Preface to this week’s picks: I think this is one of the more difficult weeks for picks that I can remember. Lots of evenly matched teams and strong cases could be made for going either way in a lot of these games. That’s really a disclaimer for possibly getting lots of these games wrong.
GB @ Dallas (-6.5) – I think this spread should be motivation for the Packers. Not sure what Dallas has done this year to deserve this spread (beating up on poor teams). I know Dallas isn’t Favre’s favorite place, but then again, not sure anyone likes it. It’s a ridiculous stadium housing fans who have ridiculous accents. The Pack should come focused and prepared and unless Marion Barber goes nuts, should come away with a win here. Also, look for Romo to try to emulate his hero Favre by trying to make something happen, but not realizing he isn’t as talented resulting in a few costly turnovers (especially when scrambling).
SD @ KC (+4.5) I’ll take San Diego again simply because they just can’t continue to lose games they should win with some of the talent they have. Despite Norv, they should be able to win this game. Norv belongs with Romeo in the questionable name category.
DET @ MN (-3.5) Tarvaris Jackson’s greatness in this game will be noted, but pale in comparison to a monster game from Kitna. But brother Steve and the rest of the NFL will realize after this game why Jackson is the right man in MN.
ATL @ STL (-4.5) Now, I am assuming Bulger is playing. Talking about a loser face – Frerotte defines loser. I remember when he was mysteriously starting for the Redskins a few years ago and banged his head against the wall after a game and got a concussion. Anything more need to be written?
JAX @ INDY (-7.5) This spread is too high. I go back and forth though: will Jax running game help keep Manning off the field, or will Indy’s offense score too quickly and make Jax pass which they don’t do as well? You know, sometimes watching Manning at the line of scrimmage, reminds me of that person you know with major anxiety issues or that child who can’t sit still. It’s quite annoying.
SEA @ PHIL (-2.5) Philly may take this one on a last second field goal. To me, this might be one of the most boring games out there for some reason. Just tired of watching Seattle and Philly.
HOU @ TN (-3.5) This game will be 100% coaching. How can a team get smoked 35-6 and then come back and route a decent team in Houston? Coaching.
NYJ @ MIA (-1.5) The Jets have to feel horrible as the dogs to an atriumphant team, as it were (what is the opposite of undefeated anyway, like Miami’s 0-11 record? I was going to say “totally defeated”, but there should be a word for this. How about redefeated?). This will be the John Beck show as Clemons proves further he has zero future.
SF @ CAR (-2.5) Rich Campbell will be starting for Carolina this week. This is my least confident pick because I’d written SF off and was sure AZ would destroy them last week but SF won. I was sure CAR would get destroyed last week and they did. So why pick Carolina? Because it would be just mean to their fans to go redefeated at home.
BUFF @ WASH (-5.5) I really feel badly for Washington and Taylor’s family. I really do. He had 2 picks against Green Bay earlier this year (could have had 4) and I really think the NFL will miss one of the premier talents in the league. Sad, just sad.
DEN @ OAK (+3.5) Not sure a team can rebound from the worst special teams coaching/kicking/punting performance of all time (Den last week vs Chi). But considering how weak that division is, Shanahan should be able to motivate.
CLEVE @ AZ (-1.5) How does AZ lose to SF last week when Warner throws for 484 yards. Nice. Now AZ has to play without one of their best players in Adrian Wilson. Cleveland is riding the momentum of playoff talk. Everything points to the Cleve, but for some reason, I’ll go with a semi-meth pick here: AZ. (A reader recommended meth pick vs crack pick – makes sense and illustrates how out of touch I am with modern-day drug use).
TB @ NO (-2.5) Just think, back in the good ole days, the entire TB team would have gone out on Bourbon Street and gotten hammered the Saturday night before the game to “build team chemistry”. Now they’ll sit in swank a hotel room getting pedicures. Wusses.
NYG @ CHI (+1.5) Crack pick – Chicago in a blowout. The wheels will fall off in this one and we’ll all be rewarded by getting to see a Giants team in turmoil again. The lowly Bears will put together an uncharacteristic performance and handle the Giants. Other Giants will begin to show loser faces of their own following Eli’s lead.
CINCY @ PITT (-8.5) This game may end tied 0-0 if the field is still in such crappy condition. But my real reason for taking Cincy is that it’s apparently harder for D-backs to keep their footing on crappy fields that receivers – Cincy will throw all night.
NE @ BALT (+20.5) Another ridiculous spread, but not surprising considering Balt may have one of the league most pathetic offenses. However, it will likely be fairly cold and I don’t think NE’s passing machine will continue in cold weather – they are due for a loss or 2 in the next few weeks.