Special Thanks to Cat Scratch Reader for their picks! Hope they get one wrong!
Go past the Jump to read the how and why....
St. Louis at Jacksonville - The Rams played the Vikings tougher than expected (though the score didn't show it) and the Jags got embarrassed by an average Seahawks team. Home-Field may not matter much as this game is likely to be blacked out. As long as St. Louis can manage their turnovers against a defense that is in the Top 10 in Turnovers they should win this game. Most think St. Louis is the worst team in the league, but they will get their first win against Jacksonville.
Baltimore at Minnesota - This is a tough one to pick. Statistically both defenses are equal. Minnesotas offensive strength (passing game, 42% VOA success, 8th in the NFL) attacks Baltimores relative weakness (9th Pass Defense). I will hang my hat on that and say that the Vikes are able to squeak it out. While this is not for betting purposes, if you are a betting man I would steer clear of this game.
Detroit at Green Bay - I've been picking Detroit to win or come close to winning the past several weeks. I can't do that against Green Bay. The Lions have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers should have a easy day and come away with the W.
Houston at Cincinnati - I like Cincinnati a lot. They are playing a solid game on both sides of the football. I thought Cincy may be good, but I had no idea that Cedric Benson would be doing what he is. He has been one of the most productive backs in the NFL (don't believe me? http://footballoutsiders.com/stats/rb). This doesn't bode well for a below average defense.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh - Here is my big (St. Louis is another) upset of the week. I try to pick one every week, because that's how the NFL goes. I don't have a lot in the way of logical reasoning here. It's a rivalry game. The Steelers are a terrible pass defense but a great run defense. If I'm Cleveland I am making Willie Parker beat me. Blitz Ben and lock up tight on their WR. It's a shot in the dark because most people think Pitt is on the verge of getting better, I just haven't seen it and will pick a big upset.
CHIEFS at Washington - This game pretty much sums up my group of picks this week. Just an awful match up. The Chiefs have shown some progress under Haley and I think they get win #1 this week. The Redskins haven't played a team with a win yet (seriously). They are under fire from the media, and people both inside and outside the organization. This may be the final nail in Zorn's coffin.
Carolina at BUCS - Look, I don't feel proud of this pick. This is blind optimism at it's best. If we don't win now, I don't know when we do. We get Faine back, and let's hope the ground game is churning. Steve Smith should be good for at least one long catch. Let's just move on.
CARDINALS at Seattle - Warner and company have to get going at some point, right? The Seahawks looked impressive last week against the JV Jaguars. Big home game for them if they want to return to the top of the NFC West.
Buffalo at J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS- Sanchise and the Jets rebound after a heartbreaking loss to the Dolphins in which the Jets defense looked like Walt Michaels was coaching again. Buffalo is shopping TO; good luck, maybe you can just renew Dallas’ Craig’s List ad.
Tennessee at PATRIOTS – They fell victim to a really good Denver machine that just doesn’t want to stop. These two teams are a tale of total opposites. Call it the mortgage game. Because anyone would have mortgaged their home to put money on ending up with each others records after one month! Expect to see Vince Young soon.
Chicago at FALCONS- What a night game this is. Chicago is finding their offense, and Atlanta is finding nothing is guaranteed for them this year.
Mon- Denver at CHARGERS- Somethings got to give here. My bet is the Broncos great luck streak (No they haven't won with good luck, they just live with lady luck on their doorstep. Philip Rivers is in his prime, which is something San Diego struggles with while LT is past his.
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