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Walter's best and worst picks ever (part 1 of 10)

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  • Walter's best and worst picks ever (part 1 of 10)

    starting with 2003:

    I'll do one from each week. A best and a worst.

    I split up the season into 2 parts. One thread for first half One thread for second half.

    Week 1:

    Tampa Bay at Philadelphia:
    Kudos to the NFL schedule-makers who placed the rematches of the two championship games on the same weekend. Tampa Bay is a three point dog here, and they have to be infuriated that they, the Super Bowl champions, are underdogs after they slaughtered the same team in the playoffs a year before (much like the Patriots-Steelers game last year). The Tampa offense could not be stopped by the Eagles' defense in last year's playoff game, and you have to figure that they won't be stopped again, especially since Philadelphia sustained major losses to their defensive line and linebacking groups.

    Tampa Bay was first against the pass during their Super Bowl run (opposing quarterbacks only had a 48.4 rating against them!), and that won't change this year. Tampa retained all of the important pieces to their puzzle. The Bucs, however, can be beat on the ground. They were 6th against the run, but were beaten up by New Orleans' Deuce McAllister twice. Neither an out of shape Duce Staley, nor a recovering Correll Buckhalter will be able to run against Tampa. Bucs win big again.

    Prediction: Buccaneers by 14. Money Pick. Under.

    Final Score:
    Tampa: 17
    Philadelphia: 0

    Houston at Miami:
    A very poor Houston offense with a terrible offensive line, no running game, young receivers and a soon to be banged up quarterback have to go up against one of the top defenses in the NFL, in a very hostile and hot enviornment. If Houston scores in this game, it'll be a fluke.

    Houston was 28th against the run and Ricky Williams ran for over 1,800 yards in 2002. What could happen? This game will be brutal.

    Prediction: Dolphins by 24. Money Pick. BLOWOUT SPECIAL. Under.

    Final Score:
    Texans 21
    Dolphins 20

    Week 2:
    San Francisco at St. Louis:
    Its still tough to say if the 49ers are for real, because the Bears are anything but. San Fran carved up the Bears with 162 rushing yards, and will probably do the same to the Rams, who allowed 149 yards to the Giants, with a whopping 5.5 yards per carry. The Rams were pretty good against the pass, so look for an average amount of points from the 49ers.

    After week one, the Niners are ranked 1st against the pass, and 4th against the run. That definitely will not hold up. Marc Bulger, who might be a million times better than Kurt Warner, starts for St. Louis. Bulger was 6-0 as a starter in 2002, and should win his 7th career game on Sunday. Marshall Faulk runs the ball a lot when Bulger is in the game, so look for the 49ers' defense to be on their heels the entire game.

    Prediction: Rams by 7. Money Pick. Over.

    Final Score:
    St. Louis: 27
    San Francisco: 24

    Tennessee at Indianapolis:
    Big surprise as Steve McNair isn't practicing much this week. However, he will play in this game. Last year, McNair missed a number of practices, and it didn't affect his play on the gridiron. The Colts allowed only 6 points to the Browns' offense, but it should have been a lot more, as Cleveland had a lot of miscues in that game. I think the Colts will struggle to stop the Titans' passing game, which will allow Eddie George to gain modest yardage.

    This divisional game qualifies as a big game. Peyton Manning has never won a big game in his football career. Manning will have no help from Edgerrin James, who goes up against perhaps the best run defense in the NFL. Expect multiple interceptions from Peyton.

    Prediction: Titans by 9. Double Money Pick. Under.

    Final Score:
    Colts: 33
    Titans: 7

    Week 3:
    Jacksonville at Indianapolis:
    Jacksonville seems to have a nack for playing Indy close, but without Jimmy Smith, things could be different. In 2002, Fred Taylor ran well against the Colts, but this year, the Colts will put 8 men in the box, and dare Mark Brunell to throw to a horrible group of receivers. Indy shut down both Cleveland's and Tennessee's offenses, so I don't think a Jacksonville offense that is missing their best receiver is a threat to them.

    Believe it or not, the Jaguars' run defense was incredible last week against the Bills, holding Travis Henry to 26 yards on 21 carries. However, they were torched through the air for the second straight week (Jake Delhomme and Drew Bledsoe). Look for Peyton Manning to come out firing to Marvin Harrison and company. Edgerrin James will get the tough yards in the fourth quarter as the Colts get this tough cover on this seemingly perfect spread.

    Prediction: Colts by 9. Over.

    Final Score:
    Colts: 23
    Jaguars: 13

    Green Bay at Arizona:
    Perhaps Ahman Green should guarentee that he'll break Jamal Lewis' rushing yards record. Arizona can't stop the run at all, so Green will be running well all day. The Cards are slightly better against the pass than the run, but that won't stop Brett Favre from going over 250 passing yards. The Pack will score tons of points on this defense.

    Arizona scored 0 points against the Seahawks. Zero. I don't think they'll get shut out again, but their point total will be held to a minimum. Green Bay's expierenced corners, Mike McKenzie and Al Harris will take out Bryant Johnson and Anquan Boldin, while Emmitt Smith gets held to 50 yards, at most. This game isn't really fair, but then again, neither are most Cardinals' games.

    Prediction: Packers by 27. Money Pick. BLOWOUT SPECIAL #2. Over.

    Final Score:
    Arizona: 20
    Green Bay: 13

    Week 4:
    New England at Washington:
    There has to be some concern here about Tom Brady. Against the Jets, he fumbled thrice and his throws looked rather weak. Even if Brady is healthy, it'll be very difficult to throw on the Redskins, who are 10th against the pass. It is very easy to run on the Skins, but the Patriots do not have a rushing attack. I don't think the Pats' offense matches up well the Skins' defense, especially with a hurt Brady.

    With all of the injuries New England has sustained, it has been hard for them to stop the pass. Vinny Testaverde was even able to throw for over 260 yards on them. Patrick Ramsey has had two straight 300 yard passing games, and will look for one more here. The Patriots could stop the run, but Ramsey proved that he doesn't need a really effective running game to throw well, especially with the league leader in receiving yards at his disposal. This is a tough spot for New England, coming off three huge games and going against Tennessee at home next week, which will be a huge revenge game.

    Prediction: Redskins by 4. Under.

    Final Score:
    Washington: 20
    New England: 17

    Indianapolis at New Orleans:
    This is the third game where a team might be looking past their opponent. Tony Dungy goes against his former team next week, so his game plan could be flawed here. New Orleans made Eddie George look young again, so Edgerrin James could have a big day here. However, Peyton Manning might struggle, because the Saints have an impressive 10 sacks thus far, and put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Plus, Peyton could be looking ahead to next week.

    Indianapolis might have improved their defense, but they are still 18th in the league against the run. Deuce McAllister did nothing against the Titans last week, but the Titans have the top rush defense in the NFL. McAllister will be motivated to prevent another disaster (9 carries, 7 yards). With the running game going, Aaron Brooks will play much better than he did against the Titans, although it'll be tough since the Colts have one of the top pass defenses in the NFL.

    Prediction: Saints by 6. Over.

    Final Score:
    Colts: 55
    Saints: 21

    Week 5:
    Tennessee at New England:
    I think its safe to say that Eddie George is done and will not do anything of significance here, so it'll be all Steve McNair. The problem is that New England is pretty good against the pass, allowing an NFL-third best 50.7% completion and sacking the quarterback 12 times. Tennessee could struggle to score points against a very good New England defense.

    This is a big revenge game for the Patriots. They were blown out on Monday Night against these same Titans last year. You can't run the ball against Tennessee, but you can throw, which is what the Patriots do. Tennessee is 24th against the pass, and Tom Brady's elbow should be fine now (he threw for almost 300 yards last week but had 3 picks). A huge problem with taking New England's side in this game is the fact that their offensive line is missing two starters. Tennessee's defensive line will get to Tom Brady, so neither team will score a lot of points in this game. Its a toss up basically, but I'll go with revenge.

    Prediction: Patriots by 3. Under.

    Final Score:
    New England: 38
    Tennessee: 30

    Seattle at Green Bay:
    Mike Holmgren comes home to Green Bay in what should be a pretty good game. Seattle has one of the best offenses, and they could overmatch a pretty poor Green Bay defense. The Packers' run defense is ranked 23rd in the NFL, which should allow Shaun Alexander to run for well over 100 yards. After all, even Anthony Thomas did that. Seattle's passing attack features two great receivers and Matt Hasselbeck, who has really flourished this past year. With the Packers worried too much about the run, Hasselbeck should have a pretty good day through the air, against the 18th ranked pass defense.

    I've talked about it last week when Bill Parcells faced the New York Jets. Parcells knew Testaverde's tendancies, and that is why Vinny struggled. Mike Holmgren knows Brett Favre inside and out, and will shut him down. It won't help Favre that his running game won't get going, because Seattle is ranked 5th against the run.

    Prediction: Seahawks by 17. Money Pick. Under.

    Real Score:
    Green Bay: 35
    Seattle: 13

    Week 6:
    Pittsburgh at Denver:
    Its unknown as to whether or not Jake Plummer will be available for this game. Let's assume that he will be playing. Jake needs the running game going so that he can play-action to get the ball down the field. Pittsburgh is great against the run (3.4 yards per carry), so I think they will bottle up Clinton Portis. That'll lead to some Plummer interceptions, even against a horrible Pittsburgh pass defense.

    Pittsburgh absolutely needs to run the ball in this game. Denver is very poor against the run, allowing 4.7 yards per carry. Everyone seems to be calling for Jerome Bettis to run more, so he might wear down this Denver defense. Even though the Broncos have one of the best pass defenses in the NFL, the fact that they might have to focus on stopping Bettis might allow Tommy Maddox to complete several passes to Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress. I don't think Denver's corners can cover those two receivers anyway. All Maddox needs is time to throw, and if Bettis is running well, he will have time.

    Prediction: Prediction: Broncos by 3. Under.

    Real Score:
    Denver: 20
    Pittsburgh: 17

    Buffalo at New York Jets:
    Buffalo has had trouble putting up points in the last three games, but could get going against the Jets. The Jets are 29th against the run, so expect Travis Henry to run for over 100 yards. The Jets are 3rd against the pass, but similarly to the Bears, that statistic is a mirage. Teams have only thrown 91 times against the Jets, which is over 30 times less than the next least thrown upon team. That's mearly a product of teams not needing to throw against them, because they are so bad against the run.

    Like Eddie George, Curtis Martin is done, so don't look for anything from him. Will Vinny Testaverde be able to throw on Buffalo? Don't count on it. The Bills are 5th against the pass, and that is not a mirage. I would not count on Vinny to win this game. I mentioned below that the Bills are coming off an emotional win, but that win was against Cincinnati, and I'm sure Greg Williams was quick to remind them of how poorly they played.

    Prediction: Bills by 17. Under

    Real Score:
    Jets: 30
    Bills: 3

    Week 7:
    Denver at Minnesota:
    Both teams should have their running game going in this game. Clinton Portis, one of the NFL's best running backs, goes up against a Minnesota defense that is 24th in the NFL. If Jake Plummer was playing, this would help him out, because he could play-action and roll out to hit open receivers. However, the immobile Steve Beurelein starts in his place, which does not bode well for Denver because the Vikings put a lot of pressure on the opposing quarterback and consequently have the most interceptions in the NFL, 13.

    Minnesota's huge offensive line is responsible for their potent running attack. They gain 4.6 yards per carry, while the Broncos' run defense gives up 4.3 and will be without excellent linebacker Ian Gold. Minnesota will move the ball on the ground, which should give extra protecton for Culpepper, when he throws to Randy Moss and company. Denver might be 4th against the pass, but there is no way that they can cover Randy Moss.

    Prediction: Vikings by 7. Money Pick. Under.

    Real Score:
    Minnesota: 28
    Denver: 20

    New England at Miami:
    Don't think that the Dolphins forgot last year's season finale loss against the Patriots, that knocked them out of the playoffs. This defense will be breathing fire. New England won't be able to run the ball on Miami's defense, and they won't be able to pass either because the Dolphins might sack Tom Brady at least five times in this game. The Patriots give up an NFL 8th highest 15 sacks.

    New England might be 7th against the run, but they have not even faced a running back close to the caliber of Ricky Williams. Williams will run for well over 150 yards, and Jay Fiedler will be able to play-action pass into a 27th ranked pass defense. Miami will control this game and win big.

    Prediction: Dolphins by 20. Double Money Pick. Under.

    Real Score:
    New England: 19
    Miami: 13

    Week 8:
    Tennessee at Jacksonville:
    I'm curious as to why this line is only 3½. My projected line was 6, so thats something to keep in mind here. Jacksonville is an impressive 3rd against the run, but that won't play out in this game, since the Titans don't depend on the running game. Steve McNair is the entire Tennessee offense, which is too bad for Jacksonville, since they can neither stop the pass, nor get to the quarterback. Even if they do, McNair can scramble.

    Unlike Tennessee, Jacksonville depends on Fred Taylor to get the offense moving. The problem is, the Titans defend the run extremely well. I don't know how the Titans are 31st against the pass, but they have 19 sacks this season, while the Jags have given up 16. The major thing in this game is that the Titans dominate the Jaguars. One day, Byron Leftwich will lead the Jaguars to a victory over the Titans, but it won't be this year.

    Prediction: Titans by 14. Double Money Pick. Under.

    Real Score:
    Tennessee: 30
    Jacksonville: 17

    St. Louis at Pittsburgh:
    With Marc Bulger at quarterback, Mike Martz has been using the run more often. Pittsburgh is fifth against the run, so they'll neutralize Lamar Gordon and Arlen Harris. There's a reason why the Rams are so bad on the road. They are away from their fast track at the Edward Jones Dome, and the grass slows them down. If this game was in St. Louis, I would say that Bulger would connect with Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce often, but not on this grassy surface.

    Jerome Bettis is definitely starting for the Steelers, which is a great move by Bill Cowher, because their offensive line is awful. Bettis can break tackles, while Amos Zereoue has been searching for holes that have not been there. The Rams are 25th in run defense, so Bettis could have his first 100 yard rushing game for the first time in a long time. With the Rams focusing on stopping Bettis, Tommy Maddox should have a great day through the air.

    Prediction: Steelers by 16. Money Pick. Under.

    Real Score:
    St. Louis: 33
    Pittsburgh: 21

    to be continued

    Thoughts on what best and worst picks are?

    yes i know I have no life

  • #2
    Haha this is awesome
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    • #3
      I remember everyone was so shocked by Houston beating Miami - that knocked out a lot of people in survivor pools.
      2016 NFL Mock Draft

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