Well, not the prettiest of performances by us last week. But you know what, Fooch? You get what you pay for. There is good news though, Sunday Night Football finally has a good matchup with the Cowboys and Eagles facing off, though the Monday Night Football game with the Chargers and Chiefs isn't the best. It still beats seeing the Jaguars and Colts play.
Here's a look at our performance so far this season:
Derek's Record Last Week: 7-5
Derek's Overall Record: 72-29
Dylan's Record Last Week: 6-6
Dylan's Overall Record: 15-10
Derek: I wish I could say this is the game the Colts finally win, but I just can't bring myself to do it after they got demolished by 55 points last weekend. I knew Peyton Manning was important to the Colts, I just didn't know he was THIS important. The Titans defense has been pretty solid this season and I think Chris Johnson finally breaks out against a porous Colts defense.
Dylan: I keep wanting Indianapolis to win a game based on the mere fact that they should not be allowed to have Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. That'd be downright selfish *cough* Joe Montana-Steve Young. I think Indianapolis has a chance to get a win against Tennessee if their defense finally shows up. Curtis Painter has been able to connect with Pierre Garcon and Dallas Clark enough to put up some points, but the defense hasn't stepped up. And because the Titans are another team struggling to score points, I'm going to roll the dice and go with the underdog.
Derek: It's looking like Sam Bradford is going to miss his second consecutive game, which means the Rams are looking at their seventh consecutive loss this year. The Rams defense is atrocious and they have no chance of stopping the Saints explosive offense.
Dylan: This should be a blowout, and if that's the case, the Rams are looking at 0-7 and may have to start re-evaluating the state of their franchise with Sam Bradford. Now, sure, it's not all on his Bradford's shoulders but if they wind up with the number one overall pick in 2012, they might have to pull the trigger on Luck. Drew Brees played well enough last week to sit out the 4th quarter; that might happen again.
Derek: Could this be the final game of the Tony Sporano era? Does anyone care?
Dylan: A good friend of mine is a die hard Miami Dolphins fan and he now keeps a list of teams he's worried might ruin his team's #SuckForLuck ralley, and the Giants aren't on that list. Miami has been playing really bad football, and while the Seahawks beat the G-Men, New York is getting healthier and are almost a sure thing to help Miami stay in the hunt for Andrew Luck.
Derek: Christian Ponder showed some real promise against a great Green Bay Packers team, but the opposing rookie quarterback, Cameron Newton, has been quite impressive himself. The Panthers are the best two-win team in the NFL and are at home, so I'll give them the upper hand in this matchup.
Dylan: This should make for an interesting match; two first round rookie quarterbacks going toe to toe, should be exciting. Right now Cam Newton is proving all the doubters wrong, showing he has what it takes to win in the NFL, already doubling the team's wins from last year. This will be Christian Ponder's second start since taking over for Donovan McNabb and I just don't think they match the amount of plays produced by Newton and the Carolina offense.
Derek: Freddy P. Soft made an appearance in the Ravens locker room last week. I have a feeling he has been removed from the building and the Ravens take out their frustrations on the hapless Cardinals. The Ravens offense has been struggling lately, but they also played against a pretty underrated Jaguars defense. The Cardinals defense is rated right where it should be: awful.
Dylan: The performance the Ravens put together against Jacksonville in week 7 looked half-baked and downright dreadful. The offensive performance was a mess, and not what their identity is built around. I think Baltimore bounces back against a weak NFC West opponent in Arizona. They could also look to run the score up on the Cards to get their confidence back.
Derek: Andre Johnson returned to practice this week, but he could be a game-time decision on Sunday. The Jaguars did have an impressive Monday night win against the Ravens, but the Texans are offense is a different animal, even without Johnson. I can't see the Jaguars conservative offense out-scoring Houston.
Dylan: The Jaguars got themselves an impressive win last week against the Baltimore Ravens but they are still a team with a lot of issues. It's highly unlikely that they win back-to-back games against expected contenders. Andre Johnson is also reportedly back working with the team and he's been maybe the greatest receiver in the league when he's healthy.
Derek: After a nice start, the Redskins have faltered the last two weeks. The great Rex Grossman did what I expected him to do, which was play himself out of a starting job, and he was replaced by John Beck last week. I'm still not totally sold on the Bills as a contender, but I think Fred Jackson and Co. win this one at home.
Dylan: The Redskins started off pretty well but now they seem to be in flux; that division is still up for grabs but I see the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys being the teams to be a run at it. Meanwhile, Buffalo is a team that would very much like to capitalize on their fast start and make their first playoff appearance in some time now. The home team looks like it could run away with this one on Sunday.
Derek: I'm not a Tebow believer, but I'll give him some credit for a great comeback win last week. Tebow-mania ends this weekend though, at least temporarily. Beating the Dolphins is one thing; the Detroit Lions is a much bigger test that Tebow is not ready for. At least he doesn't have to play in Detroit. The Lions should be pretty amped up for this game, as they have lost two in a row at home.
Dylan: The Golden Boy Tim Tebow will get his second start of the season, and it's likely to get ugly. Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has quickly become one of the leagues most feared defenders and will be gunning for Tebow pretty hard. Suh, also a soccer player, moves exceptionally well for his size and could have a huge game against a Broncos team in the midst of an identity crisis.
Derek: This is the toughest pick of the week by far. The Steelers are a bit banged up on defense with Aaron Smith out for the year and James Harrison out. The key for the Steelers is to get pressure on Brady. That's been the blueprint in the past. The Patriots defense has improved the last few weeks. I think that continues and they beat the Steelers on the road.
Dylan: Probably the game of the week. I think this year, we are finally seeing the unraveling the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Age catches up with everyone, especially football players and the Steelers defensemen are amongst the oldest in the league. I still think Dick LeBeau is one of the greatest defensive minds in history, but Tom Brady has his number. From the players, to the coaches, to a possible playoff preview, this should make for a great game.
Derek: Neither of these teams have explosive passing attacks. With or without Peyton Hillis, the Browns will not be able to run the ball against the 49ers. The front seven is just too dominant against the run. The Browns have impressive defensive numbers, but their strength of schedule hasn't been very tough. It may not be pretty (I hope it is), but I can't see the Browns beating the 49ers.
Dylan: I made the mistake of picking against the 49ers in the game versus Detroit; I won't pick against them again. San Francisco should be firing on all cylinders against Cleveland after "improvement week." I expect the Niners to dominate all three phases on Sunday: offense, defense and special teams.
Derek: The only reason why the Seahawks may have a chance in this game is because of their loud fans. Andy Dalton has been solid, but he will face a big test at one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. Seattle's offense isn't good, but their run defense is, which I think will lead to another ugly game that will result in another Seahawks loss.
Dylan: The Bengals defense has been playing pretty well this season and they should be able to outmatch the Seahawks in the explosive plays department. The growing chemistry between Andy Dalton and A.J. Green has been a treat to watch, even for non-Bengals fans. A lot is being asked of those two and they have delivered; it's going to be exciting where they're at in 5 years. I don't think Seattle has the tools to get it done, especially with Marshawn Lynch inactive. The crowd noise in Seattle could be a problem but Cincinnati plays in a tough division.
Derek: Obviously the Eagles "dream team" hasn't had the instant success they envisioned. What they do have is an opportunistic secondary, especially with Asante Samuel. Like Carlos Rogers said, Tony Romo will give defenses two or three chances at a turnover, and I think the Eagles take advantage of those opportunities and come away with a big win.
Dylan: This one is a pure toss up. It depends on which Dallas team shows up and which Philly team shows up. On any given Sunday, either of these teams is capable of looking like a championship team but when they have bad days, they really have bad days. The Eagles are 2-4, while the Cowboys have a one game lead at 3-3. I think the Eagles need it more, and it shows as they fight for a win at home.
Derek: After an awful start, Matt Cassell and the Chiefs have started to make a comeback in the standings, winning their last three games. That streak will end this weekend. The Chiefs last three opponents haven't exactly been strong. They beat the Vikings, Colts, and Kyle Boller-lead Raiders. Now that they are playing a real opponent, they will go back to losing.
Dylan: The NFL really needs to do something about these primetime games. The Colts have been driving me absolutely mad this year since the schedule, like the rest of the NFL and ESPN, is structured around Peyton Manning. This primetime game isn't much better, with San Diego just blowing a winnable game against the Jets and an underachieving Kansas City team. While Kansas City is on a 3-game win streak, I think it ends on Monday Night against a more talented Chargers team.