Looking Back at NFL Pre-Season Predictions, Plus the Weekly Football Picks
by Scott Long
Had another mediocre week, splitting out on the college picks, while going 2-1-1 in the pros. On the subject of the NFL, my AFC pre-season picks look pretty good, as I had the Colts winning the Super Bowl, the Bengals being a surprise playoff team and the Steelers tying for first in the North. I chose the Patriots to win the East, but mentioned that their brutal schedule would make it difficult to reach the post-season. While the Chiefs have a chance, my choice of the Ravens being the other AFC playoff team appears to be way off. My biggest mistake, on the low-end, was the Broncos, but I suspect they will come back to the pack, with 5 tough road games out of their last 8 contests. The Texans, who I predicted a winning record for, well, I was off. Not sure what I was thinking, but considering the Texans would have a hard time scoring on Tara Reid, I have proven to be completely wrong on that pick.
In the NFC, my choices were Carolina to play the Colts in the Super Bowl, which I still like. While I didn't see the Eagles self-destructing like this, I did expect the East to be close, with the Cowboys making the playoffs because of a better schedule. Didn't know that the Giants were going to get an extra home game (Saints) or I might have put them in the playoffs. I chose Seattle to win the West, though I didn't think they would be this good. I foresaw Tampa improving, making them a surprise wildcard selection, but with the injury to Griese, I wonder if they will hold up. My best prediction might have been stating that "Dante Culpepper is a pretty average QB, who was bailed out often by the talents of Moss." I took the Lions, not knowing that the Bears defense could overcome the Herculean obstacle of starting a 4th-round rookie at QB. My biggest mistake was the choice of Atlanta to not make the playoffs. First the Braves and now the Falcons, I've got to start giving Atlanta teams more credit. My initial step--- I'm taking the Atlanta Hawks to win the NBA Championship.
3 star Rutgers (+21) Louisville
3 star Georgia (-3) Auburn
3 star LSU (-3) Alabama
2 star Illinois (+23) Purdue
2 star Michigan St (+5) Minnesota
2 star Iowa St (+3) Colorado
First game is my Friday night special of the year. Louisville has been exposed some this year, while Rutgers is better than in the past.
The bye week came at great time for Georgia, as Shockley is healthy and the Dawgs are the superior team to an Auburn team who lost their whole backfield from 2004.
I just can't see 'Bama staying undefeated any longer, as LSU is the more complete team.
How is Purdue a favorite of more than 3 TD's over anyone?
Michigan State has to win this game, if they hold any legitimate thoughts of playing in a bowl this year. A shoot-out, but Stanton's arm creates enough big plays to cover.
Iowa State has been a disappointment in league play, but seems to have found themselves over the past 2 weeks. Have been wrong about the Buffs all year, so I will stubbornly try one more time.
2 star San Francisco (+13) Chicago
2 star Oakland (+3) Denver
2 star Detroit (-4) Arizona
2 star Miami (+3) New England
As you can tell, I'm not a fan of this week's NFL games. Couldn't find one I would rate higher than a 2 star.
Chicago is good, but I suspect they will be too flat to cover 13 points.
I wouldn't be shocked if these teams flip-flop their records in the second half, as the Raiders have more talent. Can the Norv Turner jinx keep them from winning?
Injuries have really decimated the Lions, but they still are not dead in their division, while the Cardinals are a big disappointment.
Tough spot for the Patriots, coming off a Monday night shellacking, only to go on the road against a team in Miami which has a quality defense. What a lousy division the AFC East has become in 2005.