The Weather Report

Like every other NFL fan, my sports week starts on Thursday.

Now, this is not to say that I do not watch baseball. To be honest, the MLB season is so long and games come so quickly during October that my column would be woefully outdated by the time you read it. However, a grand slam off a first-pitch fastball to give the Red Sox a win was not lost on me. I realize that for most baseball fans here in our sunny North State, the playoffs might as well be over—no Giants, no Athletics.

This week provided one of my new favorite memes: The Eli Manning Sad Face.

The Giants continued to support their campaign for worst team in the NFL, though that honor still belongs to the Jaguars. This week provided very few surprises, except perhaps that Philip Rivers cannot decide how good the Chargers can possibly be. The Raiders remain a shade under average, and I am still not convinced that the 49ers are a powerhouse or a Super Bowl contender. The Bengals remain unpredictable and Matt Schaub heard cheers for the first time this season, though it was for getting injured.

Apparently, Houston fans have lost their goddamn minds.

This week I think I will do my expert picks. If ESPN and Bleacher Report can do it, why the hell can’t I? Feel free to mock me when you read this and I turned out to be completely and utterly wrong.

I have Seattle crushing the Cardinals; Richard Sherman and that vaunted Seahawks defense will be too much. Nick Foles and the Eagles will squeak past a Dallas team that is blisteringly average. Da Bears will stomp on the sinking ship that is the Washington Redskins. The Falcons and Dolphins will both win at home, though only because they are playing terrible teams. Detroit will manage to stay atop the NFC North by beating the wildly inconsistent Bengals. The Patriots will openly mock Rex Ryan’s foot fetish and beat the Jets for the second time this season. [Editor’s Note: We’ll see about that! Go Jets!] The Rams will emerge victorious, if only by virtue of Cam Newton throwing three interceptions.

The Jaguars will stop their quest for a 0-16 season by upsetting San Diego. Defense will win the game for the 49ers, as Fitzpatrick is going to be harassed for four quarters. The Chiefs will remain unbeaten and give Houston fans something else to be upset about. Flacco and the Ravens will not drop two games in a row, halting the Steelers’ win streak at one.

Do I believe in Aaron Rodgers? Absolutely. Do I believe in the Green Bay Packers? Not so much. Even so, I think the Pack will take care of the surprising Browns.

The Denver-Indianapolis game might be the most intriguing game of the week. Will Denver remain unbeaten? Will the Colts drop two in a row after winning four straight? I have Peyton Manning and the Broncos soldiering on and taking care of the Colts.

Oh yeah, and the Giants are going to win a game this week.

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Dan O’Brien wrote more than a dozen novels (all before the age of 30), including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012. Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor. He currently teaches psychology at CSU, Chico. You can learn more about Amalgam by visiting his website at: www.amalgamconsulting.com.