Last week: 9-7. Season: 17-15. Home teams in CAPS, as usual.
FALCONS (-5.5) over Chiefs – There is absolutely nothing redeemable about Kansas City this year when they are putting their offense in the hands of Tyler Thigpen. KC fans, I’m starting to feel sorry for you. It’s hard to hate a team with the necessary vitriol when it is in such disarray.
Raiders (+9.5) over BILLS – I am not so insane to suggest Oakland will actually win; I just don’t believe Buffalo will win by 10 points. Buffalo may even exceed my pick of them as a Wild Card selection this year.
GIANTS (-13.5) over Bengals – Usually spreads of more than 10 points are fodder for an upset pick, but Cincy is so laughably bad on both offense (surprisingly) and defense (much less so) that it’s a matter of how many touchdowns Plaxico Burress will catch.
Dolphins (+12.5) over PATRIOTS – That’s a Tom Brady spread, not a Matt Cassel spread. I don’t care how lousy the Dolphins are; this is not a Pats team that’s going to beat teams so soundly that they deserve those kinds of spreads.
TITANS (-5.5) over Texans – Tennessee’s defense is just too good up front; they’ll put pressure on Matt Schaub and give the Houston D more doses of LenDale White and Chris Johnson than they can handle.
Buccaneers (+3) over BEARS – This would be a pick game in my mind. I will take Tampa on the road because I think their defense can put a stop to Matt Forte and their receivers are better on the other side of the ball. There is the Brian Griese factor, but since it’s Kyle Orton on the other end, we are talking about game managers on both sides of the ball.
REDSKINS (-3) over Cardinals – We’re talking NFC West team having to play an NFC East team on the road. If Jason Campbell opens up like last week and Clinton Portis is himself, three points will seem conservative. It should be mostly Portis — the Skins need to keep it out of the hands of Kurt Warner and give him fewer opportunities to throw it to either Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin.
Panthers (+3.5) over VIKINGS – You mean to tell me Carolina gets Steve Smith back after digging out some quality wins the first two weeks and they’re an underdog? That’s fucked up.
BRONCOS (-5.5) over Saints – Shootout possibilities abound with poor defensive performances likely on both ends, but Denver has more weapons for Jay Cutler to throw to and the Saints have fewer high-quality defensive players to take advantage of his mistakes.
49ERS (-4) over Lions – Sucky bunch of sucks by the Bay who don’t suck so much after beating the Seahags in Seattle. Thus, they will triumph at Candlestick against the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked that currently reside in the Motor City.
Rams (+9.5) over SEAHAWKS – Again, I’m not picking St. Louis to win, mind you, but if you lose to both Arizona and San Francisco, something about getting a 10-point margin from the bookies reeks. Both offenses are patchwork pieces of crap.
EAGLES (-3.5) over Steelers – Philly plays in a tougher division and this one’s at the Linc. That’s my rationale and I’m sticking to it.
RAVENS (-2.5) over Browns – Baltimore’s defense has looked pretty good, and Cleveland’s offense just hasn’t been able to get on track. When does the clamor for Brady Quinn begin?
Jaguars (+5.5) over COLTS – The way Indy’s offensive line has crumbled does not inspire confidence despite Peyton Manning always having a chance in every game. Also, Bob Sanders is out at safety; expect a healthy dose of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to take advantage of this. I’m willing to call Jags on the road upset right now.
Cowboys (-3) over PACKERS – Dallas is just flat out more explosive, although Aaron Rodgers leading Green Bay to a 3-0 start would not shock me; the Cowboys are loaded for bear talent-wise, and this will be a fun Sunday night game.
Jets (+9) over CHARGERS – Nine points? You’ve got to be shitting me. LaDainian Tomlinson’s toe is giving him issues; Antonio Cromartie is exposed as just as much of a flag artist as his fellow corner Quentin Jammer against the Broncos last week. If “Son of Favraro” Cutler can be so reckless in tearing apart a defense, I think the Original and Best can do enough damage to keep this one close.