7-5-1 heading into Monday Night, I locked down yet another winning week.
Tennessee Titans (-2.5) @ Baltimore Ravens: (WINNER) “The Ravens won’t be able to throw. Short rest against a super physical team after already being warn down – you bet I’ll be taking the Titans by a field goal – and I’ll love it all week long.” Well, I loved it all week long but it started to get more and more worrisome as Sunday began to eclipse – but in the end, that field goal I needed the Titans to cover came through as Tennessee had one more score at the end of the game to pull me up 3. Whew.
Seattle Seahawks (+9) @ New York Giants: (LOSER) Washington State sports = no thanks. I don’t know what’s happened to the Hawks, but they’ll need to do a lot more than beat some random bad team in the NFC to get my full confidence again – I should have known. Sorry for leading you astray on this butt kicking, the Hawks lost by a million it seemed like. 44-6 = one million in football speak.
Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles (-5): (LOSER) I think this one is close – and while the Redskins as a 5 point dog always seem to have good value, I will have to go with the home team eagles this week. Philly will shut down the rushing attack from Washington, and that will put a lot of pressure on Jason Campbell.” Okay, the Eagles did put some pressure on Campbell to start the game, but their run defense that had been stellar was torched by Clinton Portis. Portis was in full beast mode, showing hulk strength, busting tackles and basically carrying the Redskins to victory. The Eagles were up early and I was smiling, but Philly didn’t do anything offensively, and the Redskins took full advantage. Washington is really impressing me.
San Diego Chargers (-6) @ Miami Dolphins: (LOSER) “I seem to be the only “expert” taking the Chargers this weekend, and I can see why the Dolphins are looking like a good value at home – but I have a feeling the Chargers will get a lot out of their rushing attack this week, and I don’t think you see the Fin running backs doing work like they did last week. Tough call here, certainly, but at just under a touchdown I’ll take the road favorites here.” Soooo… Haha, apparently the “experts” slapped me around on this one. San Diego came out a little stale, and Miami showed a couple folks that their win over New England wasn’t as flukey as it seemed. Can Sparano and Parcells really give this bad of a team this much confidence? It seems like it. I was DEAD WRONG about this one, and even though I thought it’d be close, the Dolphins are just much more physical than I thought. I don’t think they’ll sleep on anyone else this season, but they’ll continue to be a tough out.
Chicago Bears (-3.5) @ Detroit Lions: (WINNER) 34-7… It doesn’t pay to be a Lion fan right now. And don’t get me wrong, it rarely has. The Bears embarrassed the Lions in all aspects of the game, making me look smart with my road favorite pick here.
Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers (-7): (LOSER) Well, Aaron Rodgers played, had a pretty damn good game, and the Packers still go to 2-3 on the season, tallying up their 3rd loss in as many contests. It looks like these young teams with new coaches are doing something right these days – maybe a couple of these franchises (Miami, Atlanta, Washington) are turning the corner. I definitely like what I see from Matt Ryan and the young Falcons – going into Green Bay and man-handling the Packers up front is big step forward.
Indianapolis Colts (-3) @ Houston Texans: (WINNER) “This is a very tough one for me, but I don’t see Indy coming off a bye and losing to a Texans team to go 1-3 on the season. I’m talking pure will to win here.” What else could you call what happened on Sunday in Houston? Will to win. The Colts snuck out another one, and while they could easily be 0-4, they’re through the first quarter of the season at 2-2. Houston will get it together, but they’ll have a tough couple days thinking about this one getting away. I lucked out with this cover. Houston dominated the Colts for much of this game. 21 points in 4 minutes got me a one point win – you don’t want much of that business going on here, not unless heart failure is your ideal way to go.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Carolina Panthers (-9.5): (WINNER) “The Chiefs won’t be able to run on Carolina like they did on Denver. That ruins their chances at a victory right there.” Larry Johnson, the AFC’s leading rusher coming in, had 2 yards on 7 carries and the Panthers shutout the Chiefs in dominating fashion. Got this one right on the button.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos (-3): (PUSH) “This one is very tough for me. I know the Bucs are one of the more underrated football teams in the game, and Denver’s explosion as an offensive masterpiece teaming with a terrible defensive front, has their value at an all time low – but I like the Broncos in a gut-feeling type situation.” Well, it was close, and the gut-feeling had some kind of feeling going on. In the end this low scoring affair ended with Splinter’s Broncos up 3 and pushing me to a tie.
Buffalo Bills @ Arizona Cardinals (pk): (WINNER) “I’m taking the Cardinals here, and with or without Anquan Boldin I’ll be sticking with it. I think the Bills are ready for a loss and I think the Cardinals (at home) are better than the Bills (on the road). The highs and lows will even out with a nice comfortable Cardinal win on Sunday.” Well, the highs and lows definitely evened out. It didn’t hurt that Trent Edwards went down early with a concussion, and even though Losman looked good throwing the ball a couple times, his turnover prone quarterbacking meant the end for Buffalo. Arizona played well, stuffing the run pretty good and constantly attacking on offense. All in all, I was right. Ha,
New England Patriots (-3) @ San Francisco 49ers: (WINNER) “I’m not good for or against Mike Martz. Let’s make that clear. Over his years, where ever he goes, I have trouble reading his teams. That’s my precursor warning here. Another warning, most of the public (almost 70% at the books I watch) is rolling with the Patriots on this one, and some respectable “experts” are taking the 49ers as a good value to cover at home. So there you have it, you’ve been warned. Now here’s the kicker, I love the Patriots in this one. The 49ers aren’t good, and they don’t do what would help them most in this game, run the ball. A bunch of really competitive hard workers were made a laughing stock in Week 3 as the Patriots D got their aces handed to them by Ronnie Brown and company. That won’t go over well, and after two weeks to dwell on that kind of business I think the Pats come out and wallop the 49ers – I love them in Week 5. So, you’ve been warned and I’ve predicted an outcome that mocks experts and my Mike Martz struggle. If you’re with me on this one, you’re seeing the Pats winning by a couple touchdowns in San Francisco.” (YEP) – The 49ers had a chance if they gave Frank Gore about 15 more carries – as it turned out, they just threw the ball a lot and put up their fair share of turnovers. That will lose you any game against the Pats. Yay me, boo Mike Martz!
Cincinnati Bengals (+17.5) @ Dallas Cowboys: (WINNER) This one was close, once again proving that even bad teams in the NFL shouldn’t be underdogs by 17 points. Ridiculous. The Bengals were even tougher than the final score insists, as a late touchdown put the Cowboys up 9, and before that Carson Palmer and company were a two point conversion away from tying this thing late in the 4th. Good value, good win, this one made me a sure thing winner in Week 5.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-4): (LOSER) The final score was close, and Jacksonville was up one late in the game, but the Steelers really came out fired up for this one, out-toughing the Jaguars from the get go. Pittsburgh is an interesting team that I’m not reading real well, no question about that. Their run-defense played inspired football handing me my 6th loss on the week.
Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) @ New Orleans Saints: I won this game, and I have to say, despite losing the yardage battle, and feeling that I was going to lose the game all night, and watching Drew Brees pass at will, I was really happy when Martin Gramatica came in to put the Saints up three. That basically gives me a win. This was definitely and interesting one, and I’m not sure I picked the right side on this game, but I did come out on top, bringing me to 8-5-1 on the week, three more games over .500. I’ll take a win any way I can get it.