Last weekend was a blur of hippies, pretzel necklaces, and Hooters girls so I didn’t get to my prediction piece. I finished with 11 correct picks and am fighting for more in my NFC West Pick’Em League.
(Don't know what I'm talking about? Click here for a brief outline of the competition).
Fantasy owners of Matt Schaub must be pretty happy right now. He's third in passing yards and tied for second with 10 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
The Texan offense has forgotten how to run the ball, which has allowed Schaub to sling the rock around for most of the season.
The Bengals have been squeaking out wins to a 4-1 start. Cedric Benson should have a great day going against a Houston defense that gives up 140 yards on the ground.
Cincy might come out slow after an emotional win against the Ravens last week, but I think Bengals wake up in the second half to win another late.
Initially, I really liked Detroit to win. The Packers give up 23 points a game and only have five sacks on the season.
I expected Matt Stafford or Daunte Culpepper to have plenty of time attack in what I thought would be a possible shootout. That all went down the drain with Calvin Johnson expected to miss the game.
The responsibility to move the ball now rests on Kevin Smith, and the Packers will load up to stop him. Without much resistance from Detroit's defense, the Packers should win this easy.
Ravens @ Vikings
The Ravens have lost their last two games and will be desperate to stop the streak in Minnesota. This looks to be more of an offensive battle than expected, but this game will be won in the trenches.
It has been reported that rookie Michael Oher will be at left tackle in this game. Oher is doing well, but will be out matched going against Jared Allen. Unless the Ravens choose to keep a tight end in to block, Allen will be harassing Joe Flacco all day.
The Baltimore defense just gave up their first 100-yard runner in what seems like a century. I don’t think it will be two in a row, but Adrian Petersen will do enough to keep the defense honest and let Brett Favre make the necessary throws.
Watch for Percy Harvin’s availability in this game. If he plays, I can see him causing a lot of trouble for an undisciplined Ravens secondary.
An emotional Ravens team should have the lead at halftime, but the Vikes rally late to win.
The Giants have a great offensive line and I see them trying to establish their dominance at the very start. Brandon Jacobs has been frustrated with his performance, and this would be a great game to show everyone he’s still a playmaker.
Of all the defenses in the league, the Giants seem to be the best suited to challenge the Saints explosive offense.
Drew Brees is excellent at recognizing the blitz and making opposing defense pay for bring the pressure. The Giants are great at pressuring quarterbacks (14 sacks) and only use their front four.
The Saints have a solid offensive line, but if Usi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck get consistent pressure, Brees will have trouble finding the open receiver.
I see the power running game and defensive line winning this one for the Giants.
If there’s any game for Carolina’s run attack to get going, this is the one. The Bucs have a horrible run defense and have given up an average of 152 yards per game.
Carolina has an even worse run defense, but head coach Raheem Morris has the running rotation so messed up I doubt Tampa Bay capitalizes on it.
With the easy third down situations the Panthers will have, Jake Delhomme can finally look like a mediocre quarterback. Panthers win.
The Redskin offense has been horrible. Zorn has been blasted for not knowing how to use his personnel and the wheels look one lug nut away from completely falling off.
I think the Chiefs have the lug wrench to make the ‘Skins go into a complete tailspin. The Haynesworth signing hasn’t exactly worked as planned, and the Chiefs should get some sort of production out of Larry Johnson.
I like Cassel's scrambling ability to overcome a relatively stout Redskins pass defense in a low scoring game.
The Jags got smacked around last week and the offense finished with a big goose egg on the scoreboard. Maurice Jones-Drew has made it abundantly clear that he wants the ball and Jack Del Rio should listen.
Eighteen carries for MJD in two weeks is disgraceful. David Garrard’s favorite target Mike Sims-Walker returns to give Jacksonville a passing game.
As long as the Jags stack the box against Steven Jackson, they should be fine.
It must hurt Brown fans to see Braylon Edwards have a great debut with the New York Jets. It may even hurt more than the loss they will take against the Steelers Sunday.
The Steelers will force Cleveland into passing downs and with no viable receiving options, I don’t see Derek Anderson's 2-for-17 passing getting much better. Willie Parker returns to join Rashard Mendenhall in the backfield.
With the running game going, Ben Roethlisberger will be able to pass at will. This should be a blowout, but the Browns tend to play the Steelers tough at least once a year. I don’t see it being this game, though.
This game isn’t on most spectators' radar, but this game could be the most exciting of the week. Both teams are looking to close in on the surprising, but slipping, San Francisco 49ers and can’t afford to drop deeper in the standings.
Kurt Warner has not been able to deal with pressure this season. In the Cardinals' two losses, Kurt Warner was sacked three times against the 49ers and four times against the Colts. He has throw two interceptions in each of those games.
Expect more interceptions to be thrown since the Seahawks are 5th overall in sacks. The Cardinals could try to run the ball against a mediocre Seattle run defense, but for some reason, Arizona chooses to live or die with their pass attack. Why draft Chris “Beanie” Wells if you’re not going to use him?
Matt Hasselbeck looks like he’s fully recovered from his rib injury and should have another big day against a bad Cardinal secondary.
I represent the Cardinals in my pick’em league, so it pains me to say that Arizona won’t be winning this game.
Do I really need to say anything about this game? The Eagles outclass the Raiders in every category.
The most interesting thing of this game is to see how DeSean Jackson fairs against top corner Nnamdi Asomugha. Jackson could get shut down, but McNabb has too many weapons not to have a big day.
Bills @ Jets
The Jets are on a two-game slide after being a hot topic at the beginning of the season. This should be a bounce back game for Mark Sanchez. The Bills can’t stop the run, which should allow Sanchez to have some easy third-down conversions.
The Jets do have a problem with stopping the run, (17th in rush defense) but the Bills apparently don’t know who their best running back is.
Last week, the Bills chose to give Marshawn Lynch the majority of the carries giving Fred Jackson owners a psychotic meltdown. Jackson is their best player and need to give him as many touches as possible to keep the pressure off Trent Edwards.
The Jets should have this game locked up unless Dick Jauron decides to use his brain.
After the week two explosion against Houston, Chris Johnson has looked rather average. That’s partly due to Johnson not getting enough touches.
If the Titans want to win, they will get the ball in Johnson’s hands as much as possible. Kerry Collins cannot win games with his arm anymore.
People have been looking for the Tom Brady of 2007 and this may be the game that gets him really started. Going against the second worse pass defense in the league, Brady should be able to generate a big stat line.
The Titans put a lot into last week’s game against the Colts so I see them coming out really flat. The Pats take a big lead early and the Titans aren’t built for come from behind wins.
Atlanta returned from their bye week to completely thrash the 49ers. This game will be much closer.
The Bears have a solid defense and pass rush, but the Falcons have only given up two sacks on the season. If the Bears can get to Matt Ryan, this game could be more intriguing than I’m giving it credit for.
Matt Forte should have a good game against a weak Falcon run defense. Cutler should have a solid game as well, but I don’t see the Bears out-gunning Ryan with the weapons they have.
This game seems relatively even, but the Falcons have done a good job of protecting their home field since last year, including all three wins at home this season.
Denver seems to have everything going for them, yet there is still skepticism. The Broncos put a lot into their last two wins, so it’s about time for a lull in emotion with their “no respect” mentality.
The Chargers are desperate for a win. Taking another loss would put them in jeopardy of even grabbing a wild card spot at seasons end. With a must-win mindset and coming off a bye, the Chargers should do enough to get the win.
No stats really need to be said on this one. This game will be all about emotion for the Chargers and I don’t expect them to disappoint.