Week 9 marked the return of defense to the NFL, finally bringing some normalcy and reliability to this season.
There were a lot of great finishes this week, with some last-second comeback wins and a few upsets.
Some teams that started out the year looking like they were unstoppable are finally being revealed to be merely above average. At the same time, the true top teams are establishing themselves.
Looking at the week ahead, there aren't a ton of enticing matchups to pick from. Overall, this is probably a week to stay away from, because a lot of this weeks games are tough to call even without the spread.
However, I'll do my best to steer you all in the right direction using some early week lines.
No one is going to like picking a team like the Jaguars to gamble on, but the Colts haven't looked even remotely competitive in weeks.
Despite their record, the Jaguars field the league's fifth best overall defense. That should help mask their shortcomings at quarterback, not to mention they are coming off their bye week.
Maurice Jones-Drew will be able to carry you to victory this week, lay the points and change the channel from this ugly matchup.
Each of these teams have managed to score more than 17 points just once this season.
The Rams did it in Week 8 against the quickly declining New Orleans Saints, while the Browns did it back in Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts.
If both teams hold true to form, they should fall under the over/under for this week with points to spare.
Put your money down on this one and root against everyone.
The Seahawks are averaging less than 10 points a game over the last three weeks and are set to play the second-best defense in the league.
Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin appear to be able to play pitch-and-catch whenever the Ravens really need to move the ball, and let's not forget about Ray Rice.
This is probably the safest bet of the week in my opinion. Baltimore should dominate from start to finish even after coming down from their huge comeback win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Bengals improved to 6-2 this week with a win over the Tennessee Titans, but they appear to be "schedule frauds" in my opinion.
They didn't exactly impress in their Week 9 victory either.
The two best teams they have played this season are the San Francisco 49ers (loss) and the Buffalo Bills (win).
The Steelers mark a level of competition they are yet to prove they can handle.
I find it hard to believe that rookie quarterback Andy Dalton will be ready to deal with the aggressiveness and complexities of the Pittsburgh defense.
No one has been able to put a stop to the downright incredible season that Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are having, but to favor them by two touchdowns over the Vikings is a bit much.
Just a couple weeks ago these two teams played and the Packers won by six in Christian Ponders' first start of the season.
The Packers' defense gives up a lot of points and the Vikings have an offense that is consistently putting up points. With Adrian Peterson there to keep things close, I can't see the Pack winning by more than 14.