Last week was very good at 12-4,with the four losses were those that very few saw coming. The minute you turn your back on the Texans and Bengals they make you look foolish. The Eagles are getting to be more and more unreliable and the less that you say about the Vikings around me the better. Once again submitted for your perusal, review and approval are this weeks pick with the odds supplied by bodog.net via USA Today. I repeat every week that these lines are for comparison and entertainment purposes only, since Im not paying anyones bookies.
Note: Dallas, Baltimore, Cleveland, Miami, St. Louis and Washington have a bye this week
Sunday October 9
Eagles (1-3) @ Bills (3-1)
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Bills by 3
Last Week Eagles lost to 49ers 23-20, Bills lost to Bengals 23-20
Fast Fact The Eagles have not lost four in a row since 2005
The Bills were cruising along to a 4-0 record when they took a nasty pratfall in blowing a 17-6 lead and losing to the Bengals they host a thoroughly frightened Eagles team that is very close to panic mode after blowing a 20 point lead of their own at home. Its hard to call who will show up on either side of the ball for both teams. I think the Bills will show some surprising resiliency and bounce back strong. Meanwhile the Eagles flaws get more and more apparent and Philly fans gets more and more panicked
Saints (3-1) @ Panthers (1-3)
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Saints by 7
Last Week Saints beat Jaguars 23-10; Panthers lost to Bears 34-29
Fast Fact Panthers QB Cam Newton is responsible for all nine of Carolina touchdowns this year.
The Panthers are playing more respectable but the results aren’t showing in the win column. Their leaky defense does not need to see a high speed offense in the form of Drew Brees and his ilk. Newton and the young Panthers are improving fast and should keep the game interesting but lack the horses to stay with a veteran team.
Raiders (2-2) @ Texans (3-1)
Reliant Stadium, Houston 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Texans by 6
Last Week Raiders lost to Patriots, Texans beat Steelers 17-10
Fast Fact The Texans have won five of the six previous meetings
The Texans may have turned the corner in winning a taut slugfest with the Steelers, Im not quite ready to book them for a February trip to Indy, but they are starting to win games against tough opponents. The Raiders keep looking like they are ready to step up, but then come crashing down heavily as they did against the Patriots. This will be one of the better games of the week that no one will really notice. With star wideout Andre Johnson shelved with a bad hammy, the Texans will lean on Arian Foster that much more. The Raiders are a bit too inconsistent for me to give them the nod on the road. The Texans are better on both sides of the ball.
Chiefs (1-3) @ Colts (0-4)
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Colts by 3
Last Week Chiefs beat Vikings 22-17, Colts lost to Buccaneers 24-17
Fast Fact The Colts are looking to avoid their first 0-5 start since 1997
At seasons beginning this looked like a marquee matchup of two divisional winners from a year previous, instead it is a battle of banged up and beaten down squads. The Colts are better than their hard luck 0-4 record would indicate. The Chiefs meanwhile showed some gumption in outlasting the woeful Vikings. Curtis Painter will never be mistaken for Peyton Manning, but he is improving to the point where he is serviceable. The Colts defense while leaky has kept them in games, though the gruesome injury to just hurts them when they are already thin. I just think that the Colts are due. I don’t trust the Chiefs outside of Arrowhead to begin with.
Bengals (2-2) @ Jaguars (1-3)
EverBank Field, Jacksonville 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Jaguars by 3
Last Week Bengals beat Bills 23-20, Jaguars lost to Saints 23-10
Fast Fact The Jags have won seven straight against the Bengals in Jacksonville
The Bengals got off the mat with a smart rally to stun the previously unbeaten Bills and have quieted the naysayers that said that they would be lucky to win once this season. They have a rare opportunity to be a road bully in facing the Jags. Unlike his rookie counterpart in Cincy, Gabby Gabbert does not have a dynamic receiver like the Bengals AJ Green. The Jags still have the redoubtable Maurice Jones-Drew but he is facing loaded 8 man front on a constant basis. The Jags offense will have trouble against a Bengals defense that is playing much better than originally forecast and the Bengals will wear down an overtaxed Jags defense
Cardinals (1-3) @ Vikings (0-4)
Mall of America Field @ HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Vikings by 3
Last Week Cardinals lost to Giants 31-27; Vikings lost to Chiefs 22-17
Fast Fact The Cardinals have never won in the Metrodome (0-6)
Another matchup of teams going nowhere, The Vikings keep finding painful ways to lose and the calls for Donovan McNabb to be benched grow louder every week. The Cards were expected to contend with their new QB throwing to dynamic WR Larry Fitzgerald but so far aside from the play from RB Beanie Wells, the offense has sputtered. The Cards defense can be thrown on and that might also open up gaps for the heretofore underused Adrian Peterson. This is another team that is due for a breakout win, cause they might not get another chance for a winnable game for a while.
Seahawks (1-3) @ New York Giants (3-1)
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Giants by 6
Last Week Giants beat Cardinals 31-27; Seahawks lost to Falcons 30-28
Fast Fact The Seahwaks have lost nine straight games in the Eastern Time zone
The G-Men rallied furiously in the desert to win, while the Seahawks last ditch game winning drive came up short. Though the Seahawks offense found some spark as the T-Jack to Sidney Rice combo began to click asking them to come cross country and do that against the rugged Giants defense is asking a bit too much.
Pick-New York Giants (Lock of the Week)
Titans (3-1) @ Steelers (2-2)
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite No Line
Last Week Titans beat Browns 31-13; Steelers lost to Texans 17-10
Fast Fact Titans RB Chris Johnson rushed for 100 yards against Cleveland last week after having 98 yards total in his first three games
Suddenly the Steelers are looking more vulnerable than they have in a while. The Texans stood up to the vaunted Steelers bullying (errrr, defense) and knocked them around. You have to wonder how the Titans are 3-1 with Chris Johnson being more or less MIA and Kenny Britt out for the season. The Steelers are banged up but you have the feeling that they are not going to crumble at home. Johnson is still overdue for a big time breakout game though he had a good game against the Browns notching his first 100 yard game, but I cant see him doing it against the Steelers defense.
Buccaneers (3-1) @ 49ers (3-1)
Candlestick Park, San Francisco 4:05 (FOX)
Favorite 49ers by 3
Last Week Buccaneers beat Colts 24-17, 49ers beat Eagles 23-20
Fast Fact The Niners have won 11 of the 13 meetings in San Francisco
The Bucs 3-1 start surprises no one but the Niners 3-1 start has. The Bucs are using a nice combo of the rugged running of LaGarrette Blount and the deft passing touch of Josh Freeman to keep defenses honest. To tell you the honest truth, I haven’t the slightest idea how the Niners have started 3-1 their stunning rally from 20 down in Philly pretty much was the biggest shock of last week. I have heard a lot of wonks say that the Bucs are ripe for the taking on a cross country road trip, I don’t think the Niners are really that good and will get worn down.
Chargers (3-1) @ Broncos (1-3)
Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:15 (CBS)
Favorite Chargers by 4
Last Week Chargers beat Dolphins 26-16; Broncos lost to Packers 49-26
Fast Fact Expect interceptions in this game both Broncos QB Kyle Orton and Chargers QB Philip Rivers are tied for the league lead with six interceptions thrown.
The Chargers usually don’t start this fast, especially with Philip Rivers not throwing for a bushel of yards already but they have played solid on both sides of the ball, the same cant be said for the Broncos who if not for having a reliable home win against the Bengals would be winless and they nearly lost that one as well. I cant ever remember the Broncos offense looking this bad and against a solid Chargers defense, expect the usual catcalls for Tim Tebow to start early.
New York Jets (2-2) @ New England (3-1)
Gillette Stadium; Foxboro; MA 4:15 (CBS)
Favorite Patriots by 9
Last Week Jets lost to Ravens 34-17; Patriots beat Raiders 31-19
Fast Fact The Patriots have scored 31 points or more in each of their 4 games
The grinning, jeering Rex Ryan has gotten his comeuppance the last two weeks as his Jets got housed in Oakland and Baltimore and look like they are another bad loss from infighting consuming the team. This is not the time to face Belichick, Brady and the Pats who are already humming like the machine that they are. Rotate the parts in and out in his receiving corps but Tom Brady is getting the job done. Mark Sanchez is regressing badly but that is more due to his leaky, oft-injured offensive line. If they cant keep Sanchez relatively upright, this could get ugly real fast.
Packers (4-0) @ Falcons (2-2)
Georgia Dome, Atlanta 8:20 (NBC)
Favorite Packers by 6
Last Week Packers beat Broncos 49-26; Falcons beat Seahawks 30-28
Fast Fact Packers QB Aaron Rodgers became the first NFL player to throw for over 400 yards throw 4 TDs and run for 2 TDs in the same game
The Packers looked chillingly crisp in an absolute thrashing of the Broncos last week, and its possible that this years version of the Pack is playing better than the squad last year that won it all. The Falcons escaped Seattle with a narrow win and are trying to get back to the form that made them a darkhorse Super Bowl contender. Aaron Rodgers is shredding any defense that he faces and is making it look laughably easy. Matty Ice has been playing better but still is struggling at times to find a rhythm. Everything points to the Pack rolling to an easy win, but something keeps telling me that the Falcons are due for a big win and the Pack while playing lights out are overdue for a flat game.
Pick-Atlanta (Upset of the Week)
Monday, October 10
Bears (2-2) @ Lions (4-0)
Ford Field, Detroit 8:30 (ESPN)
Favorite Lions by 6
Last Week Lions beat Cowboys 34-30; Bears beat Panthers 34-29
Fast Fact This is the Lions first appearance on Monday Night Football since 2001 and Ford Field’s first primetime home game.
The Lions went from punchline to primetime in a hurry and have the football world taking them serious for the first time in better than a decade. They face off against a longtime divisional foe in the Bears a team that will drive you nuts with their inconsistent play. I love the Lions big play, ballhawking roughneck defense and the play of Calvin “Megatron” Johnson is surprising only those that thought he wasn’t a top notch receiver. The Bears are so up and down its tough to predict how they will come out. But I suspect in front of a rowdy primetime audience the Lions will come out smoking and the Bears will be the foil to their punchline.
Last Week: 12-4 (Lock & Upset Correct)