I went out on a loooong limb with a couple of my picks last weekend. If Matthew Stafford doesn’t get hurt, and the Lions don’t get the late hit penalty, and….I know – if, if, if. Well, I’m still a gambling – even though I went 6-7 last week. Here goes:
Baltimore 6-2 at Atlanta 6-2 – A great matchup of two bright stars at the QB position. Mattie Ryan has been super cool in leading the Falcons to the top of the NFC South. Joe Flacco has been rock steady for the Ravens. Both teams have feature backs who can take over the game, so this one will come down to defense. Edge – Falcons 21-17.
NY Jets 6-2 at Cleveland 3-5 – McCoy and Hillis did the Jets a favor by lighting up the Pats. They want catch the Fly boys flatfooted. LT will have a big game. Jets 27-21.
Houston 4-4 at Jacksonville 4-4 – The Texans have the leagues best reciever, a top five rusher, and a quality QB…so why .500? The Jags are not far behind in talent – at least the way they are playing. The Houston slide continues for another week. Jaguars 34-31.
Cincinnati 2-6 at Indianapolis 5-3 – The Colts let one slip away last week…so did the Bengals. But these two teams are going the way of their QBs. Carson Palmer looks washed up, Payton Manning looks worn out. Colts 28-14.
Detroit 2-6 at Buffalo 0-8 – If Matthew Stafford is shut down for the season, the Lions are in trouble. Just not this weekend. An interesting matchup between two highly touted rookie backs in Jahvid Best and C. J. Spiller. One of them is due for a big game. My money’s on Best. Lions 45-21.
Carolina 1-7 at Tampa Bay 5-3 – The Buccs proved a lot to me in coming back against a very good Atlanta team. The few feet they fell short will fuel Raheem and the team. The Panthers will be the next team looking for a head coach. Buccs 31-10.
Minnesota 3-5 at Chicago 5-3 – The young gun slinger, Jay Cutler faces off against the old gun slinger who just won’t go away. I thought Favre would be done by now, but he saved his best effort for the come from behind win. This isn’t the Cardinals he’s playing and the Bears will be bringing heat. Bears 41-28.
Tennessee 5-3 at Miami 4-4 – Never has a one game difference seemed so far. Even though they are both coming off losses, I just get a better feel from the Titans. I’m not sold on Chad Henne, and I think Chris Johnson will have a big game. If the Titans find someone to step up for Kenny Britt, it could even get ugly. Titans 35-17.
Kansas City 5-3 at Denver 2-6 – Usually, a trip into Mile High would be trouble for the Chiefs, but the Broncos are on the verge of completely falling apart. I’ll be surprised if Josh McDaniels lasts the season. Matt Cassel still needs some ground help. Chiefs 41-24.
St. Louis 4-4 at San Francisco 2-6 – Sam Bradford has got to find a way to pull his team through on the road. The ‘Niners should be well rested after the bye, and Alex Smith is starting to live up to the preseason hype. Going with the gut. Rams 37-31.
Dallas 1-7 at NY Giants 6-2 – Eli and the G-men are playing for home field in the playoffs. A Romo-less Cowboy team will try to rally around their interim coach Jason Garrett, whose been challenged to change the teams culture. There’s something about coaching changes that sometimes will spark a team, and the Cowboys aren’t exactly a talent void. Austing Miles busts out. Cowboys 27-21.
Seattle 4-4 at Arizona 3-5 – Pete Carroll has to be disappointed with the two game slide. The consolation is that the Cardinals come in having lost their last three. One streak will end. Seahawks 21-17.
New England 6-2 at Pittsburgh 6-2 – This could be a playoff preview. I wouldn’t have been in the Pats film room Monday for all the tea in China. They will come out breathing fire. But Big Ben and the Steel town gang just seem to be settling in. Steelers 38-28.
Philadelphia 5-3 at Washington 4-4 – Andy Reid is being very quiet regarding the QB squabble in DC. It seems Donovan McNabb is disgruntled again. There’s no QB controversy in Philly. Eagles 32-24.