Had to get this done today because of the Thursday night game. All of Sunday’s picks are subject to change, but this is how I feel for now.
My picks for this week (with the spreads from ESPN.com’s Pigskin Pick ’em):
(6-2) Baltimore Ravens at
(6-2) Atlanta Falcons -1.5**
Both teams are very talented, but Atlanta is undefeated at home this season and rarely loses home games since drafting Matt Ryan.
(2-6) Detroit Lions at
(0-8) Buffalo Bills -2.5**
Could this be it? A battle of two teams struggling on defense, but playing well on offense. The Bills have the superior ground game and now passing game because of the absence of Matthew Stafford for the Lions. This should be the one they take.
(3-5) Minnesota Vikings** at
(5-3) Chicago Bears +1.5
As I always say, this one could really depend on how Jay Cutler plays. Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson always find ways to succeed though, and with Sidney Rice possibly playing in this one, the Vikings may be able to put up some big points again.
(6-2) New York Jets** at
(3-5) Cleveland Browns +3.5
I will elaborate more on this game in the coming days.
(2-6) Cincinnati Bengals** at
(5-3) Indianapolis Colts -7.5
I feel that the Bengals offense can definitely keep them in this one. If they lose, it will be close. Willing to bet that Terrell Owens will catch another touchdown pass.
(5-3) Tennessee Titans** at
(4-4) Miami Dolphins +0.5
Vince Young is one of the highest rated quarterbacks in the NFL this season, and the addition of Randy Moss this week forces Miami to focus even more on the passing game and not just Chris Johnson. Nate Washington can benefit from Moss taking away defenders as well.
(1-7) Carolina Panthers at
(5-3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7.5**
Carolina does not have enough going for them to take them in this game. Matt Moore is done for the season and DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are both likely to sit. Expect the Bucs to run away with this one.
(4-4) Houston Texans at
(4-4) Jacksonville Jaguars -1.5**
As good as Arian Foster has been this season, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson have not been themselves and along with the league’s worst passing defense, the Texans make it hard on themselves to win games. The Jaguars already beat the Texans once this season too.
(5-3) Kansas City Chiefs** at
(2-6) Denver Broncos +0.5
Maybe the bye week fixed a few things for the Broncos, but they weren’t winning when they were playing well. The Chiefs needs to redeem themselves after blowing the game against Oakland last week.
(1-7) Dallas Cowboys** at
(6-2) New York Giants -13.5
Who knows how Jason Garrett will run the Cowboys this week. The Giants should still win, but the lack of game film on how Garrett runs a team could either make this one close, or a disaster for the ‘Boys.
(4-4) Seattle Seahawks** at
(3-5) Arizona Cardinals -3.5
Seattle already took one from the Cardinals this season, and Hasselbeck’s return should make them more competitive than last week. Arizona lacks closing power and can easily blow a small lead in the 4th quarter. I’ll take the Seahawks in this battle of two weak offenses and defenses.
(4-4) St. Louis Rams at
(2-6) San Francisco 49ers -5.5**
Sam Bradford has not played well in his first three road games. With Troy Smith at the helm, they 49ers may have the change they need to get them going. Frank Gore makes them contenders in any game.
(6-2) New England Patriots at
(6-2) Pittsburgh Steelers -4.5**
The Browns exposed New England last week and the Steelers will look to do the same. Tom Brady has completed fewer than 60% of his passes in each of his last 3 games and is apparently battling a foot injury. The Steelers defense will be too much for the Pats.
(5-3) Philadelphia Eagles** at
(4-4) Washington Redskins +3.5
Michael Vick has been on fire this season. He’s playing better for the Eagles than he ever did for Atlanta. The NFL’s highest rated passer should put up another impressive win against the Redskins and their out of shape quarterback.