Last week was another one of those crazy ones, and this week could also go that way as well. It just goes to show how much parity there is in the league, that a team like St. Louis can blow out a team like Houston when their defense had played so well just a couple of weeks ago. Carolina took it to Minnesota, and Pittsburgh easily took care of the Jets in New Jersey. The more we know, the more we have to know, but I’m still here making picks for the week. I did have a positive record just barely on last week. That should be better this week, even with all the uncertainty.
Seattle @ Arizona – It has been proven that Seattle is a different team on the road, and they didn’t even look like themselves at home in barely beating Tennessee last week. They head to the desert and I am sensing an upset this week. Palmer and Fitzgerald are coming off a good game, and I say they keep it going against Seattle. The game will be close, but in the end Arizona takes it. Pick – Arizona.
Tampa Bay @ Atlanta – I’ve said it, and I’ll say it again. Atlanta just doesn’t look good this year, and they’ve lost Julio Jones for the rest of the season with a foot issue. But I say Harry Douglas steps up, Roddy White wakes up, and Tony Gonzalez has a monster game. Atlanta is coming off the bye, they’re coming off of a three-game losing streak, two of those games at home. They’re hungry for a win and they get one this week and keep the Bucs winless on the year. Pick – Atlanta.
Cincinnati @ Detroit – I think Cincinnati learned something from that game at Buffalo last week, and that’s that their defense has to play a solid four quarters. They do that in Detroit and keep Matthew Stafford out of sorts. I’m predicting at least two turnovers leading to points for the Bengals, and they keep their road win streak going. Pick – Cincinnati.
Buffalo @ Miami – This game comes down to Reggie Bush, and I say he does a great job against that Buffalo defense. Will we see Matt Flynn make his Buffalo debut? I don’t know, but I don’t think it matters, because this week, at home, I think Tannehill will get all his weapons in order, Bush has a monster day on the ground and through the air, and Miami wins going away. Pick – Miami.
New England @ Jets – Traditionally New England plays a lot better in their second game against the Jets, and this could be the game when Gronkowski comes back and makes his first impressions upon this season. Even if you can’t count on him, though, I think Brady showed why he’s Brady at the end of the game against New Orleans, and he will find a way to win, with Dobson, with Thompkins, with Edelman, and with Hoomane… whatever his name is. It won’t even be as close as the first one. Pick – New England.
Dallas @ Philadelphia – Inexplicably the Eagles just have not played well at home this year, but a trip to town from the Cowboys is just what the doctor ordered. Foles should start this game, and the offensive line has protected well throughout the year to this point. When given time, Foles has proven he can direct this offense. While the defense will give up its points, they did play better against Tampa Bay last week, and I think it continues here. Romo throws at least one interception and the Eagles capitalize on it. It will be a close game, but Philadelphia wins it at home. Pick – Philadelphia.
Chicago @ Washington – Be careful. RGIII is looking more and more like himself lately, and sooner rather than later he will have a breakout game. I just doubt it’s this one. The Bears D is looking to avenge its poor showing against the Giants’ running game, and they will throw a lot of different looks at the Redskins’ quarterback. It will keep him just enough off balance, Jay Cutler will thoroughly expose that horrible Washington defense, and the Bears win another one against the NFC East, this time in the nation’s capital. Pick – Chicago.
St. Louis @ Carolina – Speaking of looking like his old self, how about Cam Netwon last week against the Vikings? But don’t pay too much attention to the opponent because it looks to me like Cam Newton is about to go on a run. What a way to keep it going against St. Louis, who has looked good the past two weeks even without a running game, but those games were against Jacksonville and a Houston team that just looks horrendous lately. Carolina is on fire, Tolbert will score, and Newton has his first back-to-back gems of the season. Pick – Carolina.
San Diego @ Jacksonville – The Jaguars won’t go winless this season. Just look at the past couple of games, since Blackmon’s been back, and you can see how they might win a game or two at some point this season… as long as Chad Henne is under center. Without Gabbert at quarterback the Jaguars are a decidedly better team. And Maurice Jones-Drew will resurrect himself at some point this season. Plus, San Diego’s been back and forth all season, playing a lackluster game at Oakland, but then thoroughly defeating an Indianapolis team that had come in hot. They still have enough to beat Jacksonville this week. Pick – San Diego.
San Francisco @ Tennessee – Tennessee hasn’t looked too bad this season, even with Ryan Fitzpatrick playing the quarterback position over the past two games. But whomever plays quarterback for the Titans this week, they need a running game, something Chris Johnson hasn’t provided, and something San Francisco is pretty good at stopping. This is not the time to jump on a Tennessee bandwagon, if there ever was such a time. This is the time to admit that San Francisco is the better team, even if they don’t let Kaepernick dominate like he could. Gore has a solid rushing effort, and the 9ers win. Pick – San Francisco.
Cleveland @ Green Bay – All I have to say is Brandon Weeden. The win streak is history, and now it’s time for the Browns to start a new losing streak. It continues in Green Bay, where even though Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have all of his weapons, he has enough, and he has the 12th man, that crowd at Lambeau. Packers win it big. Pick – Green Bay.
Houston @ Kansas City – T.J. Yates, here we come. And there we go. He came in and promptly threw a pick-six last week, but he’s not as bad as that looked. Sadly, we won’t get the chance to see how good he can be as the Texans are going with Keenum at quarterback this week. At the moment, though, the Houston Texans are in disarray and I don’t see things getting any better against the juggernaut that is the Chiefs’ defense. It is a low-scoring affair, but Kansas City comes out on top at home, where the crowd is louder than most. Pick – Kansas City.
Baltimore @ Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh used to be one of the toughest places for opposing teams to play, particularly when it came to the Baltimore Ravens, but the Ravens have flipped the tables on the Steelers. They come into this one as the defending super bowl champions but more importantly as the team that beat the Steelers twice last season. Flacco is still upset about losing that one to Green Bay last week at home, and will come out focused in this one. Ravens take a wild one on the road and keep the Steelers at one win on the season. Pick – Baltimore.
Denver @ Indianapolis – Indianapolis showed that the trip out west can indeed hurt any team, but it also showed that Andrew Luck can throw clunkers every now and again. That San Diego defense isn’t that good, but it made the Colts look like a pedestrian team. Plus, Richardson needs to play better. He’s carried his bad habits over from the Browns, and that bodes poorly for trying to keep up with the high flying Broncos. Peyton Manning had a bit of an off game against the team he could afford to do that against, but coming back to Indianapolis will be a good homecoming for him. He throws four touchdown passes, and the Broncos keep rolling toward an undefeated season. Pick – Denver.
Minnesota @ Giants – Wow, this one looked really good before the season began, didn’t it? But of course now these two teams have a grand total of one win between them, Eli has thrown 15 interceptions already, and they both just look listless. Who phones it in, and who decides they want to make a statement out of this game? Many are picking the Giants to finally win a game, and I’m feeling the same way. Eli can’t possibly throw another three interceptions against this Vikings team, can he? I don’t even like having to pick a winner here, but I’m doing it anyway. Pick – Giants (under duress).