Nice, a return to glory in the short week! Please allow us a moment to bask in the glory of a 10-3 week, erasing the awful memory of the 4-10 abomination which preceded it.
Ahhh. That’s nice.
What a week it was, too. The Pats continue to flip off the rest of the league, and score points in buckets, 74 year old Vinny Testaverde played like he was 40 again, Adrian Peterson had a big-ass coming out party at the expense of the suddenly toothless Bear defense, Tony Gonzalez cemented his spot in Canton, and LaDanian Tomlinson stopped whining and started scoring touchdowns, to the delight of Fantasy owners nationwide.
(Also, the Chiefs are back in 1st place again. Shhhhh…….)
On to the choices:
DETROIT (-1.5) over Tampa Bay
Strange that Vegas is favoring the Lions, even though the game is in the Motor City. Lions have been pretty up and down, so this looks to be an "up" week.
Lions 19 Buccaneers 16
NEW ORLEANS (-7.5) over Atlanta
Are the Saints back? Sure looked like it last week, didn't it? If the opponent was anyone else it might be a different story, but it looks as if the Falcons have cashed it in. Byron Leftwich takes the helm for Atlanta, but it shouldn't matter, at least not yet.
Saints 34 Falcons 20
WASHINGTON (-7.5) over Arizona
Skins defense is very tough, and will feast at home against Tim Rattay-led Cards. The line seems a bit high, but the hunch here is that Washington can handle it.
Redskins 23 Cardinals 13
Baltimore (-3.5) over BUFFALO
Ravens always a close your eyes and hope for the best bet, and this could easily be the ugliest game of the week. In this case, we'll go with the stronger, big play defense, and that belongs to the Ravens.
Ravens 16 Bills 10
New England (-17.5) over MIAMI
That’s it, only 17.5? Cripes, we’d be willing to lay 25 here. Despite Pats recent struggles in this city, this team is on such a roll that it is impossible to place a ceiling on them. Dolphs look like they have a little more life with Cleo Lemon at the helm, but we feel he’ll be running for his life in the second half as opposed to putting up some cheap late scores.
Patriots 38 Dolphins 13
Tennessee (-1.5) over HOUSTON
Vice Young is listed as a "game time decision", but those of us gamblers/fantasy owners know that Jeff Fischer loves to mess with us via his injury report every week. Mark it down, Young will play, but even if he doesn't Kerry Collins can provide suitable numbers. Titans will not be able to run the ball versus stout Titan D, and the low number tells us to go with the visitors.
Titans 20 Texans 14
NY GIANTS (-10.5) over San Francisco
G-Men could be caught looking ahead to big London trip next week (side note to Roger Goodell: please stop floating the possibility of playing the Super Bowl overseas. It's stupid, nearly as much as playing a regular season game in Europe). Trent Dilfer will be a sitting duck for the Giant pass rush, and the manning-to-Burress combo will continue to click.
Giants 30 49ers 16
NY Jets (+6.5) over CINCINNATI
Jets have stunk less than Bengals have thus far. Line is too high for a team that plays defense as poorly as Cincy, and the team is this close to a full scale mutiny. Jets more relaxed on the road, and should stay close enough to cover if not win outright.
Jets 31 Bengals 28
Kansas City ( +2.5) over OAKLAND
Raiders are better than they've been in recent years, no question, and do play better in the Black Hole. However, Chiefs might be finally ready to turn the corner on offense now that Larry Johnson cracked the 100 yard mark last week (admittedly against an awful Bengal defense). Game could be tight, so we’ll take the points.
Chiefs 24 Raiders 20
DALLAS (-9.5) over Minnesota
Big bounceback for the Cowboys, despite facing All-World RB Adrian Peterson. Vikes have no other weapons, which will allow the 'Pokes to key on and contain him. Look for Dallas to take out the frustration from Patriot game here.
Cowboys 27 Vikings 14
SEATTLE (-9.5) over St. Louis
Please, please, can someone figure out the Seahawks? There is no explanation for getting blown out (and shut out) on the road in Pittsburgh, then coming home and getting torched in the first half by the Saints. Despite all that, the Rams are a welcome sight, as they are truly awful. Should Bulger and Jackson return, it could be closer, but this one has all the makings of Seattle getting its act together and taking out its collective frustrations.
Seahawks 23 Rams 9
PHILADELPHIA (-4.5) over Chicago
Eagles better at home, and you can be certain they will not kick the ball to Devin Hester, who is the Bear offense at this point. Line does seem a bit high, but honestly have the Bears shown themselves worthy of any respect recently?
Eagles 24 Bears 14
Pittsburgh (-3.5) over DENVER
Maybe Denver isn’t ready for prime time after all. Jay Cutler has had his moments, but the real surprise has been the woeful rushing defense displayed by Shanahan's bunch. Pittsburgh is not the team one would want to see when having that kind of problem. Look for the Steelers to control the line of scrimmage, the clock, and the game.
Steelers 20 Broncos 7
JACKSONVILLE (+3.5) over Indianapolis
Conventional wisdom tells us that the Colts are coming off a bye, and are likely the 2nd best team in the NFL right now, thus would be the smart play. Maybe, but CW also tells us that the Jags always play them tough, particularly in Florida. In what could be the best game of the week, we like the Jags to put up the first "L" on Indy.
Jaguars 27 Colts 24
BEST BETS: New England, Washington, Dallas
Last Week: 10-3
Overall: 48-41 (53.9%)
Last Week: 1-2
Overall: 9-3 (75%)