TB @ Dal (-3.5) – Tampa is a legit team with their vaunted defense now vaunting, if you will. Dal though, knows it is win or face a massive media blitz of negativity. Funny, even if they lose, they’ll still be 4-4 and will soon get their star QB and a future star RB back. Look for Roy Williams to make his present known and Barber will go nuts. Dallas won’t lose here.
SD @ NO (in London +3.5) – Why is it that everyone is picking SD here. I know the loss of Reggie Bush hurts, but NO’s main weapon is Brees and if there is one thing Brees has proven this year, it’s that he can get the ball to anyone and anyone can make plays for this team. NO in an exciting game.
Atl @ Phil (-8.5) – I was tempted to pick Atl to win here, but every time I pick Phil to lose, they win. I will pick Atl to cover because I still think they are a sound team. Matt Ryan apparently grew up in Philly, admiring McNabb. Funny, I can’t see him as a bruiser/fighter, but he must be.
Ariz @ Car (-4.5) – Not sure why few are picking the Cards here. Sure, Caro put it together for a trouncing of a good team last week (NO), but they were incredibly bad just the week before. Ariz brings an interesting offense and a capable defense. Should be a really good game.
Oak @ Balt (-6.5) – Al Davis just called Ray Lewis a “drip” saying he acts just like that “Lane kid”. Al Davis then said “my shoe hurt the elephant when I tooted” and asked for his meds. Al needs to go. Oak, inspired by last week, hangs in there against Balt.
St L @ NE (-6.5) – who knows? Is the totally clueless, no game Cassel going to show up or the dominating Tom Brady protege going to show up. My guess is that at home, the Tom Brady one will show up. But so will St. Louis and their revived pass rush (Leonard Little is back and Chris Long is starting to become good). It is possible though, that Steven Jackson won’t play. Either way, I think NE will overwhelm here and Vince Wilfork will have 6 late hits/questionable plays.
Wash @ Det (+7.5) – Temptation here is to pick Wash in a route. They are good and there is no way they would look past a weak team after overlooking St. Louis (who may actually not be a weak team) snatch one away a couple weeks ago. But Detroit showed something by not getting blown out by a steadily improving Houston team last week. Houston could have blown them out in the first half, but Det hung in there and almost made a game of it.
KC @ NYJ (-12.5) – Not even worth watching. While Favre does tend to play down to his opponents (like I thought he would last week against Oak), this game is really important, it’s at home and KC may be the worst football team in the country…pro, college, maybe high school. Carl Peterson just told one of my “sources” that he thinks Tyler Thigpen is the next Brett Favre, so he thinks this should be a great game.
Buff @ Mia (+1.5) – I was very surprised Miami didn’t beat Balt last week. Another solid team rolls in this week in Buff, and another good defense at that. This should be a good game. It may come down to a great duel between the steady and still very good Chad Pennington and the rising, new Chad Pennington…Trent Edwards.
Cleve @ Jax (-7.5) – I picked Jax to go to the Super Bowl for some reason so I feel like I need to pick them all the time even against the spread, to do my part. And the Winslow suspension (suspended for telling the truth about a poor management decision of not letting Winslow share info re his illness), does hurt Cleve. But Cleve still has some other talent and I feel like they might keep it a game. In the end, Maurice Jones-Drew will be too much and Jax will win and cover. Wait, no, even worse for Cleve, Jax to blow them out.
Cincy @ Hou (-9.5) – Cincy has had a tough schedule this year, but contrary to popular NFL-speak presently, they are not the best 0-3, 0-4, 0-5, 0-6, team in the NFL. They just suck. At first, the players sort of believed that they were good, but just losing. Now, they know they suck. One nice TD by Slaton or Andre Johnson (yes, both on my fantasy team) and Cincy will mail it in. I’d wager that Dunta Robinson (on the All-Name team for sure) has a pick in his 2nd game back. Before his injury last year, he was a phenomenal CB. Houston keeps getting better (though they’re playing high school competition).
NYG @ Pitt (-2.5) – This will be a good game. I kind see this being a late fall, grind-it-out, muddy-bloody game. Pitt is good at those kinds of games. I think they win here because despite the bye, Eli will show he hasn’t shaken the turnover bug quite yet.
Sea @ SF (-4.5) – Interesting, forgot that by SF hiring Mike Singletary as the coach, they overlooked a coach who’s been a head coach in Mike Martz. Martz is apparently just fine with it. I still don’t think SF is that bad, but I do think Sea is terrible. While Seneca Wallace is good at handing the ball off (he doesn’t telegraph the hand-off like so many QBs, A-Rodg, Favre, Manning, etc do), he can’t do much else. He’s injured too so I don’t think he can even run well. Watching Seattle tank so quickly this year makes me remember not to take for granted the fact the the Packers have been mostly competitive for the last 16 or so years. We’re lucky folks.
Indy @ Tenn (-3.5) – I’m taking Indy here. Not a smart pick I’m sure according to most and in fact, I heard a few prognosticators today on the radio declaring that Indy is done for the year – no playoffs. It is possible that they miss the playoffs and start to fade here soon and a part of me does have a vision of a team mutiny of sorts by those who are so tired of Manning’s pissing and moaning. Still, I’m not ready to declare they’re done just yet and I don’t think a slide starts this week. Many people are trying to make sense out of their pounding of Balt followed by their huge blowout loss to the Pack. No need to think further because here’s what happened: Balt is a very inconsistent team that gets it going and then just isn’t that good. Not strange with a rookie QB. 2 weeks ago, Balt just didn’t show up. Last Sunday against the Packers, every team in the NFL would have lost to the Packers. Indy’s still good – and will win in Tenn.