Last week was harsh. Who (other than you Brownies out there) saw Cleveland hanging 34 on the New England Patriots?
I also thought that the subtitle of my article last week, "Minnesota Vikings Continue into a Tailspin," was spot-on until the Arizona Cardinals choked away a 14-point lead in the final six minutes.
A Week 9 mark of 8-5 does not make for a good Tuesday morning, but I have hopes for a big rebound with my picks this week.
This week we have a Thursday night game, so get those picks in early.
The 6-2 Baltimore Ravens travel to 5-3 Atlanta, who will stay ahead of the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South with a win.
Both of the Ravens' losses this year have come on the road, and the Falcons have only lost three games at home over the past three seasons.
This one should be close, pitting Matt Ryan and company against a very good Baltimore defense, but I like Atlanta at home in this one.
Pick: Atlanta Falcons
The Buffalo Bills have lost their last three games by a combined total of nine points, and despite their 0-8 record continue to play hard each week.
In this week's game they are going to face a Detroit Lions team coming off a devastating overtime loss to the New York Jets.
Detroit has never been a very good road team. That streak has continued this year with both of their wins coming at home.
Buffalo just deserves a win...
Pick: Buffalo Bills
Are the Minnesota Vikings starting to turn things around?
Last week, despite all of the drama that surrounds this team, they pulled off an overtime victory against the Arizona Cardinals.
Coach Brad Childress is rumored to be on the hot seat over his handling of Randy Moss' release.
This week they are traveling to Chicago to face the Bears in a key Divisional game to try and get back into the hunt in the NFC North.
The Vikings have yet to win a game on the road this year, but who knows which Bears team will show up on Sunday. All of the Bears' three losses this year have come at home.
Despite preseason hopes of a resurgent defense, Chicago has managed to play terrible against the run, ranking 27th overall. Look for Adrian Peterson to have a big day and for the Vikings to continue moving things in the right direction.
Pick: Minnesota Vikings
Don't look now, but Colt McCoy has the Cleveland Browns on a two-week roll, surprising both the New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots.
Running back Peyton Hillis is averaging 4.8 yards per carry but will face a New York Jets run defense that is ranked fourth in the NFL against the run.
The Jets needed overtime last week to squeak by the Detroit Lions. They too have a great rushing attack with the combination of LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene averaging 4.9 and 4.5 yards per carry, respectively. That's great considering that Mark Sanchez has had some really bad games this year, with a quarterback rating of 79.4 on the season.
I think this is going to be another close one, but I like the Browns at home on the grass.
Pick: Cleveland Browns
The hapless 1-7 Carolina Panthers travel to Tampa Bay to face a 5-3 Buccaneers team fresh off a road loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Carolina's passing game has done very well this year, but they're pretty bad in every other aspect on both sides of the ball.
In limited action, LeGarrette Blount is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, but having just added him to my fantasy football team, I'm looking for him to get a lot more touches. Back in Week 2 the Bucs beat up on the Panthers in a 20-7 victory and look for a season sweep this week.
Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 4-4 Jacksonville Jaguars are at home this week against the Houston Texans, and even though they beat the Dallas Cowboys last week by a score of 35-17, I don't think that is anything to hang your hat on.
In their previous two outings they got blown out by scores of 42-20 and 30-3 against Kansas City and Tennessee.
Houston has a very good rushing attack (and I can't figure out why they don't utilize it more) that is going against a pretty poor Jacksonville run defense. Houston has confused me this year. One week they look like a pretty good team and in others don't show up. I'm hoping that this week is one of their good ones, and I am going to take them on the road.
Pick: Houston Texans
Both of these teams are coming off of heartbreaking losses.
The Colts dropped a close one against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, 26-24.
The Bengals lost their Monday Night match up against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a real chance to win the game in the final minute.
During the Steelers game Chad Ochocinco had a complete meltdowns and had to be pulled out of the game by coach Marvin Lewis to "collect himself." Sounds like something you do to a four year-old, but I digress.
I think that the wheels totally start coming off of the Bengals this week.
Pick: Indianapolis Colts.
The Tennessee Titans were on a three game roll until two weeks ago when they ran into a surging San Diego Chargers squad and lost 33-25.
The Miami Dolphins are also looking to rebound after their 26-10 lass last week in Baltimore.
Tennessee quarterback Vince Young has had great games his last two times out. This week he is going to be lining up against a pretty mediocre Dolphins defense.
Miami has lost three home games this season, and I like coach Jeff Fisher having two weeks to get the Titans ready for this road game.
Pick: Tennessee Titans
The 5-3 Kansas City Chiefs go to the Mile High City this week coming off of a tough loss to the Oakland Raiders.
The Chiefs feature a league-leading rushing attack led by Jamaal Charles and his 6.4 yards per carry.
On the other side, the 2-6 Denver Broncos are terrible against the run, giving up an average of 154.6 yards per game. The Broncos have dropped four in a row and aren't going to stop the bleeding this week.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs
I can't think of a whole lot to say about this one.
Despite this year's big expectations for the Dallas Cowboys, they have been a total disaster.
Last week head coach Wade Phillips was fired by owner Jerry Jones and replaced on an interim basis by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Don't look for that to create any spark for the Boys as Garrett is not popular with the players. The Cowboys have quit.
Pick: New York Giants
The Seattle Seahawks at 4-4 and sitting a half game back of the St. Louis Rams in the lousy NFC West. This week they go to Arizona to meet the 3-5 Cardinals in a divisional game.
Hard to get too charged up about this one since both teams are near the bottom of the NFL in most statistical categories.
Arizona gives up a ton of points, but the Seahawks have only managed to score 10 in their last two games combined. Matt Hasselbeck has been terrible this year. Even though the Seahawks took down the Cardinals 22-10 in their first game, I'll take Arizona at home.
Pick: Arizona Cardinals
At 2-6 the San Francisco 49ers are sitting in last place in the NFC West. Coming off a bye week they have the 4-4 St. Louis Rams coming to town.
The Rams haven't seemed to find a way to get running back Steven Jackson going this season.
However, rookie Sam Bradford has been a pleasant surprise.
The Rams have been a bad road team, dropping all three games off of the turf in St. Louis, including a 44-6 loss in Detroit.
The Niners have dropped a lot of close ones this season, but unlike the Cowboys haven't quit on themselves yet.
Pick: San Francisco 49ers
In the game of the week, the 6-2 New England Patriots travel to Heinz Field to face the 6-2 Pittsburgh Steelers.
New England is reeling after getting blown out, 34-14, by the Cleveland Browns. After the game quarterback Tom Brady ripped into his team for their effort.
The Steelers played a close one against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football and have a short week to prepare for this game.
New England has not played well on defense this year, but Pittsburgh's offensive line is really banged up, while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has had some erratic play.
After a month's absence, the Steelers seemed to remember last week that they run a zone blitz defense that was able to get a lot of pressure on Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer in the second half Monday Night.
The pressure is on for both teams, each trailing by a half game in their respective divisions, but I like the Steelers at home against Bill Belichick's Patriots.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers
This game is a big traditional rivalry between the 5-3 Eagles and the 4-4 Redskins that will be played in the Nation's Capital on Monday Night.
Michael Vick had a huge game last week, defeating Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts 26-24.
Head Coach Mike Shanahan may have created a mess in Washington by benching quarterback Donavan McNabb in last week's 37-25 loss to the Detriot Lions.
The Redskins have no pass defense and little in the way of a running game.
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles