I was a Titans field goal away from racking up 10 correct picks last week, but I was also a Texans miraculous comeback from even worrying about that... Or, I could have just picked my home team to win and that would have helped me reach double digits as well. In either case, it was a respectable week, as I climbed ever so slightly higher with my overall picks.
I'm going to need the extra motivation this week, as this may be the only opportunity for me to shine, due in large part to a fantasy backfield of Jesse Chatman and Ahman Green. So a big thanks to Rudi Johnson and Ronnie Brown for that...
Anyways, that's a topic for a separate post that I don't seem to be writing yet. Until then, here are the picks for this week, with spread that can be found here.
Browns (-3) at St. Louis - So Marc Bulger is back, and there's talk that Steven Jackson will handle the ball as well. And who's going to block for these two? Yeah, that's what I thought. While everybody talks about the Patriots being undefeated against the spread, the Rams remain winless. In much the same, but completely opposite, manner, I'm going against the Rams until proven otherwise.
Detroit (+5) at Chicago - Three weeks ago, the Bears turned around their season with a win in Green Bay. Then, their season was finished, getting torched by the Vikings. Then, season is looking up with a last-second win against the Eagles. So much for consistency. I'm still hoping for a win, but giving 5 points with this team is a risky gamble. Detroit keeps it close.
Indianapolis (-6.5) at Carolina - And we're back to Vinny Testeverde... It may have worked against the Cardinals, but I don't see it working against the world champs. Peyton Manning won't be looking past the Panthers to next weeks' meeting with the Patriots, and the Colts win this by at least a touchdown.
Miami (+9.5) vs New York Giants - So the first home team I pick is playing in London. This doesn't exactly strike me as a good sign. But I see this game staying close, just based on the unfamiliarity both teams must face with their travels and routines.
Tennessee (-7) vs Oakland - The Raiders begin their slow decent back into the Raiders, while the Titans come off a big win last week and get their emotional leader back for the game. With the Jaguars falling last week, the Titans can take control of second place in the division, which places it in the driver's seat for a playoff spot.
Philadelphia (-1) at Minnesota - Adrian Peterson is on his home turf, and on turf in general. But quarterback questions still abound. And the Eagles have too much talent to just fall off the map like they have. The Bears game must have woken them up, and I picked them in my confidence pool, so maybe this is wishful thinking prevailing.
Pittsburgh (-3.5) at Cincinnati - The Steelers have a chance to put the Bengals away this season with a victory, and the way the Bengals have played thus far, I don't see them putting up much of a fight, except maybe with each other... or possibly the law. Steelers control the clock against the Cincy defense and keep the Bengals offense off the field.
Buffalo (+3) at New York Jets - All these road teams are making me nervous, but the Jets have played absolutely terribly this season, while the Bills are holding on to the Dick Jauron philosophy of "Don't make the playoffs, don't get good draft position". That may help them this week, but yeah, good luck with that long term...
San Diego (-9.5) vs Houston - Does anybody else think the Chargers are just going to romp on whoever they play this week, just to offer a little relief from the fires for their fans? And the odds that the Texans can replicate what they did in the 4th quarter last week against this Chargers' defense are essentially zero.
Tampa Bay (-4) vs Jacksonville - Here come the home teams... it doesn't hurt that the Jags will be playing their back-up quarterback on the road against a surprisingly solid, but still old, defense. My only fear here is that the Jags end up running the ball about 67 times, which might be required for them to win. I think the Bucs can capitalize on a few turnovers to force the Jags to keep throwing.
New Orleans (-2.5) at San Francisco - Now here's a matchup of two teams I could go without watching. Two teams expected to be much better than they are, both have had trouble putting up points, although the Saints have shown flashes in the past few weeks, thanks in part to Illini-grad Pierre Thomas. Alex Smith comes back for the 49ers, but they weren't exactly lighting it up before he went out either.
New England (-16) vs Washington - Once again, until they lose against the spread, I'm sticking with them. Watch as Tom Brady goes for 7 touchdown passes this week...
Green Bay (+3.5) at Denver - Might as well finish off the week with another road team. The Packers have had the bye week to rest up and slap Brett Favre back into the conservative role he was playing so well before he went interception-happy the last couple games. Denver managed a solid win last week, temporarily saving their season, but Javon Walker isn't coming back for a while, and who knows how healthy or non-suspended Travis Henry will stay for the rest of the season... The end is coming for the Broncos.
Last week: 9-5