We're back for another week of NFL picks coming off a mixed bag. In last week's picks I was 6-9-1 while James was 9-6-1 as we both pushed on the Falcons. I have to admit, that surprised the heck out of me. I have no faith in Seattle but their 12th Man home field advantage is something that might need to be accounted for this season. The good news this week is the Seahawks are off to the Meadowlands to face the New York Giants. So, no reason to pick them for now. We'll see if that changes in coming weeks.
There are some tough matchups to pick this week both because of quality matchups and crappy matchups. The Raiders and 49ers find themselves in what could be really fun games, but they're also difficult to pick wen you take subjectivity out of it. On the other hand, games like Minnesota-Arizona and Indianapolis-Kansas City are brutal games that are difficult to watch. How do you pick games that might as well end in ties? On to the picks!
David - HOUSTON TEXANS (-5.5) over Oakland Raiders: I do think the Raiders can hang in this game, but I think Arian Foster is going to do some bad things to Oakland. The Raiders have done solidly against tight ends, but I think Owen Daniels could put together a quality performance as Matt Schaub looks his way more and more with Andre Johnson on the shelf.
James - Oakland Raiders (+5.5) over HOUSTON TEXANS: The Oakland Raiders were able to come back from a devastating loss against the Buffalo Bills to beat the New York Jets a week later. This time, the Raiders are coming off of a tough loss to the New England Patriots and are looking to rebound against the Texans. With Andre Johnson out for the game, the Raiders will focus on keeping Arian Foster at bay. With a high powered offense, the Raiders will keep this close and potentially pull out the road win.
David - Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) over BUFFALO BILLS: This is arguably the toughest game to predict this week. The Eagles are in a bit of a tailspin as their "Dream" has turned into a nightmare. And yet, somehow I think they turn things around against the Bills. I'm still not really sure what to make of these Bills. The loss to Cincinnati isn't the end of the world, but I'm just not sure what to make of them.
James - BUFFALO BILLS (+1.5) over Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are still getting treated as though they are the team to beat in the NFL. How they are standing at 1-3 after losing at home to the San Francisco 49ers and are still favorites on the road against the Bills is beyond me. The Bills will get back to their status as the cinderella team of 2011 with a win against the Eagles at home.
David - INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-1) over Kansas City Chiefs: The Colts have come close to upsets the last two weeks and I think this week they finally get on the board in the second consecutive toilet bowl game involving the Chiefs. Curtis Painter is not a particularly great quarterback, but given enough time he is looking like at least a little bit interesting. A second consecutive start against a weak Chiefs team could do the trick.
James - Kansas City Chiefs (+1) over INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: The Colts have yet to win a game this season, and without Peyton Manning, their offense has looked rather amateur for most of the season. Their defense has stepped up, but they cannot carry the team without the offense being able to put points on the board. Meanwhile, the Chiefs may still be a bad team, but Dwayne Bowe is starting to look real good and they should be able to put up more points than the Colts.
David - MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-1) over Arizona Cardinals: Neither team is particularly great, but I think home field rules in this one. Donovan McNabb is struggling big time, but I think he's due for a couple solid performances this year. Arizona's secondary can help make that happen.
James - MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-1) over Arizona Cardinals: The Vikings will finally get their first win of the season over the struggling Cardinals. The Vikings have been great in the first half of their games, but have not been able to close out in the second half. Expect the Vikings to lean heavily on Adrian Peterson and use home field advantage to pull out the win.
David - NEW YORK GIANTS (-11) over Seattle Seahawks: As I said in the intro, I just can't pick the Seahawks on the road right now. There's no 12th Man to overcome their questionable talent and with Mike Williams hurting, it takes a bit of a hit.
James - NEW YORK GIANTS (-11) over Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have had moments this season where they have actually looked like an NFL team. Unfortunately for Cheat Carroll, those moments have been few and far between. The Giants are not quite as strong as in past seasons, but they are still a much better team than the Seahawks and playing at home, this should be a blowout.
David - PITTSBURGH STEELERS (+3) over Tennessee Titans: I think the Titans are a legit contender in the AFC South, but I don't think they are quite ready to knock off Pittsburgh on the road. The Steelers will likely be without Rashard Mendenhall, but I think Isaac Redman could do enough to get Pittsburgh the "upset."
James - PITTSBURGH STEELERS (+3) over Tennessee Titans: Call me foolish, but I am still not sold on the Titans being as good as their record suggests, and I am still not sold on the Steelers being as bad as their record suggests. I know Big Ben is coming off a game in which he injured his foot, but the guy is rarely hampered by injuries and I fully expect him to lead the Steelers to a win at home.
David - New Orleans Saints (-7) over CAROLINA PANTHERS: The Panthers will likely put up some big numbers once again, but they've shown they can't consistently stop anybody. This could be a wildly entertaining game, but I don't think the Panthers can hang in there to the end.
James - New Orleans Saints (-7) over CAROLINA PANTHERS: The Panthers are most certainly not the same team that had the worst record in 2010. Cam Newton is the rare first pick of the draft that has not only lived up to expectations immediatley, but has in fact blown past those expectations and done better than anyone could have imagined a rookie quarterback would do. All that being said, the Saints have Drew Brees and a boat load more experience than the Panthers. Saints win this one going away.
David - Cincinnati Bengals (+1) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: This could be a tough game to watch, but why not see the Bengals spring a road "upset." The Jaguars are another team I don't really think I can pick for now. Add in no real home field advantage in Jacksonville and they could be the upset victim here.
James - Cincinnati Bengals (+1) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: This will be a very ugly game. I feel bad for anyone who actually plans on watching it. Given the fact that the Jags cannot seem to get anyone interested in coming to their games, the old home field advantage just isn't that big of an advantage in this game. Of the two rookie quarterbacks, I think Andy Dalton is much more ready to be a starter in the NFL than Blane Gabbert. For that reason alone, I am going with the Bengals.
David - SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-1) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers: No way I can pick against my 49ers. This is a difficult home contest for the 49ers and a win would put them in the driver's seat in the West. I think they can pull this out but it's going to be a dog-fight.
James - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1) over SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Sorry Niners fans, I am back to picking against San Francisco. I know the Niners are 3-1 and playing at home, but if you have watched their games, impressive is not the word one would use to describe their victories. Tampa Bay, however, is a legitimate playoff contender with a legitimate franchise quarterback. There is only so much a head coach can do to upgrade a team and I think the Niners will come back to earth this week with a loss to the Bucs.
David - San Diego Chargers (+3.5) over DENVER BRONCOS: The Broncos are a darkhorse in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes and have struggled to get anything together this season. The fans desperately want Tim Tebow playing, but coach John Fox is sticking with his plan, whatever that actually entails. As long as he sticks with his plan, I'll stick with my plan of picking against the Broncos.
James - San Diego Chargers (+3.5) over DENVER BRONCOS: The Chargers have finally figured out how to win early in the season. Phillip Rivers and Vincent Jackson are looking like the dangerous duo they were before the Jackson hold out escapade of 2010. The Broncos, on the other hand, are a team struggling to find an identity and have been forced to spend more time deflecting questions about Tim Tebow than they have on fixing the problems of the team.
David - NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-10.5) over New York Jets: The Jets and Patriots have developed into solid rivals, but this year there is a distinct difference between the two teams. A double-digit spread in such a rivalry game is pretty big, but I think the Patriots are significantly better. Add in playing at home and I think they romp.
James - NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-10.5) over New York Jets: The Jets are a run first team that cannot run the ball. Mark Sanchez is really only an above average quarterback. He has a trio of very good receivers and an excellent defense backing him up, but cannot seem to be anything more than good at his best. Tom Brady, on the other hand, is off to a career best start to the season. Pats will keep the Jets down and win this one easily.
David - Green Bay Packers (-7) over ATLANTA FALCONS: The Packers are playing as well as could be expected right now and I have no interest in betting against them. Even on the road against a tough Falcons team, the Packers are the best team in the NFL right now. There is no doubt in my mind.
James - Green Bay Packers (-7) over ATLANTA FALCONS: According to Bret Favre, Aaron Rodgers should have wont he Super Bowl earlier than he did given his talent and the talent he is surrounded with. Well, Bitter Bret was right about one thing, the Packers are stocked with talented players and that talent has continued to shine this season as the Packers are 4-0. While I do not yet think the Packers will go undefeated this season, I also do not think the Falcons are going to hand them their first loss. A two score win for the Packers is highly likely.
David - DETROIT LIONS (-5) over Chicago Bears: The Lions have had to make some huge comebacks, which has left some fans wondering how legit they are with their 4-0 record. I think they handle their business this week and take a step towards solidifying a playoff spot.
James - DETRIOT LIONS (-5) over Chicago Bears: What a game the Lions had against the Dallas Cowboys last week. Just when it looked like Megatron was going to be held in check for the first time this season, bam, out of no where, two touchdowns and a come from behind victory for the Lions. Oh, and did I mention that their defensive line is one of the best in the league, while the Bears offensive line is one of the worst? I ALMOST started to feel bad for Jay Cutler, then I remembered his days with the Denver Broncos and I quickly regained my senses and delighted at the thought of the punishment he will take on Sunday.
Last Week: 6-9-1
Last Week: 9-6-1