Thursday, October 11, 2012

Week 6 Pick-A-Thon!

Week 4 Recap:
Damn, I'm Good:
Link Obviously Picked These:

Week 6 Picks, and Maybe Some Analysis

Byes: Saints, Panthers, Jaguars (at least this game won't be blacked out), Bears

Thursday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) @ Tennessee Titans (1-4):
Did you know this is the first time I've spelled "Tennessee" correctly without spellcheck? While I still maintain the Titans are a better team than they're shown (I refuse to be wrong, damnit), they aren't better than the Steelers. However, the Steelers are coming off a short week and a game played against the in-state rival Eagles. Not quite on upset alert, but expect a closer game than advertised.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-4) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3):
We really lost to KC? The ever-so-dreamy Brady Quinn will attempt to charm his way to a win against the Bucs. Coming off a bye, I'd venture a well-rested Bucs team will give Quinn plenty of hugs (read: sacks) but not a win.

Dallas Cowboys (2-2) @ Baltimore Ravens (4-1):
Did you know the Cowboys have never defeated the Ravens? This trend continues. Despite the Ravens defense having some fallout compared to previous years, there are still playmakers on this team, and Tony Romo loves giving defense playmakers some plays. The Cowboys have a solid defense thus far, but the best QB they've seen is either Eli or Cutler, depending on your definition of good.

St. Louis Rams (3-2) @ Miami Dolphins (2-3):
The NFC West continues its dominance of the NFL...not really, this is probably just the closest I'll ever be to being able to type that sentence. Both these teams are playing a big better than their records, but with the Rams coming off a big win at home, I can see them dropping this one to the Fins.

Detroit Lions (1-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles (3-2):
Did you know I still haven't spelled "Philadelphia" correctly yet? The Lions are dreadfully underperforming this season, but do have the advantage of coming off a bye. This one feels like a shoot-out that comes down to the wire for me. This is a "the home team gets the nod" case, though I almost want to make this an upset special.
Saints Spin: You could call this one either way. The Eagles currently lead the NFC East, with the Giants in a tie, but facing the 49ers. An Eagles win and Giants loss would knock another Wild Card team down a peg, while not really hurting our standing too much. You could make a case for the Lions and Giants both winning, but I'm going with the Eagles here.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) @ Cleveland Browns (0-5):
I still can't spell Cincinnati either. This factoid is the most interesting part of this game.

Indianapolis Colts (2-2) @ New York Jets (2-3):
Yet I can spell Indianapolis...I have a bit of trouble with this one as well. I think the Colts are actually a better team, but they're away, coming off a big win and the Jets are getting a bit desperate. I'm going with the Jets, against my better judgment. I look forward to the Reggie Wayne vs Antonio Cromartie matchup. I think Wayne makes Cro his bitch, but we shall see.

Oakland Raiders (1-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (5-0):
The Falcons traditionally own the Raiders, and I can't even make a case for an upset here. Pull for the Falcons' luck to run out, but don't expect it.

New England Patriots (3-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (3-2):
The Seahawks have been crazy good against the pass this season, partly because both corners are like 8 feet tall, holding Aaron Rodgers to 223 yards and Tony Romo to 251. Newsflash: Brady's better than both these guys. I don't see a slaughter, but I expect the Pats to take this one down.

Buffalo Bills (2-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-1):
Wait, the Bills won two games? When did that happen? It'd be nice if they could help the Saints out with a win,

New York Giants (3-2) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-1):
How is this not a night game? Should be a good one. I believe the 49ers get a little sweet, sweet revenge against the Giants, which is also the best case scenario for the Saints. Although the Giants offense is better than the 49ers, the 49ers defense is that much better.

Minnesota Vikings (4-1) @ Washington Redskins (2-3):
If you haven't been paying attention, the Vikings lead the NFC North. Shocker, huh? Had I started doing this blog before the season, I'd be able to say "you read it here first", but alas, I did not. With vomit in my mouth, I felt the Vikings were an underrated team, but they've surprised even me. Christian Ponder has been efficient as hell passing the ball (no picks before last week's stat curse), while the Redskins have been efficient at getting passed on. A "mildly" concussed RGIII may play, but I'd venture to guess his runs will be limited.
Saints Spin: We've lost to the Redskins, so in a tiebreak scenario, we'd need to be a game up on them. Pull for the Vikings.

Sunday Night Football
Green Bay Packers (2-3) @ Houston Texans (5-0):
The Packers are a good team. They should be 3-2. The Texans are scary good, crushing almost every opponent they've played. The scarier part? They've yet to involve Andre' Johnson in any heavy way. I expect the Texans to go to the AFC Championship Game, but they'll have to, and likely will, hit 6-0 first.

Monday Night Football
Denver Broncos (2-3) @ San Diego Chargers (3-2):
Hey, one of these 2's in the Chargers' loss column is from us! Manning and the Broncos haven't seemed to get it together yet, and this is a home game for the Chargers, making this pick easier than it should be (considering it's a division game).

New Orleans Saints (1-4) @ BYE (0-1):
The Saints an are amazing 45-0 against BYE. I see that trend continuing. It's debatable if it's a good or bad thing to have the bye after our long-awaited first win. Does it kill our momentum, or give us time to relax and refocus after that Sunday Night game? For the second game in a row, the Saints' defense held a good offense to 7 points. Look, I don't care how many yards what team rolls up on us, yards do not win games. Points do. Period. We also only have to deal with one more game with Aaron "Mannequin" Kromer doing his head coach impression. The team's been on an upward swing and finally started showing the fight and grit that got them through so many close ones over the years, as opposed to the looks of dejection we've seen over previous week. Maybe it was the big spotlight? Maybe it was coach in the building? Whatever it was, let's hope they hold onto it through the bye and going into Tampa.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Better Late Than Never Wk4 Analysis + Wk5 Predictions

Week 4 Recap

Damn, I'm Good: Ravens, 49ers, Patriots, Texans, Bengals, Cardinals, Broncos
Link Picked These: Chiefs, Panthers, Lions, Bucs, Saints, Giants, Cowboys

Week 4 Ramblings
Yea, I'm late. Lazy. Whatever.
Five games decided by three or less points, three more by a TD. Eight of the 14 games, talk about parity? The Browns and Vikings showed why you never know what will happen in a divisional game. The Jets showed why Rex Ryan kept his mouth shut this offseason, and the AFC North defenses seem to have migrated West for the season. You read that right. The NFC West defenses are...respectable. It may be the best defensive division in the league at this point. It's so shocking, I can only type in fragments. As I'm doing this so late in the week, the stats are a bit thrown off due to the Thursday night game, so my rant stops here.

Week 5 Predictions and Analysis

Byes: Cowboys, Lions, Raiders, Bucs


Arizona Cardinals (4-0) @ St. Louis Rams (2-2):
We're pretending I did this on time. My reasoning behind picking the Cardinals was pretty simple. The Rams are the Rams. Granted, they beat Seattle in week 4, but I figured they wouldn't be able to put together back-to-back, especially against the better offense featured by Arizona.


Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2):
Believe it or not, this is the #6 defense at the #5 defense. These teams played in preseason, with the Eagles winning 24-23, sans Mike Vick. I can see this game going similarly. Vick is back, but has been a turnover machine thus far, and now plays against a Dick LeBeau defense. I'll take the home team in another potential close one.

Green Bay Packers (2-2) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-2):
While playing a bit better than expected, the Colts simply don't have the firepower to outgun the Packers. The Colts do have a slight psychological edge due to the bye week and the cancer diagnosis of coach Pagano. Will that be enough for a win? Probably not, but damnit would it help the Saints.

Cleveland Browns (0-4) @ New York Giants (2-2):
I think at this point, it may as well be assumed the Browns will lose. The Browns at least remind us what an actual, talentless 0-4 team looks like.

Atlanta Falcons (4-0) @ Washington Redskins (2-2):
So the Falcons' offense wasn't quite as good once the real officials returned. Color me shocked. This is another one of those random gut calls, but I think Washington takes the upset.

Miami Dolphins (1-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-1):
Two teams that are quietly having good seasons, though with different results. The Dolphins somehow have the #9 offense in the NFL (mainly due to rushing), while the Bengals are a bit more balanced. This is another one of those "rookie QB vs AFCN defense at home" games.

Baltimore Ravens (3-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (1-3):
We may actually have a Brady Quinn sighting this week. Matt Cassel is on a shorter and shorter leash by the week, as he continues walking his path of wild mediocrity paved by so many USC QBs that walked it before him. The only way the Chiefs take this one down is if they can force the run game to work against a Ravens defense that has no reason to fear the pass.

Seattle Seahawks (2-2) @ Carolina Panthers (1-3):
<Insert game winning INT joke here>. Mammoth corners against a tiny Steve Smith, whose receiving yards have been on the downtick, does not bode well. As I mentioned earlier, the NFCW has some legit defenses, and I don't think Carolina has the personnel to overcome it.

Chicago Bears (3-1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3):
Well, at least no one will be at the game to watch the Jags lose.

Denver Broncos (2-2) @ New England Patriots (2-2):
Another year, another Manning/Brady matchup. This should be a good game, as I don't think either team is clearly better than the other. I give this one to the Pats, due to home field and Jeff Lee's beard.

Buffalo Bills (2-2) @ San Francisco 49ers (3-1):
Team that got wrecked by a Patriots team that didn't even feel like playing the first half against a team that just blanked the Jets. Child, please.

Tennessee Titans (1-3) @ Minnesotta Vikings (3-1):
A matchup between my "underrated teams of the year". At least I'm running 50% on this. An underrated Vikings defense will matchup against a Titans team that will be turning to Matt Hasselbeck due to a Jake Locker shoulder injury, and a hopefully back-from-the-dead Chris Johnson. I feel this is a pretty cut and dry Vikings win, but don't be surprised if it's close. The 'Beck has a way of pulling one amazing game out of his ass, just as much as he's likely to put up a Romoesque clunker.

Sunday Night Football

San Diego Chargers (3-1) @ New Orleans Saints (0-4):
Things are, believe it or not, looking up for the Saints. Last week, we barely lost a game against an opponent that was supposed to bury us. A welcome change from losing to inferior teams by more points. We looked good last week. The defense actually held the Packers to 7 points in the second half, albeit the most critical points. Hartley may have been the first kicker to ever go 3/4 on 6 attempts. His ice's ice was iced. I'm a "win as a team, lose as a team" guy, but he needs to get his head on straight. Bad. On the line this week are several things, the first being the streak. Drew Brees has a chance to beat Johnny U's 50+ year old record of consecutive passes. The game is also primetime, at home, against a good team. We've traditionally done well in this scenario. The biggest factor, however, could be Sean Payton's mere presence in the Dome. If we can't get up for this game, we can't get up for any game. Also on the line, in my opinion, is any chance at recovering the season. A win here would be pivotal towards not just a winning record, but a playoff appearance. A loss would likely bury us. When we look back at this season in February, we may very well be looking back at this week 5 game as the biggest game of the season.

Monday Night Football

Houston Texans (4-0) @ New York Jets (2-2):
Want to know how bad USC QBs are? One is likely about to get booted for a punt protector. Mark Sanchez is bad. Tim Tebow is actually worse. The Jets just got blanked and now play another great defense. I don't see any way Sanchez can steal a victory from the Texans, it's just a matter of when he gets pulled. Sanchez doesn't strike me as the type of guy that would take a demotion lightly. Should the Tebow get the start next week, he'd draw the Colts, Pats, Dolphins, then a bye, followed by two trips to the West to visit Seattle and St. Louis. If he struggles, what then? A pouty Mark Sanchez? Can you really turn back? Haters of the Jets, prepare to watch the Texans send the Jets into a tailspin.

Bonus Fantasy Advice of the Week

It looks like Trey will be starting Ryan Mathews and Eric Weddle against the Saints. Consider them both starters this week.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Week 3 Ramblings With Week 4 Analysis and Predictions

Week 3 Recap

Damn, I'm Good: Giants, Cowboys, Bills, Jets, Bengals, Bears, Texans, Ravens
Link Picked These: Colts, Saints, 49ers, Lions, Chargers, Eagles, Steelers, Packers

Week 3 Ramblings

8-8 for the week, bringing me to 22-26. What a season. I wonder what the hell is up in the NFC this season, as most of my misses have been in the conference. Even with an underrated defense, I still didn't think the Cardinals would come close to a .500 record. Well, they're almost halfway there already. Joining them in the undefeated club are the Texans, which I'm sure doesn't surprise many. The last 3-0 team is Atlanta. I'm getting a "2010" feeling about this Falcons team. If you'll remember, they had some of the best luck ever seen on route to a 13-3 record and a home playoff game, in which they were wrecked by the Packers, 48-21. I guess we'll see about that one, as the season is still young. On the flip side of things, the Saints are dead last in the overall standings, while the Packers, Lions, Patriots and Steelers all sit at just 1 win each. For those of you keeping score, those are 5 of the 12 playoff teams from last season.

The replacement scenario has been beat to death, so I'm not going to harp on it (yet). As bad as they're playing, the Saints would still be 2-1 if not for egregious officiating errors. I thought about including gifs of all the points gifted to our opponents, as well as our points taken off the board, but I don't want to kill your browsers. Now with New England and Green Bay being publicly screwed, maybe we'll finally see some movement on this front. Kraft is one of Goodell's master puppeteers, and won't take any conceived slight against his team lightly.

Week 4 Predictions and Analysis

Byes: Colts, Steelers

Cleveland Browns (0-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (2-1):
Ah, the Browns. Just when you thought you felt bad about your team. The last of my "will these guys even win a game" teams, the Browns get to travel to M&T Bank Stadium to get wrecked by the Ravens. Wait, was that too harsh? No. Still the Browns. Against the Ravens.

New England Patriots (1-2) @ Buffalo Bills (2-1):
Always a random matchup, the Bills seem to either get a hole stomped in them by New England, or keep it close and pull one out. This game will be the former, not the latter. The Bills will be down C.J. Spiller, but luckily gain a Fred Jackson in return. The Pats, who haven't met a tight end they wouldn't sign, will be down Aaron Hernandez, but have super soldja Kellen Winslow to fall back on. Oh boy! At any rate, I don't see the hoodie losing a third consecutive game.

San Francisco 49ers (2-1) @ New York Jets (2-1):
Y'know, I'm not as surprised at the Vikings beating the 49ers (I came into the season thinking the Vikes were underrated) as I should be. If the 49ers defense breaks down, they don't have the QB to overcome. The conglomeration of Marim Techez doesn't have the ability of one Christian Ponder, nor can Shonn Green even spell "Adrian Peterson". Ah man. Do the Jets and Vikings play this year? It's a no-brainer. Tebow can't beat a Christian. I digress. The 49ers will be pissed, and the Jets aren't good enough to overcome that defense. The first week without Revis will come with some adjustments that may or may not work yet.
Saints Spin: Maybe the loss of Revis galvanizes the Jets and they pull it off, at home. New Orleans could sure use another contender at 2-2.

Seattle Seahawks (2-1, kinda) @ St. Louis Rams (1-2):
Can Russell Wilson throw another game winning interception? Brett Favre is so jealous right now. Anyway, we find ourselves looking at an NFC West interdivisional matchup. The Seahawks have pretty much owned the Rams over their last three games, which makes this an easy pick. The Rams win it. I have no good reason other than gut feeling, but I'm calling for the upset on this one.
Saints Spin: The upset would give us yet 2 more NFC teams at 2-2. Make it so, St. Louis Jacksons.

Carolina Panthers (1-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (3-0):
Carolina's in the midst of a Cam Newton sophomore slump that anyone named Trey Hardesty didn't see coming. Immaturity issues are starting to show, and the locker room is starting to look fractured thanks to the ever-classy Steve Smith. I think the Panthers put some points up on the dirty birds, but not enough to win it. Ugh. I just picked the Falcons to win.
Saints Spin: The obvious answer now is pull for the Panthers. It's arguable if tiebreaks come later in the season, we still have a chance to sweep Atlanta, whereas we're already down one to Carolina. This early in the season, we're going for Carolina.

Minnesota Vikings (2-1) @ Detroit Lions (1-2):
I applaud the Vikes for getting up big for last week's game, at least as much as I can congratulate Minnesota. The Lions are on a slide and may not have Matt Stafford for this game. However, Shaun Hill is a more than capable backup and the Lions possess some firepower.
Saints Spin: Pull for the Lions. Yet two more 2-2 teams in the NFC? I'll take it here, and twice on Sunday. See what I did there?

San Diego Chargers (2-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (1-2):
Seriously, Rivers? 3 points against Atlanta? It pleases me that you're going to lose this game too. KC, at home, division game. It may be considered the upset, but I'm going Chiefs.

Tennessee Titans (1-2) @ Houston Texans (3-0):
Thus far, I'm fairly certain there are kickers with more rushing yards than Chris Johnson, which doesn't bode well for Jake Locker. What a team the Texans have been able to assemble. CJ doesn't have a damn chance against that Houston defense, which will likely shut down Locker. Here's hoping for some garbage time points for my team while the Titans are in catchup mode.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) @ Jacksonville Jones-Drews (1-2):
MJD went MJD against the Colts last week, rolling up 177 yards on the ground. Unfortunately for MJD, Greg Manusky is not Mike Zimmer. The Bengals knock out yet another young QB in week 4.

Oakland Raiders (1-2) @ Denver Broncos (1-2):
Oakland finally notched their first win of the season, while Denver is on a two game skid. While efficient, Manning still isn't Manning. This is one of those game where the home team gets the nod.

Miami Dolphins (1-2) @ Arizona Cardinals (3-0):
A battle of two "will these guys win a game" teams. GFY, Arizona. I've picked against the Cards all season, but they get the nod in this matchup. Miami may also be without Reggie Bush, after an admitted bounty from the Jets took him out of last weeks game.
Saints Spin: Miami showing up for this game would be peachy. They stomped Oakland and kept it close with the Jets, so let's see what happens.

Washington Redskins (1-2) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2):
This game hinges on which Bucs team shows up. Will it be the team that was held to under 17 points in two games, or the team that rolled up 34 against the Giants? The answer to that question picks your winner. I'm giving the Bucs the home field nod here, but neither would surprise me.
Saints Spin: We're still early enough in the season to worry about raw wins over potential tiebreakers, so pull for Washington.

New Orleans Saints (0-3) @ Green Bay Packers (1-2):
Spoiler alert: I'm never going to pick against the Saints
Green Bay's gonna be pissed. Pissed. Meanwhile, the Saints enter this game needing a victory. Needing. If the dejected Saints team we've seen the last three weeks shows up, we're dead in the water. I've maintained the Saints needed 2-3 wins by the time Vitt took over or we were in deep. Spoiler alert, we have 3 games until he's back. I still have faith in this team. 2 of the 3 games we were officiated out of, and still haven't been so out of a game we couldn't come back. Where this team misses Sean Payton in a huge way is his ability to motivate the team despite being screwed by the officials, or poor play from a particular player/position group/entire team. Kromer does his best mannequin impression where Payton wouldn't think twice about burning a timeout just to chew some ass. I would have expected Brees to take some of this in his hands, more in relation to the offensive players (mainly the line), but I haven't seen as much as I would like. The bright side about the KC game? We kept them out the end zone on legitimate plays. Remove that 91 yd TD (which the officials should have, watch the replay and try to find Martez Wilson. Clue: he's the one getting a big hug from that nice man) and we held Jamaal Charles to 4.4YPC. That's still bad, but considering how dynamic of a player Charles is, it could be worse. Hey, I'm taking any silver lining I can. Believe it or not, we actually had 1 more sack than Seattle coming into week 3. Maybe getting a couple shots on Rodgers will wake the defense up. It can only get better. We've traditionally played down to bad teams, and played our best against the better, so look for it this week.

New York Giants (2-1) @ Philadelphia Eagles (2-1):
Another damn-near pick 'em. On the one hand, I usually go with the home team in a pick 'em divisional matchup, but Vick's played like garbage, and the Giants have the dogs to reign him in. I'm going with the Giants here, but it's close.
Saints Spin: These two teams play each other again, and we play them both, so it comes down to who you'd rather have to face in the playoffs. I'm going Giants.

Chicago Bears (2-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (2-1):
The NFC North may have the worst offensive lines in the league. The Cowboys have this guy named DeMarcus Ware, perhaps you've heard of him. For you fantasy players out there that are real (wo)men and play IDP, trade 4 first round picks for Ware this week. You may still get a steal. At any rate, Cutler's leadership is in question, and his offensive line is still competing with Green Bay to see who can get the most sacks this season. Maybe they're confused on how games are actually scored. I don't see Chicago overcoming Dallas' defense in this game.
Saints Spin: We play Dallas this year, so even with a win this week, we can still take a win from them and gain a tiebreaker.

Bonus Fantasy Advice of the Week

It looks like Trey will be starting Randall Cobb, Cedric Benson and Tramon Williams against the Saints. Consider them all starters this week.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Week 3 Pick 'Em Analysis

Screw an intro. I'm jumping right in here with some week 3 predictions. Coming in to week 3, I'm 14-18 in pick 'em.

New York Giants (1-1) @ Carolina Panthers (1-1):
Although the Giants will be entering this game a bit banged up (no Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw or Domenik Hixon as of this typing), but stil the better team. Giants take this one home.
Saints spin: This early in the season, you're always pulling against the NFC South team to lose. Pull for the Giants.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (1-1):
After riding a huge wave of emotion over the game 1 upset over the rival Giants, the Dallas Cowboys went to Qwest Stadium and got stunned. The Bucs had a similar path, first dominating the rival Panthers before choking away a lead, and eventually losing to the Giants. I still see the Cowboys as the better team.
Saints spin: Another NFCS team, another vote for the NFCE team. Hold your nose and pull for the Cowboys.

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-1):
Andrew Luck is getting more efficient by the week, as Gabbert continues to become more Gabbert by the week. How was this dude ever talked about as a #1 pick? But I digress. These are two teams with lackluster rosters, so hopefully this isn't the game you'll be forced to watch. I'm picking the Colts to take this one down.

Buffalo Bills (1-1) @ Cleveland Browns (0-2):
After getting wrecked by the offensivly challenge Jets, the Bills went into KC and donkey stomped. Who the hell is this team? Well, they're a better team than the Browns at least.

New York Jets (1-1) @ Miami Dolphins (1-1):
The Jets have the Bills syndrome of "who the hell are you?". The Dolphins have already won one more game than many people expected. With Revis back, I don't see young Tannehill taking advantage of the Jets' D. Jets take it. Ewl.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) @ New Orleans Saints (0-2):
TL;DR warning: I'm taking the Saints.
Who would have thought at week 2 this would be the battle of the winless? Scott Pioli is under fire for the Chiefs start, but I have to say I'm not surprised. I never really saw the hype around the Chiefs this season. At any rate, the Saints come in at a disappointing 0-2, losing both games by 8. This isn't the absolute must-win many are making it out to be, but it's getting close. The Saints have played their worst ball the last two weeks, but still been in both games, with both coming down till the final drive. Officiating gaffes didn't help against the Redskins, but it's still sad to see a team as talented as the Saints in such a position. With Jabari Greer closer to full strength, he should be able to shut down Dwayne Bowe, and will surely shut down Baldwin, should the Chiefs shift in that direction. The defense actually gets to play against a normal offense instead of the weird college crap they've seen the last two weeks, which should tell us more about them then what we've seen. They played the run well in week one, then proceeded to get shredded in week two. Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis may not be DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but they're better than something called an Alfred Morris. Homersim aside, I'm taking the Saints. We still have Drew Brees, and I'm still buying what SpagNOLA is selling.

Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) @ Washington Redskins (1-1):
This pick isn't an indictment of the Skins, so much as it is respect for an AFC North team. The Skins have played well enough to go 2-0, ruined by Josh Morgan's temper tantrum against St. Louis. I still don't see them beating Mike Zimmer's established defense. The Bengals were wrecked by the Ravens, who are one of the better teams in the league, and had a close one with the Browns, but those AFCN match-ups usually go that way.

St. Louis Rams (1-1) @ Chicago Bears (1-1):
The Rams won one more game than I thought they would, after Josh Morgan handed, or rather threw, them a win against the Skins. The Bears struggled mightily against the Packers last week, with Jay Cutler getting sacked an obscene 7 times, and picked off another 4. Robert Quinn and Jake Long make a great DE tandem, but they still aren't the Packers defense. Matt Forte probably won't play, but Michael Bush is a more than adequate fill-in.
Saints spin: In these out of division NFC games, you want to pull for the weaker team (the team you may be fighting for seeding with) to upset. Pull for the Rams to win, but I don't see it happening.

San Francisco 49ers (2-0) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-1):
The 49ers have one of those defense that can win Trent Dilfer a Super Bowl, which is good for them because they have Alex Smith at QB. While I think the 9ers fall this year, I just don't see it against a Vikings team whose biggest strength is Adrian Peterson. This is one of those "unstoppable force meets immovable object" scenarios.
Saints spin: Is it possible the Vikings can pull off this upset? Well, any given Sunday, but...hell no. Though improving, Ponder isn't yet good enough to overcome a defense that's sure to sell out on the run.

Detroit Lions (1-1) @ Tennessee Titans (0-2):
I pegged the Titans as a sleeper team this year, and I'm still not backing down. However, I don't see them being able to overcome the offense of the Lions, especially with the Titans struggling run game.
Saints spin: Pull for Jake Locker and the Titans to overcome some long odds and knock off the Lions

Atlanta Falcons (2-0) @ San Diego Chargers (2-0):
What alternate reality are we living in where the Chargers are starting strong? The Falcons are a fraud, just like their 13-3 season. If you nab 6 turnovers, you should win the game by more than 6, or at least score more than 27 points. The Chargers take this one down.
Saints spin: It's the Falcons. You always pull against the Falcons.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-0):
Yet another team I didn't think would win a game jumps up and surprises everyone. It took a shanked kick, but the Cardinals pulled off the upset against the Patriots. Wow. At any rate, look for the Eagles to take this one down against what projects to be an overmatched Cardinals team.
Saints spin: This one is a bit tougher to pick than you'd think. The Eagles will likely have some tough games in the NFC East, while the Cards have a similar road with a weaker NFC West. We play the Eagles, which can help us in tiebreakers, so pull for the Cards.

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) @ Oakland Raiders (0-2):
The Raiders, as usually, aren't playing up to the level of their talent. Between the Steelers being able to sell out against McFadden, and the Steelers propensity to pick off passes *coughcoughcarsonpalmer* should make this a fairly easy "W" for the black and yellow.

Houston Texans (2-0) @ Denver Broncos (1-1):
Here's a good one. One the AFC's elite teams faces one of the all-time great quarterbacks. I think Houston's defense is better than the Broncos, which gives them the edge in this AFC tilt.

New England Patriots (1-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (1-1):
My pick is quite easy. The Ravens typically have the Patriots number. If not for a dropped pass or missed FG, that statement would hold more true. Plus, any team that has to rely on Kellen Winslow, Jr...ehhhhh.

Green Bay Packers (1-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (1-1):
While the Seahawks are another one of my sleeper teams, a young Russell Wilson against a defense led by Charles Woodson just isn't a recipe for success. However, being a home game does give the 'Hawks a bit of an advantage. I'm not calling for the upset, but it wouldn't surprise me either.
Saints spin: The Packers are still the greater threat, pull for the upset.