What an awful year. So far, I’m 50-40 overall, and 48-37-5 against the spread. So…take my spread picks more seriously. If you take any of this seriously at all. In which case you should have your head examined. Here goes!
Pittsburgh (3) at Miami – The Steelers have met every challenge this season pretty much with defense alone. And Miami doesn’t have the offense to counter that. Steelers, 27-21.
Real final score – Steelers, 23-22. Dolphins fought really, really hard. And they got hosed on that Roethlisberger fumble into the end zone…Steelers are due, soon, for a fall.
Cincinnati at Atlanta (3.5) – The Falcons are good. They are better than the Bengals. But sometimes they forget. Last week, they forgot. This week, they remember. Falcons, 26-17.
Real final score – Falcons, 39-32. The Falcons remembered. On offense at least. Maybe they need to look into arranging their defense so it can stop people from scoring. Just a thought for the rest of the season.
Jacksonville at Kansas City (4.5) - The Chiefs have now lost two in a row, since starting the season gangbusters at 3-0. The Jaguars looked absolutely awful on Monday night. KC gets off the slide here. Chiefs, 26-20.
Real final score – Chiefs, 42-20. OK, so I was off by 16 points. The Chiefs really, really wanted to put this one away late.
Philadelphia at Tennessee (3) – These two teams looked most impressive this past week. The Eagles defense can shut down Chris Johnson, as it appears most teams can do for at least a half now, and if Kolb passes like he did against the Falcons, Philly takes it to the Titans. I’m thinking it’ll be close. Eagles, 24-23.
Real final score – Titans, 37-19. Talk about insult to injury. The Titans made a statement here in the last six minutes - unfotunately, a lot of that statement was “we’re totally willing to rub it in”. The Eagles could stand to stop settling for field goals. With a few TDs, they could have been on the winning end of a blowout.
Washington at Chicago (3) – The Redskins are up and down, as they tend to be every year. So are the Bears. I think the Bears are due to come down, at least in this game. Redskins, 17-14.
Real final score – Redskins, 17-14. Jesus, I’m good. Right on!
Cleveland at New Orleans (13) – Saints are back in form, going deep as often as they should have through the first four games. Cleveland’s only real threat, Cribbs, is banged up. Saints, 24-10.
Real final score – Browns, 30-17. A lot of people will be out of their suicide pools this week. And…I have no explanation beyond that.
Buffalo at Baltimore (13) – A gimme. The Ravens let one slip away last week, they will put the hammer down here. Ravens 23-7.
Real final score – Ravens, 37-34 (OT). That was a funny looking hammer, Baltimore. This game showed, as did their Pittsburgh game and their New England one, that the Ravens are much better coming from behind than they are protecting a lead.
San Francisco (3) at Carolina – You know how the Niners took advantage of playing a really terrible team in the Raiders to win their first of the season? I think the Panthers will do the same here. Panthers, 27-20.
Real final score – Panthers, 23-20. The Panthers are, actually, a better team than San Fran.
St. Louis at Tampa Bay (2.5) – Really, really tough call. The Rams look great (by their standards) so far, so do the Bucs (by theirs). Bucs are at home, I’ll take ‘em. Barely. Bucaneers, 21-20.
Real final score – Buccaneers, 18-17. When you’re right, you’re right. And I’m totally right.
Arizona at Seattle (5.5) – The Cardinals don’t seem real to me. They will lose the division lead to the Seahawks in a hard-fought game. Seahawks, 23-20.
Real final score – Seahawks 22-10. The Cardinals are NOT real. The Seahawks are. (As good as it gets in this division, that is.)
New England at San Diego (3) – The Chargers are not going to come back from their last two awful losses. Patriots, 33-27.
Real final score – Patriots, 23-20. Chargers made it close. But that really isn’t good enough for this team, which will not make the playoffs this season.
Oakland at Denver (6.5) – I have very little confidence in the Broncos, and I think the Raiders are actually a better team. But after Denver proved they could play a physical, tough game last week, I think they have more momentum, and they are better at home than Oakland is on the road. Broncos, 24-21.
Real final score – Raiders, 59-14. Sometimes a game just…gets away from you, eh? The Raiders ARE better than the Broncos. Take away ten big mistakes by Denver, and Oakland still wins this one comfortably. Broncos are, it turns out, awful.
Minnesota at Green Bay (2.5) – Are the Vikings really back? They beat a Cowboys team that shot themselves in the foot (again) this week. But Favre going back to Lambeau is always compelling. Packers, 23-21.
Real final score – Packers, 28-24. Well, I got the spread wrong. And what a finish! Favre can’t be blamed for this loss, even with the picks.
New York Giants at Dallas (3) – The Cowboys are 1-4, winless at home, winless in their division and generally terrible. And they’re favoured by 3? Favoured at all? W.T.F. Giants, 30-17.
Real final score – Giants, 41-35. The Giants tried. They really, really tried to hand the game to Dallas. Three turnovers, in their own red zone, in the first half? Leading to three scores? And then they give up a punt return TD? And still New York has the lead at half time? That’s how bad the Cowboys are. Oh, and someone, somewhere, get Wade Phillips a calculator, wouldja?
And, I’m 11-3 straight up, with only the Philly game (really) going against me. No one picked Cleveland over New Orleans and no one saw what Oakland was gonna do to Denver. That makes me 61-43 overall. And I’m 8-6 against the spread (56-43-5 overall).