(By the way, picks listed in order of confidence – from highest to lowest).
- Balt @ Mia (-2.5) – Balt’s D got exposed last week, not as good as people think it is. Like I said in the preseason, Chad Pennington still has something left. I don’t like Parcells but the guy does know football. In fact, Miami reportedly has drawn up a play this week for Parcells (after activating him) to come down, wear a QB-type number, line up as WR and when the ball is snapped, he will just roll around on the ground basking in his unpleasantness and then do a few jumping jacks. This will distract the Ravens as RQB Ronnie Brown throws it 40 yards to a wide open Chad Pennington.
- Min @ Chi (-2.5) – Last time these two teams played in Chicago, I think AP had 700 yards or so. This time, I don’t think it will happen. While the Vikes have won a couple games with Frerotte (as I indicated they would), they are ready to start their massive slide now. My guess is that they’ll go 1-4 in their next 5 games and I don’t even know who they’ll be playing. Childress is one more questionable decision away from losing his job. Normally reticent Vikes’ fans have apparently been really ticked at some of his poor decisions lately – even after winning.
- Tenn @ KC (+7.5) – KC will respond to all the turmoil the team has been going through by surprising Tenn – maybe even beating them. Carl Peterson may also go public about his crush on Gonzalez.
- Det @ Hou (-8.5) – Let’s see if Orvl;kjasdoqwetbbasd runs out of the end zone again – AND DOESN’T NOTICE! The incredible thing about that play last week wasn’t that they gave up a safety, it was that the QB didn’t even seem to notice that he was 2 plus feet out of bounds. Watch for the re-emergence of Mike Furrey. He was a tremendous pass catcher a couple years back.
- Dal @ St. L (+6.5) – I think Dallas is still very good (and not enough is being made re the absence of Terrance Newman, which really hurts them). And, I think they could almost be as good with Brad Johnson back there because it will encourage them to stick to the running game they mysteriously abandon at times. They may eke out a win here, but they won’t cover. St. Louis’ victory last week has left them feeling like you do at 5:16pm on a Sat night when friends are coming over for a BBQ and you’ve just cracked open your first Pabst from the cooler – where it’s been sitting on ice for 2 hours.
- Pitt @ Cincy (+9.5) – I’ve gone back and forth here. Cincy can’t continue to be that bad right? And Pitt has been known to go into Cincy (last 6 times I believe) and handle the Bengals. I can see Cincy putting forth a decent effort here because it’s a division rival, falling just short and Marvin Lewis being gone within the next 2 games. Soon, Mike Tomlin better start getting credit for being a good coach.
- Cleve @ Wash (-6.5) – I am a believer in the Cleve and the Wash. I picked both to make the playoffs. The Cleve will be riding serious momentum, but Wash is very good. Anyone notice that after each game Clinton Portis seems to make questionable public statements (like after last week, that Zorn was too easy on them in practice). Wash will be very angry after letting last week’s game slip away.
- Indy @ GB (+1.5) – Not sure why I’ll take GB here…oh, I take them every week. Indy must have been sharp last week, but they were playing a team with an overrated defense and a weak offense. Indy’s defense is poor (despite getting 5 lucky turnovers last week). As long as the Pack stops Freeney, our offense should have its way – and Grant will go nuts. Trick plays please MM – we’re waiting.
- Sea @ TB (-10.5) – Huge spread here. I heard today from Brandon Lang (brandonlange.com – guest on 540 ESPN radio), that against a double digit spread, the dog is 9-0 this year. Seattle is terrible and should get rolled, but they’ll keep it a game and probably lose by 10.
- NO @ Car (-2.5) – tough one. Which Car team shows up? I can see Steve Smith getting really pissed off if they start losing like last week and Ken Lucas inching over to the 50 yard line seats where his mom sits.
- SF @ NYG (-10.5) – Eli finally puked one. I’ve been waiting for that to happen for a while now. He also apparently has bruised ribs. Speaking of which – what happens if you order braised ribs at a restaurant and the waiter drops the ribs on the floor – would you then have bruaised ribs? That was really dumb.
- SD @ Buff (+.5) – SD is a good home team but Buff may be a better all-around team. I like the Buff in a close one here. By the way, not sure this is fair, but there is something relatively goat-like about Nate Kaeding. Maybe it was his hard luck from a few years ago, but I don’t have faith in that guy to win games – and he may lead the NFL in hitting the uprights.
- NYJ @ Oak (+2.5) – Favre in Oak. Should be a no-brainer pick, but we all have experienced the Favre-play-down-to-a-bad-team Sunday. This may be one – the only difference may be that Favre’s defense and the rest of his guys will step up. The NY Jets are a good team.
- Den @ NE (-3.5) – who knows? I read last week that nobody is even throwing in Champ Bailey’s direction anymore – at all. Probably smart. But if he’s guarding Moss, that may not be smart for NE. Moss looked like he was entering into a pouting phase during that SD game last week and if he continues to be an offensive afterthought – I foresee a tantrum. Would be fascinating to see how Belichick would handle that. NE also better come up with a remedy for Cassel’s weak play – and that may mean working in a more prominent run game, which I think they’ll do. They may also have a couple trick plays Monday night to ease the pressure on Cassel.