Afternoon, team! OJO and I have been enjoying yet another NFL season, but to our dismay, it looks like one of our pre-season picks will end up being a case of wishful thinking. My pre-season picks were Dallas and Chicago playing in the NFC Championship, with Dallas moving on, and Denver and Indie playing in the AFC Championship with Denver moving on. I had Denver beating Dallas in the Super Bowl. I'm still confident about three out of the four picks. Dallas, Chicage, and Indie are all in the mix, granted each has some nasty flaws. I think that's the theme of the league this year. Last year all you heard about was "parity". This year, there are several teams that could go deep in the playoffs, but each team has some glaring weakness that could mean an early exit this year. Indie has that ghastly defense that makes me think ANYONE could rush for a hundred yards against them. Chicago looks fantastic if you happen to look away when Rex Grossman drops back for a pass. Dallas is flashy, makes big plays, but has a time bomb in T.O. and the first time starter Tony Romo (who could start playing like a first time starter any week now). Then there's my team. The Denver Broncos. Nine games into the season, I was looking like a genius. All of my picks were looking good. Denver was 7-2, with a defense that was keeping teams out of the endzone for weeks at a stretch. Then that fell apart. They lost a close one to San Diego, Indie, K.C., and this week it was San Diego again. Shanahan has seceded the season by turning over the reins to Vanderbilt rookie Jay Cutler. I like Cutler; I don't like giving the season away. With Plummer they had a chance. Don't be fooled by the early success of Big Ben the previous two seasons- most QB's have a learning curve before they start fulfilling their potential. I think Shanahan made a statement that he was willing to ride out Cutler's learning curve in the 2006 season, in hopes for a run in 2007. What a selfish move! Doesn't he realize he's ruining my chances for calling the final four in '06, and a possible job opportunity as a Vegas odds maker? This whole thing. Oh well. Here's a sneak preview for my 2007 picks. It's too early to call the other contenders, but I'm going with Cutler and the Denver Broncos as next season's NFL Champs. It looks like the Bolts will be replacing Denver in the AFC Championship game. Of course, if Denver runs the table, makes the playoffs, and wins the Super Bowl then this post is null and void (except the part about winning it all in '07, that's still in effect). Need you get your NFL coverage anywhere else? OJO out.