Continuing my solid streak of picking winners the past two weeks, with 22 of 32 correct, I like my chances to keep it going with some solid selections and a couple of "Upset Specials" as well. I'll pick & pan the critical match-up between our Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints tomorrow morning, and that game will have significant implications on where the two teams might be playing one the post season begins next month. For now, we'll move onto this weekend's games after the San Diego Chargers confirmed what everyone knew would happen when the San Francisco 49ers got slammed on Thursday night.
Bengals over Browns: The 'Battle of Ohio' is not quite a major battle anymore, but I actually think Cincinnati can outscore Cleveland, not that anyone outside of those two cities, including any inside, could actually care.
Steelers over Jets: My brain wins out over my heart, as difficult as it is to root for any team from New York. Even without Troy Polomalu, Pittsburgh's defense should shut down New York, as the Jets may go another game without scoring an offensive touchdown.
Cowboys over Redskins: It looks like Dallas QB Jon Kitna is now comfortable with the offense and they are playing rather well under their new head coach, while Washington is the league's 'train wreck' with a new starting QB and a multi-millionaire one relegated to 3rd string!
Panthers over Cardinals: This one ranks up there with the Bengals/Browns game in terms of interest, but Carolina is at home and that is the only reason I like them to win.
Colts over Jaguars: Love to see the upset here but Peyton Manning is determined to finish strong and has no intention of losing at home to the Jacksonville team they are trying to catch in the AFC South standings. MJD is running great and this should be one of the best games of the weekend.
Dolphins over Bills: Miami seems to be trying to hang around in the playoff hunt but in the AFC East, that will be too tough, but not tough enough to beat Buffalo in south Florida.
Eagles over Giants: This game actually qualifies as one of my "Upset Special Picks of the Week" as New York is favored at home but I like Michael Vick to lead Philadelphia to a win on the road in a game that should be physical and higher scoring than you might think.
Rams over Chiefs: This game does not qualify as an upset with St. Louis a point home favorite and I also agree with the oddsmakers as Rams rookie QB am Bradford is for real and they should be tough at home inside their dome.
Buccaneers over Lions: Detroit cannot keep their QB's healthy and Tampa is a much better team at home, although it helps to have your opponents miss a couple of short FG's and an extra point to keep you in the playoff hunt!
Texans over Titans: My second "Upset Special Pick of the Week" as I like the way Houston looked on Monday Night Football in never giving up and their late season record has been solid the past few years. Meanwhile Tennessee is struggling both on the field as well as off and round two of the Andre' Johnson/Cortland Finnegan boxing match should be an interesting sidebar.
Falcons over Seahawks: Normally, Seattle is a tough opponent t home, but they have looked so bad this year while Atlanta has been finding ways to win each week and plan on staying home throughout the playoffs.
Raiders over Broncos: Is this the week that Denver rookie QB Tim Tebow gets his chance to prove he was worth trading up into the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, as Oakland looks to move int the battle for the AFC West.
Patriots over Packers (Sunday Night Football): I would take New England no matter if Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers is playing or not, as long s they have Tom Brady, that's good enough for me. Recently heard stat is that Brady hasn't turned the ball over for FIVE games in a row now!
Vikings over Bears (Monday Night Football): Single-digit temps are expected in the first outdoors Minnesota home game in 29 years since the roof of the Metrodome fell in. Who ends up QB for the Vikings doesn't matter, as I can see Chicago's Cutler throwing a few errant picks to help his team lose tonight.
Last week: 10-6
Season record: 126-80