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Jimmy The Roman

. . . NFL Week 6 Analysis

The New York Jets are 4-0. So are the Minnesota Vikings. The St. Louis Rams are 5-0. What do these three teams have in common? 13 games and no losses--that's what.

The Rams are enjoying a BYE week this week (much to the relief of the rest of the NFL) and head coach Mike Martz is giving his team the week off--literally. Living vicariously through the words of presidential hopeful George W. Bush ("a promise made is a promise kept"), Martz promised his team he would give them a week off (no practice, no nothing) if they went into the BYE week undefeated, and he's keeping that promise by giving the whole team a one-week vacation. To most teams, this would be a ludicrous proposition, but most teams aren't pulverizing defenses with the top-rated offense in the league.

The charging Ram offense is raking up an average of over 500 yards and over 43 points per game this season. They have played 11 consecutive regular season games with at least 30 points scored, and they have already chalked up 5 touchdowns this season of 80 yards or more. QB Kurt Warner played a perfect game last week (literally), earning a rating of 158.3 for the game, only the 11th time in league history that a "perfect" game has been played by a QB (and this is Warner's second such game--he also did it on October 3 of last season--making him the ONLY QB in NFL history to have 2 perfect games). He could conceivably tie Steve Young's record for the most consecutive games with 300 yards passing (6 games) upon returning to the field on October 15 against Atlanta (who he has already beaten up this season for 392 yards).

To the "average Joe," those statistics seem like an endlessly boring trail of numbers. To a real football fan, it spells three words for the Rams: Super Bowl Repeats!

As usual, the following predictions are for purely entertainment purposes. Please don't squander the federal budget surplus by using my picks to bet. I simply cannot be held accountable.

New Orleans at Chicago: After a 10-year drought at Lambeau field, Bears QB Cade McNown orchestrated the game of his young career in a 27-24 victory over Green Bay last week. Word from New Orleans is that fans have been using the mantra "paper, please" at the supermarket checkout counters, no doubt gearing up to return to those glory days of the "Ain'ts" and "fans" with brown bag-covered heads. Pick: Chicago

Tennessee at Cincinnati: Everyone was so impressed with Tennessee's win against the New York Giants last week, and rightfully so. WR Carl Pickens is returning to Cinci to further put down his former team. Bengals owner and GM Mike Brown needs to realize it takes more than a coaching change to make people believe the team doesn't really suck. Pick: Tennessee

Green Bay at Detroit: The sooner the Detroit Lions realize that Charlie Batch is not a franchise QB, the better off the team will be--especially since it looks like new acquisition RB James Stewart could revive their anemic running game. The Packers furiously sought to add depth to their receiving corps by signing free agent Ryan Wetnight. Perhaps now someone will catch passes thrown by Brett Favre. Pick: Detroit

Buffalo at Miami: Much like the Tennessee Titans, everyone was impressed with the Dolphins victory last week over Cincinnati, but if any game was won before it was played, it should have been that one. Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt has arranged for TUMS to sponsor the remainder of the team's schedule--and it'll come in handy if they tease him like they did last week. The Bills will try to bounce back from a heartbreaking last second loss to the Colts. The good news is, Jay Fiedler (Miami's QB) is no Peyton Manning. Pick: Buffalo

Indianapolis at New England: Bill Belichick finally put together a win for his team at Denver last week. The good news for him is the Patriots have won 4 straight at home over their division rival Colts. QB Drew Bledsoe will be on the run from a Colts defense that has racked up 9 sacks in the last 2 games. Pick: Indianapolis

Pittsburgh at New York Jets: Steelers RB Jerome Bettis ground out 97 yards against the stingy Jaguars defense. QB Kent Graham returns to his starting role, ahead of Kordell Stewart, who helped orchestrate their victory in Jacksonville. It's pretty sad when the FB is the leading receiver, but the Jets' Richie Anderson has developed into QB Vinny Testaverde's "go-to" guy. Testaverde, incidentally, has won 16 of 18 games as a starter for the Jets, and to think, just 12 years ago he set an NFL record for interceptions by throwing 35 in 1 season. Pick: New York

Washington at Philadelphia: Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and coach Norv Turner took another short breath this week after squeaking past Tampa Bay. The Eagles return specialist Brian Mitchell earned his second "Player of the Week" honors after an 89-yard return for a TD against the Falcons (his second return-for-TD of the season). Eagles QB Donovan McNabb is on pace for a 3,000 passing yard season. Pick: Philadelphia

New York Giants at Atlanta: The Falcons were embarrassed for the second week in a row, experiencing the Eagles' "can of whip-ass" in a 37-10 loss. Their defense ranks second to last in the league (thank goodness for the Cincinnati Bengals). Facing the "thunder and lightning" running attack of the Giants will not make matters any easier. Pick: New York

Cleveland at Arizona: The Browns' offensive woes got worse this week when they learned RB Errict Rhett was lost for the season with a foot injury. Unless the Browns sign a free agent (like Terry Kirby, who they cut before the season), rookie Travis Prentice will start. The Cardinals defense, among the best in the league against the run, should have an easy day against the Browns (who managed a paltry 23 yards rushing last week at home against Baltimore). Pick: Arizona

Denver at San Diego: If there are two games this year the Broncos will be glad to play, it's their divisional matchups with the lackluster Chargers. San Diego has brought in free agent QB Jim Harbaugh, forcing former number 1 pick Ryan Leaf back to the bench. Broncos QB Brian Griese and RB Terrell Davis are both playing with injuries, which could limit their offense and give the Chargers a chance for their first victory of the season. Pick: Denver

Oakland at San Francisco: 49ers QB Jeff Garcia has finally shown the finesse that earned him the trust of GM Bill Walsh and coach Steve Mariucci, while RB Charlie Garner won NFC offensive "Player of the Week" honors for his performance last week against Arizona. Oakland returns from a BYE week refreshed after giving a solid wallop two weeks ago to the Browns. Oakland needs to improve their running game to win this year's "Battle of the Bay." Pick: San Francisco

Seattle at Carolina: A first-ever meeting of these two teams, it reunites Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren with Panthers coach George Seifert (Holmgren served as offensive coordinator for the 49ers under Seifert from 1989-1991). The Seahawks are looking to rebound from their Monday night loss to Kansas City, while the Panthers regroup after their overtime loss last week to Dallas. Pick: Carolina

Baltimore at Jacksonville: The Jaguars have a losing record (2-3) for the first time since their inaugural season in 1995. They'll have a tough time against the Ravens, who are number 1 in the AFC in rushing, and whose QB (Tony Banks) raped the Jaguar defense for 5 TDs in Week 2. The only thing going well for Jacksonville right now is the play of WR Jimmy Smith (who had 15 catches for 291 yards and 3 TDs in their last meeting). Pick: Jacksonville

Tampa Bay at Minnesota: Dennis Green got his reward for a 4-0 start this week when the Vikings gave him a 3-year contract extension as their coach. Vikings kicker Gary Anderson, closing in on Hall of Famer George Blanda's career scoring record, is perfect this season going 6-for-6 on field goals and 11-for-11 on extra points. The Bucs are struggling to get on track after back-to-back close losses. This could turn into an aerial showdown with the Bucs WR Keyshawn Johnson trying to show up Vikings Pro Bowl WRs Cris Carter and Randy Moss. Pick: Minnesota

The Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, and St. Louis Rams all have BYE weeks.

Last week's picks: 7-7 (overall 14-12)

Jimmy The Roman, a salute to the deceased sports journalist "Jimmy the Greek," is a periodic columnist at YourMVP.net

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