Definitely running a risk by publishing my picks for this week's game, but after going 10-4 last week, I figure why not. I like to separate the picks by categories which you will see, and I just pick the games out right. I live in New Jersey so one of the categories is Local Action, which means if you're looking for Eagles, Giants, or Jets picks, that's where they'll be. So in the words of the Joker, "And here...we...GO!"
DON'T MISS GAMES
San Diego over New Orleans: Battle of two mediocre, disappointing teams with no defense whose season is on the brink of collapse. Since the game is in London, there is no home field advantage here for either team. But the Saints are without Reggie Bush and Deuce McCallister hasn't been a threat for awhile. So who's going to run the ball for the Saints? Of course, with Drew Brees behind center, a running game may not be important, but just look at last week's game in Carolina, the first game this season where he didn't throw a touchdown pass.
Dallas over Tampa Bay: The sinking ship versus the soaring ship. Dallas is one of the biggest disappointment and Tampa is one of the biggest surprises. But it comes down to who needs this game more. Three coaches have been fired already and we're not even to the halfway point. Wade Phillips might be able to survive the rest of the season, but he knows his job is on the line, and the Cowboys come back home.
Indianapolis over Tennessee: The team that's owned this division the past few years versus the team that will possess it by the end. Once again, it comes down to need. The Colts are one of the many flops this season, and the Titans are one of the surprises. But I don't think the Colts are ready to give up just yet. For once, it looks like we might see a competitive Monday Night game.
Carolina over Arizona: Battle of division leaders. That's right. Division leaders. Carolina might just be as high as the second best team in the NFC, and although Arizona has made strides and improvements, the Panthers will prevail.
Pittsburgh over Giants: It pains me to make this pick on Plaxico Burress' first return to Pittsburgh since signing with the Giants. But the Giants road warrior ways may have come to an end. It doesn't seem to matter who runs the ball for the Steelers. It'll be close but I think the Pittsburgh running game, especially if Willie Parker returns, will be too much for my beloved champs.
Philadelphia over Atlanta: With the Cowboys soap opera falling apart and the Redskins inconsistency, this could be the time for the Eagles to move in the division. The Falcons last went in to Green Bay and beat the Packers. But the fans in Lambeau are not as, let's say, "noisy" as the ones in Philly.
Jets over Kansas City: The Jets sure laid an egg out in Oakland last week. Now they're going against the only other team that lost to Oakland. Larry Johnson will be unavailable to play due to his Pacman Jones like off the field behavior. I think the Jets will rebound against the now newly crowned worst team in the AFC West.
IF THERE'S NOTHING ELSE ON TV
Buffalo over Miami: Miami's only victories have come against New England and San Diego, while they've lost to teams like Houston. The pattern would seem for the Dolphins to beat Buffalo this week, but I don't think so. Buffalo is the class of the AFC East and will prove it by beating the division's worst this week.
San Francisco over Seattle: Let's see, so far interim coaches are the story of the NFL this year. Jim Haslett won his Rams debut and Tom Cable won his second game. Luckily for Mike Singletary, he makes his debut against the injury riddled Seahawks. If things don't get better, Mike Holmgren might have to fill in as quarterback.
Baltimore over Oakland: Sure, Oakland won last week, but that's like a leap year occurence in Oakland. I'm kind of amazed Baltimore's won three games this fast, but they're the better, or rather, the less sucky of the two teams.
Washington over Detroit: The Redskins already gave the Rams their first victory of the season. Could the Lions be next? Could be, but no. I don't think it will be a blowout but I think the Lions will have to continue to wait for that first W, which they should be used to in Detroit now.
Jacksonville over Cleveland: The Browns defense can't stop anyone and the Jags seemed to have found their form in their running game. Another matchup of two teams with high hopes who just haven't lived up to expectations.
TOILET BOWL GAMES
Cincinnati over Houston: I'm weary over picking this game, but it's just a feeling I have. I really have nothing to say in favor of either of them, so I'll just go with the gut.
New England over St. Louis: Jim Haslett is 2-0 as Rams coach, and one more win and the team will equal their victory total from last season. The Pats aren't what they used to be, but I think they'll be able to take care of St. Louis.