The Baltimore Ravens play at the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday Night Football this week, so I plan on putting up my "pick & pan" of their game on Monday, but after a second solid week picking the winners in the NFL, I am now hitting two-thirds of my picks on a consistent basis, with 19 out of my last 26 games correct.
Unfortunately, both of my "Upset Specials" could not back me up, with the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings looked terrible in losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears, respectively. Perhaps we will improve in that category, so let's get right to it.
Chargers over Jets: Despite this game being in New
York Jersey, San Diego is a much better team than New York's last opponent (Miami) and San Diego is uncharacteristically playing solid ball early in the season and should have too much offense for an over-rated Jets team.
Buccaneers over Bears (London, England): Across the pond, I like Tampa over Chicago, even though the Bucs looked horrible in San Francisco two weeks ago but solid beating the New Orleans last week. Da' Bears may have beaten a terrible Vikings team but this will be a much tougher match-up in what actually counts as an "Upset Special Pick of the Week."
Browns over Seahawks: I'd be thrilled if Seattle can go on the road and win again after they did just that to the NY Giants a few weeks ago. However, Cleveland is such an up-and-down team that I'm guessing they will be "up" this week but could go either way.
Falcons over Lions: Despite looking pretty average so far in 2011, don't count Atlanta out of the playoff race just yet, as they will try to pin another home loss on just-beaten Detroit team that is more in the news for their coach's objection to the post-game handshake than they are for losing their first game of the season. This game is just another of my many "Upset Special Picks of the Week."
Redskins over Panthers: Carolina has played well above their heads with an excellent performance from rookie QB Cam Newton, although Washington has a relentless defense that should be able to track him down and into making mistakes as the new "era" in Redskins QB-ing begins with former Ravens backup, John Beck. This too, is another "Upset Special Pick of the Week."
Titans over Texans: If this game were in Houston, I'd be taking the Texans but since it is in Tennessee, I am going with the hosts in a game that should shed a bright light on which team will take control of the AFC South.
Broncos over Dolphins: It's "Tim Tebow Time" and long overdue by most people's standards. Tebow's presence might make this more of a home than away game as nobody in Miami is very happy, although they do stand a decent chance of winning, not so much in this game, but in the "Suck For (Andrew) Luck" Sweepstakes.
Steelers over Cardinals: Pittsburgh still refuses to cooperate and drop back in the pack as they should be able to pick apart the Arizona defense and physically put a beating on my fantasy team's QB, Kevin Kolb.
Raiders over Chiefs: Welcome back to the starting lineup, Kyle Boller! I like Oakland over Kansas City more because of RB Darren McFadden than the thought of Boller under center and have seen the continuing downward spiral of the Chiefs since the Ravens gave everyone else the blueprint for beating them last year in the playoffs.
Packers over Vikings: Let's see,...and undefeated Green Bay team up against a one-win Vikings team with a rookie QB starting his first career NFL game. Enough said here, don't you think?
Cowboys over Rams: Even if Sam Bradford was completely healthy and starting for St. Louis, 'd still be taking Dallas, as not even Cowboys QB Tony Romo should be able to blow this one in the game's final moments, which he is becoming an expert at doing in 2011.
Saints over Colts (Sunday Night Football): Had Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning been healthy, this would have been a great game in this prime-time slot, but without him, it should be ugly and over early. New Orleans just has too many weapons and should be able to outscore the Colts, although something tells me "outscore" will be a stretch for the offensively-challenged Indy team.
Last Week: 9-4
Season Record: 60-30