Last week straight up: 11-2Season straight up: 66-38Last week vs. spread: 8-5Season vs. spread: 48-55-1
BUCS (6.5) AT VIKINGS:
Tampa's defense got exposed by the Saints, but so have a lot of teams by Drew Brees. The task won't be as difficult this week against a Vikings' offense that didn't do much in a so-so win over the short-handed Cardinals. The crowd in Minny will be pumped for a national TV game and that will carry them in another sloppy, grind-it-out win.
Vikings 23, Bucs 20RAIDERS (1.5) AT CHIEFS
Good luck to all those wanting to wager on this one. Yikes. The Raiders, as we all know, have owned the Chiefs of late, winning six of the last nine and five straight at Arrowhead. There should also be plenty of motivation on the Oakland side a win here puts them in the AFC West race (sort of). And these Raiders aren't your father's Raiders they don't lead the league in penalties any more. They are weak in the secondary, however, and on paper, one would think Jon Baldwin and Dwayne Bowe could exploit that. Of course, someone has to get them the ball. Brady Quinn makes his second start for KC and he is the king of the check-down pass. This is a time, though, that Quinn and the Chiefs need to go after that Raiders' secondary. The Chiefs will get a ground game going and then it will be up to Quinn, who will make just enough plays as the Chiefs get a much-needed win.
Chiefs 19, Raiders 17JAGS (12.5) AT PACKERS
Both teams are beat up and short-handed. The Jags may be forced to use Chad Henne. Not good for the Jags. But the Packers have lost numerous starters on an already weak defense, the latest being future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson. The Packers' offense and Aaron Rodgers have been humming the last two games and should do so again, though the Jags will probably hang around long enough to make it interesting.
Packers 27, Jags 17SEAHAWKS (2.5) AT LIONS
The Lions had a must-win game at Soldier Field last week and looked totally impotent offensively. This is a team ready to fall off a cliff, if it hasn't already.
Seahawks 31, Lions 28PANTHERS (7.5) AT BEARS
Big shakeup in Charlotte as the Panthers fired their GM. And, of course, Cam Newton looks like a beaten man, practically sobbing in the post-game press conference. The Bears are coming off a huge divisional win against the Lions on Monday night, which might set them up for a slight letdown. Panthers and Newton keep it close.
Bears 16, Panthers 13REDSKINS (4.5) AT STEELERS
Redskins really thought they had the huge upset on the road against the Giants when they took the lead with under two minutes left, only to lose it when Victor Cruz inexplicably got behind the entire Redskins' secondary for a long touchdown reception. Steelers, of course, rose up and showed they are still formidable in a road win at Cincy. Steelers play nothing but tight games and this will be no different. Don't be shocked if RG3 pulls off a stunner.
Steelers 22, Redskins 20FALCONS (2.5) AT EAGLES
OK, the wrong team is favored here. The Falcons got a week off, as did the Eagles, and both are healthy and rested. But confidence in Michael Vick is waning in Philly. Not the case with Matt Ryan in Atlanta.
Falcons 24, Eagles 21CHARGERS (-2.5) AT BROWNS
You know I like the direction the Browns are heading, and I also think the Chargers are essentially frauds. But there is too big a gap in talent here right now.
Chargers 20, Browns 10DOLPHINS (2.5) AT JETS
Gotta admit I sold the Jets light last week at New England. A gutty effort I didn't think they had in them. While they always struggle with the Dolphins, the Jets need to prove they can be a factor in the AFC East by following up a strong effort last week with any kind of a win this week. They will.
Jets 16, Dolphins 13COLTS (3.5) AT TITANS
Wow, got to hand it to 37-year-old Matt Hasselbeck, who steered a big road win at Buffalo last week. He's in sync with his receivers and he's got a potent ground game. Titans get it done again.
Titans 27, Colts 20PATRIOTS (-6.5) AT RAMS
Possible trap game here for the Pats after an emotional survival win against the Jets. I do love what Jeff Fisher is doing with the Rams, and yes, it's possible the Rams could pull off a shocker. But they need a huge defensive effort -- one they didn't get last week against Aaron Rodgers. They won't get it against Tom Brady, either.
Patriots 28, Rams 17GIANTS (PICK 'EM) AT COWBOYS
Both teams survived last week, but the guess here is that the Giants are going to remember that opening-game dud they played against Dallas in New York. The Giants are proving why they won the Super Bowl some how, some way, they just make plays.
Giants 23, Cowboys 20SAINTS (6.5) AT BRONCOS
Great win by Drew Brees and company last week on the road at Tampa, but a much taller order awaits in what should be a fun game to watch. Brees will get his scores, but Peyton Manning is going to have a field day with that crappy Saints' defense.
Broncos 45, Saints 3549ERS (-6.5) AT CARDS
As entertaining as the Sunday night game will be, not so much on Monday night. The 49ers should just methodically grind the Cardinals down in a defensive struggle.
49ers 14, Cardinals 6