I went 9-5 last week which wasn't great but a couple of the losses involved some great games that went down to the wire so honestly I can live with that. Hopefully this week those down to the wire games will fall in my favor however.
Texans at Bengals: Bengals. The Bengals are for real and the Texans' pass defense is atrocious. With the emergence of now a fourth legitimate receiving option with Andre Caldwell the Bengals can really push the ball down the field and Cedric Benson gives them a hammer in the run game. As important is the fact that the defense can really get after the quarterback as well. I think Andre Johnson will get his but the Bengals will harrass Matt Schaub into making some key mistakes in the game.
Lions at Packers: Packers. The Lions are probably better than their record reflects but I think the Packers are playing at a high level with their skill people on offense and their defense is getting better week to week. The one area where there is weakness for the Packers is of course their offensive line but I don't think the Lions have the players to exploit it.
Ravens at Vikings: Ravens. I have gone back and forth over this pick and I still have some trepidation but the one thing I don't think we have seen yet this year is how Brett Favre will respond when he is getting pounded play after play and has to get up and continue making plays. As good as the Vikings offensive line is I think the Ravens are going to really test them. The game within a game of course is going to be Ray Lewis versus Adrian Peterson. That in and of itself will be worth the price of admission. I think the deciding factor will be the Ravens' ability to run the ball with Ray Rice and Willis McGahee.
Giants at Saints: Saints. Home field advantage will be a factor in the dome and I also think that some of the injuries in the Giants secondary will finally catch up to them. There is only so much that a great pass rush can cover up if your back line is shaky and the Saints just have so many weapons. It doesn't help that Ahmad Bradshaw isn't going to be 100% for the Giants.
Panthers at Buccaneers: Panthers. Sorry but I just can't pick the Bucs in this one even though I think it will be close and they will look better. Steve Smith historically kills the Bucs and with this new bump scheme by our secondary I imagine this game will be no different. Not only that but the Bucs run defense will continue to be soft up the middle and the Panthers have a really good running game. I think the Buc offense will finally put up some points with the return of center Jeff Faine but I just don't see it being enough and the Panthers win in a squeaker.
Chiefs at Redskins: Redskins. I had been leaning Chiefs for most of the week but I have to go with the Redskins. They are at home. They seem to be able to beat really bad teams. The Chiefs secondary looked just god awful last week and I think the Redskins are going to play a little harder for their head coach this week. Although I would love nothing more than to laugh at Redskins fan for losing to the Chiefs I just don't see it happening this week.
Rams at Jaguars: Jaguars. The Jags are frauds but even they aren't bad enough to lose to the Rams.
Browns at Steelers: Steelers. Duh.
Cardinals at Seahawks: Cardinals. This is another game I am not sure about mostly because of how the Seahawks destroyed the Jaguars last week and also because of the way the Cardinals tried to give the game away to the Texans. I have to believe that the Cardinals will bring their A game though in against a division rival. If both teams play up to their potential I think the Cardinals win hands down. Now its just a matter of whether they will play up to their potential.
Eagles at Raiders: Eagles. Duh.
Bills at Jets: Jets. I don't see the Bills being able to score much this week although I think their decision to scrap the no huddle will help them. If nothing else it will give T.O. an opportunity to cuss Trent Edwards out after every play. I keed I keed LOL. But the Jets are going to be angry after the Monday Night Football loss and at home. It could get ugly.
Titans at Patriots: Patriots. Injuries in the Titans secondary do not bode well for them against a Patriots offense that is still just a hair off. That is mostly due to Tom Brady but I expect that soon, perhaps this weekend, it will all click for them and they will get back to shredding defenses. Jerod Mayo should get more playing time on defense this week too and that will spell trouble for the Titans running game.
Bears at Falcons: Falcons. This should be a great game but I think the Falcons will shine at home in the dome. I have to admit that they surprised me last week in the way that they dismantled the 49ers. This week the Bears are hurting in some key spots on defense and I expect the Falcons to exploit that. I also think that John Abraham will have a big game getting after Jay Cutler.
Broncos at Chargers: Chargers. I really labored over this pick as well. But the Chargers are at home and coming off a bye week. They have the biggest, most athletic corps of wide receivers in football. They also should have their running game going again with LT back to close to full speed and Darren Sproles doing his thing. Their defense matches up well I think with Denver's offense and I think Shawne Merriman is way over due to have some impact plays in a game. But the X factor I believe will be Sproles on special teams. I think that he will end up giving the Chargers great field position to work with and that Phillip Rivers will have a big day letting his big receivers go up and catch the ball over everyone but Champ Bailey.