Now that was an absolutely brutal week -- maybe my worst yet. Here's what went wrong: 1) The Ravens had the lead in the final minutes but lost on a last-second drive; 2) the Colts won by six instead of seven; 3) the Texans were headed for overtime before the Jaguars hauled in a Hail Mary pass to win; 4) the previously winless Bills won by two instead of three; and 5) the Jets and Browns looked like they were about to tie before the Browns choked and gave up a game-ending touchdown after whiffing on a few tackles. The Giants also lost at home to the Cowboys despite being 14 points favorites.
So yeah, that really sucked. But just like the Redskins after the fiasco at FedEx on Monday night against the Eagles, I've got to keep moving. Unless I was Albert Haynesworth, of course. Then I could just fall down and give up. But no, I won't do that.
DOLPHINS (-1) over Bears
Forgot to throw this in before. Thanks a lot, Dolphins.
STEELERS (-7.5) over Raiders
Tom Brady and the Patriots moved the ball up and down the field against the Steelers defense last week, but I seriously doubt that Jason Campbell and the Raiders can duplicate that effort. It's not that the Raiders are a bad team -- far from it. They're 5-4 and actually have a better point differential (+47) than the Steelers (+38), thanks to a few blowout wins over the Broncos and Seahawks. Also, the Steelers and Ravens are both 6-3, and the Ravens travel to Carolina to face the Panthers, which should be a cakewalk for Baltimore. The Steelers need to keep pace with the Ravens, and they also probably aren't happy with how they looked last week on Sunday Night Football. Look for them to get things rolling again this week.
JETS (-7) over Texans
It looks like Matt Schaub is going to play after an injury scare earlier in the week, but how can anyone trust the Texans at this point? They haven't won since Week 6. That's a long time. The Jets, on the other hand, keep winning, but they're not winning big. In fact, they haven't won by more than 10 points since their Week 4 38-14 win over the Bills. Well, I think that stretch ends this week, primarily because the Texans have a dreadful defense. The Jets should be able to put up plenty of points, and their defense should pressure Schaub all game long.
Ravens (-12) over PANTHERS
There's simply no way anyone can side with Carolina. Right?
TITANS (-7) over Redskins
Except for the debacle on Monday night against the Eagles, the Redskins have been a competitive team this season. But with LaRon Landry and Carlos Rogers both expected to miss this week's game, the Redskins and their already-struggling defense are in big trouble. If they can manage to keep this game within 10 points, I'll be extremely surprised.
Lions (+7) over COWBOYS
I find it hard to believe that Jason Garrett has the ability to change the entire culture of the Cowboys locker room, but they did look impressive last week in beating the Giants. Still, they are 2-7 for a reason, so it'll take another win or two -- or at least another week of solid effort -- before I start to take them seriously again.
Packers (-3) over VIKINGS
This line seems too low, doesn't it? But who knows, maybe the 3-6 Vikings will make one last stand at home to at least make things interesting. But I doubt it.
Bills (+5) over BENGALS
A 1-8 team travels to take on a 2-7 team -- not exactly the best game of the day, is it?
JAGUARS (-2) over Browns
I was tempted to take the Browns, but losing Josh Cribbs this week is a huge problem for them. Then again, despite having a 3-6 record, the Browns (-10) have a better point differential than the 5-4 Jaguars (-54). That's something to think about, at least.
CHIEFS (-8) over Cardinals
The Chiefs should have no problem feeding Jamaal Charles, with some carries to Thomas Jones thrown in. Hopefully that doesn't end up the other way around.
SAINTS (-11.5) over Seahawks
The Saints just had a bye week and are getting healthier, and they're also playing at home. The Seahawks, on the other hand, just aren't a very good team; I don't care if they have a winning record or not.
RAMS (+3) over Falcons
Like the Packers-Vikings game, this line also seems a little too low. Unlike that game, though, I'll actually side with the Rams this week, for no apparent reason. Maybe that's why I'm having such a hard time picking games this season.
49ERS (-3) over Buccaneers
With Troy Smith under center, the 49ers are 2-0. And no, I never thought I would write that sentence.
PATRIOTS (-4) over Colts
The Patriots (7-2) are firing on all cylinders lately. Meanwhile, the Colts are 6-3 and are still obviously a threatening team, but something just seems a little off about them. I guess it's all Pierre Garcon's fault.
Giants (+3.5) over EAGLES
Seriously, who knows?
Broncos (+10) over CHARGERS
I have no concrete reason to pick against Philip Rivers, but Antonio Gates will probably be out again. Ten points also seems a little high, but maybe that's just me.
Last week: 4-10