By Bill Simmons
Page 2

Let's rattle off the first Sports Guy Power Poll of the season, just to get a blueprint of the league heading into November:

THE FAVORITE
1. Patriots (6-0)

THE CONTENDERS
2. Eagles (6-0)
3. Vikings (5-1)

THE X-FACTORS
4. Colts (4-2)
5. Steelers (5-1)

THE PARIS HILTON TEAM
6. Jaguars (5-2)

LURKING
7. Broncos (5-2)
8. Jets (5-1)

IMPROBABLY LURKING
9. Lions (4-2)
10. Chargers (4-3)

THE SLEEPER
11. Chiefs (2-4)

LINGERING
12. Ravens (4-2)
13. Rams (4-3)
14. Giants (4-2)
15. Falcons (5-2)

THE ENIGMAS
16. Seahawks (3-3)
17. Packers (3-4)

THE LONGSHOT
18. Buccaneers (2-4)

FRISKY AS HELL
19. Texans (3-3)
20. Cardinals (2-4)

YOU NEVER KNOW
21. Cowboys (2-4)
22. Saints (3-4)
23. Redskins (2-4)

LIFE SUPPORT
24. Bengals (2-4)
25. Browns (3-4)

FATALLY FLAWED
26. Bills (1-5)
27. Dolphins (1-5)

THE J-BUG MEMORIAL "ALL BANGED UP" DIVISION
28. Titans (2-5)
29. Panthers (1-5)
30. Niners (1-5)

THE BRUCE COSLET CONFERENCE
31. Raiders (2-5)
32. Bears (1-5)

So there you go. Quick Picks for Week 8 ...

Home teams in caps

Packers (-2) over REDSKINS
Would you like some more tapioca, Mr. Gibbs?

BY THE NUMBERS
Favorites -- 37-48-3
Home Teams -- 36-49-3
Home Underogs -- 11-12-1
Underdogs winning outright -- 36 for 48 (75%)

EAGLES (-7.5) over Ravens
All the makings of a Ramsey Game: When my buddy Gus says, "All right, how many points can they POSSIBLY score in that game?" Hey, is there anyone outside of Philly who isn't tired of Terrell Owens yet? Anyone? Should we do something about it? Get Dan Aykroyd and Daniel Stern to kidnap him or something?

Colts (-1) over CHIEFS
Indy 52, KC 49 ... at halftime.

BILLS (-3) over Cardinals
The Bills coaching staff finally says, "Let's run McGahee 50 times, rely on our defense and not let Bledsoe kills us under any circumstances." By the way, this should have happened about four weeks ago.

Giants (+6.5) over VIKINGS
Remind me to name my first kid "Mewelde Simmons." Anyway, I watched that Giants game last week, thanks to the Boston rule that the Giants have to be on TV at all times, even if there are 10 better games on at the same time. I still think they're a decent team. It was just one of those games. It happens.

BRONCOS (-6.5) over Falcons
Same with that Broncos team on Monday night -- every time they were getting back into the game, something dumb happened. Still a good team. Although there's an 80% chance that Jake Plummer sucks and nobody realizes it yet.

Lions (+3.5) over COWBOYS
Has an NFL head coach ever been ushered off the field on a stretcher before?

Bengals (+3.5) over TITANS
Look at the Titans still getting respect from Vegas. Unbelievable. Probably the last week.

TEXANS (-1.5) over Jaguars
The week when Houston officially gets excited about this Texans team.

Patriots (-3) over STEELERS
Although I'm not sure how many "Biggest game of the season for the other team" weeks the Pats have left in them before something bad happens.

By the way, I will happily admit that I was wrong about the Ben Roethlisberger Wakeup Call Week. I would take him over any other young QB in the league. Seriously. He's like a young Drew Bledsoe, only if Young Bledsoe moved around in the pocket and made three of four "Wow!" plays per game. Giants and Chargers fans, prepare to be bummed out for the next 12 years. More on this next week.

SEAHAWKS (+8) over Panthers
Jake Delhomme ... the Stan Humphries of this decade.

CHARGERS (-6) over Raiders
Goofiest line of the week.

BEARS (-1.5) over Niners
Imagine if this went head-to-head on Sunday night with Game 7 of the World Series? Even "The Benefactor" would have had higher ratings. By the way, wasn't Craig Krenzel one of the characters on "Baywatch"? Didn't he have a fling with Summer before CJ screwed everything up?

Dolphins (+6.5) over JETS
All right, I'll ask: Is Santana Moss trapped under something? What happened here? Seven weeks, seven zeroes on my fantasy team. Is he trying to pitch a shutout? I'm going to end up waiving him, and he's going to end up scoring 3 TD's on Monday night, and then I'm going to have to kill him and serve the mandatory prison sentence. I'm just warning you now.

Last week: 8-5-1
Season: 54-44-4

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His Sports Guy's World site is updated every day Monday through Friday.




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