- Atl @ Car (-7.5) – Steve Smith was so excited to play his first home game that he “inadvertently” popped Jake Delhomme in the face. When Jon Fox tried to break it up, Smith kicked him in the shin until it bled. Smith said afterward, “I won’t do that again, I’ve done it a few times, but it won’t happen again” – Smith then spit on the reporter who took the quote.
- AZ @ NYJ (-2.5) – Interesting how the national media seemed to poop on Favre this past week. If things don’t turn around, I honestly don’t know if he’ll be able to handle that pressure emotionally. That said, and I do think AZ is good this year – NYJ in a route.
- Cleve @ Cincy (-3.5) – Interesting match-up. Both teams have some strong talent and good reason to think they could be good. However, both teams have coaches who may not be around for much longer. I’ll pick the Cleve here only because I think they have a better chance to not totally suck from here on out. Bengals suck.
- Denver @ KC (+9.5) – Denver has been on fire…offensively. Their defense has struggled (granted, against some offensive machines in NO and SD). Tony Gonzalez has stated he’d consider a trade. Ted Thompson, are you listening?
- GB @ TB (-.5) – This is as close as I’ve come in a while to picking against the Packers. While the offense may be better with Wells back and Grant not hamstrung, the possibility of having Bigby, Collins, and Rouse either out or limited is scary. That could mean Jarrett Bush at safety folks.
- Hou @ Jax (-7.5) – generous spread. Perhaps odds makers just noticed that Houston was trounced in their first two games. But they have potential yet and Steve Slaton stands an outside shot at being Rookie of the Year if he can stay injury free.
- MN @ Tenn (-2.5) – unless AP goes totally nuts (which is possible, the vaunted Tenn D gave up 116 yards last week to Slaton), Tenn should win this game. Look for at least 3 turnovers from Frerotte this week and despite having opportunities (ruined by bad coaching decisions), MN should go down here.
- SF @ NO (-6.5) – SF is a quality team and not to be taken lightly. Their wild offense and the defense highlighted by Patrick Willis and Justin Smith make them legit. Just not this week. Blowout alert, 48-13.
- Buff @ St L (+8.5) – unreal that Bulger was benched. We’ll see how long Trent Green can go before knocking his head again. Why would he come back? I wonder if his wife wanted an ocean-side home but it was just out of their price range, so she made him go back out there. If they lose, Linehan is gone. As much as I love the Buff and think they’re as good as their record, this will be a fight.
- SD @ Oak (+7.5) – read here for more on the Kiffin/Davis feud. I’m not sure I remember seeing such a public GM/coach feud like this – that has gotten so personal. You know when Kiffin brings up the stress this has caused his pregnant wife that he only shared a tiny bit of her real concerns – 6 months pregnant and not sure where her family will be living? Even a pious, anti-swearing woman would be dropping f-bombs in Al’s direction. Al Davis needs to get out of football.
- Wash @ Dal (-11.5) – this seems like a huge spread. Dallas is really good as we all saw last week. But I won’t relent in my belief that Wash ain’t bad either. A well-timed turnover might be the difference in this game. Maybe a TO error?
- Phil @ Chi (+3.5) – With McNabb and Westbrook hurting, this could be an ugly game for Philly. Even if they play, Chi will be ready for this one. It’s funny, Chi is becoming like the Vikings of the last 10 years – their games are all based on adrenaline and being pumped up, not on actually being good. Chi is not that good, but they’ll win this game. Chicago, like San Diego has scored more points than they’ve given up and they’re still 1-2).
- Balt @ Pitt (-7.5) – Even without Casey Hampton, the Pitt D will make life miserable for QB Jon Flacco. Balt’s hyped defense will be pumped and primed for Monday night and may even have a monster hit or a pick – but they will not continue their defensive dominance. Pitt to roll here
STEVE ADDS: When did Joe Flacco lose his starting job to his younger brother Jon?