Last week I was a little worried about my picks, but ended up going 11-2, taking me to 53-18 overall. Here are my picks for this week:
Denver (6-0) @ Baltimore (3-3)
My pick: Baltimore
-The Ravens have been unlucky since going 3-0 to start the season – a loss by a touchdown to the Pats, a loss by a field goal to the Bengals and a two-point loss to the Vikings two weeks ago, so I think it’s time their luck changes.
Houston (4-3) @ Buffalo (3-4)
My pick: Houston
-The Texans and Bills are both coming off big wins last week – but Houston will come out on top this time around. Their 3rd ranked passing game will be the difference and if Buffalo hopes to get in this one, it’ll take something special.
Cleveland (1-6) @ Chicago (3-3)
My pick: Chicago
-The Bears looked like cubs against the Bengals last week, so look for them to try and get back in the win column against a struggling Cleveland side that has just one win this season. Jay Cutler has been one of the league’s best pivots so far this season and he’s got to bounce back.
Seattle (2-4) @ Dallas (4-2)
My pick: Dallas
-The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the most inconsistent good teams this season – every time they come up with a win, they seem to have a poor effort the following week. This week should be different against the Seahawks, who have been pretty inconsistent too. Dallas’ Miles Austin has been one of the best receivers in the league the past few weeks, so he could be a big threat against Seattle’s mid-table pass defense.
Miami (2-4) @ NY Jets (4-3)
My pick: Miami
-The Jets are coming off a big win over the Raiders, but that’s a game they really HAD to win. The Dolphins have been impressive all season long, and have a win over NY already this season. They’ve had a very tough schedule to start the year, so despite playing quite well, they’ve only racked up two wins. A win this week would be a step in the right direction.
San Francisco (3-3) @ Indianapolis (6-0)
My pick: Indianapolis
-Looking at the stats, this one will be all Indianapolis – but the on-paper doesn’t always match up with the on-field. In this case though, the Colts are playing like a team that could be playing deep into the postseason. The Colts are averaging over 400 total yards of offense per game compared to just 272 for San Fran and Peyton Manning has been an absolute beast for Indie this year.
NY Giants (5-2) @ Philadelphia (4-2)
My pick: New York
-Eli Manning has had a tough couple of weeks, starting with a humbling loss to the Saints, but you can’t keep a good man down long and I think he’ll be looking to lead his team back to the winning side of things. The Eagles have played good in most of their games this season but that loss to the Raiders has me questioning their consistency.
St. Louis (0-6) @ Detroit (1-5)
My pick: St. Louis
-Here’s a tough one – a winless team against a team with just one win. The Rams best chance at snapping their 17-game losing streak could come against the equally bad Detroit Lions – who may be without their starting quarterback for a third straight game. Despite being 0-6, the Rams have the league’s third-leading rusher this season in Steven Jackson – he could be a factor in this one.
Oakland (2-5) @ San Diego (3-3)
My pick: San Diego
-The Raiders are coming off a shutout loss at home last week, meanwhile the Chargers had a confidence-building big win over a weak team. I think they’ll take that momentum into this one and beat another weak team. Oakland QB JaMarcus Russell was benched last week against the Jets, but will get another chance in San Diego – he’s got just two TD passes all season long.
Jacksonville (3-3) @ Tennessee (0-6)
My pick: Jacksonville
-David Garrard had three touchdown passes in the week four meeting between these two clubs, and with both teams coming off a bye, both will be well rested and ready to go – which is a tough break for the winless Titans. If the Jags can get a good ground game going to match their passing game, they’ll win this one easily.
Minnesota (6-1) @ Green Bay (4-2)
My pick: Minnesota
-This is a huge game for Brett Favre and an even bigger game for the Green Bay Packers, so composure will be huge when it comes to quarterbacking a winner. It’ll be an emotional return for Favre, but I think he’s played in enough big games that if it comes down to composure, this’ll be a win for the Vikings.
Carolina (2-4) @ Arizona (4-2)
My pick: Arizona
-The Cardinals are riding high after a big win over the NY Giants last weekend, handing them their second loss of the season. On the other side of the ball will be the Carolina Panthers, who lost to the lowly Bills. Kurt Warner has been impressive this year with Larry Fitzgerald being the beneficiary of a lot of that action, and I think that’ll continue into this week.
Atlanta (4-2) @ New Orleans (6-0)
My pick: New Orleans
-As good as the Falcons have looked at times this year (and I’m a big fan of Michael Turner), the New Orleans Saints have looked almost TOO good this season. They’re playing at home again this week too, and that’s where they trounced the NY Giants a couple of weeks ago. The Saints are averaging almost 40 points and almost 430 yards of offense per game, while giving up just 21 points and 306 yards.