Melvin Ingram was meant to lead all rookies in sacks within an improved San Diego pass rush, while up-and-coming Kansas City and Carolina were stealing their respective divisions. Matt Ryan and Mike Smith had originally received invitations to Michael Vick's dog house, and Peyton Manning was destined to be an all-time free agent bust.

Ingram has 12 tackles and zero sacks through six inexplicable Chargers games. The Chiefs and Panthers are a collective 2-9. The Atlanta Falcons are the lone undefeated franchise of 2012. Peyton Manning is, once again, Peyton Manning.

This is why we shouldn't be predicting anything until the scorching summer sun sets.

Upsets were in abundance last week, and season projections of fans and analysts alike are being boasted or roasted every single moment Tim Tebow is not the starting quarterback or Christian Ponder keeps the Minnesota Vikings in playoff contention.

As teams are regrouping out of their byes or settling into established grooves, the middle of October hopes to be sufficient indication of which mainstays and surprises - both positive and negative - are for real moving forward.

Before reaching for a new pile of tarot cards, let's see if I've figured this out by now:

Last Week: 6-8 - Thankfully, I wasn't bluffing with Buffalo, but I remain flushed after Tennessee, Cleveland, and Seattle shockers.

Overall: 52-39

TNF: 49ers over Seahawks - Defense will win this suddenly stalwart NFC West, and an angry Gold Rush will be looking to validate Seattle's signing of Matt Flynn.

Game of the Week (3-3): Giants over Redskins - Washington has had New York's number in recent encounters, but it's still the first half, meaning Jason Pierre-Paul and the defending champions have an anticipated inaugural meeting with RG3.

[Would-Be] Survival Pick (5-1): Colts over Browns - While Cleveland cleans out upper management, Reggie Wayne has a comeback campaign to attend to for both Andrew Luck and Chuck Pagano.

Upset Special (4-2): Panthers over Cowboys - If the time off wasn't enough for head coach Ron Rivera to solve the sophomore slump of Least Valuable Player Cam Newton (apologies to Vick and Tony Romo), a visit from America's Tanking Team should do wonders.

Others: Vikings over Cardinals - The hot starts of these two clubs have cooled off a bit, but Arizona's quarterback controversy has rewound itself back to the end of August.

Patriots over Jets - A befuddled Tom Brady and surging Chandler Jones shall bounce back and take advantage of the absence of Darrelle Revis and Tim Tebow, restoring the AFC East.

Bills over Titans - Although Mario Williams has been more discouraging than CJ0.2K thus far, the prized defensive bucket of wild wings appears in better position to correct it.

Packers over Rams - Jeff Fisher and his players can try on as many wigs and discounted double-dresses as they wish - Clay Matthews and Aaron Rodgers are only getting hungrier.

Buccaneers over Saints - Banish Jonathan Vilma to the PUP list indefinitely, Roger Goodell, because a New Orleans loss to Tampa Bay is the nail in the head anyway.

Texans over Ravens - When it comes to surviving insinuating injuries, Baltimore isn't as experienced or prolific as Houston, and J.J. Watt and Arian Foster will diminish the luster of this conference challenge considerably.

Raiders over Jaguars - Watch this turn out to be the best game of Week 7...um...Jacksonville has been stewing in their filth longer than Oakland has?

SNF: Bengals over Steelers - The latest developments of this rivalry will officially turn the tides in the AFC North, due in large part to Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, and Pittsburgh's health and age.

MNF: Bears over Lions - Detroit may want to trade for Michael Bush Tuesday morning, since Super Bowl-bound Chicago will barely need him on Monday Night.

The Italian Trojan senses 13-0 in his near future. The replacement psychics were fired just in time.

 

2012 Picks:

Week 6

Week 5

Week 4

Week 3

Week 2

Week 1