St. Louis @ BALTIMORE – Well, the Rams don’t have a solid quarterback. Raise your hand if you think Case Keenum is the answer after abysmal performances by Nick Foles. Didn’t think so. But they do have Todd Gurley, and Baltimore’s defense has had time to prepare for him. Ravens take a tight one. Pick: BALTIMORE.
Washington @ CAROLINA – I like the way Kirk Cousins has played lately, but it hasn’t been against any of the all-world defenses. I just don’t think it matters. The Redskins are rounding into form, even if a lot of people can’t see it, and I think they go into Carolina and shock the world. Pick: WASHINGTON.
Denver @ CHICAGO – Brock Osweiler gets the start, and I liked what I saw from him last week. What I like even more is that he got first team reps every day this week, so things won’t be disjointed. Chicago has played well of late, but the Denver defense will step up and force at least two turnovers, which will be the difference in this one. Pick: DENVER.
Oakland @ DETROIT – The Raiders looked bad in losing last week, but I think that was more of a hiccup than anything else. Their offense has been too good this year to disappear for too long, and I think they come out of hibernation against a poor defense in the Motor City. Pick: OAKLAND.
Indianapolis @ ATLANTA – I don’t trust Atlanta. Matt Ryan just hasn’t been consistent this year, but of course they’re playing a team that has also been maddeningly inconsistent. Hasselbeck is starting in this contest, and he’s perfect on the year, but there is recent tape on him now, and the Falcons will have studied it extensively. Pick: ATLANTA.
Dallas @ MIAMI – Tony Romo is god, or at least in Dallas he seems to be this week. They’re trusting in him to get the Cowboys to the promised land, but no matter how much practice he’s had he hasn’t been in game situations, and rust is inevitable. Miami just took out the Eagles in a close one, and I think they make it 2-for-2 against the NFC East in consecutive weeks. Romo will have to wait another week for a W. Pick: MIAMI.
Tampa Bay @ PHILADELPHIA – Speaking of the NFC East, the Eagles aren’t pleased with the loss in a game where they led by so much early. It won’t happen again, not with Mark Sanchez under center after a full week of first-team reps. The defense will get after and confuse Jameis Winston, and force turnovers. Eagles win at home. Pick: PHILADELPHIA.
NY Jets @ HOUSTON – Yates should discourage me from picking the Texans in this contest, but he looked good in relief of Brian Hoyer against the Bengals on Monday night. And I like him against a Jets defense that doesn’t have a lot of footage of Yates. Just find DeAndre Hopkins, regardless of where Revis is on the field, and it’s all good. I don’t trust Geno Smith to keep up. Pick: HOUSTON.
Kansas City @ SAN DIEGO – You could say that the Chargers have been unlucky, that they keep losing people, and it’s taken a toll. Well, it has, and they have, but this game will be more about Kansas City, a team that’s gotten back its mojo both on offense and defense lately. It continues here, even on the road. Pick: KANSAS CITY.
Green Bay @ MINNESOTA – The consensus is that the Packers will wake up on offense at some point, sooner rather than later, but the team that I saw for most of that game (at home) against Detroit (yes, Detroit) isn’t getting right sooner but later, if at all. And the way Minnesota has looked lately I like them to knock off the Pack and keep their losing streak going. Pick: MINNESOTA.
San Francisco @ SEATTLE – See, I was right about Blaine Gabbert doing just enough to win that game against Atlanta two weeks ago, so what does he do for an encore? Uh, well, even though Seattle hasn’t been quite as unbeatable at home as they have been the past few years, this San Francisco team is still all out of sorts. Blaine Gabbert might be able to expose the Falcons D but he’s not good enough to hang with Seattle, in Seattle. Pick: SEATTLE.
Cincinnati @ ARIZONA – The Cardinals are for real, and the Bengals didn’t just absorb their first loss. They lost a game they never really looked to be in from start to finish. Their offense was out of rhythm, and Playoff Andy showed up. But I think that was the exception, not the rule, and the Bengals show up for this high-profile tilt with the Cards. Bengals take a close one. Pick: CINCINNATI.
Buffalo @ NEW ENGLAND – I would pick against the Patriots every single week if I could get away with it, but I want a high percentage so I can’t afford to do it too often. There was nothing about the Bills last performance against New England that leads me to believe they can dispatch the Patriots, even without Julian Edelman. Pick: NEW ENGLAND.