Ahh yes, the relaxing feeling of the BYE Week. Looks like I'll be able to enjoy some football, though my wife will be on pins and needles watching her Patriots. No BYE for the Guru, though, as picks still need to be made, and the after last week the season is starting to turn around for me. Here we go -
LAST WEEK - Straight 9-5
OVERALL - Straight 29-17(.586)
San Francisco @ Kansas City -7 1/2 - That's a lot of points. K.C. is still going to battle with their #2 quarterback, and the 49'ers have played well so far this season, having scored a ton of points already. I am putting my faith in the Chiefs defense, and with two weeks to prepare thing Huard and Johnson will do enough offensively to put some points on the board. I am counting on a defensive or special teams TD to put me over the top. Give the points, I like the Chiefs to win big for their 1st W.
Chiefs 30 - 17
Miami @ Houston +4 1/2 - Every team in the NFL is going to win at some point. For the Houston Texans it's going to come this weekend, when they welcome in the disappointing Miami Dolphins. Daunte Culpepper continued to struggle in barely getting past the Titans last weekend at home, and on the road, against a Texan team that can score some points, is a recipe for disaster. I think the Dolphins are going to be a good team under Nick Saban, but they simply put too much faith in a QB coming off major knee surgery, who probably isn't as good as Cris Carter and Randy Moss made him look to be. I'll take the points, and take the Texans to win straight up.
Texans 28 - 24
Dallas @ Tennessee +9 1/2 - My dis-taste for T.O. has now branched out to any team that employs him. I have always considered Parcells an over-rated coach, and the way he acted during that press conference the other day was a disgrace. That said, with everything that has gone down the past week it is hard for me to fathom that the Cowboys will be ready to be 10 points better than anyone on the road. They'll get the win, but the Titans will play them tough. Take the points...
Cowboys 24 - 17
Indianapolis -9 1/2 @ NY Jets - For the second time in 4 weeks the Colts travel to the Meadowlands, this time to face the surprising 2-1 Jets. A possible playoff preview?? Ummm, not quite. Kudos go out to Eric Mangini, who has done an excellent job getting a bad team to be competitive, and to Chad Pennington who was written off by most fans and media alike. This game will be a wake up call, however, becuase the Jets just don't play very good defense. 10 points is alot to give a home team, but in this case it seems pretty comfortable. A lot of big plays for the Colts, and an easy win, give the points.
Colts 30 - 10
Minnesota @ Buffalo -1 1/2 - Buffalo dominated the Jets last weekend as Willis McGahee ran for over 150 yards, while J.P Losman threw for over 300. The result? A big, fat loss. The Vikings did a little giving of their own last week at home against the Bears. This is going to be a tough, old-fashioned football game, and the elements could be a factor. The Bills defense can play and the offense is starting to come around. The spread shows this as a pick 'em game, and when that happens I like the home team more times than not. Bills get a big win.
Bills 14 - 10
San Diego -2 1/2 - Baltimore - Talk about must-see TV. My Sunday Ticket will be changing back and forth between the Bengals/Pats and Chargers/Ravens. Both these teams have played some dominating defense, though the Ravens did give up some big plays last weekend in Cleveland. Shawn Merriman may be a better Ray Lewis than Ray-Ray himself, and this game might be a true passing of the torch from Lewis to Merriman. Philip Rivers has yet to really be tested, but when you have #21 lining up behind ya it has to feel pretty good. It a tough, hard nosed game, I like the Chargers to make more plays on offense than the Ravens, and to come back with a big road win. Give the field goal to Baltimore, SD won't need it.
Chargers 17 - 13
New Orleans +6 1/2 - Carolina - As bad as 2005 was for the New Orleans Saints they managed to win 3 football games. One of those games came against the Panthers in Raleigh. Can lighning strike twice? I was all over the Saints beating the Falcons last week in the emotional return to the Superdome. There is only so much emotion to spread around and the Saints are do for a bit of a hangover, and this week against a Panther team that needs this game alot more than the Saints seems like the perfect time. Another call out to Elias Sports Bureau for the last time a 3-0 team was a TD dog to a 1-2 team. Way too many points, and the Saints are alot better than alot of peple think. I like the Panthers to win, but I'll take those points...all the way to the bank.
Panthers 24 - 21
Arizona @ Atlanta -7 1/2 - I had this one pegged in the pre-season. The Cardinals have some nice pieces, but that offensive line is, well, offensive frankly, and the defense still gives up way too many big plays. The Cardinals had no business losing to the Rams last week, and the clock is ticking on Kurt Warner. If he gets off to a slow start in this game don't be surprised to see Matt Leinart by half-time. As for the Falcons, who could blame them for being a bit cranky for playing the part of teh bad guy in the beautiful story of the New Orleans Saints. Now they get to take it all out on the Cards, and the results could get ugly. Give the points, the Falcons won't need them.
Falcons 27 - 14
Detroit +5 1/2 @ St. Louis - Mike Martz returns to St. Louis, this time as the O-Coordinator of the putrid Lions to face a Rams team that stole one in Arizona last week. AS we know around here at the MHR the Rams play pretty tough at home. They haven't scored a TD at home, though, and that pressure may have them start to press. Martz is goiong to have something up his sleeve and I really think the Lions are going to play hard for Martz and Head Coach Rod Marinelli. The Rams will win, but I think I'll take the points.
Rams 24 - 20
Cleveland -2 1/2 @ Oakland - One team is bad, but plays and tries really hard. The other, eeekh! The Raiders are just a mess. Their owner shows up everywhere in a sweatsuit. The O-Coordinator was running a bed and breakfast 4 months ago. Their starting QB is making his first start, EVER, and their star player is pissed. Who do you think is going to win? The Browns are a better team than they were last year, and the Raiders are worse, and the Browns still beat them in Oakland in '05. Charlie Frye won a lot of fans over with his gutsy performance against Baltimore last week, and the Browns offense showed signs of life with several big plays. They should have won last week, they will win this week. Give the points, take the Browns.
Browns 13 - 9
Jacksonville -2 1/2 @ Washington - Right about now Joe Gibbs has to be wondering what the hell is got himself into. The Redskins are lousy, they can't score any points, their QB is over the hill, the defense is full over overpaid, under performing vets, and a loss to the Jags and their season could be over. The Jags can't be happy in their own right. Jack Del Rio's bunch reminded all of us why they don't get any respect, going to Indy, playing the perfect gameplan, and still losing by 7 to the Colts. If the Jags are ever going to get the respect they desire they are going to need to start winning big raod games, They can get that started this Sunday with a win over the Redskins. Though I don;t think the Redskins are a very good team, Fed Ex Field is a touogh place to play, and to win there the Jags are going to have to play well. It won't be pretty, and it won't be easy, but the Jags get it done. Give the points.
Jags 17 - 13
New England @ Cincinnati -6 1/2 - The Patriots have not last back to back regualr season games in over 3 years, a span of 56 games. This game reminds me of last year when the Patriots were struggling and went on the road to Atlanta, beating the Falcons in the dome, and getting their season untracked. Can the same happen? All good things come to an end, and the Patriots just don;t have the offesnive firepower to keep up with Carson Palmer and the Bengals. The Bengals proved their mettle last week, getting dominated for 3 quarters before scoring on back to back plays after turnovers to beat the Steelers. The Pats' will play hard, and keep it close for a while, but the Benglas will pull away and cover rather easily, give the points.
Bengals 28 - 17
Seattle +3 1/2 @ Chicago - This game looked like a classic, until Shaun Alexander came up lame with a broken bone in his foot, and even though the power of prayer seemingly healed the injury it didn't change Mike Holmgren's mind, and Alexander will sit. Even without the reigning MVP, the Seahawks have a lot of weapons, and this game could really boost the confidence of the team if they can go in and knock off the Bears. Rex Grossman did not play well last week for the Bears, but when it counted made the big play to get the go ahead TD. Both teams are 3-0 and this game could go a long way towards deciding home-field advantage in the playoffs. With Alexander, I think the Seahawks win, without him, they fall just short. OT wouldn't be a surprise, but I like the Bears, take the points.
Bears 20 - 17
Green Bay @ Philadelphia -10 1/2 - The Monday Night affair brings us the latest chaptor in the Brett Favre saga, and it may be unwatchable. Philly rebounded from the collapse against the Giants to throttle the 49'ers, while Brett looked great in Detroit, getting the Packers their first win of the year. I'll make it short and sweet...The Eagles were embarrassed on their own field by how that game against the Giants went down. They now get to make amends on their home field, in front of their home fans, against a bad football team, and this time the Eagles won't lift off the accelerator. Favre doesn't play well from behind, and the turnover carousel will be in full motion. Give the points, Eagles win easaily.
Eagles 31 - 10