Mike Tomlin to Ike Taylor: “Either bump that motherfucker off his route or I will crush your head as penance.” No wonder they shut out the Seahawks two weeks ago. 6-7 last week, 47-42 on the season. Home teams in CAPS.
Ravens (-3.5) over BILLS – If it were somewhere around a touchdown, I’d take Buffalo. But the Ravens’ offense will get close enough for Matt Stover to kick a ton of field goals.
GIANTS (-10.5) over 49ers – Trent Difler running an offense still means no offense in San Francisco right now, and Eli to Plaxico is straight cash right now.
Patriots (-17.5) over DOLPHINS – The only team to give a push on the Pats is Cleveland. I don’t see the Dolphins beating the spread against them, given Coach Hobo’s getting in touch with his inner Spurrier.
Titans (-1.5) over TEXANS – Dependent upon how well Vince Young can play, but he will be playing in this game, and so you have to give what’s basically a pick to Tennessee.
Buccaneers (+1.5) over LIONS – The Lions’ explosive offense goes up against a very competent defense, and when they face good defense (see Washington), they go down.
SAINTS (-7.5) over Falcons – Growing pains with the Byron Leftwich era are inevitable despite what has been a lousy Saints defense.
REDSKINS (-7.5) over Cardinals – Having to start Tim Rattay can only end badly.
Chiefs (+2.5) over RAIDERS – The Raiders don’t defend the run as well as they did last year — please see Tomlinson’s 4 TD performance last week. Larry Johnson should be able to build on last week’s 100+ yard performance.
Jets (+6.5) over BENGALS – I don’t care how much Chad Pennington’s arm is held together by glue, duct tape, and bubble gum right now. The Bengals are sinking horribly. Cincy will likely win, but not by more than 6.
COWBOYS (-9.5) over Vikings – The Bears’ defense was decimated. The Cowboys isn’t, at least up front. The secondary is going through the injury bug, but the front seven should be able to keep Adrian Peterson to his usual 100+, which would likely be a victory, and you can’t trust Tarvaris Jackson to throw it much.
EAGLES (-4.5) over Bears – Just as long as they don’t kick it to Devin Hester. Philly’s O-line isn’t helping McNabb a whole lot, but Chicago’s defense is so broken right now that dump passes off to Westbrook should break the game open.
SEAHAWKS (-9.5) over Rams – At least the Saints winning last week can be explained due to something called “talent.” All the Rams’ talent is hurt save Torry Holt, and there’s no offensive line to keep Gus Frerotte standing up to throw it to him.
Steelers (-3.5) over BRONCOS – I’m sure I invite bad karma by picking against the favorite team, but I don’t see where the Broncos’ problems in the red zone and their inability to stop the run end right now. Maybe next week with Green Bay, but not with a serious AFC power coming through town.
JAGUARS (+3.5) over Colts – Home game in Jacksonville (Colts get played tough by AFC South teams on the road). I think Bob Sanders is out again, which means Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew will be able to run all over the place, plus the Jag defense can rush the passer big time. Not sure whether to call an upset yet, but this will be a very, very close one.
Photo: AP/Keith Snakocic