Last Week: 11-5
Record Picking Redskins Games: 3-0
Against the Spread: 5-6
Lock of the Week: 2-1
Last Week's Pats: Nothing to really write home about...I missed on my upset picks. I did get Vikings over Panthers when many people we're going the other way. Also, correctly picked the Redskins to beat the Cardinals in a game most people had pegged at 50-50.
Last Week's Apologies: Overall record was fine, but I had a miserable week against the spread: 0-4. Total disaster. I was 3-0 the week before, which pretty much illustrates why the bookies don't mind if someone gets on a hot streak. You are bound to come back down to earth...usually with a thud. I also picked against the Titans for the second time this year, which has burned me twice. That's a really strong football team in Tennessee, and I think I've finally gotten the memo.
This Week's Picks:
Atlanta at Carolina: I could see this being a pattern for the Falcons: Play hard every week, beat the lousy teams, get run over by the better teams--especially on the road.
Panthers 23, Falcons 12
Denver at Kansas City: I could see this being a pattern for the Chiefs: Play hard every week, get run over by the lousy teams, get run over by the better teams.
Broncos 31, Chiefs 17
San Francisco at New Orleans: Having suffered back-to-back heartbreakers on the road, the Saints really need a win to settle things down. San Francisco's offense seems to have life with Mike Martz, but I want to see it succeed in some hostile environments before I go crazy about it.
Saints 30, 49ers 20
Arizona at New York Jets: Possibly the toughest game to pick on the schedule this week. Arizona is a good team. But they aren't a great team, and they still have some significant historical hurdles to get over before people really start taking them seriously. This is a big game for the Jets, coming off to subpar performances. If they lose on Sunday, the fans will start grumbling. I'm giving a very, very shaky vote to the home team here.
Jets 24, Cardinals 22
Minnesota at Tennessee: Earlier I said the Titans taught me my lesson. I am going to practice what I preach. Gus Frerotte stabalizes the Vikings a bit, but does he have enough to handle a pretty fierce defense in Tennessee? I wouldn't bet on it. One thing that worries me as a Titans fan? Adrian Peterson has yet to explode this year.
Titans 20, Vikings 17
Green Bay at Tampa Bay: The Packers just lost to a superior team against Dallas last week. I still think Green Bay could wind up in the NFC Championship Game when it's all said and done. Really like the road underdog here.
Packers 19, Bucs 14
Houston at Jacksonville: The Texans have made me look foolish in their first two games this year. By no means am I in love with the Jags, but they did have a gut-check win in Indy last week, and I see them winning ugly at home.
Jaguars 17, Texans 15
Cleveland at Cincinnati: Yuck. Total must-win for both teams if either has any prayer of not having a terrible year. I honestly have no clue in this one. Do I go with the team with the better pedigree headed into the year (Browns)? Or do I go with the team that showed signs of life last week (Bengals)? Ah, I'll just flip a coin.
Browns 27, Bengals 24
San Diego at Oakland: For all their internal fiascos right now, the Raiders have put together a couple of really nice efforts the past two weeks. I'm still not sold on the Chargers defense, and I see this one being pretty close. But I'll go with San Diego.
Chargers 28, Raiders 21
Buffalo at St. Louis: Total desperation time in St. Louis. But I could actually see the Trent Green promotion paying dividends in the short-term. It's not easy to get blown out four weeks in a row in the NFL. I think both of these teams is "due" in a certain sense. But I still see the Bills getting the victory.
Bills 23, Rams 20
Washington at Dallas: Redskins fans may hold a parade after this game. Not a victory parade mind you, but a "Thank God We Never Have to Play in that Hellhole Again" parade. Since 1996, the Redskins are 1-11 in Texas Stadium with an average margin of defeat of almost 10 points in those losses. The Redskins have improved greatly since opening night in New York, and that progress should continue. When these teams meet again in November, Washington could be primed for the upset. But Dallas looks downright salty right now, and I'm not sure anyone is going to go in there and beat this year.
Cowboys 34, Redskins 17
Philadelphia at Chicago: The Bears have to be kicking themselves right now after dropping two winnable games the past two weeks-- especially after holding a double-digit lead with four minutes left against the Bucs last Sunday. Those losses could come back to haunt them, because even if they play well Sunday Night, the Eagles may prove to be too tough.
Eagles 26, Bears 17
Baltimore at Pittsburgh: One thing is for sure: This one won't be pretty. I'm not sure yet if the Ravens defense has regained form, or if they've just beaten up on two lousy teams. Rookie QB Joe Flacco has been able to stay under the radar and start his career 2-0. Things won't be so easy this Monday Night.
Steelers 22, Ravens 13
4 To Score
1. Packers (+3) at Bucs. Just a have real strong feeling that the road dog wins outright here.
2. Panthers (-7) vs. Falcons. I see the Falcons having a really hard time getting points on the board.
3. Texans (+7.5) at Jaguars. Texans gotta made me look good eventually, right?
4. Rams (+8.5) vs. Bills. Going on the trend that eventually, the Rams need to keep one close.