After a great week of picking the winners straight up, I am back on track and look to even better it this coming weekend, where there are not as many upset picks to ponder as there were last week. While there are a bunch of close games, they wouldn't be classified as upsets, as they are tough division games that could go either way.
I'm posting this today, but wrote it on Friday as I'm heading to sunny Florida this weekend to see my Ravens take on the Dolphins. So, here we go:
San Diego over Buffalo: I'm not saying the Bills were flukes by winning their first four games, but I do think the Chargers are becoming a better team now that they are putting more emphasis on the passing game, rather than relying on LT to carry them, and Phil Rivers has responded in a huge way. I can see the Chargers putting more points on the board for the Bills to keep up with.
Minnesota over Chicago: I like the Vikings to win this game on the road just like they did last year as well. They have a better all around offense with Gus Frerotte now at QB, while I'm still skeptical about the Bears running game. I think it will be a close, low scoring affair, typical for the Black & Blue Division of the olden days.
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati: If Carson Palmer was playing, I might be inclined to pick this game as my upset special. However, with the Steelers coming off a Bye and the Bengals going with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB and virtually no running game, I just can't see it even being a close game.
Tennessee ove Kansas City: Even if LJ was playing, I'd take the Titans and their tough defense over the Chiefs. The Chiefs have played tough at home, but I still like the Titans to remain undefeated after this week.
Dallas over St. Louis: I think Brad Johnson will bring stability to the Cowboys in the same way that Kerry Collins and Gus Frerotte have done the same for the Titans and Vikings, respectively. Even if Tony Romo plays, the Rams were lucky to win their first in Washington last week, as the Redskins basically gave that one away.
NY Giants over San Francisco: Woe to the 49ers for having to face a very angry Giants team that certainly didn't look like they deserved to be called the NFL's best team after last week's MNF blowout to the lowly Browns. This could get ugly early.
Carolina over New Orleans: Perhaps the closest game of the weekend, as both teams have been inconsistent alll season. Everyone wants to annoint the Panthers as the next great team, but they keep throwing in a stinker like they did last week in Tampa. They're home now and the Saints have been better at home than on the road, hence my pick of the Panthers to prevail in an offensive slugfest.
Houston over Detroit: The Texans have their offense in sync and the Lions don't, especially after trading away their top wideout. This is a snoozer, as I just can't waste any more time on this game. Sorry, guys.
Oakland over NY Jets: My upset Special of the Week! The Raiders will run and play defense as I'm looking for the Brett Favre of 2006 to show up and throw a bunch of picks, instead of the six TD game Brett of 2008. Put the mortgage down on this one, boys!
Indianapolis over Green Bay: I believe that the Colts are back, not just able to put a beatdown on my Ravens, but ready to do the same to the rest of the league. The Packers should be able to put up a better fight than Baltimore, but the passing attack of the Colts is clicking with or without the running of Joseph Addai.
Washington over Cleveland: Wow, if any game could end in a tie, I'd love to see it be this one, as I totally hate both teams here. I guess someone has to win and the Browns will be coming off a short week and the Redskins are smoking mad after blowing it last week at home to the previously winless Rams.
Tampa Bay over Seattle: The Buccaneers defense will throttle the hurting Seahawks. They will also run the ball all over the Seattle defense, who won't be able to keep it close enough for their woeful offense.
New England over Denver (Monday Night): The Patriots will do their home crowd proud as they finally win a tough game without Tom Brady. Matt Cassel has a good game, Randy gets his TD catches and the Denver defense reverts to their early season poor form. Jay Cutler is one of the better young QBs in the league but will come up against a defense ready to play.
(Note: I'll pick & pan the Ravens-Dolphins game in Sunday's post.)
Last week: 10-4
Season Record: 54-33