‘Playbook’ mailbag: Risks of bold predictions

We hear a lot of banter from the public about the “Playbook” crew’s picks every week, especially when fans ardently disagree with the choices.

And on special occasions, fans almost seem bewildered by an analyst’s prediction.

Such was the case last week, when Joe Theismann picked the Colts to beat the Saints. The Colts lost … 62-7.

A loyal fan of the show wrote in to express her concern for our man:

I’m worried about Joe after picking Indy to win last week.  I LOVE Indy and I didn’t even pick them to win against the Saints last week.  And boy oh boy, did they ever not win.  Will Joe be able to redeem himself this week?  Mind you, he did pick Chicago (as did I).

You guys are great and I love watching the show so I can see how my picks compare with yours.  What was up with that Seattle pick though?  My goodness.

— Christine from Canada

Thanks for your concern, Christine. We all looked at Theismann a bit googly-eyed when he picked the Colts. He has loved the Colts over the years, with Peyton Manning and all, and it seems old habits die hard. We are all just waiting for Indy to display some of the offensive fireworks we are used to seeing from them.

But you have to give him props for being bold. Rookie RB Delone Carter tried his best to help Joe out (89 yards and a touchdown) but it just wasn’t in the cards for Curtis Painter and the Colts.

As for Seattle, they could have won the game if WR Sidney Rice hasn’t stepped out of bounds at the 9-yard line on a 38-yard gain with no one from the Browns in position to tackle him.

We’ll pass along this message to Joe when he returns. As Sterling Sharpe said on the show last week, Theismann wasn’t allowed back on “Playbook” if the Colts lost. And wouldn’t you know it? Joe is currently on a business retreat to FedEx Field in Washington this week.

Maybe, just maybe, the good people at FedEx will show him how to deliver better picks next week.

Now, let us manufacture a few rapid-fire answers to some of your Twitter questions this week:

Who wins this one on one match Nnamdi [Asomugha] vs [Dez] Bryant this weekend? — @Chrismc

Nnamdi, assuming the Eagles figured out during their two weeks of preparation that he should be playing press, man coverage. If you’re physical with Bryant, you can win. If not, Bryant will definitely be physical with you.

What do the #chargers need to CHANGE in order to make it to the playoffs? — @chanpolokote

Technically, they don’t have to change a thing. They are in first place in the AFC West.  But they could use a better defensive pass rush and better red-zone offense(their vertical passing game is hamstrung inside the 20s without Antonio Gates).

What if anything can/should the browns do with [Peyton] Hillis. — @MovesLikeJagr

Just run the ball, baby. Nothing tricky, just get downhill with him.  That’s when he’s at his best.

Do you think the Colts will ever get another big time WR like Marvin Harrison on their team. — @therealcarols32

He’s named Reggie Wayne. But what they really need is another quarterback like Manning.

What are the Colts gonna do about their QB situation? There’s talk they’re tanking for draft picks. — @temeriti

Let’s not rule out Manning yet, though. Otherwise, they have to draft a quarterback. Painter probably isn’t the answer.

What would you think of the Colts making Peyton Manning head coach? He’s clearly the smartest football guy on the sideline. — @jcwalsh06

Ask again when he’s retired and we’ll reconsider the question.

Do you think the chiefs can win the AFC West with a hard schedule still to come? — @KCchiefsMosster

They can if the Chargers and Raiders collapse and if QB Matt Cassel doesn’t. Tough odds on that one.

What’s keep browns from making big plays on O? — @EthanRogers96

Colt McCoy doesn’t have the arm for big plays and the offense doesn’t seem geared for the deep ball. Rookie WR Greg Little and WR Mohamed Massaquoi have big-play potential, but they run mostly underneath routes.

How will Philly’s Pass rush stack up against Dallas? — @claughter22

With Trent Cole ready to return opposite Jason Babin, we’d say it stacks up pretty well. Both can burn you around the edge with their speed or bull their way straight through you. At the same time, DeMarcus Ware is one of the best all-around pass rushers in the NFL. This matchup will be defined by which quarterback, behind shaky offensive lines, handles the pressure better. We have a hard time hanging our hat on either team at this point.

“Playbook” -— the ultimate football Xs and Os show -— airs Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network. Check the NFL Network broadcast schedule for further details. Follow “Playbook” on Twitter @NFLN_Playbook.

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