Bucs 20 Cowboys 16: No Tony Romo, no problem…for the Bucs. I think that the Cowboys are better if Romo is in there, as do many others, but the Bucs are no slouch either.
Redskins 31 Lions 20: The Lions are a terrible, terrible organization. But the Redskins have not played well the past two weeks. Either that or they ran into consecutive teams that were a little better than we thought (Rams, Browns). The Redskins I saw dominated the Eagles in every aspect of the game after falling down 14-0 early. I still think the Redskins are good, teams may be figuring out Jim Zorn’s strategy a little maybe.
Bills 23 Dolphins 20: The Bills are pretty good, I still am not sure how good though. A good win last week, but the Chargers are underachieving so far. I do however know that they are better than the Dolphins. It should be somewhat competitive, but the Dolphins seem like a team that will lose close games this year because they just aren’t good enough. At least, unlike last year, they have a QB that is worthy of playing time, even though he lacks arm strength. But we all know at this point that arm strength is not as important as smarts.
Patriots 27 Rams 17: I am definitely not sold on the Rams being good. Maybe Haslett has given the team some life, I don’t know. And I am still unsure about the Patriots too, but the game in is New England and I do think they are better. Matt Cassell also showed that maybe he isn’t a horrendous starting QB. The jury is out a few more weeks.
Chargers 30 Saints 24: Have in London, boys. Saints don’t have Reggie Bush which means the running backs should stay between the tackles a little more. The Chargers are better, and both teams need this game.
Jets 24 Chiefs 13: The Jets are not that great, but the Chiefs are bad, and Larry Johnson-less. The Chiefs just need to continue to rebuild, and if that means trading Larry Johnson in the offseason, then do it. Johnson has become a distraction on a bad team, and has taken a pounding from the running back position. I would trade him while he still has value.
Eagles 28 Falcons 20: Obviously, the Falcons are better than everyone thought. But the Eagles are getting healthy, and they are at home. I agree with what the analysts are saying, Matt Ryan may be in for a long day with all the blitzing that Jim Johnson does. But the Falcons should still keep the game within reach, partially because the Eagles don’t know how to put opponents away.
Raiders 19 Ravens 16: The Ravens may end up blowing out the Raiders. But the Ravens are not that good. The Ravens come off to me as an 8-9 team (3-3 currently). They can stay tight with some good teams, but will probably lose those games. And they can beat some bad teams. I just feel an upset this week.
Panthers 31 Cardinals 21: Cardinals throw the ball well. The Panthers are the more complete team. That being said, Arizona is far from a pushover, and the best team in the worst divsion that we have seen in a while.
Jaguars 27 Browns 19: The Browns are finally playing better but the division is finished. The Jaguars feel more like a 10-win team, but still better than the Browns are.
Texans 33 Bengals 24; Texans are better than the Bengals. And I really hope, for the sake of the organization, that the Bengals get rid of Chad Johnson after the season.
Giants 26 Steelers 23: The best game of the week. The Giants are good, but this is their most difficult task thus far. They will blitz, they will pound the ball, they can throw the ball. Pretty solid team, but after all they did win the Super Bowl last season. The Steelers are good too, but how doo are they? I don’t know that they are better than the Giants. The game is in Pitt, so that will help the Steelers, but I think the Giants win a squeaker. But being in the same division as the Giants, I am wanting to see the Steelers prove this pick wrong. And I would be lying if I didn’t want to see them throw a few exclamation points on at the end.
49ers 20 Seahawks 17: Two bad teams.
Colts 19 Titans 17: Peyton Manning goes conservative ala the Ravens-Colts 2006 divisional playoff. The Titans are better but I believe this is a close game, and the Colts show everyone that they are still a contender. More a mild contender than in the past, but hey, the Titans have to lose to someone, right?