I was a wimpy 8-5 last week, but I guess that tends to be the average. I think this week I'll get myself a little above average.
Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens - This is a huge game for both teams. The Broncos still need to prove that they belong in the AFC title hunt while the Ravens needs to step on the breaks before an AFC title becomes out of question. The Ravens lost their last three games by a combined 11 points, while the Broncos have had consecutive victory's against Dallas, New England, and San Diego. Both teams are coming off a bye now, and you have to like the more confident team.
I'm taking the Broncos on the Road.
San Francisco 49ers @ Indianapolis Colts - This is why you don't judge a season after two weeks. Heading into week 3 the 49ers were headed for a Super Bowl while the Colts glory days were gone. Oh-how-things-have-changed. If the 49ers want to win this game, Frank Gore is going to have to have a huge game, 05 #1 Pick Alex Smith is going to have to out duel 98 #1 Pick Peyton Manning, and the 49ers offensive line is going to have to shut down the Colts pass rush. I don't see any of those happening.
I'm taking the Colts at Home.
Houston Texans @ Buffalo Bills - Believe it or not this is an elimination game in a lot of ways. If the Bills win, both teams will be at .500, but with losses to the Jets and Jaguars, the Texans season will probably be done. If the Bills lose they'd fall to 3-5, and in a muddled AFC it's unlikely the Bills would make the necessary run to play in January. This game is far more crucial for the Texans; this is a team that truly believes they are a playoff team, and a 5-3 record heading into Indianapolis will probably be what this team needs to start contending for real.
I'm taking the Texans on the Road.
Cleveland Browns @ Chicago Bears - The Bears are floating around the middle of the NFC pack, and despite what I believed a few weeks ago, it's where they belong. Unless this team can ring off their next 3, they have no hope of making the playoffs. This is a matchup of an 8-8 team hosting a 3-12 team.
I'm taking the Bears at Home.
Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys - This is the type of game that Seattle needs to rejuvenate the Seahawks season. A road win @ Dallas will probably be the confidence boost this team needs to ring off about seven more wins in the regular season and get back in the playoffs. At the same time, for the Cowboys to get to 5-2 would be monumental for the franchise and would enhance their goal of not only winning the AFC, but getting a first round bye as well.
I'm taking the Cowboys at Home.
St. Louis Rams @ Detroit Lions - It's unfortunate that some people have to watch this game. Historically this game will have some importance; it's the franchise that hosts the only 0-16 record "defending" it's crown against the team with the best chance to go 0-16. The question here is how do they defend their crown? By defeating the Rams, or losing to them? If Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson play, which I think they will. the Lions will win.
I'm taking the Lions at Home.
Miami Dolphins @ NY Jets - Jason Taylor can never catch a break. Poor guy leaves Miami in 2008 to go to Washington and the Dolphins have their best season since 2000. Then he came back to Miami because he thought they were winners and what happens? The Dolphins are 2-4. At least he's not a Redskin though. That'd be ugly. A win this week in New York and the Dolphins may get back on track to becoming winners. Last time Henne played Sanchez, Sanchez looked like a rookie. Last week Henne looked D-3 when it's mattered, and Sanchez used the Raiders to get some confidence back. This game is going to come down to which QB can make that one play to put his team over-the-top.
I'm taking the Jets at Home.
NY Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles - In a week that features a lot of big games for the media to drool over, this is probably the most important int terms of the playoff picture. The Giants lost back to back games against playoff caliber teams, the Eagles went 1-1 vs the leagues basement. The loser of this game will probably be watching the playoffs. The Eagles may be without Brian Westbrook, which would mean LeSean McCoy will be getting the bulk of the carries against a Giants defense that just let Beanie Wells get his "Welcome to the NFL" gift. Another important matchup is DeSean Jackson against the Giants defense. It'll also be tough for Eli to pick apart this Eagles secondary, so Brandon Jacobs will need to pick up the slack.
I'm taking the Eagles at Home.
Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers - The last time these two teams played the Raiders almost shoved a dagger through the Chargers hearts; but that was at home, in week one. Although this Chargers team is far from elite right now, they'll still keep this game under control for four quarters. This could be the wake the Chargers atrocious running game wakes up. More importantly if the Chargers have any playoff hopes they'll have to win this game; their next three are @ NY, vs Philly, @ Denver. They'll need a win here to come out of that stretch .500.
I'm taking the Chargers at Home.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans - This is a trap game for the Jaguars who have under-the-radar playoff aspirations. The Jaguars are at .500 right now and have Tennessee and Kansas City in back to back weeks. If they come out of that stretch above .500 then the playoffs are in sight. Unfortunately I don't see that happening. Both the Jaguars and the Titans are coming off of bye weeks, but Tennessee have made the switch to Vince Young and that may very well be the rejuvenation this team needs to get in the win column.
I'm taking the Titans at Home.
Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals - Although the Panthers are pretty much done for 2009, they're a veteran team and it's unlikely they'll just lay down for the Cardinals, the team who may have began this era of futility for Carolina. This is a game that the Cardinals need to win, and despite the Panthers best efforts, it'll be hard to stop this Cardinals offense.
I'm taking the Cardinals at Home.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers - With all the talk of Favre Bowl II, how will the two QB's fare this week. I'm pretty confident that Brett Favre will be fine; and I think Aaron Rodgers would be fine too if his offensive line held up. There's talk that both of Green Bay's OT's may miss this week, probably putting both Rodgers, and the Packers chances to win on their backs. Adrian Peterson also needs to finally step up in a big game.
I'm taking the Vikings on the Road.