By DJ Gallo
Special to Page 2

Week 4 is all but over and the NFL season is at the quarter mark, meaning it's time to make outlandish predictions for the rest of the season based on a very small sample size.

In honor of that tradition, I am going on record with the Houston Texans as my Super Bowl pick. Just look at the evidence.

One, yesterday they took it to the mighty Miami Dolphins -- the thinking man's preseason Super Bowl favorite. And as everyone knows: Once you knock off the best, you are the best.

Two, defensive end Mario Williams registered 1½ sacks yesterday. Extrapolated out over an entire 16 game season, that's 24 sacks, which would obliterate Michael Strahan's single-season NFL record. So clearly Williams is a force that cannot be contained.

And three, there's the Houston offense piloted by quarterback David Carr, who leads the NFL with a 108.9 quarterback rating. As hard as it is to register that fact in your brain, it's nothing like trying to imagine how awesome the Houston offense must be if they had absolutely no use for Reggie Bush. That one actually makes my head hurt.

So there you have it. The Houston Texans, your Super Bowl XLI champions.

Headlines ...

Bill Clinton criticized for not doing enough to stop yesterday's unwatchable Bills-Vikings game

Terrell Owens situation clearly a big distraction to the Titans' secondary

Chris Henry vomits out of car window after watching the Bengals play the Patriots

Nick Lachey, like, totally going to pick up Matt Leinart off of his fantasy league's waiver wire

Chargers happy no one can say they have a cupcake schedule anymore

Albert Haynesworth kindly kills spider that was crawling on opponent's face

Terrell Owens avoids crossing routes against Titans to prove he doesn't have a death wish

Dolphins looking like they'll probably get crushed by the NFC representative in the Super Bowl

Twelve Things I Thought I Thought While Learning Tom Brady's Body as a Second Language...

1. As bad as it was to watch Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth freak out and repeatedly stomp on the helmetless face of Cowboys center Andre Gurode, it made me think how lucky we are that there isn't a steroids problem in the NFL. Just think how much worse an incident like that could be if a player would suddenly lose control and flip out due to 'roid rage. Fortunately, though, something like that could never occur in the NFL.

2. Having spent much of the weekend watching football games coached by members of the Bill Parcells "coaching tree" -- Parcells himself, Charlie Weis, Bill Belichick, Eric Mangini, et cetera -- I have to wonder when the tree will fall to the ground under its own weight. No tree branches are strong enough to hold up all of that girth. So please, dear readers, keep your children from playing near the Parcells tree. It may look like it is composed of soft, almost gooey wood, but when it comes crashing down from the heights its ego has taken it, only pain and injury can result.

3. In just his second game this season since coming out of retirement, Atlanta kicker Morten Andersen tied a career high Sunday with five field goals. He could have had six, but the Falcons had Michael Koenen kick a 51-yarder in the second quarter. Supposedly Koenen kicked it because an attempt of that length is out of Andersen's range, but I think it's more likely Andersen didn't kick from that distance because the exertion it requires to kick a 51-yard field goal could cause a rather embarrassing accident in the 46-year-old's pants.

4. Speaking of Andersen, Bob Costas had some interesting "six degrees of separation" trivia on the kicker Sunday night during NBC's pregame show. Costas traced Andersen back to Red Grange in just five degrees of separation, starting with the Saints in 1982, when Andersen played with Kenny Stabler. Stabler played with George Blanda, who played with Sid Luckman, who played with Bronko Nagurski, who played with Grange. Inspired by Costas, I tried to link Andersen to some other football greats -- and I think I did him better in just five steps. On the '82 Saints Andersen played with George Rogers, who played with Art Monk on the '87 Redskins, who played with Charlie Garner on the '95 Eagles, who played with Ike Reese on the '98 Eagles, who played with Morten Andersen on the 2006 Saints. Yes, the Morten Andersen -- the legendary kicker who is second on the NFL's all-time scoring list. Pretty amazing, huh?

5. As good as the Ravens-Chargers game was Sunday, we were all cheated out of a more memorable matchup because San Diego wasn't at full strength. Starting strong safety Terrence Kiel was arrested on felony drug charges last week and wasn't in the lineup -- which is a shame, because I would have loved to see Kiel put a big hit on Ravens running back Jamal Lewis in the open field. Would a collision between the two have kicked up a giant cloud of white powder? Would money have been exchanged? Cell phone numbers? Sadly, we -- and federal drug agents -- will never know.

6. The acquisition of a huge, space-filling defensive tackle has made a huge difference in the performance of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis' -- just as he said it would when he told the Ravens to get such a player in the offseason. With No. 1 pick Haloti Ngata clogging up the middle, Lewis is now the first player to jump on an already felled ballcarrier and then dance and shimmy and claim the tackle as his own, whereas last year he was only the second or third player to jump on a pile. That's a noticeable difference.

7. As much potential as Reggie Bush has, it's tough to make the case that his first four games in the NFL have been anything more than pedestrian. On Sunday he had 11 rushes for 22 yards (with a long of five yards), four receptions for 48 yards, one fumble and two punt returns for minus-one yard. And on the season he is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, is without a rush longer than 18 yards and has yet to score a touchdown. Not that impressive, to say the least. Sure, he has tons of potential, but as the famous "Pulp Fiction" line goes: "Let's not start giving each other houses yet." (Or at least I think that's how the line goes. I saw only the network TV version of the movie.)

8. During the broadcast of Sunday's Bengals-Patriots game, longtime Cincinnati lineman Willie Anderson was pictured holding a shovel in the Bengals locker room. According to the game's announcers, the Bengals have the shovel to symbolize that they have to dig deep to win big games and to meet their goals. But as inspiring as that might be, I have a bad feeling that shovel might be used by a Bengals player outside the locker room at some point to crack someone in the back of the head and then to dig a hole to bury the body to hide the evidence.

9. What an awful game by the Seahawks in Chicago on Sunday night. Especially by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. He was absolutely owned by Bears cornerback Ricky Manning, who picked him off twice in the first half. I'd say Manning beat Hasselbeck like a rented mule, but I think the slightly lesser-known saying -- "beat him like a laptop user at a Denny's" -- would work better in this case.

10. In addition to pulling out an exciting win at Giants Stadium on Sunday against the Jets, Peyton Manning had the opportunity to go to New York for the second time already this season. And I hope for his sake that during one of these trips he was able to find the time to sit down with some folks from Madison Avenue, because it's really a shame that he is not in any TV commercials.

11. Actually, that's not true. He's in that Nextel commercial where he is wearing that ridiculous wig and fake mustache, and that enormous -- and hilarious -- fake neck. So that's one Manning commercial, at least.

12. Wait ... what's that? That's not a fake neck, you say? That's his real neck? Yeah, good try. I'm not that gullible. I know a fake neck when I see one.

DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He is also a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Fantasy Sports Monthly, and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book -- "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck" -- will be in stores soon.




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WEEK 4 REVIEW