I’m late with my picks this week. I had a very busy week at work and little time to devote to this. Let’s jump right in.
Cardinals vs Ravens
The Ravens are coming off of an embarrassing offensive display on Monday Night Football that was the impetus to their loss against the Jaguars. The Cardinals, meanwhile, lost to the Steelers in their own house. Joe Flacco better get settled in and start performing. Let’s put his performance in context: he has a lower QB rating than Donovan McNabb. Clearly, though, the Cardinals are not a good team and I don’t see them winning on the road. Ravens 28, Cardinals 10.
Vikings vs Panthers
Cam Newton is the rookie of the year at QB in passing yards (but Andy Dalton has a higher QB rating – and more wins). Christian Ponder has dimples and a cute laugh… but was a bit erratic in the passing game last week. First start notwithstanding, Ponder is likely to start getting in a groove during this game, but I don’t think it will be enough to give the Vikings their first win against the Panthers at home. Especially with a sulky Donovan McNabb running his mouth from the bench. Panthers 27, Vikings 24.
Jaguars vs Texans
The Texans are really coming into their own this season. Of course a Peyton Manning-less Colts team doesn’t hurt in the division. The Jaguars crushed the Ravens under their collective paw in front of Odin & everyone on MNF. The Jags will be amped up after a big win, while the Texans are working towards their first play-off berth in franchise history. Texans with the edge in the Lone Star state. Texans 31, Jaguars 17.
Dolphins vs Giants
The Dolphins have a coach on the hot seat. Sparano also has his house on the market amid swirling rumors that the Dolphins have reached out to Bill Cowher. One has to think that Reggie Bush is wondering why the football gods have turned against him as Eli Manning is magically in the top 4 QBs when looking at QB ratings (he’s at 101.1 – right behind Drew Brees). Brandon Marshall is positive the Dolphins are going to win this one. I’m not. Giants 27, Dolphins 13.
Saints vs Rams
The Saints are coming off of a classless trouncing of the beleaguered Colts, while the Rams can’t catch a break, with Sam Bradford being ruled out again, leaving AJ Feeley with the start. The Rams have scored less than 60 points all season, while the Saints scored 62 last week. None of this bodes well for the Rams. Saints 42, Rams 7.
Colts vs Titans
The Titans are not looking like… well, Titans. The Colts are definitely looking like newborn foals trying to find their feet. I’m not saying that Matt Hasselbeck is going to have a monster game, but I am going to predict that Curtis Painter isn’t going to have one. I’m tired of the announcers talking about “how much Peyton Manning means to this team”. Dear announcers: Peyton Manning doesn’t play defense. Titans 21, Colts 13.
Redskins vs Bills
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a top 10 QB by rating this season. Rex Grossman (recuperating from pneumonia) is now occupying McNabb’s former seat on the bench, leaving John Beck to pick up the Redskins’ pieces. Santana Moss has a broken hand and I don’t think that’s the end of the bad news for the ‘Skins this weekend. Bills 31, Redskins 14.
Lions vs Broncos
The Motor City Kitties head to Mile High Stadium after 2 disappointing losses at home. The Broncos are coming off of a spectacularly bad performance – save the last 5 minutes of the game – against the Dolphins. Stafford suffered an injury but is expected to start, while Tebow will be attempting to deliver a Sermon on the Mount. I don’t think the Lions will be interested in what Tebow has to say. Lions 24, Broncos 17.
Patriots vs Steelers
Tom vs Ben. One of them has the 2nd highest QB rating. The other is Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers allowed a very bad Cardinals team to score 20 points on them last week. The Patriots have a QB that has passed for over 500 yards in one game this season. For some reason this feels like a trap game to me. Maybe it’s the Heinz Field location – or maybe it’s the Patriots’ history of occasionally falling down. I’m going with my instinct instead of my brain here. Steelers 27, Patriots 24.
Bengals vs Seahawks
Andy Dalton is quietly having an efficient first season as a rookie QB. Apparently Pete Carroll had considered drafting Dalton, but went with T-Jack instead. T-Jack won’t be playing again today and Charlie Whitehurst will be leading the Seahawks’ offense. What’s unclear is if T-Jack has been benched or if he’s still recovering from his pectoral injury. It doesn’t matter though. The Bengals have this one in the bag. Bengals 17, Seahawks 13.
Browns vs 49ers
The Browns are at .500 for the season, while the 49ers are at 5-1. Colt McCoy may want to change his first name since that name seems to have bad karma this season. Jim Harbaugh is likely to be cackling with glee again this week, but hopefully he’ll hide his mirth until he’s in the locker room. We don’t need to see another ugly coaching incident on the field this season. 49ers 24, Browns 10.
Cowboys vs Eagles
This is one of the vaunted rivalries in the NFL. Romo, who makes bad mistakes at bad times is facing a defense that is good at forcing turnovers. The Cowboys are prepping for Vick by having Dez Bryant “play” him as the 1st team takes their reps on defense. Given the home venue for the Eagles, and despite the Vikings rolling them there last season with rookie QB Joe Webb, I think they have the advantage. Eagles 28, Cowboys 21.
Chargers vs Chiefs
Last week, against the prevailing winds, I picked the Chargers to lose against the Jets. While Arrowhead Stadium is a difficult venue for anyone, I don’t know if it has enough magic to prevent the Chargers from electrocuting the Chiefs this week. Cassel and Rivers are surprisingly very close together in QB rating – but even more surprising than that is that they both have lower ratings than Donovan McNabb. I’m going to finish this week’s picks with a stunning defeat for the Bolts. Chiefs 24, Chargers 19.
Those are my picks this week. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment!