Last week had two truly great matchups in Steelers-Bengals and Colts-Patriots. This week there are none. Baltimore and Indy is the best game out there and there is a four win difference between the two. Sure there will be some good games, but they'll be like the Jets-Jags game last week, good, but nobody wants to watch the Jets and the Jags. Now to the picks.
Last Week: 10-5 (vs. spread: 9-6)
Overall: 90-54 (vs. spread: 82-62)
Carolina vs Miami
The Panthers run game is in full force, but it will be hurt by Jordan Gross's injury. The Dolphins run game will also be slowed because of Ronnie Brown's injury.
Steve Smith is the difference maker here. He's the only pass catcher on either team that is a big time playmaker. He should have a field day against the Fins inexperienced secondary.
Carolina 31 (-3.5), Miami 23
Baltimore vs. Indianapolis
Indy's secondary is extremely banged up, but Joe Flacco isn't exactly playing like Joe Montana right now. Peyton Manning is. The Colts won't be losing to a team with secondary problems like the Ravens.
Indianapolis 24 (+0.5), Baltimore 20 (Game of the Week)
Dallas vs. Washington
Washington shocked everybody last week by crushing the Broncos. But that was at home playing a reeling team without their only good QB. This game will be closer than most think, but Dallas will beat the Redskins in Jerry Jones Palace.
Dallas 20, Washington 16 (+11.5)
Detroit vs. Cleveland
Wow, this game is a stinker. Stay away from your TV sets for this one. This might be Calvin Johnson's game to really break out, after disappointing for all of this season. Cleveland is a wreck. They're not winning on the road.
Detroit 24 (-3.5), Cleveland 10
Green Bay vs. San Francisco
The Niners got to Jay Cutler often on Thursday night, so it's easy to see them being all over Aaron Rodgers. The Packers aren't very good when Rodgers gets sacked 5-6 times. This game could go the complete opposite way as well, with Alex Smith throwing 3-4 picks to a dangerous Green Bay secondary. However, he has not done that yet, so the other scenario seems more plausible.
San Francisco 20 (+6.5), Green Bay 17 (Upset of the Week)
Jacksonville vs. Buffalo
Chris Johnson ran all over Buffalo last week, now it's MJD's turn. He's going to turn in a monster game in a big Jacksonville win.
Jacksonville 31 (-8.5), Buffalo 14
Kansas City vs. Pittsburgh
This isn't even a contest. Pittsburgh is coming off of a tough loss. KC is coming off a win so their guard will be down a little bit. The Steelers will just steamroll the Chiefs, even on the road. The Chiefs defense resembles Cincinnati's in no way at all.
Pittsburgh 31 (-9.5), Kansas City 0 (Lock of the Week)
Minnesota vs. Seattle
Minnesota has so many weapons it's scary. The offense has one of the best offensive lines in the league; four quality pass catchers in Rice, Harvin, Berrian, and Shiancoe; not to mention Adrian Peterson at running back and Brett Favre behind center.
The defensive line is easily the best in the league with Jered Allen and the Williams boys. Minnesota is the most complete team in the league. Seattle will be able to pass, but the Vikes should be able to throw and run all over them. they'll turn it over to make it close.
Minnesota 27 , Seattle 17 (+11.5)
New York Giants vs. Atlanta
Both of these teams are in downward spiral mode. Atlanta has lost three of four. New York has lost four in a row. The Giants are at home, off of the bye and have to be the pick because of their preparation and the fact that Turner will be out. The Giants' bye came at the perfect time.
NY Giants 24 , Atlanta 21 (+6.5)
Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans
New Orleans looked pretty dead offensively against an awful team last week. Don't expect that again. It's time for Drew Brees to have a monster game and Tampa looks like the perfect team to have it against. New Orleans finally gets another blowout win, a week before their clash with New England.
New Orleans 38 (-11.5), Tampa Bay 12
St. Louis vs. Arizona
Steven Jackson is rushing for over 100 yards per game on a 1-8 team. It's amazing that a team playing from behind every week can have 100 yard per game rusher. He's going to get his yards and probably a score against a weak Cards defense, but Warner is going to throw all over St. Louis with a healthy Boldin and the traces of a running game finally forming. The Rams will be close in this one like they were last week for most of the game.
Arizona 35 (-8.5), St. Louis 17
Denver vs. San Diego
Denver is playing as bad as anybody right now. San Diego is playing as well as anybody right now. Even on the road, San Diego should be able to take care of business handily. No matter if it's Orton or Simms, the Broncos will get smoked.
San Diego 30 (-2.5), Denver 13
New England vs. New York Jets
The Patriots are going to be mad after their heartbreaking loss to Indy. The Jets are fading fast after losing Kris Jenkins. Brady is going to torch that secondary after struggling the first go around and the Pats will dismantle the Jets.
New England 31 (-10.5), NY Jets 16
Oakland vs. Cincinnati
This is the classic let down game for Cincy. Coming off of a big win, losing their starting running back (most likely), sitting on top of the AFC North (and the number two seed in the playoffs). They still won't lose to a team whose best offensive player is Justin Fargas or Michael Bush, but they'll struggle more than they should against a horrible Oakland squad.
Cincinnati 17 (-9.5), Oakland 6
Chicago vs. Philadelphia
Maybe Jay Cutler has a great arm, but every other thing about him as a quarterback is bad. He throws tons of picks. He isn't a great leader. He makes bad decisions and throws time and time again. He is not clutch. He's immature. Anybody who has convinced themselves that Cutler is a "franchise" type QB is delusional. He will lose more games for the Bears this year than win games for them, including this one.
Philadelphia 24 (-3.5), Chicago 20
Houston vs. Tennessee
People don't realize how good Houston is playing. They lost a game that they should have won before their bye against an undefeated team and it seems they are left out when the good teams of the NFL are mentioned. However, Tennessee is playing too well to pick against them. Chris Johnson is just an animal right now. This game should be a great shootout like it was in their first meeting.
Tennessee 27 (+4.5), Houston 24
Game of the Week: Baltimore vs. Indianapolis
Upset of the Week: San Francisco over Green Bay
Lock of the Week: Pittsburgh over Kansas City