The Green Side of Life

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.

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