Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Welcome back to another fantabulous season of The Hoser Picks, where I essay to prognosticate each week's National Football League outcomes using my incredible knowledge of the game and inside information from all the top NFL sources.

Editor's Note: The Hoser has neither incredible knowledge or inside information. He can barely best Billy Sims in a spelling bee.

We use Danny Sheridan's USA Today odds as the spread, mainly 'cause he's in Vegas and I'm hoping he can get me good seats to a Charo show someday.

Remember: these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money would be as stupid as hiring a former show-horse judge to run the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Oakland at NEW ENGLAND (-7.5): Patriots quarterback Tom Brady mentioned goats in an interview with GQ during the offseason, which is coincidental, as the Raiders still blow them. More than a touchdown in an NFL primetime opener, however, is too much. New England 27, Oakland 23.

Denver at MIAMI (+4.5): Broncos QB Jake Plummer has been fantastic in the preseason, which means about as much as Maurice Clarett saying someone stole some stuff out of his car. Still, the Dolphins are weaker than dope cut with parsley -- play Miami when Ricky returns. Denver 31, Miami 13.

Cincinnati at CLEVELAND (-3.5): The Trent Dilfer era begins in Cleveland, and I expect it to be about as memorable as the presidency of Millard Fillmore. Bengal RB Rudi Johnson might be the fantasy star of the week. Cincy 27, Cleveland 24.

Tennessee at PITTSBURGH (-7): Steelers fans look at young QB Ben Roethlisberger and expect the Second Coming, and they might get it -- of Mark Malone. Taking bets on which happens first -- Titans RB Chris Brown gets hurt or Mary Kate Olsen gives a beau a fatal paper cut by rubbing up against him. Get a sandwich, for God's sake! Pittsburgh 26, Tennessee 17.

Houston at BUFFALO (-5): That collective sign of relief you heard during the offseason was from Bills fans happy to dump the whining machine that is Travis Henry. JP still looks a little lost, but Buffalo will get 30 of the same strokes from Willis and win easily. Buffalo 29, Houston 16.

Chicago at WASHINGTON (-6): Imagine quarterback Kyle Orton's chagrin -- he hears he gets to start right away in the NFL ... but it's for the Bears. That's like being the prettiest hooker on "COPS". Still, I like the Bears for no better reason than I hate Dan Snyder. Chicago 17, (Change Your Mascot Already!) 16.

New Orleans at CAROLINA (-7): Get up, walk to your closet and pull out five things you'll never wear again. Now go donate them to the Red Cross so they can be sent to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Thanks! Carolina 26, New Orleans 23.

Tampa Bay at MINNESOTA (-6): Randy Moss is gone and it will make the Vikings even better offensively, provided they find a running back. I'm rooting for them just to see Jon Gruden make that face like he's eating spoiled pickles. Minnesota 34, Tampa Bay 24.

Seattle @ Jacksonville (-3): This is Mike Holmgren's final final FINAL chance to make the Seahawks as good as they should be. He'll be off to a good start after Week One. Seattle 29, Jacksonville 20.

NY Jets @ KANSAS CITY (-3): Expect Dick Vermeil to cry a river when he realizes the Chiefs forgot to keep any wide receivers around for this season. Just repeat the mantra -- CurtisMartinCurtisMartinCurtisMartin and you shall be rewarded. New York 24, KC 23.

Arizona at NEW YORK GIANTS (-2.5): Giants QB Eli Manning will be much improved this year. It just won't start against a stiff Cardinals defense. Arizona 20, New York Giants 16.

St. Louis at SAN FRANCISCO (-5): This line is WAYYYY too low. Even Rams head coach Mike Martz isn't stupid enough to not run Stephen Jackson 30 times against the woeful 49ers ... or is he? St. Louis 37, San Fran 20. Extra note: The over/under here is 46. I'd be big on over if I were a betting man.

Green Bay at DETROIT (-3): No freaking way. The Lions favored over the Packers? Haven't they heard Jeff Garcia is out for the season?!? Green Bay 27, Detroit 20.

Dallas at SAN DIEGO (-4.5): Anyone else expect the Chargers to fall flat this season? Dallas 23, San Diego 21.

Indianapolis at BALTIMORE (+3): Boy, tough call. Do I root against Ray Lewis or Peyton Manning? Indy 20, Baltimore 19.

Philadelphia at ATLANTA (+1): He's a self-centered, obnoxious blowhard who hopefully will be out of football for good soon. But enough about Trev Alberts. Philly 24, Atlanta 20.

Lock O' The Week: St. Louis to cover.
Trifecta: St. Louis, Philly, Denver.

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