Before I get into my NFL picks (because that's fun to do), I want to talk American League Baseball for a moment. As much as I am a die hard Red Sox fan, I have to admit that the AL slot in the World Series is wide open for the taking. The Yankees picking the series that allows them to only use 3 pitchers in the ALDS (presumably to skip Joba) shows they are human and not the unbeatable machine that they have been in years past. They should beat the Tigers/Twins easily, even with Verlander having the opportunity to pitch twice. Sox/Angels should be the better series, with the Angels being that threat to explode on any team at any moment. The Sox may have reloaded their rotation with Matsuzaka coming back and the reemergence of Clay Bucholz, but they are no lock. My money is still on Sox/Yanks for the ALDS, but this could be the closest AL post season race in years.
Now to the NFL picks:
Redskins (-6.5) over Lions
Washington should win this one easily. (Sorry Bill Simmons) Detroit is still a terrible team, Stafford has looked like a true rookie at best, and as a team, they have lost their last 19 in a row. Jason Campbell is no Brady/Brees/Manning (x2), but he should look like a stud this week.
Packers (-6.5) over Rams
Green Bay by less than a TD on the road? STL might be very much improved, but they still aren't winning this one.
Vikings (-7) over 49ers
Minnesota is really starting to click, and Adrian Peterson being hurt still won't stop the Vikes. I would expect Percy Harvin to play some serious double duty catching passes and lining up in the backfield to mix it up. MIN has shown a willingness to run Harvin, and he should be fine, assuming the cold/head clears up by game time. Farve hasn't been his old self quite yet, but he is still in the top half of the league. San Fran has looked better than most years, but the situation there isn't conducive to good football. Vernon Davis is still causing problems, the offense isn't explosive enough, and San Fran is on the road.
Pats (-4) over Falcons
This game should be a high scoring one. Welker should be back in the mix, and Brady has most of the rust gone by now. Edelman was impressive filling in for Welker last week, but the combination of them should be mind boggling for the ATL d-backs. Matt Ryan's return to New England will be firework filled, as he is much better than Sanchez was last week, but Brady should steal the show with the last possession.
Jets (-2.5) over Titans
TEN is good, but they haven't shown me great. NYJ just held New England to 3 field goals last week, and shut down Randy Moss with a lot of 1 on 1 coverage. Jets could have won last week by 14+ points, had Chansi Stuckey kept both feet in. Sanchez is showing me that he is better than Lineart will ever be.
Chiefs (+8.5) over Eagles
Rotating door Qb's on both sides of the ball doesn't bode well for either team. PHI got dismantled last week by the Saints, and McNabb is very doubtful for this week. Kolb looks like the starter, with Garcia still thumbing through the playbook for the first time, and Vick having been out of the game for 2 years. KC has growing pains with all the changes, but Cassel should be returning, and the offense is built for him, not the others. KC might not win, but they will certainly keep it within the spread.
Giants (-7) over Buccaneers
Tampa Bay is 0-2 and headed to 0-3 quickly. NYG beat Dallas at Dallas in their home opener- talk about a hostile environment. Don't think being at Tampa Bay will phase them.
Ravens (-13.5) over Browns
This spread could probably be 15 and it still wouldn't matter. Joe Flacco and the duo of Ray Rice and Willis McGahee? 'Nuff said. Braylon Edwards could be the star of this game if he could actually hold onto the ball- but he won't.
Texans (-4) over Jaguars
I really don't see much brilliance in watching this game except it is for a division game. But even that is negated by the fact that the Colts WILL win the division. Two mediocre teams, 1 star in Maurice Jones-Drew, who can't win the game on his own.
Bears (-2) over Seahawks
Hasselback is doubtful with a cracked rib. Cutler has looked shaky at best. I'll take Cutler with the weapons around him (especially Devin Hester) over Seneca Wallace any day.
Saints (-5.5) over Bills
Talk about unfair. Drew Brees is trying to run away with the MVP and Top QB honors and its only week 3. Buffalo might be better on offense with T.O. but their 31st pass defense could reach 32nd by Monday morning. A bigger, stronger, better Saints team should just about walk all over Buffalo.
Steelers (-4) over Bengals
I agree with Bill Simmons (ESPN) that I like the look of the Bengals. On paper, they are really good. But I also looked at that spread and couldn't believe how low it was. PIT, being with Weird Al Yanko...I mean Troy Palamalu (haven't you seen those new commercials?) is certainly a weaker defense, but nothing that can't handle CIN. PIT might have shown weakness last week against the Bears. They won't look weak again.
Broncos (-1.5) over Raiders
Oakland is actually favored in a game? That should clue you in right there. If I could pick no one to win this, I would. Jamarcus Russell still hasn't learned how to be an NFL QB. The "Bearded One" (Kyle Orton) wants to be a gunslinger, but will never be elite. Watch for him to try though. Broncos in a bore.
Dolphins (+6) over Chargers
This could be the best game all weekend. Two good, but not elite teams. MIA invented the Wildcat, and with Pat White can now exploit it to it's full potential. Rivers could be Brees Jr. the way he has developed. LT still nursing his injury and will be watching the game on the sidelines, but it isn't like San Diego is lacking at RB. This has all the makings for a thriller. Last possession should determine this game.
Colts (+1.5) at Cardinals
Payton Manning is fantastic (which pains me to admit). He has the weakest collection of players around him in years, yet can orchestrate brilliance. Manning runs the best 2 minute offense in the game, and should get the opportunity, probably twice. Arizona is good, the Colts are better.
Cowboys (-9) over Panthers
Dallas' defense might have looked like a sieve against the Giants, but they should hold strong here, and their offense is certainly potent. MNF in the new stadium will be the loudest the Panthers have heard since their Super Bowl against the Pats. Carolina is improving, but it wont be done in time for this week.
This picks I did just for fun. I hope they work out, but don't put too much faith in them. I did it without being able to research on the internet (other than pulling down the lines). Till next time