My record so far this season is 79-34. My picks went 9-4 last week. Out of eight ESPN experts, I have picked more winners than seven. Only Mike Golic eludes me, though I will catch him eventually. On to the picks:
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
This is the toughest game of the week. Darrelle Revis should lock down Stevie Johnson and the Jets pass defense should make things tough for Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, stopping Fred Jackson will be another story.
The Jets are getting back to ground and pound, as Shonn Greene has 20-plus touches in each of the last three games. Buffalo hasn’t been great against the run, so look for that to continue. Add in Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress, and the Jets should be able to score some points.
In the end though, I think Buffalo will win the time of possession battle. The Buffalo defense crippled Washington last week, and I don’t see the Jets stopping Jackson. It should be a tight one, but home field advantage gives the edge to the Bills.
The Pick: Buffalo
Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys
I don’t like Seattle on the road. Ever. The Cowboys have been an up and down team this year. Look for that to continue this week. They aren’t as bad as they played last week. The Eagles just have a really good offense.
Remember, the Cowboys held the Patriots to just 16 points a few weeks ago. That’s the team I expect to see this week. Plus, you’d never bet on Tavaris Jackson, right?
The Pick: Dallas
Atlanta Falcons @ Indianapolis Colts
Roddy White has to break out at some point, right? Why not this week against the porous pass defense of the Colts? Matt Ryan should shred this secondary apart. Not to mention, Turner should bull his way to another 100-yard day.
Curtis Painter should be able to connect for a score on the day to Reggie Wayne or Pierre Garcon. The running game, however, is likely to produce very little. The last time the Colts played on turf they lost by 55 points.
The Pick: Atlanta
Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs
Miami is a winless team at the bottom of their division. They have shown hope the past couple of weeks though. They were winning in the first half of both games before eventually giving up the lead.
The Chiefs are a winning team near the top of their division. The past two weeks have shown hope, as they actually won both of their games. They even beat a good San Diego team. Plus, Arrowhead Stadium is a great home field advantage.
The Pick: Kansas City
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
Earlier this year, the Saints lost to the Bucs. They won their next game 62-7. The Saints lost last week. I expect the Saints to come out with the same focus and intensity they did following the Bucs lost.
Tampa Bay, to their credit, did beat New Orleans already this year. However, I do not think they are the better team. They are coming off a bye. Teams have done poorly after the bye this season. Also, they have to go on the road last time, and they barely beat the Saints at home.
The Pick: The Saints
San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins
Washington did not score a single point last week. Their defense was actually decent, as Buffalo put up a solid but not spectacular 23 points on them. The problem was the offense. They were shut out by a mediocre defense. That doesn’t reflect well on John Beck. The Redskins offense is a complete mess right now.
The 49ers have been great this year. They have used the formula of short passes, good running, and great defense to carry them to the top of the NFC West. Though they are coming off the bye and are away, I expect the talent difference to be way too much for the Skins to overcome.
The Pick: San Francisco
Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans
The Browns are a “meh” team this year. Who’s their quarterback again? Colt McCoy? Meh. Third string running back because HIllis and Hardesty are injured? Meh. Browns defense? Meh.
But you know who isn’t “meh”? Arian Foster. Boom. He has been tremendous so far this season. Look for him to have another big game this week. Houston has a pretty good defense too, and they should have no trouble dispatching Cleveland.
The Pick: Houston
Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans
A quick comparison:
Team A: 5-2, plus-42 point differential, 2-2 on the road.
Team B: 5-2, plus-48 point differential, 3-1 on the road.
Team B looks like a better bet on the road, right? Well Team A is New England. Team B is Cincinnati. And you would definitely pick the Patriots to win this game, so you would definitely pick the sneaky good Bengals.
Plus, Chris Johnson sucks.
The Pick: Cincinnati
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders
Darren McFadden will probably miss the game due to injury. The Raiders are coming off a bye. Those are the only logical reasons I have to back up this pick. Other than…Tebow! Rebound game!
The Pick: Denver
New York Giants @ New England Patriots
The Giants almost lost to the Dolphins last week. Eli Manning is a turnover-prone quarterback. The Patriots' defense is good at forcing turnovers, but not much else.
The Patriots haven’t lost a regular season game at home in a long time. They also are like 1,000-2 coming off losses. Tom Brady is not a turnover-prone quarterback.
The Pick: New England
Green Bay Packers @ San Diego Chargers
Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback on the planet right now. The Packers are also the best team on the planet right now.
Phillip Rivers has been playing poorly this season. He fumbled a snap to lose the game for his team last week. The Chargers have been choking in general.
It seems that each year San Diego underperforms. I’m not going to pick them to beat what is currently the best team in fumble.
The Pick: Green Bay
St. Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
At first glance, this seems like an easy pick. The Rams absolutely gave it to the Saints last week. They looked better than Arizona has looked all season.
But this could be a typical “bad team looks good one week and then continues to suck” situation. Also, the Rams are probably less hungry after a win. Plus, the Cards almost won last week against Baltimore, and they are at home.
But, Kolb is doubtful to play. No Kolb or a semi-injured Kolb spells a win for the Rams.
The Pick: St. Louis
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
This game could really go either way. The Steelers have a tough defense. They showed as much last week against the vaunted Patriots offense. However, Ray Rice has had big days against them in the past when their defense was actually better.
The Steelers are firing on all cylinders, while the Ravens almost lost to the Cardinals last week. The Steelers have home field advantage. But the Cardinals close loss was fluky. They needed a punt return, a pick and a fumble to get a lead in that game.
The Ravens simply have the better defense. Combined with Ray Rice, they should be able to squeeze out a win. If they lose, I will be kicking myself for not picking the home team.
The Pick: Baltimore
Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles
Team One: Has Jay Cutler, is coming off a bye, is away, is an eight-point underdog, and has a poor offensive line.
Team Two: Has Mike Vick, just blew out a team who was supposed to be good, is at home, has a good pass rush and ball-hawking corners.
I’m going with team two.
The Pick: The Eagles
Last Week: 9-4