Following up my 12-4 opening week with a 11-5 week two has me on a roll so far in the 2011 NFL season. However, both of my "Upset Specials" lost last week as the Indianapolis Colts bombed against the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers blew a late lead and lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Let's hope the solid picks continue but with the "Upset Special" picks coming in as well. Here we go and as always, I'll "pick & pan" the Ravens at Rams game on Sunday.
Saints over Texans: Houston may be on top of the AFC South at 2-0 but after beating two bad teams in Indy and Miami, the get a dose of reality as New Orleans shows them what a good team is really like.
Eagles over Giants: Michael Vick's status may be questionable but his teammates will pick him up and even if he cannot play I still see Philadelphia pushing around New York enough to protect their home turf and get the win.
Panthers over Jaguars: Basically, I see this game as a contest between two rookie QBs and I like Carolina's Cm Newton a lot more than Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert, who will be starting his first game while Newton has lit it up, throwing for over 400 yards in each of the first two games.
Patriots over Bills: I am glad to see Buffalo finally having something to cheer about, but despite their two wins over the weaker AFC West opponents, facing a top team like New England might be a rude awakening for the home fans as Tom Brady is throwing the ball on a record-setting pace so far in 2011 and it won't stop this week.
Dolphins over Browns: In an "Upset Special Pick of the Week" I like the road warriors from Miami, who are horrible at home and decent on the road, to upset Cleveland who beat a horrible Colts team but couldn't beat the Bengals at home.
Bengals over 49ers: Cincinnati has actually played surprisingly well and I expect that to continue against an under-achieving San Francisco team that has not been able to hold a lead lately.
Titans over Broncos: Tennessee aims to prove its upset win over the Ravens last week was no fluke and Denver just wants to win a game against a decent team, although the first thing will happen and the second thing won't.
Lions over Vikings: I admit that I thought Minnesota would be a much better team than they have showed so far and Detroit is looking solid on both sides of the ball, proving a healthy Matthew Stafford makes a huge difference.
Raiders over Jets: Here it is, my second and most surprising "Upset Special Pick of the Week." For whatever reason, New York has had problems with Oakland in the past and the Raiders have been able to score and play opportunistic defense in 2011 and besides, I just want to see the Jets lose before coming here next week.
Cardinals over Seahawks: Arizona might be the class of the NFC West, which is not really saying much, but they are certainly better than Seattle and I expect them to win on the road to take charge of the division.
Packers over Bears: I doubt Green Bay will go undefeated this year, but they are right now and figure to keep it that way this week as Chicago's offensive line is terrible and Bears QB Jay Cutler will throw picks while Aaron Rodgers will throw TD passes.
Steelers over Colts (Sunday Night Football): This was supposed to be a great game but if Indianapolis couldn't hold serve over Cleveland at home last week, no way they survive against Pittsburgh, who should be a major hurting on Kerry Collins and the Colts on national TV.
Redskins over Cowboys (Monday Night Football): With the status of Dallas QB Tony Romo still up in the air and their offensive line playing horrible, I like Washington, which has been the surprise team in the NFL East and should shut down the Cowboys and score enough points to win this MNF game.
Last Week: 11-5
Season Record: 23-9