Eagles @ Bills
I’m sure this is the redemption game Michael Vick and the Eagles are looking for right now. The Bills are obviously one of the tougher teams in the league in the young season but they’ve been exposed for having a vulnerable defense and a moody offense when pressured something that doesn’t add up particularly well against an Eagles team that isn’t playing like complete shit. I have a feeling the Eagles get it together this week and win on the road.
Titans @ Steelers
The Titans are the trendy pick to upset the Steelers and they certainly can with their surprising offense thanks to Hasselbeck’s resurrection and a stout defense. Still, the Steelers are tough at home and the defense might grind the surprising Titans to a halt. Arian Foster showed that they can be run on but Chris Johnson has not looked as explosive as Foster did last week so unless he does show up, it’ll be a wrap for the home team.
Chiefs @ Colts
Colts were very close to winning on the road against fairly decent Bucs team on Monday night. They’ve given better teams fits but have come up empty in four tries. The Chiefs finally broke through last week but it was flukey and it was at home. The Colts are going to come out with a more comfortable offensive game and outlast the Chiefs at home. They’re due.
Cardinals @ Vikings
The Cards are a one dimensional team that throws the ball better than they do anything else. The Vikings are a one dimensional team that runs the ball better than it does anything else. But the Vikings are at home. Therefore they win. Yawn.
Raiders @ Texans
I was already picking the Raiders in this game. Partly because they are primed to bounce back from a whippin’ by the Patriots that put everything back into perspective for them and partly because I’m a homer and I love my team. That was before Al Davis died this weekend. There are events that galvanize teams and define them and there are events that break them down. I do believe this is the former variety and the emotions are going to turn this team into the bully it needs to be in order to take down the very tough Texans in their home building. Count it.
Saints @ Panthers
Cam will keep it close and interesting at times but the Saints are quietly looking like the favorites to challenge the Pack for the NFC. Or maybe not so quietly. I don’t know, they’re going to win here on the road.
Bengals @ Jags
The Jags are now showing their true growing pains and the Bengals are continuing to be a surprising team with excellent defense and a young but surprisingly not bad offense. The Bengals are simply going to smother the Jags enough to win.
Seahawks @ Giants
Every season, there’s a team that keeps winning and you have a hard time figuring how they’re doing it because they simply don’t look the part. That’s often the Giants (like their Super Bowl year?), strangely enough, but they’re looking like that again. The Seahawks on the other hand? Awful. What a mess you got there, Pete.
Bucs @ Niners
I don’t know about this one. Tampa is a better team, I think and should normally be the favorite here but the Niners, like the Giants, seem to find ways to win. And they keep doing it. We finally see some life out of Gore and Vernon Davis is starting to get involved in the offense. Crabtree might breakout at any moment. The defense is, though shaky in the secondary, can turn the corner at any moment. Somehow they keep winning and Alex Smith is getting more confident. Maybe they’re for real, who knows.
Jets @ Pats
The Jets love to play their rival Pats and play them tough but the Pats have shown an incredibly level of tenacious discipline to coach Belichick’s gameplanning and it has paid off with a pretty good record out the gate in the first quarter of the season. The Jets on the other hand, even defensively, have looked questionable. Not good when Brady and Welker are probably the best QB/WR combo out there.
Chargers @ Broncos
The Chargers are not as good as they have been in recent years but they’re still good enough to beat a team as feeble as the Broncos. The Broncos will play them tough at home but ultimately, they’ll make too many mistakes (Orton will, I mean) and give it up near the end for another narrow defeat over a intensely overmatched opponent.
Packers @ Falcons
The Falcons will play valiantly and I’d like to have had more to say about them but they go toe to toe with the defending champs who look dialed in … like in the most nastiest of ways. Rodgers had 6 combined TDs last week. Has he, maybe, surpassed Brady as top dog in the league now? Pack will continue to roll.
Bears @ Lions
We’ll learn a lot about the Detroit Lions this Monday night. They will either establish themselves as the real deal with a primetime divisional win at home and set the early pace on the wild card (sorry but catching the Packers may be harder than winning the Super Bowl this year)… or they will come out limp and everyone will start doubting them and saying how they’re the same ol Lions and blah blah blah and who knows what the long term effects of that will be. The Bears are definitely the team to make it tough for them. They are still solid defensively, have some big play capability on offense and love to show up for these primetime games with rivals. Still, the Lions get to unwrap their brand new toy Nick Fairley who hasn’t had a chance to play yet and splatter some Megatron all over the Bears secondary. I’m calling the 5-0, yo.