Welcome back for more picks this week. I was 10-6 last week, bringing my public picks record up to 36-25-1. I'm sitting at 58%, and really want to crack 60% for all y'all. The Reggie Bush sweepstakes is on, and that brings to mind what teams might do this offseason. If Regie Bush does not win the Heisman & Vince Young wins, the Eastern Media will put on their hypocrite hats and call the Midwest media homers for overlooking Bush. Because their is no Eastern candidate, Bush will carry the big markets in the East and win it. Same thing happened last year, and it benefited Leinart. Besides the amazing draft class we could see in April, what are teams going to do with the restricted and unrestricted free agents out there?
Chicago (+6.5) over PITTSBURGH
At the beginning of the season, I would have picked Pittsburgh and given the Bears 10. The line has moved 2 full points, so there is little faith in this Chicago team, which has beaten quality teams. Chicago will keep this close because they play outstanding defense, and are playing a squad with a banged up QB and a running game which has had problems recently.
Possible Offseason Moves: Bears make decision on QB. Do you had the reins over to Rex Grossman, or do you trust in Kyle Orton? I think you go back to Grossman, and keep Orton backing him up next year since Grossman has a problem of staying healthy. You can probably trade Orton after next season if Grossman has a solid year. Pittsburgh needs to find the threat to stretch the field to balance their passing attack. I feel they won't resign Antwaan Randle El, and get some kind of compensation for him because he is a restricted free agent.
Cincy (-12.5) over CLEVELAND
Cincy will roll over the Browns and cement their hold over the AFC North. With the Broncos remaining schedule, there is a possibility that they could sneak in as the number 2 seed. Marvin Lewis knows his defensive front needs some rest, and the bye would have them sitting pretty.
Possible Offseason Moves: Cincy add some strength up front to stop the run, Browns need to add depth
TENN (-6.5) over Houston
These teams are both disgusting, and it is too bad that Jeff Fisher is rumored to be on the hot seat. The guy took the Titans to the playoffs for a logn stretch, and even he can't get a full year of breathing room?
Possible Offseason Moves: Tenn has to wait out salary cap hell, and draft for depth. They need to make a decision on who will be the number 1 running back too. I vote for Chris Brown despite his health issues. Houston needs to make a decision on Leinart w/current talent vs. Carr w/Reggie Bush, maybe squeeze extra picks. Houston needs to keep the phone lines open though because they could swing a boatload of picks for that number 1 and still pick up some quality O-lineman.
Indy (-8.5) over JACKSONVILLE
The Colts are focused more thana I have seen a team in recent memory. They execute so well on offense that it appears they aren't even trying hard.
Possible Offseason Moves: Jags can deal David Garrard after his audition these last few weeks. If he performs well, and someone dangles picks in front of their eyes, they'd be fools not to trade for them. Indy needs to make decision on the Edge. If they win it all, it might not be far-fetched for them to make the Edge a good offer, and let him go if someone goes nuts for him.
New England (-3.5) over BUFFALO
New England can wrap up the AFC LEast this week. They will get it done, and then rest guys over the next few weeks.
Possible Offseason Moves: New England looks for secondary help and the RB of the future. I think they have to find someone through free agency or the draft to boost their rushing attack. I'd laugh if the Edge went to NE. Buffalo needs to cut Moulds or maybe find someone to trade him to in the offseason.
Oakland (-3) over NY JETS
I saw the Jets last week, they are horrible. They can't put up 10 points, and I guarantee that Oakland is good for 14 this week against their D. The Jets are praying that the Texans beat the 49ers and cause a huge tie at 2-14, which would make the commissioner magically rig the tiebreakers so NY gets the number 1 pick. He did it so the Giants got a 9th home game.
Possible Offseason Moves: Oakland needs to scout QB options. They might grab a Brady Quinn if he's available. NY Jets need to figure out how to win the Reggie Bush sweepstakes. They will trade picks for him, they will work the commish for the number 1 pick, they will do what it takes to get him there. The Jets could use 4 picks to get that number 1 pick like the Giants did 2 years ago.
MINNESOTA (-6.5) over St. Louis
St. Louis has an Ivy League QB and a white wide receiver as their hot combo. That's not a good mix in 2005.
Possible Offseason Moves: Minnesota needs to deal with Culpepper being out until mid-2006. I would trade him to the Arizona Cardinals who have the speed and talent at the WR position to help Daunte. They'll get Arizona's 1st rounder or maybe the 2nd rounder. St. Louis needs to make moves to shore up their D. They have been porous against the run.
CAROLINA (-5.5) over Tampa Bay
Carolina at home against a QB who doesn't throw that well on the road? No problem. The Panthers will stuff the line, blitz the QB on passing downs, and double the star wide out for the Bucs. The Bucs maybe score 10 points.
Possible Offseason Moves: Carolina needs decision on Deshaun Foster. Is he the future? I say yes. Tampa Bay needs to determine which QB is the future and add youth to the defense.
New York (-9) over PHILLY
Philly's season is over with $29 million in cap space inactive. They are done, and the Giants can seal up the NFC East with a win and Cowboys' loss....well almost.
Possible Offseason Moves: New York needs defensive backs. They really need to add skill and depth in the defensive backfield. Philly needs a WR to replace TO. They never should have signed that huge extension to Westbrook and could use that money and TO's money for the Edge (among others).
SEATTLE (-16) over San Fran
The 49ers are so close to getting Reggie Bush. If they did, they would reunite high school teammates, Bush and Alex Smith.
Possible Offseason Moves: Seattle needs to make a decision on Shaun Alexander and grab a WR. Without talent at the WR spot, teams can stack the line, stuff Alexander and force those bad wide outs make plays. San Fran must decide on taking a run at Reggie Bush or adding playmakers to the O-line or defense. I'd go with Bush if I were them.
ARIZONA (+4) over Washington
Arizona is a good home team with the points. Washington also has a problem scoring now, so expect this one to be close. Watch, now that I said that, the Skins will put up 30.
Possible Offseason Moves: Washington might trade Arrington and what about Brunell vs. Campbell. I keep Brunell in there for 1 more year, and make Mr. 8-on-the-Wonderlic-Test go through another year of studying and development. Arizona needs to make a QB decision. Do they go after Culpepper. Dennis Green liked Culpepper. They need help on defense though, and should use their draft picks for a linebacker.
DENVER (-14) over Baltimore
Denver at home against the Ravens, who barely put the Texans away at home. I can't say anything more.
Possible Offseason Moves: Denver might grab TO. If they can't get to the Super Bowl this year, they will make a run at him. Baltimore needs to make a decision on Jamal Lewis & Kyle Boller, maybe go for TO. I say scrap both because their is a useful replacement for Lewis on the team, and Boller might be the worst in NFL right now. TO's bad behavior 2 years ago might stop management from going after him.
DALLAS (-2.5) over KC
Desperation and home field advantage will carry the day for Dallas.
Possible Offseason Moves: Dallas might grab TO. I'd be scared of that because he'd fit in well with the egos throughout history in Dallas, but their receiving corps might not want him. They do need to add to the O-line. The game against the Giants showed why. KC needs defensive help. They are old and can't stop anyone.
SAN DIEGO (-13.5) over Miami
San Diego is quietly a win against Denver away from sliding into first place in the AFC West. They put this one in the bank to gear up for the Colts-Broncos games.
Possible Offseason Moves: San Diego will find a suitor for Phillip Rivers. They will dangle him out there for teams, while working on a contract for Drew Brees. Isn't it amazing what happens to a QB when you give him 3 years to develop? Miami needs a QB: possible home for Rivers. Seriously, why not just trade Rivers to Miami right after the season. He'd walk into a great situation witht he skill players they have in Miami.
Detroit over GREEN BAY (+6)
I can't believe I am going with Detroit on the road, but they beat them in week 1 when Green Bay was completely healthy.
Possible Offseason Moves: Green Bay make move on Favre add help to defense. I say ask Favre to walk away or find a team to trade him to. They should have done that in the beginning of the year when he had more value. Detroit needs to make QB decision. Who leads the team? Where do they go from here with no coach and an idiot for a GM?
New Orleans (+10.5) over ATLANTA
I hate this, but Atlanta shouldn't be giving 10+ points to a division rival who is just playful enough against them. Doesn't it always seem liek New Orleans plays Atlanta tough?
Possible Offseason Moves: Atlanta maybe go for TO and at least get a WR who can catch. New Orleans needs to make decision on where they will be playing, then a decision at QB. I think this is the perfect spot for Matt Leinart.