[u][b]Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers[/b][/u]
Picking this is difficult; the Bolts have been looking great, despite an offense decimated by injuries, with Rivers making a strong run for MVP - while the Broncos are hitting their straps with Orton getting it done.
Denver stuck it to the Chiefs behind a solid run game, but the Chargers D ranks fourth against the run and I doubt Moreno is going to have the same joy tonight and, in any case, this is a passing offense that may well find itself behind early.
Rivers should make hay against an almost non-existent pass rush and a weak secondary, whereas Orton (second only to the man he faces today in total yards) can look to Brandon Lloyd, Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney and even Demaryius Thomas deep if the run really does get stuffed at...
[u][b]NY Giants @ Philadelphia[/b][/u]
Maybe there are really smart bettors out there who will tell you Vick’s performance last week, the weight of money for the Eagles, and the Giants stumbling last time out, means that the clever play is on New York with the points. Well, I’m as numb as a boot – hell, I don’t know what a whole bunch of nines are – so I’m staying on board the Philly choo choo.
The home fans are going to be blowing the doors off Lincoln Financial Field and you’re going to have to be made of stern stuff to go in there and try to stop the Eagles’ juggernaut.
I won’t rehearse Vick's performance last week, save to say if Kitna can bend over Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster with the deep ball, then heaven knows what the Vick/Jackson combination is ...
[u][b]Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots[/b][/u]
Yum, yum. If there’s anything guaranteed to make my walnut cake and tea taste better it’s a matchup like this. Peyton on Tom and I’m taking the good ol’ boy over the hair do.
In Formula 1, you get the feeling that if you put any of the top guys in the best car, they would win the Drivers’ Championship. Well, this season Peyton turned up in the garage and found a Reliant Robin. Injuries have robbed him of key players, Wayne has lost some form and Garcon is catching like he’s visually impaired – but still 18 can get it done. He may get something of a break here as the Pats haven’t a terrifying pass rush and there are a couple of ropey corners deep in a New England secondary that lacks experience, but be warned –...
[u][b]Houston Texans @ New York Jets[/b][/u]
I have the Jets as one of my teams to go all the way (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Oakland, as you ask) and I’ll take them against Houston today. The Texan deep threats are potent and Schaub is capable, and paired with Foster they present the kind of balanced offense that I like: the problem is, it’s the Jets D, Houston stink on the other side of the ball, and there are real injury concerns on the Oilers’ sideline.
Everyone knows you attack Houston vertically, and every week they get torched. They have no pass rush to speak of, their safeties, Bernard Pollard and Eugene Wilson, are poor, and CBs Glover Quin and Kareem Jackson are out of their rookie depth. That makes them vulnerable deep and underneath, so I expect Edwards, Holmes...
I just don't buy the Bears (they've already made that judgement look foolish!) so I'm hardly going to look kindly on them on the road off a short week; but this is a [i]really[/i] tough game to call.
Cutler seems to have woken up, the Bears' O line has held up as they get players fit and playing their proper positions and Mike Martz has discovered the run game. The Miami pass rush and secondary are struggling with injuries and their third string trigger man is under centre, behind an O line with Berger gone and Long struggling, so it must be Chicago, right?
The Vikes were gutless last week - they just laid down and died - and I expect the home team to bring a lot more pressure up front on Cutler tonight. As I said, the phins' pass rush is dinged up (Cameron Wake limped...
[u][b]Philadelphia @ Washington[/b][/u]
I'm all over the Phillies here. The Eagles D has really begun to step up and the worst friend of mans' best friend is getting it done.
They go up against a Redskins side that looks as though it's in a very weird place: what Mike Shanahan was dong with that benching of McNabb is anyone's guess, but I hardly think it'll make for a happy sideline. As it is, McNabb is struggling with both hammys tweaked and has been below par all season - whether going up against his old team at home will fire him up remains to be seen.
McNabb has a limited set of options downfield (and Asante Samuel will sit on Santana Moss all game)and the run game is badly banged up, so he's going to have to look for guys like Cooley and Armstrong. Torain will carry the ...
[u][b]Minnesota @ Chicago[/b][/u]
The corpse that was the Vikings is beginning to twitch. Of course, it may be doing so in order to rise up and bite Childress’ head off, but what the hell, they might actually be a team after all and, truth be told, I think the Bears stink.
Petersen will lead the charge as usual and, although da Bears aren’t a pushover on the ground, ‘All day’ has owned Chicago in the past (179/3 last year; career 6 TDs) so expect him to do the usual. Chicago are more vulnerable downfield, which may be a weakness too far after Favre went crazy last week and had a career game (446 yards, 2 TDs) and again, he has murdered Chicago in the last couple of years.
Although Favre has commented this past week that he understands the Chicago D, Peppers literally played...