Only thirteen games this week, as we start the bye week thing.
Brad's Picks was 11-5 last week, on the money when Denver edged the Saints 34-32; when Tennessee beat the Texans 31-12; when Buffalo barely edged the Raiders 24-23; when Atlanta beat the Chiefs 38-14; when Washington beat the Cardinals 24-17; when the New York Giants beat the Bengals in OT 26-23; when Seattle trounced the Rams 37-13; when San Francisco beat the Lions 31-13; Baltimore bombed the Browns 28-10; when Philadelphia beat the Steelers 15-6; and when San Diego beat the Jets on MNF 48-29.
Brad's Picks missed when Minnesota beat the Panthers 20-10; when the Bucs used OT in Chicago to win 27-24; when the Dolphins exposed New England 38-13; when the Jags beat Indee 23-21; and when the Cowboys won at Lambeau for the first time ever 27-16.
Brad's Picks is 33-14 on the season.
Home teams overall were 12-4, and are 28-19 on the season. But home teams facing a visitor from the opposite coast were 3-0 as Washington beat the Cardinals; Buffalo beat the Raiders; and San Diego beat the Jets. Home teams playing a team from the opposite coast are 5-1 on the season. There is one coast to coast game this week, Cards at Jets (but the Cardinals will stay on the east coast this week after playing Wahington last Sunday).
NFC 3, AFC 1 this week. On the season, it's NFC 7, AFC 3.
George was 8-7 last week (George forgot to pick the Jags at Indiapalo game). George is 21-25 on the season.
Off this week with a bye:
Detroit; Indapoplis; Miami; New England; New York Giants; Seattle.
this week: the 11:00 MDT games:
Atlanta (2-1) at Carolina (2-1)
- Division game. Atlanta couldn't stop the Chiefs' ground game last week (184 on 33) despite an early lead (24-10 at the half), and despite the fact that the Chiefs only had 117 passing yards, and were intercepted 3 times. Panthers have a much better run game than the Chiefs, and, despite the fact that Jake Delhomme was sacked 5 times in last week's loss to Minnesota, they have a much better passing game (Vikings have a heck of a D line). Take Carolina. George will also take Carolina.
Cleveland (0-3) at Cincinnati (0-3)
- Division game. Which state has the two worse teams? Missouri with the Chiefs and Rams, or Ohio with the Browns and Bengals? The four teams are a combined 0-12. The only team of the bunch that has shown anything is the Bengals, who took the Giants to OT last week in the Meadowlands. George likes the Bengals also.
Houston (0-2) at Jacksonville (1-2)
- Division game. Texans' QB Matt Schaub has just a 50.3 QB rating for the season. Still, they played a stout game at Tennessee, matching the Titans in every statistical category except points (in a 31-12 loss, but 7 of the Titans points came on a 99 yard pass interception return in the 4th - so the score might have been 24-19 instead of 31-12 if the pass hadn't been errant). Texans' rookie RB Steve Slayton ran for 116 on 18 carries. Jaguars, without their starting center and guards, ran for 236 yards last week at Indiaplop. QB David Garrard had a nice game last week (16-22-167-1), and the Jags D intercepted Peyton Manning two times, one of which was returned 61 yards for a TD. Texans have played the Jags tough, but the Jags seem to be adjusting to their O line injuries, and I'll take the Jaguars at home. Look for a close game though - the Colts averaged 6 per carry against the Jags last week, so Slaton might get some yards here. George also likes the Jags.
Denver (3-0) at Kansas City (0-3)
- Division game. Chiefs have scored 32 points in three games. Tyler Thigpen, the rookie QB, threw 3 INT's last week in Atlanta. Broncos have all the O any team needs (114 points in three games), and this is a good chance for the Bronco D, which has been playing hard, to do a little better. George also likes the Broncos chances.
San Francisco (2-1) at New Orleans (1-2)
- Saints TE Jeremy Shockey will have hernia surgery this week, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Not good for the Saints, who are already without Marques Colston, their best receiver. Still, the Saints put up over five hundred yards (414 in the air) last week at Mile High (Shockey had 75 of the 414 air yards), but they still lost a shootout by just 2 points (7 of those came on a 34 yard fumble return by the Broncos' Nate Webster). Niners had some fun beating up on the Lions, but I'm taking the Saints at home - they are a solid and good team. George will take the Forty Niners.
Arizona (2-1) at New York Jets(1-2)
- This is the second game on the east coast in two weeks for the Cardinals - they played at Washington last week. They stayed on the coast for the whole week. Jets played in San Diego last Monday night, so maybe the travel thing will balance out. Favre rolled his ankle last week and was limping, but will play. Both teams have good D's, and average O's. But I'll take Kurt Warner and his two great wide receivers. Arizona. George likes the Jets.
Green Bay (2-1) at Tampa Bay (2-1)
- Aaron Rogers was sacked 5 times by the 'Boys last Sunday night. Packers CB Charles Woodson missed the last series of the game when he aggravated his previously broken toe. Packers CB Al Harris missed the last 3 quarters with blood in his urine, and it looks like he may have ruptured his spleen. Brian Griese threw 67 passes last week in Chicago (22 straight in the 4th, as the Bucs totally abandoned the run). His 67 passes were the 5th most in league history (Drew Bledsoe holds the record with 70). At any rate, Griese brought the Bucs back from a 24-14 deficit to send the game to OT, then led a 90 yard drive to win the game. Griese spent the last couple years in the NFC North, so he knows the Packer D, and without Woodson and Harris, I'm taking the Bucs at home. George will also take the Bucs.
Minnesota (1-2) at Tennessee (3-0)
- Vikings D came alive last week, holding the high powered Panthers' O to just 10 points, sacking Jake Delhomme 5 times in the process. Titans handled the Texans 31-12, as Kerry Collins was an OK 14-26-1-189 and one TD toss (and zero sacks). Titans run game got 154 on 36 (4.3 per). Vikings run game got just 119 on 32 (3.7 per) against Carolina, but Gus Frerotte was decent (16-28-1-204 and a TD) in his start. So, two old QB's thrust into the starting spot after the promising but failing young guys got sent to the bench. Frerotte vs. Collins. Frerotte can be really streaky (he had 262 yards and 3 TD's for the Rams last year against Arizona, then the next week at Baltimore was 19-36 with zero TD's, five INT's and five turnovers). I'm taking the Titans at home. George will take the Vikings.
the 2:05 MDT games:
San Diego (1-2) at Oakland (1-2)
- Division game. San Diego crushed the Jets on MNF, while the Raiders played well at Buffalo until the last, when it counted. Chargers have lost two close games against good teams, the Raiders have only beaten the Chiefs. George will take the Raiders.
Buffalo (3-0) at St. Louis (0-3)
- The Rams have been outscored 116-29 this season. Bills have scored 78 but given up 49. Rams will start the aged Trent Green over Marc Bulger, even though Bulger is healthy, a sure sign of desperation, and the Bills are a solid team, and you gotta take them even at the dark dome. George likes the Rams at home.
the 2:15 MDT game:
Washington (2-1) at Dallas (3-0)
- Division game. Redskins DE Jason Taylor tipped two passes in a goal line stand in the second half in the 24-17 win over the Cardinals, but he will miss this game after having a pool of blood drained from his calf after the game. Reds QB Jason Campbell had a decent game (22-30-0-193 and two TD's) and seems to be getting the hang of the new west coast O under new coach Jim Zorn. Redskins are playing better than expected, but you gotta take the Cowboys at home. George likes the Redskins.
the 6:15 MDT game:
Philadelphia (2-1) at Chicago (1-2)
- Brian Westbrook has a bad ankle injury and is listed as day to day. Donovan McNabb has a deep bruise on his right pectoral muscle. Bears started the season with an upset at Indepolis, but have lost two since then. Eagles D looked good holding the Steelers to just 6 points, but maybe that was an exposure of the Steelers O line as not much of an O line (9 total sacks allowed). Bears' loss last week at home was to the Bucs, behind a red hot Brian Griese, but it was an OT game. Bears other loss was at Carolina in week two, another three point loss. With McNabb and Westbrook ailing, I'll take the Bears at home. George also likes the Bears.
the MNF game (6:30 MDT):
Baltimore (2-0) at Pittsburgh (2-1)
- Eagles beat up Ben Roethlisberger last week. He had to leave the game in the 4th quarter with a right hand injury, but apparently he's OK. He's also been nursing a sore right shoulder. Ben R was sacked 8 times by the Eagles. Ravens have sacked him 17 times in the last three games, and the Steelers still had big Adam Faneca at guard for those games. Steelers O is 15th in the AFC, while the Ravens O is a surprising 5th. The 2 defenses are one and two in the AFC. Steelers RB Willie Parker will not play on Monday, so rookie Rashard Mendenhall gets the start. Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton will also miss the game. Rookie QB Joe Flacco is playing OK for the Ravens, as the runners are averaging 190 per game. I'm taking the Ravens here. George will also take the Ravens.