On the road back to respectability, with a double digit week picking the winners. Too bad success against the number is still proving elusive, but I am determined to get back over the .500 mark and that starts this week --
LAST WEEK - Straight 10-4
OVERALL - Straight 72-42(.631)
Kansas City @ St. Louis -2.5 - The Battle of Missouri takes place this Sunday in St. Louis. It's 'Show Me' time for both of these teams. St. Louis can look great one week, then give up 38 to the Chargers the next. K.C. can beat the Chargers on week, then have the Steelers drop 45 on them. Which good team and which bad team is going to show up? Winning in the NFL is tough. Doing it with your backup quarterback is tougher. The Rams are at home, and Marc Bulger might be the most underrated player in the NFL. Give the points, the Rams win.
Rams 24 - 16
Miami @ Chicago -13.5 - Twice this season the Bears have been huge favorites, and both time I took the points. I lost both times. Never to be made a fool of three times, I have learned my lesson. The Bears are tough. The Bears in Chicago against lousy teams is unbeatable, no matter the spread. It was 41-0 Chicago at halftm last week, and it could get there again. Joey Harrington stinks up Soldier Field and the Bears get another easy win before next week's showdown in New York. Give the points.
Bears 31 - 10
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay +1.5 - I just want to say I love what the Saints have going on. They are going to be a very good team....Next Year. This year, they dashed out to that 5-1 record, but they aren't going to sneak up on anyone anymore. The Ravens showed the Saints for what they are, and Drew Brees is prone to make bad decisions. To top it off, Reggie Bush is dinged up. The Bucs have been playing tough behind rookie Bruce Gradkowski and I don't think that stops this weekend. Ronde Barber is licking his chops for this one, and Brees will offer one up. I like the Bucs by a field goal, hopefully a little shorter than 62 yards.
Buccaneers 16 - 13
Tennessee +9.5 @ Jacksonville - Is there a harder team to figure out than the Jags??? Ok, maybe the team they beat last week, the Eagles, but the Jags are right there. Now in the throws of a full-fledged quarterback controversy, the Jags return hom to face an improving Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans. Jeff Fisher once again has his team playing hard and if the Texans prived anything it's that the Jags plpay up or down to their competition. This one is going to be a dog-fight, but I'll lean towards the Jags, but take the points and run.
Jaguars 13 - 7
Atlanta -5.5 @ Detroit - I must admit, I looked twince at this game. The Falcons are coming off of two emotional wins, and let's face it, Atlanta doesn't have the greatest of reputations when it comes to showing up each and every week. Maybe I am drinking the kool-aid, but I really like what I have seen from Mike Vick, and the Falcons defense is doing just enough. The Lions are a mess, and just don;t have an answer for Vick. Give the points, Falcons easily.
Cincinnati @ Baltimore -3.5 - I am not a fan of either team, and I think Cincinnati is the most overrated, overhyped team in the league. Maybe another loss will help that out. The Ravens looked great in new Orleans last week, but will need to put twi good games together to totally win me over. Ocho Cinco has shaved his mo-hawk, wonder what's next. Give the points, the Ravens D makes it tough on Carson Palmers.
Ravens 20 - 14
Dallas @ Washington +3.5 - This is my bookie special. Dallas is everyones favorite team again after the make-out seesion on the sidelines on Sunday Night. I'll admit, the Cowboys were impressive over-coming at 14 point deficit on the road, and this isn't Carolina, and even though the Redskins have struggled this year they are still very tough to beat at home. Joe Gibbs has had 2 weeks to prepare for this gaem, and the Cowboys got rolled by the 'Skins last season in Washington. Tony Romo is going to need to make plays, and I just don;t think he gets it done. Overtime isn't out of the question, and I like the Skins to come up big. Take the points.
Redskins 23 - 20
Green Bay +3.5 @ Buffalo - Favre actually has the Pack playing decent football, and if he can avoid giving the ball to the other team he can still get it done. The Bills are in the midst of their annual mid-season swoon and it continues this week. Look for alot of points, and alot of sloppy play. Take the points and the Pack win.
Packers 28 - 20
Houston @ NY Giants -13.5 - The Giants are playing as well as anyone in the NFL right now, and get the perfect type of game to prepare for the Bears next week. Houston comes in playing better, but there have to be questions about David Carr's confidence after getting benched last week. Not a good combination on the road against Strahan and Co. I like the Giants, LARGE
Giants 31 - 14
Minnesota @ San Francisco +6.5 - Man, was it me, or were the Vikings exposed as the frauds they are last week. The Patriots could have won that game 50-7. Now the Vikings have to fy cross country for the second time in three weeks to play the 49'ers. San Fran is coming off a tough loss of it's own in Chicago, but this team plays a bit differently at home. I'll gladly take the points, but go one step further and take the Niner's to win straight up.
49'ers 24 - 23
Cleveland +12.5 @ San Diego - The Browns got back in the win column last week after making the change at O-Corrdinator, and now have to travel to San Diego. The Chargers will be without Shawne Merriman, who starts his 4-game suspension. It shouldn't matter much, but it's a game like this that Marty always seems to have trouble with. Just give the ball to L.T. 30 times and all should be well, but it never seems to be that easy for S.D. For that reason, I'll take the points, but Kellen Winslow needs to keep his mouth shut.
Charger 27 - 23
Denver +2.5 @ Pittsburgh - After getting torched by Peyton Manning last week, the Broncos Defense heads to Pittsburgh to face a beaten and bettered Steeler offense that is officially in desperation mode. Sure, I called the Raiders beating the Steelers last week, but that was on the road. The Steerlers still have the ability to throw 45 on a team in Pittsburgh, and the crowd is going to be amped up for this one. The Broncos finally got going a bit on offense, and if they can protect the ball for the first 10 minutes, and weather the storm, and just make it a football game, I think they have the edge. Another tough, hard-nosed gaem that comes down to the end, but one the Broncos find a way to win.
Broncos 17 - 10
Indianapolis @ New England -2.5 - Can the Colts do it again. After beating the Broncos in the final seconds on the road last week, can they head to New England and do it again? I don't think so. After struggling with a new group of receivers earlier in the year, Tom Brady is as effective and methodical as ever. What everyone seems to forget is that the Patriots D was decimated by injuries last season when teh Colts beat them. Not this year. Rodney harrison is back, Tedy Bruschi looks as good as ever, and the defense is simply stopping people. Another Brady/Manning classic goes to Belichick.
Patriots 27 - Colts 24
Oakland @ Seattle -8.5 - Ok, so I am currently looking for something to do on Monday Night. Maybe there is a knitting circle I can join. Can anything be further from a classic Brady Vs. Manning Sunday Night matchup than an Andrew Walter Vs. Seneca Wallace Monday Night affair? Aye, Yi, Yi! Well, since they're not allowed to skip it, I have to talk about it. The Raiders have won 2 straight and are playing some decent defense. On the other side, Seneca Wallace actually played pretty well in K.C. last Sunday. The Seahwaks were embarrassed at home 2 weeks ago and will be looking for a little redeption. I like the 'Hawks to get it done, give the points.
Seahawks 23 - 14