PEWTERREPORT.COM STAFF STANDINGS

Scott Reynolds 99-62

Jim Flynn
93-68

Hugh MacArthur 87-74

LAST WEEK (Thanksgiving Day)

Jim Flynn 3-0

Scott Reynolds 3-0

Hugh MacArthur 1-2

New Orleans at Atlanta (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – As we happily quaffed our pints, Theresa reminded me that she still had a very good friend that lived in New Orleans. I reminded her that we needed new reasons and answers to pick from week to week. She then furrowed her brow, and spoke of the disasters that have befallen each city. During the Civil War, Atlanta was burned. During Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was flooded. There is, and never has been, happiness in human misery. The one thing we could agree on is that water, does indeed, put out fire. New Orleans

Reynolds – This is a critical game for Atlanta, who is on the verge of a meltdown. I just don’t know if this is the beginning of the end for the Falcons, or if this is the type of game that will rally the Falcons. The fact that it is in Atlanta might be the difference-maker. With New Orleans’ Marques Colston having a bum ankle, all eyes will be on Joe Horn, who will be shut down by DeAngelo Hall. I don’t like how Atlanta matches up with Deuce McAllister or Reggie Bush, but I think Mike Vick will have a breakout game after Jim Mora’s dad called him a “coach killer” this week. Atlanta

Flynn – Does anyone else get the sense that the Falcons are close to imploding? What better team to make it happen than the Saints, who have dropped two straight games to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, respectively, but have played their opponents tough. New Orleans put a whooping on Atlanta in Week 3 by stopping Warrick Dunn and Michael Vick. The Saints will end their two-game losing streak by following the same blueprint and escaping Atlanta with a big NFC South division win. New Orleans

Jacksonville at Buffalo (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – This game resulted in much gnashing of teeth. Theresa felt strongly that as the New York Giants’ are her father’s favorite team, and the Jags beat said Giants last week, that they will absolutely have to lose. In fact, “need to suffer” were the exact words she used. J.P. Losman, despite last week, still makes me reach for Tums, but the mojo here was too strong to counter. Buffalo

Reynolds – If this game were played in September, I would easily pick Jacksonville. Florida teams don’t handle cold weather too well. Every time I pick against Buffalo they seem to win. The Jags are more talented, but have a whopping 17 players on the injury report this week (although 11 are listed as probable). I wonder if they will have the energy for this one after beating a good Giants team on Monday Night Football. Here goes nothing. Jacksonville

Flynn – Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio is on the hot seat in Jacksonville, and that seat will really heat up if the Jaguars lose to the woeful Bills. Although Jacksonville is the better team, the cold weather Buffalo brings this time of year gives Florida teams problems, and the Jags aren’t immune to it. The Bills catch the Jags in the cold and on a short week and pull off the upset. Buffalo

Arizona at Minnesota (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – Theresa still markets in Minnesota, and has no interest in the desert. Minnesota

Reynolds – I can’t bring myself to ever pick Arizona again. Sorry, Cardinals. Minnesota

Flynn – Don’t look for the Cardinals to start stringing wins together in an effort to keep Denny Green around next season. They got the losing out of their system for one week by knocking off Detroit, but the Vikings are in desperate need of a win and aren’t bad enough to lose two straight, and the Cardinals certainly aren’t good enough to win two straight. Minnesota

San Francisco at St. Louis (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – The barkeep poured another round of draughts, and I needed several large swallows to hear Theresa’s take on this game. San Francisco is close to wine country, and as Theresa plans on taking full advantage of the availability of wine during the Thanksgiving weekend, there is simply no room for the Rams. I gulped down the beer and marked the paper. San Francisco

Reynolds – The 49ers appear to be a young team on a roll. The problem is they play so much better at home than they do on the road. The 49ers beat St. Louis at San Fran earlier this year. I just wonder if the Antonio Bryant arrest this week doesn’t mess with San Fran’s karma too much. I just don’t like the Rams enough to pick them – even at home. San Francisco

Flynn – The 49ers are a tough team to figure out. They are capable of beating anybody at home, but they’re a completely different team on the road. The Rams have come crashing back down to Earth after an impressive start to the season. Teams that get shutout like the Rams did last week usually bounce back well, especially when they’re playing at home. St. Louis

Pittsburgh at Baltimore (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – Another easy pick.  As reinforcements arrived from the bar, Theresa reminded me she still has friends living in Baltimore, and none living in Pittsburgh.  Baltimore

Reynolds – I think Baltimore is really coming on and will be a dangerous AFC team to contend with in the postseason. The fact that this game is in Baltimore tells me the Steelers don’t have much of a chance. This just isn’t Pittsburgh’s year … and the Ravens will make sure they know it. Baltimore

Flynn – The Steelers were fortunate to pull off a win against the Browns. They won’t be so fortunate in Baltimore, where the Ravens are dominating on defense and have enough offense to be poised to win the AFC North division. Baltimore

Cincinnati at Cleveland (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – We agreed that this game was a coin flip, so we took out a coin and flipped it.  Cincinnati

Reynolds – Cincinnati rebounded quite nicely with a quality win last week at New Orleans. I look for more of the same this week at Cleveland. But anything goes in this rivalry, and the Browns have always played the Bengals tough, especially at home. Cincinnati

Flynn – After further review, the Bengals are alive and kicking after a win against the Saints. The Browns have been playing teams tough and will be up for this game, but they don’t have the defense to slow down Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson and Cincinnati’s potent offense. Cincinnati

Houston at New York Jets (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – Theresa wanted to give it one more try.  Houston is Bush country and New York is Hillary country.  Houston

Reynolds – I can’t figure either of these teams out, and don’t really follow the AFC anyway. This is my coin-flip game of the week. Heads … New York Jets

Flynn – They’re not playing at home, and the Jaguars aren’t their opponent, so Houston’s track record suggests the Texans don’t have much of a chance on the road against the Jets, who knocked off Patriots and gave the Chicago Bears a good fight last week. New York Jets

Carolina at Washington (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – This game was a breeze for both of us. I was certain that Washington stunk based upon watching them last week.  Theresa was certain that she still had three big investors in Carolina, and her livelihood still depended upon them. Phew!  Carolina

Reynolds – Washington is bad. The Bucs beat them. I’m picking the Panthers. Carolina

Flynn – Don’t look now, but the Panthers are gaining momentum in the NFC South division. Washington, on the other hand, is headed for last place in the NFC East division. It might be closer than expected, but the Panthers have no business losing the ‘Skins, who are injured and just a bad football team. Carolina

Oakland at San Diego (Sunday 4:05 PM ET)

MacArthur – I held my breath, and nose, as we took Oakland last week versus Kansas City. It was actually a bet that nearly paid off. Theresa agreed that this week, good sushi and bountiful weather in San Diego beat the streets of Oakland. We both relaxed, and ordered another round. San Diego

Reynolds – The Chargers are an amazing team led by an amazing running back. There aren’t too many amazing players in Oakland. Come to think of it, I don’t there is one. San Diego

Flynn – Something tells me the Chargers won’t have to pull off their third straight come-from-behind win this Sunday. San Diego is a good football team, and the Chargers probably will put together a complete football game en route to a big win over Raiders. San Diego

New York Giants at Tennessee (Sunday 4:15 PM ET)

MacArthur – This game was another easy one. “Al Gore still comes from Tennessee,” insisted Theresa. And, the New York Giants are still her father’s favorite team. New York Giants

Reynolds – I like the Giants in a bounce-back game this week after a bad loss in Jacksonville on Monday Night Football. Tennessee is overachieving a bit and will come back down to Earth this week. New York Giants

Flynn – The Titans caught a break when Donovan McNabb was lost for the season due to an ACL tear he sustained in last Sunday’s game. The Titans won’t be that fortunate as New York’s main weapon, Tiki Barber, will have the opportunity to put on a clinic in this one, even if the Giants are coming off a short week. New York Giants

Chicago at New England (Sunday 4:15 PM ET)

MacArthur – There was no discussion on this one. Let’s get one thing straight: the Patriots are on the road to Miami. The Bears may also be on a road to Miami, but the Patriots will be enjoying the road less taken, and that, will make all of the difference (with apologies to Robert Frost). New England

Reynolds – What a mega-matchup. This will be a great football game. It will also be a big game, and something tells me that Tom Brady has more big-game experience than Rex Grossman does. I also think Bill Belichick has more big-game experience than Lovie Smith does. The Pats are tough at home late in the year. New England

Flynn – This could be a preview of this year’s Super Bowl. Chicago’s defense will keep this game close, and I completely expect a dogfight. However, New England is playing at home, and its offense looked pretty damn good in Green Bay last Sunday, while Chicago didn’t look so great while playing the New York Jets. New England

Philadelphia at Indianapolis (Sunday 8:15 PM ET)

MacArthur – Theresa had no idea that Donovan McNabb was hurt and was out for the season. Frankly, if I had mentioned this to her coming into the  bar, she would probably ask me if she should be worried about her holiday party catering or gift delivery. If you are getting my meaning, Theresa has no idea who Donovan McNabb is, which is what makes her picks so important. She still had a fiery point of view. “Philly really let me down last week,” she fumed. “That place is Loserville, and I guess it always will be.” Indianapolis

Reynolds – My analysis will stop after I mention the name Jeff Garcia. Indianapolis

Flynn – No Donovan McNabb, no chance for the Jeff Garcia-led Eagles. I don’t envy Philly, which is facing an Indy team that’s coming off of its first loss of the season and is looking to rebound quickly. Indianapolis

Green Bay at Seattle (Monday 8:30 PM ET)

MacArthur – Another gimme. “Who ever thought that green and yellow would look good together on a uniform?” Theresa asked. I smiled, knowing the Seahawks were no prize in the best-dressed department themselves. Mark it down.  Seattle

Reynolds – Green Bay is really hurting in the quarterback department. Seattle seems to be doing quite well with Seneca Wallace and Tim Hasselback finally on the mend. I don’t think the Packers have enough offense or defense for this one. Seattle

Flynn – The Seahawks didn’t look good in San Francisco last Sunday, but the Packers looked even worse en route to losing 35-0 to New England at home. With or without Brett Favre, Green Bay just doesn’t stand much of a chance of escaping Seattle with a win. Seattle


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