Niners @ Lions
The Niners can be the team to end the run for Detroit. However, the Detroit pass rush is very talented and will harass Smith all day at home. While the Niners have a damned good defense in the front, their secondary leaves a lot to be desired. Expect Megatron to highlight that often.
Colts @ Bengals
I learned my lesson. I’m not picking the Colts to win anything again as they’ve managed to lose to the (other) worst teams in the NFL with freakishly frustrating 2nd half meltdowns. The Bengals are not one of the worst teams in the NFL (surprisingly enough, eh?) and should win this game handily with a solid rushing performance from Benson, enough offense from Dalton and a stifling defense.
Bills @ Giants
One of the games of the week. It has a 50% pick distribution in my pool and it’s easy to see why. The Bills are rolling and the Giants are coming off a game they should not have lost and going home. The Giants did not run the ball well last week and that’s one of their strengths. As McFadden and others have shown, the Bills can be run on. The boys from upstate are looking good this year but a letdown is imminent and I think it comes this week as the Giants balance out their play enough to make it happen.
Eagles @ Redskins
They’ve been burning me all year but I think the Eagles finally breakthrough. They’re under heavy fire, falling behind the pace in their division and look like the worst “dream team” ever. Vick and McCoy can will this team to victory but the defense must keep the Skins off the scoreboard (which isn’t too hard, really). It’s a tough game to call for Philly because of how they’ve played and how tough it is to play in the nation’s capitol but I’m going with my gut.
Jags @ Steelers
Don’t be fooled here. Sure, the Steelers are going to win the game at home but this won’t be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. Sort of like the Bengals (but decidedly not as good), the Jags have surprised everyone by not being as bad as expected because they stop the run very well. Mendenhall might not get it going but with the way Big Ben is playing, it might not matter. Gabbert is going to get dinged a few times, me thinks, too.
Rams @ Packers
I love Steven Jackson but claiming the Rams are going to march into Lambeau after stinking up the whole season up to this point and win is a bit much. A-Rod needs to literally stay at home today and they’d still not have a chance. There are teams that can go into Lambeau right now and maybe beat the Pack but the Rams are not that team.
Panthers @ Falcons
I’m going with the Panthers. Cam Newton has kept them close all year long and that was good for a lot of big winnings if you’re betting the line seeing as how the Panthers are a weekly cover with Newton under center. This weekend, that won’t matter because the Panthers are going to go into the A and win it outright. The Falcons are overrated, slipping in the division and have a very weak secondary. Cam is from Atlanta, has shredded nearly every secondary he’s faced, is only getting better and they’re due. Hmm
Texans @ Ravens
One of the tougher calls this weekend, I’m going with the favorite anyway. The Ravens are coming off a bye and have had plenty of time to prepare for the hobbled Texans. Losing Mario Williams for the year is going to hurt a lot but they might very well still win the division on one leg. That won’t help this weekend. Ravens have too many weapons, are too well prepared and have a much better defense than last week’s Raiders. Oh yeah and they’re in B-more.
Browns @ Raiders
The Raiders are coming off of one of the most dramatic, emotional finishes in their own history if not up there with some of the best ever. They’ll need all 11 defensive players against Colt McCoy who loves to chuck the rock. That said, there won’t be much of a letdown this week for the Raiders with what could have been a trap game had the front office not offered two free tickets to every season ticket holder to ensure that the place was sold out for their Al Davis memorial. And it worked because it is. That’s going to keep the momentum going for the Raiders and make it very tough for the Browns to operate especially when they unwrap their brand new toy, Aaron Curry on some tough defensive looks. That and McFadden will run through the Browns weak defense. There’s no question about it, the autumn wind is starting to turn into the cold gale
Cowboys @ Patriots
They’re calling it America’s game! Whaddya know. A lot is being made of how well prepared for Brady the Cowboys are coming off the bye and with Rob Ryan’s expertise on frustrating and limiting the Pats offense on board. Well, that is fine and dandy, really… but the Patriots are tough at home, Belichick prepares for you better than anyone in the game and… Brady is unstoppable when he gets going (and he’s going) and Romo is Romo and that means that he can implode at any given moment and there’s utterly no way to predict when, where, how, or why. Demarcus Ware may very well be the difference in this game but I’m not holding my breath.
Saints @ Bucs
After the dismal performance against the Niners last week, I can’t pick the Bucs. Certainly not against the Saints who have quietly been one of the elite teams in the NFL this year (again). Brees will be as efficient if not more so against the Bucs secondary and put up another big day of points on a defense that’s slipping away.
Vikings @ Bears
Though the Vikes are coming off their first win and are finally starting to show some balance, they run into a rough situation in Chicago with a jilted Bears team looking to rebound. They lost to the Lions effectively putting them in a bad position in the division 3 games back of two teams they’ve already lost to and the blame is entirely theirs (and their offensive line’s). Cutler can’t look any better than he did last Monday. Truthfully, the Vikings can still get after the QB so it might be another long day for Cutler and the Bears but I think they run the ball at Minnesota, pass it effectively enough to outscore the Vikings who will find the Bears D too much to overcome.
Dolphins @ Jets
Might be the most boring Monday Night game this year. The Jets haven’t looked exciting on Offense in over a year and the Phins just lost their QB. Moore to Marshall is a wild card, sometimes we never know what can come out of these sorts of changes but if anything I know about Moore comes to fruition, the Jets’ defense will win this game. And that means we’re done here. My points total for this game (the pool tiebreaker) is 43 which is basically the line in Vegas. Pray for me, chillun’