This past week was another tough one as I finished 7-6-0 and James finished 6-7-0. We're both looking for a bit breakout week coming up to get back into the swing of things. The Colts loss in Cincinnati has pushed me over the to for Colts road games moving forward in 2011. I'll consider them at home, but road games are just a little too difficult to stick with them.
This week features some fairly ugly matchups as a lot of solid teams have a bye this week. The marquee matchups might be either Lions-Falcons or Jets-Chargers. Fingers cross from some decent football. The 49ers have their bye this week, so as it stands I am making mostly objective picks for the coming week, while James gets to make what should be an easy Raiders over Chiefs pick.
David - OAKLAND RAIDERS (-4) over Kansas City Chiefs: On the one hand, Carson Palmer is a HUGE wildcard in this game. He has recovered from Tommy John surgery but has been sitting out for some time, all following struggles in his final few years with the Bengals. On the other hand, these are the Kansas City Chiefs coming in to Oakland. Guess I'm guessing I should not overthink this.
James - OAKLAND RAIDERS (-4) over Kansas City Chiefs: The Raiders are lucky that the first game they play after Jason Campbell suffered a broken collarbone is against the Kansas City Chiefs at home. Regardless of who starts on Sunday, Carson Palmer or Kyle Boller, the Raiders run game and defense should be enough to secure a one touchdown win over the Chiefs at home.
David - Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) over CLEVELAND BROWNS: I have a feeling that Clipboard Jesus is going to burn me as he potentially makes the start for Seattle. But the Seahawks are actually starting to look like a real football team. The Browns battled back against Oakland on the road so really this game could go dramatically either way and not surprise me.
James - CLEVELAND BROWNS (-2.5) over Seattle Seahawks: The Browns are coming off of a road loss to the Oakland Raiders. Despite the tough loss, the Browns stuck in the game and were able to pull within one score of the Raiders by the time it was all over. The Seahawks present a much easier opponent and in Cleveland.
David - Atlanta Falcons (+3.5) over DETROIT Lions: I think Detroit pulls out a tight one and that extra 0.5 makes it a bit easier to take the Falcons to cover. Throw in Detroit likely being without Jahvid Best and having some question marks coming off their loss to the 49ers and I'm sticking with Atlanta.
James - DETROIT LIONS (-3.5) over Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons are just not playing like the same team as last season. I expect the Lions to bounce back from their first loss of the season with a solid win over the struggling Falcons on Sunday.
David - TENNESSEE TITANS (-3) over Houston Texans: While I don't think the Titans are a huge playoff favorite, I think heading back home they'll bounce back against the Texans. Houston has a lot of talent, but I like Tennessee at home.
James - Houston Texans (+3) over TENNESSEE TITANS: I am still having a hard time believing the Titans are as good as their record suggests. With Chris Johnson still not Chris Johnson, I am just not confident in the team. The Texans are a better team than they are playing and I expect them to end the losing streak at two with a win in Tennessee.
David - Denver Broncos (Even) over MIAMI DOLPHINS: The week seven marquee matchup of the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes features two truly awful teams. Of course, Tim Tebow is making his first start of 2011, in the state where he hit it big, at a road stadium where they are actually honoring his 2008 national title team. I'm going with the Fightin Tebows!
James - Denver Broncos (Even) over MIAMI DOLPHINS: Wow, what a terrible game. The only people interested in this one are the Tim Tebow fans. To be perfectly honest, I think Tebow has the 'it' factor a lot of quarterbacks are missing and will be able to spark the Broncos to a a few wins this season, and what a better way to start than against one of the worst teams in the league.
David - NEW YORK JETS (+1) over San Diego Chargers: This is going to be a tight battle but the Jets are a bit more desperate for the W. I think Shonn Greene could be due for a breakout performance against a struggling Chargers rush defense, which should be enough for Mark Sanchez to be able to make some plays in support.
James - NEW YORK JETS (+1) over San Diego Chargers: Antonio Gates still battling an injury, Vincent Jackson not 100% and Phillip Rivers not playing his best. Oh, and lets not forget the fact that the Chargers now know that if Rex Ryan had only been their coach, they would be wearing a couple of Super Bowl rings right now. Jets build off of their solid game in Miami with a win over San Diego.
David - TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (Even) over Chicago Bears: As the even line would dictate, this game really could go either way. The Bucs are coming off a big home win over the Saints, while the Bears blew out the Vikings. Both teams are capable of stinkers so I'll just stick with the home team.
James - Chicago Bears (Even) over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: At times this season, the Bears have looked dominant. At other times, they have looked pretty darn bad. But all three of their losses came against good teams. With the retooled offensive line giving Jay Cutler time to throw the ball, the Bears can be pretty dangerous. They will eek out a win in Tampa Bay this weekend.
David - CAROLINA PANTHERS (-1) over Washington Redskins: The Redskins started strong, but it was inevitable that they would come back to reality. The Panthers are getting great play from a variety of players but their defense has yet to prove it can keep them in games. I think Newton can get the W this weekend against the John Beck-led Redskins, simply because the Redskins are led by John Beck.
James - CAROLINA PANTHERS (-1) over Washington Redskins: John Beck is going to be Mike Shanahan's Washington version of John Elway. JUST KIDDING! Cam the Kid will lead the Panthers to their second win of the season as the Redskins struggle to find their way with the most boring quarterback controversy in football.
David - Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) over ARIZONA CARDINALS: The Steelers are getting hot at the right time and the Cardinals are struggling mightily. I'll stick with the hot Steelers over a Cardinals team that has lost four straight. Even with that extra 0.5.
James - Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) over ARIZONA CARDINALS: Kevin Kolb may not be happy with how things are going this season, but he should be thanking god he is not playing in Philadelphia anymore, if he was playing this way in front of Eagles fans, he might have to worry for his safety. Steelers win this one easily.
David - St. Louis Rams (+14.5) over DALLAS COWBOYS: The Cowboys should be able to win this game, but I think the Rams have enough talent to hang around. The Rams added in Brandon Lloyd this week and I actually think he could be a significant addition for a struggling Rams offense.
James - St. Louis Rams (+14.5) over DALLAS COWBOYS: This line really confused me. The Cowboys have not put together a dominant win yet this season. Given, they have played teams much better than the Rams, but I just dont see this being a win of more than two touchdowns.
David - Green Bay Packers (-9) over MINNESOTA VIKINGS: I generally will not pick against the Packers, no matter the opponent, no matter the spread. Maybe they're not going to cover every game, but they're legit enough to cover against everybody in the NFL. And yes, that includes the Minnesota Vikings.
James - Green Bay Packers (-9) over MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Nothing to Ponder here, nine points is nothing to the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. (Sorry, I couldn't help but make a Ponder pun, all the cool kids are doing it).
David - NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-15.5) over Indianapolis Colts: As stated above, I will not be picking against the Colts on the road for the foreseeable future.
James - NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-15.5) over Indianapolis Colts: How do I put this nicely. The Colts are the worst team in the NFL this season. They are absolute garbage. Oh, that wasn't nice? Oops! Well regardless, the Saints will take care of business at home and run up the score on the hapless Colts.
David - Baltimore Ravens (-8.5) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: The Jaguars are not an awful team, but I don't think they have it in them to hang with a dominant Ravens defense. Even though the Ravens offense has some question marks, the defense alone should be able to cover against the Jaguars.
James - Baltimore Ravens (-8.5) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: If not for the dominance being exhibited by the Green Bay Packers and the feel good stories of the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills, I think the Ravens would be one of the biggest stories this year. Their defense is looking remiscent of the defense that won them a Super Bowl and was one of the best in the history of the NFL. The Ravens are real dangerous.
Last Week: 7-6-0
Last Week: 6-7-0