A terrible week for me last week. I just imploded, but I'm back this week with what seems to be a good week and as always I'll be taking some chances. As always, full disclosure I am 30-18 straight up and 27-21 against the spread. With that said, lets try and get back on track. I don't want to fall far behind in my pool. Hopefully my commentary helps you and I appreciate any and all of your thoughts.
Detroit vs. Chicago. Detroit finally snapped their losing streak, and despite being the so called worst team in the NFL last year and this year I think it is important to note that they have kept most games close. I have Chicago winning this one, but the 10 points they are giving is way too much for a game that will be a battle of field position. It wouldn't surprise me if Detroit actually wins as Stafford has been able to move the ball and the offense hasn't looked bad if he can avoid the picks.
Cincinnati vs. Cleveland. Forget the Lions....the Browns are the worst team in the NFL. Only . Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, and Ocho Cinco have looked very impressive, not to mention the Bengals defense is very underrated. The team looks like they actually care for the first time in a couple of years and there is clearly motivation as they took out the defending champ Steelers last week. I take Cincy straight up and give the 5.5 points.
Oakland vs. Houston. Oakland might be the second worst team in the NFL behind the Browns. Russell with a completion rate of 41% is just awful. Houston while struggling a bit has been able to move the ball on everyone besides their miserable showing week one against the Jets. Hindsight it looks much better now as we see that the Jets are for real. Houston is giving up 9.5 points to Oakland. A big line, but I'll go on a limb and take it after getting burned last week by Oakland.
Seattle vs. Indianapolis. The juggernaut Colts offense is on a roll. Seattle has too many banged up guys on defense and despite Freeney being out, Seattle has lost some starting offensive lineman and most importantly their quarterback for this game. Sorry but, Seneca Wallace and Julius Jones does not scare me at all. Colts run away with this one and cover the 10.5.
Jacksonville vs. Tennessee. I find it hard to believe that the Titans will go 0-4, quite frankly I didn't think they would go 0-3, but here they are. Jacksonville has looked up and down this season. Sims-Walker looks to be a young stud, MJD is awsome, but something tells me the Titans will fight tooth and nail to come away with this and the defense will play angry this week. I take the Titans and give the 3 points.
New York Giants vs. Kansas City. Not much to talk about here. One great team, one horrific team. Bowe is still reported as being out as far as I know, and Cassel has been running for his life. I'm sure he misses New England now and has earned that paycheck with the beatings he's been taking. The Giants defensive line is going to crush this kids soul.
Baltimore vs. New England. The Ravens seem to be the best all around team. New England's defense seems to be a shell of itself with all the veterans gone. Yes the all knowing wise prickly Bill is a so-called "genius" but you cannot keep losing top talent and expect them to be the same. Brady will get better, the guy is a baller and has Welker and Moss...give it time, but not this week. Flacco is coming into his own and will keep the Ravens rolling. Getting 2 points as well...ha! Lock it in.
Washington vs. Tampa Bay. These two teams have looked terrible, that new kid for Tampa did some nice things in relief of the ineffective Leftwich, but Washington is feeling a little embarrased after losing to Detroit last week and is looking to recover. Good timing for them as Tampa's defense is miserable. I hate both of these teams, reluctantly I am giving up the 7 points and taking Washington.
Buffalo vs. Miami. Miami has been good the past couple of seasons and a big part of that has been Chad Pennington. Henne is not Chad and Buffalo will expose them as the Dolphins are now a one dimensional team. The Bills will be able to stack the box and stuff the run. The bills on offense can be explosive and will have every opportunity to take it to the house as the Captain of Miami's defense Joey Porter appears to be hurt. I give the 2 points and take the Bills as they should easily win.
New York Jets vs. New Orleans. Jets are for real and their defense is solid. One of the best games this week as the Saints offense is ranked number 1 and will face its biggest challenge yet. I'm going with the Saints in this one for a couple of reasons. First, it's at New Orleans and the home turf should give the team a boost with the crowd and the turf should help the faster team. Second, there is a little guy by the name of Drew Brees. He will make faster reads and will not be effected by the Jets rush and he has a ton of options to get rid of the ball. 7 points seems like a big number here given how well the Jets have been playing, but I will give it up and take the Saints.
Denver vs. Dallas. I think that Denver has flown under the radar and has one of the best rated defenses. With that said I think the level of competition has not been great. Orton....ugh, but Marshall is still a stud and is getting more looks. The Denver defense will get a real test as the Cowboys are one of the best offensive units. Marion Barber is back and if Dallas can hang 31 on the Giants, they can hang it on anyone. I will take Dallas in the win and reluctantly take Denver with the points.
San Francisco vs. St. Louis. Frank Gore is hurt, but Coffee is an adequate replacement. San Francisco is for real, and playing with a ton of confidence. They should have one last week and let it slip away. The team has taken Singletary's attitude and will play tough on every down. St. Louis is terrible and has lost Laurent for the season and Avery is hurting. Bulger is out as well, and Steven Jackson can't do it all. San Francisco dominates this one easily and covers the 9.5.
San Diego vs. Pittsburgh. Everyone is jumping on the Steelers this week and think they will win in a laugher. Why? The defense is not the same since they lost Polamalu. San Diego hasn't looked great either, but is capable of moving the ball and will be better with Tomlinson back. Philip Rivers, Gates, and Vincent will put up some points. The Charger defense has looked terrible and I think this will be a shoot out with both defensive units reeling. San Diego is getting 6.5 and I think will cover. I take Pitt to win the game in Big Ben's usual 4th quarter comebacks.
Green Bay vs. Minnesota. Big Brett comes back and has played really well this season limiting his turnovers and hasn't tried to do too much. Quite frankly, he hasn't needed to until last week in that miraculous comeback throw. There is huge motivation on both sides here. Favre wants this one bad, but I think the Packers will play the spoiler, because Rogers is tired of living in the shadow as well and the Packers are tired of all the Favre talk from this and last season. They have been chomping at the bit to give him a whooping and the Vikings as a team don't have that level of motivation. I will take the 3.5 and Green Bay for the upset.