Redemption Week… 9-3-2 followed by 4-9… I’m up one win in two weeks. Not spectacular, but that makes me feel a little better considering the blunder-filled slap in the face I acquired in Week 6! This next week, I’m targeting a 10-3 record with a huge upset here and there, err, in Indianapolis…???Carolina (+3.5) at Cincinnati: Like I said last week, taking the Panthers as an underdog is like money in the bank. And since I’m all about some mo money, I have to put my chips on the Panthers. Carolina has a little momentum, in the form of Steve Smith (4 straight W’s) when Smith plays, and the Bengals are starting to fall to all the distractions that have plagued their club since the off season. Take the Panthers as dogs, always a solid bet.
Detroit at N.Y. Jets (-3.5): Losing Shaun Rogers to steroid use will demoralize a Lion defense that already looked up to Miami. That one key loss will blow up any momentum the Lions carried after their first win last week against the Buff. This game will be a shoot out, no doubt about that, but 10 points more from New York is no stretch.
Green Bay (+5) at Miami: The Packers don’t have much of a running game, but who can cure that health issue better than the Dolphins? As far as the Packer passing attack, I know for a fact that Old Gray Beard can still wing the rock. Greg Jennings has been fantastic in his rookie season, and The Donald should be back for this one as well. Don’t be stunned by the 2nd Packer win of the season, and just another loss in a long line of failures out of Miami.
Jacksonville (-9.5) at Houston: The Texans aren’t a popular pick here, and I can see why. Even without their stud linebacker, Mike Peterson, the Jaguars will still act as a wall against the Texans feeble ground game. In the secondary, Jax is better than advertised. A couple big plays here, some nice defensive stops, and you look up at the scoreboard to see the Jaguars up by 24 by the end of the 3rd quarter.
New England (-5) at Buffalo: Those pesky Patriots are up against another easy foe in Week 7. Is it just me or do the Patriots always seem to play bad teams? You have to go all the way back to 2002 to find the Pats losing a game after their bye week. After Sunday, you’ll still have to look that far back. Buffalo has tailed off recently, and although the Pats like to play close games, bye weeks are their babies. Good teams win, great coaches always win after their bye.
Philadelphia (-5) at Tampa Bay: Historically, the Eagles and Donovan McNabb often come back strong the week after a loss. Last year, they lost to Atlanta, the beat the Niners 42-3. They lost to Dallas, the beat San Diego. In ’04, they lost to Pittsburgh then promptly smashed the Cowboys 49-21. McNabb just hates losing, you can see it on his face, and when he just lost a game, he blows up the very next week. It’s not any different this year. Check the week after the Eagles lost to the Giants. Tampa isn’t ready for the Eagles, especially after dealing their top defensive tackle, Booger McFarland.
Pittsburgh at Atlanta (+2.5): The Falcons haven’t played well lately, and finally Big Ben Roethilisberger looks like he’s got everything back on track. Not this time. The Falcons will make big defensive plays, and absolutely shut down the Steeler running game. With too much defensive secondary speed, Atlanta will have all corners covered on way to a close win at home.
San Diego Chargers (-5) at Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs just don’t have the passing game to compete with the Chargers. I love Larry Johnson, hell, I even think he’s a better back than LT, but with SD dominating the poor O-Line in Kansas City, you can bet LJ will have another tough game between the tackles. Phillip Rivers is the real deal. It’s nice to see both he and Brees playing well this season.
Denver (-4.5) at Cleveland: I think Jake Plummer is very limited, and the Broncos (I mean Mike Shanahan) love to sit on a little lead and punish me for betting with them on a big spread. That being said, the Broncos defense could very well be too tough for the Brownies. Clevelands rushing attack is more of a tea party than an attack, and the Broncos are back to bashing heads on defense. Expect a low scoring 17 – 6 game in Cleveland.
Arizona (-3) at Oakland: Matt Leinart and the Cards get their second win of the season this week in Oakland. Arizona is bad, but everyone that has anything to do with even thinking about an egg shaped ball knows the Raiders are worse. Randy Moss, LaMont Jordan, I don’t give a damn. I have just as good a chance to win football games coaching that team as Art “freaking” Shell does. I’ve never seen a more pathetic team. This game should be a dandy! Puke.
Minnesota (+7) at Seattle: The Hawks are the better team, and they should pull a close one out at home against the Vikings, but in what should be a close game, I have to take the Vikings and a touchdown. With Stevey Hutch coming back to Sea Town, you can bet the Vikings can’t wait to run the ball. That will slow down the game, and since the Hawks haven’t done much to stop much recently, it should also produce some points for the Vikings. Brad Johnson won’t get the win, but he’ll keep his squad in it. A very underrated defense from Minnesota will limit the Hawks scoring. Take the points.
Washington (+10) at Indianapolis: Call me crazy, but after losing to the freaking Titans, the Redskins will finally wake up. Defensively, they’re too talented for the Colts to run the ball, and with Shawn Springs coming back, their secondary gets better too. I don’t know if Mark Brunell can still win big games, but he’ll find holes in that Colt defense. Clinton will run rapid, and maybe, just maybe, the Redskins will finish a job very similar to the one the Cardinals failed to complete last Monday Night. I like the Skins with 10 points.
N.Y. Giants (+3.5) at Dallas: I don’t like Dallas, never have, never will. TO is a gong show. This game will be a score fest. Neither defense can promise a stop at any point in the game. But with Stuck in Glue Drew back there for the Boys, you can bet a couple sacks, an interception and a fumble or two will set the Giants that much farther ahead of Dallas. With big turnovers in my mind, I have to expect an upset in Texas this week.