@San Diego (-7) over Oakland [Incorrect: Thursday Night]
New Orleans over @Atlanta (No Line)
- With a relatively poor secondary and an inconsistent pass rush, I think Atlanta's defense is in for a long day against Brees & Co. I'm still a big believer in the Saints, my preseason pick for the NFC Championship was Packers @ Saints, and I still think they're in a contender in the Conference despite having a disappointing blowout loss on their resume to the Rams. The Saints win this game behind a big day from the New Orleans passing attack. Saints 30, Falcons 27.
Pittsburgh (-3) over @Cincinnati
- If the Bungles can go the entire game without turning the ball over, it wouldn't shock me if they improved to 7-2 and widened their lead in the AFC North. However, I don't think Cincy is quite as good as their 6-2 record may indicate, and I think the Steelers are on the verge of a second half surge this season. I think this game will be close, and the winner will be whoever wins the turnover battle. I'll say Pitt-24, Cincy-20.
St. Louis over @Cleveland (-2.5)
(Straight up: St. Louis) - If I had the choice to watch either the Rams against the Browns or a re-run marathon of Jimmy Neutron, I'd probably choose the boy genius over this pitiful excuse of an NFL game. Obviously now that I said that, this will probably end up being the best game of the weekend... Cleveland will again start 3rd string RB Chris Ogbannaya, who fumbled on the team's first possession last week. The Browns are playing horrible on offense, and I think St. Louis is poised to have a successful finish to compensate for a disappointing start to 2011. Rams win a close one on the road.
Buffalo over @Dallas (-5.5)
(Straight up: Dallas) - Both of these teams could really use a win to get back on track. Being at home, I give a slight edge to Dallas. I'm not confident enough in them to cover the 5.5 point spread, but I think the Cowboys are going to put up a lot of points on that Bills defense. I think this becomes a high-scoring game, as both offenses are better than either defense. Ultimately, I think Tony Romo puts together one of his better games of this year and Dallas wins 31-27.
@Indianapolis over Jacksonville (-3)
(Straight up: Indianapolis) - The Colts have to win sometime this year, don't they? I don't think the Jags are a very good team, but their run game should be a problem for the Colts to handle. Since the Jags aren't a huge threat to light up the scoreboard, this could be Indy's best chance at a win all season. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Curtis Painter plays well (gulp) and puts up too many points for Jacksonville to match. Colts win 20-17.
Denver over @Kansas City (-3)
(Straight up: Denver) - Tebow for President. I'm probably going to pick the Broncos to win every game against a bad team as long as Tim Tebow is the QB. I'll be utterly shocked if he ever beats a legit Super Bowl contender, but KC certainly does not fall under that category. The Chiefs got beat at home last week by the previously winless Miami Dolphins; Tim Tebow is capable of winning an ugly game against a poor Chiefs team. Denver 24, KC 23.
Washington over @Miami (-3.5)
(Straight up: Washington) - The Dolphins are going to put together back-to-back wi... Nevermind. I just can't see it happening. Miami simply doesn't like to win games at home, and the Redskins are overdue for a win. Whoever Mike Shanahan chooses to deploy at running back this week should have a solid day, and if Washington goes back to Sexy Rexy, the passing offense should have a nice day as well. This game could go either way, and it'll likely be ugly. Washington wins 19-17.
@Philadelphia over Arizona (No Line)
- The Eagles are going to win in blowout fashion. There really isn't much to say here; the Cardinals have a horrible defense, and the Eagles are loaded with offensive weapons. If the team were better than 3-5, LeSean McCoy would be right in the middle of the MVP talk with Aaron Rodgers. Shady will have another big day in this one, and the Eagles will win by about 20.
@Tampa Bay over Houston (-3)
- I think the Texans are clearly a better team than the Bucs; however, Tampa can be a tough place to play and I think this could be the game where LeGarrette Blount gets back on track. Blount has been a huge disappointment in his second year after an impressive rookie season, but I like him too much as a player to think he's going to continue to get shut out. I'm excited to see how this game plays out because I think it could really go either way. I just have a gut feeling about Tampa this week, Bucs win 26-24.
Tennessee over @Carolina (-3)
(Straight up: Tennessee) - Cam Newton is putting together one hell of a rookie year, throwing for almost 2,400 yards and 11 TD compared to just 9 INT in only half a season. However, the only number that matters is 2. Despite several close losses, the Panthers are just 2-6. This looks like it will be another close game, but I think CJ2K puts together his best game of the year and the Titans win a close one. Tennesee 28, Carolina 27.
Baltimore (-6.5) over @Seattle
- The Seahawks always seem to play well at home, but the Ravens are so obviously a much better football team. I think Seattle may keep it close for a while, but eventually the superior team will prevail. Joe Flacco may be asked to make some plays in this one, as Seattle's run defense is far better than their pass defense. The Seahawks won't be able to keep Rice totally in check however, and the Ravens should win by more than a TD. Ravens 27, Seahawks 16.
@Chicago (-2.5) over Detroit
- I think the Lions are a better team than the Bears; I certainly think the Lions are a more dangerous team than Chicago as far as the NFC goes. However, this just looks like a game the Bears will win at home to me. Matt Forte is having a hell of a season, and that should continue this Sunday. Maybe slightly under the radar, Jay Cutler is making less mistakes and is playing a lot better overall. I'm leaning towards starting Ryan Fitzpatrick (at Dallas) in fantasy over Matt Stafford because the Bears' defense scares me a little bit. Bears 27, Lions 23.
@San Francisco (-3.5) over NY Giants
- Maybe I have a slight case of Harbaugh Fever, but I think the 49ers are about to win 13 games this year. While it's certainly not a guarantee, I think they are far and away the best team in the NFC West and thus, will win their five remaining divisional games. Assuming that's the case, San Fran will need to win one game out of their remaining three (vs. NYG, @ BAL, vs. PIT) to have a 13-win season. I think they do it. Eli is playing well and I still believe the Giants are headed to the Playoffs barring a total collapse, but the 49ers are playing great defense and still have yet to make the big mistake on offense (knock on wood for SF fans.) San Fran wins it at home, 26-20.
New England over @NY Jets (-1.5)
(Straight up: New England) - I keep thinking that Brady and that explosive offense will be too much for teams to overcome, but it hasn't been happening that way of late. In my mind, the Patriots are a much better team than the Jets. But then again, when you really look at their teams, that's all because of the two Quarterbacks. The Jets have a much better defense, but the Patriots have Tom Brady. Sanchez just doesn't do it for me. I'll say Brady gets the better of Rex's Jets this time. New England wins... Probably a Vintage Brady drive at the end, 24-23.
Monday Night (7-3) :
Minnesota over Green Bay (-13.5)
(Straight up: Green Bay) - This is Jermichael Finley's night. I'm feeling another big game against the Vikes for J-Mike. The Packers should win this game, no doubt about it, but I think the Vikings have the capability to keep it close. Jared Allen and Antoine Winfield (back from injury) always seem to earn their paycheck against the Pack. On the opposite side of Allen, I'm sure Brian Robison will be on a mission to get closer to a sack than T.J. Lang's man region in the first go-round (see: Robison's closest thing to a "sack".) The MVP and his many weapons will ultimately be too much for those Viking DBs, and the Pack will win this game 34-24.