I am in a take, take, take sort of mood today. 13 games this week, and I am taking the points in 8 of them. That's right...Gimme, gimme, gimme. Anyway, another good wekk picking the winners, but the spread is simply killing me. Only way to go now is up, so let's do it. --
LAST WEEK - Straight 11-3
OVERALL - Straight 50-24(.675)
Houston +12.5 @ Dallas - Things are starting to get nasty in Dallas. T.O. questioning his role in the offense, Parcells stating that more balls have gone his way than anyone else, T.O. responding that if it is picked off he can't do anything with it, then word yesterday that T.O. was involved in a shouting match with he WR coach. Oh yeah, and they lost a big divisional game to the Eagles last Sunday. Now their inter-state rivals from Houston come to town for the first time. David Carr and the Texan offense has been improving, but you have to believe the Texans are walking into a meat grinder on Sunday. The spread is way too large for a team as dysfunctional as the Cowboys, but they get it done none-the-less.
Cowboys 28 - 17
Philadelphia -3.5 @ New Orleans - Is there a better story than the Saints this season? 4-1 and in 1st place in the NFC South. The Eagles have looked pretty good as well, and QB Donovan McNabb is off to the best start for any quarterback, since, well, ever. I love the Saints, and in a year or so, when they get some defense they are going to be tough, but the Eagles are playing with loads of confidence. It's going to be tough, but the Eagles should cover.
Eagles 21 - 17
Seattle @ St. Louis +3.5 - The NFC West was supposed to be a laugher. Sure, the Seahawks are the defending NFC Champs, but the rest of the divison? % weeks into the season, and things are taking a bit of a turn. The Rams are off to a 4-1 start, and their only loss is to an improved 49'er team. The Seahawks come to the dome with their own problems, missing Shaun Alexander and reeling from the destruction laid on them by the Bears a couple of weeks ago. A big part of me wanted to take the Rams in this one, but I still believe in the Seahawks, and think they'll come out on top in a close one, too close for the spread, so take the points.
Seahawks 24 - 21
NY Giants @ Atlanta -2.5 - My lock of the week, the GIants, fresh off a nice win against the Redskins, head to the Georgia dome to face the Falcons. Atlanta is coming off the BYE and have had two weeks to prepare for the Giants. New York is the enigma of the NFL, they aren't even sure which team will show up. Sure, they aren't as bad as they plpayed in Seattle, but they aren't as good as they played last weekend, so when in doubt take somewhere in the middle. The Falcons can run the ball, and they can play some serious defense. I love the spread in this one, so take the Falcons and run.
Tennessee +9.5 @ Washington - I know the Titans haven't win much in the past 3 or 4 years, but Jeff Fisher still has to be considered one of the top 5 coaches in football. The way his team played for 55 minutes last Sunday in Indy was truly inspiring and proves that Fisher's message is still being heard loud and clear in Nashville. Washington looked great two weeks ago against Jacksonville, then laid an egg in the Meadowlands last week. Again, I'll take somewhere in between, and the Redskins are tough as nails at home. Take the points, but the 'Skins win.
Redskins 20 - 13
Buffalo @ Detroit +1.5 - Convicts should be sentenced to watch this game. Really, should it even be played? Quietly the Lions have to be hoping that the Tigers clinch their ALCS series against Oakland tonite or noone in the Detroit area will be watching this game. As for Buffalo, I was speaking their praises a couple of weeks ago, but after getting flattened in Chicago I have changed my tune. The Lions have proven they can score points, and have found new and inventive ways to lose games the past couple of weeks. Both of those games were on the road, however, and with the magic swirling around the Tigers some will wear off on the Lions thise week. Take the points, the Lions get their first win of the season.
Carolina @ Baltimore -2.5 - This one is tough to call. Steve McNair has looked lousy the passt 3 weeks, though the Ravens are 2-1 in that stretch. Carolina has won 3 in a row since the return of Steve Smith and are looking more and more like the team I have picked to go to the Super Bowl. Whenever I am faced with a Pick 'em game, I lean on the home team, and though it goes against my better judgement I am going to stick to that theory now. Give the points, Stover wins it with a field goal at the end.
Ravens 20 - 17
Cincinnati @ Tampa Bay +6.5 - Let's face it. When your knee explodes as Carson Palmer's did in January it's going to take some time to get it back. Daunte Culpepper is suffering the same type of set-backs, and he's been benched in Miami. You couple Palmer with all of the off-field distractions and you have to believe it is starting take it's toll in Cincinnati. They've had 2 weeks to simmer on the ass-kicking they received at the hands of the Patriots and should come out fired up. Tampa has to be the best 0-4 team in history, losing the last couple of games they played on a punt return and becuase their QB was bleeding internally, things you don;t see everyday. You are what your record says you are, and unfortunitely for Jon Gruden it's going to be 0-5. Take the points, however, because the Bucs will keep it close.
Bengals 24 - 20
San Diego @ San Francisco +10.5 - The Chargers have one of the best defenses in football, and are coming off an emotional win on Sunday Night, a coming out party of sorts for QB Philip Rivers. The Niners played well last week in knocking off the Raiders, and have shown an ability to score some points, especially at home. Are the Chargers ripe for the picking? This is the type of game Marty finds a way to lose all the time, but at some point you have to think that the Chargers are too good, even with Marty at the helm. Due to the Marty-factor, I am going to take the points, since Schottenheimer will find a way to keep this game close.
Chargers 31 - 21
Kansas City +6.5 @ Pittsburgh - It's panic time in the Steel City. The Steelers sit at 1-3 and QB Ben Roethlisberger has zero touchdowns and seven INT't. The Chiefs have won 2 straight to even their record, and were impressive coming back to beat the Cardinals. Larry Johnson will play despite having his head surgically re-attached after a wicked facemask last Sunday, and the Chiefs will need him to come up HUGE if they are goiong to beat the Steelers at home. The loser of this game is going to be in some trouble if they want to get back into the playoff picture so expect it to be hard hitting and intense. The Steelers will also miss emotional leader Joey Porter, but have enough to get the job done. Take the points, bur Steelers win.
Steelers 24 - 18
Miami @ NY Jets -2.5 - The Jets had to be feeling pretty good about themselves. Thad had a couple of wins, took the Colts to the brink and were playing some decent defense. Then they went to Jacksonville and all hell broke loose. a 41-0 loss later and the Jets are back to square one. I had to ask myself, was last Sunday just a bad day for the Jets, or a better indication of what kind of team they are? In comes Miami, who played toough behind Joey Harrington in losing by 10 to the Patriots in Foxboro. This season is quickly becoming a disaster in South Beach, and with each loss the pressure mounts in Miami, where expectations were high coming in. The Jets are supposed to suck, the Dolphins weren't In those situations I like the team with no pressure. Give the points, Jets win a tough one at home
Jets 17 - 13
Chicago -10.5 @ Arizona - You have to feel a bit for Matt Leinart. The supposed savior of the Cardinals has been thrown into the fire, and after losing a tough one to the Chiefs last Sunday, they Cards welcome the best the NFL has to offer in the Bears. Statistically, the Bears own the best defense AND the best offense. Rex Grossman has been stellar, and the defense has allowed 50 less points than the '85 Bears did to this point. There will be alot of energy in the building, but the Bears are just too good. Give the points, Bears easily.
I'll give my Broncos/Raiders prediction as part of my preview later on, but safe to say I am going with the home team.