I knew I was in trouble last week, and a couple of ugly games resulted in an 8-8 week. After correctly picking the Steeler romp on Thursday (running my Thursday record to 5-0), I submit the Sunday selctions below....
PITTSBURGH over Cleveland
Steelers still awful, and beating up Bucs is not that great a feat. But, c'mon, Derek Anderson? I'm still reeling after seeing this nobody rally the Browns over my beloved Chiefs last week, and something tells me the Steelers will blitz the crap out of this guy and leave a quivering mass of jelly on the grass by about 11:30 tonight.
Pittsburgh 24 Cleveland 9
KANSAS CITY over Baltimore
Chiefs back home against tough Raven D, but since I'm a believer in Herm, I think they'll find a way to grind out a tough win. After the collapse in Cleveland last week, I just can;t see KC returning to Arrowhead and dropping this one.
Kansas City 19 Baltimore 13
Tennessee over HOUSTON
That's it, I'm finally jumping on the Vince Young bandwagon. This Titan team should be a ton of fun in 2007.
Tennessee 21 Houston 17
CAROLINA over N.Y. Giants
Panthers are another tough team to pick, and losing Jake Delhomme would seem like a recipe for disaster, but I'm banking on Coach Fox to rally around Chris Weinke and put the Giamts away for '06.
Carolina 23 NY Giants 20
CINCINNATI over Oakland
Bengals defense is red hot, and non-existent Oakland O should pose no threat at all. Cincy cruises at home despite having yet another player arrested this week.
Cincinnati 30 Oakland 13
WASHINGTON over Philadelphia
Reverse logic pick, since the whole world is suddenly in love with Jeff Garcia. I look at this and see an Eagle defense which allows a ton of yardage, suffering a letdown after a big win and a short week.
Washington 24 Philadelphia 20
Atlanta over TAMPA BAY
The only reason I would take Atlanta is that the Bucs have become perhaps the worst team in the NFL. Honestly, Jon Gruden, has it come to this? Kicking a field goal on the last play of the game, from within the 5 yd line, just to avoid the shutout? That is pathetic.
Atlanta 27 Tampa Bay 6
Indianapolis over JACKSONVILLE
Can't see Colts losing two in a row, despite facing Jags in Jax. Could be tight, but Manning and Co. will find a way.
Indianapolis 20 Jacksonville 16
DETROIT over Minnesota
Lions showed a little spunk in nearly knocking off Pats in Foxboro last week, while Vikes continue the downward slide.
Detroit 24 Minnesota 14
New England over MIAMI
Pats just do not look like one of the elite teams any more, but should still find a way to rattle and smack around Joey Harringotn. Dolphins without Ronnie Brown, which negates ground attack.
New England 28 Miami 10
SAN FRANCISCO over Green Bay
Always like the Niners better at home, while the Pack have played about one good quarter in the last two weeks. If Alex Smith can keep down the turnovers, San Fran could romp.
San Francisco 31 Green Bay 17
Seattle over ARIZONA
Hawks had no business winning in Mile High last week, and nearly blew it, so let's assume that was a wake up call which will prevent the Cardinals from pulling off an upset here.
Seattle 27 Arizona 14
N.Y. JETS over Buffalo
Perfect chance for a letdown here, as the expectations are going up, but it seems that Coach Mangini will not allow that to happen. Jets won't romp, but should be able to pick up a solid win against the resilient Bills.
N.Y. Jets 20 Buffalo 17
SAN DIEGO over Denver
Mr. Cutler, meet Mr. Merriman. Bolts are cruising to division title, while Broncos appear to have mailed in the season. Absolutely no way in hell Denver wins here. Book it.
San Diego 24 Denver 10
New Orleans over DALLAS
..and here is where the suddenly lofty expectations take a hit. Everyone loves the Cowboys now, and are openly speculating who they will meet in the NFC title game. Not so fast - Drew Brees and Reggie Bush can generate offense in a hurry, and despite defense lapses, could win a shootout in Big D.
New Orleans 34 Dallas 31
Chicago over ST. LOUIS
Here's my gameplan for Lovie Smith this week: on offense, kneel three times, then punt. Your defense should score more than enough points to take you to 11-2. Rams are in disarray, and offensive line will take a beating against this defense. Only a few untimely Rex Grossman mistakes will keep this one close.
Chicago 17 St. Louis 6
Last week: 8-8
Season total: 119-73 (61.9%)