Ok so I was only so-so last week finishing just 7-7. This week I will try to redeem myself with my picks. Here we go:
Green Bay Packers (3-2) vs. Cleveland Browns (1-5)
At 3-2 the Pack is looking real good this season. Aaron Rodgers overall QB rating so far this season is 104.1 proving he is both accurate and smart with the ball. Last week he completed 29 of 37 for 358 yards and 2 TDs (1 INT) against the lowly Lions. Their running game with Ryan Grant has looked good and they are bringing back Ahman Green to add depth in the backfield. Greg Jennings & Donald Driver are always reliable receivers. The defense has been playing well despite some injuries. The Cleveland Browns managed their first win of the season in week 5 but dropped another game last week against the Steelers. Derek Anderson finished last week completing 9 of 24 for 122 yards 1 TD & 1 INT. His QB rating for the season so far is a paltry 41.7. Jamal Lewis was stuffed for just 21 yards on 11 carries. Mohamed Massaquoi had only 5 receptions for 83 yards. Brodney Pool had his 2nd interception of the season last week but the Browns have continued to struggle on defense. I think the Pack is just too tough for them. I’m picking the Packers.
San Francisco 49ers (3-2) vs. Houston Texans (3-3)
The 49ers were on bye last week. Week 5 they were demolished in an embarassing loss to the Falcons 45-10. Shaun Hill completed just 15 of 38 for 198 yards 0 TDs and 1 INT. Vernon Davis had only 5 catches for 51 yards and Glen Coffee was held to just 45 yards though he did score the only TD the 49ers scored. Despite this loss the 49ers are 3-2 and tied for 1st in the NFC West division. Houston pulled a shocker last week by beating the Bengals in Cincinnati 28-17. Matt Schaub completed 28 of 40 for 392 yards and 4 TDs (1 INT). Andre Johnson made 8 receptions for 135 yards. The defense has been plagued by injuries so they are inconsistent. Schaub runs hot & cold sometimes playing phenemonal sometimes poorly. Michael Crabtree will make his debut this week against the Texans. The 49ers will be rested and ready to make up for the week 5 loss. I’m picking the 49ers.
San Diego Chargers (2-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5)
The Chargers were embarassed at home last week by their division rival the Denver Broncos 23-34. Phillip Rivers completed 20 of 33 for 274 yards and 1 TD. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for just 70 yards on 18 carries. Vincent Jackson had 4 receptions for 46 yards and 1 TD while Darren Sproles broke a kickoff for a TD in the 2nd half. The defense has struggled without big Jamal Williams at tackle (gone for the season) but should recover as the season progresses. The Chiefs got their 1st win last week against the the badly playing Redskins. Despite this the Chiefs are still a terrible team. Last week they scored ZERO touchdowns. Matt Cassell completed just 16 of 31 for 186 yards. Dwayne Bowe had 6 receptions for 109 yards. Larry Johnson had 23 rushes for 83 yards. The game was painful to watch since both teams stink. The Chiefs defense have played decent in the last 2 weeks, but I dont think they have a shot against the Chargers who are looking to redeem themselves and get themselves within 3 games of the division leading Broncos. This win against the division’s worst team should help. I’m picking the Chargers.
Minnesota Vikings (6-0) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
Last week Brett Favre looked fabulous in a win against the Ravens. Despite Adrian Peterson being held to just 143 yards on 22 rushes and 0 TDs, Favre completed 21 of 29 for 278 yards and 3 TDs. Sidney Rice had 6 receptions for 176 yards. Jared Allen is just scary on that defense which has played solid & consistent through the first part of the season. The Steelers beat their division rival Browns last week. Ben Roethlisberger completed 23 of 35 for 417 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. Hines Ward had 8 receptions for 159 yards and 1 TD while Heath Miller had 5 receptions for 80 yards and a TD as well. Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 62 yards on 17 carries and 1 TD. The return of Troy Polamalu last week fired up the defense who picked off Derek Anderson. I expect the Steelers to be ready to play, but I know the Vikes are trying to keep their undefeated streak going as long as possible. Hard to pick against the Steelers at home but I like the way the Vikings look right now. I’m picking the Vikings.
Indianapolis Colts (5-0) vs. St. Louis Rams (0-6)
I wont linger long on this game. The Colts are coming in fresh off a bye. In Week 5 the Colts dismantled the poor Titans in Tennessee 31-9. Peyton’s QB rating for the year so far is an incredible 114.1. His receivers are playing well and his running game is great. The defense has been without Bob Sanders who is set to make his season debut this week but has been playing fantastic without him. The St. Louis Rams are awful. The offense can barely score and the defense hemorrages yardage to opponents. It is not going to be pretty. I’m picking the Colts.
New Englad Patriots (4-2) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6)
Another game I wont linger on long. The Patriots completely demolished destroyed and decimated the Titans last week in what can only be called an embarassment. Tom Brady threw for 6 TDs total, 5 in the 2nd quarter alone (a NFL record) before being pulled in the 3rd quarter. Wes Welker & Randy Moss are a dynamic receiving combo. Laurence Maroney showed that even without Fred Taylor the running game will be fine. Patriots have a stingy defense. They do not give up many yards. The Buccaneers are a terrible team stuck in a rebuilding year where little progress is being made (though Josh Johnson seems to improve some each week). I dont think the Bucs will remain winless but there is no hope for them in this game. I’m picking the Patriots.
Buffalo Bills (2-4) vs. Carolina Panthers (2-3)
The Bills shocked the Jets last week by beating them 16-13 in overtime in New York. Trent Edwards went down with a concussion and Ryan Fitzpatrick rallied them from a 10 point deficit to take them into overtime. He completed 10 of 25 for 116 yards 1 TD & 1 INT. Lee Evans may have only had 68 yards receiving on 4 receptions but 1 was for a TD. Their defense is mediocre and with their offense unable to close out games they are going to struggle this season. The Panthers fought an ugly battle against the winless Buccaneers. Jake Delhomme threw another 2 picks last week taking his season total up to 10 already! Steve Smith is miserable and unhappy as his production numbers have been poor (he has only a total of 21 receptions for 259 yards and 0 TDs for the season so far). Muhsin Muhammad isnt complaining, but he also is without a TD so far this season. Only DeAngelo Williams is producing; last week he rushed for 152 yards on 30 carries and 2 TDs. Their defense isnt playing up to their full potential and each week seems to let them down at the end of games. These are 2 bad teams and it’s hard to pick which one of them will stink less this week. But with Delhomme consistently throwing picks it’s hard to pick them any week. I’m picking the Bills.
New York Jets (3-3) vs. Oakland Raiders (2-4)
The New York Jets got off to a fast start this season going 3-0. Since then they have dropped their last 3 games and are now 3-3 and only 1/2 game up on the Dolphins. The rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez looked like a veteran in the first 3 weeks and now has been showing his rookie roots with last week being his worst so far. He threw 5 INTs and 0 TDs in a loss to the division rival Bills. Only the Jets defense (and the fact that the Bills stink) kept the Bills from fully capitalizing on the turnovers. Despite the bad game Sanchez had Thomas Jones still rushed for 210 yards on 22 carries and 1 TD. The division leading Patriots are only 1 game up on them, so they will be fine so long as Sanchez improves each week. The Raiders pulled the upset of the week last week. They beat the Eagles 13-9 at home in a game where they held Donovan McNabb to 0 TDs. JaMarcus Russell threw for only his 2nd TD of the season so far, but he also threw for another 2 INTs taking his total to 6 already for the season. Despite the win, the Raiders are still a terrible team. JaMarcus still needs desperately to work on his fundamentals and passing skills. He has 2 very young receivers who are in need of leadership from their quarterback (his touchdown last week was to his veteran tight end). Richard Seymour has brought leadership on that defense which is strong, but cannot make up for the lack of a good offense. I think Sanchez will recover from last week’s disaster and get back on the winning track. I’m picking the Jets.
Chicago Bears (3-2) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)
The Bears lost a tough one last week against the Falcons in Atlanta. Jay Cutler had a rough game where he completed 27 of 43 for 300 yards and 2 TDs but also 2 INTs. Matt Forte was held to just 23 yards of rushing on 15 carries and Devin Hester only made 6 receptions for 83 yards. Their defense has been playing well without Urlacher but still a bit inconsistent. Bengals lost a shocker to the Texans at home 28-17. Carson Palmer completed 23 of 35 for 259 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Cedric Benson was held to just 44 yards rushing but did score 1 TD. He will be fired up this week facing his former team who he claims tried to blackball him. This is going to be a really good game. Hard for me to pick one. The “Cardiac Cats” play their games close but the Bears have a stingy defense and should be able to shut down the Bengals running game. Johnny Knox is always a threat to run one back on special teams. I’m picking the Bears.
Atlanta Falcons (4-1) vs. Dallas Cowboys (3-2)
The Falcons beat the Bears at home last week in a tough battle. Matt Ryan had his worse game so far this season going just 19 of 33 for 185 yards 2 TDs and 2 INTs. Michael Turner was stuffed for just 30 yards rushing on 13 carries but did score 1 TD. Roddy White only had 4 receptions for 56 yards but did score a TD as well. Their defense is stellar and playing very competitively each week keeping them just 1 game back of the division leading Saints. The Cowboys are having a rocky season. They are coming in this week off a bye. They last faced the awful Chiefs in Week 5 where they struggled to win in overtime. Tony Romo had a good game though completing 20 of 34 for 351 yards and 2 TDs. Miles Austin had 10 receptions for 250 yards and both of Romo’s TDs. The running game struggled with Barber playing hurt & Felix Jones out but both backs should be playing healthy this week. The defense hasnt been playing great. Blame some of that on injuries, blame some of that on poor execution. Their 3 wins have come against 3 terrible teams with losing records. They have lost their only 2 battles against teams with winning records. Make this the 3rd. I’m picking the Falcons.
New Orleans Saints (5-0) vs. Miami Dolphins (2-3)
The Saints seem to be on a roll and look to only get better each week. Last week they faced their toughest opponent so far in the previously unbeaten Giants and won soundly 48-27. After disappearing for 2 games, Drew Brees had an amazing game completing 23 of 30 for 369 yards and 4 TDs taking his total to 13 through the first 6 weeks of the season. Marques Colston had 8 receptions for 166 yards and 1 TD. Reggie Bush only rushed for 17 yards but 1 TD. Gregg Williams has this defense playing solid and competitve each week. The Dolphins have become the true masters of the Wildcat offense. No team runs it better or more efficiently than them. They are coming in off their bye last week ready to face the high scoring offense of the Saints. Chade Henne had his highest QB rating in week 5 at 130.4 by completing 20 of 26 for 241 yards and 2 TDs. Ronnie Brown rushed for 74 yards on 21 carries and an additional 2 TDs as the Dolphins surprised the Jets in a 31-27 win. Their defense is suspect though which has kept them from winning many games (that and many teams know how to defend against the Wildcat now). Much as I love the Wildcat and the way the Dolphins play it, I cant pick them against such an aggressive opponent. I’m picking the Saints.
Arizona Cardinals (3-2) vs. New York Giants (5-1)
The Cardinals beat the Seahawks silly in a 27-3 whipping in Seattle. Kurt Warner completed 32 of 41 for 276 yards and 2 TDs (1 INT). Larry Fitzgerald had 13 receptions for 100 yards and 1 TD. Tim Hightower was held to just 32 yards rushing on 13 carries but also scored a TD. The defense kept the Seahawks out of the endzone and held Matt Hasselback to just 112 yards in the air. They cannot win week to week which will be tough as the season progresses. The Giants lost their first game of the season last week against the Saints getting beat down 48-27 in New Orleans. Eli had a terrible game completing just 14 of 31 for 178 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs were held to a combined 81 yards rushing & Steve Smith and Mario Manningham were held under 100 yards receiving combined and just 1 TD between the 2 of them. The defense had an off game last week but has been playing efficiently and getting the job done. I think they will bounce back after last week’s debacle and get back on the winning track. I’m picking the Giants.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) vs. Washington Redskins (2-4)
The Eagles lost a shocker in Oakland last week against the Raiders where they were held to 0 TDs. Donovan McNabb completed 22 of 46 for 269 yards but didnt get the ball into the endzone. Brian Westbrook managed only 50 yards on 6 carries and the defense struggled allowing JaMarcus Russell to get just his 2nd TD of the season in a game where the Eagles played sloppy. The Washington Redskins are a terrible team. Their only 2 wins have come against winless opponents and the 4 losses have come against teams who were winless at the time the Skins faced them (3 of whom still have losing records). Jason Campbell was pulled in the 2nd half of the loss last week and Todd Collins didnt play any better getting sacked in the endzone for a safety. The defense has been banged up and played downright awful. Play calling has been stripped from their head coach Jim Zorn and given to recently hired offensive consultant Sherman Lewis. Even with this move I think the Redskins are going to have a terrible season. I’m picking the Eagles.