We're back for another round of picks. In last week's picks, I finished 7-6 while James put together another solid week going 9-4. If the Colts cost me again, they could very well move into a don't pick pile. Right now that includes Miami and St. Louis on the road. I had "Seattle on the road" in that group but then they went and beat up the New York Giants at the Meadowlands. What the?! Congratulations Seattle, you are now off my list. I'll still likely pick against you most weeks, but it is no longer an automatic pick.
This week features some interesting matchups with a ton of big home favorites. There are some road picks mixed in, but we stuck with the home cooking for the most part. Not so surprisingly, I went with the 49ers to knock off the Lions, while James went against them. Personally, I am hoping for a similar result to last week when he picked the Bucs at +1. If the 49ers win again this week, he might be required to pick against them every week moving forward. On to the picks...
David - OAKLAND RAIDERS (-7.5) over Cleveland Browns: This could be a possible let-down game for the Raiders, but I think rather the Raiders are a team that will ride the emotion in a positive way. I think the Raiders are on a mission this year.
James - OAKLAND RAIDERS (-7.5) over Cleveland Browns: The Oakland Raiders are coming off of an emotional win over the Houston Texans, just one day after the passing of Al Davis. In that game, the Raiders looked drastically different than in years past for the sole reason that they simply did not give up and played hard until the end. The Browns are coming off of their buy week and are facing injury woes as well as drama surrounding their star running back Peyton Hillis. The Raiders will win another one for Davis this weekend.
David - ATLANTA FALCONS (-3.5) over Carolina Panthers: The Panthers have become kings of the back-door cover, but I think this is too small a cover for them on the road. I think this will be a close one, but I see Falcons victory by at least a touchdown.
James - ATLANTA FALCONS (-3.5) over Carolina Panthers: The Panthers are much better than they were last season, even if their record does not show it. They are competitive in most games, but just cannot seem to lock down wins. The Falcons, on the other hand, are not playing anywhere near as well as they did last season and are still trying to find their form. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the home field advantage gives the edge to the Falcons here.
David - Indianapolis Colts (+8) over CINCINNATI BENGALS: I think the Bengals win this game but I think we see a close matchup. The Colts are not a good team, but they have been doing enough to hang aorund in game. The Colts will hang around a lot of games this year.
James - CINCINNATI BENGALS (-8) over Indianapolis Colts: It is starting to get to the point where I will be mailing in every pick involving the Colts. They are playing the Bengals you say? Yeah, don't care, Colts are going to lose. Bengals by 8 you say? Yeah, don't care, I'm just not going to put money on the Colts at all this season.
David - San Francisco 49ers (+4) over DETROIT LIONS: Both teams are 4-0-1 against the spread this year. A push is possible, but otherwise someone's streak has to stop. As a 49ers fan we know who I am taking no matter what the situation! That and I think the Lions are a good but flawed enough team for the fightin Harbaughs to get the W.
James - DETROIT LIONS (-4) over San Francisco 49ers: Wow, this was hard. I think I changed my mind about six different times. When it came down to it, I think the Lions have better weapons on offense in Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson and one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Plus, they will be playing at Ford Field, the same Ford Field that was so loud and crazy on Monday night that they contributed to the Chicago Bears committing the second most false starts in a game since 1993.
David - GREEN BAY PACKERS (-15.5) over St. Louis Rams: Rams on the road against the best team in the league? Yea, not a tough call.
James - GREEN BAY PACKERS (-15.5) over St. Louis Rams: Really? You want me to explain myself?
David - NEW YORK GIANTS (-3) over Buffalo Bills: The Giants are wildly inconsistent. The Bills are looking fairly sharp, but wins over the Eagles are suddenly losing a lot of value. I think the Giants bounce back this week.
James - Buffalo Bills (+3) over NEW YORK GIANTS: The Bills continue to impress after getting a big win over the Eagles last weekend. Meanwhile, the Giants continue to confuse as they lost to a rather pathetic Seattle Seahawks last weekend. The Giants are still a pretty good team, but injuries and inconsistencies will continue to plague them.
David - PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-13.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars: After last week's easy victory over Tennessee I suppose it is safe to say Pittsburgh has stepped back from the edge of the abyss. Jacksonville is not good. Not good at all.
James - PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-13.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars: I know the Steelers have not looked all that good this season, but that's only because we are still comparing them to the team that went to the Super Bowl last season and have been one of the best teams the last decade. Compared to that, yeah, they aren't very good this year. Compared to the Jacksonville Jaguars, well, they are pretty damn good actually.
David - WASHINGTON REDSKINS (even) over Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles nightmare continues for at least one more week and I continue to enjoy it. Isn't it glorious?
James - WASHINGTON REDSKINS (even) over Philadelphia Eagles: Talk about an ironic match up. The Redskins who have a history of trying to buy championships with big free agent signings, are winning this season with Rex Grossman. Meanwhile, the Eagles, who took free agency by storm, cannot even buy a win. Redskins continue to improve while the Eagles continue to wonder what went wrong.
David - BALTIMORE RAVENS (-8.5) over Houston Texans: For a second I was going to take the Texans, but without Andre Johnson and Mario Williams I just am not seeing it. Baltimore is looking mighty good.
James - BALTIMORE RAVENS (-8.5) over Houston Texans: Oh boy do the Ravens look good. But for a confusing slip up in their week two game against the Tennessee Titans, the Ravens have looked unstoppable. Houston looks good this season with their much improved defense, but with injuries to Mario Williams and Andre Johnson, they simply will not be able to compete with the Ravens.
David - NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-7) over Dallas Cowboys: The Patriots are once again on a roll. Dallas could very well swing an upset, but on the road in Foxboro? It's just a little too difficult for me to see that actually happening. Brady-to-Welker has become deadly. Even though BenJarvus Green-Ellis might not play, Stevan Ridley has been a stable backup lately. I just can't see the upset.
James - NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-7) over Dallas Cowboys: I know it may look like I am just picking all of the home teams, but come on, look at the teams playing at home this week! There is just no way I could pick against Tom Brady and the Patriots in this one. The Cowboys decided to install a score board on their practice field to simulate end of game scenarios. I'm sorry, but if they think that a visual aid will help them not to choke late in games, they are starting to get desperate.
David - New Orleans Saints (-4) over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Given how badly the Bucs were decimated by the 49ers, I'm not sure they can bounce back so quickly as to have a tight contest with the Saints. The Bucs are not a bad team, but I think they will have some struggles against quality opponents this year (I do like calling the 49ers a "quality opponent"!)
James - New Orleans Saints (-4) over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: I was originally thinking that I would take the Bucs in this pick, until I saw the line. To be honest, after the way the Bucs played in San Francisco last weekend, I expected a two score line in favor of the Saints. I think the Bucs will keep this much closer than they did last week, but they still lose by a touchdown.
David - CHICAGO BEARS (-2.5) over Minnesota Vikings: The Bears struggled in Detroit but I think they are a solid enough team that they handle there business against Minnesota. The Vikings are a below average team at best. Even in a rivalry game, they do not go on the road and get the W this year.
James - CHICAGO BEARS (-2.5) over Minnesota Vikings: This really comes down to the fact that the Vikings suck and the Bears don't quite suck as much. If the Bears only had a real offensive line, they would be a lot better. But as it is, they just sit back and hope Jay Cutler can win the games single handedly. But, at least he is capable of doing that at times, Donovan McNabb on the other hand, simply is not.
David - NEW YORK JETS (-8) over Miami Dolphins: I'm fairly certain I'll bet against the Dolphins for every one of their road games. It really is quite that simple. I had the same philosophy surrounding the Seattle Seahawks, which blew up in my face last week against the other New York team. I have a little more faith in these Dolphins.
James - NEW YORK JETS (-8) over Miami Dolphins: Yeah, the Dolphins are real bad. If only Reggie Bush could, you know, play the runningback position. The Jets have struggled in recent weeks, being sent into a tailspin after losing to the Raiders in Oakland, but this week, they will get back to winning as I expect them to blow the Dolphins right out of the water.
Last Week: 7-6-0
Last Week: 9-4-0