Week 3: 6-9-1
Season To Date: 24-23-1
Oakland (+4) over Miami
Daunte Culpepper gets his first start this Sunday against the team that let him go last season. Because of this, he no doubt has an ax to grind. The Raiders win not because of any offensive fireworks; they win because of turnovers caused by their own secondary.
Houston (-3) over Atlanta
The Texans’ Matt Schaub is going up against the Atlanta Falcons, a team in crisis mode. The Texans’ running attack is weakened for certain and they don’t have WR Andre Johnson this week. Falcons QB Joey Harrington, thanks to lots of pressure from the Texans’ pass rush, will spend lots of time on his back. Texans win easily. Expect to hear “We want Byron!! throughout the stadium.
Baltimore (-4.5) over Cleveland
The stout Baltimore defense will dictate how this game starts, progresses and ends. Even with Browns (and former Ravens) RB Jamal Lewis having a decent game, it will not be enough as QB Derek Anderson will put up poor numbers. Baltimore in a rout.
Detroit (pick’em) over Chicago
An interesting matchup, especially after the beating the Bears were administered by the Cowboys last week. I expect the Lions to throw early and often and do so successfully. New Bears starting QB Brian Griese can’t even save the Bears this week. Detroit wins a close one.
Green Bay (-1) over Minnesota
The Vikings have a strong run defense but they also have a questionable pass D. Packers QB Brett Favre will expose the Vikings secondary and the Vikings offense will sputter (except for Adrian Peterson. Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk will make either Tarvaris Jackson’s/KElly Holcomb’s life miserable, as well. Packers to easily cover the spread.
St. Louis (+13.5) over Dallas
Dallas’ offense will overwhelm the Rams’ defense (or lack thereof). It doesn’t help the Rams any that RB Steven Jackson is out this week. The only way Dallas loses is if the play caller in the booth is the one on the Pepsi MAX commercial (60 Stretch Far *YAWWWWN). Wake up people!! Dallas in a romp – your lock of the week.
New York Jets (-3) over Buffalo
The Jets will take their momentum against a depleted Bills squad. Look for Thomas Jones to have an excellent game against a questionable Bills run D. Bills QB Trent Edwards won’t do very well this week, either. The Bills already miss Pods. The oddsmakers are being kind to the Bills this week; the Jets win easily.
Tampa Bay (+3) over Carolina
David Carr gets the start over ailing Jake Delhomme for Carolina, so you know the Buccaneers are licking their chops over that prospect. Expect good numbers for Panthers WR Steve Smith, but that’s the only good thing that Carolina has going for them this weekend. Look for the passrush of Tampa to be the difference here – Tampa Bay to cover in a decisive victory.
Seattle (-1.5) over San Francisco
To the 49ers’ credit, they have done a lot with very little. The Seahawks will establish the run game early; Shaun Alexander will run through the 49ers D-line like a hot knife through butter. Hasslebeck will not have big numbers this Sunday but then again, he won’t have to. Expect 80-90 yards and a TD from the 49ers’ Gore, but it will not be enough. Seattle covers the 1.5 and then some.
Arizona (+5) over Pittsburgh
Forget everything that happened in Baltimore. The Cardinals offense will click against the Steelers this weekend. Cards’ RB Edgerrin James will explode against the Steelers D-line, and Big Ben will have a subpar effort. The X Factor here? Cards’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt (former Steelers assistant). Upset of the week.
San Diego (-12) over Kansas City
Look for megadoses of LT as he runs all over the Chiefs’ D-line. Also expect the Chargers LB’s to make Chiefs QB Damon Huard’s day awful. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brodie Croyle at some point during the game. The Chargers will win this one with ease.
Indianapolis (-9.5) over Denver
Inrteresting chess match here – the Broncos’ heralded pass defense vs. Colts QB Peyton Manning. Joseph Addai vs. the Broncos lass-than-stellar run D. Look for Addai to run wild over the Broncos and keep an eye on Colts OT Tony Ugoh. Ugoh will show why he is an up-and-coming star. Close game early, but the Colts will manage the clock masterfully. Colts win by at least 10.
Philadelphia (-3) over New York Giants
It took Eagles QB Donovan McNabb one game to wake up the beast in him. Expect more of the same from him vs. the Giants. The Giants will simply be overwhelmed by the passing of McNabb and their pass defense which will get a workout. Minus 3 is being kind- Eagles to win by at least 9.
New England (+7) over Cincinnati
The New England Patriots vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. See Brady pass. See Moss catch and score. See Palmer throw 3 interceptions. See the Patriots win by at least 10 (and that’s probably stretching it).