because you are about to be 4-8. LT is the man, and, if he struggles at all (won't), Drew Brees and Antonio Gates are there to assume control. San Diego might run the table, which they need to do to get a playoff spot. At least the ESPN guys have a remotably interesting game to cover. That Sunday Night schedule has been the worst possible I have ever heard of, including that Saints/Jets matchup last week.
Scientific Pick: San Diego

Monday:
Seattle at Philadelphia

Hypothesis: Some seasons are magical, some seasons go downhill
The Seahawks season keeps getting better, while the Eagles just don't have the available talent to compete. This game might FINALLY give us some respect, but I doubt it.
Scientific Pick: Seattle

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