Due to the first bye week of the NFL season, there are only 14 games this week. Boohoo. Regardless of this tragic event, I still have to make my picks. So the picks are in, and here they are:
Lions at Bears (Bears) – The Lions are coming off of their first victory in 20 games. Are they going to make it 2 in a row? Let’s not get carried away now. The Bears are a much better team than the Redskins, and they should have no problem moving the ball all day on Detroit. The addition of Cutler to the Bears makes this game a lot easier for the home team, as they have a good balance of run and pass with their cannon arm quarterback. Bears by 2 scores.
Bengals at Browns (Bengals) – A couple of weeks ago, this would have been a tough game to pick. What a difference 2 weeks makes! Since that time, the Bengals have beaten the Packers and Steelers, and they seem to be back to their 2005 form. The Browns, on the other hand, are 0-3 and making a change at quarterback. Derek Anderson is taking over for Brady Quinn, and he will have the fortune of adding a bunch of losses to his record. It all starts with this game. Bengals by 17.
Raiders at Texans (Texans) – Both of these teams are coming off of losses to divisional opponents. The Texans, though, are coming off of a game that they should have won against the Jaguars. MJD went nuts on the Texans as he scored 3 touchdowns against this porous run defense. That being the case, I see the Texans bouncing back and evening their record at 2-2. The perennial .500 team needs to get back in the win collumn to even things out, and they should be able to do that against the Raiders. Texans by 7.
Seahawks at Colts (Colts) – Peyton Manning and company have cruised to a 3-0 record under new head coach, Jim Caldwell. Does it really matter who their coach is? Manning is clearly running this team on offense, and for all we know, he could be running this defense too. Manning is the equivalent of a football computer, and there is no doubt he will make a fantastic coach one day. All things aside, the Seahawks will probably be without Matt Hasselbeck once again, and the Colts should capitalize in a big way. Colts by 20.
Titans at Jaguars (Titans) – The Titans are winless thus far, and the Jaguars could be the best medicine to cure them. Although the Jags are coming off of a victory against the Texans, they are facing a stout run-stuffing Titans team in this game. The Titans should have a lot of success in the passing game, and Chris Johnson and LenDale White should put it in the endzone a couple of times. To me, all phases of the game point in the direction of the Titans, so I gotta take them. It’s about time this team got a win. Titans by 7.
Giants at Chiefs (Giants) – The Giants are looking great up to this point. They are fresh off of a shutout against the Bucs in which they dominated both sides of the line. There shouldn’t be a much different result in this game, as the sorry Kansas City Chiefs can’t seem to generate anything remotely successful. And if things couldn’t get any worse for the Chiefs, they are going to be without star wideout, Dwayne Bowe. Giants by 21.
Ravens at Patriots (Ravens) – What a game this should be! Both of these teams are really high on my radar right now and for good reason. The Pats are coming off of an impressive 16 point victory against a very good Falcons team. The Pats should only get better with time, which could be a problem for the rest of the league. But then there’s the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are playing the most complete football in the league right now, as they are owning the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. They are putting up 30+ points on offense, and their defense is still one of the best in the league. The combination of the two categories makes this team extremely tough to beat, even for the Patriots. Ravens by 6.
Bucanneers at Redskins (Redskins) – Right now I consider the Redskins to be the worst team in the league based on their last 2 outings. However, the Bucanneers are starting Josh Johnson in this game. If Leftwich was starting, I would probably go with the Bucs, but Johnson has not played in the league yet, and I think that will matter. It should be a really ugly game between 2 awful teams, but I see the Redskins pulling this one out by 3.
Bills at Dolphins (Bills) – Losing Pennington for the season will hurt this team a lot. They will take a while to find themselves with new quarterback, Chad Henne. The Bills should not make things easy for him either. The Bills are coming off of a game against the Saints in which Drew Brees did virtually nothing against them. That being the case, I see the Bills winning this game with relative ease. They should be able to keep 8 in the box and shut down the running game/Wildcat, without much threat of a passing game. Bills by 10.
Jets at Saints (Jets) – This is a very intriguing game between 2 teams that are 3-0. The one matchup that should dictate the game is how the Jets defend the pass against Drew Brees. The way Darrelle Revis has been playing, the Jets D should stifle the passing attack of the Saints. Revis has shut down the likes Randy Moss and Andre Johnson already this season, and I see no reason why he can’t shut down Marques Colston as well. The Bills have shown that Brees can be stopped, but they also showed that the Saints can still score without his production being high. The Jets run D is stronger than the Bills’ and that’s the key here. If things go the way the Jets want it to, it will not be a very high scoring affair. It should be tight late, and I see the Jets holding on to a 3 point win.
Cowboys at Broncos (Cowboys) – The Broncos are 3-0, but who have they really beaten? This should be their first test of the season, and I don’t expect them to pass it. The Broncos strength is the running game, and the Cowboys have shown that they are committed to stopping the run. If the Broncos still had Cutler, I would expect big trouble for the Cowboys’ secondary, but they don’t. They have Kyle Orton; a guy who couldn’t throw his way out of a wet paper bag. This matchup sets up perfectly for the Cowboys defense and that’s a battle they should win. Also, the Cowboys should be getting Marion Barber back, which will help them have another productive running game even though they will be without Felix Jones. Finally, I expect Romo to have a great game, as they are on the road and the homefield pressure will not be on. Cowboys by 7.
Rams at 49ers (49ers) – The 49ers are a team that want a win in the worst way right now. They are one play away from being 3-0, and they cannot wait to get back on the field. Lucky for them, they get the 0-3 Rams to beat up on. They are going to miss Frank Gore, but it should not ultimately matter in this game. Their defense should cause turnovers, and they should make enough plays to get the Niners a victory. Vernon Davis is hoping that last week’s 2 touchdown performance was not a fluke, and he looks to build on that performance against a weak Rams defense. 49ers by 17.
Chargers at Steelers (Steelers) – The Steelers are clearly missing Troy Polamalu, but they still have 21 starters who can pull together and get it done against the Chargers. They still have Ben Roethlisberger who is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and they still have defensive MVP James Harrison. Basically what I am saying is that this team is too good to lose 3 games in a row. They should come out with a sense of urgency at home, and they should be able beat the overrated Chargers for the 6th straight time at home. Steelers by 9.
Packers at Vikings (Packers) – This is a great game for Monday night! Favre is coming off of a miracle victory against the Niners and the Pack is coming off of a 19 point win in St. Louis. Both teams are fighting for an NFC North crown, and neither team wants to lose this game. In my opinion, the Packers will feel the need to win a little more than the Vikings. First of all, the Vikings are in first place at 3-0, and the Packers would love to get to first with a victory. And secondly, and more obviously, the Packers want to show that they made the correct decision by choosing Aaron Rodgers over Brett Favre. Nothing would make the Packers happier than beating their former hero. Packers by 4.
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