Sunday, October 26, 2008

"We Knew, in that Huddle..." - Dan's Picks

"It was a group destined to apply the kind of pressure that had not been seen before."

Mike Singletary's Forty-Niners are similarly destined to win for him their first time out this week. Seattle is inexplicably bad this year - primarily because I haven't been paying close enough attention to be able to explain why they are so bad. This fall from grace has left the NFC West a wasteland that suddenly finds the Rams in second place. So the battle for third place will go to the temporarily inspired locals, 31-21.

For the Raiders, the question is whether their sometimes inspired play of 2008 was only temporary and is now over...or at least whether it will show up this week. In other words, will we see a performance like the Buffalo trip or the New Orleans trip? Optimistic Dan says Buffalo. Rob Ryan will have Trevor Scott and crew ready to play with his arrogant twin on the other sideline. Sure, the Raiders are a team that's built to run, and the Ravens have the NFL's #1 run defense. And the Raiders' run defense is ranked, as usual, somewhere in the upper 20's (yes, I'm starting Willis McGahee on my fantasy team this week). But I think the Raider D will come to play, and JaMarcus will make a few plays. Raiders 17-10.

The New York Giants will defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20. Both teams can get after the quarterback, but I think the Giants are just a notch above. Maybe Polamalu will knock a few more dollars out of Plaxico's wallet in his ongoing quest to save professional football from becoming a "pansy game." I am really looking forward to watching this one. Oh that's right...I live in 49er territory.

It's all unwinding in Dallas, an organization almost as fond of drama as the Raiders. So Tampa Bay, which is actually a body of water and not a city although maybe a reference to a metro area but I really don't think so, will go into Dallas and win. Brad Johnson may have won a Super Bowl for Gruden, but Garcia has always been better. And since there's only room for one Roy Williams in Dallas, the score will be relatively high, 28-27.

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