Wash @ Atl (-10.5). Interesting that the highest revenue team in the NFL (Wash) is also one of the worst. I believe Atlanta, somewhat surprisingly, is #31 in terms of revenue.Tony Gonzalez 2+ TDs, Falcons will run away in the 2nd half.
Az @ Chic (-2.5). AZ is 3-0 on the road and Chic is 3-0 at home. Should be a good game. Perhaps it will end in a tie so that both can continue to say they are undefeated on the road (AZ) and at home (Chic) – and so that the Packers can reclaim 2nd in the NFC North.
Balt @ Cincy (+2.5). Not sure what you think about Chad Ochocinco, but I’ve finally reached a conclusion re how I feel about him: I think he’s hilarious and good for football. Most of his stunts are harmless and he certainly does a good job of bringing attention to a team that for years was an afterthought. But importantly, he plays hard – really hard, and he’s a good WR. It takes guts too, to taunt guys like Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs (he sent them both deodorant to help them deal with the sweating they’ll be doing just trying to keep up with Cincy).
Hou @ Indy (-9.5). It’s about time people start talking about the job Jim Caldwell has done. Manning is great, yes. Manning is practically a coach himself, yes. But Caldwell seems to have helped improve the defense and the team hasn’t lost yet. He clearly knows what he’s doing even if, at times, that just means staying out of Manning’s way.
KC @ Jax (-6.5). These game will feature at least 3 TDs by MJD, and 2-4 long, somewhat spectacular runs by Jamaal Charles. Jax comfortably. One thing I would like to see, for entertainment sake, is Jack Del Rio and Todd Haley in a screaming match. Hard to believe, with his temperament, that Todd Haley was a golf instructor at one point in the not-s0-distant-past. I wonder if he taught Happy Gilmore.
Mia @ NE (-10.5). I don’t think Miami’s secondary is up for this challenge. Belichick probably has hundreds of articles up in the locker room talking about the beat down NE suffered last year at the hands of the Wildcat in NE. At the same time, it seems kind of difficult to count Miami out of any game – they continue to just be this weird, peripheral, but not-so-peripheral team that’s just…weird.
GB @ TB (+9.5). Yikes. Don’t like having this game now. GB is definitely the better team and should win this game easily. But Josh Freeman is taking what I consider to be the right approach to his first starting gig – he’s loose and he’s willing to “let it rip”. While this could just translate into 3 defensive TDs for the Pack, it might also be the spark TB has been looking for. In the end, I don’t think TB will be able to keep up for 4 quarters- but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a game for the first 3 quarters. Greg Bedard at jsonline said this morning on the radio that he thinks the Pack escapes with a 20-17 win. I’d say more like 27-14.
Car @ NO (-14.5). I know NO is unstoppable, but this spread is curious considering Car just dumped AZ in AZ on the strength of 270 yards rushing. And, Jake Delhomme, as badly as he’s played this year is 8-2 lifetime against NO. I think NO will win, but not without a fight.
Det @ Sea (-10.5). I heard someone talking about this game on the radio this morning (Mike &Mike in the Morning, ESPN I believe) – saying that Detroit has fight in them or something and could make this a game. BS. A few weeks ago, I sat directly behind Detroit’s bench at Lambeau and I don’t think I’ve seen a team with less fire in a long time. They had nothing. Zero energy. I wrote about it at the time because I was surprised. I figured Jim Schwartz would be a contagious energy guy and he apparently isn’t. Seattle 48, Det 17.
SD @ NYG (-4.5). I don’t trust either of these teams right now. The big issue for me with SD is their mostly non-existent running game. LT is just not that good anymore. On the other side, I think it’s possible a very angry/hungry Brandon Jacobs could do major damage to the SD D-Line absent their stud Jamal Williams.
Tenn @ SF (-3.5). Didn’t these 2 coaches play together in Chicago? I’m pretty sure they did. Important game for both guys. Think of the athleticism this game will feature: Vince Young, Chris Johnson, Courtland Finnegan, Frank Gore, Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree…Rob Bironas.
Dal @ Phil (-3.5). I am going very much against my better judgment here (what does that mean anyway – why not just write “I’m doing something I believe is really stupid here”) and I’m going to pick the Cowboys to win. My thought is this: at some point, Tony Romo has to win in Philly. At some point, the Cowboys have to not be bullied and out-muscled by the nasty Philly D. If it doesn’t happen Sunday night, not sure when it will.
Pitt @ Den (+2.5). Two sharp young minds going at it here in McDaniels and Tomlin. But my guess is that the real battle will be between sharper, older minds in Dick LeBeau and Mike Nolan. I’ll give the edge to LeBeau. Out of nowhere thought: seems Ricky Williams would have been a natural fit in the Mile High City, no?