We are nearly at the halfway point of the regular season. For some teams, the season might as well be over. For others, life is just grand. For most, we honestly have no clue what is in their future. But that’s why I’m here. I’m here to attempt to decipher (in the loosest sense of the word) this week’s games. Let’s hit it!
My picks will be italicized.
Bengals @ Falcons – The Falcons did not look good last weekend, whereas the Bengals have looked next to awful all season. The Bengals are 1-1 on the road this season, only beating the Panthers and losing to the Browns while the Falcons are 2-0 at home. The only thing that could sway me to the Bengals is the fact that they’re coming off a bye week but even that doesn’t make too much difference to me. I have zero faith in Marvin Lewis as a head coach. I like the Falcons to win at home this weekend.
Steelers @ Dolphins – Here is a tough one to pick. Both teams have looked great defensively this season and I think we’re in for a low scoring affair (which means it’ll likely be a shootout given how I’ve been predicting game types this year). Miami is coming off a victory over the Packers while the Steelers are coming off a thrashing of the Browns. The Dolphins have beaten some decent teams but have also been crushed by good teams and that makes me go with the Steelers on the road.
Bills @ Ravens – I was so sad that the Bills had a bye week last week. It meant I didn’t have the sure fire lock of the week. I’m going with the Ravens here. Why? I truly believe the Bills will go 0-16 this season. They are pitiful. The Ravens beat the Patriots last week but lost the game because they got conservative. The Bills will feel the wrath of Ray Lewis which is something I pray I never feel. Also, because the Ravens defense wasn’t good enough as it was, Ed Reed might be returning this week. That’s just not fair.
Jaguars @ Chiefs – The Jaguars are a bad team. This week they will likely be fielding a third string QB. The Chiefs are not a bad team. This spells disaster for the Jaguars, who are 1-1 on the road, beating only the Bills who are really, really bad (as previously discussed). They got crushed by the Chargers. I fully expect the Chiefs, who despite losing, are coming off of a great offensive day. Sorry Jacksonville….hope you enjoy your last season of having a team.
Browns @ Saints – The Saints rediscovered a running game last weekend against the Buccaneers. The Browns got spanked by the Steelers. Now they get to go into another hostile environment and play a team that may have found its swagger last weekend. I do believe Colt McCoy is going to be an excellent QB someday, but it won’t be this day (or season). Saints, no question about it.
Redskins @ Bears – This is a game I’m struggling with. This is easily the toughest pick of the week for me. Both teams are mediocre in my eyes. Both teams’ weaknesses match up darn near perfectly. As such this should be a very exciting game. The Redskins are 1-1 on the road, while the Bears are 2-1 at home, however they are coming off a loss to the Seahawks. This is a toss up for me. The Redskins can be obliterated in the passing game and Mike Martz loves to throw. The Bears defense is stout and also second in the league in turnovers forced. I’m gonna go with the Bears for now. But, don’t be surprised if I change my pick. If the pick is changed, I’ll post it in the comments section (PICK CHANGED, READ BELOW).
49ers @ Panthers – The 49ers finally got a win last weekend against the Raiders. The Panthers continue to be hapless. The 49ers are no where near as bad as their record suggests and I think they will come and take care of business. Good news for the Panthers is that WR Steve Smith is likely back in the lineup this weekend. Either way, I still like the 49ers to get their second consecutive win.
Rams @ Buccaneers – The Rams proved something to me last weekend. They started hot and held on to beat the Chargers, who are a vastly superior team in many respects. But these Rams have some serious heart. They are a clear cut case of a team making all the right moves and building through the draft. The Buccaneers showed their defensive weaknesses last week and I think the Rams will be able to exploit them. I look for Steven Jackson to have a big day against Tampa Bay. Rhyming is fun.
Cardinals @ Seahawks – Here is proof that the 2010 NFC is freaking weird. The Cardinals are in first place of their division and 3-2, despite being outscored by their opponents by 50 points. The Seahawks are coming off a huge win over the Bears and the Cardinals are coming off a bye week (which came after an upset over the Saints). This is another very tough game to pick. The Cardinals rely on a scoring defense, led by FS Kerry Rhodes and the Seahawks do not have a great turnover record. However, I like the home team here against the Cardinal’s rookie QB Max Hall. This too is a game I very well might change before Sunday.
Patriots @ Chargers – Randy who? The Patriots were able to continue a very potent passing attack without Randy Moss. The Chargers seem lifeless, coming off a loss to the Rams. However, the Chargers are undefeated at home. Those wins have also only come against the Cardinals (led by the hopeless Derek Anderson at the time) and the Jaguars. I think the Chargers biggest issue is not talent, but leadership. I like the Patriots to go in and take care of business against a Chargers team that is quickly falling from grace despite having very nice statistics.
Raiders @ Broncos – Has the Tim Tebow era begun? Likely not. However, the Broncos faithful should be happy about his progress. He scored a TD after all! The Broncos are still a mess and the Raiders are…well, the Raiders. Oakland has traveled very poor this season but that should come as no surprised. The Broncos should be able to take care of business in what is my nomination for worst game of the week.
Vikings @ Packers – I think the Vikings are starting to gel. They took care of business against the Cowboys and now head to Green Bay to take on a very beat up Packers team. If the Packers were healthy, this would be a different story. But as it is the Vikings are healthier and on more of a hot streak right now. While the big “revenge” story is no longer a huge factor in the media, you know it’s still on Favre’s mind and I don’t know that there’s many players better at the revenge game than Favre.
Giants @ Cowboys – I refuse to believe the Cowboys are this bad. I refuse. They keeping shooting themselves in the foot but the talent is clearly there. Granted, it take more than talent. Meanwhile, the Giants do not strike me as a great team. A good team but no where near great. But the Giants are not shooting themselves in the foot and because of that I have to go with the Giants. The Cowboys have more talent but the Giants have the smarts needed to win what will be a tight divisional battle.
Last week: 9-5