Last week would have been a tough one if we were picking the winners based on the spread. However, we are just going for the winners and therefore, pulled out a few squeakers at the last minute, based on some great plays and the benefit of a horrible call in the Denver-San Diego game (no comments on this remark, as we've regurgitated this enough). Anyway, I'm also still alive in my 'Last Man Standing' pool, and have selected the Pats over the 'fins this week. In my Yahoo 'Survival Pool' I took the Bills over the Raiders. As far as this week's picks, here goes:
Atlanta over Kansas City: If the Chiefs couldn't stop Run DMC and Michael Bush (who?) at home, how will they stop the Falcons' Michael Turner on the road? Answer: They won't!
Buffalo over Oakland: Winning on the road two weeks in a row, this time against a team that actually plays defense and can tackle just won't happen, while Buffalo throws their hat in the ring for the AFC East race with a 3-0 record.
Chicago over Tampa Bay: Da' Bears have looked surprisingly good on offense under QB Kyle Orton, and you know their defense will be there. The Bucs have played good, but to expect Brian Griese to do it again on the road is a bit much.
Tennessee over Houston: The Texans finally get to play a real game and get sent to Tennessee, where they must face a tough defense and a rejuvenated offense under a much better passer in veteran Kerry Collins rather than the troubled Vince Young.
Carolina over Minnesota: I might have taken the Vikings with Gus Ferrotte at QB if I was positive that AP was healthy, but he's not and I can't. Besides, Steve Smith is returning to the Panthers huddle and they have already won twice without him.
New England over Miami: Matt Cassel is getting better each week and will be a serviceable replacement for Tom Brady all season, especially this week against the woeful Dolphins. Randy Moss has enjoyed playing against Miami and I still expect him to reach the end zone, even without Brady throwing to him.
NY Giants over Cincinnati: The Giants haven't missed a beat without Strahan and Osi, while the Bengals haven't hit a beat. This could get ugly and be over early.
Arizona over Washington: While the Redskins are favorites based on their comeback win over the Saints last week, the Cardinals have an even better passing attack than New Orleans that should overwhelm the Washington secondary.
San Francisco over Detroit: The 49ers may have found their QB in JT O'Sullivan, as he led SF to a comeback victory on the road in Seattle, while the Lions almost came back at home against the Packers, but wilted at the end. SF should be able to pass and run all over the Lions and just sit back and wait for the Lions to turn the ball over again and again.
Seattle over St. Louis: As bad as the Seahawks have been and hurting in their receiving corps, the Rams have even looked worse, as their offense still hasn't clicked. I see Matt Hasselback throwing well in this game, regardless of who his receivers are, while the Rams can't win on the road and won't this week either.
Denver over New Orleans: The Broncos got a lucky break last week but still put up 31 points on the Chargers without too much help from the refs before the final chain of events. They did, however, give up 38 and this has to be a concern for their secondary, with Drew Brees coming to town. If they can shore up their defense and continue to ride the arm of Jay Cutler, they should beat the Saints in what is shaping up as one of the two best offensive showcases this weekend (see the Dallas-Green Bay game for the other).
Philadelphia over Pittsburgh: The battle for Pennsylvania will come down to one thing. If the Steelers can protect Ben Roethlisberger's sore shoulder, they will have a chance. If his protection falters, and this is how he got the sore shoulder in the first place, then Pittsburgh is in for a long night. The Eagles showed they have a high scoring offense and will put the Steelers vaunted defense to the test. However, I see the Eagles multi-talented offense and home field advantage being too much for the Steelers to overcome.
Indianapolis over Jacksonville: The Colts will be getting better each week, as Peyton Manning feels better and his injured center returns. They have lost All Pro and Defensive Player of the Year safety Bob Sanders for the next 4-6 weeks (including the Ravens game!), which will hurt. However, the Jaguars have not been the same team as last year and the reason is the multiple injuries to their offensive line. I doubt Jags QB David Garrard can carry the team, especially at Indy, without a solid running game, which has been compromised by the injuries to the line.
Green Bay over Dallas: I'm still riding the Aaron Rodgers' bandwagon and see so much of a young Brett Favre in the way he hands the ball off and leads this team. The Cowboys are one of the top teams in the league but made way too many mistakes to cover their butts two games in a row against high scoring offenses, much less at Lambeau. This should be the other great offensive game of the week.
San Diego over NY Jets: While I fully expect the Chargers to win at home on national TV, I don't think they'll cover the nine point spread. Brett Favre has made a huge difference to the Jets and will keep them in the game against Phil Rivers, who has done everything he can to put this team in position to win. The defense, however, has not cooperated and has been burned in the secondary two weeks in a row. That shouldn't change too much as the Jets will put points on the board, but I still expect the Chargers to put more up and finally win a game.
(Note: I will pick the winner of the Ravens-Browns game in Sunday's post.)
Last Week: 11-4
Season Record: 20-10