OK, so I went 6-7, but at least my predictions aren't vague

October 22, 2006|By PETER SCHMUCK

Don't start. I never claimed to be the second coming of Nostradamus, placed back on this Earth to perfectly predict the outcome of every NFL game, so no apology is necessary for my dismal 6-7 performance against the spread last week.

Nobody is right all the time. Even John Edward, the pop medium, who travels around the country making a fortune supposedly channeling the dead relatives of people gullible enough to pay 175 bucks a ticket to see him, gets a vacant look from the audience once in awhile.

(Sorry for the interruption, but I've watched Crossing Over and there's one question I just can't get past. If Edward really has been blessed with some higher power to communicate with the dead, don't you think those spirits would give him their names instead of making him throw their first initials out to a crowd to see who bites? I mean, are they just being difficult or was the psychic cell phone tower in his head built by Verizon?)

Even the quatrains of the aforementioned Nostradamus seem intentionally vague, which usually is a sign that your wannabe prophet or soothsayer is hedging his bets. I've yet to open a fortune cookie that wasn't true or read a horoscope that you couldn't mentally twist to fit your day, but you won't find that kind of wimpy prognostication here. I even keep score and my winning percentage is a lot better than some 16th century loon who is credited with predicting the rise of Hitler but couldn't even spell his name right.

Since I'm guessing, I have nothing to lose by being specific ... except maybe some credibility, so here goes Week 7:

Redskins at Colts (-8 1/2 ): Hmmm. The Redskins lost to the feeble Titans last week and now hit the road to play one of the two remaining undefeated teams in the NFL. Peyton Manning should have this spread beat halfway through the first quarter, and yet there's something about this game that makes me uncomfortable. Oh, yeah, the Colts almost lost to the Titans, too. Redskins.

Lions at Jets (-3 1/2 ): Well, at least somebody from New York gets to play against Detroit this weekend, and the Jets have a much better shot than the Mets would have had against the Tigers. Jets.

Packers at Dolphins (-5): John Edward could channel Vince Lombardi and it wouldn't make the Packers respectable, but the Dolphins giving five points is like the Orioles predicting a playoff run in 2007. It sounds real nice until you have to back it up. Packers.

Steelers (-2 1/2 ) at Falcons: Ben Roethlisberger looked like his old self in an easy win over the Chiefs last week, but the Falcons are a whole different animal. The Steelers have to find a way to stop Michael Vick and a ground game that is averaging more than 230 yards, while Big Ben faces an Atlanta defense that is giving up just 13.8 points per game. Falcons.

Jaguars at Texans (off the board): The game is off the board because Byron Leftwich's status is uncertain. Either way, I'm sticking with Jacksonville. Jaguars.

Patriots (-5 1/2 ) at Bills: The Bills held their own at New England in Week 1, but don't be fooled. Quarterback J.P. Losman has turnover-itis, and the Patriots have been gathering momentum since their only loss three weeks ago to Denver. Patriots.

Panthers at Bengals (-3): I'm guessing the Panthers have been practicing their tipped-pass drills all week after what happened to Carolina last week at M&T Bank Stadium. There also figures to be some pent-up frustration after the Bengals' loss last week to the hapless Buccaneers. The oddsmakers think it's a field goal game. I think it's a decisive Bengals victory. Bengals.

Chargers (-5) at Chiefs: The Chargers lost here to the Ravens, but they have dominated several struggling teams to get to 4-1. The Chiefs are a cut above the Raiders, Titans and 49ers, but this week they should be at least a seven-point dog, even at home. Chargers.

Eagles (-5 1/2 ) at Buccaneers: Only one team with a winning record has given up more points than the Eagles (Rams), which makes it hard to let go of that many points in a road game. The Bucs were not supposed to be this bad, so last week's win over the Bengals could be a sign that they aren't. Bucs.

Broncos (-4 1/2 ) at Browns: I have a little voice inside my head telling me to go with the Browns at home, even though they are vastly inferior to the first-place Broncos. Fortunately, I make it a point never to listen to that little voice in my head, except when it demands pizza. Broncos.

Vikings at Seahawks (-6 1/2 ): The Vikings might be the most underrated team in the NFC. They're coming off a bye week and they can score points on defense. That doesn't spell upset in Seattle, but it should be a close game. Vikings.

Cardinals (-3) at Oakland: The team that just suffered its most disappointing loss in recent history is going on the road after a short week. The Cardinals should be deflated, but rookie Matt Leinart should have another big game in him against the horrid Raiders. Cardinals.

Giants at Cowboys (-3 1/2 ): Terrell Owens is back on Monday Night Football, which should spoof itself by filming an intro in which T.O. shows up on the set of Desperate Housewives wearing only a towel. Instead, he'll make a mockery of the Giants' defense. Cowboys.

Even with last week's sub-.500 performance, my overall record is 47-36-4, which isn't too shabby. This is not, however, intended to encourage anyone to actually bet on these picks, since sports betting is illegal in 49 states and you wouldn't be reading this if you were in Vegas. peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

"The Peter Schmuck Show" airs on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays.

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