Football Friday: Coup’s Picks


With basketball season about to start swinging away, we’re going to cut down a little on the football. That means Football Fridays with full pick lists but just quickie conference power rankings from each of us. Here’s the standings so far:

Coup: 54-35
Steve: 51-38

That puts me on par with Merril Hodge and above Sean Salisbury, and Steve on par with ahead of Mike Golic.

Onto the picks, which were pretty straightforward this week — lots of good teams at home. Don’t think Steve is going to pick up much ground:

Patriots over DOLPHINS
All this talk about Brady losing in Miami and this being a trap game seems like a stretch. If the Pats are going to lose, it’s not going to be to some team they didn’t prepare enough for. Ronnie Brown could have a good game, though, because I’m beginning to think the NE defense is not all it’s cracked up to be. We’ll see if Richard Seymour impacts that notion drastically.

SAINTS over Falcons
The bye week seemed to really help NO while I don’t think anything could help Atlanta right now, especially if they still won’t give Jerious Norwood more carries. The guy won’t grind out too many yards, but you might as well take the chance on a couple home runs.

GIANTS over 49ers
New York is just the latest team everyone loves for one week because of a small win streak. The only decent team they’ve beaten is Washington — and don’t think for a minute I’m giving full credit for the Eagles win, it’s not hard to beat a team that has helpless offensive lineman. Fortunately for the Giants, San Fran isn’t any good, but this should be a tight game with the Niners coming out of a bye week.

Titans over TEXANS
I’m hoping Vinny Young can play in this one, but even without him, the Titans should be able to stuff whatever semblance of offense Houston is going to roll out this week. Poor Matt Schaub, just give him back Andre Johnson already.

Ravens over BILLS
I just hate picking Baltimore. I know they are probably going to win, but it will be ugly as all hell and much closer than it should be because the Ravens are so inconsistent. They beat San Fran 9-7 one week, and then win 22-3 over a pitiful Rams team. Don’t call me impressed.

REDSKINS over Cardinals
Kurt Warner may play, but it won’t matter. He’d get molested for three hours by Sean Taylor anyways (who, by the way, I honestly believe would the Cowboys a legit-when-healthy elite team).

LIONS over Buccaneers
Tiny bit of an upset here, but Detroit has had enough time to put together a game plan to take advantage of that Cover-2. If Kevin Jones gets going, this could be a blowout, but I expect Mike Martz to utilize the mid-range portion of the field until Kitna can go yard to Roy Williams.

RAIDERS over Chiefs
Oakland is an anomaly. They aren’t all that good, but they seem to be playing more as a team than they have in years. Should be enough to be Dwayne Bowe and Co. in Cali.

BENGALS over Jets
I mentioned this before, but the Bengals biggest problem is they don’t have that tight-end saftey net that so many good teams have. And how under the rader is Carson Palmer this year. The man is getting NO attention. None.

COWBOYS over Vikings
Adrian Peterson had a good game. You think that’s going to change my mind? Remember, I’m the one that took Dallas over NE. Everyone wants to harp on the Dallas defense, but they are second in Run D at 79.7 yards per game, behind, you guessed it, Minnesota. The difference is, thats about the only thing Minny does well week to week. This should be a blowout barring special teams problems.

EAGLES over Bears
Chicago can’t seem to stop anyone on consecutive series anymore. Westbrook will have a field day as long and Donovan gets decent protection, which is the question mark of the day.

SEAHAWKS over Rams
God, what the hell happened to Seattle. They always won ugly, but not this ugly. Not having Mack Strong and Steve Hutchinson is bringing out the true Shaun Alexander — the one that is having trouble creating anything for himself and not getting the extra yards.

Steelers over BRONCOS
The game will be decided by Willie Parker’s performance. There’s nothing else to be said.

JAGUARS over Colts
Upset special on Monday Night. Why not? The Jags are doing everything on defense that they need to stop Indy, and David Garrard is quietly putting together a good first full season. Both teams are coming out of bye weeks too, so I should be pretty immune to looking like an idiot no matter what happens here.

And finally, the NFC Ladder of Power (calling them power rankings and polls is just getting tired). Apart from the ‘Boys, there just doesn’t seem to be any team capable of being average/good. Every single squad has at least one glaring hole.

1. Dallas Cowboys
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. New York Giants
5. Washington Redskins
6. Carolina Panthers
7. Detroit Lions
8. Seattle Seahawks
9. Minnesota Vikings
10. Philadelphia Eagles
11. New Orleans Saints
12. Arizona Cardinals
13. Chicago Bears
14. San Francisco 49ers
15. Atlanta Falcons
16. St. Louis Rams