With the Bears on bye this week, I'm not sure what I'm going to watch. If there was only some other game worth watching this week... any other game that would prove at least somewhat interesting...
What's that, you say? The Patriots are playing the Colts this week in a battle of undefeateds? Wow, I'm surprised I haven't heard anything about that game. I mean, not a single thing... Well, at least not in the last 5 minutes. Of course, there are 13 other games going this week, so let's try to address those as well before The Game to End All Games Until The Next Game To Do So takes place.
I'm coming off my personal best week of the season, going 11-2, but just glancing at the spreads while filling out my confidence pool, I'm not really thinking about repeating that feat this week. As always, you can find spreads here.
Washington (-3.5) at New York Jets - The Redskins were the latest team to get embarrassed by the Patriots, but I'm thinking it's easier to shake off a ridiculous blowout loss than to have kept it close and lost it at the end. The Jets, however, have just been embarrassing themselves, and now turn to Kellen Clemens to change their fortunes. Maybe by the end of the season, but not in his first start...
Kansas City (-2) vs Green Bay - The Packers squeaked out a narrow victory on the road on MNF, and now must travel on a short week to a Chiefs team that's been better than the Broncos. Selvin Young did a fine job running around the Packers, so I can only imagine what Larry Johnson coming off a bye week will do.
Arizona (+3.5) at Tampa Bay - The Bucs gave up 24 points to Quinn Gray at home. Quinn Gray. And now they're going against Warner, Fitzgerald, Boldin, and James, who are all rested after their bye week? The Cardinals, even with their record, have been keeping games close. I think this will be another close one.
Tennessee (-4.5) vs Carolina - I can never seem to get the Titans figured out, as I've only been right on them once this season. I'm thinking that Vince Young will rebound from a sub par game last week. But I've been wrong on him before. Meanwhile, the Panthers again look to turn to David Carr, and I again will pick against him.
Atlanta (-3) vs San Francisco - Now here's a game that will bring in the viewers! Offensive football may regress 50 years in this game, or perhaps just completely disappear altogether. How are the Falcons and Joey Harrington favored? Oh, playing against the 49ers without Frank Gore might do it. If Jerious Norwood doesn't bust out in this game, I may just have to give up on him.
New Orleans (-3.5) vs Jacksonville - Okay, Quinn Gray... you got me last week. Nice performance... Now let's see you do it on the road again. The Saints have started coming around (see how that works, Bears?) and playing in the dome, they should keep the ball rolling. Their defense has been impressive as well, and if the Jaguars' running game is held in check, well, you know...
Detroit (-3) vs Denver - The Broncos just gave up over 100 yards to a Packers running back, something yet to have happened this season. And now they're going against Kevin Jones and the rest of the Lions. Plus, they're traveling on a short week. Jones should be able to control the clock while a fully-clothed Kitna will match anything Cutler manages to do.
Cincinnati (-1) at Buffalo - The Bills have performed well the last several weeks, and I've benefited, as I knew Dick Jauron would have them playing hard. So why am I going with the underachieving Bengals this week? Because Dick Jauron is still the Bills coach, and his team is getting way too close to respectability.
San Diego (-7) at Minnesota - It appears that the Chargers are figuring out that if you give the ball to Tomlinson, good things happen. On the other side of the ball, if you kep the ball out of Adrian Peterson's hands, bad things tend to happen to the Vikings. When an 87-year old Jeff George thinks he'd be an upgrade at quarterback for your team, you know things are, shall we say, messy.
Cleveland (-2) vs Seattle - The Browns have been one of the surprise teams this year, while the Seahawks have been rather disappointing, even if they do lead their division. Shaun Alexander hasn't gotten going and the Seahawks still have injury concerns at the WR position. Braylon Edwards and Derek Anderson have found a nice rhythm that should continue at home.
New England (-5) at Indianapolis - I said I would stick with them until they proved otherwise so no reason to change now. The Colts are undefeated. They're the defending champions. They're at home. But the Patriots have been winning by an average of 25.5 points. An upgrade of competition will affect the overall difference, but are the Colts over 20 points better than what the Patriots have seen thus far? I say no.
Oakland (-3) vs Houston - Is anybody going to be watching this game? I mean, the Browns and Seahawks are at least winning teams. These two teams are a combined 5-10. Oakland residents are probably hoping for a blackout of the broadcast so they can get the Pats-Colts game instead. In the game itself, the Texans are down a QB and possibly three running backs. That can't be a good sign. I don't trust any of the Raiders quarterbacks either, but at least they're running game has shown some life.
Dallas (-3) at Philadelphia - Do Andy Reid's family troubles cause a distraction or do they galvanize the team into a focus yet to be seen by the Eagles this season? I'm going with the former. Whether or not he wants to admit it, it has to be on his mind. The Eagles have played the Cowboys tough lately, but I think the tide will begin to shift in the other direction. Coming off a bye week, the Cowboys should be ready to go.
Pittsburgh (-9) vs Baltimore - I originally had this going the other way, as 9 points for a division rival is a bit much for me, as I've discovered through the course of picking these games this season. Of course, if there's one thing that could counteract the divisional matchup, it's the bright lights of MNF. The Ravens have been awful against the spread this season, and if you look at their wins, they've come over the Jets (by 7), Cardinals (by 3), 49ers (by 2) and the Rams (by 19). All except the 49ers were at home. I don't care who's quarterbacking. That's not good.
Last Week: 11-2