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News » Cheat Sheet: Too soon to give up on most teams

Cheat Sheet: Too soon to give up on most teams

Cheat Sheet: Too soon to give up on most teams
There was a joke floating around Wall Street as the Dow Jones plummeted to record lows last week. One finance guy looks at his stock portfolio and laments to a colleague, "I've lost half my net worth in a day. It's like I'm going through a divorce."

The officemate shakes his head in response, "Only, it's worse. At the end of all this, you'll still have to deal with your wife."

NFL Week 6

Week 6 action

    Falcons 22, Bears 20 -- Recap | Box
    Texans 29, Dolphins 28 -- Recap | Box
    Colts 31, Ravens 3 -- Recap | Box
    Vikings 12, Lions 10 -- Recap | Box
    Saints 34, Raiders 3 -- Recap | Box
    Jets 26, Bengals 14 -- Recap | Box
    Bucs 27, Panthers 3 -- Recap | Box
    Rams 19, Redskins 17 -- Recap | Box
    Jaguars 24, Broncos 17 -- Recap | Box
    Cards 30, Cowboys 24 -- Recap | Box
    Eagles 40, 49ers 26 -- Recap | Box
    Packers 27, Seahawks 17 -- Recap | Box
    Chargers 30, Patriots 10 -- Recap | Box
    Browns 35, Giants 14 -- Recap | Box


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For fans of the Bengals and Lions, it's been one of those years. Just when you think it's bad, it gets worse. Not only are both teams winless, but they're now winless without the services of their starting quarterbacks.

Jon Kitna has been placed on injured reserve, ending his season in Motown, and Carson Palmer isn't likely to be 100 percent healthy for Cincy the rest of the way. Add in the Chiefs and Raiders, two one-win teams that lost by a combined score of 68-3 in their last games, and those four teams make up the list of squads that have no shot at winning the Super Bowl this year. Their playoff chances are all but done and dusted, too.

Of course, what that also means is that six weeks through the 2008 NFL season an astounding 28 of 32 NFL teams are still very much in the postseason hunt. Yes, we're nearly half way through the season, and 87.5 percent of NFL teams have a legitimate shot at the playoffs.

Nothing new here. It's called parity, and it's the NFL way.

Look around the league. Just about everyone's a contender. The Houston Texans -- on paper, a dismal 1-4 -- have lost two games to division opponents by a combined seven points, with both contests ending on scores in the final seconds. Houston won a big one vs. Miami last weekend and now faces Detroit and Cincinnati in back-to-back weeks. The Texans can be right back in the thick of things by November.

Seattle's looked horrendous this season. But even at 1-4 the Seahawks have enough games left against their division opponents (four) and at Qwest Field (six) to turn things around. Remember, they've won the NFC West four straight times. They've still got two head-to-head matchups with division-leading Arizona left on the schedule. Think Mike Holmgren's going to let his boys quiver and fade away in his final season on the sidelines? If so, you haven't watched much football over the past 20 years.

The word "parity" doesn't do this season justice. It's more like "NFL grab bag" or "pin the tail on the Super Bowl champ." Only four teams in the entire league have fewer than two losses and only seven -- the aforementioned six and the St. Louis Rams (now 1-0 under interim coach Jim Haslett) -- have fewer than two wins. Everyone else is hovering around the .500 mark like bees to a postseason honeysuckle.

Seven days ago, some were labeling the 2008 NFC East the strongest division in NFL history. Sports Illustrated even did a feature story on the division's unparalleled dominance. Well, here we are a week later, and no one's tooting any horns about the Giants, Redskins, Eagles or Cowboys. Combined, they went 1-3 last week, including losses at home to the previously winless Rams and a nationally televised defeat at the hands of the one-win Browns. Dallas was downright beaten up in Arizona. Had it not been for a 23-point fourth quarter out of the Eagles, it could have been a clean sweep against the NFL's supposed "power" division.

This week, people are high on the NFC South. Next week, who knows?

The Week 7 Cheat Sheet

San Diego at Buffalo, 1 p.m. EST

The Chargers looked dominant against New England last Sunday night. But the 2008 Bills don't belong in the same conversation as the 2008 Patriots. They're a superior squad. Pick: Buffalo 24, San Diego 20

New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m.

Over the course of his career, Jake Delhomme is 6-2 vs. the Saints and he's aiming for his third game in a row against New Orleans with a 100-plus quarterback rating. What a difference having an actual NFL quarterback under center makes in Carolina. Pick: Carolina 31, New Orleans 27

Minnesota at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Week 6 at Chicago last season, Adrian Peterson ran the ball 20 times for 224 yards and three touchdowns. The Bears D has too much pride to let A.D. do that to them again in their building. This year's best rookie running back (Matt Forte) gets the best of last year's in a low-scoring throwback NFC North affair. Pick: Chicago 17, Minnesota 16

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

The good news for Cincinnati? WR-KR Glenn Holt ranks first in the NFL with 744 yards on 28 kick returns. The bad news? You don't get 28 kick returns in six games unless your team is constantly being scored upon. Pick: Pittsburgh 28, Cincinnati 9

Tennessee at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Is it time to put the 2008 Titans defense in the same breath as the '00 Ravens and '85 Bears? I'm convinced the Titans could win 10 games with a high school team's offense. They'll play against the equivalent of one on Sunday. Pick: Tennessee 20, Kansas City 7

Baltimore at Miami, 1 p.m.

Ah, a rematch of my favorite finish of the 2007 season. Facing the very real prospect of finishing the season winless, Cleo Lemon hit Greg Camarillo on a wild 64-yard touchdown score in overtime to give Miami its only win of the year. Different Dolphins squad this year; same unstoppable Camarillo. Pick: Miami 20, Baltimore 13

San Francisco at New York Giants, 1 p.m.

The JTO Show takes Manhattan. Sounds fun, but it won't be. The Giants have outscored the 49ers by 57-21 in their last two meetings. More of the same come Sunday. Pick: New York 34, San Francisco 17

Dallas at St. Louis, 1 p.m.

My, how quickly that Dallas media bandwagon emptied. Want a bold prediction? The Cowboys win their next two games with ease. Brad Johnson's not Matt Cassel. He's actually played quarterback before. Pick: Dallas 34, St. Louis 16

Detroit at Houston, 4:15 p.m.

If Dan Orlovsky's bonehead safety from a week ago doesn''t symbolize a decade of Detroit Lions football, I'm not sure what does. The Lions lose another one on Sunday. Obviously. Pick: Houston 41, Detroit 24

Indianapolis at Green Bay, 4:15 p.m.

The Colts have won 13 straight games in the month of October. They looked good for the first time all season last week vs. Baltimore. Is the rust officially off? I'm very curious to see how they come out in the first quarter Sunday in Lambeau. Pick: Indianapolis 31, Green Bay 21

New York Jets at Oakland, 4:15 p.m.

So much history between these two teams. The Heidi Game. The 1968 AFL Championship Game. All those Rich Gannon-Chad Pennington battles earlier this decade. Ah, memories. It's all Raiders fans have these days. Pick: New York Jets 37, Oakland 23

Cleveland at Washington, 4:15 p.m.

The last time the Browns traveled to Washington, Ricky Ervins ran for 133 yards and Art Monk scored a touchdown. So yeah, it's been a while, 18 years to be exact. Though the Browns will be the popular pick after their performance on Monday night, I think the 'Skins survive in overtime. Pick: Washington 30, Cleveland 24

Seattle at Tampa Bay, 8:30 p.m.

Who will be the better backup, Seneca Wallace filling in for Matt Hasselbeck or Cris Collinsworth subbing in for John Madden? I'm going with the latter. More experience. Pick: Tampa Bay 23, Seattle 17

Denver at New England, Monday night

If we learned anything from Sunday's 31-10 Chargers blowout of the Patriots, it's that Matt Cassel may not be the answer in New England. Is it time to consider giving Daunte Culpepper a call? How about Jake Plummer? Drew Bledsoe? Jeff George? Hell, is Dan Fouts interested? Pick: Denver 35, New England 30

Three Questions Heading Into The Weekend

  • How many Sarah Palin Halloween costumes are we in store for this year?
  • Javon Ringer or Beanie Wells? Who's the better Big 10 running back?
  • Which one was worse: Orlovsky's safety from last weekend or Chris Webber's timeout in the '93 title game?

  • Author:Fox Sports
    Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
    Added: October 16, 2008

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