Let's move on.....the NFL has really mucked this one up, haven't they? A superb matchup (10-1 Cowboys vs. 10-1 Packers), which didn't look like much in April, falls into the (unecessary) Thursday night package, and the majority of fans will have no visibility to the game. Nice! Obviously, the honchos on Park Ave. are hoping this will create a groundswell of support for their channel, which will then force cable systems to place it on the basic level tier. No matter who wins the battle, which will ultimately be settled, the biggest losers, as usual, are the fans. Maybe we'll live blog the thing for the benfit of those who can't see it. Stay tuned.
On to the picks. The less said about last week's 5-11 crapfest, the better, but I will say that the following things do indeed suck:
- Gus Frerotte
- Pittsburgh's grounds crew
- The Tenness Titans
- The Jet offensive line
- Eli Manning
DALLAS (-6.5) over Green Bay
Cowboys are very tough at home, while Favre has never won here. The number looks tempting, but Big D should be able to get out of this one with a win. By the way, is there a more quiet, unassuming coach in the league besides Wade Phillips?
Cowboys 28 Packers 20
That's a winn-ah!
SUNDAYCAROLINA (-2.5) over San Francisco
Ugh, another crapfest. Condolences to those who are forced to watch this one.
Panthers 20 49ers 18
Jacksonville (+7.5) over INDIANAPOLIS
Big game for control of the AFC South. Jags always give Colts trouble, and since Indy hasn't been setting the league on fire much of late, we'll grab the touchdown plus.
Colts 24 Jaguars 20
MINNESOTA (-3.5) over Detroit
We're reasy to throw more disrt on the Lions, especially on the road. Vikes get Adrian Peterson back and should roll at home.
Vikings 27 Lions 16
KANSAS CITY (+4.5) over San Diego
Still not sold on the Chargers turning the corner yet, particularly in Arrowhead, which has been a House of Horrors for them. Chiefs can stay close and maybe steal this one.
Chiefs 20 Chargers 17
NY Jets (+1.5) over MIAMI
Wow, an 0-11 team is giving points? Do the Jets garner that little level of respect? Put no stock in the Monday Nighter by the Fish - your local high school team might have been capable of slowing down the Steelers on that crummy field.
Jets 17 Dolphins 16
WASHINGTON (-5.5) over Buffalo
In what should be a somber FedEx field, the Skins will rebound and dedicate this one to their fallen teammate Sean Taylor. It doesn't hurt that the Bills have been in free fall the past three weeks either.
Redskins 30 Bills 13
Houston (+3.5) over TENNESSEE
We're officially through with the Titans. They have become impossible to pick week-to-week. Texans getting healthy, and have returned to the level of competitiveness they showed in the first few weeks.
Texans 20 Titans 17
ST. LOUIS (-4.5) over Atlanta
No Bulger, which would have impacted this pick had we known. nevertheless, it's near impossible to trust the Falcons on the road, so we'll go with the hometown Rams.
Rams 22 Falcons 14
PHILADELPHIA (-3.5) over Seattle
Eagles, fresh off big important moral victory last week, return home in a prime spot to lay an egg. The hunch is that with Feely at the helm they can avoid that pitfall and take out the maddeningly inconsistent Hawks.
Eagles 24 Seahawks 17
Cleveland (+1.5) over ARIZONA
Browns are our anti-Titans: we're picking them every week, since they never seem to disappoint. Cards coming off ugly-ass loss to the Niners last week, and falling behind early here could finish them off quickly.
Browns 38 Cardinals 27
Denver (-3.5) over OAKLAND
Raiders a little tougher at home, but it's hard to imagine the Broncos not recovering from late collapse in Chicago last week. Besides, Raiders don't have a Devin Hester, so it's all good there.
Broncos 23 Raiders 10
Tampa Bay (+3.5) over NEW ORLEANS
Okay, okay, we'll jump on the Bucs bandwagon now. Saints can;t seem to string together a decent run of games of late, and we can see this one maybe being decided by a late figgie.
Saints 23 Buccaneers 21
NY Giants (-1.5) over CHICAGO
Manning! Grossman! The Clash Of The QB's!!! So long as the G-Men don't kick it to Hester, and Eli can manage to hit the guys in the white jerseys (which he had no problem doing last week), this is a nice recovery week for them.
Giants 27 Bears 17
PITTSBURGH (-7.5) over Bengals
Show of hands: who else took a bath on the Steelers last week? Field has been repaired, and the Steely McBeamers (worst. mascot. ever.) will rebound.
Steelers 31 Bengals 20
NEW ENGLAND (-20.5) over Baltimore
So much for Vegas not requiring a "Patriot Tax" after last week. We'll bite on this one, since there is no way Ravens can match the offensive effort put forth by Philly last week. Blueprint, shmueprint, Pats are pissed off they nearly lost and will roll.
Patriots 40 Ravens 10
BEST BETS: Patriots, Vikings, Redskins
Last Week: 5-11
Season Total: 95-81 (54%)
Last Week: 1-2
Season Total: 17-13 (56.7%)