- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2006

Maybe I have to (a) stop picking the Redskins and (b) do a better job in my matchup against Jim from Virginian-Pilot. I went 2-3 in the five games we face off against (including a Redskins defeat) but 8-0 in the other games.

Here are this week’s picks

The Five-Pack of games

In my weekly contest with Jim Ducibella of the Virginian-Pilot, I went 2-3 and Duce went 3-2, so I think he has a couple-game advantage.

Indy 54, Redskins 32: The Redskins will make this close for awhile before the Colts pull away in the third quarter. Mark Brunell will probably save his job with some garbage-time touchdowns that will make Joe Gibbs gah-gah.

Duce: Redskins 24, Colts 20

Tampa Bay 22, Philadelphia 18: Interesting matchup — the Eagles usually make life miserable for rookie quarterbacks, but I like Bruce Gradkowski. He led a win over the Bungals last week.

Duce: Eagles 35-14

NY Giants 31, Dallas 27: Potential Game of the Week and ESPN again lucks out with a good game. The Giants will be dangerous as long as they play defense because offensively, they can move the ball on anybody.

Duce: Cowboys 30-24

Carolina 17, Cincinnati 16: No team is hotter right now than Carolina and that includes undefeated Indianapolis and undefeated Chicago. The Panthers have won four straight after an 0-2 start and they win another tough road game over Marvin and Co.

Duce: Cincy 23-21

Special game of the week:

North Dakota State 40, Minnesota 38. We go to the college ranks for this one. It’s Division I-AA vs. Division I-A. The Gophers think this will be an easy game. But it won’t be, mainly because NDSU is ranked No. 9 in I-AA and because the Gophers are absolutely horrible on defense.

Duce: Minnesota 47-23

And now the rest of the games …

NY Jets 23, Detroit 6: The Jets were whining about coach Eric Mangini at the start of training camp but it looks like they’ve taken to his leadership. As long as Pennington stays healthy, this team will contend for a playoff spot.

Miami 40, Green Bay 39: One terrible team (Packers) and one overrated team (Dolphins). I still can’t believe Sports Illustrated picked the Dolphins to reach the Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh 19, Atlanta 13: The Steelers saved their season with a romp over KC last week and move to 3-3 with a win over the Falcons. Michael Vick still has little idea on how the passing game works.

Houston 20, Jacksonville 14: The Jags are coming off a bye and will take the Texans lightly. Just like Miami did a few weeks ago.

New England 27, Buffalo 17: New England remains the team to beat the AFC East and a main reason is because it wins division road games. The Pats have already beat the Jets in NY.

San Diego 33, Kansas City 13: The Chargers might be the best team in the AFC West, but we’ll have to wait until they face Denver to know for sure. The Chiefs are in for a long final half of the season.

Denver 12, Cleveland 3: The Broncos’ defense is impressive but let’s face a couple facts here. They’ve played Baltimore and Oakland the last two weeks. The Ravens just fired their play caller and the Raiders’ play caller was out of coaching for a decade before this season.

Seattle 31, Minnesota 28: Should be an entertaining game in Seattle. The Vikings are like the Redskins in that they dink and dunk. They’re unlike the Redskins in that they mix that in with the long ball.

Arizona 21, Oakland 14: Denny Green panicked when he fired his offensive coordinator after surveying the wreckage of Monday’s meltdown. A stupid move by Denny, who made several of them while destroying the Vikings earlier this decade. A good move by the Cards: starting Matt Leinart.

Last week: 103

Season: 59-34

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