Last Week: 9-4
Record Picking Redskins Games: 3-1
Against the Spread: 7-8
Lock of the Week: 2-2
Last Week’s Pats: Had a really good read on the Falcons-Panthers game; both straight up and against the spread. I should have made that my lock of the week…Also correctly predicted the Jags to win a close game over Houston, but for the Texans to cover the number.
Last Week’s Apologies: Going to start with the Bucs. Picked against them the past two weeks and was burned each time. I’m still not overly impressed with the talent on that squad, but they are well coached, and very tough. I am going to have to start respecting them a bit more in my picks. I also did not see the Chiefs-Broncos game coming at all. That game showed me that as good as the Broncos offense may be, their defense is nowhere near contending level. And of course, I predicted my Redskins to lose by 17 in Dallas. But I’ll take that egg on my face any day of the week.
This Week’s Picks:
Tennessee at Baltimore: Really tough game to call here. The Titans are the better team, but they have some wiggle room at 4-0 and the Ravens were pretty impressive in their Monday Night loss in Pittsburgh. My gut actually tells me to go with the Ravens here, but I think the Titans may be the type of team that doesn’t succumb to trends. If you beat them, you will beat them because you are the better team.
Titans 17, Ravens 13
Seattle at New York Giants: I’ve been saying since day 1 that the Seahawks’ window has closed. That team is done. Although, I am surprised that their normally tough defense has been shredded so far this year. I would say the Bye week helps Seattle, but the Giants had that luxury as well. Missing Plaxico Burress for this game may slow down the Giants offense this week, but I do not see it costing them the game.
Giants 23, Seahawks 17
Washington at Philadelphia: No one likes to admit these things, but this is a much more important game for Philly than it is for Washington. By winning in Dallas last week, the Redskins accomplished at least a split of this difficult road test—a win on Sunday would be gravy for the Redskins and it would put the Eagles in a desperate situation in the toughest division in football. I think the Redskins are the better team and will finish ahead of the Eagles when it’s said and done, but I don’t see them burying Philly quite yet.
Eagles 23, Redskins 20
San Diego at Miami: The Chargers were reeling after their 0-2 start, but the schedule has cooperated. Good teams should beat the Jets at home and back to back trips to Oakland and Miami are not particularly daunting. Was the offensive explosion we saw from Miami in New England a sign of things to come, or an aberration? Until I see it again, I’m leaning towards the latter. I do think the Dolphins will keep it close, but not close enough.
Chargers 27, Dolphins 17
Chicago at Detroit: This game isn’t as black and white as it looks on paper. I’d steer clear of this one if I was a gambling man. At some point, the Lions MUST get off to a better start in a game, and when that happens, their offense has just enough talent to keep it close—especially at home. I still can’t pick that squad to win a game, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they pulled off the upset this week.
Bears 21, Lions 19
Atlanta at Green Bay: It sounds as if Aaron Rodgers will be ready to go. Assuming he is, I like Green Bay big. If he doesn’t play, I’ll still take the Packers defense to shut down the Falcons offense, but the game will be much closer. For my score prediction, I’ll split the difference.
Packers 24, Falcons 14
Indianapolis at Houston: Kind of a desperate game for both teams. The Texans had high hopes entering the year, but a loss on Sunday will put them at 0-4 and will virtually eliminate them from contention. The Colts have enough talent and experience to bounce back from a potential 1-3 start, but it certainly would not be a good thing—especially if the Titans find themselves at 5-0 after this week. I see an entertaining game, with the Colts pulling it out late.
Colts 31, Texans 27
Kansas City at Carolina: The Chiefs won’t find the going as easy this week against the Panthers defense. Easiest straight up game on the board.
Panthers 26, Chiefs 10
Tampa Bay at Denver: I said in my “Apologies” section that I needed to start respecting the Bucs more in my weeks. Well, we might have to wait until next week. As bad as the Denver defense is, I do think their offense is legit. And I think home field puts them over the top this week.
Broncos 27, Bucs 20
Buffalo at Arizona: I love the Cardinals this week. Buffalo is a very solid team, but I think they have played at least slightly over their heads so far; and they’ve also beaten up on some poor teams in three of their four wins. The Cardinals are not looking good after an 0-2 road trip, but I see them rebounding at home.
Cardinals 28, Bills 17
New England at San Francisco: I’m still drinking the Kool Aid. I still think the Patriots will find a way to make some noise in the AFC this year and I still think their offense will eventually cause problems for opponents. It will be nothing like what we saw last year, but I still very much respect their staff. I have a feeling we’ll see a different team this week.
Patriots 29, 49ers 20
Cincinnati at Dallas: Earlier I said the Panthers game was the easiest straight up game of the week. Scratch that.
Cowboys 42, Bengals 21
Pittsburgh at Jacksonville: I don’t know if you could possibly feel any worse about your team after a win than Pittsburgh must feel right now. A horrid offensive line and key injuries to their backfield spell big trouble on the road this week.
Jaguars 23, Steelers 13
Minnesota at New Orleans: Close to a must-win for the Vikings if they have any plans on contending in the NFC this year. I’m still waiting for Adrian Peterson to have a breakout game—and Monday Night against a shaky Saints defense seems like a good spot. Going with the upset here.
Vikings 30, Saints 27
4 To Score
1. Cardinals (+1.5) vs. the Bills
. I’ve done really well picking the Cardinals against the spread over the past two years. They are a different team at home. They say “never bet the due,” but Buffalo is due.
2. Patriots (+3) at 49ers
. Again, perhaps I’m brainwashed by the Patriot Machine, but I really like New England to bounce back this week.
3. Panthers (-9.5) vs. the Chiefs
. I’m 2 for 2 picking the Panthers in this section so far this year. I feel good about going 3-0.
4. Redskins (+5) at Eagles
. I like the Eagles to win, so that makes this somewhat of a shaky bet, but this is a series that historically produces very good close games.