Frank Hawkins of Bayfield, who goes by the handle “hawk99” in our weekly Gridiron Green festivities, has an eagle eye when it comes to prognostication.
Hawkins won the Week 3 Green with an 11-for-16 effort, which is excellent considering the overall weirdness of the week in the NFL – the 49ers losing badly; the Dolphins still undefeated; the Packers losing in Cincinnati; the Lions winning in Washington for the first time ever; the Giants getting shut out in Carolina; and the Browns winning without their starting running back and their third-string quarterback.
I couldn’t navigate it; I finished 6-10, which dropped my overall record to 23-25 on the season.
Fortunately, two of those teams that disgruntled the Guru are idle this week: the Panthers and the Packers.
Thursday, Sept. 26
San Francisco at St. Louis (NFL Network) – The 49ers are hemorrhaging defensive players – Nnamdi Asomugha, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis. The Rams, who were blown out by the Cowboys, are ripe for a victory. Pick: Rams, 20-16. Line: 49ers by 3.
Sunday, Sept. 29
N.Y. Giants at Kansas City – The Giants can’t keep Eli Manning upright, and that’s a problem. Pick: Chiefs, 20-17. Line: Chiefs by 4½.
Seattle at Houston (KASA) – It’s a road game, but it’s a different season for the Seahawks. Pick: Seahawks, 21-20. Line: Seahawks by 3.
Baltimore at Buffalo – The Bills missed their change against the Jets; the Ravens won’t be so easy. Pick: Ravens, 23-20. Line: Ravens by 3½.
Arizona at Tampa Bay – Freeman is out; Glennon is in; Palmer is the winner. Pick: Cardinals, 23-20. Line: Buccaneers by 3.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville – This is not the time for the Jaguars’ first victory. Pick: Colts, 24-10. Line: Colts by 8½.
Cincinnati at Cleveland – The Browns are hot! But the Bengals just beat the Packers. Pick: Bengals, 20-13. Line: Bengals by
Chicago at Detroit – Everybody is on the Bears’ bandwagon, but buyer’s beware. Pick: Lions, 26-13. Line: Lions by 2½.
Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota, at London (KCNC, KREZ) – Big Ben meets Big Ben, but Adrian Peterson steals the show. Pick: Vikings, 17-15. Line: Steelers by 1.
N.Y. Jets at Tennessee – Can Geno and the Jets do it again? Yep. Pick: Jets, 24-19. Line: Titans by 4.
Washington at Oakland – Eventually, things will start clicking for RGIII and the Redskins. Pick: Redskins, 22-17. Line: Redskins by 3.
Dallas at San Diego – Cowboys are ruling the NFC East, even out West. Pick: Cowboys, 30-23. Line: Cowboys by 1½.
Philadelphia at Denver (KASA; KRSJ 100.5 FM) – Even on a short week, Peyton Manning is good. Pick: Broncos, 40-24. Line: Broncos by 10½.
New England at Atlanta (KOBF, KUSA) – This would go better if the Patriots were playing in Foxborough. Pick: Falcons, 24-21. Line: Falcons by 1½.
Monday, Sept. 30
Miami at New Orleans (ESPN) – Win this one, and their own 1972 Dolphins will begin to take notice. The Saints, however, have a cool New Orleans’ Brees at their backs. Will the ’72 squad pop the bubbly when the Saints win Monday night? Pick: Saints, 27-20. Line: Saints by 6.