It was a tough last week, not only for Baltimore Ravens fans, but for picking winners in the game of week seven. Barely above average, I had my worst weekend of the 2011 NFL regular season. One of my two "Upset Specials" came in, with the Atlanta Falcons going into Detroit and handing them their second consecutive home loss, although the Washingotn Redskins couldn't help me on my other upset pick.
Let's get right with this week's picks and start off with one that should be near and dear to every Ravens fans' heart, and I will pick & pan the Ravens vs. Arizona Cardinals game tomorrow morning.
Patriots over Steelers: Other than watching the Ravens beat Pittsburgh, seeing them get punked in their own crib has to be the next best thing as I like Tom Brady's chances of picking them apart and send the AFC North lead back to Baltimore.
Texans over Jaguars: Watch Houston prove Jacksonville's pride is short-lived as it begins too look much clearer who is the class of the AFC South. Imagine how much better the Texans will be when WR Andre Johnson returns and the competition in that division is just not there without Peyton Manning playing.
Panthers over Vikings: Another match-up of rookie QB's, with Carolina's Cam Newton having all but locked down the Rookie-of-the-Year already with his solid play. Minnesota is probably a better team with Christian Ponder at B and might win this game at home, but I still like the Panthers here at home.
Giants over Dolphins: Miami still should have the lead in the disgusting "Suck-for-Luck" sweepstakes, and they will be a better team if that happens. Meanwhile in the mediocre NFC "Least," New York has as good a chance as any team of winning that division.
Saints over Rams: New Orleans would win this game big even if St. Louis QB Sam Bradford were healthy but he is out and this could get ugly early as one of the worst defenses Rams) has to face one of the best offenses (Saints).
Titans over Colts: If this game were in Indianapolis, I might have picked the Colts in an upset, but alas, it's not and no way Tennessee looks so bad in two straight games at home. Perhaps this ends up being Titans RB Chris Johnson's break-out game of 2011 - finally!
Bills over Redskins: Way up north in Toronto, Buffalo has too many weapons and an under-rated opportunistic defense that should have enough on both sides of the ball to beat a boring Washington team that just makes too many mistakes.
Broncos over Lions: I'd pick Detroit if this game were t home, but being on the road in frigid Denver, I like the Tim Tebow-saga to continue with my first "Upset Special Pick of the Week." The Lions have been exposed and QB Matthew Stafford is hurting, so the combination and the desire to see more "Tebow-ing" wins out here.
Bengals over Seahawks: While I'd like to see Seattle win at home, I am beginning to think that Cincinnati team is for real and obviously the Seahawks are not consistent enough, winning one week in New York while losing the next in Cleveland.
49ers over Browns: Speaking of Cleveland, until the Ravens laid their egg last week, everyone here was laughing at the Browns inability to score, but they did win with only two FG's last week vs. Seattle. That certainly won't be enough at San Francisco, as new head coach Jim Harbaugh is rolling along and looking to set up what might be one of the better Thanksgiving night games ever when they come here to Baltimore.
Eagles over Cowboys (Sunday Night Football): An important NFC East game that could send Philadelphia deeper into the basement or muddy the waters with no clear favorite in the division if Dallas continues to find a way to pull out a loss in the last moments off the arm of QB Tony Romo.
Chiefs over Chargers (Monday Night Football): I like Kansas City to protect their home turf on national TV as my second of two "Upset Special Picks of the Week." Arrowhead Stadium is already a tough place for visiting teams to win at and on prime time it should be an insane asylum. San Diego has gotten off to a decent start for them, but QB Phil Rivers has been inconsistent as evidenced by the Chargers scoreless 2nd half in losing to the Jets last week.
Last Week: 7-6 (ouch!)
Season Record: 67-36