Tampa Bay Bucs (+3) at Denver Broncos
I like the Bucs here because I hate that Broncos defense. I’m not sure how you can lose to team like Kansas City and still hold your head high. When you lose to KC, you should lower your head in shame for an entire week. But, the Broncos offense is just filthy. Jay Cutler looks like he is good at football and he’s got two nice WR’s to throw to in Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall. But, the Bucs are playing better defense these days and looked good last week against the Packers. The pick: Tampa Bay.
New England Patriots (-3) at San Francisco 49ers
I’m going to shock the world and take the Niners. New England just isn’t the same with Matt Cassel in there. I don’t like picking against Belichick with two weeks to prepare, but I also don’t like teams with shaky QB play and an old defense. The 49ers on the other hand, while still not very good, are better than we thought they would be with J.T. O’Sullivan. I think the Niners give the Pats a healthy dose of Frank Gore. The pick: 49ers.
Buffalo Bills (+1) at Arizona Cardinals
The 4-0 Bills just continue to win. Their defense is much better this year with guys like Marcus Stroud and Donte Whitner. Marshawn Lynch and Trent Edwards are coming into their own (Lynch was already in his own. Can you be in your own?) on offense and who doesn’t love a good running game to compliment a stout D? I’m still hesitant to ever pick the Cardinals to win so much as a game of Gin. Kurt Warner was the first guy in NFL history to look miserable while throwing for 472 yards last week. And, they could be sans Anquan Boldin. Or if he does play, he could be one play away from scrambled eggs. The pick: Bills.
Cincinnati Bengals (+17) at Dallas Cowboys
Wow, that’s a ton of points. Bengals QB Carson Palmer says he’s going to play, but for how long? The offensive line can’t block anyone anyway and that’s the main reason the whole offense stinks. If Ryan Fitzpatrick plays, then the Cowboys will easily cover this 17 points. That, and the fact that the Cowboys are super pissed about losing at home last week to the Redskins. I have a feeling that the Bengals are going to find out who Felix Jones is this week. Despite playing the Giants tough two weeks ago, the Bengals will take it bad this week. But by how much? I think they can cover as long as Palmer stays in. The pick: Bengals.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+4) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Boy, the Steelers are really beat up. Their offensive line has been bad and they are without their top two running backs in Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall (IR). Big Ben has been asking to go to the no-huddle offense this week and I think that might be a good idea. Bruce Arians is going to have to get creative (something most Steelers fans don’t think is achievable) to hide his deficiencies on offense. The Jags on the other hand, have started to find themselves a bit. If John Henderson and Derrick Harvey (he starts now) can get to Big Ben, it will be over quickly. If not, the Steelers will cover. I think it will be tough, but they can do it. The pick: Steelers.
Minnesota Vikings (+3) at New Orleans Saints
It’s tough to pick the Vikings when their coach is so stupid. I’m convinced that he was propped up by Andy Reid when he was the offensive coordinator in Philly. Maybe this guy is a competent offensive coordinator, but he’s no head coach. The Saints, however, have one of the best QB’s in football. Imagine if this guy had a defense or someone to throw to (no Shockey or Colston right now). The Vikings will try to keep the game close with a nasty defense and equally nasty running game. Still, the Saints are too much. The pick: Saints.