With Turkey Day behind us, and three games already in the books, my friend Steven and I have decided to roll out some picks at the last minute to try our hand at predicting the week's remaining games. You guys know the drill, so without further ado, here we go:
ATL vs TB
S : Should be a nice confidence booster for Matt Ryan. Tampa's horrid secondary and Freeman's rookie mistakes will result in a Falcons' W.
E : Atlanta by a mile.
MIA vs BUF
S : Buffalo made last weeks' game competitive, but will be forced to the air too much in this contest, due to Miami's great front seven. Dolphins.
E : Run, Ricky, Run! 'Nuff said right there.
PHI vs WAS
S : No Portis = Big Problem. Philly in a blowout.
E : I'll take the Eagles.
STL vs SEA
S : Upset Pick: Seattle couldn't stop Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor last week, what makes you think they can stop Steven Jackson? St. Louis in a close one.
E : I'll take Saint Louis too, but in my opinion it would be more of an upset for Seattle to win it.
NYJ vs CAR
S : Steve Smith will not be a factor in this game (Darelle Revis), and the Jets have a good rush defense. New York.
E : I agree Darelle Revis is going to make Steve Smith a non-factor, but I think DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart can make this a long day for the Jets if Delhomme can stay efficient enough in the pass game just to keep the Jets off guard. I still expect the Jets to win, though.
CIN vs CLE
S : Cincinnati will bounce back this week to beat the Mangina and the pathetic group he calls a team, especially if Cedric Benson plays. Cincy.
E : Yawn. Cincy.
IND vs HOU
S : The Colts will be 11-0 after Sunday, as Kris Brown will inevitably miss another crucial field goal. Never bet against Peyton Manning. Colts.
E : As much as I hate to say it, I agree, Indy will make it 11-0. If the Texans pull off a miracle upset, you won't see me crying, though.
SD vs KC
S : San Diego is red-hot right now, and will keep it alive after steamrolling the Chiefs. Chargers.
E : The Chiefs may have had some magic last week, but there is no way I can justify picking against the Bolts this week.
SF vs JAC
S : San Fransisco has a great rush defense, which will force the Jaguars to throw more than they would like to. I don't trust Garrard. 49er's in a close one.
E : Jacksonville only has a shot if they can strike early and often with Maurice Jones-Drew. Against a pretty good front seven in San Fran, they only have a small window of opportunity here. I'll take the 49ers, but it will be close.
MIN vs CHI
S : Minnesota is probably the most complete team in the NFL, and the defense will contain Forte, forcing Cutler to make bad decisions. Vikings.
E : I'm not going to be entirely sold on the Minnesota Vikings until they show me a convincing win over a convincing team. Missed last second field goals or miraculous last-second touchdowns aren't going to cut it, as fun as they are to watch. That being said, though, they shouldn't have any problem demolishing the Bears, especially at home.
TEN vs ARI
S : I would not want to play Tennessee right now. The offense is firing on all cylinders, but their secondary will make this a close game for Arizona. Titans in a close one.
E : Being on the road with a banged up Kurt Warner against a suddenly relevant Tennessee Titans means A LOT of trouble for Arizona, but I think they have the firepower to escape with a big, big win. It all depends on how effective Kurt Warner is.
BAL vs PIT
S : This will be a great game of hard-nosed football. The Ravens will probably be without Suggs because of Brady Quinn's cheapshot, but will find other ways to get Big Ben dirty. Ravens end their slide in a close one.
E : Baltimore over the Steelers will probably be my biggest upset of the week. Big Ben has now been ruled out for Sunday's action, so Baltimore will be free to run all over the field against their division rival.
NO vs NE
S : Tom Brady will have a good game, as the Saints' secondary is banged up. However, this one is at the Superdome giving Brees and the Saints the edge. Expect a shootout. Saints.
E : This is my second batch of picks for the week, and for the second time, I will abstain so as not to jinx the Patriots. I'm not so convinced it will be a shootout, though, as the Patriots are second in the entire league in points allowed per game behind only Indy, and the Saints aren't too shabby on defense either.
In a showdown between two of the best quarterbacks in the league, the key will be which team best uses the running game. We all know about Thomas, Bell, and Bush, but if New Orleans overlooks Faulk, Maroney, and possibly even Green-Ellis, they will be burned for it.