Last week I went 8-4. Not great, not bad either. I need to break 8 though. I think this is going to be the week.
Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons have dropped two in a row but they're too good of a team to drop three in a row; especially with a mess of a Redskins team heading to town. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense won't have the easiest day; but the Falcons defense should bounce back this week.
I'm taking the Falcons at Home.
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts - Last year the Colts and the Texans had some really tight, really close games; In 2009 both teams have improved and this game should be great. It's a shame that this isn't the national 1:00 (EST) game. Anyway, the Colts defense took some big losses this week, but if you really look at the situation it may not have been that devastating; Bob Sanders was up for barely a cup of coffee this year, and Marlin Jackson is a similar situation. Hagler hurts the most, but the Colts line backing corps was never exactly that great. Houston on the other hand lost tight end Owen Daniels for the season. I've got a feeling this game is going to come down to the Colts without Hagler vs the Texans with Daniels; which team can overcome the injury better?
I'm taking the Colts at Home.
Arizona Cardinals @ Chicago Bears - Another really good game. This one will probably be decided by the Quarterbacks. Both teams are 4-3 but the Bears definitely need the win more, considering their best shot at making it to the playoffs is through the Wild Card. Arizona on the other hand can lose this game and still be in first place in their division. The Bears need to prove that they can beat a good team, and this has to be the week they do it.
I'm taking the Bears at Home.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals - Yet another huge game. Both teams are looking to sort out the logjam at the top of the AFC North, and a win by either team goes a long way in solidifying a spot in the playoffs. After a few close losses the Ravens looked great last week against a fresh Broncos team. The Bengals are fresh this week, and look to beat the Ravens for the second time this season. This time the Bengals have home field advantage and that will go a long way in keeping them in the game, but it won't be enough to beat a superior Ravens team.
I'm taking the Ravens on the Road.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars - The Chiefs are in turmoil and the Jaguars are stuck in mediocrity; that should make for an interesting contest. Had the Jaguars beaten (then) winless Tennessee, I'd say this is a no contest, but that loss could have been crippling for the Jaguars playoff hopes and locker room dynamic. The question for Kansas City is how will they react to all the turmoil that has brought national attention to a team that hasn't received much national attention since 2006? It's a close call but in games like this it's usually the safe bet to side with the home team.
I'm taking the Jaguars at Home.
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots - Expecting this game to be worth watching is wishful thinking; It's a shame that it's the national CBS 1:00 game. The Dolphins are good, but not good enough to beat a Patriots team on the road coming off a bye and soft schedule. The Pats should win this one and be 6-2 heading into their yearly showdown with Indianapolis.
I'm taking the Patriots at Home coming off the bye.
Green Bay Packers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers - This is just what the Packers needed to get over Favre Bowl II. The Buc's are probably the worst team in the NFL, and the Packers are probably the most average team in the NFL. Average beats hopeless every time.
I'm taking the Packers on the Road.
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints - On the surface this looks like an easy win #8 for the Saints, but there's a good chance it won't be. After an 0-3 start the Panthers have won three of their last four to put Carolina within one game of .500. The Panthers have the players to go toe to toe with the Saints, it's just a matter of getting them going early. Though I think it will be close, I do not see Jake Delhomme playing the mistake free game what will be necessary to beat New Orleans in New Orleans.
I'm taking the Saints at Home.
Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks - This weeks "who cares" game once again features the Lions. I suppose it may be worth mentioning that both Arizona and San Francisco have good chances of losing this weekend, making a win very opportunistic for the Seahawks, who would be one game out of first if that played out. I think there's a great chance the Seahawks win this week, but a really poor chance that their season goes anywhere.
I'm taking the Seahawks at Home.
San Diego Chargers @ New York Giants - I really should have made a special article just on this game. The whole 2004 draft concept never gets old for me. Enhancing this game is the added drama that it's two pre-season favorites going head to head with both teams season arguably on the line. For the Giants, a win and they'll be 6-3 heading into their bye, a loss 5-4 and losers of four straight. For the Chargers a win and they'll be 5-3 and winners of three straight, a loss and they're 4-4 coming home to Philadelphia. Now you can see why this game is so important. Though I'd love to say the game is going to come down to Eli vs Rivers, it's not. The game is going to come down to Gates vs Boley/other Giants LB's, and Jacobs vs Chargers run D. Last week the Chargers struggled to stop Justin Fargas, so if Jacobs brings his A game there's no reason to doubt #27 putting up huge numbers.
I'm taking the Giants at Home.
Tennessee Titans @ San Francisco 49ers - Vince Young vs Alex Smith, a contest that many in 2006 would have expected to be a "battle of future franchise QB's." Instead, both have taken long, strenuous roads to get where they are now, but both have looked good thus far in the limited activity they've had. In this game, their play will decide who wins. The defenses and running games are a wash. It'll come down to what QB makes the plays when they have to make them to win. At this point in their careers we've seen Vince Young do it, we've never seen Alex Smith do it.
I'm taking the Titans on the Road.
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles - This is a huge game, and unfortunately for Dallas it's in Philadelphia. Both teams need the win, both teams are going to play a huge game, but the Cowboys probably won't be able to pick up a road win this big. The winner of this team becomes an instant front runner for a spot in the NFC Championship game.
I'm taking the Eagles at Home.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos - Who is this game more meaningful for? The road team Steelers who are fresh off a bye, or the home team Broncos who were 6-0 before they got "exposed" by the Ravens? The answer is the Broncos because they haven't been here before. The Steelers came into the season knowing they were going to win either 11 or 12 games, with 11 of their 16 games being long, tough, outings. The Broncos on the other hand need the win to stay in the race for a first round bye, and even the division title. This is going to be a really tough game for both teams, but I have to like the healthier team that's been there before.
I'm taking the Steelers on the Road.