Last week I went 9-7, but before you start disregarding my opinion hear me out.
First of all, with the picks for the week now being forced out in the beginning of the week thanks to the NFL network, I had to go out on a limb and project Roethlisberger and Warner to start. In both the Cardinals/Titans and Steelers/Ravens write-up I wrote a healthy QB would be the difference maker. In both games it absolutely was. That would make it 9-5; then take into account I was shooting for the stars this week and picked against Indy and Minnesota to try and go perfect. In my heart I was taking Indy and Minnesota, I promise.
I have no excuse for the Dolphins, Panthers, and Giants. That's the NFL for you. But whatever, if I could accurately prognosticate every NFL game I wouldn't have a blog and I'd be a multi-millionaire gambler.
Anyway, here are my picks for this week:
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills - The Bills have looked really good the past two week despite their 1-1 record. Part of their success (an underrated-ly large part) has been the resurgence of Terrell Owens. Owens won't have that kind of week, not against Revis. In the past two weeks Revis has shut down Steve Smith and Randy Moss; you can't get much better than that. Owens, Smith, and Moss and there may be no more question of who the best CB in the NFL is.
I'm taking the Jets on the Road (are there more New York or Buffalo fans in Toronto?)
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins - By this point we've all heard about New England's 0-4 on the road this season. I don't think it has to do with the road as much as it has to do with the phrase "big game," and New England's inability to win one since 2007. This isn't a big game. Had Miami beaten the Bills, this would be a big game and the Pats would go to 0-5 on the road; Instead, the Pats will rebound.
I'm taking the Patriots on the Road.
New Orleans Saints @ Washington Redskins - This is a trap game for the Saints. Short week, road game, against a team that has been competitive the past few weeks. Jason Campbell's health will have a lot to do with this game; If he plays, the Saints win. If he sits, the Redskins win. Here's to betting on him starting.
I'm taking the Saints on the Road.
Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers - Ben Roethlisberger is back, and he'll breath life back into the Steelers 2009 season. A win against the Raiders will not be something the Steelers can brag about, but it is something that can get them back in front of the wild card race.
I'm taking the Steelers at Home.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers - Snooze. The Bucs are looking better, the Panthers are still a mess. Jake Delhomme is out for Sunday (we think), which means Matt Moore is back for the first time since 2007 (when he replaced Vinny Testaverde who replaced David Carr who replaced Jake Delhomme). Back then, it seemed as though Moore (then 23) couldn't pass for over 200 yards if his life depended on it. Fortunately for him, the Panthers running game is better in 2009 than it was in 2007, and it's good enough to beat the Bucs. And even if he goes out there and goes 9 for 23 for 181 yards, 1 TD, and 3 INT, he'd still be better than Delhomme.
I'm taking the Panthers at Home.
Detroit Lions @ Cincinnati Bengals - This is an easy pick. It doesn't matter that I don't believe in the Bengals, because the Lions are bad. They got destroyed by the Packers on Thanksgiving, and now they have the Bengals. Bengals won't blow another one.
I'm taking the Bengals at Home.
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars - As it stands right now, somehow, the Jaguars are still in control of their own playoff destiny. That will not be the case after Sunday. The Texans, though they've mastered the art of losing tight games, are not going to let this one slip away. And the Jaguars haven't played well against opponents like Houston this year; you know, good teams.
I'm taking Houston on the Road.
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts - I feel like the entire media is pulling for the Colts to lose. They don't want to "have" to give Peyton Manning another MVP, and they definitely don't want to acknowledge the Colts as the best team in the AFC ("yeah they can win now but they can't beat New England or San Diego in January"). What better team to end the Colts winning streak than the Titans? Let's not forget that his streak of 20 straight wins began after a loss to Tennessee in Tennessee. Truth be told, I can't see it happening. Not in Indy.
I'm taking the Colts at Home.
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs - The Broncos can pretty much punch their ticket to the AFC playoffs by just winning the games they're supposed to win from here on out; this is one of those games (Oak, and KC at home are the other 2). Because this is a road game, it will probably be the toughest of the three wins for the Broncos, but I think they're going to get it. I also think they're going to be one and done in the playoffs.
I'm taking the Broncos on the Road.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons - Missing two offensive lineman, their all world running back, and franchise QB, there's not chance the Falcons win this one. They pulled a rabbit out of a hat against the Bucs, but the Eagles aren't the Bucs. Leave it to Philly to narrow the NFC playoff field down to 7 entering the afternoon games.
I'm taking the Eagles on the Road.
St. Louis Rams @ Chicago Bears - Okay. I concede that the Bears are not good this year. But please agree with me that they're going to win this game. The Rams are bad, they're hurt, and they're probably hoping this season is ends faster than any other team. Cutler will look good, but we can't give him credit, not until he beats a really good team, in a really big game.
I'm taking the Bears at Home.
San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns - I don't know how I'm going to write a paragraph on this game. I suppose I can ramble about how the Chargers are one of the- if not the- hottest team in the NFL. I can also state that the Chargers biggest weakness, rush defense, doesn't matter in this one because the Browns have now rushing attack. Phew, I got through it.
I'm taking the Chargers on the Road.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks - Is the NFC West hard to watch or what? Okay, so the 49ers are young and trying to prove themselves, while the Seahawks are old and... old. The Seahawks are home where they're tough to beat, and the 49ers are barely good enough to win easy home games. This game is tougher to pick than it looks, but I think I'm going to have to take the home team.
I'm taking the Seahawks at Home.
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants - When the Giants beat the Cowboys in the 2007 playoffs they took over as the "team to beat" in the NFC East. That crown is on the line this week when Romo and the Cowboys try to diminish some of the Ghosts of Decembers Past. If Eli misses this game, it will be up to David Carr to rejuvenate the Giants season. A win for the Giants, and the entire NFC playoff picture turns upside down. It's not going to happen though.
I'm taking the Cowboys on the Road.
Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals - Everything I'm hearing (on Tuesday) points to Kurt Warner sitting. Leinart didn't look bad last week, but he didn't look good enough to beat a good team at the NFL level. The Vikings are a very good team. If Warner plays I'm taking the Cardinals, but he's not going to play this week.
I'm taking the Vikings on the Road.
Baltimore Ravens @ Green Bay Packers - The Ravens squeaked by the injured Steelers, and now they have the task of taking on a productive Packers offense. This game will actually be worth watching, yet I can't see the Packers doing what it takes to stay hot. They'll have the opportunity (with a Giants loss) to get back to the playoffs with a win, but the Ravens are playing for a playoff bid as well; and they're the better team.
I'm taking the Ravens on the Road.