Crazy hit, right? Well, that’s just part of the interesting case of Follett. According to Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders and Shutdown Corner, Follett had an odd (but hilarious) hero while he was playing high school football:
"[G]rowing up, Terry Tate, No. 56, the Office Linebacker, he was my hero watching those commercials. I tried to emulate him when I was out there. . . . Junior year of high school, I went to Champs Sports and they sold a Reebok Terry Tate number 56 jersey, and I bought one immediately. We watched all his YouTube clips and he’s bringing the 'Pain Train' and doing the 'whoop-whoop' sound and I used to do it in high school, and I used to blow the horn. It kind of stuck with me a little bit."
I doubt there's another player in the NFL whose hero is Terry Tate. And that's just unfortunate. On to the picks:
(Home team is in caps.)
Chiefs (+7) over JAGUARS
Are the Jaguars better than the Chiefs? Probably. Then again, it’s impossible to trust Jacksonville. In their last three games, the Jaguars lost to the Seahawks 41-0, beat the awful Rams by a field goal in overtime, and fell to the Titans by 17 to give Tennessee its first win. Maurice Jones-Drew poses a serious threat to the Chiefs on the ground, but MJD has only received the 15th-most carries in the NFL even though he averages 5.5 yards per carry. Try to figure that one out.
Ravens (-3) over BENGALS
Cedric Benson won’t rush for 120 yards this week, and the Bengals won’t accumulate 403 total yards again.
Texans (+8.5) over COLTS
Quick, who leads the NFL in passing yards? That would be Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (2,342 yards), who also is tied for the most TD passes (16). Surprisingly, the Colts also lead the league in fewest points allowed per game (13.0). Unfortunately for the Colts, their defense just lost safety Bob Sanders, cornerback Marlin Jackson, and linebacker Tyjuan Hagler for the season. If the Colts were at full strength, I think a blowout would be in order. But that’s not the case this week.
FALCONS (-10) over Redskins
Nothing much to say about the game, but why do the only people who defend Dan Snyder happen to be on his payroll?
Packers (-10) over BUCCANEERS
Rookie quarterback Josh Freeman gets his first NFL start today for the Bucs against a team looking to destroy anyone after the whole Brett-Favre-comeback debacle in Green Bay last week. Good luck with that.
Cardinals (+3) over BEARS
Neither team can really be trusted, but the Cardinals are 3-0 on the road and 1-3 at home -- and they’re in Chicago this week.
Dolphins (+10.5) over PATRIOTS
Interesting matchup, especially with the Patriots just coming off a bye. This could be a high-scoring game, but I think the Dolphins keep it close.
SAINTS (-13) over Panthers
If the Panthers can design a game plan similar to last week’s with Jake Delhomme only having to throw 14 times (for 90 yards), they could be fine this week. Then again, that would require rushing for over six yards per carry against the Saints, which won’t happen.
SEAHAWKS (-10) over Lions
The Seahawks offensive line is really hurting right now, but that shouldn’t matter as much against the Lions, who have a hard time stopping anyone. Seattle should roll at home.
49ERS (-4.5) over Titans
The 49ers have lost three in a row and return home desperate for a win. The Titans, meanwhile, got their first win last week over the Jaguars and are feeling at least a little bit better with Vince Young behind center. But look for Young to struggle this week as the 49ers make him stay in the pocket and complete passes down the field, which he has had difficulty doing in previous years.
GIANTS (-4.5) over Chargers
The Chargers defense is terrible against the run, giving up 132.1 yards on the ground per game. The Giants offensive line should have no problem opening up plenty of holes for Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to run through.
EAGLES (-3) over Cowboys
Tony Romo has put together three solid games in a row, but none of them were necessarily in big or pressure-packed games. That changes this week, though, when the Cowboys travel to Philadelphia looking to take down the Eagles and take control of the NFC East on Sunday Night Football. Romo hasn’t exactly thrived under the weight of big games, and I expect him to again crack under the pressure, especially with the common occurrence of some turmoil in Dallas, this time by underachieving wide receiver Roy Williams, who is making his displeasure known for not getting the ball more.
Steelers (-3) over BRONCOS
The Broncos couldn’t move the ball very efficiently against the Ravens last week, and they won't have an easier time against a strong Steelers defense either.
Last week: 6-7